Saturday, March 29, 2008

When I Move to Chicago......

I've found where I want to live...
I'm sure MPMama and Jules will be frequent visitors....
Maybe they'll want to move here, appropriate...

We aren't giving up, but if it isn't one thing it's another for our Mimi.
Just can't seem to be able to get all systems working at the same time.
We get one thing fixed and something else goes screwy.
Say a prayer for the old girl. Please wish for her ~peace~.



Thursday, March 27, 2008

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging......

To Bring you Springtime in Roselle, Illinois...
(above is Mimi's beloved home on 3/21/08)

Most of those who know me know I've been in Chicago since March 21 to be with GB's mom, Mimi. She fell and broke her arm on March 4th. To add insult quite literally to injury, on March 6th, she had the most pitiful 90th birthday anyone on the face of this earth has probably ever had. And things have not been great for her since - but - hope certainly springs eternal! Hopefully she'll be able to go to rehab in the next few days.

Happy 90th, Mimi!
(It wasn't March 6th, but celebrate we did!)
Mimi, the birthday girl with her favorite boy, GB
As you can tell, my blogging world has been pretty darn pitiful for me since I've been here. While there are 6 wireless connections my computer finds while at her home, every last one of them is password-protected. The nerve of her neighbors! Don't they realize I have important matters to blog about?? I do get complimentary wireless here at Alexian, but only spend time on my computer when Mimi is involved in her various "ablutions" (that's a Mental P. Mama word) she needs to have every day.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wistful Thinking & Thursday Cleanup

I miss my home state...ahh my Mizzourah...
We're going back in April and I can hardly wait!

The photo is the ~crick~ that's below my parent's home.
Over the last 20 years our three kiddos,
as well as GB and I,
have made many unforgettable memories
with mom & dad & the extended family, (aka my Dodgie)
in, around and beside that ~crick~...
My thoughts and prayers go out to all my fellow
Missourians who have been flooded out.
May the waters recede quickly and your damage be manageable. Blessings!


Our Mimi is still on an improving trend. She is finding it hard to walk as she gets so winded, but we're hoping with time and PT she'll regain the strength she lost. She has so many visitors it's just ridiculous - what a wonderful tribute to the friend she's been to so many over the years! If anyone cares to drop her a line, call her or visit her, just e* me and I'll give you the info. She's an incredible woman. As her doctor so eloquently put it:

"The old gal has a 90 year old body and a 21 year old mind!"


WW update:
There isn't any. Gotta a problem with that?!?!


Snippets from the nurse's office:
  1. 1:45pm: "I have a sore throat. I've had it since 6 after 10 this morning."
  2. "I want to go home so what do I say to you so you'll call my mom?"
  3. "I threw up a little in my mouth, but I swallowed it. What should I do now?"

Good Bye & God Bless



Monday, March 17, 2008

7:20am, EDT - Fire at Dawn

Our house? Not dawn yet.
Our hilltop tree tops? Sun-drenched!
Soon, home will be too.


P. S. - Our Mimi continues to improve...what she will come back to is anyone's guess at this point, but she's been moved to a regular hospital bed and her rehab Dr. came to see her and told her she's not far away from being able to move back to the rehab facility...lovely! Miracles...they're so very unexpected...and so very good! Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts. They've worked! (Those prayers and thoughts? Please keep them coming!)


Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Believe in Miracles...Yes I DO!

Mimi, my most dear MIL, and I really do mean that most dear part, was looking forward to her 90th birthday on March 6th, living a good and for the most part trouble-free independent life, aside from a few aches and pains and her quite controllable emphysema (no, she didn't spend years and years smoking, actually only about 10 of her 90 years), when the most awful thing happened to her two days before her 90th birthday. She fell in her Chicago driveway on March 4th. After yelling as best as she could for 40 minutes, a neighbor, who happened to be returning home finally heard her when he stepped out of his car, (March in Chicago? Not a good thing to be lying outside in your driveway for 40's cold!). He called an ambulance and she was taken to the ER.

Turned out she broke both the lower bones in her left arm and sprained her left foot. Some birthday present! She was in the hospital for about a week and then moved to a rehab hospital last Monday. Last Friday morning GB gets a call from her doctor that things just weren't right and she was going to have to go back to the hospital. They kept her on some kind of special oxygen machine for most of the day, and of course, all the while she's cracking jokes and being her typical entertaining self. I talked to her at 4:40 that afternoon and aside from being hard to understand because of the oxygen mask she was wearing, all was ok - not great, but ok.

5:15 the hospital calls us and asks straight away, with no preamble, if Mimi has a living will and a DNR.....they then asked us if we wanted her intubated....OF COURSE we wanted her intubated, especially since she was together enough to say she wanted it. In that short period of time from 4:40pm to 5:15pm she had developed a life-threatening pneumonia. It was simply unbelievable. Needless to say this was devastating to GB, and eventually to all that love her, as it was so very sudden and truly unexpected. We scrambled and got GB to Chicago on the last flight out Friday, Mimi's sister, Micki, flew in from Florida yesterday and we all basically began a - awful phrase - ~death watch~ as her doctors finally told us they didn't see much hope and it could be at any time.

Yesterday evening I called those I needed to and sent out a mass email to all her people letting everyone know that she had taken a turn for the worse, it didn't look good in the least and to please remember Mimi in their thoughts and prayers.

Flash forward to 9:00am this Palm Sunday morning. Dreading it, I called the hospital to see how she did during the night. I then got the surprise of my life - the most wonderful surprise of my life. Her nurse told me that they noticed sometime between 7am and 8am that Mimi seemed to be trying to breath on her own though her ventilator was still going. So they decided to keep her intubated (so if her numbers started to drop she could quickly be put back on the ventilator), but turn off the ventilator machine. She did just beautifully. At 2:00pm this afternoon her tube was removed and she has continued to improve ever since. Of course, the next 48 hours are critical, but as the docs and nurses all say: "We are cautiously optimistic. Every good hour she has makes the outcome of this look brighter and brighter."

I called and emailed all her people once again letting them know that there, indeed, had been a miraculous change in her prognosis. As dear friend Dick B. said: "I knew it! Prayer works! It works!" It does indeed.

Our Mimi is a strong and stubborn, (don't tell her I told you that last part) woman. I really do believe that with all the prayers and good thoughts flying her way, she decided this wasn't the way she wanted to get out of here, that it wasn't her time yet.

We are all so very thankful. 90 is a very long time to live (unless you're a parrot or turtle, of course), and she's pretty much had a good good life....but I'm glad we have more time, even if it's not a lot of years in the grand scheme of things (she is 90), to be with her.

Bless you, Mimi, you are amazing and we love love love you!
And we're so glad you're still here!
Miracles, ya gotta believe in miracles!

If you folks don't mind, offer up a prayer
or a good thought for her, will you?
Thank you, thank you!



Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Is In The Air!'s all about spring-time shoes!
Do you have your spring flings yet??
I and my fellow squackers do!
(Though we seem to be missing one foot.)


Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Have Officially (Or Not) LOST MY MIND!!

I haven't been sleeping very well the past several days. I chalk this up to the change from regular to daylight savings time. I could be mistaken about this, but I choose not to be.

Went to bed at 11:00pm last night. This is highly unusual for me as I am a night human and consider midnight to be an early bedtime. I haven't been sleeping well as of late for many different reasons....none of which involve feeling sorry for myself......really, that's true. Anywho - I hadn't been sleeping well since the changeover and decided to go to bed early. It was a wonderful idea until around 5am this morning. I woke up, saw the time and went back to sleep. However, it was the kind of sleep where you think you're awake even though you're sleeping and your sleep reality becomes your awake reality. In other words, you're really screwed up!


I tore out of bed, took one look at myself in the mirror and immediately set out to find a bag to put over my head. Found the bag, then threw on some clothes, washed my face, vigorously rubbed my eyes - puffy's gotta go - and tore out of the house to go to work.

Hmmm....why was it so dark out?? Why were there so few cars on the road.....why wasn't my work mate, let alone the main office picking up my calls?? And stranger yet, why was it that my work parking lot had exactly 3 (three) cars in it?? I WAS AN HOUR LATE, FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD! WHAT'S GOING ON, PEOPLE??? Something was very amiss!!

I saw the building super's car so went to find him, as he knows everything, and I most definitely needed to know everything.

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK...."Yeah, who's there?" Al sounded surprised and wary. "It's ME, Al! Open up!!" Al: "Who's you? Oh, you mean you!" Me: "Yeah, Al, it's me, Ann...Don't we have school today? Where IS everyone???" Al, beginning to giggle,: "Ann, ("you freaking idiot" - I swear that's what I clearly heard him mutter under his breath), school doesn't start for another hour." Me: "Al, it's very early, do not toy with me!!!" Al: "ANN, look at the clock, you're here an hour early!!" An hour hour early.....O MY GOD.....I'm at school an hour early!! And I'm unshowered and unshaven!! Ewwwwwwuuuuuu!

I'm going home, then. Al, guffawing long and loud, told me around his gasps for air that I shouldn't do that as I would actually be late by the time I got back. So what?!?!? I was an HOUR early for work the first time, so I can be 10 minutes late for work the second time around. It's in the same day for cryin' out loud!

Got myself all buffed and puffed and headed back. The first clue I had that all was not well and good was when I passed Donna, our greeter at the side door, who upon setting eyes on me BURST into laughter. She muttered something to me through her giggles, and I'm proud to report I didn't understand a word that she said! Then I saw Al....needless to say when someone takes one look at you and bursts out laughing it's not a good thing! Got to my mate Jane says with a HUGE sh*t-eating grin, "So, I heard you had some issues this morning!" Peter, her 6 year old son piped in: "Yeah - I told everyone what happened!" I am so very pleased! My day is off to a fabu start!

Al managed to find an excuse to stop by our office three more times today. Each time he would wait until he caught my eye, and then....all hell would once again break loose - you could hear him laughing for miles around...I am not kidding. Can anyone say wet-your-pants-you're-laughing-so-hard??? Ahhh it was good, even at my own expense!

Footnote: To add abysmal insult to injury, I was busily typing away on my PC later in the afternoon when I decided I needed something out of my purse immediately. Plopped my bag onto my keyboard...SUDDENLY WHAT SHOULD BE THE TOP OF MY COMPUTER MONITOR IS NOW ON THE LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE MONITOR!!! WHAT THE HELL??? What was I going to do now!??!?!? Crook my head to the left?? Turn the monitor sideways??? What to do, WHAT TO DO???

Jane, my Little Miss Brilliant Office Mate said she'd call her hubby who knew more than a thing or two about PC's and would know what to do. He easily fixed the sideways screen problem. Of course I didn't write down what he told me to do, so the next time this happens I'll have to call him again, take up his time again, and try to convince him I'm a worthy person to help.

HELP! Is there such a thing as a computer nanny? I need one!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lil' Miss Magic's Still Life

Bella's Not-For-Long Still Life

I was challenged by a friend to produce a ~Still Life~ with the added caveat of creating fancy-schmancy lighting for your fancy-schmancy photo shoot. Since I'm lucky to even get a picture that's half-way focused, the lighting angle is completely out of my league. However, as you can see from my still life photo above, the lighting is quite luminous...ethereal I'd venture to say.
Last Sunday, Bella, our Little Miss Magic, came over for Sunday Family Dinner along with her cousin, Connor-Man. As you can clearly see, she is plotting her escape from Connor's protective arm so she can wreak havoc at Auntie's house. PLANTS & PUPS BEWARE!!!
"'re talking about me? Sweet, innocent, little old me??? Auntie, I would never tear the leaves off your houseplants.
Pull the cat's tail, me? Never!
Well....maybe never....oh alright! You know me too well!
I will have my way!!"
"(Sigh) Having my way is just exhausting in a still life kind of way!
Must sleep now so I can get my energy up for another day of havoc!"
Night night, sweet Bella, our little Miss Magic!


Monday, March 10, 2008

4 Stalks a Bloomin'

Dear Amaryllis
The Beauty You've Shared With Me
Thanks! Next Year Too...Please?


Sunday, March 09, 2008

King of the Side Table....

.....cannot stand it when I have the nerve to go into the bathroom and close the door. I wonder what he could possibly be thinking? The dogs don't mind, but Trey-you? Ha! It drives him crazy! I decided to try to catch him in the act, as a trip to the bathroom doesn't include bringing a camera with you. To try to speed things up, I called the cat and blatantly let him see me go into the bath and close the door, instead of trying to sneak in there like I usually do.

Of course, he was giving me that cat look that all cats are good at - some better than others - that clearly said he couldn't care less about what I was doing, actually I could drop off the face of the earth for all he cared as long as there was another human around that would feed him. He didn't fool me for one little moment! I just knew that I'd hear him throwing himself against the door and then see his paw under the door any minute after that. Yep.....he's now throwing himself at the door.....umm, now he's trying to look under the door - I know this because I hear him vigorously sniffing. Look! There's his paw! He kept it right there and didn't move at all so I shuffled my foot a little, and then...

Eureka!the old boy couldn't stand it another moment!

In for the kill he and his paw came! Another bathroom and it's occupant conquered - King of the Side Table once again rules! When I opened the door, Trey-you immediately straightened up and looked away, and then sauntered away with a quick glance over his shoulder that clearly said: "Who me? You thought that was my paw under the door? Don't be silly! I would never stoop to doing something as lame as that!" Oh right, I think, it must have been our other cat! You know, the invisible one. (sigh)


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Thought of the Day

Brynnly & me

"Of all the things I've lost, it's my mind I miss the most."

Big night in Cocktail Corner.  Must rest now.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Word of the Day

Cathartic - as an adjective

Adj.1.cathartic - emotionally purging
healthful - conducive to good health of body or mind; "a healthful climate"; "a healthful environment"; "healthful nutrition"; "healthful sleep"; "Dickens's relatively healthful exuberance"

2.cathartic - emotionally purging (of e.g. art)
artistic creation, artistic production, art - the creation of beautiful or significant things; "art does not need to be innovative to be good"; "I was never any good at art"; "he said that architecture is the art of wasting space beautifully"
emotional - of more than usual emotion; "his behavior was highly emotional"

"It was cathartic for me to be able to finally tell my husband that he just had to stop bringing me a dozen roses every week....
it had become so mundane."



Wednesday, March 05, 2008

This Just Says it All...

(above courtesy of Pardon My Planet )


Monday, March 03, 2008

The Circle of Life Continues....

For me February is the worst and the best month of the year. The worst because it is usually an ugly month here in the Northeast. (Though we've had winters with snow on the ground from December through March, most winters we don't.) The temperatures fluctuate wildly in February so that we're left with either a mud-bath or frozen mud "sculptures" that will break your ankle if stepped on wrong. Toward the middle to late February, just about the time I've had ENOUGH of this dreariness, without fail my little friends pop their heads up to remind me that once again, nature and all her wonders has come through....the circle begins again. Crocus popping has happened in February every year we've lived here. I took the below pictures today, but drove by this field last Wednesday (2/27) and they were all in full bloom. The weekend was cold so they "folded", but today we had highs in the 50's. Once again out they all came in all their lovely glory!

Part of the lawn the crocus are growing in. Each year they expand their reach further into the lawn. I must check, but I think these are snow crocus - they bloom 2 - 3 week earlier than other crocuses (is the plural croci?)

Snowdrops! We have snowdrops!
The snowdrops are back in droves!

You can see why they're called snowdrops - look at the snow that's still on the ground even after a mid 50's day. Lovely! My soul is re-newed!

Hundreds under the trees....

One last picture...

Same bloom - top picture taken w/flash, this one without.Can you ever doubt why hope springs eternal?



Saturday, March 01, 2008

Turkeys in the Tree (Branches)

Someone please explain to me how big big turkeys
manage to hold tight to tiny tiny tree branches....
...all night long