Monthly Archives: December 2010

A New Year!

I’m looking forward to it. Not that things are magically going to be better, but because–well, just because. It’s new. And shiny. And that makes things more hopeful.

We had a good Christmas. The Texas grandsons came to visit–with their dad. 😉 The boys are still here, but their dad had to go back to work. We have toys, shoes, candy, clothes and other little-boy paraphernalia strewn from one end of the house to the other. Ain’t it grand!

I got a new laptop computer for Christmas. (So did the fella and the youngest son.) This is the first laptop I’ve ever had–and I need to find that wireless mouse I have somewhere, because using the touchpad is giving me mouse elbow… Don’t know how moving my thumb and fingers makes my elbow hurt, but there it is. Still, I love it. It will go with me on the next trip to the parents’. Not that they have a wifi set up, but I can get a router to go on Daddy’s cable. :)

I made pecan and buttermilk pies for Christmas, and yesterday, we went on a cookie-making binge. Well, actually, I started by making snickerdoodles (again), and then the boy’s girlfriend, who’s spending a few days with us, made chocolate chip cookies, and then broke out the gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix. The gf mixes from Betty Crocker & co. are pretty good stuff.

There’s even gf Bisquick! The fella got all excited, because he could finally, after nearly 30 years, have
chicken and dumplings again. We always made the dumplings out of biscuit dough or actual canned biscuits–totally wheat flour, which he can’t eat. So he got busy last night, mixed up two boxes of gf Bisquick dough and made himself (and us) chicken and dumplings. Pretty good, if I say so myself.

In parental news, Daddy seems to be responding well to his new medication. Even he says he’s not having so many “crazy ideas” or wild dreams. I did have to make the trip up twice last week, because Mother’s next older sister was very ill, and passed away Tuesday evening. They had a quick graveside service on Thursday for family and close friends, and will have a memorial service in another few weeks. The fella and I drove up to get Mama & Daddy and take them to Waco for the burial. About every 30 minutes, Daddy asked where we were going, and where exactly we were again, but overall he did pretty good. He did have lunch twice. We got there early enough to eat at a Chinese buffet before the service, but my brother and his wife didn’t, so we went with them to a Denny’s afterward, and Daddy had a big hamburger. Mama and I shared dessert.

It was good seeing all the family we haven’t seen in a few years–cousins and aunts and uncles. Daddy remembered some of them–didn’t remember my brother’s name, but remembered several of my cousins. Now of the four sisters, only the oldest and youngest (Mama) are left. Aunt Joyce is just as sharp as she ever was, which aggravates Mama half to death, because she has so much trouble remembering things. But we’ve been blessed to have them as long as we have.

Love your family as hard as you can while you can, because you don’t know how long you’ll have them. That’s my motto for the new year.

Still scrambling

Well. Another busy, busy week. While on the road from south central Texas (SE of Austin) to the Texas Panhandle (about an 11-hour drive) for her father-in-law’s funeral, my sister got a call from the home health nurse about our dad. Seems the nurse was present for one of Daddy’s melt-downs and it worried her. She thinks it’s time to see about moving Daddy out, possibly into an Alzheimer’s facility. So Baby Sister called me, once she reached Borger and got out of the no-cell-phone access areas, and I got up Saturday morning and headed up to the parents’.

In just the two weeks since I was last there, the Alzheimer’s has gotten worse. Mama hadn’t taken her Aricept every day, but she was so thin it alarmed me. (Loss of appetite is one of the side effects of the medicine.) And I could scarcely leave the room without Daddy losing his temper about something. I wound up staying four days instead of the three I’d planned, because there was a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday I needed to stay for. Plus, the nurse had referred the parents to their social worker who came by Tuesday and helped us get the claim started on their long-term care insurance policy, which will cover home care as well as a nursing home. (Best thing they ever did! Besides signing power of attorney forms several years ago.) So, we’ve got things started. We’ll just have to see how it goes from there.

We haven’t finished our Christmas shopping, and we need to get gifts mailed to Pennsylvania soon. We haven’t even drawn names for my siblings’ families. We’ve been too busy putting out fires. And yet–it’s still Christmas. I’m trying hard not to get too stressed–and it’s working somewhat. I’m just going to focus on family and the absolute necessities, and forget about everything else. (Of course, when the fella’s volunteered our house for the Lion’s Club Christmas party next Thursday… But I’m making him do the cleanup!!) Keep praying, y’all. We sure need it.

Wild and woolly

It was a wild weekend in Dallas/Fort Worth with all the in-laws, kids, grandkids–the whole horde. We were celebrating the fella’s parents’ 60th anniversary. The nephews were back from Australia–the one in grad school down there has finished his Master’s degree in oenology biochemistry, and brought back wines he’d made. (Very tasty.) His brother just went down to visit. The daughter also came with her family from the “frozen Northland” (aka Pennsylvania), including the escape artist (aka her son).

That kid is really fast! The in-laws’ house, where we were staying, backs up to a big park, with baseball fields visible from the house and a playground beyond them. Several times during the visit, Mowgli (he has autism, and occasionally behaves as if he were raised by wolves) would take it into his head that it was time to go to the park, and zip! He’d be out the door and dashing for the gap in the fence. And he was often faster than the adult chasing him, so his Mom would have to go out and yell at him and make him come back. I foresee a track star. If the coach can convince him to actually run on the track, and wait for the starting gun/bell to start running. Honestly, he was very good during the whole visit, except for one or two escape attempts. That’s not bad for a week’s visit not even at his own Gigi & Granddaddy’s house.

We celebrated Thanksgiving, then we celebrated the anniversary. The daughter got everyone to tell a family story. (“Dad–we need a broom, and a bandaid.” and “New constitutional amendment about green beans.”) We took all the grandboys to the zoo where everyone had a great time. We took the little boys to see “Tangled.” It went over well, once the action started. (The opening was a little talky.) We raked up a century-old pecan tree’s-worth of leaves (plus I saw a few oak tree leaves in there) and let the boys jump in them. One tree made a ginormous pile of leaves. We even did a little Christmas shopping.

Now the older son has come to the island for a conference. We’re going to Dickens on The Strand tomorrow. It’s basically a street festival to celebrate Galveston’s historic Victorian-era downtown, where people dress up in Victorian era costumes, pirate costumes, and even costumes from Dickens stories (like Jacob Marley from “A Christmas Carol”) and hang out downtown. They’re having steampunk stuff this year, along with the usual parades, street urchins, bed races, mummers, etc. I don’t have a costume, but hey–it’s fun. (I have stuff to make a costume, but… Good intentions and all that.)

Can’t get into my office right now, with guests in town. I’ll start revisions on… Sunday? Sounds good to me.