Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Life is Becoming a Soap Opera

While I would love to be showing you pictures of my home all decorated for fall or sharing my recipe for caramel apple cake or even taking pictures of the garden in early fall, life has other plans for me.

In my last post I was feeling good about getting through the stressful time with my Mom. I really appreciated your helpful comments. I even printed them off and cut them out to keep at hand in case stress hit again.

Good thing I did.

I have since had a first hand look at how life can change drastically in an instant.

Last Friday my husband got on an airplane to return home from his business trip in Miami. He was perfectly healthy and felt fine. He fell asleep for part of the flight. Woke up with a stomache which got worse as the day wore on. By 8:00 I decided he needed to go to the ER. He was writhing in pain the whole way. He has been in intensive care since then. The diagnosis is pancreatitis. Most people I tell about this have never heard of it. But those that have say it is extremely painful. So far they have not been able to determine what caused it. He is hooked up to all sorts of tubes and on morphine. It is so sad to see him like this. In our 27 years of marriage he has barely had more than a cold or the flu.

So now, we wait and we pray and we do everything we know how to aid in his healing process. Yes, it would be nice to be assembling fall themed blogs. . . but that will have to wait.

~To everything there is a season~

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How Do YOU Handle Stress?

Stress isn't fun. I knew I was facing some serious stress yesterday when I could hardly get up because my body felt like a lead weight and it was hard to catch a breath. Not being able to eat and only drinking a half cup of coffee were sure signs that this was stress like I had never known before. I tried all of the things I could think of to alleviate it but nothing was even touching it. I knew I had to pull myself together because I had to get my Mom to an attorney's office to sign some papers.

I am quickly learning what a horrible disease Alzheimer's really is and my heartfelt sympathies go out to anyone facing it. While my Mom's first few days here seemed to be going well, the third day changed that. The phone call from my Mom wondering who was coming to take her back home to Tennessee was sad enough, but nothing compared to the call I got from the assisted living asking me to come ASAP. The previous night Mom had been hallucinating and trying to escape out the window. The part that really did me in was when she showed me that she had written HELP with her lipstick on the mirror.

In her battle with Alzheimer's Mom has never had those symptoms. I was very worried that her move might bring on a decline as a big change in lifestyle can be very difficult for Alzheimer's patients. I have been with her a lot and am trying everything I can think of to help her feel comfortable.

Anyhow, that is just a little glimpse into what brought on that paralyzing stress. Somehow I did get through it. We got to our appt. and then went out for dinner and to Target for a little shopping. I came back and sat and talked with Mom but it is so sad to have to leave her when she is so confused about everything.

As so often is the case, today has been a much better day. Starting with a shining sun and cooler air with no humidity.

Nothing like fresh air after a long, hot summer!!

What do you do when you are facing a lot of stress? Do you have any secrets that work well in really stressful times?

Here are some of the things that are helping me today

A long walk. It would have been longer, but Peanut was getting tired. I am determined to get that pedometer to 10,000 by days end.

Nature in it's fall splendor.

One beautiful fall leaf picked up on our walk.

Books and magazines that don't require too much deep thinking.

And, of course, a little chocolate always helps.
A few of my friends offered me their tips on managing stressful times ~ chocolate & ice cream seemed to be the most popular.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Dear Brett!!

Happy Birthday Dear Brett!!

Today is my husband's birthday. He is out of town working hard. He is and has been a small business owner for 18 years. Unfortunately the "recession" has taken a real toll on his business. In an attempt to keep his business going and keep his employees employed he is exploring a new venture this week.

He was my strongest support this weekend in moving my Mom into assisted living. Without his loving support I'm not sure I could have done it. He has been under an incredible amount of stress in his job lately. However with a cheerful disposition he orchestrated the entire weekend and then had to dash out of here to work on this new venture. He must be exhausted but he never complains.

Sunday, after a very busy weekend of moving my Mom he had very little time to pack and get to the airport to leave for his new venture. He did it all with a smile on his face. I wish we could be together to celebrate his birthday. However, when he comes home I am planning to bake him a carrot cake and shower him with attention. He is one of those people that is constantly doing for others and expects nothing in return.


I hope to be back to regular blogging soon. Thank you for your sweet comments in my absence. All things considered the move went well. I am currently on a bit of an emotional roller coaster. As soon as things stabilize I want to be back to regular blogging. You have no idea how much I crave normalcy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Falling For My Blog Friends

As we begin a new week I have a few things I'd like to share with you, dear blog friends . . .

First and foremost, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your supportive and sweet comments. I get such warm fuzzy feelings when I read them and really appreciate you taking the time to leave them.

Secondly, I want to share a funny (?) little thing that happened last week. You may remember my recent post about the Eva Cassidy CD I had ordered from Amazon. I could hardly wait for it's arrival. Well, I returned home late one night last week. It was pitch dark as I pulled into the garage. As I was driving in I thought it sounded like something was dragging under the car. But, I didn't feel like I had run over anything. When I got out of the car and looked there was a flattened Amazon box. The UPS driver apparently left it on the ground in the garage door opening. Duhhh!! Brilliant. He always leaves packages on the front porch. Of course when I opened the dilapidated box there was my Eva Cassidy CD. The case was shattered and the CD was all scratched. Boo Hoo - I almost cried. So I am back to listening to Songbird on Heidi's blog. Thank You, Heidi. My dear son has volunteered to take care of this problem.

Lastly, I will be taking a short blog break. If you have been following my blog you know that I am moving my Mom into assisted living this weekend. My brother is flying in on Thursday from California. On Friday he, my husband & I will cross the state line into Tennessee to load up the truck and then on Saturday we will bring Mom and her belongings to North Carolina to begin her new life. These next few days will find me working, finishing up loose ends and spending time making Mom's new home feel like home. I want her to be happy @ home too :-)

Before I go I snuck in a few more little fall vignettes.

Once I know that Mom is settled in I can't wait to get back to blogging. That is when my fall decorating will kick into high gear ~ hopefully it will be a bit cooler then too.

This is what I put on one end of my kitchen island. When you enter the kitchen from any other room or the garage this is the first thing you see. I think it will be a nice fall welcome in the daytime or at night ~ when the candle is lit.

I bought this bowl at a really cute shop in Blowing Rock, NC. If you have never been there I think you would love it. If you have ever read any of Jan Karon's Mitford series books you might be interested to know that she used to live in Blowing Rock and the fictitious town of Mitford is based on the real town of Blowing Rock. Anyhow, the fun thing about this bowl is that I change out the ribbon for the seasons and then add things to coordinate. Like yellow ribbon and Easter eggs for Easter, Christmas ribbon and pine cones at Christmas. The possibilities are almost endless. So much fun to play with.
I will be back as soon as possible. Until then. . . take good care of yourselves and enjoy the beauty of this season.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Touch of Fall in the Kitchen

As much as I love to decorate my home for fall, it's really hard to become motivated for the task when the thermometer is pushing 90. My days lately have been filled with running around trying to get everything in order for my Mom's move into assisted living on the 12th of this month. Last night after work I went there to meet a furniture delivery man. Of course I waited close to an hour before he arrived. Then, this morning I quickly watered my plants and have been running back and forth to the paint store (5 times). I'm trying to pick out some paint for her bedroom & bathroom. Geez, why is it so hard to get the right shade on the first try???
And then there is this power of attorney matter . . . don't even get me started on that one. If I don't have a nervous breakdown before Mom gets moved in it will be a miracle :-)

By now you are probably wondering where all of this complaining is leading. Well, so am I actually, but I'll make it up as we go along.

When I came home from all of my running around, this is what one of my plants looked like. No, I didn't forget to water this one . . . it is just begging for another drink. I told you it is hot.

So, while I am loving all of the fall decorating going on in blogland, I know that with all that I have going on right now I should just put it out of my head. But, for some reason that is all I want to do. I don't want one more detail packed into my head. I just want to "play house". I suppose it's a nesting thing . . . I suppose I should just tell myself it is way too hot to even contemplate now and I am way too busy to even think about it. Hmmm, all the more reason I want to do it.

So, to try and reach a happy medium and also stay out of the attic where the fall decor is hidden, I went out and plucked a few hydrangeas and sprigs of beautyberry to put on my kitchen counter.

And then I dug my Susan Branch "Autumn" book out and put some apples and cranberries into this jar.

A few apples and pears went into my yellow fall bowl.

I found these hand painted rooster wine glasses at the Goodwill. Couldn't pass them up.

Replaced my watermelon candle with this one and added a fall themed "stopper". I always have a seasonal candle right above my kitchen sink. I keep it there for two reasons ~ I can enjoy the fragrance while washing dishes and cooking and if I know it's always in the same place I don't forget to blow it out at night.
Okay, I feel better now.
Sometimes the small things can make a difference.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A September Stroll

~Welcome September~

I am looking forward to lower temperatures and less humidity. This week our temperatures are predicted to be in the upper 80s. We still have a ways to go before it will feel chilly like fall, but this morning it was fairly comfortable. A good day for a walk. Come with me and take a look at my "neck of the woods".

We can leave my backyard through this little gate.

Behind my house and throughout the neighborhood there are walking trails like this. Lots of pine trees to keep it a little bit cooler.

A nice big area where kids have soccer practices and summer concerts are held.

The General Store & Bakery is a great place to get an ice cream cone, Starbucks coffee or the milk or eggs that I sometimes run out of & don't want to drive 5 miles to the nearest grocery store.

Food for thought ~ every day there is a new quote or thought posted out front.

The lake surrounds our neighborhood.

Let's go down here and take a closer look.

Are you ready for a break?

Our other walker is.

A playground for the little ones.

Back home again. Oh, look, here is another sign of fall. This American Beauty berry plant always develops it's beautiful berries in September.

Mother Nature's gifts from our walk. A blue jay feather and a piece of white quartz.
Thank you for coming along with Peanut & I on our walk this morning. One of the things I love about blogging is getting a glimpse of life in other states and countries. My list of travel destinations is growing.
I do hope you all had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend. We spent most of ours shopping for things we need for my Mom's assisted living apt. and turning in more paperwork. We will be moving her in on September 13th. Lots to do before then.