Friday, August 26, 2016

A Beautiful Place...

Step on over to visit my sister cousin at her blog! She is an amazing photographer and has a cheerful outlook on life. Check out some of her back posts!  From My Country Sunrize is the place to be...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Ocean's Blue

It seems like forever since I wrote an honest to goodness post on here about something other than the daily goings on in our world. I want to share my bit of beach and sun on the mantel before sweet autumn arrives and lets me change it all out for my favorite time of the year.

I love these aquas and silvers and have used them for Christmas time as well (minus the seashells, of course.) These big shells are years and years old. When I was a little girl my dad and mom were friends with a sweet couple who wintered in Sarasota, Florida. They had a little dachshund named Ginger Baby, and they loved to spoil me and bring me all kinds of treasures from the sea. I am not sure it is legal any more to get such big shells, but I'm sure they gathered them  when it was. 

I have been fortunate enough to see all four major bodies of water available to Americans. I traveled up to the Great Lakes, and I've visited the beautiful blue Gulf of Mexico. I spent two summers in California and visited the wild and wickedly misnamed Pacific Ocean on many occasions, never able to get too far out due to the scary riptides. I also saw briefly one magical day the grey Atlantic beyond the beach's blue stripe along Boca Raton. Gorgeous!

You are looking at a 2016 Holiday Barbie I got for Mama while she was in the hospital. I thought the "snow globe" looked amazingly like a sea bubble, and her colors were perfect, so we tucked her right in after she came home and claimed her prize.
So true. I have lived landlocked in Missouri all my life, but I believe the restorative powers of      the vast blue waves would do wonders in our souls. I think it possible to journey everywhere via books and media. No, it's not as good as being there, but it isn't like missing out altogether. 

Sparkle. It is the sparkle that changes the day from just a day to a blessed 24-hour span. How do we each add that sparkle. That's the ultimate question, isn't it. I think a key to finding it is to believe the glow is truly there waiting to be dug out or polished off... not feeling the burden of actually striking flint and finding kindling and re-inventing the flame...  just fan it. My mom's nurse is a joy to us. Today she told us of her plans for tonight. She has two school age children who begin classes Monday. They have been looking forward to a final campout for weeks. Well, the forecast was for high percent chance of severe storms, so she decided to take her kids to a nearby farm and with permission, of course, set up the tent in the machine shed! I call that sparkle! When lightning, thunder, and strong winds beat on my window about 1 o'clock a.m., my first thought was how glad I am they were inside! 

All that said, yeah... The sea tide ebbs and the pull of crisp Autumn is happening. Tomorrow night is supposed to be 57 degrees! I have my caramel sauce recipe and Granny Smiths are on my short list! Time to light my pumpkin cocoanut candle from Bath and Bodyworks...

Enjoy a blessed weekend.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hazy August Sun...

As much as I want to leap into Autumn, I am enjoying Summer's glory. Hot and humid Missouri has been a doozy. Mornings see steam caught between the window and the screen... I am loving the summer salads and Mom wants a huge garden next year... (!) and a dog!!!! I am going to have to pray about those.

Hope you are all having a good week.

While I would love to take credit for these pretty cookies, I bought them from QVC. So delicious, too....  

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It is such good advice...

Whimsy and Hugs!

It is almost that magical time of the year for families with young children. In the early evening the late-summer's golden slant of light sets the stage for the song of the locusts, and I would know without a calendar or a Payless shoe ad that it is time once again for book bags and new crayons... It is back to school once again without me. 

And it is not as if I have stopped needing to learn things...  Oh no! I have more to understand than ever as my days wind into months, seasons, and years.

I have been enjoying most days with planning, journals, good books, and of course, Mama. In all honesty, the nights are not as good.  We spend a lot of time in a life lock to see whether madness or dreams will rule the night... Honestly it is too close to call.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thought these were a hoot for upcoming back to school! Enjoy...

Have a good week!

Friday, July 29, 2016

p.s.... the last word,,,

Oh, Mama... We just had  a little "discussion" in a super calm voice on my part (I thought). I explained we were not going to argue and she could yell if she wanted but I could only go so fast and yelling wouldn't make me get there any faster..  She looked at me quite squarely
with a not too pleasant gleam in her eyes...

After I came in to the other room I heard her voice.... "You are very...very... very lucky, very lucky your mother puts up with this, PUTS UP WITH YOU! My mother didn't. You are a sass box."

Oh, Mama....

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mama on the Mend...

I am sitting here in my bedroom/aka old dining room, looking out the west window and keeping my ears tuned for the hum of an ambulance bringing Mama home from a ten day hospital stay. This homecoming almost didn't happen because I was all but four hours from having her accommodated in our local nursing home. I am not saying that might not have to happen, but it isn't happening on this visit to the hospital.

As I've mentioned earlier, or at least hinted, Mama has developed dementia. It breaks my heart, and I know that those of you who have seen a parent wander wide-eyed and lost down that same path... you understand the disbelief, denial, and excuses a daughter makes when she doesn't want to see it. I recall telling Mom many, many months ago that she wasn't waking up from her dreams quite fast enough. I told her little white lies about things to make her feel better about not understanding them. And I told those same white lies to myself. The trouble is, I think Mama knew all along. I was the one who fell for every lie I told. My son gently told me many times that his granny had dementia. And she does.

I hate it, and I won't go in to anything personal because if you've been there, you know, and if you haven't, God blesses you every day with that gift...  The thing is..  He has blessed us with the disease itself, as well, because every day is still a gift.

To be honest, I was supremely tired and awfully crabby/angry/cranky...  and when Mom developed a UTI on top of the dementia. Nobody was sleeping ... at. all.... I didn't realize what was happening, and I just got overwhelmed. A week ago Monday, she began to show signs of  more infection (low grade fever, rash, lethargy) so I called 911 to take her to the hospital on my doctor's and home health nurse's orders. Mom has to travel by ambulance to and from the hospital (at $1200 a pop!!!) Her confusion and my exasperation and lack of knowledge had reached its peak, so I got everything in order and even talked to her about going to the local nursing home after she was released. She wasn't too thrilled, but she agreed it might be best. (That was a sure sign of her emotional condition because she really doesn't want to go at all.) With everything in place, I proceeded to feel a sense of freedom and surety I haven't felt in years. I admit it. I thought it would be the best place for her and the best situation for all of us. (And it might be. But...)

I began to cry. Now, those of you who think you know me believe I cry easily, and I do tear up quite fast. I have a tender heart and an empathetic streak that melts with TV commercials or memories or sad songs on the radio. However, it has been a long, long time since I cried all day. My bouts with tears are usually rather intense but over in a few minutes. I don't think I even cried long and hard when my precious Daddy passed away...  I figured there was no need because I wouldn't ever really have a reason to stop crying about that since he wasn't coming back... so why start? Pragmatic Romantic?

But I cried, and I cried...  I had no peace about it although I made all the phone calls to all Mom's friends to let them know, and I got nothing but support and agreement that it was the best for her. (and it probably might be, but...) So at midnight I texted my son and said I couldn't do it. He told me that if I thought it was wrong, it probably was...  (Such a jewel, that one.) He said he was happy to continue giving up great, huge portions of every day to help me take care of Mama. So I prepared last Thursday to bring her home.  Our doctor, who is known for his gruff attitude and intelligent decisions, as well as his impatience, decided differently. He put the paperwork in for an extended stay to assist Mom with some physical therapy and to give us a little breather to make sure her UTI had cleared. She could have stayed seven more days, and believe me, sleeping has been so wonderful that I thought about it. However, we decided to keep seven days in case she needs more help later on. Good old Medicare requires a sixty day wait if we use up all the days now...

Christmas above and six months later birthday below... such a long, physically and mentally challenging journey for Mom...

So....  short story long, she's coming back home today. She's waiting impatiently I know for an ambulance to be free. I just heard it will be after 3:00. I hope to have more patience, a better approach/shedule/diet/plan...  whatever it takes. I just know that I couldn't give up the intimate knowledge of how she was doing every minute. When she puckers her mouth a certain way like she is thinking about a straw, I know she's thirsty. Shen she wrinkles her nose, I know it itches...  When she is just plain silly with the idea that a little girl is trapped in a blanket over in the corner, and she yells, "I'm speaking on her behalf! Help! Help! I'm trapped in the blue blanket!"...  I know it is the same woman who kept everything completely organized and in her head for almost a century...  92 years... and I check the blanket to make sure she isn't telling the truth...

I appreciate and understand all of you and all the decisions, hard choices you have made whether you have kept your parents at home or found good, caring nursing facilities for them...  Both are excellent choices and both are blessed, I'm sure, by the loving Heavenly Father.

 This is a catch-up, throw-it-out-there blog. I will resume my normal, erratic bursts of energetic seasonal decorating and half finished projects shortly.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Magic is alive and well...

In everyday lives we constantly can receive a small dose of magic, spiritual blessing, correspondence from God. Currently my mind is racing too fast for my circumstances and my very core being is in dire need of that wise woman inside me... She needs to soothe my soul and direct my eyes to scripture, my heart to the Father, and my body to wisdom.

And while that all takes place, I need joy, perfect love casting out fear, an in-filling of tranquility. To find this in the midst of this Missouri heat, of Mom, of daily angst... call it a miracle from God and call it prayer, but it is also a cry out to the magic of my strong ancestors whose blood strengthens my spine...

... Just a little shout out to you all that we are still here and thriving in the light of Summer. Blessings!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Storytelling of Crows...

Well, late summer brings its "treasures" of heavy morning fogs that evaporate into noonday steam and afternoon irritability. Meanwhile indoors the house slowly evolves toward the next season.  In the bath a murder of crows begins to gather in my bathroom... According to Wikipedia a group of these stately birds can also be labeled a horde, a parcel, or a storytelling...  Didn't someone have fun with this one?

A few years ago I bought several window toppers from an Etsy shop. I love seasonal living so I enjoy changing them out as the days march on toward completing another round.

The huge crochet sunflower is a crochet pin from The Patchwork Heart in the United Kingdom. She is amazing. She also has an Etsy shop. I love watching her projects unfold. The colors she chooses play so nicely together. I love to crochet, but I am a procrastinator on joining the blocks!

Sunday. Sunday. We entertained some very dear friends briefly today. My son and a friend came to brighten my life by letting me speak my love language of cooking a meal. Garden chicken, Summer bright carrots, cauliflower, Oriental coleslaw, cheddar biscuits... My sister/cousin had been here earlier for a little slice of blueberry crumble bread and some delicious coffee she brought me from the Ozarks.

Another week begins with nurse and therapist visits, laundry, cleaning, and (I hope) little chats with friends.    

Tonight I have a date with My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. I can't really remember the first one, but this is highly recommended. I will like it, I am sure.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What to do in July. . .

Do you make lists of things to accomplish each month? I think that is the only way I have ever managed to do anything. I have even been known to put things on my list I have already done so I can strike through and feel accomplished!


1.  Establish a better routine with Mom's care. Write it down and stick to it.
2.  Go to Amish country before tomatoes are gone!!!!!!!
3.  Start my new Beth Moore  "Fellowship" bible study.
4.  Continue in the Facebook group "Project Me" group with journaling in mind, body, soul areas
5.  Start the "Get a Grip" project with Alison at Brocante Home
6.  Create a Beach theme mantel
7.  Do sunflower and crow theme in bathroom
8. Do strawberry theme in kitchen
9.  Change to kitchen at the beach END OF MONTH
10. Watch fifteen movies in July (beats just trolling the web shops and buying stuff...)
      Hello, My Name Is Doris
      Star Wars
      Fury Road
      My BF Greek Wedding 2
      ...... any suggestions?
11. Of course, purge and clean ten little areas
      drawers on kitchen north wall
      cabinets on east living room wall
      ottomans under TV
       cabinet by Mom;s bed
       ottomans in my bedroom area
       top of china cabinet (Ma's)
12. Have a taco salad party for my son and his friend.
13. Make jalapeno biscuits from mix for said taco salad party.


Whimsy and Hugs!