Western education 2013

Saturday, March 29, 2014

...... so how am I feeling these days?

I am feeling better than I have in months.  I have been taking good care of myself and making sure I spend some relaxing time doing things that make me feel good.  Planning my urban garden with Max is one of those great activities!! (  Today we mailed Flat Stanley back to the Ohio grade 2 classroom after 12 days of adventuring.  

That grade 2 student Hailey will never really know the positive impact that Stanley's visit had on me near the end of my radiation treatments.  I was able to focus on something other than my illness and in the process, I started to think of where I could take Stanley.  It became a game every day on where I could take him and what we could do when we got there.  Stanley has been to my classroom, the TV station where I worked etc.  Today I took my daughter and her friend to the Maple Bush and we only took a few pictures of Stanley.  I put him into my purse and the rest of the pictures were of the kids.  I am officially out of my funk and all thanks to some flat guy and a daughter who reminded me of the importance of bringing her along....she was actually jealous of Flat spending so much time with her Mom!!  ( )

My Mom had a minor stroke... according to the hospital, it likely happened weeks ago and then her health started to take a decline as she stopped knowing when to take her medications and it snowballed from there. I took care of her last Tuesday and Wednesday evening but unfortunately she had begun to decline over the following days. Her eldest daughter arrived on Wednesday evening to look after her and realized by Friday that things were certainly not right.  She left the hospital today with her eldest daughter after a four day stay until they could balance her chemical levels and work out her medications.  She will no longer be administering any medication to herself but through the nursing staff at her retirement home.  I have spent the past few days being a gracious assistant to the visiting eldest sister to help facilitate Mom's return back home.  My brother would later rib me about this but sometimes, doing the right thing means putting aside, albeit temporarily, your own feelings to benefit someone else in their time of need.  Mom is back home and tomorrow, her eldest will return to her home... far far away.

I visited with my Dad for the first time in months.  I stepped off the elevator onto the third floor of the long-term care home and spotted him almost immediately sitting alone in a corner by the window.  His head turned as if he heard his name and looked in our direction.  I often think that he senses when I am near.... I remember the staff at the last home telling me he would knock on the window just minutes before I would arrive.  I walk up and call out Dad.  He looks up at me and a smile forms slowly as his blue eyes scan over me.  He isn't really focused but knows he is being addressed.  His eldest asks if he knows who I am and when he slowly turns his head no, she asks him what his daughter's names are.... he said my name.....Alzheimer's has taken so much from my father except his sense of humour and his zest for zaniness.  I offered him a maple donut, one of his favorite flavors we picked up on the way to visit and a cup of coffee. We set down his treats and spoke to him.  He loves when you hold his hand or touch his cheek and smiles when you do.  According to the nurses, he was in a funk first thing in the morning and for his efforts, earned him a second dose of his calm pills..... that's why he was sitting by himself in the corner.  We sat and visited with him for an hour and partially entertained a woman who insisted on joining us... fortunately the coloring books that were on the table we dragged over to have our coffee on kept her entertained.  Looks were exchanged between the eldest and myself when the woman pulled a grease stained McDonald's bag out of her purse.  The crushed muffin was ceremoniously removed from its enclosure and she gleefully patted it with the butter that accompanied it.  Once thing you have to admit when it comes to fast stays 'fresh' forever!!  

Our hour was up and it was time to head to my chiropractic appointment.  I turned to Dad and when I got close enough to kiss him, he turned and nuzzled my nose with his.  Something I would always do with him when putting him to bed at night.  I missed you so much Dad and it was good to see you smile.  You look amazingly good.... I will see you soon.  It is always hard to leave him sitting by himself and I often wonder why him??  He worked hard his whole life and here he is retired and living in a locked-down ward wearing a multcoloured bib to protect the plaid shirt beneath.  I grasp his hands that once long ago dwarfed mine.  I never in a million years ever thought I would be the one wiping his face and hands after a donut or reading him a book he might have read me as a child.  How terribly sad to live out your days only remembering the ones that meant the most in your youth and forget the ones that brought you grand-children.  Well, today is today, can't change yesterday or tomorrow.  I have to live knowing that life is very uncertain and nothing other than death and taxes is a given.  My father continues to inspire me to always be my best.  While I may not ever connect with my eldest sister, I am proud of myself for being kind, respectful and accomodating.  

I spent the rest of the day cleaning out part of the garage to make room for our next project.  The over-wintered plants in the garage got pulled out into the sunshine, picked clean of dead leaves and watered for yet another season.  They are all annuals which I have learned to keep for years.  The dull, faded wooden King Fisher sitting in the corner needed a new coat of paint and an outdoor finish... so I sanded the surface, mixed the acrylic paints and put on a new rich coat.  Then I was off to the hardware store for polyethylene satin finish to make it water proof.  This wood carving has saved our pond fish from extinction by a local Heron

I managed to get the colours matched well and I am super pleased by how it turned out.

Well if that wasn't enough, I decided to rake out the front yard garden, edge the curb, plant some asparagus plants in the back garden and cold framed them.  So its no wonder that I am tired....but happy.  Oh... one more thing.... I found some New Mom books in the garage and yes, walked across the street to the 'not so nice' neighbor and placed them on the doorstep... there is a new granchild in their family and I thought that the daughter might appreciate the books.  The youngest arrived home and I mentioned the books were on the doorstep and she thanked me.  Nice deed done.

This evening I happened to find a little rant above a picture posted from some guy about a bad employee for a company I immediately recognized.  FB is not a place to trash someone's business.  If you have a problem with an employee in a company vehicle, please call the company to complain directly to them and not the entire internet!!!  It doesn't make you any better than the one who was rude in the first place.  I just happened to know the owner of the business and emailed the individual who posted it on FB asking them to contact the company instead of posting it.  The two men who started the business had nothing and built it up over the years and have since provided excellent service and created new jobs.  Please always be mindful and think before you ink.

Wednesday..... the neighbor lady promptly placed my books in a cheap plastic bag and sat them on my wet mucky front lawn with a note attached to it.  So my good intentions were a big slap in the face and I was really upset with not only the note but the damage to expensive books I could have given to someone else or they could have without saying a word to me.  So when I did ask her why she put the books on my soaking front lawn.... she simply screamed across at me "wacko, stupid wacko for 2 minutes until my husband pulled into the driveway at which point her and her husband went into their home.  Well, I did try to be nice and now I will just simply ignore them and secretly pray they move away.... far.....far......away.  My friends are worried they will start to harass me about my urban garden.... well, I guess we will wait and see.

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