Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eileen & Tom's Visit.......and After.

Though Eileen and Tom left on Monday, it's taken a while to get around to posting again.  This week has been busy with one thing or another, and I've been pooped.  Also, I had lots of photos of their visit, as well as copying those from each of their many photos that I really didn't know how to approach the task of consolidating them.  It was only today that I actually had time to devote to it.  There are probably more than you want to see and many of the places are familiar to you by now, but I hope you enjoy them.

Needless to say, we had a great visit and I hope they enjoyed their time here as much as we enjoyed having them. First and foremost, it was great to see for myself that Eileen was doing so well after her bout with breast cancer. All reports from friends who had seen her were good, but I'm relieved to see for myself. She looks great (as you can see) and has boundless energy, and it's wonderful to see her come through it all with such a positive outcome. The years have treated Tom well and it was good to see him in such good form, too. Those of you who follow this blog will certainly recognize our site-seeing spots:
  •  The little town of Beaufort
  •   Savannah
  •   Harbor Town, South Beach and Coligny Beach
  •   Palmetto Bluff (whose beauty and tranquility seem to appeal to all)
There were some unexpected surprises and variations.
  • One of the pleasant surprises was the Palmetto Quilting Guild's display that we happened upon on the only rainy day of their visit.  The owners of Pineland Station houses the guild free of charge in one of the vacant shops, which I think is a wonderful idea, as well as being a colorful attraction.  It was tailor made for Eileen, who is a quilter. 
  • Rather than doing the usual carriage ride in Beaufort, we did a walking tour, had lunch and then went to Hunting Island, which is more remote and rugged than most.  It was a beautiful day for walking in the surf and looking for shells.
  •  It was the week on the Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival so we participated in some of the events associated with that: the blessing of the boats and gospel singing on Sunday and the street fair and fireworks on the following Saturday, for which my mother joined us.  Who would ever expect to see fireworks in October??
Thanks to Tom for the video.
  • During their time here, there was only one day of rain, which I believe was also the case during their time spent in the Indiana/Ohio area.  The first few days were wonderfully sunny and warm, then after the rain we had our first real fall, crisp, but still sunny.  In the photos you'll notice that Eileen and Tom are still in short sleeves, but I've gone to a jacket!!  Fall is officially here. The crispness remains but the days are sunny and bright.

I'm sure I've forgotten something.  If so, I hope Eileen will add it or refresh my memory.   As I've said many times before, longtime Aramco friends are among the best.  The years just melt away and we pick up where we left off.  It was great to see both Tom and Eileen and I'm so glad they came.

As for the intervening time, I had a dental appointment on Tuesday and my mother wasn't feeling well.  She stayed in her pajamas all day and was complaining of her head feeling funny.  She had just taken a course of antibiotics for the mucus build up, but a sinus infection seemed to linger.  So, on Wednesday I took her to the doctor again.  After rest and the meds, she seems to be feeling better physically.  Wednesday afternoon I worked at PAL.  On Thursday, I took Mama Mia to the vet as she was not acting herself and seemed to be having trouble pooping (more info than you want to know).  They kept her and "flushed" her out but I'm afraid it might become an ongoing problem as she eats only dry food.  The doctor suggested mixing mineral oil with her food (which she won't go for) or giving her pumpkin (won't go for that either!).  Sometimes I wonder if they know cats!!  So, I'm just keeping an eye on her and hoping all goes well.  I can't remember what I/we did on Friday but on Saturday from 10:45-3:30 I helped with the first birthday celebration of the PAL facility.  I really didn't intend to stay the full time, but it was so much fun seeing it all and being a part of it that the time slipped away.  Animal and animal lovers are wonderful!!  I really enjoyed it and I know I contributred to the adoption of one kitty (which were fewer than the dog adoptions).  On my way home, I stopped at my local wine shop for the wine tasting.

That brings us to Sunday (today), which was my day to catch up on photos and the blog. We began the day with a southern breakfast (minus the sausage for me) and I even managed my walk, which I did several other days this past week.  Though there is a long list of things to do this coming week, slowly but surely I'm getting caught up.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just a Quick Update

Monday, October 10, 2011:  What a weekend!  My mother continued to suffer from the mucous problem and would not go to a critical care office to get medication that would solve the problem.  I did get an over-the-counter decongestant that helped a bit and this morning I've called in a request from her doctor.  Am hoping to have that in hand by the end of the day.

I'm happy to report that I feel better today than yesterday, which was terrible.  Even so, I knew I had to go to Sam's for a load of kitty litter, as well as running some other errands before the week begins.  With Eileen and Tom arriving on Saturday, this week will be devoted to cleaning, cooking and getting somewhat organized.  The weather is cooperating as this is our second day of mostly slow, steady rain.  Normally I would not look forward to that but right now it seems perfect for staying in and getting things done.  Now I just have to motivate myself to get busy!

Friday, October 14, 2011: It's been a busy week with preparing for Eileen and Tom's visit, as well as some previously scheduled personal appointments.  My mother's doctor did not want to prescribe anything before seeing her, which I can understand, although this is a recurring problem and I would have liked her to get some relief sooner rather than later.  The earliest he could see her was Wednesday, when he prescribed an antibiotic and prednisone.  She slept better Wednesday night and was up and about yesterday.  She also seems to have rested better last night so I'm hoping she will be feeling better by the time our guests arrive.

Writing the above reminds me of a lesson learned in this experience.  Early on in the weekend, I asked my mother about going to a critical care office to get something for her congestion.  She immediately nixed that idea, which prolonged the whole experience.  I need to trust my judgement more, especially when it involves  my mother and a doctor!  Because she is still compos-mentus I keep feeling that I should defer to her, or at least include her in the decision making......but I know how she is about this stuff.  So, I need to trust and act on my judgement in these matters.  Feel free to remind me of that often!!

After about four days of rain, the weather is cooperating.   It's been bright and sunny and should be in the low 80s for the next week.  The rain was much needed and it was actually perfect for being inside and doing the types of things I needed to do. It was also a steady, gentle rain that seemed very peaceful and calming.  Even so, I've missed my walking in so many ways but hope to get back to it soon......this weather makes it easy to do it anytime of the day.

Well, I've had my  morning coffee so it's now time to have breakfast and get busy.  I just wanted to touch bases as it may be a while before I get back to you.  I hope all is well where you are and that you're having as much fun as I hope to have with Eileen and Tom.  There is absolutely nothing better than getting together with long time friends.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

To All the Strong Ladies I Know, a Word From Betty White....

Am not sure where the time has gone, but I'm pooped.....and have had to dig deep, as suggested by Betty's advice!

I went back to NC for a family reunion, which turned out to be lots of fun.  Usually everyone is chomping at the bit to get to the food, and then leave as soon as they're full.  This time, everyone brought old family photos, which were very entertaining and sparked a lot of conversation, memories, and laughter.  My mother and I also enjoyed looking at our old photos the day before.  It really is addictive and lots of fun.  Anyway, everyone kind of lingered and it was a nice change.

My mother agreed to come back with me, which is earlier than she usually comes for the winter.  She was having a hard time coping with things on her own and I think she welcomed the invitation.  It's certainly added to the drama here.  The first night she was again bitten by her cat.....not a "nip", not  "he just broke the skin", this time it was a full dental imprint with five puncture wounds.  She was up in the night trying to get him to do something he didn't want to do (conform to her idea of how he should be rather than how he is), and he bit her.  It was only when I heard her close the hall closet door for the second time that I got up to see what was happening.  She had dripped blood down the hall and was trying to find a band-aid!!  We got her arm bathed, medicated and covered, but I was fully expecting to have to take her to the doctor the next  morning.  For some unknown reason, it was only badly bruised, with a hard cap to it, but the infection was not running up her arm. So, we've been doctoring it at home.  I can identify with the cat;  but, in spite of my shortcomings, it appears that I handle the pressure better than he!!  

Then, this morning she woke up coughing and choking on phlegm (which is an ongoing problem for her). Naturally, it happened on a weekend when no one is available short of the emergency room. So, I got online and looked for remedies.  Honey and ginger seemed to do the trick.  I'll call her doctor on Monday so hopefully everything will be okay until then.  Never a dull moment!

Yesterday I told her that Eileen and Tom were coming for a visit next Saturday.  Had she known beforehand, she would not have come down, and her first words were, "Well, I'll go home."  My response was that I couldn't make that trip to NC  for the 4th time in 7-8 weeks.  Being with people might just do her good....I think part of her problem is spending too much time alone.  She's met Tom & Eileen before and remembers them, so I think once she realizes it's just friends visiting friends she'll be okay and on her best behavior. Eileen and Tom are also aware of the situation so there will be no surprises for them (I hope!). Having my mother here will allow me to know what is actually happening with her rather than trying to figure it out by phone......That's my thinking, anyway........

This may be the biggest surprise for Eileen and Tom!!