When you are reading here whether you found me intentionally or accidently, please take time to leave a comment and let me know where you are and what you are thinking. I love feed back. Vondi

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I didn’t sleep very well last night-in fact I hardly slept at all. I must have overworked my left leg yesterday because, in spite of ice and pain meds and positioning and massage, it ached from top to bottom last night. It must have been three when I finally fell asleep.
Rachael had to be at work this morning at six and Michael and his dad had a tee time at eight thirty. I woke up for a very few minutes when Rachael let the dogs out and brought them back in. No, that isn’t quite right. I woke up when she let them out. I realized later that she had brought them back in. I woke up again a couple hours later when Michael let the dogs out. ( lol Our lives center around the dogs!) I stayed awake a little longer that time because did talk with Michael a bit about the prospect of heat today and when he and his dad would be back from golf. He also mentioned when his mom and the kids would be back from Freddie’s house. That’s all I remember until about an hour later when I really woke up.
As I was getting around and getting dressed I was thinking about how wonderful it is to simply manage my very small portion of the world and not have to think about the bigger picture. I have no housekeeping to plan. I have no lawn work or gardening to worry about. I have very few bills to pay. I have no shopping to do and no groceries to buy. I could look forward to having Michael’s’ family visit but not have to worry about where they sleep or what to feed them. And all of those things are a very great blessing!
When I retired my only thought was of not having to go to work every day on knees that hurt beyond most people’s imagination. I only looked forward to trucking around my small house and having my dog and cats to care for. I hadn’t been in a grocery store or WalMart in probably ten years; I hadn’t done yard work in longer than that; and my house work involved straightening my bedroom and bathroom and keeping the kitchen counters clean. Dianne came once a week to do laundry and clean for me (I love her like a daughter and she did that for me as much from love for me as from the small amount I was able to pay her) Rachael came every couple or three weeks to do my grocery shopping and spiff up the house when Dianne couldn’t get there. I paid someone to do my lawn. Becky and Steve did the ‘in-depth’ landscaping for me: scrubbing down and paint the deck, weeding the flower beds and trimming the out of control bushes. (I loved having them and Connor with me for those few weeks. I know they needed the money, but I still appreciated their help. Hard to believe that Connor must be almost four years old by now)
One problem was the my SS income was not large enough for all of that to continue. Another problem was that Rachael and Dianne worried constantly about me being there alone with no close help. And the last problem was that Rachael’s job made it more and more difficult for her to get down and spend a couple days checking up and looking out for my needs.
So I decided to sell my house and buy a little one in the Columbus area. That would put me closer to her and Michael and looking out for me would take only a couple hours a week rather than a two hour drive and a rush to get every thing done that I needed.
As it turned out they decided to get a house with a ‘mother-in-law’ space and move me in with them. How wonderful this is! The relatively small (by today’s financial standards for retirement) amount of cash I have and my mediocre income is not stressed by my trying to keep everything going alone. I can give Notah and Kerra and Rachael and Michael occasional cash assistance for housing and other expenses and not have to skimp to stretch my small income..
Now here are my blessings. For most of the past 35 years, with the Lord’s help I’ve carried the entire responsibility of raising both of my kids, taking care of a house and property, making all the financial decisions for myself and the family, as well as carrying al the responsibility of the day care. I never resented that and I never, until the last few years, felt it was a burden. The last few years before retirement, I did sometimes wish for another human being to take some of the responsibility for the decisions.

Now it is wonderful. I live a lot of the year with Rachael and Michael. I live the other part of the year with Notah and Kerra ( and my fantastic grandkids!) They manage the house and all of the things contingent with being ‘adults.’ I need not worry about the electric bill or the mortgage. I don’t worry about doing the grocery shopping or buying clothes for the kids. I don’t worry about the yard work or keeping fences sturdy or grass mowed. I don’t worry about having the house clean for company or anything other that looking forward to seeing them.
I never planned, during the years, when I was raising my kids that the care situation would be reversed when they were grown. I never planned that they would take care of ME when I was old. But now I find them doing it out of love. Neither of them has ever expressed one breath of resentment for the circumstances. They do everything they can to make me feel loved and wanted in their homes.
Rachael has had the responsibility of getting me to doctors and the hospital and rehab for my knee surgery, but I know beyond any doubt that if I were with Notah and Kerra, they would do the same things that Rachael and Michael have done. I know they would have worried as much as they have about my care and comfort in rehab and been as scared as Rachael was when the doctor discovered a strange heart rhythm during my surgery.
Now it is almost time to move to NM for the summer and fall. I look forward to it. I look forward to my new mobility and being able to walk outside with only a cane and get around more freely. I look forward to being able to do a little cooking for Kerra and maybe clean a bit when she needs it. I look forward to being with them. Period.
Those are my blessings. God promised me when Louie died that I would live to see my kids raised to live for Him and being responsible adults. I felt that His Promise was fulfilled when I saw Rachael off to college. I knew my last chick had left the nest and my job was done. Every year since then has been a year of grace.
And now, my blessings have been multiplied by their care for me.

Saturday, May 28, 2011



Yesterday was a difficult day here. We had to put Mika to sleep late Thursday night. That was a dark day for all of us. Mika was very well loved by not just her family but by friends all around.
On Thursday evening, we fed the dogs, and had supper. Mika laid beside me for all of the meal and then stretched out for a little nap. After supper I came in to put my legs up and R & M stretched out to watch a movie. Around 11:00 Michael put the dogs out for their late night potty and we all went to bed. About fifteen minutes later Rachael came knocking on my door saying, “Mama, there’s something wrong with my old dog!
Mika was pacing the floor and panting in obvious distress. Because of her arthritic hips she was having difficulty staying on her feet but was unable to breathe if she lay down. Her throat and chest were swollen and there was a large hard lump on her right side, just back of her ribcage. Nothing in my 50 years of experience dealing with sick and injured dogs gave me any idea of how to treat her. My only advice was to find an emergency vet clinic.
I began combing the internet to find an all night veterinarian in Westerville. With all the floods of data available online, it still requires that you enter the proper terms to get to the information needed. As it happened I had to remove the specific ‘Westerville’ from my search parameters and use ‘Columbus’ instead. That gave me a chart of five or six all night clinics. One was only a few minutes from us. Michael called them to make sure they were open and Rachael was dressed. They took Mika to the doctor about 12:30.
I didn’t know exactly what was wrong, but my ‘gut-feeling’ was that the large hard lump was not going to be treatable with out very expensive surgery. And about an hour later Michael called to say that Mika had a twisted stomach and barring a $2500 surgery could not be helped. The flipped stomach twisted her esophagus and that in turn was restricting her windpipe and breathing. There was no way to remedy that except surgery and although the prognosis for that was good, it wasn’t sure. Mika was 15 years old and the vet said that given her apparent breed mixtures, her life expectancy was limited. That was difficult but still what I expected.
The vet let Rachael sit with Mika for a few minutes and then euthanized her. They will have her ashes ready for us in a few days.
Mika went to college with Rachael almost 15 years ago. She was only a tiny ball of fluff. I don’t think Rachael expected her to get as big as she did, but Mika grew into a formidable protector. He pitch black coloring was intimidating. She liked women but was suspicious of strange men to the day she died. After she met any of Rachael’s guy friends she accepted them and was even friendly, but no stranger dared to approach Rachael with Mika’s threatening stare guarding her.
Her death was as traumatic as the passing of any human. Michael sent texts to all of their friends who knew and loved her. All of them responded with love and sympathy for Rachael. And for Michael. He had loved her too.

Mika, we miss you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

morning coffee

I shared my coffee with Gabriel this morning. He hasn’t gotten much coffee in the last couple years. In fact ever since Dianne got me the “Fuzzy Duck” mug he has missed out on his favorite beverage.

He used to steal my coffee all the time if I set it down on the end table and walked away from it. He’s been know to chug a half cup at one time. I’d go to the bathroom or to answer the phone and come back to an empty cup! Then Dianne found the “Duck” mug. It is a mug with a wide base and a narrow top. Gabriel’s nose won’t fit in the top. And besides that there's a lid! Hee hee.

The “Fuzzy Duck” is a coffee shop in Morehead,Kentucky.   (http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/183/1006958/restaurant/Kentucky/Fuzzy-Duck-Coffee-Shop-Morehead ) Dianne and Kris found it when they were visiting Tomy who was in school there. I’ve posted pictures of the mugs here before.

So this morning I had about half of my second cup of coffee left in a regular cup when I finished my breakfast at the counter. I gave Gable some and then, of course, had to share with Sebastian, too. Sebastian wasn’t very sure about it but Gabe was slurping it so it must be good, right? They shared back and forth until Gable licked out the last few drops.

He drank coffee for a long time before I found out it isn’t supposed to be good for dogs. Hmm. Guess Gabe didn’t read the same article I did. He has certainly enjoyed a lot of coffee in his past ten years.

I’ve not found much time to post blogs or even play on Facebook since I got home from rehab. I thought I’d be able to be online all the time when I finally got home but instead with the additional exercise I’ve found myself exhausted. I can make it till about noon and then I’m fading out fast.

My knee is doing great, but the complications have come with my ‘other’ knee and also with the swelling. I don’t know if you’d call them complications, but at any rate the whole combination has slowed me down.

I was able to practice a bit with the cane on Thursday with the therapist. And happily it went pretty well. Made me tired. Of course! But it again was my ‘old’ knee that hasn’t been repaired yet which gave me the biggest problem. It gets tired and then I have to stop. I don’t suppose I’ll be able to walk very far until I have it replaced too.

The other exciting thing is that Notah will be here in about three weeks plus a few days to take me to NM! I can hardly wait!! I’m anxious to see the kids and the dogs, as well as Notah and Kerra. 

I guess this has been short but it has been better than nothing which is about all I’ve managed these last few weeks.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Early Morning, again

It’s early morning and every bird in Westerville is singing outside my window. I hope I never have to live where I can’t hear the birds in the morning. The soft music playing from the Soundscapes station is a counter point to their singing.
It is so good to be home. I was in rehab for a little over three weeks. It was not unpleasant. The staff was exceedingly pleasant and helpful. The rehab went well and I liked the therapists. The Lord worked it out that I had a private room and I didn’t have to listen to someone else’s television or clatter. I didn’t really mind it, but by the last few days I was longing for home.
The first few days of homecoming were difficult because I was much more active than I was in the center. There I was up for a couple hours in the morning for rehab activities then I returned to my room where I spent the rest of the day reading, watching tv or playing on the computer. When I came home I had much more space to walk around and do things. I was exhausted the first two days.
The third day I had visits from two of the in home therapy staff. That involved a lot of walking around and evaluation. I was up with Rachael and Michael in the morning. After they left I sat down and fell asleep again. The first therapist woke me up. After her visit I sat down and put my feet up and before I knew it three o’clock rolled around and I woke up the intake nurse ringing the door bell! By the time that interview was finished, I was finished too. I only walked around my room for the rest of the day.
I need to recount one happening that blessed me while I was at rehab. When I arrived I was put in a double room with a very nice lady. I believe they said she was 85, very perky and talkative, even if a bit forgetful (Lord, help ME to be so bright when I’m 85!)
We spent a pleasant afternoon and evening sharing stories of kids and grandkids and homes and ailments. And the next morning about 11:00 she went home with her son! I missed her immediately.
All I could think of was that I would get a crabby room mate who spent the night yelling imprecations as I had already heard a couple people doing the night before. Call it selfish if you will, but I asked the Lord to please leave me in the room alone. Now here is the fantastic part.
Embarrassing as it is to say, with my knee surgery I could not clean myself when I went to the bathroom. But the Lord has a purpose in everything. That same day when I asked for help, the aide discovered a series of blisters on my back around my waist. They didn’t itch or bother me at all they were just there, in a horizontal line about five inches long. A mild panic ensued. She called the nurse, the nurse called the nursing director and the nursing director called the doctor! They all thought it appeared to be shingles! I guess shingles often follows surgery of various kinds. They immediately began asking if the area itched or burnt or hurt in any way. Nope, nothing. They only tickled when my slip slid over them if I stood up.
Okay, fine. The next day I was prescribed some sort of medication to deal with the shingles. I kept telling them I thought it was an allergic reaction to the elastic of my underwear pressing constantly against my waist. I spent most of my day sitting up in bed with continual pressure on my back. So although I’d never had that kind of reaction before I had occasionally had a reaction to rubber against my skin for a short period of time. Never mind. I got meds for shingles.
About three days later the nursing director came and asked to see my waist. The original blisters had dried up but there were more forming above the first line and at the ends. Was I sure they didn’t itch or hurt or burn? No, none of those things.
Now here it the blessing! The nursing director said she was going to move me to a private room so she could utilize both beds in this one! Because I had ‘shingles’ they had to keep me isolated! Wow! A private room! They need my permission to do this?! The aides scrambled all my stuff onto a medical cart, plunked me in a wheel chair and moved me to the other wing of the building! And the room they put me in was beautiful! A big window with nice blinds and pretty drapes, a hutch that held a flat screen TV and had drawers for my things under it, a private bathroom, a nice easy chair, two additional small arm chairs, an occasional table holding a pretty lamp and a bedside stand for personal junk!
In the process of all this happening Rachael arrived; so she was there to organize everything for me. Thank the Lord for kids like mine. They know me so well that I hardly have to verbalize my preferences! They just know. By the time she left my little bedside stand had been moved to the side of my bed with the drawers facing the bed so I could pull them out. My computer was on that stand and the power cord was connected in the wall and run to the computer. One of the smaller chairs was sitting beside the stand and held an extra pillow to prop up my sore leg. All of my things were put away and my extra dresses hung in the closet. It was wonderful.
The ‘shingles’? I don’t know… I continued to have little blisters on my back until about Wednesday of the week I was coming home. Then they began to go away. Now I only have some dry skin flakes that are sloughing off. They never did itch or burn. If I had shingles, it was the first case in history that lasted only two weeks and never bothered me at all. Of course, what ever they were, the Lord put them there to answer my prayer for a room by myself. How great is that!
What a fantastic Father we serve!