Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!


Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite
beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of

black forest cake or the tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com
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Christmas Scrapbook Freebies

If you were visiting from Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies, follow the
hyperlinks for Digitalegacies Designs' mini kit Christmas Cocoa
and the add-on Christmas Cocoa Flowers.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Can't I Just Hit Snooze One More Time?

I'll make space in the backyard for one of these.

Isn’t that photo great? I saw the coffee tanker on the way to visit Grandma and lately, I just NEED one of those! It’s not an easy thing to do, but I’m going to stay home and study and not go visit for a couple of days. First off, I need to get my studies caught up and caught up. In her full and clear-minded voice, I can hear Grandma in the back of my mind, “Get off you a** and get it done!” I think in her current state if she thought I was blowing off school to visit her, she’d still complain. Then, bless her; she’d forget it ever happened.

I have been making the almost 2-hour trip to visit her for the last three days. To be fair, Wednesday was the paperwork day. I saw them bring her in while I was doing paperwork and then went to visit her. I went with David the next evening and then I went there yesterday after I took exam one in my class this semester.

The staff at the facility she’s at is wonderful! And they’re supportive of Grandma and all of us too. I call every morning, whether I plan to visit or not. They always either answer or call back with a report of how she’s doing, what she’s doing and how much of her meals she’s eating. That enables me to give reports to Dad and Dave, who pass the word on to family and I send emails to what I call Grandma’s fan club. I have a great network of friends and family who make sure other friends and family know what’s going on. Grandma has a beautiful collection of cards and flowers to bring her cheer. The nurse I spoke with today was telling me that Grandma smiled at her and commented about her brining the “happy color” into the room with her shirt. When she said it was purple, I told her it was Grandma’s favorite color. She said it explained the happy smile that went with her comment.

When I went in yesterday, she was with the activities group. They were making a no-bake peanut butter chocolate crunch candy and had just passed out some dishes of it and juice for a snack. It was a delightful surprise to see her active, or as active as she can be right now. When I walked in her back was to me and I put my hand on her shoulder and leaned over and said “Hi Grandma.”

She smiled so widely and cried. She told the whole table, “It’s my granddaughter!” She even said my name while we were visiting back at her room!

I can’t tell you how warm it was for me that she recognized me. We went back to her room to visit. She was still confused, but she knew who I was. She wanted me to take her somewhere, anywhere. My house, my Dad’s house, my Mom’s house, anywhere. That was a little awkward. She spoke of my parents by name and I think, to her mind, Mom was alive and she and Dad are brother and sister instead of husband and wife. Dad has always been more a son than son-in-law to her and maybe in her mind, that’s how she justified him not being with Mom when she sees him. I don’t know.

To be honest, when Grandma was sleeping and only saying a few sentences here and there, it was easier on me than to hear her speaking of relatives who’d passed like she had just been talking to them. What she’s going though now is really not too different than my Great-Grandmother was like, but it happened so much slower with Mums that I sort of grew into it as it progressed. With Grandma, it’s so accelerated that it is a major emotional, drain.

I know this is why Grandma preferred for her mother, and I’m sure would choose for herself, a situation where professionals do the care and the family is just there with her. I remember that it was hard with Mums, even before she forgot who I was, because as she went back in her mind, she spoke of planning to see people who were gone. Planning to be gone. A professional, a stranger, can care without feeling that pain because they don’t know who the people are she’s speaking about. Yesterday when she was talking about having seen an aunt and uncle who were gone just last night and making plans to see Papa again, it hurt. I mean, I know it’s part of the dementia, but it’s still hard for the family members too. Grandma doesn’t realize what she’s saying she wants is only possible when she leaves us, whenever she and God agree on that being, but hearing her “prepare” hurts, because I know that’s what it is. About a half hour from home the total exhaustion hit me. I took today and tomorrow as days I’ll catch up my homework and just relax, sleep a little extra and meditate – play some Chuzzle! ;)


Right now one concern gnawing at the back of my mind is that Grandma seems to be better than she was at the hospital. Now she’s in a very nice senior Inn. They take great care of her and even escourt her to some group activities with other residents in the “memory unit.” I think the fact that she’s eating a little and participating is great! It’s that she’s off all of her medication and seeming better that bugs me.

I recall when I was in the hospital when I was 18. I had a senior roommate who I thoroughly enjoyed talking to at first, but I watched her become more muddled in her thinking as she was there and they kept adding medication. I did mention to her son when he visited, that I was concerned about how much she’d changed since they changed her medicine. That’s when I started asking not just what the pills they gave me were and why they were giving them to me, but I also asked what they’ll do to me, possible side effects and how will they mix with the drugs they are already giving me. I’m not saying doctors are negligent in administering drugs, but everyone reacts different to combinations of things in their body. We had a family friend who failed a drug test at work because he’d eaten chicken my Dad marinated in a dressing that had poppy seed in it. I woke up screaming and accusing my Mom of beating me when she shook me awake one night after eating pizza with sausage with fennel in it. Every body is different and when someone is taking a cocktail of drugs, doctor prescribed or not, it just concerns me. Do they really KNOW they are doing more good than harm?

John is in a rehabilitation home right now after his last stint in the hospital for heart and breathing problems. The good side of it is this time he says he’s going to completely stop smoking. I guess sometimes you have to be knocked on your butt a second time. But he was telling me on the phone that he was having worse troubles in the hospital because they overmedicated him! Not, negligence or poor information. John just reacted differently than everyone else and they had tomake major adjustments. All I’m suggesting with this, is if you or someone you love or are caring for is taking a surplus of prescription drugs, ask, ask, ask! Ask what the pills are, why you’re taking them, what they are supposed to do, what side effects there might be and how it is supposed to interact with any drugs you’re already taking. If there is more than one doctor involved, make sure all of your doctors have a list of all of the drugs and get those questions answered by every one of them. Don’t be afraid to ask those questions of your doctors. As a patient you have a right to ask them and have them answered as many times and as many ways as you need to understand them. If your doctor won’t do that for you, find another doctor. Remember, you are his/her patient and also their customer. When you’re talking about your life, you can’t go back later and get a refund!

In fairness, there has only been one doctor who would not adequately answer my questions. That was a doctor the company sent me to when I was getting carpal tunnel checked and it was a workers compensation claim. Know what? I didn’t go back to0 him. I went to my own doctor and turned in the receipts for payment. Every state is a little different, but in Michigan, you can choose your own doctor if, after the initial exam, you want a different doctor. Not too many places tell you that!

Grandma’s doctors and nurses have been great. They’ve been honest and answered every question. When she had full clarity, Grandma was glad I asked the doctors lots of questions once she saw they were glad to answer them. She started asking for clarification of anything she didn’t understand in their answers too. Most doctors are good ones, so there’s no reason to settle for less that one that’s right for you.



Okay, “Ms. Power-to-the-people coach” off her soap box. I have a little more catch-0up work for school tonight and tomorrow, but good news – that first exam? I got 47 out of 50, 94%, an A! So, while I feel like I’m always racing to catch-up, I’m doing it well enough to get the information sinking in. Even open-book tests, I answer first, then verify my answer rather than just look it up. I want to know this stuff is sticking. Eventually, I’ll be taking the certification tests and those aren’t open-book, open-web or even with notes. I’m still a bit behind, but also a bit more confident now!

And now, I need to get back to work!

Ugly is in The Eye of The Beholder


It’s time for fun and a chance to win a Bliss phone from US Cellular! Check out the LG Bliss Facebook Fan Pagefor a chance to win a sleek, cool, Bliss Cell Phone and have some fun!

Okay, the title of this post. Ugly? Yes! Get to know pure communication Bliss by celebrating the ugly until November 6, 2009! Bliss wants to see your photos of the ugly in your world. Oh, go check out their Facebook page! There are entries of ugly dogs, cats and other critters, ugly cars and machines, ugly fashion trends. If you go to their Facebook Page and click to upload your ugly photos, you’re automatically entered to win one of five grand prizes, the Bliss phone or one of fifty second prizes, $50 gift cards good towards your own Bliss. It’s easy, and funny!

Log on to your facebook page and check out the Find your Bliss contest. The photo above is David with is new ride and the one he turned in as part of Cash for Clunkers, but after checking out some of the photos at the Bliss LG Bliss Facebook Fan Page, I don’t know if his old ride is ugly enough! Go through your photos or things you can take photos of and see how they compare to what’s posted! No photos of people are allowed and only one entry per Facebook account. But even if you don’t win an LG Bliss phone, what a fun contest and an opportunity to get a good laugh as you throw away the ugly, in hopes of finding your Bliss!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday Freebie TIme

Lots going on in the scrapping world right now!

First off, the Stone Accents Studio Birthday Party is in full swing. You remember last year I was in the designer contest. Well, they’re doing that again with tons of freebies. Now, as a result of my participation and cheerleading in last year’s contest, I got my store at Scrap Bird. While I realize that my stye would probably sell better at SAS, when I asked about it I was invited to compete again. I am not a competitive person. I actually enjoyed last year’s competition a lot more after I dropped out, so I realize I’m not ever going to sell at SAS. That’s okay, though. I’m really thinking the bug to design may be dwindling. It’s a lot of work for very little pay. At least as an amateur giving it away, my kits got downloaded a little. Now they’re sitting on the shelf. I was told it only pays about enough to pay for the scrapping habit. For me, notsomuch. I just don’t seem to have the time and motivation to keep doing it. But I’m not making that decision right now.

I am distracted and taxed to the limit right now. I have Grandma's car, with the blessing and encouragement from Dad and Dave. At the hospital Thursday, Dave told me he was glad I took it. It’s a slightly newer car and higher ground clearance for winter. He also asked if I’d be selling the Camaro because my (step) nephew, Rob would be interested. It’s newer than his Jeep. I said “sure” and I’d talk to Rob about it. Driving home Thursday evening I called on the cell phone from the freeway while Dave and Laura were at bowling. That’s how important a call it was. I NEVER call while I’m driving and never when I know someone is busy. I said my car was not for sale.

Not a time to make hasty decisions I'll regret later!

What was I thinking? I’m going to put plates and insurance on Grandma’s Buick for winter driving, but with my bad right knee, it’s a major chore to get into the car. I can climb into the passenger side of higher cars because it’s easy lifting my good knee first and then slide over in the seat with leverage to pull up the bad knee. In this car I have to sit first, drag my bad leg over, with much effort n sticky velour seats and I get scared on freeways because when I check the blind spots all see is the back seat. Yes, it’s a newer car, but it’s only a ‘99. I am in no way ready to part with the Camaro for any day that’s not a snow day. After the mild summer we’ve had this year, there’s a likely chance it will be a mild winter too.

When it comes right down to it, with keeping up with school and my responsibilities with Grandma’s affairs and of course the worry about Grandma’s state that makes it necessary for me to be handling her affairs, there’s no way I need to add big decisions to my mental workload or to make hasty decisions ike quitting designing or selling my car. Those things go on the back burner for now and the status quo is the life I’m living.

That being said, David and I will ho pick up the Buick at the beginning of next week and bring it home to park i the garage and wait for winter. And I have a little time that I need to work on my part of the Scrap Bird collab kit, affectionately called my “rent,” after I get my homework finished up today.

I also want to remind you abouth the newest addition to the store, my posting bonus from last month, Stones.


It’s at $1.50, so if you didn't get a chance to participate in I Wanna Talk Abut Me last month you can still get the posting bonus! To whet your shopping whistle a little for the sale, I have this freebie add-on for the kit!



I’ve had such a clogged up schedule lately that I haven’t done a freebie in a while, let alone a blog freebie! These are some add-on elements that add to Stones to make your pages for that weekend at the lake or that quiet time even better. Click the preview to go to the download, password is we-rock.

Better Half For Your Better Whole


Better Half is a new site for plus size fashions. Right now, just in time for Halloween, they have a great age of costumes for your more adult parties. They are on the sexy side, what’s wrong with that? But I wouldn’t wear the sexy pirate to ass out candy to the kids. I would wear it to a party for adults or would have worn it clubbing when I was in my 20s. I think I’d wear it anyplace I went for Halloween with David too!

Oh, speaking of husbands, there is lingerie page that’s not stocked, but the previews are there. Nice sexy outfits to spice up your upcoming Sweetest Day, maybe? Check out the sexy side of more to love!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Update on Grandma

I started writing a blog entry yesterday morning, but Dad and I needed to get going. Grandma had a heart catheter done yesterday morning. I was on the phone with her nurse who said they expected her to be back in her room by 12:30-1:00. Dad and I had an appointment with a social worker and her doctor at 2 to talk about Grandma’s condition and to where she’d go after her release, so we figured we’d get to the hospital around 1, since Grandma would probably want to sleep after the procedure.

My Aunt, who shares a home with my Dad now, has known Grandma many years through my Mom and Dad and loves her as a very dear friend. My Aunt is very emotional and tends to rule herself with those emotions. She was stunned that we weren’t planning on camping out at the hospital while Grandma was in getting the procedure done and was chastising us and feigning feeling sick with worry. I decided to drop what I was doing and head out for two reasons. One was not worry about Grandma during this procedure. It had been described to me and while all hospital procedures have an element of risk, this was one for which the doctors did not have a concern and if we were there before Grandma was taken in, it would have only added to Grandma’s stress and made the doctor’s job more difficult. The two reasons were my Aunt and my Dad. The first rule of being a caregiver or for having the responsibilities associated with a loved ones care is to make sure you take care of yourself. Dad knew we shouldn’t be there until after Grandma was out of the procedure with the doctor and was getting a little flustered. I was getting a little irritated, but I was more worried about Dad blowing a fuse or my Aunt worrying herself into a tizzy, or both. I needed to be there for Grandma and had no intention of them both needing my care too! So, Dad and I went for an early lunch before our planed time to see Grandma. That got Dad out of the house and my Aunt calmed because we’d left.

I am all about keeping things in a peaceful balance if it’s in my power to facilitate it, especially when facing challenge. In fact, six years ago, a couple months after Mom died, when Grandma took me to sign the papers assuming Mom’s legal responsibilities for her care decisions and her affairs, we had a long talk. “I need to know that you’ll think with your brain first and your feelings later if you ever have to think for me.” She was clear and explicit about what she wanted with her care, her financial affairs, funeral arrangements and will and was passing the responsibility on to me. After losing my Great-Grandmother the year before, Grandma was very clear about several things she wanted done to keep the stress for her loved ones to a minimal. Being the person entrusted with that has its own set of additional emotions to deal with. It includes making the decisions Grandma said she wanted, even if I don’t agree and more so, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. That may make me seem cold and detached at the time, but trust me, my car’s steering wheel has already seen plenty of the tears that the “emotions second” has created!

Yesterday, when we got in, Grandma was uncomfortably lying on her back. Until the catheter was removed, she couldn’t bend her knee and needed to lay flat on her back. She wasn’t nuts about that! In a letter to my cousin earlier today I mentioned that I was a bit embarrassed because she remembered my name and consistently has, even when she hasn’t remembered others. She asked about my brother, as she usually does, but she didn’t say anything about my husband yesterday. Her mind wandered to a place where she comment, “I wish Dave wouldn’t play with that boy,” in a worried tone. Dave and I shared a little chuckle on the phone later because we both came up with the same name for the boy we thought she might be talking about, a trouble-seeking neighbor when we were in the area of 6 and 7 years old. After going through it with my Great-Grandmother and reading a LOT about it, I had described dementia to Pop as your brain sort of becoming a radio of your whole life with no tuner button. It scans through the stations until a signal comes in and stops there until the signal fades. Then it scans for the next strong signal. Occasionally, that signal is the present, but the older you are, the more channels are available on that random shuffler.

After we visited with Grandma for a little, the vascular surgeon stopped in to see us. He explained that while surgery could possibly help unblock the artery in her neck where the blockage is there is not a guarantee and it’s a risky procedure. Also, recovery from any surgery is dependent on the patient’s willingness and mental desire to heal. Grandma is not in a mental state where she would likely remember she needed to work on recovery ad he advised against the surgery. At the beginning of last month, at a time of much more mental clarity, she talked to a doctor in the hospital about surgery to clear the blockage. It was presented as her choice at that time and her reply was, “You know, I’ve had a good life, a VERY good life. If it’s done now, it’s not sad. I don’t want to surgery.” Given Grandma’s feelings at that time and the doctor advising against it now, it was easy to accept that there will be no surgery.

Now she’s being evaluated by nurses from a hospice home. Hospice, as I was enlightened about yesterday, is not an indicator of only days or weeks left. Someone can stay in hospice care for years. Hospice simply means that the concentration is comfort, not health care, when a cure is not available. Now, Grandma may not be eligible for a hospice house if the dementia is causing her to try to wander the halls and potentially cause herself pain or discomfort. Then the net course is a nursing home with visiting hospice care. We’ll have to see what her evaluation is.

This does make me sad. Grandma was always a vibrant, caring, responsible and intelligent woman. After watching her own Mother’s mental health deteriorate, she said she never wanted to end up like that. She really devoted time to word guzzles, reading, news and educational TV, she even bought and learned how to use a computer for the first time at 78 years old. Despite those efforts, she didn’t beat genetics.

Grandma may not have her mental clarity right now, but her personality is still as it has always been. She is sweet and loving She enjoys a good laugh and although we may not necessarily know what’s making her laugh now, her smile and laugh are infectious and you can’t help but smile and laugh with her. I still enjoy my time that I spend with her as I always have; even I it’s just holding her hand while her mind picks up stations in that radio of her last 84 years and we still share a giggle, a smile and an “I love you.”

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Power of Prayer and Good Thoughts


First off, Happy Labor Day to my American readers. Today is day that marks the end of summer. Any kids who aren’t already back in school will go back tomorrow and those of us who care about the fashion “rules” will put away our white shoes and purses for another year. I’ve been looking at a some ads from my favorite clothes stores and I think that when I get off my butt to go get a couple new pairs of jeans, I might bring a couple tops home too. I think that’s why I’m being lazy about the jeans. I love new clothes, but I hate spending money! LOL

I waned to say a special “thanks” to everyone who left a comment or emailed about Grandma. I visited her Saturday. After the angioplasty Friday, they decided she should stay in the hospital until the doctors determine the next step. She has the beginnings of dementia and it was a safer course than sending her home. I said, half joking, that David would be dealing with that in 40 years with me. That bugged my Dad and he asked me to not say that. I really wasn’t so much joking though. We went through this with my Great-Grandmother and while my Mom died young, my Great-Grandmother and Great-Great-Grandmother lived into their 90s. Grammy passed when I was still young, so while I did know her, I wasn’t involved in the end of her life, so I don’t know if dementia played a part with her, but genetically, that loss of clarity and confusion is part of old age that is in the early to mid 80s in the women in my family. I am very much as far as physical and chemical stuff like Mom and Grandma, so the research done on dementia and what is known about it really is of interest to me now. Heck, in 40 years, they may know more about it and maybe preventative things! And, while Tori is physically more like her Mom, Rina is the next generation of the traits of the line I’m in. I’d like to think it’ll be reversible in 70 years. So, whether or not Dad likes to hear bout it, it’s important to me.

When I visited Saturday, Grandma was in a pressure mask to help encourage breathing. I had to bring in some paperwork for the hospital, then I sat with Grandma a while. It was a rough hour and a half, but I really felt I needed to be with her. The pressure mask made talking hard, but she had enough clarity to remember a bit better than she has at times. She asked a few questions, calling me by name. She asked if David was with me and I asked her if she meant my husband, David or my brother, Dave. She opened her eyes a little wider and said, “DAVID” with a “well, duh,” tone in her voice. She remembered I was married and the difference between the man who uses his full name and the one who uses his nickname. So, although she was physically weak that day, she was a little sharper mentally. Yesterday they took the pressure mask off. Her blood and oxygen levels were up and she was breathing better. But, she told my Dad that she didn’t remember me being there the day before!

I’ll be going to see her again tomorrow afternoon. My car is just about to the point of the hour+ drive being one I can just put on auto pilot and sleep! (okay, that’s just wishful thinking!) At some time this week, I need to take a FOUR hour drive with my marriage license. I forgot to change my name on my joint accounts with Grandma and the bank won‘t let me pay her bills! I’m on those accounts so that in just this situation I can make sure her household bills get paid. I was a bit of a slacker there! Dad and I went up there last week to get the mail, make sure I had all the bills, then I couldn’t do anything about them and I didn’t bring my marriage cert with me. I’ve been a little distracted since I got home!


Today, David and I had planned to find the Disney painted special Amtrak engine, but it’s raining, so ‘m not sure we’re going. I am down to one chapter left to catch up for school. I was happy that the last chapter’s questions and case projects were pretty easy for me. I really do “get” this stuff. I don’t want to have to drop the class and take it over in January, so today will be a late night if I must to get the last chapter’s work done. I think David may be sleeping alone tonight. Maybe Kaline and Baggle will keep him company. I’ll have my book and my coffee pot!


One last note! There is an end of summer sale at Scrap Bird! 35% off everything from participating designers. Of course, Im telling you this because Digitalegacies Designs is a participating designer. So, if you have thought about any of my kits but wanted to spend a lower total, now is the time to revisit my store and check it out!


Click the sale add to go to the Digitalegacies Designs store at Scrap Bird!


That’s the state of things in this coffee shop. Your continued prayers and good thoughts for Grandma and my family are appreciated. Hey, so far, they’re working!

Bless you all!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Honeymoon Trains

I have a ton of train shots I’m pretty proud of from the trip. The first train shot was before we even got out of Ohio!


This one was shot off an overpass on I-80, just outside of Montpelier, Ohio. Thank goodness for cell phones in this modern world! If the timing is right, you don’t linger on an overpass to photograph a train and as long as it’s a brief stop, similar to stopping to take a call rather than recklessly weaving around in traffic, no one bugs you. That is, there are no officers chasing you away from the shoulder. Highway overpasses make great elevation for shots, but on a freeway, you can’t park and walk up, or in my case be dropped off.

Diamonds are a Nani’s best friend!

Blue Island Crossing on the South Side of Chicago is a well-photographed place for railroad enthusiasts. I love the look of the tracks crossing, called a diamond, for the diamond shaped spaces at the intersecting areas of the tracks. I also really love the rhythmic sound as the cars cross over the spaces!



Monday , August 17 started out muggy and hazy to downright cloudy as we crossed into Iowa. Still the bold colors of the Iowa Interstate’s paint scheme show bold, even in the haze!


Rain was the theme from the get-go on Wednesday! Here is a BNSF train trudging through the raindrops in Minnesota.

When we saw breaks in the clouds, we moved ahead towards our eventual destination in South Dakota. Maybe we’ll get some sun? Try, maybe even better



The sun broke as the rain still fell! We got not one, but two rainbows in a double arc that went from the ground and back. Wednesday was THE DAY for our railfanning for the trip. There weren’t a ton of shots around the downpours, but what we did get was pure magnificence!



Just moments after entering South Dakota, we got this last train of the day. I love how the lights flared in my shot.



Back in South Dakota the second week of the trip, we scouted this shot the day before and were waiting for the fabulous morning shot at Sioux Falls park in the morning!


Those are a few of my highlight train shots from the trip. There will be a few more trains and a whole lot of other shots on Facebook soon!

Practical Never Looked So Good

I wanted to take just a minute to say a few things about shutters. Yes, shutters are a wonderful fashion accessory to your home, but they do so much more!

Whether you choose classic wood or durable composite shutters, you’re adding energy efficiency and better rest to the inside of your home with that outside beauty. Closing the direct sun out during the day can reduce your cooling bill in the summer and shutters closing out light from outside can make for a better night’s sleep!

Larson Shutter Company is a wonderful online source for exterior shutters n a variety of materials, styles and colors and they’ll ship anywhere in the US.

If you want that curb appeal that classic beauty brings to your home, it’s definitely worth a click!

Catching Up

It’s been a busy week with family stuff this week! Grandma was in the hospital early this morning for an angioplasty. The result of this test will determine what the next step will be or what her next choice will be, in her health care. Please drop a prayer or some positive energy in the direction of Michigan to give her success, strength and some clarity of thought as she’s facing this decision. I really appreciate any positive energy and prayers sent her way!

I’ll talk to my Dad, who is at the hospital with her for the tests when she gets done and has a prognosis this afternoon. I’ll talk to Grandma this evening, but unless I am really needed in the Motherland, I’ll be home trying to save my semester! I have two chapters to read, do review questions and case projects for before Tuesday or I’ll be behind with more work for next week added. If I can’t catch up by Tuesday morning, I'll need to drop the class and take it in January. I don’t want to do that! So, the holiday weekend that marks the end of summer will be homework and studying for me!

I am a blessed person, though. David is so strong and there for me if I need him, but he’s also stood back and let me go and do whatever I need to for my family stuff right now. While he’s working and supporting me through school, we have more traditional roles in the house and he’s been doing a lot of kitchen cleaning and cooking after work too so I can be where I need to be. Now, you might think in an situation like this, that’s what a spouse is supposed to do and we agree, but for me, I also acknowledge that in many cases a spouse does not do that!

I feel like I would hope many people do, that I have a great family! My brother is in Indianapolis and on call to get current information, but also if anyone just needs someone to talk to. He and Laura have also made it clear that they can be there in a few hours is anyone just needs a break. There is just a lot to do and Grandma is cooperative sometimes and frustrating sometimes! Her issues right now include a lack of mental clarity that can add to the confusion for her and the stress for us.

Dad and Aunt Judy live closest to the medical facilities she needs and she’s staying with them. They are doing an awesome job with her. Keep in mind that Grandma is not Dad’s Mom, she’s his mother-in-law and technically, after my Mom passed, Dad’s obligations to Grandma ended. Technically, but not in Dad’s heart. Aunt Judy is not even related to Grandma and she’s been incredible through this too. Grandma stayed with them while I was on my honeymoon, which Grandma insisted I must NOT POSTPONE!

Like I said, our family is not big, but we are strong and close.

Now today, during my breaks between school, laundry and soup-making, I’ll stop in now and then and try to catch up the promised blogs from this week! That’s my relief in all the rushing world right now. But just now, It’s coffee and breakfast time!

As I said, any prayers and positive energy for strength and clarity for Grandma and my family are more than appreciated!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Yes, we were THAT far away from city-life in South Dakota!

Sorry about posting so late today, but it’s been a busy day. I’m done with week one of school. Not bad considering it’s week THREE. But , our instructor was having some trouble with the portal to our class area and as I said, my book came in the afternoon of Saturday the 15th. We left that morning and class started the next Monday! So, I’m hoping I can get week 2’s work done tomorrow and Thursday and then I have this week’s work to do on the weekend. With Labor Day on Monday, we get an extra day before it’s due, so as long as I make myself behave this weekend, I should be on track. After 2 weeks away, I think I can stay in, even if David goes out. He worked a few late days the week before we left, now it’s my turn to work late!

I spent some time this evening sorting my bonus-sized collection of honeymoon pics on the laptop while David and I had a decadent dessert. He took our a wedge of the chocolate layer of our wedding cake to thaw while we had dinner and we had mint moose tracks ice cream with it. Mmm... Haas Bakery is incredible! I told him we should get married again for the cake. We decided it might be more affordable to get our birthday cakes from them next year!

I have to be in Michigan to go with Grandma for a few tests. She’s at Dad’s right now because she’s seeing a specialist in Flint. I went home and on our trip at her insistence, but now I need to be there for her. As I’ve said before, with my Mom gone, as the oldest grandchild it’s my responsibility and my privilege to be there for her.

That being said, between school and my family obligations, I’m running behind. I have some great train photos collected as well as the best of the touristy stuff in the queue and I’m hoping to get both posted tomorrow night after I get home.

Thanks for your patience!!