Twilight

Saturday afternoon I was sitting with my family watching my niece’s softball game taking place somewhere in southern Ohio when something told me to check my cellphone.  My husband had texted me and I also had a missed call.  His father was not going to make it.  The family was all gathered at the hospital to say their goodbyes.  I called my husband and he tearfully told me what was going on.  He was waiting his turn to talk to his Dad for the final time.  I told him to tell his Dad thank you from me.  Later in the evening when I called back my father-in-law had passed.  Although he didn’t appear conscious I was told that after each person came into the room for the final time he would squeeze their hand in acknowledgement.  My husband took a cellphone picture of his mother sitting by the hospital bed holding his Dad’s hand.  I’m not sure what compelled him to take a picture at such an intimate moment but regardless he did and sent it to me in Ohio.  It was beautiful and sad at the same time.  His Mom clearly did not know this was taken and I caught a glimpse of a woman whose face was filled with love and sadness as she held the hand of the man she has been married to for nearly 50 years.

My husband has been holding up okay.  The funeral is this Friday and I can’t imagine this will be an easy day for anyone.  My in-law’s church has been very helpful in visiting my mother-in-law and preparing meals.   Yesterday morning she had visitors at the house also from the church.  There is a family friend who was over with his wife.  The man started to talk about how after three months that grief going to hit her hard because that is what happened to him after the loss of a parent.  I could see her chin start to quiver and I really wanted to tell this guy to keep quiet.  While I’m sure his intentions were true, she is overwhelmed as it is.  She doesn’t need that right now as she is going to have to get used to life without her partner.  I suppose people don’t really know what to say at these times.  When my bestfriend’s husband died a few years ago I remember her telling me that a co-worker of hers told her that she knew exactly what she was going through.  When my friend inquired the co-worker told her she had been through a divorce.  I told her that the person probably just didn’t want her to feel alone in her grief.  That of course, could be a complete guess on my part.  In truth, no one knows what to say. 

So, its been a busy week here.  Family is coming up from Mexico and Texas, and a few members will be staying at our house.  Next week some time I will right about my father-in-law and his life.  He was such an interesting person and I could not have asked for a better father-in-law.  He had complete faith in God and had no fears whatsoever when it came to his life ending.  He will be greatly missed.  Vaya con Dios.

 

 

Quick Update

Yesterday I had posted an entry here, went back to reread it and thought it sounded a bit disjointed so henceforth it is now deleted.  We went last night to visit FIL in the hospital.  He was asleep the entire time but it appeared that the swelling in his face has gone down.  There were plenty of other relatives there, too.  We all took our turns visiting where only two are allowed in at a time.  SIL2 was trying to set up a schedule for visitation which didn’t fly well with hubby.  Amazingly enough we all seem to manage without her instructions.

I have had a small vacation planned now to visit family in Ohio.  Tomorrow I’m slated to leave for there and it really has been the furthest from my mind.  I asked hubby last night if he was okay with my going still.  He said he was fine with it and that I should still go where it has been almost a year since I’ve seen any of them.  I told him that I would be on the first flight back if he needed anything.   I still am having misgivings about going but my sister is having major surgery the day after I leave that will keep her laid up for a while so I’d like to see her still. 

Yesterday I received somewhat of what appeared to be a rather passive-agressive email from someone I deal with at work.  Rather than let it slide I wrote back and asked if there was anything he needed to discuss with me.  I’d rather nip this in the bud now than let this perpetuate.  He wrote back and was suddenly all business.  I returned the reply and said if there is anything you feel you ever need to discuss with me then please feel free to reach out.  Did I mention his manager was copied on this too?  Today I came in and the manager’s response back to me was, “You’re amazing.  Do you work your husband over this way too?”  Not sure why my husband needed to be dragged into it but since she was asking I replied, “Yes, actually.  I find it maintains the peace at home.”   

Looks like my latent smart-ass gene is finally starting to show, eh? 

Weatherwise it is just plain hot here.  When the sky turns white in the morning you know that we are in for a scorcher.  The temp on my computer reads 110 although I suspect it is probably a few degrees higher than that.  Hubby’s family from Texas are coming in this weekend and I believe they are staying at our house.  In part of FIL’s delirium he had mentioned a few family members he hadn’t seen in years.  While some are no longer with us, the few remaining members were contacted and they are travelling out.  I hope they don’t mind the temps here.

I am really very behind on catching up with blogs but promise to shortly.  I was checking out my stats the other day and saw that someone found my blog by searching on ‘chocolate massage’.  LOL.  Now doesn’t that sound nice?  Another day someone searched on ‘Christmas wire shoes’.  Oh, I can only imagine!  If anyone knows what those are then do tell! 

Well, I suppose I should leave off here and start getting things packed for tomorrow.  Hopefully I’ll remember everything I need to bring because my head has just been elsewhere.  Ohm, ohm, ohm.  😉

Ode To The Smokester

I’ve been meaning to post on how Smokey is doing since coming into our lives at the beginning of May. 

She had a vet appointment over Memorial Day weekend for a checkup and also for her final distemper shot.  She luckily didn’t have any reaction to the vaccine which is common in ferrets.  We noticed that sometimes when she was really playing, that her hind leg would give out on her and her hind quarters would fall to one side.  The vet checked this out and it appears that she has an old injury to one of her hind feet.  It doesn’t seem to be hurting her though which is a good thing.

She was pretty subdued when I first brought her home.  She wasn’t used to kisses and cuddles at first but now will climb up to wherever I’m at to receive them.  I am always willing, too.  Where she came from a shelter and then previous to that, a home where the owner no longer had time for her, I don’t think she got a lot of attention. 

I really couldn’t ask for a better pet.  She uses her litter box pretty consistently and has had few accidents.  She’s pretty low key and easy going.  Hubby seems to be taking a liking to her as well which is a huge plus.  While reading on Sunday in my room, Hubby walked by the door and was completely unaware that he was being followed by a weasel who was dancing behind him as if she were dodging fire crackers.  He walked by again and there she was dancing and bouncing behind him still.  How could I not laugh at that?

Smokescreen

In short, she has been a complete joy.  We’ve already made up nick-names for her like Smokes, Smokey-dokes and of course The Smokester (poor thing).
 
I’m looking forward to taking her camping this year among other things.  Her shelter does fund raisers in the Fall so I plan on taking her down to Tucson to mingle with other ferret parents. 
 
It’s been neat to watch this little ferret really come alive.  I don’t think she ever really knew what it was like to be a much loved and spoiled little house pet.  Luckily for her she’ll never know anything different from here on out.
 
 

Tales On Tuesday

Well, my father-in-law is still hanging in there.  We went to visit him Friday night in the hospital.  Hubby’s sisters were there, too.  My FIL seem to be in pretty good spirits despite the fact that he can’t move or swallow.  Somehow this paralysis hasn’t effected his speaking or his sense of humor.  He begged all of us for a sip of water which we of course couldn’t do without the risk that would end up in his lungs and either drown him or give him pneumonia.  Please, he’d say.  Nobody’s looking. 

He had a roommate in the next bed and when the roommate’s heavy-set wife entered the room my FIL greeted her with a ‘Hi gorda!’  For anyone that doesn’t know what that means, ‘gorda’ is how you would describe a large female in Spanish.  We were pretty much mortified but if the woman understood Spanish she didn’t let on. 

We stayed for a while in the waiting area while other family went in to visit with my FIL.  I sat with my sister-in-law who told me she was no longer speaking with her 20-something daughter.  Said daughter has a child who just turned 1.  We were invited to the birthday party and SIL was not.  I didn’t dare tell her.  When the topic of the baby’s birthday came up I positioned myself so that my foot was closest to Hubby’s shin, lest he spill the beans.  Much to my relief this info was not forthcoming and Hubby’s shin was spared. 

Saturday brought the usual errands.  I am actually one of those people who enjoys grocery shopping.  To me I love the challenge of getting a deal.  I like to look online and find coupons in addition to the ones I cut out of the Sunday paper.  I read labels and just generally like to take my time going through the aisles.  Saturday was also hubby’s birthday.  We had debated on whether to go on with the scheduled dinner at a local restaurant due to his father’s condition but in the end he still wanted to go ahead with it. 

There were 8 people in attendance at a local steak restaurant that is located right near a popular resort.  It’s somewhat touristy but the food is good and the view is outstanding.  The entire building is made of heavy wood that has been branded with irons of all designs.  Wagon wheel lamps adorn the ceilings and the wait staff dresses like cowboys.  It’s somewhat kitschy but very fun.  On the menu was rattlesnake. We decided to try it.  It was okay.  Nothing to write home about.  And no, it didn’t taste like chicken.  😉  It sort of tasted like a whole lot of fried nothingness.  A friend said it tasted like fried okra to her.

A girlfriend of ours made a wine bottle-shaped cake and had the vintage listed as the year Hubby was born.  It was such a nice surprise for him.  While hubby was engaged in conversation I got the waitresses attention and advised her of the birthday.  Of course after dinner several other wait staff members came over to the table ringing a cowbell and singing Happy Birthday.  There were even a few ‘yee-haws’ thrown in for good measure.  Hubby got a cowboy hat to wear that featured a bandana of Arizona’s state flag wrapped around the top.  Towards the end of the night I leaned over and asked him if he was having a good time.  He smiled wide and said that he was having a great time.  It was nice to see him in such good spirits.

On Sunday hubby went to visit his Dad again in the hospital.  He didn’t seem to be in as good of spirits as he did at the beginning of the weekend. He begged hubby to take him outside.  Of course he couldn’t take him outside.  The doctors seem to think the paralysis is caused by a reaction from two cholesterol lowering medications.  They have since taken him off those meds.  It is unclear yet if he’ll recover and get the strength back in his body. 

Hubby didn’t seem happy after work yesterday.  I did my best to stay out of his way because he was not in a good mood.  I had to bite my tongue a few times to keep from saying something back.  He’s working lots of hours this week so I think it may be a good thing.  I’m trying to be understanding but man, this can be trying.

Facing the Twilight

Hubby with his Dad – El Paso, TX – 1974

This past Sunday hubby’s Dad was admitted into the hospital.  He has lost the use of his arms and legs, and had fallen the night before. 

 
While we’ve known that his condition has gradually been deteriorating over this past year, we are losing hope that he will make it out this time.  Over the past couple of days he has lost his ability to swallow and he has had a feeding tube inserted.  Things are not looking good.
 
Hubby seems to be handling things okay but is really struggling with all of this.  He told me the other night that he just didn’t know how to be or how to feel. 
 
He’s never been through this before. 
 
At this point it may only be a few days before he passes.  He is 76.  In spite of everything though he has not lost his sense of humor and even joked with the family about them just strapping a steak to his butt to heal him.  Just like applying a steak to a black eye I suppose. 
 
Well, he is surrounded by so many people who love him.  He has many grandchildren and now several great grandchildren.  We will miss him terribly.
 
My question though is this: how do you help a grieving spouse?  Men grieve so much more differently than woman do.  I’m trying to just take my queues from Hubby’s reactions to this.  For instance, give him space when he needs it and then back away when he needs it, etc…  I know Flamingo Dancer went through this not too long ago with her father-in-law.  Anybody have any advice?
 
Hubby’s birthday is this weekend and then next weekend of course is Father’s Day.  Although the timing stinks, is there ever really a time that is right? 

Racing Through A Desert City

Back in the spring when I signed up for this race that took place this past Saturday evening in Tucson I was not thinking about the heat and what it might be like right about now.  Temps hovered in the low 100s most of the day.  My main concern was hydration so I avoided any alcoholic temptations on both Friday and Saturday before the race.

Athletica and I checked in to get our bibs and our free t-shirts.  The shirts were quite impressive; not your typical cotton t-shirt, but were made of the same material as some of my sports tops that are supposed to absorb sweat.  I was also quite impressed with the picture printed on the front.  This will most likely be worn with shorts rather than the gym.  It’s too pretty to be sweating in.

We arrived early enough to walk around to some of the booths that were set up.  There was a man set up with packets of chia and he explained the many health benefits to us and to another runner whose name really was Chia!  Zoom had told me about this during another race so I happily popped a handful of these seeds into my mouth, followed by a swig of water.  They are supposed to help keep you hydrated. 

Speaking of hydration, I must have done a darn good job at it because I suddenly became the incredible peeing woman!  I made no less than 5 trips to the port-o-pottys before the race started.  Better to be prepared I suppose.  😉

A few minutes before the race began we all lined up at the finish line while a gentleman who was either related to or knew Gabe Zimmerman, aide to congresswoman Gabby Giffords that was shot in Tucson back in January, said a few words.  Unfortunately the crowd was very chatty so I couldn’t really hear what was being said.  The gentleman did get very choked up.  Gabe Zimmerman was one of a few people who lost their lives that day in January.  

The race began and where this was a run/walk through partially blocked city streets, I found it a little challenging getting around the walkers and strollers.  However, as hot as it still was despite that the sun had gone done already, there were folks outside with their garden hose spraying away onto the crowd of runners.  I’ve never been so grateful!

The first mile we passed through an older section of town that had been restored.  Old adobe homes painted in bright colors lined the streets, their door steps leading right onto the narrow road.  I was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty and charm of it.  It made that first mile go by very fast.  Half way through the second mile I really started to feel the heat.  Still, I trudged on.  I passed a teenage girl who was holding onto a post and was close to getting sick.  Luckily her Mom was right nearby. 

We passed another street with more interesting old homes, including a converted old brick church that looked like it easily could have been over 100 years old.  By the time I got to the third mile I started to feel like that cartoon character in the desert crawling towards that oasis that is really a shimmering mirage.  I started to wonder if when the finish line came into view it would be real.  My legs at this point just didn’t want to go.  I really had to push myself to keep running.  Athletica has been running for years so she of course was long done by the time I got to the end.  She waited in the sidelines and high-fived me as I ran through the finish line.  It took me 40 minutes to complete which is the worst I’ve done so far of any of the 5ks completed.  I was a bit disappointed in my time and kept thinking, heck, this is my 10th summer here.  I should be used to this heat by now.  Maybe I should just be happy I didn’t feel like hurling and that most importantly, I finished.

Rather than hang out in the crowd we decided to go back to her parent’s house where we were staying and celebrate our efforts with some champagne.  We swung by that fine purveyor of international cheeses, Wal-mart, and actually ended up with a half-decent havarti.  The lady behind the deli counter saw us in our running garb and couldn’t believe we had actually run in this heat. 

Yesterday we decided to drive back into the area we had run in to get a better look.  I keep a camera on me at all times for moments like these.  Here are some of the shots I got from the Old Tucson area:

 

 

 

 

Bake Quest #8 for June

Here’s what we’ve got for June (I love that we are mixing it up a bit):

  • Italian Food
  • Asian Food
  • Meals on a Budget

The rules are to make a recipe or provide your own take on one of the items listed above.

When posting your recipe, include any helpful hints you may have found, like for instance, say a recipe says that it yields a certain amount but you found that it produced more or less, etc…  Also, give credit to the recipe provider.  It doesn’t matter if it’s your great aunt’s recipe or it came from a cook book.   If you’ve stumbled across this page and would like to participate, please leave a comment and I’ll add you to the blog roll.

Please feel free to bookmark this posting.  Once you’ve posted your recipe for the month if you would like, include a link back to this page.  That way everyone participating can check out your creation.  Have fun!