Friday, September 3, 2010

Odds and Ends Day

First Day of School:

Not really. Just a practice run. Not kindergarten, but preschool. Sam was so excited and so concerned that the bus was taking so long that he was ready to walk. He's excited and happy. I confess that I'm feeling a little less happy. I can't believe that the grandbaby has grown this fast! Why the growth of children takes me perpetually by surprise I'll never figure out.

Nan's News:

Yesterday's post was written the night before. Wednesday night I woke knowing that I would have to go to "the home" again. I just had that nudge, that urge, that knowing. Sure enough. Things were not as they should have been. This time it resulted in my meeting with the administrator who was very apologetic and who said that she would personally ride herd. Wonderful. So will I.

It was suggested at the first meeting that an information sheet be posted in my grandmother's room. Guess what? To do so would be against state law. Neither the staff nor a family member can post any kind of notices in her room or on her tray. Yes, there are supposedly reports between shifts, but there are breakdowns in communication that are unacceptable. They'd better put a big old red flag on that report or else.

There were, to be fair, a number of things that were going well...thank you, Lord!

And thank you for all your support and your stories and your prayers. So very appreciated.

My Latest Kick:

Fresh veggies fried up in a wrap. Actually, there's a little more to it than that. I either use cream cheese with seasonings mixed in that sort of hold it all together or I use some shredded cheese. John and I are thanking the Fish Street people for this one!
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Boat So Small

I feel sometimes as if I have set her adrift in a vast sea all alone. (Hyperbole is another one of my talents, of course, but I truly do feel this way.)

I felt it again on Monday when I tracked her down in the dining room where she was attending a concert. Though I looked all around, I could not find one person in that room who looked like my nana. Her roommate finally pointed her out to me. There she was slumped over in her wheelchair holding one hand to her head as if she were in pain and the other was dangling out over the arm rest. She looked so small. Much too small to be floating on that big sea.

The meeting went very well yesterday. I finally feel as if I've been heard by everyone. There was some immediate action taken on a number of levels. One of my biggest concerns is that, in their enthusiasm for taking good care of her, they've actually created lots of problems. Most of these issues are about food. I don't give a royal flip what the State of Maine says that they have to put on her tray, if she is upset by it, don't do it. It's only causing her to shut down even further. This one-size-fits-all approach isn't working for us. And I don't care if she's losing weight, which sounds awful, but I do not want products used that cause such distress and stress. Enough already! So the doctor heard that and duly gave his orders. Phew!

(If any of you are in the medical community, can you tell me what it means when "they" tell me that it is very challenging to get all information across all three shifts all the time? Why aren't staff reading reports or why aren't reports being given?)

As a family, we are no longer interested in quantity of days. We are interested in quality of days. Nan smiled when I told her and said, "Amen."

Amen indeed.

Picture reposted from Little Green Boat

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Off to the Flea Market

I'd follow that man anywhere (see yesterday's post). In this case, I was following him through the flea market on the F*ryeburg F*airgrounds. With eight family members about, it made for an interesting time. We got to oooh and ahhh over each other's purchases and spend some time out in the fresh, humid, 90-something-degree air.

I found two items that I wanted. A man was selling a box of about ten or twelve old sewing machine drawers. He said that I could have the entire box for $20, but I decided to go with the one for $2.

There they sit, the sewing machine drawer and an old wooden drawer pull. I think I'll put them together like this or something.

It's a busy day trying to get things straightened out at "the home." I'll be glad for the day when every nurse and CNA is on the same page.

Stay cool now!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The GPS Adventure from Hell

First thing's first. If you have a GPS Adventure from Hell story, I really want to hear it because I had never and I mean never heard of such a thing before I lived it.

So where were we? Oh yes. Happily on Fish Street after a day of good times and great food. Can you believe that I didn't take one picture of food? Truly rotten of me, too, because the food was not only delicious, it was beautiful and beautifully served and the mere memory of it was sustaining during our long ordeal.

Ahh, yes, we said our goodbyes and Mother asked the best way out of Fish Street and received the knowledgeable answer from Uncle Bee and Mother programmed the GPS and off we went with that smooth talker, the one with a slightly British accent and a slightly superior tone, directing us.

Turn Left, says she.

Fine. Just as we thought.

Turn Right on Liberty Road, says she.

Right? Turn right? I thought we were staying on this road until the main highway. Mother dutifully turned right and for a while it seemed that we were on a quiet residential street until the road turned to dirt. We didn't think that much about it and especially nothing of it when it came back out on tar again, but then...

Hmmm, this looks a bit ominous. Now may be a good time to explain our roles. Mother was driving; John was the advisor and guide; and I was the backseat driver and the reminder of all the yummy food we'd eaten that day. (I even had raspberry squares to munch if things got too tense. They did. I had to share them with my fellow travelers as things were much too tense for them, too.) Once again the road has turned to dirt, but that is not all that unusual in this corner. It looked like a pretty decent dirt road as dirt roads go.

One point seven miles, says she of British accent and slightly superior tone.

We considered our options and forged ahead. No place to turn around anyway.

Mud puddle ahead...

Just follow me...

Satellite Connection has been lost.

Come ahead just a little...

The sun was brutal... John! I can hardly see you!


The bugs, mosquitoes, mud, and glare!

Mother, you've got to slow down!  We'll have to turn back to fetch John at this speed!

And so it went. One point seven miles down the road and twenty point seven miles back.  About midpoint in this hour adventure we put in an urgent call to Fish Street. "Ever heard of Liberty Road?" Mother asks.

"Oh gak! You'll never be able to get through to the main highway. That road stops."

"Really?" says mother all coolness and calm. "Well, we're going to continue because there's no room to turn around. The tree branches are scraping the car all the way."

"I'm just telling you that there's no way through."

And this is when I begin thinking about metaphors and praying. We did ultimately find a field out there in all that great forest with just enough room to turn around and we headed back into the glare of that setting sun and thanked God it was still setting and that it hadn't sunk below the mountains yet.

So our long adventure was over after nearly an hour in the woods. Unbelievable. You'll be happy to know that our new plan is never to continue on a dirt road no matter what the GPS says.


Right. Thanks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fish Street

Photo by Aunt Ess

Shoot! Didn't I go and miss Mosaic Monday altogether. That's too bad, but I've made some mosaics and I'm going to use them all the same.

Mother, John and I were invited to Fish Street where my Aunt Ess and Uncle Bee live. (Edited to add: Mother has just told me that we invited ourselves. Mother!) They actually live in Connecticut, but have the good sense to hightail it back to Maine for the summer where they have an adorable home on Uncle Bee's family homestead right there in the foothills of the White Mountains.

I waltzed in with my camera hanging about my neck and immediately suggested that my aunt allow me to take pictures of her home for my blog. I just love her house! What a sweetheart she was for allowing me to twist her arm.

The actual "theme" of my aunt and uncle's home is fish and fishing. There are fishing items all around, which is appropriate considering the name of their street, but my aunt doesn't allow the fishing theme to overwhelm and does have many "softening" touches as you can see. One of my favorite things was the hutch that she painted (the colors are not true's more of a soft yellow) in the style of Mackenzie Childs. She says she's tired of adding the layers and isn't finished and may never be. Gosh we must be cut from the same bolt. That's my problem. I can never get to finished because I give up early. Even if she is finished, it looks great as is.

Seems that I introduced my aunt to Blogdom a year ago. She is there in the middle of this mosaic wearing one of her favorite vintage aprons. She has treasures tucked in every corner and there is so much to see. I took so many pictures! Sadly, many didn't turn out. Her favorite blog is Magnolia Pearl. Now that's a far cry from A Haven for sure! How did that happen? Anyway, I warn you that MP is the slowest loading blog I've ever visited, but what fussy fun!

The following mosaic shows another reason for our visit — meeting my aunts and a cousin who just so happened to become a grandmother for the first time while we were there. What fun! (Welcome to the world, Sweet Bennett.) And my aunt in blue became a great-grandmother once again. She was pretty tickled. If only I had taken a picture of my cousin's face. It was so alight with joy that my Uncle Bee turned away with a sniffle saying, "I can't take all this emotional stuff." (He's such a sweetie is my Uncle Bee.) :D

Center Photo: My Three Aunts and My Mother

L–R top row:

Window box at fairgrounds featuring lots of lantana
Window box at my aunt and uncle's...he makes these
Across the street corn fields
Window box at fairgrounds featuring purples and grays

second row:
Ancient trees in the yard
A beautiful home on Fish Street

third row:
Vintage green truck car at another beautiful home on Fish Street
Same ancient trees

fourth row:
previously identified except for birdhouse in backyard

We had such fun! It was so good to see everyone! It was so good to get away!

And I didn't come home empty-handed. Besides produce from the garden, my aunt also gave me these treasures:

That's an envelope purchased from some blog...very sweet's made with the page from a book and superimposed with silhouette posies and grasses and the little bird is cut from black paper and is dimensional. See the darling perfume bottle? My aunt is now collecting perfume bottles. She gave this one to me. And a White House cookbook copyrighted in 1899 filled with old recipes and ideas for housekeeping. I'll be sure to share a few one day. And a piece of linen already ready for the printer. Now that sounds cool!

Thank you so much to all my family for sharing such a sweet day. Hope that we can do it again and a little sooner!

And thanks to you, Dear Reader, for tagging along; loved having you. Come back tomorrow and I'll share the rest of our story—the GPS adventure from hell and I have pictures to prove it!

Edited to Add 9/02/10: Thought I'd end on a sweeter note with my cousin's new grandson mentioned in this post. Just received his photo late last night and thought how very precious he is.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Little Leaf of Autumn

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.
~John Donne

Blessings this Sunday! Stay cool...