Thursday, July 19, 2012


On Thursday, July 19 at 10:04 p.m. our son and his wife gave birth to a son! Drew Adam weighed in at 9 lbs 5 ounces and is 23 1/2 inches long. I searched for a quote for this occasion and found "You never knew how much we loved you until you had your son". Just writing it makes me cry!  Best Wishes and Love to my son Adam and his lovely wife Jackie as they welcome the new addition to their family.
And how darn cute is the bouquet we gave to the parents? Cake Pops and Cow Chocolates to welcome Drew to his Cow themed nursery. Holy Cow - Drew has finally arrived! 
He seems pretty excited about it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Assisted Living Makeover

We finally made the decision to move my father into an assisted living facility. I am not sure how it is going; for his first health emergency he dialed me (one town away) on his cell phone instead of pressing the "on-call" button for the nurse down the hall. After a few days in the hospital, we reviewed the button and the nurse idea and will just have to see how the next episode plays out.
Meanwhile - the room contains a bed, dresser, desk, nightstand and coat rack which cannot leave the room. You can "cram" whatever else you want into the room as long as you stay at least 18" from the ceiling due to fire regulations. He shares an adjoining bath with another gentleman, but each has their own sink in their room. I made a second visit before moving in, measuring like mad.  I did forget to take a "before" photo - so this is the room next door, a mirror image. If I knew how to flip the picture, you all would have never known.

I was lucky to have an extreme makeover squad accompany us to check in. My husband, two of my sons, one daughter and my brother came along to move and carry furniture and get the room in order in less than three hours while my father was being processed. After he initially suggested and supported the idea, he was having second thoughts and we felt that having the room done as soon as possible would make the transition easier for him.
We started with the bedding from Kmart. We are lucky that all the items needed for a small room makeover are the same items everyone is purchasing for new dorm rooms. I keep telling him I feel like I am sending him back to college in a dorm room!
I had over-purchased on matching wall shelving which my "carpenters" began hanging over the desk. As soon as I took these photographs, the second set next to the bed came down. I was trying to hook up his c-pap machine for sleeping and bashed my head into the unit; results not pretty. Fortunately my help still had their battery powered screw drivers in hand to remove them! We also hung a variety of family and business photographs to make the space more familiar.
I couldn't believe that the armoire which held his TV in his living room actually fit in the dorm room and when we explored the inside - it had brackets to turn it into a clothes rod with the simple addition of a dowel rod.
The facility provides free cable to rooms and he was able to bring his new flat screen he purchased last year for his kitchen. We are paying an additional fee for wireless Internet in the room (from the cable company). We also found a great dorm sized refrigerator with a large freezer compartment with it's own door to hold at least two boxes of his favorite sugar free fruit bars. The residents are not allowed to have any heating devices in their rooms, but each hall has a large lounge with a flat screen TV, recliners, tables, chairs, and a kitchenette with a microwave, sink, coffee pots, and a huge community refrigerator with an ice maker. 

I had purchased two of the white plastic coated metal shelves for the bathroom for towels, but realized that in order to use them, they would have to be hung at head bashing level, too. Luckily one fit right in his small closet above the hanging rod, making a spot to keep his hats.
I purchased an over the door rack for jackets and robe. A few years ago I talked my middle son into accompanying me to a farm auction on a very bitter cold fall day. I was able to win my bid for $25 for the almost maroon recliner which is an electric remote lift chair. His former girl friend had shoved it into a corner downstairs at his condo. It did not take long for him to remember how much more fun it was to operate a recliner by the push of a button!

The facility is just wonderful. Meals are served "restaurant style" all day long. Residents (and guests with a purchased meal ticket) can visit anytime from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. and order from the board of specials or the regular menu. Meals are served by the most personable waiters and waitresses and it also encourages interaction with the residents. There are plenty of day rooms and lounges, as well as outdoor areas with raised gardens and basketball hoops for taller folks or those in wheelchairs. There is even a small miniature golf course.

The resident's council and social director choose trips for each month and we have finally convinced my father to sign up for a behind the scenes tour of a professional baseball field and later this month, a trip to a nearby island for the day. There are plenty of other outings planned from dinner out to bingo's to small local music concerts.

Unfortunately, my father is having a hard time adjusting. I am not sure if he is depressed or if his illnesses are progressing farther and faster than we had thought. There is an adjoining nursing home that he can move into at some point. I am hoping that the situation improves and perhaps I can spend more time at home, or maybe go back to work, or at least find time to take down my Easter decorations.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Days

If you have been following me lately, you know that I am unloading my troubles on everyone's shoulders, as well as this page. One Monday, one of my wonderful daughters took over the care giving for the afternoon. This gave my husband and me a much needed break. The weather was actually comfortable, instead of the 95 to 100 degree temperatures we are experiencing this year.

We took a drive to Lake Erie to a small community that provides a covered swing by the inlet to watch the boats enter and leave the bay. We enjoyed the peacefulness greatly. Although I did not take any pictures of the boats (not sure why), I thought I would share this interesting shot.

I am old enough that I remember when this was a working grain mill. The concrete silos were filled with grain that was ground into flours and carried away by railroad cars. It has been out of business for quite a while and the property was purchased by the city in hope of converting all of into some kind of resort or hotel. The economy and condition of the building prohibited that idea. About a year ago the decision was made to demolish the facility.
Before the explosion of the building part with 800-1000 pounds of explosives, a crew from the Discovery Channel's Haunted Collector program visited and filmed their season premiere. There were several deaths of workers in the grain mill's history and I don't know if I want to see that episode or not!

We did not "attend" the explosion or implosion or whatever. However, the new fad is now to visit the site where they are demolishing the remaining silos. One afternoon the silo on the right began to collapse on a piece of machinery. No one was hurt, but now people are gathering across the bay just to watch and wait! It is like waiting for the Leaning Tower of Pisa to topple. Once a week the wrecking ball swings and then they seem to spend the rest of the week crumbling the stones into smaller and smaller pieces to be hauled away to make new concrete. Who could have guessed that this would turn into a recycling project!

We eventually left to enjoy a nice lunch at a restaurant further up the lake and then my "date" returned me to my dad's house. Before curfew! Just like the good ole days!

Here is another shot from a visit to the site with  my dad. The weather was much sunnier when we arrived and you might think that it was a beautiful day with this blue sky. An unfortunate side effect from this summer heat is the pop up storms that are resulting.  After about 15 minutes, a small craft warning was issued and all the boats cruising from the lake into the bay, sometimes three abreast with the smaller boats and jet skis. We shepherded my dad back to the car before the storm hit and there was quite the storm on the way home.
I hope that none of you are suffering terribly with all the power outages. I feel so sorry for those that the storms are affecting.   UPDATE: I have heard a rumor that the silo on the right has now toppled!

Miss Merry