Saturday, August 31, 2019

At Rest

My Dad passed away Thursday night.  We got the call from Mom just before 4 AM.  We headed over right away.  We met with the funeral director yesterday afternoon and made the arrangements.  We will finalize the funeral arrangements with the participants today.  He will be laid to rest next week.  I won't post the day or time for OPSEC reasons.   A few photos from his life.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Nothing New to Report

I had an entire post ready to go and, boom, I hit something and it disappeared.  I don't know what I keep hitting on my keyboard, but this has happened multiple times.  Frustrating to say the least.  

Consequently I won't try to re-post what I wrote.  Too frustrated at the moment.
Just know that there is nothing really to report.  Still dealing with all the health issues with 'K' and Dad is still with us and his vital signs are strong.  We actually thought we were going to lose him last Thursday, but then he rallied.  

This is a big week for us as 'K' goes under the knife again Thursday morning.  Hopefully/prayerfully there will be no cancer.  We won't know for sure until the following week.  She is holding up well.

I see no end to sporadic posting in sight, my apologies.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

What Day Is This?

It's the truth these last few weeks.  I can't really remember what actual day it is most days.  I have asked 'K' several times in one day.  I need a calendar that just tells me the the day instead of the date.  Well, I would need to know that too but the day is the key for me.  

Part of the problem is we have so many things coming up this week and next and more are added everyday.  Once we get through next week hopefully things will slow down some and we can get closer to normal, if there is such a thing.

I got the call from the mechanic that the compressor he ordered arrived and I could bring the car anytime.  I took it over yesterday evening.  Wouldn't you know it, as I started the car the check engine light stayed on.  He noticed it right away and will run the codes and see what it was.  He say he should be finished sometime Wednesday.  I guess that depends on whether he sees anything else that needs to be done or whether the codes are significant enough to address.  I think it's that same thing that happened a few months ago.  The Honda folks wanted to replace the catalytic converter for near 2K$.  I just took it home and reset the fuse and it has been fine since.  There is no drop off in performance.  I think the throttle body needs a good cleaning though.  That can cause the trouble light and there had been some slower idle than usual.  Might as well consider getting him to fix it now while he's got it.  

'K' started her PT Monday.  It went really well.  No real pain, but being off her feet for 8 weeks has taken it's toll.  She got very tired and weak before they finished.  It will take a while to get her strength back.  They sent her to a shoe store they use themselves to get the proper shoes to protect that Achilles tendon.  They say it is very susceptible to rupture right now.  So we will do everything they say and be extra careful.  We walked out of the shoe store 200$ poorer.  Yikes!  Well, if they help I guess it's worth it, but insurance ain't covering that.

Thursday is Mom's 87th birthday.  We will join my brother and take her out for lunch.  We will take my Granddaughter along too.  It will be strange leaving Dad at home with someone else.  

I found out an old coworker I have high regard for is retiring the last of this month.  I gave him a call just to chat a little.  I offered apologies that I can't make it due to 'K's' surgery and I can't even meet him for lunch before then.  He agreed to me after he retires and that will be good.  It's the best I can do right now.

Happy Trails

Saturday, August 17, 2019


K is back home after spending most of Thursday and Friday at my parents.  It seems to have done a world of good for my Mom.  K is such a blessing to her, and my Dad.  She has a very calming effect on them.  Friday when I went to get her, Dad looked better and seemed more lucid.  Thursday wasn't that good.  He is now refusing to get out of bed, taking his meds, or eating and drinking.  Although 'K' got him to swallow a few bites.  The hospice folks won't/can't give a timeline, but they have stopped taking his vitals.  The only thing now is to make him as comfortable as possible.  We will do whatever he requests, if he does.  That will be hard for Mom.  She has a tendency to 'know' what he wants/needs, I can see her frustration when he has a request that makes no sense to her.  I just keep my mouth shut.  

K most likely will be back over there to spend the night next week.  I told her to stay as much as she feels she can and not worry about being home, not to make concessions for me.  She can get me more info than I get from any other source/method.  You may wonder why it is not me staying.  That is a very long story, but in short, K is better at this sort of thing, has much more patience and her relationship with my Mom is incredible.  I have never seen or heard of a Daughter-in-law/Mother-in-law relationship like theirs.  I am blessed more than I deserve.

K has surgery scheduled for the 29th.  Fortunately it is outpatient.  Unfortunately they will have to put her under.   Anesthesia messes with her.  It causes her to lose hair.  Ladies have an issue with losing hair so that is stress added.  She just had the other surgery and now this.  She may not have any if this keeps up.  That is probably the only area I don't tease her.  There will also be several other related appointments that week.  It will be a very busy and trying time on top of everything else.  We may not be able to help at Mom and Dad's at all.  Posting will most likely be even lighter.  But sometimes this is cathartic. 

It's hot here.  Very hot, with no relief in sight.  All in all it has been a very mild summer.  But the past two weeks and next has made up for it.  My lawn is getting very crunchy, that that hasn't turned brown.  I haven't watered a lot but the water bill has tripled.  The rest of this billing cycle will be even worse.  All I can do is try to keep it alive since the bills get into the triple digits.  My garden is gone, much quicker than other years.  Strange year all around.  I know it's early but I pray for a better year next year.  

Happy Trails

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Results of Consultation

Our visit to the Doctor for 'K's' upcoming procedure was less than what we expected.  No fault of the doctor, we liked her well enough.  She gave plenty of information.  Some of that information was a big surprise and made the visit less than happy.  'K' had a tearful moment after the doctor left.  Despite the previous information regarding her needle biopsy, (they told us it was benign) there evidently is still a chance this 'spot' may have cancer.  They will be able to determine more after the lumpectomy.  This will give them a more definitive answer.  Another surprise it that there are a couple types cancer of the breast that don't show up on a mammography.  The type her mother had was one of those.  Because of her family history they want her to have genetic testing done to look for genetic markers that can show a proclivity for cancer, not just breast cancer but all.  The doctor told us the numbers regarding these tests and that 88% of those that had certain markers have gone on to have cancer.  That's a pretty huge number.  The genetic testing is performed to help determine further courses of preventive action, i.e. mastectomy, additional colonoscopies etc.  We were told that insurance would pay for the mastectomies and reconstruction since it is cheaper than treating cancer.  That is a mixed bag right there.  As you can imagine our thoughts were all over the place.  However, we started to joke about breasts a little (I'll leave that to your imagination, she is already familiar with my sick humor) on the way home and are in a much better frame of mind than while at the doctor's.

No news on my Dad since we saw him last.  We will see him again Friday, we will be able to see for ourselves if there is more decline or changes.  

We were invited over for supper at some close friends.  There were two other couples there along with us and the hosts.  It was like a walking wounded gathering.  Everyone there is going through some sort of serious health issue.  It was good to get out and visit and get our minds in another place other than health.  We avoided a lot of conversation about our issues.  I don't know if that just happened or everyone just didn't feel the need.  However, the person that has a terminal brain tumor put everyone at ease early on.  He knows he will die soon and he is good with it, and that ended anymore health discussion before it started.  Not much else can match something like that and puts  all our concerns in perspective.  It could always be worse.

Happy Trails

Monday, August 12, 2019

Catching up on Monday

Things really haven't slowed down a lot around here.  'K' has one more week in her cast and then she will be allowed to walk in a regular sturdy shoe.  Not sure she has one since she has been limited with the type shoe she can wear for well over a year.  She won't mind at all if she has to shop for new shoes.  She likes her shoes.  She will start physical therapy around that time too.  I think she is going to be one very sore lady.  

Tuesday we head to a consultation with a doctor about performing the lumpectomy she will have done on her breast.  The needle biopsy was benign but they discovered it was pre-cancerous.  They recommended it be removed ASAP.  With the history she has with her Mom's breast cancer (she passed from it) she has no reservations about getting this done.  We both want to be very aggressive with this.

My Dad is slowly fading away.  The hospice folks confirmed what we were all thinking.  He is exhibiting 'last days' symptoms.  It could be a few days to a few weeks.  There is no way to know exactly.  I think it could go even longer.  My Mom has adjusted to the routine now and is less anxious but was pretty tearful when talking about this latest news.  The change in him from last week to the next week was significant.  More confusion and more sleeping.  He doesn't look good at all for a man that is never sick but he won't eat.  He is basically starving IMO.  Dealing with it day to day.

I just this minute got back from a man in our neighborhood that works on cars.  He comes highly recommended.  I had taken the wife's CR-V over to have him look at the AC.  Since she may be driving again soon, it is time to get that taken care of, especially since the weather now is hotter than any yet, reaching over 100+ every day last week.  This man may now become my go to mechanic.  He was very thorough and extremely nice and seemed to be honest.  Echoing everything I read about him.  We talked a bit and he is a Cali refugee.  WE are getting a lot here in this part of Texas.  Having hard working honest refugees from there is OK as far as I'm concerned.  

Happy Trails

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Rough Times For the Neighbors

I noticed some strange activity across the street from me yesterday afternoon.

There was a moving company hauling all this out of the house.  No truck was in sight.  Of course with the haphazard way of stacking things it didn't look good.  No one wants to see this happen to anyone.  My curiosity got the better of me and I headed over to speak to one of the movers.  He told me it was an eviction of renters and the guy was a cop and he didn't care.  To make a long story short, it was a divorce and the story about eviction, I think it was a lie to cover up what the wife was doing.  She wanted me to take a 60+ inch TV that was laying on the mattresses.  No thank you.  My concern was what was going to happen to everything.  I was told that she hoped the owner would show up and get his stuff.  She had no plans or care for what became of all this.  Later that evening the husband showed up with a moving van and hauled it all away.  I am sure he is pissed.  His big TV was taken by that scavenger you see in the photo.  He crammed that thing into a very small Nissan car.  No idea how he managed that.  There were other things taken too.  The brown couch and chair were placed in the front yard of the next door neighbor.  They didn't get to keep it since the husband showed up before they could get it inside.  I won't allow myself to profit off something like this.  To me it is nothing short of theft.  Others, not so much apparently.  My conscious is clean.

Son#2 called for us to come take the baby for a bit so he could get some work done.  She was having a rough day since she is cutting teeth.  We wound up keeping her overnight.  She tries hard to be good and is mostly very happy, but when those gums start hurting she is too uncomfortable to be very pleasant.  She is having a rough morning too.  We were going to bring her back early as we are both hurting here and there and taking care of her when she is having a bad time is pretty hard on our old bones.  But taking her back when she is having such a rough time is no help to her Dad.  So we are keeping her at least through Noon to give him as much time as possible.

Happy Trails

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Cleaning Up and Future Plans

We have been trying to clean up around here, not just outside but inside.  The inside mostly is decluttering.  We have way too much junk that we have gathered over the years.  We are bursting at the seams.  Where did all this come from you ask?  Most of it came from two sets of Grandparents that passed, 'K's ' parents that passed and the major downsizing my parents did a couple years ago.  Some we wanted for various reasons i.e. we could use it or sentimentality (I'm the big cuprit with the sentimentality).  

The hardest thing to part with for me has been photos.  I have a lot, mostly from my Dad's parents, I don't count the 1000's I have taken.  My Grandfather was a prolific photo taker.  I have featured some of his photos here.  Mostly his time in the military in the Southwest with the Army Air Corp.  They are now almost exactly 100 years old.  My Mom and Dad have even more that will have to go somewhere.  I have looked through those and there are a lot of folks in those that I don't know or remember.  Mom and I were going to sit down and go through them and we would write names on them.  I guess now that she has her hands so full with Dad, that will never happen.  Of course they will most likely come to me, no one else is sentimental like me.  That probably goes hand in hand with my genealogy search and no one else is interested, even a little.  I don't get it.  But I have pretty much decided those old photos will get thrown out once I go through them, again.  Hopefully that is years down the line.

Both sets of my Grandparents liked to collect things. In fact, my maternal Grandfather was even a junk/antique dealer the last 15 years of his life.  He had an entire house of things he stored all of that in and we had to dispose of it after he died.  He and my Grandmother collected glassware.  Carnival glass, Milk Glass etc.  My Mom inherited that gene and has even more than they did.  My wife has that gene also and we have more than we need as she got quite a bit of from my grands.  The stuff never gets used or even looked at for that matter.  The kids?  They don't care one bit for that stuff or any type collecting.  In fact they have no interest in any of the old things.  I read an article about that a while back.  It seems a lot of today's generation (my kids) don't want any of their parent's junk and it all gets tossed.  Maybe that's a good thing.  

We tackled our food storage too and tried to relocate it to a better spot that doesn't get too hot like the place we did store it.  A lot got tossed since it had gotten past the 'best by' date.  All canned food.  We don't eat a lot of canned food.  Not much at all in fact.  That is one reason we have to toss so much.  It just doesn't get eaten enough and we don't rotate it out then.  I think a change in strategy is in order.  Having more freeze dried seems to be the answer.

We have been wanting to take a road trip.  Now that Buster has passed on, we don't have to make concessions for him.  We just need to make sure 'K's' foot is healed enough to allow her to walk more without pain.  We had two places in mind, a return to Colorado and our favorite spot there and then over to the Grand Canyon.  Neither of us has been to the Grand Canyon so it is on our list of places to see soon.  We would have had no restraints on time.  However, with Dad's failing health and us trying to help out, that road trip is in doubt as it stands now.  Our plan was to head out in early October.  Now, unless Mom decides to change how things are operating, that is now in doubt.  She is relying on us and my Brother quite a bit.  Maybe we can cut it to just one location for a shorter trip.  I would choose the Grand Canyon since I haven't been there, but the other is much closer and it would allow for less travel time.  So we are in a wait and see pattern.  We may have to put it off completely for now.  I don't want to leave Mom in the lurch or dump it all on my Brother.

It could always be worse.

Happy Trails

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Finally Hit Triple Digits

This has been one of the mildest Summers ever.  I don't remember one being so mild.  Things are still green since we have had good rain and little heat.  I watered the yard for the first time last week.  I usually have to do that starting late April or early May.  Last week we had a 'cold front' come through.  It got into the low 60's in the early morning a couple days and didn't even reach 90.  This is South Texas and this never happens in the Summer.  Yesterday we finally hit triple digits as the 'official' temp.  Although it was only 96 at home.  It is a blessing we have been enjoying.  I'll take this type summer every time.

Mom is getting a better handle on how things are going with Dad and his Hospice care.  She is going to hire an additional person she knows to help when they are not there, and my Brother and I will take up the slack.  I am hoping this works for her and eases her worries.  Dad has told her to just put him in the VA facility and be done with it.  She won't let herself go that route.

Things are returning to somewhat normal this week.  A lot of errands the past two days.  We will be dog sitting my Sons Border/Aussie mix this weekend while he participates in another show somewhere.  I tried to get him to leave the Granddaughter with us and he take the dog, but he didn't like that idea.  

Happy Trails