Monday, December 31, 2007


Welcome 2008.  Let the good time roll.

Happy New Years Eve


           I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  Peace and happiness.  Acceptance and joy.  Health and humor.  Laughter and touch.  A New Year.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Off to work

      Well I am ready for work.  Bright eyed and bushy tailed....not.  Tired.....yes. 
      My calories for today have been 1475.  Pretty good.  I am drinking water even.  It is easy to get the water in in the summer but I have a hard time in the winter.  I want coffee.

     I got some replies about my MIL's stove.  Isn't it cool.

    I emailed a company that restores them and makes a lot of money for them.  I would love to see someone else get 50+ years out of it.  I also had some interest on the furs.  So we are moving right along. 

    I never knew my MIL had furs.  They were buried in the back of the closet.  There isn't much call for fur coats these years.  Too politically incorrect.  I have never been too PC though.  It just gets to be a money making cause for so many.  Money for their pockets and not a real issue.  I would never condone killing animals just to wear their fur though.  Seems rather silly when there is other things you can wear. Most of these animals are so beautiful and no one has ever looked as lovely in their coats as they did.  However, these are what they are and I do need to sell them.

     It is 10 degrees outside.  Burrrrr.   I wish I could bury myself in my warm bed and go to sleep.  This is suppose to be my day off.  My body keeps telling me its my day off.  My finger is also going to cause me problems it seems.  It is starting to swell and looks infected.  Darn thing.  I just can't get the rest of the wood out.  Hopefully my body will push it out soon.  You should see the way I am typing. 2 fingers stuck up in the air.  Prissy me, LOL.

   Well, I have wasted enough time.  Time to get ready to go.  Sleep tight all.


Day 3 of the rest of my Life

    We had some very pretty winter weather yesterday.  It was just like all the trees were flocked.  Every fence was lined, every tree branch, light pole.  Really pretty.  Wish I had had the time to drive around and get some really good shots but this gives you an idea.

   Yesterday we worked at my MIL's house all day.  I had a man from the college who puts on plays and does the costumes come and look through my MIL's clothes.  They love all time periods for the plays they put out.  It is wonderful to know that his next play, Godspell, is going to have a couple of items of my MIL's in it.  Next I will contact the local costume supply house.  They rent out costumes for Halloween and other  things and buy used clothes.  Yes, your 80 clothes are wanted as are your 60's 70's and such.  Some of the items I will sell in my shop.  These wonderful silk pajama's from Japan brought over by relatives stationed there pre occupation.  A couple of fur coats.  Anything that is left after that is getting donated to the women's shelter and aide center.

   We also shredded a ton of paperwork.   Identity thief's are stealing your medical record id these days so any old medical bills should be shredded along with any bank records etc.... I also was checking out her old oak table and some others furniture.  Being the very unlucky type person I seem to be these days I got a huge sliver under my nail that went halfway down.  The wood is soft so it was near impossible to get out.  I ended up cutting my nail open to the sliver as much as I could stand ( hurt really bad) and Rick pulled it out.  There is still some there and it hurts like a dickens.  I am soaking it in Epsom salts.  My poor hands.  My other finger remains swollen and painful and now this is on my other hand.  What a klutz I am.

    Today I am finishing the thank you cards and I work tonight at 11.  It will be a very long day.  And I am watching what I eat.

    Weighed in today - 2.5 pounds.  If you have been reading my journal you know I don't really diet but I do count calories and watch what type of food I eat.  I fudged a little yesterday but stayed under 2000 calories.  I keep track of the food I eat on which is a great site.  It keeps track of the calories, and nutritional value of foods and you try and stay in the range.  I have it set to 1500 calories.  I am behind on my water again but will make up for it today as I am off work until tonight.  I am on my way again.  Still haven't hit the gym but with my knee acting up I had better wait a few days until it calms down.  That darn treadmill just kills my knees.

   So that is my day.  I feel like we are making progress, but we have a long way to go.  BIL is still squatting at the house and doing nothing but messing it up.  I did bring up him moving yesterday.  They turned off the cable and the phone is next.  We need to make him uncomfortable at the house.

    Have a great Happy New Years everyone.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

day 2 of the rest of my life


          Good Morning J-landers.   Hope it is warmer and sunnier where ever you are.

           Iowa is in its usual mood.  Cold and gloomy.  Shedding its icy tears in soft flakes of snow and frost.  Pretty in its icy frostiness.  Got to love it.

          Did all my running around yesterday and was fairly productive.  However didn't get everything we wanted done because that *)@+@$#^@ van has another part going out.  We think it is either the water pump or the heater core.   AARRRGGGHHHH.  That stupid old van has cost me way to much money but I can't afford to buy another one.  It is still slightly cheaper to fix it, but if I had saved all the money I put into it this year I could have gotten another one.  I just can't do it all at once.   So back to one car again.

        I did pretty good on my eating yesterday.  Measured and counted every calorie.  I did not drink as much water as I needed to because I had to stop at every restroom in town as it was.  Bladder capacity of a gnat here.  I am working on thank you cards and today we are starting to shred things plus I am going to take pictures of things to put in the shop.  Should keep me busy and out of trouble for awhile. 

     I work tomorrow and the next day.  We will be busy as it is a bad night for the heart.  Young peopledrink too much and get a fast heart rate or go into A-fib.  Older people drink to much and have heart attacks or have too much fluid.   Poor innocent people get in the way of people who had too much to drink and get behind the wheel.  Take a cab people if you go out drinking.

    Well, time to get ready.  I have my 3 cups of strong black coffee in me to get started.  Time to get busy.  Take care all and Happy New Year


Friday, December 28, 2007

Taking Stock

     I finally got up the nerve to step on the scale and see what the damage was after all these months of not watching what I eat and not exercising.  Its bad.  19 pounds regained.  And I feel it.  In my knees especially and the way my cloths fit.  I am glad I didn't gain back the entire 56 but 19 is bad enough.

     I was feeling so good and fit.  My aches and pains were from a good workout, not the strain on my joints.  I had a terrible night sleep as my knees hurt just from my legs laying on each other.  Seriously! 

      I do not make New Years resolutions.  I do however make some goals.   I am going to go to the Black hills in Sept and ride the Mickelson trail.  To do that I have to be thinner and fitter.  And I know exactly how to do it.  After all I have done it before. Right.

    So today I sip on my slimfast and mentally plan my menu for the upcoming days and my exercise goals.  Rick and I both agree we felt better mentally and physically when we worked out.  So as soon as we get things that need to be taken care of first done at his mom's we are going back to the gym.  As soon as we can we are getting back on our bikes and riding as many miles a day as we can stand.  I have 9 months to get in shape.  I can do it!

     Today I have a busy day planned.   I have to go and pick up a extra death certificate.  It has been ready for 3 days and neither of the sons ever went.  They also haven't written a single thank you note or even started on the house.  So I have to start on that.  I want the cards out.  I have to go to hospice today and give them some checks that were donated in my MIL's name and then contact the womens shelter and aide center about donating some of her clothes.

   It feels really awful going through her an invasion of her privacy.  Rick says it is like we are getting rid of all traces that she was here.   I have some things we kept that she made that hopefully will be reminders for him, but I told him most of her well remain in our hearts forever.  The rest is just things, not her.  It has been increasingly hard on him.  After the numbness and exhaustion wore off then came the reality. 

    When she first died he had this sense of relief.  She wasn't in pain anymore.  The entire ordeal was over.  She was so ready and waiting for it to end that that was his first emotion.  Then he felt guilty about that.   Now he just feels the loss.  I am also at that stage.  Just miss her.  It will get easier though.  Time, the great healer.

     Well, I am not getting anything done sitting on my big behind.  Take care all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The next day

       Well Santa is resting today and I hope you  all are also.

        We had a very quiet Christmas and a very untraditional meal.   For supper we made Garlic pasta and jumbo shrimp.  Yummy.  Might end up being our new tradition.  Rick bought me a studio light kit for taking my pictures of sale items.  I have wanted one for years so I am pleased.  The pictures turn out so nice, especially jewelry which is so hard to get good pictures of.  I will be using it a lot in the coming months.

     For him I deposited some money in my paypal account and made this poem card to give him.  I thought is was kind of cute and clever,

    Merry Christmas
Just a little gift for you
to use just like you wish
Please accept from me to you
This little Paypal gift

        I decorated it and it was cute and showed him where I keep my debit card.  He was happy as there are some parts for his bicycle he wants.  I wasn't able to get out shopping and I was shocked he got me a gift.  I had thought we weren't exchanging this year so I had to scramble.

       I work tonight and then I work extra next Sunday and Monday for the holiday.  Yah, holiday pay.  I am finally feeling better also but now Rick has it.  This family shares everything.

    Well, time to go and get ready.  It snowed and is so pretty outside.  Hope everyone survived their holiday intact.  We had our usual ton of admits last night.  Made the night just fly.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Peace on Earth, good will toward men.
Luke Chapter 2 verses 7-14

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

               Happy Holidays everyone.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

2 Days until Christmas


        2 more days until Christmas.  Time is flying by.   I worked the last 2 nights.   I had to be charge so it went fast and was good to keep my mind occupied.  It is very nice to be earning some money again.

        My mental and physical exhaustion was getting better until during the night.  I have come down with the crud.  My son had it a couple of days ago so I was expecting it and am just grateful I am off for the next couple of days so I don't have to do anything if I don't want.  And I don't want.

      The house is quiet.  Rick is over at his mom's and my son is working.  I have slept most of the day and will probably go back to bed shortly.  I have a good book I am reading and am chilling so being under the covers feels best.

      It is bitterly cold in Iowa today.  Sounds like the entire midwest is getting slammed.  Take care all.

         My niece called me today.  I haven't talked to her in a few years so it was nice she called.  She is in California now and enjoying the lack of cold but feels you need the snow for a proper Christmas.  I have to agree.  But then that is what we are used to.

      I don't work again until Tuesday at 11 pm.  Then I have to work 2 nights and the next weekend also.  It will be a weird schedule with the holidays.  Some 8 hour shifts which seem to go by in the blink of an eye.

    2 days ago was the winter solstice.   The shortest day of the year.  From now on the sun will start being out longer and longer again.  That is big when you work nights.  I get home and it is dark and wake up and it is dark.  Sleep through all the daylight hours.  So this is a wonderful day.  I usually celebrate it but missed it this year.  Belated Cheers.

     Well, I can tell I am ready for bed.   Seasons greetings all.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Getting better

         Today we went to the store and saw our favorite bell ringer ringing and singing away.  You can't help but laugh and feel good seeing her and she always gets my money.

        Both of us slept like logs last night.  I feel more rested then I have in weeks.

         Rick went to the doctors today.   They are going on the assumption the high BP is due to his mother so will have in come in every couple of weeks for a BP check to see if it stays high.  The doc doesn't realize that for this family the stress is far from over but thats OK.

        Rick and I are going to start back at the gym next week.  Exercise makes everything better, once you get over the soreness from starting to exercise again, LOL.

       Rick and BIL are going to see the lawyer tomorrow.   BIL is finally starting to get the hint that he had better find a new place to squat.

       We have gotten so many cards and beautiful well wishes from everyone.   Each is appreciated.  Once again I can't say thanks enough.

         I go back to work tomorrow and I finished and passed another test I needed today.   I guess I am competent to work another year.

       We have fallen into a bad habit.  I have only cooked one meal since my MIL died.  I was just so exhausted. I couldn't think of anything to cook or get the energy to actually do.  Time to just sit there and let someone else do the cooking.   Fortunately for us I won 2000 on this game.  It is a nickel machine that you can use the tickets for drinks and meals.  We have gotten 4 meals out of those tickets.  I rarely play the machine so I think my MIL had a hand in it.  Thanks Mom.

       I put out a couple of Christmas items.  No tree but a few items.   I really do love Christmas.  Tonight Rick and I are going to drive around and look at the lights.  We do it every year.

         Next week I start going through my MIL's things.  Dread.  Time to get the clothes packed up.  I am selling something of the very old clothes in my shop along with some of the antiques and nicer items.  We are donating most of the clothes to the battered womens shelter.  And our shredder is going to be going to town.  She has some very old greeting cards from the 1800's and early 1900's I will probably sell.  Most will sell in auction.  We are starting to get past the numb stage to the planning and acceptance stage.  The sooner we get all this done, the sooner BIL is gone.  Motivation.

     Have a great weekend all.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Lovely Quote from today

   I received this in the mail today and wanted to share it.  It is so nice.

             Death is nothing at all.  I have slipped away into the next room.  I am I, and you are you.  Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.  Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the same easy way which you always used.  Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.  Laugh as we always laughed, at the the little jokes we enjoyed together.  Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be the household word that is always was.   Let it be spoken without effect, without trace of shadow on it.  Life means all that it ever meant, it is the same as it ever was, there is an unbroken continuity.  What is death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?  I am waiting for you for an interval, somewhere very near, just the corner.

   All is well.

                                             -Canon Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)

           Isn't that just lovely!  I would have included it in the sermon if I had it sooner.  Everything went smoothly today.  We had plenty of food and all the left overs we donated to the Gospel mission.   My men looked so handsome in their suits.  I have one more day to rest and then back to work.  It will be good.

Early Morning

       I am up early.  The service is at 11:30 but we have to be there at 11.  My youngest son bought a suit!  Since I usually only ever see him dressed like he is there, in bicycle clothes or his work clothes it is quite strange.  He looks good though.  I bought new shoes but otherwise have a nice outfit to wear.  I am so looking forward to this being over.  We are not putting the ashes in the ground until the spring time.  I am not happy about that.  We did that with my FIL but his ashes stayed at their home and it seemed right.  I don't want to leave hers there while the house is slowly emptied.  My BIL thinks it will be a good excuse to stay around until spring that way.  I just don't want to drag this next part on and on.  Rick feels the same way. We want closure.  So we shall see.  We may have a private graveside service soon.

   We have been eating out almost everyday.  With Rick at his moms and me here it just doesn't seen like we have settled yet.  I haven't the energy to cook and still think of everything that needs to be done.  Apathy has set in.  Maybe I am storing up the energy for what is coming next.  We are getting glimpses of how difficult my BIL is going to be. He is so contrary.  We say white he says black to every single thing.  He won't eat what I cook, I am not hungry then 2 minutes later is out there cooking.  It will be a battle.

      I am worried sick about Rick.  He had a episode the other day where he almost passed out and his arms were jerking.  His blood pressure was 189/112.  I called the doctor to see about increasing the blood pressure med he is on but they never called back.  I am going to make him an appointment today.  He needs to be seen.  Darn man needs to take care of himself.  He holds everything in and it is doing a number on him.

       I have all my Christmas shopping done in record time.  Still not a single decoration up,but I am OK with that.  We have been enjoying other peoples lights.

     Well I had better pop in the shower.   I want to get it done before anyone else wakes up.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


  Last year at about this time we were at my MIL's making the traditional Medisterpølse's.

 Its a danish sausage and wonderful.  Last night we were talking that if we didn't make them this year it would be the first time in either of the son's life they didn't have them for Christmas.  So we are going to make a batch we think.  It will be hard enough this year.

       Yesterday we went to the funeral home and made the service arrangements.  My MIL had her funeral all arranged and prepaid so it really made the difficult task easy.  The Pastor came and helped.

      I remember when my MIL did it.  Shortly after she was diagnosed she insisted on getting her house in order.  TODAY.  When she got something in her head you would not stop hearing about it until it was done.  I am sure grateful for it now.  Today we are picking out one of her quilts to display at the service and some pictures.

      We have been talking over the last fewmonths.   My MIL's last meal she requested and ate was pickled Herring.  Yuk!  But she enjoyed it.  When she was talking out of her head earlier this week, dreaming and talking away she mentioned she had her best outfit ready.  Is she wearing it now?  For her welcome home party.

     I have been home and Rick is still staying there for awhile.  Yesterday I went over and already the house seems so strange.  I have spent every holiday there for the last 34 years.  Most of my childrens birthdays parties were spent there.  I look at the dining room table and remember the thousands of card game we played there.   Millions of memories in that house.  When the house is gone it will be the worse.

    We are keeping the house until the spring.  That way we can slowly go through everything and throw, sale or donate things until the auction in the spring.  She never threw anything away so it will take us months.

     I want to express my gratitude for the prayers and warm wishes everyone has sent.  It has meant so much.  This has been such a long roller coaster of a ride we are just numb and not thinking much right now.  I am so happy I am off work.  Anyway.....J-land is a warm and caring place.  Thank you all.

Friday, December 14, 2007

While at my meeting


    My mother in law quietly slipped away in her sleep.  In peace.  Pain free.

    The phone rang at the far end of the meeting room.  My heart sank and I knew the call would be for me.  My legs were shaking as I walked to the phone and even expecting it I couldn't stop my tears.  At 0950 this morning my dear MIL finished her journey to the other side.

      Rick had just given her medication for pain.  She was restless.  He held her hand until she calmed and started in to get coffee.  At the kitchen door he heard her last breath and turned back.   The hospice nurses were on the porch ready to come in when she took her last breath.  It was so calm and that terrible noise was gone from her throat.

       Now we are numb.  Grateful that everything she wanted had happened.  She wanted to slip away in her sleep like my FIL had done.  She wanted to be at home.   She didn't want to have pain.  The pain was well controlled with the medication and she was in her home with her kitty laying beside her.

      The dog and the cat knew she was gone.  The cat refused to leave her bed until they came for her body.  Then she disappeared for hours.  Zoey laid her head on Ricks lap and whined.

     I am home.  No reason to stay there.  Rick is still at his moms.  Can't leave BIL alone there and Rick knows it is better for me here. BIL has no reason to be restrained now.  So it ends.  86 years......ends.


We are such stuff as dreams are made on ...
William Shakespeare
The Tempest, III, iv

Our revels are now ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded in a sleep.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

on line at MIL's

  I downloaded AOL at my MIL's so I can be on-line occasionally.  I called in to work tonight.  Things are not going well and I needed to be here.  Emotionally and to help.  We are now having trouble controlling the pain tonight so I am the best at not being afraid to medicate her as much as she needs.  Also she just is limp so moving her takes both of us.  She is very restless so I am awake while Rick sleeps.  It is best 2 do shifts.  Now with my computer I can keep busy as TV just doesn't interest me much.  Too many commercials which just drive me nuts.  It is a wonder I haven't thrown something through the screen.  It is worse then when I gave up TV 7 years ago.

   Anyway, not much to say but wanted to let you know.  I can get on the computer at night when I am sure no one will call.  I am spoiled by cable.  I had forgotten how slow dial up is.

Miss you all

    I love the graphic Donna made above, so sweet. 

    I finally made it home for a few hours to catch up on some things.  Yes, my MIL is still hanging in there.  Unfortunately she finally started having pain so now is on scheduled morphine.  It is keeping her comfortable, but she is rarely awake.  I do not know how she keeps hanging in there as she isn't eating or drinking often and her kidneys are barely working.  I am back to work so it is hard on my husband.  It really takes 2 to move her.  I have 2 more nights to work and then a class on Friday.  Then off again to be more help.

    BIL is here, but isn't much help.  He set up the basement to look like a living space and is down there or at the bar.  We are keeping a truce except for when he smokes in the house.  Saving our battle for later.  My back is really bad today and my finger is still swollen and very painful.  We are all falling apart, LOL.

   Lots of snow and ice here as there is around the country.   So much for the farmers almanac saying we are having a mild winter.  It is really pretty though and since I finally got the van fixed I don't mind driving in it.

    My DIL was in an accident and got hit by a garbage truck.  It totaled their car and she has a concussion and aches all over.  If the children had been in the back seat it would have been tragic.  So it could have been worse.

     Christmas will soon be here and I haven't got a thing done.  Not a decoration, not a single present, nada nothing.  I had better at least send my son some money to get my grandkids something.  Everyone else realizes I just haven't got it to spare, but I do want to get them something.

     I haven't got my alerts on but hope to get around to some journals and slowly get caught up on everyone.  Merry Christmas all and Happy New Year.  Sorry my entries have been so dreary lately, I know you all understand.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Still Hanging in there.

   That's my MIL's favorite saying so as she says we are still hanging in there.  My MIL is sleeping most of the time now and confused more times then not.  Her kidneys aren't working much so most of her meds except the pain medication is being held.  And she is not eating much at all.  I always said if my MIL stopped eating it was a bad sign.  So I expect this week.  Probably Thursday when I am supposed to go to work.

    My finger and really hand remains purple and sore.  I really did a number on it.  Pretty bruising.  It looks like I slugged someone.  I might have to as it turns out my BIL is on his way back.   I am sick about it but can't do anything about it.  Now the battle to keep him from squatting in the house will begin.  It won't be real comfortable for him as when my MIL is gone we are not keeping the phone or TV going.  We won't be able to have the sale now until Spring but plan on keeping only the minimal things going.  We want to donate the fridge and freezer since it was donated to her.

     We had an ice storm last night so I have to get back before the temp drops and everything freezes again.  Take care all and stay warm.