Thursday, September 7, 2023

A Long Hot and Challenging Summer

      I have to admit to being as tired as can be and not in the mood to blog. I have read a few trying to drop in every now and then, but not commenting. I truly have had almost no free time. Every minute has been allotted a task and I fall into bed each night. Thankfully, most nights I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and if I awaken in the middle of the night I am too tired to toss and turn. I feel as those I am losing my mind on many days and can't compose a sentence. Today I am extremely tired, but supper is in the oven, Jeff is going to be late, and I have texted Mama that I will come over to see about her after let's see if I can type.

     My last post stated that we were moving Mother in to an assisted living facility. She is still there thankfully. She is not doing all that well physically. I don't think I shared that we had even taken her to the ER one night in July, but that was the case. She has continued to complain about her back and I finally got someone to do an x-ray that showed she has compression fractures. They do believe them to be related to the fall based on some previous x-rays at her primary physician's clinic. That said, she has been on strong pain killers and told to wear a brace. She has not worn the brace!!! I have been in and out of doctor's offices in this here HOT HOT HOT summer. I have called and begged for tests to be moved up. In other words, between trying to clear out her townhouse, get her settled in to the new place AND lots of tests and doctor's appointments, I am just about slap crazy.

     She has an orthopedic appointment with just the orthopedic PA again on Monday now that I wrangled an MRI done earlier than was previously scheduled. I am hoping this will give us a course of action that she will be able to understand and live with whether it is just brace or some type of surgery.

    Now, that is all I am going to say about that, because no one wants to read about all that. Jeff, me, Lindsay and Paul Allen have worked so hard to clear out the townhouse. We all know Mama downsized a lot before she moved down here from Brewton in 2015, but we all know she had much more than Uncle Danny. Clearing out 2 homes in less than 18 months is not fun. No fun at all, and our small little family is tired. I could not even be where I am without them though. They have worked tirelessly moving and packing. 

    At one point, I sincerely thought I might have a sale, but once family had gone through it seemed right on the edge of "kinda enough, but not sure if it was enough" to do a sale. We all decided together that the amount of work it would require from us for the little earnings ---that we would just start donating. Friends came and took some, Lindsay did sell two pieces of the nicer furniture on FB, but Jeff and Paul Allen still ended up having to deliver it. Last night, just before bed time I remembered a thrift store here in town that I had seen china sets in and I looked them up and they even came and carried things away. I emailed before I went to bed and she had answered me this morning. To my great merriment, she came with a van and truck and got the last of decorative items and the furniture this afternoon. I am left only with the piano and she is considering that tonight. The thrift store is for the local animal shelter so that made me feel really good.

     The realtor is coming tomorrow to take photos and then it will be listed ---hallelujah. That will be one thing off my plate.

     Mother is still a long way from being settled and I have lots left to do to get her in a better situation, so having the house done will go a long way with my brain capacity. Her place is nice and if we can get her feeling better I think she has a chance of enjoying her new home. I am still going most everyday to see about her and I would like that to be maybe every other day, but we will see how that goes. 

     There are no tour pictures of her place yet... Maybe one day. The next two pictures  are right outside her door. The hallways are large to allow for safe passage of the residents since most of them are on walkers as well.

     There are lots of chairs a long the pods and hallways for sitting. It is a very coastal and pretty location. Each hallway has a coastal theme with the paintings...hers is palm trees, but there are boats, shells, and such.

     When I say it is hot, I am not kidding. All of this moving and doing has been done in the hottest summer ever. Really... the local weatherman has stated that is the hottest summer here since 1895. There was no let up in the record temperatures from the the 4th of July until Labor Day. Paul Allen and Tyler both overheated at work in the same week. Tyler actually fainted and Paul Allen's heart rate was at something like 170. The heat indexes for nearly 6 weeks were 115 and higher. Very little cloud cover or rain. Labor Day weekend was a breath of fresh air. It came after Idalia. She didn't have any effect on us. We were on the east side and far enough east to have no problems with her. I am always heartbroken for those affected but I am so grateful to have missed it. We still have a good month and half at least before we can truly relax over storms.

     The gardener over here with pretty flowers has hardly anything to show this summer. My yard looks awful. We are too tired and hot to do the much needed work. My geraniums have just given up. Anything with blooms has just said, "Nope, I can't be pretty in this weather!" 

      Jeff and I celebrated 39 years of marriage Labor Day weekend. I didn't know if we were going to be able to slip away to Auburn really until the day before. Lindsay said we needed to go and she would do her best to calm Grandma if needed. I am not sure Mama was too happy, which lets you know she isn't quite right just yet. 

      The cooler temperatures in Auburn were very out of character for this time of year but such a blessing. I can't ever remember it being that cool on Labor Day in Auburn or here in FWB. I let Paul Allen and Katie drop me off downtown and I shopped a bit and walked back to the house just strolling along. Mother made it until Monday morning without calling and crying so I count that as a win.

     Paul Allen and Katie did drive up and go to the game. They headed back Sunday around lunchtime so they could have the remainder of their holiday at home. This happened to them on the way home.

Warning---next picture contains a dead animal if you need to scroll quickly.

       The Palmer family is definitely having a run of bad luck lately. Perseverance should have been my word of the year. I think my post about trying to bow out of this blog back in January might have been a little prophetic about what was coming. 

      I have no stitching to share, but maybe soon I can get back to regular posts, because I certainly don't want this post to be what I blog about. I really will need to quit if that is the material I have to work with.

     I will leave you with one last picture taken in August. I have changed it up a bit this week and hope to add some fall decor to the house even though it isn't even close to feeling like fall. 

     I will share more about that oil painting one day in the future. I am hoping for more fun posts in the future, but for now I am going to say goodbye for another month. I am sorry to say I haven't replied to many comments, but I am going to get back to my blog at some point. 

     Many of you have sent direct messages on social media, cards, and emails and even comments that have helped my feelings so much, because it has been a hard summer. I have kept a playlist of hymns at the ready for when I am about to melt down and have also made it a point when I am getting very weary to remember I have lots of good in my life. My Aunt Faye has always said, "This too shall pass." I am kinda ready for it to pass, but I know we all to walk through things and it could be much worse.

     I know many are already enjoying some cooler temperatures, but for us we still have the remainder of September and part of October for any significant cooling. I will have to create fall in the house and I did choose some fallish colors to wear this week that are still cool clothing. That is how I do it. The white pants and so forth have been moved to the far side of my closet:)

     IF anyone is still here, I will be back ....just need a wee bit more time. ----Sandy

Sunday, August 6, 2023

More Birthdays and Life Lately

      August brought more intense heat and a birthday for sweet little grandson #3, Miles. He turned 1 year old and his party was scheduled for outside even though it is hot. If you dare to live in Florida, then you know it is hot .... you grin and bear it. It came a torrential downpour and lightning storm though, so plans were changed to inside. All worked out just fine.

     July and thus far in August have been some really really hot days with heat indexes in the upper 110's most days. My emotions have run the gamut from intense sadness to a smile mixed in to keep the sanity. It was not the summer I had planned, but it was the summer I got, so I am doing my best to find some goodness in it.

     One good thing was little Miles's party. Katie decorated their tiny home so cute, and both families piled inside and made it work. Paul Allen braved the elements from the porch to grill hotdogs and hamburgers. Little Miles seemed to enjoy it all. I will blow up this post with all the cuteness of the decorations and Miles.

     Entering the house, Katie had put up a banner with pictures of Miles taken over this past year.

     Near the table she had all kinds of baseball things including a hat from Paul Allen's childhood.

    The little hat was given to Paul Allen by Nana way back in 1992. Miles has gotten to wear it quite a bit.

     Someone liked his cake. He sat there for quite a while just digging and stuffing his mouth.

     Katie let me bake the cake for him and his cupcakes for the guests.

     Mimi and PaPa gave him a water table. He got to play today in it.

    And in the background you could see that the other grandparents bought him a playhouse.

     As I said, this summer has been a wide range of emotions. One such crazy thing that happens to me every time I think about having to clear out another home is to go on a search for what I can get rid of. I have had to clean out far too many homes ---I say. Knowing that I would want to bring home a few things from Mama's I would come home and walk around just opening up drawers and such to see what could leave my house. It is an odd thing that happens to me.

     Katie helped me by taking the Cricut from my craft room. I have used it all of like 3 times in almost 10 years of having it. I had such grandiose plans for it, but life just kept having other plans. That was the same with that new fancy sewing machine I bought almost 10 years ago too. First though, the Cricut was gladly relinquished to Katie for her to have in classroom. I told her if Lindsay or I needed something she could either make it for us or we could borrow it. She promptly put it to good use and sent me her new bulletin boards that she used the Cricut to make all sorts of things.

     She is an excellent math teacher and her class name is Palmer's Pandas.

     That sewing machine is leaving too. It has not been my favorite thing I ever purchased and you know I learned that what I thought I wanted to do when I retired from teaching was not actually what I wanted to do. I will take 3 grand boys filling my time any day over the other plans. 

    I do know that I want to keep Mama's sewing machine. If there is any one thing I would want of hers it would be that for so many reasons. Maybe I will share more about that one day when my brain works again. For now, I have made plans to move the newer fancy machine and the sewing table I bought for it to Mom's to put in the sale at her house whenever I reach that point and bring hers that is in a sewing cabinet here. I should probably let it go as well, since I have been sewing and loving my old 1979 Kenmore bought in college. However, like I said it would be the one thing I want to keep of Mom's... Maybe one of the girls will want one of them one day. It is a 1950's Kenmore and sews like a dream too.

     Jeff and Paul Allen moved the big pieces to Mama's new assisted living facility today. She will spend her first night over there tomorrow night. I am going to move her stuff slowly there. The plan is to let her get in with just the basics and add to it as she thinks of something she wants. I will do some light decorating over the next couple of evenings. For the remainder of August I will just let her get settled in and slowly let family come in and get what they want and then after Labor Day I will see about having a sale at her place. 

Mother seems to have trouble even thinking about what she wants to take because of leaving behind so much. I totally get it, but I am even having to pick out clothes to take. Hopefully, she will fully get in the groove soon. 

     None of this has been easy. While she has good days, this was just a life changing fall. I think she will improve, but there was just no way she could keep her home like she liked it or cook. The fall just slowed her roll. The place she is going is very nice. It is just an adjustment for all of us. We took her over this afternoon after we had moved the large pieces in so she could see how that looked. There was a church service going on and she seemed quite interested. Jeff forced her to pop in and look and there were many ladies who look like great candidates for Mom's next best friend. Praying for that!!!!

     The facility already had her name at the refreshment station in the town square.

    When I get her all settled in I will take pictures of her new home for the blog. I am praying for good days like today for her. There have been some really low days this summer for both of us. Jeff too. 

    Thanks to so many of you have sent me words of encouragement. ---Sandy

P.S. Barbara at Sweet Tea and Sandals accidentally permanently deleted her blog. Shudder to think... Here is her new blog address -