Saturday, October 16, 2010

Overnight at Fanning Springs

Katie and I decided to spend Friday night at Fanning with her children.  Lee joined us later after he got off work.  We stopped to visit Mother on our way through Trenton.  She was in a semi-conscious state, not really awake nor completely asleep.  

We went on to Fanning and prepared dinner.  I went to bed pretty early and awoke when Lee came in and again about 4:30 a.m. when Linda Grace was fussy.  I took her to my bed and she smiled and cooed for a while until she found her thumb.  I could tell she was sleepy, so I turned off the light and we both fell asleep.  She slept until almost 9 a.m.!  

About 10 a.m. I went in alone to visit Mother.  She was in bed, semi-conscious but would not open her eyes.  I sang two or three songs to her and stroked her hair.  She moaned a little and only opened her eyes once when I began singing "Red River Valley".  Katie and I had planned and packed a picnic lunch to take to the river, but Linda Grace slept on until almost 1 p.m. so we had a lovely lunch on the porch.  Later, Katie, the children and I went back to see Mom on our way back home.  She was pretty much in the same state.  The nurse told me she had been up for breakfast, though she ate little and they had been able to feed her a little for lunch in bed.  

How much of her lack of responsiveness is due to medication and how much to her true condition, I cannot tell.  I plan to talk to her hospice nurse on Monday to find out how much pain reliever they are giving her and if her condition is congruent with the medication.

Katie and I got home about 3:30 P.M.  Lindy invited me out for dinner so I took a bottle of Sterling, some cheese and crackers and had a lovely evening with her.  Bob was still there when I arrived but left for his Saturday night gig with his band buddies.  Cary was there also, but had his friend, Maelee over, so I saw very little of him. 

The photo is one I took last weekend at Fanning.  I tried to capture the sun's rays coming through the trees.  I am not satisfied with my efforts but hope to do better.  A friend who is a good photographer and I plan to make regular photo op trips together and I hope to learn a lot more from her.  I find photography very relaxing.  I have always admired art that followed reality rather than the abstract and photography satisfies that interest.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Time to Sow and a Time to Reap.

I love looking at fields after the hay has been harvested.  What a vision of plenty!  I've recently been putting up pears and just feast on the sight of all those jars of spiced pears that are "laid by" for future enjoyment.  I think I'll do a whole series of photos on this theme.

We spent the weekend beginning Friday at our place at Fanning Springs.  My sister, Yvonne and her husband, David, came down from Georgia.  We had a meeting Friday at Ayers with a representative from Hospice.  My brother, Marcus, and his wife, Sandi, also came to the meeting.  My mother 's condition has deteriorated to the point she needs extra care.  She is sleeping a lot, pulling up into the prenatal position.  She's also not eating much and often refuses her medications.  Yvonne and I knelt by her bed and released her on Sunday.  We just let her know we didn't want to hold her back if she was ready to go.  Her eyes were closed and I wonder if she really understood, but she did acknowledge me when I asked her if she understood.  Mother has never expressed a desire to leave this world.  She has always been a person that made the best out of whatever situation she found herself in.  I think that's one reason she has been at Ayers for 9 1/2 years.  She simply made the best of it and adjusted to the life she had there.

We have no way to know how long she will live, which goes without saying, I suppose.  We just all hope and pray she can go quickly without becoming a bedridden patient.  So, please pray with us that she will be able go soon.

That's about all my news except to say I'm enjoying my grands very much.  Olivia was with us a couple of weeks and of course, I see Katie's children often. 

Linda Gail

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Beginnings

Today marked a new beginning or, perhaps more accurately, a return to former vitality and pleasures! It was cool enough this morning that I made myself a hot cup of tea. I've been told green tea is the healthy choice, so, since it is almost tasteless, I put a constant comment tea bag in with the green tea bag. This begs the question, have I negated the benefits of the green tea by adding another tea?

The cool air also permitted me to be outside all morning. I took a few photos in the yard which I will share. I put away the chairs around the pool, cleaned up Olivia's "pasta kitchen" on the front porch, moved plants around and weeded a corner of the side yard. My blue gingers,white butterfly gingers and curcuma gingers are all blooming now. The white butterfly drenches the air with a heavenly scent. A most pleasant area in which to work.

Last new beginning is I no longer have chickens to care for. I only had 3 and yet they still managed to do a lot of digging when roaming free. They were miserable in the pen. So Lindy graciously came over and took them back to her place. Dolly and Daisy originally came from her farm and Wheatie was from an egg Lindy brought me that was hatched here by Francine, one of my samatra hens. The main reason, however, for giving them to Lindy is they tie Cary and I down. Mickey can go with us and I can leave enough food for several days for Sheba in her food dispenser on the back porch. I know I will miss the chickens but truth be told, there is a time and season for all things. My mother is not doing well and in fact, Hospice has been called in to make an evaluation. I believe she suffered a stroke a couple of months ago. She often refuses to eat or take meds and cannot hold her head up while sitting up. I'd like to feel free to spend more time at our place at Fanning just to check on her more closely and perhaps bring her more comfort during the time ahead. I do not feel her death is imminent but still feel I should be more available to her.

Now as to the photos. I find it difficult to place descriptions with the photos, so I'll just give a brief description now. The golden rod in my pool area just volunteered there. Our bees find it most enticing (as well as the love bugs! ugh!). The large planter beside is has seeding sweet basil. The little tree is an olive tree and should bear fruit within 3 or 4 years. I bought this tree a year ago at the Seedlings Spring Garden Show and it has doubled in size already. The neat thing about olive trees is they can live for hundreds of years. I like the idea of leaving something behind that might survive long after I am laid to rest. The vine is on my pool fence. I don't know the official name but call it "Butterfly" since the seed pods form a butterfly shape. It blooms spring and fall and both the blooms and seed pods are pretty. The other photos were taken on the south side of my house in a more shaded area. Blue gingers, a potato vine that comes back on top of my azaleas year after year (I love the chartreuse color) and the white butterfly ginger whose scent makes gardening a pleasure.

I really do feel closer to my pre-op, pre-chemo and pre-radiation self today! This cool weather has started a trend!

Love to all,
Linda Gail