Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So Much can happen in a year and a half!

(Warning! VERY Long post.)

I can hardly believe it's been so long since my last post to this blog! A year and a half, to be exact! WOW! SOOO Much has happened since I posted the mitten pattern that I hardly know where to begin, but I'll try to give a synopsis of what's happened between then and now.

Okay, shortly after my last post, one of my older brothers found out he had pancreatic cancer. He was very optimistic about the whole thing, but this is a cancer that never loses the battle. In the meantime, my next-younger brother and his wife of 17 years decided to get a divorce - that's a Very Long story that I won't bore you with! Suffice it to say that they just couldn't live with each other any longer without constantly fighting and my brother didn't want to continue on that way. Then (almost exactly a year ago, now), my brother with the cancer passed away. He lived in upstate New York and was wanting to come here to Florida for Thanksgiving - he never got here. My parents were devastated and that was compounded by the fact that they weren't well enough to make it to NY for his funeral. While all this is going on, Mom starts having respiratory problems and has to be rushed to the hospital every six or eight weeks - you could almost set your calendar by it.

Now we come to the beginning of 2009 and Mom & Dad's 63rd Wedding Anniversary. All my surviving brothers, my sister (and spouses where applicable), some nieces, nephews and a great-nephew or two were all here and we had a Wonderful time. My sister and more than a few others expressed concern that Mom may not be around by this Christmas because of all the trips to the hospital. In the next few months she was in and out a few more times and she finally figured out on her own what was causing it all when she read the cautionary statement on one of her medications. YUP - you guessed it - it all started when she began taking this med and as soon as she stopped it, she started getting better! She hasn't been in the hospital since June!!

On July 2nd, Dad went to his cardiologist for a routine pacemaker check-up and the Dr. put him in the hospital to find out why Dad's pulse was so high - the pacemaker is designed to keep his pulse from going as high as it did. As it turned out, Dad had stopped taking one of the medications that helped with this because he felt it was interfering with his sleep. He finally came home around 8 pm on July 21st and passed away from congestive heart failure approximately 8:10 am on July 22nd. While he was in the hospital, we learned that the trustee of the fund set up by my uncle (Mom's brother who died 5 years ago) finally got things under his control. Mom had been fighting him since her brother died because he didn't explain things to her like he should have and she got suspicious. In a nutshell, Mom hired a lawyer that apparently didn't know what she was doing and all she succeeded in accomplishing was a 5-year delay in Mom benefitting from the fund. It couldn't have come at a better time, because the cost of Dad's funeral was more than $12,000 and we just didn't have that kind of money - but the trust fund did and paid it in full!

Now here we are, finally getting some Much-needed home repairs, upgrades and appliances - all thanks to the trust fund. It's slow going because we have to wait until the "Project Foreman" (for lack of a better term) can get all the paperwork, permits and workers lined up for each job. We got the bathroom remodeled the way Mom wanted (and Needed!) it and just recently got the Central Heat & Air installed - it sure is Nice! :o) The new stove and refrigerator will be delivered and installed on Thursday, but we still don't know when the new water heater will arrive - hope it's soon because our current one is dying a slow, painful death! We've been told that the vinyl flooring for the kitchen would be done sometime this week, so we're waiting to hear on that - and the whole-house carpeting (deep tan/light brown color throughout) should begin soon thereafter. Oh yeah, and we've been painting all the rooms (slowly, but surely) because one can only look at the same color on the walls for just so many years before one gets Extremely tired of them! LOL :o) As for me, my room will still be blue - just a lighter color. I'm going from a "sorta aqua-ish Robin's Egg" blue to a Very Light smoky blue. If you can imagine a fog grey and add a bit of light blue, then you'll have an idea of the color my room will be. :o)

This brings me to a Very Happy (even Joyous!) announcement! I have a New Baby! YUP - a little baby girl! Her name is Natasha (we call her Tasha) and she's the cutest, sweetest, Most Lovable and Loving little Calico kitty in the world! Nope, I'm not biased at all! LOL :o) See for yourself:

This is my "Sweet Baby Kitty Girl" Tasha! I went to the Jacksonville Humane Society and adopted her last Wednesday afternoon. She's 14 weeks old now and she's brought a Ton of JOY to Mom (and me!) ever since she first came into the house! Of course, she's as curious as any kitten her age would be, but she doesn't "get into" things and tear them up. She seems to instinctively know that she can poke around and make this house her own, but she'll get in trouble if she gets too rambunctious! She also understands the meaning of a stern, "NO!" and will stop whatever she's doing and find something else to amuse herself with. She loves Mom to pieces and seems to realize that Mom isn't well, but that Mom is also the Head of the Household. When it comes to who she has bonded with as the "surrogate parent" (so to speak), that would be me. She follows me Everywhere and seems to need to be able to see me every waking moment! LOL She Loves to sprawl out on my bed and sleep for hours at a time, not caring whether or not I want to take a nap! If I do want to nap, I have to close my bedroom door or she won't leave me alone and will want to play! I must say, though, that she will sleep through the night - most of the time! :o)

Here she is again "in repose", showing her belly! If you look very closely, you can see where she was shaved for her "operation". She has also had all her shots, a bath and dip to be sure there's no fleas and she has a microchip so that if she's ever lost, she can be returned to us! :o) Not bad for a $50 investment, in my opinion. In most cases just the shots would cost more than twice that - not to mention the microchip and everything. Anyway, all I'm concerned with is that she has brought a Whole Lot of JOY to my Mom and that's worth Much more than any amount of money any day! :o) I think we're going to be a Very Happy family for quite a while, don't you!? LOL :o)