Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fighting the Grouchies

I'm feeling the grouchies today.  I'm sure it's in large part having stayed up until midnight  playing Lego Lord of The Rings on XBox!  It was a busy week of house cleaning (and hardly making a dent - at least to my preferences - but as I like to say 'some done is better than none done!'...and there's SO much to do.  Overall, I'm years behind in the deep cleaning arena, all the way back to when we first had the A/C installed and the dust that was everywhere afterward.  Then there was the remodel of two bathrooms.  Add illness and injuries, and most recently, my 18 months of back and forth travel helping my dad.  

And on that note, my dad's phone was found, I've been able to reach him once, he has called me once, the uncle has not stayed in touch whether by phone or by email :/ and a funny thing happened yesterday.  My dad's bank, but the branch in my uncle's small town, called to say that though a new power of attorney had been submitted, I had not signed to remove mine, and they were going to send forms for me to sign relinquishing POA.  At that time, the representative was still able to give me the balances of my dad's accounts, and it was very interesting.  I will preface this with...the 'missing' funds could have been set up in a separate account in order to gain a larger interest rate (like that makes any difference in today's economy), but my suspicions grow considering my uncle hasn't bothered to request any records be sent to him let alone my dad's checkbook.  I imagine the checkbook was replaced with checks bearing the new address, so that could be a non-issue.   Today, I got another call from the same bank lady, saying it wasn't necessary for me to sign the documents after all, as the change was requested by my dad.  I had told her yesterday that he has dementia.  

I had tried to call my dad yesterday, but again could not reach him.  I intend to make copies of some of the documents, some to send to my dad's tax man, and some to send to my uncle and will send the latter requiring my uncle's signature.  Perhaps my expectations of others' behaviors are too high.  

Another grouchie-inducer, there are ANTS in my sewing room.  I'm not sure what they're eating (well, right now they're eating "Terro" ant bait, lol) but this is the first we've had ants in the house since the last time I used the bait, back around the first of the year I think, and I've not spent much time in there in two months.  As long as the ants are in there, I will not be.  Last time it took about three days for them to eat through the Terro and disappear.  It doesn't matter, my sewing machine needs to go to the hospital and I've been in no hurry to get it there.  My car also needs to go to the auto spa for an oil change and check-up, but again, no hurry to get it there.  I've hardly left the house except to re-stock my pantry, go to church, go to a doctor appointment, have breakfast at IHOP with a friend, attend a memorial service, and dinner at an Asian buffet with Nick and Marty - was not happy with finding a hair in the Kimchi there, but otherwise the food was good.

If I can find my camera - might have been hauled off by the ants! - I'll try to get a quilty post done for Sunday over on WOT.  I did buy a little bit of fabric while in Oregon during those 6.5 weeks, and need to do a stash report!  The fabric still needs to be washed as well.  

And one last thing contributing to my grouchies today, since I was rather non-energetic, I thought I'd set the timer (all good intention) for an hour and continue playing XBox L-LOTR.  I played for a little over a half-hour, finishing a level, saved it, started another level, and it froze.  The XBox itself froze up, so I went to it and powered it down, powered it up, the tray opened, I took the disc out to check for any dust or prints and before I could put it back in, the tray closed.  Permanently.  It.will.not.reopen!  Grrrr.   So I will have to wait until Nick gets home from school and see if he knows how to get it to work again.  I seem to recall this may have happened once before years ago and he had to take something apart and reconnect a spring, but I could be imagining that.  

Maybe God is telling me it's time to re-focus on Him today!  He IS still in control, and will always be.  So, grouchies! BE GONE! and Lord, thank for today, grouchies or not!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Unexpected Changes

Last Saturday before returning home, I visited my dad and gave him a couple big hugs before leaving.  I had the sense that I would probably not see him again as he is very thin and I had no plans of returning until after the first of the the earliest.  He now resides in the home of others (relatives) so has them to care for his immediate needs.  I left with the understanding however, that I would still be handling his financial affairs in order to maintain cohesiveness, through the end of the year, so that all records for his tax filing would be in one place and could be submitted without difficulty.

In the last couple days, things seem to have gone awry and I was entirely excluded from any input or communications.  My dad had a psychotic medical event after taking too many Mirapex pills (for restless leg), or possibly from some other cerebral malfunction.  I found out only after receiving an email notification from his doctor's office of that day's treatment.  I tried to reach him and others to no avail.  I had also attempted to check his online banking and was locked out.  Hmmmm, I says.

Long story short, out-of-the-blue, his brother has taken over all things by way of a new Power of Attorney that supercedes any and all prior ones...namely mine.  It does not set well with me that this was done in what I perceive to be an underhanded manner without even notifying me, and as someone who automatically does not trust others until they are proven trustworthy, I cannot say I fully trust my uncle.  He insists my dad initiated this.  I'm not so sure.  Regardless, it is all out of my hands, and for the present, I will give the benefit of the doubt and provide to my uncle whatever information he needs to care for my dad.  He said he would stay in touch.  My dad has lost his cell phone.

One bright note, my dad is no longer allowed to drive, so I don't have to worry about him causing bodily harm to himself or others.  My (step)sister says that the keys have been hidden...and one set is locked in his pickup at his brothers, his own accidental doing, hehe.

God is still, and will always be, on His throne.  We will all stand before Him one day and give an account.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Home Again

After a 15+ hour drive, I made it home around 9:30 Monday night.  It took an hour-plus longer than usual as just three hours from home, when I'm tired and most anxious and excited to be getting home, I hit a construction zone.  One hour was spent wasted traveling just six miles.  There appeared to be one fender cruncher a number of vehicles behind me as I saw a smallish rental truck and another car's driver suddenly get out after everyone came screeching to a standstill after flying low at 80 mph with but a couple car lengths in between, or so it seems.  That type of driving is pretty normal on that stretch of highway...scary!  Especially with so many semis on the road too.

I sorted through the mail and bills and receipts yesterday.  Dear hubby took care of such things in my 6-week absence, but he does so only minimally as he knows I like to look at everything myself, and I'm the one who posts all of our info into Quicken.

Monday night, I brought in only a couple of my bags, then unloaded those things I was able to yesterday morning, then after dark (and after it cooled off), Marty and Nick off-loaded the two small, but too heavy for me, pieces of furniture I brought home.  One, a small cedar chest my mom had - I'd filled it with all the Corning baking / casserole dishes Mom had that my dad had boxed up for me.  The other is a small oak / glass front curio cabinet.  Both pieces fit into my Highlander which was then filled with boxes of paperwork, my sewing supplies that I'd taken with me for quilt camp, and all my other personal luggage I tend to haul with me when I'm gone so long.  I made a great attempt to make sure I could still see out the rear of my car via the rear-view mirror as I'm not comfortable with just using the side mirrors....I succeeded.  I should have taken a picture, but didn't bother.

It's good to be home.  Nick was very glad as was Marty, but Raven and Flame took until the next day to 'say' they were happy to see me. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My six weeks away from home are winding down.  I "should" be heading home on Monday.

Between now and then, I will be going to a fair, going with my aunt and cousin-in-law to the Newport (OR) Quilt Show, having pizza night with the family as a send off for me, one last visit with my dad, and packing up and trying to make everything fit in my car.

Having spent time with my dad at his new residence, some of my emotions are still conflicted, yet I'm feeling reasonably comfortable that all is ok for now.  I will continue, at least through the end of the year, in keeping an eye on his financial and medical affairs, and reassess after the first of the year.  I'm concerned about his overall health as he's still losing weight, but there seems to be no medical cause.  He is still likely expending more calories than he can take in daily.  He is not one to be told what to do so telling him to stop and rest only makes him do more.

I've stayed at my aunt's these past six weeks; it has been nice and I will miss her and my uncle and the cousins once I leave.  I am looking forward to being home with my husband, son and friends, and my kitties.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Hiatus

Well, not only is today Father's Day, but it is the first day of summer.  Out here on the west coast, it's hot and it's dry.  I don't like hot, and I don't like dry, but I can do nothing about either, nor can I move elsewhere, so guess I'll just continue to put up with what it is.

And speaking of what it is, 'it' is not at all good, but I'm trying to accept that this is God's will as an answer to the dilemma about dealing with my dad.  I may have mentioned that he has some dementia, but has largely been able to live on his own and take care of his general daily needs.  I have been taking care of his finances keeping him fully informed as well as keeping tabs on his medical events.

Unfortunately, he has chosen to not listen to the only two people (my sister and I) who actually care about his personal welfare and making sure his assets, what little he has, were protected in the event he needed long-term care.  We did not feel the need for him to be under conservatorship as he was trying to stay within his limitations and those who have never spent 24/7 time with him would not necessarily recognize him as being anything other than a little forgetful and he can be quite hostile to authority and any attempt to remove ANY control from his life.  He did recognize/self-justify that he needed the assistance I have given though by saying "I could do it, I just hate paperwork.".  A couple weeks ago, without telling me or consulting me or my sister, he put his house up for sale and it sold in two days.  He has already moved all his belongings out, and moved them into the home of his ex-wife (to whom he was married when he and my mom met and who divorced him in 1956) and their oldest daughter.  To date, he has given them a very large sum towards their debt.  When I found that out, I got upset with him and emotionally lost my cool.  In that conversation I said something I perhaps should not have, and in his dementia-mind, he took it as a (financial) threat and I believe that is the basis for his current actions of not calling and not letting me know what's going on or has been done already.  He will likely use the entire proceeds from the house sale to pay more of their debt yet it will not be enough, and he will have no resources beyond his SSI for his own care.  And, after giving them this money, he says he will still be paying her rent/helping with the monthly expenses.  He thinks she's going to (re)marry him. 

I will be driving north towards the end of this week.  I am not looking forward to many aspects of it, especially those dealing with this situation and the confrontations that are likely to ensue.  The brother who stopped speaking with me at my mom's death, is still spreading lies and false accusations. Another brother, the one who "claims" the treadle machine I brought here for safe-keeping has decided he wants that taken to an uncle's in the home town.  I could argue with him about it that my dad did give it to me, but I know my mom 'promised' it to this brother, even though it was not hers to promise.  But that's how my mom did things.  Within the family dynamic is a LOT of distrust, bitterness, resentment, frustration, lies and half-truths, and rejection.  I'm personally fighting some of those old feelings that have again cropped up after having put them to rest as I grew in Christ.  God's word says to 'train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it'.  There's a grain in that which could mean that however a child is raised, is how he will be in his life...we learned all these sins quite well as children, and only the Lord can give us the strength to 'put off' the things of evil and 'put on' righteousness, love and kindness.  My siblings do not share the faith in Christ that I have.

While I'm gone, since my dad's house is no longer available, I will be staying at my Aunt Irene's and will have less time on the computer.  That's not a bad thing really.  She and I will be going to quilt camp July 8 - 12, and I'm really hoping it will not be as hot as last year, but that's looking doubtful.  By the time I get to my Oregon destination, it's projected to be 100°F.  I will be in Oregon possibly through the 8th of August.  But then, I will be home.  Once and for all, and if what I expect to happens does, without responsibilities beyond my own to myself, my husband and my son.  I just hope I don't go through another extended bout of depression and grief as I did during these last four months at home.

Should things go the way I'm expecting they will (not by my choice) with my dad, my helping him will be rejected and changed to someone else, and my frequent trips will come to a stop.  This is not the route I would have chosen for my dad, but it does answer prayer.  When I've been gone, I've constantly worried that he could fall and be injured where he can't get to the phone or that he would die only to be found by my sister when she goes to his place on the weekends, which would be really awful for her even moreso than anyone else.  He no longer calls me, and I have not been able to reach him yet today to wish him a happy Father's Day though I had sent a card early in the week.

All of that to say, I'm taking a break from my blogs until I return and then get 'caught up' and rested.  If I really have an urge or notable event, I may slip a short (when have I ever done short?) post in, but if not, I pray everyone remains safe throughout the summer, and may your summer be blessed.  And if you're a prayer warrior, I would be ever so grateful for your prayers, especially those needed to behave and speak in a way that honors God and reflects Christ to my unregenerate family.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Thoughts

When I was young, and even up until not so many years ago, I didn't give much thought to what lie behind the meaning, or purpose, of Memorial Day (formerly known as Decoration Day).  All through school and throughout my paid-career years, the day was just another holiday, a time to get away from whatever stress was happening at the time.  While a child, our family didn't do anything special at home, it was just a day away from school.  As an adult, it was a day added to the weekend making for time to go camping, or have friends over for a good time and maybe a barbecue and marked the beginning of summer activities.

Over the last decade or so, however, I've come to realize just what this day signifies.  It's a day of cost.  Lives were lost.  Families left behind were changed forever, and not necessarily for the better.  It should be a solemn day, a reminder of these wonderful men and women who were too early lost to their earthly families.  These soldiers and their families had hopes, dreams, goals for the future.  They said goodbye to their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, children and all the other shirttail relatives and friends they had ever known.

Decoration Day was begun after the Civil War by the Grand Army of the Republic (Union) according to Wikipedia, as a day to remember those who were lost in that war.  They honored them by decorating their graves with flowers.  I didn't really know that until just last year, and while up north, went with my aunt and uncle and family members around to several cemeteries where family members are buried to place flowers on their graves.  I wasn't aware that my aunt and family followed that tradition.  In their remembrances though, it doesn't pertain to just those in the service, they make it for remembering all family that have gone before...but somehow, in my mind, and while that's a nice gesture, the deeper meaning and intent is lost.  That being, remembering those who died while fighting for either a cause they fully believed in or were compelled to fight because they were soldiers when a war broke out and it was their duty to do so.

A few from among my own ancestors, family and friends who I would like to honor today:

  • My great-great-grandfather, Richard Haas (real name) fought with the Union.  He was taken prisoner and died as a POW at Salisbury, NC.  He died from starvation, just weeks before the war ended.  He left behind in Michigan, a wife and three children, the youngest being not yet three years old.  His widow never remarried.  
  • My step-father's cousin was stationed in Pearl Harbor aboard the Utah, losing his life in the attack from Japan.  
  • In 1968 in Viet Nam, my second cousin (Gary), the only son among three children, lost his life in Long An Province.  At 15, it was the first funeral I'd attended.  I had only met him for the first time a year before at a family reunion.
  • The son of a friend I'd lost touch with for many years, gave his life in Iraq 11 years ago, leaving behind a young wife and two babies, in addition to his parents and family.  Though I didn't learn of this until a few years ago, I was heart-broken.  I knew this young man (Chris) as a 9-year old little boy with an infectious smile, dimples in his cheeks, who loved bacon. 
  • While not losing his life during his term of service, my mom's cousin Vern, lost his life a few years ago from the long-term effects of the agent orange he encountered during his tour in Viet Nam.
  • Some of my classmates in high school in the late 1960s, lost their brothers in Viet Nam, as so many did during that awful conflict. 
I recognize I am not alone with the losses of members of their family and friends, and perhaps many of my readers lost someone far more closely held to them, where the pain of that loss is an enduring reminder of the costs of war, than I.  Today, I pray for you as you remember again the heartaches of those losses.  

Let us all remember that today, Memorial Day, is a day of remembrance and honor to those who died in the service for their country.  And while we like to honor all service men and women, this holiday is separate and distinct from Veteran's Day when we honor those veteran's still living who do and who have served in the military.  God bless you all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I haven't posted any quilty stuff on Webs of Thread because, well, I just haven't done any quilty stuff all week.  I might get to some by the weekend.

What I have worked on is a little bit of genealogy.  No real research, but organizing and filing.  There's a whole lot of that to do!

I have a large quantity of very old film from back when each film shot was a 2.5" square, or 2.75" x 4.5" and strips of multiple images that are approximately 1 7/8" x 5 1/2 or 1/38 x over 5 1/2.  All before the 35mm film strips.  My goal is to scan and reprint them all.  I have done some of that in the past with my Hewlett Packard All-In-One printer, a function I didn't know it would do when I bought it, though I did have to make my own film holder to accommodate those sizes - necessity is the mother of invention I've heard.  I attempted to scan a couple nights ago, but the printer doesn't seem to want to do that anymore.  It gave me the same sound and error messages it gave me a few weeks ago when I attempted to send a fax and couldn't.  It may have something to do with a computer connection.  Marty was going to see if he could help with it last night, but I think we both forgot.  

Other distractions were on my heart and mind.  I learned on Sunday night that the son of a dear friend, going all the way back to 8th grade, was stabbed by his ex-girlfriend and died.  I cannot describe the grief I felt not just in the loss of his life and how, but for my friend's loss.  He was her only child.  He was a good 'kid' - age 38, had just bought his first house in January, he & the gal had been engaged, then a month ago, they no longer were.  All of those who knew him do not believe the account as reported in the news that he broke into her home.  He isn't here to defend himself and there's only her side of the story.  It's still under investigation, so hopefully the truth will prevail.  It's so very unbelievable and my friend has a long road ahead of her dealing with her loss and should there be a criminal case brought forth, she'll be faced with that. 

My brother who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, I have learned is now home.  He needs prayer for more than just his health and salvation.  The Lord knows those issues.  

Chicken bones and trimmings are simmering in the pot; it'll be chicken soup/stew for dinner tonight.  There wasn't a lot of meat left, so I pulled out a couple of breasts and am boiling them up separately.
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