December 15, 2015

It's been a heck of a year,

and I'm so ready for it to be over.  Many things have happened.

Oden and Bob five years ago.

My husband Bob died in late January.  He'd been stricken with cancer, but he'd been responding well to treatments.  He'd been diabetic for 40 years, and the combo of diseases was just too much for his heart.  Fortuitously, both my daughters had been able to spend time with him before it happened.

In April, my Dad's 2nd wife passed away.  My Dad died 13 years ago, but my sister and I hadn't been able to settle his estate until his wife had also died.  Nellie lived about a mile from me.  She moved within weeks of Dad death because they had bought a new home and sold their existing home.  It was a very hard time for her.  I introduced her to many people and did my best to be sure she had options.  She really never stopped grieving for Dad, and that impacted her life, of course.  About 5 years ago, she started hanging up on me whenever I'd call to check in with her.  After 3 times, I stopped calling.  After her death, I was able to guess the reason for the hangups.  She'd been to her attorney and unlawfully tried to change Dad's estate to exclude my sister and me.  She tried twice.  She did change her estate to exclude us; her estate went to a non-relative, her first husband's niece.  This niece is the same person Nellie tried to make Dad's beneficiary, twice.  It took a lot of legal help to get this taken care of.  Believe me, not all attorneys are created equal.  Things were all settled by September.

Then in September my Mom passed away from Alzheimer's. She was almost 94.  Alzheimer's, of course, is a terrible disease that robs the patient of her memories.  It also robs the family of the person she was.  When Mom's disease warranted a care facility, she moved to Oregon to be near my sister.  My daughter Sharon went to Oregon to visit her, and the move had accelerated her Alzheimer's; she had no idea who we were.  Such acceleration is typical with a move.  Even a hotel stay, being out of a patients comfort zone, can have the same effect.  Due to legal problems with burial across state lines, we weren't able to inter her ashes until almost Thanksgiving.

Oden and Mom, seven years ago.

I've signed up with a research company to see if I can participate in one of the Alzheimer's research studies that need volunteers.  Who knows what the future holds.  Maybe I can help someone, or help myself by participating.  I need to have a "study partner" in order to participate.  A husband would be their first choice; since that's not possible I've recruited one of my Tai Chi students.  Helen was very happy to help.  We have our first appointment in January.

So here we are in mid-December, and I can't wait for 2016.   I'm hoping for a great year.  I have to say that while I miss Bob every day, I am happy.  He'll always be with me, and he regularly visits me in my dreams.  He'd be very disappointed in me if I behaved like Nellie and didn't move on with my life.

Bob and I on his 70th birthday, four years ago.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my life with me,

November 17, 2015

November Check-in

My life has been busy, and full of routine; which I think is good.  I'm teaching Tai Chi twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday.  On Tuesday, I go out to dinner after class.  It's something that Bob and I always did after Tai Chi.  Since I volunteer to teach, it's my reward.  Usually one of the class members, who is also one of my neighbors, Agnes, joins me for dinner.

Another one of my routines is walking the dogs.  This is important for all three of us to get exercise.  In the morning, I usually put them in the car and we go to one of the nearby parks.  I have four parks that give us great exercise, two even have stairs, which are a real challenge with two dogs!

Since I blogged last, we were able to inter my Mom's ashes.  She passed away in September, in Oregon, and it took some time to work out all legal and logistic problems of burying her ashes in California. (Mom had already made all the arrangements to be interred next to her 2nd husband.)  My sister brought the ashes down and we had a small ceremony with my daughters.

I've lived in my house for 17 years and I've decided to get the exterior painted, and upgrade the garage door.  The painters come tomorrow and the new garage door is in place already.  The old garage door had been damaged twice in 17 years, so it made sense to replace it when I was upgrading the exterior.  I'll be happy to be rid of the white rain gutters and the stucco color will be a bit darker.  This is when I miss Bob the most.  I'm good with making decisions, but I loved bouncing ideas off of him and getting his feedback.

We're expecting El Nino this winter and I've had the roof inspected.  There were no problems.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing my life with me,

October 18, 2015

Just gettin' along

It's been over a month since I've checked-in.  Things are going pretty good.  Every day, I miss Bob like mad.  It's been remarked that I seem happy.  I am happy, and I firmly believe that Bob would be pretty upset if I changed and let depression move into my life.

My dogs are one of the reasons I keep going.  They miss Bob, too, but they still need to be feed, to go on walks and to be cared for.  I always feel sorry for people who don't have a pet in their home.  Dog, cat, bird, rabbit, hamster, or even a fish or two.

At the end of September, my cousin Carol and I went on The Ultimate Game Day Weekend tour with the Jay Buckley Baseball Tour Company.  Bob, I, Sharon and Oden have traveled with them previously.  They are a fabulous company and Carol and I had a great time.  We flew into Dallas on Thursday, and stayed there the first night, then we were bussed to Houston to see an Astros game, Astros vs. Rangers.  Their stadium, Minutemaid Park, was great.  The next day, we went to Austin for the UT Austin vs. OSU football game.  It was our first college football game.  It was hot, Texas hot, we had excellent seats, but opted to retreat to the concourse and watch the game on large TV's with all the other sane fans.

On Sunday, we went back to Dallas and attended the Dallas Cowboy football game at AT&T Park.  It was the Atlanta Falcons vs. the Cowboys and it was our first NFL game.  Monday we visited The Sixth Floor Museum, the site of President Kennedy’s assassination, in downtown Dallas, then we went back to AT&T Stadium for a tour of the stadium.  Let me just say that the Jones family did a spectacular job with the design.  What a fabulous football stadium!    That evening we saw the Detroit Tigers play the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park.  It was another fabulous day.  The only downside was that every home team we saw, lost their game!  Matt, our leader, said we must have been a jinx.

Frisco and I are Dog Obedience Training drop-outs.  Yes, it's true!  We went last Saturday to the first class, held in one of the local parks.  There was only one other doggy pupil, with a very nice Dad and Mom.  We were all there early and used the time to get to know each other.  The instructor was late, so late that I was on my way to my car to leave when she finally showed up.  We did stay for the class, but I was disappointed in her technique, poor communication skills, and the lateness was the cherry on the top.  I mulled it over and decided not to go back.  I was contemplating writing a letter to the Parks and Rec. Dept. but one of my Tai Chi students is one of five Parks Commissioners, and she said she'd make sure it was discussed at their meeting.

I've also been busy making a commissioned quilt.  Today I got the top finished and now I'll work on the quilt back.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my life with me,