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Toby

My Toby crossed the rainbow bridge Thursday and I am sure into the loving arms of my father-in-law.

After I lost Butch (my huge Black Lab) who I had for 10 years to cancer, the kids thought Mom needed another dog.  Every time I would go outside and he wasn’t there under my hand, I would cry.  So one Sunday in November 2001, Tara and Greg wanted to meet in Columbia. They wanted me to come over and arranged for Jimmy to have something else to do.  I should have known they were up to something but not thinking anything about it, I drove over and met them.  They told me we were going to the Human Society just to look at dogs, not getting anything I promise, they said.

So we walked up and down the cages, puppies barking and jumping on the cages, older dogs shying away and then barking.  BUT one stood out, this yellow lab-Akita mix that just looked at me with those huge brown “I will love you forever” eyes. I stopped at his cage for some reason and he walked up and licked my hand.  I knelt down and he put his nose right up to mine and I knew I was going to have him as my buddy.

We talked to the employees there and because we didn’t live in Boone County, they didn’t want to let me adopt him.  We went home and I thought well, that was great, just got my heart broke again.  Not saying anything to anyone about how much I loved him.

I guess Greg could tell because he told Tara that they were going to adopt him and give him to me since they lived in Boone County at the time and had a fenced yard.  So one day, here they come with him.  When they let him out of the car, he walked right up and sat at my feet and gave me that “Elvis” smile only he could do.

That Thursday we had Jimmy’s family up for Thanksgiving and we put him in the garage because they like to shoot skeet after lunch and we didn’t know how he would react.  Well he chewed the insulation off the door in one spot.  See, he didn’t like being penned in, oh well, lesson learned.  We never penned him up, he was able to run free all of his days.

He never let anyone touch his ears except his momma, the vet learned because he would growl at her when she examined him.  He hated to ride in a car or truck and the only time he went was going to the vet.  I would have to physically carry him in their office.  He loved his home and didn’t want to go anywhere else.  When we would bring kittens home for the shed, he would love them to death, literally!  He would play with them and lick them and next thing you know they were dead.  He never understood that he couldn’t be their parent.

When I came out the door, he was usually there to be with me and slept on the patio even in the coldest weather unless we would make him go to the shed to sleep.

Every night about 9:30 he would look to the south and start barking, I am convinced there were deer there and he was barking at them.  Jimmy said it could be any thing.

He was gentle with our grandkids and Ryker could do anything to him even though he was getting old and a little grouchy with others.  If Ryker got too rough, he would go hide out somewhere.  Ryker called him my spikey dog because he wouldn’t let me brush his hair and it got really matted.

He didn’t like it when you got the gun out or fireworks, he was terrified of fire and I often wondered what he lived through before we got him.  He would not get in the water, crazy for a lab right?  Except on the very hottest of days.  Ironic that he died on the hottest day of the year so far. He loved the cooler fall days and would run around jumping and barking even this past fall when it was hard for him to walk.

He always wanted to put his head on my leg when I was sitting outside and would try to sit on my lap if I was on the ground.  He wanted to be the one nearest me and not have the other dogs as close.  I always had to pet him first when we came home or he would bark at me.  He was a huge comfort to me and I hope we provided him with a good life.

Toby, I miss you every second of every day and I hope you have met up with Grandpa Jim and are walking the fields of Heaven with him, chasing birds and maybe being a little gentler with the cats/kittens in heaven.

 

Jimmy’s Aunt Nancy passed away peacefully on Friday early evening.  She was an amazing Aunt.  Born in the 1930s, she saw so many things in her life.  When it wasn’t the norm for ladies to go to college, she did where she met the man she would spend the rest of her life with.  They had just celebrated their anniversary a month before she passed away.

She was a huge MU basketball fan and they were season ticket holders for many years.  She loved her Tigers.  She also was all about her family.  Her grandchildren were her whole world along with her husband.  She kind of adopted my two girls and since they worked in the health care field, if she was in the hospital and she would see them, they would have to come visit her as much as possible.

She also wasn’t shy about telling you if you were wrong or did something stupid.  One time at Christmas, Jimmy’s brother Bill was trying to help her and moved a chair out of her way.  Little did he know, she was going to sit in it and fell on the floor.  Bill felt so bad and was trying to help her up and she was calling him a dumb ass.  He truly felt bad about it.

She loved to travel with Uncle Kenny and they even went to Scotland.  He collected bricks and traveled to find odd ones and she went along with him and found things to do.    Later in life she learned that she loved to color and gave a beautiful picture of sunflowers to Shawna and Caleb after their wedding because they had sunflowers in their wedding.

So tomorrow night we will go to visitation to say our good byes for now and be broken hearted for a while but we know she is in a much better place and not in pain anymore, drinking her Coke and enjoying visiting with family in heaven.

Aunt Nancy, you have left a big hole in the fabric of our family, but the memories will mend it slowly.  Until we see you again, we love you.

 

After being off a week being the hubby’s nurse, I am heading back to work.  My desk was semi-clean when I left and hopefully it will be the same when I get back.  It is kind of a joke in our office to pile stuff on the missing person’s desk while they are gone so who knows what will be waiting for me.  I have some plans to complete and we will see how that goes, usually my plans and my days don’t work together very well.

The first thing I have to do is catch up on what I missed while I was out.  I do know I need to make several phone calls and return messages that have came through my e-mail and voicemail on the cell phone.  I am thinking the day will probably go fast for me.

I have made good use of my time off, taking care of Jimmy; cooking and cleaning, helping him shower (wow, you don’t know how much work that is for someone that just had a knee replacement), feeding the dogs, feeding the wood stove (both are chores that he usually takes care of), keeping ice in his polar pack to reduce the swelling in his knee.  And squeezing in some sewing time.  Lots of baby quilts were made, most of them just needed to be quilted and bound, which I am binding the last one today but yesterday I pieced more so I need to get them ready to quilt and finish up.

I have read a couple of books and played a little on the tablet.  Spent some time on Pinterest, facebook and responding to e-mails.  The grandkids have been over a couple of times and Brock spent the night Sunday since he didn’t have school on Monday.  He taught me a couple of things.  Thanks for that, I will never look at Beef Stew the same again.  We watched my beloved Cowboys lose and he gave me grief, then him and Caleb watched the Steelers beat the Chiefs.  Ryker and Adrianna are going to spend the night Friday night since their brother is wrestling in Kansas City Saturday and they don’t want to drive all the way up there and sit around then drive all the way back.

So even though life isn’t totally back to normal, it is getting there rather quickly.  Jimmy is improving every day with the help of his wonderful therapist Michelle and before you know it the walker and cane will be gone and he will be walking normal again, hopefully by Spring he will be doing great and ready to start mowing again.

We broke out!

Yesterday afternoon, the joint doctor came by the hospital room and asked Jimmy if he wanted to go home!  Of course, he did and they have been talking about a severe winter storm coming in with a major accumulation of ice over the next few days.  So we were trying to escape and get settled before any precipitation started.

They were discharging people left and right and it took us less than an hour after the doctor told us to the time we were in the truck heading out.

We came home, got settled, took some phone calls and then Jimmy decided he needed to nap and I laid on the couch.  One and a half hours later I woke up, stayed up for about 30 minutes and then went to bed for the night.  Jimmy woke up in the night and went to the bathroom and I didn’t hear him.  I woke up about 4:30 for the day and feel so rested.

Jimmy has already had home health out to visit today and not sure when therapy will make it out with the weather.  We are prepared for the bad weather.  I have the wood stove going and it is about 75 degrees inside, the weather is about an hour away according to the weather reports.  I have stuff for chili and soup and omelets, so if we lose power, we are good, I have hand sewing I can do but I have my quilting machine back from servicing so I will be working back there until we lose power (if we do).  Friends and neighbors know they are welcome to come stay if they lose power, we will feed you and offer you entertainment and a place to stay (even though we are not an official shelter, we will be offering shelter!).

Those of you in the path of Winter Storm Jupiter, be safe and stay in if at all possible.  If you have to work, be safe and don’t put yourself in harms way.  The Weather Service is asking for reports, so don’t forget to help them out.

Our Crazy life

About 4 years ago, Jimmy had his first joint replacement.  I am not sure if he enjoyed it or not, but about 15 months ago, he needed a knee replaced.  He has done wonderfully with both of them.  Followed therapy’s orders and listened to the doctor for the most part.  He has been limping along with his other knee for a while and we had to get him through Shawna’s wedding so tomorrow is the day!  Yikes, I think once again I am more nervous than he is.  I probably won’t sleep very much tonight and I can feel my stomach feeling queasy.

I don’t know why I get so nervous about this, he has had several surgeries and comes through them so much better than when he goes in.  Yes, I will probably cry when they take him back (like I always do) and now you know why I don’t really want anyone there with me.  I usually find my way to the chapel to say a prayer for the surgeon (Thanks for taking such good care of him Dr. Anz and your amazing team) and his team, a prayer for the recovery nurses and everyone that has a hand on my husband.  Then I turn everything over to God and work on whatever I brought with me to keep me occupied.  I periodically check the screen to see where he is at in the rotation.  Sometimes I see people I know and talk to them, sometimes I keep to my self but I always get to walk with him to his room.  Every time he has had a joint replacement, he is up walking the same day, bugging the doctor to allow him to come home early.

Please pray for him, the surgery team and the hospital staff as we prepare to do this one more time (and I hope the last one he has to go through!).  Will be posting after he gets home and hopefully I can get some pictures.

We have had a little bit of winter but this week, it is come back with a vengeance.  They warned us that it was going to get cold and they were right this time.  After suffering through 60 degrees on Christmas Day, we had a low of -5 Thursday night/Friday morning.  For those of you that know me, I was loving Christmas Day.  Cold weather is not my friend, it triggers my asthma and makes it hard for me to breath.

It also forces me to stay inside, therefore I have to find something to do.  So I have been busy quilting, well at least piecing the tops lately.  I am going to start quilting them this weekend since it is so cold and I don’t want to get outside for anything.  I think I have 8 baby quilt tops completed so I need to get busy quilting. Plus Jimmy is having a knee replacement this week so I need something to keep me occupied waiting for him.  Hand binding quilts are a great way to pass the time. AND we have 4 babies coming in our extended family this year plus other friends that have babies that are due.  So I probably need to work on baby quilts all winter just to keep up.

I think I saw that it was 8 weeks until spring and I can’t wait.  Plus that will get me really close to the next grandbaby’s arrival.  Well, by spring, Tara should be in the last trimester.

So until spring, I will be hidden in my sewing room, working on baby items and praying for warmer weather and the babies that I am making presents for.

Well, on one of the last blog posts I told you we are expecting our 4th grandchild.  About 3 weeks ago, our youngest daughter told us they were expecting as well and #4 and #5 will be just months (if not weeks) apart in age.  We are all beyond excited for this to occur next summer.  Tara’s actual due date is May 22 and Shawna’s date is July 23rd.  Do you all know anyone else that has that birthday??  Of course, it is our princess and she is so excited.  July 24th is Caleb’s brother’s birthday, so they have a number of birthdays they could deliver on.  Our family seems to be pretty good at doing this, but everyone says it is because there are so many of us (that may be true!).  So expect to see pictures of two little bundles of joy in the late spring and summer!

It is fun listening to them tell us at what stage the baby is developing and the grandkids telling us what size the baby is (pea, lemon, pear, apple, whatever they come up with!).

Now you know why I have been working so hard on baby blankets.  There are several friends in the community that are expecting babies but at the top of the list are those two that will belong to us.

Please pray for uneventful pregnancies for both daughters and easy delivery and quick recovery time.
And for those that are figuring up, no it wasn’t a honeymoon baby like Rachel Ross and I thought would happen.