Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Blessed With Friends and Family

I woke up this morning to a foot rub from Princess Two who took two days off of work to help me when I had my surgery.
The girls were all good to text, call and let me know how much they love me along with my dad who called after surgery to make sure it went well. 
I was up at Princess Two's the day before and she bought and put up a smart TV. She looked up something on youtube and walked away. The next song to come on was....... "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by a Hawaiian man. They had rainbows all through the video. 
I felt like it was my mothers way of letting me know she was thinking of me. It wasn't anyone we had heard of and weren't sure why it was the first video to come up and start playing but I took it as a good sign. 
Princess Five sent some money with the other girls to get me some flowers and they combine that with Jr. Mints which I enjoy frozen. 

I had several neighbors and members of my church call, text or come over. Some brought over soup with a cute note. Another brought over juice. 
Yesterday a friend brought over a note and some orange sticks. I felt fairly good all day and haven't had any pain meds since this morning. 
I am so blessed to have so many people that care about me and take care of me. It has been a wonderful experience.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I Have No More Gall - Bladder That Is

Princess Two got up super early with me today and took me in to get my gall bladder removed.
We arrived right on time and got ready quite quickly. Everyone was so super and there were small miracles along the way that let me know God was watching over me.  
One of my good friends is an OR nurse and he is the one I call when I am going to a party and don't want to go alone. He said he would "take good care of me." and he did. 

The surgeon is the same one that did Princess Two's gallbladder surgery after she came home sick from her mission. Here is a link to that post. It was exactly four years ago this very week. 

I wrote a letter to the Pathologist explaining the rare parasite and hoped he could see if here were any living in the gallbladder that could explain my yellow eyes. 
The Dr. sent up half in saline and half in preservative just to give the Pathologist something "living" to look at if there are any in there. 

When getting ready for the operation, a nurse came in with a nurse in training and he introduced her but as you can imagine, I was nervous and tired so I didn't really listen to her name. 
He was charting on the computer and asked her how to spell her name and when she spelled it out, it hit me. She had the name of the woman in my "parasite" dream. The same dream where the lab guy I knew helped diagnose the parasite. 
That part had already come true as that lab worker was the one I gave the 8 inch parasite to that was finally diagnosed and I hadn't worked with him before that for the parasite. In the end of the dream, a lady (with this name) walked up to me.I was standing at the front of the hospital. She had something to do with getting more information on the parasites.
I looked at Princess Two and we were in awe at this event. Just then, the anesthesiologist walks in and shakes my daughters hand and talked to her like he knew her. I guess on Sunday, they met and talked as they were both talking to a mutual friend after Princess Five had a choir performance!
He knew where she worked and they visited for some time. He then introduced himself to me and told me that his brother had purchased my dear friend Ruth's husband's Eye Care business when they both died tragically in a car accident in NZ last year. Click here for a post about that.
I shared that my cousin happened to purchase the home of his brother who sold it to come and purchase the eye care business here! He knew my cousin and his family. It is such a small world!   

I did well in the surgery and my gallbladder looked fine which was good and bad as it may not be the cause of my problems then but good that the surgery went fine and hopefully I can start feeling better. I has nausea and lost my "coke" before getting some great anti-nausea IV drugs that made me loopy as anything. 

Throwing up my pain pill made it hard to get anything down and to control the pain until they got me something for the nausea and then re-administered my pain medication.

After that, I was great. I did have a horrible time breathing with the anesthesia until it wore off. I struggled lots for air and every time I would fall asleep, my O2 sats would plummet into the 70's. Princess Four was worried as when I got to the floor, I was blue and my lips were blue. She was concerned until I got some oxygen on and did some deep breathing but because I was struggling for air, I wouldn't let them give me anymore pain medication because I couldn't breath so I think that is why the pain got away from me causing the nausea. 

Once home, I am doing great. Not in much pain. Played a game with the girls and we watched a movie before bed. I took a 2 hour nap before that and ate as well. I am really feeling good so I think all the prayers and concern paid off! Thank you all for your prayers in my behalf. I continue to pray I have a quick recovery and feel better and that the pathologist can find something of worth in the end with all I have gone through, it would be nice to help others who are suffering as well.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Czech Republic Blue Crystal Chandelier Dilemma

My mother was a national beauty queen. During the year of her reign, she took a modeling job for a car company called "Skoda" in which she traveled around Europe and behind the "Iron Curtain" into communist territory and modeled it at shows. 

When she went to the Czech Republic, she said that there were no shops with anything in the windows or in the streets and that all the buildings were tall, square and of the same make and build. There was no color anywhere. She brought back a black wool skirt that was what all the women were wearing as the communists wanted everyone to look and live the same.  

She was able to purchase some Czech crystal goblets there and also, a Blue Crystal Chandelier. My entire life, this chandelier hung somewhere in our home.

My mother LOVED her crystal chandelier and basically, crystal in general. I think to her, it represented the only color and difference or originality that the country she visited had to offer as everything else had been stripped away. 

They took their culture from them in so many ways but since they were known for their crystal making skills, they were allowed to keep that as it would furnish crystal for the military and government needs. To my mother, I think it represented peoples freedom as that was about all they had left to control. 

When I took my mother back to Czech Republic a few years ago for the Skoda Grand Opening of their museum, she gave some of the workers a copy of a cd she had recorded when she sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for ten years. 

The women she gave the CD's to said they had never hear a choir sing in their entire life! They were about 30 years old! During the time they were occupied, they were not allowed to congregate and meet for church or choirs etc. so after the occupation was over, they had lost much of their culture, folk music, costumes, traditions etc. 

I was so sad that they hadn't heard choirs. Some of my fondest memories have been singing with choirs, touring with them etc. I LOVE music and don't know what I would have done without it in my life. 

I am still going through my mothers estate and found the box with the blue crystal chandelier in it. A few years back, she had a house fire and many of her things were in that house and burned. The chandelier had gotten damaged and crystals broken over the years and when I unwrapped it, I would say that at least 1/3 of the crystals are broken beyond help. Some of it was missing or perhaps broke and was thrown away. 

What was left probably wouldn't have been of value to anyone as there were chips in many of the strands that were there. 

I thought about making a Christmas tree ornament with a crystal for each of the grand children but then one family may get more than another and I don't think my girls would want a blue ornament amid their color schemed trees yet many of my siblings just have odd ornaments and colored lights so it could work for them. 

I personally thought it would be nice to hang it on a string and hang if from my rear-view mirror so it could catch the light while driving and would remind me of my mom often. Others didn't think they would like that. 

The other thought I had was hanging it on ribbon and using it as a window crystal hanging off one of the suction cups you put on a window. So, I cleaned the entire thing washing it twice with "Totally Awesome Cleaner" which I just sprayed on the crystals and off dripped the greasy, dirty mess from the fire and years of use. I then rinsed them well and hand dried each crystal and they came out sparkling!   

My siblings didn't give much input when I asked what they would like me to do but everyone wanted some of the crystals so I just divided it into even sections and gave everyone either one of the group with a pointed crystal or one with a round crystal tray type thing as there weren't enough of either for everyone to get one of each. I personally think I am going to make something to hang in my car since I don't have anything blue in my house. 

I think my mother would be happy to know that all her kids have a part of that item which brought her so much joy and memories over the years.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Not Exactly Thanksgiving Tradition Part 2 - Mowing the Lawn

After yesterdays post, I figured my weird Thanksgiving day posts were over, back to the normal. Today was anything but normal. It was a very sunny day which was nice as I have been having a storm or pressure headache nearly daily for 1 1/2 weeks now. 
I had someone mowing my lawn this year due to Princess Five's accident. She couldn't mow it, I have been fighting the headaches, gallbladder issues, thyroid issues, and the fatigue from the parasites along with being super busy with my mom, her death blah blah blah. 

I was SO grateful when "someone" paid to have my lawn mowed for the year. The people that mowed it did such an amazing job, my yard hasn't looked that good in years! Of course they stop mowing in September but actually did come in October when I shared that Princess Four was having her farewell. 
I looked out the window and the leaves finally had fallen from the "big tree" and I don't know why they take so long to fall but I have this problem every year that they don't fall until it snows and then I have a blanket of snow over the leaves, making them wet, then they make a mushy blanket and I have to rake very heavy leaves. 

When I looked out and noticed they weren't really "wet" yet, I asked Princess Three to help me mow them up as raking them takes forever and one year I hurt my shoulder and it hasn't been the same since. Since the mower hadn't been used all year, she couldn't get it started. I went out and got it going and it was so nice out, I mowed the lawn and it was still nice out so I sprayed some dandelions that were as yellow and fresh as on a spring or summers day. 

I can say that I have never mowed the lawn on Thanksgiving before. That is a first. As I mowed, I was listing all the things in my head that I am grateful for and there are so many things. I appreciate living in a free land, having a yard, having a working mower, not having had to mow all summer, being healthy enough to mow etc etc. 

I gave thanks for so many things today, but to me, it seemed like any other day as I am always listing what I am grateful for or saying "prayers" of gratitude.

The girls and I didn't do that traditional meal but did have some of the favorites from the day. 

We put up the tree with minimal ornaments as Grand-Princess and Prince are coming for Christmas so we put out our "kid" friendly stuffed animals and books so she can feel free to explore them. 

We put out the stockings as we will have almost everyone home for Christmas. Princess Four will of course not be joining us as she is on her mission but I have a stocking and gifts in a bag ready to send to her for the holiday. 

I bought a "turkey breast" but was sorely disappointed when it was 1/4 fat and for the price, I could have bought an entire turkey but thought the clean up would be easier with me heading out of town and then Surgery on Monday. I also didn't want to deal with leftover food I probably won't be able to eat for a week or two. 

I  loved having the girls here and getting to play some games and enjoyed them singing carols while playing the guitar and ukulele. They sounded so good but didn't want me to video tape them because they didn't get "ready" to go out but said they would let me video tape them tomorrow so hopefully that will happen with them getting ready to head home.  
My blog post may not be exciting on Monday or all week depending on how well the surgery goes. Wish me luck! I hope I don't need it but would appreciate it if you would keep me in your prayers! 

I hope you had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving and am sorry that I didn't post my original post where I wanted to give gratitude for you all. Hopefully, I can do that soon but please know I am grateful for everyone of you!       

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Not Exactly Thanksgiving Tradition - Fall Cleanout

This is NOT going to be a traditional Thanksgiving for our family. Princess One goes to her in-laws every other year so we get her for either Christmas or Thanksgiving. 
This year is our year for Christmas so we are missing them today. Princess Four has left for her mission so that leaves three of the girls home for the holiday. It has already been a weird day and not very traditional. 

Princess Five is behind in her on-line college class so she spent time studying while the other two girls and I played a game. 

We went shopping for some food and I am not doing a full turkey for the first time in ever on thanksgiving. We bought a turkey breast and I have frozen squash and corn. They didn't want roasted vegetables so we are having carrots and dip while we cook. Mashed potatoes and bottled gravy and some yams. Not doing the salads etc. 
I think part of my problem is that we had a full Thanksgiving meal with Princess Four two weeks ago with just three of us so in my head, I did the "meal." The fact that we have to head to a family event six hours drive on Saturday also makes me not want to have to deal with all the leftovers as I am having my surgery Monday morning. 

With all that, we also aren't doing real "Thanksgiving" activities. The girls cleaned out Princess Five's closet and got rid of about two bags of clothes! Can't say I was disappointment with that as Princess Two has a gift for going through things and consolidating etc. Yahoo for cleaning things out and having help to do it!    

I can give thanks for that! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Grandma and Stewie Plotting From Heaven

The weirdest thing happened to me this week. It is things like this that make me KNOW that God in Heaven exists and KNOWS and cares what is going on in my life. 

For the past few months, I have been editing my mothers memoirs. Before she passed away, we paid someone to publish her book. She wrote a book 50 years ago and started editing it over and over through the years and her "big regret" in her life was that she never published her book. 

She has talked about this book my entire life and in my mind, the book was written for the people 50 years ago and isn't as relevant now.
My family all said they were too busy to edit it and that they didn't know the stories or about the pictures so I ended up with it. 

At first, I was stressed and frustrated as there was only supposed to be a few questions in each chapter but as I have started reading it, it is much more time consuming than I thought it would be. 

BUT, the reality, is that I have been enjoying reading about my mothers life. I had no idea of the things that my mother gave up to have a family. 

Because I am so busy, I take the book with me when I am going somewhere I think I may have a few minutes. 

I took it with me the other night to the National Honor Society meeting and got a few pages edited. On our way out of the meeting, I ran into my mothers best friends daughter. 

My mother had a best friend since she was 10. Many of my early memories were with her best friend, whose nickname was "Stewie."

Stewies grand-daughter was being inducted into NHS. Her mother asked how I was doing and I was in a hurry so I said, "great" and was going to head off and she asked what was going on in my world. I had the book in my hand and told her I was busy trying to edit the book and shared that it was taking much longer than I thought. 

She commented that she found some pictures of my mother in her mothers estate stuff recently. She said they are of my mother in her mom's wedding party. I have been through all my mom's pictures and have never seen any pictures of my mother in her wedding. I was excited to see what she found. 

Yesterday, I went and picked up the pictures and took them to Walmart and scanned them and made her a cd disc of them to thank her for allowing me to borrow them. 

I was SO excited when I saw my mother in the crown as she was only allowed to wear it for two occasions as she had to have an armed guard with her when she wore it as it was made of real jewels. 

She also had pictures of the big 21st birthday party they had for my mother. The picture at the top is my mother with her best friend and the actress Judy Holliday.        

My favorite picture is the one of my mother, her best friend and her friends mother who was a famous poetess. I also love the one of my mother in the wedding party as the maid of honor. 

Back to the original comments at the top, I KNOW that my mother and her best friend wanted me to have these pictures as my mother mentions "Stewie" in the book in several spots and I didn't have any good pictures of the two of them from back then. I have many from my life when they threw parties for each other etc but none from before they were married and none that were very good. The ones I have were all from my mothers little "brownie" camera and weren't that great so to have these adorable pictures is so wonderful. 

I can see my mother and Stewie maneuvering us to help me find the pictures for the book. I wasn't even supposed to be at the NHS thing as my daughter wasn't being inducted but I am SO glad I was. 

I am so grateful for the pictures and for the opportunity to edit the book and getting to know my mother in a whole new way. Hopefully I can finish the last 150 pages before the new year so I can get a few more things off my list!