Friday, March 23, 2018

November 2017: The New Chapter

Well, in November the day before Thanksgiving, Marie was admitted to the Nursing Home here in Stockton.
She had not fractured her knee, but it was in a brace as well as her wrist. In other words, she was a mess!
She said it wasn't the first time she had been away from home for Thanksgiving, in fact it was the third time. Once before in the Nursing Home and once in the hospital many years before.
While Marie was rehabbing, Fran and I went to work on her home. She had formerly kicked people out of her house from bath aides to Meals On Wheels, to housekeepers. She informed Fran more than once she was not dead yet!!
So he took doors off for easier entrance, we bought new devices that were smaller and easier to maneuver, and we rented a hospital bed.
Fran painted, I had my housekeeper help me clean cupboards and scrub walls and dishes etc.
When Marie came home, it was not finished, but much better. At that time Fran and I decided for sure that I was the one to take care of her mother.
I want to point out that not only because of her advanced age, but also because she is deaf and blind in one eye and poor vision in the other she needed full time care during the day.
I had been in long term care positions from A-Z, but had never done the actual care, even though I did teach some CNA classes for their certification. You have to realize that was over 30 years ago. I am almost 74 now and taking care of a 102 year old disabled woman who has very definite opinions on what should and should not happen in her home.
Therapy was discontinued after three weeks due to her not being able to stand on her feet. Many falls occurred to the risk of not only Marie, but to Fran and myself as well.
Knowing some of the Medicare laws and not knowing the newer Medicare laws that had been changed in those 30 years I plowed through a bunch of red tape and secured no hospital bed because she had no diagnosis to tell the Red Tape People (Marie's words.) Just old age. I did however, get a Hoyer Lift which enabled her to go to the living room and eat her meals and sit in her chair and watch television.
Without the lift she would have been not only housebound, but also bed bound.
Along the way, she became non-verbal. She now whispers, moves her lips, or shouts at me when I make her angry! I know, I don't understand either, but that's the way it is.
At a point about three weeks ago she wanted no food or fluids. It looked to us as the beginning of the end. Then going without water hurt her and I explained it was going to get worse. She is now eating two acceptable meals a day and drinking about a litre of water and other fluids a day. Her meals are tiny and are not big enough to gain back the weight that she has lost.
I am able to now go to my home across the road at night because she does not need assist at night time.
So, what to do with my time, hmmm. I know I will open up my blogs again and start a new one. I am having so much fun "talking." I love to talk and Marie doesn't talk and my husband tends to zone in on his television and computer games and he does spend several hours here at Marie's house.
She had no internet!!! She does now and that makes everybody happy. Like the old saying goes, "When Mama ain't happy nobody is happy" The same holds true with when " Mama is happy most everybody else is happy."
I have lots of things to look forward to this year. I can't wait to tell you all about them.
See you tomorrow!

Thursday, March 22, 2018


I would like to take a minute to thank one of my new followers.
Her name is Gwen and she is a lovely lady.
 A while back I was on a mission to find where my grandfather was buried. I searched and I searched. She had the answer for me within hours. I am so grateful to her even though it wasn't the news I wanted, at least I found out where his final resting place is.
Gwen Doreen Kubberness seems always willing to help if she can.
 Thanks again, Gwen, my brother and I now know where he is, but your information left us with volumes of questions for our now deceased parents. It is what it is.

November 2017

The first part of November Fran and I visited about my improved health. It had been a long time since I had fallen. I wasn't using my cane anymore and I felt great. He and I were going out to eat and going shopping together. The big day was when I walked Walmart just using a shopping cart for a crutch.
I had not walked a Walmart store for years and years. I had always used a power chair, much to the chagrin of other shoppers, or Fran pushed me in a wheelchair with an attached basket.
We discussed two reasons for my improved health, one being the medicine change and the other I was in remission. Both options were wonderful. The remission option I had gone through before and remission gave me false hope that I would always feel good. Medicine change was the option I was hoping for.
One day I went to my mother-in-law's house and she told me that she wanted to go to the doctor. I, of course, asked her what was wrong. She said she had hurt her wrist maneuvering her wheelchair into her bedroom.  I called my husband and the doctor. The doctor had an opening that afternoon and Fran inspected her floor and spotted a dip in the floor which made pulling herself in her wheelchair difficult.
I took Marie into her bedroom to help her change her clothes and sat down on her bed beside her and she laid her head on my shoulder and said, "I can't do it anymore." Tears choked me, but in a matter of fact voice I told her that she had three options; she could move in with us again, she could go to the nursing home to live, or I could take care of her in her home. Of course, the last option was the best for her and for Fran and I.
I told Marie that I would take care of her like she was my own mama. She softly smiled and said, "I'm not fussy, but I would like you to cook for me." That day was the beginning of the rest of my life as I knew it at that point. Marie was 102 years old and little did she know it, but she was going to fall in about two weeks time and in fact, go to the nursing home for rehab for her wrenched knee.
 She was knitting me a pair of slippers for Christmas the day that she fell. She wanted to stay up late that evening and needed the light on behind her chair. She turned wrong and fell over her wheelchair and that was that. She pulled the pin on her life line locket, the ambulance came and she decided she wanted to go to the emergency room to make sure her knee was not fractured. Her knee was not fractured, but her 102 year old muscles and tendons didn't stretch like they used to and the doctor decided she needed physical therapy to help her achieve the goal of going home again. That was the day before Thanksgiving.
Tomorrow I will tell you what Marie, Fran and I accomplished in the next two weeks.
Wet hair on a cold winter's morning at Marie's house.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

October 2017: Where Did I Leave My Cane?

Fran and I love going to sales. Any kind of sales, yard sales, garage sales, estate sales. This includes flea markets inside and outside. I have a cane in each vehicle and 2 in the house; one on each end since we live in a mobile home.
One day in September when Fran's niece and her family was here I lost my cane. Everyone was looking all over for it because I needed it! The weekend was Labor Day and Stockton had a town yard sale day with sale after sale going on. Who knew where in the world I had left it. I figured someone had sold it on their sale. Someone found it and I was so relieved.
As time went by on into October, Fran found himself back tracking our steps looking for my cane. One day he found it at a flea market out of town and they had put it back hoping I would be back for it. They are open only 3 days a week so it took several weeks to find it. After that day, Fran and I talked and decided if I kept forgetting my cane, I probably didn't need it. I now keep it in the vehicles for "just in case" days. In case of rough ground especially. You folks that have never been dependent on a cane have no idea how freeing it is to be able to peruse narrow aisles of flea markets and not have to be reliant on a cane to help you maneuver them.
We live in a small town of 1800 people and a lot of the people in town know us by name. Fran has been singing at the Walnut Festival for years until just the last few, and of course, he sang  karaoke at the Viking Club for years before I met him. My point being is that generally when we walk into stores in town they call us by name or always smile and ask how we are doing today. I love small towns.
Getting back to flea markets. I have one flea market that knows me by name because I can even call her on the phone and ask if she has this or that. The this or that is generally something put of the ordinary for our fifth wheel, my teapot collection, or for Marie's house.
One day I asked her if she had a ceramic paper towel holder; she said she did. I couldn't believe it. I wanted it for the fifth wheel because it would be heavy for the counter and I didn't want holes drilled in the wall for a wall mount one. I love it and it is just what I wanted.
The camper is generally stocked with special purchases from flea markets.
Tomorrow I will tell you what happened in November 2017. The start of my new life. See you then.
This little cartoon lady is no longer me!!


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

September 2017

In September, the Missouri RX program was discontinued. That was a state program that was a 50% discount on prescriptions. My seizure medicine went from affordable to not affordable. Having a grand mall seizure is an experience that people never want to have after having just one. I have had several. In my case the seizure aftermath lingered for days; forgetfulness, foggy brain feeling, just a horrible thing to have to go through.
Well, what to do? I called my insurance company and told them what was happening in Missouri and the importance of me having a medicine that I could afford and did they have something. I asked the nurse for three medicines that I could research and that's when Google and I became really good friends.
I did my research and then called my doctor. He and I agreed on a new medicine and guess what? It cost $5.00 a month. It has no side effects and I feel better than I have in years.
My 55th class reunion was in September of last year and we went to Iowa to see my old friends that I hadn't seen in forty years. I had seen some of them individually, but as a group it had actually been forty five years. Oh my, did we have a lot to talk about!
I had only been taking the new medicine for about two weeks and was still having some trouble walking, but I could tell something good was going on.
When I was in high school I had three really good friends, Joan, Pam, and Sharon. Sharon lives a long ways away and couldn't come, but Joan and Pam and I got to visit a lot.
Class of 1962 that attended 55 years since graduation!
I knew almost everyone, but one lady had me stumped and of course, she enjoyed it immensely. We talked and talked and finally I remembered her. Oh my gosh, fifty five years is a long time.
I also visited the cemetery and decorated graves of my mother and father, and sister and grandparents and a lot of walking on rough ground.
I got to see my brother and his wife and her mother and once again I just talked their ears off!
Keith took my husband and I on a tour of Cherokee. The last time I was there was for my mother's funeral and hadn't been back since. Things, (buildings and people and streets and stores and everything was so different than what I remembered. Especially a well known land mark, Pilot Rock. It looked so small!
Fran and I at the dinner held for us at Spring Lake
Francis and I went to Aurelia to visit my mother's brother who was soon to celebrate his 101st birthday. My mother so wanted to live to be 100, but she did live a long life of 90 years.

Well that was just one weekend and there is just so much more I have to say! I hope you join me for my chatter, I do so love to tell stories.
Me, Pam and Joan

My brother Keith and his wife Linda

The New Chapter Of My Life

After three years of not posting to Lu's Place, I realized that I had been using Facebook to tell my stories about my crazy fun life. I love to keep in touch with my family and friends on Facebook, but I really miss blogging and my blog friends, whom I'm sure think that I have croaked. I am getting up there you know.
I downloaded my Cherokee posts that I thought people wanted, but evidently they didn't. (no comments) So I am back!
I have a 102 year old mother-in-law that I am now taking care of in her own home. I can't believe I am doing this because I have M.S. Due to a medicine change I have turned the corner and am now able to walk without a cane, I don't fall, and I am able to care for this dear sweet lady. This is Marie Lizotte laughing and enjoying her company that helped her celebrate her one hundredth birthday. I write a blog about her and have shared many posts about her and her family and her extended family. I invite you to read about this amazing lady at  
I have discovered something as I have renewed my blogging on Marie's blog that people are very hesitant to be followers and make comments. I think this is that since cell phones are the device that many people use to read about her, and not big computers. Ahem, you cannot see the followers button unless you continue to scroll and see a tiny little statement that says "view web version". When you tap on that, sakes alive it shows the followers, the page views, the archived posts all kinds of things that you can be part of. I would just love it if you would be part of my life again, because I just love to talk!! 

The picture you see of me is when I used to go to the beauty shop! Can't go any more because Marie can't be left alone, but she doesn't care if my roots show.
I will be talking to you soon if the good Lord is willing and like my dad used to say and the creek don't rise.
Oh, by the way, things have changed in the last three years now you can print and save and email my posts. Let's have fun and maybe even stir the pot a bit.

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Mama's Red Stilts

I read some comments on the website I enjoy about my hometown in Cherokee, Iowa. I learned yesterday that there over 900 people that belong to that site.
One of the people reminiscing was a gal that I knew that said she used her wooden stilts to go to the Cedar grocery store.
I thought I had used up all my old memories, but when I read that, I remembered a story that my mother told me about her red wooden stilts.
The stilts were a gift from her father. I remember him as very stern and I just can't remember him smiling, but when Mom told me about those stilts that day, she smiled and her eyes just sparkled remembering how much fun she had on those wonderful stilts.
It is really really difficult to think of  my 80 year old mother as an 8 year old having such a wonderful time with her new toys.

Hopefully I will have some new memories I can share this year.