Sunday, June 25, 2017

It's the little things

Yesterday while outside dealing tending to the pond, I found myself thinking Denny would tell me that I was feeding them wrong...he often said tell me, how is dropping pellets into the water wrong?  Anyway, I plopped them down and the fish as usual just ignored me.  My thought is if they eat they will survive, if not , oh well.  Just those little things that pop into my head.  As I cooked the ravioli for my dinner I could hear Denny say "save some of the pasta water like Lidia does" (Bastianich).  While watering the few plants in the garden that still are alive he would say be sure to give them enough...those little things he would say.  In the afternoon we would watched a movie and it would always be my choice, well he would offer 2 and then I would pick one.  There have been no movies in the afternoon for awhile now...maybe I should start to choose 2 to find one...those little things.  Whenever I sat to do needlework he would ask "what are you working on" even as he was in the hospital he would ask.  He always took great interest in what I was creating.  He thought there was nothing that I could not do with my needles.  I have not picked up the needlework since that next day.  Today I promise myself to finish those one is asking.... those little things.  I did finish the last of the Affirmation Words...
This project has been so helpful in this difficult time.  Each word was so appropriate. He approved each word as it was finished at the hospital.  It will be finished in his memory for Denny and me.  I have to believe my Denny is finally at peace.  His last day was not and I could do nothing to help him.  Now I wait for me to find some peace.....

Saturday, June 24, 2017

In My Heart

There is a very special place in my heart where my memories, tucked into the corner is a place reserved for my Denny. Today I found a note that has been on the fridge for just about a year dated June 16 2016. It is a small note that simply says, " Water is in the pot...Love the tea fairy". It is one of many little notes that Dennis would write to me. How lucky I have been to have had 47 years of his love. I ask myself how I will get on now without him. Just because I fixed the pond pump and fountain...just because I pumped gas for the very first time and just because so many other little things that I find myself doing does not mean that I want to do this things. These past 2 days have seemed like  an eternity...I have cleaned and polished and washed floors and laundry. I have swept the lanai and yard in the triple digit heat.  I want to see the smile that would melt me. I want to hear his plans for the garden. I will not have to call him in during the rain storms. I want to hear him call me Graz. He never called me Grace and would refer to me to others as The Graz. (short for Grazielle, the Italian of my name.) I thought on that faithful day of May 19th my world was just the beginning and now on June 21st it totally fell apart. There was so much more that I thought we would do or say. Plans not yet made. Notes not written. Yet in all this I am fortunate that we did have time to talk and say special words to one another. But I want more time. Denny loved his garden, loved sitting outside reading his favorite magazine, love watching movies, loved watching  the Patriot's football games and wearing his Patriot's hats, he enjoyed listening to all genre of music, he enjoyed taking care of his pond and fish. He had a wonderful sense of humor. Forty-seven years wasn't enough time. Today I found yet more keys but this time they had a label. Still, where do the other keys belong and where is the padlock for that key? We loved mystery movies and now I have the Mystery of the Keys to solve. I need more time with my Denny. I want him here with me. I am lost.....
Dennis Errol Horton...December 16 1945 - June 21 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Last Breath

The Last breath was taken by Dennis just before 9 PM last evening, needless to say he will sadly missed. I would like to thank everyone for their support to Dennis and especially Grace.  I have no humorous anecdotes today I find while waiting for the end and knowing it will happen does not mitigate the forlorn feeling of loss.

My sister is a remarkable woman and has done everything well, she will adapt and continue on. This was reminded to be by my sister Linda when we spoke this morning.We both maintained a journal of this chapter in our life which is a comfort. Depending on her schedule (things now have to be done) I will maintain her blog with perhaps some stories from Boston.

Until next time......................... Alan

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Room with a view

The weather has been so hot...the only place to be is indoors with the air conditioner keeping you cool. The forecast for today is 119 as well as for Wednesday and the rest of the week is to be in the high triple digits around 114. We need gloves to touch the steering wheel in the car! Luckily I have the automatic car starter so I can get the car cooled before driving anywhere.
If the days were cooler....
this quiet patio just outside Denny's room would be a lovely place to sit. Everything about this place is all about feeling homelike, and it does not look anything like a medical facility. Denny did not really get to see it as so but I appreciate it. Yesterday he had a fever and they monitored it with just a little success of bringing it down. I am told it is not uncommon for this to happen.....just something else. I continue to tat Angels, they will be finished here at home. The halos require some finessing and the Santa needs to have his felt backing glued on. So far the pond is working okay and yesterday I went to Lowes to get the algae treatment to add in. With this heat is sure to be a problem. Gee, I actually must have listened when Denny talked about the pond. I have not mentioned to him about the state of the plants...he did remind me those beginning days here to water them well and often.....I did try but this heat did not help at all. They will be replaced eventually. The Dove family is getting ready to leave the least the parents are trying to get them to leave but the 2 kids are not so ready. That about covers this update....thank you for the love and encouragement that you send to us....thank you for your friendship which truly is helping me get through this chapter in our lives. Time to turn on the aquarium light  wake the house tenant and feed him and brew some coffee...soon my day will really start.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Keeping busy

Some have asked whether I have been stitching or tatting and the answer is yes. Sitting with Denny and chatting and keeping busy. One thing that will always stay with me is "What are you working on now" so often asked by him to me. While in the hospital I was working on Affirmation Words.....a project that will only be completed when...... The Hospice Center is a quiet place and while we chat and watch favorite TV shows, I ....
stitched this Santa ornament on perforated paper. He needs finally completion which I can only do at home so here is only a partial look. Tatting has also occupied my time...
2 Sun catchers; one with a blue gem and the other with a gold gem and the smaller clear glass gem for an ornament or just to display piece. I plan on giving a few away as mementos of Denny. I began  another tatting project yesterday...
Angels .... today I will complete them with the bottom trim and halos. If you follow me on Facebook you will already know this....on Saturday I sent an SOS out to Don and Glenda (friends of the heart) to help me with the 3 line gas rule....that is right, the gas that The Brother Alan put in did not last until he will return this, what to do? As I pulled into the parking lot of the Hospice center there is a Fry's gas station...I was feeling brave so I pulled in after circling once to find just the right pump. Then I stood there watching the guy across the way and the lady next to me...I remembered to open the gas cover and then after a brief struggle with the gas cap...(who designed a push and twist cap !?) turned my attention the pump. everything push button and after the last yes was tapped I lifted the handle, inserted into the car and nothing...right, squeeze the handle and Voila! gas . So at the age of 70 I have for the first time pumped gas....not sure about wanting to do this often but as Glenda pointed out I will probably only need to do this once a month or so ( I do not drive much) . Of course I bragged to Denny when I sat there ... not sure how impressed he was but the nurse was! My Denny is still slowly failing, and still not verbal nor does he open his eyes..... but we watch the cooking shows and the PBS programs and since he can not complain I sneak in a few that he is not fond of.  I sit and miss the man who's smile always melted me and his dry sense of humor and his holding my hand. Now I hold his hand and try to explain my time away from him. I know he would be glad that I have so far conquered the pond fiasco and the aquarium mishap and yes the gas pump. I tell him I love him and wish I could hear the return "I love you too". 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Not again

This pond situation is getting pretty tiresome. Every morning there has been an issue with the pump/fountain. Every morning I reach in and fix think I fix it. Yesterday it was the same only this time when I returned home there it was again...fallen and it could not get up. This time I was prepared. I had made my mind up in the morning to come home early so that I could clean the water at least a little. As it happened the water was already low so I thought okay this will work. Task one was to shut the power so the fountain when I lifted...again...from the depts. of the murky water would not spray me. So far so good. Next I prepared a container to hold the fish once taken from the water. What was I thinking?! The fish are about 15 inches and I have no net. How about scooping them out? Okay, I caught the white one but the flimsy container was about to spill and I lost my balance and just made it to the bigger container to plop the fish in. So, I am soaking wet and sitting in a small puddle of water. Plan B because for sure plan A did not work. Wet-vac out the water like Denny does and leave the remaining 2 fish in the water. The garden received the water and now to refill the pond to the proper level. Oh, and add the white fish back in.....success and he almost was knocked out by the plunge....I will check on them at daybreak. It is only 3 AM and dark out there. The water still needs to be cleaned and that will be a little removed each day and hopefully the pump/fountain will remain in place. Did I mention the brick and rock display that has been sitting in there for years has fallen? Guess it was not a good idea to use it to lean on. (Note to self...find someone who knows how to clean ponds....) Yesterday at Hospice was a quiet day. Small changes with Denny. Again they tell me this is hour to hour....again I sit and make small talk about the cooking show that we always watch, and the art/painting show and the this and that. It is difficult to watch and wait and chat but I do it nevertheless. They no longer use the port for meds but now directly inject. They reposition him and keep him possible... and I sit helpless to make things okay. It is not about is about Denny.... and we thank you for the loving and caring kind words you send. I tell him of the cards and help to keep me strong. My sister sent me an Alex & Ani bracelet with a Wonder Woman charm....I will were it every day while sitting with Denny to remind me to be strong. Your friendship has encouraged me so much. So, another day will soon begin for me and Denny....what will it bring is a mystery, but we are in this together right to the end.................

Thursday, June 15, 2017

You should have waited.....

Yesterday when I came home I decided it was time to change the water in the aquarium...even for the one remaining, I began to take out the water and of course it somehow was all about me...the rug and me. Okay, take a deep breath and now I needed to empty more than planned so I could move this 10 gallon lake so I could wipe up all the water. Out came the fish and I will say he did not seem too happy. Finally got that all set and remembered to treat the water. In my head I could hear Mr H saying..."you should have waited for me". Then to do some laundry. I now needed to eat. It seemed that the evening would progress better when I decided to get something from the closet top shelf. I opened the 3 step ladder and missed the first step. I could hear Mr H...." you should have waited for me". Luckily I caught my balance and no harm done.  This morning after a restless night I thought to check the pond...where did the fountain go....why is it I have to stick my hands up to my elbow in this nasty place. I found the pump and fountain and proceeded to set it back in place and you guessed it. I took not only a shower but a shampoo without the shampoo. I could hear Mr H ... "you should have waited for me". I did want to wait....I so wanted to have you do these tasks....but you are not here and I am waiting....I will sit with you again today and we will hold hands and I will chat and I will wait...for you.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Holding hands

Denny and I held hands on our wedding day. Such a happy day.  A new start of our life together. We have been holding hands all these years.  Sometimes in need of support but most of the time because ....just because. This morning when the telephone rang around 7 am, I welcomed the interruption.  I  have been unsuccessful in assembling my Ott light back into the floor stand. I saw The Brother Alan was calling and thought he was checking up on me already......just left yesterday! No, the Hospice center called him to say that Denny is not doing well. Time is limited. I sit once again holding hands. This time because I  am waiting for my Dennis to say good-bye.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

It's Just one Breath

As I finish packing to return home this morning, I would like to reflect on something

A breath...

A human breaths
16 / minute
960 / hour
23,040 / day
8,409,600 / year

Grace and I have accomplished quite a bit this week, as I prepare to leave I reflect, everything done was already thought through, I accompanied her several places, but mostly kept her company. Remarkable strength for someone who is facing death, loss of a spouse and best friend.

Many believe she was incapable because Dennis did so much for her, but we all fail to realize what she has done for Dennis for 47 years.

Sure we chuckled at her posts about not pumping gas, of not cooking much, Denny this Denny that, what she did not post was her contribution to this institution of marriage, friendship and partnership.

We laughed a bit, kept comfortable silence as we visited but most importantly we waited.

So as I pack and await my ride to the airport, I came to Arizona to wait for one breath, Dennis Horton's last.

He has not taken it yet, so now I will wait for a phone call of Dennis's last breath.

Thanks for stopping by.... until I return


Thursday, June 8, 2017

An English Title

Lord Alan....

Ok maybe I have too much time on my hands and anyone who has spent time with my sister Grace can tell you there is never a dull moment or lull in a conversation, so take x the amount of hours multiply that by being in a room with only the two of you conversing and you will not believe what gets discussed. Like the way I did the math?

So today Grace says to me "Did you know you can buy a Royal Title", I answered I had heard of it and that was it. For most people it would have ended, well now multiply several hours by having nothing to do and the sum comes to I looked it up.

Yes for the sum of $38.81you can purchase a Lordship (Lord) Title Pack

This title pack contains a personalized title certificate (gold embossed), legal title deed, 5 square feet of dedicated land within the Hougun Manor Estate, title crest postcard, personalized welcome letter, access to the online members area, color brochure and presentation folder.

The spelling is not incorrect it is the English Style.

Lordship (Lord) Title Pack
The Coat of Arms

It must be true it is on the internet, right?

So I am contemplating the sum, being bored, not going to buy anything cool from this trip and to make it lucrative, it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.

Then I think why would anyone want to return a Title?

Bedsides 5 square feet of English Real Estate, perhaps there are taxes, what if there is  a revolution that that mean I have to raise arms to protect the sovereignty?

So I look up Hougun Manor Estate and it is a real track of land in Cumbria, the next web page I visited invited me to join the Illuminati, I kid you not. Look it up!

Well I'm not sure if this will be a rip off of my money ($31.81, an odd sum), English Taxation, a call to arms to protect the sovereigns (as in old times) or an invitation into a secret society.

Well the other noteworthy thing she tells me is that you can buy a trip to the top of Mount Everest.... I hate the cold thanks for stopping by

Note: And this is the guy is here to assist me in my time of need and he is trying to become a Lord...right. But, in all honesty I would be lost this week without his assistance....more of that later. Right now, let us enjoy a moment in time of relaxation and being able to cause one another to smile.
hugs to you all from gracie and The Brother Alan.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Where Do Keys Come From?

We were looking for Dennis's car keys and as Grace found them, there were several (6) keys on there, well one was identified and the other 5 are a mystery.

So we checked them again all known keys, no matches needless to say they did not fit any lock in this house.

So where do they come from, now this is a mystery that is not easily answered, imagine me walking into Hospice tomorrow morning and saying, "Dennis what are these keys for"? I think not, the conversations that I have left with him will not be about several pieces of brass that at the end of the day really don't matter. So where do these extra keys come from? Does anyone out there find keys that they do not need on their key rings? I don't know I only carry three keys myself, car and outside door and inside door. I am safe

Is this part of the same phenomenon as lost socks? Were do they end up who gets them and why don't I have them? I wish to know these things, I came out here to see the mystery of life and now I find myself looking for keys and socks. Hell I have the correct amount of socks that I packed, but will I leave with the same number? I can not know until I leave, it is perplexing. Are the socks in my drawer at home in pairs? Are there powers out there at work that I do not understand?

I know at the end of the day I can not truly understand the power of life and death, buy you think I can figure out the socks?

Hospice Care

Yesterday I worked on Thankful. You may ask what is there to be thankful for ...a lot of things. First I am thankful for having been with the best man there is ( so I am biased) for 47 years, just celebrated in April. Thankful for the love and support of my friends and family during these past weeks. Thankful for the staff at Banner Boswell and the doctors who cared beyond their jobs for both of. I have found strength in all of this and for that I am thankful. Last evening, Mr H.... my Denny moved into Hospice care officially. Whatever his remaining time is, it will be with comfort and dignity and I will remain by his side. The Brother Alan arrived yesterday in time to assist me in this decision and to spend quiet moments with his "brother". I gave them the time and it was a touching private few minutes. Today we will visit with him in his new place and meet with the staff to discuss continued care. Once again I want to express how much your emails, posts, cards and comments have meant to me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your friendship. The garden is watered, the Dove nest checked and the house plants watered....oh and the pond checked so I am good to go for the day. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Day of changes

The air conditioner was installed yesterday and I must thank dear friends and neighbors Glenda and Don for taking care of it all!   It was wonderful to walk into a cool home and sleep well with this heat. Today is expected to be around 108...The Brother Alan will experience his first real hot weather. He arrives today around 12:30 and it will be about 3/4 of an hour before he is here, home. Then it will be off to visit with Denny. Today is the day that I make one of the hardest decisions in my life. Yesterday it became official that he was in Hospice care at the hospital. The blue butterfly placed on his door told everyone. We talked about whether he will be coming home or to a Hospice facility (the hospital has one across the street). The IM doctor reminded me that nurses are not around the clock at home and he is taking his med every hour by injection...which I cannot give. He can not swallow pills anymore. I do not make this decision lightly. Denny always said no hospital bed in his home for him. It really is a no brainer and I am told by Social Services and the RN and the IM that I should not feel guilty about this. But I do and at the same time I want what is best for him. Today is the day. I am told that because he is not eating and drinking the time is limited. I sit with him, I offer drink, he refuses if he answers at all. It is difficult for him to speak. More cards arrived yesterday for him...but he will not see them but I know they are here and I thank you for sending them. I thank you for caring and for the encouraging words. Please think of us today.

At Banner Boswell Hospital, a blue butterfly place outside the room on the door signifies that a patient is dying and is on Comfort Measures Only. Only the doctor covering and the RN enter the room and only for meds to keep the patient comfortable. It asks for respect for the patient and family.

Monday, June 5, 2017

We're having a heat wave....

an Arizona heat wave....Were are in a Heat Advisory for this week and of course it is the week the air conditioner chose to fail and now this afternoon, a crew will be installing a new on. Right now we are at 86 and it may reach 107....can not even imagine being on the roof for 3 hours or more. I spoke with the IM yesterday...a very compassionate lady who does not want Dennis home until the house is with air conditioning; so Tuesday will be the day. Yesterday was a very emotional day for both Denny and me. I tried to keep busy with my word for the day and did stitch Blessed.
It was the next word in the Affirmation Words project from Donna at By The Bay Needleart project. At first it was hard to think of why to stitch this word. Then I could find many reasons to feel blessed. So many who care enough to express their concern and love for us at this time. The phone call yesterday after messaging back and forth from "my cousin Frankie"...that is how Denny always refers to his cousin Frank back in RI. Frank just wanted to talk for a minute to Denny so I held the tablet ( I did not know we could talk over the tablet but that is for another day) and once hearing his voice it became apparent of the long distance affection these two men have for one another. Frank sent encouraging words.....When I could not hold it together after that' one of the RNs was there to give me a hug.....yes, we are blessed to have so many people caring for us. then later this arrived via email
niece Elyssa sent this is made with prints from Natalia's little feet.....and a letter accompanied it that will be very emotional for Denny...her Godfather. Both of these will become cherished items for many years to come. Indeed it was a very emotional day and I am blessed with so much during this difficult time. One more day and The Brother Alan will be here to help me get organized...I know, I am a very organized gal. Right now though I need some direction so the little big brother will help set things in motion. He will be here for the week. I made a nice cup of tea this morning to find that the milk was bad...I instead am having a tall glass of iced water which considering the heat today is a better idea...get hydrated and stay hydrated.  Have you tried the water drinks with cucumber....I did, not bad. I think I will stick with lemon in my water. Oh wait, I do not have any lemons...guess it will be plain water today. So, on to the day with thank you to all of you my dear friends for the kind and encouraging words. Most of all thank you for your friendship. I will carry the loving thoughts form all of you today.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

From Cowboy to Pool Boy

Hello, everyone who follows my sisters blog knows she can be a little, how shall I put it....eccentric? I say this to preface a short story I would like to pass on.  Like I said ecentric,some might say artsy, she is extremely talented just like other artists, writers or poets. Like the way she refers to me as The Brother Alan.  So for years every time she sends me a email the subject line always has been"Your Sister Calling", every time. So early last week I am working and see an email and in the subject line it says "From Dennis" well I open it and it is a short message....."the fish pond needs to be cleaned besides the weather is better out here". Great another family member who is cryptic, to begin with I tell Dennis all the time the 2 inch fish that he purchased years ago are 12 or more inches and more than once I have offered to cook them up for supper. So to say the least I deduced (like the word) like Sherlock Holmes that he would like me to come out so I book a flight. The reason I relate this is Grace mentioned that I will be arriving Tuesday morning. Evan though I am a Cowboy sometimes, I did not want everyone to think of me riding a white horse to the rescue, more like I read what I wanted to in an email.

I'll get to wear my Cowboy hat again, see the wildlife, wrangle some coyotes and spread my charm in the neighborhood. Oh I'll also see Dennis. Ill bring with me well wishes from everyone from RI and my charm, no doubt he is already regretting his message to me. It probably meant the fish are dirty and the weather is always better here! So everyone, thanks for stopping by.

Staying Strong

I think there might be some people who will be surprised at how strong I have become. Truth be told, I always was but now it is showing. Time for me to step up and do what needs to be done. I finished the word Strong yesterday. So far each of these words that I have worked on this past week has been so appropriate for what Denny and I are experiencing. When I came home last night the air conditioner still would not kick in...103 out and 91 inside will not do. I made a few calls and "no emergency service" was a response. Glenda and Don, neighbors but more importantly good caring friends, gave me the number of someone to call. I explained to the gal who answered at almost 8 PM the situation and she said she could have someone out in the morning (Sunday) and they would call me before coming. Well not 10 minutes and Brent calls to say he will be here between 7 and 7:30 ...perfect. I let Don know and thanked him for the contact and asked him what to ask. Dennis and I are not used to asking for help....never really had to. I just did not want this company to take advantage (some do) of a woman in this situation. One problem hopefully solved. Let me back up....when I acme home around 7 PM I decided to get out and check the plants and the pond. That fountain was squirting crazy again and knocked over. The broom handle once again did not work. A Pond Shower again! I knew what had to be done and as soon as my stomach settled,  into the pond I reached and I took the slimy pump and fountain out to clean. I know it is not as clean as Denny would make it, but it is clean and back in the pond and working least it was when I left it. I will check at is only 3:18 AM right now and I am not going out to check. Mind you, this is the very first time I did this...the pond itself needs cleaning, but it will have to wait. All done and no fish harmed and I did not fall in! Let me tell you about my guy yesterday. It was an uneventful day. Being the weekend, the gang as Denny calls them were few parading in and out. He dozed on/off most of the day. The medication is working to keep him comfortable. He is still having issues with the mouth infection; not eating and did not drink much. He will be home Monday with Hospice and we shall see. There was another platelet transfusion. The goal is to try to stabilize him for a positive return home. I need to say that I am nervous having him home but it will be so good for both of us. In hospital there are nurses to call if it will be me. He has concerns but I hope it will go smoothly from here. All that is being done at the hospital is just to reassure Denny so he can come home. The Brother Alan will arrive Tuesday around 12:30 PM and we will move on together during the week to solve some things.  the list has grown form a blank piece of paper to several items. I will call on the Angels to watch over us and whatever will be will be....Some cards arrived yesterday and I will take them to show Denny. I read him Facebook messages and emails. You all have been the rock that I know I can rest on. Thank you for all the caring and loving kind words.....thank you so much for the beautiful friendship you offer. I think a large glass of Rain Berry Gatorade will do nicely....maybe I can catch a short nap before starting the day. Never did find my lovely scissors.  I do not feel very lady-like using a pair with Workforce stamped on them.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

What a day for a daydream....

Always liked the song, but daydreams do not last. When I arrive at the hospital, the first thing I do is check the board to see who is Dennis' RN. I do not look for her because it is a busy time at 8 AM. Once I wash hands don a mask, in the room I go and I help my guy get ready for breakfast. Yesterday found him not feeling well due to the infection and his mouth was very painful. I ask about his night and we chat. It was impossible for him to eat even the cream of wheat. Every nurse and can he has had has been so caring. Yesterday was no exception. Meds given and I get an update. Blood cell down.... needs transfusion. Platelet count is 11,000, down 10,000 from yesterday. Normal count is between 150,000 to 450,000, he is critical and 2 units are ordered. Then the series of "visitors" arrive.
The ladies form Hospice are in, and I tell them we will wait until Monday to talk with them.The Internal Medicine doctor was pleasant and understands the keeping him comfortable request. The Swat Team arrives to draw blood. Rolly has done this with Denny before this time he explains the challenge. So much edema that he will need to draw for a knuckle area...that is right. Tries the left index finger no go. So to the right hand and after a try he is successful but for a very little amount but it will have to do. In comes the Infectious Disease doctor, a really nice and caring man. This time he motions for me to leave the room so I join him just outside the main room. The news is that there is nothing more that can be done and I loose it.  I knew this would come, but hearing it is another thing. He feels it would be better coming form me. He gives me a hug and reports to the RN. When I enter the room, Denny asks if I am through crying..."just tell me"....I cry, we talk, he just is quiet.  Around 1:30 he is up and sitting in the recliner to change position form the bed. In comes the Oncologist, who has been a nice lady, that is until no. She is upset he is refusing more chemo and we tell her we want comfort measures. She abruptly removes her gloves and tell me  that she will see him as an out patient in her office as she quickly leaves the room. Not likely. I take a walk so I can cry. Later the Heart doctor stops in...By the end of the day ( 6 PM), Dennis is still in pain. I tell him I will stay with him but a little after 7 he tells me I should go.  I do not want to, but I will. So, I arrive home to find that the house is very warm. The temp out was 100 and the house was 92. The air conditioner is not working.  I turn it off, find something to eat, put all the ceiling fans on and proceed to spill ice water all over the side of the bed.....finally I drift off to sleep . I awake at 2:30 and turn the air back is back off. Time to call in I start my day wondering what will be today. One thing for sure, I will not be telling Mr H about the air least not today. Suddenly I am in charge of a lot. I did not even tell you about my pond fountain mishap! That was at 6:30 AM when I went to water the plants and check the pond. The fountain is getting clogged apparently, so it sprays unevenly. I decided to tape it with the broom handle and immediately took a pond shower! I got it to flow better but I do know what my next job after dealing with the air conditioner will be. Oh the yelling I did at the beginning of the day and the end of the day! I finished this yesterday..
I love the variegated pink. It was the perfect next word....I found compassion from the Banner Boswell staff. Always ready with a smile, "how are you doing" and of course a hug. I needed it all yesterday. The next word is Strong. I have been and will need to be. Such meaning with this project. Thank you dear Debbie Burke for the every morning email....for the card and also to KimM. I will take them as I did the others to show him. They do bring a smile from "his" blog friends. Thank you all for your loving and caring words of encouragement and thank you for the friendship which especially now means so much. Let's try for a good day.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Back in the hospital and a lost glass of iced coffee.

When I came home and listened to the several telephone messages. there was one from my sister so I called, first getting my glass of iced coffee from the fridge. Yes, after only being home 2 days, Denny is back in the hospital and it was not easy. On Monday he did not feel well could not swallow well and did not eat. Tuesday was our first Oncology visit and she decided he needed to go to the ER for IV fluids due to dehydration. Off we went at 2:45 PM and for almost 8 hours we remained in the ER...doing this and that; more blood tests and urine tests and a   platelet transfusion along with IV fluids. 10:45 PM,  finally an Observation admission (over night). No sooner are we on the unit and just getting into bed and he went into A Fib mode.. They called for the Rapid Respond team and everyone began to work to get his heart beating normally again. 12:15 AM move to the Cardiac Unit for monitoring...yes, this time dear friends I knew where we were! Once Denny got settled, I left at 1:30 AM. After a few hours sleep I returned yesterday to see what we were going to do. As I turned the corner to enter his room, there was a sign on the door about precautions and I had to enter through 2 doors. Then I saw the bed...completely unmade and pushed aside and no Dennis! Rushed out to the nursing center and they explained he went for tests. What a scare I tell you. Obviously more tests took place and a procedure in the afternoon.  About the room: Because of his almost nil immune system, hands must be washed before entering, a mask must be worn in the room and hands must be washed when leaving the room. Those damn masks are very unattractive...more importantly it is hard to breathe with them on! More doctors in and out and an important conversation with the Oncologist. Another surgical procedure late in the day. Lots of pain for Denny and then he finally settled down. But, just before he did sleep I told the nurse I would be leaving and out of nowhere he says, "sit down". And specifically to sit next to the bed. So, instead of leaving at 7 it was 8ish when I left. I did start my next Affirmation word yesterday, Compassionate and again an appropriate word for me.  Once home I checked the answering machine and a message from my sister Linda. Before calling Linda, I opened the fridge to see what I could quickly eat. Well, I found a glass of iced coffee and 3 cooked shrimp sitting in butter just waiting for me. This morning I remembered the glass of coffee and did not see the glass anywhere. Somehow, it ended up in the living room on the TV stand....who left it there needs a lesson in good housekeeping. Laundry for Denny is now in the dryer and my coffee is almost finished.  Thank you for the lovely cards they mean a lot to Denny and me. Thank you for the kind words and most of all your friendship. The Brother Alan will surely be posting especially on my off days.
Did I mentioned Denny who is always cold complained that the room was too cold and they immediately got the nighttime "engineer" in to fix the temperature. I  actually do not have to wear a sweater! Have a nice day my friends....

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Grace's Post

Negativity breeds negativity, with that said all of us carry some. It is good to think about those around you before your negativity peeks it's ugly presence. Symbolism, by hanging a basket is a fantastic way to think of your own and maybe leaving it behind when you leave, well said Grace. I for one will write mine down on a piece of paper and deposit it into the basket when I again return to Arizona. With luck I'll leave one or two in the basket when I return to RI. Self introspect is something many of us are doing after hearing Dennis's news. It's crazy to say but sharing this situation will no doubt help many who read this blog, and to those friends of ours that we share this with. I don't feel much like a cowboy today, probably because I am looking out my office window on a dreary Boston day, confined in a suit, but all I have to think of are the many times being with Dennis and having fun, it brightens the day

Monday, May 29, 2017

All most back to normal

Although things will never be as they once were we are moving forward. Thank you seems so insignificant to how we feel. You have all embraced our problem and send so much love.  Sending Denny cards to cheer him as also cheered me. Bloggers are wonderful. Some time ago I purchased this from The Heard Museum in Phoenix
 It is a Native American Worry Basket. It is hung outside or just inside as is mine of your entrance and you leave your worries in the basket upon entering the home in the basket and hopefully forget them when leaving. It is never good to bring negativity into the home. Of course mine is symbolic, we do not write them down on slips of paper , but everyday I jingle the hanging bells as if leaving my thoughts and concerns. More so now. I am feeling a little better about all the meds and oh that needle! Even that is okay now. While we were busy starting a new life....
Some fine feathered neighbor decided to help themselves to construction supplies! The nerve of some people! birds! The Doves are settled in their new nest in the wall basket in the backyard and Mr H just nodded when I told him. If you cannot beat them let them be. We can watch them from the kitchen window. I will sneak a picture soon. I did manage to do some stitching last week...not as much as you would think sitting there all day, but
Patient and Faith are the latest. How ironic that the first words apply to Denny and me at this time. This project has taken on a new meaning for me and I will continue to find time to make a few x's each day. The next word is Compassionate.  A few weeks ago I found this nice journal...
It has been sitting on a shelf I in the craft closet. My original thought  was to use it to write the many quotes and saying that I collect. Now, I think I will use it to journal this new experience and turn in our lives. I will still share here as so many have asked me to continue...thank you.... but this will be for maybe a few private thoughts. The clock is reading almost 9:30 "AM and that means that I, Nurse thegraz  ( the name Denny has called my for 47 years) will be on duty for meds. So, with that I will say again, thank you for the caring and kind words and for your friendship. Have a great day.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mr H comes home!

It seemed like it was not going to happen. I arrived at the hospital around 8am and Denny was up and eating picking at his breakfast. Immediately I noticed that his right arm was swollen more the left which had been swollen. It was tight to touch and bothering him. He said that the RN had checked him earlier (done each change of shift). After breakfast the RN came in with meds and I brought it to her attention.  Oh no I thought we are not going home today. A call placed to the doctor and ace wrap applied and to be monitored at this time. Problem: his circulation is impaired and DVT mentioned (Deep Vein Thrombosis). Now a lesson in how to apply the ace wrap for me to do at home. We took a lovely walk in the park around the nursing station (2x) and then back for a sit down rest. Still awaiting discharge. Blood pressure has been running low, some changes to the meds he will be taking. A lesson in cutting one of his pills and now we are proud owners of a dandy pill cutter! Denny is anxious about going home but I think once home he will be okay. The injectable med is quite expensive and not covered by our prescription plan.  After some checking our Blue Cross will cover it. So far we met with the Discharge Coordinator , all papers signed for me to take him home, and now the Oncology/Hematology doctor who will be treating my guy. He needs an injection for the white cell count but it has to be ordered and this is a holiday weekend. She goes over a list of what to watch for once home (if we ever get there) and to call her immediately if a problem arises. We must be in her office on Tuesday (if we are out of here by then). Have I told you all the paper work I have received? Today I will build a file! Then the bomb shell. He would not be able to give his own injection do to the extreme edema he is having and will most likely continue to have. Me? Oh no dear nurse, not could I? I have never given an injection or used a needle. Contrary to my cousin Norman who suggested that I could because of all the needlework I do! What can I say, he is a writer! Anyway I watched carefully as RN Vickie gave Denny the injection into the abdomen.... I do not like needles and do not like watching and now she wants me to do both... never going to happen. Did I mention we are still waiting on discharge. Back comes RN Vickie with the insulin needle and suggests that  me, myself and I give, no I can not. Mr H says I can so I did....I gave my first injection and the patient survived. Said I did  not even hurt him. What discharge, we are still waiting. As 4:30 arrives so does George to transport Denny for a Vascular Ultra sound in both arms to rule out blood clots. Dennis asks that I watch his who wants it. Finally after dinner which we should have been enjoying having at home, more paperwork  and discharge is on the way. Right! Change of shift and the wait is on. Finally around 8:30 PM we are on our way home. Around 9 PM I finally had a baked sweet potato and fresh fruit. I must have fallen asleep around 11 with orders to my guy to wake me if he needed anything. Friends I am so pleased that we are here, home. We will be careful to watch for all the things on our list and  start this journey together as we have done so this far.  We have a long way to go.....thank you for all the caring kind words and cards (thank you cousin Janice and blogging friend Karen from Averyclaire Needlearts) which have cheered him. Your friendship has truly helped me through this past week. Back to regular blogging with just brief updates on my guy.
To the person who emailed me that she thought this was a stitching blog....remember; it is my blog and I can write and show whatever I wish. I would love for you to follow and enjoy but you do not have to read it when it does not interest you. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Day 8 and changes?

Hard to believe it has been one week since my world changed and our world got turned upside down. Denny did well after the chemo treatment and yesterday actually ate a little better. He is not a breakfast eater but now really needs to eat more. They suggest several...even every couple of hours to eat something and of course he must drink lots of liquids. The RN did a full assessment yesterday and he was given a great morning "wash up" by Daryrn...he was so kind and caring. After breakfast Denny walked 3 "laps" around the nursing center and then took a nap. Well, lets say spurt naps. They really are in to do this or that frequently. His left arm and hand are very swollen ( and still so very bruised) so much that we had to take his wedding band off and he felt bad about that. I got the ---do not loose it---be sure to put it safely away--- talk. I spoke with one of the councilors re: what to expect once home, finances, support system out of the hospital, food and germs. I keep notes and all the many piece of paper they hand me. Today may be discharge day. On my way home from the hospital I stopped at CVS to pick up my medication then off to Walmart. Did you know that some Walmart stores will be cutting back on certain products? It was then home to have something to eat. Last night was sanitize the bathroom that he will be using-- and only he will be able to use it. I picked up Clorox wipes to keep all around the house at their suggestion. Actually got a fairly decent sleep and now trying to get last minute things in order. As I look around I think we are set for him to be home. I have safety measures in place and a walker at the ready. Did I mention that we can not have flowers in the house? That bothers Denny a little as we always have flowers on the table and in the living room as well as all the beautiful plants he had ( yes had, as I managed to kill off a few) in the yard.  That will be the other change for him, no more yard work. He mentioned maybe we should get a puppy...he said for me. Have I mentioned that the Aquarium tenants left...down to one sole fish. He seems happy enough. Maybe a few of those floating glass fishes ...anyway, my wonderful friends, I am not going to finish my coffee and the washing machine has stopped so I will tend to that before getting off to see what the day holds. I feel your hugs and Dennis is so appreciative of all your kind words. I did finish another Affirmation Word but no picture yet. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Day 7...

Goodness, today will be one week since Denny was admitted to hospital. What a week. Yesterday was his first Chemo. It definitely brought him some anxiety and concern and questions, especially after the oncology coordinator visit.  I know they need to prepare you for the what ifs, but it is down right scary. I think he is second guessing having treatment. Concern about the side effects, how much time does he have how many treatments. The alternative? I made it clear that everything concerning him is decision and his alone. She emphasized that I need to sanitize everything all the time, keep him away from anyone ill, no crowds, and on and on. Did you know there is a procedure for flushing the toilet when on Chemo? Having not dealt with Chemo patients, I had no idea of some of he things we will need to do to keep him safe. We have not a road to walk but a hill to climb and we will do it together. He made me laugh several times yesterday....and it felt good to see and hear his humor. They tell me to rest then come in and wake me. I told him I was going to the restroom and he told me to Toddle along little doggie... The CNA was in before each meal for blood check. She asked if she could take a sample, he rolls his was good. In the afternoon he listened to a few NE Patriot player interviews on the tablet. He even tried to watch a movie but in they came several times so that ended that. Are you familiar with the Sherlock Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone ? He kept dismissing me like Sherlock would do to Mrs. Hudson.  A flip of the hand! Oh yes, it was good to see him this way and at the same time see him mentally in his own space. I usually stay until the evening meal. Last evening the CNA brought me a tray. When she left I said --- Oh honey how romantic that we can dine at Chez Boswell...he gave me  that look and rolled his eyes. Glad that day is over and now on to today,  Friday---has all this happened in one week? If all went well last night and today, he will be discharged this weekend. So, when I leave him tonight I will be off to Walmart for a supply of disposable gloves and lots of Clorox wipes. My finger will be crossed for a good day for Denny.  Right now, I think I will try to get a couple hours of nap time. Ooooh I just felt a hug...Thank you!
PS...I guess I should tell him the Doves are at it again...another nest and this time back in the wall planter.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Day 6 on day 6

 It has been an overwhelming day.  Denny called them, " a gang of people". Seems today was the day for all to want to stop in and talk. Oncology Doctor, Oncology Nurse, Cancer Society Navigator, and the IM Doctor....everyone had initials and something to say. Navigator, that was a new title to me. They direct you to the right path or person or agency...okay. The word cancer was said often we found out more about this illness that is taking a toll on my Denny. He finally asked if the chemo was going to fix this ( as in cure) and the doctor quietly said no. After everyone left Denny looked almost defeated and turned to me to say he was nervous and worried about me. How would I manage this and that. I asked him not to think or worry about that.  Finally it was decided to start chemo tomorrow ( Thursday ) and so up to the Oncology unit from the Cardiac unit he was going. I just got used to remembering he was even on the Cardiac unit. So, after dinner which the doctor finally consented to change to a regular diet, transport was arranged. Craig arrived to find Denny with severe dry heaves and not feeling very well at all. He patiently waited then took us upstairs. They greeted us and I explained that he was not doing well and he  (on cue ) started to dry heave again. Finally he seemed to settle and they came in to do the admissions to the floor. I brought to the RN's attention the rash that now is spreading and very red. Friends, I must say he is not looking well at all. I hated to leave him but I desperately needed to come home to settle myself and let him rest. I really feel scared and I know he is too. His T Cell Lymphoma is Stage 4 and we still await the tests complete results. Tonight sleep will not come easy if at all. My mind and heart are in overload. I know I can count on you to think of us and keep us in your prayers. Maybe, just maybe things will be okay tomorrow........goodnight........

It was day day 5 yesterday...I think

Oh my, I must have been as tired as I thought I was last night. I just woke and the clock said 6:22AM. Today my body aches...I fear it is the chair they call a recliner in the hospital! Long day yesterday. I arrived at 6 AM so I could accompany Denny for the procedure. At 7ish down we went to have the fluid drained and a transfusion for the blood cells. It was still a low count so this was necessary. They also put in the port. They explained all this but still I thought why all this? It was more real seeing this thing that would now become part of him. He did well, all took about one hour and right back to the room. Denny actually ate a little better for lunch and dinner. Did I mention this place is freezing? I swear I am going to be ill from the cold. The temp outside yesterday was 104, and 103 the day before and I emerge from the hospital wearing a sweater which is on all day! I think I am in a fog---just tried to pour milk into my coffee with the cap still on....oh dear, it is going to be another long day. We spoke with one of the doctors just before I left, actually I was already down in the main lobby when my phone rang asking me to return to talk with him. We reviewed the DNR--do not resuscitate policy. Always a pleasant thought. After the doctor left Denny was angry with me, said I asked too many questions. But if I do not ask who will? He does not so I must. One thing is for sure, I am glad of the  medical knowledge ( minimal as it is) I have. Dear DianeD sent me a PM with encouragement and a few questions. She is a long distance life line. All of you are so kind and caring. I know I can reach out and touch you. Right now though, I need to get myself together. The pond fish will be hungry and the plants refuse to drink water by themselves! I have to read my list to remember what I must take with me today once I find it. I think today will have some drama especially if the tests results are ready. it is already is isn't it. So glad to have you all to talk with. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

News from Day 4

Yesterday brought a plan and then a change. Denny and I had a discussion about his tea...that is correct tea. I fixed it with sugar and creamers and he decided that I must have put or added salt! What??! I said it is your taste buds they are it was the salt. The doctor came in and said that they were going ahead with the plan to drain fluid and insert a port for the chemo later in the afternoon. So it was off all flood and liquids to prepare. The port would also be used to draw blood as they were having great difficulty using veins now.  The afternoon passed and at 3:30 the RN said his platelet count was too low for any procedure so it would be on Tuesday for all to take place. She suggested that Denny order from the menu for evening meal and so he did. When it came to fixing the tea, I suggested he do it himself and handed him the sugar packets. After a few sips he said it tasted salty....this time, he did not say salt was added but that maybe I should bring him sugar form home and his English Breakfast tea. Good thing I could not whack him! Getting back to our day, it was a good rest day except for trips to the bathroom. It means unplugging the monitor, untangling the tubes and walking with the rolling pole. I now know how to get it all done ( of course with his supervision ) and then back to bed.  For a short time he was not his sweet self but rather grumpy and short tempered. I gave him "the knock it off" speech and things were much better.  On Sunday I had taken my Thursday Club stitching bag with me...
In the entire day this was all that I did. It is the Words of Affirmation from Donna at By The Bay Needleworks that I usually do when I join in the Thursday group. Everything that I need stays in the tote bag ready to go. Well, the next word on the list...Patient! How appropriate, he is and I need to be. This is where I left off yesterday (Monday)
Much more accomplished. I leave the tote bag there so it is one less thing to remember each morning. So today is an important day moving forward. We should have the rest of the test results and the port going in and possible coming home on Wednesday. If all goes well. We are so lucky to have all of you sending hugs and good thoughts and wishes. Lucky too that the staff are caring and patient and attentive. It is still scary trying to learn more and keeping my list and notes. AI am not sure how Denny will react to having this port but it certainly will eliminate the need to finding veins. Hope too that they switch him to oral meds for the blood clot and not have to inject himself in the know I can not do it. I think I will try to catch a couple of hours more sleep. He asked me to be there before they take him for the procedure which means I will be arriving at 6 AM instead of 8. Your kind words and encouragement keep me going. I feel the hugs and kisses that you have sent.  I will leave you with this
We still hold hands when we walk together and even just because. These two hands rest on a hospital bed.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Yesterday---Day 3

How do I say how much all of you mean to me? Impossible! Yesterday was a day with more information but no answers yet. Denny slept well in the new room...a private room without noise or distractions; except for the constant monitoring. I think I had left my brain and power of deduction at home yesterday. I had been in the new room for a couple of hours when I left to use the restroom down the hall. As I was walking back and turned the corner to his wing I saw a bulletin board. I decided to stop and read. It talked about quiet time and that the lights around the nurses station would be dimmed  from 2-4 and then again later, and noise kept at a minimum. All doors to the room would remain closed. The unit is quiet to begin with and I think there are only 12 or so patients there. Then the next bulletin board posted about heart disease and heart failure. Still not really reading in my mind. The last board is the white erasable that lists all the room and the patients. The title is Cardiac...what? I turned and caught the eye of one of the nurses. I asked if this was a cardiac unit and with a very surprised and concerned look she replied --yes your husband is here on a cardiac unit. I know she thinks I am an idiot. When I went back to his room there was another clue to this new revelation...on the board in his room it says Cardiac. Tell me, where had my eyes been the entire time I was on the unit and in his room?! Well, I will tell you my eyes were and remain on my Denny....I know sounds corny, but that is a fact. I had great communications all day with his RN. She continually shared information. Every turn seems to be something else. Denny is and always has been a very quiet easy going guy. The doctor came in and I think some realization has hit my guy. The word cancer strikes some fear as does Chemo treatments. We expect to have the tests results, or some of them today (day 4) and then a plan of treatment. They are still having trouble getting blood drawn and he is now on blood thinners because of the blood clot so he is bleeding easily form his IV site. That has to be watched very closely. He is still on IV fluids and now 2 antibiotics. Denny had to go down for more tests and told me to come with him so of course I did. When we  waiting I asked if he was worried and if that was why he asked me to be there...."no, I want to be with you"--- I am glad his eyes were closed because mine were tearing. I did see a spark of his old self a couple of times yesterday...He asked me to give him an Imitrex because his headache was back. Of course I said that we would ask the RN; his reply was "stop following the rules." Every time someone wants to draw blood he rolls his eyes and announces that they just want to poke him.  My list of questions will be ready today when the doctor returns with results. One of us has to ask and since Denny seems to close up I will be his voice. On a lighter note: There were a couple of cards in the mail so  I will bring them to cheer him. I remembered that his fish in the pond had not been fed since Wednesday or Thursday so that was first on the home list. The Dove family is still lingering in the yard. They seem to enjoy sitting under the gazebo. I did remember to water the garden in the morning. I picked 3 tomatoes. I am having trouble sleeping. I sleep in short spurts and that is why at 2 AM I am posting. It is not for lack of being tired, just that my guy is not here....the house is too quiet. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mr H Day 2 update

Yesterday was not a good day. Oh Dennis is as he was----- it was the phone call from him at 7 AM that started the day. He had a migraine from Friday night and they had not yet given him an Imitrex.  Well, now that will not do. So dressed and off to see what happened. When he was admitted they took the list of his medications so why is this a problem? The admitting doctor did not sign off on the Imitrex. I stood at the nursing station and insisted that they call the doctor to get it sign off....after a few calls it was and then Dennis finally received the med. Okay let's move on. The roommate that he had...key word here is had.....seemed nice but never spoke to us. When sharing a room you really need to be considerate. Sharing space is suppose to be just that, shared space. It means your TV or radio should be at a quiet level, talking on the phone should be  not a loud conversation and oh yes, you and your wife do not need to each be on your separate phones having loud conversations at the same time for an hour. The man was in for a kidney stone which was removed on Friday night and was feeling, in his words, really good. Here we have Denny not feeling good at all. I spoke to the RN.   As I was standing there with the RN, a transporter arrived and said he was there to escort Denny for Cardiovascular Ultrasound. The nurse said he did not have an order for this so as he was checking it popped up in the computer. Darrel arrived that quickly. I joined in and one half hour later back to the room. They found a Critical DVT..... a blood clot behind his left knee. A new concern to deal with. The RN came in to explain about the injection and before I could faint (did I mention I do not like needles) he gave Denny an injection in the abdomen. My poor guy never flinched and stated he could do this if need be when he went home. I asked the RN and CNA to stop by the room on my way out to hear for themselves B bed and his choice of evening  telecast and they understood. Well, off I go to come home to do laundry and eat when the phone rings. The hospital calling to say they have moved Denny off the unit to private room. The floor he was on does not have private rooms. Who knew? now can I eat? Goodness me, what do I find in the fridge but a lovely piece of steak that I had put on the bottom of the fridge to thaw on Friday morning! Now what? This is something that Mr H always cooks. After some fretting and then remembering how he does cook our steak, I pan seared it and then into the oven and it was delicious. Getting into the swing of cooking I am. Pat my back I did! Off to bed early I went and now here it is 3 AM and I am up and needing a cup of tea. I tried tatting yesterday so that did not work well with all the interruptions, so today it will be cross stitch. I really want to say thank you for the love and caring words for Denny and me. My long time friend and RN, Diane D in Rhode Island, is an Oncology nurse and is helping to explain things as I need. Long distance but nevertheless, there for the help. We have known one another since 1979 or so....long time indeed. What will today, day 3 hold? Whatever it is, I am ready and with all the love and encouragement Denny and I will handle it. One step at a time. I will be there to run interference and to ask questions and to reach out for those hugs and support when I need to. Thank you my dear friends for all the hugs because we do feel them. Thank you too for your opinions and encouragement because I really appreciate you. Maybe there will be a stitching picture soon....maybe.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Feeling lost

Oh I had such plans for my post Thursday...but did not post.  Then I thought, okay it will be Friday's post about the 2 hats and Grover. The Brother Alan and Lisa left their cowboy hats here with Grover and where I will be looking at them all year until the next visit.
It cheered me to see them in the sewing/guest room. They will still cheer me now. Toward the end of their visit, Dennis ( and I ) were facing some health issues. He was not feeling well at all and we did see the doctor. Alan left and we had tests. Just as the results were back things changed. My dear Dennis is now in hospital and more tests have revealed that his has Lymphoma. How far is it, where is it and what to do next are the questions swirling around my head. I am numb. Dennis has not asked any questions nor said anything. I am coward and do not prompt him for any. It was hard to leave him at the hospital last evening but I felt so drained and needed to eat and try to sleep. I guess it was 11 Pm when I dozed off and have now been awake since 2:30 AM wondering what to do. What do I say when I go back this morning and he is more alert after being medicated and poked and prodded yesterday. They took 9 vials of blood late yesterday for yet more tests and by my count that made 14 in all. They were trying to keep his blood pressure up as it was extremely low when we arrived there at 10:30 AM. It was 5 1/2 hours in the ER before the going for biopsies and then almost 2 hours later before joining me in his room. Please do not think I am complaining but I just need to at least write what is difficult to say out loud. I know that you will listen and I know that you care. We bloggers are a great group.  My blog which has been my stitching and doings place will for now be my place to vent....I am not answering my telephone as I can not speak the words. Somehow it is easier to write them than to hear them. The Horton House is so quiet....maybe a little more sleep before starting my day.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What a week

Well friends....The Brother Alan was my poster last week. (We tried to add him as a co-author following all the directions) He and Lis had a good visit with lots of time to enjoy themselves. This was the first year that Mr H and I did not join in all the excursions. Denny was not up to it but that is okay. We all did get to Scottsdale to go to the Scottsdale Museum of the West. It was full of wonderful paintings and Native American sculptures like this one....

This is Gall, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse....there were many others...
This one interested me, called Creation Passing. Something about it......The pieces on display were wonderful...too many to post  but I am happy that Mr H was up to the visit.
Here are the 3 I mentioned the paintings were nice too. A nice place to visit. Alan and Lisa ventured about and about on their own after this but also spent plenty of time home with us. Alan did all the cooking and it was delicious. So I guess I am bake in the kitchen now! This year my little/big brother and I had lots to discuss. Mr H as you all know has not been well and it has been a difficult adjustment for me. This past week a new issue has come to be. Today we will be going for some important tests. My needle has not been in my hand much this last week so nothing to show or really talk about there. I know that you will keep us in your thoughts and that does help me. Your kind words and friendship are a comfort. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Can't talk right now....

The Brother Alan and Lisa just left....I will be back tomorrow....but you can read his posts from this week.....

Monday, May 15, 2017


As my time comes nearing it's end, I reflect

So many great memories, too little time and something I learned

The Saguaro Cactus

Takes a long time to grow, first 8 years 1-1.5 inches

35 years before it's first flower

Usually 50-75 years before it grows it's first branch, which they grow only for balance

Reaches adult hood at 125 years, lives to 200 years

The bloom is the state flower of Arizona

Can weigh 6 tons

No matter what activity or whom you talk to out here as soon as they find out your not from here the Saguaro is usually mentioned. So it reminded me of a poem of the Saguaro I read here maybe 6-7 years ago. It is by Ian Shamir

1. Get plenty of sunshine
2. Accentuate your strong points
3. Be patient through the dry spells
4. Conserve your resources
5. Wait for your time to bloom
6. Stay Sharp

I think I finally get it. Until next time well wishes to everyone and thanks for stopping by to visit.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

From Cowboy to Arizona Adventurer

Over the years I have been fortunate to see much wildlife here in Arizona, sightings include Javelina, Jack Rabbit, Roadrunners, rabbits (the little guys), burros, countless birds, lizards and a Mountain Lion, probably a few I just can not remember.

Last night was a treat, coming back from a refreshing Prickly Pear Margarita, we were pulling down the street a little past 10pm, when at the end of the cul du sac a coyote runs out carrying what appeared to be a rabbit in it's mouth followed by two others. Fortunately my camera was still in the car, so I changed from Cowboy to Naturalist Photographer or (Arizona Adventurer). Well to continue, its dark they are moving all over the place and my camera is beeping (telling me that it can not see in the dark), so I change the settings to tell it just take a picture and began the round up. Notice I am not in cowboy mode, this is due to the fact I am not on the back of a horse but in  relatively red sporty sedan. Grace's streets are wide, ends in a cull de sac so here I am one hand on the reins (wheel) one on a camera. Remember I am in a very nice private community so there is no traffic or anyone to witness my heroic adventure, except Lisa. So at the incredible speed of maybe 5 miles per hour.

This is the entrance to Grace's front door, notice the glowing eye to the left, he is outside the guest bedroom

To relate the story in its entirety would be boring but I managed to wrangled these guys until I was able to take pictures. If I were a tourist this might have gone differently, by being a part time Cowboy and Arizona Adventurer I remained in the car to take pictures. This was due to the real cowboy from my horse back rides Paul, while giving us information something he said was in my mind at this moment. Paul stated "Those are City Coyotes, they will run up and grab your dog off the leash". The last thing I wanted these guys to think that the black object in my hand to be a small dog and eat my camera.

The weather today will be sunny and hot, Lisa and I are heading to the pool to relax and contemplate our next adventure.
NOTE: as you can see, The Brother Alan and Lisa are really enjoying themselves. And yes, at 11 PM when he came in from the round-up, I had to get up to see the downloaded pictures! Thank you for welcoming Alan to our blogging world. I have been trying to add him as a co-author, but blogger is not cooperating yet. So from all of us here at Horton House, thank you for your kind words and friendship.

Friday, May 12, 2017

From Commuter to Cowboy

There are times when you need to let go. Easier said then done, but let me share....

I am fortunate to have a good job, which takes me into Boston every day, the traffic is indescribable on some days but that was rectified by taking the train. Not glamorous but easier on the mind, an hour and forty five minute commute on a good day (2 plus on others) is replaced with a one hour train ride. Obscene drivers replaced by sleepy commuters, some of which are on laptops working. Me I read or listen to a book on tape.

But travel  2587 Miles or 4163 Km and I am a Cowboy, transformed from suit and tie to jeans with a Stetson hat and all, from alert and looking for what might go wrong to looking around and enjoying scenery, as you will see from the picture.

We went on a 3.5 hour trail ride yesterday into Tonto National Park, second largest National Park in the USA (Denali in Alaska is larger) outstanding views and a calmness of being on the back of "Woody" my steed. The views and quietness of it all was overwhelming at first but it soon became therapy. Woody is a Palomino, conveyor of people, therapist, sure footed as you will see in the next picture and protector. He patiently took me where I wanted to go kept alert sometimes stopping to identify a movement or noise. The park is full of wildlife such as Mule Deer, Bobcat, Javelinas and a Mountain Lion who lives right above his ranch in an auspicious rock summit. It is a female whom can be seen at times taking the sun looking down to the people who traverse her domain.

Yes I am slightly sore today but it is not enough to complain, like I mentioned I am a Cowboy out here. Peaceful day with a Wrangler for a guide (didn't want to get lost like a commuter) and Lisa who is happiest in a saddle.

To become this Cowboy you need to look at things differently, patiently and with caring. I have found the Wranglers (as they are called) enjoy the company of the horses, even the large Wrangler named Paul who was our guide continually spoke to his horse as if a child, a naughty one his mount was described to us by him as a "Knuckle Head" at times with a stubbornness. But with Paul's gentle but firm control he led us though and back.

The ride concluded physically only, because I can reflect on it at anytime feeling the warmth see the cacti and hear the stillness of yourself with a magnificent creature. Every bend introduced me to a yet different view, when you turn around the view you looked at is different, just like it is a different perspective. That this Cowboy will take back when I once again become a commuter.

As you know by now, this is poste by The Brother Alan. And before you ask, no, I did not take the ride this year...3.5 hours is a bit long for me...I can only handle 1.5 hour rides and not too sure about that anymore. Alan is now a co-administrator here so occasionally you may hear from him from way out in Boston. I am so enjoying having this guy and gal here if only for a week. More to come....

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

He is here!

Well all went well with the flight for Alan and Lisa. It was a day to relax and so
The Brother Alan did just that. Quiet day in the backyard and then on the lounger on the lanai. One of the things that has escaped Alan with each yearly visit is seeing a coyote. Last evening he and Lisa decided to go for a walk after sunset. Dennis armed them with a stich and a flashlight and we told them to be careful and stay away for the golf course. (just up the road from us) The returned all smiles and could not wait to tell us about the coyotes the saw...yes coyotes. They encountered 4 in all, 2 each time in our neighborhood. Finally, coyote sightings for them! Plans this week are open for to day except for Thursday when they will be going for  horseback ride...a 3 hour ride. Today if Mr H is up to it, we may go to Scottsdale to the museum. If not, the car is available for them and they can go. It is so good to have Alan here. I really sound like a kid instead of a 70 year old older sister...but he makes me happy being here. They brought me something special...a blanket that belongs to my sweet great niece now I have something very personal from her. Will post about it more later. Well, dear friends that is about it for now. Thank you for your kind words and your friendship. I am sure you will be reading a post or two from The Brother Alan this week.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Oh happy day.....

It is finally Tuesday and The Brother Alan is on his way! ✈ So far the flight is on time. I finally have the house ready...I think 👏. We are having some light rain today, but it will not last (I hope). I love the smell of early morning rain....and the quiet sound of the rain as it bounces off the garden plants. Mr H and I did some yard/pond cleaning yesterday as it was a nice cool early evening. I suggested we take a break and I would finish early today...well, that is not happening with the rain!  Sorry they will arrive with rain but no matter, we will spend the time together and that is all that matters. The only plans they have is going up North for a horseback ride on Thursday. The microwave issue is resolved, we went to Lowes and pick one up. So that is settled but wouldn't you know it? I put the kitchen overhead fluorescent lights on this morning and one of them is not working...I can not change it myself so it will have to wait for Mr H. Always something. I tried to leave out some of my needlework to keep busy in early morning time..... and decided to work on the French Boutis project. It is a slow going project which for me is good to keep me relaxed and focused. (Mr H has not felt well the last few days). Well, it is time for me to have a cup of coffee and something to eat...toast I think with a hard boiled egg. I will of course keep you posted on The Brother Alan's arrival and most certainly the week's events. Thank you for the kind words and your friendship....have a good day.
#1 update: Left Chicago on time.....
#2 update: In the air making good time...status arriving early!
#3 update: The plane arrived 1/2 early to the gate here  in Phoenix.

Monday, May 8, 2017

It's Monday

Oh boy oh's Monday so that means tomorrow is Tuesday and that means The Brother Alan is arriving! Just in time the weather is cooling triple digits so it will enjoyable to be outdoors. Preparations are almost complete...seems to be taking longer this year! Oh, and if I have nothing else better to do, the microwave seems to need to be replaced. Found that it has a place under the turntable where it is pealing and when I went on line to check safety, it says it is not! Oh bother 😒. Guess I am going out today to get one. Anyway, the bright side of things is that he is arriving tomorrow, and Lisa too.....big to go now, things to do.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Is it too early????

Just sitting here at the computer desk with my cup of tea and a bottle of, I will not be drinking the wine...yet. I received the wine as a Christmas hostess thank you gift and have been saving it for The Brother Alan's visit.  ( I lightly power dusted the bottle to omit the glare...thought I should mention that!)  The mouse is watching to be sure that I do not open the bottle! Did I mention he will be here soon? I am so glad this week has finally ended. I have not been crafty productive at all. There have been better weeks around The Horton House. Anyway, not to complain or wine whine...I could drink a glass about now. I am trying to learn to take it one day at a time and make adjustments. I am teaching this old gal to relax and go with the flow or lack of it. Yesterday I took the car in for service....the 6 month check up. Tires rotated, oil changed, fluids checked and it is ready to go for The Brother Alan's visit. He and Lisa will be taking the car for a 2 hour ride up to Prescott for a horseback ride. It was due anyway but now I am comfortable that it is in time for their visit.  No, Mr H and I will not be going. We would like them to enjoy their visit without our tagging along. Not sure that Mr H would be able to do long ride and never the horseback ride. The temperatures here have been in the triple digits already. Yesterday it was 108 and today back to around 95. Right now it is 74. By the time Alan arrives it will be back to normal, in the 70s and 80s. I have not done much of any stitching of any be truthful, not in the mood. Besides, I have been getting the guest room ready and such. Takes a bit of rearranging from sewing to guest. One thing I have been putting off is the needs the yearly get straight and clean up but I think it may have to wait...I am running out of time. There still are a few things to remove form the guest room, so I better finish my tea and get to it. Glad to chat with you. Thank you for the kind words and your friendship. Have a great day.

Grover is patiently waiting------
counting down...3 days to arrival!
Is it May 9th yet?
Is it Tuesday yet?