Birthday Cake for Breakfast

Today is my birthday and I had carrot cake for breakfast because, why not? My brother and sister-in-law brought it with them yesterday to celebrate my day a bit early, and there are carrots in it, so it’s healthy. It certainly is tasty. Cecelia gave me the best b’day present ever: a massaging foot bath followed by nail trim and foot massage. Honestly, my feet have been so unhappy (it’s been 3 months since the podiatrist was here and I really can’t cut my own nails because of the neuropathy) that it was the perfect gift. Plus I’m touch deprived and dearly miss regular pedicures and massages. At least I can touch and cuddle the cats, even though they’re not all excited about being cuddled.

For my birthday, I’m buying myself a loveseat for the living room. This was the original plan last year when I moved in but it never happened. Now it’s time. I’ve had a great time looking at furniture online and trying to find something that’s not too big, not too boring, and made of lighter colored fabric that the cats won’t want to immediately claw. They leave soft chenille fabrics alone so that’s what I looked for. I also bought a coffee table from Pottery Barn in wood and metal that will match my shelving unit. Both loveseat and table will give the girls more places to nap and change up the look of the space while still giving me ample room to wheel or walk around. I needed more space for that when I first moved here but I know what I’m doing now. It makes a difference.

My belly is sore from my twice-daily Lovenox shots, and I have lots of purple splotches. I do morning shots on the left and evening on the right to make sure I’m spacing them out properly. The first few days I had waves of nausea that I finally realized were from the shots, and on one walk in the hallway found myself in a cold sweat bad enough that I turned around because I was so shakey. That might have been low blood sugar which usually isn’t a problem. I’m hoping these shots are actually starting to work on the blood clot.

I see the cardiologist on Tuesday for my regular annual exam and will see what he has to say about the clot. But first I need to call the vascular people to have a report of my visit sent to the heart doc so he has all appropriate information. We shouldn’t have to do all of this checking and tracking but I don’t expect the offices to do it on their own anymore. My work experience in dealing with vendor customer service for a zillion different reasons helps enormously but I wish I didn’t need it.

Father’s Day 2022

I miss my daddy today especially, this fifth Father’s Day without him. At the same time, I’m so grateful that he was gone before last summer with my falls and medical stays. He wouldn’t have understood and would have tried to help, even though he was forgetting things and had falls of his own. I know he is safe in heaven with God and with Mommy and I don’t have to feel guilty about focusing on my own health problems.

My father was a People Person. He loved meeting and talking with people and never came away from a conversation without having learned some important part of the other guy’s life story. He knew how they ticked, what motivated them, what buttons to push to make his case, and how to get them involved. He was a born salesman and was in the right kind of job for his skill set, selling water meters to cities and town. His customers trusted him and when he changed companies, he brought them along because their loyalty was to him, not the company he represented.

Daddy made you feel important by the way he listened to you. He genuinely wanted to know what you thought, and he listened to children just as intently as he listened to adults. Sometimes I think he loved the little ones more, because they were more genuine and interesting – and they loved him. I remember him at a Christmas party in Houston years ago, the lone adult in a room filled with children who were climbing on him and telling him all sorts of confidences as though he was Santa.

Growing up, Daddy spent more time with my brother than with me because, well, let’s face it, they did Boy Things together such as Little League and other sports. I spent more time with Mom. But I cherished the times I had with Daddy, who traveled a lot for business. We shared a tendency to be overweight and a dislike of Mom’s no-dessert policy, and sometimes after dinner he’d invite me to go out for a walk with him. We’d march to a military cadence count through the tree-lined streets, with me talking about my day while I got exercise – and we’d end up at the ice cream store getting mint chocolate chip cones that we’d promise not to tell Mom about.

Daddy knew as a small boy that he wanted more from his life than what he saw in his small North Carolina town – and more than what his father did. He knew the way to do that was through education, and got a football scholarship to Duke University; he never looked back, especially after meeting and marrying my mom, who came from a different kind of background. Daddy married up and he knew it, and he loved my mother every day of his life. They had such a tight bond that we never saw or heard them fight, except that one time about PTA budget that really wasn’t a fight at all.

I think Daddy was comfortable in his own skin. He knew where he came from and where he wanted to go, and had a plan to accomplish his goals. He could think and plan for long-term success and was a team with Mom in setting and reaching their shared goals as a couple and as a family. He loved having money because he grew up dirt poor and knew what problems money could ease. He supported his mother for twenty years after his father died, and was generous in supporting family and charities throughout his life.

Bill Myers was a good man and a wonderful father. I always knew that he loved and supported me, and was as proud of my accomplishments as of his own. I loved him right back and am glad I was able to spend those last few years with him.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.

Family Visit This Weekend

My wonderful sister-in-law Cece came for a visit this weekend, and it was sooooo nice to see her! She was last here in July helping me pack up umpteen boxes of stuff to give away before my move. Saturday afternoon we mostly sat around chatting, first in my room and then outside on a porch getting some lovely air. We ordered take-out Chinese food from Liang’s for dinner (yumm!) which was a delicious break from institutional food. She spent the night with an old childhood friend from Houston, went to church with them this morning, and came back about 3pm for some more visiting. I took the walker for a stroll around my “neighborhood” which is about 80 feet (I think) so she could see my walk, and she brought me dinner from Whataburger. More Yumm!

I’ve asked Cece and my brother to come help me move home when my discharge date comes, which I’m guestimating to be in another 3 weeks. I’ll know more about timing after my Care Plan meeting tomorrow. But I’m definitely thinking about going home more, and what I either need to know or know how to manage. Putting shoes on in a big part of that. Yesterday I managed to get the left one on after 25 minutes, but the right one was impossible. Something must be done, because doing it myself would require 3 hands and I only have two. I did some online research and found something that I think will work. It should hold my shoe securely while I wrestle the AFO splint and foot inside. I’m going to ask therapy to include this device in the list of aids and tools they get me before I leave.

I spent a lot of time today with my legs elevated because legs and feet are super puffy with water retention. The nurse wrapped both legs in Ace bandages for compression, which should be removed before I go to bed. But since they gave me a diuretic about 6pm, I’m sitting on the bed with my shoes on for as long as possible; I know I”ll have to go to the bathroom at least once soon, and I also know I can go to the bathroom on my own wearing shoes instead of the stupid green gripper socks. I hope I’ll be able to find someone to take them off when I’m ready to actually try to sleep.

I have a busy week ahead. PT and OT every day. Care plan meeting on Monday. Home Assessment visit on Tuesday. Haircut on Thursday (yayyyyyy Malorie for making a nursing home visit!). And rest. I need to remember to rest. It’s also part of my healing – that and seeing kitties on Tuesday.

Family time

It’s always a treat to head to my brother’s ranch, especially when other family members are gathered. This last weekend I had a chance to see my nephews Bill and Rob with their wives and children as well as my brother and sister-in-law. After a week of VBS, I was used to the activity level of a bunch of little people, but this time we had a baby, too. Here are some pictures:

A Gem in My Mom’s Handwriting

I found a blue spiral-bound copy of The Bride’s Notebook yesterday while emptying and sorting drawers. It has pages and pages of notes and names in my mom’s handwriting, dating from the months before her wedding in December 1951. Using my clever math skills, I realized it was almost 70 years old. Yikes!

Some things never change. This little book includes sections for everything the 1950’s bride needed to keep track of – wedding details, etiquette, wedding invitations and announcements, gifts, clothes, and room-by-room things you want for your new home. Not sure if brides registered at department stores then, but this at least told me what Mom thought she needed. [UPDATE: Apparently bridal registry started in 1924 at Marshall Fields. The stores listed in Mom’s book (Bamberger, Kresge, Hahnes) are no longer around under those names if at all.]

Most interesting to me were the list of wedding guests, in alphabetical order and with my mom’s perfect handwriting. Entries included full names and addresses, as well as checks and X’s to indicate who had accepted. My grandfather had many business associates who were included on a similar list for wedding announcements. Reading the names was a walk down memory lane: I remembered many of the people, either from my childhood or because my mom or grandfather talked about them.

And of course there were family members that I never heard of for years but now recognize: my great-grandmother’s sister Belle and her children; Grandma’s brother Leighton; my grandfather’s many Heginbotham and McCormick cousins. On my dad’s side were the Dails and the Keels. Funny, it never occurred to me that my grandfather Myers’ sister would have been invited but yes, of course. She didn’t come, but she was invited.

Then there was the meticulous list of wedding gifts. Silver trays and candlesticks were big that year. So were tablespoons and place settings in their Old Master silver pattern, and money. Because I was curious, I looked up the values today – a $10 gift in 1951 would be $99 now. Some of the gifts recorded looked more like items a bride would get today at a shower: electric broiler, waste basket, vases, clock, lamp, ash tray. My mom’s sister gave her a set of 12 towels, hand towels, and washcloths, which made me wonder what Mom gave her for her wedding 3 months earlier in the same church, the same dress, with a lot of duplication on the guest list.

But really what got me were the names and Mom’s beautiful handwriting. I remembered so many of the people. Minnie Mae Gautier in Wisconsin sent a bone carving set that I passed on to my brother after my dad died. I always loved her name. She was a private secretary in 1930 when she was a boarder in my grandfather’s home during the Depression. Mom remembered her and obviously she remained on good terms with the family after she moved back home.

Also the Coughlins who lived in Flushing, NY, where Dan was a policeman. They rented the “little house” in Manasquan for years. I never asked or knew how they knew my grandparents, but they were always part of our summers at the shore. Mr. Margolis from Williamston, who ran a men’s clothing store and made Daddy a loan to buy the engagement ring. Roy Ackley and his wife in Orange, NJ, who worked with my father and grandfather and was actually the one to introduce me to genealogy in 1970. Aunt Belle Glidden in Ormond Beach, FL, which is a new piece of genealogy information for me. Grace Kellner, my grandfather’s secretary for years (and how on earth do I remember that??).

Remembering these people made me smile and remember my parents and grandparents, too. And as long as I remember them, they still live a little longer.