Archive for2008-06 – Early Summer

Getting Ready for the “busy season”

We’ll be “headin’ to Evart” — leaving our home in about nine days.

This a.m. I finished all the little tweaks to the ODPC Funfest (Evart) workshop program (sixteen 8 1/2 x 11 pages). Whew… It feels good to have it out of the way.

We will be at Evart starting on July 8th. It’s be a hectic time!

After the festival, we’ll return to our home in Saginaw on the 20th. We have another local Haithco concert on the 23rd. (These events held in June, July and August draw audiences of 150-400 in Haithco Park.)

My husband and I need to check out our place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (on Lake Michigan) between July 24th and August 1st. I don’t know how many days we can stay, but we need to make the 350 mile trip up there to see if it’s still standing.

We have a birthday party for two 90 year old super friends (Bill and Jane Kuhlman) on the 2nd of August, and by August 7th we’ll be hosting a camping weekend with our hammered dulcimer club in Gladwin, MI, for that community’s Carriage Festival.

We have another of our summer Haithco Concert series on the 20th of August.

By then, we’ll be at the Midland Dulcimer Festival where my husband is co-chairman and I’m in charge of the stage show. Two days after that one’s it’s over, August 26th, I head back to Florida to care for my Mother.

(When ever we are at a festival we live in our 5th wheel and host the “hospitality area” with a 20 x 20 foot canopy outside our door. It’s challenging to set everything up and make sure everyone is satisfied. We also run the copy machine services for the festival grounds and provide goodies for everyone who comes by.)

I will fly back to Florida on August 26th but I will return to Michigan on September 9th to pick up my husband. On the 11th of September, we start driving back to Florida. Our plan is to be back to Florida on September 13th so we can plan for my mother’s birthday on September 17th.

When I get back to Florida, I plan to do absolutely nothing but swim in the pool and be lazy until the end of October when we need to return to get our club in shape for the Christmas holidays. Maybe we’ll go to some dances, take some dance lessons, and enjoy the company of friends.

Actually my husband and I have our first paying gig of the holiday season November 1st in a big store (Warmbier Farms) where we provide about six hours of music for their holiday “open house” so much of our October free time will be spent practicing Christmas music. (It’s always strange to play “White Christmas” after returning from the pool when it’s 90 degrees out.) We have a concert in mid-November in Frankenmuth, MI, and about 15 holiday gigs with Saginaw Subterranean Strings in December. In January, we’ll have our biggest event of the year on January 24th (our club’s Snowfest Concert). That’s so far away that I am totally putting that out of my mind.

We really have a lot to look forward to. Busy fun stuff will be filling our days. We can take a deep breath in September when we get back to Florida. Until then, it’s rush rush rush.

Awwww but I’m not complaining. Life is wonderful!

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I’ve been straightening out insurance claims, working with banks and Mom’s facility. It’s been hectic.

Last night our club, Saginaw Subterranean Strings had a great concert. We feared rain all day, but it was a nice evening. Even with the threat of bad weather, we had 150 in our audience and 25 musicians. I’m so glad it’s behind me but it was fun and a total success.

Two weeks from now we’ll be at the festival in Evart. We have a lot of packing and preparation.

I’m still working to complete Mom’s facility transition. I wish I could have stayed longer to make sure she was comfortably in place, but Mercedes (her caregiver) is wonderful. I have to hope it’ll all work.

I won’t be back down there for two months and in the meanwhile we have a lot to do here. Life is hectic but it’s also grand. I am a happy lady with a wonderful husband and the resources to handle any obstacle. I hope this will work for Mom. Our festivals will be a success, our performances will be ok, it’ll all fall into place. (I HOPE!)

These problems aren’t insurmountable. Just challenges.

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Michigan, My Michigan

I’m home. Yeah!

Yesterday was a day to be forgotten. Mom was moved in haste and confusion, but we got her into her new room.

All in all things worked.

Today I flew back to Michigan. I was picked up for my ride to the airport at 7:00 a.m.

I’m safely home, but I had a call from Mom’s nursing home tonight and Mom was found on the floor next to her bed this a.m. I think she just got herself out of bed and was laying on the floor. She wasn’t bruised or in any way hurt. She was just there.

But the time table at this new facility is different. Mom’s used to being up at 6:00 for breakfest at 7:00. They told me at the new facility that they checked on her in her bed at 7:00 a.m. and she was fine. I’ll bet she tried to get herself up.

She’s used to going to bed at 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. I’m sure when she is finally able to switch to the different time table, it’ll work.

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Here There and Everywhere

Yesterday I ran myself ragged trying to deal with the problem of re-locating my mother. I checked out Plaza West, a nursing home that had been referred to me. They were full, but even if they’d been willing to take her, the cost would have been over a hundred thousand a year!!!! Mom has a nice nest egg but I don’t know how long she’ll live, and I need to be able to meet her on-going needs for as long as it’s necessary. Obviously at that price, I couldn’t maintain her for very long.

After talking with Mom’s doctor and everyone I could think of, I decided to go with Cypress Creek, a lovely assisted Living facility. Their care level may be lower than I wish, but with Mom’s private care-giver Mercedes will be going with her and I’ve increased her hours to help with Mom’s transition.

I have a couple of concerns but I’m sure it’ll all work. It’s a lot to deal with all at once.

Yesterday I hired a handy man to help me move some of Mom’s heavier items (chair, bookcase, night stand). I brought those things back to the condo since I think her room is fine as they have it organized. I will probably get her and Mercedes a TV set so they can watch TV in Mom’s room. While moving items, her large Lazy-Boy was dropped on my big toe. Ouch!! I think it’s just bruised, but it’s really sore.

Last night our neighbor, Loretta, and I went out to dinner. It as nice to relax and have a friend to share my concerns. We stopped at Mom’s new place and Loretta was really impressed. It is very nice. With Mercedes help, I’m sure we can make it work.

I was able to get it all organized for Mom. Today I’ll try to get her ready for the move Monday. I’d love to take a break and go to the pool. It’s cloudy so that may not be possible. I have today, tomorrow and Monday to get everything done. I’m stressed!!

I visited Dale and Trudy who watch the condo for us. I wanted to bring them up to date on Mom’s situation.


This afternoon we’ve had thunderstorms so I’ve been stuck inside cleaning the condo, packing, and getting things done.

I hope tomorrow I can go to the pool. I’ve felt so incredibly stressed. I need a breather.

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What a day!

I had an appointment with the administrative heads from Courtyards, where Mom lives, at 11:30 a.m. today.

I never expected that four of the top folks would confront me with a problem. Mom, is apparently no longer a candidate for a facility like Courtyards. They told me I need to find another place for her.

I was overwhelmed with the problem. What could I do? Mom needs care! She needs a place in
Sun City Center where she’ll be able to live in comfort. I always thought that place where she would die would be Courtyards. But I was told she needs to find a higher level of care for her because, according to them, she can no longer stand and assist herself in being relocated from her chair to the toilet or bed. I don’t think she’s actually deteriorated that much, but she can’t stay at Courtyards.

I left Courtyards feeling totally overwhelmed. I spoke with Mom’s doctor and he encouraged me to check out all the places available. I will.

I had to change my outgoing flights from Saturday to Tuesday. I need to solve the problem by then.

Tonight, after I’d done all I could, I headed over to Rockin’ Rondezvous. I sat with Sue, who is so nice, and buddy Bob and then, when they left, with Martie and Helena. It wasn’t a “fun night” but it was nice having the support of friends. Bob was especially sweet. I couldn’t ask for more. I needed the company of folks who would help me, and they did.

Tomorrow I need to check out the nursing homes before I commit to one. Right now Cypress Creek, which is a place willing to take her, looks like the best place. They have a lovely room for her, but this is my mom’s life so I need to be sure. I’ll check and re-check.

I used to think it was an honor to hold the “Power of Attorney” for my mother, but it’s a huge responsibility and I don’t really feel up to it right now.

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I started the day with a visit to Mom, then to the pool. I stayed until it was time to go back and see her (about 4:00), so I got a bit too much sun. I’m a little on the rosy side, but not really burned. Nevertheless, I should have been more careful.

My stay is winding down. Tomorrow night I’m supposed to go out to dinner with Bob and his honey, but I may beg off because, with my cold, I’m still not feeling like eating much. Maybe I can postpone our dinner until August when I return.

Thursday will be Rockin’ Rondezvous. It’s got to be more fun than last week was.

Friday night I have dinner plans with sweet neighbor Loretta. Saturday I leave for home. It’s been way too quick!! Of course being sick occupied a lot of my time, but time has flown.

The pool water was totally like heaven. Wish I could bottle it and take it back with me!

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Hot with a Cold

It’s been dern hot down here in Florida. I’ve spent lots of time soaking and lazing around the pool as I tried to fight off this miserable cold bug. Yup, I came down with a lousy cold. Thursday I was sick and stayed in bed most of the day. That evening I went to Rockin’ Rondezvous, but it was nearly empty and I felt rotten, so I only stayed a short while and headed home before a storm moved in.

I didn’t visit Mom Thursday or Friday, and I’ve been been very careful around her the past two days. (I bring hand sanitizer and use it frequently and never cough or sneeze around her.)

Nearly every afternoon we’ve had thunder storms. Right now it’s rumbling so the pool is probably closed (they shut it down if there’s a treat of lightening). I was all ready to go over but instead I’ll have a lunch and hope the storm passes.

I haven’t been able to post any cute videos because I haven’t seen any of my Kings Point friends dancing or been able to capture them in fun activities. Most of my time has been spent floating and cooling.

I’ve missed John but my time with Mom has been great. I love the relaxed mood down here. Too bad I’ve been sick, but it’s a great place to suffer.

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Coming Down with a Cold!

It can’t be, but it’s true. I’m feeling yucky.

After anticipating my time down here, I can’t believe I’m sick. I’m loading down with Cold Ease, Air Borne, and antihistimines. Hopefully I can fight it off. I sure don’t want to expose Mom.

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Tuesday, Tuesday

I keep expecting to hear my little dog Willow behind me. When I drop a morsel of food, I expect her to dive for it. But I’m alone. Totally alone.

I had to hang around the condo a good part of the day because the cable repair guy was expected. He arrived fairly early (before noon) and was able to get the set going quickly.

I went to the pool, met some nice ladies: Darlene, Amy and Geri. We chatted for an hour or so. The temperature was perfect. The pool water was like bath water but still refreshing. I have been looking at a few available condos (exterior only).

This afternoon, after my time with Mom I went grocery shopping at the far end of town. My dinner tonight was scrumptious. It couldn’t have been better: baked potato, green salad and a small sirloin steak. All great!

Tomorrow I’m going to go to “the sale” which is the resale shop held Wednesday and Saturday a.m. I’ll then drive to Beall’s at the west end of town. They have great clothes. Of course I want to spend time at the pool.

I’m going to hate leaving. It’s relaxing here and although it’s hot, I’m out and about and love the tempo of this town.

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HOT Haven!

Florida may be my “favorite” place to hang out, but boy, it is HOT this week! It’s in the low to mid-90’s and sticky.

I arrived yesterday afternoon after an uneventful flight.

The condo looked nice.

But it seemed that I had my share of problems. The cable TV in the living room wouldn’t “boot up”. (Tuesday a repair person will come.)

I somehow tracked in a piece of potato chip on my clothes but I hadn’t eaten any chips at all so I don’t know where it came from. I must have picked it up in the plane or the shuttle. Anyway it left a greasy spot on the new couch. I couldn’t get it out. Since it has a life-time stain resistant guarantee, I called the store. (Friday there’ll be a repair person coming.)

My voice through my new magicJack phone system comes across as distorted. It may need a different phone unit, but I’m still pleased the magicJack service which allows me to switch back and forth so calls to our Florida number can be forwarded to my cell. The Vonage system will let me forward both our Saginaw and our Florida number but both must be done in “unison” so if I were to forward the Florida phone to my cell, John’s phone in Saginaw would also be forwarded to me. When I’m down here I need just the 813 number to come to me. By having the magicJack service, it allows for that provision.

Yesterday afternoon we had a thunderstorm and today looking like it may be doing the same thing. Everyone is hoping for a downpour, but we didn’t get a lot of rain yesterday, just a lot of lightening and thunder.

I visited Mom yesterday and I’m about to go over there today. She’s about the same. Maybe a little more “lost” but she went through the “I love you a bushel and a peck…” recitation. And although she couldn’t remember my name, she seemed to know I’m her daughter.

Last night I put a small table together to use for my laptop beside the couch where I set. It went together fairly easy.

While the TV won’t work, I’m watching the set in the bedroom. Oh, well….

So I’m here. It’s good to be able to see Mom. This afternoon I enjoyed the pool from about 11:45 to 3:15. It was wonderfully refreshing.

I’ve seen a few of our good friends, but many are snow birds and they’re up north.



I went over to see Mom about 4:15. I needed to stop at the drug store on the way so I left a little earlier than usual. It looked like a storm was approaching, but it looked that way yesterday and fizzled, so I was confident that I could get by with the golf cart sides up. (It was so hot out that I couldn’t imagine again being surrounded by closed hot plastic sides. The fresh air felt great.) While I was at the drug store it started. By the time I got a couple blocks from Mom’s facility the rain was horizontal. The wind was really strong. I had a hard time seeing and it felt like the golf cart could be blown over. I was drenched… totally soaked. I tried to ignore my soggy clothes and enjoy my time with Mom. When I got home, I was still wet to the skin. I’m heard we got a couple inches in less than an hour. The puddles were lakes. I guess it was one of those situations like washing your car (which always brings on the rain.) I trusted the rain to hold off, so of course I got soaked. But if it took getting me wet to help with the drought situation, I was glad to do it.

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