Our Little MaMa

Just an update on Mom. Sorry I haven't had time to e-mail or blog this past week. I've spent most every minute over at Mom's after work. She's had a rough week. She's in a lot of pain. The hospice doctor came out to check her today and thinks that maybe she has pleurisy. She's going to increase her Prednisone tomorrow to 5 pills a day for a few days and then cut back as well as increasing her 12 hr. long acting Morphine Sulphate in the morning. That should give her body a jump start and hopefully give her some release from the pain. It's so hard watching her suffer. She's not ready to give up just yet, but if the pain doesn't subside soon she'll probably let go. She doesn't have the death look in her eyes yet, and she still has a lot of fight in her. She hasn't lost any more weight so that's a good sign. She manages to drink Ensure in the day and maybe just a few bites of dinner in the evening.

She's usually pretty good just sitting in her easy chair, but when she has to get up and go to the bathroom or kitchen for her treatments the pain is pretty severe.

I don't have a lot of paid time out hours to use to stay home from work, so Lindsey and Ginger are going to help out next week. They are going to take turns being with Mom and Dad during the day and then I can be with them in the evenings. Ging and Linz, it would probably help if you brought her nebulizer to her in the easy chair to take her treatments. She insists on walking out to the kitchen for her treatments and it's hard on her.

I've found that the best way to try and take care of them is to put something in the crockpot in the morning before work and then when I get home I just take the food over to their house and prepare everything and we all eat together. That way I can do up the dishes over there and not have to worry about cleaning two kitchens. (Her kitchen is cleaner than mine this evening, however!) I do have to re-wash the dishes and utensils that Dad washes in the day. I don't think he sees too well. :)

I'll try and keep you all posted as best I can on her condition.

O.K. ... on to a lighter note. I'm not sure how to describe this experience but I'm sure I'm not alone. I put off my yearly physical exam for about four years and then decide that it's time to have it done. You know the drill ... calling the receptionist for an appointment. "Hello, this is Linda H. calling to make an appointment to see Dr. Daynes." The nice sounding receptionist says, "What seems to be the problem?" I say, "Oh ... no problem, just need to schedule a physical." She says,"O.K. then. How about Tuesday at 8:00 in the morning?" I say, "That would be terrific!" Then the dreaded question comes next, "Would you like a pap smear?" I hesitate and then say, "No, I don't want a pap smear!" She hesitates and then says, "Let me re-phrase that question. Do you NEED a pap smear?" In a small, timid voice I reply, "Yessss, probably ... but I don't WANT one!" She then says, "I'll put a question mark on your chart whether you want to have a pap smear or not. Just remember, no eating or drinking after midnight the night before the physical.

The dreaded day arrives. I'm nervous. In fact, I've been nervous ever since I made the appointment. Why do I dread this? Am I the only female in the world that hates the dreaded physical worse than anyone else? Perhaps it's because I'm a fatty pants and I'm embarrassed by my folds and flabs of fat. No, wait ... I know what it is. It's the dreaded paper gown. Yes, you heard me right - a paper gown!

I arrive at the Doctor's office and am ushered into the examining room and told politely to take off all of my clothes and put on the gown with the opening in the front. Then she hands me the dreaded gown along with a paper covering the size of a table napkin. "You can use this to place over your lap", she says. "Yeah, right" I think silently to myself.

She closes the door and I undress quickly, afraid that either the Dr. or her will open the door while I'm bending over with my bare behind in the air trying to step out of my black undahwehs. But never fear ... no one EVER enters the examing room for at least an hour, after I've undressed, and am sitting in my little paper gown, which by the way was made for a Barbie doll, with my little napkin spread lady- like over my knees.

Hmmm ... nothing to do ... nothing to read but medical phamplets in the slots on the wall. I know, I'll look at these medical drawings. Interesting read! As the time slowly passes, the wall heater turns on and blows continuous hot air into the room that's about the size of my shower. You got it ... you know where I'm going. I start to sweat and the paper gown begins to discinigrate right before my eyes. There's not much paper left under my arms and the crotch area now has a large gaping hole. And to make matters more embarrasing, the paper cover that I'm sitting on has now found it's way between my butt cheeks. Now ... I'll pose this question. When it comes time for me to slide to the end of the table and put my feet into the dreaded stirrups, how am I going to slide with the paper table lining crammed between my cheeks? And what will the Dr. find during the exam? Quickly I peel myself up from the paper liner, step off the table, hoping the door won't open just yet, pick the paper from my bum, and refresh the table with a new piece of paper.

Now, I'm not only hot and sweaty, but because I'm nervous my limbs have turned an ugly purple. My feet look disgusting. Why didn't I get a pedicure before coming? I hope he doesn't have to touch my feet.

He enters. So far so good. Not too bad. I'm able to cover the gaping holes in my gown with my hands and clasp the paper around me. As I lay back on the table while he puts a miner's light on his head, I almost laugh! In fact I tell him that he really should have a TV in his ceiling to help take my mind off this part of the exam. He nervously chuckles! He doesn't have much of a bed side manner.

A few minutes later ... all is well, the exam is over. My dignity is restored until the Doctor asks, "Have you had a colonoscopy?" "Why yes" I answered. "How long ago?" "Oh ... about 7 years ago." "Would you like to have one done?" he asks. My reply is rather sarcastic, "No. Do YOU want one?" He laughs. I'm told to dress and the nurse will be back with two procedures that he wants me to have done ... a COLONOSCOPY and a MAMMOGRAM! As the nurse hands me the phone numbers to call and schedule the procedures, I tuck them deep into my purse and know that I WON'T schedule that colonoscopy for at least another three years. I've had that procedure and I think it's worse than what I just endured. Oh well ... look at it this way ... where I go, they have cloth gowns for the colonoscopy!

Forgot to mention ... had a fabulous Relief Society stamping activity Tuesday night. I provided all of the makin's for the ladies to make valentine cards. There were 22 ladies that showed up. I had everything organized and planned out how they would stamp their cards in groups, move from this table to that, have a treat, visit, play with the Big Shot, and within about 5 minutes my plans had failed. The products that were neatly placed at each table were quickly strewn about the room, ladies grabbing for this and that, and no one even listening to a lick of what I was trying to explain. Get that many excited ladies in one room with a bunch of stamps, ink, and paper, and you have mayhem on your hands! It was cute watching the different groups interacting with each other. Some read the step-by-step instructions, following each step carefully and completing their cards, others grabbed the sample and copied the card without any instructions, some worked together designing their own, and others ate treats and walked around the room watching what the others were doing. It was such a fun time! The gals hugged me when they left and commented that we need to get together again, soon, to do more of these kinds of activities.

Even though this was not a money making opportunity, it was fun sharing my Stampin' Up! products and watching them create and get a feel for what I do in my day job. A lot of the sisters have often wondered what it is that I do at Stampin' Up! It was fun watching their faces when I told them that I set up for stamping sessions for 1,000 people at our regional seminars. What they just saw ... and it was mayhem ... was for 22 people! They just can't fathom 1,000 ladies stamping, laughing, visiting, and eating, all together, at one time!
What a day! Ran into an accident on the way to work this morning. Actually I saw it ... didn't run into it. But I tried two different ways to get to work, which failed.

Then I had to take off to sing at a funeral. One of our neighbors in our old ward passed away. The funeral was kind of sad. Not a lot of support from the ward or neighbors and not a very big family. The talks were short and the funeral was over within 45 minutes.

Got to give Cliff Ellsworth a big hug and a kiss. He's lonely and wishes that he could pass on. Starling Loch and Frank Newton spoke and I sang two numbers. Ruth H. played for me. She's getting better. We are asked to sing the same two numbers everytime someone from the 9th ward dies, so she makes less mistakes each time we have to perform!

I totally biffed it while walking to the church. I didn't step up far enough to get onto the sidewalk and fell all spread-eagled in my dress and pretty, sparkly shoes. I laid there for a second and looked around to make sure no one saw me fall. I was in luck! No one was out in that back parking lot and I was able to save my dignity. My wrist and rib cage is a little sore this evening. Thank goodness for padding. That's the only advantage to my fatness!

Sent off my old camera to Nat on the way back to work. Nat hope that you enjoy it as much as I have. It's still a good camera.

Ran to Hobby Lobby to pick up supplies for a stencil video shoot that I'm doing in a week. Our stencils are really pretty and it will be a great addition to our home decor line.

Am tired --- going to bed!
Addison and LaLa came to visit the other night after Addy's hair cut. Addy is so good with Dieter and he loves her! Actually, Taylor and all of Angie's boys and Ben are really good with the dog too and aren't afraid of him. Hannah hates him and hollers every time she sees him!

Katie ... here's granny's Minnie Mouse ears that Susan LaCroix from Michigan gave to me! Aren't I cute?

Hmmm ... it's Sunday afternoon ... I'm being lazy ... been to all my church meetings since 7:45 a.m. ... already had my afternoon nap ... and now it's time to rustle up some din din.

Reese moved out yesterday. I hate to see him go! But you know Reese ... once he makes up his mind there's no turning back! He moved in with one of his friends who still lives at home. I don't get it! He's either mooching off of us or them. Actually, he'll pay them $150 to stay in their home. That will pay for his food and utilities. His reasoning for the move is he's closer to work and school. He was so excited to leave home he had his room packed up and moved in about an hour!

Of course he left behind three bags of clothes for me to take to DI. Of course I dumped out the bags of clothes and rescued one of my pillowcases, a towel, 10 pairs of good jeans ... any takers? ... several pairs of good socks ... and about 10 nice shirts that Grandpa will probably enjoy! He promised to come back and clean his room. Of course I vacuumed, dusted, and put new sheets on the bed. And it will certainly be Lynn that has to put all of the seats back into the van that he borrowed to move.

Hmmm ... I wonder what he's going to do with all of his stuff for 7 months when he attends boot camp and training?

Today's Relief Society lesson was really good and thought provoking. The lesson mentioned how Joseph Smith loved and studied the scriptures a great deal. Because of his love and study of the scriptures he was able to teach the scriptures in plain and simple language that the people could understand. I feel more dedicated to my scripture study after learning about him.

Since Katie thinks that Granny is so beautiful and that she tells the awesomest stories, I thought I'd post this sweet story that happened to me in Orlando. I noticed a couple of demonstrators who had on the cutest Minnie Mouse ears that were black and sparkly sequins. I was dying for a pair of my own. A demonstrator by the name of Susan Lacroix mentioned that she was going to Disneyland that evening and she would pick me up some. I was ecstatic! The next morning she presented me with the ears but wouldn't let me pay for them. I know they're spendy and I felt like Minnie the Mooch. But I love them and I love Susan for giving them to me! Hmmm ... now I'll have to think of something to do for Susan. Any thoughts?

Oh ... Lindsey and family came over late afternoon yesterday and then we all went over to Ryan's for pizza, Jazz game, and Mario Kart. Next to the pizza, I loved playing Mario Kart the best! We laughed our heads off watching the little ones play ... and Granny! Bomps came in first on his round. I called him Devere at the wheel!

Got to go try out my new corn casserole recipe. I know it sounds gross but Lynn saw it on KSL and wants me to give it a try. If it's good I'll post the recipe.


Naughty Dieter Dog!

I feel horrible! You all know how much my Mom and Dad love our Dieter dog. Dad makes his daily trek over to our home two to three times to get the dog, take him for a potty break, and take him over to their home to visit. As Dad entered into the laundry room from the back door, Dieter bolted out the door and Dad couldn't catch him. Here's my poor ole 91 year old Dad trying to chase Dieter outside to catch him. Dieter bolted for the road ... running as fast as he could, not looking back for love nor money. He has no road sense or outdoor sense for that matter. He's still an innocent puppy. He'd run into a neighbor's yard, sniff around and just as Dad would get close to him, he'd bolt again! Poor Mom ... she was having an anxiety attack. Her oxygen cord is only 100 feet long, which doesn't take her too far outdoors. She'd go to the door and holler for Dieter trying to entice him back with a cookie ... but no Dieter. She got on her knees and pleaded out loud to the Lord for Dieter to come back. She worried that Dad had fallen somewhere ... because now, it's been over an hour that Dad and Dieter are missing. Finally Dad stopped and asked a man who was walking his dog if he had seen a little dog. The man directed Dad to a neighbors house down the street. By then I think Dieter was tuckered out and came up to Dad where he was able to lasso him. Too bad Dad didn't have his rope! I'm sure he could have roped him easier than trying to put his leash on him. I asked Dad if he spanked him when he finally got him. He said that he was too happy to have found him that he didn't even think about spanking him.

Mom and Dad were just sick about losing the dog and sicker about having to tell us that Dieter had run away. They had even contemplated having to buy another dog for us. I laugh when I'm reminded of Mom's comment to that suggestion. "But Lynn and Linda will be able to tell that the dog isn't Dieter!"

I think we've solved the dilemma for now. I've put the baby gate across the hall and Dieter now has access to my bedroom, hall, and two bathrooms. Much better than just the laundry room. That way Dad can come into the house and Dieter will be sequestered in the hall. Dad said that he was still frightened when he leashed him up and took him out side, that he would try to bolt again. He said that he kept a death grip on him all the way home!

Mom taught him a new trick yesterday. She asks him if he wants a piece of cheese and he goes to the fridge. She gets out the cheese, cuts a piece off with a knife, sniffs the cheese and says, "Oooh ... this is stinky ... no good! The she offers the cheese to Dieter and he won't eat it. Then she tastes it and says, "Good! Want some?" and he gobbles it up. She's been teaching him quite a few tricks.

Dieter has been such a blessing in their lives. I'm not sure how we'll take care of him in the daytime when they're both gone!
I think these pictures say it all ... a beautiful, warm, gorgeous week spent working hard in Orlando, Florida for our annual Leadership meeting. Why, oh why ... do we live in the cold dreary snow in Utah when we can be basking in the sun and swimming in the winter? I guess because of my job and my family!

First morning of Leadership on stage with Shelli Gardner, the co-founder of our awesome company, Stampin' Up! Look how beautiful our set is! We have awesome designers who work for the company.
Krista Eckert -- my room producer and fellow employee!
Mark Jessen, a fellow co-worker and helper in my classroom. Susy Miller, an awesome and funny demonstrator presenter. We worked together creating a recruiting class. It was wonderful!
Another one of my favorite demonstrator presenters, Glenda Travelstead. We did an Opray style format, class, on how to get your recruit off to a fast start. It was funny, entertaining, and great information. One of the favorite classes at leadership and very well attended!

At the end of the day after our Leadership conference at Downtown Disney. I had three blisters on one foot and could hardly hobble around. Ice cream always helps make things better!

This is the way we really felt after a long, hard day of set-up and then rehearsals!
These are my team mates, Carrie and Lori.

Everytime I ran into this demonstrator my heart would stop. Don't you think she looks just like my sister, Carol? Her name is Sally Stevens from Tennessee. She's a doll ... and of course so is my sister!

Charlene, a demonstrator and good friend from Florida took me to the temple Thursday evening for an endowment session. We had a wonderful time together. There were only 7 people on the entire session!

Isn't she beautiful? She was/is a high-fashion model and a mom and Stampin' Up! demonstrator.

Jaron, Selma and I. Who would ever believe that I would wear a Utah shirt? My BYU one was dirty.

Here's our team of facilitators, minus Lori, at the end of Saturday after our regional seminar. The attendance at the regional was just under 1,000. Amazing!

Me, Lisa Pope, Shannon West, Cindy Rhodes, and Carrie Cudney ... walking back to the hotel after a long week!

Good Bye ... Farewell ... Gone Forever ... In the Dumpster!

Memories ... like the corner of my mind.
Misty, water-colored memories
Of the way we were ...
La Dee ... La Dee Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah....

Why do I hang onto things that I will never use again? Why can't I throw anything away? Look at this poor ole salt dough creation of the manger scene. Does this evoke memories for any of you?

Remember how hard I tried to make Mary? I was sure she would be the best sculpture out of all of yours. And when I proudly displayed her to you, you all laughed. You said that she looked like a cheerleader!

I'll have to admit ... Laurel's didn't look too much better. Her wiseman looked like Bart Simpson.

And then there's Lynn's and Natalies ... I'd have to say theirs was the best. I'm not sure whose is whose.

And little Reese ... just had to have the aligator in the manger scene. I tried to talk him out of it, but you know Reese ... he insisted!

Lindsey ... did you do the sheep? Pretty good!
Ginger ... which one did you do?

Well --- I finally did it ... I decided to take pictures of the memories, and then throw them away. Before the garbage comes ... does anyone want them? Better speak up ... now or never! What about the musical mug that Jamie Wilcox gave me? I used it to store pencils and pens in when I taught music lessons. There's no handle now, but it still sings when you pick it up. Any takers?