Our lil’ ginger punkin’s naps are getting shorter!!

In an effort to give poor little Jackson a longer nap, I spent a lot of time singing to him and rocking him this week!  Rock a Bye Baby, Jesus Loves Me, & You are My Sunshine are his favorites.

A sleeping Jackson

A sleeping Jackson

The poor little tyke does not like taking naps in the daytime!  He is an excellent sleeper at nighttime.  In fact mommy and daddy have a hard time keeping him up until 8 pm most nights…cause he’s ready for bed!  He usually sleeps until 5:30 or 6 am…sometimes longer!  But he is sure breaking Maw Maw & Paw Paw in during the day!  I think he’s afraid he’s gonna miss something!

Curious JacksonHe’s very CURIOUS….

An exploring Jackson 2

and he loves exploring the house and seeing what he can get into.  He’s learned to pull on the knobs of the entertainment center and open the doors and drawers.  He’s also discovered that if he closes it on those same little fingers that it hurts!!  🙂  When he gets a hold of the bottom drawer and pulls it open (it’s heavy because it’s full of CD’s) he starts pulling himself up so he can peer in it to see what’s inside!  Paw Paw and I spend a lot of time throughout the day grabbing him by the ankles and pulling him back away from the entertainment center to try and divert his attention to all the toys.  LOL

Jackson exploring 2He’s learned that loud sounds comes from that big black box, and that if no one sees him right away, he can crawl back in that corner next to the sofa and make that pretty lamp that sits on a pedestal end table WIGGLE and almost fall down!! “I’m not doing nothing, Maw Maw…I’m just looking around.”

014062695115327He’s such a happy, smiley boy and loves to go for rides in the stroller.  Maw Maw definately gets  her exercise when Jackson’s around.  I go for an early morning 3.5 mile walk with friends before he arrives, and then we usually go for another 2 mile walk with the stroller at some point during the day.  I’m thankful for the cooler temperatures.  (Now it’s only 80 during the day instead of 100).

2014072295135712Jackson loves his puppy…


Loves going to the park and swinging (if those darn mosquitos would leave him alone!)

Jackson floor play 3

Loves playing on the floor and reaching up at things.  He’s not trying to pull himself up yet, but he is trying to crawl.

Jackson learning to crawl

He gets around real good by scooting, but when he tries to crawl he gets up on all four and rocks back and forth.  He’s also discovered that if he crawls into the entry way where there is NO CARPET, that if he rolls over he will bonk his little head! OUCH!

Jackson sippy cup 2

At 8 months old he’s eating three meals a day now, in addition to his bottles, but he also loves his little sippy cup!  He’s a good eater and Maw Maw loves feeding her little man!  Now, if he would just take a nap!  He is the exact opposite of his cousin, Kash.  3 yr. old Kash takes a good 2-3 hr. nap in the afternoon.  It used to be a nice break for me, when I wasn’t taking care of Jackson.  I’m afraid the days of Maw Maw getting a nap are long gone!  When Jackson first returned to us in late August he would take 30 min nap twice a day.  Now he’s down to about 10 min. 2-3 times a day.  By the time mommy arrives to pick him up at 4:30 he’s exhausted!

Needless to say we are looking forward to our little trip we will be taking to Wichita Falls, TX this next week.  We leave on Wed for some Grandkitty sitting and will return the following Tuesday.  Instead of tending to two grandsons we will be tending to one female feline named Samantha while her mommy and daddy get a little downtime in the New Mexico mountains.

Samantha 2014 2







Well, after taking care of FOUR grandsons this week, I’ve decided that my entire existence is for everyone else’s amusement and entertainment!!   ImageJackson didn’t quite know what to think of it all.  He is an only child and so having three other boys (cousins) to watch was very stimulating!!

He would get so excited, his little legs & arms would shake and his eyes would get big as saucers!  I had to keep shushing Ethan (6) and Kash (almost 3) cause Jackson gets scared if voices get too loud.  He doesn’t like screaming or hollering at all and you know how rowdy boys can be!!

 ImageImageEverything from watching them do puzzles, to building with blocks to wrestling – Jackson was all eyes and ears as he sat in his little Bumbo and checked it all out.

Maw Maw & Paw Paw are exhausted!! I’m thankful for all of Paw Paw’s help this past week with the boys.  Preston, (13) was also very helpful this week not only with the little ones, but also by helping Paw Paw mow the front and back lawns. Aside from trying to cook a hot meal every day, I made sure the swimming pool in the backyard was full of clean water every day…

ImageMonday, Tuesday and Wednesday the 3 older boys and I went to the park playground to play each morning while Paw Paw stayed home with Jackson. ImageI’ve been promising Kash that he would learn how to ride Ethan’s “hand me down” bike this summer…so we loaded up the trunk of the car with scooters and the bike and while at the park, Kash got to practice.  He did great!  He had trouble with steering while pedaling because he wants to look around at everybody and see what’s going on rather than paying attention to the road ahead!  LOL!!  I was amazed at how quickly he grasped pedaling forward though.  Once in awhile he would pedal backwards and stomp the brake on.  I tried to explain the concept of making the bike go forward and that the bike would not go backwards, but just stop ..if he pedaled backward.  I’m not sure he’s got that down yet – but he only tipped it over once – when he went off the sidewalk onto the grass.  I was really proud of him since he has a four wheeler at home that all he has to do is press the gas pedal!  He steers it pretty crooked too, and runs into a lot of things!

ImageSo, while Kash was practicing on his bike (my back hurts!), Preston & Ethan were in the racquet ball cage; Preston riding his “rip stick” and Ethan riding his scooter. It’s a very nice park and close to home so when I don’t have a bike to haul we will walk rather than drive to the park.

The boys always tire out if we go to the park and play in the morning prior to lunch.  Paw Paw enjoys an early lunch so by 11 am while he watches Jeopardy and the boys watch the Cartoon channel I am preparing lunch.  Image Since Thursday is a busy day at the park (all the home-school kids are there) we went for a long walk in the neighborhood instead. I had promised the boys that if they were good all week, I would take them to Kid’s Station on Friday to play on the indoor slides, ball pit, arcade etc   Unfortunately, some things are out of our control and just fall through!  Suffice it to say, Maw Maw was not a happy camper!!  The boys and I were meeting friends at Kid’s Station.  We had planned to go at Noon, just after lunch, knowing that Kid’s Station’s summer hours were from 11 – 7. When we arrived at Noon – we discovered that they weren’t open.  Even though summer hours were written on the window (11-7) the sign said they would be open from 1 – 7 instead.  Needless to say, we had to think of something to do to kill some time because Maw Maw was not going to sit in an air conditioned car in the Texas heat for an hour with 3 disappointed and anxious grandsons.  So, we decided to go to the Pet Store to check out the animals.  We got back to Kid’s Station at 1:02 pm to find the friends we were meeting standing outside their car waiting for them to open.  As we watched other cars pull in and out of the parking lot we noticed that there was one lone truck parked at the back of the building, but still no lights on inside.  Myself and the other parents, grandparents waiting were getting very frustrated.  A call to Kid’s Station only resulted in a voice mail message that said their hours for the day were 1-7 pm.  Our friends had not had lunch, so they left to go grab a bite while we agreed to wait until 1:30 pm.  At 1:20 a man in that lone truck came from the back of the building, rolled down his window and proceeded to inform us that they would NOT BE OPEN AT ALL! Grrrrrrr!!  Upon conversing with the man (that’s a nice way of putting it), I found out that he was in fact, the owner – and his reason for not opening was “I have four girls graduating and so I have no one to run the place”.  OMG!!

Are you serious???  And you didn’t know this before NOW????  You didn’t see this problem with staffing before today???  You mean I planned this all week, got my grandsons all fired up about going, had them do chores to earn money for it, blah, blah, blah and NOW at 20 minutes after the time you are supposed to open – you decide NADA??!!  You couldn’t put a message on your voice mail stating such?  When I called yesterday to find out the price for Friday and no one bothered to tell me you weren’t going to be open at all?? What kind of management is that??  Okay, I’ve ranted enough – you get my gist – I just wasn’t happy at all!!  The boys were calmer than I was…SHAME ON ME!  Long story short- we did get 3 free passes for another day (doesn’t solve the problem for today tho).  So, refusing to have 3 disappointed boys on my hands Preston suggested that we check out the Arcade at the Mall.  He said they also had a bounce house for all ages.  Since I go to the mall rarely, I had to take it on faith and go check it out.  ImageOn the way to the Arcade we found several other cute little rides for the boys to check out.  We had a fun afternoon blowing $50 in quarters in the Arcade and got home around 4 pm.  Kash is accustomed to taking a nap in the afternoon, but when we go to Kid’s Station he gets to skip it.  He stays wired up having fun until we get home and then this is what you will find:

ImagePoor little tyke!  He just collapsed as soon as we got home!!  Preston was on the computer, Ethan was watching Netflix (while I rested in my recliner) and Paw Paw had already handed off Jackson to his mommy who was glad to be done with another teaching year.

Today, I got out of my pajamas long enough to go to a brief bible study and homemade Mexican lunch and then came promptly home to climb back into them!  Full day of two choir practices and two church services tomorrow – Monday, just 3 boys. Phew!


Milestones of a “Ginger”

Do young mothers still keep baby books?  The three baby books I kept for my three children went to year 7 and then quit.  I was devoted to keeping them up to date, complete with pictures…noting every milestone from when they cut their first tooth to when they had their first haircut.  Is it my imagination or is this an almost entirely lost endeavor?  Once I became a scrapbooker, I transferred the information and destroyed the old yellowed pages of those baby books to make scrapbooks for each of my grown children all the way into adulthood, including jobs, spouses, their children etc;

Now, I am enjoying the milestones of grandchildren – up close and personal.  Our youngest and 15th grandchild (I have 10, my husband has 5)..is Jackson, our little “ginger”.

ImageHe is just over 3 months old and has begun to hold his head up in bed and check us out! How about that for a cute shot!!  So, low and behold I wasn’t at all surprised when I came into the bedroom to get him from his crib the other day to discover he had rolled over from his tummy to his back!!  I didn’t see it, but we always put him on his tummy for sleep (I know all the controversy and debate), but when he awoke he was on his back!!  LOL 

Jackson’s parents are first time parents, needless to say he is spoiled!  I think mommy and daddy think that if he lets out a peep he must be picked up!  It’s made it a bit more challenging for Maw Maw and Paw Paw because we get very little “down time” when he’s awake!!  He’s not real good at entertaining himself yet.  ImageHere he is being talked to.  He loves it when you talk to him.  His sweet personality is really beginning to show.  Just as equally his red-headed temperament is also often present!  LOL  Oh, how we love this little toot!!  He is such a joy to have around.


He has such a cute, high pitched wail…and when he decides he’s mad – there’s nothing a person can do but let him wail. He just decides – “I’m done being entertained!” Usually that means he’s either very tired, needs to be fed or needs to be changed. Sometimes tho, it just means “change my position”!! In other words…”walk around the house with me, so I can look around, or go outside and sit on the patio with me for awhile, or take me for a stroll in my stroller.”

Our big boy

Our big boy

Needless to say, we are enjoying taking care of “little” Jackson and will miss him when mommy is done teaching school in 2 weeks. He will return to us in the fall half grown I’m sure. It’s not that we won’t see him this summer…(of course, we will), but it won’t be the same as enjoying and appreciating all those milestones on a daily basis like we have.Jackson 4 This last shot is Jackson flirting with our Pastor’s wife at church. Love it!


Since Granny’s passing….

I apologize.  I know I haven’t been around much lately.  I’ve been reading. I just haven’t been writing.  Writing as well as talking seems to get me in too much trouble – but we won’t go there for the sake of boring you to tears!!  I’m going to try to do better.  I know there are people reading this blog, they just don’t choose to comment.  I am going to try and post a blog at least once a week. That will be my goal for now.  Your comments will encourage me to keep at it.  So, you ask,,  What have I been up to, right?

Well, since Granny’s passing last September I’ve been seeking God’s will for my life.  For awhile I felt like a fish out of water.  A bit aimless to say the least.  I really thought I would be going to work outside the home after the first of the year. NADA.  Just didn’t feel any type of “release” and since we are down to one reliable vehicle, it would be a challenge (not impossible) to work outside the home.  

I’m still taking care of Kash and like to pat myself on the back for he is now FULLY potty trained and quite proud of himself!! Image

He’s a mess!! Love that baby boy!! We talk all day about all sorts of cool stuff.  He’s so smart and wants to “help” me with everything!  There are no child labor laws in Maw Maw’s house.  He wants to vaccum, dust, windex the windows, bake cookies, go for walks, go shopping…you name it! Our days are full.  His daddy works for the railroad, so he gets to be home with Kash every other week.  That has cut my daycare responsibilities down to 1/2 the month instead of the entire month.  I sure do miss him when he’s gone, but it does give me a nice break to sew, have lunch with girlfriends etc;  Not for much longer though…

Enter Jackson…Image

Our little “ginger” was born early Feb. and mommy goes back to work teaching school this coming Monday.  I will get the honor of taking care of Jackson for the next two months until school is out for the summer.  He’s a red head and is beginning to look like his daddy (my youngest step-son, Josh) more and more each day.  He weighed in at 9 lb. 1 oz and is now almost 14 pounds, 6 weeks later!!  His daddy is a big boy too, weighing in at over 300 lbs, so doesn’t surprise me that he likes to eat!

There’s nothing better to shake you from your grieving over the loss of a loved one – than NEW life and NEW famly!!  We so wish Granny could have seen our little Jackson.  Kash still talks about her and asks..”Granny in heaven with Jesus?”  Image

RIP..Bertha Mae Stevens, we look forward to seeing you dancing on Pearly shores.

Since I didn’t feel released to go to work and was having a blast sewing, come the first of the year I decided to try incorporating some of my hobby into a business from my home.  It was purely on a fluke, but would allow me to still take care of grandbabies also.  My daughter, Tanya (the realtor in Wichita Falls) wanted me to make her some cord covers.  I said, “what?”  She said, “cord covers, Mom”.  They are very hot and trendy and I see them in a lot of homes I go into, but they are quite expensive at places like Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Well, it didn’t sound very creative and also sounded quite boring to make, but I experimented with some of my leftover quilt fabric.  She was quite happy with hers.  That’s when the lightbulb went on.  I was already on E-bay and Etsy but with mediocre results selling other stuff..so I began taking pictures of my cord covers and selling them on both sites.  The results have been quite shocking!  It’s been a great way to supplement my SSI and so far my reviews/feedback has been awesome too!Image

This is a cream eyelet one.  I sell them in different lengths, colors and fabrics.  Been quite fun and rewarding.  Can’t say the same about my quilts.  I love making quilts and decided while I was at it to make some baby quilts to sell online as well.  Although I’ve sold a couple, I’ve discovered that people aren’t willing to pay for a handmade quilt that is a ONE OF A KIND original – at least not what it’s worth (for the amount of time and labor that went into it).  The following are still FOR SALE:  Please give me your feedback on if you think my prices are too high…Image

Pillow Quilts (a type of rag quilt) approx. 35″ X 42″ (5 blocks across, 6 blocks down) $19.95 plus shippingImage

Blue & White gingham with embroidered butterflies; make them in pink, peach, lavendar etc;


This crazy quilt for baby sells for $24.95 plus shipping.  This has decorative top stitching, a scrappy binding, appliqued hearts, and yellow sashing. I take custom orders for these and am making a larger one for a young girl in purples, pinks, blues, whites currently.  Here’s a close up of one of the blocks:  Image


Those are my smaller, less expensive ones.  I’ve also made some larger flannel baby quilts but have had no luck selling them online.  Please give me your honest feedback on what you think and what I might be doing wrong:  Here they are:


ImageThis one is called “Cuddle Bug” and is currently selling for $55.00 (free shipping).

ImageImageThis one is called “Lil Hoo” and is also listed at $55.00 + free shipping.  I love the little owl flannel print.  You will see by the closeups that I’m not a professional quilter – I’m still a novice and they are far from perfect but I think they are worth what I’m asking.  This has really left me in a quandry.  When I was in Cracker Barrel for lunch yesterday I saw BEAUTIFUL, FACTORY CREATED quilts for 129.00 for KING SIZE! $99.00 for QUEEN!  That told me that people just don’t value or appreciate the work that goes into one made at home and there’s no way a home craftsman can compete with assembly line quilts by charging such low rates.  Is my thinking way off base or am I right on the money? (Pardon the pun).

On to bigger and better things….at Thanksgiving my hubby and I were able to get away for a few days of rest and relaxation. We were still suffering the loss of Granny and just wanted to “chill”.  We went to my daughter, Tanya’s in Wichita Falls.  We had not seen there new home yet, so it was also a lot of fun seeing how God had blessed them, and how a lot of hard work had paid off for them!ImageTanya’s husband, Rob works for the Wichita Police force and is my “favorite” (only LOL) son-in-law.  I love him so much and he is so good to my baby girl.  He loves it when I bake for him, so I bribe him with baked goods often.  We celebrated Christmas while we were there and so I gave Rob the crazy quilt I had made for him, too.

ImageIt is folded over so you can see both front and back.  Rob is tall, so the first thing he did when he opened it was lay down on the floor and cover up with it to be sure it covered him totally up!  Cracked me up!  It’s very heavy and warm.  He and Tanya have a cabin in New Mexico and like to mountain climb, so I envisioned him using it when sleeping outdoors in the cold, but I don’t think the weight of it is practical for keeping in a backpack!! Ha!

Image We also helped Tanya and Rob decorate the tree while we were there. I had made some handmade cloth ornaments for everyone this year, so it was fun seeing them adorn their trees as well.

While there Tanya had a light bulb moment. She was looking for a tax write off for her business and asked if I would embroider kitchen towels for her to give as closing gifts to her clients if she purchased an embroldery machine for me. DUH!  Of course!

ImageThat’s also why I was able to embroider butterflies on my pillow quilts as well.  I’m still learning how to use my new machine but am having so much fun with it.

Lot more going on…but my fingers are tiring – In closing I would let you know that Jan. 1st “Custom Creations” was born.Image  I’m not getting rich off it, but am having a lot of fun sewing in my spare time.  While hubby Jerry enjoys his favorite pass time of watching the “boob tube” I am allowing my creative juices to flow.

As I said in the beginning- I will try to be more present and accounted for and post something at least once a week.  I really need to know you are reading to stay motivated though.  Even a “like” will let me know you are there!


I don’t know what to “title” this blog…so get your coffee!

They say your title should “grab” your audience, but what if you just want to ramble? I have so much I want to say and just don’t know how to categorize it into a “topic”…ever been there? A lot of thoughts running through my head most of which you, my reader, are probably not the slightest bit interested in. Back in the day I was a “journal” girl. You were just writing, keeping a diary, so to speak..you weren’t trying to be interesting, creative or trying to grab the attention of anyone. Bloggin has taken journaling to a whole new level now hasn’t it?

Let’s see where do I begin…well, last week was my first week to take care of just Kash, my two yr. old grandson, by himself. His 5 yr. old brother had his first week of kindergarten. I’ve spoken to Ethan and he claims his first week went well. He said he learned “science”. By science he meant he had learned how popcorn kernels become popcorn. I thought that was pretty neat. Kash and I had some good quality time together. A week ago today, (last Wed) we had a bunch of errands to run. Kash likes to get in the car seat and go errand running with Maw Maw, but when Ethan was here we rarely did, because Ethan was such a homebody and didnt’ like running errands.
One of the stops we made was to Walmart to pick up a few groceries and a potty chair. (I know, he’s a little slow on the potty front).

Kash w new potty chair

Kash w new potty chair

I love this next one, especially…


Kash and I had a nice neighborhood walk last Wed, before we went errand running, so it was a full morning. We purchased a bucket of chicken to bring home for lunch. I was lifting him in and out of the car several times that morning, and took him to see his mama at work also. While there she asked me to lift him up over a counter so she could kiss him. That was the “straw that broke the camel’s back”…not literally…but I have been (as they say in Texas) “down in my back” ever since. Seems kinda ironic since Kash’s mama was scheduled to have back surgery on Friday. I told her I was having “sympathy pains”. LOL

On Thursday, Paw Paw had to help me care for Kash more extensively since I had had a pretty painful and sleepless night and couldn’t hardly straighten up. I’m not sure if I had pulled a muscle or if it was the sciatic nerve problem I’ve had in the past, but I alternated heat and ice Wed, Thurs, Fri and was able to move a little better by Saturday. Turning over in bed is still quite painful, but I am at about 90%. Of course, this is what usually happens when I am fixing to take some time off and plan to go for a fitness walk or run each morning. Kash was gonna be at his other grandmother’s and with his dad from last Friday thru this entire week, and Granny went to the Hospice house for 5 days on Monday. Needless to say, no dedicated exercise has occurred as planned. Which takes me to the blog topic I was pondering: “MY LIFESTYLE, THEN & NOW”.

Back in late 2010 and early 2011 prior to Granny coming home to be under our care, I was leading a very active, fit and healthy lifestyle having lost 55 lbs with Weight Watchers. I lost the weight in 2006/2007 and maintained the loss until I quit working for them as a leader and was forced a few months later to become Granny’s full-time caregiver. (I only say “forced” because we had no other options). Since, I was already stuck and home caring for her I volunteered to also take care of my oldest daughter’s two youngest children. Combined with these two facts was a third: The gym where I worked out also sold out and went out of business. I could no longer go anyway, since there was no daycare at the gym, and Granny needed me – suffice it to say, my lifestyle drastically changed …


Ladies Workout Express

Ladies Workout Express


At church, 15 lbs heavier

At church, 15 lbs heavier

My lifestyle then, was going to the gym 3 times a week, walking or running a 5k at least 2 – 3 times a week, weighing and measuring all my food and tracking every BLT (bite, lick or taste), inspring others to do the same blah, blah, blah…sorry if I’m boring you. My lifestyle now, is cooking, cleaning, taking care of Granny and children, reading, writing/blogging, some TV, snacking, and quilting/crafting. I’ve also done some DIY home improvement. Moral of the story: I stay busy, but healthy eating and dedicated exercise has fallen by the wayside. I want to get back to it and am working on a plan. I know from experience that my head has gotta be in the game before I begin! And, although I’ve begun tracking my intake again this week…I’m still struggling with my eating. I’m not beating myself up or complaining because I know this is where God has chosen to place me at this time. He also knows that I preferred my previous life to the current one. But, that being said, it’s not my will but His to be done in my life. So, for now..I stand because

we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

I also enjoyed a visit a week and a half ago from my baby girl. I was gonna blog and title it “My baby girl has arrived” thinking it would grab someone’s attention and they would think I’d had a baby LOL !! At 62 and post menopause that would truly be an immaculate conception! 🙂

Arriving at Mom's house

Arriving at Mom’s house

Everytime Tanya arrives you would think she was moving in for a month! This was a quick weekend trip. She lives in Wichita Falls, TX…so if you are ever in need of a realtor – she’s one of the cities top ones!

We got a sitter for Granny and while Tanya was here she took her step-dad and I out for dinner.

Linda, Jerry & Tanya 0813

We relaxed most of the time she was here but some of the time I had to share her with her older sister and her neice and nephews. Fun was had by all! I will see her again at Thanksgiving when she & her husband, Rob will be entertaining us in their new home (we haven’t seen yet).

So, having a break from Kash and from Granny has allowed me some free time for my most favorite hobby: Patchwork quilting!! “Online tutorials, where have you been all my life??” I began in 2012 with simple patchwork, but thanks to these tutorials have evolved! I’m having so much fun learning and doing and am now paying it forward by teaching some of my girlfriends the techniques I’ve learned.

My baby step-son his wife are expecting in Feb. This is my second baby quilt:

Baby quilt

Baby quilt

Colorful 9 patch

Colorful 9 patch

Chevron Pillow Sham

Chevron Pillow Sham

Country Lace

Country Lace

This Saturday I will be having my third fellowship with some ladies from church. We will enjoy refreshments and I will have at least 2 cutting and sewing stations set up so we can get started on our quilts for Christmas.


Last but not least…since we weren’t able to go anywhere for this time of respite (you will recall, we went to Fort Worth for Anniversay Celebration last month), my sweet, thoughtful hubby planned a little excursion to Lake of the Pines lastnight to visit one of our favorite older couples from church. We just had a relaxing visit and a walk in the woods. (I’m an outdoors, camping type person but hubby is not). That’s why this was especially thoughtful and kind of him. He knows I like to go to the woods!

Well, I hope I haven’t bored you to tears with running my mouth…Church fellowship tonight and two more days of sewing and (depending on my back) maybe a walk in the park or two before Granny returns.

There’s no rhyme or reason

When you are dealing with a terminal patient you never know from one day to the next what kind of day it will be.  Yesterday, Granny was having difficulty sucking through a straw.  I had to coax her every step of the way.  She only ate about half of her breakfast and half of her lunch.  She just wasn’t having a good day! 

Today, on the other hand, she was “bright eyed and bushy tailed” or at least as bright eyed and bushy tailed as you can be when you are confined to a bed 24 hrs. a day!  She ate a good helping of greek yogurt and cheerios for breakfast and an applesauce flavored with strawberries. 

Her yogurt is flavored with strawberries and honey and I grind up honey nut cheerios in the blender and stir it in.  Honey Nut cheerios was always her favorite cereal, but since she’s on a pureed diet I had to figure out how to give it to her.

She always drinks coffee and juice in the morning.  Her juice has her ground up meds in it.  She also drinks some water.  Yesterday she only drank about 1/2 her coffee (150 cc’s), only 40 cc’s of water, and her 150 cc’s of juice had to be given in several offerings.

Today, on the other hand, she SUCKED IT ALL DOWN! Juice w meds was sucked down in one fell swoop with no problem, 300 cc’s of coffe and another 150 cc’s of water!

The moral of the story:  Well, I’ve learned that often, if not always, it has nothing to do with me and what I do or don’t do as caregiver and all to do with her and how she’s feeling on any given day.  I try to provide her the love and care I’m capable of and the rest is just going with the flow.



A typical day at Maw Maw’s house

No two days are alike, but many of our activities are repeated from day to day. The reason for my blog is because yesterday was the last day I will have the youngest four of my oldest daughter’s five children in my home to care for. Beginning Monday I will only have Kash (almost 2) and unfortunately I’m afraid he’s gonna be a lonely little fella for awhile without his 5 yr. old sibling and playmate, Ethan to wrestle with.

Ethan & Kash

Ethan & Kash

The kids arrive around 7:20 in the morning and I am just finishing up with Granny’s morning routine. Kash has to give “Ganny” a kiss and touch her face…

Granny, Kash & Linda

Granny, Kash & Linda

The “face touching” just started recently, but it amazes me that Kash just knows instinctively to be gentle. I didn’t tell him to be gentle or worry that he would slap or grab at her, but he just reaches over and ever so gently strokes her cheek. It is so sweet!!

He and Granny’s birthdays are only one day apart in September and his arrival two years ago coincides with Granny’s arrival from the nursing home two years ago.

Two years ago

Two years ago

With exception of July when the kids were with their dad, this summer I’ve enjoyed the company of Hannah, 15, Preston, 12, and of course Ethan and Kash. Just like my mom, one of the things I enjoy the most is feeding them! I love to cook a hot meal for them, especially if they like what I’m fixing!

Hannah, Preston & Ethan a couple years ago pre-Kash

Hannah, Preston & Ethan a couple years ago pre-Kash

Our large hot meal occurs around 11:30 in the morning with a mid-afternoon snack around 2 pm right before naptime. I would like to tell you that everything they eat is healthy and nutritious but that would be a lie. It’s not uncommon for me to have home baked sweets in the house or at least some candy and chips available. My big boy, Preston, 12 can put away some groceries, but sweets aren’t really his thing. He will choose trail mix over a cookie any day and likes “puff corn” and string cheese the best. Ethan (5), on the other hand, is a choc-o-holic and will be quite disappointed if there isn’t any chocolate in the house. Chocolate #1, Sugar #2. Yesterday, for example – I had no chocolate. He chose a bowl full of marshmallows. 🙂

Some misc activities you might find us involved in on any given day:

On a trek thru the neighborhood or walking on the trail at the bottom of the hill. This week our walks were taken early in the morning, right after breakfast before the temp hit 90’s. Ethan or Preston will often be on their scooter, Kash in the stroller while Hannah is home “sleeping in” or helping Paw Paw mow the lawn. Kash has lately gotten to where he likes to walk the trail rather than ride in the stroller. On one of our hot afternoon walks this week I snapped this pose under an overpass that goes over the trail..

The H G Mosley Hooligans

The H G Mosley Hooligans

Kash looks sunburned, but actually he just “flushes” really bad in the heat. He walked about a half a mile when this pic was taken and we had to walk another half a mile back to the car. He’s a very independent, outdoorsy little fella and absolutely loved the freedom of being able to walk. The trail has workout stations and so Preston enjoyed trying out all the cool equipment while Ethan rode his scooter.

Burning some calories

Burning some calories

Water play! Whether it’s a bath we are taking, playing in the swimming pool out on the patio or playing in the sink and “pretending” to wash the dishes – all my boys love the water!!


I also took the kids to “Kid’s Station” three or four times this summer. It’s one of those air conditioned indoor playgrounds that rough and tumble boys enjoy especially.


Many hours were spent at Lois Jackson Park which is connected to the trail that we walk. They have a nice little playground that is walking distance from our house.


Mind you, all of these activities have to take place while Paw Paw is at home, because otherwise there is no one to stay with Granny! So, there is alot of indoor stuff we do such as building forts, school work, reading books, legos etc;

There’s never a dull moment – with 3 boys and one 15 yr. old girl. I try to do something special with Hannah once in awhile so she doesn’t feel left out. One of those “Hannah” days was spent getting pedicures.

Pedicure time

Pedicure time

We left the boys home with Paw Paw, and went out for lunch, a little shopping and a mani/pedi. Good girl time!

So much more I could say about the things we do at Maw Maw’s but suffice it to say, it’s going to be a lot quieter and less busy with a 2 yr. old and a 93 yr. old to tend to. I have mixed emotions. Maybe it’s time to start back on tending to me…but that’s another blog post.

My last day of freedom

Ethan and Kash are the two grandsons that I have been taking care of for the past 18 months. They are a joy! They have spent the last month with their dad and so I have had the month of July off. Guess what tomorrow is? August 1st! That means today was my last day of “freedom” 🙂

Playing in the sink

Playing in the sink

So, to celebrate my last day with no children I told my hubby I was going to spend my day playing on the computer and sewing. So, when I wasn’t tending to Granny’s needs that’s exactly what I did.

Look at what I made today:

Scrappy 9 patch quilted pillow cover - front

Scrappy 9 patch quilted pillow cover – front

It has an “envelope opening” in the back so it can be removed and washed:

The back

The back

It took me about 3-4 hours (with interruptions) to complete. I am so pleased with the way it turned out. It was just an experiment made from fabric scraps. Several of my friends have told me I should try to sell some of my quilts etc; I’ve never felt like they were good enough to sell. I always make them for friends and family and give them as gifts. So, I thought I would try a small project and put it on E-bay. I listed this pillow tonight.
I have an Etsy account, but the one time I really tried to get into understanding their rules and regs it just didn’t seem as user friendly as E-bay. Does anyone have an opinion or advice?

Fair warning…now that the boys will be back at my house Mon-Fri, I probably won’t be blogging quite as often and my sewing will have to be reserved for the evenings and weekends. Mind you, I’m not complaining…love my boys. Just gotta take my Geritol and get my running shoes out! LOL

Families, please take care of your elderly

Through the years I’ve witnessed so much of our elderly being neglected, abused or just plain ignored by their loved ones. I know there are two sides to every story and some elderly family members are just plain cranky and difficult to get along with!


No two women could be more unalike than these two. The one on the left is my ex-mother-in-law who is a saintly, sweet, soft spoken woman. The one on the right is my mother. The woman who gave birth to me. She is the difficult, cranky one I referred to earlier. She is very difficult to please. And that is putting it nicely. She looks cheerful and pleasant though, doesn’t she? And she can be! She just chooses not to be! Key word: “Chooses”

Suffice it to say, they are both elderly and loved by their family and friends, but I digress…

For those of you that are following my blog, you know that I’ve just returned from an anniversary celebration in the DFW area. You also know that I am the FT caregiver for my almost 93 yr. old mother-in-law. We are pictured below:

[caption id="attachment_509" align="alignnone" width="169"]Granny & Linda Granny & Linda

My current mother-in-law aka “Granny” is also a saintly, soft spoken, gentle woman. She wouldn’t harm a flea even when she was able bodied. Every 30 days we are entitled to 5 days of respite. During that time she is transported by ambulance to the local Hospice House for alternate care since we will be away. Although we very much look forward to the break from taking care of her, we hate leaving her in the care of “strangers”. It’s just not the same!! She never returns in the condition she was when she left. Please understand the Hospice place where she goes is one of the best in our area and on a day by day basis we are very pleased with the services that they provide. We love the nurse that comes to visit Granny once a week to check her vitals etc; We also love her Aide that comes 3 times a week to bathe Granny. We get a visit from a social worker once per month and a nurse practictioner each month. They are all very kind and competent individuals.

You also need to understand that as a team (Hospice and her family) we are not trying to prolong her life. She is terminal and there is no hope of her improving. We are just trying to keep her as comfortable as possible for whatever days the Lord decides she has left. BUT REALLY???? She came home with ugly purple bruises on both arms, hands, and feet!! I don’t believe for one second she was abused. But, I do believe at least one person that was caring for her was too rough handling her. She also came home with a very croupy, ragged cough!! We have repeatedly warned them against leaving Granny near any kind of draft. Thirdly, she came home with a UTI which wasn’t discovered until day 5 (the day she came home) and an anti-biotic had to be prescribed! What’s up with that?

I remember when I was in college writing a paper in English class about nursing homes etc; and the care that the elderly receive. I know that nursing homes probably get a bad rap in most cases, but I know for certain that the elderly do not get the kind of care from an institution that they will get from loving family members. It’s a HUGE sacrifice, I know. And now that I’m getting to retirement age I worry with who will care for me in my declining years. How many of you have ever heard an older family member say, “I don’t want to be a burden”? Only to hear, “you aren’t a burden”. Tell them another lie! It is a burden. Anyone that says it’s not a burden to care for an aging family member regardless of the condition they are in, is lying!! It’s tough. It takes a toll on you. Emotionally, psychologically, physically, mentally – you name it.

You know how they used to vote and put in your high school year book – “most likely to…”??? Well, it would have said above mine “least likely to lovingly care for an elderly person” – and yet that is exactly what I am doing and have been rewarded in so many ways that cannot be measured. And yet, if we hadn’t been out of options for Granny, we too, would have continued to allow someone else to care for her. I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit that.

Approx. every 30 days we will continue to take advantage of the respite that Hospice allows us, but know in our hearts that she will not get the love or care that she gets right here at home.

Sick Day – “sick” food…

I took a sick day – today. Unfortunately, my sick day doesn’t look like anyone else’s because my “job” is right here at home taking care of my 92 yr. old bedfast MIL. My sweet hubby is the sound technician at our church of over 400 members and so Sunday is his big “work” day with two services and choir practices. Yesterday he napped off and on all day with a nasty summer cold and this morning, yours truly woke up with it! I had a volunteer coming this morning so I could go to church, but upon awakening realized I needed to call the volunteer.

So, around 7:30 after getting Granny awake and fed, I took some medicine and went back to bed. Hubby said I was snoring soundly when he left for church before 9. I awoke feeling light headed but a tad better at 10 so I began prepping some material for the next two quilts I will be making. “Prepping” means to sew all the raw edges together in a continuous loop before placing in the washing machine (so all the loose threads from washing don’t tangle), then cutting all the raw edges away, all the salvages away and pressing and starching fabric. With new fabric this is all done before beginning to cut your quilt pieces out.

Hubby had already agreed to eat sandwiches for lunch since I wasn’t feeling much like cooking. I had planned to make chicken stew for lunch but instead we ate the agreed upon sandwiches and at Noon I threw the stew together for us to eat in the evening. Myself for supper and for hubby when he returned from evening service. Hubby and I ate our sandwiches around 12:30 and all the ingredients for the stew were in the crock pot. With all the fabric I was prepping washed and dried, I cooked and fed Granny her lunch. Then, I laid back down around 1:30 for a nap, while hubby watched his favorite Brit Coms that he’d recorded from previous night.

Hubby woke me up before leaving at 4 for Choir practice so we could check and turn Granny. I then began trimming, starching and ironing about 20 yards of fabric. My goal was to have Granny fed supper and have fabric all prepped before I sat down to watch Design Star on HGTV and eat a little stew. Goal accomplished! I’ve kept the cold medicine going every four hours and am although a little hoarse, I am feeling better than I did when I got up this morning.

So here’s my Chicken Stew recipe – great sick food…especially when battling a cold!!

Chicken Stew Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced
3 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
3 medium potatoes, diced
1 – 12 oz. pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
1 clove garlic
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans of water
1 T. chicken base or = buillion cubes
1 t. cayenne pepper

I began by throwing 3 frozen chicken thighs in the crock pot. Don’t need to thaw. Add the diced onion on top. Peel and dice the potatoes and place on top of that. Pour the frozen vegetables on top. Add 1 whole clove of garlic, all the seasonings (Paula Deen’s house seasoning is salt/pepper/garlic combined), 1 can of water and chicken base. I combine the other can of water with the soup on top of stove and blend real good. Pour it over the top of everything. Sprinkle cayenne last. Put lid on crock pot and little simmer on low for 6-8 hours, stirring every couple hours. As chicken thighs cook, they will break up. Not too spicy hot, but you can leave cayenne off, if you prefer.

You could also use chicken breasts, if you prefer. Thighs was all I had in the house.

Looking forward to having a better day tomorrow, but feel like I’ve gotten quite a bit accomplished for a sick day. It’s off to bed now as I will be greeted by a rambunctious 21 mo. old at 7:30 in the morning!

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