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All Moved In

Friday, June 30 th   My 69th and would have been Dan’s 44th birthday – we headed over to the new house with Kelly and her friend, Jim to do the cleaning and prep work to get ready for moving.   Jim got all of the bigger items done---door locks changed, hardwiring the electrical for the drip system, replacing fan light in bedroom #2, replacing the garbage disposal, and installing the grab bars in both bathrooms.    Kelly was here to get the cleaning done and put the shelving together for the gara

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Melting

With the temperatures nearing 120 in our area this past week, we are melting in Arizona.   It would have been a horrible week to close on the house and try to move in these hotter than "H" temps, so it's just as well the closing got delayed again.   While I'm having flashbacks of what happened in 2012 when we thought we were going to close on a house in AZ, I'm almost certain it will eventually happen now, although I can't say for sure exactly what date it will happen.   This time the delay seem

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Anniversaries Approaching

June used to be a happy month for me.   It was the real beginning of summer for us, which meant fishing and camping trips, family picnics and working out in the yard and enjoying the sunshine.   That all changed after Gary's stroke on June 1, 2004 and even more  since the loss of our youngest son, Dan on June 22nd of last year.    I no longer look forward to June in the same way I did years ago.   This year I want it to go by quickly and do not feel the need to celebrate anything - especially mi

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Nearly 13 years of service

Right after Gary came home from stroke rehab in September 2004, we got our little peek-a-poo as a puppy.  We named her Pookie and she immediately recognized that Gary needed help with all aspects of daily living and made it her job to be as much help as possible with his care.  From the early days of helping me to screen caregivers, to supervising them as they cared for her "Papa", to alerting me if he was trying to get out of bed or out of his chair when I was in another part of the house, to s

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Saved by The Patch

It's been a while since I've blogged, so thought it was time to get caught up here.   I've been sick off and on since returning home from the trip to meet Sue.   Though the trip was nice and it was great to finally meet up in person, I think being away so long (6 days total), and the change of food, water and sleeping patterns messed me up inside.   It took me a couple of weeks to feel somewhat back to normal again, and then Gary got sick.    He has been going gradually downhill since the loss o

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I am Not a Paid Caregiver

I take care of my stroke survivor husband... been his caregiver since his stroke in 2004. I do not want a job as a caregiver to others. Caregiving is exhausting, but I do it out of commitment and obligation. When I get a break from it and leave him with paid caregivers, I don't want to spend my time taking care of someone else............I need the breaks. That doesn't sink in to an elderly neighbor who knows that I care for my husband, and expects me to help her out since I am a caregiver.  

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Hypnotherapy Seems to Be Helping

While I still have a lot of work to do on the relaxation efforts and practicing my self-hypnosis to go to my happy place when I need to de-stress, at least the weight loss part of the sessions have helped. I'm on my own until I need a booster session, but so far - one month into this and I'm down 16 lb. I was hoping for 20 but I'll work harder this next month. December won't be quite as challenging since we won't do a huge gathering with tons of food like our son did for Thanksgiving. I

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Moving Forward

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I have had to reflect on all the things I have to be thankful for. Despite the fact that this has not been a good year for us with the loss of my Mom in February and our youngest son in June, we still are blessed to be here and doing okay......not great, but okay works for me!   While suffering from the depression that goes along with grieving, I did an awful lot of stress eating, wasn't sleeping well, and experiencing some very intense knee pain. I had t

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Why Do I Feel Like I'm In This Alone??

When we moved to Arizona four years ago, I thought we were going to have a nice small house in a quiet suburb with a pool in the back yard, where I could get out and swim while Gary napped. Because of tightened banking regulations after the Wall Street disaster, I couldn't sign for the loan using Gary's Power of Attorney, so the whole deal fell through. As a result, we ended up having to find something we could pay cash for and get into quick, after being cramped in a small hotel room with limit

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Memorial Garden

I am working on putting in a memorial garden for our son, Dan. So far we've planted a few flowering shrubs and some potted flowers and I'm ordering a nice bench and a fountain to place out front. I'll need to have Kelly paint the brick on the front of the house as it is faded, but once that's done we can finish the project. We will try to have a little party to dedicate it to his memory sometime in October or November, depending on what date works best for family and friends. One of Dan's good f

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When All Else Fails

Trying to stay positive these days is a work in progress. It's not easy to be upbeat and cheerful these past few months, and some days I feel like a real clown. You know the old song, "the tears of a clown when no one's around." That's me! But I'm trying my best not to let it ruin my day or upset our lives. I've had more than one person tell me I should be on an anti-depressant, but I avoid medications like the plague. Everything has numerous side affects, so forget that. I don't even take Tylen

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3000 Mile Trip

We are back from our trip to Colorado to bury our son, Dan and on to N. Dakota to my 50th class reunion and to bury Mom. What a trip!!!   Gary didn't sleep much the whole trip, so really busted our backs getting him in and out the vehicle or in to bed or a shower or on a toilet. Hotel grab bars for the most part were in all the wrong places for him so we had to improvise, which meant more strain on mine and Kelly's backs when he didn't help because he was overtired all the time. The first day

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Coffee With the Cops

It's early Monday morning and I can't sleep - I mean really early ...like 2 a.m. early. The dogs woke me up when they both needed to go out to potty, so here I am with brain spinning and sleep eluding me again. I had planned to go to the coffee with the cops meeting this morning at the clubhouse, but will definitely need a few more hours sleep before I go. We have the coffee on the 2nd Monday of every month, and continue the meetings through the summer months, even though many residents have gon

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In Memory of Dan (Our son)

Thank you all for your kind words and expressions of sympathy during this past week. We have made final arrangements to return Dan's cremated remains to Colorado for burial. We will have a Celebration of Life Service in Longmont, Colorado on July 30th and I have asked that in lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to do so may contribute to the Stroke Network in his memory. I've already received some checks made out to me that I will cash and send one check for the total donations to Steve Mallory

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Broken Hearts

A parents worst nightmare is hearing your doorbell in the middle of the night, and having an officer inform you that your child is deceased. I'm still reeling from that nightmare - we lost our youngest son, Dan - the one who moved to AZ with us and lived with us for three years before buying his own home - I wrote the following poem to post on his fb page:   With broken hearts and teary eyes, Those left behind are wondering why. Though we can't understand your horrible pain, We know in our

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A Ray of Sunshine This Weekend

With the mass murders in Orlando this past weekend, and all the bat crap crazy politicians on television, and depressing local news, I got to the point where I didn't even want to turn on the television or sign on to my computer ............it was all so depressing. I did sign on to facebook several times over the weekend to stay caught up on Dice with Buddies and Words with Friends with my youngest sister, and on Saturday I ran across some GOOD news for a change. Gary's nephew who lives in Texa

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Twelve Year Stroke Anniversary This Week

Gary's is approaching his twelve year stroke anniversary this week - On June 1, 2004 he suffered a massive brainstem stroke in the hospital while awaiting tests to find out why he had passed out earlier at home and again upon arrival at the hospital. No Dr. ever came back in the room to look at him that afternoon or evening, after we reported to the nurses that he was having a stroke. It was early the next morning when we had a meeting with the doctors and head of patient services that they info

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It's Okay to Laugh at a Funeral

I went to a memorial service this past week for a nice lady here in our park who passed away from side affects of chemo. She had been through several major medical challenges over the past few years...the most recent was colon cancer, chemo and several serious falls. I remember her telling me about six months ago when we were discussing end of life decisions that she didn't want a funeral when she died, but rather a party with food and drink and people laughing and enjoying themselves and remem

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We're Heating Up!

Mid May and we've already hit triple digits a few days last week. Today we will get up to mid 80s, then back into the 90s for the rest of the week. I think I've got our home ready for the summer monsoon storms...next month will be the real test. After the damage last September from the worst monsoon since we moved to AZ, I replaced the front windows and eliminated two of them, then just a few weeks ago, I replaced the old awnings with the roll-a-shield awnings that I can open and close with the

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48 Years Ago Today

At two o'clock in the afternoon on April 20, 1968 Gary and I were married in the Catholic Cathedral in Rapid City, S. Dakota..........who would have thought we'd both still be here?!? lol   We are getting a newer golf cart today, so we can get around the park easier now that the post office has moved our mailboxes to group clusters and ours is nearly 2.5 blocks away. There's no way I'm walking that in 95-115 degree heat in the summers. It will also be easier to park when we go to the so

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Isolation

Had a whole weekend without home phone and internet - tried copying and pasting blog again without success.   Will try to recap what I originally typed: Had new cell phone delivered on Fri. but without home phone and internet, I could not set up voicemail, so for 4.5 days I had only cell which I had to answer or text available to use. Frustrating!!!   Finally got it all back by late Tues. around 4 p.m. - seriously doubt they will give us a credit on next months phone bill.....Ha!!   Sar

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April Fools

The option to paste from word - allows me to paste the blog that I typed to that box, then click okay, but does not bring the text to the blog page so I can save it. I'm getting frustrated to the point that I need to find a new place to blog. This is getting ridiculous!   Sarah   PS _ I just tried to comment after all your comments and it wouldn't let me save it.........

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Spring Has Sprung - 90 Degrees here

We had some record temperatures in February (at least 15 straight days over 80 degrees) and now we've hit the 90s in March already. I'm hoping that's not an indication that we'll have some record 110-115 temps by June, July and August, but won't hold my breath on that one. lol   We had visitors (Gary's brother and sister-in-law) from Seattle in February, the week after Mom passed away. Was a nice weekend with them arriving on a Sat., staying for a bbq and our middle son and family were

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Mom is at Peace

Just a quick update from my last blog - Mom was set up with hospice on Sat. and passed away peacefully late last night after sleeping most of the day. Two sisters are there to handle last min. details and clean out her room at the nursing home. I had debated whether or not I should try to fly out, but would not have made it in time anyhow. Sisters will likely meet up later this summer in N.Dak. to take care of her ashes as per her wishes. Thanks for thoughts and prayers.   Sarah

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Sleepless Nights

Too much going on in our lives right now and the brain doesn't want to shut off at night so I'm really needing some sleep. A cousin was diagnosed on Jan. 15 with leukemia and had started chemo within days of diagnosis, but it's now tearing him up inside. Nobody seems to know how long he had it before the diagnosis. He was moved to ICU, had been hooked up to all kinds of machines and has now been taken off most of them while they wait for him to expire. He is 62 years old and has a 12 yr. old dau

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