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Saturday, February 26, 2011


For the last two days, Allen has been walking much farther and more upright, going to the restroom, to the dining table and to his recliner. Amazing. Jamie has insisted I get out of the house more and/or do some things for me each day. So Friday Erin and I went shopping for a couple of hours and that's when Allen got really independent with Jamie following along. Today, Erin and I went to Vivia's memorial service and later I went over to Picket Fence and then to Grimsell's. Big Happy Sigh!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Eyes Have It...

Allen's UTI is getting better. Spent 4 hours in the eye dr's office...grrrr. But they think he has Terson's syndrome in his right eye, which he can't see out of. It is caused by inner cranial pressure from his ruptured aneurysm. Another test in a couple of weeks to determine if vitrectomy surgery would be possible or do any good. It is possible for the fluid/bleed to go away on its own, so that is what we're praying for. As always, it's in God's hands.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Friend, Vivia...

For the Lord your God will bless you.....

in all the work of your hands
and your joy will be complete.
Deuteronomy 16

My precious friend... friend to many of us, Vivia Halbert is home with the Lord. I first got to know Vivia when she and I roomed at quilt retreat the first year I attended. She is such a warm, lovely soul. She loves the Lord, gives to others and has such a gentle spirit. She loved her husband and family so much. She cared for her friends and gave so much to our lives. We were always amazed at how much she could accomplish. She always worked on something. She told me that when she went to Disneyland or Disneyworld (can't remember) she took tatting in her pocket so she could keep busy while waiting in hour-long lines. Never idle hands. Her 'job' was as a finisher. You know how so many of us start craft projects and don't finish them or inherit finished projects that aren't framed or made into anything. Well, Vivia finished them for us. She would lovingly turn these projects into completed works of fiber art. We will miss her so much, but she is in a wonderful place waiting for us to join her. She will probably have all the Lord's UFOs finished by the time we get there.
"Tapestry of Life"

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord
along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like
the squares of a quilt in many piles. An angel sat before each of
us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed
how ragged and empty each of my squares were. They were filled
with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life
that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was
faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which
were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a
tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich
color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own
life and was disheartened. My Angel was sewing the ragged pieces
of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to
the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn,
holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel
looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to
the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had
had love in my life, and laughter.

But there had also been trials of illness, and death, and false
accusations that took from me my world as I knew it. I had to start
over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only
to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again.
I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and
guidance. In my life I had often been held up to ridicule, which I
endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in
hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the
judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I
had to accept it for what it was. I rose and slowly lifted the
combined squares of my life to the light. An awe filled gasp filled
the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with
wide eyes.Then I looked upon the tapestry before me.

Light flooded through the many holes, creating an image. The face
of Christ.Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in
His eyes. He said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me,it
became My life, My hardships, My struggles. Each point of light in
your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until
there was more of Me than there was of you."

"'You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be
hidden. Let your light shine before men is such a way that they
may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.'"
Matthew 5:14,16

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I awoke this morning at 4 am to 'THUD!' Allen woke up and decided to get up and go to the restroom... by himself. Well, he didn't make it, but I applaud his efforts. He bumped his head and skinned his knees and ached his shoulder. But... a little at a time, he worked up on his knees by the bed and we got up off the floor and back to bed. He's fine this morning, but sleeping in a little while. Thank you, Lord, for taking care of my HunnyBunny.

Allen's conversations can still be confusing and sometimes I cannot figure out what he's trying to tell me, but other times, he may pick an odd word, but in context we understand what he's saying. Just general conversation about what's going on and living is clear as a bell, for the most part. He's very loving and considerate, with just a touch of sarcasm or teasing on occasion (that's the real Allen, just sprinkles of fun) We've had many doctor's appointments and more to come, more tests to make sure things are right and to get him off meds and get the peg tube out. It's fatiguing but I know they'll calm down after a while.

Please pray for my friend, Vivia. She was a pedestrian in Wash DC recently and was hit by a car. She's in a coma and the family was advised to discontinue life support because she wouldn't have a 'quality life'. Well, I got the same advice and we're now living a miracle. They took out the respirator and she's breathing on her own. So... just like with Allen... it's still in God's hands. I ask God to make the decisions so that the family doesn't have to choose something they aren't sure of. Please, please pray. She's a wonderful person, godly individual, sweet, kind friend. Pray for her husband and children, too. Thank you so much.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wouldn't This Pantry Be Awesome?

Jamie (and Erin) finished repainting all the porch chairs ~ 4 of my daddy's wood ones and my two metal rockers and tables. Amazing job! They're beautiful. We also reorganized and consolidated the pantry... so nice! We can actually find things. I made enchiladas, rice, beans for lunch. Allen has done well today. His speech pathologist, Lori, was here and she was amazed at how much he's improved since Retama. Yesterday he lost his balance and slid to the floor in the hallway (I held the gate belt). He was able to get up easier than last time. .... just now, he walked from his chair into the bedroom and bathroom...AWESOME!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Feel the Burn!

Allen slept late today, but after 'breakfast' did some exercises with me. We did legs and free weights with arms and shoulders. Then he did the ones that you almost stand from the chair, then sit - about eight times. After that when he stood he pulled himself up completely alone and with the walker, walked about 4 feet to the recliner and sat down - ALL on his own! I held the strap around him to make sure he didn't lose balance, but he never did. All day he has been stronger with getting up and walking a little ways. Thank you, Lord Jesus!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Back to the Tower ?

Allen has been home a week. We've had lots of ups and downs, but PTL, only one down on the floor. But... we used the training that Ann, Allen's therapist from South Texas Rehab taught on getting back off the floor. Scoot, on his knees, arms on the side of the tub, push up, while we pulled. Made it! Thank you, Jesus. Allen has had some very discouraging moments, felt like giving up, wouldn't cooperate with us on anything, but he rests and then comes around.

Judy, my best friend and fellow Keglemeister, spent 5 days here helping us settle in, keep tabs on meds, bp, oxygen readings and she helped us arrange for home health and a provider to help me with Allen weekday mornings. Bless her, Vicky also helps straighten up, sweep, etc. She's a blessing. I'd hoped insurance would help with it, but others recently blessed me with the finances to keep her here for a couple of months. It has helped my frame of mind more than you could know. Allen will do home therapy through home health for a few weeks and then switch to outpatient therapy.

He has been retaining a LOT of fluid in his lower body. I took him in to see a doctor Friday and he upped his lasix. I haven't seen it working yet. We'll pray and hope the Lord relieves this soon. His BP and oxygen have been good.

I felt awful. When I was taking him to the doctor he thought I was taking him back to Retama and told me he wouldn't get out of the car. It took me a bit to make him understand I wasn't trying to get rid of him. We were going to the doctor then going back to OUR home, not the nursing home. He is fragile right now. It's hard to see him this way. I love him so much and I know he loves me. He just felt so abandoned while at Retama. What a hell hole that was. How can a facility that regulated and that looks so good from the outside have such terrible care for patients who can't care for themselves? Every time I turn around I am being asked by professionals, "Why didn't the facility send him home with...? Why didn't the facility give you this information? Why didn't the facility make sure you know how to..."

Well, I am getting over my cold and it's helping me emotionally to deal with things. I had to ask the dr. to up my anxiety meds because I was falling apart when Allen would get cantankerous. He has said some things that would never have come out of Allen before. I know it's his frustration. Other times when we are sitting and talking he says something that would be easy to take the wrong way and then after he works his words around it I realize he was actually trying to say something sweet or to tease me. He could be 'deadpan' before when he teased, but now... no affect at all. Then occasionally, he gets his school boy grin and makes the sun shine again.

I am still hoping and praying that Allen will not only regain his physical strength, but his cognitive functions, as well. He is so smart and it still shows. He just has a hard time with find the right word and sometimes the statements make no sense at all and he doesn't understand why we don't understand. Man, that must be frustrating. It's like speaking a different language, without understanding why the people you know don't speak the same language. Wow... after God confused the languages at the Tower of Babel, that must have been beyond understanding.

I am absolutely sure of the Lord telling us all these months to "Wait" and to "Trust". We are still doing that. I know he told me over a week ago to not put my hope in Allen's healing, but to put my hope in God. I am doing that with all I am able.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm coming down with a cold or something is going on in my head. My precious husband is home. We had a great few days, hard but good. But today... I'm sure because I'm feeling yucky... and Allen is refusing to do anything, doesn't care about getting stronger, says he feels like Job and he's trapped me... all I want to do is cry.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Understaffed Nursing Home

Allen became dehydrated at Retama and the dr. found it when he had a reg. followup apptmt. Thank the Lord he was going to the dr. I kept telling them he needed hydrated. I give him water all the time I'm there, but they don't have the time. He could even have it in his peg regularly to make sure he's hydrated if they don't want to make sure he has a glass of water beside him. His bp dropped to 60s / 40s. The dr. gave him 2 bags of IV fluids and sent him back with orders for more and to give him water. Geesh... where did they hear that before? I stayed with him all night. I'm having other issues like that, but Allen is recovering from the fumble and we hope to get him home soon.

Outside my window... it's sunny and cool
I am thinking... I need a nap
I am thankful for... the nearness of Allen coming home
From the kitchen... quiet
I am wearing ..jeans and a t
I am creating... ...nothing, and I'm aching to do some sewing
I am going...to take a soaky bath and get a nap
I am reading... a book of articles written for Quilter's Newsletter Magazine
I am hoping... to get Allen home soon
I am hearing..peacefully nothing
Around the house... Erin is doing school work and Jamie is getting Betsy down for a nap
One of my favorite things...Allen's sense of humor
A few plans for the rest of the week... I must get the rest of the bathroom bars, etc for when Allen comes home.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...Simple and beautiful isn't always new and modern