Cautiously Optimistic

I haven’t had it in me to write a blog post these past few days, but I’m going to give it a go. On Christmas Day, my mother-in-law, Saint Helen, was taken to an Amarillo hospital where she tested positive for COVID. Her eldest daughter and son-in-law also tested positive.

Due to the overwhelming number of COVID patients there were no rooms, so the three stayed in the emergency room. When a room on the COVID floor did open up it was given to my sister-in-law who had developed the crystals that indicate COVID pneumonia in both lungs.

Saint Helen did well enough that she was released to her middle daughter after a couple of days. Unfortunately COVID wasn’t ready to let her go and she was readmitted a few days ago. Currently, she is in the Intensive Care Unit. She had two really rough days, but maybe turned a corner last night. Middle daughter says they are cautiously optimistic.

My sister-in-law, “Almost Saint Lyn,” is one of my favorite people in the entire world. She remains in the ICU (I believe, I forgot to ask this morning) and also has had some really tough days, and likely still more to come, but we are hopeful she has turned a corner. I’ve texted with her a time or two and she feels good enough to be bored.

Her husband was able to go home yesterday, and according to Almost Saint Lyn’s daughter, who is taking care of him, he’s cranky, so that’s a good sign.

Now, Saint Helen’s middle daughter, Angie, has shouldered most of the responsibility for keeping the rest of us informed. Angie has been the constant solid contact since Christmas, caring for the sick, suiting up and going onto the COVID floor for the once daily 30 minute visits with her mom and the others. She’s had help from Almost Saint Lyn’s daughter and also from Saint Helen’s youngest daughter, but Angie is the one who has born the brunt of the crisis.

Please keep our loved ones in your prayers or send good vibes or whatever you can spare. I know we aren’t the only ones in this situation. The number of new infections is staggering.

So I’m officially granting Angie sainthood. She has earned it. It doesn’t pay well, but we are so grateful to her. Studly Doright and I have felt so helpless being in Florida, so far away from family, but Saint Angie has been our rock.

I joke to keep from crying, you know. Still, Saint Angie has a nice ring to it.

Peace, people.

This photo of Saint Helen and me was taken at Christmas several years ago. We were in Nashville getting ready to attend a performance of the Grand Ole Opry. She’s the best.

Scraps from Their Pasts

For Christmas I put together scrapbooks of their early years for our two children. The idea wasn’t an original one. Studly Doright’s mom, Saint Helen, had given Studly and his four siblings scrapbooks several years ago as Christmas gifts and for him at least, it remains one of his all-time favorite gifts.

I’m not a very crafts minded person, but in preparation for assembling these scrapbooks I made multiple trips to Michael’s (for non-Americans, that’s THE place to go for creative types) in order to purchase the books and to find appropriate decorative touches for each page. I bought tons of stuff and ended up using only a fraction of it. Project ideas, anyone.

I’m so awful at this type of thing that I actually started all this at the beginning of 2016 and had planned on presenting them with their gifts at Christmas that year, but I got bogged down in the minutiae, and it took me almost two years to complete the task. I’m still not sure how my mother-in-law put together five such books without going crazy, because I’m fairly certain some of my sanity was lost in the process.

I’d looked forward to presenting the books to my kids in person when we were all in Nashville that Christmas, but since I was an entire year behind, and we weren’t getting to see them for the holidays this year, I had to put them in the mail.

Now, I’d worked my butt off cropping photos and arranging them with curlicues and doodads. I’d spent countless hours searching through old school pictures and awards. The thought of trusting these works of heart to the mail almost drove me crazy(er). So, before I boxed them up for shipping to Dallas, Texas, where our son lives and to Port Byron, Illinois, where our daughter resides, I documented each and every page with the help of my trusty iPhone camera.

I’ll spare you from viewing all of the pages (you’re welcome). While I wasn’t there when they opened the books they both assured me they’d enjoyed their trips down memory lane. I’m so glad I spent the time creating these, but even more glad that I had only two children.

Peace, people.

Saving the World

We spent Thanksgiving with Studly Doright’s family in Hereford, Texas. Studly’s mom, Saint Helen, lives on the outskirts of town in a pleasant home with a generously sized backyard. The yard is decorated with a variety of cute gnomes and small plaster animals that have always delighted her great grandchildren.

Our youngest granddaughter, Harper, invited me into her world of make believe in this backyard paradise, telling me that a bad villain had taken over the world and turned all the real gnomes and animals into statues. Only by defeating this villain could we bring the statues back to life.

Five-year-old Harper launched an impressive attack on the villain using a mix of martial arts and boxing, admonishing me to stay out of the fight unless things looked really dark. At one point she staggered back and urged me to enter the fray.

I must say I was something of a whirling dervish, kicking and clawing at this imaginary bad guy. I threw in a few impressive head butts and Harper said, “Nana, you can stop. You won several minutes ago.”

“Harper!” I exclaimed. “We did it! We saved the world!”

In her most serious, matter of fact voice, Harper replied, “Of course we did.”

We then went around the yard waking up all of the animals and watching them reanimate.

“They’re all alive now,” she smiled. “Well, except this one. He’s still headless.”

I guess we didn’t save everyone, but we came so close.

Peace, people.

Oldie #2: Close Encounters of the Bear Kind

Our bear wasn’t this cute, or this small, or waving at us….
Every now and then I wake up in a cold sweat remembering this day. 

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2014/09/06/close-encounters-of-the-bear-kind/

Tallahassee Auto Museum

Last Sunday Studly Doright and I took his mom, Saint Helen, to the Tallahassee Automobile Museum. Even though Studly and I have been in Tallahassee a little over three years, this was our first visit to the museum that sits just off Interstate 10 east of Tallahassee.

Elvis Mobile
Weird horse statue greets visitors

Here are just a few of the automobiles on display. The array was dizzying. 

Amphibious car–LBJ had one and loved to prank guests to his Texas ranch by driving into his lake.
Studebaker Avanti: The front looks like the rear.
Disturbing!
DeLorean
Studly and Saint Helen

Batman had his own section.


There were motorcycles in abundance:



Boats


Boat motors:


Tricycles and pedal cars:




Steinway Pianos:






Cash registers:


A vampire hunting kit (I really think I need one):


And lots of other goodies:


Hearse believed to be used to convey Lincoln’s body.

The museum, with its eclectic array of memorabilia, provided us with a couple of hours of entertainment. I think I’m still suffering from antique overload. 

Peace, people.

Looking Ahead

Post-election depression has put a real damper on my Christmas spirit. I’ve shopped and wrapped gifts, partaken of eggnog, and watched hours of Hallmark Channel movies, but I’m really just going through the motions. A future with Trump in the White House seems too horrible for contemplation. Alas, barring a last minute miracle, that stark reality seems to be in store. 

But I’m not a gloom and doom person at heart, so I’ve made a list of things that will definitely lift my spirits:

  1. Hugs from the grandchildren
  2. Large quantities of wine
  3. Hanging out with my kids
  4. More wine
  5. Having my mother-in-law, Saint Helen, with us for Christmas
  6. Did I mention wine?
  7. Studly Doright’s love and support
  8. And wine
  9. Cat kisses
  10. Cheers!


I feel better already.

That’s Not What I Meant to Say

Forgive me, but my language might get a little graphic here. Saint Helen, don’t read this one, or if you do, read it with your eyes closed.

I engaged in a verbal battle with a Trump supporter on Facebook. I would have ignored him, but he called Hillary the “c” word, and I don’t mean “Clinton.” My intention was to call him “An asshole with typing capabilities” but autocorrect kept changing it to “ashore.” 

The sentence, “apparently you’re an ashore with typing capabilities” isn’t witty repartee. Heck, it doesn’t even make sense. I finally gave up and told him to piss off,  which Autocorrect changed immediately to “pus” off. And that’s just gross.

While I’m speaking of autocorrect, has anyone besides me ever noticed that when you’ve mistyped a word and replacement options are given often they don’t even vaguely resemble the word you had in mind? I once was offered the word “Illinois” when trying to type “loving” in a poem. Granted, I’d gotten the word started with an i instead of an l, but in what context does “His Illinois arms” make sense?

Ok, I feel better now. I’m going to go give that Facebook troll a pizza of my mind. 

  

Building for the Wee Folk

Doright Manor is set in the midst of a delightful forest in the Florida panhandle. From our screened in porch we enjoy the shade of oak trees, the majesty of pines, and the splendor of magnolias, along with all of the critters that call the forest home. 

I’ve always thought it the ideal place to offer sanctuary to fairies if we provided a proper home for the wee folk. Studly Doright wasn’t convinced that we needed a fairy home, though, until he saw the one at Saint Helen’s home in Hereford, Texas, on our visit in May.

 

Studly’s brother, Shaggy Doright, built Saint Helen’s fairy house.

When we knew we’d be entertaining our Dallas grandkids for two weeks, Studly decided that constructing a fairy home would be the perfect activity.

And so it begins: 
We each had our respective tasks:

   
    
    
    
    
 Mine consisted of documenting the process and staying well out of the way.

We didn’t quite complete the project yesterday afternoon. Studly and I ran out of energy before reaching the finish line. But we made a good bit of headway.

Tomorrow is another day.

Peace, people!

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