Thursday, March 14, 2013

Good News Thursday

Judy L. has asked for good news blogs to be linked to her blog here.  I have been posting such sad news on my blog lately this is a good time to change and post some happy news.

Since September of 2012 we have been dealing with loosing both of my parents and if you have gone through this you know the mourning actually starts long before the death.  It begins when you notice changes that are not good.  You make hard decisions as you try to adhere to their wishes and still please everyone else.  Sometimes this means stepping on toes of those in charge of healthcare, but when you have the the Durable Power of Attorney and know the written wishes of someone I feel it is important to follow those wishes. We are still dealing with bills, cancelling things and changing names on stuff.

I had lived with my retired parents since I moved to KY in 1984.  The house is three level with three bathrooms and two kitchens up to a possible 5 bedrooms and two living room/den. Naturally with just three of us living here I had a sitting room, sewing room, bedroom and bath of my own.  I could of had a kitchen also, but we decided it was not need for me to cook only for myself.

Almost 11 years ago I married my dear husband Bill.  When we told my parents we were getting married my parents asked us to live with them.  At the time I was thinking they wanted us to be able to save up some money, but soon learned that unknown to all of us we would each soon have some health issues.  These started with me, then my Dad, my husband while the whole time my Mom was working on dementia which went unnoticed until it was too late.

Now for the good news of this blog.  I am now the owner of my parents house.  This actually happened about 3 years ago, but that is another long story.  Mom and Dad both had to go to nursing home. We knew neither would ever come home again, so we began the long slow process of sorting through things first in the garage.  Almost everything my Dad used for gardening, mowing, general household upkeep had major problems.  The lawn tractor was given to our neighbor as payment for helping us.  It took him almost two years to figure out how to tractor started and stay started.  Bill and I do not know how to fix mechanical things.  We found saws, drills, sanders etc. that did not work, including some items I bought when I owned my first house.  Needless to say we had a lot of sorting to do.  Our neighbor knew how to prepare things for recycling to get the most money out of them.  He also knew people who may need an item that just needed a little repair.  Since by this time both parents were in the nursing home money was needed.  My Dad never disposed of anything, broke or not.  We are now on our second time of going through everything.

Some of the interesting things we found were home made items.  My Dad turned bowls and candle holders and made other items.  My Mom did all kinds of crochet, embroidery, rug hooking and many other crafts.

Since my Mom had dementia every book may have something in it that means something to me, including pictures I have never seen, recipes that have been lost for years and sometimes patterns of  items that are incomplete.  Since my Mom taught me how to crochet and embroider our stitches are similar and I am going to try to finish what she started.  The most surprising items of my Mom's crafts was some quilt blocks.  I taught her how to piece and do some applique. She continued to try new items that I didn't know she did on her own.  Other then the things found in books it appears my Mom organized her crafts.  Much is in the back of a closet in plastic boxes, bags other boxes etc.  I will go through those items last, after I have all my sewing located in one spot.

So even though I sometimes sit and cry looking at a picture, picking up something either my Mom or Dad made, a note that was important to one or the other that I may not understand. The important thing I feel it is a healing for me plus it is allowing us to change the house from my parents house to Bill and my house.  We just changed a few things on the level of the house my parents lived.  The two main things was removal of the carpet that should have been changed years ago and putting down laminate.  Second was recovering the counter tops in the kitchen 
with Rust-oleum Counter Top Transformation. You can also see the floor.  The old counter top under that black flicked with grey and white was a light imitation butcher block 1970's top.  What a change it made in the kitchen for about $250.00 and a little work.

So to shorten this blog, we transformed the house with a lot of work but not much money from my parents house to Bill and my house.  Work is also being outside by cutting down trees, removing a lean-to type shed we don't need and general clean-up of the yard.

It does feel good that we are almost done with the actual work and that will just leave the clean up and reorganizing our stuff.

It also feels good to have good neighbors and friends who helped us even when I would have a melt down. They gave me a hug as I cried, even the two year old held to me with a hug when I had my last melt down about a month ago.  I will never forget his hug, because I was sitting on the floor crying and he would not let me go until I stopped.  I am sure his Mom was proud of him as she stood there and watch not wanting to disturb that moment.  Love is powerful and I feel love all around me!



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Loved You Aunt June

June Smith, my Aunt and wife of my Dad's younger brother I
called Uncle Skip went to be with our Lord today.  I remember Aunt
June as a fun loving, happy person.  She was a talented artist and did
many crafts.

While I was growing up I remembered traveling to visit my Aunt June
and Uncle Skip.  At the time they lived some where near the Indiana/Michigan
border near Elkhart, IN and Edwardsburg, MI.  One of these two places my Uncle
would wait on the overpass bridge to see our car go under the bridge and he would
hurry home to let Aunt June know we would be there in just a few minutes. She
would have lunch or dinner on the table when we arrived.  Aunt June at this time
was not known for her cooking, but we never went hungry are their house.
She said  "One pot pie for everyone except Mel (my father) and he would get two
pot pies." There was always bread and bologna and some type of spread for the
other meal.  She could also make Spaghetti.

Usually when I visited her we would do a craft of some type.  One time she had me
color a page in a regular coloring book.  I thought "OK, what's the big deal."  Then we
removed  the page from the coloring book and PAINTED the page with what I think
was mayonaise right out of the jar.  I remembered spreading it with my fingers.  The
results were beautiful.  The page had a sheen to it and the crayons seemed to blend
with each other.

Sometimes while we were visiting both Uncle Skip and Aunt June would be away
from the house for the day.  I think they were both working, but I am not sure.  While
they were away I would help Aunt June doing things around the house for her.  She
never asked me to do anything, but I just did it, including one time cleaning her oven
for her.  She was real happy of anything I did for her.  Sometimes my mother and I
would cook a meal while they were gone.

Since most meals were served on paper plates, to save on cleanup, we sometimes
did crafts with paper plates.  We made flowers, spinners and even colored scenes
on the plate.

Uncle Skip moved with his job a couple of times.  The first that I remembered well
was to Erwin, TN.  We would go visit them there taking what were the best roads
of the day.  The highways were mostly 2 lanes, up and down "mountains" with very
scenic vistas. Then we would start the decent down the mountain into town and we
turned into a drive of this cute, little house.  Once inside the house I realized it wasn't
that little.  It just looked small and cute due to the huge mass of hills that surrounded
the town.

One time we took my Grandmother down to stay with Aunt June and Uncle Skip.
They were expecting their first child.  Grandma stayed to help Aunt June with the
new baby boy.  We always thought the move from MI to TN and the change in altitude
allowed Uncle Skip and Aunt June to start their family.  I know they had another
boy, but I believe a baby girl passed away at a very very young age.

Their next move was from TN to Florida.  That was a new experience for us visiting
FL during the winter months.  We picked citrus fruit off the trees in their yard.  We
also went to Plant City and walked around the farmer's market buying all kind of
fruit and vegetables.

They had a large yard and we learned to check the tops of door frames before walking
out the door, because sometimes snakes would lay up there.  That was where I discovered
how noisy armodilos were at night, digging right under my window.  They also had
fire ants in the yard we had to watch out for when out walking.  The cows pastured
next to them loved oranges.  The one animal I didn't like that sometimes came to visit
was the wild boars.  They were know to be mean and would make a mess of the yard.

Their next house was my favorite.  It was in a neighborhood, but the lots were large
The house has a sun room near another large room.  It was a great place to have family
reunions. My Dad's family gathered there a few times while everyone was still healthy.
We stayed with Aunt June and Uncle Skip a few times.  That was the first time that
I was able to use a walk in shower that didn't need a shower curtain or door, because
the shower area was larger then our entire bathroom.

It has been over 10 years since I have seen Aunt June and Uncle Skip.  Health issues
kept us apart.  I have fond memories of my Aunt June and my heart goes out to my
Uncle Skip and cousins Dwayne and Scott.  Bless you Aunt June.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Only the Apples Know!

This week Judy L is looking for recipes using Orange Juice.  We were invited out to a friends house for dinner and I decided to make a cake.  I decided to make a Jewish Apple Cake.  My friend from Maryland gave me this recipe years ago, but since my husband doesn't eat apples I have not made it in years.  The family we were going to see likes apples and it makes a huge cake that is to go into a tube pan or bundt pan, but since I am sharing this cake I made it in two loaf pans.

Jewish Apple Cake

4 large tasty Apples, peeled and sliced
2 t. Cinnamon
1/4 c sugar
Mix together and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together in large bowl
3 c sifted flour
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 1/4 c sugar

Add to dry mix and mix in all at one time
1 c oil
4 eggs, unbeaten
1/3 c orange juice
2 1/2 t vanilla

Grease and flour tube, bundt or 2 loaf pans.
Pour half of the cake mixture into bottom of pan(s).
Top cake with half the apple mixture.  Top with rest
of cake mixture and then the remaining apples.
Bake in 350 degree oven 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until cake
starts to pull away from side of pan.

Cool and remove from pan.
Serve plain or with a touch of whipped cream.