Visiting Gpa

I went to see Gpa this week. It is so hard to see him. He looks so small. My Dad is not a big guy, he is 5’4″ maybe 5’5″ although he has always insisted he is at least 5’7″. But he has always seemed bigger. He used to have a very big personality. He was the first to have fun, he was the first to volunteer, he was a presence. Now he is more of an absence.

He has become so introverted. Everything about him is turning inward. He seems to have lost that gregarious presence that he had. I know a lot of it has to do with this terrible disease COPD. His breathing is labored it takes all of his energy just to breathe so that  . . .

His house was on the market for 1 week and we had an offer which we have accepted. The closing is 1/31. So fast, I was prepared for it to take a while. Other houses in his area have been on the market for much longer. The good news is with this we can keep him in a private room for much longer.

My dad complains that he has no time to be social. I couldn’t understand what he meant until I found out besides physical therapy and occupational therapy he has 8 scheduled breathing treatments a day. The first one at 5am and the last one at 9pm. There are treatments through the night as he needs them. This means that every 3 hours he is having a breathing treatment. And he needs them, by the time the three hours are up he is wheezing and turning gray.

My dad is physically smaller as well. He is having problems eating. Nothing tastes good, many things upset his stomach leading to other issues, and frankly the COPD makes him not hungry. When you get to n-stage of any illness it takes away your desire to eat. And my dad has been n-stage for a long, long time.

I was talking with my brother G and he mentioned that Dad was first diagnosed with COPD 30 years ago. I think one of the reasons it has taken so long for the COPD to get so bad is my Dad was very physically fit. Aside from the smoking he was very active, riding his bicycle everywhere, building things for the church, and more.

Now when I go see him, he is so tiny, you can see the bones in his face. His legs and arms have no muscle tone. The lack of oxygen is affecting his memory. His skin tone is grey, and he gets tired so very easily.

He is struggling, we are struggling. We keep trying to keep him here, I am not sure he wants to stay. I am not sure I want him too either.

Happy Monday! January 8th already. I hope your year has started the way you want it to.
As most of you know I am a yoga junkie. Love it, love the way it makes me feel when I am doing it and how accomplished I feel when I am done. Yoga alone can be a great workout and when paired with other exercise . . . 💗
Yoga with Adriene has a new 30 day program (completely free) called TRUE. I have not properly worked out in nearly a month so a 30 day program will be just the thing to get me back in the swing. I did Day 1- Motive (24:56) today. This is a great starting video. Moves all the muscles without any fancy moves, no pigeons, no crows, no other animals. Just simple moves that are easy to follow.
I paired this with 30 minutes on the exercise bike. I kept it slow except for 4 1/2 minutes of 1 minute sprints sprinkled through out the ride (11.5 miles). The last 30 second sprint kinda made me want to hurl but that is good because we need to push ourselves a little.
Once this 30 days is done my intention is to get the new Fitness Blender’s 4 week Burn series (only $9.99) and yours forever.
I am in no way affiliated with either of these sites on YouTube. I just love them. I am going to document my attempts at getting healthy, getting a new job, and generally adjusting my attitude.
Oh I have also been listening to some books on tape. I travel a lot because Gpa, lives 3 hours away, Army Girl and fam live 4 hours away, In-laws live 5.5 hours away, Air Force Girl and fam live 8 hours away, and Navy Girl and fam live a whopping 14 hours away. So needless to say I have lots of time for listening. So I decided to make productive use of the time.
So far I have listened to Born to Win by Zig Ziglar, Meatball Sundae – Is Your Marketing Out of Sync? by Seth Godin and You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. I have listened to the last one 3 times in the last week. I will listen to it a few more times before it is returned to the library. I will be listening to a new one of these a couple times a month. I will keep you posted on which ones I find helpful.
So now I have a plan for the next two months or so. What is your plan for the new year? Have you started?


Life is full of transitions. This weekend, the beginning of a new year was also witness to the best kind of transition – a wedding. My beautiful niece J married a fine young man. It was a wonderful ceremony filled with love and laughter. Most of my siblings made it to help the lovely couple celebrate. It is always a pleasure to get a chance to hangout with my family.

We have another big transition coming up. The sale of Gpa’s home is progressing quickly. We have a closing date of the end of the month. Gpa’s first 100 days at the nursing home are rapidly coming to an end as well. He will be moving to a different room with in the nursing home for the remainder of his stay.

The remainder of his stay, isn’t that a nice euphemism? We all know what I mean.

My sister M has some decisions to make. We all need to figure out how to finish cleaning out the house. I have some planning to do for a number of different things.

The new year gives us permission to reexamine our lives and see where we want to go from here. The question is where is that?



Visiting Dad

I went and saw my Dad yesterday. As much as he dislikes it he is doing much better living at the nursing home. His color was good and he even looks like his weight is stabilizing. I hope he gains some of the weight he has lost back.

One of my brothers and two of his daughters were there while I was there. That definitely perked my dad right up. He said he was feeling pretty good but his memory was getting worse. We said that is one of the reasons we need him to stay there. It will help him keep what memories he has.

I got him a note book and some colored pens to write his memories in. He can use it as an organizer for all of the pieces of paper that he is trying to keep track of. I told him to get some tape and tape them into the notebook. I don’t know if he will but I hope he does.

Two young couples have looked at his house and we will have a second offer on it today. I don’t know if I am ready for this. It has only been on the market a week and offers already. Selling the house is so permanent. I know that there is no way Dad can ever live by himself again. He just isn’t healthy enough. But selling the house means time is running short.

I am 50+ years old and my Dad has been in ill health for a lot of years. My Mom has been dead for almost 20 years. I am not ready to be an orphan. Hubby makes fun of me when I say this but both of his parents are still alive. I am not ready to be the oldest generation in my family. Not that any of us have a choice, time marches on whether we want it to or not.

This coming weekend Navy Girl and family, Army Girl and family, Air Force Girl and family, and Hubby and I will all be together for the first time since 2011. When I am with my grandchildren I keep thinking how much my Mom would have loved her great-grandkids. I think about how my Dads illness is robbing him from knowing them.

I know I am very lucky. My Dad is well taken care of. The house selling quickly will be a blessing; we will be able to keep him in a private room longer. Life is short so hug your loved ones.

Happy thoughts for a happy day!


I had a job interview a couple of weeks ago and something about it is still bugging me. The person who I interviewed with said he was impressed with my credentials, liked work I had done in the past and thought I was very smart. All good things so far, then he said he didn’t think I was creative enough.

Wait? What? How do you prove that you are creative enough? It is like trying to prove a negative, you can’t really do it. By not giving me the chance to show them what I can do for them they denied me the chance to show what I can do.

When I was in college taking a physics class when we started working with irrational numbers the professor said to think of it as going through the looking-glass like Alice in Wonderland. Use of your imagination and some creative thinking help you understand irrational numbers. When he said he didn’t think I was creative enough I felt like I had been left behind when everyone else went through the looking-glass. Denied the chance for an adventure through wonderland.

Creativity is so subjective. Everyone has their own personal definition of what is creative. Some people think rap is creative, some people thing Jackson Pollack was creative, some people think that IM Ping was creative that all are right and wrong. It just depends on each persons likes and dislikes.

I am really disappointed that my version of creativity and the hiring managers were not on the same wave length. I will not let one persons opinion derail my search or my version of creativity.

Happy thoughts for a happy day!


It has been a stressful fall. My dad (Gpa) has moved into a nursing home. We had been looking at assisted living places when his health took a drastic downturn. We, my siblings and I, were lucky that he didn’t fall and break anything or set anything on fire, etc. He just got very sick and went from sort of mostly functioning to not.

We have been getting his house ready to sell. This is a lot more complicated that we all anticipated. All five of us were able to get together in early November to begin the process of cleaning out the house. It has been eye-opening. My parents kept a lot of paper. We found tax returns as far back as 1971. We sent 6-8 leaf bags of burnables with M. Luckily she was able to burn them or we would still be shredding. We filled up a big dumpster, donated many items, gave away things and all of us have many things to find homes for in our houses.

His house is small so would be perfect as a first house for someone. The problem is for first time home owners the house has to have no peeling paint anywhere. B and I spent a few days in the basement finishing cleaning it out and scraping the floor, throwing away even more empty boxes and broken things. G was able to get the walls painted and M took more things out to the dumpster. I hope we are close to being ready to put it up for sale.

My dad looks very small these days when I go to see him. He is very unwillingly adjusting to living at the nursing home. He has been very angry, very confused, depressed and sometimes happy and accepting. We have been angry, confused, worried, and relieved that he is somewhere safe.

This is not how any of wanted this to go. In a perfect world he could have made gradual transitions into assisted living then as the disease progressed he could have gone to the nursing home. However, my Dads disease, COPD, is pretty insidious.

Don’t be fooled by the commercials on TV, they lie. They act like COPD is just a small inconvenience when in reality it is a horrible, horrible disease that robs a person of their ability to breathe. As you lose this ability it affects your memory, your balance, your life.

My Dad’s illness has affected all of us. The effects will be felt for many years. All of our children have seen his struggle and I am happy to say most of them will never smoke. But it is a sad ending to a formerly very active life.

The good news is while we have our prickly moments the five of us are on the same page and seem to work well together. Which is good because he will get worse and we need to be able to lean on each other.

I am working my way through an interesting book by Liz Ryan titled Reinvention Roadmap – break the rules to get the job you want & career you deserve. The book is 25 chapters, four parts and really makes you look at yourself.

I have worked my way through chapter 7 and the first part of the book. When I say worked I mean it. This book really makes you think about who you are and the choices you have made. Because let’s face it, we get where we are in life because of the choices we have made. Yes there are somethings that happen to us but it is how we choose to react to those happenings that help define us.

This book has made me think of things I have tried not to think about for many years. It is dredging up old memories, some of them are very painful. Luckily most of them are good memories. They say that time heals all wounds. I am not so sure about that. There are still some people that were so horrible to me as a child that I even now wish nothing but bad luck upon. Unfortunately that says more about me than them. I don’t think about them often so am not wasting much time or energy over them, but if we ever meet in a dark alley . . .

I choose to let it go. I choose to work through this book so I can learn more about myself and really figure out what I want to do. One of the problems I have always had is I score high and pretty evenly across the board on aptitude tests. I am interested in everything. Well everything except westerns, and war movies or horror movies or slime mold or . . . although the how that stuff works is interesting :/ hmmm . . . never mind.

Where was I? Oh yes, I still haven’t figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I hope this book helps me figure that out. When I was a kid I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom with the white picket fence and the cookie baking (yeah I know how cliche). I wanted to be an astronaut (not like we have now I wanted to be on the Enterprise like on Star Trek). I wanted to be an Archeologist digging up past civilizations (me in hot weather? Can you imagine? Me either!) There are a few other things I wanted to be so we will see what I figure out during this reinvention.

One of the best things about now is there are still a lot of things I can be. I don’t have to have picked one thing and do that for the rest of my life. I can reinvent myself as often as I want too.

What new thing would you like to do?

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