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Thursday, July 30, 2020

We need a puppy!

I watched Ron and Pam Roberts' little puppy for over a week and Robert and I decided we would be able to have a puppy again, enjoying it, loving it, growing with it.

I mentioned wanted a poodle and Jan Warren told me that Maurine Meyers bred them. I got ahold of Maurine but she isn't doing that anymore.  HOWEVER, she did put out her AKC male to stud to a nurse in Sheffield Lake.  Oh further questioning, the nurse turned out to be Cindy Rouhier who we have known for years as our kids went to school together.  I called Cindy and sure enough, she had 3 male puppies but they were taken.  I asked if I could just come and look at them and talk to her about poodles.  She said, come on over.

So we went there after I had brought Robert home from the detached retina surgery.  We put him a chair and  put one puppy after another on his lap so he could see them.  Suddenly the mama poodle jumped up to be sure her sons were ok.  Cindy then told me that one of the puppies was available and since I was the first one there we could have our pick.  WOW!  How to pick from among 3 adorable little babies?  Two of the pups have more curly hair and one was less curly and that's the one Robert selected.

So we made the agreement that Butterscotch would be ours (name got changed a few days later to JINX and Cindy started calling him High Jinx so he would learn his name).

I took over a deposit fee a few days later and was able to have a picture taken:

Last weekend Cindy sent me this photo...and Jinx is in the blue striped basket.  I just cannot wait.

Again this week we are dog sitting the Roberts' dog, Henrietta, and I sure hope Jinx will be as loveable and as cute.  I remember that Fifi, our poodle growing us, was very smart and from what I hear poodles are smart and easily trained.

Marcia Hassel has a kennel for us to use til Jinx gets trained...and that's so generous of her.  But we are excited.  I have started to make a list of things I need to buy for Jinx from  

We will take posssessio of him on Saturday, August 8.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Masks again?

I promised myself I would not sew another mask until the next spike hit....but here I sit sewing some for Dawn's friend who asked for a few.  I actually made 2 extras to have on hand for whenever.  But it is a blessing to have been sent to Sister Helen Inouye when I was so young and was taught to sew.  It has come in so handy.  So often.  It's a blessing I didn't really realize earlier altho when I made my kids' various clothing, including a few prom dresses, I knew my mom had given me a special talent.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Robert and his Detached Retina

For the past week, Robert has said he had floaters in his eye.  He asked me several times to look in and see if I could see them.  Naturally, I would need a degree and some instruments to see anything.  So I was no help.  I know what floaters are but Robert didn't describe anything different.

Thursday afternoon he said he needed to call the opthomalogist and did so.  Our doctor had him come in immediately (Westlake) and Robert thought he could drive himself.  I said, "oh no you aren't!"  And it's a good thing because naturally his eye was dilated.  So it turns out the floater was not a floater but was a detached retina.  There's a short window of time to repair this before sight is destroyed.  Immediately we were sent to Middleburg Hts to a surgeon.  And since we are all involved in this Covid19, I had to sit in the car or in the hallway.  The surgeon scheduled the surgery for the next day and I was to call the Fairview surgery facility at 8am Friday.

I awoke early as usual and was getting breakfast for us.  It was 7:45am when my phone rang.  The Fairview Center had lost its air conditioning and no surgeries could be done. But if I could leave IMMEDIATELY and bring Robert to Warren, Ohio, he could still have the surgery. Otherwise we wouldn't know when the AC would be repaired since parts needed to be located.  I said we would leave immediately and we did.  We did manage to get there at 10am.  Again I sat in the car and this time I had my knitting.  When the engine got too hot, and it was over 90 degrees, I'd drive around.  And closer to when I knew the surgery would be near to being done, I went to the secluded area.  When I came into the post-surgery this is what I saw:


He has to keep his head down 45 minutes of every hour...DOWN as in looking at the ground.  Plus he has to sleep on his left side to keep the gas bubble that was put into his eye to keep the retina in place.  The problem with that is Robert's left side is the side of the 8 broken ribs and dislocated collar bone so sleeping is going to be miserable.

Watching TV was impossible  unless he looked through a mirror but then all the images were backwards. Robert figured out he could use his computer by changing the appearance of the computer screen.  This has to go on for a week.  Plus I need to put 2 different drops in his eye 4 times a day.

We had to return to the surgeon (but this time in Westlake) today (Saturday).  I continue the drop program for another week, then 3 drops a day for a week, then 2 and finally 1.  In between we have to visit the surgeon.  I hope when it's time for the last visit on August 15 that we will be done.  Phew!

Monday, July 06, 2020

Simon turned 6 today

We went over to celebrate  Simon's 6th birthday party at lunch.  He had opened our gift on the 4th because it sprays water and with the heat we are getting we felt he could enjoy some cooling off.

Marissa had Kyra Meno and her 2 kids (poor Michelle was in surgery), Oskar's teacher who was there to protect Marissa or like us, to be a buffer, since Hank had to be there.  I didn't get around to actually talking to him til he was closer to leaving.  I had been sitting on the porch with Marissa and teacher Nicole.  Robert and Kyra were sitting with Hank at the picnic table.  Nicole has some history which I don't know but she said the best way she had to get through her issues was to feel pity for the person, in this case for me, Hank.  So when we had had the cake, I sat at the table but he chose to not sit down where he had been.  

I did ask him if he had ever driven a Nissan Leaf (no).  He left for work after taking Marissa aside to ask if he could have time with Oskar tonight for a few hours (altho Oskar didn't want to go with Hank) so I asked if he was working for a company here or remotely (San Diego remotely).  I don't think he was happy I was talking to him but that's his problem.

There was one point that found Hank lying on the porch all wrapped up with Oskar.  It was almost too much like 'grooming' and made me sick to my stomach.  I hate to have to look at a dad and his boy with suspicion but with his family history and the way the world is today what else do we think.  I was glad when he unwound himself from Oskar.  

But was a nice altho hot birthday party and we are so grateful that we live close enough to celebrate.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

July 4

The 4th of July was always special in our home because it was my mom's birthday.  And then there were the marches, and patriotism and joy.  The current climate in America is not healthy right now so I am glad I have memories.  This lovely balloon decoration greeted us this morning, thanks to Sheila from Exclusive Balloons.

Bless Marissa's heart...she held our traditional July 4th parade in Lakewood and it was wonderful.  and hot!  and since I don't sweat I was pretty HOT myself.  But I did manage to make a balloon decoration for Marissa's front yard as well as my patriotic head band

 Of course everyone had masks on  but it was still great fun.

We were watching Miss Henrietta for  Ron/Pam Roberts while they were in Jamaica so Henrietta was able to walk (or be carried) in the parade as well.



these are Marissa's next door neighbors who are moving to Vancouver, Washington next Friday.


And then came the popsicles and the even tho it was mid day.

I did carry Henrietta part of the way so of course she got to have a popsicle and no, she didn't eat it.  She sniffed it.

It was a joy to remember doing the parade with our kids and all the neighborhood ones every year.  Thanks Marissa for inviting us.  Jocelyn had invited us as well but with all this COVID19 worries, I am more leary now than I was in March.

We gave Simon his  birthday gift early because it was a sprinkler and with the heat this weekend, he could use it.

Monday, June 22, 2020

poems from Marissa

Yesterday was Father's Day.  We spoke of dads and granddads but then we started in about my mom and the moments following her death when things lit up, flickered, and how each experienced tho she was letting us know she was still with us, just out of sight. Marissa told the story of meeting my grandfather's brother, Gordon Holman, in England; how Robert found his life's details, submitted them to Family Search, and how he and Marissa did the temple work.  The best part was sitting in the celestial room and Marissa feeling and KNEW this fine couple (Gordon and Doris) were indeed sitting in that room with her (this occurred just after Hank deserted her) and what peace it gave her.

She left here and found these poems and sent them to me.  What a keepsake.  I have now asked her for all her poems

Aches you learn to live with  4/19/04

Hospital beds glow with an eerie, incandescent light and we learn to measure our days by and fill our chronicles with that which we fear.  Our pages burn with the imagery, the symbolism of Things That Scare Us the Most.  

Go on, take the plunge.

Before the clocks took time, 
we chose the pain because it was the only sane answer. 
Today, it just doesn’t seem right.

My mother asks for some humor, any humor, then sobs when she should be laughing.  She loses faith just as I discover mine,
Buried under a pile of old, left socks.

Last night, the lace curtains I never wanted her to hang flapped violently against my bed,
In unison, the blinds screamed their protest.
From the light of the moon, 
Or perhaps just the alarm clock,
the shattering of the light spectrum across my retinas
I smelled and sensed more than saw, 
A storm moving in.

In the comfort of my own bed
In the comfort of my own health and happiness
I tossed and turned.  
Never quite finding rest and for the first time, feeling the pillow grow damp with worry.
Uncontrollable concern.

Downstairs, you found mom, dad
Miles away, Dawn was doing the same.
And Jocelyn, Cara, possibly even Jordan
We felt it coming.

I was waiting for grandma to come floating in on one of those breezes.
Rehearsing the things I wanted to say the most before she went.

Picturing myself reading poetry,
Holding her hand, looking into her eyes, and thanking her.
Thank you thank you thank you.

But reality never quite matches up to intentions.
Scenes from her bedside have me casting shifty, downward glances,
Intimidated by her stoicism, her lack of reaction.
She, too is unable to put to words true feeling, the plague of strong women.
Why are we so afraid of emotion? 

 I begin to see
Life measured out by rooms, 
By patterns of architectural division.
They are down there, I am jutting out up here.
Jocelyn, over there, in a bedroom, CONNECTIONS
the wind from her room making its way into mine.
Sweeps up my heart, passes it on to another.

Thousands of miles apart,
We are feeling the same things.

We are willing.

To see the end of her pain, so we can begin to heal.
To write, to speak of
Simple, mundane acts.
Sleeping, chewing, squinting at the sun;
Brushing my teeth tonight, I let the water run so no one can hear my pain.  
She’s right, it is too much to handle.

In every breath, a new breeze blows,
From my mouth straight to her bed.
In a hospital, sleeping
But still in a pain that hurts my eyes to stare directly into,
Unable to let go.

Grandpa hangs his head as he watches her sleep. 
In this picture, he never takes his eyes off of her,
Wills her to live
And without realizing it,
Curses her to suffer.
Darkness falls on these two figures
While nurses crowd the small window at her door.

She drifts away, maybe for good this time, maybe not.
He clicks off the lamp
And makes his way home.
His eyes have become a pair of dimmed lamps
And he is secretly wishing to not survive the straight road home
And in turn, to meet her There.

The Cure I Tried To Find

Tonight I will dream the Dream of a Thousand Answers.
The wind that will pound against my open screens, next to my bed, 
across my sweaty face 
Will blow in the cure.

The night is a deep purple wash where all our dreams, wants, desires for ourselves
For our dying grandmothers,
For the keepers of the faith,
Will shoot up from our respective residences
In perfect yellow beams of light
That arc across the skyline
And converge at one point
And on this point
Grandma will be free

She will be dressed like she is in those photos
Snapped back before, “you look sharp
Was just a phrase passed around the birthday table
By relatives from the Old School 

Those photos that nameless friends took 
when Cleveland was alive with warbrides and sailors
And she was still dancing the jitterbug 
In the same way the Natives danced their fancy dances, a call to life;
Her British mother sleeping the night away.

Like them,
She, too, was dancing for her ancestors, 
For her friends in the war who might not make it home.
She danced to say:
I’m still alive.

Tonight I will dream her up to this point,
A beam of light where she can dance till the trees whither away,
till the mountains rumble and fall apart.
She will dance so freely
And in place of an IV desperately pumping nutrients 
into the shell of a woman so strong and upright
that I see Mt. Everest when I picture her face. 
She will have whatever it is that makes her happy.
(Why don’t I know?)

Our collective dreams will blow out with the night wind
In a tunnel of moving air, synergy:
All the things we should have learned about her
But didn’t.
All the trips down the street we should have took
But wouldn’t.
All the times our heart swelled with love, our eyes brimmed with tears over the realization of that love
And we did nothing about it to save face.

The ties that bind us together
And hold us up through the days
While we remember how to live again
Will chase away the bad.

Easy come, easy go.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The boys spent the night with us.  This morning Robert had Henry help him create water storage from the gutters and the sump pumps to water the vegetables and fruit in his back yard.

  To complete this text I want to include what Marissa posted on FB.  I was glad to read it because I knew it was her anniversary and I feared she would be upset.  I also thought Hank who had been here for a week had gone back to California and his other family which was fine with me but oh no!  He flew to S. Carolina to meet his woman's family.  But Marissa was fine...or at least she said so:

Today was my 15th wedding anniversary. That’s right-I’m STILL not divorced. I think of this day last year and thank God it’s not last year today. While what was once a good (not perfect) relationship with my husband has completely devolved into something more akin to a dumpster fire that is getting a boost from flaming dog turds being periodically thrown in to stoke the fire, and that is really horrible, today, my soul and my heart feel like I’m running through a field of daisies, clicking my heels up because I made it through some hellish times and I gained soooo much insight, restraint, power, understanding of myself and how far I’ll go to protect and nurture my kids and just how exceptional I really am at that. So TAKE THAT, 15th anniversary! 

I saw this picture and commentary and wanted to keep it as a reminder to not become this dog:

Monday, June 08, 2020


Today Henry turned 9-3/4 years old...same number as is the platform for the Hogwarts Express.  And Marissa and Henry, as well as Oskar and Simon, had planned a lovely celebration.  How Marissa can execute her creative ideas is beyond me.

But here are the pictures for the event:

 Robert was sorted in Ravensclaw
 Henry showed off the collection of spirit animals we could choose from
 Delicious Pumpkin Pasties made by Marissa

 Diagon Alley...just look at that brickwork!

 Basalisk pizzas
 I was sorted into Slytherin...same as Oskar
 Fruit snake

 Olivanders wand collection
 Beakers to drink our potion from
 Oskar showed off the dessert trolley from which we bought our dinners while the movie played.
 Henry secured us our own vault of money in Gringgotts

 Hedwig in a cage
 Deathly Hallows part 1

 Our potion!

I am sure Marissa was exhausted by night's end but she provided an amazing memory for Henry...and now all the pieces are parts are stored away til Oskar, then Simon, turns 9-3/4....if they want.

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