Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Birdhouse that Became a Birdhouse

When Elizabeth was still living at home with us (I think it was her senior year of HS) when she bought me a birdhouse for Mother's Day. 
 I loved it so much that we planted in it the front yard in the flower bed there. 
It seemed the perfect place for it. 
I've enjoyed looking at it while working in the flower bed for several years now, but never have I enjoyed it as much as this year.
One morning while weeding a little, I heard a sweet baby bird chirping, "Feed me.  Feed me.  I'm hungry."  I was afraid it had fallen out of the apricot tree near by so I began searching for it when I realized the sound wasn't coming from the ground but rather from up higher. 
Finally, I found the source of it inside my much loved birdhouse from Elizabeth.
The mama bird who was never far away had built a nest INSIDE the birdhouse. 

 And a sweet baby bird was inside crying to be fed.
Can you see the little yellow beak?
I never got a better picture of him than this one but I heard him singing out every morning for another week or so.  I tried to call Gwenevere and Grace to let them listen to the baby bird, but they were on a camping trip and by the time they'd gotten back the baby was out of the nest and on his own.
I hope the mama with visit us again next year ~ now that she knows where the birdhouse is.

Dan's Recent Hospital Stay and Recovery

On Friday, June 21, while Grace, Alisha and I were driving to Colorado I kept trying to contact Dan and he wasn't answering.  Finally, I was nervous enough that I called my dear friend Rita Schofield to see if she would check in on Dan.  She called me back within minutes to tell me "it isn't a pretty picture." 

Dan had fallen in the living room and wasn't able to get himself up.  He'd been there throughout the night.  He was cold, wet and definately confused.  She called her husband, Mike and he got DeLoy Roberts so the two of them went in and got Dan off the floor.  DeLoy said he was so "spent" that when he was finally in his seat he just threw up all over everything. 

They got him cleaned up and started the wash going.
In the mean time I called Seth to see if he could get home and stay with Dad till I could get back.  He was so sweet and said right off, "I'll take care of him. I'll go up right now."  He contacted his boss, explained what happened and drove to IF.  I was trying to figure out how I could get home RIGHT NOW but there just wasn't a way to do it.  We were about 1 hour short of the Utah/Colorado border and no where close to an airport.  We were about 12 hours south of IF and about 5 hours north of Denver. 

With Seth's encouragement we decided to finish out the drive, run the race and head straight for the Denver airport.  At least that was the plan then.

In the mean time Seth and Ali took great care of Dan here at home.  That night, looking at Denver flights I realized there wasn't any open flights to SL or IF so I would have to drive home on Saturday.  And that's just what we did.  After the race we turned the car around and drove all the way back.  I was so tired somewhere around midnight Saturday night I had to keep pulling off to sleep but then we'd go a little further and I'd find myself crossing lanes and would pull over again for a few minutes.  We finally got home at 5:00 Sunday morning.

By Sunday afternoon I realized I wasn't going to be able to take care of Dan myself.  He couldn't stand up or walk and I'm not strong enough to keep him upright.  With Alisha's help I got him in his wheelchair and into the car before heading straight to the ER.

:ole all experiences, it took forever but around 1:00 Monday morning they finally admitted him to the hospital as a "fall risk".  He had no strength and was very confused!!

When I went back to see him later on Monday we had a very strange conversation.  It went something like this:
"Hi Dan.  How are you feeling?"
I'm fine but I need to get the hay to the Fruit Loop plant."
"What hay?"
"The hay I just baled.  It's out on the truck and I need to get it to the Fruit Loop plant."
I stepped outside and asked the nurse if he'd been rather "off this morning."   She said no and in fact he was "right on" when she asked him about the date and where he was at.
I told her about his last comments and she came inside the room with me.  She asked Dan if he knew where he was and he said he was "in the hospital but needed to get the hay he'd baled to the Fruit Loop plant."  She looked at me and then asked him who the president of the United States is and he fumbled through a few names (including one of the prophets of the Church) before he settled on "Grant".  Noting that he'd mentioned a Prophet she asked if we were LDS and I nodded "yes" so she asked him who the Prophet of the Church is.  Again he fumbled through several names and ended with "Boyd K. Packer."  That's when she looked at me and said, "That's pretty close.  I think he's ok."
Whooooouuuu.  What could I say to that???
On June 26, I wrote on FB - "he was moved to the 6th floor for rehab. purposes. He's almost roommates with Lynn Kirby. Dan doesn't need nursing care but just PT and OT (Speech too) so he's up there where all the therapists are. He stood for a few minutes as we moved him from one bed to another. He's making progress, just not fast enough for him. Twice today he tried to get out of bed and said, "I just want to go home now." Hopefully, it won't be too much longer and he'll be strong enough to come home.

And on June 28 I wrote - "Ok, he says he's ready to "go home where nobody can tell him what to do." Sounds like he's doing better, right? If he could only stand on his own he might be able do what he wants.

On July 1 I wrote - "I got to observe Dan getting some "language therapy" at the hospital, too. He did pretty good and seemed more connected I think he's getting better. YEAH!  He's had a rough go of it. He caught a cold and it's gone to his chest and sapped all his strength. Still in the hospital and they're talking another week if they can get insurance coverage.


On July 3 ~ " Dan update ~ He is doing very well. He's more and more coherent everyday. Today, with the help of his PT, he was able to get out of bed, walk up and down a flight of stairs and wheelchair/walk to the hospital lobby to see Alisha. He's like the Ever-ready battery. He may dim down but he never goes out. They haven't said when he can come home yet but he's coming home and that's wonderful.

July 6~ "I'm pleased to present to you (drum roll, please), my husband Dan who was able to get up and out of his hospital bed today and go for a short stroll with his PT. He's had a terrible hacking cough that shakes the room and drains all his energy, but he did it!! Three cheers for Dan~

And finally on July 11 (Elizabeth's birthday) around 2:00 Dan came home.

He cruzed the garden
and almost as quickly packed his bags for a trip to Island Park with Paunie and Larry. Paunie picked him up the next day about noon and they headed north for some R &R. 
He had a wonderful time and even went back for another visit the next week.
He's home and he's doing very well.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Slacker Race

A few months ago Laura contacted me to say she and Grace were running a half-marathon in Colorado called The Slacker Race.  There was also a 4 mile race that she thought Alisha and I could run if we wanted to join them.  Of course, we wanted to join them so we left Idaho on June 20th and drove to Orem where we stayed the night and then picked up Grace the next morning and drove to Frisco, CO.  We kidnapped Marley (with Haini and Kristi's permission) and took her with us.
We had Haini's iPod with us as well as Gracies.  Mine was lost back in Orem, or so we thought (another amazing story). So with good music we had a ripping ride to Colorado.
We stopped in Price for lunch and then moved quickly down the road. 
Somewhere an hour or so short of the border we got news that Dan had fallen but GOOD neighbors had helped him out and Seth and Ali were going up to stay with him for the weekend.
Anyway, we met up with Mark, Laura and the kids at a really nice hotel for the night.  They had arranged for us to have a 3 double bed room which worked out really great for the 4 of us.

It wasn't long and we were tucked away for the night

Laura made us all "Slacker" jackets to wear to the race. Alisha wears her's almost everyday when she runs.

After a few stretches and warm ups we were ready to head to Georgetown where the race was being held.

 We registered, got our bibs and tried to contain our excitment before the race.  I think I heard there was something like 2500 runners there that morning.


It was a little chilly and we were glad to have our new "Slacker" jackets to wear.  Alisha and I took one bus to the 4 mile point and Grace and Laura took another bus to the half-marathon start.

While we were off running through the mountains, Mark was entertaining four kids!  Looks like they had fun, too.

When I came through town near the end of the 4 miles they were at the park and I got to give them a high-5 on my way by.
 And then on to the finish line.
Alisha came crossed the finish line next.
And then we waited for the half-marathon runners. 
Laura came next but I didn't get a picture of her crossing.  She stopped and picked up Annie and carried her across the line.
We were a little more ready when Gracie came through so here's a shot of her.
She actually picked up Annie and ran across the finish line, too.  Lucky Annie, she finished twice that day.
I think we were all pretty excited to have done it so there was another round of pictures.

We all did very well that day but another race began when we got in our cars and headed home.  We were anxious to get home to Dan so we drove straight through and managed to get here around 5:00 AM Sunday morning.  I think a couple of miracles kept us on the right side of the road from Provo home.  I had a terribly hard time staying awake and even when I'd pull off for a bit, it was hard to last long before the next pull off.
A couple of weeks later I got a small package in the mail and was very surprised to receive a medal from the race.  I guess I placed 3rd for women in my age bracket.  Gracie said my time was 47 minutes. 

A fun day with my girls, good memories and a medal to boot.  Can't beat that!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ballets and Birthdays

In our month long adventure, Dan and I headed out to Tacoma on June 12th.  Gwenevere was in a ballet recital and we just had to be there for it.  We drove to SL and caught our flight and all was well.  Elizabeth got us at the airport and took us to their new home.  They bought a place in Tacoma and have been working very hard to refurbish it.  It was looking fantastic and we were excited to be there. 

First off, Elizabeth took me on a walk around their neighborhood to show me a couple of homes that were close by and for sale. Oh, to dream... there were some really cute places close by and it would be so fun....
Dan got comfortable while we went shopping.
Gwenevere got comfortable while we went shopping.
We went to Costcos and I love Costcos.  We bought lots of fruit and Gwenevere even asked me, "Granma, did you go crazy with the fruits?"  Yap, Gwenevere, I did! 
That night we got ready and went to the ballet.  James took Gracie on an adventure and Dan, Elizabeth and I went to the ballet.
(starring Gwenevere Roemhilt)
Gwenevere was so cute in her Turkish Delight costume we must have taken a hundred pictures.  Here are just a few of them.

She loved the flowers Granpa gave her and she loves her Granpa.
The next morning we got Preston's Thomas Train cake in the oven and cleaned out Baby Brothers room.  Wha Hoo.
Now Elizabeth has "this much room".
Gwenevere helped me with the cake and the frosting.

Wha La ~ Thomas the Train for Preston

Sharloee and her friend got there and Elizabeth and James went with them to the ballet.
Dan and I stayed with Gracie so she and I went for a walk to the library and park.  She had a great time climbing on the toys.

After she learned how to cross the bridge she would tell me, "I can do it." over and over.  What a little sweetheart.  I loved spending this time with her.
Saturday morning we loaded up the cars and headed for North Bend.  Preston was having a Birthday Party today. 
We met everyone at the park near Will and Jenni's home.  It was wonderful.  It had a pond with ducks and a walking path which Elizabeth and I enjoyed.  Jenni had the table all spread out like a train and Preston liked his cake.

So did Taylor
We got to visit a bit with Ron and Carolyn as well as Will and Jenni.

The "kids" enjoyed the kyaks and the water while the Granpas enjoyed the view.  Elizabeth and I went for a run around the lake.

After all the fun at the park Jenni, Elizabeth and I went looking for new running shoes for Elizabeth.  She was like the Queen on the Throne as we brought her pair after pair to try on.
Back at home we had another party

Will mentioned a home two houses down from them that is for sell so I walked over to look at it.
Nice home with two bedrooms and an office.  It would be fun to be that close to their family, too!
Oh, how would you decide???
What a fantastic day and a great trip for a ballet and a birthday!
For memories sake we did have trouble getting out of SeaTac this time. I spent two days at the airport waiting for open seats.  Elizabeth took us both back for an extra night during the wait.  Thanks Sweetheart!!