Monday, May 27, 2024

Family Going Through a Rough Time



   You never want to get the call saying you need to come sooner than later and that your beloved cousin Jeremy is in the hospital with internal bleeding.  We got that call from my cousin Andy (Jeremy's brother) who flew in from Thailand.  He and my Aunt Phyllis were there with Jeremy. Andy warned me that Jeremy was looking really rough.  Jeremy wanted us to come and get his companion Maggie (dog) to come home and live with us. It was a promise I had made to him and I was going to keep it.

   I quickly called Jeff and he made arrangements to take the next day off work.  I also called Shannon and asked her if she could take care of my fur babies and water the plants in the greenhouse for me.  Josh called and I told him about Jeremy and how we needed to leave that afternoon and drive part way since it is about an 11 hour drive.  Josh generously paid for our hotel room for that night.  Jeff got off a bit early and quickly packed his suitcase and got the car ready to go.  I had snacks packed and ready, along with my suitcase.  We arrived at our hotel late at night and did not sleep well since it was across from a truck stop in the tiny town right on the highway.

   We got an early start the next day and went straight to the hospital where Jeremy was.  It was strange going back there since it was the same hospital where I had given birth to all 3 of my sons.  Andy and my Aunt Phyllis greeted us and Aunt Phyllis, Jeff and I headed down to the family lounge to get acquainted while Jeremy and Andy were on the phone with some government entity that was giving them the run-a-around.  I had not seen my Aunt, or my cousin Andy, since I was 2 years old.    Andy came to get us when the phone call was done and I got to share a hug with him and then go see Jeremy.  

   Jeremy was in really rough shape and the cancer had ravaged his body.  The internal bleeding was glaringly evident as well.  Despite all this, he was very happy to see us.  We all visited for awhile and then left him to rest for a bit.  Jeff and I drove around Klamath Falls and were shocked at how much it had grown in 30 years.  Later we had dinner with Andy and Aunt Phyllis and then went to stay in the beautiful townhouse that Andy had rented for the week.  My aunt took the late night train out to go back to her home.

   The next morning we went back to the hospital for one last in person visit with Jeremy and had a really good time together despite everything going on.  We told him that after we left him, we were going to the house to pick up Maggie and then we were heading up to Crater Lake since it was on our way back home.  He loved that idea.  We shared a last heartfelt hug and "I love you" and he made sure to tell me to pick out a bronze statue for Chris as a gift to him since they had shared a special bond.  He also wanted me to take any artwork that I wanted.  The rest would be auctioned off.   

   Upon arrival at his home, Maggie greeted us and I got her nails clipped since they had gotten so long.  I picked out a bronze statue that I knew Chris would love and Andy told me that Jeremy insisted that I take any art I wanted.  I picked out a wolf drawing that Jeremy and I both had loved from the moment he got it and was special to him, and I also picked out a wood block print that my Aunt Phyllis did.  I chose not to take any other artwork or cast bronze artwork because I knew the money that was raised from auctioning off these items would help pay for the debts that Jeremy had.  I had the two pieces that meant the most to me and the bronze that I knew Chris would love.  Andy also loaded us up with food from the pantry and I grabbed some canning jars.  We then loaded Maggie into the car, said our goodbyes to Andy, and headed up to Crater Lake where Jeff and I found peace, share memories of having gone up there when the boys were little and were reminded of God's amazing beauty that He has created for us.  We once again stayed the night at another hotel before we headed out for the final leg of our trip back home.

   About an hour before we would get home, my mom called and I update her on Jeremy.  I told her that I was exhausted and just wanted to get home and crash.  This trip had taken a toll on me both emotionally and physically.  She then said that she hated to tell me this, but she had more bad news.  My sister in law's mother had died the day before.  Again, I was hit with so many emotions knowing that my nephew Cade was with her when she had a heart attack and that she never recovered.  Oh my heart aches for my brother, sister in law, my nephews and for Christie's dad and brother.  I adored Min and we saw her last Spring.  She was always so kind to me.

   I am running on fumes here.  I have been trying to help my cousins and other family members deal with Jeremy's situation and to come to terms with all of this.  Phone calls, emails, facebook messages have all been happening.  I am at a loss on how to help my brother and his family deal with the death of Min.  I have texted with my brother and left a voicemail for them telling them how very sorry I am and how special Min was.  Right before we left to go down to see Jeremy, I got a call from Jeff's aunt...let's just say that it was not good and we now have to get caught up on things with her friend, her social worker and her on the situation.  I am dreading that because I know it will not be good news.  I have to remind myself of the reality of all that she is going through.  I love her and want the best for her, but I also have other things going on that had to take precedence at the time of her call.

   So yes, we are going through a rough time as a family.  I am praying for peace for my cousin as he makes his way out of this life and for comfort for my brother and his family.  I am also praying for no more "emergencies".  

    Finances have taken a hit with this unplanned and sudden emergency trip down to South Oregon, so we have to buckle down even harder financially.  I am glad we took the trip though because I needed to see my cousin and to get Maggie.  We have another trip to see my parents in a few weeks (this was planned for months now), and another trip in July to see Josh, Lauren and the grandkids (also planned).  Jeff and I are praying that the garden does well this year because we will be eating out of it this Summer and Fall.  I am hoping to can up some fruit and that we also get a decent crop of potatoes since I planted some and we also have several volunteers coming up in the various garden beds.  Much of the produce will also be dehydrated or frozen, as well as being eaten fresh.  My pantry needs to be worked on so I can expand my food storage area and get it better organized.  Jeff and I are slowly trying to get all of this done.

   Be blessed my friends and be sure to love on those people who mean the most to you in your lives.  You never know when you may get that phone call.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/1/24 and 5/10/24


   Grammie brag!!! Our Isaiah is quite the hunter, he lined up his shot and got both turkeys with one bullet!  We are so proud of him.  His daddy also got a turkey so they now have 3 for the freezer. 😊  Isaiah is our hands on, outdoor loving kid who is happiest fishing and hunting.  I love that he shares this passion with his dad (our son Chris).

   Life once again got away from us.  We have been so busy both physically and mentally.  Many, many phone calls have been made concerning Jeff's aunt's trailer and her care. There was also a trip up there and another one coming up this Monday to hopefully finalize the Power of Attorney for Jeff's aunt and pick up the last of the items that she wants from her home.  A few will be going to her at the care center to help decorate her space.  I really hope that will help he feel more settled in.  This has been a rough journey for her, and for someone who has lived alone most of her life, a HUGE adjustment.


Week 1:

~We went to a dear friend and his son's birthday party over the weekend and had a wonderful time!

~Jeff installed the new toilet into our guest bathroom.

~I got the steaks I bought on sale repacked up, along with 1-pound blocks of Mozzarella cheese and food savered them, then froze them.

~I marinated steak tips in red wine and Montreal Steak Seasoning and the cooked those up with onions and sweet red bell peppers.  I served those with well-seasoned mashed potatoes.

~We made a last-minute trip up to see Jeff's aunt on Monday and cleared out more of her house for her. When we got home, I changed into pajamas and went to bed.  I was totally exhausted and hurting so badly.  Cleaning out houses when having fibromyalgia is not a good combination.

~Tuesday Jeff went to work, and I got up early, feeling an urgency to pray.  As I opened up Facebook, I found out why.  So many of my friends and family need prayer.  This became even more apparent later in the day also. Of course, this made my fibromyalgia flare even worse and I am so glad I had leftover pizza in the refrigerator that I could warm up for lunch.

~I spent most of Tuesday on the couch, in pain, and getting caught up on a few shows on TV.

~Dinner Tuesday night was cheese and crackers.  Jeff and I both thought that sounded good and it was very easy to pull together.

~I uploaded Safeway's digital coupons onto my card.  I will have Jeff pick me up some of the creamer that is on sale.

~We worked on many projects around the house.

Week 2:

~Jeff and I went "treasure hunting" at the apartment complexes that WSU students moved out of.  We found and collected the following: a fun t-shirt, an Eddie Bauer light down filled jacket (this is going to Chris and Isaiah), a heavy weight winter jacket, a fleece pullover, a lightweight hoodie, a Carhart jacket that fits Jeff, a round side table, 2 milk crates, and a large plastic tote (which was much needed).

~I cut a really big pork loin roast in half so it would fit in my largest crockpot and made Kalua Pig with it.  I added spinach from our garden shortly before it was done and after I shredded the meat and put it back in the juices and broth.

~Jeff and I worked on the gardens, and he got the tomato support and the bean arch done and in place.  He made these with pig panels and some t-posts.

~I got more things seeded in.  I also trimmed back plants that had gotten hit by the frost we had about 3 weeks ago.

~We shopped the loss leaders at the grocery stores.

~Our entertainment for the week was going to a very cold and windy baseball game to see Bradley and Isaiah play.  They both did great!  My biggest surprise and blessing was Steven seeing Jeff and I arrive there and running up to me yelling Grammie with a huge smile on his face!  We both has really missed each other.  It was so good to see Jaysn and Rachel has been way too long with them and us having been super busy lately.  I have to give it to my family, they really do try to be there for one another as much as possible, and that makes my heart smile.

~We got to talk to Josh and Lauren about when would be best to come down and see them.  Jeff and I were both giggling listening to them both stop mid-sentence multiple times to tell the little ones something.  It brought back many memories of our boys growing up and us doing the same thing.

~I have been trying to use up things that have been in the freezer for a while.  I will need the space when the gardens start producing so I am getting ready now.

~Jeff and I watched a disaster movie on YouTube.  Yes, it is relaxing to me.  Strange I know.

~I got all of Jeff's aunt's summer clothing washed and ready to go up to her.  I am also throwing in some of my things that I no longer fit in, but I think she will since she has lost a lot of weight.  She was very happy with that idea.

~Since the weather has been much warmer, I hung the sheets and some of the other laundry out on the line to dry.

~For Mother's Day this year I asked for and got 2 green table grape vines.  I usually ask for rose bushes, but this year I changed things up a bit since I found the grape vines at a terrific price and I have always wanted some.  Now to figure out where to put them.

   Be blessed my sweet friends and may your days be filled with beauty, peace, and all things good!