Archive for August, 2014

Yeeeehow it’s hot!

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

I have been in side doing computer lookups in bare feet and Chuck needed to be let into the garage. So while out there I helped him move a piece of wood out of the car after a Home Depot run, and then I went to get the recycle cans and “suddenly” I realized how hot the pavement is under my feet. “Move out of my way!!!! I’m coming through” I yelled as I danced back into the garage. Where are the gentle breezes of late summer as she wends into autumn? Oh wait! We don’t get them here. Chuck and I arrived in Orlando yesterday and today was errands… and maybe a nap. Chuck is measuring for shelves and I think I’ll just disappear. Love from Orlando! Sue

Out weeds, In boat

Monday, August 18th, 2014

In case anyone caught the error in my last blog….. I was honoring Robin Williams with watching Marathon Man, but that was Dustin Hoffman…. whom I also love. So, sorry Robin, creator of Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Patch Adams, Dead Poet’s Society and many more wonderful roles (including Mork)… with whom we grew to maturity. Lord accept Robin…. He was a good man. OK> so what’s influencing me today? Lee will ask… “has Susie been drinking?” and well, yes Lee I did share a beer and 1/2 with the boys in the back yard. Dave was mowing and edging and I was in the garden menacing weeds… and laying mulch when Chuck and Mickey appeared all groomed from a visit to the barber. Lawn done and weeds dispatched to the garbage, I asked, “Beer anyone?” and soon 4 lawn chairs were pulled up under the palm trees and there was talk of the hunting camps and laying out the feed plot. Soon I asked Dave “Split a beer with me?” and Dave, ever polite, said “yes”! He doesn’t mind splitting with me. So Now I’m watching Mickey and Chuck put the pontoon boat in the water, and our house guest Barbara is preparing for an afternoon nap. All is well at the Lake House and we are loving where we live. Chuck and I have appointments Tuesday and Wednesday and head back to Orlando on Thursday. From South Florida with sweat and love… God bless you! Susie

Remembering Elvis

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

The incurable romantics Renee and Sue are watching an Elvis biography. and remembering where we were when…. I remember when the Beatles hit and I think I was in the 11th grade at our lockers at Southwest high school and all the kids debating who was “the best” Elvis or the Beatles and I loved both Elvis and the Beatles and at that time of course all our young boy bands from New Jersey…. I especially remember Chad and Jeremy, the Monkees! Johnny Mathis, the Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, and many more. We had good music as we grew up…. WQAM; our local rock station; used to sign off with.. “Goodnight my love; pleasant dreams; sleep tight my love…” Ahhhhh! well after a cable glitch; the Elvis show is back on and I gotta go!!!!! Off to Graceland. Love and sweet dreams! I think next we’ll watch Marathon Man in honor of Robin Williams. Good night sweet princes! Entertain heaven!

Orlando hot and sweaty

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

What is with this weather? it’s flooding in parts of the west and north east… Orlando gets storms like clock work every afternoon at 2pm. Weathermen do not show Miami or the Keys on the map…. So I assume it’s hot there too. Renee and I have driven to the cardiologist where she got a great big OK! and today we are gong to the hair dresser. I think it’s hard for anyone to consider retirement so this is a quiet time while paperwork is finished and planning is completed. In Miami, I have file drawers full of old retirement paperwork which I need to get to and shred…. Pensions come like clockwork and retirement is wonderful. I’m working on a painting and it is the second one that is divided in half as if I’m schitzophrenic…. I think it’s funny how my right and left sides are so different! Remembering Robin Williams and Lauren Bacal today. God bless the wonderful people who influenced our lives and entertained us…. God bless the little family at my house and God grant traveling mercies to me and Chuck as we reunite in Miami on Sunday! Love from Orlando. Sue

beautiful gardens - indication of God’s love

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Hi dear friends. For the second time in one week I’ve been to Fairchild Tropical Gardens! Friend Patty called to invite, so Lindy and I set out this morning to return to the gardens that Mickey loved and took so many pictures of. We 4 women walked around (with Patty’s mother in law) and talked about family and friends, angels and flowers and had a grand time in the Butterfly Conservatory. I met an (old) friend from Eastern Airlines who is volunteering and we talked about “the good old days at Eastern…” Heat is an issue, so all wet with (can’t call it anything else…) sweat, we left the gardens and did some chores at the library, Winn Dixie and the post office (mailed Happy Birthday present to Brother in law Lee!!!). And then home, and for Susie a long nap. No wonder I don’t sleep well at night. I have become a nap taker. Out cold. Tomorrow I do blood work and I hope the doctor will find me slim and alert as I’ve been very well fed by my little family here at my house. Saturday I’ll travel with Karen Skipp to Orlando to visit friend Renee so look for stories from the far north of Orlando. Chuck will be joining us in Miami after Key West jury duty by August 17. Have a wonderful summer week! Love Sue

Amazing Grace!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Mickey and I worked very hard in the front yard for 2 days and I mulched late in the day yesterday. And then it rained!!!!! Everything is so lush. Mickey and I walked down the front walk and looked at the gardens out front and the little grasses that my neighbor Luanne gave me a few years ago are covered with pink flowers. I have not seen them bloom and they usually die out by the time I get here. I cut the little flowers and put them in a tiny vase for Barbara. Luanne, thank you for those little grasses! Mickey made the most wonderful chicken soup and we ate it while watching “Love Actually” with Hugh Grant. Family loved it! Thank you Mark and Karla for the movie that we love!!! This morning after Mass I said, “I must work on the check book”….. always a stressful time that requires many additions and #s checking. I did it and it balanced on the first try. Bump. Balanced. whooooo!!! time to thank all the angels that are surrounding this house! Dave was out in the yard mowing and edging as I hung laundry on the line and we had a companionable beer with him… Thank you Dave. Kathy came over with Sparky the little dog who settled down in Barbara’s lap to be petted and then Kathy took him through several “tricks.” He prays, he sneezes, he rolls over. So cute!!!! “pet therapy for Barbara.” Kathy also brought little muffins. Yum. Thank you Kathy. I just can’t thank enough all the angels who are surrounding this holy house. The family is able to concentrate on Barbara and her way to health without having to worry about a place to stay. Lindy (Barb’s sister) finds baskets and other things for stuff like the meds and instruments like tweezers and scissors… The dining room is covered with notebooks, the calendar, bandages, just the stuff that is needed and I have the abundant space. I see my stuff being used and I am so grateful! Let us all be thankful for the opportunities that we are given and let us be thankful that God gives us the resources and courage to respond with YES! Then God showers us with the Graces. Pray for this little family from Big Pine Key. Love Sue

Weeds 27 Sue and Mickey 8

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Many of my neighbors are familiar with the image of Sue sitting on a big rug in the front yard with gloves, digger, hat, and dirty tee shirt clearing out the weeds with a cat named Sue sitting on the rug right behind me. Occasionally when I try to scoot forward the rug won’t move, and that means I have to stop and pet the cat. She absolutely does not mind my dirty grubby gloved hand petting her. Then she shakes her head to get all the dirt off and we move the rug further on. The cat settles on the rug again right up against my back. Today she smelled like she had rolled in garbage so I told her, but she didn’t seem to mind, “Just pet me,” she offered. Meanwhile, I had a buddy out there, my new friend Mickey whose wife Barbara is inside recovering from nasty surgery. So Mickey and I worked and did what would have taken me twice as long…. After under three hours, Mickey was begging for lunch, and he said “are we finished?” I thought, with the front yard? Almost…. wait til we begin the back yard!!!! For the front, we just have to clean up the Areca palms and sweep the Harley walkway… I was out there digging the same weeds a few years ago in the same place when Mike came running around the house saying, “You get towels, I’ll get peroxide; Chuck’s in the back yard.” That was the day Mike dropped a big beam on Chuck’s head!!!! It was actually on his ear and so began the saying that “the job isn’t done until Chuck bleeds.” Mickey will be helping me this week cleaning up the back yard gardens and then he and I will clean the back of the house and wash windows. I do love the lake house, but it has been without Susie for a few months and it needs a little womanly tweaking. Mickey and I visited Fairchild Tropical Gardens yesterday and I’ll take Barbara’s sister Lindy next week. All is well, God is taking very good of the little family who is living in my lake house. God bless you.

Life changes…

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

There’s been some changes…. My friend Linda on Big Pine Key sent me a message telling me about the sudden collapse of her neighbor whom she loves… Barbara was carried to Marathon hospital and then air lifted to Miami as there is no neuro surgeon in the Keys (air lifting is free from Monroe County to Miami if there is no adequate medical service). Joe McCarthy, Linda’s husband, suggested maybe Sue could put the family up as they were in a hotel. Of course I answered…. The Miami house is just the gift to give away as God’s goodness so I contacted Mickey (Barbara’s husband….) and finally as they began to realize this isn’t going to be “in and out” as Barbara had 3 cancerous vertebrae removed and the doctors see a lot of cancer in the lungs …. This will be a long haul. I am grateful to be able to “pay it forward” as many people helped me when Chuck was sick….

So…. I opened my house and I am in Miami until August 9 (leaving to go to Orlando to help our friend Renee on Aug 9). Chuck stayed in Keys to host a mini season party (Andy Bate and his son and friends) and Chuck has doctor’s appt to draw blood in Big Pine Key and jury duty in next two weeks on Big Pine… I have given my home to Mickey and Barbara, her sister and daughter. Barbara is healing under hospice care and she will have radiation under hospice. She will receive 10 days of radiation in Miami, when the incision heals, and then if she can move (which she wants to) she will return to Big Pine Key. With a neck brace supporting the incision (I think 4, 5, and 6 vertebraes were removed) Barbara spends most of her awake time on the sofa and looks out the windows.. She walks with help to the bathroom and she just had her first shower!!!!! I just heard cheering and laughing. The family loves the rockers, and we pretty much all sit in a circle around Barbara and talk…. She is beautiful and joyful and probably a little bit (lot) scared… but she is very well taken care of and loved so much by her family. Mickey shares with me and I keep him busy and I am kind to everyone.

Hospice covers radiation as palliative so the family is fortunate. There is a hospital bed, a potty chair, a wheel chair, and other patient comforts where the dining room table used to be. We took leaves out of the dining room table and stowed them under the guest room bed which is now my bed. I looked around today and quivered a little as they have thoroughly taken over as I told them to do… Pillows, blankets, pills, equipment, supports all over the place! I’ve given the ladies (sister and daughter) the master bedroom with the walk in shower and the master bathroom is convenient to the living room that has now become patient room! … I’m in the guest room with the guest bathroom and Mickey is on the sofa bed in the library with the middle bathroom! Dave Johnson came over and moved the big exercise bike, air conditioning friends Steve and Norm Larrabee came to fix broken hall air conditioner, and Kathy and George from next door came over with puppies and put them on Barbara’s bed while George fixed my broken guest room toilet. Thank God for friends Dave, Larrabees, Kathy and George.

During this time before I go to Orlando, I am going to work very hard to clean up the art room which is beleaguered with piles of paper and stuff!!! and I’ll do some paperwork… and I started a painting using a little wabi sabi. I took Mickey to Fairchild Gardens today and to Target because the ladies gave us a list! The family has purchased food and toiletries and insists on paying water and electric bills. Daughter Leigh was a police officer and now works in insurance investigations in a small town in North Carolina and her husband is a canine officer. She is a lovely very strong girl! Barbara’s sister Lindy is a very strong and loving sister to the patient. Husband Mickey speaks great Spanish and taught Spanish and special ed among other colorful careers!!!! I go to church every day!!!!! I have asked people to pray for me so I don’t get in anyone’s way…. they are in charge and I only show them things like how to unlock the back door, where to find gardening tools, screw drivers etc etc. Mickey is going to wash the windows and help me weed all the flower beds. Pray for Barbara’s healing… I’m off to church; the vigil Mass. Love and kisses and God bless you! Sue