R.I.P. Reha

My friend, Reha, passed away at about 8:00 a.m. this morning. I’m glad she is no longer in pain and I know she is in a much better place. Rest in Peace Reha. You will be missed.

I want to thank all of you who have asked about Reha, and for all your thoughts and prayers for her.

Reha Update

Thank you to all my family, friends, and readers for your continued concern about my friend Reha and for continuing to keep Reha in your thoughts as she is passing. I decided rather than answer each inquiry about Reha separately I would provide a blog post update for everyone.

Reha is still hanging on but the doctor said it won’t be long and he told her sister to notify any other family members she might have. Reha is on hospice too .…I stopped in to check on Reha yesterday before my therapist session and she was all alone and laboring to breath so I took her hand and told her I was there and told her if she was tired and needed to go she didn’t have to fight this anymore and could just let go. I thanked her for being my friend and such a good roommate to my mom and told her I love her. She did manage to squeeze my hand but couldn’t speak. I also asked the nurse for some of those little sponges on a stick that you can suave their mouth with so their mouth and lips aren’t so dry…I did that for my dad when he was passing and it seemed to easy him a bit. After my therapy session, I went back to check on Reha and her sister was sitting with her.

Shantel and I have our volunteer day at the Humane Society today at 10:00 a.m. but we are going to stop in and check on Reha before we go. I pray she will pass peacefully and quickly because it’s so hard to see someone you care about like this but I realize dying, like life, is a process and it has to run its course..

I will continue to keep you updated!

My Heart is Heavy

Because my friend, Reha is dying.

Those of you who follow my blog know my mother is in a skilled nursing center and I visit her two or three days a week. Usually, when I visit my mother, I take her something like fresh strawberries, when they are in season, or cookies, candy etc. Just any little thing I see that I think she might like as a little surprise. Whatever I take for my mom, I also take the same thing for mom’s roommate, Reha. Reha loves fresh strawberries and will eat the whole container at once whenever I give them to her. Reha calles me “my love” Her face will light up when I walk into the room and she will say “hi, my love” and always wants to hear all about what I’m “up to these days”… I’ve sat for hours talking to Reha and mom in their room over the past three years and I’ve come to call Reha my friend, something very special to me and something I do not take for granted.

Reha always listens to CNN on the TV and will give comments about what all is going on in the world outside of her little world.  She always asks me to open the blinds in the room and will sit and look out over the garden just outside her window when I push my mom up to the activity room for bingo, arts/crafts, or to church services. I always invite Reha to come along with us but she just smiles and says “you run along my love and visit with your mom, I’ll be just fine right here looking at all the beautiful flowers that are there for me today”.

Reha has a sister who comes to visit her once in a while, but other than that, no one, except me , or my mom’s other visitors pay any attention to Reha. Reha has the biggest, brightest, smile  and the light in her eyes light up the room that she seldom ever leaves. She takes her meals in her room because she doesn’t like to go to the dinning room. I never asked her why and she never said. Reha has one leg amputated and she has an artificial leg that she sometimes wears to help her move about the room in her wheelchair. She never complains and is always very appreciative for everything and anything anyone does for her.

Reha has not been feeling well for the past couple weeks although I’ve not heard her complain even once. Over the weekend her condition became much worse and Monday when I saw her she was so weak she couldn’t get out of bed so mom and I tried to help her eat from her tray as she lay in her bed. Then, today, when I walked in the room mom was already in the activity room so I went over to Reha and was so sad to see how pale, and weak she is now. She couldn’t speak so I took her hand and told her it was “my love”, and she squeezed my hand and tried to focus her eyes to mine and as I looked into her beautiful, soft, eyes I recognized that empty look of someone who is actively dying.  So I did the only thing left to do when someone you care about is passing, I held her hand and said a prayer to the Lord saying if it’s Reha’s time to go, and if it be his will, to please help Reha to pass quickly and to help her to not suffer. While I was sitting with Reha and praying for her, the care center activity went on as usual. Not that no one cares, but Reha is one among many that live out their last days in a care center, without family or friend,s and the staff while good and caring people, have other patients to tend to…Life at any stage goes on…

I sat with Reha for as long as I could today. I am going to go back to see about her tomorrow and all weekend if she hangs on that long. Why, some might ask? Because, I call Reha my friend, something very special to me and something I do not take for granted.

Please keep my friend Reha in your thoughts.

Thanks

Sunday’s

As the weather begins to cool down, here in my beautiful Arizona, we once again begin to use our indoor oven, and my daughter, Shantel, aka Chef Shantel, is eager to start her weekly home-made from scratch, baking projects again. When this happens, I’m no longer “mom”. No, I become nothing more than Chef Shantel’s Sous Chef.  And my lovely daughter takes on a very different personality, that of Chef Shantel…And like any “real” Chef running “her” kitchen, Chef Shantel is really good at barking, I mean giving directions to the “hired help” which would be me, minus the “hired”.

When we come home from church, I fix my husband, Bill, and I our traditional Sunday skillet breakfast with O’Brien potatoes, turkey sausage, mushrooms and melted cheese on top. Shantel won’t eat this Sunday breakfast because she wouldn’t let her lips touch sausage of any kind.  As soon as Bill and I get the kitchen cleaned up from breakfast, it’s time for me to begin my Sous Chef duties. The first order of business is to clean all the counter tops (again) with Clorox clean-up. Never mind that Bill and I just cleaned all the counters, they all need to be cleaned again just prior to putting any of the baking ingredients on them, per Chef Shantel’s strict orders… I could say a lot about that here but I’ve learned it’s just better not too:)

Once everything is clean (again) I need to get all the baking ingredients out and arranged on the counter in the order Chef Shantel’s recipe requires. I also have to have the dish drainer out on the spotless counter as well as all the measuring cups and measuring spoons. While all that is going on, I better not forget to get the oven pre-heated or I could be in big trouble there.

When Chef Shantel thinks everything is to her liking, she will let me know I can start reading the recipe to her as she measures everything precisely, unless she happens to like one ingredient more than another, like vanilla or cinnamon, then of course she will make an exception to the recipe and call it her “own special creation”.

When everything is measured, mixed, rolled out etc. it’s my duty to make sure whatever “we” are baking gets into the oven without screwing anything up. Lot’s of pressure on this Sous Chef people, lot’s of pressure!!

While whatever it is we’re baking is in the oven, Chef Shantel tells me to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn or get too brown because you know all ovens are different and we just moved here and are working with our new gas oven instead of the electric oven we had before….blah, blah, blah,,,

As I’m keeping an eye on the oven, Chef Shantel will begin to wash her baking utensils. She washes them all by hand herself because they have to be washed in a certain way that I just don’t know how to do…blah, blah, blah…

I once mentioned to Chef Shantel that I have been cooking and washing dishes for longer than she has been alive and I never killed anyone or even put anyone in the hospital with food poisoning, to which she was quick to point out that when I’m working with her, we need to follow the procedures she learned when she took Culinary Arts, in High School, and I need to remember she passed her test with an (A) and obtained her food handlers licence, something I don’t have so this makes her knowledge of how things need to be done superior to mine. What she is really trying to say is I pretty much need to just stick to my Sous Chef duties and leave the real expertise to her…blah, blah, blah,…

Anyway, after a LONG, HARD, morning working in the kitchen with Chef Shantel, “we” finally have a finished product which thankfully turned out perfect or I could be looking for another Sous Chef job….:)

This is Chef Shantel’s famous, homemade from scratch, Dutch Apple Pie:

Since I cannot eat sugar, I will just have to take Bill and Chef Shantel’s word for how good this really is. All I can say is I did a lot of hard work, took a lot of kitchen abuse, and I don’t even get to share in the reward…how much does that suck???

Lucky for me I have a great sense of humor and just take this all in stride..I’m really very proud of Shantel’s culinary skills and all in all we do have some fun in the kitchen!

Stay tuned!

Some Say What You Don’t Know..

Won’t hurt you… Well, I’m here to tell you what I didn’t know sure did hurt me!!!

I’m fairly new to blogging with only 124 posts under my blogging belt, and I’m really new to adding pictures to my blog. I’m very proud of myself for teaching myself not only how to set up my blog, with just some advice from my Frissy, and my domain supporters, and I’m even more proud of myself for teaching myself how to post pictures to my blog. I worked for day’s on end to get my blog set up and even longer trying to get my first pictures posted.

As I became more and more comfortable with posting pictures to my blog, I began to notice how many MB’s of space I was using each time I posted a photo. So, being the novice that I am, and standing firm on my resolve to “teach”myself how to manage all aspects of my blog…,I decided I could probably delete photo’s from my blog media library once I already posted the photo’s to my blog. Made perfect sense to me so that’s what I did.

Yep, I went back through every photo I ever posted on my blog and deleted it from my media library. Seemed to be working fine as I could still see the photo’s on my blog every time I pulled it up, and when my husband, Bill ,would read my blog he could always see all the photos…so imagine the “oh, s##t look on my face when my friend, Megs, sent me a text message yesterday while I was volunteering at the Humane Society with my daughter, Shantel, telling me she was just trying to get caught up on reading my blog and said she couldn’t see ANY photo’s from 9/7 – 9/19!!!

I wanted to throw-up as the thought of all my hard work posting all those photos and now they were gone began to settle into my brain. I was even more horrified when I started thinking how anyone new to reading my blog would think “what’s up with talking about pictures that are not there”, and wondering who’s running this blog anyway?

I couldn’t get home fast enough to figure out what happened because I could still see the photos on my blog even before I logged into my blog dashboard where I create my post and add photos. Why could I see them but not my friend Megs? I had a flash of hope that perhaps it was something on Meg’s end that was preventing just her from seeing my photos. I wasn’t wishing my friend Megs anything bad, but I was hoping against hope that it wouldn’t be anything I did wrong either. So I quick called my cousin, Tracie, and asked her to look at my blog to see if she could see my photos…my heart was pounding as I waited what seemed to be forever as Tracie pulled up my blog and began to scroll through the various postings and then my heart sunk as Tracie said “oh, no, they are all gone, Cindy…

What to do? I decided perhaps I could just repost everything so I tried that but it looked really dumb because my blog links to Facebook so now it was looking like everything I posted over the last month just happened today! Not good. So I quick deleted that test from Facebook and thought about it some more. Then, another flash of brilliance hit me as I decided perhaps the photos are still on my computer, since I made sure to delete them all from my camera memory card…so in a last-ditch effort to save all my hard work, I looked under the pictures folder in my computer and THANK You Jesus, they were there!

So, this is what feeling the pain of what I didn’t know looks like as I sat for hours, AGAIN, reattaching all my photos to my blog posts but not linking them again to Facebook…

Lesson learned…don’t EVER delete photos from my blog media library again,,,EVER! Just buy more space when needed!

I do want to thank my friend, Megs, for letting me know about the deleted photos. If she hadn’t let me know I would never know they were gone because I could always see them…too much technical thinking for my brain.

Stay Tuned

Check

Uniform?  Check

Lint Roller to remove cat hair from uniform? Check

Lunch and badges? Check

I guess my daughter, Shantel, and I are all ready for our volunteer day at the Arizona Humane Society.

As official cat adoption workers our duties include showing cats for adoptions, socializing cats to people (especially cats that are found wandering the streets as stray’s), and cuddling cats that need cuddled. We never have to worry about not having enough to do at the Arizona Humane Society.

Stay Tuned!

Three In One

I LOVE to get cards and letters in the mail. It just warms my heart when I go to the mailbox and find a card or letter addressed to me. It feels so go to me to know someone took the time out of their busy day to think of me and actually take the time to send me a handwritten note.

I love anything handmade, and I especially love receiving something handmade. Just knowing someone put their time, talent, effort, and love into making something for me is so very uplifting and it’s the gift that keeps on giving because every time I look at the handmade gift I ‘m reminded again of the love held within the item.

I absolutely love good surprises.

So imagine my delight when I received this beautiful surprise yesterday in the mail! It’s a handmade scarf, and it came addressed to me with a handwritten card inside that reads “A little something for you”. It’s from my cousin Tracie!

It’s not even my birthday, but it sure made my day!!!

Thank you so very much Tracie for my beautiful, handmade, scarf. I will think of you every time I look at it. And I’ll be snuggly warm and styling when I wear it this long cold winter. I love you, Cindy

Make someone’s day, send them a little handwritten note or something in the mail. I can tell you Tracie sure made my day Three Times Over!

Stay Tuned!

It’s Not Always Easy,But It’s Always Fun

One of my many passions is cooking. I love to cook, which is a good thing seeing how I’m the chief cook around this ranch. However, as any cook will tell you, it’s not always easy creating beautiful, delicious food that people actually want to eat. Truth be told, I’m sure any cook among us can tell a story or two of how best intentions went south in a hurry. This past Monday was one of those types of cooking days for me.

My husband, Bill, requested baked, Panko breaded, bone-in pork chops. I decided to make roasted fresh brussels sprouts with cubed roasted potatoes, and grape tomatoes for the side dishes.

At around 1:30 p.m. I got the egg dip and the Panko bread crumbs ready and breaded the pork chops. Then I covered them and put them in the refrigerator until it was time for them to go into the oven. Then, I washed the brussel sprouts, cut off the ends, split them in half, put them in a zip lock bag with olive oil and seasoning so they would be all ready when it was time to pop them in the oven for dinner. All is going great so far…I had my music on and was singing and dancing all about my kitchen as I went about my work.

Next, I washed the potatoes, cut them up and put them in a bag with olive oil, but when I went to put the seasoning in…I didn’t notice that the shaker top was stuck to the top of the lid and I dumped over half a large bottle of seasoning into my potatoes.. but not to worry, I think quick on my feet. I rinsed all the seasoning off and started all over again. I don’t know why I found this to be so funny, I hadn’t even had my happy hour yet, but I had a really good belly laugh all alone in my kitchen as I corrected the mistake and thought to myself no one need ever know about this..Then I decided to do a blog post about it and share my little mishap with all of you. What are friends for if not to share the stories of our lives with right?

This bottle was full when I opened it to season my potatoes.

I

Opps! Too much music and dancing sometimes makes for too much seasoning too! Cooking is a delicate science and we need to pay attention to what we are doing. Around this ranch a cook could get fired for mistakes like this and I sure wouldn’t want that to happen);

Lucky for me, I knew just what to do. Just rinse and start over:)

It could have been worse. I could have dump all that seasoning in the brussel sprouts too. If that had happened I just may have started happy hour a little early:)

Even though I didn’t have the potatoes, I’m trying to stay away from too much starch, my husband, Bill, said they were delicious and  he never even knew I dumped all that seasoning on them (shhhhhhhhhh). Which only goes to prove once again the end result is all that really matters, right? Yummers!!!

No telling what I’ll cook up next:)

Stay tuned!

At Least it’s “A” Plan

On September 14th I wrote about the problems Shantel is experiencing with Phoenix Dial-a-Ride and East Valley Dial-a-Ride either not picking her up at all, or picking her up at one location and taking her to the transfer location but not providing the proper transfer information to her driver through the dispatcher so Shantel was being left sitting on a bench with no ride home. In my post I mentioned that because Shantel is in school all day she can’t spend the time it takes to stay on the phone to discuss all the issues and problems, and agree upon what a resolution might look like or at least a follow-up “plan”. So I told Shantel I would call Dail-a-Ride for her and I did.

After many attempts to connect with the Customer Advocate for Dial-a-Ride, and threatening to call the TV News channel Three On Your Side, as well as a Disability Lawyer…, I finally was able to speak with a real live person, Jammie, who said she has the authority to make decisions, and  who was willing to listen to our complaints, and who vowed to look into the situation and get back to me by end of the next business day…

Well, I’m happy to report that I did receive a call back from Jammie the following day. Will wonders never cease?? But the conversation started out really scary and went down hill from there because the first thing Jammie asked me was if she and I had already connected? I thought she meant had I spoken with her since our last conversation, which we hadn’t, so I said no. Then Jammie asked me “what can I do for you”? I then reminded her that she was supposed to be looking into what the problem or disconnect was that was preventing Dail-a-Ride from getting my daughter picked up at her scheduled time and delivered safely to our home. Jammie then said “oh, yeah, now I remember, you and I spoke the other day”. Now I was thinking “OMG, this can’t be happening….This has to be some sort of JOKE! So, I went through the WHOLE scenario for Jammie AGAIN but this time I told her if she didn’t have an answer for me right now, I wanted to speak to her Supervisor, and I wanted the name and number of the owner of the Company…

Jammie then told me she had a plan that would “assure” me Shantel will not be left stranded again. I asked how she was going to “assure” that and she said she could see on the computer that Shantel is supposed to be picked up at her college everyday at 12:15 and dropped off at the Fry’s grocery store where her East Valley transfer will pick her up at 1:00. That is in fact correct. Then Jammie said her plan is to have Shantel call East Valley Dial-a-Ride if her ride is not there by 1:15 everyday and ask them if they have dispatched a driver to pick her up. Then, regardless of what they say, Jammie wants Shantel to ask to be transferred to Jammie right then so Jammie can have the real-time information documented for her research…

Now, I ask Jammie if she is going to be sitting right there awaiting Shantel’s 1:15 call everyday to which Jammie said “well no”, but even if I’m not here to take her call, I will look into it as soon as I get back. So, in my infinite wisdom, I ask Jammie how that plan is going to get Shantel home if her ride hasn’t been dispatched and Shantel can’t connect with Jammie in real-time? Jammie took a long, deep, breath, and said “that won’t happen, we won’t leave her stranded again”. You can only imagine my frustration at this point…so I asked Jammie “well, if it does happen again, are you willing to get in your car and pick Shantel up and bring her home? Jammie’s only response was “TRUST ME, it won’t happen again…

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you all know I have TRUST issues…, So for now all I can say is “trust me“, if Shantel gets stranded again Jammie will know all about my “Trust Issues” first hand because I will demand a meeting with Jammie and her Supervisors, and they will all get to meet the wonderful Disability Lawyer I just happen to be on a first name basis with from Shantel’s High School years!

Here we go again!!!

Stay Tuned!

Good-Bye Summer Monsoons

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE summers in Arizona…the hotter, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

I also love to watch the summer monsoon storms as they build in the sky throughout the day and make their approach over the valley.

Here are some of the pictures I captured just before these big, beautiful, monsoon clouds collapsed with a vengeance over our Chandler home last week.

If the monsoon season has to end, why not make it spectacular right?

This is a tree just behind our home and as the monsoon clouds were building into the monsoon storm it appeared as if the tree itself was on fire! It was truly a beautiful sight to see…!

Unfortunately, our Arizona summer is all too quickly coming to a close. The official monsoon season is June 15th – September 30th.

Yes, here in Phoenix, and surrounding areas, our temps quickly descended into the lower 90’s for our daytime highs this past week, and we will only get a final tease of summer with daytime temps in the low 100’s in the week ahead. So, as I bid my favorite time of year good-bye once again, I have no choice but to quickly turn my thoughts to making sure I have all my winter sweaters and jackets ready for the long, cold, winter ahead…Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr 🙂

All I can hope for is that it will be a DRY COLD!

Stay tuned!

Previous Older Entries

Wheeling It

On the Road Since 2010, Traveling Across USA & Europe With 12 Paws

The Brantley Blog

In the eyes of the law, we reach adulthood the day we turn 18 years old. God help anyone who actually believes that.

the next few years

family life..with a unique perspective of motherhood

Gotham Girl Chronicles

a mixture of random musings...life in NYC...travel...photography...cycling

Blooming Burgh Boomer

Living An Active Full Life

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