Monday, October 31, 2005

Comings and Goings in California

I decided I need to update the blog on my trip to California (even though there isn't much to tell) before Richard starts nagging at me. He's home today as he can hardly move. He has a degenerative place in his spine and when it flares up (Mom L. understands all too well) it takes days for him to recover. Most of the time his medication gets him through the day.

Mom asked everyone to come to their house early on the 22nd as she wanted us gals to go through her jewelry and pick out pieces we want. She will then give them to us as Christmas or birthday presents over the next few years. She and Daddy both love jewelry so she has some beautiful and expensive pieces. I picked out things to give our kids and grandkids as well as myself so really enjoyed myself. Julie and Tina did the same, with their daughters there to help choose. We then had a nice family dinner at the Odyssey, a fancy restaurant, that evening.

Mom and I were going to go up north on Monday to visit the Esaus for a few days. Daddy had an anxiety attack on Sunday about Mom being gone (even though Marie has moved in with them and would be there except for the hours she was at work) so we didn't go. We were all (except Daddy) disappointed that we weren't able to make the trip as it's been several years since the sisters have seen each other. Uncle Linc was in the hospital a few weeks ago and we had a real scare with the first diagnosis but, praise God, it wasn't that serious and he was home within a couple of days.

I spent most of my time chauffering Mom and Dad to doctor appointments, running errands and shopping (Mom's favorite activity!).

Mom is down to less than 95 lbs. and Daddy is around 130. Their weight has us all concerned but there's not much any of us can do. Mom forgets to drink her Ensure and we can't get Daddy out walking to build up his strength and give him a bigger appetite.

Starting Wed., for 30 days, Daddy will be having radiation on a spot on his chin to kill the rest of the cancer the surgeon didn't get on Oct. 7. I went with him to the audiologist who told us he isn't a candidate for a cochlear implant. We all thought it would give him a better quality of life if he could hear but if hearing aids give any benefit to the patient they won't do the procedure. Julie will be going with him to the optometrist next week to see about his sight. He has macular degeneration and we're all concerned about him continuing to drive. He's not ready to give it up so hopefully, the optometrist can give them a better idea about that issue.

All in all they are in fair health, just getting more frail. It's so hard to watch the decline and know their end is drawing near. Daddy won't move to a retirement home as he couldn't handle the change and strangers. Mom would be fine with a great social outlet for her. So they will remain in their home until one of them is gone. Then we will have to make some hard decisions. I'm so thankful Julie and Greg and Marie are there to keep an eye on them and help out. Marie works at the hospital they both go to when hospitalized so that is a big plus!

It's always hard to come home after these visits and they never want me to leave but I tell them they would have a fight on their hands from my husband if I were to stay any longer! So until my next visit.....

Saturday, October 22, 2005

USS Salem & JFK

I'm spending the weekend in Rhode Island again and have a free Saturday so I decided to visit the USS Salem in Quincy, MA. Quincy is just south of Boston, about 40 miles from where I am. I checked out their website and thought it looked like an interesting ship to see. It was a tough place to find due to the lack of signs, winding roads and the fact that I forgot to bring my GPS receiver. As I pulled up I saw signs about a haunted ship thing going on for Halloween and when I walked up to the entry I was told the ship was closed for tours. I was really bummed, but probably not as much as another man who arrived just as I did. He came from California just to visit the ship which he had served on many years ago. Pretty poor way to run a visitor attraction if you ask me.

So, since that was out of the question I decided to visit the JFK Library and Museum located at the University of Mass. just a few miles away. I have visited several other Presidential Libraries including Reagan's, Nixon's, Truman's and Eisenhower's. This one is OK as these things go but I probably enjoyed it the least of any I have visited. Perhaps that is because we have been so bombarded with information on his life already that there was really nothing much new to learn. It's a dark, wet, dreary day in New England and not much fun to be outside so it was a good way to kill a couple hours. Unless you are a big Kennedy fan I would not waste my time.

Dianna is in California visiting her family so we are on opposite sides of the continent. Last night we played cribbage against each other on Pogo. Amazing how computers and the internet let us stay in such close touch regardless of where we are.

I'll let her tell you about her goings on.

Monday, October 10, 2005

New job!

I was just getting ready to post that we would be moving the end of the month when Dayna called to tell me that Chris was just offered a position with Peterbilt! Their headquarters and one of their three assembly plants are in Denton.

We talked with Dayna and Chris this weekend about us moving closer to them so we could have the kids overnight the two weeks a month Dayna is on the road. Neither were wanting us to make that sacrifice (the park near them is nowhere near as nice & is right on a major highway so lots of road noise) but they couldn't think of any alternative solution.

He will be working the swing shift so he'll be home in the mornings to get the kids off to school. They have good neighbors to watch them until Chris gets home. The plant is only about 15 miles from their home compared with the 40 he's currently driving. That's an added plus with the high cost of fuel right now. Benefits will be better and it sounds like a much better company to work for. Praise God for many new blessings in their lives.

Monday, October 3, 2005


As many of you know, Dayna works in the corporate office of Sally Beauty Supply in the accounting department. She has been working on her accounting degree through University of Phoenix for 2½ years now, planning on becoming an auditor. She applied for a position as auditor a couple of weeks ago and had her interview last week. She received word today that she was selected for the position! She is the first they've hired without a degree so she has a lot to be proud of.

The position is going to mean traveling about two weeks out of every four. Chris is still working nights (still no word from Peterbilt) and so this is going to present some challenges for home life. There is an RV park across the main highway from their house that we've told them we would move to if it would help them out. Deidra and Dominic could come to our place to spend the night the evenings Dayna is out of town. After the first of the year Chris is going to look for a day job so he would be home in the evenings.

She is really excited about her new job and the opportunity for travel. She'll go to one area for a whole week, auditing all the stores in one district. Her new supervisor, knowing how difficult the travel is on families, does his best to make it easier. If the auditor has family in a certain part of the country he will send the auditor to that place so he/she can spend some time with other family members.

Dayna and Chris know it's going to be hard but are more than anxious to see her move up in the company. By the time she has her degree (in a year and a half) she will, more than likely, go into a supervisory role there or on to another company.

Saturday, October 1, 2005


I'm in Rhode Island again for a few days and had some free time this afternoon. I decided to drive down to Groton, CT to visit the Submarine Force Library and Museum. Electric Boat Company is based here and built many of the subs used by the US Navy over the years. This includes the Nautilus, the first nuclear sub in the world which is on display there.

The Nautilus was decommissioned in 1980, having been made obsolete many years before. She was built using the form of the WW II subs that spent most of their time on the surface, only diving when necessary. Subs now are built to operate under water and have a round front instead of a bow like a ship. The Nautilus was the first sub to visit the North Pole and to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic through the Artic Ocean.

I have toured many WWII subs and they were all small and cramped. The Nautilus had much more space and felt less claustrophobic than earlier subs. The newest Ohio class subs are much, much larger so they would be something to see.

Only the forward areas of the Nautilus are open for visiting. Even though they have removed the reactor, there is still some residual radioactivity and they will not let you near that area of the sub. They say it is perfectly safe, but they are either being overly cautious or there are still aspects of nuclear propulsion systems they don't want the public to see.

It was a fun afternoon. Here are some pictures if you're interested: Photos