Monday, July 07, 2014
I started back to tracking several weeks ago and had hoped to stick with it, well I have to start again.
On June 28th I was to have new windows installed so I had to have the alarm disconnected from all of the windows, and remove all of the drapes/curtains and blinds. Some of my new windows actually were installed. But there was an error in the measurement for one, someone transposed 57" and got 75"-which of course won't fit. In addition to that the double window for my kitchen was broken at the warehouse. So now I'm waiting for the windows to be installed, so that the alarm can be re-installed and I can go to my niece's wedding in Ohio.
Yep another niece is getting married and I'm so excited for her. Cristal is very special to us, she is the eldest of my husband's brother's children and had to have a bi-lateral mastectomy 7 months before Erik's accident. She had reconstructive surgery but is unable to have children. She is marrying a seemingly wonderful man with a 10 year old daughter, whom my niece adores. Erik is anxious to see his special cousin-they were close when we lived in Ohio.
I'm trying to make my dress for the wedding, I've altered my DIL's dress and am knitting a prayer shawl for my 82 year old cousin who is struggling with health issues. Once again I've created a monster of a list of tasks for myself. In addition to those tasks I helped my youngest DIL on Sunday the 29th, watched my two grand-daughters Natalie (almost 6) & Abigail (3 1/2) on the 30th of June and had them for an overnight the 1st through the second. I had also gotten my 10 year old grand-daughter to come over to help keep the girls entertained. This was the first time I was allowed to have Natalie & Abigail-funny what mommy getting a full time job will change. The girls and I had a blast, we played in the pool, made bell bracelets for the wedding, played with legos and watched some Disney movies during the heat of the day.
According to my middle DIL-"the girls had a blast". Thank goodness, but bonne maman was tired and had to host the 4th of July because Kim & Steven just got new furniture and couldn't get their home pulled together in time. HAhahaha-I'm still missing curtains and shades and am still waiting for windows and my alarm....Wonders what age will do-I didn't care what wasn't done, I enjoyed the children and grandchildren-missing the youngest's family but he was still away on guard duty and his wife hasn't figured out how to travel with a 1 & a 3 year old.
No care giver today, remember the saga of issues...well we are back to having issues. I'm really perturbed this time...I'm looking for a new company when we come home.
I still haven't posted my pics from Austria-and I'm leaving for the wedding Wednesday....oh well more to do when I get back.
I'm off to work on my dress and Barbie's prayer shawl.
God bless you all and keep you safe. Thanks Janet, Char, Lisa, Mary Anne and several others for checking on me on my impromptu hiatus.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Okay, I have to finish this up. I've left my dear friends hanging. First of all on Monday, May 12th we left my cousins in Vervier, Belgium and I drove to Torgny, a little village at the Belgian/French border-not too far from Luxembourg.
Torgny is nestled in hills and has an old church and a real old Chapel, which is where my 93 year old aunt lives. She has a room above the chapel which she can no longer use, and two very small rooms and a tiny cellar behind. I didn't take many pictures of the chapel this year just of us visiting my aunt for her 93rd birthday. Here is a picture of my aunt, the Hermit wearing the prayer shawl I made her, didn't Erik take a great picture.
My aunt, my cousin-who lives in Austria-Marie-Thérèse and with whom we shared a Gîte/ a house, and of course me. We are in her main room where she sleeps and receives guests(family, friends and villagers seeking prayers or bringing supplies for her).
This is Erik sleeping on a little bench across from her chair.
my indoor pictures are a little yellow, but you can see that to the left is a doorway, which is where there is a kitchen with a shower stall.
The next few pictures were taken in 2011 when I went for 8 days for my aunts 70th anniversary in the religious life. This way you get to get a better view of the area in and around the chapel-my camera was younger back then, like me. We were in the back garden enjoying tartes and the sun.
This is a picture of her room upstairs-very simple with a single bed, which is where I slept in 2011, the stairs were curved and uneven, I'm really glad she had a bed put in her room downstairs.
I saw Marie-Thérèse and my cousins who live in France that year too. Here is Philippe, he's 10 years my senior-he wasn't in Belgium this spring.
Philippe's wife, Anne-Marie and Marie-Thérèse sitting across the tiny table from him.
Here is a picture inside the Chapel, I was actually photographing the floral arrangements that day for the lady making them.
OKAY back to 2014's trip, Marie-Thérèse her husband Johann, Erik and I stayed in a Gîte-Le Mont d'OR for two nights. From there I took pictures of the gardens, the church steeple and some of the area.
Looking out the back deck.
To the right of the first pic there was a pool. It was too cold and rainy to enjoy, we'll have to go back in the summer.
Marie-Thérèse standing in the doorway off the dining/family room.
Here are three pictures inside that room:
A built in that I absolutely loved. Found a book on Belgian Beers for Erik to drool over.
Marie-Thérèse and Erik enjoying a moment of quiet while Johann went to pick up our aunt.
Marie-Thérèse & Johann showing tante Pigette some pictures on the i-pad.
Coming down stairs from my room
Place de Petanque, Boule, kind of like Bocce ball...
Tuesday afternoon we left our aunt to rest and went for a drive into France it was raining so we did not get out of the car, besides Erik's foot was hurting and it was too slippery on the pavés for him.
We were headed to Montmédy
a auberge in ruins.
Okay, I'm sorry but I have to get my haircut and my tires rotated.
I'll do Austria and Hungary later and edit this since I don't know what happened with the pictures.
Love and prayers
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Today is the 4 year anniversary of Erik's brush with death.
This is the way he looked June 17, 2010 after his motorcycle accident. Erik was driving to work, doing the speed limit and was cut off by someone who turned left in front of them. Although he tried to stop he was unable to.
After several surgeries to relieve the pressure on his brain and to fuse his burst T-6 vertebrae it was determined that he had Aphasia and was partially paralyzed on the right side.
So he went to Glancy Rehab in Duluth, GA. He had to learn to be mobile, to shave, to bathe.
After 6 weeks there he was making progress, he was actually there about two months.
Erik has made remarkable progress, it hasn't been easy for either of us. I lost 30 pounds that summer swimming every morning to destress, and eating peanut butter banana sandwiches on whole wheat-high fiber bread. I had tried to continue working but that proved to be terrible stressful as caregivers-look at my old blogs-were not always up to par. I started regaining some of my weight and was falling apart at the seams, so in May of 2012 I retired from teaching 2 full years before I was able to get full benefits. I don't regret it. me at the retirement luncheon for the county, I'm with one of our custodians and our Principal.
There are days I whine and complain, being an almost full time caregiver ( I usually get 16-24 hours of free time) is not easy especially with a headstrong young man who is a bit OCD.
This is a picture of my children at Thanksgiving in 2012, we finally could see the happier person Erik used to be.
And this is Erik and I in a Harley shop in Brussels Belgium in early May of this year.
I thank God daily that he is still with me, from my MIL, cousins, and some friends I'm aware of the forever pain a death of a child brings to parents.
So today I thank God again for Erik-stubborn, OCD and sometimes inconsiderate as he can be-HE'S ALIVE and his humor love of people and children shines through. He's taught me things, wow he even taught Janet something.
So everyday tell the ones in your family how much you love and appreciate what they bring to your life-even trials.
Thanks for the brief walk down memory lane today-I have to take Erik to get his leg brace adjusted again.
Love and prayers,
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
This might be a three part blog. I struggled to get back into a routine, but I'm not there yet. I'm trying to get back into eating better and tracking, got my yard caught up, now for the house, sewing and other things...But first back to Belgium
As I said we stayed with my cousin, Fréderique outside of Brussels for a week. They invited others to join us for dinner so we could see more of the family. My cousin from Austria and her husband joined us at their house Tuesday evening. On Wednesday the six of us went to Moule A GOGO where we caught up with my cousin Bruno, who had recently had a heart attack. He is doing well.
Erik and my end of the table with Erik, Marie-Thérèse & Johann from Austria. Johann speaks English fluently and is very could at dealing with people with disabilities.
The next day while Jean-Louis was at work we went to see Fréderique's mom, my aunt Denise is 86 yrs young. She and my uncle had saved the car collection of my cousin Guy who died in 1969, my aunt gave Erik a James Bond car to take home with him. Over the last 20 years she has finally started giving cars to grandsons and great grandchildren and her son-in-law.
Erik checking out the pastries for Gouté-tea time..
Fréderique took a picture of us with her mom.
Here we are after eating-translated stuffing ourselves. Erik and tante Denise are seated, and I'm behind with Marie-Thérèse & Johann. This house was the house where Fréderique was raised with her sister and brother. My uncle and cousin died in 2011 so now it is just my aunt and Fréderique... and of course the grandchildren and Fréderique's wonderful husband.
Now time to go home and cook dinner, because my cousine Michèle will be joining us for dinner-which we ladies will assist Jean-Louis in making. We didn't get the shopping done so he did it on his way home from work.
Michèle, me and Marie-Thérèse at the table talking.
Jean-Louis showing his masterpiece.
The house is unique in that the bedrooms and baths are on the main flour and you have to go upstairs to the great-room, dining area and open kitchen. It is very well arranged and very compact, Jean-Louis designed the changes to the little house he bought when he and my cousin got married. Here you can see a part of the room facing the greatroom and one of two balconies.
Friday my cousin Nicole and her husband Pierre came to dinner, places set a little fancier because Nicole's celebrating her birthday. Here is the birthday girl.
Jean-Louis & Fréderique talking-just showing you more of the house, the kitchen is on the back right, there is a storage cabinet and a window shining beautiful day light.
Pierre & Johann catching up.
Let's see I have a picture of an old church not to far from their house and a meadow with horses... At this point in my life the people are more important than the sites and Erik's foot started bothering him the third day so we did not get to do much site-seeing.
Saturday, the day before Mother's day my two "little cousins" came to see their mom and dad , the youngest was planning to stay with them too. We were leaving at around 2PM, so we had a meal that the girls planned and more pastries. I love Sophie and Cécile and Erik knows them because they have been to Georgia, Cécile twice. There English is great and they spend time entertaining Erik, but also catching me up on what's happening in their lives.
Sophie is to the left and Cécile to the right-please ignore my ugly mug.
Now which pastry are we going to eat, there are so many to choose from. Sophie decided to cut them in pieces so we could try several. The girls bought 13 of them!!!!!
Now Erik and I are off to Verviers outside of Liege, driving a standard transmission with Erik next to me is unnerving enough but we also had rain. Erik told me to turn and I did-right when I should have turned left, we ended on this tiny road where I had to pull over to let a car pass, I stopped the guy and ask for directions, I was only about 1000 feet away, but I had to go through the intersection ahead. Thank God I speak French!!!
So we get to my cousine Claire's and her husband Jean-François-another man who likes to cook and who had the family home remodeled, but only after their 4th child was born. Jean-François is a Latin, Greek, History and Religion teacher at a private school. Claire works at a bank.
Here we are for more food, fun and family and NO sight-seeing we were trying to heal Erik's foot. Besides it was raining-a LOT. Here too, much of the family speaks English, so Erik only had to contend with accents and his own Aphasia-except if he tried to understand conversations not directed at him.
Erik and Jean-François seated in front of the huge window, a change from when Erik was here in 2003. I'd seen the changes before but Erik remembered and was stunned.
Claire and her son Jérôme facing the newer kitchen.
Erik, Jean-François and Claire clowning around.
Younger family here and Erik was in his element surrounded by the three daughters and all the females visiting.
Corentin brought his family and some beer over.
Marie-Anne and her husband came too as well as Carole and her son and spouse. I made a blanket for the new one who arrived on the 22nd-I believe.
Justine bought me a mother's day flower
Then my cousine Anne, her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren came...
Ysaline with my tape measure.
Nathael and Romane up on the main floor looking down on the living room.
Next we will go to Torgny in the south of Belgium, a drive through trip to Montmedy in France and show pictures of the Gite we rented for two nights.
Sorry this may turn into four parts, I have to take Erik to the doctors.
I hope you enjoy my travelogue, I'm enjoying revisiting-wished I could go back, but the coming home is a killer.
Okay, got the blanket in here twice and cannot figure out how to remove it. Sorry folks.
Love, hugs and prayers,
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