ZELLAZM   96,502
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More to come...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

...just wanted to let anyone who is still reading along that I'm alive and well. My back has healed up nicely and I'm signed up for a 6K run next Saturday. Tomorrow I'm singing in a hymn festival choir - the church choir I belonged to when I lived here 30 years ago. That has been good for my soul and spirit.

Things are still rough on the homefront as adjustments are being made to dparents' lifestyle. All prayers appreciated for wisdom and - um - patience!

I'll try to make it back to give more details on all the above sometime this weekend. I had to delete over 200 Spark notifications today! So I'll need to start from scratch on the message boards and teams when I do make it back. It just isn't working for me to spend much time here these days but I sure miss my Spark time and my Spark buddies!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETELIZABETH1 1/27/2009 4:17PM

    Hi Michelle,
Yes I know how those spark emails pile up!!
Sorry to hear about your back problems and sure am praying for all your needs Michelle.

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REYNJANET 1/27/2009 8:09AM

    We are missing you too! Remember to take time for yourself! Running the 5K is great and so is singing in the choir! Do things that you enjoy too! emoticon

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HOMEBUNNY 1/26/2009 11:44AM

    Michelle ~ I am glad to hear from you. I know that you have other priorities right now. You continue to do what you need to do & check in with us when you can. Remember to continue to take time to take care of yourself. Good luck on the race & have fun!!!


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FORMYDARLINGS 1/24/2009 9:00PM

    KNow we are with you Michelle,


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ANGELBELIEVER 1/24/2009 7:45PM

    Hi Michelle, Sorry to hear about your back. When your back hurts you hurt all over. The hymn festival choir sounds like fun. Be in good voice. You and your parents are still in my prayers.

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SKISINCO 1/24/2009 1:41PM

    Completely understandable! Glad your back is better and you found your way back to church and choir! Best wishes in your 6K, I'm cheering for you from Colorado!

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PIANO*LADY 1/24/2009 12:45PM

    Michelle, I understand you not having much time for Spark these days, but it's good to see this morning's blog. Your family is what you need to focus on now. I won't clutter your e-mail with messages, but know that I care about you and am praying. And I can appreciate how singing in the choir is a breath of fresh air for you.

emoticon Carole

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Short and Sweet

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year, everyone! Here's a brief description of my life at the moment:

Still not able to keep up with posting on SP like I'd like to.

I've actually been using Spark Recipes quite a bit, though, as I've been doing most of the cooking for dparents and myself. As a long-time, live-alone single, this is new for me and is giving me new admiration for the housewives among us who do this as a full-time job. Menu-planning! Shopping and following the sales and coupon offers! Keeping the freezer stocked! Using the leftovers!

Today I have chili in the crockpot. Tomorrow I'm roasting a turkey breast and we'll have all the sides and fixings as well. Good thing Dmom remembers how to do all this stuff. She's still too sidetracked and a little uncoordinated to do much work in the kitchen, but she's a great teacher and cooking adviser.

Haven't done much jogging the past few days as I pulled a muscle in my back on Saturday. That has slown me down some but I'm keeping up on my daily walks. That quiet time in the morning is my lifeline and I guard it fiercely! Have even made it to the beach a few times. Even though my reason for being here is not all happy, it sure helps to be in this paradise on earth called SW Florida!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTEMPLE 1/24/2009 6:26PM

    Dear Michelle glad to hear you're finding the best in a difficult situation!
Thinking of you.

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FIT4HISGLORY 1/1/2009 10:55PM

    Hi Michelle! Sorry to hear about your back. Glad you are still able to get some walking in despite it being sore. Pray that it will soon clear up for you. What a blessing that things worked out for you to get stateside to be with your parents. God bless as you continue to help out with your mom's rehab. Have a blessed 2009!

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    Hi Michelle, we're praying for you!
Sorry to hear that you've hurt your back, may the Lord touch you there and giving you complete healing! You are right...He is our lifeline!
Happy New Year to you my sparkfriend!

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HOMEBUNNY 1/1/2009 12:19PM

    Glad to hear from you, Michelle. I hope your back is getting better. By the way, I love the fireworks that you chose for your background. Happy New Year!!


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REYNJANET 12/31/2008 10:31PM

    Michelle, good to see your post, Carole and I were wondering about you today!

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SKISINCO 12/31/2008 10:25PM

    Good to "see" you Michelle! Sounds like you're staying busy and I can definitely relate to that menu planning business! We are having Bierocks aka Runza's (meat and cabbage pies) along with Texas Cavair (a black eyed pea dish) for tomorrow. Do you know if Bierocks are German? Anyhow, I got a great lower cal/fat recipe from Cooking LIght magazine which I've posted on SP Recipes. Good luck foods for the new year!

I'm happy that you are enjoying this special time with your mom. Before you know it our parents are called back home and we are left with only memories. As you know I lost my MIL a year ago this January and I really felt her presence while cooking the last couple of holiday meals. I miss her dearly and I'm trying to spend more time with my mom as she is getting older and I want to have this time so that I will have those memories when she passes.

Anyhow, I am envious of where you are now, I love SW Florida! We used to spend at least a week every year in St. Petersburg, actually Treasure Island. My favorite nephew moved to Sarasota this year and we are hoping to make it down there this summer for a visit.

Geez, sorry I went on and on like that!

Michelle, I wish you a very happy, healthy, peaceful new year!

"See" you in the new year! ;-)


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CTEMPLE 12/31/2008 6:20PM

    Hi Michelle and isn't life good always giving opportunities! Yes juggling cooking and shopping I never had to do for a whole family as I chose not to have children, but for a man it's more than enough. Very Glad to hear that R is well enough to give instructions and that you are enjoying your me time! It is a wonderful place and you have that to enjoy.
Happy New Year, it might defy predications and be a good one, life is full of surprises.

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NASCARSUNSHINE 12/31/2008 6:19PM

    Like the new picture!

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NASCARSUNSHINE 12/31/2008 6:18PM

    I'm glad to hear that you are still making the time for yourself and your walks ZellaZM! I too have chili on today. Our Iowa Hawkeyes are down at the beach for the Outback Bowl Game down there tomorrow. I'm very glad to hear that your mother is able to be a teacher yet. Enjoy your New Year's Eve. and start to the brand New Year. Pretty quiet around here. Just dd and I for now. Dh is working at the job that isn't paying him. Oh well. emoticon

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What to say?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm pretty much a full-time caregiver at the moment. It's a joy to have this time with my parents but they are facing some tough decisions, and I'm in the uncomfortable position of getting them to face up to those decisions. There are times when I feel like I'm the only grown-up around, a feeling that will be familiar to anyone with elderly parents.

Although Mom is home from rehab now, she still needs time to recover and needs to take it easy. She sometimes tries to do too much at once, or they both plan too many activities for one day. In addition the calendar is FULL of appointments including weekly or twice-weekly visits from 3 therapists (physical, occupational, and speech) and a nurse.

I often feel that I have to almost demand time for myself, but they do honor my morning walk/run time. I especially look forward to that half hour or so every day. It's also a time to pray and reflect.

The weather here in SW FL is GLORIOUS at the moment and that makes it even better. When I see the sunsets here, I'm often reminded of the scripture from Isaiah where he describes a vision of the Lord with His train filling the temple. I imagine the train of the king being something like the beautiful colors and cloud patterns in the evening sky.

I'm also enjoying doing the cooking, under Mom's supervision :) Back home in Germany, I mostly cook for one. This is giving me a chance to try out some new recipes, including some here on Spark.

I've written a book again - emoticon - to anyone whose read this far! I WILL get around to visiting everyone's pages soon to wish you a joyous holiday season!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NASCARSUNSHINE 12/21/2008 12:49PM

    I've missed your posts on the SheBoard and I've been worried about you Michelle. I'm very glad to hear that you are taking A LITTLE time for you daily. I am so envious of your temps. We are at -9 today with a wind chill of -37 and Blizzard Conditions. There is a no travel/no tow ban on as well. I am all hunkered down and doing some Christmas baking and have since Friday when we had our first snow day. Just know that you are thought about and prayed about daily Michelle. My dsister and I made the decision to contact the attorney to get the paperwork going for our family farm when I was down there last weekend. They go back 5 years, so we have to get this done before dparents get tooooo terribly bad, so know that you are not alone in your journey. emoticon

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PIANO*LADY 12/19/2008 8:29PM

    Michelle, I've been where you are, when you become the parent to your parents. It's not an easy road that you walk, but you have the Everlasting Arms to lean on. We walk with you and pray for you, Michelle.

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ANGELBELIEVER 12/18/2008 11:00AM

    Dear Michelle, I ive in Central Fl. . Glad you are here to enjoy the beautiful weather. My parents are 83 and 89 and they live in Pa. Luckily I have 2 brothers that live there, and one is only 5 minutes away. I pray that God will continue to give you strength and wisdom to be gracious to your parents as they make there life changing decisions. emoticon

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REYNJANET 12/16/2008 5:54AM

    Michelle emoticon I sure can understand. I'm at the point where the roles have changed too at times and I'm having to "mother" my mother. It is hard not only for us but for them. BUT Thank God He has given us this opportunity to return some of the nuturing that they have given us through the years.

Continue to take time for yourself. I'm glad your Mom is able to be home again. Enjoy this time with them. God will give you the wisdom and guidance you need.

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JANETELIZABETH1 12/13/2008 4:35PM

    Hi Michelle,
Good to hear from you again and especially how things are going for you.
I can imagine how difficult it is to balance your parents needs with a little time for YOU too.
But I know the Lord will undertake in all things.
God bless you richly,
Hugs, Janet.

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JULIE@FOURWINDS 12/13/2008 3:25PM

    Michelle, I am glad to hear your mother is doing better. I know what you mean about caring for your parents. My father lives about an hour from our place, and I usually go in town 1-2 times per week to help him run errands. It is a joy to be able to help him, but it does take time. You should check out the care group team I belong to. Check out my SP page, and you will see the team. They are a great support team, when you are taking care of people. Any questions, just let me know. Take care, and I shall talk to you again soon,

emoticon Julie

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FORMYDARLINGS 12/12/2008 12:51AM

    My good friend. Take it one day at a time and remark to yourself daily how blessed you are to have both your parents with you. I know how draining caretaking can be, so be sure you take those runs to energize yourself and to spend time reflecting. Have a wonderful Christmas at home=) and I know you'll keep the reason for the season close to you. Blessings,

Gini emoticon

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CTEMPLE 12/10/2008 4:47PM

    Dear Michelle hooray for the book! it's also ME time for you and we enjoy it!
Yes it's a challenge being a full time carer and of ageing parents, it can drive you nuts. But it's something that you will also cherish, there is no better time than the time of giving, it's so good for the spirit!
I'm also busy , DH is away visiting his family until Sunday and there is too much to do but getting along, 34 C doesn't help.
Life is good

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SKISINCO 12/10/2008 2:15PM

    Good to hear from you Michelle! I can relate to what you are saying. I hope your sister (not sure if you have other siblings) appreciates what you are doing as it is not an easy task. You are definitely doing the right thing though and it sounds like you are making the best of it. Enjoy the cooking and I enjoyed your description of the sunsets there in FL. =)

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HOMEBUNNY 12/10/2008 12:45PM

    Enjoy your time with your parents. I am praying for you to have patience & wisdom in guiding your parents with those decisions. I am glad to see that you are able to take time to yourself. Continue to do that. Having that time will keep you strong & even when situations come up.

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The Mall Awaits

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I didn't get up for my cultural experience on Black Friday after all. Did you read about that poor fellow who got trampled to death at Walmart!? That's enough to discourage me from attending any of those shopping "events" in the future, too.

But the mall is waiting for me and I hope to get over there sometime this week at a normal time of day.

In the meantime, I've done some online shopping for Dmom - some new pillows and a pulse oximeter. We're also in the market for a button/zipper hook to help her with dressing due to the arthritis in her hands and general weakness.

She's doing well, but we've learned that she was probably on the verge of being dehydrated and also her blood oxygen level was down. The first few days at home were difficult -- she even "snuck" a bath on her own because she's trying so hard to be independent. Very unnerving for me and Ddad.

More later...need to set my goals for December and review my November list.

Thanks for reading and for all the supportive comments!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOMEBUNNY 12/8/2008 11:02AM

    I bet it is tough for your mom wanting to do things on her own. I hope you and your dad have the patience to deal with her & can figure out her limitations.

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JANETELIZABETH1 12/7/2008 3:41PM

    Ah Michelle, I remember those American malls!! Nothing like those in Europe...right??
Glad to hear that your mum is making progress and am not surprised that she's trying to be more independent...she will get there!
Hope you managed to set all your goals for December..the new year will be here before we know it!
Hugs, Janet

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PIANO*LADY 12/5/2008 4:31PM

    Michelle, I'm glad to hear that your mom is doing well. Loss of independence must be very hard to accept, and I pray that she will realize how much you all love her and will rely on you graciously as she improves.

I do not do Black Friday. In fact, I stopped that habit before it was called Black Friday! Crowd mentality is scary and I'm surprised there weren't more deaths. There's so much second guessing of that Wal-Mart situation, trying to figure out what caused it and assess blame. I think it's just a sign of greed.

I always look forward to your posts, Michelle. I notice that it's raining and cold in Germany, so enjoy our milder Christmas!

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REYNJANET 12/5/2008 10:55AM

    Hope you get your mall shopping done. I've still got some more shopping to do. For one thing I need to take my DM who doesn't drive out of town anymore for her shopping but I'm waiting until after the weekend and our Christmas program to schedule anything.

I can sure understand the independence of these parents! I guess it is pay backs for our independent moves when we were young!

Hang in there!

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CTEMPLE 12/3/2008 4:22PM

    Dear Michelle how naughty of R. What about a video monitor in an unobtrusive place? You can't let her do that and sometimes there will be other things happening and you or your dad won't be able to be there.
The oxygen in the blood is a very consuming issue, it was hard when DH had liver surgery and it worried me, I hope you sort it out.
Glad that you didn't go shopping that day, I hate crowds and can't think of anything worse.

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TKLINKEN 12/3/2008 1:37AM

    Bless your mom for trying to do things on her own. I can see how unnerving that would be. Still saying prayers and thinking of you and your family often.

I did Black Friday once. I did not come home with one gift, and I did come home with a migraine. I haven't done it since then. I am so disappointed in those people who trampled that poor guy at Wal-Mart. And I was even more disappointed in the people who got mad because they were being asked to leave the store during the investigation, what is wrong with their common sense?

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FORMYDARLINGS 12/2/2008 7:50PM

    I love your mom's spirit. Nothing like sneaking off to do it yourself to boost your confidence. I know it was the wrong thing to do but WTG mom! I have never been a crowded mall lover so I don't go when there are likely to be crowds. I always shop in the early morning and get home by noon. I have my husband take 2 days off work early in December and we go power shopping, picking up nearly everything we need. I also like to shop on line. It is so convenient and fast. I suppose the walk through the mall could be termed exercise, but the same time spent outdoors and crowdfree appeals to me a whole lot more.

Gini emoticon

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SKISINCO 12/2/2008 5:25PM

    I'm with you, not one to shop on black Friday. No thanks. Glad to hear your mom is adjusting to being at home, and I can understand her want to be independent, but it's good that you are there to watch out for her. Just one fall can set her back, so stay watchful, but also encouraging which I'm sure you are. Hope you are adjusting to being back state side. =)

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm in Florida, Mom is home, alleluia! She's so happy to be back in her own four walls. There are lots of adjustments to be made and both dparents are struggling with that, but it's all good.

They'll watch the parade while I go for a run. Then it will be time to start fixing dinner. Mom planned the menu and will "supervise" as I cook.

We're looking forward to phone calls this afternoon to and from family around the country. Although Mom had a phone in her room at the rehab facility, only a few people had the number. So today will be a happy time for the relatives who haven't heard her talk in awhile.

I'm thinking of getting up at 4 AM and going to the super-duper doorbuster special sales tomorrow just to have the cultural experience.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETELIZABETH1 12/1/2008 4:46PM

    Wonderful to hear that all is well with you Michelle and especially that your mum is home again...the Lord is good!!
I know you will have enjoyed your Thanksgiving this year and ...did you get any bargains??
Hugs, Janet.

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FORMYDARLINGS 11/27/2008 8:23PM

    What a wonderful way for your family to celebrate. You certainly have so much to be thankful for this year. Even though the reasons you are at home now are not all for Thanksgiving, THIS will be the one you remember the best.

Blessings to you all,

Gini emoticon

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CTEMPLE 11/27/2008 4:47PM

    Michelle so glad to know that you're there and R is at home, what a moment! Cultural experience? HaHa, maybe you will experience how a sausage feels at the subway! Let us know if you went. I 'm afraid of crowds and avoid shopping at sales like the plague!
Keep us posted!

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PIANO*LADY 11/27/2008 4:22PM

    Michelle, I've been eagerly awaiting your post and am glad that you're with your mom. May this be a Thanksgiving that you will treasure forever.

As for shopping on Friday, I gave that up a long time ago - even before the stores started opening in the wee hours of the morning. We have a Wal-Mart that opens at midnight tonight and several of my friends will be there. It is definitely madness, but one that you must add to your American experiences. I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Be safe! Love, Carole

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SKISINCO 11/27/2008 10:12AM

    Happy to hear you've made it to FL safe and sound. Enjoy the day w/ your dparents and good luck tomorrow shopping! =)

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