Saturday, February 8, 2014


Just as well make a real adventure of the rest of my life. Life with Miriam was a great and I enjoyed it, but now is time for a re-start and that is the subject of the new blog.

Live well on a tight budget. I'll win some and I'll lose some, oh well.

Come over and join me.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Front of "the Villa" my tiny house daughter Arline's place.
300 square feet works for one person.
The shakes used to be on the neighbor's roof!
The windows were left over from remodel projects, the front door from Craig's list.
Still not cheap to build nowadays.
My girls.
I am so proud of them, it is amazing that I have any buttons left on my shirts.
Birth order names: Arline Marie; Lora Lea; Deanna Cheri; Linda Glee. The first was named after her two grandmothers, then we got the idea of making them rhyme!
In the picture, left to right Lora, Deanna; Arline and Linda/Lia.
The background is the corner of my tiny house in Washington State.

Happy New Year

I am back in Idaho in our house.

It is lonely at times, but the quiet and the aloneness is healing.

Snow on the ground. Many winters here the cold lasts a week or so, but this has hung on since before Thanksgiving. It will break, but not really soon, I fear!

Sunday I fell and tore my Rotator Cuff once again. Doc says to do some exercises and I like that.

Someone has been reading the Obits. Suddenly I am getting email and popups from Even if I were ready and willing, I think I'd be a bit leery of sites like that!

This will be a good year. I am sure!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

we lost her

Last night a little after 9 pm we lost her.

She put up a valiant fight against this horrible thing we call Alzheimer's. Of course, we knew who would win from the beginning, we did not know the time schedule.

I had not planned to be there at the end. But in late afternoon I decided to stay very late, maybe close to midnight if necessary. Daughter 1 was there with me and together we saw it happen.

The day before I could say: "Miriam I love you." She would answer in grunts. I could read what she was saying, we had a decent conversation. Yesterday there was no response at all.

Her breathing was labored, but she kept going. I went out of the room to call a friend and when I returned Daughter said; "mom is not breathing the same." I went to find the Aid who was in charge. She put her ear against miriam's chest and then went to get a stethoscope. When she came back and listened she just said: "She is gone."

The Aid, who is a wonderful woman who has seen and experienced much cried with us as we put the last details together.

We stayed until the funeral home people came and picked up her body.

This part is over and I am glad. Miriam did not need to suffer more, but now I am really alone and that grief will take a bit longer.

"I loved you Miriam. You were the light of my day and night."

Monday, December 16, 2013

sack cloth

Miriam is still with us.

When I get up close and tell her I love her, she grunts two or three grunts and I know she understood and replied to my statement. We have had some fairly good conversations that way.

She can not eat nor swallow, but her heart is strong. The schedule is hers, but she is not getting better, and we will lose her.

Today I began another mourning stage; I had my hair cut very short and I shaved off my mustache and beard.  In some cultures the man cuts off his hair to demonstrate his mourning.

The Big Book talks about putting on sack cloth and ashes. This is my version.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

not tonight, most likely

When asked, the nurse said that the odds were that Miriam would not die tonight.

There is a degree of comfort there, but her struggle with this damned disease is about over. She won't make it to Christmas most likely.

A week from Sunday the family is gathering here for a "Mom Celebration." Whether Miriam will be alive is doubtful, but it is the family getting together to remember this dear person.

My emotions are all over the place. I am not sure of much of anything. When the Nursing Home requested that we make arrangements with the funeral home for the remains, it hit pretty hard that they, the professionals in this stuff, know our time is limited.

So we signed papers and made plans and now we sit and wait. I spent several hours with Miriam today, Daughter Arline spent more. Tomorrow we'll do it again.

She has been a wonderful person, a great wife and a sterling mother and grandmother. She is loved and cherished.

Once I gave her a note: "If Love were fattening, you would weigh a ton." She was loved and she loved in return.

It's OK to sleep my precious.

Monday, December 9, 2013

With my brother Ben and sister Joyce. 
Joyce and I have both parents in common, but our father was killed a few months after Joyce was born. We all have the same mother.
The graves are of our parents on the right (Thatcher) and our maternal grandparents (Wilson) on the left.
I've posted this picture before.
Josh is now a Junior at the University of Southern California. I am exceedingly proud of him. I had  Thanksgiving dinner with Josh and his family. It was good.
Miriam was such a beautiful grandmother!


I am in Portland now with daughter 4.

A week  and a half ago I was in SanFrancisco and then LosAngeles with daughter 3. It was a week trip that we had planned a long time ago. 

Last weekend i spent many hours with Miriam. Not pleasant hours to be sure, but a good bit of time.

Since I saw her last she has forgotten how to feed herself. She will eat whatever is put into her mouth, and she swallows good. 

When I was with her she spend most of time slumped over in what seems like a coma. Her eyes were often open a bit. She looks like she is sleeping, and she sleeps a good bit of the time, but sometimes she looks asleep but she is not. In the 10 to 12 hours I spent with her she rallied enough to talk to me a little. She said she loved me. I told her I loved her and that we had had a great life together. She agreed, then put her head down and went out again. That happened two times. 

Sometimes those few seconds are all we have to live for. They are pretty precious. Mostly she does not talk, and when she does it is very quiet and impossible to understand, but her words make no sense either. 

I am told she will soon forget how to swallow. That is about the end. We absolutely will not have a feeding tube put in, there will be no major effort to keep her alive. Keep her comfortable and out of pain and let her go.

That is as hard to write as it is to live. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Endings?

“There are no happy endings
Endings are the saddest part,
So, give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Given enough money (a pickup load) it is possible to make the rusty one look like the green one, but it is a lot easier to photograph them!

muddle along

For the most part I've settled into a rather dull routine.

About the first of each month I go to Washington to see Miriam. I am glad to be with her but as she deteriorates more and more it has its hard side too. She is getting wonderful care and I am glad. Gradually, she is curling up into this awful fetal thing, however.

Yesterday I had a surgery (minor I think). Hydroceleectomy. Curious? Look it up! So today I am laying low and will probably most of the rest of the week, at least. Doc says to figure on taking it easy for two months! Not sure I can do that very well.

Winter is not far away but my little corner is warm and comfortable. As soon as I feel up to it I'll continue work on the inside of the house. Right now I am still a bit dizzy from the Anesthesia and the pain pills, but that should go away.

I have been a saturday church goer all of my life, but recently I have began attending a nearby sunday church as well. Partly boredom, partly needing something to do (a church is a pretty safe place to visit) and it is also a bit of a social outlet. It is working out well for me.

This church has a pipe organ which I love to hear as well as some pretty good musicians. The pastor is a woman, whose husband is named Dave. Dave pastors two smaller churches in the area, so I don't get to see him. Kathy has good sermons that have a beginning middle and end pretty much on the same subject. I really like that!

So I muddle along, trying to keep busy and not let bad thinking or boredom take over entirely.