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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Home Again, Home Again, Rig-a-Jig-Jig

My dad used to always say "Home again, Home again, Rig-a-jig-jig" every time we returned home from a vacation, or any extended time away.  It was a fun way to welcome us all home again. 
Today we moved dear old Dad into a new retirement facility.  Everything went FANTASTIC!!  I am just thrilled with his new home, and the people that came to greet him and welcome him.  I was blown away by the response of the people on the floor which he now calls home.  "Am I home?" he asked as he shuffled down the hall.  Oh yeah!
No one came up to my dad to say goodbye or wish him luck at his previous residence, although the movers were busy hauling his furniture right past the front desk for over an hour.  We were waiting with my dad in the large empty lounge while the movers worked ... quite visible to anyone.  I found that was the saddest thing to witness.  It shows how little they cared about him, and it shows me we have done the right thing in moving him out of there. 
At the new residence, there were smiles, handshakes, introductions and lots of excitement at his arrival.  There was a group of four ladies on his floor who came to say hello, brought a chair out for him to sit down right there in the hallway, as we chatted together and they welcomed him in.  My sister and I were completely astounded at the change in atmosphere.  He happily went out onto the veranda to wait for the movers to finish their work ... and the movers were a couple of very cheery, polite men, who were so careful around all the residents (many of the residents are completely lost in their own little worlds).  Dad was escorted into the dining room for lunch, and he seemed quite pleased with everything.  It was a beautiful day all round. 
It eventually came time to say goodbye to him.  We had his furniture all arranged, and all his stuff packed back into his dressers and cupboards.  There was more than enough storage space for all his possessions, and we left quite a few drawers empty!  All but the smallest pieces of furniture fit into his room, so I was happy about that.  We took out quite a bit of stuff that was no longer needed, which made me feel better about things too.  I hated to see all the accumulation of so much rubbish in his room, and it's nice to make a fresh start again. 
Dad was content with everything, and said it all looked very nice.  He didn't have one complaint (of course there'll be time for him to find something to grumble about I'm sure!).  The person in charge on the floor mentioned to us that the first matter of business would be to get him showered, and my sister and I were so relieved that they recognized this at once.  So I had a little talk with Dad to let him know they would ask him to shower and to try to be cooperative.  I don't know if it will help, but we'll find out soon enough if he is agreeable.
So the deed is done, and I couldn't be happier.  Thanks to all of you who left such kind comments about this move on my last post.  I can't believe the week is coming to an end already ... my head feels like it's been in a whirlwind of preparation for this!   And I just wanted to let you all know how well the day went for all concerned.  I can't tell you what a relief I feel tonight that everything worked out so well!

PS ... I didn't have any photos of the day, but have filled the post with photos of my garden this week.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dark Garden Photos

I was playing around on picmonkey the other night with some flower shots and special effects.  Would you like to see?  I had planned to link up with a special party on the weekend, but other things got in the way and I had no time to join, so I'll just show you the photos. 

The "other" things being my dad's imminent move to a new residence ... yes, we were able to snag that available room, and he moves on Thursday!
I have a couple of concerns.  He's not quite as advanced into his dementia as the other residents, and I hope this doesn't upset him that he's being placed in this secure (locked) floor.  It's tricky timing for this disease.  He's too far gone to receive proper care in his current retirement home.  But he's not so far gone to be locked in just yet.  But the new place has determined he needs the care provided on this secure floor, so that is where he'll be living.
Well, we shall see how he feels about that on Thursday I guess.  Obviously, we won't be dwelling on it.  He can't walk far, and the third floor has everything he needs (dining room, lounge and even an outdoor porch with comfy cushions on wicker chairs).
My other fear is that his furniture will not all fit in this new, smaller room!  I know it won't all fit, but can't be sure what can stay until the day of the move.  Could be a bit of shuffling around and a trip (or two) to the goodwill store before the day is out.
We had to pack up his small items (everything but furniture) on Saturday and bring it all home.  If we left the packed boxes in his room, you can be sure he would have gone through every box and most likely put a lot of it back in his dressers and bookcases.  I took this opportunity to go through everything and toss a lot of garbage.  It's heartbreaking the number of little notes he scribbles down and tucks into books and photo albums.  Lists of "Those Who Loved Me and Whom I Have Loved" (I was relieved to see my name and my siblings and grandkids all on that list!).  Also dates of importance to him.  "Arrived in Canada 1952", but then the kicker of "Kids moved me in here and took the keys to my home Feb 2011".  ouch
I couldn't keep the notes as they just hurt too much to want to read more than once.  But it does show where his mind is at.  I think I'll do up a list somehow with photos and dates of importance for him to hang on his wall.  We already have a framed family tree with photos for him to refer to, and it helps a lot when we come to visit and he questions who we are and who are our children.

So another move for him.  I hope this is where he can remain till the end of his days.  The place has a really good feel to it, and every staff member I met was so helpful and upbeat, with a good sense of humor about the whole situation.  My dad still has his sense of humor and showed it well during a recent assessment by a crusty social worker (who thankfully was not affiliated with the new place or I would have had my doubts about moving him!).  But most encouraging is that he's looking forward to a change, and even remembered he's moving on Thursday ... fingers crossed! 
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

7 Random Things

It's a rain day today.  Our plans were washed out ... a vintage car show being held at a warplane heritage museum out of town.  My husband assured my son and I that no one will want to bring their vintage cars out in the rain, so we'll not bother going to see the warplane museum either. 
But all is not lost.  I have things to do here at home.  My home looks like a whirlwind has gone through lately, so I need to get things straightened up.  My grandmother used to say that the housework went by the wayside when she started sewing.  It's the same for me, but with gardening and summer.  I feel like I'm wasting the day if I'm indoors, and the rainy days are the only days I'm finally forced to deal with mundane chores.  But the rain has given me a headache, and the air-conditioning is on and making me feel ill.  I need some fresh air!
Blogging awards are winding their way around blogland, and I've been very kindly asked by Sarah of Chantille-Fleur if I would accept her nomination of the Versatile Blogger Award.  Sarah has a lovely blog of her life on her farm in Australia, and I've been following along with her for a while now.  Her beautiful photographs of her adorable border collies, and lowline cattle and chickens and runner ducks and ... well, you get the picture.  She lives in a paradise with mountains visible across the fields, and I'm forever in awe of the beauty she captures through her lens.   I don't normally accept these awards, they make me feel a bit awkward and shy, but when she asked so nicely, I couldn't say no. Thank you Sarah :)
Well, now, seven random things about me?  hmmm  Sometimes I feel like I've already said everything about me here on this blog, but if you haven't been following from the beginning, perhaps you haven't read everything.
1.  I love to read, but having said this, I probably haven't read a book right through for quite a few months.  I don't know why that is, but have a sneaky suspicion it's because my reading has taken a different path through blogs instead.  Time becomes a factor then ... do I catch up on blogs, or do I read a book. 

2.  I once thought of going through college for an art program.  I changed my mind before I filled out the applications because I felt I would be following in my sister's footsteps and I didn't want to do that.  I went through for a law clerking course instead and worked in litigation law firms for many years. 
3.  I'd like to get a dash cam for my vehicle.  I keep viewing driving situations on others' dash cams, and I think it would be a good investment should anyone cause an accident in front of me.  Whenever I have to drive on the 401 through Toronto, I leave home thinking in the back of my mind that I may never return.  I have to travel on the highway every weekend to visit my father, and I see so much stupid stuff happening all the time. 
4.  I always wanted to decorate my house in a certain style.  However, I like so many varied things, that I'm not sure I could classify it.  Perhaps "Canadian Country" (my term) is what I have.  Much of my furniture comes from my great-grandparents farm house, and we've sort of added things based around those pieces.  Lots of antique wooden furniture, big arm chairs and interesting pieces like a grain scale as our coffee table. 
5.  When I was young and we'd be travelling by car through all sorts of little towns with curious old homes, I used to fantasize that everyone in the world except me disappeared, and I could wander through all the homes I wanted.  I was that curious about what people had in their homes ... especially the grand old homes that fill our typical small Ontario towns.  I didn't care what could have happened to everyone, I just wanted to see their homes.  My great aunt's house was one such old home, and it was a treasure trove of antiques and books (so many books) and huge piles of magazines, and paintings propped up on the piano ... and all so dark and intriguing!
6.  I've never been for a manicure or pedicure and probably never will.  Well, maybe if my daughter or son get married, I'll get my nails done for their weddings.  I don't like the feel of nail polish on my nails, and prefer the natural look of short nails. 
7.  I love the smell inside a fresh, clean barn when then hay has just been brought in and there are horses in the barn ... summertime smells!
And surprisingly, I'm at the end of my seven random things.  I think I'm a little long winded at times, so I hope that didn't put you off reading them. 
Thanks for stopping by!