Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Goodbye, little mommy...

My mother died Saturday.
From what we can see from the physical evidence, this is what happened:  Mom was smoking with her oxygen running (though she had tossed the nasal cannula aside while she had her cigarette) and she probably dozed off and dropped the cigarette on the floor.  The cigarette was laying on top of her oxygen hose.  It burned through the hose and ignited and burned about 8 feet of the hose itself, along with parts of the carpeting beneath the hose.  It was probably sending out blue flames and some pretty noxious fumes due to the melted plastic and carpeting.  She was trying to get to her oxygen machine to turn it off but she had grown progressively weaker over the last few weeks (and my guess is her blood sugar was very low, she's had a lot of trouble with crashing lately) and she went down.  The "official" cause of death was listed as heart attack because her heart wasn't beating when the paramedics got there, but it may have actually been caused by smoke inhalation or even her blood sugar going too low.  My brother in law was the one who found her.  He tried to resuscitate her (he heard her sternum crack when he tried to do CPR) but he wasn't successful.  The paramedics arrived pretty quickly (my brother was one of them) and they took over the resuscitation efforts without success.  She was pronounced dead at the emergency room. 
I have thought a lot about how horrible those last few moments of her life were.  She was declining in health quite a bit and there were times she had said she was ready to go, but all the same, it must have been terrifying to see the fire and the smoke.  Since she could barely walk a few steps without being out of breath it must have been quite an ordeal to get halfway to her oxygen machine before she collapsed. I don't know if she was already unconscious or if she lost consciousness once she was down.  She couldn't speak long without a coughing fit, and I can well imagine how the noxious smoke from the fire must have affected her.  

I was able to see her for a short while before she was taken away to the crematorium.  She may have had a terrifying last few moments on earth, but in death she looked peaceful, so that helped.  She was wearing one of those muumuu's that she loved to wear, and a bed jacket.  I felt her cheek and because my fingers were so cold she actually felt warm to the touch.  I stroked her upper arm through the blanket they had used to cover her, and it felt the same as when I used to stroke her arm after kissing her goodnight.  I kept expecting her to take a breath because she really did look like she was sleeping, but of course the deep, cleansing breath never came.  
It's a comfort to know that she is no longer in pain and she is able to move about the same as she could when she was a young girl.  She can see again, and I'm sure she's happy about being reunited with so many members of her family.  I can imagine there have been some happy reunions for her with people she has loved, like her best friend who drowned when she was a young girl.  And I'm happy for her about that, but at the same time I feel sorry for myself.  

As we were going through the old pictures of her life, there were so many where she was young and vital and beautiful.  The sad thing is that smoking slowly robbed her of every pleasure she had.  She didn't get to do any of the things she had planned to do after she retired because her health was so poor, and nearly all of her health problems were attributed or at least made worse by smoking.  But now she can do all the fishing she wants, and she can read and do crossword puzzles to her heart's content.  
I still have my mother's birthday message on my cell phone voice mail.  Goodbye, little Mommy.  I love you and I'll miss you.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fun little thing from Sarah, easier to post here than to email out...

Welcome to the Christmas edition of "Getting to know your friends." Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (not forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you......Tis the Season to be NICE!


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags, they’re so much easier.  And we re-use them as much as possible.

2. Real tree or Artificial? I like the real ones better, but using an artificial one is more economical over the long haul.  And the next one I get will be pre-lit.

3. When do you put up the tree? Late November or early December  

4. When do you take the tree down?  First week of January if I can get help. 

5. Do you like eggnog? I never liked it till I couldn’t have it due to a milk allergy. Now I want it.  J

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A big kid bike, with blocks on the pedals.

7. Hardest person to buy for?  Gary, cuz he always wants stuff that I have no idea how to get.

8. Easiest person to buy for?  Newly married kids, cuz they need everything.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Nope

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? If I do anything, it’s an email update.  But I only do that now and again.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?  I’ve never been a fan of getting those meat logs for gifts.  I don’t like them.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Miracle on 34th street and It’s a wonderful life.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?  Probably January.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?  Yes.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?  Turkey dinner, pies.

16. Lights on the tree? Of course.  Hopefully next year it’ll be a pre-lit tree.

17. Favorite Christmas song?  What child is this

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, Rudolph.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have a star that Audrey brought me from Austria, and I have an angel I painted myself.  I love both.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning, after stockings which are in my room full of good things to eat.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Kosi radio has already started playing “all Christmas music, all the time.”  I prefer a mixture.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?  I like to have gold ribbon, red poinsettias, red balls, and then Disney ornaments.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I like to do prime rib, normally, but beef doesn’t always agree with me. We might have to do turkey this year.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I kind of want a Wii, but a GPS would be nice too because I hate getting lost,  Or a new bread machine would be good since ours will probably not last much longer.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? I hate this question…

27. Who is least likely to respond to this? I hate this question too.


Sarah has been blogging about an OCD trait that she has and there have been a few replies about other various OCD traits.  Last night when I was watching TV I decided to have a snack.  I pulled a handful of crackers out of the box and arranged them before I ate them.  It occurred to me that whenever I eat crackers out of a box, I arrange them so that they are stacked up by size.  The whole crackers are at the bottom and the broken ones toward the top, with the smallest broken pieces being at the very top of the pile.  Then I eat them in order, starting with the smallest and working my way down the little pile until nothing is left but whole crackers.  I can’t eat them any other way.  And if partway through my snack I decide to add more crackers, I have to insert them where their size would put them, meaning whole ones to the bottom and the broken ones arranged by size with the existing pile. 


And yes, I did feel this was normal till Samara pointed out that it was not.  J 


Anyone else have any OCD traits?  I suppose the only other one I have is that at my desk my stapler and tape dispenser have to be perfectly aligned.  Okay, EVERYTHING on my desk needs to be perfectly aligned. 


Love you!




Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy birthday to Mickey...
Happy birthday to Mickey.
Happy birthday dear Mickey!
Happy birthday to Mickey!

and me too.


Friday, October 31, 2008

My baby...

Wow, my youngest has her driver’s license.  I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.  On one hand, I’m proud of her and happy for her too.  She got her license younger than any of her siblings, I believe.  But on the other hand, everything she does is a “last” for me.  I don’t think I’m going to cope well with empty nest syndrome.  I may have horrified Dad because I told him a week ago that if I hadn’t had a hysterectomy I would have another baby right now.   


On the lighter side, today is Halloween and I dressed up for work.  I came as a UAL mechanic, since I’m the office assistant for that department.  The real mechanics loaned me all the stuff I needed: a mechanic uniform, a tool belt (with tools, but dang that thing really pulls down your jeans when it’s loaded up like that.  No wonder mechanics have plumbers’ cracks!), a flashlight, a hardhat, and a key ring with a couple dozen keys on.  One of the other employees said I was the prettiest mechanic we had, which may not be a huge compliment when you see our mechanics, a bunch of testosterone-dripping middle aged men.  One of the other employees said that when he first saw me he thought I was a real mechanic.  I’m not so sure I’m happy about that, see description of our mechanics above…





Thursday, October 30, 2008

Musical breakfast!

So every morning I get up and fix Samara breakfast.  She's easy to please, she wants an egg, scrambled soft with cheese mixed in to melt.  Serve it on a slice of toast.  Well, our toaster is both cheap and old, so it was starting to not toast one of the sides of bread.  Carebear and Archie got me a birthday present and let me open it early, it was a new toaster and it imprints the bread with a Mickey Mouse face.  Plus, when the toast pops up, it plays the Mickey Mouse march!  Sort of reminds me of the little toilet we had for the kids when they were being potty trained.  As soon as they peed, it played "Twinkle twinkle little star."  :)
Love you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ooo... A survey. I know how much you love these...

Place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from the ones you have not.  Answer the 30 questions at the end.


(X) Gone on a blind date

(  ) Skipped school

(  ) Watched someone die

(  ) Been to Canada

(X) Been to Mexico

(X) Been to Florida (many times!)

(X) Been lost (many times.)

(X) Been on the opposite side of the country   

(X)  Gone to Washington, DC

(X) Swam in the ocean

(X) Cried your self to sleep

(  ) Played cops and robbers

(X) Recently colored with crayons

(  )  Sang Karaoke/Tried

(X) Paid for a meal with coins only

(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't

(X) Made prank phone calls

(  ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose

(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

(  ) Danced in the rain

(  ) Written a letter to Santa Claus

(  ) Been kissed under the mistletoe

(  ) Watched the sunrise with someone you care about

(X) Blown bubbles

(X) Gone ice-skating

(X) Been skinny dipping outdoors 

(X) Gone to the movies


1. Any nickname:     Susie Q, Susie Creamcheese

2. Mother's name:   Hellyn

3.  Favorite drink?  Water, but not tap water or spring water.

4.  Any Tattoo's?   No 

5. Body piercing's?   yes, ears

6. Do U love your job?   Yes

7. Ever seen or been in a tornado?  No

8.  Favorite vacation spot?  Walt Disney World

9.  Ever been to Africa?   No

10. Ever eaten cookies for dinner? yes

11. Been on TV?   Yes

12. Ever stole a traffic sign?   No, but I moved a Big Boy statue…  

13. Ever been in a car accident? No

14. Drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? 4 door

15. Favorite salad dressing?  Bleu Cheese (mom’s recipe)

16. Favorite Pie?    Peach

17. Favorite number?   18

18. Favorite movie?    My Fair Lady

19.  Favorite holiday?   Thanksgiving or Christmas

20. Favorite dessert?   Shortbread cookie

21. Favorite food?  Corn

22.  Favorite day of the week?   Friday

23. Favorite brand of body wash?   Amazing Grace by Philosphy

24.  Favorite Toothpaste? Colgate

25. Favorite smell?   Amazing Grace

26. What do you do to relax?   Watch TV and crochet

27. How do you see yourself in 10 years?  Retired and living half the year in CO and half in FL.

28. How many siblings do you have?    5

29. Furthest Place you will send this message?   CA

30. Who will respond to this the fastest?    Audrey



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How do I...

So how do I add someone to my list on the right?  I want to add David's blog, but I don't remember how.  And by "remember" I mean that I didn't see Michael set it up so I have no clue how.  
Berserk, I missed the boys on Monday.  Valkyrie was going to bring them over while you two went out.  I thought I'd take them to Mickey D's and let them eat and play.  Maybe I can have them for a few hours on Saturday?  
I love you guys!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Two names you go by:

2) Susie Q

Two things you're wearing now:
Mickey earrings (From Jason and Andrea)

2)  Mickey necklace (from Gary)

Two things you would like to do again:
Go to Walt Disney World

2) Have one more baby (alas, tis not to be… but I keep dreaming I am.)

Two  things you want very badly at the moment.
To go to Walt Disney World with Audrey

2) Kiss Gary

Two people who will fill this out & return  it:
Audrey, if I’m lucky

Two things you did yesterday:
Folded Laundry

2) Got caught up on my soap, AMC

Two things you ate yesterday

1) Kiwi Fruit

2) Blueberries

Two people you  last talked to:
1) Dave

2) Lynn
Two things you're doing tomorrow:
Listening to a book on CD on the way to work
Working out, I hope

Two favorite holidays:

Two favorite beverages:                                                                                                        

1) Crystal Lite

2) Dasani water

Two people no longer alive that you'd like to talk to:

2) Dad O

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This is harder than I thought...

Okay, maybe it's not necessarily difficult, but I didn't remember how to make a new post and the Wizard had to remind me. Heh... Not to worry, I'll catch on eventually.

So the Wizard has already posted about the adventures of his CPAP machine. I spent most of our first day of vacation by myself, because he was busy chasing down a hose and a mask so he could get some sleep. (Okay, he got a little bit of sleep but not much because every time he started snoring, I had to wake him up, and he only got to sleep a few moments before he would start snoring. So neither of us got any rest.) Anyway, it's a good thing I made him drop me off at the park, because if I'd spent those seven hours in the hotel room, I wouldn't have been very nice about it.

The next day (yesterday) we went to Animal Kingdom, which I love, and then spent the next five hours in the Magic Kingdom. It really was a blast, but we were both exhausted. Today we went to church and then afterwards we went to Epcot, which is the Wizard's favorite. (There really aren't any bad Disney parks in Florida.) We had dinner in the Japanese restaurant and it was really nice. Unfortunately, it didn't agree with me so let's just say it didn't last as long as it should. Oh, well. I felt much better afterwards.

All I can think about this whole trip is how AWESOME it will be to have the whole family visit the mouse in January of 2010. The Wizard and I counted three times, and it looks like there will be 19 of us there. That means if we all eat at the Japanese restaurant, we'll need THREE of those tables with the big hibachi grill in the middle. That's nearly the whole room. (There are four of those tables in each room.) The poor, gentle Japanese staff won't know what hit them, huh? Anyway, chime in on whether or not you're wanting to go with us on this trip, because it'd be fun to know who and how many are trying to come.

Tomorrow will be our day at Disney Studios. It's my favorite park, I can hardly wait. My two favorite rides are Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller coaster. The Wizard will ride Tower of Terror with me, but he draws the line at joining me in what he calls my masochism, riding Rockin' Roller coater. But he said he'd at least go through the line with me and then use the "last chance to bail" door before the ride actually starts. We'll also watch "Four for a dollar" as many times as we can, since it's the main reason we came at this time.

Today the Wizard did something very romantic. He saw me gazing at some necklaces near the Germany pavilion, and after we had dinner we walked past them again. He said, "You keep coming back to this one," and pointed to a silver chain with a pendant on it. The pendant is three circles, graduating from smallest (about 1/2 inch) to largest (about an inch.) Inside each circle is a little Mickey icon, the large circle head with two smaller circle ears. The circles and the icons are all Swarovski crystals. It's really pretty, and very Disney. And now it's mine, the Wizard bought it and said, "Happy anniversary." He is so cute. :) After that we went back to Future World Showcase and rode "Soarin" again. Then we left to go back to the hotel. On the way home we stopped at a souvenir shop to get a couple of things to take home to Colorado with us. And now it's time for me to hit the hay so we can get a (somewhat) early start on tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Well, it's about TIME...

Okay, I’ve been MEANING to start a blog for quite a while now.  I think it’s been great the way all the kids have gotten to know each other better as adults through blogging and I hate to be left out.  I have no idea how often this will be updated, but at least I have finally started. 


Dad and I are hoping to go to visit the mouse this weekend.  The pre-show for Beauty and the Beast (called “Four for a dollar”) are singing their last acapella oldie on Sept. 20, and I want to see them one more time before they go.  I don’t know what will replace them, hopefully something just as good.  I’ll miss them, they’ve always been great entertainment.  We should be back Tuesday morning in time to go to work. 


Other than that, nothing I can think of to say… 




Tuesday, September 2, 2008

This is only a test...

Had this been an actual blog there would have been something interesting here to read. This is Chaelomen, just setting up the blog for Mom, and I need something here to see what the layout looks like.