Thursday, January 30, 2014

I Made It Photo Dump

Friday, January 24, 2014

January, I've had about enough of your shenanigans.

 Today was one of "those" days. 

Last night was absolutely terrible. But night time always is here now. 

January has always tried to kick my arse. I'm not sure what this month has against me but I wish it would move on to another victim. 

Today I decided to check back at previous blogs from this date even though I already knew what story they told. 

Last year on this date my Daddy was in the Medical Center. A Dr. Appointment earlier that day prompted a immediate transfer. I was not prepared at all!! About this time  I was just preparing to leave the Medical Center and come home. His bipass was scheduled for the next morning. The next morning held a surprise as well. It took me 3 hours to reach BG due to an early morning ice storm. It was one of the most difficult times of my entire life. 

Two years ago on this date was no different. It wasn't  the same nature, but very stressful and nerve racking all the same. I posted the blog link from that day below. I was not prepared for the events of that day either. 

Thankfully, today has not held any big surprises for me. Everyone is healthy for the most part. My Granny is safe and sound in my home. My Daddy is strong. What more could I ask for?! My children are great. I've come to find my place in life and becoming happier in my own skin. Yes, today did slap me around a few times but just as I have said in the years past.........your gonna have to try harder then that to bring me down. If I can survive 3 January 24th's (what is it with that date anyway?) in a row of pure hell, I can survive anything. And for the record, this one was cake compared to the others. I must be on the downhill slope. 

As for now, it's 9:30 and the two kids I have here tonite are snoring in sync with Granny and the dog. Time to send the hubs his good night text and relax till Grams is up visiting at 2 a.m. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

This is your story. And it's still being written. (updated January 28th)

As most of you know by now, my Granny moved in with us the first week of January. It's been challenging but rewarding. Dementia is taking her from us very quickly. I decided to write down everything I could possibly remember plus stories she tells during good  moments for her to read when she is confused and unsure who she is. My own rendition of The Notebook you might say.

I wanted to share with you what I have so far and invite you to add your own memories so I can add them to her story.  She usually has no problem right now recalling old memories when reminded. But I know there will come a day when she can't anymore. Enjoy.......

This Is Your Story, Granny, And It's Still Being Written.



I know your memory is getting worse and you often wonder who you are, where you came from and why you’re here. I wanted to write you something you could pick up and read when you are confused and scared.  First, know that we love you and your right where you are supposed to be. Surrounded by friends and family and people who love you and have known you all their lives.

First of all your name is Lillian Agnes Jeffries. You were born on August 4th 1922. That makes you almost 92 years old. And secondly, my name is Kathy Jo. I am your granddaughter. I am the one who wrote this for you. I along with most everyone else have always called you Granny.

Granny, you have one son. His name is Larry Keith. I asked you once how come you to name him Larry. You said it was just a name you liked. Larry is my Daddy. Other than me, he also has two sons. Their names are David and Brent. They both visit you often along with their wives named Lesia and Terrie.

You have lived with me since January 8th 2013. Prior to that you lived right beside me in your home. You lived alone there for many years. You were married to my Grandpaw for over 50 years. Grandpaw passed away in 1993. We are not exactly certain, but we believe he suffered from an aneurysm that burst.


Since his passing you remained in your home until moving in with me. You took some serious falls at home alone and the final fall before moving in with us was very dangerous. Doctors believe you were on the floor all night long before we found you and called an ambulance. It scared your family a lot as well as your Doctors. That’s when we decided that it was no longer safe for you to stay home alone. We only have your best interest in our hearts.
I know things are confusing to you, but it is normal. You see, you have been diagnosed with dementia. Other than dementia you have always been very healthy. You have never broken bones or been extremely sick very much you whole life. You have always been very independent and I know that’s making this all even harder. I know you worry that you are a burden but you are just the opposite. We all love you and want you here with us until time comes that I am unable to care for you safely.  
As I mentioned earlier, my name is Kathy Jo. You live here with me, my husband and four boys. My four boys are named Peyton, Eli, Zackary and Evyn. My husband’s name is Danny. You don’t see Danny very much because he is a truck driver and stays gone quite a bit. All four of my children attend school now. They go to Savoyard Christian Academy. It’s the school that the church started and Daddy let them use his community center building for the school. The same building we had your surprise 90th birthday party in on your birthday in August 2012.
We live in a little town called Savoyard. Most of us call it Chicken Bristle. You’ve told me before that it was nicknamed Chicken Bristle because there once was a hotel about two miles out the park road that got in too big of a hurry dressing their chickens and left bristles in them. People soon started calling that hotel Chicken Bristle and the name just stuck around.
You were raised in a little cabin not far from here. The cabin is barely still standing. Last year I dug through the remains of it and found a window frame that seems to have been from the upstairs. That frame now hangs beside your bed in the room here in my home that we have for you. You’ve told me stories about living in that cabin. One that I remember the most is you telling me about rocking in a rocking chair there and accidental rocking on one of your sisters toes. I’m not sure why that story has stuck with me and I don’t recall now which sister it was. You had a large family. Travis Hall, Dee, Wayne, Lovie Mae, Amy Florine. I remember all of them except Florine. We use to visit Wayne and Lovie often in Indiana. I never met your parents. They passed before I was born but you often confuse Daddy and your Poppa. I think by photos they must resemble a lot. Your Dad, whom you always refer to as Poppa, passed away when he was 94. He lived a long life and you always claimed for as long as I can remember that you too.  And you have. You are almost 92 and up until a couple years ago still insisted to push mow a portion of your yard. Which reminds me of one of the only injuries I’ve ever heard of you having. While push mowing a ditch in your yard your foot slipped under the mower and you lost a portion of a couple toes. I always thought about that every single time you would get in the ditch with your push mower. You made me a nervous wreck!!
On your good days I probe you for memories that I can jot down. Not only for you to read but for myself. On one day in particular we spoke a lot about your siblings. We talked about how Lovie never had any children of her own. She was pregnant once but lost her baby. After that she had to have a hysterectomy due to tumors that had invaded her reproductive organs. We also spoke of Florine and you named her children. Florine had one boy and several girls. Roger, Rita, Mary Ellen, and Sherry are who you remembered off the top of your head. Amy Florine was named after a friend of your mothers. She had a friend named Amy. You also told me your Grandpa Johnson had a nickname for Travis. He called his Travis Hall Screaming Balls. We laughed about that for a long time. It strange the things that seem to pop into your mind so easily from so long ago but you usually can’t recall what you had for breakfast. I know that it is part of your dementia, and I gather as much information now as I possibly can for both of us.

January 28th

You had a lot of stories today. We chatted and I secretly took notes. Today we talked about William Garret Johnson. He was your uncle. You called him Uncle Tuck. Apparently he worked out of state and his coworkers nicknamed him Tuck because he was from Kentucky. It stuck his entire life. He was married to a Clack.

This morning you stared out the window at the road that runs in front our homes and remember a time when you and Lovie would walk to Uncle Tucks house. Tuck shoed horses among other odd jobs. You girls done a lot of walking. None of your family ever had cars although Uncle Dee bought himself one when he was older. There is a Clack Cemetery Rd just down from here, which is were he lived. Years ago most everyone had a small family cemetery on their property were they were buried. You were not certain but thought Uncle Tuck and his wife were buried there after their passing. I'm sure it must have been her family buried there as well.  When it gets warm Peyton and I will have to investigate some of these things.

We also talked about your Grandpa and Grandma Johnson. They had a big house somewhere over around Aunt Norma's home. I'm picturing it must have been close to the little cabin you grew up in that I've been to several times.

You claim to have many great memories about their place. I've seen a photograph of their home and often wondered how anyone could have such a large nice home back then. You said he was a good business man.

They too, had a close family cemetery. Another that me and Peyton will have to visit. You said two children were buried there and that they passed from what was believed to be Typhoid Fever. They were there when you were a child so I imagine their graves are unrecognizably by now.  Grandma and Grandpa Johnson are buried there you believe. Uncle Jim Wheeler was also buried there but his family moved his stone to Glasgow some years ago.

You lived in the little cabin on that land many years until your grandparents were old and sick. At that time you moved in with them and lived there until they both passed away. That big old house didn't remain in the family. Through the grapevine it was believed that the home was later burned for insurance money.

I was surprised to learn that two stores sat in Chicken Brissle here across from each other. It seemed to me that would cause many arguments to have two general stores in the small  community. You said y'all traded only with the store that had been here the longest and some years later that other store also burned. Once again......gossip was it was also burned for insurance.

It must have been in the water today to tell stories. Daddy came in and joined in with stories of his own and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to jot those down a swell.

Some years ago I decided to clean out the garage and toss some of the kids old bicycles. One had dry rotted tires and one was simply too small and rusted. Daddy was very upset that I intended to toss two perfect bikes because someone could enjoy those. Today I understood that better.

Daddy (which is your son) never had a bicycle. He also done a lot of walking. A few of his friends had a bike but he didn't. Daddy saved his money once and purchased a bicycle for ten cents. It was used and worn out and had a bad chain that always got hung up in his britches leg. I imagine it was a wasted ten cents. Another time he traded a BB gun with a slight defect for a bike. It was a decent trade but he was already older by this point and wasn't really in to bikes anymore. He was more a motor bike kind of boy by this point and saved thirty five dollar for one of his own. It lasted one day, because every boy around here took a turn on it and it was pretty much destroyed by the second day. I can just picture you shaking your head about this situation sixty years ago. I imagine you would have been about the age I am now when he was making these trades.  Boys will be boys wont they, Granny?



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Social Services. Just how many families have they disrupted wrongfully?

I have been putting off this post for six months now, but as promised, I'm going to explain some events that happen in August of last year.

As most of you know we decided to foster two years ago. After weeks of planning, deciding on a company, training and waiting for a placement of our own we were placed with a little girl in late July. It was one of the happiest days of my entire life. She was truly a dream come true. My sweet girl was a challenge. She had some serious medical challenges. She had severe scoliosis that would require numerous surgeries to correct. She had a cleft pallet that had only been partially corrected. She had a abnormality in one of her eyes that Dr.'s believed had left her legally blind in one eye. The pallet made it extremely difficult for her to eat so she had extremely low muscle mass. It was uncertain rather it was from malnourishment or something more serious. Developmentally she was six month old even though she was almost two years old. She couldn't sit alone nor stand, crawl or speak. Due to these extreme physical conditions I bathed her in our deep well kitchen sink. It was the safest, I thought at the time.

On August the 4th we were getting ready for church and I bathed her in my sink as always but this time something terrible happen.

My dishwasher was plumbed to drain into my kitchen sink and during her bath the dishwasher drained and gave my sweet girl 2nd degree burns on her leg. We immediately took her to the ER were she was then sent to Kosairs for better treatment of her burn. As with any situation like this social services had to be contacted. The gentleman who visited us at TJ deemed this incident a accident an gave me permission to ride with her to Kosairs where I stayed with her until she was placed with a family that could better take care of her physical needs. A medically fragile training was required once all of her physical and mental developmental issues came to light while she was in Kosairs.

Our own county worker had to also come out and do his own investigation. This man was rude. Judgemental. Short fused. He made us feel like trash from the word go. I am certain his mind was made up before he ever entered our home. I realize he must have a terrible job. I would not want it! However, some things are truly accidental and I wonder how many times these county officials have ruined lives of innocent families. Things went terribly down hill. He found me guilty of neglect under the statue that I didn't provide her with appropriate care. This verdict came down the first of October. I was encouraged to hire a lawyer and appeal this charge, which we done. Court was today.

I was hoping that by the end of today I would know one way or another if the argument my lawyer put up for me today convinced the court official to overturn Metcalfe County's social workers decision to substantiate neglect on me. Unfortunately he has 15 more days to make a choice either on my behalf or not. What's 15 more days after waiting six months!?

I love and thank each of you whom have stood my me and kept my spirits high while dealing with this. And I apologize to those of you I didn't tell this too. Part of me was embarrassed that this happen even though it was only a accident. Part of me felt like a failure. In my 15 years of parenting four children of my own, nothing like this had ever happen and I couldn't understand why. As time goes on I'm beginning to understand why she didn't remain with us after waiting so patiently for a daughter for so many years.

My very good friend said it best to me a few days ago. "It'll all work out in the end. And if it doesn't..........then it's not the end".

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dementia And Giggle Must Go Hand And Hand

Well, it seems my blog will now take a turn from caring for kids 24/7 to caring for the kids and my Grandmother. As of last Wednesday she now resides here with us. 
It wasn't a huge move. Just across the yard for her. Her mentality doesn't allow her to even realize where she is. She thinks she's in a facility and that my name is Sheila. I have no clue why she calls me Sheila. :/
Nights are the worst. She is up and down a lot and extremely confused. Last night our conversation went something like this:

Granny: What's your name?

Me: Kathy 

Granny: I should be able to remember that. I have a granddaughter named Kathy. 

Kathy: I am your granddaughter. 

Granny: Oh mercy. I have two granddaughters named Kathy?!?!

I have to find the humor in some of this situation. I positively DO NOT want her in a nursing facility yet. Not as long as I can take care of her here without her safety being jeopardized. 

The kids are enjoying her company and I think it's important that they spend some quality time with her right now. Her mentality comes and goes. At times she knows us and is clearer then others. And those times are important to all of us. Just before bed time tonight I was tucking her in. She was already confused. She has been all of today. I told her once again who I was and that she would be staying with me a while. For a moment she was clear headed and said "I proud your my granddaughter". I think it's the single greatest thing anyone has ever said to me.
Pretty sure they are up to no good here. 
Gracie has traded me in for Granny. 

On another important note, Evyn started school again. Yes, he started in August but he was a dropout. So we are trying again. He seems to love it all except getting up at 6:30. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

January 5th.

Happy birthday kiddo.

Before we fell asleep I enjoyed my last night of snuggling with a 3 year old. 4 seems so much older then 3. It's pre-school age. He no longer wears clothes which sizes end with a T.

I hugged him and kissed him. Rinse. Repeat. I whispered to him "you'll always be my boy". And he replied "and your my girl".

{sniff sniff}

His cake from Nanna was perfect.

After his party with friends and family here he passed out. For the's the second nap he's taken in a year. But who's counting.

Before I fell asleep I found this surfing Pinterest. I sure hope I'm somehow pulling this off.

I still miss you my friend.