Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Full Weekend and a Full Life...(but she's aiming for 90!...she told me)

When Tammy was in college she took a watercolor painting class as an elective study. She put together a nice portfolio of work during the class but in the 18 or so years since then she hasn't taken the time to dabble in the art. I've tried over the years to encourage her to get back into it but I'm not one to nag.

But she's finally going to!

She signed up for a watercolor class taught by a local artist and will work with her over the next month. She's excited about it and so am I. I told her that I can totally see her setting up out in the sun-porch with her materials; it will be a perfect spot. She has a birthday coming up next month and I think I'd like to get her an easel of some kind.

Rachel is in Maryland this weekend for another ballroom dance competition. I got a text from her Friday afternoon as they passed near New York on their way: "NYC doesn't scare me anymore" "you know how it can be a bit intimidating at first? I can handle it now". Both Tammy and I couldn't be happier for her as she ventures out into our big beautiful world. Like I always say about Rachel's life; I just love being along for the ride!

The competition is going well for her and her partner. Out of 100 couples for Rhythm, they took 2nd place in both Cha-cha and Rumba and 1st place in Swing during Saturday's competition. They took three 1st places and one 2nd place today. She sent us a link where we could watch a live video feed of the competition and even go back and review video from earlier in the day. Tammy's been glued to her laptop, watching.

Kevin Kirsch, a controller at work, is moving on. Because he's now 56 years young he can no longer work as a controller but he was able to score an instructor's slot down at the academy in Oklahoma City where he plans to continue his FAA career for at least another couple years. There was a going-away party for him a few days ago and I stopped in to wish him well. I gave him the latest fruits of my glassblowing labors as a gift; a couple of simple candle holders. He'll be missed by us all for both his talents in the sector and his storytelling...haha...well, maybe not the stories so much but some.

Tammy and I were both home to pass out Halloween candy to the little monsters and assorted characters. It's been a few years since I've had our air powered Dracula set up but I got it down from the loft in the garage and had it greet the trick-or-treaters as they made their way up our front walk. One little guy didn't notice it as he walked past it on his way to our front door but when he turned around to head back to his mother waiting for him at the end of our driveway he saw Dracula rising up out of the casket. He shook his head 'no'. "I'm not going" he kept quietly repeating but his mother couldn't hear. I yelled down to her that she may want to come up and walk with him. Poor guy.

I had such a fun ride on my Mukluk yesterday morning before work. I thought seriously about getting on my road bike and taking advantage of the dry roads but my Mukluk is just way too much fun and its call can be so irresistible sometimes. I love exploring gravel roads and routes on it that never get any consideration when I've got skinny tires under me. I only biked 30 miles but I worked it hard out there for the most part. I came home out of breath and on such a ridiculous high. I love that!

There's a bit of a treat in this video for my siblings...

Mom turned 85 today! Tammy and I took her out to Perkins this morning for breakfast. She looked so pretty. It's been a difficult six month stretch for her with all of the eye surgeries (I think 5) she's had for a detached and torn retina in her right eye. She had a followup appointment on Friday and her doctor gave her the go-ahead to drive again. It's encouraging to her but I don't really like the idea very much because she's gotten so weak in the last few months. It will be difficult for her to get in and out of her low sitting Ford Escort without some assistance. We'll see.

Jackie, Aleah, Erin, Kelsey, Cassidy, and Anja picked her up tonight and took her out to the Old Piper for Pizza. She had a great time. When I talked to her on my way home from work tonight she was too excited from all the activity to sleep.

It sounds like she had a really great day!


Jackie said...

Was so nice to see the house on Essex. The driveway is so gorgeous! Yes, I do believe Mom had a wonderful birthday all around. We had a wonderful time out for pizza. A lot of laughs all night long. We had a great time and got some wonderful pics. I am so glad she enjoyed herself! As far as driving goes I do believe she will venture for very short distances but that is about it. You are right when you say she is in need of assistance. I held on to her everywhere she went and she is not the least bit hesitant to take the help. It is hard to see her becoming so needy in many ways but in other ways (her mind) she is so strong. The girls and I have planned a same time next year Party for her.

Kevin said...

I wanted to ride further up the driveway but the garage door was open and I didn't want to alarm anybody who may have been home. Those trees have filled in so nicely. I can't remember if they were there when they bought the home or if Mom and Dad planted them. The previous owner used to have a landscaping business in addition to being an air traffic controller so I'm thinking he may have planted them.

Yes, I think she had a full and enjoyable day without being too overwhelmed.

Tammy and I both worry about her stamina or lack of it. She needed help getting up from her bench seat in the waiting area at the restaurant in the morning but she also told me that she really struggles in the morning with dizziness.

I think the complications and stress brought on by the problems with her eye have taken their toll on her. The adjustment to being mostly housebound can't be easy for someone who is used to being on the go but she seems to be adapting about as well as one could hope.