Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Shopping

Emily, Lily, and I went to the Rookwood mall to do a little Christmas shopping.  We went to various stores, had a delicious lunch at a restaurant,  and then ended up at TJ Max.  After walking in Mom started to browse through the clothing racks.  Emily wanted me to walk to the back of the store to look for some home items.  I debated leaving Lily but then thought she would be ok for a short while. 

When Lily first came to live with us we would take her shopping and after 2 hours she would say we just got here so why did we have to leave.  Lately though mom does not enjoy shopping as she once did.  When we go she is the one more apt to say that it is time to go.

  So anyways back to my story about 10 minutes later, Emily and I hear over the loud speaker.......

 "Would Kerry Runyeon please come to the service desk."

So of course up to the front we went and there was Lily.  "Oh there you are."

"Mom, did you think we left you?"

"Well I didn't know.  I asked them if someone was waiting for me?"

Thankfully she did not leave the store and has never done that in the past but  we now know we must keep a closer eye on Lily when shopping. With an Alzheimer patient you just never know what they might do next.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

St. Leonards Again

Turning into St. Leonards Mom said,

"Am I going to St. Leonards again?"

"And I suppose you will be gone for about 3 hours."

"I'd bloody well rather stay home and watch TV all day than to come here."

"They will be saying, 'Here she comes.  Back again'."

I said,  "They like to see you mom."

"Hell no,  they already saw me once."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Day highlights

Ryan's joke gift to his Dad which Ryan thought was very funny.  I don't think Dan thought it was so funny.

Lily's new PJ's  from her grandchildren.

Christmas Dinner

Lily in her 3D glasses ready to watch Avatar at the theater with her family.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Family Portrait-My Brother Tim, Lily, & I

Christmas card next year..... What do you think?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve Moments

Nana annoyed with Ryan.  

Already forgotten!

Jenny (my daughter-in-law) and her dog Marcie and the pugs

Caleb & Hannah excited about the Trifle

Russ (Dan's Dad) and all the grandchildren


My favorite father-in-law


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Lily

"A pill for a pill."

"All dogs in Ireland are named Bran."

"That slipped out of your mouth so fast, you couldn’t catch it."

"Shit Ass.  That is not a bad word,  I could say that to a priest."

"In Boston they won’t hire a girl unless she speaks like they do."

Thursday, December 24, 2009


 A dear friend named "Santa" dropped a gift off to me a couple of days ago.  When I opened the box I found this lovely Santa dish which I had received at a Xmas party a few days ago from another dear friend.  I loved the Santa dish but unfortunately this was one of those parties where gifts can be taken by the next person with a higher number.  (Don't you hate that?)  My friend read the disappointment in my face and surprised me with an identical gift.  Although embarrassed that my feelings were so apparent I was thrilled and touched at the thoughtfulness of my friend. 

When I showed Lilybird my gift she said,

"Whose that man in it?"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Decorating the Christmas Tree

We had a lot of fun decorating the tree this year.  Here are some of the highlights.

Below are some of Lily's comments we heard over and over again.

"At my house I never put a tree up because it was too much trouble."

"How many more of these are we putting up? 

"You know we will just have to take them all back down."

In the meantime Molly farts and Dan says,  "Freakin farting dogs!" (and he really does say freakin)

"This is the best one. Look at her mouth.  It is open like this."

And Lucy Lu on top of the grandfather clock watching all the silliness!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Memories 1982

Aunt Mollie (my father Norb's brother's wife) sent some pictures. Yesterday  Mom looking at this one of our family back in 1982 said pointing left to right,

"That one is me,  and there's the daughter (pointing to me with my eyes closed as usual), and I can't think of his name,  Emily said Tim and she said,  No I just can't think of his name, and that one I don't know her but I suppose I did at one point."

This morning I asked her if she recognized the people in the picture and she said,

"Yes that one is Ryan"  I said does that look like Ryan?  She said, "No not really, but he is tall."  I said that is Tim.  "Oh yeah that is right.  And that one is me,  and that one is you, and that one is the youngest daughter,  what is her name?"  I said,  "Traci."  "Yeah that's it."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Please Hang Up and Call Again

Today I was playing back a message from our answering machine which said,

"If you would like to make a call.......

                                and Lily chimed in a high whiney voice.......

                                      "please hang up and call again."

She then said,    "Same old crap everytime!"

Emily started laughing and said she heard Kelly Ripa saying the same thing on Regis and Kelly this morning.

                            To which Lily replied,   "Crapo.  That is all it is.  Crapo!"


Sunday, December 13, 2009

St. Leonards Again

As we pulled into St. Leonards the other day,  Mom said,

"Am I going to St. Leonards again?"

"Yes, Mom."

"What are you going to do?"

"Run errands."

"Well you know most of the people here are half gone."

"Well then mom talk to their other half."

and she laughed...................................

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Parting Advice

Emily was all dressed up and leaving for her DCDC Christmas party and Nana Lily said to her,

"You had better be home before 2AM."

Emily replied,  "Yeah and I know,  don't do anything you wouldn't do."

"Well, I'm not doing a damn thing!"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tangled Bras

After doing wash today I took out 3 bras which were in a laundry bag.  During the wash they managed to get all tangled up together.  Thinking this would give mom something to do I gave them to her to untangle.  Busy doing other things I noticed her about 20 minutes later still working to untangle the bras from each other.  Sensing her frustration I helped her and I had them untangled in about one minute.

Lily said,
"Well I wouldn't want to do that for a living."

"I would tell them   UP YOURS!"  (as she gave her favorite hand signal for these two words)

Monday, December 7, 2009

How's the weather there?

As I have said before my brother Tim calls most days to speak to mom.  If he doesn't reach her with his first call he will call several more times during the day.  A typical conversation goes like this.

"Is the Paddy Lily there?"

"Mom, Tim is on the phone."


"How's the cat?"  (Callie)

Lily replies in an annoyed voice,  "Fine Tim.  I don't want to talk about the cat."

"How's the weather there?"

"Well it is snowing here and really cold."

"Oh it is beautiful, sunny, and warm here"  (even though Tim only lives 10 minutes away)

........................... and so it goes.  Tim finds amusement in teasing mom.  Fortunately most of this completely sails over mom's head.  Their conversation pretty much revolves around the animals in our house and the weather.  But at least he calls and for that I am thankful.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tim (cont)

Forty Eight years old and diagnosed with Asperger's autism.  Wow!  The doctor was amazed at all Tim had accomplished in his lifetime (Masters degree, military)while having this disability.  She said that is why she did not consider the diagnosis of autism initially when I mentioned it.   She explained the reason his behavior was worsening as he became older was that the struggle through the years to fit in and succeed had finally wore him down and he was having a harder time trying to lead a "normal" life.

With this diagnosis Tim and I went to social security to apply for disability for him.  I was told by many people how hard it is to get this and usually you are denied the first time and have to appeal.  Expecting this I was pleasantly surprised a few months later when it was approved.   I was also able to get him some military compensation with the help of a veterans organization.  He now lives a simple life in his own condo about 10 minutes away and appears to be quite content spending his days rocking and listening to his shortwave, drinking tea, taking long walks, and going to the library to get on the internet. 

                                                        Tim & Lily

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kiss Goodbye

This afternoon I was picking mom up from St. Leonards Dayaway Program and this pleasant older man smiling at mom said something about kissing her goodbye.  As he leaned towards her I thought for sure mom would pull away but she leaned into him but turned her head at the last minute so he kissed her cheek.  His wife who was picking him up said isn't that cute.  We turned away to leave and mom whispers to me,  "He's nuts.  Everybody says he is losing it.  I suppose that will be all of us someday."

Later as I was telling Dan this story mom who had totally forgot this episode said,  "That's awful.  He shouldn't be doing that.  Who knows what he might have had on his mouth!"

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Tonight Ryan insisted that Lily and I sit down with him to watch the Christmas movie Elf.  The first scene of the movie shows a nun placing a baby in a crib and Lily said,

 "That's the last thing I want to do is watch a movie about a nun!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I have mentioned my brother Tim in a few posts on this blog.  He is 18 months older than I and born in Boston Mass to Norbert and Elizabeth (Lily).  As children Tim & I were not particularly close as Tim was difficult to get along with.  He had peculiar habits such as relentless teasing, isolating himself, inability to tolerate noise, difficulty connecting with others, inflexibility, and poor social skills.  Needless to say he was not easy to live with.  My mother being a widow dealt with him the best she could.  Back then there was not the support for parents which is present in schools today.

Tim graduated from high school as an above average student because he was determined and studied very hard.  He went on to college and earned his bachelors degree in Biology and then went on to obtain his masters degree in Chemistry.  From there he found a job out of college which lasted for approximately one year.  Unable to find another job he decided to join the USAF.  He went to officer's training school but failed to complete the course satisfactorily.  So even though he had a masters degree he remained in the USAF for 14 years as an enlisted man where he worked in a variety of fields including drafting.  Some of his assignments were at WPAFB, Turkey, and Wyoming.   He finally was forced out of the service due to poor performance reviews which I believe were as a result of his inability to handle the social pressures of the military.

Once back in Dayton he lived here without a job for years living off his savings.  I noticed a gradual increase through the years of paranoid type of behavior which was not present in him as a young man.  Realizing he was soon to be out of money and had no military pension I talked him into going with me out to the VA ER to have him examined.  Knowing I had this one shot at getting him diagnosed I was hopeful but realistic about what to expect as I worked at the VA as a RN for 6 years in the 80's.

Once there I feel God was with us from the moment we stepped into the door.  Everything went so smoothly that I had to wonder if we really were at the VA.  The ER doctor was wonderful and listened to all that I told them about Tim's behavior over the last few years.  He called in a Psychologist to examine him and they decided to keep him for a week in the locked Psych unit to evaluate him.  I was flabbergasted as I never expected things to move so quickly.

At our initial meeting with the Dr. I let her know that I personally thought Tim had a form of Autism with a paranoid aspect but they thought he was schizophrenic.  I really did not care what they diagnosed him with as long as he was diagnosed with something so I could get him help.  All week they did testing and I would come in every day to visit.  Each day he would tell me that this was it and he was only doing this for me and never would again.  By the 4th day the Dr. told me that they had determined he was not schizophrenic and they were not sure what was wrong.  I remember driving home praying to God  to please help the doctors find something.  Surely God did not let everything happen so easily thus far for nothing.   When I came in the next evening the Dr. told me that they had called in another Dr. who has worked in pediatrics in the past.  She did some testing with Tim and determined that he had Asperger's autism!

                               to be continued...............................

Monday, November 30, 2009

That's Not Mine!

Some days Lily gets into the loop of taking off whatever sweater she has on and replacing it with Ryan's gray jacket.  She takes the sweater off because she does not remember it and she puts on Ryan's jacket because she thinks it is her jacket.  I believe the jacket must look similar to a jacket she had in the past.  I have learned just to let this behavior go. 

However, on Thanksgiving I wanted her to look nice so I helped her dress in a new maroon sweater we had bought her last winter.  Well every time I turned around she had it off and had Ryan's jacket on.  I kept helping her change until I became so busy preparing the "feast" I gave up.  Soon after I noticed that Ryan had taken my place and was saying,
"Nana you have my jacket on again!"  He must have helped her change back into her sweater at least 5 times before he finally said,  "That's it.  I am hiding this jacket!"  Lilybird didn't let that stop her and soon she had taken off her sweater and put on her black coat.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Pictures

Getting Lily ready

The table

The Centerpiece

The candy turkeys made by Caleb and Hannah with Emily's help

The Company

The old folks being silly taking out dentures and putting on wigs!