Monday, November 21, 2016

Reporting In

Good morning!  I thought I would report in on my progress with my healthier way of eating.  I am now down to about a fourth of my diabetes medication.  And I have cut my blood pressure meds in half.  I can walk much more easily as my knees hurt much less.  I even started riding my stationary bike again!  And I am down 10 pounds.  So I think it is great!  And I have lots more energy and I seem to think clearer.  So Yay, Vegetables!!!!  And beans.  It took me a couple of weeks to feel comfortable with all the beans we eat, but it's worth it.
In other news we have had a difficult couple of weeks with my dad as he has had a couple of bouts with illness.  He was doing much better yesterday and hopefully he will be feeling great today.  He hasn't wanted to do much except sleep for the last couple of weeks.  But yesterday he seemed more alert and well.  So I am happy for that.  It has to be hard for him.  He tells me everyday that old age is hard.  And I believe him.  So many challenges!  But I am grateful he is still with us.  He is such a bright and happy individual.  I am very blessed!
I have a new calling in our church.  I am part of a team for compassionate service.  There are three of us.  My responsibility is taking care of new mothers.  I love it.  I think I got the best of the responsibilities.  I also keep a list of service in our area, so that if sisters need a service project they can call me for ideas.  We do have a very loving and sweet group of ladies who care a great deal for each other and are anxious to serve others.
Well, I had better get on with my day.  I hope all is well in cyberspace!  HAVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day

Good morning!  It is election day!  I am not looking forward to it much.  I am not happy with either candidate so I am voting for a third candidate.  Living in Idaho is pretty much a republican win, but I want someone to know that I do not think Donald Trump is a fit candidate.  I cannot vote for him in good conscience.  And I do not agree with too many of the issues of the democratic platform to vote for Hillary Clinton.  So I am voting for Evan McMullin.  I feel good about that.  The other things on the ballot are easier.  I will be glad when today is done.
I haven't been writing much.  Mostly because I have been kind of busy.  But also because it has been a hard few months.  My dad's wife Barbara died July 21 after a prolonged battle with pulmonary fibrosis.  That was hard but expected.  Tragically her daughter Adele was killed in a train accident 5 days later.  That really threw us all!  It was very sad and unexpected.  She had stopped her car on the train tracks to help a stray dog, and I guess did not expect the train to come just then.  She was 62.  I didn't know her well, but it was still a shock.  And my dad was really affected by it all.  We both had caught a very bad flu a few days before Barb passed away, so it was extra difficult.  My dad was so sick and sad.  We came back to Idaho the next week because I thought he might find comfort in being back in his own home....which he did.  But it has taken a lot out of him.  My sister Joy lives there with him, and has taken on most of his care.  But I go over every day to visit and help out.  I really worry now about him.  He has gotten so much more weak and frail.  It is hard to see.  He has a great positive attitude though.  He is always joking and happy.  And singing!  I usually take him out for a short ride each day, and he loves to sing along with Frank Sinatra, or Ella Fitzgerald.  He is still a jazz musician in his heart.  He is an inspiration to me of how to grow old gracefully.  He loves to tell me about how amazing life is!  And he is right.  It is amazing in every way.
I am kind of excited this week, as I found a book about reversing type 2 diabetes.  It is called, "The End of Diabetes."  It is by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  It is a plant based way of eating.  I have been doing it for a little over a week, and have had to lower my dose of insulin by more than half.  I feel great!  And I am also losing weight, which is a plus!  He claims that within a couple of months you can be off meds for diabetes and within a year be completely free of diabetic symptoms.  I think it may work!  At least it is for me so far.  And I feel full and not craving chocolate or sugar or any of the other things that usually call to me when I am trying to eat right.  I also like that it falls within the guidelines of the Word of Wisdom...a tenant of my faith.  I feel much more energetic. unexpected bonus is that my knees are hurting less!  It is supposed to help arthritis....and in my case it  is certainly doing that.
Well, the day is beginning and I must away!  HAVVVVVVGW!  Melody

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Coastal Breezes

Good merry morning!  It is great to be here in Oregon.  Yesterday we drove to the coast again to escape the heat here in the valley.  It was 93 degrees when we left and 66 degrees on the coast.  It was very pleasant to sit by the doorway of the restaurant we went to and feel the breeze from the ocean.  I took a snapshot.  This is in the coastal town of Florence.  It is a cute little town, with good restaurants.  This was a new one for me...International Fish Market Restaurant.  It sits on the river by the boat docks.
I am feeling like things are concluding here.  Maybe another month or two.  It is hard to tell.  Barb has a strong will to live and she hasn't given up.  But she is asleep most of the time now, and not able to communicate very well.  And she is so thin.  And cold.  Her room is about 99 degrees most of the time and she is still cold.  Her circulation must be very poor.  It's hard to see.
Well, I didn't mean to end on a sad note.  For the most part things are happy and good here.  I am so enjoying the time I have with my dad.  He is such a good, kind man.  I love that he can hear now.  It helps with his memory.  I didn't expect that.  But I am glad.  I hope things are good wherever you are in cyberspace today.  HAVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Friday, June 3, 2016

Modern Day Miracles

Good day!  It is still morning here.  And I am having a hard time waking up today.  It might have been the dream about the bears.  I thought the house was full of them.  I was glad to wake up!
Yesterday we had a miracle happen.  I took my dad to a hearing specialist.  He has been going to the VA for the last 10 years for his hearing, and it hasn't improved.  Instead he has gotten so he doesn't hear much, and lately it is so bad that he seems to be kind of isolated.  Anyway, I had become so tired of waiting for long times for his appointments at the VA and then being told they couldn't do any more, that I made this appointment for yesterday with an independent audiologist.  I was afraid that it was going to be a run around sales pitch, but I was so wrong!  After giving him a thorough hearing test, they put some new hearing aids in his ears, programmed them to go along with their findings, and voila!  He can hear again!!!!  I mean he can really hear.   I am so excited!  It will be such a change for him....not having to sit and wonder what everyone else is saying.  He can hear it all!  I guess that the hearing aids convert the sounds that are out of his range to a range he can hear.  This is fairly new technology.  It doesn't just make things louder, it makes them clearer.  And I guess it will filter the environmental sounds so that the background noise will not be annoying.  I am so astounded.  And I wish we had done this a year or more ago.  He is happy too.  And it is a good time for a little joy.
Other than that life continues to be interesting.  I never know what the day will bring.  Lately we have seen quite a few movies.  We got a larger TV so that Dad could see it better, and he loves netflix.  He loves that there are so many movies to choose from and is especially fond of the older movies.  So we have been watching the oldies but goodies.
I hope all is happy and well for you where ever you may find yourself in cyberspace today.  HAVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Everyday miracles

Good merry morning!  It is foggy here this morning.  It is supposed to clear somewhat and give us a little sunshine.  I am glad for that.  The gray skies are a little depressing to me.  Actually the last week has been a bit depressing as my father's sweet wife continues to decline.  She is only awake for very brief times now.  She eats very little.  The hospice nurse noted that she has lost an inch and a half of muscle in her arms in the last month.  She is so thin it is shocking.  So the time is soon that she will pass from this earth to the next life.  It is hard on my dad.  He tries to be cheery, but when he is not engaged in conversation he seems to be sad and pensive.  He is very close with his sad feelings.  Every once in a while we talk about Barb, but I think he does not like to dwell on the sadness.  And he does a very good job of staying positive.  He loves to sing, "Young at Heart" and will often start singing it...where ever we happen to be.  The other day we were at the VA getting his hearing aids adjusted.  The technician took his hearing aids into the next room to work on them and he started the top of his voice, because without those hearing aids he cannot tell what his volume is.  It made us all laugh, even the tech in the next room.  I love my sweet father!  I am so glad I can be here with him.
I am amazed at how well things are working out for us here.  I know that the Lord is blessing us in so many ways.  I see His hand in our lives and the lives of our children.  The impression came to me the other day while I was praying, that the Lord loves my father very much, and that we are here because of that.  And it is true.  In so many ways we did not see how we could do this at first.  But all of the obstacles we thought we faced have disappeared.  Of course, Satan is always busy trying to put new things in our way, but I know we have angels that help us and watch over our family while we are gone.  It is very evident to me.  And it strengthens my testimony.  I feel like I have a little bit of an understanding of our pioneer ancestors, who despite their many hardships were blessed with what they required.  I love the movie "Seventeen Miracles".  It clearly shows how often the Lord's hand is there for each of us.
Every day brings the challenge of what fun thing to do with my dad.  Yesterday we drove to Myrtle Creek to check out the airport.  Mel is taking some refresher instruction for his pilot's license.  He is supposed to do practice landings in Myrtle Creek and is a little nervous about it.  The airport is known for having difficult cross winds for landing...which of course is why he needs to practice there.  Anyway, we had fun trying to find the airport.  It is the end of a dead end road.  The runway is fine, but rather short.  I am glad he has an instructor with lots of experience.  It will keep him safe, and he will soon have some valuable experience himself.  He has always loved flying, and I am glad he has a chance to be up there in the sky.  The other morning I saw him up there as I was driving to Roseburg. It looked fun.  I hope I can keep that perspective when we fly together.  I tend to get a little airsick.  Except in open cockpits.  I keep telling him we should get an open cockpit bi-wing....but they are around $160,000, so that is probably not going to happen.  Besides it is hard on hair dos.
Well, I am getting a bit silly.  I hope all is happy and well for you out in cyberspace.  Take care and have a very, very, very gut wan!!!!  Melody

Friday, May 6, 2016


I'm sitting in my dad's house watching Donald Trump live. He's in Eugene tonight...only an hour away. He is full of bluster and bad stories. I really don't understand the appeal he has.  I think he is ignorant and bigoted. He won't get my vote!  I am shocked at his poor use of the English language. He is crude and inelegant!
So in other news...I have been painting. Not much yet. But I feel like I have broken through the barrier. I have a painting space again. It feels good. 
Most of my time is spent with Dad...and Mel. We have a kind of routine to each day. I'm glad we are here. And I love our little house. It's so nice to have our own place. 
The other plus is the missionaries. We have 2 sister missionaries and we see them a lot. Last night they came for dinner and brought an investigator. We had a great visit. I enjoy missionary work. It is so inspiring to watch people accept the gospel and the challenge to be baptized. It strengthens my own testimony. 
Last night as the missionaries were talking about Christ I noticed that my painting of Christ blessing a child was right behind them and it made me feel my painting was also contributing to the spirit in the room. It made me glad I am painting again.

Well I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Have a great evening!  Melody

Monday, April 25, 2016

Life As We Know It

I'm sitting at my dad's house waiting to take him to a physical therapy appointment. His knee bothers him a lot. I am hoping that while we are there he can also have his hearing checked. It has been worse since our trip back to Oregon from Idaho. 
We went to Idaho to pick up some furniture. We finally found a house to rent. It is a newer home...very small but sufficient for what we need. It has three bedrooms so I have room to set up a paint station!  I am so glad. I plan to paint a couple of hours each available morning. It will make our time here more enjoyable. Not that I don't enjoy being here with my dad, but he sleeps until 10:30 so I have a lot of time to be productive. And we can have home cooked meals!  I just need to shop. It is hard to fit everything in!  One step at a time!
Things are good here. Although Barb sleeps most of the time now. I am amazed she is doing as well as she is. She is home and her daughters and one of her granddaughters take care of her 24/7. They are bringing in a couple of home health care people next week to try them out. It has been hard to find reliable help here. So I hope it works. 
My main job is my dad's well being. He is a pleasure to serve. Well, I need to scoot!  I hope all is well wherever you are in cyberspace. HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Frizz and Fuzzy Memory

It's a soon to be sunny morning here in Sutherlin.  I guess because there are so many rivers around here, there is usually a sky of haze or mist in the morning.  If it wasn't for the weatherman I would not have any idea that it is going to be sunny and warm.  I guess we may climb up to ninety degrees today.  Yesterday it was 82, which was record breaking.  I like the warm weather!  But it is so different from anywhere I have lived before.  My hair is a frizz bomb!!!  I straighten it most days to get the frizz out, but it only takes an hour or so for the frizz to come back.  Today the humidity is 79%.  I think I have counted four rivers in the immediate vicinity.  Plus there are lakes and ponds everywhere.  I think I will have to figure out a hairstyle that can handle this...or just continue to go with the frizz!
I am finding life is challenging.  Mel has been in Idaho the last week.  He is coming back today.  I am so glad.  I have missed him so much!!!  But he does have a business to run in Idaho, and though he can do a lot from here, he needs to make contact every so often.  I am so grateful for our son in law who has held it together for him while he is out here.  And I am so grateful for the internet that allows so much to be done from far away.
My days are still a little weird.  I think much of it is because I am living in a tiny trailer.  Actually the trailer isn't too bad.  But we are looking for a house to rent.  It is hard to do.  There is so much competition for good housing.  And the property management places have a real hold on properties.  I have applications in with three different places.  So eventually something should come through.  And then it will probably change here.  Barb is definitely in the last stages of her disease, but we are told it could go for quite a while.  She sleeps most of the time.  But she gathers energy each day to greet us and to talk with my dad.  She stays so positive!  Actually they both do.  I think they count it a blessing to be in their nineties, and they don't complain much.
My dad's hearing is becoming a problem.  He has hearing aids, but they are not enough lately.  And he is getting quite forgetful.  So between the two things we have odd conversations.  Yesterday I was thinking it might be fun for him to play air hockey.  He asked me what I was thinking.  I told him, but he heard "hair cut".  He asked me if I wanted him to get a haircut.  "Yes", I told him, "but I was thinking you might enjoy playing air hockey."  He said, "Haircut?"  I finally spelled it for him, and he seemed to understand.  But a minute later he was asking me again what I was thinking about.  I guess he has lost his ability to retain the short term memories.  Most of the time I can laugh inside about it...knowing it is not his fault.  But sometimes I lose my patience if I am stressed when we are driving.  Oh well, here I am complaining, and I am only in my sixties!  I already have trouble with memory, and definitely with hearing.  I can only imagine it will get worse!
That is something I think about a lot here.  How am I prepared for the future?  Not the unknowable stuff, but the aging stuff.  It is inevitable, unless you die of course.  So what am I doing to prepare for the future?  I'll let you know when I have figured it out.  In the meantime I will ponder the question.
So I think the silliness is beginning to set in.  I hope all is well for you out in cyberspace.  Have a very wonderful day!!!  Melody

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Slow Goin'

It's been an interesting week. Barbs daughters have decided to move her back home. Her youngest daughter is moving in too to take care of her. So Mel and I are back in the trailer. It's good in some ways. It gives us a little break and some new scenery. It's definitely small though. 
Today Mel had a baptism to supervise. Dad didn't want to go so I am here with him. We will probably meet Mel at Red Robin in a while. Dad is pretty insistent that it is the best place to eat. We have taken him other places but he really doesn't like it. So I try to cook things he likes. But that is hard not living in the same space. I'm sure we'll work it out once Barb is back home. She moves back tomorrow...Easter Sunday. 
Mel is also supposed to speak in church tomorrow. So he's feeling a bit busy. I think it's good. But I'm glad I don't have to speak in church tomorrow!
Things are kind of different for me here. I do way too much sitting!  I guess because I am often waiting for the next thing. Life is much slower when you're older. I have to remind myself of that and I guess it's good. I am trying out being more mindful of everything. 
Well I guess it's almost time to go meet Mel. I hope all is good in cyberspace!  HAVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Monday, March 21, 2016

Moss Back

Good morning!  It is Monday and we have a list of things to accomplish today.  Foremost on the list for me is buying new sheets.  The kind on our bed here are the old fashioned kind with shallow corners.  We brought a memory foam topper for the mattress, but the sheets won't stay tucked in. :)  It's funny how very spoiled we are. I think we are learning to realize that here.  Sutherlin is a very depressed community economically speaking. I think many people here are barely making it, and many more are not.  We see many examples of people just getting by in the community.  I think the majority of homes are trailer many of them old and worn out.  The main source of income is probably logging and industry associated with that.  And logging is very regulated, so that many people have lost their livelihood.  It is evidence how important it is for people to have work to do.  I keep wondering how to help people.  I think having the gospel is a first step.  I am glad for the involvement we have with that.
It has been raining here a lot since we arrived.  I never realized how much rain there was in Oregon.  I was born in Portland, but only lived here a few months before my family moved back to the SF bay area.  My dad liked to tease me, that I was a "moss back"...born in Oregon.  I never really realized what that meant.  Now I do.  Moss grows everywhere!  It covers the trees, the bushes, and even grows in lawns like weeds.  The cracks in the sidewalk have moss too.  They have a product at the store to control the moss.  I am going to research it a little.  I remember seeing a program about intentionally growing moss as a ground cover.  It might be fun!
Well, I guess it's time to get on with my day.  Hope all is well in cyberspace!  Melody

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Good Day

So I had a pretty good day today.  I went with the sister missionaries to visit a lady who is investigating the church.  She is excited about the gospel, and is going to be baptized a week from Saturday.  Her husband is already a member, though he has been inactive until recently when she became interested.  It was fun getting to know her.  I felt the spirit very strong.  I love missionary work.  It is nice that Mel is the new ward mission leader here in Sutherlin.  It makes it feel like we are on a mini mission while we are here helping my dad.
Barb is not doing too well.  I feel bad for her.  She mostly sleeps.  My dad visits a couple of times a day, but it is hard for him as she is usually asleep.  I think it is good we are here, as he would be pretty much alone in this if we weren't.  He has such a positive attitude.  It is inspiring to me.  He manages to find happiness in whatever he is doing.  It is a real gift!
My new calling is to teach the 12 & 13 year olds in Sunday school.  They are a good bunch of kids!  I am enjoying getting to know them.  It is fun to remember how new life felt back then.  And they have so much enthusiasm.  They are excited to learn.  I hope I can be an effective teacher!
Other than that life is pretty simple here.  Mel works on his design program...designing molds.  I work in the house...laundry, dishes, the usual.  Dad wakes up late.  He reads the paper, then I take him to see Barb.  Then we come back home and have lunch.  Sometimes we drive to Roseburg for a late lunch at Red Robin.  He doesn't seem to like any other restaurants here.  Then we come home and he takes a nap, or if not we watch news on TV.  Then we visit Barb.  Then we come back here and watch Jeopardy and news.  Sometimes a basketball game.  I often escape into our bedroom and do my own thing.  I brought my nice iMac, so I can watch Netflix, or follow Facebook.  I should have brought my Adobe sketch pad.  I brought my paints, but it is hard to paint here, as I have no space set aside.  I still have no idea how long we will be here.  I've just decided not to worry about it.  But I would like to be painting at least a little.  I feel a little like Alice when she couldn't find her muchness.  But I think I will work it out somehow.  Today was a good day.  I think I have to figure out meaningful pursuits....that is always the trick I guess.
Well, I hope all is well in cyberspace!  HAVVVVVVVGW!!!!!!!  Melody

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Greetings!  It's been awhile since I have blogged. Life got so crazy!  But things seem to be settling back down. We are driving through Oregon today on our way back to my dads house in Sutherlin. We left about 10 this morning so we will be driving most of the day. I don't mind. I'm sitting in the back seat playing on my phone. Mel is driving and my dad is acting as co-pilot. It's kind of nice that they get along so well. 
We just passed a little worn out farm house. It looks like it will soon be crumbling in on itself. When I see old houses like that I always wonder what stories go along with it. I guess I like to make up stories about the people who might have lived there. Perhaps I will write down a story one of these days. 
So our nomadic lifestyle should be a little less nomadic. Barb moved into a care facility a couple of weeks ago. So we have moved into my Dads house with him. We came back to Idaho for a week to soften the blow a little. It's hard on my dad. But it kind of backfired as my dad got really sick with a flu virus. So he mostly slept and rested. He also had a skin cancer removed from his arm. He is doing well again and anxious to get back to his home in Sutherlin and close to Barb. 
I have been busy with my kids and grandkids. That's the hardest part about living in Oregon. We're too far away from all of them. But I will try to get better at communicating. I'm hoping we will get internet there this week!  That will make a huge difference. I feel like I live in the dark ages!  We have been using our phones as hotspots. But it's not great and our bill is going to be high!  So I am hoping it isn't too much longer for Internet to get connected. 
Perhaps this is a good place to explain that Sutherlin is a very small town...and not too well off. I'm still not sure why. There's a big lumber mill but it's very automated. I think people really struggle in this part of Oregon. 
Well I took off writing to drive for a couple of hours. I'd better sign off before it is my turn again!  HAVVVGW!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Good merry morning!  Things continue to be interesting here.  For instance....the view.  I have a great view out my little RV window.  I must add that I am grateful for a warm place to sleep and all the conveniences of home.  And maybe we will be able to park where the view is a little more beautiful.  I think when the weather warms up a little here we could park at the beach for a few days.
Our ward here is very interesting.  I guess that Sutherlin is mostly a retired person's town.  I would not call it a retirement community though.  Our ward consists mostly of older people.  The primary is really small as are the youth groups.  Mel said there are three pages of high priests, though less than a dozen actually attend meetings.  I suppose many of them are like my dad, too old to come and sit that long.  We did take him to the movies yesterday though.  It was a coast guard movie about a tanker that split in two and the four men who braved the storm to rescue them.... " Finest Hours".  It was based on a true story.  It made me think how the Lord is mindful of all of us, whatever the situation.  I am so glad for that.
Today we will probably stick around the house and watch some more home movies.  My dad really likes to do that.  He also loves to eat at Red Robin which we have done too much of lately in my humble opinion.  But I keep reminding myself that if I were turning 93 on Sunday (which he is) I might like a dinner at Red Robin too.
Well, I mostly wanted to say, "Happy Groundhog Day".  It should be a good one here as it is always cloudy.  When the sun comes out Mel likes to say, "Not a cloud in the sky!" which really makes us all laugh.  I hope where ever life finds you that you have a very great day!  Melody

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Long and Winding Road

So life continues on. The mornings can seem slow some days waiting for my dad to get up. Other days we are rushing to get things done before het wakes up. Once he's awake things get fairly busy. Today he had a Dr. appointment in Roseburg. So afterwards we drove out to Reedsport to get a glimpse of the ocean and then we ate dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. So we had fun. Now we're driving back in the dark. The road is narrow and windy. We got a truck that is fun to drive but it's a challenge tonight! I'm glad Mel is driving. 
Every day is different. I suppose I will get used to this loose schedule. But I think I do better with a routine. 
I'm very grateful for my life and this opportunity to be with my dad. And I am so grateful for Mel!  He's an amazing kind man. I'm very blessed. Well I'm getting dizzy trying to write while we drive. Adios!  Melody 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Settling In

Greetings!  Today is our first day in the RV park down the street from my dads. I don't expect we will spend much time here except at night. It used to be a drive in theater. And they still have movies here on Friday and Saturday...reruns. Of course the weather interferes here a bit. It is so rainy here today!  I think the movie won't play tonight. 
Things seem good here. My dad is thrilled we are here. I think he is pretty lonely as Barb is sleeping most of the time. She is such a sweetheart. I am sad she is so ill. And I'm glad we can be here. I feel like I'm doing good things. And I feel good knowing that. 
Well I hope life is good wherever you are today. HAVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Little Bit Cold!

Happy day!  It is late here at my dad's. He and Barb are sound asleep. The nurse/caregiver is here for the night seated in front of the TV with her paperback novel. I have my own bedroom here. Mel is back in Idaho. He left this morning to go and work on a mold he needs to finish for a customer. I guess he will probably need to make physical contact with his work for a while until he gets things squared away.  So he will be back and forth for a while. I hope the weather improves. He met with some pretty snow packed roads today. And when he finally reached home he found the house was 46 degrees!  I guess the propane truck didn't make it to our house. He sent me a picture of how cold he was.  
Poor Mel!
 I am enjoying having time with my dad. Today we had a great time shopping and eating lunch at Red Robin. My dad has a great love for that place. And all the waitresses know him which he really likes. He does pretty well for a man his age. He really is remarkable. And he keeps telling me how much he likes having me here. So I am feeling very good for this opportunity. I also see how much his love and support helps Barb. They are a great strength to each other still. I think it's kind of amazing. It's a great example to me. 
Well I think I am tired enough to sleep!  HAVVVVVGN!!!  Melody