Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Friday, August 30, 2013

What Day Is It?

I know I got home from Scotland on Monday the 19th.....

In all seriousness, it's good to be home.  We flew to Florida Tuesday morning and flew back yesterday morning.  I'm feeling like a regular jet setter now.  

Tim's Mom is doing amazingly well.  Her therapists are happy with how she's doing.  The only thing that overshadows it all is that she could have another stroke.

When we arrived in Florida we found out that she had decided to decline the Coumadin.  There are risks of stroke associated with taking it, hemorrhagic strokes, which could cause a massive build up of blood in the brain.  This was weighed against the possibility of a regular stroke, and she decided to not take it.

There is a blood clot on one of her heart valves that they believe is the cause of the stroke that happened Friday night.

We flew to Florida to see Mom, of course, but also to be there for a family meeting with several of her husbands' children (one attended via FaceTime) and Tim's two sisters and us.  

We are all in agreement that they will do better if they can stay in their own home but they are going to have to have live in help 24/7.  This emergency with Mom enlightened us all to just how bad her husband is as far as mental ability, and how much Mom had been doing for him.  He was unable to process the need to call 911 or Tim's sister who lives nearby, but did manage to call someone in Jean's rolodex, (Saturday morning - the stroke happened Friday night) thankfully someone who lived nearby, and they were able to come over and they called 911 and Tim's sister.   So if this were to happen again, we need to have someone who lives with them, and can do the cooking, cleaning and laundry.  When Mom comes home from the hospital she'll be able to care for herself.

We'll likely be heading back down in a few weeks to take the kids to visit her and to work on some handyman type projects that are needed around their home.

Mom has a DNR as well - she is adamant about it - she said "If I die, DON'T bring me back!" 

There you have it.  She hasn't signed the DNR because her life is horrible or she is experiencing the challenges of old age, but because she is nearly 92 years old and she is READY to be with her Lord when He calls her home to Himself!

There is peace in that for us all.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Headed South

Tim and I will be headed to Florida, perhaps leaving today if we are driving.  We'd like to fly but last minute flights are expensive, so we are looking at all of our options.

We need to be there by Tuesday evening, so Tim's sisters, brother in law and Terry's (Jean's husband) daughter and Tim and I can talk about future living arrangements.

We are researching possibilities, and pricing just so we have information.  They could potentially move in with Tim's sister and husband who live in the area and are empty nesters.

Tim's mom has her speech back, praise the Lord, but there is calcium in one of her heart valves and the cardiologist believes that a piece broke off and caused her stroke.  They will be doing a Trans esophageal ultrasound today to get a different look at her heart and then they'll be ready to discuss treatment.  

She is starting physical therapy at the hospital and they hope to get her able to use a walker.  So there is definitely a need for change in their living arrangements.

Please pray for us and with us for these decisions that have to be made.  Also pray that Terry and Jean will be accepting of the need for change.  Two years ago they weren't ready to consider it at all at 90 and 88.

Thank you, I love knowing I have the prayer support of such dear friends!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Prayer For Tim's Mother - Update!

Photo credit - Melissa Gill

***Jean's speech is back!***

This joyful woman is my mother in law.  She is nearly 92 years old.

She has had quite a full life of service for the Lord, both at home and in West Africa, where she raised her family and buried two sons.

Sometime Friday night she had either a heart attack that lead to a stroke or vice versa.  Her husband, who is 90, was at home with her, but she has been the stronger, healthier partner, and he didn't think about calling 911 and he couldn't get her up off the floor, either, so she laid all night on the floor by her bed.  In the morning he didn't know Tim's sisters phone number so he called a man from church, who called 911 and Esther.  They ran more tests late Saturday and we will have the results of those tests tomorrow.  For now she is stable, in intermediate icu, on a heart monitor and heparin.  

In the days to come some difficult decisions will have to be made regarding their living situation.  Her husband's daughter is on her way to be with her dad at their house, so he is taken care of while Tim's mom is in the hospital.

She has good motion in all her limbs, but is terrible weak.  Her speech is the most affected.  She can say certain things but not other things - it is garbled.  They doctor feels she will regain her speech!

She will need rehab when they release her from the hospital, for speech and physical therapy.  

Please pray with us for wisdom for the doctors, and for all of us who will need to help them through this time.  Also Tim's brother Dan is a missionary in West Africa, and is currently having meetings in another country than the one he lives in.  Please pray that his wife will be able to contact him.

Thanks so much friends!  It means so much to be able to share this request and know that you'll take it seriously and bring it before the Lord!  She is resting in Him and that gives us great comfort!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Photo Friday

Kati's Little Corner of the World

I'm joining Kati for Photo Friday!

This is a hand painted ceiling at Stirling Castle.  It is incredible.

More to come on Stirling Castle next week!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Tattoo

My dad said that back in 1968 or so a guy he worked with and was friends with invited him over to listen to an record album he had purchased.  It was the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the album cover had photos from the event.  He said right then he thought that it would be neat to be able to go see that sometime.

45 years later we were in the queue for the 2013 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

 This was the bucket list event that we were in Scotland to see!  Lindsay, my dad, and my nephew Evan and I were very excited that night.

 We were in the queue for about 30 minutes to and hour before the gates opened for the 10:30 pm show.  There was excitement in the air.  Here is a panoramic photo I took with my phone.  

 All the bleachers, torches on the castle walls etc are temporary and come down in the month after the last show.

 I love their use of color on the walls of the castle.  Here is the massed pipes and drums who performed for the first 12 - 15 minutes, and at the end.

 Here was the most beautiful graphics on the wall during a performance of a group from South Korea.

It is a function to raise monies for their military charities, and this night we were remembering those who lost their lives in the Korean conflict.

It was so special to be able to be there with my dad, daughter and nephew.  Dad was excited to have us all there with him too!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August Note Card Party

A Haven for Vee

I'm dealing with some jet lag - I was dozing in my chair at 5:30 this evening - but I am eager to join in this fun party!

Beautiful architecture in Scotland....

Join us at Vee's Party!

I'm Home

and I am so happy to have wrapped my arms around my darlings, and to have slept in my own bed.

Part of my heart though will always be in Scotland.

On Wednesday we left Dumbarton and Overtoun House and headed for the Isle of Skye.  My family ancestors originated as a family there on the upper most point of Skye in Kilmuir.

To get to Skye one must drive through the Highlands.  Poor us.

 These brae's are so beautiful shrouded in the mists.  The weather in Scotland is changeable.  It can be cloudy and rainy and a few minutes later the sun will break through and we'll have blue skies and sunshine.  The famous saying is "If you don't like the weather in Scotland wait 15 minutes."

 In the Scottish Gaelic a brae is a hill and ben is a mountain.  We drove past both.  Also the scenery would change from very lush green braes to very barren, rocky braes.  It was beautiful.  The Glencoe area is very rocky.

 Oftentimes there would be sheep out on these braes.  I don't think there are any in my photos here though, sadly.

All of my photos are taken with my iPhone.  My camera fell out of my suitcase before I finished packing and I didn't know.  So I got to Scotland with my battery charger for my camera but no camera. Luckily, my phone takes decent photos and there is picmonkey to assist as well.
This castle's name is Castle Stalker.  It is the ancestral home of one of my dear blogging friends' husbands' clan.  Clan ties are very important.  I sent her a copy of this photo and will send her Lindsay's photos (which are better with her slr) and she can choose whether she wants to show you all.  It is a very cool place and to get to the castle you must use a boat.  It is not open for tours as is it  lived in by the family.

 Here is our lodging at Glen Shiel a few minutes away from Kyle of Lochalsh, where there is a bridge to Skye.
This lodge beautiful.  We stayed in the Wee Bunkhouse, a cabin with three sets of bunks and they will rent you just a bunk or you can rent the whole thing.  Since their were four of us, we rented out the space for just us.  It was a more economical way to go, but someday I'd love to stay in the lodge.

 Just up behind the bunkhouse and to the left is where the Lodge is and there is a smallish bar/restaurant.  It is busy every night and we ate dinner there both nights we were staying here.  
The food was incredible.  Seriously good.  I had a vegetarian lasagna the first night and steak pie the second night.  It's gourmet eating.  

 Dad sitting in the bunkhouse.  Behind him is the bathroom and to his left over there is the wee kitchen.

On our way to Skye!

More to come.....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hail Britannia

Today was so amazing!

I can't get the wifi to work well enough to upload a photo but we got to tour the Royal Yacht Britannia and Lindsay and I had TEA in the tea room!

The ship was decommissioned in 1997 and is now in the harbor at Edinburgh and available for tours.

That their was a tea room was a surprise and I told my dad and nephew "Lindsay and I will meet up with you.  We are having Tea!"  

It was wonderful!

I have some photos and will be posting more during the week.  

We fly out tomorrow - we'll be up early to make our flight.

It's been incredible.

Alba gu brath!

Scotland Forever!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Haste Ye Back

So, day two of Scotland.  I am thinking with a Scottish accent as I write this, but of course you can't hear it.  The Scottish accent is lovely, but a bit different depending on where the person is from in Scotland.  

Today was all about family history so we headed down to Ballantrae to see if we could find the family seat.  With the help of a very knowledgeable librarian, we did!  We were unable to find the original house - not sure if it is actually still there but we found the farm that is part of the original estate.  Auchenflower is the name of it.  When we mentioned it the librarian knew right away where it was and how to get there.  That was exciting to my Dad - to find that the things he had found online were accurate!  Also I was thinking about how at home these names sound like they are made up places but we find they really do exist and our family name is not unusual.

We even found some dear departed members in the cemetery.

Here are some photos of our day.

At a cemetery in Girvin....

Beautiful stones of remembrance.

 On to a beautiful Castle on the coast...

 I could really picture the men at arms down in this area with bows and arrows ready to defend the castle....

Here is a lovely video Lindsay took of the castle and grounds.  We were unable to tour the inside of this castle due to the time, but walking the grounds was such a treat!

We also ate the best fish and chips in Ballantrae....

We are loving the different road signs that we are seeing.  This one delighted us especially.

Scotland - Day One

We are staying in Dumbarton for two days at Overtoun House.

My nephew Evan comes over and volunteers time doing work projects, as the owners work to restore this amazing house.  

Here is the view from the kitchen window.  There is an interesting story about this bridge - google Overtoun Bridge.  

This is in the tea room.

 This is the ceiling in the tea room.

The view looking down the street at City Center, Glasgow.

We walked our feet off yesterday.  We were so tired from our flight but as long as we were moving we were fine. 
This is the Glasgow Cathedral, the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland. 
 We were a half an hour too late to tour it.  I don't know if we'll get a chance to come back this way, as today we are headed to Ayrshire and tomorrow we leave for Skye.

This castle is Bothwell Castle home of Archibald the Grim.  Gotta feel bad for his wife.....

 This monument is David Livingstone.  You can see the Cathedral in the background.

It's bigger on the inside...

Pretty flowers everywhere in City Center...

 Dad yesterday at lunch...
Well, they are waiting for me to get going.  We have to do our email and posts as we have wifi, so I will try to post again before we leave here tomorrow.

We are having a wonderful time.  The people are lovely, the accents delightful, though like everywhere there are a few that are hard to understand.  

Lindsay has delightful photos - mine are taken with my cell phone.  I'll try to get a few of Lindsay's to share, but know that I'll be inundating you with photos for weeks to come!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Photo Friday

Summertime in the garden.  Can you spot the bees?

Joining Kati for Photo Friday!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's Getting Closer

Our British Pounds came yesterday.  We now have everything we need to leave for Scotland.

 Our bank told us that while they can get us British pounds, they don't buy them back.

We assured them that wouldn't be a problem!

We fully intend to spend them!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Eating

We stopped by a local produce stand today and bought some sweet corn - both bi color and white.

I saw a tip online for cooking the corn in the oven with the husks on @ 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.  

Chop the big end off...

Peel from the other end - the husks and the silk just come right off.

Easy peasy....

We paired it with grilled chicken...

Locally grown, amazingly delicious cantaloup, and peaches.

Lindsay and I peeled a half peck of peaches today and after eating some for dinner and setting some aside for munching tomorrow, I decided to can 4 quarts.

We can't wait to enjoy some of that peachy goodness in the middle of the Winter.

Do you do any canning?  


  We are finally getting some blue skies with real clouds, and sunshine! I took sometime with Kyle and Kamryn's help to set up the deck ...