Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hospital time for Papa.

A few days ago, Papa's congestive heart failure landed him in the hospital for a tune up. I had the pleasure of being with him for a few hours today while my mom and sister are out of town on a church retreat. I arrived at the hospital just in time for lunch.

Papa didn't care much for his meal, but wanted the staff to think he liked it so he stuffed a bunch of pasta into his dinner roll and pushed the beans around. He seemed proud when he heard the aid say, 'You did pretty well today, Mr. Sherman." Old sneak.

Papa told me today, "When I was young, I once saw a picture of myself with a sullen look on my face. I vowed I'd never look like that for a camera again. That's why I always smile." He also tells everyone prior to getting their picture taken, "Ok, now act like you're real happy."

Papa's 'coffee ring' and his poor bruised hands.

Papa made me laugh today. In the middle of our conversation, he decided to call his friend Doug who lives in Michigan. I said, "Papa, use my cell phone, you can't call from the hospital room." He said, "Sure, I can. I just push the buttons." Sure enough, he got through to Michigan.

After lunch, physical therapy brought the 'Cadillac of walkers' to work with Papa. The walker has brakes and a seat which Papa took full advantage of.

The physical therapist told Papa, "No speeding".
Papa said, "I'll try not to show off like I did the other day."

This picture chokes me up a bit because it makes me realize just how frail Papa has gotten.

Church friends stopped by for a quick visit before heading off to see the movie Blind Side. Joe, on the right, just turned 90 last week(!!)
Papa, I know you probably won't see this blog post, but I hope you know how grateful I am for our time together today. I love you very much.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sick day.

Will is home from school because of a bug du jour. He developed a fever on Sunday night, complained of various aches (head, lower back) and just seemed a bit off. Yesterday he had a steady diet of tylenol, took a very long nap in the afternoon, and went to bed at his normal 8pm. This morning he was temperature free and had plenty of energy for a pre-breakfast brawl with the little brother. Amazing how that happens! Despite appearances, I decided to follow the 24-hours-without-a-fever rule and keep him home one more day. Tomorrow he can return to the workforce. The following are some pictures the kids wanted me to take of them playing with their toys.

Will's Star Wars lego guys (he would like me to tell you that they are clone troopers). I'm loving this camera's ability to focus on one thing (see the couple guys in the center) and leave the rest of the image a little blurry...

And here we have Sam (desperately in need of the haircut which had to be cancelled because of the sick day) with his domino creation.

(Again, loving the clarity in the center with a bit of blur on top and bottom...)
Hope you are all staying well!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lunch with Papa

Sam and I joined Papa Sherman for lunch today, something I wish we'd do more often. Papa is my mom's 91-year-old dad who lives in a small independent living community near Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA (about 20 minutes from me). We always have a lot to talk about when we're together. Papa likes to chat and I like to ask questions. Today's hot topics ranged from fruit cake to photography, and much in between. Sweet Sam was a trooper and tried so hard to behave during the two hours we were there. He was fascinated by all the things he saw...the row of medications lined up on the bathroom sink, Papa's electric razor and fancy toilet with the bars to hold onto, the miles of oxygen tubing that ran through the house. I had to smile at all the questions he had.

Here are a few pictures from our time together.

Papa's 'coffee ring' as my sister and I always called it. He's worn this for years and likes to tell the story behind it (a cousin made it for him out of petrified wood many, many years ago).

Papa's other fashion staples: a wooden cross necklace, oxygen tubing, and his favorite corduroy shirt.

Papa's home health nurse Deanna stopped in to check on him while we were there.

At one point during lunch, Papa mumbled "It's hell to get old". There's something about this picture...his expression as he looks out the window...that makes me see that.
There is so much that I like about this last picture. I'm an absolute sucker for hand shots, I love black/white photography, good contrast, and bokeh. We've got a little of all that here.
And to my Papa: You are truly one in a million. Thanks for a wonderful lunch date.
P.S. The fruit cake wasn't bad.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Back on the job (sort of).

3am Friday: Stomach flu took this blogger out.

Friday 7am: Calvary arrived in the form of heavenly in-laws who without question, showed up in minutes and acted as pinch-hit parents for hours. Jim handled Will - getting him to and from school while Linda spent the entire day entertaining Sam and checking on me.

Saturday: Husband, who had a very long, exhausting work week, held down the fort without a single complaint. Fed, dressed (sort of) the kids, took them grocery shopping and let them pick out foods (we have an assortment of exotic fruits and bubble gum to prove it), then took them to the house site to put them to work. (Husband would like me to add that he also did the dishes. Thank you, husband for going the extra mile :). For dinner, husband let kids order whatever they wanted from Pagley's takeout. Three-year-old ordered adult size pasta. Six-year-old ordered filet mignon. I now wonder if the kids will wish their Mama is sick more often.

Sunday: This blogger has been upright for three hours straight, had cup of tea and piece of toast. Things are looking up.

Now, let's hope the others stay well (fingers crossed).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tweet treat.

I love, love, love this little birdseed wreath. My ultra-creative, bird-loving sister made this (along with a fabulous square wreath for my front door) for Christmas. It pains me to put this work of art outside, but I know the birds could use a pretty little snack right about now. Hopefully they'll enjoy dining on it as much as I have loved looking at it.
(Thank you, B. This was one of my favorite Christmas gifts because I know you made it :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 3: Canon Project - Good old chair.

While I continue to play indoors with the camera, here are a few pictures from today that I really like. This is an old chair that belonged to my mom's family. Not sure the exact history behind it, but I know that I've come to really love it. Right now it sits in our bathroom and serves many purposes. From holding mounds of towels and clothing, to acting as a step stool, to supporting parents who sit patiently during bathtime and potty-training. Each chip and scuff has a story, many I can't recall. I just know it's been a good old chair.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Oh heavenly day.

I had no idea how much a man in brown could look like an angel
until I saw UPS pull up in front of my house today.
Meet my new baby, a Canon 50D.
At 1:35pm today, she arrived in a box weighing 7 lbs, 1 ounce.
While we continue to get acquainted,
I'll leave you with my favorite shot from our first day together.
Sweet Sam and his starfish.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy dance (photos to follow)

Estimated delivery date: this Friday!!!
Can I get a woo woo!?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Following your star.

For years now, we haven't had a topper for our Christmas tree. Looking back, I always felt pressured to have the perfect something (which is silly considering we had a foil-covered cardboard star on our tree when I was a kid). Anyway, I think my 6-yr-old finally got tired of waiting for me to decide on something, so he took things into his own hands this year. Off to the craft box he went...paper, scissors, crayons, tape, and googly eyes. What more do you need, really? He ended up creating this wonderful topper: a grinning gold star with wide-eyes and out-stretched hands. And we all loved it. Throughout the month of December I found myself stopping to admire the little star. I love his expression - so upbeat and full of encouragement. It's as if he's reaching out with a high-five, a pat on the back, or a hug. Something each of us could use at some time or another, especially during the holidays.
But what I love most about the star is the significance it holds for the Christmas season and for each of us in the year ahead. From the story of the birth of Christ, we know that the wise men followed a bright star to find the baby Jesus. The wise men never questioned the path or the length of time they had to travel...they just followed. On a much smaller scale, Will had the idea to create a star and did just that. No questions asked. Done.
As 2010 begins, I hope to do the same. Without digging in my heels, without having all the answers, and without fear, I hope to quietly and faithfully follow my star. I'm not sure where this path is taking me, but I have to trust that it's where I need to be.
In 2010, my hope for you is the same. A bright star. A path to follow. No questions.
Happy New Year!