20 November 2008

My Lola...Random Musings

Just felt like talking about my Lola. ("Lola" is what Filipinos call their Grandmothers)

My Lola is my maternal grandmother who's 94. She was born on Valentine's day,which is pretty appropriate for her personality. She's a very loving person...her world was about taking care of her family. She was all about taking care of her 10 children and later, her 32 grandkids. Her initial stroke was a pretty bad one, back when I was about 17. It left her paralyzed on her right side. The damage to her brain was such that she can't really speak very well and what does come out is Tagalog. This isn't to say that she doesn't understand us when we're talking in English to her. She really does, and at 94, there's still a whole lot of mischief in those eyes.

Lola has been in the hospital since Saturday. Apparently her blood sugar got very low, and I'm not getting the full story, but she ended up at the hospital. Long and short of it is that I found out about this on Tues, but couldn't go to visit her til yesterday. My mom had been worried about her eating, and though the staff at this hospital is A LOT better than the last hospital she was in, Mom said she felt better if I could help feed her. Lola has a way of tricking people into thinking she's eating, but she's not. I'll get to that later.

When I initally found her in her room, someone had propped her up in a chair w/ a bunch of pillows. She didn't know I was there until I was standing right in front of her. Once she realized I was there, her eyes lit up and she kept saying "Talaga? Talaga!" which means "Really? Really!" From then on she was all smiles. She tried to ask about my girls. She does this by motioning w/ her good hand what she thinks their height is. Our conversations are always like that...hand motions, broken tagalog, me trying to interpret what she wants to communicate.

I refuse to play the "Who Am I, Mommy?" game that my mother does with her. I KNOW Lola's cognitive function is completely intact. You can see it in her eyes. If you tell her a funny story from when you were a kid, she'll laugh and shake her finger at you, as if to say, "oh I remember that. You were a handful". Besides which when she sees me, she's able to sometimes get out "Lehhhr...Ler...LERNIE!" Personally, and my sister confirms this, I believe she's messing w/ all 10 of her children when she acts like she doesn't know who they are.

For example, on my 39th bday, we were walking around the Descano Gardens when I got a call from my sister. She told me Lola had had another mild stroke, but that she was asking for me. I asked her how she knew that, to which she said, "She's asking for you and Chris (my cousin who shares the same birthday with me). She keeps saying 'Lernie....Chris....birthday'". Lola is really big on remembering EVERYONE'S birthday. She will make sure that each and every one of her kids and grandkids gets a birthday card. She'll even try to sign the card in her shakey writing. My sister went on to tell me that our mom, uncles and aunts were all crowded into the hospital room doing the "Who Am I MOmmy?" game. Lola kept shaking her head and shrugging her shoulders. Finally my mom pointed to my sister and said, "Mommy, who's this?" Lola laughed and replied, "uh...um...LUCY!" My mom got all excited and asked her who she was again, to which Lola laughed again, "Uh...MOMMY SE LUCY!!!" (Mommy of Lucy)

See? Pure mischief. So here's where her mischievous side comes into play when feeding her. She tucks the food into her cheek like a chipmunk and when you least expect it, she spits it up. I kid you not. Then she looks at you like "ah-HAH! gotcha!" Yesterday, I'm happy to say, she ate all her soup, half the chicken and a bit of mashed potatoes. When I asked her if she wanted any of the carrots, she gave me one of her squishy "I don't want it" faces. I laughed a little there and told her, "Hey, Lola! When we were little, you wouldn't let us get away with that!" She just laughed back at me.

As I was feeding her, I just kept looking at Lola's face. She's still really beautiful. Yes, her hair is now mostly white and there are a few wrinkles around her eyes, but for the most part, her skin is very smooth still. I thought about how as each of her children had their own first child, she embroidered each layette with "Baby ___". How her and Lolo would always make a point of spending several weeks/months w/ each of their children's families to help take care of Grandkids. I remember how she was an amazing cook. How she always knew just what favorite Filipino dish each of us kids liked.

Lola should be going home today. I'll call my mom to find out more later. I just wanted to share my thoughts about her. Thanks for reading...

14 November 2008

Sheesh...of all things how could I forget?

I was just reading through my last blog about the Thyrogen body scan. It occurred to me that I forgot to mention what the outcome was. Ugh! Chalk it up to my swiss cheese memory.

The results were outstanding! Turns out that 1 of the 3 remaining cells has disappeared. I can't remember the actual terminology, but at any rate, that's great news. Also, Dr. M changed my meds to 125mcg Levoxyl vs. the alternating 112 and 125 every other day. That was a huge pain.

ALSO, looks like we won't have to irradiate those cells. That's even more awesome news for me because that means I won't have to be off meds and on that stupid low iodine diet for three weeks again. WOOHOO!!!! :-D

So that's the scoop.

13 November 2008

The Art of Food and Wine...

I finally got a chance to sit down and finish writing about this past weekend. This was the first time I'd ever done an event like this and it was just an amazing experience. Kempersports coordinated the event and I must say, they did a great job! Chris and I were worried about logistics and how to load in...was it going to be a total melee. Nope. Not one hitch. In fact, there were people running around HELPING everyone unload w/ those electric carts.

Check out the signs they made for me. I knew that they were going to make signs, but I wasn't expecting this quality. I love that they even put me on the artist schedule along w/ my booth location.

Chris and I standing in front of my booth space. Looks pretty good, right?

Me doing henna on one of the guests:

This is one of my buddies, Rich Flynn. When Jason invited me to be a part of this festival and explained to me what it was about, I booked right away. Then I called him back and told him about Rich. Since he's "Painter of the Moment", I thought he'd be great at the Art of Food and Wine. Jason agreed and booked him.

I think this was great exposure for me and I really enjoyed doing henna on everyone. The networking between different vendors was great, too. I should add that this is the first real show that Chris has been with me at from start to finish. I have to say, I think my guy has a bit of a talent for networking, too ;-) hehehe Best part of all, I was able to combine both of my businesses that I love...my painting AND my henna. Yeah!!!

I hope they invite me back next year...(HINT HINT, Jason and Amy at Kempersports... ;-D )

11 November 2008

Major Bean got a MAJOR AWARD!

Onto more of how my week went. First and foremost...STRESS...yes, loads of stress. This weekend was all about preparing for the "Art of Food and Wine in Palm Desert" show where I was invited to do henna and show my art work. In the midst of this my FIL had a seizure while driving. I won't go into detail about that, but the long and short of it was that my in-laws are all ok and Dad is on the mend.

Happy news:
Bean was back in town for a convention, literally down the street from where we live! I haven't seen him in a couple of years and have been missing my lil bro a lot. He was able to find time to hang out w/ us between classes, etc. so that was really cool. Best part of it was that there was time to attend his awards ceremony where he received the Young Leadership Award from the Air Force. Reading through his bio in the program, I realized how much he'd been doing for our country. Just amazing! We're all really proud of him, that's for sure.

For those of you who are wondering why in the world we call him "Bean"...
Well, anyone who has ever been around Filipino families will notice that our relatives who were born and raised in the Philippines have a huge accent. Among other things, they get their P's and F's mixed up, as well as their B's and V's. My brother's name is Vincent, but when Mom or Dad would call him, it would sound like "BEAN-CENT!!!" So, my sis and I started calling him Bean.

Yes, Girls, he IS single. He looks pretty good in his uniform, too ;-)

Yes...yes, I know I'm behind w/ my blogs

So let's start with a few shares. Be forwarned that since I've been remiss in updating blogs, I've got A LOT to share. I really don't know who reads these things, but whoever does, I hope they amuse you ;-)

Halloween was a blast. The kids had their friends over for what was supposed to be a 'haunted tea party' a la "Sweeney Todd".

The idea was to have the look of Mrs. Lovett's pie shop and the kids were supposed to spook trick or treaters. Well, in usual teenage weirdness, they were more like this:
Teens: So yeah...here's some candy
Teens: yeah so like here's some candy. oh look how cute you are! (proceeds to give huge handfuls vs the 1 or 2 pieces to make the candy last through the night)

Needless to say we were out of candy in less than 1.5 hrs. There were many lil guys who didn't get any. (insert me rolling my eyes)

We had a little accident while Chris was lighting the pumpkins:

Our Traditional Ghosts in the Graveyard...the kids have told me that it's just NOT Halloween w/ this treat, Rice Krispies treats and a huge batch of my homemade spaghetti ;-)

We each had our carved pumpkins, but I had to share mine. It was supposed to be a scary cat face, but doesn't the negative space kind of look like 2 people dancing in flames? Yeah, seriously I didn't mean to do that...hahaha

Last but not least...me as my alter-ego, Talia the Sorceress. Isn't it freaky how my crystal ball is glowing like that? It was an accidental trick of the light....or WAS IT? mwahahahaha!