Thursday, December 15, 2011


 This is an email I sent out yesterday to my children, cousins, dad & U., aunt and uncle, and very close friends.
   After I read it again this afternoon I realized that it contained some information that I didn't put in my blog post yesterday so I thought I would post it for you to read.
   I'm also going to include some pictures of my mother so you can see how dear she is/was.
Now I'm going to tell you where we are now.
   This may sound somewhat like the first "mom" post, but it will give you some more information. 

Mom has been released from "the clinic" (i have no idea what it's called) where they were able to find the right medication for her to allow her to go to sleep at night.
After a couple of nights of sleep it's amazing the difference in her "attitude".
So, that seems to be working for the time being.
 we do love to shop!! 
this shopping trip was in downtown kalamazoo. so fun.
Mom has been diagnosed with vascular dementia as a result of the fall she took about three years ago. 
She has been released from the clinic that determined her dementia and her medication.
She is now residing in a facility called Claire Bridge in Kazoo. It's independent living (I think I'm the only one that wonders if this is what mom needs. we'll see).
The facility is gorgeous. If you would like to send her a card, not that she'll understand - she may think you're her sister - I know personally how wonderful it is to get "fun" mail. Let me know if you want to send a card & I'll give you her address. You'd be such a blessing to her and to me.
 Mom & Sophie; Sophie LOVED the ranch. 
Every year she spent three months with us and we had so much fun!
This is a picture of mom holding a newborn goat which Sophie is checking out.

She has an "apartment", kinda like an efficiency apartment. Her bedroom is at one end and a sitting/TV area is at the other end. And, of course, there's a BR.

We, her kids, have taken all possible measures to make sure she will be safe in her new setting in addition to what the facility provides.
My sisters and brothers have had some of her furniture moved like her couch, end table, bedding, some of her amazing ccs she has on her walls, etc.

Her first night was last night and even though she is given a 24 hour private nurse for her first 24 hours, Eileen went ahead and spent the night because she
was restless and confused. (the word "confused" never hurt my heart before now)
 Mom is on the right. This is her family when she was in high school (I think).
Today's report is that she is "pissy" (a sibling's word, not mine) which basically means that she's being mean and uncooperative because she didn't 
get a good night's sleep. She's very upset that no one will take her home to her mother's.
This is our eldest, Craig, and his sweet Grammy, my mom.
Needless to say, this has been a roller coaster for all of us. She only started showing symptoms a month ago.
The doctor said that is how vascular dementia postures.
   I haven't been there yet; you know I'm going the first of the year, but I think she's almost full blown from what I've heard. I could be wrong (oh, so doubtful). 
Russ has been able to fly up several times as his flight from Florida is 200.00 round trip.
I've been stuck in Texas because round trip from here is 800.00.
So, we've all had our own type of Hell handling this.
   But, though we all have done what we can, I must give a shout out for my little brother, Russ (he'll love that!). He has really made me proud the way he has stepped up and taken over many of the aspects involved in this process.  
 My mom when she was younger. 
She was a knockout (though the haircut isn't showin' that too much).
If you've never experienced having a parent w/ dementia, I sincerely hope you never do.
It's horrible. It's so horrible.
When I drive up the first of the year I'm going to see someone other than my mom.
This woman is going to be confused, she probably won't know who I am, and there's a good chance I'll witness my gentle mom being evil.
God help me to help her.
 Clayman holding Sophie, making a silly face (that's new)
with his Grammy.
You can't possibly understand the dread I have as I face this trip north.
(I'll be there from the 3rd - 17th *approx.*)

I'll keep the updates coming if there's any change though I don't feel there will be.
I will send you pictures of her new home so you can look for them.
My SIL, Eileen, helping mom separate ccs thread.
Mom's love for so many years has been doing very complicated ccs
projects. I'm going to miss seeing her work on her pieces.
Pray for Junie/SAJ/Grammy/Aunt/mom.
And, please pray for her kids.
The most eloquent prayers for me because I'm her favorite. 

Be sure and let me know if you want her address. Blessings.

Love, Jan

Mom as a little girl.
pls. respect my copyright

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


This post is going to be plain Jane. No photos, no funny comments, just the truth and sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes it hurts badly.

You might remember that my mom fell and landed on her head about three years ago. She was like 81?? Anyway, she had to have brain surgery because blood was pooling or something so they did surgery and she's been fine since.

About a month ago my mom started having trouble sleeping and without sleep she was not good company and she began to become weak which makes all the sense in the world. She soon started having some hallucinations.

It gave me pause as it probably did all of my siblings. But I kept my thoughts to myself and we went on. Finally (finally), one of my sisters that was spending some time with mom decided that a second opinion was needed. (really??)
I don't know how, but they got her in this amazing clinic that was able to stabilize her and get her on the correct meds. Things started looking up. She's been sleeping pretty regularly.

Things started looking up, here, at least.
I'm in Texas.
My brother, Russ and his wife, Leslie, are in Florida.
My two sisters, Joan and Jean, and Randy and my SIL, Eileen, are all up north with my mom who lives in Kalamazoo. It's actually all of them that have done all of the "heavy lifting". I'm here in Texas where it costs 800 dollars to fly round trip to Michigan so I am living in my own little Hell, different than theirs. Russ is able to get to Michigan from Florida very easily and he has really stepped up.
I'm very proud of all of my siblings for stepping up and fighting the fight, all of them working for the good of mom. Even when there might be a disagreement, they step back and do what's best for mom.  It's been really wonderful seeing them work together - all for the good of mom.

And, I sit here in Texas, praying, reading updates, participating in conference calls w/ doctors, reading more many emails that some days it feels like that's all I do, discussions about specifics, you get the drill. And do you get that all of this has happened in one month????

Are you feeling my sense of helplessness? It's been incredibly hard but I have done what I can and will continue to do my best for my mom from here and when I make trips up north.
I leave the first of January for two weeks with my mom.

Mom's been moved to an independent living facility in Kalamazoo that is for dementia patients. I've seen photos, it's so, so nice, and so, so expensive. LOL (Why I'm laughing, I don't know). There's a library, small TV rooms, a small kitchen where the patients can bake or cook with their OT, an atrium, craft room. She has her own huge room and her furniture. Looks great in the photos I've seen.

Last night when they took her there for her first night they told me that she was restless and confused.
Oh, sweet Jesus, that word. That word, "confused". It breaks my heart to hear that my mom was confused.
Or that she was ugly, hateful, my mother. MY mother was ugly.

My mother is confused.
My mother is hateful and says ugly things to her children.

Oh, God, I want my mom back.
This is killing me.
I want my mom.

It seems like I spend a huge amount of time crying.
Do you think I'll cry less after I see her?
Doesn't sound like it at this point.

I don't want to go.
To Michigan.
I don't want to see her.
I'm so afraid she's not going to know who I am.
I haven't talked to her for a little over a month.
She doesn't ask for me.
She never asks for me.
I know she doesn't remember me.

She will never live in her home again.
And she will never come to the ranch again.
She loved the ranch so much.
And we loved having her here.
She got to see her Texas grand kids
and bake Clayman his favorite cake like 5 times in three months.
It seems like every thought I have connects to her and
every thing I see reminds me of her and I am so sad.

I know that I should be grateful that I had her for my mom and
that God blessed me in so many ways with her as my mom.
(Yes, I know she's still my mom. I get that.)
And I AM grateful.
But, right now I'm very sad and a little scared.

Pray for me?
I'd really appreciate it.
And pray for my brothers and sisters, my family.
And pray for my mom.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Annette, BFF, had a seminar in Galveston this fall and asked if I would want to go with.
Hotel is ON the water, ON the ocean, you can HEAR the waves, FEEL the salt in the wasn't much of a decision - I LOVE THE WATER and so, yes, I went with.

These are some of the photos I took while we drove around the island and I wanted to share them with you. I'm going to let them speak for themselves in an effort to make up for my last post. Get it?? Photos, no text?? Makes up for the last post??   .............Enjoy the coast!

For some reason this picture cracked me up

Baking cupcakes this morning with a friend from church.
We're going to go visit a shut-in, take her some cupcakes and have "a little chat".
I think she'll like that.

Do you have anyone you could visit, even with a phone call, that could use some love?
I'll betcha do. *heart*

Be safe, be joyful,

Friday, November 25, 2011


First, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
Secondly, let me introduce myself.
That was a joke because my posting has been anything but regular.
You do know who I am, right?
Okay, okay, now that you've assured me that you remember my quick wit and beauty (assumed), let's talk turkey.
Seriously, why do we break our backs (lower) putting together a meal large enough to feed a small village, when really, a bologna sandwich and some Lay's (yum) would work just was well.
We change the menu to sandwich and chips and take the money that we save from putting together the feast for millions which our family manages to consume over about three days, and we give it to families with children who worry about where their next meal is going to come from. 
Those same families whose kiddos go to bed crying because they're so hungry.
Yes, here in America.
And, another thing.
The waste.
Have you ever given thought about how much food we waste in America?
I have.
It's shameful and that's what we should be - ashamed.
We shell out a few extra dollars this time of year in an effort to make Christmas special by buying food and putting presents under the trees of the less fortunate. And then we go on with the rest of our life until next November. (I know that there are a lot of us that support charities, tithe, etc., but let's put those aside and give me a chance to make a point followed by what I think is a great idea).
Yeah, it's one of my soapboxes.
And soapboxes tick me off.
............We sat down to a lovely lunch yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving. 
It's a misnomer to me the we celebrate Thanksgiving by stuffing ourselves with food that would bless so many unfortunate people that have nothing to eat but a bologna sandwich and generic potato chips. When I think of who the unfortunate are I think of single mothers and their children.
Yes, there's lots wrong with the "system", but that's not what I'm talking about here - I'm talking about meeting the needs of others like Jesus would want us to do.
Yesterday I decided to teach you how to make the best cornbread dressing ever made.
I'm doing this for a reason.
My idea is that you make a double recipe of your favorite dressing, bake it and quarter it, divide it into 4 Ziploc bags. Buy four chickens, one for each 1/2  9" x 13" pan of dressing and find some homes in your community and make a blessing delivery to them. If you need help, ask your church for some names, ask any church. And, you can do more, as much as you want, to make these blessings the kind that bless the socks off people.
Oh, and do it this winter, January, February, March, when a good meal is most appreciated.
AND, it's not during the holidays when everyone is doing everything from feeding the poor a meal to singing at the nursing homes (another soapbox - how we neglect our elderly).
....Just a seed that God has encouraged me to plant.

Okay, now for my recipe for the best cornbread dressing in the world to get you in the spirit!


Yield: 2  9" x 13" pans of ah-mazing dressing

Ingredients: Cornmeal
2 giant cans of chicken broth
2 large onions
2 bunches of celery
8 'brown and serve' sausage links (it's a breakfast sausage)
2 - Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing (crumbs)
a good amount of salt and pepper

Here's what 'cha do:
brown the sausage in a small skillet
and then crumble it (food processor works great)
chop the onions into two piles
clean and chop the celery into two piles
(chop small, but if you are teaching your 24 year old son,
Blake, how to make dressing and how to use
a food processor, be careful and watch
his every move or you will end up with 
onion and celery puree.)

Barely cover the onion and celery (2 pans, remember?)
with water and simmer until translucent.

make 2 double recipes of cornbread OMIT THE SUGAR
(and, what I'm saying is that you double the recipe,
make one 9 x 13 and then double the recipe again and
make another 9 x 13)
(next, use your food processor if you have one)

I make one recipe at a time because, well,
vein' that my memory doesn't allow me to do 2 recipes at once.
So, that's how I'm going to tell you to put it all together.....

In a very large bowl
mix the sausage, onions and celery.
(I had to show you the puree. Pretty darn cute, isn't it?)
Add the bag of herb seasoning, S & P.
Crumble the cornbread into the bowl.
While you're doing this, be adding the 
chicken broth at times.

When it's all mixed,  
press into a PAM'ed pan
(Don't let this photo scare you. Keep reading.)
and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
Oh, baby.
Okay, I'm sure you're sitting there thinking that 
I need some photography lessons so I can learn to
hold my camera steady while taking a picture.
Well, you're wrong.
I simply need to take off my readers 
before I look through the view finder and
focus my camera.

Now for some family pictures.....
This is Clay taking out the biscuits out of the lower oven
that he had left there the last time he was here.
We smelled them getting toasty as we pre-heated the oven...
(above is a re-enactment of getting the biscuits
out of the oven.....Oven too hot to put hand
all the way in and no potholder. Guh-reat re-enactment!)
Yes, those are the biscuits.

This is Blake cleaning up some dishes.
When he saw I was taking pictures, 
I kiddingly asked him to flex while washing.
Not a problem!! ( check out those guns!)
We had a great day as we enjoyed being together.
The meal gave Blake and myself some special time
together as he really did help me with a lot of the cooking.

Clay was in charge of clean-up and
he did a great job of being the boss.

The only thing missing was Craig and Jana.
This Thanksgiving was her family's turn.
We've got to figure something else out.
I'm not lovin' this taking turns. 

Thank you for stickin' with me if you're reading this.
That means that you have kept looking for me between posts
and that you were having a slow day - this thing is lo-o-o-o-o-ong!!!

Blessings to you all,

P.S. I hope no one has read this post and thought I was lecturing. And, I want you to know that my chicken and dressing idea? It just came to me yesterday and it's on my calendar this winter to do exactly what I suggested that you do. Let's do it together!! (And, it doesn't have to be chicken and dressing - fix your favorite foods! Just do it!!:)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Our water well has gone dry. 
Actually, it's not quite dry yet
because we're watering the live stock
off of our neighbors water as their well
is deeper than 120 feet.
 120 feet deep has worked well for
the Thomason's since our current/original 
well was drilled in 1951, 
but it's worn out and
we have to put in a new one.
 Yeppers, we're drilling a new water well.
You should have seen the Tank's face
when we took out the $20,000.00 loan
to pay for it.
That's a hard thing to do when you're 70 years old.
Frank, not me. I'm the young one.
Child bride comes to mind.
Anyway, Frank's face turned so gray that I had to 
sneak a shake in
to make sure he reacted to it.
He could have been sitting in his chair dead from shock.
 I'm happy to say that he lived to sign on the dotted line.
Sure am glad that he's going to be around.
 We can enjoy our new water well together.
Have picnics next to the water tank.
Climb the ladder to the top and look in the hole
at the water.
 Get a dipper at a garage sale and say to each other,
"I'm mighty thirsty."
"Me, too."
"Should we climb the ladder to the top of the tank
and get a dipper of nice warm water?"
"Gosh, yes. That'd be great."
 Can't you just hear us?
It's pretty wild around here.
If you ever come to visit, get ready to rock and roll!!
 And, look!!
A plus is this great gunk that keeps flowing out of 
the machine that's drilling the pipe.
 The Tank and I will be having some 
naked mud wrestling time once the workmen leave
for the day.
I'm so excited.
I wonder what that gunk is??
 Okay, I think that's about it.
Our well is running dry.
We had to take out a large loan 
to pay for a lovely new really deep well.
So exciting.
That's it - but there's some great pictures
for you to look at - so just stroll along to the
bottom of the post and enjoy our new venture!

Thanks for taking the time to read me. 
I feel like I've lost a lot of readers because
I've been so sketchy in my posting.
For that I apologize and I hope 
my readers come back and leave a 
comment to let me know I'm not alone.

Love you!!


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