Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beginning to catch up.

It’s Sunday, April 29th, and I am attempting to get caught up with this blog.  Finally, I am able to put a coherent thought together.  At least, I hope my thoughts and words are understandable. Smile  So for the story of the last few weeks, please back track to read just some of the amazing last days with Mama Trudy.

Let’s go to Trevino’s!

This was a new eating experience for Don and I.

Sunday evening dinner at Trevino’s Restaurant, in Edinburg, with Sally & Dennis Maloney and Leila and Fred Preuss (pronounced Price), all CRM chaplains in the RGV.100_0352

Food was excellent, service was awesome.  Atmosphere was great.  D├ęcor, beautiful.  Green salsa was delicious, very spicy, but that’s the way we like it.  There’s a mural on one wall that took a year to sculpt and paint.  Again, my camera was sitting on the table.  I am slipping…. big time.  I had Botanos for one, but it was big enough for two.  No, I could not eat all of it.


Dennis:  “I suppose this will show up on the blog?”100_0354.2

Who me?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New table

I finally get to see the table made for us by Roger Haugrud at Tip ‘O Texas RV Park.100_0348

Roger did a beautiful job.100_0349

Thank you, Roger!  I love it!100_0350

Friday, April 27, 2012

Waco to Alamo, Texas

Traveling, pulling nothing, feels weird.  However, we did have the back of the truck full of boxes.

It is a challenge to get a good picture through dirty glass while moving at 70 miles per hour.  But I snapped a few before I got behind the wheel for the last part of our day.100_0337




Guadalupe River, Hwy 77

Guadalupe River, Hwy 77



We made it to the Q about 4:00 PM!!  Many thanks to Phil Pray for repairing, storing and setting the Q up at a park and many thanks to Dennis and Sally for all the leg work they did while we were with Mama.

Now, it’s time for the Ladies to beat the Gents in Spades!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bossier City to Waco

By 8:00 AM, we were pulling out of our hotel and heading down Interstate 20, west.100_0313

A river.  No, maybe it was a creek.  I don’t remember.Guadalupe River - Hwy 77

A dead tree.100_0319

Corsicana, Texas.  Spent lots of time in this town when I was growing up.  Both of my girls were born in this town.100_0321

Main Street, Corsicana.  Have cruised this street many times.  Is cruising still popular?  I guessed it’s been replaced by a digital something or other.Main Street, Corsicana, TX

The only time Mama Trudy work outside our home was one Christmas season when I was in high school, she worked here.100_0323

Somewhere between Corsicana and Waco.100_0325

I just love horses. Aren’t they beautiful?100_0327

Feels like home.100_0328

We got to Waco middle of the afternoon and got checked into our hotel… thanks to Khalil’s cousin, Courtney, who works for Marriot and thanks to Khalil and Leslie for our room for the night.

After checking in, we went to Leslie’s and unloaded the U-Haul into their garage and Don took the trailer to turn it in.

After Emma got out of school, it was tumbling day and I drove across the street from the hotel to watch her.  How cute is she?!! Tiny little thing.100_0330

Finally, dinner at Bush’s Chicken.  We all love us some Bush’s fried chicken and fried gizzards.  I know.  Good stuff.  Emma, waiting for her chicken.100_0336

The kids came over to the hotel to visit and then it was bedtime for the kiddos.

We will be pulling out early in the morning headed to the Rio Grande Valley to reunite with the Q~~!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kris update

Dearest friends and loved ones,

For the umpteenth time this week, my sweet and patient husband (who worries so about me worrying so about Kris!) reminded me there is nothing that I can do about the continued changing of the plan for her care out there in San Antonio. It is, however, an ongoing concern when one thing is promised or decided upon, then something else crops up to make that first plan obsolete or inefficient or just downright impossible to do. Such is the case, again, with the facility where Kris was to go on April 1st, then on April 16th.

In my last update, I told you that Kris would have to return to Country Care Manor, which is near her home in LaVernia, Texas, but only for about a two-week period. The brand new Neuro Restorative Center (where she was to go) would not open on April 1st as planned, but April 16th instead. So it was a disappointment for Kris, but we believed she could handle two weeks, and we encouraged her so. This past week, however, the “word” came down. At first, it was that they (Neuro Restorative) could not open on the 16th; State certification was not all in place, evidently. A day or so later, however, the ultimate rejection came: They do not feel they can accommodate Kris’s needs for PEG-tube feeding, etc. They feel they really are not qualified to handle the in-depth care Kris requires; i.e., PEG-tube feeding, the fact that she doesn’t speak, she needs full care and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), and all medications must be administered through the PEG tube. At times, she even requires suctioning and diligent observation.

With this new facility being right there in San Antonio, the move from the VA initially was not going to be difficult. But, with the interim move back to Country Care Manor (which is a nursing care/rehab facility), that move, in a sense, was another step backward. While they have super therapists at Country Care, it is nursing care which becomes a bit of a downer for Kris. She is not an elderly person, after all.

But, now, the alternative facility is my great concern. It seems the only other restorative program is found at CORE, the facility west of Austin, which is about two hours from her home. Try as I might to keep her in San Antonio (and believe me, I expressed my views!), it seems the facility northwest of San Antonio in a town called Dripping Springs is the place where Kris will go. It is recommended by Dr. Johnson herself, the head of therapies at the VA Audie Murphy Center and the woman now in charge of Kris’s plan of care. Dr. Johnson feels that CORE has the best program geared to bringing TBI and stroke patients back to (or at least as close to) their highest level of productive living capacity as possible. She has sent numerous other patients there and they have returned to community and home living as near to completely healed as possible. So why am I so doubtful?

I really can’t explain it and I truly must stop fretting over what I cannot control or change, I guess. Leave it to the Lord, I know, but it is so very difficult to see her go even farther away from her home than she is now. I must believe with all my heart that her son, Joshua, and her husband, Russell, will visit her regularly and often, and begin renovations on their home, and that Kris will, in fact, go home one of these days. I truly believe that her care will be the very best when she does go home. I must believe that and I must let God take care of it completely.

So, for the umpteenth time, I pray... God, please take care of her now and as she looks forward to going home. Please keep her motivated and don’t let her get depressed. God, keep that sweet spirit of hers alive and keep her moving forward. And, God, please let her be okay and let her know we love her so much!

I will tell you that she is making remarkable strides with the new Dynavox device, especially with the magical, marvelous eye piece. Susan, the wonderful speech therapist and dear friend to Kris, is helping her learn how to use the device and to input phrases and words that Kris really wants to use. I can tell you my heart nearly exploded this past week when I called one day and Susan said Kris had been working hard all morning on the Dynavox. Then Susan said, “Wait a minute. Kris wants to tell you something.” Shortly, I heard the most heavenly words, “Hey, Mom!” And a little later, I heard, “I love you!”

My feet nearly came off the floor! Of course, then she pushed several other buttons and the device spoke all the words for her, but she was COMMUNICATING, and those words were heaven to me... whether they came from her lips or that machine. I just LOVED hearing them and knowing she made the machine talk for her. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Then, on Friday, I had the phone on speaker when we were talking to Kris, and she (the machine) said, “Hi, Dad!” And then, “I love you!” Yes, we both had tears in our eyes then. I don’t know who invented the Dynavox, but it’s a gift from heaven for sure!

So, here we are about to start another week and Kris will be moved somewhere, sometime. Having said that, we’re furiously finishing the renovations to our house and plan to leave for Texas by the second week of May. And we’ll be there with Kris, wherever she is, until the end of June. With a full schedule for gospel concerts and shows, we have no choice but to leave then and we do praise God for the income and the chance to share our music for Him. We’ll leave Kris in His care totally, but I do ask that you pray for extra peace in my heart please. And pray for Kris to continue learning to communicate and, just maybe... one day... she will learn to speak. That, my dear friends and loved ones, is my greatest prayer... for the umpteenth time!

Blessings and love,

Carol and George

Purvis, MS to Bossier City, LA

The Magnolia trees planted all along the highway, are beginning to bloom.100_0306

Crossing the Big Muddy.100_0307100_0309

Sure wish I could remember where we were when I took this picture.  I must remember to take traveling notes.  It’s not the Mississippi and it’s between Vicksburg, MS,  and Bossier City, LA.  That should narrow it down. Thinking smile



Stopped for the night in Bossier City and had dinner with Jimmy and Lucy, friends we met our first summer in Branson, MO.  Did I take pictures of Jimmy and Lucy?  That would be a NO.  Did I tell you that my brain was fried fatigued?

But I have a picture of our truck with the U-Haul trailer, taken from our room window. How special. Disappointed smile100_0312

Jimmy drove us out to their house in the country and showed us around their son’s place.  We met their daughter-in-law, Jenny, and their three beautiful grandchildren.  Again, do I have pictures to show for it?

All I can do is report that it was very good to see Jimmy and Lucy and to see that Lucy is doing well after her

(I admit it. I can not watch this video.)

She still has some paralysis on the left side of her face and she has a difficult time chewing, but she’s in good spirits and she still has that wonderful laugh and sense of humor.  We all continue to believe God that she will be back to 100% within the year.

Here’s a picture of Lucy and Jimmy that I borrowed from her FaceBook photos.  Her hair is very short now, due to the surgery.image

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Swimming beach

When we got back to the cabin from Gulf Port, Don and I walked down to the swim area just a few yards from our cabin.100_0293100_0294100_0295

The water is very clear, but still very cool.100_0298100_0300100_0301

This is one of the prettiest parks we have ever been in.

Gulf Port and Pass Christian

Rick and Wendy know Don so well and they know what will make him happy, so they got us in their car and headed south to Gulf Port and the Gulf!



In Pass Christian, I took this picture of a building foundation that was the only the left after Katrina.  Gulf Port and Pass Christian were the worst hit by the winds of hurricane Katrina.  Many beautiful old ante bellum  homes were destroyed.  So sad.100_0259

A pretty pair.100_0262

“Would someone turn on some music?  We’d like to dance.”100_0263

This official looking boat pulled out as we were parking to eat.  All of the guys were dressed alike in dark outfits.100_0267

Lunch at Shaggy’s.100_0268 Shaggy's for lunch

Family sitting out on the deck. Kids were so cute and being photographed by their mom.100_0271

The view from the window.  Old Glory always catches my eye.  It’s just beautiful.100_0273

So you think he’s about to kiss her?  Wrong.  He just doesn’t want to look at the camera.100_0274

But I’m patient. 100_0275

It’s so good to be with these very special friends.  We are so blessed.  It’s just crazy.

The wind was blowing so hard and I needed a cap, but the only one I have with me is this dinky little black knit job.  Oh, well, I’m so tired and I’m so happy to be with my man on the road again, I don’t really care what’s on my head.100_0276


We each had a shrimp poboy that was really tasty and then we shared this bananas foster cheesecake.  Hmmm.  Guess it was pretty tasty, also.100_0279 Bananas Foster Cheesecake... well, it was

Our cute little waitress stood on a stool to take our picture.100_0280

I wonder if this boat has been like this since Katrina?100_0281


Finally, Don is where he wants to be… on the beach!100_0284100_0287100_0288

Hey, let’s take off our sandals and see how warm/cold the water is.100_0289You know, if we walked to right there and then took one more step, it looks really deep!100_0290

What do you mean, you can’t swim??? I can’t swim!!  A lot of good you would be if I fell in!  We better stay out of the water!!100_0291

It was cold!