It’s been awhile since I’ve updated here. We’ve been busy!

Not exactly sure where I left off, but I’ll start here.

My husband just got home from a 12 day tour to AZ to help “the Dudes” as he refers to my Dad and brother (lol, they love it). He set up movers, cleaners, junk haulers, attended several medical appointments for both of them, coordinated paperwork for various things and was basically their moving coordinator. He even convinced my Dad to get hearing aids and took him for those appts.

He extended his stay for an additional five days, once he realized more help was needed. He drove back and forth to Sedona three times, to retrieve belongings and get a little much needed overnight R and R himself. What an angel he turned out to be for our family.

About a year before meeting him, I looked forward to the landscape of my future and started to panic. One day I found myself pleading out loud to my sister “you have to help find someone for me who can help me with Dad and John down the road”.

Thank you Cindy. You nailed it in so many ways. He’s a great husband, companion, friend, cuddler, uplifter, Dad, as well. I really hit the jackpot with John David Higham.

So the current plan is this. Cleaners are coming to their condo tomorrow (this has been an enormous task–we haven’t been able to get people to work in their place without them getting it cleaned up–that’s all I’ll say on that subject). So once it’s cleaned, the rescheduled movers come tomorrow to move the pieces of furniture and boxes they are bringing here.

My brother then will fly out, alone, in early May, just in time for his Dr’s appt. three days later to make sure his medications are ordered in a seamless way. He will be here for a month establishing himself here, before my Dad joins him. That’s mainly because my husband is flying back out in early June to retrieve my Dad and my brother’s car and taking him on a long leisurely road trip across the country to bring my brother’s car back here. They are mapping out areas in Colorado, Wyoming, etc.

Driving across the country was my father’s favorite way of life for many years. He lived out of his RV for at least fifteen years and drove and drove all over. This will be the only way he can get that experience again, so my husband is creating it for them. It will be something to look forward to after months of hard work and lots of letting go.

My Dad is releasing his car, most of his worn out but comfortable belongings, in many ways his independence. He knows it will be his last move. So this road trip will be really memory-making for both of them. He adores my husband, so they will have a good time.

Did I ever write here that they share the same name, profession and birth date?

The month with my brother here alone will also be good for him. I’ll just say they’ve become like an old married couple with lots of bickering to go with it. I’m going to be working on my brother standing on his own two feet, feeling the independence of living alone without someone to have to continually care for, assess ways we can get help for him with the caregiving, and I think I’ve found a place he can sing with if he chooses!

I’ll spend much of that time creating his new life here with him. I did this before when he moved to AZ. He’s looking forward to shopping with me for the new place and asked me what stores we have here.

Let’s face it, he will be living in that home far longer than my Dad. It will likely be his last home as well. So nesting in to it as his own will be a good thing, I think.

We are in full set-up mode here too. We’ve received beds for them both, two power recliners with massage and heat and power lift, a new TV and electric fireplace cabinet for it to sit on in the sunroom and many other furnishings.

I’ve been working with the Community for various small repairs and additions. Trying not to do too much so they can set it up how they want, but create the basics for them.

We are all still working hard to get this move completed, but we have passed through the gauntlet of most of the obstacles.

I really don’t know how I would have managed this alone. John kept saying that to me while out in Arizona. Or doing this while balancing two full-time jobs.

I do know this. I’ve learned to be proactive in my own life. SO much of the crises and angst involved here could have been avoided if there had been cooperation and not procrastination. I will not dump on Lillian the things we’ve had to navigate. May this be a cautionary tale to anyone out there reading this as well. It’s just not fair to those who will be caring for you as you age, to hang on to independence far past your ability to care for yourself. It just makes things harder on everyone. John and I have already decided that the day we need to leave this house, we will see the transition as our next adventure and treat it as such.

In other news, the day my husband left, I decided to give our living room a refresh. I had updated our IKEA U-shaped sectional with new luxurious blue velvet slipcovers. I love them! But once they arrived, I didn’t like how they competed with the deep Navy (Benjamin Moore Hale Navy for paint nerds like me) wall behind the sofa. I spent hours contemplating how to best deal with that accent wall, as I loved how the art work played off that dark wall, but it just made the room too dark and not enough contrast with the new sofa color.

So this is what I came up with! I wrapped the rest of the room color (BM Gray Owl) and left that one strip of the navy in the middle as a cool color block.

Then I realized that Gray Owl is so cool of a color I needed some warmth in the room. So I ordered this cool arm chair for the nook in the corner, which will be my Dad’s seat when he comes over. There is no way he can get in and out of our low sofa without arms, so he always uses tall chairs with arms. So that’s what I got! Also a neat pouf ottoman he can use as a foot rest.

I added some gold velvet pillows and replaced the lamps with these retro looking teardrop wood-look lamps. I just set those up yesterday so haven’t taken a photo yet, but I will share once I’m feeling less lazy. 😉

My husband absolutely loved the changes. He’s easy to please when it comes to my home decor ideas with the exception of the wallpaper in the powder room but we don’t need to go there right now.

I also added this carpet of stars to the inside of our pergola. I just love it. They are solar so pop on every night on their own. They even look cool from inside the house.

We have one cold snap this week, then I think we are pretty in the clear for gardening. My back garden is in full color mode with my dozens of tulips, fragrant hyacinths and narcissus, daffodils and other Spring bulbs. Also my 6 peony bushes are coming up as well as dozens of huge lilies (I went crazy with lilies in the Fall) and my 6 garden rose plants, 4 of which are brand new!

I put a bunch of plants in pots this week, but will need to cover them tonight. I’ll be planting my snapdragon and lisianthus seedlings this week as well as pansies and lots of other goodies I picked up at the garden store last week!

My cutting garden is also going crazy with tulips and daffodils right now. So far I’m filling my house with cut flowers and figuring out what to do with them. It’s a learning curve. I think once my super fancy tulips come up–likely later this week–I’ll try selling some out of my friend’s flower shop. We’ll see how it goes! I’ve been gifting them here and there as well. 🙂

I have six more peony bushes there and five more garden roses and dozens more lilies for cutting there also.

So, flower season is well under way! I will be sharing them with The Dudes as well, of course!

Oh and how could I forget? My insomnia has taken a major turn for the better! I went on the sleep Dr’s program, including a medication (Trazodone) and it was getting slowly better. Then one night last week I found myself getting very sleepy naturally, so decided to try and do it on my own. I slept even better than on the Trazodone! So it’s been several nights now sleeping unmedicated and I’m getting better and better sleep every night, waking up refreshed and think I’m over that hurdle. Whew! That was months of struggle, now balancing out and getting back to something I recognize.

I’m so glad I didn’t go on Ambien as I desperately wanted at the time. I feel much more confident relying on my own body to do what it’s designed to do.

That’s it for today.

I’m deeply paying attention to the Derek Chauvin trial and think the prosecution put on an excellent case. I think we will get convictions this week. I hope so anyway. Justice for George Floyd. A bit of peace to his loved ones. Healing for Minneapolis.

new life


Just a quickie to share, we got some very special keys yesterday!

As I pulled up to meet the sales person there, it was just in time as THREE of my orders I made just three days prior, had already arrived. And we got snow yesterday!

Now, my husband and I will get busy assembling furniture (rather, he will and I will hand him tools).

We got them a corner TV stand with a built-in electric fireplace for the sun room where they will spend most of their time. And a new frame and mattress for my brother.

Next week comes the matching recliners that have power lift, massage, heat, etc!

The place looks amazing. It’s been totally flipped since the last tenant–new flooring throughout, cabinetry, appliances, counters, paint, trim. It’s gorgeous! I’ll share more pics later.

I took both of them through a live Facetime yesterday room by room. Exciting!

It’s cold here today in Central PA. Woke up to snow on the ground! But my flowers are still thriving. I check my cutting gardens daily and so far, so good with the rabbits. Now hoping the raccoons and deer don’t find any of my blooms once they come up.

These are my first harvested ruffly daffodils. They are tiny, but so cute!

In other news, got my first Moderna vaccine yesterday. A sore arm, but nothing else really. My husband also got his vaccine, so I’m especially glad for that as he travels to AZ again next week to help my Dad and brother. What a sweetheart.

I’ll be here continuing to set up their lives. In addition to the home, we need to get them doctors and services set up. Working on that today! Luckily the Community has a nurse on staff who does a lot of that for people moving in. Many many excellent support systems built it–what a relief for all of us.

And my brother continues to be stable, which is amazing.

So far, things are continuing to look up, which let me tell you, is a welcome relief.

Have a great Easter weekend out there everyone. We got a spiral ham! 😀