Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm a Mom!!!

My husband and I have always had the motto, "No Children, No Pets, No Indoor Plants", so it was with great surprise that I found myself contemplating motherhood and that my husband agreed. And so, at the advanced age of 60, I unexpectedly became a first-time mom. No, I'm not the recipient of some advanced medical techniques - I adopted. Her name is Megan and she's a beautiful little 5-year-old girl with a cheerful disposition and gorgeous brown eyes. She's energetic, loving, cuddly, and reasonably obedient, and my husband and I have fallen totally in love with her. Our hearts just melt when she jumps on our laps or gets wiggly all over with excitement.

As you can see, she's a Miniature Schnauzer and I inherited her when my dad and his wife went into assisted living. We fell in love with each other during the months I was in Arizona, so the stress of losing her original family and moving to a new location wasn't too hard for her. After spending her whole life in the hot desert, I was worried about her reaction to snow and cold, but she doesn't seem to mind a bit. She plunged right into the snow without any hesitation at all and isn't too eager to come in from the cold.

This new addition to our lives is proving to be lots of fun, but I promise not to tell too many stories or inundate you with cute photos.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm back.....sort of.

To make a 7-month story short...the doctors told me that my dad had only 2 to 3 months to live (they thought he had metastasized colon cancer even though all the tests were "inconclusive"), so in July, I flew home to Toronto, threw a bunch of stuff in my car and raced back to Arizona to see him through this final process. His wife, a lovely lady, has Alzheimer's, so they both needed assistance. I was a full-time caregiver for several months, but instead of passing away, my dad got better! Eventually I told him that we had to make some serious decisions regarding his future because I needed to go home and remind my husband that he's married. :-) After a lot of resistance, Dad and his wife Nikki finally agreed to move into an assisted living facility near Phoenix to be near Nikki's son. I got them moved, fixed up their little apartment beautifully, sold all of their possessions, fixed up their house and put it on the market. Amazingly, despite the devastated housing market in Arizona, it sold immediately.

I value the time I got to spend with my dad and Nikki, but it was exceedingly stressful. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease and it was painful to watch a lovely, loving lady gradually decline. And to make a stressful situation even worse, the economic collapse wreaked havoc on my dad's financial situation. When we first started looking at assisted living options, my detailed spreadsheet analysis (I am an M.B.A., after all) showed that he could afford it as long as he was careful with his money. By the time they moved, things were looking pretty grim. The chance of outliving their money is very real now. I have been having trouble sleeping because of the worry over his financial situation.

I apologize to all the people who kept checking this blog and finding nothing. I WILL be getting back to it, but it will take awhile to get back into polymer clay. After not touching the stuff for over 7 months, I treated myself to the Cabin Fever Clay Festival in Maryland. Good fun and a nice way to start thinking about clay again. But first, I'm off to Hungary to visit my good friend from business school who is the American Ambassador to Hungary. Her assignment is about to end so we will have a little fun before she comes home.

If I have internet access, I will report from Budapest.