I'm not quite sure what just happened but 15 minutes before posting this post it was chock full of pretty pictures of fresh vegetables and a Frenchy beef stew served in blue transferware with herbed bread and the recipe for it that my sister n law gave me last January. But then, when I thought about January, it reminded me of all that's happened over the past several months. I have received quite a few messages and emails asking where I was and when I'd be back, etc, etc. and I wanted to explain why I took a 5 month blogging hiatus.
I don't think Monica's Herbs De Provence Vegetable Beef Stew
goes all that well with everything else so it's getting the punt until tomorrow! Please do come back again for the recipe, because it's so easy, yummy and healthy! You'll love it.
Beginning in November, with my Father in law, he had an undiagnosed abdominal aortic aneurysm which burst while he was out of town (out of state actually). Just look up survival rates for aaa and you'll understand how very serious this is, usually fatal. The survival rate is just 10% and that's IF you even make it to the operating table. Most do not. By God's timing and His incredible grace, He put Jim (my father-in-law) in the right place at the right time to be able to survive such a life threatening event. I plan to write more about this later. Needless to say, this was very trying for our family, especially my husband, his siblings and my sweet Mother in law.
During my Father-in-Law's recovery from his brush with death, just about two weeks later, my Mother fell, broke her hip, had to have surgery and then be moved temporarily into a rehabilitation facility for recovery and to learn to walk again. While there, she came down with a serious eye infection which only further complicated things as the rehabilitation facility wasn't really equipped for dealing with a serious eye infection and she is still dealing with some of the ramifications of it today. Mom has other serious heart and health conditions on top of what was going on with her hip and eye infection. She spent several weeks at the facility, including being there on Christmas night. And to make it much worse, there was some abuse (not sexual, but very serious verbal intimidation). The worker in question was fired and/or dismissed at least during the investigation.
During the time my Mother was recovering, one of my brothers (I have six-ish older brothers (yes, an even longer story) and one is needing a kidney transplant and one is on dialysis. My brother needing the transplant was to go on dialysis first and was literally at the hospital being prepped to have the port put in but some other serious medical problems / blood test results caused his Dr. to come to the conclusion that he wasn't strong enough to have the surgery at that time. He was told his days were numbered. He is still with us, but in poor health now.
And then this happened...
Par for the goings on of the past couple of months, about 10 days before Christmas, we had a major pipe burst in our upstairs bathroom which completely flooded not just the bathroom, but also Trevor's bedroom, the hall between his and Ashton's rooms and then proceeded to gather into a raging floor joist river that ran across the ceiling of our downstairs family room and emptied itself out in the kitchen in a downpour. We had to shut the water to the house off pronto and our electricity as well because light bulbs in the ceiling fixtures began exploding from the water seeping in them from above. By the time it was all said and done, the entire kitchen ceiling was drooping in and coming apart from the wall. It was just hanging in some spots. Holes had to be punched in the ceiling bubbles for water to drain as you could see the pooling of water in the sheetrock above, otherwise it was going to give way to the weight of the water and cave in! The contractors told us it would probably give way and fall in by the next day and then instructed us to remove everything out as fast as possible. Trevor, Ashton, Shawn, Ethan and I stayed up until 4 a.m. clearing the kitchen of its furnishings, everything on the walls and all contents including food. This process in turn cluttered up the entirety of our downstairs as we were rushing to get it all out and just stacking things here and there and everywhere. It took them over a month to finish the job and get the kitchen back to us.
looks like snot, but it's not! (it's just water coming of the bull's nose)
So much for celebrating Christmas at the Roberts' house in 2016!
(look close at the window... you can see it is wet both outside and inside! Water came down both sides and weighted the valance so that it broke. They almost look like light but the strands you see in front of the window and over to the right side is actually water coming down from the ceiling)
But wait, there's more
Three days before Christmas, another brother of mine notified me, out of the blue, via a Facebook message, that my Dad had Stage IV lung and liver cancer (which I later learned from one of his Dr.'s had metastasized from the colon cancer he was diagnosed with 8-10 years ago) and was given just two to three months to live. We drove down to my hometown within a couple of days of receiving my brothers message to visit my Dad and when we left I told Shawn that I just knew from observing his symptoms that he was already in the dying process and wouldn't make it another 2 weeks. He was rushed to the hospital a few days later coughing up blood. We went to visit Dad again but he was in a coma and never regained consciousness. He passed away on January 6th.
More devastating news.
The Friday before my Dad's funeral I received a phone call that one of my cousin's had found her 30 year old son deceased. His funeral was two days after Dad's. I had only met him a few times, but, none the less, it was so difficult to think of losing a child and to wonder just what my cousin and Aunt must be going through. It was especially tough to see my Aunt and cousin (Mother and daughter) together, as they both lost young sons; my Aunt lost her son, my cousin, to an auto accident some 27 or so years ago when he was just 21.
Besides all that drama we have pressing issues with two people within the family/extended family going on that I am not able to talk about publicly, but they are very serious. For those of you who believe in prayer, I'd welcome a prayer for those two family members. God will know who you're praying for, even if you don't!
Dealing with Dad's death
My Dad's passing brought about a plethora of mixed, though mostly negative, emotions and feelings, many of which I'd suppressed for years. I have spent some of the past five months working my way through a lot of those feelings, the dealings we all face in everyday life; both happy and not so happy, and spending a lot of time talking to and getting to better know God.
Now you know why I was gone for so long.