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  • Writer's pictureadrianne

I'm Doing The Best I Can Do

I see it's been since January 8th when last I wrote a blog post. Whew! I haven't meant to allow so much time to pass between posts. Each morning I have "Write a blog post" on my To Do list, and each night I fall in bed too exhausted to complete the task. Well, hold on to your hats, because tonight I'm gonna catch you up on the last month of my life, complete with lots of photos.

On January 10th, I left home with a car loaded. My ultimate stop was Florida, where I would spend two weeks with my grandbaby during his mom's transition back to work. Before arriving there, I had a couple other stops to make, the first one being a two-day job in Valdosta, GA. Day 1 of the job started on the morning of the 11th at 7:00am sharp. It was non-stop on the job all day.

My most invaluable assistant. I couldn't do this without him, and he did so much on this particular job.

In the course of my work, I got to hang out with the county sheriff--no, he wasn't giving me a ticket. He was actually there to get his photo made by me.

At the end of a very long Day 1, I got to enjoy this little bit of refreshment. I can't remember the name, but it was coconutty and oh so delicious.

Jamie drove me from home to Valdosta, and at the end of Day 2, he rented a car to drive home while I continued on to Florida. My destination that evening was Bonnie's house. My sweet friend hosted me for a couple days, and it was just wonderful to be with her.

Bonnie is the Group Leader of a group of ladies called the Boomer Loomers. These ladies knit, crochet, and loom some of the most fabulous items, and the items are all donated-not sold-to different charities. I had the privilege of attending a meeting with Bonnie while I was there, and I was just blown away by the creations and the talent. I wanted to stand up and cheer at every item presented. I was gifted three items handmade by members of the group, two for my grandbaby and one for myself. I picked this first one out because it reminded me of Kevin--it's a flying squirrel!!! Isn't he spectacular? This is for Kyler.

I think I gasped out loud when I saw this item. A little dachshund, reminding me of my Jack. Since he's obviously French, I told Bonnie, "I shall call him Jacque." Jacque came home with me and is sitting in my bedroom. Roscoe has eyeballed him, but I told him he's not a stuffie plaything.

And this fabulous little guy, which I name Dunky, is a gift for Kyler. Handmade! Perfection! Bravo to you and your group, Bonnie!

Bonnie hosted a dinner--gumbo, yum!--and Joe & Susie came over and brought sweet Lola with them. I wanted to love on her, but, besides her parents, she had eyes & cuddles only for Bonnie. I was jealous.

How I missed getting photos with Joe & Susie, I don't know. Must have been distracted by Lola. But here's a photo of all of us from a visit late last year, October, I think. I love them. They're my people.

Sunday, the 14th, and it was time for me to leave, but not before Phil got me some plant cuttings and we grouped up for a selfie. Love love love my Bonnie and spending time with her.

I had a great time at Bonnie's house, but there was a little fella a couple hours down the road that I was anxious to see....and one smile was all it took to completely wrap me around his little finger.

He turned 3 months old while I was there (and has since turned 4) and I just don't know where the time goes! I hadn't seen him since late October, and my, how he had grown! A happy little chunk!

Kim started back to work the day after I arrived. She works from home, but she has several Zoom meetings each day, and she would also have to play catch-up after being on leave for three months. The plan was for me to take care of Kyler as needed during this transition time. (After my two weeks there, Kim's parents spent the next two weeks there.) So I jumped right in to Grammar mode. Right now, I'm either Grammar or Granmammy--I guess Kyler will give me my final name when he starts talking. The carrier was a big part of my time with him because he likes to be held. He's such a chunk though, that my hips & back were very tight by the end of the visit. I told Jamie we need to start lifting weights because Kyler isn't gonna get any lighter.

We tried out our Viking helmets again, and Kyler's fits him now. It may not next time though, so I'm on the hunt for another one for him. We did a FaceTime call with Pawpaw so he could see how fierce we looked.

Kyler and his daddy--my son, Joey. He also works from home and helps out where he can. Kyler though, isn't sleeping all night yet, and Joey pulls the night shift with him every night. So I tried to handle things as much as I could. Joey is a pretty laid back dad.

At the end of the first week, Joey & Kim took us to see the art festival at Epcot. They knew that would be right up my alley. Here we are, riding The Seas With Nemo And Friends. My first ride with Kyler!

On Sunday, January 21st, I drove out to Apollo Beach to see the manatees. Bonnie had told me this would be a prime opportunity because the temperature would be low enough to send them to the warmer water at the Manatee Viewing Center. I'd never eyeballed a manatee before, so I was excited. Photographer Adrianne took her big camera to get some great shots. Blonde Adrianne forgot to put a card in the camera before leaving the house and only discovered it when she took the first photo. This after walking a half mile from the parking lot carrying said big (and heavy) camera. Oh well, got that new iPhone strictly for the camera, so I put it to use. Hello Floaty Potatoes!

My phone did well....look at those whiskers.

Of course I had to have a tee-shirt commemorating my visit with my new favorite sea creatures.

Okay, confession time. When I planned my trip to stay with Kyler, I had visions in my head of rocking my sweet sleepy grandbaby to sleep. Reading a story first or singing a soft lullaby as he drifted to sleep.

I even brought my rocking chair with me to set outside just for naptime. It was unusually cold and/or rainy the first week I was there, so the rocking chair didn't even get pulled out of my car til week two. By then, my dreams of sweet soft pre-nap time had been shattered.

Kyler hates to nap. Hates it and fights it with every fiber of his being! Every nap, every day! Seth fought naps when he was a baby, and I thought he was the worst, but no. Kyler topped him by a mile. I've never seen a baby fight sleep the way he does. So naptime ended up looking something like this...

Lots of tears....

Until he'd just finally give up, fall asleep, and be my perfect little angel again. And I'd nap too.

This is Haden, my granddog. I came to appreciate what a fun silly good boy he is.

And Peanut, my other granddog. She's an old girl, and Joey's baby.

Peanut and Haden are so laid back, even when Kyler is crying. They seem completely unbothered.

I did a little photoshoot while I was there. Nothing fancy, one light with a wall as the background. Y'all, Kyler is the spitting image in this photo of Joey when he was a baby. All I see is Joey here. I'll pull out a portrait and show you in another post later this week.

Besides the Viking hat, I ordered Kyler a little onesie to go with it. Isn't he the most adorable Viking you've ever seen?

Do you remember the photo of me & newborn Kyler sporting our helmets?

We did an update. We're fierce!

Week 2 ended with a trip Friday night to Disney. Fun fun fun--I got to ride the new Tron ride and see the fireworks. It was after midnight by the time we got home.

Saturday morning, bright & early, I drove to the Tampa airport to pick up Jamie who flew in to drive me home. Here's Kyler seeing his Pawpaw. He's always smiling at Jamie, loves that Pawpaw.

Daddy, Kyler, and Pawpaw. Almost all my favorite guys in one photo.

Jamie loaded the car, we loved on Kyler a little bit, and then it was time to go. Look at that chunk, such a big boy.

So Jamie drove me home. I was exhausted beyond anything I've ever been. My back & hips hurt from toting Kyler for hours every day. I didn't sleep well while I was there because my hips ached so much that I couldn't get comfortable in the bed. I had a cold settling in my head. And I think the entire previous year caught up with me. I slept the whole way home, over seven hours. I slept all the next day, and I slept off and on the day after that. On Tuesday, I loaded all my files from my job onto my computer and started working. I didn't feel like it, but I had a lot of work coming up the next week, and I needed to stay as current as I could.

Wednesday saw us going to the vet. When we had arrived home late Saturday night and were greeting the pups, it became obvious that Jack was hurting. We couldn't tell where but thought neck, back, or leg. It wasn't anything requiring an immediate vet visit that night, so we decided to keep an eye on him for a day or two. When he was remarkably better, we took him in. An exam showed pain in his back AND neck, and he got medication and the first of three laser treatment. Treatment #2 was scheduled for the next day, and Jamie would be out of town working.

Thursday was a scramble for me. My uncle has Stage IV NSCLC with mets to his rib and hip bone. I have become his caretaker and attend his doctor appointments with him. Thursday morning I worked with Jamie (via phone) until time for Steve's appointment. I was supposed to work more with Jamie after the appointment, but he insisted I eat lunch and rest before time to get Jack to the vet. Later in the evening, I started on my own editing work and was up til 1:00 or 2:00.

That's how it was all week--work, appointments, house, etc during the day, editing at night til 2:00. Crawl in bed exhausted. But I couldn't stop. I had another big job on Monday, February 5th, and I wanted to be finished with the Valdosta job.

Monday rolled around, and I was off to the vet's office, only this time was to do candid work photos for use on their website and social media. I spent most of the day there and have a much greater appreciation for the work they do. Who knew a vet's office was so busy with so many different things going on at once? I got to see puppies delivered via C-section, a kitty cat neutered, a dog spayed, tumors removed from a dog, and a dental performed on a dog. And that was just the surgery side. This is Dr. Holley performing surgery. I'm friends with Dr. Holley-Amanda-and she & her hubby get together with us on occasion for a meal. When she's here, she's like my daughter; she just seems so young, you know? But to watch her operating just brought a whole new level of awe and respect for her.

I needed some dog models for photos around the office, so Jamie brought over Roscoe & Jack. Roscoe posed a couple places and pretended to be getting an exam. He was kinda wild this day though and not as well behaved as he usually is.

Jack stood in for photos of laser treatment. It was gonna be pretend too, but Dr. Holley said to give him one for real since his back was still healing. Unlike Roscoe, he was a perfect gentleman.

And then Karissa, who they know & love because she pet sits with them, gave them treats. I held them, Jamie took the photos, and these got turned in too.

I did finish the Valdosta job a couple days later. After the job at the vet's office, I had several jobs scheduled for the bank. It's magazine season, my busiest time, and I have to stay as caught up as I possibly can. Last week looked like this: work with Jamie during the day on the days he works, two appointments with Steve, an unexpected trip to the vet with my aunt's dog (Bugsy was in congestive heart failure & died that night), three jobs for the bank--two of them out of town, and editing at night. Can you see why it's been so tough for me to get this blog post written? I came home from Florida completely depleted, and I haven't been able to fully catch up on my rest.

In other news, Jamie likes my pickled asparagus so much that I made a giant jar of it for him.

And he took me lunch in appreciation.

And here's another photo of Roscoe looking guilty about something. Probably that entire basket of toys he destroyed in about an hour's time.

Our trashcan has to now be turned around backwards. Why, you ask? Just take a look at what Roscoe learned to do.

I may have shared this with you already. If so, I'm sharing again. This life-size Clint Eastwood cutout stands at my friend, Sandy's, house. If you know me, you know I love all Clint Eastwood movies. I loved this cutout so much that Sandy got me a little miniature version. He stands on a shelf in my bathroom, guarding my toothbrush.

And speaking of Sandy, we had dinner and a movie night with her and Ben at their place. During the movie, Tulip laid down beside me on the couch. I have never touched Tulip. She is 16 years old and an ornery little old lady and will bite you if she wants to. I am scared of Tulip. But I wanted proof that she chose to lie down beside me. And honestly, I was a little nervous taking this photo. When I texted it to Sandy later, she texted back "Besties!" Hahaha, I'm still scared of Tulip

And finally, throwback photo for you. My uncle gave me this the other day. It's a photo of my brothers and me from a long long time ago. I don't think I'd ever seen it before. There's 13 and 15 months in between the three of us.

Alright, that may not catch you up on EVERYTHING, but you know a little more about why I've been absent. I'll try to do better, but I really am doing the best I can. I don't know any other way to do.

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Feb 20

Busy...Busy...Busy! Makes me appreciate my retired life. I don't miss work.

Your grandbaby is adorable and your face shows you were soaking up every minute. Love the Viking hats!

It was great seeing you and spending a little time together. I think I mentioned it...all because of a dog named Chevy. I played golf with Phil yesterday and we had dinner together a couple of weeks ago. Bonnie and Phil tried to open my food pallet with Indian food. Not bad, but not my favorite. I can say that I have tried Indian Food.


Bonnie Loewenstein
Bonnie Loewenstein
Feb 20

We await your next trip with rings on our fingers and bells on our toes. 😂We ❤️ seeing and spending time with you and Jamie (when he’s with you).

Feb 20
Replying to

ya....I want to see Phil with bells on his toes! 😂

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