The road ends, but the journey continues...

Groggy Bye-Bye to 2015

I’ve been wanting to write an appropriate post for the end of 2015. Nothing has come to me. Partly due to the fact of being in the throes of a big cold/flu episode. Partly due to the fact of just not being able to face the blank page. I keep trying to get something written to post before this self-important/imposed deadline, but most of what is started is blithery and blathery…yet the urge is insistent: tie up loose ends!

Where to start? How about with this photo:

Horse Tales Group Photo

Late Spring 2015-I’m the one in the cap, behind the short-haired blonde.

  • The beginning of summer, I took a leave of absence from my Wounded Warriors Horse Therapy volunteering.  I was scheduled to have foot surgery with an anticipated lengthy recovery requiring staying out of my work/cowboy boots and off my feet in general.  Long story short, the routine procedure was scheduled and cancelled three times due to insurance issues, even though it was labeled a medical necessity. This photo was taken after a full day of shooting footage for a Horse Tales TV episode featuring the Wounded Warriors Horse Therapy Program. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show everyone…In the meantime, long distance family commitments among other things amped up the need for us to be able to leave for Colorado at the drop of a hat…so I officially bowed out of the program in the Fall.
  • Dad and Me

    Dad sings for his breakfast, and they all love him for it…visiting with him Fall 2015

    On-going elder care is something that is ever-changing. How ironic as the elderly truly want and need things to be less ‘changeable’. In the case of Dad, he changed residences a total of 4 (or was it 5?) times since the Fall of 2014. Not just rooms in the same building but different buildings in different company complexes and different cities.  All of which had promised to deliver progressive care as he entered into different phases of need. That is not to say Dad is the easiest guy to care for when he’s ‘urpy’ as Ma used to say. But still, these places are top-rated and supposed to have dealt with ‘urpy’ oldsters as a matter of routine.
    Dad's new home - "I've got it made here!"

    Dad’s new home – “I’ve got it made here!”

    If I name-dropped, you’d be surprised at the residences which proved to be more ‘business’ than ‘heart’. Anyway, this is not a rant, but the last three weeks of September were particularly stressful as he was transferred from ICU to rehab to ICU then…this newest place filled with angels.  No, not literal heaven, but a lovely group home in a house environment where ‘normal’ dementia is not considered a reason for discharge.


Curious & Fraidy Cat

Just minutes before capture…

  • Once we got back from our trip to see Dad in October, it was time to focus on MamaCass and her kitties. The plan? Capture kitties and get them adopted ASAP. In the course of a week, Curious & Fraidy Cat were indeed captured and quickly adopted. Within days of kitty-capture, MamaCass willingly sauntered into the pet crate and allowed us to take her to get SNIPped.


MamaCass in a pot

The newly SNIPed MamaCass sitting fat and sassy in a pot on our front porch.


  • 2015 GraNToeWriMo (Grant Writing Month) = 2015 NaNoWriMo.  I skipped the 50K race to write a novel this year in favor of re-entering my more ‘normal’ world of seeking grants. After drafting and finishing this inaugural proposal, I now have an updated template to use in future grant requests. Signed, sealed and mailed December 18th, it arrived safely to its intended destination the 21st.  Keep your fingers crossed and whisper a prayer, please.
  •  While scrambling to get the house ready for the holidays in earnest anticipation of Michelle and David’s visit…our refrigerator died on Christmas Eve. It had been in an odd cycle of freeze/thaw no matter the settings for a while, but we hoped it would make it through to the New Year. We’re renters. I try hard to not be bothersome. We lost a lot of food, even though we got a loaner on Christmas Day – it was not even as tall as myself (I’m 5’4”). After appealing our case to the landlord, a better replacement was installed on December 28th.  I think I need to re-evaluate this thing of not being a bother to our landlord on such items…Hmmmm, this sounds like a ‘resolution’ for 2016…

That’s it for now. I ran out of steam, hence the lack of photos to enhance the text of this post.



  1. L. Marie

    The elder facility above reminds me of the one my grandmother lived in at the end of her life. She had Alzheimer’s. Mom would visit her every day. Grandma’s nursing home was very well conducted too.
    Happy New Year, Laura! I just returned from spending time with family. My nephew’s birthday was yesterday. He’s 19!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Elder care is so individual, yet often society places a strong slant on which is the ‘right’ way to go through it. In my case, it kills me that after all these years of living close to family, I can’t be there ‘everyday’ for Dad in his latter years…Not intentionally, for sure.
      However, my brother is doing a good job of handling things on the front line, while I continue learning how to ‘care-give’ long distance.
      So glad you got to spend quality time with family over the holidays…Happy belated b-day to your nephew: my eldest is a New Year’s Baby, too!

  2. Donna@GWGT

    I was kinda lucky, both my parents never had to go into elder care. Like you said, no change for older folks. Both died at home. Oh, the refrigerator, that would freak me out. Happy New Year Laura. The very best year to come your way.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Woke up to soggy ice cream and melty fruit bars this morning…perhaps this saga is not truly over? Maybe my theme for this new year is: be bothersome!
      All the best for you, too, with lots of photo shoots and romps in the fields getting those special bird shots…

  3. Anna Scott Graham

    When my father was near the end, we decided to change care facilities, and while he lived in the new place for only days, those moments were a blessing for all of us. So sorry it’s taken a while to find those angels for your father, but it sounds like they’ve been located! So glad MamaCass has had her last litter, but I am sorry about the fridge and its losses, bleh. And having muddled through some sort of bug in December, I’m praying for a speedy and complete healing for you, as well as a good response to that grant application!
    May 2016 be filled with copious joys and educational blips. And may the blips be as brief as God knows we need them to be. 😉

    • laura bruno lilly

      Your decision to move an already fragile father in the midst of end-of-life issues must have been a hard one to make. Yet, a blessing as it yielded a greater quality of life during that short time.
      I’m still muddling, thought it was done and gone, but no…

  4. Marla

    I can understand what you are going through with your father. I have been struggling with trying to provide the right balance of care and independence for my parents for the past year or so. I applaud your efforts and perseverance in finding the right place where your father will be happy and cared for.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I read your latest post about your balancing act…hang in there! Thanks for the encouragement…

  5. janechese

    Wish you a happy New Year. with creativity, nature and your heart’s content.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I’ll take those good wishes, thank you Jane!
      The same back atchya, only with the addition of 2016 wishes for ‘good light’ during your photo shoots.

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