Grandma’s doing a lot better

It looks like we were flying out to “save the day” rather than “say goodbye.”

Grandma perked up a lot, and while she’s still really frail, and really tired, she’s also more talkative, and laughed a lot with us. Her doctor looked at her yesterday afternoon, thoroughly impressed by her improved condition, and said “Mrs. Vernon, your grandsons have done more to make you better than anything we’ve done.”

We spent three or four hours there yesterday morning, then went out for a little over three hours in the afternoon, and headed back for a couple of hours in the evening. We could tell that Grandma was NOT going to sleep while we were in the room, so it was necessary for us to bail for a while when it was apparent that she was trying NOT to nap, even though she was exhausted.

She had her first solid food yesterday, too. That hospital food is always nasty stuff, but she packed it away, and got hooked on the “Boost” drinks they were bringing with each meal. Mmmm… chalky old-folks milkshake. It reminds me of when Sandra was so sick I had to force HER to drink those things for two weeks straight.

They brought coffee with each meal, which surprised me a bit. That’s powerful stuff, there. Of course as a mormon Grandma didn’t WANT the coffee, so we dumped it and brought her warm water instead. Then in the evening she decided she wanted a Coke. Since there was coffee with dinner, we figured they knew she’d be getting the caffeine anyway, so we complied. I got a picture of her swigging the stuff from her hospital bed, but when my brothers said “label out! label out!” she didn’t understand the joke. Oh well, no corporate sponsorship deals for her.

During our afternoon break Randy, Bill, and I went to the park and played disc golf. The Calvert Park course is really nice, although it’s also really closely packed. Had there been lots of players it would have been easy to get hit in the head with a disc thrown on a hole adjacent to your own.

After we returned from the hospital in the late evening, we watched “Last Comic Standing” and then played a couple of rounds of “Star Munchkin.” Billy won both times, and in the second game he had the Schlock card in play. It’s the lucky card in our deck. I suppose I should be thankful that HE won rather than me. This means I’ll have playmates next time, too…


35 thoughts on “Grandma’s doing a lot better”

  1. heh…

    Be sure to bill the doctors an outragous consultying fee for the work you have done with your grandmother, since they have admitted you have done most of the work…

  2. Happy patients do much better than depressed ones. It’s great to hear your grandmother is, once again, proving this one.

    I finally found out which card in Star Munchkin has Schlock on it (it’s the Plasma Cannon card in the Star Munchkin 2 expansion set). I might actually have to pick this one up, although my opportunities to play it are somewhat limited.

  3. “Mmmm… chalky old-folks milkshake. It reminds me of when Sandra was so sick I had to force HER to drink those things for two weeks straight.”

    Think carefully before you use the term “old-folks” in any relation to your wife. That’s some dangerous ground, there…

    “Of course as a mormon Grandma didn’t WANT the coffee, so we dumped it and brought her warm water instead.”

    I am not picking nits, here, nor trying to be combative/difficult, I just want to understand this: you’ve said LDS forbids “hot drinks,” that is, coffee and tea. So, are iced coffee and tea also forbidden, or would they be allowed? And why forbid them at all? Is it because of the caffeine, and colas, being a modern invention, are allowed to slip through, or what? Help me comprehend, please!

      1. In the 19th-century parlance in which the Word of Wisdom (the Mormon law of health) was delivered, “Hot” drinks refers to coffee and tea-leaf tea (as opposed to mint tea, or any number of other non-tea-leaf “teas”) and “strong” drinks refer to beverages with alchohol in them.

        Clear as mud? 🙂

  4. Nice to hear your grandma is doing better. I’ve been taking care of mine for the past year (as best as I can with working days and juggling everything else) since my grandfather passed away last July.

  5. Oooh, Schlock card. I may have to go get Star Munchkin now, just to try to complete my set of webcomic-based Munchkin cards… Hm.

    And then, of course, I need the Blender…

  6. Glad to hear she’s doing well again!

    I know it must be boring there.. You can bet if I’m ever stuck in the hospital I’ll have a laptop and the phone’ll be busy 24/7.

    Curiosity check: what exactly do Mormons object to that makes coffee off-limits but Coke okay? Or is this just a matter of not being a very GOOD Mormon?

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, Howard, but from what I’ve heard, there’s no way to actually “not be a very good Mormon”.

      The way it seems to work is – either you follow the rules, or you’re out – unless you repent and never do it again.

      It’s not a religion that’s as lenient as, say, Christianity, where you can get off not going to church and swearing and all that, and just be “not a very good Catholic”, for example.

      (Please note – this is not in any way a judgment on which religion/creed/faith is better, nor is it an indictment of LDSs. In fact, if I were to follow a particular faith, I’d probably choose one that actually holds on to its beliefs rather than one that says “do what you want, as long as you end up being not TOO bad…”)

      1. Note, though: as Mormons believe in Christ and his teachings, they are, in fact, a Christian sect. Just because other sects (such as Protestant or Catholic ones) don’t agree with them doesn’t change the fact.

        1. Note also: I’m not trying to start a religious debate on Howard’s LJ, I just was curious about my own questions, and wanted to head off something that might lead to serious differences of opinion on a good man’s LJ.

        2. My bad – I knew that, I was just too tired to be specific enough.

          You are, of course, entirely correct. Please consider this as a replacement of the third original paragraph:

          “It’s not a religion that’s as lenient as, say, other branches of Christianity such as Catholicism, Protestantism or the Anglican Church, where you can get off not going to church and swearing and all that, and just be “not a very good Catholic”, for example.”

          Once again, my bad.

      2. You’ve been given bad information. There are only three activities for which you can be excommunicated.

        I) Adultry/Fornication after having covenanted in the temple to obey the Law of Chastity
        II) Actively fighting the church. Most folks who do this don’t WANT to be on the membership rolls anymore.
        III) Murder.

        For everything else, you just need to repent. Church isn’t a country-club for the saints. It’s a rehab center for sinners. We’re all mortal, and subject to temptation, sin, and the rest of it. That’s why Christ gave his life for us — to make repentance possible. Without his atonement there was no way to not be subject to the full wrath of God’s law at the Judgement day, and simply be cast off forever.

        I hope this sounds Christian to you.

        1. I hope this sounds Christian to you.

          Indeed, it does. Quite a bit more, in fact, than Catholicism and other, more “mainstream” branches of Christianity (at least, here in Canada, where LDSs are still a very small minority, much like Jehova’s Witnesses). (Also, I just want to make sure to put myself squarely in the camp of “curious and interested” rather than in the “your religion is weird and needs to grow up” category – as bbullock said, I’d hate to start a religious war on “a good man’s LJ”.)

          But I was under the impression that, say – imagine Mr. X is a LDS. He wakes up every day, gets himself a big pot of nice hot coffee. Drinks it all up, says, “Oops, shouldn’t’ve done that, sorry God” and goes off to work, only to do the same thing the next morning.

          Mr. X isn’t being a very good Mormon. He is, in fact, going right against one of the tenets of the religion (albeit probably not a very major one).

          How does the Church as an organisation react to this? Of course, that implies that they’d know of the fact – let’s just pretend that the people of the community (and the leaders of the local church/district, if there are any) are “aware” of the issue in and of itself. What happens next?

          1. In the situation you described, Mr. X. would not be able to obtain a temple recommend (it’s a card that says you’re worthy to enter into the Temple), and his Bishop would likely want to work with him to help him overcome his coffee problem so that he could GET a temple recommend at a future time.

          2. And no Temple Recommend means… no church for you on Sundays, right?

            And, I guess, no other church responsibilities (Sunday School teaching, for example).

          3. Actually, no. It means you can’t go to the Temple, which is not even OPEN on Sundays. We go to church in pretty ordinary churches.

            As to other church responsibilities, it really depends. Often the best cure for doing the wrong thing is “replacement therapy.” But yeah, an alchoholic mormon would be unlikely to find his/herself with a teaching calling like mine.


          4. So what does a Temple Recommend mean, then? Is it just a place where LDSs get together and, uh… be mormons, or is it, for example, where church-related activities happen?

            Sorry for all the questions, I guess I should probably read up on things a bit…

          5. The temples are where we make covenants, recieve endowments (special blessings), and get married; and most importantly perform earthly ordinances like Baptism for ancestors who have passed away without having those ordinances performed.

          6. So it’s basically (forgive my Catholic background once again) like one of “our” churches, except that you do everything but celebrate Mass (or Eucharist or however you call it – your Sunday celebration) in there.

            And you have a church that is used, presumably, only for the Sunday side of things. Correct?

          7. Hrrrmmm. No, not really. There’s no analog for temple worship in the Catholic faith. Temple ordinances were lost to “mainstream” Christianity by 300 AD.

            About the only thing that would be similar between a Catholic cathedral and a Mormon temple is performance of marriages, except that Mormon temple marriages are for time and all eternity. We do not take vows that expire with death.

            I really need to create a “ask your mormon questions here” thread.

          8. Oh, and while I’m at it – is there any specific reason (given in the scriptures or elsewhere) as to why coffee and tea are “outlawed”? Is it mostly for health reasons, or for their (albeit extremely slight) mind-altering capacities (ie getting you awake)?

      3. I believe (from what he posted a while back) the rules are rather more lenient for laypeople. A … preacher, whatever you call it… would definitely get um… disbarred. Whatever the word is.

        1. We have a lay clergy, and your bishop needs to find you worthy to have a calling in that clergy. There are LOTS of opportunities to serve, so it’s rare for a mormon man or woman to be a member of a congregation and not have some responsibility towards it.

          Yes, some callings have, or at least SEEM to have, higher standards of behavior than others. But we know that people are people, and are imperfect, and what’s important is a humble and repentant attitude. Falling into the same sinful behavior over and over is not unusual. As long as your attitude is a sincere “I will try to do better next time” rather than a “oh, what the hell, I can just repent later” you’ll get along fine.


          1. Hmmmmmm…..

            (Disclaimer: I’m not a member of the LDS, in fact, I was raised Baptist, so this isn’t a shameless plug. *grin*)

            Howard, while I’m not sure you’d want to do this on your LJ it seems to me that you’ve got a pretty sizable audience here who’s interested in a clearly articulated view of the Mormon church. For myself, all I really know about the church I’ve learned from Mormon friends and (more in quantity, but I pay less attention to) the Baptist church I grew up in (this was usually not…complementary).

            I’m not suggesting you attempt to convert the entire audience or anything, but maybe some sort of informative post so that those of us who know little could get some less negative or just plain wrong information about the church? I myself have no intention to convert or anything, but I don’t like being ignorant about things and I know I have a pretty big blind spot where your flavor of Christianity is concerned.

            Anyhow, just an idea I’m throwing out here based on the many questions that have been asked throughout the time I’ve been reading your journal.


            (Glad Grandma’s doing better. Family’s important and I’m glad you were able to go and help yours.)

          2. Re: Hmmmmmm…..

            Indeed – maybe not a full-fledged “informative post”, but still, maybe (I’m just thinking out loud here) a sort of formal “Mormonism for Dummies” forum/post/thread, where we could get to know things a bit better.

            I was lucky enough to have 2 classes in high school about World Religions – we learned about Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity (mostly Catholicism here, in Québec)… We did spend maybe two hours in all on Christian “sects”, including any and all offshoots of Catholicism and Protestantism – any religion that has at least a set of core beliefs in Christ, basically. So, not a lot of ground got covered on any single one of them.

            But it’s entirely rare these days to have someone that’s as knowledgeable, open and understanding as Howard to questions on his faith. It’s something I admire quite a bit, even as a “radical atheist”. It’s always been an interest of mine to find out why such and such things are forbidden/encouraged in a given religion (ie why Jews and Muslims don’t eat pork, for example). It’d be great to have a non-zealot ground for such questions, even if it’s just about LDSs.

            What is also great is that Howard definitely does not try to convert any of us. It’s just clear, simple and to-the-point answers to our questions.

            But I can’t shake the feeling that we’re somehow polluting an otherwise very nice non-religious thread about a Grandma that’s getting better.

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