Sunday, July 16, 2017

Counting Down

After church we talked with Jeannette and Dick for some time and then left with Terry and Carol for dinner at the Tournament course of the country club.  They had a great special on fajitas and margaritas.  The bill was so inexpensive that Terry wouldn't even let us reimburse him for our part.  I had hot tea instead of a margarita because the A/C was so cold.  I feared it would keep me awake but it didn't!

Sunday was "get my clothes ready" day.  I laid out what I thought I needed and then put some of it back.  I do have access to laundry so there is no need to overpack.  Now I have a few items to iron.

We have so much to take with us!  Two bags of things for others.  A bear for the newest baby.  I sent the initial gift but just didn't want to spend postage on the big bear if I didn't have to.  Three boxes of  dishes for Ally's fiancé to use in their apartment until after the wedding.  It's a nice Pfaltzgraf set so I think they will hang on to it. A blow up queen size bed just in case it is needed somewhere with so many coming into town.  My two bags of T-shirts to be made into a quilt by my very talented niece Jill.  Also, our carpet samples to use while picking out our new RV furniture, our Yeti cooler, my pedal machine to move my legs while riding and suitcases!!  And people ask why I drive an Expedition!

Monday was PT in the morning and then we received a call that our trailer was fixed.  We went right out to pick it up.  Turns out a ground wire that was just twisted copper at the end had worked loose.  They put a clip on it and secured it properly.  Voila!  12 volt was back!  I was able to get the carpet pads from the steps leading to the bedroom to take with us to Lambright's when we look at furniture.  

 Darker color right?

Tuesday I invited Gail for lunch so we could plan the October party for the nursing home.  We both have two trips before then and I won't be back in time to be here.  I wanted to do all I could beforehand so she has everything she needs.  We divided up responsibilities and chose items to make centerpieces.  We checked supplies and the only thing we need is orange balloons.  We also decided since we have so many red, white and blue supplies we will honor Election Day in November!  

This will be my first time using the computer training I took the morning of the day I ended up in the hospital.  Sure hope all the handouts and notes I took get me through the record keeping for our five events this year!  

Wednesday started early.  Both the PT fellow and Isabelle were due here at 8 am.  I needed to be up, dressed and house in order before they all arrived.  Vinnie was right on time.  We went through my whole exercise routine and then left to take a 10-15 minute walk.  When we got back, Isabelle had arrived and Ted let her in.  I received my second set of discharge papers having received the nursing ones the day before.  They both had said they were sorry to see me finish up because I was their best patient, very compliant.  It's those nuns again!

When everyone was gone, Ted left to get his haircut and I dressed to play Mahjongg.  But first I had to drop my two plants off at Judy's, take Gail's things to her that she left yesterday then finally to Diane's to play Mahjongg.  And I finally won a game!  It was almost 5:30 when I got home.  Ted had dinner ready.

Up again early and out the door by 9:00 on Thursday for my annual eye check up.  This doctor did my cataract surgery almost 10 years ago and I see him once a year.  There was no change in my night driving glasses and the overall health of my eyes remains excellent.  He said he would see me next year.

I was home long enough to eat a bowl of cereal as a late breakfast and headed in the other direction for a haircut, the first in 4 months!  I did a load of laundry when I got back home and Ted grilled some burgers.  Afterwards we went to Wendy's for a 50 cent Frosty.  We were introduced to this promotion last year at Grand Canyon Village.  They are just the right size.  

Friday I finally got the ironing done and finished my packing.  We took Ken and Nancy to lunch.  We were scheduled the day I went to the hospital but they had to cancel which is why I was out shopping alone that afternoon.  I didn't want to give her the mail key again still being indebted for last time.  It didn't seem much like Friday for some reason.  We spent the evening at home.

Saturday we said goodbye to Tucker.  After I mailed the lawn maintenance check, dropped the mailbox key off to Nancy, I headed north to hand off Tucker to another of Gerre's friends for his last week before they come home.  Then I hit the nail salon.  It wasn't long after I got home that we went to church and back home to finish packing!  

On the road again.  🎶🎶🎶

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I Can Pack!

Wednesday was my second last PT day.  When we were finished I did my morning chores and then we went to the trailer to measure the couch and media chairs.  But the slide wouldn't go out.  And the level up system screen is blank.  We have 12 volt at the battery and had a new hydraulic pump installed last year and we checked the fuses and breakers so we are at a loss.  We have several calls out to see if there is a small thing we are missing.  If that doesn't do it we will have to call a mobile service because with the legs not going up, we can't hook up.  

So we came home and I went to the doctor because he would not refill the UTI medicine they gave me at the hospital without seeing me.  I had to go to Quest for a urine sample and of course it was closed for lunch so I came home.  I went back later without incident and I immediately received a text that my prescription was ready.  So I went to Walmart right from there.

Isabelle had not arrived by the time I got back.  In fact, she never showed up at all!  I always get my calendar out when I check for the next time and I write it right there in front of her.  She never writes anything down though.  Tomorrow Ted and I are both going to be gone over lunch time so I will just wait to see what her response to my text is.

All in all, it was an aggravating day, not much got accomplished and I don't even know if this medicine (which is not what they gave me at the hospital) will work since he called it in before he had any results.  I am hoping for a better tomorrow!

Thursday was a better day.  It was the neighborhood ladies lunch and I rode with Dana, Gail and Jeanette.  There were 12 in all but they had a 4 seat booth and a small table of 6 set up.  There was a round table next to the 6 topper so I just moved the 4 set ups from the booth, got 2 more chairs and told the waitress we would be needing 2 more set ups because we were 12, not 10.  Mission accomplished.  I liked sitting at the round table because it makes it so easy to talk to everyone.  We had a nice lunch, great conversation and didn't get home until 2:15.  Isabelle was due at 3:00.  

Ted came home and said he had tried everything he could think of at the trailer and all the suggestions and finally someone had suggested something I can't explain but it worked.  So Friday we will jerry rig the battery to get the legs up so we can take it to the repair shop.  

We waited all afternoon and Isabelle called at 6:00.  Her excuse Wednesday was she lost her phone and couldn't call me.  I am not sure what she wanted to tell me.  Thursday's excuse was she waited and waited for the afternoon lady to come home to pay her.  I told her it was too late and call me next week.  I think this arrangement is on the short list now.  Since we are leaving I will worry about it later.  

Friday we were up early and got dressed to take the trailer to the RV repair shop.  Ted used the jumper cable to get power from the battery to the hydraulic pump so he could lift the legs.  The whole road out is under construction with a couple detours but we made it.  He backed into the spot they showed him and we left.  Jay and Stella were coming up this way to have the brakes on their truck replaced.  We had agreed to meet them and Susan and Tommy for lunch and a visit.  Once we got home we called Jay and offered to bring them to our house while they waited so Ted went to pick them up.  We had a nice  visit and eventually left to meet the others. After lunch we came home and it was already 3:30.

Saturday is another work day for Ted for an outing at the gun club.  We have nothing planned except church in the afternoon.  I am going to use the time to get my clothes together for our trip.  Next week will be busy probably with the things we have scheduled and the last minute things that will pop up.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

And We Wait

Just as Barry and Gerre approached our house the heavens opened up.  They called and asked if we would open the garage door to more easily get Tucker and his things inside.  Once settled, we left in separate cars and drove through a real downpour for several minutes and then ... nothing.  It was dry and hadn't even rained just a few miles north.  

We were seated right away at Saltgrass and had a nice dinner.  Ted picked up the tab because we have been to their house so much recently.  The time they were invited to our house I ended up in the hospital!

9 to 5 The Musical followed the story line of the original movie pretty closely but the music told a lot of the story and was pretty funny.  The two ensembles, one of men and the other women, were not the most talented bunch but it gave interested parties a chance to be on stage.  The three lead women all did a great job.  Afterwards we said goodbye and told our friends to have a relaxing, safe trip.  Hopefully we will be gone by the time they return so we won't see them for over a month.  We will take Tucker to their other friends when we leave.

We woke to no power on Saturday morning.  It lasted about two hours so it only delayed my morning coffee, nothing more.  Ted worked a fund raiser at the gun club and I eventually did laundry.  We went to church as usual and came home.  

Sunday Ted went shooting again and I just putzed around the house until time to get ready to go visit Tommy and Susan who are at the campground nearby.  We visited for an hour or so before leaving to have dinner.  There is an Italian place that has great lasagna and everyone but me had it.  I chose chicken Parmesan.  Afterwards we went back to the campground and sat out and were joined by a couple from Michigan, until it started sprinkling.  We went inside for ice cream and cake to celebrate Tommy's birthday.  Tommy had to walk Ted with an umbrella to get the car and then walked me to the car when he pulled up.

It rained all night and most of Monday.  Tucker hates the rain and wet grass so every "visit out" is a bit of a challenge.  When it is dry he goes right out.  It was a lazy day.

Tuesday we went to the cardiologist and waited an anxious 1 hour and 15 minutes past our appointment time.  But the news was terrific!  My stress test showed not only no damage but a heart functioning above average for my age.  Don't you love that add on?  "For your age."  Translation "you are old."  They did a Doppler on my DVT and it is still there but better than last time with minimal circulation passing through it.  

I will remain on Eliquis and have a passel of appointments in August and September.  In the meantime we can travel!

She gave us the OK to travel to Ohio and Michigan by car.  We need to stop at least every two hours and take my medicine religiously.  We will be gone about three weeks, return home, do all the doctor visits and then HOPEFULLY leave with the RV for a wedding in Cleveland the third week in September followed by our granddaughter's wedding the last weekend in September.  Then, as you already know, instead of flying to Vancouver and cruising to Hawaii, we will come home.  

But we have one more outing to look forward to.  In October my brother Dan and his wife Sue are coming down with another couple.  Then Ted and I along with Pete and his wife will all gather in New Braunfels for a week while the guys shoot in the Sporting Clay Competitions at Nationals in San Antonio.  We are staying at a 3 cabin resort owned by a friend of Dan's.  I am really looking forward to this trip.  

So what do you do to celebrate good news?  We went to the gun range since it has been a long time since I have shot.  I cannot qualify for Concealed Carry with a .22 so I need to practice with the 9mm. It is hard for me to pull the 5# trigger but I just have to do it.  I didn't do too bad.  I am still way better with the .22 just because the trigger is easier for me to pull.  When I had acquired enough points that would have me passing, Ted told me to put the 5 final shots in the head. I did but it looks like 3 regular holes and one big one that is actually two bullets hitting in almost the exact same spot.

"There's nothing more important than our good health - that's our principal capital asset."  

 ~ Arlen Specter

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Starting the 4th at Lake Conroe

I made my red, white and blue salad and we went to Pelican Bay to start the 4th of July weekend at Gerre and Barry's.  There were about 35 people in attendance.  I immediately went in the pool hoping hanging on a noodle would stretch the vertebrae in my back enough to give me some relief.  I was fine in the pool but it started acting up as soon as I got out.  I sat several different places trying to get comfortable but nothing was helping.  We had a virtual feast for dinner before heading across the bridge to Fay's house who lives directly on the lake across from the firework display.  

We rode in the golf cart and my back really didn't like that.  Then to add insult to injury, I walked right into Fay's storm door!  I wondered why she had the door standing wide open, but it wasn't!  I left a nose and forehead imprint!  Thankfully, other than startling myself, I was okay.  The decks were full and we had a great display to enjoy.  My back liked the ride back even less than the ride over!  We gathered our swim stuff, left the remaining salad and came home.  I immediately laid down with my ice pack and once my back calmed down, I went to bed.

I was still hurting Sunday morning and Ted said I should skip church so he went without me.  I did my PT, Ted's back exercises and some Kristin had sent from Vancouver.  That along with the ice pack and Tylenol arthritis finally brought some relief.  Ted received a call from Steve so he went shooting.  I kept the ice pack company and not much else.  Ted grilled a flat iron steak for dinner and tomorrow's dinner will be fajitas made with the leftover steak!

Monday the PT examiner failed to show.  I still don't know why.  We waited around and finally gave up and went to HEB for groceries, Kohl's looking for a patriotic shirt but found none, then went to Walmart for a new kitchen garbage can.  The only shirt they had was blue with red and white striped skull and cross bones.  No thank you!  I decided to make do with what I had at home.

Tuesday we spent the morning listening to the music channel that was playing all patriotic music.  I made another salad and mid afternoon we went to Terry and Carol's for ribs and to play cards.  Two other couples came but after we ate, no one wanted to play cards and by 7:30 the party broke up.  Only Jody and Dave were headed to the fireworks but that wasn't going to happen for two hours.  My back was killing me from sitting so long and we headed for home a little after 8:00.

The PT guy didn't show at 9:00 Wednesday but about 10:00 the Monday guy called and asked to come. He said he was too busy to come (and obviously too busy to call!) on Monday.  He was unable to leave the paperwork so Vinnie didn't come Wednesday.  Whatever!  He wants me to continue after we return in August but I don't think that will be necessary but we'll see.  I have to get permission to go first.

Then our sprinkler guys came and went over our entire sprinkling system.  I am not sure just what they all did but they spent a fair amount of time doing it.  Our new sod looks great and I want it to stay that way.

I had agreed to host mahjong on Wednesday.  Ted set up the tables and chairs for me.  All you need is drinks for this group so it wasn't any trouble.  You can't play at the kitchen or dining room tables so I put two card tables in the hall and adjoining sitting area.  Stephanie, the teacher, said it was just fine.  I still haven't had a mahjongg and I am supposed to know what I am doing!

Ted had made himself scarce all afternoon and when he came home he put the two tables and 8 chairs back on the racks in the garage and we went to get a burger at Culver's.  I always get the kid's burger and fries and it comes with a scoop of custard.  They even give their 10% senior discount on it! We came home and watched TV.  We needed to get up early on Thursday for my stress test.

We arrived at 8:30 and I was taken in right away.  They started a line in my right hand, injected one vial and said to go wait for 45 minutes.  When they called me again I had to lie down and the equipment moved over me from right to left.  That took 16 minutes.  Then I went in another room where they put 10 leads on me, injected me with threes vials of something and said the test would take just one minute but would make me feel weird.  It made me a bit woozy and started a headache.  They brought me a cup of coffee to act as an antidote and by the time I finished it, I was fine.  We had to wait 45 more minutes and then with 3 leads on, have more pictures taken for 11 minutes.  Tuesday is my follow up appointment.

Ted made a pot of chili for dinner.  It has been hot but it sounded good to me and it really was!  

Vinny came on Friday and will come Monday and Wednesday next week until the doctor advises me on Tuesday.  I am up to 20 rotations with 3 lb. weights and 10 minutes on the pedaling machine.  

We have a busy weekend.  It just sort of crept up on us.  Tucker is coming tonight to stay for two weeks and then we are having dinner at Saltgrass and seeing Nine to Five at our community theater.  I had given these tickets to Gerre because we didn't expect to be here so when things changed I asked if she had invited anyone already.  She hadn't, so we all are going!

Hope is a good thing, may be the best of things,
hope makes a person stronger in his bad times,
hope makes you realize that it isn't the end,
hope makes you realize there's God and he is
with you no matter if you are fighting alone,
 hope makes you believe the power of love,
hope makes you understand that it's good to
share things instead of hiding them,
 Never lose hope, it gives you wings and it's
up to you where you want to fly.

Monday, June 26, 2017

No Doctors This Week

Monday my PT fellow came and upped my rotations even more.  Then we went for a walk.  I was winded a bit when I got back but some of it is because I talk the whole time!  Ted had gone to shoot with Pete and immediately my phone started ringing.  

First up was Marge from Connecticut saying they had arrived home safely.  We talked about the happenings over the weekend at the reunion and other things.  Then my home phone rang so I hung up to get that.  It was my friend Esther who wanted to come for a visit about 6 pm and I said that was fine.  Then our friends Karen and Dave called from Michigan on my cell phone.  I talked to them for awhile and then the home phone rang again!  It was Esther again saying she was coming over right away!  

She arrived with a vase of beautiful roses for me.  We had a nice visit before she had to leave to accompany her husband to the doctor.  I was finally able to finish my morning chores after enjoying all my phones calls and her visit.

The phone was busy all day - Daughters Kara and Kristin and sister Karen all called too.  My ear needed a rest!

Other than that, nothing much happened.  We had dinner and watched TV before heading to bed.

I didn't sleep well Monday night and was awakened early Tuesday which made for a slow moving morning.  I thought the nurse was coming at 9:00 but she came at noon.  Once I got that word, I hopped in the shower and started my day.  Ted went shooting again and I started the laundry.  Eileen called when they got on the road to Nashville and Gail from Forum called to give me a pep talk on Eliquis which she has taken for two years.  

Diana came at noon and pronounced all my vitals perfect today.  We talked about our desire to leave once given the ok and worked out dates to be released.  I had done that with PT on Monday.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that all continues to go well.

Ted stopped at the grocery for a few things for lunch which we ate when he arrived home.  I had done 3 loads of laundry.  And then we napped!  

I slept better Tuesday night so my morning moved at a faster pace.  I did my PT with Vinnie then my morning routine after he left.  After lunch I dressed and went to Mah Jongg.  It was another slow set of games but the others are learning.  Ted grilled burgers for dinner and I used leftover hash browns and made potato pancakes.  We watched TV.  I am tired of reruns already!

Thursday was a lazy day while we waited for Isabelle to come.  It was very late in the day because she messed up and came Wednesday when I wasn't home instead of Thursday like she told me.  I guess we were third for the day for her and the crew.  It was 6:00 or after when they finished.  That made for a late dinner but we had nothing planned so that was okay. 

Gerre called and invited us to dinner on Friday even though we are going Saturday to a party of about 40 people at their house for a BBQ, swimming and fireworks.  We offered to just go out but she wants to clear out the refrigerator and freezer she said. 

Terry stopped by on Friday to have Ted help him again get his gun back together after cleaning.  There was a step he was missing.  We had lunch and I left for another new nail salon (!) near Gerre's.  Ted was coming up a couple of hours later and he was there when I arrived around 6:00. We had a great dinner of flat steak, loaded baked potatoes, corn and beans.  I had to turn down apple pie because I was so full.  We never did get around to going in the pool.  It was going on 11:00 when we got home.

I have to make my red, white and blue cheesecake salad to take back there today. We left our two beach bags there so we can swim in the afternoon.

Happy 4th of July weekend to all.  Thank you to our armed forces scattered throughout the world sacrificing to protect us.  I will leave you with Fr. Sebastian's frequent quote "God is good, all of the time.  All of the time, God is good."  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Not So Boring After All

We received a gift of frozen Chicago pizzas from my sister Margaret and fixed one for dinner.  It was excellent!  Afterwards we went to Lowe's to buy some begonias to replace some impatiens that weren't doing so well.  I think they are now getting too much sun since the trees have been trimmed.  

When we pulled into Lowe's parking lot, Ted's phone rang and it was Don and Trudy from Nacadoches, TX who spend winters with us in Mission.  They were getting ready to leave for Angel Fire, NM and wanted to check up on me before they get into tough Communications mode.  We had a long visit with them on speaker phones.

We bought a dozen plants and a new hose.  At home I was placing the plants along the wall where I wanted them to be planted when I got a video chat from my niece Amy in Pigeon Forge at the family reunion.  They were all gathered in the pavilion after dinner.  There are 110 people in attendance and Amy took the phone to each group so I could say hello and they could see I am doing ok.  

It breaks my heart not to be there but I have to do what the doctors say.  It is too dangerous not to.  Our RV friends approached "a girl that looked like you" in the breakfast room Saturday morning and asked if she knew me.  It was my niece Cindy!  

Ted's recliner was getting hard to close because the foam padding on the footrest was breaking down and interfering.  This was the second Lazy Boy loveseat recliner we had bought so we decided to buy a new leather one.  This new one is a BarcoLounger.  I hope we have better luck with this one.  

We stopped for late lunch/early dinner at Cracker Barrel before going home and getting ready for church.  We saw a deacon from our church there too.

Saturday was a full day of the reunion and there were several photos posted.  This reunion is for the descendents of Joseph Homer and Pearl Hall, my maternal great grandparents.  They had three children Ted, Joe and Lucille (Ruhe).

The big "kids" waiting to take a ride.

Big Splash Time at Dollywood

The little ones making handprints.  This is Lucas who is going to be a big brother! 


Tim and Cindy's family

The Connecticut, Maine and Florida group

Karen and Ron's family

Don Ruhe Family

Dan Ruhe Family

The Homer Family

The whole fam damily!

I was delighted to see them all and appreciate their sentiment that We Should Be There.

I was texting with Gerre in late afternoon and we decided they would come to our house, once we came home from church, to play cards.  Ted and Barry won after a whole game of ups and downs in score.  We had a fun evening and so far we haven't been bored!

We were expecting delivery of our loveseat between 1-3 on Sunday when we received a recorded message at 11:10 that our delivery was in 10 minutes.  We were not dressed and had not moved the old loveseat out of the way.  We scurried and were presentable 13 minutes later when the doorbell rang.  I think we did a great job on color.  We wanted to pick up the reddish brown in the carpet.  

We didn't do anything in the afternoon but did meet Terry, Carol and Sharon for dinner at Kona Grill.  Sharon, their daughter, was in from College Station for a 12th Man doings at our Conference Center.  Her husband Don left for Washington DC to visit their son so couldn't join us.

All in all, not as boring a weekend as I thought it would be.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

On Our Own

Kara and Bill arrived home safely and immediately went to bed.  Babysitting your parents can be exhausting!

Wednesday morning the PT fellow came and he has extended the weights and time for each of my rotations.  I am still doing well.  It is also helping my back.  I cannot have any epidural shots in my back while taking Eliquis nor any aspirin based products so it is going to be PT and Tylenol to get by.  

After lunch I went out alone, only the second time, to play Mah Jong.  It is a training class and I am ahead of those learning so I have to be patient while they contemplate their moves.  I will be able to play the next four times and then another 3-4 times before the next season starts.  Hopefully we will all be playing on a similar plane at that time.  

It was dinner time when I arrived home and Ted had dinner ready.  I talked to my sister-in-law Marge who had arrived in the area of the family reunion.  Many are disappointed that we are unable to attend. We are disappointed too.

We watched PBS for some reason and waited for the rains to come from Storm Cindy.  It did rain through the night but we got just the western bands of the storm.  It went ashore near the TX/LA border.  I didn't even know there were A and B storms already!

Before I went to bed, I checked my email and my biopsy results had been posted to my portal.  It was scary to look at but I would rather know going into the doctor Friday than remain in the dark. It said it was benign endometrial tissue.   However, it also said "scant sample so may not be representative."  That is good news but still leaves room to wonder.  I guess we'll know next steps, if any, on Friday.

Ted shot skeet on Thursday and I cleaned out 3 more drawers.  My bag for Paralyzed Texas Vets is full plus I have a few computer bags and a rug.  But I just might get to those brown and black slacks I need to try on.  

Around 5:00, our next door neighbors came over to visit.  They split their time between here, their house in Israel and their son's home in California.  We help out with mail and garbage cans when we are here.  Rafi had his hip replaced this past winter and now needs the other one done.  He wanted to know how I did with my second one.  And they were interested in how I was doing after my hospital stay.  We had a nice visit for a few hours and then we had a quiet evening.

Friday we went to see Dr. LB.  He said the news was good, benign, but I questioned him on the "scant" sample remark.  He said he took random samples circling three times and felt confident it was a good representation of the lining.  He did reiterate that normally he would do a D&C but for now he feels a follow-up ultrasound in 6 months will put us in a better position to go forward with that treatment.  I will take this report to the cardiologist so she knows where we stand.

My family is gathering in Pigeon Forge and they are sending greetings and photos.  One of the two couples we were going on to Nashville with has arrived with the other one due in tomorrow.  All my family should be there by dinner time this evening.  I bet their paths cross!

We are in for a boring weekend so I will end this here for now.  Maybe I will get more photos to post next time.


Friday, June 16, 2017

More Doctors

Kara and Bill arrived Thursday evening right on time.  Friday was my biopsy in the morning.  Dr. LB said he didn't see anything that looked suspicious but we have to wait until next week to see the results.  It wasn't too bad a procedure but it certainly wasn't a picnic!  There was no bleeding issue which was our primary concern and that was a major relief.  I spent most of the day on the couch with my feet up.

Bill fixed our closet catches, cleared the bathroom drain, installed a new thermostat that I can control from an app on my phone, installed an outside remote on the garage door, checked our A/C lines to insure they are clear, cleaned out the dryer vent and installed a dimmer for Aunt Carol.  What a guy!

On Saturday Bill checked our 14 year old water heater and pronounced it ready to die!  When he and Ted removed it there was a lot of sediment in the bottom so his assessment was correct.  Because Bill is an HVAC contractor we got a really good deal on a new one and free installation.  Ted took a spill off the tailgate of the truck when unloading the new water heater but said he was okay.  I bet he is sore tomorrow.

Kara made a grape salad for Sunday and I set the dining room table.  Terry, Carol and Irene were coming over and seven people fit easier around that table.  While Kara worked on stuff for her job I did 3 loads of laundry.  Things are returning to normal.  

We went to church at 5:00 and then to the Mexican restaurant we had taken Kristin to before she left.  Everyone enjoyed their dinner and margaritas.  Ted is limping but you know he isn't going to admit his knee and hip hurt.  We will see what tomorrow brings.  

Ted and Bill decided to check out Academy Sunday morning.  While Kara sliced cucumbers and onions for a side dish, I put the beans together and upon his return, Ted readied his grill and burgers.  About 11:30 Sherida and John stopped by on their way home.  They had their two Yorkies with them who were taking great delight in being taken in and out into the yard.  After they left, Bill took a much deserved nap, Kara continued working on her job things and I put out the dishes we would need to serve snacks and dinner.

Ted told me I bought him a bucket of bullets for Father's Day while he was at Academy.  The girls had gone together and bought him a new scope he wanted.  All in all, a good present day for him.

Sighting in the new scope.

With Kara here to help, we had invited Irene, Terry and Carol back for the Memorial Day cookout that never happened!  With everyone pitching in it was not too much on anyone except maybe Kara.  She is a trooper.  Dinner turned out great and we all had a good visit.  It also gave us some leftovers for Monday's dinner.

Thr PT fellow came Monday morning and as soon as I was finished Kara and I took off for bunco.  It was my second outing that wasn't a doctor's appointment or church!  Everyone was very glad to see me and thought I looked great.  That little boost in self confidence helps a lot.  Linda moved from table to table each time and we were all delighted to see her effort.  She looked much better and only needed someone to carry her glass of water for her.  Everyone enjoyed meeting Kara.  She had a nice time too, a much needed break from work and taking care of us.  Ted and Bill had gone to the gun club and shot sporting clays so they had a nice time too.

Ted grilled chicken breasts and we used the leftovers to make a dinner meal.  Ted put the old water heater out next to the recycling can and it was gone the next morning before the recycling truck came so I suppose some "junk man" took it for scrap.  Either way, it was gone!

Kara was still working so Bill took us to Costco since we don't have a card and we allowed our Sam's card to lapse.  But the drinks I paid $16.66 for at Sam's were $24.99 there. I also tried to buy print cartridges but they didn't carry them. Since these are two things I always got at Sam's, I guess I will renew and not get a Costco card as planned.  

The visiting nurse came after lunch and checked me out.  She is very happy with the appearance of my leg.  It has returned to normal size and appearance and she did some pressing and pulse taking and pronounced it as doing very well.  It is impossible to determine the status of the DVT but the lack of swelling, heat, redness and pain are all good things.

A bit later, after Kara laundered the linens and remade the bed, we left for a late lunch/early dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, their favorite restaurant here that they don't have at home.  Then we dropped them off at the airport.  With a huge storm forming in the Gulf, it is good they are getting out this evening!

Now we wait for the biopsy results on Friday.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Another Week Inside

We certainly miss our girls.  

Today I spent time in the office going through all our cancellations.  I checked off the ones that show credit to my credit card.  I wrote across the top of those I am still waiting for the credit and made a few calls to finish off the requests.  The only reservation in place is the hotel in Cleveland for wedding #1.  I want to get this first round done before I start making any more.

I got the rest of the house in order and called it a day about 3:30.  Ted picked up the six shots I have to take instead of the Eliquis in preparation for my biopsy.  He fixed dinner and we watched reruns on TV.

Saturday I got all my daily things done, Ted washed his truck.  In the afternoon I got my shower, washed my hair and picked out clothes for church.  I still have to do things in small segments because I tire very easily.  Bottom line, this is boring!

We went to church and then to Red Lobster with Terry and Carol.  I wanted some coconut shrimp.  It turned out to be a good choice and we all enjoyed our meals.  I had a glass of wine, the only liquid I have had besides water and one glass of OJ since leaving the hospital.  The veins on the back of my hands are reappearing.  Hopefully my hydration is returning to normal.

Sunday we were invited to Terry and Carol's again for dinner and cards.  Irene came too because John is out of town.  Terry grilled chicken breasts and Carol fixed several dishes, all of which were great.  She is really a good cook.  Afterwards we played cards.  I wasn't doing real well but did get a Shanghai on the 5th game.  But that wasn't enough to put me in 1st or 2nd place.  We brought lots of leftovers home so I am still reprieved from cooking!

Monday was PT day and after that ... nothing.  To pass some time I decided to try on all my slacks and capris to weed out whatever didn't fit or I no longer wanted.  I guess I have been this same size for quite awhile because after going through all the beige, white, navy and jeans, I only had 2 pair to put in the bag.  I will get to black and  brown another time.

Diana came on Tuesday and gave me the first Lovinix shot and showed me how to do it.  I gave myself these shots in 2007 after my first hip replacement so I knew it was easy and not painful.  When she left I got dressed and WENT OUT BY MYSELF to the country club for a working lunch.  Gail got last year's nursing home leaders to meet with us to take over the reins.  We had about a 2.5 hour lunch and went over our responsibilities.  I brought 3 bins of balloons, ribbons, name tags, decorations, cups, etc. home with me.  There are more in storage at the Forum office so we will have to go see what is there that we can use.  I did okay by myself and made it home just fine.  And Gail picked up the whole lunch tab!  It was productive and enjoyable to get out.

Wednesday I took a walk with my PT guy for about a block, half of it an upgrade.  We talked the whole way and by the time we got back to the house I was getting winded.  It is the first time I felt like I was pushing myself.  A block isn't much but it is a start.

In the afternoon I went to the pulmonologist.  He checked me out and said he feels I am back 80%. We had lots of questions that he answered.  I didn't know this but they talked about removing my PE when I was in the hospital but they felt it was too risky.  We asked if I can plan on going to Ohio and Michigan the end of July and he said if we stop every two hours and I do my leg and feet bends in the car, it should be okay.  He reminded us that since they don't know how or why I developed a clot there will always be a chance of developing another.  That's what the filter is for.  My insurance policy!

The biopsy is on Friday.  I will be back then!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Catching H*ll!

I am catching h*ll from my readers about not keeping up my blog.  There isn't a lot to report but here goes.

Both Kara and Kristin came to be with us.  They were so helpful with coordinating all the appointments, directions, tests, medicine dispensing, etc. as well as keeping the home fires burning and all of us fed. Many meals were brought in so in truth, cooking was minimal.   We all were most grateful for the food and goodies brought to us.

I had an appointment with the hematologist who has ordered blood tests to determine if I have any genetic reason for these clots since there is no apparent reason in my lifestyle.  Next was the cardiologist who did another ultrasound but there was no noticeable change in the DVT.  She has ordered a stress test for July 6.  Then she will see me July 11.

We went to my PCP who is the coordinator of all the "ologists."  He ordered a full CBC, urinalysis to be sure the UTI is gone and a hemocult at home test in lieu of a colonoscopy which wouldn't be wise at the moment.  Only my kreatnine remains a bit high.  That is a kidney enzyme and we will bring it up to the cardiologist to see if I need another ologist!  

Then we went to the GYN for the ultrasound.  It showed an 18mm lining versus a "normal" one of 5mm for my age.  So now we have a biopsy scheduled for 6/16 and Kara and Bill are returning.  Prayers are appreciated on this matter.  Think benign!

PT has been coming twice a week and the visiting nurse once a week.  It is comforting to have professionals checking on my vitals and progress.  I have exercises to do twice a day when PT doesn't come.

So that is where we are medically.  The good news is that I feel fine.  I have been pacing myself but have been able to do small things around the house.  Today I did three small loads of laundry.  In between I lay on the couch and elevate my leg.  My foot, ankle and lower leg had been swollen terribly but in the last two days it is almost normal!  We are hoping the Eliquis is working on the DVT and possibly dissolving it somewhat.  My pulse ox has been 98-99 on room air which is normal so we hope the PE is dissolving too.  

We have had many visitors which has helped pass the time.  And we were invited to Gerre's for dinner after 3 appts. in one day.  I sat in the recliner and promptly fell asleep!  The girls had a great visit and we all had dinner when I woke up.  

We had the front door refinished so now the whole outside is done.  Tree gone, fence repaired and cleaned, roof cleaned, house painted, deck stained and yard totally redone.  At least we will be able to enjoy it all this summer.  Our plans are kaput!

We canceled Pigeon Forge and my family reunion, the 3 days in Nashville, the week in Cincinnati to be able to spend the 4th at Elk Lake, our trip to the factory in Indiana and a week with my brother on Grand Lake.

Instead we will leave the last week in July to make Ted's family reunion in Cincinnati the last weekend in July.  We will drive so we can stop as often as we need to.  The next week we will go to Michigan for Ally's bridal shower the next weekend.  Then come home.

Near the end of September we will take the RV to Michigan, drive the truck to Cleveland for the first family wedding, return to Michigan for our granddaughter's wedding the next weekend.  When all the festivities are over we will head to Indiana for our two appointments to get some things fixed.  From there we will head for home.

This could all change but for now it is our goal.  It allows us to do the four most important family things and get the RV all fixed up.  There is always something to get worked on.  

Your concern and prayers are greatly appreciated.  I hope to be able to continue good reports!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Mundane

Just a quick posting to let you all know I am doing well.  I am probably going to have this massive DVT in my left leg to one degree or another for the rest of my life.  We have the filter in place as a precaution and I am on blood thinners.  Removal is very dangerous so that would be a last resort.  My ankle and leg will probably swell throughout the day the more I am on it or even sitting.  Lying down with it elevated for now has shown the only decrease in swelling.  Long rides will need to be broken up and the sardine seats in an airplane are no longer on my radar.  Premium or Comfort seats will be needed.  

The girls have been magnificent as well as all our neighbors, family and friends.  Gifts, flowers, balloons, food galore and cards a plenty have arrived to cheer me on.  It is working!  I am determined to return to my full calendar with a constant eye on my leg, breathing and hydration.  In retrospect I can see small signs that indicated something was going awry.  But none was readily apparent to me as anything of great concern.

We have one more hurdle to get over tomorrow with a transvaginal ultrasound to take a look at something that appeared on my abdominal CT in the hospital.  I am 17 years post menopausal with absolutely not even a whisper of anything wrong and I have yearly Pap smears which all have been normal.  But we will do this just to check it out.  

I hope all my readers are having a great summer.  Hug your loved ones, make that call to someone you need to touch base with, talk to God each and every day.  You don't want him saying "who?" when people pray for you.  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Little Drama

Monday it rained and we had no place to go so we just kicked back and enjoyed a free day at home.

Tuesday started out well.  I went to the Forum office to take my two hour computer training for assigning jobs, notifying registrations and applying hours.  I thought I had slept funny and asked Ted to put some Flexall on my shoulder blade and thought nothing more of it.

When I returned at noon, Ted and Terry were sitting out on the deck cleaning guns.  I fixed a sandwich, ate and headed back out to run some errands.  My first stop was a quick in and out but I was short of breath.  I sat in the AC for several minutes before heading to the next place.  Another quick in and out but I had to go back to the car to sit before going next door.  After that quick in and out I decided to go home.  Something was wrong.

I told Ted I just couldn't catch my breath. My toes, feet and lower legs started cramping terribly. It hurt like crazy.  I tried several things to no avail so I lumbered in to our bedroom to change into PJs with plans to lay down to see if I would feel better.  But I couldn't get undressed so stumbled into the hall and told Ted to call 911, I couldn't breathe.  He helped me dress into loose clothing and I laid on the couch waiting for the ambulance.  We live just 2.5 miles from the hospital so we were there in no time. I was whisked into triage and within 6 hours had several test results indicating a pulmonary embolism in my left lung and a Deep Vein Thrombosis in my left leg.

So that's where I have been.  I was on Heparin immediately and when my numbers hit the right one, I started on Eliquis.  There seems to be no obvious reason for me having a DVT and clots so the detective work continues.  

Kara arrived and when she wasn't liking their answers, demanded a vascular specialist be called in.  He checked out my DVT and said we needed an interventionist cardiologist.  The next guy looked at my file, sent his NP to talk to us and had me in the cath lab at 3:00 to place a filter in my artery to catch any clot that might break away from the DVT.  

It took until Saturday to spring me from "the joint."  I may have a procedure to get rid of the DVT.  It is too big to ever think a blood thinner will get rid of it.  The cardiologist wants to check my heart because my enzymes went up indicating a possible mild heart attack or trauma from the clot passing through the heart, the hematologist wants to help discover the WHY of the clot, they want me to see my GYN because of a thickened uterine lining not seen in "older" women.  Looking "under the hood" is not good for old folks.  They always find more than you came for. It was late afternoon on Saturday when we got home.  Kara got me settled in and sorted my medicine out.  

Sunday was a little busy.  Ted went to church at 11:00 while Kara stayed with me.  Irene and John stopped by after church and brought me a pot of daisies.  They visited for a few hours.  Then Terry, Carol, Sharon and Don brought dinner over.  As they were leaving Mike and Judy came with begonias and a quiche.  They visited for awhile and when they left we ate our dinner.  It was delicious and had remained at a perfect temperature.

I am not doing much beyond walking to the bathroom and back to the couch.  The left leg is painful with the DVT and my stamina is still low.  Tuesday morning, in addition to the doctor appointments, we will be very busy cancelling our first three campgrounds in our summer trip and moving our departure date from 6/19 to 7/6.  That may change too but we are trying to get back to normal in segments.

It was a strange Memorial Day.  Only recovering from Kelly's 5/25 birth in 1966 has found me so in need of healing.  Connie stopped by for a two hour visit.  Other than that we watched a lot of war footage in remembrance of the day.  I am having soreness in my calf still but walking better.  I have better balance and stability but not much energy.  Apparently this is to be expected.

Kara was able to get into my records from the hospital and we are shocked at my numbers.  The heart enzyme was so high is why they are checking further for a heart attack.  My DVT number which indicated a 0-.5 range came in at 20!!  You could look down the list and see all the out of whack numbers during "the event" and then mostly returning to normal.  The vein and heart are the focus today as Kara sets up my appointments.

I have dodged a massive bullet.  The pulmonologist said "your life changed forever on Tuesday."  I don't want to believe I can't return to an energy level within my restrictions to keep on going.  Long rides are certainly out and our overseas travel may be at an end too.  The RV can be stopped at every rest area if necessary and as many days as needed can be used to get somewhere.  Our Hawaii trip will more than likely be cancelled.  The long Toronto to Vancouver flight is stumbling block #1 and five days at sea out of the reach of emergency medical care is #2.  

I cannot tell the folks around me who are aware of all this how much their responses have meant to me and our family.  Kara has been impressed with our support system.  We are all in this together.  Prayer Warriors Unite!

Monday, May 15, 2017

A New Week

I blew it!

My calendar was getting so messy I decided to start over.  My recurring things get written at the top of the proper square.  This Saturday we should have played Shanghai.  Unfortunately I used the square for the previous Saturday to write the names of attendees to the Foxy Ladies Luncheon.  They ran right down to the word Shanghai.  While transferring my info, I X'd out the names (including the word Shanghai accidentally) because the luncheon was over.  So we went to church, went to Outback to dinner and then to Lowe's.  We came home to 4 messages flashing on our land line where no one ever leaves messages!  My heart was in my throat.  Something serious had to have happened!

When I heard the messages asking where we were, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  I felt really bad but also was greatly relieved nothing worse had occurred.  They had started without us, were understanding and expressed their relief that we were okay.  Maybe I AM doing too much!!

Sunday we had a leisurely day.  I opened my presents, talked to the girls and eventually went to Krogers and HEB.  One had prime steaks on sale and the other ribs.  We came home and Ted fixed dinner for me.  We avoided the crowded restaurants and the big family groups.

Wine A Bit You'll Feel Better.  The kids know I hate to cook, though I continue to do so after 52 years but Ted does a lot of it now.  They thought this apron appropriate.

I had the bunco bag so went to Marleah's a little early Monday to put the items out for her on the tables.  Linda was able to come and we arranged for only one winner to move from each table so she didn't have to attempt to walk.  What a spread Marleah had!  I won $15 so that made me happy.  

In the meantime John was picking up Ted for his annual endoscopy.  I couldn't pick him up and get to the center by 12:30 but I arrived at 12:45 and John left.  We were home by 2:30 with great news.  They took a biopsy of some irritated stomach tissue but expect it to be no more that that - an irritation.  He said to come back in one year and continue his medicine.  It's always a relief when that is over.  It has been 9 years since his diagnosis of Barrrett's Esophagus with high grade dysplasia, Stage 0 cancer.  After treatment at Methodist Hospital in Houston in 2008 he has had a yearly check up and praise God, so far so good.

Tuesday was my turn to get tests - mammogram and bone density.  Except for running into my friend Judy in the waiting lounge nothing out of the ordinary happened.  I laughed when she said they would use my forearm since I have no hips!  Not natural ones anymore.  Results should be here in a week or two.  I knew Ted was leaving for his sporting clay banquet so I stopped at Culver's for a combination lunch and dinner.

I thought Wednesday would be an easy day because the window washers were coming in the morning, Isabelle to clean in the afternoon.  I was up early because morning is not an exact time.  All of a sudden I had lots of computer work to do regarding training for Forum.  I worked on it through the window cleaning and the house cleaning.  Ted had left for a haircut and just went into his hobby room when he returned.  When everyone had left Ted suggested we go to Honey Bee for a sandwich because he found a coupon.  All right by me!

Back to the Thrift Store I went on Thursday for a morning shift.  I was hoping to run into a lot of kids clothes but maybe mothers aren't cleaning closets yet.  I have some things to take to the family reunion but not much.  Here is a photo of Lily and the twins at Easter, all in dresses from me found while working.  Two of them still had tags when I bought them.  I will work again next week and probably a few days in early June, so here's hoping the pickings are better.

I came home with a headache that didn't go away until about 8 pm.  I am seldom bothered with them anymore so I am not sure where this one came from.  Ted fixed dinner AND cleaned up.  Bless him!

Friday I got my hair cut for the first time since we left Mission.  To say I needed it is an understatement to say the least.  It was good to see Cindy after so long.

It was time to see West Side Story so we met Barry and Gerre at Applebee's for dinner.  They treated us for taking care of Tucker for them.  It was a nice production of WSS and the stars had amazing voices.  We were home much earlier than after the last production!

Our impatiens are starting to flower and add color to our newly planted area.  I hope the magnolias are done dropping their leaves soon!

Saturday was a quiet day.  Ted worked a charity event at the gun club and I did laundry.  We went to church and then to dinner with Terry and Carol.  

Sunday Ted went shooting and I finished the laundry.  At 3:30 we left for Irene's to meet up with the Panama Canal cruise people for dinner and cards.  Irene is the "hostess with the mostest."  Here are her decorations for Memorial Day.  

She was all set for dinner for 12.  We had brisket, turkey, beans, cucumbers, cole slaw and rolls.  Dessert was tres leches cake, apple pie with ice cream and sugar cookies.  The bad part is they are coming to my house next week and my set up won't even come close!  But no one will care.  I like friends like that.  

And I won!  With four jokers I went down and out quickly in game 5, catching 3 or 4 with full hands.  It catapulted me to first place. And I needed the dimes!  Ted was second at his table.  Tomorrow starts another week and we have quite a bit to do.  More later.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


We live in a zero lot line patio home.  That means we have no side yard on one side and a little one on the other.  However, they are built so there is no way to see into your neighbor's house nor they into yours.  Thus, the closeness doesn't bother us.

We like not having much yard to take care of but this winter was a major shock when we got home.  Despite sprinklers, pre-paid lawn care and pre-paid fertilizing, our yard was a mess, thick with oak leaves covering dead grass and plants brown from a freeze.  

The fertilizing people came out and fertilized again once I raked all the leaves but the lawn maintenance people just never showed up again after I called and complained they could not have been coming on the regular schedule I paid for.  So we hired a new company.

This fellow had a vision far beyond anything I could have imagined.  He trimmed everything, even the trees hanging over from the easement.  Despite having the oak trees trimmed awhile back he thinned them more to get sunlight in.  

He laid lots and lots of sod and cut the crepe myrtles that hadn't been done in two years despite our requests.  Two very long segments of metal edging were replaced, 9 new plants and many flats of impatiens were planted.  Topsoil was added where necessary, he fertilized, mulch was put down and everything was cleaned up.  The crowning piece was the wall.  It was just rocks sitting on rocks creating a planting oval.  The oak roots lifted it up in many places and it was all askew.  I wasn't expecting how he chose to fix it.

He broadened the oval to cover some roots but he cut out huge ones that were heading to the sidewalk.  Then one fellow used a chisel, shaping each rock and built a new wall with no mortar or anything.  I didn't take any before photos but here are a few after ones.

The back where we had a tree cut down in that far corner because it had grown through the fence.  The corner segment was replaced and a rot board put on the bottom.  Then they cleaned it.

The wall

The front

The side.  We had the paver brick walk, deck, and bull rock with French drain put in a long time ago.  The grading is such that you will end up with moss or mud in the middle otherwise so we opted for this arrangement.

And now we have to water twice a day for three weeks.  Someone at the water company will have a fit when we go from winter watering to this new schedule.  Thank goodness there aren't big areas to hit.

Friday I had to work as a dresser for The Forum Vintage Fashion Show.  They were the entertainment for the Women of Distinction luncheon held at the Marriott.   Our president was being honored.  At the finale the models all walked the runway and we were told to follow them because we had been behind the scenes.  That's the first time I received a standing ovation for helping someone get dressed.

Audrey Hepburn

Mi Lady and her maid

Poodle skirt, saddles, neck scarf outfit

My friend Donna.  She looked gorgeous.

A Flapper

Two military uniforms

Ready for the prom!

Now here is a stylish lady ready for Ascot opening day.

And another!

Recognize Lucy and Ethel?

She could be in a 1940s train station waiting to board.

This had to be a 30 minute show so we were rushed with second changes.  Due to the time constraint our whole collection was not shown.  

In the evening we went to a birthday party for a dear friend.  His wife does such a lovely job of entertaining.  We met new neighbors of theirs and enjoyed talking to them.  It was delightful weather and we sat outside some of the time.  I have no idea what time we came home.  Maybe a whole bottle of Riesling is too much!?!?!