Miscellanous Monday…

So, it’s been four whole days since I’ve posted or even been to a blog of any kind!  These days are flying by, and I just can’t seem to get around to everything anymore.  Is it just me, or is anyone else having the same experience?!  The older I get, time seems to move quicker, while I seem to move slower.

Let me begin by saying what a wonderful Thanksgiving our family had.  For the first time in several years, I did not host the meal.  Our daughter took over the hosting responsibilities this year, and I have to tell you, I really enjoyed being “just another guest”.  Brandy had everything at her house decorated so pretty, and she made a special children’s table for the kids which they seemed to enjoy.  All of the girls really outdid themselves cooking, and the food was delicious.  Thanksgiving was one day when Ed and I did not worry about our low-fat, low cholesterol, low sugar diets!

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our Thanksgiving host and hostess

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the children’s table

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 still relaxing at our daughter’s house on Thanksgiving night

At the end of our Thanksgiving meal, each family member took turns saying what we were most thankful for in our lives.  It was unanimous, everyone was most thankful to still have Ed with us, after his close call, last month.  This was our second year of this meaningful tradition, and it’s quickly become my favorite part of Thanksgiving.  By the end of the round, there was hardly a dry eye in the house.

On Friday, after Thanksgiving, the weather was too pretty to be cooped up inside, so Ed and I decided to start putting up our outside decorations. (No Black Friday shopping for us!)  We spent the afternoon putting garland and lights around our front windows and door.  On Saturday, the weather was even nicer than on Friday, so we continued putting Christmas decorations in the yard. (I’d bought a bunch of new outside decorations for 1/2 price, last year!)  Thankfully, my back didn’t “go out”, although I did have to take Tylenol pm both nights.

Our son-in-law decorated their yard, on Friday and Saturday, as well.  Now, our little corner of the world may look a little bit like Clark Griswold’s house [in Christmas Vacation] but we all love our Christmas lights!  Now, if I can just get the inside of the house looking as “festive” as the outside of it!

I’ve spent the past several evenings re-stringing fake popcorn for our tree and, last night, I put it on the tree while I sweated and listened to Christmas music. There’s nothing quite like listening to Let It Snow, and  decorating a Christmas tree while the a/c grinds away in the background!  Our temperatures nearly reached 80 yesterday!!!

Speaking of Christmas decorations, my hens don’t quite know what to think about the outside decorations.  Every time I look, there’s a hen or two walking among the snowmen and Christmas trees.  I frequently tell them they, “No, you can not be part of the Christmas decor!”

In other news, Ed and I had a chance to pull baby sitting duty, with grandson, Evan, early Sunday morning.  For some reason, our youngest son, Brad, got an abscess on his lower leg, last week.  In spite of medical attention, on Wednesday, his leg became so swollen and infected over the weekend, he had to make an emergency trip to the doctor to have the wound opened and drained.  As a result, Ed and I spent several hours at their house with Evan.  He sure kept us entertained!  By the way, I think we had a lot more fun than Brad did, too 😦

Tomorrow is the day our daughter will be having the surgery to remove the basal cell carcinoma from her nose, followed by some plastic surgery to repair her nose.  She’s been told to expect to spend the day in the doctors’ offices, so I’m sure it will be a long, exhausting day for her.  I’m positive this is NOT the way she’d like to be spending the first day of December.

It looks like the year 2015 is going to keep up the trend of giving our family a hard time, right up until New Year’s Eve.  Our latest mishap came, last evening, when we discovered our dishwasher is no longer working–after we filled it with dirty dishes!  A new dishwasher is NOT what I wanted “Santa” to bring for Christmas, but it looks like that’s what we’ll be getting.  Oh, my!  What a year this has turned out to be!  On that note, I’ll say…  Have a great Monday!

 

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Published in: on November 30, 2015 at 8:32 am  Comments (5)  
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A Thankful Hodgepodge…

T’was the day before Thanksgiving, when all through the house… Cooking and baking were in progress, but some folks were taking time to participate in The Wednesday Hodgepodge!  If you’re one of those folks, I’m so glad you stopped by today.  I’m also glad our hostess, Joyce, has provided us with another great set of questions to ponder today.  Thank you, Joyce!

1.What’s something you wish you knew how to do, but feel like it’s too late to learn?

I wish I knew how to play a musical instrument, especially the guitar or the piano.  You  may be thinking, it’s not too late, but I’ve tried to learn how to read music, and, for some reason, it just won’t compute in my brain.

2. Your least favorite thing to shop for? Why?

I hate shopping for new shoes because I rarely find a pair that feels good on both of my feet. One of my feet is slightly larger than the other, and this has always caused a problem.  These days, I just spend most of my days wearing Crocs. It works for me!

3. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were growing up?

In our family, I don’t think things have really changed all that much.  We still eat too much turkey/dressing,  and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade still comes on the television, followed by football.  We usually take some family pictures, too.  However, we did start one new tradition, last year– taking turns telling what we’re most thankful for, while seated around the kitchen table.  I really liked that.

I have noticed, in the past few years, the focus for some people (not in our family, thank goodness), on Thanksgiving, has shifted from becoming “a day of giving thanks”  into “the start of the Christmas season”.  In other words, let’s go shopping!!!

4. What’s something that when other people see it, reminds them of you? Explain.

I’ll say “a PT Cruiser” because I was one of the first people in our area to get one, after they came out.  I sure got a lot of [unwanted] attention when I bought that car, back in March of 2001!  I loved that car, back then, and still do!

5. If you could guest star in a TV show, what would it be and why?

Let me begin by saying, I can’t imagine “starring” in a TV show!  That being said, if I had to  be on a TV show, I’d probably choose to be a contestant on “The Price Is Right” or “Let’s Make A Deal”.

6. Have you ever farmed or spent any time on a farm? Are there farm stands in your little corner of the world and do you make it a point to shop there? If so, what item do you particularly like to buy from a roadside stand or farm shop?

Yes, I’ve spent the last 38 years of my life, living on my husband’s parents’  thirty acre farm. Until recent years, crops of tobacco, corn, soybeans, or cotton were grown on the farm.  In 2012, Ed and I began planting our own garden, on a small plot of the land, and we now grow most of our own vegetables.

Our next-door neighbor, known to the grandchildren as “Farmer Danny”, has a farm stand just across the road from where we live.

11010507_10153228126883139_5662760482280972333_n Ed and I usually buy strawberries, tomatoes, or watermelon from “Farmer Danny” because we haven’t had much luck growing those particular things.

7. What’s something you’ve experienced recently that made you feel a sense of awe or wonder?

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We saw a double rainbow about  four weeks ago.  Many folks were able to get some very good pictures of it, but we weren’t, although Ed tried.  If you look close, there’s a second rainbow to the right of the brightest one. This rainbow appeared only a couple of days after Ed’s heart attack, and I told him, “Here’s your sign!  Everything’s going to be okay.”

Random:

Although 2015 has been a tough year for us, I still have much to be thankful for, and I am!  As bad as things have been, they could have been a whole lot worse, but for the grace of God. My blessings are still many, and I know that.  Praise the Lord!

Our daughter and her husband will be hosting Thanksgiving for the family, this year.  I’m looking forward to “going back home” for Thanksgiving, and just being a guest. (Our daughter and family live in our former home) I’m extremely grateful for the much-needed break because cooking and hosting just seemed a bit over-whelming to me, this year.  I’ve made the dressing ahead of time and froze it, and I’ll be baking the nineteen pound turkey tomorrow.  I think I can handle that!

I’m especially thankful that Ed is still here to celebrate another Thanksgiving with our family tomorrow! Today marks a month since he had his heart attack, and he seems to be doing well.  I’m acutely aware things could have turned out very different, for Ed, like they did for the person who entered the ER just ahead of us that fateful night.  I think about that person’s family, often, knowing there will be an empty chair at someone’s Thanksgiving Day table tomorrow…

Basic CMYK

 

Published in: on November 25, 2015 at 8:36 am  Comments (8)  
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What Are The Chances?

These days, I almost hate to blog.  It seems, most of what I have to say has been about turmoil or bad news, but that’s the way 2015 has been for us.  It helps to blog about it, and maybe, one day, I can look back and laugh about all of the things Ed and I survived this year.  For now, it’s not so funny.

I mentioned, earlier in the week, I was waiting for some biopsy results from a couple of growths.  On Wednesday, I got the dreaded call.  One of the biopsies showed I have basal cell carcinoma on my face, beside my nose.  What are the chances my daughter and I both have the same type of cancer, at the same time, in almost the same place?

Brandy will be having her Mohl’s surgery on December 1, and I’ll be having mine in January. Neither of us are looking forward to it!  We’ve been told to plan to spend the day at the doctor’s office!  The doctor will remove the skin of the affected area one layer at a time, and examine it under the microscope for cancer cells.  If cells are still detected, they’ll go back and remove another layer of skin.  This process continues until the specimen looks clean under the microscope, then they sew you up.  The whole process can take quite a while.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  In my daughter’s case, she will have the extra step of visiting the plastic surgeon immediately after the Mohl’s surgery, too.

I also mentioned, earlier in the week, how I was about to go out of my mind trying to find health insurance coverage for next year.  Ed and I have looked at health care plans until our eyes are about ready to pop out of our heads.  I think we’ve figured out what we are going to do.  We never were able to find coverage with all four of my doctors as providers, so we’ll settle for three out of four, and pay the “out-of-network” difference for the fourth doctor because that’s the best choice available to us.

What are the chances that Ed and I would have a visit from a couple of  life insurance salesmen, last week? I’d sent in a card requesting some information (for myself), not realizing salesmen would actually come calling.  Anyway, the men were very nice and there was no pressure to buy anything, but in the course of our conversation, they began to ask questions about Ed’s current life insurance coverage.  After doing some checking, it turns out, the insurance policy Ed bought, many years ago, isn’t quite what he thought it was going to be.  It’s okay, for now, but this may not be the case in years to come.  We’ve discovered, this week, nobody will sell you life insurance if you’ve recently survived a heart attack. Sigh.

What are the chances that I would wake up on Thursday morning with my back “out of whack” again?  I don’t know what I did wrong, if anything, but, after over three weeks of being pain-free, I’m having issues again.  There’s some difficulty in going from sitting to standing, and I have some pain on the right side. (Last time it was on the left side)  What else can I say?

At any rate,  even with all of our issues, I continue to try to remind myself– Things could always be worse, because I believe that’s true.  For example:

(1)At least my daughter and I discovered we have skin cancer before it was too late.

(2)At least I’ll have some type of health care coverage, next year, even if it doesn’t quite meet all of my needs

(3) At least Ed has some life insurance coverage, even if it’s not quite what he thought it was.

(4) And, at least I now have a neurologist, whom I can call if my back doesn’t improve.

When all is said and done, it’s the little things, people, like looking for a silver lining in those “clouds of life”, and waiting for those “clouds” to move on…  That’s exactly what I’m trying to do!

Published in: on November 20, 2015 at 10:28 am  Comments (6)  
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Falling To Pieces With The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

As if you couldn’t tell by today’s title, I’m having another bad week.  Thank goodness for this little mid-week distraction called The Hodgepodge, and a big thank you to our hostess, Joyce, for providing it!  Let’s get right to the questions, shall we?

1. What’s surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

I’m surprised by how quickly time is passing, and how quickly Ed and I have gotten old.  Years ago, I knew this day would eventually come, but I wasn’t expecting it to come this quickly!

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year…awesomesauce, beer o’clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable.

Your thoughts? 

I think, by adding such ridiculous words, the Oxford English Dictionary has become a bit ridiculous, but to each his own!

  In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous?  beer o’clock

Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? buttdial

Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?  Cat cafe, because we actually have a wooden structure, built by Ed, where most of our outside cats go to eat their meals each day.  At the time it was built, we needed a high, covered area away from our five dogs, where the cats could dine in peace.  As a joke, we named it the Cat Cafe.

3. Do you like gravy? Yes

Is there a food you’d rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Yes, mashed potatoes!

Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety?  I make my own.

Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy…which one on the list is your favorite? Pot roast and gravy is my favorite.  Yum!

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

Yes, I have some sort of a plan because I need a plan to have peace of mind.  And, yes, we’ve had many plans fall into a trillion pieces, but never more than this year!  In fact, our plans are still falling to pieces, as I write!   2015 has been the most trying year of my life!

Plans that fell into a trillion pieces?  Let’s see:  How about 1998, when our daughter’s fiance’ bailed out on her in the midst of their wedding planning?  How about the year 2001, when our oldest son (and honor graduate) dropped out of college after winning The Presidential Scholarship (all tuition paid) the year before?  Or how about this year when Ed lost his job on January 16th, disrupting our well-laid plans for retirement in 2016?

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game?  Yes, we own a [very old] original Monopoly game.

Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? I like playing Monopoly, but it takes too long to play.

How likely is it you’ll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Not very likely.

Ever been to Atlantic City? No.

Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Only at the Jacksonville Zoo

Is parking in your town free? Yes

Last thing you took a chance on? Can’t remember.

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?  The theme from the television show “The Golden Girls”.

7. In keeping with this month’s theme of gratitude….what is something you’re taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you’re grateful for?

Freedom.

Random:

Most of you know what a trying year 2015 has been for Ed and me.  It looks like it’s going to be ‘trying’ right up until the end!

I had to undergo a [freezing] treatment for a “pre-cancerous” lesion on the bridge of my nose, last Thursday.  I had two other ‘suspicious’ places biopsied, as well, and am waiting for those results to come back.

Our daughter also had some biopsies done, about a month ago, and discovered she has basal cell carcinoma on her nose.  She’ll be having Mohl surgery performed, along with plastic reconstructive surgery, on December 1.  When it rains it pours.

Because Ed lost his job (and our health care benefits), this year, and we are now retired and on a fixed income, I am forced to shop for health insurance in “the market place” (at Healthcare.gov). I have not been able to find a healthcare plan, for next year, that lists all three of my doctors as providers and pays for all four of the prescription drugs I have to take.  I’m about to lose my mind…

 

Published in: on November 18, 2015 at 8:21 am  Comments (8)  
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Miscellaneous Monday…

Hopefully, this week will be a little less eventful than last week.  I began last week by having to be at the doctor’s office at the crack of dawn, to have blood drawn.  That’s never a great way to begin a new week, and the rest of the week seemed to go downhill from there…

On Monday night, our youngest grandson, Evan, came down with the stomach virus.  Ed and I were supposed to go over, on Tuesday evening, and take Evan and his daddy some supper, because Jennifer was working late.  Needless to say, we changed our plans.

Next, we found out that our daughter-in-law, (and neighbor) Christina, had come down with the virus, as well.  A couple of days later, Evan’s daddy and Christina’s husband came down with the virus, too.  With all of the virus germs spreading around, we decided to postpone Ed’s birthday party for a while.

On Thursday, I had an appointment with a dermatologist, whom I’d been referred to by my primary care physician, concerning a scaly patch on the bridge of my nose.  My doctor told me the dermatologist would probably freeze my nose or give me some kind of cream for it.  My appointment was at 9:30 in the morning, and we live over forty-five minutes away.  What was I thinking to have accepted such an early appointment?  For sure, it wasn’t about having to get up at the crack of dawn again!

The dermatologist took one look at the scaly patch on the bridge of my nose, and told me it was pre-cancerous, and would need to be frozen. She also noticed a tiny growth in the crevice of my nose, about the size of a pimple, and asked me how long it had been there.  I told her I didn’t know.  She told me she would need to do a biopsy of that, as well as a small spot just below the base of my neck that I’d shown her. This visit was turning into a bit more of an ordeal than I had planned.

Can I tell you how bad it feels to get a shot in the crevice of your nose?!  Can I also tell you how badly it feels to have someone freeze your nose with spray?  The shot at the base of my neck hurt, too, but was a piece of cake compared to the face!  When I left the office, my nose felt like it was on fire, literally!  (Ed explained that freezing is a burning process, it just uses cold instead of heat.)  The day after the process, my face looked like I’d been punched in the nose!  Four days later, it still looks that way.  My eyes are swollen, and my  nose keeps oozing this gross, clear stuff out from under the huge scab that’s forming…  Now I know why the doctor asked if I had any important plans immediately coming up before she froze my nose!  Now, I have to wait for the results of those biopsies.  I’d appreciate prayers that my biopsy reports come back good.

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Ed’s 66th birthday quietly came and went…on Friday the 13th!  The only bad luck we had was having to postpone his party with family because of the stomach virus.  I cancelled the order for a large birthday cake, and opted to make him a small German Chocolate cake, instead.  I bought some six-inch cake pans to make a cake that was just big enough to make about eight slices, because German Chocolate cake isn’t listed on a “heart healthy” diet, but– a man should celebrate his birthday with his favorite cake!

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If all goes well, our family will be celebrating Ed’s birthday, together, a week later than we originally planned.  It’ll be a good excuse to eat cake again 🙂

Ed’s been a little more tired than usual, lately. I’m hoping it’s just his body getting used to all of his new medications.  Those blood pressure pills really seem to zap his energy because he feels fine until he takes those.  Some mornings he takes a mid-morning nap, and that’s fine with me. Lord knows, I’ve had plenty of those kind of days, too.  I hope his tiredness will eventually pass, and his energy will return.

Our weather was cold on Friday and Saturday nights, and I liked it!  In fact, we actually had our first frost on Saturday night.  The cold weather is supposed to be short-lived, however, with temperatures back up near 80 by mid-week.  It was nice while it lasted.  Unfortunately, the mosquitoes will be back out in force, again.

These days I’m keeping a food journal of what Ed and I eat for each meal.  This helps me keep track of what we’re eating, and helps me decide what to cook (or what not to cook).  Ed’s only allowed 3 eggs per week on his diet.  I guess it’s a good thing the daylight hours are short, and our hens have begun molting, so egg production is down!  Our 9 hens have laid almost 1700 eggs since January of this year!  “Our girls” have earned a well-deserved rest!  (FYI: We didn’t eat all of those eggs, we shared with friends and family.)

It’s shaping up to be a busy week around the house.  I’m going to get a head start on my Thanksgiving cooking, and put it in the freezer.  So many delicious dishes, and none of them are really “heart healthy”–but Ed has the hospital dietitian’s permission to enjoy Thanksgiving–in moderation 🙂  Which reminds me, since I’ve joined Ed on his diet (which is really supposed to be my diet, too) I’ve begun to lose the weight I gained while I was laid up with a bad back all summer. Hooray for that!  Ed’s weight, however, has stayed the same.  Hooray for that, too, since he’s already thin.

Have a great Monday!

 

Published in: on November 16, 2015 at 8:05 am  Comments (3)  
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Remembering Ed’s Recent Hospital Stay…

This week, we passed the two-week anniversary of Ed’s heart attack, and things seem to be going well.  Ed’s been dealing with a ridiculously large bruise, beginning in the groin area (where the heart catheter was inserted) and extending all the way down his thigh to just above the knee.  The soreness of the bruised area and being tired are the only two complains I’ve heard from Ed.  His outlook and disposition have been very positive, I’m happy to say.  I’m also happy to say, the large bruised area is finally fading.

I wrote the story of the night of Ed’s heart attack, but never really got into the two days we spent at the hospital.  Today, I’ll be hitting the highlights of those two days, following Ed’s ordeal, before I forget any more of the details!  By the way, this was Ed’s first experience as the patient, he’s always been the care giver.

I previously mentioned my daughter and I “camping out” in one of the CCU waiting rooms, on the night Ed was admitted to the hospital.  Due to sick parents, over the years, this wasn’t my first time spending the night in a hospital waiting room, but it was a first for Brandy, and she handled it like a trooper.  We took the cushions off of the ‘L-shaped’ sofa, and split them between us, so we’d each have a place to stretch out.  We used the spare clothes in my tote bag for our covers. (Why are hospital waiting rooms so cold?)  We didn’t do a lot of sleeping, but we managed to survive the night, even managing a giggle or two, at times.  It was strange and unsettling, knowing Ed was just around the corner, but not knowing what was going on with him.  Then, there was my problem of having to go to the bathroom every few minutes!  I guess a case of ‘nerves’ had my bladder working overtime.  The bathroom was located around the corner, in between the doors to CCU and another waiting room. Somebody was sleeping in the waiting room located right next to the bathroom.  I kept wondering if I was keeping the sleeping person awake by flushing the [very loud] toilet every few minutes.

The next morning, when visiting hours finally came for CCU, Brandy and I entered and found Ed sitting up in a chair!  What a difference a few hours had made!  Ed had been eating breakfast, but was now speaking with a cardiac specialist about his heart attack when we entered the room.  She explained to him where his blockage had been located in his heart, and told him he’d just experienced what is commonly known as “the widow maker”.  My heart quickened, and it was at that exact moment, I realized what a gift Ed had been given the night before–a second chance at life. In fact, Ed was actually doing so well, they moved him out of CCU, a couple of hours later.

We left room 123, and moved into room 303.  When it comes to directions, and finding my way around strange places, I’m challenged.  I panicked at the thought of having to learn my way around another hospital floor! I’d just learned my way to CCU, now I had to start all over again. I needn’t have worried.

On the day following Ed’s heart attack, all of our children came to the hospital to spend time with us.  Thanks to their help, by the time the last of them went home, I had a pretty good idea of how to find my way around the hospital, as well as the hospital parking lot. I’m so grateful to each one of them for taking the time to help me find my way around.  I made a lot of trips to the cafeteria and to my car in the parking lot during the two days we were there!

After the last of Ed’s company left, on Monday, Ed invited me to share his hospital bed for a while.  It felt so good to have the opportunity to be next to him again, even with the wires and ivs still in place!  It also felt good to be able to stretch out!  It had only been 6 weeks since I’d had back surgery, and those hospital chairs are killers under the best of circumstances.

Being the ‘support person’ was a new role for me.  Over the years, I’ve been the one who’s had all of the health issues, while Ed’s always been the healthy one. It wasn’t an easy thing for me to suddenly see Ed in a vulnerable situation.  Apparently, it wasn’t easy for him, either, because he spent very little time in the bed after that first day. Before long, he was walking the halls, too!

I can’t say enough good things about Ed’s care-givers during his stay in the hospital, from the first night to the last morning. Many went above and beyond their call of duty, with some nurses even stopping by to say hello, when they didn’t have Ed for a patient that day.

It didn’t seem like it at the time, but in looking back, the two days in the hospital passed quickly. We made the best of the situation.  I brought my cafeteria meals back to Ed’s hospital room, and we ate our meals together, like always. Ed had the neatest little bed tray that expanded to make a “table for two”.  One nurse commented how “romantic” we looked, sharing our meals together.  She said all we needed was a rose on the table, and we all laughed.

Another nurse always liked to tease us about doing the “hanky panky” behind our closed  hospital door.  She let out a laugh when she came in, on our last morning in the hospital, and discovered both of us in Ed’s hospital bed!  I told her she’d finally caught us, and we all laughed.

I can’t end this story without mentioning Ed’s nurse on the day he was finally released.  She was about Ed’s age, and she dressed like nurses used to dress, back in our younger days–very professional and ‘old school’.  She even wore a nursing cap, something you don’t see much anymore.  She introduced herself as “Hot Lips”, explaining she’d earned that nickname, many years ago, from some army lieutenants who swore she looked just like actress, Loretta Swit, who played “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the old 1970’s movie MASH.  They were right, she [still] looked exactly like Loretta Swit!

“Hot Lips” was very good to Ed, before he left.  When he didn’t get any milk to go along with his cereal, she went and found him some.  She offered to reheat my breakfast which grew cold while we were waiting for her to find some milk for Ed’s cereal.  When Ed finally got released, “Hot Lips” personally rolled Ed down to the car, so he wouldn’t have to wait an extra hour for patient transport. It’s rare to find service like that, these days, and even rarer to have a nurse known as “Hot Lips”.  Lucky Ed!

By 10:00 am, Wednesday, October 28th, Ed and I were packed, in the car, and headed home from the hospital. We were both anxious to go home and enjoy Ed’s second chance at life, together…and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

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The birthday boy!

Today is Ed’s birthday!  He’s celebrating his 66th year, today, praise the Lord!  We’ll be having a quiet celebration, at home, with a ‘scaled down’, mini version of his favorite, German Chocolate cake. Happy Birthday to Ed!  May he enjoy this birthday, and many more birthdays, as well.

 

 

Published in: on November 13, 2015 at 10:30 am  Comments (5)  
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A Veteran’s Day Hodgepodge…

Welcome to another edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge, brought to us by our gracious hostess, Joyce, “From This Side Of The Pond”.  Here are today’s questions, along with my answers:

1. In two or three sentences tell us what Veteran’s Day means to you?

Veteran’s Day is a day that’s set aside, to honor all, service men and service women, who sort of put their personal lives on hold and, often put themselves in harm’s way, to serve and protect our country.  I’m proud to say I’m married to one such army veteran who will FINALLY have Veteran’s Day off for the first time, ever. I think, above everyone else, veterans should get Veteran’s Day off, don’t you?

2. What’s your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?

It’s gritty and, at times, painful to watch but I like the movie “Born on the Fourth of July”, starring Tom Cruise.  I’ve watched it several times.

3. Flu shot-yes or no? If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot? If not, why not? Have you ever had the flu?

Yes, I’ve gotten a flu shot, every year, since our youngest son, Brad, ended up in ICU, from the flu, back in 2011.  He was a very sick young man, and didn’t look well for several months, afterward. Strangely enough, I, too, caught the flu, for the first time, two months before Brad, and was very sick during the week leading up to Christmas.  It made a believer [in getting flu shots] out of me!  By the way, I’ve hardly had a ‘sniffle’ since I began taking a flu shot every year.

4. I’ve seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated. Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween. Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor, and that has some people up in arms. What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?

First of all, I think any time before Halloween is too early to be thinking about Christmas.  I don’t want to see Christmas displays or hear Christmas music until at least the day after Halloween.  For me,  it’s still too early to decorate for Christmas, too.  Why can’t people just enjoy the month of November, for Thanksgiving, instead of rushing into Christmas?  As for the red cups at Starbucks, I don’t really have any thoughts one way or another because I don’t go to Starbucks.

5. What ‘critter’ are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly? Why that one?

I’m most afraid of encountering a rattlesnake, unexpectedly, for obvious reasons.  We’ve  encountered several, over the years we’ve lived here, so I know they’re living nearby.  In fact, I’m 99% sure I heard one, shaking its rattlers the other day.  We have cats wandering all around, and he was probably warning one of them of his presence.  We watched our daughter’s chihuahua suffer a terrible death (even after getting a very expensive anti venom) due to an encounter with a rattlesnake, a few years ago, and that image is still stuck in my mind.

6. Do you like building things? What’s the last thing you ‘built’?

Yes, I love building things, or I should say I love watching other people build things.  Over the years, Ed has taken on many different building projects.  Ed’s last project was the building of a storage house/carport out back, several years ago. He was just about to begin closing in the carport area when he suffered his recent heart attack.

7. In keeping with this month’s theme of gratitude…what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?

I’ve said this before, but after nearly losing him two weeks ago, I can’t say this enough–I’m VERY GRATEFUL for my husband, Ed!!!  He brings SO MUCH beauty to my daily life!  I know in my heart, my life would be very different without him.   I tell him that I love him every night, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart, and at the beginning of each new day, I’m delighted to still be able to kiss that smiling face of his!  Thank you, Lord.  I am very grateful!

Random:

Our grandson, Evan, celebrated his 2nd birthday with a party held at the Busy Little Beavers preschool building, on Saturday.  (The owner of the preschool rents out the building for parties, on the weekends.)  It was a great party, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

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Evan and his parents, Brad and Jennifer, at the birthday party

Due to an outbreak of the stomach flu, Busy Little Beavers preschool had been closed the entire week before Evan’s party,  but we assumed the building had been disinfected and would be safe after a week of being empty.  Wrong!  On Monday night, Evan began throwing up, as well as Evan’s aunt, our daughter-in-law, Christina.  Now we’re all wondering…Who’s going to be next? 

Lesson learned:  Never assume anything!

Published in: on November 11, 2015 at 8:29 am  Comments (13)  
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Friday Fragments…

It’s a little late to be posting Friday’s Fragments, but I’m going to do it anyway.  I’m desperately trying to get back into the habit of blogging on a more regular basis. It’s hard to find time.

We’re only two days away from the two-week anniversary of Ed’s heart attack.  I’m hoping and praying every day that goes by Ed will become stronger and healthier.  He seems to be getting better each day.  Thank God he’s only recovering from a heart attack/stent, and not open heart surgery!  I often find myself thinking, what if….  I’m so thankful he survived!

I finally got the Halloween decorations packed away, and the Thanksgiving decorations put out.  I’m so thankful I didn’t go “all out” for Halloween, this year.  It’s almost as if I knew something was going to happen, before it actually did.

I’m tired of 80 degree weather in November!  Where oh where is fall?  Some of our trees are putting on new leaves, and the grass will need mowing again, soon, if things don’t change!

Today, I purchased the turkey for Thanksgiving.  I bought a 19 pound turkey!  If anyone had told me, twenty years ago, that it would take a 19 pound turkey to feed our family, I would have laughed!

Ed and I finally made our way to the ‘tag office’, and purchased a tag for our new vehicle.  Because we put this vehicle in both of our names, with mine listed first, the tag will be due in my birthday month.  The other two vehicles will be due in Ed’s birthday month. Talk about being confusing…

Ed and I have been eating “healthy” for nine days.  So far, we’ve eaten three bags of ‘ready-to-eat’ salad, a carton of grape tomatoes, one cucumber, and a head of lettuce!  Salad is still good, but not as good as it was nine days ago.  Thankfully, grilled chicken is still quite tasty 🙂  For the record, 1% milk looks (and tastes) like 99% water and 1% milk!

As if Ed and I haven’t had enough things to deal with, this year, we now have added one more thing to the list!  During Monday’s checkup, I mentioned to my primary care physician that I  have developed a ‘scaly patch’ on the bridge of my nose.  I wondered if my glasses had caused it, but wasn’t sure.  He checked it out, and has referred me to a dermatologist to rule out skin cancer!  The reason I became suspicious, in the first place, is because our daughter was recently diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on her nose.  She currently awaiting an appointment for Mohl surgery to remove the rest of the cancerous cells, to be immediately followed by plastic surgery on her nose.  (And in case you’re wondering, no, we’re not sun worshipers.  Just unlucky, I guess.) No matter what, I will never forget 2015, as long as I live!

On a more pleasant note, tomorrow, we will be attending the birthday party of our youngest grandchild, Evan.  Here’s a picture of Evan, taken on his actual birthday:

12189154_10204416166077360_2194672787856046595_n (1)  Evan actually turned two on October 30, but his party is being held tomorrow.  Time has passed so quickly!  There’s no way he should be two already!!!  Evan’s a busy little fellow, so I’m sure he’ll enjoy his birthday party tomorrow.

That’s about it for this edition of Friday Fragments. I hope everyone has a blessed weekend!  Go out and make it a good one.

 

 

 

Published in: on November 6, 2015 at 9:09 pm  Comments (4)  
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A Week Ago (part 2)…

In part one of my story, Ed and I had gone to our local ER because he was experiencing chest pains and high blood pressure. Not long after arriving, we were told, by the ER physician, that Ed’s EKG didn’t look good, and he would need to quickly be sent to another hospital by ambulance. That hospital was about 50 miles away.  After giving Ed some “clot busting” medication, the staff began preparing Ed for transport.

I left Ed at the hospital, and quickly headed to the nearest gas station.  I rarely let my car run low on gas, but I hadn’t been driving the PT Cruiser much since we’d recently bought a new van.  (Our new van was sitting under the carport at Ed’s parents’ house, filled with gas, but there was no way I was driving it to the hospital to become a victim of those idiots in the hospital parking lot!)  After, filling up with gas, I quickly headed for home to pack a few things to take to the hospital. I made a mental check list of what I needed on the way.

While at our house, I quickly decided I needed to leave food for our animals, too, since nobody would be home to feed them the next morning.  I put on a “head lamp” and wandered out into the night.  I fed and watered the chickens, then left some dry cat food for the cats.  I must have been quite a sight, running all around in the dark with that light on my head, but I was a woman on a mission!

While I was darting around like a mad woman, the phone rang.  It was my daughter asking where I was.  She was still waiting at the hospital emergency room.  Apparently, we’d had a miscommunication.  She thought I was coming back to the hospital, and I thought she was coming home to get me.  She told me Ed had already been taken on the ambulance.  We hung up and she quickly came home to get me.  Meanwhile, her husband came outside and offered to help me finish feeding the animals.  He was out in the garden, in the dark, pulling up turnip greens for my chickens at 10:30 pm!  Now THAT’S a good son-in-law!

My daughter and I headed for the hospital, shortly before 11 pm.  It began to drizzle rain shortly after we began our journey.  Thankfully, the highway was pretty much deserted at that hour of the night, so traffic wasn’t a problem.  We talked as she drove through the night. We pulled into the emergency room parking lot, in Savannah, shortly after midnight.

The ER attendant had told me Ed would be going to room 123, in the next hospital, but I had no idea room 123 was located in CCU, until we asked for directions at the ER desk.  I think it was about this time that the seriousness of Ed’s condition really began to sink into my weary brain.

When we got to the entrance of CCU, of course the door was locked.  Keep in mind, my daughter and I were each carrying our purses, a tote bag filled with clothing, a small bag of toiletries, and my lumbar support pillow.  We must have looked like a couple of pack mules seeking shelter! We pressed the buzzer, and stated who we were looking for.  A kind nurse, named Linda, met us at the door, saying “We’ve been waiting for you.”

My daughter and I quickly learned that Ed had already been taken back to have an emergency cardiac catheterization.  This was the second jolt to my brain that Ed might be in real trouble.   I knew if the cardiac cath team had been called in at midnight, the situation was quite serious. The nurse explained to us, “saving time is saving muscle” during a heart attack.  The nurse left us alone, and for a brief moment, I felt myself losing control, and let out a small sob, but I quickly regained control.  I had to be strong.

Nurse Linda went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure my daughter and I were comfortable and taken care of while Ed was having his procedures.  Later, I learned that Ed had told Linda his wife and daughter would soon be coming, and asked her to please take care of us when we arrived.  Bless him.  He was having a heart attack, and, still, he was worried about us!

We waited in Ed’s room, in CCU, while he had his heart cath, and angioplasty done.  The cardiologist called me on the phone and told me he’d removed the blockage, put in a stent, and Ed was doing okay. I felt relief flood over me.  He also told me Ed would have to stay in the hospital for a few days, and I found  myself wondering, how long is a few days?

Eventually, Ed was rolled back into the room in CCU, while still in his bed. Ed had been given some medication to help him relax, so he was “feeling pretty good” when he got to his room.  He had a pressure bandage on his groin area, where the catheter had been inserted, so he couldn’t move around much.  He seemed to drift in and out of sleep.

My daughter and I were listening to some relaxing music on the television in Ed’s room. After Ed returned, and the first thing he asked was “Is that the viewing music?”  My daughter and I both laughed,  for the first time in several hours.  Ed’s sense of humor was still in tact!  I knew the next few hours could still be critical for Ed, but, deep down, I felt like everything was going to be alright.  Before too long, we all settled in for a long night–Ed in his bed in CCU, and my daughter and I in one of the CCU waiting areas.

Published in: on November 5, 2015 at 8:20 am  Comments (4)  
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A November Hodgepodge…

Today, I’m taking a break from telling the story of Ed’s recent heart attack, to participate in today’s Hodgepodge.  I’ll resume the story “A Week Ago” tomorrow.  As always, thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for hosting The Hodgepodge.

1. Besides Thanksgiving, something you’re looking forward to on your November calendar?

I’m looking forward to celebrating my husband, Ed’s, 66 birthday with him, on November 13. Ten days ago, he came very close to not being here to celebrate, so it will be extra special this year!

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Ed, on his birthday, last year

2.  If I gave you a thank you card right now who would you send it to and why?

I’d send it to our two children, and their spouses, who live on the family farm with us.  Thanks to them, our nine chickens, twelve cats (thirteen counting “Trouble”),  pond full of goldfish, and dog were all fed and well cared for during Ed’s recent hospital stay.  I’d also say “thank you” to our youngest son, Brad, for taking the time to move my car to a good spot in the hospital parking lot, and for instructing me on how to find my way out of the parking lot!  Their help took a huge burden off of my shoulders, and I’m so grateful to them all!

3. Of the breads listed, which one’s your favorite…bagel, cinnamon, sourdough, garlic, banana, biscuit, pita, Naan, or plain old-fashioned white bread?

It’s almost a tie between a biscuit and a cinnamon bagel, but I think I like a cinnamon bagel best.

4. What’s something you have in abundance? Is that a good thing?

I have an abundance of a lot of different things because I’m a collector of “stuff”.  I have lots of dishes in my cabinets ( in fact, they’re over-flowing), I have lots of curios and books on the shelves, lots of clothes in the closet, and a large collection of dolls in my bedroom.  I won’t even get started on my abundance of holiday decorations for all seasons.

In hind sight, it’s probably not a good thing that I have collected so much “stuff”, but, there was a time when “stuff” made me happy.  I still like my “stuff”, but I don’t find quite as much pleasure in it, now, as I once did.

5. November 5th is National Love Your Red Hair Day. Are there any redheads in your family? Who’s your favorite redhead?

Yes, I do have some redheads in my family.  I have two first cousins (on my mother’s side) who have (or had) red hair.  When I think  ‘favorite redhead’, I immediately think of Lucille Ball, but I was always close with my redheaded first cousin, Kay, while growing up.

6.  The travel website Busbud recently calculated the most Instagrammed spot in every state. Go here to see what made the list where you live. Are you happy with your state’s #1? If not what do you think should be the most photographed spot in your state? Have you snapped a photo there? If you live outside the USA answer as it relates to your state, city or province.

Georgia’s most ‘Instagrammed spot is The Atlanta Motor Speedway, believe it or not!  Georgia has so many more scenic places than a speedway!  For instance, there’s the ” Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon”, in Lumpkin, Georgia,  and, yes, I’ve visited and snapped photos there.

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photo via Google

7. I’m going to try to have something related to gratitude in this spot each week during the month of November. Here’s this week’s question-

What’s something you’ve learned about yourself this year that you’re grateful for?

I’ve learned that I am a much stronger person than I thought I was back in January.  I’ve been through a lot, this year, (Ed losing his job, termite and mold problems , my back surgery, and now Ed having a heart attack) but I’ve learned (again) that I can do (and survive) all things through Christ who strengthens me, and for that, I’m grateful.

Random:

Ed’s been home from the hospital for a week.  So far, so good.  He is adjusting to his new medications, and seems to be feeling better each day.  Life is slowly getting back to normal.  I’m so thankful he’s still with me!

All of the sudden, I feel like a new bride, trying to learn how to cook again!  I haven’t quite gotten the hang of how to season food with spices other than salt.  I’m a work in progress, but Ed’s a good sport and doesn’t complain.  I eat whatever Ed eats, so he’s not “suffering” alone. Ha!  We’ve been eating a lot of salad, lately.  It’s hard to mess up a good salad 🙂

Published in: on November 4, 2015 at 8:21 am  Comments (14)  
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