Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Christmas with Isaiah

I got this idea from this post on Silver Strands. It seemed like a fun thing to do, so here I go.

The "assignment" is to go to the 8th folder on your computer where you store your pictures, and then select the 8th picture in that folder. I had to fudge a bit because my 8th folder (Christmas) had Christmas by year and I didn't have 8 additional folders. So, I opened the 1st folder and couldn't really tell you anything about the pictures inside because they were gathered from other places, and there was only seven pictures. So, I selected the next folder and got this picture of our sweet Isaiah.

This was the first Christmas that he lived with us (2005) and he was about two and a half. He loved to dance and would often dance around the living room to real music or music that he provided to himself. He was (and still is) such a happy child. We have been blessed beyond measure with all of our grandchildren. They all hold special places in our hearts, but Isaiah has really carved himself a place that would be so empty if he hadn't lived with us for nearly five years.

Once you've followed this assignment, you're supposed to tag eight others, but I'll let you tag yourselves if you want to participate. I think it will be interesting to see what 8th folder/8th picture you all come up with - and the story that goes with it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sold the car

Back when Ron was more optimistic about driving, he insisted on buying a 2000 Chevy Blazer. I could not - in any way, shape, or form - talk that man out of buying that "car." It was a 4-door, 4WD V6-Vortec and looked to be in decent shape, but I didn't think Ron would be driving much.

He drove probably less than 50 miles. That's a very liberal guesstimate. More realistic is probably 30 miles. In 13 months, 817 miles were put on the vehicle and most of it was done last fall. The car was not driven at all during the winter. So, spending $35 per month to insure it, on top of just making sure it stayed in good mechanical condition, was more than I wanted to keep doing.

Plus, we needed the money. I listed it for $4500 (which is what we paid for it), figuring the $1400 we put into the front end was just lost. {sigh} It was, plus another $700. We sold the darn thing for $3800 and I felt extremely blessed to get it.

We only had one serious inquiry on it and that is who bought it. I'm happy as a clam who missed the clam bake!

Doctor visit update

Doc was actually quite happy with how Ron's foot looked this morning. He said the discoloration was mostly due to the extensive work he did inside and not because the foot is more damaged. He said that he had taken out two more bones (more fragments - partial bones) and one near the little toe. So, the foot structure is what it is.

He said that barring any complications, once the incision heals (which he thinks it will but may need one more debridement) that Ron can walk. But... big but here... He said that if Ron cannot walk now with his brace then he'll not be able to walk once the incision heals. He said that the foot is as good as it will ever get. Without the bone structure inside, if Ron is unable to be steady with his brace and his shoe, then he'll not get any steadier and we might as well seriously just look at moving ahead with the amputation.

I don't want to do that but if it means walking again or not walking again, then I'm game. But, it's really Ron's decision - not mine - to make. He's considering it. Doc said he'd be one week in hospital and two - three weeks in rehab. While in rehab, they'd teach him how to transfer, put on the prosthesis, and do as much care for himself as he can. With his other limitations, I'm not sure how much self-care he can do.

He  goes back on July 9 for a follow-up.

Thanks for the prayers!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Surgery update

Ron seems to be doing pretty good but I'm not impressed with how the incision looks. It's kind of "gray" around it and along the side, there's what looks like a jagged rip heading towards the toes. I know that he had a small split earlier but this is bigger and does not look like it did before.

So, I called the doctor's office this morning and (finally), this afternoon they called back and want me to bring him in tomorrow morning at 9:15. It's probably nothing but I'd rather take him and have it be nothing than to wait until July 9th (his appointment) and find out that he should have been seen.

I'm very grateful to be able to work from home as that's what I did for about six hours today. I didn't work but one hour each Thursday and Friday last week, so that will hurt the bottom line, but I had to do what I had to do. I'll work for an hour in the morning before I take him to the doctor and then hope to be at work by 1:00pm.

That's the plan, anyway.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mixing traditions

We knew that when Shaun and Jenny got married, there would be some mixing of traditions. Jenny was raised as a Buddhist, but her parents still celebrate Christmas when they are in the states during the holidays. Jenny converted to Christianity when she was a teenager but has never really advertised to her parents that she no longer practices Buddhism. They are very big on using traditional methods when determining when to move, how to arrange furniture, and naming children. As such, it took two years for Alexander to get his Chinese name (they had more time to think after Kaitlyn was born) and they've not liked the layout of Shaun and Jenny's apartment or how Alexander's bed must be placed in his room. Because there is a road that intersects another right out side of Alexander's room, their theory is that he can't sleep well because he has too many directions he can take. Well, that couldn't be helped but Jenny and Shaun said they would take their traditions (superstitions) into consideration when looking for a new place to live.

The apartment they live in is not small by apartment sizes, but it's not overly large and there is virtually no storage space. Although it has three bedrooms, they are all small and if they cleared the 3rd one out for the new baby there would be even less space in the living room for Jenny's desk and office supplies (she owns a private tutoring business) or for Shaun's books and such. Jenny's parents offered to help buy them a house, but they also wanted to have a say in what they got. To a point, I understand and agree. They shouldn't put money on the line for Shaun and Jenny to use irresponsibly or to make a decision not grounded enough in reality. They are still young and have never done anything of this magnitude before.

What I don't agree with is that now the money has been proffered, they feel they can tell Shaun how he needs to spend the money he earns and what his future plans should be. Shaun is in the process of paying for a cruise - for June 2011 - for his family to take. They want him to cancel it. Shaun may need to cancel if his ship's deployment schedule changes, but as of yet he does not need to do so. They don't want for Shaun to include us. Well - I didn't either in the beginning. I told him many, many times that it was an expense that I could not undertake and did not want him to undertake. He decided - after consulting with Jenny and getting her permission - that he would include us anyway. He wants us to help with the kids. Or, more specifically, wants me to help with the kids. He'd like for me to be able to take Kaitlyn and Alexander for a couple of hours while he and Jenny (and the new baby) spend some time alone. As alone as you can get with a new baby, but you get the idea. The baby will be about 8-9 months old, depending on when "it" decides to show up. (We don't know if it's a boy or a girl.) When we got the paperwork in the mail advising us of our "trip" I still told Shaun that he shouldn't have done so. He said that it was a gift to cover all the years that he's not gotten us a gift and for all the years in the future that he won't get us a gift. LOL - that was some fine gift!

I am at a crossroads. Shaun is upset with his in-laws. I don't know what direction to take. I honestly thought they liked us. Now, I'm not so sure. They say according to their tradition, it is the groom's family's responsibility to help with the purchase of the home for the son and daughter. I understand that this could be so. They also say that we have more money than we have let on and that we should be the ones giving the money. {big sigh} If they didn't want to help Shaun and Jenny with the house purchase, they should not have volunteered. I do not know how much was asked (because of the language barrier) and I only know what was expressed back to Shaun - then me - through Jenny. I know that it has caused them to have major words, and that is not fair for her family to put them in that position.

I volunteered our financial picture to Shaun. Quite frankly, it's worse than I thought it was. After we pay our fixed expenses, our utilities, car insurance, life insurance, health insurance, gas for the car, medical expenses, etc., I am in the hole $15.58 BEFORE I buy one drop of groceries - and that is if I draw a nearly full paycheck, which I don't do that often. So, I wonder where Jenny's folks would like for us to cut back so I can direct part of our income to their housing?

I'm cutting things back now and I intend to cut back even farther, but what I cut out will just allow us to eat. I would rather go without food than to make Ron give up his cable TV. If he could get out and do things - or could use his hands on a regular basis (some days are worse than others ), then maybe I wouldn't feel so badly about cutting cable. But, when he can get from the bed to the chair and back, that is his whole world.  I know that there is a little bit of cushion there, but not too much. I know I said before that I would cut back the cell phone minutes - and that will save us $15 per month. Not a big savings, but some.

This wasn't supposed to be a message about finances, but I seem to find a way to throw that in don't I? Sorry about that... It's just that finances are always just under the surface, not far away, in the back of my mind. I can't do anything without thinking about finances. (And, before anyone thinks that I could cut back by brown bagging my lunch or other areas, let me clear that up. I carry a lunch 9 out of 10 days and usually that 10th day I just don't eat, or I eat whatever snacks are in my overhead bin. Rarely - less than twice a month - do I buy a soda or a snack from the machine. I don't buy Starbucks (I did at the hospital on Thursday) and I don't buy McDonald's new "fancy" coffees either. I watch these shows where people "find" hidden money each month and mostly it's from eating lunches out, shopping and buying clothes/makeup/accessories, etc., hitting the ATM, getting their hair done - whatever. I would say that I don't do 95% of this so I don't see where I can find any hidden money. I'll post my thoughts on the "debt diet" another time.)

But, enough of my sniveling. My son has a rough road ahead of him if he's going to successfully mix the traditions together. He loves his wife and she loves him - so I pray that it all works out.

24 hours post-op

I have to say this surgery was much easier on BOTH of us! Ron did bleed, but not any more that what would be considered a normal amount. They ended up keeping him at the hospital until 6:00 PM on Thursday, so I think that may have helped in the bleeding. His foot was elevated for several more hours than it had been last month and I think that helped.

I was also more mentally prepared for what I'd see when I took the dressing off. I knew the "small" amount of packing they put in would actually be closer to several feet long. I didn't measure, but I'm comfortable with the estimate of about 3 ft in length, and the width was probably 1-1.5 inches. Instead of making a Dakins solution and packing the wound with Dakins-soaked 4x4s, they just had be get Epsom salts and he'll soak once a day for 10 minutes. The first soak was last night and his foot bled quite a bit in the water. Maybe he won't do that so much here on out.

Even though he did not lose nearly as much blood this time, he was still wiped out and slept most of yesterday, all night, and a great deal of today. Hopefully, he's back to his normal self today.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Surgery today

It is now 2:50 Central time (when I started this). The doctor came out at 1:15 to tell me that surgery went well and he was able to save Ron's foot. Said he did remove a small portion of bone but he also found some healthy tissue down in there. Said they'd keep him here until they were sure he was not going to bleed like he did last month. If the bleeding does not stop or slow down enough, they will keep him overnight. They finally told me at 3:00 that he was back in his room. I found him sitting in a recliner, eating some lunch, and watching CNN. I guess he's been in the room for about an hour or so.

Ron said they told him he was going home at 4:00. Not if he's still bleeding, he's not! His dressing is not completely saturated, but I see "red" down a few layers. They will have to change the dressing, or at least add to it, and put his foot DOWN to see how it does. Last time, it didn't really start bleeding until they put his foot down. As long as it's elevated, he's fine. Bleeding all over didn't start last time until they tried to get him out to go. We shall see... I'm not pussy-footing around this time. I know what I went through last month and how many days he spent in bed because of bleeding.

No more Mrs. Nice Gal!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

July 4th weekend

I want to have a July 4th celebration at our house that will be very memorable for Ron. His remaining sister (Wydonna), who  lives in Tennessee, fell in a rest stop a few weeks ago and broke her knee (not sure which knee); she’s 73 and doesn’t think that her doctor will let her travel next weekend. Her daughter lives in Arkansas, his deceased sister’s (Vicki) girls live in Indiana and Florida. I’ve invited them all here as a surprise family reunion of sorts. I told them that he’s doing fairly well right now, but that the doctor has said he’ll need his leg (mid-calf) amputated sometime within the next two years because of the bone infection and the break-down in the structure. Every time they remove diseased tissue and bone, it creates a less stable platform for him. I said that he’s having surgery this week and with the advancement of the Parkinson’s and vascular changes in his brain, that this summer might be a good time for them to all visit.

So, Vicki’s girls (Elana and Dana) are coming for sure. Dana is leaving Indiana on July 1 and Lonnie (that’s her nickname) is leaving Florida this coming Sunday after church. She’s got four kids but she’s only bringing three because the oldest just got a job (he graduated this year); she’s a widow so there’s no husband to bring. Dana has two kids and a spouse, but the spouse is supposed to be getting a job so he may not be here. I said we have no furniture but they’re welcome to use air beds on the floors downstairs and there’s a private bathroom they can all share. Not sure I have enough towels and wash cloths for them for showers though. LOL – may have to borrow from Amy. Dana’s kids are Jennifer (Keith’s age – maybe a year younger) and James (I think he’s 15).
Lonnie will be bringing Hotchie (that’s his nickname – his real name is Anthony; he was named after his dad), Joey (he’s a cutie and I think he’s about 9 or 10) and her only girl, Elexis (Lexie). She just turned 6 and since Vicki died, I’m supposed to be her godmother. I'm not doing a very good job of it, though.

Wydonna’s daughter (Kathy) let me know they will try but not sure if they can or not. They have a son who lives with them (another James) but he’s over 21 so maybe he wouldn’t come. Their daughter, Randi, actually lives with Wydonna with her boyfriend (Byron) and her two kids from 1st marriage (Austin and Jason). The boys are visiting their father this month so not sure if Randi and Byron will come. Wydonna also has a mentally challenged adult son (Bobby) who lives with them. He’s in his 50s and he’s who they discovered PKU on – he was perfectly fine until he was 2. Bobby is a sweetie and has had a crush on Amy for as long as he’s known her. He used to follow her around with a camera and take her picture.

Confused yet? It will be a madhouse. I let Stacey (step-daughter) know about it Sunday, Amy and Keith know; now I just have to let Tim know. Ron, without even realizing that we were having a big family thing, invited his ex-wife and her husband over, so that's really quite funny. Stacey is taking the whole week off next week so she can come get Lonnie’s kids and take them to her house to swim (depending on when they get here). I don’t have a bed any longer for Wydonna and Don but they could sleep in our bed – Ron in his chair and me on the sofa. Bob could sleep on the futon. We can make it work.

Lonnie said she’d buy groceries for her clan and she’d make sure Dana bought for hers. So, I just have to make sure I have enough for the rest of the crowd. We’ll do hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill on the 4th. Amy and Rex will be in western Kansas but Amy said she’d come down on Friday (Rex has to work) to see everyone. Dana won’t be there yet but Lonnie will.

Next week will be a freaking zoo at my house – and poor Ron doesn’t know about any of it yet. I keep almost blowing it by saying stuff about getting this or getting that or whatever.

It should be fun. I actually can't wait to see everyone - all the noise included.

Friday, June 18, 2010

More surgery on the horizon

Ron is not doing too great. He sounds better and I think that most days the confusion is not as bad. Some days he still takes "PM" pills instead of "AM" pills, or he doesn't take any because he says he can't figure out the pill system. We've used this pill system for months so when he says he can't figure it out, it concerns me. He's managed to lose about 20 pounds in the last month or so, actually trying to. He is not eating as much and has had some very low blood sugars. I have to remind him to eat and some days he just doesn't feel like it. He says he does not get hungry.

We visited the foot surgeon today and the guy is really nice. He's honest and tells it like it is. He says Ron has rampant infection in bones in his foot. He had surgery on the lateral side of the foot in May and had one of the bones removed. He is going back in on the 24th to have further cleaning and probably will be removing some additional bones - as much as necessary to salvage as much as possible. He says he wants Ron to walk as much as possible and to get as much exercise as possible. He says that with the years of experience he has, he does not see that this will ever heal and it's not a matter of "if" he has to have it amputated, it's a matter of "when" he has to have it done. The goal Thursday is to not have to do so at this point but we don't know how bad the bones are. After shedding many tears today - by both of us - we are mentally preparing ourselves for what the doctor most likely will  find next week and the knowledge that things may be worse inside the foot than they appear on the outside of the foot.

It still drains and I still have to make my day revolve around changing the dressing. It should be done twice a day but there are some days that I just can't get it done twice. One of the problems is the drainage (and blood) is causing problems inside his shoe (when he wears it) or on the carpet. The nurse suggested today that I buy sanitary pads because of the liquid proof backing they contain. It's been so many years since I've had to buy stuff like that, that I will have to really examine the boxes to make sure that what I'm getting will solve the leakage problem.

Part of Ron's bone problem is that he has Charcot foot and the little bones crack and crumble over time. As they break down, they lose the ability to support weight on the foot, and then it perpetuates the cycle. He's trying to save Ron's leg as long as possible but says sometime within the next two years - at the outside, probably sooner - the leg will just be so infected that it will have to come off. At that point, maybe Ron's overall health will be better, they may have better diabetic treatment, etc.

The bad part is that his overall health is bad. His heart is bad, his kidneys are bad, and the Parkinson's is making itself known. He may not even live long enough to lose the foot and as terrible as that sounds, that is something that is always on my mind. Honestly, I come home from work and if he's sleeping in bed, I check to see if he's breathing. Every morning when I get up (if he is not up before me), I check to see if he's breathing. If I bring Isaiah home with me and I think there's something going on with Ron, I make sure that Isaiah stays out of the room while I go "wake up Grandpa." I never send Isaiah in to wake him up unless I can see for sure that his chest is moving up and down. Sad, stressful, but true.

I would really like to have an Independence Day celebration here. We don't know how many more good days or months he's going to have and traveling any distance is out of the question for him. We are not moving to WA for a host of reasons, most of which has to do with his health. Our primary care physician says that with his health the way it is, things could change very quickly. I'd like to think that things could change for the better as well, and I still believe in miracles, but I'm also trying to prepare myself for the eventuality that things may never get better.

I'd like to create as many positive memories for him and as his memory diminishes (which it will and it is in some areas) then he'll have something to look back on with fondness.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dress up my blog

My blog is so "blah" but I don't know how to dress it up. I see so many cute layouts and backgrounds out there. I say to myself, "Self, you could do something like that to your blog." Then, I realize I don't know how. LOL - so, my blog is destined to look boring, but don't let the looks fool ya! It still contains just as much interesting fodder stuff as before.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oak Ridge Boys

The last time we saw the Oak Ridge Boys, Joe Bonsall sang the song G.I. Joe and Lillie, which is on their Colors album. I had never heard it before but thought it was beautiful. I noticed when I went to the “sales” desk to pick up their newest CD that he also had a book by the same name – and he had autographed the books. That was very neat, but I couldn’t afford the $20 price tag on the book plus the money we’d already spent on tickets and other memorabilia.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to check eBay and to see if I could find a used copy of the book. I didn’t care if it was used, as long as it was in good condition. I actually found a copy for $.75 plus shipping. I ordered it and patiently waited. A few days later, I got a notice that the supplier did not actually have it in stock and my money had been refunded. {sigh} Tried again, and found another seller with the book for the same price. I was happy. The book came yesterday and it’s in what I would consider “like new” condition, complete with a bookmark – AND the best part of all… It’s autographed!!! I was thrilled!

I read it from cover to cover last night. The story is very touching and I can see why Joe Bonsall was (and is) so proud of his parents. They both served during WWII and his father was a decorated hero, although Joe Sr. said the real heroes were the ones who didn’t come home. He had a point because if it wasn’t for their bravery, our world would be very different from what we currently know.

Lillie’s dedication to her husband during his life was especially touching. Although I would never compare myself to her because she had a much rougher road to travel, her actions and her loyalty remind me of me. That sounds a bit conceited and I don’t mean for it to, but reading some of the things she did for him made me realize that I am just as dedicated to Ron as she was to G.I. Joe and my sacrifices are just as meaningful as hers. Our lives are similar in many aspects.

  • Lillie and G.I. Joe met by chance and married very quickly – Ron and I met by chance and married very quickly (not as quickly but still very quickly; 5 days for them, 19 days for us)
  • Lillie was diabetic and had other health problems – I am diabetic and have other health problems
  • Lillie was very dedicated to G.I. Joe and took care of him for years – I am very dedicated to Ron and have taken care of him for years
  • G.I. Joe and Lillie were married 55 years – Ron and I have been married nearly 26 years and plan on being married until God calls us home
  • Lillie worked two jobs for years while she cared for G.I. Joe – I’m not currently working two jobs but I would get a 2nd one if I needed to
  • Lillie stayed with G.I. Joe when leaving would have been the much easier choice – ditto for me
  • Lillie’s faith in God got her through life’s trials – I can’t say that I’m as dedicated or faithful, but I do know that without my faith in God, I would have succumbed to stress long ago and know that prayer can help even when you don’t think you can go on any longer

They were the epitome of the true American family – sticking together through thick and thin, even when there was more “thin” than “thick” and a great role model for their children and for others they came into contact with.

I love the Oak Ridge Boys and I would love to go see them in concert next month at the Hard Rock CafĂ© in Catoosa, OK. Not happening on my budget right now. It would entail the drive and at least one night in a hotel, but it would be an awesome trip. I just subscribed to receive their email newsletter so maybe there will be other stops on their tour this year that we can get to. I know they’ll be at the Kansas State Fair but the wheelchair access seats that are worth sitting in are already sold.

We were very fortunate to get to meet the Oaks one time when they were in Wichita. They were coming out the back door of the venue as we were rounding the corner to go to the entrance. They were very nice, shook our hands, and gave me their autographs. Sadly, we’ve moved a few times since then and I can no longer find their autographs. I’d love to scrapbook them. Darn the luck. Maybe Joe will read my post and send me new autographs.

LOL, yeah, right. They’ll be attached to front row tickets to the Catoosa show. Of course, he'd have to know where I lived to be able to send them to me. Hahahaha!

(psssttt.... Joe - you can find me by checking out who from Derby, KS just recently signed up to receive your newsletter. LOL! LOL! LOL!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Garage Sale Happenings

Saturday, the 12th, was our annual city-wide garage sale. I've participated several times in the past few years but this was the first year we actually got the money paid in on time (it's a fundraiser for the city) and in the map. That was good because we didn't have time to put any signs up. As if we'd have had room to put signs out. There were so many sales out that the plot of ground you can legally put a sign in was completely full. We didn't suffer from lack of shoppers even though we had no signs.

Friday night, the 11th, we'd done the Relay for Life so I didn't get to bed until about 12:30 am - and then back up before 6:00 am. We were pulling tables out of the garage by 6:30 and by 6:45 we'd had our first "drive by" shoppers. Before 7:00, we actually had people swarming the area trying to buy stuff that wasn't organized or priced yet. Some people actually got ticked because prices were on everything but they were technically there before I was even open for business. At 7:45, we had people everywhere - in the garage, on the drive, and walking toward us on the street. I was trying to get stuff out, get money in the register, and wait on people standing there. I asked Kris what time it was and when she said "7:45," I said good; I didn't feel so badly for not being ready because we really weren't even open yet!

I should have taken pictures of all the stuff. Amy had stuff, we had stuff, and my sister had driven down from KC and she had stuff. I had borrowed four long tables from a friend, I had three medium sized table of my own, Kris brought two or three small tables, Amy had brought two tables from Rex's house, and I had borrowed two tables from my neighbor, one table from Keith, and one table from a friend at work. So, we had 13 or 14 tables and they were full most of the day and we'd rearrange as things emptied. It was a zoo.

I had a Delta Burke swimsuit ($50) that was practically new that I hadn't had a chance to mark. I think it's worth $5 so that's what I was putting on it. One woman offered me $1 for it, which I turned down. I told her that I wasn't trying to be rude or anything, but if I was going to just give it away, I'd donate it to charity and take a tax deduction. Basically, that's how I feel about things. I'm willing to mark things way down but I don't want people to assume that just because it's a garage sale, they can give whatever they want for something. They wouldn't go into a store and tell the proprietors how much money they'd pay for something and shouldn't expect to do the same at a garage sale.

No sooner had this woman put the swim suit down that another woman picked it up and tried to hand me a quarter for it. I told her sorry, and I'd just turned down $1 for it. She said she agreed, it was a very nice suit and worth much more than $1. So, why then, did she think I'd take a quarter??? No clue...

Speaking of quarters, I had several people try to offer me a quarter for my 1996 Father's Day Longaberger basket, which is in perfect condition. This has both of the informational inserts that came with it, the plastic liner, and the cards with dividers. Well worth more than a quarter. I guess they didn't know the difference between a "cents" sign vs. a "dollar" sign. For the people who didn't offer me a quarter, they said that $25 was too expensive and you can "usually find these baskets for $10-$15 at garage sales." When Kris said, "from people who don't know what they have," the reply was usually, "that's true." People were just amazing.

I didn't even have time to bring out everything that I wanted to offer. I had a bunch of shoes (nearly new), Amy had a bunch of shoes, I had more tools, kitchen stuff, and books. Lots of books. I am going to some of them on Craigslist. I have the entire set of the Left Behind series and two of the three "pre" books (I have the third one but Amy can't find it). Most of them are hardback and one woman wanted to give me $10 for the set. Others wanted to buy just one and couldn't understand why I didn't want to break up the set. Oh well...

I had one man come to the register with three screw drivers - one was marked $1.00 and the other two were not. One was smaller, one was bigger, so I said $2.50 for all three of them. He said, "I'll give you $2 for them." I said that I felt the three were worth $2.50 as one was smaller and one was bigger. He said, in a very irritated voice, "I hate it when people don't have things marked! I'll give you $2.00 or not at all." I was incensed! I said, as calmly as I could, "people started swarming us at 6:45 and we weren't even opening until 8:00, which made it hard to get everything out and marked. You don't want to pay $2.50 that works for me" and then I put the three items down on the counter. I was busy with someone else and looked up to see that he'd laid $2.00 down, picked up the screw drivers, and walked away. If I could have taken them from him without causing a scene, I would have. I'm sure he walked off thinking he'd pulled one over one me, but what he did was just plain selfish and low down.

I had one person try to steal something (actually, it was her son) and then she gave me a business card to offer her services to me. Yeah, I'm going to call someone whose son is trying to steal something right in front of me. No thanks!

All in all, it was a very successful sale. I had one person come at the end and take a couple of items that I greatly reduced so I could get rid of them. I was happy; he was happy. Then, when he saw what we'd put at the curb for free, he asked if he could have that. Sure, all he had to do was haul it off and I was very glad that I didn't have to haul it off. We have more things that I will go through and put on Craigslist and maybe even (shudder to think about it) have another garage sale later in the summer. Maybe mid-July I'll be in the mood to do this again.

Maybe... Maybe not...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rae at Weather Vane

Strange happenings going on... I posted a comment last week on Rae's blog without any problem. I've posted comments on her blog before. When I went to notify her of the "versatile blogger" award, I got the message that only members could post comments.

Today, I get the message that her blog is open only to invited readers and it doesn't appear that I'm invited. Anyone else having problems? I sent her a message but I haven't heard back from her yet. I hope that everything is OK with her.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blood work results

OK  my nursing friends, tell me what these numbers mean and if I should be concerned...

Liver Panel AST (SGOT) - 12 (range is 15-37)
Urinalysis: Protein - 30 mg/dL (s/b negative)
                Ketones - trace (s/b negative)
                EPITH - moderate (s/b negative)
Basic Metabolic Profile:  CO2 - 33.40 (s/b 21-32)
LDL - 148.20 (s/b < 130)
Total cholesterol - 223 (s/b <200)

On the good side, my Hemoglobin A1C was 5.9, which is excellent control for a diabetic.

Relay for Life

I am participating in this year’s Relay for Life walk, which is Friday, 6/11. If you would like to make a donation through my page in memory of anyone you know who has fought cancer, please visit my personal page. I will be walking in honor of my sister who lost her battle nine years ago.

Thank you...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The dingbat did it again

My plan for this afternoon was to pick Isaiah up at the Y (where he goes for daycare in the summer) and then go to the grocery store. Mother Hubbard's Cupboards are very bare. I told Isaiah that we were going to the store and he says, "I have another idea. How 'bout you take me to your house and then you can go to the store by yourself. I will keep Crampa company."  (Nice way to say he wants to watch cartoons with Ron.) "If you forget, I will remind you, OK?"

Great - so I told him that was actually a very good idea; we'd go home and I'd fix him and Crampa dinner and then I'd go to the store. Got home and got out some leftover pizza (from the weekend; Rex and Amy bought pizza when we were loading the moving van) to heat up for Isaiah and Ron. Got Isaiah's on the table (he likes for me to "cook his cold" which means just barely take the chill off of it). Called Isaiah to the table and I hear this, very faint, call from Ron. "Teresa, can you come here for a minute?" No indication that there is anything wrong, just can I come to the bedroom.

I go sauntering into the bedroom to hear, "I think I'm having a low blood sugar." Ugh! "Again? Why didn't you eat today? I left you stuff to eat." Took his sugar and it was 32. Better than the other night but still not great. We were seriously out of everything so the only sugar in the house was chocolate syrup for ice cream. I made him drink some of that. He didn't like it very well and wanted to know what else we had. So, I took him his pizza and he managed to eat that.

Silly man... I could smack him into next week.

Just kidding.

(no i'm not)

(yes, i really am. i don't want to go to jail for elder abuse .)

On a better note, the foot is not as bad as thought. The doctor (substitute doc) said that the regular surgeon would need to do some further surgery on it, but at least the infection isn't rampant. We're very glad for that.

Versatile Blogger Award

I received an unexpected award today from Donna B. over at Mystical Journeys. The rules say to...

1. Thank the person who gave the Award to you and link to their blog. (Thank you, Donna!)
2. Share 7 things about yourself that others may not know.

3. Nominate up to 15 other versatile bloggers who you recently discovered and who you think are fantastic (and link to their blogs too).

4. Let them know about the Award!

(Rules are flexible, in case you're not good with rules!)

My Seven Things

  1. I'm ambidextrous and can write the same thing backwards with my left hand as I am writing it correctly with my right hand.

  2. I used to write poetry.

  3. I'm the middle child of seven children - really in the middle. There are three years between me and my "youngest" older brother and three years between me and my "oldest" younger brother. Two brothers and a sister older and two sisters and a brother younger.

  4. I've always wanted to go on a missions trip.

  5. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up and was fascinated with Indian ruins.

  6. I love to read but especially love historical novels that weave fiction in with facts. In middle school, I also read all of the biographies of the Presidential Wives that had been written (at that time). In 10th grade, I read 100 books in one semester (that's an average of 5 books per week).
I'm having the hardest time coming up with a 7th item. Does that make me boring? LOL!

     7. I collect angels. 

My nominees (in no particular order) (I would nominate Pat @ A View from the Edge but she's already been nominated):

Kathy @ Four Dog Day
Skippy @ I Make Soap

Actually, all of the blogs that I follow deserve this award. So, if you're not listed in the list particularly, please count yourself a versatile blogger and feel free to pass it forward.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Such a small word, but packs such power. What about the foot? Is it a good foot? Or, is it a bad foot? If I were witty like Dr. Seuss, I could write some witty little ditty about the "woe is me" going on in the foot. But, I'm not, so I'll just have to write in plain old boring terms.

The foot sucks. Really. It's got two different infections - again - and one of them is staph - again. So, off to the doctor tomorrow morning to get it checked out. I don't know what the plan is. Hospital? Prescription antibiotics? Who knows...

Can I just scream and get it out of my system?


Evidently, that’s how low Ron’s blood sugar can get and he can still let me know that he thinks his sugar is low.

Low blood sugars most commonly occur during the night and you can sleep through the early stages. When I’ve had a low blood sugar, the nausea will wake me up pretty quickly. My lowest (that I’ve caught) has been in the low 40s. I heard Ron’s water jug hit the floor around 1:30 AM so I got up and went around to his side of the bed to pick it up. He was sitting up on the side of the bed, holding his hand in a semi-clenched state and said that he didn’t feel well. I asked him if he felt hospital-bad or just bad, and what part of him was sick. He couldn’t tell me. I asked him what he wanted and he said he’d been trying to get a drink, but when I put the water jug back into his hand, he couldn’t hold it. He was very sweaty and clammy.

His pain patches had come loose due to the excessive sweat so I pulled them off and cleaned the area with an alcohol wipe. I asked him if he was still sick and if he felt like he was going to vomit. He said, “I think I’m having a low blood sugar” so I got his tester and checked. Sure enough, it was low. 27. Two. Seven. Nearly coma level.

I hurried into the kitchen to get him some juice and when I came back, he was collapsed across the bed. In hindsight, I probably should have just called an ambulance but he’d already told me no on that suggestion. I got the juice down him and three Oreo cookies. I waited a few minutes and he was able to let me pull him into a sitting position. I took his sugar again and it was up to 47, which was a good improvement but still terribly low.

I went back to the kitchen and fixed him a peanut butter sandwich and got him two more cookies. It took a while, but we finally did get him stable and he was able to go to sleep feeling better.

That’s two nights in a row that he’s had something go on that was out of the ordinary. Saturday night, he had several instances of body twitches and he was breathing so shallowly that I checked a couple of times to make sure that he really was breathing. He may have had a low blood sugar at that time but because he stayed asleep, neither of us knew it. He didn’t look like he felt good Saturday or Sunday but by yesterday afternoon, he looked and acted much better.

I honestly think if I hadn’t been there last night that he would have slipped into a diabetic coma. It just goes to show how strong of a constitution Ron has to be able to bounce back from that low of a sugar.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Special Gift

Kathy, over at Four Dog Day is a very talented seamstress. A few weeks ago I contacted her to see about getting an item special made for me for Ron. He has such trouble with shaking and tremors that he often loses food off his fork/spoon when he's eating. After trying to get many, many things out of his shirts, we decided that an adult bib would be good for him to have. I always cut his food up for him when we go out and make sure that the utensils he has to use are appropriate for what he is eating. We try really hard to not make a spectacle of Ron in public (and, thankfully, he doesn't embarrass easily) so I do what I do with the least amount of fanfare and as privately as possible.

When he spills food, I just quietly point where it is and either help him clean it up or do it if he cannot. A bib in public would be good but that may be more attention getting than Ron without. But, a bib at home is great because he's home alone during the day and having something to "save" his shirts is good.

Kathy and I emailed back and forth a couple of times with ideas and such and then she let me know that she had the bib all done. I am thrilled with it, Ron is thrilled with it, and it has already saved one shirt from disaster.

One side is terry cloth and the other a "manly" print. Kathy thought that the trim was messed up but, honestly, I looked the thing over from one end to the other and it looks perfect to me. Ron can just simply put the "tie" part over his head and he doesn't have to worry about fastening or unfastening anything to make it work. It's amazing. 

Kathy is amazing! When I sent her my address, I asked for her to let me know how much I owed her and I'd mail her a check. Included in the box was a very cute (hand made) card. Kathy expressed that wouldn't take a dime for the bib, saying that someone recently had done something special for her so she was just paying it forward.

Thank you very much, Kathy! The bib is fabulous and just perfect! We greatly appreciate it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Going back in time

Ron's cousin sent him a card the other day to let him know she had been thinking of him. Inside the card was this newspaper clipping from 1991. It was published in the local newspaper five days before our seventh anniversary. I wonder how many of the people who read it wondered if we'd make it past ten. LOL - I'd like to send it to the paper and say "hey! we did it! now it's almost 26 years!"

Anyway, I wanted to share it with you all. Keith was very impressed with it (although they did get his age incorrect - he was almost five, not almost four). He laughed at my glasses and said I could frame the thing in the glasses. I laughed and said that I was at the height of style with those glasses!

Ron looked so young - but, heck... so did I! Look how much hair we each had!!! Wish I had that much hair still.

He was hot.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dear Kathy,

I didn't know when I talked to you nine years ago today that it would be the last time that I would hear your voice or share a laugh with you. I didn't know that our time together would be measured in just hours instead of years. I miss you as much today as I ever did. You left a void that is always there.

You would have been a wonderful grandmother. Ian is adorable and I know that you would have relished in the role. Did you hear? Ian's going to be a big brother and the new arrival will be a girl. You're finally getting your little girl and you aren't here to enjoy it. She is going to have your name... Leah Kathryn. Isn't that nice? I know you'd be so proud. I bet she'll have red hair, too - just like you and just like Ian. Kate tries to give the credit for the red hair completely to her side of the family, but I'm sure that your red tendencies also contributed to it (grin - Kate's hairdoes remind me of yours).

Tomorrow will be a tough day for mom. She's never gotten over the loss and now she doesn't have dad around to help her face it.

I love you and miss you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just Pictures

We ate at Mel's Hard Luck Diner on Sunday afternoon. All of the wait staff are singers and in between delivering and taking orders, they sing. I happened to see the advertisement for it on Saturday and then decided that I wanted to eat there. Matt Kester, who was a Season 4 Idol contestant (in the top 44), works there and sings Gospel music there at the diner. He sang Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone - AND he ended up being our waiter. You can see a clip at Branson Visitor TV.

The food was amazing there. We each left about 1/2 of our meals (we'd have shared except we wanted different things). Ron had too much sodium, but since it was something "special" instead of an everyday thing, I let him have it. "It" was a foot-long hot dog with chili, onions, and cheese. This is what was left behind:

I should have taken a picture of mine, but I did not. It was a "Philly" Cheesesteak Sandwich, but that's not what they called it. I don't know how much meat was on it, but I'm guessing it had at least 8 ounces of roast beef, mushrooms, onions, and peppers - and cheese - all on a toasted sourdough bun. Oh. My. Goodness. It was phenomenal. I left fully half of it. I ate as much of the meat as I could, choosing it over the bread. But, the bread was really, really good.

We also ate at Lambert's, which bills itself as the "Home of the throwed rolls." The rolls are marvelous! When you order, you need to take into consideration that not only will you get your meal, you'll also get the "free pass arounds," which are fried potatoes, black-eyed peas, fried okra, tomatoes and macaroni, and don't forget those rolls - plus sorghum to go on them if you want. Ron ordered the small chicken fried steak (an 11 ounce portion), which came with mashed potatoes and two sides. He chose cottage cheese and white beans.

I ordered the chicken and dumplings, with baby carrots and fried apples. Of course, neither of us could finish those meals, either.

Are you hungry yet? I have one more picture. It came from the restaurant next to the IMAX theater.

We did share this.

Dream On

We had a great time over the weekend. Ron got very emotional when he heard these lyrics from the Oak Ridge Boys:

Dream On (sung by Richard Sterban)

Lay your head down on my shoulder
I won't let the night get colder
I'll protect you, I'll be keepin'
Trouble far from where you're sleepin'.
Until you wake in the mornin'
You've got the world to yourself.

Dream on
Dream about the world we're gonna live in one fine day
Dream on
Spent the night in heaven I'll be here to light your way.
Someday tomorrow we'll smile
But little girl in the meanwhile
Dream on.

You're a princess chains around you
I'm a hero who just found you
'Til a brand new day must wake you
Let imagination take you

Go where the music is playing
I'll be along in awhile.


He said the song reminded him of us but he felt badly since "I" had to be the protector and him the protected. He was in the music business for over 50 years and it's really hard for him to accept the fact that the "music" portion of his life is behind him and he wonders what he has to look forward to.

We also saw Paul Revere and The Raiders and he commented that he used to be every bit as good of a bass player as the one in his band. If he had taken a different path, he could have been just as famous as any one of them - but he would have been in another world, and not mine and that's what is important. At one point in our married life (about 15 years ago), he was encouraged to audition to be the bass player for John Michael Montgomery but he turned it down. I told him that if he had gone ahead and done this, then maybe his life would have turned out differently. He's not sure but says that his health may have still gone "south" on him and then he would have been without the health insurance that has kept us afloat for the past several years.

I don't know for sure, but I do know that he is still my hero, no matter who has to be the protector.

If it weren't for bad luck...

We'd have no luck at all...
Gloom, despair, and agony on me
(another song - Buck Owens and Roy Clark)

Came home tonight from work and Ron says, "Guess what! Want to hear some really great news?"

I say, sure, thinking that the music store has sold one of his guitars (that we're trying to sell).

Ron says the "lamp" went out in the living room television. Again. The last lamp lasted about 18 months, which is an average amount of time.

Oh yeah... they're really "cheap," too. $219 a pop.

Guess he'll be without for a while.