Saturday, June 30, 2007
Last night we took a break and went out to play cards with our canasta group. It was a wonderful night. We came home and ‘dipped’ out the basement again before we went to bed, so that we came to a total of 320 gallons we ‘dipped’ yesterday, besides what the sump pump took out without our help. Today has been another big day, but we’re going to escape to play cards, again, tonight. We need the break! I imagine we’ll pump out about as much today as we did yesterday. We got some rain today, but not so much; just enough to keep us going steady on the seeping.
While we were out last night I got this picture of a great sunset even during our stormy weather. We love it!
When we got home there was ANOTHER frog or toad in the basement. I thought it was Jethro, but I checked his markings against Jethro and they are different. I’ll put both pictures on the blog so you can see what you think. Jarvis is the newest one; he’s the one with one leg out like he’s on the move. Now, Ruthie won’t want to come to my basement if she knows Jethro and Jarvis are down there. Likely I will find them and set them out in the yard. There is a wealth of mosquitoes out in the yard for them! Gabe must have gotten his love of creatures from me; this is fun!
God blesses even with varmints. I’m so blessed; I get the toads/frogs instead of the snakes in the basement. God is good!
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Today has been throw herbs day. I’m exhausted from it. That sounds so innocent, but this picture shows just a few of the little cups of herbs and vitamins. I throw two of these cups per day for Don and three per day for me. Then I dump these into a packet of vitamins we order from Dr. Williams and top the packet with an empty packet. Today I ‘threw’ enough for 62 days for each of us, but I’ve only gotten half of Don’s packaged. I’ll finish tomorrow, and then we’ll have two months done.
Don had the basement nearly dry, but it was still seeping. Then it rained another .4 inch this morning. We are just shaking our heads. I think this is 14 days in a row that it’s rained here. That hasn’t happened since 1937, but they are expecting more for the next few days. The seeping had slowed so much that Don only pumped out 32 gallons yesterday, but today it picked up and he pumped out 48 gallons. Here is a picture of the water when it first started seeping. I can’t believe I was standing there with a camera, but it’s a memory! It’ll be a happy day when we look at that floor and it’s dry!
Actually every day is a happy day. We are blessed to have a basement and the ability to keep up with this water. Lots of people have lost their homes and furnishing; some even their lives in all this flooding. We haven’t had any loss of life in our town, but it’ll be tough for the farmers to recover from the loss of their wheat. The community is keeping their chins up, though. We know it could be worse, so we give thanks for whatever God sends.
Look around and count the blessings; they are abundant and we give thanks. God is good.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
This morning was so cool. Don was downstairs vacuuming up the water and he stopped and came up and said, “Come look; I want to show you something.” I said, “Should I bring the camera?” He said, “If you want.” That was my clue that it was worthy of the camera, since he didn’t say, “No.” I got down there and he told me to look behind a little seat we have down there holding the sump pump. It was a little toad! That wouldn’t mean much to most people, but this is Gabe’s Grammy. Gabe found that way cool desert toad when we took him to the reserve. Then when he was here the toad got away, so I thought sure it was Gabe’s toad, Jerry. I got several pictures of him and then I did my best to catch him, but Gabe is way better at catching toads than I am. Alas, he got away. He’s still in the basement unless he can jump up to that escape hatch where he must have entered. That’s about 6 feet off the ground, so I don’t expect he can make that jump. I hope he doesn’t starve down there, but I don’t know what he’ll eat. I’m keeping an eye out for him; maybe he’ll get weak and I can get him.
He’s not Jerry, though. I compared his picture to the picture we have of Jerry in Gabe’s hand. They have different markings. I sure thought it was the same toad, though; tan with red spots. God is so creative to make all those little tiny differences! I’m naming this one Jethro. If I catch him, I’m taking him to Gabe. Trish will probably make us let him go, but we can enjoy him for a while. Maybe there is room for him in one of Gabe’s wild animal habitats. (In the pictures, Jerry is the one in Gabe’s hand and Jethro is the one on our basement floor. If I had caught him he would be in a box, NOT in my hand. No doubt that’s why I couldn’t catch him: I would have had to touch him!)
Okay, so you know how little it takes to entertain me. Besides all that fun we got to walk today for the first time in 2 weeks. It did rain again, but not much. Don only pumped 32 gallons out of the basement today, so it’s slowing a bunch. Whew! More rain is in the forecast, though. God is so good. He doesn’t fool with skimpy; He does everything in abundance. Rain in abundance is so much better than drought in abundance. We’ve learned to deal with the challenges of it and the crops are doing great with it. We’ve learned; isn’t that cool? It’s hard to teach old dogs tricks, but God can do it! PTL!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The next picture is one of Gabe’s friends, I’m sure. I was out pulling up weeds and made a trip to the dumpster with the weeds. On my way back I saw this little pile of mud and was wondering how it got there when I saw it’s TAIL! It turned out to be a little wee turtle full of mud. I still don’t know how he got there, but he waited for me to take his picture. I know that Gabe would love to capture him, but I settled for taking his picture. A turtle in camo!
When we woke up this morning it was raining, but it’s been dry and sunny all afternoon. Praise God! We have rain all around us and more predicted, so we don’t expect it to be dry for long. The basement is still seeping, but it has slowed down a lot. We thank God for the break and for the equipment and ability to keep it under control! God is great and good to us!
Monday, June 25, 2007
The pictures on the blog are: the redbud in the back flower bed with a big bunch of lavender at the base; the second and third volunteer petunias with the first one; and the daisies almost ready to bloom beside the Echinacea that the butterflies haven’t found yet. I have to hurry out there because the mosquitoes will win; soon I’ve got to get out the spray and go spend the day in the yard before the weeds get out of hand, again. I’ve got to get the garlic and do a bunch of pruning, too.
We actually got a bit of a break today. It did rain, but only .2 inch and it didn’t make the water coming into the basement increase; it just kept it from maybe stopping. Don only pumped out 100 gallons today, so that’s really good.
Oh! The call from MD Anderson came today; we have an appointment there at 8a.m. on July 10th. We’ll probably go there on the 9th. Tricia’s baby is due right about that time, so we’ll stay here as late as possible unless the baby comes early. If the baby comes early, then we’ll go as early as possible to have a chance to visit a bit with Don’s sister, Doris, and her two new grandsons. We’ll make more concrete plans as the time gets closer, but it all depends on Tricia’s baby at this point.
We are so blessed! Our 15th grandbaby is on the way; we have a yard full of flowers and thick grass, no threat of fires, and the strength to deal with the leaky basement. PTL! Ruthie said it rained all day in Springville today, too! God is good! Thanks for checking in on the blog. I love you all.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Today we went over 2700 gallons that we've vacuumed and pumped out of the basement in the last 11 days, or however long it has been. That doesn't include what we've pumped out that we couldn't measure. It's a lot of water. I know this ground is so refreshed. It must be a bath that God knows we need. The mosquitoes are delighted. I'd rather have the bull snakes than the mosquitoes, but I didn't get to pick any of this. This is all God's idea, and I'm thanking Him for sending what we need instead of what we think we want.
Today was a relatively easy day. Don did all the work in the basement and I took a nap. We ate lunch after church at the Mexican restaurant. Jo Ann and Frank didn't stay as she was really tired from their trip to the city on Friday and Saturday. They were replacing electrical equipment that lightning destroyed a couple of weeks ago. David and Dorothy didn't stay for lunch because David is really struggling to breath with all this humidity; he didn't even make it to church. It's been a hard week for them. We went on to the restaurant and enjoyed ourselves even without our best buddies. The preacher and his family (our next door neighbors) just got back this week from their vacation to California and they sat at the booth next to us, so that was fun. We love them like they belong to us, so it's really good to have them home.
Did I tell you about Don falling in the basement one day last week? He had that big goose egg sized bump on his hip, but he managed with it really well. Finally, today the goose egg turned into a big huge bruise that spreads all over his hip and rear. I thought he was indestructible, but I guess he's not. He's really good with the water management job, though; good thing, because it looks like we've got plenty of more water coming. Even last night we had some rain; only 15/100, but it keeps going into the water table. I'm learning more about this than I ever wanted to know. God wants me to be so smart.
I cooked beans today to last a couple of weeks. I make a batch and put them in the freezer in smaller containers so that I don't have to cook beans all the time. I also brewed a batch of Essiac tea, so I'm done with that for the week. I've got a whole harvest of garlic out in the garden that I need to get, but the mosquitoes make me skittish of the garden and I'm procrastinating. There's always something to keep me busy. I guess I could dig it up and throw it away, but I think Mom won't let me do that.
God will give me direction. He takes care of us and blesses us beyond measure. Count with me! (Who would have thought us two old people could get 2700 gallons of water out of the basement? And, what if we'd been traveling somewhere? That sounds like 2700 + blessings to me. We're here to do it and ABLE, and we HAVE a basement! Maybe I sound like Pollyanna, but I'm thrilled!)
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Today the water Don has pumped out has been down by about 1/3; we didn’t get any rain last night. If we don’t get any tonight maybe it’ll slow down even more tomorrow. Whew! We have hopes. He says he feels like he’s growing webs between his toes; he is starting to talk with a quack. The blisters on my hands from squeezing out diapers last week before we got the second shop vac are about healed, so we’re surviving this!
I even took time to go out and take some pictures before the mosquitoes carried me away for dinner tonight. The first one is a volunteer petunia. We get those every year and I’m always glad to see them. This is the first one. The second one is the little robin nest that blew out of the tree the first night we had those awful winds and the huge rain that flooded the town and started us in trouble in the basement. The last one is my Echinacea. I always love the Echinacea until the butterflies lay eggs on it and the worms scoff it down. For now, I’m enjoying it. Of course I could put some powder on it to keep the worms off, but I like the butterflies, so I let them have the Echinacea.
One thing I learned from all this water is that I don’t have to have a French manicure to live. I’ve worn one for the last 11 years. There was no way any manicure was surviving this water, and I like just a coat of clear polish just fine. As I live and breathe; another revelation! In the last year I’ve retired from make up and manicures! It took cancer and a flood to get through my vanity; what a crying shame, but I’m learning!
God is good and I give Him thanks for all our rich blessings!
Friday, June 22, 2007
I look back over the pictures on the blog and realize that I really have a wonderful collection of pictures of our family and friends. I'm so blessed to have not only the picture collection but the collection of family and friends! I am wealthy with meaningful relationships in my life. We've had great times in just the last few months and I treasure the pictures and memories.
The leak in the basement has slowed some, but we still are pumping out hundreds of gallons. We've lost count, but we're keeping track on paper as best we can. Lots is pumping out with the sump pump that we aren't even counting. We are so grateful that our leak is filtered through the ground and not flood water just rushing in with all the debri it carries! Lots of folks in town are dealing with flood waters, and I'm so sorry for them. Of course after the flood waters are gone, they are gone, whereas our leak keeps coming as long as the ground is saturated. We're working with it and getting the job done. We'll be glad to have a break tomorrow, and hope it comes for us! If we don't get more rain, maybe the leak will stop soon. We are both tired of this adventure, but thank God for the positives in it; we've learned so much and we've had the strength to endure it.
We are disappointed that we haven't heard from MD Anderson, yet, but it's all part of God's plan. WE think we should go rushing right down there, but God isn't in that big a hurry. He wants the basement rinsed, I guess. Whatever He wants; I'm good with it. I'm just so glad He gives me rest at night and wonderful friends and family during my waking hours! Thank you for being here with us. I love you.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Okay, you can tell I haven't been out taking pictures; I've been in the basement pumping water! We got the most yesterday, but it has slowed a bit and we only got about 2/3 today what we got yesterday at this time. It was dry long enough outside for Don to get out and mow the grass today. It's been growing so fast with all the rain! I cut off the iris greens and raked them as much as I could quickly do, but it looks rather like a tornado went through the iris patch. They're hardy! I had to hurry because the mosquitoes were really after me and I hate that!
The pictures on the blog today represent fun time for me. The first one is little Elena. I was so proud to get a picture of her smiling! She smiles a lot, but just when I get the camera clicked, she drops the smile. So I got lucky with this one.
The second one is Sadie and Garrett feeding the prairie dogs at the reserve. We aren't supposed to do that, but everyone does, so they come up looking for you to feed them. It's too fun to not do it. I'm sure there is a good reason to not do it, but it didn't weigh stronger than the thrill of feeding them.
The last picture represents so many great memories. Gabe had seen a lizard on that rock and the three of them went chasing it. Look at Gabe's stance. He is such a hunter and he catches just about everything he chases. He missed that one, but I thought he was going to get him. The other two are great supporters. The three of them were so much fun to be with. It's a treasured memory for us to have had them with us for a few days.
MD Anderson Cancer Center hasn't called to make an appointment, yet. I promise I'll let you know the minute I know what we're doing. In the meantime we're counting the blessings. I was looking back over the blog, and am reminded of so many good friends and wonderful family. Plus I have all of you people who care in my life. Wow! That's a lot to count! Thank you, God!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
We came home to a DRY basement, but a new storm is hitting right now. I've got to get off this computer and shut it down before lightening strikes it. God is good, but His storms are mighty, too! PTL!
Monday, June 18, 2007
We have learned so much from this flooding experience. We are ready to leave the basement and our friends in charge in case it floods again. We've learned that we don't have to attempt to keep it dry as long as the water is seeping due to water saturation. We just go down every few hours and collect what is there with the wet vac and then pump it out with the sump pump. It's a pretty easy process. We were trying to keep it dry all the time, and that was like trying to clean up the kitchen after Thanksgiving with a cotton ball, only more back breaking. It's just a matter of managing the water with the right tools. When it quits seeping, we can vacuum all that's there and it'll be and stay dry under normal circumstances. We'll leave the wet vac down there handy, as well as the sump pump. It'll never again shake us like it did this time because we know how it works, now. We probably won't have this much rain for another decade, anyway.
Tomorrow is the day I go for my follow up breast thermogram. I'm looking forward to the consultation with this expert. I'll post what we learn on the blog tomorrow night.
The pictures on the blog today are more from when Sadie, Garrett and Gabe were here. That was such a fun time for us, so I treasure these pictures. The first one is of the three of them sitting on a big rock, overlooking the heart rock. The second picture is of the three of them beginning the little climb up to overlook the heart rock. Garrett is wearing the navy shirt and Gabe is wearing the striped shirt. Gabe and Sadie are brother and sister, two of Tricia's 5 children. Garrett is Gretta's oldest and the big brother to baby Elena. The last picture is Gabe holding his proud catch, the desert toad that he named Jerry. He's really a cool toad. Click on the picture and you'll see that he has RED spots. I couldn't be prouder of these kids. They are entertained by the adventure and beauty of this earth that God gave us. They get along great and have huge hearts. We had a wonderful time making a trip with them and having them with us here. I guess you can tell that, huh? Amongst the counting of our blessings they are right up there at the top with all the rest of our family. I'm pleased to be able to show them to you. Thanks for looking and counting blessings with me.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Me, with Elena, and my brother, Jim:
Friday, June 15, 2007
We got only .2 inches of rain last night, so the basement was DRY when we got up this morning. That's the good news. The rest of the good news is that we can move even if it is like 90 year olds in pain. That was a tough day and I'm so grateful that we got a break today. We went to the Kozy Diner for breakfast and then drove around and looked at the damages from the flash flooding in town. The bad news is that it was devastating for some; so our water in the basement was a small thing. We aren't out of the woods, yet, as there are lots of chances for rain in the forcast. We had intended to go to a baseball tournament in Wichita Falls, but we are afraid to leave the basement with the ground so wet, plus we aren't moving very well. It's a good time to stay home and rest if possible.
We drove to Altus and viewed the full Lake Lugert, and then went to lunch at the Western Sizzlin. Lake Lugert has been so near empty for the last several years; it is beautiful to see it full and water going over the dam. We ate lunch late, so that'll be as close as we get to supper. On the way home we stopped to see our friends Jo Ann and Frank; Jo Ann had her knee replaced nearly 2 weeks ago and she's doing great, so that was a good visit.
I have a load of clothes in the washer and will go to bed as soon as they are done. I'm bushed. Rest is good and I'm ready for some.
Today's pictures on the blog are of Sadie and Garrett and Gabe when they were here with us last week. The first one is Sadie wearing Poppy's hat. The second one is Sadie and Gabe sitting on the 'heart rock' with Poppy and Garrett leaning against it. The last one is Sadie and Garrett looking on as Gabe proudly displays the desert toad that he caught at the reserve. Treasured memories for us!
God is great and I thank Him and give Him praise!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Oh, my goodness! I sent pictures from our lake last night. We got up this morning and our lake was way out of it's boundaries! We had water beginning to come into our basement and we've been all day shop vacuuming it to stay ahead of it. Joan brought over her brother, Floyd's, shop vac, so we had two to use. We had made over a hundred trips up the stairs to empty those when David and Dorothy came over to bring us Subway sandwiches for dinner. They went and got their sump pump and hoses so we could pump the water out of the basement instead of having to tote it up those stairs! We still have to vacuum it, but we just empty it into a big plastic bin and then pump it out the escape hatch of the basement. It's also slowing as it comes inside, so if we can miss the rain all around us, then we'll get some sleep tonight. We are under flash flood warnings, and also there is a 70% chance of rain! God knows what we need and what we can handle, so we give thanks for the strength to get through today. I'm thanking him for the diapers I've hoarded over the years. I must have squeezed a million today into a hospital bath pan and toted it up the stairs. I filled 3 washers full of water which I squeezed out of diapers before we got the second shop vac. Both hands are blistered in 3 places; I think that means I'm a pansy and haven't been working hard enough. I'm sure God is a fanatic about clean basements. I keep being concerned about getting the house clean and He wants the BASEMENT clean. I thought it was pretty clean, but I guess he wanted it rinsed good.
My new cables for the camera came today, so I've got pictures galore. I'll give them to you 3 at a time. Today's pictures are Gabe and Garrett mesmerizing Elena; she thought they were awesome; can you tell? Then there is a good shot of the two of them before we left for the reunion. Then there is one of Gabe, Garrett and Sadie getting to ride in the rumble seat of Uncle Phil's car. How cool are they? Tomorrow I'll show you more great pictures.
God is great; praise Him, and I've lost count of the blessings, but I'm just starting over counting.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Pictures on the blog today are pictures I've caught over the last month in our walks around Hunter Park Lake. We see the turtles sunning almost every day. It's fun to see how many of them stay even though we're walking in the area. Usually most of them slide off into the water when they hear us. Often there are 6 or eight on this log, but only two stayed long enough for me to get this picture. The yucca plant was in full bloom; I love those plants for some reason. We used to have a bunch of them growing in our yard when we lived in OKC; I should get some more. They are hardy and I love them. I love low maintenance plants. The last picture is of the blue heron. He is out there almost every day, too. I love him, too; he usually stays even though we are there, so I think he might like us, too. When we lived in Oklahoma City, 20 years ago, there was a creek that ran behind our house. There were great blue herons who lived back there with us, so these herons feel a little like family to us.
Today was quiet around here with no kids. We did our walking, which we hadn't done since we left for Branson/Louisville/Nashville, so it was quite a trek. We waited too late to go, so it was really hot. Went before breakfast, but that's too late at this time of year. We're going to bed at 9 and getting up EARLY to walk in the morning. Hot is good because cancer doesn't like it, but too hot brings on a migraine, so I have to find a balance. What a trick; that's pretty much the trick to life: finding the balance in everything. I'm not good at balance; I'm good at over-indulging. That's why it's a good thing I don't smoke or drink; too bad I did sugar! I don't do sugar anymore, so I'm working on cleaning up my habits.
I have to tell you this: I decided the birds were through with the nest, so I took the nest down and set it in our flower box out front. Then I cleaned off the door where they had turned it into the "bottom of a bird cage." After I cleaned all that off, I swept off the porch. As soon as I got inside I heard them out there chirping! I went to the window to see a little female hopping around, inspecting the nest and picking up pieces of nesting that I'd swept into the yard! What a hoot! I wonder if she'll use the nest in the planter box or rebuild on the door! I'm amazed at those birds. God's amazing. I'm counting and thanking Him for small and great wonders; join me!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
We are absolutely exhausted, though and heading to bed. I'm putting a picture on today's blog of a gorgeous calla lilly Gretta had blooming in her garden when we were there last week. It's nothing compared to all the kids, but it's a flower I could never get to grow and it's sure gorgeous! God bless us all; thanks for reading about us.