Saturday, May 31, 2008

2 baths and a shower day!

The picture on the blog tonight is Mason last weekend when he was ready to go to the Arts on the Square. Mason is 7 and knows no fear. He is as sweet as kids come. When Ruthie and Phil came out here a year ago in April they stopped at his house and he’d heard of them and knew they were some special people. We all came in together and Don and I were collecting hugs from everyone. Trish was hugging Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Phil. Mason ran up to them and hugged them and then said, “Have I ever seen you before?” This is the same kid who would readily climb up onto the roof and jump off if there was a way up there. He has just finished 1st grade and can read, read, read! All the money they save on his haircuts goes to repairing his wounds. Who has time for a haircut when there are really cool things to do like catching frogs?

Today has been interesting. I got up early and walked and then came home and took a bath because I was soaked in sweat. We went over to the hospital, and Don and David went to breakfast while I stayed and helped Dorothy get a shower. Now, that was a hoot. I told her I should have gotten undressed and just gotten in with her. We did have fun and she was so grateful that I gave her back a good scrubbing and washed her feet and legs for her. The shower was big enough for a big chair for her and for me to get in too; I didn’t melt. After the shower she was exhausted, but I kept her sitting up long enough to get her tens unit placed on her back. Then I got into the recliner and took a nap while she napped in bed. Don and David went to Altus to get a supply of oxygen for David to take to OKC on Monday. Dorothy has an appointment at 4 on Monday with a neurologist in OKC. They’ve got her pain pretty much under control. If they can keep it under control then we are taking her to the city in our van. If it gets away from her again, she’ll have to go in an ambulance. We’re getting ready to go and playing it by ear. So, the Monday night post may be late. Thanks for your patience.

This afternoon I thinned more daffodils and gathered gobs more to take to Gretta. Of course I got way sweaty, again, and ended up taking another bath. I had two real baths today and a pretty good shower. Man, it feels good to feel good enough to do all this. I thank God so much for His abundant healing for me. Don had to come out and remind me that I have learned to not do EVERYTHING. Okay; so, I left at least 3 big clumps of daffodils that are yet to be thinned. It felt so good to get down and dirty out there in the yard! The best part was that I was digging most of those daffodils within 3 feet of the robin nest and the mother stayed right there protecting those babies! I loved being out there with them.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mockingbird egg.

This is Nate last weekend before the Arts on the Square. You can always find him somewhere near his laptop. It seems like no time ago when he was Raynie's age! Wow, time flies!

After my walk this morning we learned that David had to take Dorothy back to the hospital this morning around 10:00. She is so suffering with that back. The pain had gotten unbearable, so they were back hoping to get the pain back under control. We went over and stayed with her for a couple of hours to give David a chance to go home and do his breathing treatments and shower, etc. Then we came home and spent some time in the yard getting some Vitamin D and then went back up to stay while David when home and did his breathing treatment, again.

We were so pleased to be able to spend the time with Dorothy. We saw her go from pain that looked like she might be in labor to a much more relaxed level of pain that she can tolerate and even allows her to nap some. We were there when they brought her dinner and were thrilled to see her eat all of her hamburger steak and all of her cucumber salad and all of David’s too! We sure thank God for His help in getting her pain under control. Her doctor was able to get an appointment for her with a neurologist in Oklahoma City on Monday. If she is doing as well then as she was when we left tonight, then we will drive them up there in our van because our seats will lay back a lot. If the pain gets out of control like it was this morning they will likely send her in and ambulance.

Ruthie, Dorothy said she draws hope and encouragement from your experience of 10 days down helping. She’s counting her days, but it hurts so bad that she loses track of the days!

Don is hobbling very well with his blood blister. He’s not anywhere near walking with me, though. I’m pretty pleased with myself getting up early and getting off to ‘git ‘er done before the scorcher starts! I’ll be glad when his foot will allow him to come with me, though!

Mother Robin went off hunting today and I spied a quick peek at the babies. They’re still ugly, but they’re getting bigger and stronger and fuzzier. I found a mockingbird egg on my walk this morning. God so tickles me! I’m so tickled with His designs on even bird eggs! I really enjoy walking around the lake and enjoying His handiwork. It reminds me of the song, "My God and I." "My God and I go in the fields together; we laugh and talk as good friends should and do." That’s how the song goes, but for my God and I, we take a morning walk together; around the neighborhood and then around the lake. It’s my version. It’s harvest season here in wheat country and I’m sure God is in the fields with those harvesters, too. As Willard (the preacher in Springville) would say, "Ain’t God Great!"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don is grounded from walking.

The picture on the blog tonight is one I got of Gabe when they were here last weekend. Gabe is 13. He was all set to go to the Arts on the Square. He and Nate were angels and sat down in the shade with Raynie when she fell asleep. I should have taken a picture of that, but I didn’t take the camera. I’ll put Nate’s picture on the blog tomorrow night.

Today Angelica came and cleaned! WHEW! I was so relieved because someone told me she had gotten a job at the prison and I was ready to put the house up for sale. There’s no way I want to clean it again! She told me when she got here that she had applied a year ago and they just called her last week and she interviewed yesterday. She said even if she gets the job she would keep ours and two other houses to clean! Was I ever relieved! I thanked God, again, for her and her loving spirit. She said all her other clients are young and they really don’t need her, but she’ll still clean for us. Her mother was wise to name her Angelica and she is living up to that name! I feel really good these days, but I’ve learned that I don’t want to spend my life cleaning the house or stressing over what needs to be done. Angelica does such a great job and it is such a blessing not to be constantly thinking of all the things I need to do. Knowing she will do it is really a comfort to me.

We played cards tonight and the guys beat us two out of three. The nerve. I guess I’m not getting any sympathy credit anymore. We weren’t giving Don any sympathy for his blood blister, but they won anyway. It was still fun.

I think Don won’t be walking with me for a week or so; his blister is really hurting him and will take a while to heal. I braved the walk by myself this morning and will do so until he’s able to join me.

Robin report: the mother robin was sitting tight with the babies today, so I assume they are surviving the grackles. I didn’t venture near enough to scare off the mother to take a look. I want to keep an eye from a distance and give them a chance to grow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Don made his walk to Frank's house.

The picture on the blog tonight is one from last weekend. This was Grace right before we left for the Arts on the Square. Grace is 5 and so precious and smart; she keeps us pretty much in stitches with her antics.

Today started early. We got up at 5:45 to get Don ready to go on his walk out to Jo Ann and Frank’s house. He walked 12 ½ miles! He did it in 3 ½ hours. When I got to him he was soaking wet! God gave him the perfect day because it was cloudy until after noon today! I drove out to Jo Ann and Frank’s and left the van there and walked back to meet him, but I walked less than an hour, I think. My walking was nothing compared to his. Until I left to go meet him I worked in the yard with Joan, though. She came over and thinned a bunch of irises for me to take to Gretta and Ruthie. I was thinning more daffodils to take to Gretta because I sent the ones I dug last week home with Trish. It was a great day to work (or walk) outside because it was so nice and cool. I still have more irises to thin and more daffodils, too. I’ll get to it, little by little. I’m so please with myself to be doing a little at a time. Before breast cancer I would have thinned all the irises and daffodils in one day and then crashed. I always went like there was no tomorrow; that was dumb. Life is too precious to just burn like that.

Don has a blood blister about the size of a silver dollar on one of his heels; other than that he made his walk unscathed. He feels good to know he made it so well. I’m relieved that it’s done and hope he won’t have another such notion anytime soon.

After lunch we were laying out in the sun and the grackles were harassing our robin family! I was so hacked at them. Every time they came close and started that squawking, I’d clap my hands really loud. Don said, “I don’t think it’s working; they think you like that squawking.” Actually, they left when I did it, but they’d come back. The poor mother robin would fly at them and hurry back to the nest and then she’d fly away. My hands were wearing out and burning from the clapping, so I went inside and got a clapper that I use at Bruce’s world series to use to scare the grackles. I guess my getting up scared them because they never came back and I never had to use the clapper! I know that the mother will have them ready to fly in a couple of weeks, so I’ve got to keep those pesky grackles away from them. I know they looked like lunch to them, but they may not be so attractive when they get feathers. I checked on them later and the mother was hovering over them, so I expect the babies are fine. I didn’t want to get to close and traumatize the mother any more!

I continue to think about God feathering birds. How ugly those grackles would be without feathers! ICK! God really takes good care of us and I sure thank Him for his care and love.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

THREE baby robins!

I am so thanking God for putting beautiful feathers on birds! The 3rd egg hatched today, so I’m relieved that they’ve all survived, but they sure are ugly little things. Imagine what it would be like if they looked like this at maturity and were around everywhere. I never thought to thank God for feathers until today. I was so thrilled that the 3rd egg hatched, but what an ugly pile! I said I would keep you updated on the robins, but now I promise not to put a picture of them on at every stage because I have pictures of the grandkids that are so precious! I’ll just report how they are doing. If you are game to click on the picture and make it huge you’ll see the fuzz on the top and bottom birds; the one to the right (actually I guess he’s on the bottom!) must be today’s hatch.

Today we got up early and walked our regular hour and then we walked to the Kozy Diner for breakfast and walked home. It amounted to about 2 hours of walking; can you believe I can do that? I know that I am so blessed to be able to walk 2 hours a day! I have so much for which to give thanks!

Seven of us women went to Altus for lunch today to celebrate the end of school since Jo Ann is tied down to teaching all year. We love it when she’s free! When we go to Houston for my next check up in July Jo Ann and Frank are going with us and we’re going to spend a week in a condo about an hour from MD Anderson. I’ll just have one day of appointments, so we’ll have the rest of the time to relax. We wish she weren’t teaching so they could travel with us more! She’s a great teacher for middle school kids with learning disabilities, so she’s a gift to the community and we are proud of her, but we’re sure glad when she’s out of school. I drove. That’s kind of an accomplishment for me because I have driven so little in the last 18 months.

We learned last week that Raynie’s cleft repair is scheduled for July 23rd. Don and I will go to OKC to be with them for that surgery and for a couple of days after that if they need us. Then we’ll head to Houston on the 26th and be there for a week. Raynie’s surgery will go fine, but it will be a challenge for their family. I think the biggest challenge will be that they have to restrain her arms for a couple of weeks so that she doesn’t stick something into her mouth. She is such a sweet baby and her whole family is so good with her that I imagine she will handle this very well, but it will be a challenge for everyone.

Monday, May 26, 2008

2 robins are growing!

I couldn’t resist putting yesterday’s and today’s pictures of the robin nest and babies on the blog. It’s too awesome how much they’ve grown in just one day. I’m thinking the 3rd egg may not be going to hatch since it appears to be two days behind the others. I love the show God puts on right in my back yard. There are so many awesome things to see all the time.

Speaking of awesome shows, we have a big storm headed right straight for us. It was going northeast, and that would have made it miss us. It’s coming straight east, now, so I’m going to post this blog and shut the computer down as soon as possible.

Today we got up early and walked for about 20 minutes less than 2 hours because Don was going to mow and get some more exercise. Then we went to the Memorial Day service that the VFW does each year. This is the second year in a row that they’ve asked our preacher to make the presentation since he was a marine. Of course he did a great job. He’s really a good guy and he’s so well liked within the community.

The rest of the day we relaxed. I fixed our card shuffler, so I’m a happy camper. When we play hand and foot canasta we use 8 decks, so that’s a lot of cards to shuffle without a shuffler. The shuffler is a must and one side had quit working. I opened it up and cleaned it and it works fine, now. Whew; that feels good!

Speaking of feeling good, I continue to feel really good. I am so grateful to God for my recovery and my energy. I don’t feel like I had surgery or like I’m recovering from anything. My arms get really stiff if I’m still for long, so I know the exercises are imperative and I continue them. They take some time, but it’s worth it to keep mobility. That’s the only thing that makes me realize that I’ve been through anything different. Then I have that one little pill and the calcium and Vitamin D that I take, but I always take a bunch of vitamins and herbs so those few more aren’t that big a deal. I think of my mom, my grandmother, and my cousin every day and know that they lived many years after having breast cancer and that gives me courage to believe I can live a long time and be healthy for the rest of my life. If it is God’s will, I will do fine; what a blessing!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

We are so proud of Sadie!

The picture on the blog today is Sadie with her 3 gold dollars that she won when she came in first in the sidewalk chalk drawing contest. We were so pleased for her to have this recognition. We’re very proud of her and love it when others appreciate her, too.

Two of the baby robins hatched today! I was so surprised because a friend sent me some information that said birds lay eggs one day at a time and they hatch in the order in which they eggs were laid. I didn’t see them until around 5, so maybe one hatched yesterday about that time and another right before I looked? I don’t know but there were 3 eggs when Rob took pictures around 7 last night and then there were 2 birds and only one egg left today. Anyway, I’m proud of them! I’ll keep you posted on their growth. They aren’t very pretty at all, but I’ll put their picture on tomorrow. I’m proud of the birds, but Sadie deserves the recognition on the blog today and I’m way prouder of her than I am the robins.

We had a great weekend with the kids here. They made it home safely, so we sure thank God for their safe travels and for the weekend with them. I pray that your holiday weekend is safe and healthy, too. I am so blessed to be able to walk and keep up pretty well with the kids. They told me to never lift more than 10 pounds and I carried Raynie around a lot all weekend. She weighs 16 pounds, but she's one of those babies who hangs on with her legs and her arms, so she's really easy to carry. I know God wants me to carry her; I thank Him for blessing me by letting me do it and not hurt my arm!

I walked this afternoon by myself. It was so hot, so Don stayed home. I love it when he walks with me, but I feel inspired when I can do it by myself. We normally would walk before church on Sunday when it's this hot, but we opted out of that since the kids were here this morning. I sure thank God for taking care of us! I feel like I need to be diligent about the walking because weight bearing exercise is a way to build my bones and I have to do that since the Arimidex is hard on the bones. (Arimidex is the drug I have to take for 5 years to help to keep the cancer from returning.)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

So much fun!

The picture on the blog is one Don took this morning after I’d put Raynie’s hair into two ponytails. Man, what a job! She likes a simpler hairdo!

We had a big day today. We had fun at the Arts on the Square and Sadie even won first prize in the sidewalk chalk-drawing contest. She drew a beautiful flower and the judges liked it, too! I should have taken a picture of it, but I didn’t even take the camera. I’ll get a picture of Sadie in the morning with her winnings (3 gold dollar coins).

We put water in the kiddie pool and had some fun out there this afternoon. Gabe and Sadie and Mason went to the park and found 86 frogs and no telling how many tadpoles and other cool things. Sadie found a tiny little turtle, but we talked her into releasing him back into the lake (at the park). I think Grace has a crush on Daniel. She says, “He’s very handsome; he really is!” He’s had quite the initiation this weekend. He’ll think it’s really dead around here tomorrow when they go home.

I’ve gotten lots of pictures that I’ll share here and there over the next few days. I thank God for family, health and safety!

Friday, May 23, 2008

They're here!

They’re here! The picture on the blog is Trish holding Raynie and Don is watching. We’re having too much fun! Tomorrow is Hobart’s Arts on the Square, so we’re going to be so we can get up and go do all the fun things tomorrow.

We ate at the Mexican restaurant with the canasta crew. Then we came to the house and played. Ugh. The guys won 2 and the girls only won one. We had great fun, anyway.

It’s so good to have Trish and Rob and the kids here! I thank God for them and for their safe trip. Raynie takes about 4 steps and then takes off crawling. She’s such a hoot!

More tomorrow night!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Spying on the eggs.

The picture on the blog tonight is one Don took a little bit ago when I was spying on the robin nest. I’ve read of folks whose robins hatch on May 15, 16 and 17th, so I’m concerned that our robins are overdue. The mother seems to be convinced it’s worth her time to set on the nest, though, so I guess I should trust her instinct. God tells her how to do this, so I shouldn’t question her.

I walked 2 hours, again, with Don today. I’m amazed and so grateful that I can do that second hour with no problem! God is really being good to me! Remember when I couldn’t take 10 steps without my knee popping out of place and then swelling? God wanted me to work up to this and I was in too big a hurry, I guess. I feel really good, so I think the walking must be good for me. I know it’s supposed to be good for building strength in my bones, so that’s my goal.

We had originally planned to go to a ball tournament in Desoto, Texas this weekend, but when we realized it’s Memorial Day weekend, Don decided he didn’t want to be on the road with extra travelers. We got sunburned last weekend (I think it’s all turning to tan, now.) and that other weekend when we went to McKinney and didn’t get home till 2 in the morning make him a little hesitant to go so soon after last week. Anyway, we decided to stay home, so Trish and Rob decided to come here! We are so excited to have them come. They haven’t been since last fall when Raynie was so little and I was dragging with chemo. It’s Hobart’s Arts on the Square weekend, so we’ll all have a great time doing that together. I hope to get good pictures to share on the blog next week.

We’re going to play cards here tomorrow night. The kids will come and then we’ll be done playing. They aren’t coming until after Rob does some errand after work, so I don’t expect them before 9 and we aim to quit at cards around 9. I’m going to be sure and get a nap tomorrow so I won’t be too tired tomorrow night. Can you tell I’m excited? We’ll introduce Daniel to Hand and Foot Canasta and he will never be the same. He’ll never be the same after a weekend with the Oglesby’s here, either; he’ll be blessed!

He’s such a cool guy. Have I mentioned that he plays the tuba? He practices every day and it’s kind of a trip. It doesn’t sound bad at all; I guess he’s really good. I have no idea how to judge, but it sounds good, so that’s the way I judge. It’s just that we’ve never had this sound around the house.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bruce poised for a hit.

The picture on the blog tonight is from this weekend when Bruce was up to bat once. He’s poised for the big hit. I can never click the camera at the right time, so I take what I can get.

Today Don and I walked early, so it wasn’t too hot, again. He is planning to walk out to our friends’ house some day soon, so he needs to build up to get ready for it. It’ll be about 13 miles. (Frank and Jo Ann) Why does he want to do this? I don’t know. It’s a kink he has. He has walked to all the neighboring towns, Roosevelt, Lone Wolf, Rocky, and Sentinel. He only walks one way. I take him a drink in the middle of the walk and then go and get him when he gets there. He just likes to be able to say he’s done it. So, now he wants to say that he’s walked to Frank’s house. He humors me a lot, so I humor him on this walking business. He was going to walk our usual one-hour walk and then do half of it again to help to build him up for his walk to Frank’s. It was still cool, so I told him I’d walk around with him. Then we got to the coming home part and he said he thought he’d do the whole walk. That smells of bait and switch to me, but I went the whole way with him. I must be nuts, too! Really, it wasn’t bad at all and it feels really good to have done it. Don’t worry; I’m not going to walk to Frank’s with him. I’m not THAT crazy.

I checked on the robin nest today and there are still only eggs in there. I keep scaring the mother off the nest because I get out there to work. Those eggs are such a pretty blue!

Tonight we sang at the nursing home and Daniel went to sing with us. Man! He has a beautiful bass voice! Then when we had our devotional at church he led the singing and he has a great voice for leading singing, as well. What a talented young man! He is studying music in college and wants to be a band director. He plays our piano well, too. Our piano is in shock to have someone who knows how to play in the house!

I thank God for bringing Daniel to join us for the summer. Just having his voice around will be a wonderful refreshment to those of us who struggle with 4 part harmony when we usually only have 2 or 3 parts! People at church are inviting him to join them for lunch and dinner from time to time over the summer, so maybe he won’t starve eating with us! The kids are going to love having him here to work with them, too.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Grandpas know lots of answers.

The picture on the blog tonight is an important part of a baseball tournament: the grandpas contemplate the games and the state of the world. This is a picture of Don and Susan’s Dad, Bryant Reeves.

We walked this morning from 10 to 11 and it was perfect! It’s so nice to walk when it’s not killer hot!

Today was a great day. It was pretty windy out, so it never got too hot to be outside. That meant I got to thin out some of the daffodils and I’ve got 90 bulbs to take to Gretta. I have lots more to thin, but I quit before I was drained. I’ll thin some more another day. I have lots of irises to thin to get ready to take to her, too. They are building a new house in Lexington and the sooner she gets flowers going in her yard, the sooner she’ll feel at home. Mine haven’t been thinned in 2 or 3 years, so they’re happy to get some relief and I’m happy to get some time out in the dirt. The robin is still setting on her eggs. The wind blew some other little egg out of a nest, though, and it landed in the yard. That lets you know how windy it gets here. I think it’s a sparrow egg; I’ve got to research it.

I got 3 loads of clothes washed, folded and put away and our sheets changed. It feels so good to feel great! I thank God for giving me this energy and peace for living. I used to work until I could hardly move to get back in the house; like, normally, I would have thinned ALL the daffodils before I quit today. I’ve learned to balance life and it’s lots better. God is so generous to give me a wake up call and another chance at life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Meet Daniel Soto!

The picture on the blog tonight is me with Daniel Soto. Daniel is the youth intern who is spending the summer with us. Cool, guy, huh? He’s really nice; I think we’re going to love having him with us.

Today Dorothy was released from the hospital and she went to Altus to have an MRI done and some other test. It was determined that she has some nerve damage from a stroke she had about 7 years ago besides the bulging disc. They tell her what she needs is 10 days in bed doing absolutely nothing. Yeah. I can’t imagine that she can do that, but she’s giving it a really good effort tonight! She’s worn out from her day of testing on top of a couple of days in the hospital, the worst place in the world to get rest! David says she’s sleeping, so that’s a good start. She sends her thanks for your prayers on her behalf.

Don and I didn’t get to walk early today before it got hot, so we had to cut our walk short. I know I need to walk, but I figure a heat stroke is not a good option. Tomorrow we’ll aim to get the walking done before it gets so hot, or I’ll insist on walking around the lake again and again; it’s shady there.
The robin is still setting on her eggs, but I expect they'll hatch any day. I'll keep you posted.

Today we spent some time getting Daniel settled into the house and getting to know him. We really feel blessed to have him with us. God has a plan and we’re so grateful that He is in charge!

Thanks for checking on us! God bless you!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bruce's team took second place.

It’s 10:35 Sunday night and we just got in from the baseball tournament. The picture on the blog tonight is Bruce, as he was getting ready for their first game today. They won the first two by run ruling the other teams, so they were off to a great start and made it to the championship game. They played the team they beat Friday night 10-6, but they beat us 8-3 today. It was a good tournament, though, and the boys took second place. We loved watching every bit of it and we have the sunburns to prove it. We aren’t badly burned, but we’re pink. I thank God for the sunshine, the freedom to get out in it, and the kids who are healthy and skilled enough to play great games.

We also thank God for safe travels. Dorothy is a little better after being in traction much of the weekend, but she’s still in the hospital. They’ll release her tomorrow to go to Altus to have some tests run with the neurologist; I think they’ll take it one step at a time from there. We’re anxious to see her tomorrow. The intern is coming tomorrow, too, so our house will have a new heartbeat tomorrow. I’ll get a picture and introduce him to you as soon as possible.

Hope your weekend was as fun as ours. Thanks for your love and concern for us and Dorothy, too!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dorothy is in so much pain!

The picture on the blog tonight is from a month ago when we first came home from Houston. If you read the blog you’ll remember when I had a crop of just Dorothy and I posted on the blog back then. Dorothy is in the hospital at home in traction for a bulging disc and I’ve talked to David to check on her. She’s been suffering with this disc all week and yesterday was sick from the pain medicine they’d given her so she ended up in the hospital hoping to get some relief. I sure hate for her to be suffering like this! (Notice the difference in my hair from last night's picture and this one made on the 12th of April!)

We got up at 5 this morning to get here for the game this morning and then my batteries were dead in the camera, so I didn’t get any pictures today. They guys played last night and won 10-4. Then today they got beat 6-0, so we only had one game today. We’re hoping they show up tomorrow to play like they did last night. It was a beautiful day for the drive and the game, and we’ve had a wonderful visit; we look forward to tomorrow. I’ve got the batteries charging, so I hope I can make some pictures tomorrow.

We thank God for the opportunity to be with these kids. We are so proud of them. Erika and Bruce were little kids just yesterday it seems, but they are great teenagers, now. Susan and Davey do a wonderful job with them. It’s a pleasure to be around kids who get along with each other and with their parents. I’m sure they squabble and experience all the stresses normal to families with teens, but they treat each other like people and laugh and love a lot and it’s fun to be around them and proud times for us.

I’ll post tomorrow when we get home; it might be late, so thanks for your patience and prayers.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Look at that fuzzy hair, and boobs!

Tonight’s picture is what I look like after the women lose three games of canasta. We still have fun; even when we get beat.

The robin was still sitting on her nest today, so I didn’t scare her off yesterday looking and taking pictures. I’ll keep you posted on the happenings in her nest.

Don waited all day for the heat and air guy, again, and he never got here! Good thing we won’t be here this weekend to bake! I walked by myself, again, so I’m getting real independent. Ha! I thank God that we live where it’s safe for me to walk by myself, and I thank Him for the beautiful weather and that I'm ABLE to walk!!!

We’re getting up early in the morning to leave for a baseball tournament in Wichita Falls. We’ll get up at 5. I’ll take the computer with me and keep up the blog, but it may be late when I get it posted. Hang tough with me and enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

God is so great!

Check out the new bird eggs! It looks like we have a robin homesteading in our back garden. The heat pump in our bedroom isn’t cooling, so Don was waiting on the heat and air guy all day, so I had to walk by myself. I was walking around the lake and noticed all the cottonwoods with cotton on them, so I wondered if ours in the back yard has cotton. When I got home I went out to there to see and a bird almost flew into me. I turned and looked and there was a nest right at my eye level! You know I got all excited and went straight to get the camera! So these are the birds we have this year and I’m the proud grammy! I know God sent me back there to find that robin’s nest. He knew it would make my day and it would remind me to give thanks and give Him praise. A little bird and her eggs is a small thing, but God takes care of all the small things! Don’t we KNOW He’ll surely take care of us!

Dorothy and David called us to go to the Mexican Restaurant for supper, so that topped today off great for me. The bad news was that they had been to Elk City to take Dorothy to the doctor as she’s having trouble with a bulging disc in her back. UGH! What’s more is that David has an appointment at the VA hospital in OKC tomorrow and he insists on going alone. We’re hoping he’ll change his mind and let Don go with him. We are so convinced that it’s always good to have someone with you when you see a doctor because it’s so hard to get everything they tell you. David is so independent, though; I doubt if he’ll change his mind tonight. We can pray. Prayer is such a gift!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A baseball memory.

The picture on the blog tonight is not personal but it’s a memory from the last baseball tournament in Texas. In the middle of a baseball game we looked up and saw hot air balloons approaching! They flew right over us and I got this picture. This is another example of how easily entertained I am! We’re looking forward to going to another tournament this weekend. It will be in Wichita Falls; we’ll leave early Saturday morning and come home Sunday night.

Today was a really nice day around here. It was windy, but the temperature and the wind made it perfect for our walk. We didn’t even know we were hot until we got home and didn’t have the wind blowing on our sweat to keep us cool. We sat out on the back deck and marveled at how God makes our bodies with cooling systems! It was a good session of thanking God for things which we normally take for granted. (Like sweating, wind, etc.; sometimes we even begrudge these gifts!) We spent some time out in the sun and didn’t even get hot. I deadheaded irises; there are still a few, but all the old purple and white ones are gone for 2008.

I didn’t go to church tonight; I’m still coughing too much. I slept well last night, so that was good. I think eating causes me to cough, so there just wasn’t much point in going when I was already coughing after supper. Last night I didn’t eat any snack before going to bed, so I think that might have been what helped me get to sleep better. I’ve already done my exercises and I won’t eat anything else, so I hope I can get to bed without coughing too much tonight. I don’t have any other symptoms to go with this cough, so I really do think it’s a side effect of the Arimidex. I think I’m just going to have to figure out how to cope with it; like managing when I eat relative to when I need to be quiet and not cough. I live and learn and thank God that I have no other problems and for blessing us so richly.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Precious extended family.

Today’s picture is a trip down memory lane for us. This is Doris and Jerry’s two sons and their families at their house on Mothers Day. This is our family away from home. Of course they are our family all the time, but when we were in Houston they helped us to feel at home by sharing their lives with us. On the left is Heather then Brett, holding their son, Luke. On the right is Gregg, Stephanie and their son Colter. Luke was 1 in April and Colter will be 1 in June. Thanks, Heather, for keeping us in pictures.

Today has been a perfect day. We took both vans out to Dorothy and David’s house this morning and left one and brought the other one home. Then we walked out there just for fun. It’s not quite 4 miles out there. Sometimes I’m smarter than Don, so I drove the van home; he walked. He gets so zealous about walking sometimes, but I think an hour to walk is enough and I’m not willing to push my body that much just to say we did it. Now, if we were going to see a volcano or a green sand beach, I’ll push. (All the people who joined us in Hawaii will vouch for that!) I stopped on the way home and bought chicken tenders for his lunch and livers for mine. Yum, and I didn’t have to cook!

Yesterday I did laundry but was so tired from coughing that I didn’t get it all folded and put away, so I got that done today. Little tasks like laundry sometimes overwhelm me, but that’s ALWAYS been the case! Yesterday the guy came who does our annual treatment to our water filter system, so I had to empty out my ‘spare’ closet so he could get to the tank. That tank is in the same closet with the hot water heater and that’s right off the laundry room. It’s the perfect place to let clothes hang dry, so they tend to hang there for weeks or until that guy comes. Anyway, I’m caught up on laundry for once!

As we walked today Don and I marveled at how well my knees are working compared to just 3 months ago. They aren’t even swelling when I walk. I feel so much better than I have for almost a year that we’re amazed. I didn’t realize how down I’ve been until I feel so good now. All I know to do is to give thanks to God and all of you for your support and prayers and take care of myself. PTL!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thank you, God, for every one of 16!!!

This is Gretta and Joe and they made my Mothers Day the very best with the news that they are expecting another baby on Joe and Garrett’s birthday! December 2 is a popular day at their house and this year they’ll be welcoming our 16th grandbaby into their home. We couldn’t be more blessed and we’re so happy for Elena to have a little partner for every day! I am so excited! I didn’t get to be there when Elena was born, nor when Raynie was born, so this baby I can hardly wait to welcome this baby darling!

Today has been a fun but busy day. I deadheaded down to nearly the last irises except for the rebloomers who are still busy. I also trimmed 3 redbud trees that were outgrowing their spaces. We did our walking, too; man, it was a perfect day for walking and working outside. I thank God for the ability to do these things!

Yesterday I gave in and cut the back of my hair. I was holding out to let Gretta do it, but the back was growing longer than the top and it was just wearing on me. I couldn’t hang on any longer. My hair almost looks like my hair, now. Actually, it does look like me in the picture on my driver’s license. I’m pleased.

I’m back to shaving my legs with a safety razor. I think the fuzz on my face is pretty normal, now. Maybe it doesn’t look so fuzzy because the hair on my head is longer. Anyway, I feel pretty regular. I’m pretty much back to looking regular now, especially when I wear the boobs. My big toes still look smashed, but I guess those toenails take a long time to grow. They don’t hurt unless Mason steps on them with his 40 pound feet, but if he’s that close I get a hug, so it’s worth it. I thank God for all the hugs and for all the things that feel like they’re getting back to pretty normal.

I have this cough that is embarrassing because I really lose control with it. It’s awfully tiring, too. I think it is because of allergies, but it could be the Arimidex. I’ll ‘wear’ it awhile and see how it works. I have no fever and I feel really good, so I feel so fortunate and blessed. I know that God is taking care of me and I thank Him for all my blessings.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day!

This is Elena: “I know there’s that rule about cords, but it’s really important that I fix this; I'll just be a minute here!” Thanks, Gretta, for new pictures!

Today has been a wonderful day. They multitasked at church and celebrated our two seniors graduating along with Mothers Day. It was really nice. A big bunch of the men cooked steaks, baked potatoes, green beans, corn, salad and rolls for the whole congregation; moms brought desserts. It was pretty awesome.

Don and I came home and then walked; it was a perfect day for walking. The wind didn’t blow us over but it kept us cool so that we were comfortable. God’s so gracious!

We went to church tonight and I had one of those coughing fits that won’t quit. I finally got control enough to drive and went to Wal-Mart and bought some cough syrup. I got back and managed to make it through the last 15 minutes of the service. I think this coughing is from allergies, but I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a side effect of the Arimidex; coughing is another common one. I had trouble with a cough in Houston, too, though, and I wasn’t taking Arimidex then. I think it’s allergies. I don’t have any fever, so I don’t think it’s anything serious, but the cough is a pit. It could be so much worse, though! I thank God that I don’t have any of the other side effects on the list common to people taking Arimidex!

I wore boobs again today; two days in a row, now. Maybe I’m getting the hang of it and I’ll look fairly normal again? We’ll see how it works. Thanks for caring enough to read about us.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Boobs? Well, yeah, as they go.

Check it out! I wore ‘boobs’ to the fellowship breakfast! Don asked what gives? I said, “Well the shirt looked empty so I added shoulder pads; then it dawned on me that I could really fill it if I added boobs. Maybe I’ll get used to it, but flat chested is really so free and fun!

Today has been a fun Saturday and there is more fun coming. We’re leaving in a few minutes to pick up Bob and Diana Clark to go out to eat at the Mexican restaurant. Then we’re going out to Jo Ann and Frank’s to play canasta. Their daughters are both going to be there to play with us, so it’ll be a bunch of fun. Joan isn’t going to be there so I’m wearing rose smelling lotion that Mom Lamb (Terri’s mom) gave to me and I smell so good! Joan is allergic to the fragrance, so I can’t wear it when she’s playing. It brings back sweet memories of Terri’s mom, who she so generously shared with us.

We walked and sunned today, so we’re in good shape and ready for dinner and games. God is so good to give us great friends and great family. Amen and amen!

PS: Trish fixed the weather Pixie to display Hobart’s weather; thanks, Trish!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bands are working on the gap.

The first picture on the blog is one Don took today after these beautiful flowers were delivered from Gretta! The second one is one he took 3 weeks ago before I left for the Ladies’ Salad Supper. I’m thrilled with the flowers and also thrilled to have hair getting thicker on the sides and top (The back has GOBS of curls!), AND I’ve been wearing bands on my teeth for a week and you can see the gap is looking better! If you look closely you can see that the band is pulling the front two teeth apart a bit to fill in the gap. I’m really pleased with these bands. I’m so blessed to have just come through breast cancer and a gap in my teeth is all that’s bothering me!

Today the wind was at a minimum for Oklahoma, so I sprayed weeds. Ha! The sprayer came off a few times, so we’re going to have some brown spots in the yard. Anyway those weeds won’t survive, so I think I’m winning. I still have a bunch of irises standing, but I’ve deadheaded a bunch and broken off lots of finished stalks. I really enjoy the iris saga.

We walked this morning before it was too hot, so it was really perfect. We’re going to have to start getting up to walk real early to miss the big heat that will be here soon. Right now, it’s really nice to be able to walk at a reasonable hour.

Tomorrow there is a fellowship breakfast at church and we’ll play cards at Jo Ann and Frank’s home tomorrow night. We’ll get up early for breakfast; walk after breakfast and then I think I’d better get a nap so I can be sharp for cards tomorrow night. I have trouble counting and concentrating. That’s frustrating, but I hope it will get better. Sunday after church there is a special fellowship dinner honoring mothers and our high school graduates, so this is a full weekend. I’m glad it’s right here at home so we don’t have to add travel to it. Don and I were blessed with wonderful mothers and we treasure our memories of them and recall them often. One of my favorite quotes allows me to keep our mothers even though we gave up their bodies: “How long does a man (or mother) live? Is it as long as you can touch him or is it as long as he touches you?” I thank God for memory!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The best side effect!

The picture on the blog tonight is one we got from the wife of one of Don’s classmates today. She took pictures at the reunion and got this one of us on Saturday night. I’m so glad she took pictures since I didn’t get any.

Today has been busy. Bless Angela’s heart; she came and shined the house. She even cleaned the basement! Since the youth intern is coming for the summer we figured he’ll take kids down there to play pool, plus it needed a good mopping. It feels good to have it clean, too. I vacuumed all the rugs down there and the stairs, so I got a good work out, too.

I also deadheaded the irises, again, today. They are really on their last leg except for the rebloomers. They’ve been refreshing, though, and I even enjoy deadheading them. It kind of satisfies the ‘tear up jack’ in me.

We shopped this morning and then came home and walked back to town for lunch at the Kozy Diner. It was so fun to have a wonderful day for walking and working in the yard.

Also I got mail today from Astra Zeneca, the company who makes the Arimidex that I’ll take for the next 5 years to help prevent a recurrence of the cancer. It listed the side effects and I found buried in the list sore throat! I had a sore throat yesterday and was really glad when I had the chance to take a nap. I couldn’t figure what was happening with the sore throat because I didn’t have a fever and Don couldn’t see any redness or anything. I remembered the chemo causing a sore throat a few times, but I didn’t remember reading about sore throat on the list of side effects of Arimidex. DUH. Chemo brain still has its hold on me! I was so thrilled to learn that the sore throat is from the Arimidex instead of that I was coming down with something hairy. If I were to choose a side effect from the list that would probably be my choice. I thank God for it and ask Him to continue to bless me with such a simple problem. I’ve taken Arimidex for almost a month, and this is the only problem I’ve noticed. I’ll be so blessed if this is as bad as it gets.

Today is the 8th; we’ve been home since the night of the 11th of last month. It’s almost a month we’ve been home and it has been such a blessed time. Thank you, God!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Thanking God for sunshine.

Tonight’s picture is another of Raynie between doctors on Friday. She was getting a kick out of Southern Living; she makes everything a kick. She’s a happy little person and sunshine to every life she touches!

Today we got rained out of our walk, so I hope we can get back into the swing of things tomorrow. Angela called with strep throat, so she didn’t come. I caught up on a few loose ends around here and took a long nap this afternoon. Today’s the first day I’ve had a nap in a long time, so I guess I was due and it made my afternoon sunshiny.

Tomorrow I’ll get back to deadheading irises; they look sad today with all the rain and wind whipping them, but it was too soggy to get out and deadhead. The sun will shine tomorrow and we’ll walk and clean up the irises. I’m sure the farmers are thanking God for the rain and I’m thanking God for the farmers! I’m so glad someone wants to plant and harvest and make all that work for the rest of us! God puts us together in such a way that we work well together if we don’t fight it. Let’s please Him!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Irises are worth what little work they require.

The picture on the blog tonight is sweet baby Raynie between doctors last Friday when we saw her cleft team. We went from one doctor to the next as they tested her to see how she is progressing. She’s doing great and she fully cooperated all day. As you see here, she takes after her Daddy and wanted to check out the news from the magazines when she has a spare moment. I could get her attention, though; I can never get Rob’s attention when he’s focused on something. Sweet Raynie looks like a little sumo wrestler with her hair in a topknot. It was a fun and proud day to sit in on all the appointments with them.

Today the day for a group of us to sing at the nursing home and sit in on a devotional. I love these times. The people are so precious and the lesson is always good. It feels so good to be able to get back into this activity that I missed all last year. It amazes me how the songs bring out spirit in some folks who rarely show any. Some of them join in, even if they never say anything else. It’s a blessing to me to get to be a part in this activity.

We walked and I deadheaded irises again. The good thing about irises is they are so beautiful, but when the blooms die, they look so sad. I got some sun working with them and spent some time thanking God for the abundant way He blesses us. These irises are so tough; when they quit blooming and the greens look drab Don will mow right over them. They always come back looking awesome! Deadheading is the only real care required and I enjoy that, so they are the perfect flowers for me. I love bringing them indoors, too.

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon making beef patties with Salba in them for the next couple of months. It takes a while to do, but it’s worth it to have them ready when I cook. I also changed sheets and did laundry today because Angela is coming tomorrow and I like to have all that done before she gets here. She keeps me on schedule; I’d be lost without her. I thank God for her and for Linda Rose who encouraged me to get her.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Abundance in every direction.

The picture on the blog tonight is of Nate and his buddy, Pete. I took them down to Bricktown to get tickets for a movie on Friday and then dropped them off at Pete’s Aunt’s restaurant. They are a couple of good guys; it’s sure refreshing to be around teenagers who are clean cut and we are blessed to have them in (and hanging out with) our family!

Today I’ve been emptying space in the front bedroom for Daniel Soto, the youth intern who will be staying with us this summer. Over the years I’ve invaded that room with a lot of my stuff, so I’m getting it out of there so I won’t have to bother him once he gets here.

We walked today and it felt good to be able to do it. We’d taken Thursday, Friday and Sunday off from our walk because we had so much happening, so it felt really good to get back to it today. I deadheaded all the irises today and loved doing that. It was hot but breezy, so it was nice to be outside to do it. I love the irises and they were looking pretty sad with all the dead ones hanging on since I’d deadheaded last on Wednesday. They looked so much cleaner and prettier when I finished, so it gave me a lift to see the difference.

God has really blessed us with a great recovery for me so that we can walk. I thank Him so much for that gift as well as the gifts of safe travels to see our family. I thank Him for our precious family and friends, too. We know that we are so richly blessed. We thank Him also for a wonderful town to call home and for a home that is so good for us. The irises are such a treat for me. We see abundance in every direction that we look and we are so grateful!

Speaking of recovery; I should report that all my peeling is done from the radiation. There are two little spots that still are not healed, but they don’t bother me at all. I only have to treat them to be sure they stay clean and heal well. I think they’ll be healed in about another week. I lotion the radiated area a couple of times a day to keep the skin in good shape. I have full use of my arms. I have to diligently stretch and exercise or I get really stiff, but that’s easy to do; the stiffness reminds me when I forget! PTL!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The pictures on the blog tonight were taken last Thursday afternoon when we got to Norman and visited with our friends La Moyne and Travis Wiginton. They have been missionaries in many different places, so they know someone almost everywhere we go. La Moyne was born here in Hobart and Travis was doing and interim ministry here when we moved here. We all crashed the first 50’s reunion they had here and we’ve been fast friends since. Travis is recovering from a rough reaction he had to a drug last year and La Moyne is recovering from a heart attack she had a couple of months ago, not to mention that she has had Lupus for over 40 years. They are real ministers of the Lord and very special people to us; we loved getting to visit briefly with them.

We got to have dinner with Davey and then we spent the night at his place. Then Friday Don spent the day at work with Davey and I spent the day at the doctor with Trish, Rob and Rayne. That went very well, but we don’t have a specific date for Raynie’s surgery, yet. Trish will call and get that scheduled tomorrow and I’ll report as soon as I know the details. Raynie is such a sweet little girl; I got cute pictures I’ll share soon.

Trish, Raynie and Grace and I were able to race out to see another couple of our good friends Friday afternoon: Barbara and Ira. We were in such a hurry I even FORGOT to take pictures! On our way out there Gabe called and needed us to pick him up at school, so we had to rush our visit to get back to find him. We got there and DIDN’T find him, so we had a little stress going until Rob found him after he got home from work. I don’t know how Trish handles 6 kids! I got to take Nate and his buddy, Pete, to pick up some movie tickets and that was fun. I got pictures of them I’ll share another day, too.

Friday night was the mixer night for the reunion. Then Saturday night was the banquet. This morning was the farewell brunch. It was a busy time and it was pleasant. I know Don really had a good time. It was nostalgia weekend for him because we walked around the OU campus on Saturday morning. It was good to get a day of walking done! Tomorrow we’ve got to get back into the groove of walking; we took 2 days off this week.

It’s so good to be home! We had a wonderful weekend, but home gets better and better! We’re thanking God for this great weekend, for safe travels, healthy family and friends and a daughter who can fill in posts when I forget them even while she balances 6 kids!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hi guys! It's Tricia again. Mom asked me to post that she forgot to do a post for today (she is here for Dad's reunion and didn't bring the computer) and I almost forgot to post that she forgot! Must be genetic. Anyhow, they're having a great time and mom will be back to regular posting tomorrow.

The pic on the blog today is Rayne and me at the zoo. We went a few weeks ago and it was so nice! Today was really nice, too - would've been great for the zoo but we had 469 other things happening, so no zoo for us. Hope everyone is having a nice weekend! Thanks for reading and keeping up with us!