Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Home is sweet, but we're so tired!

This is a picture of me taken the night of our banquet at the reunion. I was sure having fun. I’m sure winding down from it all, today! Don and I are both so tired. We felt like we walked from Las Vegas! (Check out that hair! No curling iron, no nothing; just wash it, let it air dry. I'm getting used to it and will really be spoiled if the curl ever leaves me!)

Bob and Diana made it home fine, too. They got home about 3 hours ahead of us. We had breakfast with them this morning and heard lots of stories from their travels.

We had all the unpacking to do today and I’m still working on all that. We had to go get groceries, too. We were fresh out of food here.

We’re getting things put back together, though. It’s WONDERFUL to be home. We are so grateful for the opportunity to make the trip, and we sure give thanks for safe traveling. We certainly give thanks that we found our house in great shape. If we hadn’t known there was an intruder, we would never have suspected it. Our neighbor, Bill, was right on the ball and scared him out before he did any damage. This house was locked up so tight, we were afraid WE might not be able to get in when we got home! God is GREAT!

Monday, September 29, 2008

We're home, and safe.

Here is a picture (!) of my class from the reunion. Many of you will be bored with these details, but the people who know all these folks will be glad to know who is who. From the left on the front row is Fran Nakabayashi Wolf, Wanda Maderis, Matt Kohler, Susan Coleman Price and me. On the back row is Gary Whiteley, Rick Winegarden, Bob Clark, and Dave Gibson. We were all bunched up for a picture without Dave because he didn't get there. Then at the last moment he came rushing in, so he's standing off a little by himself. We love him the same as everyone, though! This was Susan's first reunion!

We left this morning a little after 4 and got home at a little after 11. (It was 6, Hobart time, when we left this morning, but 4, Vegas time.) Anyway, we had no problems on the way. It was a good trip. We took turns driving and sleeping, so we were rested plenty. It's just a long day! We're so ready for bed.

We came in and inspected the house to see what our 'intruder' did. It was pretty creepy. He didn't do anything we would have expected. The house is in pretty good shape. I can only thank God that he didn't do any real damage! We have so much for which to give thanks. We especially thank Him for our safe trip and for so many wonderful friends and their safe travel. Ann and Jim, you were sorely missed! As soon as I get all my pictures edited, I'll be sending them to those of you who missed the reunion and those of you who were there. Man, it was a blast!

We brought in just our toiletries and the ice chest and the computer. We'll unload and unpack all the rest tomorrow. It's so past time for bed right now!

Reunion is over, ballgames seen and we're packed.

We finished up the reunion this morning and got to go see Jessie play in two more games this afternoon! Then the girls went to a barbecue the team was having and Jeff and Jeanette went out to dinner with us. It was a great finale to our trip.

The reunion was historic in many ways. I won't go into details on the blog, but I'll be writing a summary to put into our Itazuke newsletter. I'll send it out to folks who I email a lot, too. It's always so cool when someone comes for a first time and we had several of those. I couldn't be more pleased with the reunion unless EVERYONE came. It was a perfect size. We could get around and see most everyone there. I absolutely loved every moment!

We are all packed and ready to leave at 4 in the morning. I've got to go back to the room and shower off the baseball and packing sweat. We hope to be home tomorrow night. If we get stalled on the interstate in backed up traffic or get too tired, we'll stop and spend the night on the way. So, if I don't post tomorrow night, don't worry. If we make it home or if we stop somewhere that has Internet access I'll post, WITH a picture if possible! I got GREAT reunion pictures! You're not going to believe how much my hair has grown since I put pictures on last! Everyone at the reunion was so sweet to make me feel better about my hair. I guess I just have to get used to having 'long' hair.

I thank God for such a wonderful time seeing family and friends and so much of His majestic handiwork. I thank Him for those who have power returning in Houston! We are so blessed to have power at all, let alone almost all the time. Doris and Jerry just got power after all this time. They've been camping out in their own home, thinking they'd have power every day. They survived, though. Thank you, God! I talked to Dorothy tonight and she and David are doing better and so is Joan from her fall. Thank you, God! We're anxious to get home and check on everyone at home. Thank you for checking up on us and God bless you!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What a GREAT reunion.

I'm back at the condo for a quick 'break.' Then I'm going back to help set up for our auction and banquet tonight. I thought I'd better do the blog right now, so I can just crash when we come home tonight. I know I'll be tired.

I was the VP until today when elections gave us a new VP and relieved me of that responsibility. So, now all I do is only for fun; there is nothing I must do. I presided over the alumni meeting as our president couldn't be here, so it was my last 'yahoo.' It was a wonderful meeting. A guy who was here for his first reunion suggested that we all stand and introduce ourselves, so it was really fun to have everyone do that. I think we may do it every time after this one. Those who missed this reunion missed a treat. We all told our name, when were were at Itazuke, our graduating class, and maybe a memory or some history of ourselves. It was cool and very touching in some cases.

I continue to thank God for the opportunity to make this trip for me and for everyone who came. It's been a real joy. I'll have pictures for the blog from this reunion when we get home.

Most are here!

Most of the folks who are coming to the reunion are here. It's been such a busy and wonderful day. Susan Coleman Price came to her first reunion and she was a good friend. How wonderful it was to see her. I can hardly wait to spend some more time with her tomorrow!

I got up at 6 to do my walking and exercises and have been going all day, so I'm worn out. I'll do the same tomorrow. Yikes! Plus tomorrow I have to preside over the alumni meeting since I'm the VP and the president couldn't come. I am resigning and we have a good guy who will run for VP; nobody is running against him, so it boils down to I am relieved. I appreciate that. I haven't minded doing it, but my mission these days is to de-stress, so it's good if I can get out from under a title. I thank God for good guys!

Bob and Diana made it in safely and we had dinner with them tonight. Man, it was good to see them. I felt like they had been gone a year! I thank God for their safe trip, too.

I am so headed to bed! Thanks for keeping up with us.

Friday, September 26, 2008

They're coming!

Today was a great day! For those of you who know these people, here are the ones who are here:

Terri Lamb, Cindy Day Hair, Dana Allen Minnis, Debbie Allen Shushkewich, Ken Kee, Marti Soldana, Sandra and Frank Brown (Carol's sister and her husband), Carol and Gene Scavetta (reunion planners), Fran Wolf and Charlie Akers, Gary and Teri Whiteley, Jerry Schull Grant, Barbara Empting, Carol Coady, and Susan Wilbur. There are two more and I can't think of their names! One's last name is Benet and the other's first name is Janet; they are both working on the committee planning the reunion and I briefly saw them. Actually, Janet I saw quite a while, but I can't spell her last name or even get close; she made the center pieces for the tables at the banquet, so I should remember, but chemo fog wins. I probably didn't spell a lot of the names right (some names are maiden names and some are married names), but if you know them you'll know who I mean. Bob and Diana Clark are on their way; they left Hobart this afternoon and were nearing Amarillo around 4, when I talked to them last. God, please be with all those still traveling.

We had the best time driving around tonight with Dana and Debbie and Cindy and Terri. They loved the lights and the water show at the Bellagio. We got freeplay at the Monte Carlo and had fun playing and walking away with money. Cindy won over $200 on a penny machine! That was wonderful, because she had baked a wedding cake for a girl to earn money to have spending money for this trip and she delivered it yesterday and the girl said, "I don't have the money to pay for it." That $200 win sure came at a good time and she was smart enough to walk away from the machine right then!

Tomorrow everyone else will be coming in, so it'll be so fun to greet everyone. I'm getting up at 6 to get my walking and exercises done so I won't have to bother with it later in the day. I thank God for being healthy enough to make this trip. I pray that everyone else gets here safely.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So excited.

"Look! These fit right on my hands! Fun!" - Tricia

The t-shirts for our reunion were to be shipped to me, here at the condo. Then I'll take them to the hotel where our reunion is happening and deliver them to the people who have already ordered and paid for them. One box was delivered today. The other box should have come with them, but they somehow got separated. They say that happens a lot. This makes me KNOW the reunion is close and it's so exciting for me. Tomorrow many people will come in; it's early as the reunion really starts on Friday night. Some of us come early, so we can get started early on hanging out together. We do these every 2 years, and it seems like forever between them for me. I keep up with most people by email and we see some from time to time, but the reunions are special. We see people we don't keep up with or see except at reunions and that's a great time.

We didn't do anything special around here today. I did laundry so everything is ready for the rest of our trip. I'll probably do laundry one more time, but it won't be absolutely necessary since I got everything done today. I didn't get up early to walk today, so I had to walk on the treadmill in the fitness room. It's a really nice facility for that; I have to give them credit for that! I like walking outside and seeing the mountains and the sun come up, but I was too sleepy to pry myself out for it this morning. Sunrise is really early and God makes that for special people who aren't sleepy heads.

We've eaten most of the food we bought, so we don't have too much to carry home and keep cool, but some. We'll eat breakfast and lunch here tomorrow, but when folks start coming in we'll be joining them to eat locally. We have some coupons for buy one and get one free for the Monte Carlo buffet, so we'll be going there with a bunch tomorrow night. So, we're winding down on our trip and winding up on the reunion. I imagine I'll be getting up early every morning to get my walking and exercises done during the reunion days.

I thank God for the opportunity to see these friends. We only dreamed we might ever see each other again, but none of us ever expected it. It's a great, great time. I pray that they all travel safely.

By the way, I feel great! I have absolutely no complaints.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What to say?

Here's Rayne's 'after' pic! Warning! Do NOT double click this and make it really big! As Rayne would say, 'Blech!!!' - Tricia

Last night I left writing the blog to go walk on the treadmill. In the middle of my walk, our neighbor called to ask if we'd come home early! He said there were lights on in our house and someone was in there; if it wasn't us he was calling the cops. NO LIE! Long story short: he got away but didn't do much damage that Bill (our neighbor) could tell. Needless to say we were up pretty late until the police left and we'd talked to them about what had happened.

The best they could tell the 'guy' must have been looking for drugs or money. Ha! We don't have money or drugs. If he found my stash of vitamins and herbs he must have had a quick rush thinking he'd found the mother load only to be disappointed to find out they were vitamins and herbs. I hope he didn't rip them off! I'm not going into details because it could have been someone who reads the blog and I don't want to give away any traps I have set for 'him.' I pray that God will answer this 'guy's' need so that 'he' doesn't feel the need to violate others' space. Evidently, he had hit our neighbor's house before he broke into ours. Also someone had tried to break into another neighbor's house the night before; someone is really hurting to be hitting the area so hard. I thank God for such wonderful neighbors, too.

Today went well for us. We managed to get our 'gambling' done and come away with money, since they gave us a total of $40 dollars! We came away with almost all of that. I stuck to my $2 limit. I'm willing to spend $2 to have fun. After that it's not fun. HA! I'm such a tightwad; I learned from the best: my mom could stretch a penny forever! I got in my exercises, sun and swim. I'm so spoiled to that pool! I thank God for the opportunity to get to swim and exercise every day.

Phyllis Diller

This was for Rayne's birthday. This was the 'before' pic..... - Tricia

I wish I could get a picture on of me these days. I look like Phyllis Diller with this hair. Terri will be here Thursday and she'll tell me it's okay or flush me down the toilet, one. Or Dana will know if I'm okay. I'm so not used to long hair and this hair isn't long enough to put in a pony tail or a barrette, but it's long enough to make me look like Phyllis Diller. Probably it's in my head, but I think I need help. I love the pictures Trish is putting on the blog, though! I hope they make you smile as they do us! Raynie looks like she's holding court with her big brothers in that video; she'll stand right up to them!

Today was a better day. If I was confused I didn't notice. We found a place we have to take you, Dana! We signed up for a players card at the Wynne and they gave us $10 to play! I played my $2 and quit, so I came away with $8. We played for about 6 hours on that, too! That's the kind of gambling I like! Oh, then we got to go spin and won another $10 on our cards that we have to play in 48 hours. I got 4 of a kind so many times; it was way fun. Coming away with $8 was the best part! I never dreamed they'd PAY me to play poker! We were having so much fun playing that we didn't walk, so I've got to go walk in the fitness center tonight. It's okay; I've got a book to read while I walk, so I'll enjoy it. It's late, so I'd better get with it.

I'm thanking God for all the friends who will be coming in soon for our reunion. I know several are coming in Thursday. The t-shirts are being delivered to me here at the condo on Thursday and then we'll bust it over to the hotel to see who we can catch. Thanks for keeping up with us.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kooky day.

A couple of way cool guys with their precious baby sisters. From the reunion this summer. - Tricia

I am so confused today. I was answering an email this morning and suddenly Yahoo put me into some guy's (James Beck) email rather than ours! When I signed out of his account and back into mine, my inbox, trash and spam were all GONE! The trash and spam I was happy to see go, but my INBOX? Well, I've had my worst fears happen before and I lived over it. Now it's happened again! We had gobs of mail in the inbox that we were going to handle when we get home and could download it to our computer. Well, the inbox is really clean, now. I hope if anyone sent us anything and we don't respond they will send it again and not give up on us! I'm still shaking my head about it. I have no idea what happened.

Then when I tried to log in to the blog tonight it wouldn't let me; said something about cookies. I went back a page and there was the page I needed, all logged in! I'm shaking my head, again. When I shake my head the curls don't fall out, so probably it won't clear out the cobwebs in my head, either. It's the only response I know for this confusion.

I am thankful that I've been using the Internet for 12 years, now, and this is the first major loss of data. I'm also thankful that I have this access even if it's not like I'd like; it does allow me to keep in touch.

Mostly I'm thankful that when it comes right down to it things are going well. I'm healthy. Don is healthy. All our family is healthy. Ike came and went and caused lots of strife along the way, but people are getting through.

Our dear friend, Joan, who brings me flowers from her garden all the time and who keeps my garden for me when I get behind took a bad fall. She was even mowing for us while we're gone! She called today to ask me what to do since she can't mow. She got her foot tangled up in her purse strap, yesterday, and it threw her out of her car as she was aiming to get out at another friend's house. She is all banged up from shoulder to knee, but has no broken bones. We sure thank God for that. Her knee swelled up to double it's size and she is icing it to keep the swelling down. She is 72, I think, so she could easily have broken a hip or arm or leg! Falls can be treacherous; I'm so grateful that she wasn't hurt worse. God blesses! Thanks for reading about us.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Romans 12:2 - updated with a pic

Grace modeling - Tricia

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . . . " This week we walked all over the strip and it was all interesting and amazing. We can't get over all they build and how many people are here. MANY are foreigners. We can't believe how much people spend, either! As Gretta says, we don't get out much. Anyway, it's been fun to go and see, but my favorite thing is walking around the parking lot here, early in the morning! Don slept in this morning, so I pryed myself out of bed and went to walk around the parking lot. I hate getting up, but I love the walking! It's so beautiful out there and the weather is perfect! I watch the sun come up over the mountains and it is breathtaking every time. I recall this scripture and it seems to fit so well. Off to the west is all the lights and glitter that man has made, but over the mountains comes the sunrise, all that God made! it renews my mind and my spirit and I thank God for it and for the opportunity.

Don has been watching football all day, so I've had a quiet day to myself. I got the laundry done, read some on a book I'm reading, took a nap, got some sun and swam some laps. Love those laps! It feels good to be caught up on my chores. I watched all I could take of Tennessee getting beat. My heart aches for their coach; Phil Fulmer. He is a really nice guy; he was in my homeroom in my senior class (Hodge; Fulmer). I'm sure he's grown up and knows how to take losses, but I'm not so grown up and it hurts me for his team to lose. Don loves watching it all, so it's been a good day for him.

We enjoyed our walk last night. We got to see the water show at the Bellagio a couple of times. We had no luck at our penny poker. I quit when I had 50 cents left; it wasn't even making me THINK I could win. It felt like I was just making deposits. I like it when it makes me think I'm winning and lets me win so that my $2 lasts a while. I felt like I was just being robbed last night. Walking and watching the dancing waters at the Bellagio was lots better. We didn't even get lost.

I think tomorrow we're going to walk around and find lions and I forget what else Don said. Linda and Tom Rose call him Don Tours because he plans the excursions. I thank God for the opportunity to have this fun and have our minds renewed! I also thank Him that I continue to feel great!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Busy in Vegas - updated with another video

Here's a video of Rayne 'jumping'! Too funny. - Tricia

I'm doing the blog this morning, because we're going out tonight and I don't want to be doing it late like I did last night. I'm not sure where we're going, but we decided to do our walking in the casinos where it's cool this afternoon. We may get lost and end up somewhere that we didn't expect to go, like last night, but we'll see.

I'm working on the computer at the Internet Station as we learned yesterday that the phone lines are fixed so that I can never get dial up from them. Needless to say I was really hacked about that, but it's my business to not let that stress me! Today I'm getting my bills paid, etc. from this location. It will work and I can be happy or not; it's my choice and I'm working on making the right choice!

Another lady just came up and brought me a bunch of food they have left from their week. They're leaving today and the food is going to waste if she didn't find someone to take it. So there's a perk to sitting out here in the public's eye to pay my bills. (I never had bills before breast cancer, but that doesn't come free, so I have bills as I learn how to de-stress! Something is wrong with that picture, but it's how the picture is painted!)

I've done the big half of my exercises; only the little half and walking left. There are some I only have to do once a day, so those add onto the even split, making a big and a little half. We'll have lunch and then I'll go get some sun and do the laps in the pool. Then we'll come back to the room and I'll do the little half, clean up and we're out to hit the town. HA! We are such goobers. We walk all over the place and then sit down to a penny poker machine until our $2 runs out or we wear out. I'm sure the high rollers are rolling their eyes at us, but it's good exercise for them; I don't see anyone raising cane except me! HA!

I thank God that we have this access so that I can keep in touch and get my business done. My list of thanks is so long. I go around thanking God all the time, so I guess the folks think I'm talking to myself, too. Little do they know; God is right here with me holding my hand.

Woo hoo, Trish is keeping up with me. - updated with pic

Here's a pic of mom and dad in the Smoky Mtns this summer. - Tricia

Trish, thanks for the pics! Raynie is too cool riding her bike! I should explain to folks that she hates clothes. The funny thing is that she loves bras and panties to wear over her head, so it's a wonder she doesn't have something around her neck. She's such a hoot. I love the shot of her helping Daddy fix something. She's such a cool little person. Trish, thanks for keeping pictures going for me on the blog!

We've had a very interesting day. We drove to the Wynne and parked and then walked around a whole bunch of very sophisticated sort of casinos. These places were too fancy! We still found some penny machines and played without losing any money. Actually, I think Don made a few pennies. That worked so well for us that we thought we'd go back tonight and play. Wrong. We turned on the wrong street and ended up going out of town with the sun in our eyes so bright we couldn't see! It's a wonder we didn't wreck; I don't know how Don managed to stay on the road. Anyway, we took that as a clue that we didn't need to go where we meant to go. We had meant to go to the Palms tomorrow night, but since we were headed in that direction we went there tonight. We found penny machines again and played poker for about 4 hours for a dollar for me and less than a dollar for Don. That's pretty cheap entertainment. Jessica Simpson was there performing tonight so there were gobs of people there; that was interesting. We had no interest in seeing Jessica Simpson, but all the people were interesting to watch.

The best thing about watching people is how they stare at me. It's like living Candid Camera. People just can't help but stare at my knee bands. Some people think it's a fashion statement that they've missed and some are wondering if they should get some to help their knees. I've heard some even mumbling about if they might help their knees. It's too funny. Some even ask me if they help my knees and some say they love the bands, like it's a cool fashion statement. I feel like getting a t-shirt that says: "IF YOU ONLY KNEW IT ALL: this is really nothing big!"

I thank God for the knee bands to help me walk, the cane to help me walk, the sleeve to manage my lymphedema (very few people seem to really notice it) and for healing me from the breast cancer! I'm grateful for everyday, for the sense of humor to accept the stares, and for a husband who smiles with me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Davy! - updated with a video

Here's a video of Rayne riding her 'bike'. The camera work is kinda shaky, but if you can keep from getting queezy as you watch it's a cute video. Sadie is the camera person. I'm hogging all the blog time with Rayne pics! Sorry.... it's what I have! - Tricia

Davy is our 2nd son whose son, Bruce, plays baseball, football and basketball that we watch as much as possible. He also has a daughter, Erica, who is our oldest grandchild and this is her senior year. Davy and his family have lived in Wichita Falls, Texas, a couple of hours south from us, so it's been fairly easy to keep up with them. However, this year Davy bought a business in Norman, Oklahoma and he moved there to run the business. Erica went there with him for the summer and she worked with him. She's back at home with Susan and Bruce for this school year. After she graduates she will go to college and Susan and Bruce will move to Norman to join Davy. So, Davy spent his birthday today in his new office building in Norman. This is an exciting year for him, but I know he'll sure be glad to have his family together in one spot. He does a lot of travel with his business, and he's only a couple of hours from Wichita Falls, so he's kept the road hot keeping up with all Bruce's sports, the family and the business. He's still young enough to keep up with all this; we're impressed and proud.

It was all we could do today to drive to the strip and walk around. The strip is a big deal and lots of construction makes it a hairy deal for country bumpkins who've come to town! Walking was not a big deal; just getting there was!

Every day I spend more time than I want working to get Internet connection in the room. We're very disappointed to not have that access, but I'm grateful that we can have this connection in the Business center. I'm grateful to have use of the phone from the room. Today I got to visit with some folks from home, so it's good to find that they are holding the fort. Dorothy is doing better with her arm, but is still wearing a splint. David is having trouble breathing; the pneumonia is so hard on him. He's still treating it at home, though, so that's easier for them than if they put him in the hospital.

They still don't have power in Houston, so I'm reminded to give thanks for POWER! We take all these things for granted. Even the folks who don't have power and who have to line up for gas and groceries are getting by. It's amazing how little we need and how much we have. We are so blessed and I thank God for our rich blessings. Mostly I thank Him for my health as I continue to do so well. Thank you for caring enough to check on us.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

new concept - with a pic!

Here's Rayne 'helping' Daddy fix something. She's really good at 'helping'. - Tricia

This is so cool. I write the blog and then check in to write the next day and Trish has added cool pictures. I love it! It's a great, new concept for me, but it adds to her 'to do' list. Isn't that the sweetest little tiny baby; that picture of her? She weighted all of 5 pounds, 2 ounces. I was scared to death they wouldn't let me take her home when she dropped below 5 pounds, but she didn't linger long and was back up to 5 when we went home with her. She was a mighty little thing. Little did I realize that she would grow up to be a wonderful mom of 6 who can look after me, too,from remote, no less! Thanks, Trish!

Wait until it's Gretta's birthday and we'll put on her hospital picture! She looked just like Trish only she was rounder. She also takes care of me from several states away. I anguish over my hair being a bush and she tells me it's great. I'm hanging tough with it. It's just that I don't know what to do with it. Used to, if I was stressed about ANYTHING, I'd go trim my hair. I can't do that with these curls because I don't know where to cut! So, I've decided to just go wet it; that makes the curls draw up so it's about as good as a cut and it makes me feel like I've done something. Then sweet Gretta tells me I did good; God love her!

Yesterday and the day before we walked to the strip and around this end of it and back. Today we drove to another place a little farther up on the strip and parked and then walked a different portion of the strip. Maybe tomorrow we'll go walk another portion. It's a LOT of walking! The wild thing about Vegas is that you can see some place and you think you can walk to it. Well, you might can, but it's a lot farther than you thought! There is a lot here to see. We've seen a lot of it before, but there is always a TON of new stuff. We are so amazed at all they keep building here.

If you are wondering about that head virus I had, it's total history. I cough a tad, but I consider me done with it and it never went to my lungs. I sure thank God for that! I'm feeling great and keeping up with all my exercises. My arm is doing very well. I wear the sleeve every day; I guess I'll have to do that for the rest of my life. I'm pretty much used to it. I can accept it because I can tell that it does relieve the pressure in my arm from the swelling.

I've heard from everyone we know in the Houston area except for one who was in the worst part. I'm assuming that she still doesn't have power and can't call me back. Nobody has power, yet, although Judy says they have power coming back intermittently, so that's a sign that they may have it soon. The biggest problem besides no power is the gas shortage and then the food shortage. I can only imagine and thank God that it wasn't worse for them, as it sure could have been.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tricia! - with pic

Here's me a looooooooonnnngggg time ago! - Tricia

Our Tricia's birthday is TODAY! God love her! She's the one who backs me up on the blog. I thank God for her in our lives and all she brings. (She brings 6 of our 15 grandkids and a wonderful husband, who is in Vegas this week on a business trip; maybe we'll see him.)

All the folks we can find from Houston are doing okay and we haven't heard of too much dammage. Gretta is fine and has no damage; Gina is fine, but has some dammage to their farm, but nothing that can't be replaced. They have no power, but they have a generator and they have lots of people staying at their house, so it's a party of sorts. These will be good memories. Brian is home, so that's good. Ruthie had no power for several hours yesterday, but all is good today. Ike was really a terror across the country!

Meantime we are doing fine, here in Vegas. We got up this morning at 5 to walk at dark. It was pretty cool. Don liked to walk to the strip, but that's not my favorite thing to do. I'd rather walk around the parking lot and enjoy the sun coming up and the mountains. I can see the strip off to one side and appreciate the lights, but that's plenty close for me. I wouldn't go without him. In fact once I dropped his hand to go around a pole or something and said, "Wait, don't leave me by myself." He said, "You're not by yourself, I'm right here!" I feel like I'm in a jungle when we go to the strip. It's a big hairy place to me. Country girl comes to town!

Anyway, we're enjoying the condo with our own meals and whatever walking and exercise we get. They have an awesome fitness center here, but I love the parking lot. Country girl, again! HA!

I thank God that everyone we can find is in good shape and that we are healthy. I love walking, wherever we can do it and consider it a blessing to be able to do it!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ike on my mind. - updated with pic

Here are a couple of Civil Air Patrol Cadets with their best serious faces on and some other little people I found hanging around at the airport. - Tricia

Thanks, Trish for backing me up with a picture of Mr. Cool, Mason! I won't be able to put pictures on as long as we're here, so you stick pictures on whenever you have something to brighten the blog!

I came down to the Internet station to send an email or two and it was full of people looking up damage at home from Ike. I was horrified to learn that they are from Georgetown, Indiana, not far from where Gina lives and Louisville, where Gretta did live. They said it's heading for Lexington, where Gretta is. Oh, man! Now I don't even remember what I was going to put on the blog today, but I know it wasn't anything I can't put on later. We had a good day and we're fine. That's the important thing. I've got to get back to the room and call and check on Gina and Gretta and their families and Ruthie and everyone we love in Springville! Gretta JUST called me and she is fine. She is IN Louisville and they have no power anywhere, but she's fine. She went there to work for a week and now she won't work until Wednesday, but all you can do is all you can do. Joe's mother is at her house keeping Elena and Garrett and they are okay there, so far. She said she didn't think it went through Tennessee, but I still need to check on Ruthie and clan.

I'm headed to the room and thanking God for Gretta's safety and for the safety of our family and friends in Houston. They are all having lots of power problems, but they are tough and can survive. I pray that the others we can't locate are fine, too and managing with no power. I'm thanking God for this computer, the Internet, the cell phone and POWER and health and LOTS MORE! God bless you!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mason! - updated with a pic

Here's a pic of Mason that Sadie took this summer. Notice the "I'm way too cool to smile for a picture" look. They were camping outside in the back yard one night and took lots of pictures inside the tent. - Tricia

Okay, I have to really hurry. I can't get online from my room and I went to the Business Center and got cut off right in the middle of my blog! So, I came down to get help and they let me use the computer at the front desk! Now, people are standing in line thinking I work here and am ignoring them. How I can get into fixes!

Today was Mason's 8th birthday and he won his soccer game! He made two of the winning goals, so he was so excited and proud. Better than that, there's not a sweeter kid in the world! He's not one to mess with, because he won't take any flack off anyone, but he's as good as they come! I'll get a picture on of him just as soon as I can make it happen.

The shareholder meeting went really well. I enjoyed every moment and totally behaved. The lady in front of me turned around and spilled water on the guy next to me, but that was as close as I came to any bad behavior. Ha!

I feel great. Whatever was in my head is only making me cough a tad. I got up at 6 and walked this morning. It's was awesome!

Our niece, Heather wrote that all our family in Houston is fine. I've talked to Judy and she's good. I still wonder about some I can't reach, but I hope they've evacuated. Many people are without power, so it's going to be tough getting things back to normal. I pray for the patients and families of those in the medical center area. This would be such a hard thing to deal with on top of serious medical needs!

I thank God for all our family and our safety and health. I pray that He will forgive me for 'arghing' (that's the sighs I make in my frustration; if I was a sailor I'm afraid I'd talk ugly) at these technical problems I have! I should be giving thanks for all the times it works right, so I DO! Thank you, God!

By the way, I talked to David and Dorothy today and David's pneumonia is back and Dorothy has a cold. God bless them! They are getting to treat him at home, though, so that's good.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tricky, and still no pictures.. -updated with a pic

Here's a really pretty beetle Gabe found on his way home from school the other day. We looked him up and he's a rainbow scarab. Neat, huh? See his monster horn? You can't tell so much from the pic, but he's all a bright jewel green except for that red glittery piece. He has black legs and yellow antannae! Really a spectacular looking little creature. He's about the size of a dime.
- Tricia

I'm so sorry that we still can't connect with our computer, so there is still no picture. Just imagine me with a big smile and a big bushy head of hair. That's how it feels. Oh, Gretta, I need your help! What's tricky? Using this other computer, figuring out what to do with my hair (wet it and go seems to work the best), and figuring out how to behave at a shareholders meeting.

We've had a great day. Jeff came over early this morning and he and Don went to a buffet breakfast at the Monte Carlo. I begged off and stayed here to eat my chia toast and missed you, Ruthie! When they came back they spent all day talking investments. I spent all day cooking and grinding chia seeds. I made up hamburgers with chia seeds and put them in the freezer; all I'll have to do when Don wants one is pop it out and cook it. I cooked a pot of chili all day and put it in the freezer in containers to thaw when we want a bowl of chili. That makes meals easier down the road. While they were deep into the finances and it was way over my head I did my walking and exercises.

Man, it is so gorgeous here. It's in the 90's, but it just feels hot. It's not like a sauna, so it really is easier to take. I really enjoyed walking around the huge parking lot here. Soon, I'll be infamous for my walking and exercising, no doubt. I do thank God for the ability to walk and the opportunity to do so in various places all over the country. I so love the mountains, and I like the heat. Cancer doesn't like heat, so it makes me feel like I'm being strong against any cancer that might be roaming in my body. I like it that mosquitoes aren't buzzing around me everywhere, too. This is great!

I felt so good yesterday that I totally forgot to report that I seem to be mostly over my head virus. I'm coughing some, but it's not tight. I feel really good. My friend who is running this reunion, and is a retired nurse, emailed me and told me to take care so that I'd feel good later. That's when I remembered I'd been sick! I'm amazed at how quickly I recovered, although Jeanette seemed to get past it quickly, too. Whew! Thank you, God!

We are headed out to a meeting of the Shareholders of the Botanic Gardens tonight, which is one of the reasons we made this trip. Then tomorrow we meet all day. I hope I can stay awake for it and behave like I should instead of like a cane raiser from the middle of nowhere. God will help me; no doubt it will be pleasant. Have a wonderful weekend and thank God as we go!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tilt! No picture today. So sorry! - updated with a pic

Here's a pic of Rayne posing for the camera. Note the droopy clippy!
- Tricia

Today has been a good day because we got to check in early to the condo. They gave us an upgrade, so that pleased us, too. We've not been to this location before, so we took a tour because it's brand new and we wanted to see what they offer. Well, it's going to be fantastic when it's all up and running, but it's not all up and running yet. Great. That means our phones aren't working in our units, which is no big deal since we have cell phones, BUT it also means I can't connect to the Internet. They do have an Internet station that I can use, so that I can post on the blog, but I don't have any way to get the pictures put on the blog. It's too late to call Trish, or I'd ask her to put on a picture she sent me the other night of her kids. Maybe she'll see this in the morning and do it.

Anyway, I look pretty much the same. My hair is getting downright bushy. I don't know how long I can stand not cutting it. I'm working to be patient so that I can play with it. Trouble is that I don't know how to play; I've never had this toy before!

Oh, I swam in the pool (it's wonderful) today and, besides me, there was only a little girl in there. I struck up a conversation with her and asked how old she was. (9) Then she asked me how old I was. Tilt. So, I asked her how old she would guess me to be. She guessed 50! I grabbed her out of the pool and bought her a sundae! Just kidding. I was pleased, though.

Our unit is really nice and we are just about settled to stay a while. I like our familiar condos, closer to home, better, though. This one is filled with gadgets that I don't know how to work. I had to call for help to figure out how to get the dryer to work! The ice maker wasn't working, so I called for help for that. It wasn't plugged into the water! This unit has never had anyone stay in it before, so some real fundamental stuff isn't right. I guess we're the guinea pigs. It has a shower big enough for 2 people; it even has two showers in there. There is plenty of storage and I like that!

Hopefully I can get on with pictures tomorrow, but I'll at least post to let you know all is well. It's really nice to be able to eat our own food. We went to the grocery store and bought groceries today, so I fixed our lunch and supper. We eat easy stuff, but it's what we like, so that's good. Tomorrow I've got to grind chia seeds, so I can put that into all our food; that's our super food, you know. No lie; it's really good for you. I've got broccoli seeds soaking to sprout, too. I brought some sprouts from home, but we'll need more, soon. We eat easy, but somewhat quacky, huh?

Thank you for caring enough to check on us. We thank God for you all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Feeling better; ready to move to the condo tomorrow.

This picture is one Don took on the white rocks in Snow Canyon. Notice the red mountains off to one side and the darker ones off to the other side. It is breathtaking to make that hike! Look at the view behind me! I continue to be blown away by God's handiwork on this earth!

I am feeling much better today and thanking God for that! I never had any fever; I felt like my head was about the size of a basketball, but it feels fine, now. I'm starting to cough, but it's not bad.

This is our last day at the Plaza and I expect we will never come back to this hotel. I don't recommend it if you're coming to Vegas. We're looking so forward to checking out of here tomorrow and into the condo. We're already making our grocery list and looking forward to eating our own kind of food. It's been fun to eat out for a few days, but we've had enough for a while. It's good to get different experiences; it makes us appreciate our normal lifestyle even more than we normally do.

We went over to the condo yesterday to get a sneak preview. We're excited to get to move in tomorrow!

I'm so proud of myself. It's just a little after 5 and I've done all my exercises for today, I'm getting the blog done, and I'll do my journal right after this. Woohoo!

I thank God for helping me get through this head virus with no complications and rather quickly. I really feel so blessed. I was a little scared because this time last year any germ could have been so devastating, so I stayed in the house for the most part. It's so great to be able to be out among people and to have the opportunity and energy to hike and swim! I love the exercises with the cane where I stretch! I'm not jumping, but I feel like I'm jumping for joy. I'm not a jumper, but I'm full of joy and I thank God for it all.

By the way, many of you ask about Gretta. She is doing very well. I talked to her today and she is very pleased that their new home is finished and they will begin moving into it over the next couple of weeks. They have the rent paid in their apartment through the end of October, so they don't have to be in any rush. They'll take it slow and easy. Garrett loves his new school and he is doing great. I thank God for their ability to come back from tragedy. I hope she will send pictures soon and I'll share with you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Got to see Jo Emerson again!

Don took this picture this morning when we met my friend, Jo Emerson, at the Orleans Hotel. She is a great Overseas Brats friend. Her dad was in the military and stationed at Sasebo in Japan. Sasebo was our closest rival in that our schools competed with each other in sports. There are 3 main islands in Japan and we competed with schools on all the islands, but Sasebo was on the same Island as Itazuke so we were close enough for not only the teams, but sometimes some of the rest of us could go to the games as spectators. There was not only rivalry, but also great camaraderie because we all spoke ENGLISH! We were in Japan in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s (We went twice; I did 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 8th grades there plus the summers before and after for a total of 6 years.). We did well to afford postage, which wasn’t much, but it took forever for letters to get back and forth from the states. There was no such thing as email and we never made long distance phone calls. ANYBODY who spoke English was a friend! Jo was not at Sasebo at the same time that we were in Japan, but she was there two different times like we were. Many people did 2 tours because we liked it so much our parents volunteered to return. Jo and I met at an Overseas Brats function and it feels like we grew up together. It’s amazing how common experiences bond us. Besides our Overseas Brats connection, she is also a breast cancer survivor of nearly 15 years! She has held my hand all the way through my breast cancer experience and encouraged me all the way. I thank God for her, for our connections and for this opportunity to see her. She is here this week for her Sasebo reunion! You may remember seeing Jo on the blog back when we were in Hawaii; she and her husband, Sam, came over and spent a memorable week with us. Jo is from Minneapolis; I visited her in the fall a couple of years ago just before I discovered my cancer.

Thanks to Nyquil and Daquil I’m doing better and better. I think rest helps, too. Today is much better than yesterday. If I feel as much better tomorrow as I do today then I’m calling it good and think a 3 day virus is past. Always the positive thinker! It’s more likely that this will inch down to my lungs and I’ll cough for 6 weeks, judging from the way my body usually handles these head viruses. However, I’m hoping the chemo ‘curled’ my normal reaction and I’ll be done with this in another day or so. I really don’t want it to go to my lungs because we know the radiation did damage there and I don’t want to test it! (That damage is a thing they know happens; it’s just a trade you make to be aggressive with the cancer.)

I’m diligent with my exercises. I’m raising cane all over Las Vegas and have the pulley and jiggler set up in our room. The pool here is on the roof of the 5th floor and it’s great for swimming laps. I’m going to be so spoiled when I go home and don’t have a pool for swimming. It’s easier to do my exercises when I don’t have so many chores to do like I do at home. I have a precious lade who cleans at home, so I should really get a better grip on no having so much to do. That’s a challenge for me. I sure thank God for the cleaning lady who does what really has to be done. I need to honor that and show my gratitude by not getting bogged down with so much to do. That’s my challenge and I promise to work on it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lizard and virus.

The picture today is of me and my lizard friend, yesterday at Snow Canyon. See him on the opposite side of the post from where I am? You can see here how long my hair is getting, too! This is longer than I ever let my hair get, but I’m seeing how it works with the curl. It’s curly everywhere except the right side right in front and it’s just regular hair for me. If Gretta were here I’m sure I’d ask her to cut it. We may go to her house for Thanksgiving, and if we do I imagine I’ll come home with a haircut.

In this picture you can also tell that I cover the right side of my chest when we’re at the pool; you can see that the right side is not as tanned as the left side. Maybe on a brave day I’ll have Don take a picture of how I’ve altered my swim suit, but I’m no swim suit model, so probably not! Linda, I need you to pose me!

This hair is so interesting to me. I can’t help but think if chemo did this to my hair, it’s no wonder that I can’t count or concentrate on anything; it curled some parts of my brain, too! The main point was to shrink the cancer and kill any roaming cancer cells. It did shrink the main tumors, so I pray that it also got anything that was roaming. So far as we can tell there is no cancer anywhere. I’m grateful that I was in good shape and strong enough to take the chemo without anything worse than curly hair and brain and ugly toenails. I’m so absolutely grateful to be able to wear shoes and walk and even hike! Curly hair and flat chested are fun for me. I’m sorry for women who have a hard time giving up their breasts; it’s just not an emotional happening for me, so I’m grateful for that, too.

I’m so pleased that I’ve learned to manage the gap in my teeth, too. I just sleep with a little band on my teeth and it keeps the gap gone. If I forget to wear it I’ll notice the gap coming back, but it goes right away when I wear the band again. I’m managing the lymphedema very well with exercises and the sleeve, too. The sleeve is a nuisance, but I can live with it.

We are staying at the Plaza until our time starts with our timeshare on Thursday. I’m really looking forward to that! The Plaza is okay, but it’s not nearly as nice as the condo will be. I’m so ready to wash our clothes, which we can do at the condo! Years ago we stayed at Gretta’s condo and we were hooked; we haven’t liked hotels since, but sometimes we have to take what we can get. I thank God that we usually have wonderful places to stay when we are away from home. We make good use of our timeshares.

When we got to Vegas Friday we found Jeanette all stuffed up with a virus Jessie was just getting over from the previous week. Well, I got it. This time last year it would have been a big deal because I didn’t have any immune system to fight it. My immune system is back up to par, so I’ll be fine in a few days. I spent most of this afternoon in bed since I didn’t have anything else to do and I thought rest would be the best thing for me. I feel good except for this head virus. I just hope it doesn’t go to bronchitis like it so often does with me. I’m ordering an herb to keep it from doing that and they’ll come to the condo.

I thank God for an immune system and herbs to fight off bugs!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Worship on the rocks!

This picture Don took today when we went hiking in the Snow Canyon. What a misnomer! It was HOT there! The mountains in one direction are white rock, so they look like snowy mountains from the distance. The rocks behind me are red, though. Notice the ripples in the rocks below my LEFT arm. That looks like swept sand, but it’s petrified sand. It’s as hard as rocks. You can see a white stripe through the mountain above my left arm; interesting, huh? Man, God does amazing things!

We hiked around as if we were youngsters and had a great time. We had a bunch of ice in the cooler in the car, so it saved our lives when we got back there and ate on it for the next couple of hours that it took to cool us! It was awesome to hike around in God’s pure handiwork, though. It was interesting how quiet it was out there. Don got another picture of me right beside a lizard; we’ll put him on the blog one day soon.

We had a great breakfast and visit with Jeff, Jeanette, Janelle and Jessie this morning before we took off for the mountains. We see so little of them, so it’s really fun to sit down and spend some time with them. We thank God for this time and for a great day in the mountains. It amazes us how much He always does for us and how varied His creativity is. We sure thank Him for keeping us safe as we climbed around the mountains and drove today!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

We're proud of 3rd place.

The picture tonight is Janelle, sitting by Don and holding a tiny puppy that one of the families brought with them to the tournament. Notice the red cliffs in the background! This town is built right up against these cliffs. Janelle is Jessie’s older sister. She will be 18 next month and is a senior this year.

Jessie’s team played hard and well today, but they got beat out today. They ended up taking 3rd place in the tournament and I’m sure they’re disappointed, but they should be very proud and pleased. We were! We loved sitting out in this awesome weather. It was hot and dry. You know they say that dry makes hot better, but it’s hot in the oven and I do my best to keep my head out of the oven. We ate many cups of ice to be able to tolerate the heat today and it worked. I’m sure it was much better than if the humidity had been way high. I think it was around 100 degrees and it was really very passable. We’re amazed at the stamina that these girls have! We're also very proud of their skills, and their spirit; they are an awesome group.

Tomorrow we’re meeting the kids for breakfast and then they will head for home and we’re going to tour around this area some. We plan to go to Snow Canyon and really don’t know what to expect. They tell us there are hiking trails there, so we expect to do some hiking and we expect to have a special worship session of our own in the very midst of God’s handiwork that is so unfamiliar to us. Of course we love the special areas of God’s handiwork at home, too. Tomorrow will be an adventure for us. We’ll head back to Vegas before too late tomorrow if we don’t get lost! Expect pictures of the area to be on the blog soon.

We thank God for this great time with Jeff, Jeanette, Janelle and Jessie as well as the adventure through this great countryside. We also thank Him for you!

Jessie plays a great game.

The picture tonight is Jessie playing second base at one of the games tonight. Notice the mountains in the background. It was nearing dark and I probably didn’t have my camera set right. Plus she was way far from me. She played a great game, we thought, and we loved watching them. They lost both games they played tonight, though. These were just pool games; the tournament games start tomorrow. We are really just so glad to be here and see them play. Jeff and Jeanette said they didn’t play well, but I was impressed, anyway. They had great spirit and spunk. They ran onto the field and off and they cheered each other all they way. I was impressed with all that; winning is worth a lot, but it isn’t everything.

We had a great trip here. It was a little over 2 hours to Vegas and then a couple more hours to St. George. We stopped in Vegas and Jeanette, Jeff’s wife rode with us as we followed Jeff and the girls. Another one of Jessie’s teammates rode with Jeff, as well as their dog, so Jeanette rode with us. That was a great time of visiting for us! Also the mountains were awesome as we came the whole way. I didn’t have the camera ready to take pictures, but I hope to get some on the way back on Sunday.

It so amazes me how different the various parts of our country are. God didn’t just throw this all together at random; it’s such a tremendous plan! The countryside is different; people are different. Wow! I feel tremendously blessed to get to see so much. I was blessed as a kid to get to grow up and see so much. Daddy was frustrated because we slept through lots of countryside as we went from place to place, but I caught a lot of it. I feel blessed to have been the daughter of a military man, too. We not only got to see lots around the country and the world, but we had patriotism built in. I am reminded of that especially when we go to our reunion from our second trip to Japan. I thank God for the life He has given me and all the people in it. Family and friends mean so much to me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Raising cane and monkeying around Laughlin.

Here’s a picture Don took this morning of the little old lady with her cane but in one of her favorite spots. I love the river walk where we can see the river below and the mountains in the background. This particular place has these monkeys holding lanterns, but the place is closed. Only the parking lot and the monkeys remain. I think the monkeys are cool, but the river and mountains are AWESOME! That's one of the monkeys BEHIND the fence! Across the river you can see Bullhead City, Arizona. We walk about a mile to breakfast and then we walk back along the river walk. It’s a great walk. We do that same walk for supper, but it’s HOTTER in the evening. Of course we could take the car, but we enjoy the walking and it’s good for us to get to do this much pleasant walking.

Tomorrow we leave to meet Jeff and his family in Vegas. Then we’ll follow them to St. George, Utah, where Jessie is playing in a fast pitch tournament. We haven’t seen her play in a couple of years, so we’re really looking forward to it. We’ll come back to Vegas on Sunday and stay at the Plaza for 4 nights; then we’ll move into our condo for the rest of the time.

We’ve had a really good time so far. I love this baking heat; it’s not Don’s favorite thing, but I’m loving it. Of course the air conditioning is great, too. The pool is wonderful; my arm loves the swimming and the compression the water gives. Again, I thank God for the opportunity to take this getaway, for the healing that makes it possible, the freedom to do it and Don’s support to make it possible.

Little old lady with the cane.

This picture was taken Monday when I was 'raising cane' in the house. It's really a hoot here, as I go about 'raising cane.' When I walk I wear those bands to support my knees. Then I wear this sleeve. I don't wear boobs when I walk because I don't want to get them all sweaty. I don't wear mascara, either. You just have to imagine the scene. It's bad enough when I'm just walking, but when I'm waving the cane in some exercise, people just can't help but stare. They really look at Don like he must be the person who keeps me from getting run over or something (He IS!)

When I first went to see my therapist she was advising us to eat organic food as much as possible and grass fed beef, etc.. She was so against fish because of mercury and very against chicken because they have been given steroids, etc. She said, those chickens aren't even like chickens anymore; they don't even have feathers! I think that's all pretty radical; I don't know if she's right or not. I don't do much meat at all, and I can't afford organic food, so I just do the best I can. I thought it was too funny today, though, when people were gawking at me. I told Don, they must think I'm a little old lady on steroids, like the chickens with no feathers. There I go with my legs banded on at the knee, no boobs, no make up and swinging a cane. They don't know what part of me should get the stare; some even turn and look back after they pass me. Actually, these people all look pretty silly stumbling around to get a good look at me, too. We are entertaining each other. (The really funny thing must be that I walk pretty fast. If I'm not swinging the cane or going up or down stairs I just carry it. It's great to lean on it if we have to stand in line. I just know they can't figure out 'what's up with that cane?')

The deal is that I'm feeling great and getting lots of exercise here. I loved swimming in the pool today! I continue to be amazed at these mountains here and this beautiful Colorado River. The humidity was about 10 today, so I didn't even sweat enough to curl my hair good even though it was 102! We are so enjoying some more of God's handiwork. We love home, but it's sure nice to visit this country sometimes. It'll be even better when we get to watch Jessie play ball this weekend! I thank God for it all, even the people who make me smile as they wonder 'what's up with the old lady with the cane.'

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Safe in Laughlin, Nevada!

We made it! Here I am at the laptop in the hotel room in Laughlin. We made it in 14 ½ hours! We had no snags. We got checked in and went to eat, then I began the process of getting connected. It was a technical bad dream, but not a nightmare, so I waded through it. It should be simple from this point.

As you see I didn’t wear make up or boobs today, but it was great for traveling. How wonderful to have options! If I’d worn mascara it would be smeared all over, so this was the way to travel. Don and I took turns driving and sleeping. Actually, I only drove twice for about 30 minutes each time. I got much longer naps than he did, so I’m in great shape. We did lots of reading and discussing of "The Shack" so we really enjoyed that. It’s a great book.

We’re thinking of staying up to watch Big Brother, as we like to watch that. It’s not on until 11 our time, which means it’ll be midnight our time when it’s over. I’m not sure we want to stay up for that. Anyway, I’ve got some exercises to do. I did all I could in the car, but there are some that require more room than the van gives. So, I’m out of here and giving thanks for a safe trip. By the way, we had great weather and the scenery was wonderful, too God so richly blesses us all! (Evelyn, we saw that cross and all the metal work you sent the other day; we didn’t stop, but we noted it as we passed it. We’ve stopped before and we were getting miles behind us today and only seeing what we could as we drove past.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Almost on the road; we plan to leave at 6 a.m.

Just a quick post, as I'm still doing the final packing. Here's a picture of me doing some work with the cane. I'll be going to Laughlin, Vegas and St. George, Utah to raise some cane, as Don calls it.

Bob Clark called today and asked what's the big deal about packing. Yeah, right. Guys just don't know. As Don says, we aren't like other people. Man, is that the understatement of the year! We take with us a health food store, a gym and clothes for a couple of weeks. I forgot about a wealth of books! Besides all that there are the t-shirts for the reunion and donations for the auction. It's a van full. We're almost ready. I just have to do the last of my exercises and then pack the gym and the clothes. Don has his clothes out and ready for me to pack. I have to get mine all ready. Everything is clean. All I have to do is remember to take what I need and then get it arranged in the right suitcases so that we don't have to take in everything everywhere we go.

Bob and Diana are coming to Vegas from Kazakhstan! They have a lot more preparations to make than we do. They've got to figure out how to get their tickets right. We just have to relax and drive to Nevada. We enjoy driving together and we have a book to keep us company. We've both read 'The Shack,' and we want to re-read it and discuss it as we go. I've got some mending to do as we roll down the road, too. Also I'll be doing lots of exercises to keep my arm from swelling. (The story of my life, anymore, it seems: EXERCISE!)

We measured my arm today and it has gone down in the last week. That's so good. I thank God that I can manage this lymphedema with exercise and the sleeve. I'm so grateful that I can take it off to sleep, too. I love climbing out of it!

Remember, I probably won't post tomorrow night. If I can connect when we get there I will, but don't be surprised if I don't make it on with a post until Wednesday. Thanks for keeping up with us and for caring. I'm feeling great.