Saturday, January 31, 2009

A great day for walking!

It was warm enough for us to walk around up here in the hills today. We had to stay on the road where the ice was melted, but we walked for over 50 minutes. It was a tough walk because of the hills, but it was wonderful to get out and breath the fresh air. Besides this great resort, there are some beautiful homes up here! This is a picture Don took of me as we were headed back up the final hill to our condo. Our unit is in the middle of that building behind me. Notice the pink rocks behind me. And follow the rocks over the top of my head up to a lone tree; behind the tree check out the red bushes. I don’t know what those bushes are but, I love the bright red stems! I came back after our walk and pruned one of the bushes so I could stick some of the red sticks in my vase. I made a cool arrangement. I’ll post it on the blog one day soon. I got a dried flower to go with it. I love this stuff! Thank you, God, for a beautiful day and beauty all over the place.

We’re watching commercials tonight! Then we may play some Boggle. Don says there’s nothing on TV after the commercials. We could have gotten a movie, but I think Boggle will be better.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Crazy woman in bubbles.

This picture is for the sake of honesty. My hair only looks worse than this when I get up in the morning. I really don’t go out in public with it looking quite this bad. I just took a whirlpool bath last night and got overrun with bubbles and it reminded me of the old days when I posted bubble bath pictures. I can’t even remember why I did that, but here we are again. I had lots of bubbles, so I called for the camera man! They must have really soft water here because I only used two blops of body wash to take a bath and then the whirlpool created this many bubbles! My hair is way longer than this; I have the back pinned up and the sides pinned back; it drives me crazy on my neck and face. Trust me, I don’t go out like this. I’m only using it tonight because I had computer troubles today and backed everything up onto the external hard drive. I’m using this and then ditching it.

I don’t know what’s happening with this lap top. Suddenly Picassa said it needed to be reinstalled. HUH? And me on dial up? That’ll take all night. Here we go, but I’ll get it done one way or another. I thought I’d better get the blog done before the whole thing crashes on me.

The ice and snow are melting a lot here. The roads look really good. The trees are naked, again, but there is still a lot of snow and ice around everywhere else. We rode the shuttle to the fitness center today and did our workout. Otherwise, we’re still staying close to ‘home.’ This time a year ago I was asleep in the hospital after surgery! Wow; what a year, but thank you, God!

Oh! Guess what! The vet that works at the barn with Joe had a generator in case he needed it for the animals and he didn’t need it, so Joe and Gretta are getting to use it! Praise God! I thank Him for this blessing!

OOPS! My show (Friday Night Lights; for some reason I like it.) is on. I’d better get with the program!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back to the '50's.

Night before last I washed my hair before bed and didn’t want to go to bed with it wet. I’d left my curlers in the car because there’s no point in using them here with all this humidity; it just frizzes up, anyway. I could have blew it dry and then rolled it, but they were in the car and the car was under a few inches of ice. So I pin curled it. YES! Pin curled it! I have never pin curled my hair in my life. My mother used to pin curl it, but I never did! I thought I even looked like my mother! So, I had Don take this picture of me standing out on our balcony so I could show off my pin curls and drawn on eyebrows. Ha! I need those eye brows, but I never can get them the same, so I worked hard on them since I didn’t have the help of hair.

Actually, it made me think maybe I like it better with nearly no hair. I can’t express how tempted I am to give up on this hair! I need to have Don take a picture of the goofy way I’m wearing it. It would embarrass Gretta to death, but she has no power, so maybe she’ll never see it. Ha. No, she’s staying at Gina’s this weekend and she’ll show her. I’m being honest, so I might as well post it, too. It didn’t look so great combed out. I pin the back up on my neck with bobby pins, so it looks shorter. Then I pin the sides back with bobby pins and pinch the top back with a clasp. It must surely look goofy, but I see people whose hair looks worse. It’s not crawling on my neck or falling in my face, so I’m content. I’ll get a picture and post it soon.

I’m so grateful for the use of my fingers so I could do the pin curls! I’m so grateful for hair! Even the curls are great, especially when they can just air dry. It’s wonderful when I work out and sweat and the curls revive. I’m just no good with the blow dryer. Breast cancer is a real problem but hair is not is how I see it. I thank God for life, family and friends. Thank you for loving me even with no hair or embarrassing hair. I pray that Gretta and Joe will have power quicker than the 10 days they’ve been told; wow, people need power. We’re so grateful that we’ve managed to keep it here. I thank God for Gina and Brian who welcome Gretta out there with them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Birthday bliss.

This is a picture of the birthday guy with his gift from Big Cedar. I think we should come here every year for his birthday, but I’m not sure I can convince him of that.

We’ve been really blessed to have power through all this ice. Many neighboring areas are out of power. I really don’t know what we’d do if we lost power, here. It’s not like we could move all our stuff because our car is iced to the parking lot. I guess they could cart us off somewhere, but we’d have to leave our stuff. It would be an experience that wouldn’t be fun; we’d probably learn more things we never wanted to know! So, I thank God that we’ve been blessed, again, with power.

The shuttle took us over to Big Cedar’s fitness room today. It’s so gorgeous to watch out the windows as we work out. We are so richly blessed to have this opportunity and to have it go so well for us. That was plenty of getting out for us. I should have brought boots (I don’t even have boots!) so I could go out hiking in this. But, it’s really too cold to hike. Dana, you might be tough enough to go out and get pictures in this, but I’m not. I have a few pictures and I’ll get them on the blog here and there.

I thank God that I can even work out! I was scheduled for surgery a year ago today, but they postponed it because of a fluke in my ultrasound. When they realized the ultrasound was okay they proceeded with the surgery on the 30th and all was well, but it was frustrating. Let’s put it this way: we weren’t relaxing at a wonderful resort. We were blessed to have a wonderful apartment where we could spend that time. One time Don said, "This is almost like being in a condo." I had to smile. It did have it’s similarities, but it was way more rugged than this time in this condo! God love him!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Don!

Today was Don's birthday and we celebrated the 44th anniversary of his 25th birthday. We celebrated by being iced and snowed into one of our favorite places. I thank God for him in my life and for our health! It's been beautiful to watch and wonderful that we didn't have to get out in it!

I did go to the fitness center and walked on the treadmill for a full hour. It was beautiful to look out the windows and watch the sleet. We only had rain and sleet until a while ago and it started snowing. We've had phone lines out, so I couldn't connect and I was giving up until I saw it was connected. Now, as I start to do this, I lost the connection, again. I'd better quit and get this posted if I can. No telling what picture I'll use; something quick. (It's me at the computer, here at Big Cedar.)

I'll have to post a picture tomorrow of the balloons Big Cedar sent up for his birthday! They sent a mug with hot chocolate mix, too, and a candy bar. How cool is that?

Monday, January 26, 2009

A layer of ice; we're snug and warm.

Don took this picture of me in my Vana White pose; I was ‘showing’ the fireplace and the deer above the fireplace. Trouble is that Don didn’t get all the deer into the picture. You get the idea; you see the fireplace, a portion of the deer and a fish above my head. It’s pretty awesome here. We’re enjoying it.

However, we went down this morning for an owner update. When we came back to our car there was a sheet of ice on it. We made it back to our condo with no trouble, but only because it wasn’t far! We haven’t ventured out another time. I didn’t even call the shuttle to come take me to the fitness center.. I could have done that, but I really wasn’t braced for the cold even to get a ride there. I kept thinking the shuttle driver could wreck and I’d still be stuck in the bitter cold. I just wimped out and figure I can be strong tomorrow. I can do all the exercises here except for the walking. If I wasn’t a wimp I could go walk the halls (outside), but I’m still not braced for this kind of cold. I may take a little hike down the halls in a while, though. That sounds possible as I type. There are four flights of stairs I could go up and down for exercise, too. It’s all under roof, so it’s not slippery and there are hand rails. I’ll consider that. I really like to get lots of exercise, but cold is one thing and bitter cold is another. Anything under 30 is pretty bitter in my book; if the wind isn’t blowing it may not be so bad, though. I’ll report tomorrow.

I’m really enjoying being here. I had chili frozen, so we’ve been eating that and it’s perfect for this cold weather. Their soap smells so good. (Linda, their soap and their lotion smells like that candle you got for us! I had that candle burning on the table and even after I blew it out I kept smelling that fragrance. I thought, "Man, that aroma sure holds!" Then I realized it was the soap and lotion on my hands that made me keep smelling it. What a wonderful treat for 3 months! I can save my candle for home!)

Tomorrow is Don’s birthday and they sent up a gift bag with 2 happy birthday balloons on it. Inside the bag was a Big Cedar mug with a package of hot chocolate and a chocolate candy bar. It sure a nice gesture. I thank God that Edith and Boone decided to have a second family and had Don and Doris! They have both been such a blessing in my life. God works in mysterious ways and I love the concept of family that He designed for us.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Resting on the bridge.

This picture is one from our hike last Thursday. Wow! Warm days are history, now. It was 20 degrees here today and there was snow on the road when we checked out of Westgate! We didn’t have any problems, though, getting to church and then getting out here at Big Cedar. We managed to get checked in by 2, so that was good. I had chili I only had to thaw for supper, so I’ve been able to work on getting us settled. I’ll get some pictures of this place to post soon, but haven’t had time to do that, yet.

I’ve got to do all my exercises for today and then I’m going to be ready to go to bed early. This has been a full day.

I thank God for taking care of us. Gretta broke a tooth yesterday (it just fell apart as she was eating) and her dentist and his wife came into the office today and fixed it for her. She thought she was going to lose the tooth, but he was able to save it. Then he only charged her $139! I was so pleased for her. Of course she sold his daughter a house and was really good to her, so he was returning the favor. It’s sure encouraging when people go out of their way to be so good to us! I thank God for encouraging people!

Make this week a great one and smile; I read this week that a smile is the cheapest face lift. Gotta love those bargains!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ready to go to Big Cedar tomorrow.

Tonight’s picture is from our hike on Thursday when it was so warm. This was the beginning of the hike, so I was in pretty good shape. You can see that the trail went right along the lake. The other pictures had the woods in the background, but on this side of the trail was the lake. In all the seasons except winter, the lake wouldn’t be so easily seen, but there are many trails down to the lake if anyone wants to hike down to it. I really fell in love with this hike. There are lots of picnic areas and nice public bathrooms, even. Of course in other seasons there will be lots of people here and we only saw about 40 on the 4.4 mile hike; I think 4 were on bikes. There were about a dozen fishing and picnicking. Up by the restroom they have a playground and there were people there playing. There was a fire going in a fire pit and folks were huddled around it all wrapped up like it was winter. There were Don and I in our shorts. Of course it was winter, but it was also over 60 degrees. I guess if you were sitting still a fire would feel good, but we were plenty warm with our walking.

Today we did our last workout over at the fitness center. Tomorrow we move out to Big Cedar. They have a couple of awesome fitness centers out there, so we’ll have to find what we like best and start working a new plan. After our workout I laundered all our clothes and packed, so we’re starting clean tomorrow. We left out our church clothes and have everything else packed. Lots of it is already in the car. We’ll eat an oatmeal breakfast here and then check out on our way to church. We’ll eat lunch and grocery shop after church and then go out to Big Cedar to find our new home for the next 3 weeks.

Big Cedar is really nice, so we’re looking forward to it. Everything has been really nice since we’ve been here, but Big Cedar is special. The guy who started Bass Pro Shops built Big Cedar. It’s a real Ozark Wilderness experience, except it’s very deluxe. They have a cookie lady who comes by every night bringing cookies and coffee; just that kind of touch is nice. Everywhere you look is a stuffed wild animal or a fish on the wall or a set of antlers. I’ll get some pictures and post them to share while we’re there.

God is so good to give us this time, whether we’re at home or traveling. I thank Him for extra time on my life. I know I am so richly blessed. Thank you for caring to follow us in our experience, too. I pray that sharing our experience is helpful to someone.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Revolutionary Road is a zero.

This picture is made on our trek yesterday. This was the hike after the 4.4 mile hike. You can tell I was pretty frazzled. Check out all the details in the picture, though. In the center on top of the hill is the Chalet; to the left of that is the dam that makes Tablerock Lake. Directly behind my head and to the right is the trout hatchery. Level with my elbow and over to the right is a little falls where they let fish out from the hatchery. See the 5 guys standing in the water fishing? I just love this stuff! Where the guys are fishing looks like a river, but it’s Lake Tanycomo.

It’s a good thing we walked so much yesterday because we didn’t walk at all today. I got up and felt icky, so I went back to bed for a nap. After the nap I was fine, but I thought I’d better not push it and go walking. I did all the other exercises, but left off the walking since I did so much yesterday. I’ll go back to the fitness room tomorrow. I feel fine, now. I think I just needed more rest this morning.

This afternoon we went to see Revolutionary Road. It was a total waste; we’d give it a 0 on a scale of 1-10.

I’m going to bed early tonight and hope to give this body lots of good rest. I think I need it after the battering I gave it yesterday. Tomorrow I’ve got to get us packed to move to Big Cedar on Sunday after church. We’ll pack up and check out before church and then go out to Big Cedar to check in after church.

This getaway has been good for us. I thank God for the opportunity to do it. It’s been a blessing to have friends join us from time to time. We look forward to Steve and Mary joining us at Big Cedar. They’ve done Big Cedar with us before, so we’ll enjoy renewing old memories there. They’ve done lots of traveling with us. Steve and I have the same birthday, so we go all over celebrating our birthday. Once we went to observe the bat cave in Oklahoma and we’ve been to Hawaii with them twice. You may remember seeing them on the blog with their rainbow tree; they’re good friends from back when we lived in Oklahoma City. We look forward to spending some time with them.

We thank God for good health and good friends. Praise Him!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Huff, puff . . .

We had an awesome walk today! The temperature was 60 or maybe a little more, but there was no wind; it was sunshiny, so it was perfect for walking. We found a trail that is paved and nearly flat and went for 2.2 miles. We walked the whole trail and back, so that’s 4.4 miles. Then we walked some more, so I’m sure we walked over 5 miles. Whew! I’m exhausted, but I so thank God that we could do it! I thank Him for the perfect day and for the ability to do it.

We came home and went over to the fitness center and worked out with the weights. Then Don beat me in a game of Ping-Pong. By then I could barely stand, but he trusted me to give him a haircut! We had dinner and now I’ve got to jiggle and then I’ll be ready to curl up and watch a little TV before bed. I bet I sleep like a brick tonight!

Tom and Linda, we thought of you the whole way today. You would have loved that hike and we’re sorry we didn’t know about it sooner so we could have gone. We’ll know to go there the next time you meet us here. It was right along the lake. We got lots of pictures, so I’ll be posting pictures from this hike for a while. Today’s picture is so you’ll know how tired I was. This huge rock was along the trail, and I couldn’t resist leaning back on it. My back was so happy to have a rest!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Challenging 2009? My answer is to go with God.

This morning we went shopping, so Don took this picture before I got messed up from exercise, etc. I got a good buy on a dress coat on sale, so I’m good for years. I do not remember the last new coat I bought, so this is pretty special.

We came back and exercised and then Don beat me at Ping-Pong by something like 21-10. It was more sorry than usual, but more right that he won.

Everyone on TV seems to be so jubilant with the new president, but even the new president predicts tough times ahead. I don’t want to be a profit of doom, BUT, I am one of those people who insists on watching when they draw my blood; I NEVER turn my head or close my eyes. I insisted on being awake for childbirth and even my hysterectomy. I was too tired to be awake for the mastectomies; I was ready to nap through that! With that said, I like to know what is hitting me, whether I can do anything about it or not. So, Don had me read this article today and I share it with you, in case you are interested in what may be in store for our nation and lifestyle. This guy could be right about some of it at least; I hope he’s all wet.

I don’t know what we should do to be prepared. I have sworn off stress, so I have to say, ‘Que Sera, Sera, whatever will be will be.’ At least when it hits I won’t be blind sided. I trust God to lead us through whatever unfolds and I thank Him for that confidence and His promises.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ugly toe nails, but they don't hurt!

These feet aren’t pretty, but they get me 2-4 miles a day, so I’m so happy to have them. Maybe those toes are ugly because I walk so much? We’ll see if they stay ugly or if they grow out to be nice, again. I thank God that the neuropathy is minimal and I can wear shoes and use my hands!

Today I did my workout by myself because Don has worn some raw spots from working out too much. I think he was afraid to play Ping-Pong with me, again. Ha! No, I need to clarify that. I beat him and I’ll never forget it, but he really could have beat me in a New York minute. He’s so kind. He doesn’t slam the ball when he plays with me. I could never keep up with that, so he doesn’t do it. Isn’t that kind? We used to play tennis and I would only play with him if he played using his right hand, (He’s left handed.) so I could have a chance. I’m sure I never won at tennis, but I could compete as long as he played with his right hand. He uses his right hand in some sports, but it wasn’t his comfortable hand in tennis. Anyway, lest you think I’m really good or that he’s really bad, understand that we play with a ‘no slam’ rule.

I cooked meals today. I’m really grateful for a great kitchen that is nicely equipped for whatever I want to cook. We enjoy eating at home rather than eating out. Eating out is nice for a treat sometimes, but mostly we are grateful to get to eat our regular meals just like at home.

Thank you for keeping up with us. I know we get boring; especially when the picture I post is of my FEET! I want you to know that life after breast cancer is pretty good. I have no complaints and only profuse thanks.

Monday, January 19, 2009

An off day.

On the blog tonight is one Don took December 31st of 2007 when we were here in Branson. Raynie was almost 6 months old and I felt like I had hardly seen her. I had been on chemo the whole 1st 6 months of her life and I mostly had to stay away from kids because my immune system was so low I had nothing to fight off infections they often carry. I was so thrilled to get to hold her and she seemed to think it was so funny! I had on that same sweater tonight and Don took the other picture that I posted. The hair still amazes me, but I had way more fun with Raynie than I had making those Chex tonight. The blogger didn't post them in the order I explained, but you can see it right. I'm sure I was the one who did it wrong, but I can't figure out how to make it right; thanks for working with me!

I took an off day today. Don let me sleep until 9:30! I wasn’t sick. I just sleep until someone wakes me. He was reading, so there was no noise to wake me. We had breakfast late, since I was so late getting up. Then we did our workout, and I WON OUR PING-PONG game! I think I’ve never won before. I come close a lot, but I really don’t remember winning. Doris called right in the middle of our game and I think she was good luck for me.

We both read all afternoon and had chili for a late lunch. That was already cooked so that was easy! Then we just snacked instead of supper. How lazy, but it’s been a real vacation day. I’ve got to jiggle and then this day is done with a smile. I thank God for time to relax and a wonderful person to be my partner in relaxing. "Our" pond is still frozen, but it wasn’t bitter cold today; there was no wind, so that helped. The ducks aren’t around since the pond is frozen, but they’ll be back and I have treats for them when they return.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Judy was so right: I needed to fix that gap! She's right I need mascara and eye shadow, too!

I found the first picture taken last year when Judy met us at MD Anderson to plan for surgery. Man, I didn’t realize I looked so bad. I don’t think I felt that bad. I guess I was so glad to be alive and had great hopes. It’s always a joy to see Judy, too. I remember I was so freezing then! I was in Houston, INSIDE, and wearing a long sleeve shirt, a fleece jacket, a scarf and three hats. Man, I’m so glad the freezing days are past! That was before I ‘fixed’ the gap in my teeth, thanks to Judy, too. The next picture Don took today. I still can’t believe the hair! It’s nice to feel like putting on mascara and eye shadow, too; I rarely go without it. (When I told my 78 year old neighbor that even Don said it set off my eyes to wear the mascara and eye shadow, she said, "Oh! You’ll be wearing it every day then, won’t you!" I read in the Bible that younger women are to learn from older women, so I got THAT clue!)

I feel so good these days. I’m 60, so I get stiff when I sit for long and my knees and back ache, but they are both full of arthritis. I’m so pleased to be able to walk! Don’s up to his neck in football today, so I went to the fitness center and walked a whole hour on the treadmill and then did all the weights and my exercises, too. I feel so blessed to be able to do all I can do. I’m able to thread a needle and sew, which I couldn’t do a year ago. My toes are ugly (I’ll post a picture soon.), but they don’t hurt. I can’t jump, but I can walk and climb as long as I have a stick. I’m so thrilled! The weights in the fitness center I can set very low and then use them mostly for stretching. I’m grateful for the opportunity to use them and the ability to use them.

Some days my arm feels like a club and some days it hurts more than others. Some days my hand is puffy, but I can usually get it under control just with the exercises. Maybe if I can lose some weight that will help, but that’s a big order. I don’t know of anything else that will do much for my arm. But, it’s not the end of the world and breast cancer could have been. I’m pleased to have made the trade of lymphedema for breast cancer. I can get out amongst people; I can move around easily; I have lots of curly hair and I’m learning to manage it a little; I feel free, blessed and alive. I thank God!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Imagine them smiling!

Today’s picture is Gabe, Tricia’s second son. He is 14. All her kids love to draw and are good at it, but Gabe is INTO it. He also plays the guitar and he plays music this old grammy loves to hear. It’s a treat when he gets out the guitar and plays. Of course smiles are forbidden, but I’m so thrilled Trish captured Gabe and Nate for pictures. We are so very proud of these guys; they are so neat. If you like these pictures, you ought to see them smile!!!

Today has been such a cool day. Actually, it’s much warmer outside and the pond is thawing! We did our exercises this morning and the rest of the day we’ve both been reading. I love reading! Don usually reads financial or healthy material, but we’re both reading fiction today. I love the quiet, too! He almost always has the TV on something, but today is quiet. I feel blessed!

When I thought the computer was crashing on me earlier this week I hurried to move all my pictures to the external hard drive. So all I have on the computer is the new pictures that Trish sent of Nate and Gabe. I feel like I’ve had a good game of canasta with them today because every time I look at the computer one of them is here with me. I have my screen saver set to go through my pictures, and those two guys are right here with me; I love it and thank God for great guys in our family. Don’t you know Trish and Rob are so proud of them!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Grammy loves this big 'kid.'

Tonight’s picture is Tricia’s oldest, Nate. He'll be 17 in 2 months. He just got his Civil Air Patrol haircut yesterday and I asked Trish to get a picture of it for me. I LOVE short haircuts! Of course I love this ‘kid,’ too! It seems like yesterday that he was the only one she had. We are so proud of him. You know smiles don’t go with military haircuts so he had to keep this very serious face. Man, he looks grown up to me!

We hung pretty close to the condo today because it’s WAY cold here! I think it was 12 degrees or something like that. We went over to the fitness center and exercised. Then we went to Wal-Mart and the grocery store and got some things we thought we ought to have. We should be good for days, now! We actually had snow covering the roads this morning, but it didn’t cause any problems with traveling. I think it just blew off when anyone drove on it.

I’m so thankful for wonderful and healthy grandkids. You often see pictures of the babies, but the rest were all babies once and they are all just as special as the babies. They’re harder to capture in pictures. We have so much fun with the bigger ones. They all become such fine people. We are bursting with pride and thank God for them. Tomorrow night I’ll post Gabe’s picture on the blog. He has a fresh haircut, too, but not so short as Nate’s.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Precious memories and profuse thanks!

The picture tonight is from last year when Ruthie and Phil were here with us. Actually, that’s not Don in the picture; he’s taking the picture of us with the bear at Big Cedar. Linda, I found a shot of Ruthie and Phil with the whole, huge Christmas tree; I think I’ll go ahead and put that on there, too, so you can see how huge that tree was.

I hate that Ruthie and Phil have been battling a nasty bug and haven’t been able to join us, yet. Maybe they can come, yet, but so far they don’t feel secure health-wise to make the trip.

Last night Windows did some kind of update on the computer, so it was shutting down when we got up this morning. The computer was stuck in that mode, so I didn’t know what was happening. I was afraid the computer was crashing on me, so I got out my external hard drive and backed up everything I didn’t want to lose as soon as I got it going again. That gave me the opportunity to rummage through some old pictures, and I found these that I used on the blog today.

Man, so much has happened in the last year. This time last year I was longing for hair; little did I dream that I’d get curls! I felt pretty good, then, because I was done with chemo and on my way to surgery and radiation. I’d forgotten how good it feels to really feel good. I go all day without a nap nearly every day, but I sure had to have naps then! I was so glad to be able to see people I loved after being shut up due to chemo. This year I can go anywhere, even in crowds! I’m still a nut about washing my hands, but I’ve been so blessed to be healthy. I thank God for the recovery that I’ve enjoyed; for hair and even curls; for energy and apparent healing. I thank Him so for family and friends!

My toes are still ugly, but they don’t hurt. My fingernails are fine and my fingers can hold onto everything; I can sew and write. I really feel so blessed! I’m learning to be a curly headed person. Look in that picture from last year; I was wearing two white hats and a pink one plus two shirts and a coat. I was a freezing, bald person. This year it’s so much better and I sure give thanks! Woo hoo! (Ruthie and Phil, come join us at Big Cedar; the bear is still there, although not dressed for Christmas and the tree is gone.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A green pumelo venture!

The picture on the blog tonight is one Don took the night before Tom and Linda left as we were eating a pumelo. A pumelo is supposed to be sweet, but this one was very tart! See the one on the bar? They were too green. I had never had any that weren’t sweet, so I was shocked when Tom took the first bite and wrinkled up his face. I thought he was pulling my leg. It was pretty funny; another fun memory! I had them in the fridge, but I’ve got that other one left out on the bar in hopes that it will ripen.

Today was a really lazy day. We did out exercises (I’m so glad we have the fitness center, because it’s too cold to be walking outside!) and then came back to the condo. Don has been working on taxes (!? He’s obsessed; bless his heart.) I spent the day reading a book and calling to check on friends back home. I’ve got a pot of chili cooking so we’ll have it for tomorrow. It’s supposed to be really cold tomorrow, too.

My dear friend, Ann Nelson, who you’ve seen pictured on the blog and who posts from time to time started our day of bright with a phone call this morning. She broke her hip on December 19th and she’s been recovering. I thought I hadn’t heard from her because she was so busy with the holidays, but she’s had a tough holiday season. Bless her heart. I was so glad to hear from her and glad she is doing better, now.

I thank God for friends and family who mean so much in our lives. I thank God for Ann and her husband, Jim, and pray that He will give them courage and strength through her recovery. I thank Him for cell phones and the Internet so that we can all keep in touch, too. I was terrible at keeping in touch with people through snail mail! Modern communication conveniences are wonderful for me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tom and Linda are home, and safe. Thank you, God.

This picture is from the other day when we were hiking. I was smiling big, then. Today has been okay, but it was sad because Tom and Linda left for home. The good thing is that I talked to Linda around 7 and they had just gotten home. I’m so grateful that they got home safely, but we sure miss them!

We had a good day, but we just missed them. They are so like family and we don’t see them often, so it was hard to see them go home. We had breakfast with them before they left and then Don and I went over and did our exercises. They’ve been doing that with us, so it was just different without them. It’s like Linda always helps me load the dishwasher, etc., and I was back on my own after they left. I always do it on my own, so it’s not that I need the help, but it’s just that I enjoy her company. I sure thank God for good friends and opportunities to stay in touch and spend time with them.

After our exercises and cleaning up, we took a nice nap. Then we went grocery shopping and then came home and did laundry. I just remembered that I forgot to put the last load into the dryer. Ugh. Okay, it’s in there, now. Luckily it’s the load I want to get out before it’s dry to dry on hangers, anyway. That saves the ironing. I’ll get it all out and hang it up after I brush my teeth and do all the bedtime rituals, like the neti pot, etc. So, things are back to regular around here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Great times with great friends.

Tonight’s picture is one I took of Linda and Tom the other day when we were hiking. I’ve carried the camera around all over with me, but I keep forgetting to take pictures. Ugh.

Tom and Linda are going home after breakfast in the morning, so we’re enjoying our last night together. We sure hate to see them go; we'll really miss them! We went to see Doubt today and then went shopping. Then we closed out the day with supper at the Cracker Barrel. It was a great day.

I’m not going to spend our visiting time on the computer, but I wanted to report that all is well and we’re having a great visit. I thank God so much for this special time with these special people. How wonderful to have the health and opportunity to do this.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday visiting.

The picture tonight is one Linda took Friday of Don and Tom and I when we were hiking. It was warmer again today, but not that warm. It was just warm enough that Linda and I could go shopping after lunch. The guys stayed in the condo and ‘played football’ all afternoon.

While we were at church this morning the cleaning crew came and cleaned our unit, so it worked better than last week. Last week we had to go watch football in the activity center so they could clean. When we got home today we finished up lunch and sat down and ate it.

We continue to have a really good time with Tom and Linda. We really feel so blessed to have this time with them. I thank God for folks who can take the time to join us as we play. I hope you will take time to play with folks you love, even those who are close to home.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cold in Branson, but Tom's chili hits the spot!

This is the picture I took of Don and Tom at the top of the falls that we hiked to see. We enjoyed that hike and I’m sure glad we had a day warm enough to take the hike. It was COLD today!

We did our exercises in the fitness room this morning after breakfast and then cleaned up and went to the movie this afternoon. The movie we wanted to see was sold out, so we bought advance tickets for the next show and took off to Branson Landing. We also did some shopping at my favorite card shop in downtown Branson. It was COLD but we scurried around and had fun while we waited for the next showing of Clint Eastwood’s movie, "Gran Torino." It was another good movie. The language was strong, but for this movie it helped to make the point.

Tom had made chili a couple of days ago, and we’d saved it until the weather was cold and the seasoning had set well. Today was the perfect day for perfect chili! Yum! We ate that when we got home from the movie. Then we traded card tricks and now they’re watching football. Terri, wait till I show you Tom’s card trick!

We’ve had such a good visit. Tom and Linda are leaving Monday because they want to stop on the way home and visit with another friend. I’m hoping she isn’t home or it’s not a good time and they’ll get to stay another night. It’s been a wonderful time, though, so I thank God for it and ask for Him to see them safely home whenever they have to leave.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lambert's Throwed Roll Cafe.

Here is the picture Don made today of Linda and Tom and I coming up out of the woods. We were so pleased to find they had cleaned up the falls we took them to see! They had a construction mess down there the other day, so it was natural looking today. I got a picture of Tom and Don on top of the falls, but I’ll post it another day.

This morning Linda and I did a little shopping. Then we had lunch and then hiked to the falls. After our hike to the falls we went to the Trout fish hatchery; we loved that! After that we came home and cleaned up and then went to Ozark to eat supper at’ Lambert’s Throwed Roll CafĂ©.’ (About 35 miles from here.) Oh, man! The rolls were delicious and so was everything else. We’re all stuffed, now. I’ve got some more exercises to do before bed. I think I might not dare to swim; I might sink after eating so much!

What fun we are having. God is so generous to give us this time and I thank Him.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

OU Football!

The picture tonight is Linda and Tom in the kitchen cooking with me. We are having the best time! We got finished with dinner and it's FOOTBALL for all of us! We're hanging in there hoping OU can pull out a win.

We went to see Benjamin Button today. It was a great movie!

Tomorrow we're shopping. It's so sweet to spend time with old friends! Thank you, God, for this precious time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Woo Hoo! They're here!

They’re here! They’re here! The tours have begun! Here’s proof; we took them out to the overlook and here's our picture! This is Linda and Tom Rose, our friends from Tennessee. Tom and Linda and I graduated together and they came over and spent a couple of weeks with us in Hawaii.

I’m not going to write much, because we’re visiting! Thanking God for their safe trip and our friendship!

God bless!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I 'fixed' the phony fireplace.

This is a picture Don took today when I was putting wood into our phony, electric fireplace. I asked him if he wanted to go to the woods with me to collect wood for the fireplace and he said, "No, I’m not going to be any part of this." It’s cold here and it’s perfect for a fireplace. We have a fireplace, but it’s so phony looking. It’s kind of okay, but all around the edges I could see light and that was a dead give away that it was so fake. When Bill and Olya were here they suggested that a few pieces of wood to cover the light would do the trick. Well, I was sure up for THAT! So off I went wearing my Crocks and a Wal-Mart sack to collect wood. Yep, that’s me: a real lumberjack! Ha! The fireplace looks better and I’m content. I’d like to be here when someone notices it; that’ll probably NEVER happen.

Today we had breakfast and then went over to the fitness center to walk. I walked the whole hour and then we played Ping-Pong (My spell checker says it’s supposed to be spelled like that.). I led the whole game and then we tied at 19 and Don beat me! That rascal! It was a wonder I could even play after walking for an hour on the treadmill. It was fun. We love Ping-Pong, but he always beats me. (That hair you see in the picture is what it looks like after swimming last night and then sweating it way wet again this morning; I am constantly amazed at the ringlets. I've only rolled it twice [for church; I didn't want to throw them into complete shock] since we've been here; it doesn't last long. The humidity takes over and it goes 'boing!' If the humidity doesn't get it then swimming and sweating will!)

Today was laundry day, so we’re all ready for Linda and Tom to get here tomorrow. I’ve talked to them and they’re on their way. They’ve stopped for the night and will drive the rest of the way tomorrow. We’ll expect them soon after lunch. My nose is already glued to the window watching for them!

I thank God for precious friends and family. I thank Him for the Rose’s safe travel, too.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Winter is working fine.

Today’s picture is one I took when Bill and Olya were here with Sonia and Sasha. We went out to Big Cedar and I took this picture of the girls with the big bear in one of the lodges. Sonia is 8 and Sasha is 5.

Today was cold, but a great day. We got up and went to the fitness room to walk first thing. I walked for 25 minutes and then came back and made breakfast. Then I went back to bed and had a nap for an hour and a half. Now, I love that kind of day! I walked up to the woods and recovered the second walking stick I picked up for Tom the other day. I’m sure they think I’m a loon if they’re watching me. You know, swinging my cane everywhere I go and gathering walking sticks. If it doesn’t get warmer we aren’t likely to be hiking, but I wanted to have the sticks just in case. After supper I went back over to the fitness room and walked the rest of my hour and then went swimming. The pool is so great when it’s not full of kids. I love it when it’s full of MY kids, but it’s crowded when other people’s kids are in it. HA!

I’ve got a few exercises left to do, but there’s time. Tonight is big football for Don.
I am so thankful to be able to do the exercises; to be able to walk and hike and swim. What a blessing and I thank God for the ability and the opportunity.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Warm was so nice!

Here’s another picture of me climbing yesterday with my cane in my left hand and the stick I’d picked up for Tom in my right hand. I am a huge fan of hiking sticks! In our trip before the last one in Hawaii I ordered a real hiking stick from Australia for hiking in Hawaii. I should have brought it with me, but, I forgot it! A good stick is always in the woods calling me, though. I didn’t go back and get the other one today; it was too cold. I’m sure nobody else got it. If it’s too cold for me, I know it’s too cold for everyone else. Nobody comes to Branson to hike except us. Ha!

We went to church this morning and then meant to spend a quiet afternoon at home. Not. The cleaning people came and said they had a rule that they couldn’t clean while we were here. We didn’t plan to go anywhere! We wanted them to put on new sheets in the ‘guest’ side of our unit and replace all out towels, plus vacuum, etc., so we went over to the activity center and watched the football game. Luckily we’re about the only ones here, so Don got to watch whatever he was watching; I did some exercises and read a book. It was nice to come back to a nice, clean unit, but we’ll schedule it next week for while we’re at church. They don’t have many people who stay over past their week, so this was new for all of us. I’ve got some more exercises to do, but I’m skipping walking today. I could go down and walk on the treadmill in the fitness room, but I’m just taking an off day from walking.

I thank God for an off day. I know He gets it because He took Sunday for rest. I won’t backslide because I know the walking is too good for me. I think Don and I are going to get up and walk on the tread mills first thing in the morning. He did that today but I had too much to do to get ready for church so I did the maintenance thing while he walked.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yep; we climbed all over that hill.

The picture on the blog tonight is one Don took of me as we were climbing back up the hill on our hike today. I was so glad I had my cane with me. I remembered that when we were in Hawaii and hiking with Tom and Linda, he said what a help a walking stick was. I thought they might want to hike down that trail, so I picked up a stick for him. Boy, was I glad! I used his stick AND my cane to get around the hill and it sure helped. I picked up another stick for him since I’d taken over the first one. The extra one became cumbersome, so Don suggested I throw it over into the woods and go back and get it tomorrow. I hope it’s there; surely it will be because nobody was back there hiking but us. It was near the beginning of the trail, so I don’t have far to go to get it.

We hiked around for about an hour and I’m bushed! I think it’s from the cooking I did after we got home, not the hiking. We went grocery shopping and they had chicken breasts and tenders on sale (about half price), so we bought 12 pounds of chicken. I came home and cooked it all in the oven. Of course that called for me to clean the oven. (As Don said, I didn’t have to clean it because they’re coming to clean tomorrow, but my mother made me do it. She’s been dead over 20 years, but only her body is gone; she’s right here with me and there’s no way I’d leave that oven a mess for someone else to clean!) They had foil on the bottom, so it wasn’t that big a deal except that I’d just sliced all that chicken and layered it on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Tomorrow I’ll put it into plastic bags to get out and use for single meals. It feels good to have plenty of chicken done which will probably last us for the rest of the time we’re here.

Everyone except us has checked out and gone home, so when we walked by the pool it was empty. That’s my clue to go swimming. I love it when there is nobody but me there. I’ll go swim and make my arm happy. Then I’ve got some more exercises to do before bed, but I’m going to go to bed as soon as I can. My body is so ready for rest!

We had a wonderful visit with Bill and Olya and the girls. I sure thank God that they could come and join us for a couple of days. The time flew, but it was sure fun.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fun, fun, fun!

Tonight’s picture is one I took of Olya, Bill, Sonia and Sasha at the overlook with lots of Branson in the background. It’s been such a fun visit.

Today Bill and Olya went shopping and the girls babysat us. Don took them to the activity center for an ice cream social and that worked well. Then I took them to the playground and they played while I walked. We’re all tired, but it’s been fun. Tonight they all went to the Landing and we hung out at home. The ducks have been a hit; we found out they must be Italian ducks because they liked uneaten pizza crusts.

We’re headed out to the pool again. I thank God for great times to build great memories. I also thank Him for good health for all of us!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Grandkid fix!

The picture on the blog is Sasha and Sonia, who were singing Christmas carols to us tonight. It was so cool. At home they went around town and sang for several people and we missed that, so they treated us when they got here.

It’s fun to have them join us. We went out to Big Cedar this afternoon just to see the animals and decor. Then we came back home and Olya and I took the girls over to the pool. I was going to swim with them, but there were 13 people in the pool. That’s too much activity for me, so I sat on the side with Olya and we enjoyed chatting. We’ve never been here in the winter when there are gobs of people, but this place is loaded. I guess it’s because it’s still holiday break from school, so lots of people did what we did. It’ll be quiet next week and I’ll feel more at home.

I thank God for wonderful friends. We’re so blessed that they could come to join us. Tomorrow Olya is going shopping and the girls and I will have some fun playing cards; we may go swimming, again. I’m sure Bill and Don will be enjoying football. It’s good for Don to have a buddy for the games; we’re having a great treat!