Monday, November 30, 2009

Iodine is very interesting.

Tonight's picture is one I took of Sadie and Raynie looking off a bridge when we went to the reserve Friday. We were hoping to lure turtles out by dropping crackers, but I guess it was too cold for them. We've done it before, but it didn't work this time. We had lots of fun hiking around and finding lots of other animals, so it was a good adventure.

Today was cold this morning, but it warmed up enough that Don and I got in another walk after lunch. We started the day with meeting David and Dorothy at the Kozy Diner for breakfast; that's always a good start! I thank God that David continues to respond to medications when he gets the infections that seem to always be around the corner for him. He had a fever last Tuesday and started on antibiotics; he was able to participate in their family's Thanksgiving festivities and made it to church yesterday, lunch here with us, and then breakfast this morning. God is great!

I worked on some computer jobs today and I've done some reading to catch up on mail we got over the weekend. In the back of my mind is the trip to Hawaii, so everything is pointing us in that direction. One of the things we got in the mail was some information I'd ordered about iodine and hypothyroidism. My research is pointing to the possibility that these are connected to breast cancer as well as many other health issues. I will report more here as I learn more. If you know someone or are someone with breast cancer in your family, please do some research on iodine and stay tuned into this blog to learn more.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Always thankful.

Tonight's picture is too good to not post. It's Rob, explaining why Gabe and Mason are such handfuls when we go hiking! No kidding, Rob is a great guy to take hiking. He's pretty fearless, but he's also very careful and safe. I love this picture and his spirit!

Today was very chilly here. I even wore my COAT to church! I'm so happy to be packing for Hawaii! Cold is not my favorite thing. After church David and Dorothy came home with us and we had Thanksgiving leftovers. The leftovers are almost gone, so we can go back to regular eating soon.

It was a pretty relaxing day. I thank God for wonderful Thanksgiving visits and food, not to mention wonderful food all year and plenty of friends and family. We are so truly blessed. I thank Him for a good day of rest, too.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beds changed and laundry done.

Tonight's picture was going to be Grace (6) with the monkey she fell in love with this weekend. She was serious, but Mason (9) finds nothing sacred, so he was hamming up Grace's serious picture. It was too typical. I love the picture because it's a good sample of how much these two favor each other. Grace is usually as big a ham as Mason is; I'm happy to catch one of them being serious!

Things are sure quiet around here with everyone gone! I've got all the beds changed and all the laundry done, so I'm ready for bed. We've got lots of leftovers to feed us for a few days, so I won't be doing a lot of cooking.

We had a wonderful holiday and sure thank Trish and Davy and their families for coming and lighting up our lives! We thank God for their safe travels and for everyone's health!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy 'reserving.'

Left to right, this is Rob, Grace, Trish, Raynie, Sadie, Megan (Nate's girlfriend), Nate, and Mason sitting in the front. We had a really fun day at the reserve! Then we came home and played cards until bedtime.

We had to stand in line for an hour at Meers to eat, but it was worth it. Meers is a hole in the wall restaurant out in the middle of nowhere, but near the reserve. They have buffalo burgers as well as hamburgers, great fried okra, cobbler and ice cream, etc. It was built in 1901 and they've added on here and there, but, it would probably be condemned if anyone inspected it; it's a legend in itself. If you come to see us we'll do our best to take you to this 'must see' place, but we learned not to go on a holiday sort of day because it's way crowded!

It's been such a fun holiday for us to have Davy and Trish and their families join us. We thank God for all our health and everyone's safe travels.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

Here is a picture of Mason (9) and the dinosaur he made today. He's worked really hard making everything from this dinosaur to a chicken. Besides that he's learned to play Hand and Foot Canasta with us and he's also played Rummikub. He's been a busy guy and he's moved to a totally new level to play canasta with us. It's been really fun.

We went and got Floyd for dinner today. He brought a delicious apple salad he'd made. How about that? Here's a guy who broke his hip 2 months ago and now he can cook to share and get around without even a walker or cane. I'm so proud of him and thank God for his recovery! We loved having him join us and enjoyed playing canasta with him.

Tomorrow we're going to the reserve after breakfast. It'll be a fun day and I should get some good pictures to share.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This house is happy!

This is a picture of my shock for the day. This is Bruce, standing with Don. We just saw Bruce a couple of months ago and he was tall, but I think he's had a growth spurt. Don is 6' 1" and, clearly, Bruce is a tad taller. It just blew me away when he walked in!

We had a great time! I've got more pictures of Davy, Susan and Erica, but we'll do them one picture per day so that we don't bog down the dial up people. They had to leave before Trish and Rob and family got here, so we didn't all get to be together, but we got to enjoy them.

Trish and her gang got here and we snacked and played canasta. We'll eat big tomorrow, again. We ate turkey and dressing tonight with Davy and family, but we'll do it, again, tomorrow. Floyd is joining us tomorrow. I've got all new fresh food for tomorrow, then Friday we'll do the leftovers.

It's glory day here for us; we love all this family here. This house is saying, "Now, THAT'S what I'm talking about!" We used to all come here for Thanksgiving every year when Don's mom and dad lived here. I thank God for Thanksgiving and all for which we give thanks!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Every good and perfect gift . . . "

I took this picture of Kyle last month when we were in Indiana visiting. I think I interrupted him doing his homework. As soon as he finished we could play cards or Rummikub. Kyle and I are great card and game buddies. Kyle is Elise's big brother (Elise was pictured on the blog last night with Snowball.).

I did lots of cooking for Thanksgiving today. We've got 6 pies sitting on the kitchen counter. That's not a common sight around here, anymore. This will be a big treat for Don; he doesn't get much dessert; we've pretty must sworn off of sugar.

I thought of taking time off from the blog during Thanksgiving, but decided against it. I'll post pictures and keep the posts short because I don't have time to write and you don't have time to read. Let's just give thanks!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father . . ." James 1:17 We are so very blessed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Meet Snowball.

Tonight's picture is Elise, with her new puppy, Snowball. He's a Great Pyrenees, so he'll probably outgrow their other dog, Gazer, who is a white lab. They have the perfect place (a farm) for dogs, so Snowball is a wonderful late birthday present for Elise.

Today had been busy, but good. We even got to get in a walk because it wasn't too cold; brisk, but comfortable to walk in sweats and a shirt.

We're so looking forward to Wednesday when the family starts to come home. It'll be so special. Gretta and her family are going to Gina's for Thanksgiving, so it's nice to know that lots of the rest of the family is together on the other side of the country. I'm so glad they are close! We'll all miss Jeff and his family; Vegas is a long way from all of us. We'll be thinking of them and missing them!.

I should report to you that Ruthie continues to mend. It takes time to get over major back surgery, but she is coming along. God bless her! Her son and daughter are bringing Thanksgiving dinner to their house. It'll be a big day for her, but she can handle it. They'll do all the work, and she can just sit back and enjoy it. Family is wonderful. I thank God for all our families.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The wrestler: Garrett.

Garrett had his first two matches yesterday. He almost won the first one, but, alas, he didn't. The other kid looked to be about 6 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier, so it's a wonder he didn't get squashed. He won his second match. We think that's pretty amazing for a kid who never wrestled until a few weeks ago. We're pretty impressed. That's his biggest fan, Elena, there with him. Gretta said, she and Elena nearly screamed their lungs out! Elena was screaming, "Oh, no, G!" Then "Go, G!" She's convinced her "Bubba" hung the moon for her. He would have if he could have. Garrett will be 13 in a little over a week.

Today was a great Sunday. We got to hear our awesome preacher at two church services and I heard him again at a brief devotional at the nursing home. I am so amazed that we have been so blessed to have such a talent here in Hobart, America! I wish I could repeat all he teaches, but, alas, I do well to follow. I retain some great stuff. Tonight I was in awe at his description of how we are held together by love as described in the letter to the Colossians; how even when we disagree, we pull together because of love. I sure thank God for the blessing to have him in our midst and for giving us the blessing of love.

Have a good week and think about all the love in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving week.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gabe!

This day, 15 years ago, Gabe was born to Trish and Rob. Today he's hunting! Wow, they grow up so quickly! Gabe has always been a delight to the world. This picture I made when he met us at the door back in the spring when we went to visit. I hope he gets a deer this weekend, but if he doesn't I know he'll have a great weekend, anyway. He really enjoys hunting, but he pretty much makes whatever he does a great thing.

This blog is supposed to be about my life as it relates to breast cancer and the recovery, so from time to time I feel like I should report on something about that. The wonderful thing is that I don't feel like I'm recovering from anything. I feel really good. The lymphedema in my arm is not a big issue. I've found that it doesn't matter if I wear the sleeve or not, so I don't wear it anymore. I'm free from the sleeve. I still do lots of exercises, but not so regimented. As long as I'm very active and use my arms a lot, I think that's plenty of exercise. I do lots of stretching still: I really believe that's important. I do my best to walk every day, but I don't walk by myself because I'm so clumsy, and I fall without Don to hold onto me. That's crazy, but it's a fact. That has nothing to do with breast cancer. However, I believe that survivors walk, so I'm walking as much as possible. I must get 20 minutes of weight bearing exercise a day, but I get that around the house with no problem! The weight bearing exercise is important to keep my bone density strong because the Arimidex I have to take for 5 years is hard on bones. All in all, I feel really good and don't feel like a patient at all. So, most of the time I don't mention the breast cancer and this blog is just about life after breast cancer and my gratitude for this life! I thank God for blessing me richly, and I thank you for caring enough to keep up with me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Playing with Ethan.

The picture tonight is one Don took of Ethan and I working on a little puzzle when we were there visiting last month. It's so fun to play with the kids. Ethan and I did this puzzle several times, and we played a lot of Rummikub. We played a lot of Concentration, too. Ethan is a real whiz at that. Kyle is great at all the card games, and Elise is, too. Elise had her agenda pretty full with basketball and homework when we were there, but those were fun times, too.

Speaking of cards; we went out to Jo Ann and Frank's house tonight and played hand and foot canasta. It was a great night for the girls because we won all three games. Sometimes we get good cards and sometimes we don't, but this was one of the good card nights. Winning is especially fun, be we always enjoy it, even if we lose.

I got a lot done today toward our Thanksgiving meals. It's fun to get some done ahead, so I can visit and enjoy everyone here more when the time comes. I think back to the days of the Pilgrims and know they didn't have it as easy as we do! I thank God for things that make life more simple for me. The refrigerator, the microwave, the dishwasher, and hot and cold running water to name a few! Wow, how blessed we are!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanks for a picture of Deanna!

Tonight's picture is one of Deanna, our niece, whose birthday was yesterday. Her mom (Ruthie) sent me this picture. All the pictures I had are with Deanna in the background of a picture I was taking of one of her boys; this is a good one. Thanks, Ruthie; now folks can put a face with the name.

Today was a gorgeous day, so Don and I got to walk. When we got home he raked leaves and I sprayed our front yard for weeds. Then I bagged the leaves. I'm surprised I could do all that without coughing, but it was warm enough that it didn't bother me. I pretty much had to spray for weeds today while the wind wasn't blowing. We don't get many days in Oklahoma with no wind!

We shopped today for Thanksgiving meals, too. I've got my work cut out for me, but this is fun work. I'll do as much ahead as possible so there won't be too much work to do when everyone gets here. We're excited to have folks coming and we thank God for this opportunity and for the health to do it! God is so great!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Deanna!

The picture tonight is sweet Elena. She reminds me so much of when her mother was her age; I called her Blondie Fluff and it's hard not to call Elena that sometimes. I took this picture when we were there last month.

It was cold (20's!) this morning, but it got up to 67 and we had a great walk. It was good to get out and get the fresh air, as well as the exercise. Cooped up in the house is not a thing I enjoy, unless I'm working on a jigsaw puzzle or reading a book, and I'm not doing either right now.

I did some laundry today and some more work on the taxes. I'm also packing away some things for the trip to Hawaii, so that it won't be such a big deal to pack in 3 weeks. I'm also making my Thanksgiving meals shopping list.

Today is our niece, Deanna's birthday. She has 3 tremendous boys and a wonderful husband and she's all healed from her gal bladder surgery 2 weeks ago; she's pretty amazing and sings like a pro. I wish we lived next door, but wishing gets us nowhere; it's fun to dream. We used to live pretty close when her oldest was born and we sure loved seeing him lots! I thank God for treasured family and precious memories of times we get to enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A houseful for Thanksgiving!

Tonight's picture is a memory from our trip back to Franklin County with Tom and Linda Rose. Tom drove us around to all the old places where we used to go and even a couple where I'd never been! This is one where I'd never been, the natural bridge. Of course, the foliage was so beautiful that it made this place extra special. Can you find Don and I in the midst of all these leaves? What a fun memory; thanks, Tom and Linda!

Today has been too cold for me to walk and it's going to even be colder tomorrow. I hate not being able to walk by myself, but I couldn't go out in the cold, anyway, because the air makes me cough. My cough still lingers, but it has progressed to the point where it's just a silly tickle that nearly chokes me. This is exactly the way bronchitis always works for me. Thankfully, I don't get it often! I'll be so glad to be done with this coughing.

I am thankful that we have the power plate, which is a great machine for building my bones as it creates resistance training. It's one of the exercise machines that we actually use!

We have lots to give thanks for every day, but today we also got a note from Davy that he and his family will come here next week on their way to Susan's mother's house. Woo hoo! To have two of our kids and 8 of our grandkids here at the same time will be really fun! Some of the boys may be going hunting and not coming, so it may not be that good, but I can dream and I can be happy with whoever is here. God is so great to us!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Memories from the Indiana trip.

Tonight's picture is Gina, helping Elise with her homework. Elise plays on her 4th grade basketball team and she has piles of homework every day. She's a real worker. She is very diligent and has a really good work ethic. She works until she masters the job. Besides that she is very compassionate and tender hearted. We're very proud of her and treasure the memories of times with her, too. We didn't get to watch a game, but we got to watch a practice and we were very impressed with her and her assistant coach! (Gina!)

Today has been really cold here. They predict a freeze for us tonight, so I cut all my re-bloomers. My dear friend Joan called to offer me her re-bloomers, too, so I went and got them. My dining room looks like a funeral parlor with all these huge arrangements in it. Lots of them are just buds, but maybe they'll open and be really pretty tomorrow. I really love having fresh flowers when it's so cold outside!

I worked all day on books, aiming to get all that's possible done on the taxes before we leave for Hawaii. I'll have to do my company taxes while we're there, so I've got to have all my 'ducks in a row before we leave.

Trish called today to tell me she and her family will come for Thanksgiving! That'll be fun! We can hardly wait to have them all here. We don't get all bent out of shape over holidays; we celebrate whenever we can. But, it's fun to really make one happen on the right day sometimes! I wish all the kids could come at the same time once, but it's so hard to get everyone together at the same time. We'll keep working on it and it will happen sometime. In the meantime, we thank God for whenever any of us can get together.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shapes have to be just right.

Here is the picture I promised of Elena with her 'shapes' We had so much fun building the stack and then crashing it. The shapes have to be in place in the right direction or she will get all serious and say, "No." Then she fixes it. She's a third generation OCD (obsessive, compulsive disorder). She's a delight and we love the memories of times with her.

Today was a good day. We ate breakfast at the Wagon Wheel, which is a new restaurant in town, run by a young couple from church. Next week we'll go there after church for their buffet. Today the Future Teachers of America had a fundraiser luncheon at the high school, so we ate there after church with our neighbors, the preacher and his wife and three kids. We feel really blessed to have them here with us. He brings such a refreshing light to every topic he discusses. His family is precious, too. We thank God for them in our lives.

This afternoon I defrosted our freezer, which was long overdue. It's kind of a fun chore. It feels good to have it done. It's good to remind me what all is in there, too! I'm headed to bath and bed

I talked to Ruthie a while ago and she sounds stronger. She still has lots of pain, though. She goes back to her doctor on Wednesday this week; she's hoping he'll schedule her soon for the rest of the surgery so that she can get all of this into the past and move on with healing!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fun, fun times and people.

Does this look like a fun pair? It is! I think her name is Jessica, but she is Garrett's good friend, who lives near them by a house or two. She is a precious girl and I thank God for good friends like her in Garrett's life. (My hair looks like hers when I wash it, but I don't have enough neck to wear it down, so I always wear it up.) Garrett is Gretta's son and he'll be 13 next month. The friends I had when I was 13 are still my very best and dear friends, thanks to the Internet! We met two more of Garrett's friends when we were visiting there last month, and I was impressed with his selection of friends. Gretta and Joe are good parents, too. Their house is a fun place to be.

I especially loved it! Even grandparents have fun there! Tomorrow I'll post a picture of Elena stacking blocks (she calls them shapes). We had so much fun. I wouldn't take anything for the time we spent with the kids last month . . . or EVER! God is so good to give us family and health!

Tonight we're going to Jo Ann and Frank's house for an early Thanksgiving dinner with some couples from church. After dinner we'll probably play some canasta. More thanks to give: good friends are such a blessing!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Friday 13th!

The picture tonight is one Don took of Tom and me, with Linda's mother, Betty, in their beautiful sun room. We were thumbing through their old yearbooks, enjoying recalling old memories and friends. Linda's mother is a sweetie; I believe she is 93.

Today I changed our sheets and did 3 loads of laundry. Then after lunch Don and I walked, and then we came home and did the floors. He vacuumed the carpets and I swept and mopped all the hard floors. I had dusted and done the bathrooms yesterday. So, the house is in pretty good shape. Whew. I thank God we can still do this and I sure thank Him for Don to be such a great helper!

I talked to Ruthie today and she's had a really hard day, but she is better. She thinks she didn't rest enough yesterday; it's so hard to know how much to push and when is too much! Anyway, she is recovering, just slower than she wishes. She's really ready to have the other surgery and be done with it all. I can only imagine. Bless her heart! Thank you for your prayers for her. She's tough; she'll heal. I hope that next September she'll be up to a trip to Washington DC with Don and I for our high school reunion. (Itazuke High School; Ruthie graduated there.) It'll be great to celebrate her being able to travel, not to mention a great reunion!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Precious memories.

You know, memories are fun. The picture tonight is one I took of Don when he and Phil and I were waiting while Ruthie was in surgery. We expected her to be in surgery for about an hour and it drug on for 3 hours. We had to get up at 4 that morning to get to the hospital, so Don took this opportunity to take a nap. Actually, I was sitting across from him, asleep in my chair, too! Phil had a pager on and it buzzed and he woke me up to tell me he was going to check and see what they had to tell him. So I jumped up and followed him, but my leg had gone to sleep and I crumpled on the floor! The floor was carpeted, so Phil didn't hear me crumble and he kept on going. Don was sitting there sound asleep. Two other gentlemen jumped up to check on me to see if I was okay and all the women in the room swooned and said, "Is she okay?" Of course I was embarrassed to death and jumped up and stumbled over to follow Phil. I think they were telling him that she was doing fine; anyway we had to keep waiting. It was so funny to tell Phil and Don that I had fallen and neither of them even knew it. I was still wearing bruises on my chin from the fall I had taken in the street. I twisted my ankle on that fall in the hospital an it still pangs sometimes, but that was the only injury from that fall. (Don is walking with me every day, so he saves me from falling a lot. I stumble around a lot; one foot or the other just seem to get in my way!) Anyway, I smile every time I see this picture, recalling my embarrassment.

I talked to Phil today and Ruthie is doing a little better. They have made some adjustments in her medication, and that seems to be helping. Plus, I think time to heal helps some, too. Thank you for your prayers for them. I'll be so glad when I can report that they've been able to get in the car and go somewhere for fun. They're looking forward to that day, too! God will bring it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day!

This is Floyd Johnston, a Veteran we know and love. I've mentioned him on the blog many times, and he has recently recovered from a broken hip. I wanted to report to you that he is doing very, very well. He is at home, where he lives alone, and he is doing so well. He uses his walker some, but he is able to get around his house mostly on his own. It was a difficult recovery, but he hung very tough and worked hard and he's doing so very well. Besides the broken hip, Floyd has macular degeneration and is legally blind, so it's really an accomplishment for him to be able to live alone. (He is still able to play cards, as long as we tell him what has been played!) Thank you all for your prayers. Floyd was a sailor in the US Navy during WWII. He's a wonderful friend and I thank him and all other Veterans for their service to our country.

Today was busy and church ran late tonight. I was in bed and realized I hadn't done the blog, so I'm here to say Happy Veterans Day and good night. By the way, Phil said they have changed Ruthie's medications, so they are hoping she will get better relief from her pain soon. I'll keep you updated. I thank God for making our bodies so that they respond and heal.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cribbage memories.

The picture tonight is one Don took of me yesterday beside a couple of cribbage boards that were our friend, Tom Rose, made them for my mom when we were in high school. We taught Tom to play cribbage and he saw right away that the way to my mom's heart was through a cribbage board. So, bless his heart, he made these for her! The one on the left is made for 3 players because we used to have to get two boards for the 3 of us to play. The little bag hanging above it holds the pegs we use for scoring. We went and spent a couple of nights with Tom and Linda when we were in Tennessee and I mentioned these boards; he had forgotten that he'd made them for Mom! Linda suggested that I take a picture beside them for the blog so they could see them; that'll do until they can come to visit us here. I wish I had thought to take them with me when we went to see them; maybe we could have played a game! If Mom had never taught me cribbage, I probably would have never gotten math. It was my introduction to numbers. Even chemo brain hasn't ruined my ability to play cribbage! If you've never played cribbage, you have my sympathy. I thank God for good cribbage buddies like my friend Mike Buchanan, our granddaughter, Sadie, and, of course, Tom Rose. Linda, we must teach you!

Today was beautiful, here, again. We walked again, and I'm getting stronger. It was easier to walk today and we went farther than yesterday. It takes building up, I guess.

I even started some organizing, getting ready to do taxes. I have to have them all ready to do from Hawaii, so I've got to be prepared before we go and only have the last month to add to the 'mix.' I'm going to be so prepared that it's not a big issue . . . I'm determined to not let taxes ruin my whale watching!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back to walking.

The picture tonight is me with my re-bloomers and notice the little miniature roses, too! Those little roses were some Don's mother planted. It's such a delight to me to have fresh flowers at this time of year. Our trees out back are really colorful, too, so we are still enjoying the fall colors.

Don and I walked today, but we cut it short because I was getting so tired. I can sure tell that I've taken about 3 weeks off from walking! It was a beautiful day for walking, though. God is so great to give us variety and beauty in our lives and good health, as well. We were grateful as we walked that we CAN walk; what a blessing.

I talked to Phil tonight and Ruthie is still really struggling after her surgery. I really wish she had gone to rehab. I think it would have been a lot better for her and not so stressful for Phil. They're tough, though, and they'll make it. They just have to get through this first couple of weeks until her body gets the hang of the healing process, I guess. I'm so sorry she has to go through all this pain, but I hope after the healing she will feel like it was worth it to feel better finally.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lazy Sunday.

The picture tonight is little miss "I dressed myself!" Her shirt is on backwards and inside-out, but it does match her pants! Who cares about the clothes? It's the smile and the hugs I love. This is Raynie, of course.

Today has been so nice. We did our routine breakfast out at the Wagon Wheel and then church. It was so good to be back in our class and see people we miss when we're gone. Today was the fellowship dinner, so that was fun, too.

At church we have an abundance of little kids and they are such a delight. They have been studying for the Bible Bowl that is held in Altus each year, and they walked away with many, many trophies and medals. We were so very proud of them and their coaches. Our church has struggled over the years; I guess all churches do? We have a wealth of young people, though, and we thank God for them.

I called Ruthie today and she is still in a lot of pain, but gaining a little strength each day. Back surgery is a tough way to go, but we sure pray that this is the answer she was seeking when the healing is done.

I took another 2 hour nap today. Taking the antihistamines makes me so sleepy and sleep is the thing I do best, so I'm doing a great job these days. I cut some wonderful re-bloomers today. What a treat to have irises at this time of year. I love it. I'll post a picture of them soon.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A good day at home.

This is Sadie (12), Trish, and Raynie (2) as we found them on our way home yesterday. It was so good to see them!

Today has been a busy day. I had lots of unpacking to do, and I'm still working on it. I hate this part of coming home. However, our bed was so happy to have us back in it last night. In fact, I took a 2 hour nap today. I've grown lazy the last 2 weeks of doing mostly visiting, so being up on my feet and doing laundry was a rude awakening to me, today! Ha.

I talked to Phil and Ruthie is still struggling. Bless her heart; back surgery is certainly no picnic. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we left her in Phil's good hands. This is really a test for him; it's really hard to watch the person you love most in the world hurt! He's learning to perfect his cooking skills, too. I thank God for him and his love for Ruthie.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ruthie!

This is a picture Don took of Ruthie and I the night we got to their house, a week ago tomorrow. If you look closely you'll see that my bruises had faded, but one eye was swollen shut. We have no idea what caused that! It started swelling right after I got to their house, so I took out my contacts, thus the glasses. It was better the next morning, so I was able to wear my contacts. Today is Ruthie's birthday. We left at 4:45 this morning and just got home a little bit ago. I'm headed to the bath and to bed; we're exhausted.

I called Phil and he said Ruthie has had a rough day. That is to be expected after all she's been through. She can celebrate her birthday after she recovers from this surgery. It's tough when someone cuts on your back! She had a long day yesterday, although she was doing really well. She made her longest walk at the hospital before they discharged her. Then she rode all the way home and then walked around a bunch at home. It was a really hard day, and I guess it took it's toll on her today. Phil's a great nurse and her favorite in all the world, so she's in good hands.

Don and I had a fine trip home. We still got to see lots of pretty leaves even though the peak must have been last week. We were blessed with a wonderful trip. We made a quick stop in Oklahoma City and dropped off a bunch of clothes that Gretta sent to Tricia's kids. We got to see Nate, Sadie, Raynie and Trish, so that was a treat for us. I got pictures I'll share another day. I wanted Ruthie's picture on here today. Thanks for keeping up with us. I thank God that people love us, for safe traveling, and for the health we all have.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jilly!

This is our Gretta Jill with her son Garrett. Her name is Gretta Jill; sometimes I call her Gretta and sometimes I call her Jilly, so I'm sure that confuses people at times. Anyway, today is her birthday and we hope it will be the very best, yet, for her.

I'm in the hospital with Ruthie, waiting for her to be discharged. She is doing so much better this morning. She has gone off on a little walk by herself right now! Don went down to the cafeteria with Phil to get Phil some breakfast. We ate before we came, knowing that today will be busy with travel to get her home, etc. They have decided that she does not need to go to the rehab. She thinks she can do her own rehab at home; she feels good about it, so that matters a lot.

I wanted to do the blog from here because when I get to Ruthie's tonight I won't have this picture on her computer. We thank God for all our kids, but on Gretta's birthday, we are especially thankful for our baby!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ruthie is stronger and stronger . . .

-------Tonight's picture is of me with my home ec. teacher from high school. Mrs. Anna Louise Joyce is 97, and dressed up like a witch for their halloween celebration. She's no witch, though; she's a sweetheart! I think of her with thanks every time I sew or cook.

-------Today went some better for Ruthie. She had a rough night, last night, but today we watched her walking very weakly this morning. This afternoon, she was much stronger when she walked. We were so glad to see the improvement. The consensus of the doctor, the physical therapist (and us) is that she should be released to rehab for a few days until she can get more mobile. I think they will probably send her to rehab tomorrow; however, this time yesterday we thought she'd be going home today, so we may be in for a surprise in the morning. She really did seem a lot stronger when we left this evening. Even if they won't release her tomorrow, I feel sure they will release her Friday morning because there is an opening at one of the rehabs in Paris on Friday and surely she'll be strong enough by then.

-------Don and I are doing just great. I'm so grateful that we could be here while she is in surgery. I would be at home wringing my hands over her being in the hospital this long! God is taking care of all of us. We trust His timing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ruthie is doing better and better.

This picture is one Don took last week of me with Portia Vaughn. Portia is on the administrative staff at the assisted living home where we visited a couple of friends. What a thrill to see her, too! When Daddy retired and moved to Winchester to be the hospital administrator, he was the first employee and Portia was the first person he hired. The building was being built and they had their office in the basement of the courthouse, I think. She was right out of college and this was her first job. He'd be so proud of her if he could see her now and the great job she is doing. I was 15 and Daddy and I lived in adjoining rooms at the local hotel until our house was finished. Mom was still in Tucson until that house sold. It was a cool time to be Daddy's girl, but we were sure glad when Mom got there!

They decided to keep Ruthie an extra day today, so we're back in the hotel tonight. She is really doing well, but we all feel like she will do better with an extra day to heal. They didn't walk her nearly as much as we expected today and Phil questioned them about it, so they are really walking her a lot tonight. That will be good for her. She'll be really ready to go home tomorrow, I think. She responded really well to the idea of another surgery to complete the job; she is so ready to feel good and be out of pain! I thank God that there is something to give her hope for the future and a doctor with whom she feels comfortable.

All my bruises are completely faded. Most of the scabs are off, but some are pretty deep and linger. My chin and lip are still very sore, but it doesn't show, so that's a good thing. It's good for me to have a constant reminder! I'm feeling really good. I'm coughing a lot because I do that after bronchitis, but I feel fine.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ruthie is doing great.

-------This was Friday when Linda and Tom took us to visit one of my mom's dearest friends, Frieda Hannah. Frieda is 98 years old and sharp as a tack. It was so good to see her. Linda used to work with Frieda, so she knew her, too. Tom knew her from church years ago, so it was a good visit for all of us.

-------Now, about Ruthie. We just got checked into this hotel and we have an insecure connection, so I'm going to rush and get offline. I need to report that Ruthie did very well in her surgery. It was over 3 hours and we were expecting about an hour, so it was kind of stressful wondering what was taking so long. They did find that there was lots of repair to do, which they did, but they want to do another surgery in a couple of weeks from the front to really do the repair completely. She doesn't know that, yet, and I'm sure she won't like it, but she'll do the right thing. In the couple of hours that we were there after she came out of recovery she was improving a whole lot. She's a good patient, so she'll do really well.

-------Don and I are doing just fine. We thank God that we can be here for this time with Ruthie and Phil

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Dot and Floyd!

-------This picture is so tiny, but it's all I can get right now. This is Alex's older brother, Phillip, and the deer he got this morning. These Perry guys are tough on deer! Congratulations, Phil!
-------Today has been wonderful. It was so fun to see everyone at church who we always used to see when we lived here. Then we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and came home and took a nap. Yep; a nap, after getting an extra hour of sleep. We know a good thing when we see it! (Sleep) I am so grateful that God made us so that we need sleep; man, I'd be in a heap of trouble if I didn't get good sleep!
-------Today is sweet Dot's birthday (one who reads this blog and posts from time to time), and also our good friend Floyd in Hobart. I've talked to both of them today and they are both doing great. (Floyd is home and able to put 100% of his weight on his 'broken hip' leg!)