About Me

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I have spent a great deal of my life battling illness. I suffered from Crohn's Disease and eventually had abdominal surgery, thwarting the Crohn's and budding cancer cells. Since my surgery in 1995 I have been relatively free from Crohns', although I had several subsequent surgeries related to my ileostomy..When my disease was in remission, I don't think my husband realized how bad it could get, but he has stood by me. I also have suffered from various autoimmune disorders and am diagnosed with Stage IV Kidney Disease. Fortunately, I am maintaining and do not need dialysis at this point. We adopted our son and later found out he had cerebral palsy, so he became my career. Dan has had two surgeries and tons of therapy and is able to walk because of it. He is a college graduate and is employed as an Information Specialist. We are very proud of his accomplishements. I am now part of the retired generation and still getting used to the idea. I do enjoy crafting, traveling and being with family and friends. I am active in my church and feel that the hardships we endure are there to build our faith. I like to live life in the "now" as we never know how much time is left.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Quiet but Thankful Week

The week began with an appointment to the oncologist with my friend, Linda.  I was her driver.  I like to help out however I can.  It was so good to see her walk on her own two feet, down the hall to the office!
The doctor is VERY nice, and was receptive to my questions as well.  Right now everything hinges on her heart condition.  He is confident that she will beat this too.  I think so too.  She has a wonderful attitude and is quite disciplined.  (I would find it so hard to follow a low/no sodium diet!)
Another thing, I was happy about was that she was interested in a card kit!  I am glad to see she is showing interest in her hobbies now that she is feeling better.
I was coughing in the office.  I thought it was just a dry throat cough, a tickle.  On Tuesday I felt awful.  The cough had kept me up all night.  I stocked up on DayQuil and NightQuil.  I got a good night's sleep, but my chest was tight and I had laryngitis for three days!  I needed stronger medicine, something with dextromethorphan!  (It is not easy to check out with laryngitis, especially if you are purchasing gift cards too!)
Thanksgiving was quiet; just the three of us.  Hubby helped with the preparation and clean up.
My turkey tasted good, but was not at all like the pictures as it was overdone and fell off the bone.
At least it finally got brown! 
I got my ornaments done for my ornament exchange with my online craft group.  There are thirteen of us!  I will be sure to post plenty of pics AFTER the exchange!  Some might read my blog.
My cough is finally starting to become productive...gross, but good!
Hubby has been hanging with his buds for the last two days.  (I guess he can have some guy time.
I will just make some dinner for our son and I.)  Time for me to work on some Christmas cards!
P.S.  I didn't give my cough to Linda.  She had it first!
I was reading  posts, and went o Modly Chic and read about this  subscription for  makeup and beauty care junkies like myself.  I was hooked.  Check it out!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A New Week

I am so thankful for all the prayers for Linda!  She is home and continues with medical treatment and frequent check ups.  Please continue to pray for her and that her heart would be healed!
I have been busy making ornaments for an ornament exchange (to be posted at a later date!).
Saturday I went to a card class.  It was called make 10 cards with a 12" x 12" sheet of paper.  Of course you need 10 card bases and envelopes.  I think I would like to add a red back ground to mine as I think the red makes it pop!
It was a two hour class.  I would like to use more festive paper, but the instructor chose this for someone (who didn't even come) who doesn't celebrate holidays.  You can see how these cuts can be adapted for any occasion though.
My favorites:

Jim and I went out for a burger later that evening. 
Sunday I had a nice little visit with Linda, her son and his family.  It was a good weekend!
Today I am taking Linda to her doctor appointment.  I need last minute groceries for Thanksgiving, and I have to get my Christmas decorations out on the porch before the snow flies later today!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Linda's Condition - Update Two

I went with another friend of mine and Linda's to go visit her yesterday.  It was the first time I saw a twinkle in her eye and a smile in a long time!  (I don't think it was from the tiramisu cheese cake, was it?)
They have taken her off of the oxygen and IV meds.  She was retaining a LOT of fluid!   Now the puffiness in her face and everywhere has gone down.  She was able to do some steps without the oxygen on!  That is a major accomplishment.
Linda's heart has permanent damage.  She will never be the same "old" Linda.  Her daughter did some research on how the heart disease was caused by the chemo drugs and it is a really small percentage of people that this happens to.  Linda just drew the "not so golden" ticket.  She is being very strong and blunt about her condition.  Right now they have to get her heart stabilized and the breast cancer is way on the back burner.  There is more chance that she could die of the heart condition than the cancer.
Linda has had many visitors.  She is okay on her own though and doesn't mind being alone.  She is very bored and used to always doing something.  I hope she doesn't over do it when she gets home!
She could be coming home today.  They will keep her on oral medications, pro-time labs and echocardiograms can be done at our home town hospital.  She will be following up with the specialists in Milwaukee though! 
I have known Linda as long as she has been married....24 years?  She married my younger sister's husband (we love to tell people that!).  My younger sister had passed away from a three year battle with breast cancer that had spread throughout her body.  Kevin remarried.  The kids were small.  He was young.  We didn't want to like Linda.  She certainly didn't want to like us!  Linda and I went for lunch and decided that it was not her fault that Wendy died, and not my fault that I was her sister, and Linda has been a dear friend and member of our family ever since.  My mom even thought of her as another daughter.
Many years ago Linda and I both sold Avon.  One of the ladies had a friend who had a pontoon and we all went on a ride.  Weren't we some hot chicks?  It looks like 1996!  How time flies!
I have accepted her condition and have given it to God.  I will stay strong for my friend and be by her side.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rambling On or How and Why I am Losing It

I am trying to catch up on the blogs.  First, I was in Florida and my cousin has a VERY slow computer so I waited until I got home to blog.  Secondly, this has been a very busy week.
Monday I volunteered at the Senior Center and then went to visit my bff.   I took Linda to the doctor as her  lips were blue!  They didn't seem too concerned.
She had an echocardiogram scheduled for Wednesday and they bumped up her appointment to Friday.
Big whoop!  She should have been admitted that day! Thursday morning the cardiologist's office called her and told her to go to a much larger hospital in Milwaukee.  She called her husband at work, got bathed, and off they went.  It is a drive, but it is a place that specializes in hearts!
Her heart problem is caused by one of her chemo drugs.  Did I mention that the heart problem was discovered when they did her pre-op exam?  No breast cancer surgery for now.
Friday I volunteered in the office at The Salvation Army. It feels good to volunteer, like I am being useful. 
I know I am rambling.
My husband I went to see Linda yesterday.  Her condition is VERY serious.  I am beside myself.
Today I went to church and just cried as I love her so much and am so afraid.  Funny thing, she was comforting me yesterday!  That is Linda.
Here she is behind me in the pink top.  (She always has my back!)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The End of Vacation

November 8th, Our Journey Home
We arrived at the Fort Myers airport plenty early only to be told our flight would be delayed and we won't be able to catch our connecting flight.  Please go to the customer service counter.
We did and had to have our tickets changed.  This would mean we would land in Minneapolis at 3:15 pm and arrive in Milwaukee, WI at 9pm.  (I never thought of seeing if they had a flight to Green Bay!)
Okay, so we visit with our cousin for a while, go through security, etc. and wait.  We had a smooth flight!  They provided a headset (which didn't fit our small ears) and a movie (a guy movie which I would like to watch with my husband)  We gave up on the movie and headset.
We landed in Minneapolis and WOW!  What a humongous airport!  The special needs attendant wheeled my sister and then we got on the electric cart to our gate F-13.  We ate at a nearby restaurant
so my sister wouldn't have to walk too far.  The food was good, but it was rather expensive (it is an airport and we are a captive audience).  We sat, read and chatted.  I then noticed that they changed our gate to C-3!  I saw an airport phone for assistance.  I called and the customer service person wasn't very helpful at first, but she confirmed that our gate had changed.  I asked about the electric cart taking us there.  She said we would have to walk way over to the blue area!  I said, no, my sister needs to be wheeled over there.  She said go to the counter by your gate.  There is no one at the counter!  That is why I am calling you!  Well, there is a number for special assistance, I will call them.  If you think it will help, she replied.  Special assistance came and took us to the other side of the airport! 
We were one of the first to be able to board this time, because of my sister's medical problem.  That really helped her since she didn't have to stand forever in a line boarding the plane while people put their bags in overhead bins.
We made it to Milwaukee.  My husband met us.  We looked for our luggage but it wasn't coming around on the carousel.  My sister who was standing back with our carry-ons, heard some ladies talking.  Our baggage made the earlier connecting flight, even though we didn't!
It was a cold, long drive home.  Welcome to Wisconsin!
*We do have heat in the car!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Vacation - Day 6 and other stuff!

Friday, November 7th
Well, we haven't had much beach or pool time.  As we are aging we are slowing down, the heat gets to us and we need to rest, but today we need to go to the BEACH!
Two old backsides!
Should I go out further?
Embracing the waves!

 I took a picture of my cousin, Shirley.  The waves kept coming, knocking me over and on my butt! (Wish I had a video!)  More and more waves, but I saved the camera by falling on my butt and keeping the camera in the air with my right hand!  "Help!  I've fallen and I can't get up!"  "No, I would rather take your picture instead!" 

I was just laughing so hard!  My inner child came out and I could have sat there for a long time if I didn't look so ridiculous!  A younger couple was looking on....I think they thought they would have to intervene.
In the evening we went to a fish house that didn't smell fishy!  We ate at Skip One, nothing fancy, but the best and freshest seafood I have eaten since the old days and my dad used to fish!
My bff, Linda is in the hospital.  She had another echocardiogram (Nov. 12th) and her heart was worse.  The doctors have NOT been listening to her complaints!  The cardiologist's office told her to go to St. Lukes in Milwaukee which is a much larger hospital and specializes in heart disease.  Already the IV Lasix is helping, or at least, working.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers.  You may put this on your blog.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vacation - Day 5

Thursday, November 6th
Last Thursday we took a short walk over to the Collier County Museum.  It was very interesting, and I must say I learned more there than on the historic walking tour.  We went through the museum from the prehistoric days to the late 1990's.  It covered the Immokalee, Seminole Indians, the Crackers (cattle ranchers), the early turn of the century, the construction of the Tamiami  Trail and how Baron Gift Collier made it his mission to connect Everglade City to Naples.   There were also many movies made there.
After that we went to view the historic engravings of Jaques Le Moyne and Theodore de Bry of life in Florida in the late 1500s.   They were very detailed and description of the native life there was very graphic.
That evening we met for dinner with "the gang" or what is left of it.  It is a group of people my cousin knows from church.  One of her friends has the beginning of Alzheimer's, so her daughter and son in law accompany her.  Her other friend just had to put her husband in a nursing home.
My sister closed her eyes!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Vacation - Day 4

Wednesday, November 5th
Last week Wednesday we went on a Historic Walking Tour of old Naples.
We met at Palm Cottage
We walked past all the old cottages that had historical significance due to who lived there.
I don't remember all the stories and would have to read this book.
When you think of it, Naples was quite different then.  No major highways.  No pest control, so you had snakes, mosquitoes and the like.  The cottages we saw weren't built with kitchens.
The building used a mixture of sand and shells for construction. 
 Also pine was plentiful and didn't allow water to seep through.
 Everyone ate at the Naples Hotel 
which was up the road from the Naples pier.  It was one long boardwalk!
The hotel has since been demolished as it was beyond restoration.

Nice little cottages

This was the mercantile.
These buildings are on 3rd Avenue. 
We continued on, through the sand and up an alley.
The DuPonts had a huge wall built on their property to protect their children around the time that the Lindberg baby was kidnapped.  It extends a block.  Many of the cottage properties included another family member's cottage as well.
We ended up back at Palm Cottage where we toured the inside.  The walls were full of photos of historic Naples.  That was very interesting.  I am anxious to buy and read the book!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Vacation Day 3

Tuesday, November 4th
That day  was a good pool day;  warm with a breeze.  Mostly, we just sunbathe.  That is all we did that day...soak up the sun!
Here we are:

Oh, you can't see us in our swim suits?  Too bad!
Later we went out to eat at Mel's Diner.  Where else can you get a lobster dinner for $14.99 for two 4oz. tails?  I love Mel's.  The atmosphere, the 50's music, the pictures on the wall and the food is always great!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Vacation - Day 2

Monday, November 3rd
We took it easy today.  My cousin had an appointment for a haircut.  We shopped around Goodwill.  I found a pair of Clarks clogs for $10 and they are like new.  I am undecided as to whether I will keep them or not. (Thank goodness you can exchange from one Goodwill to another for credit).  Maybe I am just not used to wearing shoes.  When my cousin met up with us, we went to Beal's Outlet.  Oh, did I save money!  I bought some Christmas gifts, and, of course, clothes! I got a pair of casual knit pants for the plane (didn't like the ones I came down in and gave those to my sister as they fit her better).   I also found two cute tops and a pair of skinny slacks that I will keep for Christmas!
We went out for lunch/supper and  had crab cake sandwiches.  I have had better crab cakes, but it was okay.  They have a little gift shop and I would have loved to purchase many of the sauces, mixes and jams.
I'm the gooney bird in the middle...lol
We didn't do much else that day.  Shopping just took it out of us.  My cousin and I crafted away.  I can't show you what I was doing as it is for a secret ornament exchange!  My cousin worked on her scrapbook and we watched The Voice.  I usually don't watch that show, but they are both fans of it.
It was just a relaxing day.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Vacation - Day 1

Day 1 of My Vacation
Sunday, November 2nd
 I was traveling to Fort Myers, Florida with my sister, Connie.  She experienced an episode of vertigo
(not her first time).  That, combined with medications and general air sickness added to the problem.
We had to catch a connecting flight in Atlanta.  My sister would have just as soon laid down and died than get on another plane!
But....we boarded our flight.  The attendant told the other attendant that Connie was not feeling well and could she have some ginger ale.
The first class attendant could have cared less, and said "well, we need to board all the passengers and then we will be serving beverages."
My sister was sick from Atlanta to Fort Myers, retching all the way. She made good use of the air sick bags.  (I chewed my nails and made sure she always had another bag).  Toward the end of the flight they asked if they should call EMS.
I didn't want to make that decision so, they did.  Everyone in front of us could get off the aircraft.
Those behind us had to wait.  The EMS came on board from the back.  They tried to ask her questions, but she kept on vomiting.  They took her blood pressure, which was very high.  Her color was very pale and yellow.  I accompanied them as they wheeled her off the plane and put her on a gurney.  They checked her vitals again.  My cousin phoned and asked me where we were and I said with the EMS.  "Oh, that gurney is for Connie!" 

My cousin and I got directions to the hospital where the ambulance was taking my sister.  It was a very big and very busy Emergency Department.  The rooms were cold and did not have a T.V. 
My cousin and I waited.  My sister waited.  They took some tests.  Gave her something for the vertigo and nausea.  She rested.  She kept down a Ginger Ale! 
   I told her she may have been sick, but she had pretty nails!  The doctor discharged her.
We went to a restaurant for dinner since neither of us had eaten since breakfast!  We had soup and sandwiches...something safe!  Connie took most of her food home, but she was feeling better!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Weekend Update

I feel like I didn't sleep!  I had strange dreams all night; the last one being a nightmare.  I dreamt I was driving over the bridge, and it started to open!  But it had slats and somehow my front tires hit the bars and by revving up the engine and doing a Duke's of Hazard move I made it over.  Still, I was terrified and just cried.  The bridge tender didn't care that those of us who had to drive over it were upset.  He was busy talking to someone.  Next dream:  I am on vacation and I lost my purse.  Everything is in it!  Tried backtracking, everything.  It is gone! 
Some nights it doesn't pay to sleep!
My sister and I are leaving today to begin our vacation.  None too soon!  It has been in the 30's here!
Brrrrrrrrr!  I felt so sorry for the poor little Trick or Treaters last night!  Most had winter coats on.  One little girl managed to wear her costume over her jacket.  Another little girl told me "You have a lovely home!"  I thanked her and told her she had a lovely costume!  The kids were so polite this year.  We had over 90 kids, but not as many as we usually get!
Here are our favorite ghouls!
My great niece!  NOT another Elsa, but an Anna!

My great nephews:
Skylar the zombie, Jalen the mad scientist (the glasses have google eyes), and Landon Pup Patrol!
I am excited about our vacation.  NOT the airport though!  I hate making connecting flights!
We should get to Fort Myers and meet up with my cousin early this afternoon.  Then on to Naples!
I am looking forward to visiting with her, working on my ornaments in the evening, going to the many new restaurants and lounging by the pool!
The next picture you see will be of my toes!
Today I have last minute things to do.  I have been trying to take things OUT of my suitcase!  I am thinking of wearing a fall coat and carrying it with my suitcase.  We'll see.