About Me

My photo
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.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

From Vacation to Vacation!...Why I Love Retirement!

After breakfast on Sunday, we went to the  Fort Crawford Museum.  It was really interesting! President Zachary Taylor and Jefferson Davis were both stationed at Fort Crawford.  (The original site was washed away by the floods.)
Archaeologists have rescued the site where the Swift Military Hospital once stood  It has such a historical significance as one of the leading physicians of the time, Dr. Belmont was head.  He did the first gastric feeding and performed many ground breaking surgeries and observations.  I had, of course, many good pictures, but you will have to visit the website now to see them!
We made a quick stop to Cheapo Depot (love that name) where I picked up some things for my bff's grandkids.
We took a leisurely drive home along the Wisconsin River.  In Mauston we stopped at Beyond the Daily Grind Cafe and Coffee.  It was a totally Christian atmosphere in the décor and music and reading materials at the booths!  The sandwiches were great.  I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area.  It is a beautiful old building with the pressed tin ceilings.   I just loved it!
As for my health, I am doing much better!  My skin on my tummy is healing and I found medical supplies that work for my sensitivity.  My leg is fine but I think I will go to the chiropractor for my foot.  (that helped last time I had such an ailment). 
I have started to go to yoga and range of motion exercises at the senior center.
Yesterday we had quite an adventure.  I went with my bff to her granddaughter's confirmation.
Driving home we again encountered orange barrels and detours, but everything looks different at night!  We seemed to go in circles several times before we got on the straight path!  Oh well, we made it home!
Next weekend I am going with my bff to a scrapbooking retreat (can never get too much!).
Two weeks from now, my cousin is visiting from Florida!  I am so excited to see her!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Weekend Trip to Prairie Du Chien

I had a wonderful weekend away in Prairie Du Chien with my hubby last weekend.
Unfortunately, the closer we got to the Mississippi, the more faded the trees became.
At home, they looked like this:
We departed on Saturday when Jim got home from work.  After more than four hours, with a few stops, we stayed at a Best Western.  It is so difficult to pick out a motel online.  The room was nice enough.  Good breakfast.  Our bed had a hill.  I slept on the top of the hill on Saturday night.  The next night we switched, and Jim said there was still a hill and he slept on it.The shower didn't adjust.  The water came out like a hose and not a nice spray.  Oh well, we survived.
We didn't go out for any "fancy" dinner on our anniversary on Sunday,  as we were eating out all weekend!  I thought of dining at a supper club, but we just weren't that hungry!
I accidentally deleted my photos from the weekend, and I had some really good ones!  Don't ask me how I did it, but I must have "Deleted All."  Somehow the photos that I shared on Facebook remained.  Jim took some and I have a ton of postcards and fliers.  AND, we have our memories!
On Sunday morning we started with a trip to McGregor, IA to Pike's Peak State Park. 
Waiting for more sunshine, we ventured off on a hiking trail.


How low can we go?

These are the Falls?  (look closely)
Remember, what goes down, must go back up!
I thought I was going to die!  Keep singing, "Climbing the Stairway to Heaven!"

As sunny as it got!
Time for a break.  It was cold out (at least I had gloves and my hands were still cold), I was winded, and my legs felt like rubber bands.  My left foot has some kind of fascitis, so was walking funny which threw off my whole left leg and hip!  I was walking like Chester (from the old western, Gunsmoke) the rest of the day!
Onward to see the Villa Louis  This is the oldest estate in Wisconsin.  Prairie Du Chien is the second oldest city with Green Bay being the very oldest.

The mansion was owned by the Dousmann family.  Originally a red brick house, it was rebuilt for Louis' second wife who wanted indoor plumbing (do you blame her?) and electricity.  The décor was quite ostentatious as was the style in Victorian times.
What was truly fascinating was that the original furnishings were still there!  The furniture had been reupholstered and the walls were restored.  Much of the estate (the carriage run, carriage house, etc, had perished in a flood since the estate was on St. Feriole Island on the Mississippi).  There was still the office building which included a billiards room.  Many a business deal was made there!
Time for lunch, a nap, and the Packer game!


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Happy Anniversary with the Love of my Life!

Memories of my hubby. I met him through Bob, who was going with my friend, Debbie at the time. Bob lived between our house (I had moved back home with Mom) and the City Dairy. On my trips to the City Dairy, I would visit with Bob, Pat and Prophet, Bob's dog. I didn't have a lot of friends when I returned home. I enjoyed visiting with people my age. Jim would come home from working at the bakery, looking like a complete grease ball after working on the ovens for 8 hours! I looked like a hooker, with my blue eye shadow, tube top, cut off shorts and platform shoes. (fresh from Mad town!) Neither of us were impressed!

We started to like each other in August of 78. I was bored and called a friend to see what she was doing.  She said they were going to a picnic, and if I wanted to go, I should call Bob.  Jim was going too.  Oh well, there will be other people there, I thought.  It was a day of sunshine, volleyball and beer.  I am not an athletic person and both Bob and Jim were very supportive of my volleyball attempts.  I chatted with others at the picnic.  On the way home we stopped at a bar and everyone had kind of paired off which left me with Jim.  We just talked like old friends.  I didn't realize that my pink tube top was imprinted on his memory!  (men!)  I invited him upstairs by my mom's.  She thought, what did I drag in?  We were dirty from volleyball, and she thought Jim looked disheveled, to say the least, with knobby knees! 

When Jim brought me to his family's Christmas, at his mom's, I was under severe scrutiny, but they knew something was up as he had never brought a girl home before.
In 1979 Jim's sister, Lil, and Rick had just been married. Some didn't think I should be in the family photo as we were "just going out." I think we knew then, that we would be forever.  I have always looked up to Jim. He can drive me crazy with some of his habits, but he is my best friend! He has always supported me, encouraged me and accepted me for who I am. This was just the beginning of our love story!
I was so nervous as my brother walked me down the aisle...not about getting married, but about the ceremony. Apparently Jim was nervous too. Later someone told me that it was so sweet that we held each other's hand during the ceremony. We were just holding each other up!
Tomorrow will mark 35 years with this man! We've changed over the years, but we've changed together. We've been through wonderful times and some horrible times. Jim has been my rock. I have been his greatest cheerleader! Love each other to the end! Happy Anniversary a day early to my best friend!

A footnote:  We chose the 18th of October before Hallmark chose it for Sweetest Day!  It makes it so difficult to find a place to celebrate our anniversary!

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Best of Intentions

I had the best of intentions to write about last weekend's retreat.
I will, but it is not going to be the glorious account I had planned on.
This is my Facebook post:
"Went to Retreat. I enjoyed the Bible studies. It was about trusting God and giving up control. Well I was sick almost all weekend, had several ostomy bag blowouts....ran, out of clothes! Thank God for the counselor who was able to wash all my clothing. Thank God for the friends who loaned me clothes, for the lady who gave up half of her massage time for me, for being with a bunch of women who really didn't care if they saw me walk in the hall in my underwear! Control, trust, I had to trust God...that this would all work out. It was so hard. I felt so discouraged, so depressed, I cried, had a pity party. I came home. The few things I asked my family to do this weekend were not done. The house was worse. Control. Control my temper, my tongue, love my husband as he is. Today I have to call the nurse again. Patience, trust. These are such important truths to apply to my life."
I didn't mention how physically drained I felt (no pun intended) and having a horrible headache from crying.  (You would cry too if you soiled yourself big time three times!)  I started to feel better on Sunday.  I took some pictures before we left.

Susan is a good friend from Retreat.  We became friends the first year we met...2009?

Cool, cloudy weather

My bff, Linda, popped her head out with me!
The blessings that occurred were that I was surrounded by loving, caring women.  I loved the Bible studies, especially the one I wanted to skip!  I went on a wagon ride with my friend, Carolee.  I opted out of horseback riding and the pontoon...I didn't want to be too far away from a change of clothing!
I am allergic to the adhesive on my ostomy wafer.  The skin was so sore, developed a yeast rash, and nothing would stick to it.   It continued to get worse.  After seeing an ostomy nurse and trying out various appliances, I think I have one that I am not sensitive to.
 Jim got a letter earlier in the week that his pension is going to be cut substantially.  That was very discouraging to him after working for over 35+ years!   Today he found out that his company has rearranged all the bread routes, and basically, he is getting screwed financially, so will go back to covering vacations and get route average.  He was really looking forward to being able to build up his own route and having something to work with. 
He is discouraged, so I am trying to stay positive for him.

Monday, October 5, 2015

I'm Still Here

Having some health issues.  I will post when I am not in such a crummy mood.