Monday, December 21, 2009

In the Dark of Night

What is done under the cover of darkness, cannot
withstand the scrutiny of daylight. It is a black day when our government conducts business in the middle of the night, behind closed doors. Senators, how can you hold up your heads and look your fellow Americans in the eyes? This is the change you promised? This is the transparency you spoke of during the election? How can we believe you know what you are doing when you vote without reading the bills? How can we trust you with the future of our children and grandchildren? I am ashamed of your lack of character and your petty concern to keep your jobs. To reverse something Michele Obama said, "For the first time, I am ashamed of The United States!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day at Applebees

Today was Veteran's Day. Applebee's Restaurants offered a free meal to all vets. We went to our local Applebee's in North Fort Myers around 2:30, thinking it would not be too busy and we could split the difference between lunch and dinner. You should have seen the crowd waiting inside, outside and everywhere we looked, but since we are old and don't have a heck of a lot of pressing engagements, we put our name on the list and waited in the car for twenty minutes or so while listening to talk radio. Then, we waited inside for another fifteen minutes and were about to be seated when a couple of young men (by young, I mean somewhere between 28 and 45 years old) asked how long to be seated. They were not together and were about to leave when my husband (U.S. Navy during the Korean War) asked them if they would like to sit with us, since we were about to be seated. Both Morgan with wife Lisa (Afghanistan) and Brian (twenty years with duty everywhere) jumped at the chance to join a couple of old fogies with immediate seating. We had a wonderful time eating with young vets and hearing about their lives now that they are out of service and into the world of work, families and life. The service had given them marvelous values ... I would have been proud to have them as my kids. When we had finished our late lunch, we exchanged names and phone numbers and I truly hope to see these vets again. Thank you Applebee's for a great meal and for the opportunity to renew my faith in a younger generation. Our service men and women are spectacular human beings. I wish our government respected them enough to get in or get out of Afghanistan before the death toll rises while in a holding pattern. To Morgan, Lisa and Brian.... thanks for a lovely afternoon.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Where did the Summer Go?

When you approach the end of life, time is a most precious commodity. Since we drive back and forth between Ohio and Florida, I waste entirely too much time in the comings and goings. We arrived back in Ohio in the middle of May and settled in for a summer of seeing all the assorted and sundry doctors who make it possible for us to stay alive through five or six months in Florida. Now it is time to reverse the process and the docs are getting serious about tests and prescriptions. I saw the ophthalmologist on Tuesday for a vision check. I only wear glasses for reading, but eventually you do need a checkup. So, I am scheduled for a cataract surgery with lens implant next Tuesday. It will only hold us up for about three weeks, but sheesh! You would think that they could give you appointments in June or July, so they can mess with whatever parts they are interested in messing with before Medicare stops paying them.
I digress. It was my intention to make eleven king sized quilts before I die, so my children and grandchildren will remember me when I am long gone. A super quilt teacher once told me, "Quilts are meant to keep people you love warm". Now, that is cool. I had four quilts pieced and ready to go to a professional quilter, when I came home and one huge quilt that had been hanging around for a long time. It originally was intended for my older brother and after it was pieced, sandwiched and mostly hand quilted (that makes it valuable)....he died! I put it away and it was hard to get it going again, plus the border was almost impossible to mark until someone told me to use masking tape for the cross hatching. By the time I finished it and attached the binding, my fingers were bloody. One of the biggest problems for quilters is the inability to say no when a particularly beautiful fabric calls your name like the Sirens who call the young sailors with their illusions. Well, the quilt at the top called to me this summer and I couldn't stop until I had gathered many half yards of Batiks, sliced them apart and then sewed them back together. I have enough for my children finally, but I also have fabric going to Florida for three or four more. I am hopeless!
Between the doctors, quilts and, I have not posted one word for many a day. I read my favorites and love the bloggers, so I think I will start working on my blog again. Here's hoping that you haven't forgotten me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Shovel Ready?

I have spent the summer in a blue funk... watching T.V. and watching Congress pass legislation without reading the bills or knowing what a mess the outcome would be. I feel so helpless and unimportant. They are on vacation now, so the danger of America circling the drain is avoided for another month. I found this quote today....

"If you can't convince them, confuse them."
- President Harry S. Truman

Looks like old Harry knew the score way back then!
I don't know about you...but, I AM NOT SHOVEL READY, YET!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Where is Your Treasure?

Just had to tell you what I heard in church this morning.

A rich banker died and met St. Peter at The Pearly Gates, dragging a large, heavy suitcase behind him.
St. Peter says, "Go right on in, but you don't need the bag."
The banker says, "Oh, I have to bring the bag!"
St. Peter says, "What's in the bag that's so important?"
The banker opens the bag and it is full of gold bars!
St. Peter says, "You brought PAVEMENT?"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Little Girl Talk

You just have to go see this short video. I'd put it up here, but I am technically challenged. Anyway, I loved it and I just love babies!

Okay, now that being said, I have another thought to share with y'all. "My Honey" and I went to the professional quilter to have a bunch of quilt tops quilted. I had been fairly prolific while in Florida during the winter and will never have enough time in this world to get them quilted, so over the river and through the woods to Lisa's house we went.
Along the winding Maumee River Road was a beautiful parcel of land that had been occupied as The Children's Services Board for many, many years. The social workers handled difficult family problems, orphans and housed children who were too physically handicapped to be cared for in their own homes. Our little granddaughter, Courtney, lived there for about a year while awaiting a bed in The Sunshine Home. She had been born missing most of her brain and was expected to live about two years. My daughter and son-in-law cared for her at home for five years through seizures, vomiting nightly while being fed by the machine, surgeries and hospitalizations. Friends and family learned to do infant CPR, handle Apnea machines, G-tube feedings and many other nursing procedures, so our daughter and her husband could both work to pay her medical bills. They lived with us for about eighteen months to save money for a house and gain another nurse to help with Courtney. We even learned to change her G-tube at home....I would pull out the old one, the baby would cry and hold her breath...then pass out and my daughter would pop in the new one. Life was not easy. To our knowledge, she could not see or hear, roll over or sit up. She had to be fed with an eye dropper until they put in the G-tube and then she was fed by a machine for the next nine years until God took her home. The people in this ICU took marvelous care of her in the old fashioned brick buildings. The acreage was a beautiful place to visit along the river. Then the city became typical hogs and decided that they needed that property to build condos and make money for their bloated coffers. So in a snap of their fingers, this beautiful setting for the handicapped children, the orphans and the parents of troubled teens... the city usurped the property and it was bulldozed for the almighty buck progress. To heck with the children!
Toledo is now in a downward spiral as an automotive adjunct to Detroit and that property along the river is sitting there with a few big, fat cat houses, but most is going begging for want of rich folks to purchase lots with a fantastic view. Somehow, it really bothers me when an institution that did so much good has been taken over and forgotten.... except for the occasional grandmother, who happens along the road and remembers how wonderful it was for her little granddaughter.

June 1, 2009---Addendum
Today, Courtney would have been twenty-five. We put a tiny pot of pink roses on her grave. No child ever lives in vain. We learned a great deal about love and the value of life from her.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Once Again

This is a rerun of my Mother's Day Post from 2007. I still feel exactly the same way about my children, so here we go again! We are packing to go home to Ohio and I have not been well, so even the blog gets short shrift. Sorry, but I love all my fellow bloggers.....

Happy Mother's Day to Mom, the original seat belt!

Today is Mother's Day and this is the card I got from Numero Uno child. It really cracks me up, because I spent their formative years throwing my arms across the chest of the child sitting next to me on the front bench seat of the car to prevent their being thrown through the windshield. Lord knows how they managed to live through no car seats and certainly no seat belts. One absolute rule was that they couldn't sit too near any door, because who knew whether or not the lock would hold and one could possibly fall from the car during a turn and get run over by the back wheels. However did I manage to get them safely through infancy, school, college and to the altar without killing anyone?
I think motherhood started for me when I was about ten or eleven and our neighbor had a baby boy. I was allowed to play with him on a blanket in their backyard while my Mom chatted with the new mother.
I fell in love with the smell, feel, touch, the enchanting smiles and the cuddly little body of any baby. Little girls are pre-programmed to desire babies in their lives. Shortly after marrying at seventeen, my mind turned to thoughts of having my very own baby to cuddle and smell and love. Luckily, God knew that we were not ready financially for parenthood. He made me wait until I was twenty-one, before He felt I could be trusted with an infant of my own. I couldn't believe it when after all those months and years of trying, I finally knew I was pregnant.
Every since that very first day, when I knew there was a baby coming to our home, I have been the most blessed of all creation --- a mother. If there is to be a special day --- it should be a day for rejoicing in the fact that God has seen fit to give us children to raise and love and then set free.

This is a picture of me with my first child when she was two years and six weeks old. My second child was only six weeks old and I was six weeks away from getting pregnant with my third. How ironic that after almost four years without children, we had three in less than three years. Motherhood has been a joy every step of the way and I am still thanking God for the children he sent my way almost fifty years ago. I love you Lesley, Matthew and Stacey and the ten children you have brought into my life in the last twenty-seven years. The pastor praised moms in church this morning, but it is we who should be thanking God for the privilege He has given to us. I cannot imagine a life without my children. To quote Ben Folds, " I Am the Luckiest!"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Big Bail Out!

"Bail Em Out!??? Heck, back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch Brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. Now, we are trusting the economy of our country, our banking system, our insurance companies, the automobile industry and whatever other thing they decide to grab to the same nit-wits, who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling whiskey! Wake up America....we are in terrible trouble and getting in deeper each day!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Word Definitions for Women

(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' that will bring on a 'whatever').

(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying ---- YOU!

(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Newfangled Stuff

I keep reading wonderful blogs and wondering why I never have anything to post here in my oven. Then I realized that

some people write about what is going on in their everyday lives. Most of my life is behind me and I am clutching the few remaining days in a bony hand while in the land of sunshine with several lifelong friends. Today, I was opening a can of Dole Crushed Pineapple and got to thinking about the newfangled pop tab openers on top. Sure, they are great for doing away with the can opener, but I approach each can with trepidation when I think of the tenacity with which that razor sharp edge hangs onto the can awaiting one last tug to either open the can or cut off my fingers. Uh.... "Honey, could you help me with this can?" He laughed at me, but I reminded him of a tuna can from 1959. The lid was opened with an old fashioned can opener, leaving about 1/4 inch attached to the can....then discarded into the trash basket.
I was pregnant with my second child and my firstborn (light of my life) was toddling about in the
kitchen when she decided to investigate the trash basket. That tuna can with it's razor sharp edge pushed down into the can was very tempting to a nosy little girl and before I could blink an eye, her tiny fingers were in the can and lacerated easily as she pulled them out. We made a mad dash to the doctor's office (it was in the evening and he met us there....times were different then)and he proceeded to stitch up tiny fingers while her Daddy held her down on the exam table. I wasn't allowed to do such difficult work, due to my delicate condition. If you ever doubted that your dad loves you, Lesley....remember this story. It wasn't very many minutes before he was sitting in my chair with his head between his knees and I was draped over my tiny daughter while the doctor finished the repair. This is the man who has delivered foals in our barn and assisted the vet with major surgeries, but could not stand to have his baby daughter cry her sweet baby breath into his face.
I don't know which is worse.... the old fashioned can with the temptation to leave the lid partially attached or the
newfangled lid with it's dangerously sharp edges in the hands of an old fashioned lady with her partially attached head?
That's it for today, but it was fun to remember with "My Honey" what it was like fifty years ago, before newfangled stuff.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Spoonful of Sugar

Lately, I've been ruminating on some of the blogs I read that are written by medical people. There are nurses, doctors, pharmacists, EMT's, ER techs, secretaries and probably housekeeping, for all I know. For some reason, the majority of sites that I have visited have writers who are pretty snarky and sometimes amazingly clever in their turn of a phrase. One particular pharmacist has a palpable hate for "golden oldies", and he seems to have it in for anyone who receives Social Security. Do we all throw the switch on our intellect the day we turn in our key to the executive washroom? There could be reasons why his customers don't understand every ramification of Medicare Part D, since the whole thing was written to deliberately obfuscate the whole plan. Couldn't Congress have written the damn plan in language not requiring an Doctorate of Jurisprudence to decode it?

For the last two and a half months , I have been suddenly stricken with a confusing set of symptoms. It started in mid-December with GERD (gastric reflux). But, my mind told me that it was impossible, since I had been the recipient of an esophageal fundoplication about nine years ago. This is a nifty surgery where the doctor wraps the top of your stomach around the bottom of your esophagus to keep your stomach from sliding up into your thoracic cavity through a Paraesophageal Hernia. It worked great....for many years and then started feeling like I had slipped a cog somewhere in my middle. This was complicated by another miracle of modern medicine known as a stent in my celiac artery. This major artery goes from your aorta to your liver and provides your innards with oxygen to keep digestion going. So, "my Honey" and I headed up the road to Punta Gorda and The Peace River Hospital on Dec. 26th. Tests were run and medicine prescribed (Prevacid and Carafate), which I started taking faithfully right away. Within another week, I was miserable with horrendous indigestion and we rolled on up the road to the ER again. This time, another doctor took a look at my old EKG and my newly minted EKG and said, "I think it is your heart, not your esophagus!" He then threw me into a room and called a cardiologist who sent me by ambulance to a bigger hospital and did a cardiac cath with two stents. Being a very alert and GREAT cardiac doc, he used Cobalt Chromium stents, so gastro doctors could do whatever they needed, after I had taken Plavix and Aspirin for a month. So, Honey and I drove even further up the road to northwestern Ohio and I saw my family doc, my northern heart doc and a gastroenterologist. The Endo doctor did an EGD as soon as my month was up and I discontinued the drugs that could make me bleed. The results are in and I was right.... my fundoplication has loosened up and I had developed gastric erosion in my lower esophagus, but it was in the process of healing from the twice daily Prevacid. He also ordered Carafate Suspension and we immediately discovered that this medicine was the reason that the pain had been so bad in my esophagus...I am allergic to it!
Okay, I took a long time to explain what is eating at me....not my gut, my brain. We drove back to Florida and the Ohio doctor had ordered Prevacid (twice a day) at my Ohio pharmacy. I called them this morning. With my Part D coverage of Medicare, a one month supply of Prevacid, twice a day (60 pills), is $38.00 and change. Since that seemed reasonable, I asked them about my husband's Rx for Prevacid (it works great, but OTC Prilosec is cheaper) and a three month supply of Prevacid, once a day (90 pills), is $116.00! Something just is not right here! If I get a three month's supply (180 pills), it will cost me $114.00....isn't that $2.00 cheaper for twice as many pills? Now, Mr. Hot Dog Pharmacist....Explain to the Golden Oldies how the insurance companies do the math! We are talking belly pain here, not narcotic addiction. Someday very soon, you will be old and eating your words---- I wish I could be here to see what you have to say when you are the one being screwed.
Something very strange is happening in our country. The many bills being passed by congress are placing diametric opposition between the ages. A close friend's granddaughter married two years ago in her early twenties. She and her equally young husband built a four bedroom, three bathroom home with a huge walk through shower, swimming pool on a water site. This was at the top of the housing bubble. He recently applied to the government for mortgage relief, because the young wife had a temporary medical problem and was given a $100,000.00 break on the mortgage. He has told "Grampa" that the old folks are living too long and depleting "his" Social Security. Do you see a pattern here? Our young people are spouting the equivalent of hate speech toward senior citizens....could the government be fomenting this breech between the ages? Soon, Uncle Sam will be floating us out into the ocean on a burning canoe, while the twenty somethings wave gaily from shore and the angry pharmacist leads the choir. So long for a while, that's all the songs for a while!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all the folks in bloggityville! I have always let my darling husband off the hook for this holiday, because I feel that it is a plague on the backs of men everywhere. Why are they expected to spring for a "Pajama Gram", teddy bear or long stem roses? What makes this a special day for women only? The TV ads make me feel so sorry for the guys. I think all Valentine gifts should be something that can be enjoyed by, uh, perhaps a great dinner out, a fine bottle of wine or a great box of chocolates. I think my aversion to the gift part is because I have always mentally reserved the day for my memories of my Dad. When we were young, Dad would come home with a big box of Fanny Farmer Chocolates for my Mom and little boxes for his three girls. After we married, our boxes got bigger and our daughters were the recipients of the little red heart boxes. Each year he made the trip to the candy store and then drove about town passing out the boxes that said, "Dad loves me! " This was a man of unique intelligence, who was the epitome of the absent-minded professor. I don't think he actually knew when Christmas or Easter was due, but he knew about Valentine's Day and I would never give that memory away to any one else. I love my husband every day, so he doesn't have to shell out the big bucks for any card company holiday. Today, we met our kids at the local Panera's for lunch (something I really love...the kids, not Panera's...well, I do like it). My daughter-in -law told me about a little ritual that is carried out in their home. Many years ago, my son came home on Valentine's Day with a big bouquet of flowers for her, but as he walked into the house, their little girl said, "Oh, Daddy... you brought me flowers!" He bowed and presented them to her with a wink to his wife. Ever since that time, he has brought Lacey flowers on Valentine's Day. It is so like my Dad with his candy ritual, that I could cry. This is something that is beyond the commercial bit and gets right to the heart of things. But, then....who wouldn't adore this child? She was six when I took her to "Glamour Shots" and we had a wonderful day. She will be eighteen soon, but I'm not into publishing pictures that would identify her to the public at large. She is a beauty and is very well guarded by three older brothers.

If God were going to give me seven grandsons and only one granddaughter .... I got the right one!
Most of the people who are kind enough to visit my blog know that we spend the winter in Florida. As the years pile up around us like wrinkles under our chins and our health becomes more precarious, we seem to be unable to handle the six month stretch in paradise and we end up making a trip north to visit our doctors. So, we are home for a month (I hope is is only a month) and I will have a gastroscopy on Tuesday. Hopefully, we will head back to Ft. Myers by next week, since we are freezing our behinds off. This picture is what greeted us this morning for Valentine's Day. Believe it or not, this is a walk in the park compared to the two inches of ice we drove through in Kentucky and the eleven inches of snow that was on our deck when we arrived in Ohio. When the thaw started last week, 200 or so ice fishermen were caught out on the ice in Lake Erie near Toledo and had to be rescued by the Coast Guard as the eighteen inch ice developed a huge crack between them and the shore. They had fishing shacks, snowmobiles and all sorts of equipment out there when the ice decided to break away from shore. One man fell through the ice on his snow mobile and died of a heart attack. I don't think I could make it for two seconds in forty degree water. The snow had all melted by this week and we had over two inches of rain the middle of the week. Ohio is certainly not boring and I love the changes of season, but I hope the next season I see will be the flowering of the shrubs and trees in May!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don't!

For the last couple of weeks, I have felt like t he face on the right. (Blah or worse.) Unfortunately, I am in Florida and my doctors are in Ohio. We have been unable to find a doctor in Fort Myers, who actually wants to take care of "snowbirds". Last year, we discovered that we could drive up I-41, otherwise known as Tamiami Trail and there find a group of wonderful doctors, known as Port Charlotte Urgent Care. We stopped there the day after Christmas and were sent to The Peace River Hospital. It was something as simple as indigestion, but by this age, I have had an esophageal fundoplication (the top of your stomach is wrapped around the bottom of your esophagus to keep your stomach from sliding up into your chest cavity). Also, I had a celiac stent placed in the artery that goes from your aorta to your liver. These two things tend to confuse the issue with ordinary doctors. The hospital sent me to a nice Arabic doctor who ordered CAT scans of my chest and my abdominal cavity . Then, he promptly left town for several days. By last Saturday night, I was rolling in agony and went back up the road to the hospital and the ER doc decided that my EKG had radical changes since the 26th and he plopped my butt directly into a hospital bed and called a cardiologist. This guy was a doll with a no nonsense attitude and he transported me to a Regional Hospital where they are equipped to handle heart problems. I actually got my first ride in an ambulance. He did a cardiac cath on Monday with two stents and sent me home to recover. Now, we come to the crux of my problems....why the heck do I have indigestion? The endoscopy surgeon hasn't shown up in my life (he is entertaining out of town company), the admitting doctor followed my medicine list directly from my computer history *( he doesn't know me from Adam or Eve) and the cardiologist has placed two stents in my heart preventing anyone else from doing any procedures that would help my indigestion.

One other piece of info.... I got home on Tuesday and people we are acquainted with from home came by and bought our place here in Ft. Myers, so I suppose I'll go home and see my "real" doctors. In the meantime.... if you are a medical blogger... please stop by and tell me what the heck I should do....short of dying. My birthday was Wednesday and I would like to go out and celebrate with something a bit tastier than Jello or applesauce!