Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Healthy Gran

This afternoon was Mom's doctor appointment.  Her lab and x-ray reports were very good.  The only thing wrong was that she is still anemic.  When she had the carotid artery surgery last year, they discovered that her red count was low and wanted her to see a gastroenterologist to find out why.  But then her doctor dropped her insurance and we never got a referral.  Iron supplements have helped.

Now we have a referral and I'll call tomorrow to get her in to see him.  Her doctor said that she needs a colonoscopy and maybe an endoscopy.  Of course she doesn't want to do them, but she will.  

All in all, the doctor thinks she is doing remarkably well for 86 years old.  Her blood pressure, cholesterol, and lipid panel were all great.  I wish I was as physically healthy as she is!  Her red count, although a bit lower than normal, is still higher than mine.  Her blood sugar was 112, just a tiny bit high.  Her doc told her to cut back on sugar, but he smiled when I told him that she ate a whole package of cookies in one day a week or so ago.  He told her, "Maybe you can cut back to half a package."  :o)

I took her home and stayed there for an hour, until about 5:30, when it was time to pick up Ron.  He doesn't usually work that late, but this has been a busy week for him, and he has spent long hours at work.  He didn't have the car today because I needed it to take Mom to the doctor.  Sometimes it's a real juggling act with the vehicles.  Josh uses the truck, which I'd rather drive than the car, but it all works out.  

Anyway, it's been a busy day and I'm hungry.  Josh went to pick up Thai food, but I'm tired of pad thai, and afraid anything else will hurt my mouth.  I wish the problem with my mouth would go away.  I love spicy foods and can't eat them at all right now.  The silver lining is that my weight is much better than it has been for years because eating is not much fun


I've made playdoh penguins, worked with Reece on his writing, read the girls two bedtime stories, watched a new-to-us cartoon with Reece called Dreamworks Dragons, turned off the lights and told him the story of the Billy Goats Gruff for the thousandth time.  Tonight I made the billy goats bleat when they talked to the troll, and he thought that was the funniest thing ever.  He turned over and gave me a big hug and said, "Gramma, I love you!"  I told Josh it takes so little to delight him.  :o)

I wound up eating Ron's leftover thai, and it wasn't too spicy, it was just good.  

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend Summary

I'm still fighting this darn cold.  Hope it goes away in a day or so.  The kids and grands have been sick, too.  Seems like we pass our illnesses around and around during the school year.

Sandi was here this weekend.  Reece and I came home from Gran's  to find her here, visiting with Ron, Saturday afternoon.  She worked so hard at Gran's while she was here, and discovered that Teddy was flea infested when he woke her up at 3 AM.  I'm sure she was worn out and hope she is sleeping well tonight.  

She had to get back home, but we went to lunch together today as she was on her way out of town.  It was nice having a little bit of sister time.  She bought my lunch at Panera Bread.  I love my sisters.

I'm up listening to music tonight.  Should get myself to bed, I guess.  *yawn*

Friday, September 21, 2012

Autumn In The Air

Ron is coming home this afternoon.  Reece and I will pick him up at the airport in a bit.  I've noticed that almost every time he flies lately, there is some kind of problem with the flight schedule.  He is never on time any more.  But we're glad he will be home soon.

Aubrey was sent home from school with a fever today.  :o(  She told us this morning that she felt sick, but she didn't have a fever and seemed okay, so she went.  Oh my goodness, she is so whiny.

It's a pretty day in the mid-eighties, not a cloud in the beautiful blue sky.  Mom and I took Teddy for a walk, then watered and cleaned up the plants on her patio.  Some of her plants have died, so she has several empty pots to be planted for fall.  I told her we would go next week to buy flowers for them.  She sees her doc again on Tuesday, so we'll probably go that day.  It's nice that we have two planting seasons.

My little "stair" garden didn't do much at all this year.  I got a few little tomatoes, but they weren't very good, my eggplant never produced any eggplants, although it did bloom a bit, and my pepper plant only yielded a couple of peppers.  The onion sets didn't do a thing and died early.  I think I waited too late to plant and it got too hot. I will buy from the farmer's markets next year and save myself some trouble.  My rosemary is thriving in a pot on the patio, though, and the basil is doing okay.

It should be a gorgeous weekend.  Enjoy yours!

Clipart credit

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Rambling Post

Well, I didn't have a blood transfusion at the BMT clinic today after all.  My hemoglobin is still low; it was 7.9, which is still close to what it's been the last several times I've been there.  It should be from 11 to 16.  They will give a transfusion if it goes under 8.  Dr. O said that I could have a blood transfusion if I wanted.  He didn't give me the epo shot because it doesn't seem to be doing any good.  He said the next big thing to do is another bone marrow biopsy, but because all of my labs except the red blood count are normal, he doesn't think there is anything to find there. 

We went over my meds, and he decided to take me off the Bactrin (Septra) for 3 weeks, because he said that could cause the low count.  He said if he gave me blood today, we wouldn't know whether it was the transfusion or getting off the Septra that helped.  I told him that as long as my count stays fairly level (as it has for months now), I can handle the fatigue, so I didn't want the transfusion.  Septra is an antibiotic that transplant patients are supposed to take for a year after their transplant.  I take it 3 times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  It is to help my body fight off infections.

Dr. O said to come in immediately if I started feeling worse.  I know that I can go to the clinic any time if something goes wrong, and they will take care of me.  They are absolutely wonderful.

My nurse sent me downstairs for another chest x-ray because of my cold and cough.  Dr. O didn't mention it when he saw me, and I forgot to ask, so I guess it was normal.  

Something nice happened as I was getting ready to leave the clinic.  I finally got to see Dr. B!  He is just the same, still the sweetest, kindest young doctor I've ever met.  He asked a lot of questions about how I'm doing, and I gave him a couple of big hugs and told him how happy I am that he is home from Afghanistan safe and sound.  Then he said the sweetest thing.  He said that while he was in Afghanistan he had his phone with him.  It didn't work over there, but he still had all his messages and info on it.  He said that every now and then he would get it out and read the last text message I had sent him before he deployed.  I almost cried when he said that.  

I still have the message on my phone, too.  I wanted him to know how much we appreciated all that he had done for us during the cancer ordeal (both times), that his care had made it easier to bear, that he always gave us reason to hope and that we think he's an amazing doctor (he is).  I told him I'd miss him and would be praying for him and his family while he was away, and that I looked forward to seeing him "next summer."  And now it is "next summer," he is home and prayers have been answered.   God is good.

I picked up my Synthroid on the way out of the hospital, then went to Moms.  I baked her a pan of cornbread, which she ate with blackeyed peas.  Eating the blackeyed peas and cornbread reminded her of her grandma, and she started telling me about Grandma's big cornbread pan and how the family would eat it all up.  She said Grandma always had blackeyed peas in her garden.  

I'm always amazed at how much Mom remembers of her childhood.  She remembers making dolls out of corncobs and combing their "hair," which was the cornsilk.  She talks about her little brother getting a gnat or something in his ear.  He asked her if she could hear it buzzing.  She said no, so he put his ear up against her ear and insisted that she should be able to hear it now.  He was so cute and sweet.  She told about her grandpa, who was half blind and elderly, trying to kill a black snake in the henhouse with a big stick.  She said he couldn't see what he was doing and just knocked the heck out of everything in there.  She was pulling on his shirt tail, trying to get him out of there, but he wouldn't listen to her.  She remembers her grandma gathering mushrooms in the woods, and tells me about the meals grandma would make out of practically nothing.  She was into greens, herbs and wild plants long before it was fashionable.

I remember my great grandma and grandpa.  Grandma was a dumpling; she was so cute.  She was always busy.  Grandpa always wore a brown felt hat, a brown suit coat and smelled of pipe tobacco.  He would sit on the porch in a ladder back chair, leaning it against the wall.  He had cataracts, and his eyes always looked strange to me, so I was a little bit afraid of him.  Some day I'll write a post about how he took a wart off my hand by magic.  :o)      

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not The Best Couple Of Days

I missed grandparent's day at the kids' school on Tuesday because I was very sick during the night.  I was supposed to read to Reece's class at 7:50 AM, and Aubrey's class at 8:40 AM, and they were both looking forward to it (so was I).  After reading to the class, the child and grandparents were invited to the library for snacks.  I was afraid to go; I needed to be close to the restroom.  :o(

I'm not sure what was wrong with me.  I have a cold, but don't think that would cause the symptoms I had.  I suspect food poisoning from the broccoli and cheese soup I had from Schlotskys.  Cyrise had the same soup from there a couple of weeks ago, and she got sick, too.  I am never eating at Schlotskys again.  That is not an experience I want to repeat.

I felt awful, but Mom has a doctor appointment next week, and he wanted her to have a chest x-ray and lab work done a week before.  So we had to go and do that, meaning we had to go to two different places nowhere near each other.  We had lunch after that, although I was afraid to eat much.  I had some sweet potato fries and they stayed down.  Mom always enjoys eating out.

I'm still not feeling very well, and suspect that I'll have to have a blood transfusion tomorrow when I go to the BMT clinic.  I'm super tired and a bit shaky with just a little exertion. 

Today I went to Mom's, made her some lunch and did the usual stuff over there.  Now the kids are home from school, and Reece is here with me.  I made a deal with him--he has to practice writing for awhile before we turn on any videos.  He practiced for a bit, and now he's watching Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs for the gazillionth time.  He plays while he watches, acting out the movie with some little toys.  He's always been a very interactive video watcher.

Aubrey just came in crying because Reece's big rubber shark is coming apart at the seams.  She wanted a bandaid.  I put a piece of sticky medical tape on him, and she laughed.  She carried him off as happy as a lark.

Have a great evening.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Taylor's Story

I stole this link from Adrienne's Corner (she's in my blog roll) because it made me cry and it made me smile and I want you to see the pictures.  May God bless this young couple always.

True Love

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Night

Jason stayed with us for a few days after the guys returned from Rockport on Wednesday.  Reece and the little girls love him so much.  They wanted to be wherever Jason was every day.  Ron, Reece and I drove him to Schulenburg to meet his Kis and Lyssa on Saturday.  It's our halfway point.  We had lunch together before they headed for Houston and we went back to SA.

We stopped at Buccees on the way.  Reece enjoyed going in there for some snacks.

While Jason was here we (Jason, Kelly, Gran and I) had lunch at Ilsong Garden, a Korean restaurant that Kelly and Mike discovered.  The food there is excellent.  Jason and Kelly both had bulgogi, Gran had teriyaki chicken, and I had chop chae (chopped veggies with sweet potato noodles and beef).  Mom really enjoyed the small dishes of condiments they brought for the table--kimchee, sweet and sour cucumbers, sweet shredded daikon, etc.  I was enjoying the little dark, curly mushrooms in my dish until Kelly told me they were black ear fungi.  Ha!  (Just kidding--they still tasted wonderful--and they did look like little ears).

After lunch, we had coffee at a little cafe nearby, where we sat outside and enjoyed the cool weather.  It was so pleasant and all of us loved being together.

We finally got Teddy groomed, and he looks cute.  We've been using the same groomer for years (for Chuy and Teddy), and she does a great job.

Ron is going out of town again tomorrow.  He will be gone until Friday, so not too long this time.  But he will only be here for a week, then will have to go again, for another week (I think).  We can't complain too much, though, because he was able to stay home most of last year while I was going through chemo and the transplant.  His traveling again is a good thing, because it means that I am doing well.  :o)

We've had beautiful rain this weekend.  Not sure how much we got, but the pool is full to the top, so at least a few inches.  We needed it so much.  Our weather will be much cooler this coming week--highs in the 80s instead of 90s and 100s.  And lows in the low 60s.  Whoo hoo!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Regular Wednesday

The fishermen are back, with no fish. Oh well, maybe next time. They said they enjoyed their trip and being able to relax for a few days, though.

I've enjoyed taking the kids to school and picking them up, but now their daddy will be doing it. He is gone now to get them. They will be surprised to see him. :o)

When I got back from taking Reece to school this morning, I made the little girls scrambled eggs with cheese and toast with strawberry jam. They enjoyed their breakfast. Reece had Lucky Charms. He doesn't like eggs.

I made Mom a grilled cheese sandwich, chips and applesauce for lunch, and she had a couple of pecan sandies for dessert. I stopped to pick up a few groceries for her after I dropped Aubrey at school. Mom does okay with things like soup, frozen waffles, PBJ sandwiches, but if there is any cooking to be done, I usually do that when I'm there. She also likes fast food (hamburgers, Mexican food, fried chicken, barbecue, etc.) and the leftovers from our dinners (home cooking).

So now I'm home, Ron and Jason are watching The Princess Bride on TV, and Josh and Cyrise just got back with Reece and Aubrey. Reece is in here with me, asking to watch Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs again. I sat out back with my dogs for a bit, until Ron came out and put them in the dog yard. :o(

I feel blessed to be at home, living our normal, everyday lives, when the world seems to be falling apart around us. Maybe I need to stop watching the news. Praying for peace all over the world.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Memory

September 11, 2001.

We will always remember.

Monday, September 10, 2012

School Days

I tried to copy and paste an email I got from the Texas Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but the format wouldn't work, so I deleted the post. So if you see a post titled Can You Help? in the reader, that's what it was all about.

I took Reece to school this morning, since his daddy is in Rockport. We got up at 6:30, and I dropped him off at school at 7:20. The school is only a couple of minutes away, which makes things easier.

Aubrey liked her first day of pre-school. She kept coming to me all morning, asking me to get her dressed and comb her hair so that she could go, but she doesn't go until 11:15. She was delighted when she finally got there, and when I kissed her good-bye and told her I would pick her up at 2:30, she just said "Okay," and started looking all around, paying no attention to me at all. :o) I looked back a couple of times as I left, and she was just fine. When I picked her up, she said she liked it, and the teacher (who was a substitute) said that she did great. Aubrey told me she got to "cut with scissors," and that she colored a gate that she drew. She said there was a TV at school. I asked what she watched on TV, and she said, "Little Bear." Not sure if that was true, or a made-up story.

I went to Mom's after leaving the school and spent a little over an hour there. It was another beautiful day so she went with me when I took Teddy for a walk. We heard on the news that we had a record low for this date last night--59 degrees! But it got up into the 90s this afternoon.

I only had about an hour at home before it was time to go again to pick up Reece and Aubrey.

Talked to the guys earlier, and they were out on the pier getting ready to fish. They caught some little perch for bait this afternoon, and Josh got more bait by net casting. I can tell that they are enjoying being there, and being together. I think it is so good for them to spend time together like this.

Cyrise made pork tenderloin, roasted fingerling potatoes and peas for supper. We had brownies I baked yesterday for dessert.

Tired tonight, and ready for sleep.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend Roundup

Reece got a splinter in his foot this evening. As I was trying to remove the splinter, embedded under the skin, he frantically said to me, "Don't hurt me Gramma! I'm fragile." :o) Oh how I love that kid. He just cracks me up.

Ron and our two sons, Jason and Joshua, are away for a few days on their (annual?) father/son fishing trip. This is the second year they've gone, so maybe it will become an annual thing. I hope they have better luck this year than last. The kids are hoping daddy brings home some big fish to eat.

Aubrey's first day of pre-K is tomorrow. She is so excited. I'm sure she will love it. She's very bright and very social. She goes from 11:15 to 2:30 PM. Cammie has already told her mommy that she will miss Aubrey when she's at school. I'm sure she will, too. She is Aubrey's little shadow. You rarely see Aubrey without Camryn close behind, trying to do whatever her "big" sis is doing.

We had a Canadian cold front come through and cool us off a bit this weekend. Of course by the time it got this far south, it wasn't really a "cold" front at all. The sun was still hot, but the breeze felt cooler, and the air quality was different. Autumn is in the air. This morning the sky was the most incredible blue, and the air was crystal clear and dry. I was out on the patio and there were dozens of little butterflies in the yard, and a single white feather drifted down from the sky. So pretty.

Hope your weekend was pleasant, and that you have a great week ahead.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Ron and I went to see the movie 2016: Obama's America last night. If you haven't seen it yet, I hope you will. Mr. D'Souza did his research, and came to a very reasonable conclusion. He identifies with Obama and has a different understanding of him than do most ordinary Americans.

As the ads for the movie say, whether you love him or hate him, you don't really know him. I'd like to know what Mr. Obama thinks of this movie--whether he thinks it is a realistic picture of his past, his present and his future. I'm sure he hates it, but is it accurate? (I believe it is).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Shopping, Cookies, Volunteering, and Bedtime Songs

Gran, Kelly and I had a really nice "girls day out" yesterday for Gran's birthday. We had lunch at Cheddars, then went shopping for clothes for Gran. It's always fun to be with them; they make me laugh. I think Gran enjoyed her birthday.

After being absent on Tuesday because of his cold, Reece is back at school. This morning I asked him if he wants me to bake some cookies while he is gone, or should I wait for him to get home to help me. He said he wants to help, so we will be baking later today.


Well, we baked and ate cookies. Aubrey and Camryn wanted to help, too, so I had three little helpers and one little watcher from the other side of the counter (Gina). It probably takes twice as long as it should to make a batch of cookie dough because every child wants his or her turn adding ingredients. And they all love to watch the mixer do its job, so we have to move step stools around so they all get a turn in front of the mixer.

We filled the cookie jar Ron made in 1974 with oatmeal cookies (after we all ate a couple). Reece gave me a big hug and said I'm the best cookie baker in the world. :o)

I went over to the school for the volunteer class at 6 PM. No one is allowed to be a volunteer at the school until they've been to the class. I was too sick from the radiation, chemo and transplant last year to volunteer, but I'm looking forward to helping out a little this year.

As I entered the school, a nice lady asked me if I was there for the volunteer class. When I told her I was, she said she was on her way there and would show me where to go. As we walked I asked if she was a teacher there, and she said that she was the school counselor. I introduced myself and asked her if she knew Reece, and she said, "Oh yes! He is such a sweetheart." :o)

The class only lasted about half an hour, and when I got home Josh had grilled the most delicious steaks. I ate on the patio while watching Reece and Aubrey play in the pool. They had dinner while I was gone.

All of the children fell asleep quickly tonight, after a story and some songs. They love the old folk song, Michael, Row The Boat Ashore. Cammy likes to sing and it's so fun to hear her sweet little voice singing along with me. Always makes me smile. My Favorite Things and Froggie Went A'Courtin' are a couple of other recent favorites.

Saw the tail end of Obama's speech. Not impressed. He's all talk, and we've heard it all before.

Have a good Friday.

Monday, September 3, 2012


The girls at Great Gran's birthday celebration.

Top picture is Aubrey, age 4.

Second picture is Camryn, age 3.

Third picture is Gina, age 1 1/2.

Celebrating Great Gran

I hope my American readers have had a great three day weekend and Labor Day celebration.

We celebrated Labor Day and my mom's birthday today. Mom will be 86 years old on Wednesday, September 5th. Ron grilled baby back ribs, and we had fresh asparagus and potato salad with them. And of course there was birthday cake and ice cream.

The kids were so excited that Great Gran would be spending the day with us. The first thing Reece did this morning was sit up in bed and say, "Is Gran going to be here today?" They loved swimming with her, and I think she enjoyed it as much as they did.

Reece has only been back at school for a week, and all four kids are sick with colds. I'm praying Mom doesn't get sick. I kept telling her not to kiss them, but she kissed them anyway.

We will continue Gran's birthday celebration on Wednesday. Kelly and I are taking her to lunch, and then we'll go shopping for some new clothes for her. A three generation shopping spree! :o) I'm looking forward to it.

Ron and I took Gran and Teddy home after dark. She was pretty tired, and so am I.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bombus Terrestris--So Cute!

My daughter Kelly makes handmade jewelry. Lately she has been doing little miniature paintings on a polymer clay base.

Here is Kelly's description of the most recent pendant from her Etsy shop, biologie:

The Bombus Terrestris! Also known as a buff-tailed bumble bee. Here is an original hand-painted art pendant with lovely pastel colors in artist acrylics worthy of a queen bee.

The first bumble bees seen in the spring are the queens. This queen is visiting a globe thistle for the sweet nectar. She'll store it in a nectar pot to feed her young.

This darling little pendant hangs from a chain necklace with a spring ring clasp and arrives wrapped in a decorated hand-folded paper gift box. The canvas of the painting is a lavender shade of polymer clay and your painting is permanently protected with jeweler's grade crystal clear resin. Each necklace is designed and painted by me - no prints, no duplicates.

· artist acrylic paints, jeweler's grade protective resin
· pendant is just under 1 inch long (22mm x 19mm) in a zinc-rich frame, water-resistant
· silver-plated chain measures 19 inches (48.2cm) with a spring ring clasp

Visit my shop for more nature inspired jewelry: biologie.etsy.com

Kelly packages her creations in beautiful little hand-folded boxes that are works of art in themselves. No need for gift wrap. :o)

If you enjoy giving handcrafted jewelry as gifts, or like wearing one-of-a-kind pieces yourself, please visit biologie. I think you'll like what you see.