Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday Chitchat

I was at the BMT clinic today for the first time since December 4th.  It was nice to see Dr. O and the BMT staff.  And I saw Dr. B and talked with him for awhile.

They accessed my port and sent the blood off to the lab.  All was well.  Dr. O wants to give me IVIG again in the next couple of weeks because of the flu going around.  I've had it once and my immune system was able to fight it off.  The IVIG will strengthen my immune system, though, in case I get it again.

My nurse today is a gentle giant of a man who very sweetly scolded me about taking better care of my diabetes.  I promised him I would do better about checking my sugars and taking my insulin.  He said, "It would be a shame to beat cancer and be taken out by diabetes."  I have to agree with that!  He used to work in a diabetes ward.

Gotta run.  I haven't gone to Mom's yet, and need to get over there and then back here to pick up Reece at school.  Aubrey didn't go today.  I got back in time to take her, but her mom had already called the school to tell them she wouldn't be there.  Aubrey was happy to be able to stay at home.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Date:  Wednesday, January 30, 2013  

Time and Weather:  8:40 AM.  After having summer-like weather yesterday (85 degrees), today is cold and windy.  A cold front came through yesterday in the late afternoon and took away our warm weather.  Right now it's 51, and the high will only be 63 today.  

Clothes:  Blue jeans, a gray t-shirt, a pair of Ron's old black army socks.  

Food:  Earl Grey with honey and lemon, Cheerios with blackberries and strawberries, a small piece of a sour cream doughnut.    

The House:  Laundry--some to wash and some to put away.   

Sounds:  I'm sitting downstairs with Aubrey and Cammy while their mom takes a shower.  Gina's still asleep.  So I am hearing some dinosaur cartoon and the dino's all have high little voices.  The girls are totally quiet, watching the cartoon.  

Books:  We found one of the library books, but still haven't found the second one.  It has to be here somewhere.  St. Anthony is going to get tired of me asking him for help--I'm always looking for something.   

Little Favorites:  Three little vintage bowls from the thrift store.  I love them for ice cream, fruit and cottage cheese, little desserts.

Arts and Crafts:  Would you believe me if I said I finished the sweater?  No?  Well, you would be right, I haven't.


These are Reece's moccasins that he wore when he was about two years old.  Now Gina is wearing them.  I love hand-me-downs.

This is so cute!

A Memory:  Remembering Chooch, our big black lab who died a few years ago.  We loved him so much.  

When Josh was in 5th grade, all he wanted was a dog.  We promised him that when we got back to the states and got a house of our own with a big back yard, we would get him a dog.  He didn't let us forget our promise.  As soon as we got into the house where we live now, he reminded me about the dog.  We found someone selling lab puppies and went to see them, way out in the country.  

The mama dog had a litter of 12 puppies!  I went to get batteries for my camera and left Josh there to get to know the puppies.  When I got back, he had already picked out the one he knew was his.  He said the puppy had followed him around and tried to untie his shoe laces.  He was one of only 3 boy puppies, and the smallest of the males, but he grew up to weigh over 100 pounds.

The owner rubbed the mama dog with a towel and gave it to Josh to wrap up the puppy for the trip home.  Josh held him on his lap the whole way, and there was no way to keep that puppy out of his bed that night.  They bonded immediately and completely.

We named the puppy Chooch.  The spelling is a phonetic spelling of atsutsa, which is "boy" in Cherokee.  You don't hear the "a" much at the beginning of the word, so it's more "tsutsa," which sounds like "chooch" to our ears.  I think the Cherokee language is similar to Japanese.

Everyone in the family loved that dog, and it was so hard when he died.  We loved to hear him howl when an ambulance went by.  He loved to run and play and would swim in the pool with us.  He was a terrific watch dog.  We love Sister and Katy, but we will never forget our Choocher.

Thank you, God:  For all the cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, and one lone chicken that have brought happiness to our family.  Thank you for the wildlife that lives near us.  We've love seeing the deer, coyotes, raccoons, possums, armadillos, roadrunners, and even a fox in the pool.  What a beautiful world you have given us.  Amen 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Summary

Wow, it's quiet here right now.  Josh and his family have gone to the grocery store and Ron went to the pool store for shock.  

Reece and I went to Gran's this afternoon.  He loves her so much.  We stayed over there for quite awhile.  It's peaceful, and Gran does whatever he wants to do.  We baked some cookies and they took Teddy for two walks.  Reece took Gran out onto the patio.  He was pretending to take Teddy to school out there, and he told me that no Grammas were allowed in school.  Only dogs, Great Grans and Reece.  :o)  Teddy got into trouble at school for not paying attention.  Hmmm.

We're still having great weather--74 degrees right now.  I feel bad for the people in the north with all the frigid temperatures and ice.

Have you seen those stories about Obama with flies on his face?  Weird.  It's happened quite a few times, evidently.  When I told Kelly about it, she said, "Lord of the flies."  :o)  That was such a sad book.

I made cinnamon bread pudding on Thursday.  It was so good.  I need to make it more often.  Josh has liked it since he was a little boy, and Ron likes it, too.  And so do I!  Real comfort food.

It was so warm yesterday that we stayed outside from the time the kids got home from school until dark.  I blew the leaves off the patio, and Cammy and I walked all around the yard with the yard cart, picking up toys and bits and pieces of junk.  The kids and I ate out there and just enjoyed the gorgeous weather.

So far it's been a nice weekend.  Hope you're enjoying yours.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Date:  January 23, 2013.  It's Wednesday again, but it feels like Thursday to me.

Time and Weather:  It's 8:22 AM, 46 degrees, and very foggy this morning.  We've been having gorgeous weather this week, with highs in the 60s and 70s and blue skies.  This is when we love living in Texas.  

Clothes:  Black velour pull-on pants, turquoise t-shirt and black socks.  

Food:  Just had a cup of Earl Grey with honey and a piece of toast (Health Nut bread) with apricot jam.  

The House:  We need a maid.  

Sounds:  It's quiet, even though the little girls are up and about.  I hear the rotating fan in my bedroom and some car sounds from outside.  

Books:  We can't find a couple of the kids' library books.  About the only books I read these days are kid books.  I think I'll start reading them chapter books.  

Oh wait--I am reading a book on my kindle.  It's Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson.  I keep starting over because I read some of it, then put it down and forget about it for weeks.  It does not hold my attention.  :o)

Little Favorites:  L'Oreal age perfect eye cream and age perfect face cream.  The graft vs. host has played havoc with my skin, and these seem to be the best at making my face look and feel normal.     

Arts and Crafts:  That darn sweater is still on the blocking board.  I wish a knitting fairy would come and put it together for me.  I was looking up the mattress stitch on You Tube and got sidetracked watching someone knit continental style, and now I want to learn that.  It's a lot faster and more efficient, I think.  

Music:  At bedtime Reece and I have been listening to a chant CD I've had for several years.  He loves it, and asks me every night to put on the "pretty music."  He's loved chant since he was really little.  This CD is called Chant, by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo De Silos.  We have some other chant CDs, but this one is his favorite.

A Memory:  Ski trips to Colorado with Ron and the kids.  I remember Jason, skiing downhill like a little bullet after only a couple of days.  And Kelly in her little yellow ski suit, snowplowing down the slopes.  Oh they were so cute!  

We usually went to Breckenridge.  Our favorite place to eat was a little cafe called The Gold Pan.  Excellent breakfasts!  

When Josh came along, my mom and dad and Ron's mom went with us one year.  Mom and Dad put Josh in a cardboard box and pushed him down a little hill.  The box turned over and dumped him out, and they said he was so mad at them!  He was only about 2 years old.  :o)

We stayed in a beautiful condo that year, and I'll never forget sitting by the window and watching the snow fall through the pine trees.  There was a little stream that ran next to the condo.  The snowflakes were so big they looked like feathers.  It was like being in a snow globe.

That was such a wonderful trip.  Our nephew, Jared, was with us, too.  At night the kids would play games, and the adults would play cards.  My dad got so tickled because Ron's mom Twylah said that she was "a card playing fool."  (She was, too).  Dad laughed about that for years.  We would drink mulled wine and hot chocolate by the fireplace, talk, play games and go to bed early so that we could get up and ski all day the next day.  A beautiful memory. 

Thank you, God:  You have blessed me with such a loving family.  Thank you for Ron, our children and grandchildren, my mom, my sisters, nieces and nephews and extended family.  Please pour out your blessings on all of them, and those who have passed away, as well.  Have mercy on us and all of your children.  Amen

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I had a dental appointment this morning at SAMMC, to see what can be done about my broken molars.  They will be able to save the one on the right side, but the one on the left will probably have to be pulled.  I've never had a tooth pulled and hope something else can be done, but I trust them to do the best thing.  I'll go back the first week in February for the first procedure.

I'm fortunate to be able to see the dentists there.  They don't see many civilian patients.  But I met the head dentist during both of my transplants, and he told me to come see him when I'd recovered enough to endure the dental work.  He was hoping the GvH would be gone by then.  The GvH is not totally gone, but has improved to the point where I will be able to tolerate the dental work.

I'm not the only one who has visited the dentist lately.  Little Camryn had some cavities filled and some caps put on yesterday.  Poor baby.  None of the grands seem to have inherited their daddy and grandfathers good teeth.  Ron's dad only had one cavity his whole life, and had all of his teeth when he died.  

Time to take Aubrey to school.  Thanks for visiting, and I'll see you soon.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mom's Pretty Apartment

Click the pictures to see them larger.

My sister Sandi and her daughter, Kori, were here over the weekend.  They spent some time hanging Mom's pictures and things and cleaning.  The apartment looks so pretty.  They both have "the knack." I've claimed this cozy little corner.  Mom got those pictures at an art party, I think.  I've always liked that little oak chest with the marble top.  She's had it for a long time.

This corner is diagonally across from "my" corner.  We got those prints for Mom when we lived in Hawaii.  They were done by a local artist.  There are two more in the set that we gave to Ron's mom.  I believe Kelly has them now.  This corner is near the patio doors.

This little table is near the entry door.  The silvery crosses go well with the picture frame, I think.

Here is the new couch.  The small pillows came with it.  Sandi brought the larger pillows from her place.  Mom really likes them.

I'm not sure where Mom got these prints.  Ron made the frames for them years ago.  The handsome soldier on her nightstand is my dad.

Thank you Sandi and Kori!  You did a beautiful job decorating Mom's apartment and making it look like home for her.

Reece and I were at Mom's for a long time this afternoon.  I finally got her cable and phone service working correctly.  The young man who helped me was so kind and courteous, and very patient.  He did it all from wherever he was, so no one needed to come out at all.

Ron goes back to work tomorrow, and the kids back to school.  The long weekend was nice.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

South Central Texas Saturday

We've had a gorgeous day here, sunny and not too cold.  Sixty-eight degrees right now.  

My sister Sandi showed up around noon and we went with her to Mom's.  She was going to hang pictures and go through boxes this afternoon. 

Ron and I went to Mama's Cafe for lunch around 1:30 or 2.  Ron had a smothered steak and I had a turkey fiesta sandwich and fried okra.  They have little table juke boxes at the booths (like the pic above).  

When we got home, Reece wanted me to help him put his Monster Mutt truck together.  He got it at the Monster Truck Show.  It's a K'Nex toy.  So we did that and he is having fun playing with it now.

I'm waiting for the cable guy to call and let me know when he's on his way to Mom's.  They said it could be any time between noon and 9 PM.  Hope they can fix it quickly and easily; her phone is not working, either.

Are you having a good weekend so far?  Hope so!  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Four

1.  Got a little bit of work done on our bedroom, but have a long way to go before it's "pretty."  Too much stuff!

2.  I made coq au vin a few days ago.  I used white wine instead of red, and though it was good, I think it lacked some of the good flavor it should have had.  

3.  Ron was off work today for a training holiday, and will be off Monday for MLK day.  The kids will be home from school, too, so we'll have a nice long weekend.  

4,  Please pray for my mom.  She has been more confused the past week or so than usual.  We thought she did well with the move, but maybe it's affecting her after all.  Thank you!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Made up Daybook

I sort of made up my own little daybook.

Date:  January 16, 2013.  It's Wednesday.

Time and Weather:  It's 8:49 AM and it's 28 degrees outside.  Twenty-eight dang degrees!  

Clothes:  Blue jeans, an old red sweater of Josh's that swallows me up, black socks with white stripes.  I'm a fashion statement.  :o)

Food:  Cyrise and I made pork chop casserole for dinner last night.  I love using my new Cuisinart food processor to slice potatoes, shred cheese, etc.  I had some kind of organic cereal for breakfast.  I added lots of fresh berries and a sprinkle of my frozen lemon gratings.  Also put the lemon in my hot tea.  Yum.  Oh, and a Pillsbury cinnamon roll.  They smelled so good baking.  Tasted pretty good, too.

The House:  It's a wreck.  I'm going to focus on my bedroom, just making it look nice.  It's my retreat from the chaos of four little ones, and it should be peaceful and pretty.  Right now it has clothes to be put away, dishes on my dresser, toys, a dirty carpet.  

Sounds:  I can hear the little girls screaming while their mom gets them ready for a bath.  I don't understand all the screaming. 

Books:  Not reading anything right now.
Little Favorites:  My peach gummy vitamins.  I've always had trouble taking vitamins, but I found these and now taking vitamins is a treat.  They are Vitafusion Platinum 50+ (for people over 50). 

Arts and Crafts:  I have a little girl sweater blocked and ready to put together.  I dread the sewing it together part.  I only like the knitting part.

Love his voice!


A Memory:  The incredible aroma of flowers in Hawaii, wild orchids along the highway on the Big Island, the soft, misty rain while the sun was shining, guava chiffon cake, hula lessons (fun), poinsettia bushes blooming at Christmas time, the shadow of a gecko on a banana leaf outside my kitchen window, the bananas from that tree were little tiny things that were so delicious.  I miss Hawaii sometimes. 

Photography:  Nothing recent.

Thank you, God:  I am thankful to wake up each morning and enter into the life all around me.  Ron, Josh and Cyrise, the four grandchildren, the dogs, Sister and Katy.  Driving the kids to school, going to Mom's, picking the kids up.  My life is beginning to seem more normal again, and I am so thankful for that.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Bits and Pieces

The kids had fun at the monster truck show on Sunday.  They came home all excited, with cotton candy, a plastic Gravedigger hat, some crazy flashing rings, a lego monster truck, etc. etc.  I meant to get a picture of Reece in the hat, but forgot.  Maybe tomorrow.

He was keyed up Sunday night and didn't get to sleep until late, so he was tired today.  I hope he was good at school.  He went to sleep like an angel tonight, about 7:40 PM.  The little girls did, too.

Still cold here--44 right now, and will get down to 33 degrees tonight (or early morning).  Brrr.

I saw an article on the internet about freezing whole lemons, then grating them up to use in whatever you like.  You wash them first, really well.  Then put them in a freezer bag and freeze them.  When they are frozen, take them out and grate the whole thing, peel, seeds and all.  The article, which I can't find now, said to sprinkle the frozen bits of lemon on everything: soup, eggs,  salads, veggies, beans, ice cream, ramen noodles--you name it.  It said that it brightens up the flavor of any food and is good for you, as well.

I like lemon, so I bought some and tried it.  I've only grated one so far (I used the small holes).  The article (that I can't find) said you can put them in the food processor to grate them, and I'm going to do that with the rest of them tomorrow.  The one I grated smelled heavenly while I was grating it, and I put the gratings in a plastic bowl w/lid and put it back in the freezer.  The gratings tasted good all by themselves.  They sort of melted in my  mouth.  I'll try them on food tomorrow.

Camryn has a dentist appointment tomorrow, so I will drop her and her mommy off at the dentist's after we take Aubrey to school at 11:15.  Gina will stay with me.  

I also have a dentist appointment, but mine is next week on Tuesday.  Dreading it, but need it.  I have 2 broken molars that have to be fixed.  The dentist didn't want to do it while I was still recovering from cancer and chemo, but one of them is starting to hurt a little and I don't want it to get worse.

Hope you've had a good start to your week.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Monster Trucks and Babysitting

Josh and Cyrise are taking Reece and Aubrey to the monster truck show this afternoon.  Camryn and Gina will stay with me and Papa.  

Cammy was pretty upset that she didn't get to go.  She hates to be left out of anything.  But Papa has a way of making her happy.  He took her with him to pick up Chinese food for lunch, and she was all smiles.  Gina is napping, so it's really quiet around here.  Nice.  :o)

I was all ready to go to Mom's, but have been delayed by the leave taking and lunch picking up and the little one sleeping in her room.  Someone has to be here with her.  

It looks pretty outside, all sunshine and blue skies.  But it's only 52 degrees and a little windy.  The wind is from the northwest and it's cold.  I really dislike winter.

Hope you're having a beautiful Sunday.  Today is the Commemoration of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Birthday Boy

Jason, I hope you are having a wonderful birthday.

I missed your music (and Ahlyssa's, too) after you left.  It was fun to hear you both play.

You are the best thing that ever happened at Darnell Army Hospital in 1971.  :o)  

Love you!  Mom

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Cyrise!

May God bless you on your birthday and always!

May this new year of your life be the happiest one yet.  

May you have the precious gift of good health and a wonderful life.

Birthday hugs from all of us!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Late Night Chatter

We had that drizzly, messy kind of rain all day today and tonight.  And it's cold.  Ick.

Reece and I went grocery shopping for Gran this morning.  He wanted bean and cheese tacos for lunch, so we stopped at Taco Cabana and picked up lunch for Gran, too. 

We got her a Mr. Coffee for Christmas.  It uses the little pods.  At first she didn't make coffee because she wasn't sure how to use it.  I showed her a few times and now she's confident enough to do it herself.  She loves that coffee.  It makes a perfect cup every time, which is much different from her coffee before.  She would make it so dark it was nearly undrinkable, even for her. 

We were at Gran's for quite awhile.  I got the groceries unloaded and put away while they ate lunch.  Then they took Teddy for a walk and didn't come back, so I went looking for them.  Teddy was having trouble doing his business, and made a big mess on himself, so we had that to deal with when we got back.  Yuck.

I took Reece to the barbershop for a haircut when we left Gran's.  I told him that we were going to Papa's barbershop, and he was all for that.  The barber was elderly and took a long time cutting Reece's hair, but he did a good job.  Reece was very good.  He just made some faces when the barber used the clippers around his ears and neckline.  He looks very handsome.  :o)  

Mom's sofa was delivered Monday morning. It is extremely firm, which I don't remember from the one we saw in the store, and one of the attached back pillows is a little higher than the other two.  It's pretty, though.  I'm just glad she finally has a sofa and that she likes it.

Reece and Aubrey go back to school tomorrow.  Makes me a little bit sad.  I call Reece my little attachment, because he is with me almost constantly when he's home.  But he is ready to go back, and excited to see his teacher and his friends again.  I'm happy for that.  Aubrey is ready, too.

Josh also likes his school.  Looking at his paperwork, it looked like he had a huge number of classes.  But he said that some of them are only for a few days.  

I'd better get to bed.  We will all be up early tomorrow and I'll take Reece to school at 7:20 or so, and then Aubrey at 11:15.  Then I'll pick them up at 2:30.  Oh, and Teddy has an appointment at the groomer's at 9 a.m.  I'll be giving the van a workout.  I like driving it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Lots going on in our lives right now.

Josh will start school tomorrow.  He has enrolled in the Hallmark College airframe and powerplant technology course.  The course will take about 15 months, so next spring he should graduate and will hopefully find a good, well-paying job that he enjoys.  I'm excited for him!

We bought a van over the weekend.  We need it with the grandkids getting bigger.  The truck was a tight squeeze for all 4 of them.  So now everyone will have his or her own seat and plenty of room.   It seats 7, so there's even an extra seat.  It's a silver Dodge Caravan, not new, a 2008, but it's loaded with extras and is very nice.  We had a Dodge conversion van for years, and it was a good one.  I hope this one will be even better.    

With Josh in school during the week, I'll be the one taking the kids back and forth to school now.

A Reecism:
A few days ago Reece and I were sitting on the couch, talking about reading and the sounds letters make.  I asked him to tell me some words that start with the B sound.

Reece:  "Ball."
Gramma:  Yes.
Reece:  "Banana."
Gramma:  Yes.
Reece:  "Baby."  
Gramma:  Yes, that's a good one.
Reece:  "Bastard."
Gramma:  Oh!  (trying not to laugh and covering it with a cough and an hmmm).  Yes, that's a B word, but you probably shouldn't share that one with your teacher.
Reece:  "Okay."

(I did not teach him that word).        

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The New Year Begins

Good grief.  I accidentally deleted a long post, and now I'm too frustrated to rewrite it.  Here's the abbreviated version. 

We loved having Jason and his family here.  They left Wednesday afternoon.

Highlights of the visit:  Jason and Lyssa playing their guitar and viola together.  They are writing a song together and it's very pretty.  Lyssa has been playing for only 2 years, but is the first viola chair.  She is so talented.

Shopping for jewelry with Ahlyssa and Lily.  They are such sweet girls.  Lys found a delicate silver filigree bracelet, and Lily a gold locket necklace for their Christmas gifts.  I think they like their treasures, and I was happy because they were on sale and are good quality pieces for my beautiful  granddaughters.  

Showing Lily how to knit at the last minute before they left.  She picked it up right away, and is going to make a scarf at home.  I was amazed at how fast she understood what to do.  She is eager to come back for Spring break.

Impromptu concerts every night.

Kismette's yummy cookies.  She always brings a big box of cutout, decorated cookies and we snack on them the whole time they are here.  She also brings Chex Mix--yum!

Seeing our little guys, Jacob and Reece, growing closer each visit.  They played and played and stayed up late to be together.  It was nice.  

Our oldest grandson, Caelen, is so sweet with the kids.  He mostly plays games on the computer and sleeps when he is here, and comes up for air and food now and then.  :o)  He's gotten so tall and lanky. He towers over me.

The little girls are always happy when their cousins are here.  And their Uncle Jason.  Poor guy,  he gets pestered to death, but he is always so loving and patient with them.  

Having family with us is such a great way to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

We have had a busy few days.

Jason and family arrived Sunday around noon.  It has been so good to have them all here.  Reece and the girls are always so happy and excited when their cousins come to visit.  Me too!

We brought Great Gran over on Monday (New Year's Eve), just to hang out with all of us.  Ron and Jason got Freddie's hotdogs for the kids and Biff Buzby burgers for the adults (except for me; I didn't want fast food.  I had Cheerios with peaches).

After Mom ate, we went to get hair cuts.  Hers looks cute.  Mine looks a little manly.  Oh well, I didn't have much to work with, I guess.  My hair grows fast, so hopefully it will look a little more feminine in a couple of weeks.

Then we went to her old apartment complex to turn in her keys and gate card.  I hope I never see that place again.  After Mom moved out, a woman was going around the complex knocking on doors with her little girl, pretending to sell cookies.  When someone answered, she would ask if her little girl could use their bathroom.  Then she would go into the bathroom and close the door and proceed to steal whatever she could find.  The large walk-in closets are in the bathroom, rather than the bedroom, and people store all kinds of things in them.  If she was confronted, she would attack the elderly resident physically.  The good news is that she was caught at the complex.  She was on the nightly news, crying as they put her into a police car.  Her name is Tawanna Jackson and she is 24 years old.  What kind of world is this, where young people prey on the elderly?  And use their little child to do it.  It's sick.

We didn't stay up late last night to see the new year in.  All of us were too tired.  But we had a lovely New Year's Day.  There were seventeen of us here.  We had a spiral sliced ham with yummy glaze, scalloped potatoes, broccoli, Caesar salad, and dinner rolls.  Peach and blackberry cobblers for dessert, with ice cream.  I forgot about the black-eyed peas; I was going to make hoppin' John.

Kelly, Reece and I took Gran home around 8:30 PM.  She loved being here in the middle of all the chaos.  She loves the kids, and they love her.  Teddy stayed at the apartment and was wild with joy when we got there.  Kelly took him out right away, and then cleaned a couple of spots on the carpet before we came back home.  She's a sweetheart.

Now I am going to bed.  I pray that God will bless this new year, and all of you, as well.