Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thoughts of Christmas and the Coming New Year

It snowed today.  It snowed Monday.  We have lots of snow. AND . . .  thanks to "Santa Baby" I have boots. Boots with which to conquer or at least manage walking in said snow.

Had all five grandbabies for Christmas, and two of the offspring to celebrate with.  (So missed the two kids back in Louisiana!)  Cooked and baked like crazy, but had fun doing it.

Have laughed and cried with new friends and older friends. Given thanks daily for the blessings of a loving God. Have wept over heartbreaking tragedies near and far. Continue to pray for wisdom, loving kindness, integrity and honesty . . . along with hard work and sense of personal responsibility . . . to return as common goals for daily living for myself and all mankind here and elsewhere.

May we all be blessed to take another hard, long look in the mirror and adjust our goals for the coming year to improve our standing with God.  I love the following scripture (among a ton of others) which I think of more especially when celebrating the birth of Christ or when celebrating His resurrection:

KJV   John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

My prayer of thanksgiving is for His loving sacrifice in behalf of all mankind, everywhere, throughout all time, and for the hope that all will come unto Christ--as we have and continue to celebrate His birth--and strive to live our lives in the coming year as He lived his.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hello, Again!

Please don't keel over dead . . .  I know I've been "nearly dead" to the blogging world lately, but since moving to Utah, life has been BUSY!  Husband's shattered/now replaced shoulder was/is probably our most spectacular and uncomfortable singularly difficult experience since landing in the intermountain west this past June.

Living in an apartment 1/2 the size of our home of nearly 30 years is d i f f e r e n t.  I guess it's a plus that there's no yard work requirement which is good considering that husband is rather limited in right arm function at this point.  Even though there is a crew of grounds workers at the apartment complex who do a pretty good job keeping things looking good, my fingers get itchy for my pruning clippers all too often when I see shrubs and roses with overly excited shoots exceeding their brother's neat limits.  I've been know to superstitiously snap an errant shoot or two, but I stop myself--with great effort, I might add--when it comes to "dead-heading" the rose bushes.  There are too many and I might get in trouble--exceeding my time limitations and all.

We have been walking a lot since the shoulder accident back in June.  The weather and walking conditions here more easily facilitate/encourage walking.  The humidity is far lower, the mornings and evening far cooler (we're now experiencing low temps in the 40's and highs in the 70's/80's) and there are endless sidewalks and neighborhoods to walk on and through. When we first began our daily walks, we'd go both morning and evening for 30 to 45 minutes.  We managed to average about 20 to 23 minutes per mile.  We have walked up to 3.5 or 4 miles one day (which included some challenging hills, I might add).  Yesterday afternoon, we walked about 1.5 miles in less than 24 minutes and averaged 15.15 minutes a mile.  I think that's our best record to date!

I had a bone density test the other day and was rather pleasantly pleased to learn than at age 60+ my bones are better than the average 30 year old's.  I think our daily walks--along with other good health practices (and probably good genes) contribute to that!

Tomorrow we go to one of the University of Utah's health complexes to find out about husband's axillary nerve in his damaged shoulder.  It doesn't respond to any stimuli--which is a problem.  That is the never that controls the deltoid muscle's movement for raising your arm as well as moving it up and out to the side.  When it doesn't work, your arm movement is VERY limited and if it's the right arm and your right-handed . . .  well you might imagine how difficult it is.

Writing is very limited.  Driving is very limited. And so on, and so on.  Maybe tomorrow we'll learn a little more about what to anticipate.  Sometimes those nerves regenerate--which can take up to 2 years to do so--and sometimes they have to be replaced . . .  Husband is NOT looking forward to any more surgeries!!!!!!

On a happier note--we fell into buying a new van.  Yep, we're grandparents and so we need a van.  Took my '03 Altima in to have a seat belt fixed/replaced July 30th and (since we'd been talking about getting a newish van for awhile) we decided to take a test drive while the Altima was being worked on.

Weeeeeelllllllllllllllllllll . . . the dealership we were visiting had a quota to meet.  They made us an offer we couldn't refuse so, the day before our 42nd wedding anniversary we drove out of the dealership in the very van I had test driven.  Didn't plan on it, but thus it happened.  I LOVE MY NEW VAN!!!!!!!  It is far more luxurious than I ever dreamed of.  It is larger on the inside than the 1993 Nissan Quest we owned for 10 years (and loved).  It has leather interior, a DVD player which the grandchildren love.  It is excessively comfortable.  It drives like a dream.  I can't get over how nice it is.  But the BIG thing is, it DOES accommodate enough of us comfortably!

Well, I better change gears and get ready for the rest of my day.  Somebody mentioned breakfast and I guess that means I need to fix something. :-)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

You Never Know What's Coming Next!

We made it to Utah the second weekend in June.  It was a tough few months packing, selling, giving away, de-junking, packing, selling and giving away more.  Then we cleaned.  Well, I actually paid a woman to help with that.  I was running out of time and energy.

Made the 1500 mile drive in 2.5 days.  Got into the new apartment on Saturday. Spent time with the grand children and daughter on Sunday.  Got our PODS delivered: one on Thursday, the next on Friday.  Had some great help from Church members we'd never met before.  Had everything unloaded and crammed into an apartment 1/2 the size of the home we left behind by Friday afternoon.

Saturday, one week later:

Went to daughter's house to watch the kiddos while she made up some lost time at work.  The kids and I cleaned up their rooms and rest of the house for an hour or so while Grandpa waited on PODS driver to pick up the 2nd (now empty) POD.  He brought our gardening tools from home to help with their vegetable garden and we all started working on outside chores.

Little Britches decided he needed food (it's a VERY serious matter to get and keep that child fed!) while Grandpa was raking and other outside clean-up activity continued with the older siblings while LB and I went it to get lunch started.

Blue Eyes came in a few minutes later.  "Grandma, you need to come.  Grandpa fell down."

I wasn't sure I heard him right.  "Grandpa fell?  Where?"  That is one thing that I have never known Grandpa to do.  In over 40 years. So, you can imagine my alarm.  I quickly set down what I was working on and went to the front door and outside.  Grandpa was in pain, I could tell.  And filthy, from falling into the dirt/grass in the yard.  The part that really concerned me was that his left hand was cradling his right arm.  As soon as I could get him inside and sitting down I asked what had happened.

Called daughter--who'd probably only been at work for an hour or two--to let her know we had to get her father to the ER, which luckily is only about 1.5 miles away.  All the kids came inside and we had prayer for Grandpa.  Even the little ones recognized that a broken bone seemed obvious, though we couldn't verify it at the moment.  When a friend, whom daughter called, got to the house to watch the kids I left for the ER with Grandpa.

When getting him into the truck to transport him, shoulder dislocation was obvious, but owing to the amount of pain I could tell he was in, I knew the break was NOT good.  He was sweating profusely but wasn't due to the hot outside temperature.  He was most likely in shock and when they had him in triage, his temp was checked twice--it was so low.  How he did not pass out with the pain, I don't know!

X-rays, of course, were ordered.  When they came back with him and the x-rays it was obvious that there were fractures.  The ER physician was talking of realigning his shoulder bone into the socket, and  my husband said, "If you don't knock me out before you try to do it, I don't think I'll be able to stand it."  The doc wanted to re-position the ball back into the socket to relieve the pain.  We're REALLY glad he waited on the orthopedic doctor to come assess things.  They gave my husband his third dose or morphine before taking him down to do a CT scan.  The drugs were doing little to alleviate the pain but a great deal of making him nauseous.  Zofran didn't help at all.  The orthopedic surgeon said the ball of the humerus was fractured into about 4 pieces.  It would require surgery to fix either with reconstruction or replacement.  Then he painted a rather grim picture of a right arm that might function little to none afterwards.  What reassuring words.  He said he could/might need to do the surgery but would rather wait until the next day so that his partner--who had done a lot more shoulder repair surgery than himself--could get back to town and do it either that night or next morning.

That surgeon talked with us a few minutes the next afternoon just prior to surgery.  Said he wanted to repair the bone--if possible--because chances were better for more thorough recovery of his shoulder usage.  After surgery, when I spoke with the surgeon, he said, "Well, the funniest thing happened when I opened him up . . . one of the pieces of the bone fell out!"  So, shoulder repair was out of the question. Shoulder replacement was requisite.  He brought pictures of the x-rays after surgery.  Apparently one of the two rotator cuff muscles was completely torn away and some ligaments were torn as well, but Dr. said that he was very pleased with the alignment of repaired rotator with new shoulder piece.  Said it was exactly where it needed to be.

I'm still amazed at how my husband has tolerated the pain since day one.  The bruising, swelling, discomfort with all the trauma of the fall, fracture and surgery--I am amazed.

Saw the surgeon last Friday and he was still very please with the alignment of everything.  Towards the end of the visit he said, "So in about a year, you should be pretty much back to normal."

And so, we count our blessings and are grateful for a really good surgeon--whom we can visit just across the street from where we live rather than traveling 80 to 90 miles (one way) to see our doctors as we had to back in Louisiana!

Life is always interesting, eh?

And after we got back home from the hospital on Wednesday last week, I was amazed at how I somehow managed (with a little help from people I'd just met or never met before) to get a multitude of boxes either emptied, sorted out, moved, whatever, so that the living/dinging/kitchen areas of the apartment actually look more like "home".

Well, it's way past my bedtime and I might or might not have made cohesive sense here.  Forgive me if not.  :-)

Monday, May 28, 2012

'Bout Time I 'Fessed Up

Truth is, I've been MIA in BlogWorld because husband and I have been working like dogs to get our house and belongings ready for a big move.  We've taken tons of stuff to Goodwill, given other stuff to friends, and our children, and put a variety of antiques and other collectibles up for sale.  We have packed and cleaned and fixed things until we dropped exhausted into bed at night after a multitude of 18 hour days.  When you get into your 60's you find your strength and stamina somehow diminished!  Who would have thunk it?

And then there's all the emotions that you put on hold because you know leaving the home you raised your children in and so many, many dear friends and memories.  Sunday, yesterday, opened the floodgates.  Words of love and sadness were expressed over and over and tears flowed and overwhelmed me.

By this coming Saturday all of our household goods should be packed and loaded ready for pickup on Monday.  Then the finite cleaning will commence, the car and truck will be loaded with what we'll be using to live on/with for the week or two those household goods will be in storage/transit.

At the conclusion of the move we will be much closer to one daughter and three of our grandchildren and a majority of my brothers/sisters and their families. It will take some readjusting after having lived in Louisiana for nearly 30 years to be back in the mountains of Utah!  When we get settled I'll try to be more diligent(?) in keeping something on this post.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Deceptively Young

On an absolutely perfect and spectacular spring day today, we were passing through Moab, Utah, on our way home. While eating lunch there, my husband and I noticed 5 or 6 really young guys ride up on dirt bikes--the motorcycle kind--all dressed up in protective gear, including some kind of chest protective vests. They looked very lean and high school age.  I even commented to my husband, "Wow!  Those are some really young guys, aren't they?"

He agreed with me.  We even speculated about whether or not they were junior or high school age.  THEN . . . they started taking off helmets and some of their upper-body gear.  I laughed!  All but one of them were grey-haired and at least pushing 50!

If you don't know anything about Moab, Utah, look it up on line.  It's very close to Arches National Park, where we visited last year.  It is a popular area for rugged recreational sports and has a bit of a "hippie" atmosphere there.  People come from around the world to Moab to participate in exploring/sporting activities.  It's a beautiful place.

Anyway, I wonder if those "young, really young" guys would laugh if they knew what our first impression was.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Garden Salad

Normally when I say "I had a garden salad for lunch" it means that I had fresh greens, veggies and what not for a salad.  But today I had a freshly picked (for the most part) Garden Salad just minutes from the garden in the back yard and pots on the back patio.  There was butter crisp lettuce, baby spinach, broccoli, carrots and actually later, because they had to cook first, I ate a few tiny beets--also freshly picked today from the garden.  It was fun to just walk outside and get what I wanted to eat, wash it off and eat it.  But then, anyone who has a veggie garden probably knows that.  :-)

Oh, when pulling out some carrots from the pot by the back door, I found an interesting pair of tiny carrots.  There's even a picture (or two) of them if I can get them to properly load onto this post.

What carrots do when no one is looking--they snuggle up--apparently!

The beets and tiny carrots I pulled today to make more room for their companions.

Nothing beats fresh food! I'm happy now.