Monday, September 22, 2008

And this is why we have grandkids!

I felt a bit teary when the surgeon told me on Friday that I may never jog again. But my dear walking partner generously said, "We never really jogged that fast anyhow." "We" was the generous part, in case there was any doubt.

And then, I didn't feel any better when Bob was paying bills and noted that my Visa bill over the past month was only $20 which is much less than any credit card bill before my fateful blob jump. Obviously, I haven't been out much. Bob sympathetically told me, "I was thinking maybe I should break your other leg."

On the other hand, I talked with Amy a bit today and she put the phone on speaker so that the boys were listening but not really participating in the conversation. Immediately after we said good by, Amy called back. She said, "I just had to tell you what [three year old] Ryan said after your call. He said, 'Don't you think Grandma is nice?' "

Ohhhh what a sweetheart! Now that made my day!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Real Simple, Sweet, Wonderful Thursday

I was introduced to the magazine, Real Simple, by my daughter-in-law. I love the plain and interesting covers. The emphasis is on natural colors and textures and lines using everyday items. That is the wonderful kind of experience that I enjoyed on Thursday only much better.

I spent the day with my sisters-in-law, Judy and Joy, and my mother-in-law, Mom. I appreciate the easy relationship with them, just genuine interest and appreciation for each other.

We took a two hour drive to Arcola and Arthur, IL and loved the back roads, fields, laundry on the clotheslines, gardens and flower beds. We loved seeing the Amish, particularly the women and children. Many of the children were barefoot. We saw beautiful horses and more carriages than I have ever seen in one day.

We toured the Rockome Gardens and ate a delicious country lunch (enough for two dinners!) of meatloaf, potatoes, green beans, hot bread, apple butter, salad, and strawberry pie or carrot cake.

We stopped and had cookies and ice tea in the kitchen of my cousin, Dee, and enjoyed meeting two of her six grandchildren and her daughter-in-law, Kara. Dee's hubby, Willis, and both of her sons are big farmers. We stopped briefly to see their “shop” and were awed by all of the BIG tractors—wishing we could show them to our own grandkids. JD one of their sons has a tractor GPS business and the tractors steer themselves—literally no hands! Amazing!

In a quilt shop, we visited with a sweet grandma about to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary with her six children and grandchildren. At Beachy Produce, I picked up four different containers of candy and then before we left, decided better and put them all back.

A bonus back in Morton was that we got to visit with more relatives--Dale’s brother--Paul and his entire family, who were in Morton for a family funeral. We saw Jonathan’s speedy little motorcycle and breathed a sigh of relief when he called to tell that he and his girlfriend were safely home again near Chicago.

As Dad Rowell often said, “Today was a good day!”

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One Year Old!

Jacob Graham
September 16
Youngest Grandchild
Saying, "I want my grandma to hold me!"
or maybe, "Yay! for the Cubs!"
or probably a two handed "bye-bye."
Without a doubt, he is one of the cutest, sweetest little one year olds!
I love you dear Jacob!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The sky is bluer and the grass is greener

What a differnce a day makes! Yesterday as I drove to PT, I marveled at the greeness of the grass and the beauty in the flowers! Everything was particularly vibrant.

Bob went to see a retina specialist and we received good news! No surgery is necessary and usually the condition corrects itself in two to four months.

I am reminded of my sister, Donna. She is receiving help for macular degeneration with monthly injections in her eye.

Yes! "We live by faith and not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Even so, sight is such a wonderful gift!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


We are having record rains—the most since records have been kept eons ago! We are accustomed to having a 100 year rain about every other year but I haven’t seen this before! I can’t even post photos because I was unprepared with a camera about ten times in the last two days. I don’t know if we should blame Ike or not but it has been torrential!

Pulling honey yesterday behind dad’s barn was an experience! It didn’t just rain, it poured! I stayed in the car and visited with my sisters but my hubby got drenched! He would have been dryer if he had been naked because the water would have rolled off instead of soaking into his skin but that would not have worked seeing that he needed his bee suit and we were not alone. He was totally shriveled by the time that he got the honey but we did get it—5-6 whole supers full! Still I couldn’t help wondering if we should have stayed home and come next weekend. A good book and the fireplace sounded mighty nice.

This is a picture of beehives through the windshield during the very big rain.

And then driving home from Ohio was downright scary! Not only was it raining cats and dogs but it was DARK! and there was TRAFFIC! and my hubby needs an appointment with a retina specialist within the next two weeks because he sees double and a host of other issues. I kept wondering, “Why am I not HOME in front of the fireplace curled up with a book!”

It was much too late last night to unpack the car and we had to leave for church today by 7:05 a.m. but unfortunately I was not quite ready and so we left at 7:15 a.m. Bob was to be in the parking lot for part of the morning but he was prepared with umbrella and poncho and vest. However, it is impossible in spite of great finesse with a walker for me to maneuver an umbrella, Bible, and treats for Adult Community and I was not wise enough to wear a poncho. I delivered the treats and then went into the washroom to survey how my hair had survived the rain—hoping that it just got curlier—not frizzier but it was not to be! I wondered, “Could I not have worshipped just as well at home—by the fireplace—with a Bible and then a Christian book?”

Following church and our adult community, I did not locate my husband and so shuffled with my walker and Bible and purse—(I found someone to take the leftover treats so that I would not consume them and I surely would have)—to the car. Alas, both windows and the back were filled with many dozens of bees. Dear hubby had thought that he was able to get most of the honey with very few hitchhiker bees. Maybe some hatched overnight. Now granted, they were not aggressive—in fact downright sluggish—still as I struggled to roll down windows and gently lead bees out into the rain, I did wonder why I was the one that suggested last night, “Let’s just go to bed. We can unpack the car after church.” And then when I thought most of the bees were either in back or out the windows and doors, I froze as I turned the AC on COLD with the blowers on high because bees do not like the cold and called hubby regarding his location. He reported that no one had replaced him and that he was still out on Morton Road dodging cars as other WBC attenders also got a late start in the rain and were still intent on getting parked and into the services quickly. I want you to know that worshipping in nature with the critters is not all it is built up to be. I thought, “I believe I could be more filled with the spirit of praise if I were home—by the fireplace with my book!”

Undaunted I started out this afternoon in plenty of time for a bridal shower in West Chicago. However, Main Street was blocked off because of high water. No problem, County Farm worked until I got to Jewel which was blocked because of high water. So I figured Geneva Road would work but to no avail so not knowing Eileen’s number, I called information for her number—a definite no-no but this was an emergency. My speech was formulated in my head. “I am so sorry, Eileen, but I won’t make it to the shower that you have slaved over all week to put on for our dear friend because of Noah like floods on every street!” However, before I even got started, she broke in to tell me that Gayle knew a way to get to Eileen’s house and I was then hearing how happy she was that I was coming and Gayle was saying all you need to do is drive another 6 miles to North Avenue and then take Prince Crossing south for a few miles and it really is no problem.

So after a lovely shower where I ate a piece of cake that I had determined not to eat because I have a doctor’s appointment in two weeks—those two facts are very related—in case you happen to be male and have read this far—for which I also say, “Thank you!” and “Congratulations!”—but I digress. I am now home! And I am worshipping and praising God!! I am so very blessed!! and it doesn’t matter that my hair is all frizz, my hubby was still glad that I came home. Now, I will quit blogging because I am going to curl up in my pj’s by the fireplace with the blue blanket and a really good book.

And by the way, there were some very good parts of these past two days now that I can sit in comfort and remember. The new restaurant in Archbold is excellent! I loved seeing my family! It was fun to go out to the barn. Lowell found two treasures for me. We celebrated Donna and Kay's birthdays. We are safe and dry. Sweet Wesley is getting a very sweet wife! I just had a supper of comfort food--chicken and rice soup and saltines! Ain’t life grand!

Some of my family drying off in the barn.

Sheila--doing some treasure hunting in the barn.

Lou--admiring some of Dad's uses for auction items.

And Sisters--Life is good!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Picture Pretty

Our Bible study group came to our house last night for dinner because I have a broken leg and someone probably masculine thought it would be easier for me to stay home than go out and we weren’t at the meeting to decide because I was at Marianjoy Rehab. It is hard to have a group over without wanting to have flowers for the table. Being inspired by Lester’s Ladies, I persevered and figured out how to cut and carry end-of-the-season hydrangea into the house and photograph my lovely walker while I was not attached to it. It wasn’t a pretty sight—I mean the figuring it all out—I thought the flowers and the walker were kind of a pretty sight thus these photos. . . Notice my matching tennis balls compliments of my hubby to save our wood floors. Bob is worried that I am becoming a bit of a wicked driver with my walker and fears that he will have to repaint all of our door frames and a few baseboards when this is all done.

My dear creative neighbor, Kris, gave me some color drip candles. "A fun gift," she said, "because you got hurt having fun." Last night, I lit one of the candles. It was a good conversation piece as our friends reminisced the 60’s. I didn’t have an empty wine bottle but a vinegar bottle was almost empty so it sufficed. It reminded Tim of Lady and the Tramp one of his first movies. Thanks, Kris!
I made a salad for our dinner that I am going to call Grownup Salad. My friend, Mary, made up the recipe after eating something similar in a Wisconsin restaurant. You take mixed greens and take a good sized handful for each individual and combine it in a large bowl with a little bit of poppy seed dressing. (It is easy to get too much.) Then you make the individual salads by putting those greens in each salad plate. Then on top of each person’s salad put sliced red beets one side, across from that put a little pile of cannellini beans. On another side put crumbled cheese—usually blue cheese but this time I used goat cheese and then across from the goat cheese, put 5 or six Trader Joe’s candied pecans or walnuts. Then with a spoon drizzle a little bit of poppy seed dressing on top of each salad for a final touch. I was taking a risk making the salad—red beets are pretty much grownup food but fortunately I was among all grownups who love beets and the salads were picture pretty. You'll just have to take my word on that one.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Hale just turned eight years old, and like all of our grandkids, he is unique. Something particularly fun about Hale is that he is a budding White Sox fan! Sunday was a happy day--for Hale, Grandpa, Aunt Kathi and for me! We had the privilege of taking Hale to his first MLB game. No, Cellular Field isn't as big as "The Bird's Nest" but it is still pretty big!

About every two innings was an opportunity for a little diversion--hot dog, or batting cages or a slurpy and pretzel and then best of all when Grandpa and Hale went shopping for a Jermaine Dye shirt. But in between, we watched and talked baseball--Sox baseball! We have tried repeatedly to try to influence grandchildren to become White Sox fans. The Sox have been the team for my hubby for his whole life and were the team of his dad and Granddad. Even though my loyalties are divided between the Cubbies and the Sox, for my hubby's sake, we need at least one grandchild to carry the White Sox torch for the next generation. Sunday made us hopeful!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Doctor says. . .

Good News . . .
The x-ray shows that my femur has started healing--slightly.
I can go off Coumadin.
I can take normal steps one foot in front of the other.
My range of motion is very good.

Less than good news. . .
The bone shows only a slight amount of healing.
For the most part I should still only put 50% of my weight on the left leg.
I will need to use a walker for another four weeks!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

After almost 4 weeks. . .

Okay, so this sounds a bit odd but I have been having conversations with my leg. Yesterday at PT, Deb told me that I have to stop babying Left Leg. Make it work! So I have stopped lifting it into bed with my hands. Last night I was shocked when LL cooperated with me.

I am not supposed to use my hands to lift it into the car but when I am begging rides, it is just too embarrassing to wait until LL cooperates so I help. I am getting tough on it though and remembering more and more to require it to lift its own weight. Deb warned that helping with my hands can become a habit.

LL still seems like a foreign body part making me aware that it is not fully grafted yet. Tomorrow I will see the surgeon and have an x-ray. I am excited to see how far it has come!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hopefully, I am going to pick up the pace!

Lois sent me this verse today:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day . . . 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Hmmm . . . I suppose wasting away describes me—sort of—but I wish that it referred to body fat.

Yesterday, I was just tired of walking slowly with a walker. . . but then a friend came to visit and I gave myself a bunch of reminders about how this is just a hiccup in life—no big deal—it will soon end. And my sister, Lou, came. . .and I finished one of Judy’s books that I just found out is the first of a three book series, oh, dear. I discovered that I wasn’t so tired anymore and that life is good again.

Today, I am excited! I get to start Physical Therapy. I am expecting small miracles from this—mainly a release from walker dependence. PT means that I get to become proactive instead of just sit in this wait, wait, wait stage for the bone to begin mending. Yay! I wonder if anyone else gets this excited about PT?