Friday, October 17, 2008


First the good news: No unexpected or planned hospital visits in last few months. YEA

I would like to make this just about all the great things that happen, but I suppose I should be honest. I pulled a really dumb trick a couple of weeks ago, and now I'm afraid to drive on Thursdays.

Background - My beloved Dodge Neon was beginning to cost more to operate than it was worth, so we traded for a 2008 Ford Taurus. It was more car than we had planned on, but we felt it was worth the difference between it and the smaller cars we looked at. We got a very good deal on it, and really like it.

The last part of September I drove the new car to Texas, to visit Terri and Don, again. The car performed beautifully, and I only needed to stop for gas once on the more than six hundred mile trip. Much better gas mileage than my old car, and also a much larger gas tank. I only got lost once, for a very short time, and this was from following a GPS I had borrowed. It wanted to keep me on an interstate, when state highways were much closer and faster.

Had a great visit and stayed longer than I had planned. Started home on Thursday, Oct. 3. First few hours of the trip were fine. Then, at Van Buren, Arkansas, I thought the GPS was sending me the wrong way, again. I went a different way, and after driving through rush hour traffic for a while, I realized the mistake was mine. First dumb decision of the day.

I pulled over and looked at my map, and I decided that rather than backtracking, I could take a county road that slanted back Northeast, and would hook up with the actual highway I wanted. Second dumb decision of the day.

For a while, everything was okay. Then I came to a sign saying "pavement ends." Third dumb decision of the day. I kept going on the dirt road, which then became narrow and rocky. No place to turn around, and then I got a flat tire. Took out my cell phone, but had no signal. This was around six in the evening. I didn't want to drive on the tire as I was afraid of ruining it and/or the rim. I thought I would try to change the tire, but ran out of air and had to use my oxygen before I even got the trunk unloaded. I decided to wait until someone came along. I finally got a signal just long enough to send Wayne a message saying "help."

Of course, that scared him to death. I later sent another one saying that I had a flat tire and was lost. My phone said that it was sent, but he swears that he didn't get it. I still couldn't keep a signal long enough to call 9-1-1.

By a few minutes after seven, nobody had passed by or responded to my horn honking. I decided that I would have to drive on the tire until I could get a phone signal. Two or three miles further into the woods, I finally got a signal. I called 9-1-1.

The dispatcher I talked to could not find the road I was on, on her map. She wasn't even sure that I was in her county. She transferred me to an adjoining county, but that dispatcher didn't know where I was either. Finally the first dispatcher, Carrie, came back on the line. I told her what county road I had gotten on, and how it changed. She sent some deputies to look for me, although none of them had any idea where I was. Of course it was totally dark by then, but I honestly wasn't scared. I figured they would find me sooner or later.

Finally, by following my directions, an off duty deputy from Crawford County, Arkansas and his two teen-age sons found me. They changed the tire, before another deputy showed up. None of them had ever been on this road before, and had no idea where it went. After changing the tire, we drove on another mile or two until we found a place where we could turn around, and they had me follow them back the way we had come.

Deputy McKenzie stopped at a main road and asked if his son could drive my car, as he was familiar with the winding roads. I got in the passenger seat and the young man drove my car. We followed his dad to their home, where they were going to see if they could fix the tire. Turned out the cut was in the sidewall, so Dep. McKenzie couldn't plug it.

They then took me to a service station for gas, and then to a motel. Dep. McKenzie and both sons went inside with me, and Dep. McKenzie showed his ID and told the woman that I had had car trouble, and that I needed a room on the bottom floor (because of my breathing). I couldn't decide if I felt like a prisoner or that I was going into the Witness Protection Program. By the time I checked in and we drove around to my room, another Deputy was there.

Deputy McKenzie and his sons carried my bag and even unlocked my room and checked it out. They even offered to get me something to eat. By this time it was nearly eleven o'clock and I was pooped. I called Wayne one last time, I had called him and Terri both earlier to tell them I was being rescued, and then got ready for bed.

This was quite an experience. For some reason, I never did get scared, but I was certainly embarrassed. I couldn't believe how I could make one dumb decision after another. I did meet some very nice people, and showed them a part of their county they didn't know about. lol The boy told me about his college work and showed me the dirt racerack where he, his brother, and their dad race. At their house, they showed me their race cars. As I said, nice people.

The rest of my trip home the next day was uneventful. However, one week later, on a Thursday, I was run off the road on H Hway., two miles from home, and ruined both a tire and a rim. Of course the old man driving the other car didn't stop; don't know if he even knew it happened. I swore I was not going to drive on Thursdays any more, but I drove yesterday, which was a Thursday, and I didn't have any problems.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

When You Do A Good Job, It Sometimes Hurts

I think I covered most of our illnesses in my last blog. I learned a hard truth while all of those things were going on.

When you are raising your children, you want to hold on to them at the same time you are trying to teach them to go out on their own. If you are successful, they will eventually leave the nest. This is good, but it doesn't always feel that way.

When I was going through my surgery and physical therapy, I didn't mind that Danny was the only one of my kids that could be here. I was not worried about the surgery, and there is nothing more exhausting than sitting around a hospital. I would have loved to see them, but I would rather see them when I could be up and about.

Anyway, the bad part was that they were so far away. While Wayne and I were going through all of this at home, Terri contracted a very bad case of poison ivy. She was so miserable, and I would have loved to have been there for her. Later, she was bedridden for a few days with a bad case of summer flu or food poison. She even had to stay in bed part of the time Derek and his lovely wife were there visiting. I would have loved to go to Texas to wait on her.

Danny didn't get to stay more than a couple of days, as he had to get back to work. One night a while after getting back to Denver, he was mugged. He had a concussion and had to have thirty-three stitches in a cut above his right eye. He had to spend the night in the hospital. I'm his mother, and I couldn't be there.

Thanks goodness Garret didn't have any emergencies in England.

Anyway, I am glad that the "kids" are able to move away from us, but at times of illness it just doesn't seem right.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What A Year!!

I can't believe how fast the time has gone since my last blog, or how much has happened. I hope the rest of the year is calmer.

In April the Dr. Pickett agreed to do the surgery on my shoulder, if Dr. Botts, my pulmonary doctor, would fax an okay for me to have the surgery. Dr. Pickett was still worried about my breathing, but Dr. Botts and family doctor, Dr. Bartlett both gave their okay. My shoulder had given me so much pain for so long, so I was glad to have the surgery scheduled for April 24th.

The day of my surgery, Wayne ended up in the emergency room with a gall bladder attack. They treated him, and after a couple of hours he felt better. They told him to make an appointment with Dr. Bartlett for follow-up. I didn't know about this until I was awake and back in my room.

Surgery went well, but I had to wear what felt like a straight jacket to keep my upper arm tight against my body. Wasn't supposed to drive or use my arm.

I was scheduled to begin therapy five weeks after the surgery. The night before my first treatment, Wayne began experiencing terrible pain. Around two-thirty in the morning I took him to the emergency room. They ended up keeping him, and I didn't get home until five-thirty or so. The next morning I found out that they were going to operate on him gall bladder around noon.

His surgery went well, but I was in physical therapy when he was moved back to his room. They kept him overnight, so I got to do the dogs by myself. That was fun. lol They sure do pull hard when being taken out or in.

To make a long story short, Wayne and I both came through our surgeries and recoveries

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Depressing Day

Fifteen years ago today, I received a phone call from the woman who did housecleaning for my mother. She asked where my mother was, and said that when she knocked, my mother did not answer the door. I hurried downtown to mother's apartment, where we entered using my key. We quickly checked the apartment, and I found her deceased in the bathtub. There was water in the tub, and she was lying with her head and shoulders against the inside back of the tub, above the water line.

I will never forget that day. I still think of her nearly every day, and I often catch myself thinking of something I want to tell her. She loved her grandchildren so much, and I wish she could know how they have turned out. She would be so proud of them. Maybe she does know; I hope so.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gone Country

It is hard to believe that Wayne has been retired for four months. Even harder to believe, is how well we get along. I didn't expect a lot of arguments, etc., but I wasn't expecting how laid back our lives would be. We each get up when we're ready or sleep as long as we want. We consult each other about any plans we may have, but don't depend entirely on the other to plan our days. Very relaxed.

I finally made it to Texas to visit Terri and Don, but it wasn't easy. On the eighth of February, we went to a get-together of some people and their families from the police department. There was some smoking there, but it didn't seem to bother my breathing. The next day, Saturday, we went to Gators in Platte Woods to hear Charlie's band play. Since it is a bar and grill, there was a lot of smoking there. It was beginning to bother me some by the time we left, but I didn't give it much thought.

The next day my throat was sore and I felt that I had a lot of congestion. To make a long story short, I had planned to leave Monday or Tuesday for Texas, but I kept putting it off until the fourteenth. I felt a lot better when I left home that morning, but by the time I had gotten lost three times and stretched a twelve hour drive into nearly a fourteen hour drive, I felt pretty bad. I was afraid that I had made a big mistake by going, but after a few days I felt okay. I still don't know if it were being around so much smoke or if it were a cold or something that made me feel so bad.

I love Terri's home. The master suite is at one end of the house, and the former master bedroom and bath, which they use as a guest suite, are at the other end . We ate out some and did some sight seeing, but the majority of the time we stayed at home and visited. Very relaxing and fun, too. I really like where they live, and I look forward to going back.

Coming home, I only got lost once, so that didn't take as long.

My next trip may be in April, when I plan to visit Danny in Denver. That is always fun, too. And, I know how to get there!

This coming Saturday we are going someplace to hear Charlie's band, but I can't remember where it is that they are playing.

Have I mentioned that Wayne is running for City Council? He is keeping his campaign pretty low key; a few signs and business cards but nothing costly. The election is in April.

Wayne has now reached third degree in the Masons, whatever that means. Last week we went to a jewelry store in Richmond, and he ordered his Masonic ring. It will be here in two weeks or so. Very nice.

A week ago we went to a chili supper at another Mason lodge in Missouri City. We are becoming so active in our old age. We have been doing more and going more places since he retired, than we had in years.

Oops. Nearly forgot to mention my new cowboy hat. We got it at the Stetson Outlet in St. Joseph before my trip to Texas. Some people may think it silly, but I really like it. I figure I am old enough to do what I want without worrying about what others think. Let them think I am senile; I'm having a ball.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Event on a Dreary Day

I got a surprise phone call this afternoon. Caller ID on my cell phone showed it was Donya calling, but when I answered it was a man. Turned out to be James from Denver. He was on the patio at Pete's with Donya and Danny. It was so good to hear from him. He has emphysema, too, and according to Danny he has had some rough days. He was in such a good mood and happy to surprise me. It was fun talking to him.

I got to talk to Donya for a couple of minutes, too. She keeps asking when I am coming "home." After I visit Terri and Don in Texas, I will have to start planning my trip to Denver.

It is good to have such fun friends.

Time Flies

I have always heard that time seems to pass quicker as you get older. This is so true. It doesn't seem possible that this is the last day of January. It seems that Christmas just passed, and here we are well into the new year.

Wayne's retirement is still going well. In other words, we haven't tried to kill each other as yet. We have gotten so lazy; at least one of us sleeps until near noon every day. We would probably sleep even later if the dogs didn't think they needed to go out from time to time.

A few weeks ago, we went out to eat with Charlie and Pat. Charlie was working at the music store that evening, and we agreed to meet at Applebee's after he closed up at seven. We stayed long enough to close the place up. It was fun.

One evening last week, Wayne and I went to the Red Lobster to eat. I hadn't had steak and lobster for ages, and until I looked at the menu and saw how much it was, I had thought I might get that. It is up to $26.95 now, and that is just too much. I was going to get my usual shrimp meal, but Wayne talked me into getting the steak and lobster.

When our meal came, the sirloin I had ordered to be cooked medium was more like well done. The waiter offered to take it back, but I told him that it was okay. Once I started eating, I realized how bad it really was. When we were ready to pay, our waiter, Bryce, brought our check and told us he had gotten them to take off for the overcooked steak. I couldn't believe it; they had taken $23.00 off of our bill. Not often you can get lobster, baked potato, and salad for three ninety-five. Besides, I had had over half of the steak to bring home to the dogs. Not such a bad evening, after all.

Bryce said that he knew they sometimes overcooked the steaks, so he had put in the order as medium rare, even though I ordered it for medium. When he saw what they had done to the steak, he got management to take some off of the bill. Why they took so much off I don't know, but I do know we will ask for Bryce whenever we go back. lol

We are under a winter weather watch for today, but so far the expected snow hasn't arrived. A few days ago, we got an inch or two of new snow, but the real story was the wind. It was fun to sit in front of the window and watch the snow blowing straight across. At times we could barely see the house across the street from us.

I didn't make any resolutions this year. The only one I even considered was not to forward so many emails. As long as everyone, especially Kay, keep sending such funny mails, I wouldn't have been able to keep the resolution, anyway.

I am getting so eager to go to Texas and Colorado. I have to plan my trips around my oxygen delivery, so I'll be sure to have enough to take with me. This last order included one empty large tank, and a half empty small tank. Not a good thing.

I think when I go to Texas, I will drive straight through. It is easier to drive eleven or twelve hours than it is for me to take an overnight bag, handbag, and oxygen tank into a motel. I'm so glad that I can pay for gas at the tank; saves lots of walking. Now if I just had a porta-potty for the car, I would be all set. lol

I will probably go to Texas in February or early March, and then to Denver later. I want it warm enough that I can sit on the patio at Pete's when I go to Denver. Gives me something to do that doesn't affect my breathing, while Danny and Donya are working. I will probably stay with Donya, as usual. That is always fun, and she makes me feel so welcome. I'll be glad to see her little boy, Kyle, too. I hope Danny someday gets a first floor apartment so that I can stay with him some. I can't take the three flights of stairs to his present apartment. I hate not being able to breathe.

Our social life has been picking up some since Wayne retired. On the evening of the seventh, we are invited to a pot luck supper at one of the police employee's homes in Liberty. The next day, we are going somewhere to listen to Charlie's band play a benefit concert. We're also planning to go back to Holt for the Sunday jam session before long. We aren't the jet set, but at least we are getting out more.

The worst thing about Wayne's retirement has to be the television being on nearly all the time. I lie down nearly every afternoon, so that I don't have to watch hunting, cooking, or remodeling shows for hours. Oh, yes, mustn't forget the military channel. I go in the bedroom and listen to an audio book, watch a movie, or nap. It gets me ready to face the same type programs during the evening. Our tastes in television are definately different.

Time to put this evening's roast on to cook, so I will stop this boring recitation for a while.

Come on snow!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Looking Back and Forward

What a year 2007 was!

In May Garret came home from England to marry his beautiful Kalee. With him in the Air Force in England, a lot of their wedding plans were made via internet and phone. It was up to Kalee and her mom to do most of the actual work, and they did it beautifully. I think this was one of the most upbeat weddings I have ever attended. Kalee's dance with her father at the reception brought tears to my eyes. How perfect! I am so happy that Kalee is our new daughter-in-law, but I wish they lived closer than England.

Danny was able to be at the wedding, and that was wonderful. Garret had asked Danny to be a groomsman, but he was not sure until the last minute whether he would able to be there. So, Garret asked his dad to be a groomsman. Wayne was so proud.

I got to see little Danny, my new great-grandson while big Danny was here. I hadn't seen his son, Alan, for some time, so that was neat, too.

I took Danny home to Denver a couple of days after the wedding, and as usual, that was fun. That has to be one of my favorite places. I made another trip out to visit later in the year, and had a ball that time, too.

In June, my grandson, Derek, married his long time girlfriend Kristen. They had a beautiful wedding, too, although it poured that day. The reception was a lot of fun, too. Terri had been hoping for this for a long time, as she and Don really like Kristen.

My daughter, Terri, and son-in-law, Don, moved to Texas in October. This is the first time Terri has lived more than a few minutes from me, so she is missed. The good thing about it, is that I have another place to visit! I love to travel, but can't afford to stay in motels much.

Terri and Don were back for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so that was good.

One bad thing that happened this year was the death from cancer of Terri's and Don's dog, Bear. He was a wonderful dog, and they did everything they could for him. He had a pretty good life, thanks to them.

In November there was another big change in our lives when Wayne retired. We had thought that would be a big adjustment, but it seems so natural for him to be home. In December he resigned from the Housing Authority and filed for City Council. That election will be in April. I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about that.

I was going to write more about the coming year, but I think I have rambled on long enough for this time.

I hope everyone has a wonderful year.