Sunday, January 14, 2024

Amaryllis and ❄ Cold ❄ Weather!

 

Back in November Chris and Kristi (my son & daughter-in-law) gave me a lovely gift of an Amaryllis. Believe it or not, I had never had one before. What a fun gift this was since I was able to watch it grow from a bulb to beautiful flowers! 

11-26-23  This tiny growth popped up.

12-1-23 Five days later it has more than doubled its size.

Between 12-1-23 and 1-5-24 this little plant grew very tall, but no flowers. Then on 1-6-24, it greeted me with a bulb just beginning to open.

1-6-24 The first bulb opens!


1-11-24
                                                                    
Four days ago I woke up to three large blooms. By this time it had grown so tall that I had to tie it to a small dowel to support it.
 
1-14-24

Yesterday I discovered a fourth full-size bloom plus another bud getting ready to open! Kristi told me it would grow fast and she wasn't joking! Although it spent a month growing very tall with no flowers, once the flowers started coming they have not stopped!

It seems like winter has really arrived for most of us in this past week. Much of the country has had record-breaking low temperatures. Sunday we did not get above 0 F and on Saturday we didn't get much above it. I know the states north of us have had it much colder than that recently but for the Midwest, these are pretty cold days! Saturday our football team, the Chiefs, had a playoff game here and it ended up being the fourth coldest NFL game on record. It's hard to believe people fill the stands in this kind of cold but they do. Even Taylor Swift was there but she was in one of the enclosed boxes. She has been attending almost all of our games since she started dating one of our players, Travis Kelce.

I hope everyone is staying warm and healthy!



Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy New Year!

 


I hope this new year has started out well for everyone. I always become a bit introspective on New Year’s Day but I think that is a good thing. I like to reflect on both the past year and the new one. I see the new year as a book of blank pages waiting for me to fill. I always hope each year that I can improve on how I fill those pages!

2023 has not been the best year for us in many ways but I am thankful that we have had some very happy days sprinkled around to help keep us going! My granddaughter, Annika’s wedding provided a great joy for us all. Each family birthday gave us a chance to come together and enjoy each other’s company. There is nothing I love more than spending time with my family. And of course, our two cats Sophie and Zeus always bring us love and happiness.

I look forward to the ways I find to fill these new blank pages of 2024. I have much I want to accomplish and blogging more often is high on my list! Thank you to those who have stayed with me through my blogging absence. I appreciate you! I hope you all find the happiest of ways to fill the blank pages in the book of your new year!



Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Good, The Bad, and The Happy

 

Hello! Back in June of 2022 I took a blog break (here) due to many changes in my life. I discovered that at my age I don’t adjust to changes as well as I did in my younger years. I tried to return to blogging this last March but only managed two posts. Well, I’m back once more with no promises on how often I’ll be able to post, but I’m going to try. I’ve missed all my blog friends!

The past year and a half has been quite a ride. Yes, there’s been good, bad, and thankfully also some happiness. I’ve been incredibly busy learning to handle all kinds of new challenges while at the same time, I’ve swept some of my own problems along with some depression under the rug. It’s hard to take time for yourself when you have other things and people to care for. But I’m getting there, one day at a time and we are both still blessed with love and support from these two sweet cats!

Zeus, always in charge!
Sophie with her Christmas bear.


Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been going on since I last posted:

The Good – Tom and I are both doing better at dealing with Tom’s health problems and the many ways they affect our lives. I am adjusting to being the only one taking care of everything as well as being the only one driving. I’m even learning to get used to driving in places that I used to always avoid, like downtown Kansas City! I guess I had gotten spoiled with Tom doing so much of the driving and helping with other things. 

Tom is more comfortable using his walker now and we are both doing better at dealing with it in many different situations. It does come with a bit of a learning curve. In fact, I’ve even bought a second walker to leave in the car for when we go out. 

When I first took the blog break, I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish but when Tom’s health became worse all those things went to the back burner again. Finally, I have been slowly accomplishing many of the items on my list. Also, I am doing better at getting Tom out of the house a little more. He has spent far too much time confined to the house in the past couple of years. I’m also doing a little better at trying to remember to take care of me too.

The Bad – Last April Tom had a mini-stroke (or TIA) that sent him back to the hospital for a few days. Then I had a cancer scare last August and had to have a breast biopsy. Thankfully it was negative, but I still have to be tested every six months due to ongoing concerns. Both of these situations were frightening and set us each back a bit but we are grateful that they were not as bad as they could have been.

The Happy – Our granddaughter Annika got married on September 23! She and Nick have been dating for several years and got engaged about a year ago. We love Nick and already felt like he was part of the family even before the wedding. It was a beautiful, large wedding and a very happy day for all of us!


   

I may write some posts about a couple of these things I’ve mentioned but for now, I have rattled on far too much! I hope you are all well and happy! I’ve missed you!



Tuesday, March 14, 2023

If Life Gives You Lemons


We are still working on adjusting to the many changes we’ve had in our lives recently. Everyone goes through the usual ups and downs in life and we learned long ago that you have to deal with what life gives you. 

It’s been a bit more difficult to get used to the physical changes Tom has faced because they seem more permanent. A year ago, neither one of us would have believed he would be using a walker now. He’s getting used to it and even admits it does help him. Besides, if life gives you lemons you make lemonade, right? Or maybe in our case, if life gives you a walker you turn it into a “cat transport vehicle”! 






Tuesday, March 7, 2023

It's Been a Long Time


Hello!  Most of you will remember that I took time off from blogging to better adjust to some life changes.  Tom had been having many health problems and we were not doing well with the necessary adjustments in our life.  I had hoped I would be able to get more accomplished in regard to these changes if I took a couple of months off from blogging.  Unfortunately, things don’t always work out like you plan.     

A lot has been happening in these last few months.  Tom’s balance problems continued and he started to have falls on a regular basis.  Last month he had a bad fall hitting his head.   He was really banged up and of course head wounds tend to bleed a lot.  My son and I took him to the emergency room and he was admitted to the hospital.  He had a CT scan, MRI, and x-rays.  Thankfully the tests were all clear.  Still, he was kept in the hospital for four days at the end of which they admitted him to a rehab facility for ten days of occupational and physical therapy.  He came home a couple of weeks ago and now has weekly visits from a home health nurse, occupational therapist, and physical therapist.  His balance is still bad so at the doctor’s suggestion we purchased a walker for him.  Not something he wanted but those falls are just too dangerous.  So now we are essentially starting over with his physical condition but we are staying positive about it all.    

I celebrated my 70th birthday in August and since then my health has continued to throw me hoops to jump through.  I had my annual mammogram and a nodule was found that was concerning.  They now have me coming in every six months for a scan in order to check for changes. Then I had a fall that sent me to the emergency room with possible broken ribs. I lucked out and they were just bruised.  (I’m clumsy at times!)  Before that was completely healed, I began having gallbladder problems eventually leading to surgery.  I discovered having your gallbladder removed can bring challenges in your diet but I’m working on adjusting.  I was just healing up from that when I got hit with a bad case of RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus).  It has been going around here quite badly with the hospitals full.  My body still was not ready to give me a break because I then had to have a questionable growth removed from my face and sent in for a biopsy.  I was fortunate and it was benign!  I’m really not telling you all this to complain but more to fill you in on what has been going on in the last few months.  I so wanted to get back to blogging much sooner but things have just been crazy around here!

The past few months have taught me a lot about myself and how I handle challenges.  I’ve always been good at managing whatever life throws at me but I’ve discovered the older you get the more difficult some situations can become.  I’ve also learned that sometimes (actually much of the time) I just can’t get everything accomplished that I would like and that’s okay.  More importantly, I am learning to bend with the wind and try not to let it break me.  

Thank you if you’ve stayed with me this long.  I sure have missed everyone and look forward to catching up with you all.


Sophie

Zeus

 These two sweet cats have definitely brought a lot of joy and love to us over the past months!






Monday, June 20, 2022

A Reboot

 

Have you ever felt like you needed a total reboot?  I have come to realize that I am at that place at the moment.  Somehow over the past few years I’ve gotten out of sync with myself.  Tom and I have had some uninvited changes in our lives over this time period and I need to do a better job of taking care of things.  

A lot of this has to do with Tom’s health.  You may remember a couple of years ago he had a bad case of the flu.  I wrote about it here.  He has physically been a different person since then and seems to continue to get worse or at best no better.  This had been over two years.  Even though he tested positive for the flu at the time, the doctors now think he may have had one of the early cases of Covid.  At that time, they did not even have Covid tests much less know much about treating it.  He had recently been to a woodworking convention where he had contact with people from all over the U.S. increasing his chances of catching what we didn’t even know was going around at the time.  They now think much of his current condition could be related to him being sick then and his previously existing health conditions have been made much worse because of it.  Among other things, the neuropathy in his feet has advanced to the point that it is difficult for him to walk even with a cane.  He also has neuropathy in his hands now which reduces his fine motor skills.  Over this time I’ve worked hard at helping him to accept and deal with his physical changes but I only recently realized that I had not fully accepted all the changes and the many ways they have changed our lives.  Of course, I have taken care of him and helped him in every possible way as well as taking care of everything around the house, yard, and such.  But I have also fallen behind on many things that need to be done. 

I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining or complaining.  I’m just honestly sharing some situations that I’ve come to realize I need to get a better handle on.  Because of all this, I’ve decided I need to take a blog break for a while.  I have not been doing the greatest job of blogging anyway.  I am hoping if I take some time to deal with things around here, I will then be able to come back and put more energy into blogging.  I’m definitely not leaving all my friends!  I’ll still be reading your blogs but I may not be commenting as often for now.  If any of you want to get hold of me you are welcome to email to the address on my profile.

Thank you all for your wonderful friendships.  You definitely improve my life by being in it!  💗


We will be back!


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

No Price Too High

 

In the U.S. 27 school shootings have taken place so far this year and over 200 total mass shootings have happened.  This year is not even half over yet.

Below is a portion of an article published today by the NPR News Service.  The entire article can be read here: 

https://www.npr.org/2022/05/24/1101050970/2022-school-shootings-so-far


“A shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that has killed 19 children and two adults marks the 27th school shooting this year. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the shooter behind Tuesday's incident was killed.

This comes just 10 days after a shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., that took the lives of 10 people.

The U.S. has surpassed 200 mass shootings this year

The Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization, has counted 212 mass shootings that have occurred so far this year, as of Tuesday. It defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people were shot or killed, excluding the shooter.

The U.S. ended 2021 with 693 mass shootings, per the Gun Violence Archive.  The year before saw 611. And 2019 had 417.

As for school shootings, according to Education Week, 2021 had 34 such incidents at educational institutions (the highest since the organization started its database). In 2020, there were 10 shootings. Both 2019 and 2018 recorded 24 shootings.”


I have very strong opinions about this and not everyone necessarily agrees with me.  As far as I am concerned there is no price too high to protect our children.  Many changes need to take place including an improvement in the treatment available for mental illness.  On May 17th this gunman bought two AR-style rifles legally just after his 18th birthday.  The next day he bought 375 rounds of 5.56-caliber ammunition.  I know our constitution gives us the freedom to bear arms.  But should that include the right to buy weapons of mass destruction and large-capacity ammunition magazines?  Those are weapons of war not needed for hunting or target practice.  Too many politicians are bought by big businesses and groups like the NRA (National Rifle Association) and continue to vote against making these types of rapid-fire weapons illegal.  As I said, no price should be too high to protect our children.    


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A Wonderful Mother’s Day


I was blessed to have a very special Mother’s Day.  It actually started early when I received a flower delivery from my oldest son Chris and my daughter-in-law Kristi on Friday.  Chris and I have a tradition of just the two of us spending Mother's Day together usually in Kansas City and often at the Plaza.  The Plaza is a popular shopping and dining area designed in the style of Seville, Spain.  Because of his busy work schedule, I don’t get to spend a lot of time with Chris so having this one-on-one time on Mother’s Day really means a lot.   

 

Mill Creek Fountain on the Plaza

We went to Cooper’s Hawk, which is a three-level winery and restaurant for our lunch.  In fact, we went there last Mother’s Day too and enjoyed it so much we decided to go back this year.  They served a complimentary glass of champagne to all the mothers dining there which was an unexpected treat. 

Cooper's Hawk

 


After lunch, we enjoyed walking around the Plaza checking out the shops and just enjoying the day.  Although it was overcast, it was one of the first days that were warm enough to not need a coat.

My Mother’s Day did not end Sunday because on Monday my other son, Sean came over to spend some time with us and then took both Tom and I out to dinner.  After dinner, he also treated us to frozen custard at a local custard shop.  I feel so fortunate to have two such wonderful sons! 




 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Bad Blogger!


Well, that’s what I feel like I am lately.  I love following blogs and my intentions are good when it comes to blogging.  I guess I just get sidetracked with other things too much.  Not that there is much going on in my life these days but I do stay busy with many little, mainly unimportant details of life.

I apologize that I have not come back with the results of my recent Summons for Jury Duty.  I would have posted sooner if it was anything of interest.  I had been told to call the night before I was assigned Jury Duty to get a possible recorded message if they no longer needed me.  When I made the call there was only a message telling me to call one hour before the time I was to be there the next morning.  The next morning I called as instructed and was told I did have to be there.  We live in a small town outside the city and I needed to leave an hour before the required arrival time in order to allow for parking and such.  I was headed out the front door when my watch buzzed that I had a text.  I checked and sure enough, it was Jackson County Courts telling me my jury service had been canceled.  Talk about waiting until the last minute, I was halfway out the front door!  Happily, my week had been given back to me plus I can not be called for three more years.  Since they can call you until you are 75 in Missouri and I’ll be 70 this summer, that means I can only be called one more time.  I don’t mean to sound like I don’t want to do my civic duty but I have served jury duty many times since I was in my 20s and I feel like I have done my part!   

Overall, April has been fairly uneventful for us.  I’ve been doing a little family history research on Ancestry.  Anytime I do that an hour can quickly turn into a large part of a day as I usually fall into the family research internet rabbit hole!  I enjoy it and occasionally I find something of particular interest.

I hope everyone has been doing well and enjoying spring.  I know many of us have only had a small taste of spring so far but hopefully that will soon change!  

Take care my friends!

 

          

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Uh-Oh

 

About a month ago I went to the mailbox and found a jury summons.  Now don’t get me wrong, I like and want to do my civic duty but I get summoned every three years or so.  I have served on both criminal and civil cases and missed up to a week of work on several occasions.  I’ve gone many times to the Kansas City Courthouse and the Independence Courthouse for jury duty.  Slightly frustrated, I put the summons on the table with the other mail and went about some other things I had been doing. 



The next day I remembered I left the summons on the table and went to get it.  It wasn’t there!  I tore the house up (twice) looking for it and never found it.  You have to have your summons because it has your juror number and jury card.  You must show up on the assigned date or be fined and /or jailed!  I was freaking out as I have never lost anything like that.  I tried calling the jury office and of course could not get a real person.  The recording gave me an email address to write and it also let me leave a message.  Over the following four weeks, I left a message and emailed every week with no response.  Luckily, I remembered the date and location of service but I was sure nervous about arriving without my juror number and card.

This past Monday morning I received a phone call from the jury office!  I was never so happy to hear from someone.  She apologized for the delay.  Jury duty was canceled for a year during the pandemic and apparently they are still catching up.  I was not able to get a copy of my jury card but she did give me my juror number and confirmed the date and location.  So next Tuesday I will go to the courthouse with that information and see how it goes.  There is a chance I won’t have to serve because that is the second day that week for jury selection.  There is a possibility they will have the number of people they need by then.  If they don’t, I will happily do my duty. 


                                               Sophie & Zeus say Hi!

Sophie

 
Zeus

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

100

 

Today would be my Mother’s 100th birthday.  She used to laugh and joke about how she was going to live to be 100.  Even though she died at 66 from a second round of cancer, I believe a part of her is still alive in my heart if nothing else. 

 

Mother in 1939, age 17

My Mother was born on March 1st 1922.  She was the youngest of three children and the only girl.  When she was four years old her father died from appendicitis.  That was much more difficult to treat in those days, especially without the help of antibiotics.  After his death, her mother and the three children moved closer to family.  The love and support of family made all the difference for them.

 

Daddy, Mother, and
my oldest brother, Charlie, 1940's

Even though my Mother’s adult life was often challenging, she always loved her children and grandchildren more than anything.  She would sing fun songs that the children loved like “Mairzy Doats” and “The Purple People Eater”.  When I was a teenager she was always understanding and supportive of my interests.  By then she was sick much of the time and I often took care of her as much as I was able when I wasn’t in school. 


Mother's Day, 1965

I have so many memories of the little things about my Mother, such as some of the items she carried in her purse.  There was always Dentyne gum, a small tube of Blistix, a handkerchief, a compact, and lipstick.  She used Coty cologne and makeup and I still remember the scent of both.  She took great joy in simple things and loved gardening.  One of her favorite activities was getting together with as much family as possible and having a picnic at a creek or lake nearby.  You know, it’s the many little things we remember about our loved ones that we later realize were actually the big things.    





Thursday, February 24, 2022

Hello!

I’m back!  Well, I haven’t been away but I’ve not been posting much recently.  I’ve felt bad about having this blog and then not writing much this winter.  I’ve even considered stopping blogging but I don’t really want to do that.  This has been a winter of many distractions that have kept me away from the computer.  I’m hoping to change that.

So, what’s been going on this month?  Both of my grandchildren have had birthdays.  Annika turned 26 on the 3rd and Gavin turned 20 on the 15th!  I cannot believe how quickly they have grown to be wonderful, caring, young adults!

The bird feeder stays busy these days!

February has been the month for extreme winter weather for us.  We have had big snows each week.  Our temperatures have stayed below freezing almost constantly which keeps us inside most of the time.  I usually buy groceries each Thursday but all month it seems we have the most snow and ice on Thursdays!  I don’t mind changing my shopping day though as I keep enough food in the house for storms.  We’ve had to change a few medical appointments due to snow and ice but that is not unusual around here.

Our deck has remained snow-covered
except for what the wind blows away.

I love to feed the birds, especially in this weather.  They offer much entertainment for us and our two cats Sophie and Zeus. 

Sometimes the squirrels help
themselves to the bird food.

Have many of you gotten started on the Wordle games?  I enjoy doing them especially since it is just one game and done each day.  I have a tendency to start on games and not know when to stop sometimes and Wordle keeps me from going down the “game rabbit hole”!

There is not much exciting to write about at the moment here but maybe that is a good thing!  We are having more snow today so I’ll probably go out tomorrow if the roads are clear.  I’m sure we are all looking forward to Spring but I don’t really mind Winter because there is so much beauty in all four seasons.  Take care everyone and I will try and be back much sooner!






 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Sending the Warmest of Christmas Wishes to All My Friends!

I am also sending apologies to you all for not being around and commenting on your blogs this past month.  For that matter, this is my first blog post since the end of August.  I know, that's bad! 

This has not been a usual December for me as it has been one of those months where everything seems to go wrong.  Tom has had continued health problems, my grandson was in a car accident in which he totaled his car and even one of my sweet cats has been ill.  While all this has been going on there's also been more than the usual number of little aggravating things like having fraud charges made on our bank card. Of course, it has also been Christmas time with shopping, wrapping, and other things going on. 

Please know I'm really not writing to complain but to let you know why I have not been around.  There's simply not been any time and my stress levels have been pretty high.  Actually, I feel very grateful because with all that has happened the outcomes could have been much worse than they have been.  Tom is doing better, my grandson was not hurt in the accident and even my cat, Zeus, is doing better.  I may not have gotten as much done in preparation for Christmas this year, but hey, we've made it to Christmas Eve!  

I've missed all my blog friends more than I can say!  I hope you are all well and enjoying the season.  I am hoping life will calm down a little in January and I can get back to reading and commenting on your blogs.  Please know I have not forgotten any of you and I am sorry I have not been around.

May you each have a peaceful and merry Christmas and a happy New Year! 






 






Monday, August 30, 2021

This Summer…

 

Where has this summer gone?  The days have raced by faster and faster and we are already looking at September tomorrow.  Schools have all started here but it will still feel like summer for at least another month.

So, what’s been going on here?  Earlier this month my granddaughter, Annika, spent the night with me just so we could spend some time together catching up.  Even though she is 25, we have always been close and can easily talk all night (which we did!).  Annika enjoys old movies so I introduced her to a really old one, but a classic: Arsenic and Old Lace.  This was released in 1944, stars Cary Grant and was directed by the famous Frank Capra.  It is a classic black and white comedy and one of my favorite old movies.  Many of you have probably seen this movie but if not and you like classic comedies from the 1940s, it is worth seeing!




We all had a bit of a scare several weeks ago when my 19-year-old grandson, Gavin, got sick with Covid.  This new Delta variant is all over the place here and spreading like crazy.  It’s almost worse here now than it was last year since this one is so much more contagious.  We are very grateful that although Gavin was pretty sick for a couple of weeks, he did not have to go to the hospital.  He is doing better now and has been back at work for almost two weeks.  He still doesn’t have his taste back and is not feeling his best just yet, but he’s getting there.  I am so thankful he is doing better!

I had my 69th birthday on August 9th.  (It seems impossible that I am nearly 70!)  Since Gavin had been sick and quarantined, I celebrated it late with my son Chris’ family this past Saturday.  I keep telling my kids that my favorite gift is simply to be able to spend a little time with them!  We had a wonderful dinner out and then went to Chris and Kristi’s house for cake and gifts.  I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with Chris, Kristi, Gavin, Annika and Nick (Annika’s boyfriend).

Left to Right: Gavin, Annika, Nick, Tom, Me, Kristi

 

Kristi, Chris and me


Well, this has been my August other than some usual medical appointments and such for Tom and myself.  Except for Gavin getting sick, it has been a good month overall.  I hope all of you are well and enjoying the final days of summer.  Take good care and thank you for your friendship even though I am not the most frequent blogger!



 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

August


What does August mean to you?  Is it just another summer month or does it hold other meanings?  I always think of “back to school time” when August arrives, even though my children and grandchildren are grown.  These days many schools start by the middle of August or sooner.  When I was a child school started the day after Labor Day.  However, August signaled the time to get ready to go back to school.   I’m sure you remember the excitement at picking out your school supplies and some new clothes and shoes. 

As an adult, I think I was about as excited as my two sons when it came time to shop for back to school. I loved seeing all the new school supplies and helping my boys pick out a few new outfits for school.  My birthday is August 9th and my mother always sent me a little money as a gift.  She always told me to be sure and get something for myself.  I never told her, but I always used the money to help buy school supplies as money was always tight then.  Actually, that was using the money for myself because it made me happy to be able to get the things my boys needed to start the new school year.  I also know that my mother would have done the same thing.  😊

When August comes around I also start thinking about the seasons changing.  It is still a very hot month here and actually so is September.  I guess it just makes me realize that the summer is nearing its end and Fall is around the corner. 

Does August hold any special meanings for you?

                                        

It's definitely still a beautiful summer here.


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Hello

I may not be blogging much lately but I’m still here and still reading all your blog posts.  My friends here are very important to me and I am grateful for your friendships.

June is always a busy month for us.  My daughter-in-law Kristi's birthday is June 4th, Tom’s birthday is June 23rd (yes tomorrow!) and of course we celebrated Father’s Day this past Sunday.  In between all that Tom and I both have had several medical and dental appointments and we have had people we hired to come out and do some work around our house.  It’s been kind of crazy around here!

We hire someone to come out and clean our gutters around the roof of the house twice a year.  There are many trees in our neighborhood and the gutters seem to fill up quickly.  Tom used to do that job but it is much too dangerous for him now with his balance problems.  Last year we found a very nice man that is a teacher at the high school here.  He has a gutter cleaning business on the side for additional income and he has been a blessing to us.

This month we also had tree trimmers come out to trim the trees in both our front and back yard.  We have a row of Osage Orange trees at the back of our yard and they grow quickly plus the winters here can be damaging to their branches.  About every five years or so we have them trimmed to prevent potential problems.  Some people say we should have them cut down but I love having trees around the house. 


I was trying to capture the sunset and you can see some of the trees I'm talking about here.  In the summer they fill in and provide a lot of shade.


Some of you may recall in my last post I was concerned about some medical tests I was going to have done.  I had both an upper & lower GI test and they were not as bad as I thought they would be since I was sedated for both of them.  They did do a biopsy from each test and it took two full weeks before I got the results.  Fortunately, both of the biopsies were benign however the one from the colonoscopy was a precancerous adenoma.  I was told I have a high risk for colon cancer so I will have to repeat that test every five years instead of every ten.  I am, of course, thrilled both tests were benign and I feel quite fortunate I did not put them off any longer.  A colonoscopy is one of those tests we never want to have done mainly because the prep the day before is not a fun thing.  However, I have learned the importance of having that test done because it truly can prevent cancer.

We are hoping for things to slow down a bit for us in July and maybe I'll even come up with a more interesting post than this one!  Take care everyone!


Cat pictures just for fun:

Sophie says Hi!

Zeus says I'm sleeping, don't bother me!


 




Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The First of June - Already!

  

My blogging has fizzled out to almost nothing since January and in fact I only posted once last month.  Sure, I have a lot of excuses but really, either you blog or you don’t.  I will never be one that posts every day like many excellent bloggers I know, but I do like to post once a week.  Hopefully I will be able to improve and get back to that routine.

So, what’s been going on this month?  Like so many others living in many different areas, we have had almost daily rain and much cooler weather than usual for us.  All that rain has meant I am playing the game of trying to catch a dry day to mow the lawn weekly since it is growing like a well-watered jungle.  The plus side is the cooler weather is much more comfortable for mowing than the usual hot and sunny weather.

A positive thing has happened recently.  Tom finally decided to get hearing aids!  You may recall I had previously mentioned that he has lost all hearing in one ear and quite a bit in the other ear.  He was evaluated by an ENT earlier in the year and given the specifications for what type of hearing aids he needed.  Tom was a little unsure about taking this step so he didn’t get them right away, but after some time he finally decided to take the leap.  Accepting your aging is not an easy thing for many people.  Thankfully, we received our stimulus checks just in time to pay for the earing aids, as those that have them know – they are rather expensive!  So now he is getting used to them and trying to remember to wear them.  He can hear much better with them but just needs to get comfortable wearing them.

It’s not been the best month for me as I’ve had some minor health problems which have required a series of medical test.  A couple of weeks ago I had a CT – Calcium Score Test which is essentially a CT scan of your heart to check for blockages.  I passed it – Yay!  I have spent the rest of this month dreading some other tests that I have to have this Friday.  I will admit up front I’m a big chicken!  Due to some health issues I have to have Upper & Lower GI tests.  Yep, the lower GI test is the dreaded colonoscopy requiring the miserable one-day prep before.   I had one over ten years ago but it’s that time again.  The Upper GI is the scope test which I’ve never had done, although I should have had one a long time ago since I do have a hiatal hernia and reflux.  I didn’t have the scope earlier because, yes, I’m a chicken!  They are going to do both tests on the same hospital visit.  So, chicken me has spent much of this month worrying about this coming Friday.  I realize that may sound silly but well, that’s just the way I am.  Friday morning Tom will drop me off at the hospital.  He is not allowed to go in with me due to the hospital still observing strict covid rules.  I wish he could go with me to help with my courage, but that’s the way it has to be.  I will be put to sleep for the tests (they better do a good job with that!)  and when it is all over the nurse will call Tom to pick me up.  I’ll let you know more when I know, however if I have a biopsy from either test, I probably won’t know those results until next week.

Sorry for a post full of TMI but I am just an honest and straightforward person about things like that.  I have felt bad about not posting more often this month but honestly, my head has not been in a good place for posting and I’ve just not been feeling well.  Hopefully I will be better after this week!

I haven’t taken many pictures recently but I do have one.  There are many squirrels in our neighborhood and suddenly one of them has decided he wants to move in with us.  We have to watch the door when we go out or in because he has tried to run into the house.  Can you imagine the havoc with two cats if a squirrel came in the house!  I think he sees how spoiled the cats are and wants to join them! 


Take care everyone!


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Mother's Day

 

This past Sunday was Mother's Day and my oldest son Chris sure did give me a wonderful weekend.  It started Saturday morning when the doorbell rang.  It was a florist delivering the most beautiful flowers from Chris and Kristi!



Sunday Chris picked me up for a special mother and son day out in Kansas City.  He has done this for the past several Mother's Days and I've come to really look forward to it.  We spent the day on The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.  It is a popular area of the city designed after Seville, Spain which is our sister city.  There are many excellent restaurants and unique shops and you can easily spend a day just walking around.  We went to Cooper's Hawk Restaurant and Winery and enjoyed a delicious meal.  We then enjoyed walking around the area and of course we had to visit the huge three story book store there.  We finished the day off at one of the coffee shops.  More than anything I enjoyed simply being able to spend time with my son and visit and catch up on everything with him.  I would like to have gotten more pictures of the area but it was a cloudy day and not the best for taking pictures.  I did get one of a smaller fountain, Neptune although the picture is not the best.  

Kansas City is known for its many fountains.

Despite it being a cloudy and cool day we really did have a great time!  I feel blessed to have two wonderful sons.  I did not see Sean, my younger son but he did call me and we had a nice, long phone conversation.  I hope everyone here had a wonderful Mother's Day!



Friday, April 23, 2021

What Happened to Spring?

 

I’m still here!  There is certainly no danger of me posting too often.  However, I do sometimes get sidetracked by other things going on.  Maybe someday I will learn to blog more regularly!

Back to Spring.  What happened to it?  A week or two ago we had a few Spring days and I actually got some yard work done and even mowed the grass.  Our Redbud tree bloomed beautifully and I had all the windows open in the house.  Open windows always make our cats happy and me too for that matter. 


Redbud Tree on 4-19-21


Then we suddenly went back into nights below freezing and this past Tuesday we woke up to two inches of snow.  I have heard from so many friends from many different areas that have also had Spring snows this year.  My main concern is that we could go from Winter straight into Summer and miss out on those wonderful Spring days.  We’ve done that a lot here and our Summers can get really hot.  I’m not complaining though because I do love the changing of the seasons! 

Redbud Tree with snow on 4-20-21
(Sorry for the bad picture, it was taken through the window screen.)
 

Tom and I have managed to stay busy indoors.  We had a ceiling fan that stopped working and was not able to be repaired.  We have always been do-it-yourselfers so we bought a new ceiling fan with a light and decided to replace it ourselves.  We first had to take the old one down and then install the new one.  Tom is still having trouble with his balance and it is unsafe for him to do much climbing, so guess who did the work?  Yep, I did most of it myself!  I did have some help and direction from Tom but I got the old one down and the new one up mostly by myself.  Tom did get the main motor of the fan attached to the ceiling because it was too heavy for me to hold over my head.  I got all the blades attached and the light kit installed.  I was kind of proud of myself! 


Last weekend I went over to my youngest son’s house to help him put up some new drapes in two rooms.  Sean is a single guy and has never been that good with things like drapes, so I helped him out.  It was also nice to get to visit with him too.  I think I’ve done my share of home installation projects for a bit now!

That is what has been going on here recently.  I heard our weather man say next week our temps might get into the 80’s F so that could be Summer coming!  I hope everyone is well and happy.  Take care! 


Sophie & Zeus say Hi!                          

Sophie
Zeus




 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter!

 

I hope everyone is having a nice day and maybe even enjoying some warmer Spring weather.  It’s been a quiet weekend here.  Yesterday was warm enough that I could get a little yard work done.  In our back yard we have a row of trees that is home to quite a few squirrels.  It suddenly looks like the squirrels decided to tear down their winter nests and there are sticks all over the yard.  Of course, it could have been all those high winds we have been having this Spring too.  Either way, I’ve got quite a few sticks and such to clean up before I can even mow.   

 

Our redbud tree always has beautiful buds on Easter.

Does anyone have any special plans today?  I miss the Easters when I had young children or grandchildren here and we had egg hunts and family get togethers.  Now even my grandchildren are grown and everyone is off doing their own thing on Easter.  I was determined to still do something special even if it is just the two of us, so I planned a special dinner.  I bought a turkey breast so we could have roasted turkey without having a whole turkey for just two people.  I’m going to make home made stuffing to go with it and I even got some cranberry sauce.  I know, it sounds like Thanksgiving doesn’t it?  It is something we love and don’t have very often so it will be a treat. 

 

All these buds should burst into flowers soon.

I want to thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers for my brother Charlie.  I truly believe positive thoughts do make a difference.  He has his six weeks of radiation set up now, beginning April 19.  He is looking at all of this as one big adventure!  I have such admiration for how he is handling everything and I believe his positive attitude is going to make a big difference for him.  He also just got his first covid vaccination and I am very happy about that!

Enjoy your day today!



Friday, March 26, 2021

Final Covid Shot & a Request

 

Wednesday, three weeks after our first shot, we drove back up to North Kansas City to get our second Covid shot.  We received the Pfizer vaccine and were told that in two weeks we should hopefully be 95% protected.  Of course, everyone still has to wear masks and observe social distancing, etc. regardless of having had the vaccine.  We chose to drive about 45 minutes away to get our shots so we could get them sooner rather than wait an unknown amount of time.  The area where we live has been very slow getting the vaccine and the waiting list is long.  We didn't mind the drive because we enjoy driving through Kansas City once in a while.  Just for fun, I took a few pictures on the way there and back.  You can tell it was a cloudy day.

KC Royals Baseball Stadium and the
 KC Chiefs Football Stadium is right behind it.


Heading into the city you can see a portion
 of the KC skyline, despite the clouds.


Crossing the Missouri River on the
Bond Bridge on the way home.


After receiving our second shot Tom and I each had the usual sore arm and he had no other side effects.  Unfortunately, this time the side effects got to me.  I was down with a fever, headache and general flu type feelings all day yesterday.  I slept most of the day and didn’t even read blogs, so sorry for no comments yesterday!  I’m better today although I still have a headache that just doesn’t want to leave.  I have to buy groceries today since I didn’t feel like it yesterday, but hopefully I’ll be back to 100% soon.  This is one time I’m grateful to feel bad if it means getting the vaccine!  We look forward to feeling at least a little safer in a couple of weeks and maybe even going out occasionally!  I am hoping that anyone out there that has not yet gotten the vaccine is able to get it soon!  This could be our way out of this pandemic.

I have a favor to ask of all my friends here.  My older brother, Charlie, has been diagnosed with cancer and I wonder if you could say a prayer or maybe have some healing thoughts for him.  He had surgery on March 15th to remove a cancerous tumor inside the salivary gland on the left side of his face.  They also had to remove the lymph nodes in his neck on that side.  Because of the type of surgery, a nerve on that side of his face had to be cut which left him unable to move any part of his face, mouth or eye on the left side.  He now has to wear an eye patch since he cannot blink or close his left eye.  He will be starting radiation treatments soon.  I have to say Charlie is one amazing person of great faith!  He is taking all of this so well despite the discomfort and pain.  Six years ago he decided to move to Costa Rica.  He is a big nature lover, birder and bird photographer.  Costa Rica provides him everything he loves in nature and bird photography.  He also has a blog if anyone is interested:  Retired in Costa Rica .  Thank you so much for any prayers and good thoughts you can send his way!