Saturday, July 25, 2020


That sure is a wonderful word - home!  Tom was happily discharged this afternoon.  I got him home and we both took a nap.  Neither one of us have had much sleep the past few days.  You sure can't sleep at the hospital.  People were in and out of his room all day and he said all night too.  Plus he was hooked up to a host of beeping machines. 

He is doing good considering everything, just very tired.  He is under some restrictions, has additional medication and is supposed to start Cardiac Rehab as soon as maybe next week.  I am determined that I need to do more to try and get him to eat a healthier diet and when he can, get more exercise.  I always try to prepare healthy meals but he is a big lover of things like salty potatoe chips (crisps) which is a no-no.  We both got regular exercise twice a week until last March when the Coronavirus hit and our Silver Sneakers classes stopped.  We should have kept up at home but we did not as we are not very motivated to exercise on our own.  Now I wonder if that lack of exercise made things worse for him. 

Oh and speaking of Coronavirus, Tom was tested for it before they would do the Cardiac Catheterization and he was negative, so that's good!  We did find out there were cases in the hospital while we were there including a few on the same floor he was on.  That did make me nervous especially in the elevators even though everyone wore a mask.  I'm just so thankful he is out of there!

Thank you all again so very much for all your good thoughts and prayers.  I told Tom about all the wonderful messages from everyone here and he was blown away that so many people that didn't even know him would be so kind.  He sends his thanks and appreciation to all of you.  Blog world is full of many very special and wonderful people and I appreciate you all!

I'm going to try and get to bed early because there are so many things I need to get done tomorrow plus I need to cut the grass if I can take this heat.  But, I do want to share one thought with you all because I truly care about each one of you here.  Please be aware of any symptoms your body may be trying to tell you in regard to your health.  I don't mean worry about every little thing, that's not healthy.  Just be aware and if something does not seem right ask you doctor about it.  Tom has been through this situation and hospitalized for this twice now, once five years ago and this time.  Do you know both of those times he never had one chest pain.  The first time he had pain in his jaw.  He was going to go to the dentist but I had heard of that symptom and encouraged him to see his doctor who immediately sent him to the cardiologist.  This time the only symptom he had was shortness of breath.  It got progressively worse and he saw his cardiologist and ended up with another Cardiac Catheterization.  Both times he had a situation that could or would have killed him.  His cardiologist and that procedure has saved his life twice now.  Just take good care of yourselves, please!  I care about each of you!  

Friday, July 24, 2020

Still at the Hospital

Everyone has been so nice and supportive so I wanted to let you know the status of Tom’s Cardiac Catheterization today.  It turns out it is a very good thing this was done because he had a 95% blockage in one place and a 75% blockage in another.  He was most definitely headed for a heart attack.  They did a balloon angioplasty in one location and put in a stent in the other location.  It was a very involved and lengthy procedure this time because of the location of the two blockages.  He was admitted to the hospital and we are on a wait and see basis as to whether or not he can come home tomorrow. 

I want to thank everyone for your very kind and helpful comments, good wishes and prayers.  I kept reading over them on my phone the whole time I was waiting to hear the results of the procedure.  Even though I was waiting alone all of your kind messages helped me to feel a little less alone.  I responded to some comments last night but not today, however I do want you all to know they helped.  I probably won’t be posting or commenting for at least a few days as we get everything sorted out and get him home.  I just now got home tonight after being at the hospital since very early this morning.  I am going back early tomorrow morning in hopes of catching the doctor on his rounds.  In the meantime, I only want to get something to eat and crash with my two sweet cats.  Thank you all again!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Back to the Hospital

Tom had his follow up appointment with the cardiologist and the doctor wants him to have a Cardiac Catheterization.  If you are not familiar with this, it is a procedure where a small tube is inserted into an artery and is sent up to the heart.  It is used to detect blockages in the heart among other problems.  Tom had one of these five years ago and they found a blockage which was corrected with a stent placed where the blockage had been.     

The doctor is doing this out of an abundance of caution and I do agree with him.  The last time we had no idea Tom was as close to a heart attack as he was until they found the 90% blockage using this procedure.  We are hoping no problems will be found but it is a matter of we would rather be safe than sorry.  This is an uncomfortable and frightening test but it can prevent a heart attack and save a life.  We have to be at the hospital very early tomorrow morning.  If everything is clear and they do not find any problems he should be able to come home sometime later in the day.  If they find any problems, he will have to stay the night in the hospital and hopefully come home the following day.

This is certainly not the best time to be spending time in a hospital with the increase in Covid cases in our area.  It does make me feel a little uneasy but I know they are doing everything they can do to keep everyone safe.  Everyone at the hospital wears a mask at all times and hand sanitizer is readily available.  I can go with him and stay in the waiting room but no one can come with me due to the Covid cases in the hospital.  If he has to stay all night I don’t know if I will be able to see him or not.  

So, that is what is going on tomorrow.  Since I had mentioned the previous test that Tom had taken, I wanted to let you know what is going on.  I’d sure appreciate any good thoughts you could send our way!  Thank you all!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Butterfly Bush

When my granddaughter Annika was very young she, along with her parents and younger brother, moved into a house they had purchased.  While she was playing in her new backyard, she discovered a beautiful shrub that her mother told her was a butterfly bush.  She was fascinated by the fact that there would be a plant just for butterflies. 

Butterfly Bush
                                                        Butterfly Bush

I must tell you at this point that our family has always been great pranksters.  Joking around with one another has been a good-natured source of much fun and happiness in a well-meaning way that we all understand.  Annika, like most children, was a child full of curiosity and questions.  The butterfly bush was something new to her that raised many questions in her curious mind.  In his usual serious but joking manner, my son told her that if you left a slice of bread on the butterfly bush and came back later the butterflies would have buttered the bread for you.  Well, you can imagine what this did to the imagination of a child!  Annika immediately ran to the kitchen, got a slice of bread and ran out to place the bread carefully on the butterfly bush.  She then came in and went to her room to play while she waited to see what would happen.

Yes, you guessed it, this was more than her parents could stand and one of them went outside with some butter and buttered that piece of bread that Annika had left on the butterfly bush. 

Later in the day Annika went outside to check on the bread.  You can imagine her excitement when she discovered the bread had indeed been buttered!  She was thrilled and brought it in to show her parents.  I’m sure she enjoyed that piece of buttered bread more than any other bread she had ever eaten!

Now of course they later explained to her that it was them and not the butterflies that had buttered the bread.  She understood and laughed along with them, even though she had enjoyed the temporary thrill of believing the butterflies had buttered her bread!  Our family will now always tell the story of “The Butterfly Bush”!


                                                        Annika & Gavin

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Hospitals and New Blogger

Tom and I spent most of the day Thursday and Friday at a local hospital as he had outpatient tests being done.  Don’t worry, nothing bad (we hope!).  He has heart trouble and several years ago he was hospitalized for surgery to have a stent placed in his heart.  That was a little frightening as he had a 90% blockage at the time.  Since then he has been doing good and we are quite grateful for that!  Every year he has to have a series of tests done in the hospital.  They tell us to allow two days for these tests, but in the past it has always been completed in just one day because he was doing so well.  This time it did take two days and that does have us a little worried.  They indicated to us there was something seen that concerned them but we have to wait until he sees his cardiologist in a week and a half to find out what is wrong.  I keep telling myself if it was anything serious, they would have moved his appointment up to an earlier date.  Right?

This is the first time we have been in a hospital since Covid hit the country.  It will be fine with me if we don’t have to go back to one for a long time!  It was like entering a high security military base with all the required Covid precautions.  I did have to go with him so I could drive him home after the tests.  There were all kinds of signs outside the hospital about the requirements you must meet to go inside.  Immediately inside the door we had to answer questions such as “Have we been around anyone that had Covid?”, “Have we traveled anywhere recently?”, etc.  We were already wearing masks which are now required everywhere in our county but especially in the hospital.  They took our temperature using a forehead style thermometer and then put a sticker on each of us indicating we could proceed to the next station.  We went through three stations before we made it to cardiology.  Each time we moved forward someone went with us because no one was allowed to walk around the hospital alone due to Covid cases in the hospital.  I must admit it was all a bit unnerving.   

I have been meaning to ask here on a post how everyone is doing with the new blogger?  I changed to it a couple of weeks ago and for the most part I am fine using it.  I’ve been able to do everything I’ve needed to do with no problems.  The only thing I really don’t like is the constant “Redirect Notices” I get every time I try to view someone else’s blog.  I click on “Reading List” on the lower left side and it brings up the list of blogs I follow with no problem.  However, when I click on the blog title I want to see it brings up this “Redirect Notice”.

I then have to click on the URL (I removed the URL from this copy) for that blog and it takes me there.  Is everyone else getting this also?  It’s not a big deal but it is a bit of a nuisance to have to take that extra step.  I tried searching all over blogger to find out why it did this but never could find a reason.  It is simple enough to go back to Legacy Blogger however, I wanted to give this one a chance.  I have also heard that the Legacy Blogger may be deleted but I don’t know if that is correct or not. 

Any other opinions out there about the New Blogger?  Is everyone getting the “Redirect Notices”?  

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Fourth of July Through the Years

Now that our boys and our grandchildren are grown we don't do much to celebrate Independence Day.  However, when they were young we always had a big family celebration.  Everyone would come over to our house and we would make homemade ice cream, have watermelon and barbecue something special to have for dinner along with homemade potatoe salad and lots of other goodies.  One of the highlights of the day was the fireworks.  There would be a few special daytime fireworks for the kids such as parachute rockets and poppers, all done safely by an adult.  When it got dark we lined up our outdoor chairs in the front yard to watch the nighttime fireworks.  Most of our neighbors also did fireworks so we all got to enjoy a shared neighborhood show. 

A two year old Annika testing the homemade ice crem
1998 - Annika testing out the homemade ice cream

2001 - Tom spraying the ribs with apple juice as they were being smoked

2003 - Gavin gets his first taste of barbecued ribs

2008 - Annika, her friend Becka and Gavin enjoy watermelon

2016 - Shish Kebabs on the grill
We don't do a big celebration any longer since it will just be Tom and myself here.  I do plan on having watermelon though as that is my holiday favorite!  We will also grill some steaks and have a nice dinner tonight.  Today is also a special day for my older brother, Charlie, as it is his 80th birthday!  Happy Birthday Charlie!

Happy Independence Day to all who celebrate it!