Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Another of the reasons we need to come back to the ranch every so often is to take care of dental and medical check-ups. We have appointments with our primary care physician next week. Since Group Health allows patients to contact their physicians by email, we were able to ask her to set up the lab work and other tests ahead of time so that she would have all of the results when we actually see her.
So this morning I had appointments to have both a mammogram and a follow-up ultrasound of the benign cyst on my kidney. In addition, I also had another blood draw to check on how well the anti-coagulant was doing.
But, I had a nice reward after all that stuff was done! My nephew Jared is up in Alaska with his Dad and brother on a fishing trip. He and his wife Becky have recently moved into a new home in Spokane. We stopped by to see their brand new house and then went out to lunch with Becky and my little Great-niece Ellie who is just a little over seven months old. (Understand now why I was mad I had forgotten to bring the camera?) We went to the Mustard Seen in Northtown and had a very enjoyable lunch.
We stopped by the church on our way home to Auntie Violet to see how the packing was going. There was a pretty good sized crew there helping Pastor Terry and Jerilee load the U-Haul truck. They were just finishing up when we stopped by.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
What Vic has seen in those 90 years! I always enjoy chatting with him both for his stories of his past and to hear what he is up to now. We've known him for a long time. When Forry first learned to fly, Vic was already a very experienced pilot (I think his pilot's license number is only two digits...). He literally took Forry under his wing and made sure he became a good and safe pilot. We have many fond memories of Flying Farmer trips with Phyllis and Vic --through the US, many trips to Mexico and even through Central America!
One of my favorite memories is of watching Forry and Vic install a Jeep starter in our Cherokee Six on a remote airport in Baja California. With no aircraft dealer and a non-functioning starter, those two farmers went into town, bought a starter from an auto parts store and installed it. It worked great! (We did have to have it replaced when we returned home as it was "NOT FAA APPROVED")
I only wish Phyl was still with us and could have been there to celebrate this momentous occasion with us. But, I am sure that she was looking down from heaven, making sure everything was going just right!
Monday, June 28, 2010
The blood work came out well; my pro-time is elevated enough (i.e. the blood is "thin" enough) that I no longer have to give myself the heparin shots twice a day. I'll have it checked again on Wednesday, but it looks like we are on the right track.
Forry took his pump for the spray rig into the pump place out in Airway Heights. They were able to replace the valve unit in it, saving him from buying a whole new pump. But, when he went to install it this evening, he found he also had a cracked "Y" joint. He'll have to run into Moses Lake tomorrow to get a replacement for that!
The hillsides and roadsides along the I-90 freeway from about Cheney to Sprague are full of the color of the many lupines (I think this one is Lupinus sericeus, but would have had to take a magnifying glass to see the hairiness on the back of the leaves...).
There were clump after clump of them along the road and out into some of the pasture land --
Sunday, June 27, 2010
- Today was the official "farewell" for our pastor and his wife. Pastor Terry preached his last sermon at Menno this morning to a very crowded sanctuary. Terry and Jerilee have been at Menno for twelve years! After a couple of months of rest and relaxation, Terry will be pastoring a new congregation in Oklahoma.
After a wonderful, very typical, Mennonite potluck at noon (complete with fresh strawberries and ice cream!), people re-gathered in the sanctuary for a time of sharing. It was fascinating to listen to people tell about how Pastor had been with them through many significant life passages during the past twelve years. There were tears and smiles and stories told. Following a picture show, the Redigers were presented with a gorgeous quilt and Jerilee was given a pair of binoculars from the Menno women in recognition of her new interest in birding.
(I did discover that sitting upright in a pew for any length of time was VERY uncomfortable! I left the morning service and went to sit on the chaise lounge in the nursery with my leg up for the last portion. I was careful to sit in the corner of a pew during the after lunch sharing with my leg stretched out... The swelling has continued to go down. I have an early AM appointment with the doctor tomorrow, so will find out then how my clotting factors are doing.)
Saturday, June 26, 2010
It would probably take no more than a week or two to take care of the spraying if he could spray every day. But the one thing he CANNOT do, is spray when the wind blows. And it seems like it has been windy more than half the days we have been here.
This morning the air was very quiet and Forry got up early to spray. I heard the four-wheeler leave, but a few moments later -- just as I had gone back to sleep -- I heard it come back. Seems the pump on his sprayer had quit working...!
He took it all apart this afternoon to see if he could figure out why it quit working, but wasn't able to see anything wrong. I guess we be picking up a new one when we go up to Spokane on Monday for my doctor's appointment!
(I spent a very quiet day today. I think the swelling in my leg has diminished quite a bit...)
Friday, June 25, 2010
These are pre-loaded syringes of Lovenox (enoxaparin sodium), a variety of heparin that I get to inject every twelve hours in my stomach.
I get to keep this up (along with oral coumadin) until my doctor's appointment Monday morning. They'll take some blood and figure out where my clotting factors are at... And then decided what to do next. The one thing I know for sure is that I'll be on blood thinners for the next several months.
One of the doctor's orders was for "light activity." He made it quite plain that meant walking around in the house -- NOT going for walks outside!
So, it's been a rather long day. I've been thinking about the friends and colleagues who are meeting in Anchorage today and tomorrow. I would like to be there with them, but it's obvious that wasn't what was to be. Do you suppose that once again, I'm going to have to learn what patience is?
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Note I did not say "a night of rest!" I was just getting settled for sleep about ten PM when there began incredible lightning and thunder storm outside my window. In the midst of the storm, I get a roommate. It took a good hour for the nursing staff to get her settled and her history etc. taken. We barely got the lights off and settled down again when her IV started acting up and they had to restart it. The mother of the IV nurse had obviously never talked to her daughter about "using an indoor voice" -- especially in the middle of the night! Or the inadvisability of showing a patient late at night all the different levels of lighting possible in the room and leaving lights at the brightest level when you leave the room...
So now it's two AM and here comes the Head Resident doctor. One of the new residents (they just started last Sunday) had taken my history and physical earlier in the evening and she was following up on it. She was apologetic about coming so late, but said she had been tied up in the ER all evening. By the time she did her own physical exam and asked a bunch of questions about our wandering life style, it was another hour later. Since I'm now wide awake it's time for a trip to the bathroom pushing the IV pump on its pole ahead of me. Then of course, my roomie needs to take a trip as well; which causes her IV pump to start beeping.
Back to bed, finally dozing off; in comes the RN; says the Chief Resident looked at earlier lab results and wants me to take some oral potassium; says she'll be back in two hours with a second dose... Nurse Aide comes in to take vital signs; roomie's IV beeps every time she moves or turns over. 4 AM: Lab tech comes in to draw blood for AM labs, makes three trips in and out the door for more supplies while drawing roomie's blood -- only has to take one trip for something missing when he does mine! (Of course, leaves lights on during all of trips back and forth...) Starts to get light outside.
And so the night went! Breakfast trays come at 8 AM. Would you believe that after vital signs at 6:30, not another soul comes into room until the dietary aide arrives?! Would have been a nice hour and one-half of sleep, but both Sister Sherry and Forry call to see how things are going!
8:30: The Group Health doctor tells me I can be discharged and give myself the necessary injections at home; RN becomes very relieved when I tell her it's okay -- in another life I had been a nurse. (She'd been trying to figure how how she's going to teach me how to give myself the shots when I have only one more scheduled dose before I leave the hospital. The drug uses a special pre-loaded syringe with automatic needle retraction -- they don't sell the empty syringes and the drug is way too expensive to waste any of it practicing on an orange...)
11 AM: Paperwork in hand, the runner gives me a ride in a wheelchair down to the front door; Forry pulls up in the Toad and we are off to the pharmacy and then to home!
Well, after all the fussing about packing and getting organized for our week in Alaska, we will not be going after all!
My back surgeon sent me for an ultrasound as he didn't like the edema in my leg. The next thing you know, I've been admitted to the hospital with a deep vein thrombosis (clot) in my thigh!
So, instead of flying to Alaska, I get to spend a few days here in the hospital. Talk about plans being made in jello!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
It's been fun the last couple of days being over at my brother's and enjoying his grand-babies -- and their Dads.
This is Nephew Jared and his seven-month old daughter Ellie. They (and Mommy Becky!) moved from Seattle into their brand-new home in Spokane this past week. Jared is an engineer and made a transfer within the same company.
And this is Carter's brother Case who is four months old. He's a very mellow little guy and was quite content to let Great-uncle Forry get his baby fix.
It rained off and on again all night (I'm sure the rain is following us wherever we go!) and then again during the day today. After we came home from church I made a pot of chicken and celery soup that seemed to go along with the gloomy day. A day for taking a long nap and watching the Mariners win their FOURTH game in a row!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
I am so mad at myself for forgetting my camera! I'd better remember it tomorrow when we go back for Nick's high school graduation party...
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
There was a lot of cheatgrass growing in the area where Auntie Violet is parked. As RVers, we are extremely conscious of fire. We have fire extinguishers all over -- automatic ones in both the engine compartment and behind the refrigerator -- and more in every room. We have been well-indoctrinated at RV rallies especially Life on Wheels and Gypsy Journal Gatherings by Mac, the Fire Guy.
Yesterday while we were in Moses Lake, Forry bought a new toy so that he could deal with the cheatgrass around Auntie Violet. He wanted an electric one so that he wouldn't have to worry about gas getting old and "gummy" during the long periods of time we are gone.
By the time I got back from my dentist appointment this morning, Forry had the new mower out of the box, all put together AND had the area all mowed!
Having my darling niece Becky as the dental hygienist certainly makes for a pleasant dental visit -- especially when Dr. Froese didn't find any new cavities! Becky was able to go out to lunch with me and bring me up to date with all the stories of the antics of my two little grand-nephews.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
This afternoon we went into Moses Lake to renew our driver's licenses. Since we were out of state on our birthdays when they expired, we had had to get license extensions by snail mail. The extensions required that we get new licenses within 60 days of our return to Washington State. We did not have a very long wait at the license office and quickly obtained temporary cards. But, I sure can't recommend the picture on mine! ;-)
The best part of the trip was a chance to visit our dear friend Vic! He is going to be turning 90 on June 29th, but we will not be able to attend his birthday party as we do not return from Alaska until late that night. I think our plane gets into Spokane at 11:30.
We also got a chance to visit briefly with Vic's daughter Pam, grand daughter Renea and great-grandson Gabe when they stopped by while we were there. We went with Vic over to Shari's restaurant for dinner and continued our conversation -- we had not seen him since last fall and it was so good to sit and talk!
This rather ingenious contraption is what Vic has rigged on the back of his car to transport his cart -- note his long-standing special "1-WHEAT" license --
Monday, June 14, 2010
A close-up look at the flower heads --
The other thing I saw in bloom was the wheat alongside the lane. The tiny white things are actually the bloom!
I have lived around wheat and on wheat farms almost all of my life, but had never realized it actually bloomed until after Forry and I were married. You really don't notice it driving along unless you happen to get up close to it.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
We were feeling pretty good about the Denver flight as there didn't appear to be any weather problems in that direction. BUT, just before 7 o'clock, the flight time on the board moved from "on time" to "delayed," with a departure time of 8:47 instead of 7:30. When I checked flight status on the United website, it also stated the cause was "mechanical." We never did hear what the problem was, but after many announcements of time changes, the plane finally arrived about 10:45; was unloaded; picked up a little bit; reloaded and off we went a few minutes after 11 PM.
By the time we arrived in Denver; even with an hour's time change, the flight to Spokane was long gone. Since the problem was mechanical and therefore United's responsibility, we were given hotel vouchers as well as were put on the stand-by list for the only morning flight to Spokane. The stewardess on the airplane told us to go immediately to Customer Service at Gate 39 to get our vouchers as soon as we disembarked (we came in at the very end of the B terminal at B 79). We headed that way and were past the center of the B terminal and almost at B 39 when an announcement came over the PA system that we should return to Gate 79 to get the necessary vouchers...
So by the time we returned; got the vouchers; walked back through the whole terminal (noticing that there was no one at Customer Service at B39); took the train to the Main terminal; went down the escalators; picked up my bag at baggage claim (fortunately the very nice woman at the gate in Cedar Rapids had put an intercept tag on it); found the right door; crossed the streets to the third island; waited another 15 minutes for the shuttle to the Doubletree; then traveled another 25 minutes (in the rain) into downtown Denver; checked into the hotel; and finally got to a room, it was almost 2 AM!
In order to be at the airport an hour ahead of the scheduled flight, I had to take the 7:30 AM shuttle. That made for a VERY short night. When I got out to the United Express gates (way at the end of the B terminal and down the escalators), the attendant at the gate said that the flight was full and was actually oversold by one passenger. But she also said that they all hadn't checked in yet and that she had put me on the top of the stand-by list.
In the end, there was ONE empty seat -- in the very back of the airplane right across from the lavatory. It looked like the very best seat ever! (Especially since I would have had to wait until 9:45 tonight for the next flight to Spokane...)
We arrived in Spokane just before noon and Forry was there within half an hour to pick me up (he left church during the last hymn). After going to Frank's Diner for breakfast/lunch, we headed for the ranch. (We did stop in Cheney for a few minutes to visit Daughter Mary Mae's mother-in-law Diane who recently had knee replacement surgery.)
Saturday, June 12, 2010
We had a busy morning of meetings -- trying to finish up everthing on a packed agenda. Moderator Ed finally declared that the rest of the agenda had an asterisk (African American churchs evidently often add an asterisk on their agendas. At the bottom of the page, the asterisk proclaims that "the agenda is subject to change by the Holy Spirit.") and he was cancelling the rest and going directly to Executive Session (always the last agenda item in case there is need for one...). Fortunately the Executive Session was short and quick and we were able to go to lunch only a half hour late.
Everyone was anxious to head for the airport and be home for what was left of the weekend. But it was not to be! Those of us on later flights came to the airport a bit later and found the early arrivals waiting around hoping to rebook eastbound cancelled flights. My flight doesn't leave until 7:30 and is heading west, so I am in hopes it will be okay. This morning's thunderstorm must have been pretty widespread and caused lots of flight delays.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
We are meeting at Iowa Mennonite School which is right across the road from Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church where we had lunch. They are both out in the country, a good four to five miles from our motel in Kalona.
We were supposed to go on a hay ride tonight, but we had a pretty good thunderstorm this afternoon, so the roads were too muddy to go. We did drive out to another church, East Union Mennonite Church, where we had barbecued chicken and ribs for dinner.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
We must have had a good tail wind, because we arrived a few minutes early in Denver. A good thing, because the United Express area is clear at the other side of the B concourse and down the stairs from where my flight from Spokane came in. I stopped at a Starbuck's stand on the way and got a Venti Caramel Lite Frappacino. I found my fellow Board member Tina at the gate, also waiting for the flight to Cedar Falls, Iowa and sipping on a Starbuck's.
It was only a couple hour flight from Denver to Iowa. As soon as we departed the plane, we were met by another Board member (Patty) and Shelley from the office who had also just got in. Mr. Boshart was there with his pickup to take us to the motel in Kalona, then took Tina and I downtown with him to get a hamburger as we hadn't had a chance to eat earlier.
Only the Executive Committee meets in the morning tomorrow, so the rest of us can be lazy until it's time to go to our lunch meeting.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
There was a lot of bird activity and song this morning -- many, many Western Kingbirds flying around between the trees in the windbreak and the flat. I should have gotten out Forry's camera with the big lens as this fellow posed quite nicely for me for quite a long while --
Monday, June 7, 2010
But first we went to the Thai place in Canby for lunch/dinner. Usually our rule of thumb at Oriental restaurants is to order one dish for each person and then eat family style. For a long time, we weren't including Grandson Micah in the count, figuring that he was small enough that he didn't eat enough to make a difference. Well, those days are long gone! I had sort of noticed it when we had been at PF Changs and again at the Thai restaurant last week. He definitely has to be counted -- otherwise we are all short! Today he wanted something with squid -- and then battled with his sister Kyra to pick it all out of the curry. I'm not sure the adults got any!
This afternoon Forry started loaded everything back into the Toad that we had taken out and used while we were here. I finished up the laundry and got it all put away. Tonight we played one more round of Hand and Foot -- had to let Forry and Daughter Dawn win one game, you know.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Todd in his office at Zion --
Zion Mennonite Church --
After spending all that time on pretty serious stuff, we decided that tonight we needed to do something entirely mindless and fun. So this evening, Daughter Dawn, Forry and I went to see Sex and the City Two while Todd and the two youngest grands went to see Robin Hood.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Can't you just tell by looking at them that they're all related?
It was VERY special having Sister Roxy here. She's always been a pretty special person -- even though when my parents brought her home from the hospital just before Christmas, my Dad told us she was our ONLY Christmas present!
Roxy and her husband Rich live in Olympia, Washington. She retired this year after 30 years as a nurse at St. Peter's Hospital there.
After lunch with the ladies, I went back to Auntie Violet to get Forry and we went into Woodburn for the rest of our birthday/anniversary present from our daughters. We went to The Spa at Wellspring for massages. Forry had a Swedish massage while I had a hot stone one. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon! They started you off with a foot soak and a hot neck wrap in a quiet room, then proceeded to the massage rooms. I was a little nervous about having the massage following my back surgery last fall, but the therapist was very cautious and careful -- he said he could feel exactly where the rods were. Forry and I were both pretty mellow when we got back home.
We finished off the day by attending Grand daughter Havela's choir concert at Canby High School. She sings in the Freshman Woman's Choir -- and they were awesome! Havela is the black-haired one in the middle --
After we got back from the concert (in the 19th day of rain!). we played a round of Hand and Foot with Dawn and Todd. Todd and I have a long-standing tradition of beating the socks off of Dawn and Forry and we upheld it well tonight...
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Our twelve-year old Granddaughter Kyra is a novice on the Canby Swim Team. She asked if I would come watch practice this afternoon. It may have been rainy and chilly outside, but it was warm in the covered building. I was able to take my sweater off for the first time today.
As a novice, Ky hasn't gone to any swim meets yet, but she sure enjoys swimming. Their coach works them hard. She swam laps for an hour -- 2 1/2 miles worth!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Dawn with her diploma, her new nursing pin, her Sigma Theta Tau purple and white honor cords and her golden cords for graduating Magna Cum Laude --
One very happy family: Son-in-law Todd, Daughter Dawn, Grandaughters Kyra and Havela and Grandson Micah --
In case you haven't noticed, I'm VERY proud of her!