Thursday, December 25, 2008

Guess who is celebrating his birthday today...

If you guessed my dear husband, Larry, you would be correct. Born on Christmas Day in 1941, he is a great guy, lots of fun, good sense of humor, and a very generous, loving person. He is solid as a rock, full of common sense, and there is no one more honest than he. Happy Birthday to a wonderful husband and a super dad, a special man born on a very special day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More deck snow...

These pictures were taken this morning after the weekend snowfall. The snow measures 8" now and it was still snowing when I took these pictures.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Deck snow..

Here are a couple pictures of snow on the back deck. Some of the pots contain my herb collection: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

The downside of snow flurries..

We had even more snow today, about 3", which is a lot for us. We now have compact snow and ice on the roads, so I'm not leaving home. It also means Nathan's personal care attendant cannot make it here, even riding the bus. The bus wasn't running up the hill this morning, the roads are much worse now, so I'm sure they won't be running tomorrow morning. I had to cancel dad's appointment at the infusion center and tomorrow I'll have to cancel Nathan's post-op appointment in Tacoma, no way we'll make it down this hill and up the hills in Tacoma. So, there is a downside to those lovely flakes that fell all afternoon today. I'll try to get some pics tomorrow and post on the blog.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Flurries

I love snow and today it is snowing. Sometimes a gust of wind will come along and the snow will come swirling down. I've turned on the outdoor Christmas lights and the lights on our Christmas tree in the big living room window. This will be our first white Christmas in a long time. Memories of Christmas past are with me today.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wild Thing and the Table Decorations

Wild Thing was inspecting the Christmas decorations on the dining room table today. He couldn't resist them. He's a cat with no self control.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wild Thing and the Christmas Tree

Here is a picture of Wild Thing guarding the Christmas Tree. This is the dining room tree. We also have a tree in the living room. He divides his nap time between the two. He leaves most of the ornaments alone, but does like to nibble on the cords and fake pine needles.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Busy, busy, busy...

I feel like I'm running through December. Lots of Relief Society stuff going on and trying to get the house decorated. I need to go through my totes and down-size my collection of Christmas' past.
My biggest concern is the Ward adult fireside on Dec. 21. I hope my "great" room will be "great" enough to fit 40 or so people. We can accommodate 25-30, so an extra 10 should fit??? I'm still not sure how our house was chosen. I may have said "yes" in a weak moment.
Nathan's birthday present arrived yesterday. Only two days late. He wanted terrycloth bath ponchos and a winter wheelchair poncho. I was pleasantly surprised to see all the items proudly displayed a MADE IN USA label. The winter poncho has a shiny (like nylon) outside and fleece inside. It will be so much easier to get on and off than a jacket, and much warmer, it will cover his lap, too. It's nice that there are some special clothes available that look nice and are easy to use for people with mobility issues.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Nate the Great..

What can I say about the sweetest, nicest, best son, ever, on his special day? Never complaining, always cheerful and upbeat, Nathan is an example to all of how to live in spite of adversity. Happy Birthday, dear son!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Behold, a turkey army...

We had fun this morning making "turkey" favors for our Thanksgiving table decorations. Our final total was 30, 24 for us and 6 for some friends. These are easy to make. Directions are as follows: Chocolate covered cherries for the body, burnt peanuts for the head, candy corn for the feathers, vanilla wafers for the base and the back, a can of chocolate frosting for the "glue".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

He's getting better..

Nathan had his one week post-op visit to the surgeon this morning. He is doing well. The doctor pulled out the staples in two of the incisions. Everything appears to be healing well. The worst spot is where the surgeon repaired the old stomach-tube incision area, it had developed a large piece of hardened scar tissue that the doctor removed and then re-stitched the area to close it up, it had been open all these years (22) and looked like another belly button, we never realized that wasn't normal. The only place Nathan is feeling pain now is where that is healing. It's very tender. He's looking much better and his color is returning. He spent the summer being very pale from not feeling well. I'm so glad to see him feeling better and returning to his cheerful self.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Back in the saddle again...

Does anybody remember that old refrain from a song Gene Autry sang, or for that matter does anyone remember Gene Autry? Well, Nathan isn't exactly in a saddle, but he is back in his wheelchair and able to sit and play Wii. I put him back to bed at 3 this afternoon. This was his first day out of bed and sitting up. He did very well. His brother, Mike, came for a visit and played on the Wii with him. He is ready to take on Tiger Woods in golf anyday now (as long as they play a virtual game, that is). I was very pleased to see him doing so well. His appetite is returning too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

He's home..

Nathan is home and is in his own bed now. Still feeling really sore, but who wouldn't after having abdominal surgery? He was very drowsy today, the day nurse was bragging how she hadn't given him any pain meds on her shift. It turns out the night crew had shot him full of dilaudid followed by several percocets, no wonder he told the doc he wasn't feeling as much pain today. I think we can manage his pain just fine here at home. I don't know why I always think the hospital can do it better. Silly me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Only a day away...

Nathan will be coming home tomorrow (Thursday). He is in a lot of pain and I just didn't feel that he was up to the trip home. So, I talked to the surgeon about my apprehension and he agreed to one more day. I think Nathan is feeling somewhat better because he had taken over control of the TV in his room. There is only one TV for 2 patients and Nathan had talked the guy in his room into letting him have control for today. Nathan promptly turned off the TV, which did not make his roommate very happy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Surgery update..

Nathan's surgery took about 2 hours. He is spending the night at the hospital. We saw him this afternoon after surgery and he seemed to be doing as well as can be expected. The doctor removed many adhesions in his abdominal cavity and on his liver, high in his diaphragm. Hopefully, this will cure the pain. Although, the adhesions could return anytime. Surgery is both the cause and the cure. Some people are more prone to grow adhesions than others. Nathan may be one who has the tendency to grow adhesions. The doctor also removed his appendix and did a repair to the site where he had a stomach tube many years ago. The surgeon told us he stapled him back together in a few places. Nathan should be coming home tomorrow.

Surgery today

We're getting Nathan ready for his exploratory laparoscopy this morning. We need to be at the hospital by 8:45, so we'll leave here about 8 a.m. Surgery is scheduled for 11 a.m. We don't know if they will keep him overnight or not. His home teaching companion gave him a blessing last week, so we are feeling that everything will be okay. My dear sister-in-law is coming with me and so is Nathan's caregiver, we are like a small army, packed and ready for the invasion.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I love America! Let's pull together now and make this country strong and vibrant once again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

At last, election day is here!!

Please do your patriotic duty and vote today. It is wonderful to live in a free country and to be able to choose our leaders. Don't pass up this opportunity. God Bless America!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Trick or Treat

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Help, the printer is out of ink!

Have you ever noticed that the printer runs out of ink just before you need 100 copies of something important immediately? This weekend the black cartridge went kaput, it had lasted about 2 years, an amazingly long time in the life of ink cartridges around here. Late last night I made a run to Freddie Kroger and bought a new generic brand cartridge. Brought it home, installed it and it wouldn't work. Went to the website for help, still wouldn't work. Today I made a trip to the big box store and bought 2 brand-name cartridges. Thought I might as well pick up a color cartridge too, WRONG! They only had black cartridges for this printer, no color, what "store buyer" thought it was a good idea to only stock black cartridges for printers that also print in color? I would really like to understand the marketing philosophies in use in retail stores today.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Surgery is postponed until Nov. 11. Nathan has come down with a bad cold, runny nose, cough, etc. I had to cancel and reschedule everything. We've waited this long, I guess another couple weeks won't make any difference. We should not be surprised that he caught this. I was sick for 2 weeks early in the month and Larry has been sick for the past 2 weeks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A date with the surgeon..

Hmmm, now that's a catchy title! Nathan is going to have his surgery on Monday, November 3, in the afternoon at Allenmore Hospital. I don't know if it is day surgery, or if he will spend the night. We have to go to the hospital next Monday to see the anesthesiologist, Nathan is allergic to a commonly used anesthetic (we found that out during his last surgery)so, we have to be certain they don't use it on him during this surgery. As if we don't have enough to worry about. Hopefully, one of the fifteen people we will mention this to will actually listen, write it down, and read it before they administer it. Do I sound a little cynical? After his last surgery, I actually had to get his chart from the nurse and write down his medication dosage schedule for her and he is only on 2 medications. One is given in alternating doses depending on the day of the week. I had previously written it down for the hospital pharmacist and had told several other people, but they just couldn't get it. Don't even get me started on the bowel and bladder stuff, you would think at a hospital they could handle those things, guess again. Yikes! The bad part is Nathan cannot speak for himself which adds another dimension to his trying to get care.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The neurologist gives an opinion...

Today we went to see Nathan's neurologist. He has been seeing Nathan for the past 22 years. He is a fantastic doctor and a great human being. When he saw the condition Nathan was in and the obvious pain that he was having, he told us to definitely go ahead with exploratory laporoscopy(I'm not sure if that's spelled right or not) surgery. I called the surgeon when we got home, his assistant said they had been waiting for my call, and will call me back in the next day or so to schedule it. Nathan and I are feeling ok with this decision now. Please pray for Nathan.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not much time to blog anymore...

Being RS president takes a lot of time!!! There are lots of meetings. There are lots of reports. There is a whole computer program with visiting teaching stuff that has to be entered and corrected and entered and corrected and.....I have wonderful counselors and a great board to help me, but I can't believe how much there is to do. I make lists of my lists. I was at church and intransit for 7 hours yesterday. I'm a little tired today.

Nathan sees his neurologist tomorrow. I'm going to ask for his opinion on doing exploratory surgery.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's been a wild week...

On Wednesday, I took Nathan to the surgeon, thinking that perhaps we would have a diagnosis. Still no idea what is causing the pain. The surgeon decided to give him two antibiotics to see if there might be an underlying infection causing the pain. I took Nathan home, fed him lunch, and gave him the first antibiotic. About an hour later he developed a severe headache. I gave him acetaminaphen rapid release, which didn't relieve the headache. After observing what looked like a focal-motor seizure, I called the paramedics. His blood pressure was way up, but came down after awhile. They decided not to transport. I had some stronger pain killers on hand prescribed for Nathan and gave one of those to him. The headache finally subsided several hours later and he felt better yesterday. I did not take him to the ER because our last trip was a 7 hour ordeal and I didn't think he'd tolerate the wait or the drive.
I spent yesterday on the phone with the surgeon's office and Nathan's neurologist. I think we have everything under control for the time being.
Thank you Edgewood fire department!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm getting sicker...

I think I'll have to go to the doctor tomorrow. The sore throat has turned into head congestion and an almost continuous cough, plus a fever. I am shedding germs all over the place. I hope Nathan doesn't get this. He has another appointment with the surgeon on Wednesday. The surgeon has read up on the previous surgery and conferred with the GP and they've come to some kind of decision, I think. At least they weren't sharing what they decided over the phone.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My throat is sore

I'm thinking of trying the popsicle and Musinex cure. I've already tried Sucrets (worked for as long as the lozenge lasted), hot herbal tea, cold water, steamy shower, etc. I'm going to make chicken soup for dinner. I wish my mom was here to fix me milk toast. That was our special treat when we stayed home from school with any illness. Hot buttery toast floating in a bowl full of milk. We always felt better after eating it. I'm starting to get more symptoms as the day wears on, runny nose, sneezing....I could go on and on, but then I wouldn't get that soup made would I?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A new calling...

I have been sustained as the new Relief Society President in our ward. I am alternating between euphoria and sheer terror in contemplating this awesome responsibility. Words escape me, but I know the Lord will strengthen me as I fulfill this assignment.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wild Thing being a very bad thing

Wild Thing is not allowed on the dining room table, ever!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

They say it's my birthday...

Today I'm celebrating my birthday at THE FAIR here in glorious Puyallup, Washington. I have spent many of my birthdays here. When I was a little girl, my grandma would send a taxi (she didn't drive) to pick me up and bring me to her house and we would go to the fair. For many years she worked as a food checker at Nettie's Farmhouse Restaurant at the fair. She sat on a tall stool by the kitchen and checked to make sure all the food that was supposed to be on the plate was there. She would always give my brother and me a silver dollar and some dimes for our fair money. I have memories of going to the fair with my mother on opening day, we did this for many years, even after she moved to Arizona, she would still be here for my birthday. I remember taking Nathan when he was just a little boy and I have pictures of him riding on the kiddie rides. A few years ago my very good friend from Pennsylvania came for a visit and stayed for my birthday and we went to the fair. I love the sights and sounds and smells of the fair. This year my cousin, Donna, and I will be doing the fair together. "The folks are all singing so merry and gay and it's Hi Ho come to the fair!" (from a song we sang in grade school during the fair)

Monday, September 15, 2008

6 Doctors in 7 Weeks

Can you imagine spending 7 weeks with pain in your lower abdomen that radiates upward to your ribcage on both sides and includes your sternum? Can you imagine seeing 6 different doctors and having a variety of scans, endoscopies, and blood draws only to be told that everything has come back negative? Finally, can you imagine how it feels to have all the doctors say there is nothing they can do? That's where we are today. I'm not sure what to do next.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week 6 and still in pain

We had our follow-up visit at the GI docs today. We saw the PA who was very caring and concerned that the pain was still there. The tests have all come back negative, so we are almost at a dead end. However, I suggested giving him some prednisone for inflammation and she agreed, then we also scheduled a surgical consult for Monday. I have called the radiologists where Nathan has had 3 abdominal CT scans in the past 3 years and they are going to make me a cd to take to the surgeon. I want the surgeon to see his pre-op CT from 2006, because he had necrotized material throughout his abdomen prior to the gall bladder surgery and perhaps they can compare what that looked like with the ones from 2007 and 2008 where there was haziness.
Do you think I should charge a consulting fee for all this? Still looking at possible panniculitis for the diagnosis.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Round and round we go, what he's got nobody knows

Yesterday we spent 4 hours at yet another gastroenterology clinic getting an EUS (endoscopic ultrasound). Nothing showed up in the ultrasound, I think we were looking for clogged bile ducts, but the doctor at this clinic doesn't talk to the patient's mother so I don't really know. He did send a nurse out to the waiting room to explain that we need to see our referring doctor to rule out panniculitis. When I asked the nurse what that was, he really didn't know. After looking it up on the internet when I got home, I decided that I don't want to know either. The interesting thing about this is, the gastrodoc was looking at the CT scans we had taken in the ER on August 4 and was questioning the hazing effect in the pics of the abdomen. Here we are 4 weeks and 5 docs later and someone is finally reviewing the CT scan that was the first thing we had done. I'm now trying to get his next gastrodoc appointment moved up sooner than Sept. 11, but all docs are off until Tuesday. I hope nobody needs a doctor in the next 3 days.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An assignment for Sunday...

As I was sitting quietly on the back row in church on Sunday, I was caught unaware and before I knew it, I had agreed to teach a lesson next Sunday in a combined Relief Society/Priesthood meeting. My topic will be the new Family Search program. I guess since I am the ward family history teacher, I should not be surprised at being asked to teach such a lesson. Where to start, where to start? This morning I have been to the new website and read (again) all the things for family history consultants. I have also completed previously, the e-learning courses, for which I received a certificate of completion suitable for framing. I have watched the "roll out" power point presentation again and still need to view the DVD. I have printed out some "key" points and will probably go with those as a handout and an outline for my lesson. I am excited about the new program and I think it will be a wonderful tool for those who want to enter their family history information in preparation for temple ordinances.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Oh what a PAIN this is...

Well, I hardly know where to start this rant. Perhaps I am expecting too much from the medical profession, but wouldn't you think if the doctor's office called and moved up your appointment, that they would have reviewed your file and be prepared to give a diagnosis? Evidently I was expecting too much. As the nurse showed us to the examination room she asked about Nathan's bloodwork. I told her it was done on the 11th, she said she would call and get the results (in my mind I thought, this is not a good sign). In the examination room I mentioned the abdominal ultrasound he'd had on the 18th. She'd have to call and get that, too. (Alarm bells are ringing in my head now). Doctor comes in, quickly scans the reports, asks if the pain is still there (it is), says that the part he wanted to see is not on the ultrasound report. He finds out after our appointment is over that the abdominal ultrasound with doppler that he ordered does not include a scan of the liver, which was the whole point of the test for Nathan. His parting words were that he doesn't think there is anything seriously wrong, he ordered more blood work, and an endoscopic ultrasound for next Friday, follow-up appointment on Sept. 11. He did give Nathan some Nexium samples for the heartburn he doesn't have.
The best part of the whole visit came next. We went to the lab next door to the doctor's office for the blood work just as the Mountain Man candy lady arrived. We purchased her last bag of chocolate-covered pretzels and that's what we're having for lunch.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Mess of Beans...

We harvested our first stringbeans from the "square foot" garden today. I fixed them like my grandmother used to and she always called this recipe "A Mess of Beans". In a large pot add several cups of stringbeans, a few new potatoes, some carrots, a chopped onion, and some bacon (I use pre-cooked or microwave type--not as greasy), put enough chicken stock or beef stock to cover, bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour. Serve with slices of french bread or hard rolls to dip in the soupy part.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We're getting closer to a diagnosis...

The gastroenterologist's office called today and Dr. Sugar wants to see Nathan on Friday morning. We thought we were going to have to wait until next Tuesday. Maybe something's up?

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Book Review

This weekend I read a book called Elder Rage or Take My Father Please by Jaqueline Marcell. It is an excellent book for those who are caregivers of elderly relatives. If you read this blog in April and May, I posted almost every day on my adventures with Larry's parents and the problems we were having. I have since deleted those posts. The problems have eased a little, but it is only a matter of time until we are back in the trenches with them again. Ms. Marcell has written a humorous, yet poignant book about dealing with her Jekyll and Hyde father and her sweet co-dependent mother. There were many parallels to what has been happening to my in-laws, to the trials and tribulations she had with her parents. It is comforting to know that we are not alone in dealing with stubborn, angry, and non-cooperative parents. I couldn't put this book down once I started it. It puts difficult issues in a humorous perspective, which I found quite enjoyable. There are many suggestions on how to deal with elderly parents and numerous references to resources that can help in the final pages of this book.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I hear the rolling thunder...

Shortly after 3 a.m. this morning, I awoke from a sound sleep to the roar of thunder, lightning flashes, pounding rain on the roof. Some of the thunder shook the house and I'm sure the lightning was in the backyard by the bedroom window. The power was knocked out briefly after one tremendous bolt hit close by. The only one who slept through it was Nathan, who usually awakes at the slightest sound. I am always reminded of the hymn, How Great Thou Art, whenever I hear thunder. Thy power throughout the universe displayed..

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anniversary of sorts

Today marks the 22 anniversary of the accident that shattered the life of our beloved Nathan and changed our lives forever. It was a beautiful day, just like it is today. Warm, but not too hot. Nathan was riding his bike over to get a haircut at about 1 in the afternoon. At the same time, a drunk driver was on the same road, drinking and driving in his car. He struck the bicyle from behind throwing Nathan into a deep ditch on the opposite side of the road. The driver also ended up in the ditch. Lucky for Nathan, the accident happened almost in front of the local fire station. Paramedics were able to get to the scene within a few minutes after a motorist notified them. They originally thought he had died in the accident, but they administered aid and sent him by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital. Good Sam stabilized him as best they could and transported him to St. Joseph Hospital for emergency brain surgery. The neuro-surgeon told us the chances for his survival were not good and that he would never awake from the coma even if he did survive. Well, he did wake from the coma and he did survive. Now 22 years later he is enjoying life to the best of his ability and is a very pleasant and cheerful person. We are very glad that we still have him with us. With God all things are possible...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Update on Nathan

Today we went to see Dr. Sugar, the gastroenterologist. It was his first day on the job, he is a brand new doctor and we really liked him. He asked all kinds of good questions and referred Nathan for blood work, an endoscopy, and an ultra sound. We had the blood work done today, the endoscopy is scheduled for tomorrow and the ultra sound next Monday. We learned from him that one of the blood tests from the ER visit was abnormal. This is the first we had been told of that. So the blood work done today will give us more detail about what might be going on. We are praying that it will be nothing serious.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Monday we'll see the specialist...

Nathan has an appointment on Monday afternoon to see a gastroenterologist named Dr. Sugar. Nathan is still in pain and is now on a starchy diet, no dairy and no fat. I'll be glad when this is all over and I'm sure Nathan will be too.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A visit to the doctor...

Today we did a follow-up visit with Nathan's doctor. She said he probably had sludge in his carburator or something like that. The pain in his side may be clogged bile ducts, even though he has had his gall bladder removed, there may be some residual material in the ducts. Next will be a trip to a gastroenterologist for some tests.

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's Monday, let's go to the ER..

For the past few days Nathan has complained of severe pain in his abdomen. It seemed to be worse every day, so this morning we went to the ER and spent the entire day. When the doctor examined him, the pain was localized to the area of the appendix and it was VERY painful. They ran blood tests, urinalysis, ct scan, everything was negative, so they shot him up with morphine and sent him home. I could say alot more about this visit, but I am way too tired and nothing has been resolved. He is still in pain.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Farmers Market...

We got up early this morning and went to see the farmers market. It is the first time we have gone this summer. We bought some peaches, blueberries, cucumbers, string beans, corn on the cob, and some giant chocolate cookies. It was fun looking at all the stalls filled with produce, arts and crafts, plants, and goodies to eat. The downtown area is looking very nice, the new city hall, new condo/apartments, little cafes dot the main streets. It doesn't look like the town I knew as a child, it looks much better. I would love to have one of the condos downtown and be able to walk everywhere. Both of the new buildings are also very close to the library. A perfect retirement spot.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wow, It's the last day of July...

Is summer over? Clouds are here, cool breezes blowing, leaves on the maple tree are turning orange...I'm not ready for fall, yet. Global warming where art thou?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We love Wii..

Nathan did his part to stimulate the economy by purchasing a Wii recently. It is great for someone who has disabilities like he does. It can be done with one hand, it can be set up for left or right handed players. It can be played by one person. The set up instructions are not complicated. The games (baseball, golf, tennis, boxing, and bowling) are simple, but can be made harder. They are especially good for eye-hand coordination exercise. They give instant feedback plus a replay of each action. He can operate the whole system by himself from memory and can choose his own games. We are very pleased with the Wii and plan on buying some more games for it. Thank you to the designers of the Wii for making a product that can be used by a person with very limited mobility and cognitive deficits, a product that brings hours of joy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Only in the Pacific Northwest...

I think this may be the only place where you can put on a sweatshirt and drink hot chocolate in July. That's what I'm doing right now. As a native of this area, it still amazes me that in the middle of summer, it can be this cool and dreary. Looking on the bright side, I won't have to water anything today!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I never cease to be amazed...

Today I took dad to the new out-patient laboratory for Good Samaritan Hospital. It is located several blocks from the hospital in a brand new building. The grand opening is tomorrow. The building is located on a narrow street filled with construction vehicles due to the hospital expansion going on in the area. Parking is plentiful, there is a parking garage under the building. Please keep in mind that this 3 story building is full of doctor's offices in addition to the lab. The door to the main entrance does not have the automated features for those with handicaps. It is very heavy and not particularly wide. I had dad and his walker to manuever through it. I am now dreading taking Nathan and the wheelchair next week. The elevator seemed crowded, not very deep, another challenge when I bring Nathan. To get to the lab there is a very heavy door to go through, again no automated features, followed by a hard right and another heavy door into the lab waiting room. There is also another heavy door to be navigated into the drawing area. Why so many doors and why so heavy and where are the automated door openers? This is a new medical building, shouldn't there be some consideration given for those with walkers and wheelchairs, not to mention young mothers with little children in strollers and in tow?
Why are medical facilities designed to be unfriendly to those with disabilities? I think it should be a requirement that the designers of these facilities visit them in a walker and a wheelchair and try to get around before the building is signed off by the building inspectors.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I looked out the window and what did I see?

...a little brown bunnie looking back at me. He hopped across the front yard. He hopped around a tree. And as he hopped away, I think I heard him say, "Ha, ha, you'll never catch me!"

Better watch out for the coyote little rabbit.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

If you want to donate to a good cause...

My best friend, Pam McRea Seip, died in 2006 from complications due to a brain tumor. I miss her and think of her every day. Below is an email I received from her son, Craig, who is training to run in the Chicago Marathon in her honor.

Some of you know, many do not, that I am training for the Chicago Marathon, October 12, 2008. I am running on the team of the American Brain Tumor Association, in memory of my mother. Many of you were lucky enough to have known her: All of you know that she died in November 2006 from complications from a brain tumor. If you could support my run by giving a donation for the ABTA, I would be very grateful. There are surely many families who do not have the resources that mine did as we dealt with her illness, who rely on the ABTA for support.

I'm nearly up to 9 mile runs, and think of my mom even more as I run than I usually do, imagining her cheering me on as she did when I was a 17-year-old cross-country runner bringing up the rear of the race!

If you could pass my link to people who I do not even that we can all further help the ABTA in their cause...I would be further humbled by your love and support.

Below is the link to my page.

Thanks and love,


Monday, July 21, 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho its off to Costco I go!

I decided today was the day for the trip to the big box store. They sent me some coupons which I diligently clipped and actually remembered to take with me. I also made a list that corresponded to the coupons, something I don't always do. Then it was off on the grand adventure. First stop was the aisle with the computer printer ink, not on the list, but a useful item. No ink refills for the Lexmark printer that I own and that I bought there. Things were not looking good, better get out the list. Quickly found that even with the coupons, the store brand was a better deal. Chatted with a few other customers on the detergent aisle who had also discovered this. Skipped the meat department and frozen food sections today, after all I was a woman on a mission with a list that didn't include those items. Managed to locate all the items that I had coupons for and only had to ask two clerks for help. My one personal splurge item was a book called The Friday Night Knitting Club, a nice lady looking at the books with me highly recommended it. I am now resting from the big adventure and all the boxes are still sitting in the family room waiting to be put away. This I will have to do soon as the missionaries are coming for dinner tonight. If you want to spend a lot of money in a short amount of time, I suggest a visit to Costco, and it's good exercise too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another week gone..

I cannot believe how fast this summer is going. I've got the jam all made from the delicious local berries. The garden is growing, but I don't think the pumpkins will weigh 500 pounds, or even 5 pounds, for that matter. We did have some radishes from the "square foot" garden. Somehow the peacock missed a few leaves, he loves to eat all the new green leaves in the garden, right down to the soil. He is such a pretty bird, but very messy and he has a huge appetite.
We are enjoying the sunshine, but have no plans to go anywhere this summer. I would like to go to the beach before summer is over.
Nathan and I watched the Spiderwick Chronicles on DVD yesterday, it is a little bit like The Chronicles of Narnia only not quite as complicated.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I miss Ma Bell..

I remember when there was just one telephone company in this area, the Bell Telephone Company, affectionately known as "Ma Bell". You could dial 0 for operator and a nice lady would answer after just one ring. She would be very helpful and if she couldn't do what needed to be done, she would call her supervisor who could. Today I tried to call the place where Nathan has a volunteer job to let them know he was sick and wouldn't be coming. I started calling the number at 9 a.m. and continued to call until 1:45 this afternoon, all I got was a busy signal. I decided to call the operator to see if she could put me through. In the days of "Ma Bell", this was possible. Evidently in this day and age of technology, it is no longer possible. Nor is it possible for me to report phone problems for this facility. They must report it themselves because there may be "charges" involved. I hope they discover that their phones are out before the day is over, no one is going to be able to call and tell them, nor is the phone company going to look into it and see if there might be a line problem. I do miss Ma Bell, now more than ever, and I miss that nice friendly HELPFUL operator, too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I can't believe it's Tuesday

Today was a very busy day. Nathan had a routine dentist appointment that lasted for 2 hours. Then I took him for a haircut and lunch at Subway. On the way home, he got sick, "code brown" for those in the know. The afternoon was spent cleaning him, the clothes, the wheelchair, the bed. He is resting now. Never a dull moment.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jam day again..

Today I made raspberry freezer jam. It is easy to make and tastes so good. We just about have enough jam for the coming year. Tomorrow I am going to make a batch of raspberry-nectarine jam (I'm substituting nectarines for peaches). In a few days I'll make some blackberry jam. Since we are storing a year's supply of peanut butter, it will be nice to have something to put with it on a sandwich.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meals on Wheels

A cat died and went to Heaven. God met him at the gates and said, 'You have been a good cat all these years. Anything you want is yours for the asking.
' The cat thought for a minute and then said, 'All my life I lived on a farm and slept on hard wooden floors. I would like a real fluffy pillow to sleep on.
'God said, 'Say no more.' Instantly the cat had a huge fluffy pillow.
A few days later, six mice were killed in an accident and they all went to Heaven together. God met the mice at the gates with the same offer that He made to the cat.
The mice said, 'Well, we have had to run all of our lives: from cats, dogs, and even people with brooms! If we could just have some little roller skates, we would not have to run again.'
God answered, 'It is done.' All the mice had beautiful little roller skates.
About a week later, God decided to check on the cat. He found him sound asleep on his fluffy pillow. God gently awakened the cat and asked, 'Is everything okay? How have you been doing? Are you happy?'
The cat replied, 'Oh, it is WONDERFUL. I have never been so happy in my life. The pillow is so fluffy, and those little Meals on Wheels you have been sending over are delicious!'

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The new FamilySearch

Wednesday is my day to volunteer at the Family History Center. As a ward family history consultant, I am able to access the new familysearch program even though it is not available to members in this temple district. I have been taking lessons online to help me learn the program so that I can teach others. It is always challenging to learn something new. The program was developed to cut down on duplicate submissions for temple ordinances. Sounds good in theory, but I seem to have no problem creating duplicates when I'm entering new information. I'm not sure if it is me or if there is a glitch in the program. Today I was entering Samuel Isaac and the next thing I knew his father, John, had been registered with Samuel's birthdate. How did that happen I wonder? Lucky for me, I had done a lesson today on how to delete a record. Something I find disconcerting is to see my ancestors' information submitted incorrectly by someone I do not know. For example, Ardilla Isaac has been submitted as Ardilla Stevenson Isaac, Stevenson is her married last name, not her middle name. Lots of corrections to submit! So, to my nieces and nephews who may be using this program, be very careful. I am trying to get everything corrected for you. Also I have noticed that ordinance data shows on some screens but not on others, please check with me before submitting for temple work.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A question or two

If you were going to build a bathroom in a motel to be accessible to a person with disabilities, wouldn't it make sense to put in a walk-in shower? Why would you put in a bathtub? I went for a visit to a local motel to look for a place for our family to stay while we have the asbestos removed in our house. The bathroom was the perfect size for a roll-in shower chair and would have worked great, except for the bathtub. A very disappointing experience. I had hoped that in the past 20+ years since our last trip involving motels, that accessibility would mean more than a tub with several grab bars. Evidently, not much has changed, but I will keep looking.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday, time to do laundry..

Five loads washed, three more to go. In between loads we ran the dishwasher, giving the septic system a run for the money. Let's see how much water we can run through the system until something overflows. Wild Thing's family living life on the edge on a sunny July afternoon. Also, took a break and watched the "Work and the Glory" part 2 "on demand". It doesn't get any better than this.

Friday, July 4, 2008

It's the Fourth of July..,

We have the flag flying and a few red, white, and blue decorations placed strategically around the house. We have no plans for today, Nathan is still not feeling well and the weather looks like it could rain any second. Several thunderstorms passed through the area yesterday providing plenty of "fireworks" accompanied by very loud rolls of thunder. I am thankful every day that I live in this free country and I am especially grateful to the men and women who have served and currently serve in the military. Their sacrifices have kept us free from oppression. One of our ancestors, Andrew Englis, served in the Revolutionary War and was present at Valley Forge. If you would like to read a little more about him go to: His name is the fifth from the bottom of the roll of those who signed the Oath of Allegiance.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Popsicles and Musinex...

Yes, that's what the doctor said to give Nathan for his sore throat and congestion in his larynx. We'll see how that works. I'm thinking we'll be back in the doctor's office by Friday for an antibiotic prescription. Hope springs eternal and we will give this new remedy a try. He developed a new symptom within an hour of being home which included "tossing his cookies" all over his bed. The afternoon was filled with much cleaning and washing of sheets, etc. I'm getting pretty good at changing sheets while he's in the bed. Once Larry got home I escaped to Freddie Kroger's and bought some new summer pants. Nothing like a little shopping to ease the psyche. I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes...

I'm going to teach in Primary today. We're studying Alma 37-38. The lesson is about the importance of studying the scriptures so that we will stay on the path that leads us to our Savior, Jesus Christ. There will be scripture reading, handouts, a worksheet, and class discussion. I love Primary.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


There is nothing like the taste of fresh locally grown strawberries. The weather has been colder than usual, so the berries are late this year. They are finally ready and we are ready for them! I bought a flat of the most beautiful berries you have ever seen. We had strawberry shortcake, strawberries on our cereal, strawberries with yogurt, strawberries with chocolate pudding and whipped topping, and we made strawberry jam for our freezer. This winter when it is cold and gray outside, we can have a wonderful taste from the summer on our peanut butter sandwich.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's off...

Yes, that pesky emission control light is now off. The guys at the conversion place read the code (leak) and the light went off. How long it will stay off is anyone's guess. They are in contact with the original conversion people and are working on a permanent fix. The last "permanent fix" lasted about 2000 miles.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New pictures posting this week on the doll blog

My photo assistant, Wild Thing, and I have been shooting the items we bought at the big doll show on Saturday. I've posted several today and more are on the blog schedule for the rest of the week. Come visit us at

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The natives were restless today..

The little ones at church were restless today. We had several escapees who made it up the aisles to the podium. One little sweetheart danced during the piano solo. Several harried parents carried screamers out to the hallway. There was lots of coloring going on across the aisle from us, mixed with cheerios being tossed here and there. I'm glad those things are now the domain of the young moms and dads and I can just sit back and smile at how cute the kids are.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A new wheelchair for the shower..

Nathan is getting a new shower wheelchair today. Shower wheelchairs fall apart from rust after several years of use. This will be his fifth chair, I think. When he was covered under private insurance, they considered such a wheelchair a "medical frill." Nathan is 6'5" and weighs about 250 pounds. I'm not exactly sure how we would shower him without one. I suggested that perhaps someone from the insurance company who thinks a shower wheelchair is a frill should come over and try to shower him without one. Nobody took me up on that offer. Lucky for Nathan, Medicaid does not consider such a chair a frill.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Something I would never do again..

This is a continuation of the "emission light" saga. When we bought our van, we bought it from a local dealer who specializes in van conversion. We assumed that the van would be purchased locally and converted locally. It was not until after we signed the papers that we were told the van was not going to come from the local KIA dealership and that the original conversion was being done in Arizona. BIG MISTAKE!!! If I had it to do over, I would only buy a van from a local dealer (making sure that it was a van that could be converted, not all can be) and I would have it converted locally so there would be no long distance haggling over repairs. The emission light issue is not yet resolved.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The emission control light

Since we bought our KIA Sedona conversion van, we have had a continuing problem with the emission control light coming on. It first came on when we only had 40 miles on the odometer. Because the van has been converted, the KIA dealership has not wanted to work on it. Even though the conversion was approved by them through the company that did the conversion. They have done several repairs to fix the emission problem, but it never stays fixed. Then we started dealing directly with the company that sold us the conversion van. They have made several attempts at a permanent fix also. Now the van is no longer under the "conversion warranty" and the emission control light is on again. This van still has less than 10,000 miles on it, so I am requesting that they(the conversion place) fix the problem without charging me. Am I going to have to call Jesse Jones on KING 5? Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

A good father is kind and loving to his wife and children. A good father is fun and plays with his family. A good father is a provider. A good father sets an example for his family. A good father possesses spiritual qualities and shares them with his family. A good father reads to his children. A good father is a comforter to a small child. A good father does not speak harshly to his family. A good father praises successes. A good father is attentive. I had the privilege of knowing such a father. He was the father of my best friend, Pam. He passed away this year. I wish my dad could have been like him.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's June-uary...

While much of our great country basks in record breaking temperatures, we are having record setting cold weather. Last night and this morning it was snowing in the Cascade mountains with 6" of snow accumulating. It is the second coldest June since 1917. I would just like to see the sun for an hour or two. It is 2:30 p.m. now and is dark enough for the outside lights to come on. What's with this global warming anyhow?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Rain, rain, go away...

I am getting tired of the rainy weather. This morning on our walk we had to use umbrellas and wear our hoodies. It seems like this has been going on for days. I need to see some sunshine! My giant pumpkin seeds are sending up shoots, but if we don't have some warm weather, they will never grow pumpkins that weigh 500 lbs., maybe not even 5 lbs. It's hard for me to even imagine that in other parts of the country people are wearing summer clothes and going to the beach. We would freeze at the ocean if we went there today. I'm considering putting on a sweatshirt when I get done blogging and maybe having a cup of hot chocolate too. Maybe mom had the right idea when she moved to Arizona for her retirement.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Some flowers from our yard

Purple lilacs

Pink rhodies

I've updated the doll blog

I've added some new pics to the doll blog and have scheduled new photos to appear for the next 5 days. Scheduling posts is a new feature that's recently been added by blogspot and is really simple to do. Visit

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Morning Walk

Each weekday morning, my friends and I take a walk along the river. We have been doing this since January, 2001. I came across a Mark Twain quote that describes our walk perfectly.

"Now, the true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk. It is no matter whether one talks wisdom or nonsense, the case is the same, the bulk of the enjoyment lies in the wagging of the gladsome jaw and the flapping of the sympathetic ear."- A Tramp Abroad

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Birthday

This would have been my mother's 83rd birthday. I miss her every day and cannot believe she has been gone for almost 4 years. If she were still alive, we would be talking politics, politics, politics. She would love all that is going on with both the D's and R's, as she referred to them. I'm sure the price of gas now would be appalling to her, also the increased cost of groceries and just about everything else. We would probably be on another diet together, comparing weight loss and recipes. I'm sure she would still like to shop, she was one of the best shoppers ever! We used to say if it had a plug she needed it for her kitchen. When buying clothes, she always bought the brightest colors and she wore them well. She would be so proud of the family, the grandsons(our 3 Marines) who served in Iraq, Africa, and now Afghanistan. The family has grown and there is another great-granddaughter(Emerald)and a new granddaughter(Janet)by marriage. We wish they could have known her and what a wonderful person she was. I wish she could see the rhodies and the lilacs in bloom this May, they are so lovely. This was her favorite time of year. At some future unkown date, we will all see her again. What a wonderful reunion it will be!

It's Sunday, guess what I'm doing today...

I'm teaching the 7 year olds in Primary. Our lesson today is about prayer. We will have stories, songs, reading from Luke 1:5-17, role playing, and coloring. I love Primary! I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers, maybe not in the way we wanted, but he is aware of exactly what we need.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I looked out the window and what else did I see?

A flock of cedar waxwings eating the holly berries on our big holly tree.. They've been here all week and almost all of the berries are gone now. I think the birds have come later this year, in the past, they have arrived in March or April.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pumpkin seeds

Monday I put the six giant pumpkin seeds between two pieces of paper towels to sprout them. On Tuesday I put them in 4" pots to grow into tiny plants. Larry is letting me use his garden spot and he is going to plant in the square foot garden. Can we grow a 500 pound pumpkin? Time will tell.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Of flowers and poetry

Spring is my favorite time of year. I especially love lilacs. The white lilacs in these pictures are from Larry's grandmother's house in Idaho. When she moved here, she brought them with her and planted them at Larry's parents' house. These are decendents of those bushes and are growing in our backyard. I love poetry, too, and I thought these lilacs would go well with part of Walt Whitman's poem, read below.

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed...

In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash'd palings,

Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,

With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,

With every leaf a miracle--and from this bush in the dooryard,

With delicate-color'd blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,

A sprig with its flower I break.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Clivia is a genus of monocot flowering plants native to southern Africa. They are from the family Amaryllidaceae. Common name is Bush lily.
They are a non-woody evergreen plant, with dark green, strap-like leaves. These leaves produce clusters of bell-shaped flowers on a stalk above the foliage. The flowers somewhat resemble those of certain varieties of Lilium or Amaryllis. Orange is the most common colour but there are also Peach, Near White, Apricot, Red and Yellow varieties.
Specimens were gathered by British explorers William Burchell and John Bowie in 1815 and 1820, respectively. Clivia nobilis became the first named species when in 1828 the Kew botanist John Lindley named it in honor of Lady Charlotte Florentia Clive, Duchess of Northumberland (1787-1866)., who was for a time the governess of the future Queen Victoria.
(taken from Wikipedia)

My clivia plant is blooming now. In the 18+ years that I have had this plant, it has only bloomed a few times. I have found that fertilizing it with African violet fertilizer starting in March gets it to bloom sometimes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I looked out the window and what did I see?

A coyote with a squirrel in his mouth running across our front yard!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Of doctors and ufos

Today we visited our favorite doctor, Dr. Grif. He has been Nathan's neurologist for over 20 years. Dr. Gloom and Doom, our neuro-surgeon during Nathan's traumatic brain injury, asked him to consult, along with 17 other doctors during the initial stages of Nathan's coma. The only doc who gave us any hope was Dr. Grif. He talked to me on the phone for hours several times, explaining patiently what could happen in the coming weeks/years. Even though the news was not very encouraging (such as: not one normal brain wave on initial e.e.g.s), he was always there for us. We see him every six months and he is so excited by Nathan's recovery, while not a complete recovery, there is a good quality to Nathan's life and he is happy. Dr. Grif loves to talk about flying saucers, chupacabra, mothmen, out-of-body experiences, hauntings, all kinds of scary stuff. Our visits are filled with talk of these things interspersed with the usual "how are you feeling" kinds of questions. This doctor is one-of-a-kind, who still takes patient's notes by hand and does not have his nose stuck in a computer. May he never retire!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

88 isn't it great?!

Grandpa K. turned 88 today. We celebrated yesterday with KFC, "darn good chocolate cake" and ice cream. A merry time was had by all, we were done in about an hour, and resumed our nightly tv viewing. We are quite the party people! Grandpa has 2 older brothers, both in their 90's, so we expect him to be with us a while longer. He is still the same sports fanatic he always was and can tell you the names of all the baseball players, what teams they play for, and how they are doing this season. He played on church baseball teams into his 60's.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday or What I did on Thursday

Where has the week gone? Yesterday, Belinda and I went to Kent to the cannery/storehouse. We picked up cases of wheat, rice, and oatmeal. I also got 40 pounds of macaroni in bulk. We are working on our year's supply of food. In the afternoon, I rearranged my storage room. Sometimes it is hard to prioritize food over Christmas decorations. I was able to make enough room for the newly purchased items, but if I buy any more, it will take a major reorganization of the storage room.
A food storage calculator is available here:

Also a little tip, do not store dry spaghetti near a sunny window. It will turn bright red and smell terrible. Don't ask how I know!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Electric Knife

This morning as I was putting away the blades that go with the electric knife, I remembered when I received it many years ago. It was Christmas, 1965, I was a young bride meeting my in-laws for the first time. They had not been able to make the trip from Kansas when I married their son in Washington state the previous Christmas. The knife was a gift from his oldest sister, Peggy and her husband Jerry. At the time I thought it was a ridiculous present. We were poor college students living on beans and not much else. What would I ever do with an electric knife?!
I have had that knife now for 43 years. It has been used to carve countless Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys. It has cut ham and corned beef and roast beef. It has been present at many happy family occasions. The youthful marriage ended, the mother and father-in-law have both passed on, and I haven't heard from Peggy and Jerry for many years. But the knife is still here with me, a reminder of good times and times long past.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cookies from Cake Mix

For quick and easy cookies, use a cake mix as the main ingredient. Here is the recipe for cookies using a white cake mix (I prefer Pillsbury, but any brand will do).
Cake Mix Cookies
1 box white or french vanilla cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup cooking oil
a dash of vanilla
1 or 2 tablespoons water
1 cup quick oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Mix together, drop by teaspoonful on baking sheet, bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes approximately 4 doz, 3 doz if no oats or coconut are added.
I've made these with chocolate cake mix and added m&m's in place of the chocolate chips; or use yellow cake mix with craisins; lemon cake mix without the chocolate chips.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spring Fever

Today was a beautiful spring day. The temperature reached 75 degrees according to our backyard thermometer. My "big" project for this afternoon was cleaning the moss off my clay flower pots. I want to start planting, but we sometimes have frosty mornings until May. So, my rule of thumb is to plant on Mother's Day weekend. This is going to be the year that I plant my giant pumpkin seeds that I bought at the fair 2 years ago. I couldn't find them last year, but have since found the "safe" place where I had put them. I'm also going to do "square foot" gardening again this year. The benefits of this type of gardening are little watering, no weeding, and no digging or rototilling. For more information check out the following website:

Friday, April 11, 2008


"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced;
but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth

Photo by Dana Kehr

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Birds

This morning on our walk by the river I saw a beautiful American goldfinch. The yellow and black feathers are so colorful. I like spring because the birds are so abundant. On the way home, from the car, we observed a bald eagle soaring overhead. What a majestic sight! Yesterday I saw a pileated woodpecker, it was huge! Living in an area surround by douglas fir and cedar trees provides opportunities to see a variety of birds. We also have a non-native peacock (Karl) who roosts in the upper branches of the fir trees. Other birds seen in our yard this week include a varied thrush, several rufous sided towhees, a Steller's jay, robins, chickadees, and some starlings. I think I have always liked to observe and identify birds. I have my Peterson Field Guide to Western Birds on hand and binoculars.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Wild Thing creates a terrarium...

Unable to sit still during General Conference this morning, Wild Thing decided to make a terrarium. Last week, Cisco Morris and Megan Black showed how to make one on their gardening spot. Terrariums are easy to make, all you need is some gravel, some potting soil, and some small plants. Put them in a big glass jar or bowl with a lid or plastic wrap for a cover. Wild Thing is quite proud of his planting abilities.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Rain is Falling

The Rain Is Falling (adapted from A Child's Garden of Verses, R. L. Stevenson)
The rain is falling all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.
The rain is falling all around,
On each and every hill,
It rains on all the houses here,
On every Jack and Jill.
Rain falls around us,
On all thirsty lands.
Rain drops on mountains,
And on sea-side sands.
The rain is falling all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.
It rains on you and me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Grandma visits the brain doctor..

Grandma C. has been having a few (well, ok, a lot) of memory problems lately. After a visit to one of her doctors last week, he suggested a visit to the neurologist for an evaluation. Yesterday, according to Grandma, she visited the brain doctor. When asked why, she replied, "so he can tell if I have any brains!" She was having a very good day memory wise yesterday and came through with flying colors. We are amazed!! She could even do the math question in her head, which was to start at 100 and subtract 7 each time. Can you do that? When asked why she came to the doctor's visit in a wheelchair, she replied, "because my son likes to push me in it!" In two weeks she has a CT scan just to be sure that there is no tumor or anything else going on.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Don't answer the phone on Sunday morning!

The phone rang about 9:30 this morning and guess what...Primary needed a substitute today. Actually I am excited to fill-in. It will be my first time back since being released. The lesson is going to be about Alma baptizing in the waters of Mormon. We'll be using pictures, an object lesson, a handout on the covenants we make at baptism, and discussion questions with scriptural references. If time permits, we will make drawings of our own baptism or of Alma baptizing. Nathan is an assistant in this class of 8 and 9 year olds.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Snowing again!!

Well, here we are back in the computer room again and it's snowing like crazy. The temperature has been dropping this morning and the flakes are coming down! We have decided this would be a good day for homemade chicken soup. Wild Thing is hiding this morning, we had the vacuum cleaner running earlier and it is too scary for him. We might not see him all day today. It's a good thing he doesn't mind if we blog for him.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Nathan and I are sitting in the computer room watching the snowflakes falling. The temperature is dropping as we get closer to evening. It seems strange to see the snow falling this late in March while the trees and daffodils are in bloom. But we love seeing snow anytime!

Monday, March 24, 2008

It's Monday!

Guess I'll have to continue blogging for Wild Thing, he's hiding under the bed this morning, obviously blogging is the last thing on his little mind. It's a beautiful morning, but chilly. Judie and I are getting ready to go for our morning walk by the mighty Puyallup River. Belinda, our other walking buddy, is on jury duty this week, so she'll be on her way to Tacoma soon.
We had a very nice, peaceful Easter. The speakers in Sacrament meeting were excellent and the lesson in YW went well.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

What a busy week! First there was St. Patrick's Day, then the first day of spring and on Sunday we have Easter...The Easter bunnies and the Irish leprechauns are both on display in the family room.

Wild Thing has been taking some time off from blogging, spring fever, I think.

We have nearly eaten our weight (which is considerable at this time) in chocolate Easter candy. Larry had his second cataract surgery today and is doing fine.
The doll in this picture is Daffodil Ginny and the picture was painted by my very talented and crafty friend, Belinda.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wild Thing Celebrates St Paddy's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Irish Blessing
In remembrance of my ancestors with Irish roots: Annie Allen, John Tracy, Louisa Knox

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Preparing for next week's lesson...

Wild Thing has agreed to let me(mom) blog today.

Next Sunday I will have the privilege of teaching a lesson to the Young Women about the Atonement. I have spent several weeks preparing for this and have read many informative articles in the Ensign about this important event. As Easter Sunday approaches, it has been personally enlightening to read about Jesus' glorious Atonement and to remember that it is the central act in all of human history! I pray that we may all take some time this week to ponder and study about the Atonement and how we can apply its power in our everyday lives. The March, 2008, Ensign, is a good place to start reading. Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

We Are Very Tired!

The doll show was packed with people and dolls (and teddy bears). Donna said we could buy a French Fashion doll if we sold our cars! Donna bought a Shirley Temple and a Patsy doll. A very nice lady sold mom another Annette Himstedt doll. Her name is Neblina, a Swiss miss from Annette's 1991-92 collection.

The Doll Show

Today mom is going to the big doll show at the Puyallup Fair Grounds. Cousin Donna is coming too. There will be all kinds of new and vintage dolls for sale. Just what we need, more dolls!

This is a doll mom bought at the last doll show. She is from the 1940's.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Did you know mom collects dolls? This is Nula by Annette Himstedt. She comes from Germany. I am not allowed to play with her or even sit on her lap.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Karl, the peacock, pays a visit to Wild Thing

This afternoon my friend, Karl, came to see me. I love his feathers, don't you?

It's Wednesday...

This morning I read the paper with the humans, actually, I sat on the paper while they tried to read around me. I was thirsty so I ran into the bathroom and hopped into the bathtub for a drink. The mom ran the water for me and I stuck my paws in it just for fun. I like water! After this busy morning, I think I need a nap. If you go to my profile, you can hear my audio clip. We haven't figured out how to post the whole thing on this page yet, but we had fun choosing music for it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What to write?

Wild Thing is taking a break today, after two hard days of blogging, he needs a rest.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Car Trouble

Well, the humans are not happy this morning. Larry's car wouldn't start, not even turn over, whatever that means. Larry was not having a good day anyway, so the car problem might just put him over the brink. He had to take mom's car to work. Luckily, mom had put gas in the car this weekend ($3.52 per gallon!). I'd better be extra good today!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Welcome to the world of Wild Thing

Hi, my name is Wild Thing and I am the #1 cat in the house. The humans here, while helpful, are mostly in my way. I like to run and jump and chase and play with my favorite toys. One of the humans is kind enough to write this blog for me. I would be happy to do it myself, but I am very busy being a wild thing.