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:http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm

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: http://squarefootgardening.com

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.