Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE TO EVERYONE THIS MORNING!!!! It's cold again in Missouri but supposed to be a bit warmer by the end of the week. Our other contributors are behind on their updates so let us know what's happening for your Christmas celebration.

Pete and Janet went back to Idaho and contracted a signmaker to make me this wonderful sign to post on the Lakehouse. FURLINED Sue Boaz Prop Since 1982
Goldman and I are going down and hanging it the weekend of January 10. Doug may go with us. Rose and Donald both said Pete has been laughing about having the guy making it all Fall.

Doug and Suzanne had a party last Saturday night and, although I was the only 'old' person there, I sure felt welcome. I'm MOM to all the young people there. Actually the 'young' ones are getting to be middle aged. Everybody brought their kids, and they had a grand old time playing with Lukas and Josie.

Monday night Liz, my old friend from GMAC, and her husband Dave took me out to dinner down in the Delmar Loop to Blueberry Hill. We had a grand time reminiscing about old times and talking about life at GMAC now. Liz has 70 weeks until she can retire and has been forced to transfer to Chicago. GMAC has taken away a lot of the benefits. She is just praying GMAC lasts another 70 weeks.

Margaret and Norman came by yesterday to wish us a Merry Christmas. While they were here, Donald called to wish us a happy holiday. The Abbott clan is gathering at the Abbott house on Christmas Eve. Donald and Vita are headed to see the grandkids on Christmas Day and are taking them home with them for a few days. Scott and the boys are coming over on Friday and we're gathering at Mark and Karen's on Saturday. Sherry can't come, and we will miss her.

Shelly's Uncle Butch is going to be moved to a rehabilitation facility in the near future. The doctors have put some plates in his face and he can eat some very soft things. I think this indicates he is on the mend.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

COLD weather here in Missouri. We have a bit of snow and ice on the ground and it's too cold for it to melt. It was in the upper 50's here on Sunday and fell to the teens on Monday. It's been very cold ever since.

We bought our Christmas tree on Saturday. Goldman came over and helped us put it in the stand to 'fall out'. He came last night to help carry the boxes of lights and ornaments up from the basement. The three of us were telling him how to put the lights and the angel on the tree. He was very patient but told us the story he had heard about why the angel goes on top of the tree. Santa and some angels were decorating a tree and at some point Santa proclaimed "Do you know what's going to happen to the next one of you who asks me where to put something?" [I've taken a little poetic license with the facts here.]

I've taken up yoga and am very excited about it. Last Thursday this instructor came here and gave Shirley and me our first lesson. Rose couldn't join us but is looking forward to joining us this Thursday. The instructor (Vicki) is a wonderful woman and believes yoga will help me in several ways. I've been been doing my exercises and riding the exercycle, trying to increase my capacity each day. Vicki picked me up yesterday (in spite of the weather) and she and I went to Mary and Lynn's in St. Charles for lunch. I've been friends with Mary and Lynn for probably over 30 years and the four of us spent an all too short day.

Vicki and I drove out the newly opened stretch of I64 going to Mary's yesterday. Sunday Chris and I were slated to do a walk on a portion of the newly-finished highway, but it was so windy I decided to pass. Turns out Chris did, too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Just talked to Margaret and she seemed just like herself. Norm had made TV dinners for dinner but she laughed and said he didn't mind because he likes them! It was fine with him. Not like most men! She came home this morning at 5 A.M. and said she feels just fine. She said the hospital did a battery of tests and came to the conclusion that perhaps she had a TIA and this happens to people frequently and, unless she has more of them, there's no further testing and no treatment at the present time. She wasn't even at the hospital long enough for the Abbott clan to get a 'pizza' pie. By the way, I thought Rose's entry about Pio's could have been titled like the old song "We Were Country When Country Wasn't Cool".

Shelly's Uncle Butch is still in intensive care at Barnes Hospital though he is breathing on his own now which Chris says is a very good sign. Chris thinks they've been able to do some X-rays which they couldn't do before. He is now responding some and they've removed the cervical collar. Shelly and the rest of the family are taking turns being with him. We are all hoping and praying for a speedy recovery.
Catrina called last night around 11:00 pm to say Margaret had had some kind of incident and was in the emergency room at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Charles. Sue was already in bed so I decided not to awaken her. Before I arrived at the hospital, Sabrina let me know Margaret was back to herself. Early indications are that she had some kind of mini-stroke--short with no lasting effects.

Of course, the Abbott clan was gathered at the ER, Norman, Catrina, Stephanie, Sabrina and her son Brett. We were all allowed to visit with Margaret in between her various tests and paperwork. A period of high anxiety was short lived, and a good visit was had by all, with the exception of Margaret.

As I drove away from the hospital, I marveled at how much of our lives has revolved around these few blocks of St. Charles. There were the places we lived as children and some of us as adults, the locations of several of our marriage ceremonies, various and sundry trips to that same ER, many stays in that particular hospital, and literally thousands of meals in Pio's, the excellent northern Italian restaurant nearby.

All this reminds me of an incidence from around 1956: When we were moving to St. Charles from Marshfield, Joe, Donald, Sue, and I arrived with a U-Haul filled with a load of our stuff. Somehow we got everything up the flight of stairs and into the apartment we were moving into at 501 Clay Street. Joe with Sue, who was around 13 years old, went back to Marshfield the same day. Donald (age 11) and I (age 14) stayed. Earlier during the trip to St. Charles, Joe (who had been in the army and was very worldly and wise) told us about pizza pie, a delicacy we had never heard of. That first evening, Donald and I went to Pio's. We had, of course, hamburgers and fries. Aftwerwards, we asked the waitress for "pizza pie." She asked, "What kind?" We looked at each other, then at her, and said, "Cherry." Our pie was, predictably, delicious.

When we next saw Joe, we immediately told him we had tried the delicacy he had told us about. He asked, "What kind did you have." We said, "Cherry." Well, Dear Readers, that happened over 50 years ago, and Brother Joe is still laughing about it. Donald and I learned to laugh about it about 40 years ago.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shelly sent us this update about her Uncle Butch:

"Uncle Butch was in a horrible accisent yesterday; 1:00 P.M. 170 West/Wentzville. He collided with an 18 wheeler, median, flipped, etc. No other individuals were injured. He ended up at Barnes - IU - 8th floor Room 3. 4 face jaw fractures, (was still in cervical collar when I left at 7:00 A.M.), vertibral break, blood/bruising in one lung, blood loss, respirator, arterial tube feed, two many meds to name. They are keeping him in a medically induced coma. Ending on a good note... So far, the mucho tests say no brain damage or paralysis.

I KNOW he is feeling & hearing all around him. He usually doean't get to talk much with Mom, Kathleen and I in the same room anyway. I believe his best meds right now are positive energies and prayers. He has so much more life to enjoy and needs that motivation to pull through right now."

We will continue to post news as we receive it. We are all praying for a speedy recovery--well before Christmas!
The update this morning is a request for prayers from across the country. Shelly's Uncle Butch was in a terrible accident yesterday afternoon. The accident occurred about 2:30 and Chris and Shelly didn't get word of it until about 8 last night. I don't think they know how the accident happened. When the accident occurred he was taken first to Barnes Hospital in St. Charles county. He was then transferred to Barnes in downtown St. Louis and put into an induced coma. He is there now in intensive care. He sustained broken facial bones and a broken vertebrae. I don't believe they know the extent of his injuries. Shelly and Butch are very close and Shelly's request today is that we all pray for Butch. I'll update the blog as I get more news.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I couldn't sleep this morning so thought I'd update the weekend's happenings that were more sensible than swimming in the Meramec. Scott and Mark, I'm glad Chris's brothers were smarter than that. I had called Chris Saturday afternoon and sorta thought I got the cold shoulder. Now I realize it was literally the cold shoulder.

Shirley got a new I-phone and Rose got a new wireless printer this weekend so they were engrossed in their new purchases for a while so I invited myself to Margaret and Norm's for fried chicken dinner on Sunday afternoon. Rose took me out there but was leaving for Chicago early yesterday morning and couldn't stay for supper because she had a lot to do to get ready. She stayed longer than she meant to anyway and missed a great meal. Sabrina was there for a while and we had a wonderful visit. There's a picture Rose is going to post of her when she has time. Sabrina has lost a lot of weight and is looking really good. Good old Goldman came out to get me. The fried chicken dinner was 'like momma used to make'. Margaret made all the trimmings to go with it. Though it wasn't kosher, Goldman did it justice. Norm set the table. He was cute about it but I don't think he gave anyone any extra utensils. Maybe he thought he was doing the dishes. Their grandaughter Erica, Randy and Lynn's daughter whose a student at Westminister, has a 4.0 GPA. Another set of proud grandparents.

Shirley thinks she can't walk or exercycle as far or as long as I can but I'm not sure about that. We dropped Rose at the airport yesterday morning and started shopping. We took a break long enough to come home and eat lunch and went back out again for several more hours and came home at dinner time. We found some real bargains and didn't get nearly done with what we intended to do so are trying to find another day - other than Saturday or Sunday - when we can hit the streets again. Chris and I are going to participate in a 5K race this Sunday for the opening of the new stretch of Hwy. 40/64 and this shoppinng is good training. Shirley claims she can't do the 5K but I believe she could. Just put an outlet mall at the end of it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sue sent an e-mail to Chris asking him about his triatholon on Saturday. This was his response to her inquiry:

"I suppose this all hearkens back to a rainy day in September.

I arose that day at around 430am in order to make it to the Lewis and Clark half marathon….I looked outside and noticed a torrential downpour, just as the weatherman had predicted…the remnants of Hurricane Ike. The thought occurred to me to slip back into my warm dry bed and snuggle up to me beautiful wife and pack tucker, oliver, and eli in and around me to ensure my comfort…..but, some of by best runs have been in the rain and runners aren’t woosies……so out the door I went. I got down to the amphitheatre (whatever they call it now… I still call it Riverport) and sat in traffic, in torrential downpours until 15 minutes after the race was supposed to start. I finally got parked, opened my car door and stepped into ankle deep water…..As I walked to the starting line, the rain needled my face and the water got deeper, at one point over my knees. When I made it to the Start line (they hadn’t started yet)…I checked my iphone….which I had placed in a plastic bag. It had some message about product being incompatible with this device do I want to go into airplane mode…I selected no…turned on some music and waited for the start of the race. Finally, 45 minutes after the scheduled start of the race, we take off. The water wasn’t so deep on the run, but that didn’t mean it still didn’t hurt when it was pelting my face….After 3 minutes my iphone starts cutting out and by mile 5 it doesn’t work anymore. At mile 8 we find out that they have shortened the race to 10 miles. After the race my phone still won’t work (the weather, by this time, has lightened considerably). I am on a bus back to Riverport and the bus radio announces that no buses in lot 2….the wakes the busses make are further flooding the cars in lot 2……am I in lot 2?

As I am waling back to my car, I realize that I am not in lot 2..whew, but I do have to walk through lot 2 to get to my car…..We are in thigh deep water at this time…and what happens when I get back to my car…..I hop in, towel off, start the car, only to realize that I have left my lights on. I live 15 minutes away, I will call Shelly and she will come and save me…..oh, but my phone doesn’t work. However, with the help of a towel and some prayer, I manage to dial out. On the third try, shelly can actually hear me, and she and all three dogs come and save me. By evening time, the iphone works like new.

Which leads us to this past weekend. John Machalek, a gent I work with at Bemes, Inc. had hit me up some time ago to pair with him in an adventure race at Castlewood Park on December 6. The race would combine elements of canoeing, hiking, biking, and orienteering. Certainly…sounds fun….But then stories of John, adventure racing and curious happenings started being leaked from my cohorts…..John’s wife Barb also works at Bemes, Inc. and she may have had the sharpest barbs of all. Then we found out that the race was the same day as the Christmas party….surely Barb would say that John couldn’t go. But a month before the race, John announced that we were signed up and ready to go. A week before the race Barb really starts warning me about all of the horrible things that were going to befall me.

Race day shows up and as I get up I notice that a dusting of snow has fallen overnight. I set out on my way and meet up with John before the race. We are immediately transported to a horse farm far away from Castlewood Park. One of the team members then has to run a mile to get supplemental maps and points to plot. I do the run, bring john the coordinates and the map, he maps them out, we run down to the river and hop in a canoe.

We glide through the first 3 miles and take out at Route 66 State Park for some orienteering…one problem, john lost his compass. That’s OK, we persevere, using the sun as our guide (and the trampled grass from those who went before us). WE collect our checkpoints and go on our way, but we get a different canoe….

We get back into the river, and after a half mile my feet start getting wet and it is then I realize that we have a leaker. It’s a slow leak, but a leak none the less….

We get our next check point along the river and John gets back in the boat. Water is ankle deep by this time. We get back in the current and one of us adjusts a bit and the canoe shakes like Califonia in an earthquake. “hey john, maybe we should pull over and dump the canoe”…”ahhh, we only have a mile”

Two minutes later, on a 30degree day, I am swimming, fully clothed, in the Meramac river.

My waterproof backpack…definitely waterproof….all of my clothes in it were bone dry. I changed clothes and was fine. Poor John had no dry clothes. My waterproof jacket, not waterproof, at least not from the inside out. My iphone…in the jacket. We got rescued and no one was permanently hurt. This made us the first one done with the race, just not the first ones finished.

After two days, the phone has resuscitated itself. I am now familiar with all of apples tricks to make certain that you don’t go swimming with your phone. I have in a dryer at work, hopefully it will start showing a charge and the mottled background becomes clear, but so far, so good."

After reading Chris' account, I ask WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT TO HIMSELF????

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Wanted to correct my spelling. It's Gonzaga University that Caitlin's been accepted to. I apologize for my spelling, Caitlin.
Wanted to get this on the blog this morning. Pete called with his weekly check in and Janet got on the line to tell me that Caitlin, their grandaughter, has been accepted to Gongaza University in Florence, Italy. She is going to study public relations. Rick and Nancy must be quite proud as I know Pete and Janet are. I'm not sure when she starts. Will get more details from Janet when she has more.

Joe, Donald, and Donald's grandson Joe spent Thursday in Marshfield and the surrounding area. It was strange. I got up thinking about Donald and when I got on the computer, Joe was already on and asked me if I'd heard from "Fat." I didn't know who he meant. He meant Donald aka "Fat the Pig", a name from when we were kids but Pete's grandkids have shortened it to just "Fat". Joe then told me all about their day looking at old places. Little Joe overheard Donald say he was going and talked his mom into letting him go with him . Needless to say, I haven't heard from him though I'd love to. I'd also love seeing Donald's grandkids.

Speaking of fat, I only weighed 114 this morning. Shirley buys lots of high fat foods for me and I eat all the butter Rose wants but still don't gain much. Thursday nights have sorta become night out for Chris and me and Goldman joined us this week. We went to Applebee's. Rose is going to Chicago Monday and Shirley and I are going to Christmas shop. More later.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Just a quick update this evening. Sam (that King boy) in Springfield had an emergency kidney stone removal on Nov. 15 at Cox South and is having the stent removed tomorrow. This is an outpatient procedure but Leslie says he's nervous about and not good with medicines - even aspirin - so we're praying for him. Sam, hope it's quick and painless. They had Thanksgiving with one of Sam's sister again. Chase stayed in New Jersey and Jeff stayed in Washington since the baby is due fairly soon. Chase will be home for Christmas.

Chris's little orange Del Sol had to go in the shop today. He said it ran fine once he got it running but he had to park it on a hill and pop the clutch to start it. He borrowed Rose's today so we're expecting him to return it this evening. Thenk goodness for Goldman. He runs a lot of errands for us and is a delightful personality.

Margaret and Norm are eating turkey soup from Thanksgiving leftovers they brought home from Sabrina's again tonight. I bet there weren't any leftover pies. She and Norm were going to put up their Christmas tree this evening but, after 25 years of us, decided it was time to replace it. She told me they put it in the trash and were going to spring for a new one in the morning.

I'm training for my Highway 40 walk on December 15. Rose and I walked 65 minutes yesterday and I rode 2 and half miles on the exercycle. I rode 5 hard miles on the exercycle today. It's rainy and chilly out today and supposed to be cold the rest of the week so I guess it will be the exercycle.

It's time for my boys - Chris and Goldman.