Thursday, December 30, 2010


Shirley and Brayden


Clowning Around

Giving Granny a Push

Visiting Granny

Visiting Granny

Wednesday, December 29, 2010



I'm not sure I'm doing this right but wanted to post an update on the blog. My friend Liz had a heart catherization today and will have open heart on Thursday. Needless to say, she is scared to dearh. Let's all keep her in our prayers.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


i'm still in the hospital and not sure how much longer I'm going to be here but working hard on on my therapy. Rose is visiting me tonight. Ding has gone to the Blues hockey game. He's been very faithful about bringing Steak Burgers to me and to my room mate. Everyone has been very faithful about taking care of me and in inquiring about my progress.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's Rose again, updating on Sue's Blogger account. I forgot to add one very pleasant event of the past week. Chase Heilman, son of Sue's Springfield neighbor Leslie, had arranged with Sue to come by for a visit last Saturday. With all that went down, Sue, Shirley, and I forgot all about Chase. Midafternoon Chase arrived. He was so sorry to hear about Sue's misfortune, but came in and visited with Shirley and me anyway. Chase is a filmmaker and photographer and is extremely conversant with Apple computer technology. He fixed a problem Shirley had with her iMac, chatted for a time, then went off to the hospital to see Sue. Shirley and I know Chase and his brother Jeff only through Sue. They grew up in the years Sue and the Heilmans were neighbors. It was so good for us to see this vibrant, interesting, and alive young man. Chase seemed genuinely interested in who Shirley and I are and was, of course, very concerned for Sue.

As for Sue, this was another very hard day. The rehab facility mixed up her meds, something Chris and I thought was straightened out last evening. God knows what Sue has been getting; she was very fuzzy, confused, and sleepy. After several conversations with nurses, physical therapists, and finally the physician in charge, I believe the meds are now right. This facility leaves a lot to be desired. I wonder what happens to people who have no advocate. Chris and I stay after the nurses and aides, but we can't be around as much as Sue needs.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Rose here, updating on Sue's Blogger account. Last night Sue transferred from the Missouri Baptist Medical Center to this place, St. Mary's Rehab Facility, in Clayton. So far, so good. She will get intensive physical therapy, three hours every day, as long as she is here. The pain meds don't seem to mix well with her other meds because she is a bit confused. I hope her need for pain relief is about to end. This seems like a fairly nice place, or at least as nice as one of these places can be. Nothing palatial for sure and not nearly the beautiful architecture and grounds of the rehab facility Margaret spent some time in. One good thing is that it is about ten minutes from our house.

Her tending physician today is Dr. Villaflores. Sue heard "Phillip Morris," which he wasn't pleased about. Turns out he is the one who tended to Denny when he was here six years ago. [I put fives years in my update yesterday. It was six.] There is already pressure to limit Sue's time here--that after a struggle to get her in at all. More about all that when we know more. For some time, she can put zero weight on her broken foot, a fact that makes any getting around extremely difficult, given the neuropathy she has in her hands and wrists.

Sue has had many visitors and phone calls. Now she has her computer with her, so will be able to update herself and do e-mail. Her e-mail address is Her phone number is 314 452-3685.

One additional thing. We got iPod Touches for Jalen and Brayden for Christmas. Sunday when Brayden was setting up his contact list, he wanted Granny's information. The thing has a line for "url." Brayden asked what that meant, and I explained it was the place you could put a person's website address. He took that in for a second, then, "You mean, like Granny's blog?" "Yes." With that, he typed in The boy is seven years old. The iPod Touch also allows you to do "Facetime," which is the ability to make video calls over the internet. Yesterday morning, Brayden facetimed me to say, "Have Granny facetime me when you get to the hospital." Sue did later, and video-talked with both Jalen and Brayden--surely a bright spot in a very tough day.

Monday, December 20, 2010

We have a devil of a time getting Sue's rehab approved, but now it is. Sue will go to St. Mary's sometime today where she will have intensive therapy three hours every day for an indefinite period. She has great difficulty using a walker because of her neuropathy, and that means great difficulty keeping the weight off the broken (left) foot.

St. Mary's Rehab facility is the place Denny went from Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center five years ago. It is an excellent place and close to our home.

Shirley and Drew

Scott and Mark

Beth, Chris, Scott

Shelly and Brayden




Shirley, Mark, Karen

Drew, Shelly, Chris

Sue now has a large cast on her lower left leg and will move to a rehab facility tomorrow. She is unhappy to be going into rehab rather than coming home but will need the intensive therapy the place offers. She had loads of visitors Sunday, among them Sabrina and Margaret. Seeing Margaret in such fine shape after her even worse broken foot a year ago was good medicine for Sue. [For those of you who don't know, Margaret eventually had to have a total ankle replacement, still a fairly rare procedure.]

We went ahead with our Sunday Christmas brunch. Scott and Beth did all the cooking. Somehow, while Shirley and I were preoccupied with gift opening and visiting, little elves completely cleaned the dining room and kitchen. One of the benefits of growing old is that the next generation takes over a whole lot of the work. I'll post photos from our gathering.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sue greeting her grandsons


Jalen with his note of good cheer

Sue with her grandsons

Brayden and Jalen

Jalen and Sue

This is Rose, signing in on Sue's Blogspot account to do a rather bad news post. Last night Sue took a bad fall in the kitchen, probably caused by a petit mal seizure. She regrouped quickly, but it was very apparent she had suffered an injury to her right ankle/foot. It was 10:20 pm, just as she was headed to bed. Shirley and I helped her up, but we had to call Chris to get her into the car and to Missouri Baptist Hospital Emergency. Naturally, on a Friday evening the waiting room was full. After about an hour, Sue got checked in and put on a gurney where, at least, she could sleep. After we were told there was a five-hour wait to see a physician, Chris and I returned to our house and slept for a while. At 5:30 am we were back at the ER. At 9:00 am a physician came in to report x-rays showed a bad break--two bones, three breaks--that would need surgery.

The physician contacted an orthopedic group and checked Sue into the hospital. She had the surgery around 3:00 pm. She will be in the hospital for a couple of days and then will have to spend several days in a rehab facility. This is a terrible turn of events right here at the beginning of the holiday season. Of course, her sons have rallied round. Mark was at the hospital with us this morning, and Scott and his two boys arrived in the early afternoon. We were to have our Christmas family brunch tomorrow morning. Our plan now is to go ahead with an early breakfast, then have everyone take presents to the hospital to be with Sue at various times during the day.

I'll post some photos and hope for more pleasant news for tomorrow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I wanted to post about our trip to Evansville right away so this may be a short post since I'm low on time right now. I did have my Apple lesson this week but between me and the teacher, we couldn't post any pictures of anyone other than myself. I may have to purchase an I-phone. That's how Rose takes pictures of other people but we don't see many of her.

Chris and I went out to dinner last night. Shelly couldn't join us as she was babysitting. We went over to St. Charles and he took me on a tour of all the places I used to live. I remember brother Joe coming home when we had moved and he found us by just looking for the place with all the lights on!

Today Mark and Karen picked me up and took me down to southern Illinois, a little town called Evansville where Brick grew up. Much of it is much the same. The Sinclair station which was his dad's occupation is still there but no longer doing business. They also raised some animals but there were none around. Someone was peering out the windows at us so we assumed they lived in the house. Main street hasn't changed very much in many years. The bridge over the Kaskaskia River has one lane closed and is under some reconstruction. We had lunch at a local diner which even had a salad bar. Their hamburgers were good and Karen liked their onion rings and had those instead of their French fries. We visited the cemetery where Mark's dad and grandparents are buried.

We've had some very cold weather here in Missouri and snow an ice with school closings. Goldman didn't have to teach yesterday but he didn't mind. Scott and the boys will be here tomorrow and Beth will be coming over, too. We're going to have our family Christmas to accommodate those who need to be in two different places at Christmas time.

Rose, Sue, and Karen

Karen, Sue, and Mark

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This may be another short post. Rose and I have Apple lessons this morning and I hope to learn how to take pictures of people other than just myself. The Apple instructors are very patient, fortunately for me. I guess lots of people are also slow learners as I feel I am.

Last Thursday Mark and Karen came by to bring back a dish from our Thanksgiving and visit for a while. Then Ding picked me up and we met Shelly for dinner. By Friday it turned too cold to go outside. Shirley and I did do some Christmas shopping but still have some left to do.

Scott and the boys are coming over Saturday and Beth is coming on Sunday. We're having our Christmas brunch this Sunday since so many people have so many commitments for the actual occasion. Goldman came over yesterday evening and helped Rose and Shirley with the tree. Maybe I can take a picture of it after my lesson today.

It's been bitter cold here in St. Louis since about Saturday and we've had some snow. Mad Dog has been down at the lake with his dad and has checked on the lake house periodically to see everything's okay. I guess it's cold with some snow in Louisville, too. Brayden and Jalen didn't have school yesterday.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Today is Janet's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JANET!!! I won't post her age but I remember quite well when it seemed she was much older than me. Now it doesn't seem that way. Merri is there and they are making fruitcakes. After I lived with them a year when I was fifteen, I always made Christmas cookies like she made,. I made them every year but I could never master fruitcakes. I just remember how good hers' were.

A bit of good news from Louisville. Jalen just called me and has found my fitbit! Scott then wanted to talk to me to let me know that we did have to up the bribe but he would cover it. We're hoping to get the boys for part of their Christmas vacation.

Sam works at the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield. The fishermen here wanted to know if he gets a discount on purchases. I'm not sure they know he's retired from the prison facility down there because I know they wouldn't want any association with his previous place of employment. They'll stick with fishing and keep out of crime.
I'm down here at the lake with five of my adopted sons - none biological. Groves, Goldman, Mad Dog, Danny, and Doug. Some of the guys plan on doing some fishing today though it's cold and windy. I think Danny caught two keepers yesterday evening. I just looked up the weather in Idaho Falls and it's snowing out here and even colder. I went to bed first and I think they went to bed about the time I got up. Mad Dog had supper almost ready when Groves and Goldman and I got here. Danny was already here and fishing. Doug arrived late but there was plenty of food left. They played poker until very late, I think, but the kitchen was all cleaned up and coffee ready to push the button.

Speaking of coffee, I'm being very careful with coffee and my new computer. I spilled my coffee on the old one. Pete, I have a new tactic for you. When you go shopping or out to eat, forget your credit card. Rose took me to buy this computer and I didn't have my credit card with me. Then on Thursday Ding took me out to eat and when the bill came again I didn't have my credit card. I didn't remind him and he didn't know that their Dad couldn't eat if he didn't have money in his pocket to pay for it. Neither of us had enough cash so he did have his credit card with him.

I had a therapy session on Wednesday and I'm doing the exercycle and treadmill everyday. Scott still hasn't found my fitbit but told me he would do some more looking this weekend. It has a little ribbon on it and the cat likes those kinds of things. Shirley has offered a reward to the kids to whichever one finds it but may have to up the reward to get them motivated.

Scott's birthday was Monday (the 29th). We celebrated on Sunday with fancy cupcakes which wouldn't hold that many candles. He and Brayden had to leave for Louisville right away. He and the boys went to dinner at their favorite place to honor the occasion. I'm not sure who's favorite place itis.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's been a busy week. We had a very nice Thanksgiving at Mark and Karen's. Scott and Brayden and I got back from Louisville late Wednesday. Scott spent the rest of the evening with some friends and we got Brayden. Jalen didn't come and we missed him very much. The soon-to-be parents, Katie and Austin, nor Drew were home for Thanksgiving, and we also missed them very much. Karen cooked a delicious turkey and trimmings. Brayden is thankful on this occasion for cows and pigs. Cows for milk and pigs for footballs! He and I aren't sure what baseballs are made of but he's thankful for whatever they are made from.

Friday afternoon we got a surprise phone call from Donald and Vita. They were in town and had time to stop and visit and catch up on recent happenings. They were in town with their girls and their families. Brayden had a shy spell and would hardly say hello but when Goldman came over, he acted quite differently. Donald and Vita had family commitments and couldn't stay long.

I had my first Apple computer lesson yesterday and will have the second one on Thursday. Believe me, I have a lot to learn. I was reluctant about taking lessons because of my hands, but I got a very patient young man (cute, too) for a teacher. I hope I get him again on Thursday.

My friends Liz and Dave took me out to dinner Friday evening. Liz and I worked together at GMAC for years. She now has been working in their Chicago office since there is no St. Louis office and they are no longer GMAC but are now called Allied. She and Dave have two sons of whom they are modestly proud. They should brag a lot. The older one is getting his chiropractor license in December and the other one is studying to be a radiologist. We're going out for an evening when Liz comes in for Christmas and I'm hoping we can get together with Sam and Leslie from Springfield for that evening. Leslie, if Chase can come he can be my date.

Brayden got to go play with the Hollensbe kids while he was here. That was the first thing he asked me when he found out he was going to be staying with us for a few days. Goldman and I dropped him off at their house and Rose and I picked him up. Rose had to rest while he was visiting and after he went home. She played a lot of baseball in "Old Ladies Stadium" which is what he dubbed the front hall. We had snow on Thanksgiving Day and it's turned cold so there wasn't much playing outside.

Brayden clowning around

Brayden and Granny

Brayden and Mark Goldman

Dave and Liz Prange

Donald and Vita

Sue and Rose

Granny and Brayden at the Galleria

Brayden tying Granny's shoe

Brayden and Granny

Brayden and Scott