Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's early morning and I've already been up 45 minutes. As Brother Pete would say, I'm through sleeping and through resting my face and hands. It's an hour earlier in Idaho so I don't expect him to call for a while. Rose and Shirley are still sleeping.

I received really bad news yesterday. My friend Melba died yesterday morning. Shad had lung surgery last Friday and then had had a stroke on Saturday. Her kidneys shut down on Thursday though she had had catheters in for some time. She started having small strokes Thursday evening and the family decided not to keep her the way she was getting to be. Roger (her husband) called me yesterday morning to give me the bad news. Melba and I go back a long way. She and Brick and I worked together at GMAC for years. She also knew most of my friends at GMAC and my friend Liz who still works for GMAC but in Chicago. The service is Tuesday, and I don't know if Liz can come. Melba knew Scott, Chris, Mark Lary, and Mark Lary took me to see her when she was in the hospital not long ago. She has a new (7 week old) great grandson.

The visitation will be Monday evening at Kutis on Gravois and the service will be Tuesday at 11:00 A.M. at Kutis. Melba had a wonderful sense of humor. When I've told people here of her death, people who barely knew her, that's what they first say they remember about her. Most have you, especially my siblings, have met her on some occasion in Missouri. She was there with me through most of the good and bad happenings in my life. She's left a good impression on everyone she's met. For example, Goldman is going to take me down to there house with some food for the next couple days. I've had several offers of people who will take me to the services. Rose especially wants to go. I'm sure Melba is in heaven. Roger said she had that "old time religion."

Other things this week - Ding and I went to our favorite restaurant Thursday and got our regular waiter. We had the same thing we usually have. I can't spell it. Our waiter is a student studying criminal justice, and Ding told him we aren't criminals. I said "I'm not anyway. Let me know when you finish school!" When we left he said "See you next Thursday" Ding then told him about his skiing trip to Idaho and how his cousin who is going to make him and his brother look like amateurs.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Correction: Nancy is going with Pete to Quartzsite. I don't think Janet is going with them. Nancy, it should be a fun trip with your Dad but don't let him make you do all the work! He's been in good spirits when we've talked lately.
I had a nice email from Jana, Bobby's daughter. They plan on coming for a long St. Louis weekend this summer and taking the kids to various St. Louis sights like the Zoo. Grant's Farm and I'm not sure where else. I hope they spend some weekend or weekends at the lake. Jana says Ellie still remembers me and mentions my name. Last summer she remembered Mad Dog and Goldman, too.
The sun is shining nicely here in Missouri but it's COLD outside. (Actually Rose and Shirley have been cold inside!) Shirley had her first cataract surgery yesterday and had to go in this morning just to make sure things were going the way they were supposed to go. Doctor says she's doing great. She plans to have the other eye done in the near future. She's not sure when but is going to see clients this afternoon so hasn't been 'out of commission' very long.

I think Margaret came home today. She was on her computer just a few minutes ago. I'd called her this morning and she was pretty sure they were letting her go home today. She didn't take her computer with her so when I saw that she was on it, I am assuming she's home. Sabrina also emailed me that she thought her mother was going to get out today. Margaret had promised to call me when she was home or on her way home, but she may have that forgetful disease that we all have.

Talked with Pete Saturday for our weekly visit. Kelly is off to the Winter Olympics. His friend's cousin got them the tickets, so he didn't know what event they were going to see when Pete and Janet talked with him last time before he left for Canada. His biggest thrill was getting to ski one of the best complexes in Canada, so the Olympics were just an added plus. If they saw the USA hockey win that would have been an added plus plus.

Their girls are getting around, too. Pete, Janet and daughter Nancy are going down to Quartzsite, AZ. Janet has to plan timing around her radio frequency ablation. This kills some nerves to try to stop the pain. Last one only relieved the pain for a week and a half, so they're going to do a longer burn this time. She's also still cleaning the house they recently vacated and has some great antiques,

Now for Pete and Janet's other daughter Merri! Merri's husband is very involved in the state Farm Bureau (not the insurance company - the farm organization). He had meetings in San Antonio and she took vacation time and went with him. Next month they will travel to NYC and Washington DC and he will be part of the Idaho delegation.

I had a pleasant surprise this weekend. Scott and Beth both came to St. Louis, Scott from Louisville and Beth from Kansas City. The three of us went out to dinner Friday evening. (Rose and Shirley were involved in a program with the Jungian Society.) We went to dinner at the same place Ding and I usually go on Thursdays and had the same waiter we usually have. He also knows what I like to eat and/or wine to drink. I may be getting a reputation!

Goldman and I are going out for dinner tonight. He is my faithful fourth son. Spring break is coming up, and we may go down to the lake for a day or two.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's been a few days since my last post but my excuse is that I've just been lazy! I have several bits of good news that I want to pass along. Last evening as I was going out the door with Goldman and Ding (Rose and Shirley were with clients) my phone rang. It was Margaret calling to tell me that she will be released to go home much earlier than her doctor anticipated. It's still much later than she's been ready to leave that place in spite of her posh surroundings. She thinks she will get to go home next week on Tuesday. Rose thinks I maybe said Thursday and I just called her but had to leave a message and she hasn't returned my call yet. She just now returned my call and says it's Tuesday and her getting out then may be tentative. She is doing really well and the therapy is great help. Pete will call in the morning and I'll update again.

Ding and I went out to dinner last night. We invited Goldman but he had papers to grade. Ding called me from Marshfield that one day a few weeks ago. This week he went by Rose's condo in Chicago. Do you call that Really Getting Around? Ding is really looking forward to the trip to see Kelly and the boys. Mark, too. The boys will probably show them up skiing! The old guys ages will show. They aren't boys anymore even though I have to lecture most of them about wearing socks. They tend to forget them.

I've started a new regime of physical therapy and hope to 'keep up good work'. It is strenous. I've always ridden the exercycle quite a bit, but I'm trying to increase distance and time and strength. Strength is I guess what you call it when you have to pedal harder. The treadmill is harder for me to use. For one thing I'll probably have to have the angioplast or stent put in my right leg because it hurts when I walk any time or/or distance. The neurorologist wants me to wait just a little before I do that. This therapist wants to see me twice a week and so does the hand therapist. The hand therapist told me things about my hands and muscles that I'd never been told before. She's going to do some electrical stimulation to show where the most active muscles going to and in my hands and we'll go from there. She was amazed when I told her how I type. Both therapists were.

Scott is coming over from Louisville tonight. We're sorely disappointed that he's not bringing the boys Rose and Shirley have a Jungian get together tonight and tomorrow so if he brought the boys they wouldn't get to see much of them. The boys would just want to go to Hollensbes, but I'd go with them. I'd have to go to their basement, though, to see much of them. They play down there.

Shirley is having cataract surgery on Monday. Since she just had that carpal tunnel surgery on her wrist she's getting to be adapted to the atmosphere of those places. She will have the other eye done in two weeks. The place where I have therapy is near home enough that whoever takes me can come home during my session especially during back to back hand and physical therapy.

Since Rose and Shirley have their Jungian meeting we are going to need to eat early. I'm going to stay home and wait for Scott to get here. Now he says he may go on over to Columbia and meet some friends. I offered to take him and another friend out to dinner when they get here but he doesn't know yet if he'll be hungry! He would have been hungry 25 years ago.

Here is an e-mail Catrina (Margaret and Normans' youngest daughter) sent us about her son Sam. Sam is quite a scholar and is seeking help to become a traveling scholar.

"Hi Y'all!

This is a link to Sam's new website: and a shameless plea...

As some of you may already know, he is trying to raise money to be able to go to Australia in June as a Student Ambassador with People to People. He is nearly halfway to his goal but since his dad lost his job, we're having a hard time raising the rest. We do have some fundraising things we're working on - like a Trivia Night! More information to come and we'll keep you posted if you're interested!

Check it out and PLEASE consider a donation (instructions for how to donate are on the Home page). Donations of any amount would be much appreciated - even $5! I know some of you have already graciously given and you'll find your names under the contributors page of the site so don't feel like I'm asking you to donate yet again. Just wanted you to know your generosity has been acknowledged and to give you an update on his progress. If you haven't, would you be so kind as to let me know if you do decide to donate? (I don't need to know the amount of the donation) This way we can post your name as a contributor on the Contributor page, too. People to People doesn't provide a listing of who has contributed on the website, so we have no other way to know if you don't tell me. Of course, we can keep it anonymous too but we'd love the opportunity to thank you personally.

And forward to all your friends. Every little bit helps.

Just yell if you have any questions. His email address and phone number are on the Contact page, and you already know mine. And check his website often for updates.



Friday, February 12, 2010

I have several pieces of good news to post today. Rose and Shirley have gone to the Galleria but I wanted to stay home and put the news on the blog. Shirley had an appointment for her Apple computer lesson and I think Rose just went along for the ride, so to speak.
Now, some of the really good news! Pete has a really good doctor who gave him a great prognosis this week. The treatment won't take very long, and he should be completely well when it is finished. He really likes the doctor and though he told me that the doctor is a ob-gyn he made sure that I knew that he was joking when he called next time. (I did know!)
Some other nice bit of news. Rose and I went out to see Margaret yesterday. We could only call Delmar Gardens "The Ritz". It has everything needed for recovery besides medical facilities. Rose and I got somewhat lost finding the place because we think those were dirt roads when were out there last. Margaret has physical therapy two hours a day which she says is strenous and just wears her out. She put her weight on her right foot for the first time yesterday. Norm is there two or three times a day and the nurses and aides all know him about as well as they know Margaret.
She has this one-knee wheelchair (I don't know how else to describe it) that sits pretty close to the floor. It helps her take the weight off her right foot. She was riding around on it Tuesday and fell off. I guess it scared everyone. They removed the cast and x-rayed her bad foot but there was no damage. The cast they put on it after that was bright lime green. It matches some of the bright cheerful facilities at "The Ritz".
Mark Lary and Karen picked me up last night and we went out to Chris and Shelly's for dinner. Katie and Austin live in Lawrence, KS and Drew will finish up at MU this spring. They just got back from Colorado (the whole family) where Mark and Karen have bought a place near Steep Mountain. Next month Mark and Ding are going to visit Kelly and his boys in Idado and go skiing and whatever you do in the mountains. They also look forward to summertime weather at the lakehouse.
Shelly made a great dinner and we had a wonderful visit. They seem young for us to be talking about "old times" but some of us, anyway, were 'there back in the old days'.
Rose and Shirley and I got the most wonderful Valentines in the mail today. Jalen and Brayden had made them. We have them on the refrigerator for everyone to see. They must have spent quite a bit of time working on them because they did such a good job.
Today is Brayden's actual birthday though we celebrated it here in Missouri last weekend. I email him quite often but it usually takes him a while to answer. Jalen says he's forgotten his email address. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRAYDEN!!!
The boys and Goldman have a 4 day school week next week. Monday is President's Day. Goldman continues to check to see if we need anything on a daily basis. I sure hope the weather warms up some. Snow is in the forecast here for the weekend but the forecast isn't usually right. We still have some old snow on the ground from the last snowstorm. That forecast was right. Beth has a brother who lives in Washington DC, and I'm sure he's been in the bad weather.
Could we have some postings from other parts of the country for this Family Gazette? People like hearing from all over the country!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Good morning. Again we're up early. Rose is 'cleaning for the cleaning ladies'. Theu're supposed to be here at eight and though we have a bit of snow on the ground from last night the roads are probably not bad. Scott and the boys were here for the weekend but left way ahead of the snow and it usually goes from west to east.
Pete called Saturday at his usual time but Brayden and Jalen were here and I never did get around to calling him back since we were doing something when he called. Thank you, Pete, for calling me back yesterday afternoon. He had some bad news. He has prostate cancer. The doctor detected it when his PSA (whatever that is) was up and antibiotics didn't lower it. He will see a radiologist on Wednesday and begin his treatment. Janet'a brother, Gene, just had the same thing and in the same stage and was over treatment and fully recovered within two months. Pete promised to call me on Wednesday after he sees the radiologist and I hope he reads this and calls me sooner if I've got anything wrong. I'm going to email him when I finish posting blog because there's some questions about 'prostate' that this household of women don't know.
We celebrated Brayden's seventh birthday this weekend. We got seven cupcakes and each were decorated differently. Aunt Rose, Aunt Shirley and all I went together and got him a new two wheeler at the REI bike shop. We took the bike rack when we went to get it but it fit easily. When Scott loaded up to go back to Louisville it was a bit different but he did manage to get everything on the inside. He rode it as soon as we got home with it and again yesterday before they left. It's a 20 incher and Scott sat on it and Brayden made him get off because he was afraid he'd wreck it! There's a picture of Brayden on it with the last group of pictures.
Shirley has pretty well gotten over her carpal tunnel surgery and now is going to have to have cataract surgery on the 22nd. We three watched the Super Bowl last night and Shirley was overjoyed at the Saints' victory. Rose and I were only rooting for the Saints because we knew it would make Shirley so happy if they did win. Other than that we wouldn't have cared.
Mary Myers has been in and out of the hospital this week. She is probably more in and out than I am! As soon as we're both able, we're going to have lunch together. Rose, too, if she' free whenever we do it. This time Mary had low potassium. She got out of the hospital yesterday but still wasn't feeling good when I talked to her.
Saturday afternoon a group of us (grownups and kids) went to Nascar, Laser-shoot, etc. It was one of the things Jalen and Brayden wanted to do while they were here. They got here late Friday and left yesterday and there wasn't enough time for everything they wanted to do! There were thirteen of us that went and I just sat and watched but the place was too big to see all around me. We bought tickets for an unlimited time and all the different things unlimited and we finally, after 3 hours, had to make them leave. I don't know how long they they would have stayed otherwise. I was probably more tired than they were and I just sat. Beth took pictures but I don't know if we can post them on here She played hard too. Goldman had gone there on Friday on a field trip with his class and after Saturday says he's had enough of that place to last a lifetime. Suzanne had been preparing for their Super Bowl party before she and the kids got there so she was already tired.
Friday, February 5 was Lydia's eighteenth birthday. She is going to graduate from high school this year. Like my kids and grandkids, it seems she grew up in a short eighteen years. I don't think she's decided on a college yet.
Just tried to call Margaret and got no answer. Rose and I going to try to get out there this week. We figure she probably has lots of company on weekends so we'll go this week during the week. If there's anything new with her I'll post again later. I know she goes to the dining room for breakfast but usually takes her cell phone with her.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I'm up early this morning as is Rose. When she went out to get the paper she said it felt like spring, but I'm afraid this warmer weather isn't going to last long. Snow and freezing drizzle for tonight is forecast and colder weather again for the next few days. We're all ready for spring.

Margaret and I talk every day. The doctor put a different cast on her foot yesterday. She gets physical therapy daily. After therapy she sits in a chair for a long time. Norm can have his dinner with her, I think any night he wants to. She keeps referring to it as a 'nursing home' when it is actually a 'rehab facility'. We have to keep correcting her. Norm keeps the road hot between their place and the facility, and the rest of the family is there quite a bit.

Ding called me Tuesday and, from all places. Marshfield! He had been to Carthage on a work run to drop off some piece of medical equipment. He is 'on call' occasionally and has to make runs to hospitals in and out of town. He didn't have a call on the hospital that Margaret was in but told her would come see her if he did. He said he was having breakfast in Marshfield as he was going through. There were probably none of the places still there that were there when we lived in Marshfield. That's been over 50 years!

Chase, Leslie's son and my former neighbor in Springfield, called me one day this week from New Jersey. He's a photographer; and, though he was just a boy when I lived in Springfield, he's all grown up now. He will have a project in Nicaragua in June with a non-profit organization called Rainbow Network. The organization provides assistance to the people of Nicaragua.
His brother Jeffrey is still stationed in Iraq about two hours south of Baghdad. Jeffrey's deployment should be over in July. His family (wife Sheila, daughters Alexis and Hannah) live in the state of Washington which is where Jeff will go for his mid-tour leave this month. I was quite flattered that Chase called me.

Rose and Shirley are having some things done to the kitchen - starting with an over-microwave combination. They're actually replacing the old microwave which hasn't work for quite some time, so we have to use countertop units. The new unit was delivered yesterday, and Chuck is going to install it tomorrow. Chuck is a friend of my boys so he calls Rose "Aunt Rose."

Breakfast is ready. I still have more updates later on today.