Friday, January 31, 2014

Quiet Friday

Chris and I went to dinner with Shelly and her Uncle Butch at JJ's again last night.  Butch has a horse he loves to go see and ride.  His family is inquiring with Martha's Hands about someone who could take him there (to wherever they stable the horse) so he could ride sometimes.  I guess I phrased that right.

The physical therapist and Petrina from Martha's Hands are both coming today,  Between the two of them and with their encouragement, I've really been keeping up my efforts to improve my balance, which is one of the main things the therapist works on.  Petrina helps with that and everything else.

Linda and I are going to the lake Monday through (weather permitting) Thursday and will try to interview a woman from Plattsburg that Jennifer, Donald's daughter,  knows.  The woman is a possible helper/companion for the summer.  I haven't been able to get back in touch with her yet,  but Jennifer said she could bring her for the interview if need be.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Birmingham and the Unusual Winter

Birmingham has had some unusual wintry weather. Donald said they had to close the plant for two days but they were fine.  I've  asked Donald if he's like me about his names - Don and Donald.  He's always been Donald with the family, but his email address is Don.  Without asking, I know no one ever calls Rose her middle name,  Emma. Brick didn't like Loyola Lawrence, his given name, either.  He was Brick and seldom told any one his real name.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Typical Wednesday

I don't really have any news this morning but wanted to post something.  Yesterday was the physical therapist day and also Petrina from Martha's Hands day.  They are both very helpful.  Paul. the therapist, asked me which I'd rather be called - Martha or Sue.  He has been calling me Mrs. Boaz.  I told him the story of my shy childhood and at this point in my life, just keep calling me, I don't care what.  Petrina is coming today but Paul won't be back until Friday.

Goldman is coming over right after he gets out of school today to take me for a pedicure.    Rose has to give a presentation this morning which would make me very nervous, but she doesn't seem to be anxious about it. It's Whole Foods grocery shopping day for Shirley.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Home Again

I'm back in St. Louis and I believe it's going to be cold today after a warmer day yesterday.  I don't believe I have to go out, but Rose has her guitar lesson and will have to  suffer the cold.  She got a new guitar case for when she and Shirley go to Florida, and I'm sure she'll use that today.  She is still doing her daily practice and taking her weekly lessons.

I have the CNA and maybe the physical therapist coming today.  I didn't ride the exercise bicycle this weekend and feel guilty about it, but I'll do my regular routine today.

Chris made me very nervous during the trip home yesterday.  We were traveling in the company car, and it's only used right now for my transportation.  I wanted to go as far as we could without putting gas since whoever hauls me around would already have gas and I told him this.  We got near St. Louis and I thought it was time to fill up and told him so.  He said we could go farther and kept on.  I managed to keep my mouth shut for several miles but finally had to speak up.  He told me when we finally  did stop '"I wish you'd make up your mind.  Go as far as we can or stop before we need it'.  I was past nervous by the time we stopped and he was still griping by the time we got in the house.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Back AT the Lake

I'm down here after a long absence and every thing was as it should be.  It was even warm inside though cold outside because Mad Dod had come over earlier and turned the heat up.  It's supposed to warm up some today and tomorrow and get cold again Monday.  It's been frigid all week.

I've already had my weekly visit with Pete and Janet.  Cold in Idaho too with two inches of snow.  It may be the same two inches they had last week since it stays so cold up there.

Chris brought me down yesterday evening.  Shelly had cooked a pot roast which we ate after we got here so we came straight down and didn't even stop to eat on the way.  She put extra onions in it because she knows I like it hat way.  She also sent homemade chicken soup.  My daughters-in-law treat me very well.

Chris got up earlier and poured my coffee in this insulated cup that I'm not fond of but it allows him to sleep longer.  If I try to get it in my favorite cup, I'm afraid I'll either break it or burn myself.  It's time for him to make my breakfast so I'll quit for now.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Back to the Lake

Still very cold in Missouri.  Chris and I met Shelly and her Uncle Butch for dinner at JJ's in St. Charles last night.  We took the company car.  Even with the ride and defrost, all the ice didn't come off the windshield, and it's a pretty long ride too.

My physical therapist came yesterday and helped me accomplish some things I hadn't tried before.  He came while the aid from Martha's Hands was here, and she can assist me now in some of my exercises.  He'll be back Thursday or Friday.  She'll be back this morning.

Donald's daughter, Jennifer, has a possible helper to spend some time with me at the lake house in the coming months.  I'm hoping we can work out something that will work for us both.  Meanwhile, Chris and I are trekking to the lake this Friday for the weekend.  I haven't been there since the end of November. This is the longest I've ever missed being there.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow and Cold

Rose and I spent a long session with three opthamologists yesterday afternoon, and they have finally determined a way to correct my double vision.  At one point there were four eye doctors and Rose and me in this small room.  Right now I have to shut one eye lots of time to see TV or to type or read.  They've tried to correct the problem with prisms in my glasses but that hasn't succeeded.  Next month I will undergo a surgical procedure that should correct the problem. Before we go any farther they have to get the OK from my primary care physician.  She will, no doubt, give me a go.

We have snow and cold weather again this morning.  Goldman doesn't have school, so he's going to come and shovel for us.  A pipe broke at the lake house while I was in Louisville.   Mad Dog went over to check on things because a pipe also broke at his Dad's house.   He got it fixed and no harm done.

My physical therapist comes this afternoon.  Rose is keeping up with her guitar though she missed her lesson by taking me for my eye appointment yesterday.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Back in Missouri

I'm back in Missouri.  Jalen was the designated driver for the trip while Scott sat in the back seat and played video games.  Chris met us at the half way point.  Brayden was still sleeping when we left Louisville.  I had my weekly visit with Pete and Janet while we were on the on the road.  Everything's good in Idaho.

While I was in Louisville I did some reading over some old entries in this Gazette, and they were much newsier than I remembered.  I'm going to try now to recapture some of the past.  I don't know how Mother did it, but she went from the farm to the store owner to a nurse's aid and raised all us kids.  Donald was 4 months old and I was only 20 months old when Dad died.   There were the rest of us, eight in all.  We had Social Security benefits, I guess.  We all turned out pretty well.

The photos we recently posted were precious.  I believe I have a box of even older ones at the lake house that I'll sort through next time I'm there.  Breakfast is about ready so I'll quit for now.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quiet and Light Snow

Now it's already Thursday and I'm going home day after tomorrow.  Really no news to report.  Beth cooked crab cakes for dinner last night because she knows that's one of my favorite dishes.  They do treat me royally over here.  Shirley is having surgery on one of her fingers today so Rose is ferrying her to the doctor.  We have some light snow but I don't think it's cold enough for it to stick.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fast Week in Louisville

My helper just left and I'll be here by myself for an hour or so and though Scott and Beth worry about that I just sit here and fool with my computer,  The helper made me bacon and eggs and toast for breakfast so I dread weighing when I get home.

Scott got his phone stolen out of his van yesterday and I thought that meant hr had to have his number changed but then someone convinced me he didn't.  That was good for me because it was one of the few numbers I had memorized.  He's already made arrangements for new service.

Chris is meeting me and Scott at the half way point between here and St. Louis on Saturday.  The week is sure going fast.  I still haven't got to ride with the new driver.  He   is willing to drive with Scott everywhere they need to go but he doesn't need my advice.  Brother Pete taught me how to drive so I could give him some ancient pointers.  I can't drive anymore but still have a valid license.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday in Louisville

I've been having issues with this computer but may be squared away now.  I had some support from Rose and my helper here but we did it.  I've already asked her if I could have her as a helper next time I come and she and I get along well.  I didn't even hear Scott or Beth leave this morning.  One of them had my pills and water left out for when I got up.

It's a sunshiny day here though it rained all day yesterday.  I believe Brayden has basketball practice after school and then we get the boys until bedtime.

I had a lovely email update from Kay Berry today.  We're determined to get back together.  I don't think I've seen her since Scott and Beth's wedding which was October 5.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Checking on my Computer

Just checking to make sure my updates come through.  I am not a computer whiz and Scott gets very impatient when I have to have his assistance.  So does Chris.  Beth is much more patient but she was busy.  The boys came by for just to say hello.  We didn't get them tonight.

Monday in Louisville

I've spent a lot of this day trying to figure out how to post in Louisville without having to send it to Sis and having her forward it to the Family Gazette but I think I finally got it figured out.  Scott did assist me some though after he got home from work.  He gets home before Beth and aids her in making supper.

The woman they hired to stay with me is good company.  She is also good help.  She believes she should get here a bit earlier in the morning since they had been already left but I'll probably just sleep later since I'm in a different time area.  Scott was afraid I'd get up too early couldn't pour my coffee.  I reassured I'll be fine.

II usually have Rose read my updates for typos but this one will just go through as is.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Update from Sue:

I am in Louisville and couldn't log on to the computer, so Rose and I decided this would be a good way for me to forward information.  I'm sending it to her and she's posting it.   

Pete called before Goldman and I left this morning to meet Scott.  Idaho Falls had about two inches of snow last night.  Pete hadn't talked to Joe yet.  Those were great photos Pete and Janet sent. 

I think Springfield had all the snow we had, and it was all melting today.  It was just bitter cold here in Louisville this week but not much snow.

Brayden is spending the night with a friend but said he would be home early.  Scott told him to clean up his room before he left, and he did, I looked but couldn't tell it.  Brayden did do lots of helping unloading my stuff from the car.  I haven't got to see Jalen, but he will be over tomorrow.  Scott did take Brayden for soccer signup  this afternoon.  When I said I was going to miss him he said "Well, don't you want to see me play?"  Of course I do.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

We may have some thaw today though it is still cold.

The physical therapist came yesterday and assisted me in some exercises and also showed me some things I can do with very little assistance next week while I'm in Louisville.

Donald called yesterday.  He and Vita are back from Florida to Birmingham.  Jennifer may have found me some additional helper companion for the lake house since Linda has family commitments and Goldman is getting married in the summer.  I'm happily planning for better weather!

Brother Pete

Brother Pete volunteers at the hospital in Idaho Falls.  He drives the shuttle
from parking lots to hospital door.  Here he is in his "full service" vehicle.





Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Old Photos from Pete and Janet--A Treasure!


Pete (John Leo)

Bob (Robert Eugene)  [Note that his name here is spelled with two "L's".]

Margaret Ann

Joe and Pete  (Joseph Gerald and John Leo) 

Donald Roy, Margaret Ann, and Joseph Gerald

Pauline, James, Nadine [Offspring of Edward and Lois Felin]
Circa 1945

Nadine (nee' Felin) and her husband Ralph Johnston in May, 1965.  Tragically, Nadine died in a car crash that September.  She was eight-months pregnant, and her child died, too.  [This is a correction.  Yesterday's entry identified the woman in this photo as Mary Pauline, Nadine's twin sister.]  Pauline was seriously injured in the crash.  Nadine's funeral was delayed because of the expectation that it would be a dual service.  Pauline survived and lived until last month.]  Thanks to Pete and Janet for the woman's identity and the date of the photo.

Dinner at Brio's

We are in the midst of a blizzard, but the worst has past and we can get in and out of the house.  Shirley's friends, Deena, Tim,  and children Layla and Jamil, drove from Colorado straight through to St. Louis and arrived on Sunday evening following closely behind the storm.  They were coming from California where they had vacationed over Christmas break..  They live in Bloomington, Indiana.  We all went to dinner at Brio's last night, venturing out in sub-zero cold.

I talked to Scott last evening.  Louisville didn't have much of a storm but they did call off school.  Goldman came and shoveled our sidewalks.  He didn't have school either.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Birds at the Feeder

We are having a terrible winter storm here in St. Louis, about a foot of snow, falling temperatures, and wind.  The temperature is dropping to negative numbers tonight and tomorrow, and the wind chills are terrible.  We've had lots of birds at the feeder today, and if you look closely you will see there are some in the photo.  This is the coldest temperatures we've had in this area for about 20 years.  Brrrr.  Too cold.

I went to the grocery store this afternoon for a few essentials.  None of the streets had been plowed, and almost no one was out.  My old car (Pete dubbed it "the company car") was excellent for weather like this.  It had something called "ECT snow," which I believe put the thing into four-wheel drive, a good thing on this kind of day.   Today I tested my new car, a Prius C.  It is great for road conditions like those between here and the store, probably every bit as much as the company car.  

Mark Goldman was to shovel us out today, but he couldn't get here.  He plans to come tomorrow.  


Joe's Note about Trees

There is a walk in Forest Park here in St. Louis where all the trees are carefully identified.  As soon as we get some clear weather here again, I am going to take Joe's note (see entry from January 4 on this blog)  there to see if I can find the trees he names.  The walk is a great resource.  When Sue's daughter-in-law Karen found the perfect tree for our tiny back garden space, I went over to the walk to see what it (an upright Tulip tree) would look like when larger.  That was eight years ago.  Now the tree is absolutely gorgeous.  Karen was right, it is perfect for our small space.  Here is a photo.

Saturday, January 04, 2014


 Goldman came over yesterday and helped take down the Christmas decorations.  He and Joy are now officially engaged and are going to get married sometime in July.  They haven't set a date yet, and we all, including her two boys, are eager for the wedding.  The four of them went to Chicago on the train over New Years and had a very enjoyable trip.

Rose is cooking breakfast right now so I'll interrupt my updating.  I've already had to my Saturday talk with the Idaho Felins.  It's much colder here than it is there today.  We have snow on the ground and more predicted.

I'm having trouble finding a companion/helper to assist me.  'Martha's Hand's'  coming here has worked really well, but my companion/helper is not at the lake and isn't 24 hours, nor near.

I stopped updating for my shower.  Our hair dresser came and is in the process of giving all three of us haircuts.  Chris is taking  me to dinner this evening.  I don't know where we're going but he wants to go early because of the prediction of the winter storm.

I'm going next weekend and spending a week in Louisville with Scott and Beth and the boys.  I think Goldman or Chris is going to drive me half way and Scott and/or Beth will meet us.  They've found someone to assist, and I'll have more about that later.

We're still watching an episode of Downton Abbey every evening and aren't going to start the new series until we catch up.  We have several episodes to watch.    Rose is still diligently practicing her guitar and taking her weekly lessons.

Sue getting haircut





Note from Brother Joe

In looking for something on my computer this morning, I ran across this note from Joe from last August.  It is interesting:

Read an article in Missouri Conservationist about a couple of near extinct trees in MO and it brought back memories of the two trees mentioned below:
BUTTERNUT TREE – Some of the readers may remember the one just up hill and toward the barn from our tomato canning factory.     A canker has killed practically all the trees in MO but a stand has been located near Cape Girardeau, MO.  The MO Dep’t of Conversation is attempting to start seedlings from these trees as they are believed to be immune from the canker. 
 OZARK CHINQUAPIN OAK – There was a huge tree along Turnbo Creek just north of the bridge location, in the Merrifield Turnbo Bottom.  Pete spotted a power line pole with light meter in that vicinity on our last tour. You also need to Google it and get a picture of the acorn, which was covered with a tough skin. I don’t remember the details but Sam Andreatta and our grandfather grew up together in Austria and both ended up neighbors in MO.  The Andreatta boys and the Felin boys were goofing off near this tree, (probably swimming) and our granddad sent the Andreatta boys home.  Turned out that did not upset Sam at all as he was needing his boys to work back at his farm! This tree is also nearly extinct, in MO.
There was also large hickory nut tree about ½ way between the butternut tree and our barn.       Seems like we usually favored the hickory nuts and cracked many  of them under the hickory nut tree.  Nothing mentioned in the article about hickory nuts so my guess is they are still around?"

Friday, January 03, 2014

New Year

We have some snow and bitter cold today and we're missing Brayden.   He's still on Christmas break.  I have a physical therapist from Barnes Jewish coming again today to assist me with some of my exercises, and also the aid from Martha's Hands who does several other things to help me achieve my goals.  I don't know when I will get back  down to the lake house because I can't find anyone to spend time with me.  Linda can't go until February.  Martha's Hands is really helping me out with keeping flexible, and I feel stronger.  Rose's work is increasing and she has more time to spend on it.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Happy New Year.  Shirley and Brayden and Rose ushered in 2014, but I didn't last.  I was asleep before midnight.  Beth is picking Brayden up on her way from Kansas City back to Louisville sometime this afternoon and, needless to say, we're reluctant to part with him.

I thought I had hired a helper/companion to spend some time with me at the lake house,  but she is limited in the time she can be away.  I'm still looking for someone that I can afford and can be away for periods of time.  Linda can't come back until sometime in February.

We now have a Home Health Service called 'Martha's Hands' who provides help several days a week for my bathing, lunch, and exercises.  The exercises are most helpful.  This gives me more incentive.  Rose is working more so we need outside support that we can schedule as needed.