Saturday, January 31, 2015

February First is Brother Pete's Birthday

This update is a day early for the Birthday and I won't post  his coming age (as usual).  I've  already talked to him this morning.  I think we determined it's colder in Missouri than in Idaho.  He had already talked to Brother Joe.  Joe probably remembered the birthday occasion.

Chris stopped by yesterday and brought me his old Fit Bit.  The therapist thinks my new one is working and perhaps we're reading it wrong.  We'll see how they compare.   I had another therapy session yesterday and will have one Monday and then have an evaluation on Wednesday.

I took a break and am going to finish posting now.  I've had lunch and my shower and  now Marnett is helping Rose put the cover on the fireplace. Shirley is at CVS which is a long time trip for her.  She prefers Walgreens but had a better coupon for CVS.

Brayden had a basketball game this morning.  His team lost and Brayden fouled out.  I  asked Scott if Brayden would care if I posted that info,  Scott again is sure that Brayden never reads the Blog.  I think he's a Face Book Contributor.  I'll try to find out and get his address.  I'm trying  to learn Facebook.

Stephanie had more tests yesterday but the results won't be available until next Wednesday. Meanwhile, she has everyone's prayers.  Catrina has set up a PayPal to Bank of America account for anyone able to contribute to the awful expenses Stephanie is encountering.  Her insurance annual deductible, her co-pays, the long distance she travels for tests, etc., are stretching her and Dan to the max.  Any contributions that can at least remove some of the stress they feel will be much appreciated.  The information for contributing through PayPal are on Catrina's Facebook page.  Or, if you are uncomfortable with PayPal, please send your contribution directly to:  Stephanie Schmitt, 80 Michael Court, Troy, MO  63379.  There is a good thing to report in all this.  Until last year Stephanie was uninsurable due to an existing condition, lupus.  She now has some health insurance for the first time in about 25 years.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Not really any news but wanted to brag a bit

We're praying for Stef and hope the results we hear next week are favorable.

I  heard from Ron and Georgia Reinhardt today.  For those of those who may not know,  Brick was his boss at GMAC and my boss after  Brick died in that accident (which has now been over thirty years ago).  Ron and Georgia now live here in St. Louis and Florida.

The bragging I wanted to do was about Brayden.  He won the Geography Contest for the whole school.  This includes sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.   He's in sixth grade.  I asked Scott if any student had done so but he did't know.  I also asked him if Brayden would care if I put this in the Gazette.  Scott doesn't think he even reads it "so go ahead."  Brayden will go to a Kentucky State Contest in the next few months but Scott wasn't sure when that would be.

I am finally learning some about Facebook with Rose's help, but am more used to Email.
I.E.  or  Again, from the very beginning of my having a cell, the number is 314-452-3685.

I have therapy again tomorrow.  I'll wear my new Fit Bit.  Marnett doesn't think it's registers right.
  We're getting neighbors across the street.  I can see house from where I ride  the exercise bicycle in the mornings.  The For Sale Sign is gone and there's been  activity,  In the backyard here, the  squirrels eat the birdseed we leave out and also leave a nasty mess around, but they're hungry too and we feel sorry for them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I was confused about when Stef was getting her results and thought it was going to happen today, but won't be until next week.  Nevertheless, everyone is praying and we will update the Family Gazette as soon as we have any information.

I've had two therapy sessions this week.  I bought a new Fit Bit.  I lost both mine and Rose's while testing/comparing them.  I was going to replace hers, too, but she's waiting until Apple comes out with their "Apple Watch."  My therapist wanted to know if that was some kind of fruit,  Pete, What do you think?

The hairdresser came and cut my hair yesterday.  We should have  done a before and after picture.  Marnett came three times so far this week.  I continue  to do the cycle 20 minutes and exercise  here as much as I can.

Monday, January 26, 2015

More I forgot to post

Brayden had a basket ball game on Saturday in which he scored two baskets. Scott and Beth had to get up early on their day off to get him to a 8;30 AM game, but I'm  sure they sure to get him there on time.

I had physical therapy again today.  The head therapist worked with me and was very encouraging. He pointed out things I could do today that  I couldn't do my first time there and  encouraged  me to keep on striving. I go back on Wednesday.

Jalen and Brayden (with much help from Beth) made me a calendar for Christmas and I use it to keep track  of  my appointments.  I'm having my haircut tomorrow, and  the hairdresser comes here. I met Linda through her.  She  also does Rose and Shirley's hair.  Marnett has met her and will  be here tomorrow.

Lovely Weekend at the Lakehouse

Linda, Chris and I went down Friday when Chris got off work.  Linda drove because the Acura was in the shop, and we didn't want to leave Shelly without transportation, so it worked out just fine.  We stopped in Jefferson City for a hamburger and at Paul's at the lake for stuff for Linda to make breakfast.  She is a great cook.  Chris volunteered to do the grocery shopping on Saturday, so we made him a list and sent him on his way.

Pete called with his Saturday morning call.  It was cold in Idaho.  We didn't have potatoes as they weren't on  the shopping list.  Marnett had brought me a crab cake from Whole Foods which Linda and I had for lunch.  Famous Barr made great French Union Soup years ago, and Linda makes a duplicate.  It was delicious.  [Rose and I had it also for dinner last night.]  Mad Dog came over Saturday after noon and had dinner with us but wouldn't stay for breakfast on Sunday.

The sun was out on Saturday, but it was still chilly.  It drizzled yesterday all the way home.  There's a lot of new construction going on across the cove from the lake house.  Linda took a picture which Rose will post later.

I'm looking forward to the next trip to the lake.

Photos:  New construction across the cover at the lake.  A selfie--Chris, Sue, Linda

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


"Auntie, here is an update for the blog:

We have just returned from the hospital and the news, while not a surprise to God, was not what we had hoped to hear.  The preliminary biopsy showed cancer (lymphoma). I will be returning to SLU to have a full body PET scan done to determine the extent of the cancer, and then visiting the orthopedic surgical oncologist as well as another oncologist to find out the exact type of lymphoma, the stage, and where all it is within my body.  At that point they will decide which course of chemotherapy and the duration of that treatment.   If there is any good news in this, it is that Lymphoma is a readily treated cancer.  It may take a while, but there are treatments and they do work.

We want to thank all of you for your prayers, calls, thoughts, cards, and messages these last couple of weeks.  They have bolstered our spirits and lightened our burden.  We love each and every one of you!  God is so good and He is always faithful.  We will continue to praise Him in this storm.

Always in His powerful grip,

Stef and Dan"

Monday, January 19, 2015

Not Really Any News. Another Quiet Sunday.

Spring seems to be finally getting here.  It's been a long time coming. Chris and Linda and I are going down to the lake on Friday until Sunday and I'm really looking forward to that.  If anyone else can go anytime the following week, I'd like to go too. - -or that weekend-.  Just let me know.

I had three sessions of therapy and will have three more this week.  The house across the street has been on the market for a long time and it looks like it has perhaps sold.  We're not sure.  There's never any lights on since the for sale sign went up, but today there's been a van in front.

I'm having dinner with Chris and Shelly tonight.   No more news about Stephanie.  Brayden's basketball team won yesterday.  Scott didn't take his camera so he didn't send any pictures for us to post.

[Posted Monday afternoon]

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Thank you, Catrina, for the news about Stephanie. We're praying the next update will be good news.   Catrina and Rose spent a long time informing the family in the Gazette, and we're hoping they continue to do so.

Pete has already called this morning inquiring about Stephanie, but we won't know any more until they get the results of the tests.  If 'they don't call us, we''ll call them' and pray again for the best.

I'm waiting for Marnett and I've had breakfast this morning.  I had my three sessions of therapy this week.  Shelly stopped by yesterday with some chili and tuna salad.  She and Chris have invited me out for dinner this Sunday.

[Written this morning around 9:30 am and posted at 9:30 am.]

Thursday, January 15, 2015

News about Stephanie Abbott Schmitt, Margaret and Norman's Daughter

I asked Catrina, Stephanie's sister to send an update on Stephanie's situation for the Family Gazette since so many people had bits and pieces of the events in her life through Facebook.  Here is Catrina's update:


Just wanted to share an update on Stef so the family could know what was going on and mostly so they could pray for her. 

Stef fell in October, tearing her rotator cuff and breaking her shoulder, which may turn out to have been a blessing in disguise.  She had surgery to repair in November, and she started a long 16 week recovery including intensive physical therapy.  While going for physical therapy, her knee started hurting.  She has suffered off and on over the last few years with some knee pain but was finally at a place where she could hopefully get some relief.  She asked the doctor/physical therapist to help with her knee pain, but after several appointments, her pain was worse which is obviously not supposed to be the case, so they ordered an X-Ray.

On December 30, she went in for that X-Ray.  It showed some areas of abnormalities so her physician immediately ordered an MRI, which she had done on December 31st.  She went in the following week for the results, and the news was not what we expected. The report showed possible metastatic changes in the bone (secondary cancer changes in her bone marrow) and her doctor referred her to an oncologist.  That appointment was yesterday. 

When she first arrived, the oncologist indicated that as a previous smoker, these areas in the bone marrow might be where the blood supply had been compromised and then restored.  While rare, it does happen.  The course of action would be to wait and see if there were changes in a few months. Later, after he looked at the X-Ray/MRI, he was very concerned and did not want to wait.  Stef will have a bone biopsy next Tuesday morning.  Once the oncologist has those results, he/they will decide a plan of action. 

BTW – Stef is a very strong lady.  The recovery time on her shoulder was shortened by 8 weeks!

As many folk know, I’ve started a FaceBook page, “Stef’s Prayer Warriors”.  Let’s get the word out so we can get as many people as we possibly can storming the heavens with prayers for my dear sister.  She’s done so very much for others, especially our mom, it’s time to give a little back. On that Facebook page, I’ve also included a PayPal link for folks to donate monetarily if they can. The gas to drive from Troy to downtown St. Louis alone is costly enough, but so is anything else Stef and Dan may need to buy, food while down there, etc. – this can help. I was going to do gofundme or another fundraiser site such as that, but they take 8% plus $0.50 per transaction, so by doing PayPal, which only takes 2%, and I think that’s only if we don’t use a bank account so I’ve opened a BOA savings account for her specifically for this. And an FYI – I will be ordering “STEF’S PRAYER WARRIOR” rubber bracelets and selling them for $1.00 with 100% of the profit going into her account.

Love you, Auntie. 

Catrina King"

Those of you who attended Margaret's service last September no doubt remember the moving eulogy Stephanie gave for her mother--with only about five minutes warning.  A transcript of that eulogy is in the archives of this blog.  Stephanie is quite a woman, made strong by some life challenges that many people never have to face.  She was a major support person for her parents in recent years and cared for her mother after Margaret could no longer live alone.  When Norman developed symptoms from the illness that took his life, it was only Stephanie he allowed help and guide him through his medical care and last days.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Chris and the Lake House

Chris stopped by and checked on the lake house last Friday, and everything was fine. He was in the area and did that for us after the really cold weather we have had.  It is much warmer no--here and there.   

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


We're back and the ophthalmologist  inserted prisms in my glasses.  She also did a lot of testing on my eyes and adjusted my glasses while we were there.  We hurried and waited, as one always seems to do at a doctor's office.  That was a long sentence, wasn't it?  I hope this fix works.  I go back on March 2  (already have it marked on the calendar Beth made me at Christmas).  I only go back sooner if this doesn't work,  back March 2 for a regular checkup.   So far it's working.

Dinner's ready.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Seeing with one eye closed

Shelly is taking me back to my eye doctor this afternoon because I've been seeing with one eye closed and I'd like to find out why.  I don't even note I do this until I'm told.  I hope it's simple to fix and hope this is my last trip for a while.

Marnett is here today and has been very helpful. Rose has a guitar lesson and both she and Shirley have clients this afternoon.

TIVO Schematic

Saturday, January 10, 2015

John and Ryan Felin

  Kelly's sons, Pete and Janet's grandsons

P1010131 (2)

Kelly and Sons, John and Ryan

   Hmm, Kelly's boys are now taller than he is!

P1010132 (3)

Kelly, John, and Ryan Felin



TIVO System


TIVO On Paper

Sent with Genius Scan for iOS.


I see that TIVO is now advertising on the Family Gazette, no doubt because of some mention of it in a post.  For about two years we had ATT U-Verse television and internet, and we had constant, recurring problems.  If we wanted to watch the news, I knew to turn the thing on a good 15 minutes before to make sure it was working.  ATT service people were good, just far too necessary.  U-Verse was just not ready for prime time, and ATT billing was so random we never knew what to expect beyond expecting expensive.

The final straw came when some technician told us we needed to rewire the house at an added cost of $250.  We changed to Charter, and I bought a TIVO DVR system.  It took me about 12 hours, miles of wires (mostly hidden in a cabinet), and several conversations with TIVO technicians to get the system up and running.  It works just great and costs roughly half of what U-Verse did.

A couple of weeks ago, an ATT U-Verse sales person, a young woman rang the doorbell and wanted to sell us on U-Verse.  Needless to say, she did not get far.

I Had Three Sessions of Therapy this week

I had the 3 sessions of therapy this week and the therapist assured me she was going to continue with my three times a week help with my improvement, which she has seen and will report back to my referring doctor.

We have a bird feeder in the backyard but squirrels get more food from it than birds.  We do get several of both.  Rose also got a finch feeder for Christmas but it's still full,  Maybe they went south for the winter.  As cold as it's been, smart finches.

Lake on the 23rd

Linda and Chris and I will go go down to the lake on the 23rd and return on the 25th.  I'm excited about it but also realize something could come up.   I would like Linda to make some French Onion Soup while we're there.  She makes it just like the old Famous Barr kind and is a wonderful cook.

We may get some more snow although there wasn't much this week.  It's still been cold. Pete hasn't called  with his Saturday call yet but I'm sure he will soon.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Still Cold

It's still very cold and isn't going to warm up soon.  Rose and Shirley both had to go out but I got to stay in where it was warm.  Marnett came again in spite of the cold weather and helped me as she always does.  Rose is practicing her guitar right now and Shirley is with a client.

If you read the Gazette and notice that some of the pictures aren't coming through, let us know.  we can post them again.  It's been called to our attention that this has happened.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Bitter Cold in Missouri

It snowed and the wind blew last night, but I slept right through it.  Marnett came and helped me and took me to therapy and assisted me just as she always does, in spite of the weather.  She is really good help and companionship and exceeds herself a lot.

Chris came and took me to dinner last night.  Goldman came on Monday and helped us take down our Christmas decorations.  The roads were fine when Marnett took me to therapy.  I go back to Friday and can continue the three times a week but also do the exer -cycle 20 minutes and other exercises.  I keep trying to improve and therapists and other people besides myself notice improvement.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Bird Seed Box

Art by Shelly

Bird Seed Box

Art by Shelly, Chris' wife


BH - Before Haircut

Missed Therapy

Rose will post those pictures from Janet and from the  weekend - in fact she may be posting them now.  We miss Brayden very much and wonder if he misses us at all. Probably not.

I missed my therapy session today because I decided to have a pedicure and a manicure.
I wasn't done in time to get there for our appointment and had to cancel. Marnett did take me, just one of the helpful things she did for me today.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas this year--lots of family, friends, feasting, and good cheer.  This afternoon we took down the Christmas tree with the help of our gold man, Mark Goldman, who every year comes over to put up the tree and decorate it, then comes back to take it down and put everything away.

Clearing out the living room allowed us to see things that in the hubbub of our family gathering we glossed over.  Beth, Scott, and Boys gave us two calendars with lovely photos for each month.  Already we are using Sue's both to look at and to track events.  For the calendar cover they used the group photo of the Felin sibs that we took at Sabrina's about ten years ago, something more precious with the passage of time.  Marnett, who is now familiar with Pete's weekly check-in with Sue, guessed which one of the brothers was Pete.  I asked her how she knew, she said, "He looks like a Pete.  [Of course, the calendar had Beth's thoughtful fingerprints all over it, as did the formal thank you card we received in the mail from Jalen and Brayden.]

Chris and Shelly, knowing how much we love bird-watching, gave us a finch feeder and thistle food  [Try saying that a couple times in succession.] plus a storage box filled with bird seed.  Shelly painted the four seasons on the sides of the box and a cardinal with birdhouse on the lid.  I have photographed the box and will post pictures later.  It is a work of art.

Brayden was here from New Year's Day until yesterday morning.  He had a fine time especially bowling, hiking, and being with Chris and Shelly.  Brayden and Shelly even cut Chris' hair, they claim with the dog shears.  I'll post a photo of his new hair style soon.  Actually, it looks great.  Shelly met Scott to pick up Brayden on Thursday and then met Jalen yesterday for the return trip home.  Nice to have that young man now driving!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Quiet Sunday

Shelly has already picked Brayden up and is meeting Scott half way.  Rose isn't feeling very well so she went back to bed.  Chris is here and he and I are setting in the living room messing  with our computers.  Marnett isn't coming today so I won't get many of my exercises done.

We had a super dinner at 'Kreis's' last night.  I'm sure I had never eaten crab when I was eleven years  old and Brayden and I shared a portion in the shell.  Brayden helped me and the waiter cracked them.  I also know my mother had never eaten crab, catfish but not crab.  We once took her to some costly restaurant in Springfield and as we were leaving she commented that people would notice that our supper was worth more than our car.  She was probably right back then.

Shelly is bringing Steak and Shake as she returns from the half way trip.  She's started back already.  Chris is laying on the sofa watching football. Hope Rose doesn't have the flu.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Pictures From Idaho

We had a wonderful dinner and I'm sure Rose will post those pictures and also the ones that Janet forwarded in the morning.  Brayden and Shirley are watching a movie and Rose and I are going to bed,,

Thursday, January 01, 2015

It's 2015

Scott is bring Brayden half way and Shelly and Eli meeting the other half from Louisville today, and we'll get him until Sunday. He will spend one night with his Aunt Shelly and Uncle Ding and their dogs which he so loves.  Rose and I are up having our first coffee,  When I checked my fit bit on going to bed last night, I had done over my record which was around eleven hundred steps.  Yesterday it registered over 1200.  I had some assistance, but I'm eager to tell my therapist when I go tomorrow.

I think we're all going out for a family dinner Saturday night, and I haven't heard how Brayden is getting home.  I'm sure he will have school on Monday.  I'm expecting Marnett pretty soon.