Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday Afternoon

Rose and Shirley are both with clients.  Rose and Marnett took me to my primary care physician yesterday, and I should not have to go back to see her for three or four months.  That was good news. Now I'm going to my neurologist tomorrow for a follow up check.  Marnett is taking me there because Rose and Shirley are both working.

I got a haircut today.  our hairdresser comes here to the house to cut it.  With all the great help I have, I'm sure I could get into the salon, but it's nice to be pampered.  Rose and Shirley both go there and are going tomorrow.

Just tried to call Scott but got voice mail.  I wanted to talk to Brayden.  Chris must be on call since he doesn't answer either.

I continue to do my daily exercises on the exer-cycle and deep knee bends.  I walk as much as I can .  I'm to get a trough for my right arm, and we thought it was in when it wasn't even ordered yet.

Scott just returned my call.  Beth and Brayden leave Saturday from Louisville.  Scote didn't think we would get to see Brayden on the route to Colorado, but thought we might get to see both him and Beth on their way home. Beth is going on a cruise with her mother who lives in Washington D.C. while on spring break.   Scott and Beth are driving to St. Louis.  Chris and Shelly and Brayden are driving on to Colorado, I'm not sure where.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Looking at pictures from the GeoBee closely  which we did, we see  Brayden is about the shortest and we assume the youngest one there (and also the smartest).  He didn't beat all the older and bigger kids, but  he was very competitive.  We  are very proud of him.

 Now he is excited and looking forward to Colorado with Uncle Chris and Aunt Shelly on Spring Break and skiing. They leave next Sunday.   I'm  not sure where in Colorado they are staying.  Jalon  chose not to go because he doesn't like cold weather. Beth is going on a cruise with her mother while  the rest of the family  is gone.  I asked Scott what he was going to do while the family was gone and and he replied. "'Nothing, again I'm not good on Facebook, but Brayden has promised to teach me."  He's not very  good on phone calls or emails either.

Chris and I went to dinner last night.  Shelly couldn't join us.  It was at JJ'S in St. Charles and Chris said we had been there before.  I had forgotten having been there, but  they had delicious hamburgers and I remembered THEM.   When I got home, Rose and Shirley were serving dessert to guests from Madison, Wisconsin. I joined them for that.

 The guests left early this  morning, I wasn't even up yet.  This is the start of a long journey for them.  I'll have to ask the Geography Contest Competitor just how far  away Madison  is.

Rose is practicing the guitar.  She went to the grocery store yesterday after she had made out a list,  and had to call me to read off the list to her.  She knew she  had forgotten something,   She had  "but only one thing - the list".

Rose and I had Margaret much in mind yesterday, her birthday.  Joe knew when Bob's was.  It was also in March.  

Bob is buried in St. John,  KS.  I hope Jana and John and the girls are still planning on spending some time with me at the lake house again this summer, the rest of the  Kansas relatives too.  I need more help, but love being there and hope they do.

I don't have the boat  de-winterized yet.  Doug has done the wave runner for several years and knows how, but it's too soon to ride it now.   I'm sure the water is too cold and I don't believe the fish are biting  yet..  I need to find some one to stain the deck.  Marnett has kids in school or she would be perfect to stay with me and she has a husband!   I would like to be there where  when they stain the deck.  Right now, I just want some one to give me an estimate on doing it and I'd like to have it  done before the season starts.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bowling Green Kentucky.  That's where where Brayden and Scott are this morning.  Brayden participated  in the geography contest in his sixth grade class at his school.  He won the middle school contest, competing with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.  Now he and Scott have gone to Bowling Green for the statewide contest..  We called him last night because we were thinking the  state  contest was next week.  We just wanted to know what athletic games he had on Saturday.  Scott said he planned to study some even last night.  Jalen had to go to school and Beth had to work so they couldn't go.  Brayden is probably more excited  about Spring Break going to Colorado with Chris and Shelly.  We are sure he is nervous.  Win or Loose, we'll update.

When I woke up this morning and looked outside, I thought I saw snow.  I didn't have my glasses on and it  wasn't quite daylight. When Rose came in  my room, she confirmed it.  There is some frost out there.  I looked on the computer and it says it is 34 degrees outside,   Isn't Spring ever going to arrive?  Still wearing sweat shirts, but Shirley did get me some tee shirts from Land's Ends.  They arrived today,  I guess  I'll get to wear them and be complaining about the heat in no time.

I will do my bicycle and shower after Marnett gets here.  I think the young men finished the Spring Clean up yesterday. I thought Rose didn't  have any clients today but  she does plus she has a group meeting.

I've done 30  minutes on the bicycle now and getting ready to do some deep knee bends and walking efforts.  I did 50 deep knee bends just  now and can really feel that I've regained some of my strength.

The back yard is swarming with birds and squirrels.  We put out bird seed but see more squirrels than birds.  Marnett refills the feeder when they need it.

Marnett is preparing my lunch now so I'll sign off and eat.

Brayden ready for State Geobee

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Sue e-mailed me this update for the Gazette:

"It's a beautiful day today, sunshiny but a bit cool.  Rose is practicing her guitar and I'm not sure what Shirley is doing.  I'm updating the gazette.

Marnett took me to get my pedicure today.  I didn't know I needed an appointment when she and I went yesterday.   It was worth the ride out there (Chesterfield) and the wait.   Thank you again, Linda, for the Christmas gift for a visit to this place. Most enjoyable!

I upped it to 30 deep knee bends today and 30 minutes on the exercycle, besides other stretch and effort.  I haven't  received the permission from the  doctor for the trough to support my arm.  Still  waiting. 

There are young men working around the neighborhood  again today.  I'm ready for Spring Flowers.   The neighbor across the street put their pots out but no plants in them as of yet.  I hope nothing gets 'nipped in the bud'.  We've been feeding lots of squirrels as the squirrels have been eating lots of bird food.

We've been watching "Downton Abbey," and have caught up on all the seasons.  Pete and Janet told us about two other PBS programs they enjoy a lot, "The Bletchley Circle" and "Call the Midwife."  Both are wonderfully interesting and entertaining.  Both are about women's lives in the 1950's in London.  The storylines are great, and in some ways they, like "Downton" are serious lessons about history.  Thank you, Pete and Janet!  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Sue e-mailed me this update earlier today:

"I don't really have much to write about but I do enjoy keeping the Gazette up to date.  Chris and I had dinner at Apple Bees last night.  He and Shelly get to take Brayden on a ski trip Colorado when Brayden is on spring break,  Rose and Shirley and I are jealous.  We would rather keep him.

Just as I was getting on the exercyle this morning, Donald called.   He said he had called before but got no answer.  After I  looked at my call log, I saw I had just  missed his call.   We had a pleasant conversation.  I' m hoping to see him and his family this summer.

There's a crew of young men doing the spring clean up in the yard. One group pulled the all the annuals last summer, and  Shirley is sure it's not the same bunch, but she's watching  them very carefully.  Rose is in session.  I had a gift  certificate for a  pedicure  but didn't  know I needed an appointment. Now Marnett and I have to go back to Chesterfield Mall tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Sue e-mailed me this update just now:

"I've done the exer-cycle for 20minutes and 20 and 25 deep knee bends among other exercises every day.  The lake exer-cycle is in need of repair, so I had to miss those days, but I've resumed my schedule since coming home.  Marnett was here today early in spite of her grueling night before last. The  nurse (susan) came today, and we're hoping she and the occupational therapist get approval from the doctor so that Medicare pays for the needed trough for my right arm.  My blood pressure and pulse rate were suitable.   I'm right-handed and now type with my left hand. I make a lot of mistakes.  Sis and I take turns posting to this Gazette.  She sometimes has to stop and 'rest her face and hands' and so do I.

Chris is taking me out to dinner tonight.  I don't know where are going.  Rose has clients right now and  Marnett and I are watching CNN.  Bunny has recuperated today and went to school again. The mail hasn't  arrived yet though I think I see the mailman coming  up  the street.

It was so nice to see Brother Joe on Sunday.  I heard from Leslie, my neighbor in Springfield, too. I was afraid we had lost contact but not so. Chase,  her son, has a  photography shop in  Springfield and  Jeff, the other son lives out west. She came up to  St. Louis and helped me when Denny died.  I hope she comes to see me sometime when I 'm at the lake house.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Now i'm back in St. Louis, and it's a lovely day. Rose has gone to have her taxes prepared.  Marnett came to help me with my shower and lunch as usual.  Marnett had to take her four-year-old, Bunny, to the emergency room at 4 AM, but Bunny went to school anyway, and Marnettt came to help me.  We thought one of the therapists was coming today, but she hasn't showed up as of yet.

The deck at the lake house is in dire need of restaining.  Scott and Chris just don't have the time.  I may have part of the stain but I'm not sure.   I found a young man who lives in the area who will give me an estimate on the job, and I'll go from there.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

We're going back to St. Louis today.

I think I have therapy tomorrow.  My exercycle here at the lack is stuck and we can't get it to work.  I'll catch up on exercise when I get back to St. Louis.  I have showered  today and had breakfast.  The kids are still sleeping.  I was the first to bed and the first to rise.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I finally made a trip to the lake house.

It"s been a long dry spell.  The fish still aren't biting but the Marnett family is still trying.                  I had a really pleasant surprise this afternoon.  I had emailed Brother Joe and asked him to join us.  I never got a response so assumed he wasn't coming.  We took the kids to the go carts and when we got back there was a GMC van in my driveway.   I knew he drove a van and Joe was sitting on my back deck.  When I told Rose she guessed who had surprised us.  Or maybe smelled the food!

Sue and Joe


J.B., Joe, and Sue


Marnett, Joe, Bunny, Torré

Action Figure

Lake Events

Sue sent this update just now:

"Marnett and her family and I came here on Thursday afternoon, and even though the fish aren't biting. it's great to be here.  I've already talked to Pete but had to call Rose,  She was near her phone and wondering where I was.

Marnett like the series Janet put us on to and plans on watching the rest of them when we get back to St. Louis.  Right now, we're going to take the kids to see if the strip is open.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Television Program

Janet, our brother Pete's wife, put us onto a television program that we've come to love.  It is the PBS series "Bletchley Circle."  We've accessed earlier episodes through Amazon.com and are enjoying them immensely.  Without giving away anything about the plots involved, the premise of the series is that four women who used their intellect and wit to decode Nazi military secrets during WWII find themselves relegated to rather boring lives after the war ended.  The four come together to use their finely-honed skills to solve crimes.  You just gotta love these women!

Bletchley Circle was the place in London where the work of people like Alan Turing (and these women) was done.  After the war, the people involved were sworn to secrecy.  Only in the last decade or so has the story of Bletchley Circle become known.  The director of the show is the daughter of a woman who did this highly-classified work.  There is an interview with her on PBS that is intriguing.

Lake Trip

Marnett and Family are with Sue at the lake where J.B., Marnett's husband, prepared a feast.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Beautiful DayToday

Rose and Shirley are playing scrabble right now in the living room while I'm updating the Gazette in the kitchen.  Marnett came this morning and assisted me with some of my exercises and my shower.  She then took two of her children to the zoo.  I don't know if they ran into Shelly or not,  but Marnett is coming in the morning and I'll know more then.

I'm  getting ready to go to bed  so will say Good Night.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Abbott Family








Saturday Morning and Waiting for Pete's Call

We're all up and it's raining here.  At least I think so, haven't been out just looked out the window and it's wet.   It's good to be back home after the overnight stay at Missouri Baptist though their facilities were nice,  Marnett came yesterday and so so did the nurse.

Pete and Janet just called and I asked them to send more updates and pictures from Idaho.  Marnett just got here and Rose is making my egg sandwich.  I did 30 minutes on the exercycle yesterday just because I couldn't get off.  Will finish later.  It's later now and I only did 20 minutes on the exercycle today and was exhausted.  Marnett encourages me and helps me with my exercises which is an inspiration.

Rose and Shirley went to Walgreens and Bed Bath and Beyond and Whole Foods while they were out this morning. They also got a lot of my favorite dessert.  Did you hear that Apple is coming out with a new watch?  I didn't even know they made an old one.

The nurse who came yesterday told me her husband (who works with Chris) said that Chris had brought the new puppy to work.  She is a dog lover too, but a different nurse will be here next time.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Stephanie sent the following update this afternoon:

"I am completely down and out, which is pretty much confirmed by the blood counts being at zero, so that means masks, no crowds, no raw fruits or veggies, and avoiding anyone who may be ill. frown emoticon But it is all part of God's plan to eradicate this nasty monster from my body, so I'll just keep on trudging along. We are relegated to the house unless we use a mask. God is so good, and even though we had the extra fun of needing to be pulled out of the mud this morning, it made for an excellent adventure!  I am in a lot of pain right now.  My bones ache to the point that walking is getting difficult.  This will pass as the effects of the chemo wear off, just about in time for the next round of chemo to start.  Mentally, I am struggling with some depression and just the blues in general.  This will also pass, and the doctors have been great about increasing the dosages of my medications. Thank you for all the prayers and thoughts.  Much love to all of you!


Many of you keep up with Facebook, as we do.  It was heartwarming to see Stef's post there today.  Her cousin Anna (Bernie and Maudie's oldest daughter) had sent Stephanie a beautiful surprise.  I am sure the surprise lifted Stephanie's spirits.

66 degrees outside

I haven't been out today but take the computer's word for the temperature.  It also says we may get to 75 one day next week so maybe spring is finally coming,  It's been a long winter, as you all know.

I had a check up with my gastroenterologist on Tuesday.  Rose and Marnett both went with me because of the parking situation.  It was quite a shock to learn I had a new ailment--something about an irregular heart rhythm.  The physician sent me straight away to the nearby Barnes-Jewish Hospital emergency room where the attendants took me in immediately and began treatment.  The waiting room was bedlam so bypassing all that was a relief, though the rush was worrisome.  Later in the evening I transferred by ambulance to Missouri Baptist Hospital, part of the Barnes Jewish system, but in west county.  After some tests, some treatment, an overnight stay, I was released in the early evening yesterday.  Chris called for me, and we had supper at one of our favorite places--Steak 'n Shake.  In this household, you never know what will happen next.

Scott called me after we posted the pictures of Charlie (Chris and Shelly's new dog) and me.  He was astonished, he said, because he thought he had seen a picture of me and a dog on the Gazette.   He wanted to verify that it really was me.  It was, but when Charlie gets full  grown, you won't see another photo.

Chris just stopped by on his way home from work.  He frequently pops in to check on us, run an errand, or take me to dinner.  

I thought the Cardinals were playing today but Scott said it was a preseason game and didn't count anyway.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Monday Morning Cold but Sunny

Rose and Shirley had to go out to west county for some tests for Shirley.  Rose went with her and woke me before they left.  Marnett just arrived so I'll finish this later.  I still haven't  got used to the time change.  'Spring forward, Fall back'  I keep repeating that to myself.

I'm finished with my shower and 20 minutes exercycyle ride and having an early lunch   The OT is coming in a little  while.  Rose and Shirley aren't back yet.

They just got back. Now the PT is coming at the same time.   I'll see how OT and PT work together.

Sunday, March 08, 2015


Sue came home from Louisville last Sunday with this get-well gift from the Spreitlers—a
40 ounce box of chocolates.  The photo above is of the top of the box.  Right below the "W" 
is a quarter which gives some perspective on the size of the box.  The photo
below (the inside of the box) shows our progress through it in only one week! 
 None of us had ever seen a box this size, but we did our best!




Chris, Sue, and Charlie

Chris brought their new puppy to meet us this morning.

Tristan snowboarding

Bray snowboarding

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Saturday and Pete and Janet called early.

Chris and I went to dinner last night though it wasn't a Red Lobster because he thought it would be too far away and very crowded.  He took me to a different place where we had crab cakes and macaroni and cheese which were very good.   There is a Red Lobster nearby  that Marnett has said we will go to when they were not as crowded,   I was the one who spotted the Red Lobster.  I think Chris was eager to get home to be with their new puppy.  I had the left overs for lunch which were also delicious.

An occupational therapist came this morning,  She will work with me on better use of my arms.  An OT will come at least once a week.  Marnett was here today also.   I did my 20 minutes on the exercycle.  We did lots of other exercises and therapy which we do every day.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Chris is taking me out to dinner tonight.

I want to go to a Red Lobster and hope there's one nearby, I don't know if there is, but hope Chris does.  Marnett has been here assisting me every day this week.  Today a Staff Nurse from Barnes Jewish Hoe Health came here to get blood samples for testing and after at least four  tries, gave up.  Marnett tried, too.  Finally we had to go downtown to the Barnes labs. The same nurse who drew my blood last week got some after only two tries.  Marnett suggested they freeze some in case they need more.

Beth and the boys didn't have school again today, but Scott had to work.  I guess Louisville was chaos last night but the streets were getting some clearing.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Two Up Dates one day.

When we heard about the weather in Kentucky, we called Scott and Beth and probably woke them up. The boys and Beth didn't have school and they had also called off work for Scott.  It's cold here but still snow on the ground from last week.   No more snow and none in the forecast.  Marnett and I chose the right weekend to go to Louisville or we may still be there.  It's still snowing there with lots of cars in ditches and stranded.

Quick Update

Rose has a busy day and I have several things  pending. Chris came by last night on his way home from work.  He's going to take me out to dinner tomorrow night.  It's early  but Marnett is already here.   She's waiting for me to start the tricycle.  Will finish later.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Update from Stephanie

Stephanie sent this update on her progress:

"Hi Tante!

Just wanted to send an update for the blog.  Doctor has decided to up my pain meds in an effort to control the break through pain.  Chemo went well.  All is about as well as can be expected here at our house.  Hope all is well at yours.  Tell Aunt Sue and Aunt Shirley we love them, and we love you mieces to pieces!

Thank you for all the prayers...they definitely work! The chemo infusion went well. Catrina and I arrived at 9 am, had blood work done, saw the doctor, then headed over to the infusion center. They got started between 9:30 and 10 and I got done at about 3. Just as we finished up, Sara StClair arrived with dinner and flowers for me. We are so blessed by this church family of ours, and doubly blessed by my blood family. We stopped at the pharmacy on the way home to drop off new prescriptions. The doctor has decided to double my pain medications, since the break through pain is getting worse in my hips and legs. Hopefully that will take care of that problem and I can start getting some rest when I am sleeping.

Tomorrow is an easy day, just an injection of Neulasta and I am done until next Wednesday when I need to have blood drawn again. The following week I will need to have a repeat of the PET/CT scan to insure that the chemo is killing what it is supposed to be killing, plus blood work, and then the following week chemo.

My goal for this weekend is to make it to church on Sunday. I will wear a mask just to be on the safe side, but I really feel the need to praise our awesome God with my church family.
“Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

"And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:13-14

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:14-16

Love you and thank you for all the prayers and kind thoughts!


We are holding Stephanie close in our hearts.  She is fortunate to have such loving family and church community who have rallied to her and Dan through this very rough patch.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Thanks, Stef,for keeping us updated on your progress.

We all hope and pray for you and are sure glad you have such a wonderful support group.  Keep the Gazette informed on things there.

Also, Janet, thanks for the pictures,  Was I Godmother to Nancy or Merri?  Wasn't very attentive, was I?

I've had two sessions with my home health helper, Marnett, just since my return  from Louisville.  I have to keep moving.  The visiting nurse came on Monday and will come back this Friday  to see if I've gotten better.  I believe I have.  Other people thinks so too.  Marnett told me today she's never seen a patient with as much support as I have.  She really works me out and measures my day to day progress.  There is some and it gives me more hope.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Merri and Albert Johnson with Granddaughter Bryn

Merri and Bryn  -  Merri is the daughter of Pete and Janet

Home now.

Marnnett  and I got back yesterday afternoon and  must have crossed paths with Beth and Brayden who were probably eager get back home before dark.  They were traveling from Kansas City to Louisville, while we were driving from Louisville to St. Louis.

I will try to do some posing more often. I know I can.  I'm behind but will try to
catch up.