Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in Central Illinois

I picked up the super duper chocolate chocolate “Christmas eggs” at Flesor’s on Sunday in preparation for our annual trek to central IL to share Christmas with our daughters, our youngest grandsons and our son in law. I way over cooked (amount) chicken and noodles, made a really scrumptious snickers cake, and took along some chili to have on Friday night. Leah arrived on the train and we all made it safely into the house before the heaviest of the snow and there we stayed, covered in a thick blanket of snow, until today. I find waiting for Santa with a grandson as exciting as it ever was in my childhood, and I love those magical years. H literally shuddered with joy when he finally scratched off a bit of paper from his Santa gift and found it was EXACTLY what he asked for. We had so much fun watching him and also watching the Q-ball tearing bits of paper off of his presents. As usual, for a toddler, boxes and paper are as delightful as anything.

Rayne is a terrific cook and she prepared her first turkey ever-- superb. She made potatoes called glory hallelujah potatoes that live up to their billing, and you can shout glory hallelujah and eat your way to a heart attack with the cream and butter laden delights. I drizzled her moist turkey with her homemade cranberry sauce which really is so much better than canned. She made her signature cheesecake and I had a small slice of that. We nibbled all weekend on what Larry and I have come to call Christmas salad, which is the mix of peanuts, m&m’s and raisins, well, it does have green in it.

We played playmobile pirates, beyblades, and Aunt Leah spent loads of time playing with H, but he nearly broke down when we left, I think he was really emotionally fried by then and had been so good. Attempts at family pics were met with resistance by the boys, but I am sure a couple of decent ones were captured by all three photographers. Leah will be on the train to Chicago in about an hour, I am so thrilled she makes a point to join us for this special day. It really is a lovely loving time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Flesor’s Candy Kitchen

Flesor’s, in downtown Tuscola IL just did the most amazing bit of customer service ever.  I was talking on their FB about what a wonderful place it is for lunch and for treats and how Henry desires their incredible gigantic chocolate chocolate Easter eggs.  We had a back and forth IM like thing going.  Suffice it to say, Henry is getting one of the giant eggs in his Christmas stocking.  The people who own and staff the candy kitchen are so kid friendly when you are there, even with a cranky 5 year old who needs fuel but doesn’t recognize it and now this.  I am putting this right here so if you accidentally find my site, you will know how fabulous the candy kitchen is.  Do not go from the mall to denny’s go to Flesor’s Candy Kitchen, and while I am at it, their authentic gyro is the best ever, and worthy of a photograph before you bite into it.  They also put on an incredible luncheon for those very special mothers’ and fathers’ days.  Get thee to Tuscola IL for a gem of a place to eat and treat.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Alfred Hitchcock

2010-09 011b

Q contemplating psycho birds and crazy blondes

My Grands at Flesor’s

2010-09 039

The boys enjoying lunch at the Candy Kitchen.


Manikin modeling T-shirt

Obama and Lincoln Mannikin with T-shirt, detail Larry’s new t-shirt design

Monday, September 20, 2010

new stuff

Henry's feetmoving stuff around. Here are Henry’s feet from a long time ago.

Friday, September 10, 2010


It is Friday already which meant that I got to have breakfast with friends this morning which always sets Friday up as a good day. It's gonna be a good day....It's gonna be a good good day. We walked out of the cafe to see a gorgeous, intense double rainbow. I took pictures and maybe I will remember how to post one here. In my eagerness to get the really bright one, I didn't even notice the second one until someone called out "It's a double!" I have my things all set for classes today so just thought I'd take a moment to note the lovely beginning of this day.
My 6th and 8th graders will be up to their elbows in paint soon, so I will see you all later.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to School

School has been in session for two weeks and it has been wonderful. Next week I introduce our second projects in my art classes and the first ones have gone well. Afternoon classes are large, morning classes are tiny. Our class sizes are determined by the music the students choose so we can have a ridiculous bursting at the seams class after lunch, not even enough seat, and an embarrassingly tiny class in the morning. Only music people can rearrange anything. We lost a subject out of our rotation so our related arts grading period has finally aligned with with academic schedule, 9 weeks. that lets me bring some art projects back on line that I had to shelve when we switched to 7 weeks. This is a good thing for me. We have a new tech teacher who has dropped out of administration after 24 years and he is terrific, plus one can ask him a question based on his years as principal and assistant principal and get good thoughtful answers.

A wonderful thing for me and for my students is that I got to order clay this year. Happy days in 8th grade! I am looking at an artist named Romero Britto for some really fun ideas, I ended up buying a 2011 calendar at a normal price, his 2010 calendars are 200 and 300 dollars. Who knew? Also got a childrens book he did with wonderful happy illustrations. Now, to develop the project. I do not think I will be cutting this calendar into pieces!

Long Dry Spell

My summer flew by and I did not write a post since the meniscus. I am holding steady at a weight loss of 146 pounds. I haven't lost in the past two family doc visits so she is happy and I realize if the excess skin were removed I would be well under college weight, so I would have to agree with Dr. W. Enough is enough. I am 1 1/2 yr out from RNY surgery and can sample most normal foods. I believe I have become intolerant of mushrooms, they make me queasy. I have had a very few sweets, very few, and have had no problem with all but one. I had a cupcake (small) from a cupcake bakery at my grandson's 1 year b-day-- It seemed to have double the sugar--so so sweet--and I was really ill from that, some vomiting, foaming and my nose swelled shut. My symptom for having one bite too many, and stop now is a slightly running nose-- that means NOT ONE MORE BITE-- do not go there. This time the nose started to run and swell shut at the same time. It probably took an hour to recover. So not worth it. I will not be going there again. I have had OK experiences with sugar free ice-cream, but just so you WLS ers who might read this know, this also involves the famous WLS gas and also has joined the list of not worth it. I don't know why, but I can eat popcorn and I enjoy it with no problem.

I really hardly swam this summer, some things got in my way and one was a health issue. I had not taken the importance of iron as seriously as all the other vitamins. I floated down to anemia and had two solid weeks of vertigo. Basically, I could not leave the house much, I was staggering and bumping into walls. I never fainted or fell down. I am taking a wonderful iron supplement from bariatric advantage that is chewable and tasty, I am very compliant now. My body is still trying to amass a store of iron, climbing very very slowly, but I am out of the dizziness. Do not underestimate the importance iron following WLS surgery, it is a change in absorption issue, not a "I never had a problem with iron in my life" issue. I must have been distracted when they mentioned iron absorption, it may have been the terrible ice storm the day of the dietary class and the 14 hours it took to get home 90 miles.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Knee Update

My meniscus is tearing and will continue to do so as there is no cartilege in my inner (weight-bearing) portion of my knee. I am to the point where, when I can no longer stand it, the knee or knees will need to be replaced. The loss of 140lbs has certainly relieved pressure on the knees but cannot actually repair them. I got some really specific directions for exercise, I particularly wanted to know what not to do, my step ups? yes, but only one step not two, never squats and lunges, and some machines are a no. Keep on swimming, that is the best thing. In the tall lanky family of my birth these knees are called the Stewart knees, prone to problems. I will just keep living my life until I can't do daily things and the pain becomes too bad. The doc said aiming for 65 is not a bad goal. I will be 63 this summer.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

No Ideas Today

I should read back to see how the weight is going. I am holding steady at a loss of 140lbs and that is all I want to lose. I now have to call a moratorium on clothes buying for the summer, I HAVE ENOUGH. I even went out on a limb and bought a cute skirt, do you hear that, cute. Maybe I will wear it. someday.

Last Saturday I was striding along quite normally when my right knee gave out with a sharp pain that nearly sent me to the ground, I caught myself on a nearby parked truck and managed to hobble in to the service I was attending. I did the right thing (for a change) and went to the doctor on Monday where she declared I have a torn meniscus and ordered an MRI and made me an appointment with an orthopedic guy. The insurance company denied the MRI, you must be in pain 6 weeks. My knee did not start to improve until Thursday and now I can straighten it and there's only a little pain and stiffness. Medically this is probably the first time I ever tried to take care of a problem in a timely fashion.

I returned to the pool this week, but I only went twice, the first day was very painful and after the second day there came the marked improvement in the range of motion of my knee. Next week I will shoot for 5 days in the pool. I did learn that when your BMI drops from 39or 40 to 23.5 the floating isn't so easy anymore! I used to float like a cork and did not need a noodle for the deep water exercises, now my arms are getting a great workout keeping my head out of water on those same exercises! I think that's a good thing.

I have been collecting various new art supplies this spring to try some different types of media and styles for me, searching for my retirement art form that I can enjoy without taking up more space in the house. I have I like to do oil pastel landscapes and am also ready to try the methods of a very wonderful colored pencil portrait artist, Kullberg, I am all set to go, just have to pick a portrait to do. She is a lot more structured than I am so we shall see. Wish I could remember how to make a link. My brain does not retain these things, hence the lack of photos and links. My daughter who talks me through this is camping in the wilds of IL prairie this weekend so you will just have to look up Kullberg yourself, she is fabulous.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Cousin Cousine

Cousins have, through the magic of social networking, reappeared in my life. Actually, some of it was ordinary telephone networking. I have looked for one cousin by her maiden name having no clue about her life so got no where at all. Her "little brother" I remember him as a tow headed little boy--called and we have had a couple of fun conversations. I got the FB of the girl cousin who is close to me in age, and wow! does she do interesting work. I have not seen her for about 33 years, my girls were babies, and the time before that we were in high school. We have lost all our parents now and that reignites the curiosity about family. Talking to my daughter, I realize how little my kids know about my paternal family. My parents broke up early on in my kids' lives and things were never really fixed between me and my dad before he died. His last words to me were "You are all liars, all 4 of you." There were 6 of us so I don't know which 4 of us were liars. At that time I was leaving toxic people alone and said goodbye. One aunt said we siblings were not allowed at my dad's funeral, but I didn't feel the need to be there anyway. so I didn't go. In the last couple of years the remaining aunt, the most fun aunt EVER really, said that was also a lie.Aunt D would not do that. I guess those two didn't tell each other everything. The aunt who "forbade" us from going to Dad's funeral also told us she had him buried at sea. The remaining aunt now says that was a lie, too,(on our part) that they really dug a hole on or in his mother's grave and put his ashes there. You can't make this stuff up. Even my mom thought he was buried at sea, boy was she surprised when she heard the truth. The same two aunts and my grandmother buried an older sister of mine who died as a baby and never told my mom where she was buried. So, can you see, there's not a lot of talking going on. Why did she accept that? We kids had never heard a word about this sister until I was a young teen and saw a picture that looked almost like me that I had never seen before. Oh, there was another baby. Many many years later when I was the mother of one, my mom and I were driving down first street when a story came on the radio about how many babies died in the 40's from a nutritionally incomplete formula, after 30 years my mother learned why her baby had died. That was her formula.
The last time I saw my uncles Charlie and Bob was when my grandmother died. Or maybe it was only Charlie... Charlie had had some tooth implants and was having trouble with them. The photo my cousin sent to me shows a guy who looks so much like his dad I might recognize him on the street.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I discovered a colored pencil artist with a couple of wonderful books on the artrageous site. I purchased two books and a really big box of prisma colored pencils, the Cadillac of colored pencils. I wish my 8th graders could use prisma on their repeat design, but they are too expensive for school. I have also tried a few oil pastel landscapes at school and am finding I like it, don't know a lot about it but am having fun with it. The colored pencil artist I found in my search for a smaller format art form that wouldn't take up every square inch of our house, what is left of it....meaning it is already packed with our art from over the years. What can I do to stay creative and even call myself an artist that doesn't take up that much space? This might be it. We shall see. Ann Kullberg, "Capturing Soft Realism," in colored pencils is a very step by step book and she is very step by step, I have always been rather slapdash, but I am so intrigued by her beautiful results that I am going to give it a try. I have been accumulating stocks of art supplies for the last couple of years in anticipation of my retirement which is not exactly looming. Best just get started. Restarted. Going. I do acrylic landscapes with my 8th graders and have learned to enjoy them myself, we did not do landscapes in college, period. So here I am, playing with it now.

Weight Loss Report WLS

I have bumped along here for a month and am now officially down 140lbs and need to lose zero. My workouts are making me stronger by the week and I am stepping up on two steps now, not one. In the past, no matter how much I worked out, step ups were just too painful. I am lifting more and more compared to when I re-started weight training. My trainers are great, we get them through a school wellness program in our town and they do a different workout each and every time. There is always something new. Support meetings for St. Vincent's have started up again with new leadership and it is good to be back, though I do find myself impatient with a person who repeatedly says and asks the same thing over and over again. I finally told him he may not be ready to make this choice. Choosing WLS is definitely a life changing decision with lifetime commitment to vitamins, minerals, and other aspects of health. One must really make up one's mind to follow the rules after going through this. My surgery has been 15 months now and I am still doing great with no bad after effects or incidents. yet. I say yet, because I have read enough to know that things can happen a year or two out that are still related to the surgery. At the moment, and I am not complaining, my family doc wants me to get my calories up and the first few days I made a big press for that, I lost two more pounds after being stagnant for a month or so. I am wondering if I should get the shots in my knees again now that I am normal weight. Yes, you read that right, normal. I think I might ask the arthritis doc this summer what he thinks.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

YaYa Limited

I do not know how we can spend 5 hours together and never stop talking, but we do. My best friend/cousin and I had a wonderful time together on Friday. Tea and talk. No kids around so we never had to shut up! She is all packed up to move again, but as always neat as a pin and a great hostess.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weight Loss Report

I am 13 months out from WLS and hovering between 130 and 136 pounds of weight loss. My skin has held up remarkably well and I am really toning up since I restarted weight training. 2 or 3 months ago I was 32% body fat, now I am 25% body fat. (and 62 years old) Woo hoo! I went to a big gathering of cousins and they pronounced me very healthy looking and strong looking. I know that my posture now is straight up, not bent over in pain, and the work of carrying all that weight around. And then I add some skechers roll bottom shoes to it and they must add 2 inches to my 72 inch frame! If any WLS'rs come here, I have discovered unjury protein powder, nectar protein powder and click. Unjury and nectar can be stirred with a SPOON! and no protein after taste. I think the nectar has to be bought in a medical setting, but go find it! My one year blood tests were normal, a tiny bit low on the protein so I have stepped up the powders, seems to be the only way I can get enough. I have managed to keep my hair, I take all my vitamins most days and try my best to get the calcium. Love the chewable lemon creamy thingies but crystals are my mainstay, stirred into yogurt. Another recommendation I make is the shaker cup that I buy from, I am getting a second. That thing has made the blender and the hand held whirly stick unnecessary, as well as finding the very stirrable protein powders. The Click needs the shaker bottle.

Four Nights

The grandson has spent 4 nights, no problem, his last personal best was 3 nights. Yesterday we went to our town's fantastic public park with the best playground in the midwest. It was packed. First he rode his razor scooter until he was tired of that (sidewalks only) then played on the playgrounds which, by the way, are completely accessible playgrounds with lots of seating for parents and grandparents. As the sky clouded up, we decided a movie was in order because we ALWAYS go to a movie. I took the 5 yr old to see Alice in Wonderland and we loved it. He claims to not be scared, but he was curled up like a blue worm in his seat for a while. I found the movie worthy of a trip to the theater, even without a 5 yr old. After my morning trip to the dentist, we will head off to meet mom and maybe I will do some of that spring cleaning I keep reading so much about on line.

New tradition, as we drift off to sleep, H wants me to tell stories of my childhood, sleeping in the barn, swimming in the creek, Rose and I lost in the woods with baby sister. Sometimes he already remembers parts, but wants to hear it again. We used to discuss planets to fall asleep, I have more knowledge of my childhood than I do of planets, but it works.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Friday I met my daughter and gathered up my grandson so we could go the the big gathering of cousins in the country. Dear daughter has a pressing engagement and the drive with young un and infant is just too much. H and I did the museum on Saturday, all the while ticking down the time until "Going to the Cousins". He planned on filling a backpack with eggs to share with his friends. More about that later. Somehow E.B. discovered there was a child in the house and really left enough treats for the three children who lived here and grew up. Miscalculation. It took a comically long time for H to even find the treats because he was not expecting them and was amazed at how E.B. knew those were the exact cars he asked Daddy for recently. He then decided he had so much candy that he didn't even need to get eggs at the hunt.
The weather and the temperature couldn't possibly have been one iota better yesterday and we arrived at the gathering of three generations of cousins, seconds, maybe a third or two, and some several times removed. The food was particularly beautiful as Rose is a vegetarian, so the salads are just photogenic and amazing, she made an eggplant dish she invented that I was able to eat a bit of and it was superior. There was a table laden with desserts, strawberries, and apple slices AND a chocolate fountain. Reece, a third grader, has his first strawberry in chocolate and I swear the boy was in ecstasy. I asked him if he wanted a chocolate fountain at his wedding and he literally shivered with joy, yes, he closed his eyes and shuddered. Want a party idea for kids? Fruit and a chocolate river...and a river of babies--Baby B. Baby L. Baby E. is that all? not sure, then tots, then preK then elementary and three middle schoolers who no longer wanted to tolerate a 5 yr old boy...for a while.. a trampoline, 2 great danes--two calves the size of great danes and good old lemon drop, a beagle with a body the size of a fatted calf. At five there was bottle feeding of calves.

At some point we "hid" the eggs, 200 plastic eggs with various treats and some with slips of paper with very funny tasks inside. Believe it or not, the kids loved the tasks. Hug 5 trees, thank your mom, hop ten times on one foot....Marci and Matt live in the country, have acres, woods and a creek, we hid the eggs in the yard only, which is probably 2 or 3 acres and woods encroaching, some eggs were hidden, many were just tossed especially for toddlers, then the brood zoomed over the land filling their sacks and H's plan to save all his eggs to share with friends? No deal, he did the same as last year, ate everything. I made him eat something with protein at least twice during the day, but the rest of the time....oh well.

I hadn't been with my cousins and their children since Thanksgiving and now I really look like THEIR mother--that was fun, and once Mandy mistook me for HER mother, my cousin Rose. I think we have the same sharp jawline now. Right at 6p.m. we rolled out toward home and H said with disappointment, I thought we were staying till night. It's six o'clock! Oh. He did not collapse and fall to sleep on the way home..unbelievable (we talked all the way home) but he is still in bed right now at 8:15. He wants to go home today, he's afraid he'll miss school tomorrow, I think he wants to share his good times!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Posting 1, 2 ,3 Posting 1, 2, 3

I am not sure when my last post was, I'll look in a bit. Next Tuesday is 6 weeks out for my husband's quintuple bypass and he will be out of the back seat and into the driver's seat next week. His recovery has been wonderful. I expect he is stir crazy or has cabiin fever though he gets out and walks good distances almost daily, barring intense cold. He has officially done the taxes in record time and that's always a relief. He had some time at home...

The weight loss: I am so close to wedding weight I cannot believe it. I am having a fairly easy time with the restrictions and am doing better all the time with the vitamins, in particular getting down the required calcium citrate. The calcium is the hardest. I was one year out on February 11 and still have not had my year's check up. I also forgot to fast this morning for the big 47,000 tubes I hear they take for this blood test. OK, do that another day. The docs office has once again changed my appointment to an inconvenient time:^( I am going to ask for one at any time of any day of my spring break. Gotta get that over with. I never took one of those pictures of me in my giant jeans, I just gave them to goodwill. Don't seem to care about a photo record. My daughter has enough pics of the fat me to do the trick. I don't know exactly what my top size was, it was one of those mystery sizes from lane bryant's but now I am in college sized attire, so I am exactly where I want to be, I still have hair and I still have bones. I am rebuilding muscle in regular weight training and cardio classes and am having some improvement in the skin due to the exercise.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Odd Schedule Today

We are doing a practice writing prompt under real testing conditions. I have a group that is so very special that I only have four students and one of them is missing. Hope it goes well and I hope I didn't talk too much for them to process. After this we go on our two hour delay schedule where we will have each class for 35 minutes. No one gets left out. It is a good plan.
Several Days Later.
My kids were great, they really worked and wrote so much better than I had hoped. I think there is a good chance that when we get to the high stakes test they will do well, not perfectly, but well. Who wants perfect? This prompt was really to gather data for our school being part of title one, but it was set up in testing sites to have the kids be comfortable with that. And the teachers as well, My team, related arts, is not a team that normally tests so a few of us are not comfortable with it. I came from Elementary and science, so I am quite used to the testing scene and it doesn't bother me at all. Although I can never forget the time I administered a test to a second grader when I was a teacher's aide and I was not allowed to help, he and I both cried. Wonder where Jimmy is now?

This week there were some fund raisers for red cross and Fridays was gum day. We never allow gum and are really pretty harsh about it. Much to my surprise the kids were willing to donate a dollar for the privilege of not sneaking and for having entire packs in their mouths. They came prepared. It was a stinky day in schooltown. I heard one parent even brought in the gum her daughter forgot. That's the way to teach them responsibility. Hey, if they forget their gum, forget it.
The drive home was slushy and the back deck was freezing in at least an inch of the nasty stuff, so before I got in the house, I had to clear the path and feed the dog. I knew I was not going to be willing to GO BACK OUT!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekend Update

Things are moving along swimmingly with DH's quintuple bypass. Tomorrow is his first doc's appointment and it will be his first trip out since he returned home. It has been extremely cold and he is not supposed to go out in it, breathing that cold air is not good for the healing heart. A bypass recoverer rides in the back seat away from the airbag. That was new to me. I wonder if I had an air bag when I brought my mother home? It has been way over my personal time limit since I saw the boys and I am going to have to make a LeRoy run this weekend unless they are busy. Baby Q got 2 teeth, got up on his knees to rock and started babbling on the same day! Gotta see that in person! Q's mommy, my girl, is on a cleaning and organizing rampage now that Q is entertaining himself more. Now I really have to get to work and get the 8th grade pallettes made for painting. They are only going to have this week then their grading period is over so I cannot waste any time. Later.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Adventure in Juicing: First Time

I gingerly uncrated my new Breville 600 watt juice fountain. Folks, I read the instructions, I removed all packing materials, I practiced the moves, then I took it to the kitchen. I was ever so careful with the plug and started juicing strawberries, an apple, celery, pineapple and carrots, then noticed a beautiful pool of creamy yellowy and pinky red liquid flowing out the back: I forgot to put the pitcher under the spout. What a mess! Our counter top is old science table top with a crack between each slab so I opened the drawer and marvelled at how much juice I had made, all over my smallish kitchen tools. Clean up in the produce aisle! I had to clean up the drawer and the machine, then started again. Larry and I were able to share some truly delicious and pretty juice. He said since I intended to stick around a while (live) he would, too and is willing to drink his fruits and veggies which he is not too keen on eating. We are no where near the 5 servings a day or whatever it is now. I can't get that much in my WLS pouch, and he just doesn't care much for them. This machine is remarkably easy to clean and I will learn to use the fibrous leftover for something nutritious and delicious.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Getting Stronger Every Day

DH is making so much progress, it is hard to realize the trauma he has been through. He is totally independent except he is supposed to stay out of the cold and not drive for 6 weeks. This morning he was still asleep when I left to meet friends for breakfast, and I think that is better than him getting up at 5:00a.m. I crashed before he did last night, I think that is emotional exhaustion on my part. Do not worry dear reader, I gave the dog fresh water and another pan of dog food this morning. She eats more in this cold than usual, so if it is empty tonight, more food for her. And DH, if you are perusing my writing, I did get a big bar of chocolate this morning at the Cracker Barrel, and another new outfit for Quinn.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

8 Hours of Sleep

8 hours of sleep in a night is an event worth celebrating. I have had broken sleep for years, though there have been improvements from the weight loss. The past 2 weeks with Dh's heart attack and subsequent quintuple bypass have really brought back the chopped up nights of waking hourly, and exhaustion sets in. Last night while a phone call was interfering with my enjoyment of modern family, I fell asleep just at 9p.m. and woke up to my first alarm at 5:15a.m. and I do not remember a single awakening! Yay! Today I feel invigorated, talkative and happy. DH also had a really good night's sleep, I didn't hear any coughing and nothing woke me up. He said he slept well. Hooray for both of us.

Yesterday I got my body fat level read at a local fitness center on their new big money machine, and after all this weight loss, I am at 32% body fat, just 4% above the top ideal for women. (14 to 28%) I thought with as little weight training as I had done since surgery, the numbers would be worse. Yay me! This is part of a program our principal asked out PE teacher to do for staff, and since her family owns a fitness center, they graciously let us have this reading, and it is a detailed reading, for free before we start our school exercise program. It turns out that many of the supplements and protein products I have needed and searched for are sold in their center. They carry Isopure and a shake called OhYeah! and is OhYeah! ever tasty. I also bought their high protein pancake mix and will try it for both of us. They also carry every good oil you have ever read or heard about.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I got DH home last evening and went through quite a bit of frustration organizing the new meds and figuring out what old meds were still to be used and which ones were not to be used. Most of his are generic and the list from the hospital was mostly in brand names. Finally I just went online and got the names of the 4 that I could not figure out, but the process was daunting for me. We both had a good night's sleep and this morning seems strangely normal. It is extremely cold here, so he is not to go out. He'll take his walks in the house for a while.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today is

Today is supposed to be the day DH gets out of hospital. I had to run an errand for him so I didn't go up at lunch as I usually do and I am waiting for the call that tells me he is in his wheelchair ready to go to the car. I am working, that keeps me on an even keel, rather than waiting, waiting, waiting. This is an experience where I have had the desire to eat in an old way. I haven't done it, I physically can't do it, but the urge was strong! Everyone knows how hospital time is so if you are getting out right away, it is at least 2 or 3 hours. I may finish this day of teaching and not get a call. We had a 2 hour delay for ice and blowing snow so I sat in his room for an extra long time this morning. We are supposed to be on time to work on a delay day, and I was on time, I am usually really really early. After seeing how well he walks now and how strong he is, I am not worried about him being home. The man is really snapping back.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hellacious Fortnight

I think a fortnight is two weeks. Two weeks ago tomorrow my dear one went into the hospital having a small heart attack and dodging the really big one. He had a heart cath which showed 5 blockages, one complete on the front of the heart. He stabilized in the hospital for a couple of days then was sent home to rest and wait for Tuesday morning op0en heart surgery. I am sure it was annoying to him as I would creep in the room during the day just to listen for breathing. He was to do nothing and he stick to that. On Tuesday he had a quintuple bypass (CABG). He donated lots of good veins to himself and the two small arteries were big enough to be bypassed so he had all five done. This is a point in my life where watching the discovery channels may not have been the best as you have an image of one you love flayed open on a table and it is hard to shake. His recovery has been nothing short of amazing, His color was good well before he regained consciousness, the swelling from the IV fluids left quickly and this morning he says he feels normal. He looks normal, too. The final chest tube will come out today and then he will be home in 24 hours.
This past weekend while my husband is in the hospital, my 5 month old grandson had to be admitted to a different hospital 2 1/2 hours away with RSV, bronchitis, and a double ear infection. He has had to stay 48 hours and my poor daughter is exhausted. They are being released this morning. It just killed me to not be able to go to them. Mrschicken went, though, and I thank her. Son-in-law has the 5 year old during this unnerving event. I do not remember RSV from the days I was parenting, nor do I remember so many babies having to go in the hospital. Maybe it is that there was no social media and I was a stay at home mom in those years with little contact with the outside world. I cannot imagine that it is a new disease. By the time my children were in a school setting they were over 2, which I understand now RSV simply seems to be a cold after the age of 2.

My husband's wounds have no staples or stitches on the outside. isn't that interesting? Glue, I suppose and the incisions are healing so fast!. I have had support from the interwebs and from everyone I know and many people I don't know. It has been so helpful and I am so grateful to not have that isolation of the early years with children. Thank all of you who might read here. We have had prayers from the nearest and farthest reaches of the earth and Larry really was amazed by that.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Some Pics and Maybe a Word

A few more photos

Kinda Weight Loss

This week has been a hectic round of walking the new hospital wings, dropping off and picking up Larry, being the carrier and the hiker and I realized today that a year ago even one of those trips down those long halls would have been difficult for me. I have been all over the new and expanded hospital keeping up with gurneys, climbing new slanted hills in halls that lead from old to new and most of it quickly and easily. Hmm. I have lost 124 lbs since last Feb's surgery and it has certainly made me physically markedly pain free..almost. I finally had a weight training workout this week, but due to my husband's heart attack, I couldn't go to the second workout. My arms were sore all week and are still sore today if I straighten them. The workout was Monday and this is Friday. I also could lift way way less than I could last year, I simply must rebuild my muscle strangth! Right now I need my mental strength to get through the days ahead with DH having open heart surgery and possibly needing 5 bypasses. He was at a regular doctor's appointment and his seeming minor complaint turned out to be an MI. He dodged a much bigger one by getting in so quickly. more later.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Husband Ill

Larry had some chest pains, not the kind he had with his first heart attack. (foreshadowing) As it turned out, he was having a heart attack, though the discomfort was very minor and didn't run down the arm or up the neck. He thought he pulled a muscle and he works very hard physical labor. This morning he had a heart catheterization which revealed that every major artery was blocked. When the effects of the blood thinners he had to take for the heart cath wear off, he will have bypass surgery, not sure of the number, is 4 maximum? The heart attack itself was caught so early we consider it fortunate and a blessing. He is pissed as this does not fit into his neat calendar of events for the near future. As of today, he still has a near future to complain about. L is resting comfortably in the hospital waiting for time and day, but for the blood thinners it would have been today, and thankfully he was not presenting with a massive heart attack. That was building.

I personally am exhausted from sleeping so fitfully last night in the fear Iw ould oversleep which I never do! I did not oversleep this morning, either. I shall crash early tonight and pack a few things to knit and to read for tomorrow. I will also check in at school and hopefully get a chance totalk to my sub in person and see how she feels about the art assignments as she is not an art teacher, but she IS a real teacher. More later family.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In the Cold

The last 2 days of school were cancelled for the weather. I find that the longer I hole up in the cold, the longer I want to hole up. It will be good to get back to school and back on schedule. I shock myself by how quickly I can become a hermit. I have done a lot of reading, "The Tall Book", came out of that feeling a little freer, a little prouder, but in the world of the tall and super tall, 6ft is really not that much. Felt shorter just reading it! I admit I like to be in Indy during the women's b-ball championship seeing the crowds of tall girls walking around the circle center mall, I stand up really straight and enjoy seeing them. I read "The Plague of Doves," one of Louise Erdrich's well-drawn masterpieces that retains a mystery until the very last page. I am trying to finish "American Wife", loosely based on Laura Bush. It is making me like her though I always wanted her (in real life) to stand up for teachers against the insanity going on in education today. It is a book I pick up, read a bit, put down and read a whole other book before I come back to it.

I took a little trip to my favorite store today, just to get out of the house, only to find my car dead, not quite as a doornail, but not turning over. I had not turned off the XM radio so it was draining the battery in the sub-zero temperatures. grrrr, but better to find it today thatn in the sub zero morning to come! I spent some money on absolutely non-essential items like lovely scented candles and another pair of exercise pants for my workout, tomorrow I should have both a workout AND a haircut.