Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pictures (by Kelsey) from Our Houston Visit

As I said in a previous post, I wasn't able to get many pictures during our Houston visit. I had a malfunction of my memory card. (All right. If I must, I will admit that the malfunction was with the operator, not the memory card. I thought I had my 32-gig memory card with me, and couldn't figure out why I could only take 5 pictures before it said it was full. Come to find out, my 32-gig card was at home, sitting on my desk, and the one in my camera was only 32-meg. It DID have a big "32" on it! Silly Grandma!). 

Anyway, now that Kelsey has posted some pictures on her blog, I was able to "steal" a few to display here:

Clara, the Spring Fairy, during her song/dance number.

Clara is holding the giant "J" (for Judd) made out of Legos. Chris and the kids are Lego-maniacs (my terminology) and this cute Father's Day gift will hang on the wall in their game room.

Grandpa with his Father's Day gifts.

Kelsey was raving about her new-found Snoballs shack - shave-ice with a zillion different varieties of home-made syrups. So we had to try them out. Sure tasted good on this hot, muggy day. Mine was Rootbeer Float flavor - yum! Robert went for the Ninja Turtle syrup! Ha!

Robert was attending VBS this week, and the theme was "Science." Here he is, our mad scientist.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Painting - Cabin on the Lake

Here's my most recent painting. I started it just before my knee surgery, and just finished it today. At least I am calling it finished, however my teacher may have suggestions for me on Tuesday, so there could be minor adjustments. The part I found most challenging about this one was the reflection in the water.



Houston Visit

Now that I'm more comfortable sitting for longer periods, we were able to take a short road trip to visit Chris, Kelsey and the grands. We finally got to see their new house, and we think it's a perfect fit for their family. The best thing about the new house, according to Robert, is the backyard swimming pool! We drove over on the morning of Thursday, June 18, and returned home on Saturday. As always, I came with camera in hand, but was terribly disappointed when I found that my memory card was not working, for some reason. I took a few snapshots with my phone, but missed all of the pictures of Clara's performance.

Oh, yes . . .  Clara's performance! She participated in a summer theater camp, along with 90 or so other children, and Thursday night was their grand culminating performance. Every child had at least a few moments on stage, so you can imagine how long this play was! Clara was a Spring Fairy, and played her part very well. Clara loves being on stage and is always comfortable and confident in front of a crowd.

Later that night Dan, Clara and Robert competed in a Wii car race. If you look closely you will see that Clara is still wearing her Spring Fairy make-up.



Since we were all together, we celebrated Father's Day a wee bit early, with a Friday evening dinner at Texas Land and Cattle. Chris got a very clever handmade gift from his family, as well as a new Wii game. And Dan was surprised by two framed paintings from the children - their artistic interpretation of Juan Fangio's (Dan's favorite old-time Formula 1 race car driver) race car. Very cute!



As a side-note . . . we've had a number of inquiries about how we fared during the recent Texas storms. I'm happy to say that we had no serious problems here in our neighborhood. Tons of rain, some pretty big winds, thunder and lightning, but no damage. On our drive to Houston, we still saw fields with standing water from those storms, and all of the vegetation was very green and lush.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Catching Up

NEW KNEE

I'm at six weeks post op now. Tomorrow I see the doctor and have no doubt that he will release me to drive again, and allow me to ditch the cane (which I am only using outside the house now). The healing takes a long time . . . somewhere between six months and a year . . . but the major pain is past now. I'm completely off of the pain medication and doing my therapy twice a day, on my own. Walking is not too uncomfortable. Dan has taken me to a number of large stores, where I've walked the aisles. I get tired easily, but the pain is minimal. Sitting, on the other hand, can be a real pain. I am making it through both Bible class and worship service now, though. Riding in the car for a half-hour or so is do-able, but longer still creates a bit of a problem. I'm really looking forward to being able to make longer trips . . . to Houston to see the grands is number one on my wish list.


WHAT WE'VE MISSED

So, not being able to travel to see the kids and grandkids has been a real downer. Two big occasions passed by without us being there.

Clara, who is just finishing up her third grade year, took second place in her school's science fair. She was competing against fourth and fifth graders, so we are really proud of her accomplishment.


And Robert is now an official graduate of his pre-school, and on his way to becoming a kindergartner in the fall. Sure wish we could have been at the graduation ceremony.




VISITORS

Dave and Karen, our very special friends from Alaska, are on another long motorcycle trip around the U.S. We are always grateful that they make the time and effort to come by our house for a few days, which they did this month. Sadly, we weren't able to take many outings or do any sight-seeing because of the weather (more about that next), but we did get out to eat several times. Karen and I managed a girl's day out, shopping in Harker Heights. Having them here pushed me to do a lot more walking than I might otherwise have done, and it was great exercise for my knee.



TEXAS WEATHER

I'm sure everyone has seen the recent TV news reports of flooding, lightning storms, wind damage and tornados in Texas. Although we were under a tornado warning, here in Temple, nearly all of Memorial Day, we didn't have any tornados touch down. We did have torrents of rain, flooding in some areas, lots of thunder and lightning and some fallen trees. Many homes were without power for several hours, but Dan and I are thankful that our neighborhood suffered no damage, and we had no power outages. 






Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

To tell the truth, I wasn't looking forward to Mother's Day this year. For one thing, I'm still recuperating from surgery. But more importantly, it was my first Mother's Day without my mom, so there would be a mom-sized hole in a day that should be all about her.

But on Saturday evening I got a call from Chris, wishing me a nice Mother's Day. We talked a long, long time. Then I got a sweet message from Tim, as well, so, by the time I went to bed that night, I was feeling loved and remembered and ready to take on the big M-Day.

On Sunday, Dan started my day off right by giving me a card with a very special message. I chose one of Mom's necklaces to wear, to help me think of her all day. I can't sit long enough to make it through both class and worship yet, so we showed up just in time for the worship hour. Dan dropped me off at the door and went to park the car. I came inside and headed toward the auditorium, and that's when I saw the sweetest sight . . . a little blond headed boy, sitting in "our pew", and looking back at me with the biggest, sweetest grin on his face. It was Robert! Next to him was Clara, holding a big bouquet of flowers. And, of course, Chris and Kelsey. What a wonderful surprise!

After church Dan and I took the kids home while Chris and Kelsey went to the Chinese restaurant to get lunch for all of us. We got to visit for another hour or so before they had to hit the road and head back home.

It would have made my Mother's Day special to have Chris and family here, no matter what. But I doubt that they will ever fully know what a difference it made to me on this Mother's Day, in particular, to be surrounded by loved ones.







Tuesday, May 5, 2015

19 Days Post Surgery

My knee replacement surgery went well. I checked in at 7:30 a.m. On Thursday, April 16, and was in the operating room very quickly.

I have some sketchy memories of being in the recovery room this time, unlike my first knee surgery about two years ago. And I do remember being moved into my own room, where I was so happy to see Dan again. He stayed with me most of the day, I think. The truth is that my sense of what happened, and when. is a jumble of hazy memories. I do remember visits, over the next couple days, from friends including Rodney, Donna, and Ron, but I don't remember much about what was said. I also remember a scary incident on (I believe) Friday. I had been sitting up in a chair for a half-hour or more, doing just fine, when all of a sudden, for some unknown reason, I got very light-headed, started seeing stars, and felt nauseous. A nurse was right there and began taking my vitals. My blood pressure and heart rate plummeted. The nurse pushed some sort of emergency button, and in no time my room was abuzz with ten or twelve doctors and specialists. They got me back to bed and started an IV with fluids. They had me breathing oxygen, and before long my vitals returned to normal. Sometimes, as patients, we can get a little impatient when it takes a while to get a nurse to our room to help with this or that. But this incident demonstrated that when there is a true emergency, a skilled team of docs and caretakers arrives quickly, each one performing his or her part of well-rehearsed steps needed to stabilize the patient. I was really grateful for their speedy and effective care.

On Sunday afternoon I was discharged. Dan drove me home and got me settled in for the evening. My physical therapist started working with me on Tuesday.

Therapy has been really difficult, but it's also been very effective. Every day I'm stronger and able to do more. It's been almost three weeks now. I'm starting to cut back on the pain meds, and have given up the walker for a cane. I even made it to church on Sunday morning.

Wanda and Doreen, two precious, elderly ladies at church, gave me a get-well care package. Among a dozen or so fun, quirky little gifts inside was this stuffed bulldog. I love him, because I think his tenacious expression mirrors my own as I'm going through my PT exercises every day.