TOO OFTEN WE UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A TOUCH, A SMILE, A KIND WORD, A LISTENING EAR, AN HONEST COMPLIMENT, OR THE SMALLEST ACT OF CARING, ALL OF WHICH HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO TURN A LIFE AROUND
LEO F. BUSCAGLIA

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Sunshine

It is 10:30PM, Monday, August 31. Tom is home now! Not doing as well with his recovery this time around, but that is to be expected...considering this was his second surgery in less than one week he is doing well enough. We just have to hang in there. The new mantra here is "drugs are our friends". Tom likes to say "better living through chemistry"! I can remember the good old medication free lifestyle Tom enjoyed and I so want it back for him! I really really want our not perfect but pretty darn good life back, ya know? Sigh. So that's the scoop. We are maintaining, trying to get through the tough part of recovery. I know, there are far worse things to "get through". We have been very fortunate.

Good night all! :o)
~
Sunshine has replaced the cold and rainy weather that had settled over our area the past couple of days. 42F this morning...brrr! Should warm up a bit tho.

The update on Tom is that he continues to improve. Medication is reaching the right level in his happy bloodstream. :) He is on antibiotics for a suspicious looking situation with some incisions...had an allergic reaction to that med so a change was made yesterday afternoon. An uncomfortable case of the itchies set in for a bit.

A nurse told Tom that he is "the walkingest" patient she has ever seen ~ he replied, I am a letter carrier, I walk! Rofl, the mail must go through and all of that, lol. Tom is such a good natured guy, no doubt his customers are missing him (he has been missing for two weeks now). It is not uncommon for them to treat Tom to homemade jam, baked goods, fresh veggies from their gardens, apples each fall, kids create art for him - so cute, but the kind words they offer ~ You take such good care of us! ~ those are words that put a big grin on Tom's face. Mine, too! :o) It will be weeks for Tom to find his way back to work, we hope he continues to improve so he can do just that, pick up his life, go back to work, yeah I know, how fun is that, lol, but more importantly he needs to find his way back to living a healthy life.

I hope to have Tom home tomorrow. I can hope for all good things and I do! Thanks again for continued support. The many many emails and phone calls offering encouragement and kindness has truly eased pain and put tears of appreciation in our eyes, relief in our hearts. Tom and our girls thank you too.

Wish I could hug each and every one of you!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Setback...

As I write this update, Tom is in surgery once again. The bypass failed. Tom felt that "things" with his leg just weren't feeling right. Yesterday, there was a visit to the surgeon, diagnostics and now back in for a lengthy surgery. We are assured that we have the "rock star" of surgeons. I hope so...this is of course a long and complicated story, a brief note is all I can offer at this point. Until I hear from the surgeon I know little, I did hear from the surgery nurse that Tom is fairing well in surgery, he's stable. I have internet access while we are staying here at the hospital ~ Tom encouraged me to write an update here so I can keep family and friends updated. Just like him to keep me busy even while he sleeps.

Update: Wednesday, 6:00AM Tom is in ICU. Recovery is painful in spite of efforts to keep him comfortable. After exhausting efforts to repair the first bypass, the surgeon settled on a stent in the upper leg and a new bypass from the knee down. There is blood flow through the new bypass and this is good. All is counting on this new artery to remain open.

Update: Wednesday 1:30PM Tom is looking so much better. He is alert, they are managing his pain using the least amount of meds as they can so he can get up and moving. He stood for a minute today, and this was terribly painful for him. The incisions are hard to think about as there are many. Again, we thank you all so very much for all of your concern, thoughts and prayers that you have offered up for us. You know this helps carry us through tough times.

Danielle is at the hospital with Tom while I am home to take care of our fur kids and now also to get some much needed sleep. Will keep posting as we make progress. Many hugs back!

Update: Wednesday 11:30PM I've been at the hospital again since 6:00PM, returning home now to find the house too quiet. Tom is in the same care unit and in fairly good spirits. He has a lot weighing on him right now, he is worried. He had a blood transfusion this morning, that made a difference for him and will help keep his heart healthier. He was able to walk with the assistance of a nurse and walker, he didn't go but a few steps, but still he was up and on his feet. He has had excellent RNs caring for him.

Danielle spent the day chatting with her dad, helping to take care of him. Allie will have her turn tomorrow. This day certainly ends on a more positive note than it began. I am in awe of the radical procedures that can be done to the human body, yet more so by the fact that the body can come back from such trauma in a relatively short amount of time. While my level of anxiety is high and I feel as if my heart and head may very well explode I have to believe that tomorrow holds the promise of further improvement...

Goodnight!



Monday, August 24, 2009

Pepe Le Pew

PEW!! Can you guys smell that?


It's 10:30: PM. I am getting the household settled for the night, I am tired and so ready for sleep, but before I could call it a night I had to take Lucy outside. I heard the growl, then snarling, OMG, called her back, it's pitch black out there, I can't see a thing! She came back. YAY! A moment later I smell skunk. Oooh crap!! I checked Lucy, smelled nothing, thought we had dodged a bullet, so in the house we went...two seconds into the house it hit. Imagine my surprise to discover that she had been completely sprayed by a skunk. OMGosh!!!!!!!!!!!!! How could I not smell it on her BEFORE I let her in the house?! Apparently I had been so skunked along with Lucy that I could no longer detect it on her. Okay...UCKY UCK!!!!!!!!!

There was Tom's blend of peroxide, baking soda and dish detergent to bathe the dog in, then a second bath to clean off that cleaning solution and (finally) with that the washing away the lovely aroma of skunk. Still had to dry the dog the best that I could before depositing her in a crate, less then comfy nighttime accommodations. Lucy doesn't usually spend her nights shivering and frightened. To add insult to injury she is banished to the basement where she has never had to spend a night. This was probably worse for her than the skunk and bath.

And the house...I managed to fill the house with skunk stink while I was taking care of Lucy. Oh for Pete's sake, what was I thinking? Much floor cleaning, airing out the house, washing myself, the shower, bathroom and loads of rugs, towels, anything and everything that Lucy and I came in contact with needed cleaning. Was 2:00 AM when we headed off to bed, thinking the problem was under control and feeling exhausted...but I could still smell skunk! The scent was in my throat and nose ~ I cannot say UCK!!! enough.

We did finally get some sleep, only to wake up to continue the cleaning of towels, etc. To my great joy and relief we woke to a morning where we can throw open every single window to let the cool air finish airing our house. Lucy is now content with her breakfast and is sound asleep in her favorite sunny spot by the door. Tom has his feet up, he's reading the paper and wondering if his legs can possibly swell to a larger size? He's doing well, I think, he's not sure...

I am overdone, still smelling a skunk, but satisfied that all will be set straight by the end of this day. All I really want is to curl up in my favorite sunny spot, to enjoy a cup of tea and maybe a little snooze...move over Lucy!

PS: This is the second time Lucy has been sprayed this summer...no, they never learn their lesson about skunks!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tom

I have Mary and so many people to thank for prayers and good thoughts that are coming our way as Tom has gone through surgery and now recovery. We pretty much fell into a pot of good luck in terms of medical professionals. We have both felt in good hands as Tom made his way through diagnostics, surgery and now recovery. Nonetheless, this has been a bumpy road to travel and it's a long road to recovery.

This morning Tom has been up for a walk, he looks and sounds stronger, he has been a good patient. He is still here with me and he's coming home soon, in a few days!

Thanks and hugs to all of you,

PS: Here is a link that I think somewhat explains what was going on. A completely blocked artery from groin to below the knee required the bypass procedure that was used. This condition is more common in men than women. Symptoms to know about and to seriously pay attention to.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Quilt Minnesota's North Shore

It's that Minnesota Shop Hop time of year again. Tom and I took a drive up the North Shore of Lake Superior, stopping at the shops along the way until we reached Grand Marais.

Found some backing fabric here at the Quilter's Cabin, but otherwise did not purchase a scrap of this year's MN Hop fabric or anything else quilting related. Imagine that?! I have two previous years worth of fabric purchased while shop hopping and it's still waiting to be turned into a Minnesota Quilt (or two).

This quilt shop is on the property of a summer resort ~ the shop sits right in front of the lake. The shop and Castle Haven Cabins is a family owned business. The lake, nature and complete peace are the main attraction here. Okay, this shop owner is a really nice gal and I have been to her shop several times but her name has escaped me...Mentalpause strikes again. Couldn't take inside shop photos, but she is building a web site where there will soon be photos of her choosing. You will find a large assortment fabrics, she has those homespun cottons that I love, sample quilts on display and plenty of lake charm inside this cabin. If you are riding up the shore you will want to stop in.

We were more interested in the scenery this year, enjoyed time by the water, a good meal at the Gun Flint Tavern and then a 100 mile drive back down the shore. Was a happy combination of shops and sight seeing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Julie & Julia


While it was Meryl Streep who was charming us as Julia in the movie, Julia Child's personality was shining through as we were charmed by her story. I like that Julie mirrors Julia's sticktuitiveness while striving to meet her goal of cooking her way through Julia's French Cooking recipes. Julie uses her talent as a wannabe writer to blog about the cooking, her job, marriage...life. While many a critic would say that Julie was trying to come off as another Julia Child, I thought it was obvious that she simply aspired to learn a few life lessons through Julia's work, that she admired Julia's assertive passion for life, love and cooking. Heck she even learned to cook some great food along the way. Of course movies almost never tell the entire story and sometimes even launch off in an entirely WRONG direction so I would say read Julie's book.

And yes, we and our friends left the theater feeling hungry for some really good food! So off we went for dinner and good conversation. We all enjoyed the movie and a much needed fun night out.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Shack



A porch was added to the front of the house in recent years.

Can you imagine shaping these logs by hand?
And they fit together pretty well, huh?

Artesian Well...cold, delicious water...yes, I did say delicious!


Tom is looking tired and sad. Everyone is exhausted as you can imagine as we finish up the third day of funeral and family gatherings. We were privileged to be among the family members who made the trip to Bob's final resting place, a beautiful cemetery that just happens to be a hop, skip and a jump down the road from one of Bob's most favorite places, "The Hunting Shack". We stopped by the shack on the way back home. This was the family homestead of Bob's wife, Jane. Jane's mother was born and raised in this house which was built on 40 acres in the early 1900's by her father. With a great deal of tender loving care (on Bob's part) this building has been kept in livable condition. Very comfortable digs for a deer hunting party of father, sons and a friend or two.

It's a very pretty sunny evening now as the day is winding down. Tomorrow is another day to do with what we may. Glad to have it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Wasn't it just yesterday that I wrote about our friend Bob who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer less than a year ago? We all had such high hopes for medicine and prayer to do it's best work. We thought he could be spared from the ugly grip of cancer...

I know, you have already guessed what I am about to say. I can barely believe what I am writing here ~ it just can't be real, can it?! Sadly, it is for real. Bob passed away in the wee hours of the morning this August 1, 2009. He left this world having lived a good and purposeful life. A kinder man is rare to find. He was a friend, like a brother to my Tom. You know how you find that one friend who clicks? Bob and Tom clicked. They shared a passion for many a cause. Bob was a husband, father, brother and a friend to me. We already miss his laugh, that big smile that lit up his eyes with a little bit of mischief twinkling there. Lol, this man had a sense of humor! His kind and generous heart...it was his nature to be kind and we'll miss that like we will miss knowing that he's just down the road where you expect him to be.

Saying goodbye to Bob, having to walk away and knowing this was the last goodbye was the worst thing. We are glad to have had time with him in his last hours, but man that was hard. The days ahead will be a challenge, I look at Tom and I am so very thankful that this good man is still here beside me and together we can bare most anything to come.

Thanks to all of you who prayed for Bob as he made this journey and for keeping us in your hearts as well.