Sunday, October 31, 2010


I hope everyone has a wonderfully safe Halloween.
It is going to be a quiet one here, which is pretty normal for us.
The Grandkids don't live close enough to trick or treat here.  Just once I'd like to see them in their Halloween outfits!  I think about going to their houses and then remember the hubbub of getting ready to go treating or to parties.  They don't need us in the way.  So much is packed into so little time, and then it is over.  Thank goodness for digital cameras. 
Jim survived his rotator cuff surgery (I think I typed cup last time - even though I KNOW it is cuff.  Sometimes I wonder about me.  Actually most of the time I wonder about me).  Anyway, he is doing really good.  We had the cutest nurse after the surgery.  She was 4 foot nothing tall and liked to laugh.  I'm not good at guessing ages, but she had to be close to 70.  She was refreshingly having fun with her job.  With the name of Mary Margaret, I would be she was a good ol' Catholic like me.
I have an ear Dr. appointment on Tuesday.  I still can't hear, but the pain is gone - so we are making progress.  At Church this morning, as I was walking down the aisle to go to Communion, next to me was this child of age 10 or so.  She had hearing aids in both ears.  I wanted to give her a hug.  Why did I freak out so over the thought of losing my hearing - and only in one ear at that.  It certainly is not the end of the world and could have been (and has been) a whole lot worse.  Anyway, I've given myself an attitude adjustment and what will be will be.  It will be no big deal.  Enough on that.
We are experiencing the most unbelievably gorgeous weather here.  It is time for me to finish this post, grab Jim (gently by his left arm) and head outside for a walk.  I'll bring my camera along and who knows - maybe I'll return with some photos to post. 
Sunday Blessings to all!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thank you!

A quick thank you to everyone who commented on my last post with encouraging words, prayers, and personal stories.  My blog friends never disappoint me, lifting me up when I am down.  Thank you!

The weather here has been wild.  Rain was promised earlier this week, but never materialized.  We did, though, get the wild winds that streaked across much of the US.  Jim has been blowing leaves off the drive so we can tell where to drive.  After today, though, it will be awhile before he can do that again.  Dr. fix-it is going to go in orthoscopically tomorrow morning to fix a tear in his rotator cup.  I swear we are falling apart!

Freeze warnings tonight.  Our weather gal is wrong more than she is right, but I do believe she is going to get this one right. 

Tuesday is election day.  I hope everyone has researched the issues and the candidates and know how they plan on voting.  Our vote is our voice - so get out and vote!  Peace and good thoughts all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Can you ear me now?

Whiskey's earWho wants to hear about my troubles?  I didn’t think so.  But this blog is about me, and it is my method of documenting what is going on in my life.  So, this post, as much as I don’t want to write it, needs to be written.  Feel free to skim over it – I’ll totally understand – because I’m mostly writing this for me.

Over three weeks ago I started getting severe ear aches.  After a false start with an incompetent Dr., the cause was diagnosed as a yeast infection by a well respected Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist.  He treated it in the office, warning me that it would take time to clear up, and sent me home with an anti-fungal cream.

The pain has continued to the point of insanity.  Along with the pain I now have a constant ringing (Iggy, how have you put up with this all these years?) and almost total hearing loss. 

The good news is that I no longer hear Jim snore if I lay with my bad ear towards the sky.  The bad news is that he is not so lucky.  He still has to put up with my snoring.

Yesterday, I returned to my specialist.  Now that some of the infection is cleared up, he could see for sure what he already suspected - a perforated ear drum.

Okay – that would explain the sharp stabbing pains, constant throbbing, ringing… and on and on.

Dr. Marty is giving it a week on another ear drop to see if there is improvement.  I could tell from his body language that he doesn’t hold out much hope. 

If he doesn’t see improvement next Tuesday, then we are looking at an MRI and referral to a Dr. in St. Louis that specializes in only ears – and probably surgery.

I had questions. 

What caused the infection.  “There is no way to know for sure” 

Did the infection cause the perforation?  “There is no way to know for sure.  It could be the other way around – the tear in the ear drum could have caused the infection”

How did my ear drum get perforated?  “There is no way to know for sure.  It is possible that the injury is from child hood or it could be new.” 

Will my hearing loss be permanent?  “It is very possible.  Surgery may help.” 

I had tons more questions, but it finally made it through my thick scull that he really didn’t know what the future would hold and I just need to stay tuned for next week’s appointment.

In the meantime, I’m scared.  We don’t appreciate our senses until we lose use of them.  A number of my blog friends deal with the permanent loss of senses.  Two quickly come to mind:  Intenseguy, who is able to relate to my current fear on a very “intense” level, since he has been battling with this very issue forever.  Tori lives in a world of total darkness.  She has faced her fears and challenges with bravery and strength that I can only dream of. 

Here is to all my friends who are faced with day to day challenges of mind and body – that you find the strength to stay strong and continue facing the challenges of each new day with a smile on your face.


This current challenge may be a thorn in my side, but I promise you that I will come out of it smelling like a rose, no matter what the final outcome.  It can only win if I let it.  I actually found myself asking the question, “Why me Lord” and immediately responded, “Why not me…”  God will never give me a challenge greater than I can handle.

a rose

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Sunday Snapshots

Here is a glimpse of my world during this beautiful Fall. 

Tree canopied Highway

Friday’s day trip along the tree canopied highways of Missouri

Missouri River

A stop at one of the many Missouri River accesses

Missouri River Bluff

The stark white nakedness of the river bluffs, topped with the bold colors of nature

Hillside of Fall colored trees

Pumpkin orange, russet reds, golden browns and rich greens of Fall

Vulture preying on road kill

  Road kill anyone?


Corn and bean fields in the shadows of rolling hills

Barn and hay

Farms dotting the way

Grape plants with farm silos in the distance

Grape vines framing silos of a distant farm


Bee on lavendar

Bees not only inhale the scent of lavender, like I do, but also the taste

Last rose of summer

A last valiant rose bloom

The woods at my house    Back home again to the view from my front porch

Lucy and Radar

BFF’S – Lucy and Radar

American Flag

Have a blessedly wonderful Sunday everyone!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Jim and I and our friends, Patti and Gerard, took off for the wild west of Missouri this past weekend.  Tradition had us starting the journey with a small glass of champagne.
Champain toast
We did a lot of stuff, from digging up a riverboat, to quality testing wineries, to spelunking, shearing sheep, to organ grinding.  We were busy!

We were in the little town of Weston in Northwest, MO.   And lo and behold Organ Grinders from far and wide were gathering!  The sounds were old time and at times deafening.  It was such fun.
Patti and Deanna acting crazy
Everyone was amazingly friendly and they all came with their own monkeys.  I was disappointed that not a single organ grinder had a real monkey.
Organ grinder lady with monkey puppet
Don’t blink when watching this video.  It is incredibly short and cracks me up every time I watch it.  Jim and Patti are trying to get Gerard to do what I refer to as “the oompa”.  Gerard is the reserved one on our bunch (next to me of course).  You can hear me shouting “go, GO!”.  Jim is laughing so hard that he can hardly do it.  We were all shocked when Gerard actually started going up and down.  Then Patti is like “Oh Sh*#, he’s doing it!  So she jumps in.  By that time Jim is laughing so hard that he bails out.  I hope you find it as funny as I did – if not, then it was one of those “You had to be there moments”.
Here’s to an oompa kind of day for you.  More trip moments coming up soon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A rant

Usually the one who says "I'm not one to complain, but..." is the one who complains a lot.  I'm hoping I don't fall into that category because...

I'm not one to complain, but...  I've been struggling with an ear ache for well over a week.  After a miserable weekend over a week ago, I called my new family physician that Monday (a week ago today).  She is new because I have so many specialists keeping me ticking that I've had no need for a family physician.  Maybe I should have been suspicious when they were able to get me in only a few hours after I called.  She seemed nice and looked and talked like a doctor.  She asked all the right questions and looked in my ear.  Then, although she couldn't see any infection, she prescribed antibiotic ear drops.  Ok, she's the Dr. so she must know what she is doing.  Right?

After faithfully putting in those drops Monday and Tuesday, I was in more pain.  So Wednesday morninig I called the Dr's. office, explained that I was in more pain and was hoping the Dr. could call in the numbing drops that she had mentioned during my visit there.  The receptionist said she would have her call me. 

By 3:30 I had still not heard from the Dr., so I called again.  The Dr. had gone home for the day.  No new medicine for me.

The next day I waited.  The Dr. finally called my cell phone at 5:02 pm.  The call went to voice mail before I could get it.  Dr. left a message that she would call me on Friday.  I immediately tried to call back and got the good ol' "The office is closed message". 

We left for vacation Friday morning.  Me with the trusty ear drops that weren't working and aspirin.  By now I could not hear out of my left ear and it ached unceasingly.  The Dr. never did call back and I was fed up and had no faith that she ever had any clue what she was treating.

Fortunately, Jim and our friends are wonderful and put up with me whining about hurting and not being able to hear.  They are great fun and did a good job of keeping me distracted.

So here we are back to Monday.  Screw the GP.  I called an Ear Nose & Throat Specialist and talked them into working me in.  It took one look for him to tell me that I have a Yeast infection in my ear.  I did not know that was possible!  He did a first treatment on it.  It wasn't pleasant but I felt immediate relief.  I gave him "the look" when he mentioned that the drops Dr. Dodo had given me weren't going to help.  He grinned and said, "But then you already figured that out, didn't you..."  He sent me home with an antifungal cream that has to be squirted into the ear every day.  It will take at least three more sessions to get rid of the infection but hey!  I feel better already!

Rant done.  I feel better now that I've gotten that out.  Oh, and I am going to complain to the medical center that Dr. Dodo is associated with.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Following my instincts


I am a self professed book worm – always have been and always will be.  If you give me a chance to go shopping for clothes or go shopping for books, books will win out every time. 

Ever since Vicki Lane mentioned the movie Song Catcher in one of her posts, I’ve been wanting to see it again.  Since it is one that I want included in my very limited library of DVD’s, and it was nowhere to be found in the stores, it made sense to order it from Barnes and Nobles.  Yes, I know I could have ordered it online, but then I would not have had an excuse to go to a bookstore!

While there the children’s book section beckoned me.  Since we were headed to Greg and Alicia’s that evening, I decided to buy Allan and Reagan some books.  Reagan seemed to really like her Mother Goose book.  For Allan, there were The Magic Tree House chapter books.  Would he like them?  There was only one way to find out.

allan reading

The answer appears to be a resounding YES!  Greg sent me this picture along with a note that said “He read that book at the auction in the car at nap time and at the restaurant and can recite everything that happened” 

I sure am glad I followed my instincts.

side board cabinet

An Amish woodworker, Mose, lives right down the road from Greg and Alicia.  The piece in the above picture is a piece Mose is making for our daughter, Tessa’s, kitchen.   Mose made all of the cabinets and a few pieces of furniture for Greg’s house.  Greg learned early on that Mose gets distracted easily and, although he does really nice work, you have to stay on him if you want your furniture. 

Ever since I inherited my mother’s china and other family heirlooms, I’ve wanted another china cabinet.  Yes, it is true I already have two… but that is beside the point.  We talked about going to the furniture store and just picking out something we liked.  But then we followed our instincts and commissioned Mose to make us a custom piece.  I am so glad we did!

china cabinet

Here it is, ready to be stained and glass put in the front and on the sides.  I’m very pleased with how it has turned out.  We gave the order to Mose in May.  It “only” took him 5 months to get it done.  Greg finally started bugging Mose  on a regular basis, otherwise I’m sure it still would be in the planning stages.  It is exactly what we wanted and worth the wait.

Since the Amish frown upon having their pictures taken, I usually don’t take my camera with me.  This time, though, I followed my instincts and did.  You just never know when a photo opportunity might present itself.  I am so glad I did. 


While I was waiting, these precious barefoot children walked across the road towards the field, intent on filling their bags with some unknown treasures.



And this little tyke, holding his doll, waved to us as we went on our way.  There is definitely some golden colors off in the distance.  That Missouri road trip of ours is going to have to happen very soon!

I hope everyone has a great 10-10-10.  For an interesting take on 10-10-10, click on the Vicki Lane link that I posted earlier.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A few facts in my life

Judging from the smile, books are an excellent gift for a nine year old – especially if they are Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  Dakota was allowed to choose any place to eat out at and he chose  Dairy Queen.  I was hoping for just about anyplace else –non fast food preferably!



Hubby and junk yard dog are both lousy at pretending I’m not taking their picture.



My14 year old grandson will help with the baking when I am making 2 loaves of home made bread, 2 pies, 2 cakes, and 4 loaves of pumpkin bread for our church Fall Festival.  He just doesn’t like his picture showing up on my blog (thank you Travis and sorry!)



It is fun to mess with the mind of helpful 14 year old pictured above when he doesn’t realize I have radio channel and volume controls on the steering wheel of my new car.  Imagine his frustration when every time he tuned into his favorite station, it would change.



Landscaping projects always look bad before they look good.



The moon can be seen at 11:00 am.



When sunflowers won’t grow, then optimistically plant tame blackberry bushes with cables for them to twine up on (keeping my fingers crossed)



It is always fun to receive awards.  This one was given to me by Kelly at My Joy Project.   Thank you Kelly!  Please take a moment to check out Kelly’s blog.  And if you haven’t already received this award – please grab it – because each and every one of you have truly lovely blogs!



I hope everyone is having a great week.  These sunny days and cool nights are wonderful.  We finally broke down and kicked the furnace on last night – just long enough to cut the chill.