Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In Memory of Jill..................

I am so sad to write that Jill passed away last night. She was surrounded by her family, Steven and his family, hospice workers, and friends from high school.
A 4.0 Student, chosen as 1 of 100 outstanding high school kids in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Jill was loved, respected, and admired by everyone who knew her.
Please send prayers to all who loved her. This is a very sad time for our family.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Busy Saturday

Wow! It's the Saturday before Christmas and all through my house I am scampering around cleaning and picking up the big chunks. LOL

I want to get my house cleaned today because my sister arrives tomorrow and my Mom next Tuesday. It will take the pressure off if I get organized.

I talked to a friend of mine this morning. She told me she woke up this morning with a desire to go to the mall and walk around. Her shopping is done but she loves the hectic pace at the mall and likes to watch people as they try to finish their shopping. My reaction, "You're nuts!" LOL

I haven't been inside the mall since before Thanksgiving. The closest I got was going to Target which is across the street. Thank God for online shopping! I do not like being in crowds especially crowds of people with glazed over eyes, frantically looking for just the right thing for Uncle Bob. The pushing, frantic pace is too much for me. I will admit, most people are more friendly this time of year but I'll pass up the chance to say, "Excuse me, please." to a stranger as I push toward the long check out line.

I probably sound Bah Humbug and cranky but I'm not really. I'm excited about Christmas and spending time with my family, especially my grandchildren.

I am finished shopping early because this year we are only buying gifts for our grandchildren. It looks pretty bare under the tree compared to most years. I have struggled to make it OK to limit my spending and to cut back. I felt guilty and uneasy for awhile but this morning, I read the weekend devotional by Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship. I'd like to share part of it with you:

'That is what happens when we lose focus of the real meaning of Christmas, isn't it? We get so caught up in the busyness of the season that sometimes we forget the wonder of it all: that deity took on humanity, that God became a man.Scripture sums it up well in 2 Corinthians 8:9, which says, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich" (NKJV). Jesus literally went from the throne of heaven to a simple little cave or stable.

Can you imagine what must have gone through Mary's mind that day when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her she would be the mother of the Messiah? Her head must have been swimming. "What about Joseph? What are people going to say?"

But God had it all put together, because the time was just right in every way.There was one small detail: the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, as Scripture prophesied (see Micah 5:2). But Mary and her husband-to-be Joseph lived in Nazareth. So the Lord touched a little man ( Caeser) who was big in his own mind.................................This Jesus who was born in a manger, who walked this earth, who was crucified, and who rose again, is not some mere historical figure, although He was that. He is alive, and He is still in the business of changing lives.That is the reason He came: to put us in touch with God, to forgive us of all of our sins, and to give our lives purpose and meaning. "

All I can say is "Amen".

May God richly bless your Christmas season and may he bless your new year with happiness and good health.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This is a picture of my cousin's son, Steven and his girl friend, Jill. It was taken in May of this year as they were leaving for their Prom. Jill had finished a round of chemo for Ewings Sarcoma, a cancer that effected her spine. Her hair was just growing back. She had a short remission and then the cancer was back. She was accepted into an experimental program at Children's Hospital in Denver, Colorado but her cancer was too advanced and they could not help her. We got word today that she has between 4 - 6 weeks to live.
Her family is asking for prayers for her, her friends, and family as they face this tragic time. Jill is 17 years old and a senior in high school this year. She is facing this, like everything else in her life, with grace, courage and faith.
Please, if you can, say a little prayer for her. Thank you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sew What?

I've been busy sewing pillow cases for my grandchildren and their cousins. I finished today.

I hope they like them.

Andrew and Nathan's have Superman, Batman, and another super hero. I'm not hep to his name. LOL My friend, Felicia embroidered the names for me.

My next project is a pair of pajamas for Megan. She picked out the fabric this past summer and I still haven't made them for her. Hope to get it done for Christmas.

I made a set of baby blankets for a 2-1/2 year old little girl who just loves her baby dolls. Her mom gives her a wash cloth and towel to wrap them up in so I made one for a 14" doll, one for a tiny 4" doll and then a changing pad for the bigger baby doll. Wish I could be there when she opens the package on Christmas morning.

My Christmas shopping is nearly finished. I just need to get gift cards for my hair dresser, Kasey's groomer, and the gal that does my nails. I usually get gift cards to restaurants for them. I will probably do that again this year.

We are only buying gifts for our grandchildren this year. With the recession hitting our family members we all decided to skip the presents this year for the adults and make a special Christmas for the kids. To be honest, it's a big relief for all of us. My sister and I are going to buy a girl's bicycle and donate it to the Salvation Army for a needy child. We did the same thing for a little boy last year in memory of our Dad. As long as we can afford it, it will be a Christmas tradition.

We are going to celebrate the Saturday after Christmas so we have everyone for the entire day. No one has to hurry off to see other family so we can relax and take our time having a great meal and watching the kids open gifts.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Friday!

These pictures are of a Liquid Amber Tree in our front side yard. First sign that Fall may show up after all. We have another one of these trees in our back yard and it's leaves are a combination of green and yellow. Our birch tree is starting to lose it's leaves. All three trees will be naked in a few weeks.

It's been awhile since I've posted. So much is going on around here that I just don't seem to have time to settle in at the computer for as long as it takes to write and to read my friends' journals.

This has been a pretty good week. Dennis saw his surgeon on Monday. The resident physician who assisted with the surgery removed the staples from the 5 little incisions. What a relief that was! When he saw his surgeon, Dr. told him he had recovered faster than just about any other patient who had such a big surgery. He released Dennis to go to work and to start walking again ~ he wasn't surprised when Dennis told him he had already been doing both. After we finished that appointment, we went to made an appointment for Den to see the Dr. who performed the scope for follow up on the Barrett's syndrome.

Yesterday was our 37th Wedding Anniversary. We went to dinner and had a really nice time talking about the old days and what we see ahead of us. Yesterday was also our grandson, Andrew's FOURTH birthday. We are celebrating with him on Saturday. I bought him a 41" long Tonka truck with a car hauling trailer. He saw it at Toys R Us a few weeks ago and told his mom, "I want it today. I don't want to wait until my birthday." Too bad, buddy. All good things are worth waiting for. Before we went to dinner, Dennis and I called him and sang Happy Birthday to him. He told us about his new scooter and Speed Racer movie. He's excited about his party on Saturday.

Our son is 1/2 way through his training at the Sheriff's academy. He's doing great. He passed his mid-term with a 96.6%. Right now, they are having fire arms training and scenarios to teach them to handle different situations. They are also learning driving tricks and they are practicing traffic stops with their classmates as both the officer and the guy getting pulled over. This week they are learning about domestic violence calls. These calls are the most dangerous calls he'll get. Highly emotional and heated!!! If you watch COPS you've seen what the officers go through. It's nuts. Next week, their class is going to the Los Angeles County morgue. They have a lot more and a bigger variety of cases than our county.

It's not for sure, of course, but it's highly likely he will go straight to patrol instead of working at one of the jails or in the court system. We are praying for two placements ~ both in safer communities. I don't know what he's praying for but as his MOM, I don't want to see him go to one of the more dangerous communities. I'm the insecure one.

I have so much anxiety about him being a law enforcement officer. This is NOT the job I would chose for him. I am truly proud of him and I know the job needs men of character out there serving their communities but when I think of him coming into such dangerous situations, it makes me cringe. I am praying for God's peace.

I'm sure most of you heard about the terrible fires in So. California over the weekend. We live about 12 miles, as the crow flies, from the Corona/Yorba Linda fire. We have friends who were very close to being evacuated from the Chino Hills fire. Dennis has designed remodeling and custom homes on 12 of the streets in Yorba Linda and Anahiem hills where there was loss and/or damage. It's so sad to see the stories on the news of such a tragedy. One young family lost their home and everything they own the day after their first baby was born. Over 500 mobile homes in Los Angeles county were lost and most of those owners are elderly people on fixed incomes. As of this morning, all of the fires were 100% contained. Now if the winds don't come up again, the firest aren't likely to ignite again. We are so lucky that our air quality has not been effected by smoke and ash. The wind has been blowing to the west which keeps the air here pretty clean.

More soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's amazing how quickly Dennis is healing after his surgery. He went for a mile long walk today. He's off all pain medications and he might even work for a few hours a day beginning tomorrow. I'm so happy with how things are going.

I had a follow up appointment with the dermatologist today regarding the lump on the back of my hand. He was very pleased with how it responded to the treatment and didn't feel he had to inject it today. I showed him some itchy dry places on my legs that drive me crazy when they first erupt. He gave me the following advise:

Shower in warm, not hot water and then pat dry. Within 2 minutes of getting out of the shower put your lotion on. It will seal in the added moisture from your shower and will be more effective along with the lotions. I'm going to start doing that in the morning and see if it really helps.

He gave me prescription cortisone cream to help with the itching. He told me to put that on first and then cover with the lotion. Hopefully this will take care of it.

My sister is coming for a short visit. I'm so happy! We've talked on the phone quite a few times since getting home from our Italy trip but I haven't seen her in person. She's such a special person in my life.

I'm ordering some Christmas toys today for my grandchildren. If I order before November 18, he shipping is free. Yippee! Seems so strange to be thinking about the holidays.

My life is quiet and boring. Wish I had some funny or exciting things to write about. Maybe next time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Dennis was in surgery for 5 1/2 hours yesterday. His case was "complicated and difficult" according to his surgeon but the results were exactly as he had hoped and wanted. Dennis tolerated the surgery well and, so far, so good. I'm so thankful that he had this particular surgeon considering how complicated things were. I've joked that he's the best doctor in the world and if you don't believe me, just ask him. There was no arrogance when we spoke yesterday. He was warm and his words comforted my worried heart.

I'm thankful that the surgeon was able to do the surgery laproscopically. Dennis has 5 small incisions. He says his belly is sore but not especially painful. The biggest discomfort comes from the air they pump into the abdomen during the surgery so they can see better what they are doing. He said the pain in his neck and shoulders is worse than the incision pain.

I'm thankful that he is doing so well he may come home tomorrow. He was running a little fever today. They want him to drink lots of water and to do his breathing exercises often. That should help in breaking the fever. He was drinking clear liquids when I was with him this morning but his doctor was going to thicken it up a bit to see how he tolerates it.

He is in a Seventh Day Adventist hospital (no caffiene or meat). I'm thankful because it is a Christ centered place. They have beautiful paintings of doctors with Jesus looking over their shoulders in the lobby. Knowing that most of the staff are people of faith ~ not necessarily Christians ~ gave me a lot of comfort.

Thank you for your kind comments and good thoughts and prayers. I appreciate it more that you know!

Hugs to all!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day! Dennis is having his surgery at 10:15 in the morning. By this time tomorrow night, his stomach will no longer be 80% up into his chest. It won't be upside down any longer. We are praying that he will be able to have it done laproscopically. If so, he'll be home in about 3 days. If not, he will be in the hospital for 7 or 8 days. He is not looking forward to pureed food for a few weeks or the discomfort of recovery but he is grateful that he has a great surgeon and he will be in good hands.

All prayers and good thoughts are welcome and appreciated!!!

The McCain team is bashing Sarah Palin and making her the scapegoat for losing the election. I was just waiting for this to happen. They just cannot accept responsibility for all the mistakes the campaign made ~ they have to play the blame game.

CNN has a video by Campbell Brown addressing the situation. It's very honest and fair.

Personally, I didn't think Mrs. Palin had the experience needed to be vice president but I like her spunk and her spirit. She was used by the Republicans to pull in female voters who would have voted for Hillary Clinton if she had been running. She was a 'token' VP candidate in McCain's attempt to manipulate voters. It's just not right to throw her to the wolves now. Shame on them. Here's the link to the video. I hope it works. If not, go to www.cnn.com and click on Campbell Brown's video.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh, What a Night!

Our country has spoken. We have a new leader. I hope this sends a message to the world that the policies of George Bush didn't reflect the heart of many of the American people. I hope the message goes out that we want peace and to be part of the solution to global problems. I hope those who voted for McCain or another will give our new president a chance and their support. We have an opportunity to join together and make a difference if we can put our differences aside and think and do what is best for our country on the grand scale and not break things down to whether you're a Republican or Democrat.

I'm 59 years old and honestly did not think I would see a black man become President in my life time. Tonight I am very proud of the election results and I'm grateful that I'm here for the ride of change. This victory is going to enable all of us to make positive changes in our lives and our attitudes. I pray that President Elect Obama will surround himself the the brightest, most talented and knowledgeable people available to aid and support him. I pray that Republicans and Democrats will honestly put the people and country before their own agendas.

God bless America.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Last Friday, I went to the pumpkin patch with my grandchildren, daughter-in-law, her sister-in-law and her daughter, Jordan. It was 95 degrees outside at 11:00 in the morning! It's supposed to be Fall - it should be a lot cooler.

The kids had a wonderful time. There was a jump house, a hay ride, the pumpkins, of course, and a play area. My 4 year old grandson, Andrew, found a cute little pumpkin that he just had to take home. I told Megan and Nathan to each find a pumpkin they would like and then I asked 2 year old Jordan if she wanted a pumpkin, too. She stood with her finger poised next to her little mouth as she pondered my offer. After a minute or two, she looked up at me and simply said, "No." It was so cute!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kasey

Today is my pup's eleventh birthday. She is my faithful companion and little buddy. I've enjoyed every day she has spent with us. She makes me laugh on a daily basis and, when I come home after being gone a few hours, she greets me like I'm the most wonderful person in the whole world.
She's a West Highland White Terrior. Independent, loving, smart, a good hunter and protector of the back yard. Who could ask for more from a 25 pound bundle of love?
I hope we have a few more good years together. She is slowing down and shows signs of arthritis but it doesn't keep her from enjoying her daily life.
I thank God for her every day.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wonderful Day

Had a wonderful day today. Went with my daughter and her bridesmaids to pick out dresses for the girls to wear in the wedding. We went to the same shop where Cari bought her dress. They actually have two stores: One that sells the bridal gowns and the other that has bridesmaid's dresses and dresses for flower girls. We were so happy to find one dress that looks terrific on all 4 girls.
This is the dress. The color Cari selected is a little darker and more of an olive green. It's a lovely, pretty green and looks much prettier in person. I ordered extra fabric so I can make a dress for my granddaughter, Megan (9). She is going to hostess the guest book and wants a dress that goes with the bridesmaid's dresses. She and I went online and she chose a pattern by McCalls that will be darling on her.
When Shannon and Megan arrived at the dress shop, Shannon told me that 4 year old Andrew had fallen the day before and it looked as though he had broken his collar bone. While we girls were together, Bryan had the boys at a birthday party. Andrew was pretty much watching the other kids play because he just wasn't feeling too well. Since his peditrician is at a hospital near our house, I told her to drop Megan, Nathan and Matthew at our house while they took Andrew to the ER for a check up.
Thankfully, the x-rays showed that he had bruising but no break. We were so surprised because he has quite a lump. The doctor even called in another doctor to check the x-rays because by the look of things, she thought he had a break, too. They prescribed Tylenol or Motrin for kids for him and sent him on his way. We were all so happy with the results because he would have NOT liked wearing the brace he would have had to wear. He came in smiling ear to ear and showing off his big Hulk sticker. They know how to make little boys happy.
Tomorrow I am going to spend time reading blogs. I am looking forward to catching up!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Amazing How Things Turn Out Sometimes.........

I'm feeling so grateful today. To say I'm grateful that my husband fell and hurt himself sounds cruel until I explain that if he hadn't had the accident and the resulting CAT Scan and x-rays, he might have had esophagus cancer within a year.

We met with his doctor at Loma Linda University Medical Center today. He does not have cancer but if the Barrett's syndrom isn't treated, he could have within a year or so. The cause of the Barrett's is excess stomach acid in the esphogus. His condition is complicated by the hiatial hernia so the doctor feels that surgery is absolutely necessary to prevent the Barrett's from getting worse.

After checking the calendar, Dennis decided to have the surgery on Friday, November 7. The hospitalization will be 3 to 7 days depending on how well he does. The recovery is 8 - 12 weeks. No driving for 2 weeks after the surgery and no lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds for a month or more. He will have to eat pureed food for a while. Yummy. LOL I told him Thanksgiving dinner will be mashed potatoes, yams and turkey out of a blender. We hope he is able to have a normal meal by then.

His doctor is highly qualifed to perform the surgery. He has studied under the best gastric surgeon in the country and he now teaches the procedure to students at Loma Linda University Medical School. The surgery is performed laproscopically (sp) ~ Five 1" incisions instead of having his chest opened. It's amazing what they can do these days. A lot less pain and a shorter recovery. We laughed on the way home as we talked about how nice it is to have Thee Best Doctor In the World (if you don't believe us, just ask the Dr.). We know Dennis is in good hands.

All prayers and positive thoughts are appreciated!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Greetings... Dennis will see the surgeon tomorrow to find out the results of all the tests and to make a decision about whether or not he should have surgery to repair the hiatal hernia. The scope revealed he has Barrett's Syndrome and that there are significant changes in his esophagus. Below is some information about Barrett's if you are interested in learning more.

Barrett's esophagus is a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) is damaged. The damage is caused by stomach acid that leaks back into the esophagus. This leakage of acid is commonly known as "heartburn" (gastroesophageal reflux)....
Barrett's esophagus itself does not cause symptoms. The acid reflux that causes Barrett's esophagus results in symptoms of heartburn. Rarely, Barrett's esophagus can progress to cancer of the esophagus, the symptoms of which may be difficulty swallowing or weight loss.
Irritation of the lining of the esophagus by stomach acid causes Barrett esophagus . It happens more frequently in men than women. Risk factors are frequent and long-standing gastroesophageal reflux. The condition carries an increased risk of cancer of the esophagus .

esophagus itself does not cause symptoms. The acid reflux that causes Barrett esophagus results in symptoms of heartburn . Rarely, Barrett esophagus can progress to cancer of the esophagus, the symptoms of which may be difficulty swallowing or weight loss.

Exams and Tests
Looking at the
esophagus with an endoscope and obtaining a sample of esophagus tissue for examination (esophagoscopy with biopsy ) may reveal Barrett esophagus . A barium x-ray will not show the flat changes of Barrett esophagus.

Treatment includes general measures to control gastroesophageal reflux, medications,
photodynamic therapy (PDT), and surgery. Treatment may be important even if the patient doesn't feel any symptoms.
General measures include:
Weight reduction
Avoiding lying down after meals
Sleeping with the
head of the bed elevated
Taking medication with plenty of water
Avoiding dietary
fat , chocolate, caffeine, and peppermint because they may cause lower esophageal pressure
Avoiding alcohol and
Medications to relieve symptoms and control gastroesophageal reflux include antacids after meals and at bedtime,
histamine H2 receptor blockers, proton pump inhibitors, cholinergic agents, and promotility agents.
Surgery to remove a portion of the esophagus may be recommended, if a biopsy shows the type of cellular changes that tend to lead to cancer (these changes are called dysplasia).
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is
a newly approved option that may allow you to avoid surgery. PDT involves the use of a special laser device, called an esophageal balloon, along with a drug called Photofrin. Together, the laser balloon and medication lead to destruction of the abnormal cells lining the esophagus, without affecting the normal tissue.

Outlook (Prognosis)
An increased risk of
esophageal cancer is present. Follow-up endoscopy to look for dysplasia or cancer is often advised.

Possible Complications
Esophageal cancer

When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your
health care provider if heartburn persists for longer than a few days, or you have pain or difficulty swallowing .
Call your provider if symptoms worsen, do not improve with treatment, or if new symptoms develop in
a person with Barrett esophagus.

Diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux may prevent Barrett esophagus.

We are concerned, of course, but optimistic that it can be treated to prevent more serious complications down the road.
I'll write more after we find out what the other tests showed and find out what we can do about it. Dennis has no symptoms but the photos of his esophagus made us wonder why he wasn't experiencing heart burn. There are many spots that look like they should hurt.

It was so beautiful today. Cool, breezy and clear. It felt like Fall has arrived. We just hope it stays. We're tired of the heat.

Lots going on around here. When I have more time, I will write about it.

My big relief this week was finally getting all of my journals transferred to blogspot. This is the only one I will be writing in but it's nice to know the others are safe from deletion.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Biopsy is back - stitches are out

I was diagnosed with Granuloma Annulare

I have to see the dermatologist every 4 to 6 weeks to have the site injected with Kenalog10 which is a steroid. The spot should go away with treatment but it would come back without the steroid injections.

I am relieved that it's nothing serious and requires no surgery. I do hope the doctor is right about it going away. I think it looks terrible.

Thanks for your love and concern while I waited for the results.

I went on WebMD and found the following article about it.

Granuloma Annulare
Granuloma annulare is a chronic skin condition that consists of a circular-shaped rash with reddish bumps (papules).
Most often, the condition affects children and young adults. Granuloma annulare is slightly more common in girls and usually is seen in people who are otherwise healthy.
What Causes Granuloma Annulare?
The cause is unknown, but sometimes granuloma annulare may be associated with diabetes or thyroid disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Granuloma Annulare?
People who have granuloma annulare usually notice a ring of small, firm bumps over the backs of the forearms, hands or feet. More than one ring may be noticed in some cases. The rash may be mildly itchy.
How Is Granuloma Annulare Diagnosed?
The condition is diagnosed by a doctor who may use a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
How Is Granuloma Annulare Treated?
Treatment often is not necessary, except for cosmetic reasons. In some cases, creams or ointments are used to help the bumps disappear. Some doctors may decide to freeze the lesions with liquid nitrogen or to inject steroids directly into the rings of bumps. Ultraviolet light therapy or oral medications can be used in severe cases.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Preparing for The Big J-Land Shut down

Preparing for the big shutdown
Instead of saving my journals to the computer, I thought I would print them. I thought after they were printed out I would take them to Staples and have them spiral bound. It's not expensive to have that done.
Well, my first journal, Yada Yada Yada, has used up 2/3 of a package of printer paper and I'm only 3/4 through it. The good news is: It only took an hour and fifteen minutes.

I didn't realize I had written so much. As I flipped through the pages it brought back so many fun memories - especially about my grandchildren. I'm going to be glad I printed it. It's a record of my family for the past 3 years.

I'm so grateful that I kept up on my journaling. My memory isn't as good as it once was and I forget when certain things happened. Now I have a book I can refer to. If AOL hadn't decided to end J-Land, I never would have printed it out so I'm grateful tonight.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This is my blogspot for now. I feel lost without all the tools and things I'm used to on AOL. This sucks to have to start a new blog. I was very attached to my last one.

I'm going to go adjust now. I'll be back when I'm not so pissed off at AOL for doing this. I'm seriously thinking of cancelling my subscription to AOL and using Yahoo as internet home.