Monday, March 30, 2009

Ben Channels Grandpa / Judy

Today one of the kids at PCPA had a USO party and everybody dressed up like the 40's. Ben wore his khaki pants, and I found an Army shirt and tie at the Army/Navy store. Then he went up into the attic and found Grandpa's uniforms, and that's what he wore to the party. It was pretty amazing that he could fit into the jacket and the hat, but he let everybody know how authentic they were. I guess the only anomaly was his beard, which he's growing for Les Mis. Here (and below) he is with his friend Brianna.  

Notice the ribbons on the jacket: the blue one on top is the combat infantry badge (given only after being in combat), below that on the right is the WWII service ribbon, and on the left is the purple heart. 

At the party they played Glenn Miller and Big Band CDs, which Ben brought, and he says because he knows how to swing dance, he danced with everybody and it was great.

When he was trying everything on a couple nights ago, he was showing Granpa and it was really quite moving. Then Ben added to the feeling when he said, "Grandpa, I'm so grateful that you were willing to go through all this for us, so now I don't have to go to war myself."

When Ben came home, he told Grandpa that his uniform had a few more hours of really fun dancing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stent-free! / Judy

Last Friday, the doctor FINALLY removed my stent and I feel like a new woman. It's so wonderful to be pain-free and feel good again and actually be able to do stuff. Now, since I'm completely out of shape after three months of not moving, I need to start getting my act together and doing all kinds of things. Also, the house has suffered during my time of inactivity so maybe if I can clean it thoroughly I can get in shape at the same time.

Yesterday on Lloyd's day off we went again to the bay for lunch and then we saw the movie "Duplitiy" at the Bay Theater. It was a fun movie with lots of twists and turns, but surprisingly I didn't have trouble following it. 

P.S. I hope my sad experience has inspired everybody to up their intake of fluids!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Grandpa's Gone Turbo / Judy:

Here is Grandpa and Michael with the new wheelchair. We're excited about his new wheels because now we can go anywhere, and plan to. The chair only weighs 20 lbs. and is very portable. 

Looking at this picture made me think about how grateful I am for a couple things. First, it's wonderful to have Michael here with us most of the time. He's always helpful and also, he's fun to be around. The two of us were very close as kids and I'm glad we have that back now. Second, how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful place. I owe a debt of gratitude to my folks for letting us grow up here and every once in a while I'm overcome with joy about being able to live here again now. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Miscellaneous Musings / Judy

Last Monday, on Lloyd's regular day off, we went to the bay. We wanted to have a nice day before my terrible, horrible, awful, very bad day. We ate at the Hofbrau Haus, which has the best fish and chips in the whole place, in my opinion. Then we went outside where I took this picture of Lloyd. We planned to go all over and take lots of pictures, but right after this the battery died in my camera--so this is the only one we got. But it's nice.

I wanted to say something more about Battlestar Gallactica. I watched the first two seasons, then decided not to watch it anymore. Basically, it's too depressing. It has no leavening moments like my beloved Star Trek, or SG-1, or even Star Wars. It's just one bleak situation after another. In every episode, the worst thing that can happen, does happen. So enough is enough.

I'm feeling pretty well today, meaning I haven't had to take any pain pills since last night. Lloyd stayed home with me yesterday but he's planning to go to work tonight. We'll see how the day progresses...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Malady Update / Judy

Caution: Venting ahead

So yesterday I went to the hospital, expecting to finally, FINALLY, have my stent removed. I knew I'd be completely alseep with anesthesia, but I still was not looking forward to the ordeal. Then after I'd changed into my paper gown and was lying in bed while they did things like blood pressure, etc. the nurse tried to put in an IV. If you've ever had one, you know it's like putting a steel straw into the vein in your hand. It hurt like crazy...then it didn't work and she had to take it out and put it in my other hand. 

At that point I started to cry and pretty much didn't stop all day. The nurses kept asking me, "What's wrong?" I felt like saying, "Hello! Would you like to change places here?" But what I told them was that I was scared about the whole thing and knew I'd wake up feeling like crap. Which of course is what happened. My throat was sore and raspy because they said I had a tube down in it and I kept having VERY painful spasms in my ureter. Talk about a world of hurt. 

Then to add insult to injury, Lloyd came in and told me they had to put the stent back in (!!). They showed me a little jar full of the stones they got out. Before, I got little pieces like coarse sand, but these were like gravel. So the reason I still have the stent is that there are still more pieces up in my kidney---aaarrrggghhh! 

To feel a little sorry for myself here, it seems like in the past few years I've had several physical ailments. First there was the cough that lasted forever. Then there was the  hyperthyroidism that had me weak and shaking and miserable. Now these kidney stones that are SO painful. I have to admit though that right this minute I'm not spasming so I don't feel too bad as long as I don't move around much. I just wish I could learn the darn lesson I'm supposed to learn from all this already and get on with my life. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Unexpected Treat / Judy

Today Lloyd has the day off and he had to go to his doctor for a shot so I went with him and we planned to eat at one of our favorite restaurants in that little town. Fortunately, today Dave works at that office so he could come to lunch with us. Then he called Hilary and she could come too--Yayy!! Here we all are (except Dallin who wouldn't come into the picture) on the steps of the restaurant. I'm not really hiding; I just couldn't fit next to Hilary because of the pillar.
Sometimes one day off can be like a mini vacation if you do something fun together.
Waiting for our delicious food.
This is the neatest place, all cozy and attractive. It doesn't have an extensive menu, but what it does have is wonderful. We usually sit outside on the porch, but it was a little chilly today.

By the way, have I mentioned how much I LOVE my camera? I keep wanting to do more stuff with it. Obviously I still have much to learn because I edited these pictures but somehow the edited versions didn't make it to the post. 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Gratitude and a little whining / Judy

FIRST, THE GRATITUDE. I took this last week and it shows how everything is blooming around here. Like Grandpa famously said, "Well, it is February"

And this is one of my favorite views in the world--from the top of Johnson Ave. I once read a poem called "The Low Green Hills of Home," and for a few months out of the year, that describes this place. 
Another good thing about living here is that the price of tomatoes is only $.88/lb. right now. Of course I had to buy some and then I had to make salsa. It isn't as out-of-this world delicious as the full summertime stuff, but it's still pretty good. 
I have recently discovered a great TV show—Battlestar Gallactica. I know it's been on a while, but since I don't like to watch TV with all their commercials, I haven't paid attention to it. But now I've discovered the DVD's of the show and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Turns out it's as good as people have been saying it is.
NOW FOR THE WHINING. I still have the stent in and it's still very uncomfortable almost all the time. On top of that, at least once a day I have a very painful episode and have to take vicodin. Tonight our friend Steve said what is probably happening is that stent is causing the ureter to spasm because I don't think I'm still passing any stones. And I'm not scheduled to have it taken out until March 16--over three weeks after the doctor originally said I could. So I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself right now; I didn't think I had to be humbled to THIS extent. I probably could use a lesson in patience, although I could be very patient if it didn't hurt so much.

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