Tuesday, August 31, 2010

" The Bug That Wouldn't Die!"

Well at least that's what it feels like. The Bug That Wouldn't Die!
While Jake and I are both feeling better, we are both still feeling sick, if you know what I mean?

But it was back to work for him Monday morning. Poor guy. I know how run down he is feeling. We both lost our voices. They are coming back gradually. 

Katie, our teen, quarantined herself to her room the entire time we were home sick. Can't say as I blame her for her paranoia. She missed a lot of school this past February from a surgery she had to have. That really set her back. Made it hard for her to catch up in school.

My husband Jake and I were thinking and talking about the fact that we had never been sick together before. Not in 21 years.

Usually one or all of the kids would fall sick first. Then as they would start to feel better, my husband would fall sick. And when he falls sick, he always,always falls hard.

I on the other hand rarely get sick. I honestly believe in my heart of hearts that God made mom's special that way. And even when I have felt sick in the past, I have almost always managed to work through it. I didn't always have much of a choice. My husband is gone most of the month so no matter how I would feel I would have to take care of the children. 

Then there were those times when I would nurse the children back to health only to have to turn around and nurse my husband back to health. 

The kids would be back off to school, my husband would be back over the road and than BAM, I would get sick and be all by myself. Now that can be depressing!

But that's what good mom's and wife's go through, right? Fortunately as I said before, I have been for the most part, immune to falling ill from my families various bugs through the years.

But this time My husband Jake and I shared. We always share. We share food, desserts and even clothes. Well he has shared his with me. Mine would never fit him and he would look rather silly as I prefer flowered prints above anything else. But he on the other hand, has put his big size 11 socks on my feet when they've been cold. He has given me his big tee shirts to put on when I was too lazy and hot to go upstairs to change. And he has given me his cozy flannel shirts when I have felt a chill. We have shared secrets. Money. Jokes. And each other.

Yes we have shared many things over the years but this was the first time we shared a bug. The worst part about sharing a bug together is that neither one of you feels like doing anything. And unfortunately, I let the maid go several years ago as she just wasn't fulfilling my expectations!

We managed through it all to take care of each other. This was a nice change for me as I am usually alone when sick and my husband was really great. I know he felt as bad as I did but he still managed to do most of the little chores. He walked the dogs, most of the time, until Katie came home. I still managed to cook as much as I could. I kept craving soup but all we had was canned. 

We had nothing in the house to make soup with and neither one of us wanted to go to the store. Four more months and Katie will have her license. That will come in handy.

We each had our own antibiotics and inhalers but we shared the nebulizer! Well not at the same time but you know what I mean!

Being that sick is really awful. You must know of that helpless feeling that I am talking about. It seems as though nothing makes you feel better and the time just seems to creep by. We would try to sleep but sleep was hard to come by. All we could do is stare into each others bloodshot eyes, knowingly as the clock ticked by.

So here we are exactly one week and two days later and we still aren't back to our old rootin' tootin' selves! But we are trying. We are working on it. Three boxes of tissues and four cases of water later, we are starting to feel better. Together. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

"And Now, The Weekend Update. "

HHello everybody. I am so sorry that I haven't been around to visit all of you. And some new people too which I feel so badly about. I am starting to feel a bit better today but truthfully I haven't felt at all like reading or commenting.
It all started on Sunday morning. My husband woke up feeling really sick. He has COPD so when he gets sick, he gets really sick.

I was feeling kind of funky but I just wrote it off as the end of the steroids from the poison sumac which is completely gone now thank goodness.

Monday morning proved me wrong. My husband managed to get into see our doctor's new helper doctor, who was young and alright I guess but just wasn't as familiar with my husband as our own family doctor was. But none the less he prescribed two different antibiotics for my "big man husband". He was slightly skeptical of the dosage, for good reason. I will elaborate later.

This bug of sorts was located in my husbands chest. As mine was. I don't have COPD so I thought that I would tough it out. The steroids that I took the previous week did such a number on me that I wanted nothing to do with anymore medications of any kind. Besides I had a doctors appointment for Friday as a follow up to my bloodwork. If I still felt sick I would tell him then.

Well come Wednesday morning after having a fever for two day and my lungs feeling as though they had a rubber band wrapped securely around them, I called the doctors office. By now I had pretty much lost my voice from all of the coughing which made telling our nurse, Candy, how I felt a bit difficult.

Within an hour our doctor had called in a prescription for ZPack for me. In the meantime since my husband has COPD we own a nuebulizer, so we were both doing breathing treatments which did give me some relief. Not much but some. My husband was feeling a bit  better but still felt that steroids is what he needed. The new young doctor, I think, was afraid to give them to him.

What an awful week friends. My husband and I tag teamed cooking and walking the dogs. Although I think that he did most of the work. I was craving homemade soup. And wouldn't you know it, this week I had nothing to make any with.

So here it is Friday. My doctor, our family doctor who I think we love, was going to see me. And I was dragging my husbands butt in with me damn it. Yes our doctor has taken care of us both at the same time for the price of one in the past and I was sure that he would do it again.

As I said previously, this appointment was made as a follow up to blood work that I had to have done. So first I will tell you the results of that blood work. I am actually quite excited. First of all my blood pressure is great again. Not good but great! I was also tested for R.A. which I really didn't think that I had but they wanted to be sure because my arthritis is so bad. I don't have it. More great news. Now here is the exciting part for me. I dropped my cholesterol even more, all on my own. I am on medication for it but when they tried to raise the dose I got very sick so they lowered it again. But by eating right I lowered it within forty points of what he would like it to be.

It is actually fine for a normal person but since I've had two strokes he wants it even lower. I never claimed to be normal have I ? 

I told my doc that I am planning on moving forward with the knee surgery. Right now, I can not walk for more than ten minutes let alone workout anymore.

I also told him that I felt confident that I could lower it more once I could move better once again. I am an active person. I hate to sit. This has been a nightmare for me. So, I will be moving again.

My doctor felt that I was pro active enough that I could lower the cholesterol even more on my own. 

And then he said something horrible. After listening to my lungs, he wan't me to take steroids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I begged and pleaded, I said NO. I can't handle those again!! So he said o.k.and gave me a shot instead. And an inhaler. O.K. I can deal with that! He also gave me about $90.00 worth of samples  of my regular meds! 

This is great news since my husband had to take another week off of work. It really helps a lot. Than he gave my husband the steroids that he needed, at no charge. I told you this guy is great.

Before I left I just had to ask him, even though he had a hard time hearing me, "Am I healthy enough for the knee surgery?". He said " Oh yes!, But you need to stop talking so much.". O.K. I know my voice was just a whisper and I was a bit hard to hear. Yet I couldn't help but wonder if he was being my doctor at that moment or a man. I'll have to give this some thought.

So we are home now and my husband is all hopped up on steroids playing video games as I type this. My throat is a bit sore but I am definitely breathing better this evening. And I am feeling much, much more confident about the knee replacement today.

I have been off my feet for almost an entire week. The bit of walking that I did today really made me realize that this is something I need to do.

I can't end this without a mention of a good friend of mine who passed away last weekend. We met through church eight years ago but also had other family ties previous to becoming church family members. He was a wonderfully supportive friend to me in my job. I can honestly say that next to my Pastor, he helped me more in my job than anyone there. Being a church secretary is not as easy as one would think. This warm and friendly man did all that he could in all of the offices he served to help me. 

He was a friend. I will surely miss his warm and caring attitude. He had a rough battle with cancer this past year. He leaves behind a loving family. He will be missed. May God Bless you Ron, and please, say Hi to my mom. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Be Back Soon"

Sorry that I haven't been by folks. Jake and I have been home very sick.
We are both on medication but so far no relief. We go back to the doctor tomorrow. 
I have completely lost my voice and have had no desire to be on line so if you don't hear from me until next week, not to worry.

Hopefully I'll be be back soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

" The Funniest Lunch I've Ever Heard !"

If you've been following along this week, you already know that Kate and her friend have been coming home for lunch everyday this week from school.

This year Kate and her friend are Sophomores in High School. At their school this means that they are allowed to go off campus at lunch time. 

And while Kate and her friend have the option to eat at school, well lets just say , that's not cool. You get it right? I remember what it was like to not be cool and so do you, at least I hope you do!

The truth is that we and Kate's friend can't afford to eat lunch out everyday. And honestly if we could, she wouldn't. It's not healthy and a waste of money.

Today I came across some cash. Don't worry, it was honest cash. I cleaned for it. I had promised Kate that I would give her money to go and eat out, this very first time in her whole entire High School career to date ! 

The problem came into play when we remembered that they have early outs every Thursday. Neither Kate nor I knew what time her "Early" lunch would be. So since I usually clean on Thursday and finish around 11:30, we were both a bit worried. 

Would I be able to finish early, me being the OCD house cleaner of the year?  What would they eat if I didn't finish in time? The cupboard is bare, unless "I" cook that is.

So the plan was that Kate would text me when she knew what time they would get out for lunch. I would hopefully be done cleaning by then and have time to run to the bank to cash my check. 

I was going to meet Kate and her friend and give them cash so that they could enjoy their very first, OFF CAMPUS, lunch.

In the four years that I have been cleaning for this family that I truly love, I have never, ever, gotten done this quickly. And I didn't miss a beat. I even washed the cabinets in the kitchen with Murphy's oil soap and polished them to a fine clean shine!

O.K. so now You've got the picture, don't you? I am sweaty, sore, really sore and tired. I am racing across town to cash my check as I call Katie to ask "Where and what time do you want me to meet you?".

I did it damn it, I cleaned that house to a perfect shine with my knee giving out, in less than three hours! I was going to make my Katie love me. 

Oh for crying out loud, I know she love's me! Please keep up, she is a fifteen year old girl!!!!

Her answer to my question, my call, my pain, my huge sacrifice was...

" We're not going out, it will take too much time. We are coming home."

Say what? W.T.F.? I am just thinking this now people, I'm not saying this to her. What do I do? The cupboard is bare. I have about 20 minutes to come up with something not to mention my knee is on it's last leg (No pun intended!).

So I drive like a mad woman. I mean really folks, I decided that I owned the town in order to get home and cook for my girls damn it!!!!

I risked life, limb ( Literally, LIMB.) to get home and whip something up. 

Now you might be thinking that I am a super mom or just crazy. Either way, you are right. 

When I arrived home, I peed, turned on the hot water, took my bra off, and got down to business. There was a box of generic mac and cheese in the pantry. I still had enough milk and butter, yea! And I still had some good smoked ham in the fridge!

I got that water boiling on my trusty gas stove sooner than you can say "I want pizza". Heated up that ham in the microwave and before you know it, boom, bam, zam, "Mac and Cheese with smoked ham"!

Now here's the funny part. The girls stand at the kitchen counter to eat. They don't sit down. I have tried to get them to sit in the dining room but that takes too much time away from socialization, so they stand, scarf, and leave. You with me so far?

So I have had their plates set on the counter, napkins with forks and drinks waiting. They must serve the food themselves as they don't want to see me!

Everything was ready, the food was warm and I even left a Hershey Kiss next to their plates.

This is when I go into the living room to Finally, FINALLY, put my feet up and call my husband. So my sweet man and I are having our usual conversation, when the dogs start barking. The girls are home for lunch.

They don't sat hello. They don't say hi. They don't say anything. 

I hear the pot being scraped.

As I am quietly having a husband wife conversation, what do I hear?

Forks. Forks scraping. Folks hitting correlle. Clink, clink, clink. Clank, clink, clink clank. Clank, clank, click... click, click clank, scrap. 

Clink. clink. Clank, clink, scrap, clink, clank,clink,clink.. clink.... clank...

If I knew Morris code, I swear that there was a story there.

Oh I know what they were thinking.

"Lets eat as fast as we can and get the hell out of here!"!

Was it worth the pain that I inflicted on myself? 

Your are damn right it was.

Do I know why?

Yes, someday I hope that they will appreciate me.

Was it worth it?

Well let me put it this way. Kate actually apologized for snapping at me today. That in it self is a major accomplishment to me.

And she has been actually been waiting on me tonight! Hot Damn!!!!!!

Perhaps there is hope after all. 

This story was told by the mom of a teenage daughter. 

Any resemblance to your own past or present teenage daughter is your own problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

" Tuesday Tidbits "

Not a very interesting day but the steroids seem to be helping with the rash. Although my left arm still looks as though an eyeball is growing on it! I woke in the middle of the night scratching it so hard that it woke me up. I suppose that's what I get for not wearing my sock with the toe cut out, over it. I will wear it tonight for sure.

My Katie girl is back to school, this being her second year in high school. She is still as spirited as ever (full of attitude). I am sure you can see it in the photo. 

Her days are longer this year. She doesn't get home till almost four and leaves at eight. Needless to say she has been tired after school and cranky too! 
She and her friend came home for lunch today. I was going to use Wanda's suggestion and make a salad with ham cubes and cornbread but I remembered that Katie said that she had a taste for bow tie pasta and I had bought some over the weekend.

So I fixed some homemade meat sauce for the pasta and broiled some slices of french bread with garlic butter and Parmesan cheese, sprinkled with Italian seasonings.

Again they scarfed down their food and took off! Honestly, can we say "Thank you" ?!!!

I think I may make something with the leftover chicken that I baked last night. Or the salad, we'll see how creative I feel tomorrow!

My son stopped over today after work. I asked if he could string some more clothesline for me as I have trouble getting it taut. The above photo was taken while Jake was still on vacation. We went over to the kids house for a cookout while Kate was at camp.

Honestly I think that was the most relaxing evening I had that week.

That was pretty much all I did. Sit with my feet up and take pictures. Well not the whole time! My granddaughter Sarah took me on a tour of "Her" garden!

She is quite the little farmer girl and I went home with a bag specially picked vegetables just for me!!

Well I guess I didn't get them in this photo, but they are there, in the back! You'll just have to take my word for it on this one!

She also had to show me "Her" flower garden. It was really pretty. I think she may have had some help from mom.

There was this Angel statue in the garden. It belonged to my mom. She had two of them. I have the other. I felt her there as I looked at it.

And Sarah still remembers her grandma Annie too.

A couple of my boys, relaxing.
And one ........

That doesn't know the meaning of the word!

Except for sometimes when he's in his mama's arms.

That was a fun evening. 

And as for today, just an ordinary one. I have some great smelling clothes from being hung out. But I am sure that novelty will wear off as soon as the weather starts to turn.

Hopefully I'll be able to get a new dryer soon. But in the meantime, it's not so bad hanging them outside.

Katie is back to her teenagery self and all is right with the world once again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

" I Really Shouldn't "

Really I shouldn't.
Be posting that is.

You see I am taking some very strong steroids right now.

The poison Sumac got the better of me and as much as I hate to give in, I had to. It is not only on my arms but my forehead, cheeks and back of my neck.

I just couldn't take it one more minute. 
The steroids make me feel loopy.

So I am not taking responsibility for this post, nope, read it at your own risk!!!

I will now attempt, in my precarious state of mind to post the final photos from our day trip.

I will do my best, so here goes.

Alto Pass, Illinois

 Again, more curvy, winding, surprisingly beautiful, winding roads.

We're getting closer.... 

Oh my gosh was my husband in hysterics here. 
You see I was much too close to the edge for my husband.
He is very afraid of heights.

You wouldn't know it but he almost had a meltdown!

That is a huge, gigantic, drop off behind him!

Not to worry, I didn't push it, or him, HeHeHeHe.....

I know that he appreciated the view despite his fears. 

It was so UNLEVEL here, I felt safer walking barefoot. 
There are no fences, just a giant drop off.

Yes this is in Illinois!

You may or may not have heard of "Bald Knob Cross".
It is a gigantic metal cross that has been around for a long time.
If I were in my right mind I would put up a link so that you could read about it's history.

But alas, I am not in my right mind , feeling tired and my skin burns SO,
I will just tell you that it is being redone and if I could have climbed eight stories I could have gotten some better photos! Ha!

You can't tell from the photo but it overlooks the whole pass,
really spectacular.

You see when you visit my blog, you must use your imagination!
Unfortunately I wasn't blessed with the wonderful photo skills that you all seem to have. 

But that's alright because I know what wonderful imaginations you all have!

Just a little ditty, now that Katie is a sophomore, she has off campus lunch. And since she is not working yet, she has decided that it would be great if her and her friend come home for lunch everyday.

We live just a few blocks from the H.S.

Shhhhhh, don't tell anyone but she now expects me to make these gourmet lunches everyday.

During my nap time. 

I guess I am a little excited as this brings back memories of when Kate was in the third grade, but than again.......

cooking lunch and dinner all in one day?! With my knees?!!!!

Today's Lunch Menu

Broiled open faced Feta cheese chicken salad sandwiches  on fresh french bread,
 with colby jack cheese melted on top.

Fresh from the DIL's garden garlic dill pickle chunks

Frito Lay's Sea salt and Black Pepper Kettle Chips.

Anyone have any ideas for tomorrow involving ham and cornbread?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

" The Key to Happiness "

We have all heard the phrase. I am sure at one time or another we have all thought about happiness, ours or someone elses. Is there really a key to happiness or is this phrase an enigma that mankind will forever be chasing around. I personally think that it is the latter.

I have given a lot of thought about happiness lately. What is it exactly? Is it a physical feeling? It can be. Is it a thought in our minds? It can be. Is one person more predisposed to being happy than another? I suspect so.

Can being able to purchase whatever you need at anytime make you happy? Can you be happy while you may be struggling to pay your utilities or buy food? Sure you can.

Does money make you happy? It can, but I am sure that one could be miserable with a lot of money. Do some people get happier as they get older? I suppose just as many that get more miserable as they get older.

Does spirituality make one happy? It can. However I don't think that people who aren't spiritual, can't be happy as well. Is a marathon runner any happier than one who cannot walk? Probably at certain times. Yet the one who cannot walk can also be so much happier than the runner.

Does the one you love always make you happy? Really? All of the time? We can be grateful to have friends and loved ones in our lives. But they don't always make us happy.

I wonder if the most beautiful person in the world is more happy than I am. Maybe, at this moment I am not feeling overly happy. But I'll bet that I am much happier than a lot of beautiful people.

Can happiness go away and never ever come back. I am sure that it can. I hope I never find out. 

Does food make you happy? Food makes millions happy. Yet it can also make you sick. Are there some people that are happy all of the time? I doubt it. But I'm no expert, hence this post.

Is happiness just a dream? Do we think that we are happy when perhaps we really don't know what happy is? 

I do know for a fact that most people are forever trying to find happiness. We will do almost anything for that feeling. Whatever it means to any given individual. 

We buy things, we eat things, we read things, make things, grow things, nurture things. We are forever in search of that feeling of happiness. whatever it may be for us.

Do murderers, thieves, sexual offenders feel happiness? Does that question offend you? Don't you think that "The Bad Guys" feel happiness? If someone is offensive to you, do you feel that they have no right to be happy? It does make some happy to judge.

There are pills that can make us happy. I don't think that scientists have invented one that can make us all happy all of the time. Take a minute please and envision a world where we all were happy all of the time.....

That could be very funny. Perhaps even very silly! We'd all be smiling, laughing, joking, singing, skipping, dancing and playing while we are awake. And have nothing but fairytale dreams when asleep.

I don't have any of the answers about happiness. I am sure that there are experts that will tell us in which section of our brain happiness is located. There has to be a spot. Or is there? Again does anyone really know?

As a christian, I believe that true happiness comes after we are gone. Yes I believe that true happiness awaits me in heaven. But if you don't believe as I do, That's fine with me. It's fine because I believe that happiness is found on an individual basis. Do you know what it feels like when I am happy? Do I know what it feels like when your happy?

So here we are back at square one. Is there a true key to happiness? I write this post trying to come to a conclusion of sorts. I think that I have gained a tad bit more insight just through asking certain questions.

In my own opinion which really means nothing to many, I don't think that there is a true key to mortal happiness. After that, well if I could let you know, maybe I would. But maybe we aren't really meant to know.

Maybe somethings are just better left a mystery.

Friday, August 13, 2010

" The Secret Garden "

As promised I am posting a few more photos of our day trip while Jake was home for a week. As advised by our oldest daughter "Ginny", we were told not to be afraid to wonder off of the beaten path. And so we did. 

As Ginny suggested we wandered into a tiny, tiny town in Southern Illinois called Makanda. Our son and daughter-in-law also suggested that we stop by. Really there wasn't anything very exciting about it.
It has a very small boardwalk that dates back to before I was born, so I suppose they thought that might make it interesting for me!

That's how it looked a little bit before I was born.

And that is how it looks today. It is very small. There are a few shops in there that have some interesting handcrafted items and lots of photos of the old days and a bit of the history.

This really was a beautiful area. Very hilly with lots of curving stone lined roads. 

One of the shops was owed by a gentleman that worked with metal. He handcrafted jewelry and metal art. Very beautiful pieces. But that isn't why we stopped there.

Our daughter told us that there used to be ( back in her collage days ) a secret garden behind his store. She suggested that we ask him if it was still there as she knows how much I love gardens.

Now before I go on let me tell you a few things about this garden. There aren't many flowers in it and it has pretty much been taken over by weeds. This gentleman that owns it is a tad bit older than me and can no longer keep up with it. But let me tell you this, when I saw it, my imagination ran wild! 

And please, click on some of the photos to see the detail. I could not capture it properly with my camera. Too bad I didn't take Kate's!!

You really have to use your imagination here. This "Backyard" has multiple natural levels.

There were several metal art pieces that the owner sculpted. MMmm, I don't know if "sculpted" is the right word.
There were many stairs, bridges and whimsy. However, grown over it was.

I made my husband very nervous several times. He doesn't care for heights to say the least!

I could barely get him to cross this bridge. I think he only did it because he was worried about my walking. I went slowly and carefully.

I could see that quite a bit of this "backyard" was in disrepair. That just made it more exciting for me !

Above is one of the creeks.

Below, a mermaid sitting beside a pond!

It was impossible for me to capture this entire "Backyard" in one photo. So I took many. I didn't even touch the surface. There was a fire pit on one of the levels.

So many staircases. Some led to another level, others to a dead end!

Can you tell that my husband hates having his picture taken? Sorry Dear, fair is fair!

Notice the copper fish. It was atop a pond of goldfish.

There were also stone obelisks that surrounded the entire "Backyard".

And a gigantic mosquito!

I thought that I took too many photos but now I wish I had taken more.
Such beauty and so much potential. 

I understand that at one time this place was a gathering for local musical artists as well as a "Backyard". 

When I complimented the owner on his beautiful garden, he said " It doesn't hurt that it sits in the middle of the rocks!".

I do believe that had we brought a bottle of wine, he would have let us sit back there and enjoy it. Maybe another time.

What a special place.

Goodbye Makanda!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

" If You Want Happy, You've Come to the Wrong Place!"

I am taking a teeny time out from our day trip posts to complain a bit. I feel the need to blow off some steam!

It all started on Saturday while my husband was still home. The weather was still fairly pleasant as Fridays was and my husband and I had planned to do the yard work that day. 

He mows and uses the gas trimmer while I do the hand weeding. Over the years our neighbors on both sides of our house, only mow. They don't weed. So all of there weeds from both houses grow up and over our fences. So much so that we have had to go on there side to chop through it all and yank out the big ones.

They don't seem to mind. Neither one has said a word. Keep in mind that between the two houses there lives approximately three people under the age of forty and five people under the age of twenty.

I have asked nicely once if they had anything to help combat the weeds. They (both houses) said "No, sorry". O.k. so Jake and I keep taking care of the weeds at our expense. 

Well if you haven't guessed by now, I have gotten poison sumac (which by the way is taking over all of the fences) again. The second time this year. Not to mention the three times in the years past that I have acquired poison ivy from the same circumstance.

It all gets so buried under other weeds that I don't see it until it's too late. Sometimes I don't even see it at all. I am just a hard worker and sort of go crazy ripping it all out.

I am not stupid, I just try to be a good neighbor. As does my husband. We have helped our neighbors in the past many, many times.

Well I finally have had enough. Besides having this horrible poison sumac on my arm, it has taken me three days to get over the pain from this work. I can't do it anymore. So I finally called the city. I really didn't want to do it but I have been having to deal with this problem for several years now and I just can't take it anymore. 

I met with the city inspector yesterday and he agreed that the problem was way more than Jake and I could handle anymore. So he is going to mail them a letter. If they don't comply after so many days, the city will take care of it and then bill them directly.

Gosh I felt so horrible about this but I am at the end of my rope here. I am to the point where I cannot take a step without my knee hurting. I have found myself sitting much more than usual because of it. My shots are not working anymore. My doctor said that I could have the knee replacement done whenever I felt ready. It is that bad. He also told me that they have a knee that may last up to twenty years and they are working on one that's even better. This was last year.

While my husband was on vacation we had a serious talk. He asked me what my fears were about the surgery. I have many. Not the least of which is money. While we do have insurance, pretty good insurance, it still doesn't cover everything and we really don't know if they will cover any physical therapy as in the past they haven't. 

Anyway I told Jake that I was waiting for some sort of sign. He explained that he thought constant pain was a pretty good sign. About fifteen minutes later while watching a show on television, there was this commercial for a new thirty year knee. Wow. Jake and I looked at each other and he said "There's your sign Di !".

So I guess when I go to my ortho doctor in September, we will have the conversation. It would be to our advantage for me to do this before the first of the year as I have met my deductible for this year. Jake still has two weeks of vacation coming and can take more time if need be. 

Now this is all just a plan right now. God only knows what will and can happen between now and then. All I know is that I am in constant pain and the strain is starting to affect other parts of my body. I wanted to put this off a while longer but I don't think I can wait much longer. This is effecting every step I take.

Sunday it started to get hot again. Jake and I planned on doing laundry as he was to leave Monday morning. We made it through two loads when the clothes dryer went Kaplooey! It was over twenty years old. I just threw $175.00 into it a few weeks ago. The whole control panel went which I knew was going to happen eventually. I was told that it would just be cheaper to replace it. So I am saving my money for a new dryer.

In the meantime it's the laundromat and clothes lines for me. More strain on the knee. I thank God that I have Katie here to help me. She is a strong girl.

I have more photos of our day trip ready to post. I was going to post it today. But after sitting in that hot laundromat with my arm burning, itching, and blistering and now my knee aching horribly, I just felt the need to whine today. 

If you managed to make it through this entire complaint post, Thank You. You're an angel !            Love Di

Monday, August 9, 2010

"I'm Back and I am Tired!"

Well here I am again and I must say that I am so worn out. Contentedly though. My husband, unwillingly went back over the road this morning and Katie is at a friends house after another week at camp. School starts on Friday and I know that she is looking forward to that, she loves high school.

Most of our vacation week was spent in the house. We had extremely high heat indexes all week with Tuesday being the highest at 123. So as you can imagine, not many ventured outside including us! But it was nice to just relax.
Friday was the day we knew we would get a break from the heat. The high was 87 which felt quite nice after the awful heat wave! So we took a day trip. We headed further south in Illinois. We didn't have much of a plan, just follow the roads and see where we end up.

O.K. we're on our way!
We stopped at several places on our day trip but for today I am going to show you just one. Too many photos to post in one day!

We came across this very unusual park called "Boo Park". We just had to stop to check out this really beautiful  Medieval Style park.

I don't know if you can see the serpent without enlarging this or not.

There were statues of dragons and wizards everywhere. It was really amazing, even for us big kids!

This was the main play area in which my husband just had to go inside of. He is a lover of Medieval times. He said that there was a trap door inside where you could hide and walk around the inside of the walls. You could also jump out from random secret doors to scare people!
I took this photo from inside but I couldn't climb the stairs as they were too high for my knees to handle. But I did get to hear something funny from one of the little boys that was playing inside. He said "What is that lady doing in here?"! That did make me laugh.

This will give you an idea of the size of some of these amazing statues!
This big fellow was getting petted by me, he seemed to like it!

Here is a photo of just one of many beautiful park benches!

One of the giant protectors of "Boo Park"!

There was a lot of detail. You have to look closely. See the Gargoyles?

And of coarse there had to be some wizards.

I guess I should have taken a side view of this fellow!

Half of the large Iron Gates that close the park at night.

 This is what caught my eye as we were driving by. So Jake turned the car around and parked so that we could poke around!

This was where Jake was reading the history of the park. It was built by a young man's family, in memory of their son's untimely death.

 This was the waterfall, which unfortunately for us, wasn't turned on that day!

Notice the rabbit ears my husband is giving this wizard !
He only did it because he'd like to be a wizard himself!

Even though this day was supposed to be just for Jake and I, I couldn't help but wish that we had Sarah and Jack with us. They would have loved this park in Carbondale, Illinois.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.

More later on other adventures!