Sunday, April 30, 2006

Saturday, April 29, 2006

marley cheers me up

My grand daughter Marley, 6, put together this collage to cheer me up after my surgery. What an artist! Look at the use of color, the form, the balanced composition.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

oh no!

Yesterday my daughter Kelly was shopping at Walmart with the kids. When she left, the mexican restaurant across the street was engulfed in flames, and several fire trucks were busy pumping the wet stuff in an attemt to put out the fire. Kelly's first thought was "Oh, no. Dad must have tried the chimichangas!". And Marley add: "I hope the hamsters got out safe!"

You'll have to excuse me. I'm feeling so much better and I'm getting silly.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

time to test the tubes

I've been able to eat just about anything I want post-surgery, just in small amounts, and without a lot of grease and spice. But, last night I told Dorothy it may be time to give the newly rennovated plumbing a good test. We could go to an all-you-can-eat catfish restaurant and eat greasy catfish filets, brown beans, onions, and coleslaw and see if these stitches hold up to some high pressure flatulence. Or a Mexican restaurant where I can test how many chile charged chimichangas I can eat without singeing my sphyncter.
Dorothy suggested I ease up on the pain meds just a bit.

I answered a fire call today. I heard the page out on the radio and it was about a half mile from my house, so Dorothy drove me there. I went in my pajamas. It was good to see the guys.

quote of the day

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
-- John F. Kennedy, inaugural address, January 20, 1961

a weird sensation

There are hamsters running around inside my stomach. What's causing that? Here's my theory: When a doctor elbows his way past all those muscles and organs in an attempt to get a clear shot at your gall bladder, he interrupts the natural feng shui of your abdomen. While you're recovering all your parts are trying to remember their true place in space and time. Even though the gall bladder is a small thing I'm sure the stomach and liver are competing for the extra space left in it's absence. So until all the organs settle in and get comfy the hamsters are having a field day.

Not only has Dorothy been waiting on me hand and foot without complaint, yesterday she mowed and weed whacked the yard. Then she was in the Emergency Room last night with Tara our oldest grand daughter.(stomach problems too) They didn't get back until 12:30am.

I'm getting behind in reading all my favorite blogs, but I can't sit in front of this computer for very long. In fact, here come those hamsters! Talk to you later.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

making progress2

Last night as bedtime approached my back was hurting, so I decided to take some pain medication and spend one more night in the recliner. I woke up at 430am with the bad taste of the drugs in my mouth. I was groggy. I don't mind being sleepy but groggy from drugs? No thanks. I'm afraid I'd make a poor drug addict. I hauled myself out of the big chair, groped my way down the hallway to the bathroom, that done, I made my way back to the bedroom where I gingerly eased myself into bed next to Dorothy. She was so warm, so soft, and smelled so good! "What's going on?" she asked as I made myself comfortable. "I've spent my last night in the recliner." I replied. "Oh, Ok." she said.

I think I've passed another milestone on the road to recovery.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

once again

I was just walking past the computer on my semi-hourly walk prescribed by the doctor. Thought I would stop and say howdy. I ran out of jelly beans. I was doing fine until that happened. Then gas started rolling around inside me; it was quite painful. Dorothy doesn't believe there's a connection but I'm a firm believer in jelly bean therapy. She's going to have to make an emergency run. When I'm completely recovered I'm going to write a treatise on the medicinal use of jelly beans and send it to the Mayo Clinic. It may be the next revolutionary scientific breakthrough!

better every day

I'm actually at the keyboard. I'm walking around, albeit bent over. A little dizzy. I had pancakes for breakfast, vegetable beef soup for lunch, and it's going to be meat loaf, peas and carrots and mashed potatoes for dinner so I'm doing well in the digestion department. I'm taking my pain medication at longer and longer intervals. When I get up I carry my tummy around the house like a bowling ball. I think I need one of those slings hippies use to carry their babies.

Dorothy's been giving me excellent care. I may want to prolong this for awhile.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I'm back, sort of

Dorothy is at the keyboard while I'm dictating this post from the comfort of my recliner. I am getting around fine, just a little sore. I get up and walk around every few hours just like the doctor ordered. I am eating well, lots of jelly beans, crackers, and I've been eating soup. This afternoon Dorothy made some of her world famous sugar cookies and they sure were good. I can't sit too, close to the table so crumbs drop to the floor for Lizzie. Dorothy was removing my bandages today and a cracker crumb fell into my navel. She had to fish it out with a Q tip. The pain medicine makes me groggy so I'm getting in lots of dream time. We're already planning our next night out at a restaurant.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Update on Wally

This is Wally's wife Dorothy with an update on his condition. The nurses had a very hard time getting the I.V. in. Our friend and anesthesiologist Rich came to the rescue. In no time at all he did it with ease. Our daughter Kelly and our Sunday School Teacher came to sit with me during the procedure. Wally was in the operating room less than an hour. The doctor said everything went very well.
Back in his room they had him hooked up to a blood pressure monitor. It was saying 193/99. The nurses were a little concerned and wants him to check with his doctor. But it went down when they let him put his undershorts back on.
All and all he is now on the mend.
On Easter Sunday Wally was telling our daughter,Rachel, to be aware of the fact that the same symptoms they have shared over the years may be her gallbladder,too. Well, she had an attack last night so bad that it sent her to the doctor today. He said it sounded like a classic sign of a gallbladder attack. Now she thinks her dad jinxed her. Her dad apologized to her for passing on that particular gene.

Monday, April 17, 2006

technical difficulties

I'm having problems uploading our Easter photos. So just enjoy these if I can't get back to it tonight. Tomorrow morning I go for my gall bladder surgery so I probably won't post for a couple of days. See ya when I get back on my feet.

Marley colors eggs
Look at the toes on that girl (it's a photo insert not a third foot). She won't have any trouble climbing trees.

Jenna has rain boots too. Her's keep falling off.

Friday, April 14, 2006

quote of the day

I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy! -- Louise Bogan

Thursday, April 13, 2006

a lazy afternoon

Dorothy and I were invited to lunch at the cabin of some friends. Their log cabin perches on a bluff overlooking the Illinois River, and we ate barbecued hamburgers and spent the afternoon sitting in lawn chairs and visiting as the Illinois flowed lazily below us. Vultures rose on the air currents above us, Red Tail Hawks stalked their prey from the heights, and herons glided just above the surface of the water on their way downstream. We watched as a young couple far below us slowly made their way down river in a bright orange raft. The girl soaked up the sun as her boy friend languidly propelled the raft while half in and half out of the water. It was unseasonably warm and the only sound was the wind blowing through the pine trees. We took a walk along a trail that led through a copse of flowering dogwood trees and out onto a rocky point where it seemed like you could see forever. Late in the afternoon our friends played a tape of owl calls and before long the biggest owl I've ever seen flew to a nearby tree where he proceeded to answer the calls while keeping us under close scrutiny. What an afternoon.

quote of the day

If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.
--Gail Sheehy

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I went to the doctor today. The verdict is in. The gall bladder has to go. So next Tuesday morning I'll go to the hospital and since it's being done laparascopically I'll be home in my recliner that afternoon. It should go ok, except that I hate the thought of pointy, shiny instruments puncturing my body.
I like the nurse who will be assisting, and I told her to keep the doctor on his toes. The anesthesiologist (two big words in one post!) is a friend so I'm in good hands.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

i worked on saturday!

I shouldn't have said it. I no sooner staked a claim for Saturdays and then I broke my own rule. Yesterday we had a county wide trash off. That happens once a year and you can take all the junk that's been accumulating at your house to a central location where the county either burns it or takes it to a landfill. We took two truck loads. Where does that stuff come from? Does it breed in the dark recesses of your shed, or pop up like mushrooms? We took old rusty fence wire, pieces of pipe, old broken toys, dilapidated lawn furniture.
I asked Dorothy to help me load an old door that had been leaning against the shed for far too long.
"No, I'm going to decorate the yard with that?"
"Huh?", I replied.
"Yes, I'm going to lean it against the maple tree and grow vines on it."
"Ok", I told her. "I'll haul an old truck in here, take the wheels off, and set it on blocks in the front yard. We'll call it Okie Motif."
She ignored me.
The door is still leaning against the shed.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

quote of the day

The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use - of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public.
-- Robert F. Kennedy, 'I Remember, I Believe,' The Pursuit of Justice, 1964

Friday, April 07, 2006

i'm tired

I'm tired just from watching Dorothy work. She's on a remodeling rampage. The cabinet doors are spread everywhere with new paint drying on their surfaces. We went to Lowe's today and spent a bunch of money on drawer and cabinet door pulls. I had to order the hinges online.

Dorothy and I have different work ethics. I like to work on home projects at a leisurely pace. If she starts a project in the morning it has to be done before we go to bed even if we work non-stop all day. I like to stop for lunch and maybe take a nap. Lunch for her is a sandwich in one hand and a paint roller in the other. Work should stop before the evening meal and then one should relax with a good book or a movie until bed time. No such luck with Dorothy. As I write this blog post she's still busy in the kitchen.

For the last twenty five years of my work life I had to work on Saturdays. Now that I'm retired I want to look forward to the weekend as a carefree break. So I just don't work on Saturdays. It's just another day to accomplish tasks for Dorothy. I'm afraid we have irreconcilable differences. We're incompatible. We would have split up years ago if wasn't for the fact that she's crazy about me. And I feel the same way about her.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

the day's activities

Dorothy's in the kitchen sanding the cabinets. I removed the doors, hinges, and pull knobs. She'll be painting them soon. If I can get a camera I'll post some pictures.

This morning I got caught up at the fire station. I've uploaded all this year's run reports to the national data base.
I went to town and picked up my tiller, brought it home and tilled a few rows. By Saturday I hope to have some potatoes in the ground. I'm behind planting schedule.

Tonight is our monthly fire department meeting. I'll be giving a report on the last month's fire fighting activities. I'll also update everyone on the training that needs to be accomplished by the end of this fiscal year to be in compliance with FEMA.

I heard from the doctor. Looks like gallstones. I have an appointment next week to discuss what we're going to do about it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


We had a thunder storm roll in this morning. It dropped a few drops of rain and we could hear the thunder rolling through the distant hills but that was it. We need more rain. I received six new Hostas in the mail today and promptly put them in the ground. I put three of them under my Japanese maple. I called the mechanic who is repairing my tiller and it should be ready tomorrow, so I'll be planting the veggies soon. I'm ready.

The doctor's office called today. The results of my ultrasound are in and I am being referred to a GI doctor. Well, I guess it will be awhile until I know what's going on.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

it's come down to words

Today my digital camera quit communicating with my computer. I've ran all the online diagnostic tests to no avail. It just quit. That means I can't fill in all the empty space on this blog with pictures. I'll have to resort to words.

I removed all the kitchen cabinet doors and Dorothy is now sanding them in preparation for paint. They've been natural varnished wood for the last 25 years, and now it's time for change.

My tiller is in the shop being repaired. As soon as I get it back I'll be tilling the soil and planting the first garden in a long time. The last few years of my work life I was just too tired to manage it. Now it's time for a big garden with home grown tomatoes (I can smell those vines now), potatoes, squash, corn, beans, and I'm going to grow a giant pumpkin for Marley and Hunter's Halloween.

I'm still awaiting the results of an abdominal ultrsound. I guess I'll have to call the doctor since it looks like he's not going to call me. I'm trying to get to the cause of this lack of energy. Surely it's not because I'm getting old. It has to be something else.