Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Woody started out his Sunday with about a four mile walk. We both went to Sunday School and taught our Sunday School classes. We came home and enjoyed Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch and then relaxed...Woody with football games, reading, and a DVD...me with a nap mid-afternoon. I think that my adrenalin must have stopped flowing after a very busy last week! I rearranged the Fisher Price Nativity so I could take a picture of it to share here on the blog...after taking the pictures, I sat down in the chair across from it to ponder on it AND begin to think about attacking our Christmas decorating...next thing I knew it was an hour later!
Pictured in this collage is the Fisher Price Nativity that I mentioned in yesterday's blog. The last picture is our 2-year-old granddaughter, Esther-Noel, pointing to the Reason for the Christmas season!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Today I posted a picture of a nuthatch that Woody and I spotted yesterday on our walk...I guess I should say that we heard...as we heard him first peck, pecking away...and then spotted him. We both have realized that our "photography walks" have made us much more observant of our surroundings when we walk. We are sometimes amazed at all that we see (or hear).
At the moment, Woody and I are both ready to put our feet up and rest after our day of celebrating Thanksgiving with our family.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Woody had a typical day...he got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home to relax and to start enjoying the long weekend. He and I went to the library. I was about to run out of books and the library is closed till Saturday. He got some DVDs to occupy some of his time this weekend.
Wishing each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for...hope that we take time tomorrow (and every day) to reflect on all the blessings that God has given us!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home, took out the trash, and now is relaxing with TV and a book.
Monday, November 23, 2009
We got a phone call from one of Woody's research nurses at Vanderbilt today. She was calling to say that they had changed his next appointment day...they switched it to a Tuesday instead of Monday (still the 2nd week in December). We are to be there by 8am...looks like we will be getting up "dark and early" once again (well, Woody gets up at that time most days...just me that doesn't do well at "dark and early!"). All of Woody's appointments are now in the morning rather than so late in the afternoon...a good thing!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
What a fun day we have had! But...I definitely know that I'm not as young as I used to be! I had been wanting, for some time, to have a day of bread making, so Graham could see how yeast works...and today became that day. He came over around 9:30am and we got underway. We first watched a short movie clip that I found on YouTube about what yeast likes to eat. Then we got underway with making our bread. In the "waiting times" we did lots of other things. The hit of the day was mixing yeast, water and sugar and putting it in a soda pop bottle and then covering the top with a balloon. What fun he had watching the balloon inflate due to the carbon dioxide gas. During one of the breaks he ran home to check out the deer that his daddy had shot this morning. Then he hustled back to our house to finish the next step in the bread-making process. He kneaded the dough, watched the dough rise, punched down the dough, shaped the loaves, etc. it was definitely a hands-on science project! And, he found out that it takes a looooong time to finally get a loaf or two of bread! While the loaves cooled, Woody, Graham, and I went on a walk...they picked up aluminum cans to recycle, I took pictures, Graham crowed at the rooster, maaaaaaaaaed at the goats, and skipped along (most of the time ahead of us!). When we got home, we sampled one of the loaves (ours) and then he headed home with his whole loaf so he could share it with his family for their supper. He left with the promise that he could come back to have a bath at our house this evening (if he got permission from Mom and Dad)! That is where he happily is at the moment. He chose the pictures for tonight's collage and helped arrange them.
When Graham headed to his house for supper, I got back to making our soup of the day: Cream of Chicken Florentine...very good! Woody went to the library this morning, has watched a DVD, read, watched football, gave our front door its second coat of paint, and made Cranapple Crisp for our lunch dessert. Busy day for all of us! By the way, Graham and I made Pilgrims' Bread. It has corn meal, whole wheat, rye, and white flours in it. It is a good hearty loaf...appropriately named for this time of the year!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Here's a picture of an imported nightmare! This is Kudzu...it was imported from Japan in 1911 to control erosion and restore nitrogen-depleted soil. BUT...in the warm, wet climate of the Southeast, Kudzu has run rampant...overgrowing forests, fields, buildings, etc. The picture on the right shows it taking over the hillside along the road...at times taking on some rather strange and eerie shapes.
Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home and has been relaxing...watching TV and reading this evening.
I called one of Woody's research nurses this morning to see what was going on with ALL the appointments that had been made. And...shock of all shocks...I didn't have to leave a message...the nurse I was trying to reach answered the phone herself! Each of the research nurses gave us their phone numbers to call if we needed to get in touch with them...but we hadn't needed to call before today. I couldn't believe the ease of getting in touch with her. Of course, I chose the wrong one of the research nurses, as she hadn't made the appointments, but she transferred me over to the correct nurse. There were extra appointments made...so the extras will be cancelled. She also was able to get Woody's next CT scan scheduled on the same day that Woody is to see Dr. Ginger Holt for his next checkup on his upper left arm that she removed the Melanoma tumor from back in January. It will be good to "kill two birds with one stone!" So...hopefully...just two days of appointments at Vanderbilt in December...and those separated by several weeks.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home, and has been reading, watching TV, resting and relaxing since he got home.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I told you that in two days that you wouldn't be able to tell that our yard had been completely cleared of leaves. The top left picture is what our front yard looked like this morning...two days after it was totally cleaned off. For a while today it looked like it was raining leaves. I was able to capture a picture of some leaves as they were falling...bottom right picture. Nathan decided that he needs to blow leaves every few days to keep up with them so they don't get out of hand!!!!!! The picture at the top right shows him adding to the pile in the front of our house...and...Nathan is around 6'4"...the pile is getting higher. I thought that some of you, who don't have the amounts of leaves that we do, might be wondering why we are piling them out in front by our curb. Tullahoma has leaf trucks that come along periodically to sweep them up...think a very big vacuum! It's a way to get rid of leaves and not have to burn them...I will say that my allergies are glad for people not burning leaves!
Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home, invited Joy in to watch a show or two on PBS...later Graham and Abigail joined her. He watched the news and has been reading. I forgot to tell yesterday that he made another cranapple crisp. I'm about to go have my helping for tonight!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
At 6pm Woody officially finished the pills for the 5th cycle of his chemo drug study. Now the rest of the month should be a piece of cake for him...well...I guess time will tell, but at least no more pills that he has to take! I have bagged up all the chemo pill bottles, as we have to take back to Vanderbilt, and also the diary sheet...that way they are out of Woody's sight and thus he won't have to think about them until we head back to Vanderbilt three weeks from tomorrow.
We both went to Sunday School this morning. He taught his 6th and 7th grade boys' class. We came home from church and Woody settled in for an afternoon and evening of football and reading. We did take a walk around our block at the half-time of one of the games.
Tonight's blog is a picture of one of the most beautiful trees in Tullahoma. It is a ginkgo tree. The top three pictures I took two weeks ago today and the bottom three I took this afternoon. It has ten trunks. This tree has a "feature" that we wish that all the trees in our yard had...once it starts dropping leaves, they will all be off in several days. As you can see the tree is almost bare of leaves. I wanted to take it without any cars so took it both times mid-afternoon on Sunday...the first time we had quite the time not having cars in the picture...folks kept driving up in cars to take pictures...imagine that! I didn't have quite the competition today that I did two weeks ago! As you can see, the ground is carpeted with yellow leaves.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
There was a whole lot of leaf rakin', blowin', and pilin' going on at the two Dorrell residences today...also all over the neighborhood. That pile that Woody is standing behind is absolutely huge...wide and long and tall...about lost a couple of grandchildren in it (just kidding!). Although, yesterday there was a cell phone lost in it. The pile that is pictured in the bottom left snakes along from in front of Nathan's house down to our driveway (well, there is a space where a car can park...as seen at the top...the pile about hides the car! That's a lot of leaves!!!!!!!! Nathan is enjoying Woody's last year's Christmas present (a leaf blower)...but, it is still a tremendous amount of leaves and a LOT of work. And, the trouble is that in a couple of days the yards will be covered again...probably just in a day...as you can see, some of the trees have just barely started losing their leaves! Woody raked a little up close to the house getting some leaves out of that garden. Graham and Abigail really got busy in their front yard...raking leaves onto a plastic sheet and then dragging them to the road. Kathy used the blower in their back yard while Nathan pulled big loads of leaves to the road on a plastic sheet. I guess most everyone except the very youngest and me worked a bit in the leaves. I did pick up some gardening tools and put them in the garage...and picked a few leaves out of a couple of my plants...so guess I had a "hand" in the leaves too! At a point the children "took a break" and proceeded to tunnel through the leaves in front of our house...it was funny to see them disappear and then pop up again. I'll bet their bath water was dirty tonight! Joy and Graham came in to play for a while in our house. Graham was sneezing...wonder why!!!! Abigail went back to her house to clean her bike with my spray bottle (for misting flowers) and then came to pick up her brother and sister on the Barbie battery powered 4-wheeler! Been a lively day! Lots of work and lots of playing!
Woody really hasn't felt the best today. He got up early, had trouble taking his morning chemo pills but finally got them down (today he only had to take five in the morning instead of eleven!). He went to the library and got apples at the fruit market. He took care of Joy and Elijah while the rest of Nathan's family went on a short bike ride. He and I took a walk this afternoon. We walked around the perimeter (read that as a BIG block) of the neighborhood that is next to ours and also around our block. He has read, watched football and library DVDs this afternoon and evening, and just rested. And, he got his evening pills down...so now he just has one more day of taking chemo pills for this cycle! I made another of our favorite soups this morning...Spicy Vegetable-Beef.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Woody once again didn't have the best night...he had trouble going to sleep. When he finally fell asleep, he only slept about four hours. He did say that his pain seems less this evening. He will (at least he says that he will) take pain pills if the pain interferes with his sleep.
He got up early, took two pills, went to work, took his 9 chemo drug pills, walked at lunch, came home, took 4 more chemo pills, and has relaxed the rest of the evening in his recliner. He just has two more days of taking pills for this cycle...Sunday evening, when he will be through taking them, can't come quickly enough for him!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Woody got up early and started taking pills! He went to work, took more pills, didn't walk at lunch, came home, took more pills and has been relaxing and reading this evening. At this point in the day he has taken 18 pills. Tomorrow will end having to take so many pills for this cycle. He has taken a few extra pills today, as he has had some pain so took some Ibuprofen. He said that he had some trouble sleeping last night due to pain. I think that he is trying to lessen the pain before trying to get to sleep tonight.
I took the picture of this bull on one of our trips to and from Vanderbilt. When he looked at me, it looked like he only had one horn. Then when he turned away, I saw that the other horn was facing backwards.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Woody got up early, took two pills, went to work, took nine more pills, worked, walked at lunch, came home after work to relax, took four more pills a little while ago, and now has another day of taking drug study pills behind him for this fifth cycle. He told me that he took it easy on his walk at lunch today. He says he's not feeling bad...just not feeling exactly his best! This evening he has been reading and trying not to think about pills! I have filled in the blanks in his drug study diary for today and have his pills all ready for the morning.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
These turkey buzzards are just watching to see if Woody will be down for the count due to his Zometa treatment! But they were foiled...he has felt pretty good today...not at all like he did with the treatment last month. We saw this tree full of buzzards on our way to Vanderbilt yesterday. Quite a sight to see so many at once.
Woody got up early...though he overslept slightly...so he slept well last night after his long day at Vanderbilt. He went to work, didn't walk at lunch due to the rain, came home and has relaxed for the rest of the evening. Ida's rains kept us from walking this evening.
He has managed to finish his 2nd day of pills for this 5th cycle...definitely not easy for him...but two days down!!!!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
This is day 28 of Cycle 4 of Woody's chemo drug study...so four months behind him...now to find out what is ahead for him! We will find our tomorrow what is in the immediate future. We will head out dark and early...although, since the time has changed, it won't be as dark as our trip four weeks ago...and, hopefully it won't be raining!
Today has been a pretty typical Sunday. We got up and went to Sunday School. Woody taught his 6th and 7th grade boys. We came home, changed clothes, ate some lunch, and then went on a walk through one of the near-by neighborhoods...not a long walk today. Woody has read and watched football most of the afternoon and evening.
I titled today's blog collage: "November Flowers." We took all these flower pictures yesterday on our long walk. The red rose was a bit of a challenge as the wind was blowing...I would get it in focus and it would move out of the picture. I finally got an almost sharp picture of the rose in the corner of the frame. We were surprised to see azaleas blooming in November...and also a bit surprised to see hydrangeas. So...take time to smell the November flowers!
I think that I have everything packed up that we need to take to Vanderbilt tomorrow...pill bottles, diary sheet, anti-nausea medicine...and then of course I have to have reading material to help pass the time (oh, and camera and lenses!). Woody's first appointment is at 8:55am (labs) and the last at 1:30 pm (Zometa treatment) with seeing Dr. Sosman and the research nurse/s sandwiched in between...and lots of waiting on lab results, pharmacy, etc. We hope to once again get to Vandy prior to the first appointment time to try to get "the show on the road!" I'll report tomorrow night as to how our day goes.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
What a beautiful day it has been! This has been a really busy day for Woody. He got up at a reasonable time for a Saturday (6am...late rising for him!). He went downstairs and started preparing the vegetables for our vegetarian chili. He said that he enjoyed it so much two weeks ago that he wanted to have it again. When I got up, he turned the rest of the preparation over to me...he mainly wanted me to put in the spices. While the chili simmered, Woody went to the library. We had the chili for lunch...very good...probably only a one alarm chili this time! After lunch we went on a looooooooooooong walk. We both rested a bit after we got home...his toes hurt and my back hurt. Then, not long after we got home, Woody brought a can of paint to me to see if it was the paint for the front door. He primed the door (it's metal and rust spots were coming through the paint) and then after that dried he painted the front door. After he finished that, he asked for help...he had the tulip stencils for the mailbox and the number stencils. We had painted the mailbox some time back and had never finished the job of restenciling it. So I went out to help him with that job. So, once again we have blue tulips on the mailbox and the house number on the mailbox post. So if you want to come visit, you will be able to find us! Not long after he came in he started making cranapple crisp. I have been preparing for my next sewing project. I would say that this has been a very high energy day! He has done some relaxing...he has watched football and a library dvd and has read.
Today's collage shows a bit of what we saw on our walk...some leaves are fading, some are gone, some are on the ground, and some are still very vivid on the trees...grasshoppers abound...Woody found a rock and threw it in a stream to make concentric circles...dogs "greeted" us...then the top two pictures show a couple of Woody's industrious efforts after he came home from our long walk!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, and came home to rest and relax. He and I did walk around the block before the sun went down...a bit chilly. We are supposed to have a freeze again tonight. Woody said that his knee has stopped bothering him...so he is easing back into his walking.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
This is a sign that we saw on the way to Vanderbilt. We thought that it was a great saying...one that we hadn't seen before...so I tried to capture the sign on our way home...which meant taking the picture from the opposite side of the highway, through the windshield, and in a moving car...but it is readable...and definitely worthy of contemplating!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Woody got up early, went to work for four hours, came home, and we headed off to Vanderbilt. We left in plenty of time to be able to stop and take pictures along the way. He did stop several times for me to take pictures, but we still arrived at Vanderbilt almost an hour ahead of his appointment. He checked in, we went back to the CT scan waiting room and it wasn't very long before he was called back to get ready for his IV. He was given the yucky drink to down. He then had to wait for 45 min. till they could do the scan. They called him back for the scan at 1:45pm (his appointment was for 1:40) and he was finished with the scan by 2pm and we were on the road by 2:20. There are times when it definitely pays to get to appointments early. We then took our time getting home stopping to take pictures along the way. I will be sharing them with you in the days to come.
I don't imagine that we will hear the results of this scan till next Monday when he goes back for labs, to see Dr. Sosman, have another Zometa treatment, and perhaps start on cycle 5, if all tests say "go." Next Monday will be a much fuller Vanderbilt day!
And...back to the title...we really are in this for "the long haul" whatever that may mean...and God is seeing us through it!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Woody is 3/4 through with his fourth drug study cycle. Woody taught his Sunday School class this morning. We came home and ate lunch and Woody has read and watched football and baseball on TV. This afternoon Graham and Joy came over for a little while to play. Then Woody and I headed off in the car for a "tree picture taking drive." One of the trees in town that is just spectacular was in full color today. There's a plan for a blog picture of that tree in a few days.
We will head off to Vanderbilt in the late morning tomorrow. Woody's CT scan is scheduled for early afternoon. It "shouldn't" be a very long day at Vandy, since it is only for the scan...but one never knows! I'll fill you in on our day at Vandy in tomorrow's blog.