Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Meanderings

Woody got up early. I slept in later...then had trouble getting underway with the day...guess it was just a "MONDAY!" Once I got started I had Joy and Esther come over for school together. They will be having it together while their parents and Graham and Abigail are we were getting used to doing it that way. While they were having school, Woody started to head out on a walk, but it had started raining a bit so he put it off for a while. The girls went home around lunch time. After lunch Woody was able to head out on a walk as it never rained very much. While he was walking, I traced off a pattern and cut it out and basted it together to see if it was the right size for Kathy. I have a tunic pattern that seems like it would be comfy in the Southeast Asia climate and would meet cultural acceptance. After I got it basted together I took it over for her to try on. She wasn't home so I had a sewing lesson with Abigail. By the time Abigail and I were finished, Kathy was home so we did the fitting. Then Graham accompanied me back to the house to have another quilt piecing lesson (I'm not sure that I'm qualified for these lessons as I am really not a quilter!) But he is enjoying going through my scraps and choosing what he wants to put together. We got the pieces cut out and then he went home to start putting the pieces together. I came upstairs a little while ago to start the blog and there came a tap-tap-tapping on the front door and it was Graham coming back to find out what to do for the next step. At this point he doesn't have precision down...but he is learning. He is making a square with a pieced heart in it. Woody has read and watched a bit of TV today. He just got home from the Monday night prayer meeting at church. He is now watching TV and after I blog I'm going back to my cutting board. That about sums up our meanderings for today...this last day of January.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Birds

Woody and I went to the 8:30 church service this morning. Then we both went to our Sunday School classes. Woody taught his class. We came home and had lunch. Woody watched basketball for a while and then we went on a walk. I took all of tonight's blog pictures on our walk...the birds were out in full force enjoying the beautiful day! Woody has watched more basketball and the news, and has read and relaxed the rest of the afternoon and evening. As you can see from the pictures, it was a lovely day here once again in Middle TN. This weekend has probably been the calm before the storm/s. Rain is due to come in...maybe even a thunderstorm or two and then the temps are supposed to start dropping again...maybe even some snow flurries and/or ice. This weekend has been just a little taste of Spring...but we shouldn't get too used to Spring temps...yet!
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Stroll + Registered Mail

We have had an absolutely gorgeous day here in Middle TN. Mid afternoon Woody and I took a walk...we strolled over into the next subdivision and then on into another subdivision. I took several pictures including this picture of a "Winter Pasture."

Woody went to the WalMart and Kroger today to do our weekly shopping. He also went to the Credit Union and to the library. And, he has done plenty of resting today...or at least it seems that way to me...though he claims to not have been asleep all the times that I thought he was! I have made more liquid gold (chicken broth) today. Graham came over this morning to show me that he had his little quilt all finished. Nathan and Kathy blew the leaves out of their back yard and the children had a lot of fun playing in their backyard on this beautiful day.

Woody received a registered letter in the mail today from Vanderbilt. It was an update about the drug study that he participated in for 8 months in '09 and '10. It is telling about all the side effects that they have discovered since he was in the study! I think that Woody has decided that he is sicker than he realized before the letter came! This letter reads like the warning inserts/labels on most all drugs that we get in this day and age. It is signed by the head of the study. We now know the name of the study drug that we don't know if he got or not. So he has been warned...but how could one tell if a side effect that he might have now would be from that drug study or from any of the numerous other drugs he has been given since the study!?! The letter he received today was dated Dec. 7, 2010 (so they weren't in a lot of hurry to get it mailed to him) was signed by the doctor earlier this week...just to let you know that TN mail isn't delivered by Pony Express!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Final Friday

Can you believe that it is the final Friday in January? Where has this month gone? I have been going through pictures that I took on our trip to AZ in November. I'm opening them and then using the new software to see what I can do with them. Tonight's picture was taken through the windshield on our way to AZ. I take pictures to occupy my time on the trips...some come out pretty good and some aren't too hot. I am finding with the new software that I can even make some of the not so hot ones look half-way good.

While I was having school with Joy this morning, we got a call from the library that the next book in the series that I'm reading was there for us to pick up. So Woody walked to the library to get it and then walked back home. I went next door to do a lesson with Esther as she seems to have a slight cold. Then after lunch Graham came over to work some more on the small quilt that he is doing. While he was doing that, Kathy and Joy came over. Kathy needed to make some copies of passports. They have been told to have copies in each of the suitcases that they take in case something happens to the real passports...that way they will have the numbers, etc. After she made the copies, Kathy cut Woody's hair. Woody's hair has come back in a bit curly and all of a sudden he had sprouted wings...the haircut helped to get those wings under control! It is so strange what chemo does to ones hair...the color of his didn't change at all...but texture and curliness are definite changes! While Kathy was cutting Woody's hair, Abigail came over to have her sewing lesson. Today she got to make her first project...a small heart pillow. She was very pleased that it looked like a heart. She had attempted to make a heart prior to lessons and it was pretty boxy...not to her Grammy shared some secrets with her as to how to make a curve, etc. She did a great job! And Graham is doing great on his little nine patch quilt. When he last left he was ready to sew the binding down by hand on the last two sides.

Woody has read (finished a book), done a few cross word puzzles, and watched some TV. In between school/sewing with the children I managed to get started on my new book.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thoroughly Thursday!

Tonight's blog picture has nothing to do with our's a picture that I took on our way home from AZ in November. We did have blue skies and sunshine today...very nice and it warmed up nicely to the low 50's. Woody took our red car in to be worked on and then walked back home...a rather long walk so he got his exercise in today. He had been waiting for a nice day like today to take the car to be fixed.

We both got up really early. I headed back into the sewing room and began trying to print a picture from the computer...a picture of all seven of our grandchildren in front of the Christmas tree. It has become a tradition to take this picture each year and then I frame it and put it on an end table in the living room. It took a while, but I finally got the results that I was pleased with. It is good to have the printer and computer next to each other (now that I know where to put the USB plug in the back of the printer!). Boy was that a lot of wasted time over a silly user error! But all's well that ends well!

Mid morning Joy and Esther came over. Joy read a Dick and Jane story to Goosey (Woody) while Esther and I got underway with some work in the school room. Joy soon joined us and they both got a lot done. Later in the afternoon I went next door for Abigail's next sewing lesson. Tomorrow we plan to make a heart shaped pillow...a real project! Graham came over and I invited him up to the sewing room while I got things straightened out from my "move" yesterday...lots got piled on the sewing machine cabinet when I moved tables, printers, etc. they have to find a new place. Graham first took it upon himself to attach a jingle bell to a lace bell ornament that I had made (a new ornament for next year!). Then he decided that he wanted to make a small he started choosing fabric for a 9 patch square. Then I showed him how to cut out the squares to the size that we needed (I wasn't ready for him to take off with the rotary cutter...don't want any cut fingers!). Then he got them all arranged the way he wanted and took them home to sew three rows together. He got that part done and came back over after supper to get the next step. Abigail has decided that she wants to also make a quilt square!

Besides his walk today, Woody has read, watched a DVD, and some TV and has probably done some cross word puzzles and taken a couple of naps to make up for getting up so early. His neck is bothering him so he has had a heating pad on it off and on today. He said that the heat has helped. Between our lunch and going over for Abigail's sewing lesson I got our recipe for pulled pork on to simmer. So we had barbecue sandwiches for supper tonight. It is really a good recipe and tastes great...but at the time that I am cutting up the Boston Pork doesn't seem like a good idea...but it definitely seemed worth the effort when supper time rolled around.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday P.S.

I was successful finally with getting the printer to talk to my laptop...when things don't seem to be working as they "should"...check the back of the printer one more time and make sure that you have the USB cord plugged into the right place! After I changed where it was plugged in it started working...imagine that! Perseverance paid off...but it wouldn't have been necessary if I had plugged the cord in correctly in the first place!


It did snow AGAIN...but we didn't get much more than a dusting...but it was very pretty the way that it stuck to the trees, etc. I think that Tullahoma was about the only school in the area that had school...but the way our road looked it seemed like the right decision.

I went to the library this morning and worked as one of the library workers was out of school today so she went in early and I decided to join her. We got things straightened up...what we call "doing maintenance." We got all the Christmas books put back on the shelves and got out other books to take their places on the display shelf in the window. And put some other books back on display where they had been prior to the holidays. This evening Woody went to the Experiencing God study.

Graham came over after lunch and he and Woody played Scrabble and Chinese Checkers so Woody exercised his mind rather than his body today! He also helped me move a couple of heavy that gave him a bit of exercise!

Last night after I blogged I attacked the office/school room and got it back to the way it was before the holidays. Then today I have pulled out things from one side of my sewing room to vacuum and then rearranged things so I could put my printer in next to the computer. I thought that since I am having trouble using it wirelessly that I would connect it by the USB far in getting the two to communicate...yet. Oh, well...I'm sure that there is a way...but this Grammy hasn't figured out what setting to change or how to hold my mouth in just the right position!!!!! I will probably have to admit defeat and have Nathan help me with getting it reset up. Aggravating at the moment...and the cause of me being late blogging tonight!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rainy Tuesday

Today is the first day that Woody has been able to see his new "toy" measure rain. I gave him this wireless digital rain gauge for Christmas and this is the first time that we have had rain since Nathan got it all hooked up...and it does work wirelessly...pretty neat to sit in our family room and be able to see the outside temperature and also the rainfall amounts. We are once again under a winter storm warning...they are predicting that this rain will turn to snow, sleet and/or ice after midnight tonight. We are predicted to get between two to four inches of snow between midnight and noon tomorrow! This certainly has been a snowy winter so far!

Neither Woody nor I got the best night sleep last night. We both woke up very early and couldn't get back to sleep. So we finally got up and ate some of the pancakes that Woody made yesterday and had frozen. I then started getting out ingredients to make cookies so that the butter could soften. Then I went upstairs and attacked the guest the Christmas wrap and bags (that Woody hadn't realized were in that room) all consolidated so they could be put in the Christmas closet. I also found the pillows on the bed in the guest room that belong on chairs in the living room and took them down...see...I only "thought" that I had everything back to "normal" yesterday when I blogged! Then I went downstairs and started making the cookies. I found the recipe in Martha Stewart's Living Magazine this month and wanted to try them. They are Chewy Chocolate Chunk-Cherry Cookies. These are made with dried cherries. It took the rest of the morning to get them made...or so it seemed. They are quite good. In order to not tempt us too much we have bagged them and put them in the freezer...after eating several and also making a bag to share with the neighbors. While I made cookies Woody took a little snooze to make up for not getting enough sleep last night.

We both had soup for lunch...Woody "his" French Market and me "my" Stuffed Spud. The doorbell rang while we were eating. It was our mail carrier. She had a box...a book that I had ordered to help me with my new photography software. After lunch I took the book upstairs to download some pictures from the internet that one can use to work through some of the examples in the I started downloading...and got very ended up going and taking a nap to help me make up for some of my lost sleep last night.

Woody has read, done crossword puzzles, watched a bit of TV, snoozed a bit, and plans to walk to the prayer room at church this evening. I am going to go out to eat with my Sunday School class in a little while...the reason for the early post.

Going back to Woody's crossword puzzles...yesterday he did something that he had never done before...he completed a cross word puzzle only using the horizontal clues. He said that he challenged himself to do that as the puzzles that he is doing at the moment aren't very difficult...and he said that doing it that way definitely made the puzzle more challenging!

Now to wait and see if the snow prediction comes true! While typing this, the rain amount has increased to .18 inches and the temperature has dropped to 43 there you have the latest weather report from Tullahoma, TN using Woody's new wireless digital rain gauge!

Woody's Prayer

For those who might be interested here is the prayer that Woody wrote early yesterday morning...and Woody wants it to be clear that he merely wrote the words down that God gave him. He prayed this prayer last night at FBC, Tullahoma's Monday night prayer meeting. He wanted me to share the prayer and give permission to anyone who might want to use parts or all of it.

O Lord Who Created the Stars,
The One who brings them out at night and knows exactly how many there are and calls them by name,
Because of the greatness of Your might and because You are strong in power
not one is lost or lacks anything. (My poor rendering of Isaiah 40:26)

O Lord Who Created Human Beings,
The One Who Knows how many hairs are on each of our heads and calls us by name to follow Him,
Because of the greatness of Your might and because You are strong in power
not one who follows You is lost or lacks anything.

O Lord, we praise You because (Repeat this with indented phrases below or not.)
You weren’t off doing Your own thing when it came time to knit us together in our mother’s womb,
You weren’t watching TV when it was time to draw salvation’s plan,
You weren’t taking a nap when it was time to send Jesus,
You didn’t conveniently forget to raise Him from the dead.
You omitted nothing that we that we needed.

O Lord, we confess that we are proud of the fact that we see very little sin in our lives,
but because of that fact we are sorry excuses for Your children because we are constantly committing the sin of omission and not even recognizing it.

O Lord, (Repeat this with indented phrases below or not.)
the people who would have been saved if we had but prayed for them,
the people who would still be coming to church if we’d but gone to visit them when they quit coming,
the people who would have been so much better off if we’d but ministered to them when we felt Your tug at our heart to help,
the spiritual growth we’d have experienced if we’d but spent the time poring over Your Word as often as Your Holy Spirit prompted us,
the Scripture we’d have stored in our memories if we’d just memorized all those memory verses You put in front of us,
the promises in Your Word we could have claimed if we’d but accepted Your challenges,
how close we could have been to You if we’d just confessed our sins as soon as Your Holy Spirit first convicted us,
the glory You would have received except we didn’t follow Your leading,
the people who should have gotten a personal witness from us whom we ignored,
the fruit that would have been produced in our lives except that we ignored what the Holy Spirit was telling us to do,
the light this world might have received except we were too concerned with ourselves,
the doors You opened that we could have gone through except we didn’t want to leave our comfort zone.

O Lord, we’re like the priest and the Levite (from the story of The Good Samaritan). We don’t help those who are in our path and are in obvious need—rather we roll up our car window, try not to look at them, make excuses, and think their sign is inappropriate.

O Lord, we’re like the Laodiceans who say they are rich and have need of nothing but, according to Jesus, are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked (list stolen from Amplified Bible, Rev 3:17).

O Lord Your Word says that whoever knows to do right and fails to do it, for him it is sin (James 4:17 the way I memorized it long ago). O Lord, we have sinned. Show us all we have left undone so we might rightly confess it and repent.

Then Lord, give us the strength of commitment to do everything Your Holy Spirit is telling us to do.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Mellow Monday

We have had a very nice day weather wise here in Middle TN...according to Weather Bug we got up to 54F today. Woody got up early and worked on writing a prayer. I don't know how many are aware that he has been writing prayers for some time. He may consider publishing a book of his prayers in the future. I proof read it after I got up. I slept in once again due to reading too late into the night...I'm about done with this series so maybe then I will do better about getting to sleep earlier! Woody walked to the library this afternoon. He needed another book in the series that he is reading and he attempted to get me the last one in my series...but it had to be ordered from the Manchester library (Tullahoma couldn't find their copy that the computer said was on the shelf...I'm glad that other libraries have the same problem that we have at the church library!) and I have to wait even for that copy as they said that someone was on the waiting list for least my name is on the list. I have worked on getting the downstairs back to "normal." And...I "think" that I managed to accomplish that today with lots of trips up and down the stairs locating where I had stored things during Christmas. I have vacuumed and swept the downstairs rooms. And, at the moment the dishwasher and the drier are running. It seems like I have had a full least I am feeling tired! Woody is now at the Monday night prayer meeting at church. He has read and watched a bit of TV also today. I have also messed around a bit more with the photography software that Woody gave me for Christmas. I am definitely feeling much better today.

Tonight's picture was taken out the car window when we were heading to AZ back in November.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Simply Sunday

Woody went to church and then taught Sunday School this morning. I still wasn't feeling up to par so ended up staying at home and taking it easy. Shortly after Woody got home from church he headed off on about an hour walk. He told me that he took his walk early as that would leave the mid afternoon and evening hours free for watching football games if he so desired. I did get beans simmering for a pot of French Market soup (Woody's request for this week) while Woody was at church. I finished up the rest of the soup while he was walking. It was a good day for a walk...the sun was shining and the temperatures were rather pleasant compared to what we have been having. Woody has read and watched TV this afternoon and evening.

I have read and worked some with my new photography software and just taken it easy again today. I took tonight's blog picture out the car window when we were on our way to AZ in November. This water tower is in Somerville, TN. We have seen many crosses along the highways on our travels both to MD and to AZ, but I think that this is the only water tower that we have seen with a cross on it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


This is a picture of yesterday's sunrise. It was so beautiful above the snow. The snow was pretty much gone today except for patches in the shade.

I'm feeling much better, but have just taken it easy today. I did make a pot of soup late this didn't have quite the appeal that it usually does! Woody got the last of the boxes put back in the closet this afternoon. So Christmas is officially away. I'm still getting "normal" decorations back in their places. I was in the midst of doing that when I got sick yesterday and today I just didn't have the energy. So hopefully I will feel like doing that tomorrow after we get home from church.

Woody did our grocery shopping...went to WalMart and Kroger. He also went to the library. He has watched basketball on TV and read. He went on about an hour walk this afternoon.

I called up a childhood friend this afternoon. She and her husband just became grandparents for the first times ahead for them! I was trying to figure out when something happened last year and got to looking at old blogs...they are definitely a good diary for us...good reminders of what took place over the last two years since I started writing them.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Short and Sweet and No Picture tonight!

I have had a bout with an upset stomach late this afternoon. About an hour ago, I decided that I "might" live! I am just praying that it is just something that I ate and not a stomach neither Woody nor the neighbors need it!

I forgot to tell you yesterday that one of Woody's Vanderbilt nurses called just to check in with him.

Things that I know that Woody did today (without me having to go downstairs and ask him) are: he made pumpkin pudding for a treat for the neighbors (Nathan, Kathy and family). He played a game of scrabble with Graham. He made an emergency run to the grocery store for me for some Sprite. He has read, watched a bit of TV and perhaps a library DVD.

We did wake up to snow and some ice this morning. Schools were out once again in Tullahoma. The roads were pretty dangerous and sidewalks and steps also. Woody warned the neighbors, but despite the warning several of the children fell down.

I'm heading back to crawl under my covers! But so far so good...the Sprite has stayed down and I haven't been sick in almost two hours...definitely things are looking up!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sewing Lessons!

This morning around 9am Woody and I headed next door to take care of Joy and Esther. The rest of the family had to go to the pediatricain's office. It was Elijah's 18 month check up and the rest of the crew (Daddy, Mommy, Graham, & Abigail) had to get their typhoid shots. Nathan, Kathy, Graham, & Abigail are preparing to go to Southeast Asia on a mission trip next month. Joy, Esther, and Elijah are staying with Goosey (Woody) and me for the two weeks that they will be gone. While they were at the doctor, the little girls and Woody and I played games...Hi Ho Cherry-O and Memory and I read several stories to them. Woody says that he didn't sleep while over there, but he certainly did have a "sinking spell" and I heard snores!

After they got back, I came home and got my laptop and took it over for Nathan to give a once-over. The internet connection works great over there so we have decided pretty much that it is a matter of distance from their wireless router to our computer that is giving us such a weak signal. Nathan is looking into the possibility of a router with a stronger signal.

I came home and had lunch and then proceeded to put away the rest of the ornaments and awaited a phone call from Abigail saying that she had finished her school work for the day and that it was time for me to go over and give her her first sewing lesson. She has been wanting to start lessons for a while now and! She did you can see in the picture she is already attempting to sew around circles. Her goal is to make a heart pillow. She attempted to make one on her own and was disappointed in the results. She wants me to show her how to make one that has a good heart shape. (I'll try!) She took her lessons very seriously...she is definitely ready to start sewing on the machine. She already knits and crochets.

After lunch Woody went for about an hour walk. He has read, watched a bit of TV and rested after his walk.

This evening we got away from our soup routine and had my homemade marinara sauce with a new pasta...Mezzaluna stuffed with basil pesto filling...quite good. We both feel stuffed. I "think" that Woody is sleeping the effects of it off! (But he will probably tell me later that he didn't sleep...he certainly is still and has been for a while. I got a bit dozy after eating too.)

The next sound you should hear from our living room is...TIMBERRRRRRRRRRRR! The Christmas tree is ready to be taken apart and put back in its box. The snow has arrived and things are turning white once again! (About yesterday's mis-step...I seem to be none the worse for wear today!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recyclin' Day!

Another busy day! Woody and I headed next door a little after 9am to take care of the children. Nathan and Kathy went to a doctor appointment for Nathan. I "sort of" presided over Graham, Abigail, and Joy's school. Woody read stories to Esther and Elijah. Esther also had a little school as I took some of the Montessori equipment over to their house. Nathan's diagnosis is a ruptured disc in his lower back...not good for someone as active as he is...he is going to try some non-invasive treatments to see if they help him. When Nathan and Kathy got home the children helped carry all the Montessori stuff back to our house. Graham stayed for a few minutes and we went upstairs to check something out. I warned him to be careful about walking around in the hall or in the office without a light on as it was dangerous due to all the Christmas boxes that haven't been put away. So...what do I do? I walk down the hall without the light on and get my foot caught in a basket that is on the floor...that threw me off balance and "sort of" twisted various parts of my body as I attempted to keep from it was happening all I could think of was that something was going to get broken (meaning something on me!) and something did...the BASKET! But luckily I was close to the end of the hall and I broke my fall with the wall at the end of the hall. And, by God's grace I didn't break anything on me or even sprain my ankle. I do hurt in several places and may feel my mis-step more tomorrow! I did get to hurting more this afternoon...but I think that it is the weather change that is coming...we may be going to get some more snow tomorrow! And, watching the weather tonight there is a low in Texas that is heading our way...and, with my Transverse Myelitis, I often feel a low approaching when it is several states away! Lucky me to be a human barometer!?!

After lunch, Nathan came over to do a couple of things that we had asked him to do (despite his bad back)! He was checking to see what he needs to get at Lowes to fix a couple of things. I have a light going out under my kitchen cabinets and we had another light bulb (CFL) out. We had the one CFL light bulb but not the one for under the cabinet. Then he worked on the present that I gave Woody for Christmas...a digital, wireless rain gauge. I called these his "SONny-do jobs!" We really do appreciate all that our neighbors (Nathan, Kathy, and family) help us out with!!!

I continued to pack up and take off ornaments. At 3:15pm today I finally took the last ornament off the tree (unless there is a wayward one hiding still!). I have the last batch on the table awaiting their storage box. Then it will be time to get the tree into its box. THEN Woody gets the delightful job of repacking the puzzle of boxes into the Christmas closet!

While I was taking off the last ornaments, Woody had me call up Graham and see if he could come over and help him load aluminum cans into the car to take to the can man. Graham came over very willingly and was a great help! (Tonight's picture taken from an upstairs window) Woody even managed to wedge Graham into the car and off the two of them went to the can man. They recycled 72 pounds of aluminum! The money they received will be given to the Lottie Moon International Mission Offering to help support our missionaries in foreign countries.

This afternoon Woody went on a walk for about an hour. This evening Woody went to church to take part in the "Experiencing God" class that began tonight. I was going to go and work in the library while he went to the class, but my aches and pains won out and I stayed at home.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spinnin' Day!

We have had a spinnin' kind of day. Woody got up really early (he said "way too early"). Around 8am we got into the car and headed to McMinnville (about 45 miles away). I had a doctor appointment with our primary care physician...I have to go every six months for labwork and to get my prescriptions renewed. After we got back to Tullahoma, we headed to the library so I could get several more of the books in the series that I'm reading...I seem to be getting through with these books in about two I got four more of them. Then Woody wanted me to go to the Community Center with him so I could take a picture of him spinning. I even got on the cycling machine to see if I could do it. I may start going with him and doing some spinning myself...time will tell! I got his can't see it very well, but he has a book propped on the "handle bars" and he is reading while he spins. He wanted me to get a picture of his feet whirring around...well, I did get a bit of a blur so you can tell that they are in motion. I went out in the lobby and read while he spun. After he got some exercise, we headed home to have lunch. Then after lunch, we walked next door to give Kathy her birthday present. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATHY! (I won't tell which one it is...though I know, since Nathan will have this one in a few months!) Shortly after we came back to the house, I left to go get my hair cut. Woody got in some times of reading today...first in the wee hours of the morning, then while he waited for me to get out of the doctor's office and then on and off this afternoon. Woody did manage to get in a nap to make up for his too short night's sleep. I have been reading and undecorating the tree. I'm a bit tired after all the running around so haven't accomplished as much as I might have...but the tree is definitely a lot barer tonight than last night. After the evening news, Woody headed off walking to the prayer room at church. It is a damp foggy night. I got a call from Graham inviting us over to share a special birthday treat...cheesecake with homemade blueberry,raspberry, strawberry sauce drizzled on it...yum! I brought Woody's piece back for him to have when he returns from his prayer time at church and walk home. has been a busy day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Made With Love

Tonight's blog picture shows the ornaments that are on the table at the the tree and ready to be put away. All of these are either hand or machine embroidered...either by me or friends or family...these represent a lot of hours of labors of love! The tree continues to get barer and barer. I reached the point a little while ago that all that have their own boxes are now all off the tree and in their boxes. Now I start taking them off the tree in categories. These handmade ornaments have boxes with acid-free tissue that I will be putting them away in. So slowly but surely the job of undecorating the tree is getting done. That is about all I have done today...except read when I need a break.

We both got up really early. I made us a mushroom omelet for breakfast. Woody went for a walk this afternoon. He has read and worked word puzzles today. At the moment he has gone to church for the Monday night prayer meeting.

Thoughts from Woody:

NIH has told us nothing about how to improve my immune system. They do have me on a broad spectrum antibiotic (Bactrim) which I take three times a week. I have been gathering my own list of ways to improve my immune system:

*Get a good night's sleep (I've become a nap taker, too. I have found being able to take a nap when I feel like it is a perk of retirement.)
*Get exercise--supposedly the lymph system works & secretes immunity-related hormones only when the body is in motion (I'm trying to get at least one significant period of exercise in every day)
*Don't get sick (wash hands regularly)
*Psychoneuroimmunological pathway--the way you think determines or at least has a direct impact on the neurotransmitters that determine the extent to which you become sick. (I really never let my disease worry me.)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First off!

What comes off the tree depends on which box I decide to fill first...that is usually the one that is closest to me. And, this year it happened to be the box that I always store the "card balls" in. A "card ball" is made up of circles cut from old Christmas cards...then you draw an equilateral triangle on the back of the circle and fold them on the lines and then glue them together...five circle/triangles make up the top and the bottom and ten around the middle. My mother made our first card balls...the one that you see in the center and the one the same size behind it. She called them "story balls." She suggested that we take the balls and make up stories about the pictures to tell to the children when they were little. The balls that she made were made from some of the Christmas cards that I received as a child. Then over the years we have made different sized can see a large one that I made many years ago (I think we were living in California at the many, many years ago). Then I experimented with smaller circles...the smallest ones that you see were made with circles the size of a quarter (I think that I have made them from dime-size circles...but don't have one of those to show anymore.). Melany made the Norman Rockwell card ball. For the small one I made, I used a Joan Walsh Anglund card for the top. And the middle sized one that I made has the words of Christmas for the top. We at one time had one on the tree that had rather rough edges...Nathan's first attempt to make one...that one now resides next door so it can be hung on Nathan and Kathy's tree. Once you get really "good" at doing this you can make the center and the bottom have all the pictures be right side have to have 10 "right-side-up" triangles and 10 "upside-down" triangles. There's no telling how many of these that I have made over the years. In this picture you can see a pink card ball and a blue card ball over to the right...those were made from some of Melany and Nathan's baby cards. At the time I made two from Melany's and two from Nathan's. They each got one and I kept one for each of them. The red and green one that you can just barely see on the left is a more origami one that Melany made. I stick to the simple ones! Though, Woody and I have made them from different geometric shapes before. We didn't keep those...we made them to give to a family when we were living out in California...I don't remember the circumstances...I just remember that our Sunday School class provided Christmas and a tree and ornaments for a family.

Woody and I headed to early church this morning. After church we went to Sunday School. Woody taught his class. We came home and I made Cantonese Spareribs...yum! yum! We had those for a late lunch. Then I continued on with the undecorating and redecorating. I still have some redecorating...though a lot is done, but all the undecorating except for the tree is done (unless I find those two or three items that I always seem to find that allude me when I'm putting things away!). The tree is still a big project, but at least I am to that point. And, the first set is off the tree and I will go and put those card balls into their box as soon as I finish blogging. Woody took a couple of walks today. He walked while he was waiting for our lunch to be ready...I'm guessing for about an hour. Then late this afternoon he went on another walk around the block. He has been watching football this afternoon and reading. I stayed up waaaaaaaaaaay too late last night as I got involved in my book and wanted to find out what happened and read till the end. So I have been a bit sleepy today...though I only took two very short power naps!

Well, back to the tree! We'll see how far I am with it tomorrow night when I blog! Doubt that I will be done...but time will tell! As the decorating is, so is the taking off of the ornaments a memory I will go get lost in memories!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

About to that point!

I am about to the "bah humbug" point in my undecorating. I just want to get it done! It is getting closer, but there is ever so much still to be put away! This last part is just such a mess...I just want things back to normal...and, of course, that means redecorating for "normal" times is still to be done...well, some of it is getting done while I clear off mantels, shelves, etc. and "if and when" I find the "normal" decorating items! I still have the shadow boxes, the carolers (they all reside on the coffee table now awaiting their boxes), a few Christmas bells, AND the big tree and all its 750+or- ornaments to get put away. I have kept at it today...put away dozens of snowmen, angels, baskets, serving dishes, etc., etc...but have taken quite a few breaks call to AZ, Facebook chat with a friend, and reading my book...when my back gets to hurting I just have to quit for a while and do something more relaxing...which often means flopping on the bed...a good time to read!

Woody actually got the car out of the driveway for the first time since last Sunday. He drove to the library, the community center to spin (spun for 48 min.), WalMart, and Kroger. He has read and watched football and basketball. He said that he had been a "good boy" when I went down to ask him what all he had done today!

Well, guess it is time for me to head back to my "bah humbug" job!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thawing out!

I caught this icicle in the act of thawing...see the drip? Well, it did get down to very low temps...not sure as to just how low...some sources say 1F and some say 10F...either is very cold! But the sun came out and warmed us up quite nicely today. It actually got up to 42F this afternoon and things are starting to thaw...especially the roads. Tullahoma did have school today and definitely by the end of their day it was a good decision...don't know how things were on the side roads early with the extremely low temps. Melany's school system started 1 hour late and with bus driver's discretion (I always feel for those poor children who are waiting in the cold and their bus doesn't arrive to pick them up due to the bus driver's discretion!). Melany said that their attendance was way down today. Well, they got one day in for this week and now they have a three-day weekend due to Martin Luther King Day.

Woody and I both got up really early this morning (before 5am). I woke up and got to thinking about all that I needed to do so figured that it was just as well to get up and start "doing" and then take a nap later in the morning if and when I got sleepy. Well, I made it for a couple of hours and then knew that I was going to have to take that nap. Well, I took a nap...but it was waaaay too my day got all turned around and I haven't accomplished much of anything. Woody walked to the library and got me the next two books in the series that I'm reading (so of course I want to read rather than undecorate!). While on that walk he stopped at the community center and spun for 48 minutes. He must have gotten himself some more movie DVDs as he was watching one when I went into the family room to put away some more snowmen. I decided that I was being too noisy with the tissue paper that I was wrapping things in, so left that room and went to the dining room and started putting away angels and Christmas bells...there is something in about any room that I can work on putting away so it's not a problem to have to leave a room at the moment! Woody helped me this afternoon. I stood on the step stool so I could reach the angels on top of our china cabinet and hand them down to Woody...a big help! That saved me (my back and knees) from climbing up and down and up and down and...(you get the picture!). Now, they await me finding their boxes so I can put them away (that is what I was working on just before heading up here to blog). Woody has read and worked on some Banana Gram puzzles, took his walk, spun, and was the official feeder of Abigail's fish today when he went over to turn their faucets off that he had set to dripping last night to keep their pipes from freezing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Bound--Day 4!

This morning's view from our upstairs bedroom window...four days after our seven inch (officially) snowfall. That road is pretty icy...reason that once again no school for Tullahoma or surrounding school systems. The sun did come out today so that helped with the melting of snow and ice on the streets...time will tell if there will be school tomorrow (I haven't checked since it doesn't affect me any more!). We still haven't ventured out in the car since Sunday morning...our car is still pretty covered with snow...though Woody did start to clear it off yesterday...the driver can see out the windshield now!

Woody has pretty much taken it easy today. He did go over to Nathan and Kathy's late this afternoon to run water through the pipes at various sinks and toilets and then leave some faucets dripping slowly. Our temps are supposed to get into the single digits tonight...pipe freezing temps! Woody has read a good part of the day, watched a bit of TV, and watched a DVD movie from the public library. He has done some cleaning up after me in the kitchen and he peeled carrots for the soup.

I, of course, planned to continue our undecorating...which I did do some...but not as much as I planned as I got interrupted by the need to make another pot of soup. The one that I made over the weekend is dwindling and the vegetables that were bought for this other soup were getting to the point of needing to be used! So I spent most of the afternoon making Ham and Barley Soup...lots of vegetable cutting up, taking ham off the bone, etc. Another soup that we don't make all that often and I know aching back! Woody bought enough to double it...for a while I thought that I was going to have to go next door and borrow one of the huge pots that they use when doing once-a-month cooking for their family of seven...but in the end my largest stock pot was big enough. This soup is unusual in that it has turnips in it...and you would never know that they are in it unless someone told you! They just seem like a square of potato...only sweeter and softer. I'm glad that we like this soup as it "should" last a while! We still have some of our Italian meatball we are in good stead for a while as far as eating goes. And, tomorrow I can concentrate, once again, on undecorating without having to think about cooking!

For some reason I have thought that it was Friday all day today...wonder what day I will think tomorrow is! I can tell you that this is our 750th blog posting in two years and a few days (I posted my first blog on January 7, 2009.). Once again, I will say..."That's a LOT of words!" More power to those of you who have read just about all those words!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Puzzled no longer!

Woody completed his puzzle this afternoon. As you can see it wasn't an easy one with so much red and so much white! A "snowed in" activity completed! I continue to work on the undecorating. The corner tree is down and in its box and all the ornaments that go on it are all packed away as well. Slowly but surely I am getting the job done. I had to finally stop this afternoon as my back was starting to really hurt. Mid afternoon Woody walked to our pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions for us. He said that the main road that is behind our house (Lincoln) had been plowed so was in good condition, but as for the side streets...some were in good shape and others were in very poor shape. I haven't heard if Tullahoma has school tomorrow or not. I just know that since I am retired I don't have to wonder if Montessori will be in session tomorrow or not...(we always had school if Tullahoma had school). Woody was glad to get out and get some exercise. He bundled up and was careful to keep upright for the course of his walk!

I have finished all the books that I had from the public library except for some photography books. I called to find out if the library was open. If it was, Woody was going to walk to the library while on his pharmacy walk. That way he could have gotten the next book/s in the series that I'm reading...but there was only a recording when I we assumed that they were closed.

The snow is still very much out there...hardly has melted at all in the yards. The streets are rather rutted...they did a bit of melting when the sun came out today, but will just refreeze tonight. Glad that I can just stay in and keep warm and safe! I'm going to go see if we don't have another puzzle that we haven't put together seems like we do. I'll see if Woody is in the mood to do another one yet or not! Once he gets started on one, it is hard for him to keep away. I enjoy puzzles too, but this time I didn't let it grab my attention since I have so much to do with getting decorations put away.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1-11-11 feet/feat

I actually ventured out, broke through the snow, and made a foot path to Nathan and Kathy's. I had to force the gate to open due to the snow piled up against it. I needed to feed Abigail's fish and needed to reconnect to the internet...and managed to do both without falling down in the snow! I'm not real this was quite a feat for my feet! Woody managed to get our garbage can and Nathan and Kathy's garbage can to the we will see if the garbage truck runs tomorrow! There hasn't been much melting of the snow and what did melt should refreeze as the temperatures are taking a nose dive tonight...down into the teens. brrrrrrrr!

I have continued to undecorate today. I have quite a lot put away, but ever so much more to tuck away in boxes for the next ten months. Woody has worked on the jigsaw puzzle and is getting closer to getting it finished. I checked before I came up to blog to see if it might be finished...but not quite. He cleared a few more stepping stones, got the mail, read, watched a bit of TV and rested today. Our accomplishments of the day have been good things to do on a day when we consider ourselves "snowed in." The winds started picking up this afternoon and the wind chill makes it feel bitterly cold outside...right now it is 26F but feels like 19F....definitely brrrrrrrrry! Tullahoma has cancelled school for tomorrow once again...WOW...three days in a row for Tullahoma is almost unheard of! From what I heard today, they will have to make up today and tomorrow as they have very few snow days built into their schedule. I'm sure that Melany is dancing the "happy snow day dance" that teachers dance! We got an automated call from our church reminding us that if Tullahoma schools are out then there are no scheduled Wednesday activities at church. I rescheduled my hair cut appointment till next tomorrow is cleared for another stay-at-home day!

Well, I will end by wishing a dear friend and blog follower a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY on this 1-11-11! Remember, Carla, for two months you are a year older than I am!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

We woke up to a winter wonderland! When Tullahoma gets this much we are pretty much snowed in! I guess we have between 6 to 8 inches. About all the going out we did was for Woody to sweep/rake off the front walkway and a path to the mail box and I walked that cleaned path to take a few pictures. Tullahoma's mail did run today...but schools were out and will be out again tomorrow. Our five little grandchildren missed a fun snow to play in...they have gone south for several days. I talked with Melany today...she was rejoicing over the snow day (teachers love snow days!) and she said that Alex (13) was getting ready to go out for a neighborhood snowball fight! Not long into the morning my doctor's office called to reschedule my appointment that was supposed to be tomorrow (Tues.). I'm glad that we don't have to think about heading 45 miles away in the morning...glad that they got snow too!

Woody has continued to work on the jigsaw puzzle, read a bit, watched some TV, pushed and raked snow off our walk (snow shovel has a broken handle), and rested. I started the mess of undecorating...a lot of going up and down the stairs and up and down the step ladder...the process is slow...I can only do so much before stopping to rest...but one of these days the house will be back to non-holiday attire!
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Sunday on Monday

We didn't have internet connection last night so I couldn't post. I thought that I was going to have to go over to Nathan and Kathy's this morning to reconnect...but we just tried again and we are connected! Now to tell you what happened yesterday.,.that is "if" I can remember!

We got up and Woody suggested that we go to the 8:30am church service. It was the first time that we had gone to the church service in almost two years. We hadn't been as Woody has been trying to avoid crowds. He had planned to start going back to the church service when the doctors took him off his broad spectrum antibiotic. He was to take that for six months after he had his TIL treatment...which will be next month. But his doctor told him that he would be taking it beyond the six month time. A certain count in his lab work has to be above a certain number for two months. We are going to check back with the doctor to find out just exactly which count that is...we didn't retain specifics...just the general information...when she told us the other day! It was good to be back in church. We were welcomed back by many...AND...the spot where we always sat was unoccupied so we settled right back in! After church we both headed to our Sunday School classes and we both taught.

We came back home and started getting ready to be snowed in! I made a big pot of soup...Italian Spinach Soup with Meatballs...LOTS of little meatballs were made! It is good...not a soup that we have often. Woody took about an hour walk in the afternoon. While he was gone all five of the neighbor grandchildren came over while Kathy and Nathan finished getting ready to hit the road. The children decided to do art work...all five piled into our office/school room. It was funny to see them all try to fit around a table that is meant for two! Paper was flying...scissors were snipping...crayons were tub got opened...treasures were found...good time had by all...the room can attest to it! After they left I finished making the soup. While I was finishing up the soup Woody walked to the post office to mail something...we figured that we might not have mail service "if" what was predicted would come true...a BIG snow.

And, I will report on that big snow this evening in our Monday blog! (But I will say that it is certainly a beautiful sight out our windows this morning!) The blog picture shows a VA Blue Ridge wintry landscape taken on our way to Bethesda, MD (NIH) last week.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Settling in...again!

I mentioned the other day that I took pictures of the fish tank in the waiting room while Woody was having his CT scans. Tonight's picture is one of the pictures that I took and then used filters and other special effects with my new software to make it look different. The special effect that I used on tonight's blog picture was "plastic wrap." I think it's funny the way it turned the real fish and water into a "plastic scene." I have been having fun with my Christmas present from Woody...the photography software...checking out the many things that it can do. I am enjoying it most when making the pictures have more true-to-life color. But it is fun to make the pictures look entirely different too! I had a collage showing this picture the way it was originally and then four ways that I had changed it...BUT the collage software shut down on me and the collage didn't get saved...and I'm too lazy to go back and redo it!

Woody has had a busy day. He went to the Credit Union, WalMart, and Kroger early this morning. Then a bit later he went to the community center to spin and also to the library. He got me the next book in the series that I started this week. I finished the first book last night so was ready to get on to the next one. While Woody was at the library, Kathy, Graham, and Elijah came over. Nathan and the three girls had gone on a special reward trip for Joy to Chuck E. Cheese. Joy made three catches with her giant Chinese yo-yo. So a big celebration! Graham ended up staying over here and ate lunch with us. Then after the girls got home one by one they came over. Graham left at a point and went home and the girls stayed till just before dark. They had fun in the toy closet...getting out quite a few things because they decided that they wanted to play store. They put everything away before heading home. Woody has been working off and on a jigsaw puzzle. I ended up sitting down and working it some too just before I came upstairs to blog. Puzzles can really capture you once you get into finding pieces...I put in several before coming upstairs. I have a feeling that Woody is downstairs finishing up the red part of the cardinal, as his comment to me was that there weren't many red pieces remaining. Woody has read and watched basketball this afternoon and read LOTS of stories to the children.

So as this day comes to a close...I guess you could say that we are settling back in after returning from our latest time at NIH.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Home again, home again!

We left around 6:45am eastern time and arrived home at 2:30pm central time. All in all it was a rather uneventful ride home today...we did have a little snow but never enough to cause problems on the roads. It was good to pull into our driveway this afternoon and get things unloaded and just relax in our own home! It is also good to realize that we don't have to go back to NIH till March!

We appreciate all the prayers for Woody and the outcome of his scans and also for our safe travels!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Beautiful end to our day!

Busy day! We got up and leisurely got all packed up and then headed over to NIH on the hotel 9:30am shuttle. We were at building 10 at NIH by 9:45. Our first stop was at the voucher desk. I filled out the paper that is needed to be turned in with our hotel bill. We were told that we could pick up our money after 11:30am. Next we headed to the car and put our suitcase and the laptop and a couple of other things into the car. Then we went back and found a comfortable spot to read till it was time to eat lunch. We decided that we wanted soup at Au Bon Pane. They didn't get the soup out till almost 11:30am. Woody got split pea with ham and I got their wonderful New England clam chowder. After we ate we headed up to the clinic on the third floor. Woody signed in and then got his blood pressure taken...his blood pressure was great! While he was back getting weighed, etc. one of the nurses came out and told me that they were starting clinic early today and that once Dr. Rosatti got back she would be calling us back. Sounded great! We were called back early...but so were a lot of others and it took quite a while for Dr. Rosatti to come in. She came in to see us shortly after 1pm (our appointment time) and talked to Woody for a bit, let him ask questions and listened to his heart and poked around on him a bit. Then she told us that the head doctor of the team would be in to see us...well...that seemed to take forever! While waiting for her, I went out to have them start to make our next appointments...two months from now! The appointment maker couldn't get through to make the appointments so she suggested that she just email them to us. Sounded good to me so I went back into the room with Woody and waited and waited and...Finally the doctor and a couple of others came in and only talked for a few minutes. As we headed out of the clinic, I checked to see if our appointments for March had been made and, they had, so we picked up that paper. Then Woody headed to the cashier to get our reimbursement for this trip and I headed to the pharmacy to get Woody's name turned in so we could start waiting to pick up his antibiotic prescription. We were heading away from NIH around 2:45pm...fifteen minutes prior to the start of the D.C. rush hour. Which was perfect timing as we were off the Capital Beltway by 3pm. We stopped for the night in Staunton (pronounced Stanton), VA around 5:30pm. So we are ensconced in our hotel for the night. We drove around 150 miles after leaving Bethesda, MD. As you can see in tonight's blog picture, the sunset was absolutely beautiful this evening...quite a show in the sky!

Oh, I guess you would like to know the results of Woody's MRI and CT scans. Dr. Rosatti said that tumors they were measuring had remained the same size and that no new tumors were seen. We will take that...stopped growth of the old tumors and no new ones...very good news!
Due to the stability of his condition we don't have to go back for two months. The doctor said that it was better to wait two months to do scans when tumors are showing so little change, as they can better see/measure changes when there is a longer period of time between scans. This report is what both Woody and I expected...little or no change.

Well, Woody is snoozing, I'm blogging, the TV is on as background noise...guess we are settled in for the night! The good Lord willin' I'll be blogging from home tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Picture Day!

We were up and out of the hotel room by 6:15am. We got on the hotel's shuttle to head to building 10 at NIH by 6:35am and were there by a little before 7am. We headed straight to the lab. Once they took about 10 vials of blood we were free to go sit and read for about an hour. At 8:15am we headed off for Woody to "pose" for his first way of an MRI...of his brain and torso. For the torso portion, he had an excel torso coil put around him prior to being put in the tube. This was supposed to give a more exact image. He was called back at 8:45am and didn't come out till 10:35am...and, he said that he was in a tube most of that time. That made him more than 30 minutes late for his CT contrast appointment. I went to the CT scan area at 10am to tell them that he would be late. So we arrived about 45 minutes late in the CT area. They immediately gave him his berry "shake." He drank half and then the other half twenty minutes later. Then he waited to be called back. That's the point that I took tonight's blog picture of Woody in his lovely paper duds! He said that after he got called back it took forever for them to take him back in for his next set of pictures...CT scans of his abdomen and pelvis. He didn't come out till almost 1pm. They did have problems with the froze while doing the imaging so the tech had to reboot the computer! So lots of pictures have been taken of Woody today. We will go to see the doctors tomorrow to find out what they see or don't see in the pictures.

I read about 100 pages in my new book, worked a bit on my Sunday School lesson for Sunday, took pictures of fish in a fish tank, and fought a couple of very sleepy times in a couple of waiting rooms while waiting for Woody to get all his pictures taken. After Woody got finished, we headed to the cafeteria a little before 1pm. Woody had a tuna salad pita sandwich, some fresh fruit and a sampling of a couple kinds of different types of salads from the salad bar. I had my favorite roast beef caesar sandwich from Au Bon Pain. We ate and then headed back to the front of building 10 to catch the 1:40pm shuttle. We ended up having two shuttles to choose from...the one from the hotel and the one that NIH provides. Since two people had gotten on the hotel shuttle we took that one too so only one of the shuttles had to make the trip. We got back to the hotel about 2pm and found housekeeping in our room. So we went back downstairs and read our books in the lobby for about 15 minutes. When we went back upstairs the housekeeper was just leaving. So we got back into our room about 8 hours after leaving it this morning. We have since flopped on the bed watching TV, reading, and even a bit of napping. Woody didn't think that he had slept...but I heard snores! I'm hearing them at the moment too! I worked/played with my new photo software and some of the fish pictures that I took today. We watched a bit of the first day of Congress being back in session...that may have been the reason for falling to sleep! We watched several senators talk about changing the rules for filibustering. When talking about this subject, some of the senators seemed not to know when to stop talking...hmmmmm! We watched one of the first votes of this session in the House of Representatives...not many representatives were there...but then they weren't expecting this vote! I did enjoy watching some of this especially since we are here in the D.C. close to where it was all happening!

Woody's clinic appointment to see the doctors is at 1pm tomorrow. We will go early to get signed in so we will hopefully be first to be seen. We want to see the doctors but not have to linger too long so we can miss D.C. rush hour traffic. Tomorrow night I will be blogging from somewhere between Bethesda and Tullahoma...the good Lord willin'!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Travel day went smoothly until...

Our travels went very smoothly until we got to the Beltway around 4pm Eastern time...oh, my...then it took us at least two hours to go ten miles. Tonight's picture was taken just prior to us crossing the Potomac River...note the solid line of white on the other side of the beltway...solid car lights...and in front of us in about that spot it was solid red. I'm so glad that we don't have to go through rush hour traffic here every night!

We left the house at 5:12am (Central time) and we arrived at NIH at 6:12pm (Eastern time) exactly twelve hours of travel (and it should have taken us only a little over 10!). Arriving at NIH at that time we just missed the 6:10pm shuttle to the hotel. So I had to call the hotel to get them to send a shuttle...but from what I understand the shuttle leaves from the hotel at 6:30pm every night and goes to the NIH building where we needed to be picked up. Learn something each time...I now know how to use the complimentary phone...hadn't done that before so had no idea how to dial out on it! We didn't have to wait long till the hotel shuttle was there to pick us up. We are both glad to be ensconced in our room on Pook's Hill once again.

Tomorrow morning is filled with labs, scans, and MRI's for Woody. We will be up and out of here quite early so he can get lab work done prior to the scans, etc.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Melany's Miracle!

Many, many years ago one afternoon when Melany was quite small, she walked into our living room and exclaimed, "It's a miracle!" At that exact moment the sun was coming in the fan window on our front door and the beam of light was directed right on baby Jesus in the manger of our nativity scene. So this morning when I walked through the living room and realized that the sun was directed right to baby Jesus and the angel on the Fisher Price nativity, I was reminded of that day long ago when Melany saw a miracle in our living room (different house and different living room)...a miracle in the eyes of a young child.

I have been working on getting everything gathered together so we will be ready to leave dark and early in the morning. I had all my clothes in the suitcase by 8am...Woody is still putting things on the bed for me to put in the suitcase. I have been gathering up all the power cords that go to various and sundry items that have to be charged while on the, computer, and how things have changed over the years as to what we think that we can't leave home without! Now I just have to remember to take the phone, camera, and computer to go with those cords!

Woody walked for about an hour this afternoon. He also ran pre-trip union, gas, prescriptions, library (I was out of pleasure reading books). I am in the midst of making breakfast cookies...not for us to take on the trip, but for an obligation on Saturday. Our Sunday School class is responsible for providing some mid-morning snacks for the crew who will be taking down the Night In Bethlehem and other decorations at and around our church this Saturday. I was afraid that if I waited till I got home on Friday, that I wouldn't feel like making them. So they are on my "to-do" list for this evening. I'm waiting for the butter to soften while I blog...doing a bit of multi-tasking! Woody has worked some more on his jigsaw puzzle...a cardinal...lots of red pieces make up that cardinal! I mopped our kitchen floor this afternoon. I hadn't had time since Christmas...well, let's say that I hadn't found/made time so decided that today was a good day to do it. My! Was it ever dirty! We have a steam mop that we share between Nathan and Kathy's and our I went over and got it today when I fed Abigail's fish. They gave me some new pads for it for Christmas...which are white (what was the company thinking?!). I decided to wash the floor first with the old pad and then give it a second going over with the new white pad...well...let's just say that even though it was the second washing...that pad is no longer white!

Well, off to make the cookies and then freeze them for Saturday. I will be blogging from Bethesda, MD tomorrow night...the good Lord willin'!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First Sunday of 2011

We went to Sunday School this morning and both taught our respective classes. We came home and have taken it easy the rest of the day. I got up to date on copying our blogs onto word now have 738 saved! I guess I had better copy tonight's to keep it will be 739. I had gotten quite far behind and had to copy and save quite a few months. So now I have my pictures sorted and am up-to-date with copying the blogs...good start to the new year.

Woody has read, watched football, started a jigsaw puzzle that he got for Christmas, and rested today. I finally got our reservations for a hotel at the "new" NIH patient rate...rate went up quite a bit. I think that I have made ten or more phone calls trying to get reservations this time. Tonight I called the hotel to check to see what the NIH rate is now and also had them check to see if Tuesday and Wednesday were available. They told me that those nights were available and also gave me the code to the NIH patient rate and then I called back the reservation folk. I have a load of clothes in the dryer and a load in the things are progressing towards being able to pack! I made a spot on the guest bed for the suitcase and plopped the suitcase in that spot...even opened the suitcase up and have also started gathering papers that we need to take with well as our NIH ID badges. So I guess you could say that we have started getting ready for the next NIH trip...the first of 2011, but our ninth since the end of last April. Tomorrow will be spent "really" getting ready so we can head out dark and early on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Every Southerner knows they’re supposed to eat black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day, but nobody seems to know exactly why. Some say the greens represent paper money and the peas coins, so eating both will bring wealth in the new year. Others say the greens are for wealth, and the peas are for luck. (copied)

Woody and I aren't superstitious...but it is fun to have traditions and we do try to eat black-eyed peas on New Years in one form or another. Sometimes we have out French Market Soup (the one with many, many dried beans, peas, etc...including black-eyed peas) and sometimes we have what is pictured in tonight's blog..."Mississippi Caviar." This is a mixture of black-eyed peas, chopped onions, chopped green pepper, chopped pimiento, chopped jalapeno pepper, and Italian dressing. You mix all this together and then eat it with Frito scoops! Yum!!!!!!!!! We didn't eat the guess there are just coins in our future! And, since we don't believe in "luck," (We don't need luck...we have God's grace!) not sure exactly why we eat them...except that this concoction is just a "good eating" tradition!

Tullahoma's new year started out wet and had it's own light and sound effects...lots of rain and a bit of lightning and thunder. According to Weather Bug we got over 2 inches of rain after midnight. Most of the daylight hours have just been cloudy. Woody did go for a walk this morning and he made the Mississippi Caviar. He has watched football and an old Christmas movie on one of the DVDs that I got for Christmas. I watched the movie last night and told him that it was a good one to watch. It is a 1980 movie..."A Christmas Without Snow." I got up and headed straight to the sewing room and have had fun watching old Christmas movies and doing some machine embroidery...making some things that I have wanted to sew out for some time. They take a long time to stitch so today seemed like a good day to do them...a whole day with no particular plans.

Woody and I wish you and yours a blessed 2011!