Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Broccoli" Cake and Ice Cream!

So you are seeing the cake that I was asked to create...a broccoli cake!!!! Now...who would want a broccoli cake? Well, Graham Dorrell, of course! He loves broccoli. I think that he would have been okay with it if I had made the cake with broccoli, but I knew that there were others in the family who would just tried my best to make the cake look like a stalk of broccoli! And, Graham seemed to be okay with the outcome of my efforts. Graham and Esther were takers for eating the real broccoli on the corners of the cake plate. Goosey (Woody) and I headed next door after they finished with their lunch for party festivities to begin! Graham first opened up his presents and I think that he would have been okay with not having cake and ice cream once he opened up a Lego set...he was then most interested in building. His sisters treated us to a cheerleading show after presents and then we headed out for cake and ice cream. Graham even managed to blow out all 11 candles with just one breath. The last picture shows the first candle going out. It looks like he wished and blew at the same time! Esther and Elijah came over a little while after Goosey and I got back home. They wanted to play for a while. They even talked me into getting the paints out! They each painted a picture. Elijah managed to get some paint on his pants despite a smock. He went home to change his pants and then didn't end up coming back, but Joy joined Esther and spent the rest of the afternoon over here doing crafts and also doing a bit of hand sewing. Esther practiced her button sewing skills. Woody went for a late afternoon walk. This morning while I was assembling and frosting the cake, he went to the grocery store. It has been very cold today...never got out of the 30's. I've felt cold all day. There's a chance of snow tomorrow. At the moment, I'm "patiently" waiting for the UPS man to come. He's supposed to be delivering my birthday's supposed to be delivered by the end of the day. I figure that I will see it in the next hour or so. We have had them deliver after 8:30pm before so we will see. But according to tracking it has been on the truck since a little after 7am. I'm trying to be patient! I want to get to the door first when he does come, as Woody might swipe it away and make me wait for my real birthday! Well, off to wait and read...Woody has read both of the seven-day books...I'm on my second one and they are due tomorrow...I'm almost finished.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Look Who's Eleven!

Graham turned 11 today...oh, my! Time does fly by! It just yesterday when Nathan called me shortly after Graham was born and I "talked" to him the first time over the phone! He cried when he was "put on the phone!" We will celebrate tomorrow as they have just gotten home from a road trip...this afternoon they were backing their RV into their driveway as I was heading to the church to work in the library. I haven't actually seen the birthday boy...this a photo that Kathy took of him today. I baked cakes this morning and will hopefully pull off the way Graham wants his cake to look tomorrow when I attempt to put it "together" and frost it, etc. Hope that I can pull this cake shape off! More about the cake tomorrow! Woody went on a four-mile walk while I was baking. I feel that I have enough cake to feed an army...oh, wait there is just about an army of kids next that should be just about enough! I worked in the library for a couple of hours this afternoon and then headed to the grocery store for a couple of things that I needed to finish the cakes in the tomorrow. I came in to a baking smell that didn't remind me of cake and found that Woody had baked "Good-For-You Oatmeal Cookies while I was gone. Nice treat! I got busy and made our supper. We have since consumed what I made and now we are planning on relaxing for the rest of the evening. I may work a little more on Esther's doll's dress. Woody is downstairs working crossword puzzles, reading, and watching TV...and he "says" that he doesn't/can't multitask!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Hello!" on this Tuesday...the last in February

Last night Woody took a walk after I posted my the Post Office to mail a couple of things. Today his walk consisted of walking to and from the prayer room at church. He just returned a few minutes ago. We have had a pretty quiet day. Woody has read, watched TV, worked crossword puzzles, etc. I continued to research about cameras and look at others photos taken with cameras like mine. Then I got started on Esther's doll's dress. It has been a rather lazy day for me. Tomorrow will be different as I guess I have to get in gear to make a birthday cake...more about that tomorrow...or the next day (the day Graham's birthday will be celebrated). Graham has a rather strange request for his cake...I shall attempt to come close to his request! While Woody was gone I fixed our supper. I used something that I had never cooked with before or as far as I know have never eaten in anything before...saffron. Melany and Wade gave me a jar of saffron for Christmas and I went looking for a recipe to use it in...and found a marinade for chicken. The chicken turned out quite tasty...different...not sure if it was the saffron itself or just that we had never had chicken marinated in these flavors before...but good. It continues to be windy here in middle TN and it rained in the night and off and on today. Woody just walked home in a rain shower.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Breezy Monday

When I decided that I would rest from blogging on Sunday, I did say that, if something important happened on Sunday, I would share on Monday. Well, tonight's photos show that yesterday was an important day for our family. Little Esther-Noel Rose Dorrell was baptized. To make the moment even more special her daddy baptized her. Kathy snapped the first photo of the two of them waiting for it to be time for the baptism...this is my favorite of the photos that I have seen taken. Her baptism was covered photographically from all angles...Kathy's view point in the first photo, mine in the second photo (from the balcony) and then Graham and Abigail took some pictures from the front row. I had two cameras going at once. I had my point-and-shoot on a tripod videoing it and then had my other camera capturing some still shots. Elijah was my only pupil this morning. Joy and Esther ran errands with their mom. Today, I have been studying about cameras/photography...and looking at photographs taken by others with cameras similar to mine to give me ideas of what I can do with my own cameras/pictures. I also made "liquid gold" (chicken broth) today and for supper made Eggplant Parmesan. Woody has read, watched TV, ran a couple of errands in the car, and walked six miles today. It got up to 60 today, but has been very breezy...we are under a wind advisory...looks like it is blowing in rain and perhaps a clap of thunder or two and probably cooler temperatures. Wonder if March will come in like a lion or a lamb! Just a few more days till we find out.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Simply Saturday

I've had a pretty busy day. Woody has read a lot as he knows that I'm going to finish my book before he does and then "he thinks" that I won't have anything to read...but I will as I picked up a couple of books at the church library on I won't be bookless! I am very close to finishing the book that he picked up for me yesterday...and would be finished if I hadn't been so busy doing things around the house today. I started out the day working on tomorrow's Sunday School lesson. Then I "thought" that I was going to get to start to sew on Esther's doll dress, but that plan didn't pan out. Instead I have been cleaning, washing, changing bed linens, etc. I have worked on our bedroom and the guest room for quite a while today. We got a new cushy mattress pad (hoping to solve the fact that I hurt so badly after I have slept on the bed for any lengthy period of time (as in a normal night's sleep) so I end up often sleeping in the recliner...I realized that I sleep much better in the hotel on Pooks Hill in Bethesda...and they have a cushy mattress we decided to order one and see if that helps me sleep better here). So that meant changing our bed. And, it meant changing the sheets on the guest bed as I was going to "give" that bed the mattress pad that we had been using on our bed (much newer and nicer than the one that was on the guest bed). So that meant two beds to wash and change sheets for. Then I decided that our room needed at least a half-way good cleaning so did that too. Woody went on a walk while I was in the midst of making our bed. I had gotten it made and was resting on the bed instead of the recliner, when he got home from his six mile walk. He told me to grab my cameras that he had a picture for me. We got in the car and headed back along the path that he had taken for his walk. He had walked this route many times before, but this was the first time that he had seen alpacas. There were two of them. Tonight's photo is of the shyer one...the other one almost came right up to check me out...Woody said that he thought that it was going to come right up to the fence and nuzzle me! This one just kept its eye on me!!! Fun to have the weather such that I can get out a bit and take a few pictures. I'm glad, though, that he didn't make me walk to take the photos! It would have been a four-mile round trip and I wasn't up for that the alpacas probably wouldn't have been there by the time it would have taken me to walk. Woody took his book and read while I snapped away. I'm heading to get my cameras ready to take to church tomorrow. Esther is getting baptized. Nathan will be baptizing her as he did her older siblings.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, George Washington!

I know that the country celebrated George's birthday on Monday, but I am of "the old school" and still remember that George Washington's birthday is February 22. I debated about when to post tonight's photo...Monday or the 22nd...and decided the 22nd with the consensus of several others that I asked! Now to explain what you are seeing in tonight's photo...the plate is a replica of the official china of the Washington's while he was president. We were gifted with this plate this past Christmas. I have a bell collection and this is my U.S. bicentennial bell...with George Washington as the handle. The same friends who gave us the plate gave us the bell back in 1976. The caroler is one of my Williamsburg carolers...can't you just hear him singing "Happy Birthday, dear George!" First thing this morning I finished a book...I was anxious to finish it as we got a call from the public library last evening that they had books that we had for Woody and one for me...unusual for us to both be notified about books in the same phone call. After finishing the book, I started in working on church library memorials. I thought that it was going to be an easy job this time...but in the end found out that I didn't have the complete information on one of them here at the house...guess that job won't be complete till I go to the church library on Sunday. Woody headed off to do grocery shopping...he picked up a couple of munchkins to be his helpers...Esther and Elijah. Since our cupboard (refrigerator) was so bare, I decided that it would be good to wipe off the shelves, etc. in the refrigerator. While I was doing that, Graham came over and said that he had time to work on his apron some more. He serged around all the edges and then put in the side and bottom hems. So he is a bit closer to having it finished. Woody's daily walk came after and from the get our books and return several others. We have been reading on these new books since his return. Well, we haven't just read...we have both done a bit of cooking. Woody made Italian Cauliflower and I made a pot of soup. Woody helped clean up the kitchen. Now that supper is behind us, looks like a good time to get back to reading. I have already read a third of my book...the words are smaller in Woody's and his book has less white least that is "his" reason that he isn't as far in his book as I am in mine! We have to hustle in reading these as they are seven day books...and we each want to read the others book!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Abigail finished her doll jumper today. Didn't she do a great job?! Abigail was pleased to find a matching blouse for the jumper. Since she went home with a new outfit for her doll, I received a call from Esther this afternoon checking on the progress of the dress that I said that I would make for her doll. I told her that I hadn't had time. She told me: "You have time now!" I have chuckled over her phone call for most of the afternoon! I did make progress and finished cutting out the dress for her doll after supper tonight. Joy finished making the cover design for her sewing notebook. She has decided that she is ready to learn how to use the sewing machine! Woody went for a walk while Abigail and I were finishing up her doll outfit. He walked four miles today. Abigail has decided that she wants a pair of capris for her doll to wear with the blouse that I she went shopping in Grammy's scraps to find just the perfect piece of fabric. So her next project is planned! Abigail invited us over for supper tonight. She planned the meal and cooked it with her daddy's help. After supper, Isaac showed us the progress that he is making with his walking. He has quite a game of walking and then "plopping!" He even says something that sounds like "plop" when he falls down. Such a cute much to learn and so much already learned in his first year of life!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Whirl Wind Wednesday!

Or at least I have felt caught up in a whirl wind today...go! go! go! School got started off with Elijah today. He is working so hard on learning to sound out words and writing numbers. Esther finished another Dick and Jane book and we also finished reading Robert Louis Stevenson's Child's Garden of Verses. I think that it is the first time that I had read some of those poems. Joy came over and finished her Social Studies lesson and then we went back to work on machine embroidering the design for her notebook cover. Graham finished applying pockets to his apron. He's hoping to have it finished before he makes bread next time. While Graham was having his sewing lesson, Woody headed off on his daily walk. He walked four miles today which included dropping off an engagement/wedding present. After I finished lunch and caught my breath for a minute, I headed off to work in the church library. I stopped on my way to the church to buy some snaps for Abigail to use on her doll jumper. Then three of us worked in the library. We went back to working on inventorying the books. We got a lot done...lots still to be done...but every little bite helps when eating an elephant! I came home and made a quick supper and then headed upstairs to land on the heating pad in the recliner! Woody has read, watched some TV, worked crossword puzzles, etc. today. It has been a rather chilly and breezy day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday...all day!

Woody got up and walked seven miles first thing this morning. He has just returned from walking to the prayer room and two walks today. I had school with all five today...three in the morning and then two in the afternoon. We sewed and sewed! Abigail continued and almost finished the jumper for her doll. Graham worked on putting pockets on his apron. Joy chose a design and thread and fabric and is machine embroidering a design to put on her sewing notebook. Esther sewed on buttons. Elijah is the only one who didn't sew today! It has been another breezy day here in Tullahoma. Today was the first time that I have seen Isaac take steps. He took seven steps in a row for me! It won't be long till he will be running around with the others!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Presidents' Day 2013

We have had a breezy and busy day! Elijah, Esther, and Joy came over for school time today. Joy designed her own cross stitch graph for her next cross stitch project along with doing a couple of her subjects over here. After lunch, one or another of the grandchildren filtered in and out. Esther and Elijah came over to see if Woody would go outside with them, but he was out for his walk. They decided to wait here till he came back. I'm guessing that Woody walked around four miles...those miles included a stop at our pharmacy to pick up two of our prescriptions. We had friends stop by for a visit this afternoon and they stayed for an early supper (lupper for them since they hadn't had lunch yet). We had a nice visit. Now Woody and I are settled in for the evening. The dishes are in the dish washer...just need to add detergent and push "start." And, I'm ready for a cup of tea!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

February Flurries

Woody fixed us French toast this morning, while Graham read me some more in his book. He was hoping to finish the book before he went home. But, alas, it was time for him to go home when there was still one chapter left. He'll finish reading that last chapter to me another time! I think that his sleepover here was a success as I think that the sleepover next door was! I look forward to the girls telling me all about theirs! It has been a pretty chilly day here...never got out of the 30's and it is now already down to 27 and the wind chill factor makes it feel like 19. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!! Woody bundled up and walked to the library this afternoon amongst a few snow flakes. But I happened to look out at just the right time when the it decided to really come down...around 4pm. So I stepped out on the front porch for a couple of seconds and snapped a couple of pictures. Tonight's photo captured the brief little spurt of snow the best. Not long after this time of flurries, when it was starting to lay on the ground, the clouds started breaking up and the sun came out for a brief time before it set. Less clouds = colder night! After lunch I came up to the sewing room to work on a blouse for Abigail's doll. Abigail is making a jumper for her doll and it will need something to go underneath. I'm planning to keep the making of this a secret so when she finishes the jumper I will present her with the she will have a whole outfit for her doll. The blouse matches the pocket on the jumper she is making. I have really had to rob Peter to pay Paul to get this cut out of the small amount of fabric that I had left. The fun thing about this fabric is that it is one of the fabrics that I used to make her quilt when she was a baby. See...there is a reason (more than one!) to keep fabric scraps! And, I have plenty of scraps to make plenty of doll dresses, etc., and, I do use them! I got so sleepy while I was sewing that I ended up taking a short nap. Saturday, for me, has been a rather lazy day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Too Many Girls!

Graham joined us this afternoon due to a sleepover at his house. Abigail invited one of her friends to spend the night and I mentioned the other day that Graham would be welcome to come over here to "escape!" (I think that it will be better all around...he won't be bugging them and they won't be bugging him!) So mid-afternoon he arrived with his backpack with all sorts of plans for things to do as an only child!!! He planned to do a lot of sewing...but...he decided after getting one pocket sewed onto his apron, that he would take a break from sewing and do something else. He and Goosey carried in all his K'nex from the garage, where the K'nex had been residing in storage tubs since I decorated for Christmas. He vacuumed the area before bringing them in and then they were carried to "their" part of the living room. So far he hasn't organized them. Woody left for his walk around 4pm. Around 5pm our doorbell rang and it was "pizza delivery" from next door! They were having homemade pizza for the sleepover supper and nicely shared some with Graham...they also brought cupcakes over for all three of us...nice we added an ice cream treat that Woody got at the store today! After supper, Woody asked Graham to help him figure out the rules for Junior Scrabble. This game had been sitting in the closet since Christmas 2011 (part of that years' pickle present) and hadn't been played yet. Woody was reminded of the game when he did grocery shopping with Elijah and Esther. He mentioned while we were putting the groceries away that he thought that Esther would be a good Scrabble player. Woody asked me where it was at that time and tonight he sent Graham into the closet where the games are stored to get it out. They are trying out both sides of the game board. I managed to get bathrooms cleaned today and put away a lot of "stuff" in the sewing room and then when I got the vacuum out for Graham to vacuum the K'nex area, I decided that I would vacuum the rest of the downstairs. That about sums up our day so far...I wonder what else Graham will want to do before his head hits the pillow tonight! I know that he wants to read out loud to me the chapter book that started reading to me last night when we were over there.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! It was a school day per usual...Elijah learned about even and odd numbers and the continents' names and Esther read two more Dick and Jane stories and then listened to some more Robert Lewis Stevenson poems. Joy worked on her math lesson and Abigail finally got to start sewing on the machine the doll jeans jumper. After lunch, Woody and I both worked on preparing ingredients for our Ham and Barley Soup. I got it simmering just as Kathy and Isaac came over ready to head to the shoe store for Isaac's first pair of little high top he seems to be closer and closer to walking. He was so cute when he stood up on them for the first time at the shoe store. He sort of danced a little jig...bouncing up and down. Hope that he was happy with them rather just wanting to get them off his feet! He has been wearing a little tennis shoe so these aren't the first shoes to be put on his feet which helps with him getting used to them. Going to Clayton's Shoe Store in Tullahoma for the grandchildren's first pair of walking shoes has become a tradition. This is the eighth grandchild that Florence has fitted shoes for...a tradition that started 19 years ago when Erin was around one. The soup simmered while I was gone and a little after I got back from our shoe excursion we added in the last of the ingredients. During its final cooking time, Woody went on his daily walk. Nathan came over this afternoon and asked Woody to babysit tonight, so he is now next door taking care of the grandchildren so Kathy and Nathan can have a Valentine date. The weather must be changing as I am very achy today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dreary Wednesday!

School "happened" as "usual" this morning. Elijah came over first. He is really working hard these days and is doing great. Esther came over next and she read two Dick and Jane stories. Then I started reading her Robert Louis Stevenson's "A Child's Garden of Verses." My grandparents gave me this book when I was two. Esther loves to be read to and she loves poems. Joy came over and she did her science lesson. She is learning about habitats. Today she learned about rain forests and jungles. We learned that sloths are such slow animals that they rarely ever leave one tree in their entire lifetime...also that they are so slow that moss grows on them! The "moss fact" was one that I had never heard before. We looked for pictures of sloths on my iPad and the first picture that we saw the sloth had moss growing on it! Graham came over for his sewing lesson. He got all the pieces marked and the first pocket is pinned onto the apron...ready to be sewn on. After Graham left, I grabbed a quick bite of lunch and then headed out the door to work in the library. Just before I headed off to the library, Woody headed out for his walk. He walked to and from the library today. I worked alone in the library today and mainly did maintenance...checked in books, checked out books, shelved books, straightened some shelves, etc. and then headed home. It has been quite a dreary day...damp and chilly...never got out of the 40's.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Busy Tuesday

Abigail and Graham got back into the sewing mode. Graham got his apron all cut out and Abigail did some preparation work on the doll jumper that she is making. They are both hoping to get to sew the next time that they work with me. Joy came over ready to do some cross stitch, but I mentioned that she might like to paint something for Valentine's Day and she lighted she spent her time painting two pictures. After lunch, I headed off to get my hair cut. Woody walked to the Post Office to mail our tax return. He spent part of the morning getting the form completed. After I got back from my hair cut Elijah came over and he dabbled in paint for a little while. Esther came over and read a couple of Dick and Jane stories and then we finished reading the Childcraft volume of Poems of Early Childhood. This book dates back to my childhood and has been read to many, many! Woody walked to the prayer room late this afternoon. I popped the casserole that I concocted yesterday into the oven. It was quite tasty.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Harbinger of Spring!

I was so surprised to see these little Dutch iris peeking their little heads up out of the ground...through the leaves! These are just the cutest little flowers and we also have some little tiny jonquils blooming. I guess that they are announcing that Spring is just around the corner! I had school with Elijah, Esther, and Joy this morning. After school was over, Woody and I headed out for a Valentine treat...a blizzard from the DQ...we had another buy one medium blizzard, get another one free. Kathy invited us over for supper tonight so I was able to put my supper preparations on hold...well, I did get started on what I had planned to make as I am making it up as I go. I am adapting a recipe of my mother's...we will see what we think about it when supper rolls around tomorrow night. So parts of tomorrow's supper are ready to be put together tomorrow afternoon. Woody and I went for a very short walk...just around the block for my first walk in some time...testing out how my foot was that short distance I didn't have any problems. Shortly after we got back from the walk around the block, Woody headed out on what he termed a "real walk!" Joy, Esther, and Elijah came over while Goosey was on his walk. Elijah ended up getting his fingers closed in the front door...ouch! A bag of frozen veggies wrapped in a towel and applied to his little fingers soon had him pretty much ok. We ate a yummy supper next door and then were royally entertained by several of the children. Then Goosey and I judged which of the children's bedrooms was the cleanest. Woody was very particular...even to the point of looking under beds...they were all very clean...but he found one sock under one bed in one room and I found an open dresser drawer in another making Abigail and Isaac's room the winner! We did brag on how good all the rooms looked! After the judging several of the kids tore off upstairs to play! Hmmmmm wonder what the rooms look like now!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What Day Is It?

I'm still confused as to what day and/or what time it is...somewhere this week lost a day or so (or so it seems) and I'm not sure which time zone my body is on. I'm so off in my sleep pattern that I may never get back to "normal" again! I seem to sleep at any time but the right time! I have done less napping today so maybe I will feel more "normal" tomorrow?!? Woody made his weekly walk to the library this morning. Then this afternoon he walked to pick up one of his prescriptions and turned that walk into a six-mile walk. I got up and put a ham in the oven. The other accomplishment...or at least part of an accomplishment was that I found time today to start copying all my photos onto a second Passport external drive. That takes some time and I just hadn't had time to make my second backup. It still isn't complete, but at least I have a good start on it. I decided that I should have all my current photos sorted into the first Passport before transferring one of the largest folders over to the second one. At least this time I have less than two months to sort through! I discovered tonight's photo on Facebook today and couldn't resist sharing it. These are our neighbors minus the glue that binds them together...I guess Kathy was taking the picture! We haven't seen the children in these new shirts...cute huh?! For those that don't know about our son and his family's ministry, you can check them out at: God uses them in an amazing ministry!

Friday, February 8, 2013

There's No Place Like Home!

This is what it looked like in TN after the rain stopped! We got up super early this morning. We were packed and had some stuff in the car already before we ate breakfast at 6am (5am TN time)at the hotel. We were off by 6:40am (5:40 TN time). We woke up to a little snow on the windshield...if we had stopped an hour farther north we would have awakened to 3-4 inches of wet slushy snow! We did have rain a lot of the way home, but the weather could have been soooooo much worse! We were home by 11:50am TN time. It was good to be back safe and sound! I slept a good part of the way home and have slept away a good part of the afternoon. I guess I was tired...or perhaps adrenalin stopped flowing!!! I think that my body was a predictor (due to my Transverse Myelitis) of the snows in the northern states before they hit as I have ached a good part of the trip--so guess it was good to get back to my recliner and fleece throw! Woody went to the grocery store after we got home. I fell asleep shortly after he left and I couldn't rouse myself enough to help him put away the groceries. I had only been stirring a short time before it was time to blog...I did do a "little" unpacking before heading to the computer to download photos. I didn't take many photos this time...played with my iPad instead! I managed to read two books on this trip...and that wasn't in the car as I can't read in the car...well, I did read the last few pages of a book on the iPad in the car this morning and miracles of miracles...I didn't feel car sick after reading! But I wouldn't trust my luck for very many pages! I got curious this afternoon as to how many trips we had made to NIH and also as to when we started going to NIH (at a point things just blur together!)...someone asked us on the shuttle ride from the hotel to NIH how long he had been going and I had to be vague with them. I couldn't remember if it was two or three years. We started going three years ago this coming April 27th (so in 2010). From April to Dec. 2010 we made 8 trips to and from NIH (in those 2010 trips Woody had two surgeries and one three-week hospital stay). In 2011 we made 5 trips to check in with Woody's research team and for scans, etc.(all 4 or 5 days away from home). And, in 2012 We made 3 trips. And, now in 2013 1 trip (so far) and will only have one more this year (that sounds so good)! So since starting our partnership with NIH we have made 17 trips back and forth to Maryland. And, only two of those were made in a plane. When we started with them the "deal" was that they would provide all the care and some compensation for trips/hotels and that we would provide them our time (seeing them at intervals set up by the research team). I will conclude by saying that I think that both sides have kept up with their part of the "deal!" I'm very thankful that we have just concluded our 17th trip rather than it being our 1st!!!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Very Good News!

We've had a good day. Everything went like clockwork...again! We got to NIH before 10am...turned in travel/hotel vouchers, put our luggage in the car and then sat and read till it was time to pick up our voucher check. The check wasn't ready when Woody went to get it so we went upstairs to check in for the clinic. Woody got weighed and blood pressure taken (blood pressure good!). Then he went back to see if the check was ready. He got the check this time. He got back and they called us in early AND saw us early. The Fellow greeted us with very good news...the two tumors left had shrunk some more from four months ago!!! She talked to us for a bit and then left to get a couple of readings and a form for us to fill out to renew our ID badges. Good news we don't return for six months this time...reason we had to renew our badges. She brought those back to us so we could fill them out while we waited for the "doc-in-charge" to come in. We barely had the form filled out before the main doctor came in. She talked for a couple of minutes and then we headed down stairs to get our badges renewed. That took a half hour and then we were on our way--1:45pm eastern time. We drove to one of our favorite places to stop on our trip home...Fort Chiswell, VA...about the half-way point of the trip. It's good to be stopped! Now for some reading time and I will actually get to watch Project Runway on the night that it airs...I usually watch it a day or so later on an app on my iPad. So...the good Lord willin' I'll blog from home tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Smooth Sailing!

Everything just went along as smoothly as possible. We left the hotel prior to 6am and just seemed to get into the flow of the delays. We got to NIH before 6:30 and the gate was open and we got right in. We headed to the parking garage and got the ideal parking spot. Woody was the third person to check into the phlebotomy lab...walked right in. We had a couple of hour wait till it was time for Woody's CT scans...which was good as they need to have his results prior to scans. We read during that wait. I will admit to dozing for a bit! He checked in a bit early for his scans and they gave him his "drink" and he was called back quite quickly. I was a bit concerned as they had scheduled his CT and MRI so close together, but it worked! All his tests were done by noon. We headed to check out the soup choices of the day...each had a bowl of soup. Then we went to the car and got our suitcase and headed back to attempt to catch the 12:45 shuttle...we had minutes to spare! We were shuttled to the hotel and were able to check in feather problems this time! We have been reading and watching TV and resting. Woody is supposed to be drinking lots. All-in-all our day has run like clockwork! We will shuttle back to NIH tomorrow morning...turn in hotel and travel vouchers and wait to be seen during the afternoon clinic time. As soon as we are through seeing his research team, we will hop in the car and head back towards TN stopping somewhere in VA for the night. Heading back upstairs to relax...ensconced on Pooks Hill in Bethesda, MD!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Taurus has Landed!

We pulled into our Fairfax, VA hotel parking lot at 3pm central time. We left home at 4:45am central time. We have driven 625 miles today. It has been overcast all day long...good for early morning driving...avoid driving into the rising sun! We saw snow on the ground in eastern TN and southern VA. It drizzled on us a couple of times...but never a hard rain. I journaled our trip on a new notepad app that I downloaded the other can take photos with the iPad and add them directly to your notes. I tried to document different legs of our trip with a photo and a word or two. Something new to do to occupy my time on the road. I slept some. Woody made it once again with no caffeine. Traffic wasn't too bad today...guess it isn't family vacation time in February! We stopped at a place to eat that we discovered several trips ago. It is called Salad Creations. Woody had a Cranberry Pecan Salad and I had a half cup of Maryland Crab soup and a half chicken Italiano panini sandwich. Yummy! We are now settled into our hotel room with our books and the TV. Woody is already reading. That's my plan after I blog. I have several e-books that I checked out from our public library. One is due in a couple of days and I'm only about halfway through so will work on that one. I still prefer a real book. I did bring one of those, too! We'll be up and out of here early in the morning hoping to miss the DC morning rush hour least start early enough to get to NIH in time to have Woody's lab work done prior to his scans and MRI. No photos till we get home.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Almost Ready!

Our snow is long gone, but I still felt like posting a snowy picture tonight. This morning Woody and I both did a bit of school with Elijah, Esther, and Joy. Then I got underway with our packing. I have just gone at it off and on and I can say that everything is in the suitcase except for toiletry items and charging cords. And, I'm about to get the cords and fully charged devices gathered together as soon as I blog. Woody went on a four-mile walk this afternoon. He also made a run (in the car) to the grocery store to get a few snack items for our road trip. We plan to get up dark and early and head off in the morning. Tomorrow night, the good Lord willin', I should be blogging from Fairfax, VA.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ground Hog Day Surprise!

All of a sudden this morning I heard excited children running around outside. And,what to my wondering eyes when I peeked out...but I saw that it was snowing! They had a grand time running around in the snow. There was just enough snow so they could pull one another around on their sleds. I managed to snap a couple of pictures before I got too cold. I will say, though, that for the rest of the day I have been cold...and I didn't run around in it...I stayed on the front porch. Graham came over before lunch wondering when they could get the K'nex out again. I told him that I wanted to get the living room back to normal first. So he stuck around and helped me carry books and decorative items to the living room. And, I can now say that I have the living room back to normal decoration status. So I guess that he can now find a time to get the containers of K'nex back out. This afternoon Woody walked to the library and to the pharmacy. Other than working on decorating the living room, I haven't done a lot and played a few games on my iPad. Once I push the publish button on tonight's blog, it will be official that I have posted 1500 blogs since I began the blog in January of 2009...that's a lot of words and photos (though, not all blogs have had photos...but all have had words!)! Thanks to all our loyal blog followers.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Paper Dolls, Pirates, and Antique Linens!

Joy joined us today along with Esther and Elijah. We have had a great day! The girls had the best time playing with some of Melany's paper dolls. Elijah enjoyed the Fisher Price Pirate ship that was the very first pickle present...the tradition started quite a few years ago when our only grandchildren were Erin and Alex! And, I ironed some of the antique linens that I have on table tops in the living room...still working on getting things back to normal. Woody has read quite a few stories and went on a walk with Elijah to the barber shop. They are now chomping at the bit to head back to their house. Woody and Elijah went ahead of us to unlock the doors. I just realized that I needed to blog before going next door, so since the girls are anxious to go, I won't take the time to choose a photo for tonight's blog. Suffice it to say that it has been a busy day.