Friday, January 31, 2014

End In Sight!

As January draws to a close, I can say that the last of the Christmas decorations found their way into boxes today and are now all in the upstairs hall awaiting Woody's puzzle making skills to fit them back in the Christmas closet. I was very happy to close the last box before I had lunch today. Then a little after lunch I called Nathan and told him that the tree box awaited him and Graham. They came over and took that heavy, awkward box up the stairs and into the closet. Earlier Woody carried the corner tree box upstairs and also put it into the Christmas closet. Both those large boxes need to be in place prior to the rest of the boxes being placed. I still do have one big job and that is to go through the Christmas wrap, boxes, bags and tissue and get it under the moment it has taken over the guest room. I will do that another day as I am just glad to have Christmas out of the downstairs! Now to get the downstairs back to "normal" decor...again, another day! I did venture out this afternoon to go to the pharmacy down the street to pick up one of my prescriptions. Woody had his early appointment at the radiologists this morning. This afternoon he headed out on a four-mile walk. The first walk he has taken in a while since it has been so cold and also since he hasn't felt the best. I talked to Melany a little while ago. She plans to come tomorrow for some more baby holding time with Joseph. Woody saw Joseph in person for the first time today. He still hasn't held him as he still has a lingering cough and sneezes.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Accomplishments of the Day!

Woody's accomplishments = went for his seventh radiation treatment and then stopped at the grocery store to get needed ingredients so I could accomplish part of my day's goal! My accomplishments = This morning: got all the ornaments off the tree this morning. Got lots boxed up...but as can be seen in photo have lots left on the coffee table to be put away...but at least the tree is bare! This afternoon: Chicken and Sausage literally took all afternoon to produce what we had for supper tonight. It isn't all that beautiful...but it is quite tasty!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

One Week Old!

I can hardly believe that little Joseph Samuel is already one week old. I called a couple of minutes after he was officially one week. I didn't go over there as I think that I may be getting what the rest of the crew has had over the last couple of weeks. I feel half-way good as long as I sit in my chair. And, when I think about it, that is exactly what the children did last week with this...stayed very still. I still continued to do some things as I am determined that the tree is going to be undecorated before February steps in the door! I have accomplished quite a bit today considering...lots of ornaments off and lots stored away in boxes. I also stewed chicken and made broth...preparing for our next soup...well gumbo this time. Woody headed off into the cold this morning to go for his sixth radiation treatment. He wasn't home as quickly today as most days. He ended up seeing and talking with the radiologist. He found out that he will have scans of some sort on Monday to see what the radiation has done so far so the doctor can decide how many more treatments he will need to have. The radiologist explained today that he is planning for Woody to have from twenty to twenty-five treatments. The reason for so many is that they are giving him smaller doses at each treatment as that is kinder to his flesh...trying to prevent him from burning. The radiologist told him that the radiation that he is getting should not make him tired nor should it compromise his immune we shall see!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Today's Window on Our World

I guess you could say that we got a dusting of snow here in Tullahoma. At a point it was snowing some really big and pretty snowflakes. I had trouble capturing the fact that it was snowing with still photos so ended up taking a movie and capturing a still photo from it.
I just lost most of what I had written so will attempt to remember what I said...I guess if I can't remember then it isn't worthy of repeating! I continued to work on our Christmas tree. The top of it is now bare. I decided to take all the decorations off that I needed a step ladder to get. I have also loaded up one large box of progress continues to be made. I just can't keep at it for very long periods of time as my back gets to hurting. I am calling it quits for today and heading to my recliner and the heating pad as soon as I blog! Woody braved the cold temperatures this morning to go for his fifth radiation treatment. He has spent the rest of the day reading, watching TV and relaxing/resting. We never got out of the 20's today and tonight is supposed to be colder than last night. Brrrrrr!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Several "Miracles!"

The first "miracle" is that I began undecorating our big Christmas tree today. I have taken quite a few ornaments off and it is beginning to look like it is missing ornaments! There are so many that it takes quite a few to make a dent in them and for someone to notice that any are missing. The next two miracles are in tonight's photos. It is hard to believe that these two delicate ornaments that hang on the front of the tree didn't get broken when the tree toppled over Thanksgiving weekend. The neighbors and Woody seem to be on the mend...several still have a lingering cough. Little Joseph went for his first pediatrician's visit today and passed with flying colors. I stayed with the other six while Nathan and Kathy and Joseph went for his appointment. The older children took turns reading to me from their reading books. Elijah and Isaac came over this morning for their school time. Woody had an early morning radiation treatment. He is feeling some better from whatever he has had. He still has a lingering cough. He has been reading and watching TV today and taking it easy. Yesterday I made one of our favorite soups and we have been enjoying it on this rather blustery day. Tonight the temperatures are supposed to plummet again. It is already 19 degrees according to Weatherbug. It is supposed to get into the single digits overnight and not warm up much tomorrow. There is a brisk wind and that puts the wind chill at 7 degrees at the moment. I plan to stay in and work on the tree and other messes around the house over these next couple of cold days. Kathy and I decided that no one needs to venture out for school when it is so cold. Today is the 46th anniversary of Woody asking me to marry him! Just a little piece of trivia!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Grammy's Turn!

Woody started off the morning making our weekly grocery run. He probably shouldn't have gone as he didn't feel well...well, at least by the time he got home he wasn't. He has taken it easy most of the day and by the evening he is feeling better. We think that he may have picked up something of what ailed the neighbors, but aren't sure. Melany arrived at noon and shortly after that she, Nathan, and I headed to the church for the funeral. We came home and changed clothes and Melany headed next door to get in a bit more baby holding. And, I got my first turn to hold him this afternoon. "How sweet to hold a newborn baby!" Woody still hasn't met little Joseph in person...just pictures. Melany came over here and ate supper with us and then headed back to Murfreesboro. We are now settling in for the evening.
Here he is peeking at you! I haven't gotten many pictures with his eyes open.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cold To The Bone!

It has been soooooooooooooooo very cold. It is supposed to warm up a bit over the weekend. We will see! Nathan and Kathy and their seven started settling in with their new little one. The siblings are quite taken with him! Isaac enjoyed the fact that he has eyes, nose, ears, mouth and was quite excited when he discovered that Joseph had a tongue! I think that all the siblings have gotten to hold him except for Esther. Esther was the hold-out for getting whatever ailed the rest, but today she joined them! So she is the last of the crew next door to have whatever it is. We're hoping that Joseph and Goosey (Woody) can avoid it...and, I'm sort of hoping that I don't get it! Woody didn't sleep well last night and didn't feel very well this morning. Not sure what ails him...just hoping that it goes away quickly. He doesn't think that it is the radiation. He had his third radiation treatment this morning. I hadn't realized how tired I was till today...I guess adrenalin has every time I sat down I dozed off...took many naps! This evening I went to the visitation for my dear friend. Tomorrow Melany is coming to Tullahoma for the funeral (and to get some more baby time in). I made a quick soup before I went to the visitation. Woody didn't go to the visitation as he didn't think that he could stand in line for very long...and, there was a very long line.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


We expected Mommy, Daddy and baby Joseph to be home around 3pm...well, they finally walked into the house around 10pm. Joseph wasn't too excited about giving them a wet diaper after he was circumcised and they couldn't leave the hospital till he did! All the children were in bed and asleep except for Graham so he got to greet his baby brother! This is the first time that I had seen him in person and Woody still hasn't. We didn't go to the hospital this time since there were sick ones at home. Today Elijah decided to run a fever. Esther is the only one claiming to not have been sick...but as Graham pointed out she had coughed some this afternoon...hope that she isn't next! Woody has now had two radiation treatments...tomorrow will be his third. The first two appointments were mid-morning. He had them change the times to 8am. He may be sorry in the morning that he changed the time as it is supposed to get down to single digits tonight! Melany came up today and spent the day either at the hospital or at Nathan and Kathy's with the six siblings and me or visiting with Woody over here at our house. She needed her "newborn baby fix!" She loves to hold little babies!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It's a...

It's a BOY!!!! Meet little Joseph Samuel Dorrell. He was born at 11:40 this morning. He weighed 6#,7.4oz. and was 19.5 inches.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Again...Brrrrrrry in Middle TN!

We seem to be in a cycle of a couple of "warmish"...well, at least pleasant days and then the cold sets in again. It is already down to 18F and supposed to go several degrees lower before morning. This has been quite a busy day. Woody got up and went for an early walk as he figured that it wasn't going to get much warmer as temperatures were supposed to drop as the day progressed. Around 8:30am, he got a phone call from the radiation center and they wanted him to come in at 11am. He was x-rayed and remarked and will begin his radiation treatments in the morning. I had school with Isaac and Elijah and then decided that today for art that we would undecorate the corner tree. I had Abigail and Elijah help first. Abigail got the high ornaments and Elijah got the low ornaments off. Then I called Joy and Esther over and they removed the rest. I boxed the ornaments another job done. I have left the corner tree for Graham to take down when he is feeling better. I have boxed up the rest of the decorations that aren't Christmas tree ornaments. So I "think" that all I have left is the big Christmas tree. Around noon I sat down to rest for a few minutes and decided to check my email and got some very sad news. One of my very dear friends died this morning. She had MS and had been struggling with several health problems over the last months. She will be greatly missed. Around 1:40pm, I was about to head out the door to get my hair cut when the neighbor's paging phone rang...and at the moment that phone ringing makes me think "baby!" And, sure enough Kathy was calling to say that she thought that she was going to be going to the hospital shortly. So I handed the phones and information over to Woody and I headed off to get my hair cut and he waited on the call to go next door. Woody did get that phone call not long after I left. When I got home, he was over at their house. Kathy called not long after I got over there and said that she wasn't in active labor, but that they were observing her. It was finally decided that she would stay the night since she seems to have picked up whatever has been ailing the children. So she is getting antibiotics hoping to chase the cough, etc. away before she does go into labor. Nathan came on home and plans to get everyone to bed early and try to get a good night's sleep himself tonight...getting ready for some sleepless ones ahead! I have my bag packed with camera, lenses, iPad, and a book and have my coat at ready in case I get a call in the night! It is snowing and the roads are getting whiter...what a day!

Monday, January 20, 2014

"I'm so proud of me!"

Isaac is getting to be such a big boy...getting a big boy haircut, getting potty trained, going to be a big brother shortly! Tonight's blog title is what Isaac said to his mommy this morning when he told her that he had used the potty while she was at her doctor's appointment! And, we were proud of him too! Woody got up and helped me by cleaning up the dishes that hadn't been put in the dishwasher and cleaning off the counters. All the clutter around here due to the undecorating is getting to having at least one clear place in the house really looked good to me! I had school with Isaac and the Elijah over here...trying to get back to routine after the holidays and our trip to NIH and me trying to get the house put back together and before Kathy has the baby! Then I headed next door to take care of the six children while Nathan and Kathy went to Kathy's ob appointment. The word is that she has started dilating and that they could be heading to the hospital just about any this point Kathy is thinking "the sooner the better!" While I was over there I listened to several read and helped them with some of their lessons. Abigail and Joy were feeling better, but Graham was starting to not feel so great. While I was over there, Woody stayed close to home as we were expecting the insurance adjuster to come to see the damage on our car. That did happen while I was next we are on to the next step to getting the car fixed. We are on the list at the "car fix-it" place now. Woody did some work in the yard including some raking. The leaf truck made another round so once again the pile of leaves at the edge of our yard is gone. I ate some lunch and then rested for a few minutes and then got busy again on packing up Christmas decorations. I managed to get five or six pretty good sized boxes filled and brought upstairs before my body said that it needed rest! And, rest it in a pretty long nap. Woody took a four-mile walk this afternoon...probably a good day to take one as the temperatures today have been very pleasant. We have another cold front approaching...bone chilling temperatures are going to be with us for the next five days or so...not looking forward to that! I'm thinking that my body knows that the front is on its way as I have been rather achy this afternoon and reason that I had to give in to a rest. My undecorating is getting closer to just being the Christmas trees...I am soooooooooooo ready for this mess to be finished and away and the house to be back to "normal!" Woody is still waiting to hear from the radiology folk.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

More Celebrating!

I just love this picture of Isaac helping his mommy blow out her candles! He is becoming quite the expert at celebrating birthdays! He did a good job of helping his mommy open her presents too! Woody went to the grocery stores and the library this morning...wore himself out! I put groceries of my goals was to have the kitchen table cleared enough for him to put the grocery bags on when he got back home. The kitchen table still has a lot of Christmas "stuff" on it to be put away so I cleared off some and pushed the rest to the back of the table. Didn't help with the undecorating but did give a place to put some bags of groceries. I put the groceries away. Nathan called and invited us over for lunch, birthday cake and ice cream and presents to celebrate Kathy's birthday. We gladly accepted the invitation. They had homemade the shapes of a heart and a face. After cake and ice cream we adjourned to the living room for presents and then Esther presented a show. We stayed and visited for a while and then headed home. I had in mind to get back to undecorating, but tiredness took over and I had a nap first. The undecorating has gotten to the overwhelming stage...when I start I seem to go great guns...but it doesn't take long to get bogged down. Today I have cleared several surfaces, dusted and then started putting back everyday decorations "as I find them." The "as I find them" is what slows down the process! I sat down a little while ago and boxed up a lot of Christmas bells. I have also been caught up washing clothes and putting them that has cut into the "undoing" a bit! Every day tasks sometimes just can't be ignored! Woody said that he had some pretty good rest periods this afternoon. One of his tricks to resting is to pop in a DVD...not long after he will be asleep. He said that it has taken his three or four watchings of one movie to finally get through the whole thing! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATHY! Now to wait for the next...and it will be a true birth day! Not many days now till baby Dorrell makes his or her appearance!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered!

I started off the morning doing a bit more on getting the house back to normal...still a ways to go...but at least the task is well underway. I spent part of that time getting non-Christmas back on the mantel in the family room. I needed Woody's help to carry the USS Constitution model, that my grandfather built, back downstairs and back on the mantel. It is a two person to carry the boat and one to carry the stand. It got transferred safely. I have added something new to the mantel decor and am now seeing if I like the change! Woody worked at the computer while I was doing that. I needed the computer before I could continue with the big brother/sister shirts so when he was finished I headed back to the sewing room. Before I went to bed last night I had four shirts done. That left me with the shirts for the two youngest in their family. Joy came over after lunch and she helped me in the sewing room. She put away embroidery thread spools in their appropriate boxes and also helped me find matching thread for each of the shirts. After they were all embroidered, I sewed a soft piece of fabric onto the back to cover up any scratchy places on the back of the embroidery designs. Joy and I carried them downstairs and Joy arranged them on the love seat so I could snap a picture. Not long after that Graham and Elijah popped over. While I was upstairs, the three of them decided that they would clean up the toy nice! Elijah was asking me when he would have school again...he was ready right then so he went upstairs and chose something to bring down so we could have a bit of school. He stayed over for a bit after Joy and Graham left. Joy and Graham left each carrying three shirts! So they are finished and delivered! I will get back to school this coming week whether I am undecorated or has been good to have this week to be able to concentrate on the house and the big brother/sister shirts. I realized last night a while after I posted that I really didn't explain about the title of yesterday's blog..."A Marked Man...Again!" Back in April of 2009, Woody had radiation on his left arm...the one that the melanoma tumor was surgically removed prior to him having IL-2 at Vanderbilt. After he recovered sufficiently from his IL-2 treatments, he went through a round of 15 radiation treatments during the month of April here in Tullahoma. He is going to the same radiation center this time that he went to back in 2009. He has great confidence in them...and that counts for a lot! The radiation center still hasn't called to get his appointments set up. We did hear from our insurance today for the car...the adjuster will come on Monday to assess the damage. If it isn't one is another! I'm done in for today...but tomorrow I am going to get back to attacking the house...Christmas coming down slowly but surely...normalcy coming back...slowly but surely! One of these days..! But one thing can be can now arrive as his/her siblings have shirts to greet him/her! Phew...met that goal ahead of baby!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Marked Man...AGAIN!

Woody spent a good part of the morning at the radiologist's office. He got run through their machine getting lined up and marked for his upcoming radiation. He is now waiting for the radiologist office to call and set up his appointments. I spent the morning next door. Kathy and Nathan went to the hospital for her to pre-register. Getting closer and closer to "baby day!" I'm looking forward to meeting this new little one! We had school while their mother and father were away. Each of the children worked so hard and got a lot done. I came home had a bite of lunch and waited for Woody to get home. It was quite a long appointment...but he did say that a lot of the time was spent in their waiting room. After lunch, I headed to the sewing room and got underway with the next shirt. So Abigail now has a BIG sister shirt. So two down and four to go! I have the thread colors lined up for Joy's. I'm planning to get it sewn out as soon as I blog. We have had an interesting day without a sewer. The city is in the process of updating all the sewer lines in town. We got notified yesterday that we were not to wash clothes, dishes, bathe or shower, flush the potties excessively, etc. And, it was suggested that all drains (especially those not used often) have at least a bucket of water in them so smells wouldn't come into the house! All this was to take place between 8am and 6pm. They started working before 8am and left around 5:30pm. Glad that is over! And, at this point I don't smell any unwanted smells! When I go back downstairs I plan to load up the dishwasher with the mess of dishes that I used when preparing tonight's supper. Funny...something that you don't think about most having sewer privileges...are really missed when they are taken away! Well, turning my chair around to get Joy's shirt ready to machine embroider!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mid January...already!

Can you believe that it is already the 15th of January!?! I can't...time continues to fly! Today I got up and told myself that I was going to abandon the undecorating and work on "big brother" and "big sister" shirts. The baby is due January the due date is approaching fast...and Kathy usually has her babies about a week prior to her due date. I need to get going on these shirts! Well, I got going on the sewing, but got bogged down on the first shirt! But before lunch I did have Graham's one down and five to go (the others "should" go more quickly)! After lunch, I headed off to church to work in the library. While I was at the library, Woody headed off to get an estimate for car repairs. The newness didn't last long! The night before last a large branch fell and landed across the back of our new car and dented both back fenders and I guess did damage to the outside of the trunk and I'm not sure what all...but the estimate shows that there must be quite a bit to be done to least by the high estimate amount (guess these days it doesn't take much damage to up the estimate)! Woody found the damage yesterday when he went outside to put the car in the garage because there was a prediction of possible snow...oops...didn't get it in before that branch fell! Oak trees are notorious for dropping branches and one definitely found/made its mark! Oh, well, I'm sure that it will look good as new once it is fixed. And, I guess we can say that neither of us put the first scratch on it! After I got home from working in the library, I fixed our supper. My streak of energy for the day has worn off so I don't think that I will be heading back to the sewing machine just one big brother shirt to show for today's sewing efforts. As the sun was going down tonight the clouds were just I attempted to capture their pretty color=tonight's photo.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Flew the Coop!

I got up fairly early this morning and went straight to work on the decorations. I worked for a while and then got ready to head out on a "girls' day out." Three friends and I met up and went shopping together and then out to lunch. After we got back into town I stopped at WalMart to extend my shopping experience! One of the things that I bought was a new heating pad. I have had trouble getting up from my nicely heated chair to come in and blog, as I had gotten so comfy! Woody has stayed around the house and done one thing and another today. I can't report on what as I haven't been around! But I did just check and he did walk four miles today.

Monday, January 13, 2014

One Last Carol!

As tonight's photo carolers have gathered for one last carol before they are packed away. Today has been a day of "ups and downs" for me...up and down the stairs and up and down the step ladder. I have really worked hard at getting decorations packed away. I know that lots have been put away, but I'm not sure if you were to walk in my front door that you could tell! But the process is well underway. Woody and I went next door for a little while today when Kathy and Nathan went for her OB appointment. It was just before lunch and Abigail got the lunch ready for them...their once a month cooking made the process an easy one for her...pop some of their homemade burritos in the microwave. Elijah set the table. Joy said the prayer. And, they were ready to eat! After lunch, I had Graham gather his school work together and we came over here...a bit quieter for him to work and it let me go back to work on undecorating. Woody stayed with the other five till Kathy and Nathan got home. Graham got almost three subjects done before he headed back home. Woody is working on some details that need to be done before his book is in its final form so he has spent quite a bit of time on the computer this afternoon. Well, back to the undecorating...shadow box in the family room is the next thing to tackle.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Doings and Undoings!

The day after getting back from a trip seems to have a lot of "doings and undoings!" First we needed to stock the Woody went to the grocery store. When he got home I "un"packed the groceries and got busy making a big pot of of our favorites--Spicy Vegetable Beef. That included a lot of chopping and shredding of lots of veggies. Woody also went to the library on his grocery outing. After he got back home I mentioned a friend who is on the hospital so he went to the hospital for a visit. I got the soup to simmering and then I went back to some of the undoing that I had started when I first got up this morning...undecorating! Definitely not my most favorite thing about our Christmas decorations. But the process has gotten underway. I try to take a box or two downstairs each time that I go down and try to bring up a filled box when I come back upstairs. (The latter happens sometimes and sometimes it doesn't!) But the stack of filled boxes is growing in our upstairs hall. I have also started unpacking...another of my undoings. I am in the midst of doing "big brother" and "big sister" shirts. I've got to get those ready so the new baby's siblings will have shirts to wear to when they go to meet him/her. Kathy got the shirts ready...bought and washed...while we were gone. So now it is my job to get the designs sewn onto them. I did decide what I am going to put on them so next job is to get the designs transferred over to my sewing machine. Since it was such a nice day, I volunteered to go out and vacuum our car after its first trip. I think that this is the earliest that we have broken our usual rule when we get a new car..."no eating in the car!" Well, I don't think that we have taken such a long trip so soon after getting a new that rule didn't last but a few days. Snacking is just part of our trips! I wanted the car to still look like I dragged the vacuum outside and did a bit of really wasn't that bad...we had been pretty careful...but I felt that it couldn't hurt to do a bit of vacuuming...and Woody didn't object. After doing that, I was about worn out so I took a pretty good nap this afternoon. Woody has napped some this afternoon too. All the above is just part of us getting back into a "routine" after a trip. I am always a bit jet-lagged...perhaps it is just the adrenalin stopping flowing! Anyway, it always takes me a while to feel like I am back in the "real world." There are just so many things that need to be done that it can get a bit overwhelming...after spending four days away in sort of a suspended state of being...that doesn't really mimic normal daily life! So I will be doing a lot of "doing and undoing" (flitting from one thing to another...or perhaps floating like these fish in tonight's photo) over the next few days till daily routine/reality settles back in. Tonight's photo is one of the many fish tanks in waiting rooms at NIH.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Home Plus a Birthday Celebration!

Definitely a busy day! We had a longer than usual travel time since we stopped farther north in Virginia than we usually do. We got home around 5:30pm and headed right over to Nathan and Kathy's for Isaac's birthday celebration. Isaac opened his birthday presents, then Woody and I ate our supper that they had saved for us and then we had cake and ice cream. I will try to post a picture later...or at least tomorrow. The laptop seems to be having trouble opening up and I have to post pictures on it rather than the iPad. It's good to be home. Now to regroup and come back to reality! Happy second birthday to our sweet Isaac!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Heading Home!

We got up this morning and got ready and headed over to NIH on the hotel shuttle. We headed to the car and got rid of the suitcase, etc. and then headed back to turn in the trip voucher request. Then it was wait for a while till it was time for Woody to have his PET scan. We ended up being the last patient seen by the team...mainly because they were waiting to have the PET scan sent to them to read. Woody's Fellow came in and told us that all the scans and the MRI looked good that they took yesterday...that the tumors they are watching continue to shrink! Good news! She couldn't address the place on Woody's leg until after they looked at the PET scans. So we waited and waited! Finally Woody's Fellow and another doctor came in. Both were very positive. The main doctor said that scans, MRI, etc. looked fantastic. They said that since they hadn't ever taken "pictures" of Woody's leg here at NIH, they didn't have the best knowledge to work with. They did have Woody's PET scan taken years ago in TN. They did say that the area on his leg was larger now than on the original PET scan. They want him to have radiation on an area of his leg. This will be able to be done in Tullahoma. Then they want to see him in several months after the radiation has been completed. It was a very positive doctor visit. The doctor that we hadn't seen before was super positive about how Woody had responded to the protocol. He liked the word "fantastic." Fantastic is a very good word! We are thankful to have such positive results and be heading home. We were hoping that if he had to have radiation, that he could have it at home. We didn't get away till after 5pm and we drove a ways and have stopped for the night in Woodstock, VA. Hopefully I'll be posting from Tullahoma tomorrow. Tonight's photo is the view above my head at my lunch table.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Loooooooong Day!

We got to NIH a little before 10 and he headed straight to the lab. That got taken care of and we went upstairs to the clinic to leave the discs that have his Tullahoma X-rays and Scans on them. That way his team will have them before we see them tomorrow. He has been MRI'd and scanned from head to toe...just about. He has had quite a bit of knee pain today and was very glad to finally get to the hotel a little after 5pm. Tomorrow morning he will be having a PET scan and then see the doctors in clinic tomorrow afternoon. At the moment we are just glad to be ensconced in our hotel on Pooks Hill in Bethesda! I can't help but wonder what we will learn tomorrow and what the plans will be! Time will tell! No picture tonight. We decided to leave the laptop in the less thing to carry when we shuttled to the hotel.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

1,794 Posts Later!

Five years ago this date I began this blog to keep family and friends updated on Woody and his treatments for Melanoma. At the time I never dreamed that I would still be blogging five years from that date! I am very thankful that Woody is still here to blog about! At the time that I started blogging he was expected to live less than a year. Lots of water has gone under the bridge in those five years! Lately I have pretty much just posted drivel...but here we are once again facing a big question mark as to what we will be facing...and, I am once again getting ready to update folks on what is found out/decided about the tumor that is on his leg. We had a fairly uneventful trip today. As you can see by the first picture it registered -10F during our drive this morning. You can see that the water seeping out of the crevices looked quite lovely along the road as we traveled. The weather was good the whole trip...just very cold. The highest outside temp that the car registered today was 18F. Pretty cold! We were quite comfortable in the car...Woody kept his side of the car at the temp he wanted and I kept mine where I was comfortable. Tonight's picture shows us one of our mysteries of the day...I didn't know that I was taking a picture of it at the time! One of us turned on the emergency flashers...I think that it was probably me...but we aren't for sure. Well, once they were turned on we had no idea how to shut them off. I grabbed the iPad and tried to search the car manual. All we could find in the manual was to push the button on the control panel. Well, we did not know what that button looked like...nor what was considered the instrument panel. We pulled off at a rest stop and continued to search for the elusive button! Woody had me change seats with him and see if I could find it. Finally in desperation I decided to call Nathan and see if he had any idea where it might be. Well, when Kathy answered the phone, a light came on in my head and I realized that I had seen the triangular emergency symbol somewhere that day...and there it was in between the vents in the center of the dashboard. We now know that what I pictured in tonight's blog is the instrument panel...and that rectangle with the red triangle on it is the button one presses for the flashers to turn on! I don't think that we will forget where that button is again! I'm sure that it added at least 15 minutes onto our trip! But we got underway once again and about 12 hours after we started we pulled into our hotel. It's good to be here. We will get up and have breakfast here and then head on down the road to NIH. Woody gets to eat this time as the instructions say that he can't eat anything after noon. The good Lord willin' I'll be posting from Pooks Hill in Bethesda, MD tomorrow night.

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrry Cold!

I took this photo of the thermometer a little after 9am this morning. As you can see out the window, we didn't get but a dusting and the roads seem to be okay. We didn't get the snow and ice that was predicted, but we definitely got the plummeting temperatures. Weather Bug is reporting that it is 5 degrees at the Tullahoma airport as I write this. They are predicting that it will get down to 2 before morning's light! That means that it will probably be very cold as we head off dark and early. The trip looks more like a reality today...suitcases laying open...mostly full...hotel reservations made for the next two nights...piles of items to take next to the garage door. Looking like a trip is close at hand! Woody headed over to the neighbor grandchildren this morning to take care of them while Kathy and Nathan went for her OB appointment. All is well with the mommy and the babe...just playing the waiting game for a few more weeks. I joined them and helped some with school work and then listened to some of them read after Kathy and Nathan returned. After lunch Woody and I made a quick trip to the church library for Woody to get a book. Then the rest of the day has been about getting ready. Woody has been working on getting the dishes in the kitchen washed and the counters cleared and cleaned off. I have been working at the packing. I will say that I "think" that all clothes are in the suitcases. I'm going to go over my list one more time after I finish blogging. We are taking two that we will take into the hotels with us and one that is our "just in case" suitcase. I have packed some extra clothes "just in case" they have us staying longer. I figure that if I am prepared for a longer stay it probably won't happen! Well, the good Lord willin', I will be blogging from Fairfax, VA tomorrow night.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ready, Aim...

Is this picture cute or what!?! Alex passed down two St. Louis Cardinal caps that he had outgrown. He intended one for Graham and one for Elijah. Well, Elijah was interested in other things and the hat got set be picked up by Isaac. Isaac put it on backwards and proceeded to pick up both of Elijah's Nerf suction cup dart guns and started making a shooting noise. Such a cute age! Well, I guess you can say that today we have done a bit of getting ready for our NIH trip. Woody started out the morning running a couple of errands and then he came back and got me before he went to WalMart. On the way home from WalMart I actually drove. We made a stop at the library. I got a couple of books for the trip. Later in the afternoon, I had to go to the pharmacy to pick up two of my prescriptions...that was the first time that I drove the car with no one else with me. I guess we will eventually get used to it. I think, though, that we will run out of windshield cleaning solution if we don't stop turning that feature on when we shift the car into Park, Reverse, or Drive! We have both customized the driver's seat so when we use our key to open the door the seat and the mirrors will go to where we have set them...if this really works it will be so nice! Nathan and family did a lot for us today. Graham and Nathan took all the aluminum cans out of our garage and took them to the recycle place. We have been collecting aluminum cans for years for the Foreign mission offering that is taken up in Southern Baptist churches at Christmas time...the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Woody's Royal Ambassador boys started this way of "earning" money for this offering many, many years ago. Our house has been the designated drop-off spot for those in our church who participate in recycling cans for Lottie Moon. After they got all the cans out then they moved everything to the front or to the sides of the garage and then Graham swept the garage floor. This gave us room to put our car in the is quite a tight should have heard all the warning beeps on the car that the car or something was too close to the car...but Woody managed to get it in. This way there won't be frost on the windows when we head off to church early in the morning. The other kids raked the leaves out of our front gardens and then later Nathan blew them to the edge of our yard. Nice to have such thoughtful neighbors. One of the things that I did at WalMart was buy a new suitcase. For years we have used Nathan and Kathy's light-weight suitcases when we go to NIH. These suitcases had seen many places in the U.S. and the world over the years and they had seen better days. So we were in need of a new suitcase to share between the houses and I felt that it was our turn to provide at least one! So we now have a suitcase for me to pack in. I did get the travel neck pillow made last night so that got put in the car this morning. I am sitting here with my fleece jacket on my needs a bit of mending...another job to get done before the trip. We are now weather watching...that Arctic Freeze that the news is talking about is supposed to reach us. It is supposed to start with rain here and then the temperatures are to plummet and then it will turn to snow and we are supposed to get at least a small accumulation...probably with ice under the snow. The high temperature on Monday is supposed to only be 11 degrees. So probably not a lot of melting will happen. So the question arises then...will roads be negotiable on Tuesday morning! When NIH called about appointments Woody told them we would be there weather permitting...wondering now if the weather is going to permit! Well, off to mend a coat and clear a bed so I can start laying things out that we need to pack. My list of "to takes" is growing. Woody got some snack food when he shopped today...that is always one step closer to being ready to go! Woody did walk four miles this afternoon.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Newly Licensed!

Big news in the Dorrell and Proctor households today...Alex got his driver's license! We signed over our red 1996 Taurus to them so now he has wheels when he needs them. He's the first of our grandchildren to become a licensed driver. We had a nice visit with Melany and Alex. They stayed through lunch. Then they headed back to Murfreesboro with Melany in the lead...Alex's first solo drive! Late this afternoon Woody went for his 4-mile walk. This morning I got up and put our lunch in the oven to cook. Not long after Melany and Alex got here, the neighbor Dorrell's started drifting over. Aunt Melany brought more rubber bands for the looms she had given them for Christmas. They are making bracelets and necklaces right and left! Some of the bands she brought today were glow in the some time was spent going in and out of the downstairs bathroom to check to see if they glowed. I have a new magazine sorting of my friends is moving and she decided that she wasn't going to move all her sewing magazines so she brought a stack of ones that I don't have over to me! I'm not sure that getting rid of the Christmas magazines makes up for the ones that I added today! The ones she gave me gives me a more complete set of this particular magazine. They are good references for techniques plus they have lots of good patterns in them for the children. I will enjoy looking through them before I add them to the ones that I have. I keep saying to myself that I "need" to do something to get ready for our trip that is looming ahead of us...but so far all I have done is think about it...and I did do wash when I thought that we were going this that is one job that won't be too huge as I will probably only need to do one or two small loads. I am planning to make a new travel neck pillow for the new car...the old one is looking pretty decrepit. I found the fabric that I want to make the new one from so I think that I will go cut it out...maybe even sew around it so I can get it turned and stuffed and ready for the trip...that would be doing "something" to get ready! This cold weather has made me not want to do much except to stay inside, lounge around and try to keep warm.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Tutu for January 2!

Here's the tutu that Joy made for Esther for Christmas. Didn't Joy do a great job! I'm hearing the wind outside and just looked out the window and can see snowflakes floating in the light provided by the street light. The day started out rainy...Woody took his four-mile walk in the rain this morning. It is already down to 19...looks like it is going to be a cold one! I have done about as little as possible today. I have had a sinus/allergy problem the last couple a good time to sort through things and do a lot of sitting. Today I completed an alphabetical list of features/items on our new car along with page numbers in the manual. I will put the page into the manual and when we need to find out something, hopefully, we will be able to turn to a corresponding page and find out what we need to know. Perhaps this won't be necessary...but at least it familiarized me with the features! I also finished going through the Christmas magazines that I had saved over the years. I have really enjoyed looking through them during the Christmas season, but I have decided that I will throw most of them away. I think that I have kept two magazines and also saved a few pages that I tore out. That was a job that was able to be done in my recliner with music or a TV show playing on my iPad. I do feel some better so maybe I'll move around and actually accomplish a couple of things tomorrow! As Scarlett said, "Tomorrow is another day!" Woody received word today that his book is going to the printer...what a lot of work over the last months (really years) that represents...more details forthcoming!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Training for the New Year!

First picture of 2014--Isaac, our little "Compost Boy In-Training!" Goosey (Woody) invited Isaac over to play again this morning. They read a little and also attempted to play Hide and Seek. The moment that Goosey calls out "ready or not," Isaac comes running out of his hiding place laughing hysterically and runs straight to Goosey! Before he went home he wanted to go outside and Goosey asked him if he wanted to take the compost out to the compost pile and Goosey got a "yes." Isaac went out to empty the compost yesterday with Goosey too. I guess he is going to follow in his big brother Graham's footsteps and be our future Compost Boy! Along with training to be a Compost Boy, Isaac continues to bring his potty with him when he comes to visit as he is in "Potty Bootcamp" at the moment! So lots of training for the New Year for Isaac! We have had a rather low-key day. I have done close to nothing. I have sat in the new car for a little while trying to figure out just what it does and how it does whatever it does. I will say that I am a "read the manual" type of person and manuals aren't written to be read these days...or so this one seems! I have been watching short video clips as to how to work specific things in the car...perhaps those are a bit more helpful...but not all the time! The problem is trying to figure out just what features we have and just learning about them and not every option/feature that Ford offers...unfortunately the manual and video clips deal with all options/features...very confusing! Woody took a four-mile walk this afternoon. He is now downstairs watching a movie. I did manage to sort through all of 2013's photos before midnight last night. So that goal was accomplished. I almost always am awake still at midnight. I was reading last night and I remember looking at the clock and saw that it was 11:45pm and the next thing I knew it was 1am...oops I guess I was an hour late at seeing in 2014!