We have had a pretty "as usual" Saturday. Woody went to the library and did our weekly Walmarting. I have been working on finishing a book...almost to the end. And, I have been doing various and sundry things around the house...loading dishes into the dishwasher, doing a couple of loads of wash and putting them away...just little things like that. I also completed another Christmas ornament and am working on the handwork on another. When I get that one finished that will be eight ornaments completed. Woody has worked crossword puzzles, watched TV, read, etc. He also made a trip after lunch to attempt to register three of our neighbor children (grandchildren) for Fall Ball. He was partially successful. Kathy will have to be in contact with someone in the league to complete the registration after they return. I forgot to share some interesting information that we learned yesterday from Dr. Wyman (Woody's new melanoma doctor). I asked him if they did IL-2 any more. He said that it was still used in some places, but no longer at Vanderbilt. He said that when Dr. Sosman (Woody's original melanoma doctor) and Dr. Puzanov left Vanderbilt that the IL-2 program left, too. Woody said "good" when he heard that! That was one very rough treatment and he went through it three times--twice at Vanderbilt and once at NIH. It will be so good if something like Keytruda could be used from the get-go--a treatment that has very little noticable side effects and seems to have very good results. I don't know if Keytruda has been further approved. When Woody started using it had only been FDA approved for "last ditch" effort patients...in other words for those that other treatments had failed. I will have to look into that and if I can't find out on my own then I will try to remembber to ask Dr. Wyman when we go back in three months. I'm wondering just what types of trial programs that they are doing at Vanderbilt for melanoma now that Dr. Sosman has left. All kinds of questions come to my mind...after we have been there! And, with remission I guess that it is okay to put that kind of question in the back of our minds! But with Woody having gone through so many types of trials for melanoma, it still lies below the surface of my inquiring mind! Well, back to working on a Christmas ornament. Guess when next I blog it will be in the dog days of August!
As the title shows, we have good news to share. Nothing showed on either the MRI or PET scans that indicate that Woody's melanoma has reared its ugly head again. We left the house a little after 5am and were home by 10:30am...spent more time on the road than at Vanderbilt this time. Everything was ahead of schedule. We were actually walking out of Dr. Wyman's office at the time that his appointment was scheduled. He doesn't have to go back for three months. And, Dr. Wyman has only scheduled a CT scan at that time rather than a PET scan. He couldn't believe that our insurance approved the one that Woody had on Tuesday. Dr. Sosman had scheduled that one before he left Vandy. Dr. Sosman had told us at that time that probably insurance would not approve a PET scan after the one that Woody had this past Tuesday. In three months, appointments for labs, scan, and doctor are all on the same day, which we like rather than having to make two trips in the same week like this time. But it will mean having to start out even earlier than we did today as Dr. Wyman only has early morning appointments...so to get ahead of his appointment we will have to be in the lab waiting room by 6:30am. It was really nice to get home before noon today. I was still beat and ended up taking a pretty good nap this afternoon. We are so thankful for Woody's good report and are thankful for thoughts and prayers that have come our way!
While I waited for Alex and his girlfriend to arrive, I sat on the front porch. It was drizzling and the temperature was pleasant enough to sit out there and wait. I noticed a couple of days ago that it looked like our little robins had left the nest. Tonight I show that the robin parents are empty nesters once again. I wish that I had witnessed them hopping around "getting their wings." I have managed a couple of times to spot a baby shortly after they leave the nest, but not this time. I reluctantly fill my bird feeders as we seem to attract squirrels more than birds and they just make themselves at home IN the feeder. I took a couple of these photos through the window as when I open the door they literally leap out and run and hide. That is they try to hide, I can usually spot them sitting very still on a branch up in the tree just waiting for me to go back in so they come back down and feast. While I sat there I did see a couple of birds come to both feeders. I figure that the squirrels keep them away as they just climb in and eat to their heart's content. Alex and Brooke arrived and Brooke had a smile on her face as she had passed the driving part of her driving test and now is one of the newest licensed driver in TN. They come to our DMV as it is MUCH less crowded than theirs in Murfreesboro. We visited till lunch was ready and then had lunch. Alex gave me 5 stars! This is from the pickiest eater of our nine grandchildren...and, of course, I cooked his favorites...hamburgers, corn on the cob and curly fries. They said that they were too full for dessert and needed to get on their way for the rest of their busy day. It was nice that they were able to "kill two birds with one stone"=get her license and fit in a visit as well. After they left, Woody and I enjoyed the dessert: warm Blueberry Dump Cake with vanilla ice cream...pretty yummy. They just don't know what they missed! I read for a while after lunch and then took a nap...Grammy was worn out I guess! We will be up with the birds in the morning as Woody has very early appointments tomorrow. I'm hoping that means that it won't be a very long day at Vanderbilt...but time will tell! I'll report tomorrow, when I blog, on what the doctor says about Woody's scans. It has been a nice rainy day and seems to have broken the extreme heat pattern. And, now I will bid you a good evening and leave you with a picture of one of our rascally squirrels in what looks like his cradle or hammock...oh, the life of the squirrels in our neighborhood!
This little bird was giving quite a concert on top of one of the bird houses. I believe that it is a little house wren, but I'm not absolutely sure. I haven't had time to go to the bird books and check. And, we hope that he/she is singing up a storm as we could really use some rain! We have had a pretty typical Wednesday with a few added in chores. Alex, our oldest grandson, is coming for a visit tomorrow and bringing his girlfriend. So we have done a little house cleaning. I will say that I have given the downstairs a "lick and a promise." Before I left to work in the church library, I vacuumed the downstairs except for the family room and also mopped the kitchen floor. I gave Woody the task of picking up some books and other things that he had on the family room floor so I could vacuum that floor when I got home. BUT he surprised me and had done the picking up AND the vacuuming. I asked him how the vacuuming went and he said "slowly." This morning he went to the farmer's market here in town and then did our weekly Krogering. He forgot to get hamburger buns so I stopped on my way home from church and got some. I dusted downstairs just before coming upstairs to blog...so household "to-do's" are coming along. We are having a fairly easy lunch so not a lot of cooking involved. Though one of us is going to make a dessert...which of us is still to be determined. We have both said that we would make it...so not sure which one will end up with that task. I guess as long as it gets done is all that matters!
I thought that you might like to see the little one lane bridge that we cross over when we take the back road for part of our trip to Vanderbilt. Today it was best that we go the back way as it gets us on the correct side of Murfreesboro if we are making a stop at Melany's house. We dropped off Alex's present this morning and took a stroll through the gardens in their back yard. Woody and Melany are in the English garden that is at the back of their yard. Melany had had to neglect it for a while when she was going back to get her Masters and then when she added teaching Motlow on to teaching art in the elementary school. This summer she has attacked it with a vengence and all her hard work is showing. Once they do some Fall planting it will be back to all its glory. She has been having fun going to Lowes and a local nursery and rescuing plants that they have marked down because they have seen better days. She has done a great job in bringing them back to life. We only stayed a little while at Melany's and then headed on down the road. We got to Vanderbilt about an hour early. Everything was handled very efficiently today and he was called in for both his appointments early but it was still a long day. The P.E.T. scan took the longest. He was back there for more than two hours...but not in the tube all that time. We made only one stop on the way home. Woody wanted to stop and get more blueberries at Krogers before their good special probably goes off tomorrow. We were gone from home eight hours and no doctor or lab included in this trip. He has those appointments to look forward to on Friday!
Look at how much these little birds have changed in just a few days! And, as these little birds are growing older, we have a grandson who gained another year today. It's our oldest grandson's birthday. Alex turned 19 today...my how time does fly! It doesn't seem possible that his last year as a teenager has arrived. Alex is getting ready to head back to college at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, TN for his second year. I made a gelatin salad this morning and then got busy in my sewing room making another ornament. I have both sides of the ornament embroidered, but haven't gotten it put together yet. Once I got the embroidery done I headed down to the kitchen to make the rest of our dinner. I roasted a chicken with some potatoes. It took a bit longer than the recipe said, but both the chicken and the potatoes were quite tasty. This morning Woody went to The Life Care Center to have Bible study with Jeff. He also got Alex's birthday gift ready for me to wrap. We will drop Alex's gift off on our way to Vanderbilt in the morning. Woody's appointments are later than usual so we don't have to get up with the birds. We have had two calls from Vanderbilt today. One to remind him not to eat after 6am for his PET scan and the other was a friendly automated call confirming his appointments on Friday. Tomorrow is just an MRI of his brain (has this once a year) and a full-body PET scan (has this every 12 weeks). These are to determine if his melanoma is still in remission. Then on Friday he will have labs and see the doctor. And, now I will end with a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Alex.
There is no telling what rabbit I might chase during any given day. This morning I slept in a bit and when I got up I could not find my glasses. Now...I am not one who loses my glasses because I just lay them around. And the reason for that is that I am just about blind without them. So this morning when they weren't in the glasses case that I put them before I go to sleep at night, I had next to no idea where to find them. One possibility was that I had just put them in my lap before going to sleep. And, if I had done that they might be somewhere on the floor or down the side of the chair. I did check the bathroom to see if I had left them in there after my shower, but to no avail...and, I did look on the cutting table just in case I had happened to put them there. Then I headed to get the vacuum because the next place that I was going to look probably needed to be vacuumed...under my recliner. It did need to be vacuumed but no glasses were to be found. I also looked in here next to the laptop as sometimes I do take them off when I am working on the computer. But not in here either. Finally I went downstairs...and there they were on the kitchen table...BUT they were on the table in a position that I never put them in so I knew that someone else had placed them that way. When Woody got home from his Saturday errands to the library and Walmart, I asked him if he had happened to have handled my glasses...and, he had. But he had found them on the kitchen table and thought for a minute that they were his, but knew they weren't when he put them on and he couldn't see anything! So I guess I must have taken them off last night when I went down to get a glass of ice water. I had been having allergy problems and my eyes had been watering so much that it had been difficult to leave my glasses on and be able to wipe my eyes...guess that one of those times happened while I was in the kitchen and when I went upstairs that I went to sleep soon enough that I hadn't realized that I didn't have them with me. Anyway...I was VERY happy to solve the mystery of the missing glasses. Sometime recently I had realized that we hadn't backed up our laptop recently and since it is quite old and one never knows when it will just up and quit, I made up my mind that I would back it up in the near future. Well, somehow that was the rabbit that I decided to chase today (after finding my glasses). A while back I had purchased two new Western Digital "My Passports" (external hard drives) to back up my photos on. I had been backing them up on Passports for some time, and had filled up the original ones. I decided to get the new larger ones just for photos and decided to use the other two for backup for the laptop. Well, the only way to use them for backups was to empty them of all the photos that had been stored on them. That took quite a bit of time, but finally I had one of them back to having next to nothing on them. So then I decided to back up our "My Documents." There is a ton of things stored in that folder on the laptop...Woody and I both file things in that folder. Just getting that folder to copy over to the Passport took a long time. Then once it got copied, I needed to check to see if things had really gotten copied over and they had. Then I went to the folder on the laptop and started deleting things that we didn't need currently...we can look (if we ever need to) on the copy for things that I was deleting from the computer. And, once I got that done I decided to organize the sewing folder. Well, I am still in the process of that organization process. I sort of lost track of time due to concentrating on my project...supper snuck up on me and then "blogging time" did. The above picture shows what I have been looking at most of the afternoon. During the time I was copying the folder over, I did make one more Christmas ornament while I waited on the computer. Woody's exercise today was going to Walmart and the grocery store. The rest of the day he has been staying in and attempting to stay cool. We had a few rumbles and a few drops of rain pass through a little while ago and I notice on Weatherbug that the temperature has gone down...but I'm sure that the humidity is way up there. According to Weatherbug it got to 95 today and since the "rumbles and drips" passed through the temperature has dropped down to 73...but the humidity is 94%!!!!! I doubt that it feels very cool outside! I'm sure that it is very muggy!
I went hunting through my photo files to find a summery photo and when I saw this one I immediately had a memory of a summer way back when I was MUCH younger. My family and I were visiting with friends at their cabin in the White Mountains in Arizona. We were on a jaunt in our host's Jeep. My dad and our host were taking pictures and I guess Mother, our host's wife, my sister,Cheryl, and I were just walking around exploring the pretty country side. I came across one of these plants that is pictured tonight. It was the first time that I had encountered a thistle plant and I thought that it was really pretty and decided to pick one...NOT a good idea. I found out very quickly how unfriendly this plant is and how many stickers/thorns it has on its stem. To this day I think that these are beautiful...but everytime I see one a shiver runs down my back at the rembrance of how it felt in my hand all those many years ago. I learned my lesson...never touched one again...but will photograph them! Tonight's photo represents both the past and the present...black and white=past and color=present. It has been another very hot day here...again in the 90's. Woody didn't go out walking early as he planned to walk to our pharmacy to pick up a prescription for his daily walk. By the time that he got back he wished very much that the drugstore opened way earlier than it does! It took him a while to recoup from that walk which is quite a bit shorter than his four-mile walk. Before he went to the pharmacy, he made two loaves of zucchini blueberry bread...YUMMY! I decided to cook for our lunch rather than for supper. I made the recipe from the spiralizing cookbook that had the kohlrabi in it. It was a glorifid scrambled egg dish with a "stir-fry" of kohlrabi, chicken smoked sausage with apple, and spinach and arugala. Salsa verde was drizzled over the egg/veggie mixture. It was different and really quite tasty. Once again I worked on Christmas ornaments. I made three more today so now have a total of five. Today I concentrated on making all the same kind since I had the fabric, thread colors, etc. all pulled for that specific one. I would rather sew a variety of things, but this was more practical in this instance. I still have fabric enough for one more of this one. I might make another one this evening to get that particular design finished, but then again I'm a bit tired of sewing and am thinking that I would rather read. Maybe I can do both? Time will tell. We are settling in for another quiet evening at our house.
I hunted for a picture that gave off a "cool feeling." This is the Duck River taken from the one-way bridge that we often cross when we go to Vanderbilt the back way. We'll probably be crossing this next week. Woody went on his four-mile walk early this morning so he could "beat the heat." And, once again the mercury in the thermometer rose quite high today...according to Weatherbug it got to 93 today and at this time it is still almost 90 out there. I pretty much stayed in today keeping cool in the air conditioning. I sewed a good part of the day and can say that I have three Christmas ornaments completely finished. I'm really pleased with the way they came out. Quite a few more ornaments to go, but at least this is a start! We had leftovers for supper and have now settled in for another quiet evening.
Even the little birdie looks hot! I am still intrigued with the baby birds in the nest that I can watch from our front porch. They are still pretty weak and don't have many feathers yet. This little guy sat there with his mouth wide open along with his eyes...then slowly his eyes would shut...and his little head would flop down. Hard work waiting on his mom to come back to the nest! Woody did his usual Wednesday Krogering, but added two other stops. He also went to the library to get a book that had come in that he requested and he stopped at the farmer's market that is open Wednesday morning during the times that fruits and veggies are ripening for harvest. Today he got peaches, corn and something that we have never had before: kohlrabi. I have a recipe in the spiralizing cookbook that Melany and Wade gave me for Christmas. I am supposed to put these through the spiralizer and get spaghetti like strands...we'll see! After lunch, I headed off to the church library per usual. After Donna got there, we decided to go attempt to buy two office chairs that we had been wanting for the library. We were successful! The boxes are sitting in the church office awaiting our church "master-of-all-trades" to find the time to put them together for us. These are going to help us out so much at the computer desk and also behind the desk. On my way home from the library I stopped at Walmart to purchase Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer. Our church has been asked to purchase these items for the "Better Together Back To School" Program that our town provides for the families who can't provide their own school supplies. Different churches provide different things to put in backpacks for the children This Sunday is the "big bash" where all the children and families come and get filled back packs of supplies and then have lots of fun and games...there are even people there to cut hair and do nails...quite a bash to get the children all ready to go back to school. School here will start the week after next...the summer is just too short these days. I miss the old way--three months of summer vacation. Of course the way we do it here it is 9 weeks in school, 2 weeks off for fall break, 9 weeks in, 2 weeks off for Christmas break, 9 weeks in, 2 weeks off for spring break, and then 9 weeks in and about two months off for summer. It is considered a modified year-round school program. While I was getting the school supplies, I also got a couple of ingredients that we need for the kohlrabi recipe. I stopped at the church to drop off the supplies and then headed home. I had planned the perfect meal for tonight since I was running late. I had thawed pork chops and homemade cream of celery soup that I put in the freezer last month. I quickly got the chops browned and then poured the soup over them, covered them and popped them in the oven. While they cooked in the oven I made brown rice. I was able to get supper ready at a reasonable time even though I had been galavanting all over town all afternoon! A little while ago I got the friendly automated call from Vanderbilt to remind us of Woody's appointments next week. It has been twelve weeks since he was last checked. This time he will have an MRI of the brain and a PET scan of his body. They are checking to be sure that he is still in remission. We weren't able to get the appointment with Dr. Wyman on the same day as the scans so we will be going back to Vanderbilt again at the end of next week. Just a few minutes ago I stepped outside for a moment and the heat and "closeness" due to the humidity just about took my breath away. To show how hot...our car said that it was 94 when I was heading home around 4pm. And that thermometer is usually fairly accurate. It is HOT!
At least for me it has been Christmas in July. I have sewn a good part of the day and the result is the beginning of the Christmas ornaments that I will make for gifts this year. I have been gathering needed materials (threads, felt, stabilizers, machine embroidery designs)for a while. A stack had been growing on the end of my sewing cutting table. Today I started using said materials. I have one ornament stitched which is going to be two-sided so had to stitch the design twice. It was a design that "should have" stitched out fairly quickly...BUT...I decided to stitch it with metallic thread and that can be uncooperative at times...and, today it was. I used all the tricks of the trade, but still had problems. The end result doesn't show the problems so that is important. I will still have to make this into an ornament, but at least the "difficult" part is done. I also worked on printing out templates that I need for patterns for several other ornaments. A little while ago I started cutting out the felt pieces using these patterns. I have been working on choosing the thread colors that I will use. While the machine was stitching I did a little dusting in the sewing room. Woody has been working on getting our driveway free of debris...all the trees dropping leaves, branches, twigs, etc. can get pretty messy. He hasn't been able to work on keeping it clear for a while. He has been working on it for several days and today he made it to the end of the driveway...at least for a couple of days...or till the next storm...there will be no crunching when backing out of the driveway...nor will we turn our ankles on acorns, etc. Last night he finished taking his 28 days of coated aspirin that he has been taking since he came home from the hospital for prevention of blood clots...one more thing marked off of post-op "to-do's." A little after supper Woody headed out the door and is doing another first since his leg broke...walking to and from the church prayer room. He hasn't returned yet. He waited till after supper to try to avoid the extreme heat of the day. I went out a little while ago to put something in the garbage can and it is still quite hot and humid out there. It got into the 90's here today.
I noticed the other day that I could see the heads of these little robins bob up and over the edge of the nest every so often. These little birds are still not the strongest, as after just so long of having their heads up and mouths open, all of a sudden their little necks will flop back down into the nest. I sat out on the front porch for a while this morning trying to capture what I could from "down below." I only managed to get one picture that showed all three little robins in the nest. I also noticed that for the first time I could see little heads at the opening in the bluebird house. I think that these little guys are a bit older than the robins. It looked like they were attempting to come out of the birdhouse opening as their little feet were coming out along with their heads. I'm not sure how many little blue birds there are, but I bet that they won't be in the house much longer.
Woody had a busy day today. He got up and walked early...he said that he walked his short four-mile walk...very slowly. This was his first four-mile walk since his tibia surgery. He picked up a bag of aluminum cans, found a penny, and saw two deer at two separate times. Later in the morning he went to The Life Care Center to have Bible study with Jeff and also stopped in to visit with a church member who resides there at present. I finished another book and also got underway at the sewing machine with my sewing project. Our pastor of over 19 years retired yesterday. Today one of our Sunday School members is hosting his family for dinner. Our class helped out with salads. I got mine put together and Woody and I took it over to her house this afternoon. I made a pasta salad with veggies. We like to make this salad at this time of the year as it has fresh cucumbers in it. The nice thing about this time...I got to use cucumbers that we grew. I made enough of the salad so Woody and I had it for our supper tonight. We had a pop-up shower this afternoon...the sun was shining to beat the band and raining at the same time. It was one of those showers that not everyone in town got...but our plants were happy to get another little drink on this rather hot day.
A little earlier (a little after a storm went through), Woody asked if I wanted to go on a walk. This is the first time that he has ventured beyond our or Nathan's yard since his last surgery. We walked around our block...so he is on "the road" to getting back to his walking...slowly but surely. This morning he did our Saturday errands at WalMart and the library. This has been a slow/lazy day for me. I got four 10-inch squares cut out for my next project, but didn't ever get to the sewing machine with them as a storm blew in about that time. I've done a load of wash which I have as yet to get out of the dryer so I can put them away. We are now settling in for another quiet evening...reading, working puzzles, and/or watching TV...pretty dull around here...but that is definitely okay with me!
Can you believe that half of July is already behind us? Woody got out this morning and picked up more sticks including that BIG branch that fell yesterday. He got that dragged back to the stick pile behind the house. I sewed a good part of the day and did get my camisole finished. Now planning which project I will attack next. I haven't been reading as much since I have been sewing. We are both settled in for another quiet evening.
Today I did get to sew in the morning, but had to unplug the machine for storms in the afternoon. Now to explain about sewing with memories...Woody has been so good over the years to take me to fabric stores when we are on trips. Today I am sewing on a piece that I bought in a really high quality fabric store in Houston, TX quite a few years back...a really nice piece of imported batiste. I'm actually making what I planned to make with it all those years back...a camisole to wear under a blouse that I made recently. But as I sew with this yardage that I bought on trips I enjoy the memories from each trip. Woody was presenting a paper at a technical conference in Houston that trip. Woody did a little out in the yard today.He has been doing crossword puzzles but also reading a lot. We had a good sized branch come down in the front yard and managed to hit our green (old) car and put a dent in it...just glad that it wasn't our white (newer) car. Woody had put the white car in the garage just before the storm hit. I'm surprised that I didn't hear it hit the car...it must have made quite a thud. I dragged the branch out of the street as it was blocking our side of the road. We discovered the branch when we were heading out for a treat...a free blizzard when you buy one. That was part of our supper tonight. Well, I think that I will head off and sew some French seams. Uh ohhhhh...maybe not going to get to sew...just heard thunder. Maybe I will just read! As you can see from the pictures, I at least got the machine embroidery done on it...and it is cut out...and pinned together at the seams...perhaps that is all the sewing I was meant to do today!
Another picture of one of our bluebirds. You know it is hot outside when you catch the birds panting! Right after I snapped this picture I went out and made sure that the bird bath had water in it. According to Weatherbug it got to 90 degrees today. Right now it is 87.8 and the heat index is 95. It has been a good day to stay inside. Woody did go out early this morning and worked some in the gardens. Later in the morning he did our Wednesday Krogering. I puttered around the house this morning and then after lunch headed to the church library to work for a couple of hours. Today we worked on two book orders. So it won't be long till we will have some new books to process. On the way home I stopped at the public library to return some books and DVD's we were finished with and to pick up a book that I had requested. My main accomplishment of the day was to clean my sewing machine...one step closer to actually doing some sewing. It has been so long since I have sewn I'm afraid that I have forgotten how...or perhaps sewing is like riding a bike?!?
I even have the ironing board cleared and ready to press whatever I end up sewing. I want to sew tomorrow. Now we will see if the weather cooperates. I just saw on Weatherbug, when I was checking how hot it got today, that there is a possibility of some storms tomorrow. I won't be able to sew if it is storming...since my machine is also a computer...it gets unplugged any time that I'm not using it OR if it is storming when I am using it! Well, there is plenty to do around here if a storm interrupts my sewing. Woody and I have both been doing quite a bit of reading lately. Tonight, once again, we are settling into the same quiet routine for our household.
Just before coming in here to blog, I checked out our bedroom window to see if I could spot either of our bluebird parents. Neither were in the tree tonight that I could see, but not long after I looked out one of them flew to the birdhouse and then the other landed on the wire above their home. And, look what's in the beak...either supper or a bedtime snack...going to fill those little babies up to get them through the night! Woody spent some time out in the yard early this morning puttering around doing a little of this and a little of that in the gardens. I know that he is glad to finally be back to being able to check on what is growing. I puttered around in the house...doing a little of this a little of that...picking up, dusting and vacuuming...working towards a cleaner house...and towards me having more energy. I also started trying to choose a machine embroidery design to put on my sewing project. I didn't have to cook as we are working on leftovers in the fridge. I did manage to hopefully solve my church library printer ink problem. I "live chatted" with someone at HP this afternoon and they don't sell that cartridge online any more, but she told me about other sources where I might be able to find it. She sent me a link and I was able to find it at Amazon...just hadn't thought of getting ink there...don't know why since you can get just about anything there. I ordered an ink cartridge so hopefully that will keep us from having to get another printer at least for a little while. Woody went to the Post Office to mail something for Nathan and Kathy and also picked up prescriptions at our pharmacy for both of us...his driving outing for the day. We are both ready to settle in and read and/or watch TV...another quiet evening for our household.
Just about any time during daytime hours I can look out our bedroom window and see either the mama or papa blue bird perched high in our oak tree on a dead branch. This branch overlooks their birdhouse. I caught this one preening after a harrowing time of protecting their home from a sparrow invader...both mama and papa had been dive bombing the sparrow to get it to go away. I believe that they were successful. I believe that they are raising their second brood for this year. Just before I came in to blog I looked out to see if one was in the tree and sure enough one was sitting there...this time its feathers were all sleek...not ruffled! For the first time in quite a few weeks, Woody went to The Life Care Center to have Bible study with Jeff and then made attempted visits with others. I spent the morning doing church library work. I recorded information for our latest memorials on the laptop and then wrote letters to donors and honorees. I got them in the mailbox before our mail got delivered today. After lunch I went to the church to turn in the memorial money that we had been given to purchase books. I then headed off to attempt to purchase an ink cartridge for the printer in the church library...but to no avail. I think that they are no longer selling that particular cartridge...perhaps forcing us into purchasing a new printer (not a happy camper about that). The printer that we have is just what we need for the library...no frills...just a black and white printer...but it is old and I could not find the cartridge number at the manufacturers website or at Walmart or Office Max. I guess that that the manufacturers are viewing it as obsolete in our "throw-away-culture" and a culture that technology is growing by leaps and bounds. But I feel like if it "aint broke no need to fix it! I also looked at printers but will have to make sure that the new printers will communicate with our library computers' Windows edition. At the moment we can't go very far processing new books without a printer...so a decision will have to be made shortly. We have both settled in for a quiet evening of reading and/or TV viewing. Neither of us is moving too fast these days!
Once again when I sat down at the laptop to write tonight's blog, I began hearing rumbles. We did have quite a storm after I blogged last night. Woody said that he emptied an inch of rain water out of the rain gauge this morning. While he was in the yard he pushed the "yard bucket" (wheelbarrow) to the road and dumped the sticks in the stick pile for the city to pick up. He also went to the library and WalMart this morning. He did admit when he got back home that he was rather "done in" and was ready to sit down and rest for a while. I brought the groceries in the house...including a heavy watermelon that I wasn't sure that I could heft out of the trunk! But I did manage to get it out and into the house. I finished another book that was due at the library today and mid afternoon I headed off to the library to turn it in and check out a few more. I'm working on catching up with several series that I have been reading over the years. I usually wait till the books get taken off the 7-day list (when they have lost their "new" popularity)and then I can read them at a more leisurely pace. The book I finished today is the 50th book that I have read this year. My goal is to read at least 52 books each year...in other words average reading a book a week. I guess I should not have a problem meeting that goal this year as I only have to read two more before the end of the year! Looks like I will be well over my goal if I continue to read at the pace I have been lately. But the way it usually happens is that I read and read and read and then I get going on some other interest...like sewing and sew and sew and sew and when I get going on other things I tend to neglect my reading...or at least don't read as much. The last couple of days I just haven't had the energy to get going on the sewing projects that I want to work on...hopefully I will get going on them in the next few days. I think that my "get-up-and-go" has gotten up and left...adrenalin has stopped flowing since Woody is on the downward swing of healing for his latest surgery. Now that I'm not needed as nurse for him and not needed to run his errands, etc., I just want to sit and do as little of nothing as possible. I do have plans to do some things around the house and get back to my sewing, but so far...my reading is benefiting from my "need" to sit in "my" recliner and take it easy.
It has definitely been a hot day. And, just as I sat down at the computer to blog, I am now hearing thunder rumbles and I see that we are under a severe thunderstorm watch. I had no idea...hadn't been paying much attention to the weather...just staying inside and trying to keep cool! Woody did do a little outside this morning before it got too hot...worked in the yard picking up a few sticks. Yesterday Nathan and Kathy and the children pretty much got our cleared of sticks (lots had come down in the recent rains), but there are almost always some to pick up. He also made cole slaw and cleaned up the kitchen afterwards. I have had a rather quiet day. I have read, tried to start getting organized for a sewing project...really just lazed around...didn't have much energy. This afternoon I received a phone call from 3-M. I had emailed them about Woody's problems with their steri-strip product and asked them if they had another product that someone who is sensitive to adhesives might be able to use. They got back to me by email and told me that they wanted to talk to me. So today I got the call. They wanted to know all about his reactions to their product so they could record it and see if in the future they could come up with a solution. I did find out that they make a blue silicone tape that is called "Kind Removal Silicone Tape" which is something that they make for folk with super sensitive tape...we will have to be on the outlook for it. So that was an interesting conversation with a representative of a BIG corporation. After it thundered I looked out the window and here is a picture of the cloud...that just might be part of the thunderstorm threat...so far all we have still had is rumbles:
At last I can write that Woody is truly free of "things" to do with surgery. He chose that I not tell you about one of the things that came about due to surgery until after today's appointment. This morning we left before 7am and traveled once again to a Vanderbilt clinic. This time to the urology clinic in Brentwood, TN...this clinic is a bit closer than having to go to the main Vanderbilt clinics in Nashville. Today we ended up having to drive in torrential rain for a good portion of the ride. As we neared our destination we finally drove out of it and were able to park and walk in and not get wet. We were glad that it had stopped raining as we didn't think to pick up an umbrella before we left. Today Woody went to get out the Foley catheter that he had to come home with from the hospital due to the fact that he was unable to totally empty his bladder following surgery. To say that he is very happy to be free from that "device" is an understatement! He didn't take his walker with him for this doctor trip. He told me as we were driving home that he was ready for me to store the walker away in the closet, which I did when we got home. So he feels truly free and feels that he can concentrate on healing and getting stronger after this latest surgery. Tomorrow will be three weeks since his leg surgery. He is still going slowly when he does tasks, but he is doing more and more tasks around the house and some outside. Late this afternoon he went out to the compost pile and shucked a dozen ears of corn that a dear friend grew and gifted us with. He cooked some for supper...delicious! Tonight's photo shows you a boy who is truly 7...he has had quite a week of celebrating. Happy 7th Birthday, Elijah!
Elijah is sporting a new "toothless grin" and also is pretty excited about the pitching machine that we gave him for his birthday. I haven't gotten a picture of them batting using the machine as I had to leave to go to work in the church library. But it sounds like after a bit of pondering on the part of his big brother and his daddy, it finally started pitching some balls. I think that most in the family tried it out. Elijah's mommy thought it quite fun! Elijah's daddy says that it will save his arm from having to throw so many pitches to Elijah. Joy plans to use it to practice hitting softballs as it throws softball size balls and baseball size balls. The balls are not hard balls, but special for the machine...not supposed to hurt "too" much if you get hit by a ball...and I don't think that they don't go too far when you hit them so it is easier to retrieve them. Woody headed out to Kroger this morning minus his walker. He has also done several chores outside that he hasn't been able to do in a while. He is going at everything slowly, but making progress. I headed off after lunch and after the present got opened to work in the church library. On my way home I ran a couple of errands. We are now in for the evening. Oh, and I did get my book finished last night...now on to a couple of new books that I picked up at the public library this afternoon.
We have definitely had our share of rain in the last 24 hours. It rained quite a bit during the night and then just a few minutes ago it started up again. Tonight's pictures show what it was doing just ten minutes ago. Our plants/gardens are getting watered while I type this! I heard a weather report today out of Huntsville, AL that our chances of rain will soon be out of the picture and that there won't be much in the forecasts for a while, but that we can expect to be HOT...close to 100 by the end of the week. Something to look forward to?!? The children have been in and out today while their mother and siblings do their wash...the washer that had thought to be fixed isn't quite fixed yet. After lunch Kathy and I took Elijah for a new pair of shoes. Isaac went along for the ride. Isaac came over to our house upon our return and Joseph joined him. He spent a lot of the time that he was over here sitting next to Goosey (Woody)in Goosey's chair while Goosey read quite a few story books to him (all those cow books that I checked out last week!). Isaac spent time playing with the cash register. He is quite interested in money and the different kinds. He decided that Goosey didn't have very many coins in his coin purse so he went home and got his coins and added a few to Goosey's coin purse..."since Goosey's leg isn't feeling very good." Elijah has been keeping a watch out for his gift from us...but unfortunately UPS has changed the delivery day to tomorrow by the end of the day rather than today. I'm sure that the Fourth holiday didn't help in keeping it on schedule. I did check a little while ago and the package is in Nashville...so it is getting closer. This afternoon Woody went around collected the trash from the waste baskets in the various rooms around the house and got it gathered into the kitchen wastebasket and I took it out to the big garbage can and got the garbage can situated on the curb for tomorrow's trash pick-up. So he has started to take that chore of his back from me. At that time I asked him if he thought the rains were over for today so I could take the recycle bags out and he said that he thought so...oops! Well, the paper for recycle is getting a bit wet...oh, well! I made one of our long time "tried and true" recipes this afternoon: Sweet 'n Sour Pork. A dear friend brought us a dish of cooked fresh green beans...yummy. So we had a very good supper. We are now settling in for the evening. I am planning to finish a book that I have been reading for a long time...one that I checked out from our public library, turned it back in when I couldn't renew it any more, requested it and got it from the Manchester branch of the library, turned that one back in, and have checked it out from ours again...and, am now determined to finish it! It is a historical fiction...rather detailed and it was easy to put it down and read another easier read. I have finished many books since starting it. I am ready to turn the last page and then return it to the library tomorrow! Woody has been doing crossword puzzles, reading, and watching TV off and on during the day.
Today we celebrated the United States' 240th birthday and Elijah's 7th birthday. Once in a while around here it works to double up on celebrations! We had our usual picnic fare for our July 4th lunch, then Elijah opened his presents and then we had birthday cake and ice cream. A fun time was had by all. Elijah's birthday isn't until Thursday, but this year it worked out for all involved to celebrate a few days early...and Elijah had no objections! Our gift hasn't arrived yet so he still has that to look forward to. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow. Happy July 4th, 2016 from the Dorrell's!
I just came back inside after watering our container gardens. Tonight's photo shows two of the six or so eggplants that are growing in one of the barrels...they're looking good! Woody ventured out on his own this morning to go to the library and WalMart...his usual Saturday errands. He seemed to fare quite well. So it looks like "things" are slowly heading back to normal. My arm is much better. I continued to be careful of it today, but it seems to be almost back to normal too...at least I can lift things once again with my right arm. Yesterday it was painful just to pick up a glass of water and take a drink. And, this evening I was able to fill and pick up the watering can. Kathy and Graham returned from camp and both enjoyed themselves. Graham came over and told us about his camp adventures. They were housed in dorms at Lee University so I mentioned to him that he had gotten a bit of a taste of college life. He told me that the food wasn't all that good...and I repeated that he had gotten a taste of college life!
Woody has ventured outside the house a couple of times today. The first time was before lunch when he drove to get a hair cut and then went to the Credit Union drive thru window. Then a little after supper he ventured out to check the gardens. He hadn't been out to the gardens in several weeks. He enjoyed checking out how things are growing...but didn't enjoy the mosquitoes that seemed to be enjoying him! He also changed the way he goes up the stairs...he once again is walking up and down the stairs using the banister for his support. I know that he is glad that things are progressing a bit when it comes to his mobility. A little after midnight, I heard my name called from the foot of the stairs. He was letting me know that his leg was getting itchy where the two steari-strips were. I headed downstairs and we decided to remove them rather than take a chance that the itching would get worse and end up in a blistery rash. The itching did get better pretty soon after removing them, but he said that he still has an itch in that area every so often. We will get it in his Vanderbilt records that he shouldn't have steari-strips applied. I guess he is allergic to whatever adhesive is on them as they are latex free. I have had a slow day as my right arm from the elbow down is giving me a problem. Everyone will probably get a chuckle from this...but I think that it is due to me driving to Melany's yesterday. I rarely drive any distance and am not the most relaxed driver so I am guessing that I strained a muscle or two while driving yesterday. I have been putting one of Woody's ice packs (from his knee surgery) on it and I think that has helped. I am going to go ice it again after I blog. I have done a lot of reading and also worked on Sunday's Sunday School lesson for my ladies' class. Elijah spent some time over here this morning while his daddy and four of his siblings went shopping for his birthday present/s. His mommy and Graham weren't involved in this birthday present quest, as they have been at church youth camp this week. They return tomorrow. Elijah and I turned up the calendar pages while he was here. Welcome, July! Just think...half the year is behind us...already!