Thursday, December 7, 2017

Doctors, Biopsy....... and Finally a get together with neighbors!

And so the saga continues.  I returned to my gastroenterologist a week ago Monday, without any significant results from the medication. He scheduled me for a colonoscopy on Wednesday......which meant nothing more to eat for the day..... drink the liquids on Tuesday, and arrive at Florida Hospital on Wednesday morning at 7:30am.   I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition that causes inflammation and ulcers; a form of inflammatory bowel disease.  There is no cure.......only treatment to reduce the symptoms, and cause a remission.   Since I have never had any such symptoms in the past he was quite sure that it was antibiotic induced colitis........from the high dosage of antibiotics I had been taking for something else!! They also did a biopsy. Was supposed to be on medication for two weeks and see him for a follow-up, but got a call on Thursday, the results of the Biopsy were in, and he wants to see me sooner. I'm nervous, and really concerned now!   In the meantime, the results of the kidney ultrasound have shown a small "something" on the right kidney and so I've been referred to a Urologist.... and the soonest I can get in, is not until FEBRUARY!

SO.......It's that time of year....so been getting the house "Christmas Ready"~  and working on the gift shopping. Waiting for one last gift to arrive today for my grandson, and I'll be ready to wrap and ship the box off to the family in Iowa!   So getting in the Holiday Spirit...............


Been invited across the street for a fish fry with Tom and Mike on Friday.  Two really nice guys who spend 3 or 4 months here in the winter, fishing most of the time.

Deciding what to do for Xmas Dinner........and talking again about maybe having our New Year's Day get together.......Got to decide pretty soon!

Today we were invited to a fish fry across the street with Tom and Mike.  Nice group get together.  Tom's son and daughter-in-law, visiting from Wisconsin, and RVing here in Lake Placid on Grassy Lake were there........met them for the first time.....very nice couple.  Former neighbors, Al and Barb were there, along with friends Jim (Feathers) and Jan.   Tom and Mike did a great job with the fish and fries! Barb's slaw was excellent, as was Jan's Fried seafood balls!  Chris and I brought the dessert - peanut butter pie and brownies.

Most of the group has only been back in Florida for a couple of weeks.....so it was a fun evening getting together and catching up.


100% chance of rain on Saturday..........and much cooler weather on the way!! 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Giving Thanks

It was a week ago today that Nathan came and took Miss Ava home.  Funny - we get so used to having her around, that we keep looking to see where she is, and then realize she's not here! Always thankful, that we get the chance to enjoy her company!

Over the last week or so, the doctor's visits have continued.  Finally was able to get the sonogram of my kidneys done........Continued with the digestive problems.  Gastroenterologist put me on 3 different medications..... which have given me a lot of relief, but still have not solved the problem totally.  Appointment with foot doctor Monday AM, and then with Gastroenterologist Monday PM.

Went with Rich to the Florida Joint and Spine Institute on Monday ( doctor told him he could not drive).  Dr. Sonni gave him steroid shot in his back for the pain.  He is feeling 100% better!  Lifting, cleaning the boat, walking -  not bothering him at all now.  So Thankful.😇





Thursday was Thanksgiving........but we would not having our Holiday Dinner until Friday.........so it was stuffed shells, salad and garlic bread for dinner.



And we did our baking for Friday.
Rich made his three pumpkin pies......(And finished one whole pie before bedtime!!!!  Krystal ( who would be coming for dinner is required to eat "gluten free" which meant no pie...........so I did up a batch of chocolate and peanut butter fudge.


Thanksgiving dinner was planned for 4:00pm on Friday, and Nathan and Krystal, and Buddy and Dianne arrived just after 2:00. ( And even Miss Ava came along)  They brought with them 3 bottles of wine, White Zin, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay...... and we pulled out the eggnog and Cinnamon Whiskey!

Sat, relaxed with a beverage, laughed and caught up on "what's new".  Even the guys were busy in the kitchen.  Rich found a "new" way to carve the Turkey..... while Buddy supervised,  Buddy was topping off the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows for the final bake,  and Nathan was making sure every one's beverages of choice were refilled!


And then we enjoyed a very delicious dinner!  Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sausage stuffing and regular stuffing ( Dianne can't eat pork), sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, carrots, cranberry sauce and warm biscuits. 

The pies and candy for dessert!  Buddy made a delicious Coconut Pie! 


It was after 6:00 when everyone said their goodbye's.  Feeling Blessed and Thankful.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

MORE hospital and doctor visits........Ava comes to visit

The problems with my stomach continue, was scheduled for an ultrasound today, but with the current issues......I had to reschedule.  Today is day 15......that's how long ago the stomach thing started.  I finally called the nurses line where we have insurance and she thought I should go to the emergency room.  But - my appointment with the gastroenterologist is tomorrow afternoon......so I'm waiting.

Last Friday Rich went to the Joint and Spine Institute in Sebring about his back. They took x-rays and identified the compression fracture, and then set him up for an MRI in the afternoon, back here in Lake Placid.  He spent 30 minutes in the MRI machine..( and informed me immediately afterward, that I would not last 10 seconds in there!)  having to remain completely still.  Said his hands and arms were starting to get numb, being crunched so close to his chest.  Today he had his follow-up and they have identified problems with both the L-4 and L-5, as well as pinched nerves.  He goes back on Monday for a shot...........which they will not do unless he has someone to drive him home.  Everyone has pretty much warned him that the first shot can be painful.

 In the meantime...................




Remember the house number sign that was on our mailbox that was pretty
destroyed by the hurricane...Well, he did get it repaired, repainted, and new numbers put on.  And since we lost the speckled paint....he added his "fish" accents!  I love it!

On Saturday Nathan dropped off Miss Ava for the week.  He and Krystal will be in Lake Whales for the week doing some training with two of their horses.

We always enjoy having Ava stay with us........and this time is no different.  And it seems that every time she comes..... she brings some cooler weather with her.  These were all taken the first day she arrived.


Haven't had a lot going on.......so she's found all of her favorite places to relax.... including watching out the back sliders.........and keeping Rich company while he works.   Had a lot of rain the first couple of days, and she and I got soaked going for a short walk one night! But she was out looking for her buddies next door, checking out the water, and playing in the yard today. 




Saturday, November 4, 2017

A very long week.......

I still am not feeling well.........and  just hope they find out what's going on.  My follow-up is Monday morning. It's been a rough week, the stomach pains have gotten much worse; it's the upper stomach area, just below the ribcage, and above the belly button.......well that's where it's the worst during the day... During the night it the lower abdomen.  The only thing I can drink is water.......not even coffee, although I try to sip about a half cup in the morning.  Same for eating... everything seems to upset my stomach.  The heel is still bothering me, despite the morning heat pad, and wearing the boot in the evening. 

Rich and I both went for an routine eye exam on Tuesday........and  my glaucoma is still in check, with the pressure maintaining.   Rich is good with 20/20 vision, but I am at 20/25 and they recommended glasses for distance..........and they said I could just continue using over the counter for up close. 

Monday we headed into Sebring to meet up with friends, Buddy and Dianne and Nathan and Krystal.........Unfortunately, Krystal was having a bad day......so it was only Nathan who joined the rest of us at the Hibachi Buffet ( I know - we always go here!)  But we sat for quite a while catching up, and made plans for Thanksgiving together at our place.  And Miss Ava should be here in about a week......sure looking forward to spending time with her!

This past week our son Dennis has been pretty busy.  He volunteers at the local Pet Shelter in Davenport, Iowa and now has one more canine buddy at home...... I'll let him tell the story.........It's a sad one. 

"The shortened version story behind Precious Venus (1 yr old Female Boxer Mix, 44 lbs): All should know by now that we volunteer at King's Harvest Pet Rescue, No-Kill Shelter (KHPR).  Over 6 weeks ago KHPR rescued many dogs from shelters in TX after Hurricane Harvey, and Venus was one of them.. A few weeks ago she was at the Vets office and they discovered a stage 5-6 out of 6 heart murmur.  Thru donations we raised enough money to get the best consultant at Iowa State University Vet medical clinic.  On Tuesday, 31, Oct, I took here there and we spent all day getting the best physical.  The results, are the saddest thing expected!  She has 2 heart birth defects.  One has a surgery and the other doesn't.  Bcuz of heart condition, surgery for the one is very high risk and not guaranteed.  That being said, we've been told she has less than a year (2-9 months) life expectancy before heart failure with meds.  I will continue to believe that miracles can happen!  I knda insisted, but KHPR agreed to let us be her hospice home.  I wasn't and couldn't take her back to the shelter.  She is the sweetest and loving little girl and deserves to be a puppy and family member!  We have been and will continue to provide her with Love, companionship, training, happiness, experiencing new things and freedom that she deserves!  Please continue to pray for her.......and you will be seeing her often  I feel blessed with her presence and the opportunity to do this for her and enjoying her her life."

 And of course this weekend was a trip to Iowa City for the Hawkeye's Football Game.  The whole family was there!


Well, tomorrow I'm getting creative and trying a new recipe.  Slow Cooker Jambalaya!  Chicken, Andouille Sausage, Shrimp, Cajun seasoning, onions, peppers, garlic, fresh thyme,  chicken stock, diced tomatoes,chopped jalapeno and long grain rice!  Never tried making it from scratch before...........and sure hoping it tastes as good as it sounds!

Follow-up with Doctor on Monday..........

Saturday, October 28, 2017

More Doctor Visits and More Baking

Late last week, I was not feeling well. While I don't sleep real well at night as a rule, it seems to be getting worse.  And at the same time I've been very very tired, no energy, stomach aches/pains......added to the daily routine  with the heel.  I have done nothing in the yard at all..........but Rich managed to get a whole lot done without me!

So I called my Doctor and went in to see him on Friday afternoon.  Went to Florida Hospital on Wednesday with my script for more blood work, and urine sample.  Thursday was my 6th month visit to the Ophthalmologist, and Friday to the doctor to have my circulation checked.  Doctor gave me pills that were supposed to help me sleep - but they are not working.  Actually, I don't want to take them, because they can become addictive.   Follow up with the doctor a week from Monday, and then we're scheduling a Sleep Apnea test.

I did manage to get a little baking done for Rich, last weekend; another batch of chocolate, peanut butter no bake cookies, and a loaf of banana bread ( which Rich cut and ate before I could grab a photo!)


On Wednesday we went to Golden Corral, and sat for about 45 minutes listening to a health seminar on magnet therapy and then enjoyed a free lunch.  Would love to try the magnet bed pads.....but they are pretty pricey at $1600!!   Rich had his usual 2 big plates of food followed by his hot fudge sundae.  It was still early enough so I grabbed some breakfast....

Below is the guy who came back checking on the gator.  Yes he's too small to capture, but because it's such a nuisance he said that he would attempt to catch him and move him to another area on the lake..............But while the gator is usually right around our docks every day - he was no where to be found..... so he said he'd come back and try again another day.


Comcast was supposed to come on Friday and install, TV, Voice, and Internet..... Well the guy DID arrive..........but since no one has ever had Comcast in this house, it is necessary from them to come and run the wiring.  Guy that came to install, generally could do that.........but ours has to be run under the driveway.  So that will take a couple more weeks, while permits  are obtained, and electrical, water pipes  etc. are located underground.  So we'll stay with Direct TV and Centurylink a bit longer.  As a new Comcast customer, we'll be paying a whole lot less than we currently pay for Direct TV, Verizon, and Centurylink - at least for the next 2 years. 

That brings us to today, Saturday!  Love the weather!  By mid afternoon the temperature was down to 67 degrees..........but we got lots of rain most of the day.  So, it was a good day to do the baking again.  So today we made a Butter Pecan Cake, with Butter cream Icing.  Actually, I cut the cake in half, iced one half and put the other in the freezer.  Also did up a couple dozen Snicker doodles!  And then marinated some Chicken Kabobs for Rich to fix later on the grill.


Got my brother's Christmas Gift finished.........and now working on Dennis and family!  

Meeting up with friends for dinner on Monday.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Another Week Just Flew By...............

Can not believe how quickly time passes.....and we're half way through the month of October already!  Nothing real exciting to report............. Still enjoying my cooking and baking though.........  And I've started working on Xmas Gifts for the family!

We do eat a lot of pasta but generally with sausage.....or shrimp if it's scampi..... or Chicken if it's Cajun.  So decided this past week to pull out the recipe for meatballs.  Of course, you know who..........couldn't wait for dinner!!  Linguine and Meat balls were excellent!       Same day made up a batch of fudge brownies......... topped with peanut butter icing, 1/2 put in the freezer for another day. 


And then Rich found an old recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook, and put in his request for homemade Chicken Pot Pie.  Now - I do not have any "pot pie" size dishes, so we adjusted the recipe and used regular 9 inch tins, and enough for two meals.   Rich made the crusts, and we jointly prepared and cooked the filling.  It was fun............... a lot of work..........and they were JUST OK.    If I have my way, we'll go back to buying the already made ones from the freezer section in the grocery store!!

And then the week was over.........and except for a trip to the grocery store I don't think either of us took the car out of the garage. 

Still have so much work to do in the yard, but Rich's back does not allow him to do too much for very long without it putting him out of commission for several days.  He's much better at using the back brace, and the support pillow.......and that has really helped.  My left foot ( heel spur) has really been a problem for the last couple of weeks so I decided to give Dr. Feldman a call.  Because of our trip up north we had not scheduled another follow-up visit.........and actually until the last couple of weeks, it has not been a problem.....But I have been doing work in the yard!

So on Monday, Rich closed up shop early on the stock market and went with me to the foot doctor.  Made a couple of stops along the way at Walgreen's, and Home Depot, and the Bank before we went for dinner. 

Doctors visit lasted longer than expected, and he was running behind!  He really spends a lot of time with his patient, asks a lot of questions, and records everything.  Checked out the foot, and there seemed to be some "new" sore areas, especially on the actual "heel bone", and he noticed that I had some numbness on the upper ball of the foot.......AND he told me it was time to get a new pair of sneakers!!!   Any way he gave me my shot of cortisone, took more x-rays, put me back on an anti- inflammatory, and scheduled me for blood work. (I didn't ask, but I think he's checking for Rheumatoid arthritis,and/or Diabetes!  I am now on a schedule of using heat in the morning if the heel is sore, and the BOOT at night.  Don't have to sleep with it, but should wear it while sitting ( no weight ) for a couple of hours.  Blood work tomorrow, and back to see him in 5 weeks. 

So then we went for dinner.  We used another of the gift cards that we earned using Choice Hotels........and this time went to Chili's.  We have not been there in years........ and neither of us were real impressed.  Got there early, waited several minutes just for someone to notice we were there and seat us.  Food is pretty pricey, but there were some pretty good choices.  Did not like that the waitress pretty much  insisted we use the machine on the table to pay.... and when I could not figure it out -she just took the whole machine with her......... Obviously, she did not get her 20%.  The food was OK.... Well, Rich did like his burger.  But when they claim that their Cajun pasta is their biggest seller.........my opinion of good food changed quickly.  It was good........but not as good as I make at home.


I think we saw the baby blue heron, that fledged from his nest around the time we left for NY.  We think it's the one that was in our yard on Sunday.  Beautiful!!


And FINALLY the county sent the Disaster Relief Truck to our street to pick up the debris from down trees.  They parked in front of our house, and began taking the limbs from the house across the street....  But you'll notice that there is a power line that stretches from one side of the street to the other........and that was creating a problem...... it was in the way of the bucket. .... so they could not get anymore from across the street or from our front yard without turning the truck in the opposite direction.......Well........ as they started to pull away, the young man in the orange hat told us what they were doing..........he said the would continue on down the street, and on their way back they would finish ..... That was two days ago!!!!!!  So I think our house and the one across the street are the only two on the street with debris still in the front yard.................


Sure hope they decide to come back soon!!!

Update on the gator.......Jim and Patty called to have it taken away.......They came, and with the pole, caught him right away.......Unfortunately, he is not yet 4 ft long, so they had to let him go....  He is really going to be a problem, when anyone is fishing off their dock. UGH!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Not much going on this week.....more baking, dinner out, family football

The week went by really fast.  Lots and lots of rain which means more and more weeds!!  So pulling weeds is about the most active I've been all week, when it wasn't raining or 100 degrees outside.  Sure do wish we'd start getting some cooler weather.  Neighbors called about our pesky gator out back, and they are supposed to be coming to take him away.


Ran out of all those goodies that Rich made last week ( actually one more loaf of homemade bread still in the freezer) so I did a little easy baking: 2 dozen peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies, and 2 dozen oatmeal raisin cookies. ( I know the picture says Oatmeal chocolate chip - but that is wrong!!)

Tried a couple new recipes this week too: a meat sauce for hot dogs, and a really good pork chop and gravy crock pot recipe!

On Thursday we met up with Buddy and Dianne at the Hibachi Buffett in Sebring.  Just the four of us this time.  Haven't seen them since before the hurricane, so it was a nice evening just catching up...............and we're starting to make plans for Thanksgiving.  These two keep so busy........during the winter with Music and Church.........They've already informed us that starting in November they are booked every night except Saturday!  And then NOT the third Saturday of the month!  Whew!

Friday seems to be our Pizza night.  No.......not every Friday, but it seems that whenever we plan it..........it's always a Friday!  I do cook the sauce ( with supervision from Rich) - but he does the preparation, and I clean up the mess!!  This week was a meat lovers'  pizza with ground beef, sausage and pepperoni!  Nice job Rich....................and delicious!


Always like to keep up with what the kids are doing.  And of course, now that it's football season, that's where the family hangs out when it's a home game.  This week was homecoming...........


Dalton plays in the marching band and this week they did something special.  The children's hospital is right next door to the stadium, and at half time everyone in the stadium waves to the kids, watching from their windows!  This week the band made a waving hand on the field.  AWESOME!

Click on the link below to see the video!
Hawkeye Marching Band has a new move - a giant wave to the kids.❤️ pic.twitter.com/9d5dZZCo6w

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Meanwhile..more cleaning up!, cooking, baking and a fun night out with friends.

We're still cleaning up around the house.  And working outside is still no fun!  Fall has arrived, but you could never tell by looking at the thermometer!  It's been hovering around 100 degrees almost every day, until the last few.  Most of the brush is out front waiting for the country to take away...........We thought our yard was bad....they had three times the amount of tree limbs across the street!  And just a few days ago, Rich got the ladder out to clean out all the gutters that were clogged - or close to it!   

Our neighbors, Jim and Patty have a handyman that does work for them, most recently putting up and taking down storm shutters, and repairing their lanai roof and replacing the screen.  Ronnie, will be helping us out as well, and we expect that within the next week or so, he will be replacing the fascia board on the roof, and repairing the screens on our back sliders.  



I really enjoy cooking so made a couple special dishes this past week.


One of my newer recipes for Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin was delicious..... Thickened the sauce which made a great gravy for the mashed potatoes.







.but  while the Pasta e Fagioli looked very good we were both a little disappointed.  Next a little less tomato, and a bit more Chicken stock.   

Or try a new recipe!!



Friday we headed to Fort Myers to meet up with friends Nathan and Krystal at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater.  We hit some pretty wicked rain storms on the way, and got stuck in traffic about a mile and a half from the theater.

But arrived in plenty of time to enjoy and adult beverage, an awesome buffet that included chicken, pork with a cherry sauce, white fish and Beef Sirloin, complimented by veggies, potatoes, rice, varied salads, lobster bisque and every desert imaginable!  The show was "Groovin' The 60's & 70's Musical, and it was excellent!  They have two more coming up soon that I'd like to see; Pippin and Chicago. 


Since it's only an hour and a half away, we decided not to spend the night.  A bit late when we finally got home, so we both slept in later than normal the next morning.  Saturday was a fun day!   Rich wanted to make some home made yeast risen bread, so I made a quick trip to the grocery store since I had no yeast... and picked up a few other items. (Also stopped at the hardware store and picked up some new house numbers to replace the sign over the mailbox).

Funny though.......I did not fix a meal at all, all day Saturday.  We threw a hot pocket in the microwave at lunch time ( which was after 1:00 o'clock....and sometime after 6........we sliced the still warm bread...........and that was dinner!!




Well..............we did have dessert a little later..............A small banana split, with vanilla ice cream, crushed pineapple, chocolate or hot fudge, peanuts and whip cream!!!!  We were sooooooooo bad!!   But it was soooooooooo  good.



Sunday was a bit more of the same...

Rich was still in the mood for baking so together we made cream puffs with a whip cream and french vanilla pudding filling.Mmmmmmmm...  delicious!  Yes, I had ONE!........Monday, I definitely must go back to being good and eating better!


Checking out some of the shows coming soon.  There are a lot of good ones this year at the Broadway Palm, Visani Comedy Club, and the South Florida Performing Arts Center.......



Just a few favorite pictures~

This past week, Dennis' job took him to Hawaii........... I know  - real tough job, right?   He sent pictures from Waikiki, Honolulu.  Here's just a few of the many


And I swear this guy has a t-shirt for every occasion!! While in Hawaii, he ran into an Army Brother and softball teammate from when he was stationed at Fort McPherson, Ga.  They have not seen each other since 2001, 16 years ago! Dinner together at Buffalo Wild Wings in Pearl, Hawaii!


Long flight back to Iowa on Saturday!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Back Home........Cleaning up after Irma!

We left Chiefland, Fl and headed for home on Sunday.  It was only a little better than 3 hours and we were anxious to get back, see the neighborhood, and the neighbors and start to get back to normal.   Heading toward Ocala, and then along the Fl Turnpike and into Clermont we saw some nasty damage and flooding.  Being further north in Florida and Alabama we had not yet witnessed the real wrath of hurricane Irma. So it was really sad to see the damage to homes, the electric poles about ready to topple, the flooding and the thousands of trees toppled to the ground.


Not having any food at home we decided to make a stop at Denny's near Haines City, near I-4. and have breakfast.  Continuing on down US 27 through Avon Park, Sebring and on into Lake Placid, things just seemed to get worse, the further south we travelled.  So many trucks working on the electrical poles and the massive amount of trees down.  We saw the electricians all working along Catfish Creek, not far from home. Heard from neighbors that every electrical pole along that road had to be replaced!

The damage at home was ugly, but nothing really bad.  We feel so blessed that while we had a real mess to clean up......we had a undamaged house to come home to.  Several of our neighbors had roof damage and were covered with blue tarps.  Our closest neighbors Jim and Patty had some minor damage to their lanai roof and screen cage, and Phil and Dorene lost a few roof shingles.

Our damage was limited to the yard, with the exception of one piece of fascia board on the back of the house.  The palm trees were totally flattened...and I'm not real sure exactly what we need to trim, or if they will be OK. Half of the tree down by the boat house was laying across the yard.  The other half is leaning far left!  That was the biggest mess!


So far we've got the tree and all the tree limbs out front to be hauled away. We hosed down the lanai and moved the furniture back. (We had not taken down the new shades, but Rich had tied them up pretty good, and they were still just like new!!)  Lots of raking around the yard and around the bushes.  Today we hosed down the front porch and that is still drying as I type. 

The best news is that we've heard from all our family and all our friends and they are all safe with minimal damage.   Most of the businesses along Interstate Blvd are still not opened. But the grocery store and the drug stores are open and so is Yums Chinese takeout which is where we ate our first night home.  It was grocery shopping today.............and the meatloaf is in the oven!

In the meantime the family in Iowa is keeping busy.  Over the weekend Dennis and Crystal headed to Iowa City, Kinnick Stadium, where the University of Iowa Hawkeyes beat North Texas......... and where Dalton now performs with the marching band. 


And Chauna was home for the weekend and with Dad they volunteered at the King's Harvest  Pet Rescue No Kill Shelter! Dennis and Crystal both volunteer there, as does Chauna when she's home from school.  So proud of this family!!!


 Today Dennis takes off to northwest Alabama!  ( Of course - that where we just left!!! )  That's for work, and from there he flies to  Hawaii!  Can't wait to see the pictures he shares from Hawaii!!!  Safe travels, Dennis!