Friday, May 31, 2013

Did I say PAIN??????

Yeah - I'm talking about the REAL deal - REAL pain. My Pain Management doctor told me last week she didn't think I would be able to get off of the medication because of the pain but she wrote out a plan for me to follow over a period of 30 days in 5 day increments. She stressed that I shouldn't beat myself up if I don't succeed as she went over what some of the side affects will be as I come off. I've already experience several of them since cutting the dosage in half. I hope it will not get too much worse but I'm trying to be prepared in case it does. I am in phase one of 1 ml less every 9 hours for five days. Amazing what that last hour feels like. I thought going 8 hours was hard. All prayers are still very welcome. Another good thing is after I am completely narcotic free, we will do another sleep study before deciding I need a CPAP.  Hope springs eternal.....

Monday, May 27, 2013

Loss of another dear friend, a family visit and pain.....

You have heard me mention Brother McDowell on my blog from time to time. He is one of my older friends I have treasured through the years. He and Ike were the two older men I went to with questions and problems. They were both very wise and for some reason, they both loved me and my children. His dear wife died a year ago so now his four lovely children are having to deal with another devastating loss. His oldest daughter worked with me at Elite Personnel and I had found her several jobs even before then and I'll have to say I love her dearly. As a matter of fact, I have loved this entire family for many, many years. They had his Memorial this past weekend and I was sad I couldn't make it but I did listen in and I think Dwight is glad I didn't make it since I lost it three times just listening in. It was because of the two songs they sang plus the wonderful story of his life. He will be missed.
On a positive note, Douglas, Jessie and Page came home for a short weekend visit. They had to go back yesterday but it was SO good having them here. This is a picture of two of the fish Douglas and Dwight caught up at Falls Lake Saturday afternoon. Dwight wanted to take his boat up to see how the motor was doing. He has been working on it off and on this past week. They saw Tony and the kids up there because he had taken his to see how it was doing since Dwight worked on his motor too.
Evidently, it runs in my family since this is a picture of Sid, Jr. I snatched from Facebook. He evidently went fishing at the lake that day too. He really looks good here. He has been very thin since his major surgery a few years ago so it is good to see that he has put a little back on. I love the next two pictures.
One is of Hiro and the other one is Page and Hiro.  Notice Hiro in his "thunder shirt". It is a snug little vest that is supposed to help him not get sick on car trips. It works pretty good even though he did get a little sick right before they got here. This is him riding in the car with Jessie holding him.

This is a picture of the beautiful tulips Jessie bought this weekend. She said they were on sale because they were old but who cares? They are gorgeous. Thank you Jessie - you know how much I love fresh flowers and I really appreciate them. They still look great.
Brian has been doing a lot of work around his house. New paint, new deck and lots of trees being cut down. I love the color since it is one of my favorite shades of green. Kelly called Saturday night and she and I got to crying because she mentioned that it was last year at this time that Ennis had been with all of us. That was the night we had over 20 people in the house because so many had stopped by and some decided to stay for dinner with us. I am losing all of my dear older friends and it makes me sad. So - now to the PAIN.  I decided several months ago that I wanted to get off of the oxycodone I've been taking for about 20 months now.  My surgeon referred me to a Pain Management Clinic where I was met by a doctor and then was referred to the other part of the clinic to see if I was a candidate for bio-feedback. After a three hour question session, it was determined I am a perfect candidate.  The first thing they tried was switching me from one medication to another which backfired since I almost stopped breathing several times and ended up spending the next 24 hours in the emergency room. Then they cut the amount I am to take in half. That has been pretty rough.  It was very disappointing to be told the pain might not ever get any better than it is right now.  I've had a hard time accepting that this might be as good as it gets. I will have to deal with a new reality but I am still determined to get away from the strong drugs.  I wrote an email to the many wonderful brothers who prayed so hard for me during the surgery and radiation.  I asked them if they would do the same thing for me to be successful in this. One of the things I've noticed since I have cut back is my legs aching like a toothache.  On a positive note, I have enjoyed my Bio-feedback. I will close with this gorgeous picture of the pier down in Southport taken at sunset. I love that area and would love to get back down there one day soon. The last time my friend Mimi visited me, we went down and I purchased tons of delicious items in the antique shops. I think the last time I went to Southport was when Dwight and I went down to Oak Island to visit some friends. I really do like that area.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

One of the most delicious things in the world....

You are wondering just what one of the most delicious things in the world is? That is so easy. It is holding a sweet three month old baby girl in a rocking chair for several hours while watching a sweet little girl playing on the floor and a sweet little boy watching TV while putting up with all the females in the room.

My phone really takes lousy pictures so I'm going to start keeping my camera beside me again. I was also given the gift of some new pictures I've already put on the fridge.

I mean really, what could make for a better afternoon? Added to everything else, Al gave me the nicest big hug and KennaKat asked me if she could come spend the night with me when they got ready to leave. I feel like one of the popular kids now!  Marlan and I have talked about how special these children are and of course, we have to trace it back to their sweet parents. Pat and Kris are expecting their first baby in July (will be Marlan's sixth grandchild) and are hoping for a boy.  They decided they want to be surprised but I was telling Katrina today that I hope it is a boy for two reasons. My first reason is so poor Al will have another boy help him handle all these little girls and of course, I hope they will get what they want even though we all know they will be thrilled no matter what. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Surprise visit from very old friend....

I got a phone call the other day from an old friend I haven't heard from in many years. After we talked a few minutes, she asked if she could come to see me. I am glad she called right before she got here because I was sound asleep. Dwight had to go check on something so he wasn't here. That was okay since he never really knew her. I met her so many years ago - I want to say late 70's to very early 80's because I have an old picture around here somewhere with Douglas in it and he was definitely not in school. I must have been working somewhere because I found this gentleman at home on Clarendon Street on a Saturday morning and placed a book with him. He expressed some interest so I followed up a week later and he expressed an interest in studying. We all sat on the porch steps and I started the study. I met the young woman he was to eventually marry as she was leaving for work. By then I had bought several fold up chairs for him to keep at the house for us to sit in on the porch for the study with the kids still setting on the steps. One day as his girlfriend was getting ready to leave for work, I asked her if she was interested in studying with us. When she said yes, we moved the folding chairs inside and I started studying with both of them. I had asked Brother McDowell if I should turn it over and he told me that since I was studying with both of them, he saw no problems with me continuing to conduct the study. I started taking other people with me and the kids on the study and they continued to be prepared and were excellent students. We used to have a nice sofa in the bathroom at the Hall and when they got rid of it, I asked if I could give it to them for their very bare living room. They agreed so now we had a sofa and the folding chairs. I invited them to attend one day of an assembly with me and they said yes. This was the first (and only) meeting they ever went to. I loaded them into the back seat of my old Cadillac with Kelly, Douglas, Pam's son Mickey and her baby girl Priscilla (who back then didn't have to have a car seat so Kelly held her) and Pam and I sat in the front seat. We sang all the way to Fayetteville to old 8 track tapes and back home again that night. That was the only meeting they ever attended and in time, I discontinued the study. We kept in touch off and on through the years and I helped her find several temporary jobs. She stayed at the last one and retired from there. Deborah was here cleaning the house while she was here and she got to meet her. She is living with Ovarian cancer and was sharing her experiences with me. I don't think I have seen either one of them in at least 10 plus years. It seems they are now divorced and she hasn't seen him in 4 years. I asked her what had made her think about getting in touch with me and guess what it was? She wanted to know if I could help her find a temporary job!!!! I laughed and told her about an agency I thought was still active and that she could use me as a reference. Then she left. I looked at Deborah and she looked at me and I said - "can you believe that?" and we both laughed. It was crazy. Oh well, she looked good and seems to be doing well so I'm still happy I got to see her.  I only have fond memories of her.
I have been wanting to post this picture for a long time. I found it on-line and love it. The pretty woman in the middle has been my sister-in-law twice and the pretty girl on the right is her daughter who is a professional body-builder. Anyway, my oldest sister was married to her older brother for five years. He was about five years older than she was and she married him about 6 months before she graduated from high school. He was an identical twin and our first brother so of course, all of us girls adored him. He actually made it easy to love him because he gave us attention, danced with us and even taught two of us how to play poker for toothpicks. They bought a brand new house down the road from us so we quickly made a path through the field from our back yard to theirs. Like I mentioned, the pretty blonde on the right is her daughter who was adopted by Dwight's brother Chris when he and Linda were married so, yes, that is how she came to be in my family twice. Once with her brother and my sister and then with Dwight's brother and her.  The pretty girl on the left is her granddaughter and the little boy is her great-grandson.  I know, she looks great doesn't she?  She has always looked much younger than her age. I see her brothers when I look at her face. Even though my sister and her brother didn't stay married, he stayed very close to my Mom and Dad.  He came to our house every year during the Christmas season and they always had a gift for him. My sister was getting ready to leave to attend flight attendants school when she found out he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. She knew that he had been dating someone for awhile but she called him anyway.  When he confirmed that yes, he had Hodgkin's, she wanted to talk about being with him but he told her no, that he was going to marry his second wife who was also a nurse.  He was adamant about it and would not be swayed.  When he died, it broke all of our hearts. I remember Mama and Daddy sitting on the side of the bed holding each other and sobbing for the longest time. I was a young teenager and remember laying on the front porch the next day and crying so hard.  The only way I can explain it is that it literally made us feel like our hearts were breaking.  Barbara and Tadashi were living in Bologna, Italy when it happened so Mother got in touch with Tadashi through Duke University where he was doing research and he went home, told Barbara and then left her alone most of the afternoon to give her time. Then he brought her some flowers and laid beside her while she cried.  He was such a beautiful man and too young, way too young. His twin brother never got over his death. He used to come over and crash with us because he knew how much his brother loved us.  He taught me how to make the best hot chocolate I've ever had one morning. He would get up and cook us breakfast.  He eventually died in a boating accident which was devastating to everyone because they were identical and it was like losing Jack all over again. So this young woman was always precious to us too.  She was much younger than they were or as she puts it, she was an afterthought or surprise. I should know better than bring this up - there is no way I can do it without re-living it and ending up in tears. Stupid me.  Alice and I talked about how we married men who were a little like Jack - especially me. Dwight even has the same coloring he did.  They are about the same size and have a similar stance. Other than my parents, he is the only person in our immediate family we have lost and he was the first one we lost.  It never gets easy to lose someone you love does it? Sorry to have gotten off course. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

more catching up and stuff

I received a phone call from my old friend MiMi in Hawaii. Evidently her new hips are getting better every day. She sounded good and strong so I hope she recovers completely.
This is an older picture of her with her daughter Little Mi. I have been keeping up with them via Facebook and enjoying the pictures Little Mi has been posting there. I got my normal phone calls from Alice and Sidney after which I called my Cathy just to hear her sweet voice for a few minutes. She was so excited that I was the one who called her. I'm going to have to make an effort to do that more often.
I also want to share another picture I snatched from FB of Bryan, Heather and their two sweet little girls. I think that was taken at one of their meetings.
These pictures of Page were taken at their CA in Salisbury recently. I love her jaunty little hat and always love seeing pictures of her at conventions and meetings. I miss her though.
I took this picture of Linda at the meeting last week. Such a pretty and sweet girl. I am so proud of her and Seth and their sweet little family.

This is a picture of their garden behind their brand new house. Even though they have to drive so far to get everywhere, they all seem to love where they are living now. What could be better than to have the Eno running through the back of your property? And to have a grandmother next door who has an in-ground swimming pool ?
I love this picture of Geri and Jinx with their entire family. Karen brought me and my chair home from the meeting this past Thursday night and came inside to chat with me and Dwight for a bit. I am so glad she finally found a job (she was laid off) that she seems to really like. It is at an established company in RTP with benefits in customer service so it is right up her alley. I also had to share this older picture of Toni and her beautiful Mom, Pansy from many years ago. I've been helping Toni with some work related things and am so hopeful things will work out exactly as she wants them to.
I snatched this picture of Larry and Patsy that was taken in my kitchen many, many years ago from Patsy's phone. Aren't they young looking? They were newlyweds here I think. They are back down at the coast in their sweet little cottage. Being there is better than any medication on the market for them. She wants me to plan when I can go down with her so I told her to just let me know. I would love to be down there again.
Sheila took this picture of Geral standing outside this little store they came across out in service. The caption said they had found "my" store while in service. They said it was just a sweet little country store. It does have a great name though.
I will sign off with this lovely picture of Falls Lake at sunset recently. Nothing like water to make you feel relaxed. Add a setting sun and it is delicious.

Monday, May 13, 2013

still catching up....

Ever feel like all you ever do is try to catch up? Catch up on laundry, catch up on cleaning, catch up on studying, catch up on BLOG...well, you get the picture. I have been trying hard to do my "homework" each day for my bio-feedback. Today will be THE day I do it twice. So far I've only made it once. Like everything else in my life these days, I guess I will have to schedule it in my phone to remind myself. What would I do without my phone? It literally has my whole life in there. I used my older phone in the same way as far as reminders and the calendar but this one has everything. I will have to tell my sister Faye that she was right once again. She will love hearing that coming from me. Douglas called me this morning and made me smile. I had seen some pictures on FB of their time spent with a visiting cousin from Jessie's family. They learned and played Mexican Domino's and he was telling me Page won the first game and it was the first time they had ever played it. I could tell he was proud of her. They all love games. Sadly, my Dwight doesn't enjoy them at all so all the ones I bought for us through the years I ended up giving away. I am very happy to say we have another gorgeous day with tons of sunshine. I wish I could say it is warm enough to be outside in shirt-sleeves but it is still pretty chilly around here. I stay pretty chilly most of the time anyway. The forecast says it will be cool today, little warmer tomorrow and then HOT the rest of the week. Welcome to the South - the land of extremes. Just kidding, I wouldn't live anywhere else.
I had to share the latest pictures I got of Miss Priss that Dafina shared with me. How do you not smile when you look at that sweet face?  She is SO CUTE!!! It makes me smile when I think about how much Dafina is enjoying this little girl.
I think Douglas and Jess were glad they were able to get to the Sunday meeting the last time they were here. They all love getting to see all of their friends here.
I was sad I was unable to go to my meeting yesterday - especially after I got to go Thursday and enjoyed it so much. I slept through my pain medication and was in pretty bad shape when I woke up. If I go back to sleep in the mornings, Dwight refuses to wake me up unless I have a medical appointment. He knows I don't always sleep at night and feels it is more important for me to sleep when I can.
I loved this picture of Briana and her sweet family that was taken in Salisbury recently. Her little girls are growing so fast and are too cute for words.  Marlan and I are going to see Iron Man 3 tomorrow and I can't wait to see it. I've heard it is great.  I had a surprise visit from her yesterday when she dropped in to tell me her good news. I'll let her share that with people though.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Busy day with good old friends......

I was so excited when Geral told me she and Sheila could come stay with me Wednesday through Saturday morning so Dwight could go fishing with Steve down at Oak Island. I have missed both of them so much since they moved to Louisburg. Wednesday and Thursday was like an extended Pajama Party including all of us going to the meeting Thursday night. Everyone was so happy to see both of them at the meeting.
First we picked up Geral's sister and headed over to Raleigh to have pedicures at Sheila's favorite Nail Spa. I'll have to admit, it was SO nice to get a good pedicure. Sheila had picked me up a pair of really nice leather flip flops that will look good to wear to the meetings so we went back and I picked up a pair of dull silver ones just like them. I'll post a picture of them on here later. We could not believe how hot it got today but it was so nice to be with good friends. We picked up Jen's little girls from school and headed on home. Dwight grilled some of his famous sirloin steaks, made his great potato, green pepper and onion casserole and his delicious homemade blue cheese salad dressing for the salad. They had a nice glass of KJ and seemed to really enjoy their dinner. They drove back down to Louisburg so Geral could pick up a few clothes and are coming back. Geral is going to stay with me and Shelia is going to stay with her son and his family. I think when Dwight kept telling Geral he was going to fix her one of his famous breakfasts tomorrow, it helped her make up her mind to stay one more night. Worked for me!
Patsy brought me the pretty roses, the irises came from the few I planted in front of the white azalea you see outside the living room window. Today when we drove in, there was a pretty yellow one out there. They come up different colors every year. Something to do with the soil I think.  
I was sad to walk into my bedroom and see that another piece of art has become victim to another one of our cats. This time it was our sweet Miya. Lise bought these for me from an artist in Chapel Hill. There is a small glass tube inside the top of both vases where you can actually put a few flowers in the tubes of water. I am going to get Dwight to pick up some wood glue and see if I can fix it enough that it doesn't look too shabby.

I also wanted to share the picture I took of Pam's sweet Golden named Hobie from when we caught a ride down with Deborah so we could visit GG. He is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever been around. I also love Pam's little "wine cooler". You just blow it up and put the bottle in it. Tre's cute. I was so happy to finally have a chance to see where GG is living now. She told me she loves it and has so many friends and she was never going back to that house to live alone again. Made my heart so happy.  GG was always so responsible and had a very full life of taking care of her parents, her children, her husband and her grandchildren. She so deserves to live in such a lovely place surrounded by people who really like her and enjoy her company.

Monday, May 6, 2013

What's new pussycat? Woah, Woah....

I know - a lot of people will not remember this song at all but it was one that stuck in your head as soon as you heard it.... There was also a movie that went with the song that came out in 1965 - the year I graduated from high school AND got married. There were a lot of beautiful people in it who were famous at the time. Many of them went on to have very long careers. That brings me to what Lucy gave me.  This beautiful hand painted rock. Of course, the reason she gave it to me is because of the cat - she knows how much I love my cat. What she might not have realized is how much I love this kind of art. It makes me think of several artists whose blogs I follow. Another thing that is new is the rain finally let up several hours before sundown. It has been cold, raw, rainy and in general, nothing to make you think of Spring. It actually rained so hard today I could hardly hear the sound of the television over the noise it made on the roof, deck and against the windows. Perfect weather for growing mushrooms - right? I'm afraid we might go straight from wet, cold weather to wet, hot weather. Sadly, the weatherman just said we might get more rain tomorrow. I almost forgot - I was sitting here around April 30th and the front door banged open and in comes Dwight carrying one end of a flowered sofa. Eventually Steve pulls up the rear holding the other end of it. I'm like, what??? Dwight said he sent me a picture and when I didn't respond he figured it was okay. Hello? It turns out he accidentally sent the picture to Pam by mistake and that is why he didn't get a response from ME!!! Before I can get my breath, they pick up our old sofa and move it to the screened in porch. And just like that we have a "new" sofa. Hello? I had already ordered a new slip-cover for the old sofa. When it came, we returned it and I ordered another slip-cover that will fit the "new" sofa. The most important thing is Dwight likes the new sofa and actually likes the new slip-cover he put on it.What do you think? This sofa is much firmer than our very old and used sofa was. It isn't as deep as the old one but might be a tad longer. So I guess you could say we have a "new" sofa. When you sit on it, you don't end up sitting "in" it like the old one. We bought that one in 1985 and it has served us well.  This is the last "new" thing I plan to share tonight. This particular artist hand paints tiles and sells them. He does beautiful work. I found him on the blog of another favorite artist I've been following several years. I was so excited to see that he had some of his work made into magnets. Aren't they lovely? Esty - on one hand, a very good thing and then on another hand, can get you in trouble before you know it. That's enough for tonight. I will try to do better but can't promise much at this point. Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sorry to have been away so long......

I really am sorry I have been away so long. I think this is the longest I've gone without writing in my blog. Rather than talk about why I've not been writing much, I decided to steal a few minutes just to write a few lines before I have to hit the shower and get ready for the meeting. I just had a surprise visit from two very dear and missed friends - Sheila and Geral. They couldn't stay long and Dwight mentioned I was I talking my head off because I was so excited to see them. They both looked great and seem to be doing very well. Starting tomorrow I will try to write more and get a little caught up from the month of April.
I did want to post this picture of one of my favorite flower - Peony. I love the blossoms and how they are so thick and ruffled looking. They don't last long even on their bush but they are too gorgeous for words..
I gave up trying to grow flowers in my yard. The only thing that has ever grown that I planted is several Azalea bushes and a few Irises. I've mentioned on here before about how we tried to have gardens and tomato plants but we have never been successful with them. Since I'm not one who loves to work in the yard, that is probably for the best. I will try to do better on my blog in the future depending on how I feel.