Monday, April 30, 2007


Good evening bloggers.. it's been a pretty good day. The sun shone so bright and the sky was once again just as blue as it could be.. and the temperatures were in the high 60s low 70s.. Just my kinda day.

I went to see the doctor at the pain clinic today. Since I'm not having the rhizotomy done, she offered me some other helps and suggestions. I'll be calling for Physical Therapy tomorrow. She sort of left the door open wide for me as far as modalities go- she checked every box on the script ! PT has always helped some when I've had flare ups. Another choice would be a TENS unit for home use. This little gadget emits an electrical shock to the area where it's applied, and the muscles relax accordingly.
The doctor has also suggested that I increase the dosage of Baclofen in another couple of weeks. Just gradually nudging it up. It's amazing to me that after years of taking Tylenol XS every day, I haven't had one since I started the Baclofen. I do have some pain, but on a pain scale , it's low and it's also manageable with sitting or lying down.
This afternoon I was able to walk out to the end of the garden and gather my asparagus without pain. Sounds to me like I'm on a right course.

I've increased the Strattera to 80mg and though I am to continue increasing to 120mg, I think I've hit a plateau for now. The present dose is giving me fits every day and I seem to struggle to get through the side effects, principally, nausea. As a matter of fact, according to my scales, I've lost 10# and I know Strattera is at the bottom of it. I don't mind losing, just the nausea. This too shall pass.

After a week in Hilton Head, JJ is again heading for a seminar in Scranton and Wendell is going to accompany her for the ride out and back. While JJ is slaving away at her meetings, her dad will be happily playing and enjoying the company of the Valentines. They live about an hour from Scranton.
The Valentines are in for more company this weekend when the Zombecks go out to celebrate their 1st anniversary. Me? Oh, I have to work and then I'm going to catch up on some zzzzz's and get some cleaning done here that has needed done for months. It'll be easier with no one here.
Bottom line- I'm looking forward to my weekend.

Well..... I'm off to bed soon. I have much to accomplish tomorrow before I go to work. Glad I'm off Wednesday.
Have an enjoyable evening.. I'm definitely doing that.


Thursday, April 26, 2007


I decided to take a walk outside today.. while I was out there was a tornado watch issued for Butler County..
The air was heavy and the sky is no longer blue, but big dark rolling clouds are everywhere..

That didn't deter me from my appointed walk, however.. I was anxious to see what was out there in the yard and in the garden.. I wasn't disappointed.

Oh, look!!! The first thing I spotted in the front yard was dandelions just getting started.. Oh.. the kids are gonna love these.. they always do. But wait........ the neighbor across the road from us has a bajillion of them.. we have just a handful. I guess it's because they mow their grass twice a week?

The next thing I spotted was a little bunch of violets.. oh, sweet violets.. lots of memories of my Dad sitting in the yard picking a bouquet for my Mom.. so precious. Charlie came by in his car and waved me over, opened the door and said "Get in- I have something to show you.".. So I did. He took me to White's where another adventure awaited...

He's turned the sunroom into a nursery.. WOW! Onions, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and all sorts of plants here all thriving in the warmth of the sun. He's been busy. But wait! There was more...

He's got 10 day old chicks here too.. and they are cute as little buttons! At least 8 out of 12 are female for sure..He fed them a pan of hard boiled egg yolks.. they jumped on them and gobbled them down quickly.
We had a nice little visit, and then back to home again where I finished my walk...

On the upper side of the garden grows this bush.. I'm not sure what it's called, but it gets these orange blossoms on it and then little orange berries later.. Very pretty.. Watch out for the thorns!

Again, just above the garden is the Redbud tree.. it's blossoming.. and so encouraging and beautiful. Note how dark it is.. lots of dark clouds rolling by..

At the lower end of the garden is the peach tree(s).. They too are in blossom. Let's hope that there is no frost to nip them. My Mom planted these trees from seeds years ago. We thought there was just one tree, but actually there are numerous ones. She must have planted 6 seeds together and they all germinated. In July, we get peaches and then in August again we get peaches from this cluster of trees.

Up on the side of the garden is the Bridal Wreath.. a favorite of all of us. It's dainty white flowers make any bouquet ever so elegant.. and the greenery it puts out later is also used in many bouquets.

Along the driveway is one of a couple of Cinnamon bushes. This is one of my personal favorites. If you get down and smell the flowers, they really do smell like cinnamon... a very sweet smelling bush.

And the tulips !!!!!! Oh, so beautiful !!

In the yard are a bunch of grape hyacinths- they come up every year without any encouragement from me.
They are a tiny and delicate flower.
That's about it.. lots of beautiful plants coming to life out there....... Next time... lilacs !! I noticed they are in bud.
It was a little chilly this morning, but all that is gone and it's 67 degrees and sunny as can be. Lake Blair is just about a memory now, and the driveway is again dry.
As I came home around 1pm today, I noticed the wildlife around our home. Rabbits, ground hogs, and birds... lots of birds, and not just Charlie's 'girls'. Robins in the grass looking for treats.. and some in the driveway taking that one last dip in Lake Blair before it dried up completely. Then I saw the most peculiar thing- a male pheasant was courting Charlie's chickens. He was right in the midst of them, puffed up and beating his wings trying to get their attention. Oh, what a hoot.. and they were ignoring him totally. Wendell had told me about this strange bird this week already.. he was out among the chickens before. I wonder if there is some shortage of female pheasants or what his problem is?
No matter.. provided there is not the sound of a lawnmower nearby, I'm headed out for a short walk to see what else is out there.. and check the asparagus too, of course. I doubt it's grown much with the cold snap we've had the last few days. Perhaps I'll take my camera with me.. one never knows what one might find of interest.



It's early.. the sun hasn't come up yet..but I am up and moving. Today is my office day as is every Thursday.
I have my assignment- one patient only and this one will be done sometime around noon today. My associate will take the other 6 patients.

It's 46 this morning.. I don't think we made it much over 50 yesterday. It rained so much that Lake Blair overflowed it's banks. The robins were bathing in it when I came home last evening. The weather report is calling for 65 today. That sounds great to me. Lake Blair will be gone likely as it drains off quickly.

Not much else happening.. have a wonderful day.. pray for us

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


It's a beautiful morning.. and should be a glorious day today.. to 56 degrees.. very comfortable weather. Perhaps a little rain later? Lovely spring weather here.

I am not sure that I posted the next bit of information. I did talk to my neurologist, and he has given me thumbs down on being off my Plavix for any time. So I'll not be having the Rhizotomy done on my back as I had planned. The procedure is now cancelled. I have another appointment with the Pain Clinic on the 30th at which time we will discuss other options. I'm going to suggest PT. I've got a list of more progressive PTs locally (thanks, Rick), and will present these to my PC doctor and see what she thinks.
I'm also discontinuing aspirin daily, as my neurologist tells me it's not necessary and increases the risk of bleeding.
It's all good. I'm compliant. I believe the Baclofen is working. It makes me drowsy, so I've taken it at bedtime and in the morning, no backache. Yesterday I unloaded the car after a major shopping trip, and found that even though my back ached afterward, a 15 minute 'sit down' corrected it, and I was able to continue a little clean up around here with very little discomfort.

Today I'll see 2 patients in the office after lunch. I had 4, but had to cancel one, and the other cancelled yesterday morning for the next few weeks. So it'll be an easy day and I'll get things ready for the office tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day.. pray for us

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I worked at the hospital this evening. Mid evening, there was a tornado warning issued. The warning means there has been a funnel cloud spotted and the likelihood of it touching ground is very good.
This warning was for just north of Butler in Grove City (Mercer County) and Venango County .. wonder how Dieter is?
We got little rain tonite, but the evidence was there all the way home. It's a quiet and still evening (morning), and I'm glad the storm has passed, though I still see some flashes of lightening.
Anyone else ever experienced a tornado?
I should post some of our post tornado pictures of that experience. It was a real scary one for everyone.
I still remember vividly when the tornado cut a swath through our woods right behind our house one evening. I never saw it, but I heard it and felt it.. Mother saw it and Charlie nearly dragged her to our house for shelter. It flipped a half million volt electrical tower upsidedown near us. I was impressed that our neighbors were all out afterward and checking on other neighbors to make sure everyone was okay.
What I remember most was the sound.. like standing under a jet engine ready to take off.. the roar was deafening. We could tell where it was.. and when it moved by us and on toward Saxonburg. What a night!
There is much I'd love to write about the experience, but perhaps another time..

Monday, April 23, 2007


I went out for a short walk today.. up to check on my asparagus patch.. there is one lonely little spear popped up through the ground about the size of my thumb. Oh, boy, asparagus season has begun !!!
On my way back to the house I noticed Charlie's girls .. everywhere.. pecking away happily at whatever they see that looks tasty. My attention was diverted to my path and the distance to the house when I suddenly noticed there were no chickens to be seen anywhere.. I looked and looked, but not one was out looking for lunch at that moment. It was as if they had vanished from the face of the earth.
Then I saw the ominous shadows.. 2 huge hawks soaring overhead. Well, no wonder the little girls took cover.. they were about to become lunch for someone else. Their sense of danger had caused them to take shelter under the forsythia bush in the yard..

Such beautiful creatures hawks are. They soar quietly through the sky mostly unseen till they get close by. These ones I saw today were very low and had huge wing spans.. it looked like about 6 feet from wing to wing. WOW! And you have to admire these birds for their stealth and beauty as they fly.
I stood in the middle of the yard watching what was going to happen.. but perhaps they saw me too and decided not to tangle with me, though I'm sure they would if they were hungry enough. Their circles got wider until I couldn't see them any more. Interesting morning.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


It's been such a glorious day.. yet again. This is the best of the year yet with plenty of sunshine, blue skies, and 79 degrees.. yep.. 79 beautiful warm degrees.
We went to church this morning - the sermon was very good. The fellowship dinner after was good too.. we took pork barbecue and buns.. chips.. a box of fresh strawberries.. and cupcakes. I brought little home.
We went to the funeral home afterward for visitation. My cousin Emmy's mom died this week and we wanted to be supportive to her. It was good to see the family, but really , not under those conditions. We need a happy occasion to do this. Perhaps a picnic?

Charlie has 10 new chicks.. he's raising them indoors till they can join the others in the hen-house. He says he's down to about 38 girls now, so he wants to get the numbers up.

My computer is giving me fits again.. this time (for the 3rd time) I've lost the audio again. I dont' know what I have done to cause this dilemma, and I can't find the device in the system files...hmmmm I wonder if something ate them? Usually I shut the PC down and turn it back on to get things back, but this time, it didn't work.. I guess I'm going back into the computer market.. I'm looking...

Hope you are all having a great day.. it's a beauty for sure..
Till tomorrow.. pray for us.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Though I was up till 1am today, I'm awakened early by the sun streaming into my bedroom window. It's a glorious day today..and will be about 74 degrees !! AMEN ! How I love spring. Have I mentioned that before? It's like a shot in the arm after the cold and dark of the winter months.
Today I'm going out to look at my asparagus. With the extra days of cold this spring , it may not be up through the ground yet, but I'm gonna take a look anyway. That's one of my favorite things about spring- Asparagus. I don't care for it canned or frozen, but I sure love the months that we cut it in the spring .. fresh. All of us love it, and we may not have it in the near future because of the sewage system going in locally. It is not determined as far as I know, just where the lines will be placed, but I have a suspicion it'll be directly atop my asparagus patch that I've loved for over 30 years. Asparagus is not one that you can just plant and get a good crop that year or the next. We had to wait many years before the stalks grew as big around as a thumb. We cut it every other day in the spring and early summer, and when we get our fill, it's let go to seed for the following year. It makes beautiful ferns that more than once has been used in a bouquet of Charlie's garden flowers and taken to church. So not only does it appeal to our appetites, but to our eyes also.
We shall see.

I will find out Monday whether I can have my back treatment done or not. The rhizotomy is appealing to me for 9 months of pain free living, but I also have a concern regarding medication (Plavix) that I have to discontinue for 10 days prior to the procedures. I spoke with my neurologist last night, and he was not encouraging, stating that there is an increased risk of stroke when one goes off the med even when taking aspirin too. He's not too happy about taking me off, but will make that determination on Monday this week. He said I wouldn't be the first one he'd have to deny, and not to get too excited about the procedure at this point. Too late.. I'm already psyched for it. He also told me that he'd likely take me off aspirin, as the newer information says the 2 shouldn't be taken together anyway- at least not long term as I have been doing.
Again.. we shall see.
The good news is that the medications that the Pain Clinic has given me are working. The spasms are so much less, I've been nearly pain free for several days now. Not sure which of the 2 is doing it, I'm hoping for the Baclofen, as the Arthrotec carries a stroke risk also, and I have a feeling that the neurologist won't approve it either.

On with the day.. it's a beauty. Enjoy it to the fullest.. Pray for us

Friday, April 20, 2007


Your principles have been the music of my life throughout the years of my pilgrimage. I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord, and I obey your law because of this.
Psalm 119:54-55 NLT

The testimony of presidents
The Bible was clearly important to many American presidents. A few examples:

It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible.
George Washington

The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.
Herbert Hoover

In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to found portrayed in it.
Abraham LIincoln

Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future. Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.
Ulysses S. Grant

From Great Thoughts & Funny Sayings by Bob Phillips (Tyndale House), pp 39-40

Thursday, April 19, 2007




3 Cousins , all born the same year.. all having birthdays this year and turning the same is grand.


I'm not the only one who has a birthday today. John tells me his little brother Jason shares today too.
Also, my sister in law Marylou.. so...


Many more to you both


It's been a most fabulous day .. I'm still walking on air.
My day started out so very well- I worked in the office and had success with each patient's infusion. The office group treated me to a "Happy Birthday " serenade after a huge catered luncheon. It was just so unexpected and so delicious. The cake was wonderful- light and delicious.
As I prepared to leave, I was startled by Daniel coming around the corner with a bouquet of flowers.."Happy Birthday Gramma!" and then Paul , David, and Joyce with a card and each had a beautiful bouquet of flowers.. daisies, mums and astrolmeria.. and each one with the same greeting .. "Happy Birthday Gramma!" I was so surprised, and I loved it. I was invited to supper and we had a great time. Annabelle smiled over and over at me when I talked to her.. she's so sweet. David had lots of hugs.
I was tired when I reached home, but made Wendell some supper and then took a quick nap. Mandy brought me 16 coupons for free items in the grocery- my choice.
Thank you all for the cards, ecards, and all the wonderful birthday treats I've had all week.




Last year was an eventful one for me.. you know, with the 2 fire companies and all...heheh..This year I was very careful not to repeat that little faux pas.
Feeling fine.. looking forward to my future..

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.
2 Timothy 3:14 NLT
The Word Transforms
Dr. E. V. Rieu was a classical scholar and translator for many years. He rendered Homer into very modern English for the Penguin Classics.
Rieu was sixty years old and a life-long agnostic when the same firm invited him to translate the Gospels.
His son remarked: "It will be interesting to see what Father makes of the four Gospels. It will be even more interesting to see what the four Gospels make of Father."
The answer was soon forthcoming. A year later, Rieu, convinced and converted, joined the Church of England.
In an interview with J. B. Phillips, Rieu confessed that he had undertaken the task of translation because of an "intense desire to satisfy himself as to the authenticity and spiritual content of the Gospels."
He was determined to approach the documents as if they were newly discovered Greek manuscripts,.
"Did you not get the feeling," asked Canon Phillips, "that the whole material was extraordinarily alive?"
The classical scholar agreed. "I got the deepest feeling," he replied. "My work changed me. I came to the conclusion that these words bear the seal of the Son of Man and God."

From J. B. Phillips, The Ring of Truth. quoted by R. Kent Hughes in 1001Great Stories and Quotes , Tyndale House Publishers (1998) pp 28-29

Monday, April 16, 2007


The east coast is getting quite the storm.. heavy wet snow has caused a lot of damage where Valentines live. I called Wendy earlier this afternoon and she related that they are at her inlaws because they got up today with a power outage and it is snowing. She said it's very heavy wet snow- they are predicting 8+ inches of it. Mid morning they decided to move down the road a piece to Cory's folk's place where they had heat at least. On the way they saw many trees down and hanging on electric wires. At one point they got stuck and had to wait for someone to cut up a tree so they could get past that spot. They were able to have lunch with Cory's folks till the power went out there too. So....... they are all cozy bundled up and trying to make the best of a bad situation.

We are not getting the disaster that they are experiencing. Our power has gone off momentarily at least 3 times today, but has come back on immediately. I wonder what the rest of the day will bring. It's raining/snowing .. I guess it's sleet? At times it is a sheer white out, but nothing is sticking to the ground- it's 37 degrees.
Lake Blair is filling up, but it's been doing that for the past week.. and then quickly drains off.
The wind is blowing very hard. We can hear it whistling and howling outside. Roads are not bad.. just wet.

Pray the storm leaves quickly and no further damage will be done.


As I told you earlier, I had an appointment with the pain clinic today. The doctor was very very good and was able to pinpoint my problem and had a good suggestion for relief of my chronic back pain.
May 2nd, I have an appointment to have a facet nerve block done to confirm her diagnosis, and if it is correct, I will be scheduled for a facet rhizotomy using radiofrequency waves to interrupt the facet nerves which cause my muscles to go into spasm with any activity. The radio waves cause heat and destruction of the nerve. I will have immediate relief that will last for about 9 months till the nerve grows back. I'm actually looking forward to this. She says she uses tiny needles and Wendell tells me that if they are anything close to what he injects his insulin with daily, it's a piece of cake.






There is so much happening so fast, I'm so behind. April has come and is half way gone, and I haven't even approached the birthday list..
I was saddened to hear of the passing of my cousin Chuz Schantz this week.. he was 66. So very sad.

It sounds like Mandy and Wendell both have my respiratory problem. Oh, boy.. here we go for another round.
I'm doing so much better since the antibiotics.

Today I have made an appointment with the pain clinic at the hospital. I'm going to see if they can help my back pain and thumb pain too. Arthritis is not pleasant. I've taken the day off work and will be trying to pull myself together to be able to function the rest of the week without difficulty.

Gotta get moving.. not a lot of time to get ready for my appointment. Have a super day, bloggers, and pray for us.

Friday, April 13, 2007


It's been a busy good day here. I've accomplished a lot,.. not nearly all I wanted to do, but so far, so good.
I've mailed a Christmas package to the Valentine kids and delivered tee shirts to the Blair children from their cousins in NY. While I was there, I got to hug and play with Annabelle for a little while. She's teething.. Such a little sweetie. Joyce says the crib will go in her bedroom probably this weekend and she'll have a buddy to sleep with. I think she'll enjoy that a lot.
Tonite we get to go out to dinner with the Vulhops. JJ is going to do our taxes again this year.. I'm so relieved and happy to have someone do that for us. I'm so poor with numbers.
Have a super happy evening..


Paraskevidekatriaphobia: Fear of Friday the 13th
It is said that over 21 million people world wide suffer from this unfounded morbid fear. It is considered to be an unlucky day for the masses.

I don't believe in luck or unluck.. I believe that God controls every detail of our lives, and that includes mine. All life is directed by providence. What one would consider luck, I look at as God blessing me showing me a right path to take in my life. 'Unluck' would be perhaps a guiding influence leading me away from something detrimental to me..

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


It is a rainy day today. I'm trying to get back on my feet full force, but it's a slow process. I believe I have bronchitis judging from the very harsh productive cough I have and sore ribs from the same. I guess the headache comes from the sinusitis I seem to have along with it. The good news is that my doctor ordered me Augmentin today and I've just taken the 2nd dose for the day. The Robitussin should kick in soon and I'll be ready for bed. I didn't sleep but about an hour last night from all the hacking.. and then took a 2 hr nap today to help me along.. so it's time I went to bed and called it a night.
I'm amazed that Wendell hasn't been affected by all of my germs.. and I'm thankful.

Tomorrow is office day and I'll be going in, but not doing direct patient infusions. I'm going in to observe a new biologic, Rituxan, that we will be giving in the office. My first patient is tomorrow and there is a nurse coming to do the infusion with me and my assistant. The rest of the day shouldn't be difficult. I am so thankful for Kathy who relieves me when I need her.. and for relieving me last week so I could go to see baby Eli.
I went into the office today and set everything up for her for tomorrow. It's the least I can do.

I got to see P3 and Daniel today, but was so bummed that on my day off I couldn't (wouldn't) see the girls and David. UGH. I'm perturbed. But I am off on Friday this week, so hopefully we will be able to get together for at least a little while.

P2's birthday is tomorrow.. He stopped by tonite and Wendell gave him his gift- a pocket watch with a train on it. It's something he said he'd never had and wouldn't buy for himself.. but would love to own one.. so now he does.

I know I'm behind on all the birthdays.. shame on me.. but it's been a hectic past few weeks and I'm just overwhelmed with everything going on and don't get online as much as I used to.. not that I don't go online every day, but I don't spend much time there.

I was thrilled to hear from Jeff tonite who says his dad, my uncle Bob, is up and walking on his new leg prosthesis !! Happy day !!!! I didn't think this amputation would hold UB down much.. We have so much to thank the Lord for.. this is a biggie!!!

Okay, gang.. Morning comes early and I need some rest.. have a great day tomorrow, and don't forget to pray for us.. thanks!

Monday, April 09, 2007


WOO HOO !!!!
I've dropped below the 300 mark.. retirement is getting closer. Today I have just 298 days to go. It may seem like a lot of days, but many are not days of gainful employment. Inching closer and closer.

It snowed last night.. there is about 2 inches out there and I'll have to clean off my car before I go to work today.
Maybe it's the last time I'll have to do it.. I hope so. I don't anticipate any bad roads unless we get more tonite.

Slowly I'm getting unpacked. It's not a hard chore, but needs done so I can put my luggage away for the next time.
Many thanks to Cory and Wendy for putting up with us all last week and showing us such beautiful hospitality. Hope things get back to normal soon.

My allergy problem turned into a bronchitis with sinusitis. It's coming along slowly.. more slowly than I'd like, but enough problem that I probably shouldn't be around anyone too much or too closely. The cough is the worst part I suppose. Robitussin DM is my drug of choice for that.. and it works fine.

Off to work with me.. the day awaits.. Pray for us.. keep us in your hearts and minds..