Saturday, November 25, 2023

Back to Normal, Whatever That Is!

Hi everybody! First of all, I want to thank each and everyone of you for your well wishes. I’m back to normal, if that’s a good thing! I did end up staying home for Thanksgiving, so whatever bug I had lasted about four days. When I woke up Friday morning, I felt completely fine. We were able to spend the day at the zoo as planned yesterday and today we’ve been at Brad and Mandy’s again all day. Several of the nieces and nephews, their spouses and Brad‘s parents came over for the afternoon. Pizza was provided by Brad and Mandy and Dennis and I. Some of the others brought treats to share. We all had a grand time just visiting and having a relaxed afternoon of fun. After everyone else left, Dennis, Alex, T. and Baby J went over to tell Grammy goodbye. Tomorrow morning we’ll pick them up for breakfast on the way to the airport. Their flight leaves about mid-day and it will be a red-eye back to London where they should arrive Monday morning. 

The visit was too short, but we crammed a lot of fun into it, and even some together time being sick! Shades of when the kids were little and sick and we would all share the germs. πŸ€’ Well, I guess that part wasn’t quite so much fun.

But first, some photos from the zoo. It was SO cold. 17°F when we left to go home and we walked close to 5 miles! Most of the things we saw were inside but you still had to walk between the buildings. There weren’t very many people there, because there was a Nebraska game on and it was a home game to top it off. Plus, it was Black Friday. All in all, it was a perfect day for the zoo. 

Brad and Mandy will be gone next weekend and Piper and Lizzie will be staying with us. We plan to go back to the zoo with Piper because although it was all decorated yesterday for Christmas, it was too cold to stay around until dark and see all the lights come on. Next week is supposed to be much warmer, into the mid 40s.

There are a LOT of pictures, so just skip on through if you would rather not see them all. I wish I could remember the names of the first two animals but my mind is blank. They both were so cute though. πŸ’œ

The Tawny Frogmouth Owl.

Mr. Roadrunner. We enjoyed watching him run around and flip his tail up and down. There was a zookeeper sitting in this exhibit, holding another road runner and feeding it by hand. They seem to be very tame.

We sure enjoyed time with our kids and granddaughters.

And we saw lots…
and lots…

and lots…

of nasty snakes. I really don’t like snakes at all.

I will spare you the hundreds and hundreds of bats that were flying around and hanging from the ceiling.

But the puffins…

and beautiful forms of starfish…

and king crabs, this one was about 3 feet across!…

and especially the giraffes, more than made up for the snakes. There was even a baby giraffe, but he was to busy and fast playing to get a decent picture.

We all commented that it was the most animals we’ve ever seen out and active in our trips to the zoo. I don’t know if it was because it was cooler or less people staring at them, but every exhibit we went to had active animals, insects, or snakes. We didn’t even make it through a third of the zoo, but then again, we never do. It is huge!

We exchanged Christmas gifts today with our out of town kids.

And had a real Christmas cake brought from London, soaked in rum and lit on fire!

Alex and Brad look pretty pleased with their work in lighting it on fire. ☺️

And that is that. A busy and eventful few weeks. I would love to share more actual photos of the kids, but you know the story of that. DIL’s job prevents us from posting photos of them online. However, just since September sweet little Baby J who is just 20 months old, fully knows her alphabet in both English and Japanese and speaks to you in 4-5 word sentences in BOTH languages. She has actual conversations! I seriously have never seen anything like it. Her language skills have exploded in the past two months since we saw her. The nanny talks to her in only Japanese, T in just English and Alex speaks both fluently. We have enjoyed this time.

Brad, Mandy and Piper were excellent hosts for Thanksgiving and picked up both my part and Dennis’s too, since he only has one hand and couldn’t carve the turkey or do the dishes, his normal jobs. Their house has been bursting with guests everyday since Thanksgiving and we’re grateful for them being here for everyday life and help.

Now I’ll end this too long post and hope that you all had a lovely blessing filling weekend too. I give thanks to the Lord for each one of you and your families. 

Much love and many blessings,

Thursday, November 23, 2023

It’s Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

To my American friends, have you all enjoyed your turkey yet or do you eat later in the day?

We had our church harvest dinner on Sunday which was wonderful. Our son and Baby J were able to go with us. Unfortunately Sunday night our son got very sick for a couple of days. I really don’t think it was from the potluck. I think he had picked up a stomach bug somewhere. By Monday night I had it. I think I am on the mend today, but I opted to stay home while everyone else went to Mandy and Brad’s for Thanksgiving dinner. I got up early this morning, washed my hands very well, put gloves on and stuffed the turkey. They left about 11:00 with the 22 lb. turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, and relish tray. My sister was bringing pies and my niece brought rolls. Mandy was providing the sweet potato casserole. I had bought paper, plates, napkins, and bowls, but forgot to send them. Unfortunately, that meant they had a lot of dishes to wash. πŸ™„ My bad. We gave up on using the good china after we sold the house in Spokane.

However, I’m not feeling sorry for myself. The food doesn’t even sound good to me, and my temperature has lowered to under 100° for the first time in days. We have had a wonderful week together. Even though I haven’t been able to do a lot of close up play with Baby J because of the fever, (just like in September unfortunately), I’ve been able to watch her play and run around and she tells me she loves me a lot! That makes me very, very happy. We share a love of Olaf and we’ve watched Frozen together twice. We sang songs together and even visited Great Grammy before I got sick. She has loved playing with the little kitchen and toys that Piper brought over for her to play with. It has been an absolutely wonderful week.

Tonight they moved to Brad and Mandy‘s house so the kids can all hang out with each other for the rest of their time here. Not that we’re not included, but they’ll be sleeping there instead of here. Hopefully, I’ll be all better tomorrow because we have plans to go to the zoo and we need to open Christmas presents too before they leave!

I have been reading your blogs as I have time had time, just not able to comment much. That should change starting tomorrow.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving day. I have been counting my blessings all day as I’ve been sitting here and I hope you’re doing the same. God is SO good.

Blessings and love,

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

It’s late!

It’s pretty late tonight, but I wanted to stop by here and say hello to you all. I probably won’t be posting for the next couple of weeks and I don’t know how much I’ll be online. We have family coming to stay with us beginning tomorrow, until after Thanksgiving. But I did want to show you the progress on Miss Piper’s sweater.
This evening was devoted to knitting the pocket flaps and the pockets themselves. I have never knitted pocket flaps or pockets before, so this was a new experience. They haven’t been sewn down yet, so they don’t look like much here. I think I’m happy with the way they turned out, but time will tell when I get around to the finishing part. I still have the sleeves and the shawl collar to do. I am learning lots of new techniques that I’ve never used before in sweater construction and that’s always a good thing.

In medical news, Dennis got his stitches out this afternoon. You can see where they shaved his arm before surgery and the hair is starting to grow back in. The surgeon is very, very happy with the progress so far. It has been almost 2 weeks since his last surgery. He will have to wear the splint until at least the first week in January, but he was given some exercises to do to keep the skin and muscles from adhering to the metal plate. The doctor is very hopeful that he will have full range of motion.

This is a hint as to who is coming to visit over Thanksgiving. Yes, it’s our London family. I’m looking forward to lots of playtime and Piper graciously loaned us her kitchen set that she’s outgrown, as well as a basket of toys.

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and I thought it was hilarious. It does solve the problem, for a short time anyway, of how to store the Halloween skeletons! I think all three skeletons are posed wonderfully, but I really like the one on the ladder for some reason. Looks just like a guy looking down to make sure he’s stepping on the rungs correctly.πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£  Dennis should have done that before he stepped off of the back of the truck back in June, and we would have avoided all of this Doctor stuff! 😍 Even though I’m not much into Halloween, I still think these are funny. I haven’t figured out yet, what the one sitting at the bottom of the ladder is doing.

It’s hard to think about much with everything that’s happening in the world today. I’m worried about the volcano that’s predicted to go off very soon, especially for the people who live around it, but they also expect it to shut down air travel from Europe. And then, of course, there is everything happening in the Middle East. And the craziness that’s happening here in our own country. I wish people could just learn to be kind to one another and treat others how they would like to be treated. Wasn’t that something we all learned in kindergarten? I’m starting to think those lessons aren’t taught anymore. 

I pray for the entire world several times a day now. I hope you are all doing well and for those of you here in the US looking forward to Thanksgiving next week, I hope holiday plans are coming along for you.. I have my turkey and a few of the trimmings, but still need to go to the store to buy more things. Take care my friends and I’ll be popping in as time allows.

Blessings and love,

Friday, November 10, 2023

Thank you!

Thank you! There were so many well wishes for Dennis and his surgery in my last post. You're all so kind and we both appreciate each and every one of them. He's doing very, very well. On Tuesday we returned to the hospital and the surgeons office where he exchanged the HUGE, bulky cast for this. He has not had one bit of pain since the surgery and hasn't taken even a single tylenol for pain. God has indeed been with him, because looking at the next photo, I don't see how it can possible not be very painful. If you have a queasy stomach, I suggest you pass by the next bit. 😡‍πŸ’«

How can that NOT hurt? But there is very little swelling. Last time, he couldn't wear his watch from June until October because the swelling never went away and it was from his fingertips to his wrist. The stitches should come out next Tuesday. He'll probably have to wear the splint for 6-8 weeks, which is into January! He's already bending his fingers to his palm and the thumb top joint to touch his fingers! It is truly wonderful. He even went back to work on Monday!

Switching gears, last night was Miss Pipers very last elementary musical. Next year she'll be off to middle school! When did that happen? This is a really blurry photo because it's zoomed in so far. But she's still cute isn't she? The theme was Music in America. This song was about rock and roll so they wore sunglasses. So cute!

The kids were great, but of course, both of us Grandma's thought she was the best one there. She even had a speaking part. Brad's parents were there too, along with the two of us and Brad & Mandy. I'm going to miss these musicals.

Here's a broader photo that shows how far back we were. The big dog is the schools mascot. They are the Timberwolves. 

And now for some crafting. I finished the very last Christmas gift! Mom's socks. Just a plain vanilla sock pattern as it's what she likes best. Yesterday we picked her up and took her to Cheddar's for lunch. She loves it there and so do we. She couldn't remember we were going to lunch even after a call at bedtime the night before and two reminder calls in the morning. She said she would be waiting at the front door, which she usually is. I had to go all the way up to her room, to find her watching TV. She had completely forgotten we were going to lunch and scolded me all the way back to the car for not giving her more notice so she could dress appropriately. She looked fine. She always looks nice. She seems to have taken another memory hit. She goes along fine for a few weeks or a month, staying about the same and then something happens and we notice that she's forgetting even more. It's such a sad thing.

On Monday I decided that baby J needed a crochet toy from Grandma when she gets here next week. I made a couple of these bunnies a few years ago for Nita and Lori, my friends in Spokane. I picked up the yarn and started crocheting it on Tuesday. By evening, I had a bunny. It's far from perfect, but it's so soft and cuddy and almost as big as she is! I used Bernat Blanket yarn (#6 bulky) and an "N" crochet hook. I think she'll love it. 

I also made a start on Piper's new sweater this week. If I finish it before Christmas I'll just give it to her but if it's close to Christmas I may wrap it up for her. The color is really a deeper sage green than this photo shows. I couldn't get it to photograph correctly. She chose the pattern and has asked for a sage green, a red and a white cardigan. This girl has worn my sweaters almost daily since she was tiny. She loves them and I love making them for her since she wears them so much. This is the "Pure Comfort Cardigan" by Andrea Yetman and is a free pattern on Ravelry. It has an unusual shawl collar and I hope I can figure it out when I get to that part! :-) I'm about halfway through the stockinette body. Just plain knitting and purling back and forth. I'm using Yarn Bee Simply Flawless in Desert Sage from Hobby Lobby. She's growing up and every time I make her a sweater it's taking more and more yarn. 🧢🧢🧢 I just don't understand it!?

Today we have the Veteran's Day program at the school this afternoon. We were able to go last year for the first time and they really put on a nice program for the Veteran parents and grandparents. They even put every Veteran's photo up on the big screen for all to see. Both Dennis and Brad's dad, also a Dennis, are military veterans. I love going to watch the children sing. They look like they're having such a great time up in front. I was thinking we could give Piper a ride home afterwards, but she's on safety patrol duty today. Anyone else out there who were on the safety patrol? Dennis was captain at his school safety patrol and I was a captain at mine!

Well, that's our week since I last wrote to you. Sprinkled in there are also Sunday School and church, two different Bible Studies on Wednesday and Thursday's. I crochet sleeping mats for the Open Door Mission on Tuesdays with some ladies at our old apartment building. Helping Brad and Mandy whenever we can since they're both busy with work. Taking care of Mom and going to doctor appoints. Life definitely is keeping us busy here in Omaha.

I did manage to get the Christmas cards finished this week too and they are stamped and ready to mail out the day after Thanksgiving. We have yet another new address this year, so I wanted to get them mailed early. The last move. We want to promise that, but I don't want to say something that may change. Our plan is to stay here till the end, but you never know what the future holds.

I'm in daily prayer for Israel and all of the people affected by the horrible massacre there. Also for the innocent people in Gaza. I pray for all of the kidnap victims and their families and hope that they will soon be back home.

Take care my dear friends. I so appreciate each one of you and the fact that you take the time to come visit me here. I'll be back soon. Meanwhile, take care of yourselves and keep a watchful eye open at all times.

Blessings and love,

Saturday, November 4, 2023

The Last Surgery (We Hope)

Happy Saturday evening everyone. Whew! It's been a week. We had appointments and commitments every day this week and then on Thursday Dennis had his second surgery on his thumb. This one was much more invasive and lasted a LOT longer. Then they had a very hard time waking him up. He said they used a different anesthesia on him this time. We were there much later than when they did the last surgery in June. Here he is just before they took him away from me. I won't show the photo from when they brought him back from recovery. He looked awful but we couldn't have asked for nicer nurses. They were wonderful and he even had the same pre-op nurse as he had in June. She remembered him too, because of how he hurt himself stepping backwards off the tailgate of the truck the night we got to the Black Hills in South Dakota.

Here's what they did. See the plate on the left on his thumb? Then it has the five screws going into the bone. On the bottom where the the biggest screw is, just above it is where they sawed the bone into two pieces. Then they cut a pie shaped wedge from the bone and put donor bone into the space to help "fasten" it, or "grow it" back together. The plates and screws will stay in his hand permanently.

Here he is tonight with a big cast on it. He goes back on Tuesday and will, hopefully, get a somewhat smaller cast or splint. He can't get his coat on over this and it's getting pretty chilly out. 
The anesthetic made him really sick this time, which has never happened, and we barely made it home before he was REALLY sick, many times. But, he has had absolutely NO pain and hasn't taken any painkillers they gave him, or even any Tylenol. Praise the Lord!

I thought I would share my twinkle lights under the TV with you. They're on a timer and are on for 6 hours every night. They make it so much more cheerful.

We just put this light in the corner of the living room on Monday. We got two in a box from Amazon and don't know where we'll put the other one, or if we'll put it up at all. This one makes so much difference. It was such a dark corner and the plants are loving the light. After Dennis heals he will put the cord up on the ceiling and down the corner.

And...I finished my last seasonal diamond painting last night. This one will go up for the rest of the winter after the Christmas truck comes down. I now have five to swap out with the same frame along with the seasons. I don't think I'll be making more because of lack of wall space, but they sure are fun to do. Most of you know me and snowmen. This guy makes me smile. And we can all use a smile these days, can't we?

Mandy and Brad got a new car today. It's a 2019 Acadia and it's gorgeous. Her car was a 2005 Mazda 6 that she had before they got married. It wasn't the best in the snow, etc., so she's really excited about this car. They're keeping the Mazda too, since it's such a great running car. I think Brad will probably drive it to work instead of his truck to save gas. He takes really good care of all of their vehicles.

I hope you are all doing well. My heart aches for the heart break in the middle-east and I pray daily for the innocent hostages and for their quick release daily. 

Blessings and love,