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Don't look if you have a weak stomach....

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Well, "Killer Asa" and "Killer Haver" took on a garter snake last night and they won. They've been sleeping ALL day! I was really enjoying it until about 4:00 when it dawned on me that maybe that snake had some kind of effect on the pups. So, I called the vet and sure enough! There's something in the snake's skin that would cause the dogs to get lethargic, nauseated and have diarrea! They told me if they were still having trouble tomorrow, to bring them in. Well, they are running around upstairs with Rod right now, so I'm pretty sure the "snake oil" has worn off!

I decided today that I needed to do something to protect future deliveries.

This new "special delivery" trunk is now on the front porch.

Thanks for reading.

It's already Tuesday!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I'm afraid I kind of jinxed things by writing in my last post how great the dogs were being and good I was feeling. Actually, I am feeling pretty darn good. I just had a case of overdoing it. I had that dinner thing with my sister on Friday, and then we went out to eat with friends on Saturday. Then Sunday we had breakfast with Nick and then this incredibly cool "Splat" experience at church!
You've got to go to the following address of Youtube. It is one of the most moving experiences I have ever had.


Rod and I were suppose to go to this fabulous Christian rock concert that night called, "Casting Crowns." But, I knew when I woke up Sunday morning that I had already pushed myself too far. So, we gave our tickets away. I heard it was a wonderful concert. But, I did "get" to go to Walmart with Rod to get groceries. He convinced me to go along and use one of the little scooter thingies. So, we got through the entire store and I only ran over his feet once, and into his rear end once. But, he ran into me numerous times! He's such a big kid!

Anyway, I'm doing much better. But, the dogs is a different story.
This is a picture of what we discovered when we got home from church on Sunday.

And, while I was out running around today, evidently we had a "Fruit of the Month Club" delivery:

And this is how they look when we get upset? Could you get mad at these faces?

Thanks for reading.

Such a great couple of days!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008
I'm so excited to be at the correct steroid level right now! My head is clearer, I'm sleeping better and I just "feel" better! I've started working with the puppies again on their manners. I just didn't have the energy, desire or drive to even want to try for the last couple of months. But, we're now back at it. I think it also helps that the weather is so much nicer, so they are outside a LOT and are a bit more tired. Plus, they are getting older and are calming down "a bit."

Anyway, on Thursday I worked at school and had a fantastic time! The first grade teachers had asked if I would mind doing some reading tests with the kids. It's called "text leveling." You just basically listen to the child read while the teacher records any errors. This lets the teacher know which book level, or degree of difficulty the child is able to read. It has to be done one-on-one and is very time consuming. So, it's difficult to do with 24 other first graders in the room. I was a bit nervous about doing it since it had been 3 years since I've done any text leveling. But, it was just like falling off a bicycle! I honestly don't think I could have done this a few weeks ago when I was on a higher dose of steroids. So, it was a good day! Of course I had to reward myself with a Starbucks Grande Caramel Frappacino Lite on the way home! ;)

Last night we had the 1 st Annual Mother/Daughter/Friend/Sister Gala at our church. My sister drove up from Lincoln to attend. We had dinner, entertainment, worship and just plain fun! I always love the opportunity to show off my wonderful sister!

Well, that's about it for now. I think it's time for a nap!
Thanks for reading.


If you know me, when you read this, you'll think the world is ending!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I have cooked, ACTUALLY COOKED dinner two nights in a row! And, if that wasn't a big enough shocker, Rod actually said, "THANK YOU FOR COOKING! IT WAS REALLY GOOD!" I'm not really sure what's going on. The steroid level seems to be a good one. I'm pretty sure that the steroids have also done something to my brain. Never before, in almost 30 years of being married, has my beloved husband thanked me for cooking! If you know me very well, then you also know the story about the ham loaf that I made a few years ago. It was so bad that our dog at the time, Cody, wouldn't even eat it. Now, you need to realize that this is the same dog that ate a dead rabbit. So, it might actually be a sign that the end of the world is near. You might want to put together some rations!

I would also like to tell you a little bit about my fabulous trip to Kansas City on Monday. There were 14 of us that drove down to this very nice little shopping center with this very nice store called Nell Hill's. It is a home decorating type of place. I'm really having trouble describing it because it has "stuff" for decorating, lamps, vases, etc. But, it also has dishes, furniture and even some fabulous pajamas! One of the ladies from our P.E.O. group has a son who works at Nell Hill's as a designer. He set up everything so that we were sure to meet the owner/creator/founder, Mary Carol Garrity. We not only got to meet her but we each got a chance to have her autograph one of her books for us. This fabulous son ALSO made arrangements for the whole bunch of us to have lunch in a great restaurant that was right next door. In fact, we even got our own room!
It was such a great time! I got to spend some real quality time with some real quality women. AND I got to do a little shopping (ka-ching!) at Nell Hill's, getting some very cool things like plate holders, a watering can and a tiered small flowerpot holder. A couple of my friends suggested some party decorting ideas for it when I wasn't using it to hold flowers!
THEN, after lunch, I discovered a fabulous yarn shop, just across the parking lot!! (ka-ching, ka-ching!)I bought some great yarn for prayer shawls, scarves for Together, Inc. and even some glittery red yarn to make myself a scarf for the Nebraska games this fall! I even bought some needles so I could start on the scarf on the way home!

I have one book review and one movie review. Yesterday I finished "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper.

This is the story of a Baptist minister who was killed in a car accident. He was pronounced dead by 4 different EMT's and layed stuck in his mangled car for 90 minutes before another minister, passing the accident, went up to Pastor Piper and prayed for him. His prayers brought Pastor Piper back from Heaven. The story tells what he saw during those 90 minutes and the life of pain and beauty that was a result of his visit to Heaven and his return to Earth. I am a believer, so, for me, this was an absolutely amazing and reaffirming story. I give it 4 puppy paws up.

Today, I decided to take myself to a chick flick. I saw, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

The popcorn and Diet Coke were both very good. I give it 4 puppy paws down.

What a fabulous weekend in Nebraska!

Sunday, April 20, 2008
Wow!! It's weekend's like this that make me hang in here during those long winter days! Yesterday it was in the high 60's and nice and sunny! Today it was in the 70's and sunny! It was really windy, but who cares!! The best part about the weekend was that the puppies were outside all of the time! They are so tired! I LOVE IT!!

I'm very excited for tomorrow! A group of ladies from my P.E.O. group are taking a ROAD TRIP! We're driving down to Kansas City to go to this store called, Nell Hill's.

One of the gal's that are going has a son that works there and he has set us up for a visit with the owner/creator/founder, Mary Carol Garrity! They've also arranged a fabulous lunch for the whole bunch of us!

This is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Omaha. I'm excited, but my phriends who are reading this know that a PH person can't just get in the car and go. Tomorrow I'll have my pouch on with my Flolan and ice packs and my O2 concentrator. But, I'll also have my "back-up bag." In the bag I have to have a "back-up" pump and a "back-up" cassette of Flolan. I'll have the Flolan in the cooler part of the bag with ice packs. You see, Flolan has what they call a short half-life. If I have a problem with my pump and/or my cassette of Flolan and the medicine stops running, I only have 5-7 minutes to switch things out and get the medicine flowing again or I could have a rebound problem and go into heart failure. (I'm thinking if any of my P.E.O. sisters that are going along with me are reading this right now they might be rethinking their decision to ride in my car!) So, I have to always have the back-up close by. Also, Flolan works best when it's cold. So, Not only do I have ice packs in the pouch around my waist and ice packs in the cooler with the back-up cassette of Flolan, I'll also need to take an additional cooler filled with ice packs so I can switch them out as they thaw.
I'll also have to take extra batteries for my oxygen and a car charger so I can charge the batteries for the ride down and the ride back because I don't enough batteries to get me through an entire day.

So, I think I'll finish this up, go mix my medicine and get to bed. I'm getting picked up around 6:45 a.m. and I've got lots to get together!!

Thanks so very much for reading!

A little of this and a little of that...

Friday, April 18, 2008
*First, I have some good news and some bad news.
~The good news is, we found the Invisible Fence thing!
~The bad news is that this guy who was here to work on the fish tank found it when he chased the puppies to retrieve a bag filled with clothes that I bought online and were left on the front porch by the mailman. And, yes, I now have new clothes with a couple of chewed holes in the pocket.

*Second item for discussion. I've "played" with my steroids some more. The doctor had me decrease from 4 mg's in the morning to 3 mg's and then take one more mg in the early evening. I think it's helping. I actually accomplished a couple of things yesterday, including going to school and working with a couple of first graders. We'll see how this new dose schedule and amount works. Now, mind you I've already taken a nap today! I fell asleep during "The Price is Right." But, I had gotten up early AND it's been raining for two days which makes it perfect for napping! (I'm really good at making excuses!)

*Third item for discussion. My sister and I had lunch earlier this week and then we went to this beautiful chapel just outside of Omaha called, "The Holy Family Shrine." Here is the website:
And, here is a picture I took of inside the chapel!

*Fourth item for discussion. The puppies found an old baseball helmet...
Here is lovely Haver, happily carrying around his latest trophy!

And here is Asa with the helmet on his rear end! I tried it on Haver's rear, but it wouldn't fit!!

Ok, I think that's it for now!
Thanks for reading!


Monday, April 14, 2008
So, I came back from Weight Watchers yesterday morning (only down about 1/2 pound, what's up with that?!?!) and am driving down the driveway. Running across the yard are my little buddies. I'm thinking about how cute they are and how nice it is to come home and have a couple of cuties so excited to see me, when, I notice that Haver has something hanging out of his mouth....

When I got out of the car, they run up to me, all thrilled with themselves, Haver more so than Asa. I look closely and see that Haver has his Invisible Fence collar in his mouth...actually only PART of his Invisible Fence collar in his mouth. It's the part WITHOUT the actual Invisible Fence device! I walk around a bit with both of them
asking Haver to show me where the rest of his collar is hiding. You can imagine how successful that was. So, I go inside and call the Invisible Fence people. I tell the girl what happened. I informed her that we live on an acreage and that I looked around for the device but really didn't have any luck. I asked her if she had any suggestions for me. She told me that they have this hand-held device that will help locate these devices. You just walk around with it and when you get close to the device, the machine sets of a signal. She told me that I would have to give them a credit card number before I took the machine and that they would not charge me unless I didn't return it. (At this point I'm thinking to myself, "Why would anyone want to keep one of those things?")
So, I drive over to the Invisible Fence place, go on in and tell them what I'm there for. There are two girls there now, one that I spoke with on the phone and the other one was one that I've visited with before about various things with the pups and the fence. So, I give them my credit card and one of the girls grabs this machine thing....with an electrical cord attached to it! I asked, "Is this thing electric?" She said, "Yes." I said, "I told the girl on the phone that this collar was lost outside." She said, "Oh that's ok. You can use an extension cord." I said, "We live on an acreage! We have 20 acres! She said....are you ready?...she said...."Well, I guess you'll have to get a really long extension cord." CRAP, CRAP, CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!
I ended up leaving with a new collar and a receipt for $310.00!!! Of course, if I find the other collar, I can return the new one within 14 days. And, if I find the other collar and it's chewed up or ruined, it will be covered under warranty. At this point, I'm thinking I'm going to have to look for pieces in piles, if you get my drift!

"Hello. My name is Haver and I am a holy terror."

"Hello. My name is Asa. I look really sweet but looks are deceiving."

I'm so proud of my sister!!

Friday, April 11, 2008
Those of you that know my sister, Kathleen, know what a fabulous woman she is! She's a great mom, sister, aunt and sister-in-law. Because of Kathleen, we have had two extremely successful fundraisers for PH! Anyway, she has been given an award so that she can attend the PHA International Conference in Houston this summer! Rod and I are both going, as well as several people from our Nebraska support group. There are also lots of phriends going from all over the United States! I can't wait for everyone to meet my sister! Here's the info about the award:
Julie Hendry Memorial Scholarship Award - for non-patient volunteer
Julie Paton Hendry, daughter of PHA founding members Pat and Jerry Paton, was the first full-time non-patient PHA volunteer. She looked forward to the PHA Conference as an opportunity to meet the PH patients and families she talked with by telephone and email. Sadly, Julie passed away in 1998. In her memory, her family established the Julie Hendry Memorial Scholarship Award to help a non-patient volunteer attend Conference. This award will be presented to a non-patient who is a member of and actively supports PHA (e.g. serving as a support group leader, raising public awareness, fundraising). The award is to be used for Conference registration and transportation and is not to exceed $1,000.
Kathleen was told that there were lots of applicants. It was very difficult for the committee to decide on who to give it to and ended up giving the award to three people!

Here is a picture of my incredible sister!!

Mud Dawgs

Thursday, April 10, 2008
OK, I wanted you to all see what two 7 month old yellow lab puppies do with a rainy day in Nebraska!


"Who, Me? I didn't find any mud outside!"


"I know I look a little chunky in the first picture, but I'm really, really hungry!"

I'm dragging my keister!

It's a perfect day for keister dragging! It's raining, raining, raining! It might even snow a little bit tonight and tomorrow! Anyway, I had the annual "smash and grab" (meaning my mammogram) on Monday. I've had one twice since I've had my central line put in. Both times the tech tried really hard to work around the line. But, this time the tech decided she needed to get the whole thing in. Holy Crap! It hurt so bad! I was worried that she might block off the Flolan or pull the tubing. She didn't but it really hurt. Anyway, the next day I got a call from "The Smasher Queen." She said that the radiologist saw something suspicious and that I needed to come back in and re-do the procedure. Thankfully, thankfully, thankfully, it was the other side that had something suspicious! So, I went in yesterday afternoon and everything is just fine! Yahoo! I have to go back in 6 months instead of 12 months. But, the radiologist was adamant that these spots did not look at all "scary!"

The pups were really enjoying the beautiful weather that we had yesterday. By early evening they were exhausted! In the first picture you'll see that Haver is sound asleep while Asa is sitting on part of his head. In the second picture you'll see that Asa is about ready to fall asleep himself, sitting up! Seconds after I took the picture, he dropped the chew out of his mouth, dropped to the floor and fell asleep! Unfortunately, they seem to enjoy this kind of rainy weather too! They've been outside several times, playing in the mud and the horse pasture. Too bad there isn't a smell option on this blog so that you could all enjoy the special perfume-like wet dog and horse crap odor!

Thanks for reading!


We just got back from the movies!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

We saw "Leatherheads" with George Clooney and Rene Zellweger. It was a fabulous show! Of course, watching George Clooney roll around in the mud would make it a good movie no matter what! I really didn't know if I would be all that interested in a movie about the beginnings of pro football, but I was willing to give it a shot. I'm so glad that I did! It was so entertaining! It had the feel of an old movie, with some kind of slap-stick stuff, 1920's music and just that kind of clean, fun movie feel... one that doesn't need cuss words (although there were a couple)or nudity or crass behavior. Plus, did I mention that George Clooney was in it?
I give it 8 puppy paws up.

I also thought that I'd mention that I went to my endocrine doctor on Thursday. It's been almost a year since I was diagnosed with Addison's Disease. It's so hard to believe how incredibly sick I was before the brilliant doctors at UNMC figured out what was wrong with me. Anyway, I'm doing well and instead of going into see her every three months I now only have to see her every 6 months! She also decided to adjust my meds. My blood work showed that I am taking a bit too much of my thyroid medicine. So, I'm going to back a bit off of that. I've also gained over 20 pounds since last year and almost six since my last appointment with her. She thinks it's highly possible that I'm on too high of a dose of steroids. So, starting today I decreased my dose from 5 mg's to 4 mg's. Well, it seems to be helping. My appetite and/or hunger has already decreased. Plus, interestingly enough, I'm now having more Flolan side effects (joint and muscle pain and nausea). You may be thinking that I should be glad that I wasn't having those side effects and be upset that I've had them today. But, those symptoms are the reality of Flolan and taking too many steroids was masking that and taking too many steroids is just not good for my body.

Well...It is now Sunday and I realized I never got around to posting this Friday night! My poor, poor brain! Well, just pretend that you read this Friday night and it will all make more sense.

I thought you'd like to see how the "babies" are growing!


Thank you for reading.

I can't believe it's already Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I was determined to blog every day again, even just a few lines. But, here I went and slacked off again!! ARG!!!!
So, let me see if I did anything exciting this week...

Monday, I went to my nightime bible study (and had really great treats!!)

Tuesday, I FINALLY went back to Weight Watchers. Good news, bad news...The bad news is that I gained 3 1/2 pounds since I was last there (in January!) the good news is that I'm still a 1/2 lighter (?) than when I started. I couldn't find my little attendance card. It wasn't in the bin where it was suppose to be. I asked the "little old lady" weighing people about it. She promptly went over to the bin marked, "M.I.A!!" I'm glad that I'm no longer "missing in action!" I like going at this time (10:00 a.m. Tuesday mornings) but it is also the "Mommy and Me" meeting which means there was hardly room for my oxygen machine with all of the strollers! Plus, I'm officially an old woman. I was frustrated with all of the cute babbling and such because I couldn't hear the leader. I would like a time where the attendees are mostly "old" people like myself, or at least one where someone would bring some good coffee and donuts for the meeting...

Wednesday, I went to my Women's bible study. I love this group, although I haven't gone for so long. When the weather was so cold, I stayed home from this one. This is a group of women from church who are all at least 15-20 years older than me. I love hearing their point of view about things. I had a great mother-in-law who I loved dearly. She's been gone for several years now and meeting with these ladies gives me that feeling of comfort that comes when you visit with people who have experienced so much. They have so much wisdom and perspective to offer on life.
I also had lunch with my goofy sister today! She and I met at this new little cafe in Ashland, which is about half-way between Lincoln (where Kathleen lives) and Omaha (where I live).

Well, that's about it for excitement! I've been upstairs in my "office" (you know, the extra bedroom made into an office sort of place) for a couple of hours and I haven't spotted the puppies for a little bit. I better go check and see what "lovely" things they have discovered!

Thanks for reading!