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Monday, June 23, 2008
I just wanted to let you know that I'm here and I'm fine. Rod and I went to Washington DC for a few days and then we went to Houston for a few days for the PHA conference. We got back last evening. We've got lots of pictures and lots of stories. But, right now I need lots of rest. I'm fine, but I'm just really tired. I've spent the entire day on the couch, catching up on "All my Children" and "One Life to Live." I'll get back to blogging and get all of you caught up tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Just hanging out...

Saturday, June 14, 2008
I've been very busy....not really sure what I've been very busy doing...but, I've been very busy!
Let's see....

On Thursday, I was feeling really crappy...so I spent the day watching TV, reading and trying to keep myself from "getting down." I did cook Rod and I each a hamburger before he headed off to his work-out session. He hired a trainer right after Christmas and goes three times a week. I'm so glad that he's doing this. He has such an incredibly stressful job and NEVER does anything for himself. Since I've been diagnosed, Rod has a really hard time leaving me alone. He calls 4-5 times a day to check on me and then when he gets home, since I'm usually plopped on the couch, he plops on the couch also. I am so blessed. He is such an amazing man. But, he needs to do things for himself. I think getting this trainer was a huge step for him. By the way, did I happen to mention that it is our 30th wedding anniversary on Tuesday, the 17th? How did I ever get so incredibly lucky...

I have no idea what I did on Friday. If anyone knows, please let my brain know! I DO remember that Rod and I went out to dinner with our friends Kelly and Bart. You know, I may be sick with this crappy disease, but I am certainly blessed with a fabulous family and a wonderful group of friends!

Yesterday I went shoe shopping! I have never been much of a shoe fanatic, but every once and awhile, I get this "itch!" I had this wonderful teacher/friend named Annie McNally who was a certified shoe nut! She had shoes to go with every outfit under the sun! She was a spit-fire! She is, unfortunately, one of a number of friends that have been lost to the "beast" named cancer...

Last night Rod and I went to see the movie, "The Happening."

I would highly recommend that you stay as far away from that movie as possible! I had NO idea that it was an M. Night Shyamalan movie. Had I known that I would have had enough sense to pick "The Incredible Hulk" movie. Let me sum it up by saying a movie that includes a man feeding himself to a wood-chipper machine is not one that will promote sweet dreams. The only saving piece of the movie was at the very beginning. It opened up with my most favorite joke of all time. I can NOT tell it here because it is very, very inappropriate. But, if I've told you the "Wendy" joke, you'll know what I mean! I actually feel a little bit famous that my favorite joke made it into a big-time movie! But, again, I say wood-chippers are not a very good movie prop.

Today is Father's Day. After another WAKE UP YOU'RE STILL LIVING IN NEBRASKA AND IT'S STILL TORNADO AND STORM SEASON, thunderstorm, we swam off to church then on to breakfast. Nick came by this afternoon to visit, nap and have dinner with us for Father's Day. Chris called this afternoon to visit with all of us and to tell his Dad to have a "Happy Father's Day." Right now Rod and Nick are both napping and I'm debating whether I should wake them up or not. Nick is suppose to pick up Kara at her parent's house and Rod and I are suppose to try to save our weekend movie experience by going to see "The Incredible Hulk." I just let the two "miniature hulks" outside because they were "hulkininzing" the house. So, it's really peaceful and, to tell you the truth, it's feeling a bit more like "Mother's Day."

What do you think....are they related?

Thanks for reading.


What an incredibly long and incredibly sad night.

Thursday, June 12, 2008
I'm sitting here right now typing this post with tears in my eyes and some sneaking down my face. I am so, so sad. Last night, 4 young men died as the result of a EF-3 tornado that stuck their Boy Scout camp, in Iowa. The camp is called, "The Little Sioux Boy Scout Camp. It is located about 30 miles to the northeast of Omaha. It is a place where my two sons, both Eagle Scouts, spent many, many nights with their father, friends and scout leaders, learning what it meant to be a Boy Scout. Learning what it meant to be a man. This the place where the scouts loved the infamous "Suicide Mountain," which is actually just a big hill that was really fun to slide down after it rained.

This was scheduled as a week of leadership training. Adult and older teenage leaders were teaching about 95 thirteen, fourteen and fifteen year old boys who were interested in becoming leaders, either within the scout world, or just within the world.

This is part of a story from the Omaha World Herald.
Boy Scout Ethan Hession wasn't scared until the windows shattered.
Sirens had blared. Lights in the cabin had blinked out.
The scoutmaster had burst in and yelled, "Everybody under the tables!"
Within seconds, Hession heard the sound of smashing glass and the deafening locomotive roar that means tornado. He felt glass rain down on his shoulders and back.
The 13-year-old crouched in a corner of a cabin at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch, elbows pressed against the concrete floor, hands covering his face. About 50 or so other members of the "Red Team" did the same.
Hession tried to close his eyes.
Something struck his head.
He felt his body lifted up, as if he were flying. He looked up, through a blinding white mist, and saw that the cabin's roof was gone.
"God help us!" yelled the boy next to Hession.
Then it was over. As quickly as it had come.
The tornado that ripped through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch showed the boys and their leaders, who have spent their young lives learning about the outdoors, just how fierce Mother Nature can be.
Earlier in the week, before the tornado drilled the camp, the Scouts drilled on what to do before, during and after a tornado.
So Wednesday night, when the clouds had parted and the chaos had passed, the Scouts took count of each other, just as they had practiced.
Forty-two people were hurt, most of them in the north cabin where Hession cowered.
Four Scouts died.
Lying under a table in that building, Zach Jessen, a 14-year-old leader of one of the eight-member patrols, said he "prayed and prayed" that everyone would survive.
Minutes later, he stood amid the rubble and took count of his patrol. Everyone was accounted for — except for one — a shy, 13-year-old from Omaha.
Scouts and Scout leaders were performing CPR, but to no avail.

There are dozens of stories of heroism. Scouts performed CPR on their friends. They "triaged" the survivors so that when the "official" emergency responders arrived, they had little to do in terms of preparation.

There are also dozens of stories of boys, realizing they had survived began praying fervently for the families of the boys who were killed. Because, as one boy put it, "This is going to be very hard on them."

What an evening....heroes were made and angels were lost....

Thanks for reading.

My "Baby" Came Home for a Visit!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Chris had a few days off from work, so he decided to drive home from Chicago for a visit. He brought along his little buddy, Deeoji! Deeoji (D-O-G...get it?) is a 5 month old American Bulldog. He is absolutely adorable!

I would like to tell you that Asa and Haver loved Deeoji and treated him like a brother. But, they treated him more like a uninvited quest which, I guess to them, is exactly what he was.

We did have a few moments of sweetness.

It was wonderful having a chance to spend some time with Chris. I really, really miss having him around. But, he is happy in Chicago and Chicago is a great place for him to live.

Chris was planning on leaving Sunday morning. Nick was going to meet us for breakfast and then Chris and Deeoji were going to hit the road. I went downstairs to let the "3 Amigo's" out and was surprised to see that Deeoji didn't want to get out of his kennel. I figured that he was his owner's dog and just wanted to sleep in. So, I let him. Then, when I went back down after my shower, he still didn't want to get up. Rod tried to drag him out of the kennel and Deeoji just yelped! His right front paw was extremely swollen! Rod didn't think it was infected or broken but Deeoji was certainly in a lot of pain. I called our vet to find out they don't take emergency calls anymore. So, I called the place they recommended. They could see the pup in an hour. While we were waiting to go, Nick showed up. He came to the same conclusions as Rod. We decided that there was not going to be any "good-by breakfast," so Nick went home so he could get caught up on his sleep and Rod, Chris and I took Deeoji to the emergency vet office.
After a weighing him, (50 pounds, which means that Haver has to easily weigh over 100lbs!)muzzling him (the not-so-bright vet tech decided to yank on his foot) and taking very expensive x-rays, the vet came to the same conclusion as Rod and Nick...Deeoji just twisted his foot. It probably happened while he was frolicking around the yard, running for his life, or maybe trying to get out of the kennel during the middle of the night thunderstorm. After they put a splint on his little leg, Chris headed off to Chicago. He made record time since Deeoji was drugged up and he didn't need to make puppy pit-stops.

OK, that's it for now.

Thank you so very much for reading.

Busy, busy, busy!

Sunday, June 8, 2008
I have so many things to share that I'm almost overwhelmed as to where to start! Maybe I'll start with this morning and then move backwards over the last few days.

This morning, at 2:30 a.m. a tornado hit Omaha. We had some very strong wind gusts and lost a couple of trees.

Chris arrived home around 2:25 a.m. (I'll tell you in a later blog about Chris coming home.) I had just woken up to loud winds, rain and hail. (I absolutely HATE storms! I have been known to become a complete basket case when there's even a hint of a storm. I had to really perfect the art of "faking being tough" when we would have storms and/or tornado warnings when I taught.) While Chris was telling me what it was like outside, the tornado siren went off! I woke up Rod and told him we needed to get to the basement. He said,"No, it's fine." (he doesn't remember telling me this!) Chris said that it all looked like it had already passed us, so he didn't want to go to the basement. I decided that I didn't want to go to the basement and be the only one to survive if the house was going to be destroyed by a tornado! Well, as you can tell, we didn't get hit by a tornado. But, we did lose electricity either 2 or 3 times, I'm not sure. For those of you that don't know, we live just outside the Omaha city limits, on a 20 + acreage. When I was "blessed" with being told that I needed to be on oxygen 24/7, Rod checked into getting a whole-house generator. This is the 2nd time that we've needed it. (The first time was when a bird fried itself on a transformer.) It was wonderful not to have to worry about having my backup tank and/or Inogen concentrator all ready to go. All in all, it could have been way worse. In fact, it was way worse for quite a few families in the area.

Thank you so much for reading.

Good News!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I had an exercise echo done yesterday at UNMC. My pulmonary artery pressures have dropped 10 points from where they were last year. The last exercise echo was done last April, before we discovered that I had Addison's. Anyway, my pressures at rest are 40 and they go up to 60 with exercise. Normal pulmonary artery pressures are around 14. Last year, in April the numbers were 50 at rest and 70 with exercise.

Anyway, it's good news and I thought I would share it.

Thanks for reading.

A Few of My Favorite Things...

Sunday, June 1, 2008
My beloved husband drooling over a John Deere Tractor catalogue....

Asa after taking a dip in the mud puddle.....

The mud puddle.....

Haver laughing at him for getting muddy again.....

My new pair of Keds....

And now a commercial!

We still have a few specially commissioned, limited edition Peggy Karr Pulmonary Hypertension plates. Under the sticker is the word "HOPE." They are only $55.00 each. Please let me know if you are interested. For those phriends that are coming to the conference in Houston, I'll be happy to bring your plate with me.

Thanks for reading.