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Not much going on...

Thursday, September 25, 2008
It's been nice and quiet the last couple of days, except for me screwing up the puppy pecking order again! Haver is getting rather...well...FAT! And, Asa is looking quite thin next to him (although I'm betting that Asa is "normal" it's just that compared to Haver, he looks like he's starving). So, I decided to put Asa's food dish out in the kitchen where he could get to it more easily and wouldn't be "cornered" in the laundry room with Haver. Well, that worked really great for ONE DAY! Then, Haver started bullying Asa again, growling, staring, marching by slowly with his tail up and curved! What did I do? Well, of course, I felt bad for Asa, so I put Haver in the laundry room with his food and shut the door. Asa ate and was very happy. I opened the door when he was finished and Haver hadn't eaten a bite of his food, but he ran right to Asa's bowl and started his growling, staring, etc behavior. So now, for the last two days the two of them having been having little pissy puppy pecking order brawls! They were awake for quit a bit of last night, growling and barking at each other in their room (the laundry room)! And, today it's been more of the same. So, I decided to go back to putting both of their dishes in the laundry room and see if they can work it out. I realized that if Asa was able to jump up on a giant hay bale that he wasn't exactly starving!

It has been very quiet this afternoon. So, either #1. my putting their food back in the laundry room is working, or #2. they are just so stinking tired from fighting all night that they both needed some sleep! (I'm hoping for #1, but am a little worried that it might actually be #2!)

Skinny Asa:

See how scrawny he is? He looks so sad!

Haver is checking out his "lovely athletic body"in the mirror.

How can this sweet face turn into a bully?

I'm sorry...I'll try to be better....

Just don't take away my FOOD!!

Thanks for reading.

I can't believe I've been away from this blog for so long!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
For those of you that come to read this blog frequently, I'm so sorry that I've been a "slacker!"I can't believe how fast the days go by! We've been a bit busy since I wrote last Wednesday.

On Thursday I was treated to lunch by a friend from church. She brought some delicious sandwiches from Panera and some absolutely cool horse videos. Jane also has horses and she and her family do incredible shows and competitions! I also cut a much needed haircut in the afternoon.

On Friday I had lunch with my very good friend who I like to call "Aunt Patsy." Pat and I used to teach together. We started a "buddy program" that is now a normal part of the school's activities. Pat taught 5th grade while I taught 1st grade. We would get our kids together once or twice a month practicing academic and social skills. We had lots of fun and the kids really enjoyed the experience.

Also on Friday we had a party at our house. Rod graduated from med school 25 years ago and their reunion was this last weekend. We hosted the "social" on Friday night. No, I didn't cook, but I did decorate the greenhouse with some beautiful flowers. We had about 35 people and had a great time.

On Saturday, "The Periwinkles" met to work on our 3rd Annual Phenomenal Hope for a Cure fundraiser for pulmonary hypertension. It is going to be held on November 1st so we are starting to get into crunch time.

Also on Saturday we went to Fontenelle Forest for the dedication of "Tom's Tree House" in the new "Acorn Acres" section for children. Tom and his wife Gerry were friends of our for years. In fact I taught their oldest son when he was in third grade! Tom passed away last year and having this special area for kids was one of his dreams.

Also on Saturday we had an evening retirement party for a physician from the Med Center.

On Sunday we went to church and then had brunch with Nick. I also ran a couple of errands with Rod.

On Monday night I had my "Monday Night Bible Study." It was also the season premier of "CSI Miami!"

So, now it's Tuesday, late morning and I feel like I've run a marathon. Looking back over the last week I now understand that feeling and I think I might go take a nap!

Thanks for reading.


p.s. You are not going to believe this (or maybe you will). After I finished the last sentence I put my head down and actually fell asleep for 45 minutes! I guess I needed a nap!

Hello! Time for some puppy stories!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I think I forgot to mention that Asa and Haver turned a year old on August 29th! Only about one more year to go until I can stop calling them "puppies!"

This is their birthday picture. Haver is on the left with the red collar and Asa is on the right. You might notice Haver's nose. Evidently while we were on our cruise, he fought with a wasp and lost. Being like 3 year old, he keeps scraping off the scab, so his nose doesn't look a whole lot better two weeks later!

As many of you know, we have a couple of quarter horses named Doc and Dude. They are basically large, spoiled dogs! Every winter we get big round hay bales for them to eat. They were just delivered a couple of weeks ago. It's amazing how much fun a couple of two-legged and four-legged boys can have with big round bales of hay!

This is Chris (our youngest, 25, professional photographer) climbing/jumping to the top of the bale with Asa ad Haver watching.

Haver and I are on a shelf/2nd floor/storage area of the barn. Poor Haver couldn't get up on the hay bale. Asa, on the other hand, basically flew up there! He is such a HOPPER!! This picture shows Nick (our oldest, 27 (in 16 days), 2nd year surgery resident) LITERALLY stopping Asa from trying to jump from the hay bale to the shelf where Haver and I are standing!

Isn't Asa a cutie playing "King of the Hay Bale?" You might notice that he now also has a sore looking nose. We have no idea how he got this scrape. He has another one on his top lip. We're assuming it has something to do with being attacked by his brother while playing on the concrete driveway.....???

By the way, we went to our first (and last) doggy obedience class last Thursday. It was really not very helpful and I'm really not in any shape to try to train a 90 pound puppy while in class with his 100 pound brother and two other dogs.

Well, I think that's about it for today. I pray that my phriends (friends who also have pulmonary hypertension) in Houston will be able to get their lives back to some level of comfort very soon.

Thanks for reading.


Last post about the Baltics...

Sunday, September 14, 2008
Well, I think I'm doing significantly better at getting these posts about the Baltics out much quicker than I did with the posts about the Mediterranean. I'm not sure why, maybe I'm getting a bit more efficient in my old age.

Oslo, Norway
This was our last port of call and we were both tired, saturated with new experiences and ready to be home. So when hit the port at Oslo, we decided to go with the easiest tour possible. We took a bus tour around the town. Our first stop was their new opera house. It was recently finished (spring, 2008) and is quite a sight with a marble roof and walls that allows visitors the opportunity to walk up the side and onto the roof. Rod took the beautiful hike while I enjoyed watching.

Our second and last stop was at the site of the 1952 winter Olympics.

At 200 feet above ground the Holmenkollen Ski Jump is one of the world's highest jumps. We were told that we were lucky to be there to see this magnificent structure because it is going to be torn down to build a higher and more challenging jump. Rod practiced his form:

While I found a little friend.

I'm the one on the right.

Here's a better picture of my handsome husband:

While on the boat we gambled (Rod won $50 on the slot machines....I lost $50....even...), we read, we ate and we ate and we ate. I had dessert at least three times a day. If we got the munchies they even had room service! We had very nice table mates. This couple was from the Washington D.C. area.

And this couple was from Canada. This was their 29th cruise, all within the last 4 years!


is the LAST time I order fresh shrimp on a cruise ship!!

Thank you so much for reading.
I hope enjoyed "your" trip.
Have a fabulous evening.

Much love

Where were you 7 years ago?

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Seven years ago Rod and I took Nick to Manchester, England so he could do a year of college in Europe. We planned on taking Nick to college and get him all settled, spend a day or two visiting the area and then head on back home. Well, as luck would have it, Nick was able to get settled, get a bank account set-up, etc., in just a couple of days. So we decided to head back home a day early so we could get back to work and check on how Chris was doing with his first year at Northwest Missouri State College in Maryville, Missouri. So, we headed back to Omaha on September 11, 2001 on flight Delta 65. After a few hours into the flight the pilot announced that our plane was having mechanical problems and that we were going to make an unexpected landing in St. Johns, Newfoundland. Rod had his cell phone and started making phone calls to try to let Nick and Chris know what was going on (although,he wasn't suppose to, you know, cell phones interrupt flight communications, yah, yah, yah...). He started getting bits and pieces of information, just enough to let us know that it was unlikely that our plane was experiencing mechanical problems. His cell phone was running out of battery, so he asked a flight attendant if he could charge it up back in their work area. The flight attendants were trying to put on these tough professional faces, but they were obviously very worried. They had also only heard bits and pieces of what was actually happening. Rod told them that they could certainly use his phone to call their family members to let them know they were safe. They were very appreciative. We circled Newfoundland for five hours while the pilot drained the plane of all of the extra fuel (we later found out that a bomb threat had been called into our plane). After we landed in St. Johns we sat in the plane on the tarmac for 10 hours watching 20+ other planes land at this small terminal. We eventually were let off the plane and loaded on big buses. Because of the security threat and the fact that the officials had no idea if they had any "bad guys" on this flight, we were not allowed to take any of our luggage, any of our personal items, not even any of our medications, unless there was something small in our carry-on that we could stick in a purse. (Thank God I wasn't sick then. I don't know what would have happened.) So, we stuck Rod's phone and his charger into my purse and got on a giant bus with our fellow travel companions. We rode for about 30 minutes and were taken to the Mile One Centre, which is a huge auditorium used by their hockey team.

We still did not have a real idea of what had happened until we walked into the stadium. We had to go through different check-points, getting registered, getting free drinks and snacks and then we were led into this hockey auditorium. Like many sports stadiums, this one had numerous giant screen TV's and we saw for the first time what had happened and what was going on back home. It was so eerie seeing what was going on in our country, while we were stuck in a totally different country. We had Nick in England and Chris is Missouri and here we were in Newfoundland. We had to stay at the Centre for a few hours until our flight was announced. We were loaded back into a bus and this time we were driven to the Salvation Army St. John's Temple, where we lived, sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags for a week.

Due to the bomb threats and the overall situation, all of the planes that landed on the island had to dump their extra fuel. We had to all wait until fuel could be delivered, via boats, and then we had to wait our turn to leave. It took us a full week before we were back in the air, heading for home. This is actually a photo taken from our return flight as we flew over New York, one week after the attack. Notice how it's still smoking.

I love our country. I love being an American. God bless America and all of it's people.

Thanks for reading.

Sweden and Denmark

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The next stop on "our" tour is Stockholm, Sweden. We decided to do a little panoramic touring and some SHOPPING in Stockholm. So, unfortunately the only pictures I have are of the downtown area. :) (We all have to take the good with the bad...)

Our next stop was Copenhagen, Denmark. This was one of the most beautiful stops on our trip. Copenhagen is the home of Hans Christian Andersen who wrote numerous stories including "The Little Mermaid."

The "real" story of The Little Mermaid is quite a bit different than the Disney version. I don't remember all of the details but I know it involved a secret potion that feels like a knife and feelings of walking on glass with every step. She also "doesn't get the man" in the "real" story. I'm so glad that Disney "lightened" it up!

This is an interesting statue. It is called the Gefion fountain. As the myth goes, the goddess Gefion was promised as much land as she could plow in a single night. She turned her four sons into oxen and ploughed out a chunk of Sweden and tossed it into the sea, creating the Danish island of Zealand, on which Copenhagen resides.

I think Rod looks so cute in this picture! He's standing in front of a homemade armored truck. Have I mentioned how much I love living in America?

Another very cool area if Copenhagen is the Tivoli Gardens. It opened in 1843. It kind of like a combination of a scaled-down version of Worlds of Fun and the Lauritzen Gardens. In the middle of this beautiful place, there was a stage where small ballet shows were performed. The queen picks on of Hans Christian Andersen's stories than makes up a ballet to tell the story.

OK, one more thing to show you from Copenhagen. Can you tell what it is?

It's a thermometer! Supposedly when it's raining, the little girl statue comes out with an umbrella and when it's sunny, she comes out on a bicycle.

You can see we were blessed with great weather!

Thanks for reading.


It was a nice weekend...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Nice wedding...nice visit with Chris....isn't he handsome?

It's his birthday today! My "baby" is 25 years old!
I've been very lazy today....I have a d%#* cold sore which means I'm fighting yet another virus! ARG!! I'm not taking another trip for a very long time. But, I DID drag my lazy butt to the clinic to get my blood drawn...I've got to get my INR checked, I seem to be bleeding and bruising pretty easily. So, to reward myself for getting my butt out of the house and doing the "right" thing by getting my blood drawn, I stopped at Dairy Queen and got myself a MEDIUM Blizzard! I KNOW that will get rid of that nasty cold sore! I'll feel better tomorrow and post some more pictures from the trip and write something much more exciting. But, my "baby" is quite a handsome birthday boy, isn't he?

Thanks for reading.

Hello again.

Saturday, September 6, 2008
I thought I'd share a a few more vacation pics.

St. Petersburg
This is just a small part of "Catherine the Great's" palace. The palace is over 1,060 feet long. It was lavish and some called "obscene"due to the amount of gold, marble and silk that was used in the construction and decorating. It was built in 1717, rebuilt, added onto, etc. Most of it was destroyed during WWII with the government spending millions and millions to restore it to it's original beauty.

We also went the The Hermitage. The Hermitage started with collections by Peter the great and Catherine the Great. There are more than 3 million pieces of art in the collection.

The Church of the Savior on Blood is a beautiful church built on the site of the murder of Alexander II. It was destroyed during the Russian Revolution, rebuilt and then used to store vegetables during WWII.

Helsinki, Finland
Some of the highlights included this beautiful church is built inside a massive block of granite.

Well, that's it for today. Chris is in town this weekend. He's in a friend's wedding. I happened to teach this friend in first grade, so we've also been invited to the wedding. So, we're going to head out and enjoy a beautiful ceremony and hopefully some delicious wedding cake!!

Thanks for reading.

Hello, Hello, Hello!

Thursday, September 4, 2008
The doctor's appointment went well. The general consensus is that I really stressed out my body by going as far and as hard as I did. The exam showed no problems and I only did slightly worse on my 6 minute walk than I did last time. So, I just need to keep resting up and things should be back to "normal" in a few days. Yahoo!

OK, it's time to start sharing some trip photos.
I thought you might be interested in what it looks like when I had to switch out my Flolan medicine on the plane.

This is a picture of my handsome and goofy husband getting ready for the emergency drill we had to do on the boat before we could set sail.

This is me, attempting to get off to a good start of eating healthy foods while on the trip. I had a chocolate chip cookie after I finished off this banana....at least I tried!

Here is a picture of my handsome husband during our first dinner of the cruise in the lovely and food-filled dining room.

This is a picture of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Alexander Nevski in Tallinn, Estonia.

This is a view of the town of Tallinn from our cruise ship.

Well, Asa and Haver are driving me completely nuts so, I've got to take them outside for a bit. I hope you enjoy the pics. I'll try to post some more this afternoon.

Thanks for reading.


Whining, Complaining and Explaining

Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I know it's been a while since I've posted. I've been resting up and recovering from the trip. It was a great trip and Rod and I are really glad that we went. But, it was a tough trip, physically. We were 9 time zones away, I got three different bugs, three different times and when we got home, I got another bug. I have my regular appointment with my PH doctor tomorrow. Rod and I are going to talk to him about the trouble I had, PH-wise. I'm thinking that between the PH, the Addison's disease, the time zones and the bugs I picked up I pretty much have an explanation for how badly I felt on the trip and how long it took me to "recover" when we got home.
So, if you don't mind, I think I'll post more tomorrow after I see the doctor. I should be able to also post a couple of pictures from the trip.

By the way, Asa wanted to make sure that I was not going away again. He made his point as I unpacked and started laundry.