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Movie Time!!

Monday, March 30, 2009
The day is Easter of 1986. Nick is 4 1/2 and Chris is 2 1/2. Rod, Nick, Chris and myself are at Rod's Mom and Dad's house in Lincoln celebrating Easter.
Nick is scheduled to go into the hospital the next day because of a bone disease called, "Legg Perthes." But, that's another story for another day. The point is we bought a new mini-van to make things easier for Nick and the leg braces he would be living with for the next two years. A couple of family members took the new car for a drive. What you see is Chris' response to realizing that somebody took "his new car" for a ride without him!

You need to play it again. This time see if you can decide if Chris is actually saying, "That's my new car! Damn it! My car! Ouch! You get out Grandma! Right now! Get out!"

So, do you think we could win some money on "American's Funniest Home Videos?"

Thanks for reading.


Saturday night and being anti-social....

Saturday, March 28, 2009
Rod and I had a very cool dinner that we were suppose to go to last night. But, I didn't feel good enough to go and Rod didn't feel comfortable leaving me alone. So, we both stayed home and stared at the television. We are exciting people! The dinner was associated with a faith-based movement here in Omaha, called "The Tri-Faith Initiative."

"The Tri-Faith Initiative is a partnership of the three Abrahamic faith groups — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. A remarkable project is taking place in Omaha, Nebraska. Temple Israel, The Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, and the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture have come together, planning to build a joint campus which will house a mosque, a temple and a church plus a shared facility on a large campus. This is the only undertaking of its kind we know of in the world."

Last night's gathering was called "Dinner in Abraham's Tent." I'm really sorry we missed it. If you are interested in learning more about "Tri-Fath" go to: http://trifaith.org/wordpress

Tonight we have another dinner. This time it's a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House. I was nervous about going and getting hugs. I have three very sore spots (where the old tube came out, where they inserted the new tube in through my neck and where it comes out of my chest) and was also unsure of getting through a 2-3 hours of socializing. But, since I'm feeling significantly better :) Rod decided to go and take Nick with him. Kara is busy all weekend with a conference and Nick was more than happy to spend a little time with his Dad.

So, here I am watching "Wheel of Fortune" on a Saturday night. The dogs are both outside, so I'm having a very nice time.

By the way, I bought "the boys" some new, large and tough doggy beds.

Please notice how close they are and the absence of blood in the photo!
Shortly after we unpacked the 2nd doggy bed, Asa started his "growling like the possessed girl that spit out the pea soup" and wandered off to be by himself.. That was just fine with Haver!

Thanks for reading.

I'm home

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Things went fine. I got to come home! I'm pooped and on drugs. Yeah! Thanks for all of your prayers and well wishes. I'll catch up with you later.

Thanks for rreading.


Just a quick hello!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I really enjoyed working at Norris elementary today! The kids are getting ready for a big reading test for next week. I'm starting to make some connections with a couple of these kids. They are so adorable and with the exception of one or two here and there, they're very polite and very excited to learn how to read.
I ran a couple of errands and headed home to hold my cleaning lady's little baby. She is absolutely adorable!
After they finished, the "boys" and I took a good, long nap.
I made meatloaf for dinner (yes, you read that correctly, I actually cooked!) made a couple of phone calls, played with the dogs until Rod got home.
While he was at his work-out I fielded quite a few phone calls from friends wishing me good luck for the central line surgery tomorrow. I even had a sweetheart of a friend call and pray with me over the phone. She so touched my heart when she prayed that "I would feel God's presence with me before, during and after the procedure." It really hit me that it is my responsibility to feel God's presence, since he's always with us. I plan on having several conversations with him tomorrow.
Well, I'm off to bed. I've got to get up early, shower with this special soap, pack a bag (just in case I'd have to stay ovenight, which is not the plan) and head on down to the hospital.

Thanks to you all for your well wishes and prayers.
Thanks also, for reading.
much love

A Fun Saturday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009
The weather was beautiful in Omaha on Saturday! As most wonderful days, this one seemed to revolve around food!
Rod and I started off the day by going out to breakfast at Village Inn.
I finished breakfast in time to meet my sister Kathleen At Cherio's in Ashland, NE which is only about a 20-25 minute drive for both me from Omaha and Kathleen from Lincoln. While at lunch, a couple came into the restaurant who looked very familiar to me. I couldn't figure out who they were and they looked at me a couple of times with that same, "Do I know you?" look. When I returned from the restroom, they had figured it out. I was their son's first grade teacher! Their son is now 14 years old!! It was so nice catching up! They even called him on their cell phone so I could talk to him! It was such a treat! I told Kathleen after we left that I "really needed that!" I've been draggy and a bit down about having to have surgery on Wednesday and talking with a fabulous former student and his great parents was "just what the doctor ordered!"
After doing a little "retail therapy" in Ashland, I headed home and took a nice, long nap. Then I had to get cleaned up for a fundraiser dinner that we had been invited to attend.
The fundraiser was for a very great cause! The Stephen's Center is an organization that helps homeless individuals and families and also those with addictions. While checking out the numerous silent auction items, I had a young woman come up to me and say, "Excuse me. Are you Mrs. Markin? Did you used to teach at Black Elk?" Yup! You guessed it! I had taught her daughter in first grade and she was in the same class as the young man whose parents I saw in Ashland! This mom then grabbed some other women and pretty soon there were 4 mothers (and some fathers) of former first graders all standing around and visiting telling me all about how "my little first graders" were doing! Most of them were now in high school!
I can't even begin to explain how much it meant to be able to connect with all of these families on Saturday. Teaching was my life for 27 years. I've been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension for 4 1/2 years. It recharged my batteries to be reminded that I have not always been "sick." It was nice to remember when I was more than a woman with tubing coming out of my nose and out of my chest.

Thanks for reading.

p.s. I must publicly apologize to Haver. It would appear that I wrongly accused him of pooping in the basement. When we got home from the fundraiser on Saturday night, I went downstairs to visit with Shirley, our house guest. Asa came downstairs with me. He was all cuddly, putting up his paws to "shake hands," jumping up on her bed looking cute....
he jumped off the bed, walked out to the scene of the "poop crime" and peed like a racehorse...
Sorry Haver. He got an extra treat last night (I know, he already weighs about 140 pounds!)since he was wrongly accused of "making a statement" the night before.

Crap...it's been a long couple of days...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I woke up yesterday morning, earlier than normal, and noticed that my pajama top was very wet. That's not a good thing when you have a central line. I checked the line and actually saw the clear Flolan dripping from the clave (a little piece of plastic that connects the Flolan medicine to the central line that comes out of my chest). It wasn't a fast stream of fluid, it was just dripping. About every 5 pump cycles a couple of drops would come out. I've copied an image I found of a double-lumen Hickman catheter that is almost identical to the one that I have. Please note: this is NOT my chest! Contrary to popular opinion, I do NOT have a hairy chest!)

The liquid (Flolan) was dripping out from the clear thing (mine is blue) that is attached to the light blue piece on the above picture. So, I did some troubleshooting. The first thing I did was switch out the clave (mine is blue, the one in the picture is clear), but it kept leaking. So then I switched out the extension tubing that attaches the cassette of medicine to the Hickman catheter. But, it kept leaking. So, I figured that was it, I was going to need to go to the hospital. I hopped in the shower since experience has taught me that I wouldn't be getting any "star" treatment in the hospital. Anyway, after I took my shower, I had to switch out the dressing that I have to keep on the central line site. I noticed that the line was still doing this slow drip. So, I got dressed and headed downstairs. I kept checking the line and was very surprised to discover that it was no longer leaking! I have no idea why it stopped, but it did. After about 20 minutes of "non-leaking" I got hit with a huge blast of Flolan side-effects. It was pretty obvious then that I hadn't been getting my full dose of Flolan for several hours. I think the only reason I wasn't feeling very badly was because I was on a bit of adrenalyne rush from worrying about what was going on and the possibility of having to go to the hospital.
I called the nurse at Accredo, the company that I get all of my Flolan medicine from. I asked her if she had any ideas. There had been a leak, but I couldn't see anything wrong with the line. I told her about switching out the clave and the extension tubing. She suggested I take the clave off and look at the little piece of plastic where you screw the clave onto the Hickman line. I did and sure enough, there were two big cracks! That would explain the slow leak, it was positional. I checked the other line and there is a similar crack, but significantly smaller. I called my doctor and he said to come on down to his office at the hospital. I also called Nick to tell him what was going on (during all of this, Rod was on a flight from China). Nick told me to switch out the pumps and put in my back up medicine on the line with the smaller crack so that I would get a more steady flow of medicine. I packed a bag, assuming I was going to have to be admitted and I drove down to the med center. I saw my doctor, his PA and his PH nurse. It was decided that I needed to get a new line. But, it was not considered an emergency since the second line had such a small crack and it wasn't leaking. He told me that since I have been able to keep the same line for 4 1/2 years he felt confident that I would be able to keep things clean until my surgeon could fit me into her schedule. He told me to stay alert for any sign of infection and to make sure the second line isn't leaking.

So, next Wednesday, I'm going to the hospital and have surgery to get another line put in. Everyone has told me that I should be really proud that I kept the same line for 4 1/2 years, with no infections, no problems. It just doesn't feel like something to celebrate. Yahoo! I get to go to the hospital and have surgery! Yahoo!

Oh, and the smoke alarm went off several times last night and twice today. A couple of the alarms are broken. We had a technician come to the house today...he's coming back tomorrow.

Oh, and Haver is mad about something because he pooped in the basement...


Thanks for reading.

p.s. Please don't pity me or feel sorry for me. Contrary to the tone of this posting, I'm in a good mood and I feel tons better. Having Chris home this weekend, having Nick around to help me out and FINALLY having my dear sweet husband home from China is probably having a very positive influence on my mood.

OH, AND I went to school today and worked with the first graders. I wore green so they wouldn't pinch me! Happy St. Patrick's Day.


Sunday, March 15, 2009
This is Easter, 1986. Chris was 2 1/2 and Nick was 4 1/2. The lady in the video is (was) Rod's Mom. Thanks to Nick, Chris and my phriend Colleen for helping me figure this out!! YAHOO!!!
(It's a little off center, I can't quite figure out why. But, I'll work on that.)

It's 10:30 p.m. and I'm waiting for a call from China...

Friday, March 13, 2009
Rod is in Fuzhou, China speaking on laboratory automation.

There is a 13 hour time difference so it is 11:30 Saturday morning where he is speaking. He has a lunch break that should be happening pretty soon. I may have to fall asleep and have his phone call wake me.

Chris flew home from Chicago tonight.

After I picked him up at the airport we met Nick and Kara

at Granite City. They have the best bar-b-que chicken flatbread pizza!

And, in a world where owners have to give their giant yellow labs Prozac so they don't attempt to kill each other, this is what we call "PROGRESS!"

Thanks for reading. Good night.

Just stopping by to say "hello!"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I actually tried all last night to get some video downloaded and, as you can tell, I got nowhere. But, Chris is coming home for the weekend and he said he'd try to help.
It's been a busy around here. Monday night I went to P.E.O. I just love this group of women! They are so inspirational and caring. Plus, they have really good snacks at their meetings!! :)

Tuesday I went to Norris to volunteer. Unfortunately, the two first grade teachers had an "out of classroom" work day and didn't have anything prepared for me to work on with the kids. I hung out and tried to do a couple of things with some of the kids, but it was really a waste of my time. So, I decided I needed to do something fun since I went to all of the trouble of getting dressed and getting my "crap" together that's necessary when I have to go anywhere. So, I went to the mall!! I haven't been to the mall in ages! It was like a ghost town! There were quite a few empty store fronts and very few shoppers. I couldn't find any good clothes on sale, but I did find a new book to read. It's called, "On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." I think it will be a good one.

We also have a house guest. A friend's Uncle (a farmer) had to come in from out of town to have a hip replacement. While he was in the hospital he developed a heart problem. He ended up staying a bit longer than expected in the hospital. Now he's in rehab, that happens to be located pretty close to our house. So, he wife is staying with us while he is going through rehab. It's been nice to have someone around because...

Rod is on his way to China! He'll be there until the beginning of next week. AND, Chris is coming home this weekend to "babysit" his Mom! It's going to be great! Nick might even be able to get away from work to have dinner with us over the weekend!

So, that's about it. Thanks for reading.

Yeah Baby!!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009
Many thanks to my phriend Sheila for helping me figure out how to put on a new background, a little deal that tells where people are visiting my blog from and how many have visited!! Yahoo!!! I feel so SMART now! At least I'm smart enough to ask the right person for help!!

Thanks for reading.


A Variety of Topics...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Book report #1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

I've been told that this was written for junior high and/or high school kids. As a previous elementary teacher, I have a few issues with certain "naughty" words in print and would probably be unhappy with my middle school or junior high school-aged child reading "The Book Thief." But, for all others, I would highly, highly recommend it! This is the story of a young German girl during the reign of Hitler. It is actually narrated by "Death." I know, it's sounding like a strange and depressing book, but, it's not. Yes, there are times when it's very sad, but there are also some very uplifting and humorous parts. It's a long book (about 600 pages) but, it's a pretty fast read. I would highly recommend you putting this on your list of books to read.

Book report #2." The Shack" by William Paul Young.

This is one of the "hot books" that is being read all around the country. It is a book about love, faith and loss. If you are on a spiritual journey, it will strengthen your resolve and understanding. There are some kind of odd parts to it, but, generally it's a very good book.

My phriend Cindy C., who I asked you to pray for because she was needing to look at a heart/lung transplant, just got out of the hospital for the third time in three months.

She had a pacemaker put in yesterday. My dear sweet phriend had to have this pacemaker surgically implanted with only local anesthetic. The docs did not want to put her completely under because of the pulmonary hypertension. She is one tough woman! She is now home and resting, thrilled to be out of the hospital!

Last topic: Mr. and Mr. Prozac. The last couple of days have been pretty rough in "doggy land." I don't know if it's the weather, or if they're moving into another adolescent stage, but they have been absolute WACK JOBS the last couple of days! Asa has taken to hanging out on the staircase landing. It's kind of like his own little perch. He can see anyone coming at him from any direction. Of course, he doesn't help himself much. For instance, in this picture you'll notice him laying on his brother's blanket, that he stole, right in front of him! Not so smart, not so smart!

Haver and his blanket in happier times...

Thanks for reading.