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Happy Monday!

Monday, March 29, 2010
It is so beautiful in Omaha today! The sun is shining AND the temperatures are are in the 60's!! Life is good!

Life is good, but, the stupid bug is still hiding somewhere in my body. I decided last night that I was going to have to just do my best to ignore it. I mean, for crying out loud...I've been fighting one kind of bug or another for over 2 months. I'll go several days without a fever and then...WHAM! It hits again. So, that's it. I'm going to ignore it as much as possible. Sticking my head in the sand is a skill I'm sure I can master without much trouble.

It has been kind of busy and lots of fun around the Markin household the last couple of weeks!

On Wednesday, March 24th, Rod and I went to the traveling Cirque De Soleil show, "Alegria!" What an incredible show! Rod saw the Cirque De Soleil show, "The Beatles" when he was in Las Vegas for a meeting. When he heard that the traveling troupe was coming to Omaha, he convinced me that we needed to go. I'm so glad that we went! If you've not been to one of these shows, I think the easiest way to explain it is to simple call it a circus on steroids!

The local paper included this guy in a story about the show, calling him "An Adonis!" I think that sums it up pretty well!

What can I say...this guy is HOT!!

These girls sometimes looked like they removed their heads, replacing them on various parts of their bodies! It was a bit creepy!

When buying our tickets, I noticed the handicap symbol under the "ticket choices" section. I had no idea that it was possible to request special seating! It worked perfectly! We were able to park (for free!) in the parking garage attached to the Qwest Center where the show was being held. That parking spot opened directly to the floor where our seats were located, making it a very short walk. I told Rod that if we could get seats and parking situations like that all of the time, I'd be more than happy to go to more shows!

On Friday night we went out to dinner with Kara's parents! They are such wonderful people. We ALL hit the jackpot when Nick and Kara fell in love!

On Saturday I had lunch with a bunch of girlfriends from high school! Three of us live in Lincoln, two of us live in Omaha and one of "the girls" lives in Wisconsin. Debbie (from Wisconsin) was in town for the weekend, which gave the 6 of us a chance to get together and catch up!

Before I finish this post, I wanted to quickly give you an "opinion" on the two books that I didn't get a chance to discuss in the last post.

"Left to Tell" is a story of courage and faith. It is one that will leave you breathless with sadness, but also filled with hope when you witness the power of one woman's love of God. This book was written by Immaculee Ilibagiza, who is a survivor of the Rwandan Holocaust.

I will tell you that this was a tough book to read. But, the hope, faith and love of God that Immaculee embodies, balances the horror she experienced.
I would recommend this book...8 puppy paws up!

"The Last Surgeon" is Michael Palmer's latest medical suspense novels.. and it is a very, very good read! It has enough twists and turns to keep you interested, but not too long so you can read it in just a couple of weeks.

Once again, 8 puppy paws up!!

As you can see, I started this post yesterday (on Monday the 29th...it's now Tuesday the 30th)! I think I'm going to end things now and get this published before another dog needs attention or another nap successfully calls my name!!

Thanks for checking in!
Thanks for reading.

Please read the following sentence with serious sarcasm...

Sunday, March 21, 2010
My dear, beloved husband, Rod, thank you so very, very much for giving me your miserable cold. I was just starting to feel good and I was beginning to feel that I was just about recovered from the 8 week sinus bug. But, now, thanks to your generosity, I won't have to worry about where to put that large bottle of Tylenol. Thank you. I love you.

If you know me, you know that I'm not really grumpy at Rod or am blaming him for "giving" me this cold. Honestly, I'm not even worried about it. Rod and I think there's something in the Flolan that helps me fight cold bugs pretty easily. So, I'm sure I will have this bug kicked very soon.

In the meantime, it warmed up to 45 degrees here in Omaha today. To celebrate I went outside with the "boys" and grabbed a couple of pictures of them.

Haver is showing off his "svelte" winter body. Notice the lovely shape he's in after a Nebraska winter of eating and sleeping. (And, no, I'm not going to take and show a picture of MY lovely winter body!)

Asa, on the other hand, didn't develop quite the same "lovely" body as his brother this winter. My guess is, being chased and chewed on by his big bully brother burns a few more calories.

Haver absolutely LOVES this toy! He wanted to bring it inside last week, but, it was covered in horse manure and I really wasn't interested in having that particular scent looming in the house! As you can tell, it's quite clean now. I don't even want to think about what he did to clean it off!! (lick...lick...lick....)

I tried to get another picture of Asa, but he was too wound up to stay put long enough for me to get another shot of him. Oh, to be a dog and have so many smells to smell after a long winter!

OK, time for Tylenol.

Thanks for checking in.
Thanks for reading.

It is snowing again!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010
Tomorrow is the first day of spring and today we are under a "Winter Weather Advisory" with a 3 inch snowfall predicted to fall tonight. I know, three inches doesn't sound like much. But, when we had 88 consecutive days of 1 inch or more of snow on the ground and just finished two full weeks without the sun, it's just about enough to make a person grumpy!!

My poor, dear, sweet husband is fighting off a tough cold, so there will be no "date night" tonight. We almost always go to the movies on Friday nights. But, we had a better offer for tonight that I actually had to turn down because of Rod's bug! Kara's parents invited Rod and I to dinner tonight. We were bummed in not being able to go out with this fabulous couple. But, if they could see how miserable Rod is feeling, they'd be thanking us for not infecting them!

When I had lunch with "Aunt Patsy" she told me about a book that she recently finished. She really liked it and I was surprised to find out it was one that I had "reviewed" here on this blog! It dawned on me that I haven't given a book review on this blog for a while. So, since there is no movie and/or very exciting "date night" to share with you, I'll share a couple of "good reads" instead!

"Saving Graces" was a book I read for one of my book groups. This is a perfect example of a book I wouldn't normally pick up to read. But, because of the book group, I was introduced to a great author and had an opportunity to read a fabulous book!

This story is about the lives of 4 friends who have so little in common. They are different ages, come from different backgrounds and are living very different lives. But, like many true friendships, the differences don't really matter. The women call themselves "The Saving Graces" after a mutt of a dog that they accidentally hit with their car and then later rescued. I'm afraid of telling too much of the story, so I'm going to stop with that and just tell you that I HIGHLY recommend this book about 4 strong women and their amazing bond!
8 puppy paws up!

"Cutting for Stone" was an incredible (and very long, but very worthwhile read) book that came to me via the US mail!

During one of our cruises, Rod and I met some wonderful, wonderful people from California. We all hit it off, feeling like we were life-long friends! Barbara, like me, is an avid reader. She fell in love with this book and thought I'd really like it also. Boy oh boy, was she ever correct! This is another book that I would have never EVER picked up to read. First, I would have been put off by the size of the book...it is really long, but, really worth the time. I also would not have been too keen on the book because the title made no sense!
Let me tell you a little bit about this book, so maybe you can understand why this big book with a strange title struck a chord with a woman in California and a woman in Nebraska!
The book is set in Ethiopia and tells the story of twin brothers born to an Indian nun and fathered by a British surgeon. A large part of the story takes place in the mission hospital where the nun, surgeon and many other "interesting characters" live. All of their lives are disrupted as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. It is so difficult to give a decent summary of a book that includes, love, loss, war, politics, medicine and even autism! You really need to carve some time out of your busy life and read this book.
Definitely, 8 puppy paws up!!!

Well, CRAP!!! It's getting close to 9:00 which means I need to mix my Flolan. I still have two other books I want to tell you about. I think instead of saving this post so I can include two more book reviews, I will just go ahead and share this much tonight. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get my butt in gear and let you know about "Left to Tell" and "The Last Surgeon."

It has taken me a while to type this post tonight because I took a break about half-way through the post. Since Rod isn't feeling well, I decided to be the "VERY WONDERFUL WIFE" and drive up to Dairy Queen to get my poor husband a Blizzard. We all know that all ills can be healed by a Blizzard!! And, yes, while I was there, I got one for myself...yum.....

Thanks for checking in.
Thanks for reading.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I need to get my rear end into the kitchen and mix my Flolan. But, I realized I hadn't posted for a couple of days and I decided to plop down on my "nest" (that's what Rod calls my spot in the family room...comfy couch, remote control, knitting and computer and a bottle of H2O!)and send a quick note. Three semi-big things over the last couple of days...
1. I got my hair cut yesterday!

I haven't had my hair cut since Nick and Kara's wedding (which was in August), so you can imagine how much I looked like Asa and Haver!

2. I had lunch today with a wonderful friend named Pat (I LOVE to call her Aunt Patsy...just to drive her nuts!).

3. I have not had a fever in TWO days!! ( I did have a slight one on Monday...crap!)
I have two days of antibiotics left. I think I'm going to call the doctor tomorrow and see if I can get one more week's worth. I really, really, really think I've just about kicked this stupid virus! (But keep your fingers crossed and send a little prayer that I don't get my beloved husband's cold that he came down with this weekend. Poor guy...)

I know, it's not very exciting, but, Patsy (I love you Aunt Patsy! :)) made me promise that I would do a better job of posting, so here I am.

It actually got up to 50 degrees today AND....THE SUN SHOWED IT'S BEAUTIFUL FACE!! This was the first time we've had the sun in over two weeks! Tomorrow is suppose to be 60 and sunny! I'm so excited to sit outside and play with my pups!!

Anyway, that's it.

Thanks for checking in.
Thanks for reading.


I LOVE the antibiotic, CEFTIN!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010
I went to an excellent Family Practice doctor last week. After more tests, he decided to put me on the antibiotic, Ceftin! I have now gone three consecutive days without even a HINT of a fever!! Yahoo!!

Haver felt he needed to give me a congratulatory smooch!

I decided to buy myself some daffodils to celebrate!!

That's it for today. I think I'm back in the game!!

Thanks for checking in.
Thanks for reading.


Random Thoughts

Monday, March 8, 2010
I'm really glad that I recorded the "good day" last
Friday because I haven't really had another one since. I'm not whining, I'm just observing. One of the most frustrating aspects of being diagnosed with a disease like Pulmonary Hypertension, is that many times the symptoms are very subjective...based a lot on how you feel, but are not things that you can actually document. Sure, several of the symptoms are easy to document, like low oxygen levels, rapid heart rate, elevated pulmonary pressures (of course, that can only be done in a medical setting), etc. But, there aren't machines or tools that can document how tired you feel, when you're light-headed, when you have achy muscles or even feeling short of breath. The lack of tools to document these feelings/symptoms have left many of us without a diagnosis and sometimes, even accusations of being depressed or "faking it." Unfortunately many people with PH were delayed in getting a diagnosis and treatment, sometimes for YEARS because of these subjective symptoms.

When I was diagnosed, I discovered the fabulous Pulmonary Hypertension Association and their website, http:///www.phassociation.org where I actually found other people who were feeling like me and going through the same frustrations. It was life changing to have these subjective symptoms validated by others, people just like me!

Even though I've been doing the "PH Dance" for over 5 years, I still forget that when I feel like crap, I actually do feel like crap and am not making it up, feeling sorry for myself or milking the situation for attention or sympathy.

So, when I decided to post about my "good day" I was actually helping me deal with the "not so good days" and remember that it's not me, it's the disease...
I'm not sure this is going to make any sense to you, my dear reader, but, to quote the infamous Dr. Rod Markin,

"It is what it is."

Given all of that, I have now decided that my favorite part of the day is bedtime. Yes, it's partly due to the actually "getting to go to sleep time." But, for me, it's really about finally losing the pressure of feeling like I need to push myself to feel better so I can actually get something done. When it's the end of the day, all expectations for getting anything else done for the day are gone....pressures off.

"Hello Father God. I love you so much. Thank you for giving me "bedtime" so I can rest, recharge for tomorrow and have the pressure of feeling that I have to accomplish something today taken off my shoulders for the night. Thank you also for always giving me hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

Thank you so much for checking in.
Thank for so much for reading.
Thank you so much for your hope and prayers for all of us to have a good day tomorrow.

A quick post...

Friday, March 5, 2010
I wanted to share the fact that today, I actually had a "good day!" Now, I know that doesn't sound like a newsworthy piece of information. But, given how crappy I've felt off and on during this last month, I just wanted to write this down to remember that I actually had a good day! I'm planning on having a lot more good days. But, I need to have this recorded in black and white so when I have another "bad day" I'll know that all is not lost and that I will many more "good days!" So here is why today was a GOOD DAY! I went all day without a fever, I went all day without a nose bleed and I went all day and only needed a 20 minute nap instead of a 2 hour nap! I also got out of the house and did a couple of errands. Rod and I went to a movie tonight and I came home with enough energy to mix my own meds. And, when it was time to go to bed I was able to change into my pajamas without experiencing significant pain and with enough energy to do the job without having to take a rest from the beginning and end.

There was one bleak spot though' today. I bought my signature REECES PEANUT BUTTER CUP BLIZZARD and it didn't taste good....what a cruel, cruel experience. I'll have to try again soon...I wont' that little blip interfere with my "required medical treatment!"

Alright, it's way past my bedtime.
Thanks for reading.

Hello again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010
I don't really have a lot to share tonight, at least anything very exciting. Plus, I'm really tired, achy and feeling a bit lazy. So, I thought I'd show you a couple pictures of "the boys" that I took today.

Asa is saying, "I love you, Mom!"

This is Haver's favorite toy!

Look how far these guys have come! They are actually playing together!!

Nothing to worry about! They're still playing! See how Asa's holding onto the ball?

See? Here's proof, Asa is perfectly happy and doing a nice job of posing for the camera!

OK, I am really calling it quits for tonight.

Thanks for checking in.
Thanks for hanging in with me.
Thanks for reading.


Hello. I know you may not remember me, but my name is Annette Markin...

Monday, March 1, 2010
I am an old woman who lives in Omaha, NE. I have been fighting a sinus infection/bug for a little over a month now. I've been waiting to get the results of a CT scan of my sinuses and "sample" from my nasal passageway. (That is close to the most disgusting thing I have ever written!) Well, I just got off the phone with the doctor and I've decided to officially change my name to FRUSTRATED!! I know I should be happy with the results of, "Clear CT scan" and "No bacteria growth in sample." I should also be happy with, "There is no reason to put you on antibiotics, especially since it will really mess with your coumadin." It's just that the following phrase put my very patient, mild-mannered personality into a tailspin..."It's just a virus..." How many of you have put up with some kind of a bug, hoping for some medicine to make it go away, but get smacked with the words, "It's a virus" and know the bug has won and will stay as long as it wants to? I've tried to behave, eating healthy, going to bed early, drinking lots of fluids. But, "Mrs. Doormat" is gone!! I'm off to the Dairy Queen to get a LARGE BLIZZARD!!!

Thanks for checking in.
Thanks for reading.
I'm back and I'm eating ice cream!