Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kaye Check-up

I called to check on Kaye today. Pete said the toe is so much worse that he called the podiatrist again and he had Pete bring her right in. The podiatrist agreed, the toe is worse. He said he usually sees patients who have no feeling in their feet that causes the problems. He said her pain is coming from the toes screaming for oxygen she can no longer get. He said, though he couldn't say positively, he did not see the toes improving. Then he tried to explain why the vascular surgeon is waiting. After opening the stint, surgery would not be practical until your sure how far down the foot the oxygen is reaching. A surgery would have to include the part of the foot with oxygen reaching it, or else there will be no healing and your back to square one. So, Kaye remains in pain, in addition to experiencing the not quite with-it-ness that is always a result of anesthesia. It's a lot for Pete to manage. Lots of very hard decisions to be made. He really needs some serious prayer.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Out of Surgery

I finally got a message from my sister-five hours after the procedure was to have begun. As best I know now, the arm artery was blocked and a stint inserted which is believed will eliminate the fistula problem. There were two blockages in the right leg where the toes are affected. Only one was able to be unblocked, and no guarantee was offered for it saving the toes. I'm unclear on if they were unable to unblock the arteries in the other leg, she didn't have any, or they couldn't get to that.
Pete said the toes, especially the big toe, were markedly worse today.
Apparently, they had trouble with her breathing during the surgery.
I will update more as I know it.

UPDATE: They were having problems with her oxygen stats dropping and weren't able to get to the left leg. They did dialysis at that hospital to try and get some of the meds out of her system. She was able to go home this evening. Another appointment next week to see if the right leg stint improves condition of her poor toes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Futsu Squash

Somewhere I read that pumpkin seeds prevent worms in chickens. I don't think you have to worry too much about chicken problems when they're well fed and watered and not too crowded and allowed to range, but why take the chance. Last year the school where I work had "Trunk or Treat" and something that involved a lot of pumpkins. I mentioned in passing that if they had any extra pumpkins to sit them by my door instead of tossing them. Um, little did I know I'd have to call Handy Man to come with the truck to haul them all home. We stuck them in the shed and the chickie girls dined on fresh pumpkin nearly the whole winter long.
This year I decided I'd try a couple of different types of squashy, melony things, since we were having an up garden and a down garden. I chose things that advertised a thick skin, hoping to keep some again throughout the winter. I know this type of plant is a nutrient suck, so I dumped a lot of chickie compost where I planted the futsu seed. There were only about ten seeds in the pack, so you can imagine my disappointment when only two seeds germinated. Note to self- no more futsu seed from this company. Again, little did I know. Am I sounding like a broken record? If all ten seeds had germinated in that lovely chickie compost, we'd be having to chop our way out of the house every morning.
This picture was taken about three weeks ago. The bush you see is several feet out of the garden where the seeds were planted an it's grown many feet beyond that and way around the left, entirely blocking the garden entrance. It's half again as big now, has nearly covered the raspberry patch and half way through the garden. I found one futsu that was completely flat on one side where the down garden bunny was gnawing it. I picked it and gave it to the girls. Later, I discovered it hadn't been touched. Great, I have a horizontal Jack in the Beanstalk plant and nothing to eat the fruit-well, there was the bunny. When I looked closer, I realized poor bunny did not make it all the way through to the meat and seeds, so I set about to pry that puppy open so the girls could try it. It took stinkin' forever to get through that hull. When I finally did, the girls loved it and now it's just a withered shell. I'm wondering if these squash would keep even longer than winter with that thick shell.

Just talked to Kaye. She if feeling a little better. I tried to tempt her to ride out here if I fixed her some fried green tomatoes-no luck. Her procedure is at 5:30 am on Monday morning. Which means poor Pete will have to get her up and about at 4 o'clock. Love their hearts, as my Aunt Lois would say.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

All Things Kaye

I've tried to talk to first one and then another about Kaye over the past few days, so as not to make poor Pete tell the story again. By today, I had too many questions that needed answering and decided to go straight to the source.
Here's the scoop for interested parties.
About two months ago she started developing pressure sores on her right toes, then got an ingrown toenail. Pete tried to treat and take care of all this, called the podiatrist, but you know it takes forever. Finally she had surgery and the podiatrist could not get an adequate blood pressure in her feet and sent her for a doppler to check blood flow to the feet. The first test was done in NA and the guy said she had no blockage the problem was no circulation in the foot. Now, the toe is red, swollen and she is in pain, so back to the podiatrist. He takes one look at her and sends her to a vascular surgeon, Daniel Lipski, who previously started the fistula in her arm. He sends her for another doppler and that guy says he isn't sure she doesn't have a blockage in the leg, but he is sure she has peripheral artery disease caused by diabetes.
Now she needs an angiogram on both legs to see if there is a blockage and also on the fistula in her right arm that they say is not maturing. If there is a blockage in one or both legs, they'll attempt a stint. If that doesn't work they'll have to harvest something to use from the left leg to do a bypass. If there isn't a blockage, then she loses the toes. The doctor was available to do this on Thursday, but no place to do it. Now she scheduled for Monday at the earliest, unless there is a cancellation. Pete says that seems an eternity, as she is in agony. To keep her out of pain means keeping her asleep, then with the meds and not being able to put pressure on that foot, getting her about and to dialysis is no small feat.
I'm at the place where I can't even say for sure what I feel, but hysterical probably comes close. The thought of them starting to take her apart, piece by piece, is just about more than my mind can stand. I keep praying and praying. My heart and mind and my spirit are just sick. So, I imagine what Pete must feel and I just sink a little lower. I think about the first bad place, the heart attack, and how desperately we wanted her pulled from the clutches of death, not knowing what agonies she would face. Not knowing a person could even live through what she has. Not wanting to know such suffering. I can't come to grips with it. I can't make it feel okay.
Is there a statue of limitations on how many times your heart can be squashed flat? Don't even answer that, I'm afraid I already know.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Uh, Blek

1st Lt. has a flooring company and we've been host to some leftover flooring for sometime, like a year. We host a lot of 1st Lt. projects, mostly wee folk, but dogs, trailers, vans, boats, to name a few- I digress. Anyway, since our carpet is very old and this wood flooring is wasting away in the back of the Cluckingham Palace, we decided to put in a new floor. Strange how quickly life flips around on you. Now 1st Lt. and Drummer Boy are bossing me and Handy Man around.
" This quarter round, this paint, this design," period the end, with a "I mean, you can do whatever you want," tacked on. Cracks me up! 1st Lt. has been doing this awhile and bringing Drummer Boy right along with him, and Rae-rae too, who gave a ten minute sermon on the virtues of wood flooring when I nearly backed out of doing it ALL in wood. So, since we've made no changes here in like a hundred years, well fifteen, I'm going to trust them-Silken Touch paint it will be.
Of course the old carpet has to come out. Bean now knows how to take off this wood strip with a little pry bar thingy and a hammer-be still my heart. Love that boys heart, he did almost the whole room by himself.
Handy Man reported that the floor was a lot further down than it used to be.

You know the carpet can't go and the wood flooring come without moving out all the stuff. This very nearly makes me ill. I have a lot of stuff and I like it left where I put it. I don't like anyone moving my junk around. The last time, when they put in a new kitchen/family room floor, I nearly despaired from living in spot of about 8 by 10 feet for several weeks. When I needed milk, I had to go down the hall, through the front door, around the house, onto the back porch, then back-good times. I felt like a pioneer. Now I can even run over to Cluckingham Palace and chop the head off a chicken, except I don't chop heads, or anything else off chickens. I would not have been a good pioneer. I am not a good pioneer now. Where will I sit in the morning when the sun peeks over the trees and lights the room where I'm reading my scripture and sipping warm coffee. It won't be the same anywhere else. Have mercy, what a whiner. I'll try to cultivate some thankfulness that I have some coffee to sip and get over my bad self.

Still no word on how things will proceed with Kaye's foot. We are all sick, but Pete most of all.
He has tried so very long and hard to move her forward and this certainly feels like a backslide.
I ordered some new games for home and school. Along with pioneering, I'm not great at games either. A couple of these, made my some German guy who is obviously way smarter than me, were a bit complicated for my taste. Michael and Rae-rae came and showed us how to play. It was fun.
I'll take a picture and share about them another time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Was it Job who said, "The thing I have feared the most has come upon me?"
I've kind of been in denial as Pete has mentioned to me more than once about Kaye having a sore toe. Then she had to have surgery on the toe. Today came the news that there is no circulation in the toe and she must see a vascular surgeon tomorrow. I think I'm going to be sick.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Butterflies in the Mist

What's up with the butterflies this year? They are everywhere and so very lovely. They are still just swarming the butterfly bush and the creek-nice to see.
Drummer Boy and Buttercup came tonight, as did Bean and Bugg. Mommy and Baby are doing good, except for baby wanting to sleep all day and stay up all night. Hopefully, they'll get that turned around soon.
Bean said school is terrible, everyone there thinks it's terrible, cause you can't have any fun at all. Ahhh. I miss them.
We have lots of fun in fourth grade. I started teaching them to sign today. They just think it's hysterical when I sign what I'm saying. Then they want me to just sign, though they can't figure out any words, which produces more laughter. I've always wanted to really teach a class to sign, but so many other things crowd that out. Maybe since I have a small class, I'll actually be able to this year and by the end of the year, I won't have to talk.

Remember when Handy Man tilled in the middle of summer? That's the spot where we made the mud pond.
We'll, it's not muddy now.
We have the most prolific weeds known to man. Crazy weeds.
I'm hoping he can till again to put in a second round of mustard greens, lettuce and spinach.
Lettuce is so ridiculously expensive, I hope we can harvest another crop.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

OH the Wonder, the Wonder of You

Our new grandboy arrived just before nine last night. Gwen was at the hospital about 2 hours and had things more the way she wanted them, naturally and with a midwife. Buttercup spent the night with us. I was a bit worried for her, as she's never stayed here overnight before. She laid right down at bedtime, and we didn't hear another peep until Pappy went to get her at almost nine this morning. She was quite smitten with the new baby and immediately wanted hold "her." She was very gentle and loving.

Look at all that hair.

Pappy's turn.

Now Aunt Rae-rae
He is beautiful and very sleepy, quite unlike his big sister(oh, she was beautiful, but not too sleepy). He never really opened his eyes when we were there, so I'll be anxious to see what he looks like awake. Is there anything more precious than a new baby.
Welcome Baby Benjamin!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Sweet Meal

You know the first week back at school is kinda crazy. I always come home very late and completely exhausted. Handy Man was kind enough last evening to have dinner going when I got home- smoked sausage and cabbage. Apparently, he thought he'd use the trusty ol' Mrs. Dash for a bit of flavoring. In perusing the spice cabinet, he grabbed what he thought to be a familiar looking bottle and proceeded to douse the cabbage. It was candy sprinkles, not Mrs. Dash! He declared, "Well, it had one of those sprinkle tops like Mrs. Dash." I said, "Yes, as do most all the other bottles in the spice rack." I was glad he told me, cause I would've of worried that we were ingesting some multi-colored mold on the old cabbage. A little salt, pepper and seasoning and all was well with the meal I only needed to add a finishing touch to. Not everyone has such a colorful dinner I bet. Thanks honey. I so appreciate the effort.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Crazy School Days and Stuff

Today was the first day with students. My class is very small this year and if the first day is any indication, we're off on the right foot. I think this is going to be a little class of prayer warriors, as we are going to adopt three people going through cancer treatment. I'm hoping for a pretty laid back year. I'm not to used to those.
The rest of our county is in a tiz. After dropping students off at daycares, grandparents and sitters for years, they suddenly decided to stop. Most folks didn't discover that until this week. So not only does elementary get out an hour earlier, 2:20, they have no transportation to caretakers ( including my first grade grandboy). Buses are full with 75 students to a bus and hour long bus rides in the 100 degree heat. Our tax dollars at work.
Usually my return to the classroom marks the end of gardening days. Oh, we keep eating it as long as we can find something, but there is no time for caretaking. The garden goods this year have been unusually delicious. I have so enjoyed the bounty.
Over the weekend I made salsa. Mine with sweet peppers and Handy Man's with a habanero he grew in the "up" garden. Wonderful, that's all.
When I was finished, I took the scraps out to the girls. Mama Yellow Chick Awesome had the babies out. She started bringing them out of the coop when they were only about ten days old. About gave me a heart attack. Then at two weeks, she brought them out of the chicken yard. We've been so blessed in the 14 months we've been on this chickie girl journey. No evil has befallen any girls while ranging around the yard. Well, except for poor Jetta, who did not survive baby Arwen's, "Play with the Squeak Toys" game.
Yellow Chick Awesome is very protective. We are not allowed near those babies. Handy Man said that this afternoon during a pop-up storm, she puffed all up and gathered them under her. She's been fascinating to watch. I really prefer her parenting to me having to worry over them.
"Watcha eating Mama, can I have some, huh, can I?"

Ahh, then there's Pap's Girl, who better be glad she's his girl, as she hasn't laid eggs in a long time. She's in love with him.

Our baby boy BJ is due any minute. Please pray with me for his safe arrival.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Too Hot for Princesses

In addition to Wednesday's Playdate, I also keep the Gramerlings on Fridays. Buttercup usually comes early and leaves before nap time. Bean and Bugg arrive late morning and stay as long as possible, usually till near bed time. On our last Friday, Ol' Mother Hubbard was able to come and visit with Ol' Henry and Antebellie while the babies were napping at home with My Kate.
Usually, on Playdates, we don't get out the dress-up clothes because it is hot and messy and mostly outside play. My little princesses wanted to get on their appropriate attire for a day of pretending, so I let them. We headed outdoors and Bean and Ol' Henry went to the dry creek to destroy whatever enemy lurks in those parts.

Ol' Mother Hubbard and I were visiting on the porch when we heard some serious giggling coming from the side yard. She checked and then advised me to come and see what was so funny.

In the wash tub in all their finery. Well, they managed to leave off the boas and tiaras, but tutu was floating everywhere amongst bejeweled shoes and princess dolls. They found this quite hysterical. All princess accouterments survived the bath.
As the baby population grew, I knew that old dolphin swing wasn't going cut it. I wanted so much to buy an actual park/playground swing, where you can swing high, but they cost hundreds of dollars. So, we found the best deal for what we had to spend and hoped for the best. Most every Playdate began and ended on the swings.
What was interesting to watch was the way the medium little people started swinging the wee people of their own accord.

When 10th month baby Noah visited, Miss Linee, just two herself, wanted to swing him, and she did so carefully, talking sweetly to him the whole time.
Still, the great love is the blue dolphin swing. Handy Man replaced the ropes again and made the new ones the same length, but I guess the nylon stretched a bit. Bean was devastated that his feet touched the ground. I told him I would dig him out a spot. He is in no way ready to part with being swung in this swing, though he is quite capable of swinging himself on the other swing, or swinging someone else. I'm not ready either.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Trails Playdate Friends

I woke up today in a foul mood. I probably should say, "got up," as I'd been awake off and on since 2 am with that lovely sleep inducing feeling of someone trying to drive an ice pick through your nose- a sinus headache. Handy Man left a note of caution about the anticipated 100 degree day that will feel like 110. Then medicating to remove the ice pick sort of gives me the shakes. Add that to this being my last day of summer that felt like it lasted 3 minutes, and the last Playdate, well, did I say, "foul" cause "foul" is what I meant.
Bean and Bugg arrived first and Bugg said, "Look, I have on my science dress!" "Are we going to blow those paint bubbles?" I was so very surprised that she remembered that science event from last summer. We had so many babies this year, and since I'm all about letting the wee ones get in the fray, I did not do paint bubbles. It's ugly when instead of blowing in the straw, they suck, and paint, though it's non-toxic, is best left out of baby lungs. I could see she wasn't going to give up the paint bubbles, being dressed in her science outfit and all, so blow paint bubbles we did.
Did you know when you blow the red paint bubbles with lots of good force, you get chicken pox?

Um, well, now you know.
I was trying to round up all the babes for our end of year picture when one little obstinate missy I'll refer to as Annie Oakley wasn't having it. She wanted her picture with a gun- here ya go Annie!
Antie SZQ found a castle pinata on sale. Due to the "puddlin' " weather we were having, Miss Glitzy tried to talk me into saving it for the Gingerbread House Party, but I could not be dissuaded. Look at that fierce warrior destroying the castle.
It appeared its wasn't too hot to eat candy. I did refill everything that held water and made them cool off when they were finished scavenging all the goods. Thanks Auntie SZQ!

So, here we are, the end. Excuse me while I find the tissues.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Name Change?

I'm thinking I should change Buttercup's name to Bluebonnet or Bluebelle, especially in her War Bonnet.
She has been such a delight this summer. She's been here often enough to be very comfortable with us. Now this baby doll she carries gets as much attention as the swing and the schickies. Whenever I sing to her in the swing, she claps her hands, then claps the babies hands-so cute. We change lots of diapers.
She is now very interested in Bugg and Bean and asks for them whenever they are out of sight. She is a big talker for not quite two.
This summer has felt like it was only five minutes long. I barely got into the swing of things and it's time to change swings. I worked in my classroom all of yesterday afternoon. This Wednesday is the last Playdate. I will miss these kids terribly .