Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More holiday fun....

While we were at the farm there was time to see a few friends.
We met Carol Jean and Leonard Burton at her sis's restaurant, Debbie's Kitchen, for breakfast on a Friday morning. It was great to see these two fine folks, whom we share lots of good fun with at the river

Carol Jean, Molly, Bob and Leonard

Carol Jean has several sisters and they are all very pretty "girls". Her sister, Betty, runs the restaurant , and while we were eating her other sister, Patsy, came in.

Patsy, Carol Jean, and Betty...three very pretty sisters!!

We were served an abundant and delicious breakfast....probably the best pancakes I've ever tasted! If you want a great meal at a very fair price, don't miss Debbie's Kitchen on Route 33 just off the I 295 interchange!

It was nice visiting and catching up on things with these good guys. They treated us to a wonderful breakfast and we sure enjoyed seeing them.

We also met my old friend (well, she's not OLD...), Susan and her guy, Carey, for dinner on Saturday night, but I failed to take my camera :( , so no photos. We've been friends for about 42 years and it's always good to see her and catch up on things. She lost her husband, John, to Lou Gehrigs disease about 3 years ago, so it was great to see her at a happier time and place in her life.

On Friday night, there was dinner with friends Everett and Linda at The Outback, so it was nice to spend time with our old traveling buddies. We sure miss both of them.

We picked up Kristy's older kids from school one afternoon and took them for pizza.
At Trey's elementary school, Battlefield Park, (the same school our own kids attended) the principals and staff were sending the kids and busses off in true Christmas spirit......
dressed up as Santa's and elves and snowmen!

The kids were doing well and we enjoyed seeing them for a little while.

It was nice to see and spend time with a few folks before we headed South!
Hugs to all!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Holidays to all.....

Happy Holidays to everyone...hope you've all had a great Christmas and wish you a terrific New Year coming up!

It was a most pleasant Christmas for us, spent with my sister Wanda,in Roanoke, Va then with son, Paul, on the farm, and finally, with daughter, Tiffany in Catonsville, Maryland.

We drove to Roanoke on Tuesday and went to Luigi's divine Italian restaurant with Wanda and Stuart on Tuesday evening....Yum, Yum doesn't even come close to doing this place justice! My favorite there is Veal Saltim Bocca and it was just as fine as it always is!

Christmas Eve found us at the Poage's Mill Church where Wanda sang "What Child is This", so beautifully this year, just as last year. Funny, but last year Mom was with us and I remember thinking that she would probably be with with us for many more Christmases (the last few years I had found myself thinking "this will probably be Mom's last Christmas with us here on Earth"), but that was not the case; so our first Christmas without Mom has passed. We missed her. And, of course, losing Kristy left such an ache...too young, too soon, too sad. KK has had a tough time of it...the kids seem to be doing pretty well. It was so good to spend Christmas Eve with my sister and her husband, Stuart. :) Thanks, guys!!

We returned to the farm on Christmas Day to spend the evening with Paul and Katie and Paulette (Katie's Mom). It was a warm and lovely day so we spent some time outdoors. Bob and I prepared Rockfish stuffed with Crab Imperial and Katie and Paulette did yummy sides and desserts. It was a most enjoyable evening with the kids.

Friday Morning we left early to head to Catonsville for a weekend with Tiff. I had some tests to be done at Tappahannock-Riverside Hospital, so we arrived there around 9 AM, they completed them promptly and we were enroute to Catonsville by 10:15. We had planned for Friday night to be "Brazilian Night" so we had our black beans and garlic rice "Claudio style" that evening. On Saturday night, Tiff had made reservations at The Candlelight Inn" and wow! what a lovely evening and delicious meal. It was a thoroughly delightful time! This beautiful old home was built in the late 1800's and has been serving wonderful meals almost continuously since then. It was decorated in Christmas finery, with fresh greens and running cedar in abundance. Afterwards, we toured the many old streets in Catonsville to view the old homes decorated for the Christmas season. It really is a sweet town and it's always great to spend time with Tiff and Scott.

We are truly grateful for our kids and their spouses....we won the lottery for sure when it comes to these folks who make up our little family. Thanks, guys, for sharing your lives with us!

So, another Christmas has passed...full of loved ones, yet missing ones we loved. It was a blessed Christmas season.

We hope your holidays were joyous and blessed, and that 2009 will bring a healthy and happy new year for each of you! Big Hugs to everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Peeps... Dumplin, Alfredo, Stroganoff....

This one must be Stroganoff!

Finally, here are the peeps....which were, indeed, tiny peeps, when we arrived at the farm in October.

Alfredo, (above)...this one is for Dortha!! Notice the webbed feet!

And here is the entire group of 23 peeps. These are of the "easter" variety, as they will lay pastel colored eggs. The plan is to name them all after Chicken dishes.....if only we can tell them apart!

Looks like Dumplin' to me!

They have grown tremendously in the two months that we have been here. They will be in the hen house soon.....hope Katie has fresh eggs for us when we return next Fall!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Uncle Jimmy's Eightieth Birthday Party

Surprise, Surprise!!

Bob's Uncle Jimmy gets a big surprise!

On Tuesday, November 25th, we made a little road trip to Newport News in the evening for a SURPRISE Eightieth birthday party for Bob's Uncle Jimmy. He sure doesn't look or act like he's eighty, so I was pretty sure they'd made a mistake and it was really his seventieth birthday, but Lou and Hazel were insistent that he really is 80....so it must be true!

Bob and his Aunt Lou (Tia Lou)

Jimmy's wife, Hazel outdid herself with a lovely dinner and party...and Jimmy surely was surprised! With over 90 friends and family in attendance, there was much evidence of the love and caring he shares with everyone in his life. Many comrades from his working years at the Chesapeake Railroad were there, as well as lots of family, neighbors and friends, showing highest regard for this wonderful guy.

Bob, Tia Lou, Uncle Jimmy and Hazel

Uncle Jimmy's birthday cake, a Chessie Train (He retired from the Chesapeake Railroad)

Uncle Jimmy gets a birthday call from Mary K in Rio, Brazil....hmmmm.....or was that from his funny colored "niece", Alene in DC?????? Since they both called him, guess it could be either one!!!

Uncle Jimmy with his family!

What a great time, honoring a really great guy. Hope you had a great birthday, Jimmy! You are an inspiration to everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Catonsville with Eric and Kenneth

The first weekend in December was a little "Road Trip" to Scott and Tiff's home in Catonsville with Eric and Kenneth, Kristy's youngest and oldest boys.

Dixie, Eric and Scott

On Saturday the guys put up the garland and lights on the porch. It was very cold......

and started SNOWING in the afternoon......

and left a blanket of white all over!!

Eric cleaned the snow off the car for us!

Later on, we all went to the National Crytology Museum on Fort Meade. Tiffany had arranged a tour for us and we had a very informative guide, that really knew his stuff. He gave us a tutorial on encryption and reconnaisance beginning with the Civil War. We saw the famous Enigma, German encryption machine from WW2, and many other fascinating exhibits. We could have spent several hours there, but the time was short as they close early on Saturday, so we will be sure to return for a more leisurely visit there.

This is a very interesting exhibit, and it's a free attraction, if you're ever in the Fort Meade Maryland area, be sure and stop by for a tour.

In the evening, we bundled up and took Dixie for a twilight walk, in the new fallen snow. It was beautiful, as the neighborhood was decorated for the holidays, and the lights twinkled against the fresh, falling snow and our crystalizing breath. It was such fun to watch Eric run along with Dixie and revel in the white stuff....almost made you feel like a kid again yourself....and to find a little bit of the Christmas spirit which has been hiding itself in sadness for awhile. It was great to spend more time with my Tiff and Scott, and to be with Eric and Kenneth for the weekend.

Here's a photo of Kristen's Strings Concert at Lee-Davis...it was a lovely perfomance and we were all quite proud of her!

Great perfomance Kristen!!

Holiday hugs to everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holidays in Hanover County, Virginia

One of our favorite places in Montpelier is the General Store. Well, it really is the ONLY place, but it is still our favorite. They make the best old country ham biscuits, and cook thick, cured bacon for their bacon biscuits, so we get our breakfast there many days.

The proprietor, Sue, keeps the store stocked with important stuff like old fashioned candy bon-bons, filled hard candies, homemade jams and jellies and butter, Clark Bars and Mint Juleps, as well as muck boots, jeans and feed bins and cans. They stock lots of Lodge cast iron cooking pots too. The little store is about 4 miles from the farm, and then it's another 2o miles or so to Richmond, so it's a handy stop for us. It's decked out in Christmas greens now, so here's what the little store looks like........

Montpelier "Western Hanover" General Store in downtown Montpelier

Then there's the little Town of Ashland, about 17 miles North of Montpelier, still in Hanover County. There are many nice restaurants, shops and lovely homes in Ashland, as well as Randolph-Macon College. The Train Depot is an active one, located right in the center of town and in front of the college. We enjoy eating at the IronHorse, a restaurant right on the tracks at the town crossroads, and watching the many trains as they roll through the town.

The Ashland Train Depot, decked out for the holidays

This depot was the destination when I took the train From South Bend, Indiana to Ashland, when traveling back home to be with Kristy in October. My Brother-in-law, Allen, picked me up at the depot and said he's lived in Ashland all his life, but never picked up anyone arriving at the station. He and my sister, KK, live about 4 miles or so from the station. It's a quaint town and train station and much of life still revolves around the tracks. Many folks live in Ashland and commute daily, via the trains, to DC and the Northern Virginia area.

Decking the gates at the Farm, with fresh evergreens

Monday, the weather turned warm and lovely, so I took to the woods looking for cedar, holly and pine to make swags for the gateposts on the drive. The smell of evergreen and pine really is the smell of Christmas, so traipsing through the woods in search of the greens is a favorite thing to do, as long as it's not too freezing cold!!!

Sunday we met George and Charlotte for a little lunch and Christmas cheer at the Texas Roadhouse in Richmond. It is always good to spend time with them and to catch up on things in Warsaw (that only takes about a minute, but we always have lots to talk about!) Hopefully, they'll be down to visit in Florida this winter. They are good buddies and we enjoy traveling and just spending time with these wonderful friends.

Great friends, George and Charlotte, share a little Christmas cheer

It's been a good week at the farm, seeing some old friends and spending lots of evenings sharing dinner with Paul and Katie....we're really going to miss them when we leave here.

Hugs to everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thanksgiving at Natural Bridge

The next few blog entries will be of the "catch up" variety.....events that we want to record and remember in our diary of travels and daily life. Hope it's not too boring for those that follow along.

Thanksgiving day we drove west to Natural Bridge for dinner at the Colonial House. This was my first year not cooking for a large crowd, so it was quite different, but it was a pleasant, delicious, and thankful meal. It had been a busy month, spending most days at the hospital with Kristy, so the plan was to meet my sister and brother-in-law, Wanda and Stuart for lunch, then we would drive back to MCV hospital to visit Kristy late in the afternoon.

Wanda and Molly

Wanda and Stuart

It was a sunny and bright day, fairly warm for late November, so the two hour drive passed quickly, as did our time together. We were all stuffed with fresh Shenandoah turkey and gravy, Smithfield Ham, shrimp, and all the fixin's of a great Southern meal...and we didn't have to cook or clean up! :) :) What a novel idea!

We had many things to be grateful for, chief amongst them our family and friends, and being able to share time together. We are, indeed, very blessed.

We drove back to Richmond, going straight to MCV to visit with Kristy. KK was there, so we stayed a while and then we drove KK home for the evening.

You know the rest of the story.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Christmas Open House

On Saturday, December 13th, our wonderful neighbors from Warsaw, hosted a Christmas Open House at their new home in Powhatan.

Junie had my "E T" made in a flash and we were enjoying the holiday spirit, just like we used to on the deck in Warsaw!
Always good sports and lots of fun, Junie and Sue "ham" it up a little!

Molly, Sue and Junie in the kitchen

Their new home is lovely, and, of course, it was decorated beautifully for the holidays. They were the best neighbors, and it was just great to spend some time with them and see many of the folks we always enjoyed so much.

Rosa's "best side" captured in photo!! :)
The Open House made for a wonderful way to get into the Christmas Spirit a little more....and it's always a joy to see the fine folks that we think so much of!
Happy Holidays and hugs to all!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Catching up...

Today was "catch up" day for me....many things that had been left aside got a little attention today....like cleaning windows and cabinets, shower doors etc. Starting early this morning, I worked on cleaning the shower including using Rain-X on the doors and polishing the brass. Then cleaned and vacuumed everything from top to bottom. Having lots of vanilla leather in the motorhome means lots of leather cleaning, so our buddies, Smokey and Pam Ridgley have the BEST leather cleaner we've ever encountered. I used lots of the Dri-Wash leather cleaner to clean and polish the leather today. It is an incredible cleaner that leaves the leather bright, clean and shiny. I'm about to run out, so that must mean we need to run into Smokey and Pam soon! It always feels so good to have the MH squeaky clean!

Bob was busy all day installing his new tow set up for the Envoy. He decided to tow the Envoy instead of my old favorite Saturn Station Wagon, so he got the new Roadmaster tow bar installed and worked on a new braking system for it. This one is "Air Force One", air assisted braking. We used the M&G on the Saturn, but Bob thought this one might be best on the Envoy. We'll let you know how it works out. Next he'll move all the Pressure-Pro sensors from the Saturn to the Envoy and get those programmed and set up for travel. I am torn about keeping my station wagon or selling it before we leave. I enjoy that little "grocery getter" so much and it is a great economical car, but also hate to think about it just sitting and not being driven over the next year. Guess we'll have to decide soon about that.

I had a nice weekend with Kenneth and Eric in Catonsville at Tiff and Scott's. It was very cold and we even had a nice snowfall...just enough to be pretty on Saturday night. I'll post some photos in a day or two.

I suppose I'm getting my groove back; blogging, cleaning, walking, cooking dinner for Paul and Katie and making plans for Christmas and hitting the road very soon. There are many things to be done before we leave here so we're both staying busy.
It will be good to be back on the road again....heading South to warmer weather!
Hugs to everyone!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Life goes on...

Life goes on here, but I surely miss Kristy. It has been quite a change to get up in the morning and not rush off to the hospital. I know she is getting a good laugh out of watching me get my groove back.

There was a lovely visitation and funeral service for Kristy on Sunday and Monday. Her Mom, KK, and her Dad, Ray and his wife, Chris, did a beautiful job on her services. Kristy would have loved it. It did not take away the grief, but it was catharthic for the family. The children are doing pretty well. Today is Kristen's thirteenth birthday. She's been wanting to see the movie "Twilight" so Monday night, Kristen and I went to the movies for her birthday. Tuesday night she had a strings concert at Lee-Davis High School, so we all went to hear her play her violin in the Christmas concert. She is quite an accomplished player and we were proud of her.

Tomorrow I will pick up Eric and Kenneth and take them up to Tiff and Scott's for their weekend in Maryland. Scott will take Kenneth to the shooting range and Tiff and I will do some fun things with Eric. We're all going to the Cryptologic Museum on Fort Meade Saturday afternoon, as Tiff has arranged a guided tour for us. It should be a fun weekend with the kids.

Bob and Paul are still working on "Farm Projects".....there is no end to them! But they are having a great time doing all these "manly" things. We will stay here on the farm until Christmas, then head south to our place in Florida Grande. When we leave here, we most likely will not be back until late next year, so we want to spend as much time with the kids as possible. We hope to be in Alaska all of next Summer, then return to Virginia in late Autumn.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving... hugs to everyone

Friday, November 28, 2008

Words just seem inadequate

It seems that I am at a loss for words....to speak of our grief seems so very inadequate. Her Mom, KK, and her Dad, Ray are truly suffering....but the faces of her children are the images that you cannot remove from your mind. They are such brave children, and loved their Mom very much. How do you console a child when they loose their mother? Or a mother when they loose their child? Everything is inadequate!
WHY, WHY, WHY.....I know we are not supposed to ask this question, but it is so hard to accept the fact that healthy, thirty-five year old Kristy should be so stricken with such a dreadful disease. It was January 30, 2008, when we had just left Quartzsite heading for Phoenix, when KK emailed to tell us that Kristy had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I knew almost nothing about such a diagnosis, but quickly learned that she had a very high risk case of this disease. Still, I thought, many people live long lives with leukemia, and they can cure most anything these days. Wrong, wrong wrong.

She suffered more than anyone should have to, enduring the most lethal doses of chemo, trying so hard to live. She really wanted to live. She truly gave it her all, and through it all, I never once heard her issue a complaint. Her mouth and throat were completely covered with raw lesions, but she complained not at all. She was always grateful, thanking the nurses, and anyone who did anything for her, constantly. More than anything, she did not want to burden anyone. She worried about her mom, and how much she was juggling her work, and helping with the kids and keeping so many balls bouncing. And she worried about her dad, as she thought he was worrying himself too much over her, and how often he would come to sit at the hospital with her. She did not want her illness to take a toll on them. And of course, most of all, she worried about her children. She loved them so much.....as her Dad said, when they walked into the room to see her, her face would light up like a one thousand watt bulb.....they just meant so much to her. She truly wanted to live for them. But God had other plans.

The days spent with Kristy during the last month were special ones. It was a privilege to be with her and she inspired me with her tenacity and how hard she struggled to get to the other side of her Bone Marrow Transplant. When the doctors began to indicate that her cells had not engrafted, we were very concerned about the options. She had no white blood count, and thus, was completely vulnerable to any and all infections and viruses. The docs told us it would take 30 to 45 days to get another donor and stem cells. What a precarious situation. Sure enough, around day 30 she began to show signs of serious infections. It was apparent on Monday that she was getting sicker, but still, I thought she could come through it. By Wednesday, I felt that only a huge miracle would bring her through this, and I just knew that the miracle would come. Thursday afternoon she was suffering from delusions and her blood oxygen was down to about 82. She was drifting in and out of sleepiness and was really having congestion and mucousitis issues. They increased her oxygen intake and called Dr. McCarty. It seemed that her current meds might be causing the delusional issues, so the meds were removed.
We left her around 6 PM and a sitter was ordered for her.

At 11:40 pm KK called me to say that a gentleman from MCV had called to say that Kristy had been found "unresponsive: but with a pulse" and to come on over. I threw on my jogging suit and dashed from Montpelier to Ashland to pick up KK. We hurried on up to MCV hospital, arriving around 12:30, about the same time as Ray (her Dad). They took us into the conference room to await Dr. McCarty. He came in around 1 :15 am and told us they had found Kristy unresponsive around 11:20. They tried everything to resuscitate her (paddles, drugs, everything!) and her heart would not even try to restart. She died peacefully around 12:25. They remain unsure as to what brought about the failure...possibly the fungal or infections attacked her heart, and it could not withstand it. They asked to do an autopsy so we may learn exactly what transpired.

She had been at peace all week, seeming to know that the children were being cared for and that she had gotten some things in order that she had been wanting to get straight. She knew that she was loved and cared for by her family and children, and was more at peace with things than she had been in a long time. She had let go of some of her "worrying". She never gave up and never quit fighting, but the miracle never came. God had other plans.

Endless tears are shed, and it hurts so deeply to know that she is gone, and that she had to suffer so. But there is comfort in knowing she will suffer no more, and that she knew she was loved, and had the full support of her family. She is at peace now, and still loved. But our hearts hurt so deeply, for the young woman gone from our sight, and for the four children that she loved so.

Your kindness and condolences mean so much to us..., many thanks !
Today is a very sad day...we lost Kristy last night. She fought such a brave battle.
We miss her terribly.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A visit to Scott and Tiff's

Friday I picked up Kristy's two middle children, Kristen and Trey, from school and we took a little road trip up to Catonsville to spend the weekend with my favorite daughter and son-in-law, Tiff and Scott. Bob stayed at the farm to help Paul with some weekend projects that they wanted to get done.

This was to be our coldest weekend yet, down in the twenties, with the promise of snow flurries and wind....yuck! Luckily, the motorhome fares pretty well in the cold department....but it still fares much better in the seventies!!! :0!

It's always a treat to spend time at Tiff and Scott's, and Scott wanted to take Trey duck and goose hunting, so the boys got up at 3:40 AM and headed off to Delaware to the goose hunting grounds. The temperature was hovering in the twenties, but they were dressed warmly, and we girls were staying in the house to do "girl things!!

Kristen and Tiff making cookies
Dixie wearing her winter coat!
Kristen lounging around with Dixie

The hunters are ready to go! (Trey and Scott)

In the afternoon we went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore to see the marine life. This is a wonderful exhibit and was a great deal of fun.

Here's a photo of Trey observing one of the fish exhibits.

And below is a huge Tiger Shark.......

and here's a group of ray's swimming in the tank......

It was a great weekend with the kids...mine and Kristy's! The only way it would be better is to be seventy degrees!!
It will be a busy week coming up...Turkey Day is this week, and Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays. Normally, we cook all week and have a huge feast, but this year I'm not cooking....I won't know what to do with myself! :)
Big hugs to everyone!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snow at the Farm....

Brrrrr...it's cold here....way to cold for me!! We awoke this morning to SNOW on the farm....it was really pretty, but thankfully it quit pretty quickly. Still, it is cold and windy and around 24 degrees tonight....yuck!!
Everyday has been spent at MCV with Kristy so it's been a busy time. Bob and Paul are busy doing "farm projects", whenever Paul is home from the House of Delegates.

Sunday morning we got up early and went down to Warsaw to our Church at Cobham Park. It was so good to see everyone and spend a little time with some good friends. We had a nice lunch with George and Charlotte and then visited with Linda and Everett before returning to Montpelier.

There was a nice surprise when we arrived back at the Farm. I had mentioned that I wanted to clear one of the seven ports in the pole barn to park the toad (my Saturn station wagon), so that I would not have to scrape ice (yuck!) early in the morning when I leave for the hospital. When we pulled in Sunday afternoon, Paul had been a busy guy; he had cleaned out a port and put up a little sign "Home of the Toad" by my pull-in parking port!!! Yippee, when I left early Monday morning for the hospital, my little toad was ice free!!! He's a good guy!!! ....and I am a happy girl!!! Thanks Paul! :)

Kristy is bravely fighting her battle each day. It is really tough on her. Her WBC went up to 1.700 last week, but has now dropped back to 700. They will do a biopsy this week to see what is happening. She is still holding her own, but remains immune deficient and very susceptible to infections until the White Blood Count comes up. I enjoy my days with her and admire her will and tenacity to just get through each day. I am reminded everyday to be grateful for good health and for the many blessings we receive each day.

Thanks again, for caring sentiments from so many!

The peeps are growing by leaps and bounds! There are photos of them, but I haven't got them up yet. Maybe this week!

Hugs to everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Curly Kale, turnip greens...and baby Peeps

On the way home from Myrtle Beach, we stopped to get some fresh greens. Grannie (mom) was a great cook, and one of the many things we loved were her greens, and most especially her turnips. Now, I don't eat turnips, unless they were Mom's; her's were always so sweet and tender, and we loved to smash them up with butter....my oh my, those were good! At the produce farm, they had fresh kale and turnip greens, and some tiny, tender turnips, so we purchase some and brought them back to the farm. It was decided that I would attempt to make the turnips like Mom did. Now, I've cooked the greens many times, but this was the first turnip attempt. They could never be as good as her's, but they were mighty fine! Bob and Paul and I feasted on those sweet and tender root veggies and thought about how good Grannie's were!! The greens weren't too shabby either, of course we had to slather those with Chow-chow, and a side of roasted pork loin and cornbread!!! Yum yum...it was good eating on the farm last night!!

There was also a great surprise at the farm upon our return....we now have grand-chicks....23 of them! Katie and Paul ordered baby peeps for the hen house!! These little peeps are so fluffly and sweet and grow several inches per day (or so it seems!) She's keeping them warm and protected in the basement right now. Soon they will each be named after chicken dishes...you know...dumplin', caccatorie, fried, kiev, divan etc...got any good chicken dish ideas for these little peeps?? And soon we'll have fresh eggs! (well, after the rooster arrives!) :)

Kristy is doing better and making progress so it is a blessing to see her coming along now. She has struggled so much...I'm hoping things will look up dramatically for her very soon! Most of each day is still spent at the hospital with her. She's such a good patient that it makes Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy's job a breeze. Many thanks to all of you who have sent cards and warm sentiments. It means alot and she enjoys it.

Big hugs to everyone!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Porch sitting and a break in Myrtle Beach

Sunrise over the Atlantic from the porch of the condo
The first week of November was one of our weeks at the condo in Myrtle Beach, but we knew we wouldn't go down for the whole week, so after seeing that Kristy's tests had come back OK, and that she would have an aide or sitter 24/7, we decided to come down for the weekend. KK and Karisa have kept us up to date on how Kristy is doing. KK said today that she looked better and was more responsive, so this is all good.
The weather here has been just wonderful; sunny with a bright blue sky and in the upper seventies each day. My oh my, I do love warm weather!! We have walked on the beach a lot and collected shells to take back for the kids. Seafood is one of our very favorite things and it is great here...lots of fresh shrimp, flounder, grouper and great oysters.....especially in November! So there's been some great meals at Bimini's and Nance's in Murrell's Inlet (favorite seafood joints) and a little relaxing near the pool. And lots of just plain ol' "porch sitting"....looking out over the sea oats and dunes to the ocean and listening to the sound of the waves. It is a peaceful place. It would be great to bring Kristy here when she gets better. It's a therapeutic place!!

View across Murrell's Inlet near Myrtle Beach
This is truly one of our favorite places to be, so it is good to enjoy a couple of days here. We'll head back to Richmond early Sunday morning and I'll be heading back to MCV each day to see if I can be of any help to Kristy. Hopefully, she'll be improving every day!! Hugs to everyone!!

Bob "porch sitting"

Monday, November 3, 2008

Busy days

Just a quick update to say that things are keeping me busy here. Bob arrived back in Virginia Saturday evening around 8 Pm and we've been getting set up at the farm. The weather has been very nice and the trees are in grand Fall form here in Montpelier. Despite the fact that we enjoyed our stay in Elkhart, we sure are glad to be finished will all the "punch list" for the motorhome. There are a few little things left to do inside, but otherwise we're done!!

I've been at the hospital most days with Kristy, except for Saturday (and Sunday) when I took Eric and Trey (Kristy's youngest boys) out for the day. They are really good boys and are always fun to be around. They are doing pretty well and Grannie Barbara is taking good care of them and the house while Kristy is gone. She has the house in great shape and the kids on a good routine, so everyone is grateful for her help. I think she's about 76 years young and she's my nominee for the next Nanny show! Thanks Barbara! :)

I sure wish I could say that Kristy was better, but she is really struggling. Most days she sleeps, sometimes fitfully and sometimes peacefully. They say this is the best thing for her while they try to get her electrolites and blood levels corrected. They should start dialysis every day now (as opposed to every other day), and that will make her better. The doctors and nurses seem pleased with her progress so this is a good thing. It's just very hard to see her so very sick and able to do nothing to really help her. Despite the fact that you know up front, going into a Bone Marrow Transplant that the patient will be deathly ill, you're still not quite prepared for the life struggle that they must go through.

It is humbling to see the BMT patients on the wing with Kristy as they fight their individual battles for survival. What a tremendous reminder to count your blessings every day and what a wonderful gift good health and good friends are. I am so thankful to have some of both!!

Many, many thanks to all of you who have sent cards, left greetings, called and just been so supportive.

Tomorrow is Voting day...hope everyone casts theirs! We will drive down to Warsaw tomorrow when I leave the hospital to vote and visit some good friends. Another busy day!

Big hugs to everyone!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween from MCV

Just a quick post to say that I'm in Richmond at the MCV hospital with Kristy. She is a very sick girl and they are taking incredibly good care of her, so that is good. I will be here most days and try to give KK a break as much as possible, or until I get fired from my "nursing job"! :) (Photo of Scott's Pumpkin Carving!)
Later I'll post some photos from the train ride...it was just beautiful and a really great trip! It was snowing from Toledo eastward, and the mountains in PA and MD were really something to see!

The WiFI here in the hospital is pretty slow, so I won't post much until Bob arrives with the aircard and my laptop.

Hurray!!! They finished EVERYTHING in Elkhart and after a brief stop at Carlisle Lehman's to have the final two valances installed, Bob will be on his way back to Virginia today!! Thank God, we're Free at last!!!

Big hugs to everyone and many thanks for your kind regards for Kristy, and for the many prayers offered up on her behalf....we are most grateful!

(There are some updates on her blog at http://www.kristysite1.blogspot.com/ if you want to see how she is doing. )

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Going to Richmond....

Well, tonight I'm going to board the old #30 Capitol Limited train here in South Bend and go to Richmond. Probably should have gone on Sunday, but I'm going tonight!! The train is a joy to ride and it's so much easier than getting to Chicago, then flying to Dallas and back to Richmond. And I can get off in Ashland, just a couple of miles from KK's house.

It's Brrrrr...cold here and there are a few flakes flying around, but it's supposed to be in the 60's tomorrow. Hope it's warmer in Richmond!

I'm not going to take the laptop, but maybe Bob can be persuaded to do a post or two and let us know how things are going here. They did get all the awnings installed and they look really great!! Yeah for progress! Hopefully he'll get to be on the road by Friday (or sooner!).

Hugs to everyone!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A sneak preview of the Before and After...

OK, OK....here are just a few photos of the redecorating done to the coach here in Elkhart.....
since it is not yet finished, you'll see a couple photos of the living area. Still to be completed are the new front window drape and the accent pillows in contrasting fabrics and the bedroom comforter, pillows and fabrics . When it is all put together, there'll be a complete "before and after" photo shoot!

Left: BEFORE The dining area and double J sofa, with upholstered valances and chair in the "Aqua Mist" original Monaco fabrics and the Aqua Mist carpeting!!

Left: AFTER: The dining area and double J sofa, with the Maple valances on the windows, black and taupe on the dining chairs, new maple flooring with taupe carpet on the slide out, and new accent fabric on the pillow, small gold pineapples on black fabric!

Left: AFTER Another view of the dining and sofa area with new valances and flooring

Left: BEFORE Another view of the Aqua Mist Valances, sofa and old favorite Pineapple pillows!
(Hint: I like pineapples!)

Left: AFTER Closeup view of the dining area with the maple valances, black placemats and accents

Left: BEFORE Closeup of the dining area valances

Left: BEFORE Another closeup of those lovely Aqua Mist Valances!

Left: AFTER Closeup view of the maple Valances
Left: AFTER Closeup of the living area sofa and maple valance with the black pineapple fabric

Left: A closeup of the accent fabrics: left side is Citadel Jet (used in the bedroom) and right is Welcome Black, the pineapple fabric used in the living and dining areas
So, there it is folks, or at least a part of it! (Especially for you, Terry! :) ) It has been a labor of love and for the most part, lots of fun, since we love doing this type of "renovating". The best part is that the green "Aqua Mist" carpeting is GONE....did I say that I am a happy girl??!
So, what do you think?????
Hugs to all!