Saturday, December 31, 2011


Just a quick word-Millie is home from the hospital.  She is sore and tired, but glad to be home.  She has A-fib and for a while her heart was racing so they weren't sure she would get to come home today, but the meds worked and she's fine now.  Not loving the PT, but that's pretty normal.

Friday, December 30, 2011


There is a group of Jewish families that have settled in our small town.  Super neat people-as a deacon I have worked with the rabbi on various situations involving the homeless.  At one time one of their group ran a shelter in Bozeman.  Now I must tell you that this group is Messianic-which means they accept Jesus as the final piece in the puzzle.  They observe all the Jewish holidays, Sabbaths and traditions, but they add the worship of Jesus as Messiah.  About four years ago, it was decided to add a menorah to the Christmas decorations downtown.  Some of the men went to work in their shops and made this beauty:

I don't know if the glass lights were hand made, but they kind of look like they might have been.  Very nice!

On to other things-Millie is doing well.  She had a reaction to one of the pain meds so they've changed it to something else.  She said this one works better.  She should be able to go home tomorrow.  Now comes the hard work and the long healing process.

As for my recuperation, I had an MRI and they found a ruptured disc.  I had one set of pain injections two weeks ago that did absolutely nothing.  They tried another drug that gave me some pretty interesting side effects-my hands and feet went numb.  I have the number to the orthopedic office memorized!  I had issues with some of the schedulers in the office-one made me wait three weeks for those injections.  And the knee doc's scheduler was condescending when I called and asked for a referral to the spine surgeon.  This is someone we've known for years-he repaired Stan's back, Millie's neck, and my nephew's femur after a nasty auto accident.  He calls me "Mrs. Santa."  The scheduler acted like I was too stupid to know what I was talking about and why would I want to go to a "surgeon?"  I told her to just pass the message along to Dr. LeGrand, and sure enough yesterday he called me and said he had gone over my MRI with, of course, the spine surgeon.  I need another set of injections that should relieve the pain and give us a definite diagnosis.  The hint was that eventually I'll have to have back surgery.  Not something I really want, but when you have that much pain you become willing to do anything.  Then a week after the shots I will see the spine guy's PA to see what my treatment will be.  While I had Dr. LeGrand on the phone I complained about some of the schedulers' behavior.  The next two calls I got were back to back-griping works if you reach the right person!

Oh yeah, and the guy that I had so much trouble with?  When that office called, I talked to a woman and she told me she just started working for Dr. Slocum yesterday.  Hmmm-wonder where that guy went-do you suppose they got rid of him?  The only downside is the soonest I could get in to get the next shots is next Thursday.  I don't want to wait, but any port in a storm...............

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

All Done!

Millie's surgery went well-boring is what our Australian surgeon said.  He said the same thing about mine-meaning no complications I'm sure.  They're working to control the pain, but I'm sure it will be there soon.  She was eating lunch when I got there, and was pretty alert.  She got dozey with pain meds and I had to go to PT so I left her.  I'll stop by before work in the morning-she's ordered a snowman latte' from City Brew.  It's not fun to recover from a surgery like that but they really work hard to keep you comfortable.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Tomorrow DIL Millie will be having HER knee replaced.  She has to be there at 5:15 A.M.  I told her she will be done in time for lunch!  Anyway, send lots of prayers up for her, I'm sure she's looking forward to this as much as I did!  I will keep all of you updated on her progress.

A cute thing-Gracie has been telling everybody that her mommy is getting a "metal knee."  "And" she says, "My Gramma already has one!"

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from Montana

So far it's been a very nice holiday.  Had brunch with the kids and exchanged gifts, went to Gracie's concert, ate out, drove around looking at lights (I have some nice pictures but I'm too lazy to go downstairs to get the camera out of my purse!), and now I'm waiting for pies to bake.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, and to my Jewish friends, happy Hanukkah!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Little Drummer Boy

Syd got to shine yesterday at the Sunday School Christmas program.  Not only did he have a whole 2 lines as the "Third Carpenter," he got to play the bongos for Little Drummer Boy.

 Gotta love the mix of old and new in the carpenter costume!  By the way, the boy on the far left is one day younger than Syd.  Syd is small for his age, and Johnny is big for his-makes quite a contrast!

 Saying his lines-had them down pat.  He and his dad worked hard on them.

 The keyboard player noticed how Sydney hovered over the boy playing his drum, so she set him up with the bongos.  He did really well!

Nothing cuter than little kids at a Christmas program.  I heard someone say they were glad their kids were grown and they didn't have to go to any programs.  I would miss them, even if I didn't have anybody specific to watch.

Oh, and I almost have the pajamas cut out.  Years ago, I bought some of those things you put on the bed legs to make it higher and put them on my cutting table.  Sure helped today with my touchy back.  Sometimes I wonder how long my back has been like this-I have been babying it for a long time!  Just have to cut out the bottoms for Syd and Sam's PJ's but my back yelled at me so I'm taking a break.  I really need to go back to town to buy the rest of the Christmas gifts, but I looked through the ads and wrote a battle plan so I won't have to wander and come home sore and exhausted.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

BIG Shot!

After getting stinky with the spine Dr.'s assistant, I went in yesterday to get my nerve root injections.  Now I am NOT a fan of cortisone, but I was kind of between a rock and a hard place.  I had to get rid of the pain quickly so I could finish my physical therapy.

Stan had a series of these shots several years ago, but things have really changed.  He had his done sitting on the side of the table and it was almost guesswork where the doc put it.  Mine was done in a special room, lying on my stomach, and they were totally guided by a live X-ray.  They put in contrast dye to make sure they were in the right place.  They told me I would immediately feel quite a bit better, but after about 1 1/2 hours I would be back to square one and the real relief would come in 2-3 days.  I had about a 50% reduction in pain right away, but imagine my surprise when that 50% stayed away.  The only pain I had that was annoying was the injection site.  (Have you seen those needles?  They're about 6 inches long!)  Some Tylenol took care of most of that.

What the assistant didn't tell me when I made the appointment was this is a real medical procedure, not just a shot, so there were some things I should have done.  I wasn't supposed to eat, which I didn't because I was being cautious, I shouldn't have driven myself, I shouldn't go to work, and I was supposed to go right home and go to bed for 2 hours.  The only thing I got right was the no breakfast.  When the guy said I was being naughty, I chewed him out and told him that if he had informed me of these things, I could have done them!  I raced to a coffee shop, wolfed down some breakfast with the Benadryl by my side just in case of a reaction, then went home for 3 hours to rest.  But I had to get the bulletin done, so I drove back to town and worked for a couple of hours.  But then Stan remembered he had a 4:00 Santa job so he couldn't pick Sydney up from school, so I ran to Belgrade, picked him up, went back and finished the bulletin.  I then decided it was really time to go home, but as I passed the last interchange to enter Bozeman I realized I had forgotten to stop by Steve's work and pick up Syd's overnight bag.  All the way to Belgrade, turn around and go back and get the bag.  By this time I needed to get out of the car for a while so we went to a coffee shop and watched YouTube Christmas flash mob videos on my Kindle Fire.

Okay, now for home-but Stan gets home and wants to go out to eat-today is his birthday and he had a craving for Prime rib.  We just went uptown to the Oasis, a local, popular steakhouse and ate.  Finally I stood up and announced that I wanted to go home-I hoped they were done eating, but I was just done!  Went home, curled up with my blanket and went right to sleep.

I still woke up super early this morning, but I was coughing-I think I caught a cold.  I slept more soundly than I have in a long time.  Still some pain, but not like before, and I know that in a few days more of it will go away.  I feel enough better that that huge stack of newspapers on the kitchen table that Stan has left there is bugging me-didn't care a hoot about it before.  And I even had enough strength to cook a birthday pancake breakfast for him.  Resting now, but I'm heading back to town to get Stan's birthday present.  I had bagged that idea yesterday after all I had been through.  I also have to shop for gifts for the widows of the church-something we deacons do every year.  Nothing complicated, but necessary.  I feel well enough, finally, that I think I can wander around Walmart doing some shopping.

I estimate I put more that 100 miles on my car yesterday, just running back and forth.  I keep nagging Stan that we should move closer to Bozeman so we don't have to drive so far to get anywhere.  I figure that I went in the hole wage-wise yesterday-only worked a couple of hours but burned it off!

I cut out Gracie's nightgown this morning, too, so I really am on the mend I think.  Hooray-I am a very bad sickie and don't like to be held down!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

At the Doctor's

So yesterday was my 6 week follow-up.  Hard to believe 6 weeks have passed by!  The physical therapist and I have been concerned about all the sciatic pain I've had.  It's really slowed down my rehab and time is running out.  Two weeks ago, I called the doctor's office and talked to the PA, who assured me he would hook me up with a spine doctor within two days.  Two weeks later still nothing, so the PT called Dr. LeGrande just before my appointment and emphasized that we were running out of time and that the extreme pain I am in was hindering our good work.

So finally, yesterday, the doc swooped in and announced that we had to do something soon because our window of opportunity for good flexibility was about over.  (Ya think??!!)  They were also very concerned that I was still limping.  So this morning I was at the imaging center at 6:15 for an MRI, the first I've ever had.  Wasn't horrible-noisy and my back hurt because I couldn't move, but the new machines are shorter so you're not locked in this huge long tube.  They played Christmas music in the headphones and gave me a blankie so I did just fine.

Now, let's see if they can relieve the pain so I can finish with my knee.  Still bending at 100 degrees, not terrible for 6 weeks, and I am doing OK on the exercise bike-lowered the seat so that's good.  If there is a ruptured disc I'm sure I'll have to have surgery sooner or later, but for now we need to concentrate on the first job.  I'll keep you posted-at least I can drive now and I'm off the aspirin.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Thursday night was Manhattan's Christmas Stroll.  Of course Santa was there.  He started at the school library handing out treats to the kids, while the kids did crafts.

Sydney and Grandpa, I mean Santa!

He inhaled that candy cane!
They had kits for little polar bears.  Very cute!
Then he rode the sleigh to the bank downtown to have pictures taken with the kids.  The bank does this service for free and they are really good pictures.

 I had a really great picture of Santa among the kids on the wagon, but I didn't want to show kids' faces on the Internet with no permission, so I showed Syd instead.

Great pic of the Big Guy!

 Like a dummy, I didn't take pictures of the other grandkids when they showed up at the bank.  I'll have to steal some of Millie's.  I hung out at the bank while the kids strolled-not really up to running all over town yet.  I refer to "the bank" because in our small town there is only one bank.  They are very community minded and it really is a place where "everybody knows your name."

Monday, December 5, 2011

What I'm Up To

Let's see-the weekend was full.  Friday night Stan, Syd and I went to the Belgrade Festival of Lights just to watch the floating luminaries.  Syd even got to send one off!  I made a video, but my Sony camera saves it in a format that Facebook and Blogger don't recognize so I have to wait til Millie sends me the conversion program before I can post it.  Hope it works, it was breathtaking!  Saturday Millie picked me up and we took the two 7-year-olds to the Nutcracker.  Very, very good-great dancers and they had the Bozeman Symphony play.  It was a bit sad-the founder of the Montana Ballet Company passed away just a week ago.  She had sold the company a couple of years ago, but her mark was still on everything.  We sat on the aisle so I could get up and walk if I needed to-and I did!  Then to the Community Co-op for lunch.  Then home.  I had kind of an accident-I spaced it out as I went down the stairs and took the last step with my left foot instead of my right.  I wasn't injured and I didn't fall, but that hurt like holy h**l!  I laid my head on the bannister and sobbed.  It's fine now, and I think it even bends a bit more.  I had asked Stan to build me a short practice step, and after that he went right out to the garage and built it!

Sunday was church and our Advent supper.  I love that we get into the season so much now.  We even have three lit-up Christmas trees on the platform.  And we always light the Advent Candle.  I stayed home last night while Stan went to the Bible class.  Any excuse to be alone-something I don't get much of right now.  A lot of fun-I watched TV with my eyes closed!

This morning I made macaroons.  They are delicious-ever as good as what you get in Mazatlan.  Dulce de Coco is a regional specialty there.  The only thing-the recipe calls for parchment and all I had was wax paper.  I will NEVER make that mistake again!  The cookies were glued to the paper!  By the time I discovered it I had two pans baked, so on the last pan, I liberally applied no stick spray and took the cookies off the paper.  That worked much better!  I dampened the back of the wax paper, waited a while, and then peeled it off the stuck cookies. I have to remember to make a big note on the recipe.

Well, off to stretch out a bit and head to physical therapy.  I hope I can be at 100 degrees today, since Wednesday I was at 95.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Moving Right Along

Today I serged and prewashed the flannel.  I also made my "safe" waffles.  I make a huge batch of chocolate chocolate chip ones and put them in the freezer.  They satisfy my sweet tooth since I can't have wheat.  Takes a while, my waffle maker only makes two at a time.  That was the end of my activities for today.  Had a bite of lunch and have been messing on the computer and watching TV.

Yesterday at PT I actually went FORWARD on the exercise bike!  Jason came in just as I pushed myself to do the backward one, which I did for a while.  He raised the seat a hair more to make it a tiny bit more comfortable.  I wondered out loud if it would work going forward and before he could say anything I did it!  He was shocked and gave me a high five.  He was so thrilled he only kept me there for 30 minutes.  I am now at a 95 degree bend-I gained 5 degrees since Monday.

Every day is better, every day I walk straighter, have less pain, and have more endurance.  And it is less than two weeks til I can drive!  I am getting through this!  Tuesday at my deacons' meeting I prayed for toughness and I really think God has given that to me!

Tomorrow is work, then Saturday Millie and I are taking Sydney and Gracie to the dress rehearsal for the Nutcracker.  It's free for the little kids and only ten dollars for the adults.  This is the Montana Ballet-a very good ballet company.  It's probably one of the best companies in the state.  I am glad they do this rehearsal thing because I'd hate to pay full price just to have the kids get bored, which is what Sam did last year.  Consequently he's not going with us this year!  Sydney is a ham and loves to sing and dance so he'll be just fine.  Well, time to go warm up a leftover for supper.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Bit of Working

Worked a bit this morning.  Sunday at church I picked up my bulletin folder and e-mailed the bulletin template to myself.  Only problem was, the church has Office 2007 and my laptop has Office 2003.  Not sure I can even do an upgrade.  Anyway any Word file Office 2007 saves is in DocX form, something 2003 can't open.  Never fear, put the question on Bing and I found a patch that allows my 2003 to open the DocX files!  So I was able to get some preliminary work done on the bulletin.  My plan is to have it ready and send it to the office on Friday.  I'll have Stan drop me off and I'll run, fold, stuff, etc. then.  I'll do a dry run today-I'll send it to myself and check when I go for my deacon's meeting tonight.  I can always print the one here at home and bring it in if the e-mail thing doesn't work.

Was very excited at PT yesterday-I was able to pedal all the way around on the exercise bike!  Backwards, but forward will come.  Jason said he thought I had stalled on the bending motion, so he pushed me.  Boy did he-I had sweat running down my back doing a tiny little pedaling motion!  If the sciatica weren't so bad it would have been easier.  I kept getting a muscle cramp in my calf next to my knee.  I finally just pushed through it and got it done.  Now there's no turning back-he will expect more and more of me!  That's fine, I want total knee function, no matter how bad it hurts.

I talked to Jason at the doctor's office yesterday and he is setting me up with a spine doctor to get rid of the sciatica.  If it weren't for that I would be very close to 100%.  I have very little pain in my knee now-yay!  I almost have my braking motion back, so in two weeks when I am released to drive I will be ready.  Stan wants to go fishing today, so if the doc wants to see me today I may have to bum a ride from someone.  Will be SO GLAD when I can drive!  Besides, I am itching to get Christmas done.

The one thing I am not itching for is housework.  The first time I cook dinner the jig will be up and I will have to cook all the meals, so I'm not jumping into the kitchen for a while yet.  (Married women will understand!)  I make my own breakfast and coffee, and heat up lunch, but that's about all.

Think I'll call my friend Joyce to see if she'll pick me up for coffee today-a confab with friends is good for the soul!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What a Weekend!

Here it is only Saturday but I am whipped!  Wednesday was physical therapy which usually means I am worthless for the rest of the day.  I managed to get some cranberry salsa made, but the "safe" dessert I wanted to do for Thanksgiving never materialized.  Then Thursday was church then dinner at the Senior Center with Stan's family.  We were there from noon til 9:00-wayyyy too long for this girl.  I did crash on the couch for a while, but sitting has been hard anyway and I was toast.  I tried to get Stan to take me home 2 hours before he actually did, but I don't think he got it that I really needed to.  He wanted to pitch in to help clean up, but nobody would have resented his taking me home.  When we left, we went straight home, I took my pills and went to bed.

Then yesterday, Millie came and picked me up.  Jo-Ann's had pajama flannel for $1.49 a yard so she agreed to stand in line for me.  I always make the grandkids Christmas pajamas.  Gracie went along too, and we had a good time even though the Jo-Ann's line took 2 hours!  We went for coffee, got Gracie's ears pierced (a story in itself), had lunch at the Community Co-op, and went back to Macy's to get Gracie a beautiful Christmas dress for her children's choir concert.  Then Millie dropped me off to meet Stan at my niece's 50th birthday party.  We were there for a couple of hours, then Brother-in-Law and his wife suggested we have dinner, so we went to our favorite place, Fiesta Mexicana.  I spent too many hours on my feet.  Today Brother-in-Law and his wife came to the house to help Stan cut up TWO deer.  Sister-in-law and I spent the day in recliners watching Debbie Macomber Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.  They've left and as soon as Stan rests for a bit he'll make some hamburgers.  I'm not moving far from my chair tonight.  My leg is a bit swollen, and I'm sore so I think some rest is in order.  I need to make a trip to Walmart but I think I'll put that off til after church tomorrow.

Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Had to Do It!

Every year, during the holidays, I make several batches of toffee-"Almond Roca" if you will.  I knew I had to make a batch for Thanksgiving, so today was the day.  I got everything set up, pan buttered, almonds chopped, and a stool set up.  The candy doesn't take too long to make, but you do have to stir and stir.  I'd sit and stir, then stand and stir.  Got it done and it's cooling in the garage.  Resting now!

If you are interested in the recipe, I have it posted here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

And So It Begins!

Well, winter has arrived and that nasty chore of shoveling is back.  Darn it, I can't shovel for a while.  My heart is really broken about that!  Sydney helped Grandpa shovel this morning-funny how kids think chores are fun.

He kept shoveling the snow back where Stan had already shoveled, but it was still fun to see him want to help.  The temp was 7 degrees F this morning-darn, I wish I were in Mazatlan!  Quite a contrast between these pics and my blog header!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Must Be Healing

I must be healing because, boy am I stircrazy!  I really want to get out and do something, but Stan is hunting, all my kids are working, and I am not cleared to drive yet.  I would just love to pop into town, do a bit of shopping and stop at my favorite coffee spot.

I've been doing a lot of things, fix my own meals, etc., but no housework.  I have heard of people that drive at two weeks but I wouldn't feel safe-my "brake muscles" aren't working right yet.  I need to be patient, it will come, but right now I'm really antsy.  It's a good sign, like I said, so healing is on its way.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Well, the pain was not a blood clot but severe sciatica.  The PA said, "If you saw how we treat your leg you'd know why your sciatic nerve is so irritated!"  And the tourniquet they have to use to keep me from bleeding to death also irritates the nerve.  A nurse friend on Facebook said that is the most brutal surgery one could ever have!  Nice to know now-no wonder I was reluctant!  The pain in my knee is subsiding, slowly day by day, now if I can keep that nerve quiet I'll really feel better.  I've been walking around the house a lot, and making my own coffee in the morning.  I'd love to go somewhere but that doggone nerve makes it really painful to ride in a car.  I'll have to get creative about that!  Since  it hasn't snowed yet I'm going to try walking on the street again-just with the cane.  Whenever I used the walker I ran into little pebbles on the pavement and came to a grinding halt.  My shoulders get so tired I come in early.  But my gait is more surefooted every day, so I think I'll try it without.

I forgot to tell you the results of Stan's Holter monitor.  They found a bit of irregularity, but don't think it's anything life threatening and the meds he's already on are enough to keep it under control.  In fact the doctor said the meds probably masked the irregularity for a long time.  Good thing-I'm in no shape to take care of him!  I don't think he's as vigorous as he used to be-he went hunting Saturday and came home early-too exhausted to stay out longer.  Plus his knees were complaining about walking the hills.  He might be next for a knee replacement or two!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Today I should get my staples out.  I'm very happy-they itch like mad, and I think my "bending therapy" will go better without those dern things pulling.  I had to cancel my PT session with Jason this afternoon because I almost had an overlap.  My appointment with Jason at Bridger Orthopedics is at 1:30 in Bozeman and my appointment with Jason at Excel PT was at 3:00 in Manhattan (30 minutes away).  Didn't sound like I could make the PT so I cancelled.  I still have my machines at home.  I kind of have an abundance of Jasons!  I have some pain in the back of my leg I want Jason (Bridger) to look at, just to make sure it's not a blood clot.  I have 9 blood thinner pills left and if all goes well I will graduate to aspirin.  I decided that, given my age, I would stay on baby aspirin for the rest of my life.  Just a little insurance.  I am able to lift my leg up onto my hassock now, so that's progress!

I have been knitting some.  I am making a toddler's sweater-not sure for what purpose, but it was just a really cute and easy pattern.  I knit a few rows, Facebook a bit, nap a bit, then walk around the house working on my gait-who knew I'd have to learn to walk all over again!  Most of my big blocks of time are spent on my passive motion machine-I'm supposed to do 6 hours a day!  Not there yet, but I'll get there.  The physical therapist said a lot of people get in it at night, turn it on and sleep.  When Millie told Jason she wanted to go back to work after 4 weeks he told her she wouldn't have time-she needs that time to get her new knee in shape.  I will be going back to the church next week, but I only have to work for 5-10 hours a week so I shouldn't stiffen with that much.  Only thing is Stan will have to drive me in, so I probably will work from home for part of it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Family Thing

My daughter-in-law and I share the same knee surgeon.  Today she got the news that she is next to go under the knife!  Actually she should have been first, her knee is much worse than mine was.  Now she has to find a good time.  They want to do it the day before Thanksgiving but why ruin the holidays?  They also have December 28 open so I think that's the day she'll go with.  It's better for me, too, I can help more and will be finished with the "family walker."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Bit of Progress

My recovery is coming along, hampered only by the fact that I can't take any narcotics.  There were a few bad pain times and I only had Tylenol to take the edge off.  I think I'm beyond the really bad part, now.  I still am sleeping in the guest room so I can prop my head up.  But I can't get past 3:00 A.M. yet.  Of course I'm out by 9:00 P.M. so it isn't horrible.  I work so hard to get the leg limber and after it lays for a bit it stiffens again.  Had my first physical therapy session on Monday, another one today.  I will go twice a week with a goal of a leg extension of 0 degrees and a bend of 120 degrees.  A bit of work, but I'm at 7 degrees and 90 degrees so it could be worse.

I'm still mostly camped in my office, but my bum is getting tired of the same chair and I think I need to walk more.  I'm hoping that today after therapy I'll feel perky enough to stop at the local cafe for a bite of lunch.  Maybe later (or tomorrow) if it doesn't snow I can walk a bit on the street.  I alternate between walker and cane because my upstairs is not particularly set up for a walker.  I'm hoping to spend more time downstairs in the next couple of days, too.  Goals are good.

Well, I think I'm going to instruct Stan on how to make hot buckwheat cereal for a change.  And finish the paper.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Glad That's Over!

Well, I'm home from the hospital!  Tired and sore, and not liking my physical therapy, but time will pass and every day will get better and better.  They tell me 2 weeks are the marker, that after that I will start being glad I did it.  It is very good to be home, and I had superlative care.  They were very careful to note all my allergies.  I ended up not getting much for pain besides Tylenol because even with the anti-nausea meds the narcotics still made me sick.  I could live with the pain.  The anesthesiologist phoned me in pre-op and discussed my allergies.  He told me he would do a spinal and a femoral nerve block.  He must have used more painkiller in the block because my leg has not regained its strength and is in danger of buckling, so I have to wear the immobilizer.  I took it off at home, but I'm very careful-falling would really hurt!

I had THREE allergy wristbands-the admitting nurse said she wasn't taking any chances!

Only thing, I don't think they quite knew how to read the allergy panel report I brought and she listed everything that was on the test, not just the allergens!

It was just fine-I would rather they err on the side of caution.  Well, back to resting.  I have a ton of work ahead of me to get the new knee into shape.  They sent me home with an extension board to keep my leg from freezing bended, and a CPM, or continuous passive motion machine which keeps my knee bending.  And I go to a physical therapist.  Whew!  And I can't drive for a while, so I might as well work on my knee.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Tomorrow is the big day-I get a new knee!  Still kind of shaky about such a big surgery.  I have lots of allergies and it's going to be tricky balancing pain control with the reactions those meds might cause, but I have spent a lot of time discussing this with all the staff involved, so here goes nothing...

Thanks to all those who are praying for me and thinking of me.  I don't know what time it will happen yet, they will call me soon with that bit of info.

I set up my office as a kind of recoup room, since we have stairs in the house and no bathrooms on the main floor.  I have a TV, and my laptop, lots of knitting and my phone so I should survive.  I put together a box of things like napkins, salt and pepper, silverware, cream and sugar to have there-to save Stan a few steps.

I'm off to town to find a footrest and a little table to set up in there.  And to get my City Brew fix before I get cooped up.  Stan has to see the cardiologist today because he has been having some irregular heartbeat so they're fixing him up with a Holter Moniter to wear for a few days.  We're going to look like a fit pair in the hospital!

I should be able to blog a bit unless I'm really out of it, so once I'm home (approx 3 days) I'll be talking to you.  See ya later, Blogland!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Day(s)

Saturday some of us headed to El Centro or downtown.  We wanted to take in the Mercado and show Dave and Laura the cathedral and the downtown area.  Steve stayed back with the four boys and they camped out in the swimming pool for the day.  Millie talked Gracie into going with us, but she wouldn't go near the pigs' heads in the meat counters!  Gracie did get her twirly dress and Laura found some cool earrings.  We had to finally leave the market because it was a bit overwhelming for Gracie.  Then to the fabric store, but I need time to think, which is hard to do when you're with a bunch of people and it was really hot so I just decided to forget the fabric shopping.  Too bad-fabric is dirt cheap there, and they are more into the apparel kind of fabric and less into quilting.  So off to the cathedral.

 It's such a beautiful church, and there was a wedding just starting, which thrilled Gracie.

Dave and Laura in the square in front of the cathedral.  I think I need to frame this-a great picture of the two.

Lunch at Panama then back to the Golden Zone so people could buy the goodies they saw there the other day.  For the first time, I went upstairs in Seashell City to the museum.  Pretty nice-this is a fountain, completely encrusted in seashells.

Dave, goofing off.

That night, we fed the kids macaroni and cheese and the adults ate a nice grown-up dinner in the resort restaurant.  Sweet and sad-nobody wanted to go home.

We left for the airport at 4:30 the next morning.  We got back to Montana at about midnight, so we were an exhausted group!

 I don't know how he sleeps like that!

Or that way, either!

A nice little place for a nap.

 And another one bites the dust!

There went the girl, too!

Gracie sobbed all the way to the airport and when she got out of the taxi she threw up on the sidewalk.  She did NOT want to leave Mazatlan!  I think the grand throw-up total for the week was four for Sam and two for Gracie.  Plus Sam had a pretty bad allergy attack after the Fiesta.  Didn't seem to make them sick, they just threw up.  Millie was so embarrassed she washed the bedding at 1:00 A.M.!

We're already planning our next trip-hopefully sometime in late February or early March.  My heart is still there, but now comes the hard part-the knee surgery-so I have to wait until I'm cleared to fly.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another Fun Day

On Friday, the first thing I did was watch this cloud over the ocean pick up the rising sun's rays.

It almost looks like a mushroom cloud.  The weather forecast was for rain, but it never came.  Steve, Chris and Isaac headed out for a zip line tour.  The rest of us, all but Irene, headed to the aquarium.  First, Stan, Dave, Laura and I headed for a drug store to buy some Poli Grip.  The cashier looked at us-probably wondering which one of us had false teeth!  Laura had a temporary crown come out, and Millie had suggested this.  It worked well-that crown stayed in until they got home.  I'll be remembering that!  Then we hopped a pulmonia for the aquarium.  Jim, Millie and the kids got to see the sea lion show, but we were too late for that.  We hooked up with them just after the show got out and walked around with them.  Of course we saw sea turtles:

 And many, many fish:

We did get to see the bird show, very cute!

 Just watching the kids' faces was entertainment for me.  Everything was in Spanish, but it wasn't hard to figure out what was going on.

It was very reasonable-85 pesos for adults and 60 pesos for children.  That works out to about $7 and $5-not bad for a whole afternoon's entertainment.

Then we headed to Mega for more groceries then back to the resort.  The kids got a huge kick out of riding in the pulmonias-half of us in one, half in another, and we had to keep shouting and waving to each other!

We had a taco supper and the kids hit the pool.  The teens and Steve related an awesome time zip lining.  They even got to tour a tequila factory-and grumped because Uncle Steve wouldn't let them taste the finished product!

Then to bed-whew!  We were all pooped, and we had one more day of fun to enjoy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Jungle

We knew we wanted the kids to take the Jungle Cruise.  This is a tour of an estuary in the mangroves on Stone Island, and a walk through an old time Mexican farmyard, where we saw a cayman and several sea turtles.  This is followed by a stroll on the beach-we were carried there from the farm on a "Mexican Hummer."  Actually a big trailer pulled by an old tractor.

Crazy happy family.

 Don't remember the name of the smaller birds, but this is the first time I've seen them-probably has to do with the time of year.

The waterway through the mangroves.  The tide was still high enough for us to boat through.  During low tide it becomes a mud bog.

On the "Hummer."

Stone Island has the best beaches in the area.

After the hour or so on the beach they hauled us back to the hut, where our delicious lunch of fish cooked on mangrove wood waited for us.

The tables and benches were petrified palm tree trunks.

Our dessert was coconut candies-actually macaroons-made with fresh grated coconut.  So yummy and they gave us the recipe.

Then we headed back, and Fernando our guide brought out a bucket of fish to feed the pelicans.  He asked for volunteers and Sydney was first in line.

Pretty cute!

I had to get a shot of that hat!

That night most of the guys went to a baseball game.  Mazatlan has a professional AAA team-some of the players even come from major league teams in the US, wanting to stay in shape during the winter.  They do this at a mere fraction of what they earn in the US.  The guys had a blast-they showed Stan on the JumboTron and played Christmas music.  He played along and waved.  The crowd cheered and some lady from Canada passed him her e-mail address.  Nice try lady, that Santa is taken!

The name of the team is "El Venados" the deer, since Mazatlan was named by the local indians, "Land of the Deer."  Here is their mascot.

The family had had spaghetti for dinner, but I didn't eat since I was allergic.  So after the guys left, I freshened up and went to the restaurant all by myself and had a lovely shrimp salad.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Wednesday we all piled on the bus and headed to the Golden Zone.  I'm sure that bus driver did a double take when 13 people got on and all of the same family!

We went to my favorite souvenir shop, "Colibri" only to find out that Mari Lisa had closed up and moved on.  She was well beyond retirement age, so I hope that's what she got to do.  By that time we were already very hot so we stopped at Pancho's for a snack.  They ordered nachos, and since I couldn't eat that I ordered flan, but it wasn't finished cooking.  So after everybody else was done eating, they had to wait for me while I ate a scoop of ice cream.

A mariachi band wanting to play for the diners.

Our view north from Pancho's

Christopher had this wild idea he should get a tattoo, so we split up and they went in search of a parlor.  We walked through the Zone and took a "spider" back.  It's a small pickup with benches in the back and a tarp over the top.  It's called a spider because it seats 8 adults.  Turns out Christopher was creeped out over the tattoo parlor so they hopped a pulmonia and got back to the resort just about the same time we did.

 Father and son cruising along in the spider.

 Dave and Laura.

Gotta love the iguanas!

Then on to the Fiesta Mexicana at El Cid.  Usually we go to the fiesta in the big conference room on the street side of the hotel, but a guy came by and led us to the main dining room which faced the beach and had much better food in the buffet.  They also had the same show.  Irene decided to stay home-I think our mob was tiring her out!

 Gramma got to sit at the kids' table-I loved it!  Millie got the biggest kick out of the fine dining lessons I was giving.  They thought it was so cool to be so fancy.

Had to watch Gracie-she thought it was wonderful that the waiter would keep her in all the chocolate milk she wanted.

She was captivated by the beautiful twirly dresses.  Told me I had to make costumes for her and Sydney for Halloween next year-Syd in a white suit and sombrero and Gracie in one of those dresses!  Notice her fine hair is already popping out of the braids.

Then another ride home in a spider-we crammed all 12 of us in it.  Grandpa rode up front with the driver and had a great conversation with him.  That's what I love about Mazatlan-the people are so open and friendly.  The grown-up kids were not used to the unlimited beverages and were a bit (bit?) tipsy.  Steve and Millie entertained us with constant jabs and barbs at each other.  

The second best part of the night was hearing my favorite singer, Oscar Gomez.  The best part was watching my entire family all together enjoying the evening and each others' company.  Made me all misty-eyed!