Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Reflections upon packing everything we own:

1. We have toted many, many bags of trash out of the house.  It's mostly things that have outlived their usefulness, are expired, really old, or just not worth keeping.

2.  We have toted many, many bags of recycling out of the house as well.  The recycling bags fill up every day - it's so astonishing and incredible - our version of shock and awe.

3.  We have donated over a thousand dollars worth of items to the Women's Resource Center and to Goodwill over the past few weeks.  Clothing, sports equipment, bicycles, helmets, household items, dishes, coffee mugs, and so on and so on!  Whew!  But it does ease the guilt of getting rid of things.

4.  I have learned that I have too many things that are precious to me.  There are some things that I just cannot part with - most especially old letters, my fat lady sculpture, and a teddy bear.

5.  Even though I have gradually been getting rid of old clothes for months now, I still have way, way too many clothes.  It's very hard to choose what goes into storage, what goes to Florida, what I will wear on the road south.  I change my mind every day.

6.  Adam, Barb and Chris have really helped us clear things out.  Adam has really helped Dick with the barns, and with storing some things for us.  Barb has accepted some historic family items from Mother Gen and some other things as well.

7. I'm so glad that we have hired a moving company to take all of our things to storage.  I'm not so sure what we would have done otherwise.

8. We have too much china, too much crystal, and too many everyday dishes.


This week we have been working with the vendors for our yet-to-be-built condo. We have seen Deb at Floor Covering Brokers, Erica at Kitchen Choreography, and Beth at Nature's Edge.  We have pretty much finalized all  wood floors, tile, carpeting, counter tops, cabinets, sinks and tubs.

Next project is to select appliances -  refrigerator, stove, micro hood, dishwasher, washer and dryer.  Whew.  We have met with Rebecca at Sears, and with Dave at Max's.  We are leaning strongly toward Max's.  We really like the Frigidaire Gallery series of appliances with the brushed stainless steel (no fingerprints!).

After today, we'll be in T.C. for five more days only.  Our countdown has begun.  I feel like Robert Frost - "And miles to go before I sleep."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Copper Falls, Tub, Framing

Lunch at Copper Falls for Kathee with the Friday volunteers - Dick Joan, Peggy, Nancy F. and Kay.  It certainly is a lovely place!  The rocks and water right outside the window are really spectacular.

Dick found the whirlpool tub he wants at Lowe's - now he just has to give the make and model number to Brian ant the tub is taken care of.  It's our first upgrade.

Drove past the new condo lot, and discovered that they are setting up the framing for the walls of the lower level!

Hooray for framing!  And the colors aren't bad either.

My heart rate will not calm down.  It's been 130 since the end of lunch 2 1/2 hours ago.  And irregular - don't forget irregular.  This is a totally new symptom for me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our Eight Hour Day

Our day was well planned - first the dentist, then the blood test, drop book at library, shop for a jet tub for our new condo, and maybe get lunch somewhere, and then go home and pack some dishes.

Day began at the dentist for the routine 6 month cleaning and check-up.  It was long - she numbed my gums - a new experience - and so the mouth felt weird through the whole thing.  But all is well and I don't go back for another 6 months.  It took one hour and ten minutes.

We were at Thirlby Clinic for a blood draw and a pneumonia shot for Dick.  All I did was to ask if Dr. Burke could fit me in sometime soon for a consultation about my recent elevated heart rate.  After a lengthy discussion with his nurse (Barb) she and Dick convinced me that I should go to the ER.  I kept repeatedly saying I don't want to do that, I really don't want to do that!  I remember going to the ER with Mom a couple of times and remember it being tiring, stressful, frustrating, and lengthy - especially lengthy.

To make a very long story very short, we went to the ER.  We were there for seven (7) (VII) hours!!  We saw Annie, Renee the nurse, Dr. Fowler (I really liked him), Sarah for blood draw, another Sarah for chest x-ray, Megan for another blood draw, Kelly for transport to nuclear med., Molly for the VQ test (?) - it's testing how efficiently your body is delivering oxygen or something - I have to look it up:

[The test is performed in the radiology department of a hospital or in an outpatient facility. You are asked to put on a hospital gown. Once you are ready, multiple pictures of your chest are taken from different angles, using a special camera that detects the radionuclide. For half of these pictures, you are asked to breathe from a tube that has a mixture of air, oxygen, and a slightly radioactive version of a gas called xenon, which can be detected by the camera, and which measures airflow in different parts of the lung. For the other half of the pictures, the camera tracks the injected radionuclide to determine blood flow in different parts of the lung.]

Dick is reading a great book with good stories about growing up in northern Michigan at the turn of the century and beyond.  He kept me entertained reading me some of the best ones.  He had his iPad and I had my phone, and of course there are also magazines around, but it all gets old quickly. Hours
of waiting - but even after infusing 2 liters of saline to increase fluid volume, my pulse was still jumping all around.  I felt fine - not dizzy, didn't feel sick at all - just tired of being there.

Dr. Fowler came in at last and summarized:  kidneys are working well, no pulmonary problems, heart rate is high because of low blood volume - heart has to work harder. Stop taking diuretics.  Drink plenty of fluids and call Dr. Burke in the morning.

Finally, we were free at last.  Had a late dinner at Rico's - we hadn't eaten since breakfast.  Have to check in with Dr. Burke in the morning.

To summarize, today I got 8 hours and ten minutes of medical attention, and all I got out of it was clean teeth.

The most impatient patient.

Dick patiently waiting with the patient who is not very patient!

Dick's reaction when we are finally set free!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rainy Day Tuesday

Met with Beccy, Lynne and Brian this morning to sign the purchase agreement for our soon-to-be-built condo.

We had a very productive meeting : altering the floor plan a bit, discussing floors, cabinets, etc. etc. and swapping stories.

 Beccy is the one who keeps us all on track - asks all of the most important questions, and just generally gives us good support.  She is actually looking forward to taking over the planning and implementation of plans while we're in Florida.

We felt good when we left.  Our first assignment is to pick out appliances - make, model numbers, etc. so that Brian can plan accordingly.  Everything is included in our allowances except for the washer and dryer.

We had lunch at the Omelette Shoppe for the first time in ages.  Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries is still the best!

Then Dick got a clean bill of health for another year from Dr. Gillette, so that's another big plus.

Found this video on Facebook, and it just shows why I love that show! :

Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Day

Now there is a move abroad to rename the holiday Indigenous Peoples Day.

I think of this every year on Columbus Day:

But this entry on Facebook really made my day!

We will not be closed for Columbus Day today because Columbus is in Ohio.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Babs and Shon

Adam came over this morning with the trailer and cleaned out the barns - hooray - another big job done.  he has been such a big help to us in trying to empty things out.

John and Sharon drove up from Lansing to say good-by to the house and the river.  We had fun visiting, and they helped by carting away some things from our pantry - less for us to deal with!
Barb met us all at Schelde's for brunch, and it was so enjoyable.  The food was delicious, and the conversation was even better.  We had a wonderful time seeing all three of them!  What a terrific day.

In the evening we got a "keeping in touch" phone call from Susan.  She volunteered to come up and help us any time we need help with the packing, sorting, etc.  So far all of our girls (Laurie, Jana, Barb, Sharon, Melanie and Susan have offered to help us out that way.   We're doing OK on our own so far, but we'll see....crunch time is fast approaching!

Sharon sent this email after their visit - it is so thoughtful and sweet - it really touched me:

Hi Uncle Dick and Aunt Nan:

It was so great to visit with you on Sunday.  Thanks again for a delicious brunch and great company.  You both are doing a remarkable job sorting and packing up all of your house.  I know that it has to be a bitter sweet experience, but I am sure it has brought you some smiles, chuckles and great memories as you have uncovered mementos that you didn't even remember than you had.  Your home on the Boardman will always hold wonderful memories for all of us.  We are so grateful for all of the time we were able to spend there.  We were all so lucky that you chose to spend so many years there and include all of our extended family in so many special adventures.

Now you get to make new memories in Florida and eventually in your new condo in TC.  I think you said that today is when you sign the purchase agreement.  Hope that goes well.  I was excited to see the location of your new condo and think it is really a beautiful area and very convenient to get to everything.

Stay in touch and if you need us to come up and help you finish packing, etc. just let me know.

Love, Sharon

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Anticipation/ Excavation !

Errands in the morning - fun driving around in our new car!

We went back out to look at our hole in the ground.  Progress has been made, and most of the framing for the footings has been done.  My fingers are crossed for continued fast progress!

And now for something entirely different from

The Wolverines, playing with a tattered offense, clawed and scrapped and fought -- and even limped -- their way out of hell, for now, with an 18-13 win over Penn State. They found out that they can win a football game again. They found out that not quitting was the right move. They found out what leadership means. And, just as important, they found out that -- despite nasty talk of boycotts and protests angeneral rage -- they've still got perhaps the biggest fan base in America supporting them.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Medical Maintenance

Another paracentesis, this one ordered by Dr. Barnes, to be followed by an infusion of albumin.  I'll have to look that up. (Tech Natalie, Dr. Space )  We were at the hospital at 7:45, and we were all finished by 11:30, so it wasn't so bad.

Dick is so great - he very patiently waits with me, reads his book, and is just generally available for conversation or whatever.

At the Infusion Clinic

Followed by lunch at Bubba's :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Some News is Bad News

This feels like being dismissed, or maybe just dissed.

 My oncologist says that he's not my most important doctor at this point.  According to him, the cancer is not the biggest problem.  Evidently, the liver disease and the failing kidneys are much more important.  He says that any treatment he could prescribe to shrink the cancer could not be done because of damage that might be done to the liver and kidneys.  He has no alternatives, and I won't see him again until we get back to TC next year.   The kidneys were damaged because of paracentesis = evidently removing a lot of fluid can damage the kidneys.  In the future they can only remove 2 or 3 liters at a time, followed by a shot of albumin - not sure why.

 Thankfully I have a nephrologist and a gastro-enterologist to turn to, in addition to good old Dr. Burke.  The nephrologist's office is helping me contact a Dr. in Florida.

We continue to be discouraged, disheartened, disgusted and disillusioned by the Michigan football program.  I never thought I would see the day when that program would be so undeserving of respect .... because, after all, "It's Great To Be a Michigan Wolverine."

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Oh Happy Day!

This is the day we've been waiting for for an entire year!

 Ground has been broken at 4113 Lone Pine Drive.  Hallelujah !

 Of course there's no telling how much they will be able to complete before bad weather arrives - but at least we know that all of the permits are in place, and plans are underway!  Such good news...and such a relief!

It will not change our plans to leave TC on Nov. 4 for Florida.  But we may actually have a place to come home to next spring.


Michigan Relinquishes Little Brown Jug to Gophers

Michigan opened the scoring on a 10-yard touchdown rush by De'Veon Smith, but Minnesota answered with 30 straight points to take back the Little Brown Jug in a 30-14 final.