Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Dow, Jana and I

Today the Dow, Jana and I all  dropped 317 points.

 I had an appointment this morning with Dr. Mir, an interventional radiologist at Munson.  He is planning to do my next TACE procedure.  He was personable and friendly, but he said some things that did not seem very hopeful to me.  I like to stay positive and "up", but this meeting was kind of a downer, I can't really say why.

 Depending on a blood test that I took, he will call me tomorrow to set things up...or not.  We get different stories depending on which doctor we talk to.  I have either two tumors or three.  It has metastasized or not.  So I'm just being swept along with the flow of treatment without really knowing what we're dealing with.

Meanwhile, in D.C., there seems to be a question about whether Jana will have surgery tomorrow or not.  Evidently her blood glucose level is the determining factor.  She has dealt with all of the heart testing, the pulmonary testing, the sleep apnea testing for weeks and weeks now along with doctor appointments with all kinds of doctors too numerous to mention.  To have the surgery postponed or canceled because of a momentary high glucose reading is just unbearable.  She has worked so hard and missed so much work to get to this point - it's a real punch in the stomach - a really low blow.

Laurie arranged her whole family's schedules so that she could be with Jana tomorrow and for a few days following the surgery.  It really involved a lot of pre-planning for everyone, and it was worked out perfectly - the airline even cooperated.  It may have been a vain effort.

Dick is feeling very low.  Nothing seems to be working out for us - the condo situation, and the family health situation.  He feels like his world is falling apart.  I validate his feelings!

Even though it's not always easy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chicago Adventure

Laurie and Dylan spent a couple of days in Chicago before he flies home and Laurie flies to D.C. to be with Jana for a few days.  Here are some highlights!

The Bean

Lincoln Park Zoo

Dylan on top of the world!

Willis Tower

Architecture River Tour

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dino Duo

Found it 07/29/2014You found  Reach Out And Touch Someone Visit Log
Out today with the Dino Duo while the Chevy dealer was on a 4 hour mission to fix all the recalls on their GM mobile. We decided to celebrate the good news Mrs Bend has received from her oncologist by trying to help each other erase some Churinga DNF's. The Dude took me by the hand and practically pushed my face in to it. What amazing effort must have gone into placing this cache. I am definitely not a fan of micros but this one deserves a favorite. 
Didn't find it 07/29/2014You couldn't find Gone Fishin' Visit Log
As a general rule, we only post a single DNF for a cache which we can not find, even if we return and search a number of times. We first posted a DNF for this cache a year ago. Found the tool and had an idea of what to look for but blanked. Dino Duo, who had found it, saw our DNF and swung past to see if it was still there, they reported all was good. I came back solo another time last fall and again this spring. I even got the micro maven to crank up her walker and give me a hand last month. Finally, I emailed the Duo and begged them to give me a hand in person to help me overcome my Churinga nemesis. They came over today but, although they had spotted it twice before, apparently became infected by a case of BWB blindness and this time drew a blank.
I've tried the best I could so I guess this one will just have to go on my ignore list.

After caching, they came over and picked me up.  We all went to lunch at Rico's.  Yummy and fun.

Monday, July 28, 2014

No Mo Chemo

Appointment with Dr. Ruch this morning.  He says to stop the Nexavar (yay) because we now have doctors here at Munson who can do the TACE.

 He reported the results of the CT  showed that the smaller tumor was gone.  This sounds like good news, but it remains to be seen.  Not sure just how relieved iIshould be.  Except it's definitely good news that I don't have to take the chemo anymore.  The effects will linger for a week or two, but should lessen as time goes by :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blueberry Bye Bye

Sniders were here for a fantastic blueberry pancake and bacon breakfast this morning.  Then Laurie and Dylan loaded their bags in the car, and they were off.

When the kids leave it always feels like the end of summer.  Very sad indeed.  So Dick and I are both feeling just a little bit lost and forlorn.  Fortunately, we still have our boring old selves for company :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Our dear friends, Bill and Jan, Dennis and Chris drove up to see us this weekend.  Sniders arrived first, yesterday afternoon.  They couldn't believe how tall Dylan has gotten!  Isn't that always the way?

We spent most of the day chatting and reminiscing about old times and new times - family and friends.

 We got together with Dennis and Chris right around dinner time, and we all went to Boone's for dinner.  

Today all eight of us went to Round's for breakfast and we got a great table!  So much fun hearing everybody's stories and memories!

Afterwards we came out here to  the river - we checked out some of the samples that Laurie had brought home for the new condo.  Then we got out photo books and that caused a lot of entertaining conversation!  Dennis and Chris left for Brighton after a couple of hours.  It was so good of them to come up, and it was great to see them.  They have been dealing with problems caused by the renter who had been living in their house for 3 years - what a nightmare.  And Chris has to be in Gainesville by Tuesday to begin her new job at the University of Florida.

We were telling Sniders about how we were planning to drive Laurie and Dylan to Grand Rapids tomorrow to fly away.  They graciously offered to drive them down themselves in the morning!  How nice is that?

A marvelous time - old friends are the best.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kitchen Choreography

This morning Laurie and I went shopping for counter tops, flooring and cabinets for our new condo.  (Yes, that Lone Tree condo which hasn't been started yet, but, oh well.)

At Kitchen Choreography we met with Erica, who works with our builder all of the time, and is familiar with the condos - spaces, sizes, etc.  She spent a lot of time with us and it was very much fun.  They allow you to take samples with you so that you can be sure of coordinating flooring and such.

For lunch we went to the Town Plaza on State St.  It was the perfect day to eat outside, and we had a very relaxing lunch.

Afterwards we went to Floor Covering Brokers and met with Deb.  She's another one who works with our builder and is super familiar with those condos.  It was so enjoyable to see what was available, and to coordinate with the samples from Kitchen Choreography.  Laurie loves doing that.  I had never shopped that way before, and I was very impressed.  And tired.

We went back home, and I opted for a rest.   Laurie went back out shopping.  She stopped at Nature's Edge, another Lone Tree supplier.  Laurie brought home more samples!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bye Bye Chip

Chip packed up the pickup yesterday, and was ready to go this morning,  We all waved goodby, and another river summer has ended for Chip.  Bye bye.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kayaking Day

Dylan is a real pro on the river.

Chip and Dylan helicoptering

I never realized that the train came this close to the water!  The train is called the U & BE  (Up and Back Empty)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dunes Day

On top of Sleeping Bear

So much fun!

Somebody stole my hat!

At the Life Saving Station - Glen Haven

Waiting for the demo.

Goofballs don't fall far from the tree!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dennos Day

We all enjoyed the Park art display at the Dennos today.  The wire sculptures were amazing.  I'm so glad that Laurie remembered to take pictures!


Just a little spooky!

Three art subjects arising out of the mist!

My favorite :)

We also enjoyed the Inuit display.  The parkas are amazingly beautiful.  I especially loved the carvings of the sea hunters which showed all of the netting, weapons and equipment the Inuit used out in the ocean hunting seals.

In the evening we were back at the Dennos in the Milliken Auditorium to see Catch Me if You Can, by Miracle Productions.  Such a very talented group!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Willie and Downtowm!

Our guys spent part of this day in glorious downtown Traverse City!  One great thing about GenFest is that you just never know who you'll run into!
Comparing T.C. Kilwin's to the one in Stuart!

Shelly with her favorite son :)

Some high class cousins/tourists from Florida, Kalamazoo and Texas!

Chip and Dylan with two T.C. landmarks - The State Theater and the Martinek's clock.

Munson Ultrasound was very crowded this morning.  I showed up for my eighth paracentesis with Candy the tech, and Dr. Gartland. This time they removed 7.5 liters of fluid, the most ever.  It seems odd to me, because I have cut down on fluids and I'm eating a low sodium wouldn't you think that the ascites would improve?  Guess not.

Anyway, my reward was Interlochen this evening...because it was Willie Nelson!!!  Oh, and Alison Krause and Union Station.  Alison was one of the opening acts, and she was splendid!  We both enjoyed her music very much.  She sang some old favorites (You Say It Best When You Say Nothing At All) and some new favorites, such as "I'm a Ghost in This House".  So enjoyable!
Of course Willie was the main attraction.  Since he is now 80 years old, he doesn't really sing the songs...he speaks them.  But he still plays a mean guitar.  He played one of my favorites, "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground".

Dick wanted him to play "Paul and Me", but he didn't this time.

It was a wonderful night at Interlochen.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Girls' Day Out

Cousins, a beautiful peninsula, perfect weather, a little wine tasting....what could be better?  Shelly and Laurie show California Amy the peninsula, the light house, and a couple of wineries.

Shelly and Amy

All three great cousins :)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

GenFest 2014

The Peanut Gallery

All of Barb and Jim's grandchildren

Barb and Jim's entire family

Sharon and John's entire family

First, the Cherry Royale Parade :)

Our guys are parade ready :)

The best part of the whole parade - Dick walking with the Visitor Center folks.

At the cottage - kayaking to the island and back.

Tom and Deanna kayaked to the island too.

Tom and Deanna riverside :)
Thank you Sharon, John and all for another fantastic GenFest.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tomson Dickery

Tom flew in this morning for Gen Fest.  Of course we were all happy to see him, but Dylan was especially excited.  Tom was able to catch a few winks on the "red eye", but he was able to take a nice nap this afternoon.

For dinner we had crock pot pork loin, and it was so good!

Tom's latest girlfriend Deanna didn't arrive until 10 p.m., so Dick and I decided to go to bed and meet her in the morning.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Arrival From the South!

Our Florida family pulled up in the big white pickup before 4:30 p.m.  They made really good time, and they said that their trip was an easy one this year.

I made a big pot of chili for dinner, so we were ready no matter what time they arrived.  The chili was yummy, and it was wonderful to have them all here again this summer.

Their beds are all ready, and for the first time, Dylan is sleeping on the sofa bed in the "playroom".  I'm so glad we have the room to do that.

Monday, July 07, 2014

A Lemony Day

First we dropped in on Ed.  It was good to see him - he has retired now, and seems relaxed and happy with his life.  We left some Don and Dawn memorabilia for him.  He may come to the cottage for GenFest, but made no guarantees.  He says that Ruth is now living in Arcadia, and they don't get together very often anymore.

Max's service came out, replaced the timer on the dryer, and it still wouldn't work. so the dryer has been officially declared a lemon.  Let me rephrase that - the dryer has been officially declared a LEMON!!!!  Our service man advised that the next step will be to deal with Home Depot to get the dryer replaced.

We went to do errands - East Bay Township to inform them that our river property has been sold and they need to adjust our summer taxes and bill the new owner, ORV permits for Chip and Dylan, and Home Depot.  I was not feeling particularly chipper, so I waited in the car all those times.  While I was waiting at home depot, one of the side effects of Nexavar struck with a vengeance - cramping.  Hands, arms, and back of thighs seemed to be the main targets.  I did manage to get out of the car - no fun - and then just remained standing and trying to relax while the cramping traveled around at will.
Now my body is a LEMON too !

On the bright side, Dick arranged for a new dryer to be delivered Wednesday, and they will pick up the lemony one.  Now we have to order the correct propane conversion kit, have someone come out and convert it, and install the dryer. Then maybe we'll be back in business.  We are not exactly dancing with glee at this time because we know several things can go wrong from now on, based on past experience.

By the time we got home the cramping had subsided a bit.  Today is Brooke's birthday, and we had been invited to dinner at the cottage at 6 p.m.  I didn't trust that cramping to stay subsided, so I opted out of all the fun, and convinced Dick that he should go anyway, which he reluctantly did.  And I'm glad, because he brought back a delicious cupcake for me.  Happy Birthday Brooke, and thanks for the cupcake!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

We Visit NorthPorch

I wanted to go out for breakfast in a non-touristy environment.  Alas, Sparky's was full (Jerry and Lydia were there),  and Randy's was closed.  We went to Round's, and I have never seen it so crowded!  Unbelievable!  We actually sat on bar stools for breakfast!  But, as usual, the breakfast was worth both the long wait and the bar stool.

In the afternoon we went out to the cottage to see everybody.  Melissa, Autumn, Blake, Shelly, Chris and Drew were there, too, so we had a mini-reunion.  It's always great to see everybody.  It's especially fun to watch the littlest cousins enjoy each other so much.  It's a great group if I do say so myself.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Blue Angels !

John and Sharon have moved in to their rental on Long Lake.  Kevin, Amy, Maya and Ella are with them.  By the end of the week the entire Washington clan will be there together on Long Lake.  Their cottage is named NorthPorch.   And, most of the Steiger clan will be here together at the river.  That's how you can tell that it's almost GenFest time :)

This afternoon we went to watch the Blue Angels, albeit from afar!  We didn't want to battle the congestion and crowds, so we watched from our favorite ridge west of town.  We got good views of much of it, except for the low level aerobatics.  They flew right over our heads around eight times during the show, so we got to see them up close and personal.  Hearing the thunderous roar is half of the fun!

Long nap back at home, because we're going to Interlochen tonight.

The Capitol Steps performed at the Korson Auditorium.  We had excellent seats, and we laughed our heads off.  The performers are truly talented and versatile, and the whole thing was a real pleasure.

Summer Concerts: *JULY 2014 - Capitol Steps (8pm, Corson)

Location: Corson Auditorium

CAPITOL STEPSTaking a stab at anyone within reach of their verbal swords, these Washington insiders present sketches and parody songs based on current events – and the latest scandals from Capitol Hill – that will win everyone’s vote of approval.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Cache, Munson, Futbol

Dick began his day with a fun walk and a challenging cache.  He really got his exercise!
Found it 07/01/2014 You found Candy Cane Visit Log
When this cache popped up it was the closest to our home. I waited for someone to grab the FTF (another long story) and put it on the schedule. When we first retired, we walked these trails 2 - 3 times a week for anywhere from 2 - 4 miles. Sometimes we came together, sometimes I came solo. When we got into caching back in '03 it expanded our horizons and took us to other trail systems and places, some, that even as Traverse City natives, we had never before visited. As time passed and the hair got whiter, we find that caching is something that we do between Dr. appointments and for us to team up, the cache must be along a paved trail with a pick up spot within a quarter mile.
Today's appointment is in the afternoon and so, leaving the better half curled up with her lap top, the Yellow Jeep and I drove up to get this cache. When I pulled into the parking lot, we were .3 of a mile from GZ. The morning's too nice, I need more of a walk than that! So The Jeep went on to the furthest lot, now we'll get in a good walk. Boy did I ever! Closed in to where the countdown was in feet, got down to 176 and then started back up. I realised that at the junction, I had taken the wrong path. No problem, I remembered that if I continued on toward the dam the trail the cache is on joins up with the one I was on and I wanted a good walk. I wound up a little over 1/2 mile past with a quarter mile climb up to level ground.
Got to GZ and thanks to Churinga, spotted the location, signed the log and replaced as found.
Thanks McPatt and Marebare for placing this cache and giving us another tale to tell. Hope to see you at one of our Meet and Greets. The next one CG57T9H is at another neat trail system with some fun caches.
In the afternoon we made another trip to Munson for the seventh paracentesis.  Could #7 be the lucky one?  That would be sweet!  Today the ultrasound techs were Cory and Jackie, and the doctor was Patrick Gartland.  He was excellent and did a marvelous job.  I actually didn't feel a thing - a totally pain free procedure.  Hooray!  My job was to try to relax - easier said than done!  5.2 liters.

Where shall we put the needle this time?

Now watching  FIFA - U.S. v Belgium.  Go Blue.  Oh wait....  wrong cheer :)