Archive for February, 2016

Old dog, new trick

The only reason I can type at all is that my mom required me to take typing in 11th grade. At the time, I thought that was a stupid idea and told her so, but she held her ground. I had one semester of typing and one of shorthand. I never became proficient at either, I use shorthand not at all, and I hunt and peck (albeit pretty quickly) to this day.

Habits die hard, and not all of them are bad. One good one that was absolutely drilled into me in typing class was that you single space after commas and semi-colons, and you double space after periods, question marks, exclamation points, and colons. Period. (space, space).

But I have been told that in this day of all things digital and word processing and fonts and such, you don’t double space after periods, or after any other punctuation marks, for that matter. I guess the software is supposed to put in the right amount of space or something. This, of course, goes against everything I was every taught, and it really rubs me the wrong way. However, I am now actively endeavoring to break myself of my deeply-ingrained double spacing habit. This is not easy. I’ve been working on this for several weeks, but even now, at the end of every sentence, I have to remind myself to only hit the space bar once. This is so awkward! Whine, whine, whine. Double spacing is much more comfortable, as habits generally are, but I think that if I can successfully break this relatively insignificant habit, doing so will give me the momentum and motivation I need to break some that are much more important.  = )

To answer the question, “Would you rather have judgment or mercy?” I say I’d rather have

. . . Cox.

For previous insurance reasons that required me to use a St. John’s primary care physician, for quite a few years, I had my mammograms done at St. John’s (now Mercy) in Springfield. Between the drive up there and back (90 minutes total), the registration time (5 minutes), the wait in the outer waiting room (30-45 minutes), the wait while scantily clad in the inner waiting room (10 minutes), and the time for the procedure itself (5 minutes), I generally allowed up to three hours for the whole shooting match.

But now that I am using a Cox primary care physician in Branson, my last two mammograms have been at the outpatient building at Cox Branson (formerly Skaggs), and I must say that in this regard, Cox can certainly teach their Mercy competition a few things.

Now, I will admit on the front end that parking was a challenge. In fact, it was the most time-consuming part of the whole adventure. For one thing, no one wants to park in the main hospital lot and then hike over to the outpatient building, so the natural tendency is to look for a space in the row of parking places in front of the outpatient building. Unfortunately, those spaces were obviously reserved for those who had camped out for them the night before.

The next place to look would be around the back of the outpatient building where a series of signs with big arrows (and we 50-somethings do so appreciate clear signage!) directs one to OUTPATIENT PARKING. Unfortunately, the few of those spaces that are vacant are “Reserved for Cancer Patients.” [Be it noted that I, not being a cancer patient, had no legal right to park there, and since I have great compassion for those who are, I would never park there anyway.]

So, having thus far located exactly zero available parking spaces, one finds oneself suddenly thrust, whether one likes it or not, into the depths of the new parking deck. I have always had issues with parking decks. These issues are probably about as rational as the deep-seated anxiety I face when popping open a tube of crescent rolls, but they are issues nonetheless. Actually, I suppose I just have a lot of questions about parking decks. For example. . .

1. Why must they have such massive, lumpy humps each time you turn to enter a new level? I could maybe understand this significant construction error occurring – and then being left uncorrected for all posterity – once, but on every turn into every level? Come on, guys! Are the parking deck builders not provided with levels? Even I, a somewhat normal (HA!) mom who lacks even an undergraduate degree in engineering can clearly see when concrete slabs have not been laid flat. With all the technology available today, can’t someone figure this out and fix it?

2. Why is it that the spaces in parking decks are situated such that if there really is an empty one, you cannot possibly tell it’s empty until you have driven past it? Really now, who wants to risk backing up in a such a structure? And then this corollary question, which I realize is probably just user error, but which happens so very consistently that one does begin to wonder: why are parked cars in parking decks always alternated big, little, big, little, big, little, so that if you do spot an empty space and begin to turn into it, you inevitably find that a tiny car only half the length of yours is already parked in it? Can people with micro cars not park so that the back of their car is flush with the backs of the two big cars on either side of it? This seems to be standard procedure for books on library shelves. Could we not sway the culture in this very logical direction for parking decks, too?

3. Why are there always workmen standing around in the depths of parking decks, and why are they so rarely working, and why do they give me the creeps as I walk past them and we exchange nods? Well, maybe the creeps part is my deal, but can’t the parking deck building and electrical and paving and striping folks just do all their construction work before the deck opens and then leave it alone?

4. And finally, why is it that if you drive on past the only three vacant spots in the deck because they are all three maximally distant from the stairs (and closest to the workmen standing around), the odds on your finding another empty space before you are see daylight ahead and are about to exit the parking deck are 79:1?

As I said, the parking deal was a bit challenging, but I did eventually squeeze my Durango into a space that was probably intended for a Honda Civic. At that point, I had the rather humorous challenge of trying to figure out how to exit my car without removing any door paint from the vehicle to my left, but I will leave that one to your imagination. Once extricated, I did also have a bit of a hike from my car – past the requisite workmen – to my destination, BUT from the time I walked into the Cox Health Women’s Center office until the time I walked out of said office with my mammogram completed was less than fifteen minutes! And on the shelf in the bathroom where I did my two quick changes, some sensitive female soul had placed a Dove milk chocolate!

This was my experience last year, as well (including the chocolate), but at the time I assumed it was all a fluke. Now, having invested a grand total of 48 minutes door-to-Walnut-Shade-door, I am convinced that this must be Cox’s S.O.P. for mammograms. I am duly impressed, and I am saving my Dove for a special occasion.

Jeopardy question: What is “Turn the radio up louder?”

Answer: My short-term solution to the Durango making a whining engine noise.

It’s nice to have friends who know what to do about car repair things when I don’t. At church last night, I asked J.R. to listen to it and advise me as to whether the noise was a “serious” noise that needed a mechanic’s attention, or a “trivial” noise that did not; you know, one of those noises that a twelve-year-old vehicle might produce just to make its presence known and grumble a bit.

J.R. listened, instructed me to pop the hood (bonnet for you Brit readers), and checked the transmission fluid. He said it was 1.5 quarts low. I noted where the dipstick was, way up against the dash, and asked where you put the transmission fluid in. Turns out it goes into that same hole that’s only about the diameter of my middle finger! I would clearly need a long, narrow funnel to do that, but J.R. said that if I took the Durango to our mutual friend, Bill, who works at O’Reilly’s, Bill would put the fluid in for me.

I thanked J.R. for his help and advice and then confessed that when it started whining about a week ago, it was intermittent; not all the time like it is now. I told him I didn’t like the sound of the whining (Philippians 2:14: “Do everything without grumbling or complaining.”), so I did what any wise woman would do. I turned the radio up louder. J.R. got a big belly laugh out of that.

Bill did put the transmission fluid in, and while it still whines a little bit, it’s much softer. But on the way home, the battery light came on. I passed that little problem on to Scott.

[Update: (2/26/16) The Durango is currently spending the day at Taney County Tire where it will be fitted with a new alternator.]

“Behold, I will do a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19, KJV)

So far, 2016 has been a year of several new things. This year, for the first time I have:

* Lost my credit card (at George Washington Carver National Monument; thankfully it was found and returned by a park ranger before I even realized it was gone)

* Had outpatient surgery (in Minnesota!)

* Attended a webinar (presented by Hope*writers)

And today I did something else for the very first time.

We have been banking at Bank #1 for at least 15 years. We currently have 16 accounts there. Yes, she did say SIXTEEN bank accounts! These include our family’s household account, our individual accounts (in some cases, two) for various family members, Scott’s consulting business account, his investment account, our ministry account, our health savings account, and accounts for our first three vacation rental homes. For reasons I’m not going to try to explain here, the account for our recently-purchased fourth vacation rental home is at Bank #2, and since I occasionally need to make purchases for the various houses, I was issued a debit card for that fourth house; I already had debit cards for the accounts of the first three houses.

With our having so many accounts, I actually have in my possession what can truly be described as a finer collection of debit cards, all but one from Bank #1, and with Bank #1, whenever I get a new or updated debit card – whether it’s handed to me by my personal banker (Yeah, Terri!!!) at our local branch or received “in a plain white envelope” in the mail – it’s always already activated, so my requisite to-do is. . . absolutely nothing. I just use the card. Simple.

But things seem to work differently at Bank #2. Both Scott’s and my debit cards for the fourth house’s account arrived in the mail, but there was a note with them that said that in order to activate them we had to either use them to make a PIN purchase or use them at an ATM. Lovely. Now, since Scott has always functioned as a most highly favored member of any organization of which he is a part: family, church, work, kingdom of God, etc., his card came with a PIN, and he was somehow able to re-set it to a memorable number and activate his card. However, I, being a mere mortal, was stuck with a card that was not activated and had no PIN. My PIN was supposed to come in the mail in two to three business days. Sigh.

My PIN did come on schedule, and it was, of course, a number I would never be able to remember, but in order to get it changed, I would have to go to an ATM and use the card. But truth be told, I had never used an ATM in my entire life! This would be something new and different. What exactly does one do at an ATM, anyway? Scott said I should ask for my account balance. I didn’t really have any reason to know or care about the account balance, but whatever. So I went to Bank #2’s drive thru and stuck my card in the ATM and followed the on-screen instructions and got a nifty little printout of my balance. That was fine, but what about my useless PIN? I called Scott from the ATM and asked him what to do. He didn’t know but said I could go in and ask them, which I did, and a very nice lady took my card, did something on her computer, handed it back to me, and told me to go to the ATM, and when it asked me for my PIN, enter whatever number I wanted it to be and then ask for my account balance; that should take care of it. So I did, and it did. And I now have two printouts of my account balance, and I have used an ATM for the first time twice in one day.  = )

Proofreader needed

Roberts Vacation Rentals just closed on a new house, and tonight at supper, when we were laughing about a certain word one of our kids misspelled years ago in a rather permanent place and which I therefore now see (and always smile about) on a weekly basis, Scott told us about another, more important misspelling. It seems that he had been reviewing information on homeowner’s insurance for the new house on Deep Forest, and when he keyed in its address, the insurance site said that that address doesn’t exist. Huh?!? Well, evidently when the developers set up the subdivision, they spelled that street name “Deep Forrest,” and nobody noticed or corrected the error! Velly intellesting. This might finally explain why, for the four-plus years we have owned the Reunion Rendezvous, also located on Deep Forest, we have consistently had to tell our renters, “Please use our printed directions to to the house. Do not use your GPS, because it will send you to some other place halfway across the county!”

It’s obvious that the world needs more copy editors.

A reading from Luke 2, PSRV

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Patty’s brain that all the seeds should be planted.

2 (And this planting was first made when Valentine’s Day had arrived.)

3 And all the seeds went into moistened peat pellets, every two into their own pellet.

4 And the pelletized tomato and red pepper and jalapeno seeds were all placed first into tan plastic trays under clear plastic lids, and then set in non-leaking foil pans that were carefully positioned on the middle of Jessica’s bed (because we had thrown out the dead office closet computer upon which we had germinated seeds for many years:)

5 To be warmed by her bed-heater, the bed being unmade and great with heat.

6 And so it was, that, while Patty waited, the days were accomplished that the seeds should begin to sprout.

7 And she brought forth her attic nursery, and set up the PVC frame, and laid out the ironing board, but then became greatly distressed; because there were no fluorescent fixtures or bulbs for them in the attic.

8 And there were in the same attic Robertses, searching in the library and the secret closet and Katie’s room and Katie’s closet, seeking two four-foot-long fluorescent fixtures and four four-foot-long fluorescent bulbs, keeping watch for them by the afternoon sun.

9 And, lo, Scott came to Patty and Josiah and spoke to them, and the glory of renewed hope sprung within them: and they were neither sore nor afraid.

10 And Scott said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I took down the attic nursery last year because it had remained up for so very long, and it did, yea and verily frustrate me. And although I don’t remember where I put the fixtures and bulbs, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For in the shop, you may find those items, which will be to you a great light.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the bulbs in the shop or in the lawn building or in the smokehouse or in the playroom or in the cellar, probably not wrapped in anything and lying wherever I placed them.

13 And despite looking diligently in all those places, there was sadly no heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and in the attic, peace and good light toward seedlings.

15 And it came to pass, as Patty realized the gravity of the situation, that she said to Scott, Let me now go even unto Home Depot, and see those things which I need to buy, which the Lord hath not made known unto us.

16 And she went with haste, and passing F Highway, considered that no tomato-loving Roberts would ever have trashed the sought-after items. Hence they had to be somewhere on the property, but what could possibly be the hiding place for six white items each four feet long? And she thought of Katie’s bed.

17 And when she had had this thought, she made known to Jo’s cell phone the saying which might be true concerning these items.

18 And he, when he heard it, also wondered at this thing which was told him by his mother. And he did go immediately and look under Katie’s bed, where the six lost items all were found.

19 But Patty kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And she returned home, glorifying and praising God for all the things that had been found, as it was told unto her.

21 And when twenty minutes were accomplished for the connecting and setting up of the lights, the job was called FINISHED, which was so named of Patty before it had been begun.

Mystery solved!

I week or so ago, after what can only be described as a significantly extensive delay, I made chicken enchiladas. I had actually baked the chicken while Katie was here (she left mid-January), intending to prepare and serve the enchiladas while the five of us were all present. I am pretty sure we all like them, and in our family it’s rare to find anything (food, games, habits) that everyone likes. The only hold-up was that I first needed to shred the chicken. Shredding chicken is a bit of a time-consuming pain, and I had eight breasts to shred, so I kept putting it off. After they had sat in the fridge for a few days and I realized I just wasn’t going to get around to shredding them, I moved them to the freezer, and then between spending precious time with kids, traveling to Minnesota for surgery, and having less energy than usual for several weeks thereafter, they stayed frozen and ignored.

But one day I got industrious and pulled them out. I armed myself with cutting board, monster fork, and podcasts, and tackled the chicken. Eight shredded breasts later, I decided to go ahead and assemble the enchiladas, and when I did, I realized that when I baked those guys so many weeks ago, I had planned to shred the four cups’ worth that I needed for enchiladas and cube the rest for other recipes. Oh, well. It turns out that I now had eight cups of shredded chicken. I shoved four cups’ worth into a big zip-loc and returned them to the freezer, and I used the other four cups’ worth to, at long last, make the ever-lovin’ chicken enchiladas.

My doubled recipe made four pans of five each, plus one big pan of eight, and I baked one of the small pans for our dinner that night.

We all sat down, thanked God for the enchiladas, cheese dip, chips, and homemade salsa, and dug in. While I slowly savored some chips and salsa, the guys started saying things like “Wow. That’s spicy.” And “Pretty hot!” And “Did you change the recipe? These are a lot, um, ‘warmer’ than usual.”

And I assumed they just didn’t know what they were talking about. I took a bite of my enchilada, and it tasted about the same as always. Josiah said, “Well? Did it hit you yet?”

“Uh. . . no,” I replied, chewing, but then suddenly my mouth was absolutely on fire! I grabbed my water bottle and chug-a-lugged for all I was worth.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I knew I had made them exactly as I always do, so why on earth were they so exceedingly, unbearably hot? I pulled out the recipe and reviewed it. Had I somehow doubled something I shouldn’t have? Well, doggone it, even if I had blown it, we weren’t about to throw away all the money spent buying the ingredients or all my time spent making them. We’d just have to eat them over time. And we had four plus more meals of them in the freezer, all just as scalding hot. Sigh.

So much for that nice meal.

The only thing I could think was that I must’ve somehow put in too many cans of chopped green chilies. I thought sure I had only put in the required two, but maybe I put in four by accident. . . ? If so, there wouldn’t be any left on the canned goods shelf in the playroom, because I always buy them four at a time. I left the table to check the playroom stock, and, lo and behold, the mystery was solved! There, right in front of God and everyone, were two cans of chopped green chilies, but when I looked more closely at the labels, they both said, “CHOPPED Fire Roasted GREEN CHILIES.” Aha! No wonder we all had steam coming out our ears.

I later called my friend, Tracy, who is known for her love of all things Mexican and spicy, and asked if she or anyone she knew would be interested in chicken enchiladas that are guaranteed to clear your sinuses and everything else on the way down. She said she had such friends and she would love to take them off our hands. So I will take those to her. In the meantime, still having in my freezer an extra four cups of shredded chicken, on my next Wal-Mart run I purposed to buy the rest of the items (that I don’t keep stocked) needed to make an edible double batch:

30 flour tortillas. . . check

16 oz. Mexican blend shredded cheese. . . check

2 cans black beans. . . check

1 large can green enchilada sauce. . . check

2 small cans chopped green chilies. . . uh, not so simple.

EVERY can of Great Value brand (read “cheap”) chopped green chilies said “Fire Roasted.” So THAT’S what had gone wrong! I have bought Great Value chopped green chilies for years and years, so I must’ve just grabbed them off the shelf as usual, without noticing the small “Fire Roasted” comment on the label. [Note: When I shared this story with Katie, she said that maybe the error wasn’t my fault at all. While she was home for a month over Christmas break, she did some of our grocery shopping for me, and maybe she grabbed the four cans of grossly overheated chilies.] I would have to go with a more expensive brand, but get this. There were four brands of chopped green chilies on the shelves, and three of those brands offered ONLY the “Fire Roasted” version. I ended up buying brand #4, “Hatch,” whose chopped green chilies were marked “Mild.”

And I made 28 more enchiladas and put them all in the freezer. We will probably try them in a couple weeks, and we all expect that they will be deliciously edible.

On seeing and hearing

I am being greeted pummeled by this concept from three different sources in less than 24 hours, so maybe it’s something God wants me to understand and receive. I will share it with you here.

Scott and I went on a unique date Saturday night. I wanted to go out to eat and “do something fun.” Scott wanted to go to the Rendezvous (our vacation rental home that is currently vacant ’cause this is the off-season) and sit in the hot tub. He also wanted to watch a movie, preferable “Woodlawn.”

I don’t particularly like hot tubs, but when something is important to Scott, I am becoming determined to do it cheerfully. I am also not a fan of movies (I often can’t follow the plot, have a hard time sitting in certain positions for a long time, and/or tend to fall asleep), but again, if Scott wanted to watch a movie, that would be a small thing I could do to make him happy. But in the spirit of doing something “fun,” I suggested that we watch the movie while in the hot tub! Scott thought this was a great idea, and we commenced to prepare.

First, he sent me to Wal-Mart to buy the movie, and let me just say that it is emphatically NOT SMART to go to Wal-Mart late in the afternoon, even in the off-season. It is less smart to go to Wal-Mart in the late afternoon on a Saturday, and it is significantly stupider to enter Wal-Mart at 5:30 P.M. on Saturday, February 13. The place was packed and absolutely crawling with males of all ages carrying around little vases and cards and stuffed bears and boxes of candy; they completely filled all the express check-out lanes.

Furthermore, simply locating one’s desired movie at Wal-Mart is an exercise in frustration, and surely you know by now that in my life, I am NEVER looking for extra frustration. Wal-Mart has two racks of all-kid movies (I didn’t bother with those) and an innumerable collection of other racks, circular displays, end-caps, and various stands holding movies. These movies are not grouped by vintage, genre, title, price, popularity, or any other discernible pattern. They are just a lot of movies. Period. While I knew I was looking for “Woodlawn,” I had no idea what the box looked like or even what color it was. So I called Scott, twice, and both times, my call was forwarded. Sheesh! I did FINALLY and completely by chance find the movie. I paid for it and left the pink-encrusted store (where the Valentine aisles were being converted to Easter aisles, even as I stood in line!) as quickly as possible.

Second, we packed what we would need: swimsuits and towels, Scott’s computer and massive monitor, his mouse and the movie, clean underwear and deodorant, popcorn and water bottles, etc. We ate at our favorite Chinese restaurant and headed to the Rendezvous.

With some effort, My Hero got everything set up, and we settled into the hot tub to enjoy our movie. However, there was one problem. We couldn’t figure out how to turn off the bubbling of the hot tub! Of course, the hot water felt good – especially because it was about 30 degrees and windy out! – but even with the volume on Scott’s computer turned up all the way, and even leaning forward toward it, we couldn’t hear the audio well enough to really understand what we were seeing on the movie.  = {  We ended up having to move into the family room and watch it on the TV there.

That was Saturday night.

Sunday morning, as we were heading out the door to church, we suddenly got word that our service had been cancelled because freezing rain was forecast during church, which could make driving home afterwards treacherous. Also, the sanctuary heater was not working, and the temp in there was about 45 degrees. Sigh. But we were all dressed up and ready to go, and we wanted to participate in some good worship and hear a good sermon, so we went to a different church in town. That pastor’s sermon was titled “Hidden in Plain Sight,” and one of his key points was that the battle for my eyes (walking by faith and not by sight) is won through – of all things – my ears (the “voices,” within or without that I choose to believe). So, in situations that are difficult or painful for me, and I do face several of those, it’s vitally important for me to focus more on what God says than on what I see in front of me.

That was Sunday morning.

Sunday after lunch I read Jessica’s latest blog post, which you can read here, and in it she said (bold emphasis mine), “Eve made a decision about eating from the tree of knowledge based on her eyes, not on what God said. . . Never mind that God had given her and Adam a very dire warning about what would happen if they ever ate from that tree. Disregarding what God said, Eve made a fatal decision based on what she saw, and every generation afterwards has suffered the consequences of her wrong choice.”


Three times in one day I am hammered with this same principle? From a hot tub, a sermon, and a daughter? Seriously?!? I am beginning to get the distinct impression that in several areas of my life I REALLY need to look up, write down, remind myself of, and meditate on what God says. I need to hear his answer and focus on that, instead of focusing on the problem in front of me that I can’t avoid seeing.

OK, God, I hear you. And I think I get your point.

Same song, second verse

As I started walking this morning, I saw a red pick-up truck parked by the gas pumps at the Casa de Luz. No one was in the truck.

Just past the Cas de Luz, I noticed quite a few pieces of plastic of various colors strewn along the shoulder.

On my return to the house, in the grass right by the Coffee Road sign, my incredible powers of perception enabled to me spy a – you guessed it – dead deer. Sigh.

When I mentioned this situation to Andrew, he said that last night, while we were away on a date, he had heard that truck hit that deer, and had seen the driver wait for a while for someone to come pick him (the driver, sadly not the deer) up. That made it all make sense, and when I looked more closely at the truck, I saw that its front end was rather beat up, and some of the turn signal and headlight cover plastic was partially shattered, probably the result of a sudden and forceful impact with a fairly large mammal.

After church, I did what any responsible citizen would do. I sent the following text to Tracy (wife of Erick of carcass extrication fame). “Hi Tracy, I’m wondering if your husband might be interested in starting a dead-deer-dumping business.  = )  This morning another one greeted me in the grass by the Coffee Road sign! If he’s willing, let me know what he’d charge for such service.”

To which she promptly replied, “Ha-ha! I will let him know it’s down there. We are going up to [another location] to pick up deer cams and will pick it up on the way. . . We will grab it in the next hour or so.”

So I fully expect Dead Deer #2 to have mysteriously disappeared by tomorrow morning.

The most amazing surgery story ever – part 4 (conclusion)

(January 21, 2016 “Ready to start home”)

In an hour, we leave the hotel for a follow-up appt. with Dr. Shibley, and then on to the airport. Scott will be arranging wheelchairs and early boarding for us, so all should be fine. I will be lazy and continue to be treated like a queen.  = )

I feel good – no pain when sitting or lying down, but a little bit when getting into and out of those positions. Walking (I’ve been doing two laps of the hall each hour when I’m awake) is just a little bit uncomfortable, I think mainly because my clothes brushing against my steri-strips is slightly irritating. In the privacy of our room I can keep my incision site uncovered, but I’m pretty sure the hotel would frown upon a public display of my purple smiley face. My digestive system is once again happy.

I am quite tired, which is to be expected. I haven’t been sleeping very well at night, although a Percocet at bedtime did buy me four straight hours of sleep last night. But I can fall asleep sitting down at any time; like hopefully on a plane!

Please pray for all the usual things involved in flying, especially since we will once again be in violation of several of “Katie’s Rules of Air Travel.”

My guess is that when we arrive home, I will be ready for bed, so I may not deal with sending an email tonight to say we made it. Just assume all is well, and thanks SO much for taking time to pray so faithfully for us.


Patty, who is pretty sure it’s time for another nap  = )


(January 21, 2106 “Home!”)

It’s 9:20 PM Thursday and we are home!

Due to our flight being delayed out of Minneapolis because our plane had to be de-iced, we ended up having a rather tight connection in Chicago. We made it – thanks to a nice young man who wheeled me from concourse K to concourse G – but my checked bag did not. It will be delivered Friday morning.

So God has answered ALL those very specific prayer requests, and we are both so, so, so very blessed.

I’m tired and a little sore, but ibuprofen and heating pads are my friends.  = )

The doc today said everything is wonderful, all my pathology (lots of fibroids) was negative, and I should continue to feel better each day. I can resume normal activity as tolerated, but am supposed to mainly rest, walk daily, and drink a lot (of water!) for two weeks.

Thank you all and good night.


(January 26, 2016 “Update, 7 days post-surgery”)

Several of you have called, emailed, or texted to ask how I’m doing, and the short answer is GREAT!!!! I have been working on an editing project and year-end ministry donation receipts and various parenting matters, and I am sorry that I haven’t yet been able to reply to you individually. I very much appreciate your prayers and interest!

I’ve not taken anything for pain (not even ibuprofen) the past couple days, and I only have mild discomfort when bending and when getting in and out of certain positions. Hence I avoid bending and stay where I’m comfortable.  = )

Mostly, I tire easily and there are times when I just want to sit and do nothing, so I do. I am able to walk, climb stairs, and do most normal things. I’m not driving yet, but plan to drive just a bit on Thursday. I’m also not doing normal housework (laundry, washing dishes, cleaning), so either the guys or doing it or it just doesn’t get done. I am OK with that. Our church and other friends have been bringing us meals and that has been a HUGE blessing.

My main prayer request is to be able to sleep at night. The first night home, I slept 10:30 PM to 8:00 AM, but since then, it takes anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to fall asleep (no exaggeration), and then I wake up about every two hours and can’t fall back asleep. Even an Rx sleeping med doesn’t seem to work, and I am getting pretty desperate to sleep four or five hours straight at night, and eight would be even better. I think when I can get back to my regular morning walks, that will help a lot, but I just don’t have the energy to walk for exercise yet.

Thank you for asking and for praying!


(February 5, 2016 “Update, 17 days post-surgery”)

One of my friends asked how I’m doing, and that made me think it would be good to update all of you at once. In short, I’m doing great and thanks for praying!

I am basically back to full speed, with the exception of resting – and sometimes falling sound asleep – for about an hour each day in the early afternoon. I’ve resumed my morning walking, but not yet as far or as fast as formerly. I’m doing two of my usual four laps now and plan to be back up to four laps in a couple more weeks.

I’ve been having night sweats each night; please don’t bother to try this at home. Just take my word for it that they are decidedly not recreational. I had thought for sure that I was done with such stuff when our bed-wetting child finally outgrew the habit, but maybe the repeat physical situation of dealing effectively with wet sheets while semi-asleep at 55 is something akin to the repeat parental situation of dealing effectively with toddler-hood’s defiance in a teenager!

I have no pain at all; just some mild fatigue, and. . . rejoice with me. . . I have not bled at all in 14 days!!!!!  I’ll have a follow-up appt with my PCP next week (at 3 weeks post) at which I expect I’ll be released for full activity of all kinds, without restriction. [NOTE: I did have that appointment and that is exactly what happened. My PCP was AMAZED at my recovery!]

So far, our out-of-pocket expenses for the whole deal have totaled $400, and Medi-Share sent us a check for $500 ($100/day to cover our incidental expenses for food, car rental, etc. during our five-day foray into the Arctic), AND they told us we shouldn’t be receiving any medical bills [we haven’t] and who to call if we do, AND they have reduced our family’s monthly “share” (premium), which is normally $400, to something like $125 for March, April, and May. We are SO BLESSED!!!

I know that God has powerfully answered your prayers for me.  I am grateful to him and to you, and I am humbled.

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