Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunny Monday in Henderson

It's a beautiful day here in Henderson, Nevada. We're really excited about the weather forecast for this coming week as our friends are coming to visit and we want to show off for them.

We've been having a really nice time since I last posted. I did go to Women's Bible study last week, Wednesday. What a delightful time. I was so welcomed and felt at home at once. Maybe that's because as I walked through the door I saw the one of the few people I know in the LV area. Standing just inside the door was Phyllis, the manager of the camp I went to with Gretchen last summer. What fun! I don't think I've written about Phyllis before this. She is an outstanding lady. A strong Christian with a wonderful sense of humor, compassion abounding and great hugs. What a joy. It just so happens she is teaching one of the study groups and there was room in it for me. Joy! Joy!

We also managed to see two movies. We were so excited when we read in the paper that Sr. Citizens could see movies at one of the local casinos for $3 on Monday and Thursday afternoons. So, Thursday, off we went to see "27 Dresses". Jim walked up to the cashier and announced that we were there for the Sr. discount movie. The "very bored" young man looked up and said "That's 65 and up". $14.50 later I consoled myself with the fact that one look told that whippersnapper that we didn't look like "geezers". Anyway, the movie was funny and we had an enjoyable afternoon.

We had dinner with Brian and Gretchen on Wednesday. Jim and Bri cooked beautiful steaks on the grill. Gretchen prepared asparagus that was just perfect. That along with rice and bread made a wonderful meal. It's just fun to spend time with them, food or no food.

Sunday found us at Green Valley UMC again. We just love their contemporary service. It was good to be there worshipping again. It feels like home to us and we are blessed to have found this place to worship.

We are really looking forward to seeing our friends Jeff and Jan tomorrow. We have lots of fun plans, including a trip to Williams, AZ and the Grand Canyon.

It's way past lunch time and we are ravenous so I'm going to run and feed the hungry beast - that doesn't necessarily mean Jim.

I'm still working on pictures. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Life without the Internet!

Jim tells me all the time that I'm addicted to the Internet. Although, I deny that categorically, I do think I have a slightly unhealthy attachment to it. That has pretty much been proven this past week in Vegas where I have no Internet connection in the condo we are renting.

I find myself wandering around the condo feeling lost and out of sorts. Is it, could it be? No, not withdrawal. I'm sure withdrawal would be much more painful. Wouldn't I be pacing, crying out, crawling the walls? This is just a mild case of , of, of - okay withdrawl!!!!!

So, I've tried exercising more. It is good for my body and mind I'll admit, but it doesn't keep me from longing for blogspots and postings; for my online crossword puzzle and emails. Oh for just a few minutes of checking my bank balances and library holds. Just thinking of these things makes me sigh heaviily.

I know the library isn't far away. I can be there is just ten short minutes, but it's just not the same as my own little office where I can blog whenever I desire, email my dear friends, check bank balances at the touch of a key. I'm days and days behind in posting on my picture link. The pictures are taken, just not downloaded and uploaded. Oh My!!!

All kidding aside, I am enjoying the beautiful weather here in Nevada. I awake every morning to sunshine. We walk to the nearby park where I walk and Jim shoots baskets. This morning I took my coffee and the newspaper with me to enjoy after I walked. I met two delightful dogs today; Lexus (a beautiful black cocker) and Mercedes ( a white poodle). Tomorrow I'm going to take some doggie treats with me.

We've attended the church we found last year and tomorrow I'm going to Ladies' Bible Study. There is a Curves within ten minutes drive and the library is just around the corner from there.

Today we are at Brian and Gretchen's house. Gretch is working, but Brian and Jim are planting trees and shrubs. And I, I am using Gretchen & Brian's internet connection. Who coud ask for anything more?

So, I guess Internet aside, I am truly enjoying my break from Upstate New York's winter. Love and Hugs to all.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to post this Valentine's Day. But here I am and so delighted to be writing this post. For some reason, I can't seem to post from my own computer. I guess I'll have to call my ISP in NY to find out what the problem is. In the meantime, no pictures. Thanks to the Clark County Public Library, I am able to post.

It's been awhile, so I'll try to catch up. Since I can't post pictures (yet), I'll save Meghan's bridal shower for a later date. Let me just say that it was a lovely day and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Meg and Casey are just the dearest young couple. Can you believe she had her thank you notes in the mail by Monday? She has a few days off before she returns to Hope College and took advantage of that time to write thank you's.

On Sunday, we had a delightful lunch at our friends Ric and Sandi's home. She wanted to celebrate February birthdays, plus a farewell to Jim and I as we were leaving for our Nevada sojourn. The food was wonderful and the company awesome. Check out my picture link to see Sienna entertaining us. What a kiddo!!
Oh, I forgot to mention Lara's "vivacious" dessert. Yum! Yum!

Monday found Jim and I working furiously to get ready to leave on Tuesday. We did manage to go out to church for the Mexican dinner on Monday night. It was good food and good fellowship.

Our dear friend Linda picked us up early on Tuesday morning. After a substantial breakfast at Perkins, we were off to the airport. Everything about the flight was a-okay. We took off a few minutes early, landed a few minutes early with all our luggage intact. We found our rental car with no problems and were at the condo in no time.

We picked up Gretchen and Brian for dinner. They treated us to dinner at one of my favorite Las Vegas eateries, BUCA's. The food was terrific and it was soooo wonderful to be with our kids. Great evening.

Although the weather was great when we arrived and yesterday {70 degrees}, I think we brought a cold front with us and it is only 40 today. Last evening saw wild winds also. Gretchen almost asked us to go back to NY.

Today being Valentine's day, we are going to go out to a movie this afternoon and then cook together for dinner.

It is so good to be here. The sky is clear and blue and the sun is shining. What a wonderful break for us. We are so blessed and grateful for the wonderful time we are having in our retirement. We are also so very blessed to have each other. Last night, Jim came in and told me how happy he is that we like each other so much. Isn't that sweet?

So, with that I will close and say "Happy Valentine's Day" to all who may read this post. Love and Hugs.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Accepting a Challenge

You may have noticed that I haven't posted anything for several days. That is because I have been tagged by Cheryl to list seven famous people I have met. I have been wracking my feeble little brain almost constantly since Tuesday to come up with someone I have met who is at least slightly famous.

I asked my friend Linda VerPlank if she could think of anyone I know who is famous and she said, "Me". I told her the only reason she was famous is because she knows me. So there you have it.

The only people I have met who have any fame whatosever are authors. And most of them only know my name because they signed the books I bought from them at library conferences. Anyway, here goes:

1. Robert B. Parker - of the Spenser series.
2. Cynthia Rylant - Children and Young Adult author.
3. Harlan Coban
4. J.A. Jance
5. Mary Higgins Clark
6. Mary Jane Auch
7. James Marshall

The list is much longer, but since none of these people really recall "meeting" me, I won't list all the others who don't know me either.

The good thing about this challenge is that it made me think about the people who really matter to me. Who are famous because they have influenced me in really important ways. Although I'm going to list a few of them here, I have decided to choose a truly remarkable woman from my life each month of 2008 and write about her and what she has meant to me. I'm sure there are more than twelve women, but I'm going to start there.

Today I want to share a few of the women who have contributed to the woman I am today:

1. My grandmother, Mary Cora Reed. She was my caregiver, teacher, disciplinarian, love of my life for the first nine years of my life. Without her my mother and I would never have survived.

2. My Mom, Lucy Reed Huston. She was one of the strongest women I have ever known. She was a survivor and taught me to be one too.

3. Inez Chapel my fourth grade teacher who taught me to love learning and especially learning about history.

4. Jessie Ruvo who sparked my creativity.

5. My Mother-in-law, Elva Wolfanger who is to this day someone who loves me unconditionally.

6. Mag VandenBout, my spiritual mentor.

7. My Aunt Mary who prayed daily for my salvation.

I am going to stop at seven, but the list is so long. I can hardly wait to write about each of these outstanding women as well as others.

While I have been agonizing over this challenge, I have also been busy. I am going to share a few of the valentine cards I've been making.

That has been the really fun part of my week. Well, actually, most of this week has been fun if you don't count the two spots of unhealthy cells I had frozen on my face (on my birthday no less). Tuesday, I spent the day shopping with the two Lindas. We probably did more talking, coffee drinking, lunching and laughing than shopping, but it was a really nice day nonetheless. Wednesday, my birthday, included the dermatologist, as I said, but also a wonderful late lunch/early dinner with my hubby at PF Chang's. Because it was my birthday, we splurged and had "the great wall of chocolate" for dessert. Today, I had breakfast with my Thursday friends, indulged in a pedicure and had my hair done.

So you can see, it hasn't been a bad week after all. The weekend looks really promising with a bridal shower for Meghan. I'll post about that along with pictures on Monday. Until then, have a great weekend.

Oh, I almost forgot. I am tagging Tracy, Nancy, Chrissy and Stephanie to tell us about their famous friends.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Primary Eve

I wasn't going to post today - couldn't think of anything to say. BUT while watching the news tonight, a supporter of Mitt Romney said he didn't think John McCain had the temperment to be president. My husband said, "At least he doesn't cry". Food for thought!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

You Gotta Be Kidding

Could he really have seen his shadow? Come on, now. Anyone who lives in the Northeast has to be a little suspicious of reports that Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2, 2008. My first thought when I awoke yesterday was that winter, such as it has been so far, was over. There was NO WAY the old boy would see his shadow. Dark, dreary, overcast, yukky, whatever adjective you want to use for "no sunshine", that's what it was.

Even though hubby and I are gettin' outta Dodge very soon, we were rejoicing for our friends and loved ones who have to endure the next six weeks here. Looked to us like they would be easing into spring. But, NO! We turned n the television and what did we see? Good Ole Phil, and his shadow.

Now let me tell you a little about Punxatawney. Growing up in Pennsylvania, the first thing I knew about Punxatawney {or Punxy as the natives call it} was that it was the oddest name {outside of Tidioute, prounced titty-ute) in the whole state. And for many years that was as far as my thoughts about that little hamlet in southwest Pennsylvania went. Enter Lonnie Witt. Now this was one good looking dude. I don't know when exactly he arrived on the local scene, but by the time I was 15, I was noticing him, along with all the 16, 17 and 18 year old girls in my school. All this to say, he came to us from Punxatawney. In my mind, that was a reason to think Punxy was a pretty cool place.

Much later in my life, I began to realize the Punxatawney, and by default, Pennsylvania were famous for - you guessed it - Phil. You know, I bet if you woke Lonnie Witt up early in the morning on February 2, dragged him outside and shined bright lights on him, he'd see his shadow too.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Today is national "Red Dress Day", reminding us to wear red for Women's Heart Health. I decided that today is the right time for me to write about my heart "episode" which is what all my friends call my brush with death. Even in naming it "my episode" we decided to make light of it, but it was a very serious time in my life.

I was in my early 50's, working at a job I loved, but in the middle of writing a grant to help fund a building a our new library. My brother, who I loved with all my heart, had committed suicide three weeks earlier. I remember in those three weeks following his death being able to concentrate on my work, but in any moment when my mind wasn't fully engaged, I found myself thinking about my brother. And I was exhausted. I chalked my tiredness up to depression. I certainly knew I had reasons to be depressed. In the last two years I had lost my father, my mother, my husband's dear grandmother and now my brother. I guess, looking back, it was probably the most stressful time in my life.

My friend and co-worker thought I needed a distraction and so she persuaded me to take a day trip provided by our credit union to a Christmas show and luncheon. It was a relaxing and fun day. The food was heavier than I would normally have eaten for lunch and so I really didn't think much of it when while talking on the phone to my daughter that evening, I felt a fulness in my chest. The chest tightness turned into a pain in my neck and chin, followed by clamminess.

I knew something was really wrong, but talked myself into thinking it was indigestion. I did decide to call a friend whose father I thought had a heart attack and ask her his symptoms. Turns out, he never had a heart attack and she urged me to call the hospital which I did. They told me to get there immediately.

At that time, appearances were more important to me than they are now and I didn't want to look silly so I just went upstairs and laid down. It was no time at all before my friend was knocking at my door checking on me. I assured her I was okay and sent her on her way, but I wasn't okay. Finally, I did what I should have done in the first place. I prayed. I knew that people had pain in their left arm when they had a heart attack. I asked God if I should go to the hospital that my arm would ache. IMMEDIATELY my right arm began to ache. It felt as if it was encased in cement.

We were out the door in a matter of seconds. I knew I was in real trouble on the way to the hospital. Within fifteen minutes of being in the hospital, my heart went into ventricular fibrillation. Had I delayed at home, had I called the ambulance which didn't at that time have a defibrillator, I would have been gone.

The next days were full of tests, procedures, medicines and finally the installation of a internal defibrillator. I won't write about all of that. In the end, it was determined that I do not have heart disease - that's the good news. I guess the bad news is that they really don't know what caused the "episode". My cardiologist finally did admit that in the face of no medical answer, he thinks it could have been the stress.

Needless to say, I am delighted to be here writing this post. Of course, as I told my dear pastor the day after, "It really didn't make a lot of difference. If I had not been here, I would have been in heaven with Jesus". It really was a win/win situation. Many things have happened to me in the years since this incident. Many days, I have been discouraged and downhearted, but when I stop and think, I know that I have so much to celebrate. I have been given an gift of time and I need to praise God for every moment of it.

And so here we are, enjoying our retirement, travelling while we can still carry our own suitcases, remembering to be say "I love you" many times a day, and hopefully, guarding our hearts.