Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
The past nine weeks, since Bruce and Shelly's accident, have been a nightmarish blur most of the time. As awful as this accident was, and considering we still don't know the outcome for Bruce, we also know that without it, Shelly might well have lost her life to cancer. Does anyone see the hand of God in this? I sure do.
So, today, dear bloggy friends, as you continue to pray for Bruce's recovery, which is very, very slow, take a moment to thank God for this life saving news about Shelly.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
After lunch, we shopped. First in Little Italy, then SoHo, then China Town. I guess we would all say China Town was the best. The merchants there are willing to bargain, and bargain we did. It was such fun.
It was dark and quite a bit colder when we arrived back at the hotel. One of the tour guides had given us some good advice about restaurants. We were into American food and found a great little bar and grille on 8th Avenue and 46th St. We enjoyed the food and the atmosphere at The Joshua Tree. Then it was back to the hotel and off to bed.
Saturday dawned cold and rainy. We started at Macy's for breakfast.
After a quick stop at the hotel, it was off to more fun things to do. Kacy and Deb were off to China Town again to shop, while I was about to experience the best part of my trip to the Big Apple. An old family friend (old because I've known him since birth, not because of chronology) is living and working in NY and we made arrangements to meet at the hotel where he is the pastry chef for tea.
I met PJ (now P. Julian) in this lobby. What a beautiful and elegant hotel. Thinking I might like to stay here in fashionable SoHo sometime, I asked him about the rates. $500 - $3,500 per night might just a little too rich for my blood. The tea, however, was outstanding and the two hours I spent reminiscing with this delightful young man was precious to me. After tea, promising not to wait 15 years to get together again, Julian walked me to the subway and I was on my way to Times Square to stand in line for cheap tickets.
By the time I reached TS, the rain had turned to huge wet snow flakes. I stood in line for over an hour with my umbrella up only to find when I arrived at the ticket office that the shows we were interested in were not offering any tickets. **Sigh**.
I was wet, achy and tired. I phoned Deb, who was on her way back from China Town, and told her to meet me at the fabulous Joshua Tree Bar and Grille where I would be having a glass of wine. When they arrived we had some more wine (Kacy had Sierra Mist) and some potato skins. This was enough to get me back to the hotel for a little nap while Deb and Kacy went back to Macy's.
I was beat by then and was determined to skip dinner, but Kacy and Deb shamed me into getting dressed as it was our last night in NY. We found another little restaurant on 8th Avenue, this time a European one. We had a great dinner, with Kacy and Deb even opting for dessert. By the time dinner was over the rain had stopped and I was truly happy that I had not been a wet blanket (literally) on the last night.
Too soon, it was Sunday, and we were back on the train heading for Rochester, NY.
If you have read through this lengthy post, I give you my hearty thanks and many, many
Monday, December 7, 2009
She is really a good sport. She knew when I took this picture that it would end up on my blog, but she didn't mind at all.
Our hotel was directly across from Penn Station, making it really easy to get from the train to the hotel. Check-in, was a little less convenient, but after a wait in line, finding out that we couldn't check in, and stashing our bags (for $4 each) in the luggage room, we were off and exploring.
Radio City Music Hall where we would go on Friday to see the famous Christmas Show with the Rockettes. Next was.....
Rockefeller Center. This was such fun. We saw the tree, the crowds of people, the ice skaters, the angels, toy soldiers, etc., etc.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
We awoke to mild temperatures this morning. It's 51 degrees. A perfect day for travel. Jim and I are busily packing and preparing to leave for our Thanksgiving holiday in Pennsylvania. We plan to be at our sister-in-law, Deb's, for dinner tonight. I am excitedly thinking about what yummy dinner she is preparing for us. As you know, if you read my blog at all, she is so special and precious to me. She and Kacy are such a connection to my late brother who I adored. I guess it's just natural that I would adore his wife and daughter, my dear niece.
Tomorrow we will have dinner with Deb's niece and her family. Marty has two little boys who are cute as bugs. I am looking forward to spending some time with them. It should be a really fun and happy day.
Friday will take us to Emporium to see Jim's mom for awhile. She will spend Thanksgiving at her Adult Care facility this year, but we will be back in Pennsylvania shortly to celebrate her 95th birthday. What a happy celebration that will be.
I have so much to be thankful for that I just don't know where to start. Suffice it to say, I feel blessed every moment of my life and thank God for his grace and mercy to me.
This is a very busy travel holiday so if you are travelling, please be careful and watch out for the other guy.
Friday, November 20, 2009
~I made some favorite dishes; spaghetti pie and taco chicken. Both of these recipes are easy to make and yummy to eat. Both can also be frozen and reheated at a later date. These are great casseroles to take to friends in need or to have on hand for company.
In my case, I have a friend who is going through some medical issues in her family and she is taking up all the slack that occurs when a family member is ill. She is such a wonderful mother and friend. I marvel at the ability she has to keep going and going; just like the Energizer Bunny. So, I thought a visit from The Food Fairy was in order. I didn't photograph the casseroles, but here's dessert.
It was such an enjoyable afternoon, snug in my kitchen with the wonderful food aromas filling the house. It makes me anxious to begin my Christmas baking.
Then, because I'm not a big fan of Thursday night television, I spent the evening in my craft room...
~creating these for Thanksgiving.
I thought they would make cute place cards for the table. We are spending Thanksgiving with my SIL, Deb and niece, Kacy. Dinner will be at Deb's niece's house. We are really looking forward to Thanksgiving and a chance to be with this part of our family.
Well, I'm going to run. Tonight I'm planning to see a local production of the musical Carousel. My friend, Shelly, is the choreographer. The director is another acquaintance of mine. A great guy and a good director. I'm sure the show will be a delight. Have a happy weekend.
Thy fate is the common fate of all;
Into each life some rain must fall."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I went to the hospital to spend the lunch time with Bruce today. He is having a regular diet now, and although he can feed himself it is a little difficult with only one hand so, sometimes, it's nice to have a little help. It was nice to have that time to visit with him by myself. He's doing pretty well and I think it won't be long before he's off to a skilled nursing facility for his orthopaedic rehab. They can't start his spinal cord rehab until the orotho is done, so the sooner the better.
In between hospital visits and trying to get some exercise, I have been working on putting my craft room back together. I am so excited to finish it and post some pictures. Jim has done such a nice job of painting and refitting it, I am anxious to show it off.
He's also finished painting the downstairs bathroom and I'm trying to get that finished too. My main problem is window treatments. I just can't make up my mind. I'm thinking of Roman shades in the craft room, but haven't seen exactly what I want yet. I'm not one of those people who has a decorator's touch. I really agonize. Any suggestions will be gratefully accepted.
I know my postings have been sparse and a little boring lately, but I'm going to get better....sometime, I promise.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
We went to dinner before the movie. The food was good and the company better. We did enjoy the movie. There were only two other people in the theatre besides us. They left as soon as the picture finished. As soon as (the bad) Linda realized they were gone, she began to howl. And, of course, I couldn't let her howl alone so I joined her. The good Linda, however, did not howl.
As for a review of the movie, my only comment would be that it seemed much more an adult movie than a child's. The wild things were charming and Max was a delightful little boy. And though I know his mom was relieved to have him back safe and sound, I still think there should have been a consequence for biting. Is that the disciplinarian in me speaking?
All-in-all it was a great day. Bruce continues to make progress. It's slow, but it is forward and for that we are grateful. He's eating soft foods, taking his meds orally and breathing with only the nose prongs. All this is good and we are thankful. Please continue to remember Bruce and Shelly in your prayers.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
This is all good news. Praise the Lord.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The spinal surgeon had told Shelly earlier that he was sure there was some spinal cord activity, but to see it with our own eyes was a wonderful gift. The surgery went well. They did not repair the shoulder as they want to wait until the breathing tube is out as that will make the surgery easier.
And did I mention the other good news? His peep (I have no idea exactly what that is) is 5 (and I do know that that is good). They are hoping to remove the breathing tube tomorrow. They may or may not do a temporary trach depending on how he responds.
I cannot be grateful enough. I am praising God and standing in awe of the work going on in Bruce's life.
Thanks for your prayers. Please keep on.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
~Have lunch out three times. What is it about times of crisis that make us think we can eat whatever and whenever we want? I know some people don't eat in crisis, me, I just want lots and lots of sweets and fats.
We have had some good news in the past few days. The spinal surgeon has told Shelly that there is movement below the site of the injury. He seems to have some movement and sensation. How much and how long the therapy will be isn't quite evident yet, but this is better news than we really expected. He is, however, still on the ventilator as his bruised lungs are healing slowly. This is a source of great frustration to him. I cannot even imagine how he must feel.
We are still waiting and praying for the final surgery on his leg and arm. That won't take place until his lungs are more stable. Let's pray that that is this week.
I want to thank everyone for all their prayers and support. We are so thankful for all the people around the country and world, actually, who are praying for Bruce and Shelly. We do have so much to be grateful for. You are all wonderful.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I have been away for a long time. Let me explain. Last Friday evening on the way home from a playing date with their band, my dear friends, Bruce and Shelly, were involved in a serious automobile accident. They were hit head on by an intoxicated driver.
Bruce was driving and took the brunt of the hit. Shelly escaped with a lot of bruises and a cracked rib or two. Bruce, however, was severely injured. At first examination it appeared that he had a broken femur, wrist, elbow and shoulder. On top of that he had contusions and trauma to his lungs.
Shelly was, understandably, in shock and asked me to come to her house and stay with her. We decided to have dinner out and then go to the hospital about 8:30 PM. When we arrived at the hospital, two doctors were waiting in the hall for us. They took us into Bruce's empty room and told Shelly that during the afternoon Bruce had lost feeling in his legs. A subsequent CT scan showed a break in his spinal column that had, at that point, left him paralyzed from the waist down. The head spinal surgeon at Strong Memorial Hospital strongly urged Shelly to sign permission for emergency spinal surgery, which she did.
It was a long night. They took Bruce, broken as he was, to surgery to repair the damage to his spinal column. Prior to the surgery, and MRI, the (may I add wonderful and compassionate surgeon) said he suspected a possible severance of the spinal cord. At 3 A.M., he called Shelly in the waiting room to say the injury may have been less severe than he had at first suspected and that Bruce had weathered the surgery well, and the spinal cord was not severed.
As of today, Bruce still faces surgery to repair the bones in his arm, leg and shoulder and has had no perceptible improvement in his lower extremities. This is not to say that that won't happen. Whatever the outcome, he and Shelly have a long road ahead of them.
I am still staying with Shelly. My husband is a saint and says stay as long as she needs me to. The outpouring of love and support from people all over the country has been overwhelming. Bruce was a former Band Director and Shelly is a German teacher in our school system. They have influenced untold numbers of students and their parents.
Please pray for grace and mercy as Bruce faces this long road of recovery.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
DISLIKE - Raking those beautiful colored leaves after they fall.
DISLIKE - Frost on the car windows in the early morning.
LIKE - Walking on the canal path on crisp autumn days; stopping for soup and a sandwich for lunch.
DISLIKE - Saying goodbye to my summer flowers.
So these are some of my likes and dislikes, but isn't that what life is all about? Taking the bitter with the sweet? I have to say that I like the change of seasons. I even like winter..if it didn't last for nearly six months.
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned
that within me there lay an invincible summer."
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
When I arrived back home, Jim had a nice bowl of soup waiting for my lunch. Isn't he just the bomdigaty? After throwing a load of laundry in the washing machine I decided I didn't want to do anything else that resembled work. So, I took myself off to my workroom, put some cool CD's in the player and got out my stamping stuff.
I did, literally, stamp the whole afternoon away. I stopped for a cup of coffee in the middle of the afternoon. At 4:30 I walked in the kitchen for a minute and Jim was putting a salad together for our dinner. He said to keep going, he would cook. Let me stop here to say this isn't unusual. We really do share the cooking and cleaning up. Anyway, I thanked him and went back to my room to stamp some more.
What a great feeling it was to accomplish so much. I made some birthday and get well cards to have on hand as well as a handful of cards that I can use for whatever occasion comes up. I just didn't put any greetings on the insides.
I got some great ideas at the workshop for Halloween and Thanksgiving cards and my next project will be making holiday cards. Because --- before we know it, it will be time for Christmas cards. In fact, we will make Christmas cards at our next workshop. I almost always come away with a good idea for my Christmas card.
See the cute pumpkin on the middle left? Although I'll have to send him in a padded envelope, I think my great nieces and nephews will like him. I think the wreath is my favorite. I'm thinking that will be a good Thanksgiving card.
It's cold and rainy here today and I'd really like to spend the rest of the day here making a mini album. I'm going to make a little album of pictures I took of my niece this summer. I'm going to call it Kacy Daze. She and her mom are coming for the weekend and I want to have it done before she gets here. I'm going to leave room in it for the pictures I will take of her at her cross country meet.
I've been really struggling with blogging lately. Like Dana, I'm noticing that I have fewer and fewer comments. Not that I write for that reason. I write because I need to and I'm lazy about journalling. Blogging makes me write. Patti, over at Monogram Queen says there are less people blogging these days. That makes me sad. I just love my buddies in blogland. I wonder if FaceBook is taking the place of blogging? I know FB is quicker and easier, but it just isn't the same as getting to know people through reading their blogs.
Anyway, I'm going to try to get myself back in the blogging habit. It's not as if I don't have things to say. If you ask anyone who knows me, they'll tell you I'm never at a loss for words. I think maybe I've just gotten lazy, so I'll give myself a little nudge and hope to do better in the days to come. In the meantime, take good care of yourselves.
Monday, September 21, 2009
No, I didn't buy this, but I couldn't resist taking a picture of it. I know it seems a little unusual here, but in European markets we saw rows and rows of pigs heads laid out on tables.
The weather here has been just gorgeous this fall season. Saturday, another spectacular day, found us off to the Public Market to browse the fall produce.
Besides the pigs heads and wonderful pork and beef which we didn't buy either, they have a really nice fish market.
If it's 10:30, it must be time for coffee. They have wonderful coffee shops and bakeries. We were really disciplined and only had coffee.
The coffee refreshed us and we continued to shop. Oh yes, aside from the above listed things, I bought some wonderful basil. I made pesto this morning and I'm dying to use some this week. I also couldn't resist the hats ---- and sunflowers.
We continued to enjoy the beautiful day by taking a walk on the canal path. Oddly enough, we saw no other walkers, but lots and lots of bicyclists. Jim is talking bicycle, but I'm not so sure.
And now I have to share another weekend happening. Friday evening was Homecoming at our High School. Now, mind you, we didn't go to the game and I' so sorry because the King and Queen were two of my very favorite teenagers. Mackenzie and Michael are best friends, members of our church, and all around great Christian teens. What an honor for these two to be recognized by their peers as upstanding role models. We are very, very proud of them.
The Royal Highnesses