Category Archives: health


I think I NEED my coffee in the morning.

28 July 2010 – Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, the General Assembly declared today, voicing deep concern that almost 900 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water.

“In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely to make them sick.”

“according to a report dating back to 1999 and sponsored by the UN Development Program, fighting over limited resources as the scarcity of water, over the next 25 years, will possibly be the leading reason for major conflicts in Africa, not oil.”

What Does Twitter Have To Do With Kidneys?

I admit that I am NOT in love with Twitter.  I have seen how it is handy to let a group sof interested people know something in real time all at once.  It just hasn’t been something I use very often.  I follow a couple of folks but that’s about it.  Then I read this article about a Dad in Bonham who was donating a kidney to his three year old son.  Updates were twittered from the operating room so everyone was able to keep up with the progress!

As someone who has waited through an entire transplant hearing very little until it was all over with I can tell you that it is pure agony and time seems to creep by one millisecond at a time.  What a blessing Twitter was for all the anxious friends and family!

You can see the “Twitter transcript” here and read the article here.

SHERMAN, TX -You may have heard of the website Twitter. You might even use it yourself, but on Monday, Children’s Hospital in Dallas did something that’s never been done before. They posted real-time updates of a major operation. A Bonham father and Sherman firefighter donated a kidney to his young son. Rita Kotey has the one-of-a-kind, 21st century story.

Love it!

A Blessed Thanksgiving

This is a very special Thanksgiving for us because it is the one year birthday of Dale’s kidney.  I can’t believe it has been a year since we packed up and headed to Dallas for nearly a month.  We picked up the apartment key that night at Baylor and “moved” in.  The next morning we reported to admitting before dawn and the entire family, friends, pastor, and more, got comfortable in the waiting room as Dale and his sister started the process of getting ready for surgery.  It was a long and nerve-racking day but everything went fine.  We had a few glitches after the surgery with Dale going into “acute” rejection and needing to be dialyzed one time before things started settling down.

To try to thank everyone for everything that was done for us is overwhelming.  We were LOVED.  Folks I work with collected money, put up with me being a little crazier than usual, friends checked on us, checked on our kids, sent things they thought we would need, gave money so that Sondra wouldn’t miss salary, prayed for us, sent cards, brought our kids to visit us (and cooked with them – thanks Beej!), visited us, and I’m sure I am forgetting someone or something.

The difference in Dale and our lives as a family in the last year is so great.  Dale is probably 50 pounds heavier, the transplant medications no longer bother him, he has not been diabetic and is able to eat almost anything he wants.  He only has to go the transplant center every six weeks now.  He laughs and picks at people again and if you know him at all, you know that is a sure sign that he is himself. He will always have balance issues but he is happy, is cooking, and goes to lunch with our busy son a few times a week.  He keeps us organized, and keeps us going.
To all of you that held us up and pulled us through, thank you, we love you and you will never know just how much every little thing meant or how each kindness pulled us one more inch up the hill we had to climb.

Technology and Cooking

It has been so hot that I don’t care to cook but today I was thinking about summer ending and school starting and I love to cook when it is cold.  Part of the reason for the winter food dreams is left over sauerkraut that I didn’t want to toss out.  I decided to make Hunters Stew or Kapusta as it was know when I was a kid.  I grew up not to far from Detroit Michigan and  a lot of my family’s friends were Polish.  My mother learned how to cook several Polish dishes and this was a favorite.  It is a stew made from drained and rinsed kraut, sausage (cubed pork of you have it), more chopped cabbage, mushrooms, and like most stews, pretty much whatever you have around.  I added a can of pinto beans drained and rinsed, a cubed potato, some baby carrots, and some chopped onion. Put it all in a crockpot and leave it on low all day, fix some cornbread and you have some good eating.

In the winter you could put it all in a big kettle on your wood heater and after a day of running around in the snow, trying to work and run errands, you would come home to wonderful smells and curl up with a good book and a quilt and life would be good.

While I am in the food mood I am going to share some of my favorite food websites.

Healthy recipes and recipes that contain ingredients that are tailored for certain health problems.  There are videos, you can sign up to receive recipes by email or subscribe by rss.  He is selling a book of course and advertising the tv show on Lifetime but the recipes seem pretty good.
Good recipes – again she is selling a book but the website is fun – there is even a game (whack-a-snack) and a section on tips and tricks for dining out and staying healthy.

There are two sites that give you comparison foods – something you shouldn’t eat and a substitute that is a healthier choice.  These are not necessarily sugar or fat free choices – just better.  There are some surprises here.


New on my wishlist!

One of my faves – good country cooking, pictures, and you will feel like you have known her all your life!

One Of THOSE Days

It has been one of those days. Dale’s appointment at the Transplant Institute was today so we were leaving the house a little before six a.m.  As we went to get into the car a man stood up from between two of our vehicles where he had been crouched.  He was holding a drawstring bag and said he was looking for his cat.  He described the cat as white calico?  We told him it might have gone to the field behind the houses and he could get there by walking to the end of the street.  As he walked off I called the police department and they said they would check on it.  We received two phone calls from them in the next hour and a half as we were on our way to Dallas.  The first to confirm his description as they were talking to someone in the area we had described to them.  The second call was to thank us.  He had been going along stealing from cars in the driveways!

We rarely lock our cars (not that we have anything in them that anyone would want) but even so, we will now.

The traffic was light for a change so we were early which turned out to be a good thing.  DTI has been at a temporary location and we went to the office we had been going to, went up to the second floor, down the hall, opened the door and….darkness.  No sign or anything. We knew where they were moving to and luckily it was nearby so we still made it on time but a little notice would have been nice.

We took my MacBook with us as it has been having issues and had been repaired once only to be having the same problem when I got it home.  Unforunately I had not been paying attention to the news about the new iPhone which came out TODAY!  I never imagined what a big deal it ws until we drove past the little Apple store with the line going out the door, past the security guard, around the corner, and TWO BLOCKS down the street!  Uh yes, we drove on by.

Dale’s creatinine was up just a bit and after the last visit the doc had him do a 24 hour urine collection and get blood drawn here in Paris.  The lab work was done at PRMC and the results were given to the Nephrologist here.  The orders specifically said to fact the results to the doc at DTI and had the fax number one them.  They did not have the results today (The tests were done over two weeks ago!) and the Nephrologist office here is closed after noon on Friday.  They had called them this morning while we were there – the phone number had been written in pencil on his lab results from today from where the doc called right before we got today’s results.  When I called at 2:30 P.M.  They still did not have them.  I called the hospital and got them to fax the results which were not conclusive.  He has to repeat the test but this time we are skipping the local and taking it directly to DTI.  I am not griping about the lab here as much as I am about the Nephrologist who should know that in a post-transplant patient 2 weeks is just a tad long to wait for results on a crucial test.

Now, I’m pretty sure the refrigerator is dying.

Addendum – the refrigerator IS dying. We went and bought a new one – got it cheap – it has a dent, don’t care.  It has a bottom freezer and that was my one requirement.  We finished the evening off with the Paris Municipal Band concert and then came home and transferred food to the freezer in the garage til the new one comes.

I’m going to bed before something else happens!


Yesterday I was watching Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. “Bobby challenges Maribel and Aristides Barrios, NYC restaurateurs who hail from Venezuela, to a throwdown featuring their house specialty, arepas, which are delicious grilled cornmeal patties filled with sweet and savory treats.”

I watched carefully to see how the arepas were made because they looked and sounded wonderful. When I went to the Food Network website, however, the only recipe was for bobby Flay’s and I preferred to make the original Venezuelan ones. I did some searching around and found a blog article that described them very closely to the ones on the show and had pictures. I tried to find the masa arepa (pre-cooked cornmeal) and of course I couldn’t. I got the closest thing I could which was corn flour and I think that mine are not as good as they would be with the correct ingredients. I will keep looking and if nothing else when we go for Dale’s next appointment in Dallas I will pick some up there and try some more.

They look similar to English muffins but they don’t taste the same and are different texture. They were pretty good right out of the oven with butter. The dough is very simple to make and you pick up a ball of it and basically toss it hand to hand til it makes a dense ball and then kind of rotate as you toss smoothing it into a disk about a third of an inch thick. You cook it over medium heat on a cast iron griddle or non-stick skillet. Cook about 7 minutes on each side being careful not to burn it. Place in oven for about 15 minutes to finish cooking (350 degrees).

Here is my finished result:


The recipe and other pictures can be found here.

I hope you will give it a try and let me know how it turns out for you!

Addendum:  I found the Masa Arepa and it makes a big difference in the texture and the taste.  I still need practice but my second batch was much better.  They taste just a little bit like grits.

Dale Update April 2008

Dale had his regular appointment today as well as his 6 month glofil test.  His lab work was fine except his white count was low.  They are going to have us go to a local lab and have that checked next week as a cold could do that.  Another culprit could be one of his medications and if that turns out to be the problem they will lower the dosage.

We don’t have the results on the glofil test but it basically entails drinking some iodine in diet coke and then they have you drink a couple of liters of water (or at least it seems like it).  They inject a little radioactive isotope under the skin and then you can only use the facilities when they tell you. You have to drink three times and they draw blood three times.

The good news is they have switched his visits from every two to every three weeks!  Yay! For his sake and the sake of our bank account with current gas prices!

It all seemed to go fine but we didn’t get out of there til 3:00 so it was after 5:00 when we finally got home.  We are now in recliners in front of the tv. Both kids are at regionals and my plan for the night is to do a little laundry, watch tv and surf the internet.  I’d like to stay awake to see Numbers but we’ve been up since 5:00 this morning so I make no promises!

Just Checking In For A Moment!

I have been off the grid since my last post. It has been a very busy week and this weekend is going to fly by! We hosted the District UIL met at our school this weekend and while my part is small, it was fun with lots of payback. I coach Computer Applications (my first year) and my student took fifth place which I think is wonderful considering this was her first year to compete. My own kids attend school in the next district – a weird think I know but we are a small area geographically but have three school districts. My daughter placed second in Computer Applications and My son placed third in Extemp (I hope I have that right or I will never hear the end of it!)

A friend is at WordCamp Dallas 2008 this weekend and I hope learns some great stuff to share. I would love to have gone but too many conflicts this weekend! I will have to be content with searching for posts to read to live vicariously!

We have joined a small group bible study and we meet on Tuesday nights so that is one night we are busy, and then we are trying to attend two different churches right now which is confusing but we are trying to work out some things. One place has incredible teaching. the other has definite issues but we went there for years and many of the people there are like extended family. We have gotten involved with a small Sunday night praise service and tomorrow morning there will be a youth led service and then in the evening we will continue that theme but I AM TO GIVE THE MESSAGE. I have been struggling with this all week. I would have preferred a skit but they are doing one with the kids in the morning.

I’m relying on Luke 15 and the parable of the Prodigal Son but I’m concentrating on the eldest son. I would really like it to have meaning and bear fruit and I don’t want it to be about me. If you are a praying person I would ask for your prayers for this service that I would disappear and the Word would do whatever God needs it to do in this place and at this time.

There will be very little rest this weekend so I’m going to crash and burn early. I still need to do some more writing and tweaking. This is the first and maybe the last time I will ever do this – it is such a huge responsibility. I can’t imagine what it would be like to do this week after week. I AM looking forward to the kids’ skit. They will be goofy and cute and forget stuff but isn’t the way it always is?

For now world, goodnight! I will try to get some more tutorials up in the next few weeks.

Friends and Family and Healing

From Derricks and Diamonds, the philanthropic organization supported by Schlumberger and National Oilwell Varco has an article about a member of Dale’s family (Dale’s check-up went fine by the way!)

Here is the article:

Sage Martin – Update

March 10th, 2008 by Sean McCoy in News | Many of you have read about Sage Martin on our Our Inspiration page. We received an update from his father Gary today.He is still in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit with the possibility of two more weeks of treatment. While the chemotherapy has caused him to loose his hair he took it in stride with the understanding and calm of a person far exceeding 10 years of age.

He is showing improvement in two vital areas after receiving the bone marrow transplant. His total white blood cell count is at 240 per micro/liter up from the 10 per micro/liter he had when he checked in. The normal white blood cell count is 5000.

His Absolute Neutrophil Count was 0 for 5 days and went to 10 on his 10th birthday (Friday March 7th) but as of today has raised to 170. Normal is 1500 or more and a count of less than 500 is considered severe neutropenia.

The good news is he’s getting better and responding well to the treatment. Gary and the rest of Sage’s family appreciate the kind words, concerns and prayers for them during this time.


My good friend is spending time saying goodbye to his family dog of twelve years this weekend. She is going down so quickly and is not able to eat or do much of anything and I know the whole family is hurting.


Last night I went to the church where we watched The Passion Of The Christ in the gym. There were just a few of us but that’s okay. I worked on the computer on the PowerPoint for this Sunday evening – not out of disrespect for the subject matter but because I knew there were parts of the movie that I would not watch. I closed my eyes for some of them when I saw the movie at the theater when it first came out.

I guess if the intent was to get people to understand the magnitude of the sacrifice that was made for us then that point was certainly ahem…hammered home. Today in most mainstream churches we tend to shy away from talking about THE BLOOD. We may say it fast as in “thebloodoftheLamb” which takes away the sin of the world. We might sing about it in hymns – “What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus”

I like to hear about grace. I’m not so fond of hearing about how it was bought. Jesus sacrifice was painful, messy, and bloody. But throughout the Old Testament we see that it was blood sacrifice for atonement of sins that cleansed God’s people and made a way for them to come into His presence. I thank God for Jesus sacrifice. I thank God for His healing grace. As much as I like you Mel – I think you stopped the movie at the wrong place.

I’d like to see the movie go on to tell, as Paul Harvey would say – the rest of the story. We leave the movie with images of pain and how horrible we humans can be. If we weren’t vile there would be no need for the sacrifice. There would be no need for a savior. But we have God’s love anyway. The sacrifice Jesus made was not just for “nice” folks. It was for the very people who beat Him, mocked Him, and nailed Him on that cross. If He could do what He did for them – then surely He did it for you and I, and if He did it for us, then surely we can try to forgive and love others as He did. Surely we can believe that there is a resurrection for us too? Good Fridays and Easter Sundays – they come all our lives.
We all go through these seasons of sacrifice and pain and thankfully they are often followed by seasons of healing and grace. I pray that this Easter season is one of healing and grace for you and yours. If it isn’t, then I hope you will take strength and comfort in knowing that it will come. It may not take the form we wish but God WILL bring healing.

“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand”

Friday Update (Life In General)

I have been really busy at work lately. I had one day where I was able to spend a large chunk of time on some spreadsheets, but I spend more time on interruptions lately than anything else. I have a hard time recapturing a train of thought that’s been derailed – I need a better system. I seem to spend a lot of time starting things and even more trying to get back to them to get them finished. It’s making me crazy and the piles on my desk just keep getting taller.

Dale had his appointment at the transplant clinic today. He drove himself and went to the Whole Foods Market before he came home. He is doing great. The took him off two medications and lowered another one. He will go back in two weeks and if all is still well they will switch him to every four weeks. All good news.

We are going to a debate meet tomorrow. The kids on the debate team that qualified for Nationals (including my son) made the front page of the paper. I bought multiple copies and showed them to everyone I saw. I’m proud of him, he has worked very hard.

Commercial Break – Eating in Austin

I have more TCEA notes to post but thought it would be fun to take a little time out to tell you about some great places to eat in Austin. I’ve been fortunate to travel there with a friend and colleague who lived in Austin and ever meal is an adventure!

Here are some of my favorites!

**** Flip Happy Crepes

Serving delicious hand-made savory crepes, sweet crepes, and Saturday breakfast crepes. To compliment we serve fresh French pressed coffee and other assorted beverages.

400 Jessie Street
Austin, TX 78704

Wed – Fri 10:30am – 2:30pm
Saturday 9am – 3:00

I had roasted chicken, mushrooms, gruyere, carmelized onions and my friend and I shared a dessert that was crepes with Nutella and bananas. They also have veggie crepes if you like.
Flip Happy is a little Airstream trailer where you place your order, retrieve your beverage from a cooler sitting in front, and sit at a picnic table under the trees to eat.

The food is incredible and it is located right next to the trailer park where Matthew Mcconaughey keeps his trailer. Who knows – you might get a peek!

**** If you are “rumbly in your tumbly” there is a wonderful place to satisfy the growlies – freddie’s. There is a playground outside for the kids and dogs are welcome.

I ordered the texitarian portabellas – 2 large portabella mushroom caps handbreaded and deep fried to a golden brown with cream gravy. Add to that garlic smashed potatoes and spinach-artichoke casserole and it was heaven! The portions are huge, the atmosphere definitely South Austin. WWFD (What Would Freddie Do) – whatever his wife tells him to do!

**** Another great place is the Magnolia Cafe. The specialties are omelets and pancakes. There are all kinds – they are all good, the portions are huge and come with cottage fries – yum!

**** After you have filled your tummy with Austin goodness you can stop and have coffee at Mozart’s (and dessert if you have room left) There is a plethora of wonderful desserts to choose from including cheesecakes, cobbler, tiramisu and enough chocolate to make you want to cry.If they are roasting beans when you arrive there the aroma will greet you in parking lot. If the weather is nice you can sit out on the deck with your coffee and enjoy the weather and view of the lake. There is free wireless and often entertainment. Mozart’s is one of my very favorite places in Austin.
3825 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin TX 78703
512 477 2900

Weekend Report

Friday Dale had a great report – his labs looked fine and the new medicine is wonderful – no stomach cramps! He goes back next week just for labs, will see the doc the week after and then he will go on an every other week schedule so he has graduated to a new level!

We managed to get back from Dallas by lunch and I went back to work for the afternoon. We both felt so good about the day and it had been a long time of worrying and not feeling good at all!

It has been a busy weekend so far and as usual I am trying to catch up with laundry in between working the tab room at my son’s debate meet, getting ready for but then not actually attending the UIL Computer Apps event because my only student got the flu, and attending the concert for the band clinic in Mt Pleasant.

I didn’t have to do as much in the tab room as I have in the past – they have a new helper learning the ropes since I won’t have a debater there next year. I mainly kept paper organized. I will more than likely still help next year just because it is fun!

Dale just threw some more wood on the fire and I am heading for my book and blanket. Stay warm everyone!

Medicine Makes a Difference

I have waited to post to see how this new medicine was going to work and so far it is wonderful.  The labs Friday will tell us if it is doing the job as far as anti-rejection but there have been NO stomach cramps in two days.  Dale has been staying busy, cooking and eating supper and sleeping all night.  What a difference not being in constant pain makes for a person!

New Years Goals for 2008 And Dale’s Lab Update

First for those of you that have been keeping up – Dale’s labs continue to be good. His white count was a little high which can be an indication of infection but it could also be a false reading so they will recheck and we will watch for fever. He has no other signs and everything else looked good except his cholesterol so they will start him back on his cholesterol medicine. They are finally listening to him about the stomach pain and trying him on a different medicine. The cellcept has been a problem for him all along and even with a daily pepcid he has had almost constant problems. It turns out that there is a newer alternative with less side effects. The hospital automatically puts you on the cellcept right now because they have a contract. When that contract runs out they will most likely switch to the Myfortic. The pharmacy has it ordered and unfortunately won’t have it till Monday afternoon so he will have to hang in there for the weekend. Myfortic basically does the same thing but is coated so it won’t be so hard on your tummy.


I’m thinking a lot about goals for the new year. I realize I may be a little late as most people try to make resolutions on the actual first of the year but things have been a bit busy here and I have never really been able to keep a resolution. After reading a few posts that talked about setting goals instead of making resolutions I decided that was the better path to take. I can work towards a goal and even if I don’t reach it I can at least see some progress so here goes.

I resolved last year to become more organized and therefore more productive. I read books and articles on GTD and bought file folders and tried setting up contexts in files on my computer. I just couldn’t seem to fit what I do into they system or for that matter take the time to get it set up and then keep up with it. I think that GTD sold books (it did to me) and ads and entire communities have grown up around the principles, organizers, templates and software but it just seems too labor intensive without the labor saving outcome for me.
I find myself spending more time trying to figure out how to be more productive than it takes me to actually be uh…productive. The best things for me seem to be:

  1. a large spiral notebook I keep on my desk near my phone and every morning I start with the days date. I copy anything unfinished from the previous day to the new day’s list and then check email and add anything appropriate to my list. I add to the list throughout the day and cross things off as they are completed. I store old notebooks so I can refer back to them if I need to.
  2. a small notebook I can carry in my pocket to write things down when I am away from my desk. (I have started being intentional about putting the dates in them as well so I can refer back) If it is important it can be transferred to the big spiral or a 4×6 card when I get back to my desk.
  3. my 4×6 card file. I have a small coupon keeper for portablility, a wooden box for permanent storage, and a small wooden easel for working cards. I created a template in Word that creates two cards on a page so I can copy and paste or type whatever I want on the cards. I keep a stack of cardstock in my drawer to print these homemade cards on and I also have a supply of colored cards to hand write on when I need to.

I use for email and a plugin lets me tag posts with keywords. I also have a mail folder just named “done” so I can drag things that are completed into the folder and get them out of my inbox. My goal is to find ways to get everything ELSE out of my inbox. I am not entirely happy with and not sure if it would be worth the trouble to make a switch or for that matter what I would switch to.
It was progress for me to get to this point so the resolution from last year hasn’t been a total bust. The things I still need to work on are organization of files on my computer and a system for deleting things that I no longer need instead of letting them pile up and clutter up and become a nagging problem. The same problem exists for my desk drawers and my closet. I really want to simplify and so those are the areas I have set as goals for the next year. There are a lot of keepsakes and pictures that I want to go through and distribute to other family members and get them off my mind and out of my home.

Dale and I stayed at a small apartment in Dallas for a month and I had the bare minimum as far as clothing, makeup, books, and kitchen tools. The only place I ever really missed something was in the kitchen. In every other area it was actually very freeing which was an important lesson. The problem for me now is finding the time and figuring out what to let go of and what to do with it so it will not be wasted. I managed in the week we were home during the holiday to clean out several junk drawers and baskets of paperwork.

My first goal is to continue to whittle down the piles, both in real life and virtually. This year has been more stressful than normal and unfinished tasks and clutter add to stress which adds to health problems which starts a cycle I want to break.
My second goal is something I have already started on. My brother was recently diagnosed with diabetes and while we were still in Dallas I checked mine a few times with Dales meter just to see since my brother is about ten years younger than me. My sugar was kind of high both times so I went to the doctor last week and she gave me my own glucometer and I will be checking for the next two weeks. So far it has been ok and it may have just been stress and not eating or exercising. It was a wake-up call though so I have been eating better and trying to squeeze some exercise in too. I had already made a lot of adjustments in my diet because Dale has to check his sugar right now and occasionally give himself insulin so I was just eating what he was eating.

I have discovered that you can get a “skinny” Cinnamon Dulce Latte at Starbucks so I think I can survive. I’m not sure what I’ll do about chocolate though. I have already been taking my lunch this year instead of buying cafeteria food and it has saved me money. Now it will help me make better choices as to what I eat. This may not be an organizational goal but I know if I work on a healthier lifestyle I will feel better and that will make me more productive.

I “gifted” myself with a good Wolfgang Puck saucepan with steamer insert (via ebay) and every trip to the doctor in Dallas means a stop at the Wholefoods Market. I’m switching us over to whole grains and brown rice and we are eating a lot more fruits and vegetables. I stopped drinking anything carbonated at the beginning of the school year and haven’t missed it at all. We have started taking re-usable bags with us and another goal for this year is to take those bags to more stores and to encourage those stores to start selling their own. Our local Krogers already does this and by using these bags you can cut down on clutter (all those thousands of plastic bags!) as well as be nice to the earth.

These are a few of my goals for the year – what are you working on?

Labs Update!

Creatinine down to 1.3, potassium – good, sugar – good, calcium and vitamin D – coming up.  All looking good so we are to just keep doing what we are doing (except Dale needs to drink more!)

We go back next Friday but hopefully there won’t be any changes in meds between now and then. There are a couple of tests that don’t come back right away but the main ones are all looking good.

Winter Wonderland

It is chilly here and we have the fireplace insert working overtime but it is nothing compared to where I grew up. I ran across a news/weather flash the other day about the New Years winter storm in Southeast Michigan and had to go looking for pictures of the 16 inch snowfall.


I remember the quiet muffled peaceful atmosphere when winter snow would cover everything – softening the lines and slowing everyone and everything down.


We lived with Lake St. Clair in our front yard and a canal similar to this one in our back yard. We spent the summers in the water and the winters on the ice. In the winter it was often much quicker to get from one place to another by cutting across the ice.


I remember the fun when we were kids. School closings were very infrequent – you might be late but you got there. The salt trucks would be out on the main roads but those of us who lived on little side roads had to work together to dig ourselves out. As an adult I remember what a lot of work and trouble it was to deal with the roads, the cars, and the slushy muddy mess when it all melted.

These images were from the Detroit Free Press and the Port Huron Press Herald.

Stay warm and safe everyone!

We have a doctor appointment for labs tomorrow morning (yes I had hoped to be back at work tomorrow but it will have to wait til Friday) and I will post about our results tomorrow evening. We know that Dale’s vitamin D and calcium levels are low and they are going to be addressing that. If you are a transplant patient you are supposed to protect yourself from exposure to the sun which is one source of vitamin D and because your potassium levels can be affected but the anti-rejection drugs you are restricted in what you can eat. Milk is high in in vitamin D (fortified) but also high in potassium.

The medications also can cause problems with your bones so Calcium and Vitamin D are important. Dale feels a little like a chemistry experiment gone awry but it is slowly getting better.

See you all very soon!

One Month Kidney Transplant Anniversary!

In kidney transplant you have several milestones. Dale reached his first one today – the one month mark. The next one is the three month, then 6 month, and from then on it is measured in years. His labs still are not perfect but they are better every time. His creatinine was 1.4 and his potassium was 4.7 (they shoot for less than one on creatinine and 4 on potassium) so we are looking good.

The bad part of the day was having to be there at 7:00 A.M. for the glofil which entails drinking 10 glasses of water in 45 minutes and blood work and then repeats (in all he drank 17 glasses) which made him sick. The sheet of instructions they handed us when we got there said you need to start a few days before the test making sure you are well hydrated – unfortunately that is a piece of information we should have had several days ago. The problem is they are spread out between several buildings because of major remodeling and sometimes there is a communication issue.

He has to take this test every milestone so he will have plenty of time to practice but you can bet your gallon jug that he will start drinking a LOT the days before the tests!


There were several people there who only had to drink 5 glasses to start. We are going to aim for that!

Image by Darkpatator

We Didn’t Journey To Bethlehem But Paris Seems Pretty Heavenly!

We have caroled, spent time with friends, were late to candlelight service, and are having a peaceful day. Here are some thoughts for today.

I Have No Gift To Bring BaRumPumPumPum
Dale’s sister gave him the ultimate gift

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room
The support and love we have gotten from friends and family has been overwhelming. The love of Jesus has shone through all these precious people who definitely have made room in their hearts for Him and us!

I’ll Be Home For Christmas
And we ARE!

The First Noel
People have many firsts in their lives but not everyone has a first Christmas with a new kidney!

Silent Night, Holy Night
Our Christmas Eve was calm and bright. Both of our children were here and all of us under one roof – safe, dry, and warm. The Christmas tree lit and the fireplace glowing, food to eat – no huge excitement or loud parties. Just all of us here – at home.

O Come All Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant!
We have been faithful and we have come so far from Thanksgiving to Christmas. This one could have also been Over The river and Through The Woods LOL
Fall On Your Knees, O Hear The Angel Voices!
So many prayers have been answered. We have not done it perfectly (whatever that means) and it has been harder than Dale ever thought. It has been humbling and maybe that was part of the message. We have survived and have a period of healing to go through and adjustments to make but we are so grateful to be here.

The World In Solemn Stillness Lay To Hear The Angels Sing
What a gift a night of sleep in your own home can be…

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
The kids are playing Guitar Hero in the other room and we are here with them – that is our Christmas present (that and trying to see how many songs I know from the video game). It’s funny sitting here and listening to ZZ Tops’ “La Grange” and FogHats’ “Slowride” in the other room.

Silver Bells, Silver Bells, It’s Christmas Time In The City
And we are NOT there – nuff said.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
I hope that all of our friends and family are having a Merry Christmas and that the love and peace of Christ surrounds you and yours this day.

thanks BJ for the ornament 🙂