Sunday, May 30, 2010


Sunday afternoon is a good time to rest, read, catch up on correspondence and do whatever didn't get done during the week. But today I've been thinking... (uh say... what now?)

Yep, thinking about how so many things are so very different from one generation to the next. Shortly after Alan and I married, he left for the Army and I didn't get to join him for several months. During that time, I do not remember a single telephone conversation between the two of us. (When we were dating, he lived in Memphis - some 20 miles away, and we talked on the phone Frequently.... like daily, even when we were going out that evening.) Our communication was by mail only. My letters to him were much more frequent then his were to me since he was BUSY all the time with Army training.

When he was stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas, I had a two-room apartment in the next town. No phone in the apartment, but one at the end of the downstairs hall. I remember calling home on my 21st birthday to talk to Mother, John and Mama. Charlotte was at work. Long Distance calls in those days were reserved for Very Important news, and were very expensive. So we wrote letters. Many letters.

When our children grew up and started marrying and leaving home, the communication was essentially the same... expensive long distance phone calls - made only rarely - and many many letters back and forth. Fortunately for us only two of our five "left home"... the others settling in the same area when they married and established their own homes.

THEIR children - in today's world - think nothing of calling home daily, or more often, on their Cellular phones, since it doesn't cost hardly anything. Some times are even 'free' in most of the cell phone programs. I doubt that any of the 'away' children have written more than a five or six letters while off at college or working, or even living in another area. Computers with all the bells and whistles of email, Skype and Facebook type communication have made communication an art of its own. Imagine seeing and talking to someone a thousand miles away, thanks to the computer technology..... which had not even been perfected in those "old days" I refer to.

How VERY different it all is these days from what it was 50-60 years ago!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good news Bad news -- ugh

This is a copy of the "report" I sent to family members and friends yesterday when the power finally came back on after an hour or more. The thunderstorm we had was really bad, and the gauge showed over 1.5 inches of rain in about 30 minutes !

Monday - 5-24
We left home at 8:50 for a 9:50 appointment. But the WalnutGrove at G'town Parkway office was only 30 min. away. So we waited. And Waited.....
At 11:15 we were called in to see Dr Woodbury. He talked and typed at the same time, a mile a minute... (hard to follow,) then examined my scalp and face.... and gave me a print copy of what he had said/typed.

He called in some RXs to Wal-Mart for Special Shampoo and Soap .. and some OTC face stuff.... Topical, not systemic, thank goodness He said I should come back in August IF NEEDED.

He called my 'ailment' TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM.... hair loss, a natural pattern of extra shedding of the hair. There are several triggers for this kind of hair condition...including a great amount of emotional stress (childbirth is one of those, but I don't think it applies to ME !!!) and Major Surgery, thyroid disease (not applicable), and maybe inadequate protein in diet... I will eat more eggs and cheese, etc.

I had finished half of my "report" when our power went out. One hour later I'm back.
SO when the thunderstorm is completely out of our area and the puddles have soaked in more, I'll check at Wal-Mart and see what's there.

Following the appointment Alan and I both needed the restroom...badly. I went first, locking the door behind me as is my habit. Finishing what I went in for, I stepped on the scale in the corner to see what I weighed there..stepped off. and FELL backwards onto the floor, smack dab on my Tail Bone. It took a while to get me upright again. I had to scoot across the floor to unlock the door so help could come in.

One of the nurses had to go get a chair for me to climb up onto... and from there, I could stand. My tailbone is sore, aching and I must have pulled a muscle in the back of my left thigh, because it hurts to move or walk. (And I just said yesterday that at least I haven't fallen in a while !!! )

I still have not heard from Dr Mak's lab work on my blood, and Ruthanne said the Clinic is closed today - which she learned when she tried to call for an appointment. I sure hope Makapugay is not scaling down toward retirement or something.... I would hate to have to change Primary Care MDs at this point.

Tomorrow is our Landmark Woman's Club potluck luncheon at Yvonne's house... Charlotte got some potato salad to take so I won't have to cook the pasta salad after all. That suits me fine.

So now I'm going to go back to my book, and RELAX.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New week

So much has happened since I last posted, that I can't even remember where to start.
In addition to all the doctor appointments, I've read three of the delightful books in the Smart Chick series by Mindy Starnes Clark. They're fun reads. I have three more of her books in my 'to read' stack, and it's a big temptation to sit down and read instead of doing anything else. I got another Jill Churchill book at the Library; she's another author I enjoy a lot.

The good news is that from my cardiologist and lung doctor I got good checkups both places... the cardiologist said 'come back in 3 months' and the lung doctor said 'six months'. So I'm doing well in those areas. BUT the hair loss continues, and continues to bug me badly. I don't know what's happening or why.

I saw my Primary Care M.D. last week and he took extra time with me talking about the numbness in my feet and ankles, explaining the difference between peripheral neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease. He thinks the former is my problem, since the pulse is good in both ankles.

However, none of my medical advisors have offered any solutions to that problem, nor have they had a solution for the hair loss. So----- I now have an appointment with a Dermatologist on Monday. This doctor was located in C'ville, which was fine with me... I like to keep things Local. BUT his office is now about 10 miles away in Germantown. Ugh. But I'll go anyway, just to get an opinion about what, if anything, can be done to stop this aggravating condition before it's too late. I sure would like to know why - seemingly all of a sudden in the past 2 months - my hair is thinning so badly. My surgery was in December '09... is this an 'after effect' this much later?

Shifting gears: Our weather has been really nice and springlike, until earlier this week. A cold front came through and kept us and my dear friend from having our "sitting on the porch" visit. We had to move indoors on Tuesday to get out of the chilling wind and 60-something temps. Brrrr. After so many beautiful days, the drop in temp was hard to take. We had a good visit, though, even if it did have to be inside the house.

Granddaughter Anna came by yesterday with the latest ultrasound pictures that shows a Girl ! Granddaughter Maureen, in Florida, had the identifying ultrasound earlier and they also expect a Girl ! Looks like our "girls first" family tradition is continuing.

But hey.. wait a minute... those new additions will add the title "GREAT" to me and Alan. Not sure I'm ready to have that ancient-sounding designation. Being a GRANDmother is wonderful, and I've enjoyed and loved every one of our Eleven grandchildren... but being a GREAT-Grandmother takes some 'getting used to'. Alan hasn't said much about being a GREAT-grandfather... but maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet. After all, we ARE old enough - even if we don't feel the years or want to admit the numbers!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Interesting encounter

Wandering around Wal-Mart this morning, searching for but not finding my favorite kind of slacks and shirts, I stopped at the end of an aisle. A tall young woman with a cart full of grocery items stopped in front of me, saying she liked my top.

My 'top' is a plain white shirt with red and blue stars embroidered on the collar. I think that was merely a conversation opener. She went on to say that she would like to pray for me, and did I have any special concerns? I do, so I told her I was concerned that my hair is thinning at an abnormal rate and I think it's due to the medicines I'm taking. She asked my name, and the said, "May I pray for you right now?" I agreed, and she did - offered a beautiful prayer on my behalf, quoting the Bible that says God knows the number of hairs on your head, asking for wisdom for the doctor I'll see on Thursday, and more.

When she was finished, I asked her name - she said "Amy" and went on to complete her shopping. I had been trying on slacks before that time, and was getting too tired, so I checked out and came on home with my one shirt purchase.

This was a most strangely interesting morning for me. It's never happened before, and though I don't understand why it happened today, I do appreciate the woman's concern and her prayers.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What a Week !

Looking back at my calendar, I realize what a ‘busy’ one it was, even though it did not seem so at the time. Starting with Sunday School, and then the UMW General meeting on Tuesday. After the meeting Charlotte, Ruthanne and I went to Wendy’s for lunch. When I got home, instead of resting, Alan and I went to the Opening of the Farmer’s Market and bought a box of strawberries. They were home grown and delicious.

The Friends meeting on Wednesday was a busy one with a lot of discussion about the grants that we would make for various items on the Library Director’s wish list. 31 members were there to take part in the meeting.

I enjoyed sitting on the front porch two mornings for a delightful ‘rest and read’ time. I enjoyed the warm breezes and listened to the Carolina Wrens singing in the trees by the porch. Those precious little brown birds have a Very loud song, and are easy to locate when they’re perched nearby.

For Mother's Day John and Debby sent me a huge bouquet of flowers, delivered by UPS. The florist included instructions for care and packets of plant food. The tall square vase that came with the flowers was perfect for the arrangement. Several different colored lilies, Dutch iris, tulips, daisies, and greenery made a beautiful centerpiece for our table. In the mail was a lovely Mother's Day Card with an enclosed gift card for shopping - from Ginny, Bill, Shaun and Michael.

Charlotte, Ruthanne and I went to Bartlett on Saturday for the meeting of our Colonial Dames of the 17th Century chapter. Ten members were present and it was nice to see the friends. This group meets 4 times a year, so it had been a while since we were together last. Saturday was Jay’s 28th birthday, too. They celebrated by going to a movie later in the day.

Mother's Day started with Sunday school. Each class member told something about his or her mother. That was interesting. During the afternoon, each of our 'local' children came by to visit and brought gift cards for local restaurants (or a promise to go to the new Captain D's when it opens next week.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Floods

I'm sure everyone has been following the disastrous rainfalls and floods that took such a toll in human life and property the past two weekends. No one has ever seen anything like the amounts of water recorded in various counties, or the number of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. TV pictures and commentary are hard to comprehend. We had 6 1/4 inches of rain in our gauge for Friday night and Saturday. Some areas of the county, and state recorded much, much more.

The Fair on the Square was Rained Out for the Saturday part of the festivities. That is a 'first' in the 35 year history of this activity. More of same (rain storms) was predicted for Sunday, May 2nd, but the sun came out and shone brilliantly all day long. Many of the vendors had given up and gone home on Saturday, and no one could blame them. Those who stayed had what looked like a moderate crowd of browsers.

We drove around to see what was flooded around town... Collierville actually sits on fairly high ground, but north of town in the Wolf River bottoms, water was out of the river banks and into Peterson Lake and Johnson Park's nature walkways. It was amazing to see.

It's been really nice - dry and sunny - since Sunday. The temperature got up to 89 today... which is a little bit warmer than it should be this early in May. And all that rain, two weekends in a row, is making our grass (and everything else) grow like crazy. Just when we had the yard nicely mowed - thanks to Paul and his air compressor - we can almost see the grass getting taller.

The UMW meeting today was interesting, with a speaker from the inner city church and community. Afterwards, sister and daughter and I had lunch together and then went out to vote in the primary election. I was not surprised when my sister and I were there, that only one other voter came in. The poll workers were not busy at all. Voter Apathy is awful and has been a problem for several elections over the past several years. Wonder when people will wake up and realize that their voice Does make a difference if it's Used ! The polls have closed now, so the results will be available on TV shortly if not already.

Friends of the Library meets tomorrow, and we'll be discussing what grants to offer for the Library collections and programs. There's a never-ending need for more books in each category and genre. The Book Store and Book Sale revenues go a long way toward fulfilling those needs.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Books = pleasure

I mentioned some of my choices at the Library last week. "Under the Cajun Moon" by Mindy Starns Clark turned out to be an intriguing story, full of different characters and locales but primarily set in the Cajun country area of Louisiana. Many twists and turns keep the pages turning, and sometimes confuse the reader. But it's a delightful novel by an author who's new to me.

Our Library has several copies of Clark's list of published novels, so I'll be looking in the C section of hard copies as well as paperbacks on my next trip to the Library. Clark has several 'series' books, so I'll be on the lookout for those, as well.

Linda Lael Miller's stories, all set in the West of our young country - late 1800s and early 1900s - are always fun for me. She relates the adventures and misadventures of various members of the same family in the books I brought home from the Book Store. It's interesting to see her character development and follow along as she gets the hero into and out of 'trouble'.

As the saying goes: "So many books, So little time." (So now I'm going back to the current novel to see how Gideon solves his several problems.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

EOM for April - almost

We're winding down fast now, and May will be here before we turn around good. As usual, Rain is predicted for the weekend, and I'm sure the Fair on the Square participants are holding their collective breaths about the event. I'm remembering that the Fair was almost rained out last year, but they struggled through the weekend anyway. It's always a disappointment when the crowds who come to browse and buy can't come because of the bad weather.

Last weekend's weather cancelled our plans to go to Holly Springs for the Genealogical Society meeting. The sky at 8 a.m. was as dark as it had been in the middle of the night...but loaded with rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Not a pleasant Saturday morning for a long drive in the country. Other members were able to get there for the meeting, including the speaker, who said he hated to back out after making a committment. I understand he had a very interesting program, and I'm sorry we missed it.

We didn't do much of anything Saturday but go from one window or door to another to watch the clouds or torrential rain. Our front yard was a literal lake for most of the day. 3 3/4 inches of rain will do that.... flood the area.

Sunday was nice - sunny and windy, and a little cooler. Elizabeth came to spend a couple of hours with us while her parents went to a movie. It had been a long long time since we had that kind of one-on-one visit, and we both enjoyed it a lot. We sat on the front porch for a while, until the rain came back. Our neighbor was out walking his dog, and he came over to visit for a little while. Now that it's getting to be nicer weather, I hope we'll see more of them. Winter keeps people holed up in their own homes much of the time when they're not off at work.

The women's club meeting in Germantown today was nice, and the lunch served by the hostesses was delicious. I drove today - first time to go that far, and I was quite tired when I got back home.

There's nothing else on my calendar for the last week of April, but May picks up with lots of things to do.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I won't be sharing any world-shaking "Thoughts" in this post, but I needed a title for it, and that's what popped into my head.

This is the time of year that goes by entirely too fast, and we wish we could capture the perfect weather somehow to save for later when it's too hot or too cold to suit our fancy. Wasn't it Chaucer who extolled the virtues of April? "Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote the droghte of March hath pierced to the roote." Canterbury Tales, (ca 1387) Old English is not one bit easier to read or understand now than it was when I was in high school. Do high school English students even read Chaucer any more?

A dear friend came over the other day, bringing lemonade and cranberry-orange muffins for us to enjoy as we sat on the front porch. Normally there would have been several trains to watch during the two hour visit... But that particular day the N-S railroad crews were replacing the crossings and train traffic was severely limited. We did not see a single train!

The day before that, with the crews working on the three railroad crossings to the west of us, the vehicular traffic on both sides of our street (North and South) was phenomenal. When you think "bumper to bumper"-- that's exactly the way it was that Thursday... cars and trucks seeking a way to get across the tracks going both ways. Fortunately we did not see or hear any Emergency Vehicles attempting to get to the other side of town during this day-long interruption of service.

My 'free' exercise privileges are almost used up at the local hospital wellness center. I've enjoyed being able to go whenever I could work it in to do some exercising on the arm-cycle and the NuStep machine. The center offers the same privilege for a small monthly fee, but for now I think I'll not sign up for that.

Yesterday I decided it was time to do some errands on my own, so I took off -- making stops at the Dollar Tree, the Library and Subway. I had parcels to bring in from each stop, so Alan helped me get in with my purchases, books and our Foot-Long Subway Sandwich (for lunch).
I never can finish my half of a foot-long, so I saved the rest of it for supper.

I was glad to find four books at the Library (3 from the Book Store, one to check out) that look interesting. It's been a while since I've read any of the Linda Lael Miller novels, so I'll be renewing old friendships, I'm sure. The 14-day Library book is set in New Orleans and Cajun Country so that one caught my eye immediately.

All that driving, starting and stopping, getting out and going in really was tiring, so I was glad to settle down with a good new book after lunch.

The club meets this afternoon. That is always a pleasant couple of hours spent with friends. Tomorrow I have to have my blood checked for the blood-thinner level, and since I'll be at the hospital anyway, I plan to stay and exercise for a while afterwards. Tomorrow afternoon the Board of Directors for the Cemetery will have our Annual Meeting. I hope we'll have a good turnout for that one. It's been a while since we met last time.

Then it's time again on Saturday to go to Holly Springs MS for the Genealogical Society meeting (and lunch at the cafe on the Square). Saturday's weather forecast is not good - thunderstorms and 'slight' chance for severe weather. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Saturday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The perfect spring days are passing too quickly now, and soon we will be wishing for these mild temperatures and gentle breezes again. The front porch beckons in the early afternoon, where we can relax and watch the workmen bringing the railroad up to tip-top condition. We're thankful for these dedicated people who maintain the Norfolk-Southern rail line so perfectly. Sometimes we're irritated when crossings are blocked for periods of time while the men and machines repair and replace rails, ties and asphalt. But when it's all done, it was worth the wait.

The Spring book sale was another successful venture for the Friends of the Library. Many sales of paperbacks, hard cover novels, magazines, VCRs and books on tape kept the cashiers busy on Thursday evening for the members pre-sale as well as Friday and Saturday. It was fun to help with the presale. In the cashier position, I was able to see just about everyone who came to the sale that evening. I visited again on Saturday and was amazed at how many empty spaces there were, where books had been stacked on Thursday. I found a couple of books to buy and enjoy. The donations made by community members made a successful sale possible.

We received the sad news on Friday that the husband of one of our Sunday School class members had died suddenly. He had been ill but no doctor was able to determine the cause.
And this morning, on Facebook, I learned of the death of one of our good friends... a member of the "Class of 1948"... I was completely shocked at this news since I did not know Richard had any health problems now. He was at Mayo Clinic, so arrangements are incomplete.

Our Sunday School Class is made up of about 50 friends who have been in this same class for many years. It's sad to look around and see how many have passed on just in the last two or three years. Others of us have had various health issues - surgeries, hip or knee replacements, back surgeries, and so forth. Our average age is probably in the high 70s or low 80s. One member, who still plays golf weekly, is 95 ! He is an exceptional man!

Friday, April 9, 2010

SPRING at last...

Easter was beautiful and wonderful. We attended the early service at church, followed by our Sunday School class where we had coffee and all kinds of goodies - our tradition for the first Sunday of each month.

The evening meal at Paul and Pam's was delicious - the ham was outstanding, and we were pleased to see most of the family there. Those away at college or working didn't make it, but others did and there was lots of love and laughter during the evening.

I actually walked down the hill to my friend's house on Tuesday afternoon and had a nice hour's visit with her. I had called first to be sure she was free, and would be able to drive me back home. I knew I would be too tired to make the return trip, uphill all the way.

The Friends of the Library meeting on Wednesday was brief this time, since so many of the Friends were involved in setting up for the Spring Used Book Sale. We had 27 members present just the same.

Thursday I finally got back to the Wellness Center to do some exercising on the equipment. It felt good to have a morning session. John and Debby came out during the middle of the day, and John cut down some stumps for us... the remains of bushes that Alan had removed with lobbers and bow saw earlier in the week. Those big bushes had been growing in that spot for about 40 years, with no rhyme nor reason. They were just there - more than 8 feet tall now and serving no purpose. John did a good job but it was hot in the middle of the day and he was quickly overheated.

Thursday evening I went to the Library to serve as cashier for the members only pre-sale at the book sale. I enjoyed every minute of the 3 hours I worked, getting to see folks I had not seen since last Fall and meeting new people too. The other cashier and I were busy most of the time with a steady stream of customers.

Paul came by today to finish cutting those stumps in the back yard. He drained the walking mower and dried the gas tank, which had water mixed in the old gas. When he got it all done and filled with new clean gas, he got it started. He proceeded to cut the scraggly part of the front yard that was beginning to look pretty messy. He also reinflated the flat tire on the riding mower, and Alan found that it will start and run after all. So all our moaning and groaning about having two mowers that didn't work was in vain. All it takes in someone who knows how to do what's necessary and just do it.

We are very blessed with children who do so much for us... each one, in his or her own way, is always doing good things for us.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


This has been a beautiful week with glorious weather. The redbuds are showing a lot of pink and the dogwoods are beginning to flower. All the flowering trees and bushes are in top form, and probably will last until the next rain - which is predicted for Saturday. We have had the doors open for several hours each day, and enjoyed sitting on the porch this afternoon. Listening to the birds and the wind chimes makes a pleasant outing.

Exercise this week has been a combination of going to the Wellness Center and doing some walking at home. Both ways are good, but I'm glad I'm able to schedule those 'free' sessions. I went to the center on Monday and again today. Yesterday's attempt was frustrating since the parking lot was completely full of cars. I never saw so many in the early afternoon! I gave up driving around hoping someone would leave, and went to the Library instead. It was a different kind of exercise - primarily walking - but I enjoyed visiting with the friend at the circulation desk as well as the two friends in the Book Store.

Today I went to the Center early ...about 9 a.m., and found a good spot for the car that wasn't too far away. They'll be closed tomorrow for Good Friday.

I guess exercising IS helping, since I have not been as tired this afternoon as I thought I would be. I was awake last night for about an hour and a half in the night, just laying there trying to get back to sleep, but with my head so full of 'things to worry about' that sleep didn't come.... until much later. It's futile to lay awake in the middle of the night worrying about things over which I have no control and can't do a thing about anyway, but I often do just that. There's almost always one more 'problem' to think (worry) about... and often more than one.

I think I have finally figured out the crochet stitch that I want to use on the little blanket project I'm doing. I had worked for several weeks on one piece, but I was not satisfied with the way it was coming together. SO I cut the yarn and started over with this 'new' stitch that I think is going to be what I was looking for in the first place. The other piece has been unravelled and is now ready to use again.

The family gathering for Easter supper will be at Paul and Pam's house, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone together. They hosted the family's Christmas dinner, since I was just out of the hospital, and volunteered again for Easter. I would love to have everyone come here, but I'm still not quite ready to take on an endeavor of that size.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Where did March go?

I did not realize it has been over two weeks since I posted anything on this blog site. Oh my goodness. I haven't been all that busy, but I do remember thinking that there was nothing of any interest to write about. So I didn't write.

Now it's almost April. I have completed my six weeks sessions of Physical Therapy... had the last session last Friday. Since that program allows independent followup visits, I decided that it would be smart to continue exercising 'on my own' during this 'free month'. So that's what I did today. I actually made myself get up and go to the Collierville Baptist Hospital Wellness Center and do some Nu-step and Arm-cycle exercises. I got to see two of the four therapists who have helped me through the past couple of months, and they were glad to see me 'follow up'. It would be much easier to sit down and do nothing, but I hope I won't get into that rut.

With Easter coming at the end of this week, our weather is beginning to cooperate nicely. Everywhere I look there are tinges of green showing on the tree branches, bushes and shrubs. The flowering trees have been magnificiently beautiful for about a week already. Bradford Pear trees are always so pretty. It's a shame that they're not a sturdier tree, since so many suffer devastating damage in wind and rainstorms. But we can enjoy them while they bloom and hope for no storms for a while.

Our buttercups (aka jonquils and daffodils) are blooming nicely now. I've had a fresh bouquet of the 'taste of spring' on our dining room table for about a week now. Alan would collect some new ones when he walked outside, and twice now I've been able to get out into the back yard (using my cane, still) to pick several handfuls.

The little wild flowers that always come before the grass starts growing are dotting the front yard as they have for 40+ years. When the children and grandchildren were small, we'd put off mowing the yard until after Easter, so there would be plenty of places to hide the Easter Eggs. I miss the dyeing sessions with the children several days before Easter. We'd have a row of teacups with different colors waiting for the eggs, and the kids would create all kinds of designs as they used crayons or stick-ons that came in the dye package. Oh, those are such nice Memories.

Changing the subject completely, the cell phone that Ginny sent me arrived today. It's an 'extra' one on their Plan, and since we had non-renewed our cellular service back in December, this is a welcome gift. Now to learn how to use it ! :-)

Calling out is not a problem. Answering an incoming call isn't either. It's the retrieval of messages left if I don't have the phone turned on.... that will be something to figure out. The instruction booklets that came with the phone are easy to read and interpret, it's just a matter of using the phone and getting accustomed to having it available again. (I used it to call Alan to supper this evening, which saved me from having to walk from the kitchen to the front of the house to alert him.! Ha! It worked!) When Ginny told me she would be sending the phone, she said, "It's a phone. That's all. It doesn't do anything but act like a telephone." That is Exactly what we prefer. It's impressive to see what Other People can do with their iPhones, iPods, and with all those icons that show up on their screens... but I have no desire to get that involved with anything that detailed and complicated !

Saturday, March 13, 2010


It's nice to be known around town - logically because I've been here 'forever' and have taken an active part in community affairs - clubs, organizations, library, PTA, and so on.

My website has the background music "Where everybody knows your name". A Methodist pastor used that phrase in one of his radio 'moments' a while back, describing what a church should strive to be. It's a good feeling to know that people do know who you are - wherever you go. It's nice that our community is kinda like that, too.

I was totally surprised a few weeks ago when I went to the pharmacy at Wal-Mart to get a prescription refilled. The assistant called me by name Before she saw the prescription form! I didn't know her - but she knew who I was. Now every time I go to the pharmacy this young lady will call out a greeting to me by name ! I know I've had many occasions to visit the pharmacy over the years, picking up meds for my sister and now for myself, but I really didn't know I was that recognizable!

A similar incident startled me when I checked in to Admission at Collierville Baptist Hospital for my Ultrasound test this past week. The admitting assistant gave me the routine papers to initial and sign, saying "you know this routine and probably don't need these papers anyway." That told me that she has 'met' me before at the same admission desk.

I am thankful that we have this fine hospital in our town so that we don't have to travel far for excellent care, but I do wish they didn't know me quite so well.

When I was hospitalized in February 2009 for Afib, one of the Pink Ladies came to the door asking, "Are you the famous Anne Babin?" Gulp...well, uh, yes I guess I am. I didn't know her, but we had a mutual friend. She came in and made a nice cheerful little visit.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


With the exception of a couple of days when meetings added to the schedule, the month of March has become pretty routine. I've gone to Physical Therapy three times a week with increasingly intense exercises, lots of walking and practicing going up and down the stairs at the hospital.

I saw my primary care physician last week about my 'numb feet' and he gave me a prescription that was supposed to relieve some of the pressure of the numbness. Instead it gave me a sleepless night with not good pulse rate and a terrific headache the whole following day. So much for that.

I had the scheduled Arterial Doppler Ultrasound on both legs and feet on Monday this week.
Because my primary care doctor is the one who ordered the test, results won't be available to him (or to me) until he is back in the office next week. He is out of the office all this week, probably for Spring Break.

The Ultrasound took about one hour. I had no idea what to expect, and it was quite interesting to listen to the sounds of blood coursing through the arteries in my legs. I asked the technician who did the test if she could offer an opinion, but of course they are not allowed to say anything. The radiologist has to read the test findings and then report to the doctor. Protocol. So we wait. In the meantime, the numbness is still very prevalent, but the swelling has diminished somewhat - except at night.

Because I was in PT from 11 to 12 on Monday, and the Ultrasound was for 1 p.m., Alan and I had lunch at the cafeteria there in the hospital. Even with his cane and my walker, we managed (with help from a nurse in the line) to get food selected and taken to a table. We enjoyed one of the best hamburgers we've had in a long time. They were huge, but we managed to consume all of them. Then it was time to register for the Ultrasound, so the timing worked out really well.

I actually drove myself on an errand on Tuesday - in the rain; and then drove to PT today - both ways. It's kinda strange to be at the wheel again after not driving for so long. Today, March 10th, marks 3 months since my lung surgery. Seems like it should be a much longer time, since my strength has been so slow in returning.... or at least it seems very slow to me.

The buttercups (aka jonquils, daffodils) are blooming in the front yard now, and I'm wishing I could go pick a bouquet. I'm a little bit wary of bending over to pick the blossoms, using the walker or the cane... just not sure about stability. I still have 'wobbly' times when walking. Maybe Alan will bring some more flowers in for me later. He picked a few yesterday to give me a 'taste of spring', he said. It's Time for Spring.... everyone is so tired of cold.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

EOM thoughts

Thoughts for the end of the month (EOM): in the first place, February is a short month, but outside of that fact, the days seemed to drag sometimes and fly by other times. I guess it's not unusual when the calendar has so few listings of "things to do" ... besides Physical Therapy, that is.

Physical Therapy - a.k.a. as Pain and Torture - has been a challenge. The first two sessions nearly did me in. I was seriously overworked in that second session, and it took several days for me to get over the exhaustion caused by doing too many repetitions of each exercise. I kept doing what the nice instructor said, because I didn't want to give up so early in the game. But I found out pretty fast that I can only do so much in a session and then I have to stop.

Going three times a week to the PT sessions has been better since the instructor has lightened up on the intensity and I don't get so desparately tired each time.

There have been three really nice meetings during the month, that I have attended and enjoyed immensely. Ruthanne drove us to the Colonial Dames meeting in Bartlett; Alan chauffeured for the Contemporary Club tea over in Fayette County, and Ruthanne was the driver for the trip to Holly Springs for the Genealogical Society meeting there. Each group is different and very special with a lot to offer. It was good to get out and see those various friends and participate in the activities.

Now it's time to turn the calendar page to March and start a new month. I hope the temperatures will begin to warm up; everyone is so tired of cold weather. Thank goodness our area did not get any more snow (yet) this winter. The heaviest snow I can remember occured in the middle of March in 1968. We had 17 inches. Maybe our 6-inch snowfall earlier this month was all we're due to have this year. I hope.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February - half gone

Where did this month go to so fast? It was just the other day that we turned the calendar page to a new month!

We've had so much 'weather' it's hard to remember exactly when things happened. The first snow dumped 6 inches in our yard and helped pull down a lot more little twigs and branches that the ice in January must have loosened. This was a perfect snow-man kind of snow, and lots of yards sported snow families within hours. I didn't even try to go out to build one for us, though. I did that one year not too long ago. Built a snowman all by myself, in the front yard. He was not very big, and all covered with old grass clippings and leaves, but he was "my" snowman!

All these bitterly cold days have caused a lot of cabin fever around here. It's too cold to get out and go, and staying home gets tedious after a while. The Vancouver Olympics have offered a variety of programs to watch on TV, and the ice skating is always my favorite. We've commented several times that WE got the snow and cold weather that Vancouver really needed. It was warmer there than here!

Physical Therapy started last week with one session - mostly evaluation to find my strengths and weaknesses. I'll be going to Collierville Baptist Hospital three times a week for four weeks, starting this afternoon. I hope it will help me regain some strength, stamina and energy. My weight keeps dropping... and I am not trying to lose pounds! If it continues to slide, I guess a doctor visit will be in order.

The forecast for tomorrow is a little bit warmer than today. I sure hope so, since we have a very nice meeting to attend in the afternoon, and a nice day would make it even more special.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Catching up again....

I just realized I have not posted anything for several days, so here I am again - trying to catch up.
I sent the following message to the family after I got home from the appointment with my heart doctor:

We left here at 12 noon and got to the office building without any delays. (the snow/ice had melted off the main roadways by that time)

With only a ONE hour wait today, my checkup went well. Blood Pressure 120/70, weight 134 (fully clothed), and EKG was "okay".

Dr. Allen will let me change my heart RX from the one that makes my feet/ankles swell so badly, back to the med that was better... I have some of that one on hand, and will get the new RX filled when we go to Wal-Mart next.

He said I should have my blood checked at the C'ville office - in three weeks. That's for the coumadin level... and maybe in 6 months I could get off that one entirely.

He wants to see me again in 3 months, so that will be at the C'ville office too - he's out here on Thursdays, and since I don't do the Book Store on Thursdays now, I can keep appointments at this office instead of at the Baptist East complex.

WE got home by 3 p.m., and encountered no ice or bad road conditions going or coming back. The 40+ temp today has helped tremendously. BUT there is still a lot of ice piled up along the way, and unmelted areas "waiting for more"? I hope not.
So, that's the 'report' from Feb. 1. It's been a busy week with the FRIENDS meeting on Wednesday and grocery shopping on Thursday. I was delighted to get back to the Friends meeting, and received a royal welcome there. Like the kindergarten student who said he liked to miss school because they clapped for him when he came back. :-) They clapped for me, too.

Grocery shopping was, as usual, a big job. The checker commented that we must have been "out of everything", which is pretty close to right. So our cart was full when we finished checking out. The rain was beginning to fall a little harder when we got back to the car, so I did not even try to help load the bags into the trunk. Poor Alan - had to do it all.

Now it's Saturday and I'm waiting for Ruthanne to come pick me up to go to the Colonial Dames meeting and lunch. Charlotte will be going too. This group meets quarterly, so it's been a while since we've seen these friends. We did not go to the November meeting since I was still reeling from the shock of the X-ray and CT scan results on Nov 2nd. That seems like a long time ago.

I commented yesterday to a phone friend that I was so impatient to regain my strength, when we both realized it has not yet been two whole months since the major surgery. I need to practice patience..... not easy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another new day

Going to the lung doctor today was an all-day affair - almost. We left at 9:15 and didn't get home til after 1:20 p.m. Only a few minutes of that time was spent at Wendy's getting lunch 'to go'.

I asked the nice nurse why it seemed like ALL doctors make appointments for a certain time, but it is one hour or more after that time before the patient is even called into the exam room. Then there's another lengthy wait to see the doctor himself (or herself). Of course each doctor has his own priorities, and I like having one sit down and spend time talking with me about my particular concerns, but really - does it take THAT long to see each patient and then to record what happened during that visit?

I have another appointment next week, this one is with my heart doctor. I know from experience that I won't see him within the hour of the appointment time. We'll most likely have a two-hour wait in the waiting room, plus another period of time in the exam room after his nurse gets her info.

There's not much I can do about it, except not keep appointments -- and that won't work at this stage of my recuperation. Just have to be sure to have reading material with me, and maybe a bit of chocolate to tide me over. Hubby manages the waiting time better than I do, for which I am thankful. I would hate to have to do these appointments by myself.

My checkup today was good - in spite of all the waiting - and my next appointment will be in April. The lung doctor wants to keep a close check on me to stay on top of things. I'm glad.

Speaking of reading material, I'm reading Stuart Woods' new "Kisser", another Stone Barrington novel. I have enjoyed everything Woods has written and this one is no exception. I also have the latest Robert B. Parker novel waiting for me after I finish "Kisser".

It's good to get back to reading! For several weeks I have not had any interest in any of the books I brought home from the Book Store to have while I recovered. I don't know if it was because my eyes were as weak as the rest of my body, but for some reason I just couldn't get into books for that time. It was easier to turn on the TV - and watch the Food Channel. I enjoyed the reruns of some of the good old sitcoms, too, on WGN while I was doing daytime TV.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Revising the calendar

Before my surgery (I'm calling it B.S.), my calendar would have something listed almost every day. Some place to go, or something to do, or at least something to look forward to.

Now, since I got home from my 2-week hospital stay, the calendar 'events' have been limited to visits from those wonderful home health care people - Shelly, Samantha and Julie (OT, RN and PT). I look forward to seeing them and was sorry when Shelly's 'tour of duty' was completed on my case. All three ladies are pleasant, fun to be with and always smiling...very important!

I am beginning to resume a few of my B.S. activities, however. Going to Sunday School has been a real spirit-lifter and vital to my overall health.

While I'm still missing some meetings, I did get to go to the Contemporary Club this past Wednesday. Alan chauffeured me and Charlotte to the Library, where the Club meets in the big meeting room. It was good to see all the ladies again, and they made me feel like Royalty with their ''welcome back" greetings.

Recoving my strength is a slow process, but everyone says I'm doing well, looking good, and coming along nicely. I guess I will have to agree, even if I don't. What I see in the mirror must differ greatly from what others see. So be it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My name is ANNE

My name is Anne. NOT Ann, not Annie, or any other variation of those letters.

I wonder why I am so often called Annie when a person (specially someone new) sees A N N E written, and pronounces it with the extra vowell ... there is no I in ANNE.

During my recent adventure in the world of medicine, every time someone came in to my hospital room to administer therapy, medicines, or anything else, I was asked my 'name and date of birth'..... which I obediently gave every time, "Anne Babin, 10-16-30".

I sure did not say ANNIE.... But the next fellow who came in with my chart looked at the written word, and then at me, and said ANNIE? I finally had to tell them NO! I AM NOT ANNIE.!

It's always been difficult enough to get people in general to allow me to keep the E at the end my my given name... ANNE. It's amazing how many people only know how to spell ANN without the E. The sound is the same, so I guess that's expediency... just drop the E and go with ANN.

When I was younger, I served as recording secretary for a state-wide women's organization. The leaders of this group were all good friends, and I enjoyed my term as secretary. BUT at the beginning I had to convince everyone that I am ANNE not Ann or Annie. I cut out 100 copies of the letter E from newsprint, magazines, etc., and pasted them onto one big sheet of paper.

I sent this to our president of the organization, explaining that she would never have to leave off the E from my name again, since I had provided enough for the 2-year term.

She got a good laugh out of my shenanigan, but I did notice that it worked. I never had to beg for an E again.

So the moral to this story is probably non-existent, except to say that a person's name should be respected, no matter what it is or how difficult it is to spell or pronounce.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New day, new year, new everything

Hello friends and family.....
I am finally back on my blogspot after the long absence for the hospital jaunt and all that entailed.

It is SO good to be at home again, and though every person I encountered at Baptist East was a caring, gentle and efficient nurse, doctor, attendant, physical therapist or food service person ... they can't hold a candle to my ever-lovin' husband. I can't brag on him enough for his dedication to my welfare at home and also while 'incarcerated' in the hospital. He's learning his way around our kitchen very nicely, too, I might add.

Today was my first time back to Sunday School. I was excited about going, and even tho the Home Health nurse had to come attempt to draw blood first, we got there in plenty of time for the goodies, well-wishes, and the fine lesson our son Philip brought to the class. I would have made a speech (of sorts) to thank everyone for their prayers, cards, CaringBridge messages, etc., the words choked me so I just managed to say Thank You.

I felt sorry for John, the Home Health nurse who came to draw blood. My poor veins have been so poked, prodded, pinched, and otherwise 'used' that they simply do not cooperate willingly now. Nurse John finally ended up with a small sample and I hope that was sufficient for a reading by the lab (or whoever gets it next).

Again, thanks to everyone who has been praying and contacting us via CaringBridge. It is a wonderful feeling to be so loved.