Grace brings us face-to-face with aging as she relates her experiences, her memories, advice for surviving the aging process...with Grace. This is a place for humor, sharing, and learning as well as what I hope are some entertaining meanderings of my thoughts.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday...
            Can't remember where I found this, but I love it!


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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rat-a-Tat-Tat...I Hear Spring!




Lately, I have heard a Gila Woodpecker pecking on metal in the neighborhood.  He seems to like street lights, swamp coolers, trim on houses, anything that makes noise so he can impress the ladies.  That is one of the first signs of Spring around these parts.




This morning while I was out in the yard with the dogs, I heard another tapping...this time it was Mrs. Gila Woodpecker remodeling her nest from last year. It is in one of our poplar trees that is mostly dead. She made a perfectly round hole in the trunk and hollowed it out. Last year we could see two little heads pop up every once in a while. I am happy to see she is returning.

This is enough for me...Spring is coming soon!  I can't wait.  I think it is my favorite time of year.  Is it yours?


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Monday, February 27, 2012

Maggee's Creative Corner ~ Chunky Cabbage Soup

Are you ready for another tasty, healthy soup before Spring arrives?  This one sounds like it is just the one for a chilly end-of-winter day!  Enjoy, and please let us know how you like it!  I just love that Maggee gives us tips and good eats all at once!


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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nurse "Nancy" On Duty


Hello, my Bloggy Friends!  It's Nurse "Nancy" here.  I've taken over the body of GraceinAZ (Pat) for the time being in order to care for HB (HoneyBunny).  Now that we are home, we are having to get used to a whole new routine for our waking and sleeping hours.  It takes us right back to those days when the stork drops off a new baby...kerplunk...we are right in the middle of strange and new things!

After the first day home we began to understand just how much of a change this would be in our lives. (If you are just jumping in on this story, you can catch up by reading these posts: Quiet Days Turn Into Hospital Stay, Hospitals, Home Repair & Blessings, & This Could Be The Day.)  Our lives now revolve around his PEG tube (feeding tube).  He must have regular nutrition, starting slowly and working up to an amount set by the hospital dietitian.  We must watch his weight to see whether that is sufficient.  So far we are almost halfway to the goal amount of daily intake.  He is tolerating it very well.


Then, of course, there are the daily medicines that he was taking before all of this crashed down on us.  The meds that can be crushed must be, and the others need to be prescribed in liquid form.  I have become the nurse, enforcer, crusher, and alarmist.  (Just a joke...I keep the alarm clock set on my phone...just thought alarmist sounded more dramatic...giggle).  And, don't forget the water!  He must have enough extra water to keep him hydrated.  Whew...that's a lot for a complacent little ol' lady to keep track of!  I started a chart on excel.  Food, meds, water, amounts, weight...tsk...forget one and I could get fired!  Can't have that!  This will look good on my resume!

Next week we have appointments with the Primary Care Physician and in Phoenix for a more comprehensive test - Esophogeal Manometry - which we hope will give the doctors the reason for why the esophagus is "very weak" and not working.  We take one day-at-a-time as this puzzle pieces itself together one medical procedure at-a-time.  Jesus is walking with us along this torturous path and only He knows where it well lead.  We trust Him with this and appreciate all of your prayers and well wishes.  They mean so much to HB and to me...Nurse "Nancy!"



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Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Could Be The Day

It is day six of HB HoneyBUNNY)'s hospital stay...a gorgeous, sunny day in Arizona.  It looks like we will be going home today. We will know more this afternoon.

Before we can leave, the nurses need to know the feeding tube that was placed in his stomach works fine, the dietician must have a chat with us, and the case worker will come talk with us.

Next step will be to schedule another type of swallowing test in Phoenix that will hopefully tell the doctor enough to make a diagnosis and establish a care plan.

I expect our next few weeks to be trying, with this health issue, and the kitchen redo both going on at once.  But it will be good to be home.

Much as I hate being awol from my blog, I just haven't been able to keep up.  When I am home and on my computer, I promise to do better.

Many, many hugs & thanks for your prayers & kind words...they mean so much!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hospitals, Home Repair, & Blessing

It is now 3 1/2 days into HB (HoneyBunny's) stay in the hospital.  There are no answers yet. No solution. No plan established.  A more detailed swallow test is being done today. A GI scope is scheduled for tomorrow.   It is hoped that these tests will fill in more pieces of the puzzle that is his esophagus and point to a solution.

So where are the blessings? There are many.  The care here is outstanding. Several doctors from various departments check on him. The nursing staff could not be more efficient or pleasant. The view from the window looks West toward the mountains.

More blessings await us at home. Our friend is cleaning the house & dog sitting today, another friend is dog sitting...er..spoiling..on other days, and the kitchen remodel goes on in our absence.  And, the best blessing of all is that so many prayers have been going up!  We thank you all and would like you to know we feel them.
Hugs,

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quiet Days Turn Into Hospital Stay

Just a short note to explain why I may be away from my blog or slow to respond to your comments.

Friday I had to take HB (HoneyBunny) to Tucson to the hospital. He had a procedure on the 7th that was supposed to fix his swallowing problem.  It made it much worse instead. He hasn't been able to get food or liquid down for 11 days & has lost 20 pounds.

So, he is being rehydrated.  Many tests have been run, xrays taken & more to come.  A feeding tube will be connected soon to get nutrients in him.

He is miserable and I am doing my best not to worry.  I will post as I can from my phone.

Hugs, GraceinAZ

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day Four ~ All Is Quiet Today


School is out today and our favorite Fix-It Folks are home being parents to their adorable daughter,while we are having a  quiet day.  The old tile is gone (YAY!) from the kitchen.  A light dusting of white covers everything in sight, drifts into our eyes and noses, and makes it's way into every little nook and cranny.   I choose to view it as a sign of progress. 



Five new lights have been installed.  Where you see the drywall patch in the middle of the photo, there will soon be a solar tube (skylight) to let the bright Arizona sunshine light our room!  Our little kitchen shall be illuminated like never before!


Cleaning up after a messy day, and off for the weekend ~ our favorite Fix-It Folks will be back at it next week.  Each day will bring new things, added conveniences, neater looks to an old, outdated room.  Someone commented that this was better than HGTV.  LOL!  I think I'll call it OhGLet'sC~  giggle!

Have a great Friday and a Blessed weekend!

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kitchen Reno ~ Day Three in Progress

Local inspectors...pawsing near the floor tile!



Ah-CHOO!  Day three of the kitchen remodel is in full and noisy force!  The rest of the old floor tile is being jackhammered outta here!  The electrical work is being done.  The skylight will be installed, or readied for installation! Dust is flying everywhere, giving our air purifier a total workout!

The new tile has been delivered...note the inspectors checking out the stacks of new tile above!  One of them is licking his lips~ I wonder what that could mean?

I guess I should mention that all that tile is not going in the kitchen.  It is enough tile to cover the kitchen, dining area, family room, hallway, 2 bathrooms and the entry...most of which will be done after our bank account is healthy again!

Hope you are having a wonderful week!  


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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kitchen Reno ~ Day One

Wordless Wednesday (almost)) 
 Kitchen Reno / Day One
Now you see it, now you don't!


Down comes the false ceiling!

No more upper cupboards!

Ready for electrical work, drywall repair!

Jacob had a hard day in lockup!  You'd think he was the one
 taking down these cabinets!  Poor Hound Dog!

Bring on Day Two!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Demolition Day for the Kitchen Redo!



There is much excitement at our house today!  This is officially day one of the kitchen remodel.  Demolition day!  I wonder if they'll let me take the first swing with the hammer?  Down comes the false ceiling, up goes the new skylight and new lighting.

I spent yesterday packing up the last half of the kitchen.  Everything is in plastic tubs in the family room and living room.  Our next three weeks will be sort of like camping out in our own house.  It will be totally inconvenient, but soooo worth it in the end.

The popcorn ceiling was my other project for the day yesterday.  I scraped it off the old ceiling above the false ceiling.  Ugh!  I looked like a snowman when I was finished.  A nice hot shower felt oh, so wonderful!  For the next few days I will be watching others work, but once they have the drywall repaired and the new skylight and lights installed, I will texture and paint the ceiling and walls.  That's my little piece of the project and I am happy to do it.  A few years ago, HB(HoneyBunny) and I would have tackled most of this remodel ourselves.  Those days are past and we are blessed to have wonderful "Fix-it Folks to help us out!

Toodles...I'll post progress reports periodically.  And, have a wonderfully, deliciously awesome Valentine's Day!

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Maggee's Creative Corner ~ Blissful Bean Soup

Here we are at Monday again and it's time for another mouth-watering recipe from Maggee!  Are you ready?  This bean soup is not only good for us, it is perfect for the season!  Taste-testers wanted!  Inquire within...LOL!


























Be sure to let me know how you liked it! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What Does NF Mean To You?


In my mailbox on Saturday!  Awareness bracelets for Neurofibromatosis that I had ordered from Kristi Hopkins at Thriving With Neurofibromatosis blog.  (Please visit her and be blessed by what her family is going through - she and several of her kids have NF!)  I bought them to share with my family in support of my grandson who has NF-1.  Never heard of it?  Neither had we until he was diagnosed at a young age.  It was pretty scary for all of us, but mostly for my son and daughter-in-law!  No one wants to hear a doctor tell you that your child has a disorder that may or not lead to cancer.  No one.  It takes time to get your head around all that ~ after the shock wears off.


Here is some information from Kidshealth.org:

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a neurocutaneous syndrome that can affect many parts of the body, including the brain, spinal cord, nerves, skin, and other body systems. NF can cause growth of non-cancerous tumors on nerve tissue, producing skin and bone abnormalities.
Effects of NF vary widely — some children live almost unaffected by it; rarely, others can be severely disabled.
NF is defined by tumors, called neurofibromas, that grow along nerves in the body or on or under the skin. As the tumors increase in size, they can press on vital areas of the body, causing problems in the way the body functions.
Neurofibromas often first appear in childhood, especially during puberty. NF is occasionally diagnosed in infancy (in children with more apparent cases), but more often in kids between 3 and 16 years old.
The first noticeable sign is almost always the presence of brown cafĂ© au lait spots. These distinctive spots don't hurt or itch and never progress to anything more serious than spots. They can be found anywhere on the body, though not usually on the face. Tiny ones — freckles — may be seen under the arms or in the groin area.
Many neurofibromas can be removed. Although usually benign (noncancerous), an estimated 3%-5% become cancerous.
My grandson's tumors are on optical nerves, and in his stomach area.  He undergoes periodic monitoring with MRIs to determine if they have grown or if others have shown up on other nerves.  These tumors have not caused any disabilities or major problems to-date.  He also had severe scoliosis and underwent surgery to straighten his spine.  He now sports a titanium rod in his back that will no doubt set off alarms at airports.  This surgery has not limited his activity in the least.  In fact, recently he obtained his black belt in one of the Martial Arts!  Taikwon Do, I believe, but don't quote me.
Anyway, where am I going with all of this?  Just sharing one of our families medical concerns...and recognizing that most, if not all of us have a loved one who has some sort of medical issue that could use moral support.  I just love that Kristi had these special bracelets made so my family can wear them and bring awareness to NF! 
Have a blessed Sunday, and take a few minutes to bless those you love who need a hug or a prayer or just a note of kindness! 
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Friday, February 10, 2012

It's Friday & I'm Feelin' Funky

Friday is here and I'm feeling a bit under the weather.  It will pass, I know, but for now I would just love to crawl back in bed and sleep the day away.  My breakfast is having a debate in my tummy as to whether it should settle or not.  Sigh...

More important is HB (HoneyBunny), who hasn't been able to get more than a few bites of food down since his throat procedure Tuesday to correct his swallowing problem.  The Doctor is out-of-town, his assistant is texting him to see what can be done, and the weekend will be here in a few hours.  I worry about him, but I am pretty much helpless at the moment.  Even liquids don't want to go down.

So, if I am slow to check on blogs, or follow up on comments, please be patient.  I will catch up when I can.  Right now I need to take care of us, get the new dogs to their first (for us) vet appointment this afternoon, and continue getting my kitchen packed up in preparation for the remodel! 



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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thin Is In ~ Except in Hair

Sometimes my blog ideas just pop up out of nowhere...or jump out at me from something I read or hear...or form in my head while I am busy with other things.  This is one of those times.  Last week my sister commented that my hair looked thin and was I doing anything about it.  Today I visited fabgrandma's blog only to find the subject was...you guessed it - thinning hair!

My hair has always been fine. You know, not fine, fine...but fine!   After I had my children, it started thinning on top of my head.  Back when we ratted our hair, I could cover it and it wasn't noticeable.  In the last several years I have worn my hair short and curly and anyone can easily tell my hair is thin on top.  I have never been very self-conscious about it, however. 

When my sister asked me about it, I decided to listen to her and to do some research on the subject.  Let me tell you...there is so much information online that it just boggles the mind!  There are products that are "clinically proven," some may cause sexual dysfunction, (like that isn't already a problem for many of a certain age and who needs to hear that!) and another says it can create "a healthy environment."  One has a "three tier system," another is an "all natural food supplement," still another is touted as a "nurturing shampoo."  If you care to go to war over the issue, there is a product that will "combat hair loss!"  Some are "hair-thickening," another "targets only graying, gray or white hair."


After reading all that, I researched biotin, a vitamin (Vitamin H) that is involved with the production of energy.  One of the areas this vitamin  helps with is...TA DA...hair loss and thinning hair!  My sister says she has been using this daily and it is helping her grow new hair.  Yep...little fuzzy hairs coming in!  And, like her, I prefer not to add more chemicals to my body, so I have decided to try this vitamin H and see what happens.  (Let's hope I don't break out in a horrible rash or something!)

Let me state very clearly here that I am not a physician, do not have a medical degree, nor am I the FDA.  This is strictly my own opinion/research/ideas.  No one should start taking a supplement or any other product before consulting a physician. 

Do you have thinning hair?  Have you tried a product or supplement that has helped you?  Since stress, diet and hormones are common causes of hair loss and thinning hair, this is likely to be an area of concern for many of us.  Perhaps we can help each other or at the very least, let our bloggy sisters know where to buy a funky cool hat to hide under!
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Texting While Driving....Equals


It's Wednesday, but I can't be wordless today!  My bloggy friend Ginger, from Savannah Granny, has a warning for us all.  I feel compelled to repost her post here to help spread this important topic to all of you.  And, to ask you to keep her family in your thoughts and prayers after what they have been through!  This story will touch your hearts and I hope will encourage us to do whatever we can to stop this dangerous practice that is robbing us of our friends and loved ones!

Thank you, Ginger, for sharing your pain with us in order to give the blog world a wake up call and a call to action!

Here is Ginger's post:
TO TEXT AND DRIVE OR NOT!
WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?




2009 Volkswagen Jetta before texting





2009 Volkswagen Jetta after texting
November 16, 2009

If you text or read texts while driving 
PLEASE STOP!!
The photo above is my daughter's auto after being
being hit from behind, while she was sitting still, by a driver texting. 
 The driver never attempted to stop before impact. 
He was busy texting!

2011 Ford Focus before texting
2011 Ford Focus after texting
February 2, 2012


The three photos above are of the auto my son was driving last Thursday night. He was hit by a driver texting. The driver never attempted 
to stop before impact. 
She was busy texting!

Our Family Is Blessed!
While my daughter is alive and reasonably well she still suffers from excruciating
headaches and has developed 
a type of Neuropathy in her neck 
and the back of her head. 
My son is bruised, battered and is having vision problems in one eye. He had to be cut from the vehicle as the car bowed/bent and all doors were jammed. An EMT on her way to work was first upon the scene, summoned help and stayed by his side until he got to the hospital.
Yes, I believe in Angels!
He has been with us this weekend and will continue undergoing evaluation in the days and weeks ahead.

We were the lucky ones. Many accidents caused by texting drivers end
in tragic deaths.

"Texting while driving likely caused more than 16,000 road fatalities between 2002 and 2007, a new study finds."
The study, which public safety officials say is yet yet another wake-up call about the dangers of cellphone use in automobiles, was released Thursday by the American Journal of Public Health. It comes on the heels of the US Department of Transportation’s second annual Distracted Driving Summit, during which Secretary Ray LaHood called for even more action to combat what he called a “unsafe, irresponsible, [and] devastating” behavior.
Distracted driving, Mr. LaHood said at this week’s conference, “is an epidemic. It’s an epidemic because everyone has a cellphone – and everyone thinks they can use it while driving. They can’t.”http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/0923/Texting-caused-total-distracted-driving-deaths-to-rise-study-finds

Please share this post with everyone 
in your household who drives.
Ask them to take a 
"Family Pledge"
that they will
 NOT TEXT WHILE DRIVING!

NEXT TIME IT COULD BE
YOUR LOVED ONE!
Please remember my son Robby in your prayers.

Pat,  You are a special lady and I value your friendship.
Thank you so much for allowing me to repost this on your blog.

And, thank you again, Ginger for sharing with us.  I know you are dealing with a lot right now and we appreciate your taking time to remind us of the dangers of texting while driving!

Drive safely my bloggy friends...
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Today I am in Tucson to take HB (HoneyBunny) to the surgery center for a throat procedure to correct a swallowing problem (we hope!)  Yes, your prayers would be appreciated!

So, in lieu of my regular type posts, I am going to pass on an award I recently received.  I love these signs of recognition from fellow bloggers.  It tells me someone is seeing my posts.  And, it is fun to get and fun to pass on. 

Here's how this award works...

1. Thank the person who nominated you for the Award

2. Next nominate 15 Bloggers for the award and notify them (I think 5 is more reasonable)

3. Finally tell readers seven things about yourself



I would like to thank Kez,  a caring lady with a heart for those suffering terrible diseases for this award.  This month she will be championing organ donation and transplants.

You can read her at: Poetic Causes http://poeticcauses.blogspot.com/
I am nominating the following 5 versatile bloggers:

1.     Nona at http://gr8day2save.com/

2.     Kim (Mimi) at http://thegrandmablog.com/  



5.      Karen at http://fabgrandma.com/
Seven things about me:
  1. I love chocolate (ha! no news there)
  2.  I am a Red Hat Queen (Red Hat Society)
  3. Strawberry Twizzlers actually call my name..I hear them!
  4.  I am a team captain for our local Relay For Life and a skin cancer survivor.  (oops ,that's two)
  5. I like to do crafty things, but I am not real creative.
  6. Spring is my favorite season.
  7. Photography is my sometime hobby.
Go ahead - have an awesome day today!
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