I woke up sleeping on my left side….

Two weeks and 5 days since my nephrectomy, I woke up in my favored sleeping position – on my left side.  It was just two days ago I whined to myself that if I could just turn over on my left side I could go to sleep.  This past week I’ve also been waking up in the morning a little nauseated and with no appetite…throw in a little dizziness throughout the day, I may be dehydrated.  It seemed I was drinking a lot of water but when I got on line I realized that I was not drinking 1/2 my body weight in ounces…and there is no way I’m going to share with you how many ounces that should be.  So…to my fellow nephrectomy peeps…drink up.

Against my better judgement, he and I went to the auction Friday night.  I was pretty tired from doing mostly nothing but wanted to get out of the house.  I realized just taking a shower, doing my hair and face that  I was tired but there were things to buy in my future!


I got two of these.  Made in Italy…I’m assuming tole…candle holders…I love them so much I can’t stop looking at them….and I got them for a fraction of what they are worth…It is probably going to require a wall redo…but so worth it…and I just know he agrees.

and this huge brown crock.  This thing is huge and heavy.  I could probably use it to make a year of sauerkraut for the family…hahahaha…or I could use it for a decoration.


He’s golfing today in a tournament…I have the house to myself…need to get laundry done…he worked hard on the camper yesterday – it is clean and ready to go.  I’m content.  Life is good.

Until next time…..

Grapes, honey and bee stings

While sharing a big ole bowl of red grapes with Jaxon this afternoon, I had another thankful moment.  Grandparents say that if they had known how much fun their grandchildren would be they would have had them first.  Jax and I spent quality time eating grapes together – pulling them off the stem and determining a place we are going to put the little stems that come off with the grape.  I enjoy watching him refine his small motor skills picking those tiny stems off the grape.  I enjoy the announcement with each grape of whether it is purple or red.  I grin as he learns the excitement of getting a grape off the stem without a pesky little stem.  It’s hard for me to be the adult and put the grapes away instead of letting him eat every single one that he wants.  Ya…it wasn’t that way raising my kids.



Fun afternoon yesterday watching geese from the deck, helping “Nina” water and dead head flowers until a wasp got him.  Suffice to say the wasp and all of his family have now been murdered with chemical.


Honey is the ticket.  We tried to start with ice but he was having none of it.  Then i remembered something I had heard about honey on stings.  Oh my goodness…I’m here to tell you, he stopped crying immediately and the large white swelled area was gone within the hour.  The only issue was honey in his hair.  Jenny msg me last night to tell me he has a bug bite in his belly button and thought she should put honey on it 🙂  Note to all – miracle cure!

We got pounded with rain last night – rain and wind.


Broke off a tall limb from one of our trees in the backyard.  Lots of folks had worse damage.  Slept right through the two Code Red notifications.  Need to revisit this possible problem.

Jax and I deadheaded pounded flowers this afternoon…  some are bald.  bummer.

Until next time….

Iowa Baseball Camp for the Deaf…

Katy told me she was going to be working all week with hearing impaired kids at a baseball camp for the deaf.  My initial reaction was that emotional swelling of admiration and pride!  She is one of those kids who followed her passion right out the door when she was 18 – to University of Northern Iowa to be an english major – and then she found the deaf education program which sent her to Kent State University in Ohio.  Then on to Kent’s masters program and teaching in the public schools in Cleveland and Akron….and now she is in Des Moines making a difference in the lives of children who are hearing impaired.

Last night she told me that there was a Facebook page for Iowa Baseball Camp for the Deaf.  I was not prepared for the joy on the faces of the kids as I went thru the photos.  It brought tears to my eyes.  It made me want to be there and be a part of it!



They signed the National Anthem at the Iowa Cubs game



That’s my girl


…and thanks Iowa Cubs!!!!

Until next time….

The Belly Belt…..

Please excuse the outfit in this picture…it is the retirement look on a blistering hot day in Missouri.

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I’m 2 weeks and 2 days post nephrectomy!

This belly belt is amazing.  Jenny got it for herself after her pregnancy and loaned it to me for after surgery.  I am not kidding when I say that I wasn’t sure it would go around me with all of the air bloat and swelling when I left the hospital, but I”m not sure I could have made the 4 hour car trip home without it. I wear it every day now and only take a couple tylenol in the morning.  When I go out, I wear it under my clothes!  It holds the innards in so you don’t have to worry about feeling that feeling of things moving around and also is wonderful when you don’t have time to grab for a pillow for a cough or sneeze.

Just wanted to pass my joy on to help others…

Until next time…..

A day past two weeks…

I’ve read everything I could get my hands on in order to adequately prepare for my nephrectomy recovery.  4 weeks seems to be the magic number for returning to work.  Exhaustion and muscle pain are often mentioned…but I swear i didn’t  think it would happen that way with me… low and behold…here I am.  Also fighting an occasional mental demon.

He pulled the camper home this week so we could get it cleaned up and do some camping this year.  It has been two summers and I’m ready.  Washed all the sheets, blankets and towels…he’s going to vacuum up dead bugs and we will be ready!  I’m glad we put it away clean and organized last time we used it.  Makes a huge difference. it’s a hybrid camper.  Everything is stationary except the two queen beds which pull down on each end.

Life will be back to normal soon.

Until next time….

“Hallmark” holidays….

I’m a good question-er.  Bring up any topic or introduce me to someone and I ask questions…I’m just so damn curious!  I’ve been told that perhaps throwing the big spotlight on people I meet may make them uncomfortable….it’s not like I ask personal questions to do with their clothing size, weight or bathroom habits.  I always think that someone to keep the conversation going is better than everyone sitting around on their thumbs trying to think of a way to flee because of the silence!   When I’m in a group…I hate silence.  You know the silence of the extended family getting together – everyone talking at once until that moment when the excitement of seeing each other is gone and the deafening silence falls upon the crowd and someone giggles and says.  Wow…we got quiet.  Ya…that makes me uncomfortable.  It’s like – Is it just me or am I channeling everyone else in this one moment and I want to be any where but here.

Thus the hallmark holiday…

Full Definition of HALLMARK

a : an official mark stamped on gold and silver articles in England to attest their purity
b : a mark or device placed or stamped on an article of trade to indicate origin, purity, or genuineness
: a distinguishing characteristic, trait, or feature

Before I actually googled it, I defined the word hallmark as notable.  I was obviously wrong.  The other way I define Hallmark is anything commercial that the Hallmark Card Company makes money selling cards to guilty people….and the holidays to celebrate the event.

When I was growing up, my family celebrated every birthday and Hallmark holiday.  We were a small family – it was not hard…it was expected…there were no decisions to make…there was no choice.  We also bought Hallmark cards, for crying out loud.  It never even occurred to me that everyone didn’t!  It never occurred to me that these “important” holidays would not continue to be important to my offspring and current extended family.  Our family patriarchs and matriarchs are  gone, does this end with them?  Are we turning our back on family or are we saying done with the commercialized required family gathering…we will get together when we want to see each other …. it’s a learning curve for me but it does make sense!

Until next time…..

You Don’t Know Unless You Live in Dementialand

When Dementia Knocks

As I’ve said before and so has others, you will never know unless you have this disease. It sucks! Nothing I can say other than that.

Those are not my words. They are the words of someone with younger-onset Alzheimer’s. Her name is Melanie and she is in her early 40’s. I read the blogs of many individuals with dementia, but there is something about her blog that keeps drawing me in. I think it’s because when I look at her picture I see someone who looks like they might hang out with my group of friends if they lived in my town.

I want Melanie and others who share their raw and personal experiences with dementia to know that what they are doing is meaningful. Instead of reading my words today, I want you to read her words. You will learn much more about dementia from her in 15 minutes…

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I have this friend, Groundhog

He and I have known each other since the early 70’s.  I have no idea what really connected us back in church youth group…I, at one time, thought maybe it was because we are both only children…but, I don’t know…it’s deeper than that.  We never had any of the boy/girl type complication although there was a little while that I thought he was really cute…and then I just thought him to be my adorable best friend.  We went to different high schools – he could have gone to my high school but he had a vision and ended up at the technical high school.  We went our separate ways after my graduation in ’74 and his in ’75 and we lost contact with each other off and on.  When I met Gena, Groundhog fit right into the triangle.  They both loved tropical fish…I, of course, didn’t like tropical fish…and of course, I was the one at home alone when one of the mama fish started giving birth and the babies were being eaten…that’s terrifying blog material for another day.  We all traveled together to Cincinnati one time to see a Red’s game….she and I went to visit him one time when he was in Cincinnati at the bible seminary.



She and I went to visit him in Abilene, TX when he went to the college there.  He was an usher at our wedding



Again we went our separate ways……and again we reconnected.  He is the one who actually inspired me to start blogging – in those days it was over on Xanga.  There is no one on this planet who could be more my opposite…there are so few things that we agree on that a rare moment when we both say yes – gets written on the calendar.  We used to argue – I like to say debate – over EVERYTHING!  He is a libertarian and I’m a moderate liberal and all the garbage to go with that…he is a strong Christian man…I’ve backslid into calling myself spiritual.  I trust him with my life and I think the feeling is mutual.  I have his back.  period.



His mom passed a few years ago.  She was his rock.  I didn’t see his mom often after we all went our separate ways – but when I did see her, I adored the way she would look at me with a smile and gently say, Nina.  He has now moved in with his father who has dementia.  Doing the right thing?  Perhaps.

I awoke at 5:30 this morning – I don’t do anything at 5:30 in the morning other than sleep.  I picked up my IPAD and went to google+ and there was a 16 minute video he had posted.  A video taken from 8mm of him as a youngster.  One little scene of him as a toddler at a park and his mom calling to him and he began to run to her and she swept him up into her arms.  It hit my soft spot very hard.  Everytime I think of him today, I tear up.  I can’t imagine the day when we don’t have the relationship we have…when one of us is dead.

Until next time…

Sunshine for the soul

It’s amazing what a little sunshine can do for my “little attitude”.  I have been a bit angry this week…it may have to do with the narcotics….or it may be because my world was turned on its side with 3 months of medical mayhem!  I was really surprised pre-surgery that I was overwhelmed with sad/scared emotions only twice.  I focused on the beauty of spring, the breeze in my hair, I ate clean and lived one day at a time.  I had been giving a lot of lip service to getting my psych turned around and my body healthy.   HMMMMM!

I did a lot of walking today .. Got in over 8,000 steps.  Sat on the deck with the sun at my back and listened to a couple of TED podcasts, caught up on reading and hung out with my critters.  He’s been going to Jenny’s to watch Jax because he has been sick and we didn’t want to introduce it to our house or take a chance with my immune system.  I miss my boy…

In the evenings he and I have been binge watching a couple of NETFLIX shows…Bloodline and Boss.  I’d be interested to get some opinions if anyone else has watched them.

That’s it for tonight…..I guess it is theoretically morning…so

Until next time….

narcotics, marijuana and mind your own business

I’m not a drinker of the bubbly.  I don’t see the purpose. 1) I do not like to NOT be in control of me. 2) If I’m going to drink something, it is going to taste good.  Personal preference.  I am going to put it out there that I believe without question that alcohol consumption is causing most of the grief and pain in our society…no less, in fact,  than the use of controlled substances and narcotics used by many to make their life palatable.

Until the residual crud from kidney cancer surgery, I have used very few prescription narcotics for pain relief.  I’m very afraid of the habitual affect of these pain relievers.  I received several lectures while in the hospital that relieving the pain after surgery is not just for comfort but actually aids in recovery because if the pain is restricting deep breaths or getting out of bed, things are not going to go well.  The morning after surgery, one of the nurses I adored walked into the room and said.  Nina…push that morphine button now.  They hooked me up with the morphine self medicator…apparently I was  low on the compliance scale…I was high the rest of the morning until they switched me to oral pain meds.  While I can say that the pain was low and my personality apparently uninhibited, its not how I would want to go through my normal life.  BTW I’m still using an occasional pain pill this 2nd week after surgery.  Sometimes it just feels good to not have to worry about whether this or that is going to cause me pain.  No Guilt.  The nurse told me that is why the surgeon sends you home with a prescription….and I finally believe her.

With that being said.  Come on Missouri…legalize MJ.  I’ve been surrounded by the seeds-in-the-ashtray arrest mentality for 30 years…  Occasionally, I”m sure a good nasty drug bust happens because someone found MJ seeds or stems in someone’s trash…but these personal use MJ busts are not working…criminalizing normal people for smoking a little weed just infuriates me.  I haven’t smoked a joint since I was about 24 years old.  You do the math.  I’m in the minority.  I would venture a guess that there are more people, of every age, smoking pot regularly now than smoking cigarettes.

So…come on lawmakers, put down your bong and vote yes to legalize marijuana…and then pass me a joint, please.

Until next time….