Friday, August 31, 2007

We have Faith and all is good.

Today was the day, Little Faith had her surgery, And Thank God and any other powers that be she is going to be just fine, given some time to heal. The parents, I'm sure are taking a little deeper breaths now and mentally exhaused. Feeling it was a small price to pay for their little girls well being.
An update from the source.

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A very long day for Faith.

We had her up at 4:30 am, to be at the hospital by 6 am.
She did wonderful in pre-op, had all the staff laughing at her silliness and talking their ears off about her animals.
Walked with her to the OR at 8 am – they closed up and moved her to the ICU about 6 pm; about 10 hours of surgery.
The Lead Surgeon informed me that the procedure went well.
They did determine that more of the L3 vertebra was involved with the tumor, so nearly the entire bone structure was removed and replaced with donor bone.
They took a rib as well to assist in the fusion process, and inserted screws and rods, which most likely will not require removal.
To adequately access the L3 region, they had to go through her front, so she has an incision from her belly button around the side to her back. In addition, to place the screws and plates in the rear of her spine, they went through a 3-4 inch incision in her back.
Throughout the process they took numerous x-rays to ensure appropriate alignment of donor bone and hardware. They also continually monitored and stimulated her nerves to the lower legs/toes to ensure no nerve/motor damage occurred.
In addition to the removal of a rib, vertebra, 2 disc, fusion and hardware, they indicated that in order to access all of the different areas, many major muscle groups were shifted back and forth during the procedure. Needless to say, we will have one sore little girl.
We have been in the recovery room (ICU) for a couple of hours now. They have had a bit of a challenge stabilizing her pain, but since she has finally calmed down and seems to have drifted off to sleep, I think they may have her adequately medicated. Between her behavior and my “hawking” around, we have their full attention.
We are still expecting 4-5 days in the hospital.

Prior to leaving we will have a Physical Therapy consultation to determine what program will be necessary, along with another orthopedic evaluation to ensure we have the appropriate brace for her.
The staff here at Doernbechers has been incredible all day – nothing but genuine concern for Faith.
The tumor is out - new structure is in.
She’s not happy, but breathing on her own and all vitals are normal.
We’re on our way to healing, and we have Faith; it’s all good.
Thanks for your prayers and support.

Monday, August 27, 2007

To Leavenworth, Wa. and Snoqualmie Falls

The Mr. and I finished up the job a little earlier than we thought and planned a day trip being that we were in the area of Washington State anyway. We planned a day trip by the seat of our pants literally, we were sitting having breakfast in our new little breakfast place (Charlie's Cafe) in Enumclaw, WA. We met the owners Kevin and Nancy and they helped us plan our trek to the Leavenworth area by dragging out the maps.

We set out the next morning to the place that we hoped had more than it did, I wanted to see more music and possibly dancing and the Mr. wanted to see old mills or blacksmith shops you could tour, You know, the history stuff. Neither of us got what we thought might be there. What we did get was a Bavarian Village in the middle of some mountains, all dressed up to look as though there was some of the things we might hope for. But no, it was a glorified shopping area, with a lot of the same junk I could buy else where.

With exception to the Sausage house, We had some Big Bobs...(I know, the name is a little funny) but, that was what they called the Bratwurst sausages. They are the best thing in this little town. To be fair, They do have events that seem to be fun but none while we were there. We walked around and stopped in a custom knife shop to chat and see what the market there would hold for us, It could be possible to sell knives in that area I suppose. They didn't have our style in there so that was good. Hmmmm, Still thinking on this one. We stayed and walked around some more until the heat over came me and the Mr. only had to say "what do you think about getting back into the rig and enjoying the air conditioning?". I said say no more and we were outta there. So away we went hot and a little disappointed, thinking at that point lets just get back to the motel room and cool off and rest for our 4 hour drive home the next day.

Snoqualmie Falls is one of Washington state's most popular scenic attractions. More than 1.5 million visitors come to the Falls every year. At the Falls, you will find a two-acre park, hiking trail, observation deck, gift shop, and the famous 270 foot waterfall.

During our trip back we cooled off a bit and saw an opportunity to stop in the Snoqualmie falls area and both of us had never been there so we decided to go there. We were so glad we did, it's a town rich with history and things to see. First of all the Falls themselves were on the list of things to see for us. After all this is the place that made my favorite kind of Oatmeal famous. Snoqualmie Falls Lodge brand oatmeal to be specific. If you've never had it, you have to try it, Big flakes with a chewy nutty flavor and just plain delicious. The park that the falls were in was beautiful only no dogs allowed, A Bummer for Emmy who had to stay in the SUV, thankfully it was shady and a lot cooler there. We walked up a short trail to the view point and it took your breath away and gave you some serious vertigo looking down on the falls. I love being by water. I think from this point on all my vacations will involve being by water in some form or another. They were thunderous and as mighty as one would expect, I'm glad we diverted when we did, it was worth the few miles out of the way. We saw on the way into town a railroad type outdoor museum with old logging type train from that area,

By now the Mr. is excited, So we stop and check them out and take some pictures. By now the museums are closed so we drove around found the city park and stopped,

the park was scenic almost like a still life painting. The only sounds were frogs croaking all over and the crickets trying to chime in. Refreshing...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Joey

This is my future Daughter in Law **fingers crossed**, I know she is the love of my youngest sons life. I hear it in his voice and by the way he treats her. She's totally gorgeous, model like even, can dance up a blue streak, and has a unique spiritual aura about her. She cooks, she cleans, but most of all she loves and people love her back.
Happy Birthday Joey, Can't wait to see you again. Now get your butts up here!

Happy Birthday Bo

Meet Bo, This is the Mr.s Son. He has chosen a career in food to be particular becoming a Chef. Only one of my favorite pastimes; Cooking. Not too long ago, we joined him in Portland at the place he works for dinner on his dime even. Great food, Great place to work, We had a great time and left completely satisfied.
Bo is like one of those buddies who's there when you need the help, If he could he'd help you out of a tight spot or dangerous situation. The Mr. has felt now and in the past if he needed to call on him he'd be there without a doubt. Just as a father and son relationship should be.
Now, I easily could go on about how the Mr. feels about him but we feel very proud of his strides in his career and life direction especially in the time of his life when nothing comes easy and where character is not made, it's revealed.
Happy Birthday Bo!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ok, everyone remember my last hotel fiasco right? Well, Hallelujah we finally found a place to stay when we come to the Enumclaw area! I'm almost afraid to share for fear of not having it available when we need them.

It's a nice little place out at the opposite end of town from where we have stayed before. Definitely worth the extra few miles let me tell you. Kings Valu Inn had a bad rep. on the Internet by the previous owners, I honestly was really hesitant on staying here. But the need was there due to business in the area.
I was prepared to get back in my SUV and go further if it didn't meet my expectations this time, No more sinus infections for me. I hate taking antibiotics with a passion.
OMG, I got here and they had just steam cleaned the carpets. So it was fresh and no weird odors like the other rooms, Second I look into the bathroom and fluffy towels, Next onto the pillows yep, they were fluffy too! Nice blankets not ragged like the others, and everything worked including the adjustment on the shower nozzle and a bonus good water pressure and no pulsing of the hot and cold. The only thing I wish it had is a microwave. I can live with that though. To the minute that's the only thing I miss besides a little sunshine, it's cool and looks like rain any minute.
My Grand boys would love it here, there's an outdoor pool, I just want to kick back in the sun and relax. Maybe I'll go find a tanning bed in the area.

I found a good little breakfast place just adjacent to the hotel or motel, I never know what to call them or the difference. Charlie's Cafe, Cute little cafe with the interior decor that lends itself to ones collection on Coca Cola memorabilia, with a patriotic flare and family pictures. Their motto is home cooking at it's best. It was good and I know we'll be eating there when we can.

We are planning 1 day for a trip up to the mountain while were here. Maybe it will be sunny and warm. I'll take pictures when we go so you can see them.

The grandson's tournament for Guitar hero is Saturday along with a fund raiser for one of the Aunts friends son. We are expected to attend both so no long weekend off. My poor Mr. he's literally gonna have no butt left, he's working it off.

Good News for Faith, Yay!

Well, after what seems like an eternity to me, and one could only guess what little Faiths parents must have felt and are feeling, the news is Good! ...again I wept like a baby, only tears of joy this time. Below is a news letter from her parents. The job is not done yet friends. We just know what work clothes to put on now. Thanks for your hopes and prayers.

We just received the call

All tests and several different specialists agree that we do NOT have cancer, the tumor is benign!

The official diagnosis is: Osteoblastoma
(This is a pretty rare affliction to hit a girl at this age - see information below)
Next Steps:

Given the possibilities that we were facing, this diagnosis was our best case scenario so we feel very blessed to hear this news but we still have a difficult journey.

Our current Oncology doctor will work to refer us to either an orthopedic surgeon, or possibly a neurological surgeon. We will need to work with them to determine the treatment plan for addressing both the growing mass and impacted vertebra. We are preparing ourselves for multiple surgeries, which is still much better than facing a battle with cancer.

Thank you all very much for your prayers and support.
It was just 2 weeks ago today that we were told by the doctors that they were confident it was a malignant form of cancer.

H and I have been incredibly moved by all the support that we have received over the past couple of weeks.
Whether it was the assistance of getting our case moved to Doernbecher, or all of your prayers, thoughts and support, we are sincerely grateful to all of you.
Thank you for keeping Faith in your hearts.

Sincerely, J and H

What is osteoblastoma?
Osteoblastoma is a benign, bone-forming tumor that is extremely rare, accounting for only 1 percent of all primary bone tumors. Unlike most primary bone tumors, which favor the extremities, osteoblastoma occurs most often in the lower vertebrae of the spine or long bones of the lower extremity. It can, however, also occur in any of the bones of the arms, legs, hands and feet. Most of the time, osteoblastoma is not aggressive, but it can produce painful symptoms. One form of this tumor is considered aggressive because it is very likely to recur after incomplete surgical removal. No reported osteoblastoma has transformed into a malignant condition. The aggressive form does not metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body.

What causes osteoblastoma and who does it affect?
The exact cause of osteoblastoma is unknown. It typically occurs in the second decade of life, but patients range in age from about 5 years to 45 years. It affects males more than females at a ratio of 3:1.

Please support your local Childrens Hospital, they are making a difference in so many lives.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Good Ol' Fashioned Radio

Imagine the two of us sitting around the kitchen table listening intently to a talk show, we look at each other and question or giggle from time to time over something that has been discussed. Sometimes we get caught up in the story and can't move beyond an earshot of the horn.

This day and time it's not the same old radio as it was in the day and time of our parents or grandparents.
Now we still sit around the kitchen table because my pc is in the dining room, but the radio is now a computer and listening is made possible via DSL cable not over the air waves. Oh how times have changed.

I have heard a Lotta hooha about the Sirius radio, you know the one, it has Howard Stern, talk shows, music, news, you name it. They got it. Of course we gravitate to some adult talk shows, Ahemmm, quite entertainingly funny. Thanks Carl. Hmmm, I wonder if this is what all these bluetooth users are listening to?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Slice of Summer Continued~

Introducing the group the Power of 10, An enjoyable ensemble with mostly upbeat music and fun ad-libs. The hometown crowd turned out even though the weather looked like we might have gotten rained out. We didn't. It was cool out though, but extremely pleasant to sit and listen to music and people watch.

Our little town of Canby isn't so little anymore, I looked purposely for faces I'd recognize and I'll tell you there weren't many. It still amazes me, I've lived here over 20 yrs and the growth is phenomenal.
Well, it ended up being just the Mr. and I, The Baby Sister bagged on me early, The Daughter claimed to have a stomach ache. But when I called her to see if she was still going she was sleeping so there you go...It was their loss not mine. We had a great time.

Whispering sweet nothings in my Mr.s ear, I love him.

Now this is a sampling of the music and some entertainment to boot, This little Gramma has some moves and she has a secret also. Watch to see where she's learning the moves from. She's pretty comical and entertaining. Enjoy!

and here's a video to a couple free spirits dancing to a Tom Jones song, They were fun to watch also.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tonight its Rock n Roll in the park

In the years my kids were growing up for 5 or 6 Sundays during the summer we'd walk down 6 or so blocks to the center of our little town to a place called Wait park and do summer evening in the park with a guest band. The kids loved it you seen all kinds of things and met new people and seen lots of old friends. It was part of our social life back then.
Tonight I'm going back to town and revisiting the concert in the park, it's still free and the probably have more concessions now than they used. We actually would bring a picnic basket and a blanket, a nice bottle of wine and drinks for the kids and sandwiches and have a good ol' time.
I told the daughter I was going and she sounded excited, I told the baby Sis and she sounded like it would be drudgery so she probably will not come. Thats ok though, I'm going and having a good time! With or without them. The venue Top 40's Rock n Roll with the The Power of Ten or twelve.

Top 40's Rock-n-Roll

Power of 10 is the most musically powerful, visually explosive act to emerge from the Pacific Northwest in years. The key word here is Power. Power vocals, Power Rhythm Section, Power Horn Section, Power Sets, Power Performance! The Northwest's Most Ultimate Dance Party-Show Band! Power of 10 has played dance party events throughout the northwest for more than 15 years! 10 members though just weren't enough so the ante is up to 12. This 12 piece band of diverse talent captivates audiences throughout the night with body shaking, get down and boogie dance party hits! Three lead singers, the four piece P10 horns and a groove locked rhythm section challenge you to stay seated!! Over the years Power of 10 has performed countless gigs. Shows for The Bite of Portland, the Tigard Balloon Festival, Nike, Precision Cast Parts, Kaiser Permanente, Sun River Lodge and the Portland Winterhawks name just a few. Power of 10 has also headlined a two night dance bash at Chateau St. Michelle Winery for more than 3,500 guests per night. Hits played range across generations from the 40's through today. Get ready to gyrate to the likes of Aretha, James Brown, Tower of Power , Chicago , Abba, Gladys Knight, K.C. and the Sunshine Band. A night with Power of 10 will be chocked full of funk, disco, soul, rock and enough roll to yank even the most timid to the dance floor! We challenge you to have more fun than the band!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hmmm, Bluetooth

We tried out the Macaroni Grill, Its OK. Nice but nothing really to write home about. But while we were there I see this family being seated and couldn't help notice this bright blue beacon flashing off the side of this guys head. To me it was annoying. It flashed the entire time we were there and his family just sat there tolerating it, How can you sit there and talk and eat without saying, man that beacon on your head is bugging the crap out of me?
I have found this to be a new pet peeve, Its the Bluetooth generation. OMG, I think its the Dorkiest looking thing I've ever seen. I so badly want walk up to them and say "Beam me up Scotty." Guys if your not talking on the phone or driving they just look stupid. They are not a fashion accessory.

And Ladies I'm seeing you wear them in inappropriate places too, WTH? When you go to lunch with your husband or girlfriends or your out looking to meet guys and this goes for men too take the damn thing out of your ear and maybe turn the phone to vibrate or even better "OFF" and be courteous to your company.

My Mr. bought one for driving and that's acceptable to me and probably their intended purpose. But they are still just stupid looking. Sorry.

Live long and prosper

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Just one of those Months

Do you ever just get so many things in the air that you can't write about them till something comes down and lands, Well that's me these days.

1 wishing I could have done more with my yard this year. DR's orders no yard work.
2 the Mr. is thinking of building a house so he thinks the yard work and home improvement would be all for naught. (Click here for the potential candidate)
3 I hate looking at the weeds.
4 we've had lots of company so no time for home projects
5 the baby Sis's heart is broke, and going to move on to the next chapter in her life. Damn it anyway.
7 The daughter is one year older, soon she'll be as old as me. hehe

8 I miss the tranquility of the beach, No, I really miss it!
9 Shiatsu is going good. I wish I didn't have to drive after my appointments though. You just get a little goofy, Acupuncture again on next Tuesday.
10 #2 son is not coming this month, and maybe next month. I miss him and Joey his girl.
11 #1's wife got a new job she likes. I miss him and April too!
12 the Daughters hubby doesn't know if he still has a job after the buy out of the company he works for. The daughter landed a really good job and is doing good.
13 We've been traveling to rodeos, Brother Carl is about done with them it's haying time...time to pay the bills.
14 Still praying for little Faith and her family, I sure wish We could just do more, I feel helpless here.
15 Grandson is in a competition of talent on the Guitar hero video game to win a real electric guitar and amp. Coming up on the 25th.
16 Wishing We could have done some camping this year, It was pretty fun last year.
17 Fixed the hot tub YAY!
18 played plumber yesterday, a skill I learn and earned from an ex husband Saved about 150.00 bucks by snaking our 2 drain traps by myself and getting a monsterous hairball out of each one. Now I need to change the washers in the kitchen faucet. I was waiting for the new sink. Refer back to #2 for the reason.
19 weightloss at a friggen stand still. Grrrrrr.
20 It's a good thing I have interesting blog buddies, because I got nothing on them.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I have Faith in prayer, Add little Faith to yours...

She is our friends daughter and I literally bawled when I received the news,
Her parents I know must be outta their mind terrified. She is the sweetest little
pumpkin I've known her since she was born and she needs your prayers now.
Initial diagnosis:
o The third vertebra within her Lumbar region (lower back) has collapsed
o A lesion (hole) is also apparent on the same vertebra
o There is a fleshy mass growing around the same vertebra

They expect results back from the biopsy late this next week, but here is what the doctors have told them so far in terms of what they could be facing:
o Vertebra compression and lesion caused by trauma; fleshy mass could be some type of scar tissue. Or,
o Infection/virus of some type attacking the vertebra and creating the fleshy mass. Or,
o Form of cancer that is destroying the bone structure; fleshy mass is a tumor. Or,
o Both the bone damage and mass is caused by Leukemia.

The only parental requests are as follows:
Please think of Faith.

If you are spiritual, say your prayers. The more the better

If you are not, then please simply think positive thoughts for her.

What ever it is that you do for good things to happen, do them with her in mind.

Today we have received the following reports from our Doctor.
Ø Blood test; appear normal, but does not rule out Leukemia – further tests are required
Ø Pathology; Inconclusive. No direct indication either way - further test required. We are working with a spinal surgeon on next steps, which at this point appear to be:
o Urine test; indicators of cancer can be identified within the urine
o Depending on the results of the urine test, we may need to have another biopsy, but this one would be full surgery into the “mass”
Either way we are expecting surgery(s), to address the mass and repair/replace the damaged vertebra.
This is all we know at this point.

Faith is doing well.
Obviously she continues to have pain in her lower back and upper legs, but her spirit is strong and smiles persist.

Please continue to include Faith and her Family in prayer...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Cigarette butt flingers BEWARE

Credit: for the photo
They say that Ex-smokers are the worse...I have to tell you they are probably right. But it makes me physically sick. I'm sitting here at home suffering from a sinus infection coupled with and ear infection I'm sure from sleeping in a Hotel room in Buckley, WA. next door to a drunken chain smoker for 2 nights in a nonsmoking hotel.

I literally had to stuff a dry cleaning bag under the 3/4" crack in our hotel room door to try to keep the smoke out.I couldn't open the window for fresh air because his window was right next to ours and open for fresh air too. I looked out in the bark dust under his window and I'll bet there was 4 packs of cigarette butts thrown out to burn to the filter, if the bark dust wasn't moist he would have started a fire.
I told the hotel staff about it and they said they talked to the guy and he said so charge me the 200.00 dollars. End of topic, no other recourse was mentioned. Basically I had to suffer because no other rooms were available.
Now the question who should I charge for the Doctor bill for having to be subjected to the smoke in their fine nonsmoking establishment?

I started my list of license plates of Cigarette butt flingers that I witness on my side bar, Even as a smoker I had something against discarding my cigarette butts that way.
I can remember putting the cigarette out and tearing off the paper and remainder of the tobacco grinding it into the ground and then putting the filter in my pocket to throw away in the garbage can. I would even pay my kids 1 penny per cigarette butt to go out in our apartment parking lot and collect them in a pail for the garbage.
Just one cigarette butt eaten by an animal or small child can be lethally toxic.

I have no problem with smokers who want to smoke away from me and put their butts in the proper place like their ashtray, But you can find the scenario in the above picture anywhere, on street corners, in front of hospitals, it's everywhere...It's littering people. Do it in your own yard.

You know I can remember living in Las Vegas around 1967-68 somewhere in that time frame and going along with my mom to the grocery store called Food City in North Las Vegas. Back then the in thing wasn't so much the filtered cigarette as it was the unfiltered. my mom smoked Chesterfield kings nonfiltered then, like everyone else would smoke right in the grocery store. While hanging onto the basket like little leaches my brother and I would count the cigarette burns on the floor by the checkout stands. There were literally thousands of them though out the store. You wouldn't do that at home on your own tile. Why would you do that there? I never to this day understood it.
Now let me say this:
I sincerely apologize to anyone I offended while I smoked, please forgive me.