Sunday, May 24, 2009

Life Persists

This year I have three new pecan trees and one rescued azalea bush.  The pecans trees are thanks to the friendly squirrels (cute rats with bushy tails)inhabiting our back yard.  Over the winter, they buried some pecans found elsewhere in the neighborhood into flower pots in my back yard.  The pecans sprouted into trees after I planted flowers this spring, and I transplanted them, tree, root, original pecan and all into some new flower pots consecrated solely for that purpose.  As would only be appropriate, Squirrel George the x kept me close company during the process, and I rewarded him with peanuts for his trouble in planting the pecans.

The azalea bush was originally a $13 bargain I bought in Arlington last year.  It got trampled when we replaced our fence a couple of months ago, and then replaced with an azalea given by friends as a Christmas gift, but not delivered until spring.  Anyway, much to the not-too-concealed amusement of close family members, I dug up the root, planted it in a pot and set it in a place where it would receive just the right amount of sunlight, from an azalea’s point of view on sunlight, and let the Creator’s ordained processes of nature take work.  This weekend, about two months later, the root sprouted vegetation.  As an amateur gardener, I never cease to be amazed at the way life persists when given opportunity to do so.

Here is the photographic proof of the pecan trees and azalea bush.  The final picture is one Carol took of the way I arranged flora vegetation, et al, just off our back patio this afternoon.  The figurine in the background is not St. Francis.  That would not do for a Protestant Evangelical elder.  It is St. Augustine, considered to be okay for those with leanings toward Calvinistic/Reformed viewpoints.  I put it there hoping he would bless the grass (just kidding!).



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Status: Not quo

For those who have not yet heard, the results from the last cancer test came back very encouraging. The M-spike is 1.1, much, much lower than at any point since diagnosis, now 20 months and counting Again, this is almost a 50% reduction since last month, or down to 1/3 of what it was two months ago when I began the Revlimid. My oncologist is "thrilled," and Carol is "very excited." I am little excited, and will be very excited if it continues this way another month.

Thanks for your prayers, caring, and expressions of concern!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I saw the back doc yesterday, and he took a look at me and at the MRI pictures from Thursday evening. He declared that I had a nerve getting some pressure from the spine in my neck which was causing pain from the neck through the right arm, and I also have some bursitis in the right shoulder. To fix things, I got an Acme At-Home Do-It-Yourself put your neck in traction kit to relieve some pressure on the nerve (sounds nuts to me, too, but you should hear what they do to you if it gets so bad you have to go to the hospital for treatment), and take some medications for the bursitis. For now it is treat these things at home and keep an eye on them and take other action if things get worse. Frankly, I think a crawling baby is cuter, scroll down one blog entry.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Today was Grandma Saturday. After their grocery shopping expedition, Carol brought Alyssa to the house, and we had some fun time that included crawling camp (I hold the baby by a towel, or in the olde days, a cloth diaper, while it learns to crawl), as shown by the video below.

We are also holding right now so far as medical information on me is concerned. This past Thursday evening I had MRI's done on my neck and shoulder to determine the cause of some serious pain I have been having in the neck, back and right arm for the past 2 months. I'll see my orthopedic surgeon on Monday afternoon to see what he can see. On Friday morning, I had a blood sample taken regarding the cancer, and will see my oncologist on Tuesday morning to learn the results of the new chemotherapy drug I've been taking. We'll keep you posted on what we find out.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Flower Bed

This weekend our next door neighbor expanded the flower bed spanning our two yards. Friday night, they were planting flowers in the new bed, so we went to Lowe’s to get a new garden rake and some more plants, and the four of us had a nice evening planting plants in the new bed. The new bed has begonias, impatiens, sweet potato vines, Mexican heather, geraniums, red hot salvias, some ferns, and more. Here are some pics.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

The Great Texas Pony Ride

Here are some pictures from Saturday’s great Texas pony ride.


cowpokes waiting

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cowpokes don’t like waiting.

This guy looks like Stinky Pete..


Austin, Texas -


Ride ‘em, Austin

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and Hannah

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and Noah

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and Ellie.  Although she did solo, Ellie preferred to ride with an older sibling.


Stinky Pete liked the miniature horse, Cherokee.

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“Does this horse use a 3-compartment sink?”


Emily Rides Again!


The spectating crowd -

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Ya’ll come back now, ya heyah?


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Grandkids Visit

Our grandchildren from Illinois (and their parents) are visiting us this week. Our son is in town to speak at an adoption conference, and they all came a few days early for some additional visiting time. On Tuesday afternoon, all of my sons and I went skeet and target shooting at a local range. On Thursday, Carol and I took the day off from work to take care of the grandkids while Daniel and Whitney went to the conference. Here are a few shots from Tuesday afternoon, the only day this week it was dry enough for the kids to play in the back yard, and from Tuesday night, the only time the whole family was able to get together.