22 December 2008

The Clouds Roll In

So, much for beautiful day! Scully and I awoke to another winter storm this morning. I love the Southern California winter storm watches. In the mid-west and east they have a winter storm and everything stops 'cause the snow is so thick you can't get around. It starts drizzling here and they freak out.



Quite a contrast from the last picture, huh! Ah, well, back to the job search.

20 December 2008

It's a beautiful day!

For the first day this week there are no clouds at all in the sky! It rained from Saturday early a.m. until Wednesday. There were breaks in the rain, but I couldn't go anywhere since my mode of transportation is still walking. My sis sent me a package that arrived on Wednesday. The rain had slowed to a drizzle so I went around to the front door of the main house to see if the box was there. It was. The same second that I stepped back into my front door the sky opened up and it poured down rain again! I have always loved the rain and since I am still unemployed I can do what rainy days are for: make a cup of cocoa, curl up on the couch and read a book. The only drawback is I don't have much of an overhang on the house so I can't leave the door open to watch the rain.


Love that natural framing!

This morning I used some of the rabbit fencing I have to block the sidewalk at my back door so Abby can't get in and Scully can go out and come in at her leisure. I asked Phil about it beforehand and he was good with it. I like how it worked out. I want to put it at the back of the house, but there's no way to mount it to the side of the house. I have to take it off one side in order to get to the hose behind my house, but it's good until Scully and Abby become friends. Plus, with Scully being able to go out as she wants, there will be more opportunity for Abby to calm down and get to know Scully and not be so yippy.

A few weeks ago there was an episode of Dog Whisperer where he dealt with a small dog that kept going after the big dogs. Finally, one of the big dogs would turn and come after the small dog. That's the one thing I've noticed at the park is that the small dogs are vocal and aggressive and Scully would just walk on by (bah bop bop baaah...). Abby's the same way: she taunts Scully, who just sits there staring at her. Keep praying for them to become friends because that will be easier for all concerned. It's been a hassle for me because I have to have Scully on her leash to be in the shared yard. Since that's where I need to take her to wash her muddy feet it's just a pain in the butt.

12 December 2008

Not friends yet...

Scully hasn't made friends with Abby yet. In fact, quite the opposite. Monday we spent a lot of time outside putting up the Christmas lights. From the time Christy left for work Abby was doing her barking thing in and out of the house. She wouldn't come near me and Scully. Scully just kept looking at her and looking at me as if to say, "Why's she doing that?" I explained to Scully that she wanted her people to come home and that Scully needed to get to know her so she would feel comfortable when they were gone. During the day Abby would get a little closer to us. I felt like it was a good day and we made some progress.

Tuesday I would take Scully out and just sit out there with her so Abby would see everything was alright. That afternoon Scully and I went for our walk. When we got home, Paul was pulling the car thru the driveway. Scully was all excited. Then Vickie came around the corner from the back yard and Scully ran over to her. I had just come out of the sun and my vision hadn't adjusted to the shade of the trees yet so what I didn't see was that Vickie was holding Abby. Abby went nuts trying to get away from Vickie and Scully went after her. It took my brain a few seconds to catch up to what was happening. I ran over and grabbed Scully's collar, twisted it and pulled her back. Abby took off and ran inside the front door. So much for all the work we did on Monday and Tuesday!

Vickie came over to let me know that Abby was okay, had calmed down and she even went out back to do her business. She said Paul wanted Scully to either be in the back field (her yard) or on a leash if she was in the shared yard. The bummer for me is that I can't just leave the door and the gate open anymore for Scully to be able to go outside when she needs to go. Scully was confused Wednesday after we did the pooper-scooping as to why I didn't let her walk with me to dump it in the trash. I reminded her it was her fault. If only she understood.

I figure with time Scully will get used to the fact that Abby isn't going anywhere and they will meet on good terms and be friends. At least, I hope so!

28 November 2008

Full Tummy

I went to Paul & Vickie's for Thanksgiving yesterday. It was a tough commute that 100 yards from my front door to their back door. I made pumpkin pie. In today's instant world it should be noted that I make my own pie crust. I would have used fresh pumpkin, but having had no car to go purchase pumpkins this year I had to resort to the canned pumpkin. Everyone loved it.

After we ate, Vickie, her Mom, Elouise, and I played Yatzee. Vickie's dad, Roy, joined us for two rounds. I had lowest score four of the six games. If I tried that intentionally I couldn't have done it (although, that's a good strategy for next time). We all had a lovely day. Vickie and her Mom spoiled Scully. Today she's sleeping comfortably. She's so cute when she sleeps.



One of these days I'm going to find a digital camera that I like and take some better photos for you to see. My cell phone camera is good, but not great. And my Canon printer has great quality for when I print them out. I'm just so picky when it comes to photography. Technology updates so fast that I'd end up buying a nice 14 megapixel camera and the next day they'd come out with 24 megapix!

Paul & Vickie move out next Friday and Saturday and then Phillip & Christy move in the same two days. It's gonna be crazy around here. When we were discussing it yesterday Vickie suggested I stay scarce or get put to work. I said I'm happy to work, but with all the neck and back injuries the most I can do is move couch cushions. She said I was worthless. I said I wasn't worthless to which Elousie said I was workless. We were cracking up.

24 November 2008

Missin' You

Today was my friend Joyce's funeral. She went home to be with the Lord on Thursday. She had started her last journey with a diagnosed brain tumor. That was over twenty months ago. The docs gave her six months back then, but they don't know the awesome God I do. After surgery, chemo and radiation treatments over the last couple of years, Joyce had more good days than bad. It's only been in the last couple of months that she started having struggles. The last few weeks were the hardest as she could no longer speak and slept about twenty hours a day.

I am happy for her now that she is not suffering and is celebrating with Jesus, but sad for the loss of a friend. Please keep her hubby, Max, as well as their adult son & daughter and grandkids in prayer. Joyce was only in her late 60's. She was truly a Christian that others could look to as an example of "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind. Love others as you love yourself."

21 November 2008

Another Day in the Life...

I haven't written in a while. That may seem odd since I'm still unemployed, but I find that my time gets away from me. I'm still job hunting online, however I'm putting a lot of my time into working on my biz as well as a little time working on the edits of the book I wrote several years ago. I found that working from home does two things for me: one is that I forget to stop working. Therefore, I end up putting in a lot more hours than I would if I went to a "brick and mortar" place to work. Second, I get a lot more done in the time I work. I don't have interruptions that aren't related to what I'm working as much as when I did go to a job. I do talk w/my sis who lives in Tucson occassionally, but that's just succeeded in shortening our weekend calls and not taken away from the time I spend working.

I love the idea of and the ability to work from home. I was always a bit jealous of my younger sis because her company had made changes and she's been working from home for several years now. Years ago there was a Sunday comic of "The Family Circus" that had little Dolly talking to her mom who was standing at the kitchen sink. Dolly had a friend with her and said to her mom that her friend was "lucky because she's homeschooled and gets to use her own bathroom." I have to agree with Dolly. I love not having to share the bathroom with anyone anymore! I tried to search for the specific comic on the web to share it with you, but I can't find it (and my tolerance for web searches is low). It's not on the Family Circus website.

Scully loves having me around all the time too. Though, she's become quite the homebody. Last night Paul had a board meeting at the church so Vickie had a movie and we did a girls night. Scully kept getting up like she had to go outside. Everytime I took her to the back yard, she headed for our house. Finally, I just left her out figuring if she has to go she can and if not she wouldn't keep interrupting the movie. When the movie was over and we came to our house she was literally doing her dance of joy. I sat down on my couch and she jumped up next to me, layed down in my lap and didn't move for an hour and a half!

06 November 2008

What's the Buzz?

Since I have been out of work I have turned my main focus into building my business. I figured this is a great time since I haven't been lead to a new job yet. There is a great opportunity out there for anyone who needs to earn some extra cash or even build a big business and get free of the rat-race.

My initial focus is to show companies in my area my Ribbon Gift and Incentive program. It's a great opportunity for acknowledgement of accomplishments. Companies can also use it for sales incentives, or just year-round gifts of appreciation for their employees or customers.

In fact, these albums have been the gifts I've been giving to people for a few years now. I've always gotten great responses on them. There's everything from Choices for Health, Home and Self to I Do! for a wedding to Arrival for a new baby to Luxury for high-end gifts. Stop by my website and click the Services tab and then click Gifts on the left side of your screen to check them out. The way I've usually done it is to pick out an album with at least three things I think my friend, family member or employee will like and then that's the album I get them. It never fails that the even end up getting something I didn't think of for them out of the album.

There's no shipping charges for the albums or the gifts so you save time and money. You don't have to fight lines at the malls and you aren't spending gas money to run around looking for the right gift.

24 October 2008

'Tocktober

Now that I see from my sis' site that dog tocks count, I thought I'd add Scully to the 'Tocktoberfest. She always gives me the business end...

An Election Day Suggestion

Yesterday as I was sitting in a training class to learn my duties as an Election Inspector for the upcoming primaries a thought came to me that I'd like to share with you. This election is being said to be the most important election for our country in 40 years. Not only for the presidential race nationwide, but in California for Prop 8. My thought was this: arrange your schedule to get to your polling place at the opening time in order to pray through the site for the will of God in that place. Naturally, you can't pray out loud, however, since the election process in the US is an open process you CAN stay a little while and observe. You can't interfere with the Election Officials or the voters, but you can watch the process. While you are there to vote and/or observe you can be praying through the site.

I know that in California many people vote by mail (formerly called absentee voting). This is one of the things that California has been trying to get voters to do for years. Even if you vote by mail (as I do), you can still observe the process. If an election official asks what you are doing, simply tell them that you are there to observe the election process. It doesn't have to be your home voting site. This will give you the opportunity to pray through the site.

Also, while it is too late to register (at least in California - the deadline was Monday) if you are registered to go to a polling place in California and for any reason can't make it to your home polling place you can vote at another polling place. You will vote on a provisional ballot, but all votes will be counted. If you are outside of California, check the website for your state to see if this is true for you. We need to not only fight the wars in the spiritual realm, but we need to do our part and vote.

The site where I am working for the election has four precincts voting there. I'm glad to be on site not only from 6am until 9pm, but I go the day before and get things set up. This place will be covered in prayer for sure.

18 October 2008

Off the Market

I forgot to mention, Paul & Vickie took the house off the market when they got back from vacation this month. They had decided if there wasn't a good offer by the time they got back they would go ahead and rent it to their son & daughter-in-law (Phillip & Christie) instead. Vickie said they'll be moving around the holiday time and then Phillip & Christie will move in. Ofcourse, Scully and I are staying.

"We're" getting a new dog ~ Phillip & Christie have a small dog named Abby. She's been here several times and Scully doesn't seem to mind her. They were here this morning and Scully just sat on her couch looking at Abby while she meandered in the yard. I hope that Scully will not "alpha all over her" and that they will get along and be friends. I've been praying about her "alpha-tude" and talking to her letting her know that Abby is moving in and she needs to be her friend.

On another note, Will, Wendy and I were talking about the SAT's the other day. I can't remember how we got on the subject, but it made me think of my old high school friends. I'm 23 years out of high school and haven't talked to anybody for over a decade. I moved out of state and ended up losing track of people (or being lost track of - I'm not sure which). So this week I pulled out my year books and went through them looking for phone numbers. I figured I had to hit some that still had parents living there. I started calling today. I actually only reached two of my old friends so far. It was only two because both phone calls ended up being about three total hours. They were the only two I had called too!

We left it that we'd keep in touch, naturally exchanging email addresses and phone numbers. I'm looking forward to making more calls and reconnecting. It's fun to talk to people that you once held so dear in your heart. The funny thing was that both of these people had said they were just thinking of me recently and recalled the memories they had that made them think of me. I look forward to meeting their families one day.

14 October 2008

Still Lookin'

I'm still in the hunt for a job. I've been checking the "big three" websites every day: monster, careerbuilder and Yahoo! Hot Jobs. Since I live in Southern Cal, my two "local" papers are the LA Times (which uses CareerBuilder) and the Ventura County Star (which uses Yahoo). Another thing I've done is send out an email to everyone in my address book that I'm looking. I did that the day I was fired. Friday I started going through the yellow pages. I'm searching companies that seem like they would be a good fit for my personality and then checking for a website with employment opportunities. I'm still in the "A" section.

Paul & Vickie are back from vacation. They came back to the eastern edge of our city being on fire. Autumn is fire season in So Cal. The Santa Ana winds kick up (60 mph) and arsonists go out and start fires. It horrible! Resources get stretched so thin and then the fires burn up thousands of acres. This year they have already claimed more homes and buildings than in previous years. Plus the air quality is less than poor. That's the only good thing about being off work right now: I don't have to leave Scully outside in the smoke and ash.

Vickie let me hang on to their car key. She said that I can still use the car. She has a car and she said Paul could use the motorcycle if all three of us need to be gone at the same time. That is a blessing.

My sis called me yesterday about a new position at her company. My resume doesn't directly qualify me for it, but just like she said I can easily learn anything. So yesterday, I sent my resume over to the person filling the position. One cool thing about it is I would work from home. That way I wouldn't be stressed to go out and get a car. There's a market within walking distance so I could pick up a couple of things at a time as needed until I get a car.

I'm still make calls and working on building my ecommerce biz. With gas prices so high it makes more sense to shop online. I have everything you need for your home, your health and your self care. Plus, all red tag items qualify for free shipping at only a $75 pre-tax order. Check it out: http://lgfintl.mychoices.biz.

Also, the contracting corporation was "green" before it was "the in thing." My main household cleaner, L.O.C., was created in the late 50's. It stands for Liquid Organic Cleanser. It cleans EVERYTHING. In fact, I had just cleaned the mats in my car a couple of weeks before the car accident. I was impressed at how well it did. They looked new. My oldest sister's son moved out and she was going to clean the carpet in his old room. I told her to add just a capful of the LOC to the water in the tank of the carpet cleaner and it would do the job. A friend of hers had done the actual cleaning and was so impressed with how well it did that he ordered some right then and there. I'm wishing she had taken before and after pictures.

That's it for now. Back to the fun job search!

02 October 2008

Gettin' Knocked Around

Well, I've not had this much personal stuff to pray for in quite some time. It's been others that have coveted your prayers. So, to add injury to insult (pun) Scully and I were in a narly car accident last night on the way home from counseling. We were bumped at the left rear fender as we were changing lanes. That pushed us into the center divider which we "bounced" off and glided across six lanes of traffic before slamming into a wall on the right side of the freeway and we came to a stop on the shoulder. We were even facing in the right direction. As soon as we were hit I shouted "Lord Protect Us!" and then repeated it again as we were going across the lanes of the freeway. I saw the "wall fast approaching" and turned the wheel to the left. It was very hard to move it.

The adrenaline has worn off, however, it's 3:30 and I can't sleep. My friend suggested I take one of the pain meds that I was on after my surgery in June, but I thought better of it. I took ibuprophen. I didn't let them take me to the hospital because they would have taken Scully to the pound. That place is no place for any animal! The paramedics checked me out. When we started my BP was 146 over 78 and pulse was 100. When they checked me before they left it was 122 over 78 and 88. He had me stand up and make sure I could walk.

I have like a rope burn on my neck where the seat belt rode up. And pain and brusing down the line of the seat belt. I don't have any abdominal pain so no concerns there. Plus, I have the neck and upper back stuff consistent with a car accident. My car was a '91 so there were no airbag injuries.

Praise reports: 1. Scully and I are both alive and will recover. She has no problem with mobility and when we arrived home she came in and ate her dinner which tells me she feels fine on the inside too. 2. Nobody else was injured in the accident. 3. Only one other car had slight damage to it. In going across the six lanes of traffic nobody else hit us!

So, the prayer requests: 1. my car was a '91 so I only had liability on it. It's totaled. As I looked at it when the tow truck driver was taking it off the truck I was amazed that Scully and I walked away from that. Pray there would be a chop shop place that would pay me a decent amount. If the accident is deemed my fault, I'll have to pay $1000 deductable for the other drivers' car. 2. I need a car, but being unemployed I can't go buy one. Pray God provides a safe car for us. 3. Being unemployed and not having a car will make it difficult to go on job interviews as they come. Pray that the right door will open where I can travel locally and not have transportation issues. 4. Pray against this attack on my finances. Roadside assistance paid only 8 miles which left a $101 bill to pay. I asked him the discount for unemployed, uninsured (don't have full coverage) people. He only charged me $100. That tells me God has a plan for that dollar!

I'm sure there are more, but then we're going on to the almost 4:00 in the morning thing and I haven't had time to decompress yet.

Ofcourse the kicker is that Wednesday night was the final night of my Esther fast. We have an ememy and he fights dirty. We have a God Who is so much bigger! I am glad to call myself His daughter.

30 September 2008

Esther Fast

The company where I've worked for the last nine years has decided to restructure due to financial reasons. Therefore, they have terminated my position as Business Office Manager and I am unemployed as of last Friday. I am doing an Esther fast ~ a three day time of prayer and fasting during which I am seeking the Lord for His next plan in my life. There is one thing I know above all else and that is that God knows the plans He has for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. To give me a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) I certainly have hoped in Him for a very long time. I am looking forward with expectancy on the next thing He has for me.

10 September 2008

Back Yard Sanctuary

A couple of the yard bunnies have stopped taking off when I let Scully out for the day. It's pretty cool to see them start trusting. My hopes are that Scully stays trust worthy. She's doing really good just watching them do their thing. At least, when I'm there. Who knows what happens while I'm at work all day.

Today when I let her out for the day even the sparrows stuck around. They usually fly off the minute I open the door ~ even the ones in the trees! That's always funny to me. Scully can jump pretty high, but I don't think she can climb trees.

I have an update prayer request for my friend Joyce. She's the one that was diagnosed with brain tumors around Easter of 2007. Back then they gave her a 12 month prognosis. She's outlived that now by five months already. She is still getting chemo infusions and radiation therapy. The tumors had spread down her spine. Recently she has been having issues with her short-term memory. Her husband has become more of a caretaker lately. Monday she was told that they confirmed by an MRI that it is not because of re-growth of the brain tumors. They have not regrown. This is good. They said it's an effect of the drugs. Otherwise, she is still fighting and in good spirits.

Joyce loves the Lord with all her heart. It is evidenced in all she does and says. I would still like to see the Lord completely heal her without taking her home to Himself. Please continue to pray for her healing. What a testimony that would be for her to share! Thanks for your prayers.

03 September 2008

Sand Dollar

Here's the photo of the sand dollar that I promised from yesterday's post. Also, before you ask about beach pictures w/Scully in the water: I was a bad mom and didn't bring my camera with us. BOO HOO!

02 September 2008

Beach Day

Scully and I go to the beach the day after Labor Day every year. I like that day because there aren't a lot of people there. Last year CaliLyn came with us and hence it became tradition. Her cousin Zach lives with them now so he actually joined us this year. It worked out well for me because Zach did all the heavy lifting. Boxers are usually water dogs, but not Scully. She doesn't really like the water. Maybe she has memories of one of her brothers drowning in the pool when they were still puppies. Whatever it is, she hates the water.

Since I get into the water more with CaliLyn joining us I bought a twenty foot leash so we could be in the water and she wouldn't have to be wet. I didn't get one of the annoying, retractable leashes for a couple of reasons. One was I can't just put it around my wrist and let it hang. The other was I figured getting the leash wet and then retracting it in there wouldn't mess it up.

As we went down to the water I kinda got Scully a little involved in it to show her how much fun it was. She wasn't interested. We stayed out about thirty minutes and then went back to where our stuff was located. Zach and CaliLyn stayed out another ten minutes or so and then joined us. CaliLyn and I went back down a couple more times. Zach didn't want to go out more so he sat with Scully. On what turned out to be our last time in the water Scully wanted to come with us. She actually got into the ocean on her own accord. It was pretty cool. She just kept coming out and getting used to it and then would back out to the edge of the water to be dry. I think I just need to get to the beach more often so she gets used to it.

After a bit we took our "traditional" walk along the coast. Since Scully was enjoying the water we were able to actually walk in the water. CaliLyn and I were looking for shells for her collection. I saw something as the water receded and bent over to pick it up. It was a full sand dollar. I haven't pulled a sand dollar out of the ocean since I was eight. It was at Myrtle Beach then. We were at Ventura Beach today. Two different oceans and years apart. It was pretty cool. The one I had found as a kid got damaged during one of my foster moves. So, we started looking for another one for CaliLyn. We found one, even bigger, but it was a little broken. We kept our eyes peeled, but never found another one.

I'll post the picture of the whole one tomorrow. My home computer doesn't save the attachment I send from my cell as a picture file. I can't figure out why. Computers just aren't my thing.

CaliLyn turns nine next week. She's taking a handful of friends for a pedicure spa for her party Saturday. Being the great Aunt I am I'm going to go help out. Partly because Wendy still isn't allowed to drive so they need help getting the girls there and home again. CaliLyn is excited. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday I told her I could either buy her something to open at her party or we could go on a shopping trip. She picked the shopping trip. Smart kid!

01 September 2008

Lazy Weekend

As always I take Tuesday off on Labor Day weekend so I have a four day weekend. Tomorrow Scully and I go to the beach to just chill and watch the wind surfers. Last year it became tradition that CaliLyn joins us. This year her cousin Zach is living with them so it will become tradition that he join us as well. Saturday I took CaliLyn to dinner and dessert. She got home from her summer visit with her dad on the 16th and this was the first time I got to see her since. While we were out she mentioned that Zach wanted to go to the beach, but Wendy thought I wouldn't want him going in the ocean. There's a life guard there. Plus, I realized that this was my answer to carrying the heavy stuff this year: Zach can do it. They're going to come over tonight and spend the night and we'll leave from here in the morning. I'm closer to the beach than they are.

While I'm on the subject I'll let you know how Wendy is doing. She got in early to the neurologist so she saw him on the 15th instead of the 21st. He did an MRI and then added contrast. This was just Friday. He said that she will have 4-6 months off driving and doesn't plan to see her again until October. He didn't seemed concerned. Wendy called the office to find out if he would call her once he received the results of the MRI. The nurse said he only calls if something is wrong. Wendy asked that he call either way because she needs peace of mind in the midst of this storm. She's had two physical therapy sessions for her broken shoulder blade. The first one was where the therapist gave her exercises. The second was a lot better because she had been doing her tasks and improving. Keep that healing process in prayer that there would be complete healing of the bone.

Yesterday I woke up around 8:50am. My church service starts at 9:00. Granted there is a second service at 11:00, but it's way more crowded and I don't know as many people there. So, Scully and I took the day off. Christine hasn't called about showing the house. That surprised me a bit because it seemed that people look at houses on holiday weekends more than others. I was glad though 'cause I didn't have to do dishes.

Today I'm gonna run over to Wally World to pick up a longer leash for Scully. The book I read to train her (Good Owners Great Dogs) had said to only use a 4' leash. That way I maintain control. I never ended up getting a longer leash because now I just walk her off-lead. When we go to the beach, she's not thrilled with the water so I want to get a longer lead so she can stay on the shore and we can get in the waves a bit. They are anal about the dogs being an a leash there. The funny thing is, I see other people letting their yap yap dogs run free and they don't go talk with them. It's a little annoying, especially since Scully doesn't leave my side (unless I'm in the water). C'est la vie!

Have a great Labor Day!

21 August 2008

Mom's Home!

As I was at work the other day I was thinking about getting home to see Scully (which is most of what I do while at work). I decided I needed to do cell video of her as I arrived home. She moves so fast ~ sometimes she gets out of the frame. I love her look at the end of the video.

video

Isn't she cute!

17 August 2008

Scully Gets a Bath

Scully's last bath was just before my surgery. I knew it would be a while before I could manage man-handling her into the shower and then keeping her standing while I washed her. She loves how she feels after the bath, but she hates the actual event. She smells so good now. I'm glad I was able to finally bathe her again. She was really stinky. Ofcourse, she still is 'cause she's a boxer. We were sitting here just now and she was re-bathing herself (licking) when she farted. I'll never understand how something so toxic comes out of something so cute! ;-0

I tried wearing jean shorts yesterday. It's still uncomfortable, so I figure another week or so and I should be just about done. Also, I'm on my third cycle since the surgery and still NO PAIN! WOO HOO! I'm so happy! While I don't have plans for a marathon or anything I may get to start going on walks with Scully again soon. She'll be happy. I have decided not to go back to the same pace I kept in the past. It centered around my job. I plan on transferring that motivation to my biz.

God is good all the time!

15 August 2008

What Weather!

Holy cow! Yesterday was like 60% humidity out there! I don't know what that was all about, but I walked outside to take my lunch break and there was no air...it was so heavy from all the moisture that the trees couldn't even move. Today is much better.

We've been harvesting a couple dozen tomotoes a day from our five plants. It's been great. My landlords got home from vacation today so I'm gonna have to share (the plants are theirs). I have been bringing some in to work and sharing. I love home-made tomatoes! They just taste so goooood! Scully even likes them.

The other great thing about Paul & Vickie being home is that Scully will be getting her walks/runs again. I've been doing really good lately. Once my incision started healing I started feeling better. Today has been a really good day. I'm actually looking forward to the weekend 'cause I don't feel like just lying around all weekend. I'm not ready to start walking Scully again, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

CaliLyn comes home on Saturday (from her summer with her Dad). Wendy and I already discussed getting together. I think we'll do a Musashi tepan tables night. It's CaliLyn's favorite place. She goes there once a year for her birthday. They just built one at the town center here so it's actually more convenient than the other one where we would go. Wendy only takes her once a year because of the cost. I don't see that it's more than Outback or something similar so now that it's local to me she and I can go more often.

Have a terrific weekend!

10 August 2008

Wendy Update

Just a quick note to update you on my friend Wendy. She saw the orthopedic surgeon this week. He confirmed that her broken shoulder blade is not operable. He also said that it doesn't affect the joint. Therefore it will heal on its own. He will have her do physical therapy for the next few weeks and he's also ordering an MRI to make sure nothing else is wrong in there. She hasn't seen the neurologist regarding the seizure yet. The soonest available appointment was the 21st. She's going to work a few times a week. She gets to sleep in and get there at her leisure. Her company owner has been very understanding.

Russ (her dad) is doing pretty good. He's healing from all the treatments. The concern now is that he has been getting lightheaded. He almost passed out the other night. Sue said this was the first time that happened since she's been alone with him. She was a bit scared, but she was able to get him to the bed before he went out and hit his head on the bathroom tile or something. His white blood cell count is still low. Keep them in prayer.

06 August 2008

Still Plugging Away

I finally had a turn of events in my healing this weekend: the portion of my surgical incision that had been infected took a turn for the better. It finally looks like it's starting to heal. It's important to note that the doc said it wasn't infected. I didn't ask what his reasoning for the puss was, but I just continued to keep it clean and treated w/triple antibiotic ointment. I love doctors!

Scully's been a bit bummed out lately. Paul and Vickie are on vacation (they do that a lot) and so she isn't getting daily her runs with Vickie. I certainly can't walk her yet. Poor girl! Plus, we have rabbits (along with a bunch of other types of wildlife) in our back yard and I am teaching her to let them be instead of chasing them. I think she's got it. When I'm home she will walk out back they'll start hopping away and she just glances at them and then goes on about her business.

I had a cool break through with the bunnies: when I let Scully out for the last time last night they started hopping off. I spoke to them and said "it's okay bunnies, you can stay." I've been talking to them a lot. That was the first time they stopped in their tracks and went about grazing instead of stopping statuesque and crouching low to the ground. It was pretty cool. This morning when I let Scully out, two of them just stayed in the yard. Granted they were close to the fence in case they felt the need to flee, but I think we're making progress.

My goal is getting Scully to be friends with the wildlife so once day we can move into the getting other pets realm. I would love to have a ferret again!

Thanks for stopping by to read what's up with me!

01 August 2008

First Full Week

I have my first full week back at work under my belt. I can honestly say I was done with the week by Wednesday. I was in a lot of pain that day. One of my co-workers commented to me that I didn't look good when I was leaving the office. That was for sure! I am looking forward to a restful weekend this time! No seizures & broken bones for my friends this time please!

I kinda feel like the kitten in this picture that somebody emailed me a while back:



Ya ever have one of those days?

28 July 2008

Happy Monday

Today the sky is overcast. It's actually a nice day out. It's not as hot as it's been getting although it's a bit humid. Granted not mid-west or east coast humid, but for me humid none the less. After the trauma of the weekend I'd never thought I'd say I'm glad to be at work.

Yesterday on the way to the hospital I called a few prayer warriors to lift up Wendy. This morning Milton shared with me the opposition he was getting in trying to take my call and hear me. He was at a dinner with people from about four different churches. After we spoke he prayed for Wendy. He said when he hung up he thought, "I don't really know these people. The family can just pray in the car on the way home." He realized that this was NOT what God would have him do so he immediately got everyone's attention and asked if there were any prayer warriors in the house. Everyone stood up and gathered around and they had intercession for Wendy, Will and the circumstances surrounding her seizure. The host of the dinner later told him that moment changed the entire mood of the gathering. One moment everyone was in their groups (clicks) and the next they were unified under the Spirit.

Milton shared that one of the things the Lord showed him during this was that if God's favor is on a person there is nothing that can stand in HIS way or HIS plan for that person. Hallelujah!

I also wanted to share with you Sue's email from today:

Dear Ones:

I am weary, so very weary. I look out at the lawn and think I better get out there soon and mow, no not today, maybe tomorrow.

For about 2 weeks I have been having the words of a song playing over and over in my head, the words are. " The Voice of TRUTH tells me a different story, the Voice of TRUTH says, 'do not be afraid'. The Voice of TRUTH says, 'this is for My Glory', I will listen and believe the Voice of TRUTH." I will cling to those words, moment by moment. (My note: This song is by Casting Crowns.)

If God is for us who can be against us.


Last night after the call about Wendy I felt so defeated, so under it. Then those words started again in my head. "The Voice of TRUTH" She gave so much of herself when she was here. Whatever needed to be done, whether she liked it or not she did it with no complaint. Weeding, mowing, weed whacking, driving, getting up very early to drive to the hospital, putting on a smiling face no matter what the circumstance, lifting us up, decorating her Dad's hospital room with Congratulations on his last day of treatment, cleaning, etc. etc. Whatever we needed, she was there. Now, bless her heart, she is the one under attack and we can't even be there for her, but we can pray and I know you will also.

Russ seems fine today & had a good day yesterday. The new antibiotic seems to be working, he is able to take it without having an upset stomach. He still tires very easily, but I see improvement each day. We're still having trouble trying to find things he can eat. I don't know what the problem is: taste or unable to swallow right or what, he can't figure it out either. A neighbor made him some delicious soup but he choked on it last night and up it came. No more of that soup. He will still eat some I made him. I will try a protein shake today.

Loving you all. Russ and Sue

27 July 2008

Not so Easy

My easy Sunday was blown away at around 4:00 when I got a call from Will letting me know that Wendy just had a seizure. I headed over to the hospital so he would have some support. She had been watching a movie with the kids when she fell asleep. She had the seizure basically in her sleep. The kids thought she was teasing when Zach finally had the presence of mind to tell Kendall to go get Will.

Wendy was in extreme pain from her left shoulder. It turns out she broke her shoulder bone during the seizure. The CT scan came back showing nothing wrong. It's important to note that she had just come back last week from three weeks with her mom & dad in Minnesota. Her dad is Russ (see Russ Perkins' Update to the right) who we have been praying for during his struggles with cancer. He's had a very rough time of it the last several weeks. Today he just took a turn for the better finally.

Wendy's daughter, CaliLyn, is visiting with her dad in Oregon. She will be back mid-August. Wendy is not going to tell her anything until she gets back. She has a rough enough time being away from home for two months that Wendy didn't want to make the last three weeks any harder.

Please keep Wendy's healing in prayer. The ER doc advised her that she can't drive for six months. The only one who can lift this will be the neurologist. She also needs to see an ortho for her shoulder blade break. The ER doc said they will probably let it heal naturally (w/o surgery), but the ortho will determine that.

Easy Like Sunday

Church was good today! I was very glad to be back in the house of the Lord! I picked up Arby's on the way home 'cause I'm so wiped from going back to the JOB this week. As planned, today was an Easy Like Sunday and Scully has no problem when I tell her we aren't doing anything today.



That doesn't leave much room for me on the couch, but I've been much more comfy in the fetal position since my surgery anyway.

23 July 2008

First Day Back

I now remember my surgery all over again! Holy Cow! Sitting up in an office chair all day really is no fun ~ even more than I knew before. ugh! I am wiped out from my first day back. I didn't move around the office a lot as I knew I couldn't, but even just the being upright and scrunching my abdomen all day was tiring. It will build up strength in time, but I'm really looking forward to the weekend!

Saturday my friend and I are planning on going to see the Dark Knight! I love Batman! Beyond that, the rest of the day should be a day of rest. I'm going for "easy like Saturday and Sunday." With Paul & Vickie on vacation I will have to do some watering, but it's not that much. Vickie asked one of our neighbors to help out with the front. Barb had offered so we took her up on it this time.

22 July 2008

Not so Easy Like Sunday...

I had planned to go back to my church this Sunday. Right before I got dressed I got a major dizzy spell. It relaxed a bit when I sat down and drank some water. I got up and got dressed. When I walked my stuff out to the car it hit again. I came back in and sat down again and it was appearant to me that driving myself the 15 or so miles to church wasn't happening. It's weird 'cause I haven't had any dizzyness from my surgery. I'm not taking any meds.

I walked over to Paul & Vickie's to have them pray for me. Paul said he was concerned that I would drive to church like I was. I told him I'd decided not to go, but thought it was important that I have them pray for me before they left for church. Vickie said I should join them at their church. I figured that was a great idea. I'm glad I went. It was a good service. The dizzyness totally left me. I did feel a bit wiped out that day so I came home and took it easy most of the day.

The other thing is I started my cycle again on the 17th. I wasn't due until the 28th. I thought that was weird, but again I'm having no pain so I count the surgery a success. I had my six week doc appointment today. He said my uterus is down to normal size now. That's very exciting! He said just to keep track of my cycles and if they don't normal out or if I have concerns to give him a call. I also had him take a look at the place where the one surface stitch was. It had gotten really read last week and a little pussy. I removed the stitch and it started healing. He said it's normal that it can get irritated, but it looks fine now.

What's not exciting is I have to go back to the job tomorrow. (I could do this not working thing full time!) Vickie doesn't think I'm ready to go back ~ especially after Sunday. I told her I'm just gonna take it slow and see how it goes. I saw Joe when I was at their church and let him know that I stilll couldn't wear jeans or pants. It puts too much pressure and also it irritates the surgery site. So, I'm continuing to live in sports shorts. I have a few pairs of U of A shorts Lesli got me several years ago. One is still new and I can't wear it 'cause the elastic still works, but the other three I just use the draw strings and they stay loose on my abdomen.

18 July 2008

Alpaca Is Backa

The people with the alpacas are interested in the house again. Appearantly, they didn't give up on the permit from the city and are now able to have the animals here. They put their house on the market. Although, it didn't sound like they put in an offer again this time. Last time they had said their neighbors were interested in purchasing their home. Also, Christine (the realtor) said their home is an unremarkable tract home and they are listing it high for the area where they are selling. If this works out they want Scully and me to stay.

I'm planning to go out for a bit today. I'm going to go to get gas (this may be a shock since it was still in the 3's when I last purchased it) and then I'll go by Wally World for a few minutes. I'm planning on doing a little bit each day for the next few days since I start back at work on Wednesday. I may also swing by Lowe's to pick up some ant killer. It's better I do those today as Saturday's are mad houses. We'll see. My brief stop at the market Tuesday was more than enough for me.

Sunday my outing will be to church. I like the fact that I can listen live to my service on the internet so I only missed last Sunday when I was in Portland. I could have hunted it down on the radio up there, but I wasn't out of bed yet. I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends there!

17 July 2008

To Date

Sorry it's been over a week since my last update. I had a biz conference in Portland. The conference was great, but the pain of sitting all those hours wasn't so great. I'm scheduled to go back to work on the 23rd. I'm not sure I'm ready to go back, but it's time. If I spend much more time off I may never want to go back (as if I really want to go back now).

I drove my car for a while yesterday. The motor was dead so Paul jumped it for me. He told me I needed to drive it around to fully charge the battery. I just took some back roads to avoid traffic. It wasn't very comfy sitting up like that.

I went to the market last night. I was out of bread and milk so I had nothing to make breakfast or sandwiches with yesterday. I put on my jean shorts which proved that I still can't wear jeans or anything like that. I'm existing in sport shorts. I'm going to go to Wally World to pick up some inexpensive undies. I normally wear bikinis, but they hit right on the incision. This is gradually reintroducing me to society.

07 July 2008

What a Pain

I've been struggling with ulcer issues for a little over a week. Thursday night culminated into such extreme pain that I was crying hysterically. About 10:15 that night I went to Paul & Vickie's to get help. I was in so much pain that I couldn't think straight. Vickie came out to the living room and placed her hand over mine and spoke with me. Because I was in so much pain and crying I'm not sure everything she asked or said, but it was calming. When I calmed down the pain had subsided. She asked if it would help if I slept in one of their recliners. I didn't know if it would help, but I did know that it was a smart idea if the pain started up again. I didn't sleep great that night, but the pain hasn't come back at all since then.

God is our healer. I believe He sometimes uses others to facilitate that. In this circumstance I think He either healed me for my obedience to get help (I'm not very good at asking for help from people when I need it ~ that's a learned behavior I'm not going into here). Or He used Vickie's touch to bring healing. Either way, I know He healed me. God is good!

03 July 2008

The Ultimate Gift

Okay, if you've never seen this movie it's a must see. I'm not gonna tell you about it here because you can go to imdb and watch a trailer if you want to know more about it. Vickie just loaned it to me this morning. Normally I read during the day and just turn on videos while I'm eating and at night. I turned this on during breakfast and couldn't turn it off. I just finished watching it. I'm gonna log onto one of my partner stores now and order it ~ it's that good!

As for an update: I am three days into my cycle and having no additional pain! WOO HOO! I can't tell you how happy this makes me considering how unbearable the pain had become. I'm so glad to see the results of the surgery so quickly! Now I just need to finish healing from the surgery and I'll be restored to health. God is good and His timing is perfect.

01 July 2008

Tonight

I spent quite a bit of time upright today. With going back to work impending for Monday I thought that I needed to start spending more time sitting. Tonight I'm not feeling so great. So much so that I actually took a pain pill. I haven't taken anything since the week after I got out of the hospital. I feel good now, but that's because of the drugs. I'm gonna head to bed and pray for a good nights sleep (which I'm still not having). I spoke with the doctors' office and they are not releasing me back to work until the 23rd now. I have my appointment on the 22nd in the afternoon. He will examine my uteris and schedule an ultrasound. I'm actually glad for the longer time off since I'm still moving really slowly and not able to sit up for long periods of time.

30 June 2008

Today

I'm still not sleeping well. It's amazing to me how much Scully sleeps during the day and it doesn't even phase her when I get up several times during the night. She snores and "talks" in her sleep so I know she's asleep. It's fun listening to her sleep. She carries on full conversations. I wish I could speak Boxer to understand what she's saying. Her sleep barking is more under her breath than full barking. I've tried turning on the light to video her, but that wakes her up. I'll just have to do one in the dark and post it. It's more fun to watch, though, 'cause her feet and her mouth are all moving the whole time. For the love of dogs!

I now have an understanding of why pregnancy leave is eight weeks after a c-section. I think when the doc told me a minimum of two weeks "maybe" longer he must not have been thinking about the surgery. He must have been thinking of time out from when they do a D&C. I can't see any woma recovering in only two weeks after this surgery. It's almost three weeks for me and I'm still having pains ~ thankfully not as bad or as consistent. I awoke this morning to a sharp pain in the surgery area on the right. It's gone now, but holy cow!

27 June 2008

Shopping

I went to the grocery store yesterday which is my first solo outing since the surgery. Sue, thanks for the take it easy advice 'cause I felt my limitations yesterday. Vickie had offered to go for me, but I wanted to give it a go. Turned out it was too soon. I don't think I did any damage, but I was so sore yesterday afternoon & night that I knew it was a bad call. I did go very slowly at the market. When I had to turn the cart I made deliberate, slow turns. At the checkout I told them I had surgery and couldn't lift so they packaged everything very light. Then the packer walked me to my car and loaded the bags in the car. When I arrived home Vickie had opened the gate so I could back in all the way to my front door. She came right out to carry in groceries. She got a call at that moment so she sent Paul out to help. They have both been a great blessing to me.

I still haven't been sleeping well. I had one full night of sleep (I think). I'm so wiped out I started questioning whether I had slept through that night or not. This morning I let Scully out and came and lay on the couch. Vickie came and got her for their jog. When they got back Vickie was talking with me a bit. She offered breakfast since she still had some bacon left from Paul's breakfast. I gladly accepted. I'm gonna take it easy today.

I was thinking about going to church Sunday, but the short (less than a mile drive) to the market yesterday proved just as much as I can handle. It doesn't seem wise to me to go to church when that includes getting on the freeway. Plus, by the time service is out the area around the church is so congested that it's a little stressful when I'm feeling good let alone when I'm not. Technically, I could watch my service on tv at some point (I've never researched when our service is broadcast) or I could listen live on the internet. Not a bad idea.

25 June 2008

Still for Sale

The alpaca couple backed out of the deal. Appearantly, they contacted the city to see about getting a business license for the alpacas. They are unable to get the license. It brings up an interesting question: one of our neighbors runs an agility training school and another runs a doggie day care. I'm now wondering if they have licenses.

It just opens up an new opportunity for whatever God has planned.

24 June 2008

Doc Follow up

I had my first follow up with the doctor today. He took the tape off my incision. He said it looks good. There's nothing to report on the tumors (they're benign). I have my next appointment on July 22nd and he will do an exam and schedule an ultrasound to check things out. I'm only able to sit up for a couple of hours at a time. I'm not driving yet 'cause if I have to slam on the brakes or swerve to miss a bunny or something I'll be in more pain. I'll know on July 3rd if I can go to work again on July 7th. I think the two more weeks will help. I can't even put on underwear yet.

I started itching internally yesterday. It's a good sign that means I'm healing. The bummer is it's internal itching and I can't scratch it. I find myself scratching my belly like a pregnant woman. It makes me giggle!

I am due to start my cycle next week. Doc said that the surgery may have caused a little trauma to throw off the schedule a little, but not likely. He said they didn't have anything to do with the ovaries so I should start relatively on time. We'll see if removing the tumors will resolve the pain issue during that week. Not working has resolved the PMS issue, though. ;-) I always knew it had it's irritating factors.

23 June 2008

New Landlords??

Offer accepted...Vickie came by this morning and let me know that the couple to which they countered an offer this weekend accepted. It's contingent on the sale of their house NOT having any contingencies. They want me to stay ~ which is the best news for Scully & me. The reason they like the property so much is the land. They have Alpaca's and need the space. I don't know if they breed them or what the deal is. This means the "wildlife sanctuary" in the backyard is gonna grow. When they had come thru the guest house Scully was barking at them. I told them she needs to get to know you before she will take to you. The wife commented that they were animal people and they understood.

I'm looking forward to the new animals. I could totally have a yard full of pets if I had more time to spend with them. One day!

Tomorrow is my post-surgery doctors' appointment. Vickie offered to drive if I'm not up to it. I just had an email from Sue letting me know that I need to take it easy even when I'm feeling okay. She said I can do a lot of harm if I'm not careful. With Scully jumping on me the other night I know this to be true and am taking her advice to heart!

22 June 2008

Couple O things

Just a quickie to let you know how I'm doing. Scully jumped on me last night when I was coming out of the bathroom. I jerked away to avoid a direct hit to my abdomen, so she only landed on my upper thigh. However, damage done...I started having similar type pains as what I was having in the hopsital the day after surgery. Not the same intensity level, but the same shooting pain. Thankfully, I have not started bleeding again. The last time I did any major bleeding was Wednesday.

It's funny, Paul and Vickie are always commenting that Scully never barks. Occasionally, we have somebody walk thru the house that makes her bark at them. Just as they say she never barks, I say she never jumps. She only jumps on me by invitation ~ that's how I trained her. It's certainly in a boxers' nature to be a jumpy dog.

I'm still waking every four hours. It's odd how two nights in the hospital of them waking me to check my vitals creates a habit. The whacky thing is they don't check my vitals every four hours when I'm awake! They check at 6 am the last time and then mid-day (around 3 pm) and then the night shift comes on at 6 pm and they start around 8:00 with the every four hour thing. I also continue have difficulty making it to the bathroom on time. I'm not sure if it's because I'm not getting a sensation that I need to go or if it's due to not being able to hold it the minute it takes me to walk to the bathroom when I do the get the sensation (or a little of both).

The other thing I wanted to share is that we've had several people come look at the house this week. Last night (about an hour before Scully jumped on me) Vickie let me know one of the couples made an offer. They want Scully & me to stay. Vickie explained that this couple hasn't even put their house on the market yet & want a condition of sale that P&V take this place off the market once they accept the offer. Naturally, they countered. Part of the counter (I think) is that P&V don't take this house off the market until they accept an offer on their house. It was a little confusing, but I think I got it right.

21 June 2008

Lesli's Weight Loss

I just realized I should have done this a while ago. My sis Lesli started Weight Watchers in September of last year. She just hit her first 100# loss goal. These pics are "before & after" although the after is not quite the 100#. She is keeping the purple shirt for the exact purpose of showing the loss. The last photo is her and my brother-in-law ~ who by default is doing weight watchers. He's lost 86#.







It's pretty cool, huh!

19 June 2008

How I'm doing

I thought I'd sit up and do a quick post. I just had a call from Diane who said she's been checking my blog and there's not much on it.

I can only sit for about 20 minutes at a time (that's pushing it). I feel a little better each day. Vickie comes in a few times a day to tell me to stop doing things. She has jury duty today so I've slept most of the day. I'm surviving on the fruit she brought over this morning before she left.

Scully's bored, but I'm certain she's glad not to be outside in the mid-90's heat we're having. Today it's 105º here! UGH! I'm glad not to be out in the heat we're having.

Saturday I'm going to try and participate in a webinar for an hour. Hopefully, I can get thru the whole thing.

Thanks for the healing prayers!

17 June 2008

Pain Update

Hi all...I'm at a point where I now know why House became addicted to vicodin. It's a great drug. Don't freak out...I'm not getting addicted, but for pain management it rocks!

I'm trying to get my stupid email program to send send some work emails. It sent four and now won't send four more I need to send. It doesn't make any sense to me. I hate having to figure things out on a computer! It drives me crazy! (yes, I know, you've been wondering the source)

I've been progressing a bit each day, but can't sit up for very long periods of time ~ a half an hour at best. CaliLyn has been here yesterday and today and will be here tomorrow helping out by fixing meals and cleaning up. Wendy brings dinner and we all eat together so she can spend some time w/CaliLyn who leaves for Oregon on Monday for two months. It's been a blessing to have her help.

Okay - fighting w/email kept me sitting up too long so I'm done for now.

13 June 2008

Friday Update

Howdy All

Spoke with Lisa and she's walking a little and feeling better. Pain isn't too bad.

However she might not check out today. She has a bloated stomach, which is normal for this type of operation she said, but until she passes gas or has a BM she can't go home.

She is ok with not going home until tomorrow since that's when her landlords come home and she'd feel better not being there alone.

I think that's about all!

Thanks for your prayers!

11 June 2008

Surgery update

So Lisa's surgery went well. Just over an hour (if I remember correctly). But she was in recovery for several hours. They moved her to her room around 11 a.m. The pathology report will come back in a couple of days but they said everything went well. The doctor will be checking on her again in the morning.

I'm sure she would love a call or visit.

10 June 2008

Ready, Set, Go

I leave for the hospital at 5:15 tomorrow morning. UGH! My friend Rosy commented "why can't they just let me sleep." My thought on that is since I'm still half asleep it's the best time for the surgery anyway. Plus, the whole not eating or drinking thing wouldn't work for most people. Although, we all know the real reason for the early surgery is the doctor has a 10:30 tee time that he doesn't want to miss.

I forgot to put my cell in my overnight bag when I dropped it off to my friend so I won't have any of my numbers with me in the hospital. Carri Ann will call me Wednesday evening and update my blog.

Have a blessed week!

06 June 2008

So close...

I have been in pain the last two days. I haven't slept well. I am not allowed to take anything (at least not anything that helps) until after surgery on Wednesday. Today was horrible for me. I did go to work since I'm going to be off for a couple of weeks. I got home and layed down on the couch. Poor Scully is missing her walks, but I can barely move let alone take her on our mile and a half jaunt to and around the park.

I just got up and can certainly sleep another eight hours ~ which is the plan just as soon as I'm done here.

Tomorrow I have a seminar to go to in Ontario for my biz. I'm looking forward to hearing these speakers. Bob & Shelly Kummer have been Diamonds for a few years. They have such big hearts and I always love hearing them speak. I have no new people attending, but I have been getting customer orders lately. That's a nice bit of growth for the biz.

05 June 2008

Scheduled and Ready to go

I've preregistered for the hospital. The rooms are private and I could have people stay if I wanted. What a bummer that I'm not married. I'm having my pain again today so I'm really glad for the surgery to be almost here!

For the rest of the time between now and the surgery I am not allowed to take my Omega's as she said they can thin my blood. Being prone to anemia this would be a bad thing during surgery. I'll go back on them right after the surgery, but that's one less "pill to swallow" every morning. I'm glad I just did my "every two year" iron intake. I've been doing well for the last several weeks.

Feel free to stop by and visit while I'm in the hospital. I'll be there two nights ~ the surgery is 10th & I get out the 13th. It's Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital. Kristin will be taking care of Scully and the place while I'm gone. Paul & Vickie are camping and might come home early, but as it stands they are going to come home Saturday the 14th.

We now have a hawk that has joined the wildlife sanctuary in the back yard. It was cool to watch him last night. He was chasing the crows. Hopefully he won't go after the bunnies (or the dog - Scully wouldn't be too happy with that).

03 June 2008

Saying Goodbye

I went to a funeral today for my friends' brother. He died suddenly last Tuesday night from an asthma attack. When I got back to the office I was doing some research for the company where I work to donate to the Asthma Foundation in his memory. I was reading the little card they gave at the funeral. He had just turned 41 in February. I'll be 41 in September. One more reminder of how fleeting life is.

The priest was sharing about the breath of God. He reminded us how God first breathed life into us and therefore we have the breath of God within us. He shared about the name Yahweh. He said when it was spoken it was just as if breath was coming out of a person. Every time he said "Yahweh" he breathed it instead of speaking it. It was a very cool illustration.

I'm looking expectantly towards one day meeting my Savior face to face in heaven. As time goes by I continue to lean on Him for guidance, encouragement and friendship. I love knowing that my life is in His hands. He has the best for me and when you meet Him, He has the best for you too!

28 May 2008

A Day at the Zoo

CaliLyn & I went to the Santa Barbara Zoo on Saturday. I have to say my all-time favorite animal to watch at the zoo are the penguins. Here's a cell video of the penguins:

video

Aren't they just all kinds of fun! That honk at the end was the penguin saying hello.

27 May 2008

Tag: Scully's It

Zinger tagged Scully for a name meme that came from Tara Cat:

Lots of kitties wanted to know what Tara’s three names were after her Mom went to see Cats the other night. It got Tara and Kavan to thinking of a fun meme. In case you aren’t familiar with The Naming of Cats, in the Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, by T.S. Eliot, we all have three names! So, in this meme, you must link to the originator of the meme (that is Tara), list the following rules, and then tell:

1. The name that the family uses daily (such as Peter, Agustus, Alonzo, or James)
2. The name that is particular, a name that’s peculiar, and more dignified (such as
Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat)
3. What you are doing when you are thinking of the name that only you know, and will never confess (when engaged in rapt contemplation), that deep and inscrutable singular name.

Then tag three others (and let them know they are tagged) to give us their names.

Scully's answers are:

1. Hey dog
2. Viscountess Scully the Defenestrated of Bartonhurst in the River - get your own Aristocratic Title
3. Walking or running the one mile track in my park with the person that feeds me or my friend Vickie

The only bloggers I know are those that I've read thru my sis (Zingers' mom). I'll tag a new friend ~ Steve ~ and see if he'll join.

26 May 2008

Cool of the Morning

sun rays peak through the clouds
dew is still on the grass
i open the back door
winged creatures fly from the grass to the trees
the goats braying their wake up song
the roosters command the day's begin
i let scully out for her morning constitutional
the furries stare her down statuesque
she stares back wishing for privacy
once finished she sees me waiting at the door
she runs faster than a deer panting for water
the bunnies go on about their morning grazing
within moments the birds cover the ground again

You'd almost think I lived in a wildlife preserve with all the animals that hang out in my yard. Not even close. I'm in the middle of the city. It's a place where horse property still exists. Despite not being a morning person I love waking up on days I don't have to get ready and rush off to work. It's so cool to open the door and watch the wildlife. When the gate is closed between the house and the yard the animals all stay put until I open it. Watching Scully though she minds her own business. The bunnies don't get close enough to the house or her for me to take a decent picture. Maybe next years' tax return will afford me getting the nicer digital SLR camera I want.

23 May 2008

What's with the Weather

Last weekend it was over 100º Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Today is only supposed to get 67º. It drizzled on my drive to work this morning. Out in the desert they got hail, rain and some tornados! We're not in the plains...what's w/the 'nados?!

Scores of people dying from earthquakes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis...any of this starting to sound like Revelation? Did anyone hear any trumpets? Look up and expectantly wait for Jesus!

17 May 2008

The Gentle Giant

Sue set up a Caring Bridge blog to keep the updates on Russ. Therefore, I'm going to stop posting her updates here. Feel free to check out his status daily by clicking the link to his name.

16 May 2008

Something to Say

Having all the updates from Sue has been good. Usually somebody will tell you they have a prayer need and then it's weeks before you ever hear anything else about it. I'm glad to hear how quickly things are being done for them. Thanks for checking back for regular updates on them as well as me.

There was a family that came to look at the house last night. Their realtor was at the house waiting for them when I got home. The lady who looked at the house said they live in town and are looking for another place so her Mom-In-Law can move in with them. I mentioned I was willing to stay and rent. I don't know if they were thinking of the guest house for her or the fifth bedroom that has a separate entrance, walk-in closet and bathroom. I'm praying it's the latter. They are coming back next week w/the Mom-In-Law to show her.

In the meantime, "our" realtor (Christine) let me know that both the family w/two kids and the man who wants to buy for his daughter & board horses are still interested. However, neither have made an offer yet. The family may not have the budget for the property. Christine said every time she's asked direct questions the husband would not answer.

Nobody else has called on it for a couple of weeks now. Since I'm going to be layed up after my surgery next month I'm a little thankful 'cause I won't have to break in new landlords in the midst of the pain. I'm still believing for a buyer who wants me to stay and are Christians. God is good!

Russ & Sue

Here's the latest from Sue - 16-May-08 3:30pm:

Good evening: Well today is almost over and it has been another loooong one. I went to bed early last night because I knew we had to be up at 5 a.m. to be at the hospital for lab work at 6:30 a.m. At 12:45 last night I heard a crash on the front porch, I knew right away what it was, a bear was after our bird feeders. I got my camera, turned on the lights and all I saw was one of our big 3 ft planters had been tipped over and the thistle feeder was gone. I opened the front door and heard it take off into the woods. I was awake for at least an hour and a half hearing all kinds of sounds, thinking he was back. There were still 4 feeders up. Found the feeder he got this morning, it was totaled. Good thing I set the alarm because I would have still been sleeping. So now we have to bring them in every night or I won't get any sleep, Russ snoozed right through it all. I was happy about that.

We managed to get some yard work done yesterday, one of my wonderful neighbors came over and raked while I worked on the planters, Russ threw rocks(too long to explain) it was a good day.

The placement of the feeding tube went fine, they actually go right into the stomach through the abdominal wall, in case you didn't know. He has been under anesthesia 3 times in the last week and a half, so it was no wonder he had some trouble this time. His heart beat and blood pressure dropped enough that the bells and whistles kept going off, the nurse was very concerned and called the doc. They put him on IV fluids and made us stay for a long time. He finally stabilized and walked out of there. Praise the Lord.

On the way home we got a phone call that he qualified for the study and would be getting the best of the trial. Sooooo, that must be what the Lord has in mind. We will continue to follow His Leading. Things have changed now regarding the schedule, he will get the new medication only, on Thurs. then we will get the new schedule at that time. I have heard so many people say that if you have a chance go for the trial, so many don't qualify but Praise the Lord he did. They commented today on how healthy he is in every other way.

One prayer is that insurance will cover all of this, I know we will have deductibles but you never know these days what they will allow and what they won't and if it has already been done and they won't pay....

I am going to try to set up an Internet website called Caring Bridge that you could check progress reports like this if you want, I know some prefer the e mails but others may not, so let me know if you would be interested and I will let you know when I get it going.

That's it for tonight, exhausted but still Praising God for His Guidance.

With much love and thanks,

Russ and Sue

14 May 2008

Russ' Latest

Here's the last two emails from Sue:

13-May-08 4:00pm - untitled:

Teeth are pulled, denture is weird (ill fitting), keeps falling out, no molars to chew with, only denture on top (it looks great though) not happy camper but still smiling off and on. More tests tomorrow, results of PET scan, hearing tests, a heart scan (MUGA they call it), get fitted for a mask to hold his head still. We decided to do the clinical study or trial or protocol or whatever they call it and leave it in God's Hands, whether Russ is accepted or not. Hopefully they will keep Thursday free. We need some rest from our 60 mile round trip everyday. I went 54 mph and got 32.1 miles to the gallon. Usually we go about 68 and get 24. So we will save some by doing that.

Praising Him in the midst of pain.

Short and not so sweet.

Love, Sue

15-May-08 - Update:

Dear Ones:

Have you ever felt like you are in the furnace walking through the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego? A very powerful story in Daniel 3. Read it if you have a chance. The last verse 3:25 says," Look! I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the 4th is like the Son of God." I feel that is where we are, as I was praying that image came to my heart. We are not alone in the furnace.

The denture is a problem for Russ, he can't talk right, no pain really with the extraction of the 16 teeth, Praise the Lord, just getting used to that "spoon in his mouth".

There are 2 ways this Clinical Study can go: one is accelerated normal therapy (chemo and radiation), or the addition of another drug which is supposed to strangle the cancer cells. A computer in Texas will randomly pick who goes where so there is no bias. He can opt out of the study at any time. We have again put which one he will be in, into God's Hands, the Author and Maker of all things good.

Yesterday he was mapped and fitted for the head and shoulder gear (net mask like material and hardens to his likeness) that holds him in place. He had another C.T. scan, I guess it is 3-D. to help the physicist map out the tumor. Several things to pray about here. Not only could he be burned by the radiation but he could have loss of hearing, loss of equilibrium, damage to spinal cord, voice box, many other areas that could be touched by the radiation and chemo.

Next we went to his ear, nose and throat doc to have his hearing checked, so they have a baseline. He already can't hear me (sometimes I think it is intentional, that's a Ha,Ha) and it was proven on the test, his high range of hearing is gone. I will learn to just lower my voice. Then we came back to the other building for LAB work and the MUGA scan to see his heart function. In the meantime I had to go down and reschedule a few things, set up a few more app't. and just keep everyone involved on their toes. Ya know you really need a secretary or an advocate if something like this happens, it is impossible to keep everything straight with out a larger pocket calendar (thanks Dick) and someone with a halfway clear mind.

We had 2 hours before we had to go see the dentist, we had some soup at Blackwoods, yummy, then off to get the dentures worked on. They are better but not perfect, we made it just in time to see Mitchell's puppet show and the Spring concert, in which both Brad and Mitchell participated. Saw many people there who hardly recognized Russ, clean shaven, new teeth and 25lbs lighter. He had been trying to lose weight because he was pre-diabetic and was doing a good job of it, being dedicated but now they want him to add on as much as possible and he can't because of his teeth or lack of.

Tomorrow is another big day. The PEG tube goes in, a tube directly into his stomach so he can receive nourishment when he can't swallow. Ya know, I think all of this stuff he is going through in the past weeks is so minor, I can't imagine what the next 7 weeks holds. He has his first Chemo and Radiation tenatively set for 22nd.

Matt is coming up on the 23rd-28th, Suzanne and family come June 1-12, Matt is coming again for awhile, then Ann is coming, then Wendy. We are so blessed by this, I can't tell you what it means to know we won't be going through this alone, in the physical sense. I know you are out there praying and holding us up, there is an Awesome Sense of Peace within us.

I have to get ready for my walk, first time in many days and it is gorgeous out. My legs have been aching from lack of exercise and sitting in the car and in the waiting rooms. Then I go to Cotton Pickin' Losers to weigh in. Russ said he might go too but I am letting him snooze as much as he wants today. We have a day off today, so will enjoy the beauty of God's Creation, do some yard work and maybe fish off the dock.


Love and blessings to you all. God Bless you.

Russ and Sue

12 May 2008

Scheduled

I will be having my surgery on June 11th. I will be in the hospital two nights and then off work for at least two weeks. The doctor said the two weeks would be the minimum I'm off and then it depends on the pain if I would be off longer. I'm glad it's finally happening.

As for the house, I have no news. Paul & Vickie are on vacation this week. I'm not sure if the realtor is showing the place while they are gone. We don't have a lock box. I'm pretty sure Paul had said either he or Vickie would be there every time the place was being shown. At least I won't have to move when I've had my surgery.

Here's the last two updates I got from Sue as to what is happening with Russ:

09-May-08 3:30pm - Latest News:

Good afternoon: I still want to stress, that if anyone would rather not receive these, please let me know. Some of you have already responded and I appreciate that.

Well this is the story as of today: We saw the Radiologist, he said this is a very aggressive but treatable cancer, he went over all the details, examined Russ and set up the rest of the scheduling, starting Monday. Monday we have to see the Oncologist, Russ needs to have both Chemo and Radiation at the same time. Unbelievable! How can our world turn upside down so quickly? Also Monday he will have to be fit and mapped for the radiation, after that we go to West Duluth for a Pet Scan to show if there is any other cancer anywhere, then we have a consultation with the oral surgeon at 3:45. Hopefully we will have time in between all of this to get him something to eat because he can't eat before the Pet scan.

The rest of the week is full also, oral surgery hopefully on Tuesday. Please pray about that. We need to get going on the radiation and can't until he heals at least ten days after they pull his teeth. The oral surgeon's office called to say the Tuesday appointment was just for a consultation. I really got upset because we were under the impression the teeth would be pulled. I called our dentist, he called the oral surgeon, within a 1/2 hour they called back to see if we could come Monday for the consultation and Tuesday MAYBE do the surgery, if they have time. I said to myself, "why did I get so upset, God is in charge, right?" I am learning. Pray they will have time. God hears your prayers on our behalf, otherwise we would be waiting several weeks before any of this could have come together.

We are both on edge, Russ can get impatient, as we all do during stressful times. On top of it all I was supposed to be fitted for a heart monitor today, I have irregular heart beats on occasion and lately has been one of those occasions. I found out I have to wear it for 30 days. I talked to the doctor, told her what was going on and she said to hold off, the EKG was normal. She doesn't seem too concerned, I have had it off and on for years. It is pretty common. So don't worry about me. That's the latest.

We love you and are asking God to bless each and everyone of you.

Russ and Sue

10-May-08 11:30am - PET Scan:

I don't think I was specific enough on the last e mail to let you know what a Pet Scan is. I would like to say it is to see if we qualified to have a puppy but unfortunately it is to see if the cancer has spread to any other part of Russ' body. So that is the specific prayer need. That it has not spread and is staying localized to the area they already know about. We couldn't do it without your prayers.

With so much love you can't imagine.

Russ and Sue

12-May-08 5:00pm - Update:

Hi all: We want to thank you all so much for all your enouraging emails and calls, we couldn't make it without them. I am keeping all the Scripture refences in a journal to refer to when times get tough. I may not be able to respond to you each time but know we read them all and tuck the words into our hearts.

We are in a state of both wonder and confusion. The Oncologist told us many scary things, but added that on Friday the 9th after we left there, a Clinical Research Study opened up that adds another drug to the treatment. We have to make a decision about it by Wednesday so would like prayer regarding that. It adds more risks of side effects and they don't know if it is effective or not but it has worked extremely well with other cancers, like colon, and lung. Whether it will work on this type is why they are doing the study. I have been back and forth on doing it. The docs sound so convincing, but ofcourse it is totally up to us and another factor would be if the cancer is localized to the neck area, if the PET scan, done today, shows any other areas that the cancer has spread he would not be eligible for it. Of course we are trusting that it has not spread and have put the whole matter in God's Hands. The way the trail opened up makes me wonder if that is God's Will........so the confusion.
Russ will loose all his beautiful hair with Chemo, either way and just now I had to shave off his mustache and beard. I don't even know the man. I have never seen him without at least a mustache and I am sure many of you have never seen him without a beard.

God answered our prayers about the Oral Surgeon, he will have 16 teeth pulled and an upper denture put in tomorrow at 11 a.m. without hardly any split between the 2 front teeth. (He has wanted to get rid of that forever.) So don't be surprised if there are no recognizable traits for you to know him by. He is not a stranger trying to break into our house, he does belong here. I just went to take another look, it is really shocking, not in a bad way, just different.

Wednesday was to be a free day but that has all changed, he is to meet again with the radiologist with our decision regarding the Clinical Trial and then get fitted for the apparatus that holds his head and shoulders still during radiation. It is a mask type thing and forms to his face, that is why he had to shave. Then we go to the audiologist to check his hearing, that is already on the fritz, the radiation and chemo can damage that even more. More prayer! Then a MUGA test which checks to see if his heart is will be able to stand up to the chemo and the flushing of liquids. See what I mean about scary?

Another thing that some of you already know is that Friday of this week he will have a stomach tube put in. They tell us he will have mouth and throat sores and will be unable to take liquids or nourishment by mouth, so to minimize the loss of any nutrients he will have this tube to just dump water and food into. That's no fun..............we all know he loves to eat. Heck of a way to lose weight!!! He also has to see a speech therapist, I believe it is to show him exercises to do with his mouth so he doesn't lose the muscles in his jaw.

Keep the clean jokes coming. We are Praising God and we smile and laugh when we can. I have to tell you though, every step has been a shock, it takes awhile to adjust until the next fiery dart hits.

I look at the gorgeous lake and the beautiful green lawn, with the leaves starting to bud out and know God's Love for us.

Take care loved ones and know you are so special to us, beyond measure we are so grateful to you and your faithful prayers on our behalf. I know God can heal in a moment and would love to see that happen, but His Will be done and to Him be the Glory.

We love you all.

Russ and Sue

09 May 2008

The Calm Before the Storm

Here's another note from Sue. I used the subject line of her email.

Dear Family and Friends:

This morning I awakened early, prayer and praise were already coming out of my heart, we serve an Awesome God. I realized that today will be a deciding factor regarding the rest of our lives. I don't know how we would survive without our faith. I am not saying we will not be tested and tried, have pain in the flesh, heart and soul but we have a promise that He will not give us more than we can bear, I cling to that promise, I know the question "why?" will have a tendency to creep in but I have the assurance that Jesus will carry us through whatever lies ahead. It is a scarey place to be, the unknown, but as Russ has said, " It says over and over in the Word, ' Do NOT be afraid.'"

As I prayed for the man I love, I was reminded of what he says to me every time I go out for my walk in the morning, "Via con Dios", which means, "Go with God". So today as we embark on a journey no one should have to go alone, I say to him and you. "Via con Dios, my love. Your love and support, your prayers and concern have been a testimony of God's Love. Thank you

Yesterday was probably a more normal day for us, we went to our Cotton Pickin' Losers(weight club), Russ has to start putting on weight now instead of dropping the pounds. Then to town, for errands and a routine Mammogram for me. My Mother's Day present from Russ has been a yearly thing; to put in the dock, so yesterday he did that. It was not an easy job but he felt good about it, he had accomplished something practical. Then our friends the Wallin's invited us for coffee, they wanted to know what was happening, they have been in Florida for the winter. It was a good day, a day to remember, a routine day of necessities and accomplishments and dear friends, of continual uplifting e mails and phone calls. Praise the Lord.

Oh, yes if I repeat myself about issues, please forgive me, I am talking to so many people that it is hard to remember who I have already told.

I will let you know what transpires today at the Radiation Therapy and Oncology Dept.

Love,

Sue

08 May 2008

Fighting the Good Fight

My friend Russ is going through a fight with cancer. Since I've told all my prayer warrior friends to check up on my requests here I thought I would just start posting their updates as well. I offered his wife the info to start a blog to keep the updates together, but she hasn't done it yet. I'll add the link if she gets around to it.

Here are the dates and her emails (oldest first):

05-May-08 7:00am ~ Prayer Request:

Russ has surgery this morning for a mass that developed over a 3 week period. He was having a swollen tonsil thinking it was from the colds that are going around. No pain however. On Thursday he said he should go and have it checked. He went to a doctor in the group (his doc was full up) who looked at it also finding a mass on the side of his neck. She immediately set him up on Friday with a specialist. The specialist was blunt. He says it is 99% certainly a cancer and set him up for emergency surgery today. They fit him in so it is not until 12:30.

I have always had you to depend on for prayer and would appreciate your prayers now. We did fine through the weekend trusting whatever happens to be in God's Hands. The enemy continues to try to put fear in our hearts, but we will stand as long as we can against the forces of evil. We need people like you to lift our arms when we can't anymore. I am asking for you to say a prayer for him. I will be in touch.

With love,

Sue

08-May-08 6:30pm ~ Result:

Well, the news from the surgery was not good. The doctor said it is a squamous cell carcinoma involving the tonsil and a large mass on the outer side of the neck but under the skin and another lesion on the other side. It is very aggressive and I believe the size had enlarged over the weekend. The treatment will be very, very harsh. We have not talked to an oncologist yet. Hopefully we will get an appointment this week to start treatment. The doc that did the surgery said they will do radiation aggressively 5 days a week for 6 weeks. He will be unable to eat solid food because his throat will be so sore. I don't know if his voice box, etc will be involved. Then possibly a chemo that is very strong making him extremely ill. The doctor said they wouldn't put him through it if they didn't think it would cure him. This kind of cancer is found in heavy smokers and alcoholics. Go figure, he has never had a cigarette and the beer once a month certainly didn't do it.

We are going to fight this battle with your prayer support. We love you and appreciate so much your friendship and love.

Russ and Sue

06-May-08 8:00am ~ Thank You:

We are still floating on the prayers of the saints and I know as the situation gets more and more difficult we will become very dependent on those prayers. As last evening and this morning have progressed we have had many encouraging emails and calls, many supportive offers and many professions of love for us. I cannot tell you how much it means. We believe God is going to do some amazing things during this time in us, in our Gethsemane family, our own family, our unsaved friends, and our brothers and sisters in Christ who live far away. Here we go on an unknown journey of FAITH. Let's sit back putting this whole thing in the very Capable Hands of our Loving God and watch Him work.

The prayer we have now is the timing, wisdom for the doctors, that the course of treatment would be set up quickly (I can see a change in the tumor on the neck already in a few days, it has grown). We are waiting on the throat doc to set things up.

God Bless you all for your faithfulness to us.

With love,

Russ and Sue

07-May-08 6:30pm ~ Another Step:

This may be more info that you want to know so please let me know if you would rather I didn't send to you. It wouldn't hurt my feelings at all. I am doing this so I can keep an account of all the events that happen along the way, showing God's Hand upon us.

The latest developments are: Yesterday I called our dentist and told him what was going on. He was shocked to hear as we had been in there 4 weeks ago. This dentist does the most thorough job of any dentist I have ever been to: checking the neck, the throat, the tongue, etc. at that point he saw nothing. Anyway, he wanted to know the name of Russ' doctor, so he could call him. He called me back and said, "I have told the girls at my office to clear a whole block of time, rescheduling other patients to fit Russ in today for x-rays etc.

Russ has a lot of problems with his teeth, he was scheduled to have a few pulled etc. etc. etc. but because of $$ we had decided to wait until September when some CD's mature. I told him we would have to make payments, he told me he was not worried about money one bit, he was concerned about Russ and how he could help. So we went today. He did another exam, with more extensive x-rays, which showed a lot of bone recession which is one of the reasons Russ had to have them pulled. The radiation therapy will cause some very serious problems in the mouth: damage to salivary cells, more bone recession, root deterioration, etc. So, the answer is to pull teeth so the roots don't get infected and cause really serious problems for the rest of his life.

On Tuesday we go to have all of his teeth on top pulled and four on the bottom. The oral surgeon has also opened a block of time for him. He is so booked that usually you have to wait months to get in. On Friday we go to see about the radiation or chemo or both treatment. So, Tuesday will be oral surgery and then he'll have two weeks to heal, then onward to whatever the Lord has in store. His Hand of direction has opened doors that would normally take weeks and months. We are so grateful we have Him in our lives. Peace like a river attendeth our souls.

Love, love, love you.

Russ and Susie

That is all I have for now on Russ. As emails come in I will continue to post them here.

As for me, I received the approval from the insurance for my surgery. I called the doctors' office. My doc is off on Wednesday's which was the day of the week I was hoping to have it done. The scheduling person said she will ask him (he sometimes will do a surgery that day if he's available) otherwise it will be on June 10th. I will be in the hospital two nights (possibly three). I will find out when she calls back how long I will be unable to go to work. My doc said I'd be able to sit up for "an hour or two" after about a week.

In regards to the selling of the house, the gentleman who came down from San Francisco to look at the house last week sent his daughter and her friend to have a look. Paul said their realtor made a comment that they really like the place. Though by 6:00 last night they still hadn't submitted an offer. The great thing about the property is it's zone for animals (horses, chickens, goats, etc.). They both have horses that they are boarding elsewhere as well as having to pay rent for themselves individually. He is interested in having me stay! Woo Hoo! We'll see how it works out.