River View ; Askew


Each morning over coffee or tea, my husband and I sit in our comfortable old living room enjoying our view of the neighborhood. Little George, our Yorkie, is either in his bed or in one of our laps, forever seeking warmth. We enjoy the huge majestic trees, the surrounding old homes, some lovely, some unloved and the passing traffic at our corner far below, as we live on a hill. There is usually one car who decides, after climbing the hill, he would rather not bother to stop at the “STOP” sign on the corner. Swearing or honking usually ensues as some other automobile escapes peril. We don’t have a lot of traffic; this is far from the ways Portland or Los Angeles but we do have our share of characters. A two way STOP with two YIELDS makes for an interesting mix of traffic; confusing at best. We have one neighbor we would have once called a “hot rodder,” and one neighbor who lives in Portland and visits the house behind us occasionally because he rents out the lower level. He is what must be called humanely challenged and we have been stressed to our limits of neighborly love with this guy as has the whole neighborhood.

Each morning there is a bird, whether it be a crow or a seagull, sitting atop a light or power pole up the block, in full view of our window, who appears to be surveying the whole area from his perilous perch. It’s reassuring to know we have a sentinel on duty. I suspect one of those large fat crows is the one who has meticulous timing and always knows when my fella has washed one of our cars and feels the need to relieve himself. He has perfect aim between his little feathery self and our car windshield. Other crows and smaller birds eat the moss that grows in our rain drains, with their little twitchy tails all that is visible over the edge of our porch roof. We once heard a window shattering on our first floor
and found a clamshell was the culprit. Since the window was sheltered from the street, we believe it was not a human but a seagull trying to break it open by hitting our walkway on the side of the house. Apparently, that is their form of a cracking utensil to get to the meaty clam.

Many mornings there are a couple of deer eating the neighbor’s flowers or even venturing onto our deck to eat ours. We are always aware of raccoons attempting to dump our trash and keep a lid on it. There have recently been sightings of a cougar a few blocks from here so I am careful not to leave George alone out on his line in the front of the house that is unfenced. Our Yorkie is not cat food. Occasionally a bald eagle will fly over in a majestic swoop or a hawk will hover and gaze down below. I do hope neither one of them decide George looks tasty because his line only reaches so far and then it would be a fall to earth for him without a parachute. I guess that is an idea. He has tried to fly off a cliff into the Columbia River a few times while chasing seagulls. Do they make tiny parachutes for dogs? Probably somebody does. You can find anything on Amazon.com. Can’t you?

Each day the colors from our windows are remarkable. The skies are always bright hues of blue, very often even while rain is falling but other times dark with rapidly moving storm clouds. Clouds don’t hover here, I suppose driven by the winds off the Pacific, they are always in motion, they come and quickly go.

My mood and thoughts are often like those clouds and the wind. I suspect each of you also find yourselves in darkness then light, alternately throughout each day, often depending on your view from your window or some force working at you from within. Often, pain and
concern over health issues is to blame. I know we each have our pensive moments when we ask the truly big questions in life. For many of us who have lived with chronic pain or illness, we don’t seek as many answers as we did when this way of life was new to us. Personally, I am worn thin by all the supplications, doubts and questions of “Why?” within my own mind. We are struck, our lives are altered, our bodies changed and we have all we can do to handle the new life, the new bodies and the constant attempt to make all the adjustments needed. That last fact alone can and does take a lifetime. Life is ever changing for everyone, well or ill.

I often ask and have been asked regarding this life of constant change and pain, “Does it ever end?” First of all, let me clarify I am not talking about surgery or fleeting curable disease, or wounds that will heal. I am addressing all of the millions of us who live with ongoing disease, progressive destruction or devastating war wounds, often destructively permanent or chronic in their nature. For each of us, we can delay its progress by seeking the best professional care and advice we can find. We can allay our many fears and anguished questions by using our faith in a higher power, using our sense of humor and staying open to the love and sharing of other, fellow humans and all of God’s creatures. I always recommend getting a pet because they will teach you love and definitely awaken your sense of humor. Let us, for the purposes of this discussion, divide this into DELAY and ALLAY.

We can delay the progress of many of our diseases and chronic pain by keeping ourselves informed. One bit of advice I have for others who are in this “boat” with me along with staying afloat, is to stay informed. Don’t leave your health and your very lives in the hands of your
physicians and medical caregivers. They can be wonderful, but they are not you, they don’t live with you, they don’t feel what you feel, they can’t stay on a special diet nor can they exercise or stretch for you. Ask questions just as you would a carpenter, or anyone working on your home…your body is your most valuable and important home.

One day last week I was seeing a new doctor, at least new to me; an endocrinologist. The physician, is a kind young woman from Russia. She had a very friendly, chatty medical assistant who was giving me her life story. When I mentioned to her I was a retired RN, she blurted out, “Oh, we have a few patients who are RN’s and boy are they a pain in the ass.” I laughed out loud and said, “Well, now you have another one.” I loved her candor but also understood the source of her remark. Nurses like others in the medical profession know the imperfection of medical care as well as the benefits of medical care. We’ve seen caring but incompetent physicians, cold hearted physicians who are lackluster in their concern and care as well as many dedicated doctors who always give it their best “shot.”

Those of us who suffer from progressive disease like many in the rheumatoid family, MS, MD, cancer, and hundreds more, must seek the latest and the newest ideas, treatments and medications. Science is ever flowing like a stream or river. Try to avoid those doctors who are stuck in a stagnant pond of information. You may have doctors of high caliber in your community or you may have to drive a distance to find them at a university hospital or medical school. Like turtles, we carry our homes on our backs…boy, do we ever. Take your shell and get to the best care because you deserve it. Seeking the best care, following their advice if you are made to understand it can give you years more life, greater comfort and a better way of life. Never be afraid to ask questions, take in a list if you need to because most of us forget what we wanted to ask and
be sure your history is correct. I recently saw a report of my history from a physician I didn’t like and will not return to and my medication allergies were all listed but no reasons given. I redid my medication list and wrote in all the reasons and asked the last doctor I saw to please update it. Someone along the line was careless. Remember all computer printouts can only spit out what they are fed. Watch for inaccuracies in your computer printouts and tell someone. Keep a file at home of all your tests and visits. It is particularly important to keep copies of lab reports, X-ray reports and any other invasive or imagery procedures.

Depression, worry and anxiety are all forms of fear. We must allay fear or it will cripple us emotionally and mentally. Winston Churchill, the former and most famous Prime Minister of Britain once said, “The terrible “ifs” accumulate.” How many nights both you and I have stayed awake thinking of what could happen? What if? Most of those ifs do not occur and if they do, that is the time to act on them. How much time and effort we waste on the what ifs which may never be.

I have had a lot of experience with fear and the need for calm peace and particularly love what Dr. Norman Vincent Peale has to say about fear. He prescribes the prayer of affirmation. It is not a prayer asking God for something we fear might happen not to happen. Affirmation is a prayer of thanking God for the results of what you fear, knowing others are praying for you and aiding you in your life and helping you face what you fear, whether it be illness, a new job or some other journey you face. There is the overwhelming feeling of letting go when we pray a prayer of affirmation. We “let go and let God.” That is one of my favorite quotes of the late Rev. Billy Graham. Treat your fear like a hot coal and when you pick it up, drop it again as fast as you can. Remember, no
matter what church you attend or don’t attend, you can talk to God directly. Christian, Jew, peaceful Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, God cares about you and is a force that is always there for you. Ring him up; He always answers.

Dr. Peale also explains the importance of letting our fear motivate us. He tells this story, if I may paraphrase for brevity. There was a man who always took a short-cut through a cemetery every night to get home. He did it often therefore when the seasons changed and it grew darker, he knew his path he took nightly and felt at ease and not afraid. One night he felt his foot go out from under him and fell into a freshly dug grave. He clawed at the sides but only pulled more loose soil into the grave. He decided he had no recourse except to wait until morning when the grave diggers would return so he curled up with his coat, leaned into a corner and tried to sleep. A short while later he heard footsteps and suddenly another man fell into the fresh grave with him. The second man started clawing at the sides of the grave, also as the first man had done. The first man said, “Boy, you’ll never get out that way.” But the second man did—like a shot. The second man had motivation the first man did not have. In that case fear was the motivating factor. Rarely is fear the motivating factor. Faith always can be.

Remember the key to being chronically ill or in constant pain is to delay the progress and to allay your fears and worry. Oh, and also, avoid those open graves.

64 thoughts on “River View ; Askew

  1. Sue dear,

    This post was particularly ameliorating to me, as I’m sure it was to most of your readers. There was one paragraph I wanted to highlight and indicate as my favorite, but then I came across another and another and another, ad infinitum. So, suffice to say that your thinking, your logic, and your ability to transmit your feelings to readers is nothing short of remarkable. You have been given an extraordinary gift, my dear friend, and it is so kind of you to use it in this manner. Big hugs, Phyl

    • Dear Phyl, You are always so kind in your remarks regarding this bit I do every two weeks. I hope just one remark is a blessing to each reader, knowing each of us are at a different place in our lives. Writing from my own experience is a bit like throwing darts: one hopes you hit something near the bulls eye every once in awhile. I have often thought of you and hope you are able to enjoy the early signs of spring. I know you’re stuck in so much of the time. Are you able to get out onto a porch or patio when you have sun? No more snow for the East…enough already, right?
      We are in our usual sun and rain pattern out here in soggy Oregon. I’m very claustrophobic about now after two weeks of a virus. I’m grouchy and restless. Time to get to the nursery for a few new plants to live on my small porch. I do love putting or should I say pottering around out there and watching little George terrorizing the passers-by.
      Thank you for keeping in touch. It means more to me than you know. Love, Sue

  2. Rosetint, too cold most mornings but George and I are going to brave it today. I’m feeling stir crazy and so is he. Come join us anytime. I have a very old holey cashmere sweater which will help. Just hope I don’t see anyone I know…I’ll look homeless in it. Sue

    • Higher perspective, I love the view, also. Wish we could see more of the river from inside the house but do enjoy all the views. Trees, Victorian homes, old Craftsman style and some just hard to discern…Astoria, OR is the oldest settlement west of the Rockies. Good to hear from you. Sue

  3. Sue what a gorgeous view I could sit and dream there. Yours was a story in itself today.i loved the ordinaryness of the way you prescribed/told us the way you believe.it was helpful
    I manage to get that bird on times here too!

    • Chris, boy that darn bird gets around. What kind do you have there? Crows, seagulls, robins, etc. We have a rental car right now since mine has been in the body shop since J. ran into a short barrier at the carwash. As far as I know the bird hasn’t found it yet. I know a lot of the English poets wrote about birds and I can imagine the English countryside full of them when your weather decides it’s spring. How goes the battle sweet friend? Hope no more nose bleeds for DH. Love, Sue

  4. Sue, worth the wait. I hope you have a Blessed Easter. I must attend to making a store list. DH volunteered our house for his family’s Easter gathering. His brother is bringing the ham, so I just need to make the sides and we will provide the drinks. A couple of others will bring dessert. Just 10 for this holiday as others have other commitments or are working. I think we can get everyone around my great-grandparents table, so I have bought a covering to accommodate the table with all of its leaves in use. SB and DH will bring it from the dining room to the main kitchen area which is open to the family room. Easier transition for those who want to retire to the family room later, and a bit more room for all around the table than in the dining room. I am trying to gear myself up for the next couple of days cleaning, etc to get ready. DH will help and help with some of the cooking also. My, I’ve been a bit long-winded, more than intended. I must get cracking on that store list!
    Good hearing from all who have commented so far. Happy Easter one and all!

    • Lyn dear, seems like your DH volunteers you quite often. I’m afraid you got stuck with the hard part of the dinner. Ham is easy, the pig did all the work. It’s all that chopping etc that wears me down although I do love the sides. Anytime potatoes are involved I call for J. Remember, he learned how to peel them in the army and peels until you tell him to stop. Do the minimum that yourself will allow on that cleaning so you feel the full enjoyment. I do hope you get decent weather for the day.
      I’m still fight this darn virus with sinus headache and now gut. Third week for me and I think that’s quite long enough. Got my biopsy scheduled, for the eleventh of April; you know, the thyroid nodules? Oh joy, love the thought of having my throat punched on both sides. I guess I have to find out about it but would just be more than pleased to live in denial darn it.
      Watch that perfectionism trait of yours and be good to yourself over the holiday. He arose and we want to make sure you can the day after. Love, Sue

  5. Sue
    We have crows,blackbirds,finches,robins and land gulls..and pigeons come and go in the garden.i like the blackbirds and robins also the finches best.we get the dawn chorus..but somehow I like the settling down evening one the best
    Dh and his nosebleeds have cleared up
    But his earache is still there at the moment even with the antibiotic..but the dr said it could take a while to heal ..his hearing is more muffled as well…we get concerned as that’s the only hearing he’s got in that ear which is only 20pc on a good day
    Im sure your meal will go well they always do and yes don’t do too much as sue says
    It gives rain and snow here for Easter.im sure the snow won’t settle as there will be too much rain
    Glad you are back in your own home ….don’t do too much too quick to catch up..
    Did all your food last ok in the freezer..I think I remember you saying you had a new one recently ..
    Hope Judy hasn’t gone backwards in her improving with all the cold there
    Sweetie? She sounds she is doing ok there

    • Chris, I love how in tune you are with all of your birds and enjoying your new table outside.So many varieties of bird. I enjoy the sounds of our mourning doves, hearing them right now. Did you finally get rid of the odor problem? Surely hope so. Glad DH is doing better as far as nosebleeds but the ear sounds very stubborn and so uncomfortable. I know it’s also hard for you when he can’t hear you talking to him. Frustrating. I know you have some appts. coming up…anxious for some answers for you. This is the second reply I’ve written. Apparently I goofed up the one yesterday. Have a very blessed, springlike Easter weekend. Love, Sue

  6. Sue
    What a wonderous description of your views and visitors. A cougar ? Strange how mans pushing I to their territory has brought them into ours, yes ? I can see it all in my minds eye.
    And the advice on DRs, oh how true and what sage advice. We need more and more to know ourselves, our bodies, and our ailments. And have a good Dr, for as you say, we deserve the best.
    I posted this yesterday but didn’t have to mind to concentrate on it. I was so tired, and up all night with Sweeties false labor. Although I saw the baby moving and she has it lower, so it must have turned.
    I came home Wednesday afternoon to a beautiful bluebird and a finch on my porch. There is a hole somewhere, tiny enough for them to squeeze in (more work for B), and there they were. The brilliant blue of the bluebird was a happy welcome to me. I had to coax it out the door with the snow shovel, but not before I got a few pics of it. Here we have cardinals in abundance, crows, finches, starlings, mourning doves , hawks, jays, and more I do not know the names of but enjoy them at the feeder and eating with my chickens. Oh and m beautiful woodpeckers. And the little titmouse. Nature is a sort of church to me, for all its beauty God created for us to enjoy. And it stirs my soul with rapture. The quiet majesty of mountains and rivers, and the sounds all around. The forests teeming with life, if you take the time to look and enjoy, peace is all around you. I like to talk with Him as I go. The first song my mother stood me in front of the church to sing, was “In the Garden”. I still love it. “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses. And the voice I hear fall8ng on my ear, the Son of God discloses. And He walks with me and He talks with me. And He tells me that I am His own. And the joys we share as We tarry there, none other has ever known.”
    Love you

    • Janet, I love it but it still makes me weep. It was sung at my Dad’s funeral and I’m told at my sisters funeral, also which I could not attend. So assuring in it’s directness. Love, Sue

    • Tonie, Sounds like the bluebird of happiness was visiting you. You do indeed live in such an old, traditionally beautiful place that was the beginning of this great nation. I love all the memories that are stored there and later out here. You are so directly in the country where you live and so blessed by nature. We are just a small, old historical town with tradition around us. Glad you liked the blog. In The Garden has always been a favorite of mine as well. So lilting and hopeful in it’s message for a life of faith in Christ and all he went through. I used to have that picture of him kneeling, praying on a rock in the garden when I was a child. It was made of that material that glowed in the dark. It gave me so much assurance…Blessed Assurance another dear old hymn I love.
      Any news from B? Hope both you and Judy are feeling better now that you have power and pray the virus is subsiding. Love you, Sue

  7. Sue
    Good morning . Yes, B has finally calmed down a bit. He says his daughter is trying something her lawyer suggested. And if that doesn’t work he will go to Paris to the embassy and take all his docs and get a pass or someth8ng so he can get back home. So….it’s a waiting game. But all we come in time.
    Judy is doing much better. She drove herself to get her hair cut yesterday and made a day of it. Went all around the stores, visiting a friend, she had a good day. Me, I am still fighting this junk, but feeling some better. It is a beautiful day out and the wind is not strong so I may ride my bike a bit this afternoon on the trail. We will see.
    A happy blessed Easter to all. The Resurrection of our Lord bought eternity for those of us who accept and follow Him. May we all be so blessed.

    • Tonie, happy and blessed Easter, sorry to hear B is till grappling with his green card situation. Just tell him not to get his gut all upset over it. He’s come so far to this point since leaving here. Prayers for that path to become clear for both of you. Hope Sweetie is okay. I think she’s just waiting for her Daddy to come home.
      Good on Judy….finally conquering that darn virus. Sounds like a good day for her. I do hope you get to feeling better soon. My DD came home from the coast with the kids with that darn virus reactivated yesterday. I’ve never seen such a stubborn one. We’re having a beautiful day today but rain followed by cold after that storm. Gees It’s spring. Going to sit out on the porch with George sohe can irritate the neighbors for awhile. Love, Sue

  8. Sue
    Well I darent say the odour problem has gone ..but it ain’t been here for a while….but …
    Rained so much today…gives loads more on Monday
    That virus seems so persistent that you have
    I’ve got the glaucoma clinic week after next and awaiting bloods from rheumy
    Judy sounds much better..now to get you there too

    • Chris, I’m much better. It comes and goes. DD and kids came home from three days at the beach yesterday with theirs reactivated. Weird. Don’t be too disappointed if you find the lab work is not that informative. Often it doesn’t always reveal what is wrong. There are many lab negatives in the field of rheumatology. Beautiful here today but cold wind and rain coming in tomorrow with snow down to 1000 feet. George and I spent a little time on the porch this afternoon, rolled down porch awning and read on my Kindle, George barked at everything.
      Hope your glaucoma clinic visit goes well. Love, Sue

  9. Hey all
    No Chris, I am better, Judy is not. She has an appointment on Wed with GP. Me , I did my swim today, so wonderful. Feel so much better t9night, though really tired. So early bed and see what tomorrow brings. Sue glad you are feeling better. Now stay clear of your family until they are bug free !

    • Tonie, Glad you’re better. Too late, had the grands over after school. DD sick again or same thing. They’re off to Disneyland soon.
      I am sorry to hear about Judy. I think you did mention she gets bronchitis. Hope she’s okay and that congestion hasn’t gone into her lungs. Poor babe. Prayers and hugs. Love, Sue

  10. Well glad you are ok tonie,but disappointed Judy not so good .maybe too much out that day..but we seem to always pay some price
    DH had his inr still too high..it’s the ampicillin for his ear infection that’s causing it …they say now the inner infection has cleared but redness in the canal.the nurse says it maybe the aid needs adjustment it could be rubbing …so got an appt next Monday …if one earlier they will ring
    My bloods are back but waiting for letter with it all in.two days off over Easter puts all behind
    Saw DD and GS on the Sunday nice surprise
    Weather improving but back to rain tomorrow ..it’s been really heavy over Easter
    Hope you don’t recatch stuff sue

    • Chris, glad you got to see DD and GS over the holiday. Sorry DH is still fighting that infection and discomfort. Hope they get his hearing aid adjusted properly. Be sure to let us know how your labs came out. How are you feeling right now? Still slogging along here, good days and bad. Rain off and on. Bought a few spring flowers yesterday. Look forward to a dry day to add them to the porch ones that don’t look good or need perking up. Bought violas and geraniums. Take care, Love, Sue

  11. Chris
    Same here, Rain, off and on, but warmer. Yet they are speaking of snow this weekend !! argh !! All is well here. I am getting better slowly. I think my fibro has flared up as well with all the stress and junk. Sometimes I can’t tell the dfference . But I am trying to rest more often and even get a nap in once in a while. Sorry your dh is feeling bad. WIsh they could get his meds balanced for him. I think Judy is going to be put on antibiotics as well. We will see, she goes in today.
    Nice surprise to see your kiddies. Judy and I put together a dinner and then watched movies, got her caught up on Captain America. We both loved comic books and eat these movies up.
    Well, must see if I can get her awake for her appointment. Stay dry !

  12. Did some work in the garden today.weather was good and gives it tomorrow as well
    Sue I feel tired all the time ,can’t shake it off.the specialist said it was becos of the sjogrens and all,the inflammation the body is fighting
    She said aerobic activity was the only thing,difficult but that is all there is
    Tonie I do hope there’s no more snow your way,you’ve had enough
    Sat outside for a while sun was great and air still,I see it’s back to rain tho next week
    Hope Judy got on ok at drs and got some antibiotics if needed.

  13. Morning all
    Beautiful day here then tomorrow through Wednesday, the temps drop and get cold. THen we are supposed to get Spring. I hope.
    Yesterday I planted my potatoes. Indoors, I have plants started. Heirloom tomatoes, broccoli and spinach. I need to start some cucumbers, so they will be large enough after frost danger.
    Judys Dr visit went well. She was told to stop taking the gabapentin and a few other things. They are making her dizzy and losing her balance. She told her to move around more and stand still when she gets up until her balance is good. Last night we went to get the nerve block in her neck. That should keep her until we see the surgeon the end of the month. It was 12:30 when we got home last night. And I couldn’t get relaxed to go to sleep until later. BUT…I am going swimming anyway. Taking Judy with. Hopefully the water will help her.
    Chris, you can do aerobic activity with a fast walk. If you walk fast then slow down , then fast, … you will get a good workout and hopefully it will make you feel better. Moving is the only thing that helps me. A lot of times I do it too much, as you well know. Hope your labs come back good. My flowers are coming up everywhere. I hope my peonies bloom this year. They are all young and it takes a bit of time for them to get going. Speaking of which , I must get it moving myself.
    Hope you all have a wonderful day

  14. 26’ this morning ! If the flowers and trees survive this winter blast (more tonight) I will be surprised. Judy’s tulip tree was bloom8ng so pretty and the frost killed the blossoms . Apple and peach trees are starting to bloom, just pray it doesn’t kill them.
    Oh woe is me ! Just be glad when it warms up on Thursday to normal temps. It has been a long winter, yes ?
    Hope you are all doing well. Me, with the weather see saw, well, you all know the drill. Please take care and have a good Sunday no matter the weather

  15. Tonie
    Concerned the quick walking would play up my hip..how do you manage it?
    It was so warm the other day we sat out….but then comes the rain again…but not as cold as with you
    Roll on Thursday for you
    Hope Judy,s balance better
    Peonies my favourite had some in one garden .but had to leave behind
    Our flowering trees are all in bud..so we will probably get some winds now!

    • Chris
      You don’t have to walk really really fast, just speed up a little bit. Do some stretches for your hip. This helps mine. I can’t walk a long ways because of my hip. But you can a little at a time. A walk around the block where you live. Or start with just a stroll up and down the street. I still think a stationary bike would help you. Riding the bike helps my legs, knees and hips. It puts no strain on the hip because your weight isn’t on it. There are even little ones you can get to sit in front of the chair or couch.
      Judy’s balance is much better. Now to get her cough gone. Told her to call the Dr to get something called in for her. I remember a little pill that Sue recommended to me, it was awesome, but forget the name of it.
      I hope you get to enjoy the blooms from your trees. No snow like they predicted. Some spit of it, but it was too warm really. Thank goodness. Now I need to get going and go swim, then check on the homes, and grocery shop. All day affair. Take care you, and get moving !!

      • Tonie, Sounds like you had a full day and are probably asleep by now. Both you and Chris and probably Lyn, also have been having such intransigent weather. We just have the usual rain, a day or two of sun, then more rain. We did have 36 hours of incredible wind, shaking the bed, ceiling lamps, etc. I hate that stuff. It just moved a couple of my plants that are on rollers around a bit on the front porch. No damage.
        Tonie, That med that is so good for coughs is Benzonatate. It is great and yes, it’s that tiny clear gel like pill. What a time our dear Judy has had. So what’s going on on Thurs. Chris mentioned. Did I miss something? Is that when Judy sees the doc about her neck?
        I have had several very bad days with my gut. So much pain and gas I haven’t been able to sleep. Good thing I don’t smoke…ha, ha. I know my PCP and pain doc didn’t want me to go back on the NSAIDs but the rheumy did and I wanted to due to the enormous pain everywhere on my body so I did. Now after about 6-7 weeks I stopped them. I remember I had so little gut trouble when I stopped them after that GI bleed a few months ago so hope that is the answer but after the second day I am having an enormous amount of pain in my knees, back and ankles. I need an answer. What am I to do? Please pray I find some answers soon.
        Do hope you’re getting some answers from France. Many thoughts and prayers. Love, Sue

  16. Chris, I also love peonies. Had two but they died out before they reached any size to bloom. I know they grow gorgeous ones across the rive in WA state. I see them at our Sunday market and they are HUGE. I hope your weather is letting you enjoy the outdoors more now. Rain here tonight through next week. Oh my…but we did have sun today. Please catch up on me from Tonie’s post. You’ve been in my thoughts and I pray you are gaining strength and getting some answers for your many problems. Love, Sue

  17. Hi sue

    It was just that tonie said better weather for her coming on Thursday
    Gives rain all this week and temps of 20 c next week that’s about 68 f. Or even closer to 70 I didn’t check it out
    I’m not feeling too bad but have a cold coming on..that with the sjogrens makes a good sore throat!
    I get that with NSAIDs but can you take them every third day maybe
    In the next few days I’ll try the walking tonie

    • Chris, now a cold…sure hope it doesn’t turn into a bad one. Hydrate like mad dear friend. I sure do understand about SS and colds. Do stay in if you can, stay warm and take what you can in the way of supplements. I was also wondering about the NSAIDs on a half dose basis which I might try tomorrow to get through the biopsy. Dreading it but want to know. Hope you’re now able to eat more and it agrees with you.
      Catching up on my British English language lately. Been on a Rosamunde Pilcher kick reading all the books of hers I haven’t read in simply ages. Lover her stories but my old Kindle it seems has bit the dust after many years and I may have to buy a new one. It is always something, isn’t it?
      Much love, Sue

      • Chris, Just saw the dinosaur bone news on the one found in England. Fascinating…Ichthyosaur. Sue

  18. Sue
    Yep Mondays are always a full day for me. Thursday is when better weather is supposed to be here. Now they are showing tomorrow as well. Judy is going to have to go back to the Dr. She wanted her to try the otc cough medicine and if needed come back to check her lungs. I think Judy forgot to tell her about her cold when she was there. And that was the reason she went !!! So I told her to call and get appointment. SHe has not been eating good, and she loves spaghetti, so I made her some last night with garlic bread. Today I have to take her to pick up her new hearing aids. Now as a matter of fact.
    Prayers for you and your body. It has been a rough winter for us all I think. Still no news on the green card. Please pray for him to get it resolved so he can come home. He is getting so upset and anxious. But we have no control, it is in His hands, we know.
    Love ya

    • Tonie, I’m confused. Why did he want to recheck Judy’s lungs if she didn’t tell him she had a cold? Confused here. I had to chuckle about the garlic bread thinking of her breathing on the person helping her put on her new hearing aids. Reminds me of a sweet Korean nurse I used to work with who could blow you away with her breath due to some of their traditional foods.
      Yes, it has been a rough winter. I do pray for B to get his green card. Here he is, determined and dedicated to doing things the right way and being stalled while all those illegals keep pouring over the border. Hope it comes soon for both of you. Fierce winds in the night, supposed to let up today and seem to be. Rain, of course. Love, Sue

  19. Yes sue 200 million years ago ….it’s like the distances in space you can’t imagine it
    When do you have to have this biopsy done.no it doesn’t sound nice at all ..oh I’ve just reread it’s tomorrow .ill be thinking of you then
    I too like ros pilcher .still have some to read. How’s your eyes mine feel bruised all the time
    Well yes I would try a smaller dose and for a few days then a break then start again of the nsaids .im like that too it makes my ibs worse
    I still have to eat the same stuff…but I can eat chicken now.can eat lettuce ,cucumber with seeds out. Can have about only two apples a week the two of us go our separate ways with meals on times
    Thinking of you tomorrow

    • Thanks Chris, Appreciate the thoughts for the biopsy. Of course, I am concerned about results but the procedure is not supposed to be that bad. Have to have it done on both sides of the thyroid.
      You sound a bit better and I am pleased for you. Life is a chore at times so I hope you are getting in your scones and sights and trips to the ocean.
      Yes, my eyes are still tender and often, right at the eyebrow area near those blocked lacrimal glands. Makes sense with Sjogren’s, huh? I have a lot of vision problems and go around turning on lights all the time. Had to get new lenses in my two pairs of glasses…one’s my back-up pair. Wow were they expensive even with the old frames. I now have a reading pair, a computer pair and those two for distance. What a lot of glass cases. So happy to be reading more thanks to the enlargement feature on the computers and readers.
      No, it’s difficult to imagine anything as old as those bones, although I must admit I often feel it. Must be quite a stir over there. Hope DH is okay. Off to the shower, Love ya, Sue

  20. Sue
    Judy doesn’t think she told the Dr about her coughing. Her memory or lack of really scares me. It has gotten worse of late. Pray nothing worse comes of it.
    As to you, of course I am praying for your solution. And for the biopsy. Had them pray for you at church as well. It is rough and difficult time for you.
    As for me, same old same old. Wish this weather would stabilize and it would make me feel better. Lots of pain in my ankles and knees. But today the warm up is starting !! YEAH ! . I go to clean a ladys house today. FIrst time so hopefully more to come.
    B. emailed me that he spent the entire day yesterday speaking with consulates in Strausburg and Paris. To naught ! He says he is not angry, just anxious. I told him to fly into Canada and I will pick him up, put him in a duffle bag and come across back home !! Haha !! It is the game of waiting that is ridiculous. So on we go.
    I have been using lots and lots of drops in my eyes and my vision problems have gone. However, I need to make an appointment for an eye exam. Just have to do it.
    Well, kiddoes, I am off and running , wel walking and driving, lol. Stay calm and focused and try not to blow up the house or fumigate Jim and George ! haha !
    Love ya

  21. Sue
    Thinking of you today and that you are ok
    Why oh why does it take such an effort for B to have to do,surely it’ll work out soon, it’s such a simple thing to happen ,yet it’s giving so many obstacles
    I’ve been having a cystitis thing again..quite bad.blood in urine along with all the other stuff
    So with the head cold as well…the sneezing an coughing ain’t helping!
    On antibiotics so fingers crossed

    • Chris and Tonie, oh dear. Chris,Those bladder infections are so miserable. I pray you are able to sleep. Vit. C, cranberry concentrate capsules every four hours with the antibiotic then probiotics for the antibiotic. How complicated those infections are, well, what isn’t these day. So sorry to hear this. I hope you are trying all of the above. I know how miserable a head cold can be for Sjogren’s patients so hope you are drinking a lot of fluids.

      Tonie, can’t believe this whole frustrating epic for you and B. How very frustrating. Canada sounds like a plan. What a full day you have planned. Hope you don’t do it all or you’ll be exhausted. I know…spring fever and all that. We are waiting for a nice dry day. More rain here all week. Hope Judy is still recovering.

      Thyroid biopsy yesterday was horrible, miserable, painful and long. Results were good. Pathologist was there in the room examining the needle fulls of tissue. All the samples they took, no cancer cells were seen…not one. She had a hard time getting the samples from the small needles they used. She said it was a colloid material, which is a gel like substance produced by the body, very thick. It’s complicated but basically seen with many rheumatoid diseases as the cells break down. They hit me with that needle 19-20 times counting the lidocaine they used superficially and deep to get the biopsies. I am dark purple with bruises from my chin down my neck. I couldn’t swallow half way through and we had to take a break. Hate to think how it would have hurt without the lidocaine. It was scary. It was all done under ultrasound. It was my Sjogren’s dryness after no drink for three hours plus the swelling or edema from all the trauma of the needles. The interventional radiologist is my favorite and very good and concerned because he had to go after four nodules on each side. He said he’d been doing this for 25 years and it was the most difficult one he ever did. There I go, being unique again. We stopped finally because of the preliminary results and my inability to swallow. Scared me. I drank four glasses of water and it helped. I was also in a bad position so they could reach my thyroid and neck bent back the whole time. Recovery prayers welcome…full week next. Love to both of you, Sue

      • Sue, I was praying for you, and Judy was too. I am glad it is over and glad there is nothing there. I can’t imagine how painful that would be. Hope you can rest and ice your neck tonight. We are praying. One part is answered already.
        Judy has, they think, gout in her hand. She called me about midnight last night to come stay with her. She wasn’t walk8ng good. She has hardly eaten, has lost 6lbs in a week. I told her she wasn’t going to get her strength back 7nless she eats. She got the cough pearls, and a doseage of meds for the Uric acid crystals. And they scheduled her for a chest X-ray, hand X-ray, and a pulmonary workup. Seems she worked with some stuff at the Arsenal that could cause lung problems. Good news her blood work was awesome.She loves this NP. She is a hoot, curses like a sailor. She has had the surgery that Judy needs, so they talked about that. Then down the mtn for apples and the plants were so beautiful, I got flowers and tomato plants . All on my porch til after frost danger. Then home to finish mowing. Rocky used my gas, so I couldn’t mow yesterday, and Judy’s mower quit on me. But it is done, and I am resting. Maybe I can go for a bike ride tomorrow. If this wind will slow down.
        Love ya

  22. Chris
    Poor girl, I pray you get some relief from all this stuff. One thing after another inint ?? I just got off the phone with B. He has been in contact with all the agencies and nothing they can do. He is again back to his daughter to get her lawyer to do something. If all fails he can come through Canada and cross the border with just his passport and drivers permit. It is not really illegal because his card is approved, just hasn’t been received and his paperwork is up to date. SO, we will see.
    Today is beautiful here and I have much to do. Starting with trash removal and getting water from the spring. Then I need to clean out the chicken shed (ugh) not my favorite job. And do some mowing, if I am up to it. Mine and Judys yards are in need.
    And I need to get going. Sue, you are in my prayers today for all to be well with you.
    Love to all

  23. Sue
    How horrible it all sounds
    The lady who owns the tearoom we go to had it done
    She was in hosp for three days and no work for two weeks.and she was weak and went about so shakily
    So she was in her late 30s. And she had to recover..so take care with gentle steps
    But, It is such good news that it is nothing to worry about…you must feel such a relief…and your family
    But all that time in that position it sounds all so painful and I would have been frightened too…awful

    My dd and her fiancé are in Rome for a few days and threw some coins in that fountain and have gone to see tosca tonite.she is staying in an apartment about 5 mins from the Vatican .
    I would love to go there..all that history.. it’s her fiancés 50th so they are celebrating there
    My bladder feels easier.it doesn’t feel like a lump of lead there ..still a way to go tho
    I’m on the probiotic yogurts the antibiotics called trimethoprim got them for 7 days

    Tonie I had to laugh at the “innit”
    I do wish it could be all more straightforward for B .its all so stupid
    Will you take care with all you are doing
    Any news on the expectant mum in the field there?

    Right I’m gonna have an easier night tonite also it’s great to know your result sue..just to get you better from it now

    • Chris, sweet relief that you are feeling better. Such an aggravation the bladder can be. It’s what I imagine guys with prostate trouble go through. Not familiar with that name of antibiotic. Always so different.
      Resting here. Believe me last night I took everything I could find for pain. Wearing my cervical collar helps strangely enough. I guess it sort of hold the trachea and cervical spine from moving too much.
      Kids in Disneyland, Jim is going over to check on things, like the cat, in and out. Talked to DD, having a great time. Weather down there cool but sunny.
      Wow what a trip for your daughter and her guy. Indeed, so much history there. Would be a wonderful trip for you and DH and his camera. Food probably fab also. Jim picked up our wedding gift for the GS who is getting married soon. Now to ship it to them. Back to my Kindle and my book. So out of it. Keep falling asleep. Thanks for your concern. Love ya for it, Sue

    • Chris
      Here we say “idnitl, but it is a grandchild of innit. Like lots of our sayings. Glad you are feeling better. Yeah, I’d like to go to Rome as well. And Greece. All that beautiful blue water, history, bet your dad is loving it.
      Sweetie is still got nothing going on one month overdue. But as long as she is eating and pooping, I will let her be natural. I think she is waiting on Daddy. Yes, I am taking care of me. Trying to rest more and feeling better. With the stress of Judy, B and all my chores, yeah I got to or I will be in flareup. The wind is bad, so hopefully I don’t feel like a big pile of 💩 poo tomorrow. Do take care. Going for scones tomorrow ? I think I will make those coconut ones.

      • Guess what I’m on a diet..so have to give the scones a miss.feel nauseous on the antibiotic..so taking advantage of it
        I haven’t made anything for ages must get down to It and try those scones
        Poor ol judy she has such a lot going on….but so do you and glad to see you resting

  24. I think it’s also known as Bactrim..
    Yes the swallowing must be sore after all that done
    Best to sleep if you can
    All that awful bruising too
    It all must be so blimmin uncomfortable although colourful !

  25. You keep being lazy there
    As for me..do you know I’m looking forward to tomorrow..mad or what
    Only going out for a scone…but without wanting the bathroom!

  26. Sue
    Hope things are calming down for you..but i imagine it’s all so sore and raw
    Gives temps still good for next week….maybe we can get away for the day
    I can imagine you sitting on that lovely porch and that view…..I wouldn’t need to ever leave there

    • Chris, Thanks for remarking about our little porch. Would love to sit out there today or yesterday even for rain and cold wind. My little plants I bought are still out in the rain shivering and longing for room to spread. Hope that was a good scone. We went out for dinner last night and hoped no one would comment on my mangled neck…they didn’t. Had crab cocktail and cup of chowder but where I went wrong was to bring home a piece of cream pie…much too rich. All things combined, bad night. Looks like I will be canceling my dental appt next week. Don’t want that dentist coming near my neck or throat.
      Hope DD and fiance still having a good trip in Italy or are they home by now? Our kids due home from Disneyland today. Jim just went to the kennel to pick up their pup. Take care of yourself and DH, love, Sue

      • No no not a dental appt….I would give it a wide miss
        DD still in Rome and a enjoying all the sites
        Glad you went out it would have done you good
        Nice weather here got all the garden sprayed for moss it gets in all the pavers…took ages .got a sore throat with the smell now!

  27. Morning all
    What a beautiful day already here in the mountains ! Been awake since 6 am, and tired, but okay I guess. I think after this cup of coffee I will load up the bike and take a ride down the trail. Then I have to plant some flowers in the bed at church. THen….I think some rest.
    Sue, I hope you are doing better today. I can bet it is really sore now, like the third day after sore. Then it should start getting easier. Be lazy and make Jim wait on you hand and foot !!
    Chris, eat your scone for breakfast, then diet for supper ! I hear my dog barking like crazy, so I must go see what vicious thing is in his yard.
    Love ya’all

    • Tonie..you sound like Heidi up there in the mountains!
      Did you ever read those stories I used to love them
      No I was good today for my diet ..I did go to the tearoom Friday but had a toasted sandwich .that did me for a main meal and just had some cheese and a cuppa soup at night
      Got a free day tommorow….but DH has now got my cold …so don’t think we will be doing much

    • Tonie, forgive me for being so slow in getting back to you. I knew there was much to comment on. First of all, I pray Judy is better today. SO much going on with her it’s a bit scary. Let us hope there is no residual from the job years ago. Last thing she needs is lung trouble. So sorry about the gout. So painful. Have a dear friend whose DH just got it in his elbow sounds like she needs to steer away from purine inducing food. Time to go online. Hope that cough clears up quickly. She must be too sore to want to eat and such low energy. Good to know her labs were good. Is it possible some of that weight is dehydration? Have her check the color of her urine, to keep it light. Dark is never good.

      I think B coming into Canada sound like a sound idea, if he has his letter saying all is well and he just doesn’t have his green card in his hand. What do you think happened to it? Do you think it was stolen or just screwed up by immigration services? How far are you from the Canadian border? How many hours? When you get your hands on that man…get married. I know you both want to and as the spouse of a US citizen, that will help his status. I can’t begin to imagine his and your frustration over this. I think you’re right, Sweetie is waiting for her Daddy. How long is too long for gestation of a horse?

      So how did the bike ride go today? Hope it was beautiful and your muscles enjoyed it. Very rainy here, still. Last night after an early dinner at our fav. fish restaurant, we stopped to gaze upon the huge U.S.S. Portland that is an amphibious Naval transport, crew of 400 that can hold up to 800 Marines and two osprey aircraft, hovercraft, vehicles and the first to be named after the largest city in Oregon. Guess there were two others but not named for this Portland. It looks so amazing and modern. It will leave today to go up to Portland to be commissioned, then return to it’s new home port…San Diego, CA. Our ports are always rendering something interesting. Five cruise ships due here in May.

      As far as this old gal, still purple down to chest, difficulty lifting neck and swallowing burping, etc. uncomfortable and dreaded. A nurse friend of mine pointed out on FB that it sounds like the walls of the esophagus got so dry and with my neck back like that, the walls stuck together. That is exactly what it felt like. Panic. I know I scared the doctors. I was so blessed to have the pathologist right there, working with each biopsy so got immediate results. So blessed they were negative but interesting they were full of collagen growth substance. There is never an end to my amazement about this whole subject of rheumatoid diseases.

      Well dear friend, I should be working on new blog for the weekend. Better move myself. Do take care and continue to have peace about all the many things going on in your life. Love, Sue

      • Sue
        Poor girl, I cannot imagine going through all that, but I also know how strong you are and determined to know about your health. Prayers for a quick recovery.
        I am a long ways from Canada, so he could actually drive across and book a flight to get the rest of the way here. I think it was a glitch in the system. Maybe they sent her the wrong number ? It has been a real mess, waiting almost a year for the replacement. But, it will get solved, but I hope sooner than later.
        No bike ride yesterday. The wind was terrible. I did get the flower bed at the church done, and mine here. Then took a nap, woke up with ankles, knees, wrists, elbows and shoulders throbbing. Barometric pressure I think. Having trouble with my right ankle hurting all the time. Joint of the day, I guess.
        Judy is doing a bit better, she says. Her hand is still hurting but swelling is almost gone. She fell again. Worries me so much. She bends straight over, and knows she will loose her balance.
        So rain and thunderstorms today, we need it. All this wind has dried out the topsoil so it is cracked. Cold tomorrow, thenback to normal temps. Hoping the last one.
        I saw where the ship was in port there, how interesting and a historic moment. Was Jim Navy or Army ? Prayers for all our soldiers and sailors who are deployed around the globe today.
        Well, breakfast time, then church.
        Love ya
        Ps send the blog when ready

  28. Hello, all, I finally had a moment to try to catch up on here. I’m sorry I don’t have time to write individual messages today, but know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. It has been a busy and stressful couple of weeks here. Kitchen reno (countertops and backsplash), preparations for and then a week of rehearsals and concerts, and some added stress with DD’s BF. I must do a little yoga, have some breakfast, then start preparing for our afternoon concert – final one! It’s been a very demanding and stressful time, and not all my body parts are happy about it, but I’m making it through, and I LOVE our kitchen! The only thing not new are the cabinets (the flooring, you may remember, we replaced a couple of years ago.) Next, start to explore new paint colors. My Mom wants me to pay someone to have it painted because it is such a large area. Not sure yet if I will entertain that idea or just commit to doing it myself as I can. Now, off to preparing my body for the challenge ahead. Tonight – a celebratory cocktail! I’ve earned it! Take care, all!

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