Monday, December 31, 2018

An uplifting NFL story

I used to be a big football fan... I haven't been for many years (has nothing to do with current controversies, just have interests in other areas). Anyway, I saw this film recently and I thought it was a neat story, thought you might enjoy it too...
What a beautiful family! I would like to hear how it works out allocating each child just one day of the week to talk....

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Bible Lens

The Bible app that we have on our phone is called YouVersion.
They sent an email today telling about a couple of other apps that I might be interested in... one is "Bible Lens" - it looks at the pictures that you have saved on your phone and recommends a Bible verse that might be appropriate with the picture.

I don't keep many pictures on my phone - I move them off to my computers pretty much on a daily basis... so there weren't many for the app to consider. One of them was a picture I had taken of the diesel fuel gauge on Miss Doozie - I was trying to determine how much diesel the AquaHot was using, and figured a photo would help me to remember where the gauge was on a particular day. That was one of the photos that Bible Lens chose to give a verse for:
It is kind of appropriate, right?

Saturday, December 29, 2018

A cat's purr

I found this story to be interesting!

Some quotes:
The study of cats’ behaviour and communication has lagged behind that of dogs, which are usually more willing participants, especially if there is a reward of food involved. But in recent years more light has been shed on the purr.
One hypothesis is that the purr is a powerful healing action. It’s thought that the vibrations from the activity are physically rejuvenating – a way for the cat to ‘heal’ itself after stress. The frequency of those vibrations – which range from 20Hz up to 150Hz – is thought to promote bone growth, as bones harden in response to the pressure. Other frequencies may do something similar to tissue.
And the purr may not just be of benefit to the cats themselves. Petting a cat has long been seen as a form of stress relief – cat ownership could cut the risk of stroke or heart disease by as much one-third. Those same frequencies cats purr at might also be doing good to us as well.
Dwayne needs to get back home to Miss Kitty so she can help him heal!
She is ready and waiting to help out! Or... at least to sleep!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Some additional pictures from Granny's house

Cousin Marty supplied some additional pictures with captions from Granny's house in Lakeside:
This is the backyard of that house. Building on left is the workshop. Their children purchased this house for them, when they moved from 3rd street.

Foundation for the kitchen and bathroom being added to house.

Cousin Susie contributed: I have fond memories of that house. I think one thing that stands out is both of them sitting in the dining room. Granny playing solitaire. And Grandpop drinking coffee.

I remember the house more when Granny lived there by herself... Grandpa died when I was 6, I think. I remember that Granny had a dish on her dresser that she put hair into when she pulled it out of her hairbrush or comb - if I remember correctly, the dish had a hole in the top into which you could poke the hair, and then the whole top came off to empty it. I don't know why she wouldn't have put it directly into the trash... maybe trash was burned and they didn't want to burn the hair? Or... maybe she used the hair for some other purpose...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Do any of my cousins remember?

Do any of my cousins remember this house?

This was the house that Granny and Grandpa Hunt lived in on Irisdale Avenue in Lakeside.
As I remember, my Mom told me that when they purchased the house, the ad in the paper said it was something like "three rooms and a path" - i.e. no indoor plumbing. If I remember correctly, Grandpa put in the bathroom and kitchen and did other additions to the house too. Grandpa was a carpenter - the building in the back yard, if it isn't the same building, is at least in the same spot as Grandpa's carpenter shop.

When I was driving Dwayne from the hospital over to the inpatient rehab center, I realized that we were not far from the neighborhood where Granny's house had been - so we drove by it last Friday. It was near dark when we went by there, so I went back by on another day to take this picture. I wasn't sure I would remember it, but it was definitely recognizable when I got there!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


Our family Christmas dinner was this evening (Wednesday) and I was able to participate (though Dwayne was not). It was so delicious and fun to be with family - especially cute grand-nephews....

Christopher enjoying mashed potatoes...

Joseph prepared for more gift unwrapping!
Family love!
We were sorry that Dwayne could not participate, but we're still trying to ensure that he is protected from as many germs/viruses as possible, so it was probably for the best.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Praying that you've had a blessed day celebrating the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ! We have had a blessed day!

Monday, December 24, 2018

The things you do for love....

A few weeks ago, I was at Walmart on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, picking up some things that we needed for the next few days at the hospital. I thought that was pretty crazy, but at least I didn't have to go on the Friday after Thanksgiving...

...instead, I went on Christmas Eve...
The wound care nurse at the inpatient rehab center recommended that we get "tights" to help to compress Dwayne's legs and encourage the swelling (fluid) to move back up his legs into his torso and be eliminated... she recommended running pants that I would be able to get at Walmart.

Did you know that Walmart closes at 6pm on Christmas Eve?
Did you know that about 2 million (give or take a few thousand) people are doing last minute shopping at 5:45pm on Christmas Eve?

Well... I certainly did not know either of those facts, but I can attest to them now! The picture was of the lines at the checkout registers when I entered the store. The best thing I can say is that I was not the last person in the store! People were friendly and happy and kind - so it was not a bad experience. But only for my sweet husband would I brave Walmart on Christmas Eve!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2018


I came back from the rehab center a little early this afternoon to get some laundry done and was happy to be able to have dinner with Jimmy and Regina.

Regina is in full-on baking mode!!!
These were completed earlier in the afternoon...

... and I helped by unwrapping the kisses and putting them into the "Peanut Butter Kisses Blossom" cookies!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

A sheep video...

When I was feeding the "teenager" cattle across the road one day, one of them got straddled across the feed trough. I am not certain how he/she did it, and he/she had a hard time getting loose from it, but eventually got off of the trough.

When I saw this video:
it reminded me of that event... this sheep could be having a good time, but I don't think it is... do you think its buddies are giggling?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Is it an exit, or is it not?

There are some doors here at the hospital that confuse me...
It is obviously a door, but the sign on it says, "NO EXIT".

Here's another one... at the bottom of the stairwell that I use to go down to the cafeteria.
The meaning, I think, is that these doors are not to be used to exit the building in the case of an emergency. The first one (glass) goes into an interior courtyard. The second (wooden) goes into an interior hallway on the first floor. Just before it in the short hallway from the stairs to this door is a glass door leading into an exterior courtyard, which has no marking on the door, and a red exit sign above it. But, when I see a sign that says "No Exit", I interpret it as "Don't go through this door." Of course, if that was the meaning, why have a door there?

Side note: it used to be in some IBM buildings, there were signs on some doors that indicated, "This door should always remain closed" (usually between a stairwell and office space). One of my colleagues, Warren, raised the question: "If the door should always remain closed, why did they put a door there? Why not just make it a wall?"

And another question: Twice since we've been in the hospital (once each stay) there has been a fire alarm set off. The first time I looked out into the hall and the nurse or tech that I saw said that it was probably a drill and the doors to the rooms all needed to be closed. I was considering that there was a big chair with wheels on it in the room and that I could at least wheel Dwayne to the stairwell, though I wasn't sure what I was going to do after I got him there...

The alarm last night happened at about 2:30am. It happened that Dwayne and I were already up because he needed to go to the bathroom... in fact, I thought maybe he had accidentally pulled the cord in the bathroom because the first I noticed was the light flashing and alarm sounding in the bathroom. Again the nurse told me that it was a drill. Can you imagine what that did to the sleeping of the patients? It seems a bad time for a drill....

When I've been in a building and it has had a fire drill, I always thought that the procedure was to treat it as an actual fire and exit the building. If there were an actual fire, how would we know? Would the proper procedure be to close the door to the hallway and hope for the best? I hope we don't find out...

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

And another kitty -- Timmy - part 2

I got a couple of more pictures of Timmy's curling up his tail...
They are unfortunately through the screen...

... but I think you can see his corkscrew curled tail!

Here's another shot...

... it certainly allows him to keep his tail clean even though he is long-haired and a primarily outdoor kitty!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Miss Kitty

I made a quick trip to the bus and sent Dwayne his expected picture of Miss Kitty.... When I told her that I was taking her picture to send to Dwayne, she walked right up to the camera...
So I got a bit more of a close-up than I had planned!
She misses her Dwayne, but we are SO thankful for Regina's time in feeding and watering and scooping for the girls.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Do you really have to include that warning?

I was reading the bottle of Ensure that Dwayne got...
... I think it is the same or similar to what can be purchased at the store...
Check out that last warning, "Not for IV Use" - oh my, is that warning really needed? Must be or they wouldn't have included it, I guess!
The interesting things you find when you read labels...

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A Sand Bed?

On Friday night, Dwayne was put onto a new bed in the hospital, one that the specialist who recommended it called a "sand bed". I'm not sure whether what he is on is actually a "sand bed", but it certainly has a lot of special capabilities!

Here is an article from way back in 1977 about the use of sand beds to reduce pressure points:

The specific bed that Dwayne was allocated is a Air Fluidized Therapy Bed - more information here:

Last night - Preparing the new bed - the part covered in white has air blowing up through it and I think that's the part that helps with pressure.

Another view of the bed before it was made up.

Last night, Dwayne looking at the new bed from the hospital bed he was in before transfer.

This morning, Dwayne sitting up in the new bed - reading some information on his phone. He is feeling SO much better!

Control panel for the bed - the temperature is set at 90F. The bed is in "therapy mode" - it can also be set in "surface transfer" or "side transfer" which harden the surface to make it easier to move the patient.
We are blessed to have technology providing solutions that help in preserving and improving health!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

I get links to some of the oddest blogs... here's one:
Cat people are more neurotic? Really? I can't believe that someone would write such a thing about cat people!!! (just kidding... I'm trying to act neurotic!)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Juniper tar and horehound drops

Yesterday, Dwayne's nurse tried crushing some of the myriad of pills that Dwayne is taking and putting them in applesauce to make it easier to get the medicine down... rather than Dwayne needing to swallow a bunch of pills. Unfortunately, the medicine is very bitter, so it made a bitter powder on top of applesauce that the flavor of the applesauce could not combat.

This reminded me of my Granny giving me juniper tar on a teaspoon of sugar when I was very little - probably under 5 years old. I mentioned this to the nurse and he was wondering what it was used for... I don't remember why Granny gave it to me, I just remember that I thought, "Wow, Granny is going to give me a teaspoon full of sugar, that's going to be great!" and then getting the juniper tar on top of it and... well... it wasn't so great! The sugar couldn't overcome the nasty flavor of the juniper tar.

Dwayne's nurse googled juniper tar and the current medical application is externally for skin conditions, not to be taken internally. Obviously, Granny didn't read the internet...

I did some additional searching, and found a blog entry that had information about how other moms and grannys had used juniper tar:
It seems that it was used for colds and coughs... some people mentioned (and I kinda remember this) that you got better quickly cuz you didn't want another dose!
There is evidently a bottle of it at the Smithsonian (not currently on display):

Thinking about that remedy reminded me of other home remedies... specifically, overnight I was sucking on a cough drop (the air is so dry that I feel like I need to cough, but I don't think it is related to any sickness) -- and I remembered that Mom would keep horehound drops for us to use as cough drops.
I still think of horehound drops as medicine, not candy!

I was trying to think of other remedies that we used when I was a kid - Dad used to bring wild daisies and Mom would make a tea that she would put onto poison ivy breakouts on my skin. I dabbed calamine lotion and corn starch on chicken pox to relieve the itching. I still use camphor ice as lip balm (you can buy it on Amazon). Vick's Vapor Rub on the chest with a tee shirt over top of it.

I don't remember ever getting castor oil or goose grease, though I have heard of them being used as home remedies.

I wonder if these simpler solutions were better than what is in use today....

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Does that giraffe have a coat on?

Just down the hall from the oncology wing where Dwayne's room is this week, there is a courtyard with statues of two elephants and a giraffe.

I noticed that the snow made a covering on the giraffe that looked like a custom-made giraffe-coat!

It even has a nice "belt" around the front!
I don't think giraffes in their native environment would ever encounter snow!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A ride on a sled!

While I was at the bus picking up some things today, I thought I heard my great-nephews outside. I peeked out, and they were getting a sled-ride courtesy of their daddy!

They seemed to be having a big time!
But it seemed like daddy was doing a lot of work!
Lots of mud around at the farm... but the driveway was pretty clear from snow and ice!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A snowy day

It started snowing sometime in the morning and has snowed all day...
about 10:30am - could still see some of the grass. Sorry for the water on the windshield, I didn't want to go outside to take a picture... and the silver thing to the left is the temperature barrier that we put in the windshield to keep a little of the cold from coming through the glass.

About 2:40pm
It has continued to snow all afternoon... I had to drive the Jeep to the pharmacy so can't judge by the amount of snow on it anymore... It is pretty, but makes doing almost anything much more challenging!

Saturday, December 8, 2018


While the home health folks have been visiting us, they have mentioned Dispatch Health - something like a minor urgent care clinic that comes to your home. It is available in limited areas at this time (and the one in the Richmond area does not service out to New Kent, where we are), but it definitely sounds like an interesting option for folks who are in the coverage area. It seems to me it would be particularly good if you have something like flu symptoms - instead of going to a place where you would share those germs with lots of others, get the diagnosis and care at home. And it would also be good for folks like Dwayne whose immune system is compromised, so they don't come in contact with a bunch of sick people.

You can read more here:

Friday, December 7, 2018

Operation Magic Carpet

Since today is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 8 marks the anniversary of the United States declaring war against Japan, and December 11 against Germany, I thought this might be timely.

I recently was reading the story of "Operation Magic Carpet", the effort to bring all WWII service men and women home by Christmas 1945. I found it fascinating - here is one version of the information:

Thursday, December 6, 2018


We headed to the local Love's Travel Center to get fuel and dump today. When we arrived, there were trucks in all the diesel lanes, and an additional truck waiting in many of the lanes. I found a lane where there was only the truck that was currently fueling and stopped behind it. The next lane over (the most inside lane) had just one truck in it and no one waiting. It had markers that indicated that it was a "TirePass" lane.
I didn't get a very good picture, but there was a Love's employee checking the air pressure and airing up the tires. He had 4(!) air nozzles so he could fill all 4 of the tires on the back at the same time!
No one else came up to get behind the truck in the TirePass lane, and it happened to leave before the truck in front of me, so I pulled over and went in the TirePass lane.

Well, it turns out, that lane is only for folks who are taking advantage of the TirePass service... The fellow who had been doing the service had gone into the store when I decided to pull in -- he told Dwayne after I had left to go into the store to pre-pay for our fuel that we weren't eligible to be in that lane, but that it was okay, he would let us go ahead and fill up our fuel there. When we finished up, he put a barrier down so another errant soul would be prevented from pulling into the lane to fuel unless they were getting the TirePass service.
I didn't ask whether we would be eligible to get the TirePass service on Miss Doozie or whether it is just for trucks. When we are traveling and need to air-up our tires, if they would check all the tires and air up any that are low for $5, I think it could be cost effective to do that instead of using the "pay for air" pumps.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Calibrating torque wrench

I was looking at pictures that I had not yet posted and found these... while we've been in Virginia, we re-torqued the lug nuts... Jimmy suggested that it might be appropriate to get the torque wrench calibrated to ensure that it is correctly measuring the torque.
Amazing - Jimmy found that there was a shop that would perform this service just a couple of miles away!

It passed as the values were within tolerance.

Additional information on the standards that they use.

I think they normally only check 120, 300, and 600 ft-lb, but since we specifically torque at 450 ft-lb, they added a check for that. You can see the reference value, what tolerance values are for below and high, and what they found on our wrench.
Always fun to learn new stuff! I can't say I understand everything about this, but, getting your equipment checked to make sure that its results are within specification is valuable!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


Dwayne was released from the hospital today - Hallelujah!
This is what it looks like to be wearing real clothes and sitting in a car seat!

At the bus!

Miss Kitty is helping Dwayne take a nap - he didn't need much help...

Monday, December 3, 2018

Duke and Deuce

Right now, there are two Hereford bulls on the farm. For most of the year, they hang out together...
Deuce and Duke were just behind the house, about to check out if there was anything good thrown out in the garbage. Since they grew up together, and since they are Herefords (generally a more placid breed), they seem to get along well with each other, at least if there are no cows around...
When I was back at the farm yesterday, it appeared that they are now each in separate pastures, each with some of the cows, each getting to do his "job" for a few months.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Out and about!

Dwayne was out in the hallway walking today!
Dwayne and I both think that the physical therapist looks a lot like me from the back! The bright pink belt that she has around Dwayne's waist that she is using to steady him is a hint that it isn't Patti!
In the afternoon, I went back to the bus and one of my to-dos was to change the sheets on the bed... the cats were ensconced on the bed, and the fact that I needed to get the sheets off and then put clean ones back on did not concern them whatsoever!
"Whaddya mean, we should get up?"

"You haven't been here, it's OUR bed now!"

Though Tabitha is looking "disgustipated", in reality, she is looking at a lump under the covers that is moving - that would be Miss Kitty!
Neither of them got off the bed! What lazy kitties! Spoiled rotten!


One of the ministries that I have followed for a number of years is Amazima -- a ministry started by Katie Davis Majors 10 years ago in Uganda. I have been reading her blog for a long time, got her book, Kisses From Katie (a compilation of stories from her blog) when it came out, and then participated on the launch team of her latest book, Daring to Hope.

Amazima has been doing some special events to honor their 10 year milestone. I found one recently, and thought I would share with you:

Then I watched this one and laughed along as the dog and chickens and monkeys and other birds "helped" with the video!

Saturday, December 1, 2018


When I was at the farm a few days ago, I tried to get some pictures of Ricky and Kendra's cat, Timmy, who had come over to visit.
Timmy is a big orange fluffy kitty - here he is getting some cat food on the deck. What I find so interesting about him is his tail carriage. He rolls it up over his back like a Husky or Akita dog!

Unfortunately I have not been able to get any good pictures of him with his tail curled over his back...

... but you can probably tell that it isn't up in the air like many cats would be...

Heading out toward the barn to see if anything good to be found there!
Being so fluffy, and since he seems to love to be in undergrowth hunting, his tail would get full of burrs and stuff if he carried down, but since he curls it over his back, it stays pretty clean!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Some pictures from this week...

A random collection of pictures - most from the hospital...
Someone had said to me that Dwayne's room looks out onto the "Chapel Courtyard" - I hadn't noticed it when we were on 3rd floor, but can see it better from his room on the cardiac floor (2nd). I walked by it one day this past week and took some pictures - above picture shows the inside...

Some of the stained glass in the vestibule area outside the chapel.

Dwayne sitting up in the chair in his room - even while his heart rate was very high, he would try to sit up in the chair for a bit of time each day.

On a visit to the bus, my obligatory picture to send to Dwayne of Miss Kitty. She wonders where "her Dwayne" is!

Starting yesterday, we have this sign on the door...

... and these hanging next to the door.
His neutrophil count is low (expected reaction to the chemotherapy) - at this point we have to be super-vigilant to ensure that he does not come in contact with anyone who is sick.

When Dwayne went for the TEE and cardioversion, he had to take any jewelry off... so I was wearing his wedding band as well as my own rings.
If you want more information on Dwayne's medical journey, I am documenting it on his CaringBridge page: