Friday, November 16, 2018

Nothin' like a swift kick in the hip!

Diagnosis update: Dwayne got taken down early on Friday for the bone marrow biopsy. They thoroughly numbed his lower back area and gave him something in his IV to "calm" him... he fell asleep and didn't realize they had completed it! He said he asked them 3 times if they were sure that it was done!

The doctor who did the procedure said that Dwayne would probably feel like he had backed hard into a table by Saturday. At 4pm on Friday afternoon he is still not feeling pain. He is able to get up and "pole dance" his way to the bathroom without any trouble.

I was hoping we would have definitive results today, but the process of examining the tissue takes 24-48 hours. So, now we are praying for definitive results on Monday.

In the meantime, they plan to provide him with a unit or two of blood to try to improve his hemoglobin.

We appreciate all the prayers and well-wishes. Dwayne is still feeling amazingly well (all the care providers are continually surprised at how well he is doing).

Thursday, November 15, 2018

A new skill?

First: no diagnosis today. The blood did make it to the analysis lab, but the results were inconclusive. So, on Friday, Dwayne is scheduled for a bone marrow biopsy. We were hoping it could get scheduled today, but because he had already had breakfast, the lab was not comfortable with having him partially sedated. We are hoping and praying that they will take him early for the sample and that it will be able to be analyzed on Friday.

Now, a story: While here in the hospital, Dwayne is attached to an IV getting Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) in a Dextrose (sugar) solution. (We have discussed that he would prefer to consume his baking soda and sugar in some kind of baked goods instead!)

Any time he gets up, he takes his IV pole with him.
Here he is taking a loop around the halls with his good friend "Pole".
He has been taking walks multiple times a day to keep active. The Care Manager stopped by on Wednesday and said that each day spent in bed results in about a week of recovery time needed! So... he is intent on staying active as much as possible!

The funny thing is that the IV tubing seems intent on getting wrapped around him. When he gets ready to get back in bed, he has become quite adept at spinning one way or the other to get the tube unwrapped from around him. I was telling my sister-in-law this and she commented about his new skill of "pole dancing"!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Some pictures from the hospital...

First: no news on diagnosis today. The blood work that was supposed to be sent out yesterday and the results that were supposed to be returned today did not happen... so now we're waiting for tomorrow!

Oh - and the other conditions that they mentioned could cause the symptoms that Dwayne is exhibiting (besides alcoholism and HIV infections) would also include people who consume moonshine or antifreeze! I have quizzed Dwayne about whether he has been making moonshine and drinking it or antifreeze on the sly... but he says no!

A couple of pictures from today:
Dwayne was toasting me with hummus on a pretzel cracker! I think he looks better today, and we did a couple of laps around the hallways today. The doctor indicated that his bloodwork has not improved though... he did get a good night's sleep last night so we believe that has helped!

This is a picture of the symbols on the side of the blood pressure cuff that is assigned to Dwayne (it is a "reusable" object so he has kept it with him from when he was first in the triage in the ER on Monday). When I first saw it in the triage area, I was trying to figure out what those symbols for #7 and #6 were... I thought #7 was for a cat!
Ok... a closer look shows a crawling child for #7... and I guess #6 is a small baby, but Dwayne and I both think it looks like a teapot or a tea cup or a genie's lamp!
More updates when we know something more about Dwayne's medical condition!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

When you squeeze oranges...

When you squeeze oranges, you get orange juice.
When you squish a bug, you get "bug juice".
When you smash a watermelon, you get the red meat of the watermelon.
What comes out is what is inside.

What happens when you, a human, gets squeezed, squished, or smashed? What comes out is what is inside.

This morning, I was sitting here in the bus, listening to my sweet Dwayne in the hospital via the phone as he communicated with various people. I had talked to him earlier in the morning on the phone, and evidently his phone "bed dialed" me when they transferred him to the transport bed for tests a little while after we had hung up. I figured he was calling me back and answered, but could hear other things going on in the background so decided to wait to see if he intended to call. It was a great way for me to go along with him to the ultrasound test!

What I heard was this sweet man being kind and loving towards all those who are caring for him - exactly what I am blessed to experience every day. What's inside of him is kind and loving - Jesus living inside of him.

The medical update for today: Lots and lots of blood draws today. If I understand correctly, the issues that they are seeing in the blood don't make sense with each other and with Dwayne's condition. Several medical professionals who came into his room today said, "You are looking a lot better than your blood work would lead me to believe!" One doctor said that the characteristics of his blood work would be expected in a longtime alcoholic, or someone who is HIV positive, or other very serious chronic conditions. Dwayne doesn't fit.

There are still more tests to be run. The last doctor that we saw today (he described himself as the "GP" as opposed to the specialists who had been by earlier) indicated that Dwayne would probably be in the hospital for at least 3-4 days as they continue to diagnose. It is likely that there will be a bone marrow extraction (biopsy? I can't remember the word) on Wednesday.

Prayer requests: restful sleep for Dwayne, wisdom for the doctors

Monday, November 12, 2018


Dwayne was admitted to the hospital in Mechanicsville, near Richmond, VA, this afternoon. He has been feeling weak and exhausted, and was looking jaundiced. Turns out that he is anemic and other blood concerns, so a hematologist will see him on Tuesday and, God willing, we will find out what is causing the issues. The ER Dr said he is an "interesting case" - I think this is a time when being "uninteresting" would be preferable... But God knows what is going on and we are praying for the doctors and care professionals here. We would appreciate y'all's prayers.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018

More progress on the roof

Saturday was another workday on the roof at Jimmy and Regina's church.
One group started taking the old shingles off on the east side of the roof,

While another team started putting the new metal sheets on the west side.

The sheets were prepared before being handed up to the folks on the west side...
Preparing the sheet:

The first sheet of metal took a while to ensure that it was in place correctly - under the edge strip and straight.
Here's a video of supplying the metal sheet to the folks on the roof: - it was quite the process with everyone working together! 

Meanwhile folks on the other side were making good progress on removal.

Folks signed the back of one of the metal sheets to signify their participation in the project!

It was great to participate with folks with all different skills and abilities!

This was just after lunch - a lot of the roof on the west side has been covered with the new material.
The roof looks really good!
Progress on the west side (new material) got almost to the valley where the decision was made to stop for the day and to move to the east side to work on repair.
East side

I was up on the roof on the east side pulling staples remaining from the old roof - SO many staples! Nephew Ricky was part of the team working on replacing some bad pieces of plywood.

Finishing for the day - covering the roof with a large tarp.

Ashby is holding down the tarp until the ballast to hold it down could be applied.
Work is progressing!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Last evening's clouds

I was going through pictures from my phone - I took this one on Thursday at 4:44pm...
I never know if the picture will show up as gorgeous as the reality - this is pretty close!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Wisdom from the dentist's office

I got my teeth cleaned at a dentist's office close to the farm here in Virginia, and I thought these signs that I saw there had good advice!

Thoughts for your day!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Cows in the morning...

On Wednesday morning, I was heading out to a dentist appointment...
... I noticed the cows in the slight fog under the cedar trees across the road...
...they were spread out relatively evenly... I just thought it was pretty and peaceful!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Did you know? It's election day!

Boy howdy! I think you'd have to be living under a rock to miss the fact that Tuesday is/was election day! I am certainly looking forward to no longer having political ads pop up on the computer, on the TV, everywhere I look!

I saw this article today - too late to impact for today, but I'm hoping I remember to come back and review its suggestions the next time an election comes around:

One of my favorite statements, "Seek to persuade, not pulverize."

Monday, November 5, 2018

It's hard being the new kid in class...

... or the new chicken in the chicken yard!

A friend of Jimmy and Regina's had chickens that they wanted to re-home, so she brought her chickens to the chicken yard here...
Some of the new ones -- the greyish colored one is (I think) a Lavender Orpington.

The one to the right with a naked neck is a Turken (

The one in the foreground with the tufts under her beak is an Ameraucana. It seems that they will lay light blue eggs ( - though no proof of that yet from these... moving to a new location and dealing with being in a new environment has not done great things with egg production.

For the first couple of days, there wasn't much mingling between the "new" chickens and the ones that have been around for a while (seen in the background of this picture). But, the roosters from the "new" flock, along with some of the hens, went to Kendra's chicken yard across the field, and it seems that there is starting to be a bit more peace in the chicken yard here.
It's hard being the new one, whether a kid in class, or a chicken in the chicken yard!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Making the roof rain-tight

The area where we are in Virginia has had SO much rain this year (it is about 17" over normal or about 25% high), and it continues to rain here every few days... so the roofing project at the church that was started yesterday needed to be "buttoned" up a little in preparation for predicted rain starting on Monday.
The side of the fellowship hall roof that is covered with underlayment (since I didn't get an "end-of-day" picture on Saturday evening, I took this when we went to church in the morning).

Scaffolding up on the side of the fellowship hall for Sunday afternoon to get the trim pieces in place.

Jimmy checks the documentation to ensure the plan is correct.

Putting up trim piece on the eaves.

Pre-drilling the holes

Nephew Ricky on the scaffolding

Jimmy on the roof above him

Removing the plastic covering that protected the trim material during shipping - likened to peeling sunburned skin or dealing with a roll of Saran Wrap that has gone awry.

Pre-drilling the pieces to go on the gable ends.

Once the first pieces went up, the plan was set and the work proceeded smoothly.

Jimmy and Dubby are working on the gable end pieces.

Ashbee made it up on the roof (she is raising her arms in celebration).

Since it is now standard time, the end of the day came early -- the needed tasks to make the roof weather-ready had gotten completed. Discussion about when the next part of the project will be done (putting the metal roofing material up). It not only needs to not be raining, but also the underlayment surface needs to be dry - current forecast implies that Saturday might be a possibility... but the weathermen here are just as predictably incorrect as anywhere else!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Happy return to standard time!

I usually am not much of a proponent of "standard" time, that is, the condition that is *not* daylight saving time... I prefer daylight later in the day and would just as soon that we were always on a schedule that had the hours of the day shifted so that the sun rose and set at later clock hours... but today I'm happy that we'll get an extra hour of sleep time overnight -- today Dwayne and I helped out at Jimmy and Regina's church where they were working on replacing the roof over the fellowship hall portion of the building. It was quite a project... Dwayne and I took a few pictures and a couple of videos during the day - you can see some of them here: YouTube video of Roofing project

Anyway... we will appreciate the extra hour of sleep this night!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Pretty trees

Just outside the fence around the pasture on the other side of the road is a stand of (what I think are) birch trees...
In the afternoon sun...
... I think they are so pretty!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

A caution....

Dwayne was away from the farm on Tuesday, and I got a text message that a debit card from our bank had been locked with a phone number to call. I texted Dwayne to see if he had had any problems with his debit card, and he had not... and then I remembered that I have a separate debit card from the bank. I went to the bus and checked to make sure that I had it in my possession (it was in my wallet), and then I called the number on the back of the card.

Turns out that the SMS message was phishing (or "smishing" is a term for using SMS text messages for this purpose). If I had looked closely, I would have seen that the "From" address for the text message was definitely questionable. Thankfully, I called the number on the back of the card... I was tempted to call the number that came through on the text message... it would have been easier than keying in the phone number on the card... if I had, it is possible that I would have inadvertently divulged information to the "smisher".

It struck me as interesting that this happened when Dwayne was away for the day... If he had been right with me (which is usually the case), there would have been a quick conversation, probably immediately recognizing that the text was phishing for information. But, on my own, I immediately thought that maybe it was a real situation where he might be having difficulty and that I may need to do something on my end... and thankfully did not do something rash.

Just a reminder to friends... don't call a number that is sent to you in a text unless it is coming from a source that you know and trust.  Don't click on a website link within an email or blog entry -- or make sure that the website that the link is going to open is correct. It is easy to create a link that looks like it would be good that actually takes you somewhere else...  For example, I created this one to fake you out:  -- It looks like you'd be opening a Walmart site, but in fact, it will open a Target site. On most browsers, if you hover over the link, it will show you the site that it is going to open if you click the link -- I was just checking and with the browser I am currently using (Firefox), it shows the site in the lower left corner of the window. It is frustrating that we need to make these kinds of checks, but, is unfortunately the case!