Archive for December, 2013

Vegas sunset

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013


Here’s yesterday’s sunset in Las Vegas. I like it here. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken from our master bathroom window, and part of my famous Las Vegas series.

Happy New Year! 2013 was not our very best one. In fact, I suppose it was our very worst one. The highs were sweet but brief and the lows were deep and bitter, but also mercifully brief. Mostly, it was just a long, hard slog and it’s nowhere near over.

But that’s okay. I’m mostly filled with gratitude for the good things. My relationship with and appreciation for LRN4 have grown tremendously. My sense of “aliveness” has become sharp. I’ve learned how to care for someone in at least a few ways. I’ve felt a renewed love from and for my family. I’ve been financially secure enough to be able to devote essentially my full time and effort to my wife and her care. I’ve learned to let go just a little bit and accept whatever is coming to me. And I’ve learned that I can be happy no matter what.

I’m learning how to live and to love. And I’m grateful for that. Maybe 2013 wasn’t all that bad after all.

Yes, it actually was all that bad. Fervent hope: 2014 will be much better. LRN4 will get into a durable remission. And we’ll live happily ever after.

LRN4 is still in the hospital and will be there for the foreseeable future. Her flu/pneumonia appeared to be greatly improving a couple days ago. They took her off the oxygen. We were a day away from coming home. And then her lungs filled up, her blood oxygen level plummeted, and her heart rate spiked. They stuck the oxygen mask back on and turned it way up and things started getting better again. As of tonight, she’s down from 100% to 50% oxygen, but she can’t go more than a few seconds without it before her oxygen drops below the safe level. Makes it a bit difficult to eat dinner, but she’s struggling along.

We passed a pleasant evening at the hospital playing Gin tonight. Lots of fun.

And that’s it for this year. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: turkey home-invasion specialist!

Christmas tree

Friday, December 27th, 2013


Here’s the giant Christmas tree at the hospital where LRN4 is currently staying, as viewed from the third floor. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken during LRN4’s hospital stay here in Las Vegas earlier this month, and part of my famous Architecture, Las Vegas, and Medical series.

Not that I wouldn’t have another opportunity to take pictures of that tree. As predicted yesterday, LRN4 is in the hospital again. She’s been determined to have Influenza A and pneumonia and they’re treating her accordingly. She reports that she’s already starting to feel better.

I’m feeling a bit better also, but I’ve been really, really sick for a few days. I didn’t go to the hospital today because of it, which I truly regret, but which was unfortunately essential. We spoke this evening via FaceTime, but it wasn’t the same as being there. I’m fervently hoping to be well enough to go over there tomorrow, at least for a while. It’s our thirty-fifth anniversary and I really want to be together.

If it’s not wise for me to be there, we’ll be together later, of course. I’ve missed our anniversary once, when I spent the entire Christmas week in Baikonur, and we lived to tell the tale. But I really want to be together anyway.

We had plans to go out tomorrow evening. Canceled, but will be rescheduled.

LRN1 and his girlfriend were supposed to arrive today and go home on the 31st. Canceled. Will hopefully be rescheduled in 2014. So sad.

LRN5 and her family go home tomorrow. Also so sad. Their visit has been a really good one, in spite of the fact we all felt terrible most of the time. Come back again soon, Loyal Readers!

Nothing else going on right now, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: psychic crocodile!

See you on Monday.

Christmas card

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013


Here’s a copy of the Christmas card we sent to family and a few close friends. This one went to LRN23. Or at least it tried to go to LRN23. The post office didn’t think he lives in his house and they sent it back to us. So I took this picture and texted it to him. And now my Loyal Readers get to see it too! Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPh0ne-cam, taken in our living room yesterday evening right where I’m sitting now, and part of my famous Las Vegas series.

Merry Christmas! We had a nice quiet day. Pretty much all of us are feeling sick, which is a very, very bad thing for LRN4. We’re going to see our doctor tomorrow morning, and my guess is that we’ll be going to the hospital shortly afterward. LRN4’s temperature has been swinging between about 99 degrees and 104. That latter number is very, very bad. I think we’re in some trouble here. Tomorrow’s visit will tell the tale.

Otherwise, it was a great day. We had some great meals, including a turkey with all the trimmings. LRN5 and Clifford did a whole bunch of that work and Clifford made us an excellent breakfast too. Thanks, Loyal Reader and non-Loyal Reader!

Talked with a whole bunch of my family members – both parents and my brothers. LRN16 spoke with LRN4 and I’ll make sure to call LRN8 tomorrow. All in all, it was a nice Christmas.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: Ozzy Osbourne-started bacon house fire!

iPad unboxing

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013


Here’s LRN4 finally unboxing her new iPad. That’s LRN2 there in the background. My Loyal Readers may recall we bought it about a month and a half ago and she bravely refused to open it until Christmas. Even though it’s not technically Christmas yet, we opened our gifts yesterday, before LRN12 left for her other grandparents’ house for a couple weeks.

It’s going to be a bit of a quiet Christmas, though, what with us having no presents to open. We’ll work around it, though, and have a great day.

The season has been great so far. The Loyal Readers arrived late Saturday night as scheduled. We’ve had a great time together. LRN4 spent all day on Sunday at the hospital getting red cells and platelets, so we spent the day pretty much hanging around and chatting. Clifford was feeling a bit sick that day, so he kept to himself. LRN5 started feeling sick Monday. She’s been in isolation since then. By this evening, she was starting to feel a bit better, but she’s still not back up to snuff. Very sad for our wonderful guests.

We had dinner with our in-laws tonight. They had invited their local missionaries to eat as well. One of them turned out to be the daughter of some good friends and neighbors from Virginia. What a surprise! She seems to be doing well and enjoying her time in Las Vegas. Had a nice time at the get-together too.

And that’s about it for this beautiful Christmas Eve. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking holiday food violence news: gingerbread village showdown!

See you tomorrow.

Be smart

Friday, December 20th, 2013


Here’s a warning to all people everywhere. Call a nurse for help, for crying out loud! Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken this past Sunday at the St. Rose hospital during LRN4’s recent incarceration there, and part of my famous Las Vegas and Medical series.

Yes, in an incredible development, I’ve added my new famous Medical series. I think I’ll be able to make some use of it.

We’re back from Texas. As discussed previously, it didn’t turn out the way we had hoped. However, we did learn that her current treatment regimen is effectively keeping her in remission while we wait for the next curative treatment. Here’s what I put on Facebook this morning:

<LRN4> and I are home in Las Vegas! Our flight last night was delayed by an hour, so we landed at about 12:30 this morning. <LRN2> arrived to pick us up at exactly the right moment and everything went very smoothly. The flight was comfortable and everything at home was perfect. Thanks, <LRN2>!

We’re disappointed that our visit to MD Anderson didn’t get us on the path to the cure we were looking for, but it was great getting away together for a few days.

Shannon’s still in remission as long as she gets frequent chemo and life is good. <LRN5>,  <non-loyal-reader son-in-law>, and our great little granddaughter <LRN12> arrive tomorrow and the Christmas season starts for real!

What beautiful prose! I’m quite sure all my Loyal Readers agree with me on that.

We had a pretty good day today. LRN4’s doctor suggested she delay resuming chemo until after the holidays. She appears to be up for that, so that’s what we’re doing. It’ll be nice to have her home all day most days. She’ll still be going to her twice-weekly doctor appointments and she has red blood cells and platelets to get on Sunday and possibly later in the week, of course. But otherwise, she’ll be at home.

Speaking of at home, the Loyal Readers start arriving tomorrow evening! We can’t wait. LRN12 leaves to visit her other grandparents on the 24th. More Loyal Readers arrive on the 27th. The first Loyal Readers leave on the 28th. Then the last group of Loyal Readers leaves on the 31st. Because LRN12 has to leave here on Christmas Eve, we’re thinking of opening presents a day early. Because LRN1 and his sweetie leave on the 31st, we’re thinking of celebrating New Year’s Eve a day early. One of the things we learned during my years in Kazakhstan is that the important thing about a celebration is who’s there with you, not what day you have it.

Anyway. The Christmas season is underway. The presents are wrapped, the decorations are up, the house is clean, and we’re rested and ready.

Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year! It’s all uphill again from here for the next six months. I’m looking forward to later afternoons again.

I checked the water in the spa this afternoon.  Sadly, I had neglected it for two weeks and there was some algae in there. I drained it immediately. I’ll clean out the tub tomorrow, refill it and heat it back up.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: imitation butter bludgeoning!

See you on Monday.