Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunshine, Shadows, and Snow!!

Two days worth of photos. Snow, sunshine, moving snow, feeding birds, and snow. The second fall was on JaLeen's birthday! Lucky girl. 🎂

Birthday Snow!! 

 moving snow from septic pipes, just in case!!!

 Sunset on JaLeen's Birthday- Even the sky celebrated!!

Winter is truly one of the most gorgeous seasons. Sky fire and ice and crystals fracturing into rainbows across a white background. Black trees writing calligraphy on snow and sky wearing delicate filigrees of lace on their branches. 

north again

We almost didn't arrive in ANC. The pilot took two runs to get us to the tarmac. Many of us clapped! Anchorage was foggy all day on Monday (this photo is from T). A very helpful Mya gave me several hotel choices and we ended up at the Inlet Towers. Mum was able to rest a bit before we needed to check in for the surgery.  

 Mum really liked this pillow blanket. It is plastic and is hooked up to a heater hose. The cells fill with warm air and the whole thing is covered with a light blanket. They only use it in the prepping room.
Mum's surgery took a bit. The most marvelous Dr. Luke put a pain pump inside of her. The bits below are the remote pieces. You place the flat piece or the meter looking piece on top of where the pump resides and it will give mom a dose of meds. The pump has meds inside it and is constantly giving her a steady low dose, the remote just gives her a boost when she needs it. We will go back up after a bit for Dr. Luke to re-calibrate it and give her the ok. He was really pleased with how well she came thru the surgery, how fast she's healing, and her strong character. 

On the way back, Susie sat with mom and I got to sit on the opposite side of the plane in a window seat!!! Very fun, I rarely see the 'other side' of the inlet. 

When we got back, I found a box waiting for me! Christmas from Steve and Jon. (and a card from Wayne and Liz in GA) Sparkly dangly earrings and Amazon and test strips. Hoooray!!! (also a couple of envelopes sent to Oregon instead of AK, because OR is my address!) 

It was a successful trip up and we are both glad to have those flying visits done for a while. The next appointment should be a one day up and back thing. Not sure when, though--

Friday, February 09, 2018

A Country Mouse Goes to the City and Back

Mum and I went to Anchorage fully expecting mum to get a nerve block shot. (The entire medical field around pain management is incredibly fascinating. These dermatomes are so important and act like magic when they are manipulated.) The doctors opted to prep mom for a pain pump (also by medronics). So, Monday we spent the afternoon at the office and retired to stay at the Coast International. 
We ate in the dining area where mum was able to watch hockey. We had very filling dinners. Mum was pretty tired and got on her jammies soon after getting back to our room. Unfortunately, the games were NOT on channels available. Mum was slightly put out. 

 Tuesday morning, we took a taxi to the office and mum was given a trial injection in preparation for the pain pump. They were moving fast since they knew we had to travel back and forth. While in the waiting room I watched these guys tend the real plants (I had thought they were fake!) and a lovely lady musician from Tennessee (I think) host a cooking show.

 Mum's pain went from 7 to 0 in just an hour (when mum feels she is at a 7, that is about 14 for me). We finally were able to leave and head back to the hotel and lunch. Mum had gotten her injection about 10 and we left just before noon. It was snowy and lovely!
 I went for a walk on Tuesday night. The hotel is not in an accessible spot. I walked on the side of the road til I found cleared sidewalks. When I was on my way back, I figured I could walk on the sidewalks all the way around. Nope, didn't work!!!
 Path I was walking on til I realised it wasn't going where I wanted to go. I set off through the clean unbroken snow and managed to get back to where I had started from.

 Our last morning at Pipers, I had chicken and waffles. I have always read about this meal in old fashioned stories. It was really good, but I do wonder if the chicken in the books were tenderloins.
 This is Tony. He was our taxi driver the entire time we were in ANC. He has lived in Anchorage for about 17 years, has a 14 year old daughter, and a mini short hair dachshund from Soldotna.  His taxi was incredibly clean and he played orchestra music the entire time. He also managed to dodge an accident and while stopped, rolled down the passenger window to check on the other driver almost hit. That man deftly managed to get out of the snowbank and shouted he was fine. The car who caused the mishap, blithely drove on ahead of us all with snow completely covering his back window.
 Mum was really worn out on Wednesday morning. But, she was in very little pain at all.
 We flew back to Kenai on Ravn (I love these guys!!), on the flight there was a man who said he had graduated in 1983 (I had NO idea who he was, but he dated Bonnie M and lives out north).
 Once we landed, I found mum's car snow free. I think Nat did this, but there wasn't a name on the footprints. I'm betting it was angels.

 Angels also came and plowed the drive. The pipeline hadn't been done, but the drive was perfectly lovely. Thank you so much to our lovely amazing wonderful neighbors!!!

 In the mail I got more birthday fun!!!! I feel so privileged to have gotten so many notes from people!It truly has been a blessed turning of the year.
 Since it was so nice out (about 14 degrees) I went outside and spotted a few birds. I wasn't able to get many photos, but these two definitely caught my eye. (the chickadee has a long, bent beak!)

I'll see what there is to find as the week goes on. Hoping to catch another sunset and we might get more snow!!! 

Friday, February 02, 2018

An Ending and A Beginning

January 31 ended with another stunning sky display. The half and half mixture of sunset was eye catching, indeed! It was really very cold and breezy, I didn't have my camera, and after taking a few photos, jumped back in the car to warm up! 

 Before we left, a man went to the edge of the bluff in this last photo and took pictures. I wasn't that dare devil. The area was really icy!!!!
 Mum was sad looking out of the window at this bluff area. She and Ma Nick used to climb this with fish they'd caught ages past. It was a much fuller bluff back then.
When I looked at my Facebook this morning and discovered I'd quite possibly been hacked, Tim C gave today a new name. Laugh at the World Day. I so like that!!!! 
 The morning of the first, I did a few chores and found in the washing machine a marble. I hadn't realised I'd lost any!!! I also noticed this morning when I cut my bangs, it appears they shrunk in the shower. They seem a lot shorter than I had thought I'd trimmed them. (Piffle!) I called mum's newest ANC doctor and made an appointment for next Monday and Tuesday...but forgot to actually find out what time on Tuesday! I called them back and scheduled.  At lunch, I discovered I had a hole in my chin. I was so ready for ice cream!
I had to go out and do a few other things besides ice cream and stopped at the post. I had mail!!! I had birthday cards!!!! There were 9  of them! I was so excited!! Steve sent me 25$ for Amazon and a heavily decorated green paper with birthday greetings from a youngster in the local church. (He'd mentioned it was my birthday in the service. As he said, I'd have probably done it for him!!) His mom sent me a gift, as well. I am completely rich with love today from notes online, in texts, and via paper. 
 I celebrated my birthday while waiting for mum's nurse to arrive. I always try to read Deathlehhem on the first of Feb. I know they are Christmas horror stories, but they are fun to read any time of the year.
I got to talk to Jonathan and Steve and Tony. Even Aunt Darlene and Uncle Randy sent greetings. After I picked up pizza for dinner, cuz mum wanted pizza, Steve sent me these photos. They are of the only birthday cake I think I've actually had in more than quite a few years. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and did. 

 The decoration and presentation.
 The Fall.
 Salvage Operations.
 All in all, this last year was full of too many things I can't even process. I'm going to walk into this next one with my face looking forward and my head tall. I promised myself last night, I can take on anything this year throws at me with grace and style and a laugh. (and an occasional whine or two!) Here's looking at you 53!