Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sisters...

My sister got this quilt from her (now former) co-workers... what a way to wrap her in love. She loved where she worked (Rockwood Clinic in Spokane)... she had been with them 15 years doing medical billing. As I sat with my sister night after night in the hospital, she was forever stewing over something work-related... whether she was answering the phone (aka tv remote) like she answered the phone at work, or thinking she had to talk to her boss about a $15,000 payment someone had made (in her dreams), or when she was dealing with coding and billing issues, Rockwood has never been far from her heart and her mind. I remember when she returned from visiting me in Hawaii, she got back and her co-workers had decorated her office in a Hawaiian theme. When she went into the hospital, they sent her a HUGE bouquet of flowers (had to be worth at least $250!)... and now that she is home on the final part of her journey, they made a quilt and sent it over to the house for her.

I wished my sister looked better in this photo. She looks at least 80 years old and that makes me sad. It makes me sad that she sleeps more and more and isn't eating or drinking. I'm so thankful that her best friend, her "room-mate" (her brother-in-law and his significant other live in the basement of my sister's house) and my nephew's wife have taken on providing round-the-clock care for my sister to ensure consistency in medication and treatment.  I also appreciate that they are taking the time to post on Facebook (mostly in our "secret" LJB Update group) so I can see daily photos and get a daily status update.  This is helpful for me... being so far away.

I *have* been frustrated with some of the comments my younger sister has made... like this one last night:
*****
"I'm having a very sad night. I am just sitting here, sobbing, and thinking how much I am going to miss my sister when she passes away.
I know she doesn't have long. I am so angry and I don't want her to die. My girlfriends and I have gone through so much loss in this past year. This is just not fair!
I just want to die too. I am so scared about losing her.
I have tried to pretend I am strong, but I AM NOT.
Please God, I am not ready for her to go!!!!"
******
I don't think ANY of us are ready to "let" my sister go, we would all like to see her healthy again... to go back 3 weeks ago where she was in pain, but not diagnosed and we could pretend everything was going to be okay.  I *don't* like that my younger sister says that she wants to die too... and it feels like she is trying to be a martyr and make this about her.  I also worry about these kind of statements from my younger sister and the impact these statements might have on her teenage son. This not the first time she has made such statements since we found out about my sister's cancer.  We are all in pain. We all hurt... but the last thing my sister would want would be for us to give up OUR lives... for her. She would want us to go on living... enjoy life even more, because hers is being cut short.  I'm reminded of the kangi symbol for "Crisis" which is made up of two symbols... the one for danger and the other opportunity. I know that many people make light of it and that within the Chinese/Japanese culture there is a lot deeper meaning in the symbolism... and that they don't like what they consider the "New Age" conception that in every crisis there is either danger or opportunity... but that's how I see it/feel it... not to be taken lightly, but with every crisis... and the death of a loved one can represent a "crisis"... it's how we handle the situation that matters... I can let it bring me down (I *will* feel sad, I will cry... I will feel depressed... BUT... I won't let that control me and take over my life) or I can use it to motivate me as I did when my best friend Janis passed away at the age of 51. Those who know me... know that I *try* to live life to the fullest and make the most of every opportunity. I want to be able to look at my life... especially the past 10 years and feel that I have not wasted it, and that I can look back and say I'm satisfied with the way I have lived my life. And as long as I am able to keep breathing and moving... I want to continue living... especially for those who cannot.
 
Okay... off my soap box.
 
Work went okay today, I was able to see all my clients and get yesterday's notes done. I guess the head honcho has decided you cannot go on leave if you have more than 10 outstanding notes that are not done. (Although my understanding is that the head honcho isn't much better at getting notes done in a timely manner). If it was up to me, with the exception of extraneous circumstances... you would NOT be able to go on leave (scheduled... not applying to sick or emergency leave) if you had ANY outstanding notes.  That would also apply to going to trainings out of state.  Although... if possible, if I knew people were planning leave... I would give them an extra hour or two in the day or two before they are leaving to help facilitate that process. And I would also try to put measures into place to ensure their notes are getting done in a timely manner at least every couple weeks. (Notes ARE supposed to be done within 72 hours).   Anyway... at least this isn't something that I have to worry about. Although I did have 4 notes that didn't get done before I went on Emergency leave... they were all for the day that I left... didn't know I wouldn't be back the next day.
 
I had planned to leave work right at 4:30 and go get my nails done... but one of our Admin clerks came in to talk about an issue that came up (with her) while I was gone... we talked for about 45 minutes.  I hope things work out for her, I think she has a lot to offer.
 
I stopped for gas on the way home from work...tried some "pulled pork" in a little container thing... (Lloyds brand) and man was it terrible! YUK! I had 2 containers... (small, not very expensive)... I threw the other one away.
 
The weather has been great and the doggies are enjoying the back yard. There's a bird feeder hanging off the back deck, so I filled it with bird seed tonight. Hope the birdies enjoy it.
 
Okay... it's almost 9pm, I'm going to sign off and hopefully be in bed in about a half hour. I was very tired all day because I stayed up later than normal last night.

G'night,
- Kris

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Back to work...


I was going through an old photo album trying to find some old photos of my sister to post to her update page (on Facebook... but it is a private, unsearchable page) anyway... I came of a couple of me that were taken in a photo booth when I was in basic training. I guess I have always been a goof. LOL.

On a more serious note... I did go into work today... I had a couple cancellations this morning and a no-show, so only had afternoon appointments. That allowed me to get a few things done, i.e. calling to get a Physical Therapy appointment set up to see what they recommend for the pain in the base of my thumbs (arthritis).  Several of my co-workers asked how I was doing and for the most part I held up okay.  I think it was helpful that my nephew sent me a couple photos of my sister being more alert yesterday.  I talked to my nephew for a few minutes this morning.  He said my sister hasn't had anything to eat since she took her teeth out, (I think that was Saturday night).   Later today he let me know that she had about 2 ounces of protein drink and some beef broth. It sounds like she has been able to keep it down.  He's concerned tonight because her urine is really dark. She's not getting IV fluids anymore, so only what she gets orally.  I suggested he talk to the Hospice nurse to get her advice. I know that my younger sister went to see her today and I think my older brother Charlie was going to go visit tonight. I wish I were there to visit... Of course... in an ideal world... I would have stayed until she passed... but I know I had to get back to work at some point. Again... I am just thankful I could be there for the time I was. And this continues to serve as a reminder to live MY life to the fullest.

I don't know if I mentioned... but apparently instead of going to some training in Seattle next month, I'm going to Hawaii in July for a few days. The training there is on a Weds and Thursday, so I am going to take Friday off and stay through Sunday (I imagine I will be flying down on Tuesday that week). Hopefully my "employer" will pay for me to stay at the Hale Koa... that would be nice.  (My hotel while I am in training will be paid for). Going back to Hawaii will be a nice break.

Not much going on tonight... I got to watch 'Survivor", "Criminal Minds" and "CSI:CYBER." It's the first time I have watch the CSI CYBER show... wish it didn't come on at 10pm (because that's my bedtime). It was interesting though... because it was very current. It was about a wifi onboard aircraft getting hacked. Interesting.

Okay... signing off...

G'night,
Kris

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Home again, home again...

 These pictures are out of order... but here's my backyard... when I left 2 weeks ago there was still 2 feet of snow on the ground. So glad to see it going away and the dogs enjoyed being able to run around the yard today.
 My sister was transported by ambulance to her home today. They set up a "bedroom" in her living room. I was so happy to get these pictures and see how alert she looks in them.
 My puppies were SO glad to be home.  When I went to pick them up at the dog sitters, Bruno wouldn't stop crying. He misses me so much. Peanut missed me too... but Bruno is just more demonstrative and vocal.
This was my saying good-bye to my sister last night... she didn't wake up and I didn't want to wake her up. Again, I'm so thankful for the photos today that show her looking better.

I went and got my Mammogram done today. The person doing it knew that I had cancelled my appointment last week because of my sister... so I was in tears during the appointment (not due to physical pain... but the emotional pain of leaving my sister).

After the appointment, I went by the Post Office and then to my office. I managed to sneak in and only have 1 co-worker see me. I went through my emails and checked my schedule for tomorrow. I filled out a leave slip for my time away... and then took it up to our Admin person. I talked to her briefly.

Then I took my car over to change out my winter tires... it was a great opportunity. They are required to be changed by May 1st and trying to get in this weekend would be difficult.  So glad I was able to get it done this afternoon. I wandered around downtown for an hour or so and got a bite to eat. Finally my tires were done (they called me on my cell phone).  I then went and got my car washed before going up to pick up my doggies.  Bruno was SO frantic when he saw me... SO happy. Peanut couldn't stop licking me. Glad to know my doggies miss me when I am gone.

We came home after that and the dogs got to run around the yard... it's always been covered in at least a couple feet of snow... so this was a new experience for them today.

I was able to talk to my older sister-in-law today who let me know they had transported my sister to her home and that she'd had a good afternoon.  And my nephew sent me the above photos of my sister at home... she looks happier and better than she did yesterday.

Time to sign off... its 10pm (and still light out).  Back to work tomorrow...

G'night,
- Kris

Short blog

Today was hard. I spent the night at the hospital with my sister, she had a rough night... although did sleep from about 2am- 5:30am. She's been having a lot of nausea and loss of consciousness. A couple of the nurses came in this morning and were saddened by how much her condition had deteriorated.  The Oncologist came in and after some discussion, changed her prognosis to 1-2 weeks. He said that her cancer is very aggressive... and believes it is the brain cancer doing the most damage at this point.  I did go to breakfast with my nephew and his Mother-in-law and her sister. Then it was back to the hospital to meet with a Hospice Representative to discuss what they had to offer. Other than leaving a short while for breakfast, I was at the hospital from about 9:30pm to 3:30pm today. Then I had to run up to my brother's house to take a shower and pack, and have the rental car dropped off by 5pm.  After that, my oldest brother offered to take me out for a bite to eat, but I told him I would rather spend the time with LaVaune. I had to say my final good byes about 6:45pm. My brother Charlie and his wife were there, my sister Karen (who has night duty tonight), my brother Keith and his wife, my nephew John and my brother-in-law Gary were there at the end.  I had taken on the responsibility to notify my brothers Charlie, Keith, Don and David, and also let my sister Karen know when she came up to the hospital. Suffice it to say it was a hard day.

My flights back to Fairbanks were fine, I had an empty seat next to me on both flights. It's now 3:35am, I have to sign off and get to bed.


G'night,
Kris

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Okay, for reals, last night at the hospital with my sister

Well, I hadn't planned to spend tonight at the hospital with my sister,  but my niece that was supposed to spend the night isn't feeling well and didn't want to pass anything to her grandma. My brother-in-law was then going to spend the night,  but he's been spending 12-15 hours a day at the hospital and he really needs his rest. So I told him I  would come spend the night.  Just don't tell anyone that I haven't changed my undies for a couple days, okay?  I told my sister-in-law that I would be home tomorrow morning to her house.  I will wait until after the doctor comes in, because I want to be here for that. 
I did get to spend some time with my youngest daughter and granddaughter,  we had a late lunch,  early dinner at "Boston's".

My sister hasn't had a good day.  She's been out of it most of the day.  Just before I got back to the hospital she apparently had thrown up the medication that they had given her. Right now she's sitting on a bed pan and just had nausea with some upheaval.

Tonight I am feeling sad knowing this is my last night with my sister.  And knowing that I will be saying my final earthly goodbye to her tomorrow. 

Okay,  it's just past midnight,  I'm going to sign off and hopefully we can get to sleep soon.
G'night,
Kris

P.S.
Photo is of my younger sister trying to help my older sister find something to eat on the hospital menu this morning.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Last night with my sister

I spent the morning with my oldest brother then headed to mall to meet with classmates to discuss our upcoming reunion.  That was a good visit  the I went to Macy's and I found a pair of jeans that fit me, and I got a heated blanket for my bed and then got over to the hospital to spend time with my sister before going to the "Shock "game tonight. Our team won 56- 56. YaY!

Now it is almost 2:30am and LAVAUNE is asleep and I need to get to sleep to!

G'night?
Kris 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Great current pic of my sister

Spent the night with my sister at the hospital again last night and most of the morning.  Before I left, the Physical Therapists had a contraption that helped my sister stand up and get into a  chair. When she was standing in it, it reminded me of a Segway.  I'll post some pictures.  I also got a great photo of my sister where she almost looks normal.   I was told that she slept most of the afternoon and when I stopped by to check on her about 5, she was sound asleep.  

Tonight I went to dinner with a friend who is like a sister from another mother.  In fact,  I used to call her mom my "Telephone Mom". Clare passed away in 2009. I was grateful that I got to be Clare for the majority of her last 3 days on this earth. I went to dinner with Sue (Clare's daughter). We went to my sister's favorite Chinese restaurant,  I don't know what my sister sees in that place.  I  think I make much better Fried rice.  It was good to catch up with Sue and after dinner,  I tiik my leftovers to my older sister 

Now it is almost midnight so I should sign off.  Tomorrow I'm going to a High School reunion planning meeting,  and tomorrow evening I am going to see the Spokane Shock indoor arena football game with my younger brother's ex-girlfriend.  Then it will be back to the hospital to spend another night with my sister. My last overnight with her.

G'night,
Kris

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dick's Drive Inn

This morning I got to help my oldest brother fix some lighting on his motorcycle.  Then I came into the hospital for a while.  My nephew wanted a few of us to meet with the hospital Social Worker about some post discharge planning.  What came out of the meeting was that when my sister gets discharged from the hospital,  she will go home on Hospice care.  I hate that it comes down to money. My sister's family cannot afford a skilled nursing facility. She does have some life insurance,  but less than 40 grand. My sister doesn't want  to be a financial burden to her family.  That being said,  the doctor has said she may live up to 4 1/2 months with treatment,  but at this point she apparently has decided to forego the chemotherapy because it would most likely be too much on her  (painful, Maki g her sick, etc). No one has asked the doctor yet, what the prognosis is without treatment.  Tomorrow morning when the Oncologist comes in, I need to ask about a pic line, so hopefully they won't have to keep poking her so much.

Tonight before I came back in for the night, I stopped by Dick's Drive Inn and picked my sister and I up some Fish and Chips.  You should have seen my sister's eyes light up when she found out that I had stopped by Dick's for dinner. And she ate most of it. Then she had a good BM! LOL! Sure stunk up the room though.  We always say if you need to have a BM, just eat at Dick's.  My sister told me that she had tried to talk the ambulance crew into taking her to Dick's on the way back from her radiation treatment.

Its11:30pm now and she is sleeping sporadically.  She keeps fidgeting with her blanket and mumbling.

I suppose I should sign off and try to rest while I can.
G'night,
Kris

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Well, that was interesting

I did spend the night with my sister,  but didn't get ANY sleep.  One of the meds they put her on yesterday made her loopier than a hoot owl. She kept mumbling all night, some I could understand, much I could not.  About 3am,  she was fervently trying to call her doctor with the remote control for the TV. She did manage to push the nurses call button and THEY were finally able to convince her that she was dreaming.  About 5am she tried using her phone to call her office.  And during the night she kept asking here her piece of paper and pen were, because she needed to answer the doctor's questions.  I finally handed her my tablet and pen and she tried to chicken scratch some notes, bless her heart. I apparently was able to sleep and wondered if they had given me the same meds. At one point I dreamt that she had managed to get out of her bed into another.  And another dream had me on one end of her bed and my sister on the other and some random male patient walked into the room and flopped his body across the middle of the bed. I also dreamt that we were having an earthquake at some point during the night.  Hopefully I  will sleep better tonight at my brother's house.  My sister's supervisor did show up at the hospital and gave my sister her 15 employee pin and certificate and I know my sister was happy about that.

Okay, signing off,  it's 11:15 pm.
G'night,
Kris

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Night shift

Well, I spent from about 10:30-1pm with my sister today, then went to lunch with one of my cousins. We waited for the ambulance crew to come take my sister for her radiation treatment,  they were running about 45 minutes behind.    Since we were going to Applebee's I asked my sister if she would like anything from there. She said she would like a "riblets basket", so I had that and got one for her and brought it back after lunch. She loved the ribs and had some of the mashed potatoes as well, I think Gary,  her husband finished what she couldn't eat. I took off and ran some errands to give a couple of her friends some alone time and then had dinner at "Red Robin" with my youngest brother and my nephew.  I brought my sister some of their wonderful fries and sauce.  My nephew had gone out to get everyone  (her husband,  my nephew and his son) some KFC. LaVaune REALLY enjoyed the chicken,  the corn on the cob and the rest of her meal.
Today my sister was looking a bit better,  and I hear she got a good nap in today as well.  As I write this,  it is 11:40pm and she is fast asleep,  hopefully for the night.

I'd better sign off and get some rest while I can. I'm planning to spend every other night with her.
G'night,
Kris

Monday, April 20, 2015

Staying an extra week

I spent all night and most of the day at the hospital with my sister.  The doctor came in this morning and talked with her for a while.  He's concerned about the lack of function in her left leg, but more importantly, he is worried about how much pain medication it is taking to try and get my sister's pain controlled.  He said she had 7 ml of dilaudin last night and that if he'd been given that much, it would have killed him.  He did say that he doesn't think she will ever walk again.

The Physical Therapists stopped by a little latter to see if they could work with her to sit up in bed, stand up with a walker and hopefully move to a wheelchair,  but it took all her strength to just not collapse when they had her stand. She never did make it to the wheelchair.

Tonight I rented a car.  I appreciate that my younger brother loaned me his car, but I just didn't feel safe in it. Not did I feel safe driving very far.

I didn't sleep all day and now it's after midnight.  I waited up to hear that my nieces had FINALLY made it home and to the hospital.   They have.
So, I'm going to sign off,
G'night,
Kris

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spending the night with my sister at the hospital

After a late night last night,  I slept in this morning.  I enjoyed the day with my oldest brother and his wife,  they both are having heart problems.  My brother is wearing a heart monitor for 2 weeks and my sister-in-law has congestive heart failure and is on the heart recipient list. When I am not at the hospital,  I will be staying with my oldest brother.  We used to consider ourselves to be twins, because we have many scars in the same place and we are both left-handed for the same reason  (siblings trying to take a knife away from us, about 10 years apart). And both of our names start with "K". *smiles *  Truth be told,  he's always been my idol.  He played the drums and I wanted to play the drums,  and I did play them in Grade school.  He went into the military,  and I went into the military.  It's been good to see him and ALL of my siblings.
Tonight I had dinner at my youngest daughter's house,  she's a great cook. She made Rouladen for dinner,  num, num.
And then I came over to the hospital about 9 pm and will watch over my sister for the night.  It's a bitter sweet time.
My sister is looking better tonight,  and she has FINALLY  had a BM tonight,  now if they can just get the pain managed and get her up and walking,  she just MAY be able to get home soon.
I know my one nephew is worried that she is only hanging on until her 2 granddaughters can make it back - they get in tomorrow night. She's asked that they come to the hospital straight from the airport.  I  hope my sister hangs on a little while longer...

Okay, I'm going to sign off, I'll post a pic of my brothers with my sister.
G'night,
Kris

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Another quick post

My sister was doing a little better after her 2nd radiation treatment this morning,  but she wore down as the day did. I think the biggest struggle we are having as a family right now is that EVERYONE  wants to be at the hospital with my sister.  The constant crush of people,  some really loud at times, becomes very overwhelming.  We tried to institute a rest period,  but I'm not sure if that is enough. 

Today I called the airline and changed my ticket,  I'm going to stay an extra week.  I'm just not ready to say my final goodbye to my sister.

We did have a gathering at my older sister's house for dinner tonight,  but there was more drama than there needed to be and some feelings got hurt and some toes got stepped on.

I  did get to have some quality time with my younger two daughters and my granddaughter.  I'll post a pic.

Time to sign off, I'm up at my oldest brother's house now, and will sleep here for the remainder of the time I am in Spokane,  unless I spend a  night or two at the hospital.

G'night,
Kris

Friday, April 17, 2015

Just a quick blog

I spent last night at the hospital with my sister.  She had a slight fall as a result of  not being able to put weight on her left leg.  She was also in a lot of pain last night as they tried to wean her off the pca.

This morning when her Oncologist came in, he seemed surprised that she wasn't doing better.  He basically had them bring an ambulance over ASAP,  and she went for radiation treatment. Hat was a challenge in it self.  She got back to the room about 330pm. I stopped in briefly with my girls.

Then my girls and I headed up to Red Lobster for dinner. Long story short,  we did ok.

After dinner I met my siblings at the Round Robin restaurant.    It's always enjoyable to spend time with my family. I didn't have anything to eat there.

I didn't stay too long after I got there, we went by to see my sister in the hospital and gave my sister my left overs from Red Lobster.

Now it is past my bedtime, Michelle is here for 1 night,  so we are all staying with Kori.
G'night!
Kris

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Not good news

We met with the Oncologist today  (me and 17 others in our extended family).  The news was not good. My sister's dody is riddled with cancer.  She does have it in her lungs, spine, pelvis, lymph system and brain.  The doctor estimates that she may have had it for up to 4 years already.  Don't ask me why it wasn't found before now.  We got to see the results of the CT scans and some of the information that goes with it. The doctor said the average lifespan for someone who has this much cancer is 3-4 months.  Not sure if that is with treatment or without. 
My sister was sad, as we all are... and she's told me that she would prefer quality over quantity.  It's tough,  she had promised some family members that if she had cancer,  she would fight it with all her power, but I think that was before she found out how badly widespread the cancer was.

I'm spending the night with my sister at the hospital.  She's in a lot of pain.

I'll attach a photo of her lungs  (looking from the head down and it is a mirror image, the large mass is actually in her Right lung).

Tomorrow night I'm going to get together with most of my siblings to process.  My daughter Michelle is coming up tomorrow afternoon and I've promised to take her and my youngest daughter and granddaughter out to dinner tomorrow night. 

Well, it's 1:30 am,  I suppose I should try to get some sleep.  I  don't have my Ambien thougj, so doubt if I sleep much.
G'night,
Kris

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A day in the hospital with my sister

I spent all day at the hospital, the only time I left was about 5pm to go get my sister some food.  She was supposed to have the lung biopsy done today, but it apparently got cancelled and they were not able to confirm the cancellation until about 4:30pm. So my sister had to go 14 1/2 hours without water or food.  I asked what she wanted when she COULD eat, and went and got that for her (which was a Philly Cheese steak sandwich).  There was a period of time when her pain mess ran out and she went almost an hour without it and her pain started to get the best of her.  Tomorrow afternoon we will be having a family meeting with the oncologist, so should know more then. Apparently this morning they came in and said based on yesterday's biopsy, she does NOT have brain cancer, so that was a bright spot in the day.  She also got moved to a LARGE private room, so it can better accommodate all the extended family. I think we have 2 recliners in there and 8 chairs... And most of the time (except bedtime), they are filled and someone or 2 are standing. I'm not fond of having so many people in the room, especially when there is a lot of conversation going on. Tonight my poor sister was trying to watch her favorite show "Wheel of fortune" and even though she cranked up the volume people wouldn't take the hint to be quiet. Argh!  

She did get some lovely flowers from her co-workers today, a HUGE bouquet! I took some pics, but due to the lighting (in her old room), they didn't do the flowers justice. But, I'll post a couple pictures here. (I didn't bring a camera, so just have the camera on my phone).

Signing off, it's after 11pm.
G'night,
Kris 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Made it to Spokane

I made it to Spokane about 8 : 15am. My youngest daughter and granddaughter met me at the airport.  We went straight to the hospital to see my sister.

The news wasn't good today. My sister has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, in her lungs, spine, pelvis and brain.  Today they took her down to get a biopsy on her pelvic area and had decided against doing a lung biopsy,  but then this afternoon we were told that they are going to do the lung biopsy.   On Thursday there will be a family meeting with the Oncologist.  Hopefully we will know more then.

An upside of today was that I got to see ALL of my siblings and many nieces and nephews.  I'll post a picture of me with my brothers Don and Charlie.

It's almost 11pm, I had better sign off,  it's been a LONG and emotional day.

G'night,
Kris 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Prayers please

I cannot post this on Facebook,  I have 2 nieces that are on their very first cruise right now and the family (me included ) don't want to spoil it for them. But I got a message about 6:45 tonight that my older sister went into the hospital yesterday and today was diagnosed with stage 3-4 cancer, in her lungs, spine and brain.  She's having exploratory surgery tomorrow morning,  so I am on my way to Spokane tonight. Signing off because I need to send some text messages.  Please pray.  Here's a blurry photo from the plane tonight of Mt McKinley.
-Kris

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Happy 89th Bette!

 Happy 89th to this beautiful woman today!
Tonight I made some delicious almond flavored mini chocolate chip ice cream with my new Cuisinart Ice Cream maker... num, num! I put it in some of the small Tupperware containers (that hold less than a cup) and one larger container. I was surprised that the batch I made today didn't make more than it did (it in no way filled up the ice cream maker tub).  That's okay.  I also made my mama's ranch dressing today.

After I got moving... I did get some things done today... I got rid of most of the photos on my iPad (it was completely FULL - maxed out)... no worries... they are saved onto my lap top for now (and many had been uploaded from various cameras anyway.  I also got rid of most of the extra photos on my phone (same way... backed up to my laptop).  I put the TV stand behind the TV (guess I will have to email them again about the status of my claim). I hope when the time comes to get rid of the TV... someone can come pick it up (along with the TV stand).  I'm talking about my 50" tv.  I straightened up the living room a bit... I did a load of laundry and washed and dried my bedding to put back on (haven't gotten it back on the bed yet).  I sent an email to the oil company to find out when they might be coming back out to give me more oil... I don't like $1000 payments that I have to make to them, I would prefer to keep it under $500. Oh yea... and I put together my new shop vac and vacuumed out my vehicle today.  I think I need to see about buying some seat covers for it.  And tonight I am running a load of dishes in the dishwasher (and I did have my traditional Sunday brunch and dinner). *smiles*

I did get a nap in today... (both days). Sure seems like I have been taking more naps than ever before on the weekends.  Oh well... I probably need it.

Okay... it's 10:30pm, past my bedtime. And I still need to get my bed put back together.

G'night!
- Kris

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Another night of hockey... and have some new bowls.

 Tonight I went to the Ice Dogs game... we beat the Minnesota Magicians 4-0. There was a lot of fighting tonight... way more than there should have been, but part of that came from the Refs not making some calls earlier in the game that they should have. (in my opinion).  I think the Ice Dogs go down to MN next weekend to play them there.   So... Ice Dogs won both home games here. *smiles*  I think it is the last game of the season for them in Alaska.
 I love this bowl I bought today at the Fairbanks Community Foodbank fundraiser called "Empty Bowls." I had been warned to get there early... I got there about 10:40 (it started at 11) and I think there were at least 150 people in front of me. I still managed to get a few nice bowls... (like I needed more). It was good to see they have the same Executive Director they had when I lived here 12 years ago.

This was the "ad" for this year's fundraiser.

So... yes, this morning I got up and went to the Food bank... at least it got me out of the house before noon. *smiles*  After buying my bowls I went and got my nails done.  I normally do clear, sometimes red or a light pink (last was a sparkly pink)... today I decided to throw caution to the wind and I got blue sparkly nails! I like them. I'm not usually brave enough to do anything wacky with my nails. LOL.

After getting my nails done, I went grocery shopping. I picked up the stuff to make more of my mama's ranch dressing (I *LOVE* the recipe)... and it always makes way more than I can use myself, so my oldest daughter benefits from it as well. I also bought the stuff to make some home-made Ice Cream. I'm going to make almond flavored chocolate chip...num, num!  After shopping, I stopped by Quizno's to get a sandwich and enjoyed talking with my friend that owns the place. (We've been friends for over 30 years!).  THAT seems impossible.  WOW! (just realized that as I was typing).

After lunch it was time to come home to check on the dogs and take a nap. Then it was time for hockey.   My son-in-law was there but not my granddaughter. I guess after  2 1/2 days of being with her daddy and granddaddy, she needed a break. They weren't due to come back from the Arctic Man (Snowmachining race) until tomorrow... but between having white-out conditions and Taylor breaking the handlebars on her snowmachine... they decided to come back. I guess they had initially postponed the race down there too, but then cancelled it for the 1st time in 30 years that it has been going on (wow!).

And I did have fun at the game... it got over a little after 10pm. I ran into another former co-worker that I haven't seen in almost 13 years. It was good to see her and talk with her for a bit.  Now it's almost midnight... time to sign off...

G'night!
- Kris

Friday, April 10, 2015

Not too many hockey nghts left...

The Ice Dogs beat the Minnesota Magicians tonight... hopefully they win tomorrow night as well so they don't have to play on Monday night.

Work went okay today... I had a no-show (an intake that would have been their first appointment) but then this afternoon got backlogged (not my fault) and I talked my supervisor into letting my one co-worker (who doesn't have much of a caseload) into doing one of my intakes for me (someone I had never met before)... and it was the appointment that would take the most time. Whew! That made my day a little less stressful.

After work I went by and picked up some hockey tickets for this weekend's games... and then came home and chipped a lot of ice.  I realized (finally) why my shoulder continues to hurt (seems like it should be my lower back from the heavy weight of the ice that I've been chipping and shoveling)... it's because it is where I fell on it last year when I tripped going up the stairs in my old place... I'm sure I've developed some arthritis in the shoulder as well. Anyway... I worked on the front (basically the back patio is all chipped now... and just some small chunks that need to melt). I got quite a bit accomplished out front (I have a driveway big enough to park 6-8 cars I think!).  At least if it warms up later next week... my front driveway should do some significant melting. I wonder if I will still have snow in the yard May 1st (I'm betting I will). I think they said we are supposed to get about an inch of snow tomorrow.

I did go to the Ice Dogs game tonight... our team won in overtime. Whew!

Other than that... tomorrow I plan to get up and go to a fundraiser for the local food bank (I might buy a bowl or two by a local craftsman/artist). Then I hope to get my nails done and I plan to go to the Hockey game again tomorrow night. I think Sunday will be a day of rest.

Okay... signing off... thinking of my friend Naomi though, who was the first responder on a serious car accident tonight in Anchorage... hope it didn't traumatize her too much and glad she had the training and skills to help.

G'night,
- Kris

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Springtime in Alaska


 This is my favorite photo of the day...

It IS Springtime in Alaska (although snow is predicted for Saturday)... and one way to know it is Spring is by the return of the geese to Creamer's Field in Fairbanks. They arrived earlier this week, so after work today, I stopped by to take some photos.  Some things never change with the passing of 12 years. *smiles*

Work went okay today, but I was not nearly as productive as I would have liked to have been.  First I had a maintenance guy come and sanitize my carpet in my office (because the kiddo threw up all over the floor yesterday... was thankful I didn't have my Turkish rug in the office like I did in Germany) and the maintenance guy was VERY talkative.  Then it seemed like I had a couple other people stop by to talk (another one for almost an hour... but they are a co-worker that will be missed when they leave later this year for their new location).  So... I still have about 8 notes to get written tomorrow in between my intakes that I have to get done.    At lunch today I did get to go to lunch with a few of my co-workers (normally I come home to let the dogs out... but they survived just fine).

Not much going on tonight... I've been on the Internet (Facebook) most of the night... my favorite time-waster.

Okay... signing off...

G'night,
- Kris

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hump Day...


Outside the Thunderbird Museum at Nellis AFB

Work went okay today, it was steadily busy. I had hoped to get caught up on notes during two cancellations that I knew I would have today, but then I ended up with two co-workers in my office at different times and my notes didn't get written. Argh!  Both were talking about the same issue basically... which is the new co-worker that cannot clinically do their job.  I feel bad for my supervisor, it must put my supervisor in an awkward place... and what probably needs to happen is that the "ineffective" (I don't like using that term) co-worker needs to be given a 30 day notice and be let go. There's some talk about remedial training... but this person has a lifetime of experience in the field (but hasn't worked for at least the past 6 years) and if they don't have it... I don't think remedial training is going to help.

After work I had to go pick up a prescription and then stopped to get gas on my way home (I left work a half hour late because I stopped to talk to my supervisor for a few minutes).  Oh... and the fun part of my day?  I had a young child projectile vomit in my office. (stinky)...

Okay... signing off...

G'night,
- Kris

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Thank goodness?

 The street in front of my house where the sewer line was backed up...
"Crap" around my drain in my garage (glad it is out there and NOT in the house).

So... let's see... where do I start. I had a doctor's appointment this morning... mainly to figure out the pain in the base of my thumbs (and I had a UTI... later confirmed). Anyway... according to the x-ray, I have "Carpometacarpal osteoarthritis". I "googled" it (where would I be without google?)  Anyway... it says that it is a degenerative joint desire affecting the first carpometacarpal joint.  This joint is formed by the trapezium bone of the wrist and the first metacarpal bone of the thumb.  Because of its relatively instability, this joint is a frequent site for osteoarthritis. It occurs when the cushioning cartilage of the joint surface wears away, resulting in damage of the joint.  Conservative treatment is the use of NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds) which is what I've been doing... next is trying a brace and/or a cortisone injection... and for severe cases, surgery. (and it sounds like it is a 6 week recovery period for the hands if  you do that). It will be interesting to see what the doctor says when she gets the results (I got a sneak preview of the x-ray results).  At least I know it isn't in my head. The radiologist said that it is "moderate to severe." (yea... no duh!).

Then I went back to work and my 10am appointment was a "no-show" which allowed me to get some notes done... I had an 11am appointment and didn't leave for work until about 12:15pm (and had a 1pm appointment coming in).  On my way home I called the Pumping and Thawing folks... and asked them to come back out to check my sewer line and was surprised at how fast they got to my house (within about 20 minutes)... of course... blocking my driveway so I couldn't leave, but I was SO glad I was here.  As they ran their steam lines... water started bubbling up out of a manhole just past my mailbox.  So... I grabbed my camera and videotaped it.  They said it was the Utility Company's problem... not mine (and at least I had proof).   So... this afternoon I called the Utility company (twice), the 2nd time was about 5pm when I was finally ready to leave work (that's another story).  Well, when I got home (shortly after) a guy pulled up in their truck... and said "Hi Kris... I didn't know this is where you were living." Of course... it took me the next 10-15 minutes before I figured out who he was. LOL. My poor brain...   Anyway... I started asking him questions... he'd been working for the company for a long time... hopes to retire next year... (and I'm thinking it is my friend Lisa's husband... but he works for an oil company, so that didn't make sense)... anyway... he finally said enough where I internally had to do a palm slap to my forehead.  He was someone I had gone to church with a LONG time ago (15-20 years ago) and his wife and daughter are on my facebook. Boy did I feel stupid.  Once in context... then it made sense who he was.  Anyway... I felt very fortunate/blessed that it was him that showed up.  It was one of those situations (kind of like when I got the person I did for my home inspection) where I totally trust this person to look after my best interest.  And yes... it WAS the Utility Company's problem... he pulled the manhole cover off of in front of my property (and the way it is situated... my place would be the only one affected)... and it was full of water (and it shouldn't have been).  So... he got it cleared up... and then asked about if my home was affected at all... I said, "just the garage" and I showed him (see above photo... after the water went down) and he offered to have someone come out to clean it up.  He left and within a 1/2 hour, someone showed up to clean the garage (and sanitize it and my rug runner I had out in the garage)... and I recognized the guy who showed up (just didn't know where from right off)... so I said... "did I go to church with you?" and he said "No... I know you from hockey." He's the son-in-law of a friend that I sit with all the time at the hockey games. (Of course... then I knew right off who he was and what his name was). So...he's the one that did the clean up.

Tomorrow I have to contact the Utility company and see if they will deal with the pumping company and get them paid for coming out twice.   But... at least that issue has been resolved and it shouldn't be a problem anymore this year. Whew!

I mentioned about leaving work about 5pm. My supervisor wanted to talk with me and another co-worker.  It's about our newest co-worker (the one that is 72... and out of practice)... anyway... he asked if we should have that person do all the intakes. My other co-worker was against it... but I'm all for it (for one thing...the co-worker seems capable of doing the intakes... and it's about risk management at this point). I think it will help our section be more efficient.   I imagine they will let that co-worker do all the intakes for the next month or two and if it doesn't work out, then they may have to let them go.

Okay...it's 10:30pm... I'm running behind... it's past my bedtime (oh yea... I had a healthy dinner... Chicken Caesar salad!)...  but...my computer has been messing up tonight big time... and I've been fighting with it most of the night.  Fun.

Signing off...

G'night,
- Kris

Monday, April 6, 2015

Somewhere between here and there...

Somewhere between here and there is where my sewer line likes to freeze up...yep... went to use the toilet downstairs tonight and it stopped up. Started plunging it... and the next thing I knew it was coming up in the tub downstairs... then backing up in the garage. I called the Utility company tonight and they sent someone out and ran their hose down the street and he said that sometimes the suction causes lines to clear up... he said I'm at the end (or the beginning depending on how you look at it) of the line.  The guy that lived here before never parked in the garage (he had a large truck)... so I don't know if the garage is just not staying heated enough or getting enough air circulation (although it never gets below 50 out there).  I'm going to call the thawing folks again tomorrow.  And pray that maybe, somehow... the water starts running through the pipe again.

Work went okay today, everyone showed up except for the last appointment of the day (which allowed me to get the last note written from Friday and one from today written).  After work I took advantage of the massage chairs and sat in one for about 45 minutes. It was nice... my shoulders have been sore from chipping ice. So, what did I do? Come home and chip some more ice (and loaded another bag of pellets into the stove).

Okay...it's 10:30pm... past my bedtime.

G'night,
- Kris

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to my friends far and wide

 Peanut enjoying her new Spot where she can keep an eye out the window
 Keeping an eye on the neighborhood.
Easter in Alaska with several feet of snow still on the ground... at least it is melting off the roads.

Woke up about 9am, then laid down for a  nap this afternoon. I did get some more "ice chipping" in and started on the driveway this afternoon.  That was about the most productive thing I did today.

Later this afternoon I went and got my car washed and then went to Home Depot. Our local water/sewage utility company had sent me a gift card wrapped in a plain piece of paper... I had no idea why I was getting it.  Still don't know why I got it. But I took it over to Home Depot, assuming it was maybe a card for about $5.  MUCH to my surprise (and glee) it was for $250. I have no idea why? I would think they would hang onto my deposit that I paid, for a year... and wouldn't return it in the form of a Home Depot Gift card... I'm sure it isn't because I called them last week about my sewer backing up... maybe an annual rebate they do?  I don't know.  And I'm half afraid of calling them to ask them why for fear they might want it back. I'm thinking I will save it to purchase a screen door for the front door (that will provide more insulation in the winter). I also want to get a screen door for the back of the garage (that door) at some point.

After Home Depot I went by and got my car washed... it was much needed... although since Alaska is going through "Break up" (where things melt and the river starts breaking up)... my clean car probably won't be clean long. I was going to get an "Express detail" today as well, but due to the holiday they weren't doing that today.

Then I headed out to my daughters' in-laws house for Easter Dinner. It was good as always. I'm appreciative that they always invite me for the holidays... it makes the holidays seem a little less lonely.  And Georgia always makes good meals (along with her hubby's help). Today they had Ham, green bean casserole, chunky potato salad, fresh baked (home-made) rolls... and they had their crab dip with crackers, shrimp with cocktail sauce and a veggie tray. 

While I was at home Depot I bought a piece of wood to put a shelf in a downstairs closet... and I measured right! (I put it the shelf up when I got home and it fit!).  I bought the shelf and one other thing and spent a little over $14... it won't break the bank.

Okay...it's 11pm, I had better sign off...it's over an hour past my bedtime. I've been listening to streaming music from Amazon (Christian music).

G'night,
- Kris

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Saturday evening fun...



A little bit of Paris in Vegas...

Today was relaxing, I got out of bed about 8:30am... but then sitting on the couch after letting the dogs out, they let me know they wanted to go back to bed... so we did. *smiles*  Although Peanut was rather restless.  I did get a couple things done today... I finished unloading the 40 lb bags of pellets into my garage (I had bought 20 bags yesterday), then I cleaned out the ash bin on the pellet stove... chipped some more ice out back (if it warms up again tomorrow, I might go out front and chip some ice to get it started out there... I get more sunshine in back of the house than I do in the front of the house).  I also colored my hair today.   A little later I headed out to the store, I needed to deposit a check and then I bought a pair of dress slacks.  I went to a fundraising dinner tonight... not my normal type.  It was a "feminist" fundraiser. I was invited by a friend... I thought it might give me a chance to do some networking.  Amazingly, or not, I only knew 1 other person there, besides my friend that I was with.  Considering there was at least 200 women there... maybe it just means this is a circle of women that I don't normally run with. I did bid on a few things... (like a couple beautiful quilts, and a couple trips... even to have a mural painted on a wall... or I was going to have one painted on my garage if I won).  But, for better or worse... I didn't win anything that I bid on.  I'm okay with that.

After I got home tonight, I had a woman deliver an "ottoman" that she had advertised on Craigslist.  It's like 50" long, I have it under my living room window... hoping Peanut and Bruno can use it to watch out the front window when they hear something suspicious.   Speaking of which... Peanut kept barking this afternoon... she'd go to the living room window, and then to the back door by the dining room. I finally opened the back door to let her out on the porch, and lo and behold, the neighbor's daughter was out at the very back of their property (not sure what she was doing, she had a ladder up to a tree out there).

Okay...it's midnight (actually afterwards)... time for me to sign off...

G'night!
- Kris