Monday, December 1, 2008

Chistmas is coming

The dog days of summer have passed and we are well on the way to winter and the season of love and peace. So much has happened--- too much to tell it all so I decided to just go for a short update on what is going on

Judi-- is recovering well from the accident. It has been a slooooooow process but she is going to recover well. She has endured several operations and even several returns to the hospital, 8 weeks of laying on her back and now has had the pelvic halo removed. (Talk about a tortuous device... picture a metal bracelet that sticks out about 8inches attached to the front of your pelvis into the pelvic bones). She had complications - - - -and lots of pain--- and returns to the hospital for several days. She is still is in the nursing home and will have to stay there for several more weeks. She then will have to go home and face a empty home- - -and will have to deal with Carson's death all over again.

In October, Mark and I went to Colorado on a bus trip. It was a long trip but we had a wonderful time. We got to see a part of the country we have never been too. We were impressed with the Rockies and got to see some great areas of beauty. We loved the Gardens of the Gods, the Royal Gorge and the Air Force Academy. While at the Royal Gorge I went on a bridge that was 1,053 feet above the river. Then we went to the bottom of the Gorge on an incline rail....with my fear of heights that is amazing.

Also at the end of October the company I work for was sold to a larger company.... Not sure what that will mean in the long run yet. For now I am working on finishing my course work to become a CPC (Certified Professional Coder) in addition to my nursing background, in the hopes that this will make me a much more valuable employee.

Mark and I went to the Smokies for Thanksgiving and stayed in our time share condo. Katie and her BF Brad joined us for Thanksgiving and we ended up cooking in the condo--- which was somewhat of an experience. We enjoyed our weekend and relaxed and ate and took it easy. Brad took our family photo for our Christmas card.

Now, here we are at Christmas time almost. It is time to start all the preparations for Christmas. The time is here for baking, cooking,decorating, eating, sharing our time, sharing our love and remembering the reason for the season.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Terrible things happen to good people

Judi is one of the most dear people i have ever been blessed to know. I do not have any flesh-and-bloods sisters--but I do have three sister-of-the-heart and soul. Women that I would do anything for--women that would do anything for me--I would not hesitate to call on them for anything at anytime and they would do the same if there was something they needed. We have been there for each other through thick and lots of thin. You have seen this photo of Judi recently with her "blood" daughter and her grandchildren, Brandon and Nickie. My daughter has called her Grandma Judi since she was old enough to call anyone by name. Judi has always been there for Katie in a grand-mothery way and there is a great deal of love for Judi by Katie. Judi is the Grandma Katie was blessed to be given from love, not blood

On September 10 Judi and Carson (her husband of about 47 years) were involved in a deadly accident while riding the motorcycle down to the flea market in a nearby town. Judi and Carson were riding safely and at a sedate speed ,according to the driver of the car who had been behind them for many miles. The rural area they were in was a two lane highway... the day was bright and sunny, there was no rain, fog or any other obstruction to the driver's vision. Judi and Carson apparently came to a cross road where there was no stop sign or light on their side. The stop sign was on the intersecting e road . As they came upon the road a SUV that did not stop at the sign on the oncoming road plowed into them.

From all reports there was nothing that Carson could have done to prevent the accident.. Judi and Carson were just tooling along minding their own business when they were blindsided by this huge monstrosity. The other driver was in his 70's and reported he just did not see them. The driver behind Judi and Carson in a car saw the whole thing (he told Lori that his wife had not been able to sleep since then very much). Carson was killed immediately by the impact and force of the collision. Judi was thrown--somewhere--- and landed on her right side. She has suffered a severe compound fracture to her right femur (longest strongest bone in the body and very hard to break normally--compound means the bone was broken and sticking through her skin), a severe fracture to her pelvis, a break in her right arm, fracture in her right leg near or about the foot and ankle,numerous fractured ribs and cuts and contusions. Thank God for helmets and for landing her more gently that she could have landed. She was sent by Lifestar to the nearest Level I trauma center.

Our Pastor called me at work to let me know what happened---and I promptly fell apart in my cube... but I thank God for the women at work that He has recently placed in my path. You may have read previously in my blog of my frustration of being "betrayed" by a good friend at work who suddenly decided i was not worthy, and some other sad work related things that made me have hurt feelings and lots of resentment to my co-workers and seriously look for another job just to get rid of that stress in my life. All of this happened around the time(in October)that i was told that i had Sclerodemra... a terrible and mostly fatal disease. But no one around me really cared to find out why I stopped speaking to anyone and was crying all the time--and didn't socialize at all with our group...and just to give me a healing hug or a thoughtful 'if there is anything i can do to help". Anyway a around that time i asked to have my cube relocated to another spot as far away from these "friends" as possible. Again, God worked his blessings and sat me down right smack dab in he middle of 5 other women of faith and love and fun. Sharon, Tina, Sherry, Terry and Maggie. these wonderful ladies have become great prayer partners/warriors and people i really think if as friends and sister's in Christ. (sometimes when I think how He is looking out for us long before we know we need looking out for i am astounded)---but even all those months ago God was busy plopping me down in the middle of these new and wonderful friends..who as soon as they heard started saying some mighty prayers for Judi, Carson and all the medical people trying to help Judi.

Inserting something funny here: when I got to the hospital (in my panic and desire to see Judi with my own two eyes) I had decided I would lie to whoever I needed to lie to to get to the ICU to see her---and I totally did not care who it was. I drive up and jump out of the car and the first person we see is our Pastor. We (my honey and I)walked up to him to get the latest news and he told us she was worse than they thought when he called me.I sat down to listen and that is when I heard most of the above.... Then I looked waaay up at him (he's really tall) and said "now, just so you know I am going in there and lying... I'm going to ask God's forgiveness but I want you to know I am going in there and willfully sin." he just got this sorta stunned look on his face. then I told him "I have just become Judi's youngest sister,or her oldest daughter (she's 17 years older than me so either would work) but somehow I am getting in there to see her in ICU. Unless Brad and Lori (her birth children) tell me for some reason that I am not welcome----- I am going" Poor Pastor--- he just had this stunned look... I think he didn't quite know what to do with me. Anyway turned out I didn't have to lie because when I said that same thing to Brad he said "here is a badge--go see her and go as long and often as you want to--- you are family."

but back to Judi........later that evening she underwent surgery to pin and plate that terrible femur injury back together and try to decide what to do about her foot/ankle. She underwent this surgery the evening of the wreck. She was in terrible pain and they really could not give her too much pain medicine while they were still assessing her for injury. We stayed at the hospital until late hours and then when we got home I was unable to sleep and finally sleep to wake with a migraine. So--- I stayed home from work with medication--and then back to hospital when i stopped hurting. The next day, Thursday, more test revealed the broken arm---but they were just trying to keep her as pain free as possible. We were all in various rooms in the hospital taking turns to see her and find out what we could. Nickie was taking her Papaw's death pretty hard so everyone was also trying to be comforting and reassuring to her. (It had not been long since the anniversary of her older brother's death) She had the extra support of her BF Josh and his very caring loving parents,Missy and Eddie, who were there all that time too.

Friday and Saturday passed much the same with the exception they were finally getting some quality pain meds in her so she was not in so much pain. Those PCA (patient controlled anesthetics) pumps are great. Saturday she was able to talk to me more like Judi that she had been trough the whole ordeal. She sounded like herself and actually mentioned that she could not believe that Carson was gone. Then Saturday evening they started preparing her for a more extensive surgery on Sunday morning.

Sunday morning they did the surgery to hopefully pin her pelvis back together so it can knit properly. She has some "tinker toys" to hold it all together (the rods that stick through the skin to hold it all together). They also set her arm and tried again to decide what to do about the foot/ankle. I think they are just going to leave it for now. And then she got to go to a real room and not back to SCC!!!! yeah!!!. I didn't go back up there Sunday because there was lots of other family members there and I didn't want to a- wear out my welcome b- have to many people there driving everyone in the hospital insane and c- I want to be able to be there when she really really needs me to be there. She also had lots of company on Monday since she was back in a room.

My plan was to go see her on Tuesday after she had had a bit of time to gather her wits and to rest a bit from the excitement of the company on Monday which wore her out. Tuesday I got up and took a medication that I am supposed to take all the time but had forgotten for about---ooooo- wellll to be honest 2 months. And it made me sick as a dog. I thought that was what was causing my stomach distress but just in case I didn't want to risk giving Judi anymore problems so I stayed home. and still felt yucko today so I didn't go today either.

S0000 the plan is to go to the hospital tomorrow when I get off work, spend some time with my best friend forever and give Lori some time to rest or go out or whatever she wants to do. She has stayed there most of the time now for a whole week. I don't want her to get sick so she needs to get some rest. Wonder if she will let me stay one night this weekend if Judi is still in there.

So, if you have read all of this---congratulations----and thank you so much for listening to me ramble about my life and my friends and how good God is to me. I hope He richly blesses each and every one of you as He has me

Peace, Brenda

P.S---if you see a neon pink iPod hanging around that has lots of Christian music on it along with some eclectic selections of Bill Cosby, Soundtrack from "seven brides for seven brothers" and two audiobooks (harry potter) would you please see that it finds its way back home---- I'm afraid it has been liberated and will never see me again.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

big cats

the big cats at the zoo---they were fascinating and i wanted to bring them home with me

Monday, September 1, 2008

Crafty strawberry cards

I made some iris folded strawberry cards for Katie

Memphis Part II

Katie at the Pink Palace

This is part of the University of Memphis where Katie will be spending a lot of time

It was “Elvis week” ---to commemorate the 31st anniversary of his death-- so that was ......ummmm.... interesting. We did see “Elvis” twice while downtown on Union Avenue (heard that song about walking in Memphis—and seeing him down on Union Ave??). We didn't go to Graceland simply because it was Elvis week. The place was crawling with people who were huge fans.... one little guy had on a belt buckle that was all glittery and said “Elvis” in some red kind of sparkly stones that was about as large as my salad plates and he was a little bitty fellow. The first Elvis we saw was selling newspapers in his trademark White and Gold jumpsuit. The second Elvis we saw was in the same Sun Studio tour group we were in..... and this one had a eastern European accent! Sun Studio was great by the way

We went to the zoo on Saturday and man was it HOT!! Katie said it was the coolest weekend they have had since she moved there in May---whew! Their zoo is magnificent – I want to go back in say--- January or February! The tigers were the best. We stood there for a long time and watched them. It was hot and they were busy playing in the water and with each other. There was a white tiger, a Bengal and Sumatran tiger. They were soooo beautiful. I usually don't like zoos because the animals all seem so stressed and unhappy. These were much better than the last time I was in a zoo. --somehow i do not have the picture of the tigers on my computer---grrrr

Saturday morning Katie took us to downtown and we saw all the tourist spots--- Beale St., BB Kings, Huey's for lunch. A Schwabs. Peabody and Peabody place---

We also ate at some really neat places. It was just fun to see stuff we had never seen YK? We went to the Commissary in Germantown but it was raining and crowded so we went to a pizza place named Girabaldi's instead. This was the Friday night that Michael Phelps won the gold by .001 second. The food was great (yummy barbecue pizza) but the funniest thing was that while we were eating and Michael Phelps started racing everyone in the restaurant (including the employees ) jumped over to see the race. Then there was some whooping and talk about if he did or if he didn't.

Saturday evening we ate at Bosco's which is a local favorite apparently. We were so tired after the zoo that that was pretty much all we did on Saturday-- -The heat drained us-- good food. We went back to Katie's then. i read some on a book i was trying to finish and Katie and Mark watched the Olympics...soon we went to bed because we were just so tired.

Sunday was the day we went to Sun Studio and out for breakfast-- then Katie insisted we leave ---but we made good time and made it home just after midnight---- good trip- good times

The week before we went down there her car started acting one of the first things we did was take a bunch of tools so Mark could check out her car. He tried everything to get the dumb car to mess up---but it would not mess up. Course we left on Sunday evening and the car promptly tore up! She ended up having to have it towed to a garage. It cost $189 to repair it—we hope anyway. And it turned out the only thing they did was replace the battery!!! but at least it seems to be working now.



We had a great time going to Katie's the weekend of the 15th. We ended up staying at her place and got to meet her roommates (Katie and Olivia) who seemed to be really nice. They were wonderful to let us stay at the house and not have to spend $359 for a room for 3 nights!!! The apartment was really nice. The house is a Victorian style divided into two parts. Katie and her roommates have the bottom floor. It has all wood floors and large rooms. She is very lucky to have such a nice place and it is in a nice neighborhood.some beautiful houses on Katies block

We got to see a lot of Memphis and the part of TN we had never seen. Mark got to see the Mississippi for the first time (he had seen it when his family went to Wisconsin to visit G parents but just didn't remember). We went across the Mississippi to see Arkansas – just because we could LOL. OK--- little known fact here--- I hate bridges that are high up and curve--and yes we had to go on just that to go to Arkansas-- terrifying. But Katie got some beautiful shots of the Memphis skyline on the way back.

We went to the Pink Palace to see where Katie works and to meet some of her workmates. Everyone seemed really nice and like they like her We didn't have enough time to see everything so we will surely have to go back there. She showed us the campus where she will be attending school and doing her graduate assistant duties. and we got to see katie's office at the palace---

We got to see Brad's condo also-- he has a really nice place and is working hard to get it all fixed up like he wants it. We got to meet his room mate Michael at the apartment. Then we also got to meet Brad's mother,sister Susan and her boyfriend Blake. Sharon (Brad's mother) was very nice and we loved getting to meet her. Brad seems to have a nice family and support system. oh we also went by his studio to see the flower gardens Katie has worked on all summer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

here we go again!!!

Mark and I are trying to get ready to go see Katie's new digs in Memphis. neither of us have ever been to Memphis so we are looking forward to it. I dont know how long itwill take us to get there. We are probably going to stop overnight on the way down there, since we are leaving after work. But I am much better at being awake at night than in the morning....such a night owl.

Ive been crafting a little.. really got into making some iris folded cards

better go get stuff ready-- the man is getting antsy. Peace and love