High hopes, half realized

Sunrise. I didn’t take this pic, but it’s free and I like it.


When I opened my eyes this morning I knew it was Doctor Day – finally.

Gary was in an unusually good mood and I think I know why. Some folks will tell you they’re “fine”, or even “feeling better” even when they definitely are NOT. He’s one of those folks. I asked him to please not respond that way to the nurse and doctor if they asked him how he felt. He got grouchy again and said he wouldn’t.

We got there on time, and out came the nurse with some news. “We have an ‘issue’ with the breathing machine,” she started to say and that’s when I noticed Gary get agitated. She said the printer used with the machine was out of ink – yes, I said out of ink – and did we want to reschedule?

Gary piped right up and told her in no uncertain terms he wouldn’t make to the “next time”. She explained someone forgot to order ink but if he wanted to see the doctor anyway he could do it but there would be no breath test and no results.

Cutting to the chase, the doctor gave us some inhaler-type medicine (I found out later it would cost us over $700 a month for that medicine, so that’s a no-go.) and two prescriptions, one for use in a nebulizer. I called the place where we could get one (Medicare pays for that) but they told me they had none and weren’t going to be getting any more – ever.

I went to Walmart to get his meds, gave back the nebulizer medicine and was told they had no clue where to get a nebulizer. Back to the doctor’s office and was given a number in Geneseo to see if they have any. If not, I’m to Google them and see where I can fine one.

I’m pooped. Seriously pooped. He’s had a dose of his new meds and is sleeping. So, we got half of what we need and we’re on a new quest to get the rest.

January 17, 2018


No words

My sweetheart


Well, not many.

It hurt too much to stay home, and I had to go to work anyway. At work, I found my friend in a very bad place and it was all I could do to hold it together for her.

At home, again, I cried – mostly out of exhaustion, fear and love for my best friend, my husband. I don’t like to wish time away but I can’t wait until tomorrow when we WILL get answers. I won’t leave until we do, and I mean that with every fiber of my being.

If you read this far, and if you feel so inclined, I would appreciate your prayers. Gary needs relief from whatever he’s suffering from and I’m praying he will find that blessed relief tomorrow.

Tomorrow. Please, come soon.

January 16, 2018

Warm cherry pie and love

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.


It’s cold outside. The snow is coming. And I’ve already been to the store so this gal will be staying inside for the next day or two.

There is no work for me on Monday, because of the holiday, but I always manage to work a few hours anyway. It’s important to keep up with the ever-changing court schedule since it seems crime does not take a holiday, even federal ones.

I bought a crumbly-topped cherry pie today to bake for Gary. It’s now his favorite. He needed a few more things out there but he’s awfully reluctant to send me out because he knows how much pain it puts me in, but what he doesn’t realize is, I’m used to it.

Tonight we’ll have leftover spaghetti and tomorrow I’ll try out the new CrockPot Express – kind of a combination pressure cooker and crockpot. I was always afraid of pressure cookers but this one seems safe enough. I want to make tasty and healthful meals for us and this seemed like a great choice.

Yesterday I brought up the idea of getting a kitten and promised we would wait until he’s better. I pray it doesn’t take long, but for his sake, not because I want a furry friend NOW.

I hope this finds you inside where it’s warm, spending time with someone you love and can laugh with. At the moment he’s snuggled up on the sofa, sleeping. He won’t admit it but he seems to rest a whole lot easier when I’m around. I think that’s pretty sweet.

Gosh, I thank God I found just the right guy to spend the rest of my life with.

January 14, 2018

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty

This was Mittens, Gary’s mom’s cat. Such a cutie!


Oh, I can’t wait. I want a kitten or young cat and I want it now.

But “now” isn’t quite the right time. When Gary’s on the mend I’ll bring it up again, but for now he’s not up to a new and frisky presence in the house. He needs healing and rest and the right diagnosis and most likely, more meds.

But…I believe it would be good for him (and me) to have a furry companion. I want to buy the necessities, and toys, and especially beds and cat trees. I want to give my Amazon boxes to Bernadette (yes, I’ve already picked out a name) and watch her jump in and out of them.

I want Bernie to curl up next to us and sleep, to come zipping through the rooms and pounce.

I want to adopt from a private party; hopefully, to have Bernie “pick us” as we look for her.

I want to say, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.” Dear, sweet Bernie, I can’t wait to meet you.

January 12, 2018

Yes, indeed, I skipped a day

My sweetheart, when he could stand up straight and felt better.


I was too angry yesterday to write. I don’t like that feeling.

I’d called the doctor’s office multiple times between Monday and Wednesday to get Gary in for the breathing test they didn’t schedule until the 17th (why?!) and from what I could gather from a phone message, the nurse was wondering why the late date too.

I sat with the phone next to me after work on Wednesday, all the way up until 10 p.m. I know that’s silly but geez, I watch Gary struggle and I guess silliness is now a part of who I am.

Eventually I got through Thursday after work and after being on hold while someone talked to the nurse, the woman came back on the line and told me they were just awfully busy and if I was that worried about Gary we should take him to the ER or “prompt care”.


Apparently Gary heard what was said (I had the phone on speaker) and he said he wasn’t going to ER, he’d just keep his appointment for next Wednesday.

I’ve been crying off and on all week from worry. And yes, I pray, but I’m human. I won’t apologize for that. I will go in with him that day but I don’t trust myself to speak, only to listen. I can’t fathom how the doctor and/or nurse couldn’t spare 15 or 20 minutes during the last few days for a long-time patient with breathing problems.

The anger has dissipated a bit. That’s a good thing because it’s an awful feeling and I’ve been working hard to find better ways to handle my emotions.

Just don’t count on me being successful with those when my loved ones are involved. I tend to get a tad ticked off and weepy.

Just sayin’.

January 11, 2018

Fun day, Tuesday

Gotta love my frog. Makes me smile.


You would think that at my age a “fun” day would be relaxing at home with Gary, writing, reading and, well, napping. Don’t get me wrong, those are definitely fun days but yesterday was kinda special.

I cover courthouse happenings for several papers and in Henry County, the place is open for business five days a week. Yesterday was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and, coincidentally, a promotional ceremony was scheduled for late afternoon.

Three from the sheriff’s department were promoted. Family and friends came too, and there were pinning ceremonies. I get kind of caught up in such celebrations and I could feel tears sting my eyes as people around me got emotional, too.

As if that wasn’t special enough, I took the county van back home and on the way we picked up a 102-year-old man in town and took him to Kewanee. Oh, my gosh! This guy does not use a cane, got up into the van easily, found his seat and snapped himself in. I understand he only had his driver’s license taken away two years ago when he was a mere 100 years old.

I learned a few things about this amazing man and came home smiling, even though I was bone-tired. I would love to have talked with this guy and learned about his life.

I love my job, the people I interact with and I think that’s important. No matter the troubles, trials and all else we get thrown at us, if we can find something that brings us joy (and is legal!), then we are indeed blessed.

I know I am.

January 10, 2018

Gosh, I (we) miss her

There’s our girl

Blacki, that is.

It was a warm spring afternoon when the four of us trekked to the animal shelter to check out a dog for Vonnie and Tom. A few pooches came outside to meet us but none made the cut. Well, not for Vonnie and Tom. I didn’t think they were right, especially Tom, when he mentioned he didn’t want to get scratched by pooch paws and bleed too much.

But he had a point. Earlier that week he’d “scratched” himself on the corner of his kitchen counter and it bled like crazy. Us older folks have thin skin and it doesn’t take much to bruise us or cause lots of bleeding with a simple scratch.

That afternoon I fell in love with “Luna”, a shiny, soft-coated Lab mix who, when I picked her up, hugged my neck. That did it.

Our application was approved and Luna became Blackie. Gary named her that after a favorite dog of his grandfather’s.

I won’t go into the details of our lives with Blacki because it’s still too painful to write about but I find myself missing her something fierce. We had to return her to the shelter (company policy, I’m told), so she was re-homed (though I don’t know with whom or how she’s doing – again, that company policy thing).

I have all kinds of photos of her. I’m not sorry I took them but they bring a catch in my throat when I run across them.

I had a Facebook friend who took me to task a bit when I wrote that due to Gary’s health issues we had to re-home our Blacki. She said something like, “I don’t know how to respond to this. It’s not Blacki’s fault.”

I couldn’t get that out of my head. We’d been online friends for years. We connected over our love of animals, but we also have the same political leanings and we prayed for each other and our pets. And now it was like she just didn’t get it and I needed her to.

She has an absolute right to feel how she feels and I have the same right to unfriend someone who brings me sadness. There’s enough stress going on around here to last a lifetime. There are a few who know exactly what I mean by that because they know our little family’s history.

We need to do what we can to get through Life. We prune and sort and prioritize until we come up with a balance that works – until it doesn’t – and then we do something about it.

I did, and though I occasionally miss my friend I have learned to go on without her. Someday, maybe I’ll make it through one day without thinking too much about Blacki.

And though I may never know where she is, I pray she’s with a family who knows just what kind of a precious soul she has. She deserves the best.

January 9, 2018