Sunday, July 24, 2011


It's been hot!  As evidenced by the car "home" panel, (note the 100 F) it has been an index of a hundred or more for what seems like weeks.  However, I did get out for a little photography this past week.  

This cornfield near one of my doctor's offices just kept calling me until I pulled over and gave in to some fun.  I have also been trying to keep up with our fast growing Surprise Lilies...they seem to change daily! (More on Flickr)
Thursday evening Judy and I again visited classmates to help plan for an upcoming SS&M Party (Social Security & Medicare) this September.  This particular group has remained close since graduating in 1964 and it takes several "gatherings/parties" to plan our normal every 5-year reunions and certain special celebrations like our turning 65 this year!

This year's "birthday party" should be a great one, poolside with the appropriate rock'n roll and country music, and tasty finger foods!  We are hoping several that have never attended will show up this year and join all the fun they've been missing. 
We all have jobs to do to prepare for the event, and I volunteered to update our contact list and send out an early email notice to get a feel for how many classmates to expect.

The music will be state-of-the-art iPod and wireless speakers, so '64 HHS class president Ronnie Thornton proved Thursday night that he had that project well in hand!

Friday afternoon was family time with most of the Dragons and Knights meeting at Aubrey's in Lenoir City to just celebrate being alive and together again.
Ron (right above) and Gary (second from right below) are planning long-haul camping trips soon, so we took this time to see each other one last time before they leave.  Neena's grandson Chandler and Lauren, Terri's boss's daughter, joined us.
Everyone has a personal favorite and mine is the peanut crusted catfish!  Judy always goes for the grilled chicken.

Saturday Judy and headed for Knoxville to visit Corey and "the girls"!  As I often do, I stopped by Wild Wings and picked up wings and sliders.  As I checked in with Corey before leaving, I could hear Kinsley shouting "I want hamburger daddy!  I want hamburger!"  So, Judy and I, with sliders with ketchup and pickles were soon, were on the way.
Kinsley (left) was in a great mood, as was Lily (center), and they both tried to get all of the attention.  Lily entertained us by reading, which she does extremely well, and Kinsley jabbered over her trying to win our attention over Lily.  It was so great, watching them jockey for time; Lily read and make several costume changes, while Kinsley also make quick changes and would show us all her toys!  

If you are a Facebook friend, you probably have seen my photo with the princess crown on my head.  Kinsley called it my hat and insisted I wear it the whole time!

After the wings and sliders, Judy and I spent some time up in the girl's individual bedrooms, playing games, watching them struggle into costumes (like the one at right), listening to story books as Lily continued to read, and laughed as Kinsley tried to do everything Lily did.

I'm so proud of Tia and Corey and how well they have taught the girls read, count, interact, and play nicely with each other. They really entertain themselves...all one has to do is watch and listen.  It's so much fun!
After a wrestling match with her daddy, it was soon Kinsley's nap time.  So we left soon after she went to bed, so Corey could have some down time too.  I can't wait for the next visit!                             

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


People that know Judy and me know that we have fun pretty much anywhere we are, and today it was at the doctor's office!

Judy was following up on the health issue that caused her to pass out July 4th weekend by going to a neurologist today.  We sat, arms touching, her reading her Kindle and me playing Spider on my iPad, in the waiting room, until her name was called.

We sat looking around the doctor's little patient room at the posters of the brain, the little skeleton hanging from a hook on a table in the corner, and at the plastic brain supported by half a crystal skull, and listening to the sounds out in the hall.

Some man said, pecking on the wall, "This one is well contoured, and this one is fat and ugly."

Judy looked at me and asked, "Can he see into this room?"

I laughed, which started us both laughing louder!  Must have been too loud...the man and whoever was with him walked away.

Having forgotten my camera...I know...unlike me...I was just about to snap a photo of the little skeleton when the nurse came back in.  We had a private joke laugh going just about the entire time she tried to take Judy's blood pressure lying, standing, and then again after two minutes.  I'm sure the nurse thought us crazy, but she tried, to give her credit, to join in from time-to-time.

She left and I again tried to refire my iPad, but before it would boot the doctor came in!  I snapped the case shut and smiled while Judy sniggered.

He was a good natured fellow and soon found out Judy's secret...she's a hand full!

I was intrigued by the little doctor's bag the doc was carrying.  You don't see that anymore...I mean the little black doctor's bag like the one's flung up onto the buckboard as the doctor wheeled off to save another gunshot victim down at the saloon!

I wanted a picture of that so bad, but only half as bad as I wanted to dig around inside.  I sat looking at it until he noticed me and acknowledged that he was quite unusual, but I could not touch his bag!

He asked Judy to follow his finger and she complied, rolling her eyes in all directions for him.  He then asked her to touch his finger, and Judy surprised him by asking, "With what?"

He chuckled and agreed that his command should have been qualified a little.  "With your finger, touch my finger, and then touch your nose."

Judy complied and touched his finger with her finger and then started toward his finger with her nose!

"No...touch your nose with your finger!  Now, start over and touch, with your finger, my finger first and then touch your nose...with your finger!"

By then he understood that Judy was what some people call, a lot of trouble!  We both tend to look for opportunities to be funny and to catch people off guard with our literal interpretations of a given situation.

Bottom line, the doctor agreed with the ER doctors at Mercy West, and our family doctor that the episode on July 3rd was caused by blood pressure.  We have both since stopped taking BP meds until we have taken our pressure.  Thus far neither of us need medication.  Our weight loss has been enough, so we will keep an eye on it.

Afterwards we celebrated with a feast at Red Lobster!

By the way, the doctor is quite the photographer too...check out his work HERE!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


It's so hot here in Tennessee the squirrels in my yard are too hot to frolic!  Here's proof!

My wife called my name, in that low but urgent voice, today from the other room.  I knew immediately that she saw something outside that I needed to see, so I took the camera.  
My first thought was that it was another set of spotted fawns, or maybe another black snake raiding the birdhouse on the front porch for eggs, or maybe the hawk was again perched on the backyard birdhouse waiting for a juicy mouse to come along, but no.  It was this exhausted looking grey squirrel spread out on the railing of our deck, with each little leg hanging over the edge.  I kept looking for his tongue, but it was not hanging out...yet!

If there had been a cartoon speech balloon over its little head, I'm sure that's exactly what it would have said!

The heat index was just 93 today, cooler than usual, but believe me it's hot and humid enough to be late August!  

Hot enough to make the squirrels lay down and beg for mercy!

Thursday, July 07, 2011


The doctor told Judy she did not have a stroke!  She also agreed with the ER doctor that the episode was more than likely caused by low blood pressure brought on my her BP medication, the heat, and possibly because she was dehydrated.  

Her blood sugar is also perfect, with current meds, so that was not a cause either.
However, Dr. Tedder is sending her to a neurologists and back to her kidney doctor to see why one kidney is functioning below normal.  

Over all, that news is good and we'll eventually get to the bottom of it.

The bad news is that it cost me $1450 to get a new water line run the 150-200 feet from the meter up in the cul-de-sac.  I had that done back in 2000, but apparently the guy then used PVC to black pipe.  I think this job by "Downhill Plumbing" was done right using the latest in piping.  I even had a second run of pipe buried just for future use.

The pipe is guaranteed for 100 years, so I won't have to worry about that for a long time!
I suppose I'll sleep well tonight...haven't seen, smelled, or heard anything to worry about yet!

Monday, July 04, 2011


Well, our traditional 4th of July celebration began as usual, with the Knights and Dragons gathering at Neena and Ron's house.  Snacks were laid out, beers, and sissy girly drinks opened, and we assumed our usual opposite corners of the screened-porch to enjoy each other and, best of all, laugh!  In the back of our minds we all greatly anticipated the eating of the "low country boil"!

Not two libations into my Fourth, the sisters began calling my name.  At first I was irritated that they would interrupt me mid-conversation, but as I turned and looked in their direction I saw Judy's head bobbling and her sisters trying to attend to her!

My first thought was stroke..."oh please"...and I rushed to her side.  Gary swooped in beside me and we tried helping her up, but it was obvious she couldn't stand...let alone walk. 
Gary and I then lifted her, with Gary (blue shirt nearest the camera) holding most of the weight, and we made it to the couch.  Gary hoisted her up over the back and dropped her on the couch.

The other sisters came running with cold wet cloths and an icepack from the freezer.  She would respond with "yeah" and shake her head, but nothing was flowing from her easily or clearly.  Finally after someone asked her where she was she said "Tokyo"!

This was the first time we all breathed easier, but we collectively decided to call 911.  She had gotten weak and had to be helped before, but this was really the first time she had gone completely out.  So, we called and the Roane County EMTs came in short order.

In the meantime we rubbed her with the cold cloth and icepack, and took her blood pressure. Her pressure was 53/40...although her pressure normally runs low, this was extremely low for her.

The EMTs came and they took her vitals and her blood sugar which was 93...fine.

Judy still didn't think she could stand, so they brought in the gurney and out the door they went with her.  I followed in our car, praying just about the whole time.  I lost them at a red light and so I made it to the hospital in Knoxville a few minutes after the ambulance.

Outside one of the EMTs said she was fine and inside being checked out.  The other EMT met me at registration and reassured me that she was fine.

I did the normal paperwork, using her Medicare card for the first time since we hit the magic age in May, and was then allowed in the back to see her.
Judy was fine...talking and making jokes about being a party pooper, and that we couldn't run with the big dogs anymore!  I was so relieved!

Her vital signs, the x-rays, the CT, and all the 6 vials of blood all checked out negative for anything.  The doctor said he could tell us what went wrong...just what wasn't wrong.  He released her and we made our way home.

We have both lost weight recently and our bodies haven't adjusted to it.  Therefore, the blood pressure medications we take are apparently pushing the pressure too low.  Like me, she will have to start monitoring her pressure and decide then whether or not she needs medication for the day.

The doctor said her pressure was probably low and the heat and laughter, which are both stressers he said, pushed it too low and she went out.  She had also had two teeth pulled last week and had been on pain meds.  All in all, it was just a combination of things, but she needs more tests.

By then it was nearly 10PM, so we stopped at Steak & Shake for a bite to eat.  It was the first we had since breakfast, besides a chip or two at the earlier gathering.

I just returned from meeting Ron in Kingston, about half way between our homes, and picking up our share of the "boil" from yesterday.  Judy is sleeping well, but when she wakes up I will heat up the food and we will celebrate the 4th quietly at home...thanking God that everything is okay again!

Come tomorrow...I will insist she go see our family doctor and try and make sure this doesn't happen again anytime soon.

Love you all...Mushy!