Friday, June 22, 2012


I should have waited a few more days and I would have had another subject to add to my previous "What's Goin' On" post!

For a couple of weeks, my wife Judy, had been complaining of a tightness, or pressure in her chest.  I told her she needed to go to the ER, or at least make an appointment with our family doctor.  But NOOOOOoooo!

Saying something like, "I rather die at home than go to the emergency room," she put it off.  It did go and come and seemed to get better, so we waited.  Not a good move!

On Monday, we were watching installers put up our new closet doors.  All the time Judy sat, or lay, on the couch in the sunroom, while the work was being done.  The workmen said they needed to come back the next day to finish up, since there was more finishing work than estimated.

I told them that my wife wasn't feeling well, so please call before coming the next day.  Sure enough, on Tuesday she had had it with the discomfort, and off to Tennova at Turkey Creek we went.  The ER there had treated her great a year ago when an ambulance took her there after she passed out at our family July 4th celebration!  Turns out, this new issue may have been related to that incident!

We walked in, mentioned that she was having chest pain, and they came and took her straight back, while I stayed to fill out the insurance paperwork.

When I got back to the treatment room, the doctor had already done blood work, an extra, and EKG, and had decided that, based on symptoms and family history, he was going to admit her.  The plan was to do a stress test, some more tests, and them possibly a cardiac catheterization (heart cath) with dye the next morning.

After consulting with the head of the cardiac department, it was decided to go straight for the cath on Wednesday morning.  

So, that morning before I arrived, Judy began to hurt badly and her blood pressure rose sharply.  The nurses administered nitroglycerin (2 or 3 tablets), all which caused her to crash!  They could not find a pulse, she was white as a sheet, and remembers being scared!  They lowered her head to an acute level and administered morphine, which eventually brought her pressure back up!

I didn't know all this until after the procedure, but at around 9:30 that morning they did the "dye test" and found the artery on the right front of her heart 80% blocked, and another on the left side 40% blocked.  They put in a "stent" on the right side, but decided not to do anything to the other side.

I've heard since it's because doctors have to discount multiple procedures!  I hope this isn't the case, but I've heard this from a nurse in our family. 

Anyway, she finally got to come home around 7PM the same day, and yesterday and today has been resting a lot.

So, long story short, as Sammie Harris (good friend I used to work with) used to say, the worked completed the doors while I was at the hospital, didn't steal at thing!

This is my room, but Judy's looks the same!

The work looks great!  Now all we have to do is stain the wooded doors and put on the trim work.  

We had almost gotten used to having no closet doors, and miss being able to see right in!  We had taken them off prior to having the house painted, and installing new carpet.  I was going to do the baseboards and closet trim after the door installation.

So, tonight, Judy is resting in the sunroom and I'm cooking supper and blogging!  I'm also having a little Buffalo Trace!  It's mandatory when I'm cooking!

We're having center-cut bone-in pork chops, with a baked sweet potato!  I'm salivating like Pavlov's dog just thinking about it!  Ladies, if you don't know what the dog thing is all about, then you have failed one of the ten things that is required before being considered a "10"!

I posted about this years ago:  

"This idea was spawned by the movie "Semi-Tough" starring Burt Reynolds back in ’77. In one scene, the main characters, Billy Clyde and Shake, discuss their rating system for women.

The ones we made up were based on the movie’s list, however I can only remember three of ours:
1. Never says no – not even in a coma.
2. Knows about Pavlov’s dog.
3. Knows all the lyrics to “Free Bird”." (Actually, Steve Edwards and I added this one!)

Keep us in your prayers.  She still has some issues that need to be resolved, so she is not completely well yet.  Thanks.

Friday, June 15, 2012

What's That...What's Going On?!

It's been awhile, about 30 days, since I've posted, which is getting to be about par for the course.  So, I thought I would bring those interested up to date, and maybe prove the point, that retirement is loads of fun!

True, the fun is often broken by a low spot, like the last prostrate laser surgery, but boy, has it ever helped.  If you listen at the door, you would think a young horse was relieving himself!  I mean...even when I was young I never had a stream like the one I'd proudly show off now!

Anyway, I'm back to feeling myself (not literally), and having fun.
Dennis Tufano, Stevie G, and Steve Jarrell
I guess the first great adventure I had following the outpatient procedure was the "Dennis Tufano" concert Princess Productions put on down at the Princess Theatre.  He has lost little in his voice, the original voice of the Buckinghams, and his back up band, The Rockerz, with lead singer and guitarist Stevie G, did a bang up job.  The vintage ladies in the audience were screaming like they were 16 again and the boys on stage loved it!
I'll have to put in a plug for Michael "Crawdaddy" Crawley too.  He warmed up the crowd with his box of harps and his gravelly bluesy sounding voice.  He and went outside at break and took a few snaps of the Princess.
Bill Landry, Elizabeth Rose, Sam Venable, and Jim Claborn
They all loved our Princess, and I sure hope this gets things rolling downtown.  We plan on bringing in a quartet of storytellers next.  They are quite a crew, and well known to East Tennessee.  They spin yarns of Appalachia, country folklore, and even a golf and fishing tale might come out.  I had a recent promo photo shoot with them and they keep me rolling the entire afternoon and into the evening over a brew!

Judy and I are still out hiking when we can, even though the wildflowers came early, we still enjoy a walk down a wooded path by a mountain stream.  There just something about the woods that brings the child out in me again.  Being raised essentially an only child, being ten years older than my brother, I found solace from loneliness among the quietness of Tennessee forests.  I did my best thinking out there and discovered a lot about my self and the world there.
It's like the bear we recently came upon in Cades Cove, or the deer in the front yard.  They are my kind of people!  The only animal we came across that I don't consider "good people, was the grey snake at John Cable's mill!
Even the horses in the fields I see almost everyday take me back to a time when I got to be a kind of country cowboy, riding through the woods with my cousin Larry.  
Or the time Richard Lacher and I sneaked into a "walking horse" barn near our trailer park in Florence.  There we met the devil, and his name was "Midnight Sun", a Tennessee Walker of some renown.  

He saw us before anyone and wanted to kill us immediately, although "walkers" are generally gentle!  Came right up to us, trying to break through the steel gate, snorting like the wild thing he wanted to be again!  Probably was all that anger in having to wear those cruel weighted shoes, "stacks" (stacked pads), or weighted chains his trainer made him wear.

I discovered from the embedded web link that he was born in 1940 and accumulated quite record over his career, being a world champion in 1945 and 1946.
Last weekend I shot the "Cruisin' Harriman" car show downtown, which occurs the second Saturday of each month, April - August.  That's always a hoot, and I love community events, and the history that comes alive because of them.  Take this Saturday, it's the seventh annual WWII reenactment at the Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  I can't wait to see all those tanks, half-tracks, and American and German reenactors running amidst all that smoke and gunfire!  Talk about a hoot and a feast for a photographer!
Photo actually by Kaitlyn Russell
I missed a great feast last week by being too old to tackle Bonnaroo!  The only shot I got was from my granddaughters iPhone...the arch as you enter the rock'n playground for wannabe hippies!  Alas, it's as close as I'll ever get, but I just want to give her credit for sticking it out!  She almost gave it up after the first day of heat, and being ignored, but sucked it up and stuck it out for the full "right of passage" tour!

I'll stick to my hikes, waterfalls, old barns, lotus ponds, and visits to the strange "world's tallest tree house" in Crossville!  That's about as far out as I want to get these days.  That's my element at this stage in my life.
So, I'll sign off by telling you that I'm bushed...we had a big thunderstorm last evening, with the power going off at 9PM and not coming back on until 5AM.  I don't sleep well in the dark...pitch darkness, that is, or in quietness so still I can hear my heart beating.  At this age you think the next beat might be the last one, and you just don't want to hear that last one.  I run an air filter in my room to mask all the static noise...heart beats, squeaks from house expansion and expansion, crickets outside, the refrigerator running, or Judy snoring!  Without, I'm wide awake!

The rain and hail came down in buckets, and I was still there clicking away.  I made these HDR renditions of it all, even catching that spooky orange glow that comes in some storms.  

So with that...see ya next time...maybe sooner than 30 days...IF I got got shots during the war games!