Sunday, June 30, 2019

Wild Roses

The wild roses are in bloom.

They are so fragrant!  Chance liked to eat rose hips, he would eat all the rose hips that he could reach,  so we planted a wild rose on his grave.  In a few years it may bloom.  We still miss Chance every single day.

Far Side

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Home Again

We braved the traffic and two/three traffic jams...weekend traffic I guess...who knows maybe they have traffic problems every day.


Far Guy invited me to the room where sweet little smiling Mary pulled three feet of tube out of his stomach...I declined.

We had a really good educational visit with the Pulmonary Therapist.  She was originally from Wisconsin.  We learned so much from her.

We got home...partially unpacked and we both had nap was for four hours...which probably amounts to a sleep instead of a nap.

We are still mulling over comments from the Thoracic Surgeon "You are pushing the envelope"  "You have some coronary artery disease. not enough for the Cardiologist to be worried about, but from a Lung Transplant Surgeon's standpoint it is concerning."  " I will only transplant one lung."  " You have an 85% chance to survive one year and  then you will probably have a good seven years after you survive the first year." "You will be able to breathe without oxygen with one good lung"  "Your quality of life will be much better"  "You are getting older"  "Recovery will be hard work." "I think you will be listed for a year and then we will have to see the results of another Angiogram." " Don't be discouraged, you have to go into transplant with a really good attitude."  " two blockages are about 60%...not enough to require stents or by pass surgery at this time." "You could have a heart attack during surgery." "You are not a perfect candidate...and we look for perfect."

Lots of scary "stuff" to think about.

My one and only Lilac bloom.
Far Side

Friday, June 28, 2019


We left home at o’dark thirty.  We saw several deer, a fox, something small like an otter, a skunk and several kitty cats.  Several hours into the trip we witnessed a beautiful sunrise.  Two traffic jams later we arrived with 25 minutes to spare. 

Three ultrasounds were accomplished, veins...arteries in legs and neck and some test where they took blood pressures one each arm and leg.

We saw the Thoracic Surgeon who was not a very optimistic fellow.  

Far Guy is having a “gerd study” think tubes down your nose for 24 hours.  It will tell them if he will require a feeding tube for six weeks after transplant. It seems like a long 24 hours for me and I am not having the test.

I sat outside for a long time in the morning.

Far Side

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Yellow Lady's Slipper

The Yellow Lady's Slippers along the driveway are blooming.  They are a little late.
Can you see the bud?

I could only find three blooms this year last year I think there were seven. Hope more show up!

She finally showed herself today.  She made me smile!
I am distressed that there is so much Poison Ivy around her group of bloomers, Far Guy said he would take the long handled clippers to the Poison Ivy and the brush surrounding the blooms one day soon.

Three more appointments were added to the list of appointments.  That made nine appointments and two were taken care of to go...and not real fun tests either....but necessary.

I will have lots of time to crochet and watch people.
Far Side

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

One Lilac

We only have one Lilac that will bloom this year.

That one Lilac has one bloom.  Be thankful for what you get...that might be the message.

Far Guy has a real bad tooth, he saw the Dentist and it will be pulled next week.  Far Guy is having a procedure this week and there was no need to rile things up worse than they already are.

I finally had time to clear off my desk was a disaster.  I am all packed for the next medical adventure.  Six appointments.

Far Side

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Trudging Along

One foot in front of the other.
The deer took my best blooms.

You can see where he/she ate two blooms.  They are not supposed to like this plant.  Baptisia australis or Blue False Indigo.

The same with my Lupine.

The squirrels had their way with my small flower bed.  I bought a few plants to replace the ones they damaged. I will plant them today.

We made it to one was woodburning so we stayed for quite awhile. It was good to catch up with everyone.  The woodburning fumes make Far Guy short of breath and his lung feel burned...just like all fragrances, perfume and aftershave.

The Christmas Ornament is being carved...progress is slow but sure.

Far Guy is completely done with the Prednisone was a long drawn out taper. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that he will still feel okay and not get sick for awhile.

Far Side

Monday, June 24, 2019

Rough Roads

Our area roads are still rough.  We sneak out the back way or make it through one mile of construction to another country road.

We took my baby brothers Gator out to survey the area.   That sand will suck you in...we heard that someone was stranded in the sand overnight until the construction crew came back the next morning.

Seems like so many people are having rough roads lately...Dementia, Cancer, Death, Drug and Alcohol Addiction.  The sadness of it all overwhelms me sometimes.

Far Side

Sunday, June 23, 2019

whats blooming

The Wild Geraniums are prolific this year, the right amount of rain at the right time I guess.

Geranium maculatum or Wild Geranium

Prairie Smoke or Geum triflorum or Old Man's Whiskers
I was happy to see the Prairie Smoke in our wild gardens this year.
A deer went through and ate some of my Lupines and my Baptisia...dirty buggers anyway.

Yesterday I did laundry and cleaned the bathroom and unpacked the rest of our "stuff".  It rained here and it is cool.  Possibly it will be a cool wet summer....who knows!   My other baby brother and his bride mowed our lawn last Wednesday so the lawn is good for a few days.

Far Side

Saturday, June 22, 2019


We are home.  Yes we are both exhausted.  It was a week.  Yesterday we had a nap...catching up as we didn't have many naps all week.

We chose the University of Minnesota Medical Center for transplant.  Far Guys Pulmonary Doctor highly recommended The U of MN. Yes I know you are thinking why don't they go to Mayo?  Well it is a numbers thing...The University does three times as many lung transplants as Mayo.  I liked the sound of Mayo at first...we could stay out of the big city and traffic...but their numbers are just not what we were looking for.  After visiting the U Doctors...I felt confident that we chose the right place...Far Guy too.  Everyone at the Support Group meeting said "You are in the best place possible for new lungs the only other place that compares is Stanford."

I can manage the traffic, do I like it...NO...but I will do what I have to do. The most important place to be is with a good transplant team.  &*^$ traffic.   One day Jen decided to test my in city driving...Freeway and Downtown and I passed her tests.  I told her I felt like vomiting after I arrived safely at the motel. 

After last week we still have a choice...Far Guy can say no to a transplant.  Does he really need a lung transplant?  YES all the tests show that it is his only hope to live a few more years.   He is in good shape other than his crappy lungs.  The next lung infection could put his life in danger, so what to do?  See if he qualifies for a transplant...and go with it, and pray that a donor is found before he dies.

The way I see it he either says yes to dying or yes to a least with the transplant he has a chance to live and breathe.

Tough things to talk about I know.  We have talked and talked...and prayed...and decided that God is in charge and if Far Guy is meant to have a transplant he will.

Is this all scary...yes it sure is... but the alternative is scary too.  Once Far Guy is listed for a transplant I will start a Caring Bridge site for him.

Far Side

Friday, June 21, 2019

Busy Day

Our day began at 5am.  An appt for a liver ultrasound. We saw the Palliative Care Doctor, he was a fairly cheerful guy who talks to patients about worst case scenarios.  Far Guys advance care directive will change at transplant, he needs more time to recover than our advance care directive says right now. Three days on a ventilator and I V antibiotics might not cover changes will be made.  There is a possibility that he could get sent to a rehab unit...or if he has trouble weaning off the vent he will go to a hospital that specializes in those kind of cases.

Our Thoracic surgeon was delayed in surgery so we will see a different Dr next week.

We have a Social Worker  named Liz, she will arrange housing for me across the street from the hospital at the time of transplant. We can contact her with concerns or question at any time.  She also asked some hard questions...that bear discussion.

Far Guy went for a heart cath about 3:15, he did well...and is pretty normal for his age.  He had one small questionable area which was cleared up with a heavy dose of heparin.  He is resting now and when he gets all his tubes out we will head home.
We have to be back next week for A gerd test, a rehab visit and a visit with his new Thoracic Surgeon.
Transplant Board meets every one of these Thursdays he will be listed...God willing and the crick don’t rise.
From his scan on Wednesday he most likely has a lung infection brewing and will be treated with antibiotics.
Thank you for all the comments and prayers we appreciate them.
It rained here.

Far Side

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Wednesday stuff

Far Guy had a cat scan and then we met with his Transplant Coordinator for several hours.  She has 100 transplant patients, all in different stages of transplant. 
We went over all the tests so far.  It all looks far.  He has good kidney function which is very important as the anti rejection drugs after transplant could wipe out his kidneys.  His liver function is good. His hemoglobin is a little high, it is possible that his from the prednisone he is on and it may make him a temporary diabetic post transplant. His cholesterol is fine as are his blood gasses.
He has some antibodies, but not a long list. He has had measles, mumps and rubella so he has those antibodies as well as Hepatitis A and Toxoplasmosis. He has antibodies of Hepatitis B because he had the Hep B shots when he was on the Rescue Squad.  So he is in good shape with antibodies....his donor should have the same antibodies...or in the ballpark.
He needs to get the new Shringrix ever you spell it.  Possibly a booster of DTP and when the new flu shot is available he should have that also. 

He needs a couple more tests that they could not schedule this time around, so we will return for them soon.  
If all goes well tomorrow he will presented at the transplant board with the understanding that the last two tests will be acccomplished as neither of those tests are show stoppers.

After appointments yesterday we found a candy shop. 

Far Side

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tuesday’s Talks

Tuesday was all about talking to a few people. 

First the size 000 Dietitian who was so thin we are convinced she never eats anything.  Far Guys diet is just fine. 

Second was Dr Tom a Hepatologist or Liver Doctor.  He looked over Far Guys Liver Biopsy and declared him fit for a transplant.

Third talk was a really long Transplant Teaching Class with Far Guys Transplant Coordinator...Chris.  We have a huge manual to read. 

A lung transplant is a big deal, lungs are the most difficult organ to transplant. Hearts and kidneys are contained within the body and are much easier for that reason.   There will be a rejection of some kind after the transplant.  The donor will have to be someone over 5 feet 9 inches tall with type A or O blood. 

In the afternoon we drove North to a huge craft shop.  I bought yarn for a special project and some for nests....imagine that. 

The cotton yarn on the left is all tangled up. It is driving me nuts. 

We heard that the fellow with no brain activity after his lung transplant died today, leaving behind his fiancĂ©e and a 1 1/2 year old, a 9 year old and a 17 year old.  Lung Transplants are scary. 
Far Side

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Monday’s Tests

The mornings tests included a very large blood draw, two sticks worth and 25 vials. Urine and poop tests. A Dexa Scan and xrays of chest, spine and hips.  

Just before lunch we went to a Lung Transplant Support Group meeting where we made many friends, they all were either waiting for a lung transplant or had one, or were a Caregiver of a lung transplant patient.  The stories were varied and some were sad... one fellow died recently and another had no brain activity for the past few days.  Young and old people from all walks of life. 

A while back our daughter Jen said “ My friend and co worker Peggy has a friend who had a lung transplant and she is doing great.” Well who do we meet at the meeting but Peggy’s friend...and yes she is doing great.

The support group has a Facebook page and Far Guy was “friended” by a number of people. 

A wonderful man by the name of Charlie gave us his phone number and said to call day or night.

We had lunch in the Cafeteria before Far Guy had a Lung Perfusion test and an Echocardiogram with Bubble.

After all the appointments we went to a shop that sells flavored popcorn.

Then after resting a bit we went to a place called Annie’s Parlor for some supper.

Tomorrow is another day.
Far Side

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Nothing exciting yet

We have arrived safely.  Tests will commence this morning .... Monday at 6:45.
Some kind of apple tree out our window

Some kind of apple tree out our window. 
Far Side


We are hopeful that Far Guy will be considered for a Lung Transplant.  This week he is having many and I mean MANY X-rays and various medical tests.  He has a week full of appointments, sometimes eight hours a day.  Just like a job.  I have a notebook to take notes.

We have results from his urine testing he tests positive for a medication he takes for Trigeminal Neuralgia.  But then the real shocker he tests positive for coffee and chocolate...who knew.  They test you for everything and I mean everything...blood and urine tests do not lie.

His Colonoscopy results are polyps that were removed, not cancerous now but Adenomas are considered pre cancerous... so he has to have another Colonoscopy in three years.  He had the four day fun but it was all accomplished.  He cannot do a traditional prep because he cannot drink the volume of fluids involved...he just vomits. 

I will try to keep you updated here through the blog on our adventures this week.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers out there.  We took my Dad to lunch one day last week.  

I worked in the yard before it rained.  The squirrels have been having fun with the flowers and a bunny has been by for snacks.

Far Side

Saturday, June 15, 2019

car smart

our car is pretty smart.  It sent me a message on the instrument panel that my remote battery was getting low and should be replaced...who knew.  I dropped off Far Guy at Pulmonary Therapy and headed to the Dealership...saw our salesman as I entered the building and said "Hey Joe what do you know about remotes and low batteries?"  He didn't know much but the parts guy did.  The batteries were tested...both were low and replaced and double checked that they worked before leaving the dealership.  Joe and I had a nice talk about a 2019 maybe red...leather with heated seats.  Just a TALK.

Our road is a real adventure.  Construction continues.  We have other ways to get out of here but they both add 10 minutes to a trip to town....and all are dirt roads and dusty.

Our old road is at the left...the new road is on the right.   The corners will be 50 mph corners instead of 35 mph...and the ditches will be deeper allowing snow to blow across the road.  The whole project is taking a long time...seems like forever already.

I gave the smart car that sends me messages a was over due...and the dust had collected in areas of the doors...inside and outside it is a much cleaner vehicle now...too bad it cannot clean itself.
Far Side

Friday, June 14, 2019

Pretty Peony

The Fern Leaf Peony is partially open.

The last ant did a great job of eating nectar.

The bloom is almost open.  If a storm comes through it will be history.
So I enjoyed it while I could!

I took my Dad to Bingo, we didn't win but we had a good time!
Far Side

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Oh Deer!

We were watching The Stanley Cup Game at my baby brothers home when I noticed a deer and fawn in the yard.

The mama was very attentive to her baby.  He/she nursed and finally walked around.
He /she is not very old...less than a week old.

Eventually mama walked off into the woods and the spotted fawn wasn't far behind.

Far Side

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wistful Wednesday : I gave in

I will admit it.  I gave in and joined the eye phone crowd.

I prefer this old phone.  Telemarketers don't know this number...but they sure know the eye phone number.

I asked Jen to pick me out a phone after Far Guy was in the hospital the last time.  I was travelling back and forth and he had his phone with him at the hospital.

I don't know what the fancy smancy thing will do...but it will call a few people....and I can always count on the unknown number to call me between 9 and 10 AM. 

Far Side

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Snowball report

The Minnesota Snowball has turned white.

The shrub looks pretty good for getting no care what so ever.

I have been busy in the yard and the is that time of year to spray the Poison Ivy along the roadsides.  I wait for conditions to be right...not too windy.  I also walked through my baby brothers zipline area.  Lots of kids will be running up that hill later this summer.  It is located in the deep woods on a hillside.
  Far Side

Monday, June 10, 2019


My Fern Leaf Peony from Larry is getting it's usual one bloom.
The ants are busy.
Far Side

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Minnesota Snowball

The snowball bush is putting on blooms. 

Soon they will turn white.

I mowed the dandys again, they will pop up again tomorrow.   We are dry, might get rain...and it is turning cooler.  We have had several days with highs around 90 F or 32 C eh! That is too warm for me...even my head sweats.

We worked on carving Christmas Ornaments,  I have not painted one yet but I am reasonably certain all will be okay.  The design will work great.  It is a rare year that we have two designs in mind...but one will be for the next year.

We have not been going to woodcarving with the group for some time,  they have been woodburning and the smoke in the air is not good for Far Guy. 

Far Side

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Busy Days

Not sure where the time goes.  I spend more time in the yard I guess.  The dandys are driving me nuts...they make the lawn look so untidy. 

I spent a few hours taking care of Poison Ivy, still have more to do.  Had a nap.  Started a new crochet project...not sure if it will work or not.  Did some laundry, watered the seeded grass and flowers and cleaned out the bird baths.   The Oaks are real messy now...the pollen has covered everything.

This is one of the new yard is a solar light the whole bottle lights up at night.

So happy to see a few Dragonflies today to help with the skeeters.
Far Side

Friday, June 7, 2019


Some of the area fields are so green it almost hurts your eyes.

We are taking different roads out of here...since our main road is being worked on.  One day we stopped to admire the green field...and the barn that these people built.

The power poles and other cables are being moved.   Our television signal is lost sometimes in the middle of the night.
I was taking photographs one day and this guy came up to talk to me.  Seems he was an Inspector from the County and he wanted to know why I was taking photos...because I can was my reply.

Took my Dad to Bingo...we both Bingoed once...not big money just little money...enough so we can go back next week!
Far Side

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Chokecherry Blooms

The Chokecherry bushes are in full bloom.  We should have an okay crop of berries for some jelly this year.

Hopefully there are some pollinators out there!

We got some rain it washed down the pollen a bit.

Far Guy had a procedure this week, we are glad that is onward and forward to two more appointments today... It is what we do....yesterday was six hours worth....I am exhausted.
 Far Side

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Wistful Wednesday: Blooms

I clipped off the blooms and growing points of all the flowers I planted.  They will bloom again sooner or later!   I also mowed the lawn.

I still need to trim but my trimmer tool ran out of juice.  No watering last night as it might would be great to have rain showers to settle the pollen.

We visited with Rich a woodcarving friend and got some wood from his stash...all woodcarvers usually have a stash...we have some stash but either it was two narrow or too wide for our present projects.
He has a dog named Sammie so we got a temporary dog fix!

The Lilacs are blooming.  I recall that they were usually the first flowers to appear on the altar of the small church we attended when I was young.  Lilacs first then Peonies.  I can still imagine the fragrances of the flowers mingling with the closed up smell of the old church.
Far Side

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Yard stuff

Here is the little flower garden just before I watered it last evening.  The squirrels messed around in it a bit but not too bad.  Maybe today I will go out there and snip off all the flowers, the plants will root faster that way.

It was warm yesterday into the 80's, so I watered the flower bed, all my grass growing spots and all the birdbaths...

I know about two years ago I wrote about this watering hose. 

It has now seen a few summers and I think this hose is the best one I have ever had, it doesn't kink, it hasn't sprung a leak and it is light weight to drag around in various spots in the yard.  It shrinks when you turn the water off...I store it in a crate under one of the woodshop benches all winter.  We bought this Flexi Hose at a farm supply store.  I can declare it a winner!  ( I wish I had it when we had the Greenhouse Business as I was continually kinking those watering hoses)
Far Side

Monday, June 3, 2019

Flower Bed

I prepped the small flower bed...pulled the weeds... I went to the local hardware store earlier this spring and bought some copper pipe for solar light holders and just stuck them in the ground willy nilly.

The OCD in me wanted to do something about those Solar I lined them up. Perfect!

After I took this photo I added some more soil and planted these flowers.
Red and White Impatiens, a Double Impatiens mixed colors, Salvia Red and Salvia Victoria Blue, Blue Pansy and Yellow Violas.

I hope they grow and the squirrels leave them alone. I also hope it doesn't freeze.
Far Side

Sunday, June 2, 2019

2nd Childhood

While I was out funeraling (going to a funeral)  Far Guy was buying a bike from one of his classmates online.

It barely fit in the vehicle...he suggested I ride it home...NOT.

My bike is in the living room...all stationary ...comfy seat great view of the TV and very little possibility of me falling off and injuring myself.   He says "That bike is boring."

"Boy it takes a lot of balance to ride a bike" ...he had forgotten that part.

Yes it is a girls bike...easier on the hips...safer to get off of!  He left his Oxygen in the vehicle...I hollered at him "You don't have your oxygen!!"  He knew that too.
Far Side

Saturday, June 1, 2019


June 1st seems like a good day to declare summer.  We have had two very warm days...very warm for me is 80 F.  I like 72 during the day and 66 at night.

We began the Christmas Ornament Woodcarving design process.  We have two designs...perhaps two years worth.  I like them both.  I can carve one in about a half an hour.  Rough cutting of the blanks has begun.  We brought out a table and the band saw to the overhang of Far Guy's garage, he set up a fan to blow sawdust away and wears a mask when cutting.

I went to Bingo with my Dad and my Baby Brother...I bingoed once ($15) and then my Dad bingoed on the blackout...three people bingoed so he had to share and only got a third($334)of the pot ($1,000) and then shared with my baby brother and we each got $110 so we can go to bingo again for a few weeks. ( We play one wins we all win)

I bought flowers...haven't planted them yet.

Picked up a woodscrew someplace so had to get a tire repaired.  New cars tell you when you have a low didn't look low...but it was.

Our bird traffic has slowed down...the Indigo Buntings are still here but I believe the Orioles are gone as is the Scarlet Tanager.

The Scarlet Tanager used my glass flower for a resting spot and drank water from the cup.

Far Side