Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hospital daze

Kathy has, by God's graciousness Made it through the surgery just fine. The spots on her liver are benign cyst. Yesterday, she was in some pain and quite nauseated.Today she had a fever of 100 for a little bit,severe pain,however her upper GI test came back OK and she began a liquid diet this evening.Please pray with me that God will continue to strengthen her in spirit as well as her body. I am sorry I did not get this out last Night,but my father was hospitalized at 10AM At Aria Torresdale with breathing and heart trouble.Please pray for him             Joe Specht

Monday, November 29, 2010

Leaving for the Hospital

I'm leaving for the hospital in half an hour.  Praying so hard.  Didn't get any sleep last night.  Unfortunately Joe didn't either and I'm afraid he is going to have a seizure.  Pray for him also.  I know God will bring me through OK and bring me home quickly because Joe needs me to take care of him as much as I need him to take care of me.  He is the other half of me and I love him so much.

I will post yesterday's sermon notes when I am home and feeling better.  It was Psalm 139, probably my favorite psalm.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Surgery tomorrow

Here I am down to the final day.  I'm still waiting for a call from the hospital to tell me what time to show up.  I spent last night being sick from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.  I still managed to go to church.  I'm glad I did because several people prayed for me individually and the congregation prayed for me corporately.  People are offering me and Joe rides, visits, etc.

Talked to my sister, Elaine, today.  Her church is praying for me.  One person told her that she had laproscopic surgery and had pain for only 2 days.  Another said her son had the same operation as mine but it was many years ago when laproscopy wasn't available.  He has never had a problem since.  This is very encouraging.

I know that everything will be OK.  I know that God will be with me in the operating room.  But I am still scared.  I don't doubt God, but I think it is human nature to be scared of the unknown.

My best friend, Debbie, came over this afternoon for 3 1/2 hours and helped me finish up a lot of the cleaning of the house.  It is still not as good as I would like it, but there are just so many hours in the day to do things.  I am hoping when I get home that with help I can get things together for Christmas.  The tree up, decorating, gifts wrapped, etc.

Joe has offered to blog for me while I am in the hospital, so you will all know how I am doing.

1 day to surgery -- IT'S TOMORROW!

Just got word that I have to be at the hospital at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.  Please pray.  My stomach hurts so much from eating dinner and I feel as if I am going to be sick.  Joe reminds me that by this time tomorrow it will all be over.

Our 4th Anniversary

On September 16th Joe and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.  We went to Ocean City, NJ for a few days.  It was absolutely wonderful!  Here are a few pictures from it.

I was trying to take a picture of us when we first got there.  A lady came along the boardwalk and offered to take it for us.  That was so nice!

My favorite of my pictures of the shore.

Took several shots of this also.  This animated pirate ship was on top of a building with all kinds of games in it.

Joe on the beach.

Me on the beach.

My gift to Joe.  Aww!

The courtyard at the hotel.  There were tables in there where you could order at the restaurant and eat outside.

I so love being at the shore.
More summer pictures later.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cleaning Day

Being sick for 5 months I have let the house really go.  It is hard to clean with intense pain, vomiting and severe fatigue.  Today I decided I had to really push myself to clean up.  Fortunately my good friend, Carole, and her husband, Walt, were able to come and help me.  Unfortunately, it now looks worse than before except for a small corner.  But I did get a lot accomplished.

I had my clothes dryer in the kitchen and the washer in the basement.  They are both in the basement now.  The air conditiioner from the living room is also in the basement.  The glass case I had in the living room holding VHS tapes and DVDs is now in the kitchen holding cookbooks and appliances.  It looks very nice.  In its place is a small electric stove my sister, Elaine, gave us last Christmas.  It has a light that looks like a fire and is very nice.  Very relaxing.  It is much smaller than the glass case which was there and so has given the living room a lot more space.  This is a good thing since the room is so small.

With moving things around, now other things are out of place.  I am going to continue working on it tomorrow for as long as I can.  I may not get everything done, but at least I am making strides in the right direction.

Joe was sick all day today.  Around dinner time he was feeling better and wanted to go to Boston Market.  I have been doing really good with my eating, so said OK.  The food was really good and I, of course, overdid it and have been sick for several hours.  Feeling OK now, but for awhile it was rough.  According to what I have read about my surgery, I will have immediate relief from this afterwards.  So even though I am NOT looking forward to Monday, by Tuesday I will be able to eat without getting sick and I am looking forward to that!

2 days to surgery

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wake Me Up When It's Time to Go Home

What a quiet and boring day I'm having for my last day at Fishtown Branch before going out sick for two months.  I couldn't ask for an easier day.  I guess everyone assumes we are closed the day after Thanksgiving.  Well, it's good for me, but I just keep thinking of all the things I could be doing at home.  There are some things I definitely want to get done before going in the hospital.  Like rearranging some furniture to make life easier for me.  And cleaning out the refrigerator and  pantry.  Well, we'll see what I have time to do.

3 days to surgery

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We ended up staying home today because it was snowing and I wasn't feeling well.  So I ended up making pies.

This afternoon Joe put out some seed for the birds in our bird feeder.  I put out some suet and some stale bread.  I think we had every bird in the neighborhood in our yard.  You could see them flying in from every direction.  Here's a few pictures.

We hadn't bought anything for Thanksgiving, but I put together a dinner anyway.  I had baked chicken legs and thighs, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce.  So we certainly didn't go hungry.  I ate a little bit of everything and so far so good.  We had pumpkin pie for dessert.  I was a little unhappy with it.  Not as good as it usually is, but then I'm not used to working with fresh pumpkin.

I got cute napkins for the day too.

And Joe bought me some beautiful flowers.

Back to work tomorrow for my last day before surgery.

4 days to surgery

The Evolution of a Pumpkin Pie

Take one long-necked pumpkin from Lancaster County.  (I have had this for awhile and was surprised that it was still good.)

Cut into slices and peel.

Cut into cubes and boil.

When done, puree it.

Add ingredients, put in a crust and bake.  And there you have a pumpkin pie!  Or three.  And a sugar-free apple pie thrown in for good measure.

Last day at Richmond Library -- for a couple of months that is

What a busy day I had yesterday.  I was trying to get everything done and cleaned up before I took off for a couple of months.  I ended up doing almost everything, so that was good.  Everyone was hugging and kissing me as I left and wishing me well.  I work with a great bunch of people.  Now if we could just do something about the public....  

On Monday we had gone food shopping and finally got our 300 points to get our free turkey or ham.  So while I was making dinner last night, Joe ran to the store and got us a free ham.  Of course I can't eat it right now, so we will save it for when I can.  It was a little over what was free, so he had to pay $1 for it.  I think I can live with that.  He took a bunch of change he found laying around the house and actually paid for it and the few other things he got with the change.

I tried to clean up last night, but was so tired from shelving, shifting books, running around, that I fell asleep.  Guess I needed that more.  I got some cookies baked, but still have to do the pies.

We are debating about whether to go to my sister, Elaine's, house for dinner.  We always do, but the weather is iffy and I don't want to drive 100 miles in rain and sleet.  We have to decide soon.

Well yesterday was 5 days to surgery and 1 day to Thanksgiving.  I will post again later today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"What-You-Have" Pie

While I was cleaning up today I found my recipe for "What-You-Have" Pie.  I have made this several times and it always turns out good no matter what I put in it.  It's very easy.  Here's the recipe:

Mix 3 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 3/4 to 1 cup Bisquick and whatever you have leftover in the fridge.  (I have used onions, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, green beans.)  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

When I have a little bit of this, a little bit of that left over, I just put it together in my pie.  It's one of Joe's favorites.

Stress Test

So today was the day for my stress test.  I filled out the paperwork and then the nurse took me back, put in an IV and gave me some medicine that would show the heart.  Then she took me in a room and a camera went around my body and took pictures of the blood flow.

The hardest part was when they gave me the drug to simulate exercise.  That was hard to take.  I got a headache, my neck and jaw hurt, my legs felt like they had lead weights on them and my chest was heavy.  The physician's assistant said this was all normal.  When he gave me the drug to reverse the effects, it worked in about 45 seconds.  Amazing.

Then I got another drug and had to wait an hour for it to work.  I was taken to another room for more pictures and then I could go.

I left, got down the hall, and realized I forgot the note for work.  I told you I always forget it, so I had to go back.  I also hadn't paid my co-pay and they were amazed that I came back to give them money.  But isn't that what I'm supposed to do?

During the test they made me drink cold water.  I told the nurse that I would get sick on anything cold, but I had to anyway.  Now I am having massive stomach pain.  I am supposed to go to work, but don't think I can.
Well, anyway, glad that is over.  The next thing is the surgery.

6 days to surgery and 2 days to Thanksgiving

Elaine's Birthday Week

I was just looking at some pictures from this past summer and came across my sister Elaine's birthday last July.  They were so pretty I thought I would share some.

Elaine and our friend, Rich, on my brother Larry's deck in Swedesburg, PA.

Elaine and me on Larry's deck.

Elaine at Hershey Farm in Strasburg, PA.

Another shot of Elaine at Hershey Farm.

Me at Hershey Farm.

Our niece,Mikki, and Elaine have the same birthday.  She met us at Hershey for dinner.

Elaine at the Windlass Restaurant on Lake Hopatcong, NJ near her home.

A picture of the lake.

Another view.

And still another.

The beautiful hosta in Elaine's front yard.
There are many more pictures, but how many can one put in a post?  This past summer was probably the best summer of my life and I love looking at pictures to remember how good it was.  I'll be posting more as time goes by.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Practical Christianity

Didn't get to post this last night because I got sick on dinner (again).

Yesterday in church Mary, whom I hardly know, came up to me and said she was free on Fridays while her kids were in school and would be over every Friday while I was sick to cook dinner for Joe and me and to clean up the kitchen for us.

Trish said she had off on Tuesday night and since I would be in the hospital, she would be there to spend time with me.

Carol Ann has offered to come sit with me while Joe has to go food shopping or whatever.

Sarah has offfered to come over to cook and clean for me on Tuesdays.

My best friend, Debbie, is coming to stay with me while Joe goes to his doctor's appointment on December 7th.  She will also cook for us, do laundry, clean, keep me company while Joe sleeps or whatever else we need done.  She is out of work right now and feels that God gave her this time to be available to help me.

Carole will drive Joe anywhere he needs to go, clean, bring food over and keep me company while Joe sleeps.  (Because of his epilepsy he has to sleep a great deal in order to not have seizures).

Next week the pastors are going to have a special time of prayer for me since it is the day before my surgery.

God's body is alive and well in my friends.  All I seem to do is cry because God and His people are so good to me.

7 days to surgery and 3 days to Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday--Psalm 91

Again, a message meant just for me.  God has been using this series in the Psalms to stretch and grow me in ways I could never imagine.


We have a lot of fears.  That's how we live our life.  It's our world view.  We see only what is happening around us.  But our focus is to be on God, not on what is going on around us.  Our faith is not in someone who is weak or facetious, but in a personal, all-powerful God.  God delivers those who trust in Him and we don't need to be afraid.

1.  God delivers us from sin and addictions.  We have sins so deep that we can't get rid of them.  But God can.  We need to chop off the things that hurt us and run to God.  He will deliver us.  Don't go through it alone.  God will deliver us from any spiritual traps that Satan sets for us.  Sin and addiction are all intertwined.  We can't get rid of just one and think they are all gone.  We try to compartmentalize our lives.  But we are more complex than we realize.

2.  God delivers us from fear.  The psalm writer is using extreme illustrations.  God is in control.  We can put our complete trust in Him.  Fear is practical atheism.  If we fear, we doubt God's sovereignty and control.  If we believe God is not in control over everything, then we are doubting God and that's atheism.  Because God is God, we don't have to fear anything.  If God is God, there is no fear.

3.  God delivers us from evil and danger.  How can a loving God allow evil to happen?  How can we trust Him?  God is in control.  What He wants to happen will happen.  Angels are encamped around us to protect us.  God will give us victory.  Evil will not befall God's followers.

God does not promise us a world without trouble, but to be with us in our trouble.  Deliver means to snatch us away.  But in verse 14 deliverance means to equip or strengthen.  We may go through troubles, but there will always be deliverance.  It may just not be on our timetable.

Run to God for refuge and protection.  He will be there to deliver us.  There will always be deliverance.  God's will is perfect.  Nothing bad happens to us without His permission.  It happens to strengthen us.

At the end of our days we will be satisfied with how God has protected and delivered us.  God can be completely trusted because He is in complete control.

8 days to surgery

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday at the Library

It was a very busy day today.  I always thought Saturdays were quiet at the library, but not today.  The phone rang and rang and even at 4:55 p.m. people were coming in trying to use the computers.  "Sorry, they are down for today.  In fact, we are closing in 5 minutes."

I am trying to finish up all the projects I started at work.  Today I realized I will be there only 3 more days and then be out of work for 2 months.  I really have to move on some things.  I am shifting all the non-fiction books trying to make room for the 900s which are all crushed together and on top of each other.  I moved 16 shelves of books.  I am very tired and my back and shoulders hurt.  I have 7 more sections of 8 shelves each to go.  I think I will get it done, but I won't have time to shelf read all the books and put them in order.  I guess that is something that will have to wait until I get back.  The way I figure, it will need it again by then anyway.

A boy about 10 or 11 years old was looking at some books on planets today and half of the shelf fell off and scraped up his leg.  He had tears in his eyes and when I asked him if he was OK he said his leg hurt.  I picked up the books and told the librarian.  But when he went over to the boy, the kid said he was fine.  I guess he thought he would get more sympathy from a woman than a man.  Ha, ha.

I'm making rosemary chicken for dinner.  I am very hungry, so I hope I can eat it.  It smells good.

I was able to eat a chicken leg, some mashed potatoes and a few spears of asparagus.  It is a half-hour later and I still haven't gotten sick.  This is the most food I've eaten in weeks.  Thank you, Lord!

9 more days till surgery

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pre-Op Testing

Joe didn't feel well, but he went with me to the hospital.  What a guy!  He always tries to be with me if he can.  We left early because I had to drop some things off at the surgeon's office too.  It was terrible traffic, so it was good we started early.  My appointment was for 1:30 p.m. and we got there at 1:00 p.m.  While we were sitting there waiting for me to get called to sign in, Joe said he would run the errands for me and left.  Of course, as soon as he left I was called in.

So I had to answer all these questions for the lady checking me in.  When she asked me what religion I was I said "Bible Fellowship."  She looked at me strangely and said, "Is that Christian?"  I assured her it was.  She said it was not one of her options on the computer.  I could be Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddist, Atheist, Catholic, Baptist or Christian.  I guess Catholics and Baptists don't count as Christians.  Ha, ha!

Then I had to go to another part of the room and I waited and waited.  I prayed that Joe would come back before I got called in, and he did.  Thank you, Lord!  And then we waited and waited.  I told Joe that most of the 3 hours they told us it would take was spent waiting.

I was called into the back and Joe was able to come with me.  The tech told me someone would be right with me and we waited some more.  Then a lady came in and said she needed to do an EKG.  She asked when I had my last one and I said it had been Monday.  So she tried to call Dr. Miller's office but it was closed until Monday, so she took another one.  This one showed my heart murmur while the one in Dr. Miller's office didn't.  So God had me take the second one to show that murmur to them.

Then a nurse practictioner came in to take my medical history and do a physical exam.  That must have taken at least 1 1/2 hours.  It was very intense.

After that we waited some more and finally a nurse came in and took 4 vials of blood.  Then  we were sent to a building across the street and I had to get a chest x-ray.  I was given a locker to put my clothes into, but there was no lock and the lady there told me to not leave anything valuable in it.  So Joe had to "purse sit".  And a very good job he did, too.  The x-ray was really quick.  I think because by that time it was after 5:30 and everyone wanted to go home.

The traffic going home was even worse than that going down there.  I had forgotten how bad rush hour traffic is in center city.

I had had only an egg for breakfast and Joe hadn't eaten at all.  We were driving through Chinatown and both of us felt like having Chinese food.  I don't see any connection there, do you?  So I suggested going to the Chinese Buffet near home.  That way he could have as much as he wanted and I could eat just a little bit.  The food was very good, the iced tea was incredible and I couldn't eat more than a mouthful.  Joe said I ate more than usual.  I didn't eat very much and still over ate.  I had one dumpling, 2 forkfuls of fried rice, and about a tablespoon of lo mein.  I left almost all of the iced tea.  I had a spring roll on my plate, so I wrapped it up and stuffed it in my purse for later.  I was in terrible pain for about 2 1/2 hours.  At least I'm feeling much better now.

We also stopped in the Sprint store and Joe hooked us up with wireless internet.  So now we will get rid of Verizon and all the problems we have been having with them.  And we won't have the wires running across the living room because we don't have outlets in the right places.  It will be so nice.  I can also take it in the kitchen for recipes when I'm cooking and can take it upstairs if I'm not feeling well enough to get up.  It will be so great having this.

So thank you everyone for all your prayers.  The day of surgery is coming closer and hopefully by this time in two weeks I will be able to eat and not hurt.  I will be able to eat more than 2 tablespoons at a time too.


I'm very nervous about the 3 hour pre-op testing this afternoon.  My stomach (what there is of it) is tied in knots!

Oh, just got a call from Dr. Chojnacki, the surgeon.  She said to forget about getting the MRI.  There is an ultrasound specialist who will do a liver ultrasound in the operating room.  They are all pretty sure the spots on my liver are cysts, but there is always the chance they aren't.  She agreed with me that if it were something serious, I'd be sick by now.  It's been 5 months since they were discovered and the life span for untreated liver cancer is 6 weeks.  She also said that I will be in the operating room about 4 hours and in recovery for 2-3 hours.  I asked her about going back to work and she said I could not lift things for 8 weeks and she would write a letter to HR to tell them that and I should expect to be out for 8 weeks.  That's more reasonable.  At least I will be starting to eat solid food by then.  I'm feeling better after speaking with her.

10 days to surgery

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Organic eggs and other things

Here's a picture of the organic eggs we get from the farm.  I looked at them and thought they looked like Easter eggs.  So pretty.

A rather quiet day at work.  No loud kids.  No people yelling at me.  Really nice for a change.

I finished Debbie Macomber's new Christmas book today Call Me Mrs. Miracle.  What a good book.  I hated for it to end.  I've just been whizzing through the books lately.  I think reading is taking my mind off of what's going on in my life.

I've been mulling things over in my mind today.  I really believe that Satan is after me for some reason.  A lot of strange things have been happening and strange people confronting me over different things.  There's nothing major, but a lot of little things that seem to be wearing me down.  I don't want to really say what is going on in this blog, but I need to have a lot of prayer sent my way.  Thank you for standing with me.

11 days to surgery

Pie and Praise Part 2

Here is a picture of Joe when he was giving his message on Sunday night.


I had my echocardiogram yesterday morning.  I overslept and got stuck in traffic, so I was 15 minutes late.  I have never been to that office when they were not running late and it was no exception yesterday, so I still had to wait 30 minutes.  When the tech came out to call me, some elderly people started yelling at her that they were there first.  She said, "This lady is not seeing the doctor, she is here for a test."  A lady yelled, "Yeah, right.  Liar!"  What is with people?

The test is easy.  You just lie on a table and the tech uses an instrument like an ultrasound and scans your heart.  I heard it beating, so I said to her, "I guess I'm still alive."  She laughed and said she thought so and they would do everything they could to keep me that way.  It took about 10 minutes, and when I walked out to the waiting room, the lady that yelled looked like you could have knocked her over with a feather.

I left the office, walked to the elevator, then realized I didn't have a doctor's note for work, so had to go back and get one.  Sort of embarrassing.  I'm forever doing that.  I'm always so anxious to leave that I never remember the note.  Even though I'm not getting paid for the sick time, it works against me to not show that I was actually at the doctor's office.  The city has what they call a "Sick Leave Abuse" list and if you abuse your sick leave too much, you are laid off for a week.  I don't want that.

When I got to Aria Hospital, the parking lot was full, so I had to do valet parking.  The valet driver was not there, so I had to wait for him to show up which made me even later for my appointment.  Well, getting my car back was just as bad.  The road in front of the hospital entrance was jammed, so he had to leave my car in a lane in the lot and come get me.

I knew I needed to get gas, but didn't have time to get it before I went to the hospital.  So afterwards on the way to work, I ran out of gas.  Fortunately, I was by the gas station and was able to coast into a spot and get some.  It was up to $30 to fill my tank!  Unbelievable.  So when I got to work, I told my co-workers that I had just had a Murphy's Law day.  Fortunately, the rest of the day was rather uneventful.

Joe called me at work this afternoon.  He said Jefferson Hospital had called about my pre-op testing.  I thought I had to be down there at 10 a.m.  In fact, I have a paper where that is written down, but now they are telling me to be there at 1:30 p.m.  They want me to eat first.  Right.  I haven't been able to eat lunch in months.  The testing should take 3 hours.  What in the world can they be doing?  When I had the pre-testing for my breast cancer surgery, it took less than an hour.  My goodness!

Tonight was the last night of Bible Study for a few weeks.  They are taking a break for the holidays.  Unfortunately Joe had a massive headache and was not able to go.  He wasn't even able to eat dinner, so I had a baked potato which just hit the spot.  I had a little bit of ice cream left, so after awhile I thought I would finish it up.  Unfortunately, my stomach did not like the idea so I got sick.  I felt awful for hours, but I didn't throw up, so that's an improvement.  I think.

That's my excuse for this late entry and I'm sticking to it!

12 days to surgery

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Nothing Day

Not much happening today.  That's a good thing.

I made the appointment for my stress test today.  The earliest I could get was next Tuesday.  I hope that's enough time so that the surgery isn't held up.  I have to make the appointment for the MRI tomorrow.  I couldn't mentally handle doing it today.  Still haven't heard from the doctor, so I'm just going to go for it.

I finished reading the book I am Nujood, age 10 and I am divorced by Nujood Ali.  It was a quick read and took me only 2 days.  Such an eye opener to how girls are bought, sold and mistreated in Yemen.

13 days to surgery

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Visit to the Cardiologist

I had to take off 1 1/2 hours from work to go to the cardiologist this afternoon.  The surgeon wanted a cardiac clearance to perform the surgery.  Dr. Miller is really good.  And he's very funny and puts you at ease by making you laugh.  I have gone to see him for several years, so he knows me well.  Besides, when Joe used to work for the hospital, he used to climb in and out of Dr. Miller's window because that was the only access to one of the cooling units he was responsible for.  (They have since built a ladder to access the unit.)

After having my blood pressure taken (122/70), he had his tech perform the cardiogram and EKG.  The EKG was perfect, but the cardiogram wasn't.  So he is having me have an echocardiogram on Wednesday morning and a stress test as soon as possible.  Because I am unable to do the walking one, I will be given the drugs.  It seems my heart is weaker than it was in August 2009 (the last time I saw him) and he is concerned about the chest pains I have.  99% chance it is from the hernia, but as he said there's always that 1% chance it is the heart and that needs to be checked out.

I am praying that my heart can take the strain of the surgery and I can get everything taken care of.  I certainly can't go on living this way.

Didn't hear from the doctor about the MRI, so I think I will just schedule it and get it over with.  Might as well do everything.

I'm very upset and very scared.  I am trying to just give everything over to God, but it is hard.  Please pray that I will have peace about everything and that my work will understand about all the time I have to take off in the next two weeks.

14 days to surgery  (I hope)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pie and Praise

Tonight we had our Second Annual Pie and Praise at church. I had to work last year and missed the First Annual, so was glad I had a chance to go to this one. We sang some hymns and praise songs, and then had time to give our thanks to God. I'm usually very nervous about getting up in front of people, but I did it tonight and it wasn't that bad. I thanked God for taking care of me the last 5 months of being sick and said if He did it thus far, He'd see me through the surgery and recovery.

What was really nice was that Joe had a part of the service. He went to the front and gave a "Personal Testimony of Praise and Thanks." It was so good. I didn't know what he was going to say, and was surprised at how eloquent he was and at the same time how down to earth. He should do more of this sort of thing.

After the service we had pie. Lots of pie. I wasn't able to eat any of it. : ( I had a little bit of iced tea and that was it. I was so afraid of getting sick somewhere away from home. I made a sugar-free apple pie so Joe could eat something. Well, everyone else got to it too. My friend, Dottie, actually took 2 pieces. Two people asked me for the recipe. There wasn't a smidgen left in the dish. I felt really good about that! Even though I didn't eat anything, I had a lot of fun talking with the other people there. My church family is so great.

15 days to surgery

Pastor Justin led the praise service

Me and Joe after the service, before the pie

My apple pie

Phyllis, Pastor Wayne's wife, cuts the pies into serving pieces. Pastor Justin is in the background.

Cherie, Pastor Justin's wife, and her brother, Keaven

Sydney and Pastor Wayne look at some photos.

Shawn, Connor, Juliette

Trish, Patrick, Sydney, Dottie

Sunday--Psalm 90

Today we talked about Psalm 90.  Pastor Wayne spoke today.  He said the Lord is our dwelling place.  It's where we go when we're knocked down, out in the cold, and don't know where to go.  The amazing thing is God is always there.  He has never been far from any of us.

He spoke on the eternal nature of God.  He is always there.  We seek out peace and security in our lives, and that's God.

The second point was the frailty of man.  We are here today and gone tomorrow.  Life is short.  But God is always there and He's not aging.  Many times we go through hard things in life to grow closer to God and know He will never leave us.

Again, God gave me just what I needed to hear.

A Cold Morning

It is very chilly this morning.  I guess winter is really coming.  Glad I got my tulip bulbs planted last week and most of the yard work done.  It is 40 degrees here in Philly, but only 30 degrees in Lancaster.  I may have to rethink my desire to live out there.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Busy Day

I did a lot of running around today.  The first thing I did was go to see my doctor to get an OK for the surgery.  He did OK me, but only after giving me a flu shot.  I haven't had a flu shot in years.  The last one I got made me really sick.  I have to get all my reports and the results of my blood work to him next week.

Joe did not feel well enough to go to the farm with me to pick up our last share of the summer season, so I got my friend, Debbie, to go with me.  She came back to the house and put everything away before I got a chance to get a picture of it.  But we got brussels spouts, spaghetti squash, eggs, pepper jack cheese, apples, garlic, kale, lettuce, and beets.  They also gave us $5 in Greensgrow bucks which we could use in the farmers' market to buy anything we wanted.  The last thing was a bottle of beer.  I told the guy giving it out that I did not drink and had religious beliefs about even having it in the house, so he gave me another $5 in Greensgrow bucks instead.  With my $10 I got shallots, sweet potatoes, eggplant and zucchini.

On the way home from the farm we stopped at the dry cleaners and I dropped off Joe's clothes.  I'm such a good wife to him.  (LOL!)

Our third stop was the pharmacy.  The doctor gave me a prescription for something to stop my stomach's spasms and help me not get sick.  I got the drug and also some Olde Philadelphia soda (cream and root beer).  This is the best soda around.  It is old fashioned and tastes like the soda I had as a kid.  It even comes in glass bottles.

When we got home Debbie stayed and Joe got up and we attacked the kitchen.  The cabinet under the sink was completely emptied.  We threw out a lot of things, put others in boxes and rearranged everything.  I washed the back door windows, a set of shelves, and Deb and I cleared off the table and scrubbed it down.  There is still a lot to do, but it looks a lot better.

I got my medical leave form from the hospital today.  Now they are giving me only 4 weeks to recover and return to work.  This is insane.  I won't even be able to eat solid food in 4 weeks and I'm not supposed to lift anything, so how can I lift and carry and shelve books?  The surgeon is supposed to call me on Monday, so I will talk to her then about this.

I am making stuffed shells for dinner so I had better get to it.  I have never done this before, so let's see how it turns out.

16 days to surgery


Sorry I didn't blog yesterday.  Joe called out for dinner because I was really beat.  I had a gyro, my favorite sandwich.  It was so good and I ate quite a bit of it.  I felt my stomach very full and stopped before I finished, but already it was too late.  I ended up spending 4 hours being sick.  The good part was I kept most of the dinner down, but feeling horrible until I fell asleep was not fun.  I hope today is better.

17 days to surgery

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans' Day Shopping

Every year my friend, Debbie, and I go Christmas shopping on Veterans' Day.  It is the one day when we both have off from work.  We have been doing it for about 4 or 5 years now.  Because I wasn't feeling great we stayed close to home this year.  We went down the avenue to Foreman Mills and Target.  Got a lot of great buys and a lot (but not all) of our Christmas shopping done.  We always have a good time together.  We met in Junior High School and became good friends in the beginning of High School, so there's not much we don't know about each other.  And even though we are as different as night and day, we are still the best of friends.  My best buy was my gift for Joe, but because he reads this blog, I can't say what it is.  I'm tired tonight, but glad I got so much done.

18 days to surgery

Debbie and Kathy's trip through the stores.

The fall garden

Our friend, Frank, does the gardening for us since neither Joe nor I are up for it these days.  We actually met Frank when he put a flyer in our door a couple of years ago advertising that he cut grass.  Since I am off from work today, he came over and got my yard ready for winter.  Thanks, Frank.  The yard looks beautiful!

The mums around the gazing ball.

The lovely yard