OK, I went through a lot of nerves, and think I've added a few grey hairs. I had an IV in my hand when the anesthesiologist came in to tell me they were postponing the surgery due to my EKG.

It looked like I had some dead muscle in the right side of my heart (possibly due to an unknown heart attack in my past). Well, great! As if I didn't have enough going against me. I went through the day with trepidation.

Friday, I had the echo (after the tornado scare and we all had to sit in an inside hall or office). My heart is fine. Steve and I spent the day thanking the Lord and praising his name! God is good.

At times like this you find out just how much your family and friends love you. My son, Steve, told me, "When you told me about the EKG, I thought, no, my Mom has a strong heart. There is nothing wrong with it." What a son! You don't know how that made me feel.

All of my kids are troupers, my whole family pulls together at times like this. As if we circle the wagons when there is threat of Indians (in the old wagon trail days). Both my sisters gave me encouraging words and I felt their love strongly through the phone conversations. And my husband, Stephen, what can I say? He has loved me through everything we have gone through and his love shines brightly even when he isn't looking at me. Or is that my love for him???

Anyway, thank you to everyone who has visited my blog and my daughter's blog. We appreciate every one of you. May the Lord richly reward you for calling out to him on my behalf. Kathy

I am about the pain AFTER the surgery. THIS IS ABOUT BEING SICK, if that bothers you, please don't read. OK, I haven't written about what happened to me so here goes. While staying at my sis's house in CB (Council Bluffs), she became ill and we weren't real sure how she got it. The only thing we thought of was the self-serve soda fountain she used when we were out and about. I used the same soda fountain, however, I only got ice in my glass.

Anyway, since my sister was ill and I catch things so easy, I called Steve to come and get me. That was on a Saturday afternoon. I slept most of the way home then went to bed. The next day, Sunday, I seemed fine in the am but around 5 pm, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom (if you get my drift). By 9 pm, I started vomiting and kept on until 2 am when I asked Steve to call an ambulance.

The pain in my upper stomach (gallbladder) was pretty severe. I couldn't even keep water down, everything came up, even when my stomach was empty, it continued. They took xrays because I couldn't keep anything down (strawberry drink?) to get a scan taken. After having blood drawn, I found out my white count (?) was 18,000 when average is 12,000. Besides being dehydrated, I was very low on potassium.

They added a bag of potassium to my iv and she they started it, she left the room. Not even two minutes later my arm felt like it was on fire. Steve ran and got a nurse who stopped the potassium flow which stopped the pain. Man! They decided to try the other arm. Same thing happened. So they put some type of lidocain? in the IV and it calmed down.

Since I am having surgery tomorrow, I decided to finally talk about this. The doctor thinks that not only my gallbladder was acting up, but I must have been around a virus and picked it up. Like I said before, I'm not scared or nervous about the surgery. I love it that they tell you to count and then you are OUT, under, whatever you want to call it.

It's when you wake up in pain (more pain than I'm already in). Then you find out if it was a routine laproscopy or if they encountered something wrong and had to make a big incision and hurray, you're in the hospital for a 3 - 5 day visit.

Also, when you have a surgery scheduled, you wonder if you have enough insurance and think not only about copays and deductibles, but, also about life insurance rates, do I have enough coverage there, you know, just in case?

OK, I've admitted I'm scared, and I don't feel any better about it. My Pain Control doctor said they have someone in their office that had it done and he came back to work after 3 days! Also his friend, who is also a doctor that I know in Waukee, same result -- 3 days. I just hope mine goes that way, too. Hope to be back to my blog soon, I covet your prayers for the days ahead. Thanks.

I Love that He Loves Me

This is a pic of my beloved and I. I met Steve when going to my sister's house to drop my daughter off so I could get allergy shots. He was helping my BIL put a ceiling up in the basement. Of course that is the direction my niece and nephew let me into the house.

Picture this: I had my hair in a pony tail on the top of my head with four soup can size pink rollers up there (to straighten my hair), no makeup, looked really great. He turned and smiled at me as I walked in. I wanted to die!

When I got upstairs I grabbed my sister (Jackie) and said, "Let me guess, that's Steve, right?" I got it right on the first time. "Why didn't you let me know he'd be here? Look at me!" She smiled and said, "You wouldn't have come." And she was right. Well, I tore the curlers out of my hair, put on my makeup and met him properly!

Jackie was the secretary at the office Steve worked in at Offutt AFB. She had been trying to get the two of us to meet for quite some time. For pity's sake, she showed him my senior pic from high school. You know black horned rim glasses! Brother. He wasn't that eager to be hooked up either.

Jackie invited me for supper after I had my shots and when she told me it was fried chicken, I readily agreed. "Oh, good, " she said, "Steve's staying, too!" What a sister! Well, I had my shots, went back and ate my supper, and when the guys were in the living room, I grabbed Jackie in the kitchen and said, "He's kinda cute!" She said, "I TOLD YOU HE WAS!"

You have to know my sis is 8 years older than me and I wasn't sure my cute and hers were the same thing. You have to picture Steve clean-shaven and a GI haircut. I ran around with a crowd where the guys had long hair. I couldn't even picture Steve with longer hair. But, he WAS cute.

I told Steve and his friends that my friends and I were going to the Lifticket Lounge later. If they didn't have plans, I'd introduce them to my friends. Notice, it wasn't for me. When we got there, the guys were already there. I introduced everyone and we found a table to sit and listen to the hillbilly rock music the Lifticket was known for.

Steve's two friends weren't into that type of music (they wanted hard rock) so they soon left. Thus leaving Steve with the three of us girls. He invited me to go eat breakfast with him and I declined, stating I came with my friends. Both of my friends were encouraging me to go with him. I finally said yes and we left the lounge.

That was the beginning of the rest of my life. Here I am in what will be 33 years of marriage in July. When I look back at how thin I was when Steve and I met, then I look at me now, I am amazed by the changes in us, yet our love has stood the test of time. My hands are so wrinkled, they remind me of my Mom's hands when I look at them. I wonder if wrinkle creams would work on them.

Some days I marvel that Steve loves me, though I've gained so much weight. Alth0ugh I am on the downside of the scales again, I still have a lot to lose to meet my goal. He fluctuates between 5 and 7 lbs more than he was when we met. Man!

Diamonds in the Rough

As I've stated before, Steve and I have 10 grandchildren from four beautiful children! We have been blessed.

Taylor is our first grandchild and is from Joshua's family. Shelley and Tay lived with us from the time she was born while Josh was in Marine bootcamp until the time he moved his family to North Carolina. Tay was about one year old by then and I truly grieved when they moved her out of our home to go so far away. When she was four, I think, they moved back to Iowa (Waukee), hooray! She loves soccer. Once she broke her finger clear away from the growth plate, yet she finished the half, though she was in severe pain. She also loves to sing and is now playing the clarinet.

Next was Jordan (from Heather's family). I just love Heather's little man! He is a very sensitive child (as all Heather's kids are). I've been lucky that they lived nearby for nearly three years, I think, then she moved to Ohio. Thankfully, they moved back before her next child was born and live close by now. Jordan loves soccer and is a really good goalie.

Steve II's Sydney is our third grandchild. Born at 30 weeks, she was such a tiny little thing at birth. A little over one pound and 13 inches long, if I remember right. She spent her first two months at Mercy NICU. From birth on, she breathed room air, what a miracle. She's been tiny ever since birth, loves tumbling, and soccer.

Following Syd is Katiana Lynn, Heather's second child. I can't express in words what it means to me to have her named after me (Kathy Ann with a Spanish flair) for her first name and then she has her mom's middle name. She also is a soccer player and boy can she get goals, Atta Girl!!! She was the first grandchild to really come up to me and want me to hold her and gives me such beautiful smiles.

Steve's second daughter is Jadah. Talk about a smart kid. She went from saying single words to paragraphs that you understood. I can't wait to see her wow her teachers when she goes to school. I hope they can keep her challanged so she doesn't get bored.

Alyce is next (Heather's second daughter). Her full name is Maria Alyce named after both grandmothers. We call her Alyce and it is pronounced 'Aleese' (there's that Spanish flair again. My mom's name is Mary Alyce and Pato's mom is Maria. She will be another soccer player, however she loves to dance and sing. I'm hoping she will be another singer like her cousin, Tay.

Carter is Joshua's second child and he is such an adorable little boy. I love it when he talks to me. Most often he runs to the door and opens it for us to let us in. He's always zooming his cars and trucks around the living room. When he's not doing that, he's trying to hug his baby sister. When Steve and I leave, he says "Bye, Grandpa!" Josh thinks he calls us both that.

Mikayla is Abby's first child. She is such a sweetheart. She is jabbering all the time and I catch a word now and then. She's just started potty training and is so cute. She likes to sit on the couch by her grandpa and pretend to read the paper. She imitates her mama a lot. She was pulling dried skin off her finger saying, "Ouch, ouch, ouch" yet she kept on pulling it.

Christiano (otherwise known as NaNo) is a very quiet child (I didn't say he wasn't active, he's just not real talkative around Grandma yet. He does say "I DID IT!" with a yell now when he's done something. What a hoot. He likes to get my broom, mop, and dustpan out, not to mention getting into a few drawers that don't have child locks on them yet.

And finally, is little Cambria, who is almost 9 months old and is very pretty. She has a beautiful smile (as all my grandkids do). I love to watch her smile at her Daddy when he talks to her. Pretty soon she'll be crawling or maybe she'll go right to walking like her brother did.

Those are our diamonds in the rough. A grandparent could not be more proud than we are. Steve and I feel like we are 'rich in family and rich in love'.

It's Raining Outside

We have had days of rain and the mosquitoes are out in droves. It's that time of year to put the window air conditioner in so Steve's been standing outside in the rain taking the window off and screwing in the support (for weight of the air conditioner).

This morning I was standing under the canopy of the door and a mosquito landed on me, in the rain. It happened twice. Are the mosquitoes looking for shelter from the rain too? I've never seen one in the rain before, have you?

Which reminds me of the house we lived in in Lincoln, NE, when I was in 1st grade. It was a neat old brick home and speaking of outdoor fireplaces, OK, I know I wasn't, but that house had one in the back yard. I can remember Sue and I tearing off the papers of a bunch of crayons, putting them in a tiny pie pan, and fired up the fireplace. It made the neatest color pie! One huge crayon.

Mom wasn't real happy with us, and how we didn't get burnt, I'll never know. Actually the color was mostly brown with a hint of other colors here and there. Way cool! Ahhhh, the memories. Hope you're keeping dry.

Our Stay at Nancy's

While my visit to my sisters was in Council Bluffs, Jackie, Randy, and I actually stayed at our cousin's house (Nancy and her husband Edwin) in Omaha, NE. I didn't realize how big her house was until this visit. Besides a living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room, there are three bedrooms and two baths on the first floor. There's also a 2ND story, but I've never been up there (and a basement).

Now, I love to talk, but when we are at Nancy's we talk 24/7. Seriously, no book reading, game playing, or anything else. Just talking. I do have to say I became closer to Nancy on this trip than I've ever felt. It was great.

Nancy loves to read books as much as, or I should say more than, I do. She really should have a door hanger printing that says 'READ, IT'S GOOD FOR YOU!' When I told her I was on my last book, she handed me a new one. Then she told me she has boxes of books in her basement that I could have.

When I run low on books to read I start getting antsy, literally. Then I usually go to the library and check out 15 or more books. As I load them in the car I feel RICH. My Mom read constantly (if she wasn't working crossword puzzles). My two sisters read, my two daughters read and I have one son that reads. Thus far, I have 4 grandkids that love to read and one (Alyce) who was crying once to her mother because she couldn't read yet, her heart was broken.

Such a deal, this legacy of reading. I love it, I love it, I love it. Get a good book today and find yourself transported to a different place and forget about all the stresses in your life!

Do We Have a Fire?

Two nights ago, I was reading Steve's homework assignment when he noticed a smell of plastic burning. I immediately smelled it and started panicking. We went from room to room starting with the crawlspace.

The closer we got to the kitchen the stronger the smell. In my mind I am thinking, "OK, what do I need to grab if there is a fire in the wall, or something? Immediately, I think of our wedding album, my Mom's sewing machine, the sewing machine I bought from Shelley's Dad, my wedding rings (and Steve's), my purse. OK, what if we don't have enough time?

My Mom's machine is upstairs, so is the one I bought. I can just see my husband, "You want me to bring both of them outside????" What do you do if you have a fire, what are the most important things you want to save?

Steve said he thought the smell was a skunk. OK, I've smelt a skunk before, it never smelt like this burning smell. I turned on every light outside and out my hubby went with a heavy duty flashlight. Meanwhile, inside I am spraying this odor eliminator in every room. Then I can barely breathe as the smell of that was too much.

Once we shut the back door, the strength of the smell decreased. What do you ya know, maybe it was a skunk. I hate it when I'm wrong! But, happy that my wiring isn't on fire!

Abby called me last night. They my take a three night vacation in the Wisconsin Dells. As she reminded me, that is where Steve and I had our honeymoon. The area has places geared for parents with small children. She said they can even go horseback riding.

Thought I'd include two pics from my visit at Sue's. The first is my nephew Mike (from Alabama) who had set up a water slide for the kids to have fun. The second is Skip's three kids: Nathan, Benjamin, and Emma! Cute kids, huh?

Avoca Bound

We drove to Avoca Sunday to go to a picnic Sue and Wendy planned. Of course, I missed the turn and had to turn around and go back. Steve told me where the right turn was but I was sure I knew where I was going since I'd been there before.

After turning around and going the way Steve had indicated previously, I recognised the road I was on and knew we less than a mile from Wendy's home. After arriving, I saw relatives from Alabama, Omaha, and Council Bluffs.

This is a pic of Justin and Mikayla. Mikayla is the next to last granddaughter of mine. She is sooo sweet. Abby called me the other day to tell me she went on the potty chair two times and had on the diaper she came home from the sitter's in. Hooray Mikayla! It is so neat to hear the new activities my grandkids do.

This is Katiana Lynn, my granddaughter who is now six years old. She can read now and is really becoming a great soccer player!

The next pic is Skip (Sue's oldest and my nephew), Mike (my nephew from Alabama), Sheila (Ryan and Troy's mom, she lives up near Waterloo, and her new boyfriend. You can see the back of a little boy looking into the house, that is Evan, Mike's youngest son. You also see the back of someone's head with green hair. That is Troy, my brother Denny's grandson, which would make him my great nephew.

Steve and I have talked about getting a new computer. Ours is soooo old it's disgusting. I want to check into POS systems.

I have a laptop and I really love it, but I'd rather use the old desktop that we have. So I think it's time to look around for something new.

It's hard to put in words how much fun we had at Wendy's. Mike got the older kids together and filled a lot of water balloons so they could have a water balloon fight. It was great watching the kids have fun. Better yet was watching Wendy trying to hit her husband, Josh with a balloon in retaliation of the balloons he hit her with. She ended up with a large pitcher of water and when he least expected it she poured it over his head. It was so funny! You had to be there. I'll write more about the picnic later.