Category Archives: festival

Grandma visits, Bethany is 20, Money musuem, Stock show


Monday Bethany and a friend got to hang out, I ran some errands, made some art, Mama and Tony got in late so they went straight to the hotel.

Tuesday was Bethany’s 20th birthday. She and Meskiel went to the tea shop and then to the antique stores. The rest of us went to St. John’s for Music at Noon. The cathedral was still decorated from Christmas and it was so pretty.

Jack stayed at puppy daycare while we were gone. We ate lunch at SAME cafe and they were doing another taping for their future fundraiser and I think we were too loud at one point.

Bethany wanted to go to Saltgrass for dinner they had a new apple sangria that was so good, my pork chop was huge, everyone had way too much food (but it was good.)

She opened presents at home, a B&N gift card, calligraphy set, crystal jar, candle, yoga dice and Zelda book. She had picked up some books at the antique store, so she’s got enough books right now.

Wednesday we went to the Springs to see the Money museum, they still had the WWI exhibit, but that’s cool because I got to see some things I didn’t see last time.

I thought it would be a good stop for Mama and Tony because they’d never been there before and they do a lot of metal detecting and coin collecting. We got a late start, so we ate at Fargo’s before the museum, I hadn’t noticed the napkin art before, but Grace left a piece of napkin art for them.

Hannah wanted to go swimming, so some of us did. I had beef stew waiting in the crockpot when we got back, I’m glad it was hot and ready, everyone is always hungry after swimming.

Thursday was their last day in town, we went to the Stock show parade, I think it was shorter than last year (and had fewer cattle), but it was still neat (and we had good seats this year.)

We had lunch at Cafe 180, they put the reuben sandwich back on the menu, so I had that and my usual salad. Back at the house we played Uno until the shuttle driver came.

A quick trip, but we managed to put a lot of stuff in it.

Parade, LM’s, chilling


Advent day 14

Advent day 15

Advent day 16

I got a new head wrap.

Jack got to go to Home Depot.

Saturday we went to the Olde Golden parade, Jack’s first one,

Then we raced over to Littleman’s to make gingerbread houses as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity.

Sunday Hannah seemed a bit sick, so we stayed home from church. I went grocery shopping and later we went swimming. The girls watched Jack so James and I could go on a date.

Dinners this week – Italian sausage and root veggies bake, Israeli spice chicken and eggplant, chicken sausage/apple/cranberry hand pies, artichoke chicken with couscous, stuffed bell peppers, beef stew, pizza at home (Grace and I want to try goat cheese/kale/sweet potato as toppings.)

Israeli Spice Rub:

1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Warm pita or flat bread, for passing

Serving suggestions: Serve with tomato relish.

Dressing for relish:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ripe lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt

Orange and Yellow Tomato Relish:
3 vine ripe or small round red tomatoes
2 orange or yellow tomatoes
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Israeli Spice Rub:
For the spice rub combine the paprika, cumin, oregano, coriander, crushed red pepper flakes, and kosher salt in a bowl. Place in a sealable jar, keep in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.
Place chicken in a shallow dish. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil to barely coat the meat. Rub chicken liberally with 4 tablespoons of the spice blend. Let stand 10 minutes.
Grill chicken 6 or 7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Orange and Yellow Tomato Relish:
Seed and chop the tomatoes and combine with onion and parsley in a shallow bowl. Combine oil, lemon juice, and spices in a small plastic container with a lid. Shake dressing to combine and pour over salad. Season salad with kosher salt and toss to combine well. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

Our week – school, CT scan, Elf party, doc appointment, youth group, Hotel Eloize at DCPA, water sampling, afternoon tea, friend outing, not sure what we’re doing on Saturday and Sunday.



Advent day 9 –

Bethany and James went out for coffee while Jack and I slept. Grace made pancakes in the dorm while James and I had bagels. The n we packed up Jack to go get the girls.

Bethany took us to her favorite night star watching spot.

Then we went to look around the antique shops on Main st.

Stopped for lunch at Sonic, then we dropped Bethany off and headed home. We stopped in Frisco for the last day of Wassail days (and so Jack could walk around.)

We got home about 7, made dinner, watched some TV and went to bed.

Dinners this week are on the fly – pineapple chicken wraps, pot roast, junk food (Christmas party), roasted chicken and root veggies, pork chops with couscous and salad, TNO @ Whole Foods (girls going out.)

Our week – school, worship dance recital, driving practice, Fox theater show, CU teen cafe, youth Christmas party, DAM teen tour, Cardiologist, HS skate, Bethany home on break, Olde Golden parade, LM Gingerbread houses, TNO, church.

TDO and Constellation celebration


Advent day 6 –

I directed school, then I went to Castle Rock for a Teacher’s Day Out. As usual, I was alone, I tried out a cafe that hires adults with disabilities, the food was very good and I love their mission.

After lunch, I wandered the store and ended up buying some honey, lavender soap and 2 posters. Everything was decorated up for Christmas, so cheery.

When I got back to the house I had a little time to rest before we picked up a friend and headed over to the Eastbridge Christmas celebration. There was apple cider, cocoa, cookie decorating, s’mores, Santa, ice cream, ornament decorating and carriage rides.

Friday and the weekend


I took the girls to Smoothie King for breakfast, I didn’t get one as I can only have so many ml of fluid and I didn’t want to waste it on that.

The girls did some school, Jack took a nap, I took a nap.

I played ball with Jack for a bit.

I’ve lost 16 pounds of fluid, my feet have never looked so good.

Saturday we took Jack to Zoey’s for some treats.

We went to Starbucks.

We went to pet the horses and then back home, I was whipped.

Sunday we went to church, then came back for the Trunk or Treat.

Grace’s art.

Hospital day 1-5, Fall fests, LM’s


I’m not going to drag those into their own posts. Saturday morning the cardiologist came to talk to me. He said that I have congestive heart failure. It just means that my heart (and lungs, abdomen and feet) are full of fluid, making it harder to breath, making it harder for my heart to pump. They did an echocardiogram and said my heart was working at 30%, but that’s not out of 100% (for whatever reason), normal is 55-70%. So, about half. My BP was still really high, I was on continuous 2L of oxygen and an IV dose of this diuretic that kids butt. They said they weren’t even going to talk about the splenic artery aneurysms until the heart thing was sorted out. There are 5 reasons for CHF – deformity, genetics, blockage, viral, idiopathic. The doc said I would have been seen for a deformity before now, he didn’t think it was genetics (since only 1 person in my family had a heart attack and they already said this wasn’t a heart attack), it could be a blockage (though the doc was thinking that also was out of the question), idiopathic just means they don’t know what it is and viral. Well, I was sick back in June, the doc said I had a cold, but this doc thought, well if that’s where you breathing problems started, then it was probably a virus and it went into your heart cells. So, we were going with that, but I’ll do a stress test to rule out blockage, but I can’t do that until my BP, oxygen and heart rate get better.

Ugh, my eyebrows. They started me on the cardiac diet, low sodium, low fluids, low fat, low caffeine.

Alcohol was NOT taken off the menu, so I look forward to my drink at jazz night. I get bored very quickly and this was day 1.

Meanwhile, back at home, Grace’s pumpkin went smush.

I made some hospital art.

Bethany came in and went to a Halloween event with her friend.

More art.

They kept sending me pics of Jack.

It was also Joel’s birthday today (20th), Iwas awake at midnight, so I sent him a Happy Birthday text. He’s on 6 hour call, so any moment now he’ll be on a plane to Germany for a month for training and then off to Kosovo.

Sunday, James was running around all day (like I would have been.) Church, Fall festival, Littleman’s pumpkin carving fest, picking up and dropping off a friend for that, getting dinner, then finally coming to the hospital. He collapsed in the chari and said, ‘My gosh, I haven’t been home all day except to eat dinner?’ Grace said, ‘So, we do that every day.’ Well, not every day, but we are on the go more than some people. Bethany’s friend dyed her hair, at first I was like, who’s that holding Jack?

A lot of people painted their pumpkins this year.

Meanwhile, I was working hard with my spirometer, they changed my beta blockers and added in another BP med.

I gave the girls a list of school work to do Monday, I figured I’ll just give them a day at a time.

Monday morning Jennifer came to see me and brought me some stuff, check out these glasses.

They made the nurses laugh.


More art.

My puppy!

Everything was a little better, so my stress test was scheduled for the next day. Instead of using the treadmill, I was going to be injected with this stuff that uses a chemical to stress the heart. Then injected with radioactive isotopes, then photographed while lying on my back for 17 min, and another 13 min on my belly. The deal is, the test will show that there is something wrong (like a blockage) or not.

Here is my FB post from Tuesday morning.

It was a harrowing day at Spa Ridge in room 5214, starting with breakfast. ‘Can’t have that, can’t have that.’ Yogurt and dry white toast. Nurse remarks it’s like prison food, I’ve never been in prison, but I’m pretty sure it’s better. Then they gave me a double dose of diuretic because – why not? Went to stress test where doc said, ‘if you have a heart attack because of this – we have everything you need!’ Got isotopes pumped into me (not isopods, those are an order of crustaceans, ie, doodle bugs, but – quick fact- they can also live underwater (you’ll need to give me some of your Jeopardy money when you win with that fact.)) Spent 17 minutes getting pictures (I did my hair), 30 seconds getting radioactive, 10 minutes getting stressed and then 27 minutes getting more pictures. Sad to say, I studied hard for this test and it’s inconclusive. So, tomorrow I have an angiogram which will: find a blockage or not. If not it’s viral or idiopathic, genetic or mutation (I might be an alien.) So, that’s today’s report – and no I’m not going home tomorrow.

And I want to say, my nurses rock, they piece together information and advocate for me, they make me laugh, I make them laugh, I empty my own pee hat, they give me shots in my belly….okay that one is not fun at all, but they are sad to do it.

So, the test showed that there was some area of the heart that was not pumping like it should. Bottom line, angiogram in the morning (that’s where they snake a catheter through your vein and inject dye so they can see if blood of flowing through everything. If there is a blockage, they fix it right there with a stint.)

Wednesday morning, my FB post after the angiogram.

Angiogram showed……

wait for it….


no blockages. Virus is suspected. Beta blockers, BP meds, oxygen for a bit, cardiac diet, and low activity (if you know me, that one is the worst.)

Still not getting out until the vascular surgeon talks about those splenic artery aneurysms, which has nothing to do with my heart. In fact, they would never have known about them except for a slight peek at one from my lung CT scan in early October.

Yeah, the vascular surgeon said they are going to wait to let my heart rest and get better before they do anything. I also have to see an endocrinologist because on the CT scan they also saw a benign adenoma on my adrenal gland. The very good news for this day was – Jack could come visit in my room! And soon after I got that news, I was going home!


And Joel landed in Germany.