Tuesday, March 29, 2022

53 Years


Now that we are on the other side of 50 years of marriage, they seem to go faster and faster. 

It was a Saturday afternoon, the first day of our spring vacation, a break from the school where we met and were still both teaching. The wedding was at Tom's family church in Puyallup, back then the daffodil capitol of the Northwest. 

My sisters were my bridesmaids. My two brothers were ushers. The rest were Tom's brother and cousins. It was a family affair.
There was a lot of giggling when it came time for the kiss, because many of our fourth and fifth grade students were there. 

And there was CAKE!

Now that we have done our 50th up big, we are not doing big celebrations. We will go out for dinner, not fancy, just a treat from cooking. 

But the day will be noted. It is significant. There will be memories. Milestones are important and our marriage is one to be celebrated.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Saturday Morning Slowdown

 I sent Tom off by himself this Saturday morning to meet up with our garden club. They will be touring the Bellevue Botanical Garden, a place I know well, and then going to lunch.  I stayed home because I am having trouble walking, and especially the kind of slow walking and standing around that touring requires. I am still awaiting my neurology appointment that might give us some answers - not answers I want to hear, but need to hear nevertheless.

Instead I have spent the morning doing my physical therapy and then having a long telephone conversation with my sister. I think we have caught up with all of the family news now. 

If the rain holds off this afternoon I might go for a short walk. Otherwise I might open up the Easter/Spring tub that I had Tom get down from the attic, and begin decorating.

On Thursday morning, when we were still on Whidbey Island we stopped in at the local nursery. They had a display of fun spring stuff, and among the chicks and bunnies and pretty pots were these two books. I couldn't help but exclaim to the clerk nearby how special there were.

These board books were new publications back in 1973 when Jill was born, and we spent many hours with Jill and then Jake reading then and touching everything on each page and naming them as best they could as babies. We eventually put them away until they were handed down to our grandchildren. I was thrilled to see that they are still in publication and still being sold.

Now, because I always try to leave you with pretty pictures, here are a few I took in Langley during our short visit there.

And as a wrap up for today's post, the golden hour over Deer Lagoon from the back door of the Whidbey cabin. On Wednesday the rain had stopped just in time for the last rays of direct sun to hit the dike and the hillside beyond. 

Wishing us all more golden moments. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Work's All Done On Whidbey

 With neither of us in great shape we nonetheless knew we needed to get up to the Whidbey cabin and so some weeding. It's almost tulip time and we needed to get the front yard in shape.  We figured if we didn't push too hard we could get the job done over three days.

We arrived under cloudy skies on Tuesday after a long ferry wait. That afternoon we sized up the job and put in the first hour of work.

Then we spent a little time sitting on a log on the beach. It looked like there was sunshine all around us but not where we were. But it was dry and calm and mild.


Wednesday we knew that rain was expected by mid day so we got going early. We put in two hours of work and finished weeding the front garden. Several walkers passed by and let us know how much they enjoyed our tulip display. Now the garden is ready for its admirers. 

In the afternoon we took our two big yard waste bags to the yard waste dump and then went to the café at Bayview Garden Center for coffee and a goodie. It was raining co we didn't linger outside but of course we did have to check out the garden shop and greenhouse.

Spring plants aren't in stock yet, but there is always something interesting.

Like this euphorbia!

It's wet out here. 
Frog weather.

This afternoon I took off Tom's bandages - we had permission to do so - and replaced them with smaller dressings. He's more comfortable now.

It's gray and wet now but we are cozy in the cabin.

We will go home tomorrow afternoon, giving us a little time to play first. We are quite pleased with ourselves for getting the work done without much harm to our old bodies.  

Monday, March 21, 2022

Praising Health Insurance and the Coming of Spring

I got a statement from Overlake Medical Center yesterday. This is the hospital where I had my TAVR (valve replacement) surgery done last month. The total charges were $157,402.17. 

My responsibility was $200.00. 

The "medical/surgical supplies", i.e., the valve, was $118,669.56 alone. 

We have paid a lot of money into medical insurance over the years, many of those years when we could have said we didn't really need it, but somebody did need it, and that's how insurance works. Even when we ran out of money at the end of each month during the lean years, we always paid for our insurance up front, and fortunately teacher benefits were good even if the pay wasn't. Now I have had several very expensive surgeries in recent years, this being the most expensive so far,  and always the charge to me is minimal. 

Health insurance is a very good thing. 

Spring is also a very good thing.

On Sunday we took our little walk in sunshine over at the neighborhood park. Pink plum trees are blooming here, along with yellow forsythia. I call it the pink and yellow stage of early spring. At the park I checked on the cherry trees. They won't be far behind. 

Rain off and on is keeping the heart puddle full.

The native red flowering current is blooming. Sorry that is is fuzzy :-(. 
The woodlands are turning green, moss included.  
Back at home I took a few more photos in the garden. 

Now, today, Monday, it is raining, but it is a gentle spring rain, the kind that makes the new greens glow. A current theme in Facebook is "View from my window". Here are today's views from my windows as I enjoy the garden from inside. 

New growth is popping out of the ground everywhere. 

The leaf buds on the maple are swelling.

Rain or shine, new spring is all good here. 

Friday, March 18, 2022

More Coming and Going

 These last two days have been busy. 

Yesterday, Thursday, we got an early start so that we could make it through traffic to the Kaiser Medical center downtown for an 8:00 appointment for an echocardiogram as a follow up for my valve replacement, and then an appointment with a nurse practitioner to go over the results. I passed. The valve is working well, and the pericarditis is mild. I will continue the three month medication and that should take care of it. 

Back home I had time to read blogs and do my PT while Tom took a nap. His hand surgery process is going well, with not much discomfort. In fact, his hands feel better than they did before the surgery, which is the desired result. 

In the afternoon we went to the high school track meet to watch Irene run and jump. She started off the meet in the 4x200m relay, which her team won.

Shortly after she ran and won the 100m hurdles.

She had some down time to cheer on the rest of her team before running the 300m hurdles. 

There's me, Grandma, capturing the action. She won that one too, but there was almost no competition. She likes to have other runners challenge her. 

It was cold and we left then to get home to watch most of the Sounders soccer match against Mexican club Leone in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Cup. The Sounders won and progress on the the semifinals. 

After we left the track meet Irene eventually ran the 4x400m relay. That, she did not win. It was getting dark by the time they got home. 

Today is Friday, which means breakfast out. Then I stopped in at the Kaiser clinic to have a blood test as a follow up to my cardiology appointment the day before. Then it was time for the weekly grocery shopping. I did get a bit of time to read blogs before lunch, and Tom got part of the lawn mowed. Then we were off to Home Depot to pick up stuff on Tom's list. If I hurry I'll have time to finish this post before I have to go cook dinner. 


Well, it's after dinner now. As I was trying to finish this post, we lost Internet. Tom has it restored now and I am figuring out where I was with this post.  I think this is where I was going to post some pretty pictures curtesy of Home Depot. 

And finally, my mother's camellia is blooming.

Mom loved flowers but she didn't have money to buy plants. At one point, years ago, she was given a camellia bush, I think as an anniversary gift. It was planted at the corner of our house, where it thrived on neglect mostly, although I'm sure she watered it with a hose now any then.  After we had this house we have lived in for 43 years, Tom took a cutting of Mom's camellia. It took, and has been growing in our garden for a long time now. It's a beauty that holds a special meaning. 

The first day of spring is Sunday. Hoping you all have something special blooming or emerging, even if through the snow, on that day. 

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Tom's Turn

 We are keeping the medical professionals busy around here. Yesterday it was Tom's turn. 

Over the years Tom has developed painful arthritis in his hands, and then more recently, trigger finger. On Tuesday he had corrective hand surgery for the trigger fingers.

He is left handed and on that hand he had surgery on two fingers and the thumb. He had one finger done on his right hand. 

"The goal of surgery is to open the pully at the base of the finger so that the tendon can glide more freely. The clicking or popping goes away first. Finger motion can return quickly, or there can be some stiffness after surgery." 

He will have some physical therapy after the bandages come off at the end of next week.

Now that the anesthesia has worn off he can use his fingers and the pain is slight, but those bandages make his hands clumsy. We found an old pair of extra large rubber gloves that fit over the bandages to keep them clean and he spent a bit of time out in his greenhouse this morning.  Plastic bags and rubber bands serve to keep the bandages dry in the shower. I will be doing the dishes for a while. 

The yard work is at a point where it can wait now. Tom got a lot done during the winter months. We are managing to take care of each other, and Jill has reminded us that she is only 15 minutes away and has lots of sick leave if we need help. 

We will muddle through.