Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Getting back to normal

What ever that means!

It's been over a week since Jim's bypass.  All went well and he's home.  Each day is a day towards full recovery.  Our daughter Sonsearae came to visit and she was helpful and a big moral support for the both of us.  She flew home early today

We're starting to see color in our view and as we drive around we see more and more trees changing.  Soon we'll be awash in Autumn color!  I can't wait to see it.  Usually we're in the south somewhere and the changing seasons don't bring much color.

One thing we've both missed is sharing our evening meal with Anne and Scotty.  Today we had spaghetti, spinach salad, bread and apple crisp.  

It's good to get back into a routine and slowly we're doing just that.

I guess that's 'normal'!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jim is home!

Yesterday Sonsearae and I drove up to Burlington to bring Jim home.  We learned early that he was being released around noon so we were there shortly before.

Obviously there was paper work and instructions but soon we were on the road and let me tell you we were all happy!  Jim can't drive for a month so he climbed into the passenger seat with reluctance...

It will be rough for a few weeks but each day we should see improvement. Lot's of meds to take and hopefully he'll be weaned off of most them within a month. Of course he has followup visits, one next week.

Last night he slept almost all night, only getting up once. In the hospital he said he got up several times! This means I also slept well and so did Sonsearae.  The past two nights were awful with Boo whining and jumping off the bed.  We two ladies were running on adrenaline...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Another day towards recovery

I can honestly say my husband is on the road to recovery.  Yesterday he was still groggy and not himself....but today Jim was sitting up, clear headed and able to focus on his visitors.  He had lunch while we were there and he ordered and ate most of his turkey salad.  He also ordered a piece of cake that went down smoothly! The three of us spent two sessions with Jim leaving around 1600 because he was looking tired.  I wanted him to rest in case they decided to move him.

Our dear friends and I stopped at Olive Garden for some soup, salad and bread sticks.

He's still in the ICU because there isn't a bed for him on the ward.  Hopefully tomorrow....there are sick people in ICU!

Our friends Anne and Scotty have been wonderful.  Scotty drove the long distance again today.  Two days in a row! The trip is 89 miles one way. On Vermont highways the fastest you can drive is 55 mph and most places it's slower.  Then you have to contend with small towns, etc.  The trip takes almost two hours.

Before long our lives will get back to normal!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jim is doing well

Jim's surgery went well and they did 4 bypasses.  One directly behind the heart and using veins from his leg 3 more.

Anne, Scotty and I arrived at the hospital around lunchtime and got the news that all was well.  Jim was in recovery and the prognosis was good.  We went to lunch while waiting for Jim to get set up in ICU

When I got to see him he was still tubed and sleeping soundly!  But his vitals were good and his color was good.  They were warming him up and he felt warm to me.  He was still heavily medicated and wasn't aware of me being there.

I checked on him hourly and they were taking super care of him.  His vitals looked good and when he was finally 'waking' up they removed the tube and started giving him ice chips.

Part of rehab is a small bundle on his chest that he has to compress when he coughs.  The last time I saw him before we left he was making an effort to remember this.  He opened his eyes and he spoke to me and held onto my hand when I squeezed it.

It was a long day and before we got home we stopped and got a bite to eat.  I'm thankful for Anne and Scotty as I probably would have just waited to eat when I got home and who knows what I would have had.  Sometimes it's good to have others make decisions for you

Poor Boo is left to his own devices all day and he's so excited to see me....he also looks for Jim and I'm sure he's confused

I called tonight and Jim is dozing and waking and I was told that he's having some pain at the incision sites.  This is to be expected.  During the night he'll continue getting antibiotics and pain meds when needed.  Tomorrow morning they want him up on his feet!  He should also be moved out of ICU

I/WE are grateful for  all the love and prayers.  We're on the road to recovery!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good thoughts needed

Awhile back Jim saw a doctor about his persistent  cough and sore throat.  It's when he got an antibiotic I may have mentioned in a previous post.  Jim also told the doctor everything that was 'ailing' him.  Based on that and the EKG the doctor thought it was possibly angina. The doctor wanted him to go in for a stress test.  At this point Jim didn't want anyone to know and seriously it wasn't much to report.  Of course Anne and Scotty know all about this and have been great support.  I also told Sonsearae and Chris.  They've been though this and know what we're facing.

Jim failed his stress test.  Five and half minutes into the twelve minute test they stopped it, gave him oxygen and a pill to bring his heart rate down. They then wanted to schedule him for a more extensive stress test and they would set it up and call us.  We came home with more questions than answers.  But at least now we know why he tires so easily. Something isn't right with his heart, blood flow and circulation.

The next morning we got a call saying they wanted to see him and could we come in at 1500?  Seems the doctor looked at the results and wanted him on some meds and schedule a cardiac catheterization.  The medicine is a beta blocker to help improve his blood flow.

The medicine has been good for him, we've both noticed an improvement in his overall well being.  He still gets tired doing routine chores but he's sleeping better and the chest and back pains are less severe and less frequent. 

Unfortunately it took some time to get approval for the catheterization.  Waiting has been rough on both of us.  For myself I've imagined everything that could go wrong.  I'm sure Jim has had some thoughts like this too.  

We've been told it's a simple, easy procedure and he should go home later.

On September 8th we had to be at the hospital at 0800 to register for the 0900 procedure.  I was up at 0540, Jim didn't get up until later.  Once he was up he showered and we were ready to leave around 0730.  He couldn't eat or drink anything.  My coffee was long gone along with a piece of toast.  I packed magazines, my iPad and some nuts to munch on.

The truck and grass were heavy with dew and the windshield washer took care of most of it.  Keep in mind that we usually don't go anywhere at this hour.  The heat from the engine fogged the windows, our body heat fogged the windows, the sunlight was brilliant and blinded us through the streaks in the windshield...then we encountered fog!  Jim had to pull over in some shade to wait for our windshield to get clear.

After driving slow for about ten minutes we could see where we were going. Good thing this road isn't a busy one.

We arrived at the hospital only to be told they weren't expecting us.  It seems the appointment was changed to the 15th but we never got the message.  The Cath lab informed the heart center about the lab being closed on the 1st. What we think happened was a failure to communicate!  It was Labor Day and maybe they were closed, maybe they forgot....

So we wait

Today was a repeat of last Monday.  Same early hour, same driving conditions.  At least this time they did the test!

And that's when the 'fun' started.  You see, they don't do bypass surgery at the Rutland hospital.  We have to go to Burlington for that and Jim had to go by ambulance.  But there wasn't a room for we waited.  

Anne was with me and we went to lunch.  Jim was still groggy from the meds and said we should go.  We got a quick bite to eat and came back.  Jim was able to get some lunch which he scarfed right down.

We convinced Anne to go home. She came back and tended to Boo, walking and feeding him.  

Jim and I headed to Burlington around 1400.  When I arrived I learned he'd be going in for triple bypass surgery and he was first in rotation for tomorrow morning.  One good note, everyone says his heart is in good shape it's just those clogged arteries that's causing all this.  

I left around 1800 because it's a long drive and Jim wanted me home before dark....I barely made it!  It's been a long time since I've driven so many miles and during his recovery I'll get to hone my driving skills

He's posted on Facebook and by now everyone knows.  If you pray...I'd appreciate it.  

Please keep him in your thoughts that all goes well

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apple season in Vermont

Pretty much a lazy Sunday around here.  The Saints lost....again.

This is what I'm working on.  I like the colors

Autumn is in the air and the view is changing ever so slightly

I've tried two of the apples from around here.  The Paula Reds came into the market around a week ago.  A pretty apple and I like the size and taste.  It's not real sweet.   I don't care for the McIntosh, it's to tart for me.  Both make tasty applesauce!


Our Sunday started with a layer of clouds but no rain.  The temperature outside was 47, inside 57.  I think this qualifies as Autumn even though it's not officially Autumn.

The sun keeps coming and going and as I write this at 1145 it's only 55 degrees outside.  Boo wants to be in my lap all the time!  Can't figure out why....he has a fur coat!

Do you like magazines?  I do, there's something special about holding a magazine in your hands and reading about everything under the sun.  I love the pictures and it stirs me to take more pictures.  I read about gardens, crafts, places to visit and I want to do all of it!

Of course gardening is impossible but visiting botanical gardens is a wonderful way to spend a day or an afternoon.  I'm always pointing out pretty flowers as we drive and I've posted pictures on this blog.

Stampington & Company has beautiful, creative magazines and I love many of them!  Current issues, back issues; it doesn't matter.  Right now I'm reading Somerset Life from last January and now I want to go back to Oregon in the fall so I can go to a Vintage Fair.  I'm sure other areas of the country have them....I just need to find one and convince Jim we need to go!

I subscribe to a few magazines like Somerset Life, Green Craft and Artful Blogging from Stampington.  These are quarterly magazines and I always look forward to getting my mail to see the photos and read the articles.

Jim and I both like to go to Barnes & Nobles and while away the time looking at magazines.  Of course I tend to buy them while Jim is content to read them in the store.

What magazines do you like to read?  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Slow Friday

Over cast and cool this morning.  Jim wasn't feeling well so we just stayed in all day.  I did walk Boo and boy did he run!  He loves the cooler temperatures.

The day continued to be gloomy with the sun making a short appearance during the afternoon

For our dining pleasure I made some not chicken noodle soup.  Along with the bread I made it was a fine meal

Anne and Scotty were gone all day visiting friends but I visited with Anne when they got home.  

Saturday started out cloudy and went downhill from there!  

After breakfast Anne and I went on a doughnut run.  Those apple cider doughnuts are delicious!

After lunch Jim and I went out to get some propane and don't you know that's when it started raining!  Back home a movie entertained Jim...I know we've seen it before but what else do you do on a rainy afternoon?

A flock of starlings passed some time here this afternoon.  Must have been 100 or more.  Not sure what they were eating but they were busy pecking the ground.

Dinner with Anne and Scotty, pork chops, stuffing, acorn squash, Brussels sprouts and baked potatoes.  All yummy and Anne did most of the cooking. Thanks Miss Anne

Still raining at 1900, the fireplace keeping us warm and we're watching another movie, In Harms Way with John Wayne.  Good way to end the day

Friday, September 12, 2014


Did you know you can use basil for more than cooking?  If you'd like to try Basil essential oil just let me know

Basil has a warm, spicy, yet herbal aroma known to enhance memory function while reducing stress and tension. Basil provides restorative benefits to both the mind and body due to its high linalool content, making it an ideal application for sore muscles and joints and to reduce tension when applied to the temples and back of neck. Basil is commonly used in cooking to add a a fresh, herbal flavor to meats, pastas, and entree dishes, but it is also cooling to the skin and can be used to sooth minor irritations. When diffused, Basil helps promote clear breathing and healthy respiratory function while sharpening focus and lessening anxiety.

Primary Benefits:
Soothes sore muscles and joints
Assists in clear breathing
Acts as a cooling agent for the skin
Promotes mental alertness and lessens anxiety

Diffuse to sharpen focus while studying or reading.
Diffuse or apply topically to promote clear breathing.
Diffuse or spray around doors and window seals to deter flies and insects.
Apply to minor skin irritations. For sensitive skin, dilute with a carrier oil.
Apply to fatigued or sore muscles and joints.
Dab some on the laces of your shoes to deter mosquitoes.
Using a cotton ball apply some oil to your hummingbird feeder to keep the ants away.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Warming the house with the smell of homemade bread

We're having a wee bit of rain today and cooler temperatures.  Good day to bake bread!

The other day Anne and Scotty went to a place to look at buildings and check prices.  We were invited along for the drive over the mountain (and through the woods too!).  We looked at several sheds, garages and horse barns and being the good friends that we are Jim and I told them which one they should buy! Our reasoning was sound but I don't think we convinced them of getting the horse barn minus the stalls...

After this exploration we drove to King Arthur Flour in Norwich just a short drive away.  First off I love this company!  I've used their mixes and flours for years and I was like a child at Christmas!  I looked and touched and tasted and pondered and bought a few things.  One of the items I bought was sourdough starter.  

Yesterday I fed the starter and it grew and bubbled most of the day.  This morning I mixed up a batch of bread and my o my it tastes good!  Smells real nice in here too.

Since this visit was so close to New Hampshire Scotty drove into the state and out of it just so we could say we've been there.  I'm sure this was Anne's idea.  Thanks Anne and Scotty....The drive with good friends was lovely and the visit to KAF brought tears to my eyes!

This afternoon I made Pumpkin Spice doughnuts from KAF. These mixes are just right for a standard doughnut pan.  In each box there are two bags of mix that makes 6 doughnuts each.  Anne and Scotty came over and we shared doughnuts.

While they were here Jim took the fireplace out so he and Scotty could fix the switch.  Colder weather is coming!  The difficult part was getting the box out of the space.  Switch fixed, then it was time for dinner.  Tonight we had BLT's using up some tomatoes a generous neighbor gifted us.

After dinner we came home and Jim finished installing the fireplace then he tidied up.  We've both showered and the only thing left to do is the dishes....ugggh!

Body Spray

Want to keep summer around a little longer?

Lemon, Eucalyptus, Coconut and Aloe Summertime Body Spray

The essential oils in this summertime body spray provide delightfully aromatic protection with skin-soothing aloe and coconut. This solution is easy to mix up and use during all your summer activities -- lounging on the patio, picnicking, sporting events and evening walks.

3 ounces coconut water 
1 ounce aloe vera juice or extract
4 drops lemon essential oil
4 eucalyptus essential oil
8 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops patchouli essential oil or cedarwood essential oil

Measure ingredients into a spray mister bottle. Shake contents before each application. Store the body spray in the refrigerator or cooler for an especially cool and refreshing way to beat summer heat.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fun Day

Did you happen to see the moon the last couple of nights?  We had some clear skies and it was a beauty!

Today Miss Anne and I went to Rutland for some shopping.  We stopped at TJ Maxx, Dollar Tree and then Walmart.  From there we hit Panera Bread for some lunch then on to Hobby Lobby and a stop for groceries at Hannafords

Made one more stop at Green Mountain College to see Charlotte and pick up some goodies for Scotty.  We made it home in time to have some coffee with the guys and decide to skip dinner!

Took this picture at the Rutland Farmers Market a couple weeks ago

The Rutland State Fair was last week and I just loved this flower's name...Sneezeweed and it's called Mardi Gras!