A Birthday Celebration...

Today is Dave's birthday. We came down to Texas for the Thanksgiving weekend to spend time with family and to have a family celebration of a 67th birthday, a new house & good health. Little did we know of the surprise that awaited us. Heather and J decided to give Dave an early birthday present and took us into the bedroom where we would be sleeping. There was this huge birthday card but what got my attention was behind the card.

Guess, Ya gotta guess.........give up? Awwww ya gotta guess!

A blue baby's bib with a Binky that said I love Grandpa! Then there was a baby bottle with a pink baby bib that said I love Grandma! Yes we are going to be grandparents! The surgery that was preformed on Heather in August was a success. She had fibroid tumors and most Doctors would not try to operate on them but remove everything. But they were blessed to find the top surgeon in this field and it was a success. So this coming July we will hear the wonderful sounds of a little one in our midst. A true Thanksgiving indeed. God bless you all...

Amore & Arrivederci For Now


Ned Hockman....


You have to say that word with attitude to get the gist of Ned Hockman. We have known Ned for over 36 years. Ned has enriched so many lives with his teachings on how to tell a story and letting others in on his own life story.

Ned was one of a kind, a person who loved life, his family and the students he taught over the years.

Sad to say we lost our beloved Ned this morning, December 20, 2010. He was 88 years young. You will be miss by many who you lent a guiding hand to. May your sleep be sweet.

Amore & Arrivederci


A Sunday Shoot...

The weather cleared up enough for Christie and I to get to the lake this afternoon and get some pictures taken for the Christmas gifts that I plan to give. I think I got some good shots. Christie is very photogenic, I wish I was. Both of my girls are photogenic. I took the pictures, handheld, with a Nikon D-80 on an automatic setting. The time was about 3:45 in the afternoon.

I plan to get Heather next weekend when they are here. I think their daddy will be pleased when I get it finished.

For the girls I am going to work on their T-shirt quilts. But for christmas I am going to make T-shirt pillows


Pre Admissions...

Had an appointment this morning with Physicians Assistant Phil today. Got to the clinic at 8:30 and got to sit down for about 45 seconds before they called me back to the exam room, wow, talk about not having to wait for an hour before seeing the P.A. Phil came in and gave me the run down of do's and don'ts. I must not shave my legs before the surgery, I must not have any scrapes or open cuts on my leg, I have the itchiest legs in the world from the skin being uber dry, so this will be interesting to see how I go about not scratching. I must wash my knee 6 inches above and 6 inches below and behind the knee for 5 minutes the day before the surgery with an antibacterial soap and have another shower the day of the surgery. I will have to give myself shots in the abdomen for 7 days (blood thinners, oh this should be fun), I'm to bring my medication to the hospital so they don't have to dispense it. I will wake up with my leg with drains in the knee circulating cold water to keep the swelling down. My leg will be in a contraption moving my knee so it does not freeze up. I will have to wear very fashionable stockings for about 3 weeks to help with blood clots (won't I be the toast of the town). I will be on high powered pain killers but will be up and walking on the second day. Phil said that I would have a block in the femoral artery in my groin (sure hope I am out when they give me that puppy) and near the spine but not in the spine the first day, a morphine pump the second day and painkillers the third day and will have my staples out the Friday, one week after being released from the hospital.

Phil showed me an exercise to help me bend my leg, I will need to be able to bend it at a 90 degree angle by 6 weeks. Here is the exercise. Sit in a chair. Place your good leg at 90 degrees, your surgery leg out with your heal on the floor. Grab it at your knee and pull it back as far as you can, foot on the ground. Then move forward sliding your butt in the chair stretching the surgery knee. This helps if you have a chair with arms and the seat is slick. Phil said that I could drive after three weeks as long as I am not on pain killers. Ha Ha Fat chance on me driving by then.

I was then told to go to the lab where I had an EKG, blood taken and had to give a urine sample. Then off to X-Ray for a chest X-Ray. Then out to the admissions nurse. There I answered more questions and she looked at my medication list and told me to stop taking my multi-vitamin and my Omega 3 pill as they are blood thinners. I then returned to the check in desk and paid my Dr's surgery bill. Everything has to be paid up front these days. Gone are the days of paying it out. 12 days till cutting day.

Just another day in the life of....

Amore & Arrivederci For Now


Dying Days of Fall and Flowers

We have a cold front sitting to the Northwest of us and it should push into the area sometime this afternoon. So this is a fine gray dull day. This is a big weather maker as Colorado is due to get 8" of snow. I doubt that we will see any of the white stuff but it will be cooler here.

The trees are loosing their leaves in massive amounts. I went out this morning to rake the back yard and made 8 medium piles for the dogs to play in. Lizzy our daughters 10 month old puppy has been a delight to watch frolicking in the leaves. This is her first experience of fall weather and leaves. She dares the other two to attack her. She loves to put her snout down into the leaves and then tosses them into the air. What fun to be a dog and have that reckless abandon.

I noticed one last red rose on my rose bush so I decided that I needed to shoot some of the last flower pictures of the season before they fade and wither away.


First The Specialist....The Lung Doctor....Then OBI...

Was up early this morning to make a trip to north Oklahoma City to the Lung Doctor to see if my lungs were in good shape to have surgery. He basically said I sounded fine but... there is always that "But"...due to my history of 27 years exposure to second hand smoke and two bouts with pneumonia, one two years ago, he felt that it would benefit me to have a pulmonary breathing test before the surgery. So I will be going off next week to the hospital for a 30 minute test. He stated that everyone should have one of these tests at some point in their life to check the airflow in their lungs, especially as we get older.

I 'm off to the Oklahoma Blood Institute to give my precious blood for surgery. I found out that I can give again a few days before surgery without having to wait just as long my iron count is above 35. When I was in there the other day it was bloody cold in the facility. I brought a fleece cape to wear while I am there. It took more time to fill out the paperwork and pre-prepped than it did to actually draw the blood from my arm. The OBI facility is real nice on the inside. They have big plush recliners and four TV's hanging from the ceiling. They make you quite comfy and have blankets to keep you warm while you give the gift of life.

Just another day in the life of...

Amore & Arrivederci For Now


Diners, Drive Ins' & Dives...Southside Chili

We had a local diner from Norman showcased last night on Diners, Drive Ins' & Dives with Guy Fieri. It's called The Diner and is located at 213 E. Main Street in Norman, OK. It's a little hole in the wall run by Mark Amspacher and when I say hole in the wall I mean that literally. On one side of the diner is the grill and such with a counter and stools, on the other side is either 6 or 7 booths that you sink into, and enough room for the waitress to walk sideways (if there is another person in the isle) and set down your order. Yet every weekend there is a crowd standing outside to get in. On the episode last night Mark's Southside Chili was featured. We have been eating Mark's chili for years. I use to buy it by the 2 lb. block and bring it home and warm it up. It is not for the faint of heart, yet it is so good. You can find Mark's Southside Chili at Mark and his family use to have a little corner grocery and when you went in you could tell that he was making chili due to the aroma of the garlic in the air. Mark would make about 50 lbs. or more of chili at a time and if you were not in there at the right time you didn't get any. I finally got smart and would place my order ahead of time and he would hold it for me. Mark's chicken salad is to die for. I don't think there was one thing that he made that I didn't like. They had a fabulous meat market and it was so convenient just to pop to the little corner store to pick up the few things that you needed. It was also one of those rare stores that would let you charge your purchase and they would deliver it to you. It was a great service for shut-ins. Here is the YouTube clip:
Norman has one little mom and pop corner store left at the corner of Chautauqua Ave. and W. Eufaula. They too have great cuts of meats. During lunch they run a little sandwich shop, since it's in close proximity to the university and downtown they get a lot of business. I like to go there to get soup bones. They are far meatier that what you get in the big supermarkets.

If you are ever here in Norman, drop by The Diner and partake in some good ole fashion greasy spoon dinning.

Amore & Arrivederci For Now

Post Script...I'm sad to report that Mark passed away quiet suddenly last year, however his daughter is now running The Diner.  Customers are still lined up outside the door on the weekends and at lunchtime to get in for the great food.  We all miss Mark and his great sense of humor and all the wonderful food he made, however The Diner is in good hands due to the great people who work there and his legacy will carry on.  


Dull Day...

It's somewhat overcast and not a nice day for shooting pictures. I wish we had been able to get to the lake yesterday because it was absolutely beautiful here. Alas maybe another day. I was hoping to get these done as they are Christmas gifts for the family since I will not have time to do much before my surgery and nothing afterwards and pictures make such a nice gift. Since my family does not bother to read this blog I have no worries about them finding out about their gifts.

We went to breakfast at a local diner out at the airport called Ozzie's. It's very good. Every day they have an all you can eat breakfast for $5.95. I had coffee, 2 eggs, bacon, hash browns and a biscuit with some cream gravy. Dave had 2 eggs with pancakes, bacon, hash brown, oatmeal and coffee plus some more bacon and hash browns. Christie had an egg with sausage and home fries and a biscuit with cream gravy with coffee. It was good. Their evening meals are good too and reasonable, on Fridays they have an all you can eat catfish dinner. We like their open faced roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and brown gravy and Italian green beans. It's called a Blast from the Past. We got to see several planes come in and leave while we were eating. One was a 10 passenger jet that had a 2 man crew and several passengers.

We came home and I did my Wii workout and tracked my activity points for Weight Watchers. Since I ate too many points for breakfast I need those activity points so I can have dinner tonight. I think I will go watch the new GI Joe movie Dave got the other day and take a break.

Dave on the other hand is loading Windows 7 onto his computer. My HP computer crashed, the motherboard died, and I shipped it to a friend who is a computer tech in Pleasant Hill, Mo. and she is getting it fixed for me. It had to go back to the factory to be fixed. I hope to get it back sometime next week if not sooner. Hopefully it is still under warrenty.

Time to go start a load of laundry and get ready for work tomorrow. Uhhhh GI Joe first...

Amore & Arrivederci For Now


CST Sucks...

We are one week in on falling back to Central Standard Time and in my educated sucks! Almost every day this week I have been getting up at 4:00 a.m. My normal time is 6:40 a.m. Even today, a Saturday where your supposed to be able to sleep in...OHHH NOOO...not this kid. Got up at 4:00 a.m. and made the little girls room run and tried to go back to sleep but no could do. So on went the TV and I finished an old NCIS episode and watched 3 episodes of The Dead Zone. I never watched it while it was on, but enjoyed the storyline this morning. I even found time to read from cover to cover my new Escapees Magazine. I think as I get older the time change really plays havoc with my system. We have noticed that even the dogs are affected.

We celebrated one of Christie's friends birthday yesterday with homemade tacos, salsa and guacamole. Greg loves spicy foods especially Mexican. Being far from home and family, Indiana, and finishing up his studying for his comps today, I felt we needed to have a little celebration. He is getting the same degree that Christie got her Masters in, Adult and Higher Education: Intercollegiate Athletic Administration. Greg came to OU from the University of Michigan where he was a three time All-American Heavy Weight Wrestler. Like Christie, he is a Learning Specialist for the Athletic Department. He makes sure that the athletes that he works with is managing their time so they can make their grades and stay eligible for their sport.

If it is a nice day tomorrow I'm going to take Christie out to the lake and do a photo shoot with her. So I am hoping for some decent weather. We are due for some rain but that is not due to come in until Monday. But this is Oklahoma and if you wait a minute the weather will change, at least that is according to our favorite son, Will Rogers. Besides my knee is really hurting so I know that a weather system is close by.

Amore & Arrivederci For Now


More Doctor Appointments...

I haven't even had the surgery yet, and already I am sick of scheduling Dr's. appointments. I have three so far this month to make sure that I am ready for surgery. First off is the Dentist to make sure that I do not have any infection as it can go to my knee and infect it and possibly cause me to have to have the component removed, boy wouldn't that be great, NOT! Found out that they could not do my cleaning until next week so that is four visits to the Dr. The next is a visit to a Pulmonary specialist to make sure that my lungs are OK for surgery as I have adult onset asthma and had pneumonia several years ago. It has been suggested (STRONGLY) that I get at least 2 units of blood drawn for my surgery, went this morning along with my daughter, she is so sweet to do this for me, to have it done but my paperwork had not got there so we have reschedule for Wednesday. Then I go to the clinic to get a history done and measured and so on and so on. I wonder what they will have me do next. I'm doing my leg exercises to strengthen my quadriceps.

A co-worker loaned me her beautiful cane for my recovery. She swore to me that she was not using it any longer. Next piece of equipment is a walker. I don't know if I have to purchase one or if I can lease one, maybe borrow it instead.

Ain't life a bowl full of cherries.

Amore & Arrivederci For Now