Friday, May 29, 2009

There are days this can be downright relaxing

A view from my front porch:


I need to make an 8 hour sound recording of this and play it at bedtime. That surely would bring some really good ZZZzzzzzs!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stupid hair dryer.

My hair dryer is broken.

No big deal, I can always buy another one.

But... but...

this hair dryer has a memory attached.

It was February of 2002. After almost three months in the hospital, Andy had been on a roller coaster of stabilizing, followed by another downward slide. He had only days left, but I didn't want to admit that's what was happening. Inside, though, I knew the truth.

His condition was so fragile that I knew I needed to stay that night, but because he had changed so rapidly I wasn't prepared. Kathy sat with him while I dashed across the street to Walmart and returned with a few hastily purchased goodies.

I tied a Valentine balloon to the foot of his bed, showed him my new sleep shorts, then on a whim I took the last bag, gave it to him and said, "Now hand this to me and say Happy Valentine's Day!"

Andy peered inside, saw what it was, and smiled his characteristic sly smile. Then he handed it to me and said, "Happy Valentine's Day Honey!"

As I pulled a box out of the bag I made a big dramatic fuss; "Oh Honey! A new hair dryer! How did you know that's what I really wanted?" and we laughed together about this bit of silliness.

It was the last time we ever laughed together.

Anyway, yesterday I tried to dry my hair but the dryer wouldn't come on. Both Arthur and I tried everything we could think of to make it work, but nothing has helped.

Like I said, I can buy another one. But it won't be the same.

Stupid hair dryer.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Photos from Jimmy and Andy's Brief Visit

Jimmy and one grand-twin have come and gone, and now I'm sad. Maine is simply too far away! But it's too cold most of the year to tempt me to move there, at least for now. :)

Tiffanie couldn't make the trip because of work restraints, so my other little angel Stevie didn't come either. Although I know there will be other visits, I feel like my Grandma cup was only half full this time. Sigh.

I know it was a pretty big job for Jimmy to fly with just the one, and I was glad to at least have Andy Baby. So now I'll share some snapshots from their visit. (Sorry Jim, for some reason we took more pictures of that cute baby than of you! Har har.) To tell the truth, Little Andy Pandy looks just like Jimmy when he was small.

Grandma and her little man.

Grandpa and baby enjoyed watching "Dancing with the Stars."

This Grandma stuff is a real treat!

Smile and say Cheese!!

I guess it's a good thing my grandkids don't visit as often as I would like, or else this whole blog would be all baby pictures. :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day... in loving memory

In memory of one special man...

... and, as the edge of our back patio shows, a family that existed once upon a time on Earth forever exists in the heart.


Shelby, John and I went to the cemetery on Sunday to decorate for Memorial Day. As we worked, we talked about how the people bearing names on the headstones surrounding Andy have become almost like "neighbors."

On Andy's right hand side is a gentleman who died in 1978 who shares a double headstone with his wife. On our past visits there was no death date for the wife, so we assumed she was still living. It turns out that we were correct, because this time there is a fairly new date plate on the stone stating that she died last month, along with an abundance of flowers with a ribbon that reads "Mom and Dad." We felt bad knowing this year is especially sad for the family.

Right next to them are two graves with decorations that read "Grandma and Grandpa. The kids and I wonder: are they the parents of the couple next to them?

Next door to "Grandma and Grandpa" is a new grave with a shiny new headstone, but interestingly the man's date of birth is given as sometime in the 1800's and he died in 1960. His name is new to us, but will become familiar as the years pass. But, what is his story? Was he really just moved here 49 years after his passing? And why? Was he a MIA veteran? Was he simply moved to be closer to family?

The headstone directly above Andy is a somber one to us. The young man died on the exact same day as Andy. He was buried in the morning the day Andy was buried in the afternoon. His obituary is on the same page of the paper so I even feel like I somewhat know his family. He also left young children behind, and often there are clay figures, paper machete handprints and other childhood art that is obviously created in love by his kids. As many years as we have visited the cemetery on almost every holiday, we have yet to meet any member of his family. I wonder, do they feel a bond with us, too?

To Andy's left is a lady that I knew personally, although not well. The lady had married a widower that later died himself, and she is buried next to him and his first wife. The graves of the man and his first wife are always very well decorated, but sadly there is nary a flower for the second wife. Usually we place a little something on her grave, so this year we used a flower and a little flag from our supply.

It's always a good thing to be nice to one's neighbors.


Friday, May 22, 2009

I promise! Not one more word about graduation!!

... after this! Naturally, this week's Film Clip Friday features Shelby's graduation.


To my dismay, I accidentally deleted the video that I recorded! Fortunately, Aunt Kathy captured a bit. So, one week later, here are 60 seconds of Shelby's graduation.

Oh, also one week after the graduation and my birthday:

Happy birthday Arthur my love! (Allen too!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Poor Baby!

I don't usually do the "Wordless Wednesday" thing, but here's one of my grandbaby for you!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shelby has graduated!

Well, everybody, I have recovered enough to post a few photos! The ceremony was wonderful, and actually was not overly long because a thunderstorm had been threatening to hit the entire evening. The sky was ominous, and a distant rumble could be heard all the way through the graduation exercises!

I had questioned the rationale of holding the ceremony outdoors, particularly since the other two district high schools hold theirs at the Convention Center down town. The future alumni were quick to inform me that their school was the only high school in Oklahoma that had a fireworks display at the end of commencement, and they like it that way. I wondered what good that would do if it got rained out and we had to attempt to cram ten thousand people into a auditorium that seats a thousand, but I kept my misgivings to myself.

As it turned out, the rain didn't hit until the last fireworks were finished and everybody was on the way home. Then the floodwaters commenced!!! My sis-in-law quipped that of course Andy would never allow it to rain on his daughter's graduation. I tend to agree!

Arthur and I made it to the house before the full rain hit, but by the time Shelby and her friends arrived for her party it was pouring so hard that we had to get out towels to dry them off after they ran from their cars to the house.

Professor B, Shelby and her best friend Jammy:

Band Friends and Mr. Early:

The party was a triple-adult-chaperoned all-nighter for about 14 grads. We were very happy to give them a safe place to hang out and decompress after all the excitement! The kids had a blast, played Guitar Hero and, (believe it or not) Charades until dawn!

I am so proud of Shelby! But, now her day of glory is over, and the next chapter of her life is beginning. Plus, I'm kinda glad all the hoopla is over. Now I can enjoy visiting with Jimmy and my grand-twin that made the trip from Maine! They are staying until Wednesday, so time is very precious. So, see y'all Wednesday with more photos. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Happy Birthday, and a graduation!

Today, which happens to be my birthday, Shelby graduates from high school! I am writing this post in advance, because the day is going to be completely hectic with a pre and post graduation open house, not to mention the lengthy ceremony.

Twelve years ago almost to the day, I attended my firstborn's graduation. I'll never forget that one! That was an amazing day, seeing my first child making the transition into the adult world. Jim's graduation was not without a bit of drama, however. His counselor was not sure he had enough credits to graduate, and we didn't find out until the day of the ceremony that he actually did! That made Jimmy's graduation a bit more exciting than average!

Since I won't have photos or film of Shelby's graduation ready for a few days, I am offering a brief clip from Jimmy's graduation as this week's Film Clip Friday installment. (It's only 3.5 minutes long. I only wish that's how long the ceremony tonight will be! Ha Ha.)

Jim's the guy with the big, relieved smile as he receives his diploma and gives the peace sign at the end as the class is leaving. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just photos with very few words

Sorry, this post is a bit hasty, but I have almost zero time this week. It is now less than 48 hours until graduation day! These are a few photos of the past few days: Scholarship banquet, Band Banquet, and Baccalaureate.

I'm not too sure how much I will post next week, either. I think I will be in full recovery mode. (Complete with covers over my head for a few days...!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Awww... I am loved!

Here is a bunch of GOOD graffiti!

By Tuesday I'll also have Jimmy here in town since he is flying in for Shelby's graduation. For the first time in many years they will all get kisses from Mom in May.

Shelby included a beautiful hand-made card with three coupons stating that she will wash and polish my car. She said I can even redeem the first one when I get tired of the new car decor and she will wash all the paint off. Who could ask for more?? :-)

I hope yesterday was a great one for everybody!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

My 15 Minutes of Fame

Student: “Can I have a hug?” (gives me a hug)

Student: “Can I have a dollar?”

Me: “You are so cute I would be tempted to give you a dollar if I had one, but all I have in my pocket is a bit of dryer lint.”

Student: “Can I have the lint?” (then laughs and gives me another hug.)

How can anybody not love a job like mine?!?

I have been selected as Oklahoma City Public Schools' "School Nurse of the Year." Woo Hoo!! This week's Film Clip Friday is not my own film, but rather a film from the City's website and the corresponding article that was in Wednesday's newspaper.

National School Nurse Day

John says now I can walk into any restaurant in Oklahoma and demand preferential seating with the statement: "Don't you know who I am?" LOL!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A glimse into Shelby's future

Shelby is my guest blogger today.

My kids are forever the apples of my eye, but the future Shelby envisions for herself is even more wonderful than I would have imagined. She recently won a modest scholarship by writing an essay assuming that she was selected for a "Who's Who" award in her chosen field, and what she would like it to say.

She graduates from high school next week, and I hope all she dreams of comes to pass!

Here is her essay:

A Who's Who Article About Me!

Just the other day, five years after being accepted onto a new team of cardiothoracic surgeons at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, I received a phone call informing me that I had been selected to The Who’s Who Directory of American Medicine. I can assure you, I was quite surprised to hear this news. Most doctors dream of gaining such a prestigious honor throughout their whole career and never get accepted, while I on the other hand am just a “baby” in the world of medicine. I expressed these views with the representative from the directory, and he informed me that I had been chosen due to the experimental surgery I had recently completed that involved the use of a heart valve grown from the new developments in stem cell research. After hearing this and his other arguments in my case, I began to understand a little more why I had been chosen for this award.

The directory representative asked me several questions during the phone call about myself and what I had accomplished in my profession, so that he could compile a complete article for my directory page. This really got me thinking about what I had done in the world of medicine and the impact I had made upon it. I must admit, in the five short years since completing my residency, I have accomplished many things in my career. Not only was I the youngest doctor to ever be placed on a team at The Johns Hopkins; I was also the youngest female to ever work there in the hospital's history. As I elaborated, I became more aware about why they elected me for this status.

From my very first day in medical school, I had a dream to make an impact on the world of medicine. After completing my residency in cardiothoracic surgery, I decided that I would invent a new procedure that would change the way heart surgery itself was viewed. When I first came up with the idea of growing an actual human heart valve from stem cells over twelve years ago, stem cell research was almost a taboo subject. But when the research aspect became available to me, I took it to great lengths, utilizing umbilical stem cells from newborns in order to avoid the use of any fetal tissue. I pioneered not only a new genetic breakthrough, but also the procedure to go with it.

Three hours had gone by the time I finally finished my interview with the man from the directory, and I found myself slightly in awe of my own life's accomplishments. I had been set on becoming a doctor from the time I was six years old, and it just then occurred to me that I really had become the doctor I had always dreamt of being. While I was sitting there, a page for my next heart transplant came in, so I was off and running again. Although my life is currently hectic beyond belief and I have the oddest hours of any other profession I know, I truly feel that I have made a difference, not only in the world of medicine, but in the world itself. I hope this is reflected in what they are writing about me. Now all I have to do is wait and see how the article turns out!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Who is THAT guy?

I barely recognize him.

What a difference a year makes!!

It's my soon-to-be Freshman son, John!!!

I chose my battles and selected to ignore his long-hair stage. The haircut he had yesterday was his own idea! (YAY!)