Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Roots in Singers Glen

The Dedication Day for Old Salem, our moved and restored 1833 log cabin church was April 27, 2008.

This was the mother church for our church and several others. I am especially fond of this project because my great great grandfather, Levi May, was the assistant builder back in the early 1800's.

Old Salem has been re-established as a chapel that will serve as a memorial to the Christian congregations that shaped the character and culture of northwestern Rockingham County, Virginia.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Email Mistake Yields New Friend

It never ceases to amaze me what a small world it is. Email has opened a whole new world of possibilities, as illustrated by the emails below.....

November 16, 2007 - I received an email that was a comment about a joke. I was a bit leery because I didn't recognize the email but I hesitantly replied saying, "Do I know you? Your name isn't ringing a bell."

November 17, 2007 - leslee@ replied, "No, and it shouldn't ring a bell. You sent this to Carol Nesselrodt and I mistakenly thought I was replying to her. My error. Sorry."

November 17, 2007 - I replied, "I don't know Carol either but it's fine if she wanted to share a cute email. With names like Nesselrodt and Orebaugh you must be from or connected the Shenandoah Valley so I KNOW you're a nice person!

November 18, 2007 - leslee@ replied, "Oh, you are so right. We are from the Shenandoah Valley. You must be to in order to recognize their origin. Again, sorry for any trouble I may have caused.

Oh, by the way, I am in Alaska (have been for 20 years) and today it was 31 degrees and no snow. We had about a 1/2 inch last night. We probably will not see the ground again until March. My cousin emailed and said the valley had some cold weather."

November 18, 2007 - I replied, "Wow, I've never known anyone who actually lives in Alaska. I've heard wonderful things about it! How did you happen to end up there?"

November 19, 2007 - lesslee@ replied, "How did I end up here . . . well you will never believe a flip of a coin but that is exactly what happened.............. "

.......And that's how it all got began....... a series of emails as I got to "know" Leslee and her fascinating life story.

December 23, 2007 - lesslee@ wrote
Subject: we are closer than you think
We are so much closer than you think. I had a good laugh yesterday when I was telling my cousin and best friend (Carolyn Jean Bradburn Arnett) about how you and I met. She says you have been to her home and than you went to school with another of my cousins (Phyllis Mason Flick). So, how's that for a small world.”

April 29, 2008 - Leslee is here in Harrisonburg, Virginia!

She’s visiting Carolyn (her cousin and best friend). On Thursday, Leslee, Lois (my friend since first grade), Phyllis (her cousin, my good friend since high school) and I are going to have lunch together. (Carolyn has to work :( , poor dear.)

As I told Leslee on the phone, I feel like I'm going to meet a movie star and should ask for her autograph! Who would guess a mistaken email message reply from Leslee to me on
November 19, 2007 would have opened such a plethera of connections!


May 1, 2008 - Click here for: LUNCH WITH LESLEE, My Email Pal!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Word for Today - Benign

It is with great pleasure that I report the Word for Today is "BENIGN".
"How do you spell relief?" B-E-N-I-G-N!

(If this doesn't make sense to you see my last post - Life's Lumps.)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Life Has Lumps Sometimes

Like a good girl, I had my yearly mammogram a few weeks ago. A week later I got a letter and a call from my doctor saying there were some suspicious "lumps". I went to the hospital for a Diagnostic Mammogram on Thursday. After the first film, I started feeling light-headed and asked for ammonia. It didn't help any that this test squished me even harder than a normal mammogram. The technician had me sit on a tall chair for the rest of the pictures and it was all I could do to get through it. I had tried to tell myself that this was "nothing" but I think my body's reaction showed more how I really felt.

A few minutes later, Dr. Norris, the doctor reading the film, came in. He said the suspicious area showed up and he wanted to do a biopsy. I told him I was "allergic" to pain so he said he'd give me some Zanex ahead of time to help me cope. Meg, the coordinating nurse, called me at home and we set up the appointment. She was very descriptive and the whole procedure sounded awful. I had a very rough night with not much sleep.

Ed took me to the hospital Friday morning at 9:30. Meg, the nurse, was very supportive and understanding since she'd had 3 biopsies herself. (We later learned she had cancer, surgery, chemo, etc. But she was determined to get back to normal life. She's perfect for this job.)

While in the nurses' area signing the 2,000 forms, there was a nurse who looked familiar to me. I asked her name and before she finished saying it, I knew who she was. Sandi and her husband, Charlie Collette were in my scuba club in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida! They moved up here 5 years ago to Briery Branch, which is about 15 miles from Singers Glen. Charlie was a boat captain, has retired, AND they now have a motor home! Everyone was entertained listening to us discuss the various people we remembered.

Then, it was time for the biopsy. The machine is in a large van, shared by several hospitals. I was on a table on my stomach with my poor boob hanging down through a big hole. They REALLY squished, squashed, and squeezed to take more films from various angles. They decided which shot gave the best view and then clamped down hard in that position.

About the time Dr. Norris started giving me the Novocaine shot and inserting the "tube", through which he withdrew tissue, the nurses started asking me about scuba diving and had me chattering through it all. I told them that I thought they squeezed me to give me so much pain that I hardly noticed what the doctor was doing. I was on the table about 20 minutes. Dr. Norris said the lump seemed smaller than he had expected and he didn't think it was cancerous. If it is, they've caught it very early so can nip it in the bud.

Ed brought me home and I slept all afternoon. Today I feel weak - like limp spaghetti - and my poor squished boob is tender. But it's over. Now I just have to wait till Tuesday evening for the results. Breast cancer does not run in my family so I'm reminding myself of that. At least the biopsy is behind me.

Never again will I think, "Oh." when someone tells me they had a biopsy. Lumps are lumps, wherever or however they appear in our lives.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

RV's Need Homes, too!

Ed has worked diligently at getting a shelter constructed for the RV. He's spent hours considering which design and construction materials to use. Then, as with any construction project, once you get estimates and hire someone, you're pretty much at their mercy ........oh, and the weather plays into this, too!
Our two acres is all hills. The only flat piece of land was between Mother'
s sheds and barn. So, that's where it's going. The sides are up and surely do look tall, don't they?

After a day of putting in rebar and a couple truckloads of gravel, they poured the concrete today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Maggie's Murder Mystery Party

Some people think nothing ever happens in the boonies but that's not altogether true! Saturday night we went to a Murder Mystery Party at Maggie's house in Singers Glen. (Maggie is the gal who house-sat for us while we were in Florida January-March and she's also my hairdresser.)

It's the 1st Annual
Deadwood Poker Tournament Party!

For weeks, people have been pouring into the small western town of Deadwood for the biggest poker tournament this side of the Mississippi. As the tournament concludes, a celebration party is planned at the Deadwood Saloon.
Bonnie Banker, Marshal Dalton, Sally Starr, Holly Hickok (Maggie), Black Barbara, Minnie Money, and Harry High-Stakes

Mitch Maverick, Gambling Jack, Montgomery Money,
Clay Coldwell, Jesse Wales

Here's Montgomery Money (Ed) and Minnie, his daughter,
(notice her bustle).

I was Black Barbara, an outlaw. ("She's been in town all week and no one knows quite why.") I borrowed the dress and hat from a lady who grew up in Singers Glen and keeps such items for the Singers Glen Opera every 5 years. My friend, Beth, came and helped me dress. I never could have gotten it put together without her. The bustle she pinned stayed put and once I put in the five antique 10" hatpins that Uncle Bob loaned me, the hat stayed on. It was awesome to wear an authentic dress and hat made long ago. Several of us studied the dress and were amazed with the hand stitching and the hand worked buttonholes.

We didn't solve the mystery as to who murdered Mitch Maverick, but we ate some good food and had some laughs. There were several people I didn't know and if I see them on the street, I'll have to say, "Hello, Bonnie Banker" or "Hi, Gambling Jack" because everyone stayed in their roles all evening!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mother's Mishap - The Rescue Squad...

You may also find this post on Frances May's blog at http://howisfranmay.blogspot.com/

The Rescue Squad took Mother to the Emergency Room Sunday night, March 30th, with severe hip pain. They did an X-ray and a CAT scan but found no fracture. Her doctor saw her Monday afternoon. He agreed with the ER doctors that it appeared to be a hip sprain/strain and prescribed bed rest.

Mother could not think of anything specific she did to bring on such pain. It is my sister, Anita, who saved the day. About 9 p.m. that evening, Anita called from Ohio, having just talked to Mother, and asked us to go check on her. Maybe Anita's motherly instincts sensed the pain in Mother's voice. And, sure enough, we called the rescue squad. Thank you, Anita!

Her doctor is sending Home Health nurses in for several weeks. One is an Occupational Therapist who helps with life skills such as bathing and gives her exercises. The other one is a Physical Therapist who focuses on exercises to build leg and arm strength.

For me to manage all her meals, meds, and sleep at her house was taking its toll. We were blessed to find a lady to come in to help out with various household needs. Ed has been a Godsend through all this.

I think there is light at the end of the tunnel......Mother started feeling a bit better yesterday. She has "graduated" to a cane and has put her bedside potty chair into storage. We're in the process of adding grab rails in the shower and bathroom for added safety.

Tomorrow, the therapist plans to start working on getting up and down the outside back porch stairs.
Mother's looking forward to going back to her Wellness Center for her water aerobics class three times a week and for just getting out in general.