Monday, November 21, 2016

Return to Florida in the Fall of 2016

My new friend, Gary Suter, drove the two kitties and me to Florida for my winter stay.  We had a marvelous time just "hangin' out" and going out to eat.  (**see below for COMMENT)
Gary likes eating seafood on the ocean or on the water.  I like that, too, so we had fun exploring Port St. Lucie, Stuart, and Ft. Pierce areas and the many neat restaurants. 
I enjoyed sharing my retirement community and my church with him.  

I live about 5 miles from the ocean "the way the crow flies." My 55+ community is called Savanna Club  http://www.savannaclubhoa.com/ .  It's a blast to be surrounded by 1,900 homes of mostly retired owners who are ready to go "play" at a moment's notice.  

My church, First United Methodist Church of Port Saint Lucie.  http://www.pslfumc.com/   is about 4 miles away and I've made a lot of friends there, especially with my Good Grief group and the United Methodist Women (UMW).

**COMMENT:  Describing Gary as "my new friend" is an understatement.  He was my friend but we've moved into the "boyfriend and girlfriend" arena!  He is a VERY special man, that's for sure!!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Catching up.....

OK, OK, I have surely been remiss with my blog.  I was thinking of just skipping the year but, when I looked at my photos, I decided it would be good to document things just for fun.  

So, you'll see short posts but that'll be better than nothing.  AND you might see more grammatical or spelling errors.  If so, PLEASE tell me.........I am not emotionally attached to my work, OK?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Yummy Apple Butter

Ah, apple butter....... I took for granted how it was made until I got involved this year.  The Ruritan Club of Singers Glen makes apple butter every year as a money-maker to fund their many service projects.  

30 bushels of apples

Ruritan members and others helping to cut the apples (I was on the other side of the circle!)

Some "machines" to make the work faster (Don't know if it did or not!)

Washing the apples.

Apples cooking.

Running apples through sieve

Preparing jars

Lots of stirring

Sugar and spice

It's ready!

Sterilizing jars in steam table

Filling jars with funnel made by Leonard Hollar, operated by his son, Hunter Hollar

Sealing and labeling jars

The label

514 quarts of homemade apple butter. 

 Wouldn't you like to buy some? It's so good that I could just get a spoon and eat it!  

It was great to be a part of this worthwhile yearly project!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Election Day Dinner

The Donovan Memorial United Methodist Church ( http://www.donovanumc.org/ ), my home church in Singers Glen, Virginia, has held an Election Day Meal since about 1945. 

This is always an outstanding meal with oysters, turkey, country ham and ALL the trimmings followed by many, many choices of homemade pies..........MMmmmm...good!

I was a pie-cutter this year and was "plumb wore out" but really enjoyed the fellowship with Gayle Davis, the head pie-cutter, other workers, and guests.

Juanita McMullen has served the oysters for over 50 years.  I think it's longer than that but she is modest.  When you come to the Election Day Dinner you KNOW Juanita is going to be serving the oysters!
 
We sold approximately 160 meals but I don't know how much profit there was.  The important thing, besides a delicious meal, is the teamwork that happens to continue with the various missions and projects of the church.

It is a privilege for me to be a part of such a tradition and work with people who have known me since I was born.... and I have known them and treasure knowing them.  

p.s.  I had a few more photos but have filed them in "a safe place."  If I find them, I'll add them to this post.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My Brain Surgery is Behind Me!

Praise the Lord!!  The surgery to correct the trigeminal neuralgia is behind me.

They had said I'd be in the University of Virginia hospital (about 65 miles from home) for a couple of days and after that I would go home.  I was there for 4 days but when they discovered I live alone, things seemed to change.  I came to a rehab facility here in the Shenandoah Valley, which I chose so I would be nearer home.
 
VMRC (Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community) turned out to be a wonderful choice.  I was there for 18 days and realize I needed the therapy, especially to work on my balance and stamina.  A therapist had to come check my house to be sure it would meet Medicare's standards for safety before they could send me home.  By that time, I had worked hard in therapy and was relieved I didn't need home therapy or outpatient therapy.

I asked the surgeon for more information about how the surgery was done.  There were two surgeons and they started with loupes like jewelers use.  Then they switched to microscopes.  That's when they inserted the Teflon pad to stop the friction between the nerve and blood vessel.  
The faint circle shape towards the bottom of the incision is where they used a 1" drill to drill  through my skull.  Afterwards, they covered the hole with a titanium plate and used screws to hold it in place.  I do wonder if I'll set off the alarms at the airport security lines!

At first it scared me because I was still having some face pain.  The doctor at rehab explained that the nerves in my face have been attacked and beat up for three years.  It takes a while for nerves to calm down and recuperate so I must not panic.  He was right - I've been over a week without a pain pill.  

Now I can get on with my life without living in fear of an attack coming at any time, plus I don't have to take all the medications that caused me such dizziness.  I do think the surgery was a success! 

This is all so mind-boggling to me! (Pun intended!)