Dad

 You facebookers likely already have this news (and Mom left a message, I think, on someone’s voice mail)- Dad had a heart attack sometime last Fri… he did it in typical B-family fashion- made sure to show Mom what to feed the calves, which of the stock got hay and the general animal care (not much of that left, thankfully), then went in and cleaned up before heading off to the doctor’s with Mom. Dr sent them over to the ER right away and from there he was air lifted to Ft Wayne. They removed a clot and found another artery that was partially blocked (hope to resolve that with meds). He was moved out of CICU yesterday and is Some HAPPY to be in a regular room now. I’ve talked to him via SKYPE and he sounds good. And he’s ready to go home! (He is… not sure what the dr will say about that!) Ken and Melissa came up to be with Mom and have rotated with her as far as taking care of chores (and took turns with her sitting with Dad in CICU). Paul may go up now…haven’t just heard what everyone’s sched is beyond Mon am. Gina and I, needless to say, are feeling far away just now and are mighty thankful for 2 brothers and a sis-in-law close enough to be right there. We are all VERY THANKFUL that Aunt Marilou’s b-day was a week ago and not this past weekend. It gives me chills to think about the “what if’s”- What if Mom had been in FL for the weekend 1 week later? 001_1.copy

Here he is with Gina’s 4 this past summer. They called and all talked to Dawdy… except for Madi- she got ‘schemmich’ at the last min and didn’t want to! (Going through my pix, I have very few on my comp of Dad… what’s up with that?!)

something fun and different for the new year

Awhile ago, Mental Floss blogs had a post about another site that was doing a project in 2010 called the ‘3six5’… they issued an open invitation to anyone in the world to help. They hope to have a different person each day write a 250 word essay about some current event/news item and how it affected them. Depending on the success of the online project, they hope eventually publish all 365 entries as a sort of diary of 2010. Well, to say it grabbed my attention is putting it mildly. I rolled it around in my head for awhile, dithered, couldn’t imagine that I stood a chance… and then decided I have nothing to lose- so I sent them an email… and yesterday, I heard back- I get April 30! Here’s the list of authors for the project… and the homesite of the project. I’m pretty excited and pretty surprised to have been accepted… I reckon the fact that I’m in Ukraine helped a lot. Anyway, it looks to be very interesting, something I would certainly have followed along with in any case.

where’d the time go?

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Updates from me have been nonexistent lately…

Around here… it’s been a whole lot of rain

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but some sun, too

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in other words, fall!

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In Sept it was more than wonderful to have Mom and Paul here for a bit!

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at the airport, saying goodbye… trying not to cry too much!

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Their visit was a wonderful interlude in a new phase of my life… the part where I spend inordinate amounts of time going to and from doctors’ offices and waiting in the waiting room and retelling endlessly “what’s wrong with me”. Most of the past 3 months, in fact, have been all about blood work, ultrasounds, poking and sticking and test results and this doctor, that doctor and the next. Along the way, I learned a few things:

  • a good doctor that listens to you and believes you is worth his weight in gold.
  • a good friend who drops what they’re doing to go along and stand by you and help and laugh or cry with you is worth just as much as the doctor.
  • surgeons take pride in a nicely healing incision…who knew?!
  • if you’re visiting someone with an iv port in their arm, offer to comb their hair- you’ll be their friend for life!Photo-0315Photo-0318
  • dry toast and salty porridge taste pretty good when that’s all your tummy’s up to.

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So, yep, I’m now tumor-free… they’re likely benign- mostly this kind is; path reports are back but I just haven’t been over to get them. I’m also missing a major organ now… one I can’t say I’ll miss really…I read somewhere that by the time they die, around 75% of all women have (or have had) fibroid tumors…most don’t require surgery.

someone brought these flowers for a welcome home gift!

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and this little friendly bear was all decked out for the occasion, too

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after my pre-op tests, I went across the road to a mall and had these poppyseed crepes with a cup of espresso… and I’m really looking forward to having them again someday!

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I had the misfortune of landing back in the hosp last week for 4 days with an attack of pancreatitis… my US dr tells me it’s not that unusual to have post-op problems with food, so that was a relief. Right now, though, food is limited to the ultra-bland and boring- No milk, no fat, no sugar and only boiled or baked chicken or fish and boiled veggies… and salt, thank goodness!

It’s amazing how narrow the focus of life becomes when you don’t feel good…all about food, rest, sleep, medication… I’m SO ready to bounce around again…and I’m really wanting to dive into some chocolate…  and coffee! 😉

update time!

agnes- school started

not sure what this comic has to do with anything (although it’s one of my favorites)… HOWEVER- Something that’s about to happen that we’re NOT going to miss: Mom and Paul are coming for a visit…leaving today and arriving here tomorrow afternoon, all being well! To say that I’m anxiously waiting, excited, happy… all are understatements! I’m all of that and then some! 🙂

And I should have told Mom to pack a couple boxes of pop-tarts… now why didn’t I think of that? You know- frosted brown sugar…something like that…

ah well…

we’re going to have a great time! Cheers!

spring is here!

 In fact, spring will soon give way to summer…but Oh, it’s been wonderful!kyiv april 2 2009 013

This was the scene out the kitchen window at the beginning of April, 4 weeks ago today (the 2nd)

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same window 1 week ago

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same window, today… the trees have put out their leaves in full the past week

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looking out the NE side of the apartment

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neighbors across the courtyard from us have some kind of vine growing around their windows…about 12 stories off the ground.

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recently there was a free concert downtown; someone’s acquaintance’s son had won an international competition of pianists in Vienna and he was giving an exhibition of what he’d done there. He was good…in fact he was fantastically good; can’t say it was my style exactly- although I love love love the piano. Classical professional pianists usually don’t play what I like, though. Ukrn tradition is to present the performer with flowers afterwards; these hyacinths were right next to me and did they ever smell GOOD!

Otherwise, life here has been as usual. We desperately need rain- it is dry as powder here. Literally- the stuff puffs up around your ankles when you walk through it. Had a few sprinkles last night but you can only tell by the marks in the dust on the windshields of the parked cars. Supposed to rain this weekend. One can hope it pours tomorrow and Sat…because it’s MayDay- May 1st- a big (huge) Communist holiday and there are major demonstrations planned in various parts of the city for this weekend.

Next week we’re going to visit an English class in a city about 3 hours by bus from here. Some friends met the teacher and some of the class last fall and have kept in touch. So, we’re supposed to go prepared to tell about our home states… so- IN trivia? I’ll have to think about that!

Kyiv update!

I’ve been a long time silent- this I know. I did (for a change- gasp) write my bit for the family letter again. It’s interesting how busy you get with one thing or another…and then realize later you’ve let other things slide. We have been busy. Living in Kyiv means spending a lot of time on public transportation. We live close to a metro stop, which is very convenient. There are 3 metro lines that traverse the city; most of the places I need to get to can be reached via metro, which is wonderful. Spring finally seems to be here- Yee HAH! Today was gorgeous. Today was also the first day of Daylight Savings Time for Europe. You’d think someone would have the sense to say- That’s enough… let’s just leave the clocks alone…

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Went out for cheesecake yesterday afternoon in downtown Kyiv. Encountered a large group of people watching a group of boys/young men breakdancing. This kid was their spokesman.

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they had a large piece of linoleum that they’d brought along and that’s what they’re performing on.

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the head spin guys had a special stocking cap with a patch of leather at the top

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Pretty fun to watch…

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Feb 1, 2009

My updates are not very frequent… I’m gladder than ever that I had that skype chat with Chek-Kenny Daudy not so long ago… my other Daudy passed away this afternoon- 1.25 pm IN time. He was taken to the hospital early last week- thought he’d had a stroke; later they said they weren’t sure- possibly it was a seizure. Thurs night, he had a massive heart attack. Uncle Vernon called this am to report that they thought it wouldn’t be long and by 1.25 he was gone. Ken and Miss and boys are at Dad and Mom’s and Ken was the one who got in touch with me. Daudy was uncomfortable when they saw him yesterday- thankfully, he was spared a long slow deterioration. Gina hopes to get a ticket back- she can get cheap flights right now and I’m glad of that. As with Grandma Jones, I’ll be present in thought only. I was remembering Daudy, being there, how he loved to visit, how he sometimes threw his head back and just roared with laughter… he also loved quietness. In my mind, he was always a big man- although I’ve been around enough to know now that no one in my family is actually big!

still here

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Grandpa was at Mom’s the other day and I had a web cam chat with him (!)- and he sort of mentioned that I’ve been pretty quiet lately… well, yes… and I don’t have a lot to say about that- it’s just the way it’s been. There’s been lots going on- but somehow, I’ve just not been in a writing mood!

  • spent several weeks in late Oct and early Nov in Poland (in fact spent my bday there) getting a visa- it was interesting, frustrating at times, but in the end very successful- I have a 5 year visa, which is amazingly wonderful! I can be here without a visa- but having one just makes it easier to come and go- no questions asked.
  • I’m teaching 1 English class a week- it’s very easy, has been pleasant and interesting. It’s a small class of adults, all private students at a language school. My part is English conversation- one of my specialties anyway, so no problems there! This next Mon is the last and I may or may not cont after the new year.
  • Thanksgiving was interesting this year, not because of anything we did for the holiday (in fact, we didn’t even do T-giving this year) but because it marked the beginning of an adoption journey that I’ve been more closely involved with than ever before. Two couples from the US arrived that day and I met their flight. Since then, we’ve been following along with them as they cut through the red-tape and frustrations to get their new children. Both couples have families already; both came in touch through a neighbor with an agency at home that facilitates overseas adoptions and were ‘roped in’- that sounds harsh but it’s true- the lady was very aggressive and very much played on their feelings of guilt- you have so much they have nothing don’t you love children- it’s been a long story, a long journey- but they really DO love these kids and have stuck with it. It’s been a real eye-opener for me- the corruption and bribery that’s involved- the lady who is such an expert at playing on others’ feelings while quietly, happily taking thousands of dollars to ‘find’ children for these people- but the real joy that is in it, too, for the parents. I wish it could be done some way without all the unsavory money stuff (hidden fees to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, all fees doubling after they’re so committed there’s no backing out- it’s literally a legal children’s market)- but for the families and the children involved- it’s still an amazing thing. Lots of tears, lots of smiles, lots of hugs! Their first days were spent here in Kyiv for court dates and then they went to the areas where their kids are, so I’ve been following along via phone and facebook since then. One couple has returned to the US since their final court date isn’t until sometime after Jan 15 and there is just nothing they can do till then. The 2nd couple gets custody of theirs (3, ages 9, 10, 11) next Tues; they have Ukr’n paperwork to take care of and then come to Kyiv to get Amer passports. They should be here by the end of next week and I’m very much looking forward to meeting these 3 kiddos! I can’t imagine what it’s like for those kids- knowing they will soon be leaving the orphanages and setting out on a brand new life-journey- they must be excited and terrified all at the same time! I’ve thought a lot about you, Es and Mark, Linda and James- you’d know all about it!
  • I also spent time recently with a deaf couple at the hospital where Mr has been having his left leg lengthened. When he was a child, he had an infection in his leg for which he got an injection- the injection was very strong med that left him both deaf and slowed the growth of his leg so that it was 22 cm shorter than his right leg. Several years ago, a bone specialist in Kyiv began a procedure to break and then gradually spread the leg bones; they’re then kept immobile (and he is bedridden during this time) while the bones heal. Last week, he had the metal bars and pins removed from his upper leg; in a few months, they’ll remove the apparatus from his lower leg. Then, the plan is to wait 2 years for the bones to strengthen and gradually take weight before they’ll do it all again. So far, they’ve decreased the deficit to 11cm; I think they hope to finish with both legs the same legth in the end. It’s amazing… I’ve known him since I first came here and the difference already in his appearance is astounding; and he’s excited, too- excited at the prospect of someday being able to walk normally like everyone else! His wife and I are the same age (I’m 3 weeks older!) and he’s a few years older than us.
  • Otherwise, we keep busy with our normal schedules- visits and errands and running. I enjoy Kyiv- although everything here takes heaps of time. The estimated population of Kyiv is between 5 and 7 million- safe to say this is the largest city I’ve ever lived in! The worldwide economic crisis has hit hard here and the past few days, it seems the currency is close to collapse. The State Bank has been trying to keep it under control, but yesterday, the exchange rate for the Amer dollar went from 7.80 in the early am to 9.50 by nightfall- which is so unstable as to be nearly out of control. When we exchange dollars, we leave with wads of money- but it’s not worth much! Heard the Bank is auctioning US Dollars today in a desperate attempt to get control of the situation. I don’t understand this all but I do know that it’s not a good thing for the local currency to be this unstable!
  • ok- gotta go defrost the freezer! Loves to you all!

Hey Li’l Bro!

DCP_2578 It’s Happy Birthday time for Ken! Here he is with Forrest playing Farmer at Dawdy and Mommie’s…

I really meant to write him a nice ‘sister’ letter and send him a nice card… and instead, this is what he gets… *I promise, Ken, I promise*

I also know that this blog desperately needs updating. But right now I need to hit the sack… so, a sign of life- this is. And Happy Happy Birthday to Ken!!! xoxoxo

Happy Birthday!

 

Dad had a birthday!! I don’t have a lot of pix of Daudy- here he is with his 3 grandsons- that’s from the Daudy J Father’s Day deal last year.

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Here he is holding 2 of Gina’s girls- Madi and JennaMae. This was taken this spring.

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Happy Birthday Daudy! We love you!! xo