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


but some sun, too


in other words, fall!



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


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


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.


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!


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


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!


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.


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…


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.


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


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


Pretty fun to watch…


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!