27 March 2014

Pet selection

Spring cleaning (of a sort).  I am trying to port over some old pictures/files to my new computer.  I saw this on Facebook last night and the first thing that came to mind was Abby's menagerie...

25 March 2014

Beach bums

Good news - SIL was released to go back home today.  Momma went to pick her up at hospital so she could spend the night at home on her couch with her cats.  Must be doing well - got a text that they were swinging by a Starbucks on the way home. 

A few more from last weekend's jaunt to the beach.  Since I decided to shock test my phone, I did not take as many pictures as I normally do (trust me, I take a lot), so I had to rely upon others to take pictures of the event.  Been waiting for my brother (the one with the questionable picture) or dad to forward any shots from the beach house.  The one I am still seeking is of our kite flying day.  I really crushed the competition that day with an awesome kite.  One of those serious nylon jobs - one of those huge nylon kites that was a huge replica of the space shuttle.  Thought it was fitting since Galveston was sorta the home for a good portion of the space program.  Of all the kites we flew, that one stood out.  Too bad I was playing pilot and didn't get any shots. 

And to elaborate on my comment last time referring to my brother, no, that was not some organic substance that is readily available in Colorado and Washington State.  My brother (who incidentally lives in Seattle) was walking down the beach and found some of these pods in the sand.  These are littered all over the dunes and washed up by the ocean.  The look conspicuously like something else ergo the photo op.  His idea, not mine. 

In the meantime, a few more from the beach...

Looking pretty spry for a couple of Nonagenarians.

One of our early beach walks

Most of the tribe (sans Mrs Agg), my brother (taking picture) & two nephews.
Somebody was being camera shy.

And, last but not least, my new screensaver.  Got a new computer over the weekend and I am setting up the programs (real pain in the ass).  I found a new screensaver picture of our children courtesy of Mrs Agg.  Really struck a cord with me.  Keep an eye out for this one - you may see it again.   

23 March 2014

Making progress

Many thanks to everyone for your prayers and thoughts.  It appears somebody was listening and it really helped.  SIL is much improved.  She is making progress everyday and slowly working her way back to normal.  They transferred her over to a recovery/rehab part of the hospital where they are working on getting her strength back.  Still doesn't have much or an appetite yet, but she is up and walking more each day.  We are hoping she will be able to go home in a week or two.  The transfer has given my wife a bit of a break since she hasn't had to be up at the hospital every day.  

Everyone was worried for us, but things worked themselves out.  My parents were debating cancelling the mini-reunion but we told them to go ahead with it because she was stable at the time and there really wasn't much anyone could do for her.  Besides, the beach house was only an hour away if things changed.  Our original plans were to take off from work and spend most of the week down there with the family/dogs.  My wife decided to stay with her sister and insisted I go ahead to the gathering without her.  I reluctantly agreed but maintained a constant line with her in case I needed to be up there.  I did go down for a the weekend but I will admit it wasn't as much fun as I had hoped (felt guilty for not being with her).  

I did spend a few days/nights down at the beach house in Galveston.  One of those three story jobs on stilts right on the beach.  No real agenda.  Just sleep, eat, walk the beach, eat some more, take a nap, read a book, play Mexican Train, fly a kite, walk the beach some more, eat again.  My brother from Seattle and his wife had flown in a week earlier hoping for some warmer weather but it was chilly and rainy for most of the weekend.  The grand kids (my son included) came down for the weekend.  Fish fry on Saturday night with plenty of fish and hush puppies and shrimp and beer.  The great grand kids showed up for a while and were the center of attention.  We flew kites on the beach, collected sea shells, ran the dogs on the beach.  Everyone had a good time but I still felt guilty without momma being there to enjoy it with us.   

Grandma rocking a hoodie
Grayson enjoying the surf

And, NO Abby, that is not what you think it is...

Grayson claimed his spot 

Trying to ride Claire 
Hamming it up for the camera

Can anyone spot the trend in the last three pictures?

Of course, the week had to start out with a little drama (on my part).  Was loading up the dogs into the truck on the way down on Friday.  I was two miles down the road when I realized I didn't have my cell phone.  After a frantic pat down, I turned the land barge around and headed back home.  As I drove up to the house, I spotted said phone lying innocently in the driveway.  Now, I have dropped Siri a few times without any serious issues but this time was a wee bit more traumatic.         

Oh, s%#@$^$%$%#!

Needless to say, I was a bit dramatic over my response.  The phone worked but the screen was completely shot.  Had to taker her to the shop for a day to replace the screen. but she is good as new now.

19 March 2014

Roller coaster week

Damn.  That’s one week I really don’t want to repeat any time too soon.  It’s been a real roller coaster ride for us down here.  Highs and lows, tears and laughter, angst and whatever the hell is opposite of angst.  

To get perspective, I need to dial back to two weekends to put things into perspective. Two things have been occupying our focus right now:
  • Family mini-reunion
  • SIL status
My parent got it in their mind to hold a mini reunion with the family.  To make things easier on everyone, they rented a beach house down in Galveston for the week.  The plan was to set up shop for the week and everyone could come by as they got the time.  For my brothers and I, that meant we were planning to set up camp down there and live out of the house for a week enjoying the sand and surf.  We were hoping that the grandkids and their families could come down at their leisure.  Lots of food, activities planned.  Fish fry Saturday, cook out Friday, pasta Sunday.  Nobody was going to starve.  

Two weeks ago Sunday, our plans took a serious detour.  SIL was slowly recovering from her cancer surgery back in November.  She had just started on her first round of chemo (home dosage) and was starting to feel better and get some of her appetite back.  My wife took her back into hospital on Sunday to have the shunt (for the chemo) removed and she was feeling restless and short of breath so she checked into the ER to get checked out.  Next thing I know, she was in ICU because she had double pneumonia and had fluid in her lungs.  They put her on antibiotics and various meds to fight the infection.  She seemed ok and not too concerned, so we figured this was for a day or so.  On Monday, they decided to put her on a ventilator to help her breathe but "it wasn't a big deal" (she even asked for it).  ICU would keep her overnight and monitor her vitals to see if she could fight back the infection.  Early Tuesday morning, her condition rapidly deteriorated and she started having heart failure.  Subsequently her kidneys were shutting down and she needed a heart pump installed to survive.  My wife called me at work in tears telling me that her sister was borderline and we needed to get up to the hospital ASAP.  I dumped everything and told my boss I was leaving and did not know when I would be back headed to the hospital to meet my wife.   SIL is only 5 years older than we are and this was a total state of shock to us.  Several scenarios went through my head on the drive up to the hospital, none of which were good.  This was one of those moments in life that you are never fully prepared to face.  

We arrived as they were transferring her over to the cardiac care center.  We spent several hours in the waiting room until they had her set up in her room.  Finally got in to see her around 5 pm but she was all wired up with electronic monitors and iv drips.  We stayed with her for most of the evening and things were looking pretty grim.  At one point, the docs were telling us that SIL had a 20% chance of turning this around.  20%??????  Are you f#@!%# kidding me?  Three days prior, we were debating the merit of cats verses dogs and now she was on life support.  We were trying to grasp the possibility that she may not survive.  We spent several long days/nights in the ICU at her bedside waiting and praying to see which way this would go. 

After multiple treatments and drugs, they finally managed to get a handle on her situation and things turned around late Thursday.  Her condition stabilized and they were able to start weening her off some of the equipment/drugs.  Things started to improve and by late Thursday they removed the heart pump and by Friday they took her off the ventilator.  She is conscious and alert, albeit weak and nauseous.  Slowly, she is working her way back to normal.  Over the weekend, they transferred her to the intermediate care unit where things were less intense.  They project she will be there another week before releasing her to a recovery unit to get some of her strength and energy back.  The docs finally figured out that it was the chemo that started the ball rolling on the infection and the rest of the issues followed.  That pretty much means no more of that kind of chemo.  Not sure what that means for her regarding her long term health issues, but we are just happy to get her back to some level of normal.  Right now, we just looking forward to be able to take her home soon.