Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update from Ellie!

Hi Everybody! It’s me Ellie!

As I promised I am sending more pictures!

Now I get to share with you some pictures of some of the rest of my family.
Uncle Paul is my Mommy’s older brother
Aunt Kathy is my Uncle Paul’s nice wife
Matthew is my cousin – he is a big boy because he is 5 years old
Sarah is also my cousin. She will be 17 months old on December 7th

Some of you may not know but Sarah and I have some things in common. Sarah had open heart surgery too. They didn’t know she had any problems until she was about 3 months old. She had 3 holes in her heart! She was able to go home from the hospital after about a week. She should not have to have any more surgeries like me. I am sooooo happy for herJ 

We are also alike cause we need to catch up to what other babies are doing at our age. Sarah is doing a great job! She had some early intervention but doesn’t even need it anymore. Go Sarah! I will start early intervention soon.   I am going to follow Sarah’s example and get stronger J!

I am so grateful to God for my family!

Enjoy the pictures – I will send more right away!

Snuggles and God bless,

Hi Everybody

Whew! This is a lot of emails in one day. If you want more pictures let me know cause maybe some of you have seen enough.

Now is water time fun!

Grampa and Matt went swimming - it was really too cold but they had fun and every time Matt went he are pomegranates from Gramma and Grandpa’s trees They must be yummy but I will have to wait and try them when I grow up more.

Matt and Sarah also got to play in the bathtub!

I got a bath too but by myself! Then Mommy put a duck towel all around me. I hope I don't look too silly!

The last picture is my Uncle Paul and my cousins. I couldn't find another picture with them and my Aunt Kathy. We were going to take ore pictures on Thanksgiving but I guess we didn't...

KINDA SAD NEWS. Now this is just sad for now and not serious like health problems. I just want you all to know that I was sooo looking forward to meeting as many of you as I could. Mommy and Daddy were gonna have a party for me.

 BUT I have to be very very careful. I think I was lucky to see my cousin and their Mommy and Daddy. They were not allowed to touch me or my toys (really I would have shared). Well since then all the doctors and nurses have told Mommy and Daddy not to take me out and not to expose me to lots of people (really I always have clothes on!). I guess they don't mean to be mean - it just makes me sad.
There are shots I cannot take cause they are alive (don't know what that means...). Anyway, I guess after flu season (I think that lasts a loooong time) is over I will be able to have a party and meet some of you...I am so sad and sorry... But I can wait and I am looking forward to the day we can celebrate together what God has done and the success of your prayers! I am lucky that I get to see Gramma and Grampa :-)

Meanwhile I will try my very best to stay healthy and to grow big and strong!!

I will also keep sending pictures and little updates. If anyone wants to see more pictures for Thanksgiving time please let me know.

Please keep praying for me and my family. God really does listen and we are all very grateful. God has healed me sooo much and I am blessed again by God and you every time I get to feel a snuggle - thank you so very much.

We give thanks to you, O God,
       we give thanks, for your Name is near;
       men tell of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 75:1

Snuggles and God bless you and those you love,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So Many Books...

In my search for my soul mate, I have an condition which says "HE MUST READ BOOKS." I could not partner with a man who didn't read. OK, maybe he could watch some sports and I certainly would join him if he watched the ponies run but he must read. I can share more than one type of passion in my bed!.

So what's new from the pile beside my bed:

I just finished "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova. What a read! I can't believe that this is her first novel. It is multilayered and multivoiced as the story is told both in the present and in the past. One spring evening, a scholar is working alone in his carrel at the University library, when he notices a book among his textbooks, which he has never seen before. He opens the aged pale leather end covers and the book falls open at it's very center. Across the two center pages is the woodcut of a great dragon, having spread wings, a looped tail and taloned claws holding a banner. A single word was printed on the banner in Gothic script: "DRAKULYA". Thus the reader is sucked into a complex tale, that swirls from the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire through today, whatever today may be. It is history? fantasy? Or maybe even real? That is for you, dear reader, to determine. I give this book five stars. I read night and day until I reached the end and then I sat back and took a deep breath! Wow, I loved it.

So let us glide silently thru the night on lightly furred wings, guided by our trusty sonar beeps.For your consideration: "The Society of S" by Susan Hubbard. A young girl, Ariella, lives in an old Victorian home in Saratoga Springs, New York, with her father. Her mother disappeared shortly after her birth. She is home schooled by her father and mothered by the housekeeper, Mrs. McGarritt, who has a family of her own. Her dark and handsome father, Raphael Montero, has a biomedical research company housed in the basement where he worked with two assistants, Dennis, a former medical student and a mysterious Mrs. Root.

One day she is allowed to go home with Mrs. McGarrit. She has never been with a family before, never seen television or movies, never heard anything but classical music and it is another world for her.Slowly, she is allowed to see more and more of the world outside her home and her questions about her sheltered life and her father begin. She becomes best friends with Mrs. McGarrit's daughter, Kathleen, and they share small adventures during the long hot summer. One day Kathleen takes some photos of the house, Ari and her father. When the film is developed, the girls discover something strange. The photo's of Ari are blurred and the picture of her father sitting in his favorite chair, shows only the chair! 

Is Raphael Montero a vampire? And if he is, what is Ariella? Well, you will have to read the book for yourself. I enjoyed it as I also enjoyed the second book continuing the tale: "The Year of Disappearances". The author describes her books as "ethical Vampire novels" and they are worth a read.

Probably one of the most popular Vampire series is the Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire) series by Charlaine Harris, which is up to nine books at present. I confess that I have only read a couple but they are like popcorn, you just lick the butter and salt off your lips and read one after another. They are light and amusing without being filling.  Sookie is sexy and kookie! Great for nights when you can't sleep and don't want anything serious.

Charlaine Harris may be familar to you as the author of the Aurora Teagarden mystery series. She has also produced two other character series: Lily Bard, a young woman living a normal happy life, when she is kidnapped, assaulted and disfigured. Now all she wants is to be left alone. She moved to the quiet little town of Shakespeare and begins a life cleaning other people's homes. Alas, trouble seems to seek Lily. There are five books in this series: "Shakespeare's Landlord, Shakespeare's Champion, Shakespeare's Christmas, Shakespeare's Trollop and Shakespeare's Counselor". I suggest you read these in order. Lily is an interesting character and I enjoyed watching her change thru the series. No garlic needed.

Harper Connelly can see the dead. As a 15 year old, living in a blended, dysfunctional family, she is struck by lightening, leaving her with this strange new talent. Most people think she is a fraud but there are those who seek her out when everything else has failed to answer questions about their late loved ones. Read these in sequence: "Grave Sight, Grave Surprise, An Ice Cold Grave and Grave Secret." I liked the lead characters and hope that Ms. Harris will continue to write more about them. However, I think Sookie is just too popular a series to leave. Vampires Rule!

Feel free to contact me with your favorite vampire tale. Yes, I know there are tons more books out there, just Google "Vampire Novels" and you will be amazed. I left out the Anne Rice series, I loved "Interview with a Vampire" but felt things went downhill after that. No, I haven't read the "Twilight" books, I really couldn't accept the level of writing. I have read more on the subject but this post is not intended to be a bibliography on Vampire books. Hummm, where there's smoke, is there really fire? Garlic anyone!

As a total change of subject, I offer up a series by Judy Clemens. All Stella Crown wants is to live her life as a dairy farmer in the quiet Mennonite countryside of Pennsylvania. The first book, "Til the Cows Come Home" opens with Stella and her veterinarian friend performing a C-section on a dairy cow. Right away you realize this mystery series will be different and it is. Losing her father as a child and her mother when she was 16, Stella, with the help of her hired man and family friends, has struggled to keep her farm out of the clutches of the ever encrouching land developers. She loves her farm, she loves her cows and, I might mention, she loves her Harley! Trouble comes in many forms, children are dying of an unknown virus, strange things are happening on the farm, her barn burns down and a handsome, blue eyed barn painter appears out of nowhere.  The next four books are: "Three Can Keep a Secret, To Thine Own Self Be True, The Day Will Come and Different Paths." Believe me this series is offbeat. You will learn more about dairy farming, bikes and tattoo artists than you ever dreamed. I highly recommend this series.

The last couple of day I have been chasing around Washington DC with Robert Langdon trying to find "The Lost Symbol". Yes, another thriller by Dan Brown. Sacred Masonic rites, symbols on dollar bills, the philosphies of our founding fathers, hidden places in our most hallowed public buildings and a grim, female CIA chief, complete with big black helicopters. What a trip! A little preachy at the end but a thumping good read. My favorite is still "Angels and Demons".

I have been a fan of Sharon McCone since "Edward Of The Iron Shoes". Marcia Muller has never disappointed me with this series and with "Locked In" she presents a unique method to tell Sharon's latest adventure. After dinner with an associate, Sharon heads back to her office to retrieve her cell phone when she runs out of gas. Walking the last few blocks along the dark waterfront is spooky; she arrives at the pier to find the night guard is off somewhere with his bottle of booze. As she turns the key to her locked office, someone rushes out of the dark, there is a loud noise, a flash of light, pain....and then nothing.

When Sharon becomes conscious, she slowly opens her eyes to see a beige ceiling. She tries to move, to turn her head, to speak; her body does not respond. It is as if she is frozen in place, only her eyes move. Can you say "traumatic brain injury"; Sharon is "locked in" her body unable to communicate. The story unfolds through the viewpoint of each of the participants as they unite to solve the "who done it and why". I won't spoil anything for you. If you are a fan, grab a copy. You will be in for a intense ride. I loved it.

So back to reading, will have more for you down the road.

Light and Love,

Granny B

Saturday, November 21, 2009

On the road to Thanksgiving!

Ellie is home!! What a journey this has been thus far.

For those of you on the Prayer Warrior e-mail list, this is old news. When I opened my mail box last night and saw the messages from Ellie and Penny, my heart just overflowed with joy as the tears spilled down my face. We rarely have the opportunity to be a part of an incredible struggle which has a happy ending. I am so proud to have joined my small voice along with yours and together we made a chorus of petition and love that has reached across the cosmos, from our small blue planet to the ear of the highest power. I feel so humble.  I feel so grateful. I feel so blessed. May the blessings that you have asked for Ellie, her family and her medical team, be returned to each of you.

I have many things for which I am thankful. Family, old friends and new friends. Thursday, I had lunch with two women whom I dearly love. My senior friend,"N", has gone from nearly hell to nearly heaven. She realized, while in the horrible facility, that the time had arrived when she needed more help with her daily life. Her sons and grandson found the most wonderful assisted living facility for her where she has her own small one bedroom apartment. After another stay in the hospital and a second stay in a different rehab facility, she is finally settling in. Her bedroom furniture is in place, artwork hung, mirror on the wall; everything cozy and familiar. Living room furniture and a tiny table for four will arrive on Monday. I hope that soon, her regular group of senior lady pan players will find their way to her new home.

For a number of years, I have lunched about once a week with my other friend, "S". We are sisters bound by books and politics. Often, as we loaned each other books, she would say that I needed to meet her friend "N"or ask if I minded if she shared my books with "N".  Finally, a couple of years ago at a fund raiser, "S" arranged for me to sit with "N" and we became three for lunch. Later, we became four at lunch with the frequent addition of "M" and sometimes, Most Wonderful Daughter in Law will join and add a younger viewpoint. We span a range in age from 40 something to 80 something but our political views are progressive and we all love to read ("N" has just recently stopped) and engage in honest and active discussion. The years are taking a toll on our bodies but the spirits remain vibrant. I am thankful for the love and friendship of each, for the love that flows between us, for the knowledge that, to the best of our abilities, we will be "there" for each other, whether "there" may be.

There are other women, equally dear and important in my life. Thank you for being my friends and my sisters; for being one of the threads from which the fabric of all of our lives are woven. I love you all.

I started with this day with what I think is a slight hangover. I am not a beer drinker. I prefer wine, dark rum, brandy and single malt whiskey as my weapons of brain destruction. But beer went so well with bowls of homemade chile topped with cheese, onions and bits of hot fresh cornbread. We celebrated my son's birthday last night. How I love my funny family!

I arrived at Paul and Kim's with the birthday cake (double chocolate Nothing Bundt drizzled with real butter, cream cheese frosting) around 4:30 in the afternoon. Kim and I sat around talking and drinking a boutique beer. A special friend in California had ordered three pieces of our jewelry. He is someone I met on one of the online dating sites. Lovers, no. Friends, yes. He has since met his special someone thru his work and happiness is his. He shares it by buying our pretties for his lady love. Thanks for the order, Steam Man!

We transitioned from jewelry back to the dating site. In the past week and a half, I have read some very intelligent profiles (and some very strange ones) and have made a new friend in Florida. (Hi Mike, am I making you crazy with my punctuation or lack thereof?) Kim is in the process of getting ready to host a ton of us for Thanksgiving dinner and cleaning like crazy. She looked around and suggested the next time I am contacted by a guy who wants to be my slave; I should ask him if he does windows and is willing to clean out the garage! She might get out one of her wench bodices, some high heels and be willing to oversee his work. Rick, who thinks he knows nearly everything at 16, had wandered into the room and plopped down on the couch. He announced that he may spend all of his life in therapy and be scarred forever by our conversation. We've heard this before!

We began discussing Draculya. Kim loaned me "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova and I haven't been able to put it down. One of the better aspects of living alone is that you can read all night or as I do, read, sleep for a while, read until dawn. I LOVED this book, not just the story, but the writing. Kostova's ability to advance the story through different voices and view points, combining the past and the present into a seamless flow is wonderful. It's hard to believe this is her first book. Yes, the story advances very slowly and the book is 642 pages long but I wouldn't cut a single page.If you are interested, it is out in paperback or try the library.

Paul came home, changed into his jeans, grabbed a beer and joined us in the book talk. He has been immersed in the history of the Ottoman empire for about a year now and pursued Vlad the Impaler as a detour. So he pulled "Dracula, Prince of Many Faces" from one of their many bookcases. This is a scholarly book, by Professors Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally, tracing the historical facts and history of Vlad Dracula. No, we are not "Twilight" fans. I do like some vampire fiction but that's for another post. I know I keep promising a post on what I have been reading. One of these days...

Kim went off to stir the chile and make some adjustments therein, so Paul and I wandered on to his current reading about Alfred the Great. We stayed immersed in books and history until our friends began to arrive. There was no set time for dinner. People came when they were able, helped themselves to steaming bowls of chile in two different degrees of warmth, selected what they wanted to drink and joined whatever conversation they liked. At one point we had current political discussion at the dinning table, another discussion about pirates, women pirates in particular, in the living room. Kim jumped on the computer and found a biography of an Elizabethan period, female, Irish pirate, which she read to us. A couple of the kids were out on the patio sitting around the fire bowl and talking.

When it appeared we had everyone who was going to come, we indulged in the cake. There were special brownies for those who have special dietary needs. Everyone is included. I have much to be thankful for - friends and family - good books to read. I left with the Dracula book and a novel: "Deus Lo Volt" by Evan S. Connell. This joined the five library books that were lying on the front seat of Bogiebx. Most excellent evening!

Bottom line, from 4:30pm to 10:30pm, I drank two beers and a part of the third. I enjoyed two bowls of chile with all the fixings and cake. Hangover, hmmmm, maybe there is something in the beer. Anyway, it's been a long day and Aleve has helped!

I think I will have a bowl of chicken soup and retire to bed with my riches of reading material. Where do I begin?

If I don't post between now and the official day of Thanks and turkey, please know that you are all treasured in my heart and I wish the very best for all of you.

Light and Love,

Granny B

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pit stops along the highway.

Happy Monday from Las Vegas in the Fall!

Leaves are finally falling, my hot weather plants and flowers are giving up the ghost and retreating into their winter mode. When I awoke this morning, I immediately reached for my fuzzy long fleece pants and a sweatshirt, the house temperature was 64 ( a very good age for men but a little chilly for my bare legs). I have been beat all day, two three day art and craft shows back to back will do that to you. We showed at the Steve Powers "Great Craft Festival" weekend before last and at "Show and Tell Craft Market" this past weekend. That means set up on Thursday, show beginning Friday and ending Sunday night and then tear down and packing of all our jewelry and booth. In between the two shows, we put together some new items. Most Wonderful Daughter in Law has designed some terrific cell phone charms from our collection of "Ojimie" which may or may not be misspelled. They are small figures of faces, animals, chinese Zodiac figures or just charming fancies carved by hand in China from boxwood. The majority of them are signed in tiny chinese characters on the bottom. I have a wonderful necklace called "Miss Kitty" which is all cat figures with gold and cinnabar beads. The focal figure is about a two inch tall, sweet cat figure in a kimono whom I dubbed Miss Kitty.We sold a number of the charms at Steve Powers so made some more. We also created some new pieces which we need to photograph and post on our websites. At any rate, today has been a day for R and R. The dogs are so glad to have me home. Every time, I get up from a chair or my bed, they are glued to my side demanding treats, which because I have been feeling guilty about leaving them, I surrender and give to them.

I can tell you that our country is in a world of hurt right now. Las Vegas has such a high rate of unemployment (which includes me) and money is tight. Steve Powers is an excellent promoter and has been in the art and craft business for many years. He advertises in the local papers with stories and discount coupons. Our admission packet contained printable coupons which we sent e-mailed far and wide, one of our most favorite bead stores, The Gem and Bead Mall, allowed us to place flyers with the discount coupon in the store. Even with all of the advertising, attendance at he show was less than previous years and the show was smaller as artists from out of state are not willing to spend their money on travel expenses when they know the economy is so terrible. To make a long story much shorter, we did not make our booth fee back at either show. We both walked the shows and know that our pricing is right for our jewelry, our booth looks wonderful, we both look pretty good when cleaned up and lots of people drop by to say how much they like our art but just can't afford it right now. So we give out lots of cards with a 10% discount coupon on the back and tell people about our two web sites where they can buy closer to the Holidays if they feel able.So goes the Art and Craft story!

Now, many of you have seen me at the shows and asked how my online dating project was working. It really isn't! I must be the most picky woman in the western world! It isn't that I find fault with the profiles that I read, it's just that the vast majority of them are lacking. You know, I can take the richer and poorer, I have certainly experienced both. I just can't take being bored!

Let's lay it on the line. I am a plus sized woman and many men with whom I might have interests in common, simply don't see past my photos. I refuse to lie, I am what I am. In my personal world, I am a very passionate, loving, intelligent, well read, politically active (progressive politics only) and funny woman. I am an artist, creative with my poor hands and make beautiful items. I am a wordsmith and often make many of you laugh or cry with my tales. I love museums, history, new places, traveling, different cultures, good food and wine, single malt whiskey, music, off beat movies and chocolate. I am clean and thanks to Hermes "24 Faubourg", I smell good! Love that warm, sexy, mature, knowing, woman scent!

I can hear some of you saying, why don't you just lose weight? Well my friend, it isn't that easy. I was blessed? if that is the right word, with this superstructure between my shoulders and above my belly. I could lose a ton off my fanny, middle and even my double chins but would still carry around this interesting silhouette. It would take more than nip and tuck to make me look like Meryl or Cher, besides I'm not tall enough.

Another side of the coin, why would I be interested in men who can't see past my photos? Hmmm, because some of them are pretty darn interesting and it's a shame that our culture thinks that Goddesses only come in tiny slim little packages.

I have written about some of the unique men who have sent flirts of passion to me. Is a canned message called a flirt that says "I'm interested" or "You're Hot" really a love letter? I think not. I had one fellow that sent every single canned flirt in the dating program but couldn't send an original message to say why he was interested in me.

I have canceled e-Harmony. They never sent me anyone who matched me and wasn't 500 miles or so from Las Vegas. I could not and do not understand why  - when I clearly said in my profile that I am a progressive Democrat or a liberal with a capital "L", they kept matching me with guys in Scotsdale who were McCain followers or who thought Ronald Regan was the last great political figure. So e-Harmony is gone but they keep sending me offers.

I have also canceled "Plenty of Fish". It looked at first like they had plenty of men but I soon found that many of them were recycled! I also could not understand their website. I want to see who had viewed my profile in chronological order. As time went by, I found that many of the men who were in the "viewed you" listing hadn't been active on the site for a month, three months or more.They also have a lot of "bathroom photographers". These are men who are taking their own photos in the bathroom mirror so the women in their lives don't know what they are doing.

Singlenet is also past tense although they keep sending me notices of matches, which I just delete. I have asked to be removed from the site but they continue! Can't say I ever found anyone of interest there. They were always sending a notice that this fellow or that fellow was a match. The poor guy may have never viewed my profile and didn't know I even existed.

So I am still on SeniorPeopleMatch. Of what I have seen, this site is one of the best. I do get flat out weird flirts and messages from some guys. The situation: My photos are up because I am honest and upfront about myself. This program allows you to monitor and see who is looking at your profile (photos included if they post any). About two months ago, I noticed a small number of men were looking at my photos once or twice a week. The total views keep increasing. Five times, seven times, nine times and so on. We were standing around, drinking coffee before the show opened Sunday morning and I was ruminating on this phenomena when some asked what I thought was going on. I replied that I think they are whack jobs looking at my pictures. After everyone stopped laughing, she asked, well isn't there some way you would charge them? I love creative people! We started giggling about this and I begin to wonder if somewhere out in cyber land there are existing sites where a fee is charged to men to see certain pictures and duh! Of course there are! But my friend, never fear, I prefer to continue to find gainful employment in the regular way! But I deleted the photo which showed me standing beside my dear little car in full bloom.

You know since I begin this quest, I have looked at and read maybe two hundred of more profiles posted by men from all over the world. Yes, some are scams. Some are what I consider marginal men who for one reason or another may never attract someone. They still have the need to reach out even when repeatedly rejected. These are the guys who seem to be viewing my photos multiple times. I could block them from my profile and I've thought about this but really, as long as looking at my picture is the extent of their contact, how are they harming me? We all need dreams to keep us going.

I have found that in this information age with all our high speed, instant communication, there are a lot of lonely people looking for companionship. Men retiring from jobs which were their lives and identities, only to find that the world for them has changed and they are socially and sometimes geographically isolated
in a community without friends or family. I haven't found many of the people who can afford to live in the "Sun City" type retirement developments on any of the dating sites. In fact, I have noticed that the majority of men who state they are retired claim incomes ranging from $18,000 to $25,000 per year and are looking for a woman who has her own retirement income for "long term relationships."

Finally, being somewhat weary of brain today, I received three of the canned "I'm interested in you" flirts today and I e-mailed back a reply with a nicely phrased question which is basically: "Why?" What is there in my profile that strikes your interest? I figure if they can't get past that question, then there isn't much in common. As of this posting, I have two "no responses" and one snarly "if that's the way you are, not interested!!".

And so it goes...I'm still trucking down the highway of life!

Light and Love,

Granny B

Saturday, October 24, 2009

..And so it goes...

Wow, I just deleted two half finished posts from the last two weeks. The news seemed outdated. I guess it's true that time runs like a river, rushing toward the sea with all types of bits and pieces of your life floating and carried away by the current. But the little round rock that is me is still here, grounded and connected to the earth.

To catch up: I have been on a "pee watch" for the past 24 hours. One of my dearest friends is a senior lady, nearly 85, she developed pneumonia and went from the hospital to a rehabilitation center. Four weeks later, she is in worse shape than the day she left the hospital. She and her family have come to the conclusion that she will not return home but will enter an assisted living facility. At first, she was doubtful and said that she just wanted to go into long term care. Some days she didn't want to wake up and wouldn't consider the possibility that she could resume her active lifestyle again. Gradually with the encouragement of family and her close friends, she began to see that  life was still ahead, just in a different form. I don't want to go into the treatment or mistreatment she had endured while in this facility but it has been a very rough four weeks.

Now to the "pee watch", she can not be released from the rehab until her cathater has been removed and she "pees" . She will also need a couple of days of "bladder training" to ensure that all systems are go. So early yesterday the foley was removed and she started to push fluids. Water, Crystal Clear lemonade and more water. She began updating me every couple of hours.
Not yet.
Her bladder was so full, they inserted the foley to drain it.
More liquid.
Maybe! She thought she might have trickled a little.
OK, all systems at go!
The last call of the evening: well what happens if I can't do it again? I assured her that gravity works and she would be able to continue this function.
This morning: YES! So now we wait until Monday to see if she is released to begin a new life.

I have only written the barest bones of her story because it is HER story and not mine but it is also the universal story of aging, environment and attitude. My friend is a spunky old lady with a clear mind and has endured a number of health problems without losing her zest for life. Yet, the past four weeks has pushed her to despair. In my opinion, her treatment was disorganized and ineffective. One "nurse" would tell her something and another would tell her something else. She tried to tell the medical personnel how she handled her diabetic lifestyle and was ignored. She was not even given a diabetic diet so her blood sugar floated up and down. Early on, she "pulled" a back muscle and was in considerable pain. Instead of evaluating her for muscle trauma, she was placed on morphine as needed for pain. Roughly two weeks of her stay was in a drug daze and, despite the administration of such a powerful medication, she never saw a doctor! She was reviewed twice by a Physicians Assistant.

What she had going for her was her family and a close circle of friends who monitored her progress and asked questions of the staff. Who encouraged her not to give in to depression and who assured her that at nearly 85, she has a great deal of good life ahead of her. I have been so concerned about her depression and passive mental state so when I spoke with her on Thursday and she was sputtering angry, I laughed and knew she was going to be all right. She is my hero and the type of person I want to be when I grow up.

As most of you know, Gordon and I fought the battle of Alzheimer's together for over eight years. During this time, I learned to question the health care system and advocate for him. I know the things that happened while he was in a less than desirable facility until I could get him out. I know that there are not enough "good" facilities because health care has become about companies making a profit and not about people receiving the care they need and deserve.

So while I watch the public battle over health care reform, I can only wonder at the politicians who stand with the giant corporations. Have they ever smelled a substandard long term care facility? Ever had a close friend or family interned in one? I wish that every politician would spend time listening to everyday Americans who have been caught in the morass as well as those who have been excluded from any care. As long as I am on my soap box, there is a great social and medical crises coming at us like a train: the impending avalanche of Alzeheimer's cases. But that the topic for another day.

Right now, I am just happy that my dear friend can "pee". She is now free to leave the present situation and begin her new life. To paraphrase a great American hero without any insult intended: "Pee at last, pee at last, oh my lord, pee at last" Ah freedom!

Light & Love,

Granny B

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Art in the Park! October 3rd & 4th, Boulder City, Nevada

"Green Grows the Holly"
Large green colored fresh water Biwa pearls and 18kt vermiel beads from India: $365.00

I am proud to announce that "Out of Our Minds", the design enity in which  Most Wonderful Daughter in Law and I are members, will be showing at Art in the Park this coming weekend. We submitted our application and were admitted into the show under the catagory of "Fine Craft" so you will find us in Wilbur Park, Booth #130. Show times are from 9am thru 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

"My Funny Valentine"
Handmade glass focal bead, coral, fresh water pearls, turquoise: $125.00
We consider ourselves to be Artisen jewelers. Each piece is unique and handmade.

"Classical Blue"
Handblown Murano Italian glass, fresh water Biwa pearls, crystals:$125.00
We love to work with pearls in different ways.

"Copper Heart"
Copper wire, hand formed heart with forget me not blue beads on silk cord: $12.00

"Lavender Promise"
Fresh water blush lavender pearls, faceted chinese CZs, vermiel spacers and clasp:$149.00
Beautiful gift for a special occasion.

"Pink Bride"
Faceted crystal drops, fresh water pearls, vermiel spacers and findings:$25.00

"Tucson Sunset"
Color treated Turquoise, turquoise and silver:$125.00

"Starry Night"
Handmade dichroic glass by Paula Radke, sitara beads, crystals:$150.00
Paula Radke is one of the pioneers in dichroic glass. We purchased a number of handmade beads directly from her at a Glass show here in Las Vegas. She is a great lady and has seen a photo of this work which she said she really liked.

African Jade pendant, sterling silver celtic knot, pewter celtic beads, jade & sandstone beads with silver clasp

Even guys have to have "Man Beads" and we have several pieces just for the fellows.

We have something for everyone in most price ranges: necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets and the most unique cell phone charms. Friends and Family are given a 10% discount. Just ask!
Will keep you posted as to our Fall shows. At this time, we have shows October, November and December and are looking for good ones to add.

Light & Love,

Granny B

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy One Month Birthday to Eliana!

For those of you who are not on the Prayer Warrior e-mail list, here is an update on little Eliana. There have been so many ups and downs during the last month. She is finally off the heart machine and her chest was closed yesterday. She needs prayers for her kidneys, lungs and that she avoids infection. What a brave little soul she is and how wonderful are the Prayer Warriors. Eliana is on the prayer list for daily mass at the Newman Center at UNLV, she is on the prayer list for the Las Vegas LDS Temple where prayers are said every two hours, many smaller churches have placed her in their prayers as well as the faithful friends who remember her every day. As you can see from the update from Ellie's Grandmother, the family is exhausted but is being sustained by the faith of so many people whom they have never met but who care passionately about this tiny child.

So, when you have a moment to spare, please send a message heaven bound.

Light & Love,

Granny B.

p/s: I promise a posting on the dating sites soon. 

Email message September 27, 2009   From Gramma Penny

Happy One Month Birthday to Eliana!

I have attached a picture to celebrate her 1 month birthday. The tubes are in but you cannot see them. They will probably remove the tubes in a couple of days.

Update briefs
Late last night they tried to start to wean Ellie off the respirator but a bit too soon -probably because the trunk is still swollen (Each doctor is different but I am not sure that this one is used to the pace at which this Mighty Mouse travels.)

She had 40cc of pee at midnight and some more since then.

They gave her a little more blood to pinken her up.

Apparently Ellie had a little melt down when the nurse tried to move her today and they had a code blue. Becky was out of the room at the time. (Which was probably a good thing?) Eliana is fine now. She stabilized on her own. That thought it might just be the respirator tube getting caught with the last move. They bagged her and she is fine now.

Becky admits to being tired. I am exhausted and had already said I was not going to go to the hospital today. I can tell that lack of sleep, stress and poor eating are wreaking havoc on my body.
Please pray for all of us that we are smart enough to take care of ourselves and not feel guilty about it. I am trying to convince Becky to go home as well. She told me “stop pestering  J – she will go home tonight and rest up. No worries.” Of course I feel badly that I am not going in order to relieve her – ah it is a vicious circle…but I tell myself that if I am not well I cannot be of help (so much easier said than done)

I think this is when turning things over to God and trust need to again come into play… I am human – I am older – I am tired – I am emotionally and physically spent. Perhaps yet again I am being encouraged to not just bring my cares to God but to leave them with God! Now you see why I take such solace in the frailties of so many of the people described in the bible!

 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
         The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
         Does not become weary or tired
         His understanding is inscrutable.
   He gives strength to the weary,
         And to him who lacks might He increases power.
   Though youths grow weary and tired,
         And vigorous young men stumble badly,
   Yet those who wait for the LORD
         Will gain new strength;
         They will mount up with wings like eagles,
         They will run and not get tired,
         They will walk and not become weary.

Isaiah 40:28-31

I need to reread the passage above while in my humanity I take comfort from the reaction of Abraham and Sarah to the promises of God. 

Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘”Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” Genesis 17:17

Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"
And the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?'
Is anything too difficult for the LORD?...”
Genesis 18: 12-14

Perhaps I need to recall that Eliana’s name means – God answer – God is the answer.

Again thank you for your prayers, support and love. It is appreciated more than you know.

God’s blessing on you,


Dear Prayer Warriors,

As we pray for God’s Hand and Mercy to lie gently upon Eliana, let us also pray that He sustain her family and her medical team. Every day of the last month has been like a year of stress and tension, of prayers silently offered up from our hearts with love and trust in God.  We have been together for nearly a month and surely we have seen the power of faith. Eliana has become a part of our lives and we marvel at her courage and desire for life. So, here we are on the last Sunday in September: This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad! These are difficult time in so many ways. As we pray for Eliana, her family and medical team, let us also pray for each other and ask God to watch over us all.


From Penny:

Email September 26, 2009

Praise God we have a closed chest!!

It went great. There was no change in vital signs, Eliana was as stable as can be. They usually use skin glue but the surgeon used sutures because it would be easier to manage if there was an infection.

My emotions are like partially congealed Jell-O – with this awesome news I find myself crying…

Obviously we need to continue to pray that there will be no infection. In addition, though peeing was a VERY major step, it is only one in the process of the kidneys truly functioning. One thing kidneys do – as I understood from the explanation last night – is keep the ph balance in the body. At this point they are needing to put lots of bicarbs into Ellie because the acidity levels are very high. In addition I am thinking they still need the dialysis to remove the impurities. I may learn more and will try to share.

I am in awe of the power of God! I am thankful for God’s lovingkindness! I am grateful for God’s grace. God’s glory and mercy is beyond any words I know.


O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
1 Chronicles 16:34

I will give
thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness
     And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Psalm 7:17

I will give
thanks to the LORD with all my heart;
     I will tell of all Your wonders.
Psalm 9:1

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
     You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent
     O LORD my God, I will give
thanks to You forever.
Psalm 30:11-12

Therefore I will give
thanks to You among the nations, O LORD,
    And I will sing praises to your name.
Psalm 18:49

God’s blessings on you for all you are,

 From Penny #2:  See the photos above, they were taken today before and after the surgery.

From Penny #3: Ellie’s white count is up but no sign of infection. Please continue prayers there is so much more to come.  Thanks to all of you and blessings upon you and yours.