Friday, February 11, 2011

Lowering Snow Mountains

This week we had a local company clean the 18 - 24 inches of snow off parts of our roof to reduce the probability of ice dam damage during the upcoming thaw.  Because the snow had to go somewhere, in the front of the house it ended up outside the window of our formal dining room:

 Since the thaw is coming, that snow mountain will melt and go somewhere - maybe the basement under that part of the house.  A flooded basement is about as appealing as ice dam leakage, so I spent about four hours today with my trusty snow shovels and snow blower moving the snow from  in front of the dining room window into the the yard.  We already had about two feet of snow on the yard which didn't increase much with this addition.  This year the snow is deep enough we may still have melting snow into May or June.

Success!!  The mountain is gone and the snow is pulled away from the house.  The basement should remain dry during the thaw.  Now, I have to work on the mountain they left in the back yard.  That is lower and can wait until another day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Home Again 09/11/10

OK, so the last post wasn't quite the end of the series.

This Phase of the Journey is Complete
Yes, it's true.  Just short of eight weeks after her accident, Cyn is back home in SC.  The four (including Prancer) of us left MN a week ago today and headed southeast.  The traveling was much easier than the trip from AZ to MN - no O2 concentrator, no walker, many fewer drugs, less stuff, and three healthy adults who were able to travel without difficulty.  The roads cooperated with few construction areas to slow us down.  Traffic wasn't even bad, although there were a number of people driving over the holiday weekend.

Labor Day we arrived in Cartersville, GA, where Cyn picked up her car - it started with only some minor coaxing.  On Tuesday we stopped at Quest Global to drop off some material and to check in with some friends before our two car caravan was off for North Augusta, SC, bypassing downtown Atlanta on the way.  We arrived at Cyn's apartment in time to move her back in with enough time before dinner time for Jan and I to check into our motel.

After dinner and meeting some of Cyn's friends, we picked up groceries, dropped Cyn at her apartment, said the rest of our good-byes, and Jan and I returned to our motel.  After all that had happened the past two months, Cyn slept in Wednesday while Jan and I headed back north.

If you have an interest in quilting, I would highly recommend Paducah, KY where we stayed Wednesday night.  Between Hancock's of Paducah (.com) and the National Quilt Museum, Jan was in quilter's heaven.  Her stash was expanded and she spent a lot of time smiling.  The rest of the drive was relatively uneventful as we arrived home Friday evening.

Drugs No More
Happily, after all the medication to control the pain from broken bones and soft tissue damage, Cyn is narcotics-free again.  Not only that, but she's also nicotine free, kicking the smoking habit in the process.  An occasional anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant or OTC painkiller manages the lingering pain or periods when her nerves go into a firing frenzy.  She's still into Mountain Dew Code Red, but hey, nobody's perfect.

Where From Here?
The overall aftermath of the accident will continue to unfold.  Those stories will, however, be told elsewhere, not here.  This journey is complete.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AV 08/10/10


A little over three weeks after her accident, Cyn is recovering at our place.  Her wounds are healing, she is getting stronger, and she is starting to deal with the next phase of her recovery.

Monday Cyn saw a pulmonary doctor who tested, x-rayed, listened, talked and discussed.  She is finished with the O2 concentrator, has a set of exercises she is to do, and unless she starts having difficulty, she doesn't need a return visit.  Tomorrow she has an appointment with our GP to check breaks, stitches and staples.  Cyn is able to sleep much better and more deeply now that we are at a fixed location instead of being on the road.  She's getting a lot of sleep.  At some time in the future she is looking forward to returning to SC.

One of the things that will come back is her phone number, but not her phone.  I was able to recover both phone numbers and photos from her mostly dead phone.  We have to make a trip to Verizon to see if one of our old phones has enough functionality to take over for her old phone.  Her computer seems to be fully functional, but email is slow - the effect of one hand typing.

At this point, it has been nice meeting with you all, some for the first time via this email list, and fulfilling the role of scribe in this adventure.

On behalf of Cyn and the rest of the family, I would like to thank everyone for their prayers, their help, their emails, their cards, their wishes, their support and their offers of help.  While the Flagstaff medical staff gave Cyn all the physical and health related support she needed, you have given her the necessary emotional support she needed.  Thank you so much.

This email will end the series.  The next phase will likely be via Cyn's Facebook page
( , I think - I'm not a Facebook person), or possibly a blog.

Take care.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

AV 08/06/10

We are home eating spaghetti.

Bethany, MO 08/05/10

Toto, I don't think we're in Oklahoma any more.

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas any more.

Well we must be in the pet friendly (most are) Comfort Inn in Bethany, MO, just over the MO / IA border.  We made good time today in the balmy mid-eighties temperatures.

After a bit of a rough night, Cyn had a very good day. Ride, walk, drink, ride, walk, eat, ride, potty stop, ride, walk, ...  Not exciting, but effective.  If we reproduce the same travel schedule tomorrow, we should get arrive home sometime later in the day tomorrow.

Cyn's breathing is much better, but we aren't letting her off the O2 concentrator until the pulmonary doctor says so.  Jan spent time on the phone during today's ride making appointments with our local doctors to follow up on the Flagstaff Medical care.  So far, Cyn has two appointments next week, and the local pulmonary department will be contacting Flagstaff for her case information.  Jan will also carry the information and images we were given to the appointments.

The journey continues ...

Blackwell, OK, 08/04/10

Greetings from Blackwell, OK!

Last night we swapped out the O2 concentrator that threw the error code with the replacement delivered to Santa Rosa.  We'll ship the one needing service back when we get to MN.  The replacement unit is working just fine.

We made the drive today from Amarillo, TX, to Blackwell, OK.  It was a warm drive through OK.  We passed the 100 degree mark not far from OK City, and drove through consistently warmer temperatures of 104 through 107 degrees for much of the drive.  Whoever says "It isn't the heat, it's the humidity" is full of so much BS.  That kind of heat can be one heck of a drag on you, too.  One advantage of low humidity is you aren't drenched in sweat.  Pour in the liquids, and they disappear into the atmosphere.

At the same time, the temperature went up, the altitude went down.  We are now sitting at an altitude of about 1000 feet above sea level, swimming in a sea of rich oxygen.  Our lowlanders' lungs really like that.  Flagstaff was beautiful, but physical exertion was noticeably more difficult at altitude.  By the end of our stay, however, both Jan and I found it much easier to get around than the first few days.

Cyn is doing well, but the heat during the walks taxed her quite a bit today.  She's holding her own, starting to put things back together that slipped while she was in the hospital.  Even though her phone died a few days after the accident, both Jan and I have cell phones she can use.  Hopefully, the Verizon techs will be able to capture the information from her old phone.

The plans for tomorrow are to head for northern MO.  The temperatures should be lower, but the further north we get, the more the humidity will increase.  We'll take it, because that means we'll be getting closer to home.

That's about it for today, tomorrow is another travel day.

Take care.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Amarillo,TX 08/04/10j

Good Morning from Amarillo, TX,

The O2 concentrator showed up a little later than planned, but we left Santa Rosa, NM, yesterday and headed east.  We dropped below 4000 feet in altitude, which really helps all of us.  It isn't nearly as taxing as it was in Flagstaff.  It is nice to be swimming in denser oxygen again.

Cyn is doing better, getting stronger.  While it is frustrating for her at times, she's adapting and her spirits remain good.  The girls are working pain control and have developed a pattern to stay ahead of the pain.  Cyn slept on her side last night which felt good, but her ribs are complaining this morning.  Drugs are a good thing at times like that.  The combination of drugs the doctors prescribed is working well, but at a reduced level now.  It is true that pain is your body's way of letting you know you are still alive.

We've pretty much fallen into our roles.  Cyn is the patient; Jan is head nurse, drug dispenser, cook, and co-pilot; Prancer is chief explorer, excellent traveler and therapy cat; and I am driver, bellboy, scribe and whatever else needs to be done.  Both Jan and I nag Cyn when she needs to do her exercises and when we need to stop and walk.

We don't have to wait on anything today, so it will likely be more of a driving day.  That will give Cyn a chance to relax, but will require disciplined stop and walk, rather than all the up and down we've been doing.  While we were waiting on the package yesterday we took a side trip down to Ft. Sumner, NM, to see the Billy the Kid Museum.  It was a fun trip.

With the heat, the fashion statement of the day is shorts and white (surgical) stockings.  Gee, you could make some song lyrics out of that "Shorts and White Stockings" to the tune of "Knights in White Satin."  No, I haven't been sampling Cyn's drugs.

Time to get packing and on the road.

Take care.