December 27, 2009

Surprise Snow in Columbus, Ohio

Just outside our doorway 11 p.m. December 27, 2009.
(Tulip bulbs wait for spring in the container.  Snow shovel ready!)

So silent came this snowfall tonight that I thought the windows needed washing!
I held my iPhone out the door for this quick picture.  Hope the roads are okay for those traveling home from Christmas away from home!

Take Care on the Journey,


December 22, 2009

We Got the Middle-of-the-Night-Call

When my sister called me tonight from her cell phone - and I had just talked to her about two hours before - I instantly knew something was wrong. She always calls me from her home phone unless she's out and about. And, I knew she hadn't been planning on going out anymore tonight!

"I'm on the way to the hospital. Craig is having a heart attack" were the dreaded, chilling, words. Craig, her husband, is the youngest of the four of us. (My hubby and her hubby.) She lives in Tampa which is 1,200 miles away from me!

"Did you close the doors to keep the cats in" was my response. Perhaps in a bit of shock myself, and yet I needed a second to clear my mind.

"Sandy, they can fix heart attacks. I'd rather have a heart attack than a stroke," were the next 'comforting' words I said, knowing that not all heart attacks can be fixed, but wanting to restore some balance to the horrible situation. She was driving alone to the hospital, and she said the ambulance was, "way ahead of me".

She told me a little of what had happened at home with the severe chest pain and numbness. And, also of his pain and discomfort the night before! Tonight when he became very pale, and in terrible pain, she had quickly given him an aspirin as she called 9-1-1. She also insisted that he be taken to the 'better hospital' although slightly further away then the 'closest hospital' where the paramedics wanted to take him. Thankfully, they took him to the hospital of her choice. He needed the best of trauma care!

As she drove, I quickly explained what would happen to him once he arrived at the hospital. That he would be whisked to the trauma team where, if possible, they would try to evaluate the condition of his arteries by going in through an artery in his groin to his heart. "They might be able to open the artery and put in a stent to keep it open," I assured her.

I told her that the nurses would keep her informed of what was going on, and most of all, they would keep Craig more comfortable than when the last time she had seen him. She felt a little better knowing they would give him something for the pain. She was also prepared to hear the 'stent" word when she got there.

About two hours later, we got the news that the stent was successful even though he did have a heart attack (anterior), and the valve was also affected. But now he was resting comfortably and may even be discharged on Thursday (the 24th). "They did the groin thing and put in a stent like you said," she explained.

His Troponin level will tell a lot, and I sure wish I could see his EKG right about now, but I'm so relieved and thankful that he is doing better and in such good hands.

The doctors give my sister credit for 'saving his life" because she called for help. They said if she hadn't gotten him to the hospital, he would have died. (She says she is not going to let him forget that she saved his life.)

We know there will be significant changes in their future, but tonight we can say a thankful prayer and sleep better knowing that Craig has been given a second chance.

Take Care on the Journey,


December 19, 2009

Ceasar the Greeter

He loves to eat! (Sorry, the picture won't turn. Click photos for close-up view.)

He likes to sit in the drawer beside the computer.

Oh, he loves to play!

He always sleeps on his back!

But, most of all, he waits at the door for us to come home!

(The sign says, "Don't let the cat out.")

He watches us leave from his perch on the little table in front of the window.

Then he sleeps on the other perch until the click of the lock as we return home!

Right now, he's sleeping at my feet.

(I hope this doesn't come through with too many spaces between the pictures.)

Take Care on the Journey,


December 13, 2009

New Postings on the Coupon Blog

Pantry 309 has been ever so busy this weekend. Check out the postings HERE or .

Take Care on the Journey,


December 9, 2009

Comfort Zone at the Polaris Mall

Today, someone important was a 'no show' at my school, so we had an unexpected day off from school. I followed the example of several classmates and went Christmas shopping!

Earlier, I figured I'd have to skip shopping this year! I'm so far behind with everything, I'm afraid I'll never get it all done!

Those usual closet hide-away presents didn't accumulate this year, and I haven't even thought of what to put in a Christmas letter - much less Christmas presents! I simply don't know what to stop doing for school and start doing for Christmas! To top it off, it seems that most everybody I know is having a birthday within a few weeks anyway! (Just kidding!)

But this morning, when school was unexpectedly cancelled, my car just turned right up 71 North to Polaris Mall!

Shopping went exceptionally fast, but as usual, walking with packages makes my back hurt. I kept sitting down to humor my iPhone and check new messages on Facebook. At one point, as I stopped to sit on the vibrating massage chair in front of the GNC, I noticed a new store next door.

A quiet, calm, soothing room called, Comfort Zone, offers several selections of 'Oriental Acupresure and Reflexology" treatments. I selected the $12 for 10-minutes massage which is very small price to pay for being transported into near celestial bliss. I also thought it rather calming that the masseuse didn't speak any English. I could just kneel on the massage chair, close my eyes, forget the chit-chat, and imagine the pearly gates while he unraveled all the knots in my neck and untangled the spasms in my back.

Comfort Zone doesn't have a web site, but they are located on the upper level down from Macy's. Their card reads, "Comfort Zone, Oriental Acupressure & Reflexology. On the upper level, next to GNC".

Accept for the regular healing adjustment I get from my chiropractor, I know of nothing else as healthful and calming as this experience. I'd encourage everyone who goes up to Polaris Mall to stop by for 10 minutes of luxurious peace and relaxation.

Take Care on the Journey,


December 6, 2009

What Is Anger?

(flickr photos/anger)

A friend asks, "What is anger?"

He wants to know more than the usual open mouth and spew forth angry words, or hit with blazing fists, or pop with smoking gun.

I asked my wise and wonderful husband the question, and he gave the classic response, "It's an emotion."

After a fleeting surge of irritation at such an honest but unpretentious answer, I said, "You aren't always right about everything, you know."

Thankfully, he chuckled at me as we entered a small restaurant where we often grab a 'senior' breakfast.

A new waitress took our order. The favorites, James or Michelle, would have asked if we were having the usual with extra cream in hubby's coffee and lots of butter on our toast. But today, we had to go through all the steps of getting our thoughts in order and providing the exact information.

"I want the English muffin if it will be hot. Please send extra butter with my white toast. We want at least five creamers for each cup of coffee."

Well, the English muffin came hot without butter. Five creamers filled the dish, but the cup of coffee was too full to add even one creamer. And, I had no toast at all.

No toast at all.

No toast at all.

My eggs were getting cold. I can't eat my eggs without toast.

"I'm getting frustrated," I complained to hubby.

Just then another new waitress arrived to ask if everything was okay.

"No, my wife is waiting for her toast," my hubby explained in an exaggerated polite manner.

"Oh, I'll get your wheat toast right now," was her quick, apologetic response as she hurried away.

"It was white toast with extra butter," I replied through gritted teeth.

Again, waiting for the toast. And waiting. And waiting. Trying to take tiny bites, so I could eat my eggs with the promised white toast.

"I HATE EATING MY MEAL WITHOUT MY TOAST", I suddenly howled in frustration and perhaps a bit of that dreaded anger.

My chilling outburst caused every customer to pause with spoon halfway to their mouth.

Several employees came running. Several more hurried to check on the missing toast.

"Would you like us to reheat your eggs"?

"Can we get you some more potatoes?"

"We're so sorry. We thought you wanted wheat."

Is this the anger my friend was asking about?

I don't think so.

As we left - my food uneaten, cold and soggy, I apologized.

"We eat here most every weekend. We love your service. I've just had a real stressful week. You know how it is..."

Everyone smiled and wished us a good day. A better day?

How about this for one definition of anger?

Anger is a gift? Handle with care.

Take Care on the Journey,