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Tuesday, September 29, 2009


The doctor found some very interesting things when he opened Tom back up! First of all two sets of the existing screws were so loose that he just pulled them out and said they were just "flapping around in there". Two other ones he was able to replace with bigger screws. Then he had to go up a disk higher (L2 through S2 for those of you who know what that means) and drill new holes. He also did not see any graph! The reason for the rod was to hold the spine together while a graph fuses the spine and with no graph there was no fusion. Very confusing for the surgeon and not being the original surgeon he's not sure what was actually done. He used some artificial bone material for the graph and feels confident it will take. He lost a lot of blood during surgery but they gave some of his own back to him! He's still loosing quite a bit of blood through his drain but the doctor says that's to be expected and even if he has to have a transfusion it wouldn't really surprise him. So that's the quick of it. I've been staying with him for moral support and to be his advocate. Hospitals, you gotta stay on 'emHere he is with his new best friend, the drug pump.
He can push it when he needs pain relief and it never leaves his hand!

Don't you love the orange blanket! It came with orange slippers
and an orange wrist band & it's suppose to be a sign for everyone that enters that he's a "falling risk".

The Physical Therapist came by and helped get him into the chair!
Problem is it took THREE hours before we could get someone to help him

He SHOULD be coming home Thursday night or Friday morning

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another Anniversary 33 Years

I blogged earlier about how Tom and I met at a party in May of 1976
but didn't start dating until we started back to school that September.
A mutual friend had us to her house on September 25th for
Chef Boyardee pizza & beer where he asked me to homecoming
and the rest as they say is history. "Homecoming" November 1976
This is how the day started, me sick in bed!
I'm trying so hard not to breath on anyone.
Tom's surgery is scheduled for Monday and he doesn't need any delays.

I got Tom these "Chucks" .
He had a high top pair for basketball in the 70's.
Wait long enough and everything comes back in style
He got me this band of sapphires, they were also big in the 70's.
Ella helped me make the pizza. While Pops rested.
OOPs, Grams does this belong?

This is the way the day ended.
Tom was exhausted after taking care "the girls" and a sick me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On Eagles' Wings

I've mentioned this song being one of my mother's favorite songs when Thomas had these sweatshirts made for Tom and I.

When Charlie , Michele & Wyatt came to visit this week end they came to church with us and Wyatt fell asleep in my arms. Just as my arm was getting numb from his weight and I was ready to pass him off they started singing On Eagles Wings . The song usually makes me cry and today was no exception but the difference was today they were happy tears. I felt my mother was there with me. I no longer was willing to "pass" Wyatt off. My mother and I carried him through the rest of the mass.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


We're very excited to announce a new grandchild is on the way.
Check it out here.
I also strarted a ticker to the right to keep track of the time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Catholic, A Methodist and A Lutheran

Me in my baptismal gown with my Godparents.
Our son wore it as did our first granddaughter and grandson

Jennifer in her Baptismal Gown that I made for her

A Catholic, A Methodist and A Lutheran
What do these three things have in common? It's not a joke and the obvious answer is they are all Christians but to me they are more than that,
they are our children.

Our boys as Alter Boys

I was raised a Catholic, as my mother was before me both of us attending Catholic school, me through 8th grade and my mother through High School. As a matter of fact my mother was practically raised by the nuns because she was the daughter of a deserted working mother in the 30's & 40's and they were nice enough to take her under their wings.

My Mother on her First Communion Day

Me on My First Communion Day

Thomas for his First Communion

My father converted to Catholicism and he became a founding father of their parish. They raised their five children as Catholics who in turn raised their children as Catholics. Tom and I were married in a Catholic church even though they knew I was pregnant and my mother was Tom's sponsor when he converted to Catholicism. He became the pillar of the churches we were to join in our years of travel and even became a part of the Parish Council at one point. I was actually the first female allowed on the alter as a reader of the scripture when I was a teenager. Our children were baptized, made their First Communion and were confirmed as Catholics. We even spent Holy Week in Rome with our parish in 1992.

Charlie's Confirmation Day in Hohenfels, Germany

Rome 1992

What you say does this all have to do with a Lutheran and a Methodist. Well it hit me when Tom and I were sitting in church last Sunday. As I watched the other people I was sorting them into groups, young families, parents with teenagers, young couples, old couples and then it hit me that even though we're not quite the old couple yet we're way past the family group. In the last couple of years even though I get a sense of comfort and peace from mass I also get a sense of sadness. I was missing what we had but then Charlie called, Charlie who has not willingly gone to church since he was ateenager, and for the fourth straight Sunday he has gone to church, a Lutheran church. Do I care it's not Catholic? If I am to be truly honest yes I would prefer it to be Catholic but am I exstatic that he's found his way back to God, ABSOLUTELY. The Methodist you say that would be Thomas and his family and my pride in their choices swells my heart so that it feels like it's coming out of my chest. Oh ya, Jennifer is our Catholic, albet needs a little help in the practicing part of it. This too shall come, God is good.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Have You Forgotten

Where were you?
We were new to Maryland and I was unpacking boxes with the TV on in the background on September 11th 2001 when the planes hit. I remember talking to my sister on the phone and discussing how my sons and our nephews would probably be called to serve their country and how we wondered if we'd ever feel safe again. Then it got personal when the Pentagon was struck because Tom was going to be there for training. He never made it to DC but it took two hours for me to get in touch with him.
I remember how I felt.
My sons or my nephews were never asked to protect their country but THREE of our nephews chose to join and our daughter joined the Army Reserves were she met her husband to be who has served two tours in Iraq missing the birth of their son. I remember and I thank these soldiers every day that I DO feel safe.
Have you forgotten?

click here

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Michele's Birrthday so it Has to be Crabs

If you know or have to know anything about living in Maryland, it's all about the crabs. Every restraurant here brags that they have the best crab cakes in Maryland and on every corner you can buy steamed crabs (along with corn) by the dozen. so when the only person in our family who was actually born and raised here has a birthday it has to be celebrated with crabs!The table is set with brown paper, wood malets and a garbage bowl.
We add our own touch with Jen's famous home made Gramma Nancy Mac & Cheese. I forgot Ella is the other Marylander and she loves her crab too!and don't forget the beer and napkins,
the Old Bay seosoning gets hot & messy

I have to throw another picture in of our cutey smiling again
We took a break to take some group shots.
They can't get enough of each other.

Proud big sister Ella with Samantha

Then we moved to the basement for presents and cake Charlie, Michele and Wyatt moved to Ohio more than a month ago. When Charlie realized he would be working long hours on her birthday he bought her a plane ticket to Maryland as her gift.

Thank You Charlie it was the best gift you could have given US.

Ella put the keys on the floor in front of Wyatt
so she could see his new trick, bear crawling.

Jen posted more pictures on her blog, some great ones of our
Little Man Wyatt & Big Boy Jack!

Wyatt is giving Sammi back her paci whether she wants it or not.

Just in case anyone could forget our loving dogs. Poor babies had to be behind the baby gate outside.

No crabs for them :(

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We Need to Look at the Bright Side


Tom went for his second opinion today. To catch you up on why; the doctor that actually did his fusion surgery referred him to a pain specialist to try a nuerostimulator which is an implant in his back to stop the nerves from sending his brain the message that he was in pain. We were very excited about the prospect but the pre op tests he had taken showed that the screws holding the rods in place had loosened. The original doctor said he could go ahead with the stimulator but his primary doctor AND the doctor who would do the implant said no.
That's what brought us to today. Just as we feared he needs surgery to repair the fusion before anything else can be done. In the doctors words "the surgery was really botched up". The holes in his vertebrae holding the screws have enlarged but he won't be able to tell if it can be fixed until he gets in there. He may have to have a second surgery from the front to place a plate and a third from the side. He just doesn't know what he'll be able to reach from the back.
The first and hopefully only surgery is scheduled for September 28th (Tom has a trip to Virginia Beach the week before that he wants to go on). He should be in the hospital for three days but off work for 3 to 4 months. He doesn't have that much paid time but is hoping to get into a program which let's other Navy employees donate excess leave that they may have to him.
We're both very worried about this more so than any other surgery we have been through. He thought the last surgery would fix everything and it went to crap and this time there are no promises to even start with and of course the thought of loosing income is very real. We really appreciate all the support that you have given him in the past and could really use some now.