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Heart Surgery

I know I should get my next post done about England. I really should try to post at least every week or two, but I’ll be honest after work all day on the computer and catching up on my own emails I just don’t get myself pushed to do it.

The last couple of weeks my husband has been having chest pains. He was having them longer than he told me. He came home sick from work and complained about chest pains that night. Heaven forbid he go check it out then. We went the next morning to the doctor after he tried to go to work and turned around and came home. He wasn’t having a heart attack – the blood work showed that, but the ekg showed a possible problem. We made an appointment for the next Wednesday with the heart doctor and he went to work on Mon and Tues. He came home early morning on Wednesday complaining of shortness of breath, went to his appointment that afternoon and straight to the hospital for an angiogram the next day. The angiogram showed 5 blockages from 75 to 80% each. Three were where he already had stents and they couldn’t use stents to open them up. Heart surgery was scheduled for Wednesday this week due to having to get the blood thinner out of his system. The doctor called Monday and wanted his on Tuesday instead so Tuesday we headed in at 5 in the morning and by noon his surgery was done. Everything went great. Four bypasses later all was fixed. At least he got to sleep through it all though he was extremely nervous as the surgery got closer. I got the lucky task of having to wait and worry. They were great at keeping me informed about every hour how the surgery was going and what stage they were at. Fortunately it was always good news. He came through recovery with flying colors and was off the respirator in 4 hours. They allow 6 hours for the max time they want them on the respirator. He was expected out of ICU on Wed, but he’s had some issues that have kept him there. Hopefully later today they’ll get him out. It’s amazing how fast they get them up and moving. They stood him up Tuesday night and started him walking on Wed. That part is all going good. He got to coughing yesterday afternoon after he had therapy and they walked him further. He finally got some stuff coughed up and then the coughing stopped. That was good because he was really hurting when he coughed. Now to see if we can get him out of ICU today. Since it’s time to get going I’ll try to get another post soon as to how he’s recovering.


England Day Three

Here I got pictures ready a while back and then didn’t get busy and get the next day posted. I know I need to be better, but after being on the computer all day at work and getting home and catching up on messages at home I think I get burned out. I did finally get some fabric posted on my etsy shop and have more ready to take pictures of and get posted. My weekend tends to get full when my son brings his 2 year old in for me to watch. She takes precedence and can be very demanding when she thinks grandpa and grandma should do for her now.

Now for day three in England

Our plans started out to visit the university at Cambridge and check out the city itself. When we got there they were having a bike race and the town was packed so we decided to bypass Cambridge until the next day. We did go to the American Cemetery in Cambridge. It is a beautiful cemetery that does a great job of honoring our service men. It includes a wall of names of men missing in action. Those names of soldiers that have later had their remains found have rosettes by their names. The guide there was very enthusiastic about showing us around and explaining things about the cemetery. He was disappointed that most people hop off the bus and look around for a few minutes until the next bus without really finding out about the cemetery. He thoroughly enjoyed his job and was thrilled that we took time to have him tell us about the cemetery. He told us stories of a few of the missing men including Glen Miller and Joseph Kennedy Jr (John F Kennedy’s older brother).

Grave sites at the American Cemetery

Memorial at the American Cemetery

Inside the Memorial

Reflecting pools and the Memorial wall of the missing.

After the cemetery we headed on over to Swaffham Bulbeck. The town is about 8 miles outside of Cambridge and wouldn’t be on most tourist stops, but the town had meaning for us. Mom’s relatives came from there. We visited the church were her Great Grandfather was a choir boy. After a lot of looking and most of us missing it because the marker was worn, we found the grave marker for two of his brothers. The church is St Mary’s Church and was built 800 years ago. It is need of repair as age is causing some structure fatigue, but is still in use.

St Mary’s Church

Inside of St Mary’s Church

Black Horse Inn

The Black Horse Inn in Swaffham Bulbeck was establishied in 1765 and was a good place for lunch. That’s my Mom in front of the Inn and John and Bob walking up to the Inn. Perhaps we had relatives that frequented the pub.

From Swaffham Bulbeck we headed towards the town were we would stay the night. Along the way we stopped at Lavenham hopefully to look at some of the shops, but it was late and mostly they were closed. Here we saw a monument dating 1501 and the oldest guild hall in England. Lavenham is one of the most well preserved medieval villages in England. The Guild Hall was built around 1530. There is a house is Lavenham thought to be the inspiration to the rhyme There was a Crooked Man.

The Guild Hall of Corpus Christi

Monument erected in 1501

Look down the street and you can see the crooked house

Some of the local architecture in Lavenham

After Lavenham we headed to Linton to our B&B. The Springfield House was a very nice B&B with some beautiful gardens. The owners were a married English woman and an American man. They welcomed us to their home and suggested a pub for us to eat for the night. We enjoyed the gardens and relaxed for the night.

Springfield House

The edge of a thatched roof in Linton

Thatched roofs are seen across England and my understanding is if you have a thatched roof it must remain that way. Different artisans have different ways to finish off the design of the roof.

This ends our third day. Hopefully I’ll get the next post up soon.

England Day 2

Winter is finally here. At least now it looks like it. I finally have enough snow that I can do some snow dyeing. I got eight yards in the dye this morning and will wash them out tomorrow. I take the spent dye baths and mix them together and do what is called mud dyeing. You never know what color the fabric will end up. The mud dyes are lighter in color and since several dyes are mixed together the final color isn’t a clear vibrant color. I still get some nice colors on the cloth.  I can do without the cold, but I do like the snow dyes I get from the snow. Roads here didn’t get bad with the snow yesterday, but you didn’t have to go very far north to start having some problems.

Now for our second day in England. We went to Stratford-upon-Avon and checked out Shakespeare’s home. We also went to Anne Hathaway’s home and Mary Arden’s farm. We used the hop on hop off bus to get from one place to another. The gardens in England were fabulous and it seemed like everyone had gardens.

Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford. He married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18 and they had 3 children. He retired in Stratford around 1613 at the age of 49 and died 3 years later.

The following pictures are at Shakespeare’s home.

One of the hop on hop off buses.

The local phone booths.

The river Avon.

Anne Hathaway’s house. Anne Hathaway was Shakespeare’s wife.



Garden’s at Anne Hathaway’s

Willow Arbor at Ann Hathaway’s.

Tea at Anne Hathaway’s.

Mary Arden’s farm. Mary Arden was Shakespeare’s mother. Nothing like being raised in the middle of Iowa and going to England to take pictures of farm animals.

We met these gals on the hop on hop off bus and asked what was going on. This was a bachelorette party. They were sitting in the grass at the farm. It seemed that they were having a lot of fun.

John and Jane outside Mary Arden’s farm.

On the way home we went through Kenilworth and stopped to look in at the Kenilworth castle. Kenilworth castle was first built in the 1120s. It was significantly enlarged by King John in the beginning of the 13th century. It was expanded a couple more times and then partly ruined in 1649. Only two buildings remain habitable today.



That’s all for today. I’ll try to get some more up soon.


Merry Christmas

Christmas is here and I still have a few presents to wrap. We go to my sister’s for dinner and I have pies to make this morning to take. It was nice to have a full day before the holiday to get things done and I took full advantage of it. I hadn’t planned on my granddaughter being here, but that only slowed me down a little as she went back to her mom’s around 1. She is always worth it and she kept her grandpa occupied. Myah just turned 2 and is full of energy and is very demanding attention wise. She decided she was going to open presents and grandpa had to stop her. We will get her again this afternoon so she can open her presents with all of us. She should be fun this year since she has the idea of presents down.

I went to Christmas Eve services last night with my m-i-l. Some friends brought her down to church from the nursing home and she thoroughly enjoyed coming. It’s the first time since she got sick in May that she came to church. Everyone was so happy to see her and she really enjoyed all the attention. Since we’re going to my family I don’t know if we’ll see her today, but maybe when we head home we’ll stop in. We all caught the flu this week, so a chance to see her earlier this week was missed by my son. We don’t want to take something to her. Royal and I are fine now, but Craig got it worse and is feeling better, but has some lingering effects from the flu.

Over all things are going well and I hope all is well with you and yours. May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Enjoy all your holidays.

England Trip – Day One

We arrived in England on Fri, July 1st. After a couple of hours of resting to catch up from our plane flight, my cousin Jane took us to see some of the local sights. We first went to Tamworth Castle and then on to St Editha’s parish church and the Lichfield Cathedral. Then we went to Wall to see the Roman ruins. We all decided we had no interest driving in England. The roads are narrow, they drive on the wrong side of the road and they have all these roundabouts to navigate. My cousin is from central Iowa and she drove that first day. She even managed to have us go around one roundabout about 3 times before she got the right turnoff. She does have her license, but is still fairly new to driving in England. The rest of the trip Jane’s husband John and his friend Bob drove us. They rented a Volvo SUV to take us. They considered a big vehicle, but by sister and I both have mini vans that have more room than the Volvo did. We got a lot of looks from people who watched us loading and unloading seven people from the Volvo.

Some of the gardens at Tamworth Castle. This is my Mom and my sisters and me.

The gardens in England are fantastic and it seems most everyone has a garden of some sort.

Tamworth Castle

This is a Norman castle that dates from the 11th century.

St Editha’s Parish Church

In Tamworth most of this church was built in the mid to late 14th and 15th centuries.

Lichfield Cathedral

Some of the carvings on the outside of the cathedral.

Interior shots of the cathedral.

Roman ruins at Wall. Wall was a small Roman town in the 2nd century with baths and a hostel.

More later.

It’s been since the end of September since my last post. I mean well, but by the time I get home from work it seems my energy goes away. With the holidays here it’s time to consider how things are going and be thankful for all you have. Compared to others our life isn’t so bad even if it’s not going as well as it could.

My husband as I said in my last post had a stent put in. When he was in the hospital they saw something in his blood and since then has been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This is a chronic form and not an acute form so it is slow moving and usually shows up in people 50 or older. Currently we’re in a watchful waiting stage though he is further along than we had hoped. For right now he goes in periodically for a blood work up and if nothing changes significantly that’s all they’ll do. Hopefully that will last a while before he needs treatment. If you are interested in learning more about this form of cancer do a search on CLL.

On a more upbeat note my sister was here for Thanksgiving. She lives in North Pole, Ak. We had a good time while she was here. She’ll be back in April when we are having an 80th birthday party for Mom. She is a nurse in Fairbanks and has lived there for close to 30 years. She doesn’t intend to ever move back. Mom has been a retired school teacher for a number of years. To keep busy she works part time at the local library, has club, is in Eastern Star and is a district treasure for UMW. She tends to keep very busy and is in fairly good health. She does have some breathing problems, but nothing bad yet – not on oxygen. She thoroughly enjoyed taking all three of her daughters to England this summer and is planning on taking us on a cruise in Alaska in another year or so. We should have fun then too.

Christmas in next Sunday and I’m almost ready. Wrap a few presents, pick up a couple more, make pies (Sunday morning) and I should be ready. I usually do a Christmas letter, but haven’t got one done yet. I need to get working on it and maybe I could get them out by New Years. We’ll have our granddaughter for a least part of Christmas day so she can open her presents with everyone else. We are looking forward to it. My son gets her every weekend for and overnight and since he lives at home that means we get her too. She is always a lot of fun. She just turned 2 and is very demanding for our attention when she is here. We may be in trouble when she really starts talking rather than a few words and pointing.

Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year. Please enjoy your holidays and your families

Now I know many people have stubborn spouses. I’m not an exception. Sunday my husband started having chest pains. He already has 2 stents. He didn’t tell me. I came home from work Monday night to Craig telling me he had come home after only being at work for an hour or two and had been having chest pains. When asked did you go to the doctor he replied no. Heaven forbid you check something out that might kill you because it may go away. He did get better and got up Tuesday morning and went to work. He last 1 1/2 hours and was told to go home and go to the doctor. Oh- did I mention they wanted someone to drive him? He wouldn’t have any of that and did call me to tell me he was going home and yes he was going to the doctor. Surprise – surprise when he called from the doctor’s office and I was told an ambulance was taking him to the hospital. I meant him there and after hours ( okay –  maybe only 2 hours) his cardiologist who happened to be on call that morning that morning and decided no messing around and off to have an angiogram. He only had a 90% blockage. This is only his third one that was that blocked or worse. Considering the way he takes care of himself and ignores the signs it’s amazing he hasn’t had a heart attack yet. Thankfully he hasn’t had a heart attack so he has had no muscle damage. Since he can’t go back to work until the middle of next week he is out driving around. Can’t lift more than 10 pounds and is bored with staying at home. I guess he’ll for a few more  years.

I think I promised some pictures of my trip to England. I need to get on that. I’m way too sporadic with posts and I need to make myself do better. Check back later and I’ll try to get some posted. If you would like to see some in the meantime I highly recommend the blog Midwest to Midlands. She shows a lot of pictures from around the country as she goes on trips with her husband. Did I mention she is also my cousin.

More later.

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