Monday, April 30, 2012


I’m really sorry but I just haven’t felt like blogging this last week. We have been in “wait to hear something/anything” mode and I don’t handle it real well.

However a decision was finally made today. Jim will be having surgery Friday morning at Shea Hospital. The doctor said the surgery lasts about three hours and Jim will be in the hospital for four days.

I am so relieved that we finally have a definite plan to follow. They did say that if they were to find more cancer once they go in he might still have to have radiation, but at this point they really don’t expect that to happen.

And that’s all I know at this point. We went to visit Aunt Happy and found out that she had lost one kidney to cancer and also part of her lung. She said her lung surgery wasn’t all that bad and she was back playing bridge in two weeks. So that made Jim feel better.

Our park is almost empty as of today. Ginny and Mickey are still here for a few more weeks and are just across the street so if I need anything they are available to help me. It’s in the 90’s and will be for the foreseeable future. But it’s rainy and cold up in Montana so I’m happy to be here in the warmth with no bugs to speak of. Nice breeze in the evenings so sitting outside with our new patio set is just wonderful.

Thanks again to all of you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


We are giving thanks for all of our good news. Thanks to the Lord and thanks to all of you.

You all know that the waiting is the hard part. Remember when you were young and you didn’t think Christmas or Hanukah would ever arrive? Mom and Dad always tried to find things to keep you occupied so you’d quit bugging them about how much longer. Getting out of school for summer, the same thing. Those poor teachers.


Well, we haven’t changed all that much as we’ve gotten older. Just that the things we are waiting for now are different – such as waiting for a lung transplant like Sherry and Charley, or waiting for a husband to wake up after four weeks in ICU for Nan and John, or waiting for the end of chemo and radiation for throat cancer like Sharon and Ron.


In our case it was waiting to find out if the cancer had spread and what course of action we can take. The best way to wait is to stay busy.

Thank goodness Jim has his boat to putz with. The weather has been lousy for fishing. Not for the fish but for Jim. We’ve been breaking all kinds of records for heat. 106 both Saturday and Sunday. 100 yesterday and again today. But he still had stuff to do on the boat. Most of it I don’t have a clue what it was but we did get him a new fish finder and I know he worked on getting that mounted and set up. I had to drag him into the air conditioning a few times.

We also bought a patio set. A couple of weeks ago Jim was sitting outside and our rocking camp chair fell apart with him in it. I think he might have cracked his tail bone. If not cracked, bruised really bad. He’s still in a lot of pain. Then last week Jan and Bill came over for lunch with us and all we had to offer them were those lousy fold up chairs that are so uncomfortable.

IMG_4458 We have never owned a patio set and we decided now might be a good time to find one. We looked at several places. They had to be rocking chairs and I wanted padding. We finally found a set on sale at Big Lots.

IMG_4459 And the best part of the whole thing was that Jim had to put it all together. Remember that keeping him busy idea. He could only work on it for a short time before I’d make him come in and cool off. So it did take him awhile to get it all done. In fact the table wasn’t done for a couple of days.

IMG_4461 But the final result is sure nice.

Now I’m hoping that Jan and Bill are willing to come back and see us again since we have chairs for them to sit on.

You’re going to have to wait until June 24th to see Jim and I all gussied up (as Aunt Happy would say) for the wedding.

Monday, April 23, 2012


This was a great day for us. We headed out at 9:30 this morning and first up was Jim’s back surgeon appointment. He says Jim is doing just fantastic and he doesn’t want to see him again until the end of November.

In the afternoon we met with the Oncologist. He started off by saying that Jim’s Pet-CT scan was “interesting”. Not really sure that’s what you want to hear. But the reason it was interesting was that the news was good.

Jim has an enlarged lymph node on the outside of his right lung as well as the mass in his left lung. Dr. Gordon was sure that this node was going to show up in the PET as being cancerous and it didn’t. In fact there is no cancer in his brain, his organs or his bones. Only in that left lung. What a blessing that is.

And the cancer is not as advanced as they originally thought. Just try and tell me prayers aren’t heard and answered.

Our next step is to see a Pulmonologist – another one of those ologists – to have a specialist determine if we go through with the surgery that Jim has enough lung capacity. And yes, Dr. Gordon is back to thinking surgery is the best answer. He’s going to discuss the whole situation with Dr. Patel, the surgeon after we get the lung results. Then hopefully, we are done with ologists and can get this show on the road.

And our good news doesn’t end there. We had a couple of hours to kill between doctor appointments. They were both out in Scottsdale and I didn’t want to have to drive all the way back to AJ in between. So we had lunch at Sweet Tomatoes and after that we found a Macys.

Jim needed a new suit, a new tie, and a red dress shirt for Todd’s wedding. I already have my dress so I’m good to go. Can you believe we found a red dress shirt in Jim’s size on sale. Just unbelievable. Then we found a beautiful black suit with the most gorgeous tie to go with it. He sure does clean up good. WOW!

And what’s even better is that everything was 25% off and if we opened up a Macys account we got another 20% off that. We got such a great deal I was doing a dance around the store.

So a really good news day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Don’t really know a whole lot more than we did before we saw the oncologist but we both really liked him. And that’s a good thing. We also found out that Jim may not be a candidate for surgery.

He has had two coronary by pass surgeries and they get real hesitant about surgery when chemo and radiation will work.

Jim has a PET-CT scan tomorrow and a brain MRI on Friday. We will be getting to bed early tonight because Jim has to be up at 5:00 a.m. to take his medications and eat some protein.

We meet with the oncologist, Dr. Michael Gordon, again on Monday and that’s when we will know how we’re going to proceed.

Thanks to all of you for all of the beautiful, kind words of encouragement and the prayers. You will just never know how wonderful it is to read these words and feel the caring behind them.


We will be seeing the Oncologist this afternoon so hopefully we’ll have a few more answers.

Jim is fishing which is by far the best therapy for him while we just sit and wait.

As for me, my therapy is eating anything and everything.

Friday, April 13, 2012



Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and hopefully you’ve learned how to hit them out of the park.

When Jim was going through his pre-op for his back surgery, the doctors took a chest x-ray. They found a mass in his left lung and told him as soon as he healed from the back surgery he needed to have a biopsy.

He had the biopsy done and yes, it is cancer. At this point they plan on doing surgery, hopefully next week or the week after. Then we’ll have to see about whether he needs any chemo or radiation. We have been seeing a lot of doctors (surgeon, pulmonologist, cardiologist, internist) but we still haven’t met with the oncologist.  Once we have that appointment, then surgery will be scheduled.

We will be staying here in AJ while we get this taken care of and still plan on being in Montana for our son’s wedding on June 24.

We are doing great. The Lord is taking over my worry for me cause I need to not be hysterical for Jim. lol

Not sure how much I’ll be posting but I will let you know how things are going when I know something more.

Prayers are definitely appreciated.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012



Aunt Happy that is. We spent Easter with Happy and she had us rolling on the floor with laughter.

She told us the story of when she was about 17 and her Dad, who printed the newspaper in a small Montana town, decided to take her Mom to Chicago for a long week-end. He left Happy in charge of the Administrative part of the newspaper office.

All was going along nicely until Ole Olsen came in to pay his bill. (This is not an Ole joke. She grew up in an area that was settled by Danes and Norwegians and that is truly what his name was.) Happy went over to look for his invoice and that’s when the problems started.

IMG_4433 There were at least 10 Ole Olsen invoices in the drawer. So she asked Ole what his address was. Now remember this was 80 years ago. He told her he lived on the corner across the street from the Jacobson’s. So she went to check the drawer for the Jacobson invoice only to find there were 26 of them. Definitely going downhill rapidly.

Ole had no idea which Jacobson. He always called him Jacobson. Ole tried to help Happy out by telling her that the corner he lived on was about three blocks up and maybe four blocks over. Still no good.

She finally told him that he would have to wait for her Dad to get back but Ole was determined to pay his bill. Out to his truck he goes.

When he comes back in he has two live squawking chickens in his hand. Happy is not happy with live chickens and Ole insists she take them in payment of his bill. He tells her that her Dad will know which Ole paid because he told her Dad he was going to bring in the chickens. Dad just happened to forget to mention this to his daughter.

When she described her reaction to the chickens I didn’t think any of us were ever going to recover from laughing so hard. I wish you could have been there to hear the story directly from her. She is a much better story teller than I am.

Happy finally convinces Ole to take his chickens home and bring them back next week when her Dad would be there to record the payment. 

What a great Easter Sunday.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


 My Redeemer

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died

I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine
That he should extend his great love unto such as I
Sufficient to own, to redeem and to justify

I think of his hands, pierced and bleeding to pay my debt
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me
Oh, it is wonderful
Wonderful to me

Music and Lyrics by Charles H. Gabriel

Jesus Christ did come. He did live. And He will come again.


We wish all of you a joyous and happy Easter.


IMG_4406 My sister and hubby are headed back to Montana next week and we wanted to do something with them. I found an advertisement for the McNasty Brothers at the Mining Camp Restaurant. They perform two shows during the day (11:00 and 2:00) and I thought it sounded like a fun time.

IMG_4408 Be sure to notice that door handle.

On Wednesday they drove out from Mesa and we headed up to the restaurant. They serve the food family style and it includes ribs, chicken and stuffing with gravy, ham with pineapple, baked beans, cole slaw, sourdough rolls and raisin bread and includes lemonade, iced tea or water. Cookies for dessert. Really tasty.


After we finished eating the McNasty Brothers’ band performed for us. They tell really goofy, groaner kind of jokes that had everybody laughing. But when they played, WOW. The guy on the violin was really fantastic. And the banjo/mandolin player was amazing. And they could also sing. We will definitely be going back to hear them again.


Those are the Superstition Mountains in the background.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Jim’s been fishing as much as possible this week. He sure does like that boat of his. We’ll be taking the Lund (the original boat) back to Montana with us. It’s a 2003 and handles better on rough water. The chance of rough water is much higher in Montana than in Arizona. Don’t ask me why, I really don’t know but Jim said so.

We’ll leave the “new” boat (which is a 1986) here in AZ for the summer. One of our neighbors here in the park will let us keep this boat in his carport while we’re gone.


But I really have to tell you about Jim’s first trip out in the “new” boat. He almost sank the boat. He put the plug in the boat and at the time he thought the plug was a little high but went on his merry way. Unloaded the boat into the lake, parked the truck and trailer, and then got past the no wake zone and let her run. Well, the boat’s nose went straight up in the air; Jim looked back and saw all kinds of water in the back of the boat and thought several black thoughts.


He finally got the front of the boat down and headed back to shore. By then there were several boats at the boat ramp so he has the bilge pump running and is trying to keep the boat from going under until he can get to the ramp, get the truck and get the boat out of the water.

 IMG_4427 He watched water shooting out of the back of the boat and discovered that the plug he had put in wasn’t the right one. Remembered he had seen a couple of plugs in the glove box and after letting the water drain for about 20 minutes, he put the plug in properly and had a great cruise around the lake.

Wednesday night we went back to Superstition Skies with Paul and Marsha.


Marsha and Scooter. Now that is one happy old Scooter.

Monday, April 2, 2012



We are once again a two boat family. Those of you who have been around my blog for any length of time know I hate traveling when we’re towing the boat behind the fifth wheel. We are 72’ long and it is so hard to find campgrounds that we can fit it. Let alone how nerve wracking it is when we have to move through traffic. I vowed that as soon as the motorhome sold, one of the first things we would buy would be another boat for Jim to keep down here in AZ.

IMG_4398 Craigslist is definitely our answer. Jim started looking at boats a couple of weeks ago and we wandered all over the valley checking them out. He finally found one he wanted to check out clear over to Buckeye. (That’s about half way from us to Quartzsite.) Thank goodness my brother-in-law wanted to go with him. They also went to look at another boat up in Peoria.

The one in Buckeye was THE ONE. The gentleman who was selling the boat had done a tremendous amount of work on it (new carpet, had sanded down and repainted the entire trailer, new live well pump, on more). Then he realized that he really couldn’t afford to use the boat and their fridge had just gone out in their RV. So he was selling it.

We put our other boat in storage for a month just down the street from us. When Bob heads north we can store our AZ boat in his carport for the summer.

Jim is really happy because this boat has everything he really wanted on a boat. Well, except a good fish finder so we had to get him a new one of those. And I’m happy because we only have to haul a boat with us one more trip north where we will find some place to leave it for the winter. I am so excited.

Now Jim just needs to catch some more fish.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


IMG_4389 On Wednesday we had our Escapees Chapter picnic so we got a chance to say see ya to everyone before most of us start heading north to get away from the heat.

Had some great food and even better the women beat the men at beanbag baseball. Way to go girls. Jan hit a homer and so did John. Pretty impressive guys.


Notice how everybody is trying to sit in the shade. It was in the upper 80’s and got plenty warm.

IMG_4286 After the picnic we had an appointment to take Scootz (the black one) to the vet. She has an ear infection and we ran out of medication. Going to the vet is much more expensive here in AZ than it is in Billings, MT. I got an estimate from them to have Scootz teeth cleaned and they want $440 (which includes blood work). I called our vet in Billings and they want $188 (which also includes blood work). Think we’ll wait. The doc also found that Scootz has a heart murmur which he said is because she is getting older. Nothing to worry about yet but eventually could cause her some problems.

Dropped Scooter off and calmed Skittlez down. We left her home alone and she was an excited puppy when we got back. Picked up Karen and John and headed over to Superstition Skies. John and Karen were with us at the Rally and came over to stay at our park for the picnic. They were headed out on Thursday morning.

paul and marsha1 The snowbirds are definitely leaving in droves. Skies has been so swamped the last couple of months that lots of people couldn’t find a place to sit. Not this time. Lots of empty tables and a sign of times to come for the summer.

paul and marsha

Jim, Sandie, Karen, John, Paul and Marsha.

We also met up with Paul and Marsha. What is so wonderful to me is the fact that even though we had not seen them for over two years, it was like being reunited with family again. Thanks to blogs, we have kept up with each other and stayed in touch. They are in the area for a couple of weeks and will actually be moving to our park on Monday so they can explore this area and do some hiking.

paul and marsha2 My pictures all turned out lousy, so I’m using Marsha’s. Thanks a bunch.

The second to the last song played is always Pretty Woman and all the women get out on the dance floor. The final song is Happy Trails. Sure will miss Brant & Kerry until next fall. But we did get one of their CD’s to play while we’re up north.

And just think – that all happened on Wednesday.