Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Turkey/Papaya Salad, and Foggy Spiderwebs

In order to clear up any confusion I want to say that I'm actually writing most of this on Saturday, April 26. I noticed that blogger dated this post on the 22nd. That was because I posted the pictures as a draft that day.

We had a turkey roast for dinner last Sunday. It was entirely white meat. I am not a fan of white meat turkey, but the turkey roast was OK. There was a problem though about what to do with the left overs. My doctor wants me to eat turkey. Papayas and avocados are also on the recommended list, so I had the idea of mixing them together in a salad. Walnuts are on the list too, so I threw in some of those. It actually tasted really good. I ate it for breakfast. Here's what it looked like. Looks good enough to eat. Wanna bite?

Turkey/Papaya Salad
About 1 c left-over turkey cut in bite size pieces
1 small, ripe papaya (more would have been nice.)
1/2 avocado
1/4 c (about) walnut pieces
I had another chunk of turkey roast left over, so I made the salad again the next day. That time it didn't taste as good, and I figured out that it was because the papaya wasn't as ripe.

* * * * * * * *
Tuesday was so foggy that some of the schools were on a two-hour delay. I noticed it was foggy, but I didn't think to try to take a picture of the fog. I did notice that there were lots of small spider webs in our bushes that were covered with tiny water droplets.

By the time I remembered to go outside with my camera, the fog was gone, but the spiderwebs were still there. Can you see them in the bushes to the right?
They Show up a little bit better here.
This is a nice close-up view.
And here are a few more. The spiderwebs are actually there all the time, but they usually just don't show up as much, so we don't notice them.

No, she's not a spider web or a papaya salad. This is Kate, one of our sweet granddaughters. I found this picture on my desk top and just thought I'd include it here. Perhaps her mom can tell us how old she is in this one.

The Van Hoose Family

Our friends Mark and Julie Van Hoose had an exciting event on Sunday. Their boys (L to R) Joshua and Christopher, who turned 8 years old recently, were baptized. The Relief Society room was packed for the baptismal service. There are lots of people who love their family.
We've known Julie and her family, since Julie was about 7 years old.
Here's a picture of their family, plus Julie's mom, Jean.Front Row: Mark, Emma (age 5), Julie, Mahalia (Hali, age 9 months.)
Back Row Josh (age 8), J.C. (age 10), Chris (age 8), Grandma Jean

And Here's one of Mark and Julie and the girls.
Julie and Mark and their family will be moving soon. They will be missed. We have a lot of memories. Something cute about them is the license plate on their van. It says "HOOSE." Sorry, I don't have a picture.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Farewell Sis Fry

Sister Rebecca Fry served here as a missionary for some months and just left on Thursday. She has been especially sweet to Kirsten, and we shall miss her. She and her companion, Sis. Snow were here on Wednesday to say good-bye. It was so fun to have them here. They went out on the deck and did the Hokey Pokey with Kirsten, and danced with her a little. Then we took some more pictures.

Kirsten is such a sweet, jolly person. Sometimes I refer to her as our little puddle of sunshine. She is really tickled to see friends, and especially loved sitting with the Sister Missionaries in Relief Society on Sundays. Sis Fry is on the left in the above picture and Sis. Snow on the right.

Besides being joyful and spreading sunshine, Kirsten is very talented about color. She's careful about what colors go with what. Just as a side note, she also has certain days she wears certain colors. Monday is always yellow, Wednesday is orange, and Friday is always red. Tuesday and Thursday are flexible. ^•^ It's just fun. (Can you tell what day of the week Sis. Fry and Sis. Snow came over?)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In Which I Walk Out Into The Day

I actually wrote a "poem!" I've done this sort of thing before, but it's been at least 15 years and perhaps more, so this is really unusual for me. I've been working on the poem and the pictures since Wednesday. Today is Saturday. I didn't realize how hard it would be or how much time it would take, but I'm so glad I did it! I've learned a lot and it has fed my heart.

The poem expresses my feelings about being out in a wonderful spring day, but it doesn't really express what a victory it was for me. Because of the respiratory difficulties I have I don't get around much. In fact, away from the house I usually use a wheel chair. I love to garden, but last year I was able to make it out to the garden only three times all season, and then it was just to look. It was sad to miss out on such an important, creative, and joyful, part of my life.

This year promises to be different. In spite of lung specialists saying that the only way I could ever get any better would be to have a lung transplant, I am getting better! Some of the details are posted in my "Sarcoid Adventure" postings down below, and more will be forthcoming at a later time. For now, even though sometimes it feels like I am taking baby steps, I am acknowledging that significant things are happening.

What made my "Walk Out Into The Day" a little scary was that I didn't tell anyone I was going and didn't even have my cell phone with me. Yes, it's just in the back yard, but we have a rather large yard, and going back to the house is up hill. Last year I couldn't do that without stopping to rest so when I felt impressed to "just go for it," I was really going on faith. It worked, and I loved it, and I know I can do it again.

In Which I Walk Out Into The Day
I stepped out onto the deck
Grateful that the frost two nights ago
Had left the star magnolias alone.
They were still gorgeous in their brilliance.
Their dazzling whiteness reflected the sun
Right back to the sky.

Later in the day
That strange-looking green plant
Way out by the fence, caught my eye
And I went towards it.
Something whispered to me
To go ahead and seize the opportunity
To soak up the sun, and
Enjoy the brilliance of the afternoon
And the spectacular scene around me

The swing house was in the shade
And I craved sun,
So I sat behind the swing seat
Where a patch of bright warmth
Bathed the floorboards.
I sat and soaked in the sun
And enjoyed
The fragrance, the lighting,
The breeze, the birds.

A cardinal fluttered down
To perch on a rung of the old ladder
That’s been planted out there
As a reminder of the fun times
The children used to have in
A long-ago playhouse
And the joy I had in watching them.
Those memories seem
Long ago and far away
Yet close at hand and very real.
They are a part of me,
A part of this place.

If/when we move from here
I shall miss this place.
This expanse of green
With dappled shade has become
A haven of peace and beauty,
Of nurturing to my soul,
Of joy to my heart

The redbud trees are
Swelling with anticipation.
I am a little sad that they don’t open at
The same time as those brilliant white stars.
How lovely that would be!
But at the same time
I am glad they don’t.
Nature has her perfect way.

The white stars will gradually fade
Only to be replaced by the almost
Lacy purple of the redbuds.
With any luck the redbuds will still
Be in bloom when the dogwoods
Begin to share their delicate story.

Later in the summer
That mysterious bright green plant
That drew me out into the day
And said “Come, come see who I am”
Will die down and disappear.
Suddenly one day,
When the time is just exactly right,
She will announce herself proudly
For her name is Amaryllis.
I’m glad I found out who she is
And I will be looking forward
To beholding her beauty.

Thank you Amaryllis for inviting
Me into your world today,
And for reminding me that everything
Has its own beauty in its own time.
I’m glad I came.

Love, Kathey
I didn't know what I would find when I went out onto the deck this morning. We had a bad frost two nights ago. Last year around this time we had several days of freezing weather which killed our spring flowers. Literally all the flowers that were blooming died. The magnolia flowers, daffodils, and any crocus that were still around, all were frozen. I was afraid something similar had happened this year, and I was so glad to see that it hadn't.

I did have reason to be concerned. It got very cold again last night. If you look closely at the next two pictures you will see that there is still frost on the ground.

Fortunately our plants came through unscathed. Later in the day when I went out again I could tell that the Royal Star Magnolia flowers were not only healthy, but I decided they were the best I've seen in years.

They were literally so white that it hurt my eyes to look at them up close. I tried to capture that dazzling brilliance, but the camera just couldn't do it justice.

When I first went out on the deck I noticed a very green, rather large plant in the landscaping over by the fence. I didn't remember anything being there, so I wondered if it were some colossal weed.
In the above picture the mystery plant is a dark green spikey thing to the left of center, next to a huge, unruly-looking bush. Can't tell what it is? Well, neither could I. Perhaps you can't even tell what I'm referring to so here's a close-up.
I hadn't planned to go out there just then, but what can I say, it called to me to go investigate. It was the first nice day we've had, and I was craving some sunshine. It was sunny, and warm yet still cool. It was gorgeous! (I went back later with the camera.)
I wandered around the yard, soaking in the loveliness and the fragrance of the star magnolias. It was wonderful just being out there. I almost didn't include the next picture because it's too "busy" but it shows the wonderful old spruce (I think) tree in our neighbor's yard. Perhaps you can grasp the cozy, protected feeling it lends to our back corner.

This next picture isn't from the back yard, but I had to add it here because it includes Mollie. She likes being where the action is, and didn't want to be left out.

I have fond memories of vacations I went on with my parents when my brother, Arthur, and I were small. Motels were not common in those days, and besides, they were more expensive. My dad always looked for homes that advertised "tourist rooms." One place, probably in Wisconsin, had a lovely, shaded yard with a white lawn swing. My brother and I played on it and had the best time pretending we were on a great exploring trip out in the wilds. Ever since then I've had a yearning to have a lawn swing. I also wanted it to have a roof so it could be shaded. Jim and I found this one and gave it to ourselves as a 40th anniversary present two years ago. We have come to call it "The Swing House."

I wanted to sit and enjoy my surroundings. The Swing house was mostly in the shade, and I was craving sun so I looked around until I found a spot that I thought would do.
This sunny spot turned out to be just the thing. I was able to sit quite comfortably on the floor boards. From here I even had a good view of the mystery plant. Amaryllis, which is sometimes called "Magic Lily," will send up leaves in the spring. After awhile the leaves die down and disappear. It's easy to forget they were there. Then in late June or early July a flower stalk suddenly appears as if from nowhere. When in bloom, the stalk is surrounded with a crown of light pink, trumpet-shaped flowers. For now I'm content to see the leaves and I'm glad it's not some colossal weed after all. Off to the side and down a ways, I could see the old ladder. Last year it had a clematis growing on it. Hopefully we'll soon have it upright again. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of the cardinal.

Those lovely white stars will soon be gone, it's true, but just as day follows night, they will be back again. In the meantime I will enjoy what comes.

The redbud trees are swelling with anticipation

Thank You, Kirsten!

Something really cute just happened. It’s Wednesday, and Kirsten knows that Wednesday is “Garbage Eve,” so this morning she very enthusiastically bopped around emptying wastebaskets. When she was finished she stood in the kitchen and announced, “DONE!” When we didn’t respond quickly enough she said, “Who, who.” We just had to laugh! She was reminding us to say "Thank You," which we immediately did. It was SO cute. She hasn’t ever done that before. She doesn’t have good control of her tongue, and is unable to say many consonant sounds. “Who, who” is “Kirstenese” for “thank you!” We’ve heard that one often enough that we knew immediately what she meant.

Speaking of “Garbage Eve,” that has been a phrase that we’ve used in our family for years. We got it from a TV program called “Jennifer Slept Here,” which was on from 1983-1984. It was a cute program, and when I looked it up just now I was surprised to see that it was on for only one season.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ducky Visitors and More

We were eating dinner when I noticed an unusual movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked out the window in time to see two large birds setting down in our back yard. I realized they were a pair of mallards--an unusual sight, but it has happened before. It was fun to watch them as they waddled toward the bird feeder. Mrs. Mallard was in front with hubby meandering behind. There is a rather large residue of stuff on the ground under the feeder, and Mama was content to peck around in it for awhile. Dad stood off to the side and didn't do much, even after she came up and waggled her tail feathers at him. I had the impression that it was like she was telling him to just be patient while she shopped around a bit.

Something that impressed me was how bright orange his legs and feet were, while hers were just plain brown. I hadn't really noticed that before. It was an interesting example of Nature's paint job. All of a sudden a mourning dove landing on the ground behind Mama must have startled her, because she instantly took off with Dad close behind. I hope they come back.

I really enjoy the bird feeder. We've had feeders ever since Betsey gave me a little birdseed bell for Christmas one year. This is the time of year that we stop feeding the birds though. They will soon have enough out in nature to feed themselves. Another reason is that our funny little yellow dog, Angie, likes to go out and feast on the bird droppings on the ground under the feeder. Yuck! That can't be good, so every year we stop attracting the birds until the next winter. Angie is less likely to munch on the "offerings" on the ground in the winter when it's cold.

I will miss them once we run out of seed for this season. We are frequently visited by a pair of red-headed woodpeckers, a pair or two of cardinals, lots of chickadees and house finches. We also have some gold finches & juncos, sparrows, a smaller woodpecker, occasional red-wing blackbirds and mourning doves. Every once in awhile we see a cowbird, or a blue jay, but they are rare here. Once we were visited by a tufted titmouse. There is also a small hawk that several times a week will come and sit in our big maple tree to see if he can catch anyone. I don't think he's ever been successful. The smaller birds are good at hiding when he's around.

Years ago someone planted two silver maple trees and a Colorado blue spruce in a row behind the house. When we moved here we knew the spruce tree was too close to one of the maple trees, but we never got around to moving it. It was only about 14 inches high when we moved in, so we named it "Tiny Tree." Helena could easily jump over it. Well, now "Tiny" is 10 or 12 feet tall and really IS too close to the maple tree. An unexpected side effect though is that he provides shelter for the birds that visit the feeder. I think it's because of Tiny that we have so many birds in the first place. We would not have planned it that way, but the arrangement works perfectly.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

BEGIN AGAIN- by Norman Vincent Peale

Begin Again
I wish to remind you of one of the greatest and most helpful facts in this world--namely, you can start life new every morning. This ought to be comforting for everyone who feels discouraged about yesterday or who thinks the future looks hopeless. God is big. He forgets. He forgives. He writes it off--because He is fair. He always makes it possible for you to make a new beginning.
--Norman Vincent Peale

Each day is a fresh start, a new beginning, a new chapter in our book of life, a new leg of our life's journey. However you desire to look at it, each day is a new gift from a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to succeed. The more we can leave yesterday behind and just live today the best we can, the better tomorrow we will have. Love, Kathey

(Norman Vincent Peale quote was found in "A Time for Prayer," PLUS, The Power of Faith, Dec. 2007/Jan 2008, p. 17)

Friday, April 11, 2008


Following is a four-part story of a very important new adventure in my life. I've been working on this for several weeks, and I broke it down into parts to make it more manageable. I hope it all makes sense, and that you are able to grasp how important this is…I want to show how all this is impacting my life, BUT perhaps even more important is that it could possibly also greatly impact someone else. Please let me know if it does.
PLEASE NOTE: All four parts are presented here, one after the other. Scroll down after the first one to see the others.

When I sent out e-mails about our granddaughter Elizabeth's birth, in January, one of them went to my friend PENELOPE. (Click on her name to go to her very interesting website. She not only does BodyMind Counseling, but also is writing a book called Cry When You Need To, Stop When You're Done.) She and I have known each other since first grade. We lived 1/2 block apart and were in the same classroom at school. We used to sleep out in each other's back yards and have all kinds of fun. I just re-read a letter from her from several years back reminding me that she and her brother used to come to our house to watch Captain Video on our TV. Her family didn't get a TV until 1956. We got ours at the end of 1952, so it was a great excuse to get together.

We've kept in touch occasionally over the years. After she wrote back to me this time I got to thinking about her. I remembered that she had quite a few lung problems when she was little. I have lung problems now, so I e-mailed her and said that I'd like to talk to her about lungs.

She wrote back that she would be glad to talk to me about lungs. She also said, "I am managing rather well with avoiding grains and dairy for the most part, and with the aid of a brilliant homeopath." She also told me that her mother started her smoking when she was 16. "She was trying to be all cool and libertine I'm sure...but I had so much bronchitis as a kid, this was terrible. I smoked like a fiend for 10 years 2 packs a day except 3 packs on weekends. Terrible."

I knew she had severe breathing problems as a child. If she could say that she was doing well now after all that smoking, I had a hunch she would have something to offer to me that would be helpful. That hunch proved to be right.

First of all I need to say that I have never smoked in my life, but I was raised in second-hand smoke. I don't know how many packs a day my dad smoked, but it seemed like he was smoking all the time, so I know it was a lot. I had many colds and ear infections when I was little, and also had "walking pneumonia" several times as I got older. I started noticing severe breathing difficulties at age 19, and was diagnosed with sarcoid at age 20. That was 45 years ago. I've had it ever since.




Sarcoid is "An inflammatory disease marked by the formation of granulomas (small nodules of immune cells) in the lungs, lymph nodes, and other organs. Sarcoid may be acute and go away by itself, or it may be chronic and progressive. Also called sarcoidosis." (I forgot to write down the source.)

There are quite a few articles about sarcoid, or sarcoidosis on the web. I'll enclose part of one. The rest of the article, which is quite interesting, may be found HERE
What is Sarcoidosis? Sarcoidosis (pronounced SAR-COY-DOE-SIS) is an inflammatory disease that can affect almost any organ in the body. It causes heightened immunity, which means that a person’s immune system, which normally protects the body from infection and disease, overreacts, resulting in damage to the body’s own tissues. The classic feature of sarcoidosis is the formation of granulomas, microscopic clumps of inflammatory cells that group together (and look like granules, hence the name). When too many of these clumps form in an organ they can interfere with how that organ functions.

In people in the United States, sarcoidosis most commonly targets the lungs and lymph nodes, but the disease can and usually does affect other organs, too, including (but not limited to) the skin, eyes, liver, salivary glands, sinuses, kidneys, heart, the muscles and bones, and the brain and nervous system.

What Causes Sarcoidosis? No one knows exactly what causes sarcoidosis, but it is probably due to a combination of factors. Some research suggests that bacteria, viruses or chemicals might trigger the disease. Although such triggers might not bother most people, it is possible that in someone with the right genetic predisposition they provoke the immune system to develop the inflammation associated with sarcoidosis.

The fact that a person is more likely to develop the disease if someone in his or her close family has the disease strongly suggests that genetics plays a role. Researchers have not discovered the genes for sarcoidosis yet, but it seems likely that more than one gene is involved.…
Two others in my extended family also have it, but their symptoms are not as severe. What are my symptoms? Mainly I'm short of breath especially on exertion, and frequently just have NO energy. I first noticed the problem in a swimming class my freshman year at the University of Illinois. I could barely make it across the width of the pool! I remember coming out of the water gasping for breath with my chest in great pain. Up until then I hadn't been a fantastic swimmer, but I'd never experienced anything like that before! Outside of that it really didn't bother me, and I continued to function well for quite a few years.

Now if I need to walk more than a few feet outside the house I use a wheel chair. Climbing stairs is about impossible. To show how limiting this condition is for me, I love to garden, but I haven't been able to do any lately. We have a lovely Square-Foot Garden in our back yard. Last summer I made it out there only 3 times. It was too far for me to walk, and coming back to the house is up a slight hill which made it even harder. I just couldn't do it. While the kids were growing up it got so that I couldn't go on family hikes or play badminton out in the yard. I regret that I was unable to take them to the park or other fun places. (Instead we read a lot and did artsy-crafty things.) We couldn't plan things in advance because I never knew how I would be feeling. Also, Jim has had to do the grocery shopping for years. Anyway--those are examples of what our family has been dealing with all these years.



The more Penelope told me about her "brilliant Homeopath," Dr. K.O. George, the more intrigued I became. Dr. George gets such good results that he has people coming to see him from all over the world. People come who haven't been able to find solutions elsewhere. Among other things he is a specialist for chronic degenerative diseases. I became even more interested when I heard that.

He is from India, and has been trained in India. He has had over 20 years experience. He is located at the Hahnemannian Research Center in Irvine, California. He works there with his son. The website is www.hahnemannian.com For information about Dr. George click on “staff” in the list at the left of the page. The person you want is K. Oommen George. His biographical information is quite interesting. I especially liked reading about his areas of expertise and his education. Penelope told me that even though he is from India, Dr. George is a Christian. It was interesting to me that, among other things, his biography shows that in 1982 he received an MA/MSW from the American Christian Theological Seminary.

We knew we would be in California on February 17th for our granddaughter Elizabeth's blessing. Penelope told me that Dr. George is always booked up weeks in advance, but I got his phone number and called on the off chance that I might be able to get in to see him. I was told they just had a cancellation for February 19th, so I made an appointment! I also found out that his office is only a 40-minute drive from where Peter and Karen live. It was amazing how things fell into place.

A week or so after I talked to Penelope, she went in to see Dr. George for her regular appointment. While there she told him a little about me and said "She has sarcoid, can you fix it?" He said "Yes, I can cure it!" This was quite refreshing to me because the doctors at home here have said that I have end-stage pulmonary disease and the only way I will ever get any better is to have a lung transplant. Do you see why I'm excited?!




February 19th finally came, and I was not disappointed. Jim and I are impressed with Dr. George as a person and as a professional. He not only seems to know his stuff, but he is a kind individual. He's used to dealing with a lot of people who are very ill, and he does it in a kind way. We like his staff personnel as well.

Dr. George told us that symptoms just reflect the condition of the body. His goal was to determine what is causing my symptoms and to nourish and enrich my body so that it could heal itself through regeneration. He told us that he has cured many with sarcoid. He said that eventually all the symptoms will just go away--including the breathing difficulties.

I gave him a very extensive history that I had written down. He appreciated that and said he would study it carefully. He asked me a few brief, but to-the-point questions. Then he looked at my skin, and tongue and my arms and legs. He had me walk, tested my eyes, and briefly listened with a stethoscope on several places on my body. (I had the impression that perhaps he was taking pulses, but I don't know for sure.)

He said he has three immediate goals for me:
1. Get my energy back.
2. Stop the degeneration of my body.
3. Improve my blood.

He prescribed 17 liquid homeopathic remedies, to be taken in various combinations 5 times per day. (I was glad to receive liquids because my body has problems taking lots of pills.)

He asked me to bring several things on my next visit:
• A copy of the original biopsy report that diagnosed the sarcoid.
• Copies of any lab reports for the last year or so.

He said would talk to me about diet next time. Time actually with him was about 45 minutes. We felt he accomplished a great deal in that time.

Penelope had told me that the changes she noticed were very subtle, especially at first, and that it took about three months before she noticed significant improvement. I didn't notice a whole lot at first. If anything I had more headaches and joint aches than usual. Then suddenly on Friday March 21 I felt JUST AWFUL. Fortunately the sun was shining that day, so I went and sat on the deck and got some sun. I also drank lots of water, and slept a lot.

The next day, March 22, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. feeling fabulous, and having lots of energy. I got more done that day than I had in months, and I continued to feel great for the next four days until we left to go see Dr. George again for my next appointment on March 27.


We ran into a glitch on our way to the second appointment, because that was the day American Airlines grounded 41 planes, including ours, so that they could check wiring. We're glad that the plane we did take was safe to fly, but it was 5 hours later. We didn't get to our hotel room until midnight, and the appointment was the next morning. We learned that we didn't allow enough time. We left on Wed for a Thursday appointment, and came back on Friday. It was just too hard. Next time we will allow an extra day.

Dr. George was pleased with my progress and so were Jim and I. He said my color was better and asked what we had noticed. I told him about my fabulous days. Jim told him that when he sits next to me in church he can tell that I'm breathing better. A friend also noticed that my singing voice is stronger.

I also told him that I am not sleeping any better and that I've been having even more post-nasal drip than usual. He asked if I cough and I told him I did some, but it was just because of the drainage. It was not a lung thing.

He observed me while we were talking and wrote out a new plan of homeopathic remedies. This time they consist of 23 different things--again to be taken in various combinations 5 times a day. While he was writing he told me about various foods that he wanted to emphasize. And that was it.

He wanted me to emphasize the following foods:

Red lentils
Mung beans
String beans
Red potatoes
Small amounts of brown rice
Have 50-75 grams of protein a day
(People with sarcoid shouldn't eat beef)
Trout, White fish, salmon, halibut, orange roughy
Cornish game hens

Onward & Upward