Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tense Times

Bing has had knee pain in his right knee since the eighties and he decided to consult an orthopedic doctor and see what he could do to eliminate that pain. After x-rays and examination, the doctor reported that the cartlage on the inside of the knee was worn away and the pain was being caused by bone on bone instead of bone on cartilage. A partial knee replacement was reccomended. So, after deliberation, Bing decided for the option. The surgery was scheduled for January 27th so about three weeks ago, we made a concerted effort to have Bing in the healthiest state we could so that he would have the best chance to have a successful outcome. We stopped going to places where he might pick up some cold or flu virus, like church and casinos. He stopped bowling so the knee would not be swollen or inflamed for the surgery and he even stopped alcohol intake so the blood would be ready for the various medications that would be given. It seemed to all pay off because he came through the surgery swimmingly and he's very conscietiously doing all the exercises and therapy prescribed. His doctor seemed very happy with the after surgery x-ray and thinks Bing should regain full range of motion with the knee. We had a lot of prayers from friends and relatives and we thank them and God for guiding us through these tense times. The future looks so bright, we may have to wear shades! The pictures show the leg with "yes" written on it before surgery, ( that's to help the doc get the correct leg,) , the T&C family visiting, a happy Bing after surgery and The brace that was needed just the first hours after surgery because of the nerve block they did. ( Now he's cruising around on crutches. )

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Have to Eat Crow

I wrong. Wrong, wrong and wrong. Wow, that hurts to admit it but it feels good to know that at almost 69 years of age, I'm mature enough to realize it. The Wikipedia definition of "eating crow" is humiliation by admitting wrongness or having been proved wrong after taking a strong stand. So butter and salt that sleek black bird and I'll cram it in my mouth. Here's the explanation: for the past 3 NFL seasons, I have chosen to be against, instead of for, our state team, the Green Bay Packers. The team had shut the door on Brett Favre returning to the team after unretiring a couple of times. For the 12 years before that, Brett was like one of the family. Our sons gifted me with books about him and his wife, Deanna. We hosted lots of Packer parties and he was a genuine folk hero throughout the state. I loved the Packers and true to form, if I loved something, I went all out emotionally for the team. I read all about the players, their trades, their fortunes and misfortunes. And then, general manager, Ted Thompson and coach, Mike McCarthy, decided to stand firm on not letting Brett come back to finish his career at Green Bay. I hated that decision but instead of accepting it as something that was considered good for the team - I decided that "we'll just see about that" and started hoping that the Packers would be terrible and Thompson and McCarthy would be fired. The last two years the Pack was kind of mediocre. I missed cheering for them with Bing and Bernie and the grandkids but I thought maybe if they were bad enough this year, my plan would work

- Thompson and McCarthy would be gone and I could return to the green and gold. It seemed to be happening that way this season - the Pack just squeaked out so many wins and had some embarrassing losses and it looked like they might not even make the playoffs. But no, they squeaked in and then peaked and are still going strong - next stop, Super Bowl! I do believe the Thompson/McCarthy decision was the right decision for the team. I was wrong. Who knew or would have guessed that two football men with years of experience and expertise would know more than a grandma/Brett Favre groupie from the Northwoods of Wisconsin! Oh well, at least I get to cheer for the Pack in the Super Bowl because we can't let the AFC win again. Go Pack go. I'm sorry, Bing and Bernie, that the games here the last few years were so cold. Please pass the crow.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tales of Tucson

It hurts when people are killed for no good reason. Our hearts broke as we watched the victi ms' families in shock. The tragedy in Tucson two weeks ago was especially heartbreaking because a child was involved - a child, eager and curious about things she learned at school, a child who loved the neighbor who took her to meet the local congresswoman, a child, innocent of creating any off the resentments that caused the shooter to pull the trigger over and over.
I've never been to Tucson, Arizona, but some people we love know it well. An aunt and uncle of our sister-in-law, Marianne, moved down there a few decades ago. They were an eccentric couple, both now deceased, and they returned to Milwaukee to visit family every July. Every July, they would drive their homemade truck/camper loaded with things they had accumulated through the year. They would bestow the articles on the various family members. Fortunately. thanks to Marianne, they included Bing and me in their collections. We were the only Xl and XXL"s in the receiving group, so we had our own category. I have some pangs of guilt because we kind of made fun of the fact that the couple was "dumpster diving" way before it was considered cool and "green". They made most of their big finds near the University of Arizona where college students tossed excellent clothing, shoes, hats, sheets and towels as they moved in and out of the dorms and housing. They also collected aluminum cans and recycled them for money. Now, from a wiser point of view, I see that these two practical people were visionaries. They knew that absolutely usable items were available for the taking. They knew that their loved ones could use the items and save themselves the cost of buying like items. They acted with no regard for what others would think of them and they gave freely of their pickings. Bing is still wearing many of the t-shirts they brought for him and I have never bought a pair of underwear in the last twenty years because I taught myself to make underpants out of the material of the t-shirts they brought for me. I think of them and thank them often in my prayers. And as I've watched Tucson on the news, I picture them moving around that desert town, "green" pioneers.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hello Again

It's 2011 already and today was a good day! I had to go get my driver's license renewed. I passed the eye test and am still alowed to drive for another eight years without retesting. I feel like my eyes are still as good as ever but somehow the test scares me.........I'm inserting some pictures just to show some of the highlights of the past several weeks. One is a picture of the three Rhinelander grandchildren on a "special day" here. That day they had a dvd movie to watch so they set up theater seating in the living room. Notice the furry bear movie patrons joining them for the viewing..............Another pic shows Eli dragging our Christmas tree home for grandpa and me. Bing started the sawing of the tree on the hillside and Eli sawed the rest. It looked real nice all dressed up with lights and is our beautiful baby grandson out in Washington. He seemed enthralled with Santa..............The odd one is a picture of one of my favorite things to do. It shows the tools for darning and some of the socks worked on. Darning socks has made a comeback - it's a "green" thing because it keeps the socks usable rather than feeding them to a landfill. Also, it seems like such a waste when there is a hole in the heel but the rest of the sock is perfectly fine. Bing and I wear acrylic socks or wool socks so I use acrylic sport yarn to do the darning. We don't like cotton socks because they feel too rough. The darning reminds me of restringing racketball rackets which I used to do as part of my job too.