Friday, August 27, 2010

Coincidence of all coincidences

Friday morning, August 8th, 2010.
I’m taking a brief nap on the couch in the living room. It is so quiet you could have heard a mouse pass gas if one had been nearby and had passed gas.
Suddenly, the door bell rang and Jenny came charging from wherever she had been at the moment of bell ringing.  I got up slowly and walked to the front door. When I opened it and talked Jenny into backing off a few feet and toning down her attack attitude just a smidge, there was this guy with dark sunglasses on standing there.
He began his little practiced speech.  Said he was the Pastor of The Northern Kentucky Baptist Church and he was going around our neighborhood inviting everyone to come visit their church.  As I stated, I had been taking a nap and the old brain doesn’t recover as quickly as it once did.  I noticed nothing unusual about his statement at that time.  He asked if I had a home church.  I assured him that I did.  I told him the name of my church and where it was located and at the same time told him that I had been a born again believer for going on 27 years now.
He must have been satisfied with my explanation, for I sensed that he was just about to turn and leave. That’s when I asked him  exactly where his church was located. As soon as he began to answer my question, the truth of it all hit me like a sledgehammer.  I do believe this was my first experience at being God-Smacked.

I know, God Smacked is the name of a band or some such other group of entertainers, but to me, it felt as if God Himself had laid the back of His hand to my cheek.

I mentally supposed that this Man of God must have thought that I was having a senior moment because I paused and was thoughtfully distracted for such a long span of time.  I had a few things I needed to share with him, so I invited him to enter our home and sit for spell. He declined my invitation explaining that his time was short and he needed to keep moving. 

So, I stepped out onto our front stoop, reached out my hand and he politely shook it.  Then I began to explain how I was guided to God’s house that fateful, chilly spring morning over 27 years ago.  I just showed up, at his church, on the very first Sunday that any official meeting had been held in the newly completed building.  It was my one and only visit there. I had gone with one purpose in mind and that was to offer up to God, what remained of my life, if He had any need of it.  It was His, to be used as He saw fit if He would only accept my full confession of guilt and forgive me of my previous 43 years of sinful living.

The full, lengthy, complete story can be read HERE. It will take some time to peruse if you so choose. I hope you will.

I could tell, the man was as shocked as I was that God had brought us face to face after all those years had passed.  He suggested that the least I could do is come by some time and share my story with the congregation. I may just do that.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Me and Brer Rabbit

I don’t know what’s going on around here lately. I’ve had two run-ins with wild Rabbits within three days.

In this latest one, Maureen had walked out through the garage with our daughter to see her off, heading for her own home.  It’s a tradition.  Simply MUST be done that way.  Suddenly Maureen rushed into the kitchen, telling me that I need to come out into the garage and see if I could find whatever it was that came into the garage. He knew something was there.  She didn’t see it … she heard it clattering around in the things I had stored under the work bench.  Both of us searched cautiously, poking a broom into this corner and that dark hole way back under the bench.  We didn’t see or hear anything unusual while doing so.  I believe I talked Maureen into believing it was only her imagination.

Funny, how something like that never quite leaves your mind.  It always there, hovering in the background. One time I went out to the garage and noticed that the traction mat I had placed on the floor for Jenny to land on as she jumped down from the car was askew. It looked like something had been on it and got frightened by something and had spun it’s wheels a bit, causing the mat to hump up in three places due to the force being applied to fleeing limbs.  I straightened it back up before going inside.  The next time I came out, I noticed two or three small, round object scattered about on that same mat.  I thought at the time that they looked a lot like Rabbit poop.

The next morning was uneventful. Then, that afternoon I opened the garage door and sitting there, looking me right in the eyes was a small Rabbit.  It dashed under the car.  I called Maureen to tell her that she was right. There was something in the garage that shouldn’t be there. I told her it was a small Rabbit and she should come out and she if we two could chase it back out the open garage door. 

I knelt down and peered under the car. There it was, all huddled up against the right, front tire.  I picked up the closest thing to me that I could reach under the car with. Maureen picked up a broom.  Together we thrust our scary objects under the car and saw something moving toward the open door.  I hurried outside, just in time to see it stop near our neighbor’s driveway. It chewed off some weed leaves then bound away, out of sight.  Of course it was hungry and thirsty too I’d bet. There’s very little for a Rabbit to eat or drink in our garage. 

I never imagined that a critter as timid as a wild, young Rabbit would ever dart into a place like a garage. It was young and inexperienced I supposed.  That the only way I could explain it to myself.

OK! That’s enough wild life adventures for anyone.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The short story about the "Maureen Event"

Thought I would catch you up on Maureen's sudden collapse, hospital stay and return home.

We thought we were about to lose Maureen for sure last Saturday night around ten o'clock.  I climbed the stairs to go to the bathroom and discovered Maureen there, leaning on the sink and fighting for every breath.  All she could get out was "I can't breathe!"  I immediately called 911.  I thought the whole neighborhood would surely have noticed the ambulance sitting on our street and wonder who was in need of help, but no one seemed interested the next day. The ambulance arrived about five minutes after I called them.  It was so scary for Gail and I because it was Deja Vu.  The night that Ramona passed away, she displayed the exact same symptoms.   She didn't make it to the hospital.

When the EMT' arrived and started toward the front door, I begged them not to let my wife die on the way to the hospital like my sister-in-law did some years back.  They assured me that no one was dying on their watch.  Gladly, that brag held true.  Maureen did get there alive but still fighting for every breathe, only this time, she had oxygen to breathe when she could inhale.

The next time we saw her, she was having a machine breathe for her and she was heavily sedated but evidently not heavily enough, because she struggled against the restraints and constantly tried to regain consciousness through her own will-power.

The problem was not her heart, we were told after one heart doctor checked her and all relevant tests out.  She WAS NOT having a heart attack.
The normal enzymes found in the blood after a heart attack were NOT there and after an Angiogram, they found no heart artery blockages of any consequence.  All the doctors were perplexed.  The could not understand how she was experiencing so much pulmonary edema, fluid build up in the lungs nor could they determine the cause of her heart not pumping as powerfully as it should.  It pointed to heart failure and yet, they were not certain why.

So there she laid, large breathing tube in her mouth, oxygen hose under her nose, a catheter in her bladder and who knows how many IV's in her arms and hands, then there was that large hole in her femeral artery with the special plug type bandage holding the blood back while the artery closed up well enough to remove it.  They used meds to force the liquids out of her lungs and meds to lower her blood  pressure and aid her heart in its pumping and a number of other meds to keeps all systems going.  It was touch and go there for a while.  Kellie, Gail and I were almost living at the hospital while Maureen was in MICU.  After she began to improve, they moved her to a regular room on the first floor and only then did we feel she would survive until we returned after some rest and self-maintenance at home.  Someone had to take care of Jenny.

They still are not sure what caused all this to happen.  One or two doctors believe that it may be connected to the last two days Maureen worked, where she may have been exposed to various types of dust and mold contaminants, whose affect may have been aided by a lack of proper air-conditioning and ventilation.

I can't say how many people and various church groups were praying for Maureen but any believer could see God's hand at work in this event.

Maureen shouldn't have survived she was told by several technicians and hospital staff.  They we all surprised to see her again after a couple days.
She shouldn't have recovered as quickly as she did and she certainly shouldn't be going home on Tuesday, and yet, she was.

Here's another weird discovery:  All these past years, it has been believed by many medical  people, that Maureen has always had something called Mitral valve prolapse, a condition in which the mitral valve does not close properly, thus allowing blood to flow back where it should not be flowing. That, they say was the reason Maureen's heart always beat faster than a "normal" heart.  During this hospital stay, she had an echo-cardiogram that showed her mitral valve was working perfectly.  They did say that it "could be" that one of the two bundles of controlling nerves at the top of her heart was not working as well as it should and that's the cause of her fast heart rate.  They described her heart as over-all weaker than it should be for unknown reasons.  They also said that it may require them to install a pacemaker with a defibrillator in it if these meds don't work the way they are hoping.  Namely that the ace inhibitors and beta blockers will cause her heart to recover some of its missing pumping power by reducing Blood pressure and heart rate, thereby reducing the load and stress on the muscles and allowing them to recover over time. 

I know that we are all glad to have Maureen back at home where WE can care for her.  We placed her in God's hands, trusting that her full recovery IS HIS WILL.  I personally, do not believe there is such a thing as a small miracle.  I also believe that miracles have occurred during this event. Praise God!
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Monday, August 2, 2010

The Dog Days of summer are upon us

Grape tomatoes.Image via Wikipedia

It is August 2, 2010 and I have only one more ripe tomato left for now. The July "glut" is over with and now I can only wait for that mass of beautiful, green tomatoes to go from green to red or whatever color "ripe" represents in this unusual variety.

The harvest so far has been bountiful and delicious.  I've shared it with anyone that expressed a desire for some.  Several of the tomatoes I've picked and shared weighed more than a pound and a quarter. Maureen weighed some on the scales where she works. We were curious and wanted to be accurate whenever we bragged about the size of this year's crop.

Sorry! I'm facing a shortage and my giving will be curtailed for a while.  I have a three pound tub of cottage cheese just begging for a companion.  Hold on! They're coming.
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Salt of the earth and a danger to everyone, even herself

Maureen and I went to see Salt, the movie last Friday afternoon.

It was very, very good.  Maureen and I both agreed on it.

Good News:  it ended in such a way as to make a sequel or two possible. Perhaps they will turn it into a TV series.  I'd watch it!

This is no rumor but it's news worthy

8/2/2010  early AM. 

I was watching "The Imus in the morning show on the Fox network"

Don Imus' brother, Fred Imus was on the phone talking with Don and us.

Fred said he had an answer for the Illegal Immigrant problem our country is dealing with. He suggested that placing a bounty on them of $100 per head would do the job. It worked for Mountain Lions, Wolves and other vermin pests in the past, it will work for this one too.

Now don't shoot the messenger.  I'm just reporting what I saw and heard.

What do you think?  Would it work? 
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