Tag Archives: Life

Getting to the Heart of the matter

Well, it might be the lungs. We don’t actually KNOW it’s the heart, but it might be. Or it could be. And we need to know!

Earlier this spring Gary began to notice that his asthma was becoming more and more a nuisance. He’d have to pull out his rescue inhaler several times a day as he found himself more and more often short of breath. You know it had to be a concern to him when HE suggested that we contact our family doctor to see about seeing a pulmonary doctor. Our GP (also our nephew, so that helps in these situations!), lined up an appointment pretty quick and off we went to see what we could see. And learn what we could learn.
What we learned was that the lung guy didn’t want to do anything in the asthma realm until any cardiac issues could be ruled out. Seems that when you combine shortness of breath with some chest heaviness and a bit of family history (we’ve been told that Gary’s birth father died of a heart attack in his early 50’s), all kinds of cardiac red flags start waving.
SO – we went back to our favorite GP (that cute nephew) and he ran some preliminary tests – EKG, chest X-Ray, and blood work. When all of those turned out to be normal (phew), he sent us home to find a cardiologist closer to where we’re parked to try and figure out just what is going on.
Miraculously, we were able to get an appointment with a well-respected cardiologist yesterday! (I know, that’s crazy fast, right?). The consultation went well, a second EKG came back normal, and a nuclear stress test along with a echo-cardiogram were ordered. The first of those will be on this Friday. Again – crazy fast!

To say that this last week has had a different trajectory than we expected would be an understatement. But oh, the way the LORD has taken care of us and blessed us these last couple of days has been amazing!

  • Dr. Mike (my nephew) was right on top of Gary’s symptoms, and got everything started to get answers.
  • Along with the pulmonary specialist (who had an opening just a day after we called!),  we also got to visit with our nephew and his sweet family.  We love those guys!
  • Since we were already ‘south’, we stopped in for a quick overnight with my sister and her dear husband.  Love me some sister time!
  • Once we returned to Montrose, we spoke to a local doctor and he was able to get us that SAME DAY appointment with a cardiologist.  Oh My!
  • Nothing so far has indicated a critical heart issue. But with the symptoms, we want to cover as many bases as possible.  When all is said and done, we might just end up looking at that asthma diagnosis again. But until we get the all clear, we’re ever so grateful for everyone’s prayers and concerns. We’re giving God all the Glory for His gracious care of us.
  • We even were blessed with a beautiful sunset on the way home!

Great is your faithfulness, Oh God our Father!

Every Day in May – check!

So there you have it – a blog post a day in the month of May. It was a bit of a challenge for me (maybe it was for you too!), but all in all I think it was a good exercise! Even after all these years, I’m still trying to figure out just what kind of blog this is and what this taught me is that it is NOT an every day kind of blog! Maybe one of these days I’ll figure out just what kind of blog this is, but in the meanwhile we’ll just call it a “Life Journal” kind of blog. Part travelogue, part ministry, part family, and part mundane. But hopefully it has all been mixed in with a bit of inspiration.

June looks like it’s going to be crazy with all kinds of fun things (including a NE and Canada cruise with my sisters!!!) and I’m pretty sure my blogging will settle down to a more reasonable pace. In fact, the blog will be quiet for the weekend since today we are taking a little weekend road trip to see family AND see a specialist for Gary’s asthma, which has been particularly troublesome this spring.  Hopefully we’ll get some answers, but I know we’ll be getting some hugs!

Thanks for hanging in this month! And every month! And through the years!  I’d love to hear from you about what YOU’d like to see in this little corner of the internet, so feel free to comment. (NO personal data is collected, I promise!)

Have a good weekend, everyone!



Oh – Yesterday’s Where in the World? That was a picture from November 2008 when we were in the Chiricauha Mountains in AZ.

Home again, home again, jiggedity jig


The last 8 weeks have been about as fabulous as possible, filled with family, friends, and frivolity, but right now nothing is feeling quite as lovely as being home.
My own bed.
My own shower. (yes, it’s small, but it’s mine (ours!))
My own clutter.
My own stuff.

It’s past time to get my life back into some sort of routine, back into taking care of life business, and back into SOWER work. While I’m working on making all of that happen, I’ll just share a time-lapse of Gary and I building some ductwork for the project here at Montrose. You’ll just have to imagine the racket that was involved!
Building duct work

And now I’m off to do some Cruisin’ Musin’

On our way and catching up

Happy March, everyone!! (Really? March???)
We packed up this morning and began our drive to our next ‘neighborhood’!
Although our final destination is Trinity, TX (Trinity Pines Conference Center), we have a couple of stops to make along the way. One of our responsibilities as the Eastern TX Reps is to visit ‘our’ projects at least once a year (hopefully in person – if not, then by phone or proxy), so we’re taking the next couple of days to stop at three projects sorta-kinda on the way. (You can check out the map over on the “So Where are we now” page.) But, before we get into those travels, I figured I’d better do a quick recap of our final days at Twin Oaks Ranch. After two months in the greater Austin area, we finally made it to the State Capital.
Capital 2
So that we could get the big picture, we took one of the free tours they offer. Ours was The Women of Texas Tour. It took us through the building and explained the ins and outs of the building’s history, but focused on the women who influenced the settlement and government of Texas. Full disclosure – we only took that tour because it worked best with our time schedule, but we’re glad it worked out that way since it was so interesting. Here are some of the pictures from the Capital Building –

Door Hinge Woodwork Mariachi watchers
Capital Dome Senate Chamber Texas Stars
Original chandelier House Chamber Looking down
House chamber from the gallery More chandelier Fence

Aside from the terrible time we had finding parking (the Senate and House are both in session, so it’s a pretty happenin’ place right now!), we had a great time. For all of our travels, we have really been remiss at getting into cities (especially state capitals), so I’m trying to remedy that going forward. Since we were already downtown we also checked out the Bullock Texas State History Museum – another must-see in Austin!
Bullock Museum of TX History
One thing you notice about Texas (not just in Austin) is the huge amount of The Lone Star State Pride!
Big TX Star
We even took a quick selfie –
Selfie with star
And although there is so much more to see in downtown Austin, we chose to check out the SoCo (South Congress) area which is full of eclectic shops and eateries.
SoCo streets
We grabbed a bite to eat and made sure that we got at least ONE photo of Flat Stanley enjoying our Monday excursion!
Flat Stanley in SoCo
If you look all the way down the road you can see the state capital. The F. Stanley assignment is officially over, but we may just continue to show him the sights. 🙂
So that was our Tourist Finale for February. Note to self – take advantage of Urban Opportunities. There is so much to see and do!!
Yesterday was spent cleaning, doing laundry, and getting organized for a couple of days on the road. But we did have a special treat at the end of the day. Here’s a little back story:
Earlier this month I got a message from a friend who we had been close to many years ago. His precious wife Barbara, a very dear friend of mine, passed away more than 30 years ago and although our life paths went in different directions (we moved and changed churches, he eventually remarried, etc.) we’d stayed in touch through the years and especially more so with the advent of Facebook. (He’s an amazing photographer (http://photographyworksofart.smugmug.com/) and has always been a great encouragement to me with this blog and my photography attempts.) Anywho – Early in the month he sent me this message –
Barbara’s brother lives in Buda. I can give you his contact info. I am sure they would love to meet you. There is a great BBQ place near there.
I figured, why not?, and got the brother’s information (Art had checked with him and he (and his wife) said they would love to meet us.), and then promptly forgot all about it. (That ever happen to you?). With a little nudge from Art, I finally called last weekend, and made plans for dinner last night. It was pretty unusual heading off to someone’s home for dinner when neither of knew them (and didn’t really even know their last name.). But we’re so glad that we went a bit out of our comfort zone to make new friends! It was a beautiful connection, reminding me of the very special friendship I had with Barb those many years ago, and a lovely evening all around!
Evans and Conrads
So next time someone says – “Hey – I have a friend (distant relative, even) in that area that I know would love to meet you” – say – SURE!!!

We’ve made it to our first stop-over (Camp Tejas, Giddings, TX), and will be having our Area Rep visit soon! We worked here 5 years ago, so we’ll enjoy seeing all the changes!
Thanks for coming along!



Catching up – Second installment

We still had a couple of National Parks to check out before we made that final dash to Waco –
Canyon DeChelly
This was another one of those ‘lesser known’ parks in the Four Corners area of the country, but we’re glad we stopped!
Canyon deChelly-04
Here’s the opening blurb from the website –
For nearly 5,000 years, people have lived in these canyons – longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted anywhere on the Colorado Plateau. In the place called Tseyi, their homes and images tell us their stories. Today, Navajo families make their homes, raise livestock, and farm the lands in these canyons. The National Park Service and Navajo Nation actively work together to manage park resources.
Because we were stopping here on our way to our next campground, we opted to do the driving tour rather than a more extensive tour of the valleys. Once again we were treated to beautiful views and lots of pueblo ruins.
Canyon deChelly-05
Here’s a bit of a zoom-in at the base of the canyon wall –
Canyon deChelly-06
Pretty impressive views all around!
Canyon deChelly-23
It was a great stop and we’re glad we put it into our itinerary!
(More pictures of the Canyon deChelly HERE) 🙂
Next up – The Petrified Forest and The Painted Desert.
The petrified wood was so interesting –
and very beautiful!
The drive through the painted desert
was spectacular, and the combination of the painted desert and the petrified forest
was pretty amazing.
Lots more pictures of this area can be found HERE. (Funny story about first world problems with the picture taking on this trip. Theoretically it was daylight savings time and I made sure my phone and big-girl camera were set to the same time so when I combined the pictures they would all be in order. HOWEVER, since Arizona does not do daylight savings time, every time we drove into AZ, my phone would change – but of course my camera would not. And then, if we were also in Navajo land, where they do do daylight savings time….well, let’s just say, getting these pictures in order was quite a task. Every park we went into in that Four Corners area had three clocks – Arizona time, whatever state we were in time, and Navajo time. Crazy!)

After the Petrified Forest, we put the pedal to the metal, and pointed the RV to Waco!
Back to Gary’s Journal –
[Following the Petrified Forest] we reconnected the truck and drove to the NM Welcome Center and stayed the night.
UntitledLeft NM Rest Area @ 6:30. Stopped @ Denny’s for breakfast, drove East I40 to Rt 84. Stopped at Walmart in Lubbock, TX.
Left Walmart and drove East on Rte 84.
Arrived Waco 2:30PM

And that finally wraps up our very long drive from California to Waco long, long ago…..

Thank you for your patience – and for coming along!