Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ken Begins His Volunteer Job!

On Wednesday morning I made us flax pancakes for breakfast and put a note in Ken's "lunchbox" before he left at 8 for his first day of volunteer work at the Mennonite Central Committee.  I could tell he was a bit "anxious", because he really hasn't worked for anyone for years, but he was excited.  He has been wanting to find a job of "significance" for quite a while, but with all of our travels the last 2 years, it has been tough to get involved.  We plan on being around the next 6 months (a few camping trips in the area) so it was the perfect time for him to give a job a try.

I decided that I will make Wednesdays my crafting day, making things to sell at our craft shows.  Besides, because we only have one car, I will be "house bound", and that is fine with me!  I can take him to work if I need the car, but I really don't plan to do that!

Before I got started on my seaglass pictures, I called Noela to see how life is going in Quebec.  All is well and they had a great Easter with their family. Ernie is busy helping his son on the horse farm, which he totally enjoys. They are planning a road trip to visit their children that do not live close by! It was good to talk to her again!  I also chatted with Cindy regarding our camping schedule for this summer.  We hope to camp together at Chesapeake in July and also some days in Hershey!

Ken got home around 3:30 after a tiring, but good day.  He helped bail 2,00 lbs. of paper, 1,000 lbs. of clothing, and 1,000 lbs. of cardboard.  They collect recyclable items, bail them, and then sell the bundles and use the money to help people around the world.  He was on his feet all day, so it will be interesting to see how his back and feet will feel tomorrow.

We took a walk after I got my activity suit on and I have to say it was a very uncomfortable walk for me.  My hurting back and hip made is hard to walk. Since the suit is trying to change my posture as well as the curvature of my spine (very minimal), I guess I should expect some discomfort.  It is a lot like having physical therapy and it will take time!

After dinner, I starting painting a coconut fish and we watched some TV.  We were in bed by 9:30.

Today, Thursday, Ken left to have breakfast with Gary and I spent the morning getting ready, making breakfast, and then dusting.  It was time to clean the apartment.  Ken was back by 10:15 and we decided to go for a walk.  So on went the activity suit (we are able to get it on rather quickly now) and off we went.  It was a much better walk for me today!  The pain was a lot less and the weather was perfect.  I hope this is a sign of things to come - improvement!   Ken was also pleased that his back and feet seemed to being doing well after his working yesterday!

We ate lunch outside and then visited mom and dad from 1 to 5 playing 5 games of pinochle.  The women won the 1st 3 games and then the men "imitated our play" and won the next 2.  We have to be more secretive with our strategy!  

Ken took another walk before dinner, but I decided one walk a day for me right now is enough and that was what the Dr. had said.  I need to listen!

After dinner, I worked on this blog, Ken did some reading and I spent some time painting.  Tomorrow looks like a rather low key day!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Monday and Tuesday in Lititz!

Ken got a bit wet while on his morning walk, but it was a sunny, warm day after lunch!  While he was gone I did some devotions and made myself a cooked breakfast!  Ken left at 9 to have breakfast with his sister and brother for they hadn't been together for quite a while! They also wanted to discuss the plans for next Saturday's breakfast of which we are in charge for all the Hosler cousins.

While Ken was gone I was busy doing laundry, coordinating our calendars, and general clean-up.  Ken had gone to the storage area for Wilbur to get a few more items that we decided were needed at home.  He also stopped at the Mennonite Central Committee Warehouse and he was so excited to announce that he has a volunteer job starting on Wednesday.  He will work every Wednesday we are around from about 8:30 to 3:30.  

After lunch, we went to my 2:00 appt. with Dr. Clay, the scoliosis Dr.  I had another deep massage on my back, spine, leg and hip and then they showed Ken and I how to put on the my activity suit.  It has 3 parts and all of them have velcro that "locks" them together.  I am sure it is simple to do after you have done it several times, but there are lots of different places to attach the velcro.

When we got home, I was excited to go for a walk wearing the suit (only allowed to go for 20 minutes at a time, and only 1 time per day until my body has a chance to adjust to the new positioning), so it was a test to see if we were able to get the suit on properly without help.  Well, fortunately Ken had taken a video of her putting it on me at the office (their suggestion), plus they sent a U-Tube video to walk us through the "suit-up".  You guessed it, we needed both. Eventually we had it on properly and we headed outside.  It was an interesting walk.  My back felt fairly good, but my hip was a bit painful.  The suit is very tight and it makes me walk straighter, which is very good but it also makes me breath heavy.  I know it will take sometime before there will be any changes and until I get somewhat used to it, but I am willing to be patient!

Ken made some reservations for camping trips this summer, several with our granddaughters.  We are looking forward to those adventures!

Ken went to Celebrate Recovery and I made seaglass pictures while watching The Voice.   

Today, Tuesday, we made a cooked breakfast and  Ken worked at his desk while I did some touch-up painting in our bathroom.  Then we decided to take a walk and getting into the activity suit became a test again!  It went better but we still needed the video!  We did at least a 25 minute walk and it went well.

After lunch, we went to check out Bj's Wholesale Club because we had gotten a 90 day free trial and we had never been to one.  We discovered that we are "Costco Snobs"!  Off to the New Balance Outlet where I got a pair of sneakers and then to Costco, our definite store of choice.

I recorded expenses when we got back home and then we made salads.  It was another evening of watching The Voice.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Special Easter Day Weekend!

Saturday, April 15th was a very special day.  It was my dad's 93rd birthday - wow!  He is an amazing man with such a phenomenal outlook on life.  He has not had a bladder for over 20 years and never once have we heard him complain about his situation or all the medical complications that have happened during these years because of it!  Several had him fighting for his life! His positive attitude is an inspiration to all!

After Ken's morning walk, we drove to see John and Cindy.  We had not seen them since December and it was so good to spend time together.  We chatted at their house and then the 4 of us went out for lunch at Gus's, a local eatery. From there we went to Masonic Homes where we played 2 games of Up the River with mom and dad.  We had a private room for the 6 of us to spend the afternoon playing cards, having birthday cake, and just having a great time. Cindy and I are so blessed to have both of our parents living.  Hopefully we have their "genes"!

Let the card games begin!

We had Happy Birthday Mom and Dad on the cake since we
were not around on November 5 for Mom's 87th birthday!
Don't they look great!  We are so grateful for their sharp minds!

Cindy and I are so proud to call them Mom and Dad!

We left there around 5:15 and Ken and I went to Jamie and Dane's for a Mexican dinner.  Sue and Dan, Dane's parents, were also there and of course, Bria, Cali, and Sampson.  It was so nice of Jamie and Dane to invite us to their home for the evening and we all had a great time.    We were home by 9:30 and we went right to bed.  It was a busy but wonderful day!

We left the house on Easter morning by 9, stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up a birthday cake and ice cream to celebrate all 4 of our granddaughters birthdays. Katelyn's is this week, but we were in Florida for the other 3 birthdays.  

We arrived at Bob and Lanie's by 10 and Jamie's family were there by 10:30.   We started the day by having a scavenger hunt for the little ones.  There were 12 clues that had them searching throughout the house and going from the 1st to 2nd floor numerous times.

One group photo before the Easter fun begins!

Back downstairs for another clue during
the scavenger hunt!

Oh no, now it is back upstairs!  This is
The last clue took them to the backyard where we had hidden eggs for the annual Easter egg hunt!

I wonder how many more years this grown-up 10 year old,
Bria, will want to be part of the egg hunt!  She is growing
up so quickly!

Samantha was having a good time!

Looks like Katelyn has quite a "stash"
in her bucket!

Racing to find more eggs! 
Who put this one so high and almost
out of my reach???

Katelyn wanted to make sure they had
found all of the eggs!

Then it was time to go inside to check out the goodies inside the eggs -

Cali is all smiles after checking out all the
goodies in her eggs!

There were 105 eggs, so all the girls had plenty of candy, money,

Aunt Jamie offered some help to put the puzzle together for
the next part of the Easter adventure!

Some of the eggs had a slip of paper inside with a word on it that could be put together to make a puzzle with a clue for the next part of Easter Day -

Lanie had done a great job with the riddle!

Pinata time thanks to Lanie -

The 1st round of hits were done
with a blindfold.  Go, Cali!

Samantha was determined!

Bria had some really hard hits! 
Katelyn had fun too!

Cali's hit was the one that broke the egg!

More treats!

Samantha decided that the egg half made
a great Easter bonnet!

Katelyn thought she should try the bonnet too!

Time to eat -

Bob grilled delicious filet mignon and Lanie also had
crab cakes.  She  had baked sweet potatoes, sauteed
green beans with onions and bacon, and oven
"grilled" white potatoes with zucchini and onions.  The
whole meal was delicious!

Samantha had made up a schedule for the day on the computer complete with graphics, so we tried to stay on "time"! 

Okay, Aunt Jamie, it is time to get with the program and get
back on schedule!

Then Grandma and PawPaw gave the girls a gift from their time in Florida - coconut fish that I had painted and PawPaw helped collect the coconuts and the palm branches -

One more photo before we open more presents!

The fish were painted to match their bedrooms!
and their Easter gifts -

The stuffed ducks were a hit!

I wrote a note for Bria and Cali to tell them about their
birthday gifts - we are going to a place where they can
select and paint a piece of pottery.

Now it was time for the entertainment - a dance show with Samantha as the main fantastic dancer, but she had 3 background dancers that added a lot of great moves to her performance!

The star of the show - Samantha!

Samantha had done a lot of practicing for this show before today,
 including picking the 4 songs they danced to! Before and
\after lunch the back-up dancers did quite a bit of rehearsing!
 They all knew their "moves" very well!!  Look how well
they are doing their moves in sync!

Celebrating when the show was finished!

Part of the audience!

Relaxing after a great performance!

Can't have a birthday party without a cake -

Because some of them wanted chocolate cake and others
vanilla we had a cake made out of both kinds of cupcakes!

It was 82 degrees and sunny, so time to move outside for the Kubb games to begin.  Unfortunately the women just couldn't win a game!  It might have something to do with the professional, Bob!

We may not win, but we have a lot of spirit!

Bob really gets into the game and Ken did a great job of
taking an action shot!!!

Okay, okay, okay - so you won!  Big deal!!!

Jamie's family left around 3:30 to go to Dane's parents for their Easter dinner.  Ken and I left Lanie and Bob's around 6:15 and spent the evening going through all the photos Ken had taken the last two days.  I did this blog while we watched the salute to the Bee Gees.  Boy, they surely had a lot of great hits!  I thought it was a great tribute!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday!

Ken and I were up before 6 and by 6:30 I was on my way to Ephrata to meet the Curvettes for breakfast!  It is a Friday morning, only 6:30 AM, and I witnessed a gorgeous sunrise!  But there is something wrong with this picture - I am retired and I am up before the sunrise.  It is just too early, but I love having the opportunity to be with special friends.  So, I will continue to get up before the sun every Friday!!

I was home by 8:30 and Ken had just finished eating his cooked breakfast.  He left for a walk and I spent several hours recording our expenses to our budget app.   Ken and I drove to Lancaster to our financial advisors office to sign our income tax return documents.  We had a very nice visit with Mike.  His family loves searching for seaglass and sharks teeth and told us about several of their favorite places for finding seaglass.  We hope to check out some of them.

Ken went to a Good Friday Church Service here in Lititz while I continued working on our budget program.  When he returned, we decided to take a trip to Green Dragon, a large local Farmers Market that is only open on Fridays!  For 13 years, Ken and I were owners of a candy stand at that market and eventually we opened a second one there and another at a different local market.  We don't return very often, but Good Friday was always our busiest day of the year and we decided we wanted to get some candy for our granddaughters and Green Dragon was the place to go!  We were so surprised when we got there and they still had the same name we had used when we owned it - Beulah's Candyland. Beulah was my great aunt whom we adored and we had bought the business from her in 1976.

When we returned home, Ken took a nap while I made a couple seaglass pictures.  After dinner we drove to LCBC's Easter service, getting home around 8:45.  We watched Shark Tank while I did this blog.  

Tomorrow we are getting together with Cindy and John and we will all go to Masonic Homes to celebrate my dad's 93rd birthday.  What a special day!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

More Info Learned Regarding my Scoliosis!

Ken left early to have breakfast with his good friend, Gary!  It was over 4 months since they were together, so they had a lot to talk about!

I spent my time getting ready, making breakfast, wrapping the girls Easter presents, and having a nice talk with my sister, Cindy!  I worked on several projects that needed to be completed!

After lunch, Ken and I went to a 1:00 appointment with Dr. Clay, the scoliosis specialist.  1st I had a deep massage on my back and hips and then Ken and I met with the Dr. so we could ask some questions and make sure we understood what I could expect and needed to do to improve my pain and hopefully my posture!  The meeting was extremely helpful.  Ken and I both feel confident that we are making the right decision to buy the velcro exercise "suit".  We will go back on Monday (together) so I can have another deep massage and then they will show both Ken and I how the suit works and how to take it off and on.  It is a relatively simple project that requires about 1 minute once you know what you are doing!  I am looking forward to having less pain and walking straighter.  Time will tell!

We were back home by 3 after stopping at a Hardware Store and Ken went for a walk.  I spent time sorting through more seaglass.  I also had a nice conversation with my good friend, Jackie.  We hope to get together in the near future to play pickleball.  Then we went outside and spray varnished the finished coconut fish.  

We spent the evening chatting and then when I tried to get on our computer I was unable to get on the internet.  What a pain!  After about 1 hour with both of us going through all different settings, etc, it worked, but we have no idea why!  I hope this doesn't keep happening every evening!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Another Nice Weather Day and Fun Time with my Parents!

Just wanted you to see the finished colorful fish that this
Grandma painted as a gift for our granddaughters from Florida!
PawPaw helped me find all the coconuts and the palm branches
for the tails!  They are painted to match their bedrooms!

After making a good breakfast, Ken left for a walk.  It was cloudy and he actually got a little "wet" on his long walk.

I went to Dollar Tree and then to Wal-Mart.  While shopping, Cindy called to ask what I learned at yesterday's Dr. Appointment, and we had a nice discussion. They are on their way home in Harvey from North Carolina.  They plan to arrive in Mt. Joy by late afternoon or early evening.

Ken had lunch ready when I got home and we left by 12:15 to visit my parents. They are so grateful and appreciative when we visit and play cards.  They tell us numerous times when we are there!  It was a victorious day for the women - 3 for women and 2 games for the men.  We really had a fun time and I am amazed at how "sharp" both of them are when playing pinochle.  It is amazing! We are looking forward to going there on Saturday with Cindy and John to celebrate Dad's 93rd birthday!  He is definitely a cat with 9 lives!

We were home by 6, made salads, and Ken grilled chicken.  We spent at least 1 1/2 hours trying to get our laptop computer to work - all I had was a blank white screen.  Finally we got it working, but could not connect to the internet. That was another 45 minute project - such frustration!  But, I am happy to announce that at the moment everything seems to be working.  I'll let you know more tomorrow when I turn it off for the night and try to start it up in the morning!

I had a wonderful conversation with Chuck on the way home from my parents. Melissa had called while we were playing cards and I said I would call her back. They were driving from Florida to Nashville and Melissa was driving when I called.  I enjoyed being able to "catch up" on what is happening in their lives. We certainly miss seeing them and spending time together.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Catching Up on the Last Few Days!

This was the day that Ernie and Noela arrived back to their home in Quebec. SIt was Sunday, so Ken and I went to church and then out to breakfast with our small group.  We had't seen this group of friends since Florida!  We had a good time!

It was a beautiful sunny, warm day, but we didn't do anything overly exciting. Ken got more things together for his tax appointment on Tuesday and I spent most of the afternoon painting coconut fish.  After grilling dinner and cleaning up, Ken went for a walk.  My back is not the best for walking so I continued painting.  

Monday was a gorgeous warm sunny day with temperatures in the low 80's. Ken and I coordinated our schedules (we need to do that since we only have 1 car!) and then he continued planning for his tax appointment.  After visiting a scoliosis clinic here in Lititz to gather some information, I returned home and Ken and I did some talking.  I called and made an appointment with them for Tuesday!  

After lunch, Ken and I went out to Wilbur and Ken vacuumed while I did some scouring, cleaning the refrigerator, and dusted.  Ken also cleaned out the inside of the car.  Then we took a walk, but my back and hip made it an uncomfortable exercise!  

I spent more time painting and then Ken left for Celebrate Recovery!  He was happy to see his "buddies" after being gone for 3 months.  I recorded our expenses and then sorted through our seaglass finds.  

Tuesday was a positively gorgeous day with recorded setting temperatures of the upper 80's - crazy!  After working together to make breakfast, I went to my Dr. appointment.  Dr. Clay is part of a Scoli Smart Clinics that can be found throughout the US.  These clinics work only with scoliosis patients and teenage girls are the majority of their patients.  But, they also have developed treatment plans for adults.  His information and proposed treatment made sense to me and it also seemed very logical to Ken when we talked about it!  His goal is not just to elevate the pain but also the progression of the scoliosis while hopefully slightly improving the curvature.  It has happened in other older woman with similar scoliosis.  We shall see!

When I got back home Ken and I did a lot of talking about my appointment and then after lunch, we took Wilbur to his storage "home"!  At 1:15 Ken headed to York for his tax appointment.  I spent a lot of the afternoon researching the Scoli Smart Clinics and the treatments they recommended.  It all seems very credible.

When Ken got back he took a walk and I made oat brans muffins.  Ken grilled meat and potatoes while I sauteed veggies.  It was a relaxing evening.