LOOKING UP

I have had my second follow up from my open heart surgery and everything is going well. He still doesn’t want me to lift anything over 25 pounds or play tennis for about 4 more weeks. We want to make sure the sternum is completely healed first. But things are looking up as a lot of the restrictions I had have been lifted.

For the first time since September, I subbed at daycare yesterday. I still can’t lift the children, but I can do what they call the floater job – serve lunch, do dishes, and relieve teachers for their break while the kids are napping. The 4 and 5 year old’s were so glad to see me back and I got plenty of hugs. I really missed that.

I was also given permission to start running yesterday – taking it easy at first. Years ago I would have never thought I would say this, but I was so excited to be able to run! I had originally intended to take Tippy for a walk as soon as I got home and then go run. But, sometimes, she has her own agenda and disappears in the field for a while. So, instead, I took her a short, on leash walk out the driveway, put her on her tie out, and went out for my run.

I did a walk/run interval session – walking 4 minutes and running one, repeat, for 36 minutes. It wasn’t much, but it’s a start and felt so good. The weather was wonderful yesterday with sunny skies and 62°F. The sky was so blue and the daffodils are blooming. Spring is on it’s way.

When I got home, I turned Tippy loose, changed shoes, and went out for our walk. I was expecting her to be anxiously patiently waiting for me, but instead, I saw this.

When our neighbor has a cow die, he buries it somewhere in the field. Something digs them up and Tippy takes advantage, confiscating a bone every now and again. This one seemed to be particularly good because she had no interest in a walk. The bone was just too delicious.

We did take a walk today and these “old fashioned” daffodils were blooming where one of my ancestor’s house used to be. At least, that’s what mom calls them. They are probably an heirloom variety of some sort. They are pretty, but the bloom doesn’t last very long.

Old fashioned daffodils

I did a little research to see if I could find a name for them, but had no luck. I did however, learn that the name daffodil is from the Dutch for “affo dyle” which means “that which cometh early.” I love that.

GETTING USED TO BEING HOME

I totally forgot to include this selfie of me and Tippy in yesterday’s post. We were happy to see each other.

Happy to be home!

We are both trying to readjust to her being home. I had a major dog mom fail on Friday evening. I let her out at around 5 pm so she could run around a little more and do her business before she came in for the night. I got engrossed in some things I was doing on the computer and noticed it was getting pretty dark. My first thought was, I need to turn on the light. Then, I panicked and thought, “Oh no! I forgot about Tippy!” Ooops. When I looked, she was patiently standing at the front door, waiting to come in. Bless her heart.

I’m a light sleeper, so had a hard time falling asleep the first night because I woke up every time she moved. Then, she wasn’t used to me sleeping in the living room recliner, so seemed to be a little discombobulated and at one point went into the bedroom – like she “knew” she should be in a different room from me, but that it was all wrong.

I was gone most of the day on Saturday to attend my neighbor’s funeral and visit with the family afterwards. I felt bad that I had to leave her all alone after she just got home, but she didn’t seem to mind. When I did get home, we took a nice walk back into the neighbor’s field and played some Frisbee. She still has a lot of energy for an almost 8 year old.

That night, we went to sleep better, but she licked me on the nose and woke me up at 2 am. She proceeded to the door whining. From previous experience, I know that if she wants out in the middle of the night, she really does need to go. So, I got up, got wrapped up, and took her out. It was cold and had just started snowing. She did her business fairly quickly, thankfully.

When we came back in, I sat down in the recliner and she sat on my feet, wanting to be petted. I did that for a few minutes and then started to lean back to try to go to sleep. She was going to have nothing of that and tried to climb in my lap. I couldn’t let her up there because she could have hurt my breastbone…from the surgery. I figured she just wanted to cuddle, so I chose to spend the rest of the night on the couch. She did jump up and lay beside me for about 45 minutes. I guess she just needed to be reassured that I was there and everything was okay.

When we got up the next morning, we had almost two inches of snow. It was already above freezing though, so it was melting quickly and big clumps were falling off of the tree limbs. Since Tippy and I love walking in the snow so much, I drank a cup of coffee and then we set out on a stroll through the snowy woods. It was really pretty and we both enjoyed the early morning jaunt.

Because the temperatures were so warm, there was fog on the hills. It gave the scene a peaceful, eerie feeling.

Snowy fog

We took another walk in the afternoon and I think Tippy was wondering where all of the white stuff went.

Where did all of the snow go?

After that walk, her feet were filthy. She finally let me clean them off so she could come inside. I rewarded her with an almost empty peanut butter jar. Can you say “peanut butter coma?” LOL

Peanut butter coma

I’m so glad that she is home. We both still have a little bit of adjusting to do, but I’m sure we’ll be back into our normal routine in no time at all.

REUNITED

I had originally planned for Tippy to come home on Thursday. However, I have been waiting a couple of weeks for parts to come in so I could get my built-in microwave oven and my heat pump repaired. Both services called on Wednesday to say the parts were in and they could come do the work the next day. Since that meant strange men would be in the house most of the day, I opted to wait until Friday to have Addie bring her home.

I didn’t realize how much I had missed her until she got out of the car and I started crying. It was unexpectedly emotional.

I’m home!

This isn’t the best picture. I think she was tangled in the leash, but I assure you, she wasn’t hurt. Addie had her on the leash to insure a calm, and therefore safe, reunion. She is really good about calming down and listening, even when she is excited.

Ok. Ok. I’ll wait.

Our meeting went really well. She sat so I could pet her, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. This is our typical meeting after being away from each other. Sometimes I feel bad that we don’t have the “TV reunion,” where the dog is jumping and being overly rambunctious. But, that’s not us and not what I really want. I don’t want to be knocked to the ground every time I come home. I know she loves me and is happy to see me. She just shows it in a very respectful way.

After Addie left, she did what she always does, and surveyed the house and the property, just to make sure that things are pretty much as she left them. We also took a walk into the neighbor’s field. It was muddy from all the snow and rain, but she didn’t seem to mind, until I had to wash her feet. LOL

Then, it was time to relax.

Vacation is fun, but there always comes a time when you just want to be home.

SNOW DAY AWAY FROM HOME

Over the last 8 weeks, Tippy has only been home a week and a half. I’m so glad that I have such a good friend/sitter who is willing to take care of her when needed and treats her like one of her own. I don’t know what I would have done had it not been for her!

It snowed yesterday and last night. You know Tippy loves the snow, so I hated that I was missing seeing her zooming around and enjoying the white stuff. Addie must have known, because she sent me these pictures.

Snow nose
Zoomies

She is coming home on Thursday. I can’t wait to see her and get back to some semblance of a normal routine.

MOSTLY SILENT SUNDAY

Tippy is still at the sitters while I recuperate. I am doing great, so I plan to get her home on Thursday. That will be 4 weeks post surgery. I know she is in good hands, but I miss her.

Addie told me Tippy had a great time playing with her new puppy friend last week.

Tippy and her new friend.

YOU NEVER KNOW

This is a very hard post to write. I’ve been putting it off, but want you, my friends, to know what has been going on in my life over the last month. I’ll try to be brief.

Dec 1st turned out to be an unexpectedly big day in my life. I took my dad to a VA appointment early in the morning and then I had another CT scan to see if my aneurysm was stable or continuing to grow. Dad’s new primary care physician had been “reassigned” for the day, so we wound up seeing another doctor since we were there anyway and had 3 hours before my appointment. When we finally got to see her, she was coughing and sneezing, but assured us that she had taken Thursday – Monday off work, been tested, and was CoVID negative. We were all wearing masks. So, while I was a little concerned, I believed we were safe. She was very thorough and we wound up being in her office for nearly 2 hours. It took so long that I had to call and get my CT scan rescheduled for later in the day. I did get my scan done and we came on home. That was the day of our first snow that I wrote about earlier.

My surgeon called the next day and wanted me to come in and talk to him. I had a feeling that wasn’t a good sign. I was right. On Thursday, Dec 3rd, I saw him and found out that the aneurysm had grown so he wanted to go ahead and schedule the surgery. He still had to appeal to the hospital to get permission since they weren’t allowing any non-emergency surgeries. He did get permission and my surgery was scheduled for Dec 9th.

I came down with a fever on that Saturday, got tested on Sunday, and, you guessed it, I was positive for CoVID. Dad started losing his sense of taste on Saturday and mom did on Sunday. They got tested on Monday and were both positive also. The only place dad and I had been together was the VA, so I am convinced that the doctor had gotten a false negative test and actually had CoVID. I’ll never know for sure and I guess I have to be okay with that.

Due to my positive result, my surgery had to be postponed yet again. My only symptoms were the low-grade fever for 1.5 days and fatigue for about a week. Mom lost her sense of taste for a few days and had a really bad runny nose for a couple of days. Unfortunately, dad wasn’t so lucky. I thought he was doing well and had started to get his taste back on Thursday. But, Friday night he was having a hard time breathing and his oxygen levels were down in the 70’s. I took him to the ER where he was admitted to the hospital. I’ll spare you the details, but he wound up passing away on Dec 16th. We were at least lucky enough to be able to spend the last couple of days with him in the hospital so that he wasn’t alone.

We waited until mom was officially out of quarantine before making the funeral arrangements and having the funeral. It was really hard for this daddy’s girl. I think it would have been a little bit easier had he not died from CoVID. We had been so diligent to make sure he and mom stayed safe. How could a trip to the doctor be his demise? It just doesn’t seem fair.

I still needed to get the surgery done. They wanted to reschedule it for 30 Dec, but I felt that was a little bit too soon and I didn’t want to be in the hospital on New Year’s Day. We decided on January 8th. The surgery went well and I did so good that I actually got dismissed from the hospital on Monday, 11 January, just 3 days after surgery. I spent almost a week at my mom’s and then came home. I have my first follow up appointment tomorrow.

I’m not sure that you all know that I started running consistently last year and was training for the Air Force Half Marathon. My longest run was 11 miles and I was in the best shape of my life. I’m sure this played a big roll in how well I did with the surgery. I decided to write a blog about my surgery and returning to running – hoping to maybe inspire others along the way. I have more details in that blog about dad, CoVID, and my surgery, if you are interested. You can find it at runforhearthealth.wordpress.com.

As you know, Dad loved to fish. He hadn’t really felt like going to the lake much last year though. In early November he came up and I took him to the neighbor’s pond. Tippy loved to watch him fish and would get so excited when he caught one. Here are a couple of pictures from that trip.

Enjoying the day.
I hope you catch one soon, grandpa.

On November 21st he came up to see if he could catch anything at one of the other ponds my neighbor has – the one that is right over the hill from my house. When he got here, I was blowing the leaves off of the driveway so someone else wouldn’t have to do it after my impending surgery. I had intended to go for a run when I got done, but decided instead to go over and talk with dad while he fished. I’m so glad I did, as this was the last time he came up. He didn’t catch anything, but we had a nice conversation and just enjoyed spending time together. I didn’t get any pictures of dad at the pond that day, but did get this one of Tippy intently watching.

I think I see a fish papaw.

Dad had Tippy spoiled rotten. He brought her a handful of treats every time he came up. That day was no exception. None of us had any idea that this would be the last treats she would get from him.

I know you have a treat in that hand.

You never know when it will be the last time you see or talk to someone. So, my advice is to be as kind as possible and always make time for your loved ones. Things can wait. People sometimes can’t.

WHITE CHRISTMAS

I remember loving to have snow on Christmas day as a child. Also, I remember that it snowed almost every year on Christmas Day. However, looking back at the historical data, they “claim” that it only happens here about one out of every ten years. Someone’s memory is wrong and I would like to think it is theirs!

This year didn’t disappoint though. We had about 2.5″ – 3″ of snow last night that laid on everything. It had started out as rain and then the temperatures dropped, so there was a coating of ice underneath. That made driving treacherous this morning, so mom and I didn’t get to go to the family gathering at my niece’s as planned. We’ll just have to go to each separate household at a later date. I was able to walk to mom’s and spend some time with her, eating a sandwich and working on a jigsaw puzzle for a while.

As you know, Tippy loves the snow. Even though the temperature was 18°F, I wrapped up good and took her for a walk into the neighbor’s field. Now that is love! 😉

I thought you might enjoy a few pictures. It was gorgeous. As always, the pictures don’t do it justice.

Look how pretty, mom.

I love the reflections in the neighbor’s pond when it snows.

The pond near my house
The pond from a different angle

Tip of the day: If you have on a coat with a hood, but don’t have the hood on, and you walk under snow covered tree branches, DO NOT put your hood on when the wind starts blowing.

FIRST SNOW OF THE SEASON

We received the first snow of the season yesterday. I knew it was coming, but wasn’t really ready for it, as it has been so warm here lately. Well, that’s not totally true. I’m always up for snow, but wasn’t ready for the temperatures to be so cold. It didn’t get above freezing all day.

Fortunately, the snow only laid on elevated surfaces so the roads were clear. That was important because my dad had an early appointment at the VA hospital and I had an appointment to get my CT scan at 11:30. It was dark when we left out at 6:45, so I had to leave Tippy inside. Due to some circumstances beyond our control, I had to reschedule my appointment to 12:45, which meant we would be gone longer than I had anticipated. I didn’t get home until a little after 3:00. I hate leaving Tippy inside that long, but she did great.

If you have been following this blog, you probably remember that snow is Tippy’s favorite thing. It was still really cold, but I felt bad that she had been cooped up in the house all day, so I bundled up and took her for a walk back in the neighbor’s field. Sometimes, I will do a mile loop and sometimes half of that. I thought it was funny that at the potential turn around point, she turned to look at me as if to ask if we were going on or turning around.

Are you coming?

The snow was really pretty on the trees and she enjoyed sniffing at places where I imagine a rabbit or some other critter had found shelter for the night.

Humm. I think something was sitting here.

I love to take snowy close up pictures. I think it is interesting how the trees hold onto the snow. The little pine cones in this one were a bonus.

You would think that Tippy would have been at least a little tired when we got back, but instead she went into her wild crazy dog mode. She started with gabbing a big stick out of wood pile and running around and around and up and down with it. I think she was wanting me to chase her, but that wasn’t going to happen. When she tired of that, she decided that pulling up mouthfuls of my periwinkle would be a fun thing to do. After I yelled at her convinced her to stop that, she found an old plastic flower pot that was sitting in the middle of the periwinkle, pulled it out, and proceeded to rip it to shreds. She threw the bottom portion up in the air and chased it. That part was actually pretty comical to watch. Then she ran around and around in circles. When she acted like she wanted to come in, instead of letting me dry her feet, she decided the towel was a tug of war toy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a lot of pictures because the phone kept turning off. It still had 30% battery, so I’m thinking it was just too cold. Here are a few that I did get. The first one is the calm before the storm. LOL

I don’t know if it was the snow, or being cooped up all day, or a combination of the two, but she was truly a wild crazy dog. She did get on my nerves a bit, but I couldn’t stay mad at her long. I mean, who could be upset with this face.

What do you mean when you say I’m a crazy dog?