Saturday, February 23, 2008

Winter Views

Greg took some "winter pictures" one day this week - between rain/ice showers. We had a couple of days that warmed to the upper 50's/lower 60's, and we both got out and took a walk down toward the river. The leaves are all off the trees and it is probably as bare as it will get any time of the year.

The waterfall is part of a creek along the Mossy Bluff Trail that is just north of our yard. This particular waterfall is close to the old road bed that led to a bridge crossing the Little Red River during the construction of the dam. It's like a trip back in time to walk down that old road bed - at least for me. I hope to get back down there soon and look around some more before spring arrives.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mid-Winter Update

Just odds and ends today... it's dreary and rainy and cold, and we are expecting as much as 3" of rain, so it is a good weekend to do inside projects! A lot of northern Arkansas is still cleaning up from the tornado that hit February 5th, including the mother of my friend Dede.

Dot Peel and her mother, Lena Davenport (age 102), were in their home when the tornado hit. It sucked Dot down the hall and then dropped a ceiling on her. Dede says that glass was everywhere and almost every window was shattered or gone... but her mom and Mam-maw didn't even have glass in their clothes. They spent a week cleaning out what was salvagable, and now Dede says the house will be bulldozed. Her parents had lived there for the 30 years I've known Dede, and several years before that. Dede says they have sifted through 50 years of accumulated "stuff" - some things that have been in her family for 3 generations or better.

The first picture is the living room - Dede says there was a table between the two chairs that was sucked out the window, but the chairs didn't move.

The second picture is her mom's car. The carport is totally GONE - probably in Missouri! Dede said a car dealer drove up at her aunt's house later that night with a set of keys to a car and said, "Tell Dot she can drive this as long as she needs."

The last pictures are of my friend Marla's grandchildren. Griffin is 10; Ruby Ann is 7, I think. Roman is about 4. They look so much like their mother... aren't they darling?! They were celebrating Marla's birthday in January... looks like the cake was really tasty!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Let's Help Job Get a New House!

Many of you know that I have been following the story of a little boy from Bigelow, Arkansas, for a year now. His name is Job McCully (pronounce "jobe" like the man in the Bible). He was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4, and he received a bone marrow transplant, which caused the cancer to go into remission. However, his lungs were damaged, and he got RSV. His lungs deteriorated rapidly, and his only hope was a lung transplant, which he miraculously received December 11, 2007, at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Job has been in the hospital nearly 365 days. His parents both lost their jobs as they struggled to care for him. He has a teenage sister, Nicole, and his grandmother Glenda lives with the family. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and has undergone treatments herself. Read the whole story at - have your Kleenex ready - it's worth the tears! Be sure to watch Job's updated video at

This family NEVER gave up hope that Job would get his new lungs. They have been in three hospitals since February 2007 - Arkansas Children's Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, and now St. Louis Children's Hospital. The community of Bigelow, residents of Perry county, and people throughout the state and nation have helped to support the McCullys this year.

Now Job is almost ready to go home... but his home is not safe. That's where WE come in! There is a movement to get Job and his family a new house through ABC's Extreme Makeover:Home Edition show. Here's how YOU can help make this happen:

We are hoping to deluge ABC/Home Makeover with letters and postcards asking them to consider the McCullys and to show that they have a HUGE support team. Please join the effort to make this happen for Job and his family by sending a postcard or letter of support to the address below between the dates of *February 11 and February 22*. THANKS

Mail to:
Lock & Key Productions
c/o Family Casting
PO Box 38670
Los Angeles, CA 90038

PS - Please feel free to forward this message to everyone in your guest book to further awareness of Job’s situation and the campaign to get them a house from ABC. THANK YOU!!! BTW - the photo is Job having an "ice cream stand" on his floor at the hospital this week - he raised $40!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Nursing Home for Rehab

Today my grandmother was admitted to the nursing home for what we hope will be about a week of rehab and strength building before she goes home once again. A lot has happened since the last trip in 2004, and I was a little rusty, so I still have to take some forms in for the admissions office, but in all, the admission went pretty smoothly. As my mom and I sat in the office trying to recall dates and facts for the admissions officer, we realized that someone in our family has been in this nursing home since 1987... my maternal grandparents, two great-aunts, two cousins, and my paternal grandmother... not to mention the mother of a cousin by marriage, the grandmother of my best friend from high school, my next door neighbor from childhood, and numerous acquaintences and family friends. During this time period, the name of the facility - and it's ownership - has changed three times, and now they are once again under a new ownership. So far, so good. The Director of Nursing is Mam-ma's next-door neighbor, and the assistant D.O.N. was Mam-ma's Home Health nurse for awhile, and they were "arguing" over who would get to care for her the most - in jest of course. I think she is in pretty capable hands. For more, see my post at The Deli.

The storms were all around us last night, but all we got was a little wind and thunder. For some reason, at least a few of the tornado sirens in town were activated, and the patients at the hospital were all evacuated from their rooms to the hallway for about an hour. All of that excitement was too much for Mam-ma, and she had a sick spell from it. An LPN friend of ours was next door with her son, and she helped get Mam-ma into bed and settled after the storms passed. She said that patients from the hospital in Mountain View (which was destroyed) and Clinton (which had no power) were being brought here for admission, and the hospital was "a zoo." I didn't go... all was well with Mam-ma, and I figured I would be in the way. I feel so badly for all of the storm victims and pray that they will recover quickly.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Things Are Always Changing

Things can change in a hurry around here. My grandmother is in the hospital. It happened very quickly Saturday night... one hour she was fine... the next she was violently ill. She has strep, slight pneumonia, a UTI, and gastroenteritis - i.e. vomiting and severe diarrhea. Read my entry at The Deli for the full story and updates!