|Ever since we moved to Alaska, we have stayed in touch with friends and family through email. We've put together this web site to journal our letters and put pictures to our stories. We enjoy hearing from everybody, so stay in touch!|
Well, I just wanted to send out one last email before my big day tomorrow. I'm a little nervous...and a little excited...and having trouble going to bed...my brain just won't turn off...oh well. Everything is all set and my bag is packed. Mike will have his cell phone with him...his number is 907-xxx-xxxx.
Well....of all things...it is RAINING here!!! Where's the snow???? And it's melting all of our snow that we did have! I mean, come on...this is ALASKA.....people in California have 9 feet of snow....and we have none!!! What's wrong with this picture????!!! It's supposed to get colder in the next few days....hopefully this wrong will be righted!!!
Well, I figure I'll be discharged home from the hospital this coming Sunday or Monday. Michael's sister, Michele, surprised us and is coming up on Sunday to help take care of me for a whole week!! So exciting!!!
Well, Mike will keep you posted while I'm away....thank you for all of your prayers and warm thoughts....they are greatly appreciated! Love ya lots!
This is Michael. Leah got out of surgery this afternoon. She is still recovering, but says she is feeling better than she did after her last back surgery or even her feet surgery. She's looking pretty good - all things considered. I'll drop you folks a line again tomorrow and give you an update.
The outpouring of love and well-wishing has been amazing. We love you all and are immensely grateful for the assistance and prayers. I have no doubt this will all play a big part in Leah's recovery.
I've thrown in a picture of Leah just prior to going into operation.
This is Michael. Leah's doing well and even says that this recovery has been less uncomfotrable than her last two surgeries. The first being her original back surgery (that is being corrected now) and the second being her foot surgery. That's good news since this one seems much more invasive.
Yesterday, the physical therapist was able to help Leah stand and even walk to her door (with the assistance of a walker). At that point, we had to turn around because Leah was gettng rather pale. Leah says that it wasn't so much the back pain that stopped her, but that she began feeling pale and faint and needed to lie down again. We're guessing that much of the faintness is coming from trying to be mobile with morphine in her system. We'll see what kind of tricks they'll have her doing today.
Now that Leah's much more aware and responsive, she can take phone calls. If you'd like to get a hold of her, call the hospital operator at 907-562-2211 and ask for room 390.
We've really appreciated all the well wishers and the flowers and plants we've received from mom Scadden, Marlene, Ginny, and Leah's work friends. It's like christmas all over again each time a gift would arrive!
Michael and Leah
Thank you all for the wonderful prayers, flowers, gifts, phone calls, and well wishes! I truly appreciate everything you all have done for me. Well, I was discharged late Sunday evening from the hospital. Then later that night Michael went to pick his sister, Michele, up from the airport....she has really been a big help to me. I'm in a good amount of pain so I take Percocet and Flexeril throughout the day...needless to say, I find myself wanting to take naps all the time cuz they make me so drowsy. I'm still moving really slow and taking baby steps. Sleeping is still really uncomfortable. If I stay in a position too long I start to go numb and my back gets all tingly. While I was in the hospital, I was having problems with low blood pressure (about 85/40 or so and normal is 120/80) and my oxygen saturation levels in my blood would fall, so I had a nasal canula with oxygen on pretty much throughout my whole stay in the hospital....until my nose got so dry it would bleed a bit. After the first few days in the hospital, my IV site went bad so they took my line out and just switched me over to oral pain meds. When they would get me up to walk I would feel really sick to my stomach and feel like I was going to pass out....major "tunnel-vision" thing going on. I still get dizzy a bit here at home, but not like I would when I was in the hospital. They got me up to sit on the edge of my bed the day after my surgery....which I really thought was cruel and unusual punishment....but my doc said if the little old ladies could do it, then I could too.... I worked with some of the physical therapists and occupational therapists at the hospital to learn different ways of doing daily activities. I have nifty little tools now like a reacher and another little doo-hicky I use to pull socks on. I can't bend over at all, much less twist, squat or whatever....so I need help getting dressed and whatnot.....but since I don't want anything on that has a waistband on it...I just usually stay in my PJs throughout the day....Michele and I are just having one big slumber party!!!
One of my friends, Nancy, said she was going to make a gourmet dinner today and bring it over for us....I'm so excited! Since I had the surgery at the hospital that I work at, I had lots of visitors and got lots of special treatment. I had a TV in my room, but one of the "Child Life Specialists" that I know on the pediatric unit brought me in a VCR with movies, and other "toys" to occupy my time with. It was pretty funny....guess it helps to know people!
Well, guess that's it for now...I'm going to go see what's for breakfast!!!
Love you all! I'll write more later!
Well, I know I just emailed you all this morning....but I just figured I'd write again....if I repeat something, oh well, just blame it on the Percocet! My friend from work, Nancy, just came over to check up on how I am doing and to bring dinner over for us. She brought chili, bread, and brownies....she said since it's below 0 degrees outside at the moment, it was just a chili eating kind of day.
I'm still hurting, I think more here at home than I was at the hospital. I figure it's because I could move my hospital bed in any shape that would make me comfortable and I was on around the clock meds there too. Here at home, I'm moving more than I was and I'm probably not taking the pain meds as often as I should. Michele's been a tremendous help to me and Mike. She even brought a little bell for me to ring if I need her...hee hee hee! She been cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. I can't do even simple things by myself (unless I use a reacher or some other device) like putting pants on, can't even think about shoes, and shaving my legs is so not going to happen (poor Michael is going to think I've turned into a European/granola/hippie). I have strict orders not to lift anything heavier that a gallon of milk.....so that means no picking up the kitty cats....they're both little chunks!
Well, I suppose that's about it for now...
Talk to you all later!
Hope all is well. Things are ok here....I still hurt all over...and I'm still taking little baby steps to move around. I was feeling pretty crappy last night and then found out that I was running a fever. My incision still looks good, at least from what Mike and Shell tell me...and it's not oozing anything icky. So, I called my doctor's office to report in and I 'm still waiting to hear back from them. Well, Michele and I are having a big movie marathon......I'm catching up on all the movies that I haven't seen in like the past year or so. Mike's off today and tomorrow, so I think he'll go to the grocery store and then maybe he and Shell will go play on the ATV in the snow. At the moment, we are getting a light dusting of snow...'bout time!!!
Well, I suppose that is it for now....
Talk to you all later!
Hope all is well! I'm doing pretty good. I'm two weeks post surgery and I had my first post-op appointment with my doctor yesterday. The incision looks good...my doc replaced some of the steri-strip bandages that were looking kind of old over my stitches. I have some funky kind of neuropathy in my left leg by my shin bone, but it's improving. I still have some tingling sensations in my back that the doc said are some of my nerves regenerating. I still can't lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I still can't bend forward at all, so getting dressed and tying shoes and whatnot are still a challenge, and I usually need help from someone to do it. I'm walking and am steady on my feet, but I'm still pretty slow. My friend, Lorena, that lives a few houses down from me, took me to my doctor's appointment today. After my appointment, we went over to the hospital to get my pain pills and muscle relaxers refilled at the pharmacy. Then we went to the gift shop and I bought some flowers and a card and took it to the nurses and all the staff that took care of me while I was in the hospital. Then we went down to where I work and dropped thank you cards off for some people and said hello to all my friends. All my friends have been wonderful. People bring us cooked meals every 2-3 days, so my fridge is stocked and I haven't had to cook at all! And I also have lots of cookies to eat....David and Jenn and family sent me a totally cool cookie bouquet....I'd never seen one before and it is so neat! Michael's sister, Michele, left home on Saturday night. They went and played on the four-wheeler in the snow while she was here. It was so awesome to see her again! Well, I guess not much else is happening on my end. I spend a lot of time reading, watching movies, snuggling with the kitty cats, and sleeping...life is grand!
Talk to you all soon!
Just wanted to let you all know that everything is fine with Michael and me. I've either been reading books or working on my quilt. The quilt needs to be finished by Tuesday next week for the party that everyone is having for my friend Wendy (so, to any of you that know her...shhhh, it's a secret!). My big "to do" thing every day is basically to take a shower. Friends still come by every few days to bring us dinner or whatnot....and, as I think about it, I don't think Michael or I have cooked a single dinner since I went into the hospital. Michael is really enjoying this....he now thinks he should have some kind of surgery just so he can get extra special treatment.
Well, let's see....last night as I was laying in bed, I sneezed.....for the first time, I believe, since before I had surgery (mind you, that was on the 5th of this month....and I actually don't know what today's date is, but I guess it was roughly 3 weeks ago or so). And, after this sneeze, I came to the conclusion that all every single bone in my lumbar and hip region was now discombobulated. It totally felt like there was this explosion that happened in this region of my body....it was so painful. Then, right when Michael came home today after work, I sneezed again!!!!.....and was treated to another one of these most memorable events. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry...so I did both....
Well, I suppose that's it...wish me luck on NOT sneezing again.....
Leah and Michael
Hope you all are doing fine. Michael and I are doing pretty good. Michael just received his orders to go on duty. I take him to the airport tonight. He'll be stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for the next two months. (I'm trying not to think about how lonely I'm going to be!) But he did just give me a dozen roses for an early Valentine's Day present...so I guess I feel better a little bit!. :)
Well, I start back to work this coming Tuesday....I'm really bummed because I have been enjoying my time off so much and I just don't want to go back to work mode. Oh well, gotta do whatcha gotta do, I suppose. I had my six week checkup at my doctor's office yesterday. He took x-rays (pic2) (pic3)(which I am sending pictures of) and he said everything looks good. My spine is actually in one smooth line now. It was the first time that I had seen the x-rays....it was pretty gruesome to see though. You can actually see the threads on the screws in the x-rays....ick! My doc gave me the go-ahead to go back to work...but I'm still partly disabled, minimum walking, bending, yadda, yadda, yadda, and I can't lift more than 5-10 pounds....which means I can't even pick up my kitty cats!
Well, my quilt for my friend Wendy came out really awesome and we had her party last week. It was a rag quilt with lots of Alaskan type prints on it and then on the back I made a heart out of some funny fabric (as you will see) and then one of the other pharmacists embroidered a square with "We love you Wendy" and a kidney on it for me. One of the gals even made a cake for Wendy in the shape of a kidney! Wendy went through her surgery on the 9th to donate her kidney to her mom's friend and she is doing fine. Thank you to all for your prayers for her.
Michael's birthday was yesterday. He turned 30 (so now he finally caught up to me)! We went out for a really special dinner and had crab legs and steak....nummy!
It is finally snowing again up here in Anchorage and Eagle River. It's been over 4-5 weeks since it's snowed in this area. Now everything looks pretty and white again!
Well, I suppose that's it for now....talk to you all later!
Hope all is well. Things are good for me. With Michael being gone I've realized just how quiet my house can be....I'm starting to have conversations with my cats...scary! I start back to work tomorrow....they've scheduled me for 10 hour shifts on my first few days back...we'll see how much I can do of that I suppose.
Not much else is new for me. At the moment it is SNOWING...woo hoo! They're the biggest, fattest, fluffiest snowflakes that I've ever seen! I think we've got about two inches just in the past hour or so. The cats are trying to climb the windows and chase the snowflakes as they fall...it's pretty entertaining to watch. Silly critters.... It's times like these that I can just sit in front of the window and watch the snowflakes fall and never get bored...too bad it's a school night for me and I have to go to bed...I'm sure I'll have to leave extra early in the morning to get to work on time. Talk to you all soon!!
Love ya lots!
Well, today was my second day back to work. Everything has gone ok...but it's been 10 hour shifts and I'm stiff and sore by the end of the day...but nothing too extreme. Overall, doing ok.
Anyhoo....the coolest thing happened today!!! So I'm sitting down in the basement of the hospital where the pharmacy is located and all of a sudden my computer monitor starts to shake!!! EARTHQUAKE!!! It registered at a 4.69 magnitude and was located 8 miles from Anchorage (or 9 miles from Eagle River). It was pretty neat....I know...you all are thinking what a dork I am that I get excited about an earthquake...but, to me, it is exciting....just as long as no damage is done and a really big one does not hit.
Well, other than that, that's about it....Mike's doing good....cats are good....I'm good....everything's good!
Talk to you all later!
Oh...and just as a side note...Alaska had 61 (yes that is sixty-one!) earthquakes just today...TODAY....isn't that cool?????!!!! Michael thought you all would enjoy that little bit of info...and me, too!
Hee hee hee,
Hope all is well. I'm doing pretty good...although I don't feel like I have much to tell. Michael is still in California and is doing good. He doesn't return until the middle of April. He's hooked up with a couple of buddies that are stationed out in Vandenberg that were in Cheyenne with us and he's having a good time. People always ask me if I'm doing ok with my hubby gone and I just don't feel like I can complain seeing how he's in CA for only a few months and there are so many other wives that I know of that their husbands have been sent to Iraq for an indeterminate amount of time. And I get to talk to him every night, too....
Well let's see....we're at about 10+ hours of daylight now up here and gaining about 5 minutes every day. Haven't felt any more earthquakes. We got some more snow last night, too...
Ummm...not much else going on. I've found that I don't like cooking for just myself. Cats are good. I'm only working about 30 hours a week...walking too much really makes me ache so my boss tries to put me working down in the pharmacy for most of my shifts so that I can sit in a chair. I don't see my doc again until the 24th and he'll take more x-rays then. I definitely feel much more sore since I've returned back to work...but everybody keeps an eye on me and sends me home early if I'm in pain.
Well, I suppose that's about it for now....talk to you soon!
Sorry I fell off the face of the earth there for a while. Things are going pretty good. Not too much to tell. Michael will be coming home this Saturday for a week and then will be taking off again the following Monday for another month. It sure will be great to see my hubby again! ( I miss you, honey!!!)
Well, let's see....I've been pretty much just working a lot. When I come home I'm exhausted so I just put my feet up usually. Technically I'm still supposed to only be working about 30 hours a week per doctor's orders....but for some reason my schedule at work has me working 7 days in a row....hummmmmm.....the math is just not adding up.....guess I'm going to have to be a bit more assertive at work, huh? I started physical therapy this past week....my first visit was pretty much just to see how my range of motion is and whatnot. I got pretty depressed though....even after all these years since gymnastics and karate and being 30 years old I could still bend over and plant my hands firmly on the ground in front of me without bending my knees...well, I guess I should say that was pre-surgery. Now I can only bend forward with my hands reaching just below my knees. Sigh.... Oh well, guess it's something I'll have to work towards. With having the lower part of my spine fused, I'm not sure how much more I'll be able to go, but it just has to be farther than that!!! And the physical therapist kept digging his thumbs into my back and then asking me if it hurt....well, duh?!?! Then he told me he was just trying to "get a feel for where my hips were".....I then proceeded to tell him, "There're right there! You can't miss them!!!" He chuckled....
Anyhoo, we're still getting snow up here...as a matter of fact, it just snowed overnight. I was wondering why I woke up all stiff and sore! But it is melting a lot faster than it was before....we have lots more sunshine now, too. We'll be able to start landscaping before too long. We need to start by calling in some contractors to put in a retaining wall in the back yard.
Well what else. Last weekend I had seven gals over for a slumber party. They brought over their sleeping bags and lots of food. We had a ton of fun just hanging out and talking, eating, doing manicures, and watching chick flics till four in the morning. Then we cooked a huge breakfast the next day. Then I had a dinner party last night for six people. We had stuffed flank steak, mashed potatoes, a salad, rolls, and a German chocolate cake from scratch....so yummy! Then they all cleaned my kitchen when it was over....how cool is that?
Well, guess that's all the gossip for now. Hope everyone is doing fine. Talk to you all soon!
Love ya lots!
Hope all is well. Things are good up here. Michael left last Sunday for Clear AFB up here in Anderson, AK. He seems to really like this new job....so much so that we may end up moving there sometime in the future...but, who knows. It's definitely much more remote, but we would be able to have some land. I'm up for any adventures that come my way....
Well, we got snow last week...but things are starting to turn green this week. Anchorage is in the process of its city wide cleanup after the breakup period and things are starting to look much more springlike.
I'm going to scrapbooking camp this coming weekend as well as the following weekend. I can't wait! My friend, Paula, and I are soooo looking forward to it! We had originally just signed up for one weekend, but we figured, what the heck....we were both off and we needed to get out of the house and play a little.
All of us girls are getting together this Thursday for my birthday to go out to dinner. Other than that, I don't know that much about it cuz they are keeping me in the dark. Guess I'll keep you posted....!
Well, I suppose that's it for right now. Talk to you all soon!
Love ya lots!
Hope all is well. I'm doing really good. I got back from scrapbooking camp this afternoon and it was a total blast! So I found out before I made the trip up to the Birchwood Campground that the roads were all really mucky and muddy and no vehicles were able to go in or out. Soooo, we all parked our cars about a mile or so down the road and they brought out some ATVs to haul all of us up to the cabins. They also had an ATV with a trailer on the back to bring up all of our supplies (in which we had placed all of our stuff in black trash bags...we weren't about to scrapbook mud). And, if you know any scrapbookers...especially those going to a 3 day camp...you know that we don't pack lightly. We all got such a kick out of it...and being the scrapbookers that we are....we took lots of pictures of the whole event and are going to send them into Creative Memories to see if we can get it published in their magazine. There were sink holes that were up to two feet deep and mud was everywhere....needless to say, after playing around on the ATVs for a while, most of us had to hit the showers later. And, I even got much more accomplished than I thought I would. And since there were a number of gals who are going to the next camp this coming weekend, we just left all of our scrapping stuff and sleeping bags in a locked cabin so we don't have to haul stuff back and forth. It was sooo much fun! I'll send pictures out later....! Hopefully the roads will be better in a week, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
Well, things are turning green overnight here. Leaves are budding on the trees as well. This also means that we are getting invaded by the Alaska state bird (a.k.a. mosquitoes) like crazy!
Well, everything else is going pretty good....Mike's enjoying his job and I'll probably go up to see him next weekend after camp since I'm off Monday and Tuesday as well. I need to check out this area that has him sooo excited!!!
I'll keep you posted!
Love ya lots!
Well, I am finally back from my long weekend at scrapbooking camp and seeing Michael. Camp was a blast as usual. The roads were still pretty yucky, but 4 wheel drive vehicles could make it into the camp....needless to say, my little Honda Civic was left below and I hitched a ride with one of the gals. I got tons of scrapbooking done as well. I left to drive up to Clear AFB to see Michael right after camp. It's about a five hour drive up there...although it only took me 4 1/2 coming back. For those of you that don't know, Michael is getting back into the military full time as an active reservist in the Air National Guard. He really likes his job up there (and the money is a ton better, too). The base is pretty small but is nice....I'd say it's about 1/4 of the size of FE Warren AFB in Cheyenne, WY where we were stationed...but it could be smaller. However, the base will be expanding with new families moving in over the next few years now that it is not considered a remote location any longer. Michael has a permanent apartment there that is really nice. I brought some things up like pictures and a bedspread of ours to make it more homey. There's a really nice gym there as well and he eats mainly at the cafeteria there....which the food is pretty good now that I've tasted it myself. I met a few of the people that he works with and everyone was very welcoming. We are tossing around some ideas of when and where to move...nothing has to happen soon...and I'll continue to work full time and stay down here in Eagle River until we find something we really like. The bad part is that we won't be seeing a lot of each other in the meantime....so we'll be driving back and forth for a bit. When we do move, I'll go to part time and just temp myself out to different pharmacies...most likely in Fairbanks which would be about 70 miles north. There's not a single pharmacy that we could find in the Healy, Nenana, and Anderson area. I do have a friend that owns a temp agency and he said he can find work for me. There's a clinic on base but only has a Physicians Assistant....I'm a little worried about this, because this basically means no one there for prenatal care or pediatric care for when I decide to have a baby. Mike and I were talking about this to one of his co-workers, and he said they are hopefully going to be bringing in someone who can do this, but it could be a while. We did look at some property while I was up there....it was a cabin on 40 acres of land. We're still deciding if we should lease this house in Eagle River or sell it. Luckily, we have a lot of time to deal with and lots of options. The amenities are pretty scarce living up in that neck of the woods. There's a Shoppette on base, but doesn't carry a lot. There's not a grocery store at all so Michael told me most people drive to Fairbanks every week or two to stock up on what they need for food and whatever...it would definitely take some planning. Some of the places that we were looking at that were for sell were pretty remote and didn't have electricity (run on a generator) or running water. Of course, these things can be fixed if you want to fork out the dough. Guess we just have to decide what we want to gain or give up. We'll keep you posted on what we find...! Next week Michael and I are flying out to Maryland for his sister, Marlene's, graduation from pharmacy school. It will be somewhat of a family reunion since his whole family will be there. We have plans to go to the beach and tour the Washington DC area. I've never been out there....so I'm sure I'll find lots of scrapbooking opportunities....!
Talk to you all later!
Hope all is well. Michael and I are doing great. He surprised me this past Friday and came down for a visit. Things are getting super green up here and the flowers are starting to bloom....it's light out till about 11 o'clock at night...love that! Well anyhoo, Michael and I are flying out to Maryland Tuesday night for a week. His oldest sister, Marlene, is graduating from pharmacy school and we are going out to have a family reunion. We're also going to go to the beach and tour the Washington DC area and whatnot. I haven't been out there so it should be lots of fun and filled with bunches of scrapbooking opportunities!!! We fly back on the 24th... talk to you all then! Toodles!
Love ya lots!
I know it's been forever since I've written...sorry!!! Sometimes I feel like my life is going so fast that it's passing me by! Michael and I are doing pretty good....living 270 miles apart from each other is the pits but we both know there's a light at the end of the tunnel to something better... even though it's probably 6-8 months down the road.
Well anyhoo, our trip to Maryland was a lot of fun. ALL of Michael's family came out to see Marlene graduate from pharmacy school. We did some shopping, toured Washington DC and saw most of the national monuments, went to the beach in Delaware, and stuff like that...
Then over the past holiday weekend, Michael and I met up with four other couples in Paxson (about 280 miles somewhere north in the middle of nowhere) for a camping trip. We all had our ATVs and campers or tents. The guys would go out ATVing and would wear their fishing waders because of all the mud and muck that they were going through...Michael got to break in his new winch on his ATV as well. There was lots of cooking, fishing, sitting around the campfire chit-chatting, and target shooting. I managed to get pretty good with our handgun...I was pretty impressed. And, some of the guys brought out their paint ball guns....who knew they would be sooo much fun!!! Oh! And one of the guys out there had an H2 Hummer and he let me play in it....needless to say...I want one...!
Then last weekend I went up to go see Michael and checked out some property. I really, really liked this place. It's on 10 acres with a two story log cabin (3 bedrooms, 1 bath, large kitchen, office, living room, sitting room, dining room), then it has a guest cottage with a loft bedroom, a garage with a shop, a green house, lots of gardens, and lots of room to play. The people there are moving to Hawaii in Sept. whether the place sells or not. My biggest fear right now is that it will sell before Michael and I are able to buy it. Michael has told me to not get my heart set on this place...but I think it's too late! :) I'll round up some pics to send out of the place.....
Also, Michael's pretty pleased with himself. A couple days ago he was down here and he caught his first King Salmon. 22 pounds and 36 inches.Delicious!
Well, guess that's about it for now!! Talk to you all soon!
Just wanted to drop a note and say "hi"! Everything is going pretty good up here. Work is still going fine...although I'm not working as many hours. My doc decreased my hours to 30 hours a week or so because I was doing about 60 hours and then not going to physical therapy and I was having more pain in my back. So, hence, shorter work weeks....(oh darn!) :) Michael is on a more regular schedule so I am seeing a lot more of him...typically a few days here and there every week or two. But, other than that, not too many things going on...
The weather has been really beautiful lately, and we've been getting some much needed rain the past few days. Last Friday Anchorage/Eagle River was filled with smoke from a forest fire that wasn't even really close to us, but the wind had carried the smoke. It smelled like a camp fire outside all day long and if you didn't know it was smoke, you'd think it was a really foggy day. Outside our bay window in our living room you can see a huge mountain across the valley over the Eagle River, but the smoke was so bad you couldn't even see the mountain at all. But, towards the end of the night the wind had carried most of the smoke away. However, there were a number of patients than ended up in the ER due to asthma attacks and whatnot. Oh! And speaking of the ER, (this happened a couple of weeks ago, but it's still funny), at one of the other hospitals here in Anchorage (Alaska Regional Hosp), there was a moose that waltzed right in through the ER doors, stood around for a bit and then turned around and walked right back out. The security monitor caught it all on tape.....funny huh???
Well, let's see....just been scrapbooking a lot lately and my usual reading...and hanging out with friends from work. We're FINALLY landscaping in about a week or so. Mike's been packaging all the salmon he got when he went dip netting....my garage smells like fish...I wonder if we'll have any bear visitors....
Up in Clear/Anderson, Alaska where Mike is stationed there is a yearly Bluegrass Festival so I'll be heading up to see that in a week or so. And Mike and I want to go to Denali National Park and take the tour and see all the wildlife. But, other than that....things are pretty sedate up here. I'll be sure to send any pictures of any adventures....!
Hope things are well for everyone!!! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!! Love you and miss you!!! Aunt Jan, hope you are healing well from your surgery!!! I think about everyone all the time!!!
All is well up here! I just got home from being in Anderson with Michael over the weekend. Anderson had their annual Bluegrass Festival and it sure was a hoot! My friends Teresa and Jim came up for the weekend as well and stayed in their RV. We had a cook out with them and did salmon on the grill....yummm. Basically just picture tons of people in tents and RVs, lots of ATVs running around, concession stands selling food and drinks and all sorts of gadgets, a few ultralight airplanes flying around, and lots of different bluegrass bands playing all day till about 2 in the morning. Although, Mike and I were feeling a little overdressed in out jeans and t-shirts....guess we didn't get the memo that this was sort of like Woodstock all over again....we weren't all "grunged out" with dreadlocks....hee hee hee. But, like I said, it sure was a hoot watching all those people.
Well, last weekend we had some family, Annie and Ron, come to Anchorage for a short visit. They were doing a big Alaskan cruise vacation and while they were in Anchorage for a day or so, Michael and I met up with them and had a really nice lunch at the Glacier Brewhouse. We talked and talked and just had a wonderful time. Annie and Ron, I hope that the rest of your vacation was everything you expected!!! Can't wait to hear about it all!!!
Michael and I are thinking about different vacations that we want to do....some of the options are....going to Belize to visit my cousin Patty and Sean.....Hawaii.....and now we are tossing around the idea of going next year with our friends Teresa and Jim to Germany, Switzerland, and wherever else they were talking about on a motorcycle touring trip.....guess we'll see what happens!!!
Well, hope all is well with everyone!!! Please keep Marlene and baby in your prayers.....we love you!
Love ya lots!
Leah and Michael
Hope all is well.....I just wanted to tell you a bit about the wildlife up here....
Michael went fishing today up at the "Eklutna Tailrace". The Silver Salmon should be starting their run so he was going to try his hand at pulling a few in. As he was driving up, he spotted a black bear going across the road about 100-200 yards from where he was fishing. He said at first he thought is was a big shaggy black dog, but it was a bear.....just lumbered across the road, took a look at the truck, and lumbered off into the woods. Undeterred from fishing, Mike found that the Silvers weren't too active...but there was a king that kept surfacing in front of him. He did manage to get it to bite, but it got off the hook at shoreline. Bummer. However, with all the salmon Mike has been bringing home, I've been making some fabulous dinners!
And then!!! So, on my way home from work and the grocery store, I was just getting ready to turn onto my street (I was turning off of Driftwood Bay onto Glacier Park for those of you that know where I'm talking about) and there was this police car pulled off to the side of the road. The police car was parked right in front of a dead baby moose. Apparently, someone decided to let their two German shepherd dogs roam free without a leash and the dogs attacked this baby moose. There were some witnesses to what happened (hopefully they can ID the dogs/owner). I ended up meeting one of my neighbors and she said the mama moose was so upset about her baby and whatnot. The police were called and the officer had to end up shooting the baby because it was in such bad shape. So now, the mama is supposedly still in the area. It was just so sad....! :-(
So....let's see...what else is going on....Michael came and met me for lunch today at work and then he helped me box up all of my notebooks, books, hanging folders, and other knickknacks in the pharmacy. We are FINALLY getting ready to remodel the whole entire pharmacy at Providence. I am so excited about it...it's going to look really great and we are going to get all this top of the line equipment. We're even getting some kind of big pill dispensing thing-a-ma-jig....the "Pill-Zilla".....woo hoo!!! Neat-o, huh?
Well, other than that...not much else is happening. I work tomorrow and then I have four days off. On Thursday....if it doesn't rain (it's been doing that a lot lately)...my friend, Wendy, and I are going to rent "Segways" and cruise along the Coastal Trail. It's hard to explain exactly what they are if you don't know what I'm talking about, so if we end up doing it, I'll just send you all pictures....!
Anyhoo...that's it for now...talk to you all later!!!!
Love ya lots!
Leah and Mikey
Well, Michael and I have lots of news for you all!! Michael and I have a brand new niece....Michael's oldest sister, Marlene, just had her baby this past week....although she was a bit early (by about 3 months). Last weekend, Marlene ended up with super high blood pressures, renal failure, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary edema and she and the baby were just in pretty critical condition. On Wednesday morning, Marlene "crashed" and an emergency C-section was performed. Sydney Michaela was born at 7:31 a.m. and weighed 1 pound 14 ounces at birth and was 13 and 1/2 inches long. Teeny tiny! I've attached a picture of mom and baby....and from working with preemies in the hospital, I must say she's looking pretty good for being a 27 weeker. :) Mom and baby are doing better, although little Sydney will be living in the hospital at least for the next couple of months.
Last night I had game night here at the house with some of my friends....although we ended up pretty much just gabbing and munching.....
And then!!! Today....I went with two of my best buddies, Emily and Wendy, to go ride Segways!!! I've attached a picture of all of us if you don't know what they are.....it was sure a hoot!!! These neato contraptions are self-balancing and it took us about 15 minutes or so to get the hang of riding them. They are soooo easy to ride...I just couldn't believe it! It runs on a battery which I think it will last for about 22 hours or so. You just stand on it and you make it go forwards and backwards by just pressing your toes or heels down; to make it turn, you just twist one of the handlebars. Before long, it became second nature to use....and you don't even have to be all that coordinated to ride it!!! We cruised all over downtown Anchorage and then went along Ship Creek and then onto the Coastal Trail. I'm also sending a picture of when we went over the bridge at Ship Creek of some of the salmon. Combat fishing is in full swing up here! It was $35 for 2 hours...which I though was a pretty good deal. I can't wait to go again....I thought this was a pretty nifty contraption seeing how I'm limited to how much walking I can do before my feet and back start killin' me...so now I can just go zooming all over the place!!! The guy that was giving us our tour said he took a little 82 year old lady out shopping in downtown with one of these and she did awesome...pretty cool huh???? He took some pictures of us and he said he's developing a website and may put our pictures in it...hee hee hee...!
Michael just came home this evening and then we just got back from seeing the movie "Dukes of Hazzard".....sure reminded me of when I was a little kid and me and Dave would watch it on TV. Dad and Dave...it has lots of suped up cars in it with big motors....and racing....I think you should go see it!!!
Well, guess that's about it for now....talk to you all soon!!
Love ya lots...
Leah and Michael
Hope all is well. Things are going pretty good up here. I worked for the past three days and then I was off today. And seeing how I enjoyed riding the Segways sooo much, I decided to go ride them again today with my friend Charlene. We had a total blast and then after that we took an hour long trolley ride around Anchorage. It was a pretty nice trip...even though I've lived here for two years I got to see a lot of downtown that I didn't know about as well as other parts of Anchorage and little historical tidbits. Then from there, Charlene and I went to lunch at a cute little cafe that we heard about on our trolley trip. Then, it was off to see my eye doc to pick up my contacts. I've never been one to wear contacts and the last time I tried them was for my wedding.....still can't get over the idea of sticking something on my eyeball....but at least I have them for when I want to go swimming or skiing (anything that involves a face mask of some sort) or when I want to really dress up....
My sister-in-law, Marlene, says my little niece is doing pretty well and is able to hold her now for a bit. I'll keep you posted on that as well...
Well, Mike was here for a few days and I went fishing with him up at Eklutna Lake. The silver salmon are running now and he caught his first silver....which we then had for dinner. Even though there were a number of people at the lake, it was still very peaceful to just sit and watch nature....minus the mosquitoes...nasty little critters....!
Mike will be down on Monday (I think)....and I may just have to drag him with me to go ride the Segways again....
Anyhoo....guess that's about it for now....
Talk to you all soon!
Hope all is well! Things are good up here...not too much going on. I'm back to working full time because we're short pharmacists...but my doc wasn't so hot on the idea, so I see him again tomorrow and get more x-rays.
Our house is finally landscaped....now we just have to hope all the hydro-seeding stuff grows really fast before it gets too cold and kills everything off. And speaking of weather....it's raining almost everyday here...which means I don't have to water the lawn....and temps usually stay in the 60's or so. The mosquitoes are mostly gone as well...woo hoo!
Michael is going a a big moose hunting trip with one of his buddies up at Clear. Hopefully he'll have some good pics to send of his hunting trip.....
Well, not much else to say....just been reading a lot and I'll be going to a scrapbooking camp this month over a weekend.....this one is being held at a Bed & Breakfast and has catered food and whatnot.....and it even has a hot tub....sounds like a lot of fun......but with the accommodations, I'm not sure if I'll get as much scrapbooking done as I normally do at a camp...hee hee hee!
So...I guess in a nutshell....I'm good, Mikey's good, and the cats are fat and happy....
Talk to you all soon!
Love ya lots!
Hope all is well.....things are much better up here this week than they were last week....
Well,.......instead of giving you the really, really,.....REALLY long version of my story.....I'll give you the short, but not so sweet one. So, last week on Wednesday I was in a car accident.....I'm fine....car's not so fine. I was just north of Denali and thankfully Michael was only about an hour away and was able to come help me. I was pretty worried my back would be sore...but I didn't have an ounce of whiplash and my back did just fine. The only amount of pain I felt was where my lapbelt caught my tummy and it felt bruised for a few days but now I'm good as new. Michael and I found out today that my car is being "totaled"......and we just finished paying it off not too long ago!....oh well. Guess we'll be looking for a new one. (Michael said that if this was my attempt at getting a new Hummer.....I've failed...rats!!!) Notice picture....
So, lets see....while I was up visiting Michael.....I saw a black bear and a huge porcupine....and Northern Lights!!! It was soooo beautiful! I also learned a new little trick that may come in handy when I move up there. So, there's this kind of bird up there called a grouse and are hunted quite a bit. They're sorta like a wild chicken but smaller. So, we went over to Michael's friends house for dinner....in which we had grouse and all the fixin's. But, what I learned was how to clean a grouse......so you gotta work with me here and picture this.....Here's how to clean this particular feathered friend....First, you flip the bird over on its back, stand on it's wings, grab a hold of its feet.....and pull. You are then left with this little breast of meat.....I still can't decide if I find this gross or sorta kinda cool....I'll keep you posted. But, I must admit that it wasn't bad eatin'!
Then this past weekend there was a special thing with the Alaskan Railroad called the Blues Train. About six of my friends from the hospital took the train from Anchorage to Seward. On the train they had a "Tiki Bar" setup with a live Blues Band that played the whole way down. Then when we all got to Seward, we checked into our hotel rooms and then went over to this Bar and Grill for a Bar-B-Q. This place was called "The Pit"....and lets just say that its name does it justice. The blues band kept on playing and we played shuffle board through the night and whatnot. Then the next morning we all went out for breakfast and then shopped for a bit and boarded the train back to Anchorage. The scenery from the train was sooo beautiful with all the fall colors happening at the moment.....and it was very relaxing, especially after the hectic days of dealing with the car crash.
What else....oh! I am going to scrapbooking camp this weekend from Friday to Sunday....this one is different from the others because it is being held at a fancy Bed and Breakfast..woo hoo!
Guess that's about it for now.....talk to you all soon!!!
Love ya lots!
Hope all is well...Mike and I are doing great. Mike came home this past weekend so we could go car shopping....and I came home with a car that just said "Buy Me"!!!! I got a 2006 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean Edition....and I just love it!!! Its painted Crystal Gray Metallic and the interior is beige and black leather....
Mike and I were mainly wanting something that has good gas mileage and lots of safety stuff....and this fits the ticket...and someday it will even be a great mommy-mobile.
It's All-Wheel Drive, has a security system, front and side airbags, a self-leveling suspension (Mike would be able to tell you more about that...I just drive the thing), a huge moonroof, big cargo area, fully loaded with all the cool doo-dads....and one of my favorites is that it has heated seats!!! That's so going to come in handy in the wintertime!!!...Woo-hoo! Butt warmers! Oh, the dealership had already installed a subwoofer/amplifier and tweeter kit in it before we even looked at it....and you know that is so going to come in handy when I am jamming to all that rap music I listen to...hee hee hee.....not. But, at least it will make for a really nice sound system. And we even picked up some studded tires for it....
All in all, we are very happy with it.....! Oh, and if you'll look in the pictures...you'll even see that we have GRASS in our yard!!! Now if I can only keep people from driving over it with their cars, it'd be doing much better.....
Let's see...what else. Last weekend at the Bed and Breakfast Scrapbooking Camp was a total blast. The guy that runs it is a chef and he stuffed our tummies to the max. Lots of fun...
Well, not much else is going on...I think I am going to go for a drive....hee hee hee!!!
Talk to you all soon!!
Hope all is well. Things are pretty good up here....although, at the moment, the neighbor's cat is outside one of the windows, and my two cats are having a major hissy-fit!!! You'd think some kids were having a screaming match with the way those three are carrying on....me-ow!
Mike's been down in Colorado for the past week or so elk hunting with his dad and brothers and a couple of friends. The last I heard from them, they got one...so at least they aren't leaving empty handed.
And here's a story for ya.....so, for the past many, many months I've had this "lesion" (for lack of a better medical term to call it) in the corner of my eye...not my eyeball, but in the tissue part above my tear gland. So, anyhoo....it was just bugging me because it was there and wouldn't go away...so I had my regular eye doc take a look at it and since it was so close to my eye and would involve sharp objects going near it, she referred me to an orbital surgeon. So, saw the orbital surgeon....and he ended up telling me that he would have to remove it at the hospital during Day Surgery...because I couldn't seem to NOT freak out when a scalpel was coming towards my eye. (I tend to have this phobia thing going on with my eyes...just don't like things getting too close to them...that's why I wear glasses 99% of the time and not contacts because it takes like an hour for me to get them in and out....)....and, of course, if I could sit still in his office and get it taken care of, it would only be about $250....but going to the hospital to be put under anesthesia would cost $2,500....well, seeing how this year I've paid above and beyond my out of pocket maximum for my back surgery...this would be 100% covered.....so, because I like my eyeballs just how they are...I opted for the hospital visit.....oh, and it got me out of working for 2 days, too...always a bonus...
....oh, hold on.....cats are starting World War 3....that neighbor cat better not shred my screen on my window.....
OK...back to my story....showed up at the hospital and I got prepped for the "surgery"....which really sounds ridiculous having to go under anesthesia for such a small thing...buy, hey, it was free....The anesthesiologist gave me some propofol (used for quick sedation procedures because you wake up really fast from it...in my case, maybe too fast...but I'll get to that....) and some fentanyl and who knows what else....little lidocaine and epinephrine injections around my eye....so glad that I was at least out for that part because I've heard that really stings/hurts). I didn't really think that I had fallen asleep at all....but I must have because I don't remember the injections....however, when the doc came out with his little laser thingy....I started to panic a bit....but couldn't move....maybe the doc saw the panicked look in my eyes and covered one half of my face and then put in this cool dark green contact in my eye to protect it from the laser and so I could just not see what the heck was going on and I settled down just fine. Then after about 30 seconds of the "surgery" I was good to go and went to recovery. My friend Wendy came to visit me (and laugh at me because I was so loopy from the drugs...what are friends for, right?) and I was going to stay with her at her house that night so she could keep an eye on me since Mike was out of town. So, everything went just fine....and the funniest thing through the whole experience...was after the surgery I wanted to find a mirror to see the chunk he had taken out of my eye...and since the left side of my face was pretty much numb/paralyzed....whatever....my eye would not blink. Good thing I had lots of antibiotic ointment in my eye, because I would imagine that would get painful after a while. Then after about three hours, my eye would blink....just not at the same time as the other one...little delayed reaction going on there....and my eyesight was totally shot in my left eye because of some sort of eye drop he put in.....so, you know, I'm just so happy that I am such a source of enjoyment and laughter for all my buds at the hospital so they can see all the cool side effects of these drugs who haven't experienced them themselves....
Had my follow up appointment today...things are fine...eyesight's back to normal....just need to wait for pathology to come back to see what it was.....
So, other than that....things are good...cats are good...and still don't know anything about moving yet.....sigh....
Alrighty, guess that's it for now.....talk to you all soon!!!
Toodles...love ya lots....
Hope all is well...things are going pretty good up here. Not too much going on....
Winter is in full force up here. We finally got a good dumping of snow....but all I can say is, "I want some more!!!" It usually stays around 10-20 degrees for me here in Anchorage/Eagle River but Michael has temps that are typically around negative 20 degrees...burrrrrrrr!!!! Although, I hear it can get to negative 60 for a couple of weeks during the year in the interior....(ask me again why I'm moving up there????) Michael told me today that when he went outside the building at lunch, he got to see the sun rise. I have roughly about 6 hours of sunlight right about now...Michael has less. In December it will go down to about 4 hours of sunlight.
And speaking of moving....Michael and I decided that I probably won't make the big move up till the springtime or so. Buying and selling real-estate slows down during the winter and moving just seems like it would be too much of a hassle and/or possibly dangerous in the winter. Michael's going back to a better schedule where he'll be working 4 days then off for 3 days so I'll be able to see him more.
My eye surgery went fine...the results from pathology said it was a benign cyst. Still have a small lump of scar tissue that's a bit sore but I suppose it will go away in time....
I have my 1 year x-rays for my back at the end of next month...so we'll see how things are progressing from there.
I went to another scrapbooking camp over this past weekend which is always loads of fun. I finally started working on Michael's family book. This is the last big project I have to get done before I have a kid, otherwise, I would never get it done. Although, I am going to do a family history album of my family, but that's something my mom and I are going to have to work together on....
And....Michael and I just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary....and still acting like newlyweds!
OK...so here's a funny story. So, apparently up here in Alaska there is something called the "Roadkill List" where if a moose or caribou is killed, you can get your name on this list to be called to come pick up the animal to butcher for meat. And...on top of this....there is also some kind of list if a moose is killed by a TRAIN, you can get called to pick up the animal as well. (Yes, apparently we eat roadkill...or trainkill...whatever you want to call it...up here in Alaska!) And, I don't know about you, but the whole visual thing is just not working for me because I just don't see how there can be anything left of an animal that is hit by a train. But, apparently there is because Mike's hunting buddy, Eric, called him up to say his name was called from the list and if he wanted any moose meat to come and get it. So, Michael got the front quarter and back strap of the moose. (I didn't really stick around to see him butcher it). (Michael is really embarrassed by me telling you all this stuff....he said people just won't get it....it's the Alaskan way).
And, speaking of Michael's buddy, Eric....so, the base is having a Christmas party and as a fundraiser, votes were being sold for 50 cents a piece to have a pie smooshed in the face of someone you "care" about at the Christmas party (all anonymous, of course). Well....Michael decided that Eric was going to be the winner no matter what....he beat out all the other commanders and supervisors....and Michael told me today that poor Eric is just befuddled on who would fork out that kind of money to have a coconut cream pie stuffed in his face. Apparently, Eric is somewhat of a prankster and he's had this coming from all directions...Michael said, "You hurt the ones you love the most"....ha, ha, ha! In the end, it's all for a good cause for the Clear Enlisted Club. Suffice it to say, Michael and I are paying a significant portion of this year's Christmas party....I better have that day off so I can at least attend!!! :) Michael was at the end of the list with only six votes....we'll have to make sure that changes next year....! Hee hee hee!!!
I'm sending out a picture of some bald eagles that Michael and I saw driving around Eagle River....hence, the name since there are tons out here! Enjoy!
Talk to ya all later!!! Love ya lots!
Leah and Michael
Hope all is well...Michael and I are doing great. He had a FOUR day weekend....which hasn't happened in a long time (where I was actually off of work as well)...so we got lots of time to play together.
Thanksgiving was wonderful...we spent it over at my friend, Wendy's, house....and, of course, we all put ourselves into a food coma. Watched movies and then lounged in the hot tub during the snow....and speaking of snow.....do we have a ton!!! We have well over a foot on the ground...woo hoo!
Then my buddy, Paul, was celebrating his 31st birthday and we all drove up to Wasilla (about an hour away or so) to a German restaurant called Schwabenhoff for "sausage sampler night". It was excellent...and had a great time. Then the next night (last night) we all went to his house for more food and to play pool....he's a bachelor....has a pool table in what I suppose would be his formal dining room.
Michael and I started putting up our Christmas tree and all the trimmings.....which is lots of fun....but a huge process. I decided that I just don't have enough umph this year to put the nine foot tree up....so Michael built this wooden table to put the top half of the tree on....still looks like the big huge Christmas tree from the bay window outside....except I only get to put about half of the 23 stands of lights on it than I normally do....phew!
Well, guess that about does it for now! Talk to you all soon!
Love ya lots!