Thursday, April 26, 2012

Things are different, just saying...

Random observations since the move:

I can throw away recyclables with reckless abandon!  No more traipsing to the recycle container to throw away the smallest scrap of cardboard so I don't single-handedly ruin the planet.  "Well, Sherri, if you had only recycled that Orbit gum package, you could have saved us all from total annihilation!"  Someone else can take that pressure for awhile, thank you.

Dish Network is infinitely superior to Time/Warner cable.  Who knew a DVR and a "favorites" list of channels could bring so much peace and contentment into your life.  Unsightly satellite dish attached to my house, I will never take you for granted again.

There is a distinct learning curve when using a new stove and unfamiliar pots and pans.  Thin cookware + multi-tasking = burnt offerings.

I can no longer use trash day to set my internal clock.

There is no such thing as north, south, east, or west when you live in a forest.  It sure would be helpful if one  could hover above it all for a bit to get a sense of where everything is in relation to each other.  Where's a good ol' mountain when you could really use one?

Colorado experiences a freakish amount of sunshine--mind sharing a bit with the rest of the us??  Well, at least until I get back.

When you get the feeling that you are missing something, you probably are.  Nothing like blowing off your first mandatory meeting with the transplant group to make a good first impression.  Just too many things to remember.

A GPS doesn't necessarily choose the easiest way to a destination.  But even though Glenda, our GPS tour guide, takes me on less-than-stellar routes, I'd be lost without her!

Dish rags don't automatically dry overnight.

A non-smoking apartment only means that no one was allowed to smoke in it recently.  Essential oils, Febreeze, and open windows can help but nothing eliminates "stale."

Now when I see a  "Box Tops for Education" coupon on my food container, I don't have to cut it out or feel guilty for wishing I could pretend not to see it.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Looks like we made it...

To steal a few lines from Barry Manilow, we have not only made it to North Carolina but we also made it through the rain!  (It has been raining for the past four days and can stop anytime Colorado sunshine has spoiled me rotten.)  We arrived in Durham late Saturday night.  After unloading the SUV and making a run to the nearest grocery store, we fell into bed.  Move to Durham--accomplished!

We stopped a few points along the way to take in the sights.  We took a tour through the Winter Quarter's Visitor Center (Nebraska) and saw the beautiful temple at the top of the hill and the old Mormon burial grounds at the base. I have one ancestor who was born in Winter Quarters and another, Elizabeth Young, who passed away there and is listed on the burial marker.  Very cool--makes genealogy come alive.

At the visitor center with our tour guide, Sister S from Tokyo. 
The Winter Quarters Temple

Our next stop included another temple, the new Kansas City Missouri Temple.  Since this temple is brand new, we were able to tour it during the open house.  How awesome is that??!!  This is the area where Rheid's grandfather helped build up a branch of the church.  He would have been thrilled to participate in all the festivities associated with the new temple--never dreaming that from such humble beginnings, the church would grow so much in that area.  The inside of the temple was beautiful and the whole experience made me even more anxious for the time I can participate in the Fort Collins Temple open house.  Hurry builders, let's get moving!
After going through the open house for
the Kansas City Temple
This didn't start out to be a LDS Temples of the Midwest Tour but were we ever surprised the next day to round a curve on the interstate and see yet another temple, the St. Louis Missouri Temple.  We took the next exit, totally annoying our GPS tour guide we lovingly call Glenda, and made our way back to see this one up close as well.  Very beautiful.

Rheid at the St. Louis Temple
The next night, Friday the 20th, found us pulling into Nashville,Tennessee.  We were able at 6:30 p.m. to purchase tickets for the 7:00 p.m. show of the Grand Ole Opry!  Thanks to my father's cultural training, I knew just about every song performed in the next two hours.  It was a blast.  We saw Little Jimmy Dickens, Diamond Rio, John Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, The Whites, Jean Shepard, Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Mark Wills, and more.  I died and went to hillbilly heaven, clapping and singing all the way.  The next morning we wanted to see more of the sights around town, including the Nashville Temple, but it was cold and rainy and we had a long last day of driving ahead of us so we pressed on.

In front of The Grand Ole Opry
Riders in the Sky open the show.
Audience members at the Opry

We passed two ballparks along the way as well, the KC Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals.  Both looked like beautiful stadiums.  Made us a touch homesick for Coors Field and our beloved Rockies.

The Kansas City Royals ballpark

Sunday we did a bit of unpacking and went to church.  We are now members of the Chapel Hill 1st Ward.  People seemed nice.  Found out the only members who live close by actually live in the apartment directly above us.  A tender mercy.  They are a cute young couple with two adorable little girls.  I can hear Annabelle and Reece running around upstairs and it makes me smile.

I miss home already but am trying not to get too sad about it.  We are lucky to have cell phones, facebook, and Skype to keep us better connected to family and friends.  Well, we are here and to quote Barry yet again, it's a miracle.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What a day...

Today has been full of cleaning, packing, overcoming a touch of food poisoning (thanks Olive Garden), and saying good-byes to friends and neighbors.

My sweet friends put together a Well-Wishing/Dessert Fundraiser for me tonight.  We had about 150 people come to the park to eat treats, purchase desserts, donate money and send me off with lots of love and good wishes.  When I first walked up to the event, I was overcome with emotion as I saw how much work these fabulous ladies put in for my benefit.  Pies, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, lemon bars, cereal treats, and more filled the tables of the outdoor pavilion--if it is made of sugar, it was there!   It all looked delicious.

Thanks to their efforts and the kindness of those who donated, we raised close to $3,000.  Isn't that just amazing?  You all rock!!  But the best part was being able to see my friends and feel of their love and support.  So many kind words of encouragement--I wish I could record them and hear them play in a continuous loop in my head all the way to North Carolina.

Yesterday I was interviewed by a reporter from our local paper.  She was so nice and even submitted the story quickly so it could be published in today's paper.  What a tender mercy that was.  A few people mentioned that's how they heard about the party.  One gentleman, who had a sister with CF, stopped by the park to wish me well because of the article.  I also had a sweet phone call this morning from a lady who had a niece and a nephew with CF and she wanted me to know that she was praying for me.  The world is full of kind hearted people.

Link to the article in the Coloradoan: 

So tomorrow morning we hit the road in our loaded Escape...Duke or Bust!

Monday, April 2, 2012

And so begins week 3...

Today I began week three of pulmonary rehab.  I'm feeling confident with the routine and the equipment now.  The therapists are great and my fellow rehaber's made me feel welcome right away.  Here's a shout out to Vern, Hal, Omar, Henry, Charlie, Leon, Mary Jane and Barbara.  I am the youngest of the group but I find myself trying to keep up with a couple of them even though they have 20-30 years on me.  We work out to a mix of oldies tunes including such favorites as Roll Out the Barrel, The Bunny Hop, My Little Redheaded Airhead, and a smattering of rousing polkas.  Some of the songs just make me crack up.

After taking an initial blood pressure reading, I'm off to the treadmill which I have lovingly dubbed 'the dreadmill' because it takes so long and goes nowhere.  Today my time was upped to 22 minutes.  Definitely my least favorite.  In between each exercise you go to a central chair location to check your O2 sats and heart rate.  Next I'm off to the wall pulleys.  Here I do two minutes of arm lifts then I turn around and do two more minutes of arm punches, kinda like a boxer.  O2 check.

Then I get on the Biodex which is kind of like a bicycle but easier on the knees and it has your arms moving as well.  I start out like gang busters cuz it's fun but near the end of my ten minutes, I am much slower and the fun is surely gone.  O2 check again.  Then I head over to the Arm Ergo which is a fancy way to say your arms are pedaling. I'm still at the lowest tension on that one and I can only imagine the torture training I'm in for when they decide my arms are ready to handle more work.  After 10 minutes of this, my arms are feeling like noodles.  Floppy noodles.  O2 check once again.

Now I head over to the Cybex machines.  I work out different arm and leg muscles in repetitions of ten on each of the 5 machines.  These are my favorites.  I think I even saw what might pass for a muscle while I worked on them today.  O2 check time.  Now for my last and quickest stop:  the dumbbells.  Using the 4 lb weights, I do some bicep curls and arm lifts.  Yawns generally start breaking out at this point.  I am getting tired.  One last O2 monitor and a final blood pressure check and I am DONE.  Call it a work out!

One of my challenges is keeping my blood sugar in check.  I tend to lose it about Cybex time no matter what I eat.  Today I paused my insulin pump and that seemed to help so I think I'm on to something there.  I also  had a good lung bleed (hemoptysis) on Friday while out running an errand and was a bit concerned I might stir things up again while exercising today but everything went fine.

So now you know what keeps me out of mischief for three afternoons a week.  They tried to make me go to rehab and I said, "yes, yes, Yes."