Saturday, June 26, 2010

Update on Joanie

Many thanks to all who have read our post about my sister Joanie, and have included her in their prayers.  I am happy to report that she was discharged from the hospital yesterday and is now at Sheltering Arms Rehabilitation Hospital for physical and occupational therapy, as she still  has paralysis on her left side.  Her spirits are good, and she told us today that one of her goals is to drive again!  Joanie has the love and support of her family and many friends whose thoughts and prayers have truly made a difference.  I will share her progress with you as she continues her recovery.  

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update, links and pictures

Joanie continues to have myriad  problems.  The doctors installed a filter in her main arteries to keep more clots from entering her lungs and heart.  That procedure went well.  Unfortunately, there appear to be a large number of clots in her lungs. And it was confirmed that she has a small hole in her heart which allowed the clot to pass through to her brain.  That will need to be fixed sometime in the future when she is stabilized.  That and the diagnosis that she has a blocked carotid artery on one side which right now is inoperable keeps us all in a state of constant fear and worry.  But as of Saturday afternoon, she is resting well.

On a lighter note, for folks that didn't see the Style Weekly article about the Richmond Flying Squirrels, here is a *link* with a picture of Joanie working the stands.  She loves working there and having people ask to have their pictures taken with her. We're hoping she'll get back there one day.

Here we are at dinner after a long day at the hospital.  We're holding up as good as possible.  Having everyone around really helps.  Bill flew in from Florida yesterday afternoon to help out.

Life Changes

It's amazing how life changes so quickly.  Plans are made.  Lines are drawn on maps.  And then...
For those who haven't been notified, Val's youngest sister, Joanie, had some shortness of breath and, thank goodness, after some pressure from her sister Mary, the doctor finally agreed to do a CAT scan. It was apparent after the test that she was in immediate need of medical attention due to clots in her lungs.  She arrived at Henrico Doctor's Hospital and we all rallied around her.  That was Wednesday.  On Thursday there seemed to be some improvement in her condition, but at 3:45 PM, a clot traveled through a small hole in her heart and made it to the right side of her brain causing a stroke.  Mary and a nurse were with her so she immediately got any medical help she needed.  But despite all the care, she still remains in critical condition with loss of feeling in her entire left side.  The good news is that she still has her communication skills.  Her sense of humor and strength of spirit are still there.  But she has a long way to go.  She is going to need your support and prayers for a long time.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


It's been a different few days in a sticks and brick environment.  Its been eight months since we slept in a house.  My, how has time has flown by.  Although we feel very comfortable here in Fenwick Island at our family house, there is no regret about our move to the RV.  It's just different.  In a good way.
I'm still an early riser, a holdover from years of police work, so I took a picture of the sunrise from the lower deck yesterday:

And upper deck this morning:

Including this one with a few dolphins lazily swimming by:

Friday, June 11, 2010

National Geograhic

(First, an apology for the quality of the pictures.  Val and I forgot to bring our cameras on our walk, so these were done with my phone.)
Wednesday we took a ride to DC where we met up with Matt and took a tour of National Geographic where he is working as an intern in the book division.  We were able to get to some areas not commonly seen including the book layout room and the Nat Geo library.  It was fascinating to see how much work goes into creating, organizing and publishing one of National Geographic's books.  It's no wonder that they are the gold standard for photo and travel books.

This is the original building built in 1888 which is still used and is part of the complex.

Requisite White House shot I took during our walk at lunch time.

After the tour, we took the Metro back to Chris and Nancy's house on Capital Hill where we had a variety of great Belgian ales followed by a wonderful steak dinner accompanied by a fantastic Cabernet that Chris brought up from his wine cellar.  Needless to say, we were ready for a good nights rest.

Then it was off to Fenwick (where I sit right now watching the sun rise over the ocean) for a few days so that we can finish getting the house ready for the rental season.  We should be here until Monday when we head back to Gloucester.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Back to VA

We've arrived in Gloucester.  And it's been a nice surprise.  The Thousand Trails resort here is beautiful.  We see the Piankatank River from our site and there's a large lake for fishing and inland boating if that's your thing.

Tomorrow we head to Richmond for an early appointment to get the truck aligned.  Then we'll spend a good portion of the day with my folks at Westminster.  It's been almost 4 months so we're excited about the visit.  Neither Val or I have ever been out of Virginia for 4 months before.  And we've never not worked for 6 months!  New things all around.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Free at last... And a big day for Val.

Yes,we escaped from Florida this morning and made it all the way to Brunswick, Georgia. I know, it's only about 5 hours, but it's good just to be on the road again, and after all, we're not in a hurry. 
And as for Val, she drove the truck up 95 towing the RV!  She did a great job, but was a little frazzled when the big rigs passed by.  But that too will, well, pass. 
This was the first time that I was able to sit and relax in the passenger seat.  Not only that, but while in Florida I finished tying in to the 12 volt system which allowed me to power the air card, wireless router and the cell amplifier from the batteries as we go down the road.  So now we have great wifi internet access in the truck.  As we passed several interesting places (such as the cooling towers near Jacksonville that we thought was a nuclear plant - actually gas power), we checked them out on the net.  Pretty cool!
Tomorrow it's off to Dillon, SC for a day and then to Gloucester, VA where we will trek into Richmond to see family and friends.  Don't be surprised when we show up at your door...