Thursday, March 10, 2011

No, NOT Catholic Bowling

Last I wrote, I had just discovered the great crock pot secret... I can bake in it!  Since then I have made lots of mini loaves of sweet breads and cakes, and a most delicious batch of brownies.  Life couldn't get much better than this!  But, life consists of more than having fun with a couple of crock pots, and we have been having our share of fun!

Last Friday I left home in the wee hours of the morning to meet my step mother at the hospital where Dad was to undergo the procedure to place a stent in his carotid artery.  The drive was nice and easy, and I arrived at the hospital just a few minutes after Dad had been taken back for the pre-op prep.  I visited with Lynne for a while until the buzzer they'd provided her went off, alerting us that we could go back and spend some time with Dad while he awaited his turn.

The day was a long one, but I had a really nice time visiting with Lynne, and with Dad after the procedure.  The great news was that Dad did well and the artery, once 90% blocked, was restored to fully functioning flow.  Friday night, after waiting more than six hours after the procedure, Dad's room was finally ready and he was admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay, to ensure all was well before releasing him on Saturday.

Now the trip from the "cath lab holding" (NOT "Catholic Bowling" as Lynne and I both thought they'd said) to his room on the 4th floor was quite exciting.  By this time, Dad had been able to get up and walk around a bit, but they required the trip to the room be made in bed.  Lynne and I carried the bags of clothes and belongings, and followed the nurse who steered the bed toward the elevator.  It was almost immediately clear that the cath lab holding room was too small for all of us, so Lynne and I ducked out into the hallway, tucking ourselves as much out of the way as possible.  With a strong push, the nurse managed to get the bed to roll toward the cath lab holding door....and with a very loud thwack and shudder, the bed hit the door jamb....

No complaints from Dad, but I certainly cringed.  The nurse tried again, and the bed hit the wall again.  She was pushing for all she was worth, and the bed's wheels were like those on the shopping carts I inevitably manage to get when I make my Walmart runs.  The harder she pushed forward, the more the wheels wanted to go sideways.  At one point the nurse managed to get the bed rolling so wildly that it actually slammed into me, pushing me up against the wall.

Eventually, we all ended up coaxing that ridiculous bed to the elevator, onto the elevator and finally off the elevator onto the fourth floor.  Before we made it to the room, the nurse insisted Dad be moved into a different bed, one they could actually control.  And so, when he finally got to his room, it was in a new bed, and he was complaining of a little headache.... ummmmm.... I wonder if the bumper car ride had anything to do with that!!!

Nevertheless, it was like "old home week" for Dad and Lynne as they visited with several of the nurses who had worked with Dad a month ago when he'd had his stroke.  Everyone was in pretty good humor and Dad was happily telling stories of his last stay.  Though he seemed so vulnerable to me as he lay in that hospital bed, his quick wit, his ridiculous puns which required us to retrace whatever we just said to "get" the joke, assured me that Dad IS on the mend.

After he'd eaten his supper, Lynne and I left Dad to take a nap, and she and I went out to share a meal at a local restaurant.  It was a nice relaxing meal and a nice way to end the day.  I made the three hour drive back home, arriving here just after midnight, happy I'd made the trip, and happier still that the procedure had been as ho-hum as anyone could hope for.

When I returned home, I found that the plans to pour the "cement slurry" inside the old farmhouse had been put off for a couple of weeks.  Though the contractor had wanted to do it Friday, since he would be working on another job site this week, he and Joe agreed, we were just not yet ready for the pour.  We still have some prep work.  So things move along a little more slowly than we would all like, but I am sure it is better this way.  Nothing like this should be rushed.

With our week off from the farm house renovation, we turned our focus back to the road building, which has been a constant task since we bought this place a year ago.  Tuesday we took delivery of 20 tons of road dirt, 20 tons of crush and run, and 20 tons of #68 gravel.....  The deliveries began at 7:00 AM and by noon Joe was working the roads.  He worked both Tuesday and Wednesday until after dark.  Under the threat of torrential rains, he wanted to get as much completed as possible.
Deliveries of 60 tons of road materials
Road Building
Spreading Road Dirt
Making headway
And another road....enough for day 1
Day 2 starts with digging a trench
to bury a conduit under another road

And is temporarily delayed
by a flat tire on the lawn tractor cart....
Perseverance... road #3 is looking good
Adding a layer of Crush and Run
under one carport, as night falls
So, the rains began last night and have been pounding us all day.  Our place is flooded, of course and the newly laid roads are puddling, though not washed away, yet.  I recall last year when we were buying this place, and remarking about how wet it was.... the locals all told us the weather had been unusually wet that year, and not to over react..... I suppose they would NOW tell us it has been an unusually wet TWO years....

And I kid you not, three weeks ago when this place was burning with wildfires, the folks on the news kept reminding us of the fact that we were in a drought.... HUH???? Well, I'll be happy when the dry weather shows up and sticks around awhile.... enough rain, enough snow, enough cold already!

(Time to go get the latest batch of brownies out of the crock pot.)


The Griper said...

he grins, you'll get so good at using those crock pots, you'll either forget how to use a oven again or else won't want to. :)

Gorges Smythe said...

Good roads are appreciated about this time of year. Hope things continue going well with your dad.

Sharon said...

So glad to hear that your Dad has been "repaired" and is on the mend! It sounds like he's getting to be himself, and that's so great.

That road work looks like it took some time, I hope it holds up and the rains this Spring don't require it to be worked on and worked on.

I don't think I like your contractor.

You are sure making good use out of the crock pots! You won't need a stove in your kitchen in the farmhouse.... :-)

Vicky Bell said...

great post, as always, but you forgot to include the crockpot brownie recipe. Please!

Louise said...

Mmmmm, yes! I second the request for the crockpot brownies.

Glad your Dad got through his operation in good shape.

Chris said...

Judy, I applaud the work Joe is doing, laying the roads with your small backhoe, wow!! Certainly looks like he knows what he is doing. I have done similar work many times and know what it takes! Give him and you an atta boy/girl from me.

Feral Female said...

What a nice looking road!

Judy's Corner said...

LOL TG, I suppose I am having more fun with crock pots than a person ought to, eh? You might be right... I might never go back to the oven!

Judy's Corner said...

Gorges, you are not kidding... we have been working hard to get some usable roads on the property... in this wet "season" we could not move without them!

Judy's Corner said...

Sharon, yes, it is nice that Dad is progressing well. I'll know he is back to himself when I see him out tending his "earth box" gardens. He loves those things and can grow about anything in them!

Judy's Corner said...

Hey Vicky,
I just use the brownie mix off the shelf, but make it like the cake brownies... really delicious out of the crock pot... soon will start experimenting with recipes, but for my initial forays into the crock pot baking I thought it prudent to use tried and true store bought mixes.

Judy's Corner said...

Thank you Louise... Dad is doing well and I will get more adventurous with the recipes in the very near future... stay tuned!

Judy's Corner said...

Cellllllman! Joe is the MAN when it comes to making roads... (or is that he just really likes driving that tractor?????) LOL One day we will be able to just sit back and enjoy what we have worked hard to create.... in the meantime... this weekend looks like LOTS of tilling and planting of trees!

Judy's Corner said...

FF, I agree.... Joe is making some very nice roads!