Monthly Archives: October 2018

Be Anxious for Nothing

Anxiety?  What is it?  I think a synonym for anxiety is worry. Does it do any good?  Does it accomplish anything?  The last few days I have felt less than 100%.  I am going to bed earlier, waking up about the same time—thus getting more sleep than usual, and I am still feeling tired.  

Last night Dennis asked me what might be the cause this?  He uses the word worry.  Unfortunately, “worry” does not describe it.  I am not fretting about anything.  He started listing the things that may have me worrying—the house still on the market, my upcoming hip replacement surgery, wanting to be in Arizona, completing the furnishing of the house, deciding what to do with our stuff at this house, completing my quilt.

Well, none of this do I “worry” or fret about.  As I am thinking about these things, I realize that there is a higher level of anxiety I am feeling right now.  What usually helps me is talking through things to consider what I have control of and what I don’t have control of, so here I go:

42922900_10217011142768434_8815470832315793408_oThe house still on the market – I love this home in Missouri, but I really want to sell this home.  When we sell this home, we will rent an apartment or home in Mid Missouri to continue to stay near Dennis’s mom.  Not everything in this home will fit there, and so there will be a second round of downsizing.  Should I do the 2nd round of downsizing before we leave for Arizona?  Do I make this house really look and feel empty?  I always worry about how prospective buyers will view the house, and almost emptying it makes me concerned.  Maybe it shouldn’t.  I really want this house sold very soon.  It would relieve a lot of my concerns.  I don’t think I am losing sleep about this, but I also know that unconsciously or maybe very consciously, I really want to move quickly to the next new chapter of my life.  As I am writing this, I realize that my breathing has changed—feeling the stress—so maybe I am worried about this.  I just pray the right family will love this house as much as we have, and the right family will show up soon, and help me breath normally again!

My upcoming hip replacement surgery – I am due to have my hip replaced on Monday, November 5.  I have full confidence in the doctor’s ability to accomplish this task, but I do not really know how I will feel when it is completed.  It is painful now, especially when imageI try to sleep.  Laying down is so uncomfortable.  I cannot lay my leg straight when lying down—it just hurts from my hip to my knee.  Standing up straight doesn’t hurt like that.  I think that when I lay down, my pelvis must shift to being flat on the bed making me so uncomfortable.  Although standing doesn’t hurt, standing for a long period of time, will cause aching.  But, what does it feel like when the surgery happens.  I will have an incision.  That always hurts.  The doctor will cut the bones—that can’t feel good after I wake up.  I asked the nurse at the hospital the other day, when I was getting my pre-op bloodwork, etc, what does the pain feel like after surgery?  I am sure it is a different kind of pain than I feel now.  Her reply was that she never had this kind of surgery, but what she has heard from patients is that it feels like someone is sitting on your hip.  Hmm, doesn’t sound great, but if it is short in duration, I guess it’s okay.  If I can start putting weight on that leg going up and down steps, if I can lift my leg without help, I guess a short duration of someone sitting on my hip is okay.  

IMG_8672Completing the furnishing the Arizona home – This one doesn’t not give me real stress—I don’t think!  Most of the furniture for the interior is purchased, much of it delivered, and some waiting in a warehouse for us to return, and then be delivered.  The outdoor patio furniture is selected, and I just need to make a phone call to order it.  I am always afraid of ordering on the phone—I want them to be sure to fully understand what I am ordering.  The 20181016_115148_previewpatio furniture company knows I am going to call them around the end of the month to order.  There is about a six week period for the furniture to be ready for delivery.  I worry a little that it will all fit exactly as I envision it.  The guy who designed our landscaping has seen what I plan to order, and he said it will look great, so what am I worried about?  (So maybe I am worrying).

44585758242_98a9928dfc_zDeciding what to do with the stuff in this house – As I mentioned before, I am concerned about how much I empty the house out of its furnishings, and what to do with all the patio and pool furniture.  I think I was kind of hoping the new buyer would offer to buy the pool furniture so I don’t have to figure out what to do with it, but I don’t have a new buyer.  I need to let go of the idea that the new buyer would be happy to get fairly new great furniture discounted around the pool.  We do have a plan for if the house sells while we are in Arizona.  The plan will work better the less I have here.  My concern is, what if our house doesn’t sell very soon?  I surely don’t want to get rid of the outdoor furniture if we might need it next summer.  I surely don’t want to empty out the guest rooms if we may need them next summer?  Okay, maybe there is a bit of anxiety surrounding this.

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The partially completed quilt top

Completing my quilt – I started a “stained glass” quilt a couple years ago.  By starting it, I mean I made all the squares.  Then I put it away, because other things became a priority.  When I bought the new bed for the guest room in Arizona, I thought that this quilt would look great on this bed.  I came home and decided to put the squares together to make it fit a queen size bed.  I hope my calculations are correct, and I hope it turns out as great as I picture it in my mind.  The other day I purchased the fabric to make the boarders, and the fabric for the back of the quilt.  If you ever wonder why bedspreads are so crazy expensive, it’s because of all the fabric it takes to make one!  This quilt is no different.  I would like to finish the complete top before I have surgery.  Then I can take it to the lady who I use to do the quilting part, and leave it with her, and hope she has time to complete it before I leave for Arizona.  

None of these things are really a huge stressor, but the combination may be what is causing me to feel the way I do.  Adding them all together makes me want to go back to bed!  Okay, so I learned a long time ago about a few really important lessons about stress:

  • One day at a time – don’t over think and go past today.  Do what I can today, and let go of what I don’t accomplish today.  Tomorrow will be another day—just repeat.
  • There are only some things I can control.  Let go of anything I cannot control.  So, what can I control?  
      • I can control sorting through my things, and deciding what I can let go of today, and what I need to hold onto for the next round.  
      • I can let go of the whole surgery thing other than keeping myself healthy up to the day of surgery, and do everything in my power to help recover, and STOP worrying about the pain—the pain from the surgery will be temporary, unlike the pain I would have continually if I didn’t do the surgery.  
      • I can do nothing to get a buyer to make an offer on the house—even a contingent offer would be great, but I have no power to make any of that happen.  So, I keep my house clean in case a buyer wants to see it, I keep letting people know it is for sale, because at some time someone is going to know someone who may be interested in purchasing it.  
      • I will get to Arizona soon enough, and I really need to be in Missouri to recover from my surgery.  
      • Once I call and order the patio furniture for the Arizona home, I can let that go.
      • I just have to cut the border and sew it together.  How tough is that?  Not at all!

I have a favorite verse in scripture that really speaks to all of this.  I need to reflect on that verse.  In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul is giving his final words in a letter to the Christian church in Philippi.  He was probably in a Roman prison writing this letter to a congregation he helped established which is located in today near the border of Greece and Macedonia.  This is really impactful when you realize he is encouraging others while sitting in prison.  He says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  

When I reflect on the Apostle Paul’s words, I realize what he is saying is to be thankful for what we have.  Be willing to let God know what we want, with a thankful heart.  For me the most important thing is what he says at the end, that if we do so, always remembering he said with a thankful heart (not demanding), that God will give me peace that transcends all understanding.  Wow!  God doesn’t promise to give me exactly what I ask for — what good parent always falls to the demands of their children.  That would be bad parenting.  The difference is, that God will give me peace about what I ask.  It is a peace that is beyond understanding.  Have you met someone who had real peace during a difficult time and you wonder, “Wow, how can they be so peaceful with what all is going on around them?”  That’s the kind of peace God will give me if I ask with a thankful heart.

I guess I have been feeling anxiety, but not because of one big thing—because of several little things.  Yes, they are all little in the scheme of things.

Thanks for letting me “talk” this out.  I am grateful that I have a personal God, who transcends all these things, and can give me peace.  On that, I shall stop, and start doing the things I can do, and let go of the things I cannot do.

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Emptying Our Nest

Autumn is upon us in Missouri.  The leaves are starting to change from vibrant green to bold shades of orange, red, and yellow.  The temperature has dipped, needing a sweater during the day or a light coat in the evening.

We closed the pool last week.  The pool company comes out and does something magical so the pipe won’t freeze.  The electric cover is closed, and will be opened next spring when the pool folks return to reverse whatever they did in the fall.

organic gardenerThe outdoor plants are struggling as the temperature goes up and down.  The first frost will knock them off.  Most of my plants will not return next spring.  I have many pots of flowers around the pool deck.  I do have perennials planted in the ground, and they will return every year bigger and better than before.

17411I have never really been a plant person.  My first attempt of growing outdoors was in the early 70’s.  I had moved to my first home and decided there was a lot of room to put in a big garden at the back of our yard.  Organic gardening was a new concept to me, although any kind of gardening was a new concept to me.  I purchased the book, “The Organic Gardener.”  I also had a great book called “The New York Times Book of Vegetable Gardening.”  That book was great—it listed each kind of vegetable, how to grow it, what to feed it, when to harvest it.  It was my guidebook that year.

We rented a rototiller, and tilled the ground.  My cousin who was living on a property that had once been a turkey farm, offered to bring a truckload of composted turkey 1521816052592manure.  It was delivered, and we again tilled it into the ground.  Then it was time to plant.  I started tomatoes by seed indoors.  I purchased peat pots and potting soil, and seeds from Burpee.  I planted the seeds in the peat pots, set them in pans, and placed them in plastic bags in the sun in the bay window of my dining room.  I didn’t remove the plastic bags until the plants had sprouted and had some growth.  The moisture from the planting and watering were enough to stay within the plastic.  It was like a greenhouse.  The plants stayed warm and moist.fertilizing-corn-home-garden

What I didn’t know is how many tomatoes to plant, so I planted close to 60 plants, half being nice big eating tomatoes, and the other half Roma tomatoes that are good for cooking.  I planted about four rows of corn.  My book said I needed several rows so that the corn could pollinate each other.  I also planted some cantaloupe and watermelons, but they didn’t survive.  Eventually, the “organic” method did not get rid of all the pests eating my crops, so I gave up and sprayed them with something that probably stunted our growth for years!

This “huge” garden became rather overwhelming for me to take care of with having two little ones in the home.  I made a deal with my sister, that if she helped me IMG_3029weed, mulch, and harvest, she could have half of the crop.  Good thing that happened, we both made lots of tomato sauce, we froze corn for the winter.  On top of that, I had an apple tree in the yard.  It was rather old, and in fact, it only bore apples for us for one year—that year.  We shared the apples from the tree.  

It was fun that year having my green thumb.  I never had another garden like that.  I continued producing children, and I just didn’t have the time or the energy to try my hand at gardening again.  Over the years I have tried small gardens and container gardens of tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, but I was quick to realize, I am not a farmer.  Growing food eludes me.  I plant, water, feed, and share my crops with the critters.  It is cheaper for me to buy the vegetables at the store, or if lucky, at a farmer’s vegetable booth.

I have found that I am much better with flowers.  I stayed skeptical of any flora because I felt I just couldn’t grow anything.  Then people in my life started passing away, and I was accumulating plants.  When my mom died, I received a beautiful shefflera plant, and gave it to my dear friend, Susan, because she had windows in the right places, and she knew how to tenderly take care of plants.  By the time my dad and my sister passed away, I lived in a house with great windows, and I received plants, and started caring for them.  It is funny how I know what plant it is, and from whom I received it.

0 Three plantsWhen I married Dennis he also had a few plants, from his dad’s funeral, and his wife’s funeral.  I brought my “funeral” plants when we married, and I named them all so I could keep them straight.  So, I had two Andrew (my dad) plants — one a miniature shefflera from friends of mine, and a philodendron from work.  I have a Judy (sister) plant—a peace lily plant given to me from my professional association where I was president at that time.  So, 0 Jessie & WRthen Dennis had Joann (wife) which was also a peace lily, but that one had broader leaves than “Judy” so it was easy to tell them apart.  Last year my newly acquired sister-in-law’s mom passed away, and they had so many plants, they handed me one to take home—so “Jessie,” also a peace lily joined the family.  “WR” (Dennis’s dad) was also a philodendron, and it again, was different than the Andrew one, so it was easy to identify.  Along with that we had a giant crown of thorns that bloomed beautiful pink flowers and got enormous every summer.  Dennis and Joann had taken a small cutting years ago from a vacation in 0 Andrew #2
Florida, and this plant flourished.  When my friend from high school, who owns a plant nursery, saw this plant, he gave me a little bitty crown of thorns—in a year it also more than doubled in size.

All these named and unnamed plants live in our screen porch or on our deck in the spring, summer, and early autumn, before the frost.  I knew that this year would be our last with them all.  We are going to be in Arizona from January to May.  The plants are too numerous and too big to transport them back and forth.  Last week was time to give them away.

We loaded a small trailer and headed to St. Louis to deliver plants to several people who offered to take them.  They also know that these plants were very meaningful to me.  c of tWhen I watered and fed, WR, Andrew, Judy, and Joann, I felt like I was honoring and remembering them.  I have never met WR or Joann, but they were important in my husband and my step-son’s lives, so they are important to me.  I was a bit teary eyed as I handed these plants over, but I know they are in good hands.

I thought we were done, and then I saw Dennis cut a piece of the large crown of thorns.  He plans to put it in a small pot.  Hopefully, it will take root, and we will try to plant it outdoors at our Arizona home.

After we delivered them all, Dennis turned to me and said, “We are now truly empty nesters—we have no children, no animals, and no plants to any longer care for.  We are now ready to move forward.  Hopefully, our home will sell soon, and we can close that chapter as we are opening a new one.

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What’s Cookin’?

While I am in Missouri I am working on the list of things I plan to take to Arizona when we go at the end of the year.  I will still have a home in Missouri, so I cannot strip out this house completely. I have a few cookbooks, but I have decided that for the time being, I will keep  most of them in Missouri.

bettyI got thinking about the cookbooks and recipes I have used over the years.  I learned to cook by instruction from my mother and using “Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook.”  She (Betty, not my mom) was the gold standard when I was a teenager.  My mom cooked basic food, and what she cooked was very good, but she didn’t go far out of her comfort zone to try new and unusual recipes.  Her desserts existed of oatmeal cookies, nut chiffon cake, and pies.  The cake was her signature dessert.  It takes a lot of talent to make one, and as much as I bake, I have not been able to accomplish that task.  The is the one baked dessert that alludes me.  My mom couldn’t bake a pie, or should I say, she couldn’t make a pie crust.  She would purchase pie crust sticks that looked like a butter or margarine stick, and roll out a not so tasty pie crust.  We still enjoyed her pie.  I mean, can you make a bad pie?  No, but you can really work to make an excellent pie.  Back to cookbooks.  My sisters and I used Betty Crocker to learn to make the things other “Americans” were cooking, like chocolate chip cookies, a new casserole, things that weren’t in my Serbian mother’s repertoire.  

Instead of taking a group of cookbooks to Arizona, and leaving a group of cookbooks in Missouri, the one cookbook that will go with me will be a revised one from one I first put together in 1993.  My two oldest sons had moved out of the house and moved to their own place.  They were stumped when it came to making themselves meals.  I told them that “if they could read, they could cook.”  All they had to do was get a cookbook and follow the directions.  So, that year I put together a cookbook for them of the recipes they would ask me about that were their favorites from growing up. I compiled about 20 recipes, put them in plastic sleeves in a binder.  I named the cookbook, “If You Can Read, IMG_8794You Can Cook.”  I cut out pictures from magazines or used family photos to tape to the page, and photocopied the pages.  There was no scanners like today.

It was such a hit that when my younger boys went out on their own, they also wanted a copy of the book.  In 2009, I revised the book, made corrections to the typos, scanned photos and artwork, added a few new recipes, removed some that no one was really using, and printed copies for all four boys.  I figured that the two older boys needed an updated copy.  I titled the 2009 book, “Mom’s Favorites — Food, That Is!”  All my kids, their current spouses (yes, some have changed since then), and their kids were all featured on the cover, purposely playing on the words of “mom’s favorites.”  In 2016 I edited the book again and added new recipes—that version was called, “Yum!,” subtitiled, “An Updated Mom’s Cookbook, Just for You from Me! 7/2016.”

doocyWhile I am writing this blog, an article popped up on my news feed.  It was about a cookbook published by Steve and Kathy Doocy.  Of course, I had no idea who they were, but as I read on, I discovered that he is the host on the Fox News morning show.  What struck me was the name of the cookbook, “The Happy Cookbook.”  I clicked on the link to Amazon and read the introduction to the book.  I am always looking for good cookbooks, even if I am lucky to really use only one recipe in it.  What I found was that he and his wife complied this cookbook with the recipes that bring back memories of their childhoods, their dating, their kid’s favorites, and favorites from famous people he met along the way, like Dr. Oz. 

IMG_1861That is exactly what my cookbook is.  It started by the boys asking for their favorite recipes after they moved out of the house.  Then I added some from friends and family, and some of the recipes bring me back to my childhood, like my mom’s oatmeal cookies or my grandmother’s pumpkin cake.  I have a recipe from my ex’s grandmother.  She had this amazing mostaccoili recipe.  (If you are from St. Louis, you know what that is.  If from other areas of the country, you may call it ziti).  Her recipe was unconventional.  It has bacon instead of ground beef, and cheddar cheese.  So, I lovingly call it “Irish Mostaccoili” since the recipe came from Nellie Kilgore Gibler, as Irish as it gets. It is a nice way to have recipes we love from our extended family.  My sister, Judy, gave me her blueberry muffin recipe.  She died in 2012.  Whenever I make her muffins I think of her, and if I am serving them to guests, I tell them it is her recipe, and I honor her by doing this.

I am now adding all my favorites, and Dennis’ favorite recipes.  They are recipes that remind us of our time dating and being married, of my childhood, and of when my kids were little, of big family Christmas or Thanksgiving dinners.  I am not well known like Steve Doocy (even though I didn’t know who he was), so I don’t think doing a fancy publishing job would be smart—I would have 10,000 cookbooks stored in boxes in my basement, and when I finally permanently move to Arizona, where I will have no basement, I would have to donate the books!  Ha!  

I am now rewriting my cookbook, because that is what I do every so often, and I need a copy for Arizona, I think I should add stories about the people who shared their recipes, and also about the memories these recipes bring.  Maybe when completed, I will offer it for sale on my blog, much cheaper than publishing a book and selling on Amazon.  

My tummy is growling just thinking about it.  I don’t think I am a special cook.  I am a most adequate cook.  I am a better baker than a chef.  There is real magic in baking.  If you are curious about that, check out my old blog about being the “Baking Queen.”

One of the things I like to do with this book is print the pages and put them in plastic sleeves in a binder.  It can sit on my counter as I prepare a recipe and any spills can be easily wiped off.  I am also a bit of a messy cook.  I have even photocopied some of my other cookbook pages and put them in the binder in the sleeve so I can be the sloppy cook, and not have to worry about messing up the published cookbook.

My mother always used to say, “The way to a man’s heart was through his stomach.”  I don’t know about that, but I do know Dennis enjoys everything I cook and everything I experiment with.  Unfortunately, though, food has calories, and really good food has lots of calories.  I have really backed off a lot of baking these past two years.  It makes me sad, because I love doing that so much, but I tend to eat what I cook!  

IMG_8782I was looking though my cookbook collection, which I have purged in my effort to downsize.  The collection is now my favorite ones that I really use, and a couple I might use.  One cookbook I have I got from Dennis’ mom, who will be 100 years old next month.  The book is titled, “The Settlement Cookbook,” and the subtitle is “The Way to a Man’s Heart.”  This particular cookbook is the 4th edition of the 1910 edition.  There are now 40 editions of this cookbook, and in 1991, they removed the subtitle!  If you click on the link of the title, there is an article written in 2017 about the history of the cookbook—most interesting.  Also, apparently in 1910, people did not bake cookies.  They baked cakes (categories butter, sponge, tortes, small, and fried).  I wonder what year cookies got added to the cookbook.  I know my mom made her style of oatmeal cookies when I was a kid, so at least back to the 50’s.  Toll House cookies (chocolate chip cookies) got its start back in 1938, so I guess the cookie craze started rolling out about then in America.  The Settlement Cookbook starts out with advice on how to set a table, how to air out a house, dust, and sweep. 

IMG_8793I will take recipes from my cookbook collection: “The Betty Crocker Cookbook,” “The Pillsbury Cookbook,” “The New Family Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen, “The Pioneer Woman Cooks a Year of Holidays,” and the Missouri State Fair “Come Home 2018 Official Cookbook Award-Winning Recipes from 2016 and 2017,” among others.  I will add recipes from them to the new edition of my cookbook.  

I have two months to get the new version of my cookbook together and printed.  It will get a new name and cover design.  If any of you have a great idea for the name, let me know in the comments—your ideas will be considered.

Whose cooking has inspired you?  Where do you keep all your recipes?  Have you found any you have not used in years?  I have and am wondering if I should give them a try again, or let them go to the recipe graveyard.  What is your favorite cookbook?

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“Hip, Hip,” Hooray!

0 sore kneeA few weeks ago I wrote, “Ouch! It Hurts When I Walk!” and now finally we are at the point of a diagnosis and treatment. (You can click on the link to read that past blog).  I had endured a total of 12 physical therapy sessions, which made slight progress, but the pain was still there and my left leg was showing increased weakness.  My physical therapist suggested I reconnect with “Dr. Lily” and have her decide the next steps.

Dr. Lily was very concerned about the weakness of my leg.  She decided I needed a nerve study to see if there was a problem emanating from my back, or if this was all hip related.  She also wanted me to return to Dr. Fandango, the orthopedist.  Her office set up both appointments for me, and got me in within a couple days, because, once again, I was leaving for three weeks to set up the Arizona home.

Dr. Fandango x-rayed my back and showed me the x-ray, that my back was in great condition with plenty of room between the vertebrae.  Since I was seeing the neurologist the next day for the nerve study, he wanted to hear the results before sending me to either a back or hip surgeon.  The following day, the nerve study revealed that everything was good with the nerves, and it was definitely not my back.  Dr. Fandango proceeded to get an appointment with a hip surgeon as soon as I returned from Arizona.

This week I visited with the orthopedic surgeon to discuss my left hip.  Once again, I had more x-rays.  “Dr. Andrews” came in and showed me the results.  I am bone on bone in 1 hip jointthe left hip socket.  He said that all the symptoms I have are classic for a hip that has mechanically failed.  It will not get better on its own.  He suggested that I have hip replacement surgery.

Now all during this time of physical therapy and other treatments, people were noticing my limp as I was walking.  Many told me they had a friend who had to have hip replacement, and their friend said it was the best thing they have ever done.  They are back moving like they did before they had hip problems.

Okay, I am ready.  I am stoked.  Dr. Andrews said that in about six weeks post surgery I should be good to go, and able to start hiking the mountain behind my Arizona home.  I think it will be wise to start with the easy trails, and work my way to more difficult ones.  I’m good—let’s go.  Then a young lady came in the examining room and said I was scheduled for surgery on November 21.  November 21?  No, I need to be good by the end of the year.  I need to go to Arizona for five months.  I need to be able to travel there.  

November 21?  That is just before Thanksgiving.  That stinks.  I do Thanksgiving big.  I looked at her and my voice cracked, and I held back the tears, and asked if there was any way to move the date sooner.  I am on a cancellation list, in case someone cancels.  Why would they cancel if they need their hip replaced?  Who knows?  Well, actually I do know.  A couple weeks before the operation, the patient must have laboratory tests, and meet with an internist who will approve if the patient is physically able to have the surgery.  I suppose some folks are too ill to have it done.  So, I go the third week of November, or maybe sooner.

As I think about it, I really do need time to get some things done before I am limited to walking with help and recovering from a major surgery.  I have more things to pack up to take with us to Arizona—books for my bookcase, artwork for the walls, and other items.  I want to finish a quilt top I started a couple years ago and then set aside.  It would be perfect for our guest room at the new house.  I want to connect with friends in mid Missouri and in St. Louis and have lunch and dinner dates to see them before we leave for the winter.  Oh no, am I too busy to get this surgery done?  Absolutely not, I want to become pain free again.

I got thinking about my many surgeries in my life.  I was six years old when I had my first surgery.  It was the day after Labor Day, September 6, 1955.  My husband wonders how on earth I remember that kind of thing.  I remember things around events.  My dad had started building new homes in Sunset Hills, MO.  It was the same neighborhood he eventually built the home I lived in from age 6 to 21.  On Labor Day that year, we spent the day in one of the homes he built.  It was the clean up day so the new owners could move in.  My mom, dad, sisters and I were cleaning the house top to bottom.  Of course, being only 6, I was probably more in the way than helpful.  Mom packed a picnic lunch and Whistle Orange soda.  The next day I woke up with a terrible tummy ache.  I couldn’t start my first day of school.  It hurt too bad.  My mother used all the remedies she used for tummy aches, but nothing helped.  She thought I drank too many of those Whistle Orange sodas.  Not so.  I refused eating, and I got feeling worse and worse.  By afternoon my mom knew to call the doctor.  Our doctor, Preston Hall, M.D., was on vacation, so a Dr. Winkler was taking his calls.  He told my mom to bring me in to the office.

1 nurse shhI don’t remember what time it was but I know while I was there my dad was home from work.  My mom called him and told him that I was going to the hospital.  I wish I had someone to ask for the details.  We had only one car, but maybe my dad had a work truck, because he showed up at the hospital.  I wouldn’t let the nurses or whomever those folks were stick me with any needles or do anything until my daddy got there—not necessarily because I wanted my daddy there for reassurance (that was my mom’s expertise), but it was a way to delay what I was frightened about—the unknown, a hospital that smelled funny and was eerily quiet.  That night I had surgery to remove my appendix.   I was on the pediatric wing.  My sisters, ages 12 and 10, were not allowed to visit me.  I was not happy that they were outside and I had to wave at them through the window.  In fact, I was so unhappy about that, I refused to go to the window, as in my 6 year old thinking that the nurses would allow them in that way.  My mother finally coaxed me to the window and I waved at Marilyn and Judy from a distance.

I stayed in the hospital  September 6th through the 10th.  How do I know?  I have the hospital bill.  Yes, I have the hospital bill from Missouri Baptist Hospital. The entire bill for room & board, operating room, anesthesia, drugs, and lab work totaled a walloping $166.90!  I checked on a website that gives the equivalent value.  That hospital bill in today’s money was $1,541.01.  Really?  What has happened with medicine today?  The doctor’s bill was $150, or in today’s money, $1,384.97.  I am thinking Dr. Winkler overcharged!  The following year I had my tonsils removed, and the hospital bill was $60, an equivalent today of $553.99.  I don’t know what the doctor charged—I don’t have that bill.

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Appendix Hospital Bill

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Appendix Dr Bill

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Tonsillectomy Hospital Bill

I am curious what the bill is going to look like for a hip replacement surgery.  I am grateful that I have Medicare with my small deductible covered this year, and a supplemental plan that will pick up the rest.  So, financially, there is no worries.

Actually, there is no worries.  I am an optimist.  I am trusting that all will go well no matter what day I have this surgery.  I think of Jesus, the great healer.  I believe in God given wisdom of the doctors.  I have faith it will all work out well.  I will even accomplish whatever I need to accomplish before I am unable to do any physical work for a while.  I guess I better get to work!  There is a lot to accomplish!

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