Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Home From the Hospital Again

I was in the hospital Mon-Tuesday for tests and an asthma problems etc. I am off to an appointment and will write more later. I got home yesterday but slept. Emma was the hit of the show at the hospital. More late-- Mary and Emma

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Day to Shop, Lunch and Relax

Emma, Greg, and I went shopping. We checked on some recliners that we will get in later January (yeah we need the seating), went grocery shopping (imagine I didn't buy anything else at the super Target), went to Menards for home fix up items and best of all went for a lunch at the Irish Pub. It was so relaxing and yummy. We had seafood chowder and shared fish and chips. Then home for a late nap.

To be sure there are chores around here I planned to do. It was a good day though. Supper was left overs and I had the whole day to enjoy with Greg. We had a very relaxing enjoyable day. Maybe tomorrow we can tackle some of those projects? It isn't even 9 pm here and I am pretty tired.

We are doing well. Hope you are finding time to relax after Christmas. Wishing you sweet dreams.

Mary and Emma

Friday, December 26, 2008

We Slept

Twas the day after Christmas and a few weeks after the wedding and we slept. Yes we slept most of the day. I guess i needed it. Greg even slept more than normal (not as much as I did). We made sure Emma got out to play as it was warm today. She seemed more than willing to nap a lot also. Hope you had a relaxing day. No other news or thoughts today.

Mary and Emma

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day Memories



My Christmas was Wonder- filled. We started Christmas Eve with a wonderful Mass at our church at 3:30 pm. Great for me I had a nap and it wasn't too late or too early. Rosa, Mike, and Tia went with us. The Mass was for families and very uplifting.

We came home and Danny (pictured), and Anna were here complete with their gear to sleep over. (which included their lap top computers ha ha). Becky stopped by and they finished some wrapping for us. Becky had to go to her in-laws so I missed her a bit but understood. We had a nice supper. Barbequing steak on the grill was an awesome treat. We had such a nice evening with everyone. I went to sleep to wait for Santa by about 10. Dan and Anna were uptill late but Greg and I just couldnt keep our eyes open. Rosa got to open her new pajamas and was so thrilled.

Christmas Day they rolled in around noon. Anna and Dan were here to help us prepare. We had a wonderful dinner. Greg is the head cook and made both a large turkey breast and bone in ham...we all ate well. Sophia and Rosa were patient as we did not open presents till after our meal. Rosa showed us this year (age 2) she really knew how to unwrap those packages. Sophia also had fun.

The rest of the day we played. We found the block set Rosa received entertained all age levels. Sophia decided she for sure believed in Santa and told me she heard him last night. Mike and Tia and family had to leave around 4 but the rest stayed till late. We played games and chatted and laughed a lot...it was good medicine for my soul.

Emma and Lily slept through it all. They both got comfy and just ignored us except for some fun trips out in the snow. Poor lily almost got lost in the snow. I wish I had taken more pictures today but I didn't. I started the day with a migraine so was glad to feel better as the day went on.

I will still be playing the Christmas Songs a bit because I started so late in listening to them. I still have holiday videos. My Christmas tree will be up a while also...I am not done enjoying the season till after Epiphany.

I hope your Christmas was Joyful. I prayed for those who are alone or suffering on this most blessed day.

I am off to bed. Not sure what Emma and I will be up to tomorrow. We can sleep late so that is a good thing.
Merry Christmas

Emma and Mary

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Pajamas



Happiness is new Christmas Pajamas. Rosa was able to open one present tonight at our house. She was delighted and went home in the new jammies.

Merry Christmas. Mass was at 3:30 and so crowded. Emma did well despite how crowded it was. We had a nice evening.

Mary and Emma

Tuesday, December 23, 2008





I checked my camera for the few pictures I actually took the wedding date. I love this picture of Becky the first time we saw her in her gown. The sweater had such lovely fur trim. It was cute. She was beautiful. The groom, Justin smiled nonstop. In this picture he is with his brother Michael whom I use to tutor in reading. In his toast Michael talked about how much he admired Justin. I think it shows in the picture. Michael is the one who helped me so much in taking Emma outside during the rehersal day and wedding day. I have a special place in my heart for all of them.

I think I have to brush up on my camera skills for Christmas. Some of the others I have taken are a bit blurry or the lighting is not correct. You will also see a picture of Sophia with her friend on her 9th birthday. We had a fun party at the Space Alien restuarant in Blaine. Fun for all ages.

Today I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I have most presents wrapped. I am spoiled as my cleaning woman is here working away. My tree looks good and I am excited for the time with my family. In picture Sophia is the one standing. We will see her Christmas Day for awhile.

I plan to write tomorrow but if i don't find time enjoy Christmas Eve day and evening. Merry Christmas from Emma and I. i will watch her closely but she seems to feel better now. Time to take her outside again.

Merry Christmas - mary and Emma

Unfortunately Emma got sick last night. What a mess to clean up. She seems okay but is quieter than normal today. I am letting her sleep in her bed where she seems comfortable. I am checking on her often. Normally she is right at my side all day. i don't think we are going anywhere today. She has perked up on her outings to the back yard though. I think that is good. She is jumping through the snow and enjoying the fresh stuff that came last night. Yes we got a few more inches. Greg will snow plow when he gets home. He had hoped for time off but has needed to work these days..

We plan to watch the movie It's A Wonderful Life tonight. It always makes me cry but I enjoy it so much. I still have two kinds of cookies I hope to make for Christmas. I don't make a lot of differnet kinds anymore - never did do as many as some people do. At this point in my life my excuse is that i would eat too many. My New Years resolution is to eat healthier. I need to give that some serious attention.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas Week


Monday

We started our week out with a fun brunch with a friend. We had a nice meal and great conversation. Next stop home to play in the snow (Emma loves that) and a nap (I love that0. I wish I didn't need so much sleep but I do - that is very common with MS.
Mid afternoon I went with my son Michael Christmas shopping. We were only gone a few hours so I left Emma alone. Don't ask me why I just did. Once in awhile it is good for her to handle being alone.

Well Emma got into mischeif. She ate some Christmas cookies off the table. Fortunately their were only a few and non were chocholate. But they were in plastic and she opened it up to get at the paper bowl with some goodies. I wonder if she truly was hungry or if she was stressed being alone? I am very glad it was nothing that would harm her. i never have her "put" things on the table but somehow she used that skill to take things "off" the table. What a dog.

I just heard that for Christmas Eve my son Danny and daughter Anna are going to stay overnight. Yeah for that. Won't it be fun.
Michael and Tia and Rosa will be here both days though not staying overnight. Of course Santa comes to their house and Sophia won't join them till later Christmas Eve as she will be with her dad. I am getting very excited about the celebration. I think it will be a lot of fun spending time together. That is my best present to receive - time with my family. How great is it that I have everyone in town. The whole gang will be here Christmas Day hurray for that.

My gift giving is limited this year due to unexpected bills (a crown, a big car repair etc). My family will understand but it is tough on me not to give as much as I had hoped for...but I think in this economy a lot of people are feeling the blues about the economy. Time with family is the true gift afterall now isn't it?

My cleaning lady comes tomorrow. My living room has Christmas gifts are in there and need to be wrapped. Other tiding up I need to do. She cleans floors, scrubs my kitchen and bathroom, vacuums the steps and things like that. It is a big help to us.
It always lifts my spirits.

I really hope this finds you doing well. I am including a poem that came on the email.

WINTER IN Minnesota


It's winter in Minnesota
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At twenty-five below

Oh, how I love Minnesota
When the snow's up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut

Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave Minnesota
'Cause I'm frozen to the ground

I don't know who wrote this but heard from my friend Gerri who lives near Seatle that they too have snow and cold. I think so much of the country has colder than normal temps right now. So if you are in a cold zone, stay cozy warm. Think of my friend Jan who is now in Mexico.

The picture is from a few years ago - notice Rosa is not in it. We will have to get a group photo this year. They did take one of our family at the wedding but I guess we won't see them till January.

Thinking of you - stay warm - Emma and Mary

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wedding Photos to Share





You will see a picture of my daughter dancing with her new husband. For some reason photos are loading slow tonight so I will try to do more tomorrow. Again, the photographer is my friend Gerri. She gave us such great digital photos. I did not take photos I was too busy enjoying the event. I hope to get prints from Becky's photographer. The wedding was the 13th. Did I mention it was also the date Greg and I got engaged over 32 years ago?

Today Emma and I stayed home. I didn't blog yesterday. We went to breakfast with my siblings and my Aunt despite a snow storm and most my children were there too. I am so glad they came to add to the fun and conversation. We did some errands, napped and then went out in the evening to Christmas Shop and to have dinner. It was a big day for Emma and I.

Of course Emma likes the accumulating snow. She likes to dive into it any time I let her do so. Today she enjoyed running through it in her own yard. She must have seen something as she barked at something but I had to call her in so she doesn't bark a lot. She came in like a good dog of course. Last night she had to go out late and Greg took her out. That time she rushed in and out without even being called. She knows when it is really cold. Smart dog.

Back to the wedding. Becky is slowly moving things to her place. They have some things to fix up before they move in. I can't believe she is married. I will try adding some more photos tomorrow.

My friend Jan's family decided Friday to go to Mexico for Christmas. They are going tomorrow already. She is so excited but has to be up at to leave her house at 4:30 am. I know she will be so excited that won't be difficult like it would be for other reasons My friend Terri, is headed to her second home in Florida. I wonder if any of you are headed somewhere warm?
It sounds fun and adventuresome.

We better head to bed. My vision is a bit blurry due to fatigue. I hope you had a good weekend. I will write more on Monday.

Take care and have a wonderful week. Mary and Emma

Photos are wedding couple with my daughter Anna (in red). My son Mike (blue tie) and Dan giving a toast. Finally my husband Greg who welcomed people and said the Grace Before the MEal. What a fun family. Bummer I do not have a picture of Tia in this batch of pictures. My friend Jan also took some pictures but I don't have those yet.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow






My cousin who lives in the San Diego Dessert got snow these past days and so did we. Emma is like the happiest dog on earth. Imagine her delight as she dives into the snow. Pushing her face into the white cold snow is her passion. Then she rolls a bit in it. She only has her back end out of the snow. If this keeps up and it is a snowy year she will be delighted as the inches increase. My goodness does she love the snow. She has been in every inch almost of our back yard exploring the snow. Oh how cute it is to watch her enjoy the white snow. It seems to twinkle at night. She just loves it.

Last week at this time, we were preparing for the wedding. It was the wedding rehersal day. The pictures above are of that day. All the wedding pictures and past days have been from my friend Gerri (from Seattle) who snapped pictures throughout the days. I miss having her here.

The rehersal made me cry even as I anticipated my baby "girl" being a married woman. When Dan was expected Becky was three. She did not want to give up being the baby. So when Danny was born we decided she could be the baby girl and he would be the baby boy. It stuck so I still call her my baby girl at times. Hurray I think today they got there house! I haven't talked to her yet but that was the plan as of last night. hurray for Becky and Justin.

The rehersal for the wedding went smoothly though we started late. Deacon Dave took enough time that we all knew what to expect but not so much time that we were bored or anything. It helped the wedding flow smoothly. The casual dinner after the wedding was a lot of fun also. Yummy they served a special kind of pizza that i really like and so did others. Rosa kept us entertained. Doesn't she look happy playing with the bride (Becky).

We all had such fun. I can't believe it was a week ago. I am so proud to have my family and grateful. I have the most awesome children, grandchildren, husband, and son-in-law and daughter in-law...I feel blessed.

The pictures show a lot of Rosa as she was so peppy that night. You can also see Sophia walking away from the table and her mom Tia making a funny face for the camera and Mike. Enjoy the pictures - I couldn't pick which one so you have a bunch to look at about this event. Emma was under the table and not photographed.

Now time to get ready for Christmas. The movie White Christmas is on Life Time tonight and is a favorite of mine so that will be fun. I'd wrap gifts but I only have a few. I need to plan and then shop for my gang. Hope your weekend is happy. More snow is coming our way... Mary and Emma

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday -

Emma and I went on Metro Mobility to my Lung Specialist. They are still concerned about my lungs and my breathing capacity. I go for a follow up CAT scan in three weeks to check a spot on my lungs where there is an infiltrate. Then the next week see the Specialist again and also for some other tests. They think I need to say on prednisone (bummer) which is tough on the diabetes but helps my lungs. I hope things improve in the next month.

The good news is we had a blast at Sophia's birthday party. It was at a place called Space Aliens besides food they have those games for kids and adults where they win tickets for prizes. Sophia brought a friend, all my kids were there, and two sets of grandparents so 13 in all. Everyone had fun. Rosa too.

I am off to bed and will write more tomorrow. I can't believe our darling Sophia is 9. Emma did fine at all the activities today.
It was a long Metro Mobility ride (over an hour) but she managed just fine. The location if we had gone directly was not that long but they picked up another rider and dropped her at her destination first. I was almost car sick it took so long. Oh well we got there and that is what is important.

Off for bed. Perhaps pictures of the wedding rehersal and rehersal party tomorrow night. HURRAY Rebecca and Justin are suppose to close on there home tomorrow. Finally they have waited for that day.

Have a good day. I think it is suppose to snow here tonight and tomorrow. I hope not too much Sat morning as we have breakfast plans with my siblings, my children, and my Aunt...

Hope you are doing well and enjoying the holiday preparations - Mary and Emma

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fun with Friends before the wedding day





The Thursday before the wedding our friends Dave and Gerri came out to our house. They insisted I take a nap while Gerri read a book. Emma was glad for the nap too. The men ran errands. one trip included the dry cleaner where they found they lost a shirt we needed for the wedding. So that meant a trip to purchase a new shirt to be pressed. Dinner was made by the men (don't worry I got clean up duty ha ha). It was a sea food pasta, big salad, bread and yummy. Spontaneous plans sometimes are the best. Happily our other college friends Montana (yes nicknamed because of where he lived) and Deb and there boys joined us.

The boys were very happy to see Emma. In the picture I think you can see how they wanted to lay on the floor to be with her. She enjoyed there petting her (she was off duty). At the wedding they helped me by taking her outside a few times to do her duty. Overall though they are active young men they were so gentle and good to Emma.

The evening was a delight as it brought old friends together. The three men were in the college seminary together. They chose to marry so all continued their career as lay ministers (we are Catholic) and now Dave is an ordained Deacon. He celebrated the marriage of Rebecca and Justin.

This was just the first full day of five tremendous days with friends. I am sure glad my health held up.

Fatigue hit me today and Emma and I took an over three hour nap. I woke up when a friend called. I needed the rest. Tomorrow we are headed to a dr appt with lung specialist. I am a bit nervous as it will be a longer Metro Mobility ride and I hope I get their on time. You have to allow time for them to pick up other riders going the same way at that time of day.
I have seen this doctor only at the hospital so we will see how it goes.

Stay warm. I hear many parts of the country are cooler than normal. We are cozy and warm. Yeah the Christmas tree is decorated. Happily tomorrow we celebrate Sophia's 9th birthday with a fun dinner. Yeah for that. I love her so much. I hope she likes the gifts I bought her.

Take care, Mary and Emma

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Emma's Busy Week


This is a picture of Emma and I greeting our friends at a light rail station after they arrived from Seattle. We of course brought Emma to all the events of the almost a week of fun, friends and family. As you can see our friends arrived to see snow to remind them of when they lived here. We are told they arrived home to colder than normal temps in Seattle and a cold house since their heating system was not working - brr.

The first night Emma got a big taste of what the week entailed for her. We greeted friends and then took them to the hotel. i told you Emma snuggled in the back with Gerri and I. Keeping me warm for sure.. Then we gathered at the Apple Bee's at the hotel and chatted for a few hours. Lots of catching up, old memories, new tales of what our kids were up to, what our life was like - lots of laughter and no end to the enjoyment of one another's company. We had such fun the first night I couldn't believe it was just a start to the festivities.

We came home late but our Becky (the bride) was up and had some time for a quiet chat. That was rare the busy days before the wedding. Having her home again for a few months gave us some meals together, and at least some times to chat. Now I have to get use to a quieter house again. I was spoiled to be able to chat with her again now and then as she lived here. I treasured that time. Now she is a married woman and I wish her well.

Each day the past week it has been fun to share with family and friends. I am an steroids for my asthma till i see the dr at the end of the week so I am sure that helped me in my ability to walk and function. We had such a good week. Emma was really so well behaved. In some ways she didn't work as hard due to my abilities, but in other ways she had to really handle a lot of situations with new people and new surroundings. I am so proud of her.

Today we went to water exercise and I think Emma really snoozed as I swam. i bet she was tired. Then home for a nap and she watched me put lights on the Christmas Tree. She watched with great interest. Then I washed dished which just bored her I think ha ha. Tonight there are some Christmas shows on cable channels that I hope to watch if Greg doesn't mind.

With the wedding we weren't focused much on Christmas. Now it is just next week and I have things to do. More than anything I will appreciate the gift of family and time together.

Wow this is long...thanks for reading it all. I have more highlights of the week to share and some pictures.

Hope all is well with you. I will be glad when we see improvement in the economy. So much bad news reported on tv and of course I have two children needing employment - ugh. I worry so much about them...but one day at a time I guess. I also pray a lot for patience.

Wishing you a good day, Emma and Mary

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another Active Day

Monday, My goodness another active day. I think I need sleep soon. We had fun with Dave and Gerri. I spent some time at Greg's work in the morning as he had things to do. In the afternoon we had such fun. We went to the Global Market shopped, had lunch, and chatted away. Dave and Gerri are the nicest friends. I cried after leaving them at the airport. I will miss them. They haven't lived here for many many years but it seems like yesterday. We never ran out of things to chat about, we laughed and had such a fantastic time with them these past days. I wish we did not live so far away. They live happily in Seatle. I don't think they miss MN winters. The ice yesterday and cold temps today (wind chill -24) reminded them why they like to live where they do. They are just the most special friends. Their presence made the wedding and the entire week so special. Dave is a gifted Deacon and Gerri has a gentle kind presence. It was just so great to have them here.

We had one stop after the airport and then headed home for supper and watched some tv. I think Emma liked some of the smells at the global market. They have interesting shops and also eateries. Lots of new smells for her. She rested on the cement floor while we chatted. I didn't bring a blanket in for her. She didn't seem to mind.

Emma did not mind the cold at all. She just keeps putting her nose in the white snow and wiggling her face and body in the small snow banks. Gosh that dog loves the snow. She comes up covered in white and looks like she is smiling. What a sweetie.

While our guests were with us - Gerri and I snuggled in the back seat with Emma. Emma likes to snuggle in with her head on my shoulder. It helps me get warm. She sometimes falls asleep with her head on my shoulder.

I hope our friends have a good flight home. Gerri reads this so I will tell her thanks again. She took some neat pictures while here and I will try to figure out how to post some here.

Tuesday we have swimming if I have the energy to go. I might need to stay home and rest. It is suppose to be very cold. It is also windy here so that makes it feel even worse. There is a weather advisory here due to the cold weather.

Off to snuggle in. Emma likes to sleep between us especially on cold nights. I have to get use to Becky not living here anymore.

Hope you are all well. I will tell you more about the wedding during the week.
Emma and Mary wish you a good day.

Wedding News

The wedding weekend has been a buzz with activity. Today we are soon off to see our out of town friends. Shopping and lunch are planned before they go to the airport late afternoon. I am tired but so pleased with how everything has gone. I think Justin and Rebecca had an awesome wedding day. Here are some highlights:

- Yeah we had a good day 35 degree temps. An ice and snow storm hit Sunday afternoon.

- Emma was awesome. At the reception mostly layed under a table. Justin's brother (I use to tutor) loves Emma so helped Friday night and all day Saturday making sure she got outside for both potty breaks and fun breaks from the action.

- Emma loves the snow. Comes in all white faced from diving her face into the snow.

- family pictures Emma is so use to looking at me - so it was humorous getting her to sit looking at the photographer

- Emma was glad to get home last night. Moved from chair to chair (since this time it was just us) and enjoyed her "home" for the evening

- Emma was wonderful through the entire event.

-Rosa and Sophia were like little princesses they looked so adorable and were so sweet at the wedding. Yikes Sophia turns 9 on Thursday.

More later. I have to get ready for today's activities....Mary and Emma

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A busy Day with Friends

It was a busy day with friends from out of town. We still got in a short nap. We also had a spontaneous dinner cooked by our husbands here at home. Three college buddies and oh was it fun for wives, one family had their children...a fun time for all. Tomorrow i will stay home with Emma till the rehersal to be sure I get some rest. This was such a fun day but I am very tired. We had fun visiting, laughing and some time with the bride to be Becky also...a great day. Emma handled it all well.

Mary and Emma

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Big Day Nears

Emma and I were at home today. Friends are flying in tonight for the wedding. We are so excited to see them. We are soon off to pick them up and get them settled in their hotel. Emma is still enjoying the snow. I don't think it will melt and we have white cover to stay. We are hoping there is not more snow before the wedding on Saturday. Emma is like the queen on her new pillow bed that she has in the living room. She sure likes it. Best of all for me is a washable cover. She sheds so much.

Hope you are having a nice day...>Mary and Emma

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Getting Out of the House

Emma and I got out of the house today. Fresh snow made Emma very happy. Everywhere we went she had to test out the snow. I would let her walk in it, roll in it and stick her nose in it. We were not in a hurry so I could give her some time to do this. We went to my counselor, to swimming, and for a quick lunch. Then at night we went to a store with Greg. Emma was delighted with it all. Of course we also took our nap. I need that. I was a bit slow moving at water exercise but it was good to be back in the water.

Emma was so good today. It has been a few weeks since we went to water exercise due to my cold and she was very comfortable with the routine there. She just lays there so nice and watches us exercise...sometimes she doses. But she peeks out to be sure all is well with me. She has the cutest eyes and is just so darn pretty laying on her towel by the pool. We had a new life gaurd who was in awe of her excellent behavior. I am so proud of Emma.

When we went to the cars today she was just super. We took metromobility once today and the mini bus is NOT her favorite but you can still expect good behavior. That is a good thing for me.

We are off to bed without anything else spectacular to report. Emma is being just great and yes delighted with the snow anytime we go outside. Time to snuggle in on a winter night.

Hope all is well with you Mary and Emma

Monday, December 8, 2008

More Snow

Mn has snow tonight. i guess we could get up to six inches. We are snug in our home. emma is waiting here for another trip outside to enjoy the snow. At night I watch her from the patio door which she doesn't mind at all. tomorrow we finally will get out of the house. We have swimming and a counseling appointment. Both will be needed I think. I sure didn't get much done today which happens due to MS. Just some days I find it more upsetting than others. I can't seem to relax like I need to do so today. Oh well.

Tonight is the finale of Boston Legal a silly show I do watch so I will watch that while Emma and I tackle a bit of laundry. Then off to bed on a snowy night. My mail has been brightened by Christmas cards - I like the cute cards with dogs on the photo. I am so behind I don't know if I will get cards sent this year or not. My goal this week to be ready for the wedding and feeling okay. Becky had her final dress fit tonight - how exciting is that.

Hope you are warm and snug if you are in the snow weather. I know you may be in other parts of the country. Sorry this seems a bit boring as Emma and I are not up to much for the past few weeks...glad to not be in the hospital at least.

Take care, Emma and Mary More later

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Snowy Quiet Sunday

we were home most of the day. My son Dan was here nursing his cold. We were happy to give him some warm meals and tlc. He had a bad episode coughing last night and we had to bring him to urgent care. I had restfull conversation with him today. We both napped hoping to get over the colds.

It snowed today again about an inch or two so Emma liked that. She loves when I take her outdoors. she is quick to have her nose in the snow. As it is falling she also likes to sniff the air catching the snowflakes.

Emma's tail was really waggin today. She liked having Danny around I think. It was a lazy Sunday for me. Greg worked morning to night. When we are home all day she enjoys even more play time outside but she doesn't mind our naps either.

We are off to bed. Hoping tomorrow I can be more productive.
Mary and Emma wish you good slumber/

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday - At Home

Emma and i are at home today. Yesterday we stayed home also. Sophia, Rosa, Tia, and Mike came to share time with us. We enjoy that Friday tradition.

I am still dealing with the cold as is Greg. I am having to rest a lot to cope with it. I am coughing less which is a very good thing though. I am enjoying listening to Christmas music as I do some small chores or rest. My "to do list" is most certainly longer than I will accomplish today. I am trying to set priorities.

It has been snowing off and on last night and this morning. EMMA LOVES SNOW. It is fun to be outside with her in the white stuff. It is enough to shovel today. I can't handle that task though. She gets especially excited later in the winter when she can really dive into the snow. I am in no hurry for the deep stuff. We hope the weather stays mild for the wedding which is just a week away. I can't believe now that it is just around the corner. This will be a busy week. Most of all I have to be careful for my health. I don't want to miss the big event, the rehersal dinner, times with our out of town company and so on..

Emma has a new pillow/bed for the living room. Becky bought it for her. She lays on it like a queen when we are resting or relaxinb. We had fun watching a Christmas Movie with the granddaughters last night.

Ilook forward to getting my Christmas tree up..but have to have a bit more energy to do that. Also still have some things in the living room to move out after the work on the floor. I am having a hard time keeping up with my laundry but trying to keep it all in perspective. I am not even worried about Christmas Shopping till after the wedding. I have a few things purchased but not a lot. This will be a simple Christmas I think.

Emma is doing fine. She is helping me with laundry (handing me items from the basket) as needed. We got most the toys picked up last night but she helped with a few stray items. Gosh how we love when the girls or my children come over. I am so blessed that my children and grandchildren all live in town. How lucky is that for the holidays?!!

I wish I had more energy but am trying to be patient. A week ago I could barely breathe and was in the hospital for help...so with that in mind i have to remember I am doing much much better. Emma is hapy to be at my side constantly. It is a sunny day so fun to take her outside. She races around the yard with such delight...life is good. A week till the wedding...

Mary and Emma wish you a good weekend.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday

I slept a lot today and so did Emma. We did squeeze in time to get my hair colored and cut. All I had to do is sit there yeah for that. Then after yet another nap we headed to the dentist. All he had to do was put on a permanent crown so again all I did was rest. That was the theme of the day rest and rest some more.

I am off to bed soon here. Coughing just a little today and feeling much better than I did a week ago. I have some follow up doctor appointments to schedule tomorrow with the family doctor and the lung specialists. Other than that it will be a quiet day. Anna is coming over to visit and the granddaughters for a few hours. We probably will watch a holiday video. We want to take it easy. That is my goal to take it easy and keep recovering from this cold...a good goal.

At the dentist Emma was so watchful. She did not let me out of sight and was able to lay in a spot close to the chair and still not upset the work of the dentist. He seems to like her which is a good thing. She is close to my side. Gosh home feels good to me.
Greg is battling the cold too...what a pair we are. The whole family is getting over the darn cold it seems.

Today it really felt like winter here. Emma was thrilled as it briefly snowed kind of heavy (snow squall) and I had her outside. She was so excited to run around. I am not anxious for snow and very little is on the ground at this point. Emma will love when it is measured in "inches" and she can run, retrieve balls in the snow and so on.

Our friends are coming from Washington State next week for the wedding. We are so thrilled to have them come for this event.
I hope it doesn't seem too cold for them.

Stay warm and cuddle in - Love Emma and Mary

Back At HOme Appreciating Being Able to Breathe

When I was sent by ambulance Saturday to the hospital, I was having a lot of trouble breathing. I was also having some heart difficulties which later they believed was due to the medicine I was using for the asthma. In any case, oxygen, heavy antibiotics, steroids and other care helped things improve. I was in the hospital for five days. Thank goodness for insurance - I hope it covers it enough for us to manage the bill. I am still battling the cold but doing much better. I am at home with medications, resting, and coping with it all.

It is tough because there are chores I would like to do at home but I am doing little. I want to be there for my daughters wedding which is coming up fast. What amazes me is that I was so sick and didn't really understand how bad it was till I saw a doctor. It was really serious how bad my breathing was so good I sought help. I actually went to a clinic but i guess I should have called an ambulance from home. The clinic tried a nebulizer treatment but did a lung xray and heart test and knew i had to go quickly to the hospital.

Pulling out in the ambulance I remember Emma's face. She had been with me till they did the xray and then they wanted to be sure she was not in the radiation area at the clinic. She went with Greg to the hospital via the car. When they put me intoo the ambulance you could see the alarm on her face.

Once she got to ER and was allowed in - Greg said she found me quickly. NO one had to tell him which cubicle I was in. Surrounded by a curtain wall she still found me (via smell?) and was delighted to see me there. We were there in that small space for almost 5 hoours or more and she was perfect.

On Sunday Greg was very sick because he also has the cold so Emma stayed home with him. Mostly due to the driving factor. The rest of the time she was with me days and went home at night. She was content to climb up on the bed with me (even big me on the small beds) and rest or if needed we had a small blanket for her on the floor. She was just awesome. i arranged for family or a friend to take her outside.

The first night I was glad to have her go home as there were peple in and out all night due to my problems breathing. I think the most I slept was an hout. the other days I felt it was easier to not worry about night time bathroom visits. This was our choice I think helping paws would have helped with volunteers? she goe out about 9 ior 10 an then agaain about 7 or earlier in the morning. She did fine going home and spent most the day with me. Becky told me she got a little nervous at home without me but we managed.

I have heard of individuals who kept their helping dog with them all the time for many days at the hospital. They told me aids and otherswould take the dog out. I did not get offers and was shy to ask...also I could have called helping paws but managed. Honestly there were many people in my room at night off and on so Emma would not have gotten much sleep. When she did come to visit she was very very happy to see me.

I am off to take a nap. I still have the cold and have to take care so I make it to the wedding. Drs. warned me this could cause more problems to take it easy and take the meds...a nastry cold I guess..

Thanks for notes of concern. I will do the best I can to get over this bug.

Mary and Emma say take care. Emma is glad I am home.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home from the Hospital

I am home from the hospital...went in on Saturday due to the cold, cough and difficulty breathing. I need to rest but I am home. Emma handled it well...Mary

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two Weeks till the Wedding

Two Weeks Till the WEdding


The day after Thanksgiving was fun. Mike, Tia, Rosa and Sophia and dog Lily slept over camping out on our living room floor and couches. They got to stay up late playing games and we got to wake up to their smiles. Greg made us a big breakfast.

Then it was time for me to sleep. This darn cold. Greg is so worried about me getting over it (which includes the asthma problems is stirs up) by the wedding. I am going to try to reach my clinic today.

So hey did you battle the crowds and shop? In our family Becky did go at 2 am. Among her finds were a $4 very nice dog bed for Emma to have in our living room. It is so nice Emma was using it all day. I will try to get a photo.

I am coughing a lot now so will try to write later. Thanks to my family for making the holiday specially. My husband made an awesome meal complete with enough leftovers to send home with my kids too if they wanted.

One thing that amazes me is how great Lily is when here (my grand dog). When I took the dogs outside Emma was so funny. She would venture into the yard to do her duty and just scope things out. Lily would do the same. Then before she came in Emma had to review Lily's footsteps almost exactly...like she didn't want to miss anything that Lily smelled.

My children are good about taking the dogs out so they get out in the yard (with supervision) when they are here.

Have a good Saturday...Mary and Emma

I have heard some people can't get the pictures of blogspot blog to work for them. I willl for now blog both places.

I just had a good idea. Maybe we will bring this floor pillow with us to the church the day of the wedding. Emma will be there from 10:30 - 3:00 or so. It is Greg's work so we can easily find a place to put it for her during photo's, the women getting dresssed and so on... I will have to think about this...Mary

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Day



Oops are you going to get two pictures? Hope you enjoyed the anticipation and celebration of Thanksgiving as much as our family has today...and our party is not over yet....

Anna came yesterday to sleep over and helped both then and in the morning. So fun also to chat with her. She is so great with Emma and takes her outside a lot too.

I had such issues with coughing and Asthma both yesterday and today...Greg who is the cheif on holidays for sure ordered me to take it easy. I slept late and even napped both days. His goal was for me to not end up in ER with problems.

Mike, Tia and Rosa (the angel above) came around noon as did Dan. They all joined us for dinner. See how excited Rosa is. At age two she does not want a high chair anymore either.

We did some clean up and watched videos, hung out and even snuck in some naps. Mike and Tia headed out to see her family.

Leftovers at dinner time. But is the party over? NO. It has been low key so far.

Dessert and party await at about 8:30. That's when birthday girl Becky and her husband to be Justin get back from out of town. We are hoping to have pie and let the games begin. My kids love to play games. Mike and family I think are going to camp out on a footon mattress on my living room floor. They are young I couldn't manage the floor at my age.

So I help this goes as planned. Even if it is more quiet it will be nice to celebrate with Emma. We cooked (Greg cooked) lots of extras so we can send home leftovers to all who want them. That is fun for us.

They are done watching a video a did not care to see... I am off to joing the party. Just did a nebulizer treatment so hoping that keeps my breathing calm.

This day has been wonderful...Emma is doing fine. Lily comes too (see photo yesterday) and Emma got so excited. Lily is perfect and fun to pet. Emma gets so excited and is so much bigger I think she overwhelms Lily a bit at first. But a trip outside together in the yard or just time together and all is well.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A time of Thanks begins...



Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I am thinking of things I am thankful for. Even Emma will have a friend over. Lily, my son's dog will join us. See this cute picture. It was from one of the holidays when the kids were playing games. Lily is so good when she is here with Emma now that they are use to each other. Isn't she cute. you should hear Rosa say "lily or my lily" it is so darn cute.

I love holiday music and heard that on oprah.com you can get a free download of christmas music to your computer. Ihope it is not to busy and that it works for my computer. How fun.

We got out today despite my cold. We visited my counselor , who helps me cope with life. Then had lunch with my friend Jan who did not teach school to me - she also helps me cope with life. Both helped me so much.

I hoped to be some help tonight with food prep but it makes me cough to do much at all. The cough is worse at nice and whn i cough a lot the asthma seems worse - or maybe the asthma is caused by the cough. Anna is here helping and she and Greg want me to take it easy tonight so I will do that.

I am thinking of the blesssings of my family, my wonderful Emma, my friends etc. A good thing to think about today too.
I am coughing a lot so going to go rest and try the inhaler it is time again to do that. My best wishes for a Happy Holiday. We will try to have time to write tomorrow also.

We are grateful for our readers...Mary and Emma

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When the load is too heavy...

Sometimes things are just the pits and seem so hard to deal with.

One of the readers emailed me. I don't have a means to track her email and send back as it was via the blogstream blog I think.
It was important i thought so I am mentioning it in both blogs.

Reality everyone I know with MS has times when it is so tough to deal with.
One of the big problems of chronic illness is finances.
Insurance does not cover all the needs.
Many of us are unable to work or work on a very limited basis.
As the economy struggles this fact seems tough to deal with.
Money issues strain relationships.

I don't have great answers. For people with MS you might want to contact the MS Society. They have wonderful social workers who might be able to help you by listening, and by seeing if they have or know of any programs short or long term that might help you out. Calling them would be a good first step. They may know options. Also talking to them may help you understand that the problems you have are common with MS.

I have not been shy about indicating that one of Emma and my outings is to go to counseling. Fortunately I have insurance to cover my situation but some work on sliding scale. Again here the MS society might be able to help you out. I know it helps me cope.

Now all households are experiencing a bite in the budget due to economy. People are loosing jobs, fearful of loosing job, or the paycheck just doesn't cover the increased cost for food and other things.
That is not unique to people with MS.]

What I know is sometime I feel so guilty I can't work and bring in such limited income. On good days it might look like a MS person could work. The trouble is the cost you pay in your body. Fatigue is an issue. Employers want people they can count on all the time. That can be tough with the unpredicatability of MS. My doctor agrees that for many reasons I can't work and deal with MS.

If you decide to try to work be careful of the offers to work at home. I know MS people who have been scammed and out thousands of dollars because they thought an internet at home job was the answer. I did work a full year at home for a company but that was before my MS was like it is now. IT was great but it was legitimate. They did not ask me to invest any money at all, they had an office where I was trained, and a reputation. It was a start up company that went bankcrupt but helped me when my husband had cancer and surgery. I could work and be at home.

someone with MS once told me they had couple counseling. We do that also. We go montly. It helps us have a place to talk over things with someone trained present to help us sort through priorities, possible solutions. It has helped us out.

I guess whether you have MS or not reaching out to others is helpfully. You DON"T have to face it alone and sometimes it is impossible to find hope, creative solutions without help. Check with the MS society, inquire with your dr about a counselor, check with your church....don't try to handle it all alone. The load can be too heavy.

We have dear friends trying to avoid foreclosure due to loss of the husbands job. I know it is hard for them but they have accepted they might have to move into an apartment. With two teenage boys that sounds very hard to deal with. I think the one thing that keeps them going is a support group for the unemployed, their church and their friends.

I really feel the economic challenge this month. A 857 car bill, two crowns needed on my teeth were not expected. I think with costs on the rise just handling regular items in your budget are a challenge for most people right now. You are not alone

You are not alone so don't give up. It is not your fault if you cannot work or cannot find work. Try to believe things will improve. Reach out for help...I care.

Mary

That Darn Cough

The doctor yesterday said he thinks it is the asthma stirring up all this coughing - yuk. We were up a lot in the night. Emma faithfully gets up with me if I get up for any reason. We will need to rest today. I have some new medications to try to see if it helps.

More later ____Mary and Emma

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What Emma Means to Me - our 2007 Speech

video

In 2007 Emma and I were speakers at the Helping Paws Tail Waggin' Fund Raiser. If the above works you can view my speech. Emma means more to me each day. Happy Viewing. Mary and Emma

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My first thoughts about having Emma

I was wondering what I wrote on my earliest post in October of 2005. Now my blog has been read over 25,500 times. Some of you have read it from the begging.

This captures some of my thoughts even before training started. Thought you might be interested.

Waiting for my service dog


October 6, 2005
My first service dog. I am disabled due to Multiple Sclerosis and looking forward to this helper dog and companion. I am working with helpingpaws.org. I have met my dog named Emma. She is a yellow lab and specializes in retrieving. I have had a dog but am wondering if it will be an adjustment to have a bigger dog. I know it will be unique to have a well trained service dog. This is exciting and will help me be more independent. I already get many questions about what a service dog can do for me. I hope to write about our life together. Maybe it will help those interested in service dogs and also dog lovers. It sure has stirred up interest among my friends with Multiple Sclerosis, my family, relatives, and other friends. You are welcome to write with questions or comments or your own dog stories.

There is a neat story about the women who trained Emma. I use to teach her children in a small school in Minnesota. Due to the size of the school I got to know the parents well. Judy was a wonderful parent volunteer with artistic talent and loved to volunteer to do special art projects in the classroom. When I had to leave teaching due to my progressing disability with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) she understood and shared my tears. It was sad for my students, parents and myself as i had to leave mid year. I left for a sick leave in Dec and never imagined that was the end of a teaching career.It was sure coincidence that she trained the dog. She was not on the team that helps match the people with the dogs. It w after the fact we found out and both cried. Her children were excited about that news also.

I am having some problems with the MS these past weeks but resting and on medications to help me improve. I can't wait to work with Emma. They say the dogs pick the owners in many ways. She really liked working with me. I can promise her a nice loving home. My friends and family are eager to welcome her into our lives. I feel like little girl waiting for Christmas. I am learning 75 doggy cues that were sent to me - my kids and husband kid about if WE are smart enough for the dog.

MS CONVENTION

We had fun at the MS Convention today. We were there from about 9-3. The day tired me out and came home to nap before and after dinner and dishes. Up quick to calm down my coughing and then back to bed. There was a dinner tonight but we did not attend obviously. Part of the time we were at the Helping Paws booth and also helped with a Helping Paws short presentation. Met many interested people. Watch out Eileen and staff you might get some inquiries about service dog applications. That is of course why we were there. To educate individuals on how a service dog might help them deal with Multiple Sclerosis.

We also enjoyed the friendly faces of MS Staff, volunteers and people who attend camp with us. It is heart warming and so uplifting to meet all these individuals. It was very well organized and informative.

We are off to bed. Emma was lonesome I guess. I woke up to her kisses. I mean licking and licking me ha ha. I tried to ignore her and pretend i was still sleeping at first. Then I wondered if she needed to go potty or something. Once we got up I realized all she wanted was my company. I do need to take her out though now before bed.

YOU HAVE TO LAUGH AT THIS - Rosa (granddaughter age 2) loves to talk on the phone to us, to her Auntie Anna. Yesterday I heard her saying "talk to Anna" and then "talk". I looked and she was holding the phone very properly up to Emma's ear. Emma looked puzzled but was cooperating. She was so darn cute. It made me laugh. I tried to grab my camera to capture the moment but couldn't move fast enough. Our dear dear Rosa and Sophia brighten our days. This happened Friday.

Hope you enjoy your weekend. Mary and Emma

Friday, November 21, 2008

Video night

I am writing quick on Friday night. Rosa and Sophia re here. They are cuddled up watching a video and Emma is cozy too. I love Friday nights when they can join us for fun, kisses, hugs, playing toys, and reading books. It is so enjoyable.

We went to the movie (Emma and I and friend with MS) called The Boy in Striped Pajamas. It was well done but has sad moments.
I am glad I saw it. it involves the time of Hitler. I don't want to say a lot to ruin the story. It does demonstrate how two young boys are impacted by the time of concentration camps...it also shows the various points of view of adults at the time. There beliefs and actions. i found it very very thought provoking. A friend of mine says some Junior High teachers are going to see it and determine if they will use it in school to discuss that time in history.

Off to play with the girls. We are having a good day. I did not sleep well at all last night during coughing so I certainly hope I get more sleep tonight. tomorrow is the State MS Society Convention. I will be at the Helping Paws booth from 11- Noon.

Take care, Mary and Emma

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Time For Family



The holiday seasons remind me of how important family will be. Emma is not in this picture but was there. This was one of our last celebrations of Christmas with my own mother. One of my brothers is not there. It made me cry when i came upon it tonight. This will be the second christmas without her. I think i miss more that she would have enjoyed hearing about Becky's wedding...but even at Mike and Tia's she was not well enough to attend. Still she loved hearing about it, seeing the pictues and so on. I miss my mom. I bet some of you might blink a tear as you miss yours too. The older I get the more understanding I have of my mom's strengths and weaknesses...the more I forgive things that angered me...the more I remember her sense of humor, her appreciaton of books and so many things that influenced my live.

I don't want this to be a sad blog post. I want it just to be a reminder to me (and maybe you?) to appreciate the presence of family, and friends who seem like family in our lives. They help me appreciate all that I have to be thankful for..their support, their kindness, the shared memories and so much more.

My daughters upcoming wedding has caused me to do a lot of thinking on this. I will miss my brother Den and his family who live in Portland. As i hear of the rsvps and my siblings, their children (her cousins) and even (I am so fortunate) my great neices and nephews who will join us I am just so thrilled. They cannot possible know how much it means to me to share this very joyful event with people who have shared our history. I was thinking about when Becky was born and the reactions of her Aunts, Uncles and cousins and family friends. How much all of them mean to me as we all have shared the journey of these decades the joys and sorrows and how all that enriches all our lives.

It is of course Becky's wedding and I sure don't want to be labeled the mother who made it "her" wedding or who interfered to much (I think Becky is the type who sure would let me know if I did). Having the celebration and having so many there just means the world to me. I keep writing but why can't I capture in words what my tears of joy trickling down my face what to express?

My children and Justin's siblings are the attendants in the wedding and of course Sophia (my granddaughter) also. I think that is a testimony of how close both Becky and Justin are to there family. How special that is at this time. For our side of the family we are fortunate that they all live in town. yeah for that.

I should note that my siblings do not all get together for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We all have our own families and grandchildren. Den does not come home to MN. I think again this year we are trying for a family brunch before or after the holiday for those who can make it. we keep it simple though - real simple. Maybe that is why it means so much to me that we can all be at the wedding.

The Weinands (Greg has nine siblings) hopefully will come to the wedding. Two are out of town so they will be unlikely so that is not all. With 7 families in town that should be a good group though also. We are way over 70? in number with kids, wives/husbands, grandkids etc but do gather usually at Christmas but not on the date.

We will miss Greg's sister Sharon at the wedding. She died of cancer a few years ago. She kept encouraging Becky and Justin to get married before she died but the time was right for them and she knew that. She really always had such a big heart for family and we know will be looking down from us from Heaven.

Oh gosh I am so emotional. Am I nuts? No appreciative of family...over the holidays i hope you have family and friends to share the special moments...you will be in my prayers.

Emma has the stangest look - like when do we go back to bed? I was up coughing so sat up to settle it down... off to bed. Yeah I can sleep late if the coughing tames down...Mary and Emma

Holiday Music?



Two of the radio stations around here are playing christmas and holiday music nonstop. I am not annoyed like some because I like the music of Christmas. I have it on my own ipod too so I actually started a few days before they did...can you believe that?
The picture is of Emma with a Santa hat in her mouth to hand to me...the foot is mine ha ha. I thought she looked so cute I kept the picture despite my foot.

I can hardly think of Christmas because we have the wedding coming up Dec. 13th. What a fun day that will be. Becky and Justin are handling most of the details (and expense) themselves but there are little things I can do to help now and then. It is just what is on my mind.

Yesterday Emma and I had time with Rosa and Sophia, Mike and Tia. What fun. Rosa can say gandma...yeah with the g sound. She said first "my gandma" and smothered me with kisses and hugs. That was wonderful. She said gandma so much and it was music to my ears. Sophia is getting so big. My living room furniture and things are all still put away as there is some finishing work to be done on the floors. Resulting in toys being tucked away too...I dug out a few but will find more soon I hope. Sophia is getting so big we have to revisit what things she likes to play with here. She likes to read but you guessed it the bookcase and books are not there now either. I love when she reads to Rosa.

Sophia loves playing with Rosa. Emma watched as they played but does not try to chase them or get in the way. That is a good thing for a service dog. She seems to like when they come over.

THE DENTIST _ Emma and I went to the dentist today. My tooth broke off in the back and actually had cut into my tongue..ouch ouch. It has hurt for a few days and made it hard to eat. So guess who is getting a crown? Emma was very good on a blanket in the corner as they worked on me. At one point they paused to let something dry I think and she came over and nuzzled my hand. I could assure her by my touch that I was okay. Yes we can communicate without words as I just couldn't talk at that point. Then she went back to her blanket and was just fine.

We took a long nap and now I am going to have her help with laundry. Time to work Emma. Have a nice evening

Mary and Eamm

Thanks for reading this blog.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feelign better

I will write more tomorrow. Felt better during the day compared to yesterday. I am coughing a bit more tonight but the day wasn't too bad...off to bed more details tomorrow. Not sure if I will swim it will depend on how the night goes and my cough and congestion...Emma and Mary

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Home Sick

Mary is sick with a cold/cough and congestion. My goodness she has slept almost all day. I was glad to get outside and work off some energy. Sounds like some chicken soup and more rest is needed today...I will take good care of her...Emma

Monday, November 17, 2008

Out and About a Bit Today


Hello from Emma and Mary

This is a picture of Emma at MS Camp, I am thinking of camp because this weekend is the MS convention. We will be going on Saturday assuming all goes as planned. I will be at the Helping Paws Booth from 11-1 but also at the convention. I want to hear the speakers and chat with friends from camp and other MS gatherings. Fun to see a summer picture on a cooler November day.

We got out of the house today. I (Mary) woke up with a cold and cough. Nothing creeps up on me. Bamm I just cough like I have something serious (though I usually don't). I cough so loud and so often. pain in the neck and throat. Greg went to PT and we got to shop a bit all by ourselves at the grocery store next door. Since I don't drive - I don't get out alone often. Got a few needed items.

We also went to the bank, out for a quick lunch, and to another store. Then home for a long nap. Maybe it will help the cold or whatever this is. Greg needed to try walking and being out and oh he got tired and sore though. Tomorrow he has to go to work for awhile. I hope it is not too hard on him.

Emma was a bit stubborn out and about. Mostly fine but would not pick up my cane, or do some of the other things that she usually is quick to do. I don't know why she seemed to get distracted. She walked with me fine, did the movements like walk behind, walk at my side, and other things just fine so that is good. We will practice the cane at home tonight with extra reinforcement (treats and verbal praise. She did well though getting her nails trimmed at Pet Co - she does not like that but cooperated well. Greg takes her in rather than me. She rests her head on him and calms down. She does that better than with me I think because he can bend down (they do it on the floor) better than I can

The temperature is a lot colder 20's part of today with a brisk wind. I need to fetch out my winter coats and clothes now. For awhile the sun was out and that was nice.

My garden needs to be cleaned out. Everything is dead now due to the cold temps and it looks pathetic, Some things need to be pulled out, roses cut back, but we don't strip it bare. If we do we loose soil in the winter. We keep some things in till fall to hold the soil in. It makes me kind of sad to see the garden with everything dead.

Things must smell to Emma in the yard. She is having a great time outdoors despite the weather. She did not want to play ball but did want to move about smelling things. The fenced in yard is delightful for us.

I better try cough medicine again. Hope all is well with you.

Mary and Emma

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oops

You get double the same photo because I goofed. I don't know how to delete the second one...so you MS people are NOT seeing double. I goofed.

Truth is I never imagined on those special days really how special Emma would be in my life.




This is one of the first pictures with Emma. I believe it was our first day of training together. It was taken outside Helping Paws.
Isn't she a beautiful dog. It was like i had to pinch myself to believe it was real. This beautiful well trained dog was about to enter my life. She was to be my partner in such a special way. I could not then though really imagine how life changing Emma would be for myself and my family. We love her. I love her. What a wonderful dog.

This is a picture from graduation. Emma and I are surrounded by Judy, Steve, Katie, and Jack Michurski her foster family. Judy was her first MOM and Emma still gets so excited when she sees her. How awesome that for two and one half years they trained Emma, socialized Emma and gave her the tlc and confidence she needed to serve as a service dog. I am sure the moment was filled with mixed emotions. They had to say goodbye to Emma but also got to see that they succeeded in training her to be a first class service dog. Michael could not be there.

Some of you may not know that I was a teacher to Jack and Michael in my last place of teaching. When I left teaching due to Multiple Sclerosis problems Judy had said "someday I will find a way to help you with MS". Our paths seperated. I had no idea that she was at helping paws or had trained a dog. She did not get to decide who got to be with Emma. What a delight for both of us when they told me I could have Emma and asked me to meet the person who trained her. It was Judy. Boy did I shed a lot of tears of joy and gratitude.

Saturday, November 15, 2008



Emma and I seem to sleep a lot some days. Emma likes her "baby" and yes in the winter I often cover her up. What can I say?? Emma is my treasured companion and I want to make her comfortable. She is such a sweetheart in my life.

Today we went to breakfast with my sister, and Becky (bride to be) and oh that was really really enjoyable. We were home the rest of the day. I read a bit but did not get much done. We were tired today. I did a few little things around the house but not really very much at all. I am on a new medication schedule due to spacisity. I have been finding it almost impossible to stand at times. One morning I actually had to slide out of bed to the floor and crawl for awhile. I mention it not to complain but to tell fellow MS people it can happen. The medication baclophen is now taken in increased dose. The trouble for me was so much spasm I could not stand my legs were like in knots. But it does make me a bit more tired. I hope I get use to it.

You should see Emma's face when I have to crawl. She thinks I want to play. Then wants to lick my face with kisses. She keeps me laughing she is so sweet. Today I am happy to say I managed to be on my feet all day. Funny you don't appreciate it till you can't manage it. MS sure teaches me to appreciate many things in my life.

More than anything I appreciate my family, my husband, my children and their spouses, and of course my sister, brothers and my dear sweet Emma who is with me 24/7 through thick and thin, In the good and hard times.

Hope you have sweet dreams. Emma and Mary

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hungry? Thirsty?



This is one of my favorite pictures of Emma. It was taken the first Thanksgiving she shared with us. How can you resist those cute eyes. Normally I don't miss having a full water dish at all times - but if I do - she brings it to me. Morning meal she is more patient but in the evening she usually has the dish at mealtime. About 5 pm and you could use her as an alarm clock. Sometimes she would like to eat sooner but I can get her to wait. If we are busy she will eat later but if we are just relaxing she sure hears her tummy rumble. What a girl.

Today we got out of the house. I went to get groceries thanks to my son Michael who also took his dad to the doctor. Later in the day Emma and I went with my friend Jan to get medicines for Greg, and for our once in awhile "let's celebrate it's Friday: outing. We could call it happy hour but it is with diet pepsi and iced tea. We went to Biaggi's in Maple Grove. It is my favorite place for Italian food. Today we shared a bread pudding. Okay it was the best I ever tasted. It is really big enough for at least 3...yummy.

Emma was so good there the man in the booth next to me came over. He looked below the table and said to his wife "I told you there was a dog here". He said I think she thought I lost my marbles. He was so pleased to see Emma. Later one of the hosts came by to say "was there a dog here the entire time". I love those compliments so much.

Greg is doing better. The physical therapists told him he can do a little more now. But I think he did too much sitting and he ended up with some tough back pain again. He has to take it more gradual I think.

Yeah it is Friday. Hope you have a good weekend...Finally got my halloween decorations out of the yard.

Take care, Emma and Mary

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Emma on Duty

I forgot to mention here that Emma is on duty . I went to bed earlier than Greg last night. I could say to him "If you need me and I don't hear you - send Emma for me." and YES he did do just that. Emma is attentive to her name even if in the room with me. She got up I think because she heard Greg. He told her to go get Mary and she came to wake me. How does she do that. First she nuzzles me from the floor. Poking at my arm or side. Same technique she uses if she has to go out at night (rare event) but if as I wake up she really becomes more assertive and I knew she meant business.

Greg did need some help. Emma got a treat for being so alert and hard working. She is a great dog.

She has had to pick up more things than normal today for me and for Greg. She is so wonderful.

With it dark early we do not go outside as much in the evening hours. I am finding I have to play with her toys, we practice commands/cues (which she thinks is a game) and give her a lot of attention. She seems to need that at night. I think in the summer we are outside or go for walks (me in the scooter) in the evening. Or go outside to sit and visit with neighbors.

Yeah for Emma. Are you up to helping me with laundry tonight? (getting clothes out of the dryer, handing clothes to me one at a time from the basket as I am folding) or should we relax and wait till tomorrow? Oh how I wish she could also put it away ha ha.

Time for us to go outside again. We wish you a good day - Mary and Emma



Now that is not Emma or Mary. It is one of my wonderful granddaughters - Rosa on her second birthday playing in the leaves in our yard. What a cutie. She likes Emma and gives her hugs. She has to be careful though, if Emma gets excited her tail still might knock Rosa over. I am glad they are buddies.

The fall leaves have mostly fallen now. We had snow again two days ago but it did not stay on the ground long. It was long enough for Emma to have fun rolling in it. this winter I will try to get pictures of Emma in the snow...she just loves putting her face right in it. She is a hoot.

We will be home all day today. Greg is feeling better but good to have someone around till I see how he is doing. He is in less pain - hurray and is sleeping comfortably. What a blessing it is to see him with less pain. I hope this gradual recovery continues. He says he has slept so much in two weeks he figure he should be able to go days or weeks with out sleeping. Truth is he needs sleep to recover and it is also a result of his medications.

This picture is also to remind you to have some fun today. It is kind of wet n ow but Emma and I did go out in the yard so she could play. It was brisk bur refreshing. I guess tomorrow is suppose to be very very cold.

Have a good day. Here is Emma playing with Rosa when she was a baby.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On duty day and night - Emma



This is a photo of Emma helping me at Barnes and Noble when we did gift wrapping to benefit Helping Paws. Gift wrapping is free but donations are accepted. There is a reason why I am making sure some of my older pictures (this from 2005) get on this site.

This picture reminds me of how much Emma helps me in so many ways. Today i seem to be unable to grasp and maintain a hold on things. I often have weakness like this in my hands especially if I am tired. Emma to the rescue picking up things for me.

Today she is a sleepy doggy. Why? Because was up. Greg did better than I did. Emma will get up with me. I am so much pain and leg spasms. I was just miserable all night. I have a call into my doctor about that. I see them in about two weeks but they will maybe help with meds. I mention not to complain but to let MS readers know that this happends. Also to demonstrate how much she helps us. Most of all to let you know she is on duty 24/7.

When we get up at night, she follows me if I am trying to walk off the spasms, stetch, take a warm bath or whatever. Then often i sit up a bit on the couch and she snuggles with her head in my lap. Now her presence is good medicine regardless of what it is that is bothering me. When I get back to bed she is right there in her bed (next to mine) or hops on and sleeps at my feet. She is such a good source of help and comfort.

Just got home from Greg's PT appt. Dear daughter Becky took some time off work to drive us. Due to some vision and MS problems I rarely drive now. Waiting for my MS clinic to call me to see if I need a med change or something...

Thanks for the notes from regular readers who found this web site. Will be fun to get more pictures on the blog.

Off for a nap, mary and Emma

Hope you have a good day

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Look at Those Loving Eyes



Do those eyes make you melt? Those are the loving eyes I get to look at every day. Yep we got Greg settled and are back again. I am so thrilled to be able to add photos here. You will see both old and new photos as we go along.

Time for bed for us. Thanks to all the readers who keep track of us.

Welcome to All

Peek A Boo - did you find us? Some of you are new and others followed us from our other blog. Okay should the tile be Mary and Emma Service Dog Team? Well just to be sure Emma is the dog and Mary the human.

Welcome to new readers and thanks for joining us to those who have followed our life journey since 2005. Yes I have had my wonderful Emma for three years. She still amazes me and I love her now more than ever.

For the time being I will post here and the almost the same on this site www.servicedoglady.blogstream.com
Why are we moving? I am having trouble with sharing photos on the other site. This gives me some creative options. Also the other site is having some problems for me in posting and others in reaching me.

So all those past blogs. I am going to have to somehow save the ones from my first days with Emma and in team training where I learned what Emma already knew. I have a hard copy but not all. i better go back and fetch (love that choice of word) some of my favorite posts.

I do complain sometimes but hope I do show that I do try to deal with Multiple Sclerosis without giving up. Emma of course helps me do that.

More later. Husband Greg has back injury and Nurse Emma and Mary have to go help him. Yes Emma knows I am her boos (head dog) but she is also helping with some things with Greg. Afterall he helps with her care when i have bad MS days and enjoys her company when we are home together.