Saturday, January 31, 2009

MS Fatigue and Weakness

We have been sleeping and sleeping and sleeping and resting and sleeping.

I am having a MS flare up. I have been sleeping 13 or mor hours at night. Napping 4 hours or more in the day. At feeling like a limp rag doll. This is not the first time this has happened and likely won't be the last either. Steroids would probably help me get over this faster but since it goofs up my diabetes my Dr. Calkwood and I agreed for now that is not an option. Taking it easy is the solution. So that is what I am doing. My left side is very weak and my vision is very bad too. I can't help but take it easy.

Today if I am up to it we are invited to a friend's house for dinner and to Godspell at their Church. Both their boys are in it. Sammy is my Godson and his brother is Joey. I hope to feel good enough to go if I rest all day.

I am making sure Emma gets outside and today it is suppose to be above 30...

So that is all the news. I have to go rest... Mary and Emma

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My star Emma

I love this picture of Emma taken soon after she came into my life. We were volunteering to gift wrap at Barnes and Noble as a fund raiser for Helping Paws.

We were home all day today and I think will be tomrrow also. I am so fatigued lately. The MS is flaring up a bit we think anyway. Rosa did come see us for about three hours. She cuddled as she is getting over a cold, played blocks, played with her dolly, and did quiet things. The time flew by. I thought she was so good...what a sweetheart she is...She was pretty fun to cuddle with today. I am glad she is feeling better.

We are invited to the movie "Taken" tomorrow but I think it looks too intense for me. We can be home, read, and maybe even get some laundry washed and folded before the weekend? Aren't there always things to do around the house? I think so.

After Rosa left I slept until almost 7 pm when my husband woke me. MS is wiping out all my energy these days but that is the way it goes sometimes. Emma was cuddled next to me and didn't even wake me to eat her dinner. Surprising.

I think we will be in bed by 9 pm. I have a book to start The Cape Ann (for Book club). Like always Emma enjoyed going outside today. She still amuses me. When I say time to come in - she normally takes one lap around the perimeter of our yard (fence line) as she rushes inside. She comes in so fast I have to make sure she doesn't know Rosa down. Rosa and Emma like eache other and are cute together.

Yeah for is suppose to be warm here Sat for a one day thaw if we are fortunate. Wishing you a good day.

Mary and Emma

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Can She Be 6 already?

Can Emma be six already? I found this picture of when she turned three. Sophia was delighted to blow out the candles for her.

Emma was so eager to work today. I had a short doctor appointment in the morning. In the afternoon we attended a talk by my MS specialist about some changes coming up in the way they deliver health care. It was interesting and done in time for us to take a needed nap.

There is a light snow tonight and it is pretty outside. Emma enjoyed diving into the snow banks of course. It was so pretty and fresh outside. Not as cold as it has been either though i was bundled up.

Emma was on her best behavior at the events today. I will write more tomorrow. I am pretty tired tonight.

Have a good night - Mary and Emma

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We've Been Resting a lot

My sweet Emms when she "rests her head" on my lap. She does this on cue so I can pet her, give me something, so I can check her ears, and sometimes does it on her own when she wants attention.

I have been so fatigued. Slept more than 12 hours last night even with a nap. Yesterday we did go to book club and then I had an appt. Then home to nap. Today we are soon off to water exercise and I am sure will nap. I have had trouble doing the entire workout with the MS group so I do as much as I can. I think I am having a falre up of MS.

Emma is liking her new bed but of course first choice is snuggling in with us/ When I sleep in, she gets up with Greg. He feeds her and takes her outside. Then she bounces into bed with me. Snuggles up and we snooze some more. It is a good thing I have water exercise or i would still be in bed and it is after 9 am here.

Take good care to have a good day --- Mary and Emma

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Emma runs around fast outside - not inside. She loves her fenced in yard. We play quietly indoors.

Emma's New Bed

Emma did not have to share her bed today of course. On her birthday Rosa had a good time playing on it both with or without Emma. Sophia found it a good spot to read. Honestly at first Emma looked at it, smelled it and then went to lay in her own pillow. Now it is moved from the living room to the bedroom in place of her old bed. She seems to like it and it has a washable cover. Gave me incentive to vacuum and dust in my bedroom today.

It was cold today so i watched Emma from indoors. I think she thought she was the entertainment for me. She just ran and ran around the room. She would run to the patio door to see me and then run some more. She was though very agreeable when it was time to come in - she tends to run faster when it is cold.

We did get out for a short break with my friend Jan. Just went and had a pop and chatted for a bit. It was good to get out of the house. I am doing laundry and hoping both Emma and I have the energy to fold it and put it away...wouldn't it be awesome if she could put it away. Despite the arm weakness (which was about the same yeah not worse today) we got some things don.

My energy is wearing low so not much more will get done today...just a load or two of laundry I hope.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. I will try to get another of just Emma on the bed soon...

Hope you had a good weekend, Mary and Emma

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Emma's Birthday Party Pictures

The pictures show Emma's party. I will have a few more. You have to turn your head to see her cake as I can't figure out how to put it otherwise on the computer for this site. Don't be alarmed the cake for her is truly made of dog food - Greg's creation.
She woofed it down pretty fast when she had the chance. You can see we were all in a happy mood.

Mike and Tia had a date night (Tia is above with Sophia) so we had the girls overnight which was fun. We napped a lot Sat though ha ha. We discovered the new dog bed was a big hit with the granddaughters. Emma happily shared it with thme unti l today and it is moved into our room where it belongs.

This will be short..I am having trouble with my left side weakness and tingling...kind of like when your foot falls asleep. It is making it hard to use my left arm/hand and now is also affecting my leg and foot. The hospital staff was fairly certain it was MS when I went for a test Friday. We will see how it plays out.

The girls had the cutest matching pajama's but not sure we have a good picture of that. Rosa was pretty active till bedtime..
She slept with us in bed and YES so did Emma. I know it might sound odd but it worked out fine. Emma curled up in the middle below Rosa. Cozy but it works...won't be long till that won't work though as Rosa is getting bigger and streches out more...we did just fine. Sophia and Anna camped out in the living to have a full house here.

We are off to bed...My Aunt called and sang Happy Birthday to Emma on the answering machine while we were out briefly today. She is 85 and I thought it was very sweet of her..

We also celebrated the news that Greg's cancer has not returned. He has had kidney cancer several times and only has part of one kidney left. He is tested routinely but good news is never taken for granted.

Wonder if he will sing me to sleep like he did Rosa last night??? Emma seemed to like it.

Mary and Emma hope you have a good weekend. Brr it will be -15 here tonight...

Mary and Emma

Friday, January 23, 2009


Yeah Emma is six today...

As a treat she got to sleep late .
She went grocery shopping with Greg and did an awesome job while i had tests at Mercy Hospital
They met someone whose Mom has MS and might need a service job - good job Emma showing off your skills

I will take pictures of our celebration and have more details. Thanks for the Emails....

Other good news - My husband had tests to see if their is any evidence of his kidney cancer returning and there is not. Yeah a clean bill of health.

We are celebrating tonight at home with our granddaughters and our kids will be here at least for a bit. Mike and Tia are having a date night so we will have the girls overnight.

Emma has a new bed to use tonight. Greg made her a special cupcake dessert made of dog food - and we bought candles too.

So nice to have good news to share. Watch for photos....

Mary and Emma

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tomorrow Is Emma's Birthday

The application for MS Camp 2009 came out today. Hurray. Camp is offered in both May and August. This year for various reasons I can only go in May. I sure hope I am accepted for that time. This is a picture from last year. The first year they had May camp i was disappointed wanting August...but gosh May is cooler and fun. If I didn't have other concerns August is nice too even though it can be hot. Greg is so busy that week in August that getting there and back with my scooter is nearly impossible. So let's hope I get May. i don't know what I would do if I didn't go to MS Camp. I posted the picture larger than normal so you could see Emma better in the photo.

Tomorrow is Emma's birthday. I have tests at the hospital but in the evening both Rosa and Sophia will be here to help us celebrate. I think they are going to sleep over too. Won't that be fun for all. Emma is getting a new bed for in my bedroom as her present. I hope she finds it comfy. I will try to remember to take photos of the occasion.

We did go to water exercise today. We also did a few errands with Greg late this afternoon. We had a nap but shorter than normal so we are heading to bed before 9 i hope.

It was so nice today - snow was melting. I don't know what the temp was but it felt balmy to those of us in MN. I think back to normal temps tomorrow.

I hope you are doing well...special thanks again to all the helping paws folks who helped train Emma and those who support the organization as volunteers, financially etc. Our very special thanks to JUDY Emma's foster mom and her family...

Emma and Mary

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nap s Are Good

Emma's Birthday is in Two Days

My "baby" will be six on Friday. My granddaughters will be here for a party and sleep over if all goes as planned. I think it will be fun for all.

Today, Wed we went to my counselor which was supportive. For those who might be leery or talking to a counselor Know for me it has helped me cope in so many areas of life. Rosa and Mike now come over Wed afternoons for a few hours so that I can babysit while Mike has a class. It is such fun.

Rosa is good with Emma. Rosa and I rested (she couldn't quite fall asleep so we watched a children's show). She was so thrilled that Emma layed in the bed with us. Then we colored for a long time. Emma just watched us. We played blocks and with her play food...Emma liked those activities because I even sat on the floor for awhile (yes I could get back up by pulling myself up by the couch)...we had a nice afternoon.

We also sang songs. Then Rosa made up some of her own including singing about Emma. It reminded me why I liked being home with my children and doing daycare. I am so glad to have this time with glad she is so good with Emma.

Emma liked being outdoors with me several times today. My son took her out once also. It was a good day. Both Emma and I took a late nap after Rosa left. It takes energy to keep up with a two year old.

Hope you have a good day. I need to go get a few chores done and then head to bed...Emma and Mary

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Takes Office

Emma and i were home all day. i wasn't feeling well so it was good to be home. Watching the days events was a good distraction. We also squeezed in a nap. I was moved, inspired, cried, and have hope for our future. I thought of the grass roots efforts that helped make this happen. I was one of many accross the country who made hundreds all calls to get people to caucus...the volunteer time, the staff time....all the effort across the country to help this be a democracy.

Obama was inspiring, humble and honest. There is a lot to do...but yeah we are on our way.

I am proud to live in a country where transfer of power can happen without bloodshed. What an incredible day for American.

Mary and Emma

Three Days till Emma's Birthday

I have to celebrate Emma all week...this is a photo of when she was not yet 3. Graduation with the Michurski family.
Yeah Emma enjoy this weekl

Monday, January 19, 2009

Four Days till Emma's Birthday

The picture is of my daughter Becky and her husband Justin in their new home. I thought it would be fun to share. We enjoyed seeing it for the first time yesterday. We brought a load of her things over for them.

Today the strangest thing happened. For the first time in over three years Emma got very upset. I guess she "freaked". This is what happened. We were at the lung specialsits for test. To do this one I had to sit in like a chamber type thing and then there was aparatus that I had to breathe into.

Well Emma got upset. She would not remain laying down, would not sit, she wanted to be by me with her head on my lap. That would not work for the test. Then we tried placing her in a drop stay closer to me but that did not work. Fortunately my husband was in the waiting room. So she went out there and was fine with him. She has been there before and done fine but never in that room with that thing I had to sit in.

I dont' know if she could sense how nervous I was about the visit. Or maybe the room set up and the thing I had to be in upset her? The other thing is to guide you in your breathing they use a load voice and kind of yell at you. Telling you to breathe in or out and for how long. Whatever she was not a happy camper.

I do go again in two weeks. If I go by Metro Mobility and am alone one of the nurses their said she would be happy to walk Emma around if needed. I think the regular exam room is just fine for her. I do have tests again next time but i don't think in that specific room...we will see.

The rest of the day Emma did great. We went shopping to see if we could find any bargains. Then to Target for some groceries, and a few things. There they had a scooter. At the first place I walked with a cart so it was like a walker for me. i was very slow but got some exercise so that is a good thing. I am trying to loose weight.

Then we ended the day meeting my friend Jan at Barnes and Noble. We looked at books a bit but mostly sat in the coffee shop and chatted. That was really nice so we had a good day.

We are going to have a yummy supper. Greg is making a fish chowder that has lots of vegetables. It does not have a cream base so it should be okay calorie wise. I hope we get to bed early since we got up early and did not nap.

Emma is doing just fine. Her birthday is Friday - she will be six. i bought her a present and I will keep both you and her surprised about it all. I have tests at Mercy Hospital but it will be out patient on that day. I hope I will feel okay so the granddaughters can come over at night and celebrate with us. I think they will enjoy a candle and cake or cupcakes - something special. I have a pouch of a special food for Emma's treat that day.

Thanks for reading this blog. I hope I don't complain too much. Emma is such a joy in my life. Out shopping there were many children since there was no school. They are so impressed by the smallest things she does. One elementary school age boy was so cute. He yells over to me "Hey Lady" so when I responded he said "DO you know what a beautiful dog yo have? She is like the best dog ever!!" Of course I agree.

The only difficult part of our outing was the not letting children pet her. They were so disappointed but I reminded them she was working. Several mothers and grandmothers took time to explain to their children what it meant to be a working dog.
Everyone was very respectful and I appreciate that.

Have a good night. I am so excited about Obahma's election tomorrow...we need a change and I hope good things come in this year.....

Mary and Emma wish you a good day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snowy Fun For Emma

This is her favorite toy. I have seen it at REI and at Target. It throws like a frisbee but is cloth. It floats, it glows in the dark, and Emma just loves it. It is her favorite toy in any season.

The pictures show the fun we had playing with it in the snow. HURRAY it was warm enough for me to really really enjoy playing outside with Emma. Should be nice like this all week.

I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Have a good day...remember Snow Can Be Fun to Play In....Emma and Mary

We were sleepy

We were sleepy and slept late. We got to bed late after the fun of the Weinand family gathering. Emma is enjoying the warmer temps and i am having fun playing with her outdoors and indoors. She is really eager to play and work this morning so the sleep did us both good. Her tail is wagging away.

We hope to see my daughter's house today. They have been fixing things up and are finally moving in to live there. I am so happy for Justin and Becky. Justin lived at home many years and saved money so they could have a house and Becky is a good saver too. I am pleased for them they can put money into their house rather than paying rent. If I had a magic wand i would make this happen for all my children. Wouldn't that be nice? I mean the magic wand.

We are going to head outside and then do some laundry fun fun. I want to get some things done so I can go to see the house.
My energy is limited due to MS so the fine line is don't do so much that you don't feel good and cannot go to Becky's.

Take care, Mary and Emma

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Family Gatherings

We celebrated the Weinand family Christmas today. Sadly Emma had to stay home but she coped fine. They have three dogs all hunting dogs. They are having trouble with the young one being aggressive to other dogs. i was glad they were honest and kept Emma home. I feel bad for them as they want to keep Ruby but they can;t take him by other dogs other than those he lives with because of his behavior. They are seeking some advice on how to deal with this. The dogs were mostly secluded to the bedroom due to the many little children and it was just plain crowded in their home but came out once to go outdoors. Sure cute dogs.

This is a picture from my childhood. It is an early family reunion. My Grandma Anna's sisters all had their families gather yearly. At first it was the farm where they all grew up but later sometimes was at a lake or other locations. I am in the front row. Look at the right (I know it might be fuzzy) You will see my wonderful little sister and I. It was the highlight of our summer. It was our only vacation. We would only be gone one or two nights but we loved it. My mom often bought us new pajamas that matched as we would stay with relatives. We also often got new outfits. We didn't have a lot of money so this was really great - and they weren't hand me downs either.

At the Weinand celebration we were missing some who were out of state and Greg's parents and sister Sharon have all died too young of cancer. Still we had a good time....

I thought about how priceless it is to have family. My mother's family all grew up in a small town. She was the surprise baby when they all were grown up and most had moved away from their small town so I never knew any of them much at all. Not any of my cousins. In my Dad's family we had some roots, many our out in California (hi Karen) but they would visit..somehow I felt more connected. Though there too my cousins lived out of state....

Well my point is today I am thinking how nice it is to have family. I don't even see my nephews and neices as much as I would like and now they have children...but when we gather it is just so nice. The wedding reminded me of that also.

So tonight I am counting my blessings. i have family. My extended family, my siblings, my grandchildren, and my children and their spouses. When i am discouraged I need to hold on to that fact. Today was a better day though I have had a headache all amount of medicine will knock it out. Any tips ha ha.

Hope you have friends and family to support you in share your joys and be their in times of struggles. I did miss Emma though as she is my family now also....Mary and Emma

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Truth About Emma


You mean so much to me Emma
I talk to you during the day or night
I never am alone with you there
I appreciate your help with tasks you have learned
Yet more amazing to me is your "presence"
I do not even know how to share with others
All the ways you are present to me
You wrap your paws around me so often when we lay in bed
It is like you are hugging my arm
Like you are showing by your body language
We are a strong team Mary
Don't give up even on a day when you feel blue or depressed

Or when we read or watch tv
You have choices of where to lay
You have that comfy pillow/bed
And you lay their often by choice or if told to do so
But when I need someone to cuddle
I don't have to say a word
You are up sharing the love seat with me
I think you like that more than the bigger couch
Our bodies are closer
You like to lay your paw on me
Again physically reminding me we are a team
Where would i be without you Emma

I began this blog thinking i could help others understand
What it was "really" like to have a service dog
I think because I was always curious
How was it like having a "pet" dog
How was it different
Was it a lot of work too
How do you know if the dog will like you
And so many other questions.

So many people have read
so many words that I have written
Trying to capture what you mean to me
Yet I can't do it justice
You are like my life line in the game of life
You are my safety net when I either physically or emotionally need help to venture forward
You are so affectionate
I didn't think any dog could "hug" you back but you do

You also sometimes cuddle in bed
On Greg's side of the bed at naptime
Or if we go to bed early.
You lay face to face now
You look in my eyes
You put your paw on me
This week it seems like you are saying
Don't give up even if discouraged or worried about things
We are in this together
And you are never alone

Greg goes to work
My children are venturing into their own lives
Emma is 100% here all the time

There was a time I was so depressed I couldn't get out of bed
Emma gets me out of bed
Emma kisses and nudges me if I nap too long because I don't want to remember my concerns/worries
Emma is like a physically present gaurdian angel to me
Always in my corner
Unlike a human I never seem to offend her
I never feel like a burden to her
I never worry I bothered her by calling at the wrong time
I never have to apologize for needing her help

Her birthday is the 23rd of January
WAs she born just to find her way into my life
Was she God's gift to me to help me face hard issues?
Health problems
Economic issues
Other worries and concerns

To be sure I need the physical help
I will likely need it more as the disease progresses
But she is so much more to me...

Emma you will be six years old
On please God guide me to provide the best care
So she has a long life...
I can't imagine coping without
My Beloved Emma


Another Cold Cold Day

If you could photograph "cold" that is the picture that you would see for the past days. The coldest in five years - so darn cold. Emma flew in and out to do her duty. Today we did venture out with friends. We saw the movie Defiance- I knew nothing about it just waned to go along...Wow it was a tear jerker, though also inspiring about how the people tried to survive in time of very sad at parts. Bring kleenix if you plan to see it - is an emotional movie.. It is a true story. If had known details I might have thought i couldn't handle it but all of us who went really were glad that we did see it. It is shot primarily in a forest so the photography was amazing...Emma slept through it all.

Tonight we had our Friday night with Rosa and Sophia. It was so cold that Mike and Tia also stayed and that was nice (rather than date night)...Sophia has violin lessons near our home and that is how this tradition began. We love it...

Emma has been a good companion - I am having some problems with depression. It is common with MS...I have so many blessing that this seems ridiculous to feel depressed...Emma seems to be even closer to me at these times. I don't what to complain as it seems to be part of my life - sometimes more evident than others.

The weather is suppose to start warming up. Even be ithe 30's by the end of the week..

More tomorrow...

Cold in MN

Even colder this morning at -21. Emma is quick in her trips outside to go to the bathroom. We plan to be home all day. I will blog more later. We are doing just fine....Mary and Emma

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Emma and i Babysat Today

Rosa the beautiful baby is growing up so fast. Don't you love the photo with her Mommy and big sister on her first Mother's Day and now here she is two years old. Emma and i are crazy about the granddaughters. Oh we had such fun with Rosa today.

Rosa and i colored, played with a dolly, rested, read, colored some more, sang songs, cuddled, watched Dora the explorer, and more...wel had such fun. When Daddy came to pick her up she said "NO, stay Grandma's House". Her Daddy did stay for a little bit and then she left more willingly. She even got to see Grandpa for a little bit. What a special girl. She sure brightened out day.

We watched Emma from INSIDE the patio door and her trips outside were fast. the top temp her was -6. Tomorrow we are suppose to wake up to -21 degrees at 8 am. Some out of the metro area schools will start late. Metro area schools will likely run on time. Parents will have to decide if they can drive kids to school, keep them warm in cars at the bus stop, or keep them home with them. It is much to cold for a child to walk to school or even wait minutes at the bus stop. Brr. Emma will get only short trips outside that are needed.

There is swimming tomorrow but I will wait to hear if the woman who drives me wants to go out in such weather. She has a very reliable car at least. I jusr don't know if we want to venture out or not. I do have a very warm coat though and there won't be snow tonight.

Back to today. When Rosa and I were watching from inside the patio door - Rosa would echo my words when I called Emma in - it was so cute. Emma rushed in. But while outside in this frigid weather for a bit she layed in the snow like it was a sunny day!! Doesn't she get cold doing that? Under my watchful eye she was not ourside long at all...

Rosa gave Emma lots of hugs. It was and enjoyable afternoon.

We are tired and going to bed and to read a book tonight...Emma won't mind snuggling in early with me. She won't mind at all.

Also in my picture you can see my eye problem. You might have noticed in other photos. They believe this weakness in being able to hold up my eye open is due to MS. It is more noticeable as I tire. When I worked we kidded you could tell the time by my eye as it drooped more when I tired. Makes it tough to say to others "I am not tired" when you really are tired. Greg says he also knows I need rest when "Emma looks tired" she tends to nap with me.

We had such a wonderful afternoon. Rosa gave lots of hugs to Emma. At one point Rosa was laying on her sleeping bag with a pillow and blanket resting and Emma was very close on her own pillow beside her. I wanted to snap a picture but did not get the chancel I did not want to wake Rosa who almost fell asleep...what an angel she is.

I wish I saw Sophia as much as Rosa but of course she is in school She is also so precious.

Have a good night mary and Emma

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Emma is A wonderful Part of My Family

This my husband and I with Emma a few years ago. i guess I should take some more current pictures. I picked it today because I was thinking how much we both like having in our Home. She is helpful, interesting, and a topic of conversation. She is a good companion for me too.

Brr it is so cold today even Emma dashed in and out. We did go to water exercise though and that was a good thing. Then we went to lunch. A friend I met through the YMCA (she works/volunteers there) treated. She is very nice. While eating I dropped my napkin and Emma picked it up. Wendy was just amazed. i immediately told her more about how Emma helps me at home and when I am out in public too. It is so fun to surprise people with how smart she is and inform them of the rold of a helper dog.

It is so cold the restuarant which has many windows seemed so cool too. We had already started to eat when we noticed the chill from the windows so we stayed. Even Emma felt cold when i petted her at the end of the meal. At the time it was -5. I think it is suppose to get colder as the week goes on but believe me it felt cold today. Snow is expected tonight but not a storm in our area.

On cold nights Emma seems even more excited to hop up in bed with us. Usually she is happy at my feet. Lately she crawls up inbetween us wanting some petting before we fall asleep. Then we all snooze away. When I roll over though sometime the covers stay under her and I have to wake her and move her to readjust the blankets. Last night she then let out a big sigh and went to her own bed that is at my side on the floor (by the heat vent). Greg said i tossed and turned a lot so she must have gotten sick of it ha ha. She has her own nice warm bed of course.

In the kitchen today I dropped silverware I was gathering to wash up and other things. Emma was right there to help me. I am so use to having her around to help that I forget how amazing it is that a dog can be trained to be so helpful. She is my sweetheart for sure.

We are of course staying in on such a cold night. I am helping to finish up a mailing for Greg's work and don't mind that once in awhile. The nights seem so dark and cold. I think I heard when we wake up Thursday it is suppose to be -20 and never get above 0 all day. We will have to wear long underwear to swimming. Though I miss driving Emma and I get to climb into a semi warm van when are ride arrives so that is not all bad. I have a really warm coat. I don't have a coat for Emma as when it is this cold she is in the air only briefly. In our car and in the car of the person who drives me to swimming there is a blanket for her to use. She sits on it...but if a car broke down due to the cold I could wrap her in it for extra warmth.

The places we go typically are off main roads which are plowed well, and enough traffic someone would notice if you had car trouble. cell phones are nice to have too in this weather just in case.

Tomorrow we are home all day but will yeah be watching Rosa for a few hours in the afternoon. Emma and I will like that.

I better eat dinner and finish the mailing. May your day be especially nice....Emma and Mary

Monday, January 12, 2009

Emma' Snowy Yard

I tried to get a good picture of Emma but didn't. She was on the move and I got cold (I need warmer boots). So in these pictures you will see the pretty snowy evergreen in our yard, the lonesome barbeque that we haven't used since Christmas, and Emma playing by the playground. She loves having this space to exercise. I am in the yard too with her. It was a bit cold for how I was dressed so we were not out there long when I had the camera.

You won't believe this...we went to a movie again. Three movies in four days. I don't often see that many movies in a theater in a year or so. She with a different friend I went to Bride Wars. It was cute and took my mind off other things. Like marley in Me though i wish they didn't show so many of the key seens on tv interview shows or comercials or previews. Many parts would be funnier if they were a surprise. But Emma and I had fun

We came home to play outside and then took a nap. We probably have over three inches by now. I think it is still lightly snowing too. Swimming tomorrow so I hope it is not too slippery for those who drive there. Driving home from work was hard for everyone according to Greg and my sister and kids.

Emma came in with a very snowy nose after playing with me. I will try to get more pictures of her in the snow soon.

Off to relax - Mary and Emma

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Emma Is the Greatest Helper Ever

Where would I be without this awesome dog? I am feeling more tired and shakey than normal today. Did I lay around in bed and mope - no as Emma let me sleep late (Greg fed her) but then woke me with her kisses. It is like she wants to say "Hey get up let's enjoy the day" up I got.

I went to the kitchen dropped silverware=and yep Emma picked that up. No time to feel bad that I am shakey. I have a helper when I cook, if I drop the newspaper, if I drop something in the bathroom, bedroom and so on. She is on the ball and ready to help me out.

I sat on the couch to watch a morning news show. Guess who brought me the blanket - this time before being asked? Yes Emma. She seems to smile she is proud to do this and yes she knows she will get a treat for this behavior - yeah Emma.

We just got in from outside. I can't just sit around as she is there needing exercise. Okay this time I watched from the patio door but she is so entertaining. She does her duty quick then explores - stopping frequently to look at me. She eagerly comes in when i say its time to do so. I decided today though I need better boots so my feet stay warmer when I go outside with her. Gosh my boots are so very old. I bet I can get some on sale this year.

I had to put in some laundry. We had sorted it on the floor but I am kind of dizzy today. Guess who is eager to pick it up and hand it to me so I can load the washing machine. You bettcha it is Emma. She enjoyed it like it was a great game today.

Upstairs we come. She is at my side and attentive. How can I sink into the blues when I have her to help me. Okay sometimes I do get a bit blue or frustrated but she is here to help me out and I enjoy that very very much.

I am finding that I have to build in time to review skills each day. We use to do that daily as a fun time but I got out of the habit since the hospitalizations. I have a new cane I want her to get more use to retrieving for me. I want to practice a few other things too. She will like that.

Depending how I feel our goal is to work on laundry (how I wish she could carry it upstairs for me) and then clean the kitchen and bedroom. The kitchen is almost done. Greg worked in the morning and will be home a few hours before working tonight. So he will bring up the laundry. Emma will help hand it to me from the basket to fold. She likes it so much it helps me enjoy the task. Again i wish she could put it away ha ha.

Emma will help in my bedroom as needed. Wish she could dust and boy i need to wash my curtains I realized. My bedroom seems to get so dusty and I don'/t know why more than other rooms? Emma just is so awesome in helping.

She is also awesome at calming me down or as a companion. In the middle of the night i couldn't sleep. I got up and read rather than lay and dwell on my problems. Yes she brought me the blanket and then cuddled up next to me. How great is that. She is just so awesome as a friend in my life. So accepting and reliable.

Hope all is well with you today. I put a big photo on this time and have no idea how that will look till it is published and I am done typing. My goal will be to get warm boots and take some outdoor photos this week with Emma.

Wishing you a good Sunday. We hope to go to church tonight with Greg if I feel okay and he is not working too late. Sometimes he has to go in and be there like five hours even after working in the morning and that gets too long for me when you include the driving time too. Emma will keep me company no matter what we do.

Emma, I love you so much. Thanks for being so awesome. Thanks more than i can ever express to Helping Paws Staff, Board Members, contributers, volunteers and especialy to Judy Michurski and her family for training Emma...she is the best.

Mary and Emma

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another Movie - time with a Friend

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I am thinking summer again. Had time to view some of my favorite photos that are on my computer. Sophia's winning smile warms my heart any season. Rosa loves to blow bubbles and watch them float in the air. Emma is comfy in the grass. Was it months ago that we had flowers?

I am amazed to hear people have flowers or blooming trees in the winter. Of course I have always lived in MN. It is fun to hear from my cousin and other relatives about what it is like in warmer places this time of year. I also saw a friend's pictures from Mexico and that looked so warm also.

Today was not too bad as it was sunny. IT would have been a great day for outdoor activities like ice skating, skiing, sledding, or cross country skiing. I should have done more of that when I could have done so...well we did have fun. We went to the movie The Tale of Despereaux. A friend of mine Jan, is a teacher and wanted to see it. She read it with her class. The students said it was not true to the book and she agreed. It is a good show but not the same as the book in many ways. I will have to read the book. I will say I enjoyed it. Then we headed to the book store Borders to look at books and chat in the coffee shop area. Now we are home.

Tonight I hope to get some pep to accomplish something. I have laundry to do and want to clean out my dresser. I have Greg home so he can help carry the laundry up and down steps. Today I got very dizzy and also winded trying to climb the steps. I am not sure why that happened.

We are fine though - Sunshine helps any day be better. Greg is working on a home project of putting shelves in a closet so that is great. Should help us out a lot.

Hope you have a nice weekend. Let's hear it for friends who like to do things like go to a movie or chat with you (us). Emma and I really like spending time with Jan. I met her while teaching at St. John's in Excelsior...we just hit if off. Before she barely knew me she helped give me rides to school as even then i had trouble with my eyes and driving. We had great fun riding to and from work...we made it enjoyable...what a freind she is - such a blessing.

Take good care. I need to take more pictures of Emma and of the girl's with Mike and Tia too.

Have a good day, Mary and Emma

Friday, January 9, 2009

Marley and Me

Dear Emma

We went to Marley and Me today with Rosa and Sophia and Greg
Gosh i cried
I need you so much
I rely on you each day
Do you know that
Do I give you enough attention and affection
I don't take for granted your abity to help me
I treasure every moment with you
I don't take for granted how comforting you are
Emma nothing compares to your love
I miss my pet dog Boomer also
I even miss my cats that died
Pets are so much a part of the family
But you more than any of the others
I love you
Please live a long healthy life
I can't imagine life without you

Love Mary

Marley and Me is very touching movie. We cried tons but were glad we saw the movie.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

MS Camp - Spring fever in January

Can you believe I have spring fever??? Or at least spring for thoughts !! YES IT IS TIME TO SEND IN REQUESTS TO GO TO MS CAMP!! I hope for May camp but will do May or August whatever I am given. Recall that last year I won the medallion hunt so we get to go for free - hip hip hurray for that fact. You will see besides the activies and action of camp Emma likes her naps!! This was my room mates sleeping bag that Emma loved to lay on. Maybe more cushy that what i brought last year ( a blanket). Tonya didn't mind but I will bring a nicer sleeping bag this year for sure for both of us to sleep on!

The best part of MS camp is the friends. I love the people I have gotten to know. It is a wonderful combination of new and old friends. We have such fun. The picture of me with my roomates is the beginning of the week. By the end we look kind of tired out. That is okay it is worth every minute good for the spirit and soul even if the body has to rest up a few days to recover from all the fun. I just love camp so much.

Tonya the one with the lighter hair called me today. The Camp is going to be smoke free this year. We don't smoke but many participants and some of the volunteers do smoke!!!! I wonder what that will mean as far as participation from both. I don't smoke but I know it is a difficult habit to give up.

Greg criticizes smokers. I say when I give up my habit of over eating i willl maybe think about that fact.

Well the MS events in upcoming months will help boost my spirits. The first is the couples getaway in Alexandria MN. Fun to get away...then there will be a day I lobby at the Capital for rights fot the disabled, then Women'ts Getaway in April and Camp in May or June.

Think all this and every month MS book club and weekly MS Water exercise and Monthly Support Group for people with MS also. Where would I be without the MS Society.

Itt is cold with snow predicted. As I snuggle in with my lovely Emma (who had a great day) We are thinking of camp. Emma likes it I think. We go for at least two walks in the woods or by the lake or gardens 2-3 days. We get to go to various activities. I think her favorite is yoga and meditation. She is the first one snoring in the meditation (with music) class.

Dream of summer days if you are sick of winter -- Mary and Emma

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Cold Night

No picture today. We went to my counselor (most people with MS suffer from depression which is due to the way it impacts your brain and other factors) Then to the doctor who helps manage my diabetes. My blood test for that wasn't good. I am also low on vitamin d and my some medicine changes that we hope will improve things. Friday is the cat scan.

Tomorrow we swim again which is a good thing. I think we are going out to lunch too. There is an economical italian place we haven't been to for several weeks that we like. It is small but yummy and the price is right.

I am having trouble with wheezing tonight and not sure why. So trying to take care of myself. I am off to bed with Emma.

Hope your day goes well--Mary

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


In Mn rhe Senate seat election results were so close between Norm Coleman and Al Franken that state law required a recount. Originally Coleman was ahead. Now Al Franken appears to have won though Norm Coleman filled suit against these results so it will take weeks or months until we know for sure who will be seated. Franken can not start till this is settled and Coleman is out of office as his term is over.

I know not all of you share my political views but among my friends even those who would rather have Coleman we all agree we want to have this settled. I don't like the idea of having only Amy Klobucher representing us. We need two senators. well we will see.

My son helped with Al Frankens campaign. At one event where Al spoke we were able to speak with him. He really liked Emma as you can see. I let him per her but I was surprised when her kisses were right on the lips and he didn't mind. He was very pleasant to talk to and i heard him speak at several different venues. I don't agree with everything from his satirist career but think he is sincere and will represent us well if this all gets finalized. I wonder how long it will take.

We had a great day at swimming and after school had time with my friend Jan who is a teacher. Tonight yeah we are getting out a bit to return some things from Christmas. Emma will get some exercise walking the store which is good. We are going to use a gift certifcate we got for Christmas and go to dinner too if all goes as planned. What a big day. Some days I go crazy being in the house all day and night and sometimes that is several days it seems...then a busy day like today...go figure.

Tomorrow a dr appt.

Hope you enjoy the picture of Emma. Mary and Emma

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ms Water Exercise Photos

This is what Tuesday and Thursday MS water excercise looks like to us. See the info below

Ms Water Exercise

Tuesday is water exercise. I thought I would share these pictures as I am not sure if you have seen them before or not.
Emma rests comfortably by the life guards desk and just a few feet from the pool. Look at the view from her spot. Of course normally I am in there. She has never tried to jump in though she loves to swim. Also here is our swim group. We have a few new members now so sometimes it is more crowded than others. We exercise at the very least a full hour...sometimes more. I often am in 75 minutes. In the water it is so easy to walk, do the exercises etc.

The nice thing is the YMCA in New HOpe has a family dressing room that is also used for the disabled or those who need to be able to get to the pool without using stairs. there are individual changing rooms with showers, and safety bars too. There aren't enough rooms for all 14 of us to get into the rooms at the same time. I don't mind at all it gives me and a few others time to work out more. We chat plenty while we walk in the water or do some of the exercises. It meets some social needs for me.

Darn it due to a problem with my computer the pictures won't post yet. I will add them when I figure it out. I don't want to delete this entry.

I hope you had a good day. Many individuals I know are experiencing a let down after the holidays (for us also the wedding) and dealing with the snow, ice and we haven't had much sun. I feel that way for me but have good friends and family so that is a good thing and of course I have EMMA. Thank God I think she keeps me sane.

Wishing you a good day Tuesday.


Prayers Needed

I know two families dealing with the deaths of children. One is an ll month old twin daughter and another family an 18 year old. Both are doing some tests to see what happend. The 11 month old it was not SIDS she had been a bit ill but seemed to be getting better.

My daughter Anna is close friends with the mother of the baby. She spent the day with her yesterday and her family. Today she said she needed to go see my granddaughter Rosa and hug her and thank God she is healthy.

Thanks for your prayers. In both cases it is just so sad. Death is never easy. I wonder how people cope who do not have faith or do not believe in heaven?

Hug your family members a bit this week please... i hugged Emma too.

We were home most of today. We go to Water exercise tomorrow - yeah we get out of the house. IT sure seems difficult to deal with not being able to drive due to MS though it has been well over a year for me...oh thank goodness for friends who can help me out and my family too.

May your day go well. Emma and Mary

Sunday, January 4, 2009

We're Sleepy


This is one of my favorite pictures of Emma. It is not new though. I thought of it because today we had a small gathering with my sons Dan, Mike and Mike's family and dog Lily to watch the vikings game. Becky came over later too. It got really busy and Emma left the room. We around her laying in her bed with her baby. It wasn't long and she joined us but I think she wanted a bit of quiet.

The Vikings lost but all had a good time. Rosa was an angel I thought. I love spending time with her. The dogs were also very good. I think I feel like Emma did in this picture - I need to get to bed and try to put worries aside.

Wishing you a good day and sweet dreams.

Emma and are off to bed. Mary and Emma

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Years Celebration

Rosa loves to hug Emma. Emma never seems to mind it either.

We made cookies New Years Day. They had great fun both cutting them out and frosting them. Who says you have to do them before Christmas?

Sophia Jan 1, 2009. I wanted a picture of her and she wanted to be creative. She is such a sweetie.

The pictures tell it all. We had a nice Christmas and a joyful New Year's Celebration. Did we tell you we even had chocolate fondue with strawberries? We will definitely try that again with more fruit when the whole family is present.

Now I have so many pictures on my computer. I treasure them and need to a) back the up (for sure) b)print some to frame for my home (how would I pick which ones?

I love my digital camera. Thank goodness I have one for my grandchildren. Wish they had been around for my children.

Photos to share

Justin and Sophia (just turned 9) toast Christmas 2008. Justin is my new son-in-law and loved by the girls already. Now he Is "Uncle Justin - it's official)

Rosa enjoying Grandpa's collection of musical toys (this is a rapping Santa) She likes to push the buttons on as many as she can at the same time. Then she dances

Rosa in her sleeping bag Christmas Eve - just a pause (not a nap) so she has more energy for the festivities.

Snow is Coming?

They predicted a big snow today starting at noon. It is 2 pm and no sign of snow yet. Sorry Emma. i know she would like the snow very much. She loves snow so much.

My husband Greg got very energetic and tackled cleaning a closet that is mostly his (a few things of mine) that also meant i started sorting some of my clothes and my shoes too. Poor Emma was in the same room wondering what was going on. She couldn't jump on the bed there was too much stuff being sorted. Then she snuggled into her bed and i was sorting some things and it all tumbled on top of her. She looked so surprised though she layed their so quietly till I told her she should move.

A charity is coming to pick up clothing on Tuesday and so that got us moving on our New Years Resolution. I have gone through most my clothes last year. Now I need to loose some weight so I can purchase clothes and actually feel like they look good on me. I am limited in how much I can exercise since my walking is limited but will keep up with water exercise. We both also hope to eat healthier. Gosh I hope it helps my weight and my health. I am really down about it all. Clearing out old clothes and shoes though is a good thing and that is being accomplished!!!

I don;t know if we will get out of the house today or not. I sure would like to. Today it is bothering me more than normal that I can't take Emma and go somewhere just the two of us. I would take back some clothes we need to return, maybe go to the library, or go visit a friend that is in a nursing home. Maybe I would even go see my sister? I just would go somewhere to get out of the house. Having to always rely on someone else to be able to leave the house gets old and discouraging some is a day it is bugging me. I can't even go for a walk. My scooter is put away for the winter. My neighborhood is hilly anyway and the roads have not been cleared well. So using the scooter outdoors in the winter is not an option in my neighborhood.

Listen to me whine. Maybe we could consider it being honest? I don;t like to think of myself as a complainer. I try really really hard not to complain about things especially related to MS. IT is such a serious disease and I am fortunate not to be in a nursing home or something like that - I should be happy I can function in my own home.

I am going to try to download some pictures from New Year's Eve and New Year's Day with the granddaughters. We had such fun. I really enjoy time with them. Sophia is growing up so darn fast. I can't believe she is 9 already. I heard last night she stayed overnight with her Grandma Carol and Grandpa Bob. Carol just broke her leg in two places and had surgery. She is very close to Sophia so I am sure they all had a fun time. Sophia cheered up her Grandma which is a good thing!! Anytime I see Rosa or Sophia it puts me in a good mood.

I am going to take Emma outside again. That will give me some fresh air which is good and playing with her as she romps in the snow will put a smile on my face. I do think Emma smiles. Even strangers sometimes comment that it looks like Emma is smiling. Emma loves the snow so much. Wonder is we will get a few inches or not. I am glad a blizzard or big storm is not predicted. Handling it a few inches at a time makes it easier to deal with.

More Later - Mary and Emma

Friday, January 2, 2009

Dinner Out what a treat

Sorry no pictures today - maybe tomorrow. Today we were around the house all day just working on chores and listening to my Mama Mia tape. I have the movie but have not watched that yet. Emma and I went outside several times and of course she loved the snow. I never tire of watching her dive into it. She likes to get her head as completely covered with snow as possible. I need to bring my camera outdoors. I need new batteries.

For a treat we went out to dinner tonight at a place called Flame in Rosedale. My food was awesome (a steak) Greg had fish that was just so-so. We took my daughter Anna with and she liked her burger. We had nice conversation and it was fun. We had a gift card that covered most the cost so wasn't that a big treat? Emma did great.

We headed into Rosedale and I walked a bit. We bought a book for my sister, and a few tops at Lane Bryant. I thought it was very busy. Anna said it was busier than the Sunday before Christmas. Greg noted not many people actually had bags of things they purchased. Like before Christmas he thought not a lot of people buying things.

Rosa has a little blanket here for her dolly. It is small. She left it on Emma's pillow in the living room. I moved it. Later I noticed Emma brought it back and was laying on it. Cute I thought.

Today in public we worked on get the leash and Emma did a great job. Normally that command she will do when we are alone. IF anyone is around she hesitates and looks like she wants to say "you get the leash". I am working on getting her to get the cane more often also. I use to have this neat grip on the cane that made it easier for her to pick up. It has worn out. She just needs practice with getting the cane without the helper peice for now - she can do it.

Hope you have a good weekend. Snow is predicted here Sat-Sun. Big Vikings game on Sunday.

Take care, mary and Emma

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Can it be 2009?

Wasn't it just yesterday we were wondering what would happen to our computers, water supply and othe things when the clocked moved us into the year 2000? Amazing that it can be 2009. YES we were up at midnight to usher in the New Year with Sophia and Rosa. I had to take two naps today to make it and am going to bed soon also. We had so much fun.

EMMA was loved up by both Rosa and myself. Rosa loves to hug Emma and kept saying "I love Emma". Sophia is alos good to Emma. We had fun at the grocery store new year's eve. Rosa alternated walking or sitting on my lap on the scooter. She surprised us when she took a bite out of a tomato when Grandpa Greg was bagging up some. Then he moved on and she ran back and bit two more. Yes we bought them. When he told me I said to Rosa (age 26 months) Did you really eat those tomatoes?
She replied "I love my matos". Next time we won't let her walk by tomatos but it all turned out fine. Sophia and Rosa didn't whine or anything in the store. They helped us pick out snacks and supper for them. They are so fun to be with.

In the evening we played with toys. Emma liked when I was sitting on the floor while they played with a small house with people that they gor for Christmas. THen Emma could be on her favorite spot on the love seat. Her noraml place to sit next to me. Otherwise when we watched tv she had to be on her floor pillow. She is so use to chosing which spot she wants. We ate supper later so the evening went by quickly. We watched How the Grinch stoled Christmas and then Disney Channel which Sophia really enjoyed. It was a nice evening.

We all slept well. Rosa sleeps with us so Emma slept in her bed. Sophia slept on a sleeping bag on the floor in our room. Rosa slept till 10:30 am. We were all tired. The morning was fun filled. After breakfast we made cookies. They loved using the cookie cutters and later frosting the cookies. Their Grandma Carol just got home from the hospital after badly breaking her leg in two spots. The surgery was yesterday. The girls took cookies to her which I thought was a great idea.

We also had fun playing with dolls. Anna had an American Doll from when she was younger that she said Sophia could use. Rosa a regular doll to play with. WE dressed them, did their hair etc. I think I had even more fun than the girls. Pretty sweet playing dolls with them.

At Sophia's request we had chocholate fondue. We waited till Mike and Tia came today and had it for all. We used strawverries and pretzels to dip in it. Rosa and I are bannana fanatics and I forgot to save some for the fondue. We should have bought more yesterday.

I hope this isn't boring as Emma and I had fun. Emma got lots of loving from the girls and from myself. She enjoyed the afternon nap with Greg and I today. I am not sure what we will be doing tomorrow but I think we will be home most the day.

I thank Judy and Helping Paws for the socialization they did with Emma. IT is very comforting to see how good she is with the children. She is patient, calm, and that is so nice to see.

What a great way to start the New Year. I just hope the New Year brings good news especially in the economy and for those with health concerns. It will be interesting with a new President to see what unfolds. I sure was glad I was not in the hospital. My asthma is bothering me tonight but so far I am managing with the meds I have here. Tomorrow or Sat my new nebulizer will be here.

Thanks for the nice notes you sent about my health. many said they knew when I didn't write for a few days that maybe something was not right. One suffested we should teach emma to blog ha h.

Wishing you a Happy New Year, Mary and Emma