Sunday, May 31, 2009

Since I Can't Walk - We Went for a Ride

Emma joined us and we went out for a ride. A quick stop for a simple DQ cone and time to drive to observe garden ideas, and just enjoy the evening. Nice for all of us. Emma like's her Dairy Queen "pup cup".

Off to bed now...the ride brightened my day...Mary and Emma


The weather has been beautiful but I am moving slow this weekend. Plans changed yesterday due to me not feeling well and I was in bed most the day. Today is a little better. I took Emma for a walk in the scooter and we got charged by a dog feeling very protective I think. His very big back yard backs up to a nature trail/bike path and pond taken care of by park board. Emma did not bark at all but he was running up and barking. I was surprised but his owners yelled from a distance he had an invisible fence and gosh did it work. They still had the flags up marking where it was located. So we all managed fine.

We sat outside awhile before our nap. I woke up to hearing children laughing at the neighbors. Looks like they are having a birthday party. Greg has been working hard on the yard and garden. He is putting up the Butterfly House that I made at camp a few years ago. We planted what we hope will be a butterfly garden.

We are headed back outside and then I have to muster energy to do some laundry and just a few dishes. Can't get my chores done laying in bed all the is so frustrating when I don't feel well.

Can't complain about the weather today though. It is very pretty out and a good breeze. Sunny for my plants. We could use rain though. We need a good soaking.

Emma is having a good day. She likes the back yard for running and moving freely but doesn't mind the front yard when I sit out there either. We were keeping Greg company while he worked away. Then I have her on leash.

Tonight I have to call the woman I mentor who has MS. That is always pleasant. Better stop writing and see if I can accomplish something if I do a little at a time.

Mary and Emma

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Busy Day Today

Thinking about the Wag Walk and Run event today in Eden Prarie. I hope it is going well.

I am not there. Greg had to work for a few hours and we have some family time planned. So it just didn't work to be there today.

I hope to be there next year. A headache is here and I hope that it goes away so it doesn't interfere with our plans. Already need to lay down again to see if that helps.

Greg should be home pretty soon and the kids are coming over soon too. We thought we were going to a friends today also. What a busy day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Needing Time to Rest

A beautiful spring day, we just got back from physical therapy. It tires me out to do an hour of exercise. Emma is going outside with Greg and I am off to take a nap. She will join me. I also have a headache. I guess rest is in order for our day.

I had hoped to go with Greg to visit a friend later and do one errand too. That sounds doubtful. I can still enjoy the weather even if I am resting and sleeping. It is good I don't work and can have quiet afternoons when I need then.

Hope you have a good day. Hope your weekend goes well. I will write more later if I can. I will be fine - don't worry. '

Mary and Emma

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thinking of YOU

Suzan and Logan live in Maine (see below). Emma is thrilled with just a fenced in yard. I do have a kiddie pool for her but she never seems to want to go in. We don't have a cabin or friend's cabin to go to but I bet she would swim in that environment.

Sometimes I meet such nice people with Emma. She stirs up conversation. Today we went to the YMCA early because Greg gave me a ride and went to work (normally a friend who goes to swimming also drives us). We had time to chat with a few employees who were on break. People love to hear what she does for me and the story about how Judy trained her and I taught her children.

This afternoon we met Jan at a Caribou Coffee and we met and interesting couple there also. They have their own lab and were so interested in all her skills. Then we went to school with Jan, met some of her coworkers, and helped in the classroom (after the kids had gone home). there are so many tasks for teachers at the end of t he year. You have to pack up your room to some degree for summer cleaning and at the same time have some papers run off and filed for the first week of school. I filed Math tests and practice sheets among other tasks. I miss teaching but it reminded me of how much work it is. Teachers should be paid more for all they do.

Then Emma and I had to sleep a few hours. Now it is a nice evening. Won't be long till we head to bed around 9 pm our time. I have physical therapy in the morning on Friday. A friend is driving us.

It was warmer today but not uncomfortable. Emma and I had a good day. Yeah for sunshine!!
Hope you have a good day on Friday. TGIF

Mary and Emma

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The Dr advice does sound reasonable. I think it is ridiculous to be this weak and tired. Swim tomorrow and physical therapy Friday will both be good for me. I am doing the exercise on the ball that they suggested also. IT was a very grey day today - maybe sun will perk me up on Thursday?

soo Tired

I went to bed at 7 pm despite a nap today. I am up to take some medications now at 10:30. The doctor talked with my physical therapist about this lack of energy. I am suppose to take it easy and rest as needed. This seems ridiculous to me. We will go to water exercise tomorrow and that is always good for me. Greg took Emma outside so she got some exercise again tonight.

Those with MS understand sometimes you get so fatigued...tomorrow is another day.

Hope you have a good day. Mary and Emma

A Dog's Dream of a Yard

The above photos are from Logan's yard in Rhode Island. He is a service dog and his partner is Suzan and she plays scrabble with Mary over the internet. Look at this wonderful yard. Logan has a sandbox where he can dig. He also has a special pool/fountain for dogs to play in. The photo is not Emma but boy wouldn't she love it.

I will write more later - we wanted you to see these photos....Mary and Emma

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Still Sleepy?

Saturday is a big fund raiser for Helping Paws. Best Wishes to all who are participating!!! The Wag Walk and Run should be very successful. I am hoping for good weather!!!

We are still on the tired side today. Our big event was going to water exercise and then home for a nap. We did stop to sign up for a boat cruise sign up with the Maple Grove Park and Rec in August. Some of our book club members will be going. Should be fun. Thanks to Kathy for the ride and then home. We played outside and took such a big nap. I am kind of dull some days.
Emma seemed as willing to nap as I was however.

I wanted to take her for a walk with my scooter tonight but it looks like it could rain any second. I promised her an extra long outing tomorrow.

With MS even fun things take so much out of me. I did work hard in water exercise too and that is tiring. Didn't get much of any chores done around here today. Hope it rains as my flowers need it.

Will write more tomorrow. Sorry if this is boring...Mary and Emma

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Memorial Day and thanks to the Veterans who have served or are serving in the armed forces for us.

We started the day out resting. I was tired from a busy Sat and Sunday. We even slept late and still took an early afternoon nap. Emma didn't seem to mind at all. Last night our friends son really liked being outdoors with Emma so she got extra exercise. She looked so tired when everyone left last night. We had such a good time with our children and our friends Deb and Tim and their boys. We missed Sophia who is in Puerto Rico visiting her Great Grandmother but otherwise had a great time.

Rosa was here a part of Saturday while Mike helped his Dad and Sunday. She was in a wonderful mood both days. She is so darn cute. She loves hugging Emma and Emma likes it also. Sunday they brought their dog Lily too. The whole day went so well.

Today Emma got some walking in when we went to Home Depot and Target. Then we spent more time outdoors planting and weeding. i watch more than I help but am happy to say I did get some things planted. Greg worked hard mowing while I slept today and other things on the yard. We are pleased at how it looks. It is so dry here that we need rain badly. Good thing we put the sprinkler on though as the rain predicted for tonight is going to miss us...please rain please.

Emma is enjoying getting outside so much but also happy with the nap times. She practically races to the bed and fluffs the comforter just so and lays down peacefully and happily. One of the hotter days of the week I went in to find her already sprawled out on the bed right in front of the fan. It was so cute and she looked so comfortable.

Emma is also such a good companion. I love having her in my home and so does Greg. Emma just enriches our life. We laugh and smile at how cute she is and give her so much attention. When I sleep in Greg will offer to get up, feed her, and take her outside to play. He doesn't mind at all though of course I could move my bones and do it myself too. I think he likes that time with Emma.

Emma knows who is boss though. She climbs into bed and sleeps right by me or on the floor near me. She likes if I sit on the couch and will sit right by me there also. She is so focused on me and my needs. I really appreciate her presence in my life. NO new news to those of you who read this often,

I am going to take her outside again now. She likes routine and so do I. Hope you had a good Holiday Weekend. I didn't get many photos taken as we were just busy, serving food, visiting with my children and friends too...yeah for a great weekend.

Mary and Emma

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tonight we are thinking of Sophia (now age 9) who is in Puerto Rico Visiting her Great Grandmother. This photo is at her Mom (Tia) and my son (Mike) wedding. How the years have flown by...hope she is having fun and safe travels.
We will miss her when we have a family gathering Sunday but so happy she has this opportunity. She is with her Daddy and Step Mom for a fun family trip.

Today we had physical therapy. Then we did a few errands with a friend (who drove me of course) and out to lunch. Her treat so that was a treat. We even stopped and picked up two hanging plants for my yard. Now we need some rain. It is much to dry. I don't know the forecast and sure don't wish to have rainy days but some rain at night wouldn't be all bad.

Emma sure got tired today and is napping away. It was a bit hot where we looked for flowers (in the sun) so we both welcomed a nap. I am going to take her out now again. She was so very good for me - no surprise.

At physical therapy the staff think she is so affectionate with me and I to her. She likes to put her head in my lap and I pet her as we wait. I talk to her so much too. She is my honey and I love her so much. At swimming Thursday she got upset. No noise but she was sitting (not staying in the drop position) and had weird body language. So I hopped out of the pool to go to her.

I held her and asked what was wrong. We had used a different leash that is a bit shorter than my normal one. I hook the handle end to a hook on the wall. I think she felt constricted. So I took the leash off the hook knowing she would stay put. Sure enough i was correct. She was reassured and laid on her towel the rest of the time. Even when concerned she has never moved from the towel at swimming. She just sits and looks to me like she is saying "I need you" on the few times she has had a need. She is so good.

I did meet a lady at Home Depot that was working there. She gets her face in Emma's space and goes Arf Arf!!! I said she is working and I don't want her to make any noise. Then she does it again. Emma and I moved away but I thought how rude.
I am glad all other help we dealt with were most appropriate...most times are experiences are very good.

I better get her outside...wishing you a good weekend. I plan to write each day but tomorrow is busy so we will see how it travels and enjoy family and friends...we will be home but have family and friends coming over Sat and Sunday for sure. Monday might be quiet.

Mary and Emma
(Isn't Tia just the prettiest bride?)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Busy Spring Day

We had water exercise, a rest, hair cut for me, shopping for graduation cards, and
Emma got a nail trim and food and treats. Then the meat market and dry cleaner.
Good thing Greg got to take off work a few hours early today.

Emma got new tags too. I realized on the one we listed our home phone number...but if she got out I would be out looking so put my cell phone on it now. This happened to my friend at swimming so glad she shared the tip. Emma is so good when they do her nails if she is with Greg. If with me she clings to me and gets more upset we found out. So I go into the store and shop while they do her nails. Funny she came back to me like she had been away for hours (it was maybe 5 min tops). I love my Emma.

We are headed outside again. Today we got to visit with my neighbor who is a snow bird. Fun to catch up on the news on what is going on with her. We are going to bed early. I am so tired tonight though it was a good day.

Tomorrow we have physical therapy and a friend is taking us to lunch then home for a nap. Hope you have a good day. WE wanted to send a picture of my blossoming crab apple tree but the wind took the blossoms so quickly - rats.

If you travel for Memorial day safe travels. We will be home and I will see if I can think of some cute pictures to take of Emma. Our kids might come one day for Barbecue Ribs but not sure which day yet.

Wishing you a good day - Emma is anxious for me to play with her outside. The weather is much cooler today.

Mary and Emma

Monday, May 18, 2009

Up at 2 am??

Sometimes my worries seem to heavy - have too much on my plate - can't get things off my mind.

I am up and it is almost 2 am because I just can't clear my mind and sleep. Guess who is at my side? Yep wonderful Emma.

I don't think they "trained her" to be up at 2 am with her partner but she knows when I need moral support.

Earlier tonight I fell and was hurt a bit. Emma came to my rescue. She braced herself and I crawled to get up after resting a bit to get myself going again. Greg was not available so she could not get help. Thanks for that Emma. Not good for my back but I am mostly okay thank goodness.

I hope to see again if I can sleep...tomorrow all I have is water exercise I think.

Please pray for my friend Joni's family - her Dad died last evening...he was older and in hospice but it is never easy to loose a parent. Today is my mom's birthday. I miss her.

A First for EMMA

Book club went fine and we had a nice lunch. Then without prior planning we decided to go to the movie Angels and Demons.
In the middle some one had to go the bathroom - nope not me. It required a walk outdoors. That has never happened before. It was a long movie and prior to the movie I was surprised she would not go potty for me. So out we trotted. When we came in I sat in an row where no one was sitting rather than climb over my friends. Good thing again for the first time ever - Emma was restless. I am slow thinking sometimes. When we got home she drank so much water.

At book club she had water but it is a warm day. She will be glad that I am taking her outside with water and time to play in the yard.

The movie is action packed. I am Catholic and was not offended. It is fiction and that seemed very evident to me. Emma and I are going to take a very late nap for awhile or go to bed early.

Emma is such a good dog. She stood up and wouldn't lay down in the midddle of the movie. My cue that something is up. When I asked "do you have to go outside?" I know her look to tell me nonverbally that is the need.

Wishing you a good day...Mary and Emma
New photos of Keeley

If I could drive
If it were closer

I would ask if Emma could go over for a play date with Tori, Tiga, and Keeley.

My only question how do you keep up with all that poop (sorry if that is gross)

How fun it must be for the dogs to have one another!!!


Happy Monday

Book Club today and a surprise. My husband is taking us out for breakfast - a very rare treat for myself and Emma!! Emma will like the smells. Book club will discuss Friday Night Knitting Club (I enjoyed it) and also pick some new books for upcoming books. Sometimes that is tricky for members to agree on books and have all individuals be happy. There are 14 in book club but not everyone gets there each time due to MS struggles and just life events.

I planted 5 pots of plants in the front. Our crab apple tree is have gotta love spring days. It is just a beautiful morning. We have so many birds chirping helping to celebrate the beautiful day....

Hope your day goes well. Emma and Mary

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More About Camp Activities

The top picture below is Jeannie the camp director with me. I had just taken a nap so I look pretty sleepy I think. We had a fun chat with Jeannie despite how busy she is at camp. She runs two camps May and June besides many other aspects of her job including visiting nursing homes and planning activities there for people with MS. Imagine the work though of organizing a camp of about 200 of various abilities. They set up before we get there but the last day I saw the semis that came in to take organized containers from the various activities, medical equipment including hoyer lifts, extra scooters they bring for campers and golf carts they use for the head volunteers. It is amazing how much they have to take home and organize. All so people like me can have a week by the lake, enjoying nature and activities...but mostly enjoying being with others with MS who offer laughter, support, tips on dealing with MS, and friendship.

Here are the last of my camp photos - the cooking class - weaving baskets - making bird houses - and Emma patiently under the table. The bird house activity had lots of pounding of hammers. The volunteer precuts and color codes all pieces for us. Then helps if you need it. Everyone was amazed that even with all the noise Emma was wonderful -- I am so proud of her.

It is a beautiful Sunday - sunny and in the 60's we are headed outside. Later we are going to plant both flowers and seeds.
Hope you like the photos. I like having a digital camera.

Mary and Emma wish you a good day...Mary

Saturday, May 16, 2009

MS Friends

my roomates Tonya and Peggy

MS Cabin 4 Photos

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Costume Party at Camp

The Fruit of the Loom Group won best costume.

Penny and Tonya in Costume

Emma's picture at the party was near the end. She was tired and ready to go home. The music was pretty loud but outdoors.
She did wear a pretty lei for us. I didn't take a lot of pictures of this event. At camp I get so busy chatting (imagine that) or enjoying the event that I don't take tons of photos. There was a Cat in the Hat. A Jester, and so many others. There is no pressure to wear a costume though. I just had a Hawain Type dress I wear around the house when it is hot and my lei matched Emma. It was not planned that we matched Tonya's lei ha ha.

The event is the final night of camp and so nice weather cooperated. We are having a strange weather pattern this week. Cool then warm - but it is still May. Today is suppose to be in the 60's and tomorrow the 50"s and windy so it will feel cooler. IN any case we are getting outdoors a lot. That is a good thing for us.

We have Physical Therapy today and later a party for my nephew Nick who graduated in Denistry!!! HE has had so many years of schooling....we arer so proud of him.

Wishing you a good day. Emma is doing just great. We visited Jeanne in the Nursing Home and that was nice. Jeanne likes having Emma around.

Have a good weekend - Mary and Emma

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Camp Photo

This is my favorite picture of Emma at Camp

All that walking and outdoor air tired her out...We both slept on that bed at night and naptime...oops did I show you this picture already? Can't recall with my MS Mind.

The Campers at MS Camp

In Appreciation of the Campers at MS Camp

Hi, do you have MS?
You must as you are here with me.
Oh I see a cane, Lawrence and Jo Jo wheel chairs (at the cookout)
Tonya and Penny use scooters as do I
Do you sometime loose your balance when you walk
Do you have limited use of your hands or legs
Are cognitive things harder for you
Like do you say the wrong word or can't find the word you are searching for
Maybe you need help eatling or dressing
Do you walk with a limp
These and other frustrations and limitations can be part of MS
You have MS and so do I

I don't see your MS really
I see friends
I feel normal here
Able bodied people would be the odd ones here ha ha
I see support as you help me with a chair or I help you hold something
I feel support when you hold my hand at the campfire
Or when I am alone at free time and you stop to talk with me about my Emma
I feel happy when we gather in the cabin and laugh about MS
Laugh about life

I feel awestruck when Lawrence (above) can sing so beautifully at the sing a long
when talking is tough for him
The music moves me
Meeting Lawrence moves me as I am struck by his kindness and gentle manner
Jo Jo is also so upbeat

Tonya is my roomate (above red hair)
We are friends so I see her outside of camp as she faces life and its ups and downs
At camp we can be silly - act like school girls - whisper even after lights out
Penny is a cabin mate (above dark hair)
I met her last year, this year I am able to spend more time with her
I like her sense of humor, her thoughts on life

Campers become friemds
Sometimes we need to talkl about MS and receive such support
Other times we need to forget we have MS and that is so much support
The giggles
The words of advice
The sharing activities
The shared meals and conversation
The shared free time..
Every day is such fun
Every hour brings interesting thoughts or experiences
Every minute is treasured

I want to capture what camp means to me
but it is difficult to do
I can merely touch on some of the reasons I like it
but it touches my heart/ and spirit so deeply
It strengthens and renews me as I come home to face the challenges of MS is my life
It enriches my life
You enrich my life by just being there

Do you have MS?
I do too
I thank you for being you
For sharing a precious week of camp with me..

Emma too


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pictures from Camp the 1st Day

When we got to camp Emma went right into the room where we have slept the past two years. Maybe three? I layed her blanket in the same spot and we had the same bed! Tonya was there and I said "release" and let Emma be petted even with her jacket on. Then I say okay all done and Emma is back at my side. She follows this cue well. It works for us.

The other picture is the campfire. I don't know if on your computer it is big enough to see some of my MS friends. Yes wheelchairs, scooters, walkers and a few with canes are everwhere. Many people like me use scooters to conserve energy and also because it just would be too much walking. This is the first evening and a fun time to greet everyone you knew from the past and greet new comers also.

The first time at camp it is challenging for most to see how impaired some people can be with this disease. There is always someone worse than you and it can be scary. On return trips you find some of the people are worse with the disease and some are about the same. I have one friend who is not going to camp now and claims it is because it is tough to see those she knows get worse (usually a few have died of MS or other problems and MS). I have gone enough that it is easier for me now. I am quick to greet those of all abilities. In activities there are small groups of people of all ability levels and we usually introduce ourselves and talk as we do things. Then when we see one another outdoors, at meals, we talk again.

Camp is inspiring also. I see people of various abilities coping. We talk informally about various areas of life. Sometimes about MS and sometimes other things. We share laughs, sometimes tears, hugs, and smiles. It is just an awesome place.

My prayers are ones of gratitude for those who help support both the MS Society and Camp Courage. For the staff, volunteers, nurses, and fellow campers.

Doesn't Emma look like she is smiling in the picture? More pictures to come on upcoming days.

Have a good day, Mary and Emma

Monday, May 11, 2009

More About Camp

Home all day and it seemed so quiet compared to camp. Among the activities we enjoyed at camp

- a campfire
- a cookout
- a talent show
- a sing a long
- gorgeous sunsets on the lake
- costume dance outside on a gorgeous night (no I can't dance but listen)
- wove a basket
- built a bird house
- went to a cooking demonstration and food was yummy
- tie dyed shirts for my granddaughters

- free time to visit with others
- free time to take Emma for walks in the woods (paved paths)
- long talks with roomates
- meeting new friends and trying to offer them support with MS
- talks about how we cope with MS
- time when we had such fun we forgot about the MS
- hanging outside on gorgeous days and just enjoying being with volunteers and campers and staff from MS Society
- afternoon naps so I could keep up with it all
- morning conversations with roomates as they sipped coffee and we tried to wake up
- late night talks with whispers and giggles at night with roomates
- snuggling with Emma
- letting Emma being on a loose leash and enjoy some smells in the woods
- hearing everyone notice how excellent Emma was in all those situations

It was such back to reality - chores, laundry but yeah tomorrow we have water excercise and that will be good for us.
I did miss Greg a lot and he missed us. HE said the house seemed so empty when he got home from work without Emma or myself. He didn't like sleeping alone or being alone...

Take good care. Thanks Eileen, Judy, Sue and all who helped in the training of Emma she is just an awesome dog. I was so darn proud of her and she was like glue to me. It was just much more fun because I have Emma with me. She is such a blessing in my life.

Hope your day goes well...Mary and Emma

Check this Out

Another blog to keep an eye on - this is Judy (Emma's foster mom) newest puppy in training. Tiga is Grandma to Keeley. She is not related to Emma but Emma kept her eye on Tiga when she came to live with the Michurski's. The photos and story are great. Thanks Judy for sending me the link. We will be watching to see what is new.

Photos from camp will come once I find my card reader. It is not where I usually keep it?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Day To Rest

Emma and I are still recovering from camp. A volunteer once asked me why do you go to camp if it tires you out? Well over the next few days you will find out. I will download a few pictures and also try to capture in words the spirit and activities of camp that make it such a unique and delightful experience for those of us with MS.

Emma could not have been better so I want to say that tonight. She just was awesome. I will probably repeat that several times in the next days but gosh it is true. She was attentive and so able to handle the various situations. I was so proud of her behavior at all times.

We arrived on MONDAY and it was heart warming. I was in the same cabin as last year, even the same bed!! Our room does not face the lake like others but those have 4-5 bed and adjoin with a sliding door. I guess one year when they had a service dog in one of those rooms it was tough on the dog (at night especially) that various people walk through. Especially at night to use the bathroom etc. We instead have a smaller room with just three people and our own bathroom. The way the walls are in the cabin we have more privacy. We could even chat after others went to bed and not disturb them. Emma didn't mind missing the lake view as most times we went in the bedroom it meant she could sleep.

This time from the moment I set foot on camp my heart was warmed. It is run by Courage Center and called Camp Courage. It is especially designed for use by the disabled. Courage Center at its locations is designed to help with rehabilitation for those who are disabled including but not limited to spinal injuries and other thing. All ages use this camp. It is perfect for the MS camp.

It is located on a lake and on lake side of the camp all cabins I think have a view of the lake. As I even stepped out of the car in the busy parking lot I was greeted with smiles, hugs and warm greetings by staff, volunteers, and campers. What a way to start the week. Our cabin leaders were the same as last year Kathy and Jan and just delightful as ever. They make sure you get settled, get your name tag, schedule and help new and returning campers feel welcome and at ease.

We had a buffet lunch and then time to chat or rest the first day. There was a meeting for all campers discussing safety and rules. After dinner there was a camp fire. We met some campers we did not know in an activity there. Then we each got a coal from the past year fires and toss it in the fire. We celebrated as this was the 30th year of camp. I couldn't even remember how many years I have gone to camp.

Back at the cabin as the sunset on the lake....we reviewed some of the rules for the cabin.. I was able to tell them about rules as far as Emma was concerned. I reminded them she was working when vested and there would be some off duty times in the cabin but to still be respectful. I am happy to report the campers were awesome with Emma. They even asked me when she was off duty if they could pet her. Emma really looks to me to see if it is okay to be petted when vested or not.

We played the dice game where if you get doubles you pick a prize. It was fun because you start stealing gifts from one another in the end phase of the game. IT is often played at showers here, It was a great get acquainted activity.

Then it was time to go to bed - the end of a fun day. Every night Tonya and I chatted like it was a slumber party but we didn't disturb others. They did have one cabin called the Late Night Cabin. That was where people could go who wanted to be up late and there was a coffee shop set up where people could play games. For the first time they also let people indicate on registration if they were late nighters. Those who were sleeping in that cabin all were ones who wanted to be up late and that was a great idea.

I walked Emma before bed near that cabin. I could hear the laughter and giggles. We smelled the fresh air and viewed the starts..then off to bed. Yep two of us in a single bed!! I would get in first and Emma would jump up and snuggle so close with me.

Today and yesterday at home she is snuggling closer to me in bed than normal. We both like it. Our bed queen size seems huge after a week in a single bed...We had such a good time...more later about activities and how it helps me deal with MS.

Emma and I are getting ready for bed. I slept till almost noon today. Later we took a nap. We did go outside and I weeded a bit. It was a good mother's day. Yesterday we went to dinner with some of my children and that was fun.

Have a good day -- Mary and Emma

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Home From Camp

I am home from camp. We had fun. Emma ran like a wild thing in the house and in her own fenced yard she was excited to be home. The girls stayed overnight so I am playing with them. More later

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Excited for Camp

It is less than one hour to midnight. I am awake due to a long nap late in the day (after the movie) and also Greg will be home soon. He has a crazy schedule at the church as the last service was at 9 and they had to do some things in the church after that was over. I think I also am awake because I am so excited.

I just took Emma outside and the weather is still pretty mild. UGH the week looks like we could get a lot of rainy days at camp. NO amount of rain will keep us from having a good time though. I did this year sign up for some outdoor activities but they will have plan B if they get rained out. Seeing the people is the most fun, giggling in our bedroom at night, the free time activities, so many things plus planned activities will keep us we will be okay I keep telling myself.

We enjoyed the movie Earth and I highly recommend it. If you like that type of movie you will want to see it on the big screen the photography is wonderful. We enjoyed it.

Greg should be home any minute. Emma and I are ready for bed. We relaxed and watched some tv tonight..she must have gotten tired being outside more with me as she snored away part of the night.

REMEMBER we will be at camp this week...Mary and Emma wish you a good week.

Congratulations to JUDY (Emma's foster mom) on the new puppy she will train for Helping Paws. I will let you know when I know the name and maybe can get her to send me a photo.

One Day Till MS Camp

Today is a gorgeous sunny day. I just came in from being outside with Emma. We played a bit but she and I both also enjoyed just sitting in the sun. The warmth felt good to us both.

I am packed for camp except for a few last minute things. Emma's food is measured out for each meal and ready. I need to add some treats - Charlie Bears and Puppy size Milk Bones (small and I break in half) so she has lower cal treats for reinforcement and few extra calories.

The scooter appears to be fixed. We are headed out to test it. I am so happy. Maybe I should hold my enthusiasm till after we try it out. Greg isn't home he is working so I won't go far. No one to call if I have to walk home or have other problems. I hope this day goes fast. Normally Camp starts on Sunday and I would be all set to go...but due to budget concerns I think it starts a day later...I am glad they are having camp so won't complain at all. Today would be a perfect day to go weather wise but with Greg's work schedule tomorrow is better. He will take me and then go to work. There parish spring picnic is tomorrow - a pig roast and he has a lot of work on that day. They get lots of students to come and parishioners too. He had to do some juggling to be able to take me but he will.

My suitcase is stuffed to the max as I bring some clothes for both cool and warmer weather. I am still worried about what I have for the cooler nights and if we get a cooler rainy day. Emma's things are all ready. She sleeps so close to me normally that she never seems to mind sharing a single bed. At night she will help me feel warmer. I do have to remind her sometimes that I too get to sleep in that bed at camp...ha ha.

We better go test out the scooter. The batteries should be charged by now. More later....Mary and Emma

Saturday, May 2, 2009

2 days till MS Camp

I am packing and smiling - in between taking Emma outside. It is sunny and 60 degrees here and should be from 60-70 degrees at camp all week. Hope the predictions are right. Chances of rain but mostly sunny. Gosh I hope we have a nice week. though we can cope with a little rain if we need to do so.

I am finding not everything fits in one suitcase. I am pretty sure that in the past I have had to bring a small case too for meds, extra wash cloths, toiletries, depends and so on. I mention depends because those of you with MS if you reach the point where you need them it is not so bad to deal with. But they are bulky to pack ha ha. Also packing food for Emma, her brush, her dishes, etc

The bummer is we are having trouble with my scooter. I can't imagine camp without it. They do have gold carts to shuttle those without scooters but it is so fun to go around the camp on the scooter. I might have to see if Tonya would let me use hers to walk Emma twice a day? Greg feels bad we didn't get the scooter out of storage earlier to make sure it worked. It is too late to ask for one from the MS Society they will all be taken. I am really really bummed about this. But I am not going to let it spoil camp for me.

Greg works all day today and tomorrow. We are going to the movie Earth tomorrow with a friend. That is good as I am almost all packed for camp today. Maybe if Greg gets home a bit earlier than planned he can get the scooter working...bummer

Take good care and have a good weekend. It is windy here. Mary and Emma

Friday, May 1, 2009

3 more days till MS Camp

Emma and I enjoyed time outside today and lunch with a friend. We started the day with physical therapy. The therapist insists she is the best behaved dog they ever have there. What a compliment. Take a bow Emma!! We took a big nap but I am still a bit tired. Emma is sleeping so I guess she was too. We walked in a store in Ridgedale with my friend which was good for me. Emma did well.

My granddaughters should be here soon and we will play outside if they want to do so. We are grilling hamburgers for them for supper - they think Grandpa makes the best hamburgers they tell us. I suspect we will play Barbi since I bought a new vehicle for Barbi and watch a video depending on how late Mike and Tia will be out tonight.

Saturday we plan to be home all day packing, resting, and reading I hope. I may have to do a few loads of wash also. Sunday i think we are going to the movie "Earth" with a friend. Greg works a lot this weekend. I am excited for camp of course.

At camp it is so nice to greet those you don't see often. Since it is like one big sleep over with activities in the morning, afternoon and evening you feel close to some of the fellow campers...especially those I see almost every year. One person told me she was not going to camp partly because it is so difficult to see those who are worse off than we are or who have declined. Also each year there are a few who have died.

I maintain that is not a drawback. Of course the first year it is shocking to see other with such limited abilities and adjusting to the fact that you have the same disease they have. However, my experience has been that campers such as Mary Helen give me strength. There are so many examples of people who cope and have a good attitude despite the devastating changes they face due to MS. I figure if they can cope I will cope as the disease worsens.

None of us know where the disease will lead us (or other health problems for that matter). Some get worse early after diagnosis of MS, Men typically do worse than women with the disease, and it is tough to see the changes. Yet these people who become camp friends need our friendship even with the changes. I can't ignore them or give up on them since they no longer can walk or other changes. I don't like the changes but i would like to think if it happened to me that others would still be around. I wish the same for my camper friends.

Some of the volunteers have MS which amazes me. Eventually some of them become "campers" rather than volunteers. We all change year to year in one way or the declining health will not keep me from camp. I will be honest though that sometimes the changes are hard to see in just a years time. One camper won't be with us Doug and I will miss him. It turned out he had ALS and MS and he died this past yes we miss those who have passed from MS or other causes.

Think of me having fun. Emma and I get to be outdoors a great deal including our nature walks as I tell her to start the morning and after dinner at night. They have nice paths that are wooded or more grass spots too. She likes the smells and sights. Think of me doing arts and crafts with her at my feet resting. The only time it gets a bit loud for he is when we are all making bird houses or bird feeders...all that pounding. She never complains though ha ha.

Our cabin mates include Kathy who reads this blog, Jan, Wanda, Tonya, and more. We will be there early to pick out the bed we want. We try to get the smaller room that does not ajoin other rooms. Quieter for Emma and me at night especially.
She hops up on the single bed and snuggles at my feet though I do bring a blanket in case she prefers the floor but she doesn't ha ha.

Hope you have a nice weekend--- Mary and Emma both excited about camp