Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank you to Emma

A dear friend of mine lost her dog to death. I know that is so tough and still miss our pet dog boomer. He would have been a great playmate with Emma. Let's all take this day to really appreciate the health of our dogs and the gifts they bring to our life.

Thank you to Emma

Thanks my dearest Emma
for doing double duty the past two weeks
helping Greg retrieving the remote
cuddling with us both
Retrieving more than usual since he too can't reach things now
removing socks
getting me a blanket when needed (I LOVE that skill)
taking off socks
picking up newspapers,
greg's towels
always with enthusiasm

Thank you my dearest Emma
for being so fun to be with
for cuddling on the couch
for enjoying the outdoors with me
for being just adorable all the time

Today and maybe tomorrow
will be the last mild days they say
I will be sure to spend extra time outside with you
We will get that Christmas tree up
So the lights can entertain both you and us.

I am still pondering your Christmas present
You don't seem to be sick of the Christmas music I play all the time
You are just so wonderful
We love you
We appreciate you
We like time with you
You add joy to our days
Comfort to our nights

God's blessing be with you Emma
May you live a long life
May you know that I am simply nuts about you
Thanks for being such and adorable dog
We never take you for granted

Love you Emma

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving was a Fun Celebration

Thanksgiving was fun for our family. We had some of our children from 10 am - midnight. The meal was wonderful at noon. Left overs fun around 7 or was it later? And conversation and games also. Greg napped as needed a few times or more. Rosa my granddaughter needed to nap too so rested with her for awhile. We had a wonderful day. Friday we mostly rested.

Emma had a playmate on Thanksgiving. Lily was such a good dog. It was cute one time Lily was laying in the spot on the love seat exactly where Emma sleeps. Emma came to me with sad eyes like she was saying "what do we do NOW?". All had a good day dogs too.

I might write more later but wanted you to know we are fine. Hope to go to a grocery store today...wonder how busy it will be????? Not a lot going on other than that. My son Mike will take me. Greg is hopefully going to rest while we are gone. He still needs a lot of rest but is feeling a little better.

Have a good weekend = Emma and Mary

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Memory

In 1982 I was pregnant. My third child. I was due in November. On November 7th I had such strong pains we thought the baby would be born soon. Days passed...weeks passed. It was almost thanksgiving.

My sister-in-law invited us for Thanksgiving. I declined as I KNEW in my heart i would have the baby by then. Well guess what??
The day came for Thanksgiving. We took Anna (3 1/2) and Michael (2) to church. I had a few labor pains and thought surely I would have the baby that day...but time passed.

It was almost noon. We had no thanksgiving meal and no plans. I was most certainly wrong. The baby was not ready to be born. A call to my brother and sister-in-law saved the day. She was smart. Sue told me she thought that might happen and welcomed us over. We enjoyed that day so very very much.

Becky was born on November 27th in the wee hours of the morning. Many years that date falls on Thanksgiving. We always celebrate Rebecca Susan's birthday on that day. And I always remember my sister in law Sue who welcomed us on the holiday that year.

Another Thanksgiving...strep throat hit the family. We had to cancel plans to have company. I remember we cooked for just us and then everyone but I needed to nap. Surprisingly I did not get the strep infection. I remember it was so quiet but we had each other and our warm home. It worked out ....

May your Thanksgiving bring you warm memories. 11 of us will share the day and we can't wait...or I can't. Greg is getting needed sleep.

Mary and Emma

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Eve

Greg is well enough to give directions and I have been cooking. My kids have helped shop, bake pies, and Greg's sister took me to do some errands. A few more things to do tonight in preparation. The kids will help tomorrow too. It should be fun.

Emma is enjoying the day. We went to my medical appointment and she had to ride metro mobility both ways and she did great. Most the day she was off duty.
She enjoyed the attention from Tia and her sister Joy and Greg's sister Shelly. She will enjoy tomorrow also.

We are having a good day. More tomorrow. A few more things to cook so tomorrow goes smoothly...........

Emma loves all the smells. Emma and Mary

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Good Day

Water Exercise today and so good for me!!!!!!! I watched a movie with Greg and also took a nap. It was rainy so Emma did not want to "play" outside. I think she would be a good hunting dog but would need to get use to rainy days etc.

It was good to see the MS friends who are in the swim group. Emma and I both seemed to like it I think. We had a good day.

With thanksgiving around the corner
We have so much to be thankful for..
GREG recovering even if it is not easy - they think they got all the cancer
for that we are most grateful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He is such a good man.
Emma seems to like that now naptime means Greg and I with her tucked in the bed too!!!!!!!
Togetherness is not just for bedtime any more.

Greg's sister called offering to take me on errands if needed tomorrow.
I have to think about it and then give her a call back.
Family and friends have been so good to us.

Anna and Mike came today and helped with some things too.
How grateful we are..................Mary and Emma

Safe travels if you travel on the holiday.

More about being grateful in the next few days.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful for Health

We had book club today. Interesting discussion. It was good to get out of the house.

The rest of the day was quiet. Some quiet chores. Sorted some drawers and cupboards so good things to finish.
It was wet but mild so Emma got outside once the rain stopped. She does not like the rain you know.

Tomorrow Anna and Michael are coming over. The cleaning lady is coming too. Mike and Anna hope to do a few things outside for us before it gets colder. I think even snow is coming up in the forecast but not sure when. We have to say goodbye to this warmer than normal weather.

We plan to relax tonight...gosh it gets dark so early now. I miss the summer and going outdoors with Emma into the evening for walks, to talk to neighbors, or just to play.

I was thinking today how we all take health for granted till we have problems. I want to be more grateful for the good days for the times Greg, my family and friends, Emma and I are able to enjoy good health. Greg is just a bit better but we are glad for that.

Off to make supper. Actually all I have to make is a salad as my brother-in-law made supper that all I had to do is heat. Friends did the same last night. We are blessed by people who care....Mary and Emma

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Today we slept..........went outside...........ate................slept,,,,,,,,,,,,went

I was exhausted. Enjoyed outside with Emma and also we slept a lot more than we have in a week. I slept through a visit with Greg's sisters (it was short). they brought food. Friends later stopped by with food. Some people from church brought food including fresh we are well set here.

I just needed to catch up on my rest. tonight we are going to relax. I am so full I don't think i can eat much again. Just was outside with Emma.

We will see what each day brings. Greg enjoyed the Vikings day at least. His medications seem to be helping a little at least. Sleeping is still difficult for him due to pain. He needs more rest. The doctors say this is too be expected and hope for improvement.

Thanks for email, ecards, and so on...especially prayers. Mary

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Day to Be Outdoors

The weather was just great today. I think it reached almost 60 and was sunny. MN in NOV is NOT usually like that. Emma was outdoors a great deal with me. She loved the weather, the smells, and playing. Yesterday afternoon she played with Sophia a lot. Sophia is great at tossing her favorite toy and Emma fetching it. Outdoors is always fun but we sure are appreciating this weather before winter winds and snows creep in!!!

Becky and Justin stopped by today and helped me with a few things. It was nice to see them. A short visit is what Greg can handle though - he needs to rest. I think he appreciates the privacy of it being just his children/family while he is still dealing with pain etc. It was so nice to see Mike and Tia yesterday with the girls and Becky and Justin today. '''

We cleaned out and reorganized a few cup boards in my kitchen so that was a good job done. Becky helped and Greg gave me suggestions too.

I hope to relax tonight. Emma is happy to cuddle up on the loveseat with me. Emma helped pick up some items today but mostly went outside with me for a long time and napped with Greg. That was fine with me.

Tomorrow friends are bringing dinner. Tonight I am cooking a yummy healthy stir fry. Greg likes to do most the cooking but seems very satisfied with my cooking right now!

Wishing you a good weekend - hope if you live where the weather is nice that you get outside...Emma enjoyed a walk for sure.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Emma and I have to remind Greg it is only Friday - surgery was Monday!!! Of course he still feels crummy and has pain. Poor guy.

Another sunny day and Emma and I enjoyed a trip outdoors. She was having such fun in the yard but when it is time to come in she is so obedient. I admire that in her and appreciate it too. She has already helped me pick up the house. No she couldn't load the dishwasher (darn it) or washer but she keeps me company, picks up newspapers, towels, or whatever gets dropped. Greg is appreciating that also. She loves getting the remote. She also will fetch a blanket if needed.

The other night she was taking off Greg's socks and then mine. She brings them to me or we put them in the hamper/basket. I thought about the big and little ways she helps us out!!!

We are home today but yipee Mike, Tia, Sophia and Rosa are coming to visit. Should be nice enough for the girls to play outside. Mike offered to bring us dinner too. That sounds just great. That will be enjoyable I think for all.

Take care to enjoy your day -- Mary and Emma

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Emma on Duty

Emma is of course my service dog but right now she is pretty concerned about Greg. She is close to him too as he helps take her out for exercise etc. She is use to cuddling in bed with both of us.

Today she looks so worried. Greg is in a lot of pain and discomfort. He is walking slow, only able to sleep small amounts at a time, and struggling.

Emma went to bed with me last night but I knew she would hear Greg if he called for her. All he would have to say to her is go get Mary and I know she would. she knows that command for when we are going somewhere and he is waiting for me or other things. It was a great security to both of us to know she could do that.

At night he got up a lot and Emma would get up with him. I want to think to see if he was alright but know part of that motivation is if it might be morning and she could eat? He sometimes feeds her before I get up. When he would settle in a chair he said she went right back to snuggle with me. I guess it is like double duty for Emma? But she doesn't seem to mind a bit.

At the hospital at one point (did I tell you he is home already) he wanted Emma to lay with him. So I in my wheelchair and he in the bed and Emma on the bed resting for awhile. IT was sweet.

Emma is glad to be home too I think. We will be here all day...Mary and Emma

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From rochester

Emma had had superb behavior. Greg is doing well. The surgeries went well. He is resting comfortably.\\\

Thanks for the kind words and emails and prayers and postings on (gregweinand)

We snuck in time for a nap today...we all needed it....Mary

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Emma has a new comforting is a stuffed dog with a Santa hat. She likes to sleep with it tucked under her chin. It is so adorable as she gets it all set in the right position all by herself. I will try to get a picture. Trouble is getting a camera out wakes her. I will work on this.

It is a day to do a little, rest and repeat. We have friends coming for dinner and laundry to do. We also get to have Rosa and Sophia tonight for a few hours. It will be fun. I am getting ready but also need enough rest to enjoy the evening.

Hope your weekend goes well...Emma and Mary

Friday, November 13, 2009


EMMA AND MARY WENT TO IKEA FOR THE FIRST TIME. Wow is that a big store!!! After helping out with some tasks at Greg's work this morning...we met my son Mike and wife Tia at IKEA. We found a few christmas gifts and things. Fun just to look around!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was a gray day and now raining out. So we are cozy warm and at home for the evening. Greg received cards of support and notes on the caring bridge site too. I got teary as he prepared his office to be gone for several weeks and said goodbye to staff and some of the many students that he works with. Glad to be of even a little help there.

Emma did great at the store and likes going outside by Greg's work. The smells of the city I think she enjoys.

Thanks again for the kind wishes.. Have a good weekend. We have company coming tomorrow night and our granddaughters for dinner!! We will make it fun. Sunday head to Rochester...have someone to take care of the house which is good.

Take good care and enjoy your weekend...Emma and Mary

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday -

We have set up a website for my husband's health info. It is

Many of readers are relatives so you may have gotten this info. If not you have it if you want to check on things. Beginning on Sunday I do not know how much I will post here for a week or so. Just depends how things are. We do have someone to stay at our house for the days at Mayo. I think the details are in place for it all? We are actually relieved to have each day pass and get on with this part of our life journey.

We have been touched by the kindness of others. Love, care, and prayers help so much. We are having dinner tonight with dear friends and having other friends over on Saturday. That will be so nice for us.

I want you to know how much Emma means to me. She is so helpful both in her skills but always in her moral support. She seems to know when i need extra cuddling...Mary and Emma wish you a good day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

T errific weather
U understanding friends at lunch
E mma enjoyed outside play
S super enjoyable water exercise class
D delightful time with friends
A Attentive Emma
Y yes a good day

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Savoring Sunday

The weather clouded up but it was another nice Sunday. Our normal routine was brightened with lunch with my sister. It was her birthday yesterday so we celebrated. it was fun. We also shopped at one store and yes I managed without a scooter as we kept the visit short. This place doesn't have a scooter.

The great weather meant we were outside a lot. I love sitting watching Emma and playing with her also. It was great fun for both of us. I must have gotten her tired as she was more than eager to nap...she even seems to dream at times!!

So many people are giving Greg support. I appreciate that a great deal. Our entire family does.

I wasn't feeling good yesterday but Emma got outside a lot. In the 60's sunny so everyone was doing yard work. I slept a lot so didn't blog. But don't worry you never know if I don't blog being too busy and tired or a not so good MS day. Fortunately sleep helped and I felt good today.

Days seem to fly bye even if they are quiet...I think because the day light is less hours and I huddle in and don't get outside in the dark like in the summer. Then I would visit with neighbors or sometimes we would go places. The warmer weather makes us with it was summer not winter coming but we like snow too. Emma loves it so that is fun.


-thankful for my wonderful husband of 31 years
-thankful we can go to Mayo to get quality care for him
-thanksful for my children and their spouses for the love and support we always have but now more than ever!!!!!
-thankful for my healthy and happy grandchildren
-thankful for my sister and brothers and my in-laws who all are terrific
-thankful that we have learned once again to treasure each day and not take it for granted

Wishing you a good day - one you will treasure.

Love Emma and Mary

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Fun

Around 60 so we got outside in the yard and played. One of her toys had gotten in a tree and we couldn't get it. See picture. Now no leaves, and wind knocked it down.

Going to see our friend Jan soon for a Friday after school pop happy hour with lots of gabbing and I hope laughter (I need that)

Tonight and tomorrow will see some of my kids. They are stopping by to say hello and also to help with a few things. Not sure who when but should be very fun

Needed some sleep so it was nap time as usual today and a relaxing day. Do a bit and then read a bit and so on. Emma doesn't mind at all.

Hope you have fun with friends and family and relaxation this weekend

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kindness = please take time to read when you have time

Overwhelmed and emotional about all the words of support we are getting from friends via email, phone or in person. Greg is very loved. I get teary just thinking about it all. As his journey with cancer goes on now and in the future (there is no cure forseen for him, no chemo, no radiation even if it spreads) that is comforting. He and We will not have to travel it alone. We commented past times that we have prayers of thanksgiving that we do not have to face this alone - not by any means.

Emma and I did go to water exercise and to lunch. Slow as a turtle I have tried to rest, pick up a bit, take care of emptying our suitcase, put away a bit of laundry. My daughter Anna thinks she will come one day to help me catch up a bit before Greg's surgery so I am in better shape. He does so much to help me due to MS both around the house, and in my own care needs that it will be nice to have help.

The most creative and happily surprising offer of help we have is that there are people in Rochester who have a mutual friend of a volunteer for Helping Paws. Apparently they can likely help walk Emma there if I need that. I won't know till we get there but gosh a great offer.

i HAVE A BIT THOUGHT TO SHARE - in you have a friend or family in crisis. It is something we learned each episode of cancer. Many people say "if you need anything just call us". I do that too. But IF you can say "can I do this ...for you it is easier than asking someone. It is just so hard for us to ask for help.

THESE ARE WAYS PEOPLE HAVE HELPED US IN THE PAST. REMEMBER ALL THE OTHER YEARS I HAD KIDS LIVING AT HOME". MY YOUNGEST has seen age 9 known his Dad may die of cancer....among creative and thoughtful wonderful things people have done.

1. One neighbor did my laundry (at her home) she would collect a hamper from each kid (not all at once) and bring it back. Now that is not a big issue for two of us but when 6 lived here it was huge huge. It was a stay at home mom neighbor with one child who loved to do laundry. But she was shocked a bit to find out how much more ha ha I had with more kids and girls especially. We still joke about it. It was a person in our neighborhood and who went to our church.

2. Meals - again this time Greg and I will be fine...but with the kids it was so helpful especially the first time Greg was so weak and it took so long to get better.. The kids kid me though to consider NOT sending lasagna. When Greg had a full kidney removed and was so ill with long recovery we grateful got a lot of meals but a lot of lasagna. I could never get sick of it though ha ha. My children say now they always send something else.
One friend sent sloppy joe's (my kids loved that), Greg's work that summer coworkers sent a cooler of frozen meals we could use as needed. I heard one friend they sent pizza take out gift certificates for teens.

3. A twist on Meals - one friend did this that someone who had done it for her sister. She dropped off a meal, flowers, paper table items. It was around the 4th of July. Our kids knew her and together had fun setting the table pretty. She didn't know it but when we had come home we had been at a Dr appointment with not such good news. it was so chearful.

4. Springtime - we had a family call when Greg was call. All i was told is some friends from church were coming to have a barbeque for the family. Do nothing, don't worry if the house is clean it will be outdoor. BARBEQUE it was. They brought a crew. They mowed our yard, planted all our gardens, and offered to do any outside chores. Greg normally has had this happen in spring so planting our gardens has happened more than once by various family or friends. His sisters and mine did it one year and loved a hands on way to help out. Creative huh.

5. We have had people help with rides. Now I may have to ask for that this time since I don't drive. I already have a few offers to drive me to grocery store, to just get me out of the house, to medical appointments...always a good idea.

6. Another creative idea - One year church people brought school supplies for my kids. Not that I couldn't afford them but i had not yet even thought of them. One thanksgiving a friend bought us the meal preprepared. Again this year my kids and I will handle it all but might keep it simple.

Not all have been church but neighbors, relatives, friends all have amazed and surprised us in the past. One time it was just horrid as I was so bad off and we didn't know yet it was MS, Our engine blew up on our van, I couldn't walk. Friends loaned us a car, etc etc.

7. The first time at Mayo I was so stunned and we had never been there. A relative called I have rooms for you booked and paid for stay as long as you need and use room service if you need too. Honest the moral support meant more than even the generous money (I was unemployed at the time) as I had not a clue what to do next and we were so devastated at it all.

I am scared but how can anyone be bitter. Even with the sad times of his cancer and my MS we have been so touched by love of others and care.

ONE FAVOR please pray for his sister Sharon's family. We miss her so much. She was a cheerleader to help us through all the past episodes of cancer. She insisted on going with us, she would take kids places to get their mind off it all, feed them or take them swimming. She helped me stay glued and helped if I fell apart emotionally briefly. But she won't be with us. Last time we had cancer we didn;t know this nor did she. Turned out she got pancreatic cancer and died herself of this dreadful disease. She is rooting for us in heaven now...we miss her so much it is so painful.

Okay now I am crying and i wanted this blog to speak of the wonderful kindness of people. I have tried to do the same for others but I am not sure ever have been so creative or generous....

God bless you all for prayers....Mary

copinng Day to Day

Hi Friends,

My husbands cancer is we think treatable. he has another appointment next week at Mayo. Procedures set for the following week if all goes well. Hoping and thinking the cancer can be removed through an ablation (freezing) rather than cutting. Cutting would likely cost him his kidney. he has less than one half a kidney left due to cancer and previous 3 times of tumor and kidney removal. He is is good spirits at this point...though there is worry, risk and so on... Thanks for the emails of support. It is scary to have your spouse again have cancer and it likely won't be the last time we are told...

So glad to have a scooter. Mayo clinic has two seperate campuses in Rochester and the main one is blocks and many buildings. You go from this floor to another building and I could never walk it all. never.

On to other thoughts - Greg works a long day today. he has so much to do now before being out for 3-6 weeks due to two procedures. Emma and I are more fortunate today will be a FUN DAY. We have water exercise and then a planned lunch with friends from swimming. We don't go expensive but usually on Thursdays we go to lunch IF we can. Today several of us want to go, laugh, and have fun...and yep we talk away.

Emma got a lot of sleep last night and yesterday and needed it. I really think at this age she would have really had issue if she had been matched with someone where she had to do a lot of walking. Well anyway she is with me and we love her and she does just fine with my routine and lifestyle...gosh I love her.

WE are not use to it being November already and knowing that it is just going to get colder. This time of year is not pretty in MN. My relatives who are hunters love this time of year. At least someone does. Lots of people i know like to deer hunt but I hear that actually getting one this year is tougher than usual? They think Emma would have been a great hunting dog if that had been her role in life. Sun is peeking out today as i write this so that is good. I don't know how many even read this blog but I know some are from out state and like hearing things about MN.

I hope you have a good day with family and friends. Don't ever take for granted their presence in your life - that is what cancer always reminds us -- treasure every day.

Emma and Mary

Emma still wants to eat on the schedule BEFORE the time change. Still working on especially the morning feeding. She wakes me so early wanting to eat. She is more flexible with the evening meal thank goodness.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This gray Wed Emma is resting a lot and so are we. Had a dr appointment and some errands this am but home now. Yeah for that. I think we are home for the rest of the evening.

Glad to be home...more later....Mary

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Emma is so beat that at this moment she is laying on the pillow on the bed like a person. Head on pillow body extended out. She is next to my husband who has not slept well the past days. Soon we are off to more medical appointments and tests.

It is clear my husband has cancer in the kidney for the fourth time. He has only part of one kidney left. More tests to determine if he will have traditional surgery or if they would be able to remove it with an ablation (not sure spelling) like last time. In any case cancer is likely to keep occuring over the years.

We are in good hands and will know more later today we think. Please pray for the doctors and medical staff helping us and deciding what is the best course of action. There is no evidence it has spread.

Please pray we are coping with support of family or friends. Ablation means they would freeze the tumor... Mary

Emma will walk less today. We will be sure of it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

At Mayo Clinic With Emma

From Emma

Oh my gosh have we walked and walked today
Mary is on a scooter so she sure could handle it well.
Greg and i are very tired.
We took a big nap all three of us.

Mayo Clinic is not one clinic or building
There are many buildings and floors
Yep you guessed it the tests are never on the same floor
And it seems to me not the same building

All the buildings are connected
It is very efficient
You get a schedule for the day after you register
Down to the minute things are planned out for you
Where to go
What time
What procedure/test and any details if they are needed

We also had to walk a ways to get outside for potty breaks
Greg took me for a big walk in the morning as he was fasting for tests anyway
Mary wanted fresh air so I got another walk after our nap
She was on a scooter

Where we are staying we can walk and
not need to move the car
Mary is grateful for the scooter

They went out to dinner to celebrate Dan's birthday
and forgot to feed me first
I did awesome.

Mary says she is so proud of how I am doing
I am being very attentive and well behaved.

I have to tell you that it is very overwhelming at times
In the waiting rooms
But Mary said I brought smiles to so many faces
Many people asked questions as we waited for appointments or tests

Helping Paws got lots of PR from us today
At the clinic you are keenly aware how fragile life is
people look sick, sad and stressed
it is an honor to be able to listen to the stories of their dog
Mary did that a lot
She also talked about what I do for her

We also met a Grandpa
He paid thousands for a helper dog for his grandson
He has severe autism
He never could sleep long
Now with the dog he no longer wanders the house
He sleeps the night most times
He has had her three years
She has been life changing
He is still struggling to learn to talk
But he converses with the dog
This is helping his language improve
We almost cried with the man
Such a heart warming story.

One day at a time as we deal with things.
Dan;s birthday today and he is enjoyable to have with us.
I am ready for bed.
Actually I sleep every chance i get to be in the room.
I wonder if i will walk this much tomorrow.