Sunday, February 28, 2010

a Day At Home

We did go to church but then were home all day.
We needed a quiet day.
We alternated
quiet chores
----------------------------going outside!!!

Lots of melting going on here.
Yesterday we saw people without jackets
and one in shorts.

When hits over 32 here in MN you see lots of smiles

A bit longer days filled with sunshine

remind us of spring.

Birds chirping and it as if they are also awaiting spring

to come in full force.................what a sparkling blue sky,

We opened a window to get some fresh air in the house

for a bit....yep MN people like the anticipation of spring........

should we name it pre-spring...

when can you be sure it is spring --well snow often comes in March

sometimes April and even May depending on the year....................

We are having a good day - Emma

from Emma


OF course Mary got tired
We were up at 7 and didn't nap till 5

We were having fun with Greg and the girls

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday night had some physical problems but at least a great day.

We spent part of the day with my granddaughters - including taking them to lunch at Snuffy's and going to Barnes and Noble. They are so great to each other and so polite and fun to be with. We had a blast.

We did a few errands after dropping them off and I guess I pushed too hard or who knows what? A late nap and going to bed early helped me very much. Emma snuggled in with me most the time.

Greg had to shop and tested some recipes for a special gathering he has at work tomorrow, sunday.

Emma is so cute. Rosa really loves her as does Sophia. We also took Sophia to the dentist and Rosa realized the other children could not pet her. She was able to pet her while we waited. Once there were not so many in the wiating area we let one 6 year old also pet her briefly. It was cute to see them interact under my watchful eye. Rosa had to show the boy just how to pet Emma lightly and only a little bit.

Overall, a good day. I just get so tired quickly some days and this dump breathing issues with pain. Well I have meds at home so could handle it all here which was good.

Mary and Emma headed back to bed

Friday, February 26, 2010

Felt good enough to volunteer a few hours at the MS Society as planned last week. working on some research for a grant they are requesting.

Glad to be home tonight to rest and go to bed early.

Emma was great all day...........Mary

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nurse Emma


Mary is very sleepy.
I am at her side every minute
Greg took me out this am
Mary is going to take me out now
It is colder so I will not be out long

I don't know if we will do water exercise
our normal routine tomorrow
Mary says we might go and she just will do less activity
in the water IF that is needed
She still has some wheezing

I brought her a blanket.
I sleep close to her
I picked up some things she dropped
I love working for her
Especially at home or that is what Mary says

The insurance won't okay one medication we want to use
It works better with less side effects for mary's breathing
Insurance can be so frustrating
The doctor will write a letter I suppose
To see if they will make it okay to use this other medication
It was used before and works better
Mary says insurance can be so frustrating
But good to have it

We feel bad for people without insurance

I do not know what that all means of course
Being a dog
Mary and Greg talk about it

I am doing the best i can to care for Mary
Greg says that it helps him not worry when he goes to work
To know I am here
He does NOT work tonight late so that is good

Mary says thanks for the ecards and emails
She will be fine.
A new specialist might be able to help us out too.

OOh I need to go outside NOW
Then Mary says she wants to read or sleep
I am guessing she will fall asleep reading
IT is a good sign that she can fall asleep
Means the pain in the chest is under control

Take care

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nurse Emma is On Duty

Mary had breathing issues and chest pain off and on till Sunday night
They got worse
We went to the new Maple Grove hospital near us run by North Memorial
She got home Tuesday night because we lived near by
She got out a day early and had Greg with us to supervise
Plus me
Plus new med and a promise to return if it got worse as she got more active

Tomorrow will be a quiet day.
I was popular among the nurses and doctors.
I got to go half day to Greg's work today during some heart tests for mary
He said I did perfect

I did great at the hospital
Now I am at Mary's side again at home

Let's hope things keep improving
We go to Mayo next week for tests for Greg
Interesting life here


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Birthday Party

Sunday is quiet we are home all day. That is good as I am so tired from the party and party preparation. Emma is happy to get outside with me. It is sunny and nice for MN in Feb.

Sat we had 16 people to celebrate Anna's birthday. It was such fun and I think she enjoyed it. Loved this picture. Unfortunately some I took did not turn out. It was so much fun.

You saw Emma's post and mostly it was okay for her till the dogs got a bit possesive and wanted the same space under the table. It all worked out though. Today she is queen of her own house like always ha ha.

Book club is tomorrow.

I am working on some phone calls and internet search for a grants information for the MS Society. I will let you know how the overall campaign goes. I am a small part of it all and will help for about a month. Doing behind the scenes work. As my time and health permit. Mostly at home. I am not the only one working on this and the time committment is manageable (excuse my spelling on this post). No committee mtgs so I think I can do it even though I don't drive. Most is at home. The MS office is not far from Greg's work and the only times I have to go down there I get to decide what works in my schedule and more importantly his.

The MS Society and programs do so much that I am so pleased to help in any way that I can.

Off to take Emma outside. She is sleepy today but always thrilled to go outside. We need to go while the sun is still shining.

Thank God for my family. Anna is my oldest and will be 31 on Sat. Can I have a daughter that age? She has added so much joy to my life. Thank you God for Anna and bless her now and in the years to come.

Mary and Emma

Anna is very special to Emma. She steps in the door and says "Emma want to go outside? and off they go!!!!!!!!!) Wiggle butt loves when she comes over.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Birthday party for Anna was fun.
16 people were a lot for our house.
The dog Grace came too.
We had fun in the backyard
But in the house she slept on my pillow bed
Got so much attention
and then tried to lay on my special space under the table
during the meal

Sharing my space with another dog is not easy
Mary says it is because I am not used to it
That dog was big as I am
Lily (Mary's grand dog is little) and I am use to her

I was much more relaxed after Grace went home.
Like I said it is hard to share the attention
And my space
At my house.

Even though Grace seemed like an okay dog.

Love Emma

Friday, February 19, 2010


Spent time with Emma, and Greg part of the day. Spent part of the day with girlfriends. Friends make our days better. Emma agrees. Spent part of the day getting ready for Anna's birthday party (here) tomorrow.

Sp I had to go to bed early. Up to check my blood sugar. Plan to be home all day tomorrow.

Emma had a good day.

Wishing you a good weekend.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


The pool is closed at the YMCA today so we are home. It was a good morning and Emma enjoyed time outside with me. She is such an angel...a snow angel at times.

Special friends of mine are facing a cancer diagnosis. For any chronic health diagnosis I think the following advice might be helpful. I thought I would pass it on to you in case you are interested.

Having gone through 4 times cancer and 5 surgeries - these things helped us cope. I know each situation is unique and Greg is not out of the woods as he might get cancer again due to the type of cancer and how it keeps on coming. I wish i could spare you all the pain and anxiety of this journey but like I said these things helped us.

1. Don't look too far ahead. Focusing one day, one week at a time can be a god sent to help you cope.

2. PRAY = pray for the Lord to guide the medical staff to give you wise consultation, to have good skills and for the love you share in your family and among friends will help you.

3. Knowledge is power. Know your options.

4. Trust your doctors. If you can't trust them or they don't take your input seriously change doctors.

5. Consider the Mayo Clinic if you don't find what you want in the Cities here or for a second opinion. In our case we found they were very leading in the field of Kidney Cancer. You might find places up here are better for this specific type.

6. Very important - LET OTHERS HELP YOU. It is comforting to them. Let there support surround you like a warm quilt.
Grandma's Dr told her this when she had cancer. We found it true for us. Meals for example may not be urgently needed but if that is a way someone wants to help LET THEM> You will find the food is secondary to the moral support you will get from them making the effort. Accepting help can also deepen your friendship and family ties.

7. Gregs survival tip - TAKE TIME TO GO TO DE NILE - OPPS it is denial. Don't think about it every minute. Take time out from cancer. Do fun things. Act like it isn't a serious situation once in awhile. You deserve that break.

8. KEEP LIFE AS ROUTINE AND NORMAL AS POSSIBLE - sometimes that is impossible I know. For kids for example. for you, and your mom and Rick. Thinks like going to the grocery store (my husband the cook's favorite routine) or whatever is a normal task or activity do it. Sometimes in a "crisis" that is not possible but even small breaks of normal can help you through this. Like watching your favorite tv show...any of those things that help.

9. IF you believe in prayer (I do) ask your church, and your friends to put you on prayer chains. Your church community will want to know and prayer helps. Helps you not feel alone...among other things.


LOOK at Grandma Gundersen she had a bad prognosis at 60 and lived to be 86. The world is full of cancer miracles and journeys where cancer did NOT keep people from enjoying life , having years with families. Some doctors we found can be so matter of fact and somber that it can be so depressing. No matter what the prognosis hang in there.

Feel free to pas this along to anyone it might help.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Don't Look at Snow - Think Spring

Today we took metro mobility like we do on Wed. Those who live in the area might chuckle at this. They actually got me to Regency Hospital in Golden Valley on time but guess our route. We went from New Brighton, to Como Ave in St Paul to pick up someone and then to Golden Valley. Emma did get to ride on the seat so we just enjoyed the scenery.

Our afternoon meeting was for lunch and then to help promote MS Camp with Jeannie Zank of the MS Society at a gathering of MS patients. It was really nice. She had a video of the camp photos and it was such fun to remember camp. Yes it is in May and we hope to be able to go this year. We applied but we do have to see if there is enough room for us. We go to the May camp.

A friend who also helped gave us a ride home. Metro Mobility was not available to give me a ride at the time needed. We came home did a few things and took a long nap. Oh and of course Emma and I went outside too.

In MN the days are slightly longer - meaning more daylight. The temp was 33 and it smelled of spring. Birds chirping and so on. Yes we have the rest of Feb, and March for more snow. By April things get warmer still and less snow...The hope of spring gets me through the end of winter.

I know 33 does not sound warm to many parts of the country at this time of year - but in MN it feels just great!!!!!!!!!!!

Emma truly slept at the meeting today. She was so good there. She played with me before we napped. Today I really marveled again at her beautiful coloring. she is such a pretty dog and the best of buddies to me. She is just what I need in a service dog.

Tomorrow we have water exercise but heard the pool might be closed due to an unforseen problem. We will call in the morning to see about this. That is our plans for tomorrow. I also have to get reading as book club is Monday and I am NOT finished with the book yet.

Take care and have a good day.

Emma and Mary

Monday, February 15, 2010

Emma spent much of the day being hugged periodically by Rosa. We had Rosa with us all day.

When Emma rolled in the snow Rosa proclaimed she made "puppy snow angels",

We had a great day but Grandma Mary has to get some sleep. Emma too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oops I did this picture already! dog in the snowy back yard!

Snowy Fun Sunday.

Fun with friends - the movie "Dear John" and lunch together.

Emma did great but of course liked best playing with me in the yard.

Still snowing lightly and not sure what is predicted.

Will watch the Olympics tonight for sure.

Hope your weekend is going well.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day Eve

Greg works tomorrow so we are celebrating tonight. We are going to fondue. We spent the day together and even went out to lunch. We unexpectedly met Becky and Justin...imagine the good fortune...both going the same place at the same time and not knowing it. It was a first time for all of us to The Anchor in NE Mpls...highly recommend it. Best fish and chips in town.

Later Danny stopped by. Emma and I had time outside and also time to nap. A very full day.

We are doing great...more tomorrow.

Mary and Emma

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Snowy Dog

Can you see how the snow is getting deeper and deeper? Emma is loving it. She keeps wanting to go outside many many many times a day.

When out and about with me, if I say better go now (I mean to the bathroom) - she likes to dive in face first before doing her duty. What fun she is having this winter.

Fun at the movies with friends - Valentine's Day - cute

Making brownies for neighbors who have snow plowed for us!

Meeting Jan after school for conversation.

Eating dinner out with Jan and her husband.

Watching Emma enjoy the snow and especially the snow piles that are getting higher and higher.

Snuggling in to watch the Winter Olympics.

A Rewarding enjoyable day to share.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Emma and I are doing fine. I am awake in the night for a bit so thought I would check email. Water exercise was great Thur but it tired me out. I took a long nap, did almost nothing else, watched some tv after dinner and zonked out for bedtime.


Have a good day. More later.....Mary

Wed afternoon and night Rosa was over so I didn't take time to write at night. She is such fun.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Time to Play

Today we will spend half the day with Rosa. Yeah it is a good day to play. The snow is so deep I am guessing it will be indoors at our house. Fun for all.

Emma slept late so ate breakfast late and we slept late. Does that make sense? She is having such fun prancing through all this snow. She it so fast moving in it all. Fun to be outside with her these days.

Wiill try to get some pics today.

Have a good one - Mary and Emma

Monday, February 8, 2010

Emma can't get enough of the outdoors today. She loves the fluffy snow that has fallen and drifted. By the patio door the snow is higher than my knees. We need to shovel there but it keeps blowing back there. She keeps indicating she wants to go outside. Over and over and over and over again today. It is fun to watch her in the snow.

If I had a video camera I would try to post a clip of her in the snow. Wish she had a playmate today.

Exploring the Snow

I love this picture. It is Reagan (I think I spelled it correct) . Reagan is a puppy. She just joined the Owen's family. Yeah Rosie is going to train her to know service dog role but she will be a breeder dog for Helping Paws Puppies. Isn't she adorable playing in the snow.

I wanted to get a cute picture of Emma in the snow also. I am not very steady on my feet today. I think I would need boots on and to be right in the snow with her. Because of my dizziness, and difficulty walking, I am watching her from the patio door as she goes outside. Yeah for a fenced in yard. I keep my eyes on her and she keeps checking on me too. The snow is drifting and so piles are deep. Emma loves it.

The snow is pretty and cute. The weather is not as cold as it was around Christmas and January. Snow in February is pretty normal in Mn...

Emma and i are ready for nap. I hope that you have a good day. Just had to share this photo with you. Thanks Rosie.

Emma and Mary wish you a good day.

snow Snow and more Snow

Hi Folks,

It is suppose to snow till Tuesday!
I think including Tuesday!
Slow moving storm so snow will add up.

Monday we will be home all day.
Mary promised we will get outside to play
She had a new toy to toss and have me fetch

but we may save that for another day
because just playing in the snow is FUN

Greg is still stuck in slow moving traffic
trying to get to St Paul for a mtg - he has been on the road
over an hour - moving slow

It started snowing yesterday

We liked the dog commercials on the super bowl

Happy Monday - enjoy the snow
I will

love, Emma

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Look at This

You decide -

MN in the winter (my backyard)

MN in the summer Kathy's yard

Winter is pretty, fluffy, and delightful for awhile
Summer is pretty, flowery and delightful and too short

We are thinking of summer today.
Though it is mild and a good day for outdoor winter sports.
A day when if my kids were little we would be sliding.

Have a good Saturday

Friday, February 5, 2010

from Emma

today is friday
we went on errands part of the day
Greg wonders if part of my role in life is to delight children?
Everywhere Mary and Greg and I went
the children are delighted
we were at fleet farm and the grocery store
we also had to go to a medical supply store

it snowed
it snowed again
I think I like it more than Greg
I don't have to shovel it
it is suppose to snow more sun night
at least measured in inches per snow fall
not feet per snowfall
that is good

i had a lot of fun outside today
I like to try to fetch snowballs
run after bunnies if I see them (nome today)
and just about hanging around in the snow
There is so much to play in
my fenced yard

we are hoping tonight we sleep better
a part broke off Mary's sleep mask for her bipap machine
she snores
she couldn't breathe so it kept waking up
when she slept she snored so loud
greg woke up
the kind of took turns sleeping
and I finally moved out to the living room
I mean a dog needs her sleep

all fixed now so tonight should be
a quiet night

wishing you all a good nights sleep
enough snow to be fun if you live where there is snow
and a good weekend

love Emma

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Snow for Emma

Emma and I are almost ready for bed. We went to water exercise today. She did well and did not get up for water. After my swim time I gave her a big bowl of water of course - while I showered. She liked that. She played in the snow and yes of course we napped. She snuggled with me while we watched some tv tonight.

She is so much company and so relaxing to be with. Today the cue we had to use a bit more than often was "leave it". As in leave it alone. She would want to check out things in the snow as we walked on the sidewalk today. She was for some reason very interested in someone else's towel today. A towel had dropped from a bar and was on the floor close to her.

I can't tell you how much she enhances my days. What a sweetheart she is - yeah for you Emma.

Happy Birthday to Pam at Helping Paws. She is special to Emma and to me.

Wishing you all a good day on Friday. Suppose to keep snowing here overnight. Only around an inch or so I think. emma will like that..........

Emma and Mary

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I have been dealing with so much fatigue and forgetting to blog. We are okay though and i don't want you to worry. Emma is doing just great.

Tuesday for the first time ever at water exercise she wanted to leave early. I just couldn't get her to sit back down. So it was about 5 min early. I got out and took my shower but first gave her water (our routine). You can't imagine how full a bowl she drank!!! She was thirsty. It was more humid where we were then normal. I hope she manages tomorrow. She always has plenty of water available to her at home. She has been tested for diabetes as "when she drinks" she drinks a lot. She is just fine though and has a good bladder too.

On the metromobility buses this week she has been outstanding. We used the transportation service both yesterday and today. She is just doing awesome.

I am off to bed again. We rested early in the night despite a nap. Not sure if it is just regular MS or what. Got the application form for MS camp and am excited to mail that.

More tomorrow and I will try to take more pictures too. Emma and Mary

Monday, February 1, 2010

Saturday we had a great time with the grand daughters. We picked up Rosa and Sophia and went to a play. Our friend's children were in a church play. It was great and kept all of us entertained. Then we went to there home for dinner and talking. The girls headed home with us for a sleep over. We had a great time.

Our friends have birds and Emma was a bit interested. When she got near there cage she got excited and they were scared. A command to "leave it" I immediately got her to lay "under" the table and sat there to help with the meal. Rosa however got scared when they let the bird out to show her (on their finger). One of them set it on her shoulder and she freaked. Then the poor little girl had a nightmare and thought there were birds all over her. So that was not good. It all happened so fast i didn't get to voice to not put the bird on her. It was one of the boys who thought she might like it.

Otherwise the day went just terrific. I was fortunate to have them Sunday morning till early afternoon also. They play so great and are such great kids. I am one happy grandma - to say the least. But Emma and I needed to rest once they left and I forgot to blog.

All is well here. Greg worked a full 14.5 hour day Sunday. So he is resting a lot today. It is gently snowing. We might go get a few groceries later? Emma is doing fine.

Wishing you a good day. Mary and Emma