Sunday, November 15, 2009

Veteran's Day/Molly May

This picture of your handsome Dad and me was taken outside the Patriot Center Saturday November 7, 2008.  The Army National Guard was one of the sponsors of the American Freedom Festival.  Anyway, guess what?  I have just spent one hour and 18 minutes downloading pictures I wanted to include in this post, and guess what just happened?  I lost them all, just minutes ago!  Talk about user error!  0' well, life is like that when you don't quite know what you are doing!  Hopefully, I have learned from my mistakes and won't do that again.  Speaking of learning, here are some things I learned about Veteran's Day that I thought was worth sharing with you all: 1.  Veteran's Day was originally called Armistice Day which essentially means "cease fire" day and occurred on November 11, 1918 to mark the end of the fighting between Germany and the Allied forces (of which we were one) during World War I.  2.  This armistice treaty was signed in a railway carriage in Compiegne Forest on 11th of November approximately at 5:00 A.M. Paris, France time which is about 11:00 p.m. US time November 10th.  It was to be in effect at 11:00 a.m. Paris time, and generally that is why parades, and etc. get started at 11:00 a.m. on the 11th.  Here in Washington, DC, at the tomb of the Unkown Soldier, the President comes and does a special Wreath Laying Ceremony. 3.  The Treaty of Versailles officially ended World War I but that did not happen until 7 months later, on June 28, 1919 in France.  Perris and I went to Versaille and saw where the treaty was signed.  Incredible!  Go sometime!  Better yet, Come with us!  4.  Veteran's Day is meant to honor all Veteran's of any war and any soldier presently or formally serving.  5.  Your Father Lynn, Brother Michael, Sister Anne, Grandpa Ray Jensen, Great Grandpa Leo Ray Jensen, and Granpa Conrad Benjamin Nelson are some of our family soldiers that have carried the standard of liberty to the world, and have kept us able to enjoy the freedoms that we have.    Every year that we went to Knott's Berry Farm for their Military Salute, it has always been a special thing to me, but now studying about Veteran's Day has given me a new appreciation--especially for our family members whose legacy is one of promoting and defending freedom.

As part of our Veteran's Day salute, as you can see from the first picture, Dad and I got to attend the American Freedom Festival at the Patriot Center here in Fairfax, Va. on Saturday November 7th.  Country star Phil Vasser, who hails from Lynchburg, Virginia, Lee Ann Womack, from Jacksonville, Texas, and Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry from Kentucky performed for us.  This is Phil Vasser---He was my favorite and had a lot of American Spirit and music, and Connie would have loved his piano playing, and his piano!It was a beauty!

Yup this is Lee Ann Womack--she sings "I Hope You Dance" The song I held dear from Anne's Baccalaureate right before she graduated Yucaipa High in 2001.  As you recall, I had just gotten out of the hospital and was amazed that I was still alive.
I was so happy to be able to see her graduate!

The guy with the hat in the picture is Montgomery and the hatless guy at the microphone is Gentry---They sing, "Just Another Day in Paradise"

Really, I have always loved Veteran's Day (probably because of the Knott's Berry Farm Tradition) but I wanted to make it more meaningful by learning more about it.  Hence, Dad and I taught our Family Home Evening Group about Veteran's Day (my part) and Thanksgiving (Dad's part), and Dad even gave a trivia test on all holidays to the group which is now officially called YAH and stands for, Young at Heart,  instead of our old title of Empty Nester's (Don't laugh)!  Anywho, just like any kids during family night, our group wanted to get rewarded for their knowledge, so not having anything to give them that night---I promised brownies and chocolate chip cookies to give them today and I worked this morning and got it done.  I have to admit, I tried both and they are some of my best treats I have ever made, thanks to Grandma Dorothy Nelson. I simply used the  McCall's Cookbook she gave me years ago.  It has scads of wonderful recipes in them.  It may take me awhile, but I am going to try most of the recipes in the 785 page book over time.  When you visit, expect me to use a recipe or two from the book.   Here are the treats I am giving away today!
Now for the part of the blog that you have been waiting for:  Your sweet pet and mine: Molly!

We took her to South Paws here in Fairfax, Va. which is off of the 50 and she had a 2:30 appointment with Dr. Norton, on Veteran's Day,  Wednesday November 11, 2009.  While waiting, Molly, like any inquisitive child, loved to look out the window.  Afterall, there was lots of neat "stuff" to see.  When the doctor came in to talk to us, shortly thereafter,  he said that her spindle cell tumors would continue to grow and open up and bleed (like they were doing) unless they were removed.  He was honest and said that if he did operate,  he probably wouldnt get it all because of the type of tumor it is;  it wraps around everything, but he did say that it is a good chance that even though they will grow back, they probably won't grow back aggresively and at a rate that would matter to Molly.  He remarked that  she would most likely die of other causes related to age, other than the tumor, when it was her time to go. Next, she had chest x-rays to see if she was healthy enough for surgery and to see if the tumors had spred.  Luckily, they had not,   so, I felt that the only humane thing to do for Molly was have the doctor operate and remove her lumpiness!  The next morning, Thursday,  I brought her in before I had to leave for work, and the next day, Friday, Dad and I picked her up at 6:15 p.m. to take her home.  Here are some before and after pictures.
That's 3 pounds of tumor in her!

It was raining outside and she was mesmerized by some car that had it's windshield wipers going in the parking lot!  She was cute!
Molly said, "If I stick my nose right up to the window, I'll see better!"
Lynn being supportive---Really!  He cleaned up her blood from the carpet when her tumors opened up, and he cleaned up her other messes, and he has been a real good "Daddy" to Molly, and a great friend to me.  (Yes, I do appreciate you being with me, more than you know)!
Now for the part nobody anticipated---  When she first came to us, she looked kinda', well... horrible!  She really couldn't walk by herself,( I had to be taught how to carry her), and she had a gash from her surgery site  that I just measured and (it is over 7 inches long)!  But, even with all that, you could tell that she was happy to be back with her "parents" (Dad and I).

Get a look at her way "girly" pink bandaid!

Content to be with us!
Pretty nasty looking surgical site!  Was it really three pounds of tumor?  Yup!  Poor pup!

Daddy giving her sufficient love and support!
It is now 7:40 p.m.  This marks exactly 2 days since she has been home from surgery and today, Molly has made great progress.  She has a better appetite than she did yesterday and actually can walk a bit from room to room.  (She followed me in here (my bedroom) all by herself, and struggled and succeeded in picking herself up when she tripped in the kitchen).  She can't go up and down any stairs yet, (not even the little ones), but I am going to work as hard as I can to get her to be somewhat independent in that by the time Joe (our dogwalker) comes to walk her Friday.    She does improve daily, so I am encouraged.  Well, all good things must come to an "end" and I have to admit that Daddy really thought this one had a great "ending!" Hope you do too!

Honestly, I was just trying to help Molly get up, but Dad couldn't resist!  The end!  (I hope you don't think it is too "big" of an ending)!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

This and That!

Pomegranate anyone?   We bought ours from the local Harris Teeter's  on a deal for 2 for $5.00!  Mine was o.k.tasty until I saw Dad's!  You gotta' love the juicy redness!  Instead of saying, the grass is always greener, I say,  "the pomegranates always redder in his bowl!"  Still in all, it will be nice to get another soon from the "real place for pomegranates"---California, of course!  California here we come! November 20th that is...

Do you know how to roast pumpkin seeds?  Start with the guts of the pumkin like the first picture, , and then rinse until it looks like the second one.  Then you pat dry a bit until it looks like this, sprinkle with some kind of salt and pam and roast in the oven at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes until you get something resembling the fourth picture for a delicious, nutty, spicy thing that's o, so good for you too!

Finally, Remember my vandalizing neighbors.  Well, I just wanted to show you their latest work.   First we start with the guy that tries to blend into the tree---he figures, " If I act like I'm invisible, she'll never notice me!"  But, being the intelligent human that I am,  I realize that there's a whole gang of vandals and I notice---the distractor!---this friend of the perpetrating vandal who says to himself---"hey, maybe if I scratch, she'll never know what is going on below."  But down below, I notice a very fat squirrel friend niblbling hard on my pumpkin and then sitting up to enjoy the spoils, clean his paws of the evidence (and to swallow)! Now,  I took these pictures on my lunch break and by the time I returned home, there's not very much of a pumpkin left!  It's now been a few days since this crime went down on my property, and I will have to admit that even though I caught these vandals (in the very act), they are still at it, ...I have proof that will hold up in court!....a final piece of evidence to show you later!

Finally, for all of you who love her, you deserve a picture of the dog, Molly, who very graciously accepted the fact that she must go in a pop up kennel for her wounds to find relief.  Honestly, once the kennel was in place and the sleeping pad was put in, Molly chose of her own accord to go in.  She is such a good girl.  Tonight when I was talking to my Mom, she said she would pray for her and called her a sweet girl.  Yes, Molly, you are my sweet girl! (Well, to anyone she loves)!

Molly weighs about 49 pounds now, she is not fat as this picture seems to show---that's all tumor, poor girl, but she has an appointment Wednesday with the surgeon for a consultation.  Pray for her!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just some pictures of what our neighbors did on Halloween night!

We never carved this pumpkin and still it's skin is missing---perfectly carved out ---it looked like the perpetrators used a paring knife!Pumpkin shavings lay on the ground!
Goofy's face is gone!The lid is half eaten!

Our candy from Halloween!

So everyone, you remember last post when I talked about the neighbors vandelizing things, well, here is only part of what they did!  Dad said it really was MY FAULT because the sign read. "Please take one piece of candy!"  But I told him that pumpkin isn't candy! Apparently to this guy, it is!  Needless to say, right now I am not on speaking terms with this neighbor of mine!  As you can clearly see from the picture, he/she is avoiding me altogether! 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How we spent Halloween 2009

Hey Guys, So, I guess you probably are familiar with some of the  main Halloween traditions in our house---Dad carves the pumpkin we get, and I dress up and dress up anybody in the family who doesn't mind too much and we usually go to a church Halloween party!  This year we missed the church party, but we still celebrated in our Nelson fashion.  Additionally, since we moved to Virginia, we have visited the pumpkin patches at the local Episcopal Churches here because 1.  They are really neat and 2. We think they do a lot of good with the money they get  from the sales.  Anyway we have been going to the pumpkin patches yearly since Perris was a freshman at Wakefield High School in 2003. The one at Quaker and Seminary Road is where we went this year.  I really look forward to this usually crisp weather,  fall tradition!

So, I made a date with Lynn that we would go for Family Home Evening on Monday the 26th.  But the date arrived, and Lynn realized that he needed to go to Clothing Sales at Ft. Meyer and get an authorized rain jacket on Monday after work, because Tuesday the forecast called for rain.  I picked him up at work and we ran that errand.  But, by the time it was time to go to the pumpkin patch, the sky was no longer beautiful and the sun was going down fast.  I told Lynn that those conditions would never do for picture taking and also told informed him  to expect to go later in the week, when the weather was better.  He told me the weather forecast called for rain all week, but I told him that the Lord would make sure I had my pumpkin pictures, so I wasn't worried!  Still the same, I made Lynn take a couple of pictures of Molly and I just outside our place Monday night (even though the Sun had gone down) in case he was right!

Look a bit familiar?

Tuesday the 27th,  it poured, and poured and poured some more!  There was no going to the pumpkin patch then.  Wednesday the 26th, the rain continued,  but then cleared in the afternoon, and that is when we siezed the moment and went.  It's so pretty in Virginia in the fall time, with all the brilliant colors of the trees, but I am sad to say these are not the best pictures representing fall time here, as that opportunity was missed last Sunday.  I saw the brilliance of colors then when  I was on my way to church and thought that it would have been perfect for picture taking, but alas, those moments vanished like a ghost! ( That analogy was very Halloween appropriate, don't you think)?  Still, I like these pictures.
 I like the last one I took of Lynn with the Episcopal lady worker.  Kinda' reminds me of Grandma Nelson and when I mentioned that to Lynn he said, "I know, I miss my Mommy!" He wasn't kidding either.  Here he is a grown-up, having raised four kids, with an active school and military career to his credit, and he has a tender spot for his Mommy!  I can only hope my own kids feel that way someday.  Don't worry Lynn, you will see her soon---November 20th to be exact!

I will dehydrate and salt the seeds

Can you guess who this  is?

That side was autographed by Michael
This side was autographed by Perris
We dance!

Anyway, our Halloween Day was good.  Lynn and I both individually ran six miles on the fancy treadmill Mike got (us).  Additionally, I gave the dog a bath (trust me, she needed it--she was a stinky girl), and I shopped for groceries and a few Christmas presents and cleaned the house and tried to call Anne, since she is about to give birth to Clara (a namesake from Lynn's family side). Lynn carved our pumpkin vey appropriately for our experience early this month.  When he was done, and our house was more or less clean, Molly and I dressed up for pictures.  I was a baseball player and she was a Washington Redskin football player.  The ball I am holding is nostalgic.  I have the famous autographed baseball by two world renown (my world anyway) baseball players:  Michael and Perris Nelson.  After we finished taking Molly's pictures, and she was more than done,  we dated by going to the video store and out for a not so fancy dinner.  On the way to the video store, I tried to call Anne, but didn't get her, so I speculated all the way there that she was probably having her baby. Afterall, she had called me first today, and since it was so close to her due date of the 2nd, then surely...  Meanwhile back at the video store, we were going to rent two dvd's but were told by the cashier, "for just one more rental, you can get one popcorn, 2 sodas, and 2 candies"---we had to do it (we normally don't indulge like that, but it was Halloween)!  Anyway, when we got home we ate our not so fancy, but really tasty KFC while watching our first dvd and then tried to call our kids between movies.  Mike was at FTX, so no getting him, Connie was out probably parading Brody around, and Anne was probably having our grandchild---well..., Not this night!  We found out upon calling again that we couldn't get through to them earlier because they were taking advantage of the Halloween happenings on State Stree for Xander and Everett..  Clara will be born in November, like Everett (November 9) and Xander (November 16)!  I think that's cool!  Anyway, Dad and I walked to the 7-11 after Anne's phone call.  It was in the rain, since the forecast has been rainy here all week (except that Wednesday afternoon at the pumpkin patch (no mere coincidence by my account))!   Well, right now, I will finish this blog entry, but I just went outside to take down the sign we put up on our door for children to take candy off our porch and the little pumpkin we left out overnight has been "vandelized" by our neighbors...more about that in the next blog!