MEGA POST: Despite All Sorts of Commotion...We've Got One More Down

I know I've been somewhat quiet & vague lately, but there's been a lot of stuff going on.  So I apologize as this post IS lengthy...
First of all, we had a close one with Grandma Romm on the 29th, as she suffered a heart attack.  Once she was transported to the right hospital, and under the care of some gifted & inspired surgeons, she was much better.  She's at home recovering nicely (shoot, she was ready to leave the same evening she had wound up in the hospital).  She's an amazing woman, and I've always loved her as if she'd been one of my grandmas from the start (even when Seth & I were growing up).  Relief at her still being with us is an understatement!  Before our family's move to Idaho, we spent 1 wonderful month living with Grandma Romm.  She & I played loads of board games & would share a grapefruit with sugar while we watched the Young & the Restless each day (yes, I know its silly & I can't stand soap operas, but it just tickled Grandma so much.  It meant so much to be able to share things like that with her).  We also would cook/prep some meals together or clean-up after dinner together, and I adored being able to hear about she & Grandpa Romm had first met, and what drew her to him.  They have such a classic, & priceless story.  I love that I could be there & be with her.  Speaking of, I believe I'm gonna have to get over to her house (since no one's currently sick) for a game of Scrabble or Settlers this week!
So, beyond our miracle with Grandma, this week brought a nice birthday for me.  The big 3-0 is waaaaay easier to deal with than 25 was.  For some reason 25 was an extremely depressing birthday...so, I'm very glad 30 is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum as far as the fun/happy factor goes.  No cake or anything that'll really hold a candle (or 30) up for that matter, but some chocolate Breyer's ice cream and I was good to go!
Seth's actually been spoiling me for weeks, conveniently counting it as early birthday/new allergy surprises!  Due to so many food allergies, the luxury of eating out has become precisely that: a RARE luxury!  So that means I now have a test-kitchen in my home where various, exotically bland sorts of new flours & recipes are tried on a regular basis.  Because of all that, my good old beaters can't stand up to the challenge & Mr LKP found a fantastically awesome re-furbed professional grade 5 Qt KitchenAid mixer (he got it for a SONG!).  Icing on that gluten-free cupcake is its the perfect shade of red as with the rest of my kitchen!  Hooray Hooray!!!
Finally was able to see an allergist (phew! got a quicker appointment off their cancelation list), and had some scratch testing done: Grasses, weeds, trees, dust mites, etc.  Let's just say I had quite the reaction!  Oodles of cortizone cream & antihistamines later, and my arms were still itchy, hot, & on FIRE (it took almost a week for the one on my right arm to stop itching)! 
Turns out I have more asthma trouble than I'd ever realized as well, which is apparently complicated by the allergies, so I've definitely transitioned into "old" in proper fashion, just check my medicine cupboard!!!  Multiple inhalers, nasal sprays, new daily allergy medicine, new eyedrops, and it all that wasn't enough, apparently my test results for H. Pylori came back with elevated readings so I'm on an antibiotic & Prilosec for the next long while!  Icing on THAT birthday treat, however, is when I was at the allergist's it was discovered that in the past month I've successfully lost 10 lbs!!!  Good thing that silver lining's there or, I should say, less there!!!
Due to all the allergy mess, I have new anti-allergen pillows, anti-allergen pillow cases, an anti-allergen mattress case, the cat now has a new spot on the dresser over-looking the sand dunes & NOT on the pillow at the top of my head (I think he's torn, cause he loves watching for critters in his yard at night, but its still taken several nights to remind him that the pillow's no longer an option).  Considering the dust/dust mite issues, a new vaccum that uses HEPA filter bags was in order (actually though, a new vaccum has been needed MUCH MUCH longer than we'll admit to), as well as a carpet cleaner.  Wouldn't you know Divine Providence kicked in for us on those NON-CHEAP necessities & Fred Meyer had a PHENOMENAL sale on both.  So, between there & Sears, & much to the disappointment of both Hula & Tuffy, there are now TWO scary things to run from or bark at in our home!
All these crazy-big things are nice & I'm very grateful (though "things" are not what its all about, I totally understand that, its just exciting cause I've never owned such HIGH QUALITY things like these before---really I love the peace of mind knowing that they're gonna do their job well & hold up for a long time), but I figured that was that as far as my birthday was concerned---and my birthday hadn't even come to pass yet!  The night before my birthday I had some errands to run, but was called by the family to meet them in a parking lot (yeah, I know....sounds a little creepy, but it was the parking lot of what Seth lovingly refers to as the "Candy Store").  I met them there and they surprised me with a NEW PUPPY!!!  (Hey, if I can't have any more 2-legged children, why not 4-legged with cute floppy ears right?!)  His name is "Sir Linus of Woodbine" after Linus from Charlie Brown (which we all know I've been over the moon for my entire lifetime).  He's an 11 wk old, pure-bred AKC-papered Chesapeake Bay Retriever!  Cutest dang puppy eyes ya ever did see, nice solid head & jaw (which was the reason he was named after Linus, since Mr LKP kept calling him "blockhead," lol).  From the front he reminds me of a chocolate lab, but his back end is soooo different!
 Since Linus showed up, Hula's looked more & more like this (hopefully she'll figure out quickly that she's not being replaced)...
 ...and, Tuffy's resorted to spending a lot more time in the garage (maybe its just a "frustrated-guy" thing)...
 So, I guess that brings the count up to THREE new things to bark at & run from in the house now.  Lol!
To top all this FABULOUSNESS off, my friend & coworker (Melody), Daisy & Seth each surprised me with lovely flowers!  Melody gave me a potted Tiger Lily (which I adore, even had a homecoming corsage in Tiger Lilies once), Daisy found some goregous burgandy & gold daisies, & Seth brought in a beautiful arrangement with Stargazer Lilies!  So, our house is filled with beauty everywhere you turn.  =)
Daisy also, took a babysitting gig Friday night so Mr LKP & I could steal away for a romantic birthday evening.  And it WAS romantic, let me tell you!  We wound up back at the Candy Store for a dog kennel/box, and then another store for some new warm & fuzzy Snoopy PJ pants (it's gotten sooo cold so early this year, as if we skipped the cooling down of Autumn altogether).  After that we were both so tired that we came home.  But that was JUST fine, it was a peaceful night.  And it seems lately, above & beyond all else, peace is my favorite gift I've received this birthday season. 
Alas, that is officially the birthday report!  Crazy-fun I know...and not to go on about health stuff too much, but I did finally get my MRI done as well.  Am supposed to get the results back Tuesday, and then we'll have an idea if it's surgery followed by physical therapy or just physical therapy on the menu for me.  I hope its the latter, especially since I have THE best physical therapy assistant for a close & dear friend (Dani)!  She's so fantastic, that she even came over to help me finish my annual Halloween window painting since she knew it was gonna be a challenge for me.  Worked out really well as a matter of fact!  Probably my BEST window yet!  The first year (in Idaho) it was just Charlie Brown & the Great Pumpkin chillin'.  Last year, it was Snoopy snoozing on top of his doghouse with a Jack O' Lantern.  THIS year it's Linus & Sally in the pumpkin patch!  You should come by & check it out some time...we might even still have some pumpkins in the patch if you're in need of one.  It's the most sincere pumpkin patch!  We'd be more than glad to spare one for ya! 
All that being said & shared, life's good here at the LKP Ranch!  Daisy's enjoying the 7th grade, as well as being on the volleyball team.  She is more & more consistent on her serving, and coming out of her shell more on the court.  She's calling the ball & getting right under the ball.  That alone makes me extremely proud for her accomplishment.  Her self-worth seems to have increased dramatically as she's feeling more capable of what used to seem to be "hard things."  Flat out, she's just getting so grown up!
Seth is officially into the TDRL program with the Army, which means he only has to jump a few more of their hoops over possibly up to the next 5 years, and then he'll FINALLY be retired/detached from the military.  I know its been over 5 years now since his whole medical catastrophe happened, however this program gives our family health benefits, and assures him a higher disability rating in the end than if he appealed multiple times now.  He's happy enough with the current results.  I don't blame him, as the past 11 months have been sooo hard on him with not being able to work.  In this program, he'll be able to work again.  He's a happier guy since he's got a reason to get up, get dressed, & somewhere to be every morning.  Plus, I think he's happier knowing there actually IS a light at the end of the tunnel (5 years longer of a tunnel, but light nonetheless).  The other nice part is that this disability has allowed him to do more of what he likes with the family company which is dirt work.  He delivers dirt locally, & has proven himself quite valuable & more lucrative than anyone had imagined dirt work could be to our family's little construction biz.
Also amidst all the busy-ness, we had a fantastic FHE night the other night with some friends' kids all about manners.  Our home was transformed into the "MegaManners Superhero Academy/Training Center."  It was too much fun, as we learned the difference between good manners & bad manners, as well as which ones Jesus expects us to use as we follow His example.  Daisy, the kids, & even Seth took their MageManners Oath, and earned their official MegaManners capes & certificates!  They celebrated with MegaManners Maple Bars & Mega Moo-Juice.  Cutest danged thing ever!
So, like I said, peace is my favorite gift I've received this season.  I've found that its been easier to find as we have let life's distractions pass by & focused on what's most important.  Its phenomenal, and something I felt impressed was most urgent for us after studying the talk "We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down" by President Uchtdorf.  It was one of those things where I thought, "yeah, that's easier said than done."  However its as if the moment I thought that, it came into my mind, "just trust Him."  Therefore, here I am.  A living testament of the truthfulness of that lesson...just trust Him, and blessings will come.
Hope your week is blessed in more ways than you expected & that miracles are found everywhere you turn!


Heidi 'n' Jeff said...

Oh my gosh! You've been busy. :)

First off, Happy Birthday!!! Looks like you did have a good one. I think I had a harder time with 25 than 30 too. 25 was a big signal that my young life was over. I was a bit of a big baby. I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one.

That is the sweetest little puppy. I love the color of his eyes too.

I love your front window. My Halloween isn't complete unless I watch Charlie Brown. Christmas too for that matter. I always had a thing for Schroder. Tortured artist type. :) I bet your pumpkin patch is the most sincere one there ever was.

Heidi 'n' Jeff said...

I forgot to tell you to make sure your kitty doesn't get anywhere near those lilies. Every part of that flower is deadly toxic to cats. We lost our beloved kitty Gary to them. He hopped up on the table at night and bit into the flower. Cats love to chew on plants and he chose the wrong one.

I would hate for something to happen to your cat so I'm spreading the news.

Cherie said...

Wow that was quite a large post - You have had alot of your plate.
I love your description of your relationship with your grandma - that is SO very neat!! Grandma's sure are special. I am glad your grandma is doing fine now.

Happy Belated Birthday. Hey, you're birthday is close to mine in the coolest month of the year!! hee hee - although you are much, much younger. 30 was my very hardest birthday - something about leaving those 20's behind I guess, but all the rest have been fab. So good your 30th was a breeze:D

The puppy is darling. He has a sweet face :D

Sounds like your plate is full but you are handling all the health issues, etc...

Have a Happy Halloween!

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