I woke up this morning to the smell of smoke.
I gathered Rylee and opened up the patio door to search for Kat who I found laying on the bench with a Cheshire grin, her tail curling up and twitching in anticipation of the imminent attack and chase that pretty much begins at this time daily.
Rylee(our Springer spaniel) and Kat(his best for friend) began circling one another and the game was afoot.....
I had donned my mask as I joined and looked over our garden which was dizzying do to the light wind pushing the smoke and haze through the branches of the Japanese maple tree, thru the lavender butterfly Bush where it then ricocheted off the fence and found it's way towards me......
I headed towards the end of the garden and thought how out of place the colors of several beautiful blossoming rose trees and bushes looked as if each were reaching out and up with branches reaching out for fresh air, water, healthy light.
Now the flowers sat beneath a cloudy smoke filled sky with an orange sun struggling to break thru. Beautiful in an unexpected way.
There is a fire here 30 miles southwest of our city. Lightning struck early Sunday and yet one more fire for the State of California to deal with along with the continuing threat from the Coronovirus which is on the rise in our State again.
Well...Rylee and Kat are patiently waiting for me to let them inside so I push back the door and all 3 of us stumble together into the house where the ceiling fan is happily pushing back on the smelly smoke that wafted in as we entered.
Better air..air conditioning going as we have been in the hundreds all week again!
In again and settled I am thinking that this wasn't the way I had intended to celebrate the Surgery date upon reaching my 6th year of having my heart valve replaced.
Well here I am heart Brothers and Sisters! Alive and writing my annual update at
having survived yet, another year on our very busy planet.
Going over and over in my head what this site and all of our community did to make it possible from start to finish. Surgery decisions, appointments, tests, questions and the ability to have a place here at "Adam Picks' Place to find people sharing my same experiences.
It's been a blessing to have been a part of this community for me, friends I met here, and to those of you who have just arrived, I am sure.
So I popped back in to say hello and hope all is going well for you who are just beginning your adventure, waiting for your surgery, in the process of healing or popping back to celebrate the continuance of this thing we share called Life.
After cataracts giving me hell happy to report new lenses have led me here today, back to my carvings and writing.
Couldn't think of a better way to celebrate this day than to cuddle up with Rylee and Kat while wishing you all good health and happiness and continued success with your health Events.
Thanks for sharing this special day with me and if anyone needs someone to encourage them, share thoughts, questions feel free to write.
Love to you all,
Terrie, Rylee and Kat
Good day to all of my heart brothers and sisters out in this big, beautiful world.
I am sitting on an old chair in the backyard at home in the corner of our yard...coffee cup in hand.
Not too far away, Rylee and Kat are investigating a recent mound where moments ago a small gopher had surfaced to bid them a good morning before hastily retreating to safety. I swear I could hear his little heart beating!
It is a beautiful, reflective morning here in California.
There is a gentle breeze rustling the Maple leaves beside me as I sip my coffee and remember where I was only 5 short years ago at this same time.
At this time, it was Hunter and Kat playing under the peach tree at home while I was being wheeled into a room after my heart valve replacement surgery. I remember it now as if it were yesterday.
Happy to feel myself breathing and aware of just how precious every moment would be from this day forward. A feeling I carry now and doubt I will ever lose as in this day of celebration I reflect on this site, the reason for this long post.
I remember stumbling upon this site when I was alone in my home..not knowing where to turn. Questions too many to hold inside a head that felt like bursting for not having answers. Facing fears I had no way of beating down. Noone who knew what I was going thru.
Then one by one, like out of a fog my heart brothers and sisters came forward and in time, shared their hearts with mine.
There were no questions left unanswered. No feelings left unchecked and for anyone facing surgery today, no limits to the strengths to which this site can take you through this special journey up to and afterwards.
This site and thanks to Adam Pick and all his Wisdom in creating it, as well as all of this community of people
Who came/come together are those with blessed Hearts.
It is to you who blessed me with their time when I needed it most I give my love and thanks today on my 5th anniversary. For their open hearts.
It is to you who face your upcoming surgeries that you have faith..hope and strength in knowing you are not alone. That in your futures you will be one day soon celebrating anniversaries of your own with a happy and mended Heart. Be strong..Be Well. God bless. Thank you for sharing this landmark day with me.
Today my Heart goes out to my friend and Heart Sister Karen Pineda!
This is her day!
The day that has been long in coming.
Today my friend is headed in for her TAVR procedure.
Today, this Woman, who has spent much time supporting and being here for this community of hearts is
hopefully having "Her Time". Time whereby her large and generous Heart is undergoing treatment to mend and extend this loving soul's Life.
I hope and pray that you all here in this community will join me in sending into this wide and beautiful Universe your thoughts and prayers for Karen as she undergoes this procedure to mend her heart and send her home safely to heal.
May health and happiness follow all in this community on this day!
Love, Terrie, Kat and Rylee
Hello there Heart Brothers and Sisters-
It has been awhile since I have gone online to the Community. It has been 4 years (Aug. 2014) since my surgery.
Many twist and turns along the recovery road but in all, doing fine.
Thinking about this site often. Many people that I met here online and became friends with, are blessings one
and all. People who, along with the life of this community, took my life in different directions that took me from start to the finish line as I crossed over to the survival of my open heart surgery 4 years ago last month.
I came on site today to once again give a warm nod and thanks to Adam Pick and his family for making it possible to find the love, friendship and support I have found by being a member of the Community he created.
I also wanted to encourage all of you who are headed into surgery. Let you know that there is a light at the end
of this tunnel. A bright, lightness and joy at the end of the ride you are on with your family, friends, community of hearts and yes, even if you seem isolated and alone. You are not. May your hearts beat strong and your minds be filled with confidence that all will go as God and this Sweet Universe intends.
A special message to my friend, sister, Karen Pineda. Thinking of you.
Love to all in this special community. Terrie, Rylee and Kat!
Early this morning I was headed out the front door with Rylee at my side. As the door
opened, a brisk sheet of fog drifted through the screen door as we stepped out into the
mist that seemed to part and shift as we went through the front gate towards the park
across the street. Even though I had been awake for hours, I knew that on this special
day of thanks that I felt heavy and overwhelmed with the emotions that seemed to,
much like the thick fog, swirl and shift inside my busy mind with a special lump in my
throat as I neared the trees and walked with purpose as Rylee and I enjoyed the noise
of the crackle of many leaves upon the ground. Leaves of many colors as if God had
used mighty and powerful brush strokes to paint the colors of fall on each and every
leaf in honor of this day of thanks. As I walked Rylee seemed to spring with each step
(as springer spaniels are known to do) and I thought back to the days when Hunter
walked beside me on this path into the park and had to give thanks for all we were
able to share and reflect upon the fact that even though he is missed with a heavy
heart, I think somewhere he is looking down on Rylee knowing his having been here in our
lives helped lessen the pain of a recovering heart that had loved him as much as any
heart is capable of doing.
The air was also filled with many neighbors smoke filled fireplaces and in between
the smell of cooking bacon and a wee bit of burnt toast! Somewhere thru the mist
a car door shutting and people calling out in greeting to one another a Happy Thanksgiving
as Rylee chimed in doing his spaniel "talking" in greeting. I held on tightly to his leash to
keep him from joining the neighbors arriving company and move on around the corner
walking him to where his favorite tree is waiting for him. We crunch up to the large trunk
and Rylee stands with leaves and stems stuck on both his long ears as he looks up at me
with his peaceful, soulful face that I could swear was wearing a smile.
It is a solemn time here by this tree. This special tree. The one that over 3 yrs. ago, held me
up as my legs had grown weak and my heart rate had gone into overdrive from my first venture out into the park on my first walk after my heart valve surgery. I remember thinking that my new valve wouldn't be able to work with the steady pace as my incision also throbbed at the effort to stay standing and not drop to the ground.
Gary and Hunter had been at my side and I remember his arms steadying me as we continued on the second loop of the park moving a little slower with determination and purpose. I remember how thankful I was for the support and love I was given at this delicate time in my
life where I learned just how strong I was and just how much the will to heal affected every step
I took and how after the awful weeks of dread and fear had gripped my life prior to my surgery, all seemed to drift away day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. to bring me to this day of Thanks. Thanks that includes our Community here at HeartValveSurgery.com and
all of the people who have been a part of a continuous show of love and strength and Spirit and had it not been for this wide and growing community of people I would have certainly not fared as well during my Journey.
So, I would like to mention that on the completion of my walk around the park, the mist that we had headed out into together, ended with Kat and Gary waiting patiently for us on the home porch and me coming into the warmth and heading to the computer to let you here in the community know that my solid and full beating heart is with you all whether you are just beginning your Journey or living through your recovery periods.
A special Thanks to Adam, Robyn, their son and new addition "Brodie" as well as all of those
who have been a part of my life and given so much support to this community.
Bless you one and all and may this Thanksgiving be the Happiest ever.
Warm thoughts and love, Terrie, Gary, Rylee and Kat
It was 3 years ago today that I became the
proud(and thankful)recipient of an artificial bovine tricuspid valve to replace a calcified valve at "severe stage".
I remember the journey over the Altamont Pass out of the San Joaquin Valley like it was only yesterday.
My thoughts were calm and measured as we climbed the mountain and I drew inspiration that the day knowing that the next time I climbed this same mountain I
would have completed the necessary surgery to give opportunity to life and time that this operation afforded me. I had no doubts in my choice in surgeon, and the ongoing support of my cardiologist(Dr. Gurushankar Govindarajan) at Kaiser Permanente. I went into the hospital feeling confidence and hopeful to say the least that my surgery would be successful.
Just as importantly...I entered the hospital that morning with the Man I have loved for over forty two years at my side. Holding my hand as we rode the elevator, I remember the feeling of his strength/our strength together as if flowing through our fingertips to one another.
I remember the look on his face that day as he turned away and I was wheeled away thru two large doors. I remembered the image I had told myself to calm me, of the last kayaking trip up on a Lake where he was paddling ahead of me and the love I felt as I was wheeled into a room with busy people and bright lights. It was that
image of him I had on my mind as I drifted off and did not forget as I awoke hours later. That look, this man and how blessed am I?!!!
On this day three years ago, I had no idea
where I would be. How well I would feel. I had no idea that the high I felt from surviving the surgery would last this long. A high I hope to never lose.
So yes, on this day, I would like to pass along to all of you who are just starting out in your information gathering, support seeking, surgeon searching some things to think about. To those heading in for surgery soon and to those just heading home to recuperate and heal.
Every moment leading up to, during and after this surgery that has entered your world, please take heart in knowing that it
will show you your strength...reinforce your beliefs...heighten your abilities to push yourself farther than you ever thought you would/could go.
You will savor from week to week your own ability to move forward. To understand with a new awareness what is important and those things that should and can be let go of and let to the past.
I hope you will find the joy and validation in life as I have. I hope you wake each morning as you go to sleep each night with the knowledge of something very big, very powerful watching over you and all of us that leads you on this Journey.
A special note to Adam Pick and his family
today. Adam, I am sorry for your loss of your Father and want to thank you from the bottom/top and middle of my mended
heart for all you did for me and the HVS community to help us along our way. I am thinking of you as I celebrate this third year anniversary especially and know that this community you established here will continue to be inspired by all of the love you and your father had for one another.
Thank you with all my heart all here in
our heart community as well for all you do to help each other as well as those of you I have been touched by with support and love throughout these past 3 years.
Gary, Rylee, Kat and I started out the morning early as the yard was heavy in shadows, the birds just beginning to forage the feeder for seed. Mockingbirds on the fence teasing Rylee and of course catching Kat's attention as she lays curled across my lap while I sit having coffee with my feet up on the other garden chair facing out into the garden....my Treasure!
This year I put up a little greenhouse made of metal pcs. and plastic so that I might start seeds for various flowers to add to the garden shrubs and roses.
It has been very hot so far this summer with the little seedlings fighting the 95 and 100 degree temperatures for life.
Most mornings I begin the day with Rylee and Kat following the garden hose and I as I weave my way in and out of the backyard watering with Rylee playfully challenging Kat for who can stay the closest to the spray which sets a series of motions from the birds lined along the tree roses and fence.
It happens today as the sun began to rise that we have dragonfly guests joining in on the life
just waking up to the warmth of the suns rays beginning to fill the area. We are sipping coffee, Gary and I in between caring for the plants and reminiscing how far things have come since we moved here......I am thinking of all of the neighbors in our new town which is in an agricultural
area of the San Joaquin Valley, California and what a blessing it is to live in such a place and be part of such a Family of people who form this growing and unique country we call America.
We are thankful for all of the People who came to the Land we call home. Land that so many
People gave their lives to protect and defend so that we might all thrive and prosper. We are blessed to have the choices we have and the rights to liberty and justice for all.
May we all continue to grow as a People. May all the challenges to those in our community as well who have formed here to feed each other hope, faith, information and a voice to ease fears of an uncertain future feel that they, we, are not alone. Once more I am reminded of my
favorite saying: "There is a destiny that makes us Brothers.
None goes his/her way alone.
All that we send into the lives of others.
Comes back into our own"
Here's to all American's on this great day of Independence. Here's to all Nations
who stand with us, that we remember those who served us well, continue to serve
that we are able to sip these cups of coffee in such a place of Peace and tranquility.
Love to you all Terrie, Gary, Rylee and Kat
p.s. check out today's special 4th of July photo!
Rylee and his girlfriend Scarlet (with my friend Judy) are sending you all here in our Heart Community, the best wishes for a special, safe and Happy 4th of July!
Lessons of an early morning...
Journal posted on July 2, 2017
Good morning Heart Brothers and Sisters. It has been awhile since I posted in my journal. I apologize for not keeping up but as one who has had surgery, recovered and continued finding ways to get into a better health place....me, Rylee and Kat have been continuing to find ways to live healthy, happily and fully as much as is possible!!! Oh yes, Gary too and the everyday surprises that awaits each of us as we find our way sometimes creates a gap when we don't spend time doing things that we find milling about in our brains which are important to us(like this Community) and time keeps on ticking.
I was reminded as I busily loaded our truck
for a "dump" run early this morning when I
lifted some wire screen over the edge of the truck bed and a piece caught the edge of my t-shirt and pulled tight across a well
healed incision. Like many of us who have had surgery and spent those many days recovering and getting back to the things we love doing, I sometimes forget that there are moments where the keloid parts
of my incision even after years can let us know that they are still with us....
I look into the yard while I tie off the load
and see Kat following Rylie(our springer spaniel) along the fence line rubbing his fur
along the black cyclone fence that gives his snow white fur, black spots, rust colored freckles and large eyes this continuous look of mischief as Kat follows
so closely behind him that her all black fur gets lost as she becomes this little shadow.
She doesn't miss a beat. Constantly his little fur ball companion and his friend, they keep their eyes on me as I work.
Still amazed at how Hunter, Rylie and Kat helped get me through the "adventure" of
heart surgery, it is hard not to think back so many months, now years of how things were and feel the joy, the hope of things that lie ahead for me and all of those who
have taken this road before with me and you and who are there for those just at the beginning or middle of the journey.
An older neighbor of mine and her friend, passing by along the fence bring Rylee to his feet and he and Kat leave the shade of our Oklahoma redbud Tree(planted in celebration of another year last year in my recovery since heart surgery to replace my Heart Valve.) Harriet and Christine have taken to riding a power scooter and a 3 wheel bike around the park as they can no
longer walk. We met when first I ventured
out after my surgery and were the first to
cheer me on at my accomplishments.
Important...having those people at this time in our life where we are filled with uncertainties of the surgery, recovery time and need that little extra from people who understand fully what it is to have such a surgical/life experience.
I am ashamed to admit that I haven't been
very helpful to this community of late but I also know how many people there are who belong and continued in my absence from writing in this special Journal place to
keep up the encouragement, information sharing, hope and shared dreams.
I also want to thank as I am so thankful for
all of you who helped me along my way to
lift my spirit when it needed lifting and to
move forward with healthy energy and promote truth, faith and healing at what
has to be one of the largest lessons I have
learned in life to date. That I, YOU, WE are Survivors! Love to you all this day and prayers for all who are part of the Journey.
Also have a Happy and Safe 4th of July.
Terrie, Gary, Rylee and Kat
Good Day Heart Community.
I took the time to post in my Journal yesterday and then accidentally(?) deleted it only to find I was disappointed that I had done so.
It began with me sharing that I had been sitting at my art table with a cup of coffee, staring out into the fog at the park across the street from our home. Rylee was sitting on his rug on the floor by my feet asleep.
The park was hidden by the dense fog with only the dark outline of the trees showing as if creatures from a movie with their branches reaching out like arms and the tangled roots appearing to be legs moving forward towards the house. (Yes, I live that close!) The grain and lines of the trunk showing thru the mist as it began to break up in the light wind that began gave my imagination the ability to then imagine wrinkled faces and tired eyes as they continued to form their army and move forward ever so slightly.........Sorry, the images in my tired brain at that point made me smile and I spent some time just watching as the fog turned into a swirling mist that separated and finally gave way to the reality of lawn, trees, houses in the background and birds moving in the winds to gather on the branches all around the park. A happy sight. Happy, relaxed morning as I wrote how I was able to stretch across the drawing table to return to a sketch I was transferring onto a linoleum block that I am getting ready to carve one day soon.
I also described how not long ago, I was still unable to reach out in such a way to return to the sketching and carving I love so well.
I remembered a time as I was healing from my Heart Valve Surgery when I was black and blue, stapled together with 13 staples while my wired up sternum seemed to shriek at me when trying to take such positions.
As I sat sipping my coffee Kat(my Cat) slinked into the kitchen to lye beside Rylee on his rug and I thought back to a time when it was Hunter and Kat in this same place and I was in the chair staring out into the park on a day just like yesterday wishing I could get back to work on one of many drawings I had set aside as I healed..
Where my surgery went well and I was not given to extreme pain afterwards and able to handle what I did feel with Tylenol and help from my husband Gary when needed and the Joy of the companionship of Hunter and Kat as well as the on and off connection with this Blessed Community of Heart Brothers and Sisters who maintained the communication as I began and continued to heal. So many kind souls who had, or were experiencing the same thing I was and all of the great thoughts and insight from those people "Who Got It". A Heartfelt continuation of a Mighty round of THANKS TO YOU ALL!
When I was finished and had posted I thought about how my post wasn't appropriate and should have been shorter.
Didn't think I made the point I set out to make. So I deleted it.
Later in the day a friend of mine sent me an email wondering where my post had gone to? Wondered why I had deleted it when She hadn't had a chance to reply to it.
It tugged at my heart and I will tell you why. "She Got IT!" She understood that with all these words I used and continued to use today to write to all of you that I was trying to let you share in several facts.
One, how thankful it is to have a place to go online and write to other people faced with all of the questions, ability to give out so many answers and shared experiences that I am feeling. (Thank you Adam Pick and your Family too).
Also, Something that people I went in with at the same time as well as those of you I have never heard of or me don't know is that not long ago I had a TIA that left me unable to write or speak for a short period of time(thank God) but that did affect my thought processes enough to make me Leary of writing again. I also had a longer time for my sternum to heal due to some keloid issues that have finally healed well enough to move on and engage in the art work I put aside for so many months.
My point of this post today is to lend my story in that those just out of surgery or those going in can see or read that whatever the outcome of each surgery, each individual will come away dealing with unique issues to face. Point being that through the love and faith of those around us and with us having the time and patience to deal with things one thing at a time...Life will go on. You can and will move forward. Any pain is hopefully temporary. Scars will heal(and maybe take their own sweet time doing so) and any other things that happen along the way you need to remember this community and Reach Out as will maybe it will lead you too Back to Your Own Drawing Board....
My best to all here at our Community and a special thanks to my Heart Sister Karen P. for steering back on course! Love You!
Happy New Year to all-
Haven't been on site in awhile like many of us do who continue on with life in ways not possible while we were researching our "Hearts", waiting for surgery and then experiencing "It" then going on through the recovery and healing both body and soul of it all.
I met and am thankful to and for all of those here in the community who shared the path and recovery of my heart valve replacement back in August of "2014".
I, like many people who enjoyed and depended on the many Heart Brothers and Sisters to find their way thru the maze of questions and experiences leading up to and including my successful surgery are deeply appreciative of all the people that this site afforded me so that it is possible to look another New Year in the Heart and
say "I am ready" and focused on enjoying each and every day. I welcome the time that I will never take for granted as this lovely little heart of mine continues to raise
it's little valves and beat furiously at the enormous gift in being mended, the time I have been given. The time I hope that each and every one of you awaiting your surgery is looking forward to. That each and every one of this community continues to share one beat at a time. One day at a time.
I hope in my Heart to yours that your surgeries have gone well in the time I have been absent from this site and that those of you who have healed know how much I think of you as well as those of you going through the waiting time understand that it is worth the wait.
Those of you recovering, please have patience with yourselves and give yourselves the love and time it takes to get through the process of healing. It does get better, God willing.....
To those tonight on the edge of the wait.... be confident that all will go smoothly and please believe that the concern and fear in what leads up to these miracle surgeries is
going to be in the "past" soon. BE strong and believe.
Hold fast to the people that took on the job
for life of healing us and their teams of people just as dedicated to our well being, are going to do their best to mend your hearts and send you back into your lives to mend. Hopefully you will have people in your lives to catch you where you land and who will continue in your care to surround you and your newly mended heart with sweet music, good food, company on your first walks and continued show of love and support throughout it all.
To our community I wish that you, like me feel the strength of so many beautiful beating hearts are out here in the night, readying the mornings light and hopeful of this a New Year. Love and Peace to you all. Terrie, Gary, Rylee and Kat
I was taking Rylee for a walk this morning and reflecting on all of the things in this life I feel especially thankful for today. One of the things which stood out among the many was the Heart Valve Community of Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters that hold a special place in my mended heart and will continue to hold for the rest of my life.
I cannot remember a time when my life was focused on the Cardiac questions, fear, feeling that no one else understood all of the things that my heart surgery meant to me until I was able to stumble across this Community of people. For this, for all of those who learned along with me, those who faced the fears...the waiting and were there with and for me through the surgery and recovery period I give a grateful and heartfelt Thanks. For those of you collecting your information and finding yourselves on the "list" for surgery as well as those about to enter surgery I hope and pray that you feel confidence, hopeful and ready knowing that you are not alone and you have the support and prayers of many from this community. I wish you smooth surgeries and healthy healing. Happy Thanksgiving!
I awoke this morning and Rylee was racing to the door ahead of me.
(For those of you who don't know me...Rylee is my springer spaniel).
It was 2:20 a.m. and my normal waking time as my husband got into
the shower to begin getting ready for his commute over the "pass"
and a time when I usually end up taking Rylee out into the front yard
which faces our small community park across the street.
I grabbed the door and our American Flag which I had set aside the
front door so that I might place it out in front in honor of the day we
celebrate as Veteran's Day today.
I stepped down into the yard and heard "Kat"(our adopted neighborhood
cat) meowing her way to find Rylee in the front and in her "blackness of color"
had to smile as she bounded up to Rylee and began nuzzling up to his face and
passing back and forth so quickly that he seemed to lose his balance trying to
avoid her as she continued to hunt for his "affection".
The two of them....a pair...my closest best friends and to whom I owe my ease
in recovery from my surgery a time ago.
I walked towards them in the darkness with the fog around the three of us and
a new awareness that in the dark...we were not alone.
I placed the flagpole into the metal of our black fence but left the plastic on the
flag itself to be removed at first light of day when the wetness of the fog would
have left the area.
Not far away I could hear the rustling of leaves at the park which most had fallen
this past week. Footsteps heading our way as I moved to the corner of our yard
under the streetlamp which gave light to a six foot circle. Rylee began to growl
and Kat sat nearby alert and looking out towards the shadow of a person who
was wrapped in a blanket and headed into the lamp light. It was one of the home
less people who pick this park to spend the night and had decided to move
out of the area before the neighbors called him in. He said nothing to me but
continued up the street and I watched him fade out of sight while Rylee continued
to patrol the fence line with Kat following directly behind. There we stood together
in the darkness and we turned towards the house towards the welcoming warmth and
lights from the kitchen. I knew Gary would be there and making some coffee. Knew
also that Rylee would run for his doggie bed and be joined by Kat who now will come
inside for the warmth and breakfast with Rylee where once she refused to come indoors.
The flag pole in view I thought of all of those who have served to keep our freedom
in this Country for so many years and reflected on the intensity of the days since our
election. I myself am having a difficult time with the way this entire election has played
out and with the heaviness of the choices that were made to elect this new President.
I will admit that my heart is heavy at the outcome and what has happened since.
Before I made it back inside today from the darkness and the heavy Mist that surrounded
me and while still eyeing the flagpole I turned and went back down the steps and walked
over to the flag and released it from the plastic cover. I rolled it out and watched as it
began to lift ever so slightly in the small breeze. Out I rolled it and the colors red white
and blue came alive under the lamp light and my heart was full and my pride in being an
American...one of so many was immense. The pain I have felt for America In these past
hours was lifted by this sight and by the thought of all who have given there all for a
Nation of people because they volunteered everything to Protect and Serve us all in our
way of life. They, those that lost their lives. They who still serve and those who live with
their Service of Country and all that this entails who made the choice to serve this Country
and never did it for a people of one color...one religion...one political party need to be in
our thoughts and hearts today to be honored. Today and every day it is my prayer that
in time we take all of the strength and goodness within us all....each of us. find the Hope,
hold strong to our Faith and remember today those Veterans who help or have helped in the
past to make this way of life possible and now work together to make a better future for
our Children, families, selves. Out of the Mist will come a New Day and hopefully with it
all of our energy spent putting our best "selves" forward. I believe in you. I believe in Us.
I pray for all those going into surgery, headed for surgery or readying themselves for a
trip home and a smooth recovery. Most of all today I pray and applaud our many Veteran's.
HAPPY VETERANS DAY and love goes out to my heart brother Steven Hustad of our community and one fine Veteran!
Hello Heart Brothers and Sisters. Haven't been on site for awhile but this is important to mention today since I was thinking about the future and the fact is
I was thinking of the Community especially.
No...I am not going to talk Politics. Just want to say that since this is one of the most heart effecting things going on in our Country to date I am hoping to leave a little message to those of you out there ready to go in for your surgeries as well as
to those of you just beginning or well into the recovery time of your lives.
I have hit over the 2 year mark and still going strong.
I want to say with all my heart to you all that I hope you will come together and take this election time to Vote for whomever you feel will best guide us on as the great Country that we are a part of.
I know with my new valve working within me that I want to also engage in living a life where Hope is high, Faith is abundant and Love for all of my fellow Countrymen and Women is at an all time high.
We have the task before us to do all that we can to see our Parties work together to pick up the hearts of all so that we can get on with our lives as a Team of people who can make changes and life good.
My heart is with you all today as I write while thinking of all the time spent prior to and after my surgery involved with so many wonderful people who like me were looking forward to having our hearts mended and getting on with our lives!
So know how special you are and how many are rooting you on with your surgeries and in your recoveries. Also that Love will win out! (Vote!) and be well.
Note to Adam Pick: Will always be thankful you formed our Community here.....Terrie
Hello to all the Heart Brothers and Sisters in our Community.
I woke up this morning with "Kat" coming in with Rylee from the back yard which was
already sunny and bright. As she hopped up onto the arm of the recliner she did as she
usually did....hopped over onto my chest, curled into a little ball and looked up at me.
Rylee stood at the base of the chair looking up also and as they have done for the last
year and more, made my heart feel full and my spirit even fuller with the obvious love
These two little friends of mine have been two of the best parts of this last year of my
continued recovery and a reminder that the power of love and companionship as we
heal is a mighty addition to our lives.
I sat looking out into the garden at the roses and thought back to the hours and days
when I first returned home two years ago today with a new tissue valve, bottle of Tylenol, Hunter at the door and ready to help me begin the road to recovery with Gary and Kat.
And after Hunter's passing, the addition of Rylee in our home helped to continue the joy
that each new day brought realizing day after day that the long wait was over. That the
surgery was a thing of my past and it was time to move and look forward.
Most important too was that from the wait, through the surgery and afterwards, I had all of
my Heart Brothers and Sisters here at this wonderful Community to touch base with. People who were waiting with me, checking up with me during recovery and sharing experiences both positive and negative with the truth of it all most evident in the communications and today on my 2 year Anniversary I would like to take the time to Thank you all for all you became in my life, for lifting me up when it was needed and for being there to learn from as the many hours and days led me to where I am today.
I think of many of you often and have gotten close to many who went through this life experiences with me enough to email back and forth so as to feel that connection of this most important event in our lives.
I also wanted to mention that due to a few health issues not relating to my heart or my surgery I have not been online to the community for some time but wanted to touch base. Things have gotten better and Gary, Rylee and Kat and I are doing well.
I especially want to leave word with those of you either waiting or just heading in for surgery and tell you that I hope and pray for you to be strong and believe that all will go as planned.
Have faith in your Team of Doctor's, Nurses and those who will attend to your needs with only your "Wellness" in their Hearts---and understand that the fear before your surgery is much the
worst of it and that you can deal with what lies ahead. As I have since my "time" I will continue to send you best wishes, prayers and add myself to those in our Community wishing you on to find the days ahead with a Lovingly Mended Heart and many years of Life before you.
I appreciate that Adam has given us the ability to communicate and share such an important
time in our lives. Bless you all and know I continue to carry you in my HEART!
Terrie, Gary, Rylee and Kat (with Hunter's spirit hovering not far away!)
First off....Hello to my Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters. It has been awhile since I last posted but I am Keeping an eye on updates and how things are going in the community and wanted to wish you all..pre as well as post-op people the very best in your surgeries as well as recoveries.
I would like to also ask if any of the community has been placed on the medication "Plavix" and if so if you would like to share your experience or thoughts about this drug. Since I have gotten to know so many of you here in the community I believe I trust your judgment more than many! I appreciate
your continued input as I continue towards my own 2 yr. anniversary/of surgery. Thanks!
The sun rose and flooded the yard in back with warmth and light.
On this morning Rylee was out walking with Kat at his side like a small
caravan....we walked the perimeter of the fence. I am looking at each rose
bush and shrub, taking in the budding butterfly plants as well and just beginning
to smell the fragrances of each rose as I pass. Like little fairies I love to imagine
frequenting our garden at twilight, I am gazing upon each of the many budding
plants that seem to be gazing back at me and I am thinking of each of my heart
brothers and sisters on this lovely morning of "new beginnings ". The love I feel within my mended and softly beating heart this Easter Morning, takes joy in knowing that as in the miracle of each new budding
flower that will soon open up to take in the warmth of the sun--out there in my garden....
another Miracle is taking place for one of our community who will be waking up with their
newly mended heart while someone else is finding their way out for a short walk or beginning
their rehab with the knowledge that the gift of life continues and their journeys are far from
over. Others in waiting will find renewed hope this day and dare to dream big beautiful dreams.
I place a newly opened soft baby pink rose on Rylee's nose as we continue to take in this new
day together and Kat with her soft purrs enjoys as I share the baby rose with her as I use it to
scratch behind her ears and down her back. Such Joy in my heart that I send out to each of you
in our Community mixed with the power and strength that healing brings. May each and every one have unbroken Faith in what lies ahead and may you Rise Up for each and every challenge
knowing you are loved. Bless you all.
Terrie, Gary, Rylee and Kat
In the Spirit of Valentine's Day I just posted two photos of our "Puppy" Rylee and cat "Kat". Why you might ask yourself, their inclusion in my journal tonight. I would only say to those who have not followed my journal postings since I joined back in March of 2014. Let me say that I brought "Hunter" our Springer Spaniel and Kat(an abandoned cat in our new neighborhood we named "Kat" into my Journal postings as I gathered my information about my Aortic Valve condition, grew to terms with it all and had my surgery in August of 2014. Hunter and Kat became central figures in both the pre-op and post-op recovery along with stories that enabled me to focus on healthy thoughts and move forward with all that Heart Valve Surgery entails. Hunter passed away at the age of 16 yrs. and Rylee became a member of our home just recently. It is especially important to know that my intent was to write stories while I engaged with many other Heart Brothers and Sisters to maybe lay focus on writings that might give others who were waiting like me for their own surgeries or in their recovery stages something maybe entertaining, bring a few laughs or smiles or even give a chance to shake their heads in wonder along the way while possibly lessening the anxiety(or not) maybe giving a small sense of hope and reinforcement that Life goes on and to keep the Faith. Anyway, that has always been my intent since becoming a member of our community here at HVS.
So tonight I added a couple of photos hoping to share the joy and love I feel in my Heart for my "pet" friends as well as in honor of Hunter send along a wish of Love this Valentines Day to you all and hope and pray that whatever place you are in life that your heart is full...that you are confident in what is to come and/or are mending and healing your beautiful hearts as this special day of Hearts unfolds before you......I will also add how thankful I have been the entire time since joining this community to have been blessed with so many wonderful people willing to have reached out and touched my heart in a million different ways that made it possible to enter into my surgery with all the love and support I had hoped to have as well as all of the comfort and strength shared along the time spent healing and recovering such an enormous and life changing event. I honor you all this Valentines Day, especially. For it is in honoring all Hearts that we share our own hope, faith and dreams.
Happy Valentines Day then to you and those you love. Love, your Heart Sister Terrie, Gary, Rylee and Kat.....P.S. All my love to my husband of 38yrs. Gary!
Sending Heartfelt Valentine's Love to all Heart Brothers and Sisters in our Community...With Love, Sir Rylee...Feb. 14, 2016
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016 ONE AND ALL
Journal posted on December 31, 2015
It is 8:00 p.m. here in Manteca, California....USA!
My Heart is full with all of the feelings that come with settling down to our computer
and thinking of all of the People here at Heart Valve Surgery.com who have made this
last year a memorable one for my Heart and I!
I never knew that one could feel love for so many people all over the world who were once
complete strangers with their own private journeys to take with their own precious and unique
heart issues. One by one from March 27th, 2014 you entered into my world making life less complicated, less frightening, less alone as day by day, month by month the awareness of my own Heart issues came into view, were realized and dealt with on August 20th. 2014. I began by dubbing all of you my Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters from day one and from that time I was amazed at how many of you were out there needing information, love, prayers and support for themselves(as did I) and how many would soon stream into the Community as the settings changed along with the format with Adam's hard work with changing this community into a place that serves the needs of so many wonderful people. Together we are Strong. Together we are not Alone. Together along with all of the characters in our lives that became our caregivers, better friends healthier overall in all meaningful relationships as one by one we reached out and are still reaching out to one another to make the most of this life experience of our Heart Valve Journeys. I thank God every day and most nights for each and every one of you that has touched my heart along the way and along with Gary, Rylee, Kat and I wish all those preparing, recovering and healing from their surgeries and those you love the best, most meaningful, colorful healthy and loving year in this, our New Year 2016. Thank you Adam and your Family for all of the time and sacrifices that have gong into your commitment to all of us here at HVS.
Love and Peace to all wherever you may abide in this Blessed Universe.
Christmas Note. I posted photos of Kat and Rylee all together to share with y'all and now Kat doesn't show up on the "news feed" so if you want to see Kat please go to my Journal and look at the newest photos! Thanks and you can see Rylee below????
Merry Christmas/Season's Greeting's to all of my Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters, your Families and those you love!
Woke up early to run Rylee out into the front yard to take a Christmas photo for you to see
our "Puppy" and Kat for a little Christmas smile? They are my newest photos if you care to see them. One is of Rylee crunching on his favorite toys lately, all the leaves in the front yard from the couple of storms we had which brought all the leaves from the park across the street into our yard. The second new photo is of Rylee and Kat(who have made friends and are constantly on
the move getting into anything and everything together. Their play can end with the BIG "chase" around the yard and over the fence when Kat has had enough of Rylee's shenanigans and chooses another neighbors yard over the never ending energy that new puppies are known to possess! The third new photo of Rylee out in front licking the frozen face of our Burmese Mountain dog yard ornament reminded me of the scene in "A Christmas story" where Ralphie
sticks his tongue on a frozen pole and it remains frozen there. So seemed the scene this morning as we took him out to pee and it was only 32 degrees out. Nice Christmas weather.
Great that there is SNOW up North which will be of help since our summer drought conditions and I am sure many families are having a wonderful White Christmas this morning.
Last night, Gary and I ran around in the cold night with a brisk wind blowing, delivering cookies I took all afternoon baking in paper plates bright red with snowflakes to all of our neighbors who have been so good to us since we moved here three years ago in January. I have been blessed with a few great families who have shared the pre-surgery jitters, the surgery and the recovery time with me and were nothing but positive in letting me know they were there if I needed them(which for the most part I didn't!) but it was nice to know they were around! So I baked and baked and piled the cookies high upon the plates covered in plastic and juggled the plates out to the truck and made our way around our little park delivering into the night. Next year I demand a sleigh.......one that a team of my neighborhood dogs led by Rylee will pull! He is growing like a weed so this might be doable!
Rylee received numerous dog treats and dog toys from many of the same neighbors who we found took great delight in finding and choosing every toy in town that could squeak, rattle or
be tug able for hours on end(focus on the squeakables.......All in all both Kat and Rylee like small children were the recipients of many both edible and playable gifts this Christmas season. (A delight for Gary who has been tripping and squeaking his way around the front room all morning with a hot cup of coffee in hand!
The biggest problem for Kat is that Rylee wants to have his catnip toys given early this morning by the neighbors daughter and to which she has had a strangle hold on(the toy not the daughter).
I hope all of you out in the community are somewhere warm and safe and surrounded by good and loving people. I hope all surgeries have gone well this week and your hospital stays are short so that you can return home to enjoy the Holiday. If you are home recuperating I wish that your recoveries run smoothly and that the family pets do not take to lap jumping or trying to snuggle too intensely! I hope if you are readying yourselves for surgery that your heart is filled with a fearlessness and you are ready to have your beautiful and unique hearts mended and then sent home to heal and start out this, a New and healthier Year.
Speaking as one who is entering her year and 4 month time from surgery I would wish you all the best of healing times to ready you for the awe and wonder that awaits you in Life with the New Year we face together. My thanks to all who have entered my life with my surgery and become friends and hold a place deep in my heart. To all I wish Peace and Love.
Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Healthy New Year.
Woke up this morning with an old Joni Mitchell song playing in my head with the words "It's coming on Christmas sliding out my lips and the words "singing songs of Joy and Peace" continuing to find their way to the surface as I fought to stay asleep while covered by warm blankets, the man I love sleeping at my side, rain tinkling off the broken gutter spout outside and our neighborhood doves on our fence side by side on the fence....cooing in the quiet mist
surrounding them on this Saturday morning, December 19th.
I was dreaming earlier of this time last year. I was four months into my recovery from Heart Valve Surgery and things were very different than they are today. Rylee now is beckoning me as he has heard me stirring from my sleep and wants to be let out to search for "Kat" who has taken over his new doggie "Igloo" in her blankets and cat bed at the middle of the dog house and with sleepy golden eyes awaits her friend.
Last year at this time it was "Hunter" who woke me and as I carefully rolled out of bed trying to
avoid any conflict with the deep incision in the center of my chest I would slowly rise out of bed and walk to the patio doors and let "Kat" inside where she would saunter into the house and kitchen while I made us coffee and curl up beside him as I reached for her cat food and refilled her water bowl outside the back door. (For those who haven't read my little stories, Hunter was my English Springer Spaniel who passed away this year and who was befriended shortly after moving into this house by the black cat who had been abandoned by people in the neighborhood who had moved and to whom took a liking to Gary, Hunter and I and has remained our outdoor cat by choice, hence given the name Kat.) I have to pass along the love in my heart for Kat and Hunter who kept me company all through the many months here at home of recovery. We passed many days together and the Peace and Love given to me by them those many days were better than the best of medicines for they warmed my newly mended heart and soul and spent countless hours at my feet, by my side here at the computer as I wrote stories about them to all in the heart community and passed hours sharing my experiences and gave and received support, prayers and love from all of the people I met here in the heart valve community.
Now of course, with Hunter's passing and with the addition of 7 month old Rylee to our household, the months of healing have continued to roll out and I have grown stronger, Rylee has grown larger and his relationship with "Kat" has been one of the things I look forward to witnessing each day as they have continued to heal my heart and feed my soul. With each beat of my heart I can feel the approval of Hunter as I type as I know he would have loved Rylee too. It is always good to open up one's heart....Is it not? There is so much room......Especially after so many months of changes and healing....Especially with all of the new emotion and feelings that having heart surgery has given each of us, don't you think?
Who knew as we all worried and exchanged our fears, information, experiences that so many people could touch us deep within as we fought those fears, remained steadfast in our beliefs, frightened at some of the results that some of our heart brothers and sisters were having to face that were unexpected and how proud I am to be a part of this community that held together to encourage one another, share their beliefs and who reached out in so many ways to keep things all together. I have such love for all of the people here. Those of you who have helped me this entire time and continue to be in touch now and then as we move forward in our lives and those who have followed as well as who just joined know how blessed we are to have this place to turn to, these brothers and sisters who give of themselves in order to make a strong community(or village, if you will) where broken hearted people come to become whole again and are given another chance to continue their lives and have the support of so many fellow survivors and bounce off all of their/our feelings and experiences. It is a real Blessing and
I will forever be touched, forever grateful for the colors you have painted this heart valve portrait of mine.
As Christmas draws near it is my wish to all of you to understand how each and every one of you is special to me as I go through each day and think of you as you are added to the upcoming surgeries list, as you sign on to join this group and as I read back to all of the friends I have made while being a part of this community of SURVIVORS. At whatever stage of "heart" situation you are, please "BELIEVE" at this time and always that this time in your life of repair and healing is going to teach you many lessons and show you many sides of yourself which will provide you with the gift where every heartbeat you hear and feel is "treasured".
Gary, Rylee, Kat and I wish you all Comfort, Support, Peace at Christmas and that you are ready for the greatest of New Year's. Also, that the World find Joy and Peace as well.
I hope to touch your Hearts today by telling you how helpful "Rylee and Kat" were in putting up Christmas yesterday.
Rylee will be 7 months old at Christmas.
Being a Springer Spaniel he is an active little fellow and he and Kat have become great friends already which makes Gary and I extremely happy.
We forgot how much energy a puppy possesses but would like to point out that we have the attitude "Game On!" here in this household. We weren't prepared for yesterday.
I learned early in the morning as Gary dragged out the bins with ornaments, lights, outdoor lit up yard art, that anything that jingled, shined, resembled a
ball had no chance for survival as he was on it in a second. Also. No turning your back leaving bins unattended lids off.........Picture Christmas towels in green with a dog riding a sleigh with a cat onboard nicely embroidered strewn all over the back yard and being used for pull toys with Kat who thought the towels were a soft, warm dry
place to lay and watch me screech "Noooooo! like a banchee while Gary helped me chase Rylee to wrangle them away as he ran with a doggie grin on his face all over the yard with a "you can't catch me" gait. We knew we were in trouble when he found the new rope lights
lined up to attach to our front yard fence and decided to drag them around to the back yard while I was handing up clips to
Gary who was up on the ladder hanging the LED icicle lights and too occupied to notice the theft. The two of us were totally
oblivious to this little guys ability to move so quickly from bins to boxes and the whole time Kat was either an accomplice or somewhere nearby watching as Rylee turned our decorating event into a comical
few hours of outrageous laughter and fun.
My heart is better for the addition of this ball of fur and his sidekick (Kat) and I know it is
going to be a fun filled, love filled Christmas as he is nothing but a boost in
our spirits as we celebrate the first Christmas since having my "New Valve" placed back in August and since we lost
our Hunter. Hunter is on my mind a lot as
he made my recovery days go by quicker always by my side and being such a warm and loving friend.
Funny that at this time last year I was into my recovery and just really starting to feel some kind of normalcy. Hunter had just begun to trust leaving me alone as he was the watcher from the time I came home and his love and concern for me touched my heart in ways indescribeable. I would love to hear the "pet"stories from our community of all the ways our pets have helped us through the healing times of our surgeries and how they affected us as we gained back our strength and confidence while we mended. True blessings, one and all. I know I will be forever grateful for the support Hunter gave to me and for all the love we shared. I am amazed at all the Joy even as I sit here
typing into the computer while Gary is In the living room making plans to bring the tree into the house even while yelling "Rylee get down from there" and one of his squeak toys is going off as the back door is being opened Gary is escorting Rylee out the door!
I am sure some of you are asking yourselves what has any of this got to do with heart valve surgery and I will say again I am writing to engage all of you readying yourselves for surgery and those home in recovery to give you a chance to think of how one day soon all of the things you look forward to doing and being are right in front of you. There is LIFE after surgery. Good day to you all and Happy Decorating! Terrie, Gary, Rylee and Kat
Hello to my Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters all over this World! It is a little late in coming
but I would like to tell you all Happy Thanksgiving and hope and pray your day today has
been a pleasant one. If you are in hospital today recovering from surgeries I especially
hope the day is one with little or no pain, visits from people who have been taking good care of you and unselfish enough to have taken their holiday today to care for you all and maybe
sharing a little Turkey something, something with y'all to celebrate all of the things you are
thankful for! (Like your surgeries being behind you....Like all you have to look forward to
having this second chance in life. I hope you(we) have had a chance to talk or hear from
Family and Friends or People from our Community here at HVS.com and share some of the
things we are thankful for(each other!) and maybe share some great Thanksgiving Day's
past while saying to yourselves that.....Next Thanksgiving, after recovering from your/our
surgeries....I am going to look forward to..?
Last year at this time I was a little over two months out and into my "Healing Time" and had
many days of just overwhelming feelings of how different things would be by this time ...today.
I had no idea how the months would pass so quickly as my body readjusted to all of the changes the heart surgery afforded me. I give Thanks today for the chances we all took, the challenges that we faced(some of us more than others) and thank God for those who were challenged more than others that they had the Spirit, Faith and determination and strength to fight through to the other side of all that transpired before, during and after their surgeries and experiences. A special prayer for those we lost and to their families and loved ones. Thanks to all of you who helped me during my time prior, during and after recovery. You became my Family where and when I needed one and I am grateful for you all and I have a special part of my mended heart where you left an implanted piece of yourselves that will go on for life. I give a special mention to the following people who stepped into my world to become my friend, share your stories, spread your love to this community and who offered their time to guide and support the newbies as we all plodded along through the months it took to become stronger through all of the adjustment recovery set before us. My God, there are so many as well as life-long friends who stuck with me and encourage me still today! I know you know who you all are. I am
grateful for/to Adam Pick and his Family for creating this site as I am grateful to all of the surgeons, cardiologists, nurses and hospital staff that many of you out there are sharing your
day today with or will possibly see throughout your day and evening!
To all of you in hospital getting ready for surgery or waiting to be sent home please have faith that around the corner are days of healing ahead of you where the Seasons will mean more to you than they ever did before and your hearts are being "guided" by the greatest Power on Earth. This time for you will bring such powerful new awareness of all of your strengths as we overcome weakness and look ahead to our futures in a light that shines within us all...
I send my prayers and love as your Heart Sister.
I might add that my subject today started with "The Bird that got away so I have to add that
we did not eat Turkey on our Thanksgiving but instead "Roasted Chicken"! So out there, somewhere beneath the pale moonlight there stands a plump, tall Turkey strutting their
stuff(or stuffing) making a wild turkey get-away! God Bless and once again...HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Terrie, Gary, Rylee and Kat
Good morning to all of my Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters.
I woke up this morning to another rainy morning here in California.
Looking out the patio doors at the wet aggregate and the rain just
outside the protection of the patio awning there are over a dozen
little Junco birds bopping around on the lawn under the bird feeder
which has begun to stick together out in the open where the water
slipped into the feeder. They don't care as there are several of them
up on top picking out the seed and sending it scattering to the ground
to their buddies.
Kat sits on her Tower on the patio step outside the window, watching.
She is laying like cats do....Sprawled out, tail twitching as she watches
the little birds draw closer and closer to her nesting place up higher
above them. The birds are aware of her as they continue over the
lawn like a little approaching army, forging for their food.
Inside Rylee has just come inside soaking wet from doing his walk
of the front, side and back yards. Gary is with him and toweling him
off at the patio window. The little guy really does love the water and
after such a summer of "Drought" the sight and sounds of the rain
all around is a good thing.
I feel privileged to have the opportunity of this peaceful setting. Cup
of coffee in hand and covered up in a warm throw blanket while waiting
for the return of my two friends trolling the garden my thoughts have
been running to the news of the recent events in Paris and I would like to
pass along a prayer from our Heart Valve Community to all those so deeply
affected by what has transpired. A prayer for Peace I give this day. For Justice.
As the rain falls down like teardrops all around me please know my mended
heart feels for you all.
My thoughts and prayers are also with all of you entering surgery and in recovery that you are all home soon to snuggle through the winter and Holidays
in a comfortable chair in a warm blanket of your own....
I remember as a young girl listening to my Mother tell me as she sat on top of the
converted dilapidated garage roof turned into a pigeon coop where my Father kept
his many pigeons that she was so proud that my Dad had raised pigeons for the Army. The birds had messages tied to their legs, banded and released to pass important information from one location in the field to another. He developed quite a love for them and passed it along to me for I was later to love, raise many birds of my own throughout my life.
He was sent to Germany and elsewhere for many months but I was not born yet and
the time was very hard for my Mother as She was separated from him caring for my Sister and
as their first child it was difficult not to have him home. I remember thinking just how
beautiful She was then...sitting perched upon the roof with a hammer and tin coffee can
collecting nails on the roof where my Dad intended to patch it up, sunlight dancing across
her loose blonde hair as the wind pulled strands that had made there way from under her
scarf that held it back and away from her face. Her skin, also pale with her beautiful blue
eyes looking off in the direction of the rooftop next door where a few of our pigeons had
dropped down from their circling of our home, landed and were strutting around in annoyance of the
presence of the two of us and the noise we were making. My mom yanking the nails and
me below on the lawn thinning back a climbing vine that had gotten away from the lines
of our wooden trellis, small white flowers dotting the entire trellis leading up to where my
Mom was sliding slowly down to get a foothold on the old wooden ladder. (I loved hearing
her talk about my Dad and how much it meant to her he had the love of these birds when he returned home.
He gave his time to our Country and served us proudly. She had known how hard it wasfor him to be away from her and his new little girl. When She got down from the roof with
me holding the base of the ladder with my small hands and body hoping to help get her
down safely even though I was too small to really be of any use in this endeavor. But being
there near to her and hearing a story that showed in her face how much she loved my father
gave me a warmth inside that I treasured just as years later as I grew older some of the war
correspondence He had sent her made its way to me as I had been looking thru old photographs and they had fallen out in tiny envelopes. My point is to remember all of the
Spouses and their families should be honored also for there love and support
during the times their partners in their lives are serving or off fighting a war in places in their hearts
they probably would rather not be but for the sake of our freedom made it necessary for them
to make the decision to be where they have to be leaving our hearts hanging until their return.
I give to all the Men, Women and Children my utmost respect and thanks for what you have been made to do without, forced to miss in having someone who has made the sacrifices that they have in the past and continue to do so that we may continue to live in a Country such as ours and know that I do not make this statement lightly.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you and for all of those serving near or away from home.....
I pray to God you one day soon you return home safely. For those Veterans who have returned home Wounded I pray that we do better at showing you our love and respect for your sacrifices and that you get all of the support you deserve in the days ahead......from all of us who benefit by your service.
Last prayers for the day today are for those we have lost in all these years along the way and
hopes you are especially remembered at this time by all you left behind.
I pray too for all those getting ready to enter into their surgeries in our Heart Community.
All of those Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters who with their Families, Friends are about to
take the all important steps towards having a mended heart soon as well as those in recovery
who will soon hopefully have all the love and support important to making it through and going
through their healing and recovery together. Be strong. Be confident and know our hearts are with you.
This morning as I lay curled up in Gary's recliner next to "Rylee's Kennel/Crate" there was a
whistle in the early morning hours followed soon by the clickity clack of an oncoming train...
the one that Gary tries to get out the door ahead of and can usually beat so as to not to end up
waiting many minutes for the train to pass thus allowing him a smooth head start to the freeway and up the Altamont Pass and over the mountain to work.
I was sleepy from little sleep from the coughing my cold has brought me and the air is chilly at 3:30 in the morning when this took place. I had been dreaming of the train up in Ketchikan Alaska that I took the year of my 25th. Birthday with a good friend of mine on a vacation. I was picturing the scene from the last car where Vicki and I stood outside looking over the sides of the fast moving train looking at the scenes of the Yukon River to the left which was dotted with beaver damns and ice and snow along the way as we scooted up the mountainside near the edge of the mountain where the train made its way to our stop at Fort Bennett. There we stopped at a place for baked beans and hot apple pie before making our way to White Horse
Canada where we all (tourists)spent the night at the Local YMCA before making our way back to
Ketchikan for more adventure and more photo opportunities!
I suppose I drifted there in sleep because it was a happy time and the sound of trains has always made me want to jump on and go to places I have never seen.
This is why I am so happy living here so near a place where trains are frequent and a welcome
part of life.
Riley doesn't share my love of the sounds of the train as it wakes him up and he is ready to do business even though still a puppy at a little over five months he will skitter out in the yard and return when the deed is done and run like a rabbit bouncing up into my lap for warmth of my blanket ahead of me as I scurry to close the door and hold off the cool air slipping through the doorway this morning. I am more than happy to share my warmth with him. I hold the cutest little dog in the land with a heart every big as mine for all he wants is to be noticed and loved.
He is such a wonderful addition to our home and Gary finds it more and more difficult to leave in the mornings when the fur ball is up and ready to play. He will have to make up time with Rylee over the weekend when he takes him to obedience class to visit with his classmates....a large female "Hound" and a female short haired retriever are his classmates and he is much smaller but thinks like a lion. Rylee can "sit", "Down", "Come" and lick my face on command, Ha, Ha. He is getting along beautifully now with Kat who was a little intimidated by all of the new energy this little guy possesses. They play together and Kat likes to sneak up on him and share his smaller squeak toys. They also use their feet to bat the ball back and forth in a game of keep away which we find odd but it is something they find amusing as do we.
I have just been able to walk Rylee regularly in the Greystone Park across the street from us and he loves standing at the door and getting his collar on and has learned to be patient as
I add the leash which he still finds more fun as a chew toy(not good). I love him with all of my Mended Heart and know that somewhere up there(and within my heart, the one he helped through my recovery before he passed on)Hunter is happy and in a beautiful place. I feel as if he is inside my head sometimes telling me to be patient with this new addition and that it is ok
to love him already as much as I do for Rylee helped lift me out of a depression that hit at an unexpected time as I enter into my 15th. month since my surgery. I have fortunately begun to realize that sometimes it is a difficult balancing act having Type 2 Diabetes and Heart recovery
at my door at the same time and that most often it is the imbalance in blood sugar that the depression raises its ugly head. I am grateful that it is not more than this that I contend with daily and that I have been able to see grand changes from day to day In how I choose to approach each day doing the best I can to honor this second chance that I have been given....that we have been given! From time to time I have gotten hung up on the other things
that have crept up on me(cataracts) that hopefully will be taken care of soon so that the close up work I have been putting off will become a part of my life again. The sketching and carving and of course the printing. So, once again I have to be patient and mind this body I was given that is getting older and having to be fined tuned from time to time and thankful I live in a time
where many of my annoyances are things I can be helped with.
I read the Journals often and check in with people of our community usually often but have taken a break recently mostly due to the care of my new buddy "Rylee" and to do some of the things I put off when I went in for Surgery and didn't complete. I apologize to Robin S. and Tammy P. for not responding to a post they made to me at the end of October as I usually have
a tendency to jump in and off the site for updates and hopefully to add support but realize too that many of the things I write are to keep up with most of the people I have met and the things that have transpired since surgery. It always makes me feel good to see how others have stepped up and helped one another as they come to terms with what this heart surgery is all about. It is equally as important to me to hear the stories from the people I have grown close to who have also had their surgeries, shared their stories and moved on in life.
I want to thank Robin and Tammy for caring enough to write me keeping up with me here at
HVS. And yes...I am having a great time with Rylee and he is better than any piece of exercise equipment one could buy!!!! I love the new walking progress he is making and soon seeing us going for longer and longer walks together as he grows larger and stronger! I will post a photo of him and Kat soon. For now I have to wish all of those going in for their surgery the best of luck that all goes well and that the recovery road leads to adventure and love in their lives.
For those of you at home mending please be safe and take it slow and easy mostly so that you enjoy your progress each and every day and that all of the overwhelming thoughts and feelings mending brings with it sometimes you are easily able to manage too! Take care and Be Well.
Blessings to all those residing in our community and know that like the certainty of being woken up by a coming train whistle every morning you are all on my mind and in my heart as each day begins! Your Heart Sister, Rylee and Kat!
I woke up in Gary's recliner this morning at 4:00 a.m. after having fallen asleep a little after 3:00a.m. when he backed away from Rylee's Kennel telling Rylee to "watch over" Mamma
today and to behave..........then softly closed the door while backing out onto the porch and
out to work. He had just brought Rylee back in from the back yard and hastily placing him
in his kennel so that I might head back to sleep for a bit. Sitting there I pretended to be asleep
already so that I didn't have to leave the warmth of his warm recliner and the soft blanket he
had taken time to throw over me after I had claimed the spot after making a lunch for him while he had earlier showered.
The house quiet now and dark I peeked to the left to see Rylee also had settled back into sleep with his head propped on his little doggie pillow on his back with his two arms tucked under his chin and his back legs in the air and braced along one side of the kennel wall. The two of us. What a pair. I would give anything to have five minutes to have shared this little guy with Hunter who would have loved the company. But it is what it is and I will be grateful once again for all the Years and look forward to any and all time I have with my new little friend, Rylee.
I sat for a little while taking turns watching Rylee sleep and watching the numbers roll over on the
clock near the t.v. It is time to get up as I am drawn to the sound of a light rain beginning to hit
the kitchen window and can't believe my ears! Rain! Unexpected Rain. California prayers answered at long last of Mother Nature to bless us with Just a little rain. A song runs thru my head that I used to play long ago on my guitar that had lines of"Just a little rain, falling from the
sky, the trees nod there heads as the breeze blows by(my park trees are doing just that) Just a little rain, just a little rain, what have they done to the rain?! Something like that. Peter Paul and Mary.........I see Rylee stirring and pull him out of his kennel and onto a warm puppy blanket on my lap and swaddle him like a baby. He wiggles into place and I tuck the blanket over his little chest as while he was outside with Gary earlier he had gotten wet from the grass as he walked the fence line with Kat. Kat hasn't stopped coming into the house first thing when Gary lets Rylee out before leaving for work. She hesitates and measures the energy level of Rylee and then proceeds over to the area where Hunter and She used to cuddle together on his Dog Pillow which has now been replaced with one smaller for her new friend and she stealthily moves into this space and takes her place looking up but unnoticed by Rylee. Outside now you
sense the sound of a gentle rain falling on the aluminum patio roof and I let Rylee out the back
door who is followed quickly by Kat. The sight is heartwarming and I imagine my new Aortic
Heart Valve busily pumping away as I feel a tug at it thinking of the joy that has come to Gary and I with the arrival of this little fellow and the companionship and friendship that has entered
into Kat's life where weeks ago you could sense her concern and sadness. What a little Love this
little Lady Kat is. An added continuation of "Joy "in this home.
I slip into my garden shoes and stand at the door with the little blanket still in my hands and toss it around my shoulders stepping onto the porch step and down onto the pavement and over to the edge of the lawn. I move slowly so that I can catch Rylee and Kat in action and find the two of them by Kat's favorite shade bush against the fence. Both of them are sniffing the tiny leaves and licking at the water from the gently falling rain. I pull the blanket over my head
and take in the lovely peace of the morning and the smell that only rain in a garden can provide.
I start near the bird bath and walk across the grass over to the first rose tree which is full with bright yellow flowers-most of witch are tightly closed, a few just beginning to open up and one very large opened up wide with the dew/rain of the morning sliding down the center of the flower petals.....drinking in the long awaited moisture from above. Thank you Mother Earth for this gift of rain this beautiful morning and thank you for letting these three admiring creatures who walk beneath this gentle sprinkle of moisture with gratitude and yes, wonder. It has been long since our last rain here in Manteca or in California for that matter.
I stopped and plucked one yellow rose for inside the house and decided to make a rain bouquet of roses. Not only will I have the air that is coming through the house with the doors and windows open but the fresh flowery smell for many hours of the day today and thru the weekend. Next step I spook Kat and Rylee is on her in no time! Jumping and wagging his little tail as a small game of tag seems to be taking place along the back fence where my roses are lined up. The game is on and the two are off and running and Rylee stops just long enough to
place his muddy paws on me trying to jump into my arms which he can't do now that he is up
to 25 lbs. and getting longer. His paws are huge for a Springer Spaniel and I am going to find it
fun watching him grow into them but I can't say the same for Kat. I only hope that as we continue to teach him to be gentle that he learns not to overwhelm her with his size. So far, so good and she is quick to use her "Paws" to put him in his place so that he already is learning just how much she will take before striking or just hopping up on the garden fence and disappearing over the top into the next yard(to where her real owners live but have abandoned her). I come upon some climbing pink roses and snip a tiny bunch to add to the bouquet. Next is the purple rose that smells like "cloves" and next is a white and pink combination. Snip. Snip.
Down the row I go and I have to smile at the tiny Blue Spruce I planted after Christmas last year.
(Actually Gary planted as I was only 4 months out from my surgery and still not able to maneuver the incision easily with such branches of the spruce but I watched well! The tiny spruce will be decorated outdoors now instead of used on the patio in a pot as it began to
grow fast and absolutely loved the area and soil in the spot we chose. It is a lovely little tree and I will decorate it in honor of Hunter who helped us pick the spot!
I hit the next six rose bushes/trees and decided I needed a cup of coffee and came into to write my journal placing Rylee back inside the house with Kat following and happy to be fed while I made coffee.
I have been thinking of all of the people new to the community. Reading over and over the stories and fully understanding the questions and fears as well as reading the "awakenings" of those who are enlightened and soothed by all of the responses they are receiving or have received by all of our Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters here. I haven't been online here as much
due to some ongoing medical things going on in my life which I am addressing and don't see the need to interject them here as things are progressing as they should....not to worry.
I am keeping up with people entering into their surgeries and giving up many prayers and apologize for not keeping up with you all but my mended heart is with you all and those you
love. I am immersed in the new addition to our home and Rylee is keeping me busy with the house training, vet visits for shots, and he starts his obedience classes soon(thank God).
I am wishing all of you in recovery as well a smooth journey. Be patient and never forget the
feeling of being blessed to be alive and up to the challenges of recovering and the continuation of your lives. Special note to Ruth V. and a prayer that her recovery begins well this morning.
To all in our Heart Community- Bless you and Be Well.
Love from Terrie, Rylee and Kat who will hopefully be singing in the rain all day???
The patio door is open wide and beyond the windows is a lovely show of color. Roses, roses everywhere are breathing in a sigh of relief as they each received a dose of water early this morning as it is our given watering day. I just shut off the sprinkler after watching "Rylee" chase cat along the garden fence and thru the water (to her dismay). Up and over the fence she
lept with a glance thrown over her shoulder towards "Rylee" like "see you do this"! and Rylee is sitting there like in stone
with his head tilted up directly at her in amazement as when he jumps like she does he sits mid-air like off a trampoline and then splats down into the water from the sprinkler which he learned today was a lot of fun to play in. I have invented many exercise additions to my own sort of rehab-program like this game where I take an empty 1/2 gallon jug and kick it around and through the water while Rylee chases after me as it involves(they all do now) running around the 6 X 10 kennel that we put off center in the backyard to prepare for having a patio cover over part of the kennel allowing Rylee also some lawn for when the winter comes. Kat has an igloo that sits inside that Rylee has learned is off limits when she is inside sleeping or hiding
from him as He has grown so big already that he cannot fit inside!
So I put my "Fit bit" on early In the morning when Gary is about to leave the house at 3:00a.m. and the fun begins. Today we started out with me chasing Rylee around the yard after I learned that he had seen a garbage bag peeking out of the lower drawer in the kitchen(evidentially) and I saw him run by the patio with a streamer(cape like) over his
head while he ran and ran and ran and ran
around the kennel with the roll that had unraveled for him making him look like he was dragging a kite behind him as the wind aided him in his romp from the kitchen outside. Foolish me that I left the back door open wide and the motion detector lit up the backyard as the further he ran the more tangled up the dog and trash bags became until he tripped himself up and rolled into a little plastic white ball in the early morning darkness.
I couldn't keep up with him as when he stopped the light turned out on me and I couldn't figure out where he or the end of the kennel was or see any tennis balls, knotted ropes, various squeak toys were and had to make enough movement to get the light back on and use my tiny flashlight to fine a course of action and direction to catch the little "guy". I have found lately that I am losing inches in my waist from bending over gathering things or throwing things for him to fetch. Who Knew? It is long that Gary and I have had a young dog this active as bless his soul, Hunter had been sick for quite some time.
I got to smiling thinking how Hunter would have been as amused as I am at the energy and way Rylee spends it, especially when it comes to Kat whom we have sectioned off her own area until they get better used to one another. One of my favorite exercises which wears me out is a toy that makes a God awful noise like it is talking where you can add dry food to so that as it rolls the dog can pick up and eat it when it rolls to a stop. It is rather heavy so that it responds to a kick like a soccer ball and kicking it around the backyard and keeping it from Rylee makes for a good cardio work-out as it goes on quite a
while and during the winter I am sure we sill do this in the hallways and two back rooms out into the garage where he will have the most room inside for winter. I am
quite pleased that Kat has adopted Rylee from the start and is the healthier for all the increase in exercise as I am! He is also keeping me busy playing catch from one end of the garden to the other which is a lawn that isn't in the best of shape due to being mostly Bermuda grass that we keep
clipped low and affords him a long expanse of area to run his young, strong legs on. Our only worry is he will grow larger and heavier and be more aggressive with this new size over "Kat". So far he is listening to Gary and I when we continue to teach him to be gentle with Kat but know we will have to watch him carefully. 'Using the Fit Bit is fun because I can easily make an average of 4,000 steps before noon due to my getting up with Gary at 2:30 a.m. mornings. I will be able to walk Rylee around our park across the street after next weeks final shots have been given due to various puppy and dog
diseases. This will be my favorite new part
of my program and great for Rylee to socialize in the park with other dogs and neighbors who walk their dogs daily. So life with Rylee has brought about an increase interest in getting in shape and I know many of my Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters know how invaluable their pets have been as a part of their re-hab and more as you can't help but feel at Peace when you have the company of these "Buddies" along side you for the
Well enough of this post and I wish you all
are having half as much fun if not more keeping a schedule of activity with someone or something you love!!!!
Thinking of you this afternoon and hoping that this has been a great day for all of my heart brothers and sisters as well as those you Love. Later, Terrie, Rylee & Kat
It is 4:10 a.m. in Manteca, Ca. and I am safe at home. Have a roof over my head. Small puppy lying at my feet and I watch him twitching at my feet and the occasional running in his sleep. He just can't wait to wake up even to begin the day with so much energy. I applaud his energy and my heart is filled with a sudden great sadness. I remember back to the year of Sept. 11th. and it is stamped into my memory....A neighbors phone call with the news about the "attack on our Country" and that both Sherlock and Hunter were sleeping at my feet in the front room where we lived in Redding, Ca. I know most of us have the memory of where we were when Sept. 11th. become a part of our History, etched into our lives. There were many heavy hearts on this day as well as in the days, months, years that followed. I am taking the time this morning to give thanks and an outpouring of all the love in my mended heart-all the love I am able to give to all of the many people we lost on that day....those who were injured due to the attack and will bow my head in prayer momentarily for the Men and Women who served us in a great time of need and kept this country linked together with their unselfishness, their courage and with many of them torn by what they were participating in...their love of country and its people pushing them forward to try to make right such a terrible, wrong while making so many sacrifices. It is
etched into my(our)hearts. This day. September 11th. Let us not forget also that it also woke a Beautiful Country and reminded us all of how blessed we are as a Country. How strong we are as a people no matter the color, the size, the religion. We pulled together then and we will continue to be a part of this planet of people who search for ways to Survive......Being a Survivor is all that it is "Cracked up to be". Bless us all on this Planet...along with all living things! And once again to all of our people in service to this great country...our love and thanks.
Hello Community of Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters! I am pretty chipper this morning and feeling a little full of myself. Rylee our new puppy is lively and living the "life". He has every toy imaginable at his disposal.......disposal being the operative word! Love him, love him, love him.
He is seeing to it that my "Fit Bit" is operating under maximum use! Where on earth do these little critters find all of this energy? I just look at this little guy like the wind up toy that he is. He loves to play catch, chase "Kat" whenever she comes into view and hasn't been able to reach her Cat Tower in time and grows frustrated when she is high enough up or next to me on the couch hiding and that he can't make it up on the couch to grab her. She is being very patient and usually is looking for him before he is looking for her. It is cute as this morning he even laid his baby carrot(which I am using for his teething) at her feet to see if she wanted to join in. His favorite toy is a "Woody Woodpecker "doll that makes that goofy noise woody makes as he runs all around with it making the noise and Rylee can't seem to get enough of it and intends on continuing a full body slam on the poor toy until it give up the fight. Rylee and Kat are great helpers to get this lady going every day as both of their energy levels gets me started from the minute I get up in the morning. It is going to be 106 degrees out today here in Manteca, Ca. and I am growing tired of tryng to keep up with things when the heat is making it unbearable to do anything outdoors. We have been outside and in again since 6 a.m. and all is well but now is rest time(hence I am on the computer without Rylee "helping") while he rests up for the next round of play. I will be very happy when he is no longer teething and when his shots are finished and he can travel over for our walks to the park safely free of the other pets. he has two more courses of parvo, etc. shots so we have to keep him segregated. We both are getting a lot of exercise in the back yard but with this heat I am finding I am out of breath(which I don't like feeling) and growing tired easily. We moved the recumbent bike into the house so that I can
use his rest period to call a friend and bike or just bike without fear of nailing his little head in between the pedals! It is too hot out in the garage with the heat in the 100's. Tomorrow it will be 107. I will be happy when this heat spell has moved on and we are back with the Delta Breezes flowing thru the back yard. I hope all of you out there in the process of recovering from your surgery are able to get outside a bit on your walks and are eating well as well as getting enough rest in between getting up and moving around. I am thinking especially of Robyn Tatu and David this morning and hope that Robyn's life has taken up being full of positive and progressive changes for the good! Also thinking of Lora Lee P. and hoping her recovery is also going well. Actually, I am sending very positive thoughts out to all of our community with prayers all are doing well and that those who have completed their surgeries recently have come through well and that they are looking forward to continuing on home for their healing.
Myself...I am struggling with getting weight off with these hot days where it is difficult to move for long periods of time due mostly to the humidity in the still air outside and heat so hot you don't want to eat due to feeling nauseous and grouchy! Good thing is that it will pass and the Delta Breezes will find their way back to us and the exercising will be made easier for it! Have a great day out there everyone and Bless you all.
I woke up feeling like a wet noodle if noodles can feel pain!
Spent the weekend out with Gary, Rylee and Kat cutting down our peach tree.
Sad as I have beautiful memories of Hunter and Kat and my garden fairies playing
in the iris patch under that tree but it had to be done and the timing was right.
We started out Saturday at 8:00 a.m. cutting down the leaves that we could reach
and immediately putting them in a bag lined container. Rotted peaches that had
become dusty with a mildew like substance began falling all around as we entered
the center of the tree where three of the main limbs had been pulled about in the
winters wind of last year to the point of bending and stripping themselves with the
load of peaches that came this year. There was no saving it as we had removed the
branches before they caused any more damage as the "Delta Breezes" hit our back
yard and cause a lot of havoc on the trees in the area. The reason our tree didn't make
it Is mostly due to the fact that when the winds hit badly it seemed like a tropical storm
and I was inside the house with Hunter alone as Gary was off "States away" and not there
to help put supports and ties on the branches that didn't stand a chance in the winds and
brief but sudden rainfall that we experienced and my sternum "incision" area was fresh from
surgery enough where there was no way I could have tended to the problem. So, Hunter and
I watched with the flood lights on the back yard as the tree twisted in the wind and three of the
main branches bent slowly closer and closer to the ground. By the time Gary was back home it
was all we could do to remove the most damaged pieces and hope it would come back around the areas of new growth.
This year the peaches were many but the birds had gained access to the inside of the tree where limbs were missing and the tree was attacked by several different larger birds that just used the tree as a plaything and dropped half eaten peaches in their wake.
When Hunter passed and we made a decision to find a new friend and companion for Gary, Kat and I we also found that Peach pits and the wilted leaves of the peach trees are toxic to animals. The decision came soon after to ask our neighborhood landscaper what he thought of the condition of the tree(now showing signs of disease due to the damage of the holes left
by the limbs that had been torn in the winds) and he said we did all we could to repair any areas that showed trauma and if it were him he would "down" it and take back the room in
the yard placing a new tree that would give us shade and handle the winds better.
So, 8:00 a.m. Sat. with our gloves and tools stacked on the table I said a little prayer of thanks
to the tree that had produced such lovely sweet tasting peaches and looked over at Rylee who was in his new Kennel(we put together out in the backyard for him so that I would have a place to put him for fresh air or if we had errands and wanted him to stay outside until he gets totally house trained! He was busy chewing as puppies do and all Gary and I Knew was that we didn't want to take a chance on him finding the old peach pits that had fallen to the ground below or
get into the leaves which In due time would have fallen and spread all over the entire yard which he runs the length of. So limb by limb as the leaves were taken off Gary cut and I trimmed all of the branches into black bags to take to the "Green" part of the dump. It was nice when we started out but soon got hot with the humidity a "bear". 98 degrees and we stopped for the day careful to make sure we left nothing to blow in the winds overnight into the play area for Rylee.
While all of this was going on I kept eyeing my roses and other shrubs placed in the back yard where Kat hides out during the hot weather and felt sadness for just how badly the yard has suffered this year with this drought we are having here in California(Knowing other states are
feeling the same). We have also had wildfires which have blanketed the air day and night which have also made me think back to some close calls up North where we were living in Redding where the wildfires took such a toll on the land and animals that habited the area. The waiting game for the fires to be put out and all of the hard work done by the fire fighters to preserve the country side at such risk to themselves. Here in California they are even getting volunteers from other countries shipped in to help our firefighters try to get the fires under control and this drought has brought them such horrible conditions with to add to the difficulty in fighting the fires. I want to mention how much love and respect I have for those of you out fighting the fires for all of us and also my sorrow for those who have lost so much where the fires were able
to break through to their homes and land. My heart and thoughts are with the blessed animals and plants and trees that cover these large expanses of so many beautiful sections of our State and any other places facing the same challenges with all of this dry land feeding the fires. Saying a prayer this morning for Help to get them contained.
So. Sunday morning comes and I can barely move from all of the workout of yesterday. It is amazing that bending for branches and then trimming off all of the leaves into bags was a real test to my sternum and its healing! Bending, trimming side by side with Gary I realized this is one of the first projects since we moved in 3 years ago that we did together as when we first moved in and before my surgery was done it was me doing all of the unpacking and painting projects. It was nice to know that my body had healed enough to keep on this two day project and the only thing I felt was a pulling at the sternum in the one place I have a small three inch section that has a spot with "keloid" area that probably has also gotten a little sun while out with Rylee. My back ached appropriately as I put it to the test with the bending and lifting of the bags and dragging them out to the truck. Job well done and we also both scoured the area with rakes making sure we got up any "peach pits" so that Rylee wouldn't possibly get sick as you know what puppies spend their first months doing. CHEWING EVERYTHING IN SIGHT! The favorite new game is chasing his stuffed "duck" that I tied a rope to around the kennel and all over the yard playing tug of war when he gets to the duck! This is as close to a field dog as Rylee will be getting(I know...groans from you hunters out there!) This time next year I am hoping to have Rylee on my kayak near the lakes edge enjoying the water and fresh air at one of our favorite "play" areas.
So my new little buddy joins with Kat to play in the yard and when Kat has enough of this little fur balls energy she jumps onto one of the redwood 4x4's and sits on top and waits a few minutes and then jumps down behind her favorite hiding places where she used to lay in the shade with Hunter nearby. Rylee has been slowly introduced to her and knows that Kat belongs here and on occasion when Kat wanders into the patio room and jumps on my lap he is learning to be gentle with her and wait until she either finds a place high enough to avoid him or wanders back out onto her "tower" in the window which he can't reach either. She is being very understanding and I think by the winter time that the two of them will see more eye to eye.
We are being very careful of both of these two and I think to myself that Hunter would have approved, bless his soul!
So one more accomplishment out in the yard that I have begun enjoying like "old times". Yard is bigger for Rylee and Kat to exercise in. We are having fun teaching Rylee to "Fetch". I am looking forward to the days (after all of his shots) where I can walk with him around the park and put my "Fit BIt" to the test! I am thinking of all of my heart brothers and sisters who are finding out day by day, week by week what they are capable of doing as they begin their healing recovery from surgery and wish to all that they have patience with themselves for what they ARE capable of doing and not expect to do what their body isn't ready or able to do. Do your best, rest well, eat well and enjoy each day for what the day brings and enlighten yourself with all of your strengths, ability to do what you can one day at a time. KNOW that although rough at first it will get better and better and you will surprise yourself at how well your body will respond if you have patience, understanding and yes, PRIDE at all you have accomplished even if it is slower than you would like it to be. Mend Well.....BE WELL. I send you all Healing Prayers, Hugs and my Heartfelt Love. Go out and make this a fine day for yourself!
Is It Cheating if I let my dog wear my Fit-Bit?!!!!!!!
Journal posted on August 24, 2015
Got up this morning as usual at 2:30 a.m. and was joined by Rylee(our 12 wk. old Springer Spaniel) whose photo is on my photo list. Saturday we picked up a beautiful rosewood box containing the ashes of our "Hunter" and he is now seated next to his brothers "box". I have them both on the shelf in a small china cabinet and it feels good to imagine them both running together up there somewhere?!
Rylee is a joy. He is met every morning so far by Kat who is unsure of all of the energy this little furball contains! The first day that she met Rylee we opened the patio door as usual for her to come in looking for
Hunter. She crossed the room and went over to the dog bed in the living room and layed down after sniffing and searching the room for "him". Gary opened up the dog kennel and Rylee sort of staggered out until he
saw me at the door leading out to the patio saying "come Riley, lets go potty....come on boy let's go. He ran
out to stay by me where he feels safe or waiting to see if I, too, was going potty and he found his spot that
we have been taking him to and actually did his business to which I proclaimed to all of our sleeping neighbors how enormously proud I was that he did his thing and what a great little boy was he!!!!Aren't you glad you tuned in to my informative post today? I am very mixed by the emotions of losing my Hunter versus the newness of this little dog. Hunter was older and we had such history that watching him grow so slow and looking at me with his big brown eyes had grown harder near the end of his life as he looked on at Kat and her abilities to jump and play while roaming the yard with him as if looking back at a time where he would have given him a ride for his money. He was blessed with the way Kat tended to her friend who I know appreciated the wonderful companionship and friendship formed in the last two years. To see Rylee chasing Kat around the yard with all of his puppy energy brings tears to my eyes and a very large smile to a face that has been sporting large gloppy tears at the thought of missing my old friend, even though I know he is now in a much better place. I also feel like he is looking down with his brother Sherlock at his side thinking to themselves how once they both graced the mountainside where we lived in Redding, Ca. with their muscled legs, furry long ears flying in the wind as they ran each other tired on our land. It was a beautiful thing to see then and it is
beautiful to see this tri-colored handsome creature as he chases me around the yard and switches off to Kat who is much faster than I......... I put mu fit-bit on this morning as Gary left for work....Good to see my Man's
face with some joy written on his face as he turns to go and sees this tiny ball of fur wagging its tail at him and
turning circles in the hallway with a pull toy in his mouth wanting him to stay and play this fine Monday morning. My fit-bit already shows2,153 steps mostly taken trying to keep Rylee out of things he needs to stay away from or from chewing on things not good for him (like Kat's crooked tail) which is a real attention getter. Even I have a problem not reaching out to pass my hand along her tail for at the end it bends sideways and it feels funny to the touch. She like the attention I give to petting her precious tail and I do believe Hunter's passing and the introduction to this new little furry fellow has given her back a Kat smile too. I can't believe how quickly the steps add up on my wonderful little fit bit since the puppy came into our lives and I thank God
that we took this time to bring him into our lives as we will not be limited in the exercise we give him like we had to with Hunter due to his arthritis and age. God rest his large soul, my Hunter. Rylee has the same spots in the yard to rest and look for Kat. I have to be careful by the Peach tree as the area is fenced off with a little wire fence now due to the fact that peach pits are poison to animals and Kylee is teething and wants to chew everything in sight. He is quite fond of cold carrots as a treat and is very smart. I have him playing "fetch" with his Kong ball that squeaks and he already is "sitting" at the word sit....eager to please. I know that walking Rylee is going to help me continue to get healthier and I am going to enjoy his company walking around the park with me in a few weeks after it is safe for him to join society(other dogs) due to all his shots, etc. Thank you all for indulging in my discussions and the new stories bound to make their way into my journal as it is with this sharing of Hunter and Kat that I made my way through a long year of recovery with their help and me being giving the honor of their company! As my doses of cardiac depression seem to come and go (a few times or more) during the last year, they were easy to put the focus on and use to maybe take the mind off of
some of your rough times too. I have equally enjoyed sharing many of my heart brothers and sisters stories about how their pets helped them along with their recovery processes. God love them one and all and God bless all of you one and all. I am off to step my way into a new "step" record for me due to the fact I have
Rylee and Kat nipping at my heals along the way. Love, hugs to all in recovery and those entering into surgery on this beautiful sweet day. Terrie, Rylee, Kat......
Anniversary of my 1st. Year Post Surgery Aug. 20th. 2015
Journal posted on August 19, 2015
It is still Aug. 19th. and tomorrow will make it my 1st. year Anniversary with my Bovine Tissue Valve. Since the loss of Hunter earlier this month we welcomed the addition of little 11 week old Rylee to our home. Hunter is not being replaced or are we dishonoring him by bringing this little 11 Tri-colored Springer Spaniel into our lives at this time. It is in fact a way of dealing with the loss and if you knew Gary and I personally you would know that in 37 years of our marriage we have always had dogs in our lives. Usually two. Usually adopted from someone's cardboard box, dog shelters, adopted dogs needing a forever home and we have been blessed in our marriage by the fact we love our dogs as a Central part of our lives. It turns out that a friend of mine who once owned a pet shop knew of a person selling a litter of Springer's and Gary and I had a very big void(after 14 years with Hunter)that needed to be filled. Hunter had a hard time as older dogs sometimes do and his time was some of the happiest years of our lives with pets. His brother Sherlock had gone before him of Cancer back in 20012. With so many years with the both of them it was apparent last week that being home alone without him was going to take a toll on my newly mended heart. A heart that Hunter helped me through as I readied myself for surgery and stood by me(on all fours!) throughout my recovery as only a best and much loved friend can.
The photo you see with the dog looking up is Rylee staring up at Kat who ran like hell to evade the new intruder to her yard and whose one eye shows in the photo glaring down at Rylee. It is the first day home and the back door had been open for Kat to enter and meet the new dog. Kat had been missing Hunter too and coming in to lay down where the two of them spent his last days. Kat knew. Animals sense when another animal friend is weak or sick. Kat stuck with him until his last day and seems determined to enter into this little guys life as well. If you look at Rylee you can see the face of Sherlock who was a Black and White Springer Spaniel, the Liver colors of Hunter, and this new color of Carmel that looks brush stroked on his face and on his butt which makes him Unique as well as a constant reminder of two great companions and friends in my life within his face and shows promise of another loving, fun, healthy family pet and friend for Gary, Kat and I. Guess this means there will be stories in the future of Terrie, Kat and Rylee to share as my second chance thru surgery brings about more and more changes and promises of the two of us feeling the loss of Hunter less and less painful. This may seem odd to go on about on this heart valve site but for many of you out there who have pets they love and who are loved in return we know the truth of our recovery is that they share themselves with us to help us make our way home and during the process we call recovery. I honor Hunter this day-August 20th., 2015 and welcome a new member of our home who will continue helping me get stronger with our walks and our new life together. I would also like to wish Nancy Happy Anniversary on her 1 yr. day too as well as send a special prayer out to Lora Lee Peterson whose surgery is Aug. 20th. and my Heart goes out to her on the beginning of the next step in her Journey! Tonight, even though it is hours short of the proper Date I ask that God Bless the People in our Community, our Village, and guide us on the paths that our Heart Experiences have taken. Thanks for letting me include you all and some special Friends outside the community(Betty, Vicky, and especially Maggie, Lois, Toby.)today in making it this far! Good Night.
In celebration of my 1 yr. Anniversary Aug. 20th. A New Addition to our Family....Rylee
An Open Thank You.....
Journal posted on August 10, 2015
Hello Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters.
Gary and I would like to thank those of you who took a moment to post a note of sympathy due to the
post I wrote about our "Hunter's passing on Saturday. Some may wonder why the "big deal" most of you
who have read my journal's including Hunter and Kat and our exploits know why. You also know how much
I have enjoyed writing about our Dog and adopted Kat as I entered into the wait for my surgery and used them both during my recovery as a way to share some light hearted thoughts with those of you waiting and recovering with me! It was a good way for me to try and take some minds off of the merry-go-round of the waiting especially and a wonderful way to emerge from the brain fog of surgery! It was also a testimony to those of us who are blessed with the company of any of God's Creatures "great or small) who are such a source of love and comfort in our daily lives. And by God what support during those days and nights of recovery on this journey we are on. Where we knew that at 14 yrs. of age that Hunter's time on this lovely Earth was coming to a close, we didn't expect it to end so abruptly but realize that Hunter has found his way home and is always to be a part of us and maybe in some odd way a part of some of you as you have no idea how many people have written to me over my journal entries and shared your own stories and feelings about your "furry friends" and what they mean to you which was wonderful during my recovery period and I hold all of you and your experiences within as added awareness of the importance of the blessings of each and every one of you and them as this applies to my own very special Journey as a Survivor of Heart Surgery and More!
So too the friends I hold most dearly in life, Margaret Lloyd(with her Cats, birds and all living creatures great and small, Vicki Waltmen, Lois Prescott, BettyWillis, Karen Pineda, Eleanor R., Nancy D, TammyP, Jean R., Christine P. John Jones, Mary K., Elaine F., Steven(Popeye), Ginger French. I leave you today with a word of Thanks for understanding and your continued support as life goes on and knowing Hunter has found his way "Home" and Peace!
Kat sits in the opened patio door area looking out into the garden. Her tail is twitching back and forth and
her head turns side to side. Gary sits in his chair beside Hunters Dog Bed and I in my Power Lift Chair near
the cat. Kat turns and walks back into the room sniffing the doggie bed and goes on into the bedroom, hallway, into the computer room where I now am typing. I am writing this journal page to inform those who have read of my journal stories that have included the exploits of Myself, Gary, Hunter and Kat for the past year.
It was these three that were at my side as I faced my diagnosis and all that it entailed, listen to me cry when I became frightened as we progressed to surgery on my heart and who were waiting here at home to help guide me from recovery and up until today. Gary taking time from work to spend the first two weeks answering the call of the caregiver for his lovely wife(ME), Hunter who watched me come home from the hospital and was the main source of comfort from the moment I hit the porch steps even as he too was having trouble navigating them as his arthritis became more and more apparent. Kat became a more involved part of our family and was eager to help Hunter make sure that I was safe and well taken care of with her visits and meows letting me know as I sat in my chair that it was ok to sleep awhile more or that it was time to go take my walks in the garden with her and Hunter and make sure that the hummingbirds and garden birds were fed. I think back this morning how much love I have been blessed with these three this pas year while fighting impatience, depression, exasperation! loneliness while healing. How blessed was I to have three of my best Friends by my side as I grew healthier, stronger, back to a life larger than it had been before my valve was replaced. These past couple of months Hunter who turned 14 yrs. old this past 4th. of July became slower and more tired doing the most normal of his daily things. Tested and following doctors orders my Friend seemed to be getting better and Gary and I thought our prayers had been answered. Kat seemed to know differently of late as She began a new
schedule with Hunter which included laying next to him on his pillow and following just a little closer as he slowly walked the yard making sure not to miss out if he decided to go out the front door and down the front porch steps as he had begun to lose his balance due to his arthritis getting to his back leg. What used to be a once or twice a week joint send off in the morning as Gary left for work turned into an every day joint venture and meant I would take up the "rear" literally so that Hunter could make it up into the house as he and Kat would wonder off somewhere to visit.
We knew that Hunter's time was nearing and did all that we could to make his 14 yrs. a loving time. Prior, his brother Sherlock who lived only until the age of 11 had been his best friend and between the two of them gave us love and pure joy all of their lives. Well. I regret to share and with a mended and very heavy heart(including Gary's and Kat's have to let my heart brothers and heart sisters & special friends know that at 9:00 p.m. last night while dealing with a sudden emergency with Hunter we shared a few hours of fighting for his survival with him and given the results of new tests which resulted in a diagnosis of an immune-disease that showed he was bleeding internally, we chose to have our much loved gentle Friend and companion freed of any further days where the quality of life was less than he deserved. Gary and I were with him and able to keep him calm and comfort him and I was able to hold him close to where I felt his heartbeat, listened as Gary sent him off to
run free with his brother Sherlock as the last of his heartbeats slowly stopped. He left this place as he came into
our lives. Loved. Thank you all for understand the need to share and please say a prayer that he found his way home. Sincerely Terrie, Gary and Kat.
Well....Dang Nabbbit! You would think that a fine looking woman like myself wouldn't let technology stop her. One thirty one, one thirty two, one thirty three. Crap. This is going to be a long day....................I appear to have a malfunctioning "Fit Bit" wrist thingy. I was busy painting our bedroom the day before yesterday and I began by putting on my new fit-bit wrist thing to track me as I "take steps" one thirty four, one thirty five" and I got up to the point going up and down the ladder with my can of paint and paint brush in hand and a dog underneath(doesn't Hunter know it is bad luck to hang out under a ladder? Hunter who now has a temporary aqua blue spotted ass, Kat will soon join him as his tail trips me every time I come down to the last ring on the ladder. I walk into the kitchen and place my paint on the table and turn out into the hallway and walk one thirty six, one thirty seven(12 steps) then down into my "Girl Cave" where I pause to load the laundry into the dryer and return up the two steps into the house and back down the hall and in my mind thinking how many steps I will get this day as I go from working to exercising outside in the paint free air! I stopped here today at 8:00 a.m to write these words that are eclectic thoughts running through this delicate brain I am wearing.
I find it kind of exciting that I have been able since Monday and a trip to Best Buys, been able to look at the turn of my wrist and see the "Time", tap, the steps(thank God for the two foot prints popping up on the little screen to verify it is my feet I am witnessing in motion, a little heart shows a "63" and I love that it is beating!
Up pops up my mileage next oh this is just so cool(I can't wait to run up the ladder again with my paint can!
Tap of the wrist and a little lit fire shows and I say to myself Girl, Your on Fire! Look at the calories you have burned......You GO girl, and now that you have stopped staring at your wrist and grinning like a fool it is time to keep moving! one thirty five, one thirty six......You get my drift. Even Hunter is getting bored with waiting for me under the ladder but boy are He and Kat enjoying this little black wrist band hanging around my wrist as Now I am being relentlessly followed by the both of them every where I go and every thing I do. Even in the bathroom.....legs dangling but still doing a toe dance for a time then up to the sink, careful of the fit-bit
attached to the wrist they both sit in the doorway, waiting for me to wash up, walk over them and back up to the ladder! Every fifteen minutes I choose to hop down and out the doorway into the fresh air for a walk around the house and along the lawn with my buddies following around and into the back door to my "Girl Cave, quick check of the laundry, up two stairs, back into the hallway and eventually back into the paint room!
The thing is. Yesterday I began the day the same way only to look down at my wrist at some time to find I had made it already to 885 steps and counting and a neighbor called and said it was time for a coffee break! So I stopped and waited for her to show up. I carefully dealt with setting my brush aside safely and made my coffee. We talked for over an hour before I opted to get back to work and it was a nice break, but before I took the first rung of the ladder I excitedly double checked my "steps" only to find my heart lurch into amazement as it had last read 885 steps and now read 142!!!!!!! The Kat jumped straight in the air and ran for the back door at the sound that emanated from my throat! Screetch I said "where did my 743 steps go???????? I looked back at my two little feet on the screen and sure enough.....it said 142....where the hell did my steps go. I had walked all over the house, did laundry, walked outdoors with my buddies following only to somehow lose my 743 steps. Unfair I cried. So I down loaded the instructions that I havedn't yet read and left it to today after I finish my painting goal of one more wall. (Did I say I am using a 3 inch cutting brush to paint the entire room?
The color is the prettiest color I have ever seen. So beautiful I imagine waking Gary every hour on the hour turning the light on just to stare into the beautiful aqua blue sea that will make us feel like shooting up from the ocean floor past the fishes and whales and dolphins and oops there goes a puffy jellyfish! and up up up to
the light and out onto the surface gasping for air.........don't worry for me thinks I have had too many paint fumes!.........Anyway....I gave Gary a call at work to ask him where he thinks my steps disappeared to while he explains to his co-workers who are gathered around him in the middle of a meeting that it is only me and that I seem to have lost track of 743 steps on my fit-bit to which there is laughter all around but no encouraging words on where I might locate them...........
That was yesterday and last night Gary plugged my fit-bit up to the computer to a "dongle" which will sync it back to life today, hopefully. So far so good. I check my fit-bit and the steps are still moving in the right direction. Had to stop and write this journal to drink a cup of coffee and check in with y'all as painting is a lonely job even if you have the pitter patter of eight furry feet and four beady eyes watching every move you
make. Wish me luck that I get in all my steps and know that all of this "FUN" awaits those of you still in your "Recovery" Mode. The laundry, the projects, the joy in a life continued........Thank God! Love and prayers to all of my heart brothers and sisters today as I finish painting my "North Wall" and oh, my but this is such fun work to do as the room is looking gorgeous!(By the way. Since I returned post-op I have hand painted with my 3 inch brush. The hallway, living room("white clay"), Kitchen(sage green), hallway "white clay" and now bedroom "aqua blue" all very light colors. It is so good to stretch and climb and reach these arms out to the side, up and down spreading this nick thick like butter paint and watching the color transform
each room!!!! God has blessed me with 'RECOVERY'. Bless yall. Hunter, Kat and I need some more fresh air before we begin again! Love to you all too! P.S. I will post a photo of my finished painting spree soon! Go out and make it a great day.......
I was reading this morning that" during most years, the Earth experiences 12 full moons, one in each month".
The article by Geoff Gaherty goes on to say that 2015 will have 13 full moons and this extra lunar display gets labeled "Blue Moon."
So I began my early morning by seeing my handsome husband Gary out onto the porch and Hunter followed us as we quietly made our way out of our tiny garden gate into the area where we could let Kat catch up with us as She is most always across the street chasing gophers with the other neighborhood cats who meet up with her in the park. This morning Gary, Hunter and I stare up into the sky at the moon and for some reason I am filled with a sadness in the air as it is "stuffy" from the heat of yesterday and more quiet than usual. Most often times we will hear the sounds of frogs in the distance and the leaves rattling in the trees in the park. My mended heart feels heavy as I stare up at the moon which seems to glow bright and my mind wanders to a place far, far away that is filled with a sadness for a Lion King named "Cecil" who was taken from this earth before his time recently. I am thinking as I look up into the sky that this same beautiful sighting of the moon is shining down on his resting place with a warm light that beckons his soul to find its way to the light and find a place of peace. The photos of this magnificent "cat" since he was taken from the land and his family have made me happy that I got a chance to see what a fine specimen he was and I hope his death educates people. I watch "Kat" cross the street and her coal black hair glistens in the light from the street lamp so that she resembles a sleek panther as she sneaks up behind Hunter and pounces on him from the side and slithers her head first under one long "spaniel" ear and under his chin almost knocking him over in her excitement to see him. Gary climbs inside his car and takes off down the street and I watch his car lights disappear and look over to Hunter and Kat(both sitting there in the driveway under the street lamp side by side with their heads cocked to the side, tails behind them leaning in to one another still looking down the street where Gary disappeared seconds ago and I have to smile at the sight of these two "buddies" waiting for me to make the next move which they know will be to let them back inside the gate and into the house where I will visit with them awhile and get them fed. As we enter the garden area I am pleased to see the lavender star flowers are still opened up
on the shrub I planted near the garden fountain under the kitchen window. Kat has jumped up to the fountain to
snatch a quick drink and I notice from the light coming thru the window that the shrub has intertwined with the trellis that we have placed their and that dozens of starflowers now have woven their way along the house and are making their way up and sideways making the front of the house(in the morning darkness) come alive with so many flowers that it appears to look like a star filled sky and the gentle scent fills the swollen humid air of morning with the gentle fragrance. The roses are still blooming and the heat resulting from our drought conditions makes the scent of the roses strong and the colors seem to be fading with the brightness of each day that they suffer from less water than they would like to have had the day before. Today is a water day for our neighborhood and I look forward to filling Hunter's wading pool and watching him climb in and out of it throughout the day and evening as he did earlier in the week. The three of us clamber up the steps to the house and enter and I am careful to make certain all tails make it through the front screen(including my own!) and we head into the living room for a little flurry of good mornings to one another. I make a fresh cup of coffee and sit in Gary's recliner where Kat jumps up in my lap and Hunter saunters over to put his nose up on the arm of the chair. I have to smile as I look past my furry friends to the hallway as the light shows the new paint job the walls received yesterday and what a job it was keeping both of these two out of my way as I painted getting up and down off the 8 ft. ladder doing the upper walls and later when I made my way down to the floor to finish the trim at the bottom. I love to paint. Love the feeling as the brush spreads and the thick paint finds its way along the wall and the dull beige color that was on every wall in this house when we moved in two years ago is slowly being replaced with soft colors that breath life into each room and make our visit to each room calm, pleasant and filled with our "stamp", our marking of the territory. I remember early on in my recovery waiting for the Doctors to say it was ok to pick up my paint brush to begin the transformation of these walls from dull to alive! I remember too the protest my chest, shoulders and arms gave as I first dipped the brush into the can and lifted over and onto the walls in the living room. Tears had flown down my cheeks. Big thick tears that I was finding my way back to some kind of usefulness.....some norm. It was slow going at first as the painting was a joyous way of re-entering the claiming of my life back after my surgery and I took my time and allowed each hour, each day to give the stretching and bending time so that it eased from discomfort in the beginning to a release of my body finding its way back to looking forward to the next ability to stretch and bend. In time it came. I also have to say that I finished the front room in time for Christmas last year and Gary only had to keep moving furniture back and forth in each room. I also had the satisfaction of being able to surprise him with each daily goal I set for myself. Each completion of a wall was my way of thanking him of all the time and patience he has had during this entire surgery and recovery process. I love this man with all of my heart and don't know what I would have done without him. He is equally amazed and happy to see the "new Me" get
back into Life fully again as it has taken time and a lot of patience with myself too to get to where I am today.
Last week I finished painting the Kitchen!!!! I am petting Kat as she sits at my leg under the computer table where I brought my coffee to write this post. I can't believe how such a simple thing as adding color can liven up a room and make a person want to be in that place. I also have put my dining table out into the garage area where my printing press is off into the corner and in it's place brought in my great grandmothers bureau that is the only thing I have from my family gracing my home. When she lived, this bureau which is a beautiful part of a set of hand carved oak furniture which graced her home and which I remember as a very small child visiting. The top, in fact was used for years as an ironing board and bares the black marks of the iron on it's surface or did until Gary and I chose to place a top on it so that it wouldn't deteriorate any more. I also found it the perfect height to do my sketching and carving on and it is use as my art table and proudly sits in the kitchen doubling as our dinner table with two bar stools as well as my art table. I think of my great grandmother and what she would have thought of the artwork that came from the use of this beautiful and much loved piece of her furniture. I have a throw rug that is placed at one edge of the table where Hunter and his Brother Sherlock spent many hours as I drew and carved and to which Hunter still lays only now that his brother has passed he shares it with Kat. Now that the painting is done I have made an appointment with the eye doctor to see if I am nearer the day when I will have both eyes operated on for cataract's so that I can begin my carving in earnest. The new color in the kitchen is like chocolate mint ice cream minus the chips! I love the color as it is subtle and happy and brings color to the house as the halls and front room are a "white clay" which makes the small house feel larger and really comfy! This weekend I am buying the paint for our bedroom and it will be on to the next project which keeps me out of the 106 degree heat and up and down the ladder for exercise. I am still getting out to bike as my legs can handle as I have to be careful not to overdo and the humidity in the air makes outdoor biking a tradeoff. So I am juggling one form of exercise for another. I don't know about the rest of you out there but I hope many of you are having as much pleasure as I am going from recovery to a place of rediscovering yourselves! It is the norm to go from a place of impatience to a place of acceptance and Joy and every day is a reminder of how Life can and will be as we continue the progress which is such a big part of this Journey. Well I have begun my day with a beautiful blue moon and can't wait to see what the day brings. I will be thinking of all of you today and continuing prayers and universal thoughts that are positive ones for all of you to find the Love and Joy each day affords us. I also would like to wish Ginger French a HAPPY YEAR ANNIVERSARY TODAY! Bless you all...Happy Healing.
Now that the heat has slipped away for a week or so I decided to focus on the bike riding early on in the morning. There is something about pulling it all together in the morning and looking forward for the walk
out to the curb, crossing the street and facing the park first think in the morning. The air was brisk this morning as I left and the temperature was a solid 60 degrees with the Delta Breeze already blowing the
leaves in the trees as the birds flit tree to tree at times seemingly following me around the park at times.
Yesterday I rode 5 miles and the weather was similar and I decided that today too showed me it is much safer
and enjoyable a ride getting out this much earlier. The sun had been bringing out my allergies on earlier rides last month and it seemed the humidity was literally to die for! This drought has the park lawn turning the last bit of green to totally dry wheat colored lawn. I don't know when they last watered but it will be good if the
predictions area true this Winter as it is supposed to storm like crazy. We need it now to prevent conditions
being ripe for more California fires and there is nothing pretty about those.
Now that I have increases in insulin and a change to focus on with my diet and exercise plan I am doing much better making weight loss the priority. Like in my childhood at school I am placing a bright shiny star on the calendar today for following all the way thru my goal of 5 miles or more a day. It is satisfying to see it hanging on the wall and I am wondering how many miles I can continue with and am getting a lot of neighborly encouragement as I put the pedals to the metal! (Ha, Ha). I enjoyed wearing my heart survivor t-shirt for this ride today as it kept me just warm enough the entire time. It is long so it covers well the entire back side of me
so that I feel secure on this tiny bicycle seat! Next up Gary and I are hoping to find a lake to Kayak in as most nearest us are far too low because of the drought and I am not strong enough to paddle for long periods so maybe this weekend will be the weekend, eh? I didn't realize until today that I had been staying too much indoors because of the heat and vowed today to make sure I am up and moving as with the heat it is also easy to stop and take sitting breaks or small naps after being up so early every day during the week with Gary.
Hoping to go to the gym in the morning as I enjoyed going with Gary to use the treadmills. It is a good way to exercise and be able to keep an eye on the heart rate and I have begun to really enjoy walking again as I did before the surgery.
Thinking about all of you out having surgery or in recovery and hoping you are doing well. Hope you all enjoyed the day today as much as I did. Be Well!
CELEBRATING MONTH NUMBER ELEVEN-POST-OP WITH Y'ALL!
Journal posted on July 20, 2015
I woke up this morning thirsty to begin the day. I had a great day posting back and forth yesterday within our Heart Community as well as personal emails from a few special friends. I was already focused on the importance of today.
Another milestone in my life. Nearing the 1 year mark since I entered into a Community of people who were willing to take me into their hearts opening up to and with me a place where I could be myself, get involved in not only getting but giving support, share my faith, offer comfort, receive an ongoing education on what the Truth it is to be a part of a Family since my connection with family was broken years ago. Where it is hard to still feel love the knowing in keeping this distance is a healthier choice has not been an easy one. There were days prior to rolling into surgery I almost reached out but the reality is I know I wanted something from them that they have shown they are not capable of giving or participating in. So I keep them in my heart, deep inside and pray for them and allow myself the freedom to live with a Full and accepting heart with a soul that is free to soar. This would not have been possible during the changes that have taken place in my life prior, during and while recovering, without all of you.
Yesterday I gave a long list of names of those of you who took this ride with me and I with you(this far!). And I want to take a moment to say something important to me. Truth. Where I find it a real, serious Blessing that Adam Pick created this Website out of his experience of his own Heart Journey it is all of the endless numbers of people who joined in these months since I joined March 27th., 2014 that have been my "angels" here on earth.....who have kept me going at times that my Faith would slip as the fear and anxiety pushed me backwards and I felt a wall that prevented me to go on at times. Such a GIANT thing...our Heart Surgeries. Something that each of us mostly found such a surprise to have to face in our lives but something that with this community we are made ready to face, embrace even, by having this place to shift to in our daily lives because in this place we leave no one behind, everyone matters. Many of us join, go through our surgeries and our lives make it necessary to move on and disappear from view taking time to pop back in and make your presence known again letting your Heart Brothers and Sisters know how you are doing which is important as it gives those of the community just beginning their journey a clear view of life beyond this place we meet for support and comfort and where we guide each other along until we hopefully have reached the "Other Side".
The "Other Side".... A term I fully respect and love to hear or read from all who pass this way.
When I got up this morning with Gary and Hunter it was already warm and stuffy on the way to an expected humidity range of 45 which is making the air hard to breath and going to keep me inside most of the day. Kat has joined Hunter and I indoors and is curled up at my feet by the computer as I write. It is now 1:00 p.m and
the roses outside my window are strong smelling and the colors vibrant. I remember how happy I was to return home to this place, my home to my garden, my furry eager and welcoming friends. God only knows how different it would have been going through my recovery days without them here, loving me and keeping me company. So many ways we realize how Blessed we are as SURVIVORS. There have been countless times while these bodies of ours have given us a real fight as day by day we struggled to gain strength, focus on doing our best not to take the chronic pain of each day out on those around us, those who love us most, finding the changes in our mood swings and sharing our achievements with us the focus....Oh Lord it has been a FULL
ELEVEN MONTHS THAT I WOULD NOT CHANGE A SINGLE DAY OF- I am filled with the deepest gratitude and a kind of Joy and surprise and anticipation of feeling my eyelashes at first light as I struggle to search out and see the sleeping form of my husband at my side, listen to the dog snoring beside me on the floor and peek over at him to see that we have all made it through together , LIFE CONTINUES and I feel so HAPPY!
Thank you for reading as I ramble on and celebrate the day with my Heart Family and know that if you are beginning your Journey this is the best community to be part of. This is a place where you can envision many Men and Women(and Children) as you lay your head down to sleep tonight(whether you be at home or in Hospital)who have your back and have you in their hearts throughout your JOURNEY wherever it leads you!
Bless you .and love from Terrie, Gary, Hunter and Kat
Love and thanks to: Maggie, Vicki W., too!
Hello Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters.
Tomorrow will mark the 11th. Month Post-op Day of Celebration for me
and I wanted to share it with "My People", my community. But first I would
like to acknowledge two people who are in my opinion the mightiest of heart
Warriors, Women who showed us all the most Courage, Deepest Faith, Unabashed
Spirit of anyone in our community and deserve to be honored as "Rock Stars" of
the highest nature. These two Women: Robyn Tatu and Rhonda Rawles. I can't think of two
more deserving people to offer my thanks to in that they have been two key figures in helping
me learn and grow as I too continue on this Heart Surgery Journey. While I may be at
the 11th. month and nearing the year mark I have learned that the recovery period is definitely
different for each of us and value each and every person that I have encountered in this community.
Both Rhonda and Robyn have and continue to show us all thoughtful and useful information as their
individual heart journeys continue. I have been moved for some time by the way they both have used
their experiences to share their truths of their individual surgeries and recovery(which of course includes
David Tatu's endless participation in Robyn's continued journey. May God Bless them both as their continued
I have had many months of time with this community of people who have opened up their hearts to me from the days when there was no "List of Patient surgeries"and when I was alone out here with no understanding of
what was to come, only that I had been told I would need the surgery and undergo further testing and eventually have my own surgical date. What an awfully frightening time that was. One by one, these beautiful people stepped up to reach out to me and I named them my Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters. I went from a frightened-in the dark patient to an informed, supported Heart Sister who received from all of you What I needed just AS I needed it! I formed friendships all over the world and grew as I learned to give back to this community even though the website at the time was going through major changes that made it difficult to keep up with the influx of people who came forth. I have done my best to be supportive as the joy of interacting was paramount to feeding the healthiness of mind and spirit while recovery progressed. I will always be thankful that this site was available and continue to enjoy it as time moves us forward. I wish all of those beginning their Heart Journey's that they enjoy and encounter the support and love I have always received from our community. To those of you in hospital I pray that your stay is swift, your surgeries successful and that you and those off in recovery continue to gain support as well from all of the dear people who are here for you in this site. I have to report that I give thanks to God and all of the Angels who have hovered over me these past months to get me where I am today and I am counting on their company as my life continues, as I grow stronger and stronger and more determined to show appreciation for the second chance I was given, we are being given. In general, to my rock stars a personal thanks and recognition for your part in my having the most blessed of recoveries to date: Meredith B. Eleanor and Erica, Ginger French, Karen Pineda & Trance, Anthony Copeland-Parker, M. Cornwall-UK, Mary Myers, Robin Szymanski., Elaine Foster, Ladonna Mangile, John Johns, Daniel Spurgeon, Lila Robinson, Jennifer Miller, Bob M. Lynn Quast, Susan Smith, Nancy D. Kimberly Biddick, Michael Poe, Tammi Gunwall, Gigi Snowflake, Jim O'Brien, Robert O.& LindaO, Edith Dim, Cheryl Blatzing, Peter and Sandra, Robyn & David Tatu, Linda Crawford, Kenneth Cole, Judi Nunez,Rita S. Julie, Rebecca, Janet R. Tammi P., Joan Napier, Mona Miller, Suzanne Hunter Patricia Garcia, Ben Hyman, John Noriega, Steven Husted, Mark Alafita, Lenore Mitchell, Karen Sievers, Jim Kelly Evans, Pat DeBruce, Tim Goff, Susan Ericsson, Kathleen F. Kelly Stevens(whose floral photos sustained me when I couldn't be'
out in my garden)Olga Landry and more I might have missed(sorry0 Whether it be one post to my guestbook or many. The above people taking the time to write me Inspired me, educated, supported, comforted me from beginning and up to today and I could not thank you more as my Heart Brothers and Heart Sisters. So remember how important it is to each and everyone of us to take the time to acknowledge each other when time permits whether it is a one line post or a story you care to share so that you continue to touch the hearts of others and help each other find our way home. Love to you all and Bless you all as well. Terrie, Gary(my greatest supporter), Hunter & Kat.
Jeanette- I know you are getting ready for tomorrow. I hope you have a pleasant evening and get some decent sleep. You are blessed in knowing so many people care a great deal for you and will be sending out universal healthy, loving thoughts and prayers both tonight and tomorrow. I am looking forward to reading your posts from you knowing they will continue to be heartfelt and positive! Bless you Heart Sister.
GOD BLESS AMERICA- By Songwriters Irving Berlin......
"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair
As we raise our voices in solemn prayer".
God Bless America, land that I love
Stand behind her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above
From the mountains, to the prairies
to the oceans white with foam
GOD BLESS AMERICA
MY HOME SWEET HOME!