Monday, August 30, 2010

Front, left to right: Diane, Grandma O'Malley, Granny; and in the back are Ron and Grandpa at Valley-Hi in Hartland around 1972 maybe?
Monday, August 30, 2010 - It was supposed to be 90 degrees today but there are clouds moving in and we had a few sprinkles. Don't know if we'll hit 90 or not....

Yesterday afternoon, I came across this picture. Previously, I had found one of Diane, Grandma and Mother during the same visit. We think it's around 1972. Our gauge for figuring this out is Diane. She looks like she might be 8 years old.

This would be right before they all moved to Florida. So, was that 72 or 73? Don't ask me. I was busy studying at NIU at the time. It was very traumatic when they moved because I was left to my own devices. hmmmm

Well, I did graduate in 1974 so I've got that going for me. Good luck to anyone graduating and planning to teach these days. It's a whole new world. Full of bits and bytes. YIKES!

Better go check on what's up outside. The weeds are totally out of control and I see that we're supposed to be getting 2 inches of rain later this week. Maybe that will help revive the dead grass. bye. see ya later, djb

Friday, August 27, 2010

This photo of Andrew and Jarrett's girl cousins has nothing to do with damaged cornea advances -- I just like this picture because it's so sweet and they look so happy. Krissy took it a couple of years ago.
Friday, August 27, 2010 - Last night, while I was talking to Granny, she mentioned that Grandpa had heard a story on WGN news at noon about pioneering efforts to repair corneal damage caused by injury or disease (e.g., herpes zoster ophthalmicus). That's shingles in the eye to you lay people.

She also mentioned that there was story in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about research being done in Sweden concerning the same thing. Well, I found the story and here it is:

Associated Press
Scientists have created a new kind of artificial cornea, inserting a sliver of collagen into the eye, coaxing the eye's own natural corneal cells to regrow and restore vision.

It worked in a first-stage study of 10 patients in Sweden, researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Larger studies are needed, but it's a step toward developing an alternative to standard cornea transplants, which aren't available in much of the world because of a shortage of donated corneas.

"We're trying to regenerate the cornea from within," said May Griffith, senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, of Canada, and professor of regenerative medicine at Linkoping University, Sweden.

Vision depends on a healthy cornea, the film-like covering of the eye's surface that helps it focus light. Corneas are easily harmed by injury or infection, and about 42,000 people in the U.S. receive transplanted corneas every year. But for many of the estimated 10 million people world-wide with corneal blindness, donated corneas aren't available. And transplants bring risk of rejection.

The new bio-artificial cornea attempts to induce healing by using the same natural substances in a real cornea. "I characterize this work as a major advance in the direction that we need to go," said Alan Carlson, cornea transplant chief at Duke University's eye center, who wasn't involved in the research.

A cornea's structure is made up of tissue called collagen. The researchers took human collagen grown in yeast and molded it into a contact lens-like shape—the scaffolding for a cornea. Dr. Griffith, working with Linkoping University eye surgeon Per Fagerholm, studied the bio-artificial cornea in 10 patients with severe vision loss from corneal damage.

Damaged tissue in one eye was removed, and the bio-artificial cornea implanted. Soon, cells that line a healthy cornea started growing in the collagen. Tear production normalized, and even corneal nerves regrew, which researchers could test by measuring sensitivity.

There was no rejection, and patients didn't need immune-suppressing medication. Two years later, six of the patients had significantly improved vision with glasses and two were no worse.

—Copyright 2010 Associated Press

If the above article doesn't give me hope to one day regain my visual acuity, then nothing will. At least, I'm able to remain pain-free and have some sense of normalcy back in my life because of the autologous serum eye drops.

I promised myself that I would never run out of them again like I did last time. It's taken me about two and a half weeks to get back to where I was before the drops lost their efficacy. Apparently, they last about 10 weeks instead of 13. Imagine my surprise when I figured that out. oh yeah.

All righty, it's time to skedaddle. see ya later, djb

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Here's the side view of Marcus's famous Mohawk on March 3, 2005, which I photographed when he came to pay his respects to Andrew & Jarrett.
Thursday, August 26, 2010 - Here's the other photo of Marcus sporting his Mohawk haircut. Whoever fashioned this do, did a really great job!!

Isn't it weird to find something that you thought was lost forever? I can't get over finding these pictures. There are also pictures of Karen and a little Bryar in the first part of the folder that contains this photo.

Now, I have to try and figure out how I can transfer them into one of my picture programs. I'm still bummed out that they stopped supporting Microsoft Digital Image Library. THAT was the best photo editor program ever!

Sure, the other ones can do editing but that program was like Photo Shop but way easier to manipulate. Way less annoying.

All righty. Gotta go. see ya later, djb

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Here's Rachel in our pool with Shamu. We had a pool party in July with Chad and Julie. Rachel came over that morning and declared, "It's going to be very hot today, so this is a good day for me to come swimming, right?" We had a blast!!!
Sunday, August 22, 2010 - Elburn Days!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I asked Rachel if she'd go on the parachute ride with me at Elburn Days -- although she wasn't sure if it would be that much fun. But I told her it was my favorite ride and she agreed to go with me.

Yesterday morning, she called to tell me that she'd be at the park between 6 and 9. That sounded a little bit too late for me and I hemmed and hawed but I said that I'd be in there on Sunday. Well, we kind of left it in limbo.

As luck would have it, Bob was selling tickets for the rides between 4 and 8 so if she was going to be in there with her mom and brothers, he might see them. Well, when I got there around 6, he hadn't seen her. Darn. But I bought enough tickets to ride the parachute ride just in case.

Then, I walked away and saw Nick's folks at the picnic table putting on the wristbands for the unlimited rides. So, I sat down and talked to Mary. After a bit, Kevin's stepmom, Terry, came by and we all chatted.

I mentioned going on the parachute ride with Rachel but I couldn't find her, and Mary said that she'd seen Steve (Rachel's grandpa - who is our neighbor) so I found him and he called Michelle. She said that they'd already been at the park in the afternoon and Rachel was across the street eating cake. ok

So, Terry graciously offered to have her nieces or her son, Zach, go with me on the parachute ride -- because there are NO single riders. haha She called and the kids showed up!!

We walked over to the ride and guess what? The motor stopped working and the ride was idle. WHAT???? The kids immediately went off on another ride. Terry and I stood there talking while we waited for it to be fixed in 15 minutes. duh! That turned into 25 minutes.

Then, Steve came over and said that he'd talked to Michelle and she hadn't realized that Rachel and I had made previous plans to go on the ride together, so she came over with Rachel since they only live a block from Lion's Park. oh boy!

So, I thanked Terry and the kids for offering to help me out. That was so sweet. After that, Rachel, Michelle and I made a beeline for the Scrambler. Wait. First, we got tickets (which Bob offered to pay for and we let him). That was very nice!

The Scrambler was so much fun. We screamed and the wind cooled us off. It was a fairly long ride, too. Such a hoot....

Then, we went over to the little Roller Coaster ride. That was hilarious. We screamed and went around and around and around. oh boy!! I kept thanking Michelle for coming over to the park. Thankfully, she and Rachel were having fun, too.

Finally, I knew my fun was almost over because the sun was setting and it was going to be touch and go driving home in my car because I forgot to bring my glass glasses....I had the sunglasses. oops!

Our last ride was going to be the Pirate Ride, but there were too many teenagers standing in line and we'd have to wait for it too long. So, I said, "what about this ride?" Oh, you mean the Magic Carpet Ride?? okay

THAT was awesome. I remember Zoe going on that. It seemed too scary to me back three years ago. But last night, it was perfect. We had so much fun. I thanked them profusely and hugged them. They were just so wonderful and exciting riding companions because you have to scream a lot so you know you're having fun. And we screamed our heads off!!!!

The drive home would've been a little better if I had my glasses with me but every once in a while, I'd put on the sunglasses and I could see okay. I took the back way home down Hughes Road so it wasn't quite as intense as driving down Hwy 47.

And since I am writing these words today, you know I made it home safely. haha Bob got home about 8:20 or so. He also had too much fun. It was the epitome of Americana Panorama. Truly it was. Everyone was having fun and we noticed a definite absence of the Goth teenager (not that I have anything against Gothic-ness). Apparently, that's not "in" any more. Or they don't come to Elburn Days. Whatever...

This morning, I got some great pictures from Diane, and coincidentally, she and Marc ALSO had an awesome evening last night at a private/exclusive party that Marc played for at the Sanford Airport. It was the perfect night for fun. And the moon smiled on all of us.

All righty then, I must be going now. see ya later, djb

Friday, August 20, 2010

Elburn Days Lion float from a few years ago. He was huge!
Friday, August 20, 2010 - This morning, I spent quite a bit of time updating my andrew-jarrett website. hmmm It kept acting weird. Then, I went into my webhosting files and lo and behold, Yahoo was having a problem. So, it wasn't me after all.

Happy on the one hand and annoyed on the other hand. But at least I know that it's on their end. Maybe when Nick and I downloaded the site, we caused it to explode on their end. ha!

It's another gorgeous summer day. Just perfect for Elburn Days. We're supposed to have thunderstorms later on but I heard on the weather report that it's probably going to happen after midnight. THAT would be perfect.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get my website up and running. I have some really awesome pictures on there from previous Elburn Days. We had fun.

see ya later, djb

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ben and Nick at their house in the driveway the other night. Ben's holding a Summer Shandy that I gave him (and also Nick).
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - It's one day AFTER the twins' 90th birthday. I wasn't able to put anything in here from my picture files because I don't have any pictures in there yet except for 8 pictures I took the other night of Ben and Nick and Nick's dog.

It sounds like Grandpa, along with Granny, Alan, Veralee and Zoe, had a great birthday by going over to the beach. Zoe actually got IN the water!!! This time of year, it's SO nice over there for anything related to the ocean....sand, sun, wind, fun....

Then last night, Diane came over to Berg's house and celebrated with the beach-goers by participating in the actual birth day party on the day Grandpa & Aunt Gladys were born many, many years ago!!!

Veralee made kumla - it's a Norwegian dish that has potatoes and ham in it. I've never made it but it's the perfect meal for old Norwegians. Maybe that's what's kept those twins going for almost a century! Norski comfort food.

Okay, that's it for now. Oh yeah, the Bergs are at their water aerobics class this morning -- and they're having ANOTHER birthday party for Grandpa. Wow! Those senior citizens love to party hearty.

bye for now, djb

Saturday, August 07, 2010

A view of the sky one day a few weeks ago. It was an awesome celestial experience.
Saturday, August 7, 2010 - I'm still having problems with my Current Journal, so I thought, I'd just copy and paste it on here.

Friday, August 6, 2010 - As I went through my previous years' early August journal pages a few minutes ago, I realized much to my horror and dismay that I forgot to remember Elliot's birthday yesterday. No big surprise since I'm basically running on empty (that would be an
empty head, thank you)
. It all goes back to the problems with my's way, way, way beyond annoying!!!!!!!!!

On Wednesday, I got my blood drawn by Dr. Lee for the new batch of serum eye drops, and of course, it wasn't nearly as smooth this time as last time. That dream experience three months ago consisted of: painless needle poke --- 90 seconds later, she had ten tubes of blood. This time:
NOT so good - painful, slow blood...

When I went in yesterday morning to pick up my syringes, Tom
(the Compounding Pharmacist) told me that they didn't get as much serum as last time. He asked me if I drank enough water. Yikes!!! I had 8 bottles of water in 3 hours. If I had any more water, I would've exploded.

The anomaly could possibly be explained by the current summery conditions as compared to the springy weather in May, i.e., more humidity, increased perspiration and exaggeration and frustration. Or it could be as simple as having a higher platelet count which could possibly displace the volume of the serum (which is the good stuff). Who knows?? I'm crazy so what do I know!

Plus, I'm still having major problems with the andrew-jarrett website publishing to the Yahoo Server, and I don't have the energy or the strength to deal with it by talking to someone at Yahoo for an hour trying to figure out what's wrong because I've been there. Done that.
(Sorry for the cliche, but it's apt)

Their suggestions work for a short time and then they don't!! I just want to cry. Especially when I think of Chuck and then I think of Howard and Irene and Chris and Patrick and Stephanie and everyone else who loved him. It's so sad.

I won't be able to attend his Memorial Mass on August 21st because I'm pretty much confined -- kind of like house arrest. Can't get too far from the frozen syringes. It's a freaking bizarro-world existence. Gee, what's new there?

Of course, I just started the NEW serum drops and it does take some time for them to work. I'm so desperate, I want an immediate cure. Now. Right now. Yesterday, please. Thank you.

Words of Wisdom: Be thankful for your children who are alive and well. And if your children aren't here on the planet, God bless their souls and heal your heart.

Be thankful for your eyesight because not everyone can see and even people with perfect vision don't always GET it.

And always wear clean underwear, just in case. gotta go, djb

Friday, August 06, 2010

Peace Rose in my front flower bed. It is such a beautiful flower to see in person.

Friday, August 6, 2010 -Most of the pages I published to the website this afternoon are accessible, however, today's Current Journal is NOT. I'm not sure if it's going to get there today or tomorrow but I'm very whiny.

For some reason, the pupil in my right eye was HUGE this afternoon. Kind of freaked me out. But then, I remembered last year, one of my doctor's put something in my eyeball and it was dilated for a week. That was weird. So, maybe the numbing drops cause some sort of extended dilation....who knows?

I'm not doing well at all. That could change in a heartbeat (and I hope it does!) but it's been another day in hell.

Hope you're doing better than I am. This could have something to do with solar flares, I'm pretty sure. Or it could just be the way it is..... later, djb