Friday, September 30, 2011

Johnny Says Hello and Thanks

Johnny asked me to do a special posting on his behalf.  He wants everyone to know how much he appreciates your prayers, love, wishes and concern.  The picture above shows Johnny two days after surgery.  He ended up have two herinated disks repaired.  Fortunately there were no complications and he is making wonderful progress. 

He will be using the back support for at least two weeks to help build up muscle mass in his hind legs.  He had become so weak from pain, and the muscles in those back legs started getting soft.  Yesterday he was able to "lift the leg" to pee, which he hadn't been able to do for several weeks.  Needless to say he was a happy boy.

I know those stitches may look rough, but the skin around them is now all white and the swelling has gone down.  The stitches will come out on the 3rd. 

Johnny came home with his own personal pharmacy.  I had to make up a chart to keep track of what when, and how long.  He has been an excellent patient and taking his meds as he needs to.  There is an antibiotic, muscle relaxant, anti-inflamatory, pain, nerve modulator, and steroid.  We are following directions to the T. 

He has his own personal studio apartment for at least two weeks.  Every few hours we put on the lead and walking support and we exercise and go potty.  We are happy to report that all functions are normal, which is a really big thing with neurosurgery. 

Johnny is happy to be home, and to be back with his buddies Edgar, Louie and Abby. 

Thank you all for caring so much for our little Johnny Cash.



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Operation Holiday Stockings Update

We continue to get more stockings for the troops for us to send this year, as well as postage money and stocking stuffing items.  The stockings above were made by my SIL Judi.  She pulled out her sewing machine and glue gun and got busy.  I love the little bears.

Linda in New Jersey sent in another batch of knit stockings.  I wish my pictures did a better job of showing off all of the stockings that come in. The colors in Linda's stockings are so pretty.

The Eastside Knitting Guild in Bellevue sent over this beautiful batch of stockings ...

...  and these.  They also sent over a dozen boxes of toothpaste samples for the stockings.  They were donated by a dentist in Bellevue, whose name is still unknown to me. 

OHS has been invited to submit a nomination to the Joining Forces Community Challenge created by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.  I've been busy working on it and will get it submitted today or tomorrow.  There aren't any monetary prizes, but it would be nice to receive acknowledgement for the work everyone has done during the seven years we have been sending stockings to the troops.  Everyone who has made the stockings and donated items for them, as well as money for postage, are the real volunteers in this endeavor.  The officers of OHS are the coordinators and couldn't do this without all of you participating and providing your support.  I'll keep you posted on how this goes. 



Monday, September 19, 2011

Johnny Is Asking for Your Prayers

Johnny hurts.   He needs your prayers.  Many of you know this little character, but for those of you who don't, here is a bit of history for you.

We first met Johnny on July 24, 2007.  We picked him up as a rescue for Small Paws Rescue because he was a very sick little 3 month old puppy.  You see he had a Grade 6 PDA heart murmur and was in really bad shape, except for his spirit and loving personality.  Small Paws flew Johnny down to Texas A&M for heart surgery.  We thought we had said our good byes to him, but the adoption that was arranged for him fell through.  We were contacted to see if we wanted Johnny "to come home" and we said yes.  Our life hasn't been the same since then.

He came back wearing a premie t-shirt and going full steam ahead.  In fact Johnny hasn't stopped until recently. Life is to be loved to the fullest according to him. 

Edgar is Johnny's hero.  He adores Edgar, and Edgar has been the best big brother to him.  In fact, with Edgar around, Johnny has been the easiest puppy we have ever had. 

He adores Louie as well, and visa versa.  They are soul mates.

This is after his first "official" grooming.  It took me four days to catch up with him when he was still enough to get this picture.

He had to put up Johnny fences around our raised beds because he saw them as playgrounds.

Toys were never picked up.  As soon as we would pick up his toys (in any one of his three toy boxes/toy beds) he'd start playing with them all over again.

But then he might just sleep in the toy box.

As you can see, even when his buddy was tired and just wanted a nap, Johnny was still up for a game.  Poor Edgar.  Poor patient Edgar.

One of Johnny's favorite things to do is steal my EXPENSIVE yarn and share it with Abby, the Alpha cat. 

As he has turned into a four year old, he has finally settled down a bit to take a nap in the sun with Louie.

Now it's September 2011 and Johnny hurts.  He has a growth between the 3rd and 4th cervical vertebrae and is going to see a neurosurgeon and have a MRI tomorrow.  We aren't sure when the surgery will be but we are hoping it will be soon.  The mornings are the worst for him.  He cries and staggers and shakes in pain.  The pain meds take about an hour before he is calm enough to sleep.  He is eating a bit and all functions are normal, which is a VERY GOOD THING. 

Johnny is asking for your prayers through this ordeal.  We all want Johnny running again.  Abby wants to chase Johnny again.  Louie wants to sunbathe with Johnny again.  Edgar wants Johnny crawling on him again.  We all want Johnny loving life to the fullest again. 

Thank you for your prayers, thoughts and hugs, and for caring about our little Johnny.  I'll keep you posted. 



Sunday, September 11, 2011


September 11, 2001.  A day we will never forget.
September 11, 2001.  The day we all stopped still in shock.

September 11, 2001.  The day we all must remember.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Saga of Tomatoes

This past weekend was a total tomato blitz.  We started out with 180 pounds of tomatoes, 20 pounds of peppers, 20 pounds of onions, 10 pounds of jalapeno peppers, and 6 garlic bunches on Friday, and at the end of the day of Sunday, we had processed them all.  The big draw?   SALSA.  It started out innocently enough when David and I we made salsa last year and comments were made as to how "tame" the salsa was.  My response was "next year you get to help."  By the end of the day on Friday we had nine people here at Edgar's Acres willing and ready for the tomato processing production. 

On Friday Jim, Susan and I canned tomatoes under my able supervision.  Saturday was set aside for the Salsa.  The weather was perfect.  Sunny and dry so we were able to clean and cut everything outside, leaving the kitchen available for the actual processing. 

Starting out at 8:00 a.m. sharp on Saturday Susan made sure everyone was wearing sunscreen.  We wanted red tomatoes, not red food processors.
See the pretty tomatoes on the counter?  We did 48 pints. 
Pat got all of the knives sharpened for the chopping. 
Frank and John were given the assignment of chopping the jalapenos, some with the seeds left in, and some without.  Of course they put on the gloves to keep from burning their hands. 
We had a table of workers chopping tomatoes (about 60 pounds of them), and a table for the lovely Ms. Pat chopping onions.  (I did do the garlic.)
In about 90 minutes everything had been chopped and I started putting together the vegetables for individual batches of Salsa.
This first batch is mild.  We made mild, medium, chipolte, hot and x-medium.
Judi was the official Salsa cooker before we put them in the jars for processing. 
John and Frank grilled a batch of jalapenos for the chipolte Salsa.  Steve is supervising.

The house smelled heavenly of Salsa.  We were done by 4:00 and geared up for David's Retirement BBQ, and what a feast it was.  David grilled his famous shrimp, Jim did baby back ribs, and we had Mom's potato salad, baked beans, garlic bread, berry pie and brownies.  We were hungry and ready to celebrate after a day of good hard work.

Sunday morning around 7:00 a.m. I came tripping out to the kitchen for a cup of coffee to be greeted by Jim and Steve looking to get started on tomato sauce.  The real draw was using the Squeezo.  To be honest they weren't making a lot of points with me, but they were so ready to get started, and started they did. 
I told them to clean and quarter the tomatoes thinking I would get to finish my cup of coffee.  By 7:30, they were done and ready to run the Squeezo.  Fortunately for them, I had finished my cup of coffee.
I got them set up with the Squeezo and went for a second cup of coffee.
Edgar was with me on this early morning production. 
After a wonderful breakfast prepared by Judi and Pat, Steve and Frank set to filling jars of sauce for processing. 
Louie spent the weekend sleeping. 

Special thanks go to Susan and Steve for washing and washing dishes.  David was able to give them a break once in a while as was Pat, but it was primarily those two who spent three days doing dishes.

In total we put up 144 pints of tomatoes, salsa and sauce in three days, and we were all friends and talking to each other when the job was done.  Suffice it to say we have now started another tradition. 

It was a wonderful weekend, and it would have been perfect if Rachel had been able to join us.  Rachel, plan on it for next year for Labor Day weekend. 

Good friends, good weather, good food and lots of tomatoes make for good times.