Friday, December 28, 2007

Counting our blessings

Christmas 2007 is over and it was an unforgettable holiday, unfortunately not for the right reasons. It all started on Christmas Eve when we were preparing to settle in for a peaceful night at home.

Theresa and Dustin had just gotten home from shopping around dusk and the ham was put in the oven for dinner. Theresa noticed a smoky smell but she just assumed someone had their fireplace going. Soon after that our neighbor came and knocked on the door. He thought the trailer next door was on fire and when Theresa looked out there was black smoke pouring out of it. While she called 911, the neighbor went over and brought the dogs into our yard and made sure nobody was inside.

The neighborhood fire department roared onto the scene and began fighting the fire. We were told to evacuate immediately so we rounded up the Pugs and hurried out into the smoky air. Our neighbors were fantastic as they volunteered to help us into the van and made sure the dogs were safe. A person sure feels helpless as you drive away not knowing if you'll have a home to return to.

We drove around the block and found a place to park and wait things out. After being there a little while, the fire chief said it was safe to return home. Sadly our neighbor Sharon's trailer was a total loss but thankfully nobody was injured in the fire. She's trying to get back on her feet and the Red Cross has setup a fund for her. It's a harsh reminder how life can quickly change and we're thankful we still have a roof over our heads.

On Christmas day we traveled to spend the day with Dustin's family. We had a great time and it was fun to see Dustin's little cousin celebrate his 1st Christmas. He got a little yellow push vacuum that he couldn't stop playing with. It was an enjoyable way to end the holiday.

Grades were released yesterday and I made the Dean's list with a 3.91. I'm really happy with the semester but it's time to forget about that and focus on the semester in front of me. Break has been great and I'll definetely be ready to hit the ground running on January 22nd.

That's it for now but you may notice the addition of music on my blog. Each week I'll add a song that I've been listening to recently and you never know what may end up here. Hope you enjoy!



To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone. ~ Reba McEntire

Friday, December 21, 2007

Guest Column

Yesterday I had the guest column in the Missoulian (Missoula's newspaper). If interested, you can find it at:

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

The tree is up, packages & cards have been mailed and my door is covered with the cards I've received from friends & family. Christmas is almost here again and it's the 2nd one since my release from the nursing home. It still feels a little strange to be away from my family during the holiday season. I guess that's the price paid for the great things that have happened to me during the last 15 months. We are planning to spend Christmas Eve here in East Missoula and I think were traveling out to Superior for Christmas Day. By the sound of the weekend forecast, we stand a great chance of a white Christmas. That would sure be nice.

Being on break from school has been great and it's been nice to recharge the batteries. I've been renting movies, reading books, catching up on email and enjoying afternoon naps with the Pugs. Not a bad way to spend time I must say. My semester grades have been emailed to me and I was fortunate to pull A's in all my classes. School has definitely been a good fit for me and even though things will become gradually harder, it's nice to get off to a positive start.

My trach situation has improved and hopefully we've resolved this matter. My ENT thought my bleeding and discomfort was possibly from lack of sufficient humidity during this extremely dry time of year. We've added in a few more breathing treatments and they seem to have done the trick. I’m hoping this marks the end of my trach troubles.

Before I end this week’s entry, I'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Have a safe and enjoyable time next week. I’ll return soon with my 2007 wrap up.



"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done." -- Vince Lombardi

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I made it!

Yesterday marked the end of fall semester for me and I feel great. Finals went fantastic and I should be in pretty good shape with my grades. Now it's time to relax and enjoy the holiday season.

I couldn't have survived this semester without the help of two very special ladies. My nurse Kimbra and Theresa have been extraordinary. They've put in long hours and helped me in so many ways. Everyday of this semester has been memorable and thankfully there weren't too bumps along the way. You guys are the greatest and without you none of this would have been possible! There's one thing about the upcoming spring semester that I'll love. No morning classes :-)

I spent Tuesday afternoon running around Missoula finishing up my Christmas shopping. The stores weren't very busy and it was nice not having to fight the crowds. Today (Thurs) I'll have to run to the post office and then to campus to wrap up a few details.

There's not much else going on except catching up on some movies and audio books. It's so nice to give my brain a little time off. Take care and enjoy the pics. The second picture this week was snapped after I fell asleep one night after a long study session. My study buddies have to be as close as possible at all times!



“The road to success is always under construction” -- Lily Tomlin