Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another Upcoming Surgery Report

by Dianne

Just want to let everyone know what's happening in our neck of the woods...

A little background: A few years ago I went to the ER (two different times) with severe abdominal pain for which a cause could not be established. I had similar pains in Texas this past winter but not severe enough to warrant a trip to ER. However, two weeks after returning home, another painful episode did send us to ER. This time the doctors decided to do some thorough investigating which included an EDG (upper scope), a colonoscopy, and swallowing a camera to check out the small intestines. My doctor called it "the million dollar workup."

Test results: It appears that I have a bad or diseased section of my large colon that needs to be removed. So, I am scheduled for surgery on July 1st for a Laparoscopic Sigmoid Colectomy. This will require a 3-4 day stay in the hospital to make sure the reconnected ends of the colon do not leak, that everything works like it should, and that there is no infection.

I'll be missing Bay City's great fireworks display for the weekend, but I'm willing to give it up to ensure that particular pain never returns. That's my story for now....

Wishing you all a safe and happy 4th of July weekend. Take care ~ Dianne

Update, as of late Friday:

Wanted to let you know that Dianne's surgery went great.  They removed the Sigmoid part of her colon and re-connected the good part.  The doctor said all went GREAT.  She'll be in the hospital until Monday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Choyce Capehart: R.I.P.

by Keith (Revised June 29 to correct serious errors. Sorry, Jim. Link to obituary added.)

Choyce Capehart passed away June 20, I learned from Joanne's Facebook posts.

Jim & Choyce Capehart

Choyce was married to Jim, brother of Joanne Hickman. Jim and Choyce spent two winters at Rockport 35 RV Park a few years ago. This picture was taken at our 2007 St. Pat's Day Party.

Here's a link to her obituary:


One-week Update

by Keith

A week ago almost right now, they wheeled me into my room. From then, things have been going pretty good.

I came home Friday, three days after surgery. Can't complain about that. As you can see below, I was glad to get here!

Days go very well, but getting a good night's sleep is still a challenge. The parts they worked on (stomach, esophagus, and surrounding areas) are still swollen and will be for some time ---weeks, possibly. These areas are still a bit tender, which makes rolling over painful at times. And there's nothing else going on at night, so every little pain is "a big deal." Even with a high-powered pain pill.

Maybe tonight!

Tomorrow I can upgrade to "soft diet." That adds a soft-boiled egg, cottage cheese, and lots of other goodies. I'll "enjoy" that diet for three weeks.

What do I miss? Sandwiches!! What's the most difficult thing to eat following this surgery? White bread. (Can't have it on this diet.)

Yesterday I went errand-running with Pat; today she took me to the barbershop. It's not as if I'm just laying in bed waiting to heal up. I expect to be driving a bit by the end of the week.

Considering what they did, I think I'm doing pretty well. I'd like it to be faster, of course, but really no complaints. I'm very thankful that things are as they are and that there even exists a fix for large hiatal hernias.

July 9 Comment:

Glad to hear you have your problem taken care of. Hope the healing goes fast.
Staying busy golfing, fishing, camping and watching the weather.   
Next event is a week at the lake with our family including my brother & his wife from Texas. Should be nearly 30 of us.
Hope we can make it back to Rockport 35 this winter
Dale & Rosalee (Tootie)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's Over With ---Mostly

by Keith, from St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester, MN

Nearly 48 hours ago, the surgeons were nearly finished repairing my large hiatal hernia. At lest 1/3 of my stomach was up in my chest. Some of you are well aware that in January, I made two trips to the ER because the stomach "got twisted" and refused to empty.

The procedure included pulling the stomach back down into the abdomen, closing the hernia (enlarged hole in the diaphragm), and wrapping the top part of the stomach around the lower end of the esophagus to prevent recurrence minimize heart burn.

According to my surgeon, there were no surprises and everything went fine.

There is a good possibility that I will go home tomorrow.

Had representative Weiner not tainted the market for pictures of bare chests, I'd be tempted to send a photo of my eight-inch scar.

Here's one I just received:

"So happy to hear that your surgery was successful and that you are on the road to recovery.  We can share all our "war stories" later this year when we get back to Rockport.  Many of us have seen Marv's shingled backside so I guess we can deal with your "8 inch bare chest" scar without a problem. Get well - follow doctor's orders and once you are fully recovered, have a wonder remainder of summer -- maybe even get in some flying.  Take care blog buddy ~ Dianne and Rick"

And here's an update:

Pat chauffeured me safely home today; got here about 2:30 ---a mere three days after they sewed me up.

First order of business: kiss my bed.

Second order of business: use it!

I don't hurt except when I try to do something, like roll over or cough. I don't feel like doing anything, either. Guess I'll just take it easy.


Sunday, June 19, 2011


by Keith (and Dianne)

Keith, in keeping with today's political headlines, thought the following quote might be appropriate.

“There is no distinctly native American criminal class, except Congress.”  Mark Twain

Keep smiling ~ Dianne


Friday, June 17, 2011

Great Health News for Al Steffans

This very welcome news just arrived from Allison:

"We are so pleased to report that Al's test results are back and they are GOOD!
Benign nodules on the Thyroid, can be taken care of with low dose Thyroid supplement.
God never said the journey would be easy;
but that the arrival will be worthwhile!"

That is indeed good news! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Al worked hard to make this news possible. Good job, Al!!!!


From friends:

Great news, Al.  We are happy for you and Audrey.  Hope you're trip to Michigan was enjoyable in spite of the rainy weather.  Have a great summer.  
Dianne and Rick


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fishing Friends in Texas and Minnesota

Here's a little note from Julee a few days ago:

"Fishing was pretty bad this spring, I guess it is picking up now. Bob Foslien joined Tom at our resort last Sunday and the 2 guys hung out together until Thursday then Bob left for Larry and Shari's place. He has the Cardinal."

As for Julee, she's keeping busy playing bridge and planning parties.

Some things never change!


Helen's Back In Iowa

This note from Helen Fahlsing came yesterday:

"Arrived at Marshalltown IA June 8 with my new little trailer -- tows like a dream; 16.25 mpg!  Glad I left that 5th wheel in Rockport!  Ron and Connie Perkins pulled into the park here this week - nice to see familiar faces!  I should be back in Rockport mid-September.  Happy and Safe Summer to all!

Summer at Shady Oaks, Marshalltown IA

Ramblings: "

Thanks for the update, Helen! We're always interested in knowing what our Texas friends are up to! And 16mpg! Congratulations!!

While I hope you'll keep reading this blog, if you want to find out what's really happening wherever Helen is, which is mostly at Rockport 35 RV Park, read her blog! Just click on the link above. It's so interesting that I've added it to the "Links" section in the right column. Just click on "The Adventures of BillyMax."

It is well written, has lots of pictures, and tons of news regarding Park activities.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Visit to Calhoun's Garden of the North

Saturday, Pat and I attended a wedding in Bettendorf, Iowa, 90 miles from home.

Bettendorf??? That's where Terry and Linda live! Let's have lunch together! And so it came to pass.

We visited a bit, then went to lunch—but first a tour of the small, weedless, garden behind their house. "Calhoun's Garden of the North," I'd call it.

It's very lush and green, as lack of rain has not been a problem in Eastern Iowa this year.

 After lunch, we visited two county parks with camping, as Linda knew I was interested in county parks which offer camping for RVs. (Because of previous help from her, these two were already entered on

Terry, as expected, is keeping busy keeping the yard and garden neat and painting houses. Linda is continuing efforts to relieve the pain in her foot, with some intermittent success.

Here are the four of us at their home. They added the entry way columns and roof a few years ago. It makes an attractive addition.

And would you believe I caught Terry sitting and relaxing! That's TWO times this year!!

We were very favorably impressed with both Bettendorf and Davenport. There were trees everywhere! And lots of attractions to visit. We vowed that we should indeed return and take in some of these interesting places.

The best part was spending some time with friends from Rockport 35 RV Park! We surely get to make lots of wonderful friends there, don't we!

PS: We did go to the wedding and it was very, very, nice. And it was only eight blocks from Terry and Linda's home!

First Comment:
Good to see and hear that Linda and Terry are doing great.  Hi Linda and Terry. Your backyard flower garden is lovely and looks like the perfect spot to enjoy a few quiet minutes at the end of the day to contemplate all the wonders of God. Missing you and all our Rockport friends, but not wishing away time, will see you both later this year. 
Take care ~ Dianne and Rick


Monday, June 6, 2011

Rockport 35 RV Park Newsletter #1: June, 2011

by Allison and Keith, or vice-versa

A few days ago, I received several news bits from Allison. I'm sure you'll find them interesting.

We spend about 1/4 of each year at Rockport 35 RV Park. But we think of the Park and the great people there 4/4 of each year. Therefore, this and other news of happenings there are of far more than passing interest to Pat and me.

Al & Audrey Steffans
Al & Audrey Steffans
  • Audrey has retired from office work and Rockport 35 will certainly miss her cheery face and pleasant demeanor. Allison, especially is missing her.  They have worked together since the beginning—a friendship as well as a work relationship. She will be sincerely missed!—but thankfully, we plan to see her from time-to-time.
  • Al Steffens is having some tests done on his thyroid—to be completed 6/16.  They are to leave on Michigan vacation 6/20. Please pray all goes well. 
Betty Wiese 
  • Betty has, of necessity, moved to Grandbury, TX, to be near Willie.
  • She does want to sell her park model.  She is asking: $15,000. You can call the park office for details or to view it. With or without furnishings.
Connie & Ron Perkins
  • are on an extended vacation--perhaps you've heard from them.  They enjoy their travels!
Ron & Carole Hanson 
  • are trying to adjust to warmer weather--seems all they have are dark-colored clothes--perhaps a trip to Family Thrift in Corpus is in order!  Too hot and attracts bugs.--thankfully, we haven't had mosquitoes. The first year we arrived I wore nothing but white! 
Bob and Kathy Swanson
  • are doing well.  Staying busy with Bob creating intricate patterns for beadwork and Kathy crafting them.  They keep everyone happy and involved with events.
Helen Fahlsing is off to see her sister for a little while.

Jim, Charlotte and Jeannie Patterson are off on a mini-vacation.

Mackie is running around seeing all of his family and friends and just generally having a good time.

Carol Dietrich is keeping the bathrooms, showers, laundry and clubhouse looking great.

Ryan, Tony's summer help, is a real help and he, Marcel, Al, Chet and Tony are keeping the park beautiful--as usual!

Allison Polsinelli is happy to be in the office a bit more AND out on the grounds--taking care of the pool.  That suits her fine, since she's in it about 7 every morning.

Summer Schedule at the Park
  • We're on a summer schedule here but by popular demand have breakfast the 3rd Saturday: 8-9:30 a.m.
  • Ice Cream the 3rd Sunday at 6 p.m.
  • Friendship Supper the 4th Thursday--15 attended this past supper
  • The 2nd Tuesday we go to supper at a restaurant we all choose
Those who've not lived here through the summer are anxious to see what hurricane territory is like--especially as they watch the mayhem and destruction across the country.  We continue to trust God with us all.  As we can see, it really doesn't matter where one lives--we all have our challenges.

Dianne commented as follows:
How nice. Love the newsletter. It's great to hear how everyone is doing during the summer months while the rest of us winter Texans are away. This could be a monthly event, maybe?

June Surgery No. 2

by Dianne

As Keith said in his last post, June is the month of surgeries. Got the following from Sandy Snyder, who also had surgery on June 1st --

"As luck would have it I had double Inguinal hernia operation yesterday. In at 6 a.m. and home by 3. Now just little walks....feeling better today......must admit the pain pills are close by. Not going to skip any for a few days. Jello, broth and pudding diet. Yum! Just being lazy. Silly Sandy"

We're happy to hear all went well for you, Sandy. Sounds like you will be up and about in short time enjoying your garden and other fun summer activities.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June: The Month of Surgeries

by Keith

And the month got off to a great start! In fact, it was also an early start: 5AM!!! (We're not used to that.)

Here's the short version: up at 5, to Surgery Center by 6, cataract removed from Pat's left eye, stopped for our traditional post-surgery egg McMuffin, stopped at ACE hardware, stopped at the 'cycle shop and ordered a part—and home by 9:45!

Isn't it wonderful how medicine has advanced in the last 60 years! My grandmother layed flat on her back for a week after her cataract surgery. Sure glad those days are past!

Pat is getting along fine. She feels fine and no pain. Tomorrow morning, she'll go back to the doctor, he'll look at it and pronounce it "very successful" and we'll be back to normal. Except for her eyedrops for the next three weeks or so.