Sunday, September 30, 2007

Meniere's Syndrome

Anyone who reads my blog has had to listen to me complain and whine about my ears, and my allergies. I thought I would put this article I found on my blog. You can find this article on the web by just putting Meniere's Disease in a search engine and up it comes. This article will explain everything I am experiencing! I have this disease. The words in bold are things that relate to me the most, and my own words are bold and in italics.

It is named after the French physician Prosper Ménière, who first reported that vertigo was caused by inner ear disorders in an article published in 1861.


Meniere's disease is a vestibular disorder that produces a recurring set of symptoms as a result of abnormally large amounts of a fluid called endolymph collecting in the inner ear.

The prevalence of Meniere's disease is difficult to assess. One population study found that 15.3 per 100,000 individuals develop Meniere's disease annually. Of these, one-third eventually develop the disease in the second ear as well. (I have it in both ears).

The exact cause of Meniere's disease is not known. Theories include circulation problems, viral infection, allergies, an autoimmune reaction, ( This is me) migraine, and the possibility of a genetic connection. (My uncle had this disease for most of his life). Experts also aren't sure what generates the symptoms of an acute attack. Some people with Meniere's disease find that certain triggers can set off attacks, including stress, overwork, fatigue, emotional distress, additional illnesses, pressure changes, certain foods, and too much salt in the diet. (These things definitely affect me). I just returned from a 15 day trip through the midwest to the east coast where it is humid. And I experienced many pressure changes on the airplanes and driving through the different elevations of the country, and I ate at restaurants several times a day. And they over salt everything!

Attacks can last from 20 minutes to 24 hours. They can occur many times per week; or they can be separated by weeks, months, and even years. The unpredictable nature of this disease makes it difficult to tell how it will affect a person's future. Symptoms can disappear one day and never return, or they might become so severe that they are disabling. (Symptoms are with me most of the time, and it can be very disabling).

Symptoms: During an attack of early-stage Meniere's disease, the main symptoms are spontaneous, violent vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, ear fullness, and/or tinnitus. (Tinnitus is ringing of the ear. Mine is a roar)! Following the attack, a period of extreme fatigue or exhaustion often occurs, prompting the need for hours of sleep. The periods between attacks are symptom-free for some people and symptomatic for others. (I am symptomatic. And no ones tries harder not to be).

Late-stage Meniere's disease refers to a set of symptoms rather than a point in time. Hearing loss is more significant and is less likely to fluctuate. Tinnitus and/or aural fullness may be stronger and more constant. Attacks of vertigo may be replaced by more constant struggles with vision and balance, including difficulty walking in the dark and occasional sudden loss of balance. (I experienced terrible vertigo for years. It has mostly been replaced with these other problems, except I have had difficulty walking in the dark since I was very young). Sometimes, drop attacks of vestibular origin (Tumarkin's otolithic crisis) occur in this stage of Meniere's disease.

Treatment: In the United States, the most conservative long-term treatment for Meniere's disease (aimed at reducing the severity and number of attacks) involves adhering to a reduced-sodium diet and using diuretics, or "water pills." (I've had to be on water pills since I was in my early 20's). The goal of this treatment is to reduce inner ear fluid pressure. Some physicians, more commonly outside of the United States, also weigh the potential efficacy of using betahistine HCl (Serc) as a vestibular suppressant for Meniere's disease.

Medications that are used during an attack to reduce the vertigo, nausea, and vomiting include diazepam (Valium), promethazine (Phenergan), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine Original Formula), and meclizine hydrochloride (Antivert, or Dramamine Less Drowsy Formula). (None of the were of much help to me). Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is sometimes used to help with the imbalance that can plague people between attacks. Its goal is to help retrain the ability of the body and brain to process balance information. (This is what I was looking for. I got on the web today to see if there is anything new I haven't tried).

Another recently introduced, conservative treatment approach employs a device to deliver a series of low-pressure air pulses designed to displace inner ear fluids. The use of this device is approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is currently undergoing clinical trials in the United States. (I'm going to ask the doctor about this also).

For the 20-40% of people who do not respond to medication or diet, a physician may recommend a chemical labyrinthectomy, which destroys vestibular tissue with injections into the ear of an aminoglycoside antibiotic (gentamicin). Another less conservative treatment is surgery to relieve the pressure on the inner ear (although this is not as widely used now as it was in the past) or to destroy either the inner ear or the vestibular nerve, so that balance information is not transmitted to the brain. (My uncle Jimmy did one or more of these and didn't have any luck. Maybe things have improved).

From VEDA publication F-4, Meniere's Disease. VEDA also publishes the book Meniere's Disease—What You Need to Know (publication B-7).

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I just wrote a blog about how romantic Mike is. I want to add a few things about this wonderful man. He is the most caring, and loving husband any woman could ask for.

He is extremely thoughtful and is always watching out for me. He even cooks! Which is a real blessing to me to. I have pretty good health, except that I have terrible allergies. The allergies affect me the most by causing my ears to plug up and I go deaf, and sinus infection. I have had so many sinus infections that I have lost permanent hearing in both ears. And when I have sinus infection - I lost my strength. When I lose my strength I can't cook. Mike is wonderful! Never complains, and cooks dinner without even thinking about it.

I don't have to be sick for him to cook, vacuum, dust, wash clothes, or empty the dishwasher. If he sees a need. He does it! I will be emptying the dishwasher, and he will simple walk over and help. It's unnecessary. I can do it myself. It's just him. He likes to help.

He's wonderful. And I love him!

Palmyra New York

This was to be the end of our church history tour, but it didn't turn out to be that way. But you'll have to wait and see what the end really was.

We fell in love with Palmyra! It is the most beautiful little city in the world. We had lunch at a quaint little cafe right on the water. The food was perfect! I had a salad that was made with greens, a sliced fresh pear, pecans, and cranberries, topped with chicken salad. It really was delicious! It came with a very different bread. Which was the most heavenly bread I've ever eaten. I'm not supposed to eat wheat, but forget about it! I ate it! That bread was so good, you didn't even have to butter it. We ate our lunch out on the deck, in the sunshine, and watched a man out on the grass, among the trees, playing a harp.

The cafe is named Muddy Water Cafe. It is on the Erie Canal Marina. If you ever get to Palmyra make sure you check out this cafe. It's only a block west of main street.

We visited the LDS sites that we had gone there to see. We went to the Joseph Smith home We visited the center at Hill Cumorah. And went to the beautiful Palmyra temple, small but beautiful.

I have a lot to talk about, but I need to go rest. I have a sinus infection and it is getting me down.

Friday, September 28, 2007

More About My Allergies

I've mentioned in several blogs about my good friend Jeremy who works are Herbs For Health in Ogden, Utah. He helps me so much! He has the type of food supplements my body likes. They are herbs not synthetic!

He also has the expertise to muscle test me to see which products my body actually wants and needs.

A month or so ago I mentioned that I went to a doctor (not a medical doctor) we just call him doctor. I don't know what his qualifications are, but he takes one drop of your blood, puts it under a microscope and can tell what is going on with your body.

He put me on a different food enzyme. I am a carrier of cystic fibrosis. My children have it, which means my first husband and I are both carriers. Though I don't have CF, I am affected by it. I was already taking two other enzymes that my body likes.

He also sold me a new vitamin pill stating that the body cannot simulate synthetic vitamins.

Well, after being deaf for more than two weeks. I was so deaf before our trip when I took my daughters and niece to lunch that I couldn't hear a thing they said. I was also deaf the whole 15 days we were on our trip.

This morning I told Mike that I was going to Jeremy and have him test me to see if the deafness is being caused by any of the supplements that I'm taking. I had been avoiding everything that normally cause me problems. I thought the deafness on my trip had to do with the lush greenery of the midwest and east, that we're not used to.

It was a contributor, but since it has not cleared up since I got home, I wanted to know what else is the cause.

Jeremy tested me and I didn't need either of those two products. It was interesting because Mike had just suggested this morning before I left that he would like to cancel the subscription.

I mentioned to Jeremy that I would like to take a good vitamin and that I wanted it to be natural, not synthetic. He tried every vitamin in his store. Nothing! My body didn't want any of them. His are plant based to. And I am allergic to plants!

I am going to go to another health food store and try the ones that are - can't think of the word I want - but they are liquid, and are more easier assimilable.

Las Vegas

We will be going to Las Vegas in just three weeks on our way back to Phoenix. Mike wants to make arrangements to see one of the shows.

Usually, when I visit Las Vegas, we stay at my cousin Dee Anna's house. That's the biggest reason we go there is to see her and her family.

One trip however, my friend Carol and I stayed at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel. We was a lot of fun. We enjoyed lying around the pool the most. It was beautiful and relaxing! We had a good time visiting all the Hotels, and seeing the city.

If you're planning a trip there soon, it would be a good idea to go to their website. There are discounts available. Might as well get the most for your money.

Invited to Dinner

I just wrote a blog about needing to get something good in me to eat and within a few minutes Lisa called to say that the girls were going to her house, so we could get together and see everyone, and she also invited us to dinner. I handed the phone to Mike since I can't hear well, and it's uncomfortable to strain and try to carry on a conversation. I don't know what she's serving. Hope it's something I can eat. Well, I'd better go and get something whether it's there or here. I'm hungry!

I'm Still Deaf

I wish my ears would clear up. I have been deaf since I went to Missouri! I can hear better now, but I'm still working hard to hear people. I'm also very tired today. I think I just need to get something to eat. I have been going all day long, and need to listen to Kenny. He says to take 15 minutes between each project of the day, and it will give you more energy. I really need to do this. I never take time between projects. I just run to the next one.

Anti Mormon Comments

I knew when I started writing about the wonderful LDS Church History trip we've just returned from that my blog would be read by non-Mormons. I didn't expect to be attacked though!

I come from a family of mixed religions and have had the opportunity to grow-up with a love and tolerance for all people and for all religions. There are good people everywhere and I always love meeting new people no matter what religion they are affiliated with.

I have been receiving messages from a blogger who I guess wants to convert me to her way of thinking through using the tactics of contention and hatred. Sorry, that won't work!

I am a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. And I am very happy to say that our church teaches through love, and service! We don't sit in church and talk about the other churches. (I have been to many churches where the topic is to slam, smear, and talk bad about the Mormons.) We go to church to learn and teach the gospel and leave there committing ourselves to improving ourselves and doing good to all people.

The person who is leaving me comments seems to be a very unhappy person. She lives in the beautiful city of Nauvoo and instead of being positive and telling about the beautiful city she lives in - her two blogs are nothing but anti-Mormon literature! The blog is contentious and full of hatred! Quite frightening to be honest! I feel sorry for people like her. And they only strengthen my testimony! I belong to a church that fills my soul with happiness and love. The surroundings of my whole life is nothing but happiness. I think you could read everyone of my blogs and there are more than 600 of them, and you won't read one negative thing I've ever written. Nor have I ever made any negative comments on any one's blog. That is just not me.

In closing I would like to leave one last thought. Almost or maybe every war that has ever taken place in this world connects itself with religious differences. As is the war our country is fighting today.

Our loving God, must be very frustrated to see his children fight to the death (literally) over the church He established! Imagine the arrogance of his children who think they know it all, and have the right to shove their ideas on others! He said, "Love One Another" and that's all I'm trying to do. I have never pushed my church or my own agenda or my own ideas on any one, and I never will. Nor will I engage myself in battles of religion.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Getting In The Holiday Spirit

I was excited after writing my last blog and went into the website and checked out several stores, and found a number of things that could be added to my Christmas List. It was exciting shopping on-line. I can't buy the things yet. I have to wait until Black-Friday just like everyone else, but I will be more interested in what is advertised this year than I have been other years.

Holiday Shopping Promotion

Yep! It's that time of year again when we are busy thinking about holiday shopping. is an on-line business where you can click onto, and shop with coupons to any of your favorite stores.

You know what Black Friday is all about. That's the day after Thanksgiving when the world is turned upside down by either getting up at dawn or actually sleeping in the street to be first in line to take advantage of the sales that the major retailers around the country offer at discount prices to help kick-start the Christmas shopping season.

You don't know what will be on sale until you get your Thanksgiving Day newspaper and read all the ads in the many circulars that are enclosed in the paper. It's the largest paper of the year.

This website gives you the advantage of taking advantage of the sales early. You will see them before anyone else does and you won't have to stand in line or sleep in the streets, and you don't have to elbow your way through the stores trying to find the items you want.

I have 19 grandchildren and clicked the K.B. Toys Store and the first item is the 20 Q Electronic game for $5.99. I am not game literate so I put the words "20 Q Electronic Game" in quotations in a search engine, and guess what? It's advertised there for on sale for $19.95. Hey! I just got my own attention. Big Time!

Your on your own. I'm getting off this blog and buying some Christmas Gifts! Now!

Stairs - Stairs- Stairs

I live in a world without stairs and now everywhere we go there are more stairs. I mentioned how many places along the way that I have had to walk up stairs, and I am amazed that I am still going without pain in my legs, and weakness in my body.

I am being blessed! I hadn't realized this fact until I re-read some of my blogs and realized just how much effort I am putting forth and not having any negative things come of it.

So far I've had all the strength I need to do and see the things we've intended to do. I'm very grateful! It has been wonderful!

The Eastern States are Gorgeous

Kirtland was beautiful in every way possible! Starting with the gorgeous landscape to the beautiful homes. The homes are different than the ones in Utah and Arizona. All the homes here seem to be on an acre or more. Everyone has land around them.

The homes in Chicago are more similar to home, except the ones in the city. They resemble the homes in the New York City areas, (Archie Bunker) and San Fransisco (Full House). Got the Picture?

There is a spiritual feeling in Kirtland and the surrounding areas. We noticed how calm and peaceful is has been every since we arrived in Kansas City, Missouri. As we drove along the country roads we felt less stressed than we do at home. It seemed like people here don't rush around. They take things slower, and enjoy the little things that happen each day. They take time to smell the roses as the saying goes. It might not be so - since we didn't meet that many people on the way, but that's the feeling you get.


We are loving our trip, but have discovered something neither of us knew. Mike and I could never live in any of the areas we've visited. It is so lush and green here, absolutely beautiful! And we are both allergic. Mike coughs and spits, and I cough and my ears are plugged up. Several people along our travels have mentioned that the allergies are particularly bad for them right now as well.

I'm taking allergy pills and a decongestants several times a day, but it isn't helping very much. Occasionally, my ears clear in the car, but that doesn't happen very often.

Boyd and Judy

I mentioned in one of my first vacation blogs about meeting friends at Adam ondi-Ahman. This couple is Boyd and Judy. We hit it off right from the first and had a lot in common. We were the only ones there in that beautiful secluded, peaceful spot of the world, and struck up a friendship.

They had just come from the same sites we had seen. Independence, Liberty Jail, and Farr West. We're all on a church history tour, and we're both doing it on our own, and both us us are doing it backwards.

Judy started giving us their itinerary, and said they were going to Hannibal, Missouri next. We said, "We are too". We said that we had never been there and had been to Mark Twain's home in Connecticut and were excited to visit his boyhood home. She mentioned that they had been before but planned to stay two days this time so they could really see the town.

I was hoping to see them there but Mike told me that the town was larger than I think, and that we probably wouldn't see them. We didn't.

We left Hannibal and went to Nauvoo for three days. They had been to Nauvoo before and weren't going there this trip.

She continued giving her itinerary and said they were going to Chicago to stay with their son and family and tend the children so the parents could get away for a few days. Judy laughed when I told her that we were going to Chicago also. We spent less than 24 hours with Robyn and I knew there was no chance of seeing Boyd and Judy in Chicago.

She continued again by saying they were going on to Kirtland after Chicago. We all laughed when we said that we were going there too. She then said that they were going to Palmyra after that and again we said, we were too. We mentioned that we were going to stop at Niagara Falls before go to Palmyra.

She then said the most remarkable thing! She said after Palmyra that they were going to Connecticut to stay with their other son for a few days. I just threw my hands in the air and she said, "No Way"! Yep! I said, Connecticut to stay with a son for a few days. We really had a good laugh then. That was just unbelievable!

That will be the end of our trip, and she said hers also, except that we are flying home from Hartford and they are driving all the way back. We forget to ask where they are going on the trip home.

We wished each other well and hoped to see one another at either Kirtland or Palmyra. But because of the differences in the schedules we didn't expect to see each other again. But as good luck would have it. We did!

After visiting the visitor center in Kirtland, we started up the road to see the Newell K. Whitney home. The tour guide turned and looked down the road and we saw a couple coming toward us. Within minutes we all recognized each other, threw our hands in the air, and yelled, "our friends".

We spent the remainder of the private tour together, and after getting back to the visitor center asked someone to take our picture.

We hated to part and Judy and I talked about having lunch together since that was next on the agenda, but we didn't get it finalized. They were in a hurry to get on their way, and we wanted to stay in the visitor center and watch a movie.

We parted once again and wished we could be together in Palmyra but they were leaving there the day we would get there. We knew that was probably the last we would see of each other.
But I was wrong again! We watched our movie and headed for the Kirtland Temple, and low and behold, there they were. We sat by them in the visitor center. We stayed together through that tour, took pictures of the temple together, and then parted again.

We will be behind them for the rest of the trip so we don't expect to see them again. But something tells me that someday, someplace, we will see them again. We all felt there was some important connection, and that we hadn't realized the full meaning of it yet.

Their son lives in New Haven, which is close to the coast, about a half hour from Kenny's home, which is 5 minutes from Hartford.

Christmas Gift Ideas

Can you believe that I'm talking about Christmas gift ideas already? Well, the Holiday's are upon us. Halloween is right around the corner. Then soon after, is Thanksgiving and Christmas, which seems like one giant Holiday.

These gift ideas come to you in a way of gifts on canvas, where you can turn your sentimental photo into canvas art.

The website is loaded with ideas and what a beautiful gift it would be. I don't think there is anything as nice as pictures. What I worry about most if there was ever a fire in the house, is the pictures and albums. I have my photo negatives in a safe that my daughter Kim bought for us 16 years ago.

Ohio Sites!

We're off to Kirtland Ohio.

First place was to get our hotel room set up. Unfortunately, They hadn't gotten the idea that I require a main floor room. We drove up and down the street looking for other hotel rooms, and almost took one, but someone beat us there by five minutes. We had already booked the Motel 8 where we intended to stay, and the lady was willing to reserve the second one we looked at. There was a couple who was supposed to take it but their time limit had just about expired. We didn't dare book it until we cancelled the other one. We cancelled and went immediately to get the other one but missed it by 5 minutes. That is just as well, I felt bad about taking a room that someone was planning on getting, and it didn't look good to me at all, so I bit the bullet and climbed more stairs. I only get away with doing that for a short time before my legs give out and I can't even walk - let alone climb stairs. The reason for this is post polio. I had polio as a child and though I get around well, stairs are very difficult for me.

It took most of the day for us to get to Kirtland, and when we reached Cleveland which I was excited to see. (I love big cities.) I realized that Mike was skirting the city to avoid traffic. Good idea, except I wanted to see the city. The city is large enough that there is still a skyline even when you skirt it, so I saw a little of it. That wasn't enough and I was disappointed! I had driven 400 miles and saw nothing but trees!

We arrived in Kirtland quite late and after driving up and down the street a dozen times we finally got settled in our room and then headed for some dinner. We ate two dinners and two breakfasts at a nice restaurant called Bob Evans. The meals were good but I was still deaf!

We started our morning at the John Johnson Farm which is a ways out of town, and I had a hard time hearing what the tour guide was telling us. He took Mike up the stairs but I said, no way. I was willing to climb stairs to get to bed the night before, but I needed to start being selective.

We then went to the visitor center in Kirtland and luckily that tour guide, a sister missionary, talked loud enough that I caught most of what she said. We visited the Newel K. Whitney Store and went through the Kirtland Temple, which is owned by the Community Of Christ church. We spent time at their visitor center before going to the temple. We enjoyed the tour and I walked 66 stairs in the temple. Good thing I saved some strength! I was very blessed the whole two weeks to have enough strength to walk as many stairs as I did. I think the only time I choose not to climb the stairs during the whole trip was at the John Johnson home.

It wasn't necessary to climb the stairs at all in the Kirtland Temple, because the second floor (33 stairs) is the same as the bottom floor. Exactly the same! The very top floor, another 33 stairs is different though. That is the floor where they had the school of the prophets. I was glad I had climbed all 66 stairs. It was worth it! I didn't realize the floors were identical until she took us into the chapel at the main floor. I felt sorry for a few people who couldn't walk the stairs. She didn't explain to them that it looked the same, and I'm sure they felt bad about what they had missed. I wanted to tell the tour guide how much I enjoyed the tour and the way she presented it to us. She did a good job.

The Kirtland Temple isn't used the way the LDS temples are. When the Mormon's were driven out of Ohio, before the went to Nauvoo they had built this temple, but it wasn't used even then the way temples are used today. The reorganized church or now called Community Of Christ owns the temple today. It's still very interesting to visit it. The tour was very nice!

Chicago, Chicago

That happenin' town. Sure is a happenin' town alright!

We arrived Sunday afternoon, and drove immediately to Robyn's new home. All you bloggers know my niece Robyn. She's the bomb!

We enjoyed seeing her and the children, and looking though her new home. Blakey just couldn't wait to show me her bedroom, and if I'd known how cute it was - I would have gone straight up the stairs, but instead I told her that I couldn't walk up and down the stairs and how about if I waited until I was going to go to bed to see it. The little dear didn't even whine or show any disappointment.

Robyn put us all in her van and we headed for the big city, which is about 20 minutes from her home.

She dropped us off at the Sears Tower where we saw a show on the history and building of the tower, and then went to the top. What a view! On a clear day you can see four states. Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. It was dark by the time we got there because Robyn had literally showed us the city. The view from the tower was gorgeous at night!

We ate late at a restaurant that I can't remember the name of, and as soon as we entered the house Blakey asked again if I would come see her bedroom where Mike and I would be staying the night. She calls him Grandpa because that's what I refer to him as when I'm talking to the kids. Her room is adorable! Robyn has done a great job of decorating it, and they've only been there a few weeks. Everything was clean and put away, except for a few boxes that she needs help getting to the basement.

It was a short visit, after breakfast we left the next morning. But the trip was very memorable!

Thanks Robyn, for being such a wonderful hostess!

Portable Oxygen

Super Summer Savings for the best portable oxygen concentrator or nebulizer, or pulse oximeter you may be looking for.

These items are wonderful for people on the go! They are portable and go anywhere you go.

There is a little old lady in our church who carries her own portable oxygen concentrator with her. She tiny, but it's small and light weight, and she has no problem getting around with it. These wonderful items are life-savers. Literally!

If you have need for one, now's the time to buy, while they are on sale.

Nauvoo Temple

We were in the temple two of the three days. It was wonderful. Although, there were 12-17 stairs to climb just to get into the front door, and then Mike and I walked up the beautiful staircase to the second floor the first day. We knew there was an elevator, but we wanted to feel the full beauty of the temple and was more able to see it that way. After that we used the elevator.

The second day, Ray and Colleen took us on a private tour or the temple. What an experience that was! Up close and personal!

We went to Ray and Colleen's to have our breakfast and lunches everyday. They were at the temple, but offered us their home to rest and eat. It was very helpful. I carried a few of my special food items, like rice bread, rice cereal, and soups that are not full of salt and ingredients I have to avoid.

While we were there we visited the Visitor Center, took a wagon ride through the quaint little town, visited the Brigham Young Home, Heber C. Kimbal Home, Smith Family Cemetery, Saw the Trail Of Hope on Parley Street, where the saints walked leaving Nauvoo to cross the Mississippi river during the winter!

We also drove to see the Carthage jail, where Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered.

Nauvoo was a beautiful experience. I was there in 1972, but much has changed since then. This was Mike's first trip there, and we certainly enjoyed seeing it together.

The bad thing was that I was pretty deaf those three days and couldn't here what the tour guides were telling us. It was especially hard on the wagon ride. The sister missionary didn't talk very loud, and with the wind that was blowing (this was our only cold day out of the 15) and the clomp- clomp - clomp of the horses hoofs, I couldn't hear a thing she said.

Nauvoo Illinois

Our next three days were spent in Nauvoo, Illinois, where Mike's brother Ray and wife Colleen are serving a mission at the Nauvoo Temple. (I get to add this temple to my temple blog of how many temples we have been to.)

We arrived late that evening and Colleen had a wonderful meal ready for us. Which happened for the remainder of the days as well. She served tilapia a type of fish that I had eaten just the night before at Denny's. Believe me Denny's didn't compare with Colleen's! I wouldn't order Denny's again, but Colleen's was delicious.

Mike made arrangements for us to stay at the "White House", an old white two-story home that was converted into three apartments. We stayed on the main floor the first night, the top floor the second night, because the lower room was taken that night. (However, we don't think the people showed up.) We returned to the lower room the third night.

The difficult part of the trip was stairs! We walked stairs to see the homes in Hannibal. We walked lots of stairs at the Harry S. Truman Library. As an aside: I read many years ago that the S doesn't stand for anything. It's just there. Truman was the president from 1945 to 1953 when I was a child. FDR was president when I was born in 1940.

The White House is a quaint, unique building right in the middle of town, and only a few blocks from the temple. The temple is spectacular! It is pattered after the original temple that the saints built while Joseph Smith was alive. The temple today has elevators that weren't in existence at the time of the original temple. The original temple was burned to the ground after the prophet was murdered, and the saints were driven from Nauvoo. Nauvoo sits on the edge of the Mississippi river and was just a small farming community before the Mormon's arrived. They turned it into one of the largest and most prosperous cities in Illinois. Nauvoo means "Beautiful City".

By 1846, the community was the 10th largest in the United States. It flourished until the governor and people in neighboring towns turned against them. Soon after a drunken mob killed the religion's founder, Joseph Smith, 14,000 Mormons abandoned Nauvoo in "the largest forced migration in American history." They had previously been forced to leave New York, and had made a wonderful life in Illinois, until they were forced to leave again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hannibal Missouri

What a fun site this is! We went through Mark Twain's house and Becky Thatcher's house, which is right across the street.

Mark Twain's, Tom Sawyer was modeled after himself and several other childhood friends. Huckleberry Finn was modeled after one of his friends, who really was the poorest kid in town, and who's father really was the town drunk.

Becky Thatcher wasn't the girls real name who lived across the street. But she is the one he really did love. Becky's father wasn't the judge though. Samuel Clemens father was the really the judge.

The cave is real. The stories are real. The stories he wrote about really did happen, and there are so many things to see in Hannibal, that happened in the books we grew up with and loved.

I left the Mark Twain house and walked out onto the street, and low and behold there he was. Mark Twain himself! He was really cute too. He said, "I bet they told you I was dead." I told him they had, but I didn't believe them. He said that he had been a bad boy was sent down to that Hades place, and had to work his way up to St. Peter's gate. It took him a long time, but he did such a good job they told him he could come back for a visit.

We had a great visit, and had our picture taken together. I don't have the picture ready to put on here yet, but will get it on soon, so you can see for yourselves that I really did meet Mark Twain.

We ended our tour by walking through the sites, walking up and down the streets, and drove the two blocks which is all it took to get to the Mississippi river where Samuel Clemens spent his childhood among the riverboats. It was exciting and exhilarating to be there.

Making New Friends

After our visit to Farr West we took off to see Adam-ondi-Ahman. This is a very special church site and we enjoyed it very much. It is a very peaceful spot in Missouri. We felt like we were the only ones in the world.

As we got closer into the area we came across another couple there. We noticed that their license plate said Utah, and we struck up a conversation with them. They live in Salem, Utah, and had been to the exact sites we had seen so far.

They said they were headed for Hannibal to see the Mark Twain sites, and that they planned on staying there for a few days. We said we were headed there next also. I was hoping to see the there, but Hannibal is bigger than I had realized, and is a very busy little town. We didn't see them there.

We made instant friends with this couple who I will tell about more along our journey.

PMS Relief The Natural Way

Everything I put in my body is the natural way. I got so sick on my trip and I was trying to do everything right! But when you eat at restaurants it's hard to avoid foods when you have allergies like mine.

I didn't really get sick, but I sure went deaf! I spent the whole 15 days with my ears plugged and it took me the entire trip to figure out what was causing the problems. I avoided wheat, milk, corn, and sugars, which give me the most trouble. Salt is a problem too, and restaurants really salt their food.

First problem was eating breakfast at Ma and Pa Kettles. It wasn't there food that was the problem. I ordered an egg omelet and had them omit the cheese. I got into trouble by eating ketchup! As I said, it took the entire trip to figure this out. I ate ketchup almost every meal along the way.

By the time we got to Connecticut and I was eating another omelet at Kenny's house, I suspected ketchup might be the problem. This time I grabbed the ketchup bottle and read the ingredients. Corn syrup! High Fructose! Why does everyone put these two things in everything we eat? Did you know they even put it in McDonald's French fries? They do. And, I'll answer my own question. They all do this because it makes food sweeter and gets us addicted. I am allergic to corn! And when I'm allergic, my ears go deaf!

I have to be very careful about taking medications also. I am as fussy about taking natural medications as I am eating natural foods.

Here is a natural formula for PMS relief. Just go to the website by clicking on PMS relief and you will find a natural formula that is good for all kinds of pain relief. It also reduces inflammation. I read a book while I was in Arizona last winter that said inflammation is the root of all our health problems.

Independence Missouri

After a breakfast at Denny's, we headed for the Independence Missouri sites. We are actually going about this tour backwards, but there is a good reason for it. We want to end our trip in Connecticut where our son Kenny lives.

To do a trip in order would have been to start at Vermont where Joseph Smith was born and continue west from there. But as I said we did it backwards.

The first place we visited in Independence was the LDS visitor center, which was wonderful! We were interested in visiting the sites and other churches on the same block, and did so.

We visited the Church Of Christ. We had an interesting talk with the gentleman there. Mostly he talked, and mostly we just listened. We were interested in going through the Community Of Christ temple, but was too tired do so. We were headed to the Truman Library and needed to save some energy.

The Community Of Christ Church is the new name since last April of the Reorganized LDS Church. The temple was pretty and Mike's brother Ray told us tonight on the phone that it was worth seeing. Maybe another trip we'll get to do that.

Visiting the Truman Museum was a wonderful experience! We went to the Reagan Library about four years ago, and it was also very nice. These are the only two presidential libraries we've seen, but it's a start.

After that we went to the city of Liberty, to see the Liberty jail where Joseph Smith and five other men were held on false charges for four and a half months.

After that we went to the city Far West, where the early saints lived. There isn't a visitor center there, but the church has bought the land there where the cornerstone has been laid for a temple. There was a wonderful feeling and spirit there.

We met a couple there who were from Salt Lake City. They had driven from Salt Lake to Omaha Nebraska, and then came back to Nauvoo and the other sites we've done today. We will be going to Nauvoo tomorrow.

It was a wonderful day and a very spiritual day for us. We had dinner at Ma and Pa Kettles, went to Wal Mart, and returned tired but happy at our motel room to relax before we set off in the morning for several other sites.

Kansas City Missouri

Day one of our trip was on Tuesday September 11. We left our home in the airport shuttle at 8:00 AM. First thing out the door I had a nose-bleed. Bad timing for sure.

We spent most of the first day on planes. We left Salt Lake City and had a 3 hour layover at the Denver airport, before catching another plane to Kansas City, Missouri.

I enjoyed traveling with Bill O'Reily the entire way. Okay, I was not that lucky, but I read his book, "Culture Warrior" and enjoyed it immensely! We pulled into the the Kansas City airport just as I read the last word. I just might read it again before I get back home.

We arrived in Kansas City a little before 5.00, and the remainder of the day was spent getting a rental car, (I like to say hired a car, like the English do). We went to Denny's for dinner, and went back to our motel room for some relaxation.

This trip was an LDS Church History Tour, with lots of other history along the way. We didn't do an actual tour, but rather went on our own. That was the only way I could do it. I have to go on my own pace, which was busy enough. And I can't eat the foods that most people can, and have to be careful where I eat and what I eat. When you are on a regular tour, they have the restaurants already lined up and have the times you will eat lined up. That would not work for my situation.

I ended the night by watching the Bill O'Reilly's show, "The Factor". It ended at midnight, and I had put in a long enough day. Mike fell asleep while Greta was on.

On-Line Clothing Store

Most of us like to shop! Okay, if you're a woman you like to shop! I've seen a few men who like to shop but most prefer to do it the easy way. Well, here's a way to do your shopping the easy way whether you are a man or a woman. This is especially nice if you are someone who is shut-in, or has mobility problems.

Today, I'm one of those people. After a 15 day, long, exhausting trip, that we just returned home from, I think shopping at an online clothing store sounds great!

The website is well laid-out, and there are clothes for everyone. And the prices are unbelievable! Really! Check out this heavy weight Hanes tee shirt. It's $1.49!
There's shirts, caps, backpacks, a great jacket, that I'm interested in buying, and more more more!

Our Half Month Trip!

Mike and I returned last night from a trip of a lifetime. We had a wonderful time! And saw many wonderful places like Niagara Falls, both Mark Twain homes in Hannibal Missouri and Hartford

We visited the Truman Museum in Independence Missouri, Sears Tower in Chicago, and made it to three USA Capitals. Albany, New York, Hartford, Connecticut, and Montpelier, Vermont.

I love Capitals! I have been to every state in the USA except for about 12 and have seen many Capitols, but have never taken the time to really visit them or take pictures. We did that this time.

It will take me about a month to even begin to tell of our travels. More about those later.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Our Vacation

Our vacation went all to fast. Time flies! We had a wonderful time visiting all the church history sites, plus seeing history unfold in front of our eyes. You can't visit any state of the union without seeing and remembering special historical sites or stories connected with certain areas. I especially enjoyed the Truman Library, and all the Mark Twain places we saw. First, Hannibal, Missouri and then Hartford Connecticut.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New Babies

We haven't heard yet if there are any new grandbabies on the way, but there are rumblings. Amy has put off having another baby because she had a serious heart problem that has been taken care of. She had a hole in her heart, but the doctor put a stint in it and everything is fine now. She's still waiting to make sure she is completely healed. I think Sherri considers herself done, but could surprise us, and we know Chris and David want more children. Lydia will be a year next month, so they might not start this soon. We love all our children and it will be wonderful having more.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Our Two-Week Trip

This is our itinerary for the next two weeks while we take our big trip through the mid-west and to the east coast. We are excited, and have looked forward to this for many years, and especially the last year. Mike Retired a year ago this month, and we set aside the money to make sure we could take this trip.

Hi One and All:
We thought you might like a copy of the planned itinerary for our long-awaited trip to major church history sites. It may seem like a very ambitious schedule, but we have planned for several stops during our one-way drive from Independence MO to Hartford CT.
We would appreciate your prayers on our behalf as we will be driving approximately 2000 miles over a two-week period and over unknown territory the entire time. We have carefully planned every aspect of our trip (flights, accommodations, routes,etc), and feel quite comfortable with our plans.
We will be taking a good number of pictures with both our digital camera and camcorder, and look forward to sharing this special and most spiritual experience with you upon our
We will have a cell phone with us in case anyone needs to contact us. It is through Verizon wireless and should work well wherever we are.
Now to our planned schedule -
Tues, 11 Sep -
Fly to Kansas City MO via Southwest Airlines. Pick up our rental car at the airport. Stay at a motel in Independence MO (35 miles from the airport).
Wed, 12 Sep -
Visit the Independence LDS Visitor Center, Liberty Jail Historic Site, Far West Site, and other sites as time allows. We also plan to visit the Truman Presidential Library which is located in Independence. We'll stay that night at Cameron MO.
Thurs, 13 Sep -
Visit the Adam-ondi-Ahman site near Gallatin MO and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum at Hannibal MO on the way to Nauvoo. Arrive at Nauvoo late afternoon. Will stay at the White House Inn Guest House in Nauvoo for three nights. We will probably visit Elder and Sister Knowles (aka Ray and Colleen) the evening we arrive as well as other times during our stay in Nauvoo. As you probably know, Ray and Colleen are serving as missionaries at the Nauvoo Temple until the end of Oct.
Fri, 14 Sep -
Visit Nauvoo sites including the visitor center, historic homes, and the Carthage Jail site in the afternoon.
Sat, 15 Sep -
Attend an endowment session at the Nauvoo Temple. Ray and Colleen are scheduled to conduct that session and will then take us on a personal tour of the temple after the session. Visit other Nauvoo sites as time allows.
Sun, 16 Sep -
Drive to Chicago and visit/stay with Robyn Nykaza and her family one night. You're probably aware that Robyn is Peggy's niece (Dale and Sharon's daughter).
Mon, 17 Sep -
Drive to Kirtland OH. Kirtland is located a few miles east of Cleveland. Stay two nights at Mentor OH near Kirtland.
Tues, 18 Sep -
Visit Kirtland church history sites (Visitor Center, Newel K Whitney store and home, Kirtland Temple, and the John Johnson Farm at Hiram OH). Other sites if time allows.
Wed, 19 Sep -
Travel to Niagara Falls NY on the way to Palmyra. Visit Niagara Falls sites for 3-4 hours in the afternoon (Visitor Center, IMAX movie, "Maid of the Mist" boat tour to Horseshoe and American Falls). Drive to motel at Canandaigua NY (located 14 miles from Palmyra). Will stay there for three nights.
Thurs, 20 Sep -
Visit Palmyra church history sites (Visitor Center, Smith Family Farm, Sacred Grove, Hill Cumorah, and the Grandin Bldg - Book of Mormon Historic Publication site).
Fri, 21 Sep -
Visit the Peter Whitmer Farm where the organization of the Church took place. Attend an endowment session at the Palmyra Temple, visit other sites as time allows.
Sat, 22 Sep -
Drive to Rocky Hill CT (near Hartford) to visit Kenny for the weekend and to enjoy some rest and recuperation time.
Sun, 23 Sep and Mon, 24 Sep -
Visit Kenny and possibly visit sights in the Hartford area, fall foliage/colors, etc.
Tues, 25 Sep -
Turn in our rental car at the Hartford Airport and fly home via Southwest Airlines. Arrive Salt Lake City at 6:40 pm.
Whew - are you out of breath at all we have planned?!
With love to each of you (we feel so blessed to be part of such a wonderful family)!
Mom and Dad
Grandma and Grandpa
Peggy and Mike

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Girls Day Out

I am very blessed with lots of kids. I took nine of us to lunch this afternoon to celebrate every one's birthdays.

We went to "The Greenery" at Rainbow Garden's in Ogden, Utah.

When I was young, Rainbow Garden's was a swimming pool. Years later they turned the pool into a gift shop. The hole is still there, and they added stairs, creating a very interesting gift shop.

Years later they added a bowling alley, and years later again, they turned the bowling alley into a gift shop. They already had one besides the pool, and there are now three gift shops around the restaurant.

All included at the luncheon were Chris and her baby Lydia, Sherri, Amy, Lisa, Kim, Kelsie, Cari, who's birthday is tomorrow, my niece Heather, and myself.

It was an enjoyable afternoon, and it was fun having everyone together.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Getting Ready For Our Next Trip

It is so fun to be retired and take trips. I had no idea that after Mike retired we would do this much traveling! We're really looking forward to this next trip, which is coming on Tuesday, to fly to Kansas, rent a car and travel from Kansas City to New York, and see many sites in between. We will be on the road two full weeks.

One nice stop will be in Chicago to see Robyn and her family. I can't wait to see them, and see their new home.

I have done a little shopping to make sure I have all the clothes and items I'll need. It's always nice to know that there is a Wal-Mart, and Walgreens, and every other store in all the places we'll be. If we forget something, we can always get it along the way.

Robyn - Where Are You???

I miss you! Come back to me!

I hope you are getting moved into your new home with the least amount of stress possible. And hope you are having fun doing it.

I'll be glad when you get settled enough to get back to blogging. I need help with an op right now, but will have to wait until we can talk to do it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Always Working On Genealogy

I've really stepped up my work on genealogy this week! It's so addicting!

I have been working on Mike's family. He has an 8" high pile of papers that I've spent many years getting onto the computer. I just turned the papers over to his daughters, and will give them a disc as soon as I've completed most of it. I'll never be done of course!

It was a lot of fun last night. I had added the Kings and Queens to the disc and then got on Family Search to add more. Mike came in and was standing behind me and I told him to notice the date. It was about the year 800. By the time I finished last night I had the family line back to 312 BC!

Mike came back in and asked him how far back he thought I was now, and he started guessing, but was very shocked when I gave him the number. It's all very fun and interesting.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Expecting A New Baby

While we were at Amy's house Friday afternoon, celebrating Emily's birthday party, Lisa pulled out of a diaper bag, an ultrasound of a baby.

She gave us a bad time for a while that it was hers, but nobody bought it.

We're kind of dense, but finally got it that it belonged to Sherri. She and Steve have a son and three daughters, and want to see if they can give Quincy and brother.

Congratulations are in order to Sherri and Steve, and us as grandparents. We love our grandkids!

Mike reminded her that they had to have six children to get that second son. She says this is the caboose, and they are really hoping for a boy! So am I. We need boys in this family. We get together and the room is full of estrogen!

The four girls have 8 little girls between them and only two boys! This is counting Mike's four girls. Mike and Susan have three boys to one girl, but they live in Rexburg Idaho, and the grandchildren don't get together very often.

The Timbermine

Since I was telling you about the Prairie Schooner in the previous post, and mentioned the Timbermine, I thought I'd show you what the Timbermine looks like.

The T doesn't show in the picture because if you go to the website the little miner is cutting away at the word, or timber, and the T is in wood chips. He just keeps chopping away at it!

This isn't a paid post. Just happen to love this restaurant.

This is a picture of the Timbermine that Mike and I took while walking on the river walk. You can see the beautiful Ogden mountains in the backgrround.

Prairie Schooner

There is a great place to eat in Ogden Utah, called the Prairie Schooner. It's been around for 30 years, and is famous for their steaks.

This is not a paid post, just want to tell you about one of our favorite places to eat. We haven't been there for five years, and finally went last Saturday night.

It's a little pricey, so we can't go as often as we'd like.

It's only a mile west of us and while Mike and I take our walks on the river walk, we pass the Prairie Schooner if we're walking west on the trail, and we pass the Timbermine, another great steakhouse if we walk east.

They are similar in the respect that they are both famous for their steaks, and both offer a unique atmosphere. The Prairie Schooner is full of prairie schooner's. That's what the booths are. The Timbermine is supposed to represent a mine, but it's not cold and dark, and the atmosphere is inviting.