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Shameless Plug

As some of you know I have been chosen as a Top 10 finalist in the Rotel Across America recipe contest. Thousands of recipes were entered and I was one of the lucky ones selected! I need votes in order to win the prize of $2000, all you have to do is be a member of Facebook and Vote Here! I would love your support- you can vote once a day through June 30th.   I don't post often anymore, (mostly lurk these days) but I am longtime member and the caregiver to my husband, Patrick, who had a massiv

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4 Year Anniversary Today

February 16th is the anniversary date of Patrick's stroke. I have never really known how to properly acknowledge this date. On the one hand I feel like it deserves to be recognized. On the other, it's not really something I want to "celebrate".   I know some of you celebrate the anniversary, Jean with her "I survived" parties for Don, and Asha combining it with her Valentines day celebration to name a few. I respect that their stroke anniversaries are remembered in a way that is right for the

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Bah Hum Bug

Patrick is ready to put up the Christmas tree as I write. I am wishing that we wouldn't have to drag any of that sh*t out this year. It's not that I WANT to be a Scrooge, it's just coming at a bad time of year this year. Its not like I am surprised, "Whoops, how did Christmas end up in December?" but just this once, couldn't it come in April?   So I am trying to create the spirit since I am not finding it naturally in myself. In the past, feelings of Christmas would probably would have been

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Last Chance for Veiwing the Aspens

On Thursday, Patrick and I decided it was now or never to take a drive into the mountains and get some pictures of the Aspen trees in all their fall glory. I am so glad we did! The day was sunny and gorgeous and we were able to get some great pics.   We started up the mountain around 11am with our delicious lattes (sugar free, skinny vanilla, 1/2 the syrup...I am SO that person) and Peter Gabriel playing on the CD player. We drove the same basic route that we took last year. It starts in a qu

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Patrick got his driver's liscence today!!!

After jumping through many hoops, dropping off forms, having evaluations, paying over $1000 out of pocket for driving instruction, modifying our vehicle,   PATRICK TOOK THE WRITTEN AND DRIVING TEST TODAY AND PASSED!   We have been working towards this goal since the first of the year. He passed both on his first try! It is such a relief to have this off our to-do list!   He is now liscenced in THE STATE OF COLORADO! WAY TO GO, SWEETIE!   Should continue to be a good day, we see Les M

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The Art of Racing in the Rain

Ever wondered what life is like through a dog's perspective? I just read the book, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and this book was written through the eyes of a dog. I bought it yesterday and finished it this morning- it was so enganging! (I won't spoil the story, the plot I will tell you about can be found on the book jacket- I hate when people tell you too much-lol)   The book begins with the end of the dog's life. On the eve of his death the story unfolds as Enzo (the dog) tells of his

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Les Miserables

I am SO EXCITED! Patrick and I are going to go see Les Miserables next Thursday, (Sept 18th) for my birthday! Patrick had told me a few days ago that the show was in Denver so I decided that seeing it again would make the perfect birthday gift. I went to the website and tried to purchase the tickets online but was unable to get any seats except in the "value" section. I called the box office to see if they had any better tickets and it just so happened that they has just had four tickets returne

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My Husband made me do it

It just goes to show life aint over after a stroke. Even though for a moment I thought it might be. Please check out this video of me, Patrick, and Brandon. Things we do for love, huh? Please be patient, it seems to take a moment to load!   Kristen

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TIME OFF

It has been a long time since I have had any time off from work- especially considering I get 5 weeks per year- and I finally get to start a vacation at the end of this week. I have been trying to decide what is the best thing to do with this time off, and I am having a hard time working out.   We had been thinking about taking 2 days and going to Colorado Springs and doing the tourist things there. It will still be pretty expensive though, and part of me says I should just stay home and sav

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On the Move

I have been meaning to blog forever, just seems I haven't have the motivation and time at the SAME time-lol. So here goes...   APRIL- "Tax day" was actually spent doing something fun. My mom and I were in Dallas so she could participate in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. I flew out of Denver and she out of Moline, Illinois and we met up in the Dallas airport for our 2 1/2 day trip. The bake-off paid for her trip but we had to pay for mine, so this was awesome that she chose to take me with her instea

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A special day

Patrick and I don't have much time (or money) to just DO something together. It seems like it is so hard when you are extremely limited financially and then compounded by limited mobility to find fun ways to spend time together. Even just a drive somewhere costs a fortune in gas. When the opportunity arose earlier this month to just get away for the afternoon, we took it!   We started off the morning with our usual stop for coffee and hit the road towards Morrison, Colorado. One of the things

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The update

I wanted to give an update on whats been going on around with the three of us for the last few months.   ME: I have been to the doctor to find out if there was something wrong with my heart. After several tests they could not find anything wrong which of course is good. I am trying to have faith that they are right but still have been nervous about exercising again. What started the concern specifically was an episode I had with a "funny feeling" and a (unsubstantiated) drastic drop in heart

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Bravo Patrick!

Patrick has been a busy bee these days! On Monday he had his first day as a volunteer at the adult day care center. This day care program is for those with Alzheimer's or dementia and is located in a neighborhood church. He is volunteering through the local hospital and there were a few hoops to jump through to get started, but Patrick did it with flying colors. His therapists personally recommended Patrick to the volunteer coodinator which was really great of them.   Patrick was adamant a

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Frustrations and Worries

Miss Sue asked me to update my blog so she would have something to read while she was out running all over the Land of Oz. I wish I could give an upbeat entry, saying how everything is coming together in my life, but I can't. It isn't all falling apart either, but it's full of frustrations and worries right now. Sometimes it feels like I have so much more to worry about than other people my age and it doesn't seem fair. But at the same time, I usually comfort myself by saying that although my

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I am glad to be back

It feels so incredible to be back after well over a month of NO INTERNET! UGH! It's so amazing how addicting and how much I depend on the internet for information. How many things I wanted to investigate, people to talk to....   Well here's what's we have all been up to: We had a great trip going back to Iowa and Illinois last month. We put over 2200 miles on the car driving around to see everyone! Just call me the road warrior...   Patrick finally got his Bioness about two weeks ago and

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How have you all been?

It has been a while since I've blogged, so for anyone who is curious, here is an update in the Kristen/Patrick/Brandon household.   At the last blog, we had just taken Patrick in for an evaluation with a neuropsychologist. After five hours of testing the results were of no value IMHO. The doc, who was in his 30's and will probably never be a motivational speaker, told Patrick basically to accept where he is at now as "as recovered as he will ever be" . I hate that some people seem to think th

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no title

Today I took Patrick for an evaluation for an evaluation (yes, I meant to say that twice) with a neuropsychologist.   His therapists recommended getting a neuro-psych test done, which they say will give them more in-depth answers to Patrick's cognative and I believe physical abilities. I guess they hope to use the info they learn to focus their attention on what will best help Patrick achieve his personal goals. At $30 an hour, and a minimum of 10+ hours for the actual test, the background i

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Ups and Downs

Up and Down. That sums up my life recently, and literally the past few days.   For starters, me and my right index finger have been at odds lately. My finger wants to hang around, the rest of me seems determined to see it go. First thing I did to it was slice the tip of it about 1/4" deep with a serrated "bread" knife that was inadvertantly placed in my kitchen drawer. The knife's natural home is safely in it's cardboard sheath in my silverware drawer. The knife was put away by a well inten

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Pounding My Head Against a Wall

I am pounding my head against the wall, and I think Patrick is feeling the same way.   People don't understand (unless you've been there) just how frustrating it is to argue with a person who has aphasia. Not only do you have to make your own point, but you have to articulate the point of the person with aphasia so they understand YOU understand their point of view.   God forbid you not say it exactly as they want you to, otherwise you are missing the point! NO, I AM NOT MISSING THE POINT

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I'm going to He11 for this

I didn't WANT to do it, I swear!!   Patrick and I decided to clean out the flower pots and flower bed today so that when we are ready to plant, the containers are also ready. They were full of dead plants and flowers.   The first few pots were easy, we just had to remove the dead flowers from the center of the pots, and we left the evergreen plants in there, as they are already starting to perk up for spring. We then moved on to the side of the house where the flower bed is. It is about

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Flowers, A Patio & Buckle Goats

I had three days off in a row: Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. That never happens! It felt almost like a mini vacation. I am also now convinced that if I could voluntarily never work again, I could find ways to keep myself happily occupied.   Sunday was a pretty lazy day, it took me forever to get motivated to actually get out of bed. I bet it was 1pm before I was showered and dressed for the day. OH WELL!!! Brandon had his cousin and a friend spend the night, so I did get up and make the whole

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Tom

Tom is a "regular" who comes into the restaurant usually on Mondays and Fridays. He is probably in his eighties, although I have never asked. As a matter of fact, I ask very few questions of him. Usually, I listen.   He has his regular server, Angie, who waits on him. She was the first waitress he had at our restaurant after he and his wife moved here from California two or three years ago. They "got such a kick out of her" they requested her every time since. Tom even says Angie is his "adop

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We had a fabulous time in...

Las Vegas!   We arrived about 930am and managed to get to our hotel by 10:30. I had expected to just check our luggage then check into the hotel around 3-4pm, but when we got to the front desk, they actually allowed us to check in. That was awesome to have a few minutes to settle into our room and refresh ourselves a bit before hitting the strip.   After we pulled ourselves back together, we headed across the street to the Bellagio hotel to partake in their lunch buffet. We heard it was

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Taking a trip!

I have done something kinda crazy and impulsive, and I am so excited about it!   A few weeks ago, I was window shopping on the internet for a cheap get-away to anywhere. After looking at what was being offered, I saw some deals that I thought might actually be possible. I showed Patrick how much it would cost us for a hotel and plane tickets, and we decided to go for it!   The really crazy part is NOT us deciding to go on the spur of the moment. It is actually because of how long we are le

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A Matter of Time

"It's only a matter of time". I've heard that phrase a million times, but never thought too much about what it really means. Isn't everything only a matter of time when it comes right down to it? ************************************   Stevie Ray Vaughan wrote this song, which has always been a favorite of mine. It has as beautiful of a melody as it does lyrics. If you are not familiar with the song, I HIGHLY encourage you give it a listen (a link is at the bottom of the page). It appeals to

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