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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Barium Swallows And Other Birds

The RRR sits at the computer under a full moon on the solstice and contemplates the issues of life.

Humorous Event: Last week Rangerette #1 turned four. Mrs. RRR and I called her on the phone and offered, with Bay Toe Ven the hound dog, to sing Happy Birthday. We did so with Bay throwing back his head and howling with each "to you". When we finished I said to #1, "See? I told you Bay could sing Happy Birthday."
A long silence followed. Then very gently, obviously not wanting to hurt my feelings she said, "Grandpa, he barked, he didn't sing."

Friday, Grandpa Ranger and Step Mom came to visit for father's day. He is recovering nicely from the chemo and radiation for his prostate cancer which is now subdued enough to no longer be a worry. We puttered about a bit outside and I set them up to watch the video Zulu, one of Michael Caine's first. The true story of 105 British soldiers, a construction group, successfully fending off an attack of 4000 warriors in Africa in the 1800's. An obsessively accurate movie of incredible heroism. I slept through it of course, having to start my 5 night stretch on the adolescent psych unit.

Saturday, we spent the morning shopping. I bought Grandpa Ranger his Father's Day present, an outside thermometer with a picture of an "M" Farmall on it and and a patriotic tee-shirt. They gave me some delicious low-carb goodies and a pocket planner. I got a lovely, loving card from Mrs. RRR, our Father's and Mother's Day presents to each other being the leather computer chair mentioned in an earlier blog. Then to work Saturday night.

Sunday, despite my fatigue, the attached sermon went well. The Father's Day theme fitting well with the continuation of the study in Genesis. Grandpa Ranger and I hugged in tears at the back of the chapel afterward. Then we all went out to a unique BBQ restaurant in the little town of Attica. Called Kin Folks, it's one of the few non-franchise authentic Texas BBQ cafe's in the Midwest. After we drove to a restored covered bridge out in the woods where Oldest Son and I once camped on a backpacking trip. We said goodbye and the folks headed off down gravel roads, taking the scenic route to Kansas City and Mrs. RRR and I drove back to the cabin where I passed out till time to go to work.

Monday, I was unaccountably, deeply, profoundly depressed. It was a sit and stare day. Maybe the sadness of the memories brought up by the sermon, maybe the impending tests at the VA, who knows? but darkness settled down on me like a damp wool blanket. Meeting Mrs. RRR at her job at noon we went to a friends house and picked some black raspberries. I slept only a couple hours and then somehow made it to and through another shift at work.

Tuesday, I went straight from the Private Hospital where I work to the Big City VA for my blood draw. It went quickly and painlessly. My kidney functions are just peachy, thank you and on the way home my depression lifted as quickly as it had arrived. I slept soundly till Mrs. RRR came home, she made us a delicious meal and I slept the rest of the day, always with the heating pad over the offended liver. At 2000 hours (8 P.M. to non-rangers) I woke up to drink a pint of nasty tasting Barium in preparations for today's CAT scan at the VA. I will need to swallow another at 0600, then drive from here to the VA. Oh boy.

I shall report more when I know more.


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