Sunday, November 25, 2018

11.24.18 Not a cloud in the sky................

What a beautiful, late fall day. We still have a fair amount of snow in the yard that has persisted even though the temperature today was above freezing. We were all out in the yard enjoying the sunshine. I was shoveling snow from the porches and doing a few touchups on the drive. I know it is supposed to rain, but I do want to avoid any ice that develops just in case it doesn't. The forecast has been a bit off the mark after the snowfall last week, so I just want to be careful and avoid ice on the drive. The boys were off running around the yard, chasing squirrels and who knows what. They get along very well, and tend to stay close to where I am working even with the internal gates open.

It was nice to have the day off from work, even if I did house and yard work! The sunshine energized me, so once inside I cleaned out a closet and some cupboards. Felt good to do some "winter cleaning" and spruce the house up a bit for the holidays. The  boys stayed awake, running up and down the stairs with me. They never miss a thing. I told then to stay when we were upstairs as I would be right back. Apparently stay in dog language means run downstairs sit on the landing and watch the activity from their perch. I have to be careful carrying things down as at least one is always at me heels. So I guess staying on the landing is half the battle won. After dinner they crashed, sitting at my feet as I worked on the computer.

Here are a few photographs taken of them during our outing in the yard.

Beautiful blue skies for the early afternoon. Could not be lovelier!

Fionnegan. He loves chasing Gunnarr, snow or not. He is my ornery one. Yes, he is focusing and waiting to jump on Gunnarr. They stare at each other for a few minutes, then run together and jump on each other. Boys.

Gunnarr is too interested in sniffing than he is in looking at the camera. He also is a bit shy of the camera.

Shorty with Gunnarr.

The boys running through the yard. Sniffing and exploring all of the scents under the snow.

And here is Shorty. It is hard to believe he is from Yap as he loves the cold and snow. He is the one who often barks to go outside just to run through the yard. First I let them out one door, then when he comes back inside the atrium and gets his paws dried, he runs to the other door to go outside in the b ack. So I just let them run and play and "empty out" at every opportunity. He is one handsome dog.

Had the chance to snap a photograph of a chickadee flying to the feeder. They are not too afraid of the dogs, but tend to snatch a sunflower seed when the dogs at not at the bottom of the feeder. I'll get some suet for the woodpeckers on my next shopping trip.

Easier to see that the bird is a chickadee.

 Sniffing, sniffing, sniffing. Perhaps they can smell the squirrel. They know he is there and as soon as I let them out the door they run to the feeder to chase him away.

It was a good afternoon, but some the clouds arrived and it felt much colder. So inside the house we went for a few more chores then dinner. They were out cold after a good, hot meal. No football game needed!

Let sleeping dogs lie! And enjoy the piece and quiet for the moment. And if you are interested in life from Shorty's point of view, he has his own blog at

The town celebrated the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI by displaying poppies in the town center. Here Lady Liberty is wearing a cape made of poppies.  Many of us in the town made the poppies, it was nice to contribute.

Here is the poem that links poppies to WWI.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

See the source image

Thursday, November 22, 2018


Today in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a good opportunity for all of us to reflect on our blessings, even if clouded by challenges. It is a day for us to spend time with friends and family, share a good meal, and maybe even watch or play a football game or two. That is our American tradition.

Today I made a nice meal for my boys - turkey, then enjoyed a lovely dinner with friends. The weather is bitter cold, and we have several inches of snow on the ground. As it is supposed to warm up and rain in a few days, I decided not to shovel any more but let the rain was away the snow from the driveway and porches. Hope does spring eternal, as the saying goes.

May you and your family enjoy the holiday and the goodwill and spirit of the season. From my boys and me to you and yours - Happy Thanksgiving!

Shorty, Fionnegan, Gunnarr in their winter sweaters. They just had a lot of fun running around during the snowstorm.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

11.17.18 First snow of the winter season

We had the first snow of the winter season - six inches! While I always enjoy the first snow and even enjoy the quiet that accompanies shoveling, I am not ready for five months of this beautiful white fluffy stuff! This was a bit more than expected and it is lasting far more than promised by the meteorologists.  Instead of the rain predicted after the major snowfall, we had blistery winds and more snow. So the narrow path I shoveled had to be expanded to include the entire sidewalk, driveway and porches. And I have yet to finish the fall clean-up for the yard. It may now be reserved for Spring clean-up.

The boys love the snow. I left them out at midnight when it was snowing hard and they had a great time running and jumping and burrowing their noses in the snow covered leaves. Yes, midnight. I leave early in the mornings for work, so I like to have as little to do as possible before I leave the house! Shorty, my Yapese dog who was born in the tropics, loves snow. He has been outside relatively more since it snowed than he has in the summer. All three just sniff and paw the snow. Sometimes the find a mouse - a poor unsuspecting mouse!

Here are a few picture of Fionnegan, Gunnarr and Shorty.


Fionn and Shorty rolling in the snow.


Shorty is the first one out of the door and makes the path for Fionnegan and Gunnarr.

Gunnarr and Shorty.

Fionn and Gunnarr.

After all of that running around in the snow, it is time for a nap! This is a post haircut photograph.

What a life they have! One day I am going to figure out how to get them to shovel. But maybe the trail Shorty and Fionn and Gunnarr make is their contribution to shoveling!

Here they are waiting for me to come upstairs. The just lie down on the landing and watch me.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 2018 Surgical Mission trip to Honduras

It already has been one year since my last volunteer trip and I again travelled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to work at the Hospital San Felipe, a public hospital. I am currently the Health Volunteers Overseas director of surgical oncology to Honduras, and I am very pleased to serve in this capacity. HVO is a great organization for medical and surgical physicians and I have been very appreciative of their assistance in preparing for this trip.

It again was a great experience. This year I travelled with Dr. Adrian, a fellow in research in Boston with a career interest in urology.  We arrived without problems and were met at the airport by Dr. Roberto, the director of the surgical oncology training program and two interns, Dr. Alex and Dr. Jerson, who kindly drove us to the hotel.

We were up and at it early in the morning and were greeted by Dr. Virna (Chief resident) and Dr Jerson and escorted to the hospital. The other residents included Dr. Karina, Dr. Junior Collins, and Dr. Jeyson. It was a pleasure to work with all of them as they proved to be quite knowledgeable, personable and fun to learn of their experiences. It was particularly nice to see Dr. Virna again as I remembered her very well from last year. We did many oncology cases, including some with Dr. Patricia (may be misspelled), a plastic surgeon who is very skilled and proficient.

After work we were treated as true dignitaries. Every night one or more residents and sometimes Dr. Roberto would take us to a local restaurant for dinner. What a treat to get out of the hospital and hotel and out into the community. We also had the chance to visit the medical school and the Hospital Escuela, the largest public hospital in Honduras. Dr. Virna was our guide as she had completed several rotations there. What a place! Busy and crowded, as you would expect at a large public hospital. Next year I am aiming to visit a private hospital, just to appreciate the differences!

The patients again were very appreciative of our work and while my Spanish is very limited, people do communicate on different levels. I keep vowing to learn more Spanish, but really never have the time. Perhaps I just need to make the time! The week passed very quickly and there were no problems. As I like to say, I know just enough Spanish to get myself into trouble!

After work on Friday we again visited Valle of Angeles, stopped at an excellent restaurant for puposas, then a little visiting the local shops for crafts made in Honduras. Yes, there are tourist shops and many Americans were seen walking along the streets of this community.

Here are a few pictures to share with you of our trip and our work in the operating room.

Dr. Adrian (r) and Dr. Jeyson with Wilson, the Anesthesia assistant and the nursing assistant.

She is beautiful, don't you agree? Most of my interaction with the OR personnel are with hats and masks and it is sometimes hard to recognize someone in street attire!

All smiles under the masks when the case goes well!

We had really good nursing assistance in the OR.

Time for a break! Caught!

Pre-op and post op recovery room.

Dr. Virna and Dr. Adrian at Hospital Escuela. She is smart, nice and pretty!

View of the medical school (background) from the Hospital Escuela.

Dr Adrian, Dr. Jerson and Dr. Virna in the OR.

We even had a birthday party in the OR lounge! Local treats and cake.

Cannot resist taking a picture of people taking selfies! The lady in the brown scrubs is the Anesthesiologist. She was very helpful and very pleasant.

OR Anesthesia assistants, Wilson on the right.

She is enjoying the birthday celebration.

More beautiful OR assistant. Honduras has many beautiful women.

She was also very helpful and pleasant in the OR and a really nice person.

Took a walk around the hotel area. This is a local Roman Catholic Church where they were celebrating multiple baptisms. Lots of little babies!

Hospital San Felipe, as seen from the Hyatt. 

Center figure on horseback. I do not to confirm his identity. Was not able to cross the street to look for a sign - construction and heavy traffic.

View of the cityscape and mountains.

This must be a favorite place to stretch after a case.

Dr. Virna and Dr. Jerson

Scrubbing for their cases, It was all quiet and all you could hear was the sound of brushes on the skin.

Charting for Anesthesia

A smile behind the mask.

The team at lunch. Puposas are on the menu. Dr. Roberto in red shirt no doubt telling another spellbinding story!

Pretty flowers at this roadside café.

Orange flowering tree. It is beautiful.

Stopped at a local nursery - the plant kind.

The countryside is beautiful. Mountainous and green.

Sign at the Hospital San Felipe. Opened in 1935.

The hotel started decorating for Christmas. Love the decorations.

I waited all week for them to put up the tree!

The Statue of Christ on the mountain, view from hotel.

All too soon, it was time to wrap up the work and return home. Here is the view of the city from the airplane.

It was a great trip, productive and I gave a presentation to the residents as they are preparing for their examinations. No troubles traveling home, Fionnegan and Gunnarr and Shorty were very happy to see me as I arrived very early in the morning. Lots of kisses and tail wags. They were good while I was away, so they said!