Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Mon, Aug  31 - This is almost unbelievable!!!  We were staying for our "week out" from TT Chesapeake Bay at the Elk's Lodge in Glen Allen, VA.  There is only space for two RV's at this Elk's Lodge.  We were taking up one of the sites -- only one space left.  But, this morning, through our window, I saw Ken talking with a very familiar lady!!  I think she is a Pickleball Player!!  In fact, she is one of my most favorite players!!

It was Pat Carroll.  We met her years ago (I think at TT LaConner) shortly after we began playing Pickleball.  She sort of took me under her wing and helped me so much with my game.  She was so much fun!!

Pat said that she is now traveling the US in her motorhome and teaching Picklosophy wherever she goes.

 I hoped that she could arrange her schedule so she could come with us to TT Chesapeake Bay and teach her brand of Pickleball, but she was scheduled to go to Myrtle Beach.

Look for Pat and "Pat's Picklosophy" somewhere out West!!  Tell her you know Faye With An E!!!


Sat, Aug 15 - One of Ken's very, very favorite breakfasts is Salt Herring and Fried Bread!!!  This morning we invited Mike and Diane over for breakfast and that is what we served.  You can't just buy Salt Herring anywhere but we found some in an independent grocery store near by in Kilmarnock,  Actually, this morning Mike and Diane did all of the work -- we just provided the ingredients!!!

Salt Herring sizzling in the frying pan.

All ready to eat.  Fried up nice and crispy.  You eat them with your fingers -- bones and all!!

Diane is putting butter on the Fried Bread that you eat with the Salt Herring.  UUMMMMM!!

Wish I had a picture of ME consuming this Wonderful Breakfast!!!


Wed, Aug 05 - Although Ken's daughter Stacey's birthday is on July 17, we could not find a time when we could all get together to celebrate until this evening.  Mike and Diane treated Stacey to a birthday dinner and she wanted us to be there.  Stacey (and Ken) wanted to go to Red Lobster!!

Stacey enjoying her salad.  Sorry I did not get a picture of her with the Birthday Dessert!!!

Stacey and me enjoying the Red Lobster patio after dinner!

Happy Belated Birthday, Stacey!!


Sun, Jul 19 - This was a special treat!!  Friends Lois and Gene called to say that on Sunday after church they would like to come by with take-out Chinese from a local restaurant, Tiki Tiki!  "Do not not do anything; I've taken care of everything!" she said.  So I did nothing!  Well, they did let me open a bottle of Pinot Grigio to go with lunch!

Lois had indeed brought everything.  Dishes, glasses utensils, cups, and a glass hot tea pot with magic tea leaves that created a "tea flower blossom" in the center of the pot as she poured boiling water into it.  All of that plus take-out dinners for each of us!

When we had finished our lunch, Lois passed out special dark chocolate treats.  Then, she proceeded to gather up all the dishes and utensils, put everything in plastic bags, and then they were gone just like a magic Genie.

Thanks so much Lois and Gene for this very special treat.  You cannot know how much we appreciated your thoughtfulness!!


Mon - Jul 13 - My brother Chip and his wife Biddie live in Williamsburg.  Today they were on their way to Charlottesville to take in a concert.  They would be traveling on I-295 right past the Elk's Lodge where we are staying during my recovery following Hip Replacement Surgery on July 08.  Last night Chip called to say they would like to stop and visit with us as they passed by so close to us.  Great!!

During their visit, Ken was showing Biddie our new Apple iPhone (Did I mention we now have a new iPhone??)  They had great fun playing with their phones and taking pictures of each other, etc.

Thanks so much guys for stopping by!  Really enjoyed seeing you!!


Tue, Jul 07 and Fri, Oct 02 -  Mike and Diane always treat Ken to a Father's Day dinner when we are in the area.  They had discovered a new Chinese Restaurant in the area that they really like -- Chen's Chinese Restaurant!  That's where they took Ken and me tonight for Father's Day Dinner!

Everything at Chen's was really delicious!  After Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Hot and Sour Soup. Mike, Ken and I all had the Hot and Spicy Seafood Entree "Treasures of the Sea" with lots of seafood and veggies!!  Yummm!!

Chen's really gives P. F. Chang a good run for the money!!  And - it is much more conveniently located!!

Three months later:
Fri, Oct 02 - It's my Birthday and it's pouring down rain as a result of Hurricane Joaquin!!!  We are staying at TT Chesapeake Bay in Gloucester, but today we had to drive to Richmond early this morning to take care of some doctor things!!

Even though it is raining cats and dogs, Diane and Mike insisted on taking us out to lunch for my Birthday!!  I immediately thought of Chen's as the perfect place to meet -- it was convenient and we all loved their Chinese cuisine!!

I didn't get any pictures this time but we made exactly the same selections as for Ken's Father's Day Dinner:  Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Hot and Sour Soup, and delicious Treasures of the Sea!!!   YUMMY!!   Excellent!!!

Thank you so much Mike and Diane for treating us for Father's Day and on my Birthday!!


Thur, Jul 02 - How did we end up with a new Apple iPhone???!!!  Well, it all started today, July 2nd.  I received a text message from Verizon that I had used 500 of my 550 anytime minutes under my contract.  Our contract period would not end until July 8th.  And I was going into the hospital on July 8th for Hip Replacement Surgery.  I needed more minutes to get me through!!!  What to do???

I called Verizon to see if I could purchase about 100 more minutes to get me through my surgery.  No.  Jeramy said we no longer make that offer.  What we can offer is this wonderful "More Everything Plan - Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data"!!  It only cost $$.  OK.  That sounds good, or it did until I found out the plan was for Unlimited Talk, Text, and only 500 MB of Data!!  That's right!  500 MB of Data.  What happens to my 5 GB of data I have so I can use my Palm Pixi as my Personal Hot Spot for my computer??  That comes out of the 500 MB.  No way -- That's not enough!!  You'll need to buy additional data.  You can increase your data to 6 GB for only $$$.  And you will have unlimited Talk and Text.

Then, unfortunately, Ken heard Jeramy refer to our Palm Pixi as a Smart Phone!!  That did it.  If we're paying for a Smart Phone, we should have a Smart Phone!!  The Palm Pixi is great as a Hot Spot but it was a terrible telephone!!  (Actually, we were NOT paying for a Smart Phone; we were only paying for a Palm Pixi!)  But, Jeramy had the answer again!  You can buy the Apple iPhone for $500 + under the Edge Program.  With the Edge Program payments are spread out over 24 months, and with various monthly Verizon discounts, they will basically be buying the iPhone for you!!  Sounds too good to be true!!

But, on July 02 we signed up for all the wonderful stuff!!  Ken had a great but frustrating time trying to get to know his new iPhone!  Sooo many Apps!  So much stuff we will never ever use.  But it was fun playing with it, for a while!!

Our contract period begins on the 9th and ends on the 8th.  With a week and a half to go under our first month with the iPhone, we received a text message that we had used 75% of our 6 GB of data!! A few days later, we had used 90% of our data!!  We went to the Verizon store complaining.  How could we have used so much data??  I never used more that 3.5 GB when I was using the Palm Pixi as a Personal Hot Spot??  What choice did we have but to buy additional GB of data for the rest of the month and went back to the 6 GB thereafter!

The next month, the same thing -- You have used 75% of your data!!!  Back to the Verizon Store to complain.  This time Daniel said we should not use the iPhone as a Personal Hot Spot -- we needed the Verizon JetPack to use as MiFi for my computer and for the iPhone when WiFi was needed!

So, we bought the JetPack, but we did get a $50 VISA gift card to offset the cost.  Still there is the activation fee and monthly line access charge!! $$

Next month, even with the JetPack, we received another Text Message.  We have used 75% of our Data!!   At this point I realized that people who have the iPhone or Smart Phone and enjoy using it for all kinds of things, have access to unlimited FREE WiFi through work or at home, etc.!!  We do not have WiFi!!  The iPhone and then the JetPack were supposed to be our WiFi!!  We were so mad!!   We turned off all of the Apps and stopped using the computer!!  Marched back to the Verizon store determined to return all of the new stuff and go back to my Palm Pixi!!!

Of course that did not work!  But the store manager did say:  We have this new plan that was not available a few months ago.  For the same price you are paying now you can get 12 GB of Data!!!  Two times as much Data for the same monthly charge!!  And, hopefully, no more warning Text Messages!!!

So we took the new 12 GB plan -- Unlimited Talk, Unlimited Text, and 12 GB Data!!!  We turned on many of the iPhone Apps and started using the computer again.

Now, the first month with 12 GB of Data, we used only 1.7 GB!!!  Who can explain???!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Wed, Jul 08 - Back in mid-June I posted an article in our Blog giving you a "heads up" that I was going to have total Right Hip Replacement Surgery.

Today was my BIG Day.  Today I had Total Replacement Surgery - my Right Hip!!!  My Surgeon was Dr. Dobzyniak of Tuckahoe Orthopaedics, Richmond, VA.  Very good reputation!!

My check-in time was 11:00 AM at St. Mary's Hospital.  We were at the check-in desk right on time.  At about 11:15 AM the nursing staff came and got me and took me to pre-op for preparation for my surgery, scheduled for 1:00 PM.  They would not let Ken go with me.  They sent him upstairs to wait in the Surgery Waiting Room.  Surgery was expected to last about two hours and I would be back in Recovery at about 3:00 PM.

A few minutes later, I was happy -- I was out of it!!  I told them I did not want to know a thing!!  But Ken had another story.  In the Surgery Waiting Room he told the desk that would be going home to wait since it was only a few miles away.  He left his phone number where he could be reached if necessary.  Around 3:00 PM he drove back to the hospital to wait for me.  The Waiting Room staff they gave him a buzzer so they could let him know when I went to my room.

A little while Ken got a buzz.  When Ken reported to the desk, they said they had not buzzed him; they didn't know who had.  Their Color Board showing the status of each patient indicated that I was still in surgery.  They told Ken they didn't know where I was!  I was supposed to be in Recovery.  Upon further investigation they discovered that Dr. Dobzyniak had an emergency surgery and my surgery was postponed until 3:00 PM.  So Ken still had another long wait; like starting all over.  He decided to go to his son Mike and Diane's place to relax.  Later they all went out to dinner and then back to the hospital to wait for me.  They were sent up to my room but - where was Faye??  There was no Faye, not even a bed!!  They waited and waited.  Finally, I arrived in my room sometime after 7:00 PM.  They learned that my blood pressure had dropped during surgery so I was kept in Recovery longer than expected.

I didn't even know any of this was going on!!  Poor Ken had been waiting for eight hours for me!!  I am so glad he had Mike and Diane waiting with him!

The next morning I awoke feeling great (for having just had surgery).  As I looked up, an Angle stuck her smiling face inside my door!!  My daughter Stasia had driven almost 200 miles from North Carolina to be with her mother after surgery!!!   What a great surprise!!  We spent a delightful day together.  I think I must have been high as a kite because I was feeling no pain!!!  And, how could I have failed to get a picture of Stasia while she was visiting me??

During that time the Therapists came in to work with me!  (The only pictures I got!!)

Stasia spent the entire day with me and when she left, Ken and his daughter Stacey came to stay with me into the evening.

My surgeon Dr. Dobzyniak came in the next morning and explained that my hip had been in really bad condition and I also had bone spurs that made it even worse.  No wonder I was in such pain.  But, the Hip surgery went great! Thanks Dr. D!!

I was released early Saturday morning, July 11.  WITHOUT PAIN!!

BUT, the story does not end there!!  The trauma is just beginning!!!


Fri, Oct 09 - As most of you know, I have been suffering for years (since 2008) with pain in my Sciatica.  Sometimes the pain was worse than at other times.  Eventually I had to give up Line Dancing, Water Aerobics and Pickleball.

When I was first released from the hospital following my Hip Replacement Surgery, I felt Wonderful!!  No pain!!  I had no difficulty doing my physical therapy.  I thought I was well!  Everything was going great; but soon, that old pain started to come back.  It seemed to get worse every day until the pain has become almost unbearable!!  I finally convinced my hip doctor, Dr. Dobzyniak, that something had to be done to fix this problem that I had been suffering with for years.  He said he could not fix it because he was not a back doctor,  but he did order an MRI of my spine and referred me to a Neurosurgeon, Dr. Peter Alexander.  I discovered that Dr. Alexander is a highly regarded Neurosurgeon in the Richmond, VA area.

The MRI Report indicated that I had Spinal Stenosis; however, when I saw Dr. Alexander today, Friday, October 09, he had a different diagnosis!  He said I do have Stenosis and instability L5-S, > L3-4 (whatever that means), but the main problem causing so much of my pain is a Large Facet Cyst at L4-5.  Dr. Alexander showed us the images in the MRI.  He pointed out how my spinal cord up high in the cervical area was nice and wide; as he came down my spine to the Lumbar area it became more and more narrow.  Then he touched the screen:  "Look at this big thing!  That's a large facet Cyst.  That is pressing on your nerve and causing most of your pain."  We were looking at a side view of my spinal column and we could see the dark spot to which he referred.  (Sample Pictures from:

Then he showed us a cross-section view.  My Cyst looked like a large acorn laying sideways across my spinal column.  No wonder I'm in excruciating pain!!

Dr. Alexander advised I would have to have extensive surgery to remove the Cyst.  It has been growing there for almost a decade, he said.  In addition, a section of my Vertebra would have to be removed to gain access to the Cyst.  Then the Vertebra would have to be rebuilt.  I will be in the hospital for about five days followed by four or five days of rehab (in a rehab facility if I qualify).  WOW!!

Dr. Alexander assured me that the surgery should remove a lot of my pain and I will be able to walk again without a cane.   I CAN'T WAIT!!!  Dr. Alexander did say I may not get back on the Pickleball court anytime soon.  I am just so glad that after all these years of pain, doctors' visits, X-Rays, MRIs, Steroid Shots, and Injections under Microscope, someone has finally identified the problem and it can be fixed!!

It looks like we will be staying in the Richmond/Gloucester area for another month or two!  I will let you know my surgery date as soon as possible, and tell you of some of the other "exciting" events of this past summer!!

Incidentally, I cancelled my pending left shoulder replacement surgery until I can walk again without a cane!  Again, I CAN'T WAIT!!!