Friday, June 26, 2020


hi from your one fingered blogger. i am happy to announce that we are going to try to go to the cabin. i met the one criteria...being able to stand up on my own, take the 8-10 steps to the bathroom and take those same steps back again to the sofa. dick will not have to run inside every 20 min to see if i need to be taken to the bathroom. this is a huge success.

im sure we will face more challenges, but if i can sit on the deck most of the day, just watching loons and kayaks on the water, with a book in my hand, i should be good to go. speaking of books, here are my favorites, read during my 13 week quarantine; the letters by luanne rice; the secret hour by luanne rice; where the river ends, charles martin; water from my heart, charles martin; family tree by barbara delinsky; and two by joy fielding,,,she's not there and someone is watching. i read probably 25 novels during this time, but these were most compelling.

we went up to see the baby last weekend. she was 3 months old. i loved reading to her. but trips of 5.5 hours are killers on my body. 

i am getting both pt and ot on my lame hand. i work on loosening up my fingers and being able to spread out my fingers every day. my lame arm gives me the most pain every day.

we quit hospice 2 weeks ago. i wasnt failing fast enough for them!!!!! as long as god keeps pecking away at my healing by improving, i am probably ineligible for hospice. i miss our sweet nurse who came once a week.

we will stop at 4.5 hours of travel on the way to the lake, and stay with margie and chris at their cabin.

cant think of any new news. have a wonderful summer. will post from the lake.

i love reading to isla

 talking and smiling with grampa

 just hangin' with grampa and grama

Kickin' up a storm

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


well dick and i are on the 10th week of quarantine. nody has entered our home except our hospice nurse. our church reopens within 2 weeks. i dont think i will go. i am so cautious about covid-19. now that it in the 70's i get out o the house by sitting on th deck. the sun feels glorious.

our baby is doing great.....she has a great mama and papa.... i will post a couple of pics with the dog. he is never far from her. she is his best bud. his front paw alone could knock her to kingdom come...he is that strong....but i guess he is super gentle toward her.

we are fortunate that sam and gretchen send us pics and videos and call us on videochat and just focuus the camera on isla so we can talk to her.

she turned herself over at 7 weeks. she is quite a girl.

i am not failing, as hospice would expect but improving daily, by liile bits. i can take more unassisted steps and richie works hard on my leg strenth. my left hand is improving little by little by little. richie gave me exercises to help with my very stiff and swollen hand. i feels god anointing on this improvement. never thought i would ever be out of my wheelchair...ever.

our church family has been wonderful about meals richie's stress has been lessened by only needing to cook 4 days per week  instead of 7.

he bought me a hand-held showerhead and it makes showering so much better. i have a stool in th shower and he lathers me up and then i can rinse. i feel fairly safe compared to standing in the shower with 2 grab bars. he is truly the ultimate caregiver. knows what i need before i say a thing. god gave me a gold-star husband.

well, i am off to the lazy-boy while dick goes back to bed. happy spring y'all.

apologies for the one-finger writing.

Thursday, April 16, 2020


this is written with my right index finger and will not have any caps. my left arm is still lame. i am working on strengthening it daily, and i can now bend my wrist back and forth and touch my thumb to my left index finger. this is progress that excites me.

my biggest news is the arrival of our first grandbaby. i will attach a few pictures. her name is Isla Gray Ekstrom . her name is pronounced eye-la. i have lost my status as richie's best girl.  we are both pretty smitten. he thinks we should move so he can be her babysitter! i grieve not living closer to them

coronavirus has kept us quarantined for 5 weeks. both of us are at high risk because of our ages, and my lungs are compromised already. if i ever got it, i could die. richie goes once a week, masked of course, to walmart for groceries and toiletries. nobody, except our hospice nurse has entered our house. all of the dear families from church who bring meals to us pass off the food on the porch and leave. dick took me on a wheelchair ride around the block on a very warm day and i loved getting untrapped from the house.

we are praying bold spiritual warfare prayers every day for richie's legs and sleep and my healing from cancer. we know we are fighting satan in these battles, but we won't accept what he is trying to do. we bind and rebuke him in jesus' name and use scripture to back up our requests.

on that happy note, my finger is getting weary and my hubby is making me lunch. i hope to keep blogging as long as i can.

Thursday, March 12, 2020


I just want to update you on my condition.  My biggest enemy right now is muscle weakness and falling.  I'm so unstable on my feet so I have fallen 3 times this week.  When you add that to vertigo you can see why I spend a lot of time sitting on my love-seat. My left hand and arm are also very weak making it rather useless.  I try to exercise and strengthen my muscles, but that doesn't seem to improve the situation.

The doctor a week ago gave us the medical prognosis of 4-6 months of survival.  This was obviously difficult to hear, but we have not lost our faith in God's healing power.  We know God has the last word.

Richie has become a full-time care giver.  He basically manages the house cleaning, laundry, cooking, and shopping.  It breaks my heart to see him take on these roles.  He seems to know what I need before I even need it. 

I don't know what this means for going to our lake cabin this spring and summer. I know I can't go if I am completely helpless. It would be devastating to miss a summer at the lake, but I do not want to die there.

We are waiting for news from Minneapolis regarding the birth of our first grandchild.  Today is the actual due date.

Continue to pray for us!

Saturday, February 29, 2020


 This blog may have to be dictated to my hubbie in the future. I can no longer use my left arm to type. The brain tumor they found in Feb left me with a dead fish hanging on the left. I look like I've had a stroke. So many more losses. My walking is affected too and now use a walker for support. Quality of life continues to be lost. We ordered a card holder for helping us continue our daily games,

Our big news is that we have given up all medical  Rx and have turned it over to God. The side effects were making life so unlivable. We still trust God for healing.100% faith.

This has taken me about 25 minutes with my right index finger, and i'm worn out. Pray that without the chemo, i may improve!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


I am, sadly, back in snow and cold, after a great month on South Padre Island. Texas. The unit we rented was much more lavish than we anticipated; a 3 BR condo was bigger than our house! We did a lot of the touristy things (Sea Turtle Rescue Center, Bird Sanctuary, etc) and did plenty of reading and lounging and working at their huge gym with a steam room and hot tub (inside and outside), and many machines, along with a library, tennis and racquetball and basketball courts. Richie was in gym heaven. All in all, a great month away from winter snow (and we hear we dodged a lot of it.)

We even had a miracle the day of arrival (too long to write about) but we were assured the Ekstrom angels were still in the business of saving us.

Richie took a 3-hr fishing trip and came home with sand trout which were delicious. I'm so glad he had a good time.


1. There is too much obesity in South Texas.
2. I wish I knew Spanish. Every server and clerk were Hispanic.
3. The portions of food you get in a restaurant are insane. Thus, #1.
4. Lots of T-shirt/souvenir shops which were cheap and low quality. We didn't buy one item.
5. Met or greeted several NDSU and Viking fans. Apparently there are many winter Texans from ND, MN, and WI.
6. We were able to spend a little time with the best friends of my parents who wintered there for maybe 10-12 years. Oh, how they loved my parents. 
7. By far, the sunsets were the most spectacular I've ever seen in my life. The pinks and purples and blues were too stunning to describe.

I had a cortisone shot for each shoulder before I left. One worked. One didn't. Getting another tomorrow. Dick has me on a strict strengthening routine.....I am getting so weak and increasingly unstable. Lucky for me, I have a husband who says nothing, but took my arm and hand every time we left the car or house to be my cane. I didn't walk a step without him. He is such a jewel of a caregiver. 

Meeting with my oncologist in 2 weeks. I took a 3 week drug holiday while in Texas, but realized after 9 days it was doing nothing to improve my well-being so I went back on.
The last drug holiday I took, a year ago, rendered great results.

We are re-adapting to life in winter. For better or worse, this is home. 

Eating at Pier 19

This was our 27 foot deck

Our building

Dick sitting on our deck

Eating at the infamous Dirty Al's

Richie's fishing boat, pelicans and seagulls hovering

Not many people swimming in the ocean

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


I would like the past 4 weeks to live over. If you saw my calendar, you would understand why. I have had appointments with ear people, multiple visits to my optometrist, Vance Thompson, mammogram people, physicals, blood draws, and we've had to travel twice to Sioux Falls. Dick has had just as many appointments as I have--one car is always out of the garage. And I have to see an orthopedic surgeon next week for 2 frozen shoulders. Ugh. This week has been hard. I had an eye procedure on Monday and had a bad reaction to it. Have never had so much burning and pain. (the doctor told me in his 30 years of practice, he hasn't had anyone have a reaction to it)......until me. Am now on 3 types of eye drops and having to warm-pack my eyes. I could not even lift my eye lids up the night of the procedure because lifting them would shoot severe pain behind my eyes. Enough details on that. I have yet another scan set in 2 weeks. Sigh.

We finally finished our baby's gift......the bookcase we refinished that her great-great grandfather built. It turned out great and I can't wait to take it to them and fill it with books.

We got a "smart thermostat" installed on our furnace. So  now, no matter where we are, we can set out thermostat up or down by cell phone. This will be so much better than having to ask a friend check it manually, to make sure pipes are still OK when we are gone.

I wish you all a happy Christmas holiday and new year. If I have time, I will let you know my scan results right before Christmas.