Silent Key W7GTO

I became a ham radio operator because my darling friend Diane was into them at the time.  I also had the knowledge and familiarity of my uncle Tom, and my dad Pat being life long handheld amateur radio enthusiasts.

But I used my ham radio more with my dad than anywhere else.  It gave us a connection and a purpose.  He got me to volunteer and become part of the medical services team in Seattle.  We went to meetings once a month for years together, which always meant lunch out with him.

He was always working the parades, all of the neighborhood parades and the big torchlight parades.  He enlisted my help into being a ham for the parades as well.  My first one was a local (small) parade up in Greenwood.  The next few Summers he got me to do the torchlight parade.  Such a huge parade and although I was there with him several years in a row there was always so much to do I didn’t really see him except before and after the parade.

However it was always wonderful to call from my station “KC7OXM to net Control” and my dad answering “Net Control, W7GTO go ahead”

I sadly don’t have many pictures of our ham adventures, the one attached is a comm academy event in 2009 that he brought me along to sell raffle tickets at for him.

Sadly he passed away yesterday.  I am glad I got to tell him last Monday that I love him, but it is just not enough.

Comm Academy

Black Friday

Today is Black Friday, however the closest I got to the shopping ridiculousness was the traffic through City of Commerce near the outlet mall on my way to work.  I was glad I left early, I wouldn’t want to be late to sit and do nothing for eight hours.

The blackness of today for me comes with every text my phone is getting and there have been a lot this week.  Yesterday Della and I were both trying to keep a low profile, when an update on my Dad’s progress would come through on the group “update” thread we would make sure the other had seen it, all the while trying to stay low-key about it and stay focused on the day at hand.

Today he seems to be in worse shape and the “quality of life” conversations were happening this afternoon.

For now, he needs dialysis but the doctors don’t think he heart can take it.  One side of his heart is working much harder than the other so there may be a blockage.  Also his liver is failing.  He had a massive amount of fecal bacteria enter into his system so the high blood count and infection are understood.  But his current system may not be able to fight that off.

I am not in the “decision” role.  I have given my opinion as have all my siblings.  His brother is there as the executor and they have to choose which route to take or to continue to stay the course.

I am just on phone alert with every text I pick up the phone for continued updates or false alarms and just waiting for news or something good or bad to happen.  Yesterday on thanksgiving, it was good to get improvement news in the morning, it kind of rallied the day, even though it was subdued again my evening.

Thanksgiving, postdated

You read that right.  This is my post for yesterday.  Usually I wouldn’t care but its November and trying to stay on track with the NoBloPoMo and all.  Completely self-inflicted deadlines and stress.

As expected we were up early and cooking.  Lori helped me prep the Brussel Sprouts, the salad stuff and she pretty much made the mushroom/veggie gravy with instructions all by herself.

We then showered and loaded everything I had been stacking for days into my car and off we went to the Vicki and Emily in Irvine.

It was great to get there early and hear about a recent trip they went on at the spur of the moment to Nicaragua.   Amazing and hilarious telling of the story.  I got the turkey going in the roaster and we had quite a while to sit and visit before the rest of the family started to arrive.

There were plenty of appetizers going around and Della was busy putting the finishing touches on her yams, stuffing and casserole.

We were probably eating by 4:30 which means we beat the dark as the table was set up on the patio and we had dinner outside.  It had cooled off from the 90 during the day so it was very nice out.

Once dinner was finished I stayed outside chatting while others cleaned up the entire thing.  Then we broke out the pictionary and played two teams of four people and two full rounds.  It was hilarious on so many levels.  Mostly the pouting going on from the losing team that turned to gloating when that team was winning.  There was a lot of laughter on very full bellies.  It all added up to a very great day.

We got home about 10:30 and the temptation to just unload and leave it all for morning was there but we tag teamed the cleaning and got the crockpots and roaster and everything else cleaned and dried before calling it a day, a very full and very thankful day.


Thanksgiving Prep

Traffic home last night was horrific.  I took the 405 without any thought to all the cars and Ubers heading toward the airport.  However I still needed to be up early today to work on Thanksgiving prep.

My goals for today were to:
Make the Wild Rice and Mushroom stuffing
Prep the Turkey for roasting
Cook and prep eggs for deviled egg appetizer
Prep Brussels Sprouts for cooking tomorrow
Prep Salad for assembly tomorrow and
Make the vegetarian mushroom gravy

Well I started by pulling out the ingredients for the stuffing as that would take the longest.  The Wild Rice has to cook twice, once on its own and once with the brown rice later.  I took this picture to start…….but there was never another picture taken, for a time in fact I couldn’t even find my phone.


I did get the stuffing done!  I found a  really good organic veggie stock called NON-Chicken stock and it added some great flavor to the stuffing.  These Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms Lori and I were on the hunt for last week and all of them went into this stuffing.

I also got the eggs cooked and the turkey prepped.  But none of the rest.  I worked for four solid hours before needing to get ready for work.

The rest I should be able to knock out in an hour tomorrow morning with Lori’s help.  Then we are loading up the electric roaster and food and heading to Irvine where the family is gathering at Vicki and Emily’s place.  We all have our food assignments and I should be able to plug-in the turkey when I get there and not have much to do until right before dinner when I cook up the brussels sprouts.  Well except visit, and eat, and enjoy the day.





It is that month isn’t it.  When we focus on the things we are thankful for.

There is so very much going on to rail against.  To champion or be angry about.  There is a long list that I can go into.

But instead I will focus on the fact that I called my stepdad yesterday and had a conversation with him.  He was in the hospital and waiting for some tests.  I was able to tell him I love him and chat for a bit.  It doesn’t really matter that when I stepsister asked he said no one called him.  Both my sister Della and myself did and I am very thankful I did.

Yesterday evening he had to go into emergency surgery.  He has been in ICU since last night and on a ventilator.  Family is with him, he is alert at times and know they are there.  I was called this afternoon and asked about my view/opinion on a DNC order.

So tonight I am thankful I got to speak with him.  Tonight I am thankful that his heart rate appears up and they didn’t need to put in on dialysis.  I don’t know what tonight and tomorrow bring, but today he is hanging on.


Saturday we went to Ikebana and stopped for lunch before class.  We stopped at a place called Falafel King.  Lori had falafel and I had chicken shawarma. I even checked the rating (A) when we walked in the door.

Well by the time we were in our concert that night, about 8 hours later, my intestines were not happy.  I didn’t know what was going on, just that I was in pain and since I have never had a bladder infection thought that might be what was going on.

Sunday I woke up with incredible crampy pain in my belly. I took the first of several doses of probiotics that we happened to have in the fridge. I reposed every four hours throughout the day. So a day of being completely uncomfortable. No so much that I didn’t get the laundry, bedding and house vacuumed.

So we are guessing i got a touch of Salmonella on Saturday. Everything we ate on Friday and Saturday were pretty identical except except for our choices at lunch on Saturday.

Today I’m still taking the probiotics, but managed to go buy a turkey and wash both of the cars before work. I also made it to work even though two employees were sick. These two often suffer from “one-too-many-itis” on Mondays however.

More probiotics and off to bed. Lots going on this week and I’m gonna need my strength.

Guest blogger here

Hello everyone this is V’s wife. I thought i would join the party to help give ideas to V.

Well there is the cat – not the outside cat but the black cat. The outside cat has come back just so you know, Food seems to be a good way to forgive and forget…seems like some people I know. Anywho, inside cat is high strung if V hasn’t mentioned that in the past. She jumps at anything new. Not jump at it but jump from it…straight up in the air usually or the cat slink. Either one quite fun to watch

Then there is me…always working or making V join some other crazy new hobby. Ikebana is the newest and V is fantastic at it. She wouldn’t tell you that but she is. I may sign us up for blacksmithing…could be fun, I like fire. Well not in the kitchen where most of my fires seem to happen when I try and cook. Good thing I learned to put out ceramic fires when I did sculpture so it comes in handy — have a lot of salt around….just saying.

I work a lot so does V. My time is often at home prepping for class. I teach a lot of classes from science to art so I’m constantly refining. V gets to be home some Friday which makes the weekend nice and long. When we are in the same room its kinda like a project is being done. Now I’m not the best office mate…I make a lot of noise and often it startles V and the cat…both jump up…makes me laugh but doesn’t help sharing an office ’cause I get the hairy eyeball from both of them.

We we had a great weekend…we were in LA hanging with all the in crowds…class, museum, dinner and concert. Today just hanging. Anywho I better give up the reins and let V finish her blogs. Thanks for letting me play.