Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Quiet Morning At Home

I thought that I would share a little glimpse of my morning with you.

We have been having so many moose around and it is usually this time of the year they are hanging around near people more. Last weekend Doug counted 14 moose out there.

On the way to Big Lake there were two big blood spots on the road. Poor things get hit so much this time of the year too. It's during this time that I wish we all just could do things a lot slower, and enjoy our neighbors the moose.

We all are so busy speeding here and there and all for what? Nothing that will last, nothing. Slow down Alaska.

Millie went through surgery good. Adam said, "All is good."

Day 36

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Flu Has Not Flew Away Yet

Pardon me for being so rude
It was not me, it was my food
It just came up to say "hello"
And now it's gone back down below

I saw a sign in front of a Critical Care Clinic in Wasilla that said, "The flu season is not over yet" and that is so very true. Right now my daughter Kim and her three children are sick. Flu and suspected strep throat too.

We stopped by her place Sunday after church to bring medicine for AJ. So he can swallow before he could see the Doctor today. (Which is probably where they all spent part of today.)

"What? You are going over to Kim's and they are all sick???" asked Kris.

"Yes, I think there is some sort of blessing for people that go to see the sick that covers you from catching what they have," I very wisely replied.

"We probably will go there and come all the way back home and give the bug to you," Doug said and that was kind of funny at the time. Not funny when Kris got sick last night. Poor Kris. He went to his Oil Technology class anyway; he didn't want to get behind.

The daylight is staying longer here and that is very cheering. I can't imagine spring approaching without hearing Millie comment on how nice the longer daylight is, waiting to see the first pussy willows and hearing the first robins singing together. It's the little things we miss when we can't have them. I am trying to keep positive but time is zapping my enthusiasm and I find myself having anxious thoughts and even dreams concerning Mil.

Her girls say she is moving more, less swollen and we all are still praying. Soon she will fully wake up, because isn't what she is doing now --- emerging and we did read that emerging takes time?

She is scheduled to have the bone put back in place on her skull on Wednesday.

Adam said our cousin Emil and his wife Mary Dale visited her today. Emil is the son of Mom's sister, Sasha, who was Millie's Aba.

Wake up soon ((((((((Ahka)))))))))!

Day 34

Friday, January 26, 2007

Did You Know or Do You Remember?

I am using the Compose tab on this blogspot. I normally use the Edit HTML tab but want to see if I can compose a well spaced new post using this editor. If it all turns out into a big clump of words when I publish, then shame on you blogspot! When I Preview it looks good, but after I Publish it usually is a big blob of words.

I was reading about our brain. It consists of five major areas. It is an incredible organ and what an incredible Creator we have. Most of the time we don't even realize what a lot of work our brain does to help us learn, use and remember everything in our daily lives and the whole time it is telling our lungs to inhale, our heart to beat and keeping us balanced as we walk, just to name a few things! I am so impressed.

Then there are all the physicians that have spent their lives learning how to treat our brains when they have been injured. All that knowledge, it is a gift from God to us who struggle on Earth in a fallen state.

Here are a few things I wrote down to share.

The Limbic System

  • Basic emotions and feelings which result in your own personality
  • Fears, memories are created here
  • Ability to remember is here.
  • It is known as the center of the emotions.
The Cerebral Cortex
  • The largest part of your brain and the most complex
  • It is divided into two halves, two half balls or two half spheres or hemispheres.
Left hemishere
  • Processes information logically, helps us to read, speak and write language or compute an equation.
Right hemisphere
  • Processes spatial information such as recognizing a friends face, appreciating artwork.
The left hemisphere sees the trees (or details) and the right hemisphere sees the forest (or the big picture).


  • Coordinates all of the bodies movements
  • Stores learned body movements. This is where information is stored when you learn to ride a bike and when you have not been on one for a while, this is where you remember how you did it.
Brain Stem
  • The brain stem is an extention of the spinal cord.
  • It manages messages going between the brain and the rest of the body.
  • Controls basic functions such as breathing, swallowing, heart rate, blood pressure.
  • Brain stem also controls consciousness, being awake or being sleepy.
Spinal Cord
  • Recieves information from the skin and muscles and passes it on to the brain
  • Sends messages from the brain to the body.

Psalm 139:14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.

That comes from a chapter in the Bible that my high school counselor, Carol, shared with me when I prayed with her about fears that I had and worked to overcome. It is one of my favorite Psalms now.

"You understand my thought afar off" Good verse when I think of Millie and where are her thoughts right now. So comforting. That also comes from 139.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting."

I love Bible Gateway. It makes looking up verses so easy!

Tomorrow will be the one month day (27th) since Millie has been hospitalized. Be sure to check out Millie's Updates for any new news about her condition posted by her daughter Doris.

Day 31.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Weaver

While I was knitting I kept thinking about this poem.

My life is just a weaving
Between my Lord and me.
I cannot change the color
For He works most steadily.

Oft times He weaves the sorrow
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Until the loom is silent
And the shuttle cease to fly,
Will God roll back the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the skillful Weaver's Hand
As the golden threads of silver
He has patterned in His Plan.

That was the original poem printed in a newspaper. There are other versions but the one above has been authenticated as the original. Read more here.

I like this version:

My Life is but a weavingMy Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.

Beautiful words and it reminds me to keep trusting in Him to make my life beautiful---even when the threads become dark.

Happy Birthday to my other younger sister - Ruth. Don't even worry about getting older, when you catch up with me--- then you can be bothered by your age.

Millie finally had her surgery after 3 PM. Adam said Doctor Newell said she did well and all went well.

29 days

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Our "Snowy" Grand-Babe!

Gramma thinks that she is an exceptionally beautiful baby, but you can make up your own mind.

Mom is so happy and doing very well. A new little girl brought out the sunshine in her today!

I decided that a good nickname for our new grandbabe Raegan Mae is "Snowy", for coming on such a snowy day. I spent all afternoon with her and her Mom and Dad and held her. She is sweet and smells so nice. She makes lots of little squeaky noises too. She weighed in a lot lighter than Karla was told she probably would at only 8 lbs. 14 oz and is 20 1/2 inches long. She has a lot of hair, and like most newborn babies we can't tell the color of her eyes yet.

She fit the sweater and the booties that I made for her perfectly!

I am thanking God for His blessing on our family and praising Him for such a tiny little person so perfectly made. What an awesome God He is.

"I didn't know how babies were made until I was pregnant with my fourth child." Loretta Lynn

Millie is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning 8:30 a.m. Alaska time to put in the permanent shunt.

28 days.

Monday, January 22, 2007

It's A ----- Sweater!

I finished this little thing last evening. It is so small. Awwww. I heard Karla say that Raegan Mae may be over ten pounds when she gets here! If so, she will be Karla's biggest baby yet. So, she may be able to squeeze her into this "Weekend Sweater" for a weekend or so! I will try to get a picture tomorow. Pray for Karla's delivery scheduled for tomorrow morning to all go smoothly and Raegan Mae will be born (C-section) without much fuss.

Something to think laugh about:
"Don't worry if your work is hard and your rewards are few.
Remember--- the mighty oak was once a nut like you."

YOU can send postcards, get-well cards and even music CD's to Millie. She has a great sound system in her room which her nurses encouraged to be used to stimulate Millie's brain and give her something nice to listen to. I made and mailed a CD to her. I got this address from her nurse.

Millie Aposik
c/o Swedish Medical Center
    Neuro ICU 2 Center
    500 17th Avenue
    Seattle, Washington 

Mil's nurse told me if she does not wake up before this planned surgery, she is scheduled to have a permanent shunt put in --Wednesday.

27 days.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Happy Birthday!


I love you.

Ask me to remember something about you when you were little...

Okay, I remember you sitting in the high chair with rubber pants on your head! (Us mean ol' older sisters!!!!)

Beginning 26 days, MILLIE!

Friday, January 19, 2007


Again I was reading about Millie's condition. Her condition is a big part of my thoughts since she collapsed with the ruptured aneurysm. I apologize if I continue to write about things that relate to her and her recovery.

I was knitting and praying for Millie to wake up when I wanted to read stories about others "waking up" or "emerging" as the physicians who work with comatose patients call it.

I read this poem written by a lady that survived (she was in a coma too). She writes of her Near Death Experience and how she came back, at her own website. NDE's have always interested me. I will be curious to hear what Millie has to share about her long sleep and the thoughts she had while there. I thank the Lord that He knows her thoughts, and He is never far away.

Derry's poem is about how she could read the thoughts of those that touched her while she slept. Amazing. She encourages nurses caring for the comatose even to sing to them ---in their minds.

I liked her poem. I liked the thought that when we touch those that seem unaware of our presence, they most likely are very aware of us. When we are in situations like we found ourselves with Millie, the words are just not there. The mouth seems to be stopped, but the heart cries out that she know we are there to love her and we want her to please get better! From the thoughts this woman shares in her poetry, I was encouraged to believe that Millie knew the thoughts of myself, Kotya and Becca while we were there, and knows the hearts of her family that continue to be with her, of all those that stop by and only put their hand on hers... she knows somewhere in her heart.

I'm in a dark, dim place, I hear sounds from afar off,
unintelligible sounds. I can't understand the sounds!
I feel someone touching me, moving me,
I know what they're feeling when they touch me.
Do they know that what they're feeling is communicated through their hands
to me, a near dead comatose body?
Do they know that some part of my mind is working, recording, remembering?
I can feel the person who's touching me now, believes I will live.
I know I'm going to live, LOOK!, I'm in here! I am alive!
I trust her much more because I know she believes I will live as well.
Do they know that they are communicating with me,
those who are touching me, caring for me?
I'm communicating the only way I can!

I'm in a dark, dim place, hearing garbled noises from afar off.
I don't remember who spoke to me, I can't understand them!
I can't see them either! but their touch,
that I do remember.

More of Derry's Poetry.

Doris shared by email they want prayer that Millie will wake up by Wednesday next week. Thanks for praying.

24 days.

Sending loud ringing, blaring alarm clock style noisy thoughts across the miles to Millie... WAKE UP NOW!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What Is It?

It's called "The Weekend Sweater" but I don't know. I have ripped this particular one out once already, I totally took a part another one I started and rolled the yarn into a ball on the side of the skein of yarn. That ball has been agravating the whole process! If we don't get done before Baby Raegan is ready to wear it, we will save it for a Baby Doll. I am having fun making it... really, I am.

It's supposed to be a sweater for Raegan Mae. Karla called today and happily said, "We have a date!" She is scheduled to arrive by C-section on Tuesday morning. I'm praying for everything to go smoothly, Karla and Chris.

I have trouble memorizing verses but I thought I would work on memorizing John 1:1-8. I think I may have learned some of this Chapter in high school ---way back in those good old olden days.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light."

I found some old stuff on a CD that I saved from my first interneting days. It's fun to read old stuff.

What's the best parting gift?
A comb.

Ah-ha, my daughter told my son (names withheld to protect the guilty) "You are so cynical!" Here is something I saved about being cynical...

"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin." (H.L.Mencken)

What's the best way to make a pair of trousers last?
Make the shirt first.

One that I always thought was a good quote: "The only people without problems are in cemeteries." Ha!

It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us...Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

"Early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!"

Adam says we need to pray that the swelling in Millie's head goes down faster than it is; Doctor's said it is going down too slowly. Debbie says they are lowering the medication to bring up her blood pressure. We learned they were giving that to her because they were also giving her seizure medication that was lowering her blood pressure. The EEG they took while my sisters and I were in Seattle showed no seizure activity going on. "Thank the Good Lord," as Millie always says.

Millie has been sleeping for 23 days.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Support and Love

While in Seattle, Washington I sat in the lobby of the Swiss Medical Center and read their booklet about Aneurysms.

Survivors have a long recovery, some more than others depending on the extent of the "bleed". Many times their emotions will be mixed up when they are recovering. "When you relate something funny, your loved one might cry; when you tell your loved one something serious, he or she may begin laughing." I thought that for some of us that is a good bit of information to know before she returns to us.

Once Millie wakes up and begins what looks like could be lots of work for her and her caregivers, we that love her will need to be prepared for a Millie that could possibly be not so much as we remember her. We need to be ready to love her and accept her new limitations.

Today, I read a story about a lady that had an aneurysm in 2000. She survived. She writes about the struggles she has had while she recovers. She shares her disappointment in doctors and how they look down on their patients. I think these are good to know for people that have someone in their lives struggling with their bodies that are drastically not what they used to be. Read Shirley's story here. at The Brain Aneurysm Foundation.

I would love it if Millie woke up one day and smiled her own sweet smile and was raring to get out of that bed. I believe that with God all things are possible, I also know that this world is not our final home and in this world we will have trials and cares. These cares and struggles open our eyes and set our hearts to longing for the world God is preparing for those that love Him. The rupture that Millie has survived most likely will have caused physical problems she will have to work with the rest of her life. May God strengthen her family and friends to be there for her; to help her cope.

An online friend of Millie's and I, Carrie, wrote a touching tribute about Millie. Read it at her blog. Evergreen. Thank you for that Carrie, it is beautiful.

She's been sleeping 21 days.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Worth Passing On

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Great story.

I talked to Millie's family this morning. Adam said, "She looks healthy and calm."
She's been sleeping 20 Days today.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


My sister Millie's daughter Marionelle began doing an update website on her Mom's condition. I am going to redirect any interest in her progress from here to her site. Please go there for any more news on Millie. I will be depending on her site too for any up-to-the-minute reports, since her Dad and sisters are there with Millie and will be talking to them daily by phone. Bookmark this site now for more UPDATES on MILLIE.

A basketball dribbled too high that it begins to control the dribbler before it finally flies over her head and bounces wildly behind her. Another mishap finds the ball smack in her face after her too-slow-to-protect hands missed redirecting it. She even blew a tenny-shoe completely off her foot while dribbling, then runs off chasing after the basketball with one shoe on --- all during practice.

Chaos in preparation for our oldest Grand baby's first basketball game tonight! Her team named the "White Tigers." All the girls wore white t-shirts. I felt old sitting there in the bleachers once again while realizing this was our grandchild running around the basketball court ---chasing that out of control basketball! It was fun.

After her very first game (which her team lost 13 - 2) we all went to eat dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Chepos. Great Mexican food! Hey, I found their menu online! Chepos Mexican Restaurant & Cantina Menu. You can purchase a dining certificate at the site for $25.00 off of your dinner (must spend over $35.00) for only $10.00.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Rest, Rest, Rest

Kotya, Becca and I agreed that we had a very good week with Millie ----even if she did not visit back with us! We left Seattle encouraged with her improvements even if they were small improvements. We all agreed that the edema has gone down since we first laid eyes on her a week ago. Her vital signs are pretty stable, but change with the position of her body, especially if her head is too low.

The support from family and friends for Millie and her family during this time to me brings hope and joy to my heart just like the small, pink buds of spring we saw in Seattle. I know her family appreciates the prayers and concerns many have shown to them all. If you want to, please send a note to Millie via the Swedish Medical Center's EMAIL SERVICE.

It is uplifting to receive the letters that are read to Mil. I got to read the last batch of emails and it made me cry to know of the prayer support behind her each day. Don't forget to continue to pray for her recovery. We want it to be fast, but as Jody, one of her nurses said, "It is a slow and uncertain process when we are dealing with the brain." She also spoke to us yesterday and said that for a while they all weren't sure which way Millie would go but now the general feelings are that she is definitely on to the good way. That meaning the way to improving.

Her improvements are small ones and they appear to take time. This means that she will be needing care for a long while yet, and a lot of that care most likely will continue to be down in Seattle. I wish she could come home to Alaska but I am thankful for the superior care she is receiving in Seattle. I want her to be close to that. She has nurses that are good at their job caring for her and many that are excellent at their job. Millie is in good hands where she is.

I have realized during this trip to Seattle that her recovery is going to be long ----unless the LORD intervenes. I will contact her nurses for details of her improvements from time to time and share them here when I do. I don't plan to keep a daily report as her brain needs much rest; her recovery will take a long time; please keep saying prayers for her daily. I long for the day when I get the news that she has opened her eyes and that she recognizes her family. I pray that will be real soon. She was moving her eyes more the last two days we were there.

I noticed on Marie's updates the idea I gave her that she may have the tracheotomy removed soon ---no that is not right. She still depends on support for breathing and the last day we were there the machine was doing a lot of the work to breath along with her efforts. The nurse said they don't want her to breath all on her own yet as that would be too much work for her right now. She needs rest, rest, rest and she is doing exactly what she should be doing, resting. After spending time with Millie and listening to the nurses there I don't think that she will be having that air tube removed really soon.

The extent of the damages Millie received from the aneurysm and possible stroke she had on December 27 (I think that's the date of her collapse) won't be fully known until Millie can wake up and her doctors can determine what she can and can't do.

Until then, Millie continues on with the presence of Adam, Debbie and Courtney there with her. I am not sure how long they will be able to be there with her as she sleeps. God bless you with a fast recovery, dear Millie.

The LORD bless you and keep you, the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the LORD lift up His countenance on you and give you peace.

I love you, Millie.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Quick Millie Update

Adam says they didn't get to visit with Millie as much as days past today. Her physicians were in and out of the room all day. One of the things they did was put "filters" in her legs to keep any possible clots that may form in her still legs contained. That procedure went well.

Kotya is on her way here and she should be in my house in a few minutes. We will head down to Seattle tomorrow.

Thanks for your continued prayers through the week.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Heading South

Here are a few pictures of Mom, Don, Millie and myself taken in 1958. Millie's dress looks pretty good in this picture but we always would remember how she would accidentally tear her dresses by stepping on the hem and then standing upright.. rrrrip! [laughter] Mom said many times that she felt like she was always mending Millie's dresses.

These pictures were taken in old Old Harbor. They are pictures I received from Caroll Featherman after I wrote to him and asked for information on our Grandfather Raymond Kautter.

Last night after we retired I said to Doug, "I would like to go see Millie in Seattle, maybe if I go Kotya would go with me." It turns out that she is going and so is our younger sister Becca!

I am excited to be able to visit for a week with Millie and my sisters will be there too! I'm thanking the Lord for such a blessing.

While I am away and for any updates on Millie for my readers and those praying for Millie and her family, please check at Marie's blog.

We are checking on hotels near the hospital right now.

Our New Year's Eve was spent out on The Lake and we enjoyed meeting some new people, a co-worker of Klint's and a co-worker of Doug's and their families. We also met a friend of Shira's from Puerto Rico. Everyone survived the night of races. Kim did flip her machine and has a bit of a bump to show for it.

Adam spoke with Doug this morning and Millie is peaceful and resting. I believe she has a sonogram scheduled for today.