Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another emergency

But this time it's ME.(Ralph)  Thursday I saw the dental specialist who will do the root canal on August 10.  My regular dentist gave me medication to help me through until that time, but unfortunately it didn't even "touch" the pain.  I made it through the night but would not brag about it. My face is swollen and as we used to say in Portuguese, "I'm ugly" an expression declaring that one is feeling rotten. I am trying to find a walk in clinic now to help me do something.  Have you noticed that oftentimes these things happen on week ends? I appreciate your prayers for me if this arrives while I am searching for help.  I fear if there is infection, I dare not go this way for the next 10 days that's why I believe I need help.  Before I leave you, Margie had a good night last night and believe it or not I actually slept some but was awake at lease 10 times or more with this pain.

Friday, July 30, 2010

No boredom

Everyday is filled with much to keep us out of boredom. As reported yesterday, I will have to have a root canal on August 10. We are grateful for insurance. Do you have any idea what a root canal costs?  Margie had a nice time with former classmates at the luncheon.  These 10 ladies attended Ferndale High School together.  Remember, some of them are in their 80's. In the afternoon I took Margie for her macular degeneration check up but it turned out to be more than that. It was also some preparatory tests for her cataract surgery in August. Even though sore from my famous FALL this week, I slept well.  So did Margie.  We are thankful.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

An active day.

An early morning appointment at the dental center for a possible root canal awaits me in a few minutes. Margie has a first time (since her illness) opportunity to have lunch with several of her former schoolmates here in Ferndale at the home of our good friend Charlotte Boraker.  Later in the day I drive her to another appointment with her eye doctor relative to her regular macular degeneration check up.  We appreciate your prayers.  Shortly Margie will also start her countdown to cataract surgery.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Enough is enough

I told you about my toothache that kept me awake the night before last.  A trip to our family dentist revealed the problem greater than he could treat so referred me to a specialist for Thursday morning at 8:30 in Bellingham, WA. The pain was severe but I saved the prescription medication for last night to help me sleep. But I didn't have to use it. Yesterday afternoon I slipped out of the house to get the mail and unfortunately I did SLIP, and went sprawling on the cement sidewalk impacting the fall on my right chest, left and right hands and facial contact with the sidewalk. My bionic knees - or the flesh which surrounds them, was scraped harshly. These things hit you suddenly and there is no recovery from the fall.  I hope I will just learn to be more careful next time.  Margie claims she has MUCH experience in falls and she is right.  I think TODAY I will be plenty SORE. I did have a good night and without taking any medication at all. I just do not do so well sleeping on my right side.  Now I am glad for the prescription medication for my tooth problem which may just help me with all the aches of the fall also. Pray for this clumsy fellow to not repeat a trick like this again.  Thanks.By the way, Margie had a GOOD night for which we are thankful.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some lost items

One feels foolish in telling this story.  In our shopping yesterday, Margie reached for her cell phone and it was gone. She had just used it in the last store so we could not understand how it disappeared.  I checked with lost and found and to our amazement and thankfulness to the Lord, it was there, plus her very important appointment book and a some medication.  Apparently these things had fallen out of the purse into the cart when I picked it up and handed it to Margie.  I asked if I could thank the man who found them.  She said "No, they are trained to do this. It happens all the time" She said she would tell him. We praise the Lord for this little BIG thing that happened yesterday.  By the way, Margie is looking for a different  purse that won't open so easily.  Margie had a good sleep last night;. I did not do so well.  An aching tooth kept me awake and I am now waiting for the dental shop to open to make an appointment.   Thank you all for praying.

Monday, July 26, 2010

An easier week

Hopefully this week will be much easier than last week.  Margie got pretty tired out with so much activity.  We will see if our appointments this week will be "kinder" to her.  Last night she slept pretty well. We rejoice in this. If you follow our web site, you've noticed that our thrust for Shepherds is changing a bit and we are excited about it.  Please keep praying for Margie and our ministry. Thank you.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Every day is HIS day

We speak of Sunday as the Lord's day and it certainly is.  Each day is HIS but in a special way we go to church today to worship Him along with other believers. It is a beautiful day in Ferndale, Washington The temperature will reach about 78 degrees the weatherman tells us. The first part of the night was not so friendly to Margie and her sleep, but eventually she fell asleep and had a good night. We are thankful.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Out of the woods"

This well worn expression dates back to Roman times when one was lost in the forest and finally got out of the woods.I (Ralph) have been sick since Tuesday, but am thankfully out of the woods now.  I plan to get back into the routine and get some things done today that sort of laid dormant part of the week.  Margie, who was very tired after our three appointments this week, is also out of the woods.  She had a very good night and so did I.  Now we rejoice as preparations are made, Lord willing, for going to church tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Margie said yesterday that this week has been one of the most tiring in a long time.  3 appointments for Monday Tuesday and Wednesday pretty well "washed" her out. The last one was a 200 mile trip to the allergist.   Now she is regaining strength again.  I have been sick but not down so thankfully could do some things.  But she insists on my not doing some scheduled things around the house until I get a little better.  We missed prayer meeting
Wed. night and certainly hope we can be well enough for church on Sunday. Well - enough of our woes.  Margie had a good night last night and so did I after my coughing spell subsided. Thanks for your interest in following the blog.  We get reports from Singapore to Brazil and everywhere in between.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Report on allergy tests yesterday

I was not feeling well, but the Lord enabled me to drive us to Redmond, WA so Margie could have the second series of allergy tests done.  There is still another after this.  She tested high for wheat and the full test for gluten will be on our next visit. We were glad to be home after the 200 mile round trip was over. We were gone just a little over 8 hours. Last night my cold and persistent cough and sinus problem kept me up a lot. Thankfully I don't get sick often.  Margie finally settled down to sleep after 11. We pray for daily strength to do what's necessary around the house each day.  Margie is beginning to do some of the things which I used to do for her while she is recovering. That is a big help, but we are most concerned for her so continue with the larger chores which she doesn't have the strength to do at the moment.  Thanks for praying.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Physical Therapy

Margie had another session of physical therapy yesterday.  We were able to meet Margie's sister and her husband in Bellingham,WA afterwards for a meal.  It is seldom we are able to get with them so this was special.
Tomorrow I will report on our trip TODAY to Redmond, WA where Margie will have more testing for allergies.
By the time you read this we will be on the road.  Margie had a restful night.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An unexpected blessing

Because of much medication and so much illness coupled with MRI's, MRA"s, scans and a host of other testing procedures, Margie's hair has not "behaved" well during or after a permanent.  In a last attempt to try to solve the problem she sked our dear friend, Gerry Thomason in Mt. Vernon, WA, for some help. It was definitely a God directed day yesterday.  The kind lady who Gerry found, immediately saw the trouble which was caused by an incorrect procedure at the salon where Margie had her work done.  In fact she had gone back two other times to correct the "kinky" hair syndrome with the same result.  This lady re did Margie's hair right there and boy does it look nice.  In fact I thought she had purchased a wig.  The beautician knew what to do to make her hair look lovely again.  What a blessing for Margie.  Margie was tired after that short trip but longer day.  She slept very well last night and that is always good news to hear. I continued with my Shepherds letter writing into the evening hour.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Celebration dinner

Yesterday we enjoyed a great time with our son and his wife and children in Stanwood.  Their son, Nathan and Gina prepared a salmon meal with all the trimmings  It was delicious complete with flan dessert which was "out of this world".  We enjoyed a good time of fellowship then headed back to Ferndale, arriving at 5 PM.   It was  a good day and we rejoice that Margie could make the trip down to their house.  This week proves to be busy as usual and Margie has 3 very important appointments.  And I will be keeping up with our Shepherds responsibilities, having to do some of it at night so I can stay ahead. Margie had some "glitches" in her sleep last night but finally got some sleep.   Thanks for praying.  We appreciate you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rheumatologist report

We were reminded by a kind viewer from Alaska that we had not reported on Margie's trip to the doctor.  He was pleased with her progress and once again put her on a diminished dosage of the original medication that was the only thing that actually seemed to reduce the pain she experienced for so long.  He wants to lower this medication and gradually have the body accustom to less, thereby starting to produce the proper balance in her system.  We are impressed with his knowledge of her case and the interest shown.  We know it is an answer to prayer.  Thanks for being part of this with us.  Today we head to Stanwood, Washington to attend church with our son (Rawlie) and his wife (Gina) and children (Nathan, Benny and Monique) and then celebrate Margie's birthday at their home with some home cooked food prepared by Gina and  Nathan.   We are looking forward to this and are so thankful Margie can take that short trip to enjoy the day.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A deluge of greetings

Yesterday Margie received scores of cards, e-mails, Facebook and personal calls and visits. Our thanks to all of you who participated in this. What a great day it was.  We visited in the rest home in the afternoon.  It is wonderful she is now able to get out and do these things on a limited basis.  Our daughter-in-law, Gina and our granddaughter Monique came by for short visit which was pleasant. I was able to show Monique some new programs I found Online for music. She had a delightful time making some music of her own with the very clever program. We go to Rawlie's tomorrow where they will celebrate her birthday with a meal  and we will  attend church with them.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Birthday

She would probably not want me to mention it but it's Margie's birthday today.  When we think of all she has been through especially this last year, we rejoice she has the health and improvement we see day by day. We will be going to Rawlie and Gina's place Sunday to celebrate her DAY. It's another beautiful day.  Yesterday I mowed the lawn and everything looks nice. After 10 years of paying our neighbor to mow it,while we were on the road for Shepherds, it is great being able to do it myself.  Today we plan some visits to people in our church.  We are thankful Margie can get out for this.   She slept well last night and again we are thankful for all who pray for us.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another appointment

Today Margie sees the rheumatologist.  He was the one who prescribed medication that for the first time gave relief for the severe pain at the base of her head in the spine. We will report on that tomorrow.  I must get the lawn mowed today, weather permitting. I also continue with our letter writing work for Shepherds.  It promises to be OK.  Margie had a little difficulty during the first part of the night but finally got to sleep and rested well.  Despite the "glitches" we are thankful for the rest she gets.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Perfect weather

Top temperature today is predicted to be 71 degrees.  How could you get it better than that?  The Pacific Northwest is great.  As I have said before, some complain of the rain.  But this year we are not experiencing it as much during the summer. Margie had a "glitch" in her permanent and returns today to have it redone at no charge. I will do some necessary shopping at several places while in Bellingham.  Margie slept well last night and we look forward to attending prayer meeting at our church this evening. Maybe you already saw it. I tried something new and put a small slideshow on our web page under "Pictures" this week.  Web site:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Never a dull moment

Margie and I often speak about the "busyness" of life.  It surely is better than the other alternative.  Anyone who has spent some time around us know our motto of life which is: EVERY DAY IS A GIFT FROM THE LORD AND WE DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED.  It is great to be busy.  Today as I write letters for the Shepherd's supporters, go get a haircut, mail some important things off to the Allergist for Margie, and maybe even mow the back and side lawns(I did the front yesterday), there's not much time left over.  I may even have some counselling to do this evening if the party calls.  Isn't it great to be busy!  Margie, thankfully had a great night for which we are so grateful.  Thank you friend for praying.  It means a lot to us.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hard to remember everything

Margie forgot to take an important medication last night so that interrupted her night somewhat.  Thankfully she was able to go to sleep but much later.  Yesterday we had a delightful time at our home church.  Helen Steele, missionary to Athens Greece gave a short testimony which was a blessing.  We had a quiet day at home watching prerecorded messages thanks to our DirecTV.  It was much cooler yesterday so the evaporative coolers were not necessary.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What a blessing.

In preparation for another round of allergy tests, we thought Margie would not be able to attend church today. We are thankful that is not the case and we plan to be there.  For over 5 months we missed the services at church because of Margie's illness.  It is truly a blessing to be able to be in the service today at First Baptist in Ferndale, WA.  Margie's night was blessed with sleep.  Mine was too, but it almost always is as I have no trouble in the sleeping area of life. We pray this day will be a delight for each of you as well. Thanks for your prayers,

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cooling trend

Ferndale has pretty nice weather. During the hot days, which are few, we have usually been gone on Shepherd's business so missed it.  But in reality we had plenty of hot weather the 10 years we were on the road. It takes gallons of water to keep evaporative coolers going.  Today it is 71 degrees outside,and just a little warmer inside. Margie is doing her hair, after a good night's sleep. Our son will doubtless call us before mid morning and we look forward to that. I will be working on deleting and or saving hundreds of e-mails in Microsoft Outlook. there is never a dull moment around here.  It certainly is better than the other alternative, however.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The heat of things

We have just come through two days of hot weather.  The Pacific Northwest has good weather.  Some don't like the rain, but as I always say "The price of greenery is the rain".  I have 3 evaporative coolers going in our house plus several regular fans.  We manage to keep quite comfortable in 90 degree temperatures.  This is the way we also kept our 5th wheel trailer cooled in our travels for Shepherds these past 10 years.  One time in Brawley California the temperature was 118 when we rolled onto the church parking lot. Now to Margie.  She has been working getting some storage shelves in the garage organized. She paces herself doing just a little each time so she won't get too tired. It's quite a job.  She also slept well last night.  We are glad.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Not our will, but God's

In our report yesterday we told you Margie's experience at the Pain Clinic went well.  When we left the place and throughout the day she had no pain.  What a relief. Yesterday we returned to the Clinic for her post procedure evaluation.  She was experiencing pain again in the region they had treated the day before..  The attendant told Margie that given her symptoms, and the return of the pain, that the Pain Clinic could do no more for her.  Naturally we were disappointed, but accept it as from the Lord that this is the way it will be.  The Pain Clinic technician, suggested she continue with OTC medication for the pain, the TENS machine and physical therapy.  Thank you for praying.  Margie is sleeping better which is a great blessing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good Report

We are happy to report the good success of Margie's trip to the Pain Clinic yesterday.  The results are never a sure thing, but the procedure took her pain away.  What a blessing. Now we pray it will remain that way. We go this afternoon for a post procedure evaluation at the Pain Clinic.  The weather in Ferndale is getting warmer each day and by tomorrow it should be in the 90's.  Today I will get our evaporative coolers out of the trailer and get them going inside our house.  We already have one in our bedroom which stays there.  Because of Margie's allergies she uses the fan each night. And believe it or not, this is summer and winter.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pain Clinic

We leave momentarily for Bellingham, WA and the Mt. Baker Pain Clinic where Margie will be submitting to a new procedure for her pain. We pray it works and she will get some relief. Tomorrow I will give you the results of that process.  Margie slept well last night for which we are thankful.
Yesterday our son and his family returned to their home in Stanwood. It was mighty nice having them for a couple of days. We will be driving down to their place in a couple of weeks. They want us to come to their house for a meal.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A great week end

It was a special treat having our family here on the 4th. We were all together in the afternoon and the fellowship was a blessing. Today they return to Stanwood and we continue in our work as well. Margie is doing better day by day but pains still haunt her and tomorrow we will be in the Pain Clinic once again for another procedure which we pray will help. Thank you for praying because you are our lifeline. God is good and we rejoice in the wonderful improvement Margie has experienced in these last months.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


What a joy to celebrate our country's birthday today. Last night part of our son's family arrived and today the rest will come. Margie and I will be in our home church here in Ferndale, WA. Margie had a good night and we look forward to the joy of family fellowship. Our son and our granddaughter will have breakfast with us. Rawlie will ask his dad to make him a latte. He claims they are better than Starbucks. But I guess he is prejudiced.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Family time

Today our son and family come to Ferndale for the 4th of July celebration. Part of them will sleep in the Harder home and Rawlie and two of the children here. We will not attend the "fireworks" or picnic. We will just be happy to see them when they come for a visit. Margie did a lot of work yesterday. She has now taken over the washing detail and folding of the clothes. I did this for several months. It is so encouraging to see her willing and wanting to be occupied this way. It is indeed an answer to prayer. I told her yesterday that she was taking away my jobs. Margie had a good night for which we are always grateful. We appreciate so much your prayers for her well being. It has been a long road and there are still hurdles on her road to recovery.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Reflections of yesterday

As reported yesterday we attended Helen Durkin's 100th birthday celebration. There were a lot of people present for the event. Helen was alert, beautiful and apparently enjoyed it all. We were impressed with her memory. When the special ladies chorus sang, you could see Helen singing along with them. Today we are getting prepared for our family's arrival tomorrow for the 4th of July week end. We look forward to this. Last night Margie slept OK but walked some during the night to relieve her restless legs. Margie has already assumed the clothes washing detail, which I normally did for several months. I will do the other housework. Thanks for your interest and prayers.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

100 years

Today, between our Shepherd's ministry, we will help Helen Durkin celebrate her 100th birthday. She is a LONG TIME memmber of our church and is only the 2nd person we have personally known to reach that age. Margie had her physical therapy session yesterday in Lynden, WA and that went well. I wrote letters most of the day for Shepherds. Last night we went to church for prayer meeting. We missed this during the 5 months Margie was unable to attend. Last night Margie also had a good night. We are thankful. If you want to send us a note just click on the following on our blog: COMMENT ... THEN WRITE MESSAGE IN BOX... CLICK CIRCLE BY ANONYMOUS... THEN CLICK PUBLISH COMMENT. If we have your contact information already we can respond, if not you must provide it...if you desire a response.