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Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Big Ray of Sunshine - Allegra's 6th Birthday!

In spite of all the grim stuff going on in our family... we had a big ray of sunshine today!

 It was our oldest granddaughter 

Family gathered at our son Dan and daughterinlaw Heather's house for a party on a sunny wintery Saturday.  I had the chance to see ALL six of our grandtots in one place.... so of course I got in lots of snuggles! My big Birthday Girl took time to give me an especially big hug! 

Erin stole niece Whitney for a snuggle time, and all of the relatives gathered around in the sunshiny livingroom for the party.  I grabbed Chelsea Bug for a hug too! 

Little grandsons Clayton and Jameson were lined up for the party, with wee little Whitney keeping an eye on all the goings-on....

 It was such a good day to be with family,
seeing smiles and happiness. 
I needed that. 
We all needed that.

Soninlaw Waylen helped to keep the boys in line.  But at one point all five grandkids disappeared in the parent's bedroom and were JUMPING ON THE BED!  They came out to round up this Grandma to come in and asked me to SING to them??? The song???  Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed!!!!  LOL ~!

After a nice lunch of pizza (Allegra's choice for her birthday meal) and pot luck salads and veggie trays ... it was time for the BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!!    This lucky girl got an ice cream cake.... yummmmmm


Daddy Dan served up the cake to everyone really fast, before it melted.... and all of the kids got sugar'd up pretty danged good.

After our cake, it was time for PRESENTS!!! 

All of the little ones looked on as Allegra opened gift after gift...
She graciously said "thank you" 
and delivered hugs all around the room when she was done.  
Good manners! 

 (we got her the Easy Bake Oven... and hope to help her use it sometime when we visit) 

It was a wonderful afternoon.  I got pretty tuckered out, so we headed on back home again.  I took a nice long nap and feel pretty good now.  The blood pressure is still peaking and dumping, but not as severe.  It will level out with proper medication, and find a balance.   We also got our outside house decorations up this morning... and as I write this, the timer went "click" and we are all lit up!  

Gotta have some lights--- ya know, some merrymaking, joy and happiness, even with the difficult situations we are finding ourselves in.  We will all be together next weekend for dad's memorial gathering.

I tried to call mom twice today to check on my step-dad Lowell. They are over at his daughter's house nearby and she said "all is good" for now.  We will get an update later from mom when Lowell is not within earshot in the background. I fear things are moving along fast. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Got Set Back on My Heels a Bit Here

Whew.. it's been a whirlwind, and I guess I had this coming. Something to set me back on my heels and make me STOP!

We were busy on Monday, gathering with family at dad's cabin and making plans, sorting momentos and clearing out all the food.  The guys winterized the cabin, and then we added new locks and heavy hasps and padlocks to the cabin.  There are plenty of neighbors to keep an eye on things, but sometimes awful people read about a death and think they can go pillage a place.

Tuesday was going fine, and I met with the crematory, handled legal paperwork, cancelled his cell and phone service, truck insurance etc.  Went through piles of papers.

Finally on Tuesday evening I thought I was calm and relaxed on the couch, playing solitaire, reading blogs, and sharing some photos with Steve on the Chromecast to the tv screen.  Nothing stressful.

Steve noticed I was breathing shallow and fast, plus I realized had a throbbing pounding like my heartbeat in my shoulders and arms, and a tightness in my neck and jaw that wasn't there earlier.  Rut Roh!   After a bit, we decided to go into the ER and see what was what. The hospital is only one mile away.

Whew.... my blood pressure was up!  I have never had high blood pressure before, could it be stress?   I was calm, even so calm I was falling asleep on the examining table in the ER while they set up the EKG machine.  Each time they checked my blood pressure, it kept RISING!  Soon it was over 200.... oh my!

They admitted me as an inpatient about midnight to the hospital, hooked up some heart monitors and started pumping me full of blood pressure meds! Steve ran back home to get a few things for me, and let the dogs out to go potty.  I was then monitored and tapped for blood samples every four hours to make sure I was not having a stroke or a heart attack!   My IV infiltrated and my arm swelled up.  They had to poke me 4 more times to get a good spot for the IV again.  About 3 am the meds started working and my pressure was going down.  WHEW!

By about noon on Wednesday, they determined that I could finally go home, as things were back in the safe range.  They said no evidence of stroke or heart attack, but I needed to take blood pressure meds and see my doc as soon as possible.  Steve bought me a blood pressure cuff machine and we are monitoring it.  Well, the meds they gave me worked TOO well, and by Thanksgiving morning I dipped way too low too fast and got dizzy, weak, lightheaded and cold.  Cancelled our plans to have dinner with Steve's family.

I figured I needed a medication adjustment. Calling all over on a holiday was not fun.  The regular doc hadn't seen me yet, so his office is closed of course.  His answering service has NO records on my blood pressure problem or hospital stay yet.  (because I am not seeing him till Monday)  ... calling back to the hospital, they just send you to Ask-A-Nurse, who says to call your doctor!  LOL!  Circles!

Finally I called back to the hospital on a third try and asked them to put me through to a doc or nurse who saw me overnight in the ER if they were working the holiday. Yes!  Got ahold of a nice nurse who remembered me, and she talked to the doc on call for me.  I didn't have to come back in, (and incur another ER bill)  We cut the pills in half and watched my pressure and it was much better overnight and this morning.  They did make me promise to call my doc office first thing this morning, and see if I could move up my appointment from Monday to today, Friday.  Yes, that worked and I am going in to my regular doc in one hour.  Whew!

Guess it's a wake up call, eh?   For never having high blood pressure before, with even going through four major surgeries and bi-annual scopings under general anesthetic, high blood pressure was never an issue. It is now.

I did manage to finish up Dad's Obituary
 to get it posted to the newspaper:


Stephen (Yooper) J. Bicigo, 78, passed away Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 in his home at Crooked Lake, Crivitz, WI.

Steve was also affectionately known as Yooper to the local residents, and Wankel to the residents of his previous home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Steve enjoyed raising Siberian huskies, snowmobiling, ATV riding, camping, fishing and hunting in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Steve was especially fond of his garage parties, Packer games and family gatherings at his little log cabin in the woods.  In his retirement, Steve was very handy at small engine repairs and kept yard equipment running for many area homeowners.

Steve had suffered a brief illness with cancer. He peacefully passed away while watching the Packers, upon the final winning score.

Steve was born on April 3, 1937 in Crystal Falls, Michigan to Antone Bicigo and Olga (Today) Groop. As a young man, he moved to Cedarburg, Wisconsin where he worked as a machinist for various companies in the Milwaukee area.  On June 27, 1957 Steve married Rita M. Kafehl and they had six children together.  Steve retired to the Crooked Lake area, living in a log cabin he built with his children, known as Windmill Oaks.

Steve was preceded in death by his mother, Olga Groop, step father William Groop and father Antone Bicigo.  Also preceding him in death is one daughter, Suzanne Marie Bicigo, two brothers William and Michael Groop and one sister, Anne Luckow. Also preceding him in death was his long time companion, Issiah the cat.

Steve is survived by five children:  Steve Bicigo Jr. (fiancee Roxanne Cannonie) of Iron River, MI,  Karen (Steven) Pfundtner of Chilton, WI,  Linda (Fuzz) Andersen of Gaastra, MI,  Randolph (Lisa) Bicigo of Mohawk, MI, and Eugene Bicigo of Iron River, MI.  

Nine grandchildren:  Mike (special friend Karen) Bicigo, Matthew (Amanda) Bicigo,  Darren (Chelsea) Bicigo, Bobbi Su Bicigo, Erin (Waylen) Choate, HeatherLee (Jesse) Wade, Dan (Heather) Pfundtner, Christopher (Lyndsay) Andersen, Vincent (Susan) Sherman, and Mike (Missy)Sherman.

Ten great-grandchildren, Jameson and Whitney Wade, Allison Mercier, Allegra and Mason Pfundtner, Chelsea and Clayton Lock, Braydon and Emery Sherman, Taylor and Mya Sherman, Matthew and Colin Younger.

Sisters Elsie Shroder of Dearborn Heights, MI and MaryJane (Ted) Ridolphi of Iron River, MI. also many nieces and nephews and good friends.

A special thank-you to friend and caregiver Nikki Gerondale of Grindle Lake for her faithful attendance and loving care shown to Steve during his illness.

Saturday, Dec 5th, a memorial luncheon will be served promptly at 1pm hosted by the Crooked Lake Ladies Auxiliary at the Crooked Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Community Center, 15441 County RD W, Crivitz, WI

Immediately afterwards, a fellowship gathering will be hosted at Randalls Resort, 15345 County Rd W, Crivitz, WI (Between Mountain and Crivitz at Crooked Lake)

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Unity Hospice of Marinette, WI is appreciated.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Yesterday, our father, Stephen Bicigo Sr  (aka Wankel or Yooper) passed away.  Cancer had taken over his body these last few months and it was fast. 

We were there all morning doing projects for him and bringing him things he needed.  We left him all settled in on his couch to watch the Packer Game.  The Packers Won. And then Dad passed away. His good friend and nurse lady was there as he took his last breaths.  It was calm. 

Dad wanted to die in his log cabin in the woods.  He got his wish. 

We helped him build that cabin, log by log, board by board.

The last few years we had a bunch of projects to do,
and Dad did very well as a supervisor

After fixing the roof this last month, the family gathered in his famous garage to watch the Packer Game.

Yup, has a big beautiful log cabin,
but everyone gathers in the garage all the time....

Da Yoopers Garage

He will tell ya what to do
How to do it
or how you SHOULD have done it! 

Bye Dad, may there be log cabin garages in Heaven.
and Packer Games. 

The family is meeting today to make arrangements. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Coming Out On the Other Side

Been in a fog, I am coming out on the other side of eight days of having pneumonia.  Finally kicking it's butt.  Got a pile of things undone and absolutely no energy to get anything done. ARRGGGHH

Dad is doing okay, and at his home on hospice and still calling me numerous times a day.  Brothers have been there fixing stuff and checking on him, and I hope to get up there soon too. Nurses have been great keeping in touch and a retired CNA is available now all hours of the day or night for him who only lives a few miles away.

StepDad in Ohio is doing okay, had a long talk with Mom on phone. He is resting well, and they are looking into pain management and probably Hospice to help out soon too.  His daughter, son and soninlaw are all there nearby to help too.  He has a goal of wanting to make it to Christmas, so we wish him the strength and power to get there.

So that's my update.

Going to back to bed.

Night night.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Motorhome Maintenance - Getting Rid of Ceiling Stains

It's an icky yucky day while I have cold, congestion, fever and all around "ewwww"  or as my sister would say, "I feel ICKA"  So it's a good time to write a blog on a motorhome project.

Did you know many of the goofy dumbfounded nitwitted motorhome manufacturers made their interior ceiling material of CARPETING????  Yes, carpeting!   On our Safari motorcoaches (as well as the Beaver and some other luxury rigs made in that era)  the danged ceilings are carpeting.... CREAMY WHITE carpeting never the less!

Any roof leak, or campfire smoke, or cigarette smoke will discolor the creamy white carpeted surface.  Of course, being overhead, it's very awkward to clean if you did happen to have the energy, tools, supplies and cleaning solution on hand.

Well, there are recipes abound on our vintage Safari groups with items like peroxide, bleach, vinegar, dishwasher soap, etc.  None of them worked for me.  Nor for my friends...

But I did stumble on something that DID work, but alas and alack, it's been discontined as of May 2015.  From the Johnson Wax company, it's their blend of Fantastik with Scrubbing Bubbles and Oxy Power.  It's the blue bottle with the white sprayer.  (not the new stuff out there now)  It looks like this:

The company canned reply to our queries is this:

We’re sorry to tell you that Oxy Power® Scrubbing Bubbles® Grease & Stain Remover with fantastik® was discontinued in May of this year. While the product had some great fans, there just wasn’t enough demand to continue producing it. We’re sorry if that’s disappointing news.

Perhaps looking in small mom and pop hardware stores, grocery shops or places where the inventory doesn't turn over too fast, you might still find some.  Let me know if you do!  

Last week I helped someone with a project-----

I have some friends who needed their entire motorhome ceiling scrubbed, and due to a long-ago back/neck injury, she was unable to do it herself.  After too many years of looking at those stains, and nicotine smoke discoloration, we decided to tackle it and use up 2 bottles of the precious cleaner. 

Here are some of the "before" pics of the stains
(this is an old stain, the leak has been fixed long ago)

Cold air coming out of the sheet metal lined chute on the roof air
leaves awful black streaks on the carpeted ceiling near the outlet vents.

Gathering our supplies, we went to work on a cold fall day. 

We covered all the furniture, dash, and woodwork with drop cloths....   plastic or old sheets work well. 

We used fresh white terry cloth rags and a spray bottle of hot water.  First we spritzed the Fantastik onto the ceiling in small sections, about 2ft x 2 ft.  I held a rag horizontally underneath with one hand as I spray to keep the mist from falling down to the floor below.  Using that same now-damp rag, I scrub a little bit to work in the cleaning solution into the nap of the carpeting.  

This is the hard part.... letting it SIT!    
Seriously, leave it alone a while. 
Let it work itself. 
Take a break, 10-15 minutes.  

Suddenly it's getting lighter!  Now take a bottle of hot water, spritz onto the ceiling and it magically dissolves the bad stains!  Using a stiff bristle brush, I would scrub back and forth a few times and you can see IMMEDIATE progress!  It's like night and day as each section that is completed. 

It sure gives a sense of satisfaction as you get each part done.  We would have one part soaking while spritzing water and brushing the previous section.  

We did take a break for some lunch, but it really only took us about 3 hours... amidst our giggling, laughing, goofing off. We also had to chase off the captain of the ship who kept coming out to inspect our progress!!!

This is that bad stain next to the light fixture from that first picture

Yup, this was the worst spot right over the driver's seat.

We were kinda proud of the job we did...
because the entire ceiling needed to be scrubbed.
(looking from back to the front)

We had a nice breezy wind so we were able to open the windows up and let the
air help to dry the carpeting... and give us fresh air to work with.

This is from the front to the rear, yes, all the stains are pretty much gone....

Why do manufacturers discontinue something when it's a good working product? I have tried their new green bottle stuff, and white bottle stuff, from Fantastik, but it does not work the same.  Sigh. 

Well, time to douse myself with some night time cold medicine and see if I can kick this thing that has me down. I wanted to get up to my dad's today, but no sense being sick and bringing my germs to a very ill man.  Tomorrow is a Packer Game so I plan to stay right on this couch and soak up some chicken veggie soup and watch the Packers win....