Friday, February 17, 2017

Color in Our Lives


 
The day has been positively gorgeous for February. The yellow of the bright sun energizes folks especially in February! Color is important to us and gray clouds can make us lethargic. Color everywhere, even the ones we choose to wear, shapes us, moves us, causes us to feel warmth, anger, comfort, sadness, and more.

When I was in high school, I did not have an abundance of clothing. I learned real fast that black and earth tones were slimming, versatile, classic, and did not call attention to yourself if you were in a class you hated and where you wanted to fade into the woodwork.

But when I married and moved into the St. Louis suburbs, I met a woman who introduced me to color. It was the years of green and orange which already made a statement in homes. Donna had left school after the 8th grade, and then she taught herself to play the organ for church and to paint beautiful floral pictures. She had a smile that could light up a city block, and she loved color. She was the one who dragged me away from black and showed me the joys of color in clothing and in the home.

I love the richness of hardwoods like oak and cherry in my home. I love turquoise. I like blue and white. I no longer stand back from splashes of color like dashes of red, a kiss of purple, or even oranges and yellows. I say that I play house with my dining room table because I have been too sick to host guests, to hold dinners, or present teas. Still on the good days I change the table setting to make me feel good.

 
This month I chose turquoise placemats and plates with orangey pink backgrounds that remind me of the Southwest. The poppies were from the Santa Fe square the year every store was showing poppies. Then a quick stop at a store last week and a glance caught the sight of turquoise stems. Ah, the table colors take me back to the Southwest as I pass it each day.
 
 

Meanwhile, I finally got the Christmas tea pot and cups put away along with the last poinsettias. I still felt it too early for Easter, but the warm weather here did remind me of spring. Yellow silks of forsythia and jonquils and tulips came out of the closet and made me feel bright as I could be. Then around the street corner I saw real crocus popping out all over the ground. Ah, their light shades of lavender were soft and full of promise.

Do you have a favorite color to wear or decorate with?
 
 


Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Very Mini Road Trip!


 
 
Despite the very mild weather thus far this winter, the days have been very hard for us at this house. My chemo has been so bad while my father-in-law died, his children are being nasty over estate, DH and I had to clean out the assisted living, we wrangle still with insurance over December fender bender, worry about our other family members, and well, I think you get the idea. Then last night I learned my Grand dog has incurable cancer. It seems unfair that my hardworking son faces cancer with both his dog and his mother. For someone who does not like to whine, I sure did a lot, didn’t I?
 
 
On Monday I had to do the week after blood cell check. The air was warm, but skies were as gray as a gun barrel. Blood labs were easy and cells were up for change. The office was shorthanded so it took longer, but when we came out, we did not want to come home. We had nowhere to go, nothing to do, did not feel great, but we just did not want to return to thinking of all our problems. So, we drove down I-44 a ways.

 
West is where we head in our hearts always it seems. We remembered past trips using this strip of highway to head to Santa Fe. We recalled the thrill of this highway in beginning our trips. Of course, this beginning strip of pavement brings back an era of my childhood memories as well. The winter landscape was bleak, but we worked hard at finding something promising. Occasionally we saw the hint of green coming in the winter wheat popping through. Hawks rested on fence poles; cattle lingered in dry pastures, some with calves.
 
 
We only drove about 40 miles or so, but that took us to the Glass House! Over 50 years ago, the state of Oklahoma closed in a bridge over their turnpike and made it a place to eat. This was unique an architectural feat for the times. My grandma brought me a post card from her visit and my child’s eye longed to be see it in person. Later a McDonalds and nice gift shop was put in, but the place got a little shabby. Two years ago, it was redone and is now part of a truck plaza. Very clean and neat inside, it is simple but impressive to the child still inside of me. We stopped and ate a wonderful hamburger from the McDonalds while watching raging semi’s roar beneath our feet.
 
 
Then we turned around and headed home, but we used secondary roads, moseying along slowly postponing arrival back home. We did stop in Vinita (another childhood memory) to look around a flea market. It turned out to be an amazing place as the owner had tons of Blue Willow with some very old and unique pieces. She came down in price but still I didn’t buy. I told her if I could beat this cancer I would come back and buy a celebratory piece! She also had battled cancer twice.

From there, we had to come home. I was pretty done in and even DH was tiring. It doesn’t take much right now to wear us down. OH, but we had a little escape! For just a short while we could pretend that the world was all okay and that we were fine in it. Alas, when we walked in backdoor the answering machine was beeping, phone ringing, and email dinging. It brought us back from the past real fast.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Testy January Day With Some Delightful Spots


 
Well, it was not a good day! Some days start off marching on the left foot and only way to correct it is to go back to bed and start over, which was not an option for me today. I have dreaded and actually been fearful of going to chemo this morning as I wondered what kind of side effects I would have this time. We had house and refrigerator set for a week of illness and laundry done up. Then I could not get chemo due to blood counts being so low. Where was the power of all that liver I ate? The red blood cells required a shot to build up which scares me due to the possibility of increased tumor growth. I don’t have much left they can pull out with a tumor!

 
When I got home, there was a package from blogger buddy in Australia!!!! (http://myjustsostory.blogspot.com/)  It had this lovely tea cup that made her think of me…blue and orange with butterflies! It is lovely gift and thought; this writer has plenty on her own plate so really appreciate she made time for me! I set the splash of orange next to my orange fox. This picture taken and framed for me by a friend’s hubby.


So, I decided to stay up and push more. While a few snowmen still hover around the edges, I did away with the red tablecloth. This might be a mistake because the day is so bright and warm it is easy to forget we are still in January, still in winter and will probably face snow and more darkness. (I am not eager to face the spring tornadic stuff that poor Georgia faced this weekend!)


I decided to put out things that reminded me of the Santa Fe area. I have little but a few paper napkins and some red poppies on the new turquoise place mats remind me a little of that Northeastern corner of New Mexico we love so much. I don’t think I have seen a turquoise tea pot, but maybe that should be an item I could search for. The hunt is often more thrilling than obtaining the item.

Still trying to turn the tide of the day, I came to computer to put 2016 pictures all in a folder. I did and then lost them all. They are not to be found in this machine!!!! So I think I’m going to don a flannel nightgown, wait for evening to pass, and start all over tomorrow!  

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chemo in the Kitchen!


I learned recently that chemo started with the use of arsenic. That seems appropriate because chemo feels like poison in my body! The new formula that was to be a little easier was the worst ever. Then I found out I got more of a dose than the cancer team had suggested. It took a long time to come out of the cloud and I’m still not there. Too bad, but I return for another hit on Monday. You can bet I will be asking what the numbers are when they start that drip!

Chemo does lots of things, but there a real side effect called chemo brain. It is hard to bear, the not thinking clearly. The feeling of a numb mind is one of the biggest insults. Today DH went to help our son repair damage from last week’s ice that was worse at his house. He wanted me to go too, to get out, but I did not feel well enough. I wanted the comfort of my flannel robe, recliner, my own bathroom, etc. I also wanted the joy of being in my own house alone for a while.

 But I did try to do a few things including frying two pounds of liver and making a batch of fiber muffins. Liver thaws fast, cooks fast, but it is a mess as I get flour all over everywhere. But I am to build up cells when I can and liver is a good hearty blood building food. We like it too. But to give you an idea how my chemo acted just while cooking read below. I got ‘er done but not without some hurdles. The house smells like liver and I can only eat small amounts at a time, but hopefully it will help me next week!

 Cooking Today

Fed husband oatmeal with wonderful fresh blueberries. Sent him to son’s to fix ice damaged fence.

Dress. Then rest an hour with The View. Begin to cook two pounds of liver for extra iron and blood strength to face coming chemo again. Frying liver is fast and easy but so messy leaving flour all over the stove which will have to be cleaned.

Made some fiber muffins. Mixed dry ingredients and then the wet ones. Cracked three eggs and stupidly cracked one into the egg carton instead of the bowl!!!

Reached for raisins, none, but there were some currants. Soaked them.

Stirred all together and put into oven. Turned and saw currants still draining.

Felt so shaky and weak from being up. Forced myself forward. Thought it was time for a rest, maybe even a nap!

 

 

 

 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Am a Wee Bit Back!

 

January is half over and we sit inside waiting for ice. For two days, our warnings have been dire about ice, but Mother Nature has danced around the freezing point so we have some passable streets. Since I am not going out much anyway, I think a pretty snow would be nice instead. But…we take what we get. I just hope one more day will put us past the severe ice danger and damage.
 
 

Inside the house does have snowmen. I put little out for Christmas this year due to health reasons, but still I only put away part of it. I could not bear the thoughts of silk spring flowers and rabbits yet. I also did not want to see bare winter dullness, icy scenes. So, I compromised and left out lots of reds, lots of cheerful snowmen, and winter tea pots.

I also dragged out some of my favorite blue and whites. They comfort me so.
 

I did a new chemo two days after Christmas and while still in the midst of surgery healing. It was hard and devastating for 12 days. So, the last few days as it has lifted, but I return on January 23 for more (sort of like hitting your own head with a hammer and knowing it is coming!). With these better days DH has helped me and together we put house back together to face next round. We/he swept floors, put out clean kitchen tablecloths, vacuumed up dog hair, wiped down refrigerator and did up laundry. Doesn’t sound exciting I know, but it is thrilling to someone who has not been able to wipe up a thing for long while. We often take so much for granted and don’t realize how delightful a wet sponge in our hand is until we can’t do it anymore!

There has been writing here, not even a blog page for nearly two months. That is sad, but I do still reach for your blogs to read when I can even if I don’t leave a comment. I am glad you dear pals are out there!

Reading is hard too, but I am reading a little on the better days. Right now, I am reading My Brothers’ Keeper. This is collection of bios of Christians that saved Jews during the Holocaust even at the expense of their own lives. Yes, it could be seen as a dark book, but I am so uplifted to know these people existed. I hope that our world still has such giving and principled people.

This is about all I can write today. Thank you all again for continued prayers and support. I hope you all are warm and safe and happy on this winter’s day!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cowboy Night

 

This weekend a friend encouraged DH and I to get out. The local Spiva Art was having a small art show this month of Western Art. On Saturday night, they had a special program that was music, song, and stories. Geff Lawson who is a winner of the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Utah and a member of the Cowboy Hall of Fame was the program.  

Geff and his wife Dawn were great music makers. He set most of his Cowboy Poetry to his own music and told jokes and stories in between. The crowd was small but included a few cowboys. What is not to love about music, poetry, and cowboys in great hats not to mention fancy boots!
 

I appreciate Cowboy Poetry but am not good at writing it. I thought once I would give it a try, but I had no inspiration or talent for it.

 
This guy had an amazing resemblance to Sam Elliot! He was a prize winning Cowboy Poet from Arkansas.
 
 
Do you like Cowboy Poetry or just cowboys?
 
 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving Should Be Every Day

 
                                        This lovely tree stands across the street and has looked inviting all season. I watch it from  my living room window and am grateful for its beauty, its standing strong in wind and rain.

Another week has passed and autumn is beginning to draw to a close. Today the wind blew furiously taking down a great number of leaves to tumble into gutters, roll across yards, and race down the streets. A friend took me for a short ride while the weather was still warm and before all the trees were stripped. Here and there stood trees in lovely colors that appeared quite late this year.

The week for me was one of tests, appointments, frustrations, family upheaval, and well just life I guess. If it could be broken or ruined, it was done here. I did manage to help DH move things on the deck so he could seal the floor boards before winter. In years past, I have gotten things off the deck, sealed it and moved things back myself. When DH retired, we worked as a team. Alas this year cancer and age have altered both of us. We no longer moved things off but basically moved from one side to another and sealed the empty side. It took two days but it is now done.
 
 
An editor wrote that she wanted to use a story of mine. I submitted the story a year ago this month! Now she wants the first line changed and quickly so she can use in January. I am glad to hear all this and tried to handle that first thing this morning. Lots of things went wrong like all my contacts are gone from Outlook!!!! Like I sent the email and forgot to attached the changes! I bet she thinks I am an idiot, but it is really chemo brain. DH just said tonight that it not like me to forget so much. It is hard to be in my body right now!

 One of the things I did this week was have barium CAT scans. I get the results Monday. The nurse feels that more chemo will be called for and that might put a dent in Christmas. But with the extra chemo free week right now, I should be able to have a decent Thanksgiving before more things to face. Right now, I am just thankful to be here for another Thanksgiving!

 


As I have said before, I have just good and decent friends. One showed his photography last week at an art show. When I bragged on his lovely red fox, he brought me a framed smaller version. I am really enjoying this perky fox sitting on the library table to greet me each morning. The colors are just right for these autumn days.
As my world and the world in general continue to deal with stress and distress, I hope you all can find plenty to be thankful for these days. I just have to believe there is a purpose and some end result that is worth the abundant madness that is around. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving week ahead…and get those jackets out as cold is a coming!


This tree stands in front of an abandoned house around the corner from us. Its shape is perfect! Every year we have watched and been thankful for the grandeur of this tree. This year the color came late and weak. Finally now it is giving a good last hurrah! The leaves in the top are thin but with sunshine and limbs reaching high in the sky, we forgive this year's imperfection...just grateful it still stands!