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!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Another Week in November Is Gone

Here we are at the end of another week, a week of turmoil and upset for many people. Anger is the result of fear in our brains and there are enough of both to go around these days. I call constantly for a return to civility, the best parts of it anyway. I have not sorted out my many feelings on many topics even yet. Just trying to live moment to moment right now and see some pattern in the chaos of both the world and my world.

Monday, we went to my uncle’s visitation. It was quite an effort, but the daytime funeral the next morning was during a dentist appointment I needed to keep. This week is extra one after chemo and side effects are less. Must go and do while I can. So, we went to the visitation which also meant being with family from afar that I might not ever get to see again. Pictures were abundant. It was like we all knew the end was near for us as well as the uncle. We wanted to save the moments in any way we could. Instinct tells us to cling to life and visions of it.

After dentist, the next day was eye doctor for us both. Expected a lot of problems but both were better than expected. Chemo effects were light; insides of eyes were moderately healthy for our states of health, but DH now has cataracts that will require surgery in a year or so. Afterwards we ate lunch and went to Sam’s to stock the larder. I was grateful to be able to walk the store and do things as I once did. But I was very tired when I got home!

Yesterday I visited my exercise group but not for the exercises. I only went for the last hour which is tea and talk. It was good to be there again even for a little while! That evening one more return as we went to the movies like we used to do. Wow, have the prices gone up while I wasn’t looking!!! The movies are so poor in most cases I think they should pay us to go!

We wanted to see Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge and it was worth the money. I have to be honest it was one of the goriest movies I have seen. But it was a WWII setting on Okinawa so I knew what to expect. Something about the war and that time period draws me though…always has. I hate the horror but love the tales when men rise above themselves and do grand things. This story is about conscientious objector who served as a medic and is a true story.  I won’t say much more as I don’t want to spoil it for you. Despite the killing and maiming and terror, the story also has faith and promise and goodness. Makes you think! Even this war movie has a good ending of sorts.

                                                  DH and me at the funeral visitation

Monday, November 7, 2016

Another Monday Morning

Here it is another Monday morning in autumn. There is some light rain and every little bit the sun tries to peak out from gauzy clouds  like a shy dancer with a billowing scarf. The trash trucks have been by which thrills Miss Biscuit who loves to chase them from one corner of the yard to the next. Just say "trash truck" and she tilts her head before racing to the door.

I am between chemos with a rest period before tests. It does feel good to be out from under most of the chemo side effects for a bit. I have several appointments and things I want to do during this period, although too much is still tiring. I have been able to attend my book club, do a birthday luncheon, and attend a small group supper.

Saturday a Best Buy Geek set up a new tower for me. I am so glad to have the computer working again even if it now has Windows 10 which means I lost my Publisher. I do wish the world would leave well enough alone. Not all improvements are necessary or for the best.

Last night the door bell rang and Biscuit did her barking dance. I saw a man I did not know. When I opened the door I saw my California cousin. The man was also a cousin I had not seen since childhood. They had been talking of coming all fall, but when an uncle died last week they decided to do it and see all the family they could. They are two of ten children but were the only ones who could make the flight right now. It was such a surprise and meant a lot to see them here after so many years.

Last week I also read a good book, Eleanor and Hick, about Eleanor Roosevelt and the circle of friends, particularly women, who shared her life. The author was amazingly honest and yet tasteful in her book about the relationship between Eleanor and FDR and the times they lived in. I admired ER ass a young girl and to read about her again in this stage of my life I was moved and impressed all over again.

The next ten days or so hold many appointments for me including some fearful CAT scans. My life has very little worth sharing, but hopefully something will pop up between appointments that will be worth of writing a line or two. At least now I can write a blog page if I want with a computer that will work!!!

Here is hoping that tomorrow in America will go smoothly and that somehow we as a Nation will find civility once again! I know the boring 50's and tumultuous 60's and money raking 80's all were less than perfect, but right now I long for some of the rules and guidelines that shaped our lives then.
Be sure and vote somehow...some is a privilege to do so!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

A Little Respite

I'm coming back from chemo yet once again. This time the first plan is finished I have will have some extra days before doing CAT scans to see what is next. I should have some better days and already can feel more of my feet! Unfortunately many days will be scheduled with other appointments to work in during the chemo moratorium. Meanwhile I am grateful for any and everything including the beautiful sunshine...although I do hate waking up in the dark mornings!

Although still warm out, I feel like soups! Yesterday I made my Panera Potato Soup. The cream cheese was a little lumpy but hey, there is no bad cream cheese right? It wasn't a pretty soup, but was mighty tasty. I have things ready for a lentil soup now. It is a very simple soup with no meat although you can toss some in if you like. But it is a healthy and flavorful soup.

DH has been trying to teach Biscuit to respond to a No Talking command about barking. She refuses to learn and she is smart enough to know what she is doing for sure. Finally this week Biscuit just earned herself a second name: Chief Talks A Lot. She barks (talks) at us constantly this week and ignores the commands! I would show pictures but my equipment is not working right.

It seems my body isn't the only thing failing here. Vacuum sweeper on blitz. Washer runs at half power. Dog and Man tore up the screen door. One stool refuses to flush properly. My desk top has  quit and now my laptop is giving me grief. So nothing profound or exciting here today, but just had to reach out to Blog Land somehow. Maybe I can read some blogs again and until I can write for real, have a delightful last weekend in October!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Every Day Is Special

This week has been cold and dark in more ways than one. This morning the skies are gray as a gun barrel; it is chilly and windy, but the afternoon is to be warm and sunny. The weather jumps around like my deteriorating body, good and bad mixed like a bracing cocktail. This is also the Maple Leaf Parade Day and it looks to be big crowd as cars are lining my street bumper to bumper finding parking, and this is three blocks from the end of the parade! The mailman has run his route about three hours early to try and beat some of the congestion on this autumn Saturday.

The mailman has brought me a load of birthday cards for two days. Thank you all who have sent them! Today is my birthday which often falls on Maple Leaf weekend so it has been hard to celebrate when the town celebrates first. Of course this year I can’t do the parade and that is okay. I sent DH on to son’s house to continue siding. They work hard trying to beat winter with this project and to work between chemo chaos.

On Thursday we called it my birthday early and worked hard to make it some kind of different day. We so miss our countryside jaunts and tours. The rainy weather dampened our plans but we worked in a short ride to Arkansas border on a cold but dry day between rains. Biscuit rode along and we went to Crystal Bridges to see the Bachman-Wilson house built by Frank Lloyd Wright. We have longed to it for months. It was a hard press and we did not do other art, only the house. We have seen other FLW houses but this one was smallest. Moved from New Jersey and set in an Ozark hollow packed with oaks and walnuts, the setting is beautiful.

We have always thought the man’s designs both beautiful and uncomfortable looking. This small home was typical of his concrete, wood, and glass designs. The house used rich, dark mahogany; the wall of glass made you feel like you were sitting among the trees from the inside.
Then we went to lunch in a tea room where we were disappointed. Now you will know me for the tea snob I am! Years ago we went to lovely tea room in downtown Rogers, Arkansas. They opened a branch in Bentonville and eventually moved the main tea room to a strip mall out near a big shopping center. They lost their ambiance. We had never been to Bentonville one so we gave it a shot. It too lacked ambiance.

Ordering at a cash register, getting your own tea in a plastic glass, silverware, and small paper napkin does not speak tea room language. The food was decent but not extraordinary. However, the tea room has lasted and they had a decent business. Once known for outstanding and special orange rolls that were light and airy, they still have them on the menu. But alas, they are not the same. These rolls were heavy, had no orange taste, and now used some kind of crystallized sugar instead of the orangey glaze that once made them scrumptious.

We were back home in the early afternoon and as tired as if we had taken a longer trip. We got quilts, found a good western and called the day special anyway.

I return to chemo on Tuesday again so will probably be quiet for a while. I have anti-nausea meds on counter and convenience foods stocked up. Hopefully, there will be more special days to work in after the worst is over!