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 way....it 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! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Autumn Perks





When we drove in on Friday afternoon coming from DH's medical labs,  we were greeted by this lovely mum on our front porch. So kind of a person to start our weekend this way. DH spent the weekend helping side the son's house, but I got some deck time which I appreciated.

A friend came and took me to a tea room for lunch which was lovely. It is about a half hour drive and Saturday was one gorgeous day! Then we picked up an iced coffee for her and retired to my deck where the air was perfect. While the deck is not as decorated for autumn as it once was, there is still touches of fall beauty to sit among. I love the shape and colors on this pumpkin.



Sunday was somewhat of a repeat in that I got some time outside on the deck. I still have one nice pot of Black Mambas left in this season. Petunias don't thrive well in the heat, but these have stayed with me! But neighbors mowing in the afternoon drove dog and woman inside. Then we had to prepare to watch that second debate!


The sunshine was such a perk after four days of rain. Today is to be pretty but three days of this coming week are to be rain. BooHoo. The flowers might enjoy it, but not me.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Seasons


It is no secret our life is full of season, not just Mother Nature’s seasons. While all seasons have some down sides, I do appreciate living in an area that clearly experiences four distinct season changes. Our trees are beginning to turn here; there is autumn rain. There is also some tornado watches nearby. Also this week, the doctor news was not good, a winter warning type of news. I have always tried to remember that you can’t see the rainbow without having the thunderstorm first. I just hope I still have a few rainbows left to see.

As we age and then when we are seriously ill, we begin to relive the past, to remember special things. It is amazing how fast life has gone by! I have my Granny’s mink stole which I am going to pass on to my niece who is a vintage dress type girl-my kind of gal! In the 50s and 60s women would kill for mink or even lesser furs. Now you can’t give them away. The story behind this one is that Grandpa got it for Gran for Christmas. For weeks he talked about his special gift and how happy she would be. For weeks she pictured getting a new sewing machine that she needed badly. A gifted seamstress, her machine was a clunker and she was so excited. But on Christmas Gramps handed her a small box with a beautiful mink that made him look good!



Well, she wore it to church but where else? She did not live a mink lifestyle! She loaned it to me to wear to two proms. I was downtown in 1967! There I was in a $29.95 Mode o Day dress and hundreds of dollars of mink on my shoulders!



Seasons also mean Gus changes his dew rag. The mascot of PSU is a gorilla named Gus. Oh I love gorillas!!!! I bought this piece of concrete years ago where the shop had some red, some yellow dew rags on Gus. I have used red in summer and yellow in the fall. Alas, I can’t find my dew rag fabric, but his head gear was faded to white! So I tied on a teal colored ovarian cancer support dew rag. Gus, it will have to do this autumn!!!!

I voted this morning. Not knowing how I will be in 30 days and knowing I can’t stand in a long line for long while for anything, DH and I went to the poles early. Just getting into our huge Victorian courthouse was a trial for me. But we did it and I know I’ve done my civic duty for this election season.


I hope you have bright autumn days where you are, the seasons of your life treat you well!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Dull Days but a Big Surprise


This has been a tough week. Usually this third week after chemo has about five good days that remind me I am a functioning human.  This week felt too much chemo still and lots of other issues piled up. I get very frustrated having no energy. I sit, think I am fine, consider doing something, stand up and then feel like someone pushed me over a cliff again. Regular readers know how I hate to whine but right now there is very little I can share that is bright and positive, but I still long to blog.

The one household chore I still try to do is fixing a meal, an abbreviated or somewhat prefab meal. Today I made onions and apples which sounds yucky right? Well, I bought cooking apples at the farm stand, got them home and found I was too tired for making a pie and wanted to avoid the sugar anyway. This recipe is onions, apples, Splenda and vinegar cooked 15 minutes in a skillet. Very good and somewhat different.


Then I did get a really BRIGHT spot in an email! An editor asked my permission for her to nominate me and my poem for the 2017 Pushcart Prize! Never saw that coming one bit and so appreciate it. Even if I don’t win a place, just to be nominated is enough. It feels good that someone in publishing saw my work as worthy of more.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Chair Happiness



"Happiness is a thing you cannot cut off in chunks or yard lengths," wrote Gladys Taber. For me, happiness can be a real good chair, one that holds a body like a safe cocoon.

In early spring we planned to replace my family room chair. Then disaster hit and I was too sick to do it. While at my sickest and sitting so much, the chair was actually uncomfortable. So while I was up and before Tuesday’s chemo again, we ran to our favorite chair store where I have bought the last five chairs in this house.



I go there because the store is family-owned and the wife fits chairs like salesmen used to fit shoes! When I bought my office chair she asked me to trust her with a chair where my feet don’t quit touch the floor. It is a recliner and she said I might sleep in it (and I did while sick!) and it was a perfect fit for my short legs and wide behind. Best chair I have ever sat in (slept in) and wanted exact same chair for family room now.

Once again she Vicki guided me well. I was close to choosing a recliner with a slight rock. She said the rock thrust me forward in the sitting position and warned me against any movement while battling with chemo. She was right of course, my insides needed stillness not any shifting or motion. I brought home the chair she picked and it was a perfect fit!

Do you have a favorite chair?


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday Chatter



It rained hard yesterday dumping four inches with some thunder and darkness. DH and I both were down physically so the day seemed very gloomy. This morning the dog and I opened the door to the deck where everything was soaking still. A chorus of crickets crooned songs in the wet grasses from every corner of the yard. A slight fog hung in the air like a mountain mist making the back yard feel like a highland valley, beautiful but not inviting for sitting with a tea cup.

The forecast is for returning sun and the 90’s again this week, but we know Yellowstone has had its first snow, the Tetons have four inches already, and our in-laws in Montana have had three nights of hard freeze ruining their garden.  There are many reminders that winter’s wrath hangs in the wings waiting for a chance to wallop us one day soon!

                                                       Picture of a Deck Past

My flowers are mostly dead, but a friend has brought mums. I have a few pumpkins, but nothing is like it used to be here. I looked up a picture of my deck years ago and was floored by the beauty then. Maybe someday I will have the energy and health to do it again. Meanwhile, I am overjoyed at any orange or yellow of the season I can manage.


I also found one of my all-time favorite pictures from New Mexico. This old truck sitting in a purple field cheers me every time I look at it. I have it on a bulletin board above my desk. It captures a life lived and the life bursting in the flowers. 




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Another Week After



Here I am a week out from chemo again. While technically it went better, my body has suffered and is taking a long time recovering. I am hoping today is better. Yesterday was week mark for doctor visit and blood work. Red blood and white blood cells were both down. I got a shot for red blood cells which meant signing a paper agreeing to serious side effects. Is there nothing in my fight that isn’t multi-thorned like a fresh cocklebur sticking to my sock.



If at all possible, we try to eat out on these days. We do not eat much beef so a steak is a special occasion. We went to the Longhorn Steakhouse. I know it is just a chain but I love their flat iron steak! I also love their d├ęcor. Since I won’t be traveling West this autumn (oh such longing for the prairie and plains when the air begins to cool and I know the aspens are starting to turn!), it was like a little mini-visit to cowboy country!


Hubby played with his lathe this week. He took a chunk of cedar and turned it to a lidded bowl. He thinks it looks Southwest. It does…the red clay colors are reminiscent of New Mexico mesas. Also the bowl is so fragrant! No, it can capture sage and pinion, but the cedar smell is close enough to make me shut my eyes and “travel”. 



Sunday, September 4, 2016

Friends, Some Silver and Some Gold


When I was in first grade and having trouble with a little girl friend, my mother tried to teach me how to deal with people. She said I would meet lots of friendly people, some not so friendly, and that a person was lucky if in a lifetime they made ONE best friend that lasted.

I guess I was extra lucky because I have met and kept many friends. I have numerous besties too! During these last few months I really learned who would stay and help bail the water out of this sinking boat! They have driven miles to see me, taken care of things I needed, and much more.
I had a best of friends in college. We are polar opposites! I don’t know how we ever stayed friends. She is athletic and no patience for a pansy. You guessed it, I am a pansy of the grandest sort, and I am NOT athletic. Yet here we are almost 50 full years later and she has been at my bedside-literally. She came to the hospital every day, calls now after chemo, and shows up to visit when I feel like it. I love her so!


For over a quarter of a century, another friend and I have stayed in touch. We lived on the same street for about eleven years I think. We walked together every day; we agonized together over raising all boys! We shared books. She always has had such appreciation for my writing—makes me feel worthy!  During this rough time she has texted me every single day with some prayer or perk or thought as she continues to pray daily for me. Sadly enough, she has been sick too through this. She is a best friend of the highest sort.







When DH and I were newlyweds, we moved to St. Louis to a duplex while he worked at McDonnell Douglass Aircraft. I taught as Hazelwood High School. At one point we youngsters held four jobs between us so we could return “home” and buy a house to rear a family. After about one year, another set of newlyweds moved next door. While we grew up in Kansas, they grew up in St. Genevieve, Missouri so we were all from small towns.  We shared meals, played games together in evenings, “reared” our doggies together. We moved back to the Kansas/Missouri border area and eventually they spent a few years in Finland. Still we maintained our friendship getting together every three years or so to fish, canoe, macrame, craft, moan about rearing four boys between us! They just made the drive to have lunch with us yesterday. That is one long drive from St. Louis and back just for lunch! They also brought two ice chests of groceries from The Hill in St. Louis. DH and I are set for Italian food this winter. They have made our life richer for years!


We love all these people. What would we do without friends? I am so fortunate to have these good friends and many more! 

The day after Labor Day, I will go to chemo again so page might be silent for a while...please don't give up on me! 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Color Teal


It is hard not to talk about cancer because it rules my life right now. Someday though, I hope to get off the topic. Right now, I’m still forming questions and finding answers. I have two pleural effusions and I have had them drained three times a week by a Home Health nurse. She is excited because she thinks I am ready to move to only twice a week.

One thing I learned was that teal is the support color for ovarian cancer. To me, teal looks a lot like turquoise. Yeah for that as I love turquoise!

In an article about Australian AFTERNOON TEALS (teas for ovarian cancer support), I saw the lady using a teal colored tea cup. Now I have a jillion tea cups and saucers here but nary a one is teal colored! So I went to Amazon and found one! This morning I used it on the deck for morning tea. I am a long way from a tea party yet, but I did have a tea party for one this morning.



I was out early and the skies were still overcast from yesterday’s rain. A chorus of crickets was singing and later I saw butterflies. Autumn was trying to slip in a wee bit. Afternoon was a visit to my book club for the first time in four months and I will miss next month due to chemo so today was important visit. Then supper out with friends tonight to eat some healthy liver to help fight anemia.

Tonight it is to get down to 59 and the morning should be cool to start…maybe too cool. But hot tea in a teal cup will be nice again!!!!


Do you drink from a favorite cup?


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Holding Up


Five years ago a friend invited me to be part of an exercise group she was starting at her church.  It was simple exercises provided by a stroke program at the hospital and some kindergarten dancing to raise heart rate. About ten women came for an hour each Thursday and then retired to the Common Room to have tea. A strong support group was the result where women cried, laughed, cussed and discussed, and bonded together. We have been and are THERE for each other. This is what we humans were meant to do.

When this group heard my diagnosis  on Memorial Day weekend last May, they met at their church and prayed for me. They prayed hard and never stopped. They, along with others, brought food, sent cards, wrote notes, called my husband. A fire brigade of news went from one to another every time there was a development, which for a long time was a dark and depressing development usually.

Four months later they are still with me. A note today one wrote from her morning meditation time says today, "For your friends who love you, you have become our poster child for HOPE! We know that God loves you and is in control. Watching you suffer we know there is a larger meaning to life. Thank you for carrying this burden for us...please don't give up. Lean on God, lean on us as you become this new person..."

In the face of such support, of such confirmation, how I can I do anything less than go forth, accept, and meet head on whatever I have to face each day?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Carrying Wood


How much better it is
To carry wood to the fire
Than to moan about your life.
    From “The Clothes Pin” by Jane Kenyon

Hair at my house growing up was always a real issue, but that is another story. My hair was my one strong feature. It was long, thick and comforting to my head. Among other things, chemo wrecked that too. Huge handfuls of long brown hair came out in my hands. The long hair knotted up in the hair still rooted to my head and the weight actually made my scalp hurt.



So my friend/beautician helped me take OFF my hair. It was harder on her and my husband to see than it was for me I think. But I survived. In fact, there are some mighty nice features about being bald. It is easy to care for, washing my head is a breeze, and it has eliminated $$$$  worth of shampoos and conditioners! Do I dare show my face? Yes, I think I do. On a day that I feel decent, my ear rings make me feel even better and being bald means I am still kicking at least!




The local Cancer Society gave me a free wig. I thought this was amazing and so comforting. It gave me options. I was pretty sick the day I sat in the chair and later I ordered another to give me some of my length back. Chemo makes your skin a pasty color. When I put on hair in my color, I looked terrible. So some new shades were needed. So many changes in my life, and some are not bad at all. 

                                              Taken a month earlier when definitely less light in my eyes!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Peeps, Are You Still There?


In May when I put this blog to sleep, my husband was not happy with me. He thought I was quitting too soon. But I knew I could not keep it up and did not want to do a shoddy job of anything, much less my blog. I instinctively knew that every ounce of me must set to work to fight cancer. It has been and still is a hard fight!!!! But thanks to many of you, I have held on to hope and prayer which are the real howitzers of the battle. I am a long way from winning the war, but I can see the enemy wearing down the tiniest bit. I am not sure if I should post here or not, but I do miss you all!

I miss reading blogs…of writing blogs…of reading books…of writing poems and fiction. At first I could not even hold a book, but I am once again reading some. I can’t write but my mind begins to whirl a bit again. If you don’t hear from me, it is because I am very sick and can’t write or visit your pages. I have been reading a few pages but sometimes even writing a one line comment is too much for me.

God and I are talking things over and I am trying to figure what I could do for Him if he allows me to stay here longer. I have always tried to be a good person (although I often missed the mark!), so I am not sure I can change that part of my living.  However, ovarian cancer is little understood and is a silent demon that tiptoes up on women and takes them hostage. So maybe I could be a spokesperson….raise money for research…use my writing to promote information to spare other women my plight. Maybe I will experience a miracle and am simply to tell others about it.  I just don’t know.

I have already learned much including how good and kind people are or can be. I can’t begin to thank you for specific things without risking leaving someone out. However, I have received Masses said in France, cards mailed from Australia, prayers from the Deep South, candles lit in Illinois, medals and prayer cards of Saint Peregrine (patron saint of cancer), shawls from St. Louis, scarves from numerous places, hats from friends, and so many kind, kind words from all over the world. My book club went together and bought me an iPad so I can watch movies during my six hour chemo days.

I have been supported by family, friends, neighbors, associates, but the most astounding thing has been you Blogger Peeps! I have a huge basket of cards from people I have never ever even met face to face or talked to on the phone! From my words alone, you came to care for me. You did not throw me over when I could no longer be a blogger too. The profound statements you made and the prayers you prayed made a wet spot on my desk where I opened both snail mail and email and cried like a baby in gratitude.


I don’t when or if or how I can write again here, but I want to return to you if at all possible. Again thanks for all the continued prayers and support and kindness. I am grateful, humbled, and filled with JOY by you. 


Friday, May 27, 2016

Goodbyes Aren't Easy


When I started this blog seven years ago, I meant it to be a personal journal, a diary of sorts for myself. I vowed to find only possible things even for myself. Then I began to meet people, nice people. The first was Donna V and I can’t remember how I found her. Then Becky...Linda…Rebecca…Susan…Lisa…Lynn…Sioux and many more. I actually met a couple face to face! Some left comments, some sent emails, and some read in silence. I enjoyed you all.

John in Wales if you are reading today thanks for being an “over the water” friend. One of my favorite weekends was when DH and I took you three Europeans to Roaring River, Eureka Springs, and Branson. I saw the places with new eyes. I remember you were a little sick and felt for you.
But this week, my world crashed. I got very sick and had to go to the hospital. I am home again but not for long. I have cancer, one of the worst with no hope. Now my time must be spent tending to wrapping up a life. If you are a writer, you know that means among other things hundreds of folders for research, new ideas, and manuscripts! I never knew this office was SO full of paper!

I have loved you all and would still listen if you wanted to speak on my email: bookwoman1015 AT sbcglobal.net. I might be able to check in here now and then, but I doubt I can write much or would have anything interesting to say.


So, for now, I will say goodbye and see what comes along for me, maybe some beauty in the line of chaos. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Some Fast and Rambling Thoughts



                              Yellow lilies and blue bottles in morning sun...



The week has been an odd one and the weather falls into odd category as well. Storms, hot, and cold. This morning it was so cold I had to turn furnance on! But then amazingly the sun came out, the air warmed, the breeze stilled! Perfect deck weather!

The week had some bad news, some possible good news, some rejections of course. A couple of meetings and a dentist appointment were on the calendar.



Finished A Mother's Reckoning by Sue Klebold about Columbine, reread Plant Dreaming Deep by May Sarton, and read Painted Horses by Malcolm Brooks. All wonderful, mind pricking reads! Today began John Grisham's Gray Mountain.

Wrote a new poem this week...

So after many things including two days where DH helped me clean four rooms of this house, we were ready and entitled to some creative deck sittin'! While the house cleaning was not the spring cleaning of my ancestors, I felt better about things in general with a little dusting, the laundry done up, food in the cupboards; DH washed windows, vaccumed floors, and mowed yard. Today we read books, drank tea, and enjoyed our little peice of the earth!

Tomorrow is possibly severe storms, but I hope they don't materialize. I hope you all had the lovely sunshine we did today.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Another County Museum


The weekend was a mixed bag. While the sun was still shining and before the rainy season returned, we headed out to do some fun things and some chores. We have lived here 40 years and been to Nevada up the road for children’s sporting events and meeting Kansas City friends but never stopped in at the Bushwhacker Museum. (Bushwacker is a term used for roaming bands of guerillas during the Civil War. The border of Kansas and Missouri was the site of constant fighting and bloodshed, although not many were with the Untion and Confederate armies.) Since I was reading some Civil War things, I thought it time we made the effort to visit this county museum.  

Celebrating all the chapters of Vernon County Missouri history, the museum is in a library basement. Displays were quite well done and maintained. A founding family’s home was displayed by showing some restored rooms, displays of early businesses, Civil War guns, and history Osage history and all were interesting.


As usual I took away a couple of new gems to mull over in my mind. The Hornback family home used the third floor to rent to single men or occasionally a “nice couple”.  The mother tried renting to women but gave up and said no women. It happens that men of the times could smoke outside or on the streets; women could not. So they would sneak smokes in their rooms and Mrs. Hornback tired of finding burns in her sheets and bedding. I thought this a fascinating bit of trivia! 

My grandmother had a similar sewing chair. Note the drawer that slides from the seat and holds needles and thread.



Note this lily pad seed pod...was food source for Osage who ate the seeds raw or roasted.








Visitors also get to visit the Vernon County Jail that was used for 100 years and closed in the 1960s. The stone building is sturdy and the front rooms were used for the living quarters for the Deputy Sherriff and his family. They were lovely rooms, but immediately nearby, behind the living room wall were the jail cells.

Note the lovely paper...replica of wallpaper of the times made in England.

The cells were even more scary and chilling than those we saw at the state penitentiary last year! Very, very small housing four men at a time. They took baths once a week in a bucket. Three had to be on their beds while the fourth one washed!






















In the living quarters I learned something new too. This frame is
Tramp Art, called such because tramps made art or items from any trash they found to sell for a few coins. In this case, the Tramp Art was done by a prisioner. 


The frame is actually made from carved blocks like the one below. All the blocks were carved from cigar boxes which at the time were always made of wood. No glue or nails or pins were used in making the blocks which then became a frame.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Friday Book Blurb #13


It's time for Sioux's Friday Book Blurb #13.  Sometimes Sioux's pictures are so hard for me that no inispriation comes! But this week with a little change in the sign, I got an image of a sweet child and her world.


Go to Sioux's page at http://siouxspage.blogspot.com for complete rules on how to participate and links to other writers' stories based on the photo. 










Trials of Trina

Trina knew she had a plan when she saw the poster in the school library. The circus was coming to town next month, and she intended to leave with it! She loved the elephants, tumblers, trapeze girls, and the dancing monkeys. She wanted to live with them.

In a local shop where her mother bought pretty beads was a sign that said naughty children would be sold to the circus. Sweet little Trina knew what she had to do and made a list of naughty things she could do at school. Surely if she ate paper, spilled her milk, pinched that nasty Johnny who wore a kerchief every day, and refused to sing the school song, the teacher would call home and report her naughtiness. Then her mother surely would sell her to the circus!

Would it work? Would she leave town with the clowns? Read the book for answers.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Local Museum Time





This week I spent a couple of hours out at the local Powers Museum. I have served two different times on the board and know the terrible time they have making ends meet. A local woman died and left money to build the museum in honor of her parents, but the money doesn’t stretch far to keep the place running. It is a depository of many of Marian Wright Powers family things but also of many area historical items. Volunteers of any kind are appreciated.




Right now the museum gallery is displaying Fashions of Carthage Women in the past. It is quite interesting to see the fabrics and styles of yesteryear, not to mention the tiny sizes of women’s waists and feet!


A few hands and wraps were available to try on. Of course, my favorites were hats! Love hats!



Here is a most unusual hat. It is made of porcupine! I don't think I would care much for wearing this one.


A lovely 1903 wedding dress was worn by both Marian Wright Powers and her mother.


This airy dress was also turn of the century wearing apparel. It is made of lawn, a new fabric name for me. It was light like lingere material or the fabric used in ladies handkerchiefs. Writers often need to look at clothing if they are writing a period piece. And of course, the clothes themselves might create a story. So wonder what story this dress would tell the looker? Was it a happy time or did the wearer face a grave sadness? I wish the dress could talk!