Thursday, May 25, 2017

Hair Tales #2


Originally published in anthology of Southeastern Kansas stories....

I was stunned one summer day in the 1950s when my dad came home looking like a stranger. He had gone by the barber shop after work. Instead his wavy dark hair combed back from his forehead, he sported a new flat top haircut. I thought he had ruined his hair, turning  his once soft locks into stubble that looked like a curry comb for a horse. I had to search his face for days to make sure he was the right daddy.

It was all the more strange because Mom and Dad had issues over hair-hers. He never wanted her to cut her hair short, but in Kansas summers before air conditioning, she chopped her hair short to endure the sweat of cooking, cleaning, and childrearing.  Every summer, she would go to the beauty shop and come home with a fresh bob. Dad would sneer and make some snide comment about her trading curls for summer hair, and she would snip back with a barbed reply making the air tense for a few days.

So it was only natural that I wanted long hair to keep the peace which wasn’t exactly how it worked. When my hair got very long, my mom brushed way too hard saying she had to get the “rats” out. When she tired of the job or my whining, she would tromp me to the beauty shop for a Buster Brown cut. How I hated those! I did not like getting or wearing them either one. Sitting still while the lady cut my bangs was torture; feeling the snips of hair dust my eyelashes and nose was worse. Mother wanted those bangs straight as a bobby pin across my forehead, and it often took a several tries to get them right.

In grade school, I convinced Mom to let me have a Toni home permanent. That was hours of smelly, painful business, but I could endure the suffering if she would take the time. She would roll those tiny plastic perm curlers so tight my scalp felt like a trapper had staked a hide out to dry. Then there was that stinky solution that stole my breath under the towel protecting my eyes from certain blindness. Once timed, then neutralized, then rolled into pin curls all over my head, dried, and finally combed out into a bushel of curls, we both were exhausted.

In high school I got say over my own hair. It was the 60’s and straight hair was in. Keeping ends trimmed was the challenge unless you had natural curls. Then you ironed your hair…or slept with cans on your head! I don’t know who first learned that empty orange juice cans from the frozen food section could be rolled with wet hair, but once it dried, hair was straightened with just a little flip on the ends. No head in cans would go under the plastic cap of hair dryers of those days, so a night’s sleep for drying was the only solution. I use the term sleep loosely as cans on your head could hurt, not to mention the angle they put your neck in for the night. Ah, but suffering for beauty’s sake seemed worth it.

     Once I got long hair, I never wanted to give it up again. In the early 80’s I did exchange the long and straight for long and super curly. My beautician convinced me that it would be easier to have Brillo pad tight coils. Then you just washed the hair, picked it out, and let it air dry. What could be easier while raising kids? It looked good but must have be my version of the flat top for my boys. When I came home, one cried and ran to his bedroom saying I wasn’t his mommy anymore.

When my babies were born, I loved their soft swirls of fine hair, and while other mom’s couldn’t wait for their little boys’ first haircut, I dreaded it. I postponed that first clip, enjoying a more European length until they were at least four. When my first grader came home from school one day, he headed for the bathroom to comb his hair. Odd I thought as I fixed his snack. Soon he came out with a beaming smile and new part plastered down with water. “Look, Mom, now I have President Jimmy Carter hair!” And so he did.

 

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hair Tales, #1


Hair loss with chemo did not rock my boat. I took it well. I just wanted to live, bald or not. My wig was delightful looking I thought. But as hair comes in now, it bothers me. I am not crazy about the color, but I can live with it…or color in time I have left. I don’t like the feel of it, feels fuzzy. But mostly when I look in the mirror I just do not see the me I know.

As a child, I had two modes of hair—ugly and painful. My mother either had my hair cut off into Buster Brown cuts or she did those old Toni perms. Oh, they smelled bad and I had to sit still for so long. But mostly then you had Saturday wash and pin curls which ended up tangled and Mother brushed the heck out of them pulling like each strand was a balking mule in harness. It hurt. In summer it was no choice, the hair was whacked off and horrid, deep seated bangs were chopped. If they were crooked, it was my fault because surely, I moved on the beautician!

When I was in eighth grade, we visited Mom’s cousin in Tulsa who had once done hair. My bangs were long and she offered to trim them. It was time for the summer chop, but dear Pat asked ME what I wanted. I explained I wanted t look like the rest of the 1962 girls. She shaped my bangs so beautifully, trimmed the ends of my almost shoulder length hair, and she rebutted my Mother’s urging for a chop. Pat said let the girl have her hair! So, from that day forward I never had short hair again!

There were times when my hair was midback. Others I kept it shorter but still long and straight like the times. I taught myself to pile it beautifully on top of my head as by high school tall, upswept hair was the rage Long hair cost more to have done at a beauty shop, and I had no money anyway. For my senior pictures, I did it myself and one older woman, a clothes horse and ritzy hair style gal, wanted to know where it was done she liked it so well. She could not believe I had done my own!

My Mother always wore her hair short and shorter, but that is another tale. I dreaded her trips to the beauty shop as she often did not like what they did. She would fume and recomb and be in a bad mood. My Granny told me often that she felt sorry for Mother’s dates with my Dad as he would sit on the couch waiting, waiting, waiting for Mother to stop seething and smoldering in front of a mirror over her uncooperative hair.

Cancer reduces you. It takes organs, hair, strength, cheer, blood health, and the ability to do for yourself. It is nice that people help and I am grateful for all the kindnesses and assistance I have received. Yet, it can often feel like you are a drawing and someone with a strong eraser is removing parts of you one line at a time, eliminating what makes you who you are. It makes you feel diminished, an abridged edition of who you once were.

On Friday my dear friend, Melissa, is going to look at my head and see if she can help me find myself!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

May Mini Trip

 
It storms and storms! Between rains we are trying to do some fun things, to escape from our truths and pretend life is full time glorious!
Melissa is a friend who used to do my hair and still cuts DH’s hair. I go with him so we can still visit.  This time she wanted a picture and it turned out well. I now have enough hair I might let her see if she can do anything positive with gray fuzz!!!! Maybe this week?

We ran up to see our son and his family this week. They are busy; we are busy, but it all meshed for a few hours of togetherness. We actually dodged rain, wind, and hail, but were not home long yesterday before the sirens went off. Ugly wall cloud hung over town trying to drop a twister. We made it through with nothing and more came at 8 last night. Escaped again. Tomorrow is to be nice so I am already looking forward to Sunday. Maybe the flowers can crawl out from under the tables again!
 
This is one of the best pictures of our oldest grandson I have ever taken. Our kids don’t do the Olan Mills type thing we did every month when our kids were small. But this is more like a portrait, snapped on their back deck. He is gangly eight and long toothed like eight year olds are. But here, the picture captures his sensitive side and show the charming fellow he can be!
 
 

Our son told us about the National Guard Military Museum that is east of Jefferson City. It is small but we found it worth the visit. Love finding these little nuggets of history tucked away in America’s countryside. It happened to hold some of our history as well in that DH worked on designing two of the planes in our early marriage, the F4 and F15.
 
 

 
 
 
F15 by McDonnell Douglas
 
 
Sherman Tank...great piece except it was overpowered by German tanks that were heavier.
 
 
 
This plate brought to American with German family who was fleeing Nazi Germany. The father later fought with American troops.
 
 
This was first recoiling canon...perfected by America. The recoil allow the carriage etc. to stay in place allowing for faster loading and aiming after firing.
 
We found my printer not working late last night. Do I need to tell you how technology puts me in a spin? Nothing we could do fixed it and again this morning. So, we replaced it. I would pay good money just to NOT have to change a thing. But alas, that is not life. Got to go with it. So now have it working and will hope worst of that tale is over!

 

F4 Phantom

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Happy Sunday



The rains have ceased until late in the coming week. We have slight water under our house for the first time in eons of time. The ground is just so soaked, it leaches out everywhere. But…sun is out and it has lifted everyone!  Somehow, bright sun seems to be message from God that things will go on one way or another.

The doctors have called and after this week’s biopsy fiasco, they want to meet with us on Thursday for a discussion. I can tell you that I am much more stressed by the thoughts of this than the biopsy.
 

Meanwhile, the flower fairy friends have been here this weekend. Look at the beauty, and I wish I could send you the sweet fragrance of the peonies. The scent spreads in my kitchen. I always have an ivy geranium each year, but this year did not feel like the hunt and plant. A friend filled this need and I have an ivy geranium once again.
 
 
 
The air is warm enough to have windows open so even lingering in the kitchen, I can hear the tinkling of the fountain. Yes, even after hearing rain, I still like the soothing sound of water falling over rocks.

I have brewed two kinds of tea today, have a book for deck time, feel no pain,  and a friend is stopping on her way through town today. I could ask for no more.

I hope you enjoy a bright day today and look eagerly to a new week.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Biospy, Anyone?


While the deck flowers are huddling under the picnic table and grill for protection and even a little warmth, the indoor plants seem to be thriving on the occasional furnace warmth added to the dampness of monsoon season here. This Cousin Sel plant has leaves the size of saucers right now, and the spray of red trumpets cascading down the pot are a bright spot for sure.

This morning we left in more rain. The skies rained, thundered, and tossed lightning bolts all night long. While we were safe, I was awake thinking of all the people who were flooded, now getting more insult from Mother Nature. It rained all the way to Springfield, and we had allowed more time to get there. (Heard yesterday of someone who spend 8 ½ hours getting from Joplin to St. Louis due to water problems.)

We got to Springfield by 8 am and started the bloodletting procedures and readying for biopsy. Once prepared I waited another hour on whatever. Then they decided to use ultrasound instead of CAT to guide the camera and needles. Ah, then there was a problem. The two guys in the room could not see the lesions well enough. The doctor came in; he couldn’t see the lesions well enough and only route was through a vein that wasn’t worth the risk. He called the oncologist who said if it caused me risk and pain with maybe no good result, cancel the whole thing for now. I should have felt release from that poking, but I didn’t.

By the time we got back to the car I was chilled to the bone. It felt like late November instead of May. We got some breakfast sandwiches and headed home. Hubby was the driver both ways and by time we got home he was so exhausted as he did not sleep well night before either. He slept much of the afternoon; I dozed some.

I am relieved the lesions are so small and can only hope they grown very slowly. But still, it all makes me feel more on a precipice than ever. I am trying so hard to put a good spin on this for now. I know sun is to shine on Friday and the weekend so maybe that will help me get the grip to go forward again. Right now, the cold dampness bores into my spine and joints. I am listless.  I don’t want to move or think. But, oh yes, Miss Scarlett, tomorrow is another day!!!! I am going to fetch the flannel nightgown and get ready for it when it arrives!!!!  

 

 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Rain, Rain, Go Away


Thunder snarls across a sky the color of river gravel this morning. Thick, ashen sheets of heavy rain pour straight down onto ground already soaked from days of earlier rain. Somewhere today, people will face rising water issues. Inside, everyone will feel as grim and dreary as the weather!

Yesterday DH and I used the confinement to share household duties. Nothing gets done these days like it used to. Oh, we keep things straight and picked up, but the corners are dirty and the tabletops have dust so thick you could plant peas! So, we worked on what we could for a few hours. It was far from the deep spring cleaning I used to do, but it does feel better now in this house.

Since it is almost May, I felt like I wanted to put away some of the Easter pastels and reach for summer reds for a while. I wanted some brightness indoors at least. This week I will face a liver biopsy and not sure how I will feel for a while. So, I have something pretty to walk back into again.

Today we could do more I suppose, but we feel listless. We have a grade B movie to kill time with later. Of course, I can always get lost in a book. I have the new Elizabeth Strout book, Anything is Possible. Years ago, when I read her first book, I was not impressed. But then I read Olive Kitteridge, story of a cranky math teacher in a small town. My first read left me wanting; I read it again and loved it. My book club then read it too. You don’t like the main character, but Stroud makes you at least care about her. Have you read this one?  I hope the new one has the same zap.

 
Thanks to all of you for the continued cards, letters, gifts, and thoughts. Mail time is still special around here. I do appreciate it all as some of the days are falling into such a rut, especially in this rainy season. I hope you readers are staying dry…we must remember this damp coolness in the coming July!!!!  Now I will pour some cinnamon orange tea and curl up with my book….hope you can do the same.
 
 

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Trash Day!




Last week it rained until I felt like a soaked sponge in dirty dishwater. Even the dog did not want to go out! She lingered around with us as we watched movie after movie to escape the roaring gutters and splattered flowers. Then just as the weather started to turn, when sun began to peek around, DH started with bleeding and pain. I found him on the floor of bathroom where he had put himself not able to go forward anymore.

So, we raced to the ER where nothing raced! The doctor leaving duty (we would not see another for three more hours and at our insistence!) said it wasn’t unusual for his kind of surgery. They needed to irrigate the bladder for blood clots. His pain, my pain, exhaustion just made me numb and crazy. Watching less than stellar employees drove me nuts. How I want to fix the world! One nurse just did not seem to know clearly what she was doing. She finally asked me to help hold a tube aloft and I picked up the trash.  I miffed a couple of RNs when I dared to ask questions. When they finally admitted DH,  they were keeping him until they could talk to urologist in the morning, I left the hospital at 1:30 a.m.

Yesterday no doctor ever showed up. Surprise! This morning we wait again, weary of “stuff”. Biscuit has been sad without her Daddy home. But it is Monday and that means trash day! She hears the brakes of the trash truck a block away and looks at me. I know, it is “chase the trash truck day”. I let her out and she runs from one fence corner to the other looking like a streak of saffron butter flowing across the yard, back and forth-back and forth. When she feels like she finally has scared the monster off, she comes to the door with a satisfied look on her face!  If only we could be so fulfilled with so little!

So here we are at Monday’s door again. The sun is out and day is to be a beauty outside before four more days of rain show up this week. Ugh. We wait for a doctor or some info at the hospital. I have a low tire I must attend. I will go to Joplin and help DH wait and wonder. I hope you all have a beautiful Monday with a fresh start for a good week as you chase your own trash trucks!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Week Is Passing



Another week has slipped by, and it felt full because we had lots of appointments to keep. It takes a lot of energy for us to just keep up right now. Double for me, as I feel I am watching a child as I try to keep my DH out of trouble. As I write this, he managed to get on top of the roof to clean out the gutters and he should NOT be up there!!!

It rained this morning and more coming tonight and tomorrow morning. It did pause enough for me to fetch some of the roses before they get beaten off in the hard rains coming. This morning was a gentle rain at least. The blessing of the week was two afternoons of perfect sunshine where we could sit among our spring flowers and green grass with iced tea and maybe a book.

One morning I tackled my writing files. It was a bittersweet job as I tossed much I knew I would never be able to deal with again. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much I had published though and enjoyed looking at what I had achieved. I found the following poem published in 2006 which I had long forgotten. It had been lost in a computer crash, but I had the magazine still. Glad I did not overlook it.

I got news of my biopsy this week. It will be May 3, and I dread it but such is life these days!

This morning I rode along with DH as he went to his haircut. I miss seeing my friend. She did snip at my unruly gray fuzz! It is not long but it was shaggy looking. She leveled some places and trimmed some side pieces that were two different lengths. It feels better so I hope it looks better too!

Garage Sale

Stacks of stuff line the floor down the hall.

How did we actually accumulate it all?

Unmated mittens, woven neck scarves torn.

Christmas toys broken and now piled in a heap:

Curling irons that no longer heat.

A wool plaid coat missing a button or two;

An ugly purse, shoes that don’t match

Thrown on top of the bulging batch

Of leftovers and unnecessary things.

It is rummage; it must be spring!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sun Isn't Enough


 
Yesterday DH had his week post op checkup. What a joke. Because ten doctors rotate, we got yet another one who seemed, ah, spacey. Enough said, but nothing could be discussed since none of the reports were back yet! So, after an hour long, tiresome wait in the waiting room, we achieved nothing but making another appointment.

This morning we got up early to head to Springfield for a consult on my last week’s contrast scan. Sun was gorgeous. Grass was a carpet of green. Winter wheat was lush and ankle high. White cattle on green grass was a sight to see, such spring promise.

But it would take more to keep the day hopeful. My news was not good. The cancer has spread, some in liver and you know what that means. The winter’s chemo did not work which was extra sad to think of the wasted time. The options aren’t good but I agreed to be part of a control group which means a biopsy in a couple of weeks. The tissue will go to M.D. Anderson, and no, the percentages are not good. But if I match, there might be a hope in a new medicine they have. If not, I have wasted some time, some hope, and have a hole in my gut. Well, I have already been through worse.

DH took news very hard, but I had to concentrate on the driving since he couldn’t today. It does seem unfair all we have been through lately, but hey, life isn’t fair. I still want to hang on and live until I can’t. Want to see grandkids that have not seen in months; I want to pet my dog as much as I can; want to see New Mexico one more time if possible. Want to be realistic as possible too: like I passed up shopping Charming Charlie’s today for a new purse! 😊 I hope to have some lines to put here a few more times. And yes, I want to see the sun and thank God for it when it is here!

Friday, April 7, 2017

April Not a Fix So Far!


 
 
I had so hoped April would be a fix for us around here. Not so. After six weeks of pain and distress for DH which meant the same for me watching and trying to help in my own condition, he finally got some help. He saw a second urologist Monday which was a wonderful man even though he knew he hut DH a great deal as it had to be. Four hours in his office and he wanted surgery right then, but the operating rooms were full! No hospital rooms either so DH had to stay in ER until 3 am.
The next morning, he went to surgery to remove a bladder stone the size of a gold ball blocking the urinary track. I had two-hour contract scan and will go next week for consultation. DH came home yesterday and he returns next week as well. He cannot drive or lift and such, some for a month.  This household is the lame leading the lame! Our son is coming to mow for us tomorrow and anything else needing to be done.

But today the sun shines anyway! After a night of tornadoes nearby and cold, dark rain this week, I am so ready to see the yellow globe! Surely it will help. Then one night I saw the pictures of the gas attacks. I will not comment on the politics of this horror, but I did break down and sob. Wanting so much more for humanity than we are getting right now! Sun is to be perfect and 78 tomorrow so am trying to concentrate on the good.

I did get news this week that one of my poems used on the Kansas Poet Laureate site will be used in an anthology of poems this year. I will admit to this being a happy thing. Each little pat on the head keeps us going, doesn’t it?

Still hoping April will bring goodness for me, mine, you and yours!

                                                             Pictures thanks to Porch Sitting Union of America

Sunday, April 2, 2017

April Showers


 
 
                                                         tulip teacups wave
                                                in strong wind waiting to fill
                                                      with rainwater nectar
 
We are truly into April now and you remember "April Showers Bring May Flowers".
 
The air is somewhat chilly, but it is the gun barrel gray skies that are hard to bear. There has been rain too and more is scheduled to come. Our week is loaded with doctor appointments so it hard to find something joyous to focus on.
 
I went to the pharmacy for DH refills--that no doctor has still renewed yet! Nearby was a Lowe's store that was loaded with fresh flowers. Yes, I know too early and I am in not much shape to tote flowers. But like visiting a museum, I wanted to meander through and soak up the sights.
 
Beautiful petunias were half off and so were some tulips. The petunias can take the yo-yoing of the temperatures. I felt we needed some bright sight on the deck even if we only saw it from the kitchen as we looked out the glass with noses pressed there looking for sun!
 
 
Meanwhile I am having fun with Jan Morrill's haiku! Her first one was for spring and today's was asking for color. Tomorrow---dogs.  Check it out and have a good week!
 
https://haikubyhaiku.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/national-poetry-month-haiku-contest-day-2-colors/#comment-1554
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

More Kindness



It is as chilly as winter today and a slow drizzly rain that is reminiscent of beginning snow has fallen all day. The damp chill seems to sink into my bones like honey into warm cornbread! Even Biscuit doesn’t want out, but curls up on our bed trying to wait for a sunnier day.

Last night we went to ER again and this time DH got some temporary relief which some mental relief for me. I never do well in the month of March as S.A.D. wipes me out. This year with cancer and hubby and family issues and the sorrowful state of our country, well, life in general, I was holding my own until yesterday. Then worry about hubby broke me down. I called ER and got a truly kind charge nurse who said, “Bring him in. I can help him.” She did and then the PA, also a kind woman, did blood work that should have been done long before. They gave him pain meds and enough relief until we can see a doctor on Monday. I think we are in for another big life change here. Doesn’t feel fair that our Golden Years are so tarnished! But I am grateful for kindness of these women.

Another strange incident in kindness happened this morning when I went to grocery store. I did not use the riding cart but got myself through the store walking, a feat for me these days. A man smiled at me in line and when I got my stuff to the car, he too had checked out and was parked next to me. He started talking to me about how unkind some people are these days and how a lady in the store made him feel bad. Did I ever have that happen? Ah, yes, and I wondered in the cold drizzle what kind of a come on this was. I said people are upset in general and maybe she had bad day before the store. He said the woman had ruined his day until a kind woman talked to him in the parking lot, thanked me, and wished me a good day ahead. Strange. But I said a little prayer asking God to never let me forget what a kind word does for people, no matter how depressed or sick I get.
 
So, March is ending now, and I have always like April because it is National Poetry Month. This afternoon Jan Morrill put up a Haiku challenge on her blog page. Oh, what fun this sounds like! I have struggled with haiku as I try to follow the rules and then have had editors correct me, saying I adhere too closely to rules. Hum, I never know what to do. But this is 30 days with new topic for every April day. Surely, I can write a few 17 syllable poems for her page! I have not been able to write at all, but this just might help get the brain working again. I suggest you check her page out at https://haikubyhaiku.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/celebrate-national-poetry-month/

I hope to see your own lines there during April!!!!
 
Clip art from http://www.bing.com/

Sunday, March 26, 2017

In the Pink?




Friday night was another difficult night and then in the wee hours of morning a storm with lots of thunder moved through. Biscuit doesn’t like thunder, but she was a trooper and remained quiet in her crate. The whole house waited for storm to be over and that made the coming day even more tiresome.

But I wanted to do something to take my mind off all the difficulties in life. I was tired of sitting and straightened a few things around here. I made a new casserole for lunch and stirred up cookies for the first time in over a year. Oh, folks have brought us cakes and cookies, but we have been trying to leave them alone for health reasons. Ah, yesterday was a big fail because I wanted some of my own chocolate chip cookies. I just use the Toll House recipe, but I use three different kinds of chocolate chips.

Then I changed table top again. I might not be able to climb and clean corners and sweeping floor is often beyond me, but I can change a table cloth and feel like I am in control of some part of my own wonky life! I chose pink, a color I rarely use and it feels like Easter and spring and light and airy! When I was four years old, I loved pink, wanted everything pink. My mom hated pink and loved red. It was a squabble every time I dressed, but I guess I got my fill of pink in the end. Nice to see it again though now.
 
 
 

In the afternoon, I read a book which is also difficult some of these days. I finished A Piece of Time by Christina Kline, and I really enjoyed the book. It is story built around Wyeth’s painting titled “Christina’s World”. I’ve always liked the painting, and my mother-in-law had a print of the painting hanging in her house for years. I recommend the story even if you are not familiar with Wyeth or the painting. I think I will sample more of this author when I can.
                                               Christina's World by A. Wyeth

The day ended and night was better for me; DH still had issues, but I was so tired (and cookie full) that I slept. Now the Sunday morning is bright with sunshine despite more storms coming. I hope to get out on the deck this afternoon to soak up sunshine while I can. March is ending this week, and I hope it takes all the darkness with it—well, as much as it can. Let April bring some lightness and cheer.

Happy Sunday to you!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

KINDNESS!



In a world that seems to have gone amok, there is still joy, color, sunshine, and kindness, and yes, weeds too!
 
                                                    from Susan

DH has been sick for three weeks. Still no answers but some meds finally this week that are helping. It has been a little hard to keep that “stiff upper lip” around here! But today it is 75 and windows open which is delightful. I refuse to worry today about the severe storms, hail and wind forecast for tomorrow!
                                                from Kim

 This morning I went to the post office which is a challenge as so many steps or a long walk up handicapped ramps. I was carrying a couple of large and one heavy box. A man was there before I started and climbed the steps and stood. By the time I got to the doors, I realized he had been waiting on me from the beginning just to open the door. He told me the inside door was already open so I did not need to wait for him to open for me. I thanked him but was amazed to realize how much he put himself out for me. It feels good to see kindness.
 
                                                    from Dennis and Kathy

 Of course, the kindness of others has carried me a long way thus far this year. I constantly am on the receiving end of kindness from others, from many readers here.  I have posted pictures of things before, but here are more of things where people went out of their way to think of me.
 
                                               from Linda and the Lawrences

 Thanks again! I try to pay it forward and hope to have many opportunities to do it a lot longer!
                                                       from Lynn

Thursday, March 16, 2017

So Grateful for Blogger Pals!

It has been a month since I wrote a blog page, a long and very hard month. While I miss blogging so much, I also have nothing to write about since all my news lately has been bad or negative. I work so hard to find something good to say, something fun to share. Today I had DH at ER among other things, but then I came home to the national news. I just wanted to put my head down on my desk and cry. Don’t worry, I won’t get all political on you.
 
Today I had to leave the ER exam room to go to the bathroom. Sounds simple, right? Well, I was geared up in a mask and worried about germs, but when I came out of the hall bathroom, I was lost! The doorways all looked alike! I thought surely I could do this. I chose a door and I got it wrong! Quickly, I shut it and was more confused than ever. Every single door looked exactly the same. So I wove myself back out to the admissions desk and told them I was lost, couldn’t find my hubby. They smiled at this crazy lady, gave me a number and I headed back to try again.
DH laughed his head off. Said what was happening to us-other than getting old! We are doing more and more of this kind of thing. So at least we haven’t lost the ability to laugh at ourselves.
A few weeks ago, a woman in Arizona found an old post where I wrote about Jerico Springs, Missouri. Her family came from there years ago, and we started exchanging emails and information. I helped her with some numbers to local historical society offices and sent her some printed history materials. Although we can’t find the exact link, we suspect that we share a far-out branch on a family tree. She sent me these lovely tulips this week, in a week of dark days and cold weather. The tulips were like a kiss of sunshine. They are so beautiful. And to think, we connected because of blogging!
Notes and thoughts and prayers continue to come my way and many from bloggers I will never see face to face. I continue to be grateful for each of you blogger friends! So, while I have nothing much to share or any writing to discuss, I want to say once more I am glad you are out there.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from one whose people were once Irish immigrants!


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!