Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lots of little things.....

As I've mentioned before, this blog is the closest I've ever come to actually "keeping" a journal. What is the difference? I am sharing memories, experiences, ideas, pictures, and so much more "immediately". If or when I stop posting, I would like to have the entire blog printed out including the pictures and have it bound. I know it can be done.  If I decide to keep writing until.......it will be up to Kelly, Jessie, Douglas and Page to decide what they want to do with it. I have been feeling a little better lately which is a good thing. However, I am not feeling better enough to be totally active which is a bad thing. Why? Because I have a computer and a credit card. (Not a good thing. :) I have been so frustrated with my little camera lately.
It has been a decent little camera but lately, it just isn't taking good pictures. Half of the ones I take have to be erased.  I looked at some nice high-end cameras a few years ago after admiring some great pictures on a friend's blog. To be honest - not only can I NOT afford them, but honestly believe most of the bells and whistles are rarely used by anyone who isn't a professional. It reminded me of a very expensive, high-end camera I purchased a few years before digital cameras out came out. Pretty soon, that expensive camera was all but obsolete. So if you know anyone who would like a very nice 35mm camera, have them get in touch with me. I asked my two experts their opinion on the one I was looking at and decided to go for it. It isn't the most high end camera but is much better than the Fuji.
For example, I took this picture with the Fuji a few days ago.  I planned to reminisce about how I came to own it but realized I've more than likely already done that. It should be a few years back when I talked about riding the Harley as a girl. Anyway, I love the unique shape and how I came to own it even though it isn't very comfortable. 
I took this one today with my new Canon. Can you see the difference? It is subtle but I can definitely see the difference. The Canon doesn't have the little grip I was looking for but is heavier (not too heavy) and I seem to be able to control it better.
For the most part I will be taking pictures on Auto but I do want to invest some time to learn how to do a few of the creative things this camera will allow for. It will require some trial and error but I'm going to try. One thing I know I like so far is how
how crisp and clear this "zoomed in on" picture turned out. With my other camera, it would look really fuzzy at times. Also, when I would crop the pictures, they would look fuzzy. I snatched a few more pictures from FB including this one of the desk and chair in it's new home.
The picture on the desk looks so pretty with it. I'm glad she is going to be able to use the desk in her beautiful new home.
My kitchen bamboo finally has to go. I bought this one already in its cute little vase/pot. Now I can't get it out to re-use the pretty vase/pot so I've put it on the porch for Dwight to tackle when he gets a chance. I really need to get some new bamboo for the living room too. I will add that to my ever-growing list of things I need to do.
Our beautiful Dorothy is still with us. She has truly been a miracle in so many ways. We all love her dearly and will grieve deeply with Monica when she is gone.
Monica with one of her famous hats she wears in the delivery room I'm thinking. She tries to create a positive environment no matter where she is. It always makes me happy when someone truly loves what they do. So many people spend the largest part of every day doing something they either "get it over with" or even hate. How sad is that? I ran
across an item about my Radiation Oncologist. It made me so proud of him. Copy, cut and paste to see for yourselves.  http://ondemand.duke.edu/video/31670/david-brizel-saves-a-babys-lif

I will close with a picture of a view of Durham from the Rolling Hills area.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

When it is time to "act" like a grown-up....

Every so often you have to suck up and act like a grown up. I don't say that it is easy or something we always want to do - I'm just saying you have to know when to say - okay. Today was that day for me and my dream of getting to the District Convention next weekend. I spoke with our COBE and he said the facility we are going to will not allow any kind of "folding chair".  Even though my chair isn't a "recliner", it is folding and it does lean back and stick out a little in the front. I told him about how Wally has offered for me to listen to the CD the congregation will get of their convention. I gave our COBE Wally's number to check into how to get a CD for our convention too.
It has been a pretty nice day today. I had to place this plant against the screen on the porch. Miya threw herself at it trying to get to the birds who eat out of the bird feeder and tore it away at the bottom.  I know it is just a matter of time before she will push her way out.  I think I'll look for a piece of board to put here instead of the screen.
BigD has been keeping his man-cave in pretty good shape lately. I have planned all kinds of things I have wanted to do with this porch for the past 37 years but have decided to just let them all go. It really does belong to BigD and I don't think he would appreciate any of my ideas. :)
I told Sher I was going to snatch this picture of her and her Mom from FB because it is so good. I keep threatening to catch a ride up NORTH the next time she goes for a visit with her family. She doesn't say a word when I say that...it is kind of like..... "maybe if I don't mention it, she will forget it" kind of silence. yuk yuk Before I left for the meeting today, I asked BigD to take a picture of my hair so I could show Page. I am amazed by how curly it is now when I first wash it.  Of course, I lay back in my rocking chair-recliner (car seat, zero gravity chair) all the time so it is usually pretty flat with big cowlicks everywhere.  This is what it looks like right after I wash it.
I had him take a picture of the front but I'm sorry - not only do I look horrible in every picture now but the front of my hair doesn't look too good. It is much thinner in the front. The back looks thick but believe me, it isn't anymore. Everyone tells me it will get thick again but I'm beginning to think that is not going to happen. I do use a little Aveda Curly lotion (tiny bit) and then just do a quick dry and scrunch it with my hands.  Like I said, it lasts until I sit down again and lean back. Oh well.
What an unexpected but very pleasant visit! I know - the pictures are terrible but hopefully that will change real soon. It has been awhile since I've seen Amy so it was good to get caught up. Karen made her tell me her good news about work. She got a nice promotion and raise!  I am so proud of her. She is going to start going to Dumont and Karen went with her today. I plan to talk to Roseanne and Judee about reaching out to her because she is so shy. I'm so glad they came over today. I started this post around 3:00 and it is now 8:30 so we had a nice long visit with them. Jon even took a nap. The little stinker  would NOT hug me good-bye. I told him I was going to tell on him to his Mommy. :)
A few more goodies from the gift bag I got this past Thursday night. I wore my little pin to the meeting today. Even though pink is for breast cancer, it is being used more and more to represent all forms of cancer. I like the gold basket and have an idea of how I want to use it. It is starting to get dark outside. That means the days will start getting shorter again which always makes me a little sad.  This is the kind of night I always loved as a little girl.  Staying outside until it got dark because it was getting a little cooler and there was the  potential to catch a few lightening bugs.
You don't see many lightening bugs these days. We used to punch holes in the top of old mason jars and catch the lightening bugs in them. Then we would take them inside and turn the lights off. We would always release them before going to bed. One night, we released them inside and  Mama was not happy about that at all. We don't see many of these lovely little insects anymore. Man is quickly causing the demise of so many of our insects with over population, light pollution, and pesticides. It was always magical when one would light on your finger and you would watch it closely as it's little tail would click on and off. Magical......

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Been in limbo too long....

Okay - In 17 days, it will have been a year since my ear started hurting right after our vacation last August. Twenty two days later - we had the real diagnoses and the long adventure began. I don't know if the word adventure is the one I'm looking for but it has been some trip. I do know it has been well over 9 months since the surgery and I'm still here! I found out this week there will be a PET scan in October. That will be about three weeks after the 1 year anniversary of the surgery. I have two appointments scheduled next week for acupuncture so I'm really hoping things will start falling into place. I woke up today determined I was going to be more active. I told Dwight that I wanted to go and visit Ennis followed with stopping by Kroger's, Pets Mart and Costco. I felt pretty strong and positive. We finally found the facility but had no idea how large it is. We walked all over the place
until a very nice man noticed we were lost and offered to help us. He and his wife have an apartment in the independent living part of the facility. His wife told him to go with us which was a joke because we had to almost run to keep up with him. We know we walked over a mile at a pretty good pace. Every hallway we walked through, he explained where we were. He pointed out the beautiful artwork in the area he lived in and explained they were all done by the residents. To say I was impressed is putting it mildly. After using codes for elevators and walking up and down winding
sun rooms and hallways we finally arrived in the right part of the facility. We waited in Ennis's room for quite awhile and were told she and her daughter had gone for a walk. The next person told us she had been gone over an hour so we thought maybe they had gone for a ride or something. We stuck our name tags on her bed so she would know we came and left. Alas - I left another water bottle in her room - again. This time it was the pretty one with a dragonfly on it. Her daughter has the other one I left in Mae's hospital room so I'm hoping she will keep this one for me too. That meant I needed a new water bottle so I picked one up when I was
in Kroger's. I really like it. It says it will keep drinks hot or cold. It isn't what you would call an actual thermos but it is somewhat insulated. Dwight dropped me off in front of Kroger's and went next door to get Miya's food. I picked up some strawberries, blueberries, bananas, my favorite Greek yogurt, Biotene toothpaste and gel (didn't have chewing gum) and my new water bottle. I was now officially whipped so I sat in the car while BigD went into Costco. He had to get more Ensure and Prilosec. I had a good rest, studied my WT for tomorrow and tried not to fall asleep. I want to sleep better tonight so I'll feel more refreshed tomorrow.  I just watched a good SciFi movie about time travel. I do love that type of movie. Now I'm watching another SciFi movie about Stonehenge. It just started so I'm not sure what it is yet. Marlan and I were both happy we got to go there and do the walking tour while listening to what information about it which actually isn't much. They have a regular voice telling you the facts they know and then you hit a switch on the earphone and its a voice with a strong brogue telling you about the folklore. There are some really great pictures on the internet
if anyone wants to get a better look. I have been thinking a lot about our truly wonderful trip to England, Wales and Paris. I need to pull out my album from the trip and take a little walk down memory lane. This past Thursday night after the meeting, a very dear sister followed me to the parking lot and gave me a large gift bag full of goodies she had put together for me. I was totally caught off guard as she has only been coming to our congregation since after I first got sick. She has visited me with the other friends when they have come by while in service and I've heard some really nice things about her and her family.
These are just a few of the goodies that were in the bag. I love my new Love Bear. I called her to express my deepest gratitude to her for thinking of me with so much love. And that is the only way I know how to put it. It was obvious that every thing she had put into the bag was picked and placed there with love. So sweet.
I'm happy to say my "new" - "old" quilt and pillow cases are in the house. It is obvious they have been used a lot which makes them more special to me. I wonder why that is? Could it be that as I've gotten older, I have started appreciating older things more? Works for me. So dear friends, thank you for listening to the "boring meanderings" of a wandering mind once again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I am a sucker for vintage ----- anything. I'm pretty good at overlooking the things I grew up with unless it is something I really need or has a very special memory for me. I haven't been able to get the vintage quilt I posted about off my mind.  I decided to contact the seller to see if she would consider lowering the price and guess what?  She lowered it by $15.00! I  really think I'm going to love it.
The picture isn't very clear but I wanted to share another purchase from the same seller. A pair of  vintage hand embroidered pillowcases. Now I will have two sets. 
I love nice crisp white 100% cotton pillowcases that have been hand embroidered. The cotton stays cool against your face when you are sleeping. They bring back memories of when that was very important on those hot muggy nights before air conditioning. Another good thing about the woman I'm working with is that she has a good guarantee policy. If you aren't satisfied for any reason, you can return it and get your money back no questions asked.
I snatched this picture of Fran's grandchildren from FB. Aren't they all beautiful? The youngest boys are twins and belong to her oldest daughter. Sadly, I haven't had the opportunity to meet them yet. I know she and her hubby enjoy each and every one of them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

One more try....

I had my first acupuncture today for this second round of treatments. I'm having one on Thursday afternoon, next Monday afternoon and the next Wednesday afternoon. After that, I will decide how many more I will get. I told her I wanted her to focus on recovering saliva and loosening scar tissue which she did. It was pretty painful getting all the many needles in place and many of them were going into extremely sensitive areas but I had expected to have pain. Of course, once they are all in place, everything calms down and there is no more pain. She was very excited to tell me she can tell my neck has loosened up some. She said I have been doing a good job with the therapy so I'm feeling a little better about it. Dwight waited in the quiet room for me. I asked him if he wanted something to read and he said no, he wanted to just listen to the water. I understood completely because that wall of water is so calming. I'm not sleeping good lately and am definitely feeling it. We had hoped to ride out to Jen's after my treatment to pick up the purple water bottle Kelly had left for me to use. I finally reached her just to find out she is back at the coast - again. I told her sarcastically how sorry I was she had to be down there again and she replied sarcastically that it sucked. That's okay because my family is looking forward to our week down there in just three weeks. Now if we can just have good weather that week, I will be happy. I just realized that it will be one year the week we are the coast since I got home from there last year and developed the now famous "ear ache" that led to the miraculous discovery of my Melanoma. I wish I could say I feel that I will be 100% by then but my therapist today reminded me that it isn't going to be the case. She feels I will see a big difference before the end of the year that was predicted by my oncologist nurse practitioner as being the time I could hope to feel better. Hopefully my therapist is correct.
I know the pictures are blurry but I found this one little earring in the drink holder well of the car today. It is a clip on so I'm not sure who it belongs to. It is also a little bent but I think it could be fixed. I'm going to put the picture on FB just in case someone recognizes it. If no one comes forward, I will probably just toss it. I was watching the Food Network a lot yesterday and text messaged Kelly and asked her if she had ever eaten at Ray's On The River (whose chef was on Chopped) and she responded with Yum. I Googled it to see where it is located and it isn't that far from Kelly's place at all. It got mixed reviews so I'm not sure if it is still as good as it was when she went there or not. I'll be so glad when I feel good enough to get back down there. I always enjoy my visits there. It keeps trying to rain but so far hasn't been enough to let Dwight off the hook in watering my deck flowers. I've been having a hankering for a big bunch of pansies. If anyone runs across some, please let me know. It is hard to find them around here and I do love them. The quality of these pictures tells me loud and clear that I truly do need a new camera. I want to ask Marlan a question before I invest in a new one but I really feel it is time. OOPS!!! I almost forgot...
I'm planning to purchase this "vintage" quilt. As you can see, there are some tattered places on the edges but Faye said she might know someone who could repair it. I love the soft, old look of it with the faded colors. The green and cream is just what I'm looking for. It isn't a big quilt but big enough for what we would use it for. I've got to decide if I'm being foolish to pay the money for it. More to follow....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chatty Patty II

I have definitely become a "chatty patty" lately and don't like it at all. It is a "condition" that many women in my family suffers from time to time. One has it to such an extreme that it is hard to be in her company for any period of time. Kelly and I have talked about it and recently - when I realized I was doing it again, I asked Dwight to please help me with it. We have decided he will just say "talking" and hopefully I will hear that "trigger" word
and shut up. I do hope it works.  What a hoot - I did not remember there was a Chatty Patty doll. I only remembered the Chatty Cathy one.  I don't know whether that makes me feel better or worse. :)
I had a great visit yesterday evening from this sweet young man. His Mom told me Thursday that he had something for me and wanted to come over. He made me a big picture that is depicts the two of us on a porch in service together. The words at the top are telling me that he hopes I feel better and wants to help me in anyway that I need. That he and his Mom will come clean my house and he will mow my grass and do weed eating because his Dad has taught him how to do that. The other picture he drew and painted but wasn't planning to give it to me so I asked him if I could have it too. I have them on my refrigerator. He is growing so fast. It is hard to believe he is a year younger than Page2.
His Mom works so hard with all three of her children. They go camping, to museums, the zoo, swimming and is just tireless when it comes to her little family. She is a wonderful artist and is now making actual money with it. We always have fun when we get together and can talk forever - Oops!
I love both sides of her business card. She uses an overhead projector to put the outlines she has drawn for wall murals on the wall and uses it to do a beautiful job. She also does face painting and has lately added pregnant belly's for expectant mothers who may be having photographs made or just for fun. I wanted to put her business card here so that anyone who reads my blog will know how to reach her for any kids party or event they may be having.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Reminder - always read labels before..........

"Safe to swallow - On the back under Warnings: among other things -- to prevent contamination, replace cap after each use. Keep out of reach of children. Store at below 77 degrees. Use within 3 months after opening. Contains milk and egg derivatives." Yeah - that is what was on the label but did I read it before ingesting it? Uh - that would have to be a big fat NO. Page had encouraged me to please use the oral balance dry mouth moisturizing liquid at night before going to sleep.  I did and woke up very soon after with a horrible burning sensation in my throat and down into my chest. After violent coughing for several minutes I proceeded to throw up over and over until only nasty bile was coming. It wasn't pretty and I felt rotten for quite awhile.  SO - I decided to look at the label and realized it has been open for nine months. Color me totally DUMB.  In my defense though - who would think that mouthwash would go bad? I mean, really!
Miya and I have been taking it pretty easy today. Dwight had a few jobs but was home in time to see his cousin Winkie when he brought back a wonderful piece Page had given me awhile back that broke. It is made of cast iron and Miya had knocked it over and it broke in two pieces where the feet
are attached to the leg. I decided to protect it from Miya knocking it off the dresser by putting it on top of the entertainment center near the other one I have up there made of wood. Every once in awhile I think about maybe catching one of the performances through the ADF. I have great memories of the many performances Kelly and I attended when I subscribed.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A hot summer day...

Sadly I slept late again this morning because I couldn't get to sleep last night! Arghh. Hopefully my inner clock will re-set today and I'll get back on a good schedule. It is still steaming hot outside but I did wander out to the deck a little earlier to get a few pictures.
These are my flowers that seem to be suffering the most from the heat we have been having. Dwight has been keeping them watered but when you compare them to these
others that look pretty good - it is apparent that the ones who have morning shade are doing so much better. Jen and Katrina will never know how much I appreciate their hard work so that I can have beautiful flowers to enjoy. The pitiful looking table in the top picture has about seen its last days.
It was built as a prop for one of our dramas and the brother who built it gave it to me.  I'm going to ask Dwight to look at it and see if he can make it a little sturdier, wash it real good and maybe I'll paint it later.  A nice Sage Green would look good wouldn't it?  I spoke briefly with Katrina today when I was looking for Marlan. She said she is still feeling tired and suffering from nausea but thinks it will get better soon. She was in the process of setting KennaKat's room up. I need to call Jen and see what a good time for me and Dwight to ride out and get my water cup will be.  Matt sat with Ennis yesterday and kind of brought me up to date and Tony added more to the news via email today. I'll be so glad when she is feeling better. I had text messaged Marlan earlier because Dwight and I were wondering if she was going to come over today for our Family Study. I asked Katrina where she was and found out she went to a water park with Sherry and Sherry's niece and nephew. I sent Marlan a text message telling her Dwight and I are getting tired of people snatching our "Marlan" time.
They responded by sending me this picture of themselves with a note saying - Na Na Boo Boo. I'll have to admit, I am not jealous of where they are at all. It would be different if there was some shade anywhere around but the one time I remember going there, it was white, hot concrete and long lines to be in the water for short periods of time. We went to
one at the beach one year that was really nice - it had nice benches under trees so you could keep on eye on the kids while reading a book. That is my kind of water park. From the picture, it looks like they do have some shade so maybe they have improved. I hope they had fun. I had to share the picture I snatched from FB of one of my all time favorite flower - a Peony. GG told me years ago that when she was growing up, every front yard in the South had to have at least one Peony planted in it. I have an older friend who has one that has white blossoms. I tried planting one in my yard but it died. The only shrubs that have lasted in my yard are the Azaleas I planted years ago.  I gotta finish preparing for the meeting, get my shower and rest a bit. Can't wait to see everyone.

Sleep - Elusive sleep...

So why am I still awake this "early" tomorrow morning? Who knows - Dwight is snoring away and I'm glad. He worked a few jobs today in this horrific heat. Some of his friends have been sharing their fresh tomatoes and he has really been enjoying them. Color me sad - I love good tomatoes - or at least I did. Oh well. This too shall pass.
I received some beautiful flowers from my sweet family up north today. They were thanking me for having them down and I feel like I should be sending them flowers thanking them for coming down. I have been missing them a lot this week. It would be nice if we could all see each other more often.
My beautiful Sterling Silver Spoon (circa 1914) Bracelet arrived today. I love it as I knew I would. It means a lot to me that this pattern was designed and came out in 1914. Page bought a few of these bracelets for herself and two friends who helped me out quite a bit. I fell totally in love with them. I also filed all of my nails down today. I'm not sure why my nails have a
tendency to crack right at the quick. (You can barely see the little white spot right at the quick) I filed them all down today and hope this one will not split more before it grows out a little. They are still stronger than they were but aren't anywhere near as healthy as they were three or four months ago. Oh well...
This is the latest telephone picture from Patsy of their beach cottage. I LOVE the crab. They are officially calling it The Crab Shack which is also a take on their last name. I love, love, love the colors they chose. They are supposed to be home this week and I can't wait to see her. I'm really looking forward to the meeting tomorrow night. I have been feeling a little cut off.  I think part of it is going from having a house full to --- nada. So here I am at 2:20AM - signing off.