Saturday, March 31, 2007

Breakfast at the Kozy Diner

Today was a beautiful day! We started the day out eating at the Kozy Diner with some of the Canasta group. One who we missed last night joined us for a bit. I took pictures and included these great friends. They are all a big part of our lives in Hobart, so you may see them often. The Kozy Diner is the place to have breakfast if we’re not making it; everyone feels at home there and enjoys the food and atmosphere.

After breakfast I needed to shop for a wedding shower I missed last week and one that was this afternoon. Before the shower I got to work in the yard. I pulled lots of weeds and picked up the branches that Don cut off the crepe myrtles and took them to the dumpster. It really feels good to get some time to work in the yard. I hate when the yard is getting away from me, so it’s a big relief to think I’m getting control of it, again. I still have a lot to do, but I can do a lot tomorrow if it doesn’t rain. The rain we’ve had makes the dirt really soft so the weeds pull easy. I’m so thankful! God is good to me!

I got some more cleaning done in the house, too. A little each day and I’ll get this whipped. You’re all probably wondering why we have so much cleaning to do! Remember, we left for Tijuana in a rush, so we packed and left everything just as it was. Then the house sat here for 4 months collecting dust. PLUS, we’re making real life style changes, and looking to downsize when the time is right. That means we have collected lots of things over the years that we need to make disappear. I know to never wear an under wire bra again, so I’m pulling all the wires out of my bras and trashing lots. (You’ve got to be tough to read this blog!) I’m also pulling out lots of clothes that I will never wear to take to Searchlight, a local thrift store in town. I’ve got a box in the garage for garage sale things, etc. I’m sorting as I go with the intent of making life simpler in the future. We’d like a much smaller place somewhere without a yard where the sun shines every day, so we’re keeping our eyes and ears open. We can get sunshine about 8 months of the year here, so we’ll snowbird until we can figure a better place to live.

I’m getting accustomed to the Essiac Tea. I feel like I’m playing mud pies and drinking the water, but I can do it. Maybe I’ll actually like it some day.

The pictures below are from the Kozy Diner this morning. The first one is me with Joan, and Dorothy. Joan is our dear friend who watches the house when we’re gone and picks up our mail and gets it to us. Dorothy is our dear friend who has macular degeneration. She lets me cut her hair, so we are pretty close. I mean, you just don’t let anyone cut your hair! She and David have traveled with us when they were healthy enough; we’d love to have them go everywhere with us.

The second picture is Joan and then Dorothy and her husband, David. Beside David are Frank and then his wife, Jo Ann. They’re the kind of friends who organize a hayride for all your grandkids when you mention your four year old would like to ride in a tractor. The kids ended up getting to DRIVE the tractor, plus have a hayride, a picnic and go fishing at their pond! These are the kind of people we go through thick and thin with, arm in arm . . . like all of you! Among my blessings I count you all and thank God!

Friday, March 30, 2007

WOOHOO; taxes are SENT!

Woohoo! The last information we needed came today; we completed our part and SENT IT ALL to The Tax Club! I am so glad to have that off my back. They will call and we’ll go over it with them, but the headaches are over!

We had a last minute card game at our house tonight. We had 6 of our usual people, plus us, so that made 8. There are 2 more who usually play with us, but I couldn’t ask them because I had used some cleaning stuff today that bothers one of them. I wasn’t thinking we’d play cards when I did that. I was just so glad to be done with the bookkeeping; I got busy cleaning in my Kangoojumps! I was like a bird out of a cage! So we threw the card game together right quick and it worked. We were all sort of sweating the weather around here, but we have a basement, so it was a good place to be. I'll have to have Don take a picture of me in those Kangoojumps; that'll be a hoot to share!

I’ve got lots of cleaning left to do, but it’s starting to really feel like home around here. The hot water heater in the old part of the house went out today, so we have a repair job going. It’s not a big deal because we have hot water everywhere that we need it. If we have company before we can get it fixed we’ll share our bathroom. The plumber came today to scope out the situation and he’ll probably be able to replace it sometime next week. It feels good to have fixable things happen. That tax deal was so out of my comfort zone. Could you tell? Ha!

Here are a couple of pictures of tonight’s canasta crew; God blessed our lives with this group and all of you! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sunshine for a little weeding!

Today I didn’t even see the camera, so please be patient for a picture There was bad weather east of us today; it usually goes right through here, but we missed it! I thank God for that! A couple of people in OKC are in critical condition due to injuries from a tornado that touched there, so I may be spending some time in the basement soon. I love the basement in this weather!

Don and I actually got to go outside and do some yard work. We did as much as we could with the taxes and went outside to burn off some frustration. I got so confused on the bookkeeping stuff, today. It’s not really taxes; it’s the bookkeeping that drives me crazy. It’s just that Uncle Sam asks for details that would be right there if I had done the bookkeeping right. I had bookkeeping in high school and made an A, but I’m flunking the real life test. I laughed today until I was in tears. (Don reminded me that it wasn’t a laughing matter, Tom, so I cried.) As soon as all our information gets here in the (snail) mail, we can be done with all these details and send it to the cpas. YES! Then, I promise to do every detail right all year, this year!

I pruned my lavender plants and cleaned out all the leaves trapped in them. I never got them pruned last year and they were taking over the back walk. They may not survive the pruning. If they don’t I will miss them, but I won’t plant more. I’m not planting anything that needs attention. Lavender is pretty easy, but it does need to be pruned. Don picked up all the windmill weeds that had blown in and were packed in every corner. Little by little we’ll have the yard looking good before long. I have some iris spikes, so there will be flowers soon!

I also pulled the weeds out from under the magnolia tree. That makes me feel better; I take what happens with that magnolia really personally. Everywhere we live I plant a magnolia tree because I love the blooms. The spray guy couldn’t spray the weeds under it because it would have damaged the tree, so they had to be pulled. The magnolia tree is my mark on this place, so I’m hoping it will live. It’s been broken off (even with the ground) TWICE since we planted it, so it’s a fighter and I’m hanging in there with it. Last year it bloomed for the first time.

Happy, safe spring to everyone, and I thank God for all of you and your support.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bad storms not too near here.

If you're watching the weather, it's not pretty out here tonight. There are two fatalities in the panhandle, so far. We haven't had any fatalities in the state since 1 in 2001 and 42 in 1999. We have lots of guys out there watching them and the TV stations keeping us informed of where they are, etc. We are under a watch, but not a warning. We have a good basement where we will go if we hear the siren; Don will hear it because he's a light sleeper.

Other than the weather, everything else is good here today. We worked on taxes today and made good headway. Poor Don. I'm surprised he doesn't wad me up and throw me away; he doesn't even keep score. He's amazing. He can't believe what a sloppy bookkeeper I am. I keep saying I do biscuits and gravy. I bet he'd slop that up pretty bad. He does numbers and I do biscuits and gravy; that's pretty simple to me. It amazes me how he can be so kind after I frustrate him so much with the books; then he smiles and thanks me for fixing lunch. For the mess I've made, I'd expect him to be mad for a couple of weeks or months . . . or wad me up and throw me away, like I said. I think he's a saint.

The saint is waiting on me to take a bath and get to bed. The good thing about no pictures is that the blog loads quickly for the dial up folks. Let's all be glad about that and give thanks for dial up and high speed! It's a wonderful way to communicate. God bless!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spelling better today.

It's still raining in Hobart! Actually, it's not raining this minute, but we got more rain today. It's pretty amazing. I took this picture of the redbud with the drips of rain on it. I'm out of practice with the macro shots, so maybe I'll get a better one tomorrow.
Today we got a lot done on the taxes, so I'm feeling better about that project. It's still a hassel.
We drank Essiac Tea for the first time today. ICK! It tastes terrible; someone called it robust, but I call a spade a spade, and it's terrible. However, it tastes a lot better than cancer, so I'm drinking it. Don is drinking the maintenance dose. We'll report if we see any differences. Today all we could tell was how bad it tastes. I have tasted worse stuff, but this is not pretty. The maintenance dose will be more tolerable to drink, so I can do it the rest of my life. Actually, I'm probably a pansy, because I think wine tastes awful, too.
All is good here. Praise God for the rain, the beauty of spring, healthy and happy family and friends!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Tea is brewd and the rain is nice!

It has been a wonderful day! We didn’t work on taxes. We’re waiting on some more information to come in the mail, so I got to do other things today. I cut my dear friend’s hair and that’s the kind of thing I love to do. I changed the sheets on our bed and put the suitcases away from our room. There are still some piles of cloths in our room, but I’m working through them. I also did three loads of laundry.

It feels good to be doing regular things. An out of the ordinary thing that I did was brewing the Essiac Tea. It looks and smells awful, but I’m not drinking this to enjoy it. I’m drinking it to enjoy LIFE. It has to sit overnight, and then I will begin drinking it tomorrow. Don is going to drink it too. I’ll report to you how it goes. I’m so pleased that one of my friends read the blog and wrote that she is sending for a sample of the tea. I think it might be really, really good for her. She doesn’t have cancer, but it has so many benefits!

Another wonderful thing is that we had a slow rain all day. That is so unusual for us. It usually rains and storms and blows, so that rain just blows through. Today it really sunk in. I know the farmers are happy. It was relaxing.

I’m thanking God! I love you all for looking and caring about us.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Taxes are not winning . . .

Today was a good day. I’m more relaxed about the taxes now that Don has taken the lead. See, the big deal is the corporation with the web sites. The concept is easy, and the web sites are fun. The bookwork is not fun for me. We’ll get through this tax season and then come to terms with what changes have to be made. Don always takes care of our personal taxes, so this corporate junk is unfamiliar and distasteful territory for me.

Don is a dear; he will let me do whatever I need to do to make it work or help me make it disappear. He wants me de-stressed, too. We have to answer to Uncle Sam and then we will make some decisions about the future for our business.

We went to church this morning and today was our day to do the devotional at the nursing home. I love the people at the nursing home, so it was my joy to go participate in that devotional before I hit the taxes. This week we have information we need for taxes coming, so we should be able to knock them out this week. For now, I’ve done all I can do, except work on a better work plan for 2007, so that the tax effort won’t be any big deal.

Tomorrow my order of Essiac Tea should be here; I will brew it and it should be ready to start taking on Tuesday as part of this next 4-week treatment plan. Actually, I will take Essiac Tea for the rest of my life, but I will be taking an aggressive dose for the next 20 weeks. This next 4 weeks is an interval where I take only Carnivora before I hit the complete 16-week treatment plan again. Essiac Tea is something that was referred to me about 15 years ago by a good friend who is a doctor. He told me if I ever had cancer, I should take Essiac Tea. Now I’m being told that again, and as I study it, I realize I should have been taking it years ago for the many benefits it gives. You might want to consider its benefits, too, and maybe you will want to take some. As soon as I know I’ll tell you how it tastes. You can read about Essiac Tea at this location, and they even will give you a free sample if you like:

Thanks for hanging tough with me while I pitched my tax fit. I love you all and thank God for all His abundant blessings in our lives.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tax tears.

I am so deep into taxes that I hurt. No kidding. There is nothing wrong with me, but this is pure stress for me. Poor Don, he is helping me, and what a burden it is for him! Peggy, if you are reading this, I am wearing your hat doing these numbers! Don tells me I have to have such and such number because I will want to know that. I say, “I don’t WANT to know that!” He bursts out laughing, so I laugh. Thankfully, we can laugh. I mostly felt like crying! Once he paused and said, “Maybe we should pray.” So, now, I hope YOU are laughing!

I called Trish and she had some of the numbers we needed; she is a goddess! We’ve come to a good stopping place, so we’ll get a bunch done tomorrow after church. I so want to be DONE with this, so I can enjoy spring and all of life, again.

Of course I didn’t take any pictures today. I should take a picture of the dining room table; it’s covered with papers. That’s not a pretty site, so I’ll spare us all.

All of you who are good with crunching numbers, God bless you! I thank God that we don’t all have to do that every day and that there are enough people to do it. I could make biscuits every day, but crunching numbers makes me tired. I like numbers that are cool, like when the clock says 12:34. That’s a cool number. Or when the odometer turns over to 40,000 or 45,678; those are cool. Now, numbers that add up right make me tired if I have to do the adding! I could do the problems for the grades, but it was painful all the way. Now, it irritates me to do it for the IRS. UGH! Poor Don has to cope with me through this. All this is over just getting it ready for the CPAs.

So, that’s the story, today. I hope all this stress doesn’t fire up the cancer, again! I’m counting on God to pull me through it; I know He will; He didn’t bring me this far to drop me, now! God bless us all! I’ll come up with something positive to write tomorrow; hang tough with me!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Today has been a high stress day, but it's not bigger than God! I dug right into the taxes and I can’t find a thing I need and none of the numbers seem to match. It’s not my comfort zone, but I only want to get it done! This, too, will pass. Linda, I’m not actually doing the taxes, I’m just getting them ready to give to the CPAs. Even this is hard on me. Numbers I don’t do; remember? I do biscuits and gravy. :)

Let me share this great thing. We got 3.5 inches of rain at our house last night. That’s a good thing! The rest of that good thing is that our basement is dry! The radio station only had .75 inches and the airport (such as it is, yes, we have an airport) had about .5 inches. None of that is that far away; we just got a lucky cloud. It was such good sleeping last night with lots of rain! Even the thunder sounded good. We never had any thunder in Hawaii, so it sort of sounded cool last night. We only get about 29 inches of rain in a year, so to get 3.5 in one night was about 10% of all we’ll get this year. Of course the weeds love it! If I can get these taxes done so I can go pull them while the ground is soft I’ll be so thrilled!

Another good thing: a friend came today and she knows a wonderful person who might help me clean house. I’ll have to get onto her list, but it gives me hope to be on her list. I can get the house ready to let someone else do it by the time she has a slot for me. Isn’t that a hoot? Of course I can’t let someone come in here to help me clean until I get it clean, right? All you women understand that, I know! About 15 years ago Don gave me a housekeeper for a year for Christmas, but I never called anyone to do it because I couldn’t ever get the house clean enough. How dumb is that? I confess; I’m that dumb. But, I’m getting over it. If she has an opening next week, I’m letting her come right into the mess we have and she can help me get it clean! I’m growing up, but it’s tough!

I’m going to keep better records for the taxes for next year, too. Man, growing up is really hard, but I’m getting there.

Thanks for stopping by to check on us. We’re doing great. We’ve got cancer on the run, so everything else is small stuff. God blesses us all so much. I am grateful for a computer and some skills to work it and know when it’s not working right! I am re-grouping so that I will have less stress and be a better steward of my life. God is working on me; I’m glad He’s not finished with me! Have a great weekend! Here is a picture of the buffalo at the reserve last spring. It’s about 45 minutes from our house, so come to see us and we’ll show you!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Here it is: this is big news day!

The results of the full body thermogram came in the mail today and we spoke to the doctor who did it. The results are amazing! The breast shows completely clear. If I hadn’t told him I had cancer and if he didn’t see the retracted nipple he would have thought it was a clear breast scan. However, since I still have the nipple retracting, as well as there is still a lump, we have to keep watching it. The thermogram measures heat in the body due to blood flow and cancer requires a lot of blood flow. Cancer should be indicated by increased blood flow in the breast. However, I’m looking at the pictures. There is no increased blood flow in either the breast or lymph node area. Since there is still the lump and the nipple is still retracted I will continue with the aggressive oral med protocol for the next 20 weeks. I will have another thermogram done in May and we will monitor closely in the future.

The thermogram also showed my back and migraine problems (which information I had not given him), so the equipment was working. It’s all pretty amazing. The thermogram also showed no indication of any spreading of cancer anywhere else in my body.

I am committed to the diet changes I’ve made as well as the attempts to de-stress. I believe both will enhance the quality of my life and health. I can only thank God for His direction and responsibility in my healing and for the opportunity to see the need to regroup and revise my lifestyle. What a loving and generous Father we have.

Thank you all for your support and prayers. I will continue the blog, because the saga continues, but the acuteness is no longer there in our opinion. We feel that we are treating a more chronic sort of condition. I am acutely aware of what it feels like to have cancer in control and I don’t ever want to go there again. I will continue my diet, exercise, and maintenance oral meds for the rest of my life. The next 20 weeks will be a continuation of aggressive oral meds. I liken it to killing a fly. You know how you can swat a fly and it looks dead, but then it flies? As long as I can feel the lump, I feel like we’ve just swatted it. Even if you smash a fly to blood and guts, it may have left eggs or may have friends and family, so you don’t throw away the swatter. So, even when the lump is no longer there, I will continue prayer and a maintenance level of meds, exercise and smart diet and de-stressing for the rest of my life.

I thank God, give Him the glory and praise Him! God blesses!

No time for new pictures, but I found a couple from the laptop to share of Gretta. The first one is Gretta's family a couple of weeks ago when a photographer came to the house to make pictures. I'm sorry these aren't more clear, but it's the best I could get without getting in the way.

The next one is Gretta holding Elena on her shoulder. Gretta wanted a naked picture of Elena, but I think Elena was embarassed and scared I would put it on the blog! I think she'll forgive me because we didn't give anything away here. :) Look closely at the picture on the wall of Gretta and Garrett, made a couple of years ago.
Hey, it's raining in the area, so maybe we'll get the rain they've been promising for the last week. We sure need it. Of course hail is with it and storms, but we'll take it for the rain. We thank God for all the blessings!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

This is a picture made last year in Branson of Trish and Rob and their 5 children. From left to right is Sadie, Mason, Nate, Gabe, Trish, Grace, and Robert. It’s hard to get them all in a row to get a picture, so I’m sending this one. They were all here for the last couple of days, except Rob couldn’t come. I talk so much about all the kids, I thought I should give you this picture of them. They are all a year older, now, but they’re pretty much the same.

Now, I must get back to real life. My redbuds are blooming, and the weeds are happy, but I’ve got to get taxes behind me before I can really tackle the flowerbeds. In the foreground of this picture you can see the weeds in the yard, but we had those sprayed. If we don’t get some rain, we’ll have to water in that spray for it to work. I’ve got to prune the crepe myrtles and the lavender and then get rid of the weeds in the flowerbed. I can do that little at a time, if I use discipline. Discipline. That means I can do an hour or so a day until it’s done. It’s more my style to go out there and plow through it until it’s done; but that is NOT what I can do. Also the Taxes are calling me! UGH! See, I’ve got to get the taxes done. So, that’s my challenge; get some balance into my life and balance is not my strong suit, so my work is cut out for me. Maybe I'm not too old to change, but maybe I'm too hard headed???

Speaking of strength. I’m good. I am doing my treatments everyday for the most part, but that’s another challenge. I’m working on it. It’s hard to find the time to do all I need to do; that means I need to cut something out of my schedule, and I haven’t figured what, yet. Yard work is on my list of things to cut; I have to get it in shape, first. Housework is another, so I’m looking for help. I’m working on it, but I can’t just drop responsibilities; or maybe I can?

This is my last week of this protocol that I’ve been on since December. We decided today that I will do a month of similar treatment and then begin that protocol over again since it has been very good for me and produced good and desired results. The thermogram results still have not come, so we could change the plan if something in the report indicates we should. If those results don’t come tomorrow, I will be utterly shocked. God will get them here in plenty of time. I trust Him. God bless us all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

After last night’s blog entry, I’m braving it, again. Today was another really fun day. We mostly stayed around here and played Hand and Foot Canasta with Nate and Trish. Gabe and Sadie took the two littler kids to the park, as well as the two little girls who live next-door, Sonia and Sasha. I thought they were so cute headed to the park holding hands, so I took their picture. The first picture is all of them in our driveway with the field at the edge of town behind them. I couldn’t resist taking another picture as they walked off through the neighbor’s yard on the other side. See how pretty those pear trees look, blooming? You can see my little wee redbud tree starting to bloom behind them in the first picture.

The kids in the pictures are Gabe, holding Mason and Grace’s hands. Then Sadie is holding Sasha and Sonia’s hands. Sasha and Sonia belong to our preacher who lives next door, and they are our grandkid fix when we don’t have any here.

The last picture is our little Grace; she loves to have her picture taken, so she worked right with me on this one. She’ll be 4 next month and was our baby until Elena was born a month ago today. How lucky can we be with all these kids and MORE! God blesses with such abundance!

The park is about 3 blocks away from here, and the kids in our family have loved to go there for the last two generations! Gabe took Tricia’s phone with her, so we talked to him every few minutes. Also, Sonia and Sasha’s daddy, Bill, went down to the park and parked in the parking lot to do some of his phone calls while he kept an eye on all of them. I was pretty proud of Sadie and Gabe for taking the responsibility of the others, plus I thought it was pretty neat of Bill to oversee the adventure. The whole thing warmed my heart.

I give thanks! I love you for caring and watching the goings on in our lives. God bless!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Trish is here with the kids at our house tonight, so I'm making my first attempt at posting to the blog myself. She showed me how to do it, but it's never as easy as it looks, in my experience.
Since the kids got here it has been a really fun day. It's been so good to have the kids at our house. It's fun to make something as easy as jello and be a hero over it! They drag out the same old toys that have been here for years and seem to get a kick out of them. Mason is balancing one of the magic birds on his chin and managing a wave to the camera at the same time.
The day began with checking the mail and finding that we still didn't get the thermogram report that was sent last week. I called and they told me they'll send the report again, priority mail this time. UGH. We hate to wait, but it's all part of the big picture, so not that big a deal. God is in control and we trust Him, so it's okay. We just want to be sure we do all we're supposed to do. Having the kids here will help us to keep our minds off the report. It should be here by the end of the week, and that will work. It's a good exercise in patience and trust.
I put on another picture of Sadie and Mason playing a game, but it won't go where I want it. Maybe I'll get it on this time. Well, it went on, but it's at the top. That'll do. Anyway, enjoy your spring break if it's this week. Enjoy all the people you love. Mostly thank God for them as we do. God bless and we love you all! (I can't get this blog to space between the paragraphs. BIG UGH! This is the kind of stress I do not need, so I'm turning it back over to Trish! Tonight you just have to bear with it and pardon me!)

So, tonight I’m really tired and ready for bed! It’s so nice to be home and have our own tub, bed and everything else. It was a wonderful 4 months that we were gone, but home is so sweet!

The weeds in the yard think our home is really sweet, too. So, Don and I attacked them today. There were too many to pull. He shoveled and I picked them out of the loose soil. If we wait until it gets hard, it’ll never work! All those weeds at the base of the Japanese magnolia in yesterday’s pictures are in a plastic bag in the alley now! We still have lots to go, but we got a lot done today.

We also got a lot done in the house. I did the hard floors and dusted while Don vacuumed. What a guy he is! It kills my back to vacuum, so it was wonderful for him to do it for me.

Trish and the kids are coming tomorrow. Don is meeting a friend for breakfast. I’m going to get all the suitcases out of the middle of our bedroom floor and get our clothes put away. It seems to take me forever to get unpacked! The kids will be here for a late lunch, I think.

It was wonderful to see lots of friends at church this morning!

I didn’t take new pictures today, but Gretta sent a picture she took with her phone of pictures that were made of us with Elena when we were there 2 weeks ago. You can see how proud and pleased we were to be there holding that precious bundle:

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saturday March 17 Update

Trish was gone last night and today, so I took a break from the blog last night. I can’t even remember what we did yesterday, but I think it was go through mail and unpack a few more things. Unpacking is easy for Don, but he only has his clothes to put away. I have my clothes, the meds, the herbs, and the business to unpack. Besides unpacking and putting away I have the laundry, the cooking and the cleaning to do. Besides, I’m de-stressing. Something is wrong with the picture, but I haven’t figured out just how to repaint the picture.

We did go play canasta last night, but the guys beat us! Ugh. It was still fun. We went again tonight and the women beat the guys. I think it’s only fair. It’s always fun. Today I took a vase of flowers from the yard. I mostly overlooked the weeds (only pulled a few) and cut some daffodils and hyacinths to take to Jo Ann. Don took a picture of Jo Ann and I holding the flowers; it’s the second shot on tonight’s blog. I cropped the vase so you could see it up close. It’s probably no big deal to anyone but me, but I love those flowers. They come up every year without a bit of coaxing or attention. Those are my kind of flowers. I enjoyed them in the kitchen today and then took them for Jo Ann to enjoy. Notice the mountain behind us in that picture. That’s on their farm. We love those mountains around here. You think they don’t look like mountains? I didn’t either until I climbed them; they’re mountains! (Check out that gorgeous, clear, blue sky, too. It was in the 70’s here today and little or no wind. It was a day to compete with Hawaii days; I’m counting blessings!)

The first picture is my Japanese magnolia in bloom. It’s one of my favorite things, too. I’m pretty proud of it for making it here in this dry country. I fell in love with Japanese magnolias when we lived in Baton Rouge. I’m happy to be able to have it here with us.

I found most of my ‘stuff’ for taxes today. I’ll be working tomorrow to make some sense and order out of it. No stress, right? Ugh. I’m going to be way more organized NEXT year! Ha!

Thanks for caring and checking on us. God bless!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

From the blogmaster

Hi guys!

I will be out of town and away from a computer tomorrow (Friday the 16th) and Saturday, so no blog updates till Sunday. I promise to catch up then! Have a great weekend!


Thursday March 15 Update

Today I slept until 9:30 because Don let me. I was so exhausted from yesterday. Today was some better. I found the camera and the cord, but I forgot to take pictures today. How about tomorrow I'll take pictures of my jonquils and my Japanese magnolia; they look great! Maybe Don will take the picture with me in it; he will if I ask him. Oops; it's supposed to rain tomorrow, but this is southwestern Oklahoma, so the rain probably won't happen.
Today we walked and that was good. The weather was beautiful. We waded through lots of mail. Our great friend, Joan, forwarded mail to us while we were in Hawaii, but she had to stop Feb. 14 since it wouldn't get there before we left if she mailed it after that. So, we still had a month of 1st class mail to wade through, plus all the junk that came and she couldn't forward. Some junk is good, maybe? Also, there were packages that came and we didn't want her to forward because we couldn't haul them around with us. We got the table uncovered enough to eat. :) There is still lots more. Ugh.
I got to wear my kangoo boots around the house; I haven't worn them out of the house, yet (don't have time to explain to everyone what they are!) I gave Don a haircut and then got the kitchen floor swept and mopped. I'm cleaning by necessity, and a haircut makes the kitchen floor a necessity!
Tomorrow we are playing hand and foot canasta with some of the old canasta group; some are busy and can't come, but we're looking forward to an old habit. I've got to be sure and get some rest tomorrow so I can make it through the night. It will work; I just have to balance my work so that I don't get too tired. I used to think I could just go until I crashed; I've got to rethink that and do a better job with balance. (It's not good to go until you crash! Crashing is dangerous, so take note!)
All is good. I thank God for direction, healing, and for all of you who care. I love you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wednesday March 14

It is so good to be home! We have so much to do here before we can get back to 'normal.' I have to find a new normal, anyway. I have several treatments that I need to continue, so I won't be doing things I did before. I haven't decided exactly how to eliminate things from my life. I got off to a good start today by hiring someone to spray the yard for weeds. Last year I did it. Today we saw a guy spraying and Don went and asked him to do our yard. Whew. Now, I just have to do the flower beds. I love to do that and I'm supposed to spend 2 hours a day in the sunshine, so there I'll be.
Today I had laundry to do and the fridge to clean. I had taken everything out when we left and took it to Trish. I didn't take the time to wipe it out because we had a plane to catch. Today I couldn't bear to put new food into a dirty fridge. Ugh. Anyway, it's done. Two loads of laundry are done. Suit cases are all over our bedroom. I don't care. I'm going to take a bath and go to bed.
Dust from 4 months needs to be vacuumed but I can take that slowly. Don suggested we get someone to clean the house; he's a sweetheart, but I need to do it to find what we have! Then maybe I'll get someone to help me keep it clean. I like that idea. For now we'll get it done little at a time.
In the meantime we're home and fine. I just need to get into the bath and then straight to bed. I'm really glad to see my bath and bed! Praise God for our safe travels. Sorry; no pictures today. I was too busy to even find the camera. I've got to get accustomed to this computer, too. It's a whole new world, here! I love you all; thanks for keeping up with us.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday March 13 Update

We are almost home! We left this morning and made it all the way to OKC! Whew! We’re tired, but we’re close to home. We had a great visit with Trish, Rob and all the kids and it was wonderful. It was wild as ever, so I didn’t get any pictures of the kids. I’ll get pictures next week when they come to see us. I did get one of Grace when I was taking one of their redbud beginning to bloom in front of their house. Grace is at the front door; it’s the middle picture in this blog entry. The first picture is a couple of my favorite birds at Ruthie’s house. My all time favorite bird is the rufus sided towhee, and he’s pictured here with the all American cardinal.

The second picture is of the blooming red bud in front of Trish and Rob’s house. The last picture is a beautiful Oklahoma sunset, also in front of their house. I thought I should show these pictures so folks realize that all the beauty is not in Hawaii. It was even great weather here, today! I think it was in the 70’s. mmmmm, nice!

I’m exhausted, so I’m making this short. It was just a note to let you know we’re almost home! We’re thanking God for safe travels and a healthy family. Gretta is at home and recovering well. She’s a great survivor! Love you all!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday March 12 Update

I took the time to get some pictures loaded to Ruthie’s computer today. The first one is of me with Jim, yesterday. He is doing very well. He is currently in a nursing home, but he is going home with his son, John tomorrow, so he’s looking forward to that.

The other one is me with Deanna’s oldest son, Phillip and holding their new baby son,, Blake. Blake just got out of the hospital yesterday after a week with pneumonia! He was so much fun! When Phillip was born, we lived in the house where Ruthie now lives and we got to baby-sit Phillip a lot. It sure took me back to those memories to hold his little brother right there where we were fortunate enough to build lots of treasured memories with him.

Today Gretta called to tell me that she is in the hospital! We left her in what we and she thought was good shape, but she had an asthma attack last night and ended up in the hospital. Thankfully she has lots of wonderful friends and wonderful neighbors who are like grandparents to Garrett. She insists she is doing fine and doesn’t want us to come back. She’ll call us in the morning after the doctor sees her and tell what he says and tell us if she wants us to come or not. I so want to go back to help her, but she insists she needs to get into a routine which she doesn’t feel she will do as long as anyone is there. I get that, but it’s hard to not go! We’re close enough here that we can be there within 4 hours, so we’ll stay here until she goes home and is doing okay. She is getting to keep the baby with her, so she can keep nursing her. Elena is doing fine. I guess it’s all under control and I don’t have to be in control of this. (Challenge!)

We had a wonderful time visiting with friends and family today in a place that was home to us at one time. Good times; good people; we thank God! Each day is full of blessings to count. I love you all!

Hello Everyone. We are having a great time visiting with Ruthie and Phil. Deanna and John and the boys came over again tonight and we got our baby 'fix.' Little Blake is such a sweetie. He's a 'hoss' compared to little Elena, but he's still just a little guy and a precious one at that!
Gretta called today and she was released from the hospital today. She won't let us come to help her. She's wearing her independent pants. She's also very concerned that she not contribute to my stress. God love her. I am doing just fine. Since she won't let us come help her, we're leaving here tomorrow to head for home. We'll spend the night somewhere on the way and then go through OKC on our way home and visit some more with Trish and her family as we go through there. We've been on the road PLENTY, now, so we're ready to be at home. :)
Today was a gorgeous day, here, as was yesterday. I'm ready to see if some buttercups are up in my yard. :) The last two days have been nightmares when it came to getting pictures onto the blog, so the blog is going to be minus pictures until I get home, I think. We'll catch you up with pictures we made along the way on this trip. It's been a great trip, but we're ready to crash at home. Trish and the kids are coming for some of spring break to our house, so we're looking forward to that next week! That'll be more good pictures to share!
Love you all, and God bless!

Sunday March 11 Update

Last night was the first time I haven’t done a blog and I’m having withdrawals. So, I’m here on Ruthie’s computer. No pictures this time. I might figure out how to get some on later, but for now, no pictures. There will be awesome bird and baby pictures if I can do it.

Yesterday we went to Murfreesboro and got to visit Jim and his son , John. Wonderful visit and drive! We made it to Ruthie’s last night and she had dinner waiting on us. Another wonderful visit! Then Deanna and John brought the boys over! That was something else. Holding little Blake in this house where we lived when Phillip was a baby took me way back to precious memories!

We had a great night’s sleep, even if we did have to change the time; I think we’ve been robbed an hour of sleep. It’s okay. The birds here are beautiful! I’m looking forward to church with old friends!

It’s good to be in Springville in the arms of family and friends. I hope today is good for you, too! Always remember we love you! God bless!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Friday March 9 Update

Last night was pretty tough for Gretta. On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being time to cry, “UNCLE,” she was about a 9. Today she was better all day, somewhere between a 5 and 7. She’s able to get up a bit, but she still has a fever and is coughing a lot. We’re not leaving, yet. She’s much better, but it’s not a good time for me to leave MY baby, in my book. She may feel lots better in the morning; I hope so, but for now, we’re staying.

Gretta took a bath today and gave Elena a bath with her. Elena LOVED being in the water. The pictures we got are only for her history, though. She’d grow up and hate me if she found I’d put them on the Internet! She really likes a bath.

She is such a good baby. It’s sure nice, especially since her Mommy is sick.

Today was beautiful in Louisville! We could go out without a jacket, even. Whew; I know I’m never going to be able to face a winter very well, again!

The pictures today are some odd ones that didn’t make it to the blog already. She is so absolutely tiny; she’s just amazing! We couldn’t be more proud! We give thanks for her and all our other precious grandchildren, as well as all our other abundant blessings. Most important to us are the people in our lives. Thank you for being some of those people and for keeping up with us. Love, Jo

Thursday March 8 Update

Today was another fun day. We went out to Gina’s house and had lunch with her and Ethan, their youngest. Kyle and Elise came home early from school, so we got to spend some time with them, too. They worked Don over, which he thoroughly enjoyed. I got pictures of them playing on the computer and treadmill and then the workout they all had on the floor. Brian had been called in to fly this morning, and he came in just a little before we left, so we got to see all of them. They have a major addition going on their house, so it was fun to see it in progress. The next time we go there they’ll have a new master suite and a new mudroom.

We came home to find Gretta coming down with something. Her doctor had called in a prescription today, hoping to keep her from getting a respiratory infection. She was coughing yesterday, so she was afraid she was headed in that direction. By the time we got home today she was hurting all over like she has the flu. She is miserable. So, I haven’t alerted Ruthie, yet or Jim, but we aren’t leaving tomorrow like we had planned. It’s too late to call them, but I’ll call them first thing in the morning. We didn’t come here to leave her sick. We’ll stay as long as we can be helpful. I’m sure Ruthie and Jim will understand. We’ll go there as soon as we leave; we just won’t be there tomorrow. We don’t have any train to catch, so this will work. It’s important to us to be here to help Gretta if we can. The baby and Garrett are doing just fine. I’m thinking maybe Gretta has just done too much and gotten her resistance down. (?) She’s felt so good; she hasn’t acted like someone who just delivered two weeks ago, so maybe she did too much. Anyway, she’s going to get some rest, now. She doesn’t feel good at all, so she’ll rest.

We had thought we would meet Tom and Linda Rose for lunch in Murfreesboro, when we go to see my brother, Jim. That fell through today when it turned out that they are having some gutter work done on their house tomorrow. So, now, maybe we can make that lunch, after all, when we go a different day. We’ll see. We just spent two weeks with them in Hawaii, but we miss them! No, lie; we had so much fun. We really were looking forward to another visit.

The last picture is me holding Elena and Garrett coaching. He’s the best! He is out of school tomorrow, so we’ll enjoy being here one more day while he is free, too.

Such is how things work. God is good and will take care of us. I love you for checking on us.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Thursday March 7 Update

Today was such a fun day! Don and I worked to assemble Elena’s crib; Gretta and Joe had it mostly assembled, but the mattress was down too low and the side didn’t operate right. Someone gave it to Gretta, so we didn’t have instructions, so it was rather challenging. We DID it, though! She was very pleased to have her own place, and she’s even slept there a lot this afternoon. The first two pictures are of her propped up in the bed. Of course she doesn’t sleep like that, but she liked the pose for the picture. The last picture is Don and Garrett in a hot game of Boggle. Don was writing with his right hand to cut some slack for Garrett since he’s just learning.

After we got the bed together Gretta and Elena and I went to Hobby Lobby to get some things Gretta needed. It was beautiful in Louisville, today, so it was good for all of us to get out and enjoy it.

Tomorrow Don and I are going out to Gina’s house for the afternoon. We need to be back by dark so we can get things together to be ready to leave for Tennessee on Friday morning. Gretta is doing really well. Nobody can believe she has a two-week-old baby. She has done at least 5 haircuts and 2 color jobs since we’ve been here, and she’s done all the laundry, etc. She won’t let me do hardly anything to help; she’s very independent. Garrett is a big help. We’ll get out of her hair and she’ll be able to really get down to normal around here. Joe will be back in three weeks with the horses and horse racing will be on its way around here, again, soon.

All is good here. We’re counting blessings and giving thanks! Love you all!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Tuesday March 6 Update

Happy March 6! This is the day we went for the full body thermogram. Of course we won’t have the actual reading and evaluation back for a couple of weeks, but it looks pretty good at this point. The doctor who did the thermogram said that while he is not trained to look for all the details there was nothing other than the issue in the breast that jumped out at him. When I asked him if they’d tell me in the evaluation when I needed to have another full body thermogram, he said I would only need to have a breast thermogram the next time. This one will serve as a base so that the next time we take one it can be used to measure any change against the one we did today. That tells me that he doesn’t see any indication of cancer anywhere else in my body.

That means that we will likely proceed with aggressive action against the breast cancer and not be necessarily shooting to kill cancer everywhere in my body since it appears to be only in my breast. What is there IS still there, although it is smaller than it was. When the evaluation comes back we will know better what approach to take and we will consult with more doctors and make a plan. In the meantime I will continue with my present protocol, which is complete in 3 weeks. I will keep you posted on this blog as anything changes.

For your information, let me explain a little better what a thermogram does. (Please realize that I am no doctor and this is really in lay terms!) It measures the heat of my body, so when a ‘hot spot’ appears in the picture it indicates that there is a lot of activity in that area. That indicates cancer could be there because my body is sending a lot of blood to that particular place for some reason. Usually if a thermogram is done and a hot spot is seen, then other tests are run to determine exactly what the hot spot means. In my case, we already knew about the cancer, but we were doing the thermogram to see if we could tell how much effect my treatments have had on the cancer so far, and primarily to determine if this breast cancer had spread to other parts of my body.

Since it appears that the rest of my body is clear of cancer, then we know better how to approach the breast cancer. Of course we will know more once we get the complete evaluation and consult with additional doctors.

De-stressing is the most impossible thing to do when I’m talking about cancer in my own family. It makes some things very easy to delete from my life, though. Like when someone sends me an invitation to join a club, it’s so easy to know that a club is on the bottom of my list of priorities. If I have on make up really doesn’t matter anymore. If I have hair doesn’t matter to me, either. I have enough, by the way; it’s thinner than it’s ever been on me before, but it still covers most of my head. It’s way thin in spots, but how can I care about that? The best part is that I can dry it in about 45 seconds. We have a perfect baby granddaughter and 13 more besides her; who cares about hair, make up or a club???

Speaking of perfect baby granddaughter, here she is today with her Poppy. She has gobs of clothes but very few pieces that fit her. Gretta washed this outfit in hot water and dried it on high to shrink it, so she wears it a lot! I love it because it has hearts on the pants and I call them the ‘everyone loves Elena pants.’ She doesn’t spit up, so she doesn’t get dirty much. She’s really a good baby! Garrett is a wonderful big brother, too. He is very proud of his little sister and very good with her. What a great help he is to Gretta! After the pictures of Elena and Pop is Garrett working on today’s homework. This picture of Garrett reminds me of his cousin, Nate. (Trish, do you see it?)

I’m frustrated today because I haven’t been able to connect with the WIFY from Gretta’s house. I’ll go to MacDonald’s and send this in the morning if it doesn’t go tonight.

Thanks, for hanging tough with me as we travel. Thanks for your prayers and support. I feel good and feel very blessed with the informal report that we got today. I thank God for all His blessings for all of us and love you all.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Monday March 5 Update

What a busy time! Elena gets a bath; Garrett tries to get a picture to send to Daddy (he left this morning for the track in New Orleans), and Grammy gets a picture of the whole process. She thought the bath was great. She loves everything. She’s such a good baby.

Here’s Elena resting in Grammy’s lap with her clean hair all fluffed. There must be something illegal about having this much fun, but I’m keeping at it until someone comes to arrest me.

She mostly sleeps; getting that beauty rest and it’s sure working for her!

Tomorrow morning Don and I will take Garrett to the bus, then we’ll go to Florence, KY to get my thermogram. I’ll report tomorrow anything they tell us. However, I won’t have the evaluation and reading for a couple of weeks. They do the thermogram in Florence and then send it to someone in Michigan to evaluate it. I imagine they will tell me their impression tomorrow, but we’ll see. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m glad to get this done. It will give us an idea of where we stand with this cancer issue and give us a clue as to what direction we should take. I’m trusting God to give us the clues and direction we need.

I have been unable to get online all day, so please pardon me if this is late and if you’ve sent me emails I’m not answering. I’d like to; I just can’t get online. I will as soon as possible. Love you all; thanks for checking the blog and thanks for your patience. OH! I must tell you that my phone came today, so I’m feeling whole again!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Sunday March 4 Update

Here’s little miss Elena doing what she does so well: sleep. I tell you she’s just like me. J Even when we went to the Golden Corral for lunch today, she slept through the whole thing. The other grandkids were having a ball. This time next year, she’ll be right in there with them, but for now, she was the sleeper.

Here are the other grandkids who met for lunch today. Can you tell it’s a party whenever they get together? This is Ethan, Elise, and Kyle with Elena’s big brother, Garrett. We’ll have more pictures of this crowd after we go out to their house on Thursday. For now, this is the best I could do. They prefer to make faces when I take pictures, so I was lucky to get one that looked presentable.

Up late last night, early this morning and then a big party at lunch wore Garrett out. He was ready to take a nap with his baby sister, I guess. After supper this is where we found him: up on Mom and Dad’s bed with baby sister.

All the rest of us are about that tired, too. Gretta cut hair for two teenagers today, and a good friend brought over dinner tonight and Gretta’s doing her hair right now. I love watching. I’ll be so ready to crash tonight, though. It feels good to be able to share good times with everyone, again! It was good to see Gina and Brian and their family today for lunch. We’ll go to their house on Thursday and see the progress they’re making on some major additions to their home and farm buildings.

I was nearing the completion of a web site for Brian’s dad when I got the cancer diagnosis. He is so understanding and encouraging to give me the space to wait until we can get it going again in April. That’s my goal. He does some awesome work. Keep an eye out for great bridges and barns in hand crafted wood. His work is amazing; his heart is even better!

God bless; I love you all for checking in on us. We’re doing well.

Saturday March 3 Update

Okay, I’m rested. I figured it out! Dana, thanks for leaning me toward the card reader, but that’s over my head. The cord is coming, so that’ll be good. It dawned on me tonight that I could put the card into my old camera and upload it to the computer using that old camera and cord. Duh. I am so stumbling along, but I’m making it! Here are pictures we took today! This first one is Garrett and Elena.

Here’s little miss Elena having a wide awake moment:

She’s smiling, again, here. She’s such a charmer.

Okay, I’m happy, now. I can use the pictures! All is well, here. I’m having a time remembering to take my meds without the alarm on my phone to remind me. UGH. Bob is such a dear, though; he has it on the way to me. I’m totally confused about the time, anyway because we are on Easter Standard Time, here. Coming from Hawaii Time; it has me totally in a fog about time. The rest of the fog has cleared, though. A couple of good sleep nights were wonderful!

Tonight Gretta went to a fun raiser and Joe took Garrett to do some Laser thing he wanted to do. So, we got to BABY-SIT Elena! How fun was THAT?! She was perfect and didn’t need us a bit. Daddy and Garrett got home in time to feed her a bottle Mommy had pumped. She drained that and was still hungry, so I got to feed her a drink of water and she was great with that. Mommy got here just in time to make her really happy. She is really a good baby! Well, you could just ask her Grammy. Ha!

BTW, it’s snowed off and on all day here. Of course Don and I are whining. It would never have done for us to spend the winter here at home. We are becoming snowbirds and wondering where we will go for the winters for the rest of our lives. We’re not liking the idea of spending them anywhere cold!

Thank God for grandkids! I remember my grandparents with such love; I hope ours will think of us the same way. I love you all, too. Thanks for keeping up with us.

PS: The rest of the story is that I can't get connected to get this sent. Ugh. Technology is making me late, but I'll get it out sooner or later. Thanks for hanging tough with me!