Sunday, May 31, 2009

That magnolia fragrance!

We got home this afternoon in time to take a quick walk before going to church, including the clean up that follows a walk! I had to take time to smell the blooms on my magnolia. Thank you, God!

We are so grateful for a safe trip for everyone who went to Lawrence. It was a wonderful gathering of family and we were so glad to be able to make that trip and enjoy time with all who were there.

Now, we’re going to put out the Hawaii suitcases and start getting them ready for the next trip. Woo-hoo! We’re going to bed as soon as I finish this post, so if I owe you email from the weekend, I’ll be catching up soon.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thank you, God, for Gene.

The picture tonight is one I took of Sadie with Trish when they were at our house last week. That doll they are holding usually wears the hat Sadie is wearing. I have that little red headed doll (Gina is our red-head.) and I have two more just like her only they are blond headed (Trish and Gretta were blonds when they were babies.) I have these dolls sitting on the bed in the 'kids' room' to represent our daughters. They wear life size baby clothes and the girls always have fun dressing them and undressing them. I think this is the first time the girls have worn the babies' clothes. Sadie is such a hoot, and we think she is darling no matter what she's wearing!

Now to report on today. The service to celebrate Gene's life was so very special. Many of his family and friends wanted to speak and tell memories relative to the impact Gene's life had on their lives. Some brought us to tears, but most made us smile or even chuckle. It was really wonderful to see how talented his family is and how brave so many of them were to stand in front of people and share from their inner core some very treasured memories. I was really touched.

His grandkids are a tremendous group of 9 in their late teens and early 20's. 3 of them are married. They are all gorgeous and fun loving and it was so much fun for us to get to see all of them. (All were there except for 1 spouse who was unable to come from Nigeria.) It was a boost to all of us to be around all these great kids.

We thank God for the opportunity to make this trip and for everyone who was able to join us here. We were all blessed with safe traveling and we give thanks for that, too. We thank God for Gene's life and example to us and the legacy he has left for us. I repeat one of my favorite quotes from an unknown author: "How long does a man live? Is it as long as you can touch him or is it as long as he touches you?" We thank God that Gene continues to touch us in positive ways through his daughters and grandchildren as well as through our memories of him.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Logan!

Today Logan Edmonds made his entry to this world! Congratulations Brett and Heather! Logan was born shortly before 11 this morning, so Doris and Jerry waited for his healthy arrival before they left to join us in Lawrence.

We are all over at Mary Beth and David's house enjoying family time. I just counted off 16 people who are here, but there might be 20 or more. Doris and Jerry will be here soon; Celia and Junior are on their way, and Mary Beth's oldest daughter is on her way with her boyfriend, too. It's really a good gathering; it's so good to see everyone. Our son, Jeff, is here from Vegas; that was a wonderful surprise for us, as we didn't know he was coming.

Everyone is outside around a fire; I came in because the mosquitoes were getting me. Lymphedema and mosquito bites are not a good mix, so it's best for me to come inside. It's a good time to get the blog done. I won't have a picture tonight; maybe I'll get our computer out and put one on later; right now, I'm using Mary Beth's computer.

I thank God for everyone's safe traveling, even Ed, Donna and Emily all the way from Nigeria! What a blessing for all of us to be able to get together in Gene's memory and enjoy this time together.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Leaving for Kansas tomorrow.

Tonight’s picture is Grace in her swimsuit, again. I thought this was so cute because Rob and I were wanted to get a picture of Grace modeling her suit and Raynie was like a cat, puttering around right in the middle of it. Grace just goes right on with her business and doesn’t let Raynie bother her. They are such a hoot and such a joy! God has blessed us with 15 wonderful grandchildren; two are graduating from high school this year, so we capture as much time as possible with them when they are little because it doesn’t last long!

Wow, I’ve been packing today for our trip to Lawrence. I’ve been in the mode of packing for Hawaii, so this is a different set of clothes. We don’t need much to go to Gene’s memorial service, but I had to try everything on to make sure it fits. Shoes are a pit; I hate shoes. I’ve gotten so accustomed to wearing Crocks; real shoes are a burden. Hopefully I won’t have to wear them long. No real shoes except for walking shoes are going to Hawaii! In Hawaii you can even wear flip flops and Crocks to a memorial service, but I don’t expect to go to any memorial services there.
Anyway, we had another great weather day here. I love it when I can get my hour of walking and my hour of sun. I think both are good for my health, so I’m committed to getting them if at all possible. I thank God that we live where the weather is generally sunny and mostly nice enough to walk.

I’m taking the computer with me to Lawrence, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to connect and post the blog. I can if I can find a McDonalds and the time to do it. Please don’t worry if I don’t post until we get home Sunday night.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sewing, sewing, sewing.

This is another picture I took of Gracie modeling her new swimsuit. She loved that suit. Her hair is curly from sleeping in the halo, too.

We had a cool front come through last night, so it was really a nice day today. We’ve been so blessed with a really cool spring, but we had a couple of hot days early in the week and today has been a nice break. My magnolia blooms started to open. I cut all three that opened today, and brought them inside. I should have taken pictures while they were wide open, but they have closed for the night. I never realized magnolia blooms do that, but every one that I’ve brought in this year has done it. I’ve always brought them inside, but I just never noticed them closing in the evening. They don’t close every night, just the first night that I bring them inside. That’s interesting to me.

I spent most of today making alterations and it feels good to get it done. I so thank God that I am able to see and to use my hands. It was really frustrating when I had the peripheral neuropathy to be unable to do intricate kinds of things. Handling a sewing needle was pretty much out of the question, not to mention threading it! I could sew on a button, but that was about it. I’m using some drops for my cataracts, and I’m sure my eyes are not getting worse. That’s a relief. I can manage if they don’t worse. I thank God for options!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Magnolia tree isn't blooming, yet.

Here is the picture of Sadie putting in Tricia’s halo, while Trish put in Raynie’s halo. Grace is there with them so that we could get a shot of all the halos. The halo experience was a fun one. The fun was extended when they got up the next morning and their hair was curly. (Raynie didn’t leave hers in long enough for her hair to curl; she didn’t even leave it in long enough for anyone to get a picture!

Today has been busy, but fun. We started off with breakfast at the Kozy Diner with David and Dorothy and Joan. Then Don and I came home and walked. It was only in the mid 80’s today, but it was uncommonly humid for us and there was hardly even a breeze. That’s uncommon for southwestern Oklahoma, too. We were reminded to appreciate our usually wind! We came home and my wonderful husband vacuumed all the carpeting, while I swept and mopped all the hard floors. It was such a big help for him to do the carpets! He has always offered to do that for me, but I wanted to see if I could do it. Now that I know I CAN do it, I’m so willing to let him do it. HA! No kidding; it takes a big load off if he’ll do that, but it’s also empowering to me to know that I CAN do it. Anyway, I’m learning to get the cleaning done in a few days rather than doing it all in one day. It helps a lot to keep it pretty well picked up all the time, but there comes a time when dust has to be removed. I thank God for a husband who is so willing to help. It sure feels good to get a good cleaning behind us.

I didn’t miss a magnolia bloom yesterday! The tree is so loaded with blooms; I may miss it when it blooms if it blooms this weekend while we’re gone to Kansas. If I miss it, Hazel will enjoy it. She remarked today how loaded it is with blooms. There’s no way I’ll be able to bring all of them inside, so she’s going to get to enjoy some this year. This will certainly be this tree’s best year. I’ll have to get a picture of it in full bloom if I don’t miss it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Winding down from a great celebration!

The picture tonight is of Grace and Sadie with their hair all done up in halos. (Notice Raynie in the background playing the piano.) There was a booth at the Arts on the Square that had these halos for sale and for an extra $5 they would put it into your hair. So Trish had Sadie’s and Grace’s done, watching for technique, and she bought one for Raynie and herself. Sadie did Tricia’s when they got home and Trish did Raynie’s. Tricia’s, Grace’s and Sadie’s stayed in until morning and when they got up it had curled their hair really pretty. Raynie pulled hers out first thing and did it again when Trish fixed it again. Raynie is not into hairdos! It was a fun thing and there were lots of girls in Hobart this weekend wearing halos!

Today Don celebrated Memorial Day by helping a work crew at the parsonage next door. Our new preacher will be here in about 10 days and they’re doing new carpet, tile and texturing walls over there. I stayed home and celebrated by doing my own work around here. I’m still working on alterations, too. What a gift! I’m so glad to be able to sew and clean! My knee is healing really well, too. Thank you, God! I thank God everyday for our troops; I really don't have the vocabulary to adequately express how much they mean to us and how much I appreciate them.

I’ll bet I missed a magnolia bloom today! I forgot to even look! Well, I’ll let Hazel, my neighbor across the street enjoy that one if she looked. I usually strip the tree as soon as the blooms open, but I just never looked out there, today; maybe there’ll be one tomorrow that I can bring inside. I had one on the bar all weekend, and the kids really liked the fragrance.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

All is quiet here.

This picture is sweet Gracie. She should grow up to be a model because she sure loves to pose for the camera. This is a little swimsuit I bought for her at a yard sale and she loved it, so she was prancing around in it, so her Daddy posed her and I got several shots. I’ll post them from time to time. I got several great pictures this weekend, so the blog will have fun pictures of the kids for the next few days. We missed Nate because he was at Boys State. We missed all the other kids, but it was great to have a house full.

I’ve got the beds all changed, and all the doll babies dressed. Raynie had a great time playing with the baby dolls, and then I really have some more fun dressing them after she goes home. I guess it’s a nostalgic thing, huh?

I am so amazed at how good I feel. I was up until 2 this morning attempting to name the girls in a picture taken of a bunch of us at a birthday party 48 years ago. It was such fun, and I wouldn’t have slept anyway until I got it clear in my mind. I thank God for precious memories from over the years and from this weekend. I love every day of life and I think breast cancer taught me that. I’m not staying up late tonight, though. I’m going right to bed as soon as I post this blog.

Thanks for caring and remember all our troops all over the world and at home tomorrow and every day. Don reminded me once that the civilians serve our country by working and paying taxes that make our military financially possible. I had never thought of it that way. Being a military brat, I still think the troops pay the biggest price. God Bless America!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hobart's Celebration of Freedom

This picture is Trish with Raynie. Gabe didn’t want to go to the concert tonight, so he stayed home with Raynie and Grace. Raynie fell asleep shortly after we left and slept until Trish and Rob came home, so she’s really wound up. She was really laughing when I took this shot.

Today was a really full day, and it finished with a concert with several things leading up to a performance by Neal McCoy and Wayne Newton. No lie; right here in Hobart! We went at 4:30 so we’d get a good place for our lawn chairs on the football field. They served really good barbecue and then the performers all started around 5. About 5:30 it started raining. We sat in the rain until almost 10. Trish, Rob, Sadie and Mason came on home around 8, I think. I should have gone with them. I’m sure I could have heard it all from the house and I didn’t see a bit of the concert. I forget that people stand for a concert. My knee insisted I couldn’t stand, plus I couldn’t have seen over the people if I had. It’s just not a place I should go. I’ve been short all my life, so I should have known better. It was fun to hear the performances, but I really would have rather been home with the kids. The good thing is that we got a good parking place, so I could easily go to the car and get umbrellas and an afghan to keep me warm. Another good thing is that we saw lots of people we know. One person we saw was our plumber, which was really good because we pulled the knob off one of the bathtubs last night. He’ll come and fix it as soon as he can get to it. We have plenty of bathrooms, so we don’t have to be in a rush.

I’m still amazed that Hobart could pull of a celebration like we had today. This was the first and the city plans to make it an annual event. We had an awesome quilt show with over 100 quilts. We had an art festival that filled up the whole town square with all kinds of art and crafts. The library had a great book sale. General Tommy Franks officially opened his museum. There was a poker run and a huge parade. There was also a big fly in at the airport this morning. During the concert a huge DC 7 flew over and dropped 13 paratroopers to the field. It was all pretty awesome.

We were expecting 6-7,000 people, but I don’t think there were that many here at any one time. At the concert tonight, I think there may have been 2,500 sitting out there in the rain. They’ll tell us in next week’s paper what the numbers really were. There could easily have been a total of 7,000 folks here today for the different activities. We didn’t do it all, but I feel like I did. I’m really tired. While we were at the square for lunch and Arts on the Square, Grace asked me why most of the people in Hobart are grandmas and grandpas. It’s wonderful that a community of old folks could have such a great event. Of course we have lots of young folks and for them we sure give thanks. God has blessed us with a great mix of people; we are mostly grandmas and grandpas, but there are enough young people to energize our community and enough young folks who visit to brighten our lives, too. Thank you, God.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Remember the ones who paid for our freedom!

Red shirt Friday! I’m all ready for Trish and Rob and the youngest 5 of their kids to get here. They have end of the year parties tonight, so they can’t leave Oklahoma City until 8:30. They’ll be here around 11. I’ve got plenty to do to keep me busy until they get here, but I can hardly wait. It seems like forever since spring break when we had a great visit.

Today Don helped our neighbor move to Altus, so he was tied up until after noon. I spent the day piddling around here knotting up loose ends the best I could.

Last night I got up from the sofa and my knee gave away on me! It was just like when I was in Houston and my knee kept going out on me. I went to the chiropractor’s office first thing this morning. He gave me a treatment and sent me away with my usual diagnosis; strained ligaments in my leg. It’s been much better today and I’m sure I can make it through the weekend after his help. We figured out what we think caused it. Right after my surgery I had to sleep flat on my back and it really was uncomfortable for my back and knees. There was a wedge pillow in the apartment that someone before us had left; it was still in the plastic and had never been used. I put it under my knees and it was sweet relief for my back and knees. That’s when my knee started giving me big problems, though! After the drains came out I was able to sleep on my side a little if I used that wedge at my back instead of under my knees. On my side I could bend my knees, though, so I could be comfortable. My knees got better as mysteriously as they got bad. Well, my knees have been bothering me, so I thought of that wedge pillow and used it for the last couple of nights, and then, BOOM! There went my knee, again. It dawned on me that the wedge was messing with my knee. Sure enough, the doctor agreed that I should not use it under my knees anymore and that using it was probably what put my knee over the edge. At least we figured out what was causing the problem.

So, I didn’t walk today, but I’ll probably make up for it tomorrow! We have a really big day planned in Hobart. I’ll tell you all about it over the next few days. The main thing for us is that Trish and her family are coming. We’ll miss all the rest of the family, but it’s great to have some be able to be here.

I’m headed back to the basement; still working on alterations for me. I sure thank God that I can see well enough to do it and that I can use my fingers so much better than when I had the neuropathy. I’m so grateful to have the use of my hands and even wobbly knees!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

First magnolia bloom of 09

One of my all time favorite things is the magnolia bloom. I love the look and I love the smell. Back in the 80’s we moved to a house in Oklahoma City that had an atrium between the master bedroom and bath and it had a magnolia tree in it. I fell in love with that tree. When we left that house to move to Louisiana, I told Don any house would be fine as long as there was a magnolia tree in the yard. That was easy in Baton Rouge! Just in case I planted a second one there! Anyway, in every house where we’ve lived since then, the first thing we do is plant a magnolia tree. In both houses where we’ve lived, here in Hobart, the wind has blown the top out of them. The one in this yard it blew the whole tree off, leaving just a trunk about 3 feet tall and about 3 inches in radius. My neighbors thought I was crazy to keep fertilizing and watering what looked like a broken broom handle. I was convinced it had a good root system, so I pampered it and today it’s my pride and joy. It is full of blooms and the first one opened today. Of course I rushed right out there and got it to bring into the house. It’s pretty battered from this year’s tempestuous winds, but I’m still proud of it and the fragrance is awesome! So, here’s the picture of my first magnolia bloom for the year.

We are doing fine. I am so grateful to God for lots of strength and energy. I got Dorothy’s alterations finished yesterday and she is so pleased to have things that fit her better. I’m doing a bunch for me tonight. I wonder how people who don’t sew manage. I thank God for 6 years of home economics that helped me to know my way around with a needle and thread and a sewing machine.

I know you have a big Memorial Day coming up, but save this link and look at it when you have some time. I think there is hours of videos here, and these girls are good enough to watch for hours. If you have dial up, forget this, but if you have high speed go watch these girls. They are the King’s Firecrackers from Cincinnati, Ohio. I’d sure love to see them in person. We have two daughters who live in Indiana and Kentucky, so maybe we can see these girls perform sometime when we are in their area visiting our girls. These girls jump rope like nobody’s business!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

God so richly blesses!

This is the last iris I’ll have for a while. I’m not sure even which one this is; it’s a new one I planted last year and it surprised me with a late bloom. The re-bloomers will bloom, again, but I’m not sure when or if we’ll be here to see it. Anyway, I was tickled to find this one open yesterday. I cut it today and put in a few yarrow and a few larkspur for color. I so love cut flowers in the house.

Today Don and I were sitting out on the deck and a ruby throated hummingbird came to have a sip from the larkspur. What a treat that was. I love it when the hummingbirds visit! God was so generous to give us special treats like the hummingbird! We have so many blessings and many we take for granted.

Tonight a dear friend from Itazuke called and we visited for a good bit. I was so thrilled to get his call because his health is not good and I hadn’t heard from him in a long time. He used to email me from time to time or post on the blog and I hadn’t heard in so long, so I was afraid his health was really failing. He sounded wonderful, though! He has had some health problems, but he’s getting stronger and planning to go to the next reunion in Washington D.C. in 2010! (For those of you from Itazuke, it was Gene Hart, ’64.)

I thank God for wonderful friends! I am feeling great, and I thank God for that, too!

OH! Great news! Jo Ann’s pathology came back today and all her nodes were cancer free! Woo-hoo and thank you, God!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thankful to be sewing.

Don took this picture tonight as I was working on some alterations for Dorothy and watching the finals of Dancing with the Stars. I worked all evening on altering some pants and a top for Dorothy. Bless her heart; she’s short, like me, so everything is too long for her. Then she had this one top I altered and I did the whole thing wrong side out, so I got to take it out and do it all over! It was okay, I was sitting in front of the TV, so I was glad to have it to do. I’m never any good at sitting and watching, so it helps me to have some hand work.

Today was another awesome day! I got sun and then walked the park by myself, again, as Don mowed our neighbor’s yard today. They are moving Saturday, so he figured it was a way he could help. I rounded up some things of mine that need to be altered, too. So, I have tomorrow’s work all planned. Tomorrow is a big day. A lady from church is retiring after teaching Spanish at the high school for the last 30 or so years, so there is a reception for her tomorrow. Before church we sing at the nursing home. Then at church we have a devotional and then we’ll have a fish fry honoring our preacher and his family who are moving Saturday. They are only moving to Altus, about 30 miles from here, but we are sure going to miss them. He will be preaching on a part time basis, but he is going into the insurance business.

Today I made slaw and beans to take to the fish fry. One of our members is furnishing all the fish (he and his wife caught it) and is cooking it. The rest of us will bring side dishes. We have so enjoyed having Bill and Olya work with us at the church and we will sure miss them. We thank God for the five years we’ve had them with us.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A good day at the hospital.

This picture was taken a month ago when Jo Ann had her mastectomies and we were in the waiting room with other friends. This is Jack Archibald, the best clown in the world. His wife is Tillie, so we call them Tillie and Silly because Jack is so crazy. He’s such a great sport, he was even willing to model my “breast cancer survivor cowgirl hat.” I forgot to take my camera today, but we were all there, again, as Jo Ann went back for surgery to get her lymph nodes. They didn’t take them in her original surgery because they thought her case was way more minor than it was. They expected that she had a stage 0 tumor which was in situ in her right breast. She opted to have the other one removed because she was so scared of ever having it come back in the other one. Her pathology report came back revealing that she did, INDEED, also have cancer in the left breast, which was in situ. In her right breast her tumor was a stage 1 and it was invasive, rather than in situ. (In situ means that it is contained; invasive means that it is spreading past the original tumor.) It was still very small and she had good margins (clear areas around the cancer cells they removed), but the oncologist said she could not feel good about her until she knew her lymph nodes were clear, so she went today to have those removed for pathology. She did GREAT, and is home, but it’ll be several days before the pathology report comes back to tell us if her nodes are clean or not. I’ll keep you posted.

You may be wondering why I’m telling you all about Jo Ann’s case. She’s close to me. I do this blog in hopes that my experience will help someone to be better braced if they face breast cancer themselves or with someone they love. I feel like Jo Ann’s experience may also help in the same way. Treatments are so different in different parts of the country. They are so different for different people and different kinds of cancer, too. Of course there are different schools of thought from doctor to doctor, etc. too. I recommend each person do lots of research and have a plan in mind whenever possible.

We are great, here. I didn’t have a chance to get a picture of me today, but I’m so pleased for you to meet Jack. He and Tillie play cards with us a lot and they are some of our best friends. Jack reminds us all of Jonathan Winters in looks and behavior. He keeps us in stitches. We thank God for great friends like Jack and Tillie, and we thank Him for Jo Ann’s great recovery.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A welcome beautiful day!

Today’s picture is before church this morning. Man, it’s been a beautiful day; a little cool at first, but then so nice. It wasn’t hurricane windy; just NICE!

David and Dorothy came home with us after church for lunch, so that was a nice treat. They are just like family, so they dug right in and ate chicken burritos with us; we pretended we went to the Mexican restaurant, which is now closed on Sundays! It was fun to sit and relax with precious friends.

Don and I gathered some sun in the yard, since it was so nice. Then he had to clean up and go to a men’s business meeting at church. I walked to the park and did my laps. Wow! It was so gorgeous and I am so thankful to be able to walk! I felt like skipping, but I think I’d better stick to walking.

Don’s not back from the men’s meeting, so I’m going to head on over in the other van. Tomorrow we go early to be with Frank and Kristy as they go in to be sure Jo Ann’s lymph node is clear. It’ll be an early morning as she has to be in Lawton at 6. God bless; have a great week.

Here is Gene’s obituary if you’d like to read it:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How long does a man live?

This is a fun picture I took last August when we went to visit Don’s brother, Gene. Gene couldn’t stay awake, so Don thought it would be fun to take a nap with him. This visit really is a precious memory to us. Gene passed away last night. His daughter, Mary Beth, sent an email late last night, but we had the computers shut down because of storms, so we woke up to the news this morning. It was a shock, but there is much for which to give thanks. Gene had Alzheimer’s and he was 81. Any additional time on earth could not have been special for him. He was a bright guy and he had lived a good life, but those days were gone. His wife passed away 12 years ago, so he is not leaving a spouse. Mary Beth saw to it that he had the best care possible, but God called Gene home. We are thankful that Don had the experience of an awesome ‘big brother’ all of his life. Gene was 12 years older than Don and was always an example and someone Don admired, respected and loved. We will miss him, but we know this is best for him; Alzheimer’s is a really wicked disease that had mostly already taken Gene and left only his weakened, forgetful body.

"How long does a man live? Is it as long as you can touch him or is it as long as he touches you?" Author Unknown; this is one of my all time favorite quotes.

Our day of baseball went the way of all good rainouts. We were disappointed, but I got 3 loads of laundry done and we got to play cards out at the Meier’s house tonight. Sometimes things just don’t go like we plan, but eventually they work one way or another.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another 'red' Friday.

Here’s a picture of me that Don took a few minutes ago. We’re ready to go out to David and Dorothy’s house to play cards. We have storms predicted between 7 and 10, so we may all end up back here to play cards in the basement. Anyway, I’m turning the computers off to protect them from lightning.

We are going to watch Bruce play ball in Altus (about a 30 minute drive) this weekend, so we have a great weekend in the plans. We’ll come home at night and I can post. We hope we don’t get rained out! I hope your weekend is good, too. I thank God for great times to enjoy and for this opportunity at life.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

SO much better!

Maybe I should be too proud to ever show this picture, but it’s how they know me at MD Anderson. No wonder they think I look so good when I’m there! This is a picture they snapped right in the middle of my chemo treatments. I was there for a checkup and a treatment and they snapped this picture to put on my wristband every time I check in with them. It’s the picture that’s on my medical records. The first of this month they made medical records available to patients and I captured this photo.

I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy and the girl with cancer in the middle of chemo doesn’t look this bad. The woman on Desperate Housewives didn’t look this bad when she was in the middle of chemo, either. This is how bad folks really look. I really didn’t feel as bad as I looked, but if you ever have or know someone else who is going through chemo, don’t expect them to look good! Keep smiling and joking with and loving them, as you did me. They just need to get through it, then they’ll look better. Or maybe they’ll never be better, but I don’t think they need to be concerned with how they look when they’re going through chemo. That’s my 2 cents worth on it. I thank God for your support. I thank God for Don, who never made me feel like I looked terrible, but he always saw me at my worst. He was always my hero and he made me feel like his princess. He still does. I am so blessed. Thank you, God.

A couple from church are moving into a house 2 doors from us! We walked by their old house today and stopped to see if we could help. The guy who was supposed to bring guys to help move them didn’t show today; they went to find him and he was at home, drunk, with no plans to move them and no help ready. They had the truck, and had calls in for more movers. We helped them load the truck until the ‘new’ movers got there. Then we unloaded the truck, so that when the new guys got there the truck was ready to be loaded. We came on home for lunch and then Don went back and helped them move the big stuff. I took over some lemonade and cookies and helped them do things like put drawers in chests, put bed frames together, etc. It was really fun! We are so glad to have them as neighbors, too! Can you believe I could actually help someone MOVE? I really do feel good and I am so blessed! Thank you, God! Thank you for caring!

Publish Post

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hairy legs.

The picture tonight is a couple of deer we saw at the end of one of our hikes in Branson with Steve and Mary. There were actually six deer, but 4 ran away, leaving these two to do a stare down with us. It was a fun memory. I thought of it yesterday when we were going to Altus with David and Dorothy and a doe was in the road. Deer are so fun to watch, but they can sure be deadly if they get in the way of your vehicle.

Today was another warm day for us, so we enjoyed it a lot. A cold front is coming tomorrow, I think, so we still aren’t into spring, full blast. This is the weirdest spring I ever remember. We have had enough rain and enough sun that everything is green and beautiful. We can almost watch the grass grow and the weeds are really happy about life! They keep me challenged!

In case you’re wondering, all my hair came back everywhere on my body. I was hoping my legs would cut me some slack, but it didn’t happen. I shave them every time I get wet. There is no hair under my right arm, where I had radiation, so I only have to shave under the other one. I’m glad to have the range of motion to be able to shave my legs. I never realized how much flexibility is required to shave my legs or scratch my back. I’m grateful to be able to do both. Speaking of getting wet: if you read this blog every day, the deal about washing without soap is another challenge for me. I shaved my legs tonight using lotion instead of soap. The habitual part of me keeps leaning toward the soap, but I’m hanging tough. I’m washing my face; I’ll just have to give up the vitamin D that went on my face. This mascara has got to go. I’m sure there is makeup remover I could probably use, and I’ve probably got some. Even mineral oil would work. I just want to wash my face, at least tonight. Maybe I’ll hunt the mineral oil for tomorrow night.

I’m saddened every day as others who went through cancer and treatment at the same time I did lose their battle. God’s timing is perfect and I don’t have to understand everything. I am grateful that I am alive and well. I know that I am so blessed and I don’t take it lightly. I’m sure that God has work for me and I am eager to serve.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A shopping day.

Tonight’s picture is one Don took of me a few minutes ago. He was sitting at his computer and I went to him with the camera, saying, “We need to get a picture of something.” He said, “How about you,” and started snapping! I had to sit in the floor right quick or he’d get that double chin with me looking down on him, so I got tickled and it turned out okay. This is one of my favorite shirts, so you'll see it a lot; one of our sons-in-law (Rob) gave it to me and my eyes are green when I wear it. (Sometimes they're gray or blue, which is fine, but green is fun.)

We went to Altus with David and Dorothy today. Dorothy needed some undergarments and she needed help to shop. Bless her heart, she can’t see to find sizes, not to mention the dressing room. David doesn’t have the breath to do it for her. He can just make it into the store from the parking spot right in front of the door and he has to sit down to catch his breath. So, it was fun for us to go with them. Don sat in the car and visited with David while Dorothy and I shopped. We did some more shopping at Wal-Mart. David drove one of their scooters, so he could keep up with us really well there. We were pleased to find frozen biscuits with no trans fats, so there will be more biscuits for breakfasts between now and when we leave for Hawaii. I am a real dictator about trans fats and just won’t have them across the borders of my plate and my kitchen if I can help it. While we were there we ate lunch together, so that was another good treat. Great times like today with people we love so make for wonderful memories to treasure. I so thank God for the health of all of us to be able to have such days.

After we got home the sun was shining, so I took my book outside and read in the sun for a bit of sunshine. (I'll tell you about my book another day.) Don was reading this morning that the Vitamin D one gets from sunshine is destroyed with soap, so I am to only rinse off with water and no soap? I don’t know if I can do this, but we’ll see how it works. I can use soap wherever the sun didn’t shine on me, so I guess that’s where I need it most? This is getting tricky, so I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. We are such health nuts. We’ve ordered a colloidal silver generator, which is being delivered tomorrow. Maybe I can wash off with silver water! Google ‘uses for colloidal silver’ and you’ll learn a lot about it and why we are interested in it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sold the table!

Those of you with dial up, please pardon me adding an extra picture. I asked Don to take a picture of me with my little miniature rose and the rose is so tiny it barely shows, so I took another of only it. I think it’s so beautiful with those drops of water! It made my day to get this picture. The rose is one great thing, but then to get the picture that I can keep is special.

This morning I called the radio station to put a dining table and chairs on the want ads that run every morning at 7:50 a.m. I had this dining room table and chairs in the garage sale, but it didn’t sell. We’ve had it for years, but it’s been in the attic for the last 10 years. We went to the trouble to bring it downstairs, so I really wanted it to find a new home. I no more than hung up than the want ads came on the radio and as soon as he read off our phone number the phone rang with a lady who said she wanted to buy it, sight unseen! Around noon she came over and got it! I was so happy to make that sale so easily!

Then we worked in the garage all afternoon. I packed all the things that were left from the sale to donate to the Relay for Life. Then while we had the garage all cleaned out, we got out the ladder, my power drill and some 4 inch nails. I found studs and drove a big nail into each stud all across the garage so we could hang things on the wall to get them off the floor. That was HARD work. Don held me on the ladder, but I still had to do a balancing act. I think I used muscles I forgot I had, but we got it done, and the garage looks neater than it has in a long time! It’ll really look good when we get the rest of the things to the Relay for Life sale.

Then I found the rose. I think it’s a reminder from God. Did you know that a single rose stands for true love? This rose came from a bush that I got at Kroger’s last year when we were in Houston for surgery and radiation. I’m so pleased that it survived the trip to here and the winter. What a gift. I love it. I take it as a reminder of all I’ve been through and all I’ve been given. I am so grateful; than you, God.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Relax. I didn’t cut my hair. This was taken a year ago, today. I remember putting on this shirt to go to our fellowship breakfast at church. It looked like a shirt hanging on a broom, so I added some shoulder pads. It looked 100 times better, and I was perfectly okay with that. Then it dawned on me that adding the prosthesis wouldn’t be any phonier than adding the shoulder pads. So I put on the ‘loaded’ bra. It was the first time I really felt comfortable in the ‘loaded’ bra. I wear it all the time, now without even a thought. Well, lots of times I forget it and I never give that a thought, either. This was before Judy talked me into wearing eye makeup, too. I think I look a little like I’m walking through a mine field, too. Probably I was. It kind of feels like that when I’m constantly on the alert for some sign that the cancer is back. They say I’ll get over that, but I haven’t yet. I don’t worry about it, but I think it’s being responsible to keep alert.

Today was another cool day, here. I’m wondering whatever happened to global warming. My flowers are in a state of dismay. The irises have bloomed, but they are not vigorous or abundant. I had plenty, but I’m sure they’ve suffered due to the many cold days we’ve had. My magnolia tree is loaded with blooms, but they aren’t close to opening. This time 2 years ago I had an arrangement of magnolia blooms on the dining room table. Things change. I love being able to compare times and changes. Mostly I love being able to recover and be alive! I thank God so much for His gifts to me. Mother’s day is a wonderful day to contemplate the joys of life; family and children are right up there at the top with the grandkids! Since I discovered cancer in my breast 2 ½ years ago many people I know have died; I feel so blessed to still be alive and to be so well. Thank you for caring and reading my musings.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

We won 2 out of 3!

This is how happy I look after we’ve played 3 canasta games and won two of them. It’s late, though, because we played longer than usual and then we had the drive home. How sweet to be able to be amongst people, though. I remember the chemo days when I had to be so careful not to get any germs. Of course, now we are all being careful because of the swine flu. It’s good to be careful, anyway.

It was really nice to be able to play with David and Dorothy. Their son has been here all week from California, so we’ve left them alone to enjoy time with him and his wife and daughter. They left this morning, so we grabbed David and Dorothy to go play. How wonderful it is that both of them are healthy! And it was great that Jo Ann feels like having company! We have so much for which to give thanks. In the last couple of years Frank has had prostate cancer and a heart attack, and he’s in good shape. Jo Ann has had breast cancer and surgery and she is doing well. Then, it’s always tricky with David’s COPD. Dorothy has had back surgery and a broken wrist in the last year. These are some of our closest friends and it was wonderful for us to be healthy and able to play tonight. Praise God!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The guys keep winning.

The picture tonight is just a close up with my hair pulled out of my face and off my neck. I thank God that it’s long enough to do that! I may keep it awhile.

We played cards and the men beat us. How rude, but they do it a lot. You’d think they’d think of things like that we cook for them and that it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. No such luck; they just whip us every chance they get. We’re playing tomorrow night out at Jo Ann and Frank’s house, so maybe we can catch up to their winning streak.

It was another warm day here, but a cool front is coming tonight and it’ll be chilly and windy tomorrow. I used to never even think about the weather. I just stuck my hand out to see if it was cold or wet or dry. I used to think it was so funny when Don’s mother would call us in Tennessee and ask if we’d gotten rain. We always had rain in Tennessee; that’s why I always carried an umbrella! But, we moved here and I learned that everything hinges on the rain because of the farming. If the farmers are hurting everyone is hurting. If they don’t get rain the crops don’t make and the cattle don’t eat. It’s a big deal. I used to think farming was someone who had a barn, a few crops a couple of cows and a few pigs and chickens. Not here. Farming is hundreds of acres of wheat and several hundred head of cattle. Besides all that if it’s too hot or too cold or too rainy I have to walk on the tread mill! I don’t farm, but I’ve learned to be sympathetic.

So there you have my two cents on weather in Oklahoma. I’ve learned to love it, even if I gripe sometimes. I thank God for a good place to call home. I especially thank Him that we have never blown away in a tornado. Mostly the tornadoes keep us on our toes and then go around us.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The yarrow patch.

The picture tonight is one Don took yesterday of me standing beside my yarrow patch. This is a favorite flower because it comes back every year without even any coaching. All I have to do is cut it away in the fall and here it comes back in the spring. The flowers look great with an arrangement of irises; really brightens them. Notice my bridge behind the tree; that’s a Valentine present. It wasn’t Valentine’s Day, but I wanted it and Don bought it, so that’s a real Valentine’s present in my book.

Tomorrow we have people coming to play cards and it was time to clean house. I decided to do it in two days instead of knocking myself out in one day. So, I did it all today except vacuum and clean the bathrooms; I’ll do those tomorrow and I won’t be too tired. I don’t feel too bushed tonight, either. It’s a better plan than doing it all in one day. I just thank God that I CAN do it. This assures me that I can do the house-sitting in Hawaii, too. There’s a lot of work to that, and I want to be sure I can do my part. The last time we did it, Don did most of the work and I want to carry my weight better this time. We have good friends joining us who will also help with the work, so I feel really good about it.

It was wonderfully warm again today. We walked before the clouds disappeared, so it wasn’t too hot to walk. Then the sun came out and we were able to get some sun. We are big believers in Vitamin D, but we also need to get plenty of sun so that we don’t burn when we go to Hawaii. There will be plenty of work to do there, but there will also be plenty of beach time. Sunburn is a real bummer, so we don’t want to be set up for that.

How blessed are we to be getting in shape for 2 months in Hawaii?!! I thank God for our opportunities, but mostly for our health, our family and our friends. Wow. Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Love this weather!

Woo-hoo! Sunshine and warm is back to our state! It was dreary and cold this morning, but around noon the clouds left and we had a great, warm afternoon with only a gentle breeze! We walked and I had to wear a sweat band to keep sweat from running all down my face. Now, that’s more like it! I love this kind of weather. The picture tonight is one Don took of me just before we went to church tonight, beside my little miniature rose bush. It was my mother-in-law’s, so it’s special even if it is kind of scrappy; it must be at least 30 years old, so I think it's doing pretty well to be surviving.

I’m headed to bed as soon as I get this posted. It’s my effort to get to bed early so I can get up early. So far my efforts have been bungled for one reason or another, but I’m determined to get to bed early tonight. I’m all ready except for the post.

My arm is still doing very well without wearing my sleeve. I’ll wear the sleeve when we are on the airplane, because they highly recommend it. I keep my arm very active with various exercises, so I think that does the most to help it. I’m amazed at how much better it is doing. It’s still swollen, but it’s not nearly as painful as it was and not swollen as much as it was. I thank God for whatever is helping!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Looking back a year.

This picture was taken on May 3, 2008. We were at Don’s 50th high school reunion (That’s a pendant around his neck that they gave to all the alumni.). I probably put this on the blog a year or so ago, but I couldn’t resist putting it on tonight. I look back and see that I’ve grown a lot of hair in the last year! When this picture was made I thought it was coming back straight. I didn’t care how it came back, I was just so happy to have enough to keep me warm and out of 3-5 hats! By this time next year I’ll have a nice ponytail. Woo-hoo!

Today went better than yesterday, probably because Don let me sleep until 7:45 this morning. I’m going to bed right after Dancing with the Stars tonight, so I should get a good night’s sleep and be able to get up early. I made biscuits and gravy for breakfast, so that started his day off right. (Linda, he held it to two biscuits; I ate my regular chia toast.) He went to the grocery store for me yesterday to get a couple of things and he brought home the biscuits; I read that hint loud and clear. Ha!

It is uncommonly chilly here, so it’s really different. Even my irises are pouting about the weather. They are beautiful, but not as abundant as they usually are. I have one yellow one that is deformed, even. Others that usually bloom in abundance are barely blooming. People who came to the garage sale Saturday remarked about how pretty they are, but they don’t know this is a down year for them. I’m still enjoying them and thank God every day for such a blessing. We are still using heat and usually at this time of year I’m begging for AC and Don is holding out until June. Ha!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Chinese dancers are inspirational.

This is the ‘awake’ picture I meant to post yesterday. I’m still pretty much asleep, though. I can’t seem to get good and awake with this weather so chilly. What a chilly spring it has been. I feel like curling up with a book, but the treadmill calls.

I got up at 7:30 today; about an hour after Don wished we would get up. Things have gone awry all day. Even the florist came to deliver flowers to someone on a whole other street. She must have gotten up too early, too! This getting up early is not working for me; it’ll take time for my body to adjust, I think. Actually lots of things are going right, but I can’t see them for the pictures of the things that are going wrong in front of my face. Isn’t it a shame to admit that, but it’s true. We have thunderstorms predicted for tonight, so I’m going to post to the blog early, hoping to beat the odds. We’ve had thunder rumbling all day, so I’ve had the computers shut down for several hours, already. Such is life in Oklahoma. Key word: LIFE! I am grateful for life. If you get a chance, watch the youtube clip described below. It inspires me!

In a Chinese modern dance competition on TV, one very unique couple won one of the top prizes. The lady, in her 30's, was a dancer who had trained since she was a little girl. Later in life, she lost her entire left arm in an accident and fell into a state of depression for a few years. Someone then asked her to coach a Children's dancing group. From that point on, she realized that she could not forget dancing. She still loved to dance and wanted to dance again. So, she started to do some of her old routines, but having lost her arm, she had also lost her balance. It took a while before she could even make simple turns and spins without falling. Then she heard of a man in his 20s who had lost a leg in an accident. He had also fallen into the usual denial, depression, and anger type of emotional roller coaster. But she determined to find him and persuade him to dance with her. He had never danced, and to "dance with one leg .... Are you joking with me? No way!" But, she didn't give up, and he reluctantly agreed thinking, "I have nothing else to do anyway." She started to teach him dancing 101. The two broke up a few times because he had no concept of using muscle, how to control his body, and knew none of the basic things about dancing. When she became frustrated and lost patience with him, he would walk out. Eventually, they came back together and started training seriously. They hired a choreographer to design routines for them. She would fly high (held by him) with both arms (a sleeve for an arm) flying in the air. He could bend horizontally supported by one leg with her leaning on him, etc. In the competition, as you will see, they dance beautifully and they legitimately won the competition."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sorry last night's post is so late!

I had a post written and a picture with my eyes open to post tonight. When I went to post it, I saw that last night’s post wasn’t there! I knew I wrote one! It was still in the draft form; I had failed to push the “POST” button. UGH! I hope nobody worried! So, I decided to post this picture with my eyes closed; it must be more how it really is here; me not paying very close attention to details! Last night’s post was lengthy, so I’ll keep this one short. Thanks so much for your patience and love.

Today I am reminded to be thankful for time to rest. I am also so thankful that rest DOES repair my aching back. My dad had a favorite phrase, “Oh, my aching back.” He’d say that when my brother fell into the lake for the second time, showing us how he did it the first time. Times like that were perfect for Daddy’s phrase. Mom’s back really DID hurt her. I think of both of them as my back hurts so much. Now, don’t anyone worry; this has nothing to do with cancer. I’ve had a bad back for years. It only needs rest and the jiggler from time to time. My back aching is a precious reminder to me of both of them. My sister has a bad back, too, so when mine hurts so badly I imagine we are supporting each other with our aching backs. I thank God for precious memories to recall.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Nate is the real treat today.

I found the camera! It was in the van that we don’t use around town much. I don’t even remember when I put it in there, but it was there and I was so happy to find it. The picture tonight Don took just a few minutes ago when I was relaxing after the garage sale. What a day!

We got up at 5 so that we could pick up my precious friend, Joan and take her to breakfast with us. We knew we needed a good start on the day to make it. Joan is the BEST kind of friend, and I thank God for her. When we first moved to Hobart, she lived in the house across the street from us. It was like moving across the street from an angel. If I went out into the yard to dig, I’d look up and there she’d be standing with her shovel. If I pulled the ladder out to a tree to trim it, she’d come and hold the ladder. If I trimmed the hedge, she’d appear with her clippers. We worked together like a hand and glove. When we moved to this house, she’s not as able to know when we needed her, but she does a pretty good job of knowing when we need her. When I said I was having the garage sale, she said, “I’ll come and help.” It’s so much more fun to do something that’s not so fun when there is someone there who can make it fun. Joan is also the person who keeps an eye on the house when we’re gone; monitors our mail, etc. She’s the BEST.

Anyway, it was really cold today. It was raining when we got up, and it misted all day. The wind blew and it was just downright chilly all day. We wore jackets and I kept warming rice and corn buddies for us to hold all day. We even let people who came and shopped hold our buddies when they appeared to be cold. So, we had fun in spite of the cold and the work. We sold a lot of ‘stuff.’ I was so thrilled to see some of the things I really liked find a new home. Mostly it was thrilling to see it leave. I didn’t make a lot of money, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to have things leave gracefully. For example, I had a collection of brass ducks that I really liked, but I’d much rather dust pictures of the grandkids than those ducks, let alone shine them! So, I was so happy to find homes for things like that.

I’ve had a bath and I’m ready to go to bed early. Now, here is the real treat for the day. If you are on dial up, you may want to just take my word for this. However, if you have high speed, you may want to go watch a video of our grandson, Nate, singing! I don’t know the occasion of this singing, but I can tell you that he has an awesome voice and he made me really proud today when I saw this video. He’s a great all-American kind of kid. He’s 17 and he doesn’t require much attention. He plays great hand and foot canasta and great Rook. He makes us proud as a Civil Air Patrol member, and we knew he sang in the choir at school, and knew he has a great voice, but this song took my breath today. It’s one thing to sing ALONG with the choir, but to stand up in front of folks with a microphone and sing a patriotic song well is pretty awesome to me. Most people would rather jump off a bridge than do that and even if they wanted to sing in front of people they couldn’t sing the right words and notes. I’m just amazed and so proud. His mother has a blog, which is generally about her quilting, but she puts fun things on about the kids. That’s where this video is. You may get hooked on her blog; she’s pretty creative, too! Here is the address for her blog:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day!

The picture tonight is Raynie giving herself a kiss. I wish I were giving her a kiss! I’m really missing all the kids. It seems like forever since we’ve seen anyone. We saw Bruce and Erica at the game last week, but that’s never enough. I wish we could play cards or something like that. Anyway, I still haven’t found the camera, so I’m sifting through old pictures for the blog. This one of Raynie is only a month or two old.

I’ve got to get to bed right quick because we’re getting up at 5 to go to breakfast and get back here for the garage sale. I would rather it be a yard sale, but it’s going to be cold (50’s) tomorrow, so I’ll be glad to have the garage around us. Everything is ready. I have only one box of things to sort in the morning. We’ll pull the vans out and park them on the street and then we’ll be set.

My back is really angry about this garage sale, but I’ll go jiggle right quick and we’ll be friends, again. I so thank God for helping me fix that jiggler! I thank Him for leading us to it in the first place. It sure keeps me mobile!