Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In Pain!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving...my shoulder is still causing me lot's of pain and this is the first I've been able to type for a few weeks. I wanted to let you know that other than dealing with constant shoulder and arm pain, I'm still here. Hopefully I should be back to my "normal" chatty self soon.

I can't believe it's December 9th already! Holy moley!

Hopefully, I will be able to get back here tomorrow and catch up with my
self! Until then...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

We are within an hour of our departure...hubby and I are driving to the Bay Area to spend Thanksgiving with his Mom, sister, and niece.

I'm very excited...and thankful that I'm able to make this trip!

I'm also very thankful for all of you! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Gobble! Gobble!

Pictures and details when I return...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Take a Moment...lest we forget!


Veteran's Day!!!


This has got to be one of my favorite holidays! These characters are two of the many special men that today represents. They truly love their country, one another, and me!
I missed seeing them at "the reunion" this year...each year over the Fourth of July thousands of these crazy Vietnam Helicopter Pilots get together and relive the pain and anguish, as well as the beer and laughter.
It amazes me what they remember and amazes me more that they refuse to forget.
Take a few minutes today and thank a Veteran, any Veteran.
Thanks guys and welcome home!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5th is a beautiful day!

You're probably thinking it's the election, it's not. (I don't want to discuss political issues here)

Today is Melissa Marie, first-born child of my loins, birthday. That half intelligible message in your voice mail was me, my dear...missing you terribly and loving you tenderly...wish I could "sniff" your lovely head...all I could do was sob!

I can't say enough how beautiful my children are. I have a special relationship with each of them. They have given me joy for more than thirty-something years. Don't get me wrong, they all have given me grief also.

It's the same with the grand children...each one the same, yet different.

Last night I had Jay's kids here...Christy brought them to grandma's for a visit. I sat and watched in wonder the little pieces of each of their parents, aunts, uncles, and grand parents emerge. It was really quite fascinating.

Mel, Happy Birthday! YMLY! I heard your voice crackle when you were saying how proud you were of your girls and your brother, for all the hard work they had put out campaigning...you should be proud!

I know I'm proud of them and you! And before I get a zillion emails...I'm proud of all my kids, naturally born, adopted, and collected.

And...Happy Birthday to Jake too!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's a...kitten!

Slightly aroused from my sleep (at about 5 am) I heard what I thought were my tortoises mewing. They do this when they have mock sex (both are males). Then I heard Jake make his way to the shower and the water come on. My arm didn't really ache so I drifted back to sleep.

About an hour later I heard Jake turn off the shower and the same mewing could be heard but it was closer and louder...it was not my torts...I fought with my robe and did the potty thing and then followed the noise. It sounded like the carport area. Being it was still dark out I started flipping on lights. I couldn't see anything, so of course, so I open the door and a kitten runs in! He's mewing, I'm saying, "no, no, I can't have kittens, go away...go home."

He didn't and while I was trying to scoot him out, Langdon came to see what all the commotion was about and thankfully assisted me, pushing the little guy out the door. Then we headed back to bed, it is his day off. The kitten kept mewing, and mewing, and mewing!

Jake came down and heard it, opened the door and brought it in. I growled from my bed that he was to put him outside. We can't have a kitten! He did.

When hubby and I finally got up the little guy was still going strong. Now he was watching us through the windows and kept trying to get in. He got in between the screen door and door and climbed it to the top all the time screaming louder and louder.

We're captiives in our own house because of a five or six week old screaming kitten! When I started back up here I didn't hear anything. Then I looked out the back porch and he's curled up in a sunny spot around one of my potted bonsai trees.

I called a friend who is a cat saver...maybe she will be able to help me.

I DON'T WANT A CAT!

Email form China

As I've mentioned earlier, my son is in China on a business trip. The following is a copy of his email, I joyously opened this morning...I'm still laughing!



Hey Mom,

I thought I would email you while I am pooping in China, I know how much you use to love it when I announced I was going poop and now I actually understand because Nathan and Boaz have a similar presentation when they go as well and it drives me crazy (in a fun sort of way).

But enough about them back to my pooper, my toilet has a built in bidet here are some of the feature:
-seat warmer
-heated water with temp. control
-two types of spray 1. is more of sprister, and the other is a pressure washer (i use both it takes both to be really clean)
-a blow dryer with temp control to dry the dirty eye
Anyway this email sounds like I am drunk but I am not just missed you and thought I would send you a silly email. You should forward it to Melissa she loves potty humor.

I hope you are doing well write me and let me know how you are doing.

Love,

Jay

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ouch!

Now I ask you, do I deserve a torn rotator cuff? Pain? Dependency on others to go to my physical therapy appointments? Evidently the answer to that question is YES!

My attempts at dealing with the situation vary according to how tired I am. Last night I was very tired...I had woke up in pain, taken a pain pill, had some coffee, and called the physical therapist to make an appointment...Di had left the days and times she would be available to drive me...having been up most of the night before, she wasn't very pleased when I told her she only had two more hours to sleep...oh well, she'll adjust.

She was up and ready in time to go and by the time we had driven to town was appreciating the beauty of the vine maples in their golden glory. The only thing she worried about was that she didn't know the business, or the people, being it was new. You see, she was tired and wanted to lay down and having lived here most of her life she was used to knowing the business owners by name and has never really thought twice about making herself comfortable.

Of course we had a slew of papers to fill out and being right handed (sore side) it was painful for me to fill out the paperwork so she did it for me. As she answered the questions, she came to "how did this injury occur?"...she says KEG DIVING! The receptionist chuckled. I tried to slap her but couldn't lift my arm to do so, so chuckled as well and we continued to fill out the paper work.

The patient before me was finished and I was called into the exam room. The therapist sat me down and started going through the paperwork...he says (without facial expression) I see this started when you were keg diving, just a hint of a smile was visible because he was loosing it and wouldn't look at me. I burst into laughter and explained my daughter had filled out the forms for me and we were testing him. Up until a few years ago, I didn't even know what a keg dive was! He took it well, passed the test, and I think, no I know, he will be good for me.

By the time we returned to the first room, Di was chatting with the receptionist and came over to the table I was attempting to get up on for the ultra sound. Next to that table was a huge platform like thing which Di basically threw herself on and sprawled while I had my treatment.
The treatment was to stimulte the muscles and loosen things up in there so better circulation was possible.

Whatever it did, it left me exhauted and cranky as evening approached. I tried to be pleasant. My husband said I wasn't bad...I did end up getting stuck in my clothing and had to seek assistance in getting undressed and in bed...that was torture! I fell asleep with tears streaming down my face.

I woke up very early this morning and the pain was there but not as intense, so I took a pain pill, drank some coffee and came up here to update you all.

Now I have a co-worker, Johnni, coming to spend a few hours with me, so I need to go, take my meds, put on some clothes and a smile...have a great day!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Going to the doctor's!

Because of the temperature fluctuations for the past two or three weeks and everything that has gone whacko with me, I really didn't think the ache in my shoulder was anything more than stiff joints or sleeping on it wrong.

I have now suffered enough and am heading into the doctor's to see what the heck is going on with it and how to treat/deal with it.

Embarrassingly enough I was sitting on the "potty" and of course noticed the paper roll was empty...instead of getting up (because I'm now a clumsy clod) I reached behind to grab a fresh roll from the basket I keep on the tank.

AAAAAARRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! When I finally caught my breathe and was able to right myself, I gimped my way to the sink to wash my hands when I tried to turn the water the pain was awful...I resorted to hand sanitizer...I don't like pain.

I immediately took some Ibuprofen, grabbed the heating pad, and hit the couch. Now, please remember that I am right handed, have used a cane for balance since my brain surgery, and had a house full of guests.

Anyway, as time goes by, I try to manage my chores...dishes, laundry, this blog, e-mail, thank you cards, watering...I'm thinking I did pretty good...and then for no apparent reason the *%^%%* shoulder is killing me again! Soooooooooooo...I now have a 1:15 appointment to try to find out what the heck is going on...I'll let you know when I get back.

I now have the unpleasant task of trying to put on clothes!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Crapitiola!!

Great, great, great! Blogger is down...why? I don't know, there isn't an explanation. What I do know is it's taken me all morning to warm up and then I needed nourishment and when I finally (FINALLY) got back up here to sit and prepare an update post, I can't. CRAPITIOLA!!

I was going to tell you what I've been up to lately...

Let's go back to the beginning of October when the car died...dear hubby's car bit the dust on the way to work one morning...don't worry, he called a friend and was saved in time for work...how he called is left to the imagination because we no longer have a cell phone...I don't want to hear any comments pro or con; we decided a while ago that it was a stupid expense we could live without and did, and if I have anything to do with it will continue to live without!

After searching the Internet for a car, which was affordable and appealing to dear hubby; I asked where we were in solving the problem...the man drives over 100 miles every day! He tells me his choices; none new, probably not far from being undependable, one a "babe magnet". My response was to call my son, he had recently purchased a new car and helped Di when she purchased her new car. A friend of his was a manager of a dealership that not only won awards for their sales BUT actually treated people fairly and didn't push...they were big on customer service...something lacking today in my opinion.

Dear hubby works 4-10 hour shifts. Wednesday is his only day off where we can fit doctor's appointments, run errands etc. (He also has the weekends off) which normally would satisfy us as an alternative time to get things done.

This time, we had less than a week to buy a new car, pack his suitcase for an eleven day trip to Amsterdam (he had decided to go on when I was still in Las Vegas) and get him to the airport on time.

He called. My son called back. Hubby called the dealership and did a phone credit check (to be worked on while he drove the 35 miles to sign the papers and choose a car. He said he was not only treated like royalty but they had three cars waiting for him to test drive...he drove one home! Whew!! A whirlwind of a day! (I had stayed home and did laundry and packed. Problem solved!

Sunday dear hubby calls his son and finds out that he can't be out here until Saturday, which is fine by me BUT he was under the impression that it would be soon enough to get him to the airport on Tuesday. After some quick thinking and trying to find one of my proverbial lists I said I'd find someone off my "call me if you need anything list".

Sure enough, one call was all it took....my friend Alice came to the rescue...problem solved. Thanks Alice!! So we continue to ready him for his trip, check everything twice, and Tuesday morning we're off to the airport where we left him curbside and drove off. Alice and I did errands in town on the way home and I had a great visit with her!

Meanwhile my Dad was flying into Las Vegas to have a short visit, grab Mel and drive up here to be with me while I was "alone". They left Thursday morning and were here early Friday evening...just in time to join half a dozen or more of my "collected" kids, who also didn't want me to "alone". My Uncle drove down from Seattle as well. We were running out of beds! Super son and daughter in law to the rescue-AGAIN! They brought a trailer up and problem solved! Keith (hubby's son) arrived on Saturday and joined the melee that ensued.

Saturday evening we had probably fifteen or more people for dinner. (geez! I wrote that wrong! we are not cannibals!) My son was about to leave for weeks on a business trip to China, so he and the family were able to join us as well as deliver the trailer. He had recruited his sister to take the three kids home/here with her so he and his wife could have a date before China. The drive way was a parking lot...the house hot and loud...smiles, laughter, tears of joy and excitement, lot's of wine and very travel weary people.

This is how it stayed for the next ten days! So much fun and joy! My Dad, uncle, Mel and I worked on my grandfather's slides by the thousands. This was something I really wanted to do and was very worried it wouldn't get done before I did and would end up in the burn pile. Mel and I viewed the slides, chose what to scan; dad and uncle scanned and categorized on my computer, and the slides are now with Mel in Vegas. Thanks to their hard work and persistence I will now attempt to make cd's for my brother's and nephews, as well as my grand kids.

Saying good bye to them all was difficult...bitter sweet...I cried...I hugged...I sniffed heads...I tried to smile, I really did! The reality of saying "goodbye" is so real now that it bites!

The house was without guests Monday...Jake and Di were here, but sleeping...I fell asleep on the couch, where they left me to wake on my own about 5pm...guess I was tired, slept over two hours, so I must have been tired!

My co-worker from the library, and friend, Johnni came to visit for a few hours Tuesday morning...love it, she brings goodies and somehow knows what I'll be in the mood for...not sure how she does it! We had a nice visit, at least I thought it was nice...she asked if she could come every Tuesday, a sure sign of enjoying herself.

I tried to get this done yesterday but found my self too tired...so there you have it, a condensed version of the past few weeks!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This is how my life has changed since March...I'm not complaining, just stating fact.
Diagnosed with brain tumors, not one or two, but seven! One was incredibly large and aggressive and thanks to a remarkable surgeon, to whom I'll forever be grateful to, was successfully removed.

Because I am fortunate enough to have an incredible support system, many with medical backgrounds, I was kicked out of the hospital early because they had a few reported cases of staph and MSR floating around. (Thank you again dear surgeon!)

I was surrounded 24/7 with family and friends, to which I am also forever grateful to. As I recovered from the brain surgery I experienced what is called a steriodal rage at the same time my husband was experiecing a meltdown from finding out his wife was terminally ill.

I was so angry that I demanded my Monster Child(Di)and her wonderful friend, Megan, helped me pack their cars with random keepsakes and daily necsseties and drive me 20+/- miles at two in the morning to my son's house. I knew he and his family were gone for a few days, and that the girls would take turns being my #&^tches and if the house was locked we could stay in the trailer and I would call Mel, and she would just have to come back and help.

This was when it hit me...I was suddenly dependent on my husband, who was not ready or willing to deal with all this, my children, grand children, and friends and neighbors...whew!

Mel was there within 48 hours with Kimberly in tow, eager to be helpful. She of course had researched the internet after the diagnosis and was quite knowledgeable in the signs & symptoms...the kid is an incredible researcher!

Post note: I wrote this several weeks ago and today am not sure where I was going with it except I am so grateful to my family and friends! Let's just leave it at that and I can start a new post later today when my fingers aren't on the verge of freezing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Doctor's Visit

For all of you eagerly waiting to hear...the radiation did what it was supposed to do (besides give me "the exhaustion!)...the brain tumors shrunk in size. They did discover a very minute spot in the area of the tumor they removed in March, but are not going to worry about that at this time. I'm not exactly a candidate for the gamma knife treatment, although it might be an option.

I also have that lesion on my lung that has grown a bit. The hoarseness I've been experiencing is the lymph node swelling around that area and some nerve that lives there (the vocal cords, not the lung).

My choices are to carry on, or receive chemo-therapy aimed at getting the lung lesion...but, because the chemo leaves me drained of any energy I might have, it diminishes the quality of life.

I need to think hard and talk things over with my hubby and kids.

So...the doctor's visit went well in my opinion. Evidently, my oncologist said I've gone further than he would have and did imagine. Tomorrow will be six months since the tumor was removed. Hooray for me!

Maybe I will get more of these boxes unloaded and sorted after all!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I often drag myself up here with my first cup of coffee and read my favorite blogs. Every once in a while there's a surprise waiting. Usually, a new screen saver picture, something dear to my heart that makes me smile, laugh, or spit coffee on the screen.

This morning there was a pile of mardi gras beads from Di's latest trip to Vegas. I must remember to ask what she did to get them! Then again, maybe I don't want to know!

I've taken to hanging beads from the Wisteria that wraps around our front porch. I like the way they sparkle in the sunlight. Yes, I know they fade...but nothing is forever! Things that seem simple, like the beads on the keyboard, give me great pleasure! A photograph of a giant tortoise eating watermelon make me smile.

Crap, waking up and hearing wind and rain make me happy-I made it to another day!

Wednesday I get the results of those scans. I'm really not sure I care. The fact of the matter is, you get up, choose your attitude (hopefully you choose to make it a good one) and you proceed with your day.

My days are full of piles and boxes right now. Remembering children's laughter as I look at old photographs, smiling at "love notes", wishing I could smell Mel's head (I know it's weird...when she lived in town I would go to her house when she was gone and climb in one of the girls beds and breath deeply, always leaving hers for last). I watch and feel my grown kids do the same to me now.

Procrastination aside, I must get some food in me, hang my new beads and finish boxing up the photographs so I'm ready for more when Jake rises.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Piles and Boxes!

This has become my life. It includes my grandfathers and his mother and fathers also. I have spent the last three days going through boxes of my personal photos and putting them in piles. There's the immediate family piles, the individual children piles, the individual grand kid piles...you get the picture now don't you?!

I can't bend down too low for too long. Squatting is out of the question. I get hubby and Jake the Snake to haul one box downstairs to work on as "down time"...after all we now have a zillion television channels to choose from and dvr (I can't use it until I read that part of the big fat instruction booklet-MY RULE!)

Anyway, the weather has gotten cold and wet here and this is what I've chosen to do with my time. There are several reasons. It's one of those things that one (or I) can put off for a life time and I no longer have the life time I imagined I would have.

I'm having Di and Jay take their individual boxes now. Mel will eventually be back up. If she drives, she can haul it back herself. Otherwise Jay and Christy now have dry, protected space in their barn...thanks to Jake's hard work!

I have no problem making the piles...I have one pile "to fight over"...I really hope they don't fight...they can't really, there's more than enough for each of them to get.

It's been fun though...reliving the day of the picture taking. I can always tell if the smiles are genuine or not. Di snarls quite a bit when caught with the camera pointing at her...I love it...that's who she is...she actually turned her back on the audience at a school performance in first or second grade because she realized it was being taped. All you see of her is her long dark braids...I didn't purchase the tape.

It looks like I made some progress to me. Soon I'll be able to reach all corners of the room. The things I want near me until the end will have some tape on the back with the name of who I would like to give it to. (Yes, Mel, the mountain pics are yours!)

Now that I've taken this time to rest and blog, I'd better get back to work!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Made It! Tests over!

Thank you dear friends for helping keep me calm...believe it or not, I didn't wake up until eight o'clock this morning and I was still wobbly! I barely remember being helped to my husband in the waiting area...I do remember the walls kept getting in the way. I have no recollection of the ride home (it's about 1.5-2 hours)...what I do remember was having to pee and wanting my bed!

I'm not sure how my husband got me from the car to the bed. I'm not sure if I used the bathroom...my pants were dry, so don't think I wet myself (or care). Evidently I wrapped the bed covers over me, because I was woken after dark sometime and told to get under the covers with or without clothes, just do it! I guess it was his bedtime...I started to question him about where dinner was but fell asleep mid-sentence.

Anyway, I survived, didn't abuse anyone, and we'll find out a week from today "where we stand".

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Notes from the MONSTER CHILD

A few weeks ago, this is what my youngest sent me......can you say AWWWWWWWWWWW!


Mom,
I love you more than pickles and pug dogs put together.
Dianna Amadio



And yes, she always signs her last name; I really don't know why. Her sister and brother always speculate...I don't think I ever asked why she does that...there is no other Dianna here...I don't even call her Dianna unless I'm being stern. (If I add her middle name when I'm talking, it's serious business.) Usually I call her Di, or MONSTER CHILD.

ANXIETY!

As most of you know, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this year. I have a lesion on my left lung with mets to the brain. I had seven tumors and the largest and most aggressive was successfully removed, six remained, untouchable without destroying me. I have had radiation therapy which left me bald and exhausted, beyond description.

Tomorrow I return to the hospital for a CAT Scan and an MRI to see what the radiation accomplished and what's going on inside my noggin. Neither one of these tests are invasive, but scare the hell out me none the less! I have two little anti-anxiety pills to take, AND WILL, to save the sanity of my husband, the techs, and myself.

What I need from all of you are positive thoughts and prayers again. Specifically because I'm a big fat baby and don't like getting shoved down a bright loud tube head first! We have to be at the hospital at 9:30 in the morning (Pacific Time) and the tests should take an hour or two.

I've been through this before, I know the routine, but I HATE IT! I HATE IT! I HATE IT!

Childhood Cancer Awareness-Act Now!

I "borrowed" this (with permission, of course) from my dear cyber friend Michelle Kemper Brownlow, most of you are familiar with her blog and her generous spirit.

it's 4 the kids
MY SEMBLANCE OF SANITY

PLEASE READ AND REACT!!


Did you know?
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?

This is why...
*Each school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.

*On the average 12,500 children and teens will be diagnosed with some form of cancer each year in this country.

*One in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20.

*Although the 5 year survival rate is steadily increasing, one quarter of children will die 5 years from the time of diagnosis.

*Cancer remains the #1 disease killer of America's children - more than Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Asthma and AIDS combined.

*In the U.S. almost 3,000 children do not survive cancer each year.

*Over the past two decades, only ONE new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use.

*Currently there are between 30-40,000 children undergoing cancer treatment in the U.S.

*As a nation, we spend over $14 BILLION (that's with a B!!!) per year on the space program, but only $35 MILLION on Childhood Cancer Research each year.

*There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximiately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.

*Research funds are scarce as most money is diverted to well-publicized adult forms of cancer, such as breast and prostate.

*Right now, this second, somewhere in America, there are 7 children fighting for their lives who won't live through the day.

If you want to make a difference watch THIS VIDEO. Don't turn your back. They need you. They need you NOW!

FWD this to everyone in your address book and know you may have saved a little life tonight.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A note from my oldest daughter

Talk about a mother's dream! Over time each of my kids has pleasantly surprised me with their wisdom and kindness...things I've bonked them over the head throughout their lives over and over again, hoping they remember. Below is a letter I received from my oldest, Melissa Marie, First Born Child of My Loins, aka Mel Gyver, Problem Solver Extraordinaire.

If you have the time and want to contribute to her endeavor, please leave a comment and I will forward it to her.


"I was talking to my mom today about how there are so many things that I wish I knew in my twenties. Simple things, like keep a roll of duck tape on hand at all times. Both in your car and at home. Tell people what you need. Stuff like that. Stuff that seems so simple and obvious but somehow, it takes us all trauma and drama to learn. So I got to thinking. I've been making mental lists lately of stuff to teach the girls (how to change a tire, put on snow chains, jump a car battery...)stuff to always have when camping, stuff to stock in my kitchen, things like that. After talking to my mom and then watching Whoopi show her favorite things on The View...I started typing up my lists.

Then I starting thinking even more. As most of you know, my lovely mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Everyday, multiple times a day, I do or say something that my mother has taught me. Simple stuff like doing laundry and big stuff like dealing with angry teenagers. Now that I know I cannot take for granted that my mother is always just going to be a phone call away, I desperately try to recall what she would have said or done about common tasks or situations more and more on a daily basis. Almost as though I am trying to chronicle what she has taught me in my life to one day pass on to my girls...but I think that it is bigger than that. One thing my mother always did was surround me with strong women in my life...and I learned from all of them. I really want to try to capture that as a testament to my mother, friends, role models and ourselves as women and how we live our lives.

So now I have this crazy idea. I have attached my free form list in a Word document. Will you please read my list and add anything and everything you feel should be added. Right now it is really just simple stuff like what to keep in your kitchen and the multiple uses of plastic bags, but I want it to be more. Any tidbit of wisdom you've learned in life that you wish you would have learned sooner or that you were just glad you learned at all. Don't be shy, anything goes. My only rule is that you don't DELETE ANYTHING. You can add your two cents to any previously posted item but don't change it or delete it. I've formatted the document to track changes so I can see what has been added and eventually begin to organize it into sections. Please save your additions and send it back to me.

Please send it to women that you trust, respect and feel have something to contribute and have them do the same. I want to see what happens with this. I know that you all are busy and that chain mail shit is obnoxious but that's not what I'm trying to do here. I really want to take these lists and see how they evolve. Eventually, I'd like to work this into book form. Sort of a compilation of things that women learn through life that someone should have told us at twenty.

So I thank you my friends and I hope to hear from all of you!

Love,
Mel"


I think I'll go outside and enjoy the sunshine, smile, and give thanks for another great day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"The Monster"

After a bit of rest, I feel somewhat recovered from our trip to the Oregon State Fair on Sunday. Here's the Childhood Cancer site. Please go there and familiarize yourself with it. Sign their petitions. Donate some time or money. You won't be sorry!



Visit People Against Childhood Cancer at: http://curechildhoodcancer.ning.com

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September is....

CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!

Please remember thousands of children and their families in your prayers and giving...go to Google and type in CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH and take some sort of action to stop this monster.

I once asked my Great Grandmother what was the worst thing she experienced in her life and she responded by saying "burying my babies". Being eight months pregnant with my youngest daughter at the time, I never forgot her words.

Having been diagnosed with cancer with metastatic brain tumors within the last six months, having survived brain surgery, radiation, and all the fun that goes with it; I think of the children that are going through the same thing and their parents and siblings.

Please, please, please...get involved!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gosh Darn It!

Greetings everyone...sorry to hang you up, or leave you in suspense, but I have had company coming and going for over a week and started the "exhaustion" again...NOPE, not too much activity or too little naps. Last week I had my doctor start up my diuretic because my eyelids were so full of fluid they were starting to flop over themselves. Yesterday I was so tired I just want to lay down...kind of gets tiring being so tired...so I checked the prescription and did some thinking which resulted in taking my blood pressure...it was quite low and made my husband a bit nervous...no pill for me today and no continuation for you! Hopefully, I'll be back to myself in a day or two and continue transcribing my journey.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Big "O"...otherwise known as Sunday


Me and the campfire...see Dad? I really needed that hoodie sweatshirt you sent me!
Walking the art fair that lined the church yard.



It's 11 o'clock and we are disconnecting the RV...FINALLY we are actually only minutes from arriving at our destination...the Georgia O'Keefe museum! We do the fiddle with the air filter maneuver to start and we're off! The gal in the RV camp office showed Mel where we could park the RV in downtown Santa Fe and then walk to the museum.

Interesting enough we encounter Bobcat Crossing signs on the road. I did not see any, but I could see why the sign was there...perfect Bobcat territory!

We arrived at the RV parking area which is behind the Basillica De Francis de Assissi (the garden saint) and parked under a tree, closed the curtains, gathered our stuff, including the wheelchair and were off!

I actually used the wheelchair as a shopping cart, holding all our various bags, bottles of water, etc. Santa Fe is supposedly the oldest town in the United States and the cobblestones and narrow sidewalks make riding in the chair a nightmare! I tried it, only to literally jump out and refuse to be pushed until I hollered "uncle"...talk about rough! The walk felt good.

After much map turning and silent bickering (one should have only one navigator) we finally found the museum. As we entered Susan stood me in front of the exhibit poster and started taking pictures! This was a big No No! There were signs posted: No photographs, cell phone usage, etc. The guard approached and told her to stop and delete the photos-she did not, she quickly snapped another and shoved her camera deep down in her bag-the guard (who was only doing his job) continued his No No mantra and I guess because I looked like I was about to cry (and I so seriously was) he backed off and started talking into his walky talky thing...we get in line and get our tickets (he's still talking) I can just hear him "group of four; one baldy in wheelchair, has cane-possible weapon, one with big bag that won't listen, one beautiful woman with short, short hair, one teen who has a texting problem about to enter museum...BEWARE!!

Yes! We were constantly followed throughout the exhibit and gift shop! But we had met our goal and I was somewhat satisfied...with the largest collection of O'Keefe paintings, I expected floors of art work...this exhibit, while incredible, was not exactly what I had expected. It was an exhibit of Georgia O'Keefe and Ansel Adams...I love them both and the display of each of their work was well worth the trip...but somehow I had it in my mind that I would see more of a collective display of her work...like the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam (one of my favorites). I am in no way complaining here...I just craved MORE!

I bought Jay's kids a non-fiction book in the gift shop, and called it done.



We stopped and asked a vendor where we could eat that was casual but tasty...she sent us to the Burrito Factory (I may be wrong on the exact name) It was fantabulous!! I had been having "taste" problems the entire trip and was very happy with my veggie burrito!


Back in the RV (we never really decided on a name for the hotel on wheels) we headed back to the campsite, built a camp fire, and roasted marshmallows!


A beautiful ending to a beautiful day!


At some point before bed, Mel and Susan had the road Atlas out again and surprised me by telling me that we were going to Ghost Ranch! I was excited...to see what she saw, walked, painted...her beloved ranch! Goosebumps! So, I went to bed very hyper and very much looking forward to the morning!

Saturday continued

Just prior to the Bluewater Outpost there was a portable flashing reader board on the side of the highway, this is what it said:

100 more days
Cops everywhere!

Evidently there is a campaign going on about increased surveillance or patrols...billboards picturing 100 cops. My question is, is it working? Maybe there's only 2! The area didn't look like it would have a force that big. Maybe everyone is a cop. Anyway, we didn't stop anywhere around there...I wasn't up to a cavity search.

By the way I saw something I had never seen before when we stopped at the Sky City Rest Area. There was a ballot button on the wall next to the door of the restroom, a yes, and a no. I was first of all confused as to it's function and kept going in, removed my sun glasses, and let out a miserable groan...I wasn't hurt or anything...just appalled at the condition of the rest room!! Each and every stall was covered with paper, used and otherwise; it smelled awful...I wasn't going another foot inside...I turned and almost took out Mel as she was coming through the door, she gasped and we all went out and pounded the NO button...we used the RV, for any of you wondering.

About thirty miles outside of Albuquerque we started encountering rough crosswinds, dark skies, and thunderheads building fast. The landscape did not support much more than low sage and scrub oak. Natural "washes" in the landscape intrigue me. I secretly want to step into the damp wrinkled mud and squish my toes around. But it would be a shame if we came all this way and I died from a snake bite while doing so. So I keep my secret to myself and stare out the window.

The Big A - Albuquerque! Yehaw!, the Santa Fe turn off...17 miles...we're climbing nearly even with the mesas...I can't explain how excited I was...LOL...there's a sign Exit 267, WALDO...I am cracking up here, a very good friend of mine and VHPA member is named Waldo...I refer to him as my rake and he calls me his wench...a good sign!

I see it...Santa Fe!! It's been a very long day, it's nearly seven...we are tired and road weary but oh so excited!

We did our routine RV set-up and Mel opened the freezer and it literally exploded it's contents! She pretended she was an airline person and went into the spiel about overhead baggage moving about and proceeded to save our food...the bag of chicken that had been marinating smelled really bad...TRASH IT! With that done we decided on microwave pizza...it wasn't all that good but it was hot and filled the void.

Tomorrow Sante Fe and the Georgia O'Keefe Museum!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Day 3 Otherwise known as Saturday

Sorry! Just found this draft and wanted to get it in before I got any further, it's taken me twenty minutes to determine where I left off and started again (come on! I survived brain surgery!) The following is Saturday morning, which occured BEFORE the post that read "Saturday continued" , which is how I caught my flub...continued from what? DUH! Anyway, try to make sense of it.


Packed up and back on the road it's 11:48 and the Welcome to New Mexico sign sends shivers throughout my body...not because I'm cold but because we are almost there! Duly announced, Mel answers with a hardy Ya *&^%$ Hoo! She and Gen had been playing Yatze, so I'm not sure if that was actually an answer to our announcement or one of their rolls.

After a short stop at the visitors center where Mel and Gen ran in and then out with arms filled with brochures (somewhat like a Chinese Fire Drill) we continued on our journey. With eleven miles to Gallop we watched the thunderheads build, it was a magnificent sky scape!

Once in Gallop we stopped at Cracker Barrel for food (it's one of Susan's favorite places). I ended up putting in my earplugs (over stimulation of light and noise make my brain tumors angry) I ordered the tortilla soup, it had way too much chili in it for me. I went into a coughing and choking fit, scaring Susan, Mel and Gen. Not one person from the restaurant approached me. In fact, in my opinion, they all ran. I suppose I can't blame them. I ended up eating one of Mel's biscuits and getting a little cranky. We finished up and headed out...this time to Wal Mart.

Don't get me wrong but for my own reasons I am not a fan of Wal Mart's. I had choked on my lunch, ended up not eating, was hot and cranky...I opted to stay in the RV and lay down for a while. After a bit of discussion, and pointing out that the flippin' parking lot was full and that meant they were all in Wal Mart and I was exhausted and ready to flip out entirely (I will use my cane for protection or to pound my point across) from the Cracker Barrel experience they allowed me to stay, securing the door as they left. I don't think I really slept, just closed my eyes and enjoyed the quiet. Gen was the first one back...sent ahead to be sure I was okay. I was not, I had gotten up and used the facilities and as I was getting back into my seat I hit my head, very hard, on Gen's bunk (it was over the driver/front passenger area) It sent me reeling and I grabbed onto the chair and just sat down...all I could do was hold my head and cry. Gen reacted fast and furious...dropped her keys, grabbed a baggy with one hand and the ice cube tray with the other, she ran over to me and placed the ice on my "owie". Good job GenRose!! Susan and Mel followed with bags of stuff for the rest of the trip, including some propane for the new BBQ, and some pots and pans (just in case).

We hit the road again...after Susan got on the wrong highway ramp...we went to the next exit and turned ourselves around...Mel said,"oh, Crapper Barrel...potty humor!" It was pretty funny being that she has never partaken of the potty humor (well, it's very rare!)

Heading east again with a full tank of fuel-there's no stopping us now...omg, more detours, down to one lane again. I may have spoken too soon! Thinking positively, I concentrate on the beautiful red hills with a smattering of green-majestic-we follow the highway around this gorgeous mountain and there is a refinery at it's base on the other side...Ugh!

Further along, the formations are starting to resemble castles, people, animals...a truly amazing and breathtaking time for me...I just stared and took pictures through the windshield...I have photo shop...I can crop and enlarge, remove the windshield divider and wipers...keep the shape and color of the mesas and the color of the plants.

Once again, there's rain ahead of us. The mesas are increasing in number and look like red loaves of bread baking in the sun...they increase in size also, which for some reason excites me. We're about to enter the weather cell we've been watching just as we hit the Continental Divide. The rain is heavy.

I miss Oregon's rain. Who would think of missing rain?

Day 2 in photos

Here are a few photos to go with the last post...my favorites are Gen and I after our much needed shower and of course, the one of Mel driving the RV.




Geronimo! If only I had a voice I would have been screaming it out the window!




Mel first time behind the wheel!




Here we are fresh and clean! I think I dribbled toothpaste down my shirt!

Day 2 continued

It's 2:15 pm and OMG! Susan just asked Mel to drive! (She had asked Susan to teach her to safely drive the RV during this trip so she'd be able to drive it confidently in the future...but NOW?!!!)

She takes the wheel, starts it up and pulls out and onto the highway...she's staying in her lane, she's whooping and hollering like a six year old who just had the training wheels removed...first merge is successful, first semi passes...it's her virgin voyage. You should see the smile on her face! I was too busy watching to remember to take pictures! We are now 25 miles outside of Williams and Mel is still going strong...it looks like rain ahead of us...Flagstaff turn off has light rain and Winslow is 57 more miles. Mel says, "Look Ma, no hands"...no flinching either! Holy moley! She did good...she'll do fine...she overcame her fears and really did a fine job...didn't even knock over any of those orange comes!

The flat red rock formations are starting to be apparent in the landscape...this is one of the reasons I've come here; to see the rock formations, take photos of them and possibly paint them when I get home...I want to feel the warming sun on my skin and watch and study the changes in light and shadow!

The rest stop we pull into has a huge mound of red rock behind it...I can't climb it and walk around it. No wheelchair use since we got started...using my cane exclusively and a helping hand when the seats/benches are too low!

We're at 5,000 feet, with a fast decline ahead...every mile or two down feels a degree or two higher. MESAS!!! GERONIMO!!! There's a teepee on the mesa ahead! We're definitely getting closer to our goal! (I'm sure that most of what I saw along this stretch of highway was advertisement hype, but it certainly set the mood).

At 4:45 we arrived at the Holbrook KOA (I highly recommend the KOA) Showers, a store, a pool, free movies, and affordable!

Showers are a joy! GenRose and I headed out to the showers as Susan returned...what a sight! We not only carried our personal necessities; but a bath mat, so I wouldn't slip; and a shower stool, so I could rest if necessary...this was a big responsibility for GenRose, she was in charge of her grandmothers safety and welfare. She was very attentive, making sure she helped me set up the mat and stool before she left me some privacy for my shower.

All showered and refreshed, we start dinner preparations, or until Murphy reared his ugly head-news: the BBQ does not, I repeat, does not run off the propane tank we had filled in the RV; we also have no connector! Oh well, sandwiches again! Thanks Murphy!

GenRose picked Happy Feet as our movie for the night but I'm too tired and anxious about tomorrow...I head to be thinking about Georgia O'Keefe and Ghost Ranch.

Friday-Day 2


We wake up and pack up the beds, get ourselves organized and the RV won't start! It's Murphy, I know it, he's hiding somewhere! Crap! Susan is cranking the key and Mel and I are going over the "are you sure you did this" list.

Gen and I head to the truck stop to pimp ourselves for information...we found a trucker (stood by the door that had a sign that read "truckers only beyond this point). I used my pathetic voice (all I had at this point, barely a whisper), Gen by my side, looking lovely as only a thirteen year old can do! He informed us it was the air filter of water pump, especially if anyone flushed the radiator recently (uh-oh, Abuelo did that last night or the night before) We thanked him and rushed back to the RV to tell Susan and Mel of our success and the RV was running! Mel-Gyver had solved the problem! (I think Mel called her Dad) It had something to do with a butterfly on the manifold and was about to become a ritual each morning...oh well, we were having fun, weren't we?

It's hot @ 10:55 am...Santa Fe here we come!

We climbed up the mountains of Arizona, through GREEN (oh how I miss the many different colors of GREEN!) Rock formations a plenty! We had to slow down to one lane due to highway construction. The landscape was full of scrub oaks, ponderosa pines...datura, salvia, sage, and sunflowers lined the highway naturally...it was spectacular!

Ranch lands, pastures of hay or wheat, fence posts made of windfall branches. These were actually called Wilderness Ranches and were going for $175.00/month...yep! I'm not kidding you, you want room, don't care to hear your neighbors? My notes say Jolly Road, Exit 40...LOL!

The thunderheads are starting to build above the hills, this has been typical monsoon stuff here according to the weather reporters.

I just saw a sign that said "RoadKill Route 66"...oh no! We lost the air conditioner-the generator went out climbing that last hill. We open the windows and get a warm yet comfortable breeze.

We are now passing Ash Fork Exit 146...Kabib National Forest. The terrrain is changing again...I see grass! Green grass!

Williams is only five miles further. We get our first trucker toot just outside Williams. Founded in 1881...we're talking horseback, walking, or covered wagon transportation here. We contemplate the reality...mutter things like, "I'd shoot him" and head to the Route 66 Diner (Mel loves this spot).

Day 2 to be continued...



Outside McDonald's the first night...Mr. Creepy came out right after Susan took this picture.

Ta da! I actually think I am now caught up and can start Day 2! I rock!


This is me after walking across the street where we were "service station refugees" who parked their sorry butts at a table in Jack in the Box for several hours. We did have drinks and I think GenRose ate something, so we weren't really invading the space, we were customers!


This is the lovely Sue Ellen and Mel sitting outside of the service station in Needles...they are used to it, the heat, not sitting outside service stations...I'm not sure who the lady in the pink is, must be asking for directions...Sue Ellen thanks for your hospitality! You made a negative experience into a positive one!

Trouble starts! Murphy!



Here the trouble started...bad tires! We girls were a bit whiney off and on but this poor guy had a wet towel and a bottle of water! Remember, it was 120 degrees when we pulled into Needles! Thank you Mr. Tire Guy!


This is my friend Susan, I mention her off and on and she is the reason I blog. I assure you this is not how we looked when we met thirty plus years ago outside the Community College Day Care...she keeps promising me old college photos, but I have yet to see them...hurry up my friend, I have brain tumors!!! Let's not be selfish or lazy! (Long time friends are allowed to talk to each other like that)

And of course, Norm the Gnome...he's Mel's and travels whenever he gets the chance, or remembered.

Hummingbirds and Dragonflys!

I left to warm myself on the back porch and watch the hummingbirds. I cleaned and filled the feeder, and Langdon rehung it-brain tumors prohibit climbing and dangling from a log porch post-unless I want to land in the flower bed, of course.

I refilled my cup with the last of the coffee and grabbed my pimped out cane and headed to the porch. I set down my cup and turned my head only to be staring at Mr. or Mrs. hummingbird staring at me! I slowly back into my chair, it's actually Lila's chair, but that's another story...

So, the hummingbirds feed and I sip...they rest on the electrical wire that runs to the shop, and they SPIT! Yes, they spit...it shoots in a stream! I guess they eat as much as they can hold and then spit out the excess!

About two minutes later this huge bright blue dragon fly enters the vicinity and both hummingbirds are intimidated by it...they slide down the wire using their tiny little feet, they fly away and come back angry, they are chattering away! Mr. Dragonfly is not impressed and simply stretches his wings out to dry in the breeze and sunshine!

The hummingbirds by this time are quite angry that Mr. Dragonfly has entered their feeding area and start flying at him and then swerving when they get close. He stretched again then seemed to arch his body.

After about three or four of these "scares" the hummingbirds flew to the orchard area and Mr. Dragonfly flew away.

It didn't take long for the hummingbirds to return (I think they were watching). I sat there watching them resume their feeding and they chattered at me as if it was my fault their meal was interrupted!

Must go research now!

Pictures of our pilgrimage!

I promised some pictures of the adventure, here's some from day one...more to follow...the sun is shining and there are humming birds to watch on the back porch.




Me, Norm, and Lou...husband number 1, Mel and Jay's Dad, he's exhausted from working on the RV day and night so we could make the trip...thanks Lou!



Me, Norm the Gnome, Gen Rose, "Bug" (Mel's youngest), Mel, "First Born Child of My Loins"

Monday, August 4, 2008

Gosh Darn It!

I didn't put the pictures in the last post...realized I need to put them through photo shop first so you're not staring at one inch of my bald head and Mel's eyeball! I promise to get that done and some photos from our first day up tomorrow, if not later today...I'll use my brain tumor card here...sorry!

Three generations in an RV!

Okay, here it goes...take your imagination and back track to July 15th, I believe. Susan, (one of my longest friendships) arrived in Las Vegas late afternoon to visit and be the official driver (she drives school bus in NYC) of our RV trip to the Land of Georgia O'Keefe.

After RV check-ups, shopping, packing and doing what three generations of woman do we were finally ready for our departure on Thursday at 2 p.m.

Susan had preset her ipod to "On the road again" and we were off...headed to 215 east to catch 95! Yeehaw! Susan, Mel, her youngest GenRose and I were off. We had decided to get outside of Las Vegas for our fuel fill up and as things would go that did not happen...there was a motorcycle in flames at the gas station...quick maneuvering got us out of the turn lane and back on the highway! Hmmmm...we all looked at each other wondering if this was an omen.

We continued on to Needles, CA...thought we'd fill up the tank and throw the generator on so we'd have some air conditioning...the temperature outside was 120 degrees! HOT AS HELL!!! Mel made sandwiches and then went to pay for the fuel. The guy told her we needed all new tires...that ours were baked and just waiting for the opportunity to blow out. After a group discussion, and not wanting to get stuck in the desert if we did have a blow out, it was decided that we'd replace them. We were told it would take a couple of hours and they had an air conditioned waiting area inside we were welcome to use. Gen Rose and I headed in there and Susan spotted a Jack in the Box across the street touting iced coffee and where she promptly headed, Mel was outside eyeballing the tires and talking to the tire guy. She returned a short while later and her phone rang; it was Susan saying the Jack in the Box was air conditioned and not crowded, we should come over there for a while. Of course we did. For a long while! Mel got a bit impatient and headed back to the station to see what was taking so long...Needles is a small town and is one of the first off the desert highway...the station takes care of the gas, food/snacks, and tires...it's a busy little place! Mel is good at being friendly and getting things done and made friends with Sue Ellen, the woman running the food/snack part of the station. We wandered from the Jack in the box to the station several times and generally had a good time visiting with Sue Ellen and watching the comings and goings of others.
At 8:30 pm our tires were changed...we said our thank you's and good byes and loaded up our crazy selves and got back on the road again. We crossed the Arizona State Line at 8:38pm!
Susan and I used to refer to Murphy (as in Murphy's Law) as the one to blame when things would mysteriously occur while we were first friends in college...we were beginning to think he had reared his retched little self and was a stow-away in one of the compartments of the RV.
In spite of everything we left with smiles on our faces...especially GenRose! Sue Ellen's daughter (I think it was her daughter) came running out to catch us as were leaving and said her brother liked Gen and wanted her cell phone number! Mel said not today, maybe in the next couple of years and waved good bye.
On the road again...we went as far as Kingman...it was late, we were tired and hungry...it was time to stop. We ended up at McDonald's where everyone but me ate (I rarely do fast foods and wasn't up to it)...there was a sort of creepy guy there that tried to strike up a conversation with me...started asking if my baldness and cane use was due to chemo therapy or radiation...when I just automatically answered, Mel gave me a kick under the table. We moved outside to eat dessert and sit in fresh air and he followed us. With dessert done we wanted to head back to the RV which we had parked near a Semi and were planning to spend the night in on the generator's power, after all we had a baseball bat, a golf club, and my cane to protect us! So, we headed out to the far parking lot and our home on wheels and the kind of creepy guy turned creepy! He moved over two tables so that he could see where we were going! Now the four of us were totally convinced to hurry and get inside and lock the door, which we did. As I was closing the curtains I got that creepy feeling you get when one is staring at you and looked up and realized that Mr. Creepy was following our movements...gosh it was scarey! Mel promised not to leave the trailer to restart the generator without the baseball bat, it had been shutting itself off for some reason and we desperately needed the a/c to sleep. She ended up going out three or four times during the night and once one of the truckers let her know that he was behind her so he didn't get bashed with the bat...it wasn't a restful night, but we did manage to get a few hours sleep. Friday morning greeted us with that hung over feeling from lack of sleep...to be continued.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Home!

Hey everyone!

I thought I'd take a little time to tell you that I'm home again, in Estacada! I arrived home late Tuesday, after a two day drive with my husband...lot's of fun! I'll be writing about my trip with the girls to O'Keefe country and then the trip home in the next few days. My computer (with the pictures) is waiting to be reconnected here (I'm told that is a priority for tomorrow). I've been catching up on rest...six days on the road with the girls and two with the hubby, leave a girl very tired. I still don't have my voice back, but I think it's starting-at least that's what Di says...my Dad still can't hear me on the phone...I imagine it is frustrating, but thank God for email! Oregon is chilly! I experienced a fifty degree drop in temperatures over night and this bald headed grandma is cold! My daughter-in-law, Christy, brought her three beautiful children over to pick blueberries this afternoon and have a short visit...it was raining, but we perservered and had a great time! Until later...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Mexico Bound

Hello again! We've been busy getting the RV running and cleaned...ahhh the dust! Desert's produce ton's of dust! Needless to say we're all stuffed up with swollen eyes but are nearly ready to leave. Susan, my oldest and bestest friend arrived from NY on Tuesday evening and will be our driver (she drives school bus in Brooklyn-what better person to be our chauffeur). We've had quite a time getting ready...Murphy's Law...but our determination has over come the obstacles that have come up. I'm still in my "jammies" (my husband's scrubs) they are comfortable and cool, and I can always play the brain tumor card. Mel used it at the RV repair place yesterday and it worked! Georgia O'Keefe Museum here we come! It's always been on my "bucket list"...I'm very excited! Susan has her digital and she takes tons of pictures, so I'll have lots to show when we return. We had planned to leave 6-7 am, but good ol' Murphy raised his head and we were slowed down a bit...oh well. Just wanted to let you know what was going on here in Fabulous Las Vegas. We aren't taking the lap top, so will be keeping a travel journal of our trip and transcribing when I get back to share with you all! Until then....

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I promised to try and get some pictures of my adventures in Fabulous Las Vegas on here, so here's a start. This is Mel and I (I'm the bald one with the beaded headpiece) at the Elton John concert we were fortunate enough to go to (FREE!) A friend of hers ended up with two tickets that morning and we snatched up the opportunity. I'd been staring and praying for the opportunity as I looked out the window every night at the bill board with Elton John and his red piano. I'll tell you another thing, while this wheelchair can sometimes be a pain in the &*#@, it does get you preferential treatment in the casinos and concert halls! I was escorted through the crowds, and basically treated like royalty by the ushers! I'll try to get Malinda's graduation pics up next. I still have to make a trip to the computer store and get my computer hooked up to the Internet...I'm forced to use the kids until then. Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I APOLOGIZE!

I thought that I had published the previous short post. I think when I hit publish I did not check to be sure that it had indeed "run it's course"...(I'm still using the kids computer to post) We just spent a wonderful four days with my son, his wife, and three kids visiting...most of the visit consisted of watching kids in the swimming pool. We did get in a trip to the circus that was in town! It was nice getting to visit with Jay and Christy and the kids...sure was a houseful! My cheeks still hurt from laughing so much! Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they drive back to Oregon.

My friend, Susan, is planning a trip out and we are going to head to Santa Fe and do the Georgia O'Keefe Museum...she has a CDL, and is not afraid to drive the RV! It probably won't be until the end of the month, but that's not too far away...not sure who is coming along yet...plans change and the girls are always changing their plans.

Mindy got her graduation pictures via email today and is busy downloading them....her Dad's camera ended up being the only one that worked that day, so when she's done I'll try to get them up here...it may take a day or so...please be patient!

There's lot's of things going on here...seeing one of George Carlin's last performances was a pretty incredible thing! Mel was sweet and told me of his death like he was an old friend...well, thirty nine years of being a fan can count!

Well, now that I've gotten somewhat caught up, I feel better!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Guilt

I've been suffering from guilt for weeks, but the exhaustion is stronger! I try like all get out to post and just thinking about it tires me out and I head into the bedroom and sleep for fourteen to eighteen hours. I have over 400 emails to read. Everyone feels like they should be the one I answer, no offense, but making the decision is way too much for me this point...the rash is nearly cleared up, but my hands are still sore and my nails, while lovely, need to be cut...how the heck do people get things done with nails this long? Yesterday, Mindy and Kimberly went to the mall and brought back a pair of "Happy Pants"...they felt the scrubs I've been wearing were too drab and I needed something with a bit more color and pizazz!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Graduation, family visits, and a big surprise!

Well, Mindy's graduated, the party was a success, Jake and Di have come and gone, and....Mel and I are headed to see none other than Elton John tonight!!! Thanks Paula! I have been lusting for a pair of tickets since I got here, but they are far out of my price range! So every time we drive by the bill board I say a secret prayer for tickets to land in our laps and this morning they did! I'll be letting you all know how the evening went tomorrow morning!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Awards Ceremony

Last night we attended the academic awards ceremony at Mindy's school...I am not going to name the school as I feel I need to be some what protective of my grandchildren's privacy. I will say that I was appalled at how many people left when their child's award was presented...I'm not talking twenty or thirty but half an auditorium...how does that make the others, at the end of the alphabet and the class valedictorian feel? I used my cane several times to poke and prod my own grandchildren to clap their hands for those on stage...my hands hurt by the time the ceremony was over. I have trouble understanding how one can justify texting and having their phones on vibrate, only to get up and leave seven times during the ceremony, thus disturbing the twelve people in the row is okay...I felt the little devil sitting on my shoulder ready to trip the next person who rubbed their butt in my face because they had to get a bottle of water or answer their phone! I don't usually use this forum to complain, but have others had this same thing happen...or am I just from a more polite small town, where we wouldn't think of doing this?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Las Vegas

I am presently in Las Vegas with the girls...Mel and I drove down Thursday 15 and Friday 16, we spent the night at Reno...at the old Hilton which was wonderful...I would highly recommend it! Las Vegas is presently having a weather event...yesterday it was 107 degrees, today they predict a mere 105! Right now the skies are cloudy and the wind is howling! Nick and Mindy are both down for the count with tummy problems-I'm staying away from them! Mindy just found out that her paternal grandparents have bought her father a ticket to Vegas to attend her graduation...I am so happy they can manage that for her...she pretended it didn't bother her but you could tell she was deeply hurt by it. My trip to Ghost Ranch and the Georgia O'Keefe museum is still somewhat up in the air as we are dealing with the end of the year and senior events and have to squeeze every thing in. Di and Jake are due in June 9th, which is exciting...I miss them! Sorry it's taken so long to get back to the blog but I've been fighting the fatigue from the radiation...similar to being blasted in the head by a bat, if you ask me. At least I've been getting some sleep since the medication's have been adjusted. I'll try to get back tomorrow.


Kendra

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mother's Day at the Oregon Coast

Well. it's almost time...I'm so excited...Mel and I are headed to the Tillamook Cheese Factory! I've never been! You see, there's been an issue concerning the kicker motor on our boat...something that a cable, or perhaps backing in the boat would solve, but my husband tends to get over paranoid about some issues...such as tsunami's...and there's always an excuse as to why we cannot stop and tour the Tillamook Cheese Fatory! So Mel and I have decided we are going to make the time to do this, and I am sooooooooooooo excited! I do believe it is wheelchair accessible and should be a whole lot of fun and we get squeaky cheese at the end of the tour! Actually, most anything is fun with Mel, First Born Child of My Loins...I've taught her well...she knows when to act like Rosey the Rivoter, and when to have fun! We don't actually leave until Friday but are planning out out our drive and what we want to take....like firewood...the house supplies just one Dura-Flame log per day...what's with that?! Also, need to grab all the party chairs for the deck, so we can sit out and enjoy the scenary of the petrified forest that sits like Stone Hedge and I'm hoping we can see from somewhere on the property. Evidently, the outdoor heaters that are at my son's do not work properly, so that will require taking exta afghans and blankets, so we can be comfortable sitting out at night...I have not checked if we can have a bon fire, which would be ideal, especially with several bags of marshmellows...I love roasting marshmellows! It usually takes me half a bag to perfect the perfect roasted marshmellow...I don't know if my son is planning on taking his boat, but Langdon is definitly taking ours and crab pots...he's not sure if he's traveling out on Friday after work or early Saturday morning...I suppose it will depend on his energy level and the tides...he's called Charlie the neighbor and asked him to come over and spot him in getting the boat out of the barn at some point today. We're experiencing what I call "Mountain Mist" today, which is a slow, soft, wettness that is barely visible but constant and will not allow me to practice wheelchairing in the drive like I had planned...oh well! About 1:30 today my friend Laurie, from the library, will be joining me to help me pack up a box for the Nebraska Historical Society of my great-grandparents stuff...they were Homesteaders and my Grandfather was the self-appointed geneologist and did a good job of saving all these things...it's really an incredible collection of items and I'm eager for the collection to get to there...we are just going to fill a box and get it off in the mail, let them itemize it and sort it out...I will write what I think the plaque should say...it will be done, and I won't have to worry about it anymore! If you think you might like to join us for any amount of time...just let us know!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

IT'S UP...KIND OF GOOFY!

WEEK END AT THE COAST

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Oregon Vacation Rentals & Homes US Vacation Rentals & Homes

All Vacation Rentals > North America > United States > Oregon > Neskowin > Lincoln City


#146 NESKOWIN VILLAGE Oceanfront 5 BDRM


Rental Overview
Smoking : No
Pets : No
5 Bedroom(s)
1.5 Bathroom(s)
Sleeps 10
Bed Set Up: 1 King, 1 Queen, 6 Twins
Property Information
#146 NESKOWIN VILLAGE Oceanfront 5 BDRM, 1.5 BATH. 1 King, 1 Queen, 6 Twins. Fully-equipped kitchen including dishwasher and microwave. Kitchen table seats 5. Cable TV/VCR, CD player, Fireplace, Laundry, huge Deck. Nice big yard. Accommodates 10 guests and 4 cars.
Rate Information -
Until confirmed, rates are subject to change without notice.
$325/night. Winter: $245/night. $70 non-refundable cleaning fee. $15 booking fee
Property Notes Availability
Oceanfront Oregon Vacation Home - Year Round
Property Amenities

Furnishings/Luxuries
Ocean Front
Ocean View

Recreation/Activities
Boating
Deep Sea Fishing
Fishing Nearby
Golf Nearby
Hiking Nearby
Mountain Biking
Restaurant Nearby
Sailing
Shopping
State/National Park Nearby
Swimming
Property Resources
Reservation Information
Brooke

Day Phone: 888-720-2154

Mention Property #22668 at Findrentals.com Email this Listing to a Friend View My Other Properties Location On Map

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Well the link works

I feel that my good fortune and prayer warriors began with Michelle's "Random Acts of Kindness" Contest way back when...My gorgeous pin was created for me through Heather Rice and God's hands...life since then has been an adventure to say the least...please take the time to visit her. And Heather, if you can spare the time and directions I would be happy to link the proper way...to say I'm suffering from Radiation Fatigue is putting it mildly...I have never felt so exhausted in my life! Thank you all for your constant vigil of prayer! I ask that you hold up my friends Rich and Alice, Rich is now receiving full in home hospice care, Alice's request is that he has pain control throughout the night. Thank you again! I love and appreciate you all! Mel, First Born Child of My Loins has returned from Las Vegas to over see my daily care...Miss Mindy has prom tonight...let's keep her in our prayers also!

Faith Creations, LLC.: Something fresh....a new design

Faith Creations, LLC.: Something fresh....a new design

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

iT'S mY bIRTHDAY, COME ONE AND ALL

kEITH IS PREPARING A hAWAIIAN HAM...PLEASE FEEL TO BRING SIDE DISHES STARTING ABOUT FOUR O'CLOCK, CALL FOR DIRECTIONS 7827....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Heather's Post

Heathers Mucky World

Blog Request/Time/Mask Time





Evidently time spent with me has suddenly been deemed very important by my husbands daughter, Heather, who isn't so sick after all but very willing to use a mask so we can visit and have some one on one time before she drives back to UC Davis-after all she drove all this way-she understands the germ thing and will use a mask-my husband has tears in his eyes-I give in-knowing he has already given permission-I say no touching, mask, do you realize the chances' I'm taking here? He nods, wipes tears, thanks me and goes outside to tell her. Di looks at me-she says well she is in school that is a long way to drive-I say yes, but why now-she's the only one that didn't show-she says well she was in school-I don't remind her it was Spring Break and of the photos she posted-I just look at these and read and read and read-faces -dates and time. There's Lot's of coughing-lots of discussion of wanting to blog about what's happening-lots of time with Dad upstairs downloading pictures. She wants to blog about what's happening with me and how this is affecting her - she eventually leaves never asking me about my blog-there's the dogs water dish....I will call her in the morning and let her know it's here-leave it out on the porch-Tom Zengel will be my caretaker tomorrow starting about 8am-we can work the greenhouse...I've already sorted the recycle, it's ready to go...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday

What was supposed to be a low-key, low-stress day began in a panic...I woke up when my husband got up for work to the smell of coffee brewing...I've gone no-caffiene...can't burn it off, why drink it? Anyway, managed to get myself back to sleep for about hour or so...heard coughing fits coming from the upstairs bathroom...made my way to the bathroom for the morning routine and started going over the day in the calendar...Heather, my husband's daughter came down the stairs with her new foster dog Zoe, an eleven month old, on leash...I said I heard coughing, are you sick? She said, yes, all this yellow stuff is in there trying to come out....I put up my arm and asked her to leave, take the dog, leave...pack her stuff back into the car, perhaps she could stay at Charlie and Emily's the neighbors, but I could not be exposed to germs at this time...I was now in a panic mode! I woke Megan, who was my caretaker for the night and day and had her strip the linens, start the wash, take the pillows out on the porch, and open up the windows upstairs. I then had her bring me upstairs so I could email my husband with the news. Megan and I were scheduled to have lunch at the Redland Cafe, where my daughter and her friend Kristan work, and we did, it was soooo wonderful. I had the Veggie Omelet...it rocked! I ate it all! Thanks Redland Cafe! We did various errands on the way home...I felt really good about the day and my handling of the events. My daughter in law Christy, brought the grandkids over a little after 3pm. I enlisted her services in trying to find a book I wanted to take to Tuscon as a hostess gift, but the more we searched the harder it was to locate...I swear it was here a few weeks ago! By this time I was over stressed and tiring fast...my grandchildren really wanted to sit and paint with me and my eyes were stressed to the point where I could barely see...I conveyed this to Christy, who helped me get downstairs, and semi-settled at the dining room table while she prepared snacks...we called Di to come home because the kiddos needed to get home and get started on their homework assignments. Christy managed to help me get settled on the couch bed, while reading the "Wild Things"...I promptly fell asleep...waking to my youngest grandson, Boaz, kissing me on the cheek and saying good bye grandma! I fell back into a sound, sound, sleep for about two hours and then woke to a screaming stomach, and need to eat NOW! I was gathering food, cheesy chicken bake, that our friends the Jackson's brought on Sunday and stuffing it into a pie tin in the oven when my husband walked in and said I was about to get dinner started..fine, but I really must eat...it was seven o'clock! I had pills to take and knew exactly what I needed to do for myself. I managed to heat up my cheesy rice chicken casserole, eat enough to satisfy myself...wrap up the rest, and lose my husband! He reappeared about 8:15, I asked when he was planning on putting the potatoes in to bake and he said he just got the hell out of my way and was ready to get that started then...so I imagine dinner will be about ten or ten thirty tonight...I'll be hungry again, not a problem! I can't stop talking or eating! Oh, and this afternoon, all the airport work I did, for our trip to Tuscon, and escort through the various airports, was deleted by hubby who thought it was phishing of a threat...he read my email about it all after the fact! So I need to start all over...not sure I'm up to it tonight...might just read blogs instead. By the way, thanks for the continued support...I know it's how I managed to make it through this day! The love you have all shown me daily is unbelieveable! Thanks!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Morning!

Today at 11:30 a.m. some of my Story Time children will arrive with a picnic lunch...we are going to Pimp Out my cane...it is entirely too utilitarian for my taste! I have beads, stickers, jingle bells, more stickers...and have started the process leaving examples and choices. I am very excited. It snowed like a son of a gun here after hubby left for work...had to wake the kids to fuel the fire. I'm heading downstairs again for a bite to eat and a nap before my exciting afternoon...hope to let yo know later how it went!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Radiation Thearpy Completed!!!

Hi everybody! Radiation Therapy has been completed! Thank you all for holding me up in prayer, chanting, mediatiation, whatever...it's done...I can't tell you they joy I felt as they unswcrewed my mask for the last time and I was able to carry that out in my arms and know I was done with Radiation Therapy!

I had reserved a table at out local bakery and bought four inch color spots (pansies), I had my Dear Uncle Bruce go to the local art store and have my blog address printed on card stock with thank you printed on another color of card stock (which they made a a bit of mistake on when printing and I failed to notice until we were done-but oh well) then we used/recycled all the tissue paper from my hospital stay and made cute little cozies with rubber bands on each pot...we then used the bbq sticks to hold the card stock, which fit in the pots just perfect and took left over ribbon and curled it and tied the thank-you, blog.spot off...looked really cool! I arrived at my last radiation with a gift for every one that helped me...I think they were awestruck...I love pansies...the seeds spread naturally here...no calories, they can get a glimpse of me, my paintings, etc.

We had various people visit us at the while working on our project and eating a lovely breakfast...thanks Linda and Sandy, waitresses, friends.

We then headed to the library where Rhonda gave my Uncle a comprehensive tour of our lovely new library ...I keep having link problems...go Google my library, it's Estacada Public Library, or send me comment that will help me get this done...take a tour of our beautiful establishment...I am so proud to be a part of it! Sarah, one of my favorie coworkers, that I have known since she was a little girl, helped me into the Children's closet where we filled a bag with stickers, ribbons, bows, etc. to Pimp Out my cane...we grabbed some drawing paper, a Giant Pop Up Book, a Giant Where's Waldo and packed it out to my Uncle Bruce's car...alll this will be for the children to keep busy and entertained that are scheduling short picnic visit with me next week to cover my 24 hour care! Yahoooooooooo! I so miss my little people!
Back track a bit here...sorry!
The crew at the Radiation Therapy was as excited for me and we all hugged at the end. Thank you my radiation crew!
My husband, Langdon, who works in the Main Operating Room at St. Vincent's Hospital, was able to schedule himself to be there for my last treatment...it was an awesome experience!
We were talking so much on the way home that my Uncle and I missed the highway turn-off and took a very unexpected whirlwind tour of the Willamette Valley through and around Wilsonville...it was beautiful but we were a few hours doing it...we ended up calling and letting the household know...I had celebrated with a half of sandwich and an Americana with an extra shot, so I was buzzing...and it all worked out!

One of my collected children, Kim, was due for a visit at 6:30, so I voice mailed her at 6:15 from the local grocery store, so she had updated information for my husband who arrived to find her and Annie waiting and no us. We had a lovely dinner and I crawled into my couch bed and promptly fell asleep! A perfect day!

The mask is waiting for a piece of wood to be mounted on...hubby says he has a great piece of black walnut, and our neighbor Charlie (they once had a protable saw mill business together)...anyway, between them both they will find me a great piece of wood to mount my mask on.

Hubby says it will be the most expensive piece of art work we own!

Just wanted to update all of you! I am overwhelmed at the outpouring of love I have been receiving! Thank you all so very much!

Kendra

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

That award

Dawn, Mimi and I wanted you to have this for being WHO you ARE!

See attached, download it and post it proudly on your BLOG!

We love you girl!!


I'm so tired this afternoon, and weepy...and I got this...AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

Look what I got!


Two extra radiations for Mindy's graduation!

I will be taking two extra doses of radiation therapy to help insure that I can get to my granddaughters high school graduation...I am doing/tolerating it that well...this was decided yesterday after an impromptu meeting with Dr. Hansen, my assigned radiation/oncology doctor...my body will not tolerate any more than that without degenerative issues. I have bought 4" color spots of pansies to leave with my blog address to the techies as a thank you...they get cookies, candy, and such all the time...I want to thank them with a sign of life and they have been talking to me about lawns, flowers, weeding, etc. So, my warriors, die cancer die, four times, same time through Friday...thanks so much...wanted to post this first and will try to get more up before my busy day gets away from me...you are all awesome!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This is the man who saved my life!


This is the man who saved my life...who cancelled his Spring Break vacation plans with his family and successfully removed the aggressively growing monster inside my head, did not scramble my brain, and allowed me to live to tell about it! He is my hero and I would like to thank him for this, and let his family know how grateful I am for their sacrifices...I have my own way I will thank his two little guys later...He is looking at a hand made card with the hair post...the meeting with him was incredibly encouraging and he was encouraged by the radiation reports...I have today and tomorrow, 2:10-2:15, Die cancer die! (four times)...no additional necessary...he said it's looking good...I can bend, walk, dig around in drawers, all as tolerated...yeah! Oh mighty warriors, thank you for heralding! Thursday is my first Medical/Oncology meeting which will tell us many thing...it's a scary thing for me...must remember to turn on my digital recorder....have lot's of family support coming along...then palliative rest and readying for my birthday trip to friends in Tuscon, AZ, that has been in the planning for a year...the lady in the pics/mirror is really a stranger to me, but I'm not on the mantle in a box! I have resolved a few issues, or they have been resolved for me that I had been struggling with since 1998, and am going to write a book about this experience and do a pop-up, there are never enough pop-ups, on Unconditional Love...my massage therapist just arrived...my day is about to begin...I love and appreciate you all!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hair!

There seems to be some concern about my hair. Believe me my neuro surgeon is the worst...he keeps saying he did not order my bald head and appeared extremely upset over it...after talking to my husband while en route to radiation on Wednesday, I was enlightened, I guess you could say, by the vanity in today's world. He said people's lives are saved, and then the doctors are sued because the small area that they shave to operate is cut crooked or an infection takes place because they tried to keep the area to a minimum for appearances sake. I'm the one who called my husband at home and asked him to call the lovely Miss Sheila, our personal friend and hairdresser to do me the honors. She only lives 10 minutes from the hospital I was in, she loved me, and I felt it would be best to have a bald clean area for the surgeons to work, and hair grows...I knew that I would just donate it to Locks of Love, and there was plenty of it. My hair had been waist length for years because I was lazy and it was easier to grow and twist into a bun at work or outside that it was to style or go get cut every six weeks or so. Miss Sheila gave me a call and said she was on her way. My daughter Mel, First Born Child of My Loins, assisted me in the shower and began the comb out process. By the time Sheila was there, we had called Nurse Becky for the anti-anxiety drug just in case, up until then I had refused it, saying I preferred being coherent in my visitations as long as I could...actually, this was harder on Sheila emotionally than I. Too bad I couldn't share the drugs. The biggest obstacle we faced was waiting for a broom and a dustpan at the end, we'd made quite a mess of the room. I'm about to make my surgeon a thank you card and I really want to alleviate his sense of doom about my hair. It's hair, it grows, I don't understand the vanity issue involved here.