Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hold on...

We are prepping for Irene. Way to come back from a nice vacation. I really wanted to stay at Cape Cod, well... forever... but especially this weekend that just really isn't practical.

I'm underwhelmed... I really don't want to jinx myself by elaborating. But hopefully the worst of it misses us, ( just as it currently appears that it will. )

Monday, August 22, 2011

Out of office message

We are sorry, no one is here to take your call. Please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Beep!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What a week

Crazy busy week with emotional highs and lows...

Of course the most difficult was going to the wake (waited two and a half hours in line, and then couldn't stop the tears when I looked at her in the casket and it became SO real) then I sang at Fran's funeral on Monday. It was so difficult to walk in and see her empty chair and know that I could never count on her to help me come in at the right time again. I'm not good enough to lead the section, at all. She was actually in three choirs and the members from one of the other ones joined us. That was comforting (strength in numbers) and to hear her adult daughter, a former opera singer and renowned voice teacher, sing "Ave Maria" was an experience I will never forget. The joy on her face at being able to sing so beautifully in tribute to her Mother.... it's hard to explain. She is incredibly talented. I was so glad that I took most of the day off from work to be there.

Wednesday night I went to see Johnny Virgil from 15 Minute Lunch do a reading from his hilarious book. He was a bloody nervous wreck; it was kind of funny to watch his foot frantically jackhammering through the entire first passage he read. It was wonderful to see him though, the dozen or so people laughed at his stories. I can't believe it's been two and a half years since we worked together... it was one of those moments when you really feel time wooooshing by. We both started blogs at the end of 2004 and because he is actually a committed writer his blog has been very successful, while mine has served mainly as free art therapy for me ;-) Not that there's anything wrong with that.

My daughter came with me and also bought Glen Feulner's new book. He was with Johnny and read a passage -- it's sci fi (I hope, lol) and dark and scary and she devoured the entire book in one evening. I am also going to buy his book of poems, Tangible, because from the samples he read, he has been reading my brain and dissecting old heartbreaks.

My paycheck is going to take a beating for this week. Thursday I had to go to the cardiologist for a checkup (yes, I have a heart, despite what one or two people may believe.... ) and I more or less asked him "do I NEED to keep coming to see you ? " and he admitted that No, You don't, all the while bashing Obamacare. I didn't bother to point out that Obamacare probably kept my current insurance provider from declining me due to my little tussle last year with cancer.... K thanks bye.

Then it was off to a nearby park to meet with a local tv reporter. She interviewed me and the kids about my breast cancer story; it will air before the local Komen run. I have been a minor wreck about this (not as bad as Johnny hahahaha) but I have to admit, Benita is a very talented interviewer... she put us right at ease. I felt like I only had time to say about 1/3 of what I wanted to say but I know the story will only be a minute or two so that's fine.

THEN ( still all in the same not-earning-any-money-at-work Thursday) I had to bring my elderly mother and father in law to the doctor's. They are very frail and it was extremely difficult to physically get her in and out of the office. Of course I discovered various things he has told them to do that they are NOT doing and I will be working on that. For example she is down to 99 pounds; we knew she was getting thinner and thinner, but not that she is still eating only fat free food despite his instructions to get her weight up to 115 at least. Honey, if anyone needs help putting on weight I am your girl. Tamoxifen is outwitting me right now but I'll deal with it, in the meantime what is your favorite ice cream flavor? Candy bar? I'll be getting them some far more nutritionally sound foods to bulk up, don't worry.

Lastly, since I'm so linky today, I just posted THIS video to a little facebook group I created the other day to try to keep up the spirits of anyone going through chemo.... it's called KBCAT's which is something my friend Ethel made up last year while we were both starting chemo... Kicking Breast Cancer's A$$ together... I fully expect it to max out at about 12 readers a day just like this blog. :) But I love you all! I really do...for not mercilessly attacking me with troll comments, for starters.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

To the future

I never recovered seed pods from my tiger lillys before. I planted them now, in hopes they bloom before the first frost, and establish a little boot camp right where I start them. But also because next spring I probably wouldn't remember having them. :)

Also…a quick P.S. For those of you not on my Facebook, like Trish and Poly, yay! My six month checkup went very well. No weeping in pain during the mammogram and no signs of any problems.

Woo hoo!!

Dear Kermit

Sorry, but you've got to go. Could you also eat that really big spider I saw? Do frogs do that?

Mr. TheFrog here was hiding in my really yucky waterfall. I love to set it up when we have people over but then it sits for two weeks which is pretty bad.

Gardening has been wonderful this summer. I can already feel summer slipping away, but right now my flowers are all doing well and I feel like I've finally gotten somewhere in my efforts. It's especially nice since I had no energy to do anything like this last summer.

I grew a bunch of things from seed and finally have a decent sunflower plant blooming. Shock! I really thought I'd lost that war.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Here is a story about my friend.  My beloved Stanley is in this as well. You can see the view I have of the altar from the choir loft every Sunday. The photo he shows is a couple of years old, but I am in the upper left.

(The reporter who narrates this piece sang at our church for a wedding a couple of weeks ago.  We had a brief exchange over twitter when she reported that prescription drugs may have affected the driver. 

I have a general distaste for reporters because I have seen friends hurt by downright lies, but this reporter seems to be respectful while she is trying to get her story. So while I didn't want to be interviewed in this case, I am glad that I  let her know about the connection and that Stanley spoke to her. It was a nice tribute. The media coverage initially emphasized "three elderly women" and they were not simply old shells... They were wonderful individuals. )

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


A friend of mine was killed in a horrible accident today... standing at the side of the road with friends, she was hit by a car that had veered out of control in a stupid, random, senseless quirk of fate. Three women were killed instantly. It's heartbreaking.

She was very much a mentor to me, as I have sat next to her in choir for 8+ years and tried to learn as much from her as I could.... she has been in the choir for decades. Literally.

Here is a little post I wrote once about Fran.

I'm guessing that I will probably sing with the other choir members at her funeral. It will be so hard to not see her there, and have her leading the section.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


I took a few photos with my camera the other day - I was heading in to my office about 6 a.m. to get some work to do at home, in and around helping my inlaws.

I noticed the sunrise as soon as I walked out of my house and thought about going back for the "real" camera, but had to just pass on that option.

The iphone app is called Dynamic Light. It adds "HDR" which increases the range of tones you see in the photo. Real HDR is done using a tripod and multiple exposures at various settings which you then align and merge in photoshop. I'm pretty content with this app as an "on the fly" substitute. It punches up a blah photo nicely.

(As I proofread this I realized I took this photo yesterday, not a few days ago. It's funny how a little stress can warp my sense of time. My father in law and his "girlfriend" are doing a bit better today.)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Near the end the movie Titanic, there is a scene where Rose and Jack are holding onto the railing and he tells her they're about to go into the water. He's pretty much warning her that things are about to get Very Bad. The dread and tension is almost as high as it can go.

I can't shake that feeling now.

My mother in law fell a week ago. When she falls, she can't get herself back up, because she is so frail. She is mere skin and bones, hunched over, cold all of the time, and very weak. She did sit up straight with delight when The Most Adorable Baby Ever visited her two weeks ago, but otherwise she lives very quietly, with frequent naps.

So when she fell my husband went down to help get her up (they live very close to our home) and then called asking me to come down to help get her out of the awkward spot where she had fallen. She is light as a feather, he just couldn't get in beside her the way he was trying to. I went down, helped get her up; then I washed her back (when she fell a large, heavy chair that she had been trying to hold on to, somehow fell over on top of her, and she was scraped and bleeding) and bandaged her and then I washed her hair for her.

Yesterday my father in law fell - trying to help her put her socks on, he got up and lost his balance (probably because his hand is bandaged, from a minor procedure to remove a cyst, he couldn't put that dominant hand out to steady himself).

He went to bed to lie down, and a while later his back was so stiff he couldn't get up. We knew when Nana was on the phone asking us to come down, that something was very wrong. My son went with his dad and came home and broke down in tears seeing how fragile his Papa is.

It's just a strained back. Tylenol and the heating pad made him much better in an hour and a half. But things like siblings arguing about how much Tylenol he can take (it's plain tylenol for god's sake, one every three or four hours for a day or two IS NOT GOING TO BE WHAT KILLS HIM. )

My heart is breaking, universe. He still calls her HIS GIRLFRIEND and pats her "on the can" as he puts it. They have been married for 52 years and have five grandchildren who don't want them to go away.

But the boat is rushing down into the water now.

Thursday, August 04, 2011


I'm a little groggy today... Tired. My daughter had her wisdom teeth out yesterday and you haven't lived until you have driven home a sobbing, delirious teenager on your own.

("I want to go home. I want to go to bed. I don't feel good. I can't swallow." Repeat times a thousand.) It was a long day.

But it's a new day and hopefully she will be feeling better as the day goes on.

I wonder if the garden looked like THIS to her yesterday when we were carrying her up the front steps.