Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy happy new year

Two years ago I was all about the happy, happy fight (look in my archives if you weren't with me back then...) which of course wasn't all that happy but I sucked it up and got through it.
Now that cancer is behind me --hopefully, for good -- I feel a quiet, calm, happiness.

I saw Johnny Virgil and Shamus the other day for lunch...Shamus was drunk or something and went to the wrong place at first (oh, I kid..) and while Johnny and I were waiting I mentioned I don't blog all that much anymore because I'm so much happier, and I don't need it the way I used to.

There was a point in time at my old job when I knew I just shouldn't be there anymore, but I was waiting for that severance package. I got my summer off, and the kids and I had a great time.
(then of course I got sick, and it sucked. But I'm doing well now! Thank you, New York Oncology )

But before I finally actually left The Big Stupid Bank, I was SO unhappy. The people I worked with most were on a very different wavelength than I was, and a bunch of other things made me very unhappy most of the time. I would type and type a bunch of stuff here on a regular basis, and it helped.

I have learned quite a bit more about how to take charge of my own happiness, and speak up for what I want and need. I'm excited about the coming year ( I'm going to be an auntie again! I'm going to Disney!) and beyond.

So I guess what I'm saying is, don't give up. If things kinda suck, hang in there, it will get better. Do what you need to do to get by.

I may or may not post as much here anymore, but I am still on twitter (as Carlyq80) so please feel free to follow me and laugh at the dumb things I tweet.

Happy new year. We once again watched Holiday Inn and new years rockin' eve And hey wow, Dick Clark is orange!!!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Loving the new Hipstamatic foodie snap pack.

Ahead for today... Lasagna for tonight, mini quiches for tomorrow, plus other prep for the big meal (20 people squeezing into my house! Aieeeeeeee. )

Oh- and eating MANY cookies while I make up a cookie box for Stanley.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Where are You, Christmas

Two years ago today, I received a phone call that no one wants, especially at Christmas time. Sitting in my car in a store parking lot, unemployed, exhausted, and afraid, I listened to the doctor who had done my first biopsy tell me that I did have breast cancer after all, and I needed another biopsy on the other breast, based on the MRI that I'd had. I went home and cried, and 800 miles away, my sister woke from a sound sleep after her night shift and called me. The holiday crumbled around me, but I got through it and the months of treatments that followed.

Now, after a "clean" checkup yesterday, I can enjoy this Christmas.

No trying to keep the kids from overhearing things. No crying in mass, looking down from the choir loft at a friend holding her grandson.

The lyrics of this song really get to me. It's the arc from despair to "getting it", summed up in one neat little package. The devastation and shock I felt was eased by the friends and family who gathered around me to take care of me and "love me through it" (Can. Not. Listen. To. That. Song. Cannot.)

It was a long bumpy road after that phone call two years ago, and I try to leave most of it in the past, but I'm still mentally processing things here and there.

(as an example, yesterday I finally met someone who had helped me put together my team of superhero doctors. She's a colleague of my brother in law, and I spoke to her several times two years ago, but never face to face. She got me in with the best surgeon in the area, and my two oncologists that I adored and felt complete confidence in. And so, on meeting her? I burst into tears and hugged her. She rolled with it though. )

I will be the first to admit that I was kind of a pain in the ass "before", prone to selfishness, drama and whining, and I like to believe/ hope that chemo killed off at least a little bit of my worst character traits, in addition to some rogue cells that were growing out of control.

What I took away from 2010, leaving behind the suckage of the memories of certain individual events as much as possible, was a strong appreciation for the every day, for the beauty of ordinary things and moments, and most of all for the people who are love me and are kind to me. Every checkup, despite being a stressful and frightening flashback-filled time, renews the gratitude and the personal goal to be a better, more loving and giving human being. And what better time of year than now for that?

Merry Christmas!!

Where are you Christmas

Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play

My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go

Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh

If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time

I feel you Christmas
I know I've found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love

Where are you Christmas
Fill your heart with love

use this link if the one above doesn't work....

Monday, December 19, 2011

Busy busy

Making cookies (maple syrup and butter form the base for these cutout cookies. Yum)

Shot with my Hipstamatic for iPhone
Lens: Loftus
Flash: Off
Film: DC

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tick tock

So much to do... And trying not to think about my next scheduled checkup with my oncologist this week because It Should Be Fine.

I have a little bit of residual anxiety because two years ago, I was sailing along in my holiday plans, (kinda like now) had all my shopping done, (kinda like now) and then BLAMMO.

Deja vu. But not, hopefully.

Friday, December 09, 2011


The winter afternoons rush by quickly. Five or ten minutes can be a big factor in whether or not I can take a decent photo of the sunset. (I took this through the screen windows of my porch which gave it instant texture. Maybe I'll carry around a screen window. Heh. )

Winter makes me discouraged and sad... It's a lonely- feeling time. Blah.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Bean counter wreath

I had a little bit of fun making a wreath for my husband's office - it's one of a kind, which is probably a good thing.
For the record, I was asked to do this... And he likes it. Hey Mikey!

Kids... That orange square is an ancient jump drive. (Just saying.) There's also some of that green paper with special lines that we had to use before Excel. We had to do MATH back then. But we had calculators that were JUST calculators, just like the one on this wreath. Mechanical pencils, highlighters... Good stuff.

Ok, random old stuff from the supply room! Fine!!

ch-ch- check me out

This is interesting... I'll need to play around with it some more, after the holidays.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life

.... if you don't have to get up early in the morning for work. And I do.

but tonight I went to a photography group MeetUp at a dress rehearsal of a local production of "It's a Wonderful Life"... I loved the vintage clothing, and I'm really enjoying my new camera (I took almost 300 photos... with my little baby lens that came with the camera... I felt definite envy looking around at some of the amazing zoom lenses!)

You can check out about 30 HERE:

(dear blogger, why is it so damn hard to make a working link???)

I'm partial to a couple of these that I just HAD to put in black and white...

Monday, December 05, 2011

And so

I also made a couple of things for ME. I could have been writing out Christmas cards. Oh well. I can do those ::::looks at ridiculously crowded calendar::: Sunday maybe.

Michael's is having a sale

Mr. Carly texted me today asking if I would buy a wreath for his office, and maybe a small tree. That is DEFINITELY not a problem for me. Especially when everything is half price.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Time put the last trace of turkeys away... This tealight holder is my new favorite thing today.


I am grateful that I have a car, and off-street parking. But daaaaaaamn. It's cold.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


I happened to be at a very small gathering recently. I was invited to
stop by an old friend's house for a glass of wine before another
event. There were a few people there; we sat in the living room by a
warm fire while appetizers were passed. I sipped chardonnay and
congratulated myself for shedding my laundry and cooking chores for an
evening of "me time".

As the conversation went on the man sitting next to me with his wife
shared a story or two, and in my tiny little brain I began to realize
that he was Someone. (I don't have any formal music education or
background, so I confess to not having the faintest idea who he was.
But I have learned that when the universe is trying to get your
attention, it's a good idea to just shut up and listen! )

And then one thing lead to another, and he was coaxed over to the
piano. It was a baby grand, and he noticed instantly that it was out
of tune, but I never would have known, listening to him. He toyed
with us at first, transposing Chopsticks. Woah. My friend's face said
to me, "yes, he's quite good, isn't he?"

Then he played another piece. It was only a few measures, but it was
WONDERFUL. Exquisite. Piano the way piano was meant to be played,
transcendant levels above my pecking out of bits and pieces of alto
lines I'm struggling to learn for church. It's likely that it was some
Gershwin. Sadly, I couldn't tell you WHAT he played, but I will
remember HOW he played.

HIs name is Lincoln Mayorga. is just a sampling of his
extensive background and states that he has worked with Sam Cooke. Mel
Torme. Streisand. Andy Williams. Amazing.

Google him. Watch him on YouTube, instead of whatever the hell that
idiot Tosh is talking about today. You'll be glad you did.

So now, when I am wandering around my house, doing whatever
Cinderella-like task it is I have to do on a given day*, at times I
will be listening to Lincoln play, thanks to the magic of iTunes. I
recommend "A Bouquet of Familiar Classics", and also some of his
Gershwin pieces, which you will easily find there (on iTunes) -
Summertime, is, of course, one of the first ones I purchased. Even *I*
am familiar with that one.

* (boo hoo. Poor me. Not. Beats sitting on a couch dealing with chemo,
any day. Just a reference to his work at Disney...)