Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Ides of November Are Gone

November is here and half over.  I haven't been enthused about much of anything this month and I think I've finally figured out part of the reason.   I'm not drinking enough water.  So, this week, when I start to feel like I'm slogging through molasses I drink a glass of water and I feel better!  I am getting used to having a dry mouth and put up with it rather than drink all the time. 

This has been quite a day.  On Wednesdays this school semester, I need to be out of the house by  10:40 in order to pick Christian up from preschool.  This has been a busy week already since Lorene needed me on Tuesday which makes an extra day.  I had lunch with Zane having forgotten I planned to come for lunch last week.  He was expecting to have a hot dog for lunch, but due to some miscommunication or forgetfulness he (and the little boy next to him in line) didn't get on the list.  I could see he was nonplussed and disappointed, but he didn't say anything about it, just ate his chicken and half of mine, a bite of salad, a big bunch of grapes and all of his chocolate milk.  He did not eat the mac-n-cheese.  I ate most of mine.  We got to eat with the teacher.  Obviously, two students can eat with the teacher at lunch.  I don't know if that is a reward or just a sign up event.  We got to eat there, too and spent the time comparing the nutritional qualities of white, chocolate and strawberry milk, and thinking the chicken looked more like a squashed cookie than anything else.  
But, I digress.  THIS morning, after cleaning up breakfast, putting bath rugs in the washer, and cleaning the bathroom, I retired to the office and began to work.  I called a fellow self-employed businesswomen to ask about rehiring employees.  She said I should call my accountant, so I did.  Then, I had to call a company that sent us a bill for a very large amount that should have been sent to another company.  Thankfully, he was an ordinary sort of person not a corporation and that was smoothly done.  Next, I needed to email someone who has evidently decided we didn't need his money.  Unfortunately, this all started with an accounting mistake I made, so we may end up eating it after all.  
It was in emailing this missive that the real trouble of the morning started.  I e-chatted with what turned out to be the wrong department of the Quick Books dynasty, and all I got for my pains was an sales attempt for two different products. After getting a phone number and calling tech support, I got a guy with a thick accent.  With my dulled hearing I have a hard time hearing accents, but we soldiered on.  I don't think he really had any idea of what he needed to do to help me except wanting to take over my computer, and I wasn't having any of that today. Most of the long call, was him repeating what the problem was over and over and either saying that is the way it was going to be and then offering to send me an email to help.  The problem is that every time I want to email, the system wants me to have a code that I receive in a text.  A new one generated EVERY TIME.  So, I got nowhere, as I had to take off as as aforesaid. I did some poking around internally, so when I call again I have information that will help, hopefully.  
In between all that, the rugs were put back, and the hall vacuumed.  I did NOT get the living room and dining room vacuumed or the kitchen swept and mopped.  
I also did NOT hear from my repairman.  After a long and agonizing effort to get a repairman to come out and look at our non-working fridge, we are now having a long and agonizing wait for the part to come in. If it doesn't come today, I will have to buy more ice for the cooler.  
It has been three weeks.  

Here is what I wrote in my family letter last week.  

  I was waiting for the fridge repair guy to come, staying upstairs so I could hear the doorbell, (maybe). He pounded on the door and I heard that.  Anyway, this business with the fridge has been quite a deal.  After calling and not getting an answer from Repair Guy #1, (from Sears—independent contractor), we called in a guy from Russell’s Appliance who came and took the freezer part of my fridge all apart and decided that he couldn’t tell if it was the fan or the computer without knowing how much voltage the fan was supposed to have and he couldn’t get that information because it was a Kenmore, so he put it all back together and went away without charging, thank goodness.  So, I called Sears and asked if that had someone else, whom I called and received no response as well and called BACK to Sears and asked why Repair Guy #2 wasn’t calling me back and he said to text, which I did.  I did get a response and he said he was crazy busy until Monday and I said “Sign me up!” Later RG#2 says, I’m so busy call RG#1 and I told RG#2 that I did already and RG#1 didn’t call me back, but I wasn’t getting anywhere so I called RG#1 anyway and got him!  After which he apologized profusely for forgetting me, and I didn’t want to be too hard on him because Jim has forgotten people, too, and I needed a fridge repair. I let RG#2 know I wouldn’t be needing him and RG#1 came the next day, took the freezer part of the fridge all apart, called tech support while he was testing things and after a bunch of, “this is what is happening here, and it is supposed to?,” and the display reads this, which means that is happening,” he ordered the computer part and said it would be in on Tuesday.  I think Veteran’s Day and the lateness of the day hindered a Monday repair. 
Now, it's Wednesday.

Since this post is getting ridiculously long, here are some photos.

I'm not into dogs, but I am into Paislee. 

Half a garbage sack of candy is too much. 

After school on a cold day. 

I was trying to disguise yellow frosting on my pumpkin bars with the "Autumn Look." 

Even when it is cold outside games are fun. 

I am also into Barry with kittens.

And this is what happens when a four-year old can use your camera.  I forgot I was wearing rainbow kitty ears.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October Is Over

We've had weird weather this year.  October's bright blue weather was rather scarce.  
I always like photos of my three grandsons together. 

At Home.

And in the Yard.

Lynette turned 22, complete with candles.  I don't know how many more years of candles she'll have, but there still are plenty in the cupboard.

We went to the National Arbor Foundation Place to find out some more about trees.  You can't buy trees there, but we each got a free one.  I picked a Redbud and Jim and English Pine.  There is a wooded hiking trail with marked trees on which we found this enormous catalpa leaf.  I'll admit I have small feet, but this is one big leaf!

We took a tour of J. Morton Sterling's mansion.  When they started out with the idea of homesteading that grew into growing and selling apples, then researching agricultural methods to make the most of the land, their house was a 4-room affair.  The 52-room house in my pictures was built around those 4 rooms. There may be a lot of rooms, and it was elegantly decorated, but the rooms are small.  

We also took a tour of their heritage apple orchard and we each got to choose the apple we liked best.  I choose a big yellow apple that we can't remember the name and Jim chose 'Kid Orange', a sweet apple with rough brown skin. 
On our way home we blew through a Lincoln nursery and bought a Blaze Autumn Maple and a Golden Ginkgo and planted one in the front yard and one in the back.

We harvested our sweet potatoes.  

This is a sweet potato, really.  It seems like the first potato under the vine often turns into a big ball like this.  Really, we looked it up on the internet.  We don't know why it does this and neither does anyone else.  It just does.  

I cleaned it and cooked it and ate it, and it seems just like a normal sweet potato.

I suppose costumes for kids at this age, are for the parents rather than the kids.  Paislee enjoyed rummaging around in our candy bowl, but Milky Way and Skittles, aren't really good for 14-month olds, so she had to leave them behind.  Since she doesn't know what they are, it doesn't really matter. 

She's such a cute little lamb.  

Friday, October 6, 2017

Five Years Ago Today

Five years ago today I walked out of cancer center for the last time.  
Later this month I have my last appointment with the oncologist in town.  
After five years I can truly say, I am free. 

Having cancer has changed me.
It has changed the way I live my life.
It showed me which are the most important things in life.
I'm not the same person I was before. 

I lost a lot of things living through cancer and it's treatment.  
I lost my smell, my taste, my saliva glands.  I lost the strength and endurance I had before
I lost some mental endurance.
And there will always be some hard days.  
Some days,  when "Will it come back?", "Why am I fortunate and others aren't?" will be on my mind.

I've gained a lot of things too.  
I gained more time.  
I gained empathy.
I gained an appreciation for the life I have. 
That makes up for all the rest.

 I understand how adaptable my body can be in adjusting to what at first seems difficult situations and now seem just annoyances. 
Life isn't the same and in some ways I don't want it to be. 

Along this journey I have found a few quotations that express my feelings better than I can.

      "Sickness, reflected Robert, changed a man.  He thought of the invalids he had known.  How often he had dismissed their querulousness and complaints as the outcome of self-pity! He knew better now.
      It was not only with themselves and their pain that the sick were concerned.  They worried for others. They grieved for the work they were causing, for the disruption of other people's lives, the sapping of their energy, the tensions within a family, and the awful possibility of increasing helplessness."
Return to Thrush Green, by Miss Read

"One surprising thing I found was that only a small part of the cancer experience is about medicine.  Most of it is about feelings, faith, losing and finding your identity, and discovering strength and flexibility you never even knew you had.

It's about realizing that the most important things are life are not things at all, but relationships.

We know that the way to cope with trauma, loss or any other life-changing experience is to find meaning. ... No one can tell us what that meaning is.  We have to decide what it means. And that meaning can be quiet and private --  we don't need to ... write a book.... Instead perhaps we make one small decision about our lives that can bring about big change.

Sometimes it's not outside factors that cause us to take on that survivor identity; sometimes we like that perks, but we get stuck.

We have to let our old story go so that a newer, truer story can be told about who we are."
                                                      Down Off The Cross, by Debra Jarvis, Reader's Digest. 

I don't think my hair has grown any longer this last year.  
I'm satisfied the way it is. 



To see how my hair has changed these five years, click here.

If you want to see what I looked like with no hair, click here.


Monday, October 2, 2017

There Was A Wedding At Our Place

I would love to write sweet and memorable words about this most beautiful of weddings.  
It was lovely.
It was perfect.
Lynette loved every part of the day.

The photographer sent us 772 photos.
Here are 62 of them.
(Unless I miscounted)

The Ceremony