Sunday, May 18, 2008

A few Photos

A hair update! It's quite a cute pixie hairdo now. Check it out.

We also got my engagement ring from the maker today. He did a great job! Thanks Luke. I think it's simple beauty.

Yes, those nails are dirty. Slightly gross and distracting, but, uh, gardening, hello.

Another angle and see, it looks like I'm petting the dog. Ha, ha.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

On a lighter note

Mel - Mel, thanks for reminding me about the humor in my life! (Referencing comments from previous post) Like I aluded to before, I do have lighter, even funny, stories that happen almost everyday. They can easily slip off the radar, though, when the "stuff" hits the fan. Do you find that true also? It's nice when a good friend (my sister) gives you a wider perspective. You can thank HER for now being subjected to my trivial ramblings of the lighter side of life.

Morgan's garden is taking shape on my lawn. Today Dennis and I spaded up a 10' X 12' patch for veggies. I suppose Morgan's garden really began weeks ago when I started seeds indoors. On my little incubator window sill my tomato and pepper plants are doing great! I just hope they will thrive outdoors as well. I'm like a protective mother sending her child to school for the first time! So many dangers they'll have to face like wind and temperature and bugs, but if they are to grow and reach their full potential I must push them out the door. So young. So fragile.

While we were spading, we noticed dozens of white grubs in the soil. Gardeners will know exactly what these little guys are. I didn't until I looked them up and now I'm bummed. They are pests of common proportions known as the Japanese Beetle. Dunn -dunn - dunn. It's not good. But it also does not mean my garden is doomed. After reading my options, disregarding chemicals at this time, my plan of action is to hand-pick the buggers and place them in soapy water (that suffocates them). Their buddies from the rest of the lawn can certainly come over and replace them if I have stuff in there they like. Which might be the saving grace here. The veggies I'm planting aren't on the list of things they love. They love roses and grapes particularly (which may be what happened to my rose bush the mother in law gave me). I'm planning on planting the tomato and peppers, obviously, as well as string beans, beets, carrots, spinach, rosemary, basil, and a rhubarb plant my neighbor is giving us. If I don't get totally discouraged from pests or bad crops, I'd be up for expanding the garden next season to include more herbs, berries, and squashes. For now, this is all I can handle. One step at a time. Who knew gardening had parallels with cancer treatment?

Our pup, Sadie, has been a pest in her own right. In the past month she's been skunked and quilled. I was away on a trip to Washington D.C. when the skunking happened and Dennis had to deal with it by himself. I heard ALL about it as it was unfolding and I tried to be sympathetic by not laughing my head off, which I safely did in between his calls, but I had my own horrific night to contend with. We had just gotten a parking ticket of $50, I proceeded to scratch the rental car (Shhh. We'll never speak of it again.), it was late and our hotel room was not what I had booked through Orbitz. I am still fighting for compensation. BTW, I highly recommend NOT booking hotels through Orbitz or any of those other "third party" dealers. Their customer service sucks. The deals are attractive, but no one will help you if it goes wrong. I'm off track, but thought I'd throw in a buyer beware based on my experience. Anyway, Sadie....

I come home and all I smell is skunk - on her, the bed, the bathroom, everywhere. Even after a bomber clean, the house still smelled. Dennis and I stunk up wherever we went. Does anyone smell sunk? That would be us, we'd say, and explain. The incident was April 21st. We have since stopped smelling, I think, but Sadie still smells like skunk when she gets wet.

Just a week ago, I took her to the forest for a walk and she disappeared. Not unusual for our dog. She always comes back. This time I backtracked to find her because I had an inkling. As I was walking back calling her, I hear her excited barks. They are in between barking and crying. I've heard it only three times before and it only means one thing. I locate her and she is sticking her nose under fallen trees after this poor little porcupine. She is so excited that at that moment I did not exist to this dog. Even as I was pulling her away and leashing her, she kept trying to get at it. When removed from the stimulus, she turned her attention to the quills in her muzzle, mouth, and front paw and was freaking out. I took her to our vet, luckily only minutes from where we were walking, and $200 later she was good as new. What are you going to do? Shrug and get over it, hopefully laughing one day in hindsight. Sadie's tally is now 0 for 6 : 4 porcupines and 2 skunks. Stupid dog.

My parents have sold their house in Auburn and will be building their retirement home next to my grandpa in New Hampshire. Amazing that it only took a few months to sell in this economy. They are so excited and I am very happy for them. Of course, I should be protesting. They are moving farther from me, we are losing our halfway house to the mountain to snowboard, and it's farther to drop off Sadie for babysitting. I can't pull the sentimental card because I don't have any attachment to that house at all. We've lived in so many houses growing up, it's just the last one in a series, and I moved out of it in 1993. As part of the process, though, they are making me take my junk home. Bummer, no more free storage:( The boxes will just stay stacked in the basement until I muster the ambition to rearrange, DISCARD (the biggie), and organize, oh, just about everything.

Stay tuned for photos including a hair update soon!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hello. I've missed you.

Just checked in with all my cancer surviving buddies on their sites and it felt good to be back in the loop with the people who got me through my Hodge. They are now and forever a part of my life. And so I was feeling guilty about not posting on mine. My apologies. It's because (and read with a sarcastic tone) everything is going so well and even-keel. Ha, not really. I've actually been very wrapped up in my father's illness as well as keeping up with my day to day stuff. I can't count how many times something happens quickly that I say to myself, "Oh, I've got to remember that one for the blog". Do I remember? Not everything, but I'll do my best.

My father's condition has deteriorated over the last three weeks. He was in a convalescent home after his feet started spurting blood from wounds and they couldn't stop it. Nurses finally did, but his feet are continuing to weep which he says is like sweating. His legs are swollen, presumably from cancerous lymph nodes pushing against his veins and messing up his circulation. His oncologist saw him and put him on a pill form of chemotherapy right away. She said the pill form has the mildest side effects and at the time his potassium levels were showing high which made her worry about his kidney function; therefore, IV chemo would be too potent. She didn't even have his CT scan on the 29th done with contrast because of possible deteriorating kidneys and thus she got back a sub-optimal picture. She said she will be reviewing it with a radiologist to see if there is one spot that is worse. In that case, radiation to that spot might be beneficial for immediate relief. His potassium levels have gotten better in the meantime so his kidneys are okay. The oncologist said his leukemia has spread to lymph nodes (duh) and into organs like the liver. It will not be going away, so the best we can hope for is to curb it enough to make him more comfortable. Dad says the pill is making him extremely fatigued. All he wants is a cigarette and a drink. No doubt he is suffering as much from withdrawal as from cancer.

We are three weeks from going on a scheduled visit to see him in California. It has been very hard gathering facts from 3000 miles away. Dad has never been a great communicator. He's always wanted to be left alone and will say what you want to hear just so you will leave him alone, and Gladys, his companion, is beside herself as her daughter in Texas is also battling cancer. I speak to her but can't get real facts from her and don't trust her impressions to be objective. He is in the hospital now, but I expect he'll be transfered to a nursing home which is where he'll be when we arrive. I dread seeing him so skinny and bloated, but I will be glad to be there to help. I find myself on the other side as the helpless relative who just wants to do something, and I need to go back and remember the things that my friends and family did that were helpful for me. As soon as he is in a single place for awhile, I must send a care package to let him know I am thinking of him and am there for him.

That's all I got right now. I'm spent. So, before another week goes by with my good intentions of "finishing" this post, let me post what I have.