Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cancer Sucks

My friend Mary is having a hard time with the chemo.

This is the second time she's had it, and she says it does not improve with age. She has so many sores in her mouth she can't eat. Her normal laid-back style of walking has slowed, and she's losing so much weight it's hard to look at her. She says her hair is "loosening up" and she expects to buzz it off this weekend.

Yesterday, I got a smoothy from the Edible Arrangements store close to the building. She had asked for strawberry-banana.  When I checked with her later in the day, it was almost gone. I will look into protein powder and ask them to add it to her smoothy next time.

She has been very positive this time out. She trusts God to bring her through it, and she won't take no for an answer.

If any of you know of some small things I could do for her, would you please let me know?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spring Cleaning

It is a bright and sunny day!

Yesterday, it seems, was World Naked Gardening Day.  I'm sure many of you participated, and I do hope you wore adequate sunscreen.  Ticks, chiggers, and skeeters seem to be out in full force this year, so I certainly feel for you if you didn't add a little Avon Skin-So-Soft or another bug repellent to your pre-naked-gardening ritual.

At work, things have improved.  The carpet is dry upstairs, at least for the moment.  Rain is predicted tonight, so we'll see where that lands us in the morning.  The termites have taken a bye on swarming today, and the water is (mostly) gone from the basement.  I am thinking about turning it into an indoor swimming pool instead of trying to repair and rejuvenate it. 

Hubster, of course, has other plans. He wants to remove the detritus from the basement and put it into the garage, displacing our vehicles for an unknown period of time. After hauling All the Junk up the stairs, he then wants to rent a dumpster to load all of it into, if one dumpster will indeed hold it all.

This sounds good in premise, but I worry about what it will look like in reality.

You see, we are the very same people who decided to remodel a bathroom by ourselves. When we got to the point where all the tiling and vinyl flooring was done and the mirror was up, we were so tired from it all we couldn't lift a hand to do anything more.

And so it was our bathroom remained unpainted and without curtains or shades for nigh unto a year.

Yes, a whole year.

It is for this reason I see our double-car garage being stuffed to the gills with junk for months and months, and even more months. Our history precludes any other fate.

But hey, IT'S SPRING! New things happen all the time in Spring!

But new things being done by old people?

Somehow I have my doubts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stormy Weather

Things have been pretty docile the past few weeks.

And by docile, I mean no one had to be raced to the Emergency Room, no tornadoes have hit the house, and the cars are still running.

Then there was today.

The past couple of days have been rainy in these parts. There have been lightning strikes, booming thunder, hail, and all the stuff that goes along with all of those things.

Today, when I stepped into the lobby of the office, I didn't even have time to set my things down before being bombarded with information.  Overnight, the rain hit and hit hard.  Since the office roof is 900 years old, it leaks.  It will continue to do so until it falls in, because replacing the roof is not in the budget at this time.

After today that may change.

We know where most of the leaks are, so we use the old put-a-bucket-under-it formula for handling them.  Except, in the case of one leak, the bucket got moved.  Enough water came through the holey roof in that one spot for a 20' x 5' piece of carpet to get sloshy wet. It was enough to have to call in the pros to suck the water out of the carpet, and to hope it doesn't mildew.

And then...

We treated one office for termites last week.  They were eating the sheetrock from the inside out, leaving trails of "mud" and seeking out other offices, so we called in the pros. The pros billed us almost $1500.00 American to fill one wall with anti-termite foam.

The day after the wall was filled, we still had termites.  The pros were called, and they said not to worry.  They said it might take a day or two to get rid of the remaining termites. Fast forward to today. Today, when I walked into the "treated" office, the floor was moving.  Only it wasn't really the floor.  It was a sea of termites coming out of the "treated" wall.  The pros came back out, and they have promised to take care of it Tuesday of next week.

And then...

The sump pump at our humble abode breathed its last during the storm last night. However, since we barely go into The Dungeon for anything except to feed The Dungeon Monster more junk, we didn't notice it until today.  Today, with 4" of water on the floor. Today, with 4" of water on the floor and antique furniture stored there.


At least it's SPRING!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Memu and the Girl

Mom died in 2008.

Since she's been gone, all but two of my aunts and uncles have also passed.  I tried to make it to each of their funerals, and I sang at most of them.  They were 250 miles away, for the most part, so I didn't get to know them as well as other relatives.

Because Mom wanted to be buried with her family, we carried her there and had a second funeral service for her friends and the family that couldn't come to the one where we live. The cemetery is smack dab in the middle of her little town.

I've been there many times.  I usually took the kids with me, until they decided they were grown up and wanted to do other things. For the most part I ended up going alone.  Once at the entrance to the cemetery, it was easy to find Mom.  She, along with almost all of her family, lay in the area along the row of trees in the middle of the expanse of graves. Granddad made sure there would be enough spaces for all five of his girls, along with their husbands, in the same area.  He even bought a couple of extra lots where two of my cousins were buried.

We offered to buy plots all together here when Mom realized she wouldn't be around much longer.  Try as we might, she was determined to be buried with her "family" down home. We made it happen, but we weren't happy with it.  The main problem we have is getting down there to put flowers on her grave.  It's a long trip to make in a day, and then come home again.

This week we didn't have to worry about it. The Girl had to attend a bachelorette party in a neighboring town, so she stopped there on the way back home.  What she didn't count on were the feelings and emotions she would have going there by herself.

She walked up to a cousin who died in a sledding accident at 13 and placed a stem of flowers in his vase. Then there was her great-uncle and great-aunt.  Next she saw her great grandfather and great grandmother.  But as she walked up to her grandmother's headstone, she started crying and couldn't stop.  She sat down on the grass in front of the stone, and told Mom all about the things in her life that had happened or were going to happen.  She told her how much she was missed, and how The Girl remembered and now appreciated so many things Mom had done for her.

After crying her tears dry, she kissed the stone and left.  Somehow I think she left with a new understanding of not only loving the people who are important to you, but showing that love every day.

She came home a different woman, my daughter.  And I am glad.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fighting the Battle

My friend has breast cancer.

This isn't her first rodeo, by any means. Back in the nineties, she battled a different version of the same demon, and came out a winner.

She thought it was a done deal.

For the past several months, we noticed she was losing weight. Normally a heavier woman, she seemed to drop the extra weight in almost no time. When we asked what she was doing to lose it, she looked confused and told us she wasn't trying - it was just coming off.

In December, she went for her usual yearly appointments. This year the appointment for her mammogram was anything but usual.

They found one type of cancer in one breast. They found two other types of cancer in the other, along with 22 out of 34 affected lymph nodes.  She had a double mastectomy.

She will start chemo on Monday.  In the meantime, please pray for her.  She has a long battle ahead.