Monday, August 29, 2011


Hard to believe summer is nearly over, especially as the high today is 90 degrees. When we first lived here, 30 odd years ago, there was no air conditioning, but we had a whole house fan in the hall ceiling that blew into the attic, and if we ran it at night and closed the window shades in the day, the house stayed perfectly cool. Now we have central air, and a window unit in the dining room which has windows on three sides (and is hotter than the rest of the house), and I can't imagine doing without them. I not only believe in the reality of global warming, I think it has been quietly gaining ground for at least 25 years. I hate hot weather. I grew up in Miami Florida, back in the ancient days of the 50s and 60s, and we had no air conditioning at home either. I didn't know anybody who did. If you got too hot, you went to a department store or the movie theater. There we also had a lot of rain, so it was nice and steamy as well as hot. Now the area is sweltering and having a drought, not an improvement. Even hurricane Irene didn't do much to change that; what they need is steady light rain for an extended time, and not torrential downpours that run off and not soak in.

Here is a photo from the 50s of me, my older sister, and our grandmother, in front of the house in Miami. The big awnings kept the house cooler and folded down to protect the windows in a hurricane. We had several hurricanes, what they mainly meant to me was that school was cancelled (if in the fall). Never thought about the storm itself, or how the house could be damaged with us in it. Sweet ignorance of youth.

The visit with the oncologist was uneventful and the only wrinkle is that I go next week for an echo cardiogram to check that all is OK in the heart department. I had one when I first began the chemo, and it is fast and painless, so no trauma to do.

I'm sleepy and want a nap, so I'll leave you with this bumper sticker: "Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

All is well.

The result of the PET/CT imaging is back and everything is OK! WHEEE! I love that they called me so quickly, the waiting is the worst. Thank all of you for your kind thoughts and prayers. I see the oncologist next week, and then every three weeks thereafter, but at this point in time, there are no tumors or growths anywhere. I will still receive the antibody Herceptin for a year total, and thank you Uncle Sam for the Federal employee BC/BS insurance, we couldn't do this without it.

And thank you, S, for the yummy cheesecakes, I'm ready to celebrate with it. I'd also been ready to commiserate if necessary with cheesecake; it's the all occasion dessert, but celebrating is the best.

The photo is one from the Web, but the apparatus looks just like the one I was in, head first, for 20+ minutes while laying perfectly still. With your arms over your head, and your head braced in position. After receiving radioactive glucose and a contrast media, IV. All in all, though, not really that bad. I'm just glad it is over, and all is fine. And did I thank all of you??

Bumper sticker of the day: "If I must die, let it be Death by Chocolate."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bits and pieces

I'm scheduled for another PET/CT scan later today. I know I won't find out anything about my cancer status for days, maybe a week until my appt. with the oncologist, but I've already started obsessing over it. Will the tech doing the scan drop me any hints if I ask? Probably not. Will it do any good to call on, say, Friday? My jaw muscles are so tight it's a wonder I can eat.


Willie has recovered from his sore hoof,so no more soaking, Hooray. My back is even on the mend from standing bent at the waist to hold his hoof in the water; if I removed my hand from his fetlock, out came the foot, usually kicking the bucket over as it did.

Let me see... Oh yes, Google adsense emailed me that I have a $10 check coming, thanks to nice people like you who click on one of the three ads up there on the top of my right sidebar. Of course, it has taken 5 months to accumulate $10, so I haven't planned on a big spending spree just yet. Still, it is nice, and thank you for checking them out.

I've been busy listing used books for sale into my data base, so far I've gotten around 750. This is for ABEbooks, or Amazon, they email me shipping manifests and I ship the book off, national and international. So if you have a burning desire for a book that hasn't been published in a coons age (see below), check them out. There is another button over on the right for that too, but it doesn't pay me (sigh); in fact I frequently spend more in shipping than I get from the sale, after all the monthly charges and all the commissions. I also think I've bought more books than I have sold, which is not resulting in the clearing out of 40 years of accumulated books that are in every nook and cranny of this house. But now that I have the Kindle, I'm hoping I'll stop buying print books (mostly) and I guess a lot of people are doing the same and paper books will be going the way VHS tapes went in recent years.

Our neighbor across the road has successfully trapped those pesty raccoons that have been raiding our cat food in the garage and our trash cans. The most elusive one was a huge beast and the big concern was that he was too large to get in the trap, until we borrowed a very big trap. And you know what was used for bait? Peppermint patties. Apparently coons are wild for peppermint, and as an added bonus, cats aren't interested at all, so no risk of catching one.

Well, one of our house cats (Mac) would eat peppermint, he eats everything, from jelly beans to cantaloupe, quite a scrounger if we let him. Here he is:

Thought for the day: "Never confuse movement with progress."

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Here it is 4:30 am, wide awake and stiff as a board. Thursday Willie, my big bay gelding, was lame -three legged lame- in his pasture. So, figuring a stone in his foot N and I went to him with halter and hoof pick. He didn't mind having that leg picked up, but when I commenced picking at it, he yanked it back. So I tried again, and he yanked it out of my hands, reared and tried to strike (and his foot bled a bit from the frog). Time to call the vet. He came that afternoon, and tranquilized him so he didn't care what went on down there on his legs, and picked out the stone and checked for any abscess. That little stone cost $200. Now I'm doing the twice a day soak in warm epsom salts, for 10 minutes or until he kicks over the bucket, which ever comes first. And vile tasting meds in his grain for the pain. Anyway, all this to explain how I came to be so stiff it hurts. I'm OK on the bendy-over, but not so good on the straighteny-uppy. Never a dull moment.

Here is Willie:

And as an aside, I am SOOO glad the barn has hot water in the tack room, I don't know how I got along without it. Well, really I do know - I hauled buckets from the house, boo hiss.

I go on the 23rd for another PET/CT scan, see if all is OK from the chemo. Waiting is the hardest part of all this. Maybe that's why they call us patients; I don't want to think about why it is called a medical practice.

And this is what I call a perfect day.

Bumper sticker for the day: "How do I set the laser printer to stun?"

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Just a little silliness to pass along.

It's 2:45 am here, and I am battling nausea every time I try to lie down. So, sitting up. I can hardly keep my eyes open.

I've been poking around in my stuff here in the computer room (closet) and have found neat stuff, lots and lots of memo pads with different artwork. Also, some older games (which are not compatible with WinXP, never mind Win7), maybe they will be worth something some day? They've hardly been out of the box. Let's see... Oh, I found some money ($35), it's mine now by crikey. Found my long-lost stapler, and my Garfield eraser. Special stuff, you know?

Last week N, C and I spent 3 hours on the dogs' coats. The black and white Newfy just needed raking to remove the dangling bits, but oh, what a mess the black one was. She has a 'cotton coat' that mats really easily, and being a barn dog, has tons of sticker bushes and twigs to give her the complete Rasta look. Her we have to clip to the skin. I have 3 pairs of clippers, and we needed them all. I wrote about this last year here, it's not like this is a big surprise, but each time we do it, I think longingly of a lab with a short coat.

I also cleaned out the garage last weekend, it took forever for it to dry, it was so humid. But it looks and smells better, got all the recycling done, while N mowed and trimmed. You know, I have another guilty pleasure -- driving through a neighborhood and staring into people's open garage doors. Man, I thought we had a lot of junk. At least we use my garage to park my car:

Granted, a Miata is a small car, but still.

I feel good about these little efforts, after so long of having no energy to spare. I still have to sit down while I'm working at tasks like defrosting the freezer, or doing laundry, but then I catch my breath and go on. I know if I constantly do things only in my comfort zone, that zone will get smaller and smaller. Better to push on, as I can.

I think I'll try going to bed again, so I'll leave you with this bumper sticker: "I could do so much more if I only had minions."

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Butterfly award

An award! How nice! The butterfly award comes via SkippyMom, and includes 3 (luckily easy) steps:

1.) Link to the person who gave it to you.
2.) Answer some questions
3.) Pass it along to someone else.

So here goes...

Skippy Mom Her blog is one of the best I read.

Favorite color: Purple. The butterfly color itself, how serendipitous !

Favorite song: Oh, a hard one, it changes so frequently. Right now I'd have to say the one by Kenny Rogers "Water and Bridges".

Favorite Dessert: I don't think I've ever met a dessert I didn't like, but cheesecake wins in the long run.

Favorite Pet: I'd have to say my first horse, Poco.

What wizzes you off? People who say they will do something, but then try to get out of it, or just blow you off. I've always thought that if I didn't want to do something, then refuse when asked and not when it's time to do it.

When I am upset I: Cry. So embarrassing, and often inappropriate too. I've pretty much given up agonizing over it, but it would be nice if I had more control of the waterworks.

Black or white: Black.

My biggest fear: right now? That my breast cancer is not in remission.

Everyday attitude: Mellow. Now that I am retired, the relief from being able to set my own schedule is enormous.

What is perfection to you? The love I share with my family.

Guilty pleasure: Eating smokehouse almonds. And then licking my fingers.

I'm passing this along to:

Lucky Lady

Thank you, SkippyMom!

Bumper sticker for the day: "Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change."