Archive for May, 2013

Here’s the Thing……..

Posted in Uncategorized on May 23, 2013 by drycreekherbs

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Camie tells me that I often start a sentence with the expression, “Here’s the thing….” I don’t know where that came from or even what it means. I think maybe Monk, the television, OCD detective said it a lot. I don’t know, but here’s the thing for right now:

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Diego recently learned to bark and he likes it. I can’t say that it bothers us it is just new.

haugub.jpgDiego practiced his newly acquired barking talent on a snake….this is good. He also barked at a skunk, which was not good. If it wasn’t a snake then he found something foul and decomposing to roll over. Len said he could not smell it….I slept in the guest bedroom for two nights and left Len and Diego to the other side of the house. It wasn’t hideous but it was notable. So before we could go to NY, Diego had to have a shower, shampoo, and a set!

I told Jeannie that the house was a disaster because of the remodeling….she said that would be ok….well, more on that in the next entry. We had to take out all the china, crystal, dainty dishes, baskets, decanters, lanterns, figurines, paintings, etc out of harm’s way….We put it all in the living room, in my den, and in all kinds of cabinet drawers, armoires, etc. I know this. We own too much stuff

Scott and White Oncology is developing a class called Cancer 101. The idea is for all patients to take this 45 minute class right after the diagnosis but before the treatment. The charge nurse asked me if I would attend the preview and give feedback—also could I find a few more people who would have an opinion – so Penny and Joann both agreed to come. I think we gave them a lot of ideas and affirmations too.

I am hiring a professional clothes planner to clear out this mess of clothes I keep. I am especially keen on this idea. I am also very keen on getting my belly cut off.

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Len and I went to our dance lesson after missing 2 weeks. We haven’t practiced one time….I think our teacher was a little miffed. I don’t know if we ever will practice unless we go out to some honky tonk. That’s not a bad plan actually.

This week I trained another new volunteer….there was some concern because he is the retired director of a very big non-profit….but I think he is willing to be a menial worker rather than a big dog.

This is the very worst possible time to go on a trip and if it were not David’s graduation, I think we would bail out. Collins assures us all will be well but I just can’t imagine how Jeannie will cope with the remodeling. I can’t think of it.

Maybe we will have a decent time since neither of us really want to go at this time. West Point just doesn’t consult us about when they should plan graduation! Billy and Mary’s divorce plans have cast a pall over everything….lots of talking that reeks of drama to me. I keep saying this is all about David but I don’t know if B or M will be able to be civil to each other. I think my single role in this is to keep things upbeat. David insists that no other family comes up for graduation. So unlike Justin’s graduation, it will just be Len and me, Mary, and Bill. I don’t know if there will be any surprise family attendees. This is about David….if I say it enough maybe it will all work nicely. Mom will expect me to be vigilant. Hmmmm. Then there is David. He is very undemonstrative. So I haven’t a clue what he thinks about anything. He is fond of Len but I really don’t think he is too keen on me. Such is life. AND I am not being paranoid — even Len agrees and it is OK. Sometimes he reminds me so much of Daddy….one really odd duck. I think he is just David and that works too.

I tried on three ‘formal’ looking outfits, as Mom calls them. I sent photos to Edward, hair and dress aficionado and Jackie too. Edward had definite opinions. So I am going with velvet and lots of sparkly bracelets and NO LONG EARRINGS…this may be hard for me…but that velvet, I hope I don’t roast…..Off to bed we leave at dawn.

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Dear Mom!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18, 2013 by drycreekherbs

Dear Mom,

I miss you sorely today. I want to call you but we know that won’t work. I can’t imagine how you bear not being able to hear. I know I will have that too and it makes me nuts, mad, and sad. You are so brave and loving. I never hear a word of complaint from you. And Billy is a marvelous caretaker….go figure! Ok, well we will just move on since as Carol told me once, “It is what it is.” Yep.

You are right about time going by FAST. I remember thinking how far David’s graduation was…now it is in just a week. We have our house sitter lined up for IMG_6233.JPG Mickey and Diego care—we will go to Austin Thursday night since our flight leaves at 6:00 AM Friday. I am hoping all goes well and that there is no drama from anyone! I will take lots of photos with or without drama.

I have loved the cool spring weather but it seems that is another year away. It will be in the 90s from now on till we hit the triple digits. I still have beets left over but I am completely finished with canning for this year. There are tons of onions that I will pull when the green tops fall over…that is the harvesting signal. The potatoes look healthy and carrots too. I have eaten so many carrots that I will probably get an orange glow to my skin! Maybe even develop superlative night vision.

Max’s macular degeneration surgery went well he thinks. He wants to come Monday and spray the wicked weeds—I hope Kathy will let him come but not too soon to cause him any set backs. There are a few pears and lots of little figs that I hope we don’t lose to the birds and squirrels. They are way too well fed.

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The week has been crazzzzzy. IMG_6237.jpg The kitchen demolition started Monday. They painter came in and painted over the wall paper while I was at Scott and White ‘working’…I freaked out when Len told me via texting on the iPhone…so I texted Collins…that is Katie’s husband and our contractor. He called and pulled the painter off the job. It took twice as long as it should to remove the paper after that blunder. Meanwhile, the tile was removed and the new door to Len’s den was framed. We have all the fu-fu stuff sitting all over the house—. This is just the beginning. They will take out the island this week, I hope so that is more stuff to stash. When they paint the pantry, I may go check into a hotel!

To add to the excitement of kitchen demo, I was selected for jury dutyIMG_6202.jpg —a criminal case involving a terrorist threat. I just knew I would get excused when I responded to the question would I give the maximum penalty if the defendant was found guilty. I said, “Absolutely!” Damn, I was the first one picked! It was two days long and it was interesting in this way: The definition of ‘terrorist threat’ isn’t what I thought. It does not involve bombs or foreign actions. Instead it means when a person says something that causes fear of severe bodily injury and imminently. This guy threatened his sister that he was going to kill her if she called 911…he already had a warrant for shooting his brother in Illinois—and imagine this—the quarrel was all about washing detergent! There are some real crazies out there. We convicted him and gave him 270 days on top of what he had served…justice is expensive. I wish we still had chain gangs here.   

Len and I went to a Relay for Life Survivors dinner Thursday night. It wasn’t what I expected at all. Frankly I was already thinking how I wouldn’t ever go to another one…as it turned out it was very moving. There were a number of our current chemo patients there who were very affirming to me. That feels good. But moreover, to see the range of survivors from 45 years to 7 of us who are newbies. It was all about hope.

Interesting new dreams where every episode is some trivial event from childhood or young adulthood. Whatever the event, the emotions were crystal clear. I felt them fully just like when you dream you are laughing or crying. Just total emotional review. Sort of fun.

Last time I was in SAT, Mother’s Day, I met up with Belinda and we checked out two properties she might want for her new job. One in particular, the Broadway, is right by Central Market….Oh I hope like crazy she takes that. It is so spiffy. I want to live there too.

Patt & Susan  1970.bmp I have been trying to contact my old roommate Patt from college days. I talked to her about 8 months ago…she said she was having issues with her memory and during the conversation, Jake had to get on the phone to help her out with words. Now when I call the phone numbers I have used before it gives me a different family. I am worried about Patt and hope I can find her. I do know that our other roommate, Barbara, will probably know where she is. This means a trip to Fredericksburg to find Barbara.

Tomorrow is the Open House for the newly renovated Salado Library. IMG_6224.JPG I stopped by today to get a preview and take a few photos before the masses get IMG_6228.jpg in there. It is double the size of the previous structure and still has the nice homey feel to it. All those years on the Board and it finally happened. The landscaping looks very nice and appropriate to the building–spearheaded by Becky and her Master Naturalist cohorts. Oh, and speaking of Becky, she is keeping me posted on the Spurs. I hope they ‘kick butt’ and continue to win. Did you read or hear what the NY Times said about the Spurs? Just exactly what you would expect from Yankees! Here is what the paper said, “Say it again: they are too bland. Say it again: they are too old. Say it again: they are once again the favorites in the West. The San Antonio Spurs rode their championship brand of smooth and steady to a clinching 94-82 victory over the plucky but overmatched Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the N.B.A.” Humph. We love our Spurs!

Ok, Mom, that’s the news from here. I will add some photos for you to enjoy. I love you, love you, love you!

Susan

Hip, Hip, Hooray It IS a Fine Day!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2013 by drycreekherbs

I had my one-year oncology check-up today and I am clear! Yea!! There’s not much to add to that. It is incredibly good news. AND I wrote that ten days ago! I am turning into a slouch. I am incredibly grateful…There is just one of the patients who appears to be losing the battle…really two. They are going with grace. Maybe that is the lesson to be learned.

Right this minute I am sitting on the side porch listening to the wind in the trees and the fountains….it is a gorgeous day with the tiny exception of billions of tree pollens whipping around. I am drippy just like the fountains.

So what have I been doing? I am thinking of friends I never know anything about any more…Vickie and Karl from Germany, Ernie since Jo died, on and on. I hate losing people—it is that neediness that plagues me, I guess. Mom says she thinks it is great how I keep up with friends but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. I hate losing friends and I hate not knowing about their families too. When friends die, it usually means you lose all the rest of the family too.

So I am drinking a nice cup of Gorgeous Skin and Hair Tea! I am not betting on anything but mega doses of Biotin and microdermabrasion! In terms of health, I am feeling well enough…old bones and overstretched muscles but what the hell? Dr. Baht says I need blood pressure medicine from my family physician…that is such a bother.

Len is in DFW at a Ranger’s game for a nice outing…I was invited but I told Mary two months ago that I would go to one of the MCEC staff member’s wedding with her…big run on sentence. So I am on my own until 6:00 then tomorrow afternoon Jackie and I are going to Austin for an early dinner then to a Doc Severinson and the San Miguel Trio concert. Reminiscent of days in México…and speaking of México, I am recruiting folks for Camie and Larry’s DOD tour….There is a shop owner in San Marcos who has expressed an interest…if I can recruit enough folks I can go more or less for free…still airfare but do I realllllly need to go a month after I get back from housesitting? I imagine so!

I think we are set to for David’s graduation…we will go to the banquet Friday night at the cost of 600.00 extra dollars so we will be there in time. I hate changing tickets but we didn’t know about it until we already had our reservations. Len will do the Oath of Office after graduation. Then we have two extra days in NYC…seeing The Book of Mormon—Sally told me about it and it sounds like something fun and interesting. Gone the 24-29 with a house sitter for Diego and Mickey.

This cracks me up and I don’t want to forget it. It is all about all the accouterments required in elderhood. Soon it will be Depends! So, last night I fetched my anti-tooth grinding ‘thingy’. I wore it the night before last but last night it wouldn’t fit! Sweet Jesus are my teeth collapsing? I put the darned thing in hot water for 10 minutes and it still wouldn’t go in…I was telling Len and he looked up suddenly and said, “Do you have mine in your mouth?” Who knew he had one too? We need to talk more I think! So I found it and mine still fits. I am much relieved. Speaking of TN_Dahlia_Sleeve1.jpgTN_Darling_Dark_Sleeve1.jpg  TN_LotusDragonTattoo_Sleeve1.jpg TN_SouthPacific_Sleeve1.jpg

accouterments….one of my nurse peeps at S&W gave me a catalog to use with breasts cancer patients—from LympheDivas. I wear my plain Jane version only when I fly because altitude exacerbates the situation and even 10 years after breast cancer one can develop lymphedema…Well, I’m tossing that ugly ace bandage-looking thing in the trash…this gal must travel in style. I might get the tattoo version to match my spider veins on beefy legs. I told Babs I am going to start telling folks that I have tattooed legs…she thought that was pretty funny.

Next week Len and I have our first of five dance lessons at the In the Mood studio in Temple. I caught him in a weakened moment. I believe we will do country and salsa. I looooooooove thinking of this…oh and private lessons so we don’t have to be humiliated in front of a crowd. I still howl when I think of how Len was during our Swing lessons oh those many years ago…with Pam and Erik! Len was a nervous wreck dancing with the little UT girls during the dance partner switch…he was afraid he would be arrested! He is very proper! At least we won’t be the token oldsters.

I made this up in my head and I like it so much I want to write it down. “You can KNOW a lesson and not learn it.” I think that is so profound.

Thinking of loss now. One of my chums from the Cancer Survivor Fitness Research Study Class told me about these dance lessons. She told me that she goes to all the dances but now it isn’t like it used to be since her regular dance partner moved to be closer to his children….she is in her late 70s. Christine is realllly sad and it occurred to me when she told me this how loss comes in so many forms.

The Painted Buntings are aback and just beauuuuutiiiiful! I will give Diego away if he kills one. He is frustrated that there are no cattle, sheep, goats, guineas, or children to herd. He chases birds all day and when he can’t get to them which is 99% of the time, he tears the bark and limbs off. Training didn’t seem to work—he is incorrigible. Len IMG_6136.JPG IMG_5952.JPG worships the beast. He doesn’t like to put Diego in his $2,000.00 chateau…..Humph. This past week I “put up” about 1.5 dozen quarts of pickled beets with Diego’s assistance. He runs like a dingo through my garden. If I pull up onions, beets, or carrots he goes into a digging frenzy. I just occurred to me. Diego is a vandal in dog vandal heaven. He can chew up as many tree limbs as he likes. He can pull limbs off trees. He can dig to his heart’s content. He is a very lucky dog.

What else? I went to Foy’s Spring Breakfast in the Garden. Lovely, very Southern Accents. IMG_6099.jpg  From there I went to San Antonio to see Mom about two weeks ago—she weighs about 100 pounds and is 5’9” tall. I cannot say how tortuous is for her and for us to watch her fade. I think so much about declining. I don’t think I am depressed about it, I am just kind of mad about it. Sort of like knowing a lesson but not learning it.

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While in SAT and running errands for Mom, I had a quick wilding spree in World Market. I just plain love everything they sell. I bought four blouses and I am taking two back. I don’t want to over-do the Indian look!

I am looking in my ‘Reminders’ on the iPhone…that Siri has trouble understanding some of my voice dictations….example….I wanted to write about hymns that I like—and she thought I said, “Love Lifted Me, I was Sinking Step in Din, Onward Christian Skiers, I am the Bread of Life, and the ever-popular, I Walk in the Garden Alone While the Hue is Still on the Hoses!! That is hilarious! Ok, I love some old hymns. Especially spirituals. Like out of the Blues Brothers!

I am ridding myself of these Reminders. I also am reminded to write about how much I hate Eye Exams. I just hate them. It is all about guessing….like the Graduate Record Exam. Is this better or is this? None are better. Another reminder is to write about those horrid tire marks on overpass concrete Jersey Barriers. images.jpgMary is the only person who knows these by name! Amazing. Anyway, there are two overpasses in in Austin…giant U turns thousands of feet up in the air—and skid marks! Who goes that fast? Did the car take a nose dive off? Were hundreds killed? I quake in fear when I see these marks…hence I go 20 mph to the chagrin of motorists behind me.

I just killed a baby snake…thought it was a coral but it wasn’t. Now I feel badly.

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OK, the kitchen, etc. remodeling is about to begin…maybe 2 weeks. Len and I went to the Parade of Homes as Collins suggested…we did get a few ideas. There were some kid entrepreneurs in the neighborhood…Len gave them a donation–and it tweaked them out. I like that about Len. Back to the kitchen. I have picked out the quartz, colors, and appliances purchased. This will be hellacious. Dust everywhere, hidden costs, moving stuff then forgetting where it is—on and on. Plus getting to pay for it for the rest of our lives. I think this is subliminally getting to me. Lately I have been dreaming of being unprepared. These dreams have been taking place at Jefferson High School in San Antonio….I never went to school there. Also dreams at Temple High School in the Home Ec Dept….in all the dreams I am totally unprepared for a class….this could be about the kitchen or it could be about dying. I don’t know which one. I hope it is the kitchen.

I think I may retire from Beet Pickling. It is such an ordeal…only thing messier is cleaning gourds.

Time to get dressed for the wedding…I think I will put the photos in when I get home.