This Too Shall Pass

It’s all going to be all OK. I know it is. Just have to get through the next two and a half weeks.

You know the feelings you have when you’ve been dealing with things out of the ordinary (say, medical/health issues)? It’s been a very long six weeks, and this tough exterior is starting to crack. Yes, as together as we all think we are, we’re but mere humans and we get worn out, worn down, and wobegon. Don’t you just love the word wobegon? It brings to mind hearing Garrison Keillor and his stories told, painstakingly slow, as only he can. They were worth waiting for every word. He can make me laugh. That’s what I’m in need of right now, laughter.

I get a tremendous kick out of reading things that make me laugh out loud. Babe (Dan) just looks at me, then I say, “You’ve just got to listen to this.” Then I proceed to read sometimes an entire page to him from what I’m reading. Sometimes he’ll laugh, sometimes not. He never says anything, he just listens. That’s the Babe, always listening. It is one of his finer qualities, for which I’m eternally grateful. He’s patient while I carry on.

I am also listening to Peanuts Greatest Hits, by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. This is on purpose, it’s some of the greatest Jazz there is. Jazz always lifts my spirits. And even more so with Snoopy on guitar, Schroeder on piano, and Pig Pen on bass.

In two and a half weeks, I’ll be hearing the Christmas tunes while I’m working on my novel. Last year, I didn’t put up a Christmas tree. Things weren’t going great and I just didn’t have any Christmas cheer. First time since I left home. It is way different when your kids are all gone, and no one wants anything but cash or gift cards. Sure, it’s easier, but nothing can make a person feel as good as picking out something with the gift receiver in mind. It is a good feeling. I miss the whole activity, shopping, wrapping, watching the person open the gift. Hopefully you get it right and they love it.

In the past, we have adopted kids through our church to shop for. Samaritan’s Purse had a very good program. When our granddaughter Addison went to Sunday School, we did that, and filled a red box for a little boy and a red box for a little girl. The photos and email’s about those children really make you think about how very fortunate we all really are.

Aside from Garrison Keillor, another humorous author I love to read is Bill Bryson. It all started with the movie, A Walk in the Woods. I read the book after seeing the movie, and the first half of the book, I laughed until I couldn’t stop. It was addicting. The Babe had a lot of passages read to him from that book. The second half of the book educated me about the National Parks and many things about these beautiful places I did not know. My family was all about learning from reading. I really appreciate that about that crazy bunch of people I grew up around. Always an adventure with them and a book.

The key to any reading experience at this point in time is time and quiet. With a puppy in the house, that’s about impossible. She explores a lot, and the doors to Babe’s office and my studio remain closed, as do the bathroom door, our bedroom door, and the laundry room door when I remember. Otherwise, the familiar search for Goldie, making sure she’s not squatting somewhere she shouldn’t, and saying, “What are you chewing on?” The Babe is doing great with taking care of her, it’s really lifting his spirits. That is so necessary for healing.

So for now, this is my circus and these are my monkeys, so to speak. It is a beautiful sunny day. I will find a stack of beautiful, happy music to hear while I write today, and all will be well, here at my little part of Lake Wobegon. It’s OK to visit there, but I don’t want to stay too long. That just isn’t me.

 

VA Hospital, Parking, and More

It’s 10:17 am on a beautiful, sunny morning. I’m currently waiting for Dan (Babe) after a check in with his research team for the study he is participating in. It’s been awhile since I’ve been down here, and wow, has it changed.

Isn’t there always chaos when any entity attempts to change the configuration of their campus, grounds, territory, or property. What do you view as the most impacted service during the chaos?

I believe it is parking. No matter what, I believe parking is impacted the most. The VA Hospital tries quite hard, providing shuttles to ride. So many of these veterans have conditions that prohibit them from walking far. And face it, I’d venture to say most of the patients here have at least one disability. You must arrive early to attempt a spot in the Handicapped Lot. The rest of the day, you get one by dumb luck.

The Visitor/Patient Lot is a terrifying place. Just observing here for the past 30 minutes, I know my life will be on the line backing out of this parking place. Cars all gather, each vying for the spot. Pedestrians are everywhere, not really looking for a car backing up much less out of said parking spot.

I see the parking for construction workers is close to their worksite, a luxury never afforded by the hospital workers. I wonder what would happen if someone were to park in the “Hard Hat Area”. Might the earth swallow them up? You never know.

When I worked at Mutual of Omaha, their lack of parking was well known. As their employment level dropped along with their insurance business, it became routine for a new employee to be assigned a parking area on the first day. In my time, it took five to seven years to creep up the list. Many folks would not work these that long.

The Midwest may be different from New York City or Los Angeles as far as vehicles go, but I’d like to hope we are “Nebraska Nice” with how we deal with driving during construction while parking is chaotic.

Parking will be disrupted with all the people out Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping too. Please stop and think about being kind and cooperative while you are out on extra trips during the next month or so. It will help things go a lot smoother. If we are all thinking only of ourselves, there will be much more of a chance for tempers to flare, accidents to happen, and failure on our part to remember the reason for the season.

Give a like, make a comment in WordPress, and I’ll put your name in my drawing for the $50 Visa Gift Card. Thanks so much for reading, and make sure you come back tomorrow. I’ll be right here.

Pushing On and Through

It is quite chilly this morning, but my heart is warm. The turmoil of the past month is starting to resolve. That’s always good.

Dan has an infection in his incision from the surgery ten days ago. He’s on antibiotics so it should resolve. The staples come out Tuesday, October 29th. Hopefully, that is the last time the poor guy sees a surgeon for a long while. Prayers appreciated.

My son Frankie (his mom can still call him that) finally was granted access to the apartment. He and the room mate are working feverishly to go through things. Their damage was strictly water damage, which is a blessing. Now, the beds and furniture are so waterlogged the insurance company just paid them out. The clothes are fine just need washing. Good deal.

Some of the collectibles will now be sold as boxes opened. They’re generally fine. Unbelievable. Someone already gave them new kitchen furnishings, so none of that needs hauling, cleaning, etc. Time saver. Hopefully, the electronics are not wet. Otherwise, that will be a whole ‘nother story. By tihs time next week, they will be moved into an exact same apartment in a different building. Nice to be able to move efficiently! Things continue to look up for him.

Loves of my life, my kids.
This was ten years ago on Thanksgiving. Last time we were all together.
From left, Frankie, me, Becky (lives in Colorado) and Nick (lives in KC MO).

All in all, God has been very good to my family, and we all have a lot of thanks to give.

If you ever play those silly games on FB, even though the results are totally randomly generated, sometimes they’re fun. I like this one, and try to remember this is really how I try to be. All the time. In times of peril and in times of plenty. Whatever it is, Let It Be. This also happens to be one of my favorite songs, too.

Words to Live By.
That Paul McCartney really knew how to write.
In more ways than one, I am a Survivor.

It truly IS hard for me to talk about myself. I would rather tell you about my kids or pets or Dan or the grandkids or anyone but myself. In retrospect, I do realize mine is a very unique story full of a lot of challenges. I realize they all made me stronger, and that is a blessing as well as a curse.

When you are strong, people don’t think you need support. You do. You just don’t expect it. People are baffled when you are down. You are too! It’s hard to keep the braveness in full force sometimes. I have been scared for my immediate family this past month in a way I’ve not experienced before. It’s hard. My faith has returned, is strong again, and so am I.

I have always Let It Be, and known that tomorrow the sun will always still come up. No matter what. It will always rise and set just like always. I know enough of those new days followed by a good night’s sleep will help my mind ease, my body relax, and my worry wane. I need to be patient. How about yourself? Can you Let It Be?? Do you want to?? God does a pretty great job of managing if you ask me. I need to quit trying to grab His paintbrush. We all do.

Thank you for reading, please like and leave a comment to let me know you were here. I so appreciate it!

Slowing Down to Recover

Overwhelmed.

How you describe it?

If you’re of a certain age and remember the Ed Sullivan Show, or any musical/variety show growing up, you certainly remember an act that I’ve always called plate spinning.

The orchestra plays lively music while the performer puts plates atop a spindle and gives it a little nudge. The plates start to spin on and on while the performer does other little feats of magical amusement, stopping every so often to keep the plates spinning.

So, it’s how things have gone this week. Trying to dig back in and not having a good footing. Too many plates spinning. Need to get back to ground zero.

Lots of doctor’s visits this week. Dan lost a lot of blood during his procedure last week, but not enough to require a transfusion. Iron supplements and lots of extra water should help build up the blood supply. It’s so fascinating to learn these ways to help the body help itself.

In the meantime, there are World Series Games to watch, a lonely, broken hearted dog who misses her sister to walk twice a dayn, and a quilt to finish binding and trimming threads from.

After a very hectic couple of weeks, my body has signaled it’s tired. Today is going to be a rest day.

Our dog misses her sister so badly! The Vet told us Saturday the best thing for her would be another dog. He said he has seen do mourn for years and years. We are looking, after being turned for not having Heartworm up to date. No exceptions from some rescues.

Roxie, left, died on July 5. Lexie, right, is so very sad.

So here’s hoping the Nationals win the series. Hopefully, it will be a good series and last all seven games. It beats watching reality shows or political debates. We’ll be petting the dog and snuggling with her.

I remember in grade school that the nuns would let us watch the World Series during school if someone brought their portable black and white TV. There were no night games in the 1960’s. We were St. Louis fans since Bob Gibson was from Omaha. He was an incredible pitcher and good to watch. The nuns loved him!

Do you have a favorite baseball team?? Who do you hope wins the series?? Leave a comment, and let me know who you’re rooting for in the series. Thank you!

Tomorrow will be another appointment for Dan. He is slowly getting stronger. Sometimes recovery appears to take so long. And we humans are so impatient for our bodies to repair themselves. We need to be patient, and remember, it’s all in God’s time, not ours.

Blessings on you all. And thank you for reading. I appreciate it.

The Human Body . . .

God’s very best creation.

I have always been fascinated by our human body. It’s an awesome mix of mechanics, electricity conduction, anatomy and physiology, and I am a constant student of this magical mystery.

As I wrote earlier, Dan had a heart cath in early October. The femoral artery didn’t close properly. He had some bleeding, had an ultrasound, diagnosis, and went under the knife. It’s very painful with all the staples in for another week. He is slowly healing, and just wants to be over this. Our neighbor said he’s earned about ten years of good health. That would be great!

What kind of books do you like to read?? I love crime stories, true crime, cop stories, mysteries, historical fiction, history, and based on true events books. And of course, anything educational about the human body.

What am I writing? A realistic fiction book. It details memories and events that happened in a home as a family grew up and older. It is called “These Walls DO Talk.”  It follows a woman through the rooms of the family home, as she is taking one last look. The memories of a lifetime flood into her and she sees how she has grown and learned about life. Her life. She has learned her value. And has answered hate and discontent with love and acceptance.

I am also working on some books to introduce children and families to grieving in a healthy manner. Events such as the loss of a dog can be a child’s first experience with loss. It is best to be honest with them.

There is also book about losing a grandparent on a major holiday. It is very hard to recover from a loss like that. This is a true story, and I have a co-author for that one. It is a labor of love.

My very first book idea for children is called “Bonus Grandma’s.” It is about a little boy trying to understand why he had six Grandma’s instead of only two. He and his cousins talk about families, step parents, and the positive things about large families.

These projects are like adding to my family. More siblings for our kids. I hope you like them. Please, tell me what you think about any and all of these ideas. After all, if people won’t read them, no one will know these stories.

As always, please comment and let me know your thoughts. Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.

Meaningful Monday

After last week, with Dan’s emergency surgery and the fire at my son’s apartment house Thursday, my mind has been very busy with trying to find strength through the situations. It’s been hard to make my mind go where is should be. Being strong for my two big guys. I’m back in the groove now.

Picking back up with my novel is now on the front burner. I was able to insert some of the new paragraphs I wrote at the NWG Fall Conference into the existing part of the book. It’s hard not to repeat yourself. I have a few if those sections to fit to the story.

Being a new author, I’m just finding out about NaNoWriMo. It’s National Novel Writing Month and it happens during November. You should be able to write 50K words that month. I met a fellow author at the conference, and she offered to be a buddy during the month. People are so encouraging! Looking forward to it.

I’m hoping it won’t be too difficult to finish the novel while doing participating in NaNoWriMo. It will be a skill developing month for sure.

Entrance to our humble home.
Small Burning Bush shrubs and Sugar Maple tree in our front yard.

In the meantime, fall is in full swing. The bright reds in our yard and the yellow in the wetland behind our property are sure signs it won’t be long until we are wearing heavy winter coats and boots.

The strong winds are challenging too. Keeping your car on the road is hard these past couple weeks. It has brought to my attention the butterfly bush needs to be tamed. The branches are rubbing on the house siding. That could cause some damage if left until spring.

These small but necessary tasks are present in everyday life. Kind of like fitting new paragraphs into what you’ve already written. And you keep going until you know you are done. Yes, there will be a certain type of feeling telling me when the words are enough.

In the beginning, I left out a lot of description. I felt too much was overkill. I didn’t want to belabor some details. In the end, I left out too much to adequately tell the story. I’m so glad people are giving me honest feedback on the bits and pieces they are reading.

So until tomorrow, I’ll keep working on getting back into my daily writing. It will add peace to our little corner of this beautiful world.

What will put peace in your world today? Organization? Resolve? New hobbies?? Comment below, give us a Like, and let me know what you may like to have me blog about.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate it very much.

Simply Sunday

Today is one of my favorite days of my life. Forty eight years ago, I became a Mom.

For some reason, my water broke at 6:30 am, and my son arrived at 12:26 pm. Yes. First baby, 6 hours of labor. Very fortunate. I just love this kid. I was 19 years old. We grew up together. He has a strength I admire.

I had another great event happen on this, one of my favorite days. It was the day I became cancer free – by having a lumpectomy. My husband Dan insisted on holding my hand through the needle biopsy, and they let him. The doctor told him she was sure it wasn’t cancer. He believed her.

A few days later, she called to tell me it was cancerous. I was to see a surgeon. No apology for mis-diagnosing. I was very upset. So was Dan.

So we scheduled the lumpectomy with the surgeon. I’m told what a beautiful job he did despite removing a baseball size margin around where the tumor was. Those cells had spread. The lump could not be felt, it showed on the mammogram.

We got rid of the cancer. 33 radiation treatments later, and 8 years of Arimidex/Anastrazole, here I am. It has been 10 years. I am grateful every day. I sometimes can’t believe God spared me. I pray He continues to do so.

No one tells you how the radiation causes pain. Lots of pain. I have lymphoedema, but not in my arm. My right breast swells and is extremely tender. It took eight years to find that out. The oncologist told me the pain was from radiation. He retired, and my new oncologist said, no, you have lymphedema. Amazing. No wonder they say you want a young doctor and an old attorney.

And the hormone blocking medication?? It has put a crimp in our intimacy. No one had an answer for my questions about that, until a nurse told me about a female doctor (PhD) who treats this sexual dysfunction. It’s caused from medication that is intended to save your life. All while dramatically changing that life forever. Go figure.

I am extremely grateful. I do wish someone would have been upfront about these devastating side effects ten years ago. I probably would have chosen the same course of treatment. I just would have known about the side effects.

It occurred to me that if you do not have chemo, the office, nurses, techs, and even the doctors, do not know you by name. The radiation oncologist and techs do. They see you on a daily basis and the doc sees you once a week. You do not see the techs anymore, but you do see that doc. The oncologist sees you every three or four months. Then six months. Once a year. And then doesn’t need to see you. Then what?

It’s a chapter in life I had to go through. Sometimes I do wonder if it will come back. It can, even twenty years later. We will deal with it if it comes. There is no other choice. Until then, we pray. A lot.

For now, still working on Dan’s recovery from a pseudo aneurysm surgery last week. The staples are in a very bad place. Uncomfortable as heck. Two doctor visits this week. Staples out next week.

My son will find out when they are able to remove any salvageable items this week, hopefully tomorrow. Lots of hard work ahead of him. He is a very positive and strong man. I’d like to think he gets that from me!

We are grateful for this day and all of the memories that come with it. My heart is very full for the love in my family for one another. Being this fortunate is such a gift.

Do you have any special days you celebrate? Share with my by leaving a comment. Share my blog with your friends, too. I’d appreciate it, like I appreciate my readers and visitors. Have a great week.