Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brilght and beautiful!

We are busy here. I'm trying to "LOOK" busy while the husband is really busy. He cranked up the power washer yesterday and set about washing the driveway and sidewalks. Today it's the patio. Carrie's artwork, the one she promised would wash right off, is now but a bare shadow on the concrete of the patio. The bright blue paint she used was not "wash right off" kind. I was going to get some muriatic acid to get it off had the power washer not done the job.

Carrie is finally back in school. Friday, Monday and Tuesday was holidays for her. I think she called it "fall break". She spent Monday and Tuesday with me while her mother worked. We made some awesome brownies and some messy popsicles. She had seen the popsicle instructions on some show she was watching on TV. Ice cube trays filled with a Pesi, covered in plastic with Popsicle sticks embedded in them, we slid them into the freezer. After two hours, we pulled them out and inserted the sticks again into the half frozen mixture. Another hour or so and they were ready to eat. She ate ONE! It's not the eating she is interested in but the art of constructing them. Anyone for a Popsicle?

It's definitely fall here. The temperatures are in the mid 80's. Our cold snap has come and gone and the a/c is humming it's energy zapping tune not to mention the dollars it's racking up.

This week is flying by. Next week will be here all too soon.
This time next week I will be prepping for surgery. Oh happy day!

Thrify, Thrify...Nifty Not

I can count on one hand the number of vehicles I've had in my lifetime, almost.

I tend to hang on to my ride. It becomes a part of me embedded with memories of roads traveled; my side kick that sees me through some of my road disasters along with pleasurable road memories too.

There was the 1953 Ford scooped up for a nifty thrifty price of 50.00. If it had come with matching paint on all fenders, I'm sure it would have been much more expensive. Ah, heck, if it had come without it's full accompaniment  of rust, holes and dents, the price would have been way out of the range of what I could afford.

That little Ford kept me busy. I think I was under the hood and beneath the engine more then I was behind the steering wheel.
Next came a couple of Olds 442's and then the Chevelle. The Chevelle is the one that carried me out of town and to the east coast. Providence, R.I. was my destination and the Chevelle was my ride. This car was to be my only vehicle for the next few years. It was parked by necessity. I bought a travel trailor and a 500.00 truck to tow it around. My bargain truck was purchased in Hope, Arkansas. It has a few quirks and a handbook to manage those "quirks". We ended up in the Poconos in Pennslyvania in the middle of the winter. The snow crusted the streets, frozen and stiff. I loved to hear the crunch of the tires on the snow  as we rode around town.  The passengers inside that truck were in the same condition. Frozen! We had  no heater. Who needs a heater in Arkansas?
 The junk yard has always been my "go to gal" for some of my rolling wrecks. I picked up a heater core and busied myself installing it. I had to have the hot wire hooked up to something to get the fan to work which was the nearest fuse box and the nearest fuse. At the time I had no idea what this fuse operated. 

I can't begin to tell you how many other drivers, during those winter  daytime hours  would roll down their windows and scream "Hey, you have your headlights on!" to which I would reply "Yeah, I know. I have the heater on!" Their puzzled looks were priceless but we were nice and toasty in the cab of that old truck.
A bungee cord from the door handle to the rear view mirror kept the door snug. I did mention I paid 500.00 for this rolling piece of heaven? It had a straight 6 engine in it and would pull a train or in this case, my travel trailor and it always got me to where I was going.

My mom was on the road with me at this time and she was not impressed with my choice of vehicles. I moved up. An all white Scottsdale with a 454 engine, 1 ton suspension, all metal intact, heater and a/c and doors that closed and I was Cadillac minded. This was to be the vehicle that carried me across the USA for the next 7 yrs. When I gave her away to some friends in Phoenix years later, she was still humming along. During one stay in Wyoming, I picked up an ugly orange Datsun. We needed two vehicles and the Datsun though ugly, was a great little gas saver. Gas was 87 cents a gallon and the 454 was a gas hog. I had to keep the truck because I was now pulling a 35ft. park model home. The trucks got bigger and so did my living quarters.

The Datsun was sold and a Ford LTD Crown Vic entered the scene. I won't go into great detail here but while the daughter was borrowing it to get a loaf of bread, she put it under water on a street in Charleston, WV. It never ran quite right after that so enter a brand new spiffy little white  Toyota Corolla. I drove this car for over 20 yrs. It was given to my granddaughter and she drove it for another two years. It has recently been retired out of this family and is now living with new owners. As soon as we paid this house off, I purchased a white Mercury Marquis, which I still drive to this day. I always have a "spare" car and my spare is a Pontiac Solstice, bright red roadster, convertible with a 5 speed tranny that will go from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds. It's my toy car. It's useless, a two seater with no trunk. When I say it's a "ride", I truly mean it. It's not for shopping or traveling unless you plan on traveling alone and using the passenger seat as luggage storage.

The granddaughter and I drop the top and cruise the streets of Lafayette during the summer and fall. She loves the "hot rod" as she calls it.

Getting rid of one of my rides is always a traumatic event for me. I've wrapped up all those memories in those vehicles that I've kept for years and years and miles and miles. I write this because it might be time for me to start shopping for a new one. I think it's getting time for me to let go of the Mercury. Lately I've had some car repairs that had to be done and yesterday the fuel pump went out. She has barely a 100,000 miles on her now and still maintains her shapely figure. A few worn places on her leather seats, a door panel control has a few glitches and a long road trip will not be in her future. She sports a new plentum, new shocks and ball joints and now the fuel pump and exhaust hangers. The mechanic says "Oh, she has a lot more miles left in her."
When I turned to the internet and browsed the Rav4's and the Toyota Corollas, and Camry's, I began preparing myself for the day of the Mercury's replacement.

I'm going to wait until after the first of the year. I'll ease into this slowly. "I'm just looking right now." I'll tell the husband. He keeps urging me to get rid of the Mercury and get something new. He doesn't get attached to anything he drives. " It's just transportation." he tells me.

I may have exceeded the "vehicles I've owned" count, each one remembered fondly as I write this post.

I'm going to go back to bed now. 0300 hrs is much to early to be out of bed! I'll think about this car thing later.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Holy Doomsday!

This day started out with a bit of sunshine which quickly lost it's lead to overcast skies. I waited for the rain to start and here it is 12 hrs. later and there is still no moisture besides the drip from the bathtub fixture.

I've given up on the rain and sunshine. It's chilly here to I've been hibernating and watching television. Somewhere during my TV channel surfing, I've come upon a show that I've been absolutely amazed by.

I've heard of the Doomsday Preppers or "Preppers" as they are most commonly known. Today has been an eye opening day. There are many reasons they have aligned with "doomsday' ranging from a government takeover, a nuclear attack, a natural disaster that wipes out our power grid (think asteroid) and the one thing each one has in common is supplies and protection of those supplies. The wilderness guy dressed in buckskins, living on 30 acres with a wife and three children gathers road kill for food. This is practice in the event there is nothing else to eat. He has his own ways of determining if it's rotten or edible. He trains his children on the use of hand weapons, axes and sharpened sticks thrown sideways, shelters from sticks and leaves and fire starting without benefit of matches or lighters.

Another couple fears a government takeover. Rooms are stocked with food supplies to last 3 yrs. and of course the prerequisite firearms to protect these supplies. These people range in age from the young to the middle age and elderly. They train their children to expect the worst. Their lives are filled with their parents fears.

One Prepper stated that her prepping takes up 4 hrs. of her daily activities. A trainer in New York City, assisting other Preppers on escaping the city should another attack occur, has been a Prepper for the past 25 years.

I had no idea it was this intense or that these people were so convinced of the need for a doomsday shelter.

You might think these were uneducated people? Not so. A real estate developer and engineer is building 14 story apartment building underground. These apartments will be sold for a hefty price to other people worried about surviving their own versions of what doomsday will be. This building will have a recreation area, a swimming pool and a huge water tank to supply this development.

Though I would like to leave the viewing of this, I can't turn away. I want to see the next couple and their version of doomsday.

Illegal border crossings, terrorists, hurricanes, tornadoes, nuclear bombs, nuclear power meltdowns and our own government issuing Marshall Law and confiscating every one's guns, the fear escalates and winds through their lives, consuming most of their free time.

Excuse me while I go roll the rain barrels beneath the downspouts, spend an extra 15,000.00 a year on groceries and batteries and pack my bug out bag.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The "Wait" is On!

"Tick toc, tick toc". Time is slipping away. It's slipping right up to a surgery date I have scheduled. Some days are better then others. I have to reinforce my stamina by reading and observing online the other women that have traveled this path. It helps to read about their surgeries and how they coped.

I can't imagine having to make this choice prophylactically. How does one elect to have a double mastectomy? I have no choice in this matter as I have breast cancer and there is no other option for me. It might help if I were in pain or had some symptoms that spurred me on to this surgery.

My knee replacement, almost 5 yrs. ago was because the beginning of arthritis and the thought of not being able to walk were incentives enough for me to plan that surgery. I really had no idea of the difficulty of recovery on this and that might have been a good thing.

You Tube is where I am going today to  get some reinforcement. Sometimes I wish this were already behind me and sometimes I become depressed as the time becomes closer.
I have met women locally here too that have been a great help by sharing their experiences. My pre op feelings and fears were theirs too. Somehow knowing this too helps.

I've started small steps in preparation. Silk pajamas that have a button up shirt, clothes hung at chest level (arms will not be lifted above chest level). All the shirts will have button fronts (no pullovers; again the arms above chest issue) and pull on elastic waist capris and pants (easy to dress). Starting these preparations make it more and more real. 

Recovery time is different for everyone. Hopefully there will be no complications (infection) and I'll be in the 'two week' window of having the drain tubes removed. An acquaintance here was back to work in one month. Though I'm not employed, it would be wonderful if I could get back to house work and driving in the same time frame.

I don't plan on doing any holiday cooking. I'll let the daughter handle that this year.

Right now, it's time for some breakfast and more coffee! I keep telling myself "a year from now, this will be over. I'll be healed and this will just be another memory."

I'm done!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Date

I have a date. It's not for dinner and a movie though. I have an appointment to see the surgeon on November 4th. The time has arrived to have the mastectomy.

Am I frightened? Yes I am. Most of my surgeries in the past has been to repair something not remove something.

My husband and daughter make the same comment. "This is what we have been working toward with the chemo."  They want it to be over. They want the chemo to be finished; the radiation and the surgeries. They want me to survive this.

The surgeon will set up a surgery date when a suite is available. I'll know more after our date. I don't know if I will be in the hospital for a few days or just overnight. I've talked to others that have went in one day, stayed one night and came home and others have spent three days in the hospital.

I would love to hang around in here and chat a bit more but it's time to get Carrie out of bed, dressed and to school.

I'm out of here for a while!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday and NO Chemo

The ultrasound and a partial MRI was done last week.  Monday rolled around and a phone call informed me that I was scheduled to see the doctor regarding those tests. My chemo regime is every three weeks and today (Tuesday) would have been the day I received another run of chemo. My appointments are always early in the morning. This appointment was scheduled for 11:30 A.M.  I suspected what the verdict would be and I wasn't disappointed.

The surgeon will be notified to put me on a surgery schedule. First he will have me visit him at his office to discuss this procedure. Am I ready?  I've known this was in my future and I've tried to ready myself. The tears flowed as I sat in that office today. I understand clinically what is going on. I can't stop the emotions.
 I'm waiting on that phone call.  I have no choice in this. Plan B is not an option.

The husband called as he usually does after his day of work is done.  He was very supportive. "This is what we have been waiting for. Let's get this done."

Another path to follow. Plan B is not an option.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I'm getting Lazy on Blogging

It's not like I don't have a lot going on around here but I'm apparently just too lazy to sign in and report. First of all, the surprise birthday party "was".  Carrie had no idea that there was a party at the theatre awaiting her. I had to tell a little white lie...."We are not buying out tickets first Carrie." I said to her. "We are going in this little room where they are giving away souvenirs for this movie then we will buy our tickets."

She bought it. We walked into the theatre where I sent her through the velvet ropes while I checked with the staff on the location of the "party room."  Carrie approached ahead of me and I swung open the door and let her walk in below my arm. The crowd screamed "Surprise" and turned on the lights. She stood stock still. She eyed the room and ran to her mother to be hugged. IT was a success. The cake was cut and the gifts were opened ; tokens passed out and everyone headed for the room with all the video machines. Once the tokens were spent, the movie was their next stop.  Holding their popcorn and drinks they headed for the reserved section of the theatre and quietly took their seats. Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs in 3 D was playing. The adults lined up one row back and directly behind them to supervise. Not one child acted out or got loud much to our relief. The whole event was a pleasant experience! This weekend another 'birthday date" will be held for Carrie. It will be her day to decide what she wants to do. The following weekend will be her actual birthday and the immediate family will gather to celebrate.

Continued of Friday:
Yesterday was the date of my Ultrasound and the MRI. The ultrasound went well. The MRI did not. As soon as the contrast was injected, I started vomiting. The buzzer I held in my right hand was squeezed and the tech entered the room. He hit the switch that slid me back out of the scanner and I continued to be sick for the next 10 minutes. As soon as I could, I dressed and left. I'm sure my doctor that ordered these tests will be notified of my reaction to the contrast. I'm waiting on a call from that office with an appointment on the next step in this journey.

And today we are watching a storm in the Gulf and hoping it doesn't reach hurricane status! It's not predicted to head us dead on but it's really too early to predict.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time in bed. Today I'm going to fire up the lawn tractor and get the mowing done before the rain comes. The husband is still in Texas on his job so I'm in charge of house and yard.
On another note, I've been watching the government's shutdown. I'll just not comment here on that silliness.
I'm done!