Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tea-rific surprise

Thought I'd make a holiday wreath out of the multicolored envelopes of herbal tea Duchess Linda of Norwich Upon Thames sent me.

We were chatting one day on Facebook about caffeine-free herbal tea and she kindly sent me some samples. I haven't had any in a while, preferring to stick to my regular caffeinated coffee or tea. ;-)  

Looking forward to trying the Vanilla Caramel, Cherry Vanilla and Perfect Peach, three flavors I've never had before.

Monday, December 26, 2011

We had a merry...hope you did too

Grandma didn't get run over by a reindeer so all is good.

So, now it's time to share a corny post-Christmas riddle. It's a groaner.

Q. Where does Santa put his red suit after Christmas?

A. In the Claus-et

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ho, ho, repost!

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ho ho ho

Ralph took this photo last night after I was asleep. Santa was waving to him through the front window!
Quite the capture, if I do say so myself.


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...
oh good one ralph! ha ha ha merry christmas! smiles, bee xoxoxoxoxoxoox
storyteller said...
Excellent ;--) Merry Christmas to both of you. Hugs and blessings,
Dianne said...
Ralph knows ALL the famous people ;) have a wonderful day!
Linda said...
Ah, that would be the perfect picture for Ruby Tuesday - too bad Christmas came on a Thursday this year or Ralph would have had the perfect shot!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Comeback time

As quickly as they disappeared from my face, they are now coming back. My eyebrows, that is.

And yesterday I suddenly noticed my eyelashes are starting to reappear.

Woo hoo times two!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ BLTN

That stands for Better Late Than Never!

I finally found a shadowy photo in my Linus archives. =^ . . ^=

See more shadow shots by visiting here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Viral, I went

Posting this for any of my friends who didn't see that I went "viral" on Facebook last night. ;-)

Yes, I'm tooting my own horn here. (toot, toot)
I was surprised the story link that one of my editors posted got several shares and many comments.

Yesterday I wrote a story about my experience at a "Look Good...Feel Better" session Thursday night and sent it to my editor. He put it in today's paper.

"Look Good...Feel Better" is an American Cancer Society program for women undergoing cancer treatment. I had written about it five years ago, as an observer. This week I was a participant.

Here's the link

Thanks for reading! My online cancer journal continues.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Christmas miracle ~ for moi anyway

I found out today I only need to have 25 radiation treatments instead of 35. Woo hoo!

And today's was number 24, which means on Monday I'm all done. 

Not that it adversely affected me; and not that I won't miss the four awesome radiation therapists I've gotten to know. 

They're all wonderful women who made me feel great about myself.

My radiation oncologist said the blood work and the skin in the affected area both look good. So again I say woo hoo!

In a few weeks I have an appointment to learn more about the next step: pills. 


This is yet another in my continuing cancer journey saga..thanks for reading! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ah ...

I just had my second (complimentary) Monday morning massage after radiation.

It felt so good! Relaxing for sure.

Looking forward to having this week off. 
What to do? What to do?

Oh, that's right I remember now: Christmas shopping, sending out (a few) cards and taking care of related Yuletide activities. ;-)

Happy Monday to all.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

This 'n that at holiday time

Don't know what else to call the post I'm about to write.
I love writing and feel kinda icky when I don't get to it on a daily basis. 
But the work schedule has been hectic, and the energy has been (temporarily) diminished.

And there are those four (4!) farms I must tend. Insanity, I tell you. I like working on the new one, Winter Wonderland.   

Anyhow, yesterday I was brave and went to Tar-jay. It wasn't too crazy there. I got some things for our family's wacky Yankee Swap on Christmas Eve. A few years ago we gave up trying to buy for people and started the swap idea.

It really takes the pressure off! I just buy "unisex" items ~ can you say 'Ove Glove'? I brought one two years ago and it caused a few chuckles, so I got another one for this year.

I also bought a snow globe with Santa inside..it plays "Jolly Old St. Nicholas." 
And a Nutcracker ~ a throwback to the old days, when Ralph's parents collected them. I forgot to mention that our niece who is hosting the party has proclaimed a theme for the holiday fare this year. 
It's Retro. "Vintage Villers." 

Ralph is going to bring redskin peanuts, because their grandfather (Ralph the First) always brought them when he visited on Christmas. 

Our nephew is bringing potato chips and onion dip, I hear. Another fancy and festive item that they used to have on their holiday table.  ;-)  

Can't wait to see what other delectable foodstuff will be there. Sounds like a lot of fun. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

"Hey! Can't a cat get any privacy around here? I was trying to sleep." 

Not to worry, Linus forgave me. 
He knows who takes care of his every need.  =^. .^=

Join the fun each week and see lots more shadowy photos at Hey Harriet, hosted by our awesome Aussie friend Tracy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

19 treatments down...

Having radiation is easy, but it makes me tired. Wishing I could take a nap right about now.

In happy news, my hair continues to grow in a fluffy sort of way. Someday my tresses will return.

I'm not yet ready to post a photo, but soon I shall.

{Jotting these things down for my online cancer journey journal. Trying to keep a record of what is going on with me these days, for future reference.}

Happy Friday to all!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

F is for Fatigue

Just returned from radiation treatment #17 ~ not that I'm counting.

It's all good but I am getting rather tired.

Since F is for Fatigue, I made up some words for the letters leading up to F in the alphabet. Woo hoo!

A is for Allegra, my helper these days.
B is for Breast.
C is for Cancer.
D is for Diagnosis.
E is for Exhausted.
F is for Fatigue. And this is where I'll stop...I don't want to whine. I can deal with fatigue.

And so ends my latest online breast cancer journey journal entry.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Still doing OK with the radiation

I haven't been true to myself ~ I've not been blogging about my cancer journey on a daily basis.

If I don't write about it now, where will I get the info for that upcoming book? 

This week is flying along..between work and tending three farms, I've been quite busy.

Nothing new to report health-wise. This morning after treatment I'll probably see the doctor. 
She can check my "tan lines."

Oh, and my hair continues to grow...very s-l-o-w-l-y...

Happy December to all!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What's the rush?

All over the neighborhood I see nothing but Christmas decorations.

Ack! It's November, people. 
I really love Christmas, but this weekend I've been feeling like Scrooge. 

Bah Humbug!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ getting into the holiday spirit

I'm not one for November Christmas trees, but yesterday Allegra and I toured the classic Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby, Ct., where I spied these shadows created by the morning sunshine. 
Each year local garden clubs decorate the home for the holidays. It opened for tours on Friday.

I wrote a story about it for the paper, which you can read here.

If you want to see lots of shadowy photos, visit our awesome Aussie friend Tracy, our hostess, at Hey Harriet.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Leftovers, anyone?

We finally sang 'Happy Birthday' to our guy

Work and Thanksgiving preparations got in the way Wednesday of having a birthday cake for Cameron. But we had the cake for dessert yesterday, instead of the pumpkin pie. 
I hope he had a good birthday! We're happy to have him home for a few days.

I go to radiation this morning after a day off yesterday. Then I'm heading out to do a story on the beautiful Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby, Ct.
Each year local garden clubs decorate the house for the holiday season. This year's theme is cinema, and a friend who is in a garden club told me that her group used The Grinch theme to decorate the childhood bedroom and bathroom, with a sleigh set up in the bathtub. 

Looking forward to the creativity!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm thankful for a lot on this Thanksgiving Day

Money makes the world go around, or at least the song from 'Cabaret' would have us believe that.

Call me crazy, but I prefer instead to believe love makes the world go 'round. Yup. Who's with me?

In the past four days I have gotten a lot of love: every day was another surprise. 
Hmm...I wonder what today will bring?

Over the weekend a cousin (who is a regular reader of my blog but doesn't comment) e-mailed me to tell me he had ordered two magazine subscriptions for me.
He was hoping I didn't already subscribe. Of course I don't! 
Who can afford magazines? Although a certain unnamed man in this house gets a couple that deal with cars. It's his therapy.

On Monday an artist friend gave me five Christmas ornaments he had made three years ago. They still have the price tags on them. ;-) 
My favorite is a lump that is black on one side to resemble coal with the word naughty painted on it and the other side is painted to look like a gold nugget, and it says nice.

On Tuesday a woman I've met through my job gave me a ceramic guardian angel to hang on the wall to watch over me.

And yesterday as I was leaving radiation one of the technicians wished me a Happy Thanksgiving and handed me a homemade apple pie. It's delicious! What a nice surprise!

And after that I covered a story and tried to interview four-year-olds. When I was ready to leave two of the girls asked their teacher if they could give hugs. So they hugged me around my knees. It was adorable.

'Tis better to give than receive but I must say being the recipient this week hasn't been bad at all! 

Yesterday was our Cameron's 21st birthday. We didn't sing Happy Birthday or have his cake, so we'll do that today after dinner, if we can stuff anything more into our stuffed selves. He understood I was busy with work and other things.

I do have a lot for which I'm thankful. I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Radiation: Days 6 & 7

I don't want to jinx myself here but the treatments continue to go along fine...no side effects yet.

That's something for which I am thankful, especially in this season of Thanksgiving.

Today our Cameron comes home for a long holiday weekend ~ yay! 

And tomorrow is his birthday ~ double yay! 
I wonder what kind of cake he would like?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

November sunshine creates shadows on our Linus. Isn't he cute?


Join the Shadow Shot Sunday fun each week at our awesome Aussie friend Tracy's Hey Harriet blog.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Radiation: Day 5

And so I finished week one. That went by quickly. Yay!

Seems like I was just there last Friday to do a run-through  before starting treatment. Now it's a week later. Time is flying by.

And a week from today is the day after Thanksgiving. Yikes!

Guess it's about time I get organized...

{thanks for reading my online cancer journey journal!}

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 4 and counting

This morning I had my fourth radiation treatment. 

I also saw the doctor, and she said my blood work from yesterday looked  fine. Yay!

She noticed my hair is growing back and told me I'll have a new 'do every week. Double yay! 
It's exciting to see my hair return.

{And so my online cancer journey journal continues..thanks for stopping by.}

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Radiation: Day 3

Everyone is so friendly there I didn't want to leave! 

I needed a blood test so I saw my "old friends" in the other part of the building (chemo side) and it was like old home week. The doctor asked me if I missed him last week. I said I did, but I don't think he believed me! 

And a volunteer gave me a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie. It was still warm.
Woo hoo!

Now on to Wednesday stuff..

{My online cancer journey journal continues..thanks for reading!}

Radiation: Day 2

It went fine; thanks for asking.   ;-)

Soon I'll be leaving for treatment #3.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Radiation: Day 1

That was easy.

Bonus points: So what is that white thing above the Easy Button next to the mouse?

Answer: Linus' paw. That was easy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bizzy days

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to radiation we go ...
It starts today and will continue for the next seven weeks. 

Life has been a bit busy lately...we got home at 10 p.m. yesterday from Ralph's co-worker's wedding and this morning I'm fixin' to head to my first radiation treatment.

Here's Ralph enjoying himself at the wedding. I had a tough time getting a good photo ~ I blame it on the soft lighting. This was the best one I captured.

Before we went to the wedding we visited our docent daughter working at an open house at the David Humphreys House. 

The annual open house features samples of Thanksgiving fare - turkey, cranberry sauce, cornbread, squash pie and more - prepared over an open hearth in the historic house. 
Here's a link to a post I wrote about the event three years ago! I would have guessed I had written it last year. Time sure does fly.  

Allegra surprised us yesterday when she told us she had made the tasty pumpkin soup.

My favorite is the squash pie. Our friend Christine who always makes the squash pies says she follows a pumpkin pie recipe and simply substitutes butternut squash, because it's sweeter than the pumpkin.

That's about it from here. Off to get ready to be radiated.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ pix from a fun jaunt with a friend

Today I'm using more shadowy photos from a foliage trip I took in early October with my friend and chauffeur, Linda, through Connecticut, Massachusetts and into southern Vermont.
It wasn't easy finding autumn colors, but we did find some interesting places to photograph along the way!
This is an Episcopal church "somewhere" in western Massachusetts. I'm not sure what town we were in at the time.
We both liked the shadows created by the noonday sun.

 See lots more shadow shots from around the world at our awesome Aussie friend Tracy's Hey Harriet blog! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day ~ 11/11/11

I'm heading to a Veterans Day ceremony this morning.
I'll see many of the veterans I've met through my newspaper work, and I'll remember several veterans I've known who have passed away in recent years.

Today is a perfect day to say thank you to all who served our country or who are serving now. Let them know you appreciate them!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My online cancer journey journal continues...

It's almost 5 p.m. 
I'm tired and I've caught a cold (boo hoo) but I'm still planning to attend a support group meeting that starts at 6.
I always enjoy my time with the ladies. Our group, Circle of Friends, meets every other Thursday but in two weeks we won't meet, because it will be Thanksgiving already. (gasp!)

I can't believe how fast November got here and how fast the month is flying by us. It has been one of my crazier years, it's safe to say.

Tomorrow I go for a dry run of sorts for my radiation treatments, which start Monday morning. 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

'Everything looks good'

That's what I wanted to hear on the phone yesterday regarding my mammogram results. 
And that's what I heard.

I'll get a letter in the mail confirming the good news. Yay!

Now on to radiation. I don't yet know when it will start.

(And so continues my online breast cancer journey journal..thanks for reading.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm all about medical appointments these days

I had a mammogram yesterday before I start radiation.

Dare I make a joke and say the screening only took half as long as it used to take? Or would that be unbecoming of me?

Anyhow, I waited all afternoon for the results but no phone call. So today I wait again.

{My online cancer journey journal continues..thanks for reading!}

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ historic

Four weeks ago my friend Linda picked me up on a sunny Saturday to seek some autumn foliage in Connecticut. 
Of course we were armed with our cameras and were ready to capture colorful leaves and trees for posterity (or at least for our blogs!)
We didn't see much color in Connecticut, so Linda kept driving over the border into Massachusetts. Still not much color for Oct. 8 in New England. It was disappointing.
She saw that Bennington, Vt. was a mere 38 miles further north, so north we headed. I'm so good at being a passenger!  

Here are five of many photos I took in Bennington that have shadows in them.
The fall foliage was at about 10 percent there. You'd think Vermont would be colorful in October...not really. Maybe it's because we were in southern Vermont.

I did find shadows in the historic cemetery adjacent to the First Congregational Church of Bennington. 
Robert Frost is buried there, and we weren't the only ones walking down the path through the graveyard to see his gravestone. 
There were arrows pointing the way to the Frost family's site, and there were lots of folks there when we were, thanks to lots of tour buses in the area.  

The fence below was in front of the cemetery, along the sidewalk. I was able to get a photo without cars and tour buses in it! Woo hoo!
I thought it was pretty and so typical New England. Notice the green leaves on the trees.

And here's Linda photographing The Walloomsac Inn, directly across the street from the church.
It was once a grand hotel, but now it seems like a perfect place for someone to set up a scary Halloween house. It looks kinda haunted!

I read that someone lives there, but I have my doubts. Who'd want to live there?

I urge you to visit our awesome Aussie friend Tracy at her Hey Harriet blog to discover lots of shadowy shots! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

If I glow, it won't be from the radiation

I went to see the radiation oncologist yesterday for a consultation. She explained everything that will be happening with the upcoming radiation treatments and it didn't sound bad at all.

She said it's easier to take than chemo. I feel fortunate to have gotten through five months of that with nothing more than tiredness.  

I also had an unexpected CT scan. That wasn't on my agenda!
It turned out fine, but when I first saw the scanner (don't know correct name of it) I flashed back to my MRI experience in February when I freaked out. 
At that time Ralph had to bring me back another day with a medication inside me to get through the claustrophic feelings I was experiencing.

So now I wait to find out when I start the five-days a week radiation treatment. The nurse assured me I wouldn't be radioactive. So apparently I won't be glowing.

I don't mean to sound flip about any of these important procedures. I simply want to keep my sense of humor about all of this.  :D

{And so my online cancer journey journal doth continue ~ thanks for reading!}

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our friend 'Jack' made it through the night

He looks a bit cold though!

Hope everyone weathered the snowstorm OK.

We're so thankful we didn't lose electricity.

Happy Sunday to all!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jack gets some air

Our friend Jack that I carved last Saturday was getting all moldy so I thought I'd let him go outside to get some cold, crisp air.

Doesn't it look like he's exhaling?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Getting ready to be 'spellbound' Saturday

Tomorrow night is an opening reception for the Valley Arts Council's 'Spellbound' Halloween show. This year I'm entering this photo, which is near and dear to my heart. 

It features the feline members of our family. Sadly our loopy guy Rigby, on the left, is no longer with us; Linus, on the other hand, is usually no more than a few feet away from me.  =^. .^=  

He stays close, that's for sure. Ralph thinks Linus needs a kitty playmate. We'll see..

For local readers, the Valley Arts Council's Gallery@37 is at 37 Elizabeth St., Derby, Ct. The reception is from 6-9 p.m. and the show runs through Nov. 19.

UPDATE: The reception has been postponed to 2 p.m. Sunday, due to the Halloween weekend snow that is falling. Hopefully tomorrow's weather will be more cooperative.

See you there!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Haunted tour fundraiser was a spook-tacular success

On Saturday night Ralph and I volunteered for three hours outside a stately (and haunted?) Victorian mansion that is now a funeral home.

It was one of several stops along a Halloween-inspired haunted lantern tour through downtown Derby, Ct. 
We told a spooky story hat we read from a script given to us.
Hundreds of people - who paid $5 apiece - came to get spooked and learn local history.
I counted 20 tour groups, although I could have lost track, because I was getting rather punchy near the end of the event.

So does Ralph look kinda creepy here? I think so.
It was cold out there and the wool cape added a bit of a 'Grim Reaper' look, in my opinion...

We told the story of a young woman, Emma Schabert, who lived in the house with her first husband - who was 40 years her senior.
She and her brother were lucky enough to survive the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 after being rescued from a lifeboat by the crew of the Carpathia.
The question we posed was: would her wealthy husband, Rufus W. Blake, who owned the Sterling Piano Co. in Derby, be as lucky?

As the story goes, the couple was home one night playing cards when Rufus went upstairs and accidentally shot himself in the eye. He never regained consciousness.
Newspaper accounts at the time said his death was accidental. However, the "accident" left Emma a very wealthy young widow.

Coincidence? No one can say for sure.

But as the script we read says, "Someone in the house rests uneasily.  Footsteps are heard echoing through the building, cigar smoke is frequently smelled and doors open and close without explanation."


Before the tours there was a Jack O'Lantern contest. Guess who didn't win?


Bwahahaha ~ I've only carved three pumpkins in my entire life, so I'm not too skilled at it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I do believe 'tis better to give than receive

...but receiving lots of support since my cancer diagnosis from family, friends, and even from folks I don't even know is almost as good!

On Wednesday I received some unexpected recognition from a group of wonderful people, and I'm trying to figure out how to thank them for their thoughtfulness.
I'm purposely being vague here...need to think about what to do to show my gratitude.

~ ~ ~ 

In other news, Ralph and I are taking part in "Haunted Lantern Tours" tonight in downtown Derby, Ct. 
The cool thing is we're not attending, we're two of the presenters. 
He and I will be at one of the stops on the tour to tell a story about the former inhabitants of a (haunted?) Victorian house that is now a funeral home. 
We'll mention the sudden death of one them inside the house ...


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Put a fork in me

...'cuz I is done!

With chemo. Hopefully forever!

Next up, radiation.

{And so my online breast cancer journey continues.}

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last 'chemo light' treatment delayed a day

... but tomorrow it will finally be here!

The doctor had a day off today so I must wait until tomorrow to have the 12th and final treatment.

That's OK. Time flies anyway. I don't wish it to go any faster than it does.

{And so my online breast cancer journey journal continues. Thanks for reading.}

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ road trip

Last Saturday I accompanied my blog and real-life friend Linda, of Are We There Yet? and The Distracted Wanderer fame to find some fall foliage. 

You'd think being in southern New England in October we'd find some.

Not really.

But I did get some shadow shots! We headed to northern Connecticut, not much color. We went into Massachusetts. Still not much color to be found.

When Linda discovered it was a mere 38 more miles to Bennington, Vt., we headed there. My guess was the foliage there was about at 10 percent color.

Boo hiss. But we had fun trying and exploring...and the weather was spectacular. Sunny and actually too warm for October. Linda and I both prefer "crisp" air.
But that was OK.

And at least we found some wildlife! 
We saw a beaver.

And a moose!

(taken from the passenger seat ~ we didn't feel like getting out and dealing with the crowds)

And we later spotted yet another moose on a sidewalk in Massachusetts on our way home. (Photo quality is poor because I snapped it through the windshield when we were stopped at a red light.)

And I have many more shadowy shots to share from the day in future posts. So all was not lost ~ just the hoped-for colors of autumn!

See lots more shadowy photos every weekend at our awesome Aussie friend Tracy's Hey Harriet blog.