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Showing posts from April, 2011

Friday Quote Day

Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it. ~ Lily Tomlin
There have been times over the past few weeks when I'd much prefer not to be in touch with reality. Now that the immediate crisis has passed (crises? Yeah, that's probably more accurate), I hope I can find a new normal.

The garden (thank you for asking, Marilyn) is still a shambles, untilled and full of weeds. I'm keeping up with the weeds in the areas that have food growing – strawberries, garlic, onions, peas and cabbage – but the rest is a mess. This has been such a wet spring that my neighbor hasn't been able to get it tilled for me. On the one or two days when it could have happened, something else came up. Ah, well, it's still early. And there will be time later in the season when we'll be doing rain dances, I'm sure!

I've planted some herbs – basil, parsley, cilantro, fennel, sage and marjoram. The dill reseeded itself from last year and I'll have tons of it, and…

To quote Scott Peck,

Life is difficult.

I can't talk about what's been going on, it's personal. And I can't think of much else other than what's been going on. So there you go.

Instead of a post, I'll show you my new Facebook profile image, one which speaks volumes. Feel free to share your thoughts about it in the comments. You might help me get out of my own head, and I would be so grateful for that!

If it ain't one thing

No quote today, and not much of a post either. A family emergency has taken us out of town for at least a couple of days. (Husband's family.) One of these days life will be normal and calm and boring again.


Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Happy birthday, Dad

My dad would have been 81 today. He died last fall, suddenly, unexpectedly, after a weeklong visit with me. What a gift and blessing that visit was.

I miss him every day, especially now, when it's time to get the garden going again. He was a wonderful gardener, and it was something he was consistent about. I don't remember a time when he wasn't growing something, even if it was a pot of tomatoes on the patio when the yard was too small to dig up a larger plot.

When he visited here last fall, he urged me to find someone with horseradish and get a start from them. He figured our Amish neighbors probably grew it, but when I asked, no one had any. To my surprise, I found horseradish root, ready to plant, a couple months ago at a little store in town.

To my further surprise … it's growing!

We don't eat a lot of horseradish around here; a $2 jar probably lasts a year. But when I saw that plant, I didn't hesitate to buy it and stick it in the ground. Some people remem…

Trying new things

Anne commented yesterday that she loved that I kept trying new things in my quest for weight loss. I've been thinking about that a lot. I'm not sure I try new things – I wouldn't know an acai berry if I saw one, for instance, and I didn't jump on the Kimkins bandwagon. What I keep trying is what should work: reasonable food intake (1500 calories/day or less, no second helpings, fresh food made from scratch, blah, blah, blah) along with daily activity (usually a five-mile walk). Normal people would lose weight doing this!


I guess that means I'm abnormal. Or maybe above normal. Paranormal?

When I read magazine articles that suggest ways to cut 100 calories/day (pretzels instead of peanuts, skim milk instead of whole, fruit spread instead of butter, bananas instead of candy bars – that's a "duh" one, isn't it?),  I already do those things most of the time, and have done them for years. You probably do, too.

There's nothing new out there that make…

I'm so good at maintenance

Those of you who are here to read about weight-loss know that by "maintenance" I mean maintaining one's weight, and not maintaining anything mechanical. I was in the art room when the rest of my class learned how to repair leaky faucets. Heh.

I thought it might be fun/inspiring/illuminating to reread what I was writing about a year ago.

After reading, I think it's more depressing than inspiring, because I've made no progress. None. Zilch. My weight is the same now as it was then. Thus, I can only conclude that I've got this maintenance thing down!


I'm still walking every day, still eating reasonable portions of made-from-scratch, healthful food, still doing laundry, cleaning floors, working at the garden center. Today I will clean and walk in the morning and mow in the afternoon. This mid-April day looks pretty much like last April, right down to my weight. (With, of course, a soupçon of gratitude for my husband's good health!)

I mentioned then that t…

Friday Quote Day

Service to others is the rent you pay for living on this planet. ~ Marian Wright Edelman
Service to others. What does that have to do with knitting, running, reaping or eating? Let's take it point by point.

Knitting
Knitters are amazingly generous people. We share our knowledge, our ideas, our skills and our stash. We use little sticks to turn pieces of string into useful and/or decorative things and more often than not we give them away.

I've been involved in knitting projects which served homeless shelters, cancer patients, battered women's shelters and federal inmates.

Running
The Boston Marathon will be run on Monday, Patriot's Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To earn a spot in Boston you have to run a qualifying time in another marathon. Or you have to raise a lot of money for charity. Nearly every distance event out there benefits a cause.

Reaping
Whose garden doesn't produce enough food to share? I've heard some people lock their doors in the church …

Matching opinions

The second opinion, by both the ENT at Wake-Forest and the pathologist who read the slides, agreed with those of the local doctors: my husband has a benign parotid tumor. It will be removed next month and we will have a great summer!

I was so tired, from the driving and from the tension (I guess), that I collapsed at 6 p.m. and didn't wake up until 5 this morning.

I see life slowly returning to normal, very soon. Normal with a side of gratitude, of course. We never want to lose sight of the preciousness of life and of our relationship with each other. That guy who wrote Don't Sweat the Small Stuff was really onto something. Heh.

Today promises to be lovely –70 degrees, sunny, a perfect spring day. I'll be working at the garden center this afternoon, and taking absolute delight in the view from my "office."

I know there's a way …

to embed an .mp3 file in a Blogger post, but I don't have time this morning (nor did I make time last night) to figure it out.

The only way you can listen to my new ringtone is to be hanging with me when my phone rings.

When the will.i.am/Bob Dylan version of "Forever Young" came out, I snapped it right up as my ringtone, since
my maiden name is Young andI love, love, love Bob DylanReplacing it was a major life decision (not!), but I think the theme song from Harry's Law is worth the switch.

My husband and I are headed to Wake-Forest Medical Center this morning for the second opinion, which we fervently hope is identical to the first. It'll be a long, long day with lots of driving punctuated by a little tension and a decision about treatment.

He thanked me this morning, for taking him to yet another doctor's appointment. I can't imagine not going. He's certainly capable of making the trip on his own, but I almost always think it's best to have an e…

A little knitting, a lot of rambling

Sheis quite petite, but I think this is a piece that she will enjoy wearing and it should fit well. It was supposed to be a birthday gift (end of March), but we've had a lot going on around here lately. I told her I would hopefully send it before Easter. Yeah, me!

When she was little she called shrugs "shruggies," and had a couple in her dress-up box. This one isn't fancy, and will look good over a skinny tee with jeans, I think.

Bethlin, your comment on my new wardrobe was great; thanks so much for taking time to add your encouragement. You said, among other wise words, "when I feel better, I'm able to talk myself into working out or turning down free cookies," and I really took that to heart.

I've been eating rather haphazardly lately (what an understatement that is!) and so decided to start eating smart and tracking meals again. About the only thing regarding healthful eating I've hung on to is to not eat processed junk. My indulgences have be…

Investing in myself

I spent part of yesterday's early-morning web-surfing time buying clothes online. I recently bought a linen jacket from Coldwater Creek; once you buy one thing from them, you're on their very tempting list, and I took advantage of a big sale there. I ended up with a pair of linen slacks, three skirts and two tops, all very reasonably priced and of excellent quality.

I also made a vow that before these items were delivered, I would cull the closet. Done! I have a large bag of things that don't fit any more ready to take to our local thrift shop.

My desire to lose weight has not diminished, but I'm beginning to realize that it just may not happen. I'll own up to some stress-eating this past month (my husband's tumor is 31 days old today – or at least it's been 31 days since he discovered it). And my daily walks were cut to about every other day, either because of weather or water problems or having to be at the hospital or doctor's office. (If you haven&#…

Friday Quote Day

No one has ever become poor by giving. ~ Anne Frank
It seems appropriate, as this week wraps up, to express my heartfelt gratitude once again for your concern and support. Health scares are scary, people! I'm so glad you were willing to come along for the up-and-down emotional ride. You've given me strength, friendship, comfort and serenity with your kind words and gentle thoughts.

In a way, it feels awkward to feel so close to so many people I've not met in person. The irony of living in the Middle of Nowhere and at the same time having all of you in my corner is not lost, that's for sure.

We're not done yet, of course. Second opinion appointment is Wednesday, with surgery to remove the mass at some point after that. But the heavy cloud that crushed us for a while has certainly blown on through. Thanks for helping me get through it.

I will pay it forward, at every opportunity.

Last one today, I promise

Michael Pollan recommended this article about the amount of added fat and sugar in the American diet. It appears that the food industry is providing way more per-capita calories than we need to be eating. Interesting and enlightening, if you care about food.

(Can you tell the high-speed internet service is up and running? I'm loving it!)

And one more link, for you social-network types: a new browser called RockMelt. I downloaded it, don't know how much I'll actually use it, though. I've been using Google Chrome with the new laptop. Do I really want to switch browsers again already? Heh.

A bright, bright, bright sunshiny day

Now that I've planted that earworm …

Today will begin with a walk in this bright morning sunshine, followed by lunch, followed by work!

I hope you are all as excited about your jobs as I am about mine. I wasn't sure I'd get to work this summer, what with the potential nursing gig, but now that we have the all-clear (benign is such a sweet word), I'm good to go back to the garden center for my two-afternoons-a-week "job."

It's not a job – it's fun and educational and fulfilling and rewarding and I was really going to miss it. But now I don't have to, unless my husband has a doctor's appointment in another state (as he will next week). The folks who own the garden center are very understanding friends, and were an important part of our support team the past couple weeks.

I was there yesterday and brought home three forsythia bushes and a dozen cruciferous vegetables – two kinds of cabbage and some broccoli. My broccoli didn't do very well l…

I'm nearly speechless …

but you know that's not going to keep me from writing today. Heh.

Thank you for your many comments, I've been reading them to my husband and he is as grateful as I am for your warm wishes.

I didn't realize how I'd been literally holding my breath the last couple weeks. It's been wonderful to take deep, lung-cleansing breaths since yesterday afternoon. I hadn't been able to do that. Tension manifests itself in many ways, and I guess it took my breath away.

We feel like we have a summer ahead of us again. We were ready to concentrate on treatment and illness, ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get him well. This change in diagnosis from (possibly) metastatic squamous cell or some kind of lymphoma to a benign parotid gland tumor has given us a new perspective on each other and on life.

I read a comment on Facebook yesterday that a cancer diagnosis makes you realize life is too short for many things. One of the commenter's things was "bad food,&q…

I lied.

Here I am, posting again after I told you I wouldn't.

Against all odds, my husband's tumor is in a salivary gland and is benign. Three doctors told us it wasn't, and so did Dr. Google. But pathology reports are the Final Answer (at least we hope they are!), and suddenly it's easier to breathe.

He will have a second opinion and surgical consultation at Wake Forest in North Carolina, sometime in the near future. The only treatment he'll have to undergo is surgical removal.

Which sounds so much easier than months of radiation and chemotherapy.

Thank you for your comments, thoughts, prayers, wishes and positive energy. Writing about it here has been tremendously helpful to me and, indirectly, to my husband. He's had enough concerns; having to worry about how I was feeling wasn't one of them. You guys did a great job of taking care of me through a most difficult emotional roller coaster ride.

Seriously, I can't thank you enough.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Think fingers drumming on a table top. Or nervous foot-tapping. Or Shirley Temple in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

Okay that last one was just silly.

My husband and I are waiting, waiting, waiting for tomorrow's doctor's appointment, where we will learn the results of the biopsy. I told someone yesterday that going in thinking the worst might be the best strategy, despite the risk of sending negative thoughts into the Universe. I was devastated when I learned the preliminary results of the biopsy – lymph node instead of the hoped-for parotid gland – so I'd rather be relieved than disappointed.

Relieved would be some kind of lymphoma rather than a metastatic squamous cell tumor. What a choice, eh?

In other news, I tallied my March walking results and fell woefully short of my goals. Understandably, considering we spent nearly a week without water and made seven trips to the doctor or hospital in less two weeks. I logged 70 miles (goal was 125), and averaged 44 minutes per day…