Good News

October 20, 2015

A couple of week ago I noticed that my left breast appeared to be growing! Now in 2004 I had a bilateral mastectomy because of breast cancer – that means I had both breasts removed and silicone implants eventually put into my body. Silicone implants do not grow so what was going on in my body? I went back to my plastic surgeon that did the reconstruction process eleven years ago and was told that it was one of three things; 1) bacteria in lymph system, 2) my body was rejecting the implant after all of these years, or 3) a very rare form of breast cancer that effects one in a million women. He told me not to dwell on #3 as it was very rare. So what did I dwell on, #3 of course. Eleven years ago it was cancer so why wouldn’t that be true once again?

Yesterday I had a breast MRI at Regions Hospital. The test would tell us what we were dealing with. I’ve had two MRIs before but never experienced the “heat” that this one produced in my body. It may have been because I had to be on my stomach for the entire test, or that I had a reaction to the dye shot into my system, or that I was uptight as to what the test would show. Who knows? When they brought me out after twenty minutes, the nurse handed me a cool washcloth and a towel to take care of the sweat on my face.

11:00 this morning was my appointment with the surgeon to get the results of the MRI. Butch came along for moral support. The doctor wasted no time with hello, how are you or anything as anal as that. He walked in the door and said, “You have a ruptured implant on the left side. We’ll schedule surgery to take it out and put a new one in. Is that okay with you?” I reached out and grabbed his hand. “Really, its only a broken implant – no cancer?” He smiled and nodded. My relief was most evident. “No,” I heard myself say. “I want both of the implants removed and not replaced.”   He was most happy to comply with my wishes.

Good news for sure! Can you believe that I’m happy to JUST have a little surgery again? To put up with a drain tube under each arm again for a week or so? To go through the healing process of yet another surgery? YOU BET I AM! No new cancer and no sign of the old cancer – nothing could be better news. I’m so happy and so blessed! Bring on the surgery and thank you Lord for medical science!

Good News

Cabin Closing/Autumn Ritual and Grandeur

October 15, 2015

Of course getting there is half of the fun when you enjoy flying like Butch and I do. The fall color up here is beyond peak but it is still beautiful as you can see.   We always try to have the cabin buttoned up for the winter by October 15 – and here it is already. We drain the water systems; empty the cupboards of anything that will freeze, turn off the gas, and cover the windows. The boats go into Fort Frances for storage. The extra beer gets hauled home along with any leftovers in the freezer. The floating dock has to be pulled out into the bay where it freezes in for the winter. That is not part of my job description – thank goodness. Today is rainy off and on with periods of sunshine. Good thing it doesn’t have to be done today.   Here are a few more pictures I took between raindrops. It is just so beautiful here rain or shine. I wish you could all join us for a weekend. The barge coming in to the bay is how we have fuel delivered up here.

The old outhouse has a wonderful green roof. It only gets used if we come up for a winter visit. We do have indoor toilets and running water.

Cabin Closing/Autumn Ritual and Grandeur

Olives

October 15, 2015

Received a package this week from Exeter, California – the land of fruits and nuts as Butch as been heard to say! Inside were about five pounds of green olives, fresh from the trees and preserved with love in Pam & Wayne Weller’s kitchen. The only olives I’ve ever eaten have been in a jar or a can on the shelf in the grocery store or floating in my gin and tonic. In my opinion, they are the fifth of the four food groups – fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and olives.

While here for a visit in September, the Wellers were explaining the olive preserving process starting with shaking the tree, soaking in lye, rinsing in cold water and the rest I’ve forgotten. Brave as I am, I let Butch taste test first the little green balls. As he went back for more, I knew I was safe to taste for myself. WONDERFUL – MILD – DELICIOUS – are a few words that came to mind. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the ones in the grocery store and in my gin but these are amazing! I’ll be sad to see the batch emptied. That won’t be too long as you start with one and that turns into a handful! I guess we’ll just have to BEG the Weller’s for more next year.

Olives

Another Busy Day

September 13, 2015

I started out the day cleaning up loose ends in our office. Funny how when you dig to the bottom of the pile you find unpaid bills and tasks that needed to have happened yesterday.   Oh well, at least it all got finished up until more arrives in the mail or on the Internet.

My next stop took me to Woodwinds where I had an appointment with my plastic surgeon of twelve years ago. I’ve been experiencing a problem with my left implant. The implant is the entire breast since breast cancer in 2004. The last couple of weeks, the breast has been filling with fluid and has grown considerably. It was time to have it looked at. The diagnosis is one of three things; bacteria that has entered my lymph system, my body rejecting the implant, or a rare breast cancer that effects 1 in a million women. Dr. Mann said the #3 is a real rarity and he would be very surprised if that what it is. Monday morning at 6:30 I’m scheduled for a breast MRI at Regions. Then we’ll go from there. I’ll keep you posted.

KDWA radio station in Hastings was next on the list for an interview with Mo McNeary regarding the Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group. Claire and Candy, the group’s co-leaders and myself were first up followed by a second interview regarding my new book. The station is small but really does a great job covering the news for the community of Hastings.

Last but not least, a final stop at Little Beginnings to pick up Eli. Butch had bus duty this afternoon to pick up Elsie. By 6:00 the two of them head home usually. Tonight Elsie and her Dad had school conferences at Pinecrest Elementary and Mom had her own conferences for her students at Friendly Hills Middle School. Eli got stuck with Grandma and peanut butter sandwiches until about 7:00 p.m. He was talking about a sleepover until his sister appeared at the door telling him to come home. He opted to go home telling me it was only up the hill and in the door so you don’t have to come with me Gram. So grown up for 3 years old. I watched from my door until I saw him go in the house. Like I said – Busy Day!

Another Busy Day

Scrolling

October 9, 2015

Not too many years ago a scroll was a roll of parchment, a list, a ribbon with a motto on it. Scrolling today is moving text on a computer screen – who knew? I remember thirty years or so ago taking a computer class with a group of colleagues from the school district where I was teaching. We were learning how to access the Internet. I wonder how many people today don’t know how to do this – get online that is? How times have changed.

I was scrolling back through my Face Book pages (Did you know that you can now buy a book made from your Face Book posts? How cool is that?) reading posts from the past, like a week or so ago. I realized how much I do enjoy Face Book. I know, I know – I hear all of the warnings too.   BUT where else can I keep up with my family and friends so quickly? Pictures from baby showers, homecoming dances, football games, vacations etc. keep me up-to-date with the happenings around me from near and far. I enjoy the “old” pictures from days long gone and even see myself there from time to time. Keeping up with how fast the new little babes grow and who is celebrating what is fun and easy. I probably access the Internet four or five times a day and think nothing of it.

I just wonder what social media will be like even ten years from now. For now I’ll continue to enjoy Face Book, emailing, online shopping, Google search and the like.

Scrolling

Waiting

October 8, 2015

Why is waiting so hard? Remember when you were a kid. It took F O R E V E R for Christmas to come even after the calendar page turned to December. Or how about your birthday – you’d wait and wait and when the day arrived it would be over with before you knew it leaving you with 365 days of waiting for it to come again.

Even as adults, waiting is hard. We wait nine months for the baby to come. Days and days are waited for the test results to be in. Sometimes we wait months for an order to be fulfilled. It seems to never get any easier – the waiting that is.

Today’s trend is toward instant gratification! We find it hard to wait in line at the drive through at McDonalds or the bank. I heard on the news tonight that amazon.com Prime is aiming for 1 hour delivery for $7.99 and if you can wait 2 hours your delivery is free of charge – really?

I finished the writing portion of my new book in late August and it feels like I’ve been waiting since then for the paperback edition to arrive from the printers. Well tomorrow is the scheduled arrival date from Fed Ex. Will it happen? I guess I’ll just have to WAIT and see.

Waiting

Vintage

October 3, 2015

When you see the word vintage, what comes to mind? First to my mind comes vintage clothes – old-fashioned, or out-of-date clothing. Not garage sale stuff but fine classic apparel from eras past. Or how about vintage appliances, vintage machines, even vintage equipment? Outmoded, antiquated, dated, old, antique are words that pop into my head but also of the best. A vintage wine is supposedly the best wine and a vintage car is called a classic. So if something is vintage it is out of the ordinary in a special way.

The fall season brings with it vintage sales that have become so popular with shoppers of all ages. The word vintage raises the sale to a higher level of reality. It is not just an antique sale but a vintage antique sale. There you will not find “junk” but vintage junk raising it a level above just plain old junk. I guess it is all in the eyes of the beholder.

No matter – a vintage sale in the fall is just plain fun! It gets you out in the cool crisp sunshine to enjoy the colors of the season, friends and neighbors that are out and about, fresh apples, pumpkins and squash, and you might even find some vintage junk that you just cannot live without any longer. The challenge comes in repurposing the find into something useful for today.

This weekend, October 3 & 4, and next, October 10 & 11, you will find for your enjoyment the Apple Pickers Vintage Sale at 8421 St. Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN. 12 vendors featuring furniture, garden art, tools, guys stuff, French country, metal junk, big old cupboards, barn wood creations, antiques and some just plain interesting stuff will be on hand. The sale is 1 mile south of Afton Alps on St. Croix Trail. You can’t miss it. I gotta go before all the good “junk” is gone.   See you!

Vintage

Apples, Undershirts & Crisp Sunshine

October 1, 2015

Well it’s here – October that is! My favorite month of the year! And it has nothing to do with Halloween. In fact, that is my least favorite holiday of the year and it just happens to be in October.

Today in Minnesota is the perfect example of why I love this month. I call it the cool crisp sunshine of this season. Right about now I decide to get out and walk AGAIN so I can enjoy the fallness in the air and on the trees and in the animals. Harvest has started which means the gathering in has begun for all animals both the two-legged and four-legged. Apple orchards are once again drawing record crowds to gather in the Honey Crisps, Haralsons, and the Sweet Tangoes as well as enjoy the corn maze, hayrides and games available.

People also seem to start to gather in. Darkness descends earlier and earlier requiring families to “be” together for a longer period of time each evening. Board games come out, sweaters and sweatshirts, long pants, afghans and slippers – it seems to be a cozying up time.

I always looked forward as a kid to the day that Mom said, “Okay guys, its time to start wearing the undershirts.” Remember, they looked like a muscle shirt but were all white and made of soft cotton. Mine always had a little silky bow in the middle of the front neckline. They hugged your body tight keeping in the warmth. You wore them under your regular clothes hence the name undershirt. I even wore mine under my pajamas at night.

Well enjoy the season my friends and don’t forget to put you undershirt on!!!!!

Apples, Undershirts & Crisp Sunshine