Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Minnie heads to Minnie

I will be heading to Minneapolis first thing tomorrow morning!!! I can't wait to get my arms around my kids and grandkids!!!!!!

On Halloween night Grammie will be dressing up like Minnie Mouse (I've packed the ears already!) to go trick or treating with Owen and Audrey. Fun, eh?

Pictures to come....I promise.

You will all have a good laugh...I'm sure.

: )

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Teal" the cows come home....

That is the name of the teal nail polish in the photo above. Most people don't know that teal is the color for ovarian cancer. Everyone identifies pink with breast cancer....but, teal is a lesser known symbol.

As my friends and I have, unfortunately, become more aware of this disease, we have learned a lot about ovarian cancer. I am sure that this is common when a close friend or relative is suffering from a particular disease. Go to this site for more information and stay informed about this "silent killer".

Because teal is the official color, she and another friend decided to purchase several jars of this color and pass them out to our close group of friends as well as family. We are all showing her our support by wearing it on our toes and on one pinkie finger.

It is our small way of taking this journey with her...

I wish that we could do more...

Even my sister down in Florida has joined the fight by polishing her toes in honor of my dear friend, Sherri. Nice toes, eh? What can I say....long toes are a family trait! : )

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Love, love, love

My studio art show is over.


I have been working night and day for several months to prepare for this event...and, now it is over.

To say that it was a success would be an understatement. In monetary terms, I sold a lot of pieces of my pottery and it was quite successful.

But, in non-monetary terms, it was even more successful. Let me explain. First of all, my sisters coming in from out of town to help me get ready for the show. That was pretty special and unbelievably helpful. Secondly, this weekend, my dear friends all came over to support me and some purchased an item or two. The love and emotional boost that they gave me was incredible and worth more than gold. I feel so lucky and so grateful to be a part of this community of people who are there for you always. To me, it is unlike anywhere else on earth.

Birmingham, Alabama. Who would have thought it?

I always call it "the world's best kept secret" and this weekend it has proven to be especially true.

As I have worked these past months I have also been the recipient of numerous emails and calls from all of the people in the community who want to volunteer to run errands, bring food for their freezer, and, especially to help keep my friend and her husband well fed for the next few difficult months. I haven't ever seen anything like it...people just can't do enough...making my scheduling job very easy. Easy and overwhelming. There is so much love being much support...that I find myself tearing up with joy and appreciation at their kindnesses.

Maybe it is that our dear friend is getting ready to start some extremely difficult chemotherapy starting this Thursday. Maybe it is that she is causing us to accept our own immortality. Maybe it is that most of my group of friends are now beginning their journey into the 60's....and, maybe, just maybe,....all of the love that is going around is just filling us all with deep emotions and gratitude?

Whatever it is, I know that we are all feeling something. Something unexplainable...but, real, nonetheless. We are hugging tighter, we are saying "I love you" more often, we are appreciating our friendships more intensely, we are feeling everything.

It is strange and wonderful all at the same time. It is pure, unadulterated LOVE.

There is a positive energy that we feel....amd, I believe that much of it is coming from my friend who has cancer.

She is sending out emails as often as she can and each one contains beautiful messages and inspiration. She is the one with cancer and yet she is the one telling us that everything will be okay. She has opened herself up and expressed deep emotions that haven't ever come to the surface before.

And, it is definitely affecting each and every one of us who are close to her.

And, we all feel fortunate to be taken along on this journey with her....and to feel the LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Coming up for air....

Two more days until my pottery show here in my studio. I am a bit (ha!) stressed about it all...what if no one comes...and what if tons of people come? Aack.

I'm practicing my deep breathing techniques right now....Breathe in. Breathe out.

I'll let you know when it starts working. In the meantime, I will just go and eat another piece of chocolate.



Teal is the color for ovarian cancer. Since my dear friend was just diagnosed, we are all painting our toenails with teal polish until her chemo is done! Even her husband painted his pinkie to show support...!


I have been desperate to get a flu shot because I will be up in Minnesota in exactly one week and I always seem to pick up the grandkid's "daycare germs"!

The problem is that most places around here are out of the serum. After making tons of phone calls, I finally found out that my ENT doctor's office had 15 shots left if I could get there by 11:30 this morning. I found that out at 10:45. So, I jumped into the shower, partially dried my hair...threw on some clothing and drove over to the medical center.

I arrived there around 11:15. His office is part of a huge hospital complex and, as usual, I got lost and couldn't find him. I finally called them from the hallway and said, "Help! I can't find you!!" I am sure that the nurse thought that I was some maniac as she calmly told me that I was just one floor away.

I can see the headlines now: "Crazed woman runs through medical center trying to get one of 15 flu shots available!!"

Bottom line: I did get it....and, now my arm is sore. But, I don't mind. : )


Talked with Mom today. She is trying to think about what she will dress up as for the annual Halloween costume contest at "The Home". Last year she went as a flapper from the 1920's and won second prize. A woman with bags taped all over her went as "A Bag Lady" and won first.

Between you and me, I think that Mom is hoping to nab that first place trophy this year even though she is acting very nonchalant about the whole thing.

Her idea is to go to Michael's Craft Store and purchase a large cut out pumpkin poster...cover herself in a sheet...put the pumpkin over that, covering her face...and put on a wig? Huh?

I suggested that she stick a pillow under a blouse and go as a pregnant 86 yr. old woman.

She was still laughing as we hung up the phone.


My break is over. Back to work. Ta ta.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Four more days until my studio show....!

Here I sit, down in my (studio) dungeon with a scream jar in my hand and a paint brush in my mouth.

That should give you some idea of my current state of mind...


My Sister (Angels) have gone....

Karen was here for 10 days. Marsha came in for the weekend.

I don't know what I would have done without them!!!

Karen sat with me day and night as I created my pottery pieces...we talked....we laughed....we drank, she inspired me....she worked, worked worked...and she helped me in a million ways.

Did I mention that we drank wine every night???? **hic** : )

Marsha single-handedly did a spread sheet inventory of all of my pieces, priced and numbered them.

They both helped to put wires and ribbons on my plaques and them all a magical look.

What can I tell you? I am one lucky sister. How can I ever thank them enough??


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Audrey jumping (16 months)

The title should probably be "Audrey 'thinks' that she is Jumping!" : ) I'll be "jumping" with her and her brother in15 days!!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Downtown Birmingham on Saturday morning...

Karen and I walked the walk....

The weather was pretty soggy. Actually, it was raining the whole time. The ground was saturated and muddy...but, spirits were high at the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure on Saturday. My (almost) ten year survivor sister, Karen, led the 6-10 year suvivors.

...and more pictures from the walk....

After the survivor walk-- doves were released...

The fountain was filled with colored water and sprayed pink high in the air...

Karen celebrating the end of the walk and the 10 years as a breast cancer survivor... : )

I was so happy to be able to share this experience with her here in Bham.

Next walk...down in West Palm Beach in January, 2010...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday stuff

My sister, Karen, arrives today! I can't wait... : ) In celebration of her almost ten years (!!) as a breast cancer survivor, we are going to do the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure first thing tomorrow morning. The weathermen are threatening a 70% chance of rain, Dave is bringing over some ponchos for us...just in case.


I know that Karen was probably looking forward to getting away from the heat and humidity of S. Florida...but, unfortunately, it is steamy and hot here today. Things may cool down a bit by mid-week. I hope so.

Ironically, Adam called last night and told me that they were expecting snow flurries up there in Minneapolis. Brrrr.


After that whole shopping day at Costco, I got home only to find out that I had forgotten one of the main things that I wanted to get while there...toilet paper. But, hey, I got the 10 lbs. of walnuts, didn't I? Aack.


Is anyone else so tired of Jon and Kate? I am.


My newly diagnosed with cancer girlfriend went wig shopping, the oncologist told her that she would definitely be losing her hair when the treatments begin. She went with her mom and sisters...and, she said that it was a little fun....AND also, quite strange.

I can only imagine.


Another friend is spending a few night's out in a local hotel since having her hardwood floors refinished. She said that the fumes in her house were so strong that the workers were wearing masks that looked like oxygen was being pumped into them.

She had to go back over there this morning and said that she took a deep breath and ran into and out of the house as quickly as she could to retrieve a couple of things that she needed.

I know that they will look beautiful when they are done...and, when the choking fumes are gone.

The 'funny' thing was that her husband had been out of town on business and was getting in late last, she left his room key at the front desk for him in case she was asleep. When he tried to get in, he found that the door was latched.

She had forgotten and had locked it up for the night...her hubby wasn't a happy camper as you can imagine...especially after a long day of traveling!

Once rested, I am sure that he got a good laugh out of it all.


Off to take a shower! Have a nice day, all.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

My Day at Costco

Yesterday was my errand running day.

On the list was to go to Costco and stock up on some items...always an interesting event.

Why is it that suddenly I can't live without a 10 lb. bag of walnuts? I mean, I like walnuts...but, how many years will it take me to finish the bag? The neighborhood children may be getting little baggies of walnuts in their trick or treat bags this year....

As I was shopping I suddenly realized that it was way after lunchtime and I was beginning to get a headache. So, I headed to the famous Costco lunch counter. I want a slice of that pizza that has been sitting under the sun lamp? Or, how about that little rolled up fried thingy that seems to have veggies and, maybe, chicken in it? Polish sausage....? It looked good...but, no way could I devour all of that fat and cholesterol...not to mention the calories. I could always drink my lunch and get one of their smoothies? Then there were these long Mexican sounding items filled with heaven knows what.

But, my eyes stopped on the turkey roll up sandwich....turkey, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese with mayo and rolled up in a whole wheat wrap. Of course I asked for it without the mayo and the cheese...I don't eat much of either since taking meds for my high cholesterol.

"Sorry, M'am, but the sandwiches are already prepared" the woman said, "but there isn't much mayo on them." "Of course they were already prepared...what was I thinking? OK, I thought, I'll live dangerously today. (ha)"

So, I took my sandwich and water over to the eating area which is basically little picnic tables set up near the membership counter and in front of the car tire section. The first thing that I did was to unwrap the roll-up (bad idea) and remove as much of the cheese that I could. Putting it back together was kind of like trying to fold a map the way that it was originally...very difficult to do. I had noticed that the "little bit of mayo" was really quite a, while it was opened I used my napkin to remove some of the excess. I was making a mess at this point with the foil wrapper filled with pieces of cheese and mayo covered napkins....but, soon settled down to begin eating this delicacy.

As I glanced around at the other diners I noticed a table where four very elderly people were enjoying their lunch. Two of them were reading paperbacks while munching away. I heard the gentleman say to the other man..."we've been married so long that we have run out of things to we read!" Cute.

Then I looked to see what the four of them were eating...polish sausage!!!!!!!!! They had relish and onions piled high on their bun and were voraciously snorfing down this huge, fatty, cholesterol-laden sausage as the juice was dripping down one of the women's chins. My mouth was watering watching them.

Here I was, probably 25 years younger than this group and I was deconstructing my sandwich to make it healthier. What was wrong with this picture?

I looked down at my little half put together turkey sandwich...and, suddenly, I wasn't so hungry anymore.

Plus, I had all of those walnuts to eat later.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

10:18 p.m.

....and, I just finished "playing" in clay for the day.

I am trying to build up my pottery inventory for a studio show in a little over two weeks and it is wearing me out...but, reinforcements are coming Friday!

My wonderfully creative (and fun!) sister, Karen, is flying in to Bham for 9 days! I am hoping that she can keep me motivated and help me get organized for the show. I am so looking forward to her visit...I am so ready for her....I just hope that she is ready for me! : )

This may be the two of us by the end of her visit...!

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Monday, October 05, 2009

I have a large desk in my study/office that I absolutely love.

It is "V" shaped and allows me plenty of room to spread out. Unfortunately, it is quite old and through the years, the "fake wood" formica top has become scratched, pitted and lumpy.

I looked up prices for similar desks and they were, I decided to be a smart consumer (ha!) and have the whole top area "re-formica-ed" (probably not a word...but, you get the point). I picked out a plain black formica...hired a handyman who sounded great when I met him and said that he could do the job....and looked forward to using my new and improved desk.


The ordered formica came in and the handyman was all set to come this morning. He had indicated earlier that the whole thing would probably take 1-2 hours. At $20/hour, I was okay with that.

Unfortunately, his helper could not come, he was on his own. First "red flag" that I ignored.

He began to work...suddenly the house was filled with the stifling smell of glue that he was using to bond the new formica to the old. Windows were opened, the fans were running...and my false sense of confidence was still intact.

Wrong, again.

SEVEN and a HALF hours later...he was still upstairs working. I was staying out of his way by creating with my clay down in the studio "dungeon"...but, when I went up to check on his progress, I could see that he was quite frustrated (next red flag)

To say that the job was "rough" would be quite an exaggeration.

It was a mess. The seams were not tight, the surfaces were scratched...and, did I mention that my study was a total MESS? Dust was everywhere....I mean everywhere! Being the way too nice person that I am....and wanting him to leave already feeling sorry for him...I told him to go and that I would clean it all up.

It is now 9:45 p.m. and I just finished the clean up. I have to work on toughening up a bit...

The bottom line is that he will be reordering the formica and then coming back in a couple of weeks to make it hopefully right.

He was feeling very badly, but, as he left, I said to him..."It's only a desk. It's only a thing. One of my best friends was just diagnosed with cancer...and, that puts it all into perspective."

And, as tired and as disappointed as I was...that is how I truly feel.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

"Where have you been, Grammie?"

Well, Friday night I finished working late and then sat down to write on my blog. I wrote and wrote and wrote and then....I lost my cable connection. Nothing was saved...and the computer didn't work again until later on Saturday. So, I had nothing to post.

Saturday night and Dave and I went out to dinner. We got home, again no post.

Here it is Sunday night and I am going to attempt to write again.

It was a nice, relaxing weekend. I needed it to make my way through the emotions of last week. Even though my friend is getting stronger each day as she heals from her surgery, she is now facing several months of intense chemotherapy.

I am organizing meals to be taken over to her...and, everyone is being wonderful about that. I have always said that this is a special community...and, it is proving to be so true. We all look out for one another...and that is so wonderful.

Good news from the Minnesota clan. It seems as if Owen's first week of the new daycare was a bit rocky as he went thorugh a bit of separation anxiety...however, on Friday, he went without a problem. So, life is good there. Also from Minnie comes the great news that Adam has gotten a promotion at work. During this time that everyone is losing jobs, that certainly gives them a sigh of relief to know that his job is quite safe. ....makes a mother proud. : )

I am on day four of my Prednisone treatment for my poison ivy...and I am sorry to say that I am still itching...and still jumpy from the steroids. This too shall pass.

Unfortunately, (or, fortunately, for me) Desperate Housewives is coming on in a few, I am going to have to end this for now....but, I just wanted you to know that I am still here! : )