Thursday, September 29, 2011

Loved these!!

Signs of the times....
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Monday, September 26, 2011


Sometime during the cutting down of the tree that fell in my backyard, some chigger bugs decided to set up housekeeping in my skin.


Red spots popping out all over....itching, itching, itching....and, even some achy joints..... are the results of these little red bugs obviouusly found in my wooded back yard.

Dave was bitten, too.....but, his body didn't react nearly as much as mine.  Aren't I lucky?!

I have applied this gooey, sticky stuff on the spots....I have sprayed with products that promise to rid the body of these critters....however, nothing is really giving me the relief that I seek.

So, I called my doctor this afternoon....let her take a look at my bumps....and got a steroid shot while there.

I asked if there were any side effects from the shot....she laughed and said that I might feel energized tonight.

So far I have baked six dozen cookies for a party coming up this Friday and I am still raring to go....looking around the house for things to do.

But, at least the itching has calmed down a bit.

: O

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Now this is what I call....

...enjoying your cupcake!!
Good to the last bite, right Celia? : )

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I spent thirty minutes in a "tunnel" today....

....on my stomach with my head down in a headrest and not moving at all.

Sounds pleasant, eh?

Well, it was quite interesting for sure.

Today I went for a breast MRI. Even though my last mammogram was fine, it was recommended to me that I have an MRI due to: family history and dense breasts.

I took that recommendation to my intern who sent me to a surgeon who specializes in breast cancer who sent me to a "high risk breast cancer specialist".

Was I at high risk?  Not really according to her models....however, her models did not include breast density and mine were categorized as 75% dense.  The density makes the mammograms more difficult to read and sometimes misses cancerous spots.  The MRI however, is a much clearer picture that takes over 11,000 pictures that are quite precise. Density is no match for the breast MRI.

So, after much deliberation, I decided to go ahead and do it.  Insurance would pay the bulk of it and I would be left with having to pay under $500.  Since yesterday was my birthday, I decided to give myself the gift of up-to-date technology and a clear mind.

Once at the hospital, I was told to remove all clothing from the waist up.  Also, all jewelry was to be removed as well as any other metals.

An IV was inserted into my arm.  This was the dye that would help the technician view the pictures.

Heavy, old-fashioned headsets were put on me as I laid down on the platform that would roll me into the "tunnel" where the MRI would take place.  The headsets were a necessity in that the MRI noises were going to be quite loud...."like a jackhammer" the technician told me.  I was then allowed to choose a radio station to listen to while the testing was going on.  I chose "easy listening" thinking that it would relax me?

Once the testing began, the noise muffled the, I heard very little.

It was interesting being in the tunnel....staying perfectly still with my eyes closed and my head and breasts down in a padded section.  I found myself acutely aware of my breathing.  I got very thirsty and I was concerned that I might need to use the restroom before the half hour test was completed.  I had already been told that if I moved the whole test would need to be started over.  I wasn't about to move.

After a third of the test was completed, the technician checked on me through the headset.  "I'm ready for the wine" I laughingly told her. I think that she laughed too.

Two thirds later, she again asked how I was well as several minutes before the test was over.  "I am now letting the 'contrast material' to enter into your IV", she said casually.  "Oh boy", I responded....privately relieved that we were nearing the end.

My attitude in going into this diagnostic test was that I was so fortunate to have this technology available...and, hopefully, they would not find anything of concern...but, if they would probably be in the very early stages.

I was told that the radiologist would read my pictures and that I would be notified in two or three days.

You can imagine my surprise (and delight) when my Internist's nurse called me later this afternoon to let me know that my images were all clear....nothing to worry about. birthday present that I ever gave myself.  : )

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This has been an amazing day....

Even as I face turning 63 (!!) today, my heart is so filled with joy.

Family and friends have filled my Facebook page with well wishes (...there is nothing like a "Facebook Birthday"!) phone has not stopped ringing with wonderful messages and birthday songs being sung (...a little out of tune....but special nonetheless!), gifts, etc. etc.  It is all a bit overwhelming, but so lovely.

Lunch with some of the Girlies at a fancy schmancy restaurant was delightful as we celebrated together....laughing in between bites of delicious food.

Tonight, Dave will be coming over with some take-out Chinese food which was my request when asked.  No cooking-no dishes....aaaah! And, we have plans to eat out at a fabulous seafood restaurant on Saturday night to continue the celebration.

As if this wasn't all enough....two of my dear, dear friends handed me a homemade card telling me that my present this year was....(deep breath here!) that they were taking me to Paris with them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Unbelievable.  I am still in a bit of shock over the whole thing....The husband has meetings there in February and they have invited me to go along.  I have never been... and to say that I am excited would be the biggest understatement of the year!  The Eiffel Tower, the art, the food, the ambiance....the WINE! Oh is still quite surreal.  How did I get so lucky to have friends like I do?
I may need to purchase a beret and a "How to Speak French" book soon. : )

What a great birthday.

I am so blessed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Where were you on 9/11/2001?"

It is very difficult to revisit those days for so many reasons...

First and foremost was the horrific devastation and loss of life that my country was experiencing.  I was a proud American and I watched my wonderful country being attacked by individuals who were willing to die in the process of killing others.  Senseless!  How can one wrap their mind around such hatred? My naivete and my rose-colored glasses were shattered.

Like so many other people, I remember sitting and watching this unbelievable story unfold in my living room in front of my television.  I probably sat transfixed for most of the day as I could not seem to do anything else and found myself unable to walk away from the tv. I had to decide later whether this new decade of technology where we could view wars, etc.etc. as they were happening was a good thing or not? Having instant access to the world we live in carries its difficulties for sure.  But, nonetheless, these 9/11 attacks were being recorded and sent via the airways to our homes in real time whether we liked it or not.

I so vividly recall the faces.  The horror stricken looks on the people as they ran from the collapsing buildings....their faces covered with white and gray ash, making them look almost ghost like.

I sat wondering how anyone could survive this tragedy which was unlike anything that I had ever known in my lifetime. I remember feeling so shocked and alone and heartbroken.

Like the World  Trade Tower buildings, my own personal life was crumbling around me, too.  Just a few days before, I was in conversations with my then husband of 31 years about ending our marriage. I was so frightened for what lie ahead for us.  I was so alone in my thoughts and fears. Without any family living nearby, I relied on a handful of friends to help me get through those dark days.

My ex was working on that 11th day of September in Montgomery, AL. and he would not be coming home until the next day.  Even as the world was seemingly falling apart, he was going to continue with his mediation until it was finished. I was alone in every sense of the word.

Today, 10 years after that day, I can still remember those feelings like they were yesterday...

As time went by, I read the heroic stories of people who were trapped in those buildings....or in the Pentagon....or on the four airplane flights that were used as such cruel and destructive weapons. I have watched stories of the survivors and how they have managed to move on with their lives in spite of what occurred.  I have cried tears as I listened to the family's struggles as they mourned the loss of loved ones.

But, the human spirit is an amazing thing.  When things are at their very lowest, we dig deep down inside and seem to be able to find the strength to go on.  One step at a day at a time.

So, here I sit, ten years after my divorce.

I, too, have had to reach into places in my head and heart that I did not think were possible to reach.  I have grown so much.  I have learned to forgive, but not forget.  I have learned that I am capable of doing so much more on my own than I ever thought I could. I have cried tears until I no longer could.  I have let go of anger. In doing this,  I have found countless joys along the way....I have been enriched by my children and precious grandchildren....and amazed by the love of family and dear friends.

I have rebuilt my life one little step at a time....and, like the rest of the world, I am hopeful for a future filled with love, joy, and, most of all, peace.  God-willing, my grandchildren will never have to observe anything like what occurred to my country 10 years ago.

My rose-colored glasses are back on.....I have peace in my heart....and, I wish that for all of you, today and always.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Oh, where to start???

Back home from four fun days in hard to leave these faces:

The theme of Owen's little birthday celebration was Rock N' Ribs.  We all dressed up like "Rockers" and then Papa Dave grilled some of his famous ribs with help from Owen and Audrey. 

If you promise not to laugh, I will share these pictures of all of us dressed up:
Yes, that is Grammie and Rocker Dave with a little help from a wig! Scary, eh?

Adam and Jenny
and, my talented daughter-in-law's guitar cake for Owen!  It tasted as good as it looked!

The rib makers in their personalized aprons made by Grammie!

We are a little bit of a  "crazy" family....but, we always have such  fun together!!
a smiling Grammie

Friday, September 09, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Celia!

My precious curly-haired granddaughter turns three years old today!
She is full of giggles and love.....and, I miss her so very much.

Sending tons of hugs and kisses your way, Celia.
I love you,

Friday, September 02, 2011


This was my daily email inspiration for today.

It made me laugh.

It sounds lovely....but, who can really exist without some stress in their life?

Not me.

That's for sure...

Can you?

Aside from this....I am awakening at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning to catch an early flight to Minneapolis to hug, love, and spoil two little cutie pies!

:  )

Thursday, September 01, 2011


Happy 5th Birthday my sweet Owen!!

I can't wait to say it in person on Saturday!

I love you so very much,
Grammie : )