Friday, June 30, 2006

Our Latest trip to the BIG city....and more

These two pieces of artwork are hanging in the third floor waiting room of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance offices. That is where my surgeon, Dr. Heidi Gray, has her office. She is such a neat young woman - & she was very positive about my progress. Everything is healing nicely, (I can start my swim class again) and she said that yes, I could go back to work - altho she only wants me to work 6 hours a day - Don't know if I can limit it to that, but I worked a full day today and I'm beat. So, I'll probably take her advice and just take off at 3:30 or so every day for a couple of weeks till I get "back into it".

This is a "Top Hat" blueberry - it is one of my husband's bonsai plants. It stands about 15-18" tall and if you look closely you'll notice that it is covered with blueberries. It sits on a shelf right outside the dining room window and this morning when I was working on timecards, I looked up just in time to see a beautiful green & gold cedar waxwing land on this plant. Then that little devil chomped into a berry and GULP, swallowed it down. I sat there in amazement while it ate 5 or 6 of those blues, then thought- what am I thinking - throw something at the window and scare it away - I don't know why I didn't pull out my camera & take a picture first - it would have been a cool one.

The lillies are starting to bloom - these are asiatic lillies - pretty but not scented. My favorites are the orientals & orienpets - they are so fragrant. Every year in June, we've had a "Lillies & Lambs" dinner for church friends - it has been postponed this year because of my surgery. It has been rescheduled for the end of July - I hope there will still be some lillies in bloom then.

We'll be spending tomorrow cleaning house because Sunday noon, my nephew and his wife are coming with their little boy, Parker. It will be fun to see them. AND Gwendolyn is coming tomorrow! Stand by for photos!

dJango says "Do you think she'll like me?" I'm sorry dJango - we have to find you a new home - you won't get a chance to dance with this diva.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Waiting for Gwendolyn...

Cimarron says that he has heard a rumor that Gwendolyn is coming on Saturday morning - yup, he's right.

In the mean time, I have an appointment with Dr. Gray, my surgeon, tomorrow in Seattle. I don't have any reason to believe it will be anything but good news - and that she says I can be back at work full time on the 3rd. Hope so, that 's what I've promised my boss.

BTW, I tallied up the "retail" charges (ie. before insurance and all the "write-offs") on my little stay at the UW last month - it's up at about $25K Whew - thank goodness for insurance and AFLAC!

I need to get out and take some more
pictures in our garden, but I'll leave you with this beautiful rosa rugosa - Like Emeril the chef says, "If only there was smellavision" - these have the best rose scent that you'll ever run past your nose.

Oh, and GO MARINERS - what a great game tonight - and they are 17 & 7 for the month of June - hooray!

Monday, June 26, 2006

How We Spent our Summer Vacation

Since the early 1980's the third weekend in June has been the date of the Black Sheep Gathering, held at the Lane county Fairgrounds in Eugene Oregon - mecca for colored sheep and goat breeders, knitters, spinners, crocheters - just about anything to do with fibers. John has gone the past two years by himself, but I wanted to go along this year - It is always fun to see the other "sheep people" ...

AND to go thru the vendor show where you can find just about any color of wool or other fibers that you've ever wanted! I want you to know that I was very good and kept my pocket book under lock & key this year - I still have fiber from two years ago that I haven't processed!

So, does this look familiar - does this look like a man who is shopping. Yup, this is GIZMO - some people buy trinkets on their summer vacation - we buy sheep - John has his breeding program all figured out - we're changing from moorits to "pastels" - somehow, it makes me think we should dye all these little guys pretty colors with Koolaid - wouldn't that stop traffic on the corner?

BUT, before we went home we drove out to the coast and visited our friend Kathy H. and her partner Mike - they are refurbishing a 100 year old house in Gardner, Oregon - it is not much to look at now, but it's going to be great when they get it done - and check out the view from the front porch...

Way to go Kathy & Mike - we can hardly wait to see it next summer. :-)

When we left Eugene on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. it was nearly 90 degrees out. This is 7 hours later - does he look like he wants out of that crate? Let me tell you, that was one darn long trip, and we had air conditioning in the cab - none for the sheepies in the back of the truck though.

Introducing GIZMO - a new buddy for Cimarron and a new breeding program for Marietta Shetlands - Only time will tell, but I think he is particularly handsome, don't you?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's Back to Work I go

For a few days, anyhow, because we're going on vacation on Thursday. Actually, I've been putting in short days for the past two weeks - I've got to get it ramped up so I'm ready to be back full time on the 3rd of July.

We're ready to go on vacation and John is getting sick. Do you think I'll be able to get him to gargle with some Cepacol to get rid of his sore throat? We'll see.

BTW, here's a nice background music that plays off your computer - Sometimes it's New Age, sometimes it's light classical - it's almost always enjoyable. They even give you links to the artist in case you want to buy the album that they are playing off of! Very handy.

I think I may have mentioned my friend Nancy's blog before, and if I can ever figure it out, I'll post a permanent link to it on my site - but it's called "A Shepherd's Voice". She has wonderful pictures of her sheep & her farm in Minnesota and her stories are just darn great. Here it is:

I'm fascinated by all the fun pictures that I can take with my little digital camera - it is so much fun - take as many as I want, until I get just the right picture. As you can tell, I'm into flower pictures right now. Get ready for sheep, sheep & more sheep when we get back from Eugene! Later, T.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Our Little Farm

Here is our little flock of Shetland sheep going out for a munch - that is dJango heading up the lead - isn't he a handsome little fellow?

I call this my color wheel - our flock has primarily a "moorit" or redish brown background - but we'll be getting a new ewe lamb from our friends Donna & Tom and she is white with black spots. She is actually the grandaughter of the first purebred shetland sheep that we owned.

Several of our sheep will be going to new homes around the first of July. I always hate it when we have to get rid of some of them - but we don't have very much land, and can only support about 6 - as you can see - we have way more than that right now. Don't they look peaceful? You ought to hear them at 5:30 in the morning!

John's garden is coming into full bloom- he spent the weekend planting more beautiful plants here and there - these nasturtiums come up on their own every year from seed.

I never know what he's going to bring home from work - last week he brought home this old burned out stump. Now it looks like it has been here for ever. It willl be real pretty next spring when the narcissus come up around it.

Hope you enjoyed your tour of our little farm - Sinda says "Make sure you plan to stay a while and have a nice glass of iced tea the next time, OK?"

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Summer time, ooh, ooh, ooh......

We're going to Carey & Wendy's for a Summer Solstice celebration this evening - when I started thinking about it last night the old Summer time song popped into my head - I added some additional reflections.

Reflections on Summer time

Summer time, summer time, sum, sum, summer time,
Long days that trick you into staying up past your bed time –

Summer time, summer time, sum, sum, summer time,
Remember how the harmony modulates?

Summer time, ooh, ooh, ooh

The young drivers check out one another, radios blaring as they cruise the road along the beach – it’s been the same Friday night for over 50 years…

It’s a time for fresh strawberries, little kids with “nuttin” to do & memories of lying in the sun with your girlfriends, optimistically checking each other’s tan lines every 15 minutes.

Summer time, summer time, sum, sum, summer time,
Summer time, ooh, ooh, ooh.

Friday, June 16, 2006

No More Pain Pills

Holy cow! Time flies when your're having fun, huh? I've been neglecting my duties here - I see that it's been a week since I posted last! If you are just joining me - make sure to read the archives - that's where the saga begins.

The newest of the news is no more pain pills - (although I have a few saved in case of emergencies...) Just taking Tylenol for Arthritis - that seems to be strong enough to dull the aches & pains I come up with during the night or day. It also means that I am allowed to drive, so I've been on a few short jaunts - to a spinner's guild meeting and into town to pick up perscriptions.

And I went into the office yesterday to finish up my payroll (print the checks & get them out to employees). I was surprised that everyone was so glad to see me - I even got hugs from some of the guys! Wonders never cease. Maybe it's my sparkling personality they have missed, do you suppose?

So, as this whole saga draws to an "end" I've been toying with the idea of keeping my blog up with just day to day stories and my thoughts on this or that - as I always do seem to have an opinion one way or t'other...ha, ha - maybe I'll be the next Barbara Kingsolver. Hardly.

I have a date with my sweet husband to go out to dinner and get groceries - resuming normalcy - it's been our standing Friday night date since we got married - it's a nice way to end the week. We plan our menus for the next week over dinner, go shopping and when we get home he carries in all the groceries. Such a deal. He's just the best.

So, I'd better go get ready. I hear the sheep calling, so he must be on his way home.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Things are "lookin' good"

I just can't believe how fast time is flying. I got home from the hospital two weeks ago yesterday! Two more weeks in "exile" here at home - (my boss has threatened me with something unimaginable if I set foot in the office.) Thank Heavens for computer networks.

Had a "check-in on the incision" appointment with my B'ham doctor this afternoon. She was very pleased at how it looks. Most of the redness is gone and I'm thinking I'm going to start putting the emu oil concoction that my friends in Spokane made for me. Emu oil is very beneficial at getting rid of scar tissue.

(I am, however back on antibiotics - this time for a bit of a bladder infection - I hope that's all it is. But I stocked up on yogurt at the store when I picked up my perscription so I don't run into "that problem" again, if you know what I mean)
It's really not so bad being "in exile" - John has worked so hard on our yard - it's like living in a park - and I am proud of him - I know he loves it tho. When I was looking for a new photo to post here, I realized that since I took the last batch of photos, everything has really leafed out and it all looks different again - Mother Nature has her early summer wardrobe on.

I made dinner "all by myself" last night. We had hamburger stroganoff, with noodles, green peas and strawberry rhubarb crisp for desert. Yum. Every single one of the meals that our wonderful friends have brought over the past two weeks have been delicious, but it's almost been like eating in a restaurant - I've missed my own cooking. I definately have to be careful when I pick up my heavy Pampered Chef pans, that is for sure. Do you suppose they weigh more or less than a gallon of milk?

I've been up for a while now - I'm feeling like it's time for a siesta. Later. T.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

And the Staples are OUT!

My surgery was two weeks ago yesterday. Somehow it seems like a lifetime ago.

I was just sitting here thinking that not much had happened lately to report, but DUH - I got my staples out yesterday! And a little more info from Dr. Otto.

- 1 - It was a difficult surgery because of the old scar tissue - and she (Dr. Otto) was extremely glad that I had been in the hands of such a competent surgeon.
- 2 - Most of the cells on the uterine wall were the pre-cancerous type. That is so "hugely good", if you know what I mean.
- 3 - My tummy is looking pretty good but Dr. O is concerned about the redness right around the staples - but now that the staples are out, I think the redness is subsiding. It is however, bruised where ever they gave me the Heparin (sp) shots - but those are fading too. (I want you to be proud of me that with all the pictures I have posted here, I DID not take a picture of my belly and I'm not going to - that would be too much information even for ME!
- 4 - The Japanese iris pictured here is called Japanese Harmony. It is the iris that I gave to Dr. O yesterday as a "thank you" present - you know, in the "old days" patients would bring a dozen eggs or a chicken - She's lucky I didn't bring her a ram lamb. Ha, ha, ha.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mystery Muffins

If you go back into the archives (May 12, titled "Friends") you 'll see a picture of this little fellow on his "birth day" Shetland sheep are fun, you never know what you'll get and you'll never know what they'll turn into a month later-

It is funny the things that pop into my head - memories about before & after my surgery - Like when they show someone going to surgery on TV and they show the lights whizzing by - they really do that in real life too. At the UWMC, they have some automation for getting the doors open (handicapped openers), but I decided, as they were pusing me down to pre-op, that the people pushing the gurneys need a little beanie hat with a strobe on it like how a police car connects with the lights to make them go green - this little beanie hat would connect with the doors and open them automatically without the "driver" having to stop the gurney, push the door open button and wait for it to open - Sounds like a good idea? OK, get to it you inventors.

Thanks to our friend Margot's organizational skills, we have had all these wonderful meals brought to us - Fixing food - what a comforting community event. Reminds me of a verse from a song called "Three Women" by a group called Domestic Science Club:

"There's a light in the kitchen
There's a light in the land
Three women round the table holding hands,
They carry the burdens, bring food when they can
They're easing the leaving, and they're holding hands"
(c) 1994 Carrie Newcomer

One night in the hospital when I couldn't sleep (and my door was closed) I found myself singing that song and a few others on this sweet album - One song (that has spectacular acapella harmony on the CD) is called "Unseen Angels" -

"Sometimes when I find I cannot sleep in my bed
Angels come and stand here at my side in the night
Silent in the dark of my dread, unseen angels come stand at my side.

Beautiful angels, unseen angels,
When I'm by my alter and tried, here in side,
Silent in the dark of my dread, unseen angels come stand at my side.

Time and time again, when I feel lonely and low
Giving into anger and pride, here inside
Softly, like the mornings first glow, unseen angels come stand at my side

Wild imagination runs out of control
When I'm finding nowhere to hide, from the tide
Bringing a sweet peace to my soul, unseen angels come stand at my side"
(c) Steve Mote & Joseph Spence. Year?

Thankfully, my door was closed - I sang the gambit of all the songs I could remember - from the songs listed above, to Willie Nelson's song "Crazy" - now that would have made them wonder if they need to take me off some of those good drugs, do you think?

Oh, Mystery Muffins - I almost forgot - Yesterday when I was taking my shower, I thought I heard someone drive into the yard - what I actually heard was the loud "boomba, boomba, boomba" of a car stereo - so I thought it must have been someone out on the street. Later when I got hair all done, etc. and came out to the kitchen, there was a sack with 1/2 dozen home made banana muffins on the counter - more comfort food - but no note to say who they were from. So, Thank you, Mystery Muffin Maker, who ever you are. :-) T