Saturday, August 30, 2008

He's Home!!!

What a wonderful morning!! CarGuy is home and I was able to finally get a good nights sleep! Peanut is still jumping and woofing at every little noise but I'm sure he'll get back to his "I just can't be bothered" attitude very soon. Perdy's already back to her old self and snoring away on the floor. It's nice not to spend all day at the hospital on an uncomfortable plastic chair and bundled up like a Russian peasant in the middle of winter -- I think I forgot to mention that the room was equivalent to the arctic!

CarGuy's blood levels are ok in some respects but leave something to be desired in others. His WBC is really something the docs are happy about but his platelets and red blood cells (RBC) are lower than they want them to be. Not unexpected they say but still lower. That means I have to be very diligent about disinfecting stuff and chasing off stray visitors (sorry -- I'm not really this mean normally). I'm sure CarGuy and SwimBoy are sick of the "sanitizer Nazi" squirting them with the smelly stuff every time they move and wish they could go visit someone else for a while. Speaking of, I need to go to Sam's and buy the industrial size barrel of the stuff today.

Also, now that I am home I can start shredding and freezing some the 3,000 zukes that showed up in my garden this week! My tomatoes are really leaving something to be desired. By the time they are ripening up they split open and get all gross. I might start picking them while they are green and seeing if they can ripen on the counter without growing any larger. Any advice anyone? The peppers are looking great and the acorn squash is putting out fruit that look reconizable. I'll try to bring you all a full blown garden update tomorrow.

But, for now...I need to go disinfect something and force CarGuy to drink another gallon of water. He needs to flush those icky dead cancer cells out of his body -- I'm on a mission!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thank you and Update

Wow...you really know how to make a girl feel great!! This has been my largest day by far and it's so fun to read where everyone is from. Give me a few days and I'll come repay the love!

I also wanted to update everyone on CarGuy's continuing evil plan to get out of gathering with large crowds and cleaning up dog poo! Yesterday he had a really long day! It started with his first step of the chemo (Rituxin). He had a bit of a reaction during the infusion so they had to stop and then start back up again at a slower rate. They started the infusion at 9:30 am and finished it at 4:00 pm so it did take longer than we thought it would. They think it will go faster the next time. This particular drug has a mouse protein base so that was probably why his body flipped out a little -- the nurse told him he might start squeeking too, which with my sense of humor I thought was hilarious and I may just have to start squeeking everywhere I go! I love that nurse!!!

Then at 5:00 pm they took him down to surgery to have his port put in -- we've started calling it the teleport. He hasn't started using his Scotty impression but I'm sure it's not too far away. He's kind of doped up so you have to give him a little bit of a break -- he's kind of slow right now. He did great in that surgery and was even ready to eat shortly afterward. All the nurses say the port is going to be his best friend. Hey, wait, I thought I was his best friend!! ;-) I'm sure Peanut and Perdy thought they were his best friends -- I don't think I'll tell them what the nurses said.

This morning he had the rest of his chemo cocktail (Adriamycin, Cytoxin, Vincristine, and a mix of anti-nausea and steroidal drugs). It went really easy and there were no reactions in the house! Woot-woot!! He wasn't feeling much like dinner tonight but I made him get a dinner anyway. I told him to get what he wanted off the menu (if you haven't eaten in a hospital lately, it's definitely improved!) and not to worry about it being a normal meal. So...he had chicken noodle soup, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, and chocolate milk. The nausea hasn't hit yet from the chemo but the doc said it would probably start up over the next couple days so I'm sure that's when I'm really going to have problems getting him to eat.

Tomorrow he gets the last little bit of the drugs that go with the chemo (Benadryl injection to help with side effects of the chemo and Neulasta which will help him make more good white blood cells (WBC) so he can fight infection.) His WBC count on Sunday was 151,000 (normal is around 10,000) and this morning it was 51,000 so that is really encouraging!! His platelets are very low due to the chemo so we have to be really careful that he doesn't get cut or injured - I told him he will have to give up his dream of becoming a world class cage fighter for the time being! He also bruises really easily right now so I've got to lay off the beatings he usually deserves. ;-) He's very susceptible to germs right now too so we've got to be really careful to disinfect everything and stay away from lots of people. I know he's just heartbroken that he can't go to the mall since he just looooves the mall! If you believe that, I've got some swampland in Florida to sell to you!

Thanks again for coming to visit and I promise that soon I will get back to more garden updates and funny dog stories! I'm missing normal life!!

WELCOME TO COLORFUL COLORADO!!!

If you read my post from a couple of days ago, I think you'll understand why I wasn't able to clean the place up or bake anything yummy for you. But come back after we get this cancer thing down to a routine and I'll be sure and spend lots more time with you. However....I do have some time right now in my "less-than-8-hours-of-sleep-over-the-last-50+-hours" state of mind to give you a taste of my Colorado!
I grew up on the Eastern Plains of Colorado in a tiny farming town (pop. 847 on a good day). It was pretty flat and we had an inkling there were some mountains out there in the West. On a clear day we could see an indication that the ground did not stay flat forever! I love the plains - you can see forever and the fields really do wave at you when the wind blows. It's one of the most beautiful sights I know except maybe a buffalo grazing in that grass. Yes, we have buffalo there -- not wild, mind you, but they do exist and remind you of days gone by. The baby ones are especially precious.


When I graduated high school I thought I wanted more than this little town could offer and off I went to the big city of Denver. Denver really is an amazing place. You will find all kinds of areas in town that range from pretty hoity-toity to down home suburban America. I hear tell there is this big convention going on downtown right now but since I now live way north I'm really not sure.


About 8 years ago we had had enough of the big city and longed for something smaller -- not 847 type smaller but something around 50,000 might be good. We moved about 1 1/2 hours north of Denver and we are deliriously happy here. It's a wonderful place within just minutes of all kinds of outdoor activities. You can whitewater raft, hike, waterski, tube, mountain bike, or just enjoy the serenity of the crickets during the summer. Of course in the winter you have your skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, ice fishing, and my personal favorite, sitting in the lodge drinking "hot chocolate" (wink, wink). Sometimes it's hard to believe that I live where people save to take a vacation to.
It is truly God's Country around here!!
I hope you enjoy your stay and will come back real soon!!


Tiny Theater Thursday - Double Feature!!

Today you get a double feature in honor of the Olympics!!

video
This one is compliments of the one I let get away.

video
My sis BeeGee sent me this one.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The day our lives changed

On Sunday night I took CarGuy to the emergency room for abdominal pain he had been having for a couple weeks. He's a guy so of course it took some time to convince him he needed to do this. Well...long story short...he has Chronic Prolymphocytic Leukemia. This is a very rare form of leukemia and is even rarer in someone his age - almost 47. It's normally seen in 60 or 70 year olds. For this reason we might be looking at a bone marrow transplant in the next few years. Since it's so rare samples are being sent to the Mayo Clinic so we might hear more from them in the coming weeks.

It's an aggressive form of the less aggressive leukemia. Make sense? I know, it didn't to me either when it was explained about 2 hours ago. I'll try to put down in writing what I figured out. You either have acute or chronic leukemia. Acute is the kind that is usually quickly fatal and chronic is much more manageable and doesn't require quick treatment; acute is more aggressive and chronic is not. With me so far? Now within the chronic area there are types that are so non-aggressive that all you have to do is take a pill a day and you are good for the rest of your life and then on the other end of the scale there is the lovely little bugger that has taken hold of my husband's blood. He will definitely be sorry he's messing with my family!!

So...tomorrow we start the first step of chemo, Thursday it looks like a port will be put in, and then on Friday the rest of the chemo cocktail will be served. Hopefully he will get to come home from the hospital either Sunday or Monday. Speaking of....I need to get back over there. He needs some diet coke, his own pillow, and I'm taking Peanut to go see his dad. Peanut's really been lost without him around so I think it will be good for both of them.

I'm going to try to not let this blog become a downer so I'm going to try and find the funny parts of cancer but just in case I slip into some morose areas, just pat my hand and tell me everything is going to be ok. M'kay?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Diary of a Dog Sitter

I am watching a friend's dog this weekend while she has a romantic getaway with her boy toy. Her dog is a sweetheart and I don't mind at all. But...you knew there was going to be a "but", didn't you? Why would I blog about it if there wasn't a "but" in the story? Ok...so this morning I go over to take care of sweetie-pie; feed her breakfast, play with her, and take her for a walk. It took her forever to eat and she is crazy with her toys so that was an adventure. Then I put my tennies on and decided we would walk as far as we could get in 20 minutes and then turn around and come back. She doesn't play well with others so I didn't use the path that snakes through our town but instead I took her down some dirt roads that are not frequented by anyone.

She's having a ball and I'm enjoying the nice cool weather we had this morning. I let her leash out as far as it will go and she bounding all over the place obviously totally in her element. Then it happens...there are some creatures in this world that I just can't abide. Snakes would be one of them but don't worry she didn't scare up a snake for me to deal with. She scared up thousands, well really like 5, of the bane of my teenage years. GRASSHOPPERS!!!

Gosh, I really hate those things and I am definitely going to ask God what was he was thinking when he put those on the same earth with me! When I was a teenager we lived on a ranchette in an area that was nicknamed Grasshopper Corner and for good reason. I would come out to my car in the morning for school and there would be dozens of the nasty creatures plastered on my car. I would literally be in tears by the time I was done getting them off so I could drive away and hope that when I returned that a grasshopper disease had hit and they were all gone.

So I have to ask why an intelligent person like myself cannot get over her aversion to something that will not hurt her. Snakes...I'm ok with that fear because truly they could hurt me and given that we have rattlers here they could even kill me. But, a grasshopper? What's the worst that could happen? But, no matter how much I tell myself that there is nothing to be afraid of I just can't come to grips with myself. I think I need aversion therapy!! Maybe I should go get myself a furry stuffed grasshopper toy and sleep with it for a few nights. Yea...that's the ticket...I'm sure that will work!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The One I Let Get Away

I promised some time back to tell the story about the guy in high school who was the sweetest most wonderful friend and I did not treat him like I should have and I still regret that today. I'm sure I'm not the only one so feel free to share your stories too -- it'll make me feel better. I beg you don't think too harshly of me after you read this -- I was after all a stupid teenage girl!!

I started a new school when I was a Sophomore in high school. I moved from Los Angeles to a small farming community in rural Eastern Colorado. A bit of culture shock to be sure. One of the people who accepted me (weird clothes and all) was R.J. He treated me so good right from the start. It was an extremely small school -- only 39 kids in my entire class! When you go to such a small school it's really hard. Most of these kids had been in school together since kindergarten so there were definite cliques going on. I did not meet any of the criteria for any of them. I was alone in the surfer girl clique!! I was angry that my parents moved us and I'm sure I wasn't very nice to be around.

R.J. spent a lot of time with me and when we both reached that age where you can date he began asking me out. I would always turn him down -- it was such a widely known thing that there is an unfortunate picture of us in the yearbook with the caption "trying his luck, again" -- I was having an especially bad hair day or else I'd share the pic. (Vanity is one of my most endearing qualities, right?) As time went by I started making friends and even made the cheerleading squad. I really thought I was something else. I continued to turn R.J. down and treat him like dirt.

During our senior year I finally said yes to "meeting" R.J. at a dance after a football game. I was cheering at the game so I had to go home and change and then run back over to the dance. By the time I got there the dance was well under way. I walked in and didn't see him anywhere so I went to sit with some friends. A short while later R.J. was at my side apologizing -- for what I had no idea. I guess it turns out he found someone else because I was such a witch (my word, not his) to him -- I totally deserved for that to happen. When I walked in he was kissing her on the dance floor and I didn't even see it happen. He thought I did and rather than ignore the issue he came right to me to make sure my feelings weren't too horribly hurt.

I didn't have any claims on him and he was free to date anyone he wanted. I could tell he was devasted that he might have hurt me. I should have immediately begged that he ditch her and that he never allow his lips to kiss any other girl than me. That would have saved me from the too numerous to mention mistakes that I would make through the next couple of decades of my life!! He ended up taking this girl to prom and when my own date ditched me (long sordid story there -- another blog for another day!) they gave me a ride home.

Fast forward and he ends up marrying this girl and having a bushel of kids. I guess she turned kind of nutsy and they ended up divorcing. He is now married to a wonderful woman who seems to make him very happy. I'll probably be meeting her in person soon and I'm kind of nervous. Over the years I have become very protective of those that I wronged in my life. Almost like I've decided that I need to be their guardian angel to make up for my snotty past. I've also not seen R.J. in person in probably 15 years or more so I'm a little nervous about that too. We've talked on the phone and e-mailed over the years so it's not like we've lost track completely. I hope he knows how much I regret my past actions and that if I had it all to do over again, it would have definitely gone differently. R.J. is still better to me than I deserve -- I hope he knows how much I love and appreciate his friendship over the years.

Ok...that's my confession for today -- do you all still like me?

This is what awaits me. Am I the only one who absolutely hates to do laundry? It's not so much the moving it from one machine to the next but the folding and putting away that I really want to run screaming from. It never fails I run into one or two articles of clothing that CarGuy or SwimBoy put in the laundry that I know for a certainty they did not wear! I'm working at home today so at least I can change the loads during breaks today and get some of the easy part done. But tomorrow....eeek...anyone want to come over for a folding party?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tiny Theater Thursday

This needs no introduction…just enjoy!



Saturday, August 16, 2008

Gardens, Twilight, and Rain

Well...here is the only garden update you are getting today!! (Grrrr....I hate that stupid tent thing my neighbor insists on leaving up constantly -- it messes with my pictures!)
It is pouring rain and has been since Thursday night. It's raining so much that Perdy won't leave the porch. She just looks around and then looks at me like I could make all this ickiness stop so she can go play. I would, Piddygirl, if I could...I love you that much!
And Peanut won't even get within 10 feet of the door that leads to the porch that leads to the rain. (Yes, those are socks and a baseball hat and stinky running shoes and overflowing diet coke cans by the recycle bin but they are not my things and I refuse to pick them up anymore. The house can become overrun with socks and hats and other miscellaneous stuff that is not mine and I will do nothing about it. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!! Mom's on strike!! Now those muddy paw paths on the floor, I might mop those up because my furry darlings don't have opposable thumbs and can't hold the mop. They get a break that way!)
Now me...I just finished this book about 10 minutes ago...there are no words.....
And I absolutely must go buy this book...even if it means going out in the rain because being the sugary being that I am I just might melt....because....
I cannot go on living another day until I know what happens...please, please, please, don't let the author leave me hanging at the end. Gosh I'm so glad I didn't hear about this series until it was finished...I never could have survived having to wait for the next book. You've got to read this series -- this gripped me more than HP...sorry J.K. but I think this is now my favorite series. But...you were always my first...that should mean something to you!

See you all when I've emerged from my fantasy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tiny Theater Thursday

This guy’s bit on cake is just too funny to pass up. I know it’s a little long but I think you’ll find it worth it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Gosh, I'm so far behind on blogging! Sort of like my housework and projects at work too. I haven't given you a garden update in forever and I haven't posted a new recipe to my recipe blog in over a week. Our pastors have given awesome messages the last few weeks and I took loads of notes but haven't put them into a coherent set of sentences for you yet either. I haven't given you the latest Peanut & Perdy stories (Peanut ate my fabulous lunch bag with my monogram on it and he also ate my favorite work shoes -- that dog is definitely in trouble today and he knows it!) Sheesh, what is up with me anyway?!? So...here's a garden update and then I'll go over and post a new recipe for you too! I hope that giving you 2 posts in one day will help me start to win my way back into your hearts!

Up first is the big proliferator in our garden.....Zucchini!! What you are looking at here are more big greens getting started. Did you know there are girl blossoms and boy blossoms? The slender stalks are the boys which don't produce the fruit but are needed in order for the fruit to happen (that's all I'm saying there cuz I'm all G-rated up in here you know) and the more rounded stalks are the girls and will turn out the zukes once they have lost their beautiful blossom and expanded to nearly bursting -- sort of like in real life, huh? I know, I know, girls, it's just not fair.
Here's a basket of what I've picked just in the last few days:
In that basket are some of the first cukes of the season. I can't wait for more to follow so I can get to putting up some pickles. Here's one still a-growing - isn't he too cute?
And finally we have some little peppers showing up and boy do we have a bunch of them!!
Those tomatoes are still growing and I'm getting really impatient! On my walk yesterday I peeked at some of the neighbors tomatoes and they are all ripe and ready to eat. No, I didn't steal any but I am not guilt free of the envy I felt. Hurry up tomatoes!!!
The corn is really starting to come along -- yummmm!!!
Here are some acorn squash blossoms -- I have a great recipe for these little darlings so stay tuned for that!
I haven't given up completely yet on that poor little yellow squash plant and I think I'm starting to see some blossom buds showing up:

And last but not least...the bane of my existence today:
I know he looks all sweet and innocent but don't let that adorable little face and cute little pink tongue fool you! It's all an act and he's just biding his time until he figures out how to unlock the locking trash can!! OK...I'm off to go find some shoes to replace the ones he chewed up!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tiny Theater Thursday

I know I shouldn’t laugh at other people’s misfortunes but I just can’t help it. Gosh it feels so good to laugh this hard!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

County Fair Time

Well...we did indeed make it over to the county fair this morning before CarGuy's aunt had to leave. We had great fun in the short amount of time we were there. We got there just in time to see one of SwimBoy's good friends showing one of her sheep. She placed 2nd. Here are some pics from our fun today. I didn't get pics of the draft horses, cows, horses, sheep, pigs, goats, alpacas, or bunnies but here's a bunch of the entries from the poultry division -- some were kind of weird (like the Turken) but most were just really beautiful. We might go back over there later when it cools off -- it's unbearably hot around here lately. The draft horses were amazing but my phone just will not take pictures that far away and *gasp* I forgot my camera!!







Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday's Feast

Well...the regular chef over at Friday's Feast has been having computer problems so Jodi over at Beacon of Hope created one that I just had to take part in. Her first question is really hard and in some ways disturbing but I'll get over that one as soon as I ingest the 3 pounds of peanut butter kisses upstairs in the freezer! Not really Jodi, it was a good question but I think I need some paxil now. ;-)

If you want to join us, go check out Jodi's page and also leave me a comment with your link so I can see what your answer is to #1.

Appetizer
If you learned today you were going to die tomorrow, name three things you would do.

Wow…what a horrible thought. I would definitely spend the entire day with my family first and foremost. I would eat all the stuff I never dare touch because I’m always on a diet and I would go get a full spa treatment.

Soup
What is your very first memory?

It’s really weird but it’s sitting in my bedroom at my grandmother’s house looking up at these felt pictures depicting nursery rhymes. I figure I had to be under the age of 4 because we moved out of her house when I was 4 and ended up in Los Angeles. I have those pictures to this day and sometimes I just look at them and wonder why there were so special that I would remember them in this way.

Salad
Name one service you are willing to pay for and one you are not.

I am so willing to pay someone to clean my house but CarGuy would have a conniption!! I’ve never had anyone clean my house for me but I just know it would be awesome! I am not willing to pay someone to color my hair. I’ve been coloring my hair (gasp..choke…that’s not your natural haircolor?!?) for years and I can’t see paying someone a hundred dollars or more when I can spend less than $10 for a box that takes me less than 45 minutes start to finish to use.

Main Course
Do you make your bed every day?

Most of the time I do but lately I’ve been just pulling up the sheets since we haven’t really been using the comforter and I have it all nicely folded at the foot of the bed. I did make it today though because CarGuy’s aunt is coming to visit and she hasn’t seen our new fancy-dancy bedroom furniture so I wanted it to look nice.

Dessert
Name the most significant thing you learned this week.

Don’t shake a sealed container!! Obviously!!

Now wasn't that fun? I think we are going to the County Fair this weekend so maybe I'll have exciting stories of pigs, cows, cowboys, and quilts to share! Yeehaw!!