Sunday, January 31, 2010

Is it really Sunday?

No church we aren't exactly sure what day it is! Our church and most in the area cancelled their services due to icy road conditions. So we have stayed home. Woody has read and watched TV. I ventured out on our front porch to take a few pictures ("Icicles Melting" for one) and then came back in to settle in for an afternoon of quilting on Esther's quilt.

This is my 400th blog post! Woody said that he hoped that I had a reason for a lot more!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Greetings from snowy/icy Tullahoma (or is it LA?)

Woody said that he hadn't realized that they had had this much snow in Los Angeles (take note of the snowman's LA Dodger cap). This snowman appeared in the yard across the street from us yesterday. Last night the snow turned to icy rain and today the snow is longer the kind that with which you would want to attempt to build a snowman. A minute ago a car crunched down our street. We did party with Nathan and family today. They came over a little before noon for party appetizers, then we had our party meal and then our party dessert. The children were excited even though our plans had changed due to the weather and it was "just us." Abigail came in with a picture that she called a "party picture" and we put it on the refrigerator. After lunch, games were played by some and some just played. After we played we put in a DVD and some of us watched it and some just continued to play. Every so often we had to turn the TV volume up to hear the DVD dialogue...wonder why! Graham stayed a little longer than the rest of his family to play a couple more games. When he left, he said that the snow underfoot was hard! Woody said that the front steps are once again slippery. We have battened down the hatches and planning to stay in where it is warm and safe. It is supposed to get into the teens tonight.

I think that a good time was had by all! I just finished cleaning up the kitchen...turned out the lights...and told Woody that the kitchen was closed! Partying is over for this is "to be continued" next week with those who couldn't come today!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snowy Day

It turned out to be a snowy day...much to the delight of our neighbors. They had a ton of fun in the snow today. What you see pictured is just the start of what fell during the late morning and afternoon hours. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see that it was really snowing/sleeting at the time I took this. By me taking the picture through the window, you can probably tell that I stayed indoors and enjoyed the view! At the moment I don't really like what I hear on the snow is quiet...but frozen rain isn't...and what I'm hearing isn't quiet! Ice storms put a dread into me...we were without electricity for just a few hours short of a week some years back at Christmas...what a memory...I pray that we don't have to go through anything like that again!
Normally I would really be excited about a snowy day. I have related before how much I love to watch it snow. wasn't as excited about it due to our party planned for tomorrow. I was so looking forward to being with family and friends. We have postponed our party till next Saturday...hopefully the weather will cooperate! We will still party tomorrow...Nathan and family will trek across from their house and we will party hearty!
Woody got up early, went to work, his lunch walk got snowed out, he worked some more and then came home to rest and relax.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Child Labor...of Love!

Earlier in the week Graham and I were talking about our party on Saturday and I asked him what he thought that his friends would like to do when they were here. He thought a minute and suggested a couple of being playing with some of the things under the stairs. We have a closet in the living room under the stairs where we keep the toys for the grandchildren and other children who visit us. Graham immediately went and looked in the closet. He then said: "Grammy, I could come over and clean up the toy closet later in the week." What a sweet boy! So I took him up on his offer this afternoon. He went right to it and did a great job. Some time ago, I sort of assigned him the job of vacuuming our stairs with the hand vac he did that job too. Then after that I found Woody's laser level and we straightened the pictures on the stairs. These pictures get bumped by elbows big and little...but the main problem is the periodic sonic booms that we get that shake the whole house. We had a sonic boom earlier in the probably they will stay straight at least till the next boom or the next elbow! I am still in "getting ready for company" mode...but not sure what we have in store for us weather-wise...predictions of ice and snow for tomorrow and tomorrow night and into Saturday. I know that nine of us can gather easily (since we live next door to each other)...without risking getting out on the roads...but the other ten don't live quite so near. So we are in a "wait and see what God has in store for us weather-wise" mode! But till we know for sure what the weather is going to do, I continue to get ready. Let's say, that if we get snowed/iced-in, we shouldn't go hungry!

Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home and has been relaxing this evening with the TV and a book. We just had an interesting automated call from Vanderbilt about this coming Tuesday's appointment. The gentleman's voice tells us what day and times our appointments are and who the appointments are with...they first said that Woody had an oncology lab appointment...yes, knew that...then he says that Woody has an appointment with Dr. Igor Puzanov...WHO??????? Well, I sort of remember hearing that name connected with Dr. guess either Dr. Sosman is going to be away...or he is extra busy that day (I think it is the latter). At least Woody will be seen by someone with authority to make decisions as to whether he continues with the drug study. I did look this doctor up on the internet and he is the doctor who has authored several papers with Dr. Sosman about their Melanoma research. I'm sure that we will be in good hands...and we will have one of the research nurses who will know what is going on also!
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cycle 7, Day 23

Ever feel that life gives you scraps?! If you look around my sewing would definitely know that I have produced a lot of scraps...not so sure about life giving me scraps! Some time ago, my mother asked for a picture using this saying. The above picture is what I made for her. I paper pieced the top three motifs (using some of my scraps!) and the lettering is machine embroidery done on my sewing machine.

Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, and came home to relax. I divided up the morning between working around the house and having school with Joy and Esther and then listening to Graham and Abigail read. I spent a good part of the afternoon grocery shopping. When I got home, Woody was home so he unloaded the groceries and I unpacked them and put them away. He did say that he got to sleep easier last night.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Here's a picture of Woody and me on one of our walks! Just in case you can't tell us apart...I have the crooked elbow (up to take this picture!) and Woody is the taller shadow!

This picture brought to mind one of my favorite childhood poems by Robert Louis Stevenson:

My Shadow
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.
He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close to me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Woody got up early, went to work, took another cold walk at lunch (but he was more comfortable today since he had on a heavier coat), worked some more, and then came home to rest and relax with TV and a book. Last night he, again, had trouble getting to sleep due to pain. He did take something for the pain, but it didn't aid him in getting to sleep very quickly.

I had a busy day working a good part of the morning on a book order for the church library. I also ran an errand. I'm in a "getting ready for a party" spent the rest of the day in that mode. We are having guests for lunch on Saturday...there will be a passel of us...19 if I have counted correctly...10 adults and 9 children!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cycle 7, Day 21

Woody got up early, went to work, had a cold, windy walk at lunch, worked some more, and came home to rest and relax. He is also working on our taxes (maybe not so relaxing!). The pain in his shoulder area bothered him enough to interrupt his sleep some last night.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Water, water everywhere & MORE water under the bridge!

It rained and blew a good part of the night. This morning before Woody and I headed out the door to go to church, I snapped the three top pictures of our back and front yards...or should I say our back and front lakes! It rained all the time that we were in Sunday School. Woody taught his 6th grade boys class. We came home and it was still raining. It finally let up after lunch. We retraced our steps of yesterday's walk to see how much more water was under the bridge you can see Turkey Creek had risen quite a bit and was going out of its banks. The picture in the bottom left corner is the creek on the other side of the street. LOTS of water! After our walk, Woody settled in to watch football. He is now reading. The living room is back to accomplishment of the day.
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Water Under the Bridge

A year ago today, Woody had the surgery on his left upper arm removing a melanoma tumor the size of a small lime...water under the bridge! Last year we made 30 round-trips to Vanderbilt...water under the bridge!

Today Woody went to the library, then on to pick up some grocery items that we needed, and stopped at the pharmacy to pick up our last year's prescription record and some prescriptions for me. He watched some basketball on TV and a DVD and has read. We took a short walk today...breaking me back into walking with an easy walk. It has been a very nice day...just a bit breezy. Woody finished packing all the boxes back into the Christmas closet the day before yesterday (I forgot to mention that yesterday.). I did finish pinning Esther's quilt yesterday, so I got the sewing mess out of the living it can become a living room again! Just a little before supper, we headed over to the neighbor's house to take care of five sweet little grandchildren while their mommy and daddy went to a Sunday School get-together (We even managed to have them all in bed (well, Elijah was asleep on my shoulder) before Mommy and Daddy came home!). And...that about sums up our day...which, too, will shortly be water under the bridge!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cycle 7, Day 18

Look who I caught sitting on our porch glider this morning. The temperature was good for Storm, our across the street neighbor's cat, to be out and about...but rather damp under foot for guess he decided that our front porch was a good place to sit and groom.
Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more and came home. He has watched TV, read and started gathering items to prepare our taxes. He got his W-2 form today so he is motivated. I got Esther's quilt layered and am now pinning the layers together. Graham and Abigail came over to read to me and Joy and Esther each had some preschool time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mixed Bag!

We have had a mixed bag of weather today. At the moment it is pouring and thunder is rumbling. Woody came up a little while ago and said that they were showing live pictures of a tornado on the ground in Huntsville, AL. The clouds have really been interesting today. One minute you would think that the sun was going to shine and blue sky would peek through and then you would turn and right behind you it would look like it could pour. The rather blurry pictures were taken just as it started to rain rather hard late this afternoon...I was out on the porch and got pictures just as the rain proceeded down our street. Well, I will say that our roof repairs are getting tested! The temperatures have been very moderate today...really rather pleasant till the rains and thunder and lightning started.

Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home and has been relaxing, watching TV, reading, and resting his eyes. We got another check from Vanderbilt today...always a nice surprise! Last night our vacuum decided to quit right in the middle of vacuuming the living room...this is not a good time to have the vacuum stop working as I really get serious with cleaning as I take down Christmas decorations and redecorate for "normal life." I didn't sleep well last night due to coughing. I got up this morning with a couple of missions in mind...take the vacuum in for repair and go get some cough medicine. I met both those goals, but by the time I got home, the neighbors weren't no school this morning, and, in the end I took the day off from school to rest and try to get over whatever ails me! I have been working on getting Esther's quilt ready to begin quilting. This is the perfect time to get back to work on the quilt...the living room furniture hasn't been moved back so I have a large area on the floor to work. I have pressed, trimmed threads, and am now preparing the will be making the quilt sandwich and then pinning it all together...then on to the fun part (I hope that it will be fun!)...quilting it by machine. And, the cough medicine has definitely helped...hope that I sleep better tonight. Woody has continued to pack the Christmas boxes back into the Christmas closet...never an easy job...but I know that it is even harder this year due to various pains...but he is persevering and getting the job done...bit by bit...or guess I should say box by box!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rain and a few thunder boomers

It has been a rainy day here in Middle TN. I have stayed in, had school with four of the neighbor grandchildren, and stewed a chicken and made chicken stock...and at the moment I am having trouble keeping my eyes open to blog!

Woody got up early, went to work, didn't walk at lunch due to the rain, came home, has been relaxing watching TV and reading. He has also started to put the boxes back in the Christmas about a puzzle...but he always seems to be able to work the puzzle!
I just checked the Vanderbilt website and Woody now has appointments for February 2nd.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cycle 7, Day 15

The tree is in the box. And, the call has been put in to Nathan to come over, after he reads bedtime time stories to Graham, Abigail, Joy, and Esther, to help his daddy take the tree box upstairs and get it into the Christmas closet. I thought that I would post another ornament since Christmas isn't all the way put away. This beaded "ball gown" was made by about a lot of work! Aren't the details wonderful?!

Woody got up early, got the Christmas tree box downstairs, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home and has been relaxing, reading, and watching TV.

Woody's next Vanderbilt appointments hadn't been posted on the Vanderbilt site, so I had told myself that I would call today, if they weren't posted. Well...(they must have been reading my mind) I went to the website this afternoon and lo and behold there were some appointments posted. BUT...all that were posted were the appointment for his next CT Scan at the end of February and his March appointments for two weeks from today. So I easy to reach the research nurses...they have given us a direct numbers and they actually answer...themselves...we don't have to go through anyone else! I called the nurse who took care of Woody last month...she didn't answer...I would have had to leave a I decided to call the nurse that we had the month before...she did answer...and she knew immediately what the problem was...they were trying to get an earlier what was left was quite late in the I'll be watching for them to post when his appointments actually will be on Feb. 2! She asked how he was doing and I told her that he wasn't doing as well this month...didn't know if it was just cumulative effects of the chemo drugs or...what my intuition is telling me...that his blood pressure is a bit too low...and that perhaps his blood pressure medicine needs to be regulated. She did look at the last BP readings from the last visit and she agreed that perhaps blood pressure meds needed to be that will be taken up "when" we are there on Feb. 2.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The tree is bare!

Now...this picture doesn't mean that all the ornaments are in boxes yet...there is still a coffee table top full of ornaments to be boxed up...but definitely the end is in sight.
Woody got up early and went to work. I asked him if he walked at lunch and his reply was: "I did!" And, it was nice for a change!" So he had a good walk at lunch. He worked some more and then came home and has been relaxing with the TV and a book for the rest of the evening.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Boots on the Ground!

Looks like these boots are ready for action! This afternoon the doorbell rang and we had four little neighbor grandchildren on the front porch wanting to show off their new pink Dora umbrella, one pink Barbie umbrella, one pink Princess umbrella, and one camouflage umbrella. Then they decided to come in for a while and visit...take off their boots...and play. They had been told to they could play in their front or back yard or in our yard...they decided that coming in our house worked within that parameter! After they had been over for a little while, I went to the family room to tell Woody something and when I came back to the living room, Kathy and Elijah had joined them. Kathy had come over to help in the ornament hunt! And, what a help she was...lots more are now off the tree and in their respective boxes. What a super daughter-in-love we have! It's her birthday tomorrow...and, since she is so nice...I won't tell you how old she will be!

Woody and I both went to Sunday School this morning. He taught 6th and 7th grade boys. We came home and ate lunch. Then a little after lunch the children came over as related above. Woody and Graham finished their Monopoly game. Woody did win (as he said that he would). I think that Graham may have a new favorite or lose! The girls played with the toys while Kathy and I took ornaments off the tree. Elijah played for a while on the floor, then fell Kathy took him home to put him down for a nap...then she came back. Kathy found the ornament that had been eluding us for several days...the 9th day of Christmas (9 ladies dancing)...finally that box of ornaments is complete...Graham and I had both made many trips around the tree looking for that last ornament of the "12 days of Christmas." The tree actually looks like ornaments have been taken off of it...finally! Thanks, Kathy! After Woody and Graham finished their game of Monopoly, Woody went upstairs and got the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed behind the couch before putting the card table back. Then he proceeded to finish vacuuming the whole room. Graham dusted a couple of table tops for me. Woody has watched TV (mostly football) this afternoon and evening and read.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Liquid Gold!

Some years back, Woody or I read in a cookbook or magazine that having homemade soup stock in your freezer should be considered "liquid gold." Today I made "vegetable liquid gold" aka vegetable stock. It simmered on the stove top for the last four hours and was ready to strain just as it was time to blog. I will freeze it in two cup portions so I can pull it out of the freezer when needed for our soups and other recipes that call for stock/broth. I also plan to make chicken stock in the next day or so...then we will have two flavors of stock from which to choose.
Woody went to the library this morning. He also delivered the cookies I made last night to the church. He has been reading and watching TV...mainly football. A little while ago he took a walk around the block in the rain. I did our weekly grocery shopping (my exercise for the day!). And, I have been working on church library memorials while the liquid gold simmered. So far time for working on undecorating the of these days it will be undecorated and put away!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sunny Day!

It was so sunny today that at lunch I had to close the curtains as the sun was shining in Joy's eyes! A very pretty got up to 64F! We'll be thinking that Spring is on its way with temperatures like that! I know that Spring is on its way...but I'm sure that there is still plenty more winter ahead for us!
Woody got up early, headed off to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, and then came home to rest and relax. I took care of three of the neighbor grandchildren today as Abigail had a doctor appointment in she, her mom and dad and Elijah headed off to Nashville and Graham, Joy, and Esther spent the day over here. I had school with the girls while Graham worked on his homeschooling lessons. By the time the pizza was out of the oven for lunch, Graham was finished with his school then we had the rest of the afternoon to "goof-off!" A little after we finished lunch, I read some stories to the point of about putting myself to sleep! Esther was ready for a nap by the time that we finished reading. While Esther napped, Graham and Joy played with playdoh. When Woody came home, Graham decided that they should continue their game of Monopoly...Woody hasn't wiped him out is still in a "to be continued" mode. Woody and I are both tired this evening, but it's been a fun day! I just finished making cookies to take to church in the morning. And, now that I have blogged...I'm ready to go collapse!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The "Three Litle Pigs!"

Not many can claim fame to being grandparents to "the" three little pigs! Meet Esther, Joy and Abigail! They were part of the a new juggling program that Nathan and Kathy and family presented at First Baptist during the Night In Bethlehem: A Living Nativity.
Here is a link to a preview of their new program based on The Prodigal Son:
Hope that this works...posting a link on the blog is something new for me to try.
Woody got up early, headed to work, and did walk at lunch today. He still doesn't feel all that great. He said that he feels light-headed at times. Since coming home he has been relaxing. Graham did come over for a short time to continue their Monopoly game...they are probably a little closer to Woody wiping Graham out...or so Woody claims! I have had a busy day again time to work on undecorating the tree so far today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cycle 7, Day 9

Woody got up early and went to work. He didn't walk at lunch again today...temperatures were still a bit brisk and also (I think) he is still taking it a bit easy. He came home and headed to his recliner. He did start a game of Monopoly with Graham. Melany called a little while ago to check on her daddy. His report to her was that he was tired and sleepy. He is now watching a DVD. I'm hoping that as our temperatures rise this week that he will start to feel better. The chemo or something seems to have taken its toll on him so far this cycle...and I keep reminding him and myself that this is his 7th month on these chemo drugs...and their effects are cumulative.

I have had a busy day with five of our grandchildren. I started off the day watching all five while Nathan and Kathy took in their van to be worked on. After they got back, I came home and ate breakfast and phoned in some of Woody's and my prescriptions, then Esther came over for her school time. After Esther, Joy came over for hers. Then Graham came over to read. Then it was lunch time. Then Abigail came over for her time of reading and just some "Grammy time." After Abigail, Graham came back over to finish the story he started reading to me before lunch, and then he and I got serious about getting ornaments off the Christmas tree. We "played" "Christmas ornament hunt"...finding the ornaments that belong in specific boxes. That takes lots of walks around the tree! We got a pretty good start before I needed to go to the pharmacy to pick up our medicine and then on to church to work in the library for a while. I have taken off some more ornaments after getting home from church. I was hoping to have enough energy to make a pot of soup after I got home from church...but that energy never surfaced!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cycle 7, day 8

Still rather cold and wintry as you can tell by this picture that I took today of frozen Lake Tullahoma. It did get to 33F today...but it was rather breezy so felt quite a bit colder.

Woody got up early this morning, took the LAST of this cycle's chemo meds and headed off to work. He didn't walk at lunch today due to the temperature and also due to not feeling the greatest after yesterday's he decided that he would take it a bit easy today. He didn't have a headache today and also he didn't feel all in all a much better day for him! He came home just as Joy was finishing up with her school time with me, so she went downstairs and he read to her and they also watched some PBS together. Graham helped me again this afternoon, after he finished reading to me. We put more Christmas items away and got out some of the non-Christmas decorations to put back on tables, etc. Last night I got all the ornaments off the corner tree in the family room. Today, Graham took the tree apart and I got it back in the box. I will be going down after I blog to begin taking ornaments off the big tree in the living undecorating is starting to wind down! Of course getting 700+ ornaments off the tree and back in their correct boxes and/or wrapping them in tissue and into generic boxes is still a major job! Of course, then there is the job of getting the boxes packed back in the Christmas closet...that job I hope Woody will feel like doing! And, Woody is definitely feeling better tonight...if for no other reason than...he doesn't have to take any more chemo pills for at least three weeks!

Monday, January 11, 2010

We're havin' a heat wave...

...a tropical heat wave! It got all the way up to 37F (Woody says 39F) today! Wow...which ever...we actually got above freezing!
Woody got up early, took his drug study pills, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more and then came home to collapse. He said that he has had a headache today, felt sleepy (was really sleepy after his walk at lunch), and has felt rather nauseated. His pain is now more of a sore spot.
I have spent the day undecorating. Graham came over this afternoon and I put him to work. I got up on the step ladder and handed him angels from "on high!" Then he helped me box them up and get the boxes upstairs. A very big help! Joy and Esther came over this evening and stayed for a while. They helped me take the Christmas items out of one of my shadow boxes. They enjoyed holding each of the little items. I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the decorations...I can "almost" say that all that's left is undecorating the two Christmas trees (of course that is still a tremendous job)...but there are still several other items that need to find a box. My cough is some better.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cycle 7, Day 5 1/2

Eric, Bernie, and Jimmy (pictured above) seem to be among those enjoying the cold temps...look at those smiles! It did get a bit warmer here today...all the way up to 27F after a low this morning of 9F. Too cold for me!
Woody taught 6th and 7th grade boys in Sunday School this morning. He has attended church services and football games via the television today. He's also done some reading. He is still having pain, but not as much as yesterday...and so far hasn't taken anything for it. for me...I am in a "sorrier state" than I was at blog-time yesterday. Shortly after posting the blog last night, I started to feel choked up and not long after that I started coughing and coughed a good part of the night (or so it seemed). So I have stayed in today and tried to take it easy...doing some undecorating...but climbing up and down the stairs is hard when breathing is compromised! Maybe Christmas decorations will get put away before it's time to get them out for this coming Christmas!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Birds of a feather flock together...

...especially in cold weather! And, it is still quite frigid here in Middle Tennessee. It did get "all the way up" to 21F here today. I'm rather ready for a warm-up!

This hasn't been the greatest day for either Woody or me. I woke up dark and early hurting and couldn't get back to sleep so decided to get up and "play" some more with my printer. "Play" is not exactly the best word as this "toy" (read technology) has caused a bit of frustration. But it is working and working wirelessly...but doesn't always do exactly what I want it to do! I'm sure, given time, it will come as second nature. Woody offered to do the grocery shopping this morning and I readily agreed. So he went to the library, Wally World and also Kroger. But upon his return he started really hurting. He held off several hours before "giving in" to taking a couple of his strong pain pills. And, for him to take a pain pill (even a Tylenol or Ibuprofen), he has to be in a LOT of pain. After he took them, he has felt rather "out of it" the rest of the afternoon. His pain this time was in the place that the melanoma has continued to grow slightly...his upper right side sort of under his arm...not the usual place that he has pain...he usually hurts on the left side. Once he got home he plopped in his recliner and pretty much has stayed there the rest of the afternoon watching DVDs and football. His remote wasn't working for the DVD player, so he asked me to get a DVD started. I groaned as I knelt down on the floor. He told me that he was sorry...then he chuckled and said that we were "a pretty sorry pair!" Because I woke up so early...about mid morning I started fading and took a bit of a nap till lunch time. I made a big pot of potato and ham soup this afternoon...very good on such a cold day. Other than that I haven't accomplished much today...I have put a few more decorations away...but hardly enough to be noticed. Woody is starting to come out of his "drug fog" and hopes to enjoy a football game this evening. His pain is still there, but much less than earlier.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cycle 7, Day 3 1/2

Another cold day here in Middle Tennessee. Graham and Abigail did brave the cold for a few minutes this morning. The high for today was 18F and at the moment it is 14F. Tooooooooooo cold in my opinion! I have stayed in all day. Graham came over this afternoon to help me open up my Christmas present from Woody...a new printer. He and I got it all put together and ready for Nathan to come over and set it up the rest of the way. It is a wireless printer...took a while to set it up for the wireless connection, but it seems to be working far, so good! I have been experimenting with it...that is the reason that I'm a bit late blogging tonight!

Woody got up early, took his anti-nausea pill, went to work, took his chemo drug study pills, worked, didn't walk at lunch to the extreme cold, worked some more, came home and has been relaxing watching TV and now a DVD. He has managed to get his chemo pills down for today...but not without a struggle. Tomorrow marks the day that he will be through taking so many pills in the mornings. I know that he will be glad to take less, but will be even happier when he is through taking them all for this cycle!
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Let it Snow...MORE!

It snowed...but...not enough (in my opinion)! Well, all schools in surrounding areas were out today...except for Tullahoma City schools...they rarely let out for snow as our school system doesn't have it is it is up to parents to get the children to the parents can make the decision to send or not. And, this time it was a pretty good decision as our snow didn't start till late morning and the roads didn't start to get white till in the afternoon. We didn't get much, as you can see in the pictures. It was snowing when I took these pictures.

Woody got up early, took his anti-nausea pill, went to work, took his chemo pills (not an easy task), then he worked, he didn't walk at lunch due to the weather, then he worked some more, and then came home to rest and relax. His left shoulder bothered him some earlier in the evening. He has been watching TV...I imagine that he will watch a bit of football before the evening is over.

School is back in session for me! Four of the five neighbor grandchildren filtered through at one time or another today for their lessons with me. Graham, Abigail, and Joy helped me put away the Fisher Price Nativity set. Graham did a bit of building with his K'nex later in the afternoon. I'm still undecorating...will it ever be ALL put away?
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ice and Fire!

These pictures depict the way the day started and ended yesterday on our way to and from crystals on the windshield and wintry roadways and frozen ponds and then...a fiery sunset on the way home.

Woody got up early, took his anti-nausea medication, headed to work, took his chemo pills, worked, walked at lunch, worked some more and then came home and has been relaxing ever since. He doesn't feel the greatest today...but then it is the day after going to Nashville, the day after Zometa treatment, and the 2nd day of the chemo he has a good reason not to feel all that great. He did finish taking his chemo pills for today about an hour ago.

I had a busy day today...getting the office/schoolroom back to had been a "Christmas wrap holding area" it really had a mess of Christmas wrap, ribbons, boxes, bags, etc. that needed to be taken out of there so we can get back to having school in there and also using it as an office. We can once again walk through the room safely! I also ran errands this afternoon and then worked in the church library for a while. Heading over to read bedtime stories to four of the five neighbor grands in just a few minutes.

Then I'll come home and wait for the snow to arrive!
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In Like Flynn--Cycle 7 has begun

It has been a long day. We started out around 7:20am (not exactly dark and early). There was a long line for valet parking so that took a bit longer than usual. Woody got into the clinic around 9:30am. He got called in for lab work around 10am (the nurse told us that yesterday people were having to wait for three hours to get their lab work done! We were glad that we weren't there yesterday! The back-ups were due to the holidays.) . And...then...we pretty much stalled out...or so it seemed. Dr. Sosman walked by when Woody was being taken to a room and he reminded the tech that he was going to be leaving shortly and that he would be gone for at least an hour...that was a little before noon. They suggested that we go get something to eat...well, duh...Woody is supposed to be fasting. So then they suggested that we go on up to get his Zometa infusion. Which we did. We got out of there around 1:30pm and headed straight back to Dr. Sosman's exam area. We were taken immediately into a room and it wasn't too long before he came in. He said that everything that he saw in the scans and with the labwork indicated that Woody would continue in the drug study. All melanoma places continued to be stabilized, except for one under his right arm and that had grown a couple hundreths of a millimeter. He did say that at a point if that place continues to grow that they would remove it...BUT having surgery would take him out of the drug study. Dr. Sosman said that if they did do the surgery, that he would want Woody to continue with the Temodar (the known drug that he is presently taking in the study). After Dr. Sosman examined Woody and talked with us for a bit, he left and the drug study nurse came in to see us and get the drug study chart and pill bottles that we were finished with for the 6th cycle. She had already ordered the chemo drugs. So we left the examining room and went back to the inner waiting room to wait on the drugs to be brought down from the pharmacy. Woody took his first dose about 3:20pm and we headed out to get the car. And, were pulling away from Vanderbilt by 3:30pm. We did make two stops in Murfreesboro. One to get gas and the other at Melany's to drop off some Christmas gifts. We got home a little after 5pm...rather hungry and worn out from a long day.
The above picture was about the last that I snapped today...and the only one that I got out of the car to take. We were looking for the bison and they weren't where they usually are and THEN I saw this one perfectly silhouetted on top of the ridge! Of course, by the time we realized the photo op...we were a bit beyond the ideal place to stop and there was a car approaching from Woody found a good turn around spot and headed back...and let me get out to take it...I was thankful for a very warm coat!
Woody will not take any more chemo pills this evening...due to how late he took the first at Vandy, he just took what would have been today's morning dose. Then tomorrow he will start taking chemo pills morning and evening. THEN he will have to take the evening dose that he missed today at the end of this "pill cycle"...confused? That means 1 dose today, 2 doses for the next 6 days, and 1 dose on the 8th day (I think!).
We are glad to be back in our warm home relaxing...and getting ready for another cold day tomorrow...and then still more cold as the week continues...but MAYBE S N O W on Thursday!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cycle 6, Day 28--another chemo cycle complete

Here's Tullahoma's first sunset of 2010...taken on New Year's Day. I can't believe that Woody has been in this chemo drug study for six months. Tomorrow's lab work, last week's scan, etc. will be decisive as to whether he begins his seventh month in this drug study program.

Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home, and has been relaxing. I asked him if the first day back was hard...he said that he had been so busy that he hadn't noticed. My exercise of the day has been going up and down our stairs and also up and down the step ladder...undecorating has begun in earnest...what a mess. Our soup of the day, Ham and Barley, took a bit of fixing time, also. I'm tired and ready to relax for the rest of the evening...but might put a few more Christmas things back in their boxes.

We will be getting up dark and early and heading to Vanderbilt in the is supposed to be another very cold day...brrrrrrr...I know that we will be very happy when the car heater gets warmed up! Tomorrow will probably prove to be another long Vandy day. I'll report tomorrow evening as to how our day goes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bridge on the way to Vandy...can you guess which one we take?

We have been waiting to be able to take these two side-by-side bridges (old and new) on our Vandy trips, because most of the time the old one is pretty much covered up with foliage. Last week I walked down and stood on the old bridge and took pictures of the Duck River...rather wintry looking!

Woody taught his Sunday School school this morning. We have spent a quiet afternoon and evening trying to stay warm. It is already 18 deg.F outside and it only got to the mid 20's for a high. Very brrrrrrrrrrry! Woody has worked a cross word puzzle, watched TV (mainly football) and read. I managed to get the top for Esther's quilt pieced. Major accomplishment! Woody will be going back to work in the morning for the first time since December 14th...I imagine that the work-day will prove to be an adjustment for him! We will be going to Vanderbilt dark and early on Tuesday to see if he will be starting the 7th cycle of the chemo drug study. Woody has felt more tired lately...I'm thinking that it is probably the chemo...after all it is cumulative...and he has taken 6 months of it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Flurry of Activity

We had snow flurries for a time this morning. I slept through the time that they were coming down the heaviest. But...maybe today was a hint of things to come this coming week...there is snow in the forcast for next week. I mentioned the other night that I really like snow...tonight's collage shows some of our decorations in our family room...a corner Christmas tree full of snowflakes and snowmen, a mantel that is a forest of snowmen...and that is only part of my snowman collection...but I guess you can tell that I like at least the idea of snow!

It has been very cold here today. Today's high was only 23 F and last night it got down in the lower teens. Brrrrr! Woody did walk around the block this afternoon and managed not to turn into an ice cube! I pretty much stayed in all day. I had a rough night of many aches and pains due to the dropping Transverse Myelitis doesn't like drastic changes in temperature/weather and I am really bothered by cold. Woody is having some trouble with his right shoulder...he probably put too much strain on it due to the contortions that he puts his right arm through due to not having much use of his left arm. It is very difficult for him to put on his shirt or his coat...and he has probably pulled something. So he has been being careful today. He has been putting heat on his shoulder. He has watched DVD's, TV (mostly football), and read today.

I have cut some more strips for Esther's quilt...but so far haven't had enough oomph to start sewing them together. I'm also trying to get up enough energy to start undecorating...about my least favorite thing to do that has to do with Christmas (I'm sure that I'm not alone!)! I used to never like to see January 1 roll around, as it meant that it was time to start thinking about taking down and putting away Christmas decorations. One time a co-worker told me that she never took down her decorations till after Epiphany (Jan. 6...traditional date for when the Wisemen might have visited Jesus). Ever since she told me that, I usually wait till after the 6th...but this year we have work that is going to be done on the house...starting after the first of the year...hmmmm...that could be any time. And...our family room is going to be I want everything down before they say that they are coming to work...of course...when the workers will come after the first of the year is left up in the air...but I don't want to be the reason that work doesn't get started when they are ready to begin. So I must get motivated to far that motivation hasn't come over me today! Definitely a lazy day for me...I definitely wasn't a part of any flurry of activity!

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Ingredients for a New Year!

Yum! We found the perfect recipe to start out 2010! We planned to make our French Market Soup that contains black-eyed peas...but...we discovered that our dried bean mix had been used up last year and we hadn't rebought ALL the dried beans for Woody got out our soup recipe notebook and looked to see if we had any other soups that contained black-eyed peas and found a recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Stew and Rice. This is a recipe that we were served in 2003 when we had our annual get-together with dear friends. It was yummy then...and we are so glad that they shared their recipes that it proved tasty in 2010, also! Thanks, Linda and Doyle!

Now, for those who don't know about the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day...or for those who know of the tradition, but don't know the "why" of the tradition: It is a Southern tradition dating back to the American Civil War. Black-eyed peas are thought to bring prosperity to those who eat them on New Year's Day. Now, you may wonder what the connection between peas and was thought that the peas represented coins. Another tradition (which we didn't follow) is to eat greens, such as turnip greens or collard greens. The greens represent dollar bills.

The black-eyed peas are traditionally cooked with pork, diced onion and hot pepper sauce. Our recipe contained those ingredients plus more!

Woody has been enjoying football games today. Graham came over this morning to finish his K'nex electronic arcade game. It turned out really great. He finished it a little before lunch and took it home to practice and then challenge his daddy and anyone else interested in playing him! The cooking pictured above and the clean-up took up a good portion of my day. I did go over to Nathan and Kathy's to put the quilt top on Esther's bed to see about its size. It's getting close to the point of layering top, batting, and backing. Esther crawled under it while it was on her bed. She seems to like it. Woody and I took a walk around the block mid-afternoon...BRRRRRRRRRR! It was 29 with a bit of a don't know what the "feels-like" temperature was if you factored in the wind chill. It is supposed to get really cold (down in the teens) for the next several nights. Right now it is 25 deg. F with a wind chill of 20...I'm staying in my nice warm house! Besides watching football, Woody has read today...and he seemed to approve of my first kitchen efforts of 2010.
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