Sunday, January 31, 2010
This is my 400th blog post! Woody said that he hoped that I had a reason for a lot more!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
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 week...but...party is "to be continued" next week with those who couldn't come today!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
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 things...one 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 periodically...so 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 week...so 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. Sosman...so 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!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
This picture brought to mind one of my favorite childhood poems by Robert Louis Stevenson:
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
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" mode...so 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
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
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 room...now 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
Thursday, January 21, 2010
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 home...so 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 backing...next 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!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
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...no appointments for two weeks from today. So I called...so 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 message...so 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 appointment...as what was left was quite late in the afternoon...so 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 addressed...so that will be taken up "when" we are there on Feb. 2.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
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 game...win 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 asleep...so 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
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
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
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 walk...so he decided that he would take it a bit easy today. He didn't have a headache today and also he didn't feel nauseated...so 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 room...so 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
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
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
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 now...so 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!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
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 buses...so it is it is up to parents to get the children to school...so 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?
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
These pictures depict the way the day started and ended yesterday on our way to and from Vandy...ice 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 pills...so 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 normal...it had been a "Christmas wrap holding area"...so 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!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
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 morning...it 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
Saturday, January 2, 2010
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 temperatures...my 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 painted...so 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 undecorate...but...so 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!
Friday, January 1, 2010
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 it...so 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 year...as 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 prosperity...it 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 project...an 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 breeze...so 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.