Monday, May 26, 2008

Hello, everyone. This is Amy, Ms. Robbin's daughter-in-law. You've probably noticed her absence, and she asked me to share with you why she's been gone, and why she'll probably be gone a while longer.
We've had a terrible loss in our family. Her oldest son, my brother-in-law, took his life last week. He's been a topic on this blog before, as he had been through so many ups and downs in his roller-coaster life. He had many struggles, but he also had a sweet and tender heart, and he will be missed so much.
Please think of Ms. Robbin, and our family, as we grieve. This blogging community has been a source of support before, and she can use your kind words, thoughts, and prayers now. She'll be back as soon as she can.

Jonathan's Online Memorial

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Daylily Journal

The bad thing about my mother leaving this week to go on a three week vacation is that she will miss the blooming of her beloved Daylilies. So, I've decided to try to capture each new color that blooms so she can at least see how pretty they were. This one takes my breath away. It is just perfect and the color is to die for.

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Sore Muscles and Wanderlust all in One Day

I am so stiff this morning I can hardly move! Nothing to do with the surgery site, just my muscles. I read this is a common thing after surgery when you ease back into normal routines, and I did do some things yesterday. Apparently, those muscles you've not really used for awhile want to ache a little. I say a little but I had to take Alieve first thing this morning. I didn't really think I was doing that much yesterday. Oh well, I'll live.

I also woke up with that thing I experience at times called "Wanderlust". I don't know if my parent's trip has brought this on or if I am just getting sick of being at home all the time. I can't explain how it pulls me though. I know it sounds crazy but I long to visit China, England, or Africa! I want to try different foods, I want to see how other people live, I want to hear different languages. And I'm not kidding. It's almost painful. (yeah, I'm weird I know.)
The best I could do today is a trip to Walmart and that is not going to cut it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A New Day

There was a full moon last night and I missed it. That's unusual, I love the moon and try to never miss seeing it when it is in all its glory. Maybe tonight I'll get a glimpse of it, even though it won't be quite as full.
It's really a pretty morning, there's a breeze, I see the trees swinging around out there. I'm at the point of my leave of absense where I'm getting a little antsy now. Not exactly roaring to go back to work but ready for my life to become a little more normal. It is coming soon enough.
With my parents gone I have chores to do up at their place. I have to get their mail, get the paper, gather the eggs from the chickens, water the outside plants, water the inside plants.
I have my own chores to do also, clean a little, cook my meals, and when all that's done, the day is usually over.
Pretty boring life at the moment, but that's ok, boring is good sometimes.
Hope you have a good day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Sad Day

I used to manage a shoe store right off the interstate back in the early 80's. It was an outlet store among a few other outlet stores but because we were right off the interstate there were times we got some "seedy" customers. I had such a customer one day and it was this man that I'm blogging about, a county deputy sheriff, that rescued me that day.

Some years later it was he who helped me with a troubled teenager, bringing him home when he probably should have gotten in big trouble.

When that same son made some mistakes that caused him to spend some time in a "boot camp" it was this man that stood by me and my family and told us that this would possibly save his life.

He could be gentle and quite as a mouse but could be tough as nails when he needed to be.

He and his wife were good friends to my parents and would take trips with them in their travel trailers. They had in fact been planning to go to to Colorado with them on this trip. He worked side by side with my mother every year when she did the KOA fundraiser, not only acting as the security, but taking out time to ride the kids that attended in the patrol car, sirens and blue lights and the whole shabang.

In November when I mailed invitations out for my mother's birthday party, it was his invitation that somehow missed a stamp and he had to go pick it up and pay postage to get it. Boy did he give me a hard time about that at the party, kept telling me that I owed him money! He aggravated me that entire day about it.

And at that same party he made it a point to spend some time talking to that son of mine who he had once carried off in a patrol car 15 years earlier. He made it a point to tell me how well he looked and how proud he was of him.

In February when my Step Father had a heart Cath, we were very late driving home that night and it was he that called my mother and told her to be sure and call him if we had any trouble or needed him in anyway. He was very concerned about my Step Father. It was in that same phone conversation that he mentioned going to the Dr. that day because he had been having some pain in his shoulder.

That was three months ago. It turned out to be lung cancer and last night this kind man, a long time family friend passed away.

In our community his life touched so many people. Not just in his line of work but in his personal life too. He was often the victim of practical jokes but he was just as often the joker himself. He was loved by so many. It's times like this when you can't really understand why life seems so cruel. He had much pain in the end, pain you wouldn't want anyone to have to suffer. My heart just breaks for his wife and family and what they've all been through and what they have to face in a future without him.

And so I'm a little out of sync today for our loss. I hope wherever he is, he will know how much he was loved. I hope we let him know while he was here with us.

Life is so short, so unpredictable and this is just another reminder that I personally need to make the most of everyday and to live my life how and where I want to . And a reminder to appreciate the people in my life everyday, because you just never know.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bluer than Blue

I know it it's tiny and I know it blurry, but have you ever in your life seen a blue as blue as this?
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I'm joining Aisling over at The Quiet Country House in a Sunday Stroll. You can share yours too, just do it and then post it over on her blog. This afternoon my mother called me and said her cousin had sent me some cucumbers and squash from her garden. And since it is such a nice day and since I am feeling so good today, I thought I'd make it my stroll.

Oh my goodness, the wild plum trees have plums. Did you know when I was a little girl I'd eat green plums?? I just couldn't wait until they were ready. I'm passing on them today thank you very much.

And look! The wild blackberries are blooming too. It seems a little early to me, but maybe not.

Here's my parent's travel trailer. They are loading it for their big trip to Colorado. They are leaving tomorrow.

I wish you could smell the Jasmine. My mother doesn't care for it so she says it is my Step-father's and it is taking over the car shelter. But it smells like heaven to me.

This is my mother's butterfly garden that has become the Frog garden. Nothing much blooming here yet.

The chives are blooming. I happen to like chive blooms.

Oh my goodness, my favorite, and my mother only has this one now. Gladiolas, and these are orange. The plant was so big, the wind had blown them over. My mother had to hold them up for me to take a picture and then she clipped them off.

Does this look like a bottle brush to you? That's what it is , a Bottle Brush plant. It is a favorite nesting bush for the birds. In fact, there is a nest in it right now with 3 blue eggs.

These are some weird wild flowers that are blooming in the wild flower garden. I won't say what my mother says those things in the middle look like, but you can imagine. Still I think they have their own kind of charm.

Here they are, my parents, planning their route to the big state of Colorado. I wish I were going some place. Any place.

Sweetie finds bones that my parent's dog buries when we visit, but she is polite and always buries them back, although maybe not in the same place where she finds them.

Ah, there's my bag of spring veggies.

And I get to have the Glads too! I'll have to come back in the car to carry my loot home.

Thanks for joining me on my stroll. And thanks Aisling for reminding me to take time to enjoy the world around me, even if it is just in my own surroundings.
Happy Sunday!

Now That's Real Love

It is amazing to me how my little dog, Sweetie, seems to know I've had surgery. It is her habit to want to be in my lap when I'm sitting in the recliner. We have a routine in which if I pull up a throw that I have over my legs, that is her signal that it is ok to jump up in my lap. Usually, before my surgery she would land feet first on my stomach and then settle herself down comfortably.
When she and I first came home, she didn't even ask to come up and sit on me, she instead settled on the rug nearby. As the weeks have passed though she decided I was healed enough for her to be in my lap but no longer does she land on my stomach, she jumps up on the edge of the seat and very carefully, without stomping on my tummy settles up on my lap and lays against me very gentle like. How does she know? Well, she just does. That's all.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Upside-Down Tomato Plants

When my parents leave on Monday for their trip, it will be my responsibility to water my mom's yard and plants. They've put hoses everywhere so that I really won't have to lift anything but the hose.
My Step-father has a project going where he is growing tomato plants upside-down. He saw it on a Gardening show or read it somewhere, I'm not sure. Anyway, at first glance it is an odd looking thing. The advantages are suppose to be less disease, and the fruit doesn't rot on the ground. SO we'll see. I hope I can keep them alive until he gets home.
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Hydrangeas Make me Sneeze but...

....this one in my mother's yard is called an Oak Leaf Hydrangea and it doesn't bother me. I think the bloom is beautiful.
We have a pretty good chance for rain today and we need it too. We can never seem to get caught up on it. And I really wouldn't mind a nice rainy day. I'm going to make my pot of Chili. I dragged my jewelry making supplies out and I'm planning on doing that today. I've never really understood how running my fingers through those beads and gemstones relaxes me so, but it does.
For the last three weeks I've not been bored at all. With Dr.'s appointments, my son visiting me for a week, and being at my mothers for the first two weeks, my days have been filled. But these last three weeks before I return to work are going to be different. My Mom and Step father are leaving Monday on a three week trip to Colorado in their motor home.
Without much human contact, even though I am a self admitted hermit, and like it that way most of the time, I am not looking forward to being out here all alone. Of course I'll have Sweetie, my little dog, right by my side, thank goodness. But I'm dreading that a little bit. But I'll survive. Maybe a good time to concentrate on all the blessings I have in my life and prepare myself to go back into work.
ANYHOW............Hope you have a good Friday and your weekend is a good one.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just me Dreamin' Again

If I were rich, I'd have a chef that came in every day and served me a wonderful, healthy dinner. I'd never have to decide what I wanted, there would be no left overs, the meals would taste wonderful and I'd be a happy girl.

I am so off of food lately. Nothing sounds good to me. (Well, nothing healthy anyway.)

Eating well is important to me while I'm healing and now is not the time to be picky.

I don't really feel much like cooking, but it is always been hard for me to cook for just me, sometimes it doesn't seem worth the effort, which explains why I've been known to have a bowl of cereal or even popcorn for dinner.

But I had to go grocery shopping, there was nothing much here. I thought and thought and Chili sounded good to me. In the Crock pot. SO, I got what I need for that.

The rest was just veggies and fruits, milk and cottage cheese, and the same old stuff.

So, I am wishing to not have to even decide, just be served. I'd eat whatever she set in front of me, I really would.

Dancing with the Toads......

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One Day at a Time

The funny thing about having major surgery is that you learn after some weeks that you have good days and bad days. But the bad days aren't as bad as the previous bad days and the good days are always better than your last good days. So you are making progress, even though it happens with two steps forward, one step back.
And you have to remember that even though your outside incision is almost completely healed, their are thousands of stitches on the inside that you can't see that aren't healed yet.
Excuse my observations here, just thinking out loud. I've never had surgery before you know, this all new to me.
Hope I have a good day today, and I hope you do too!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


LOOK! My mother and I, okay, mostly my mother, made Banana Nut Muffins today. I smashed the bananas. They are healthy and wholesome too. Made with whole wheat flour, honey, bananas and pecans. And they are yummy. And smell so good, I wish you could smell them.

We hadn't exactly planned to make muffins today but we both had bananas that needed to be used fast! And that suited me fine because I love muffins!

Wednesday Ramblings

I had my alarm set for 5:45 to wake up early yesterday morning, and I forgot to change it. And so here I am awake very early, for no reason. But once I'm awake, I'm awake. And maybe I'll just catch a beautiful sunrise. Although I am surrounded by trees I can still see all the light sometimes before the sun slips up.

I am beginning to feel more like myself. Yesterday marked three weeks since the operation and with the CT scan and the Dr's appointment which was out of town, I pretty much was on the go all day . My mom and I even shopped some. And although I was pretty tired after a day like that, I wasn't completely wiped out like I was last week after an outing.

I have plans today to get out my jewelry making stuff and create some things.
Unless my mother calls me up to her house that it. She and my stepfather are leaving on their three week vacation next week. And up until then, I may not be able to do my own thing quite yet. And that's ok for now because after they leave, its going to be pretty lonely here.

Hoping you have a good day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Whole New Experience

I had to get up this morning early. I was scheduled for a CT scan, which I've never before experienced and the first thing I had to do at 6:00 AM was to drink a big old bottle of something called Barium Sulfate, apparently this is the first part of this new experience of mine. Now this stuff is bad enough with its taste of a mixture of paint and glue, (they added some orange flavoring to try to help out but it didn't) but to make it worse is to face it at 6:00 in the morning. To make it even more awful, I had another whole bottle to drink at 7:00. UGH! I did it though, I got it all down.
The CT scan itself was not bad. It's a big round machine and they scanned my chest, my abdomen and my pelvic area. I had to wait my turn though because two emergencies came in before I could be scanned.
They do put an IV in with more of that contrast stuff in it, and when it is injected you feel sort of flushed and my ears burned. A really weird sensation.
It was over in about thirty minutes and then they burned the scan to a CD which I had to take with me to the appointment with the Oncologist.
I've been so worried about this test all week because, well because once you've have had Cancer you start to worry that it is everywhere throughout your body. I'd imagined the Dr. studying the CT scan and coming in and telling me terrible things.
The good news is everything looked great. Was that a relief! So now I have to just continue to heal and I don't have to go back for a month and then we'll talk about setting up the radiations treatments.
And on another note, I got my Stimulus Check deposited today, so thank you President Bush. Money in is always a good thing. Especially when you aren't working for the moment and only getting 60% of your usual pay.
So onward we go.
Hope your day was a good one.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Morning After the Storm

Don't you just love the morning after a cleansing storm? The yellow Daylily looks like sunshine this morning and makes me smile.
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Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Boody needs to be with my Granddaughter (she says so!)

Last year I struggled trying to decide if moving to Washington was the right thing for me. It is true that FEAR is what kept me from deciding, fear of a new place, fear of changing jobs, fear of leaving all that was familiar to me. Calling me there is my son and his family, my sweet Granddaughter who tells me everytime I talk to her that she misses me.
Last week she wrote it down on her dry erase board, a message to me, and it is pretty hard to ignore.

And now, with the turn of events in my life, wouldn't you know it, I've made the decision but it is postponed until I get through my ordeal. But I'm working on it Baby, I'm working on it.

Stormy Weather

As I sit here writing this , thunder is roaring, lightening is cracking, and the wind is swishing the trees around. There is also hail thumping against the windows. It was the noise that woke me . There are tornado warnings in this county and some strong winds have already done some damage in some surrounding counties according to the local news.
This kind of thing makes Sweetie, my litte dog, very nervous and instead of my laptop being in my lap there is a little animal there. The laptop is on a table beside me. Most of the time she protects me but during bad weather, it is definitely me protecting her. When the thunder claps she sticks her nose between me and the chair and tries to hide her whole self. And she trembles.
Nope, she is not fond of bad weather. And with this storm, I can't say I blame her. We're both hoping this will be over soon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Study of the Human Yard Sale Shopper

I got up early this morning and went to the Campground. I had promised my mom that I would help out at the Yard Sale by sitting at the table and taking money for the sales. I'm finally able to drive a little and so off I went. While there it occured to me that we are the funniest creatures in the world. All we do is take our own junk and sale it to someone else. We just constantly swap junk around and then finally it ends up in a landfill some place. Crazy when you think about it.
All of this junk was donated and the proceeds all go to the Care Camps for Kids with Cancer, so it is a good cause. I had such a good time people watching, I thought I'd share.

The campers are up and shopping when I arrive.

That's my Mama in the yellow shirt trying to make a sale.

It's a fact that us ladies like to shop.

But who knew men were yard sale shoppers too?

And they seem to take it so seriously too!

And they seem to buy the oddest things.

Notice the baby doll in his hand, and he seems a little nervous that somebody might be seeing his purchase.

Ah, there's the lucky little girl he is buying that baby doll for. She's doing a pretty good job of shopping herself. We do learn young.

And some of us just get bored!

All in all it was a success. What's fun is when it gets late and we start winding down we give whoever shows up a bag and tell them they can fill it up for a buck. That is a sight to see. Fun, fun, fun.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Care Camp for Kids with Cancer

Every year my mom runs a Fundraiser at the KOA campground where she works. This is the weekend for it. I usually help her on the two days but this year I wasn't able to. I did however go out for a little while tonight. My friend Steph's husband and his brother play live music and sing and there are hotdogs on the grill with slaw and baked beans. SO, nothing stressful about going out and sitting for a while. And I do have a bit of cabin fever so it was nice to get out and around people for a bit.

I usually make jewelry pieces for door prizes or the Silent auction, you may remember that from last year if you've read my blog that long. But this year I didn't get anything made.

There's a yard sale early in the morning and I've agreed to go out and sit at a table and take payment. All the proceeds for every event goes to help kids with cancer go to special camps that KOA sets up.

And so I've had a full day and I'm beat. Oh and a friend of my mom's sent me a fruit basket today. I love fruit and it has grapes and oranges and apples and grapefruit and bananas. I hope I can eat it all before any goes bad. It is a lot of fruit!

Speaking of jewelry, I'm thinking of bringing out my gemstones and beads and making some. I'm in the mood, and it relaxes me and I'll have the time, plus a certain someone special sent me some new beads a while back and finally I'm itching to use them.

OH yeah, Almost Forgot...

... In the mist of everything else I tend to forget that I had a hernia repaired and today I go to see the surgeon who did it. He looks about 12 years old to me, but in reality he is very tall and and very young and quite good looking. Not nearly as scary looking as the Oncologist and his office isn't as scary either.
My best friend is coming to take me. I should be able to drive soon, Tuesday is the day I have been officially released to drive, but only in my little town for now. I'm excited about seeing Steph. She also works with me, is in fact my assistant and so she is busy trying to keep our store going. But she is off today and it gives us time to spend together that we've missed. I know she is worried about me and feels helpless as to what to do to help me, but what she doesn't realize is she helps me by just being there. I know she's there. That is comforting.
So, off to see a good looking Dr. and time with my best friend, sounds like the start of a pretty good day.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Block in the Road

Life is full of experiences. Some are wonderful, some not so much. Facing the harder situations is what shapes us, it is what makes us stronger. We all travel different roads but the trip through life is really the same for all of us. Things can be going along great and then all of a sudden there is a big BLOCK right in the way. One can sit and cry and not try to even move forward, or you can realize that if you think about it, there is a way to get around it, you just have to work at it. It may cause your plans to be delayed but if you're lucky you'll learn a few lessons in the stuggle and when you finally get past it you can look back and know you made it. And if think about it, you know that other people have traveled the same road and have faced bigger blocks and with courage and determination they've gone on past.
I knew before I went in for my surgery that there was a good chance there was cancer. There was a biopsy taken that came back not quite looking right. I could only hope that it was just a few cells and that they had not spread outside of the uterus.
I haven't mentioned this on my blog as it was very personal and I was thinking really positively and was not dwelling on it. In my heart I knew though, I think. I did have endometrial cancer that had traveled 2/3 into the wall of the uterous. It is assumed all the cancer was removed with the hysterectomy but because it had began its journey to the cervix I am going to have to have 26 radiation treatments. As you can imagine, I really hated to hear that.
But I've come to terms with it, I am strong and healthy, I can handle it. And because the treatments will be five days a week for about six weeks I didn't really think I could keep that to myself and that's really what my blog is all about. My daily life.
So, you'll probably be hearing a lot about how I deal with this block in the road. I feel very lucky I went to the Dr. when I did and I see it as a reminder that I don't need to waste anymore time not living each day to the fullest and not living where I know I really want to live. You'll hear a lot more on that one too.
So, buckle up, this may be a bumpy ride at times but it is my intentions to deal with it positively and with as much humor as I can find.
Love to all,
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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

When it Rains it Pours...

My sweet son has been with me all week, leaving his wife and seven year old daughter in Washington State for a week. Normally this would not be a problem as Amy is quite used to handling things without him, he was in the Navy for quite some time and she became quite self sufficient. Matthew leaves for home tomorrow but today Amy, had severe stomach pains and went to a clinic where they promptly sent her to the hospital thinking it could be her appendix. She has to have a cat scan to see. Thankfully she has great friends that are taking care of my granddaughter and she and Matthew have been able to stay in contact by cell phones but I feel so bad for her that she is all alone there facing this.
I kidded her and told her she didn't have to take her sympathy for me this far. We've not gotten word yet but we are hoping it isn't anything too serious and I hope she doesn't have to face surgery alone. I wish I could be there with her right now. Hospitals and needles scare her.
I know my son is worried and I feel so helpless to help them. Hopefully all will be well and tomorrow he'll be back safe and sound with his family.
I can't tell you how much I've appreciated him being here with me this week. I love him and his wife and daughter so much and am so proud of all of them.
On another note, I am finally home in my own house with my little dog and it feels so good.
Today is two weeks since my operation and although I have to take it easy, I've not had to take pain meds for about a week. I'm so glad of that.
I have four more weeks to recover before I have to go back to work. We'll see how that goes.

Note: we just got word Amy is going into surgery to have her appendix out. Laproscopic at least, thank goodness, but she is alone. Matthew will not get home until late tomorrow night.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Knock Out Roses

My mom at one time had a beautiful bed of hybrid roses. Since they took so much work, and they were old, she decided to plant instead "Knock Out Roses". TO me they only resemble a rose before they open up. But they are still pretty.
I am still at my mom's house but soon to go home. Maybe even tonight. You know, you just feel better among your own things. I am glad she has fed me and washed my clothes for the last 11 days but I'm sure her and my step father are ready to have their home back. So if not tonight then tomorrow maybe.
Today is also my birthday. I've had a pleasant day, spending most of it outside in the sunshine watching the birds and talking with my son, who will be leaving Wednesday, but let's don't talk about that right now. Don't want to think about it.
I am feeling well, just tire out easily, and I have to learn my limits. All in all, so far, it has been easy.
Love to all,
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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Nothing Like Mother Nature.. brighten your spirits and to help heal a recovering body. I'll be back soon. In the meantime I am enjoying the sunshine and the fresh spring air and I'm birdwatching and bunny watching and eating good healthy food. Thank you for your well wishes and your concerns. I am feeling stronger every day and looking forward to getting back to blogging.
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