Friday, July 30, 2010

Good News Bad News

We all know that life is made up of lots of ups and downs and it is never all up or all down. There is always good news and there is always bad news. It seems like the last couple of weeks have brought more than a normal ration of bad news about things happening to people I care about.

Image from Google Images

I don't find myself asking why because there is  not always an answer to why one person gets a disease and another one doesn't or why one person's hope for a child is fulfilled and another's isn't or even why one person lives to an old age and another has their years cut short. I do find myself asking what I can do to help when someone I care about is faced with a shattering problem and I most often find myself feeling mostly helpless. I know I can say a prayer, light a candle, send a card, fix a meal or make a call, but I can't really do anything to make their situation any better as much as I wish I could. 

Bad news can feel overwhelming at times, but I can't ignore the fact that life also brings good news.

Doc has recently had some medical tests and the results have all been very good. I am very grateful for that.

My son, who has been out of work for several months,  will be starting a new job on Monday. He will be working at  LASP, the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado. When NASA launches their Mars mission in 2013 he will have had a hand in it.

Yes, I am feeling sad and a little helpless about the bad news I have gotten lately, but I am very grateful that life also brings good news.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ice Cream Truck

Friday was kind of a bad news day for me and I was feeling a little out of sorts when I went out in the evening to water a planter on the porch. A few moments after I went out I began to hear that tinkling calliope sounding music that signals the nearness of an ice cream truck. I love a lot of things about summer....the beautiful warm breezes, blooming flowers, little girls in summer dresses, but there is nothing that expresses the quintessential personality of summer to me more than the sound of an ice cream truck.

Just hearing that sound immediately took my mind away from the news of the day and back to the times when I was a little girl waiting with coins in my hand for the ice cream truck to come down my street, and to my own children, waiting with what by then had to be dollars, for the music to come closer. My spirit was lifted, at least for a time, by that tinny, tinkling sound.

Ice cream trucks come in many shapes and sizes,

lots of colors,

and, apparently, lifestyles.

They bring the anticipation of summer treats that seem to never lose their appeal.

The really good news is that it seems that they now come in an adult version, which is what I probably really needed on Friday night.

Images from Bing Images

Friday, July 23, 2010

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

We have recently learned that our good friend, who is Doc's like a brother best friend since they were kids, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. It has spread to some lymph nodes so there is no option for surgery.
He is currently at the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion and if they concur with his doctor's at home he will soon start chemotherapy and radiation treatments that have a 20% cure rate. Without a cure individuals having this treatment have lived up to five years, but the average is 1-2 years after treatment.  Our friend sent this information out in an e-mail to a large group of friends and family yesterday. As dire as this information is, he seems to be keeping a positive frame of mind and to be preparing for the fight of his life. His e-mail included this poem written by Dylan Thomas which he says reflects his attitude.



Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

The language is flowery, but the message is clear. Our friend is not giving up. With his sense of humor very much still intact he added this at the end of the poem: " Unfortunately, Dylan died at age 39 and his last declaration was reportedly “19 shots – that must be a record.” 

I'm praying that his positive attitude will be the key to the best possible outcome for our friend.

 Dylan Thomas died from the results of alcoholism in 1953.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

He Could Have Just Brought Me His Leash

If you have a dog you know they have a way of learning your routine, especially the parts of your routine that have to do with them. I take our dog, Dodger, for a walk first thing in the morning and just before we go to bed at night.

One of the things I do just before the walk, both morning and night, is put a bra on. It just seems like the polite thing to do before going out on a public street now that my 36 B is beginning to turn into a 36 long.

Every night around the time that we usually walk Dodger will come sit by me, looking at me and waiting, almost as if he has checked his watch and knows it is time.

Last night I was busy doing something important (probably playing computer Mah Jong) and it got well past the normal time for our walk. After sitting patiently waiting for what he apparently thought was way too long, Dodger made a doggy sound equivalent to a sigh and left the room. He went to the laundry basket in my closet, pulled out a bra and brought it in and dropped it at my feet, telling me in no uncertain terms that it was time for a walk NOW.

I got the message, we went for a walk.

He could have just brought me his leash.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Six Word Saturday

To participate in 6WS visit Cate here

I thought this was worth borrowing

My daughter posted this on her Facebook page. I liked it a lot so I "borrowed" it because I thought it was worth sharing more.

Click on article to enlarge

Friday, July 16, 2010

All's Well That Ends Well

I want to add a quick addendum to my previous post and put an end to the red shorts, red truck fiasco.

The red shorts are safely tucked away in a bag that will go to our friend, Marco, to send to his dad in Honduras. Marco's dad, we are told, pretty much wears nothing but clothes that have been sent to him from Doc. I'm pretty sure Doc goes shopping for new clothes to put in the bag from time to time. The red shorts couldn't be going to a better place.

The red truck is long gone, returned to the dealer.

Doc finally came home with a new white truck.

Doc likes it.

I like it.

Dodger likes it.

I thing we are good to go.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Said Something Mean to Doc

Doc went shopping the other day and came home with a pair of bright red bermuda shorts.


Before the filter between my brain and my mouth kicked in to tell me that it is better to be nice than to be right, I blurted out something like "Oh, my gosh, those just scream 'old man', kind of like socks with sandals".

Yes, I did really say that and I felt really bad right away about saying it  (even though I think I was kind of right).  Doc just sort of harrumphed a bit and said something like "I don't know what's wrong with red shorts". I said I was sorry and that he certainly could wear anything he wants to wear, (but I'm pretty sure I'll never see him in those red shorts.)

I thought that was the end of it. Boy,  was I wrong. Today Doc came by my office with a new very bright red truck, bought and paid for. He didn't actually say anything like "How do you like that for red?", but the message was there. I actually sort of like the truck, at least more than I liked the red shorts.

I thought the above was the end of my post, but since I got home and wrote it, I heard from Doc that when he got the red truck home he didn't like the way it fit in the garage so he returned it and is now out shopping at another dealership for a different truck. Whatever he comes home with, and even if he is wearing the red shorts, no matter what I think I will tell him that I absolutely love it.

I really need to learn to just keep my mouth shut.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How To Make A Hot Mid-Summer Monday Very Special

Blog friends are the best and my friend Betty at at A glimpse into midlife is the Best of the Best. I came home from a long Monday at work to find this package from Betty, a total surprise. The package traveled well over 5000 miles from Paraguay to really brighten my day.

I was so excited to open it I almost forgot to take a picture of the package. Inside were a really beautiful Bamboo spatula, some very cute Paraguay magnets and the gift that keeps on giving, a box filled with spa items including soap, candles, a candle holder, a wash cloth and pumice stone.

There was also a very nice birthday greeting

Betty's is one of the first blogs I ever read . She became a good friend right away and has become a very special friend. She has even already sent a gift to my grandson due to be born in September.

Betty's birthday is coming up later this week. You will be doing yourself a favor if you go check out her blog and you will be doing me a favor if you go over and wish Betty a very happy birthday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Midsummer Family Cookout, Birthdays and Family Pics, With Only A Couple Of Rough Moments

My family got together for a cookout on Friday evening at my son and daughter-in-law's  house to celebrate some birthdays. There is a great park right across the street from their house so there was plenty of activity for everyone.

There was lots of baseball,

Bike riding,

scooter riding,

and fun on the playground.

There was some love between cousins,

and taking turns when it came time to blow out the candles on the birthday cake.

Apart from a little lapse in cousinly love that resulted in a biting incident between the 2 year olds and a little pulled muscle in my leg, from (I would like to say sliding into home) a slow trot to first base following a hit that didn't quite make it to the pitcher, it was a very fun evening.

My favorite gift, a new picture of all of my grandkids..

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Many Kids and Many Years Later, I Still Love This

I think I first heard this poem, Song For A Fifth Child by Ruth Hurlburt Hamilton when I was pregnant with my first child. I loved it then and I still love it now.

Image from Bing Images

I have had six grandchildren born in the last nine years. It feels like they are growing up even faster than my own kids did. With my 7th grandchild due in a couple of months this poem has been back in my mind again.
I know everyone has probably seen it many times, but, to me, it is worth seeing again. Here is the whole poem.

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, oh, mother come shake out your cloth,

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

Hang out the washing and butter the bread,

Sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue

(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due

(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew

And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo

But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.

Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?

(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,

For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.

I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Even though the wording is a little old fashioned,
the message is timeless. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Doc And Dodger Go To Hollywood, Or Maybe Not

I have mentioned before that Doc is a just a little twitterpated about our dog, Dodger. I'm often required to agree that "yes, he is a very handsome boy"  or to come see something really cute or smart that Dodger is doing. So when a a couple of people at the dog park yesterday said nice things about Dodger, Doc came home with a little extra swagger. One lady said Dodger was so cute that he should be in commercials. Another said that he looked like a Hollywood dog and that he should be in movies. Doc has now started calling him "Hollywood".

Of course, I think Dodger is a very handsome boy, in a scruffy sort of way.

But I think I am going to need to remind Doc of a couple of things. Apart from the fact that we probably don't want to expose our boy to all the temptations Hollywood has to offer, his level of training probably doesn't make him a very good candidate for a movie career. I think he would at least have to learn to sit before the second or third request.

Then there is the problem that his eyes often look very shiny or bright green in pictures.

 And he can sometimes be a bit camera shy.

Hmm, maybe those shiny eyes could get him a bit part in a horror movie.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Yes, We Do Know How To Celebrate America's Holiday

I have read on blogs and heard people talking about all the great plans people have for the 4th of July holiday weekend. People are going camping, having cook-outs, watching fireworks, going to ball games, all manner of all-American holiday fun.

Well, Doc and I know how to celebrate with the best of them, so we are ready to party on and mark the birthday of our country in a big way with a little known but dearly beloved or soon to be all-American custom of getting new toilets. Yes ma'am, our holiday celebration includes getting not one, but two of these little beauties.

I won't dwell  too much on the fact that this particular model has a very French sounding name which led me to believe that there might be a bidet involved (there's not).

This holiday extravaganza came about because the new tile in our bathrooms raised the stool just enough in one that the previously nearly inaccessible tank became completely inaccessible under the countertop.

Let the party begin!

Photo from Google Images

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Postscript To My Previous Post

Addison's counts have risen enough for him to resume his chemotherapy. This picture of Addison and his friend, Bella, getting ready to receive their chemo was so compelling to me that I wanted to share it.

Notice their hands

You've gotta have friends