Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Addison Update

It has been a tough year for Addison, the 6 year old son of my daughter's friend, Sarah. Last April Addison was diagnosed with Leukemia. Since the diagnosis he has gone through 6 months of very intense and difficult treatment. He has endured chemotherapy, numerous spinal taps, steroids with all the side effects, seven transfusions and many, many blood tests. During this treatment he has been mostly confined to home and the hospital due to a very low immune system caused by his treatment.

Addison has completed the most difficult part of his treatment, but will continue on chemotherapy until July, 2013. The phase of treatment he is in now is far from easy, but the doctors are allowing him to return briefly to his first love, acting. Last year Addison played the role of Tiny Tim in the Colorado Shakespeare Festival's presentation of  A Christmas Carol. Addison will be back this year playing Tiny Tim in 5 of the play's 25 performances.

This is a step back toward normal life for Addison, and according to his mother, Sarah, being able to attend rehearsals has really lifted his spirits. He has Tiny Tim's limping walk mastered and says the "God bless us, every one" line with a perfect English accent.

It's the perfect role at the perfect time for a little boy who, in spite of a really, really tough year, is still full of courage and spirit.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Freewheeling Friday

I know it is late in the day, but it is still Friday so I am giving myself another Freewheeling Friday for what I like to think of as a multi-tasking post.


I got a wonderful surprise in the mail from my friend Betty at A glimpse into midlife. Betty lives in Paraguay and she sent me a very special gift made in her country, a beautiful handmade wooden nativity scene.

The picture really doesn't show how beautiful this nativity scene is. It was such a surprise and such a thoughtful gift. It is something I will cherish and enjoy year after year. Even though we live over 5000 miles apart, Betty is a very special friend to me.  A glimpse into midlife is always the first place I go if I see a new post. Betty writes such interesting things about the customs of her country and her Mennonite religion and heritage.  When she writes about her two beautiful daughters, her husband, her dog, Nico, and her thoughts as a "midlifer" we learn that no matter where we live we all have many things in common. Many thanks to Betty for this special gift and her even more special friendship.


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I guess I was busy being busy because I didn't take very many pictures. I did manage to get one picture each of my two 2 year old granddaughters.


I have finally unloaded the last load of dishes from the dishwasher so I can put domesticity aside for a while and just enjoy eating leftovers.


I am not a shopper in the best of circumstances so I declined my daughters' invitation to join them on their 6:30 a.m. trip to the mall this morning. I like a bargain as much as anyone, but 6:30 a.m. combined with an 11 degree temperature just doesn't sound fun to me. They had fun and got some very good deals to boot.


Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.
Erma Bombeck

Monday, November 22, 2010

Being Domestic is Dangerous

Since I have a crowd coming for Thanksgiving I foolishly stuck my toes back into the dangerous waters of domesticity over the weekend, a pool I most often avoid these days. I did crazy things like ironing napkins and table cloths, polishing silver and washing wine glasses by hand.

When will I ever learn? My weekend activities left me with a burn on my arm from the iron, chapped hands and sore fingers (silver polishing is a lot of work). Not to mention some complaints from muscles I haven't used for a while from carrying boxes of dishes, tables and chairs up from the basement. Oh, and my brain hurts a little because being domestic involves some decision making when you aren't used to it.

In my own defense, I can be domestic and in fact have spent many years of my life being domestic. I don't like to think of myself as a slacker, just as someone who is lucky to have choices at this point in my life. The above mentioned dangers make it seem like a good choice for me. 

Now that I am on a roll with this domestic stuff I think Thanksgiving will be fine with the help of the people that came and cleaned my house today and all the food that my gracious guests will be bringing on Thursday. 

Someday the flame of domesticity might be reignited within me, but for now since I have been reminded of the dangers of being domestic, I think I will go back to practicing avoidance.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Freewheeling Friday

I admire bloggers who are creative and clever enough to post everyday or those who are disciplined enough to post on a schedule. I am neither creative, clever nor disciplined, so my posts are very random. There are weeks, like this one has been, when I think of something I want to write about, but I just don't get it done.
Today I'm giving myself a Freewheeling Friday to empty my head of a few random thoughts.


It was hard to ignore all the controversy about TSA searches at airports this week. I'm all for keeping the flying public safe and I see merit on both sides of the argument. Right or wrong, pictures like this and the  many others that have been in the papers this week make me think that it can't be much fun for anyone.


It was also hard to ignore all the news reports about this man, Steven Cowan, who shot his TV because he was so angry about Bristol Palin advancing on Dancing With The Stars. My first thought is that someone who is not smart enough to find the off button on his remote should never be allowed to have a gun.


This is the last picture I have of my father, taken on a Thanksgiving just a few years before he died on the night before Thanksgiving in 1965. I didn't grow up in a very child-oriented home but holidays were celebrated big with lots of extended family, so this picture holds good memories for me.


This will be the first Thanksgiving for my newest grandson, Beck, who is now 2 months old. He is a very happy, smiley little guy and he is making his mom happy by sleeping through the night most of the time.


Today I am waiting to hear the results of X-rays of my oldest grandson's foot. He was just messing around with his brother last night and and came up lame. He hasn't been able to put any weight on it since.

I'm also trying to figure out how to pull together enough chairs, plates, forks and food for the twenty-something people who will be here for Thanksgiving.  Wish me luck, because I am feeling a little short on skill.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm Glad This Isn't A Better Story

My granddaughter, E.J. looks like a very sweet 2 year old and she usually is.

But she can also have a bit of a mischievous side.

Yesterday when I was staying with her at her house I had to run into the backyard to get their dog, Thunder, who was going crazy barking at some people who were walking by with their dog. Thunder is less than a foot tall, but he can jump their 4 foot fence when he gets excited.

E.J. was watching me from the back door and as I headed toward the door with Thunder in my arms I could tell what she was going to do by the look on her face. Before I could get to the door she closed it and locked it with a big grin on her face. Fortunately instead of panic I resorted to threat. I told her we couldn't go to the mall if she didn't let me in. (That was a pretty big threat because Jared and Justin were meeting us at the mall) . I came close to panic as she stood there and thought about it for a while before finally unlocking the door.

I'm really glad this isn't a much better story ending with me breaking a window or calling 911.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Am Surprised I Still Have My Feet

Do you remember these things? When I was growing up almost all shoe stores had one. It had some fancy names but it was basically an x-ray shoe fitting machine. The person trying on shoes would stand on the little shelf and put their feet wearing the shoes they were trying on in the little slot at the bottom. You and your mom (dads never took kids to buy shoes in those days) and the shoe salesperson could look through the slots in the top and see how the shoes fit your feet.

I don't know how effective they were for shoe fitting but they sure were fun. I not only stuck my feet in one of those things everytime I got a new pair of shoes at our local Buster Brown shoe store, but my friends and I would stop in just to have a look at our feet within our shoes, probably telling the clerk our mom's wanted us to see if our shoes still fit.

Do you remember Buster Brown and his dog Tige?
Tige looks like he may have been exposed to a few too many x-rays.

As fun as the foot within the shoe image was, it was also dangerous. The radiation hazards of the shoe-fitting x-ray machine were known for a long time before the machines were finally banned most everywhere in the U.S. by the early 70s.  What started out as a modern and scientific invention was later found to be a danger to skin and bone marrow and to have the potential to cause growth problems.

I couldn't find anything about proven damages from the machine (though my research wasn't too extensive) but there were a few shoe store clerks who claimed they were injured by too much exposure to these machines. I guess I am lucky that I still have my feet.

Photos from Google Images

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I found this new meme on my friend Betty's blog A Glimpse Into Midlife. It is from her friend Joyce at her blog From This Side of The Pond who you can meet here. Joyce asks seven question and number 8 is for us to add our own random thought. I hope I can come up with a random thought.....I am doing this meme since work has drained all thoughts from my head this week.

1. Do you think you're more like your mom or your dad?

I think I am probably more like my mom, at least I hope I have some of her kindness and generosity. My dad was sort of distant and hard to know. I may be like him in ways that I am not even aware of.

2. Do you like roller coasters?

There was a time in my life when I did like roller coasters, but  not so much these days. I especially do not like the kind where your feet just hang down with nothing under them. Yikes!

3. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you'd thought about it maybe another five minutes before you hit publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? (French makes everything sound a little nicer doesn't it?)

 When I started my blog which is titled Living Consciously, that was a concept I had been thinking about for a while. I hoped that my blog would help me pay more attention to the events and the everyday of my life. I think blogging has helped me do that, so I am happy with the name.  

4. What is the best wedding gift you received? Not married? Didn't get any gifts? Then what is the best wedding gift you've given?

You are asking me to go back a lot of years with this question. If I can stretch the meaning a little, I will say that the best "gift" from my wedding is my three children.

5. What is the one bill you most hate to pay?

Since I recently got a new smart phone, I'm afraid it is going to be my cell phone bill.

6. Is the glass half full or half empty?

Pretty much half full most of the time, if not all the way to the top.

7. What is your favorite word? Okay okay. Calm down. How about one of your favorite words?

"Grandmom" is my favorite word because that is what my grandkids call me.

8. This is not exactly a random thought because it occurs to me often, but I want to say how much I appreciate the friends I have made through blogging. I appreciate all you have shared with me and what you have allowed me to share with you....the good, the bad and the meme.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'm Still In Love With This Wonderful Little Guy

I wrote the following post a year ago today after I got home from the animal shelter where I met and adopted our dog, Dodger. We have all gone through a lot of learning and adjustments (and money) in the last year and  Doc and I have happily become those crazy dog people. Dodger has become Doc's dog and his constant companion, but they are nice enough to let me play too.


Yes, it's true, I'm in love, and he is truly a wonderful guy. Though a bit of a mutt, he is a very handsome, friendly and full of life one year old. He told the people at the shelter that his name is Dodger, so I guess, we'll stick with that. He has had a pretty sketchy life for his first year, but seems to have retained a positive spirit through it all and is ready to share all he has to offer in a forever home.
As I was driving home from the shelter after meeting and falling in love with Dodger, the old song from South Pacific, "I'm In Love With A Wonderful Guy", came on the radio.

I'm as corny as Kansas in August

High as a flag on the 4th of July

If you'll excuse the expression I use

I'm in love with a wonderful guy

I am in a conventional dither

with a conventional star in my eye

And you will note there's a lump in my throat

When I speak of that wonderful guy

Corny, I know, but it was exactly how I felt after meeting Dodger.

Dodger has to spend one more night at the shelter so he can have his little boy parts tampered with first thing tomorrow. Doc will pick him up before I come home from work. Needless to say, I can't wait. I'm sure there will be surprises, both good and bad, as with any new member of a family, especially a canine member. But for now, I'm in love with a wonderful guy, and I can't wait to get him home.


It's still corny, but it's still true a year later....I'm in love with this wonderful little guy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Music To My Ears

I have no musical talent. I can't play an instrument, carry a tune or read music. I regret that I don't have musical talent, but I am grateful for the talent of others that have created the songs that accompany so many memories from my life.

I love that hearing a song can bring back the memory of a special time, a lost love, a forgotten feeling or a long gone loved one.

There are the old, I mean really old, songs that take me back to nights at home with my parents, when I was really small, before television became their nightly entertainment. Whenever I hear Tennnessee Waltz by Patti Page or Come On-a My House by Rosemary Clooney I'm back in the living room of my childhood home hearing the scratchy 78 rpm records played.

There are the songs that were my early introduction to the pop music of the 50s played by my brother who was 5 years older. Shake Rattle and Roll or Rock Around The Clock  by Bill Haley and the Comets never fail to bring to mind what a good dancer my brother was (and still is).

My own teen years were serenaded by Elvis, and, of course, The Beatles. Love Me Tender and I Want To Hold Your Hand, along with many others were my introduction to what we, as teens, thought love was. When I wasn't dreaming of love I was hiding in my room dancing and singing to songs from the musicals that I loved. Let Me Entertain You from Gypsy or Hello Dolly from the musical by that name can still get my feet moving and my out of tune voice singing.

College years full of football games,  sorority houses and fraternity parties are brought back when I hear Wild Thing by The Troggs, or Leaving On A Jet Plane by Peter, Paul and Mary.

I could go on and on into my early 20s when I first had children and much of the music was lullabies and Sesame Street, into my 30s and my country music years, into my 40s with Jimmy Buffett and the songs that my teenaged children loved.

There are hundreds, or maybe more, songs that I can hear and enjoy thinking back to a special time, a special person, a special place. Even though I don't have the talent to make music, I love that the music others have made has accompanied my life.