Sunday, January 31, 2010

Just In Case You're Still Hungry


Some Food For Your Soul, Too!


Feeding the Soul

You can always count on Laura to not just know how to feed the soul but to actually think to take the time to do it! So I was very lucky to have her phone me today and invite me with her to the conservatory at The Mendel. It was wonderful to breathe in the fresh, humid scents and to see all those lively colours ... so many shades of greens and wonderful contrasts and textures. It was an amazing and welcome change from winter.

We also took in the gallery and saw some very amazing works. I was especially smitten with the work by Ed Pien! I'm so glad I saw it and I might just have to see it again! Here's the link to the Mendel's current exhibitions where his and the works of the other artists are described. About the most amazing part of the Ed Pien exhibit ...
"the exhibition features the first Canadian showing of Haven, a work that was created for the Bellevue Art Museum in Washington State. This imposing installation includes five interlocking paper structures that form a labyrinthine space bounded by jagged hedges, into which visitors are invited to venture. Inside the structures, sound and video elements intermingle with paper vines from which various peculiar figures emerge."
It's worth making the time to stop in at the Mendel to see it! It's great food for both the spirit and the imagination.


I'm a Better Wing Man Than a Bidder

Last night was Lou and Neil's much anticipated Kaiser Tourney! It was great fun! Good food, plentiful drinks, and super company! Even though I've only played kaiser twice before with Patty and Ron, who were also there, I wasn't very nervous because there were others with as little experience as me and some who had never played before at all. Of course, there were the usual sharks!

I must mention that Lou has a special way of making each person feel welcome. In my case, Lou kept her own Christmas decorations up so I wouldn't feel so bad about not having my Christmas decoration boxes put away. How generous of spirit is that?! Someone had the great idea to award the winner of the tournament with Lou's and Neil's GIANT Christmas tree. As it turned out, Dave, the winner, has a smart car. It would have been such a hoot to see that Christmas tree strapped on top of it!

Thanks Lou and Neil for a great time!

The Boys Are Alright!

Just in case Darrel and Lynn are checking in, Otto is doing just fine! He's been hanging a lot with Kevin and has been fascinated with the fish tanks. Kevin went to bed before me last night and when I got up there, Otto was well settled in ... in MY spot. He wasn't too happy about me trying to claim some space for myself either. After getting squished, he begrudgingly vacated the bed and slept on his own bed beside Kevin.
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Hair Confidential

Be amazed! I'm growing more hair! It's a bit unruly, don't you think? I broke out the brush.

Here, too, is a photo of me in my new back-to-work wig. It's dark, which is more like my real hair ... if you blur your eyes so as to block out the grey hairs.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

My So Called Life

This is how we know that Otto has been playing Goldilocks while we're out of the house. It's also evidence of the fact that Otto is a male since he has no tolerance for cushions on the sofas! The cushions from the love seat were on the floor last night when we got home from dinner. During the night Otto had tossed the cushions off of the hide-a-bed sofa across from the one pictured here. I wonder when he'll decide which one is juuuuust right? Then I'll put a blankie on that one for him.

Yesterday I saw my dentist. She said the part of my tooth that broke off was pretty fragile in the first place there being a large filling in that tooth already. It needs to be crowned but in the meantime, she filed it smooth and put some sealer over the exposed nerve that may have been the cause of the radiating pain I've been experiencing. Other than that, what I describe ... the clicking and the pain ... sounds to her like I grind or clench my teeth in my sleep. Apparently, my teeth don't look like they've been ground so she suspects I've been clenching, which is possible. I do catch myself clenching sometimes when I'm awake and make conscious efforts to relax my jaw when I notice it. I'm having a mouth guard made that I can wear at night and hopefully that will help. She feels that the radiation in particular will have been hard on my teeth and jaw bones and that the drugs will probably also have had an impact.

I bought new hair yesterday while I was out and about! I looked at the place in Grosvenor (Lots of Looks) since that's where my dentist is, too, but I didn't see anything that looked like me. So I stopped downtown and picked up the one I'd already set my sights on at the Bay. It's quite dark ... more like my real hair (well, except for the greys) and less straight. Most of the wigs I've seen are either perm-curly or quite straight and this one is a more "textured" and messy looking. More like me than the others I've looked at. Now that I'm not so pale and have brows and eyelashes again, I can better wear dark hair again. I also felt I needed something to go back to work with. My other wigs are past their best before dates and are looking quite dull and a bit ratty where they rub on my collar. And I'm not quite ready for going au naturel, as Berny puts it. So I have a work wig. And a nice change. I was getting pretty sick of my wig. Keep in mind that it might sound great to have hair that doesn't change ... doesn't grow ... doesn't need colouring ... looks just the same every day. It's not all it's cracked up to be. A change can be very welcome. I'll remind myself of that when I start having for real "bad hair days" again.

Last night Kevin and I went out for dinner with Kelly and Chantelle. We first met at Las Palapos but were told it would be an hour wait so we decided to check out Bliss on Broadway and 9th. I was the only one who had ever been there and it had only been for lunch, which was very nice. It was a bit alarming when we got there to see that there was only one other table occupied ... on a Friday night ... in Saskatoon! That alone makes one suspicious. Though more people came later the restaurant only reached half capacity on the main floor and I suspect they wouldn't put people upstairs until the more visible downstairs was filled. Anyway, we stayed and had a very tasty meal. It was very good, in fact. The only problem is that there was so little of it. The portions are mighty small. Even for me they were small. Kevin and Kelly probably needed a snack when they got home. And at the price, it's no surprise to me that there are a lot of empty tables. With portions that small, you really do need to order an appetizer and a separate soup or salad and we were still so hungry, we had desert and that's not something that happens very often. All of those extra dishes on top of pricey main dishes makes for a very costly meal, even if it is very good. There are other places in Saskatoon where you can get wonderful taste experiences with more quantity and less overall cost. So I'll diss Bliss for their management but commend them for their menu, deliciousness and artistry. The flavours in our main course and the soup Kevin ordered were quite fabulous. Everything is made from scratch! The homemade crackers they bring with hummus and bread before the meal are really yummy, too. Kudos to the chefs but I would suggest they add at least a hearty side serving of vegetables to their main courses. I don't regret going and I really enjoyed my meal but I don't see myself choosing to go there again despite the deliciousness factor. Of course, the best part of the meal was the good company. At one point Chantelle and I were laughing so hard at our silly men that my ribs actually hurt. Happy Birthday, Kelly!

We came home to disheveled sofas and Otto, who was evidently happy to see us! Otto was even in bed with us for a little while this morning.

This morning I slept late ... until 10:00 ... and then Carol picked me up and we met Pat at Grainfields for breakfast. I love breakfast ... eggs benedict ... yummmm. We always have such a hoot together. Carol and I had a little incident on the way there precipitated, I believe, by the fact that I usually have breakfast as soon as I wake up and I didn't this morning because we were GOING for breakfast. So I got up and had half an hour to get ready, which is easy enough to do when you can just slap a wig on your head. I did have my pomegranate juice and pills before Carol got here, though. As I was watching for her at the window, my stomach felt a little icky. Just after we pulled on to 8th street I said to Carol (to the memorable strains of Air Supply's "I'm All Out Of Love"), "I think I'm going to throw up ... you might want to get into the right lane". So she pulls over, I open the door to get some air and then ... yes ... I lose it. Ewwww! Carol said I should have taken a picture for the blog. NOT!! It looked like a pile of pills in a puddle of wine ... in the snow. I should have kicked snow over it, at least. I wish I had. Anyway ... I was fine after that and I ate a hearty breakfast and had many laughs with Pat and Carol. I'm perfectly fine, though it's a lesson to me to remember to have SOMETHING solid in my stomach before I do pills and pomegranate juice! So much for my self-proclaimed "stomach of steel"!

Happy Birthday, Rex!


Friday, January 29, 2010

Otto: The Test Dog

Otto is here! Darrel and Sylvia dropped him off this morning. Darrel had a hard time leaving his pup behind. Otto only cried for a minute or two about 10 minutes after Darrel left and then he crawled up onto the couch with me and snuggled in for a while. We've had lunch together, have been up and down the stairs doing some laundry, and we had a nap together, too.

I'm dismayed to report that my limbs are worse than they've been for a week! My joints are aching a bit again after being ache-free for a week. I noticed it in the night last night. I woke up a couple of times with aching fingers and knee. I'm also slower moving today. Why? I just don't get it! Yesterday I dropped from the 20,000 IU of Vitamin D per day (which I took for one week) to 10,000 IU per day but I can't see any logic in that making any difference. It's not like I've lowered my Vitamin D levels. This bum limb business is so frustrating!!

I'm still hoping these skin tags will drop off ... maybe today? It's encouraging that one is gone and there's just a little flat, painless red mark where it was. That's great!

I have my dental appointment this afternoon and let's hope that takes care of the jaw pain I've been experiencing.

Don't ask me how this happened, but somehow I ended up watching Cowboy Country on TV while I ate my lunch. It was just on in the background ... I didn't actually select it. And then I caught the name "Rempel" and I paid attention! There were John and Wade Rempel giving a tour and a talk about the miniatures John made replicating the old Matador Ranch! How cool is that??!! I've never seen the miniatures but now it's on my bucket list. I think I have an in for a personal tour. Out of all the channels on tv, how I ended up watching Cowboy Country (of all things ... that's not usually how I roll) and then it being that particular episode (the Rempels being friends from Kyle) makes you believe in kizmit!

I also watched Parks and Recreation for the first time. I had PVR'd it and so could watch it in the morning before my nap. I just have to say that Amy Poehler at one particularly funny instance reminded me of splurge club Alana! Uncanny!! That gives you some additional idea of how nutty my splurge club pals are!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Would You Like A Little Cheese With That Whine?

Today I just felt worse and worse as the day progressed. By tonight, though, my arm doesn't feel swollen ... at least not very much. Doing nothing all day might have been a good idea. That's not true. I did do something. I oiled our butcher block. So there.

I went out for a little while since Kevin had so kindly dug my car out, but I wasn't out for long. I just didn't feel up to it so I came home. The things I was going to do can wait until tomorrow when I go out in the afternoon for my dental appointment. Those skin tags were hurting today and my jacket bothered them. One of them finally fell off, though, and I'm happy about that. I hope the rest are close behind. There's a bit of redness around each one of them now so that's probably why they hurt. With my white blood cell counts and neutrophils still below normal, perhaps I infect more easily than I would otherwise.

I also had a couple of nasty jaw aches today. One is just subsiding now. It came on so quickly, I wasn't able to catch it with tylenol so I was pretty miserable for about half an hour before the tylenol took hold.

I felt chilled all day and have had two hot baths by now. I'll soon be crawling into bed to read for a while. Hopefully I'll sleep better tonight. Last night my skin tags bothered me and I didn't sleep well.

The untouched Tamoxifen sitting in my cupboard is weighing on my mind. I had hoped that the Arimidex side effects would be gone by now but who knows how long they'll last? I'm just believing they WILL be gone and won't be permanent. I had hoped to start the Tamoxifen while not dealing with side effects from other things but I think I'll just have to start it, ready or not. I'm also a little nervous about starting it after my Arimidex experience. And I must say, I haven't missed those hot flashes. I think it's a given that they'll start again once I'm on Tamoxifen. Hot flashes or cancer? Hmmmm ... I think I'll pick hot flashes! I think I'll start the Tamoxifen next Monday.
February 1.

Well, I really have a list of gripes today, don't I?! I'm done whining now! I expect things will be better tomorrow after a good, long sleep!

What NOT To Read

An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes In New England by Brock Clarke.

Don't waste your time. Nuff said.

I'm a sucker for novels about books, authors, libraries, and librarians. Usually I'm pleasantly surprised. Not this time.

Bangs, Arms, and Skin Tags

I know it's not Saturday, but I just had to show off my bangs! I hadn't really noticed them until I got a little toasty this morning and I just tipped my toquie-thing that I sleep in back a bit. Then I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and ... WOW! ... I HAVE BANGS!! They make me happy. I still have a very wide expanse of forehead, but hopefully that will shorten soon.

Yesterday. Another day of cautious use of my arms. My right shoulder is quite sore and certain movements, which are often hard to avoid, make it much worse. I think this joint/bone side effect from the Arimidex has brought previously healed injuries back to life. My once, twice, thrice injured nose doesn't hurt, though. Bonus!

My left underarm feels a little more swollen again today after feeling slightly better yesterday. I'll spend some time today with it raised over my head and see if that helps. I hope it's just some overuse that can easily be corrected and not the start of lymphodema. I'm going to believe it just needs some rest.

My skin tags have not fallen off yet! Damn! They've mostly turned black and they look like little mini leaches attached to my neck! Attractive? NOT!! They have a couple of more days to fall off or I'll be back to the Doctor's office.

Yesterday was another snow day for me, though Kevin shoveled out my car last night so I can get out today. I cleaned bathrooms ... did the hands and knees kind of floor washing (quite a feat!) ... read ... rifled through new information on breast cancer research ... didn't quilt (have to get back to that) ... ignored Christmas boxes ... again. Then, in the evening, Laura and Blair picked me up and we went to the field house where Laura and I walked the track for almost 4 km. The time passes so quickly when talking with a friend! I loved spending some time with Laura and catching up on what's going on with her and her family. And it's good to be walking. I hope that isn't why my arm is a little swollen today.

I talked with Mom last night. She's doing great and will soon be on a hot beach somewhere far, far away with Darrel and Lynn and some others. That means Otto will be coming here tomorrow to live with us for a couple of weeks! How exciting!! A REAL dog ... living here with us. Otto will be SO loved! Not that he isn't already, of course!

My thoughts are with Auntie Elsie today. Kevin and I will share a KitKat later in her memory.

Water. Kind of Important.

Don't look, Nora! This is what happened when I neglected to water this plant! It also appears that I need to wash some leaves, too! I think they look dustier in the photo than they do for real. Still ... dusty!

This is an Arabian Coffee plant. The brown parts of the leaves have been there for a couple of years now. Eventually new leaves replace the lower, brown ones and the brown ones fall off. Soon, I hope, the brown ones will be a thing of the past.

What happened is ... I thought the plant wasn't getting enough light so I moved it onto the window sill where it would get a couple of hours of sunlight each day, at least. Apparently Arabian Coffee plants don't like direct sunlight. It totally fried the leaves! I was horrified and moved it back into a shady area. It has endured since that bad experience but it grows really slowly ... same as previously when I thought it needed more light. As the new growth comes, I remove the burnt leaves.

I feel awful about forgetting to water it, though. I mean ... I am here every day ... all day!! A few hours later, you see, it's perked right up again. Now I'll wipe it's dusty leaves. It would be much happier at Nora's house but it's stuck with me!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Memories Of Hairs Past

As I said, I got caught up a couple of days ago sorting digital photos. Here's a blast from the past. It's the longest my hair ever was since we got a digital camera. The only time I remember it being longer was in my early twenties when I lived in Ottawa. The wonderful humidity there made my hair curl so much more and it was also so much more manageable ... so I let it grow ... and grow.

I have a slight hair obsession. Understandable.

Yesterday was a slight setback. Just enough to remind me not to rush things. Early in the afternoon my left arm, under my armpit, started to feel a little swollen and tender. I had to take it easier for the rest of the day. It wasn't that I was doing so much ... mostly laundry ... up and down the stairs, gathering, loading, unloading, folding. Dishes. Remaking beds in Hannah's and Luke's rooms. I didn't even get to those Christmas boxes!

Today my arm is a little tender still. My jaw caused me some pain yesterday. I'm glad tylenol works for it, because otherwise I would be VERY miserable. I hope the dentist will have some suggestions come Friday.

I'm still snowed in today but am enjoying the bright sunshine. I'll let my arm be my guide today and will probably try to rest it. And then, tonight, I'm going for a walk with Laura. I want to keep up with my walking. I lost 2 pounds since last week! Woohoo!!


My Favourite Earrings

These are my favourite earrings. Hannah gave them to me a few years ago and we both agree that they were the PERFECT gift for me. They're jewelery. They're cut from old, damaged books. They have wheat and words on them. They're dipped in gold. PERFECT!!

The artisan, Lauren Elgee, lived in Vancouver until she moved to Seattle this summer and she has an Etsy shop that I subscribe to in my feed reader. I just saw that she's made several new pair. They're all unique and just lovely. Check them out here.

I had to turn the flash off my camera to prevent reflection (a photographer I'm not) so mine are a little more "aged" looking than they really are. Not much, though.

If you're not familiar with Etsy, it's the Amazon or ebay of all things handmade. It's vast! It's so vast that unless you know specifically what you're looking for, it's a good idea to browse using some of the links here. It's easy get lost in happy exploring.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Growing A Brain

All this snow may be trouble, but at least it's pretty!

I stayed inside all day yesterday. And still those Christmas boxes aren't put away. No excuses. What happened is ...

... after all that sorting and cleaning up of our music cds yesterday, I remembered that we had some disks full of downloaded music from our old computer ... from the days of Napster ... before we were made aware that we weren't to be doin' that! Dealing with those music files alone wouldn't have taken much time but it led me to many, MANY disks of photographs, most of which aren't properly labeled and some disks that aren't labelled at all! It's a mess! So, that started me in on our unorganized world of digital photos. Please ... please ... please don't let it lead me to our printed photos, which are a giant project, too. Anyway, I got started on the digital photos but have a long way to go. You can imagine how that goes ... "awwwww ... I remember when they looked like that ... and that ... and that ..." ... and then you're hooked! You have to look at them all. Serious editing of our photo collection is needed.

So that was my day yesterday. No breaks except to make dinner.

Today, aside from blogging, I'm taking a total break from the computer and am doing the more physical things that really need doing around here. There's enough to keep me very busy while STILL avoiding those Christmas boxes.

Regarding recovery, my jaw wasn't as alarmingly bad as yesterday. It still clicked a little bit but not so jarring as it had become yesterday. Jaw pain was very minor and fleeting. Perhaps it's best that I have another few days to test the waters before I get to the dentist.

My joints are still stiff but not achy and even then, I'm able to go from sitting to moving much easier and quicker than I could before. My hands and shoulders, though, were very stiff by the end of the day and even a little sore. Do you think that might have something to do with my computering all day at our non-ergonomic table? DUH!! Stupido! This is largely why I'm taking a day away from the digital photo project. It's hard, though, because when I start a project, I like to keep going at it non-stop until it's done, partly because it keeps my head in the game. And that's something worth noting. I've had since June to work on these kinds of home projects but I haven't had any inclination until now. I think that's because of the "chemo brain" and because of the general mushiness of the mind caused by the various drugs. And maybe the supplements and vitamins are helping my mind perk up again, too. Whatever the reason, the last few days of sorting and organizing wouldn't be happening if my brain didn't suddenly feel alive again. It makes me less nervous than I had been about going back to work. In a way, what I've been doing with our music and photos is a bit like what I do at work, just a little less complex and broad. It's good practice for me and for my mind, I think. The bonus is getting all this crap sorted out. The trick, as always, is keeping it that way!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Stir It Up!

Yesterday afternoon, Kevin wanted to make a "test trip" to see how hard it would be to get the car out. He's not good at being house bound. So he maneuvered and we got ourselves to London Drugs to pick up a couple of supplies. I've only occasionally ever wandered down their grocery aisles there but when I have, I've noticed that they often carry items I never see at the usual grocery stores. Kevin and I actually looked this time and marvelled at all the brands we're not used to seeing.

Then we saw this! If you know Kevin, you know he's always looking for some way to trace his bloodlines to Bob Marley (which just ain't happenin'). He just feels Jamaican in his bones! So when we saw this coffee, we HAD to get some ... the Jammin Java is what he chose. He hasn't tried it yet but I'll let you know on Saturday what he thinks of it. It's all organic and ethical and farmed using sustainable practices and partial proceeds go toward soccer programs in rural coffee growing regions of Jamaica. And the company is owned by one of Bob Marley's sons. Maybe if Kevin drinks enough of this, he'll find his missing connection.

Speaking of Kevin's love of Reggae, he chose the song "Turn The Lights Down Low" by Bob Marley as our wedding song ... the song we first danced to at our wedding. One time shortly after that when RJ was at our house and music was playing, he said, "Hey! That's your wedding song"! And Kevin said, "yup"! But it wasn't. It was Bob Marley alright, but the song was "Buffalo Soldiers". Now I always think of Buffalo Soldiers as our wedding song.

By now, I've also heard enough Reggae to last me two lifetimes so I don't even have ANY on my iPod. Not even Buffalo Soldiers. Though, come to think of it, I should put on Turn The Lights Down Low and a couple of other songs that I actually still like ... small doses ... small doses ...


Snow Day!

This is the main part of our cd collection ... all properly organized and alphabetized! Ain't it a think of beauty?!!

It's a snow day for me today! I had to cancel my dental appointment this morning. RATS!! I was able to reschedule for Friday, though, so at least I don't have to wait very long. Kevin was going to be able to get me there this morning and I had planned on taking a bus down 8th street to Broadway or Victoria, which is as far as they go, and then walk the rest of the way. But we since learned that most of the buses won't be running so I canned that idea and decided to just stay home. Kevin shoveled himself out and off he went to pick up some other stranded SARCAN employees to get them to work where he needed them. Not bad service if you can get it!

My jaw seems fine this morning. It doesn't hurt ... yet ... and the clicking is only very subtle. I hope it doesn't get worse. I find it very disturbing, having never had jaw problems before and because I don't understand why it would even be happening.

I hope it's a snow day for you, too. This is not the kind of snow anyone wants to be out driving in unless you're a CRAZY person ... which explains Kevin.


A Good Day To Stay Inside ...

... and alphabetize!! So much for putting away those boxes of Christmas decorations. I embraced a big organizational and alphabetization project instead.

Through the advancing technologies, our cds have become a mess. I planned to simply add some cds to my iPod but one thing led to another. Sometimes I would open a case and it would be empty or the wrong cd would be inside it. So ... I ended up gathering cds from the cars and from various places in the house (since they've outgrown our cd stand) and then I checked every single case to make sure the right cd was in the right case. I'm left with cds with no cases and a few cases with no cds. And I know my Best of the Bee Gees cd is simply missing. Harrumph! Anyway, once that was done, I had to categorize our collection a little bit so that the largest part of it could fit in our cd stand. This means we now have separate collections of Soundtracks, Reggae, Jazz & Blues, Electronica, Seasonal Music, Classical Music, and mixed cds we've burned ourselves. They're all housed among the books for now. This, incuding uploading onto my computer, took ALL day! A good indoor project on a wintery day! But it's done!

Kevin did much shoveling and managed to get the car out for a bit, too.

I had really hoped my joints would be more improved by now. It seems that my bones aside from the joints feel better and my hips, in particular are improved. So that's good, I guess.

I do have a relatively new issue, though ... sigh ... and I don't have a clue why this is happening. If you recall, a chunk broke away from the front of my upper left back tooth on January 2. The tooth didn't hurt so I didn't feel it was an emergency and I booked the next available appointment with my dentist, which is tomorrow. Then ... about 10 days ago ... my jaw suddenly started clicking when I chewed. It didn't hurt but there was this odd clicking sound. Not all the time. Just sometimes. Then ... three days ago, I started getting radiating pain in the back of my jaw on the left side (the same side as my deteriorating tooth). It's been bad enough that I have to take tylenol for it. It's not constant but at some point I will feel it starting and then it just gets worse and worse until I knock it back with some tylenol and then I don't have trouble again for at least another 12 hours ... long after the tylenol should have worn off. And THEN ... this afternoon ... my jaw started locking and then clicking quite loudly, whenever I closed my mouth and not just when I was chewing. It will occassionally lock in position and when I move it, it makes a louder clicking sound and I can feel it jolt in and out of place. WTF???!!! I'm not prone to jaw and tooth problems, so what's going on??? I know I read about some women suspecting that the Arimidex was causing them problems with their teeth and jaws but I've been off the Arimidex now for 2 months and this is just starting now so I don't see how it could be causing the problem. I hope my Dentist has some ideas tomorrow but I fear she won't have a clue!

Two steps forward. One step back. At least our cds are in order ... ALPHABETICAL order!

Good luck snow wrangling tomorrow!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Fun Night at Splurge!

I wouldn't even have gone if Kevin hadn't offered to drive me! It's NUTS out there! And Gail's house if so far from ours! But I'm so glad I was able to go because everyone else who wasn't on vacation made it, too! It was fun and Gail put on a real feast. We had a "regift exchange", too, which was good for some laughs. Gail is wearing the slippers Bonnie and I "regifted" specifically to her. These slippers are long storied. They got their start at a Splurge Christmas gift exchange. Bonnie wore them so much, she wore holes in their soles. She then so kindly passed them on to me to keep my feet warm and comfy while I was going through chemo. Now that I'm so done with that, we decided to pass them on to Gail for her dubious response when she first saw them! We patched the holes for her, though, in a way that will always remind her of the slipper's predecessors. Gail's not one to walk all over people but now she has no choice! Bonnie suggested we call our splurge group "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Slippers".

Gail made something for me, too. She had promised me an award when I finished all this cancer treatment business and here it is! YEAH!!!

Kevin picked me up from splurge tonight and we slipped and slid and ploughed snow all the way home. Kevin got parked on our street but I don't know that we'll be getting out again anytime soon.

Tomorrow will be a good day to just stay home ... watch a movie ... put away Christmas boxes ... alphabetize ...


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Not Much More Hair to Brag About

I guess I can't expect there to be evidential growth EVERY week! I don't see any difference between this week and last. Next week, though ... BE AMAZED!! Last week, by the way, Cheryl told me that she noticed I had more hair than Obama! I took a second look and, at the time, I could see that my hairline was, in fact, very Obamaish. I'd have to get it cut now if I wanted to keep that look. NOT!

Last night was a quiet night at home. We phoned in our donation for Haiti. I can't imagine ...

We had a short conversation with Luke. He was in too much pain to talk for long. He'd taken a nasty hit during practice that afternoon and was suffering a hip pointer injury. He was icing his hip and using an electro-stimulus pad that the trainers had given him but he was still in a lot of pain. We talked to him again after he'd taken some Advil and he was doing a little better. This might sideline him for a week or two and he might have to miss their exhibition game next week, but it's something that will heal relatively quickly. Ouch, though.

Kevin and I each had a long conversation with Hannah. She was in the mood to visit ... moments I treasure. She can make me laugh so much! She'd had a tough week. She spent most of her time holed up in her apartment preparing to give a 3 hour seminar Thursday morning on the CP Rail. THREE HOURS!! She was able to spend about an hour of it touring the class through special collections in the library at UBC where they have artifacts and ephemera. But man ... 3 hours! That's a long time for the person giving the seminar and for the people listening. If you want to know anything about CP Rail, just ask Hannah. She then spent yesterday treating herself well after finishing that seminar. She met friends for coffee and breakfast ... walked the seawall (15 degrees and sunny in Vancouver so she loved being outside). She did a lot of walking and had a very good day. Her observations about life and herself slay me! One night last week she ate half a cabbage for dinner ... just half a cabbage. It was a big one and organic and really good, she said. Not bitter ... kind of sweet ... so she ate more than she thought she would. Later she wondered if it was bad to eat so much cabbage in one sitting, so she looked it up (that's my girl) and learned that the only possible unfortunate result is that it could neutralize your iodine, so she then ate a handful of sea kelp that she had in her cupboard. She had already been aware that it could cause gas and so she'd taken care of that with some particular kind of tea she had on hand. To me, that's hilarious. Who eats half a cabbage for dinner? And then who has all that stuff on hand to counter the nastier effects? Funny.

Today I feel alright. The stiff joints are still there but the achiness has subsided considerably. I stopped talking the Tylenol Arthritis about three days ago and things have improved since then. I had long suspected that the Tylenol wasn't helping at all but I kept taking it ... just in case. The Vitamin D and, perhaps, other things ARE helping and maybe, too, the Arimidex is really starting to clear out.

My radiation burns are healing so nicely! I can still see the edges of the burns but everything within that is looking like a much faded tan. Even the part on my back isn't quite so freckledy looking. I have just a little bit of skin on one edge that looks like it will still flake off and then the peeling part will be completely finished. I still need to apply lots or rich lotion to the area, though. If I neglect lotion for a while, I can feel the tightening of the skin and it will feel papery to the touch. I'm lucky and glad that I'm not finding that the radiation caused any lingering limitation in my range of motion for that arm ... no more limited than it has become anyway, I mean ... not like my right shoulder with the impingement syndrome. All of me has some limited range of motion these days. I need to keep up my exercises but I've been a bad girl, Lynne, and I haven't done them for the past three days. I've been moving more in general, though, so that's a good thing. Still, I know I need the more specific exercises.

I hope nobody is traveling today. It's obviously not a good day to be on highways. But it is pretty and white outside!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Warning: Parental Gushing!

Hannah is published. She sent me a copy of the journal and it arrived today. She'll be mortified that I'm talking about it here. Oh well.

She was asked to write an article for Chop, a journal "dedicated to the examination and development of the discourse around contemporary printmaking and Print Culture in Canada and abroad"). She got paid for it, too! The special topic of the issue is "conflict". Her article is entitled, "Spatial Arrangement and Information Transfer in Sandow Birk's The Depravities of War", Chop (2009) 34(2): 15-21. And yes, I'm burstin' with pride!

If you're interested in knowing who Sandow Birk is and seeing his work in the series, The Depravities of War, here is the link.

There's good news for Don, too! He's home from the hospital! He's feeling better and all the tests suggest nothing to worry about except that he seems to be allergic to most antibiotics!

I'm happy to say that all seems to be getting better for me, tool! My joints aren't out of the woods yet, but things suddenly seem more promising. Also, I notice that ... and this is hard to describe or explain ... but my brain feels more open and nimble. Like it's come out of a fog. Not just a fog but out of a very tight, little box. It's a good feeling.

Erin and I walked last night for another 50 minutes. This time I remembered to take my step counter and logged 5,578 steps (10,000 steps = 5 miles or 8 km). Then I sat in for a while at a planning meeting for next summer's National Lacrosse Tournament, which we're hosting here in Saskatoon. It will mean lots of work but it will be exciting to have it here. Kevin is in charge of the organizing committee. Big job. Last year was Luke's last year to play, though. Now he's too old. But he might help coach.

Today, Patty, Sharon and I had the luxury of time over lunch at Bliss! It was wonderful to get together and none of us had to rush away. I hadn't been there before and I found it very nice. I liked the menu. Conveniently, Bliss is situated right beside Sandbox In The City and so ... well ... like I said, we had the luxury of time. We just looked, though.

Then, a few errands and here I am at home beaming about seeing our daughter published. Not to be left out, we found Luke's name in the Inside Lacrosse Yearbook this past weekend, too. It lists all the college Division I and II teams for the coming college lacrosse season and talks about the teams and players to watch. There are a lot of speculative articles and commentary. And there was Luke's name in the article about the Bellarmine Knights. No pressure, Luke.

I'm done gushing. For now.


Good Information Sheet on Vitamin D

Here is a link to a very good article on Vitamin D in which it explains Vitamin D deficiency and associated symptoms and diseases. It explains the generally recommended levels and the optimal levels and what should be aimed for by individuals. It explains how to get our Vitamin D and why almost everyone should be taking Vitamin D supplements. The Doctor who authored the paper talks about the tests for Vitamin D and how often someone should be tested. He explains how much Vitamin D you should probably be taking depending on your test results and emphasizes that high doses should only be taken under Doctor supervision. He explains the the importance of taking Vitamin D3 and not just Vitamin D.

And ... did you know that Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin? I've read that before but I found the explanation in this article the easiest for me to understand.

I like that the Doctor writing this article has a keen interest in preventative medicine. How refreshing! My experience with traditional medical practitioners is that they're mostly interested in applying bandaids ... fixing health problems as they arise with few recommendations for preventing the same problems ... or worse ... from happening again. I've learned through my experience that there's a lot of preventative action we can take if we only know how. I've learned that falling into the "normal range" for test results does not necessarily mean that you're operating at "optimal" and there are things you can do to get to "optimal" if someone just tells you how. This is where my Naturopath has been so helpful and supportive.

Anyway ... off my soapbox. Here's the link to the article: Vitamin D: What You Need To Know by Dr. Frank Lipman.

Frank Lipman MD, is the founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in NYC a center whose emphasis is on preventive health care and patient education. His personal blend of Western and Eastern Medicine combined with the many other complimentary modalities he has studied, has helped thousands of people recover their energy and zest for life. He is the author of the recent REVIVE: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again (2009) and Total Renewal; 7 key steps to Resilience, Vitality and Long-Term Health (2003).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life!

I've been having a pretty exciting day, I tell ya!! And I haven't even left the house! I'm SO not high maintenance!

My day started with my being disappointed that I couldn't get back to sleep this morning. I decided to just get up and accept that I'll probably be tired during the day. But I was oddly energetic! For the first time in ... I can't even remember when ... I felt like doing stuff ... anything ... just DOING! So I thought I'd better embrace the feeling while it lasted and I made 2 batches of muffins while uploading some music for my iPod. I listened to music and baked and sang in the kitchen. Having a grand time! And then I noticed that my legs weren't feeling quite as "heavy" and stiff as they usually seem. Generally I was moving around better than usual. My left leg almost even felt halfway normal! I was in such a good mood, too, and not at all tired even though I'd only got just less than 8 hours of sleep. I usually need more than 8 hours these days if I want to avoid an afternoon nap ... and I ALWAYS want to avoid afternoon naps! I'm not a happy napper!

I speculated during the day why my limbs might be feeling substantially better. I thought it might be the Arimidex finally clearing out of my body. Maybe the walking with Erin on Tuesday night helped. I had commented to Kevin last night even that my legs were feeling much more limber then, too. Hmmmm ...

Then, at 4:30, my Naturopath phoned. She'd done some research and had some other recommendations for me, such as increasing my fish oil intake, taking 2 Tbsp of ground flax seeds per day, increasing the amount of curcumin, start taking a mushroom extract, and stop taking iodine now that I'm finished radiation. She asked me if I'd noticed any difference in my bones and joints since I'd started taking the 20,000 IU of Vitamin D per day. I told her that I had but that it hadn't occurred to me that it might be because of the Vitamin D. I asked her if I should be able to feel the effects after only 2 days and she assured me that I should because of the high dosage. I'm so surprised! I'm also elated!! Even though it wasn't sunny today, I've felt like a big old ray of sunshine has been shining on me all day. Maybe that's why they call Vitamin D "The Sunshine Vitamin". Whatever it is, I feel great today and am so happy to feel this good! Yes, I still have some aches ... especially in my right calf ... but I feel very noticeable improvements and that's so encouraging!

Tonight I'm going walking with Erin again.

Update on Don - He's in a private room now at St. Paul's and is much more comfortable now that he's out of emergency. His stomach and fever have been stabilized since he got there and now they're working on figuring out what has been causing his problems. And that's good.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rediscovering My Inner Librarian

I've made arrangements to start back to work on a graduated schedule on Monday, February 15th! Exciting! And scary! Another step toward normal. What my graduated schedule will look like, I'm not entirely sure yet and will probably have to muddle it out as I go, but I hope to be able to manage half days. Baby steps ... baby steps.

Speaking of steps, Erin and I walked the track at the PAC last night for a full 50 minutes! I didn't think I'd be able to go for that long. Our pace wasn't too ridiculous either. YEAH! It felt great to walk and when you're chatting with a friend, time really flies. Next time, if I think of it, I'll take a step counter. After I was home and sat for a while, moving became especially challenging but I expected as much and as I've learned from experiencee, my limbs would recover after a good night's sleep. I still have the joint problems from the Arimidex but they're no worse for walking.

Today I got a bunch of house things done. It's amazing how mangy the house can get if I've been busy for a few days. And then, this afternoon, my Doctor zapped my skin tags. YOUCH! You could hear them sizzling as he touched the liquid nitrogen to the skin with a long q-tip. It may have hurt a bit but no biggie. They look kind of nasty now but I guess they'll dry up and fall off over the next week to 10 days. On the way home I stopped and had some blood work done. And here I am.

Don has been in St. Paul's hospital since yesterday. He had been feeling especially crappy the last couple of days and then when he couldn't keep anything down yesterday morning Sylvia took him to Emergency. He's been having a conundrum of bothersome health issues for the past several months and hopefully they'll now be able to figure out what the underlying problems are and get him all straightened around. He's doing okay, though ... as okay as someone can be in the hospital. I'm just thinking back to my experience and it's just not where one wants to be even when we know it's best for us to be there.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Doesn't this look a bit like Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas? It's a birch stump from the back yard. We use it for setting plant pots on.

Last night Carol and I had a super get together at Las Palapas. We had the sopas (soup) there for the first time. You get your choice of a brothy type soup and then you fill the bowl with all kinds of good stuff from the soup bar. It was delicious and very filling. My only complaint would be that by the time you fill your bowl up with stuff from the chilled soup bar, your soup isn't very warm. It was fun to get together with Carol and have some laughs.

Today has been busy and good! I had a morning appointment with my Naturopath for which I did considerable preparation. I had a list of questions and I'd printed some research study reports that present some possibilities for treating my stiff, aching joints. It was a short but productive appointment. She's going to do some additional research into a couple of things and call me back. So far, though, we've determined that I'm deficient in Vitamin D (at 74 nmol/L) whereas optimal is 125. She would like me to get my Vitamin D levels tested again to see how much progress has been made since my last test at the end of October. I've been taking 4,000 IU per day since then. It takes about a month to get results back from Vitamin D tests. In the meantime, for the next 5 days I'm going to take 20,000 IU per day and then drop to 10,000 IU per day. She poked and prodded my arms and legs and my shins, in particular, are quite painful when touched. When I had that pedicure a couple of weeks ago, I had to ask the esthetician to stop massaging my legs because it just hurt too much. Apparently, that can be an indicator of Vitamin D deficiency. My Naturopath also referred to the clinical study that was presented in December at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Seminar that indicated success in using high doses of Vitamin D to reduce and even eliminate joint and bone pain caused by Aromatase Inhibitors (such as the Arimidex I had been taking). It would be ideal, I think, if we could find a way to prevent or at least diminish the bone and joint problems, which would allow me to go back on Arimidex again, it being the best drug available (according to studies) for preventing cancer recurrence in post-menopausal women. Since low levels of Vitamin D also put women at higher risk for breast cancer, I'm all for optimal levels of Vitamin D for that reason, as well.

Good news is that my Iodine tests came back normal. My thyroid tests are borderline. My neutrophils and white blood cell counts are a bit below the normal range but generally, all my regular blood test results from last week show a lot of improvement from where everything sat at the end of October, so all's good.

I'll also start taking a cup of pomegranate juice (or one pomegranate) per day for breast cancer prevention and Rhus Tox every day to try to help my aching joints. Recent studies indicate that Pomegranate may prevent or slow the growth of some types of breast cancer. At any rate, it certainly can't hurt to eat pomegranates and is good for me anyway.

It feels good to be doing something to help my body and I appreciate the guidance my Naturopath provides.

After that encouraging part of my day, I picked Bonnie up and we went for a celebratory lunch at Original Joe's. We tried to go to Bliss on Broadway, neither of us ever having been there before, but alas ... there was a water main break. Original Joe's was good, though, and it was great to spend some time with Bonnie! Thanks, Bonnie!

I'm thinking of Don today. He hasn't been feeling great and I'm glad he's getting a bunch of tests done so that he can feel good again as soon as possible!

This evening I plan to walk the track with Erin! First time. I can't wait. I have to do something to get back in shape and shed some pounds and this marks a start.

Happy Birthday, Josh!!!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Things Look a Little Better After A Good Sleep

I just woke up, having made up for my loss of sleep in the night. I'm calm now. Not angry. But I'm glad I did get angry because it was the heat I needed to make me dig a little deeper into my side effect experience and find some more information ... namely that some women found relief from joint, tendon and muscle problems even after 3 and 4 months of being off Arimidex. Back to being a patient patient and sticking with my plans to bring up my level of physical activity. Erin and I have a first, formal walking date tomorrow night at the PAC (U of S). She can show me around the place and see how long and how far I can walk. And how fast.

Yesterday, except for my becoming a little depressed in the evening and then angry, was okay. For me it was mostly a breast cancer research day. I had put off doing research for a few weeks and so I had a lot of information waiting for me in my RSS feed reader. It was good to go through it. I found a couple of especially pertinent studies. One recently reported study suggests that high doses of Vitamin D (50,000 per week, which breaks down to between 7,000 and 8,000 per day ... only 3,000 or 4,000 more than I'm taking now) have been found to alleviate joint stiffness and pain in many women taking Aromatase Inhibitors, which includes Arimidex ... all without any Vitamin D toxicity reported. I'm going to ask my Naturopath and Oncologist about this possibility.

I also found a study out of France that showed a large number of women in a study group had improved tolerance after switching from one estrogen blocker to another. What was most interesting to me in the abstract was that it broke down the joint side effects into arthralgia, myalgia, arthritis, tendinitis, and polyalgic syndrome. This gives me the basis to ask doctors which of these I'm experiencing. Maybe I'm one of the unlucky ones getting all of the above! Knowing that might help me better understand how to deal with my particular difficulties. For instance, a lot of women report pain in their knees, which I have, too ... sometimes worse than others. It would be helpful to know if this pain is from the drug or from the activities I'm doing or from the way I'm moving as a result of the joint stiffness. Knowledge is good!

On the good side ... I'm getting more feeling in my big toes! They're still numb but there's some feeling, too. It especially feels strange in comparison to my little toes, which are still deeply numbed! I wish I could describe it, but I just can't. Numbness, for me, has been the hardest thing to describe, it's such a weird feeling. I think it's a very positive sign, though, that my big toes have started coming back. Nerves are knitting. I think I might book myself another pedicure sooner rather than later because I think all that foot massaging might have sped the nerve repair up a little. Just guessing.

Now ... onto more pleasant things. Yesterday afternoon Kevin and I went for a walk with Rex and Erin and stopped at Tastebuds for "coffee". It was a nice little outing. The fresh air was good. I wish I'd remembered to take my camera because there was the cutest little snowman on 8th street!

Today I skipped my planned yoga and slept instead. Wise decision. Tonight Kevin has a business dinner so I'm getting together with Carol. We haven't seen each other for a long while, so I'm really looking forward to that.

Today, too ... big excitement!! Sasktel is coming by any minute to hook us up for PVR. I think that's what it's called. It's so we can tape shows to watch later with a click of a button. I wanted this because now that we're not running around every evening watching Luke play sports, we're home a lot more and have been able to enjoy following some tv programs again. For years we just didn't bother watching much tv. Now, I don't want to make missing a tv show the reason for my not getting out to the walking track, so I'm very happy to be getting PVR. I'm told I will really like being able to watch show (without ads) whenever I choose and being able to stop or pause them at will. Without ads, we'll also be able to cut the time in front of the tube while still keeping up with some favourite shows! Sounds great!

Guinea Heather

Last night I could feel anger rising and even though I fell asleep exhausted by 11:30, I was awake at 3:00 a.m. thinking and getting angrier with every minute. I finally got out of bed and did some research on Arimidex and its side effects. Again.

I don't get angry very often so I allow myself these rare moments and believe they're good for me and will help me in the long run even if it's just to motivate myself. I'm sure we can all stand to get fired up a bit every now and then.

I found a discussion on Arimidex that started in 2006 and still carries on. I read the whole thing, which took more than 4 hours (all 450+ comments). It was so comforting to know that there are so many others that share these awful side effects from the Arimidex.

I had fully expected, based on what my oncologist suggested, that my side effects would have subsided by now but I see no real improvements. In fact, some days lately my fingers in particular seem worse. It helped me to read that some women didn't feel improvements until even 3 or 4 months after quitting Arimidex. Then again, there were a couple who after 5 and 6 months hadn't seen any improvements and there were some who felt some improvements but had some lingering side effects as well.

There were a lot of questions about the possibility of permanent damage from the drug and a lot of frustration expressed with doctors and the manufacturer of the drug (AstraZeneca) who do not warn patients about these relatively common and debilitating side effects. In fact, it seems that AstraZeneca really doesn't know about long term effects and how to best manage the side effects that are being reported.

I feel like a Guinea Pig! That wouldn't be so bad if I had CHOSEN to be a Guinea Pig! It makes me angry.

Still, I feel better after having read more about other people's experiences and having learned that it might just take a little longer yet for me to feel some relief. So many people's descriptions of their symptoms and frustrations echo my own ... like the woman who can hardly get herself up off the floor or in and out of the tub ... the women who try, try, try to get exercise but find it such a struggle ... and the many women who report that they feel ancient and crippled ... the women who report their hands feeling like claws ... those whose doctors tell them the joint problems aren't their concern - go see someone else. So many. So similar.

All of that aside, it's worth saying that some people are able to handle the drug very well and so it's worth trying based on its potential benefits. It's supposed to be better than Tamoxifen (for post-menopausal women) in preventing recurrences. But for many of us, I see, it becomes a quality of life issue and many choose to stop taking the drug. I'm one of those, though I will try Tamoxifen. I read that many women who had trouble with Arimidex were able to better tolerate Tamoxifen. I'm still waiting a little longer before starting it, though, hoping that my joint problems will subside first so I'll be able to distinguish the side effects of one from those of the other.

I have my moments of frustration and anger with these side effects. I had fully expected to be well on my way to recovery by now but these joint and muscle problems make recovery seem like such a distant possibility. I so want my life back and this is the only thing that really seems to stand in the way of that. I expected full recovery from treatments to take time but I hadn't counted on this. It only makes me angrier that I wasn't given a head's up about it. I expect full disclosure from doctors and pharmaceutical companies so that I can be making informed decisions. I wouldn't be so angry about this if my decision to try Arimidex had been a fully informed one. I feel duped!

I also feel pretty tired. No yoga for me this morning. I think I have to go back to bed now that I've researched, read and now vented to my team! I'd better take myself out of the game for a while because I feel like I might otherwise get myself kicked out. Go ahead, though, and slam some cancer baddies into the boards for me while I'm on the bench cooling down.

Sorry for not having anything more positive to report this otherwise fine Monday morning.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Something's Afoot!

At last! I've been keeping my eyes open for something appropriate to replace our old cream coloured duvet cover. I loved our old one. It was cream on cream with texture but with years of Tito (our cat) sleeping with us, it was looking very shabby. So, I've been looking for something similar with no luck. I've seen a few things I've liked but they've been exorbitantly priced! There was a beautiful linen duvet cover at Restoration Hardware in Vancouver but I wasn't prepared to spend that much. So finally, at HomeSense, I found something not at all cream on cream and not at all textured but something that's a nice change and that both Kevin and I like. The blue cushion in the photo isn't that blue for real. I think because it's silk it catches the camera's flash and appears much brighter than it really is. The cushion is more of a dusty turquoise colour, like in the duvet cover.

Yesterday turned out to be not such a good day. It was a lucky thing, perhaps, that the kaiser tournament was postponed. Kevin and I planned on going to a movie instead but by then I didn't feel like leaving the house. I was so tired and my joints were so bothersome yesterday, particularly my hands and arms. It's getting very discouraging but I'm holding panic at bay hoping that the joint problems will still subside soon. And not be permanent!

A couple of nights ago I noticed a different feeling in my feet. I can't describe the change except to say they just felt "different". Still numb but "different". I speculated that maybe the nerves are repairing themselves and that gradually the numbness will go away. I wondered, too, if the massage during my pedicure might have had some effect on that. Maybe? I'm pretty excited about getting the feeling back in my feet knowing that it was possible I might NOT get it back. Then, yesterday when Kevin and I were out, I noticed aching in my toes when I walked. Joint aches. That, I think, must be another sign that my nerves are repairing themselves. All along I haven't felt any aching joints in my toes and ... duh ... that's probably because they've been numb!! It hadn't occurred to me until yesterday! And with the feeling coming back, of course I'll feel the aching in my toe joints that must have been there all along. Oh joy! My toes and feet are also more "tingly" and they kind of hurt a little when they're rubbed. They just seem very sensitive now in a way they weren't before. All I take to be a good sign.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hair and Historical Error

Here is my Saturday hair photo! Even though I don't expect to notice a difference from the previous one, I do! It is a little longer! Wispier! YEAH!

I was thinking ...

"When I get my hair back, I'll promise to never complain about my hair again!".

Then I thought ...

"No. I still will. It's part of being a woman, this love/hate relationship with our hair."

I do want to feel like a woman again so I know I will embrace good hair days and bad hair days and complain about my hair like every other woman on earth surely does! And somedays I'll admire it thoroughly.

Then, for some reason, this childhood rhyme came to mind ... I think it was spoken in reference to me more often than I care to remember ...
There was a little curl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good, she was very, very good.
And when she was bad, she was horrid!
And then I thought ...

"There are so many historical errors. You can never truly trust history. So what if one word in that rhyme has been wrong all the time? What if instead of "she", the word is supposed to be "it" in the 2nd and 3rd lines of the rhyme? From a woman's perspective, it makes so much more sense!"

Talk amongst yourselves!


Doing the No Shuffle Shuffle

Last night Darrel and Lynn took us out to dinner to the 2nd Avenue Grill! And then we came back to our place to play Hand and Foot (Canasta). I hadn't played in over a year and it was good to play again. Also good to warm up for tonight's kaiser tournie!

One problem for me is shuffling, especially all the cards needed to play Hand and Foot. I finally left it to the others.

My hands, especially my right hand, have been especially achy the past couple of days. In general, my joints don't seem to be improving, which is increasingly discouraging since being told that I should be seeing improvements by now. If things don't improve soon, I'm contemplating firing off an email to the manufacturer and to the scientists leading the clinical studies about this side effect. It can't hurt to try. Maybe someone there would be gracious enough and knowledgeable enough to answer some questions for me. I'm starting to worry that this side effect could be permanent.

Kevin and I are excited to be dogsitting Otto while Darrel and Lynne are on vacation! It will be like a doggie test drive for us. I can't wait! I think Otto comes to stay on January 29 or thereabouts.

I'll post my "Saturday Hair Photo" later today, though don't hold your breath in that I don't think much has changed since Monday.

It looks like another beautiful day in Saskatoon! Lately there have been days when it's been warmer here than in Kentucky! Bizarre!