Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Fishiness

These are more of Rusty's fish but they're outdoor fish. He has 3 big, beautiful outdoor ponds full of koi. BIG ponds. BIG koi.

What I find so interesting are the filaments of fishing line that criss-cross above the ponds. They are there to prevent eagles and owls from snatching up the fish for dinner! Apparently, and I didn't know this, birds won't go where there are intersecting lines. How interesting! Did you know that?


Kevin's Night Out In Louisville

While in Louisville, Kevin made arrangements to get together with a big-time fish nerd named Rusty. Rusty is no small fish. Rusty even discovered a previously undocumented fish in some South American River and it is now named after him. Rusty has a big, beautiful old home on a hill in Louisville ... a beautiful piece of property with several other buildings on it and lots of space.
This is NOT Rusty's house. It is across the yard and is a house just for fish. It's hard to take good fish tank photos but there are a couple below. I think these are some of the fish Kevin brought back for some fish-nerd friends here. You realize, I hope, that I say "fish nerds" with sincere affection.

Kevin had a good time with Rusty. Rusty is a HUGE basketball fan as are most people in Louisville. They are basketball fans like we're Rider fans and on the Thursday night when Kevin went to see Rusty, there was a very important game so the guys got together at a crazy, wild sports bar for the game, which the University of Kentucky won. Unfortunately, they lost the game on the following Saturday which, had they won, would have put them in the "final four". Last year at the same time, the University of Louisville was in the same boat and the city was abuzz with basketball fever then, too. Imagine how we've felt when the Riders haven't made it to the grey cup even when they've been favoured (are they ever favoured??) and you get the general picture.

And where was I during the fish-nerd visit and the basketball game, you might wonder? Well, that's the night my head cold was the worst so I was tucked in my bed by 7:30 at the gorgeous Inn at Woodhaven and was watching tv from the comfort of my cushy bed ... nursing a cup of tea.


Pink Shoes!

I love pink and orange together. I always have. When I saw these shoes, I could so picture them on my feet while I'm riding my beautiful orange bike! Can't you imagine it? These shoes belong with my bike, hence with me!

So now you've seen 2 of the 3 pairs of summer shoes I bought while in Louisville. We found shoe prices to be much easier to take in Kentucky and so that's where I spent my birthday money. One more pair to show ... tomorrow. I think I should just plan to hold off on any shoe purchases here for fall and winter and just plan to buy shoes there next spring instead.

Today, I managed a full day of work! I found morning the toughest ... just getting up and getting ready. A bit of a struggle. But once I was there, all was good. My shoulders and arms are still sore today but not as bad as yesterday and I was able to manage time on the computer at work without any discomfort whereas yesterday computering was a bit painful. I take that to be a good sign. I haven't done any of my physio today. I'm waiting until just before I go to bed.

After work and after stopping for a brief visit with Don and Sylvia, Kevin and I finally got some groceries! FOOD! Right here in our very own fridge. I have some fruit salad fixin's, though there were no blueberries. I still wish I could just wake up and have a big bowl of fruit all ready for me just like in Kentucky, but ... don't we all!! Don't worry ... I say it to myself ... "Suck it up, princess!"

It took Kevin and I a couple of hours to get through the grocery store because it became a social event! It was so nice to see our neighbours, Marina and Jeff ... we have a lot of catchin' up to do and a get-together is planned. And then we ran into Patio and ... well, ditto! She and Alan have been away and so have we and we're overdue for a night out. It's so much easier to make plans at the grocery store than bothering with phone calls or emails. I kind of like it.

So aside from feeling very tired and what have become the usual aches and pains, I had a good day. A good WIGLESS day. I can't wait to wear my pink shoes while riding my orange bike!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Time With Lacrosse Friends

One of the things I was most looking forward to in Louisville was meeting up with some of the parents we met last year. Here are Karen and Barry from Victoria and their son, Liam, a teammate of Luke's. Karen has been such a thoughtful and encouraging friend to me during this past year and it was great to see her again and spend some time together like we did last year ... celebrating a lacrosse win at Shenanigans over buckets of beer!

We were also very happy to meet some new friends, too! This is Nancy and Don, also from Victoria, and ... in the photo below, their son, Mitch (also a teammate) with Luke. We shared a few meals and drinks together and had a really good time!

Hopefully this will become an annual Louisville event. We might even see them again before that, though, when we go to Hannah's convocation in May. Luke will want to watch some of his friends play box lacrosse if he can so it might mean a little trip to the island for that. We'll see.


New Deck Shoes. Aye!

Now, if only I wasn't land-locked! We don't even have a canoe. Nonetheless, I've always loved deck shoes and now I have some - got them in Louisville. I love 'em.

Today I felt the way I expected to feel yesterday. In other words, worn out. I really wish I felt as good as I felt yesterday. I didn't sleep so well last night because my shoulders and left arm were quite sore and under my left arm was a little puffy and tender, too. I think the physical therapy appointment aggravated them a bit. I didn't stretch them at all today. They were quite tender all day but I think they're a little less sore this evening. I'll start the physio exercises, which is the gentlest of stretching, tomorrow after giving my limbs day of rest.

I didn't go to work today ... just took care of a few things by email. I was supposed to work today and then take tomorrow off. But I decided to switch them around so I'll go in to work tomorrow instead. I'm sure I'll be okay tomorrow. My cold is getting steadily better, too.


Monday, March 29, 2010

My Haul From Paducah!

I had better get quilting! I have a thing for yoyo's, just in case you didn't know that. Quilted yoyo's I mean. I used to make them when I was a kid but never did anything with them. I plan to make some more and then actually DO something with them this time. Some of this fabric is meant for yoyos and if you look hard enough I bought a mini yoyo making tool (the blue circle). I have larger ones, too. You don't need one of these to make yoyo's but I understand that using one means that your yoyo's will are more likely to be uniform and, therefore, easier to work with.

So many quilting plans and dreams. Time to make them a reality. I'm still hunting for the backing material for Hannah's quilt, though. Meanwhile ...

Here I am at the General Store in Paducah. Paducah has such a charmingly restored and maintained downtown area with lots of little shops and eateries ... so many antique shops!

We also found 3 very nice quilting shops in Louisville! I was surprised that they were all so good ... and all so different, too! I already have plans for next year's trip to Louisville.

Isn't Kevin a great husband?!


You'll See The Ducks This Time

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Can You Spot the Ducks?

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And Because I Wish There Was Here ...

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Have You Seen Enough Yet?


Some More Views of The Inn

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A Tour Through The Parlour ...

... at The Inn at Woodhaven! A lovely selection of liqeurs and other after dinner drinks are always available for sipping. Books scattered about for browsing or for serious reading ... games for playing. A very comfy place to hang out.


Air On My Scalp!

Today is the first day I've really abandoned my wig and embraced my tender shoots of hair! I looked at that wig this morning and just couldn't bear the thought of wearing it again after wearing it so much this past while and especially after yesterday. I even cried at one point last night in the Minneapolis airport because I could feel the air conditioning through the mesh of my wig and my head was so cold ... and I didn't have a hat or toque because my toque had been swept up with the laundry at the B&B and not found before we left ... and not that I would have worn my pink sleeping cap in the airport anyway, but still ... I had no tolerance at that point for a drafty head. I can be so miserable when I'm overtired and overcold.

I've also felt increasingly that my wig looks obviously "wiggish". Part of that is because I know that synthetic wigs stick out at the back of the neck when you move your head, unless you're constantly smoothing the back of it down. I also felt that no matter what I did, the bangs and sides were looking really fake, too.

So ... today ... it was so warm out, I decided I would go without my wig. It felt great! I went to see my physical therapist at the Field House. Not too many stares or sideways glances ... a few ... but I was okay with it. When I left there, I needed to grab a bite to eat before going to work and I decided that a "security hat" might be a good thing, too. So I stopped at the Hat Store on Broadway and found a very nice lightweight, loose cap that will give me just a little bit of warmth when my head gets cold. Super! So I went to the office confidently with a bare head, where I correctly knew I would get much support and acceptance and when I got chilled in my office, which I usually do in the afternoon when the sun moves to the other side of the building, I put on my cap. It was good.

A milestone. Freedom!

It's Warm Out But My Shoulders Are Frozen!

Today I saw a physical therapist and learned about "frozen shoulders", which is what I have. Both of mine are at "stage 2" of 3 stages. The first stage is mostly pain and decreasing range of motion and the 2nd stage is less trouble with pain but substantially decreasing range of motion. The third stage should, hopefully, be "thawing". Last year I had been diagnosed with "impingement syndrome" in my right shoulder and a few gentle exercises solved the problem easily and completely. And then I started Arimidex and the problem came back. Impingement Syndrome can turn into Frozen Shoulder. Have I mentioned how much I hate that I was given Arimidex without being told about the possibilities of these side effects?!

Frozen shoulder is also called "Adhesive Capsulitis" because it involves inflammation and tightening of the "capsule" that is made up of tissues that cover the shoulder's rotator cuff ... at least that's how I understand it. I'm told it's not uncommon to get frozen shoulder after breast cancer surgery.

I can't believe how limited my range of motion has become! As I told Erin tonight, I've had a couple of incidents while I'm alone at home where I've got myself half into a shirt or jacket and then get stuck ... neither in nor out ... with both arms trapped! Somehow, eventually, I've wiggled my way out of the situation but there were some disconcerting moments for sure! I've learned to only wear items with "stretch" and leave structured clothes for when Kevin's home to help me in and out of them. It was very handy having him help me with jackets when we were in Kentucky.

I also learned that the pain in my left elbow is from nerve damage that begins in my neck, which also has very limited range of motion. I didn't realize how bad it was until I was asked to move my head to one side and then the other. I was immediately surprised that I couldn't move it further. Apparently, the nerves that originate in my neck and run through the shoulder and down the arm are restricted, probably from the radiation on the lymph nodes in my neck, and they need to be loosened up and regenerated. This will, I understand, take some time, but should be effective. My physical therapist thinks she can help me with the elbow nerve problem for sure. The frozen shoulder ... well, we'll see. At this point, we can't tell how much is physiological and how much is because of the Arimidex and Tamoxifen. If the problem is unrelated to the medications, we can probably fix it with physio over time. If the drugs are acerbating the problem, we should know that within the month, before my next appointment with my oncologist.

I'm very happy to have this diagnosed and to have a plan for improvements. The exercises I've been given are all very gentle stretching of my arms and neck, nothing at all strenuous or difficult or time consuming. I can handle this. I'm going to be marking the progress on the kitchen cupboards, of course ... because writing on kitchen cupboards is what we do at our house!

I Miss My Bowl Of Fruit!

Here are some photos of the dining room at our B&B (The Inn at Woodhaven) where we had breakfast every morning. In the first photo you can see Kevin standing in the doorway to the kitchen, talking to Marsha. See how tall the doorway is? All the doors in the whole place are that high ... even bathroom and closet doors! It's amazing! No wonder I'm ducking to go through doorways now that I'm home.

In this photo, look closely and you'll see a big, beautiful bowl of fruit. That was MY big, beautiful bowl of fruit. Beside it are smaller bowls of whipped cream and granola. I LOVED having all the beautiful fruit every morning. All those berries ... mmmmmmmm ... and so healthy, too! Click on the photo (any photos) to see larger images. Then you'll see the bowl of fruit for sure!
There were always candles burning in the fireplace. The room is just SO grand!

And I had tea almost every morning, too! It was always served in teapots with cute tea cozies!


We're Not In Kentucky Anymore ...

... though the weather almost has me fooled! How wonderful to come home to such warm temperatures, which aren't that different than in Louisville!

It felt like a very long day yesterday, most of it spent in airports. I hate airports. I'm not afraid of flying, but I don't like it much. I find it uncomfortable, cramped, often overly air-conditioned in both the planes and the airports ... a lot of waiting ... a lot of hassles (security, though I understand and respect the precautions). I'd much rather just jump into a vehicle and drive!

We had a 3.5 hours lay-over in Minneapolis where I was very chilled and tired and, by the time we got on the plane to come home, I was a little past myself. My arm also hurt very badly and I didn't have the energy to deal very well with pain. I was a pretty miserable traveling companion for Kevin but he was, as usual, a trooper! Fortunately, I was able to sleep on the plane for a couple of hours and was feeling much better by the time we landed. By the time we got through security with all the aquarium fish, and then home (thanks, Uncle Kash, for picking us up and bringing us home), it was almost midnight (2:00 a.m. in Loisville).

Yes, Kevin brought home bags of live aquarium fish for his friends! He kept them alive in our B&B since Friday, packed them in a make-shift cooler in his suitcase, and then hoped for the best. Can you imagine how his suitcase would have been thrown around and tossed about during the trip?!! And who knows how long it might have sat in the cold somewhere, chilling the fish? Amazingly, though, the fish made it home alive, though their water seemed very cold!

I slept so good last night! I was very tired! I do remember waking up to pee in the night and being startled because my feet hit the floor much sooner than I had anticipated. Oh, yeah! I'm in my own bed and not in one I have to use a step stool to get into anymore! I also amost feel compelled to duck when going through doors in our house. I'd gotten used to 11 foot doors, I guess! And, this morning, when I came downstairs for breakfast, I had a sad moment when I realized that there wasn't a big bowl of chopped fruit, with fresh, whipped cream and granola waiting for me. *sigh* Yes, honey, we're home!

The photo is of, I think, a blooming cherry tree in Paduka, Kentucky!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bellarmine Posts Another Win

It was another great game day! Bellarmine won 17 to 12 over Presbyterian yesterday! He got 2 goals and was very close to a 3rd. Maybe we can soon start calling him 2-Point Luke!

We attended the parents' tailgate party and then moved on to the bleachers for the game. It was a sunny, warm day. I had to move into a shady spot for the 4th quarter because I was a little over-done.

After the game we went with some other players and parents to Shenanigans (the local watering hole) for some celebratory drinks. Here's Luke looking happy. Honest. This is happy. A mother knows. Of course, he's also saying, with this look, "Mom, put the camera away". A mother knows this, too.

I'm not ready to come home yet.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Game Day Hair Reveal

It's Saturday! It's a game day! We'll soon have breakfast here at our lovely B&B and then we'll go to the tailgate party with several other parents in the parking lot by the lacrosse field at Bellarmine University. Then ... THE GAME! Yeah!!

Here's my hair photo from moments ago. To me it looks and feels a little bit thicker and a little bit curlier but that expanse of forehead isn't going anywhere fast! I really wish my bangs would be a little more encouraging.

We have a giant steam shower in this room and, with this cold I have, it's proved to be a very good thing! I should have taken a photo of my hair when I got out of the steam shower. VERY curly!

On to breakfast!
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