Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections


                         By: Jane B.

Jane sent this picture she or Vince took while they visited Torrey Pines Natural Reserve Park in San Diego. 

I loved to hike around there when I lived in San Diego, it's a truly beautiful place along the Pacific coast. Above it too with spectacular ocean views. 

The hawk inspires me to gather my strength for my upcoming surgery. It looks so peaceful there too, doesn't it? 

I love the sun warming its chest. 

Thank you Jane and Vince, my blog always gets better with your contributions. 


Also, I will think of Errol today on his birthday. He would have been 76. 

I'm glad I had the hawk to post on his birthday, he would have liked it a lot.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Samson Plays Doctor ~ A Post From 2010

 I was checking for a post about the weather in September 2010. I found no post to show me how hot it was then, but I guess Google would know. 

Instead I found this. Samson was a little over a year old and Angel was about 12. Angel was the dog that arrived by our front gate on the night before my first cancer surgery and refused to leave. We did a lot to try to find an owner without success. So I named her Angel and she watched over me for the rest of her long life. 

Oh, hi Mommy, maybe you better take that camera and go away so I can examine Angel.

Ack, that nose doesn't look so good. It looks awfully red to me. I will prescribe some more medicine for you and discuss this with Mommy.

Now, let me check your ears. You are such a good patient, Angel, let me just sniff in there. It smells good and clean to me.

And now I have to examine the other end. I know you don't like it, but I have to make sure all your ends are OK.

Sniff, sniff: It smells good to me.

Oh, you want to go outside now? Ok, we can do the rest out there.

I know you eat very well now, but you're still awfully skinny. We have to do something about that. I prescribe some walks for you to make sure you get some more appetite and gain some weight. And I have to discuss your nose medicines with Mommy. Other than that, you are good to go.

These are my final instructions: Make Mommy take you for a good walk every day; eat all your dinner; let Mommy put that cream on your nose too -- those pills are not enough. And let me kiss your ears every time I come and see you.  Then you will feel at least a whole year younger. And that's seven human years.....

My surgery will probably be scheduled for Friday, September 30th. 

I will let you know when I get it confirmed. 

And will then try to write a post about where I am with all this.  There's so much that needs to get done ahead of the surgery. And, of course, I will not be able to drive for four weeks afterwards. 

Right now, I'm tired of tests and scans and just want to get it over with. So one more test next week, then probably surgery on the 30th. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections

Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where.
Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and the stars.

This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.

~ John Muir

Monday, September 12, 2022

Courage, Happiness And Gratitude

Being ill and facing some stuff, I've thought about courage. I looked up the word in the online Merriam Webster dictionary:

Courage ~ noun:

    ~ Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

There were no pictures in the dictionary, of course, but in other places online courage was illustrated with photos of people doing, what I would call, crazy, stupid stuff, like jumping across an abyss, for example. Sure you need courage for that, but I was looking for something a bit more mellow, something that could apply to me. 

And, trust me, I would never in my younger days have jumped over anything more threatening than a puddle of water. 

I think what I have is something different. Something I've figured out over time.

By now it has developed into something very simple and something that I can control myself:

    ~ I just don't want to be miserable. 

So I'm not. 

Of course I have my moments. For me a good cry works.

Or a call to a friend.

Or writing a blog post. 

Before I came to the U.S. in 1962, I was miserable in my gorgeous hometown of Stockholm, Sweden. 

So I know how bad it can be. 

I'm very grateful that I've understood how to create a happy life for myself. 

With the help of my best friend Faith. 

And my human friends too, on the blogs, in the canyon, and across the world. 

Gratitude is a good thing.

     Society Garlic ~ Photo by Jane B.

Thank you, Jane.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections ~ Remembering

Thinking back on September 11, 2001, a day no one who was alive then will ever forget, instead of thinking about how it changed our lives forever, today I just want to remember those who lost their lives or suffered injuries. I will think of their families, the children who lost a parent, the wives and husbands who lost a life partner, parents who lost a child. 

Looking back, it all seems so long ago, yet so present, still. 

Friday, September 9, 2022

Memories ~ That's What You Get For Sleeping On The Beach!

Errol and I used to travel a lot in our early years together. Mostly to Baja California, Mexico. 

It was a fairly easy drive down the 5 freeway to San Diego, then to San Yasidro and the border. 

In the early days, we'd drive deeper into the long peninsula that is Baja. Later, we found a place much closer to the United States. 

Here I am with our horse, Renegade, by our old Green van. This is at the place where we later leased some land and spent many happy weekends and vacations. For now, I just want to show the green van. 

We went in Errol's old, large, green Econoline van. He used it for work, but it was easily converted to a camping vehicle. 

Since we always arrived in the dark, finding a beach to sleep on could be challenging. 

Sometimes, we'd find ourselves way above the water with steep cliffs and no beach access, other times, there were people and houses. 

When all else failed, there was always the van to sleep in, but what fun was that?

Once though, we found a beautiful beach with white, soft sand. We laid out our sleeping bags and went to sleep as soon as we wrapped them around us. 

I was sleeping so soundly, I didn't even know it was morning, when I heard sounds, voices, speaking in Spanish, while some clanging noises were going on. 

I opened my eyes and found that we were surrounded by a bunch of guys, busily digging in the sand, finding something and unceremoniously throwing their catch into metal buckets. 

I guess Errol woke up at the same time and after we crawled out of our sleeping bags, the guys approached us. 

And we learned they were digging for clams, almejas. 

That's what the grinning dude said to me, as he approached with an almeja in his hand. 

It was not one of those small clams you get in restaurants. 

He offered it to me to eat! 

It was still breathing!

In and out, its body moved.

I said, "no muerto." 

The guy grinned some more, and agreed, no muerto. 

Not dead, indeed, I could still see the thing breathing. 

As I was trying to convey in my pigeon Spanish that I only ate  dead animals, it made everything sound worse, somehow. 

Muerto is such an expressive word, after all. 

Meanwhile, Errol is standing by with the dudes, grinning from ear to ear. Egging me on:

"Why don't you just take a bite?" 

"No way, it's still breathing."

"Take a bite and it will stop breathing, then you can eat the whole thing."

Errol was making fun of me, while the Mexican guy was politely standing off to the side, with the large clam in his hand. 

The story finally ended with me taking a tiny bite of a living, breathing large clam. Phew! 

First and last time I ever did that.

For sure!

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Calendar Girl

This picture should ideally have been cropped, showing only he calendar. I've been unable to edit pictures in my chromebook for a while and I haven't tried to find out why or get it fixed. So, please bear with me until I figure it out. 

Of all the calendars I get in the mail every year, I always end up using the ASPCA one. The paper is sturdier, the daily squares are a good size, and the animals are always adorable. 

This morning I'm looking at my calendar. 

Without it, I would be lost. 

When you're diagnosed with something as serious as cancer, the daily squares on your calendar quickly fill up with medical appointments.

There are two weeks almost full of appointments as my three-month diabetes check up is also due now. 

And all I want to do is stay home with Faith.

Maybe I should just approach this as a job. If I could get up and get out the door all my working years, I should be able to manage a few weeks and more, if necessary, to get well from this.

After all, if this works out, it will be so worth it. 


Friday, September 2, 2022

Carpe Diem


All of my life, I've been a morning person, waking up around five and then, after breakfast, enjoying an early morning walk with my dog. 

But these days, I just love to hang out in my bed, reading, writing, and answering emails.

I really don't want to get up. 

Then Faith comes to my bed, looks at me beseechingly, reminding me that she needs to look like she does in the above picture, resting with her tongue out, after a good run around. 

So I get up, get dressed and put on my big old sunhat and off we go, to enjoy another beautiful mountain morning together. 

Once and again, the wisdom of my dog has helped me to seize the day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Thank You

Dear friends, thank you for your caring and kind comments on my post about the return of my breast cancer. 

I'm deeply touched by your comments and I know there will be more of them, more love, more support both before and after my surgery. 

Sending much love to every one of you. 

I hope you will enjoy the photos of Faith taking on Samson, chasing him around, on one of the very first days she lived with us. 

As you can see, she was a very frisky and totally unafraid puppy. 


And they lived happily together for a long, long, time.

The End

Monday, August 29, 2022

The Devil We Know

 loses his ability to scare us. 

And that's what has happened to me as I have once again been diagnosed with breast cancer, 23 years after my first encounter with it. 

I will have my surgery at Adventist Health hospital in Bakersfield. 

I was there the other day, it's a lovely place as far as hospitals go. The Adventists believe in God's healing powers and greet you with a large sign to that effect in their lobby. 

I spent four hours there, I met with my surgeon, with nurses, lab techs, office personnel and every single one of those I met was kind and focused on helping me. As it should be in a hospital setting, but this went a bit beyond what I've experienced at other hospitals. 

And I never had to wait!

I met a nurse, a nice middle-aged English woman, who will be my contact, answer any questions I may have, and so on.  

I also received a binder with everything you'd ever want to know about breast cancer and then some. 

And it included my own pathology report. 

I also got a booklet, providing information on how to interpret a  pathology report. This booklet has been very helpful. 

As far as I can tell, my report looks pretty good. The cancer is not large, it's slow growing, and will respond to hormone treatments. There was one important test that had not yet been returned and posted in the report. 

Since I already had cancer in the same breast and received radiation therapy at that time, that treatment is no longer an option. 

So I will have a mastectomy, something that sounds awful, but I find I don't really mind. This breast has become my adversary by now, I would never trust it to behave again. 

And, as an aside, being a teenager in the 1950s, in the days of Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield and big breasts, I so wished for some, but, alas, that was not to be. 

And who is grateful now? Me!

It will be awhile before the surgery takes place. I have another appointment with the surgeon in late September, so I imagine soon after that. 

Before that, I will have more tests, an MRI and a pet scan. The MRI, maybe both tests, are to learn if the cancer has spread. Normally done via a sentinel lymph node, but they took all of mine on that side last time. 

So I wanted to let you know. I'm looking forward to your loving support. You are such good and caring friends. 

I will approach this with a joyful attitude. I have known this devil before, so I'm no longer afraid. 

Credit for: The Devil We Know in my header goes to Madsnapper Sandra. Thank you. 

Credit for: The magnificent rose goes to Irma, Joyce's mom, who tended to it as it grew so large and gorgeous in her garden.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections


Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,

whose mind is stayed on thee:

because he trusteth in thee.

Isaiah 26:3

Friday, August 26, 2022

Memories ~ Wyoming Autumn In The Forest

It's been so hot, how about coming with me on a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the fall of 1969.

I often hiked in the forests that surrounded Jackson Hole. The forests were deep, the fir trees tall, the lakes clear with the Teton range reflected in their calm surfaces.  

The autumn forest was loud with the sounds of bugling elk and bellowing moose.

This was their season, the rutting season, what a name for the season of love in the forest.

This was also the hunting season, but in contrast with the multitude of hunters from all over the U.S. and the constant sight of dead elk strapped to pickup trucks that I saw in town, I never saw any hunters or heard any shots in the forest.

Out-of-town hunters hired local cowboys to guide them and I believe the forest we spent time in was off limits to them.

A guy friend of mine, whose name now escapes me, and I would hike to one of the lakes. This became our regular hike, Moran perhaps, was the name of the lake? 

We'd sit down, our backs against a tall tree and we'd be very quiet. Most of the time, nothing happened. On a few occasions a small herd of elk would come to the other side of the lake, some to drink, some to watch. 

While we never saw them butting horns or mating, seeing them in the wild was so worth the hike and the wait. 

All of this was later to become memories of my time in Wyoming. Memories I've written about before and will no doubt continue to write about here every now and then.

I'm in a way using my blog to write my memoir, not of just one period in my life, but a memoir of good times and the good memories those times created for me to reflect on, smile at, and write about in my old age. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

Just For Fun:

 Nature photos and Faith showing off her tongue:

I drove a different way home from town and took a few pictures. They probably all look the same to you, dry weeds and low-slung mountains.  

When I worked at UCLA I drove through what they call the flats of Beverly Hills every day. That's where the not-so-wealthy Beverly Hills residents live. The - a bit wealthier - live closer to the hills, and the really, really wealthy ones live up above - in the Hollywood Hills. I drove there too. I always enjoyed changing my route.

Here I believe, I say believe because I haven't explored alternatives, I believe I have three different routes to take home from town: The highway (freeway - truck route), the boulevard, which I usually drive, and Highland, where I drove this time. Just this small change made the drive much more fun. 


Faith says: Check out my tongue here, will you!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections


The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:

The Lord make his face shine upon thee,

and be gracious unto thee:

The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, 

and give thee peace. 

Numbers 6:24-26

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections


I saw two clouds at morning, 

Ting'd with the rising sun;

And in the dawn they floated on,

And mingled into one...

John G. C. Brainard, "Epithalamium,"

Occasional Pieces of Poetry, 1825

Monday, August 8, 2022

Visiting Joyce's Mom & Her Garden

This post is for my friend in Copenhagen: Annette, you would have loved this garden so much. 

Joyce and I visited her mom, Irma, in Los Angeles last Thursday. Los Angeles freeway traffic wasn't too bad, but I was grateful for Joyce driving us. 

Joyce's parents live in a lovely place in the big city. And their home has a beautiful garden. Every time I visit, I see new trees and new flowers that I hadn't noticed before.

The garden is lush and green and it really has a sort of magical effect, it's so large, with trees so huge, their canopies give so much shade. You would have to be a poet to describe the effect this garden has on me. 

This is Irma catching the oranges Joyce is picking for her. 

Irma's garden has oranges, avocados, lemons, mangoes, papayas and so much more.

Beautiful flowers are everywhere.

This rose had a heavenly scent.

A yellow rose, my favorite flower.

The variegated leaves of this iris were just magnificent.

This avocado tree is large and massive. I believe earlier generations of Joyce's family lived here and planted some of the trees and plants in the garden.

There were plants growing close to the ground and plants in pots. 

And a place to sit awhile.

On the way home, we got caught in a desert downpour. It was powerful, but short-lived. 

Fortunately, later at night, the cayon was blessed with a thunder storm that brought some more rain. 

I was so tired, I have no idea how long the storm lasted. But I'm so grateful for the rain.

And also grateful that Faith is not afraid of thunder and lightning. 

Just a bit concerned, looking at me - like: Hey, mommy, why don't you just make this stuff go away? 

Then we both fell asleep.



Related Posts with Thumbnails