Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Surgery Update


My mastectomy surgery will take place sometime next week. I will have the PET scan tomorrow, the doctor will check the results, if the cancer is localized, I will have the surgery. If it is somewhere else in my body, I must have chemo. 

That thought makes having surgery seem like a piece of cake. 

There's a neat story about this utility post. When we first moved here, the local black bear or bears used it as a marking post. I would often find tufts of fur stuck in its crevicies.

While I'm thinking of other things, I want to end this post with a few pictures of the rabbit brush bushes in bloom in our canyon right now. 

I love when they bloom because I know my favorite seasons are coming: fall, winter and spring. 

Summers here are just too hot to be enjoyable for me. 

Our fields are covered in yellow blooms, what a lovely goodbye to summer this is. 

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.


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