| Thanks to all the men and women who have served their country in the military. We appreciate your sacrifice and your family's. You deserve a day of recognition.
Also, note that November 10 was the 245th anniversary of the Marine Corps. They were established by the Continental Congress before our nation was formed.
| In the news today, three things were added to the official Toy Hall of Fame. It started me thinking about what I would include in my own Toy Museum.
Mattel brands, of course, come to mind. Barbie. Need I say more? You could actually have several, one from my era, later one with moveable joints, later, a liberated overachiever Barbie, with a car and a beach house. GI Joe with a few accessories would be necessary. I guess a Monster High doll, too.
In general, we'd need a yo-yo, a hula hoop, a frisbee, a top, a slingshot, a pogo stick, a paddle ball, and a Rubik's cube. We'd need Raggedy Ann and Andy, a Cabbage Patch Kid, and a full-size American Girl Doll. A toy baton, sparkly plastic heels and a tiara, and a child size broom and dustpan. A cap gun (the outdated kind), a plastic sheriff's badge, and a little red wagon would be needed. Don't forget a Matchbox Car, Hotwheels with a track, and a Tonka truck. I'm almost forgetting Rock'em, Sock'em Robots and a Simon Says. Etch A Sketch. Play Doh. Silly Putty. PickUp Stix, Jackrocks.
Plastic cowboys and Indians (from bygone days), plastic soldiers. Plastic dinosaurs and spiders. A bride doll (bygone decades), Easy Bake Oven. Crayons, Coloring books-any kind. Dr. Seuss books. Small rockers. A medical bag. A Paw Patrol figure. Wrestling figures-one male, one female. Batman and Superman figures. Pokémon cards. Baseball cards, etc. Toy dishes. Stuffed Micky and Minnie.
For games, I'd choose Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, Yahtzee, Candy Land, Checkers, and Chinese Checkers. And Bingo.
In the wheels section, we need a scooter, a tricycle, a small bike with training wheels, a medium bike with a banana seat, and a Radio Flyer wagon with removable wood slats on the side. A skate board and roller skates are necessary. And in-line skates.
For the preschool section, we need a toy piano, a colorful little xylophone, a toy drum, stackable rings, and anything by Fisher Price. We need an old-fashioned telephone and a cell phone, both by PlaySkool. Lincoln logs (real wooden ones), A B C blocks, Tinker Toy, and a Teddy Bear.
Toys are very important to our growth and development. Some of us didn't have that many. Or we weren't allowed to play with them freely. I didn't have all the toys I listed. My brothers might have, or other kids, or my friends' kids. I am sure I have a feminine point of view in what belongs in this museum. They all tell a story in someone's life.
SStill adding on: How could I omit Slinky, Gumby and Pokey, Magic 8 ball, Nerf balls?
| I have frequently written about my back deck and plants. Today it is getting a makeover. Everything was packed up and hauled out into the yard. I am positive the deer will graze on the flowers and herbs now at their level. I may have to start over with them.
The deck will be power washed tomorrow, I guess. The back windows are not finished yet, so I don't know which painter will dominate in the morning and decide. It takes 24 hours for the sealant to dry, so I'm guessing things will be in the yard at least two days, maybe three. The chives and sage will come back next year, but the basil, pansies, and other things will not. However, in my mind, I'm anticipating a clean new coated deck and railing and wheelchair ramp (no longer actively used by a wheelchair). The furniture and grill will be returned, minus a swing I want trashed. The pots of summer plants will be emptied and carried behind the shed when I am well enough to handle them.
I'm picturing myself on a sunny day in a sweater, sitting on my clean deck with reduced plants enjoying what remains and the sounds of nature all around me. Next spring I will plant marigold seeds that I harvested from this year's plants. I'll buy some new planters to replace the old cracked ones. I'll buy new basil seed, because I love to smell it. Once again I will have my oasis We'll rehang the rain gauge and the hummingbird feeder and the thistle seed feeder. (How will my cardinals and doves make it a few days?) Soon the blue jays and wrens will return. Unfortunately, the squirrels/tree rats will return, too. But at least, after its absence, I will have my little haven back again.
| I have to acknowledge the good intentions of a number of people, some of whom I have grown close, some of whom I'm still getting acquainted. I have been brought soup and cake by one person, soup and rip plums by another One brought a breakfast casserole, assembled and ready to be baked the next day. We ate it for 3 days, and a visiting family member polished it off this afternoon. We've had fruit salad (easily digestible fruits) and delicious chicken salad with raisins. One lady brought a quiche. My Bible study class sent a beautiful multi-colored mum.
That means my bruised, sore body has had to amble to the door more times than I wished. I'm too slow these days for the door bell. Because of my blood thinner, my bruises go from above my waist almost down to my knees, and they hurt. Until my hemoglobin is back up, my doctor is concerned about me being light-headed and moving too quickly. But I should definitely keep moving. If only the guests could arrive when I'm walking or at least not in the bathroom.
The food is nice. Not dirtying up a bunch of pans or cooking is nice, too. But it's the thoughtfulness that is overwhelming. People who are already busy have gone out of their way to cook something for me, to drive out of their area, and deliver what they thought would be helpful to me. You can never predict how much you can move someone with a container of soup, or a handmade dish. The kindness feeds the soul more than the food the body. I am truly blessed to know such wonderful people, and am encouraged by their tenderness.
| Of course, I would be an exceptional case, not in a good way. My "rock star" oncologist has performed the same surgery on multiple people with my existing, on-going health issues, without too much trouble. I became the challenge. One day after being released from the hospital, I felt weak and listless as well as uncomfortable, and in pain. Twenty-fours hours more passed, and I didn't think I could go on. The next morning, convinced I was dying, I felt my breathing was labored and could hardly climb the stairs.
When I felt a little nauseous standing in my kitchen, I took a deep breath. Next a loud thwacking sound woke me to find myself lying on the cold kitchen floor. I was aware that I had hit my head pretty hard, but didn't register headache. I had plenty of room to stretch out there and felt no inclination to get up. I could hear, the mid-day stock report on the TV downstairs and knew my elderly father was in the house. I thought about lying there until he came up, but knew he would panic and not know what to do. Slowly, I rolled over and got to my feet. I went to a chair with my cell phone.
If I said I needed the hospital, my father would insist on driving me--old school. He would kill us both and maybe somebody else before we got there. I called my patient advocate who wasn't concerned about me fainting, but did express concern for hitting my head while on blood thinner. She recommended going to ER. I called my niece to come over, but she didn't answer, so I called 9-1-1. The niece called back, I explained what I needed but that the ambulance could actually get me checked in faster. They'd have me on file before I got there. She arrived about the same time they did. She stayed with my dad a while.
You really become aware of ll the dips, cracks and pits in the road there are when your mid-section has recently undergone surgery. ER is a nightmare. Men and women together in the same area. At least a slot with a curtain was reserved for me. People were in beds in the halls. I spent over 24 hours in ER waiting for a room. ER is noisy, has no privacy and a shared bathroom. The employees barely had room to maneuver around the beds and equipment.
Turns out I had internal hemorrhaging. My hemoglobin was way down. I needed 4 transfusions over the next 5 days, and went home with the hemoglobin still down, but improved. This set back my healing. I'm not where I should be in getting back on my feet I haven't had a good night sleep in over 2 weeks, and my gastric distress, which is normal after surgery, is still off the charts. Because of the internal bleeding and the transfusions, I'm way behind in normalizing my gut.
I had a blood test Thursday showing the hemoglobin has only risen a bit more, so that accounts for my fatigue, Hopefully, it will rise a bit closer to normal by Monday when I do another test. At least I'm far enough past the anesthesia that I can start driving myself. I still have to be reserved in my actions for four more weeks just to allow both internal and external scars to heal. That's no trouble right now, since everything still hurts.
That's life. That's my life anyway. No use to be bitter or down. I don't feel like reading or writing or crocheting in my stillness. Most days I don't even look at e-mail. But I take advantage of the windows like I'm having right now to do something before it closes. I'm grateful to be alive. They believe they have all the cancer. I face radiation in a few months, but that's tomorrow's worries.
| I've never thought much of a bucket list, despite enjoying that very funny movie about it. I don't want to go sky-diving or bungee jumping or fly a plane solo. I can't afford to remodel the house or travel to even a few of the places I'd love to see. But I have begun thinking of a few things I might like to do.
I always regretted never learning to play the piano. That wasn't my fault. My family couldn't afford the piano or the lessons. Now I really want to see my nephew and great nieces and nephews take lessons. I can't buy pianos for them, but I might spring for a few months of lessons for some of them just to see if they have a knack for it. In fact I have even considered taking a few lessons myself. I can practice on the piano at church when it's not being used. Maybe next year, when my life calms down.
I blush to admit this, but I would like to be in love again with a decent person. My marriage was horrible, but it's far behind me now. Maybe I could move on It makes me snicker; if it was difficult to date when I was younger, it would be almost impossible now.
I'd like to do something creative. Write an outstanding poem, or write lyrics for a song by someone famous. Or write a novel that actually sells a few copies instead of just sitting in my lap top.
There's a few more I hesitate to put in print, even for a limited readership. Needless to say, with money, the list would grow even longer. I have an even longer list of regrets, but they can't be undone. I'm going to stop thinking about my bucket list, and just live day by day.
| The doctor sat down very calmly. I had been called in, I thought, for a follow-up after a procedure. She was warm and pleasant as always, but cut to the chase.
:The news is not good. You have cancer."
My heart sank. I had known it was a remote possibility, therefore the procedure. I just assumed it would be okay. These have to be the nastiest words a doctor can say to you.
Since then, I have been to a cancer specialist in this field. I've been told that if you have to have cancer, I have the most curable, most treatable kind. But they also tell you all the possible things that can wrong during the next procedure. In the week in between seeing doctors, my mind somehow got stuck on all the worst case scenarios. I don't want to be a Pollyanna, then be shocked later on, or be an ostrich with my head in the sand. It would be possible to focus only on the positive things, like major surgery is safer than driving anywhere. I finally just decided whatever happens, happens. I'm not going to lie awake at night worrying about accidents with lymph nodes, or puncturing other organs. Why waste the time I have worrying about possibilities?
The surgeon is going to remove a lot of body parts, using robotics and laparoscopic incisions. When I mentioned four little incisions at church that won't even be stitched up afterwards, someone used the term non-invasive. I've been telling myself that this teacher just doesn't know what non-invasive means, but it has stuck in my head, gnawing at me. It is a very invasive surgery. A colonoscopy is invasive (not what I'm doing), but there are no incisions. I guess it uses robotics, since the doctor uses a camera and tools to evaluate and repair nine feet of coiled up colon. For my surgery, the small incisions will allow the insertion of tools and a camera to go in and cut loose two lymph nodes and organs I've been very fond of. Excuse me for being blunt, they will be removed trans-vaginally. In my layperson's mind, That is extremely invasive! Medically, it's consider M.I.S. (minimally invasive surgery).Using robotics, they will give me internal stitches which can be undone accidentally by me. I won't be able to lift, push, etc., just like any external wound. Even normal body functions can cause a return trip to the OR.
I plan to be extremely lazy and gentle while I'm healing. I can walk around, even climb stairs slowly. No driving, sweeping, lifting laundry. I have to take digestive aids to make sure there's no pressure on my mid-section. I will have to wait about ten days before the lab knows what stage of cancer it is, or whether the doctor thinks she got all of it.
Tomorrow I'm changing the sheets on all the beds, vacuuming, and running a few errands. It might be three or four weeks before I do it again. I'm stocked up on soup, tuna, and canned chicken. I have promises from my nieces to take my aging father shopping once a week, just so he gets out of the house and can buy his snack foods. I'll be able to drive two weeks after, but won't be able to carry the packages to or from the car. If I can't find a ride to the doctor during that two weeks, I'll call a cab. I'm going to work on a positive attitude, and not focus on the negative aspects. I am a strong person, but I'm on an emotional roller coaster right now. I'm soaking up all the prayers and concern from others like a sponge. It keeps me going.
| I can't control the world or even my community. I can only control what I do.
I have been concerned for the last 50 years about the environment; it's not new. We once complained about aerosol cans that invaded the ozone layer. Now those cans have been replaced. Industry has been forced to take strategies to eliminate wastes according to law, preventing the pollution of water, including ground run-off. The Chesapeake Bay has been cleaned up after severe damage to the harvests of fish and shellfish. Waters far inland affected that. Many of these things were corrected by legislation and expense by businesses. Some were brought about by broad consumer complaining or banning the use of offending products. We now have "friendlier" insecticides, including mosquito repellent for our skin.
Most people are far more conscious of not wasting water than their parents or grandparents. For instance, we don't leave the water running while brushing our teeth. We don't allow toilets to leak or run constantly. We catch the rainwater for use on gardens and flower beds, and not just in desert areas. We still use baking soda and vinegar for many household cleaning jobs. I remember the old rule of the 60's was to put a box of baking soda in the drain every month to negate household detergents and shampoos. We put our coffee grounds in the planters to decompose into the soil. We no longer throw expired or unused medicine into the toilet or the regular trash, but hold it for yearly collections in the community for improved disposal.
Now I have read that landfills do not want your food waste. I thought the decomposing matter would be welcome, but it is not, which is why they want brush and leaves separate. So I have started my own compost. Everyday I put kitchen trash in a pie pan. No fats or animal matter or dairy products. I only recycle egg shells, which I break up even more, coffee grounds, tea bags with tags, onion skins, fruit peelings (I cut banana peels with kitchen shears since they take forever to break down), and wilted lettuce or other things from my refrigerator that have gone bad. We use a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, as opposed to processed. Daily I take the pan to my back porch, remove the lid from a recycled plastic laundry detergent tub, and dump it in. I clamp the lid tight to avoid rain and flies. When the bucket is almost full, I take it to my compost pile. Right now I could take it to my dried up vegetable patch, which is free of weeds and plants. I'd have to dig it into the soil. The pile is at the back fence on the lower side, not too close to living areas of neighbors. We dump leaves, cut grass, and small branches there. We keep the pitch fork there and turn it several times a year.
It smells horrible when I uncap it, but after a few days in the sun or rain, the odor goes away. I'm afraid it will splash on me, so I am careful. I wear old shoes and lots of mosquito repellent, since that is one of our bad areas. So I am keeping biodegradable trash out of the landfill, and speeding up the breakdown of my compost. Next year or the one after, I'll have some organic compost to mix in with soil for planting. (You have to turn it over and get the rotted stuff from the bottom, not the fresh upper layers.)
This small gesture doesn't make up for other countries, or big business. It doesn't help people in apartments or dorms. But if all rural and suburban home dwellers would do this, we'd make a small impact.
|If someone was to write an analysis of you by the books you have in your possession, what would it say about you? Would a stranger or even a friend recognize you by the book titles?
Books! They're everywhere. I did an inventory for this blog. Every John Grisham novel, almost all of Jan Karon's-both local or sometimes local people. A lot of Nicholas Sparks and Mark Twain. Westerns. Books about the West and The American Indian. The Harvard Classics. Best sellers and book club selections from the 90s." How To" books, craft books, health and medical books, electronics and do it yourself books. Probably 4 dozen cookbooks. Then there are diet and exercise books. A set of World Book Encyclopedia from the 1950's.Old dictionaries. Picture books and atlases. Children's books. Lots of children's books.
Bibles, religious books. Poetry books and old text books are packed away, out of sight. Women's lit. Historical fiction. A few Sci-Fi, few if any horror or fantasy. we do have the Harry Potter series. A few art books.
What does this say about me?
We like our local authors. We like food. We repent and then need to diet and exercise. We have a variety of tastes in reading.
My dad has always liked westerns. It's a fairly new genre for me, but I'm into it now. I like history, so those are mine. I read the religious books, always exploring new ways of thinking or dealing with life. We, that includes my late mother and brothers, like to do things ourselves or know how things work. so that's why the how-to books, which include fishing, hunting, and growing plants, as well as home repairs. I sew and crochet; my mom also quilted, so I still have her books.
As for children's books, we have seven children age 10 and under who visit us on a regular basis. When we can get one of them to sit still and read a book, we are happy. We're happy when we sit still and read!
|Prompt: "The pen is the tongue of the mind" Miguel de Cervantes Saaverda
"The pen is mightier than the sword." Certainly, Thomas Paine with his pamphlets proved to wield more influence and power than he would have with traditional weapons in colonial America. If we think of "the pen" as any written word, which I believe was the intention of both quotes, we have evidence today of the power of that written word. Facebook and Twitter can do more harm and good than sit-ins, marches, and riots. Words written by misled teenagers have destroyed reputations and lives.
In fact, in this culture of short attention spans, a Thomas Paine pamphlet would be read by only a few intellectuals. Snarky tweets and biased photo captions are the only news outlets for a lot of folks. Ill-informed politicians and ego-drunk celebrities can incite mass emotional reactions by what they thumb type in haste. The point is they type quickly without rational thought, instead of just speaking to those in the room, sending their thoughts out to huge followings.
The first quote referred to the tongue. Yes, the writing is like the tongue, but without being face to face. I have seen notes or e-mails in the business place divide and alienate in ways the writers never intended. The written word is harder to retract than spoken words. The Bible tells us the tongue is a dangerous thing. It likens the tongue, or spoken word, to the rudder of a ship, which can lead it astray or stay on course if controlled properly. In another place, it tells us the tongue, or what comes out of the mouth, indicates what is in the heart. If venomous things are spoken or written, then that is because the heart is full of hatred and venom.
Both the written and the spoken word reveal the inner thinking and feeling of the speaker (fiction being the exception). Both can do great harm, incite wars, sway a community, or lead someone to suicide. Both require a good deal of rational thinking and discernment.