Friday, October 31, 2008

~ Yikes!

Cruella de Vil or ummm... Diandra

My daughter loves to dress up for Halloween. I believe that when she has her own children some day, she will be one of those mommy's that dress up with their children. This makes me smile.

When she was getting ready for a Halloween get together, I was laying on my bed, talking to my mom on the telephone. I already had two of our three chi's next to me, when the third (who had been with Diandra) suddenly ran in to lay right next to me and just stared at the door. I thought that was odd, but just went on talking to my mom. Then I heard the echoing footsteps of high heels walking down the hall. My daughter or should I say Cruella (in character) came in my room. All three of the girls started growling and barking; I guess in fear for their dear lives. If Cruella had seen the new movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua and had it her devilish little mind about a new chi coat, the girls were not having any part of it!

Have a Happy & Safe Halloween Everyone!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pumpkins and Ghosts

I recently went to my hometown to do some shopping and also to where the first 13 years of my childhood was spent. The second part was really quite by accident. My girlfriend had called to tell me the skirt that I loved at the boutique where she works was marked down. I had also gotten a post card of the neighboring stores around that little boutique to tell me they were also having a wonderful sale. Whimsys had Vera Bradley, Lollia and also Crabtree and Evelyn Naturals all 20% off and of course there was also my skirt! My girlfriend had suggested that If I came early enough that I could stop by her house (out in the country) first to see the spare bedroom she just painted and also wanted to get my approval. We rushed around the house, so that she could show me this and that before she had to go to work. Her son has grown cotton and I also wanted to get some photos of that before I headed into to town. She then insisted that I go to this pumpkin patch where this lady is like Martha Stewart. Laurie promised me I wouldn't be disappointed. She jotted down instructions in how to get there. There was also a barn that I wanted to get a picture of, but was very bummed because I couldn't find it. When I arrived at the pumpkin patch, there were a lot of photographers taking pictures. I enjoyed watching them as they were trying to capture the perfect picture. As I stood there watching I had to wonder what they saw in their frame. After they would leave to go to another area, I would go over to where they had stood and just look. That is the beauty of taking pictures. What one sees through the eyes of others. I find that so fascinating. My girlfriend was right, I wasn't disappointed. It was in fact beautiful. After the experience of the pumpkin patch, I went to find the cotton field and got some photos of that too. I then made my way to where this magnificent sale was. Although I had missed the exit because the next exit was pass the town and I had to make a big J loop. I ended up lost out in the country trying to get back to the highway and then things started to seem very familiar to me. I knew exactly where I was. I came into the back way to the town of Merced where I grew up as a child. I turned down my old road and as I drove very slowly by the house where we used to live, I couldn't believe how small it looked. There was the kitchen window, my mom and dads bedroom window, and the two bathroom windows. I stopped the car and just looked. I could see my aunt Kim, my little sister and I skating down the sidewalk. My mom pulling weeds with her bandanna on. My dad with the garage door open with all of his tools working on the old red dodge pick-up in the drive way. Looking down the side of the house, I could see into the backyard. So many memories... I started to cry. It reminded me of the story, The Christmas Carol and going back in time with the ghost of the past. Only they were very good memories of a very happy time in my life. Then it only made me sad to think that when we moved from this house to the town where we moved to, my life had changed with my parents divorcing. Well, then you know which ghost comes next, the ghost of the present and everything in between those two ghosts. I thanked God that the ghost of yet to come hadn't come to visit me.

I have experienced this once before; it happened when I posted on my blog when my birthday came this year. At the time we had just found out not too long ago that my husband had cancer. I looked at the picture's I had posted, and I felt very sad because I knew how things had turned out for that little girl and what she was going through to the present day. It was then that I looked at myself like a third party (me~myself~and I). I felt as if I was this little girls best friend or mother. I was kinder, a lot more gentle and loved her a bit more. In the aquatics class at the end, we are to hug our self; it is a stretch, and I found myself doing longer stretches than anyone else with the help of the class instructor bringing that to my attention as well, in saying to someone (me), "Looks like someone needs some extra hugs!" In fact that is what I was doing... giving myself a hug.

When I made it to the little boutique, my girlfriend Laurie said, "Girl, where have you been? Did you get lost?" I said, "Yes, actually I did." I told her about missing the exit and where it took me. With Laurie being my girlfriend since childhood , she knew it brought a lot back driving down that road. She asked me if I was okay, and I assured her that I was. Writing this, I had to smile. I had also called and told a
very close girlfriend (the one friend that has come into my life the last ten years of it), about my day. She also knew what "driving down that road" had meant for me and also asked if I was alright. I feel very blessed with my girlfriends. They know where I have been, know who I am and they love me for it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

October is...

Brest Cancer Awareness Month

It just so happens that this next week, I will be getting my annual mammogram. I feel really good about getting it done and want to encourage you ladies not to put this off. The school I work at, we have lost a few teachers to breast cancer and also have some fighting this. In memory of these teachers and to show support in this cause, the whole school has been wearing pink all week... even the boys. It is really very touching.

Early detection is your best protection!

* I don't know why, but I feel like doing a cheerleader kick and yelling, "GO GIRLS!"


Friday, October 17, 2008


Neglect ~ Habitual lack of care; To disregard or pay little attention to something; To fail to care for, or attend to something; To fail to do or carry out something due to oversight or carelessness

When a person goes through a rough time and feels so consumed by what is happening in their life, they can forget to take care of themselves. These things just don't matter anymore or seem unimportant.

This last Mother's Day, my kids gave me a gift certificate to get a pedicure, massage, and body scrub with lunch to also be served. They encouraged me not to wait and get it A.S.A P! At the time, Charlie was going through his chemo treatments and I just didn't feel it was the best time to get that done. I also felt guilty in the thought of pampering myself, knowing how my husband was feeling. I just couldn't do it. I kept waiting for the perfect time, well you know how that is... it never comes. The months kept going by one after another. So, I decided to just call and make the appointment. It was wonderful! I have to admit, I was a little nervous only because I have never done this before and didn't know what to expect. I think that the next time, I will be more relaxed about it and be able to enjoy it much more. Ha! Did I say "the next time?!" Yes, I think I could get very used to that kind of self-indulgence. Even though, I still have a very hard time thinking about spending money on myself like that. I thought about how a little less stressed and very relaxed I had felt afterward. Was that something I could do on a more regular basis? Well, I guess I could work some over-time to pay for it... giggle. That would be defeating the purpose. I have to learn how to do some of that kind of pampering at home.

What do you do to de-stress and/or pamper yourself?

Thank you Rob, Nessa and Diandra!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Bridge crossing the river to where the Columns of the Giants are.

We met some of our friends recently on our last camping trip, who also came along. They have been friend's of Charlie's for 30 years, and of course they have become very good friends of mine as well. Our friend brought his mom, who I have met before. I did not know that she was coming and it was a wonderful surprise. Anita is 82 years old and if she knew that I disclosed her age, she would have me by the ear. She is a kick! I love visiting with her and learn from watching her with her son and daughter-n-law. When I am around her, she takes a special interest in me and asks me all sort's of questions, and genuinely wants to get to know me and how I feel about things. She also watches Charlie and I together. Anita is very attentive and I feel well... like a kitten purring, getting extra petting (giggle ~ if that makes sense). When we were at the beach, she wanted a sand dollar so badly. I went out the next morning and brought her a pail full. Anita was thrilled and couldn't believe how many there were. She tried to picture how I found them by asking me, "how did you come upon them?" This trip she wanted to make some gifts out of pine cones, so her daughter-n-law and I went on a treasure hunt looking for the perfect pine cone. She went home with two bags full. Anita loves to tell stories of what it was like "in her day." Oh, I guess that I need to tell you that she is from old Hollywood (meaning how Hollywood used to be). Anita played one of the Darla's on Our Gang ~ The Little Rascals. Can you only imagine being a little girl with memories of going to back yard parties with the likes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers? She has traveled with Bob Hope on his tours cheering up the Military. She was also a friend of the late Nat King Cole. She has a book coming out and assures me all these stories will be in it. In her telling of stories, it is so apparent how times have changed and so much so... I could tell you more about the stories of her life, but it would be better for you to read them straight from the book when it comes out! Being with her only reminds me of how much I miss my grand mothers. When I was with them, I would feel the same as I did when I am with Anita. I can only hope that when my grand children or anyone for that matter, feels loved and cared for when they are around me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fields of Gold

You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we walk in fields of gold
So she took her love
For to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of Barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold
Will you stay with me will you be my love
Among the fields of barley
We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in fields of gold
See the west wind move like a lover so
Upon the fields of Barley
Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth
Among the fields of gold
I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We'll walk in fields of gold
We'll walk in fields of gold
Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of gold
You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold
When we walked in fields of gold
When we walked in fields of gold

by Sting

Recently on the way to our last camping trip, I had seen the foot hills scattered with yellow flowers. I thought of this song by Sting (although the field is not barley). I wanted so badly for Charlie to stop so that I could take some pictures. I did not dare ask because I already knew what the answer would have been. It is kinda hard to pull over with a trailer behind you on a busy road. On the way back from our camping trip, I had my camera ready and took some pictures from the window as we drove by. What a girl has gotta to do to get some pics. I know that it just looks like dry foot hills to some, but through my eyes ~ I think it is beautiful.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Captured Moments

Charlie ~ first camping trip @ Dardanelle

Charlie ~ second camping trip @ Dardanelle

I have had quite a few people e-mail me about how Charlie is doing, so I thought that maybe I should give you an update.

This summer we have really tried to focus on getting his weight up from 115 lbs.; which was his lowest weight with his last chemo treatment this last May. He is now at a strong 149 lbs. His normal weight when he was healthy was 170 lbs. He has been able to work during the week and quite honestly pushes himself a lot to do this because as he puts it, "Bills have to be paid!" There were some days in the beginning that he really had no business working. I can see him getting stronger, but he does come home absolutely exhausted. It is more than a "normal tired" from a days work. I will find him a sleep from time to time, in different chairs throughout the house with his feet propped up. Some days are better than others ~ some weeks are better than others. Charlie has never been one to sit and do nothing; his mind is always going. This part has been hard for him and he has told me several times that he does not know how "to do nothing," it is not who he is. Although I can see with time, he is learning to listen to his body more. He still gets nauseous and that continues to be a struggle. Last week-end he woke up to feeling the same pain before his chemo treatments and admitted that he was scared. That pain has not been felt since.... at least he isn't telling me. I find myself watching him more without him knowing it, to see if he is hiding pain from me (he has been known to do that).
We take days one at a time.

His next Doctors appointment is at the end of this month. I thought that it was to get his next scan, but Charlie said that is in December. It's funny how sometimes there can be two people hearing the same thing, but getting two different things. I will be making a call to see who is right.

We have made a point of going on some camping trips or getting away when he finishes a job (he is in construction), so that he can rest in between. We kinda know that we need to get a way for him to take a "break." When we are at home there are things that need to be done and he really doesn't get any rest; he pushes himself. In the pictures above, you can see a fish if you look in the water. By the way, he caught both of them. :)

I find myself taking more pictures of Charlie than usual, wanting to capture moments. In doing so, recently when I went through my photos on the computer, I had paid some extra attention to these "captured moments." I had seen that they were being chronicled with times and dates. It has made me realize what a journey he/we have been on.

I am so proud of my Charlie!

Thank you for your show of concern, support and continued prayer!
It means a lot to me.