October 8, 2012

How Cold Is It?

It is SOOO cold, Harper is wearing a hoodie! 

October 1, 2012

It's Just One Big Freakin' Surprise After Another

Two months ago, August 13th to be exact, I went to my regular doctor.  I had been stung by something.  While I was there I asked to have a spot on my chest checked out.  It was about the size of a pencil eraser, flat, red and flaky.  The doctor asked if I had ever been to a dermatologist.  No, never had a reason to go.  Well, apparently I now had a reason to go.  I'm freaking out about this red, scaly thing.  What is it?  Am I gonna die?  Why do I have to see a dermatologist?  Can't the doctor just give me something to put on it?  Yeah, I'm like that.
Since I'm going to die because of this horrid little red spot, I just know I'm going to have to see a dermatologist immediately.  The doctor's office will call them.  They will say, "Send her over to us immediately!  This cannot wait!"  The doctor sets the appointment up for me.  October 1st.  Seriously?  It's August 13th, I'm dying from some terrible red spot and the earliest they can see me is October 1st?  I just hoped I would live that long.
August turned into September.  Red spot disappeared.  What the what?  Should I keep the appointment?  The dreaded spot could return.  I finally decided that since I have two spots on my face that have a tendency to get scaly from time to time, I should just keep the appointment.  September turned into October and it was time to go. 
Oh stupid, innocent me.  I wore a polo shirt so I could unbutton down to where the spot was.  The other two spots are on my face - nothing to remove there.  They call me back.
Where is the area in question? 
Don't worry, it'll be back. 
Well, I wasn't worried until you said that!
Meanwhile, go ahead and take your clothes off.  The doctor and his assistant will be in soon to do a full body check for moles and abnormalities.
At this point I'm not upset about moles and abnormalities.  I'm worried about the fact that I haven't shaved my legs in, well, a while.  I don't know this man!  Why, out of an office of four women and one man, I have to see the man?  Panic mode!!!!  No longer worried about disappearing red spot.  No longer worried about spots on face.  I guess it must have shown on my face.  Or maybe it was the constant babbling, "But I haven't shaved my legs.  I haven't shaved my legs.  Do you know how long it's been since I've shaved my legs?  I can't do this because I haven't shaved my legs!"  The nurse informed me, if I was uncomfortable with the idea of this type of examination, that it could be rescheduled for later and they would just check the areas in question. 
Hello?  Didn't you just catch the part about me NOT shaving my legs?
In the end, I kept my pants on!  Spot on chest was looked at - told not to worry.  Whew!  Spots on face were precancerous - froze those suckers off.  Life is good.  But now I have to think about shaving my legs...in November...when it's colder.  Who shaves their legs in November?
You can bet I will!

September 27, 2012

Officially Fall

I love fall.  Having been born and raised in Florida, fall is totally amazing to me.  Where we lived in Florida, you had two shades of green - green and then tired old green.  Up here we have many shades of green and then all those beautiful warm colors in the fall.
My knitting buddy surprised me the other day with this absolutely wonderful skein of yarn!
She calls it "Construction Paper Turkey." 
I think the name is very appropriate.  I wish my pictures did the colors justice.

Last I checked she had another skein she was selling.
If anyone is interested, e-mail me and I'll send you the information.
Meanwhile, I'm going to figure out what this skein is telling me it wants to be when it grows up.  I think I heard it whisper, "Definitely socks!"

September 13, 2012

Almost Four Months?

Almost four months of blog absence?  Is there an excuse?  Well, I could come up with many, but I'll just use a few.
1) R's broken foot
When we went to the doctor in May, he said it could take up to three or four months.  I thought he was nuts.  However, he is the one with the degree, not me.  Here we are - almost four months later and R is starting to walk with more confidence.  Still wearing the post-op shoe, although there was no op to be post!  She will be moving into a stiff pair of shoes soon.
2) Harper
Due to Harper's mom have foot issues, I have been his caretaker.  Oh my gosh!  That dog is going to kill me!  He has been dragging me all over this yard.  There is no way on earth I could take him on a walk by myself.  (If you don't believe me, check previous blog post.)  We have made some headway, but due to him being headstrong, there is definite room for improvement.
3) Mom
As most of you know, my Mom has Alzheimer's.  The past few months have been extremely difficult.  I can't speak for anyone else, but when the diagnosis was made, extreme depression set in.  I know there has been a black cloud over this house for at least two years.  Then something happened.  It was an awakening of sorts, but I will spare you the details.
It basically requires a whole new way of thinking.
When you first get the diagnosis, you are faced with major decisions.
Do you give up and put your loved one in an assisted living facility before they are truly ready?
Do you hire someone to come in and care for them when they are highly resistant?
Do you skirt major issues and hope they will take care of themselves? 
I decided to do the last one.  I avoided all major issues.  I couldn't decide what on earth to do.  My family was in turmoil.  Time spent with Mom was extremely taxing.  She wasn't happy.  We weren't happy.  NOBODY was happy.  If I didn't do something fast, we were all going down together, rapidly.  Then the aforementioned awakening happened.  With an extremely supportive sister, a wonderful husband, two kids willing to work together, and a patient therapist provided by the local memory clinic, pulled us up and out of the doldrums.  There are people out there who are putting stumbling blocks in our way.   They don't believe the diagnosis or the stage of the disease.  Believe me, I would never ever lie about  Mom having this disease or how bad it is.  Why would anyone do that?
With a new resolve, we decided to enjoy the time we have the best way we can.  When she is with me, I try to find tasks around the house that desperately need to be done and ask for help.  Yesterday we cleaned the inside of the refrigerator.  While cooking, I ask for help with cutting vegetables that I don't need right away.   Yes, I have to explain what size I need or answer whatever questions she has over and over again.  But, she repeatedly tells me how great it feels to be useful and needed.  And we try to find places to go that are not overwhelming to the senses and where she can walk by herself without fear of her getting too far away from us.
One such place is Reynolda Gardens which is adjacent to the Reynolda House.  
Reynolda House
Last Sunday R badgered us into taking her there.  If she was up to walking and since the weather was going to cooperate, we were game.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it.  Mom kept commenting on how relaxing it was, so it was a win-win situation.
Reynolda Gardens
An okra plant in the gardens.  The flowers were beautiful.
The photographer wasn't happy her face was in the picture, but I couldn't pass up sharing this picture.  The sky was gorgeous and the colors in this picture are beautiful.

A crystal doorknob on one of the cabins in the garden.  Little unexpected treasures were everywhere.

A bird in the hinge of the door of a private house in the garden.  Another unexpected treasure.
Heart shaped leaf found in front of Reynolda House.  Since Daddy died, I have found so many heart shapes in nature.  Think he was there with us?

May 24, 2012

Harper's Big Adventure

Whew!  See the sucker waving good-bye and sticking his tongue out?  That's what I thought was seeing this morning.  Since R broke her foot, 'Harper Duty' has fallen to the rest of us.  L has been working so hard on getting him to walk on a slack leash instead of dragging us all over town.  I have been thoroughly amazed with their progress.  This morning I took Harper outside to attend to his 'business' when he started pulling to go on a walk.  The street was quiet so I went for it.  He was doing a beautiful job.  The leash was slack.  He wasn't panting.  We got to the house where his best buddy, Chester, lives.  He hesitated and I prodded.  I finally got him going.  Then I heard IT.  The recycling truck.  Harper is scared of trucks.  When I say 'scared', I mean SCARED!  He started panicking and running in little circles.  Then his head popped right out of his collar!  Panic time!  What to do?  Then I remember that you are not supposed to chase your dog.  Just stand still.  I did and he came right back to me.  Crisis averted.  Oh but it couldn't be that easy, could it?  Apparently the collar didn't click and when we started walking, off it went.  This time he wasn't going to come back as easily as before.  He was naked without that collar and running free!!!!!  I knew I had a short amount of time before the recycling truck circle back and totally freaked him out again.  He started walking down the road like, "Adios.  I'm going home."  Then he ran back to me and I grabbed for whatever I could!  Thank goodness he didn't mind me grabbing his fur.  I slapped that collar on him and made sure it snapped and the two of us headed home like our lives depended on it.  I wonder when the rodeo will be in town...I'm pretty sure I should enter calf roping!  

May 23, 2012

Prayers for Aunt Barb

This is Aunt Barb when she was about three.

This is Aunt Barb on Mother's Day with her daughter.

As you can see, she is a little older, but about the same height!  :)
She is my Dad's little sister.  She recently found out she has breast cancer and will have surgery tomorrow.  Please say a little prayer for her tomorrow.  I know she would appreciate it and I would too.  Thank you!

May 15, 2012

My Creative Geniuses

I asked the kids if they would make my Mother's Day cards this year.  Both of them are creative in many ways, so I was anxious to see what they would do.  Of course they exceeded my expectations.  Looks like I'll be buying some frames soon!
R embroidered this using a design she had here at the house.  First she punched the paper and then embroidered.  I definitely think some bright colored mats will look great with it.

L used his artsy fartsy markers and water colors.  He must have spent quite a bit of time on Google looking up all those versions of 'Mom'!

R thought it would be a cool idea to join NetFlix for at least the first month free.  She got me tons of candy like you'd find at the movie theater.  So far we've been watching lots of old television shows and old movies.  I think we'll enjoy it.

And.....she couldn't have selected anything better especially at this time.  Last night while mentoring underprivileged children at the local skate park, she had just finished a gnarly run on the half pipe and stuck a clean landing that she walked away from.  She delivered each of the children back home personally after treating them to ice cream when she started complaining of a slight discomfort in her right foot.  Terribly upset that she might miss next week's Capoeira demonstration with the aforementioned children, we decided a visit to the doctor was in order.  Lo and behold, her 5th metatarsal of her right foot was broken.  Three months in a boot and no weight bearing on that foot were just what the doctor ordered.  That was the most expensive shoe the child has ever had - and, thankfully, it was not even a pair!

Doesn't all that sound so much better than saying she stepped in a hole about three inches deep in the garden?  Yeah, we thought so too!   

May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!
I have no idea when that picture was taken, but it sure looks like Mom had her hands full.  Daddy was a photographer so everywhere we went turned into a photo op.  Absolutely LOVE Mom's glasses.  At the time she had those I didn't think much of them.  They were just 'mom'.  Now I look at them and think, "What on earth was she thinking?"

I've had some pretty special Mother's Days in my life and was trying to think of my favorite.  I think it would have to be my very first one.  Actually, I consider my first one before I even had a baby to carry around.  My sister (that's her in the middle up there) and I had gone to the beach the Saturday before Mother's Day.  She had three boys - each two years apart.  We were sitting in the sand watching the boys play when I started telling her I just hadn't been feeling right lately.  She wanted details, so I gave them to her.  She thought I was pregnant.  Naw - that wasn't possible or was it?  The doctor had told me I could have trouble conceiving, but I wasn't giving up hope.  I took a quick shower at the beach to get rid of most of the sand and headed for a walk-in clinic.  The place was just about empty.  I asked for a pregnancy test.  A few minutes later the nurse came out and told me I was pregnant!  I was so excited that I hugged everybody in the office!  I don't even remember how I told RL!  The next day we went to his Mom and Dad's for Mother's Day.  We were all sitting around, acting all innocent like and caught RLs Mom slightly distracted.  Then we casually threw it into the conversation.  She didn't believe us!  I don't know how many times we actually had to tell her before she did!  The next Mother's Day I had my own baby and two years later my other baby.  Some Mother's Days have been sad.  We had my grandmother's memorial service on Mother's Day 1997.  Some have been surprises - like a trip to Disney World!  Most have been great.  I love being a Mom and I'm so happy we were blessed with our two kids.     

April 14, 2012

Indelible Ink Workshop

I'm going to plug a little etsy shop for a minute.  You can find it here:  Indelible Ink Workshop

You Do make a Difference- 8x10 Typographical Print

We're All a Little Weird- Simple- 8x10 Typographical Print

The Little Things in Life - 8x10 Typographical Print

Earlier this month I ordered the print you see on the top.
I personally think this etsy shop is the best ever.  But then again, I would!  My son's girlfriend has major printing smarts which she has been sharing with him.  They decided to give this business a go.  It has truly been amazing watching the two of them work on this - especially since they live 600 miles apart!  So, if you get a chance, go check it out.  I know they would appreciate it!

March 26, 2012

Uh Oh - A New Craft!

I don't have enough time to do all the crafts or reading that I want to do.  So naturally I decided to start another craft!
I stumbled across a terrific blog 'Wild Olive' about a month or so ago.  So many cute ideas and patterns! 
I got on her etsy site and found this pattern set.  Now, I'm new to this, so it doesn't look great, but I don't think it looks too bad either.  I would like to make a patchwork bag using some of these designs.
Go check out her website if you get a chance.
Harper has a new friend!  This is the only picture I have of the two of them.  I'll have to get a better one soon.  His buddy's name is Chester.  They tell us that Chester is older than Harper, but we're not so sure.  He will definitely be smaller because he's a Rat Terrier.  I LOVE to watch the two of them play together.  Wears them both out and that is a good thing!

March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Sorry for the crummy picture.  This is my Saint Patrick's Day dishcloth.  It took a little longer to make than my run of the mill dishcloths because I used size 3 needles instead of my typical 6s.  If you like the pattern, you can find it here:  http://krisknits.blogspot.com/2009/03/st-patricks-day-cloths.html  Kelly, am I still a 'dork'?

March 14, 2012

Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day!
I know there's an official 'Pie Day', but we celebrate it on 3/14 - 'Pi Day'.
R is planning to make a Chicken Pot Pie for dinner and then a pie for dessert.  I will not stand in her way!

As for the dishcloth, if you want to make your own, you can find the pattern at www.goodnightgram.wordpress.com. 

March 3, 2012

Spring is Early

 We had a visitor the other day in the house.  L managed to capture him in a glass jar with some flowers he had gathered from the front yard.
 These blooms are a little early this year.  They are so pretty and smell good.
 Wonder if this was our little visitor once he regained his freedom.

Hey Harper!  Whatcha doing?  Watching the world go by? 

I think you look a little funny in this picture.  Do you think so too?

Ah - I see you laughing.  You must agree!

February 23, 2012

Meet Deacon

Chester has a brother!

Meet Deacon Groves.

We had some yarn left over from another project that just happened to be Wake Forest colors.  R suggested that Chester needed a little brother and I could use that yarn.

Since Wake Forest's team is the Demon Deacons, he had to be named Deacon.  And....since they used to play at Groves Stadium, Groves had to be his last name!  Just like Chester, he came from Rebecca Danger's book 'The Big Book of Knitted Monsters'.

February 19, 2012

Truly a Wintery Day

Our first snow of the winter!  Started off as rain which turned into sleet which turned into sleet and snow which turned into SNOW!  I love snow!  Unfortunately I am afraid to be out in the slippery slush.  One slip on this elbow and no more knitting for me for another six months.  Since we are just enjoying the weather and not doing much of anything, I'll leave you with some randomness.

Good weather for a game or two of Scrabble!

R got a cute mug for Valentine's with this heart inside the bottom.  The caramel looks like a Golden Snitch, doesn't it?
Harper LOVES his Dad!  If RL is sitting, then Harper is on his shoulders!  Weird dog.

He's always looking for something among the gravel in the driveway.

Silly grin!
What is this white stuff?  Hmmmm?  Never seen this before.....
Tastes like ice.....

I don't think I'll play in the grass.  I'm fine eating this white stuff! 

The daffodils decided to bloom early since we weren't getting any of that white stuff.
Oops!  An ice covered daffodil.

February 16, 2012

Beautiful Day in Old Salem

My sister has been in town for a few days this week.  It's been three years since she was last here, and that was when my Dad died.  This time Mom had to have a procedure done and she wanted to be here to offer support and any help we needed.  Everything went well, so after Mom was feeling better we wanted to do something enjoyable.  The prettiest day we had just happened to be the anniversary of Daddy's death.  Trying to keep Mom's mind occupied, we decided an outing to Old Salem was in order.

So many beautiful things to see!
A beautiful and wooded amphitheater at Salem College.

The creek next to the amphitheater.  Notice the bench from 1930?  It's one of the newer things there!

Are those cypress knees?  We were trying to figure it out.

Why yes, I AM a tree hugger!
I could not get over the size of this tree and wanted to check how far my arms would reach.
The shadows in this picture are so cool.

This is a Moravian cemetery next to Home Moravian church.  It's called God's Acre.

Is that Captain Morgan?  Why no, it's my sister!

R took pictures of everything.  My sister told her to make sure she got a picture of the '200 year old fire hydrant', so this is for her!