Friday, May 31, 2013

After a delicious lunch at Le Chalet with Rene (reminiscing about our GC trips) I went across the parking lot to see if Alex was at LA Fitness (his work often takes him out and about.)  I'm planning to try out a membership and work on improving my muscle tone and general stamina. He was there, and he took me on a tour of the facility; I was actually pretty impressed with how much they offer.   

I was hoping Alex was planning on coming by the house so he could help me unpack my new sewing machine. (I WON, I WON!)  Since he was getting ready for a lunch run, he came by the house to do that for me.  Here's what it looks like with everything out of the carton and (more or less) ready to go:

Marilyn called this morning, and suggested I look for my shoes on eBay... so I did.  While I didn't find exactly what I was looking for (the only pair of that shoe was the wrong size) I did find some in that same line, just a different model.  It's an easy way to shop, MUCH better than schlepping to a mall! <g>

I've been wondering how Lisa's move (to a different house in Tucson) went yesterday.  It just keeps getting hotter, and the sooner  they're all moved in, the better!

This weekend it is expected to be around 108. Patti is hiking the Grand Canyon with her hiking buddies tomorrow, and I'll be thinking of them in the heat!  They're doing a one-day hike on the Bright Angel 'just' down to Indian Gardens, and then back up.  
Thursday morning I saw my ocologist for my first post-chemo check-up, and found out that Tuesday's ECHO test was fine.  We're going to do some additional (new) bloodwork before I see her again in 6 weeks, just to rule some things out.  I have noticed changes, symptoms I never experienced before this whole cancer 'thing', and she just wants to rule out various things.  I've never thought of myself as a hypochondriac (accident prone, maybe - right, Mom?) and some of these changes may just be the natural results of aging (surprisingly, I'm not getting any younger) - but with all the drugs that have been pumped into me since December of 2011 I guess it can't hurt to check.  On the whole, though, she's very happy with me.

On the way home from there I had to go right past Lamps Plus, so I stopped in to pick up the two lamps that were supposed to be delivered there on Wednesday.  They were there, waiting for me - and the salesman was quite happy to see me, since he'd tried calling twice the day before, and the number just rang and rang and rang.  Yes, he did have the correct number (which was why he'd tried again, in case he misdialed the first time) and we have been getting messages on our machine, so it's just another one of those Life Mysteries.  

I was worried that the lamps might not fit into my car, but from the size of the boxes it was abundantly clear that 'some assembly' would be required.  Tom got right on it, and before long we had our wonderful new OTT lights up and running.  It may take a little time to get used to looking at the true color light, but they are certainly nice for reading.

In the afternoon Patti came over to view my pix from France.  She enjoyed her 'trip', and when she got to pix of Monet's garden in Giverny, she was properly impressed.  I took 100 pix (so easy to do!), and virtually all of them elicited "wow"-type comments.  It'll be hard to pick just a few to share here, but I'll try!  FYI - none of these pix have been cropped or color enhanced in any way.  

It's hard to know where to look first!!!

the famous lily pond

Mom and I were waiting until Monet's house was open for viewing; it was chilly (I had my Van Gogh iris shirt on underneath, although it stayed under wraps that whole day) but at least it wasn't raining. :-)

no longer at Monet's garden - this is outside the Giverny impressionist museum

This morning Kaye came by to pick up Tom for their weekend trip.  They have been invited to share their knives at an Indian Show up by the Painted Desert.  Hopefully Tom will make lots of sales (yes, Marilyn, I agree that his will be the nicest stuff up there!)  

Here's one of his recent creations: the blade is rainbow obsidian from Davis Creek (CA), the handle is elk antler with ambroyna burl wood, and there's a silver bezel wire for ornamentation.  

This blade is made from ribbon obsidian from Glass Buttes (OR), and the handle is bacote hardwood.

When you hold the blade up to the light, you can see the ribbons!

In any event, he's bound to have fun looking at all the stuff.  Originally he expected to be home on Saturday, and then next I heard it was Sunday.  But Kaye wants to do a little rock hunting, and not come home until Monday - and Tom 'may' be enticed into a rock hunting expedition.  Does he 'need' more rocks?  About as much as I 'need' more fabric.  Which means I totally understand the compulsion to get more!

Teresa is with them - she's going to spend time with family up there while the guys do their rock thing.  I'm happy to report that she's made great progress since she shattered her ankle back in mid-February, and was cleared to start putting weight on it a week or so ago.  It looks great (scars in multiple places are really not terribly noticeable) though admittedly it's still somewhat swollen.  But she's doing well with her PT, and her prognosis is for a complete recovery.  At least she'll be able to get back to riding again now. I know she's really missed that!

Now I'm off to meet Rene for lunch at 'our' place.  She's taken oodles of Grand Circle trips, and can't wait to hear all about mine.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yesterday I picked up June on the way to the Busy Bees monthly meeting.  I wanted to bring along one of the step stools for her, but despite looking everywhere in the cottage (even places I knew it couldn't be, Mom!) there was no sign of the plastic blue one (maybe that's the one that's now been relocated to her Riderwood laundry room?) Also MIA was the sturdy red/blue one from Lisa & Alex's childhood days that lived for a while in that linen closet. (We loved it - it was reversible for two different heights, and it certainly saw a LOT of use over the years, but a check on Goggle for a picture seems to indicate that it's no longer available.)  I also checked Tom's shop, and my garage, but there was still no sign of either one.  But when I arrived to pick up June, she had her plastic stool right there at the door.... and it certainly made her entry into my car easier!  (And yes, I've added 'stool' to my Target list.)

Pennie was not at the meeting because their restaurant had been broken into the night before.  
The thieves didn't take anything (apparently they were only after money, and there was none left there overnight) but Pennie had to be at the restaurant that morning when the glass folks were scheduled to come replace the broken window.  So I still don't have Zach & Bekkah's quilt (or even know if it's finished.)

Lots of "Tells" at Show&Tell.  One example: Louise was back from a long car trip to the NW, and mentioned a quilt store she'd visited that was in a hardware store.  Tom and I did that in Panguitch, Utah back in September - but don't think that's where Louise encountered hers.  Which means there are (at least) two combo stores like that.... 

Joni brought the next month's Row Along sample.  It's going to be such a cute quilt when done.

Here's Louise sharing her butterflies and chevrons, previous months' rows.
(I am SO proud of being able to figure out how to put 2 pictures together like this on my own <G> without calling in Alex for tech help!)

Margery made up the most adorable Bee and Mouse pouches (stuffed with matching pincushion scissors holder, needle keeper, and thimble holder.)  We definitely need her to do a class on these!

Several of the ladies brought in their Busy Bee blocks from Louise's class.... that Joyce taught.  (Are you confused?)




Joyce made up a carrying case for her iron, and when opened, the bag became a pressing cloth.  Looks like another great class in the making...
My first shot was a better (side) view of the bag but a horrible shot of Joyce ...and I'd like to keep her as a friend!

Peggy made this quilt top using whole bunch of 1.5" squares someone (I forget who) gave her.  
She said making it drove her nuts... and admitted that 'it was a very short trip" for her.  Next time (although she was quite vocal that there would not be a next time for a quilt like this!) maybe she'll take someone else's advice and offset each row, at least avoiding having to match up the seams.  Work smarter, not harder!

Sharon created this quilt using the BOMs from Foothills 2011.  Instead of making up just one block to turn in, she worked up two and kept one - and this is where those second blocks ended up.  (That pp schoolhouse block brings back some VERY frustrating memories.... and apparently I was not the only one tearing out my hair that month!) 

I still have the flip flop and ice cream cone blocks that I 'won' (thank you, Joyce!) waiting patiently for me to get around to putting in a quilt.  Maybe after I finish up Jeff & Priscilla's wedding quilt (which I plan to start next month!!!) I can get caught up on some of my own projects, so sadly neglected. 

Bella and crew cleaned the house in the afternoon.  (Now that I'm feeling better and my energy is returning, it's getting harder to justify having them come in each month.)  Usually I can converse some with Teresa (who has almost no English) using my little bit of Spanish.  But yesterday I was at a total loss... seems my brain is still in French mode. 
While related, the two languages are definitely not interchangeable, 
and I just could not switch gears!

In the evening we took Ben and Estera out for dinner at the Pho restaurant to celebrate his recent birthday.  We got there first, and were all set up for the kids when they arrived.  I put Willie next to me (that way B&E had a chance to enjoy their meal, and I got to play grandma!) While we were waiting for our orders I had some noodles brought out for Willie (at 21 months he's not exactly good at waiting when he's hungry) and boy were they STICKY!  Good things kids are washable!  This dessert picture was taken with my cellphone.  It was really cute watching Willie 'blow' on the candle. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This afternoon I had my (first) post-chemo port flush. Felt a little strange to be able to zoom in and out - though I did sit and chat for a while with Madelyn.... haven't seen her in months.  She's looking good (her hair is growing back, and she's put back on some weight) but her lung cancer is still with her, and she doesn't think she'll ever be off of chemo.

Then it was over to the hospital (right next door) for my quarterly echocardiogram.  I was early for my appointment and expected to have to wait, but they took me early.  Painless - except for paying for it. <g>  (When I checked in, the woman at the desk was quite apologetic for having to collect such a hefty amount from me.) 

Don't you just love productive days?  
So far this morning I've raked up a can-load from the jungle, showered, been to the insurance office and paid the premiums for all 4 vehicles (my car was actually due yesterday, the other 3 tomorrow) for the next six months, deposited a check at the bank, filled up my car with gas, and made a 'quick' stop at the grocery store.  It practically took an Act of Congress to find the capers (and we all know how long it takes for Congress to accomplish anything!)

While raking this morning I noticed that during this past irrigation the water did not get up onto the small patio outside the master bedroom, proving that the yard did not get the usual amount of water.  So while I was off running all my errands, Tom strung together several of the pool implements (no alligators were handy) and cleaned out the underground pipe between the Back 40 and the backyard.  Apparently it was pretty clogged  (which may explain why we haven't been getting the full complement of water into the yard, while the Back 40 and central ditch threaten to overflow.)

At least there were no dead cats in there this time....
Yesterday we went to see the new Star Trek pre-quel movie (in the IMAX format.)  It was entertaining, but (spoiler alert?) despite some cliffhanger scenes, all the main characters survive. LOL

What impressed me the most were the actors who portrayed Kirk, Spock, and the other main characters as young people 'before' the TV show.  Not only did all (but one) look like pre-incarnations, but they also sounded like them, and used the same mannerisms.  Effective!

In the Small Disappointments category:
Right before I was diagnosed (about 18 months ago), I had bought a pair of shoes for teaching.
They never made it out of the box until I took them with me to France a month ago, where they turned out to be extremely comfortable.  (We all know that's not always the case... shoes that feel fine in the store for a couple of minutes can betray our feet when worn in the real world for longer periods.)
With my back problems, I need FLAT shoes, and you'd be surprised at how many 'flats' actually have a bit of a heel.  (My back can certainly tell!)  Finding flat comfortable shoes is not always easy, and one reason I wear flip-flops so much.  And speaking of flip-flops - when we were at the mall on Saturday, we checked out a store that sold nothing but flip-flops.  Given how they are worn here year-round I guess that's not so surprising.... but (very) high heel flip flops?! $60 flip-flops?  Unbelievable!!!  And no, I am not talking sandals here.

Anyway, back to the shoes.  I wanted to get additional ones in whatever other colors were available, but a search online of Skechers revealed that this shoe is not available.  <sigh>
I will try calling, and possibly there are some tucked away somewhere.  Can't hurt to call, right?

I have been sending off pix to some of the other folks on my trip; yesterday I got some from Nancy before I had a chance to send her hers. She mentioned that her pix for Leo had bounced back, and I said I'd had the same problem with pix for Liz.  (Luckily, her daughter Betsy was able to forward them for me.)  The strange thing is that when I heard back from Liz, it was the same e-mail address I had used.  (Okay, maybe not so strange when we're talking about computers!)

Liz lives down in Green Valley, so we're hopeful that we can get together 'one of these days'.  Here are Liz, Annie, and Betsy topside; the one day we sailed it was really blustery and cold... can you tell?