Saturday, June 23, 2012


              Here they come! 
 Birthday season is upon the family!

     2 in June, 3 in August, 4 in September, plus 3 anniversaries.  
     Thankfully,we can take a breather after that until November.
           Do you have traditions you celebrate for birthdays in your home?
    The one tradition that we have is to sing the 2nd verse of Happy Birthday. It goes ~~~~~~
          " May the dear Lord bless you, May the dear Lord bless you ,
May He bless you and keep you, May the dear Lord bless you."
  The grandchildren know many different ways to sing happy birthday. So we let them sing the song their way, and when they are done, then we sing the second verse.
That is the one thing we are consistent with. As far as the birthday food, for the kids, it's cupcakes and ice cream, the adults have cake with ice cream or/and pie for the ones who don't like cake.
    We have had birthday parties at the beach, it's a different and fun thing to do. That is when we buy the birthday cake or pie. Who wants to bake  when you can be at the ocean?  One year we celebrated our youngest son's birthday in Colorado. That was a once in a lifetime birthday. We were way up in the Rockie Mountains, above tree level, and on one side it was bright and sunny, but if you walked a couple of feet, you were in the snow, and able to make and throw snowballs.
    We had a cookout on the sunny side and a snowball battle on the other side without having to do anything but walk a few feet. It was awesome.

     Our birthday party's are held with a dinner for the family and guests, then the singing and then opening the gifts. The grand kids are so excited that we get excited. They are so appreciative of what ever they receive, and it warms my heart to see they don't take any of it for granted. They give warm hugs with kisses and always say heartfelt thank yous to their friends.
   What makes me feel bad is that some of their uncles or aunts are not their to celebrate in the fun.  And they should be, they should know that the kids love having them there.The kids always ask if they are coming, and they are let down whenever they hear - no, they won't be here.
     I can't control what my sons do. But I can't understand it, because we always made a big deal out of their birthdays when they were growing up. At their birthday parties, their aunts and uncles were there for them along with the grandparents. I don't know why that didn't stick with them and for them to realize it would mean so much to everyone if they came.
It's a sore spot in my side that I have to live with. It's like they don't have time for us.
       I see so many traditions not held, because today life is to fast paced. No one takes the time to do family things like they use to. Even though I try to carry it on, but sometimes that does not carry much merit. Then later you find out that for other things, they had time to go here or there, they found the time to do that but not time for family. 
     What's it like in your house? Please share your traditions if you have them, and if you don't just tell how you celebrate.


Yes, this is anothe part of Writing My Life Story. I have to say it like it is, who knows maybe it will make a difference in some one else's family.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


      Are you a writer?  If you are, do you write for pleasure or professionally?
I like to think of  myself as a writer. I write for pleasure and I write family memoirs so our grandchildren and theirs will know a little bit about their family  history.
    I wish someone on my parents side would of have done that. There are so many questions I have that will never be answered, because there is no one left to ask.  We are blessed to have my mother's brother and I believe his one son has been writing the history of our family. BUT - the information is not shared.
     Because of that, years ago I asked my mother-in-law to write down her family's history so our future generations will be able to read what life was like in the 20th century and the 21st. She is an artistic person and her words flow on paper. I think she is up to the year 1986. Yep, she still has a lot of writing ahead of her, She is such a spry 92-1`/2  yr. old.
     I am a novice writer, I know what I lack in writing, dialog, and using correct punctuation. At one time that was a huge deterrent, but no longer.
 I am just interested in writing everything I can about the history of our family's. I have a long way to go.
    I have written a lot about "ME", and I have voiced my opinion on different subjects. Now, well now, I am working hard at writing about my mother. It's sad for me to know that I don't know much about her childhood or teenage years. I know bits and pieces, and that is what I am trying to put together. Once I get past that part, then it will be easier, because I know what happened during that rest of her life. When I'm done, I will start to write about my dad, which will be just a little bit, but not much easier, for me to write.
    I had the rest of the blogs I wrote put into book form. It's filled with the second round of my blogs. Believe me when I say there are a million mistakes, but I hope those reading it will read it for the stories printed and not to find mistakes.

    This is a picture of my Dad, Mom and myself. Look at how pretty my mom is and the size of her waist! Look at how handsome my dad is, I was flower girl in my Aunt Carm's wedding. My mom saved my dress for all these years and now I have it, The one thing that stands out to this day about their wedding, is that someone slammed the car door on my finger and I screamed and cried. I do remember it hurt so bad.

    Have you noticed? How hot and humid it is way too early in the season. Actually, it became hot in the later part of spring.
   What's in store for the remaining of the summer? Considering this is the first day of summer, it is any one's guess.
    It is not in my best interest or anyone like me to be out in the sun even for swimming. My immune system is not the best and I'm for some reason not allowed to be in the hot sun.
    I like the mornings, it is still cool enough to sit outside drinking your morning coffee, to water the plants and throw bread out to the birds. My husband wants me to stop that, because he says it entices other animals. I keep forgetting to buy bird food though ,so therefore the bread., Shh, don't tell him, it's our secret!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


How wonderful it is to be able to hear, I loved to lay in bed and listen to the train whistle at night that was miles down the hill. It sounded like it was only a few blocks away. I enjoyed also hearing the birds chirping and hear them call to each other with their beautiful sounding chirp.  
    About 5 years ago my hearing was not as acute, but I didn't realize the fact. I thought nothing of it. Denial? no - Naive? - yes.
    Once in awhile people have to be hit over the head with a baseball bat before realizing there's a problem. I was one of those people. I had to be told that I was hard of hearing before I realized the fact.
    A library is usually a very quiet place where people come to study, to do research or pick out books, video's, what have you. The library where I work is not a "hush, hush" library. It truly is a fun place to work, and I look forward to going to my job there. Until I realized that I had to keep asking people to repeat themselves, or to speak louder over the phone.
    I thought that the patrons were the ones talking softly, it didn't dawn on me that they were talking in their normal tone of voice and not whispering. At some of my programs I noticed that I could not hear what they were saying, but I thought they were  just talking softly. but then I realized everyone else was participating in the conversation except for me. I tried to fake myself through the program and kept nodding my head and smiling. Very relieved when the program ended. "whats happening to me? why can't I  hear what people are telling me"?
        Oh. I was Embarrassed, Dismayed, & Shocked. How could this be? " I'm not hard of hearing" I thought to myself. Then I remembered that at  home I was told repeatedly that I had the radio or television on to loud, not just by my husband, but also by my sons. And I didn't take them seriously!
        It was progressively going downhill, I had to ask what was being said on television, Ron was patient at first, but then started to get annoyed because I was asking all of the time, At work someone would call me and I wouldn't hear them. and then when I answered the phone I could barely hear unless I turned the volume way up.
     So, another doctor's appointment, this time to a hearing specialist. He is a very nice man and took a lot of time with me. For testing,I was put into a small room with the door closed. He then played sounds. Low, medium and loud and I was to press a button every time I head a sound. I failed miserably on the first two and barely passed the last one. The second part of the test consisted of him saying words and for me to tell him what the word was. Again, I didn't pass the test. I flunked the whole dang thing. Oh I could hear, but just barely and only if I was on top of a person, The last part of the test was when he put hearing aids in my ears and put me back into the little room. That time I passed with flying colors. Seems like I need to wear hearing aids. Really?
       This was not an easy decision to make, even though I needed them, they were not cheap. I just didn't need one, but I needed them for both ears. The cost ~~``~~~~~ a staggering $5,000 dollars!!!! Needless to say we did not have that kind of money. Ron's company had gone under because the owner was a fraud, that meant we did not have health insurance. I was finishing cancer treatments so we had to have Cobra Insurance in order for me to be treated - not cheap, not cheap at all.
       Bless my husband, he said that I was going to get them. What a guy!
 They were hard to get use to wearing but I could hear, not only could I hear but I could hear every ripple of paper being picked up, I heard the static that played along with the music on the radio, if there was a sound I heard it.
Not asking what they were saying on the television was heavenly.
        This went on for about a year before I started to have a problems hearing again. I would go for check ups and they computerize them, but a few months later I would have to go back again, and that's how it has been going ever since. They repair and I go back - -I don't know if it is because my hearing is getting worse or if the hearing aids are worn out.
He doesn't say that I need another pair, every time I am there, he just keeps hooking them up to the trusty computer, I guess the computer is to do its magic, but I think the magic has worn out along with my ears.
     We can't afford to purchase another set anyhow, I find myself lip reading, and it drives me insane when someone is talking and has their hands covering their mouth, or if they are talking to me and their head is turned away from me.
       No, I can't hear the train whistle any more, I still can hear the birds because we sleep with out window open, I can here them sitting on the patio also because they are right there. I'm back to driving my husband crazy again by asking him what they said on television, so usually I just get on the laptop where I can read things and not bother him, If there is a program on I really want to listen to, the volume is up to 40!
        I thought my son who plays the drums would be the one with trouble hearing, but he is the one that tells me I have things on to loud!
        I know it's hard not to take things for granted that we have had all of our life without problems, but when it is taken away from you, then you realize how wonderful it was to hear with out any problems. I'm pretty sure I speak for all people with hearing problems.
        So if you call to me when you see me down street or at the store and my back is towards you, you will understand when I don't turn around.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


    Today I called my oldest granddaughter, I asked her what she was doing and she said " I'm working on crocheting a blanket that MeMaw with brown hair gave me." 
   She and her sisters are blessed to have three MeMaws and they all are loved very much by all three of us.
   They had just come home from spending the weekend with their MeMaw with brown hair. And then their is MeMaw from the sunny state- -  - and then there is me- MeMaw with yellow hair. yep- you read right -yellow hair (lol)
    But anyhow, I was happy for her and asked her if she could show me how to do it on Sunday when they come over and she said yes.
    After we hung up I got to thinking, her one MeMaw is good at crafts and able to take them to garage sales and swimming, the other MeMaw lives in a sunny state and has a big pool and  good at crafts also, plus they go there for two weeks in the summer and love it.
   Anyone that knows me knows that I am terrible at crafts, hate crafts and have a hard time doing it.
     But what do I do for them? Not anything really, we go to most of their soft ball games, I babysit when asked .but it is usually the little one. I don't spend quality time with any of them except the little one.
    So I was wondering what they would remember about me when I was gone, and I felt down because I can't think of anything special I do with them. 

    I have three other grandchildren who I hardly spend any time with  and they hardly ever stay over night. They are very involved with their friends and are always doing something with them.
  Anyhow, I admire these women who are able to spend quality time to do this and that with them.
  Does it make me feel better to know that I am close to ten years older then they are? No, it does not. But, I remember when I was their age I could do so much more then I can now.  Today would I be able to take all of them swimming, if it was all flat walking and not far, yes I could, walk around garage sales, - I have trouble walking period so the answer is no, nada.
    I could play cards and checkers with them but doubt if any of them would find that fun.
    I e-mailed my feelings to a good friend of mine and she sent me the following answer. She said I could use this as long as I did not use her name. I loved how she wrote this and it's to good not to share. 

Dear Dee,

    Grandmas come in all shapes, sizes and ages. My paternal grandmother was from Bohemia/Czechoslovakia. She "babysat" us kids when we were growing up. She lived a few blocks away from where we lived in Chicago. She walked to our house almost every day and even lived with us a short time...but I never really knew her. I always had the impression she didn't like us kids much. She never talked to us. I didn't even know she could speak English until several years ago when I asked my mom. How sad that grandma didn't reach out to us in some way...even if it was to tell us stories about the "Old Country" and her childhood. She passed away when she was 78 and I was 12. At age 12 I could have communicated with her but didn't. I was always afraid of her. She never hurt us but she didn't know how to reach out to us and so we kept our distance. I don't remember her ever telling me she loved me...I'm sure she didn't. I don't think the word was in her vocabulary.
   My maternal grandmother on the other hand, lived in Wis and we saw her maybe once a year and some years not at all. We loved her with abundance. She was old and poor but raised chickens and rabbits. When we went to visit she let us pet the bunnies, help feed the chickens and rabbits; we helped in the garden. She showed us newborn bunnies and newly hatched chicks or doves. I learned so much from that grandma and have so many good memories even tho she was old and couldn't play with us.

    You'll find a will find something, some way to make each of them feel your love and pride in them...and that's what is really important and what they will remember. 
     (Although another memory I have of my beloved maternal grandmother was that of her chopping off the head of a chicken which was to become Sunday dinner. The chicken's head lay on the ground, eyes blinking while the body still kind of flopped around. Then there was the smell of the wet feather when grandma poured boiling water on the bird to remove the feathers. That is a smell you never forget.)

    Well, I don't have bunnies, chickens or newly hatched anything, I do have a cat who they all hate and are afraid of, that doesn't add up to any points (lol). And anyone who knows me, knows that I am terrible at crafts, hate crafts and have a hard time doing it.
    My friend did offer a suggestion that I think I will try, only if the kids and that is all 7 of them would like to do it.  And that is to do a Scrapbook,  I would like to have them, one or two at a time over to make a Scrapbook, some of them already have one or have one started, but what the heck they can always do another one--
   By the way, I told my husband how I felt and he said I will be remembered for giving them money. Men!
     If anyone who reads this has any other ideas I would appreciate hearing from you.


The news of Robin Roberts diagnoses was a blow. She is my hero, I admired how she was doing everything right, following doctors orders to the T, always cheerful and then this.
She will fight and I feel win this battle because she is young and relatively healthy except for the blood disease.

I am a 5 year, 7 month survivor of Triple Negative Invasive Breast Cancer. I had Chemo and Radiation treatments. I see my oncologists twice a year, one time with the Chemo doctor and another with the surgeon. Who scares me the most? The surgeon, because he does the mammograms and the waiting for the results are nerve racking even though I get them before I leave.  My original Chemo doctor left to go to Texas to do research. I trusted him with my life, and now I will meet another one this Thursday for my appointment. I hope I connect with him like I did Dr. Geyer, as long as he is through that's all I hope for.
With Triple Negative Cancer there is no pill to take for five years when your done with treatment, no safety net to
catch you. You have to be the one to take care of you - - -diet exercise and so forth.
   In the past 5 years I have been diagnosed with Atrial Fib, Low Heart Rate and Pre-Cancerous cells in the reproduction area. I had a radical hysterectomy, I have a pace maker, I have to take a blood thinner and have my blood checked regularly. And I am on heart medication. My energy level leaves a lot to be desired and my walking is slow, not even normal, but slow.
   I truly believe all of these were caused by the Chemo & Radiation. The Chemo is a poison that kills the bad and also destroys the good. The radiation affected my heart and who knows what else. - - - BUT - if I didn't get treatment what would have  been the alternative? Something I'm not ready for.

I go to my PCP every 3 months, all he does is check my heart, asks how I'm doing and sends me on my way. Whenever I bring something up that is bothering me, he either says it arthritis or its caused by my weight. I have seen larger people then myself able to walk normal and I feel I should be able to. I go to the gym 3x's a week and work on my legs but even that does not make it easier. He doesn't even read my chart before seeing me, cause when I do ask him something he acts like he doesn't remember that. I would love to find a doctor who would be interested in my health and not be so busy that he can't.
I see my heart doctor twice a year. he checks my pace maker and asks if I have any questions, which I usually don't and sends me on my way.
The drugs I took were Taxatatore and Dioxin - they caused my white blood cells to crash down to zero and I was put in sterile room until they could build the white cells up again.

You can never feel safe once you have had cancer, you pray and take one day at a time and try to make the most of it. 
 I have just tentatively start planning in advance, months in advance and that scares me, but I'm doing it, even thinking about next years vacation, which I have never ever thought so far ahead because I would not let myself.

I pray that Robin doesn't have a tough long road to hoe and her recovery will be quick.

Cancer's lifetime commitmentBY KATHY LATOUR | JUNE 11, 2012

By now the cancer community has heard about ABC news reporter Robin Roberts' diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome, a pre-leukemia condition that will require a bone marrow transplant -- and is most probably a late effect of her treatment for breast cancer five years ago.

It is a reminder to all of us that finishing treatment does not mean cancer is over. What it means is that we have to shift our thinking about the way we view our health care to add treatment for cancer as a possible risk factor for other health concerns for our future. When we have cancer we have to watch for second cancers, cardiac issues, fertility concerns, and many other late effects of the drugs and other treatments we undergo. And part of the challenge is that we will each face physical concerns that may or may not be connected. After breast cancer at 30, my friend Diane battled hormonal issues for more than a decade until she finally had a complete hysterectomy. She was the first in her family to have such problems. Were they connected to her treatment? I developed bilateral neuropathy in my feet more than a decade after treatment ended. Was treatment related when I didn't have any of the taxanes?

I am in the middle of doing a feature on the late effects of treatment for the adolescent and young adult population, which is ages 15 to 39. This age group is in a particularly difficult place because they are mobile and often don't have health insurance. They are also trying to become adults, and a cancer diagnosis may be emotionally as well as physically crippling.

We all want to leave cancer behind when treatment is over. We want to get on with our lives and forget those awful months of treatment. But the reality is, as we have begun to live longer, the late effects of the drugs they have developed to keep us alive have come to light, and some are serious. If your oncologist didn't tell you what those late effects could be, find out. Do your own survivorship care plan. There are a number listed at the ACS site. Tell your primary care physician and, together, research your risk for cardiac issues, second cancers or other concerns from treatment you may have had. Know what kind of monitoring you need and don't put it off.

Trying to leave cancer behind and pretending it never happened can have some serious consequences.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Flowers and Vegetables

 I love to plant vegetables and flowers, what I don't like is taking care of them. I find myself procrastinating in something that I did so easily - watering with the hose.
    You would think it would be so easy for me to water, but alas, it's not. First there is the hose to contend with and its not a ordinary hose. It's the kind that is all curly cue and it is not in a very appropriate place. It's smack dab in the middle of our patio.
    In order for me to water, I have to move chairs, pull the hose off the hose rack (if you want to call it that, it's an old tire rim that I hate) and make sure the hose don't kink up and stop the water flow.
    I do pretty good at first, but then I forget myself and start going further in the yard to reach the far off plants and that's when it happens, the water flow stops. Now comes the frustrating part, I have to find out where the hose is kinked. It's a pretty long hose so it takes a while to find it. When I find it I smooth the kink out very carefully and gently carry the rest of the hose out to the middle of the yard instead of stretching it. I have to aim high for the water to reach the far away plants. It's a pain in the arse.
    Then there are the ferns on the front porch, they not only have to be watered but you have to spray the leaves with water. It does take a little bit of time, but it is so much easier then working with a curly cue hose that kinks up on you, It's really a bad day when it happens more then once, you just want to get that hose and twist it, but you can't even let your frustration out that way, why? -because it's already twisted!
     I am anxiously awaiting my peppers, cherry tomatoes, cukes, and one other - I forget what it is :-) My Basil is wonderful, such a wonderful smell.
My son planted my lilies, he planted them so close together that they are choking each other and my butterfly flowers are waiting for more potting soil. So I still have my work cut out for me,
    And then there is my 92 year old mother-in-law that hoes her own garden, weeds and spades it along with doing a million other things. Yep, thats what makes me feel like a loser, she can do all of that plus more and I can't even keep a kink out of a hose . . . . . . .

Dee's shared items


This time of year makes me think of all of those things I have to be thankful for - - - -
my husband
my children
my grandchildren
my health
my freedom
always thankful for friends made