Monday, June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021 Monday--11:30am

Good morning.

Well, I don't know what to say about this week.

Some sad stuff...and shocking stuff.

But the world keeps spinning... 

...and cats keep snoozing.
The yellow-headed blackbirds returned.
The skies kept promising rain but we saw little of it.
The partridge family returned 2-3 times a day.
They survived the Monday mowing at the apartment across the way and the Wednesday mowing at my building.
Annie has been thrilled to watch her CatTV...
...which is mostly grackles, yellow-headed blackbirds, orange-wing blackbirds, and a bunch of small birds I just call the sparrows because even if I can tell some apart I don't know the names.
Wednesday I had my CT scan and it went easier and quicker than I had thought it would.
Through the course of Thursday and Friday I found out I have a cancerous tumor in my bladder, a lesion of some kind on my liver, and a nodule in a lung.  Dr. Kessler thinks the lung thing might be scarring from years ago when I smoked or when I got psittacosis in the 90s.  She is guessing the liver lesion is not related to the cancer, but they need to know more.  So I have an MRI scheduled for Friday the 16th of July and then an appointment with a specialist (urologist) on Monday the 19th.  Then we'll know more and decisions will be made on what to do.

When you were expecting to hear about stones it was a bit shocking to hear cancer.  And they know the tumor isn't benign because there were cancer cells in my urine sample.  Kessler had asked them to check just to be sure.  It's obviously the slow growing kind or I would be in awful shape by now since the first time I had blood in my urine was a year ago when the walk-in clinic doctors told me it was a UTI and sent me home with antibiotics...twice.  So--very likely slow growing--and that's a good thing.

Meanwhile Leah came over Thursday night (our Craft Nite)--watered my plants for me and cooked me up some food I could nuke since I was kind of numb absorbing the new knowledge.  We ordered up some better quality bird seed from Fleet Farm.  I've been buying the cheapest kind I could get and they leave a lot of the milo seed right in the grass and won't eat it.  They will eat it in the winter when they are desperate, but in the summer they can be pickier.  I was loving seeing the family with the 7 or 8 babies several times a day.  (Hard to count them because the babies sink into the grass and disappear--lol!)
Dagan came by on Friday.  We talked about the cancer thing, too.  I had adjusted a lot by then.  He took out my trash for me.  Phone calls were coming for making appointments and from Dr. Kessler's nurse and then Dr. Kessler. 
The lone unattached partridge was brave enough to come up on the patio--behind the new scary planters--and look right in my patio door--lol!  Caught her calmly leaving.
I took pictures of the planters now after a couple of weeks.
They've all taken hold.
I'm loving all the color!

The purple flowers that I've not had before and can't remember the name of...
...are really blooming like crazy!
Then...the sad thing on Thursday.
Only two babies left!  
Here they had survived the huge riding mowers only to have something kill off half a dozen of them.  

Then on Friday night I didn't see the babies following them when the parents were eating so I thought maybe there weren't any left at all.  The parents looked scruffed up and stressed.

But on Saturday--one baby!  
There was one baby left!  
I was thrilled to see it.
But by Sunday...none.
The parents look like they had tried valiantly to save their last baby.
Disheveled and starving.  Not their normal sleek selves... 
...and they weren't chasing all the other birds away as they ate to protect any babies anymore.
Then, just to top off a disconcerting our weekly newsletter from the office they said no candles allowed in our apartments.  Maybe somebody started a fire?  I've been burning candles--especially in the winter--ever since I moved here.  I only use candles in jars or votive candles in holders.  I suppose that is a first world annoyance and a small thing, comparatively--lol!  But it is still annoying.

So, it was quite a week.

A lot to think about.

I always go through the worst case scenario right off the bat...which I did, of course.  I am not afraid of dying and have always lived reminding myself that this day could be your last.  So I have always tried to be the best human I could manage to be and to take all decisons, large and small, seriously so I wouldn't have regrets later.  I have tried to truly own and learn from my many mistakes, even if it has sometimes taken me years and I still have much to learn.  Honestly, I am always ready to go.  

Leah knows where almost everything is in my home and she and the boys and Dagan would be able to choose what they want to keep, get rid of, donate, or sell...and have tons of art and craft supplies to pick from.  They know I won't care if they get rid of things that are only treasures to me and not them--LOL!  [Like it went through my mind and made me laugh..."Oh, no! When I've just stockpiled on writng paper, stationery, envelopes, pens and inks enough to last me years!"  LOL!  I do have a dark and quite ironic sense of humor, folks.] 

I would greatly miss McFamily and not seeing the boys grow into men...but I also know they they are a strong family I am so proud of and they would be fine.  I never even thought I would have grandkids...and even shy Liam runs to hug me now so might retain some vague positive memories.

That was it--worse case scenario.  Faced.  Closely examined.  And I am okay with it.  Do not plan to leave and do not look forward to additonal pain (inevitable to some degree or another)...but, deep down, I'm always ready to go.  Life is random and chaotic...precious and holy.  I will just treasure all the good things--as I've always tried to do.  So then I can just basically file that away and deal with it when the time comes--whenever it comes.  (Hopefully when I'm in my 90s.)

That is how I have always dealt with life and with crises when they come up.  Like when Dagan was a baby and they told me he would likely die--soon...I did the same thing.  I went through worst case scenario with open eyes--and then I moved that to the back burner and focused on today.  Plenty of time to deal with bad stuff when it gets here, right?  Appreciate well today...and think positive.  I think of myself as a realistic optimist. 

And Dagan is a 47 year old daddy with a good computer job and a wife I adore.  One never knows how their own random chaotic life will go.  But what a gift.

Don't worry. I am doing okay.  More nervous about making the actual appointments due to my other health issues.  I'm glad an MRI is also non-invasive--that's a big plus in my book.  I have a follow-up CTScan on my lung in September to see if the lung thingie has grown at all.  Unless bladder cancer has spread elsewhere in the body the chances are really good you will survive it.  We'll know more later in July.

Meanwhile, I'm feeding the birds the new seed Leah dropped off and they are loving it!  Even got some dried up mealworms for them--LOL!  Been able to have the patio door open for the better part of the day recently so Annie and I are glad to watch and hear the birds scrapping over the new seed.  (I realy do miss the babies, though.)  Been binge-watching Wire In The Blood.  Quite dark, but fascinating.  My right thumb has been bad.  Hands are generally painful, but the thumb can get shooting pains.  So far, hasn't been too bad today for typing this--whoohoo!  I thought I'd be working on this all day long with many breaks and it's only been three hours.  Nice!  

Funny how when some body part/parts get better others get worse.  Back has been better and hands are worse.  Kind of shifts about. 

Warning--lol!  Don't be surprised if I wax philosophically about life here and there for a bit.  Welcome any conversation or comments on how you deal with big, unexpected shifts.  So many of us have lost jobs, homes, marriages, loved ones...suffered that random chaos on our pathes.  Do you feel you are basically ready to go right now?  Or does the thought terrify you?  Have you ever had a near death experience?  How about an out of body experience?  Do you have big things you feel you need to deal with or fix yet?  Everyone is so different.  Death is harder on the people left behind, I think.  Especially when it is sudden.  It is harder for many of us to see people we love suffering than ourselves, don't you think?

So many big things can happen to us.  Do you look at worse case scenarios with your heart and eyes wide you pick the quickest alternative for a solution...or are you one who wants to close your eyes and hope it goes away?  I think we all have felt a great affinity to the ostrich at times--LOL!  (Not sure where that saying came from because they run like hell.)  We are as unique as snowflakes, aren't we.

Anyways, life is good.  I am free of appointments until the eyedoctor on Friday...when we check the progress of my wonky eye--LOL!  I shall have a good week.  Make yours a really good week, too.  Till next time...  

[Ran across the quote for today this week.  
Could use this as a mantra right now--LOL!]  

"When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind."
African proverb

Monday, June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021 Monday--10:45am

Good morning!

This is my sole contribution to photos this week...and I just took this--LOL!  Love the light behind the big clouds.

I progressed last week to a whole-hands-vacation.  Middle knuckles and thumbs--both hands.  :(  New to have left knuckle and left thumb now recently.  Therefore, wasn't commenting as much this week on blogs or writing much on letters, but I was reading both.  ;)  

Meanwhile, I watched seasons 9 and 10 of Vera on BritBox--which I just love!  Started Wire In The Blood on Acorn TV--really enjoying.  Man!  I am deeply grateful that there are so many excellent shows to watch when I am not very functional.  It's bloody marvelous! 

Tuesday Dagan stopped after work and he took my trash out for me.  We had a nice visit.

Wednesday.  They have lost so many employees over the pandemic that my second cleaning girl fell through, so Katie herself (Caroline's former boss) said she'd come to clean temporarily for me.  I told her once a month would be wonderful (instead of the every two weeks I'm allowed by the county)--till they get someone.  Had been over a year since Caroline came to clean--so no matter how clean you try to be dirt and dust builds up--and cat hair...would those be cat bunnies?  LOL!  Katie spent the two hours (alloted time) just scrubbing the pantry/kitchen/bathroom floors by hand and the shower and toilet.  Very thorough and did an excellent job.  She'll be back middle of next month.  Greatly, greatly appreciated!!!

Thursday night Leah came for a craft night, but we didn't do any crafts.  She helped me with some things and made dinner for us.  I had gotten the message from Elliot about which tinctures and supplements help with Bartonella--so we ordered those to try, too.  Nothing to lose right?

But adding the potassium citrate this past week and having the new joint problems and being extra creaky and hurting--well, yesterday I decided to drop adding that for now.  Could be a coinicidence, but who knows?  I am not in a rush to add supplements and that is why.  Gives me time to wait and see, you know?  I've been dealing with this "incurable" disease stuff for over 20 years so I don't expect things to shift overnight--LOL!

Saturday Leah and Liam dropped off a small Cashwise order.  Liam wanted to come with so he could see Gramma and gave me a big hug!  

Sunday was Gramma Day with Ian!  He worked on his mandala all afternoon.  We had to turn it into what we called a "postcard" because it ended up too large for me to make a card base.  Ian added to his design, Gramma erased the pencil lines, and Ian used Gramma's watercolor brush markers to color it.  Couldn't find his--but eventually I did when I went searching in his bookcase again--under some other supplies.  He was excellent with my WC markers though.  Can tell how much he's grown up by how careful he was with them.

After dinner he went home to bring Daddy his card (pictures to follow from Leah).

Leah sent me pictures so I could see all the pots she had planted around the house and how they finished off the deck and patio...and there was a surprise!

I'm looking through the pictures...

Of all the many trees they planted last year only this one looks like it didn't make it through the harsh winter.
The new pots in front of their garage.
I got to see where the plants she bought at Baker Nursery all ended up.
Pot by the front door.
I think she had to go to another place to get more plants she wanted.  It had been warmer earlier and a lot of people had been buying up plants early so you couldn't necessarily find everything you wanted.
I got everything I wanted...
...but then I get pretty ordinary plants--LOL!
This white one really caught our eye!
Something called Angel Wings.
It's all velvety and soft.
Those of you who have known me for quite a while would have heard about Dagan getting his "angel wings" (a patch) put inside his heart to close a hole via a catherization procedure when he was about 19.  It was something brand new at the time and we had to sign a waiver of rights to have it done at the University of Minnesota Hospital. After the surgery he was able to walk again...had more oxygen to breathe!  No more wheelchair!  (One of the times we almost lost him.)

Angel Wings.  :)

The doctor in Minnesota who invented that procedure sold the rights and they don't call it angel wings anymore.  Commonplace now to close holes with a patch via a catherization vs. open heart surgery...but Dagan was on the medical forefront back then.  

Anyways, I digress.  They sealed the patio...and were able to start bringing the patio furniture, etc, back out of the middle of the backyard.  :)
But then I noticed this picture?? 
The boys on a ladder on the deck and what was that behind them?
Patio put back together.  Can see it was after the needed rain we got...and what's that up on the deck??!!
OMG!  Look at this!
A beautiful new canopy!  
I had no idea!  Was a total surprise to me!  Leah did that on purpose--LOL!  Will be perfect for Ian's birthday party on Sunday.  

Leah also sent this pic of ripply clouds.  So cool!  I do love clouds.
Then here's Ian with his mandala Father's Day postcard...wearing GreatGrandma's red beaded necklace.
He made me close my eyes when he was here...took the necklace off and formed it into a heart on my big brown chair.  :)
Ian cut around the mandala and used a glue stick to put it on the front.
He's never used a highlighter to color with before.  Gramma's idea--LOL!
He was pretty tired by the time he was finishing up so he asked me to print out what he said and then he finished it.  (I think Ian is a natural for stream of consciousness writing--lol!)

So that has been my week--but while I was working on this blog post something really exciting happened!

I kept hearing clucking from a partridge or two.  Looked out the patio door and saw parents and tiny babies!!

I was so shocked that the parents had moved to the side before I got the cell phone out to take a picture.  You can click on these to enlarge them, I think, so you can see them better.  Sorry if they aren't the clearest pics, but at least I got some.
I have never seen partridge babies so very tiny!  The parents usually don't bring them around until they are half grown and good at flying away--and even that is a rarity.  This pair must have actually nested someplace closeby.  These look newly hatched.

They all went off to the left side and it got very quiet.  I haven't been putting out seed and felt terrible that they brought their babies here thinking they would find some!  (Haven't seen the ground squirrel all week, either, BTW.)  I got the little bit of seed left inside here and quietly went out and dumped some on the grass.  The babies were all right in front of that planter and hunkered down into the grass  frozen still...while the parents ran into the middle of the yard and waited till I went inside.  I noticed they didn't call to the babies, though.  Smart.  

Since they have seen me before and weren't going to fly away from their babies it didn't take long for them to scoot over to gobble down some food.  I had to try to sneak pictures from back in the kitchen as they were quite jumpy and protective.
The babies had been frightened by me pouring seed so close to them, I think, so I never saw one tiny fluffy body as the parents ate.  But then Mr. and Mrs. wanted to take them away from my patio.  They walked toward the sidewalk and called and clucked to them--but they wouldn't move, I guess.  So they both came back and forth and called to them till they started to follow.  Maybe really are newly hatched and don't know the follow mom and dad routine very well yet.
Just getting all the little ones across the sidewalk was an exercise in patience for them. 
But they are good parents and waited and clucked to them...
...until one by one...
...they had all made it across the sidewalk.  They would get scared and hunker down--in the middle of the cement walking path.  They seemed to know they blended in with the dead grass color on the edge of the sidewalk, though--LOL!
There are so many dogs walked here.  Most people are good about keeping them on a leash as is the law, but a few aren't.  I pray no dog notices them and those little ones learn how to race across a sidewalk or parking lot.  I'm sure they'll pick up on the partridge baby rules quickly enough.
Anyways--so exciting!!  I do hope I will see them again.  Dagan was coming by after work to bring out trash for me again...and I asked him if he'd go out and get the last of the bird seed from the garage, too.  Sure!  :) :)  

That really made my day!!
I am so grateful for my life--every single day!!
Till next week...

"It isn't more light we need, it's putting into practice what light we already have.  When we do that, wonderful things will happen within our lives and within our world."
Peace Pilgrim