Monday, February 28, 2022

February 28, 2022 Monday--1pm

 Good afternoon!

I have a ton of pictures this week--mine and Leah's.  So grab a cuppa and off we go!

Monday and Tuesday


Can you even see the partridges...

...snuggled together on the side of the snowbank to try to protect themselves from the wind?
Even in the two blizzards we had in a row...well, especially during the blizzards...the birds come to eat at the Critter Cafe.
Even with their feathers blowing backwards and having to stand on one leg at a time to keep their feet warm.  Even when sometimes when the sparrows tried to take off and the wind was so strong they hovered in the air like hummingbirds and had to give up and land wherever the wind took them.
It was hard to get close up pics because my camera kept focusing on the snow whipping by.
But eventually the blizzards subsided and the sun came out again.
Happy birds, indeed.
Leah and Aaron were going to make a trip inside Costco but it was shoveling out day after the plows.  Me--I was nice and warm inside doing laundry.  Got everything put away, too!

Leah dropped off Costco groceries.  (That's where I get most of mine for the month.)
That night Leah was over for Craft Nite.  She took out my trash and made trips to the garage with the donation bags...all gone!...
...and the summer clothes bins.  Finally!  It is almost March--LOL!
I should have asked for help a couple months ago--duh!  I've learned my lesson and next time Leah is here we are going to tackle the studio together.  ;)

I had found a stack of pre-made signatures... one of my rust-colored rolling shelves (Ikea).
Bottom shelf on the left.  Here I thought those were all precut and folded cardstock pieces for cards.  Just goes to show you how long it has been since I have been on top of things around here.  Have done practically no crafting since I got so sick from the vaccines a year ago, to be honest.  And these are my "in progress and use every day" carts!  Sad.  This must change.  I know it won't be a rapid change, but this must change.  :)

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
I sorted through the scrapbook paper to find what I wanted to use for covers for all the pre-made signatures.  Since the new beautiful Ink Drop paper and the wonderful handmade papers are my favorites...I thought the first batch of bookcards should be these.  Sorry to my pen pals who thought they'd be getting some of the new stuff soon--LOL!  I am out of practice.  Been about five years or so since I have mass produced these so this batch will get me back in the groove.

I got set up watching shows on my laptop while I worked.  Watched Dexter:New Blood, second season of The Missing and Young Wallander.
If I had a couple of sheets of the same striped paper I would cut one horizontally and one vertically for variety.. 
Had quite a stack when I got done.
Next is folding them all in half like the ones on the right.  These are all regular size...half sheet (American measurements) that fit in our invitation size envelopes.
I now have started a scrap box that I can use for mixed media or cards, too.
I figured out that I don't ever really have extra spoons.  I just have some spoons most days now.  If I want to do crafts or art--well, I just can't do anything else--LOL!  But I am keeping up on my own (except for anything requiring stools or heavy lifting--due to legs still).  Leah isn't cooking for me anymore and only comes once a week--tada!  That is vastly improved from a couple months ago. 

Meanwhile it is melting and melting because we've been in the upper 20s for a few days.  The layers of snow are disappearing from my patio and all I can see now are sunflower shells and rabbit poop!  LOL!  
Once it is melted down I can sweep it up and put it in the trash...but it makes me want to splurge and get no mess seed next year, I tell you!  

Now--pics from Leah to share.  

I have been fascinated by the ice house/igloo the boys were making with Mama.
It was coming along and looked beautiful in the sunlight with the food coloring in the bricks.
Half the time it was too cold to be out there with the below zero wind chills.
What was really interesting is what happened to the ice bricks after being out for a while.
Sun?  Not sure--but all the color faded right out of them so that they were all just clear ice blocks!??  And then we had a warmer stretch back a while ago...and you can see the ice was melting.  :(
Melted the waiting ice blocks on the deck, too.
But then it got really cold again.  Don't you love this icicle and frozen puddle!
And what the heck happened to the ice blocks?  Surging up like mountain ranges from the ocean!
Does anyone know what would make them get all lumpy when they refroze?  Maybe the mysterious food coloring effect?  LOL!

Leah got pics of the blizzard from their place.
And a short video.
The winds were gusting at 50-60mph so there was a lot of drifting.

This was McFamily's front door!!

And it is even covered!  See how it managed to blast snow even on the backside of the porch light?!
But drifts are wind sculptures.  This is looking from their patio towards her garden beds--which you can't see right now but those are what the posts belong to--LOL!

The other way was a huge drift the boys just had to climb  in the neighbor's yard.
Seeing these pictures made me remember how excited us kids got when there were big snow drifts like this.  We made caves, too!
Ian and Liam had to carve a tunnel, of course, in this drift next to the side of their house.

I remember one winter when I was a kid in Fridley, Minnesota where we had a drift that made it up to the eves in the backyard (rambler--one story house).  Us three kids were delighted!

Anyways, today Leah is picking up Cashwise groceries and asked if I wanted a short visit with the boys, too.  Yes!  So they should be here any time.  I had best do a quick double-check and get this posted.  Till next week, my friends.  Have a good one.  :) :)

Monday, February 21, 2022

Februray 21, 2022 Monday--9:45am

Good morning!

Been cold and busy at the Critter Cafe.  In fact, today we are in the middle of another snowstorm that is supposed to last through tomorrow afternoon.  Nice day to be curled up inside under a throw and snuggling with your cat--LOL!

This past week...well, I think I do have a bit more energy/spoons the third week after infusion--but not for anything more physical that involves being on my wonky legs for very long.  Was a good week, though.  I'd find myself smiling for any excuse whatsoever or for no reason at all...just me and Annie.  A bit of positive news will do that for an optimist--LOL! 

My free covid home test kits arrived.  Haven't used one yet. 
I did drag out all my 12 X 12 scrapbooking paper to sort through for bookcard covers.
I haven't looked at the store-bought handmade paper (got on a great online sale about a decade ago)...well, since I moved here six years ago, I think.
These make beautiful bookcard covers, too!  I know because I have used them a couple of times before.
I went through the scrapbook papers to find any sheets that would work for covers.
Anything with stripes or small print will work.  The directional or framed type of sheets don't.  I saved out that top sheet because it is a self-adhesive vellum!  Need to use that for something, right?  So cool!
Going through these is like re-discovering what I have tucked away in the studio, you know?  I also had two odd sized (8 X 11.5--not our standard 8.5 X 11?) paper pads which will work for covers, too.
I got out a couple of my red (multi-purpose) trays from the studio so I could move this project around more easily.  Tray full of signatures and tray full of cover papers.  :)
R&R day.  Worked a lot on letters.

Leah dropped off some groceries from a Cashwise pickup order (she orders for me, Aaron, and McFamily).  Another quiet day working on letters.  Legs acting up.  Watched a mini-series called Winter on BritBox.  The Vivid paper pad arrived--that quickly!  I also ordered some botanical tissue paper for mixed media play.
Such beautiful pages!
Infusion day.  Luckily best day with my legs for several days so the resting them paid off.  :)  (Was almost afraid I'd need the wheelchair again--definitely good and bad days as far as that goes.) 

There was a ground blizzard that day...meaning very little or light snow but 50-60mph winds doing their best to push you off the road and shake the car while you sat at a stoplight.  You know it is bad weather when almost every single car on the road is actually driving cautiously--LOL!

Did the blood draw and we were headed back to the waiting room until the appointment with Dr. McCune...and Dr. Kobrossy was arriving.  He asked me happily, "Did you hear the good news?" 

"I sure did", I replied cheerfully as I broke eye contact and headed for the chairs.  He was smart enough to get the hint I didn't want to talk to him and kept going.  I'm sure he has heard by now that I don't want to see him anymore.  They have weekly group meetings about the various cancer patients and I have no doubt he has heard directly or indirectly by now.  I do think he is genuinely happy for me.  He has his good side and I do think he means well...but he is not the doctor for me.

At least now--thanks to Dr. McCune, we know why we can't book a standing appointment and why we have to wait for the blood results before I can have an infusion and then why we have to wait until the pharmacy delivers the Keytruda to the floor.  We thought all of that could be normal.  How would we know?  But it is all because of how close an eye they want to keep on my health for side effects.  There is no guarantee when I arrive that I will get an infusion done that day.  It is one infusion at a time.  We never knew that.

Dr. McCune was happy for me, of course, that the tumors had decreased.  He agreed that the third tumor is basically gone.  But he cautioned me that I need to pay attention for anything getting worse (as I already have had so many of the side effect symptoms for 20 years) or anything new popping up.  I had admitted to him what shape I have been in for decades and that I didn't even know when the neuropathy started because I was kind of starving to death at the time and thought the weakness, pain, tingling, and numbness might be from that or just the chemo so I ignored it--for weeks.  Until I was able to eat and drink again it was not high on the priority list, you know?  (Didn't even mention it to Leah for a long time.)  McCune had listened to me and, therefore, reminded me to pay attention.  

Said again how people can be sailing along on Keytruda and then kind of crash with side effects--and they can be serious/deadly.  The immune system can quite suddenly start attacking where it shouldn't be.  But--he added that some people never have any issues at all.  Was the least stressful visit I have had since June--LOL! 

BTW--Did get my next appointment set up for Friday afternoon with McCune in three weeks.  :)

Then we went to the infusion center to wait for the blood results (were okay) and then the Keytruda.  Leah and I like going in the afternoons for another reason--quieter--less packed.  I ask for a cubicle with two of the infusion chairs so Leah gets a comfortable lounger, too, when it's not so busy.  

Then there's David.  I've had him several times as my infusion nurse.  It's kind of obvious he really likes Kobrossy.  He's nice to me, but his attitude has shifted a little bit since I have "turned on" Kobrossy.  (I'm sure David thinks of it that way.) David's put in a good word for him a couple of times--telling me how upset Kobrossy was that I got so bad on the chemo, for example.  I feel badly for David because he doesn't know the whole story.  I'm sure no part time doctor is going to repeat some of the information that Leah and I told him at the meetings.  David treats me with kind of solicitous kid gloves...that kind of slightly false chipperness, you know?  He even made a comment after asking me if there was anything else I needed (no) that he didn't want me upset with him or something like that.  Made a few comments like that the first time I had him for infusion after I made it clear at the desk I didn't want to see Kobrossy.  Leah and I just look at each other--knowingly.  But David is a professional and I respect that.  

But with Kobrossy it was not just that he blew up at me the one time...that was just the last straw.  It was how he left us in the dark...didn't explain things or tell us what was coming he tended to poo-poo anything I brought up...especially if I said I read something or somebody asked me something which I was wondering about...etc, etc.  (Well, he wasn't telling us much!)  Let's just say he was not easy to talk with and you learned not to bother to ask many questions because he wouldn't really answer most of them because they were not important to him...often wouldn't even let me finish asking before he cut me off.  He was not a good listener...even if he leaned in...he was talking at you...trying to get you to listen to him, you know?  

And it was a GI doctor that put me in the hospital when I was so dehydrated from so little water and food for like a month and was non-functional and had to be wheeled in to the clinic--not Kobrossay.  He was just convinced it was some other issue of mine that had nothing to do with the chemo...hence the GI doctor...even though we were convinced it was from the chemo...and it was. 

Anyways, I feel sorry for David because he's so loyal to Kobrossy.  I know he would rather not take care of me for my infusions, but that's just how the dice roll.  I don't always have David, but I have the past couple times.  He doesn't bother me or anything.  It just makes me sad that he only knows Kobrossy's side of the story--LOL!  Such is life.  For all I know Kobrossy may have asked David to take me on purpose to kind of spy for him on how I am doing...because I do think Kobrossy really wants to know and probably is truly sorry he blew up at me (probably doesn't like being rejected by a patient, I would bet).  David even mentioned he had been off talking to Kobrossy while I was in the infusion center (because of the pharmacy back up, David said, when we were talking about that).

 Anyways, after the infusion I usually head for the bathroom before we leave.  I came out of the cubicle and there was Kobrossy again...trying to get eye contact.  I turned away and gave him a half-hearted wave greeting and quickly decided to go the the far bathroom on the other side and not the close one where I would have to walk past him--LOL!  When I came out I could see him leaning over the man in his chair in the cubicle next to mine...too close...mask hanging off one ear.  Leah and I got ready and walked quickly past them.  I think Kobrossy is the only employee we've seen at the clinic or the hospital who takes his mask off whenever he is with a patient...and often talks too close to you, too.  So wrong!

But I am SO glad I don't have to deal with him anymore.  And actually glad it is obvious there to most of the people in the know--lol!  Fine with me.  If I was ever forced to have no choice but to see him again (might happen)--I would go, I think.  But so I could tell him why, you know?  Let him know how upset I was that he never even told me about the genetic testing (actually heard the 97% results from David as a matter of fact--K just told us they were good); about the side effects of Keytruda or how long I might be on it or might be on and off of it or that it was palliative; when I would have a scan; that he wouldn't listen to me and talked to Leah most of the time; and--finally--that I couldn't even tell him about scary symptoms (neuropathy) without him being angry with me and telling me it was impossible for that having anything to do with the chemo.  He had thought the same thing about my not being able to keep anything down.  If I am forced by circumstance to see Kobrossy again--well, that would likely tip the scales for me to try to switch to Sanford.  I don't think Kobrossy would even "get it", you know? 

That's the Infusion Center drama--LOL!


I think I need to get it out now and then for posterity.

Not that I take it home with me anymore.  Having a back up plan (and now having good news on the tumor front) makes all the difference.  Once I made up my mind I wouldn't deal with Kobrossy anymore...I could feel this inner relaxation happen.  Been less stress ever since, to be honest.  And things are going well right now on all fronts--so I will stay where I am.  Thinking positive about no side effects I can't handle and continued shrinkage!  :)

And that I will continue to see improvement with the neuropathy.  The wonky legs hold me back more than the being extra tired and noodly.  In fact, when Leah came over after the infusion...after she had taken out the trash and made a trip to the garage for more bird seed--in a blizzard...we could have worked on bookcard covers.  But I decided to take her up on helping me in the bedroom switching clothes.  Much harder for me physically than sitting to work on bookcards.  She got it all done in about an hour!!  Whoohoo!!!

I didn't get before pictures--but there are no longer piles stacked on the table and clothes hanging from all the dresser handles and the sauna door handle!  That's a donation bag under the table, but we bypassed any more purging.  I will deal with purging come spring when I hope I can stand and walk for much longer periods of time.  :)
The bins are also ready to be hauled to the garage.  Not that night in a blizzard, though--LOL!
I am still so tickled every time I gaze upon the bedroom since Friday!  No clothes hanging everywhere and assorted boxes (now on the top shelf in the closet) and just a general mess!  Freaked out Annie, though--ROFL!  She crouched down like there was something going to attack her and smelled everywhere--scared, as usual, for a day or so.  Annie had loved all the nooks and crannies to hide in the mess in there--LOL!  Oh well, that's life--I told my furry companion.  ;)

Anyways, Leah got to take off for home earlier.  Was an awful night.  Today and tomorrow are even worse as far as visibility goes.  More snow in this bizzard.

I realized that the handmade paper packs I had were all mixed up and I had shoved other 12 X 12 papers inside of the cellophane wrappers (which were so brittle by now I tossed them) back when I moved here in 2015--LOL!  So I did manage to sort through the lot of them.  

Out of the four packages there were only three kinds of handmade paper that were of any quantity...lots, some, and little bit--LOL!
There were several single sheets of handmade and other papers I can use for covers...
...and a few very thin ones and weird ones I can't.
So those are all sorted now, too.
Took it easy and worked on letters again.  Got caught up last week with that stack of 15!!  Now working on new ones.  Nice!   
That is what I plan to do today--work on letters.  It is a miserable blizzardy day outside for the poor critters.  Current pic of the whiteout conditions.
I will make sure to put out extra food for them today...and probably tomorrow, too, from the predictions.
Yes, a perfect day to be home safe and warm...and writing letters and watching something good on the tube under a warm blanket.  Yes!  Yes!  Leah and Aaron were thinking about making a Costco trip today or tomorrow and I told her they should wait till Wednesday!  Give the city time to plow the roads and there will be the driveway and sidewalk to shovel--awk!  Won't starve--none of us will be out of food.  We are blessed to be able to hunker down and ride it out in comfort.  Yessiree!  

I've had some Blogger issues--beginning to wonder who hasn't--lol!  Getting emails about posts where I am getting them lumped up with the last 3-5 posts at once...or having trouble commenting...and we'll see if it messes with my paragraphs and fonts when I go to post this.  But--it is free and it keeps me connected with you I suppose I shouldn't complain.  I still think blogs are a wonder.  

Till next week.
From a Fargo blizzard.  :) :)