Monday, December 31, 2012

Highs and lows of 2012

Grandbabies: Miss Tess blessed us with her arrival this March. Such a calm, happy baby! And for an extra blessing, I can see her almost any time that I want as she and her brothers now live in Michigan. No more 760 mile trips across occasionally icy terrain.. My grandbabies in general are a joy. It is so much fun watching them discover the world.
My children: Ramy was able to find a job in Michigan that pays more than what he had in Massachusetts. Late 2011 was a scary time for them. Just after they bought a house in Arlington, his contract ended without warning. And Shanna was pregnant. Not good. But it all worked out in the end for the better. They re having a house built that should be completed in a few months. Josh's job is going great though he seems to be working around the clock.
My health: The scary cancer did not come back. And as time goes by, the chances that it will become more remote. I am still dealing with a few minor issues but they are very minor. I am able to run, however poorly and bicycle for miles. Between running and biking, this body managed to travel more than 2800 miles this year.
My friends: Love them. They keep me amused.
My husband: Yeah we are very different people but we manage to make things work. I feel loved.
Travels: Covered the other day.
The world didn't end:

Divorces in the works: Think back to when you were 18. Would you have considered being married to your boyfriend (or girlfriend) you had then? I remember visiting the boyfriend I had when I was 18 about 15 years later. All I kept thinking, Stupid 18 year old Sue, What were you thinking? And in general, I was quite cautious but he clearly was not a winner. Josh and Julia have been together since they were 17. People change in 13 years and not always for the better. I don't worry too much about Josh. He will emerge from this happy. Naomi is another story though. Lots of stuff to work out.
Falling apart house: This is minor and theoretically fixable but where do we start? Do we just bail and start over somewhere else? Too many decisions to be made.

Today will be the warmest day in a 2 week period. It gasp! went above freezing. I have been able to run but I have to run gingerly as there are patches of ice all over the place and the amount of semi-clear paths is relatively short. I am eagerly awaiting warmer weather. Can't dare hope for the mild winter we had last year.

I've been baking today. First a pecan pie. Steve doesn't care for sweets in general but loves two things: cherry pie and pecan pie. So that was for him. For me and whomever chooses to visit me: a chocolate pear clafouti. A clafouti is a cross between a flan and a torte. It usually is made with cherries though I was recently watching a Julia Childs episode in which she made it with apricots. This recipe I found this weekend called for Comice pears.  I couldn't find them. I am making do with Boscs, a pear that a recent NYT article rated as The Best. As it turns out, they are NOT the best for cooking as they never cook down. Also the recipe called for Pear Brandy. What I have on hand: Mirabelle Eau de Vie. What is that you might ask?  Mirabelles are yellow plums that grow in Alsace where I bought this stuff. Haven't tasted this concoction yet.
The chocolate clafouti

Happy New Year!!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Solution

From Campanastan blog

To help save the economy, the government will announce
next month that Immigration & Customs Enforcement
will start deporting
seniors (instead of illegals) in order to lower Social Security
and Medicare costs.
Older people are easier to catch and will not remember
how to get back home.
I started to cry when I thought of you.
Then it dawned on me ... oh, shoot ...
I'll see you on the bus!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Travels and travails of 2012

I love to travel.  I had ample opportunity to do so this year.

February: Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to The Turks, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin. We were supposed to stop in the Bahamas also but that didn't happen.

All of March: We were  in Massachusetts waiting for Tess. Lots of side trips being careful not to go too far away in case we were called into duty.

April: Another East Coast trip: NYC, NJ and Philly.

May: Quick trip to Boston and back.

July: Bike ride in NE Michigan

October: Northern Michigan

November: Northern California

Favorite Photos from above trips:

I guess I forgot to mention my travails: plenty. Some other time maybe.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Let's get organized

With all this time on my hands, I should have perfectly organized closets, photos, drawers, computer screen, right? And I don't have my garden right now to distract me.

Yesterday I put a small dent in the chaos. Apparently Josh was embarrassed about my silverware collection (rather my stainless steel collection: I rarely use the 'good' silver), a mixture of maybe 4 sets of unmatching utensils. So my X-mas gift from him was a complete set that probably was not cheap. I redid the whole silverware drawer, which frankly was rather disgusting. Then I tackled the pantry which had some boxes of stuff so old that flour moths had drilled holes into the cardboard. Out with all that. Out with outdated jars of who knows what in the refrigerator. I also thoroughly cleaned the pantry shelves along with the contents of the silverware drawer. Still to tackle: my many junk drawers.

Then back to winnowing down all my father's slides.  I had done a good deal of this already but then new boxes arrived. I kept maybe a tenth of the total. This time however Steve was home. He pulled some stuff out of the trash. How could you throw this away? Well we have 50 copies of it. He retrieved many of the photos. So much for that.

What we really should be doing is hanging things up. I have made several canvas prints that are just laying against a wall. We also have numerous framed pictures that are all stacked up. It's not that we are lacking for wall space.

Shanna and the kids did not come yesterday as they had colds. Too bad. It would have been a beautiful day for sledding. Not too cold, sunny, and calm. Between the 2 snowfalls, we have close to 9 inches of snow. The sledding hill near us was packed, probably too busy for little kids. I've been able to run for the past few days but it hasn't always been pleasant. Today was very cold and all the melted snow from the day before left ice on my path. Yesterday Josh came to visit us. He is working overtime on some project.

Today Shanna's family had recovered enough to visit but it was too cold and icy for sledding.

I am not sure how things have gotten so disorganized. Yes we were really stretched for time when we were working and dealing with kids in travel sports. We really didn't have much spare time. And then I had my mother to take care of for several years along with a very messy estate left from my father that involved stressful court appearances. And for the 8 months or so I was dealing with cancer, I went into hibernation mode. I didn't even cook anything much less clean up the mess left from 25 years of neglect.

Sometimes I am just too overwhelmed thinking how much needs to be done that I end up doing nothing. I am trying to tackle it now bit by bit.

We did get some of our old slides organized:

Brothers: from 1982? The ones below are Shanna when she was 3

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Last Blog

The danger of reading cancer blogs is that you become attached to people you never met in person and then they disappear. Yesterday I read the last blog of a brave young woman. After years of fighting Stage 4 BC, she has decided to live the last moments without doctor's appointments. You might have seen Bridget as she is featured on Susan Komen ads on TV. She was diagnosed when she was only 21. She will not live to see her 30th birthday. (from How does one live when life has been so unfair? This is her answer:
My story scares people, especially fellow cancer patients. I am the worst case scenario.

I was diagnosed way late. By the time someone sent me for a mammogram five years ago, the cancer had traveled from my breast to my liver. One doctor gave me a 16% chance of celebrating my 30th birthday. Over the past five years, I have had three recurrences and 5 surgeries. I have been on nine different types of drugs. My cancer just won't quit. The doctors can sometimes be quite grim about my "prognosis"

But I am living well. I am living fully. I am happy. I am one of the happiest people I know. I just got married in August (best wedding ever!!) and some days I call my husband in the middle of the day to just thank him for the amazing life that we have made together. I created a song that I sing (way off tune!) while cooking dinner about how much I love my little life. I think these facts can help people, even though my situation might scare you.

It is this happiness that keeps me motivated when life isn't very happy. This day to day happiness makes me a fighter.

Yesterday our big snow came. We haven't had significant snow in 2 years. I got Oliver a sledding board the shape of a penguin for X-mas. Maybe we will use it on the local sledding hill 2 blocks from my house. I have a sled suitable for babies too in my garage. Maybe I will try to X-country ski. I used to do it all the time but with my balance and greater fear of falling, the skis haven't gotten too much use lately (also no snow last year).

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Crazy, invasive medical histories

My health care provider system decided it needed a new format for medical histories. Before I could see my oncologist for my check-up last month, I was asked to fill out this this 6 page, small type opus. One page was devoted to the health histories of my relatives: the 4 grandparents, a space for a paternal aunt and a paternal uncle, a space for a maternal uncle and aunt and of course my parents.  I asked what would happen if I had more than one maternal aunt and uncle, which is the case. They offered more sheets. What do I know about their health anyway?  Missing were questions about my own children, the health histories which I  at least, have some familiarity with. Wouldn't the health history of my children be more pertinent than that of my aunts' and uncles'? They listed at least 50 conditions that these people could possibly have. I just drew lines in the I don't know columns. The only thing I thought they needed to know is that my mom and aunt had breast cancer too. And this same aunt had had Graves' Disease as I had.

They wanted to know about my drug use, which was in a separate category as medications that I am currently on.  If I were taking illegal drugs, would I admit to it on this form? The same goes for questions about my sexual many and of what sex.

Every time I get a mammogram, I am asked when did I first  and last get a period and how long did I breast feed. In the past few years, I have had at least 8 mammograms. I doubt that they ever even read the answers to their questions. All they really need to know is whether I am pregnant.

They also have some form for me to indicate what medications I am on and whether I need a refill. Once I answered, why yes I DO need a refill for my Prilosec. She, the oncology radiologist, refused to give it to me. She said that for all she knew I could be gathering multiple scripts from various physicians  This is for a drug that I needed as a direct result for cancer treatment (Adriamycin shredded my stomach lining) that has zero abuse potential. It is also available over the counter but it is cheaper if I have a prescription for it.

Anyway, that annoyed me being accused of being a Prilosec abuser.

I am assuming that it will be some person's job to input all this data, which I very scantily provided, into their database.

My favorite invasive question of all times was one asking of my 'frequency of sexual intercourse'. I left this blank as I could not see any reason that they would need to know this. This was way back when I was 18 trying to obtain birth control  pills at the UM's Health Service. I was not yet an adult (that would happen on Jan 1, 1972: I would still be 18 but the law changed). I had severe menstrual cramps that would incapacitate me. I had read in my grandfather's medical journals that birth control pills would get rid of them but I thought if I told them that, no pills for me. Th doctor ended up asking me in person. I replied that I didn't see why that was important. She said that BC pills would not be appropriate for those who who only occasionally had sex. I then said that given that I do not have BC pills, I haven't been able to actually calculate an accurate "sexual frequency". But maybe, if I had them, I could acquire an acceptable baseline of sexual activity.

  Please just give me the pills.
They worked. No more cramps. No more dreading each month afraid that I would be experiencing end stage labor, which is what it occasionally felt like. I took them until I was trying to get pregnant with Shanna. I experienced only one more bad set of cramps. After the babies, ibuprofin took care of any cramps. Too bad it wasn't available when I was in high school. A lot of misery could have been averted.

I just read that a UM worker's computer was stolen containing many unsecured patient histories.

It is snowing hard. The city never got around to cleaning up after the Xmas Eve snow so I didn't run yesterday. I found a neighborhood near me that has private roads that had been cleared. Not a pleasant run with the 35 mph gusts and icy patches but I felt good when it was done this morning.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Xmas 2012

Poor Oliver was sick so he stayed at home with his dad

Lots of presents

Maya  and Tess under Josh's tree

The kids enjoyed unwrapping their presents. Maya and Daniel kept coveting each others' toys. The grass is always greener.

It was so nice to have all the kids here this year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

White X-mas Eve

There is finally snow on the ground. I thought that we were finished X-mas shopping but no, Steve chose to buy more. The past few hours have been spent wrapping things up at least for Steve as I am a very bad wrapper. My job: decorate the packages with these especially pretty gift tags. We will haul all this stuff to Josh's bright and early tomorrow where all my kids and theirs will be.

After my long run, I had Maya duty for 4 hours. She loves to watch me cook and wants to help at every opportunity. I let her season things. She loves processes.

Merry X-mas and Happy Holidays to all my readers out there!!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Code Red Alert!!!

The SWAT team in my daughter's condo complex. What is this world coming to?

The main entrance to the condos. No you can not drive into it. Initially, they let people out but now they are alll stuck. Naomi left a half hour after the incident occurred and could not go home

Are they invading Poland? This was used at the end of the siege to go through the front door. I kid you not.

This is the drama unfolding here. Someone is holding someone hostage with a gun in one of the condos in the complex where we bought a condo for Naomi and Maya to live. Such irony! We bought it so they would have a safe place to live. Meanwhile Don'tae has returned to the hellhole complex that they used to live in though it presumably has been fixed up and they are selecting their tenants more carefully.

Naomi can not enter the driveway to go to her unit. Numerous ambulances, police car, SWAT vehicles. Men with assault rifles surrounding the one unit a few blocks away from hers. Some are on the roof. We got an automated message that we are not to leave our house due to safety concerns. I walked over to see if I could extract any info from the officers stationed in the main entrance. Nothing though Facebook is abuzz...seems like a domestic dispute. Hopefully no kids are involved.

 Crazy, revengeful people with guns....not good.

Update: It is now almost 11 hours since this thing has begun and still the entrance is cordonned off. Naomi spent most of the day here but now is staying with one of her friends who has a baby Taya who is a 2 months younger than Maya. Seems like overkill especially the tank pictured above. The current news is that there are no hostages, just one pissed off person who said he has guns. Still not clear if he lives there. He is 42. Naomi is Facebook friends with the neighbor who insists that this is very overblown and that there are no guns. There must be at least 30 personnel of all sorts here.

So I biked some today. It was 16 when I woke up but a toasty 32  and sunny when I got around to riding. Didn't get far. I swear I saw an indigo bunting. Must see if they are year round birds. But I saw a glimpse of intense blue on a finch sized body.

Further update: It is all over. We heard a series of booms that did not sound like a gun. More like fireworks, like a loud thud. We heard they were flash grenades, impressive to those who saw them. They used that tank pictured above to break through the fence and the front door. We saw the ambulance that took a guy away. He was visiting his mother and upset that he wasn't allowed to see his kids. He said he would shoot himself and anyone who came near him, thus the tank I guess. He presumably has a history of mental illness and refusal to take his drugs. Nearly 14 hours from the start of this, we get the automated call from the city saying we were free to leave our house now. I had already told Naomi she could come back. She had been allowed to go home all this time but she would not be able to drive there due to the police blockade. She was free to walk a mile long path through the back way. Hard with a toddler, groceries and the cold.

It is not clear that the person ever had a gun. He said he had one and he was going to use it. Between the firemen, the SWAT team, the sheriffs, the EMTs, the police: there were clearly 50 personnel there. And then the news trucks came parked near my house. Quite the scene!

Later an elderly couple were observed in the condo crying while being questioned by a police officer. Those poor parents! Still having to clean up messes of a 42 year old!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gift cards

Today on one of those morning shows, they discussed gift cards. Some charge the recipient to use them; others have expiration dates. A few years ago, I received a Lowe's gift card but didn't get around to using it until a year later. Some how it was worth only half its face value by then. At the time, I accepted that but vowed never to go to Lowe's again because what I believed that to be a shady practice. Today I found out that it was also illegal. Usually I don't mention firms by name but I believe they should be outted. Shame on them!!!

Naomi is temporarily a  salesperson in a nation wide chain. Recently she was asked to put a $3 balance of an 'expired' gift card towards a recent purchase. Her cash register/computer would not accept the card and she had no power to override it. The guy insisted that he was right, no gift card can expire in less than 5 years. People were piling up impatiently behind him. She had to get the manager, itself a time consuming process who issued a new $3 card which did go through. Time invested? 45 minutes. But the fault lay with the store faultily programming its cash registers to go against the law. The store ultimately did the right thing but it is sad that its default is to make people fight for what is legal. I will not divulge its name for now.

So each day should become a little longer. Yay!
Fortunately the winds were not as strong as forecasted and there was a narrow ice free path in which to run.

I finally made some Xmas cookies: almond crescents. Very buttery and almondy. I should make something more kid friendly though especially as some of the grandkids have nut allergies.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Apocalypse Not Now

We are still alive despite what the Mayans may have predicted..the end of time.

But it is the first day of winter; the Darkest Day. We had strong winds and lots of frozen slush on the roads making my run not pleasant. Should have ran yesterday.

We had Ms. Maya for 9 hours. Fortunately she was in a good mood most of the time and took a long nap. Still trying to increase her vocabulary. We downloaded Talking Tom to the iPad which is a cartoon cat that repeats everything you say in a slightly higher voice. She thinks it is funny but likes to scream into it instead of talking. If you rub Tom gently, he purrs. If you hit him, he scratches back.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My-my-my-my Seroma

I awake in the middle of the night to find my breast all wet. What is going on? I retreat to Josh's room where I have all my middle of the night supplies.  A milky like substance is seeping from my nipple. It has been 21 years since I last breast-fed a child and ten years since I last had a period. Still it looks like milk. I tentatively taste for sugar. Ugh! Not sweet, vile!!!!! I then feel for my seroma, a fluid filled lump that had formed inside all the surgical scars. I have had this lump, maybe 7-8 cm across, for 4 years. On  a mammogram, it looks real bad but on ultrasound, it is harmless. Plus just last month, it was determined to be the same size as before and therefore not worrisome. More stuff oozes out.

My oncologist had warned me that some day it could break. I had assumed this would happen while I was running or when I was kicked accidentally by squirming grandkids not when I was sleeping. For about a month after my surgery, I could hear creepy sloshing while running. Then the liquid must have thickened.

This thing made up a good chunk of my remaining deformed breast, sort of a natural implant though not well centered. Now I am even more lop-sided.

A seroma that suddenly formed at the site of a week-old soccer injury to his thigh was what Josh had called me up in the middle of the night about,  3 months ago. The sudden appearance scared him and he insisted on a trip to the ER. Within a week, it was gone absorbed somehow.

My seroma: remember that 1979 song My Sharona?

Yeah TMI. But as this is a blog in part for breast cancer patients, I have included it in the spirit of this could happen to you..just like me including lesser known chemo side effects such as non-working apocrine glands and no ear wax.

It is the middle of the night again.The seroma deflation happened the night before. It is still leaking. New seromas presumably fill in just as fast as they are drained but little is said about old ones. It is a whole  lot smaller.
 Right now, Shanna and Tessa are in one spare room; the boys in the other. Our former 4th bedroom, most recently 15 years ago, was Shanna's room which we converted to a den once she left for school. We made another bedroom of sorts in the lower level where Julia lived for about a year and then others. I guess I could retreat there now. I could grab part of the stash of NYT magazines my friend dropped off the other day.

It is the Holiday season, the most wonderful time of the year. Don't know if I believe that given that it occurs in the darkest part of the year and I crave light. So far though, no snow or ice have interfered with my running or biking. I did both yesterday anticipating cold, wet winds today and snow on Friday. But the kids are excited about it and my 8 foot tree (good thing we have cathedral ceilings) is all lit up to amuse the kids.We have been using the Santa hot-line to report bad behavior in a futile attempt to illicit better.

Part of the season means parties. I had my own for the Mom's, then a holiday dinner the other night with some former work buddies, then a bizarre gathering for all former employees that might still be living around here. Our work-place was roughly divided into 3 parts: pre-clinical (research by chemists, biologists, pharmacologists  clinical and administration. Being a chemist, I knew much more of the pre-clinical people. However, this gathering was full of others. I knew only a few people. One was the former boss of both Shanna and Ramy (this is how they met years ago while she was engaged to someone else). I start to speak to him but he looks right through me and goes past me without any acknowledgement. yeah he is known for his lack of social graces but still.....I assume he is there to network in his clumsy way and I wasn't worth the time to delay that. I must have looked shocked. A man approached me that I didn't remember, a tumor biologist who turns out to know many of the people  that I once did as I had been assigned to the cancer group way back in the 80s. He wondered what was wrong? Well soon as this beer is over, I am outta here. I don't know anyone and the one person I did pretended not to know me.. He asked me who that was. I pointed to Shanna's former boss. He knew him and offered to beat him up for me.

We had a good talk on the biology of cancer, which is of obvious interest to me. He works still as a consultant for a foreign company involved in oncology.
Eventually some did show that I knew. A former office mate brought her adorable 2 year old but I guess it was interesting overall.

About somethings, just for my survival, I've been an ostrich with her head in the sand. I know things that are occurring that I wish weren't but it is easier to pretend they are not happening. Some of this crap will be addressed hopefully today. I will have Maya again as I will for a good part of the week.

It is two hours before I usually get up for good. I hate the middle of the nights. Presumably beds are for sleeping only and if one isn't going to sleep, one should get up and do something else. And then the bed is associated with only sleep and one magically falls asleep once one goes under the covers.

The kids are quiet. Tess fortunately sleeps through the night. Danny finally can sleep without his fingers entwined in Shanna's hair so he would know if she makes a move away from him. He is making do with Oliver who has little hair to run his fingers through. All I hear now beyond the clicking of the keyboard are the trucks on the freeway a half-mile away.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Adam Lanza is Legion

Percolating through the internet is the heartbreaking blog post I am Adam Lanza's mother ( No she is not the actual mom as the real mom is dead but a mother of a child who shares many scary tendencies with Adam. Her child is only 13 but she can see a situation like the Newtown shootings happening in the future with her child. Sometimes he is as sweet as can be but other times, he is a scary monster that needs to be hospitalized. She has resources and insurance but adequate help for her son is slow in coming. And one can not lock someone up just because they seem like they could be dangerous.

What shocks me is some of the comments people left on her blog basically blaming her for having such a scary kid. The kid isn't perfect; the mother must be at fault.

One comment left pointed out that all these mass killers seem to be white boys (the Korean-American excepted who did the massacre at Virginia Tech). At the first sign of violence, an African-American boy is sent through the 'system' and rarely gets out.

On the same day as the Newtown Massacre, a similar massacre was stopped in Oklahoma. A fellow student overheard a scary conversation and sought help. I am afraid of copycat killers.

I am wondering why Adam Lanza's mother felt the need for weapons. Did they share a genetic fascination or did she think that she may need to defend herself from her own child? I am not one for blaming the mother for their mentally ill children but in this case, if you have a strange, asocial child who hates everybody, don't give him ready access to weapons.

A few month's ago, I watched A Beautiful Boy, the heart-rending tale of parents dealing with the aftermath after their 19 year old son went on a shooting spree at his university. Reporters wanted to know: what kind of awful parents raised such a monster? They knew he was strange but they could not have predicted this.

Yeah, hunters need guns to hunt; but there should be no reason that anyone needs a semi-automatic rifle not even to defend oneself from 'intruders'. Do these massacres happen  in countries with strict gun control? Yes but on a much smaller scale.

While it is snowless and calm, I am running and biking. Yesterday I had lunch with Josh. I am so lucky to have a son like him as well as my daughters though one of them is still a work in progress. But the worries I have aren't nearly on the scale as those of Adam Lanza's mother.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Moms' X-mas Brunch

The tree with lots of presents
Tess came over to see the Moms. She then went up into our room for some self love

Usually we meet at night but it is getting harder and harder to find a night that works well for 5 people.
What I made:
Bellinis: a mix of Prosecco and peach nectar
Vegetable Frittata: with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, onions, cheddar cheese and roasted peppers
Blackberries marinated in Cointreau
Lobster Bisque: I bought this but added stuff to it to make it to my taste
Big apple baked pancake: sort of like an apple souffle. Note: gala apples are NOT good for cooking
Mini almond croissants

So I probably overdid it. I had planned to make gingerbread waffles with spiced pears. I made some trial ones but they were too cakey. And today, I was running out of time and the apple pancake does not take much effort. As someone brought a gingerbread dessert, it was just as well.
Of course the ladies brought plenty of tasty stuff too: cookies, the raspberry gingerbread confection, lots of fresh fruit, brie en croute with fig butter, feta cheese-fillo appetizers,  wine, a very nice spinach/strawberry/pecan salad that looked especially X-massy.

Lots of good talks and then presents......

Baby boot camp didn't work out so well. Steve was asked this morning to come rescue the Maya tenders so I had Maya to contend with while trying to get things ready. So my master plan of turning my house to a X-mas wonder didn't quite work out. No candles for instance but things went fine anyway.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Baby Boot Camp Redux

Just how hard is it to take care of a non-verbal two year old that won't sit still for a second? Well Josh is finding out. He's got Ms. Maya for the weekend though the mom will show up in the late nights. He also has help.
So far I've received a few texts
She's real, real active

Hope she'll go to sleep soon

Hope the whole experience won't discourage him from having his own though he could always say..
my kid will be different.

Our 35th anniversary was nice. Steve is so sweet; he made a photobook of our lives together. We had a nice Italian dinner where I had especially tasty scallops.

Today  attempted to make the house somewhat presentable for our Mom's Holiday Brunch here tomorrow. I ended up entertaining grandkids. At one point or at a couple of points, I had Oliver run back and forth up and down the block to siphon off some of his considerable energy. Didn't work. It has been sunny and calm. I was even able to bike..latest ever in the year.                                          

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thirty-five years

Steve and I: 35 years ago

Poor Steve: I must be squishing him though I really didn't weigh so much in those days

My brother, mom , and my father

Me making the wedding dinner
I can't find my original wedding pictures. These are scans of negatives that had not been preserved very well.

We certainly didn't have a fancy wedding  such as those that we gave our kids. I wore a prom dress and cooked most of the food myself. My professor's friend married us. I had wanted my professor, a dear man whose lab I ran for 2 years to marry us himself but he had let his license lapse. We were married in a Shriner's Hall with the barest of decorations. My step-grandmother donated a cake and rented real dishes once she found out that I was going to use paper plates. I was not one for being given away and walking down an aisle any way. I do not have a diamond ring, just a simple gold band though we had an artist make them. My aunt looked sadly at my ring and said that maybe, when we are more established, we could save up for a diamond. This never happened. We had just bought a house.

So through thick and thin, all thin on Steve's part, we've stayed together. Through sickness and health, mainly health we have prospered. We are rich with love, children and grandchildren. We are very different people, as opposite as can be, but we still have managed to make this work.

I am so happy that I met him.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Soy veh!

Soy was the topic of our Cooking for Surviving  class tonight. The best dish? A Chinese Holiday Delight dish full of edamame, shiitake mushrooms, corn, dried cherries, red pepper and ginger. Very colorful and tasty.

So if you have had ER+ breast cancer, should you eat soy, which is full of phytoestrogens? Current thinking is yes. Asian people generally eat 10 times the amount of soy as Americans yet have much lower BC cancer rates. On the other hand, they also eat very little fat and hormone infested meat  and eat more vegetables which could contribute to   their lower rate too.

Recent research shows that isoflavones (estrogen like substance in soy) did NOT increase breast density in postmenopausal women. Estrogens (like those found in birth control pills and hormone replacement, even the so-called  bioidentical kind) do increase it. In general dense breasts are linked to a higher risk of BC.

One 'positive' of having hormone negative BC is that I don't have to worry about such issues. Also not having to take hormone depletors is definitely a blessing.

A clear, cold day. I don't mind the cold when there is no wind or moisture. My new glasses finally came in so now I can see clearly.   I am still angry about how fast my last pair's coating fell apart.

Tomorrow: Our 35th wedding anniversary. Can you believe it?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back in 1978

Steve and me. Hate my glasses, Hate the shirt

Our first house. We bought it as it was so cute and full of windows. However, too small once we had Josh and very impractical.

Marrimekko prints were in then. You can barely make out our kitty.

Well at least Steve is cute

Me and my co-op friends. The woman and I are still very close. I haven't seen the man in ten years but we occsasionally speak.

Bandit the husky and the kitty who loved to sleep next to him. Usually she was up against his belly She was a very small cat never weighing more than 5 pounds but loved to attack rabbits that out weighed her.
It turns out we had boxes and boxes of slides. We don't remember taking these pictures or looking at them once they were developed. Why did we take slides in the first place. Cheaper? Faster film? Maybe we had a slide projector, I can't even remember....

Today all the grand kids were here. They went to the story time at the local library where I ran into one of the Moms who used to be in our group but left after 8 years. As Josh is good friends with her daughter, I pretty much knew what was going on in her life but it was fun meeting her granddaughters from each of her kids.

 A  friend from my college co-op owned a house on Blue Mountain Lake in the Adrirondacks that we went to several times. Here we are on a Sunfish

And Josh took a day off and spent part of it in the chaos at our house. The grandbabies love him as he gives them all kids of rides. Fun to watch them all laugh.


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