Monday, October 29, 2007

Eye Exam

I went to the ophthalmologist this morning. My left eye has changed very little since my last exam, five years ago, but the right one has gotten much worse. It has gone from -6.5 to -9.5; most of that change has been in the last six or seven months. There are cataracts starting on both eyes, but it will probably be several years before they need to be removed.

Since my eyes had been dilated, I decided to have lunch in the hospital cafeteria (the medical office building is connected to the hospital), and then to sit in the public area and knit for a couple of hours before driving the 16 or so miles home. They are having a 'health fair' there from 3 to 6 this afternoon and from 7 to 10 tomorrow morning. All the tables were set up, and a few of the 'vendors' were already setting up their displays. I may go in earlier than I had planned tomorow and stop there before my weekly pilgrimage to the library and the Art Guild for the knitting group.

Monday, October 22, 2007

And Now There Are Three

Saturday was the big moving day for Alyssa. She had two friends help her move her furniture into a storage shed here in tiny town (and a few things into my sheds), while another friend worked her hours at Domino's for her.

She has gotten almost all of her and Lexi's clothes organized into the closet and dressers, and I worked on putting the food away. I think she has every herb, spice and seasoning mix available! I think I used to as well, but I've sort of narrowed things down over the years. I'm glad she likes to try different things. She said one advantage of Andy's leaving was that now she could cook more adventurously. He grew up on chicken, beef, pork, potatoes, dried beans and a few vegetables - I think corn is the only one he eats. And he isn't interested in trying anything different. He and his father hunt, so there is always venison in the freezer, but his mother refuses to touch it. She also refuses to let fish be cooked in her house. His dad makes deer-jerky and I guess gives the rest of the meat away. Alyssa brought several pounds here last week and I made a small stew with some of it. I'm glad to have it in my freezer.

To fit the foodstuff on the shelves in the back room (there's canned goods, pasta, etc. as well as seasonings) I had to take some things out to the shed. Alyssa's freezer (not plugged in) is now full of wool. There was enough space in my freezer to fit what she had in hers.


So today Lexi is starting her second week at Carlisle County School. They are talking about drugs, and the importance of staying off them, this week, and having a special 'fashion statement' each day. Today is camouflage - she has a t-shirt. Tomorrow is wild hair, wig or hat. I think she has decided to wear this one. Good fall colors.
Wednesday is the color red; Thursday is the school colors, which we think are gold and maroon; and Friday is pajamas. I don't know if she has any gold or maroon, but that's Alyssa's problem. I really don't like the idea of wearing pajamas out of the house, but I guess I'm terribly old-fashioned.
Lexi took that picture, as well as these of herself and her cat Ginger. It's amazing to me how young kids pick up all the current technology. I guess perhaps we did too, but it has all progressed so far in the last sixty years since I was Lexi's age. When I was six, we lived on a farm in Minnesota. We heated with wood and used karosene lamps for lighting. We had an outhouse, and used a chamber-pot in the wintertime. We did have a pump in the kitchen, but many of our neighbors carried their water from a pump in the yard. My sister and I went to a one-room country school, which had about thirty pupils in the six grades, with one teacher, of course.
Lexi was a little unhappy early in the week, because she thought the new class was ahead of the one she had come from. I told her they might be in some things, but are probably behind in others, and it will all even out over the year. I think it is just the way they are presenting the material. She is already talking about her friends at school, so I guess she feels comfortable socially. She's a pretty gregarious child, so I really wasn't concerned about that.
I think autumn has finally arrived! Leaves are starting to change color and the weather has cooled off. I'm about ready to put away the shorts and bring out the long-sleeved shirts. The black walnuts are falling like mad, especially on windy days like Saturday was. I need to rake them all into a pile. I don't know what I'll do with them after that - maybe put them in the sinkhole in the back yard.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New Beginnings

Alexis started her new school today. Alyssa took her there this morning with the idea of just registering her and then taking her to the old one to say good-bye to her old friends. However, Lexi decided that she wanted to stay at the new school. So Alyssa stopped at the old one later to tell them about the transfer and to pick up Lexi's bowl she had done before fall break. I guess the teacher had them make the bowls just before vacation so they would be well-cured by the time they got back, and the kids wouldn't be bugging her about when they were ready. Smart!

Alyssa and I were both waiting at the end of the driveway this afternoon when the bus dropped Lexi off. She had a good day. She has done her homework for tomorrow - a bit of arithmetic and some reading.

Lexi's also been playing with her PlayDough here at home. She did the butterfly this afternoon, and the fish on Saturday. She said the fish is a bluegill. I asked if that was because her last name is Gill, but she said no. Her dad and pawpaw are both fishermen, so she knows that there are fish called bluegills. I think the fish is really cute.

Like most six-year-olds, she likes to act silly. One day last week, she decided to tangle herself up in yarn - a common commodity in this house, and asked me to take a picture of her that way. The yarn isn't quite as evident as I hoped it would be.

I have to be careful what I write about her now, since she reads well.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I've probably said that here before, haven't I? While I'm taking them, it's OK. I start getting some side effects like edema on about the third day, but not bad the last two or three months. I'm glad I only take them four days during each four-week treatment cycle. The two or three days after I finish them is the worst time. Yesterday was day four, so today is the first day after them. I thought I'd go out and finish the mowing, but I just don't feel like I can - I'm very shaky. The last two days I've mowed for an hour or so, and I enjoyed it. The weather has cooled off so that it was comfortable for mowing - barely broke a sweat. But today I just can't do it. Perhaps by Monday I'll be able to.

So instead I've been reading, knitting, and playing computer solitaire. I'm working on the replacement sweater for Lexi. I'm almost to sewing the shoulder seams. Then I'll have her try it on to make sure her head will fit. At this point I can easily rip back and adjust the neck before I pick up stitches for the sleeves. She found some other yarn in my stash that she wants a top from as well. Perhaps with her living here I'll do more knitting for her. I may also finish the sweater for Alyssa that I started at least four years ago. When I finish it, I may have enough yarn left to make a matching one for Lexi.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New housemates

I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted. I didn't do anything particularly interesting last week. This week, however, is a bit different. I took these pictures a few days ago, but haven't had much chance to post them. You can see how the cypress vine/hummingbird vine has grown over everything that hasn't been moved for a while. Alexis has now freed her bicycle and the walker.

Alyssa and Alexis are moving in with me temporarily. Alyssa is using Dominic's room and Alexis sleeps on her cot in my room. This week is her fall break from school, so she was with me from Monday afternoon after my oncologist appointment until her dad picked her up last night. She was very excited all day yesterday about Daddy picking her up. I had him do a couple of things for me while he was here.

We're putting all of Dominic's things into the shed at the back of the property. It's one that was meant for a riding mower, but since I don't have such a thing, there's plenty of space for other things. I went out there yesterday morning and swept it out, then pulled one of Dominic's Rubbermaid storage containers on wheels out there. The other two containers are heavier, so I don't want to try to move them. One of the things I had Andy do was move them to the back porch. If he had gotten here earlier, I would have had him take them out to the shed, but it was starting to get dark and I didn't feel like going back out there. He made me feel really weak; I didn't want to even pull them, and he lifted one up on top of the other like it was nothing. I guess that a difference between a 23-year-old man and a 66-year-old woman, isn't it? Some of Alyssa's co-workers are going to help her move stuff, so they can move them then. Some of the rest of Dom's stuff Alyssa and I can move by wheelbarrow or luggage cart.


Monday was my oncologist appointment. I'm still doing well on the treatment. However, Dr Balbastro scared me a bit, talking about what may happen in the future, if my reponse to the current treatment stops or reverses. She asked me to think about where I want to go if bone marrow transplant is needed - Nashville, St Louis, or Little Rock. Nashville is closest, of course, but she talked as though Little Rock is best. A friend who used to live in Arkansas told me that Little Rock is really not much farther than St Louis, so I guess I'll choose that clinic. I don't really want to think about such things!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Welcome October

The temperatures are cooling off to mid-80's with mid-50's at night. Nice!

Saturday I did some mowing, and cut down a small evergreen bush that had died. This morning I burned paper trash, as well as the trunks and roots of some bushes that I had cut and killed off two years ago - they were finally ready to come out of the ground without digging. Then I started doing more mowing. I noticed that my neighbor, Robbie, was finishing up the mowing in his back yard (riding mower), and suddenly realized that he was mowing my yard. I guess he did it as a thank you for my telling him that he can drive his golf cart across my back yard. I've been told that he had a motorcycle accident a couple of years ago in which he suffered a brain injury. This resulted in poor vision, a speech problem and a rather halting gait. He was living in Wisconsin or Michigan at the time, but his family brought him back 'home.' His mother lives about half a mile away, and I think he has siblings in the area as well. He doesn't drive a car, but does manage his own mowing, and has a golf cart to go places in this tiny town. I noticed that he was taking it out on the road in front of our houses. That's really not a good idea, since the road is rather narrow and has no shoulders. Also, our shared driveway goes down and then the road goes up and around a curve to meet the main road through what once was the business district. By going across my yard, there's no hill to contend with. At the edge of my yard, he can get on the water tower driveway, which leads out to the main road. Much safer and easier.

Anyway, I continued mowing from rhe south side of the yard and Robbie was mowing from the north side. We had almost met when my mower ran out of gas. As soon as he heard my mower stop, he hightailed it back to his detached carport, turned off his mower, and went into his house - like he didn't want me to thank him. I'll catch him outside sometime soon and say thank you. There's just a tiny bit left now to mow; perhaps I'll back out later and finish up.