Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July is coming to an end

Can you believe how fast this summer is flying by? This weekend is the Stanwood Camano Fair (voted the best little fair in the West...probably by Stanwood residents but we're not biased) In my 50 years of life, I think I've only missed going to it twice. Now that's dedication. Or, that's a town without much action so you grab it while you can :)

When I was out dress shopping the other day, I decided that it was time for me to firm up my arms (ok, I have lots of things to firm up, but I need to work in small batches). So, my son the fitness king, drew up a free weight program for me to do after I return each morning from my walk. Let me just tell you, if I didn't have a desk to rest my arms on tonight to write this blog, I wouldn't have written anything. I'm sure my arms will firm up eventually. Now I'm just wondering if I'll ever be able to raise them again? Seriously, I'm out of shape. Or is that, I'm seriously out of shape? Perhaps its, Seriously? I'm out of shape? YES!

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow when I'll get to see my friends from Boise and their little boy Jax. We have a special day planned at Woodland Park Zoo. I can't remember the last time I went there, but I think I may have been pushing a stroller if that gives you any indication and my children are all grown. I may have gone once or twice for a field trip when the kids were younger, but I probably tried to put that out of my head. An hour long school bus ride, 50 elementary kids (10 who get car sick), and the smell of sack lunches...those were the days. Honestly, once we got to the zoo we always had a blast. But then, we had to get on the bus and make that trip back home.

The last couple of days Rick has seemed really worn out. It's end of the month business stuff for him and that tends to set him back a little. We're hoping to head over to Desert Aire for a few days but we'll see how much work he gets done tomorrow. Otherwise, he may change his mind.

Since I've been walking the last couple of mornings with flip flops on because I have a gigantic blister on my heal, I've now developed 2 nasty blisters on the bottoms of my feet from gripping the flip flops. Don't I know better? What will my kids say when they hear of my stupidity? Maybe we can just keep this a secret from them? They've all been so busy lately that maybe they don't have time to read the blog tonight. I've got neosporin, some good blister band-aids and I'm tough. Maybe I can ride in the stroller with Jax tomorrow and let them heal?

Love you more than all the animals we'll see tomorrow at the zoo.

Dreaming Big,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Good Morning

I just got home from my morning walk with only minutes to spare before the skies open up to rain. As usual, the walk was wonderful except that I'm having to wear flip flops for a few more days until my blister heals up. No kidding, this blister is the size of a silver dollar. It looks really pretty when I have short pants on. :(

I noticed that my blog from yesterday just posted this morning. I'm not sure what that's all about, but we need to remember that computers are only as efficient as the people who supply them with the information. I probably forgot to push the "enter" button. Rick had a nice uneventful birthday, none the less.

Health wise...we're doing fine. Remember, no news is good news. Rick's leg is healing, his shoulder is doing well, the tumor markers are stable and he's feeling "pretty good". I cough. But that's nothing new. I'm pudgy and happy. My hip "back" feels better everyday.

I'd better get off the computer now because I want to do a little work around the house before Rick wakes up.

Love you more than all the flower pots in full bloom,

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Ricky

Today is my honey's 52nd birthday. It's funny how that number seems so important now. Growing older is just a wonderful way of saying, "I'm alive and loving life". Rick didn't want anything special for his birthday, so as usual...he got some new shirts, some flip flops and we're going out for dinner. Whoo Hoo! I know, hold down your excitement. This is what happens after you turn 50. :)

Dreaming Big,

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rainy Sunday

We woke up this morning (late morning..) to wind and rain. It's been weeks since I've seen rain (when it was raining here in Stanwood, I was over in Eastern Washington) and it was actually a pleasant surprise. I love the smell of rain in the air when it's been dry for so long.

I forgot to tell you about my lawn mowing experience on Friday. Whenever I help mow the lawn (which isn't often) I only use the push mower. On Friday, Jake was going to mow all the lawns, but instead he helped in the hay field, so I said, "if you show me how to use the riding lawn mower I'll do it for you". My son, the teacher, gave me a quick little rundown on how to maneuver on the rider, how to empty the grass catcher , where to put the gas if I run out. You know, all the basics. What he forgot to mention was to pay close attention to the right side of the lawn mower because it sticks out further than the left side and you can knock things over with it. Oops. I was so busy paying attention to driving in a straight line, that I didn't notice I had taken out a rhododendron and was dragging it behind me. After I stopped laughing at my blunder, I thought...why didn't someone take that out a long time ago? Rick says if I mow many more times, our landscaping will be minimized to just a few plants. Truth is, the lawns looked beautiful so no one even cares about the 20 year old rhody.

The one thing I did notice today was how much I was coughing. I'm sure it's the wet weather. I think it's time for me to head over to the hot, dry climate of Desert Aire. :)

I've been working on the wedding list for my son and daughter in law and this is a very hard task. How do you draw the line on who to invite? I would invite all of you but there isn't enough room. I know it will be a lovely event and I promise to post photos. So, even if you're not there, you won't miss a thing. :)

I'm now heading to bed. It's a walking day again tomorrow and 7:00am comes early.
Love you more than all the raindrops in Washington today.


Outdoor Movie Night

The past couple of days have been pretty uneventful, until tonight (Saturday). Amy invited me to come to Fremont to watch a movie in the "outdoor series". I invited Janeen who was ever so kind to help me try dresses on for Jake and Megan's wedding before we met up for the movie. Amy and Melana got to the outdoor theater first and picked out a perfect spot. We had popcorn (Amy and Mel popped nice white popcorn at home with a little salt...) and I made an appetizer of goat/cream cheese and olive tapanade..on crusty bread...mmmmm good. We saw Al Gore's "the inconvenient truth" and it was pretty good. The weather was beautiful and the company was grand. There are a couple more movies I'd love to see outside so we're planning on doing it again this summer.

By the way, no luck in the dress department, but I have time. If I'm still saying this in November, I'll be in big trouble.

It's been a long day. I'd better get to bed.

Dreaming Big,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I've got a Tummy Ache

That was so 3rd grade of me....Tummy Ache? Ok. You know what I mean. Upset stomach. So, while Rick and Jake are out haying, I'm going to take a nice hot bath, turn on some tunes, light a few candles, and get ready for a good night's rest. Now that I've been getting up so early in the morning to go walking, I'm ready for bed at a regular time. What a concept.

Chemo went very well again this time. Hallelujah! The neuropathy can get really intense and Rick can't stand being cold (side effect of chemo), so thank goodness the weather has been cooperating. One more chemo treatment and then Rick has a scan again. Let's hope and pray this round has been making some progress.

As I sit here at my computer with the kitchen window open, I'm looking out at all the flowers blooming, the hummingbirds buzzing around, the birds chirping and I can't help but smile to think how lucky we are. I try hard not to take advantage of those wonders of life. In my favorite song "Dream Big", there is a line that says "when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself and it will help you feel ok". Oh, how those lyrics ring true :)

Dream Big,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quick Update

Chemo went well for Rick today. He's only had that one really bad experience. Let's hope the problem was just a bad batch of chemicals and it won't happen again.

I had an appointment today as well. As usual, I'm still fabulous. Ok, the doctor didn't say that, but I said it for him and he couldn't help but agree. I have a scan again next month, but for now I'll put the thought of it on the back burner and just think about tomorrow. And the next day...and the day after that.

When I was done with my appointment and Rick was upstairs at SCCA asleep on the infusion bed, I met up with my good friend Kim for moral support before and after her mammogram. Everything turned out great. She doesn't have to go back for a year. That's what I like to hear.

After coming home and resting for a little, we ventured out for a drive (do people still actually go for "drives" now that gas is over $4 a gallon?). We ended up at Rick's brother Jeff and his wife Dawn's house. What was supposed to be a little visit turned into "playing hospital" with Darlena, Uncle Rick pushing her on the swing set, and watching the end of the Mariner game. We just got home. Oops, we should have been in bed a long time ago.

I didn't sleep well last night and I hit a brick wall this afternoon around 5:00pm. I'm surprised that my eyes are still open.

Dreaming with my eyes half-open. Or, is that half-closed?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Two days for the price of one

Yesterday was a long one...we left Desert Aire around 12:30 and decided to take the long route home to see our friends Dave and Val at their property in the woods, near Leavenworth. The property is so peaceful (except for the bears...luckily we didn't run into any). It's nice to be able to visualize their little piece of peace and quiet. The next time they talk about it, it will all make sense.

After a long drive, stopping for burgers at Zeke's in Index, we made it home just in time to unload the car, start some laundry and head to bed.

This morning I got up early and called my neighbor at 6:45 so we could start our walk early. Seriously, I love getting up early, walking and talking with my dear friend (I'm pretty sure our jaws are getting a very good workout too), smelling the fresh morning air, and being home by 9:00am.

I took Rick's dad to the doctor again today for a little check up. He seems to be feeling better (or at least good enough to be out haying when the sun is shining). How do you stop an 83 year old man from doing what he's done all his life without using duct tape to hold him down? Please send suggestions...ASAP.

Last week I did a little car shopping with Jake (not much success...and I'm a pushover with the salesmen) so today when Rick went to Mt. Vernon to do blood work, Jake rode along and the boys shopped for a car without me. Jake had test driven, researched, and calculated purchasing a Honda Civic so he was pretty prepared when he got to the negotiations. He came home this afternoon with nice shiny black car that gets at least 30 miles to the gallon.

Physical therapy is going well. I've only had 3 or 4 treatments and I can already feel a big difference. A few more treatments and hopefully I won't be needing that cortisone injection after all.

Tomorrow is chemo day for Rick, so it's bedtime for this sleepy girl. Rick is still outside putzing around but I need to get my beauty sleep. As a matter of fact, I should have gone to bed 3 hours ago :)

Dreaming Big,

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bathroom Graffiti

We had a good night's sleep last night and woke up with the desire to do a little work. Rick hung closet shelves, pulled weeds, mowed the law (@ house #1) while I re-painted and decorated the bathroom downstairs at house #2. I got a little silly behind those four walls and painted a little message for Rick.

We drove the golf cart to our friends, Joe & Lyndsey Youngren's house down on the water. What a beautiful house and view they have. They followed us back to our house so we could share our little abode with them as well. They both blamed (thanked) me for introducing them to Desert Aire (via the blog) because they try to spend every free, waking minute they have enjoying life here in paradise.

I've strung lights in the courtyard and now I love it so much I want to sleep outside...

Did I ever mention how being sick at Desert Aire isn't an option? However, taking Tarceva daily is still required :)

When we arrived in DA yesterday there were flowers waiting for me. GOD sent a bouquet of wild sunflowers and planted them behind our house.

Dreaming Warm and Big,

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bring on the Cortisone!

Today was my appointment with the allergist. After many scratch tests, injections, icky stuff on my appears I've outgrown my allergy to cortisone. I did have a little reaction to prednisone (which I've taken before without any problem) but everything else turned out good. I'm still hoping I won't have to have the injections in my spine but now I know if we have to go that route, it will be ok to try it.

Rick's leg is getting better each day (uglier colors but feeling better).

In my head, I can hear Angie telling me that if I do something for 21 days in a row it becomes a habit...I walked with Lynell again today (3rd day in a

After my doctor's appointment we headed over to the "Desert". The weather was nice and warm when we got here so Rick and I did a few odd jobs and have just been taking easy ever since. Tomorrow, I'm going to tackle one last painting job (downstairs bathroom) then we have a cabinet to hang, shelves to put up in the guest closet, and maybe some weeding at house number one.

We got news from the people who really want to buy the house at DA and they said they had no idea how hard it was to get the bank to release any money for a vacation home. They are sick that they can't commit to anything, but we told them to keep trying. In the meantime, we'll keep showing it to other people and hope that our new friends have a "windfall". I should tell them to buy a lottery can't win unless you buy one :)

I'm attaching photos of the grapes we have growing in our courtyard. I'm telling you, this really is a little piece of Heaven. Oh, I tried one of the grapes when we got here today....OOOHHH it's not ready yet.

The wind is really kicking up here tonight. I'd better go so we can batten down the hatches... Ok, we don't have any hatches and I wouldn't know how to batten them down even if we did have some. Instead, I'm going to get a pillow and blanket, lay on the sofa and watch a movie. Perhaps I can get Rick to join me...the question is? Can he stay awake for the whole thing?

Love you more than all the sagebrush blowing by our house.

Dreaming Big,


Thursday, July 17, 2008

End of a long day

Remember yesterday when I was bragging about the nice walk I took with my neighbor? Well, this morning at 7:15 when she called to wake me for our 7:30 walk I started to come up with a lame excuse about how I didn't sleep well the night before and could we go for a walk after my physical therapy, blah, blaaah, blahhhh...then I stopped myself. I said, "I'll see you in 10 minutes at the end of the road". Truth is, it's a wonderful way to start my day but if I didn't have someone lighting a fire under my butt (and let me assure you that would be a bonfire) I would find an excuse everyday not to do it. I made Lynell promise me that she wouldn't take no for an answer. I've instructed her to say, "just get up and meet me at the end of the driveway". We walked for over an hour and I was sad when the morning came to an end.

I really haven't been home all day today. After the walk it was physical therapy, then lunch with Jake, oil change, car shopping (Jake is looking for something that gets better gas mileage than his Dodge Dakota), and then Megan, her mom and I met with Judi (the wedding coordinator) until almost 10:00pm. Hey, no wonder I'm pooped. This would wear out a healthy person.

Rick agreed to let me call the doctor's office today regarding his leg. Dr. Whiting's office (oncologist) said they would like him to be seen by our local doctor and to call if there were anymore concerns. The physician suggested that Rick have an ultrasound of the mallet mark in his leg and asked for his opinion on what he thought about the procedure. I wasn't there, but Rick said "I think my wife would agree with you, I guess we should go ahead and do it". If nothing else, Rick is finally learning to say all the right things to give me the least amount of grief. Luckily, he just has an ugly bruise and and dent in his leg, the swelling only makes his little chicken leg look meatier, and nothing is broken. I can take him outside to play, but I swear I have to watch him every minute :)

Time to get to bed. Lynell will be calling me before I know it.

Dreaming Big,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bunco Loser

Since I hadn't been to Bunco in appears, I've lost my touch. I went home a loser but as usual, I had fun with my Bunco Babes. They are inappropriate, funny and a kick to be around.

I spent yesterday afternoon with my neighborhood friend, Lynell. We talked and sipped our sodas while we sat on her deck. It was one of the nicest couple of hours I've had in a long time. This morning, we set out for a walk at 8:00am and got back just before 9:00. Tomorrow we're meeting at 7:30am so I can be home in time to take a shower and head down to physical therapy. I'm hoping we're going to keep this up. My mornings usually start with some coughing and a stiff hip, but by the time I got to the end of my driveway today, I was nearly done coughing and my hip was feeling pretty good. I'm smart enough to know that exercise (no matter how much or how little) is better for you than no exercise at all.

When I got home from Bunco, Rick was sitting on the side of our bed. I looked down at his legs (he had shorts on) and he has a huge bruise on his upper calf. Apparently, he hit it by accident tonight with a mallet while working outside. It looks swollen and I don't like it. I'm going to get off the computer now so I can get some ice on it and put some pillows under his leg. He says he's fine. I disagree :)

Love you more than all the dandelions popping up in our yard :(

Dream Big,

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today, my mother in law would have been 73 years old. She died however when she was only 56 years old from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and we were robbed from the love and laughter she had always provided. When I look at our children I'm so sad to think that Grandma Darlene isn't here to see them grow into such amazing adults. She would have been so proud. Today is also my brother in law Tom's birthday and he is now 56. I'm hoping he had a great day!

Amy came home from Tacoma tonight and stopped by for a visit and dinner. I don't think we've seen her in over 2 weeks. She's working on a big project with the Air Force right now and it's taking a lot of her time. Hopefully, next time it won't be so long between visits.

I saw Angie today as well. She is in Stanwood all week at a class (with an hour break every day for lunch). She came up for a sandwich and a piece of Key Lime Pie. We visited (quickly) then it was off for more learning.

I saw Jake from afar today as he was out mowing lawns for 3 hours. What a job. Oh, I saw him a little bit tonight too. His friend Eric stopped by and brought us a salmon from Alaska. We had a nice time catching up with him. He's getting married next month and will be living in Canada, Ay?

Rick had a headache today at work (not bad enough to come home and go to bed...but enough to annoy him all afternoon). The neuropathy in his feet is bad again today as well. He assured me that he would lay low when he got home from work today (which he has) and see if he could get the pain to go away. I think it's still bugging him but he doesn't complain much.

I have physical therapy again tomorrow and an appointment in Everett on Friday to see if I'm allergic to cortisone. Other than that. Not much going on.

Love you more,

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Laid Back Sunday

What a wonderful day I had. No plans. Nothing pressing. No worries. I made a day out of watering my plants, painting a desk, doing some research on the computer & making a crab salad for dinner. I know what you're thinking... Wow, what an exciting life she lives? Ok, maybe it's not as exciting, as it is peaceful. I need a little peace and quiet every once in a while.

I haven't seen the kids much lately,(not even Jake who lives here) as they are all very busy. Amy has taken on a special project with the military (and doing some Special Agent work), Angie has been working hard at a basketball officials camp (as well as taking classes), Jake is teaching at Sylvan daily and working for an entertainment company Wednesday nights through Saturday nights (and getting ready to take some classes for his new job as a 7th grade math/science teacher). Did I mention how laid back my day was? Where did these kids get their energy? Certainly not from their mother.

I wish I had something exciting or insightful to tell you, but NOPE. NADA. NOTHING. ZILCH. I'm fresh out of important stuff to say. I am, sitting here at the computer with the windows open listening to crickets (or frogs) and it makes me want to go to sleep. So that must be my indicator to say good night. Sleep tight.

Dreaming Larger than Life,

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I was looking at my website today and realized that since I started counting (last May) people all over the country have looked at my blog 90,000+ times. Gosh, I hope I spell things correctly, because that's a lot of eyes doing proof reading.

Today Pam and I went to Bellingham like we'd hoped and spent some time at the Whatcom County Relay for Life. They have a wonderful set up and incredible community support. The way they do it wouldn't work for us in Stanwood, but if you ever get the chance...go check it out. It's pretty incredible.

While we were up North, Pam made me go to a nursery (like she had to force me) and buy plants for the pot I got for my birthday. We had our own special helper who designed our pots for us, then arranged them in the box the way we were suppose to plant them. I've attached a photo of my new green pot and the professional layout. It makes me smile when I enter the front door. I also got my first pot of sunflowers for the year. My little neighbor Karrina found these at the grocery store and convinced her mom that "Doreen would really like these". Karrina was right. I loved them. Thanks neighbor!

For the 3rd day in a row I've got a headache. Not a terrible one. Just enough that I need to wear my sunglasses in the house and I'd like to throw up. I guess I'm off to bed to see if I can wake up tomorrow with a clear head.

Rick is out haying right now. (I'm really not mad at him...but I have to act like it so he doesn't over do it). He came home this afternoon when the weather got too hot but has gone back to the farm now that it's cooled off. He should be home soon. He really did have a good chemo treatment this time. Not feeling bad, and his energy level has been pretty regular! Let's hope it's working as well on the inside of his body as it is on the outside. :)

Sweet Dreams,

Friday, July 11, 2008

My purpose

I did my little radio stint and apparently some friends and family heard it (I hope I didn't embarrass you or sound like a goober). I couldn't even tell you what I said, but as usual...I'm sure I was rambling on. Good luck tomorrow, Bellingham. I'll be rooting you on!

This morning I got an e-mail from a "big sister" in Northern Virgina who was looking for guidance for her younger sister who has been diagnosed with lung cancer. I'm not sure I have any words of wisdom, but I was so honored that they have been reading my blog and following our story. Just the love of her family will definitely be an added bonus for this courageous woman. It's times like this when I just get MAD at CANCER.

Throughout the "Schmitt Creek Battle" I've always wondered, what is the purpose of this craziness? Then, during weeks like this, when someone needs my advice, or shoulder, or love...It all makes sense. I'm suppose to help others down this path with a little less pain than they might otherwise have had.

I have not even seen my friend Cathy since her daughter's wedding and I was definitely needing a friendship fix. So, she stopped by and picked me up this morning and we had a wonderful day together. Tonight, Rick and I took my mom and dad out for dinner. They are a constant means of support for us whenever we need it. If we're gone for the weekend, my dad becomes Farmer Bob. He feeds cows, takes care of our plants, pets the neighbor dog... We thought we should show them our gratitude and love with a little dinner date.

Rick has gone over to his dad's farm to give a hand with haying tonight. He promised me he wouldn't over do it, but I'll be the judge of that when he gets home. I've got a bit of a headache again, so I'm going to bed early to see if I can sleep it off.

Dreaming Bigger than ever,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meeting with potential "new neighbors"

Nothing is in stone, but we met with our possible "new" Desert Aire neighbors and we like them more each time. They live in an adorable house in Everett with an immaculate yard (front and back) and I can see the landscaping at DA house #1 getting a complete overhaul if (when) they move in. As with all good things in life, if it's suppose to will. The cute thing was...when we got to their house, their screen saver on the computer was a photo of them in front of the DA house (and they looked great).

Rick got disconnected from chemo today and couldn't be happier. Since he hasn't been sick this time around and it's haying season, he wants to get out there and do what he can to help. Last night, he was out on the tractor with his fanny pack full of chemo, the tubes running up to the port in his chest, bouncing around like a farmer until after 9:00pm. He was completely wiped out by the time he got in the house. It's easy for me to tell him to slow down, but I know how much joy he gets out of being productive. I, on the other hand, get lots of joy from having fun, playing with my friends, vacationing, writing this blog.... Do you see a pattern? Not a lot of work involved in my JOY. Oops!

Today was the first day of physical therapy and my hip actually feels better tonight. I've been taking heavy doses of ibruprofen and I really think it's helping with the inflammation. I've been fighting a little bit of a headache this afternoon...probably from all the excitement of the day.

I did my radio interview yesterday for a Bellingham station but it was on before I got up this morning and while I was in physical therapy. I'm hoping to go up to Whatcom County this weekend to participate in their Relay for Life. I love to watch others find joy in their passion and since I was a speaker at their kick-off this year, I know the kind of excitement they have for their event.

Love you more than all the freckles on a red head...

Dream Big,

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Summer is here :)

I love that summer is finally here. I know the calendar has indicated summer for the past few weeks, but now it's starting to feel like it.

When we got to Seattle this morning, they postponed Rick's chemo for a little bit. He has developed some little red spots on his legs, feet and ankles. I guess that can be a sign of low platelets, but in Rick's case, they were just appearing because of his blood thinner. Once they got it all figured out, they started the treatment and he was out of bed by noon and on our way home.

When we got to the Cancer Care today, a friend ,Barb was there having her treatment as well. Since Jake came along to spend some quality time with his dad, I sat and visited with Barb while the boys bonded. It's always nice to get other people's perspectives on how they live. Barb has been fighting this battle for over 4 years and by the sounds of it, she has been living it up as well.

I'm suppose to be doing an interview with a radio station tomorrow. I'm just going to do it over the phone so I don't know what time it's going to air. Once I know when and where it takes place I'll let you know (unless I sound completely ridiculous...then I'll forget to mention it again).

Rick has been resting since we got home, and I've been doing the same. Thank goodness I'm doing a piece on the radio instead of TV. Otherwise, I would have needed to start the beauty sleep on the way home this afternoon.

I have a dear friend who has been re-diagnosed with an aggressive skin cancer recently. She goes in for surgery tomorrow so please put her in your prayers. I'm getting tired of cancer hurting the ones I love. We really need to find an immunization, or better yet "A CURE" . Is anyone else getting sick of the C-word?

Love you more,

Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm home...

Sorry about the lapse in the blog but sometimes I get so busy playing or resting, that this writing thing takes a back seat to my "other life". This weekend was wonderful (as usual...I was in the heat and air conditioning of Desert Aire). It was really nice to have Vickie and Tom join us for the long weekend. They haven't done that before and I think after the good time they had they may be joining us more often.

One of the exciting parts of the weekend was the interest we got in Desert Aire house #1. We showed it to 4 different couples (one of the couples came back 3 times, with different friends, and we're going to meet with them again on Thursday). I would love to have them be our new neighbors, not just because it means we will have sold the house, but because I could see them as our "new friends". They just had something warm and wonderful about them. Oh, and they seemed to love the house as much as we did. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tomorrow is chemo day again and Rick has been feeling well (except for a day or two this weekend...sore legs and a stomach ache), so I hope that is a sign that this will be another great week. Jake has been to the Seattle Cancer Care with us before (for results) but never while Rick was having chemo. I think it will be a good experience for him to see how well his dad gets treated and how much love we feel when we're down there. Amy and Angie have spent more than their share of time in waiting rooms, exam rooms, infusion rooms....I know they never complain about it and we love to have them their with us. They always seem to ask the right questions, hear things we don't, and take notes. We really are so thankful for the children we have. Is that called lucky or blessed?

Rick didn't get to work until late today so he's staying late this evening. A little too late if you ask me. It's 8:30 and no sign of him yet. I know he'll feel better tomorrow once he gets his "stuff" done tonight. I just don't like it when he over does it.

I'm looking forward to starting physical therapy on Thursday (it's the 1st day of my speedy hip recovery). Hopefully, next Friday I'll find out if I'm still allergic to cortisone, and if not...a shot in my spine should help me get back to "normal" in no time. Ok, NORMAL is so over rated. I don't expect to be normal. I just looked through my "SECRET" book again today and I need to start thinking positive thoughts about my healing. Ooooh, Aaaah....(that was a little yoga breathing...)

I've got some dishes to do from dinner tonight and I want to get to bed early. The day starts around 5:30am tomorrow (ugh) and we all know how much I need my beauty sleep :)

Love you more than all the mosquitos on a summers evening in Washington....

Dreaming Big,

Friday, July 04, 2008

Sleepless in Mattawa

We had a great day today. The weather was a nice 80 degrees for a good part of the day (with a few sprinkles to wet the ground for tonight's events...a little divine intervention to keep us safe from fires) Vickie and Tom arrived around 2:30 this afternoon, just in time for the golf cart parade. I don't mean to sound prudish but the first golf cart of the day was a very patroitic one that encouraged people to vote. Sadly enough, the cart had a big sign in the front that said "Regester to Vote". I almost peed my pants when I saw the spelling. Apparently, they didn't have spell check on their permanent marker. Anyway, if you haven't done so already...please REGISTER to VOTE. We visited, had dinner and watched the fireworks (they went on until midnight-ish) We'd finally had enough by 10:30 and could still see them from the livingroom, so we came inside to finish watching the display. Our new deck is the perfect spot for firework watching (and spying on our neighbors...except for when they're up visiting us) We were invited to the neighbors for a Wii tournament after the fireworks, but being the old folks we are, fizzled out before we made it down there.

Cousin Joe has a houseful this weekend as well as Susie and Pat. With our company, that makes about 16 noisy people in our part of the neighborhood alone.

I think we're going on a little adventure tomorrow. Vickie and Tom have never been to the Gorge and we're going to take them to the Mattawa Saturday market (flea market...without the fleas). I guess we won't be doing any of this if I don't get back into bed and try to get some sleep.

The hip is feeling better today (heavy duty Ibuprofen) and compression belt... Rick is in his element (doing honey do jobs for me). So far he's moved the wood pile for the fire pit from house number 1 to house number 2 (with help from Susie and Pat), put up the misters, started organizing his garage, hung my hammock and hammock chair... I did some work too (I think)

I'm going to head back to bed and count tumbleweed (anything to help put me to sleep).

Hope your 4th was all you'd hope for, and more.

Dreaming Big,

Thursday, July 03, 2008

My Annual Fireworks Rules

I'm over here at the Desert where the weather today was 101.5 (sounds like a radio station) so the best advice I can give myself is to stay as far away from fireworks as possible. Luckily, the only place you can set off fireworks is at the park (which is one of the views we have from our deck) so while others spend hundreds (thousands) of dollars on dangerous stuff, I can just sit back, enjoy the view and save my money.

You know the drill:

1. Be safe and sane. Ok, at least be safe.
2. Punks are not for punks.
3. Don't drink and light fireworks at the same time. Set your drink down or you might spill it.
4. If it's raining, go to bed early. There's nothing worse than soggy fuses...(except maybe cancer)
5. Even when someone lights a snake or flower blossom act like it's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. You'll make their day.
6. Do not shoot roman candles from your muffler.
7. Sing the Star Spangled Banner and walk around all day with a miniature flag
8. If you're going to a BBQ, don't leave the mayonnaise out. (That's not really a 4th of July thing, I just don't want you to get sick)
9. Clean up all your used fireworks. Keep America Beautiful. (Is that still our slogan?)
10. Have the time of your life. Or, at least the best Independence Day ever!

I'm not sure how helpful my hints are so use what you can and disregard the rest.

We've been doing some odd jobs around the house(s) today. House #1 is ready to go. Now we just need a buyer. Oh, yea....I forgot....#11 Buy yourself a nice little house at Desert Aire for a 4th of July present.

Rick blew up my 7ft. pool (make that 7 feet wide and 3 feet deep) and it's been wonderful. With the temperature almost high enough to bake cookies it's nice to sink into the pool for a 5 minute break to cool off. I'm loving it!

For a house warming present, our friends Pat and Suzie bought us a mister to hang in our courtyard...Hopefully we'll get those hung tonight so tomorrow can just be fun and games and a cool mist hovering over us....

I can't wait to get my camera battery charged so I can take photos of the grapes we have growing all around our new house. I'm not kidding when I say...I feel like I just need to train my Ricky to feed them to me and we're set.

I called home this afternoon and found that it was raining with a little thunder and lightening. Oh, so sad for all of you. Tomorrow is suppose to be a cool 85 degrees. We're having rib steaks and salads for dinner, fruity drinks with umbrellas and the company of family. Yes....this is the life...

Now that I know what's going on with my back/hip I can follow some simple directions that give me relief. (Thanks again Erin) Rick is feeling great. He's not really looking forward to chemo next week, but since this last time wasn't too bad, he hasn't been fighting it.

It's time for me to go now to enjoy the sunshine and my husband.

Love you more than all the sparklers that get lit tomorrow night.

Dreaming "hot" and big,

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 answer

Today, I met with Dr. Michael Lee at the University of Washington Medical Center who is a spine doctor. Angie came along with me, as she knows all the right things to ask and she understands all the medical jargon the doctors say. It was a huge help having her there with me today. Here's what we know: I have a herniated disc at the very bottom of my spine, it's compressing my disc that leads through my hip and down my leg. One of the solutions (or at least a remedy) for this is a cortisone shot in herniated disc. My problem: I'm allergic to cortisone (or at least I was when I was 17) so we're going to do an allergy test to see if maybe I've outgrown the problem. Until then (and for the next 6-8 weeks) I'm going to be doing some physical therapy to see if I can repair it with exercises. I believe I can... Surgery is main way to repair a herniated disc, but I intend to get way better before that ever happens. Thank you Erin, our favorite Physical Therapist for your evaluation, advice and supportive back brace this evening! My back is feeling better already. You are the best!

After our doctors visit, Angie, Nancy, Gillian and Kate and I spent the day in Seattle before heading to the airport to take them back. It was sad to see them leave but we'll see them again soon. Maybe next time at Disneyland. Nancy was spotted the last few days by some General Hospital watchers and was very gracious to visit with them and have her photo taken. Her daughter Kate was a joy to have around. She is a remarkable little 10 year old. They loved being with our family and the feeling was quite mutual.

Yesterday we went to the movie Wall-E, then to Pam's house (at the lake) and went out in her blow up row boat. We weren't in the water long before Nancy (in her long skirt) jumped in the water, then Kate followed (in her clothes)...then me (in mine), then Jake (at least he had shorts on). We had a ball. The weather was so nice we were able to lay in the grass and dry off before it was time to come home and BBQ.

Rick recovered very quickly this time from his chemo treatment. It's amazing what a little time off (for your body to heal) will do for the spirit. He's been busy everyday doing something that makes him feel productive.

My little niece, Darlena, is spending the night tonight because we are going to the children's museum tomorrow with Pam and her grandson, Andy. I can't wait to see these kids in action. I'd better get my camera battery charged. She's in watching a movie right now with cousin Jacob while I finish the blog.

It's going to be Independence Day again soon and you know how I like to give my safety tips. I'll try to post them tomorrow so you have plenty of time to prepare for the excitement.

Love you more than all the money spent on fireworks this week!

Dreaming Big,