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Just a nice weekend

Monday, October 21, 2013

So, DH's dad was here to visit this weekend, and we spent Saturday at Stan Hywet Hall. We love this place, because in addition to the house they have beautiful gardens, and it's just fun to walk around in them. But not Saturday, because it was POURING rain. Instead, we'd arrived in time to take the "Nooks and Crannies" tour, which tours the service portions of the hall. I love best seeing the "behind the scenes" portion of such places, and we'd never managed to get to that part before. It was an awesome tour. We renewed our membership again this year, and I am determined to get down there more. On Sundays they allow people to walk their dogs in the gardens, so I hope to take Shasta down there and enjoy the gardens with her.

Yesterday DD came over with a sewing project, so I dug out my sewing machine. When I say that, I really mean it; even though I have that nice sewing area set up in my basement, because I haven't been sewing lately it had become the repository of everything that we wanted out of our living space but didn't have the time to address what to actually do with it. My sewing table was a convenient flat surface on which to dump all that stuff. Now it's all dumped on the cutting table, and I really have to do something about it. I want to get back to quilting soon, and I'm also sick of all the junk in my house. I hate clutter. I don't know how it is that so much accumulates. My basement family room was nice and neat, but it's now a no-man's-land until Erin finally gets that last of her stuff out of there. There isn't even a point in trying to clean it up until her numerous boxes are removed.

All that aside, we had a nice day. I haven't seen much of Erin since she moved, so it was fun to be able to hang out with her. We sewed a cushion slipcover for one of the ottomans she was lent by a friend, and gave the puppy a much needed bath. Then we took the puppy on a long walk and played fetch with her in a big field until we wore her out--not an easy feat with a young dog. She has a lot of energy.

We went to the hibachi steakhouse for dinner last night, at my father-in-law's request, and had a really terrific chef who was a real showman. In addition, the food was amazing--probably the best scallops I've ever eaten. They were tender and sweet and perfectly cooked. After a couple mediocre experience with scallops lately, it really brought home to me why I love them so much.

Now I have a week of ceaseless projects ahead of me. But it's good because I'm making money!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NATPLUMMER 10/22/2013 9:51AM


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TATTER3 10/22/2013 6:40AM

    And we just keep Sparkin'!!!

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JANETRIS 10/21/2013 8:05PM

    Glad your weekend was great! We can relate to the extra clutter. Kids are at college and we need to haul out stuff that has accumulated over the years. We will have to come up with a plan to MIH! Have a great week!

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LAWANDMUSIC 10/21/2013 2:52PM

    Boy, do I understand about the basement being a "no-man's land". Our DD2 is living down there, with her cats, while she is finishing her degree. I dare not go down there, because the whole space (about 1300 square feet) has become "hers".

Notwithstanding the fact that my husband's computer things are down there, and all the Christmas ornaments are (until this last year) stored down there, and of course, my little pantry of extra food is down there.

I cannot wait until DD2 graduates and moves to her own place. I am sure she will move out as she did that before.

And then, of course, DD1s things are still in the basement - she moved out five years ago.

Is there hope?


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HILLSLUG98239 10/21/2013 1:13PM

    I'm glad you had a relaxing weekend. You deserve it!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/21/2013 12:41PM

    I'm glad you had such a nice weekend!

I love scallops too. They are awesome when they are cooked right.

Getting rid of clutter is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. I try to do one drawer or shelf at a time. I love the ones that i've cleaned out recently, but it's a never ending project.

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RANANAM 10/21/2013 10:27AM

    I need to do a clutter purge at my house, too! I moved in over a year ago when I got married, and I'm at the point where if it doesn't have a 'home' at this point it just needs to go!!


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The world's smallest sled dog

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ferrett and I have been watching Cesar Milan in the background while working, and one of the things that he emphasizes is giving dogs enough exercise. He rollerblades with his dogs, and encourages people to bike with them as well.

I don't rollerblade, but it's been noted that I do bike, so I thought I'd give it a try with Shasta.

The problem is, Shasta is terrified of bicycles. When we walk, she lunges at them with a ferocity that is unmatched by her reaction to anything else. But, hey, Mommy was gonna be the one on the bike; it would be okay, right.


The first time out, I got about 6 houses down the street before giving up. She was biting her leash, snapping at the tires, snapping at my ankles, and barking her head off. I almost ran her over three times, and almost crashed twice. I staggered back to the house, laughing at the disaster.

But if at first you don't succeed! And we have lots of experience with her being terrified of something the first time she encounters it and getting better. So this morning after taking her for her walk, I decided to try again.

First of all, I used the mountain bike, which is smaller. Secondly, I rode on the sidewalk--something I never do when riding regularly, but in this case it seemed the wiser. As we began, Shasta was barking and snapping just like the first time. This time, though, I was ready to be more patient. I stopped and reassured her, pedaled a few more feet, stopped again and let her sniff the bike, pedaled a bit more and stopped to make her quit biting the leash.

After the third stop, she turned and fled the bike. And after a few yards, she began to get the idea.

And suddenly I wasn't pedaling; I was being pulled down the street by 15 pounds of black, streaking energy. To the point that I was braking. We got to the first corner, and getting her to turn to the right caused me to almost hit a telephone pole. Next corner, I had to come to a complete stop to get her to turn and head back up the length of the block. It's slightly uphill, so we weren't going as fast, but there were distractions: dogs being walked, birds, fire hydrants. So I went back and forth between pedaling and braking, and being suddenly yanked by a sprinting dog such that I had to recatch my balance.

We turned the third corner, and keeping her from going straight and into the street I had to stop completely and pull her back, then sort of waddle the bike around the corner. And things fell apart there. We were back to the snarling and snapping and barking and biting the leash. Fortunately, this was the short side of the block and we were almost home. So we fought our way around the last turn and I was resigned to heading home, glad we'd made some progress.

Then, headed downhill, Shasta started running again. So we went around again, and then a third time. It was better, but we are clearly both still learning. The lunging and slowing for her, the braking and then getting almost pulled off the bike for me. By the time I got home from those three miles, I was hot and sweating, despite the fact that Shasta was doing most of the work.

But she got the corners, and we had a great time.

And now she is flopped beside me, worn out. So yay!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAJERO 10/19/2013 2:23PM

    What a wonderful, humorous story. I am so glad you succeeded your task. I have not yet been able to get my two cats to use a leach and have given up.

Although you inspired me to get out there and ride even with difficulties, you did not inspire to get a dog. emoticon emoticon

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TATTER3 10/13/2013 9:04AM

    This is a joy to read!!! What a comedy!! Thank you for sharing!!! Can't help but wonder what the little thing is thinking!!! Too funny!

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TOWHEE 10/12/2013 10:10PM

    Congratulations. As a child I tried to "walk" our Dalmatian while riding my bike. I would end up on the ground every time. My Dad tried it once, he was going to show me how it was done, but ended up on the road with bumps and bruises. Needless to say we didn't do it again.

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LINOVER 10/12/2013 8:35PM

    Shasta is obviously much more active than our Rosie! She just looks at me if I pick up the leash. She has decided that, since she now that she is the advanced age of 14 that she does not have to walk!

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EBRAINK 10/12/2013 6:43PM

    Oh. My. Goodness.
Good for you for persistence, and good for Shasta, too. She must really love and trust you to put up with all of that!

It does seem to be an excellent way to help an active dog get enough exercise. Have you seen the special leash systems they make for bikes? They're like bungee leashes, hooked to the rear wheel, so the cyclist can use both hands to steer and brake. This makes some sense to me - if I'm holding a leash and the handlebar, my 70 lb labrador retriever could jerk the leash and cause an accident.

NOT, of course, that I've ever tried such an experiment! emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 10/12/2013 5:41PM


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JANETRIS 10/12/2013 5:11PM

    Best of luck with this new adventure! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THOMS1 10/12/2013 3:51PM

    emoticon but, be very careful that you don't get hurt.

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OPTIMIST1948 10/12/2013 3:46PM

    Now the key is to build on that success! Always end the lesson on a high note.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/12/2013 12:37PM

    I'm impressed you were able do so much with her on your second ride. emoticon emoticon

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4DOGNIGHT 10/12/2013 10:51AM

    I would have definitely fallen down at the first turn and then walked up. Never a good bike rider. Sounds like you enjoyed it, especially Shasta! emoticon

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Wedding day!

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Today I am officiating at my first wedding. Our dear friends are getting married, and they asked me to be their celebrant. I am excited and nervous. We are getting hair and makeup done now, and the wedding is at 5:30. It's a wonderful day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MANDYLOVE_76 10/7/2013 2:59PM


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JANETRIS 10/6/2013 5:23PM

    Can't wait to hear all about it! Are you a Pastor? Best of luck!

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K1TT3N 10/6/2013 3:50PM

    have a great time

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KNYAGENYA 10/6/2013 2:29PM

    Have fun!

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DARK_WONDERFUL 10/6/2013 6:24AM

    How cool! Have a great time!

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TATTER3 10/5/2013 11:20PM


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NATPLUMMER 10/5/2013 5:41PM

    Excellent!! Have fun!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/5/2013 2:49PM

    Very cool! What an honor! I bet you will do a terrific job. Have fun!

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ALICIA214 10/5/2013 1:54PM


What a wonderful day it will be for all of you...


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The CureSearch Walk and beyond

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Last Saturday we participated in the CureSearch Walk. It was a beautiful, perfect day, and the purple-shirted Team Rebecca people were out in force. We made up about a third of all the walkers. And we raised about a third of all the money. Our group got a plaque for raising the most money.

In a way, this made me sad. Pedal to the Point, which benefits MS, had over a thousand riders. This benefit for children's cancer research had only about 150 walkers. There simply isn't enough awareness of the fact that so many children die from cancer. The statistics talk about a high cure rate for kids, but that is just kids with leukemia. For other children's cancers, the survivor rate is generally no better, and sometimes worse, that that of adults. Only 4% of the money spent on cancer research goes to pediatric research, and with the government shutdown several research studies that could be saving lives are simply being shuttered. It makes me want to cry.

This is probably my favorite picture of Rebecca, being chased by my husband, who, lacking a purple shirt, had instead dug a purple cape up. Becca remains so very alive and vibrant that it's almost impossible to believe her life is at risk. But at this moment she is undergoing her 16th radiation treatment, out of the 31 that are scheduled before she begins the year of her two-drug chemotherapy regimen. And it's still only a 50% chance that this smiling, high-energy little girl will be with us in 5 years.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPTIMIST1948 10/10/2013 7:42PM

    Without the preface - you would never know this was anything other than an ordinary picture...

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TATTER3 10/4/2013 6:37AM

    You do what you can.....that picture speaks loud!!!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/3/2013 10:17PM


I love that picture....it's wonderful!

How is she doing physically with the radiation?

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KNYAGENYA 10/3/2013 2:48PM


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WENDYSPARKS 10/3/2013 1:36PM


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NATPLUMMER 10/3/2013 1:09PM


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HILLSLUG98239 10/3/2013 10:50AM

    Thank you for getting out there, raising money, and raising awareness. A kid having cancer is a tragedy.

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Mom update

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mom is out of immediate danger. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts. I am so very grateful for them.

It turns out that she isn't actually bleeding internally. We burn through red blood cells on a regular basis; we dispel them through sweat and urine and such, and our kidneys tell our body to make more red blood cells accordingly.

Mom's kidneys are now so weak and subfunctional that they no longer signal the body to make red blood cells. She has to start kidney dialysis, but she wanted to go on one last vacation before she started. She went to her doctor last week, who told her that she needed to get a iron pack and a blood transfusion. But since she has had so many transfusion over the last couple of years it makes her blood very difficult to match due to antigens, so she didn't want to wait for the blood to be ordered, which would have disrupted her vacation schedule, and decided to wait until she returned from vacation and at that point her blood numbers weren't that bad.

Well go figure, the morning they were to leave it all went south. She was lucky to have made it to the hospital in time because she was in heart failure due to the fact that her blood level was so low. The doctor said if her body wasn't used to running on low she never would of made it. Then the big problem came--the only blood to match was in Salt Lake. It was basically over (do not resuscitate papers and all Ugh) And then we got our miracle: someone in the hospital had blood that was close to hers and didn't need all the blood that they had ordered from Salt lake. It was a bit risky but her only chance and thank God it worked.

She burned through that blood really fast because it wasn't a perfect match, but close enough to hold her until 4 in the morning when the good stuff got there. Now her numbers are up and with dialysis and the occasional transfusion we get to keep her with us for a little longer. Thankfully she is so determined to be here she just keeps fighting.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TATTER3 9/20/2013 10:23PM

    Keep Sparkin'!!! Prayers for you and yours.

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LKWQUILTER 9/20/2013 8:31PM

    Praying for all of you. Seems like when it rains it pours. ((HUGS))

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/20/2013 6:31PM

    What a roller coaster the last few days have been for you. I'm glad your mom has stablized. I hope things go okay for her. She sounds like she wants to live life to the fullest....that vacation meant a lot to her. I can understand why she wanted to go for it.


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LEANNROCKS 9/20/2013 6:30PM

    Yay for the fighting spirit in your mom!

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JANETRIS 9/20/2013 5:59PM

    So glad your Mom is doing better. I'm still holding her and your family in my prayers... emoticon

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KNYAGENYA 9/20/2013 12:31PM


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HILLSLUG98239 9/20/2013 11:35AM

    I'm glad to hear she's a fighter. I guess we know where you got it from. emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 9/20/2013 11:09AM

    I'm glad she is doing better!! Hopefully the dialysis will do the trick.
There are so many outpatient hemodialysis places around that she'll be able to take a vacation and get dialysis while she's gone.

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DOGLADY13 9/20/2013 11:08AM

    You must be relieved. I'll keep praying for her, for you and for everyone in your life.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/20/2013 10:23AM

    I am so glad that your Mom is doing better! Lets hope that the dialysis works wonders for her! Will she be able to get the machine that she can use at home? I will be keeping her and Becca and all involved, in my prayers.

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4DOGNIGHT 9/20/2013 9:36AM

    WOW, you are really going through a lot right now. ANd your MOM sounds like a fighter for sure! You are definitely in my thoughts.

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RICHILA 9/20/2013 9:36AM

    Keeping the prayers going for you and yours. emoticon

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