Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Wow, itís been a busy two weeks. We were in Florida last week on vacation and had a wonderful time. It was so nice to get away and just relax with family.
We first traveled to Palm Beach where we stayed with my sister Joyce and her husband Kurt for three nights. On Tuesday they took us out on their boat to Peanut Island where we spent several hours grilling out and hiking around the island. On Wednesday, we went to a couple different areas where we hiked. Itís a lot different hiking in Florida then it is here in North Carolina, but it was a lot of fun.
Tommy walking my sister's dogs, Kirby and Kody, on Peanut Island. I think he was missing Thor.
Me and Tommy while hiking. No, we weren't standing in water, but were actually on a step leading down into it.
My sister, brother-in-law and me on a hiking trail.
Thursday morning we headed back up to New Smyrna Beach to stay with another sister, Suzi, and her husband Stephen. Along the way we stopped to visit my Uncle Bill, Aunt Pat and cousin Kim in Melbourne, Florida. He surprised us with an airboat ride on Lake Washington. It was cloudy and a little misty that day, but it didnít rain and we had a great time. We only saw one gator.
My uncle, our guide, and Tommy on the airboat.
Riding on the airboat.
After leaving their house, we drove to my sisterís house where we had wonderful spaghetti they had fixed for dinner. The next day they drove us up to St. Augustine. We did a lot of walking around the streets checking out the wonderful old architecture and the sights. We later had dinner at a restaurant near the beach and then drove to the St. Augustine Lighthouse where we went on the night ghost tour. After a tour of the light keepers house, they turned us loose to explore on our own. It was a bit challenging climbing the lighthouse steps in the dark with only a small glowstick they provided for us (the light on my phone came in pretty handy a few times). Tommy was feeling so good he was even able to climb to the top of the lighthouse. We didnít see any ghosts, but we had a great time.
Me and Tommy in St. Augustine
Beautiful St. Augustine
The top of St. Augustine Lighthouse in the dark
St. Augustine picture from the top of the lighthouse
On Saturday, Suzi drove us over to the beach at Ponce Inlet. The ocean was incredibly rough for some reason with the waves churning and crashing hard against the rocks along the jetty, but it was beautiful. After walking around there for a while and taking lots of pics of the ocean and birds, we stopped by the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse for a quick look.
Rough ocean along the jetty at Ponce Inlet
I just loved this bird!
There were so many pelicans and they were really active. We had a great time watching them.
I loved this picture of them diving for fish with their butts in the air.
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.
We hated to leave Sunday to come home, but we did miss Thor and was happy to see him. Weíre already planning our next trip back to St. Augustine, hopefully sometime next spring.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and is able to spend it with family or friends. Now back to my kitchen to get back to cooking.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Wow, I feel like Iíve been away from SP for a really long time. Actually, itís only been a couple of weeks and I have been checking in briefly each day. So much has been going on in my life that I feel like Iíve barely had time to breathe.
As the end to Tommyís break from chemo was approaching, he went to get his next scan. Waiting for the scan results are always a nervous time, so I managed to busy myself - REALLY busy myself. My son Cliff and I decided to do some much needed work on our basement. But Iíll get back to that in a few minutes.
First, Tommy went back to his doctor on Monday fully expecting poor scan results and a return to chemo. What we actually got was a good report - the tumors in his lungs have remained unchanged for the last three months! She decided that there was no benefit to putting him back on chemo and subjecting him to the toxic effects of the drugs at this time since the tumors are not changing. He has another three month break and then they will do another restaging scan in January and see how things are going then. We are so happy that he can enjoy the holidays and our trip to Florida next month without suffering the side effects from chemo. Thanks to you all for the wonderful support and all your prayers.
Now for the basement. We recently ďcleanedĒ it out, but decided it was time to get serious about getting rid of all the unused items simply cluttering the basement. We spent several days going through boxes and moving pieces of stored furniture, deciding what needed to go to the dump and what was still useful. I found out that young guys with their own apartments are always in need of something and managed to find new homes for most of the stuff I didnít want to throw away. Our basement is now almost eerily empty, but it looks great! Weíve spent the last few days painting the cinder block walls to brighten it up and next weíll be painting the floor (weíve already bought the floor paint, so I guess weíre committed to that). Thor has also loved all of this because he's been spending time lounging in the back yard while we worked with all the basement doors open. Iím on vacation from work until next Friday, so weíre hoping to get most of the work finished this coming week.
I will, however, be taking some time for fun the next two days to let my bruised and battered body recover. My sister and her husband who live in Florida have just retired and are on an RV trip. Theyíll be stopping here tomorrow and spending a couple days with us. Weíre hoping to get a chance to go hiking while theyíre here.
Now I have to get up and clean my house that has been neglected since starting work on the basement. Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend and enjoying some nice fall weather.
Monday, August 20, 2012
I made a deal with myself that I would buy the new kayak I want for my birthday if I lost twenty pounds. Iíve been doing even better than I expected and Iím down about eight pounds already. I still have twelve pounds to go, but my birthday isnít for another five weeks. So how could I possibly justify backing out of my deal and buying my kayak before Iíve lost all twenty pounds and before my birthday? I canít.
But thatís exactly what I did. Cliff, my son and my biggest support system in my weight loss effort, had a talk with me last week. It went something like this:
Cliff: Mom, Iíve been watching the websites that had the Tarpon 100 on sale and they are all selling out.
Me: I know Cliff, but I havenít lost the weight yet.
Cliff: But youíre doing great, and if you wait they may be sold out and you'll have to pay a few hundred dollars more for the 2013 model of the kayak you want or youíll have to settle for something you donít really want. You really should go ahead and order it and then weíll make sure you have the rest of the weight off by your birthday.
Me: But then, Iím going back on my deal with myself. Thatís cheating!
Cliff: Iíll exercise with you and make sure you lose the weight or Iíll take it away and lock it up until you do. Besides that, if you wait until the end of September, youíre not going to get to use it much before it gets too cold. And, if you go ahead and get it we can go a lot more on your days off and youíll get even more exercise.
So, how hard do you think he had to work to talk me into it? Not very. He accomplished his mission in just over thirty minutes. My son, my support system, and my saboteur. But then thereís that thing called ďpersonal responsibilityĒ that makes me accountable for my own actions. After all, Iím an adult with my own free will and could have simply said no. Still, watching him paddle around last week in his new kayak only increased my desire to have my own. Yes, I actually did feel a little guilty as I got on the website and clicked the add to cart button, but not guilty enough to stop.
So the kayak was ordered, in the color I want, it is on its way, and is supposed to be in Greensboro tomorrow for me to pick up. We have a kayak trip planned this coming Sunday with a lot more friends this time. Weíre going back up to the New River in Virginia and Iíll be paddling my new mango color Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100. And the truth is Iíll probably be having so much fun I wonít even be thinking about the deal I broke with myself, but at least Iíll be getting a good workout and burning some extra calories.
I still feel a little guilty, but Iím also really excited about picking up my kayak tomorrow!
Cliff at the Yadkin River checking out his new kayak last week.
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