|Of course zillions of blood moon photos on the net but this one taken by Tim Durkan of Seattle was my favorite|
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
|Allie's birthday party was next to a playground|
|The boys spun around in this dish until they were sick|
|Allie driving a police car She could turn on the flashers and sirens|
|My resident frog likes to hang out on the fake water lilies|
|yellow roses are in bloom here|
|her big birthday present: a trike though she can't pedal it yet|
|Julie's uncle came to the party in a restored 1963 police cruiser|
I have had bad luck observing rare astronomy happenings. I miss rare comets, meteor showers, Northern lights and now the rare super blood moon eclipse. It was supposed to happen at a reasonable hour: 10 pm or so. A friend and I stayed up late on our porch drinking wine waiting for it but after a week of perfectly clear weather, there were clouds. Even my friend en route to see her sister for the very last time, could see it from the plane.
Allie's party was in a local park on top of a former landfill. No alcohol was to be served in the shelter. Just down the hill, the county sheriff had a substation and would swing a car through every once in a while. The presence of our forbidden booze made Josh nervous. A cruiser pulled into the parking lot. He thought Oh great, now we are going to be busted! But then I noticed that the cruiser looked to be about 50 years old. Certainly their county could afford more updated cruisers. Years ago, we had this same Plymouth station wagon though ours was cream colored and probably a 1959 model. Julie's uncle once was a cop and thought it would be fun to restore an old Detroit police cruiser.
Allie enthusiastically unwrapped her many presents with the kids crowding around her. Someone had gotten her kid sized cleaning supplies: a broom and dustpan in pink. This made Tessa super excited. Who would have thought that cleaning supplies would bring so much joy? For my girls, I avoided things like this and all the frilly pink things. What kids do not want to see are clothes unless they are tutus or some kind of costume.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
|We will be celebrating her 2nd birthday later today. Her hair is finally growing|
|Big sky from this morning's bike ride|
|Botanical gardens orchids|
|Not many trees have turned yet but this bonsai maple has|
|This place is a monarch sanctuary with lots of milkweed. Should have gone there a month ago to take photos of the chyrsalises|
|autumn crocus: should buy some bulbs to have my own|
|Steve wondered why I was taking a photo of a deformed zinnia when there were perfect blossoms nearby|
|dragonfly on a marigold. Marigolds are supposed to repel insects|
Saturday, September 26, 2015
|May she rest in peace|
Friday, September 25, 2015
Thursday, September 24, 2015
|hand made raku tile 25 cents|
|25 cent pot in middle will be filled next year with a miniature plant in my clay village|
|miniature plants purchased for clay village that turned out too big Cute flower basket might be useful|
|A card stolen from someone's blog. The bumblebee was a metaphor for her life: science says that bumblebees can't fly as the aerodynamics are wrong but yet they fly anyway due to their superior determination. She was determined to cure her leukemia 'naturally' . by not going through traditional chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Rather she prayed a lot and ate healthily thinking that 'toxins' she had consumed in the past (sugar, meat, dairy) gave her leukemia in the first place. The prayer did not work.|
IMHO whoever calculated that bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly did their math wrong. I have been going though leukemia blogs (Being cancer conveniently stores lots of blogs by disease type; mine is in there) to find some good ones that will give my friend hope. Once she gets stronger, she will need more stuff to occupy herself in her isolation. So far, the reporter Robin Roberts story is the best. She was roughly the same age as my friend when she had breast cancer, the chemo gave her MDS leukemia (which turns into deadly AML leukemia if ignored). She received stem cells from her sister that saved her life and she is fine now. Robin was very fortunate to have a sibling match because finding one outside her family in the African-American community was only 20%. She wrote a book about her experience. Her mom's motto: Make the mess your message.
Bumblebee's story initially sounded promising. She was the same age as my friend when diagnosed with MDS leukemia. She initially did do chemo to go into remission. She was told that this remission most likely will be temporary but she chose to believe that she could make it permanent by prayer, healthy living and lots of travel. I kept on reading even though I would not recommend this one for my friend other than as a cautionary tale for not taking Bumblebee's road because she was an excellent writer. She went to several very expensive holistic treatment centers whose philosophies just made me shake my head. Towards the end, she was quite neutropenic (no white blood cells) and running a fever. Traditional medicine would say, run to the ER, get hooked up to iv antibiotics to kill the infective organism because your body can't. Holistic practitioners told her, don't seek medical attention; the high temperature was actually a good thing killing the organisms, blah, blah, blah.
Then I came upon a young (18 year old at diagnosis) physics student who writes well and amusingly. She is now Naomi's age and survived her transplant from a non-related donor but is sort of in a no-man's land as some of her bad bone marrow remains (should be 100% donor; not 96%). She is kept on maintenance chemo to suppress that 4% from growing but the chemo is making her miserable. She can barely climb stairs as she is so weak (again, Naomi's age). Should she risk getting off the chemo so she can have a normal life? There is no guarantee that the chemo will keep working and there is a chance that the 4% will never take over and she will be fine. Won't recommend this as I don't want to scare my friend with this what-if.
Then there is the upbeat young man who did survive with lots of infections post transplant. He 2 years later is fine but details all his fellow transplant patients who didn't survive from his unit.
I'll keep looking and meanwhile buy Robin's book.
A beautiful Southern California day(only in Michigan) again. Hardly any fall colors here due to the nights being well above freezing. I have not seen my hummingbirds today so maybe they left. What signals their departure? Temperature? Length of day? The boys left 3 weeks ago. I did see one in late October (right after my 2nd surgery for cancer) but I guess they are rarely here in October.
My odometer died due to an expired battery. I finally found the instructions buried deep in one of my many junk drawers. It said the computer's battery only lasts a year and the sensor's battery lasts 7200 miles. Weird units. I just replaced the computer's battery but everything needed to be reset and I was afraid I screwed that up. Gone is my total distance reading of 2376 miles (I have ridden 90 miles since then). So I checked the new odometer reading versus my GPS and I think it is OK. In the past, the odometer read about 1% low but now it seems a bit high. Hard to tell. Every 5 minutes, the GPS app announces how far I've gone and what my current speed was but the info is about a minute off (in that minute I could go .2 mile) The other day while I was slowly chugging up a hill, it said I was going 19 mph. Well maybe I was 2 minutes ago. We have a 2 mile absolutely flat stretch near my house that goes through a series of lakes and streams so on that stretch, it is easy to go a consistent pace so it did seem the speed on the odometer matched what the app said. So I did a nice ride today stopping at the every other week barn sale where I got the miniatures. I had hoped to see Shanna and Tess today but Ms. Tess doesn't feel well. Mybe she'll be better tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
|view from top of fancy paper weight by the artist Karg|
|sideview. Camera doesn't know where to focus and you can't see the dichromatic glass|
|Maya showing off her ring ability|
|in her school's library|
Young Fives is a relatively new program which turns kindergarten into a two year program especially for those who are born late in the cycle. Both Maya and Daniel have birthdays making them eligible for the program though they went to it for entirely different reasons. I saw a list for about twenty things Maya should master by the end of the month. Among them:
Can one flunk prekindergarten? Again, when I was in kindergarten, we were doing good to know the alphabet and being able to count. Making things worse, they think she has ADHD. I think they are right. The school had an Open House the other night in which the classroom teacher discussed the classroom's goals. When I was a parent, kids were invited to these but apparently, this was for parents only. So I entertained Maya while Naomi stayed in the classroom. I tried to read her a book. The other 4 grandkids listen attentively (though now Oliver thinks he is too old for this) when they are read to but Maya's eyes dart all over the place looking for something else to do. So I took her to the playground. She has therapists for her speech and fine motor skills, but her large motor skills are quite good. She proudly swang from ring to ring. She loves her teacher and quickly makes friends.
We have a week of Indian Summer consisting of cool nights and evenings and pleasant, sunny dry days. If only the weather could be like this all the time.
Sunday my friend and I sat on my porch until the sun went down in a blaze, sipping our wine before finishing Orange is the New Black. Very unsatisfying ending.
Yesterday I brought my friend who had been in the hospital for over 3 weeks home. I tried to convince her to come to my house where I could watch her more closely. Plus my house is easy to walk around and has easy access showers. She was denied rehab and is very weak from numerous complications. She does get a couple of weeks of daily nurse visits. They will only go to one address. Most of her friends today are observing Yom Kippur so they will not look after her. I hope she is not fasting as she is much too weak. Checkout took forever (more than 2 hours) between waiting for staff to give her last minute instructions and then the pharmacy messing up her prescription, which took forever to fix. She was totally beat. In her absence, her street was ripped apart. I narrowly missed being crushed by an earth mover by a man who thought I had no business on that street (only way to get to her house). Her nosy neighbor of course popped up (she had been a housemate of both of us 40 years ago and we really didn't get along)to tell me that if I was looking for my friend, I am out of luck as she has been gone for a month. I reminded her that I rarely visit without an invitation and that I have my friend in my car. If she were a normal, responsible person, I would have asked her to look in on my friend who definitely needs tending but past experience indicated she is much too self involved to be bothered by that. Besides she has to water her plants one by one with a little cup (hasn't she heard of hoses or at least a big watering can?) and has her own health issues which she will share but I beat a hasty retreat.
Last night, a trip to a Southwestern restaurant with former colleagues. I was disappointed that we didn't sit outside but some of us didn't have warmer clothes for when the sun went down (earlier and earlier). This was the restaurant I had a fainting spell while dining outside with my California college friend which I still don't understand other than when I am in pain, I faint. No thanks to nerve damage due to cancer treatment, occasionally I will feel like my rib is broken and then the pain just goes away. This happens very infrequently now and the pain isn't as bad as some of my earlier attacks. But that night, I couldn't finish my dinner as I thought I was one moment from collapsing onto the ground. I also have fond memories of that restaurant. More than eight years ago, I was having brunch with Shanna who informed me that Ramy was much more than a friend. I had chicken poblano chile rellenos and a mojito that seemed to lack rum. Tasty food. The drink? Not so much. It was fun and nice not to be stuck in a house by myself so much of the time.
My friend who received a stem cell transplant last week is now back to texting me. Although the transplant went well, she is suffering from mucositis from the chemo totally destroying the lining of her digestive tract. Apparently it is very painful. I had a mild case of it from the Red Devil, mainly mouth sores. She is in total isolation and will be in the hospital at least a month.
And my childhood friend's sister who was missing a primary breast tumor for her presumed metastatic breast cancer still does not have a diagnosis except of metastatic cancer, unknown origin. They tried 3 times with tumors in her bones and spine to get a positive ID . Now they are going to biopsy one of her lung tumors (they are suspecting now that she has lung cancer, not breast cancer) and hopefully get a cell type so they can appropriately treat her.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Sunday, September 20, 2015
|Grandma and Allie|
|Pumpkins of different colors|
|cider served in pumpkin cups. Allie licking donut sugar off her hand|
|They a track full of riding tractors|
|Sweet blue eyes|
|Outside the farm. I ride by this on most of my Sunday rides. They usually have attractive gardens|
|lots of Halloween stuff|
|And a train ride with Grandpa|
|A corn pit|
|3 little pigs|
|Oliver has been busy losing teeth|
|she kept going back to the tractor even though she doesn't know how to pedal yet|
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