Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Kaiser ( not the school, our health care company) sent me a reminder to come in for a mammogram. Every two years they have me come in. I made my appointment for a Friday, had the mammogram, and went home. On Monday I received a call from Kaiser, they want to do another series of mammograms. I have suspicious shadows. I can't go back to my facility I must go to the Imaging Breast Center in another town. I was with a friend when I got the call and I fell apart. She was driving and trying to calm me down at the same time. She got me home to Marty and they both worked on calming me.
Background. My family does all types of cancer: skin, liver, brain, lung, stomach, kidney, and many others. Breast cancer, the women on both sides of the family do this, even the women who marry into the family. Few have survived. I was in full panic attack mode.
On Thursday Marty took me to the Breast Center. It is fabulous in the care you receive. Very quiet, dim lights, soft music, women walk you from test to test. Marty waited in an area with me between tests. There was soft music, coffee, water, and cookies. Every thing to keep the patient calm.
I had another series of mammogram. Still not what they want to see. Then they did an ultrasound. That didn't come out good either. The doctor had explained everything up to that point and he wanted to do a needle biopsy. I could come back or he would do it right then. I said to do it right then. He took several samples of the mass. The results could take up to a week.
We went home to wait. We told very few people because we had nothing to tell. Marty who internalizes everything needed to tell some people. I had my head in the sand and ate chocolate and drank lots of Bourbon. On Monday evening the doctor called with the good news. Not malignant. It is a papilloma, which he thought should come out. He wanted me to see a surgeon.
Tuesday the next week we saw the surgeon. That was yesterday. The doctor gave us the options, explained no biopsy is 100% certain. I decided to have a lumpectomy. With the family history this is the smartest move. The procedure will be done under a local and twilight sleep anesthetics. They remove the mass, stitch it up, and send me home. I can pretty much do what I want the next day.
Now we wait for our turn in the operating room. Breast procedures move to the top of the list, so probably in the next two weeks it will be done. I will update when I have more details.
So Ladies, have your mammogram on a regular schedule. Men, make sure the women in your life have mammograms. Don't say it doesn't matter. It does. It can save a life.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Father figures take children fishing, they teach a child how to shoot a gun and how to respect a gun, they pay bills, take a child horseback riding or to a ballgame. Teenagers are taught to drive a stick shift and to change a tire. You learn from them how to drive a tractor or a riding lawn mower. They might teach you to cook. Or you might learn how to get ticks off the dog.
Good men set rules and enforce them. They set examples for living a good life. These men prepare children for adulthood. They keep a watchful eye on their child. They are the fathers, uncles, neighbors, friends who give a helping hand to a child, teenager, adult.
I have been blessed with several such men in my life. They were there for me, for my child, for children I know. You never get too old for a Daddy, Pop, Father, Papa.
Much love to my Papa Jack and to Marty my love and the father of our son.
Happy Father's Day!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
Tomorrow will be my last day volunteering for this school year. The end of August it all begins again. Last Tuesday we were busy with different things. The class worked in their science journals writing about an experiment they had done the day before. They also were given pictures of older science projects and were to write about those. Another volunteer and I spent a lot of time taping pictures in each journal.
Ms. H handed out their very first creative writing story and one done last week. The two papers were mounted on a large piece of black construction paper. Each child then wrote four sentences that told how the papers were different/improved. We got some good thoughts: the older stories were messy, their penmanship had improved, the new story was neater looking, they used complete sentences, they now used punctuation, capital letters were used at the beginning of sentences, capital letters did not show up in the middle of sentences or words, they could spell their last name, they used descriptive words. After they wrote about the differences they read them to the class.
After a morning of the class working hard, I read them a story. A couple of weeks ago I read them Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We discussed how destructive Goldilocks was, and how she was breaking laws. This week I read them Goldilocks Returns by Lisa Campbell Ernst. Be sure to click on the link and read a couple of pages. In this book Goldilocks feels guilty for what she did to the Three Bears years and years ago. She decides to make it up to them. Things do not go as planned.
My Tuesdays are free this summer, school and Book Group are on break. Not sure how I will fill all up the time, but I sure about one thing. I will be sleeping a lot later.
Friday, June 7, 2013
I love Chinese food. This was a new place for us. Service was iffy, they brought our entrees, and then our soup. We canceled the soup. Service didn't really matter our food was fabulous. We had Kung Pao Chicken and Beef with Mixed Mushrooms.
Tuesday night I went to my book group's pot luck. At the end of each several weeks' session we have a pot luck and judge the books we read. Spouses are invited, so Marty joined us. After we ate we started to rank the books. But we were interrupted.
Frank the Lawman came in and started reading my outstanding warrants from Kentucky, (for those who don't know me personally, I grew up in the mountains of Kentucky). I was wanted for driving most of the CHS football team to the bootlegger, problems with Social Probation at EKU, other minor things. Then he said there were my love life problems.
This is one of my suitors. He really wants me to marry him and to have his children.
Looks like there is a warrant out on Marty too.
I was voted on and the group decided I shouldn't be jailed. Then we had a birthday party. The mantle had been decorated just for me.
What is a birthday without chocolate on chocolate cake? What more do you need?
Candles, you have to have candles. Notice I am protecting the cake from my bad girl germs.
I had a great birthday. Thanks to family and friends for the love, cards, and especially to Frank the Lawman and his partner Janet R.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
I haven’t blogged about weddings lately because there have not been many. Wednesday has become a nothing day in the wedding department. The last two weeks I have done a total of 3 weddings. Not really worth the price of gas to get me to Oakland. But even with so few, each wedding was wonderful and moving.
Wedding 1: The groom was 45 and this was his 4th marriage. That is a lot of baggage. The bride was 34 and this was her first marriage. She wore a white sheath with gold braid at the waist. Oh, did I warn you of the thin white dress? She also wore a black bra. The nice part the groom had his own vows and cried as he said them.
Wedding 2: The groom was Vietnamese and the bride was Chinese. English was their common language. He wore a black suit and black shirt. She wore a tiered chiffony dress that had spaghetti straps. The dress was dark blue with white polka dots. Her shoes were sparkly blue flats that had silver metal polka dots. Many of the Asian couples are not as demonstrative as other ethnic groups. This couple almost clung to each other. The groom was so emotional, and so tender taking care of his very nervous bride. The love was felt in the room.
Wedding 3: I saw the woman out in the lobby wearing a fuchsia strapless chiffon dress. The clerks commented on the bride waiting for her turn. The groom was all in white/cream. White cord slacks, white shirt, he was too cool to wear socks and wore cream cloth loafers. I introduced myself and then another woman walked up. Oops, I had the wrong person as the bride. The fuchsia woman was the daughter of the real bride. Oh, the daughter was 11 years old. She is a stunning beauty. Up close I could tell she was too young to be the bride. But 11 and that much of a knockout? Quel surprise! The mother/bride was even more stunning than the daughter. The bride wore a cream sleeveless sheath with silver strappy high heel sandals. The groom cried throughout the ceremony and the bride kept wiping his tears away. This was already a family. He was not the birth father, but he already was the father. Nice nice family.
And that is it for weddings for the last two weeks. In a couple of hours I will leave to go to the Marriage Factory. Keep your fingers crossed that business picks up.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
A different viewpoint.
I had promised to show you the globes when they were finished.
Here is a close up of a globe ready to be hung up.
Last week I read the book and Tango makes Three. This book has caused a lot of controversy over the years. It is a true story dealing with a same sex animal couple. When we read this book the issue of homosexuality is not really discussed. We talk about how a family can be two moms or dads, one mom, a grandparent, one dad. We stress that families are all different and no one kind of family is better. Usually that is all that we discuss.
This class is more aware of same sex parents. They discussed that. Then they wanted to know if animals can be gay too. I said I wasn’t sure if the word gay was correct for animals. But yes animals sometimes just want to be with their own sex. I told them again that the book is about real penguins and how they made a family. So I was asked if horses could be gay. I guess so. What about elephants, bears, pigs? I guess so. I told them it was possible, but I did not know of any other animals. I was hoping I was answering their questions without giving information they don’t need. Keep it simple and just answer what they ask is the rule with small children. One little boy is frantic to be called on, arm waving, bouncing off the floor. Oh glory, what will he be ask me? “Ms. Appel, how do giraffes sleep?”
Monday, May 27, 2013
I hate taking tests, especially a driver's test. This is the only test as an adult that really counts. If you blow this one, you end up walking. As we have moved around from state to state, I have had to take a vision and written test. I always pass, but I freak out.
I have been studying online for weeks. I read, and read, and read the DMV handbook. I took all the sample tests and the tutorial over and over. The tutorial tests change every time you click on it. I was ready, I hoped. Thursday was my appointment.
I picked a DMV office I had been to before, that was in a safe area, and that had free parking. These were things this agoraphobic needed to slow down the panic attack that could strike. I was taken on time for my appointment, the paper work went quickly, vision test, then another clerk took my picture and then handed me my test. I thought for sure it would be on a computer like the tutorial. Nope, a long piece of paper. There were 18 questions and I was allowed 3 errors.
I started reading, The first one I knew I would miss, I just couldn't remember what was the legal limit of blood alcohol to get a DUI. I guessed too low. Then there were questions that had not been on the tutorial, and I am pretty sure not in the handbook. I was starting to panic. Deep breaths. Calm down. I finished the test. I took my test back to the clerk and yay, I only missed one question.
I am good for 5 more years. Then we do this all again.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
One of the little girls doesn't think rules apply to her. She does not listen to directions, she talks out, and she is the one who played me a few weeks back. The children were doing a worksheet for reading comprehension. They were to read the story, read the questions, and write answers in complete sentences. She had no answers in a complete sentence. (The class had done the first question together.) The first question was Who was our first president? Her answer was George. She threw a dramatic crying temper tantrum when I erased every answer and said do it over. Daddy is one of our good volunteers and she was playing to him. He wisely watched from a distance. She got up to go to him and I made her sit down. Great drama was performed over not listening to or reading the directions. Then Ms. H got on her case too. The sad thing, she could have done the page easily, just didn't.
Ms. H was later called out of the class room. A special reading teacher, Ms. S, and I were left in charge. All the children had work to do and were told no talking, no one get up, finish the workbook pages. Ms. H was not out of sight and they all went nuts on us. Under desks, talking across the room. I told them to sit down and be quiet or they would stay in at recess, It continued. Ms.S told them to quiet down. A half minute of calm and then again with the noise and being out of their chairs. The third time I told they had now lost part of their recess. Ms. H returned and blew a gasket.
It was recess time, Ms. H had yard duty, and left. The whole class had to put their heads down and stay in 3 minutes, an eternity to a first grader. I set my timer and said I would put push start when every head was down. Anytime a head came up after start, I would add a minute. There was a lesson to be taught here, cause and effect. It took about 2 minutes before I could hit start, and then heads came up and chairs were rocking, I added time. When I finally let them out for recess they had missed over half of it.
The lesson really wasn't learned. The noise and breaking of rules continued. Who knows why the children were acting out. We are getting close to the end of school. That is when the children turn on you.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Right now I am ticked off at me. I nearly always wear an apron when cooking and eating at home. I am just a little messy. Well today, while wearing white, I forgot to wear an apron. The juicy tomato on my sandwich dripped down the front of my shirt. I am now trying to salvage my shirt so I can wear it tonight.
We have neighbors who have a deep sense of entitlement. No more than two cars per apartment is the rule. They have three that they just park where they want, behind their other cars, in front of their apartment which makes it hard to get through the cars to our space. Their guests park in illegal spots too.
Neighbors who put their trash in our cans rile me. I am not just talking about the apartment complex people, the property next door has two houses and only have one set of cans. So when their cans are full they put their trash in the cans in our complex. We take it out of ours and put it on top of their cans. Even if we have room, I don't want their garbage. Most of these people don't separate compost, recycle, or landfill. If it is wrong, the garbage company could give us grief.
And speaking of the garbage company, why do they start at 5:00 in the morning? Why can't I ever live where there is an afternoon pickup? Why every Tuesday do I have to be awakened at 5:00 hearing them go up the other side of the street and just as I fall asleep again, they come down our side.
My biggest pet peeve, incorrect grammar usage by people who should know better. You would think to be a TV or print reporter the correct use of the English language would be a requirement. I know grammar is still taught. We teach our first graders contractions, possessive, verb and pronoun tense, how to write a complete sentence. The reporters have no idea of what pronoun to use. Last night a reporter said, "Them and her went to . . ." In print your and you're, they're their and there are used incorrectly. I want to get a big red pencil and go mark up what they have written. I have just about given up on the correct usage of can and may.
I grew up in mountains of Kentucky and trust me they taught English. From day one in the first grade you were corrected if you spoke or wrote incorrectly. And this teaching went on until you graduated from high school. I am betting 90% of the people in my high school class still could conjugate verbs and know which contractions or pronouns to use. Because if they use them incorrectly they know Mrs. Riddell and Mrs. Pope will rise from their graves and make them do it over and over until they get it right.