Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Weddings Have Begun!

Huge wonderful surprise this afternoon.  The court said no 25 day waiting period for same sex marriages, they can begin immediately.  Couples raced to buy marriage licenses and the ceremonies began. 

I was asked to come in on Monday and help do ceremonies.  I first thought no I can't.  My brother and his wife arrive Saturday (today) from Kentucky.  They will be here less than a week.  Marty and I talked it over.  He said I should go I should be a part of this historical event.  He will entertain them, luckily he likes my family.  That doesn't always happen in a marriage.

So Monday, Joe our guest blogger, other volunteers, and I will be at the Marriage Factory.  We will be marrying couples who have up to now been told they weren't allowed to marry.  Now they are equal.  It will be so emotional.  It will be such a happy day.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


The Supreme Court struck down DOMA and said the ruling that Prop.8 is unconstitutional stands.  Equality takes another step forward.

I am so happy over these rulings.  My gay friends and family have gained rights that all human beings should have.  I can't begin to understand the level of happiness they are feeling.   It is the joy of being equal, the happiness to walk in and buy a marriage license where you live.  No more marrying in another state as a statement of love and commitment then come home and the ceremony is not recognized.  

In about 25 days I can again do marriage ceremonies for ANYONE.  Happy Dance everyone!

Monday, June 24, 2013

So Few Weddings

I am not sure what has happened to all the couples in love.  Wednesdays have become an almost nothing day for weddings.  And I have been told other days have slowed down too.  But the numbers don't really matter.  When there is love there is love.

I have done a wedding each Wednesday.  I was going to do my fashion thing, and write about the nervous groom.  I changed my mind.  The best wedding was on last Friday.  Joe may have done it, or Patricia, it could have even been done by staff.  A staff person posted on facebook  a fabulous comment.  I am stealing your comment, L.

Today, an 83 yr old man and an 85 yr old woman came in to get married. 

 Love is love wherever and however you are  

- I raise my party cup to u folks! Cheers!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Update on the surgery

Yesterday, just after I posted my horror story, Kaiser called.  I was given the day for my surgery, it will be on July 9 sometime in the afternoon.  On the 8th they will call and give me the time to show up.

Stay tuned.  I will remind you when to start sending good thoughts and prayers.  And not just to me but to my surgeon and his staff.  I really want them to have a good day on the 9th.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It is fine, all will be OK

I have a cautionary tale for you, a horror story on my side.  I will not worry you. I am giving you the ending first.  It is not malignant.  It is going to all turn out just fine.

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


Tomorrow is Father's Day.  It is a day to honor the men who helped us grow up.  Sometimes those men are the blood father, sometimes they married into a family. Many times they are men in the community who helped a child grow up. 

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

The Last Tuesday at Kaiser until Fall

Tuesday at Kaiser School we were really busy.  This was the last week of the 2012-2013 school year.  Lots of things to finish up, Tooth Fairy Pillows, Summer Fun Packets, Memory Books, and more.  I have some pictures to show you the end of a school year.

Displays on bulletin boards must be taken down.

This contains ideas for the summer, math pages, word lists, worksheets, puzzles.

The Anthology contains selections of each child's creative writing from throughout the year.

The packets on each table contain the Fun Packet, the Memory Book, the Anthology, and a rolled up map each child had made.

Each child made a pillow to put a tooth in.  Losing a tooth is a huge deal for small children.  Think back to your childhood.  The Tooth Fairy belief lasts longer than Santa Claus.

They picked two colors of felt, cut a triangle for a pocket and stitched it on one piece.  They cut into each side of the squares and then came the hard part.  They took a strip of each color and tied a double knot.  Some of the children do not have the muscle dexterity to tie short pieces together.  This is where the adults (we had extra that day) came in.  We had the child keep trying while we sat and tied most of the pillow.  Notice one end on this one is not tied yet.

Another combination of color. The open end is where the stuffing will be pushed in.

Stuffing away.  Then that end will be tied.

Finished product.

One little girl leaned into me to tell me a secret. She whispered to me,  "Ms. Appel, yesterday we made cards for you."

Apples were a popular theme, trees.

Apple pies.

Hearts were a big theme also.

Inside the cards were sweet notes. (esere = easier) This one made me tear up.  This child really knew how to push my buttons.  He is so sweet, and so very hard headed.  I was so tickled he ended up liking me.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The school year is winding down

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

It was a grand birthday

Monday was my birthday. A friend picked me up and took me out for breakfast.  Later Marty and I went to the movies, we saw Fast and Furious 6, and then we went out for dinner.

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

Yep, still doing weddings

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.