Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Xyst


Imagine: You are on a tree-lined avenue. You may be walking, driving, standing, or grandly sitting. The thoroughfare may be as rustic as pepper trees edging a private road or as sophisticated as a boulevard in sweet-smelling shadow of the flowering trees.

You are on a xyst. The word was coined in Ancient Rome to describe covered garden paths and tree-lined gardens. 

A word fanatic might disagree with my application of the word to our imagined tree-lined streets.

"Where is the garden?" that word fanatic might ask.

I would simply respond. "Look around you."

Giggle.

It's the letter X this week at ABC Wednesday. Check out the  meme hereThank you, ABCW team!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Always, the Daddy


I imagine it going this way:

"Susie. Susie, hold still."

"You can go play in the water after I take the picture."

"Susie! Stop moving."

The photographer, who was probably the Mama, sighed. She most likely turned to the Daddy who knew what to do.

He crouched behind me, holding me in place.

"Susie smile at the camera."

Click.

No doubt the Mama sighed when she saw the photo. Oh, well.

Throughout my life, the Daddy always had my back.


Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

I'm hooking up with Seasons, a meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG. Click here to check out other participants. Toodle-ooo.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Rustiness


Rusty nails.

Rusty rust.

Rusty stringing-words-into-sentences-into-paragraphs-into-stories.

I'll get there. Again. 



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Oh, Sweet Pea


Sweet peas.

One of my favorite flowers.

One of the first flowers I successfully grew as a kid.

When I was a teenager, they let me grow sweet peas on the south side of the house. I can't recall though if I was a decent shepherd of sweet peas. You know, if I had watered them regularly without being told. I doubt they would've told me if I forgot. Knowing the parents, they would've given the sweet peas a drink if they were watering in the area. The parents were great. I like to think they were impressed that I actually took an interest  in growing stuff. I also planted Sweet Williams beneath a tree in the front yard, but they didn't do as well as the sweet peas.

Sweet Peas. Sweet Williams. Yup. I was attracted to the names.

This morning I collected sweet pea seed pods in the backyard. Their season went quickly. The sweetpeas in the picture are the last for this year. They're volunteers. I didn't even know there were sweet peas until I looked out the window of L Studio, which used to be the Mama's bedroom, the second or third morning of healing from my not-a-hysterical surgery. The sweet peas. The geraniums. The roses. The trees. The jungle that the Mama created. Looking out the window that morning, I recalled the Mama doing the same thing after she got up. 

Quite calming. Quite tranquil. Quite quiet.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wow!

WOW — Cosmos!
The first Cosmos to grow in our yard, as well as the first of the season.

The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word wow as "a striking success" when used as a noun and "to excite to enthusiastic admiration or approval" when used as a transitive verb. The noun has been around since the early 16th century while the verb usage was said to begin in the 1920s. Wow, huh?

Every day, I am wowed by the wow's happening on the once-the-front-lawn. Today's wows are all firsts on some sort.

WOW—Pompom Poppy!
Friend BB gave me seeds from her yard for the past three years.
This was the first year for them to pop out for me.

WOW—Sunflower!
This is the first sunflower of the season. The Husband and I first saw it this morning.
 
Wow is for the letter W, which is the theme for ABC Wednesday. Click here to see what bloggers from around the world have posted.  Merci beaucoup, ABCW team.



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Flowery View


Some of you dear readers may recall that the Husband and I stopped watering the lawn and bit by bit began pulling it out. The Husband has given me carte blanche to plant what I want where I want. He seems to be happy to do the grunt work such as digging holes, hauling, placing heavy plants where I say, and putting stuff in the green garbage can. He's such a sweetheart, the Husband is.

Today, I give you a peek of the view around our mailbox. The cosmos showed themselves over the weekend. It was a grand surprise. We had no idea what flower the feathery green stalks would be.

Below is the view looking from the house. The Mama kept the orange roses and pink daisies in pots. I chose to put them in the ground because they have a better chance of surviving.

Those are the last of the Spring poppies. Yesterday I pulled out a lot of old growth, throwing many of the seed pods back into the yard. Maybe poppies will show up again in late July.


By the way, if you want to see how the once-upon-a-time lawn has progressed, click here.

I think I have a hobby -- gardening.

It's the letter V at ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out other V-themed posts. Thanks, ABCW team!



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Time for Summer

Summer is time  for sunflowers to grow over our heads.

Summer is for less time on the computer.

Summer is time for the Husband to get his hair cut. 

Summer is for playing outside—pretending to be  all sorts of things,
including a super muscle man with his terry cloth cape.

Today is time to hook up with All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh of Artworks from Jesh StG. To check out other participants, please click here. Thank you, Jesh. 



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Thank You, Uterus!


Am I allowed to say I’m a cancer survivor when I didn’t know I had cancer?

On the fifth of May, as I lay groggily in a hospital bed, the Husband relayed the good news to me from the Surgeon. “’The surgery was a success!’” the Surgeon said.  Cancer was found but it was noninvasive.”

Huh?

Last week, I went to my follow-up appointment with the Surgeon, who said again, with a big encouraging grin, “The surgery was a success!” He gave me a copy of my biopsy report, summing it as such: A benign tumor was found on the  layer of muscle tissue of the uterus wall and paratubal cysts were discovered on a fallopian tube. There were a lot of cancer cells, but they were all contained within my uterus. They had not yet embedded themselves into the uterus wall—the saving grace.

Several days later, my brain has begun to process it all.

I don’t understand it. How I got cancer. Was it because my womb, who really ought to have a name, didn’t get to carry life? I imagine my uterus was looking like Mrs. Havisham’s dining room with decades full of cobwebs and dust. Unlike Mrs. Havisham's place, my uterus did not reek of bitterness and sadness. Uterus was always cheerful and in the moment.
Dear Sweet Uterus,

Please know, Brave Uterus, how much I appreciated youI am very sorry that my body was unable to go the distance with you.

Gracias, Utero!

Merci, Utérus!

Danke, Gebarmutter!

Salamat, Matris!

Arigato, Shikyu!

Mahalo, Uterus!

Kumsumnida, Jagung!

Grazie, Utero!

Agyamanak unay kadakayo, Aanakan!

Many, many thanks, Uterus, for saving my life!

With the letter U, I am back to participating in ABC Wednesday. Thank you, ABCW Team! Click here to check out what bloggers around the world have written with the theme of U.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Two Fridays Ago


Two Fridays ago, the sunflower plants (those standing green guys in the background of the photo) were about one-third the size they are today.

Two Fridays ago, I was sleeping off the effects of a robotic laparoscopic hysterectomy in a hospital room over an hour's drive away from home.

I am healing well, thank you. I think I have inherited the Mama's resilience genes. It could also be described as the gene that resists letting go, chilling, and not doing anything at all. Fortunately I have also inherited the Daddy's gene of that's enough being whatever, so I have decided that I will not work in the yard unless the Husband is with me. Did you think I was going to say not work at all? Ha!

I appreciate all your warm thoughts, prayers, positive vibes, and well wishes. They're all helping me get stronger each day.

Love you, one and all,

Su-sieee! Mac

P. S. I'll write about by not-so-hysterical adventures soon.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Pause of Paws


Slap. Slap. Slap. Slap. . . .

Molly the Cat stopped and quickly turned towards the sound of the noise.

She watched a big bear of a teenage boy running on the sidewalk across the street.

Where was Molly several minutes beforehand when a noise behind me caught my attention. I watched a young man roll down the street on his skateboard holding to the leash of his running big bear of a dog.

Mornings are wonderful around here.

It's the letter P today on ABC Wednesday. Click here to check what other bloggers from around the world are writing, por favore signoras e signores. Thanks, ABCW team!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Okey-Dokey


"Tell me everything will be all right," I said to the Husband.

"Everything will be all right," he said.

I like to be reassured now and then.

Molly the Cat looked over at me. "Everything will be Okay, Lady." Purrrrrrrrrrr.



It's a day late for ABC Wednesday. Better late than never. Click here to check out the participants. Thanks, ABCW team! 

Oh, the theme this week is the letter O.
 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Our Own Mustard "Field"


Wild mustard greens is one of my favorite foods. I like to sauté the greens in garlic and soy sauce. Add a bit of bacon grease, if I feel like being fancy. Yummm.

When I was a kid, it was common for the Daddy to pull our car beside an orchard or field full of wild mustard. The parents got out to collect bunches of greens, while I wandered about, gazing and doing who knows what.

These days I wouldn't gather any wild mustard unless I knew the property owner and was assured that the property is certified organic.

Last year, the Husband and I decided to grow our own mustard "field", not only for food but also to help put nutrients back into the soil. We purchased a pound of mustard seeds online, but sowed about a third of the bag. Toss is more precise. In December, I tossed the seeds willy-nilly into the backyard.

Today it's a mini jungle of green and yellow back there. Some of the mustard plants are nearly five feet tall. I read that these plants can grow between six and 20 feet. Do you think?

With all the mustard plants, we've only eaten greens three times. Domesticated mustard greens are not as flavorable as the wild stuff. But, who knows maybe next year's crop will be closer in taste.

I'm linking up with Our World Tuesday. Click here to join in and/or to read other participants from around the world. Thank you, Our World team.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

A VHS-Tape Planter


The VHS tapes have been staring at me in the living room for more than a month. It could even be two months. I think that was the last time the Husband and I opened a bunch of boxes from storage to determine what to use, keep, throw, donate, recycle, maybe repurpose, or maybe sell. I think these VHS tapes are ones that I thought we might be able to sell online one day.

This morning I finally did something with 12 of the VHS tapes. I bound them together with duct tape to make two walls for a bottomless planter. That's it in the photo. Pretty cool, huh?

The planter would've been made of all VHS tapes, but I didn't have enough tapes. Fortunately, I kept the doors of a small cabinet, which fell apart last year, for the other two walls.

I figure the pretty flowers will take the focus away from the funky taping. Maybe later I'll pretty up the planter with color or simply put something beside the taped VHS-tape side.

It feels good to make something!

Today I'm hooking up with All Seasons, a meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG.  Click here to check other participants, or to join in yourself. Thanks, Jesh!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mornings with the Supervisor


Molly the Cat leads me out the front door before breakfast most mornings.

"Go see what needs to be done," she telepathically prompts me as she begins her patrol of the perimeter.

"No cats here," she sniffs. "Ooooh, ladybug."

I check out new flower seed sprouts, note what sprouts need to be thinned and where I might replant them, bend over and pull up weeds, and so forth and so on.

Sometimes the Molly's and my morning routine lasts a few minutes, especially when it's cold or rainy. "Forget this," says Molly when she quickly does an about-face several feet from the front door.

Other times, we're out there for an hour or so, weeding, planting, digging, watering and whatever this heart pleases. Now and then Molly circles me to make sure I'm doing a decent job.

What I like the most is looking up from my task and seeing Molly lying near by, eyes closed and body purring in the the sun bubbles. I feel like I'm doing the same.

There are those days when Molly patiently sits by the front door, urging me in her mews, "Come on, Lady, let's go in already. The Husband made coffee."

Friday, April 14, 2017

Moodiness.


I'm sulking.

As in my teenage-self sulk, which was playing my guitar all Sunday afternoon, singing Flowers on the Wall, Elusive Butterfly, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and other angst songs, in the living room.

I did do that. One time, during a pause, the Mama called out from the kitchen, "Are you done now?"

hahahahaha.

The poor Mama. She was a saint to endure two or more hours of my off-key singing and probably out-of-tune guitar.

Okay. Focus. Back to the subject I began.

I'm sulking.

I don't want to do this not-a-hysterical operation even though I know it's a preventative measure that may let me live the full life that I'm meant to have.

Don't worry. It will happen. In three weeks, I'll no longer have a reproductive system. I'm way beyond baby-producing time so my fist-size of a womb with attaching tubes and ovaries will be no more.

I've never given birth. I wanted five kids. Maybe I have them in parallel universes. One can dream. 

I wonder if I'll be a bit depressed after the surgery. When I had all four wisdom teeth pulled, I was blue for a couple of days over my missing four needless teeth. I felt like something was taken from me.

A long time ago, the thumb of my Auntie Dee (not her real name) got infected. She didn't want to go to the doctor because she was afraid he might amputate it and then she would die without all her body parts. The pain eventually got unbearable so Auntie Dee saw the doctor. She didn't lose her thumb.

I admit that thought about wanting to die with all my parts crossed my mind. If there is such a thing as reincarnation would I come back as a male in my next life because I don't have my xx parts?

Jibber jabbering like this has talked me out of a sulky mood. There you go. I'm done now.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Not.


I'm creating a structure at the sidewalk end of our front yard. Not a fence.

Just look at it. What creature could that evolving spiderness-of-a-something keep off our property?

Giggle. Hmmm, maybe that's something I ought not to giggle about.

I'm making this not-a-fence out of skinny branches of the fruit trees we pruned a few months ago, as well as from the second-time-with-The-Mama era. I'm not kidding. You can find all sizes of branches in our yard that I'd say were at last 10 years old. Some lie on the ground waiting for their time to become something helpful, such as the stakes holding up the boards that the Mama put around her flower and vegetable beds.

Have I digressed? Doesn't matter. :-)

That's my story for the letter N, this week's theme of ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out the participants from around the world. How cool is that? Thanks, ABCW team!




Sunday, April 9, 2017

Seeking Distraction


It's past noon and I haven't done what I said I would do today.

But, I did make apple scones for breakfast and went out to the front yard with Molly the Cat to deadhead daisies and pull some weeds. Now I'm writing about it all.

All distractions from filling out income tax forms.

Doing the taxes should take less than two hours. I already did a first pass last month to get an idea of the damage to our checkbook. So, no big deal, right?

I'm listening to the Full Sail album by Loggins & Messina in hopes that it will get me into the mood. Yes, right after I imagine myself snorkeling in Hawaii.  Ah, such pretty fishes. 



I'm linking up with All Seasons, a meme hosted by Jesh of Artworks from JeshStG. Click here to check out other participants.



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Not a Hysterical Report



If I had written this post several days ago, I may have been called it Hysterical Report. Actually, I thought about renaming this blog to The Hysterical Report. I'm glad I waited. I'd rather not be hysterical about anything.

I am on a new adventure. No. I take that back, it's not new. After 12 years, this adventure's path has come into the foreground. It's simply not a good idea to let the grass grow over this path anymore.

My in-my-face-but-not-hysterical-adventure is an upcoming hysterectomy. Da-dah!

Oh-oh, did I lose you? Come back when you can wrap your head around the concept of a hysterectomy. It took me awhile. I realize it helps for me to write about it.

Yesterday afternoon I got a chest x-ray, one of my three pre-op things to do. The other two are an EKG (next week) and several blood tests (a week before the operation). Did you happen to flash on the Operation board game, by the way?

Because I did the X-rays in town, I repeated myself a lot to the lab receptionist and the X-ray Lady about faxing the X-rays to the Gynecologist-Oncologist's office several cities away. Only after this conversation with the X-ray Lady did I confident that the results will be faxed.

"What kind of surgery are you doing?" asked the X-ray Lady.

"Hysterectomy," I answered. 

"We still have to do that?" she asked, which got me wondering if she was in menopausal mode.

"They found precancerous cells."

"Oh."

Yeah. We don't think of grey-haired postmenopausal women as needing hysterectomies. Certainly, not I. My Gyn-Doc wanted me to get a hysterectomy 12 years ago when the biopsy of a uterine polyp showed the cells to be in a state of complex hyperplasia with atypia. Untreated, there was a good risk of me getting cancer. Not having health insurance, I needed to find another route. So the Gyn-Doc put me on birth control pills for several months which chased that condition away and, until this year, the pathology results of subsequence polyps reported benign cells. Yaay!

I went 12 years before complex hyperplasia with atypia reared itself up again.  Only this time a pathologist said I had "precancerous cells" and that meant my Gyn-Doc put her foot down. The only treatment was a hysterectomy. 

Not totally convinced, I took the Gyn-Doc's referral and met with the Gyn-Oncologist Doc over a week ago. I thought he would take another sample to double check that I got the same result. Nope. The Gyn-Onc Doc said that during the hysterectomy he would take another biospy. The lab results I have were good to go by, he said. Oh.

Then he convinced me I wanted this hysterectomy. He drew two lines on a piece of paper. The left column was Good, the middle, Precancer, and the right, Cancer. In the middle column, he wrote I, II, and III. He circled III and said, "That is you."  He wrote 40-50%. "That is the risk of developing cancer," he said. He paused, then continued, "There is no hard line between precancerous and cancer."

In other words, I could develop cancer, I could not. I could already have cancerous cells growing. That latter thought sunk in quite quickly and deeply. Now having affordable health insurance (thank you, President Obama), I did not have a reasonable excuse to dilly dally about shall I take the risk, or shan't I.

I'm slated for a laparoscopic hysterectomy in 34 days. The Gyn-Onc Doc will use da Vinci robotic technology. That's cool, don't you think? I almost want to be awake to watch. Gyn-Onc Doc suggested I look it up on You Tube instead.

So there you go. Stay tuned to more of my trying-not-to-be-hysterical adventure.

Joyful joy, joy, and joy.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Mama's Roses in Bloom


A year ago, this day, we buried the Mama.

"I already have a place," the Mama said. "With your father. They saved me a space on top of him."

Always a forward thinker, as well as practical-minded, the Mama bought a dual burial grave site when arrangements were made for the Daddy in 1982. He was buried in the Veterans section in the cemetery a few miles away from the house. The section was new, so the Daddy scored a front row seat, beneath a big old shade tree that was planted in the same year as the Daddy. I'm sure the Mama was pleased with where her bones are resting. In life, the Mama liked to watch people go by.

When I had to arrange all the funeral stuff last year, I was very thankful that the Mama took care of the burial site. I was also grateful that after 34 years the mortuary had a pristine paid-in-full record of that transaction.

I hope the Mama's spirit is having loads of fun and laughter soaring through the Universe at beyond warp speed.  I have no doubt that she skims by us.

Today, I'm sure, the Mama is smiling at her roses.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

M is for Our Molly


These evenings, one of Molly the Cat's favorite perches, after consuming a bunch of dental treats, is her post that sits on top of a coffee table. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 

I think if the girl could talk, she'd tell me to stop with the camera already.  Murrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


 It's the letter M at ABC Wednesday. Click here for more M posts. Thanks, ABCW team!





Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Mama


Today marks the anniversary of the first year of the Mama's spirit roaming through the universe.

This photo was taken a week before the Mama's final adventure of life begun. I'm glad that the Husband, Molly the Cat, and I got to go through that last amazing trip with the Mama. One of these days I'll tell the tale.

Sweet cheers to the Mama!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Starting Veggie Seeds


I feel like a mad agronomist (as in mad scientist). Also, a mad farmer. This morning I started vegetable seeds indoors. If these seeds take, I guess we're having a vegetable garden.

This is the first time I'm trying this pre-spouting step. Usually, I throw the seeds in the ground. Comme ci, comme ça. (Showing off the little French I recall from one semester of Francais.)

I don't know what got into me this morning. Maybe it was wondering what to do with the several hundred tiny paper cups that are in the closet. You know how that is. You can't find the package of paper cups that you thought you bought so you figured you didn't buy them. So, you go buy a package and a few days later, voilå, there is that first package of paper cups.

What seeds did I plant?

Sitting in that orange container are 16 tiny cups of bean seeds. The seeds are from the Mama's last vegetable garden in 2015. They're quite tiny because of that year's drought. I'm guessing they're long beans, as I didn't bother to label the bag.

I also started 2 cups of sugar pea seeds and four cups of bittermelon seeds, all from the Mama's last garden.

Let me not forget the five cups each of tomato, pepper, and squash seeds from organic vegetables that we ate last year. Yup, whenever I liked how a fruit looked, I'd put a bunch of its seeds into one of three tiny paper cups on the kitchen counter. It'll be one grand surprise to see what kind of tomatoes, peppers, and squashes pop up. 

By the way, did you see Molly the Cat in the above photo? She decided that I needed a supervisor, because, after all, I was using her table. Molly, in fact, interrupted her morning nap to monitor my work. She even watched me clear the table when I was done with my planting. I'm glad she did. I found pepper seeds still stuck to their stem that I couldn't bring myself to throw away.

"What shall I do with these seeds?" I asked Molly the Cat.

She gave me her knowing look.

Of course! Stick them in the nearest pot. If they grow, they grow. If they don't, well nothing lost. The Mama taught me well.

Arrows point to the pepper stems.

I'm linking this post with two lovely weekly memes. I hope you check them out.
  • All Seasons is hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG. Thanks, Jesh!

  • Our World Tuesday is hosted by a group of bloggers from around the world. Thank you, Our World Tuesday team!