Monday, May 31, 2010

Tuesday's Show & Tail

I'm participating in Angela's West Virginia Treasures Show and Tail. For information on this weekly event and a list of participants visit her blog.

This week I'm featuring the third cat in my life. After Timmy's death I was heartbroken, so our neighbor Mrs. Moore called around to all her animal friends and found someone that owned a pregnant cat. I was told that I could have one of the kittens.

After the kittens were born Mrs. Moore took us over to her friend's house so I could be the first one to choose a kitten. I don't remember how many kittens there were, but I do remember that there was only one gray one. I originally picked a red one (all the rest were red), but as we were getting ready to leave the gray one turned around and looked at us. My sister said, "Betty, look at that one looking at us...pick him." So, I did.

I had to wait until he was six weeks old before he could come home. It seemed like forever.

Here he is around 1959.

Although I remember this cat very well I no longer remember his name. That really bothers me a lot. I've wracked my brain trying to remember to no avail. We did not have him very long. I would say less than a year. He just disappeared one day. Then about three months later he showed up in the backyard while my mother was hanging out clothes. He started rubbing up against her legs. She called me outside to see him and told me to go get him some food. So, I went back inside for the food and by the time I returned he was gone. We never saw him again. I think another family must have taken him in and he just came by to say good bye.

I'm still hoping his name comes back to me one of these days.

OH NO! What a stupid mistake...

I feel so bad. There were seven comments that needed to be approved. One was one of those annoying comments from anonymous wanting to sell shoes. (At least he/she must no longer think I need Viagra.) I've nicely asked anonymous before to quit posting comments about things he/she is selling because I'm not putting them through. So, I rejected the anonymous comment.

Then I read all the other nice comments on Keith's birthday and checked them off, but instead of approving them I clicked the wrong button and rejected all of them too! I was so mad at myself. I tried backing up and approving them, but once they're rejected Blogger will not let you approve them. At least I couldn't figure out a way to do it. I even tried to copy and paste them into this post, but I wasn't able to do that either.

So, to everyone that left a nice comment I thank you.

I'm going to be immature about this and not take responsibility. I'm blaming it all on anonymous instead.


How time flies! Today our oldest son is 41 years old. It seems like only yesterday he was following me around with a book and asking me to read to him.

Keith now lives in Austin, so we won't be seeing him today. That doesn't stop us though from wishing him a Happy Birthday long distance.


Enjoy your day. Take it easy and relax.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

No Time For Alphabe-Thursday...

No time this week for Alphabe-Thursday's letter S week. I started, but never had time to finish when I discovered with a few minor changes my letter S post could become a letter T post. So, with a little luck I'll be ready with my assignment next Thursday.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tuesday Show & Tail - Timmy...a very special friend

Today I'm participating in Angela's Tuesdays' Show and Tail at West Virginia Treasures. For a list of this week's participants head over to Angela's blog.

If you love cats and you live long enough you'll have many cats pass through your life. Sadly, their life spans are relatively short compared to ours. All cats are special, but every once in a while a very, very special cat will come along. Timmy was one of those cats.

Timmy was the second cat in my life. I believe we got him as a kitten from the O'deas who lived next door. I'm not sure exactly how long we had him, but I do know it wasn't nearly long enough. I was in the 7th or 8th grade when Timmy was hit by a car in front of our house. I was heartbroken. Timmy was my best friend.

Look at these pictures. All were taken by me. Timmy was a very cooperative model. He would go along with just about anything. He was a sweet cat with a wonderful disposition.

For a while I cried whenever I thought of him. I missed him so much. My mother never understood because she was never a cat lover. I remember her telling me to get over it or we'd never have another cat. So I'd quietly cry myself to sleep at night so she wouldn't know.

I could still cry now just thinking about him. He was that special.

I'll always miss you Timmy.

Another update...

Reid has now had four radiation treatments. He'll have a total of three weeks worth of treatments. While waiting for him I couldn't help but notice other people going in and coming out within ten minutes or so. With Reid it was taking between 45-50 minutes.

On Friday he had his appointment with the Radiology Oncologist. She told him that a lot of people were consulted on his case. To hopefully cut down on possible lung damage they are having him hold his breath and then they're giving him the radiation. Since he can only hold his breath a certain length of time they are giving him numerous short doses of radiation instead of one longer one. At least that's how I understand it, and that's why his treatments are taking longer.

I just hope and pray that after all he's been through he doesn't end up with heart and lung problems from the radiation. I'm realizing now that his life will never be the way it was before cancer, but hopefully he'll be able to find an after cancer "new normal" soon.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Four Months Today

For four months I've been hoping our feral cat MaMa would return, but so far she hasn't showed up. As I've mentioned before, she ran off when workmen came in the backyard to do slab work. I still receive phone calls and within the last two weeks I checked out two possible sightings, but the cats I saw weren't MaMa.

MaMa lived in our yard for nine years and during that time we had other workmen in the yard and she never ran off. That's why I feel pretty confident that she probably hid under the deck when she heard them and then panicked when they starting pulling up the boards.

I just feel so bad for her. I wanted her to live out her days peacefully in our yard where she was safe.

The life of a feral cat is never easy. I had no idea there were so many out there, but I've spoken to quite a few people that are feeding them just within a half mile of my house.

I read on a website that if your cat is missing you should continue to put out food. In fact, they said to put out a kitty buffet in hopes the food will attract other cats and your cat will follow those cats back. It sounded like a plan, so I continued to put food out. I now have another feral cat living under the deck with her four kittens. At first I felt guilty continuing to feed her, but my son reminded me that she was hungry too. And I'm also hoping that someone is feeding MaMa for me.

I'm planning to try and catch this mother cat and have her fixed like we did with MaMa. She can live in the backyard and if MaMa comes back they can be companions. MaMa always enjoyed the company of neighborhood cats. If we can tame the kittens it's possible they can be put up for adoption, but it might already be too late.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday..."R" as in REPURPOSE

It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent." This week Ms. Matlock asked the class to work on the letter "R."

I was already thinking ahead to the "R" post when we went down to Galveston a couple of weeks ago for the Historic Home Tour. I had read in the Houston Chronicle about the way some of the dead trees from Hurricane Ike were being repurposed. You can read the article here.

My Dad used to have an expression. He'd say, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken _ _ _ _." (You'll have to use your imagination...we're keeping this a G rated post.) Galveston has made the best of a bad situation. Many beautiful, large Live Oak trees died when the storm surge swept across the island, but Galveston found a way to make chicken salad.

Here are pictures of the results.

A group of Herons.

This was the largest one we saw. Much of the dead tree was used in this statue.

A flock of birds were created from one of the branches.

Even the trunk was carved with little animals and reptiles around the base.

All of the upper branches were carved. I can't help but wonder how it was done. Did someone stand on a ladder? Perhaps they used scaffoling? Maybe they did it the old fashion way and climbed up the tree?

This was in front of City Hall which is located next to a Fire Station. It's a fire hydrant with running water.

You can't have a fire hydrant without a Dalmation!

This home had a guard dog.

This dog sat happily in the front yard. (The basket of pups was concrete and not carved from a dead tree.)

Isn't this a cute frog?

I wasn't quite sure why there was a Japanese lady in this yard. Perhaps the owners are of Japanese descent?

And this yard had a mermaid.

This is a pelican on a post. I could only take the picture from the street and the pelican is facing the house.

I really liked this one. It's a memorial to the trees that were lost in the storm.

Here's a close up. It says, "In Memoriam Of Galveston's Lost Oaks."

I'm not sure why these people chose the Tin Man, but he's cute.

This large porpoise was in a backyard. I didn't have the nerve to knock on the door and ask if I could go in the back to take a picture, so it's taken from the street.

They also had an owl. You can see the porpoise again on the right. Since the house was on a corner I was able to get two different angles.

This is a mermaid and some porpoises.

Isn't this a cute little porpoise?

This squirrel was carved and then placed on a stump.

I'm not sure how long these will last. They were all varnished or painted, but I would think eventually they would start to rot or termites would move in. Hopefully, they'll be around for a good number of years.

I missed our letter "Q" assignment last week (I didn't QUIT school.) and I might miss again in the next few weeks, but I'll be back and so will my doll scenes.

I hope you read this assignment carefully. There might be a TEST when we get to the letter "T."

(Nah...I'm only kidding.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lucky...the first cat in my life!

I decided to join in with Angela's West Virginia Treasures Show and Tail for the first time this week. The idea is to post pictures and a description of a past or present pet or animal in your life. Visit her blog to find a list of participants and information on how you can join in.

I decided I might as well start at the very beginning. From the time I was very small I loved cats. My mother wasn't too crazy about cats and never wanted one. I would sit outside and wait for a cat to go by. Let me tell you...cats just don't go by very often. I would sit and wait and if I spotted a cat I would start calling, "Here kitty, here kitty!" Usually they would run off in the opposite direction!

Finally my mother relented and we got a little black kitten. He was named Lucky. Unfortunately, Lucky wasn't very friendly and never wanted to be held or petted. It didn't matter. I was thrilled to finally have a cat. We had him for a number of years and then sadly he disappeared.

I'm 64 and have had many cats over the years, but I remember every one. This is Lucky taken from a slide around 1952 or so.

And here's a Christmas photo from 1952 with Lucky. I'm on the left and my sister is on the right.

I hope to write a little something about every cat I've ever had in the following weeks. This will be a trip down Memory Lane for me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Reid went for another radiation simulation yesterday morning. This time they had him hold his breath while they did scans to see if that would help protect his lungs a little more during radiation. He also had another cardiogram, blood work, and a consultation with the cardiologist. His heart is good.

I guess they've had a chance to review all the results because he received a call this afternoon and his radiation is to begin next Tuesday.

I wish he didn't have to have it, but there's really no choice.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Punched in the stomach? Nah, just a speed bump.

Reid's journey back to good health kind of hit a speed bump this past week. Maybe we should have been expecting it. We know radiation is done to kill any remaining cancer cells that might have survived chemo, but still we thought the worst was behind us.

We learned that he is not a candidate for Proton Therapy which we thought might make radiation safer for him. Because the mass passed through bone and into his spinal canal they must radiate from the front and the back. (It was also wrapped around his heart.) They're going to try and protect his heart and lungs as much as possible, but they're concerned because he's young and the potential for problems later on are very real. We also were told that his diaphragm is partially paralyzed on the left side from the mass pushing on a nerve, so his breathing on that side isn't what it should be. This is probably permanent. Another reason why they're concerned about his heart and lungs being damaged from radiation. He was told to follow a low cholesterol diet and not to smoke. The potential for a heart attack within five years is very real. However, everyone agrees that he must have radiation due to the size of the original mass. Even though we've been told he's in remission there probably were cancer cells that survived the chemo. I get the impression that the mass is large even to them at MD Anderson and they've probably seen just about everything.

Just when we were all excited about chemo being finished we get all this news.

And the list of side affects for radiation to the thorax and central nervous system is a lot longer than I would have liked. I know they have to tell the patient everything, but it is a little disheartening to see it all listed.

Yesterday they did a radiation simulation which is "make believe" radiation so they can get him positioned on the table and see where they're going to direct the radiation. Last night he got a call telling him to come back on Monday morning because they want to do another one to see if they can get him positioned better. I know they're taking time with his case and not leaving anything to chance.

We also got a call from the head of the radiation department's nurse asking us to have the hospital that did his surgery Fax the pre-surgery and post-surgery MRI reports to him. She said he's very thorough and wanted to see them too.

So, we'll be back down at MD Anderson for most of Monday and I think Tuesday and/or Wednesday too. Once the radiation starts it will be every day Monday through Friday for four or five weeks (I can't remember exactly how long they said).

Anyway, I think I'm going to be busy for the next six weeks or so and might not have much time for blogging. I'll try and jump in here and post once in a while.

Thank you for being on Reid's journey back to good health with us. We appreciate your warm thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday...The Letter P as in UH-OH!

Class is in session once again, and this week we're studying the letter P. For a list of this week's class members visit our teacher's blog at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."

The kids got out their Letter "P" books and started studying all the "P" words. Some of them were in their PAJAMAS, so that was the first "P" word they found.

While they were studying I decided to post some "P" words of my own.

This past weekend we drove down to Galveston for the Galveston Historic Home Tour. It's always the first two weekends in May, but we managed to visit all the homes on the tour in one weekend.

We walked down some PRETTY streets and saw PRETTY flowers.

We visited many PRETTY old homes.

We saw PRETTY backyards.

There were PRETTY colorful flowers and some were PINK.

(Soon they'll be having to water these every day.)

See the sign with the number 29? The homeowner found that sign under some rubble in his backyard after Hurricane Ike. He investigated and found out it was a buoy marker from the Texas City Dike.

This is PRETTY neat. It's just a wall with a window. I guess they did it to hide the building behind it.

Another PRETTY backyard. I can see some more PINK flowers.

This house had a PRETTY yard and a PRETTY deck, but with a PRETTY lousy view of the neighboring yard. There are some beautiful restored homes in Galveston, but sometimes they're right next door to an eye sore. The other side wasn't much better.

This was also the view from their deck looking straight to the back and it's very nice.

Some more PINK flowers on a back PORCH.

This is the view from a front PORCH. I love the way the front PORCHES all line up. I can just picture what it must have been like back then when all the neighbors sat outside after dinner and visited (instead of being inside on the computer, playing video games, watching TV, etc.) Do you see the PINK flamingo?

The lines were PRETTY short.

It was PRETTY interesting to see the Ike PLAQUES on some of the homes. They indicated how high the water came during Hurricane Ike. The water only came up on the steps at this home.

It was PRETTY sad to see all the beautiful old oak trees gone. The salt water killed many of them. I think if the water had receded right away they would have survived. The palm trees did much better.

This esplanade used to have gorgeous old oak trees. They were huge. Sadly, most are gone. The majority of the dead trees have been taken down, but you can still see some in this picture on the left in the distance. I think some people waited in hopes the trees would come back. I know there was some kind of time frame with FEMA and if people waited FEMA wouldn't pay to cut them down.

They've been replacing the trees, but there's a PRETTY good chance that I won't live long enough to see them grown. :)

OK...the kids are done studying. They came up with another "P" word. They love to PLAY in the backyard now that the weather has warmed up.

UH-OH, they didn't mean to interrupt little Ginny while she was making a "P" word of her own. (You'll have to use your imagination so we don't get in trouble with Mrs. Matlock's G rated rule.)

Class dismissed. You can all go out on the playground now. (Is that OK Mrs. Matlock?)