Friday, October 26, 2012

Some more busy days ahead...

It's official...Fall finally arrived today!  It was warm when I went outside this morning with the dog, but a few hours later the temperature had probably dropped ten degrees.  I actually had to turn off the A/C this afternoon.  Still don't need the heat, but it's so nice to turn off the A/C for a while.

The squirrels are running around gathering nuts for the winter.  I'm not sure why since we don't get snow and the ground never freezes, but I guess with all the pecans falling they're in a feeding frenzy.  They love to tease my cat.  I can see this tree from the computer room window and most mornings Baby is up there with the squirrels.  Yesterday there were three squirrels having a good time teasing him.  Of course, it was kind of difficult to get a picture because they all move so quickly.  If you look closely you can see Baby and two of the squirrels. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)
Reid drove to Austin this morning to visit Keith and attend a convention.  He was going to go yesterday, but didn't feel well in the morning and decided to wait. Troy is driving over tomorrow for the day to attend the same convention.  I'm sure they will all have a good time.  Reid plans to drive back on Monday morning.

He had his infusion on Tuesday and spoke with his oncologist.  The mass continues to get smaller, but he's not in remission yet and because of that the oncologist now feels he should consider another stem cell transplant using Keith's stem cells.  He told Reid to at least speak with the stem cell doctor and see what he says.  We also found out that Reid's oncologist is moving to Sloan Kettering in January or February.  That was disappointing to hear since he's considered a leading expert on Hodgkin's, but the Fellow said that it's a wonderful opportunity for him and he deserves it.  So, I guess Reid will be seeing another oncologist in the clinic when he moves on.  It was kind of a mixed bag of information.  Good because the mass did get smaller again, but not so good because of a possible stem cell transplant and his doctor leaving.  I might have told you before, but there are many emotional ups and downs with cancer.

And Monday they begin the slab work on the house.  I think this is more a Texas thing, but the homes here are built on a concrete slab and we have a clay type soil.  Because of the clay the ground expands with moisture and contracts with drought.  Having large trees makes the situation worse.  Although we have soaker hoses around the slab and water all the time the large trees drink huge amounts of water.  Once again, the slab has cracked and our house has dropped off along the back.  So, on Monday they'll be coming in and tearing up the carpet in the den and the kitchen floor and adding some interior piers.  They come in with jack hammers and go through the concrete, take out wheelbarrows full of dirt, and then pour concrete piers to hold the house up.  The concrete will have to cure for two to three weeks and then they'll come back, open up some of the interior and exterior piers we already have, and officially jack up the house.  Then I'll have to get new floors.  Needless to say, I'm going to be busy for a while.  In fact, I've spent time this week packing up stuff in the kitchen and den and temporarily moving it into the dining room.  I'm just hoping I can get everything done before we get too busy with Reid's treatment.  This was all supposed to have been done last June, but I put it off until October after Jim died.

I'm going to be very busy in the coming weeks, but I'll try and post here once in a while.  And I'm planning to take pictures on Monday because seeing is believing!  Reid took the camera to Austin, but I got an iPhone5 last week and can always use that for pictures.  That reminds me of something and I'm hoping someone can help.  I downloaded the Blogger app but can't figure out how to read blogs with it.  It just takes me to the page where you write a blog post.  Anyone know what I'm doing wrong?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"V" as in VINTAGE for Alphabe-Thursday

I wonder how many people will use the word VINTAGE for Alphabe Thursday this week?  VINTAGE is really hot right now.  Just look at all the blogs you see that feature VINTAGE furniture, VINTAGE clothes, just about VINTAGE everything!

In case you're interested in seeing for yourself how many others use the word VINTAGE head over to Ms. Jenny's blog at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent" for a list of this week's participants.

I'll admit...I was stumped.  What kind of a post could I quickly put together using the letter "V" this week?  Finally, I googled "letter V" and found a list of words that began with V.  When I saw VINTAGE I thought I just might be able to pull this off. 

I'm VINTAGE.  If you don't believe I am in Kindergarten in Westwood, NJ back in 1951. That's me in the front row on the left.  I was always in the front row when class pictures were taken.  That's where the short kids usually went when they lined us up.  My teacher was Miss Cornell and she lived right across the street from us on Mill Street.  I think I've posted this picture before, but hopefully you've forgotten or there are some new people that haven't seen it before.  I already had some of these pictures scanned and ready to go.
Here I am in first grade at Ketler Elementary in Westwood, NJ.  I believe it was a brand new school that year.  That's me all the way to the left at the front of the classroom with the braids and glasses.  My teacher, Miss Moore, was VINTAGE.  She had been my mom's teacher too.
And this was second grade with one of my favorite teachers, Miss Lichtenstein.  I thought she was beautiful and very, very nice.  That's me at the beginning of the second row with glasses.  See the little boy at the beginning of the third row?  That's Alan Friedman.  He was also in my Kindergarten class and he told me that there wasn't a Santa Claus.  Isn't it funny how you can remember something like that many years later?  I remember it as if it were yesterday.
I actually have VINTAGE pictures from all my elementary school years, but these are the only ones I have scanned.  Since I'm VINTAGE I'm not sure if I've put all of these up on my blog before.  Hopefully, a lot of you are also VINTAGE and won't remember if I did.

Here's a VINTAGE picture of my older sister, Carol, and me sometime in the early 1950's.  We were playing a game and she was probably winning.  She always won.  Do you think she cheated?  I still sometimes wonder.  Does anyone have any idea what game we were playing?

I've always loved playing with dolls and now collect some of the VINTAGE dolls I grew up with.

Yes, I know it's silly, but I enjoy setting them up in scenes.  Here's a Build A Bear Workshop that I created for them some years back.  Most of these dolls are Vogue Ginny dolls and some are VINTAGE and from the 1950's and some are modern day dolls.

I don't play with them as much anymore and it's been a while since I set up a scene.  In fact, the last scene I set up was last Valentine's Day and I still haven't taken it down.  But, I still enjoy just looking at my dolls.  They always make me smile.  I've probably put a few of these pictures up on my blog before too, but my VINTAGE mind isn't sure which ones.

And this is my childhood Ginny.  She's certainly VINTAGE!  She's a 1954 painted lash walker. You can see that I cut her hair when I was little, but I've re-wigged her since this picture was taken.  She's still a redhead, but she now has braids.

Thank you for visiting and please visit Ms. Jenny's blog for more information on Alphabe-Thursday.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Busy Days Ahead...

I've been meaning to write a quick post for almost a week.  I kept thinking I'd get some pictures taken to go along with an update, but never got around to doing it.  I did go to the Houston Italian Festival this past weekend, but forgot my camera.

Reid finally got the results of his latest PET scan last week...almost a week after the scan.  He had called and left a message a couple of days after the scan and never heard anything, so he called a second time last week and the P.A. called him back pretty quickly.  I guess they hadn't gotten the first message.  Anyway, the scan still shows activity (cancer), but it's gotten smaller again.  I was hoping it would be completely gone, but smaller is still good.  Originally his oncologist was thinking about 8 or so treatments.  I believe Reid has now had 7.  The drug was approved for up to 16 treatments, so we'll see what the doctor says when he goes back for the next treatment on October 23rd.

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready to have slab work done on the house.  Unless you live in this part of Texas you probably have no idea what slab work is, but I can tell you it's a pain in the "you know what."  Homes here are built on concrete slabs.  The soil is mostly clay which expands and contracts with moisture.  This causes the house to kind of go up and down.  Eventually, the slab cracks.  You can tell when doors stick, windows don't close easily, and cracks appear above doorways.  The problem is made worse by dry conditions and large trees which drink up the water and dry out the soil.  It usually takes time to happen...20 to 30 years.  Anyway, we've had work done before and now need some additional interior piers.  That means they have to come inside, rip up the flooring, and go into the concrete slab with jack hammers.  Needless to say, it's a big mess.  We were originally scheduled to have this done last June, but when Jim died I put it off until the end of October when hopefully it would cool off.  I need to put the dog and cats in the garage.  We've only had a few cooler days a week or so ago.  Other than that the A/C runs night and day.  It's been in the 90's, but today felt better and I think it was only in the 80's.  I just hope it will be cool on October 29th.  I'll be sure to take pictures.  Seeing is believing!

I miss the old Blogger Dashboard!