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March 2009
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May 2009

Tuesday 10 on Wednesday

Is that sort of random?  Yesterday's Ten on Tuesday: 10 Words People Would Use to Describe You.

1.  Eldest (say "oldest" and you will get The Look AND be corrected)

2.  Daughter

3.  Granddaughter

4.  Mother (always wanted to be one)

5.  Sister

6.  Aunt (so much fun)

7.  Wry

8.  Enigmatic

9.  Creative

10.  Kind

* * * * *

I finished my first Houdini Sock yesterday, but will have to re-do the bind-off -- even the super-stretchy technique is too tight.  It might be (could very well be) *me* and *my* technique.

* * * * *

Where do I go to place my order for a month of Sundays?  So much to do, so little time; I'm going to have to give some things up.  But what?

* * * * *

Shook hands and put $10 on the line this morning with a friend, taking up a challenge to lose 10 pounds next month.  As Mack was goofing around, sitting on my lap yesterday morning, he poked at my belly.  "Oh, you have two sets of boobs!"  Out of the mouths of babes.  Heh.  I can do this.  I always wanted them a bit bigger, but one set of boobs in any size is good enough for me.

At the library

I spent the most delightful afternoon with Addison yesterday -- just him and me.  He woke up (early) from his nap just as his mom and Mack left to see a puppet show.  It was clear that he wasn't going to fall back asleep (there went knitting time), so we cuddled and I answered his inquiries about "Where's Mommy?" "Where's Daddy?" and "Where's Mack?" -- which almost became a sing-song game as time passed -- and then we got down to serious business.  Eating cereal and fig cookies, playing trucks and cars, reading books (about trucks and cars), and taking pictures.  There is some FANTASTIC light at my sister's new house -- and just as fabulous is all the wall space.  Oh.My.

I helped with bath time and read bedtime stories to Mack.  He's starting to break out in seasonal freckles.  So darn cute.

The library in my sister's little town doesn't have wireless, so I drove over to Sun Prairie and, wow, this is one cool and very big library.  I've always pooh-poohed the notion of a new library in MY little town, but if it could be anything like this... though I'd still much prefer a large and tasteful addition/expansion, including the demo and replacement of the current rather small and not-so-tasteful addition.

Anyway, this is where I be.  My internet business has been taken care of and now I'm going to go in search of something to eat.  Seminar this evening.  Breakfast with Annie & The Boys again tomorrow morning, and then I'll head back home/back to work by noon tomorrow.

Oh, have had a couple of emails from Katie.  She's having a blast in Europe, though they missed their flight to Florence the day after arriving, so had an extra acclimation day on the front end, but one less day in Florence -- not to mention some added expense -- but it seems like they're going with the flow quite well and having a good time.  Katie also has a very sore foot -- possibly a stress fracture -- which made walking around Rome a little less enjoyable than otherwise, but I think that WALKING AROUND ROME kind of kept her mind off the pain.  She has been elevating her foot at every opportunity.  Her friend left yesterday and today Katie will be flying to Athens to visit our neighbor girl who is currently living there -- I think she might be taking it easy and relaxing a little more in Greece.  Then another few days in London and she'll be home.  I can't wait to hear all about it and see all the photos!!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes for the girls!  Birthday season has now concluded.  ; )  I have photos of Maddy's tattoo -- at her request, even -- but they're in the camera, which is not with me now.  That reminds me... I don't think I mentioned that I noticed a form Maddy recently filled out for school and in the area where it asked for her mother's occupation, she wrote "secretary and photographer."  Sweet.

A new era begins

Happy Birthday, Maddy!

As of today, I am the mother of three adult children.  I'm not sure where the last 18 years went.  I'm sure the next 18 are going to go by even faster, as will the 18 after that and the 18 after that and the 18 after that -- not stopping to do the math, I might not even be alive then.  Anyway...

Happy Birthday, Madeleine!!  I love you so much.

Also as of today, all three of my girls will have tattoos.  Maddy wasted no time at all, making her appointment on the afternoon of the first possible day.  Heh.

How about some garden variety eye candy?

The ground is still quite wet, but the bloodroot is blooming... what's a couple of wet knees and elbows?  The lower garden and path are riddled with them.  So lovely.  So fleeting.

Bloodroot blossom-keh



These colorful blossoms have brightened an indoor corner for a few years now.  This year, I "planted" them outside for an early, subtle hit of color in one of the pergola planters.

Clay flowers are blooming

Tomorrow is a catch-up day at home.  On Sunday, I'm heading south to visit Mack & Addison for the first time since the move!  I'll hang out with them on Sunday, find something to do with myself on Monday, attend a work-related event on Monday evening, and probably head home on Tuesday morning.  It's shaping up to be a pretty busy spring.  Have a great weekend!

So much fun

Okay, I might as well start by saying that I left my camera home.  The only photos on my memory card from the weekend are of feet.

Cat Bordhi

Ann took photos of mine and I of hers.  After three days of not much other than sittin' and knittin', my feet and ankles were pretty swollen -- I believe this was taken on Monday morning and they're better, but still pretty puffy.

Ann's flight arrived early Thursday evening and we went directly to Yarns by Design to get acquainted with the shop and pick up our Midwest Masters' Seminar class materials.

The first of two all-day classes we had with Beth Brown-Reinsel, "Aran Pullovers from the Neck Down," was on Friday.  We learned some nice cast on/bind off techniques for this type of construction, a nice neckline technique, and worked a variety of bobbles.  I never knew there were so many different types of bobbles!  Though I have no business to be doing so, this has me dreaming Celtic Dreams...

On Saturday, we had Beth's "Twined Knitting - Textured Socks" class. It's a pretty cool technique and one that I will definitely try, especially since I have a twined knitting pattern and some Z-plied Mora yarn that Margene sent for a birthday present a long while back.  I have a better understanding, now, especially regarding the yarn -- which isn't essential to twined knitting, but that's what it's made for.

Beth was a great teacher and enthusiastic.  She's very generous with her knowledge of both technique and design, and her handouts were thorough and informative.  I would definitely sign up for another class with her if I have the opportunity.

There was a buffet and show-and-tell event on Saturday night, during which there was a district-wide (whatever that means) power failure.  The hotel staff moved candles to the buffet table (candle flame is hot... ask me how I know) and stood with flashlights so we could discern the chicken from the fish.  They moved us all into the hotel lobby, where there was a bit more light, for the show, but we still needed extra light.  The lights came back on after about an hour-and-a-half.  Quite an adventure.

"Houdini Socks - The Simplest and Sweetest Socks of All" was our all-day class on Sunday with Cat Bordhi. Enthusiasm?  She crackles with it.  She's enchanting and amazing and, hell, she's the only person to ever lay at my feet... and sign one of 'em.  Oh, of course, it's more than that!  She's one of those people who walks amongst us, but truly lives in the stratosphere -- innovative, inventive, inquisitive, impulsive, interesting -- always thinking, quickly bored, twelve steps ahead of the rest of us at any given time.  There was some good-natured grumbling from across the room about an incomplete supply list for this class, for which Cat immediately took the heat -- the subject, description and supply list was settled nearly a year ago, she said, but things had changed since then as her idea and design had evolved... and that is key.  Her ideas and designs are always evolving.  That's what makes Cat Cat and what makes her so special.  I think it would be pretty near impossible for the woman to teach the same class twice.

Oh, yeah, I'd definitely take another class from Cat.  FYI (and mine) (note to check calendar): I noticed on her event schedule that she'll be teaching at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival and also for the Madison Knitters' Guild this fall.

And Ann.  She crackles cackles with it, too.  Heheheh.  What fun it was to have her here.  I've visited New York on adventures that were knit-related to some degree five times, now, as well as to Minneapolis -- and to Berkeley, Portland, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Toronto, Saskatoon, and countless other places in my head (not to mention the cross-country, cross-continental, knit-blog bus tour -- kind of like a Magical Mystery Tour with knitting) -- but this was my first opportunity to play hostess.  I think DH enjoyed it almost as much as I did; he certainly did his best to impress, including baking an apple pie while we were out on Sunday.  ; )  It was so much fun and all over much too quickly.  I can't wait to do it again.  Who's next?

Roxie accompanied me on a walk down to the garden last night:

Roxie loves spring, too!  

The bleeding hearts are explosive.

Bleeding Heart

I'd best save a little something for tomorrow!

Creme Brulee Smile

If my eldest daughter is having something sweet to celebrate her birthday this year, it's probably not creme brulee at a restaurant with an Italian name in Neenah, WI. It's likely more on the order of tiramisu, cannoli, and/or gelato at a restaurant with an Italian name in Italy! ITALY!!

This is the third birthday that Katie is celebrating while travelling. Returning from a class trip to Washington, DC, in eighth grade, the pilot of the plane (on a tip from one of the chaperones) announced the event and the whole plane sang "Happy Birthday, dear Katie." And it was while on the last-leg "continental tour" portion of her study-abroad semester that she celebrated her 21st birthday collecting kisses in a Munich beer garden.

And now 24. Buon compleanno (I think), Katie! Happy, happy birthday!!

This is a trip long in the works -- something she and her friend Mollie agreed to do way back in high school -- to celebrate their graduations from college.

Katie left on Saturday morning and met Mollie in London. They'll travel to Florence and Rome together before returning to London, and then Mollie will fly home. Katie will then travel to Athens where one of our former neighbors is currently living. She'll return to London for a few days before returning home the first weekend in May.

Doesn't that sound like a lovely way to turn 24? I love you, honey! As if celebrating your birthday in Italy isn't enough, do something REALLY special and memorable today!

Flat Stanley meets Ali, Oswald, book club, and Michael Perry; and some knitting

Flat Stanley (and Oswald) 

Flat Stanley has been to the coffee shop to hang out with Oswald...

Flat Stanley (focus on Ali)

...and Ali... who has a BIRTHDAY TODAY!!  Happy 22, sweetie!!  Mwah!!

He went to dinner with my book club, and then to a reading by author Michael Perry (whose books I love) as part of the Fox Cities Book Festival, and Mike was gracious enough to pose with Stanley...

Flat Stanley and Michael Perry

...after he signed my copy of his new book, Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting.  I also snagged (and had signed) Off Main Street.  My copies of Population: 485 and Truck: A Love Story were signed at last year's book festival reading.  Yeah.  I'm a fan.

I pick up Ann at the airport tonight at 5:30 and I'm not ready... and yet I'm blogging... that's how it is, huh?  I guess she'll be suffering some of my warts.

The knitting:  I started my Habu Lamb Wool Linen Jacket (Kit-70), which I've had for about a year and a half.  This is the back, even though it looks like a sleeve -- because technically, it is a sleeve -- because the back is knit sleeve-to-sleeve.  I was already to the casting-on-for-the-body portion once and had to rip back because I forgot the increases along the TOP of the sleeve.  I really love the Japanese patterns, but one does have to pay attention to ALL the charts and figures.

Back (Sleeve)

Sleeve with stitch markers

OK.  Going to get some stuff done...

Quiet weekend... and busy


Do you see what I see?  GREEN GRASS... it's getting there, anyway!

My sister Ann brought the boys up for a visit on Friday/Saturday, taking a break from moving into a new house... and all that.  I wanted to show them the cool statues in the little park near the coffee shop, but they were much more interested in the adjoining deck overlooking the river and then, in quick order, the path leading down to the water.

The boys have been sleeping in their own room since the move.  There's a bunk bed and Mack's on top!  He loves it.  Addison is in-between; there's no more crib, but he's not quite in the "big" bed yet -- he's in one of those itty-bitty beds -- so soon, no doubt.  He's starting to talk and it's so cute.  I sure love those boys.  I'll be down there visiting in two weeks for a seminar and... visiting; actually, I've offered to babysit so mom & dad can get out for a bit.  I can't wait.

Ali and I went to Zumba on Saturday morning; there was a very engaging sub and I enjoyed it a lot.  Don't see myself getting back there before next week.  I'm getting plenty of exercise with the housecleaning, though, so not to worry.  I've always done my best work when company's coming; unfortunately, it's been a while.  My sisters used to count as company, but I think it was when I was working the 60- (average) to 99.75- (highest) hour/week job that I stopped that nonsense.  We used to have an open house every year, too, but haven't done that in a while, either.  So this is long-overdue and very, very good.  I'm quite happy to be getting some things done and, I'll tell ya, the best carrot-on-a-stick is the prospect of spending three days on the other side at a knitting seminar with a good friend + an extra bonus day for visiting!

Easter was low-key and quiet -- Mom & Joe brought over a ham, we grilled turkey burgers and steamed asparagus, Ali made my favorite naughty, naughty chocolate-caramel bars -- she got a late start, but I ate one anyway -- all chocolatey, gooey and warm.  I hope someone else eats the rest of 'em.

Friday is good

Vicki, Jesus, and Bokeh Grandma

Vicki, Jesus, and Bokeh Grandma

At Grandma's house -- maybe around March of 1962?  That looks about right... I'd be 3-1/2 going on 4.  We actually lived in St. Louis at the time, but my brother was born in Wisconsin while we were at my grandparents' house -- and I think this was probably then.

Oh, that house.  It was once a hospital.  I helped several years ago at a rummage sale there, when Grandma moved to assisted living, and SO many people came just to see the house.  One woman wanted to know where the "birthing room" was, because that's where she was born.  An older gentleman had a vivid recollection of walking up the back porch steps as a young boy to have his tonsils removed.

In this photo -- a Polaroid almost certainly taken by my dad -- Grandma's standing in the kitchen.  It was an ENORMOUS old kitchen, especially to my young eyes.  She must have run a marathon in there during holiday meal prep!  There was also a mangle, for some reason (which my mother now has), that always fascinated me.  The kitchen was remodeled several years after this photo was taken; a wall was put up and the kitchen made smaller.  Grandma did ceramics as a hobby, also teaching classes for many years, and at least one of the kilns was brought up from the basement to the smaller "pantry" area for convenience.  I think a freezer was in there, too.  Several more years later, after Grandma tripped on a pile of laundry on the basement floor and broke her hip, the freezer was displaced by the washer and dryer.

* * * * *
Next week is going to be NUTS around here -- in a very fun and good way, but OMG, totally NUTS starting Monday!  There's something -- sometimes two things -- every single day!  Knitting, photography, more knitting, book club, knitting, book festival, knitting, cooking class, knitting!  I'm already starting to get antsy and freak out a little.  (Breathe in.  One day at a time.  Breathe out.  Om.)  I am so excited (and a wee bit nervous) to welcome Ann on Thursday for three days of visiting and knitting at the Midwest Master's Seminar!  (We're doing Aran Pullovers from the Neck Down on Friday, Twined Knitting on Saturday, and Houdini Socks on Sunday -- and we're both a little weirded out that there's absolutely NO HOMEWORK for ANY of our classes.)  Ann and I have a free day on Monday to relax and hang out before she catches a flight home on Monday night.  Oh, now I'm sad that it's going to be over so quick!  Om (again).

Katie's First Day

Katie's First Day

There are so many things I love about this picture, not the least of which is my butt.  It won't ever look quite like that again -- the best it ever did -- but I am inspired nonetheless.  This photo was taken in September 1990.  I was pregnant with Maddy -- though may not have realized it yet.  It's "the old neighborhood."  I kind of laugh when I talk that way. I can't believe we've lived here for nearly 22 years. There have been so many changes!

Ali (carrying the balloon) and I are walking Katie to school on her first day of kindergarten.  Aw, little Ali wanted to go to school so badly, too!  Their grade school was only a five-block walk.  Loved that. They used to wear matching dresses a lot -- this one was a particular favorite.

The ginormous tree at the top left was a catalpa tree two doors down. My brother's kindergarten teacher (from another district and a long time before) lived there.  Her name was Helen.  She was in her 80s and had freckles and long (dyed) red hair that she put into braids and wound around her head, Swedish style -- she never wore it any other way.  Every once in a while, when I walked past her house in the summer, she'd be at her bedroom window upstairs, brushing out her hair, and we'd have a conversation.

Anyway, the driveway we're approaching was my next-door neighbors'. Actually, at the time, Marie lived next door -- and had for 80-some years (since she was 6).  A few years later, though, the people who bought it from her wanted to build a larger garage on the other side of the house and move the driveway.  They had three-going-on-four kids when they moved in and the house had a tiny one-car garage that was so small, the doors could only be open on one side of the car when it was inside.  Well, the catalpa tree was in the way.  After some negotiation, Helen agreed to let them take down the tree.  I never knew how much that old tree shaded my house 'til it was gone!  There are a few others in the neighborhood -- including some volunteers in my own yard -- but I still kind of miss it.

CatalpaBowl My neighbor knew that my dad turned wood, so gave me a chunk of the tree and asked if he'd make something for Helen.  The nature of that business is that the wood has to dry for quite some time before it can be worked and, unfortunately, Helen died before it was finished.

I have that catalpa-wood bowl and it's one of my true treasures.

* * * * *

Spring-into-summer So, the old photo is providing some inspiration and the impetus to get back to Springing Into Summer.  Having lost a little of my "spring" with the back strain, I'm back to about 99.9%.  I've not been so good at keeping up with the food journal, but it's always on my mind and... in fact, I'm going to start again RIGHT NOW!  I had a Koka Moka Pro Bar for breakfast -- Ali's carrying them at the coffee shop now and I am very happy about that. I also found PocketMod and it's SO EASY to make your own small journal -- for anything!  I have been good about keeping track of my weight (!) -- even during the back crisis when my weight SHOT UP as my body went into crisis mode and was holding on to every speck and every drop.  It's finally stabilizing now.  On Saturday, I'm heading back to Zumba!



Mmmmmm.  It feels so good!  And smells so good!!  I can't stop feeling it and smelling it.  Eventually, I'll want to give it a little spin and knit it, but for now I'm content to sniff and fondle.  I've been carrying it everywhere -- and have it with me today.

This is 100% llama, undyed, and spun for me.  My brother and his wife gave me a gift certificate for a fiber farm -- Pine Knoll Llamas -- near their house for Christmas '07.  Last summer, on my way to visit Knitting Camp in Marshfield, I stopped to meet the owners.  I enjoyed a wonderful tour of their old farmhouse, Kathy's workspace and the farm, and had a nice visit with the llamas.  In yesterday's mail were yarn samples from the available fleeces, based on my choices last summer.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am -- perhaps you've picked up on it.  They are, from left to right, "Montego Bay, "Sister-Sister," and "Pfevor."  Montego Bay and Pfevor are from single fleeces, Sister-Sister is a combination of three llamas -- all sisters.  There's an early favorite.

Green for good measure

Mosaics made with fd's Flickr Toys.  There's more on my Depression Glass Flickr set.

Before I threw out my back and suffered a different sort of lost weekend, I was cleaning cupboards.  I managed to do a big pantry cupboard where we store cookbooks, most baking supplies and spices, and some of the more utilitarian pieces of my Depression Glass collection.  There were some requests for more.  You might also want to check out my post D is for... Depression glass from ABC-Along 2006.

I am a collector, there's no two ways about that.  Most of my "collections" have to do with "Women's Work."  It's funny, I'm vaguely reminded right now of a high school assignment -- I picture myself in the English Dept., so let's say it was for English, though I don't remember exactly, could have been Social Studies -- for which I was researching "Women In Russia."  It was in the early- to mid-'70s, so my work was no doubt completed right quick because there wasn't much timely information forthcoming about Russia in those days, period, never mind about women!


Anyway, I collect depression glass because, for me, they represent a connection to the maternal.  My grandmothers were both young wives and mothers during The Great Depression.  They welcomed and used these additions to their kitchens, even if they didn't love them as I do.

I can still picture the "depression glass booth" at my favorite, now-long-gone antique mall.  I am certain that I bought the Federal tri-spout measure there -- the tall one without a handle.  The best reason I can come up with for three spouts is that there would be no different whether it was used left- or right-handed, poured straight out or poured out the side.  I am right-handed, but if I'm stirring liquid into something, I'm definitely pouring left-handed.  That's my story theory.


The biggest news all weekend:  NO SNOW!!!

I didn't get any additional blue squares knit, but I did clean up and rework the ones that needed attention.  We'll see what this evening brings.  Intending to make a P.O. run on Wednesday.  It'll be nice enough to walk.  Maybe even with just a sweater on!

Six of five

Square1 Square3 Square2




A couple of these grew a bit -- the ones with garter stitch -- they're about a half-inch too long; easily fixed with a quick rip and binding off again.  There are six now.  I'm planning one or two more by the end of the weekend.

Next up:  As seen at Celia's last week, Code Pink: A Radical Act of Knitting in Honor of Mother's Day!  I happen to have the perfect shades of both pink and green in the stash, and in the correct proportion -- I plan to knit five pink and one green.  These need only be 4-inch squares.  Let's see if I can manage it.

I've been ignoring the weather as much as possible -- except for the part about enjoying the sunshine and the warm today, with the occasional exclamation about how unlikely it seems that we could have five inches of snow on the ground tomorrow -- and my strategy appears to have worked.  Heh.  It looks like, all told and at most, we'll see maybe two inches of snow.  That ought to melt away right quick.  As long as I was checkin', I did peek ahead to Wednesday (my day off) and was happy to see 46F + sunshine.

I hope your weekend is going well.


I was dreaming a little of spring yesterday and when I got home I found this:


Tulips-n-Roxie Tulips emerging!  The focus is ever-so-slightly off in this photo -- I was distracted by our cat Roxie, as evidenced in the photo at left (the big blur in the foreground is her ear).  She followed me as I walked all around the house, checking on stuff in the gardens.Roxie 2  Talk about camera shy, she's nearly impossible to photograph.  Heh... Though there is an awesome old photo of her tacked up on one of the kitchen cupboards where she's wearing an "American Girl" bike helmet and has a pink boa wrapped 'round her neck.  Safe and glam!  The work of Maddy and her friend Katy.  No doubt.

I never cut the hydrangeas in the front garden last fall.  It's kind of wilty, dead and dry... mmmm, but very pretty!  I usually do a pretty good fall garden clean up, but sometimes I leave stuff.


It was nice to walk around outside yesterday -- it was nice enough, though I could maybe have used another light layer.  We're about 15F below average daily temperature for this time of year and there's snow in the forecast!  Three to five inches.  Ugh.  Yep, still dreamin' of spring...

My friend Gale has dreams, too.  She's dreamed up an entry for the Name Your Dream Assignment contest and I hope you'll consider voting for her.  THE DEADLINE IS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT!

Heifer and knitters have been a pretty good combo so far, it would be awesome to see Gale's vision become reality.

Okay.  Have a great Friday (yay!).  I'm going to try and make that focused list now of all the thoughts swirling around in my head.

How much is that kitty in the window?

Kitty in the window

I think the kitties are looking forward to spring's arrival, too.  Sheesh.  Hurry up, already!!  I am starved for something fresh, green, and growing.

I don't really have much to report.  So a little "random," it is!

1.  I talked with my youngest sister yesterday.  She is moving into a new (to her) house this weekend and needed some decorating advice.  She's already implemented one of my great ideas for the dining area and says that I'm full of good ideas.  ; )  I haven't seen that yet, and I can't wait!  Anyway, they had to replace a bunch of windows and that messed up the siding on the front -- which they do not want to replace, but do need to fix -- so she told me her plan and asked, "What do you think about that?" and I wondered, "Why don't you think about trying this?"  I'm so anxious to see it all finished.  If things work out, I might head down for a day this weekend.

2.  Or maybe not.  I should really stay home and get caught up.

3.  I wouldn't be helping with any moving or lifting -- heavy, light, or otherwise.  My back is SO much better -- I turned a corner yesterday -- but it's still a little sore and tender.  I continue icing now and then.  There are no sudden moves happenin' over here yet.

4.  I should make a detailed and focused To-Do List -- Tuesday's was kind of out there.

5.  I talked with the other twin yesterday, too.  Why did she call me?  Oh, yeah.  She called last time while watching American Idol because she wanted me to check out and consider a resemblance between contestant Allison and my Alison.  She called last night during American Idol to say, "Never mind."  She's also one of those teachers you may have read about who received a lay-off notice, so we talked job hunting, too.

6.  Yuck.  Is there anything worse than job hunting?  (Yes, I'm counting my lucky stars.)

7.  So far, I have finished four 5-inch squares for Luke's blanket.  I'd like to knock off a few more before sending off this batch.  The thing with 5-inch squares is that they knit up even quicker than 6-inchers!

8.  I should really stay home this weekend and get some stuff done...

9.  Thank you for all the good wishes and happy dances yesterday, and for the excellent ideas for nourishment and weight gain.  We're all pretty happy around here, too.

Doctor's orders: Eat cheesecake!

Afghan cap

I finally got this hat in the mail to my sister yesterday.  Hopefully, her hair will quickly start growing back and she'll soon think, "Wow, look how long my hair is getting," as I did when I saw this photo.

She had her big follow-up oncology appointment yesterday.  She said that she'd never seen the doctor so happy!  The radiation and chemo have done exactly what they'd hoped -- the lymph nodes are shrinking.  She didn't pick it up herself, but the friend who was with her at the appointment heard the doc use the word "cured."

I've never heard such relief in my sister's voice, nor so much hope.

She weighed in at 117 fully clothed yesterday.  Her esophagus is still very sore from the radiation, so eating and weight control has been a problem (as they knew it would be).  The doctor's orders, as soon as she is able, are to eat cheesecake, bacon & eggs, bread & butter, macaroni & cheese!

Yeah.  No April foolin'!!

Thank you.  Keep those good thoughts coming.