Friday, August 31, 2012

snippits

I need to be quick, not much on editing. We -- sister and I -- think I will be able to get packed between now and the day I leave on the next trip, even with a break Sunday for hamburgers at the local historical society's fund-raiser BBQ. I must be judicious with blogging time.

Regular life proceeds apace, with Thursdays Out and NeedleCrafts, Soroptomist, including publishing a newsletter, before I'm out of here.

A day of anger > elation > devastation. Hard to get through the roller coaster Saturday, starting at one a.m. Growling, clattering, scritching on the deck. I look out and there are three raccoons in the cats' food bowl. I open the door and yell at them. Unimpressed. They're pissed with each other and pissed with me and lots of noise and banging and crashing about leaves them  . . . still there. I finally run them down the steps,



they come back,



I chase them up the tree, and this is repeated several times.

They finally saunter off behind the neighbor's house,



but leave evidence of having returned later in the night. Frankly, they were aggressive and scary, leaving me revved up as I tried to go to sleep.


Kittens and mama frolic on the deck once daylight comes, coming out from under the table cover which I've left for them as a hiding place.



or relax for a snack.



This is the big day when the plumbers come to install the rest of the new plumbing fixtures I've ordered. A new toilet was installed a few days earlier (taller, quieter, more water efficient). It all began with a wobbly kitchen faucet which couldn't be tightened down. Here is why:



The sink itself was also nicked and starting to rust, so let's go for faucet and sink. Jean-Luc watches the plumber under the sink.



Henley inspects the new one on its way in.





By the way, my bathroom sink is in rough shape, too. It looked bad from the bowl side. My impression is confirmed from the outside.



It's one of a pair in my master bath, so changing one means changing two. While we're at it, we should make the hall bathroom match, and it is starting to rust just a bit, too. Here's one of the three new ones.



So happy to have it done and to get back to working on my newsletter . . . .

It was 9-ish in the evening, dark out but for the pool of porch light, when I heard noise on the deck, my first thought being the raccoons. But I soon recognized the banging and scritching of the big dog's claws against wood, racing around the covered table, kittens all diving for shelter. I ran out shrieking at it, as it usually runs away when that happens, but it just kept circling and probing the canvas. The dog ran off the deck, then back under it circling, me still screaming, the dog running, stopping, circling and the fact dawning on me that it had a kitten, and my screams intended to scare it off turned to screams of anger, anguish, horror, despair.

The kitten was found dying in the driveway, the dog that I suspect, alibied. I posted intemperate words on Facebook regarding my opinion of dogs. My history with them has not endeared them to me. A good day turned so bad.

Two days later, a temporary barricade is up,



and I head down the hill to the little city to see the dentist and to do what I hope is the last shopping run before my trip. I get my teeth cleaned, then am able to get an appointment for 45 minutes later to get the impressions done for my tooth implant. My gum and graft have been healing for months and are ready for the crown, or whatever they call it. The production will take a couple of weeks, so doing the impression now means it will be ready when I get back from the trip.

During my 45 minutes, I picked up these lovely veggies that a quilting friend is giving away to her friends. I had the veggies with my own version of pork fried rice.








My little feral kitty family relaxed this morning, feeling a little safer behind the barricade.


There's one little guy who I think is a younger sibling of the mama cat but who got run out or abandoned before the three little kittens were presented to me. Mama cat keeps running it off and I find its sweet little face peering in the kitchen window and I try to sneak food out without mama hearing it. Just to keep cats straight, I call it Extra. Early this evening, I heard a big bang on the deck. I looked out the back door, on the outer side of the barricade. This guy was standing on the ramp looking in.




See you sooner or later!


*

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Waypoint 300 and The Picasso Breast


This is Blog #300 since that first one on January 7, 2011. I knew it would be next when I published 299 and contemplated whether it would be business as usual with Thursdays Out or even my reflections on the Olympics

I made a collection of photos some while ago that I called "The Picasso Breast" because when I look in the mirror at the slightly geometric shape of my breast resulting from a lumpectomy, I always refer to it as my Picasso Breast. See? Something like this, I thought, that I could display from my collection.

Another waypoint at the same crossroads as 300 made this the right time to haul out the collection. They gave me a new oncologist last week. Except for the occasional substitute, He has been my oncologist since February of 2009. He was the part of my team that continued with the follow-up and I have great confidence in him.

He has left. She has replaced him. She comes with good credentials. My friend with the worst breast cancer of all sings her praises. Still, this change was not any idea of mine and I'll need to adjust.
 
The following examples of Picasso Breast come from various sources on the Internet and portray works by Pablo Picasso.



I got a call-back on a November, 2004, mammogram to take a look at something suspicious. Fear punched me in the gut and radiated outward throughout my body from there. In my mind I had received a death sentence, just like my first-ever awareness of breast cancer -- back when the word "breast" was embarrassing to utter -- at age 10, when my Bluebird leader, the mother of a friend, a young mother, died. Died.

After a digital look (the first digital mammo I think I'd had) at my left breast, everything turned out to be okay, but it took until February -- three months later -- to get the word.

I had another mammo with a call-back a couple of years later, which I met with less panic, and got prompt feedback that everything was okay. Friends were having the same thing happen to them. We decided that in this lawsuit-happy society, this was just CYA for the doctors and hospital.

Still, I knew women who were whispered about in somber tones that they had breast cancer, and I might see them out occasionally, their headscarves covering the baldness of chemo, brave-faced. I'd be hesitant to ask how they were doing. Was that too private a question? If I didn't see them for a while, I'd be afraid to ask. I've been widowed twice and knew the awkward situation when someone asks after your spouse and you must provide the news of his death.



After several clear mammos, I was pretty blasé about a call-back for one in early November of 2008, with the repeat being done 10 days later. My doctor wanted to see me when he got the results. He said the radiologist wanted to do a needle biopsy. That was scheduled for the next week. Just after the biopsy, Sister-in-Law and I headed off to Yosemite for a four-day vacation at the Ahwahnee Hotel as previously planned. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Ahwahnee, it's a really big deal, and we only can go because we get a really good deal just for keeping the rooms occupied in the low season.

A call from the doctor came the day we arrived home. You have breast cancer. That was when other tests and the round of appointments with those who would become my team began: the surgeon, the radiation oncologist, the regular oncologist, and also my gynecologist. Sister, who is a nurse, accompanied me on most visits, for technical, emotional and clerical support.

My surgeon, a dynamic young woman, ordered a double-breasted MRI (Sister insisted it's called "bi-lateral") and a check on ovary health. Goodbye hormones, hello hot flashes. Things looked good at that point. The cancer was small, detected early, the prognosis excellent. I might be a candidate for MammoSite radiation, a procedure considerably less grueling than regular radiation,  not to mention the radiation oncologist was uniformly reported to be very nice to look at. (True.)



Now I was one of those women whom people would whisper about, would hear I'd been diagnosed with cancer, would be hesitant to ask. There were relatives who'd want to know, as would close friends. There were friends a little further removed who might be interested. I didn't want dribbles of information to get out that would get distorted in the manner of the telephone game. And I didn't really mind that people would know. So before I even had surgery or knew the outcome, I sent an email out to all I thought would be interested or concerned and proposed that I would keep all who wanted to be up-to-date.



I wrote eight updates to the initial email, covering the the breast surgery in January, and ovary surgery and radiation treatment in February. Yes, I qualified for Mammosite, a five-day targeted radiation treatment. I called it my Radiation Vacation since I spent my time between two treatments a day seeing all the big movies of the season, something that's hard to do anywhere near my little town.

After radiation, my radiation oncologist told me I didn't have cancer any more. But I don't trust cancer, and I'm too superstitious to call myself a Cancer Survivor. I've seen that shit come back and kick too many people in the teeth.

This blog isn't the saga of my breast cancer, however. Oddly, it's partly about my trip to France for the Writing from the Heart Workshop in October, 2010. Five of us spent five days with teacher and writer Janet Hulstrand in Essoyes, France, digging within ourselves and learning to share without being afraid of exposing our innermost thoughts and fears. We explored what we wanted from our writing and how that influenced the kind of writing we want to do.

Although I'd wanted to write novels all my life, and had completed one (RE-JEC-TED) and almost finished another, I found I'm past the time in life when I still want to do that. I don't need to write for the money, so I really can Write from the Heart. There are several bloggers -- well, maybe it's many -- who write about their daily lives, and that may be their only commonality. I enjoy reading these stories of their lives and want to do that, too. I marvel that some people tell me they enjoy my meanderings. Reflecting back, rereading the emails I sent to my friends during my treatments, they were in most respects, blogs. A harbinger.

All my mammograms have been okay to date -- and I've had lots of them -- since the lumpectomy and radiation. My "chemo" is a five-year course of an aromatase inhibitor -- at least I think that's what it is. That leaves about a year-and-a-half to go. It turns out I'm not a person who needs to know all the technical stuff. That's what my team is for. I hope She, the new oncologist, turns out to be a good member of the team.

Okay, let me close (or start to close) with a story on Sister. My surgeon sent her out to buy me a bra with fasteners down the front so I'd be able to manage  a tube that is part of the MammoSite procedure on my own during Radiation Vacation. She came back with this:













It doesn't fasten down the front, but it was a considerable morale booster once I didn't need a front-closer any more.

I couldn't decide which Picasso Breast best portrays mine, but I offer this:


Dora Maar with Cat


Because, as you know, I love cats. (I know. It's a challenge to discern the cat. But I'm going by the title.)

I'm in the midst of getting ready for a trip, with many other non-related things to do before I can go, so I make no promises that I'll see you soon. I hope at least I'll see you on the trip, but the certainty of WiFi is, well, uncertain.




Tuesday, August 14, 2012

las•si•tude

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las•si•tude
Noun:  A state of physical or mental weariness; lack of energy         
synonyms:  weariness - fatigue - languor - tiredness - exhaustion

It was a little cooler in the bedroom this afternoon when I stopped in for an Excedrin and stayed for a little nap. I was awakened by a phone call on the non-Caller ID phone there. A man identified himself, a familiar name but I couldn't immediately place where from. The cobwebs lifted from my brain a bit and I handled it.

I lay back again, feeling almost glued to the bed. Lassitude. Is that the right word? Does it mean what I think it means?

Yup! Exactly what I'm feeling. Just to give proper attribution, that definition is the first thing that came up when I Googled the word. I'm blaming it on the heat. It has been over 100° -- well over -- for several days and for going on the third night, I'll leave the air conditioning on all night without opening the windows.

Every day I've made a few little notes to blog about for the day. Remember my big resolution to blog every day so it doesn't become such a mammoth undertaking? Evening comes, blogging time, and it just feels like so much work. This evening it seemed like a good idea to watch the finale of The Closer and the debut episode of its successor, Major Crimes. I only recently discovered that I get the channel they're on. I had watched the first few years of The Closer on DVD, then there was a big gap that I thought I should close before resuming watching it. But as the finale drew near, I tuned in and it was like jumping into an old familiar place.

I'm tired tonight, too, and about to go to bed early. Early for me at least. The air conditioning guy is scheduled for in the morning for my regular maintenance service, so it would be a good idea to get up at a reasonable hour. I would not be surprised if he were to be diverted for an emergency call under present circumstances.

I'll leave you with my August Photo A Day for August 14 because it looks like a good place to hang out for someone stricken with lassitude, although the word for the day is ARROW.






Then for good measure, I'll bring you PURPLE, from last Saturday, just because I like the pictures I used in the collage. (The colors clash, don't they?)




See you, the soonness of which I will not guarantee.


*

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Appointments Galore . . . 8.9.12

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I have appointments . . . I must be busy. (I shouldn't have bemoaned not having any last time.)

A haircut or two before my French Alps trip in June, I told my hair stylist to let the hair at my neckline grow out a little so that when I was wearing a hat, I'd be less often mistaken for a boy. Not that curls at neckline are any guarantee of gender.  Still . . .

At the appointment following the trip, I'd somehow grown curliness all over my head, so we decided to give it just a little trim to see how it all went, then I'd return to see her in four weeks. By the time of my appointment on Monday this week, the hair had turned into a wild mass that felt like I was wearing a winter hat.

Therefore, it was with great anticipation that I tapped on the stylist's door and tried to let myself in.  Locked. I peered in windows. Dark. I listened. No dog barks, no TV prattling.

I called her cellphone number that she had posted on the door.

"Hello?"

She was out of town. She didn't have her appointment book with her. She'd be home that evening and would call me, but meanwhile she asked me to leave a note for anyone else who might show up. I threaded my fingers through my perspiration-dampened hair, tugging it straight out, letting a little air through.  Rats!

That afternoon I drove down the hill to the little city for my annual dermatology appointment, wearing egg beater hair, taking the super-scenic backroad. The main road is undergoing construction for who-knows-how-long, during which I'll be using the scenic backroad or the super-scenic backroad with scenic enhancemenst (more curves, more potholes, fewer cars) to get to the city.

I used to think it was funny that dermatologists refer to certain of the brown spots that start to appear on our bodies as we get older as barnacles. But now I decided I'm not so fond of being likened to the bottom of an old boat. In any case, I had a couple of things on a shoulder I wanted him to take a look at, and another couple of weird patchy things on my other arm. I always ask for a complete inspection since I can't see all over my body. (My husband used to do such a good job of spotting things to tell the dermatologist -- something else to miss.) There was nothing suspicious in the out-of-view areas except for . . . he left the part where he might say barnacles blank. The self-identified things called for three to be zapped with nitrogen and one to be biopsied. He'd call me within a week with the biopsy results.

Then I shopped, and shopped, which as I reflect on, just generated a to-do list.  I'll spare you at the moment but must keep it for myself. When I bought kitty treats, there was a nice sale on a pop-up cube with an attachable tunnel. I walked by it on the way in, but succumbed to it on the way back to the cash registers. I also arrived home with far too many nectarines and peaches.



The obligatory cat
Jean-Luc

The new kitty toy (the cube & tube on the left)

When I got home I had a message from the Flooring Guy who will replace my carpeting with vinyl in preparation for the new toilet (at which time I'll probably grace you with another toilet photo, although probably not with a pink seat). We set up an appointment for him on Tuesday to take a look at my tiny bathroom space and show me floor samples.

My Photo A Day for Monday was WRITING, wherein I show a sample of papers with my writing and other notes, which also serve as a mouse pad.


Aug 6

Early Tuesday my hair stylist called and we set up an appointment for Wednesday noon, provided my window washers had left by then. Her schedule showed my haircut was supposed to be the previous Monday and I had been the no-show. When I got to counting weeks, I think the error was mine in entering the date in my PDA.

I took Sister to a Soroptimist meeting for lunch. She has finally decided that she is spending enough time here in the mountains to contribute time and effort to Soroptimist and she is joining.

My phone, which seldom rings, went crazy on Tuesday, ringing, it seemed, every few minutes that afternoon and evening. The window washing people confirmed their Wednesday a.m. appointment; charities and political campaigns solicited; I declined, telling them at the first instant I could get a word in edgewise that I don't respond to phone solicitations, however much I might like their cause, and they try all the "but will you's . . ." because I suppose they are being paid by their successes and I'm trying to be polite and not make it personal.

Flooring Guy's caller ID showed up on a call. He was due around 3 p.m. and the crackling cell phone call arrived closer to four. I could only decipher "running late" and "Oak" before the call dropped. That was enough for me to know he was an hour away and would be in a cell-phone dead zone for that long, so the remaining question was whether he'd still be able to come by that day. Another call from him as he approached the neighborhood (and the call didn't drop!) and he made it with the samples. My tootsies will miss carpeting on cold winter nights.

At 5:46 the phone rang again. The dermatologist's name showed up in caller ID.
     Uh oh. Calling the next day? This can't be good.
He did the greeting, then said he had the biopsy results. It's cancerous, a basal cell carcinoma.
     Relief. He did not say melanoma or some kind of metastasized breast cancer.
He got it all on the biopsy and I only need to return on my regular annual schedule.

The Photo A Day for Tuesday was 8 O'CLOCK. I collaged it.


Aug 7

The window washers were due at 9:30 on Wednesday. I hopped up early, having left scooping litter boxes and pulling certain things away from the windows until morning.

Yikes! At 9:10 their truck appeared in the driveway. I was close enough to done with my prep chores. These guys manage to reach over things and behind things and move things I can't. They hand wash both sides of the windows and wash screens, many of them requiring tall ladders. The two young men quietly went about their business and finished it in under an hour and a half.

So no probem gettin to my noon haircut appointment, although there was a brief stand-off as the screen door was locked. This time, however, a ding of the doorbell set off a chorus of dogs and my stylist had to give the broken latch on the screen door a sharp rap to get it open.

So I'm shorn now, but still not back to my previous shortness. We'll see if it's cool enough and we've got the weather to test it. I went to town for my mail after the haircut and noticed there was a 30° difference between the outside and inside temperature when I got home. Tepid water was coming out of the cold water tap.

I was ready for a nap, but another phone day had arrived.

The Photo A Day for Wednesday was GLASSES. I used the picture of Sister's cat Healey, sitting among the glassware, that I had in my last post. My camera has been rather silent for the past few days.

See you soon.


*

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

week ender . . . . . 8.6.12

297




When I left Sister's at close to midnight Sunday, a bright moon, high in the sky, illuminated the often inky-dark streets for my trip home. It had cooled down after a 100° day and the chill banished the drowsiness that fell over us watching late night Olympics. I pushed a little, feeling alert to the surroundings. I spotted a deer, frozen at roadside along the peripheral road (I giggle at the term, but it is a public road that skirts our private development), and a couple-hundred feet farther, another deer, statue still. I had enough speed to activate the deer whistles and the deer were behaving exactly as advertised.

I turned into the garage listening to CNN for any updates on the murders in the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. Information remained scant. That marked a somber end to the weekend.

Without the anchor of appointments on a calendar, my recollections of just what I did are a mishmash, and that that pretty much applies to my weekend. It was a combo of work and play and I can't even guess the proportions.

I knew I had to get to the  dump  transfer station between something (too early to be relevant) and 3:45 on Saturday. It's only open Saturdays and Wednesdays and I have appointments for Wednesday.

It's amazing when I put my stuff in the truck that it looks like so little, not spilling over like most people's trucks. The stuff on the left is for the transfer station, on the right is recycle. It really looks like a lot more in the garage than in the truck, and the used kitty litter could come to smell a lot worse with hot days ahead if I waited much longer. About halfway to the recycle station I realized I'd only brought paper and cardboard recycles, and had forgotten cans, bottles and plastics. Rats.



Trash and recycles
The recycle yard with its sorting bins
What's left for the transfer station


It's for the panorama at the transfer station site that I enjoy my little trips up there every couple of months or so, such as the view out over the old landfill area in the photo up top, and of these other directions, especially when sculpted clouds dot the sky.








The weighmaster noticed my shooting in his direction and wondered what I was up to. "Like the scenery, like my trips up here, like taking pictures all the time for my blog." Maybe he's concerned I'll be trashing his transfer station in some way. Far from it. The service is impeccable; there's a young man who gets the heavy bags out of this old lady's truck and tosses them in a hole that swallows them up and carries them off somewhere to be transported far far away.





I noticed on my way home that the clouds in the east were getting darker and thicker toward the mountains. Rain building up over the Sierra?





Another weekend task was preparing -- well, updating an older version of -- a flyer for the computer club's annual BBQ and sending it out. No biggy there.

I have no training in the workings of computers, but I've been playing with them longer than most of my friends, so was consulted on a couple of "why can't I do" such-and-such anymore, which worked perfectly for them last week. Sometimes I can answer that question, but I'm also wrestling with a "why can't I" of my own and my old tricks aren't working.  :-{

Fun time, way too much of it, is spent on Facebook. In June I began participating in a Photo A Day challenge organized by a blogger in Australia who issues a monthly list of words. Participants post a photo each day illustrating the day's word on their choice of social media. I had fun doing this while on the French Alps tour and my fellow-travelers and leaders joined in spotting subject matter for me, leading to lots of collages when I couldn't decide which photo to pick. Late in July I joined a Facebook "Group" to share pictures. The woman who organized it started with a group of friends, but made it possible for others to join. It has people from all around the world and I think we're all enjoying seeing the posts pop up from different time zones and the different "takes" on the topics.

I put together a collage here of my photos-a-day for this past weekend. Friday's word was COIN and I portrayed the change I got paying for a meal in euros for which I received Swiss francs. I guess that means I have to go back to Switzerland. Saturday's word was SOMEWHERE YOU SAT. I took the picture of the Teddy Bears, who have preempted the comfy chair in my bedroom. I would reclaim the chair, but so far Jean-Luc hasn't noticed that the Teddys are stuffed animals, something he eats. If I move them, I'm afraid they'll come to his attention and I don't want another animal eaten. There was a lot of speculation in the Photo-A-Day group as Saturday approached on whether anyone would post that-place-we-all-seem-to-sit. And I thought of the pink toilet had encountered in the ladies' restroom in Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport a year or two ago. I got such a kick out of it that I ran upstairs to get my camera from my carry-on bag, being watched by my traveling companions, and raced back down to take its picture.

I wasn't the only one, but I was a fairly early one, to post a toilet. I thought it was pretty enough not to be too tasteless to show, and it got quite a few "likes" and comments.





The word for Sunday was LOGO.  I initially wanted to do my college's logo, but I couldn't download a picture of it any larger than a postage stamp. Then I noticed the Aiguille du Midi logo on the map and brochure from my trip to the mountain top.

The Olympics, which play on in the background, apparently took some time off for cartoons, to Jean-Luc's fascination. Attempts to change the channel were thwarted, as he had stationed himself in front the the sensor that the remote must access. He would not be moved by any verbal request.





Outside, the sky was getting darker and the air muggier. Maybe rain here? I left the door behind my chair open so I wouldn't miss the pitter-patter of raindrops.








It promised. But it didn't come through.

Sunday morning I received an email from Sister inviting me to dinner that evening. (I'm seldom one to turn that down!)  After that, the computer club flyer went out and I ran into another bundle of Facebook fun. Someone posted a not-so-old picture of Joy of Cooking under one of those "If you remember this, press Like" games. I commented that I had that new version and a much older one which I preferred. The discussion of favorite cookbooks burgeoned. I took photos of my Joys of Cooking, contrasting my beloved beat up 1953 printing (gosh, I wasn't even out of high school yet) with the new 1975 version. From every angle. There are similarities and there are differences, not the least of which is that the old one looks better-loved, and more fragile.




Brother-in-Law greeted me when I arrived at their house, and, shushing me, led me around back to see this big boy.







Lola  with the beautiful eyes greeted me.





Healey gave me an "Are you looking at me?" look. It didn't occur to me at first, but there is a Photo A Day of GLASSES this week. This looks like a good candidate.




Brother-in-Law barbecued the tri-tip, which was accompanied by corn-on-the-cob, baked potato and salad. We took our chocolate cake, ice cream and tea out on the deck to finish up, as it had cooled down enough.

"Look up from your cake! I'm taking pictures."




 When it finally got too cool, we went back in the house to see how the Olympics were going. Were it not for national events, it would have been an altogether fine weekend.

I'll see you soon. I want to write more often and become shorter-winded if I can get myself in the rhythm.


*

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thursdays Out and I've still got that peaceful easy feelin'

296
It's nice to be basking -- still -- in the afterglow of a Peaceful Easy Feelin', a week after the local Eagles tribute concert. Even though it's the first of the month and bill-paying time, even though my stupid back is still all tetchy about its workout with the vacuum cleaner, even though I had to fast one night this week and get up at the crack of dawn to get blood drawn, even though I hear cat barfing noises right under the table I'm sitting at.  Still singin' . . . I have a mighty list of appointments set up for next week. Still singin' . . .

The plus side of those fasting lab appointments is that afterwards I treat myself to breakfast out and allow myself to splurge totally on dietary restrictions. Coffee. Lots of coffee. (Coffee out is much weaker than I make for myself so it takes more to achieve the same buzz.) I don't like to eat fresh blueberries. I don't like blueberry pie. They're too cloying sweet. But cook them into a pancake, or a blueberry muffin without much added sugar, and I love them.

So I ordered the fruity pancake breakfast which is described as two pancakes topped with strawberries, blueberries or I-can't-remember-what, topped with whipped cream, egg cooked to choice, bacon or sausage. . . . I think that's it. I asked for my blueberries to be cooked into the pancakes and the bacon to be cremated. The egg? Medium over? That can change according to mood. I leave there stuffed (when this happens about twice a year), so friends and family have suggested that I just ask for one pancake. I tried that. It became too complicated, so I went with the whole thing. Even the whipped cream on top.

The cook used lots of blueberries. So this is a very healthy meal and lunch was not required for the day. I can't believe I didn't think to take its picture!

Toward the end of Wednesday, after a grueling day of bill-paying, Sister called to see whether I wanted to go out to Mexican for dinner with her and Brother-in-Law. My leftover mac and cheese would hold another day, so of course I wanted to go.





Again, I forgot to snap a photo of my ½ Compuesta with pork, hold the guacamole (or actually, put in on the side for Sister).

Sister is also participating in the Photo A Day Challenge and hadn't yet taken her theme photo for the day, "Outside," so after dinner we went in search of a subject. There was no pretty sunset available, but I knew the full moon was scheduled. We couldn't see any signs of the moon in the still-light skies at around 8 p.m., but I suggested we drive to the beach at the lake where I'd gotten such good Supermoon pictures, on the theory that full moons appear at roughly the same time in the same neighborhood.

As we entered the parking lot, a pale moon began to peak above what looked like a smoky or hazy horizon. The setting sun still cast its light on the farthest hills.





Kayakers and rubber rafters are heading back across the lake to the marina.




The moon is fully revealed. I'm thrilled that my theory about full moonrises played out. I think the moon is a bit farther north and a bit earlier than Supermoon, but close enough to have hit the right time and place.




Grandmas are watching; kids are being called in from swimming; Hobie's have been beached.





There's a mystery about this place that appeared in the paper on this Wednesday evening: a body had been found in the lake near the swim float on Tuesday morning. Thursday night the paper reported that the person -- a visitor -- had been identified and drowning appeared to be accidental. That's not something to sing about.



We take a final picture, with the moon's reflection glowing in the pink-tinged water, and head back to Sister and Brother-in-Law's for strawberry shortcake. (More red fruity goodness. Health food.) And (sigh) I still had brain freeze about food pictures.




I did get to see Sister and BIL's work of the day. They had created and installed a mini-lift and storage location for the truck bed cover in the Grand Garage. I've helped them wrestle that sucker off the truck. It's heavy and just the kind of thing Sister and I are likely to drop on a foot or bark a shin with -- something neither of us need -- or worse, injure the truck.





Thursdays Out at NeedleCrafts featured lots of newly completed afghans, this despite some really hot weather that wouldn't inspire me to hold a bunch of woolly stuff on my lap. The holders are not necessarily the makers. I lost track of which was whose.





You night have noticed a lot of red being worn this day at NeedleCrafts. One day we were chit-chatting and decided that we would dress color-coordinated on the first Thursday of each month. This week was red. Not everyone got the word, even though I sent out an email the evening before. Can you believe that some people don't have their email turned on full time and might not have seen the notice?


Tory and Barbara


That little red spot on Barbara's head?  It's really a fascinator, as seen in a photo taken by Sister.





Terri is making Christmas cards, which are popular items in our little town, available at the Fall festivals.




Sister is taking a stab at some needlework. She's somewhat dubious about this . . .





It's my blog so I'm showing that I've completed my second blue and white block, made with my French fabric acquisitions.





Brian Williams on NBC News just showed nail art at the Olympics. In a remarkable coincidence, the next photo to come up in this queue is also nail art:


Sister's toes


The little kitten had been missing for about a day and a half, so I was happy to see him/her this stretched out on the deck, pressing its back along my most certainly cooler slider door. It's always alert, this little one, for threats, particularly large dogs who charge it ("she won't hurt them". . .  tell the little kitty that a charging dog whose head is bigger than the kitty's body doesn't have ill-intent). The ferals have such a wariness, but this little one is beginning to recognize that the shadowy figure it sees through the window is its source of food. S/he was sooo hungry the first thing in the morning after the disappearance, then Sox, who is probably a sister of some degree, ran it off and it hid over behind the BBQ until Sox finally meandered off. I think Mama cat, whom I haven't seen for ages now, tossed it out and abandoned it here, and its sister doesn't like it either. It jumps around out on the deck, playing with a scrap or paper or an old bungy cord, amusing itself without companionhip. Poor little kitten.





IN BREAKING NEWS, even as I was writing this, I witnessed this: Two little fawns and their Mom found the crackers I tossed on the compost pile:





And Henley yawned while I took pictures over his head:


He has two kinky hairs on his nose, which looks really weird.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to a trip to the  land fill  transfer station. No, really. I like the trip to the  land fill  transfer station. I probably should go to the recycle station as well. (Not as fun, as I need to collapse boxes and lift heavy stuff into the truck.) But still singin'.


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