Saturday, August 10, 2019

Seeing the Good, For a Bit

For several years now, I've known about and lusted for a Traveler's Notebook to use when I journal. Some of them are expensive (and that's the ones I liked best) and I was never able to justify the money on something as seemingly trivial as a notebook. Plus, I didn't know for sure what size I wanted and since it was such an investment, I did not want to take a chance on being wrong!

Then I discovered a group on Facebook where they bought and sold the brand I wanted. The first one that popped up at a price I was willing to pay was the larger pink one in the picture. Someone had tried to decorate it with ink circles and splats and didn't use permanent ink. I expressed my interest and ordered it. Then I began to sweat bullets because the owner had put a sticker on the front (that I did not want to keep on it). I'd asked her if she would remove the sticker so I could see how bad it was underneath. Although she said in her original posting there was no damage to the leather under the sticker, she wouldn't remove the sticker for me, saying she didn't want to damage anything. So while I waited for my shipment to arrive, I imagined how ugly whatever that sticker was hiding was and chided myself for being so foolish as to purchase the darn notebook (years, I tell you, years I looked at these notebooks*). But it was love at first sight when the notebook arrived. I carefully pulled the sticker off and what was revealed was nowhere near as bad as what I had imagined (isn't that so often the case?).

On that very same day, the smaller pink one was listed. I ordered that one too (though I had no idea what I was going to actually do with it)! This one was very new and had no blemishes on it. That made me nervous (and still does).

The green one was listed about a week later and I decided I needed that one too. I'm using it for a wallet and that is working out very well.

What I like about buying used is that they notebook already has a bit of character to it. I don't have to worry about protecting it like I do with the pink one. I really doubt I'd ever buy one brand new for that reason.

So I've been busy writing and doing collages and other things for my own entertainment in these notebooks. It's therapeutic!

The pages in the larger book are long and narrow, so I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in the notebook, but I do enjoy adding color here and there. This is a page I did not long ago.

The quote is "What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?" (E.M. Forster)

* When we were first married, I found some bedroom furniture that I wanted. We couldn't afford it at the time, and I visited my furniture at Sears many times. There was one old guy who would always come and try to sell the set to me. I told him I wasn't ready to buy just yet, but when I did, I would be sure and ask for him (at the time, my husband was selling and getting commission so I wanted this guy to get the commission, if there was any). I'd go look, come home and measure our teeny-tiny bedroom and ponder just how many pieces I could fit in the room.

The day finally came that we were ready to buy. My husband and I went together to Sears. We got there, and asked for the salesman who'd been so patient with all my looking. Poor guy had up and died on me! Another salesman got lucky that day. I hope he breathed a silent thanks to the other salesman.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Therapeutic Ramblings

Last weekend I was in Houston. I thought sure I was going to be told I had osteoporosis (the doctor told me that was what was going to happen). I had myself a big plan to build bone density. I made a list and a check off chart and everything. I kept up with the list and the chart for a few days but somewhere along the way I totally fell off the wagon. I quit caring if I even tried to exercise or watch what I ate.

My bone density results are essentially the same as the last time I was scanned. I see that as an opportunity for me to straighten up and fly right. But I haven't straightened up.

(An eerie window photo taken in Houston of mannequins who looked to be made of ceramic.)

Today I spent the day with my mother, my sister, and my aunt. We went to a couple of estate sales, timing our visits so we could get the 50% discount. Tomorrow the discount will be 75% but you're taking a risk in waiting if there is something you really want.

On one hand, I find going to estate sales fun and interesting. There are bargains to be had. Perhaps bargains on things you didn't know you needed, but still, bargains. I found a London Fog rain/trench coat with a removable lining. I'd been looking for something like that for a while but didn't want to pay the prices I'd seen. This one cost me $7.50. I'd also been looking for a used typewriter that worked and I found one today, an electric one, for $12.50. I want to use it to type things for collage work. The thing I found that I didn't know I needed was a four foot level with a ruler along one of the sides. Weirdo that I am, levels have always appealed to me. I have a couple of smaller ones...somewhere. I've played with the one on my phone. I'll use this one to keep track of the poles on my quilting to frame to make sure they are level.

On the other hand, there is something sad about seeing people digging through the detritus of a deceased person. I noticed it is often times older people who are looking for the treasures. Surely they have already accumulated enough of their own stuff? I know I have, and I don't know how to defend myself from my own complaint. Except maybe to say there is something virtuous in buying used goods? I'm there, digging for my own treasures, even as I look at the others with pity and wonder what empty spot they are trying to fill by buying things they didn't know they needed until they saw them at the estate sale.

One of the sales we went to today was that of a family member of the company my father worked for all of his adult working life. They were a kind couple as far as I've ever heard. I'd been around them as a child at company picnics. She gave us a lovely Martha Washington bedspread for our wedding. I still have it...somewhere. In fact, I'd seen in the pictures posted of items for the sale that there was one for sale. Briefly I thought about hoping to buy it if the price was right. Hers was pristine as the day it was purchased. Why do we (some of us) think we need things to remind us of special moments and the generosity of people around us? I'd like to be better at letting go of the physical reminders. Too often those reminders become clutter that weighs us down.

I bought the London Fog coat from their sale. I can wear that and remember those two people who I did not know well, but who left indelible marks on my family simply because my father worked for him for so many years.

He was the first to die.

I bought the typewriter from their sale. There was a paper in the typewriter. The words said something about the typewriter needing assistance. There was a note that the "X" key had gotten stuck but it had released itself. We laughed because we thought another customer had plugged the typewriter in to see if it worked and left the notes for future customers. I kept the note. I thought I'd paste into my journal, my own bit of detritus from the day.

But when I got home, I had time to read the rest of the note. Here is what it said:
I'm glad to have uncovered the typewriter and need to plan to use it more.
I'd tell myself I was glad to have uncovered the typewriter and that I needed to plan to use it more.

But then, this (as typed, she mentioned elsewhere that her skills were rusty):
Now, howdvdr, I need to get some supper ready, and then go to the Guardian House to see Bill. 
I see a poignant glimpse of love. And I feel their loss, as I have felt my own loss.

What I have learned, what I continue to learn, is that fear of loss is no reason to run from love.

Monday, June 03, 2019

52 Weeks April

I got a new laptop several months back. I chose not to have "The People" transfer all my documents and photos over from the old laptop. I did it myself. I also bought a second external hard drive because I was afraid the old one wasn't going to work on the new laptop. It did and now I have my stuff scattered hither, thither, and beyond.

All of that is to offer my excuse for not having put up my March 52 Weeks pages. I thought I saved them somewhere but I can't find them now and I'm just too less of caring to photograph them again. So what we have here are my April pages.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

52 Weeks February

I'm a little slow posting February's weeks. I'm keeping up with this fairly well. I'm also working on consistency in my health goals. I need to work a little harder on those.

I've had a lot of dental work done during February. You can see evidence of that in weeks 6 and 8. The work is continuing into March. Things will (hopefully) be finished up this month. 

I'm still working on learning how to use my quilting machine. I've had a little trouble that I hope to resolve this coming weekend.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Spring Haiku and Dem Bones

One lonely azalea
blooming where she is planted
harbinger of spring

 At one time, I had a redbud tree in our front yard that was my harbinger of spring. Sadly, we had to cut it down. This weekend when I saw this single bloom on our (huge) azalea bush, I was reminded that spring is indeed on her way to us.

I've been working on my "build bone density" plan. I have a chart and every day I fill in the square on the things that I have done on my list. I've had to accept that I'll never do it perfectly and that just because I won't do it perfectly does not mean I should sit down and not even try. On some days, that is the temptation--to sit. This feels like an uphill battle and I am working on climbing that hill.

I've talked with our wellness person at work. She is helping me set up a strength training routine. I"m grateful to have that resource. I'm often surprised that more people around me do not take advantage of the various things the wellness person can help with. I'm doing that twice a week and hope to soon move up to three times a week.

Since we've switched to daylight savings time, I'm trying to walk 30 minutes 5 times a week (wellness lady's "prescription"). That gets me the 150 active minutes recommended by whoever recommends stuff like that! I may get back to playing tennis. It's been so long. I am afraid I won't have the stamina needed to play three sets (or 30 minutes, whichever comes first), much less do three 30 minute rounds.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Bumps in the Road

It's my birthday month. January was my checkup month (the first one of 2019, there will be more). For a month now, I have been pondering the news I was given at my last visit. The medicine I take to protect me from recurrence of breast cancer causes low bone density. I do not (yet) have osteoporosis but I do have osteopenia. They want to start me on bone medicine. The doctor (bone expert) prefers Prolia injections. He made it all sound so safe and simple. I resent him not being forthcoming with me. I want to give him "what for" and tell him how rushed I felt when I saw him. I wish I'd seen him before I saw my breast people. I feel like she would have taken time to talk things out with me. She did call me back after I left a message but the phone call felt rushed too.

I've been looking around and that stuff comes with some heavy duty (possible) side effects. Maybe none of them will affect me. But if they do, it could be debilitating. I think the truth of the matter is the people recommending this stuff do not really know what all it can do or how long it stays in your system. It does seem to help increase bone density. I mean, it's made from something in the ovaries of genetically engineered Chines hamsters, what could go wrong?

I've joined a Facebook group of people who have been on the injections or are considering the injections. Someone on the group mentioned dried plums (prunes) being good for building bone density. The study was sponsored by the plum folks so I'm taking it all with a grain of salt. But I have a little time before I have to decide what to do. I have a few options. None of them are all that great. For now, I believe I'm going to try the prunes (6-8 per day, a nice sweet little snack!), and get back with my regular walking program, along with a few other helpful things. We'll see how it goes.

The thing is, what good will it do me to not have a recurrence of breast cancer if I am laid down by this medicine? Granted, maybe that won't happen to me. Maybe it will all be just fine. But if it's not, what then? I've said I don't know how to make this decision. I've talked to a few friends. My GP is not at all alarmed by the prospect and praised Prolia. I have an appointment next week with our wellness nurse at work. I've laid things out for her in an email. I just want to talk about possible consequences of my choices.

This has been a discouraging development. I feel a bit like a lamb being led to the slaughter. I probably can't ignore osteoporosis but maybe I can live with osteopenia a little longer. The bone doctor says I'll likely have osteoporosis in six months.

I came across this Thoughtograph/thang when I was transferring files from my old laptop to my new one (let me say I now understand why they want a hundred bucks to transfer files over from old to new). I feel as uncertain as I have ever felt in this journey.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

52 Weeks January

Something new I'm trying this year: a (more or less) daily collage that I do in an old calendar. When the week is over, the page is finished. I'm going to try and post each month as I complete them. We shall see how that goes. Maybe this will mean I will at least post something here once a month?

 Week One

Week Two

 Week Three

Week Four