Monday, March 17, 2014

Anybody there?

I keep thinking about my former blogging days - until life events piled up to the point there was not much I could write about without stepping on somones' privacies.

To summarize, since the summer of 2011 I have banished a child, nudged a child out, gone to Hawaii, fixed up our home to sell, designed a house, added a granddaughter, graduated the youngest from high school, sold a house, built a house, moved twice, drilled a well, had about three months of empty nest time, welcomed a child back to the nest, made it through colon cancer checkups and kept my business flourishing.

So what's next? I'M GOING TO DISNEYWORLD! at the end of tax season with my daughters. Then I'm going back to Florida with my husband to celebrate 35 years of wedded contentment. And then after one more round of no result cancer checkups I'm going to straighten my crooked teeth.

Life just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. Who knew?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Here I go again - UPDATED

UPDATE - One very small polyp removed. And I do get a break until August, 2014! Guess I can start rolling now on all those plans we have for next year. Can you say "relief?"

This morning I'm "prepping" for my afternoon colonoscopy - the fourth prep I've done in 2 1/2 years.

In May, 2012 I had my first, life saving, colonoscopy. I didn't eat the night before, drank nasty stuff before going to bed and again the next morning, had the procedure done and was home by lunch. It wasn't too bad, the nasty stuff was tolerable.

The following week I prepped for the afternoon colon surgery which removed the cancer discovered during the earlier scope. That prep was fairly simply - drink a LOT of laxative diluted in gatorade.

I actually asked to do that again for my follow up colonoscopy last August, but its harsh effect is only appropriate for surgery. Instead I had to drink even nastier stuff. After a couple of rounds I cried, I trembled, it was misearable. Fortunately, I got close enough that my failure to drink it all didn't affect the exam. Another polyp removed, I've lived to come around again.

In July of this year the FDA approved a new colonoscopy prep that involves drinking a 5 ounce solution at night and again in the morning. It is stated to be more effective than the traditional solutions such as Movi-Prep (which I used the first time.) My doctor prescribed this new regimen for me, but alas, it is not on the market until October.

(Time out......gotta' go. Be back in a few.)

Instead I'm doing pills - four salt pills taken with water every 20-30 minutes. I can even have a couple of cups of coffee. Through five of the eight rounds it's okay. No tears, no shakes. I will finish about 8:45, after which no more drinking until I wake up in recovery.

I wish I wasn't so bad at drinking the "koolaid" usually prescribed. Most people, including my husband, tolerate it pretty well.

Thank goodness there are alternatives and continue to be medical innovations improving the effectiveness of colon screening.

Colon screening saved my life. If you are due for this routine test, don't put it off! (And say a prayer there are no polyps for me today so that maybe I can go TWO years before I need to do this again!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Remember the Jetsons?

If you can imagine it, then someday it will happen.......

Planetary Resources, Inc. Announces Agreement with Virgin Galactic for Payload Services. “Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, announced today an agreement with Virgin Galactic, LLC that will enable multiple launch opportunities for its series of spacecraft, including the Arkyd-100 low-Earth orbit (LEO) space telescopes.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Best news this year

I've been a horrible blogger - there are reasons, but I would have to blog to explain....

But I've finally been shaken from my apathy. This news is worth sharing, especially as I am working my way through a stash of dark chocolate Hershey Kisses to keep me going during tax season.

March 27, 2012 9:18 AM

Eating lots of chocolate helps people stay thin, study finds

Ryan Jaslow

chocolate, angel, woman, pretty, wings, diet, food, heaven, sweets, desert, stock, 4x3 (Credit: istockphoto)

(CBS News) What's the best way to stay thin? A new study finds it's exercising and eating a healthy diet full of - chocolate?

The study found that people who frequently ate chocolate had a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who didn't.
Is it time to ditch fat-free for fudge?
For the study, published in the March 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers examined more than 1,000 healthy men and women who were free of heart disease, diabetes and cholesterol problems. They were all enrolled in another study that measured the effects of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, but for this study researchers assigned them questionnaires that gauged how often participants chowed down on chocolate.
The researchers found that the participants - who were an average age of 57 - ate chocolate for an average of twice of week and exercised roughly 3.5 times per week. But the more frequent chocolate-eaters had smaller BMIs, a ratio of height and weight that's used to measure obesity.
What explains the effect? Even though chocolate can be loaded with calories, it's full of antioxidants and other ingredients that may promote weight loss, the researchers said.
"I was pretty happy with this news myself," study author Dr. Beatrice Golomb, associate professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego, told USA Today. "Findings show the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining ultimate weight."
Does that mean all diet regimens should include a daily chocolate bar? The researchers say it's too soon to tell.
"Our findings - that more frequent chocolate intake is linked to lower BMI - are intriguing," the authors wrote. However, "It is not a siren call to go out and eat 20 pounds of chocolate a day," Golomb told HealthDay.
This isn't the first study to suggest a daily dose of chocolate can do the body good. Last summer, a study of more than 100,000 people found those who ate the most chocolate were 39 percent less likely to get heart disease and 29 percent less likely to have a stroke, HealthPop reported. Months later a 10-year study of 33,000 women found a 30 percent reduced risk of stroke among chocaholics.
But experts warn not all chocolate is created equal, and some could contain lots of sugar and calories, which could lead to other health issues if consumed daily.
"I would not want people reading this to think that all [they] need to do to lose weight is eat more chocolate," Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Conn., told WebMD. "That would be a huge mistake." Katz suggests dark chocolate, because of its bitter flavor, may suppress appetite whereas sweet chocolate may stimulate it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Doing something right

My office is in a front room of the house, between the kitchen and the front door. During the day, while working, I check the mail, let the dogs out, let the dogs in, investigate the odd noises, refill my coffee, bring in deliveries (the UPS guy is here often enough I can just leave my outgoing on the front porch), move laundry along, get files from the garage, change long sleeves for short sleeves, grab a coke out of the back fridge, switch from glasses to contacts at the sink......actually I don't need an excuse to walk away from my desk.

I'm already planning, in my dream office of my dream house, to get one of those desks that elevate, allowing you to stand when you like. It doesn't take much for my chair to make me twitchy.

A just released study has "found that among post-menopausal women, taking frequent breaks from sitting was associated with smaller waist circumference and lower levels of C-reactive proteins, both biomarkers associated with elevated risk of some cancers."

Fortunately, the article didn't mention short trips to the pantry for a handful of chocolate chips or to the freezer for a fudgicle. I'm taking the attitude any break is a good break. Gotta' stay healthy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How smart is our dog?

You just have to wonder.

Winston has figured out how to jump the kitchen gate. He knows to go in his crate if he sees a purse slung across my shoulder. He pulls Krista by her leash to get her to play.

This is him in the entry way, growling, whining and barking..........wait for the paper Homecoming Mum hanging from a corner of the furniture. It had been there for days.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Startled and Dismayed

A good friend's mother is awaiting pathology results to learn whether a small pancreatic tumor is benign or cancerous, and if cancerous, what type of cancer. It is the worst of times, kept waiting, unable to research and pursue options without a definitive diagnosis, unable to do anything. The family has been there before. The mom was thought successfully treated for breast cancer a few years ago.

When you receive a cancer diagnosis, the world tilts. You may have had few or negligible warning symptoms. I knew at the beginning of my doctor's appointment a year and a half ago that he was going to tell me I had colon cancer, but had no clue five minutes earlier. How can something you can't see, you can't feel or touch have such an impact? Why are your cells such traitors? Do you see yourself, do others see you, as the walking dead? Will you be missed? You immediately have a new normal. Those close to you have a new normal, too.

Life goes on, maybe or maybe not. With modern medicine there are more and more maybes. Once you have had cancer, particulary as an adult, though, there is lingering skepticism that life will in fact go on. It will certainly be different. There are scars and side effects. My colon will forever more be cranky. The blood draws, MRIs and tests continue ad infinitum. I have to have a colonoscopy every stinking year. I have been told I am more likely to have other forms of cancer in my future. Constant vigilance!

October was a month deluged with cancer awareness activities, encouraging research, early detection and treatment and celebrating the survivors. The term survivor is odd to me. I consider myself a veteran instead. Ultimately, none of us will survive.

Battling cancer is never ending. There are conflicting reports on what you should or should not eat. Is coffee good or bad? Does fiber matter? More important, does chocolate matter? Will low dosage aspirin reduce risk? Vitamins? Exercise? Is it all in your head, a bad attitude? Will a break through be discovered in time? Did you do something wrong? Do you have to have a miracle? How do you fight your own body?

I completed my first campaign aside my fifteen year old daugher. After my second war last year I now wait in reserve to be called up again. I prepare alternative battle plans - an army of one against an invisible enemy, appreciating the respite between skirmishes.

If you know someone who has had cancer or is close to someone with cancer, don't look at a survivor. See the warrior instead. Stand confidently with your friend, or daughter or mother. Bring in the support troups. Provide joyful furloughs. Celebrate the victories. Yes, life does go on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Everything's bigger in Texas

Thank goodness for the Second Amendment!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Couldn't have said it better

Today is it, done, finished, kaput, the final tax filing day of the 2010 filing season. I actually completed my own return last night. For the last few years I've been filing my own return between 11:30 and midnight, barely making the deadline. This year' I'm 24 hours ahead. Woo hoo!

I only have one return left to go, which I'm about to start now, and it will probably get done on time, too.

So I traded blogging for sleeping this past month. I wouldn't have had to do that if I could only force myself to work a little more consistently between April and September. Every year I have the best of intentions, but.......  Oh, well. This year I actually got more down before April 15, thanks to adding a regular assistant.

But while I've been dormant on the web, my husband has not. His post today is perfect.

I work hard and pay taxes. My friends and family work hard, too. "We are the 53%."

I'll write more later, but right now I have to work for a living. Sure wish everyone did.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

When the going gets desperate

The desperate eat ice cream and potato chips.

I have a family size bag of Wavy Lays. I have packages of individual Blue Bell ice cream cups in the vanilla, chocolate and sundae flavors.

At the end of the day, when I have confirmation of the last e-filed tax return on this final due date for most 2010 tax returns, how full (empty) will the chip bag be and how many empty ice cream cups will be in my office trash can?

That's a rhetorical question, of course, because I'm not telling.

Happy Tax Day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A story to tell your teenage driver

The young man was a new driver, out driving with a friend on a Thursday late afternoon. Weatherford, Texas is a country town suburb to Fort Worth. The teens were on a two lane winding highway. My friend, who lives in the area, says witnesses reported he wasn't driving exceptionally fast, he was just driving impatiently and made a stupid choice to pass cars that were driving a little slower. Maybe it would have saved five minutes.

Instead, he and his girlfriend burned to death, trapped upside down after a head-on collision caused by his poor judgment. The rescue workers could not extricate them from the crushed car and had to listen to their screams as they died. The other driver, a father who had recently celebrated his remission from cancer, died at the hospital.

So please, guys, treat the machine you're driving as a great responsibility. We love you and want you to live long and prosper. In this case, at least three families are devastated and the rescue workers are haunted.

Here's the story......

Weatherford Democrat

September 2, 2011

Wreck becomes triple fatality

Christin Coyne
Weatherford Democrat
WEATHERFORD — Three people lost their lives Wednesday night in a fiery tragedy on Zion Hill Road.

Two teens were pronounced dead shortly after 7:15 p.m. at the scene of a head-on collision in the 3800 block of Zion Hill Road, and a man flown by air ambulance from the scene died at Parkland Hospital hours later.

Driver Jorge Flores, 16, and passenger Alexandra Elizabeth Hernandez, 13, both of Weatherford, were pronounced dead after the Mitsubishi car they were traveling northbound in crossed the center of the road and struck a southbound Dodge pickup head-on, DPS Senior Trooper Gary Rozzell said.

The driver of the Dodge truck, William Harlon Moore, 53, of Weatherford, was pronounced dead shortly before 11:30 p.m. in Dallas after being flown by air ambulance from the scene with serious injuries, including significant burns.

A witness said the Mitsubishi had been passing cars on the road.

He said the truck caught fire, and while he and others were trying to rescue Moore from the cab of the pickup, the fire spread along the dry grass to the overturned car where the teens were trapped.

Hernandez was born in Weatherford and an eighth grade student at Tison Middle School, as well as a former student at Hall Middle School.

A memorial service for Hernandez has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, at the Galbreaith Pickard Funeral Chapel.

Flores, a former Peaster ISD student, had just started his sophomore year at Crosstimbers Academy in Weatherford.

Sandra Pearson, counselor at Crosstimbers, said she spoke with students during the afternoon assembly and the school is offering counseling to students.

“Right now, it’s difficult for a lot of them,” Pearson said.

Even if some students didn’t know him well, the school is so small that everybody had been in contact with him, Pearson said.

Moore reportedly worked in the oil field industry and was on his way to pick up his daughter when his vehicle was hit.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The way we were

My kids, as teenagers particularly, have thought themselves superior to their parents and grandparents - considering themselves more worldly, more sophisticated, more knowledgeable, more current.  We parents wait for them to mature out of those notions, smiling to ourselves about their naivete.

My cousin, a professional genealogist freely sharing her knowledge and research with the rest of us cousins, posted this picture on her facebook page.

This is my grandmother with her husband and first child. She was fifteen and he was twenty-five when they married. She's fifteen or sixteen in this picture, probably in the year 1929.  She joked that she played with her dolls and her babies at the same time.

At fifteen, she knew what she wanted and she made it happen. Like most men, I expect my grandpa never knew what hit him. They had four daughters and two sons, the younger son living only a few hours. The surviving son is my dad.

My grandparents were married for forty-five years, until my grandpa died at age seventy. She died in 1995 at age 80. They lived in southwestern Oklahoma, farming in rough conditions.

I am in awe of my grandmother's determination and her recognition, at such a young age, of the important things of life.

Have you hugged or called a grandparent today?