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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Thursday, March 30, 2006  

Power, that is. I had quite the post written Tuesday and was almost finished with it when the electricity went off briefly. We have suicidal squirrels in the neighborhood which is one cause for that. Anyway, I'll try to recreate it later on.

Brendan and I had a good weekend and went to the park in White Bluff Sunday afternoon. We really liked it there, and Brendan played, explored, and followed older girls anywhere they led. He's such a mimic and can recreate any sounds he hears. He also watches other children and does what they are doing. While this is a quality necessary for actors, I hope this won't translate to going along with the crowd and get him in trouble. Both his parents are independent thinkers who set a good example and also teach Brendan about responsible choices and consequences. To which he responds, "No consequences! No consequences!" or "It is of no consequence."

9:54:00 AM

Saturday, March 25, 2006  
Day Two of Three

Brian and Melissa brought Brendan here yesterday morning on their way to Memphis to the Mid-South Con and will pick him up Sunday evening. This is the first time they've attended this one. Brian said this morning when he called that they'd moved Melissa's paintings from a more obscure place to the front where they are one of the two first groups of artwork anyone sees upon entering the art section. I'm glad because she does good work.

Brendan and I are having fun. He's almost three which means he is extremely active (mentally, verbally, and physically) and into everything. Now he's capable of opening cabinet and refrigerator doors (well, all kinds of doors) and exploring many more things and places he did when I kept him last time. He also wants an audience for most of his activities unless he's getting away from me and causing me to panic. Because of this, I've ordered an O'Pair which should be here soon. I like it much better than a harness and leash for several reasons. One is that they are both fanny packs where we can put things and leave my arms free. This seems handier and not like he's a dog. Any trauma he might experience about being tethered pales in comparison to how I'd feel if anything happened to him. Besides, I'm going to try to make a game out of it and say that he's the astronaut and I'm the grandmother ship. Think it will work? I'll let you know.

12:16:00 PM

Wednesday, March 22, 2006  
Marriage and Other Institutions

Tina and I were talking about all kinds of things on our day trip to Chattanooga to see Kathy and get things on sale at Scrapbook Heaven Monday. It's not this simple, but we came to a few conclusions about marriage. Both of us have parents with good marriages. They are/were friends as well as partners. We, however, haven't fared so well and wondered if we thought such good marriages just happened and were supposed to be that way since that's what we saw because it seems that people who grew up with divorced parents and dysfunctional parents often work really hard to be sure they don't make the same mistakes. Some people make better choices to begin with and then work at their marriages to keep them close and supportive.

Ell wrote about her childhood and how it affected her relationships which caused me to think about other aspects of it, too.

I do well with my children, grandchildren, friends, family members, and students, but not so much with men. I've had a lot of fun with them and definitely enjoyed their company. The long-term relationship that lasts throughout life (or even more than 10 years) hasn't been there. Maybe I should be happy that familial relationships and friendships are fulfilling and close, and I am. At this point in my life I'm not sure I want more than friendship from men. I can't envision myself getting married again after 30 years of being divorced and don't see the point of it. It's nice to have people to go places with, do things together, share interests, and talk with. That's a lot.

9:34:00 AM

Friday, March 17, 2006  
Sour Grapes, Rotten Apples, and Other Fruit

Annie Proulx wrote an article in The Guardian about her experience at the Oscars. Her observations were interesting since I've only seen the Academy Awards on television and just fantasized about being there. I agreed with her about Jon Stewart and thought he was clever, witty, and did a good job for the most part. There were a few awkward moments when I thought he stepped on his own jokes. He was funny when he said he didn't know they could wear jeans after Larry McMurtry came on stage in them. I also agreed with her about the Best Song winner "It's Hard Out There for a Pimp" and don't understand why it was even nominated. Apparently there are those who did.

Here's a sample of what she wrote. It seemed more like a rant someone would say to friends and not publish publically like that, but I'm Southern and we try to be polite whether we mean it or not. I'm sure that was much more fun for her to write and for others to read than being gracious about it.

The hours sped by on wings of boiler plate. Brokeback's first award was to Argentinean Gustavo Santaolalla for the film's plangent and evocative score. Later came the expected award for screenplay adaptation to Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, and only a short time later the director's award to Ang Lee. And that was it, three awards, putting it on equal footing with King Kong. When Jack Nicholson said best picture went to Crash, there was a gasp of shock, and then applause from many - the choice was a hit with the home team since the film is set in Los Angeles. It was a safe pick of "controversial film" for the heffalumps.

1:48:00 PM

Another Thing

'96: My cat Lucy died in the early spring of complications from diabetes. I was diagnosed in June and went through all kinds of tests and waiting but didn't have to do anything about it because it was indolent NHL. Then after all that, my favorite cat Clancy died of cancer in the fall.

'06: I'm not freaking out. I'm not freaking out. I will remain calm. Everything will be fine. The chemo got it all. Yes, Columbo died, and I still have Brigit. I'm still alive and plan to stay that way. Maybe I should quit having cats. Maybe I don't need to become superstitious. Maybe I should keep this to myself (but unfortunately for those who know me, that's not my nature). See how paranoid we cancer survivors can be?

I am not mad. Just weird.

1:01:00 PM

Thursday, March 16, 2006  
The Curse of MI

OK, I need some suggestions here. In 1996 when I was first diagnosed with lymphoma, I heard it on the phone when I called the cyto-pathologist from the lobby of the Bellevue movie theater after watching Mission Impossible. Then in 2002 when Mission Impossible 2 was released, my lymphoma resurfaced into intermediate which necessitated in my having chemo and almost dying from sepsis. I didn't watch it in a theater but might have rented it later. I can't remember. Other week while watching one of the previews before Failure to Launch, I noticed that Phillip Seymour Hoffman is in a new movie. Looked interesting. And then .... I saw the title. Yes, Mission Impossible 3! Yikes! No way I'll watch this one or acknowledge its existence after posting this. I'm going to pretend it's not there and no way I'll watch it. Well, I wouldn't have anyway because Tom Cruise ruined himself for me when he went nuts jumping on Oprah's couch, arguing with Matt Lauer, and verbally attacking Brooke Shield. (and poor Katie with Rosemary's baby) I wasn't too fond of him before all that, but it put him way over the edge and is probably why War of the Worlds did so poorly at the box office. Anyway, how about some suggestions to help me avoid the MI curse. It won't continue, surely. Things just don't happen that way in real life. Do they?

10:32:00 PM

Wednesday, March 15, 2006  
Spring Break

My teacher friends are on spring break this week and next, so I'm getting to spend time with them. Monday Tina, Rachel, Frances, and I went to Franklin to shop and have lunch downtown on Main Street. The shops there have interesting clothes, home accessories, and all kinds of neat stuff in them. We ate at HRH Dumplin' and enjoyed being out and about during the week and not in school!

Tuesday I went to the retired teacher's luncheon meeting. For some reason I agreed to be president next year which will begin in June. It's not one of those honors but a situation where no one wants it so they get one of the new members to do it.

Tina and I went to Clarksville today to Memories in Bloom (a scrapbook store) and Hobby Lobby. It was fun to look at everything and to add some albums, paper, and stickers to our supply. We made the mistake of eating at the Flame Grill. Not good! It made us sick. Don't go!! We learned our lesson and should have gone to the Olive Garden which was our first thought.

I'm working tomorrow afternoon. A grueling 4-hour work week! How do I do it?

9:28:00 PM

Friday, March 10, 2006  

No, comments about the Oscars?

7:44:00 PM

Thursday, March 09, 2006  
Project Runway

Well, well! Chloe won. The way things went during the season I thought she or Daniel V. might. Santino has been so far out with his designs and then had some beautiful ones for the show. I loved that pleated, flowy, muted gown. Daniel was offered a job by Michael Kors, which was impressive. And now Chloe will have opportunities she's dreamed of. What did you think about it?

7:20:00 PM

The Gym

Just so you know, I hate it. Exercise. I do it but can't wait for it to be over. Maybe eventually I'll look forward to it. I like feeling better but hate to exercise.

7:17:00 PM

Wednesday, March 08, 2006  
Another Reason I Cannot Be A Fighter Pilot

Have any of you tried this dexterity test? The best I have been able to do so far is 14 seconds. Mostly I mess up and go quickly. Whew!!

Lately, I've been obesses with Text Twist and the daily jigsaw puzzle on Shockwave.

11:16:00 PM

Busy Week

I actually made myself go to the gym Monday. I checked the places out Friday and decided on Powerhouse Gym. The certified fitness trainer there is in her 50's which is great for me since she understands about getting older. She is planning an exercise program for me with cardio and the weight machines that will condition me enough to do things to strengthen and build bones. I told her about the bone loss from chemo and Prednisone. Even though Dr. Ross said it was in the normal range, I don't like losing density and will be glad to do things to help that situation. I don't enjoy it so much yet but will eventually look forward to going since it does make me feel better already. I'm glad I finally made the effort and am going.

Mother and I had appointments with our dental hygienst in Green Hills yesterday. Then we went to Opry Mills to meet Melissa and Brendan for lunch and to watch him ride the carousel and play with the sting rays and in Barnes & Noble. After they went home, Mother and I walked all over the mall which is huge and checked out the stores. Mother said she missed shopping, so I need to do better with that. She misses her friend/cousin Joyce so much since Joyce was in the nursing home and then died. They had so much fun going places, shopping, and doing things together. We had some laughs and enjoyed exploring the mall. I had free tickets to a screening of Failure to Launch at 7:30 there at Opry Mills, so we ate sandwiches at Barnes & Noble before the movie. It was funny, predictable, and OK, and we enjoyed it for what it was - free!

We had another good day today. Mother's appointment with her eye specialist went well. Then I took her to Goody's, so she could shop there and the shoe store while I had a massage. I go every three weeks for the lymphedema in my neck and regular massage. When I picked her up, we went to Burns to take her income tax information to her accountant. Then we ate a delicious lunch at the Corner Bistro. The food there is so good!

I'm working all day tomorrow and Friday at the vitamin center. Another week that is going by too fast.

9:29:00 PM


I went to Tina's Monday night to watch the Academy Awards. It was so much fun to discuss it with someone and to cry without being embarrassed; however, this award show didn't make us cry the way some do. We agree on most of the ones we like and don't care for. We were pulling for Reese Witherspoon to win and thrilled with her and George Clooney's speeches. They were the best ones of all. We were happy about all the awards except for best song and just didn't get that. The dresses were elegant and pretty this year. I do miss it when they didn't all have stylists and did their own thing. There were some interesting choices then.

8:56:00 PM

Tuesday, March 07, 2006  
Senior Day at Kroger

The first Wednesday of each month senior citizens get 10% off the grocery purchases. I never seem to remember this but accidentally went by this last Wednesday to do some shopping and pick up a prescription. I'm going to write it in my appointment book, so I can do my main grocery shopping that day. I have one of those gift cards I keep adding to that donates money to the Creek Wood baseball team, so I put a certain amount in it each month to use for groceries and gas.

While I was there, I had some odd conversations. Maybe because it's senior day. That would do it. I was standing in the bacon and sausage section looking for some andouille because I like to include it in some bean soup I make. This senior citizen man came up to me and asked if I'd tried some kind of bacon he held in front of me. Is this the caliber of pick-up line I'll be hearing now? We discussed bacon a while and then he moved on.

Then another man in one of those riding cart things told me the best smoked sausage was Eckrich and explained why. I decided to buy some and then cabbage to go with it. Men and pork products. Who knew?

The rest of the time was fairly unproductive until I got to a display of make-up marked down 75%. The woman looking at it while I was told me about this lipstick that stayed on really well. She said, "You can kiss your husband, drink coffee, it's still there." I told her I'd have to kiss her husband since I didn't have one. She laughed and said by all means I shouldn't buy any then.

Kroger = hub of my social life.

11:31:00 PM

Monday, March 06, 2006  

Where have I been? Why haven't I been posting? What's going on? No good reason really. I'll be back!

2:54:00 PM

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