Monday, June 30, 2008

Gross Gossip Game

Gather round for the A-Z Photo Challenge, see Martha if you’d like to join in.  It's time for letter "G".


Gangly Group of Giggling Girls


Gawky Garrulous Goons Gathering




Gracefully Gliding


Ghostly Great Blue Herons’ Giant nests.


Group of Great Blue Herons (yeah, I almost saved them for H)


Guess what!  They have babies, too bad they aren’t called Goslings.


Gray or Grey



I almost forgot my sweet little Giraffe. 

A-Z Photo Challenge - E & F

Due to all my vacation fun I have gotten way behind on the A-Z Photo Challenge so today you get a twofer. Letters E & F, visit Martha for all the other participants (or to sign up yourself).


Expectant Flower


Eager Ellie Eyeing the Ever Empty Feeder


Eloquent Elephant Escapee



Friendly Eagles Flying


Fancy Flutterby with Emerging blooms

_MG_2778 _MG_2779

Fascinating, Frilly Fungus


Freakishly Fast Feet and broom Fringe


Fuzzy Friend


Fabulously Fun!


Fair-haired Fellow Found a Floating Fish in his First Frog pool.


Falling Expert


Fake Falling. He’s Fine.

I almost Forgot to share my Fossils. We picked these up in Iowa last December.




Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fun Quirky Monday

Post FM: I had a great time hosting this week and hope I haven't scared you all off with my quirks!  I'm a part of a great group of quirky people, if you don't believe me, scroll down to the list and go for some visits.   Thanx everybody for fessing up, and through your confessions I discovered a few more quirks I didn't realize I had.  Thanx a lot for that! :)~

fun monday

First, I have to thank you for letting me hi-jack Fun Monday for a week! Thanx Guys! Then I need to thank AFF for inspiring such a fun topic. Thanx Girl!

washing rocks

So, I asked you guys to tattle on yourselves.
A quirk is defined as a peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism. We are all unique individuals, having quirks that help make us who we are. I would like to know what your quirks are. Confess to one, confess to ten, you decide. Just come back Monday ready to spill the beans, the rest of the world may look at you like you are from Mars, but you‘re among friends here. We won’t laugh, in fact that eccentricity just may endear you to us more.

I ran around all week asking my family what I do that is weird. Might I suggest never doing that? Boy did they come up with a list! I don’t think I’ll share them all. But here a few from their list.

  • I have to fill my insulated cup (it has to be insulated) with ice and then soda. It has to be full of ice to the top first, over flowing even. After the ice is falling out of the cup I add the Diet Coke. Yes, Diet Coke (and Mocha Frappucino) is the only drink that ever crosses my lips. On the rare occasions I drink Milk (like once a year) it must have ice. And I never use a straw because it warms the liquid up too much.

  • My food has to be hot hot hot, but that’s not the quirky thing. It must be a certain way on the plate. Like breakfast, eggs on the right, bacon on the hash browns (to keep them warm) and toast on the opposite side of the plate of me. I eat a bite of egg with a bite of bacon, then the hash browns and lastly the toast. There’s a method to any meal. Burgers and fries? Burger on the right and eaten first, fries on the left and eaten last. The big reason for this is that I love ll kinds of potatoes and don’t mind if they cool a little, hate meat so it must be as hot as possible, ketchup can be put in the spot left by the meat and then the dipping of fries is easiest.

  • My ketchup must be room temperature or it will make the food cold.

  • I will not eat any meat with “pink” in it. It must be well done, burnt even.

  • I have to have, at a minimum, three pillows to sleep with. Two for under my head and at least one to hug. When at home I have two feather pillows for my head and a pillow on each side of me and one between my knees - yeah I sleep on my side.

  • Ok, I had to add one more, it’s a good one, When I ask a question I always ask two questions. And the questions would have opposite answers if the person answered both. For instance, “Do you want to read a book? Or do you want to watch tv?” or “Should we go to the store? Should we stay home? Or I know we can go to the movie. Do you want to go to the movie? You’re probably too tired aren’t you?” or “I’m getting hungry, are you hungry? Oh no, you just ate an hour ago so you probably aren’t hungry. Are you?” I mostly do this with my husband and while writing it down it dawned on me that maybe I’m just carrying the conversation.

I think that’s enough quirkiness from me for one day. Run over and see how quirky our fellow bloggers are. Other people fessing up today are:

  1. Anglophile Football Fanatic

  2. Are we there yet mom?

  3. Hulagirl at Heart

  4. AOJ & the Lurchers

  5. Return of the White Robin

  6. Sayre Smiles

  7. From the Planet of Janet

  8. Small Reflections

  9. The Dust Will Wait

  10. Got Milk?

  11. Finding Beauty in Most Every Day

  12. Dungarees Ablaze

  13. The Prytz Family

  14. Ramblings by Reba

  15. 1 Crazy Stitcher

  16. Summit Musings

  17. RDH Mom

  18. Arkansas Songbird

  19. Mama Speak

  20. Gattina Writer Cramps

  21. A Florida Journal

  22. Wisconsin Candy

  23. Robinella

  24. Irish Coffeehouse

  25. Susan's Musings

  26. U R Olive (our lovely host next week)

  27. Nekked Lizard Adventures

  28. Min @ Mamadrama

  29. Heather's Recipes

  30. Hale Family Site

  31. Hootin-Anni

  32. Mama Rehema

  33. Jo Beaufoix

  34. Karisma and Kids

  35. Crunchy Bits

  36. Tiggerlane

  37. La Vie en Rose

  38. My Husband Calls Me Weird

  39. Anecdotes, Antidotes and Anodes

  40. Candid Karina

  41. Happy at Home

  42. Running at Large

  43. Mamalang

  44. Lady K

  45. Beyond My Slab

  46. Mariposa Tells

  47. Heaven in Belgium

  48. Stephanie @ Mamadrama

  49. Things in General

  50. Adam's Wife

  51. The Junk Drawer

Now wait a minute, this can’t be, a post without photos?! No way. I had to edit and add a few.

washing rocks

My son’s quirk is washing off his rock collection.

washing rocks

Hope you’re keeping cool!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Let's all go to the Cadillac Ranch



We only cut across the northeast corner of New Mexico and after the little stop at the Volcano we made it quickly to Texas.


Doing some geocaching along our way, we discovered this neat cemetery just outside the Texas Boys’ Ranch.


This is a grave in the nearby pet cemetery. Notice the tennis ball on top of the cross.



We spent the night in Amarillo and bright and early the next day we went to the Cadillac Ranch. Although we had driven by the Caddies many times over the years, we had never stopped and walked up before.


Due to the fact it was raining I left the big cameras in the car, so all these shots were taken with the point and shoot.



You are encouraged to leave your mark on the cars. So while I walked around snapping a few photos, Haden shook the paint cans lying around trying to find some paint.


Looks like someone spent some time there.


There’s a virtual cache there and Haden found some paint so the guys painted our handles on the car with the tires that don’t turn. Check - another cache found by bandits and Lil’ Banditto.


And Haden made his own mark. Proof we were there.  But the funny thing is, our marks are most likely already painted over.

Mikal and Amy Photos

Dennis did some tweaking to a couple of the photos we took of Amy and Mikal last weekend and I think they look great. I wanted to point you over there to have a peek. Also, if you scroll down, after Mikal and Amy you'll see baby Noah, isn't he a doll?!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Oncologist Visit

Sometimes when you meet someone you instantly click. Maybe you can’t put your finger on why you like them but just know that a spark is there.

Other times, you meet someone who seems to rub you wrong and you may not even know why, you just don’t like them and avoid them like the plague.

Then there are those times that you just aren’t sure. They might be ok, but you might end up disliking them. So maybe you give them a chance, check them out a bit and maybe in the end they let you down or you become best friends.

That indecision is what I faced when I met with the new oncologist and his staff this past week. I just don’t know. A part of me wants to grab all my paperwork and keep searching and a part of me wants to wait and see what happens.

I did go ahead and let them schedule my tests that are overdue. So I’ll be going back on July 11th. I still wonder if that was the right decision.

The things that have me wondering if this is the place for me are:

1. They pulled up the national standards for my stage of cancer and that is what they will go by. This means no PET scans unless a CT scan shows an issue. CT scans are cheaper they say. Both of my previous oncologists used PET/CT scans and I fear something may be missed this way. These scans are the only thing that give me piece of mind because my tumor never showed up on a CT scan, nor in my bloodwork. National standards are fine but I would think that oncologists would make decisions on a case by case basis.

2. They fuh-reaked out when they found out my port hadn’t been flushed since January. They wanted to do it right away but couldn’t get approval. So now they think we’ll just see how the tests go then take it out. The taking it out is ok with me if my tests are ok, so this isn’t 100% bad. Just weird that they didn’t want to touch it now.

3. They don’t know if they can remove the port. They say that often their surgeons don’t want to remove a port placed by someone else.

These three things make me feel that they are worried about covering their own butts instead of taking care of mine.

4. They requested that I bring all my records with me yet they didn’t take the time to review them. They got “overwhelmed” by all the paperwork and simply talked to me, then requested more paperwork even though the info they wanted was already included in what I had given them.

5. Part of a normal oncologist visit is that they feel my neck, under my arms, stomach, groin, feeling the lymph nodes and check the ankles for swelling. This was done so quickly that I didn’t feel it was thorough. They did however ask if the node that was biopsied in August could be felt and I told them no, it was too deep and was only seen by the PET because it had uptake. So I’m not so sure the feeling the nodes thing matters on me.

6. They would not help me with my weight issues. They are happy I have a few extra pounds and were very adamant about it. Maybe a regular doctor will help me with that? I just feel like I’m cheating when I have more than one doctor.

There were some good things:

1. They will load all my previous PET/CT scans into their system and give me the cds back. This will make it much easier for me to change doctors in the future.

2. When I told them that my bloodwork, specifically the CEA (cancer marker, there‘s more info here) was always good, even when my cancer was so severe they replied with “Oh, you’re one of those people.” Which leads me to believe they are familiar with people like me. But also furthers my belief that other tests are needed. My CEA levels were never elevated and believe me I had a lot of bloodwork before my diagnosis, I was continually told, “Your blood looks good, your urine looks good, go home”. Normal CEA levels are less than 2.5, the highest mine has ever been was 1.8 and that was while I was on chemo, at tumor time it was .7

3. They see no reason I can’t start taking hormones again which should help with some of my issues. They do advise getting a gynecologist and I’m cool with that. The only reason I don’t have a regular doctor now is because the one I had never wanted to do anything. She always asked, “What did the oncologist say?” So I didn’t see the point in seeing her. Like my husband said though, it felt like once I was diagnosed with cancer she didn’t want to touch me. So, I will find me a regular doctor of gynecologist to take care of my bone density scans (I have osteopenia) and mammograms. Things my previous oncologist took care of as well.

4. They told me of a study conducted which showed that taking an aspirin a day helped colon cancer survivors have less recurrences. The problem is they didn’t think a specific amount was mentioned, so I have no clue how much to take but I will take one 81mg pill a day, it can’t hurt.

After writing all this down I am wondering why I am even going back. Who knows, maybe I won’t. You can bet I will be doing some more research. I am wondering if I could call a place and find out what their typical follow-up procedures are for my stage of cancer before ever walking through their door.

So, I am still frustrated. Maybe it’s time to drag my cancer books back out and study up again. Honestly, it seems like oncologists prefer little old people who just do what they’re told. They aren’t very fond of well educated people asking questions and seeking results.


These are my favorite cancer books. I think I have one or two more around somewhere but maybe I just checked more out of the library. I know right after diagnosis I checked a huge mound out from the library.

But anyway, the huge one, Cancer Survival Guide: Everything you must know and where to go for state-of-the-art treatment of the most common forms of cancer, describes each cancer and the warnings signs, gives advice on how to pick a doctor and places to find support, but the big reason I liked it is that it also tells you what to expect from chemo. So if I had a symptom I could refer to the chemotherapy area, scroll around and know that it was a side effect of chemo or something to be worried about.

The smaller book, There’s No Place Like Hope: A Guide to Beating Cancer in Mind-sized Bites, is full of little tidbits to help get through the day. From diagnosis to everyday life to children and insurance there’s a section for all you will encounter along the way. I found a bookmark left from those days of chemo so I picked one quote from those pages to share with you.
Choose to live each day fully, not merely to draw one day closer to death, for it is within the day’s journey that life’s treasures lie.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
 After visiting the Sand Dunes we made our way to the Capulin Volcano in New Mexico. We stopped along the way to do a few caches and I found a little critter.





He enjoyed his sunning rock and enjoyed watching him.


It really is neat finding a splash of growing color amongst the rock and the sand and barrenness.


We made it to the Capulin Volcano National Monument and my guys walked the rim, a mile long trail. I walked a portion of it, then went back to the bottom to wait. It stands about 1000’ above the surrounding landscape, with the mouth/crater being 400’ deep. It is really an awesome place and you can see for miles when you stand on the rim.


The mouth/center is concave (it’s an example of an extinct cinder cone volcano) and it acts as a huge megaphone. So you can be down in the bottom, or anywhere along the rim and easily hear what someone else says. Remember that if you ever visit. I really enjoyed just sitting there, in peace, cool breeze blowing and voices drifting from a half mile away.