Welcome to Life Through Bifocals

Life is not always clear and easy to figure out. So grab a cup of coffee and your bifocals and let's see what we can see.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Un-Officiall start to Summer is the Hodgepodge.

Thank you Joyce for the questions, I have the answers. Let's play.

1. What question do you often ask yourself?
"How important is this?"  As I find my energy waning and some days are more productive than others, I find that I am asking this question more and more. 

2. Do you grow roses? What's your favorite color of rose?  Ever been given a dozen roses?  Where was the prettiest rose or rose garden you remember seeing?
No I do not grow roses. I have tried several times and each time they died.  I figure at this point, I will let others who know what they are doing do what they know.  I love purple roses.  I don't remember ever getting a dozen roses but often get a flower basket with roses in it.  As for the prettiest rose garden in my memory.......I can't remember what I had for dinner last night so I got nothing here.

3. Do you read the freshness dates on grocery store products?  Will you use eggs past their 'use by' date?  Take medication that's expired? Buy a dented can?
Yes I do read the freshness date on the store products.  I will use items past the "use by" date if it's only been a few days, or in some cases a few weeks and yes I have purchased a dented can.  I will take Tylenol if past the expired date by a little but not prescription drugs.

4. Should athletes be role models?
Whether or not they should be ---THEY ARE.  People look up to those at both ends of the extreme of life.  For those that achieve a lot,  and those who are brutal in what they do.  Both are role models. What is different is what they are role models for..good behavior or bad behavior.  For those who achieve a lot, the way they achieved it, the way they handle it, and the way they treat other because of it will all be looked at. For those who are very brutal, they are the role model for extremely bad behaviors.  In may ways we are all role models.  Some for good marriages, for bad marriages, work ethics,  how we spend our money, what we eat, our kids behaviors. The list goes on. Someone is always watching.  More importantly, God is watching, He is the standard that we should aim for. 

5. Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first explorers to reach the top of Mt. Everest on this date (May 29) back in 1953. What's something you hope to achieve in your lifetime?
I want to watch my grand kids become adults! Since the oldest is 9 and the youngest is 2 that is a long way off and I want to watch it all.

6. What would you do if you had twenty acres of land and the money to develop it any way you choose?
I would love a place alongside a mountain lake. I would build a log home and clear about four acres. I woud have a fire pit in the back yard. I woudld have room for my grand kids to run around and play safely. I would have a pontoon motor boat to cruise on the lake with the family.

7. If I invite you to a party with a 7 PM start time, what time will I actually see you there?
6:50 so I could help you with those last minute things that are always still hanging over your head.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Only in New Hampshire could we have snow on Sunday and 70's on Monday and looking forward to possible 80's by the week end.  I still have the quilt on the bed, the sweaters in the closet and flannel pj's in the dresser.  I guess I better get out the shorts and t-shirts for the end of the week.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Thank you once again for the Hodgepodge.  Join in all!

1. It's National Bike Week...do you own a bicycle? When did you last ride a bike? Yes I have a bike and it's someplace in the garage so I have no idea when I rode it last.

2. What's something you learned in school that wasn't part of the curriculum?Nuns can wear any color underware they want to.  I went to Catholic school back in the 60's when nuns wore long habits and lots of rosary beads and crosses on their chest.  We had one nun who every once in a while would answer our questions, no matter how silly it was so we asked her about what she wore under that long heavy habit.

3. What's a food you've never tried, but want to try? What's a food you've tried and will never try again?A food I've never tried? Can't think of anything. A food I tried and will never try again?  New England Boiled dinner.  I just don't care for roast meat and cabbage cooked in a crock pot.  

4. Have you been more demanding on yourself lately or less? Why? Do you think that's a good trend?Less demanding of myself since I started Chemo.  It's a good thing to do away with the negative thoughts about what I'm not doing.  I'm re-learning what's inportant in life.  Guess I didn't learn it last time.

5. Who is your favorite book, movie, or TV show villain? I don't get involved in the lives of the villain but do get involved in the lives of the heroes in books, movies, and TV shows.  I did like KAHN in the Star Trek movies.  He was driven mad by having great loss.  

6. How concerned are you about identity theft? I do think about it and wonder if I have anything that others would want to steal.  I forget that they will take out loans in my name and ruin my credit. Or buy vacations homes or go on vacations in my name.  That does scare me because I hear it's just terrible to get your good name back.  That would just be too much for me.

7. I saw this last question on Dawn's blog a couple of week's ago and asked if I could share. Everybody hop over and say hi, but first answer this...would you rather have an ordinary home in an extraordinary place or an extraordinary home in an ordinary place? Oh the choice!! An ordinary home in some extraordinary location would be so wonderful. Waking up in some wonderful location like on a lake in Spain or a mountaintop in Scotland! How great would that be.  But I wonder if at some point I would get use to my location and just see my ordinary home.  Where having an extraordinary home like a converted Church or living in a Grain Silo in some ordinary place would make coming home special all the time don't you think since there is No Place Like Home.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I'm trying to think about a random thought, however with the side effects of Chemo, thinking is hard.  I really do have Chemo brain.  I am so blessed to have Hubby who picks up the pace and the pieces and makes this journey so much easier.  If only he felt a bit sorry for me and would let me win at TriOminios. A game we play while I'm hooked up to an IV.  It takes about 2 1/2 hours and we play games to pass the time. He feels no need to be easy on me and beats me at this game.  I have vowed to beat him back and I will let him know that "Revenge is a dish, best served Cold"

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Review:

That is all I can say about the kindness you all showed to me all about my news last week.  

I never expected the outpouring of love and encouragement that I got.  Some of you wrote on this little blog of mine, others on the CaringBridge site, others emailed me privately and still others picked up the phone and called me.  I never expected any of it.  I am overwhelmed, blessed and humbled by it all. It's true : No One Fights Cancer Alone.

Getting bad news is one thing, sharing it with others who you know is one thing,  but sharing it with those you only know through blogs or Face Book is totally different and really scary!  I thought that I would get a few "Praying" or "So sorry to hear" but never did I expect the kindness that I got. Thank you all so much.

Tuesday is my Chemo day. This past week it took 2 1/2 hours from start to finish. I don't know if that will be how long it takes every week. I will let you know. On Wednesday I over did it and was very run down and tired.  Thursday and Friday I continued to feel weak and had aches and pains like sore muscles and cramps.  But by Saturday I felt normal so I took August for a nice short walk and then played in the yard raking for about an hour.  Working in the house took the rest of the day with the exception of grocery shopping at the new Market Basket that just opened up near us.  It's so nice to have an option for food shopping.  Where I live, there are not many options close by.

Sunday I got to enjoy church with like minded people who love each other.  I did have one emotional moment when I saw my CaringBridge site listed in the bulletin that made this journey once again, all too real once again to us. Hubby has a cold and so he went to the doctor just to make sure that is was not anything more and he has been staying away from me.   The week I start Chemo, he gets sick!  I wonder what the next 15 weeks will bring?  After worship we grilled spare ribs for lunch and worked a bit more in the yard.  The yard is really starting to look good.  Then it looked like rain so we came in to do laundry, work on the many Thank You cards that I owe people and gear up for another week.  According to the weather on my cell phone, it may rain all week! We need it so I'm OK with it.

So, that was my weekend. Easy paced as I'm learning my limits. How was your weekend?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Thank you once again Joyce for the questions this month.  Good ones!! Also my one word for 2013 is under my random thought.  

1. May is National Blood Pressure Month...what sends yours soaring, either literally or figuratively? What calms you down? When did you last have your bp checked?
I'm lucky to have normally low blood pressure (90/60) and it was checked yesterday. I will say that my blood pressure goes up every time I hear about Dr. Kermit Gosnell.  The facts of what he did to those babies makes my blood boil!  He was found guilty but may NOT get the death penalty also soars my blood pressure.  He should not only be found guilty but should then be taken from the court room, down the hall to a closet, and have his spinal cord cut without benefit of drugs to relieve him of pain!! Let him feel what those precious babies felt!! With out care, with out a chance to plead for their life.  

2. You just found $1-what do you spend it on? How about 10$ 100?
A dollar will not go too far so it may just go into the pocket UNLESS I saw who dropped it, then I would run up to them and return it.
If I found $10 or $100. I would do my best to find it's owner. Money is tight all around and that may have been someone ones money for a Rx refill, or doctor visit.  I would feel terrible if I lost that much so I would do my best to find the owner.  If I couldn't then I would give it to the church where is would do some good for someone.

3. Mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food has been proposed, but not enacted in the US. How much attention do you give food labels before you buy? Are you in favor of labeling if it means an increase in food prices? Is this an issue you've been following and feel strongly about, or is this the first you've heard of the controversy?
I've heard about the controversy and would want my food labeled even if meant an increase in food prices.  It's important to know what is going into your body because I really do feel strongly about the connection between the food we eat now and all the health issues we find ourselves having. I do look at labels before I buy anything. It's amazing what gets hidden in our food.

4. May 15th marks the birthdate of Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. At this point in time, are you more in need of brains, courage, heart, or a trip back home? Explain.
Today I would say I need a brain. Mine is so full of stuff that I find I forget stuff. I even forgot today was Hodgepodge day!  My wonderful husband remembered and copied the questions for me - the answers are completely mine.  I just have a lot of balls up in the air, a lot on my plate as it were and wish my brain was bigger, faster or something to keep up with it all.

5. "There's no place like home" is an oft repeated line from Baum's book. When was the last time you felt the truth of that statement?
I love being home!  I love cuddling with my husband, watching TV. I love having the grand kids over playing in the doll house, or cooking on the play stove.  I love it here. So I feel the truth of that statement all the time, but I do believe it was originally meant in a more negative way as in Home is never the same once you move away.  However, I believe HOME is wherever your heart is and since my heart and Hubby's heart are one, we are home as long as we are together. Not the answer you were looking for.....?

6.  Steak...yes please or no thank you? What cut do you prefer and how do you like yours cooked? Sauce or no sauce? Besides your own kitchen, where's a place you like to go to get a great steak? 
 I do like a good steak every once in a while. The Outback Restaurant has some good ones.  I like Sirloin steak cooked very well done without all the sauces that they sometimes offer.  

7. When was the last time you were in a genuine hurry?
I tend to leave in plenty of time to get to where I'm going so I really can't remember the last time I was running late and in a hurry.  I don't like driving stressed and I like to have time for the sometimes crazy traffic we will have up here.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
JOY within me.
   I've been keeping a secret from just about all of you.  Today I am letting the secret out. Eleven months ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a type of blood cancer that affects the plasma in my blood. I was told it was "Smoldering" which meant it was not doing anything, just sitting in my blood.  So we didn't do anything except tell our kids and a few close friends.  They became my Prayer Warriors and together we have kept the illness at bay.  
   Every month I saw a doctor, either my Primary Care Doctor or our Oncologist, for blood tests. Every month I was told I was healthy.  Then in early April the blood test showed that the cancer was growing. More tests showed it was growing at a faster rate, so on May 3rd I had a Chemo Port implanted in my chest (we named her Pebbles, as in a little bump in the road to better health) and on Tuesday the 14th I had my first Chemo Treatment.  
   In all I will have 16 treatments, one every week. 2 different Chemo drugs and a steroid for side affects as well as taking a anti-viral pill 2 times a day for the next 4 months.  This is a grueling treatment, but I feel strong, not sick at all and we are ready to fight.  I am also a good canadate for a stem cell bone marrow transplant sometime in the future.  
   It's time to let the cat out of the bag as it were so if you don't see me blogging it's most likely because I under the weather or that this illness does take up a lot of space on the calendar.  I have a lot to do to get well and so the Joy within me is that I'm healthy enough to do what the doctors want me to do and I have Prayer Warriors that have been bringing me before God for eleven months now.  Best of all I have Hubby, who has taken up a lot of extra duties since this thing started.  He is the best and I'm so glad to have him by my side.  Good thing he's retired right?

Ok you're turn, how would you answer these questions?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Deep in Thought about Every Day.

Joyce once again came up with the questions, it's our job to come up with the answers.  Want to join? Click the button above or answer here.
1. When the children of today grow up, what do you think they'll say about this period in time? What do you most hope they remember?
I think they will wonder about the adults of today. We kill babies while still in the mother but give protection to adults who kill us.  We talk more to each other on the phone, even while we sit across the table from each other. We  protray adult men on tv shows as stupid, crazy, or lazy, all the time wondering why there are no men role models out there.  We watch movies about young women who have sex with anyone, while wondering why women dress like tramps.

2. National Teacher's Day is celebrated in the US of A on the first Tuesday in May, this year May 7th...share how a particular teacher positively impacted you.
My grade school teachers compared me to my older sister (which is never a good thing). My high school teachers didn't know me very well and that was because I was very good at disappearing in a croud so it wasn't their fault. So it wasn't until I was in college that I had a teacher who pushed me to be better.
I can't remember his name. Sorry.

3. What's a dish your mama made, that if set in front of you today would whisk you right back to childhood?                                                                        
My mother did make American Chop Suey that was really good. She would top it with crumbled Ritz Crackers and bake it. I really liked the baked topping.

4. Mother May I was a game we played when I was growing up...no pieces, parts, or plugs required. What games from childhood do you remember loving that were also pieces, parts, and plug-free?
Tag was a game we played a lot that was pieces, parts and plug- free.

5. Besides your own mother, tell us about a woman who influenced you as a child?
I really loved my paternal grandmother. Maude was her name and she was a tiny (short) woman but she had a lot of spunk and I liked that.

6. Mamma Mia! What's the best play or musical you've ever seen?
We went to see Phantom of the Opera in Boston once and it was fantastic!

7. What are three smells that make you feel nostalgic?
We would get real Christmas Trees when I was a kid and I really do like the smell of them.
Baked Turkey Dinner at Thanksgiving always brings me back to my childhood.
My dad would grill corn on the cob in the summer and I like the smell of that as well.  He was really good at grilling in the summer time.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We have finally gotten some nice spring weather and if the weather man is to be believed, we should have a nice rainy day tonight and Thursday.  We need the rain. I enjoy sitting outside in the sun, but we really need the rain. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Farewell April Welcome May Hodgepodge

Joyce was able to not only do the A-Z challenge but to include the questions for Hodgepodge as well! 3 cheers for Joyce!  Come on, play along.

1.  This week's Hodgepodge is Volume 123.  What's something you've done recently that was as easy as 1-2-3? 
                                                                                                That's easy, 
                                                                                                 I turn this

                                                                                                 Into this.

2.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge also happens to fall on the first day of May ...what is something you may do this month? 
I MAY get our Grandson's Birthday Gifts off to him in time for his party.  I'm not holding my breath at the moment because I'm feeling a bit rushed with "other" things.  Hey Ben: Grannie is working on it, really she is!! 

3. The Englishman Horace Walpole is credited as saying, "The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think"  How do you see it?
I see it as both. There are times when life throws you a handful of bad news and so you feel the tragedy, the heavyness of it all. But at some point, you regain your OOMPH and begin to see the humor in life.  We need both because without tragedy, one would never appreciate comedy.

4.  May is National Hamburger Month...how often do you eat a burger? What are your must-haves when it comes to burgers?  I assume you vegetarians won't be celebrating so tell us what you'd like instead? 
I do like a good hamburger and we do eat them often but I couldn't tell you how often we do so.  What are my must haves? Onions, cheese, fresh thick tomato slice not those little diced things and mayo.  

5. Pansies, petunias, geraniums, impatiens...of the four mentioned, which is your favorite in a patio pot? Will there be pots on your patio this spring? (Or whenever spring comes to your part of the globe?) Who does the gardening at your house?
The gardening is done by the person with the most energy these days!  I like impatiens and yes, I hope to have them in the planters out front. 

6. When did you last (literally or figuratively) shout "Mayday, Mayday!"
Mayday is a call for help.  It could be because one's car broke down or one needs a ride someplace.  I've called Mayday a lot lately for personal issues and my firends have not disappointed me.  They have come to my aid and "circled the wagons" making me feel safe and loved.  

7.  Say farewell to your April in ten words or less. 
"See Ya"

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Becke, our lab went for a physical recently.  She is 13 years old and beginning to lose some of her hearing so she doesn' t always hear me if I call her outside.  She can't always figure out where the sound comes from and she sometimes doesn't hear me at all when I call her.  She has some arthritis and has a hard time doing stairs but otherwise she is very healthy.  We are so glad to still have her with us.  She is still teaching August how to behave and puts up with a lot.  When we leave work, she walks up to her brother to check him out.  She looks for him and looks after him.  I've never seen such love from a 13 year old to a 20 month old. We are blessed to have her in our lives.  We love you Intregrity StarBeck, Becke Boo Boo, Becke Weckey.