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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Getting Ready for Fall in NH

We are still getting ready for the fall/winter season. Another bird house went up for our feathered friends. I painted it the dark red that I love so much. I say, if you have a color you love, share it! In this case, I'm sharing it with the birds.

It's next to the other birdhouse that is just stained.  I like the look of it but I think I like the red one better, I wonder which one the birds will like??

Together with the bird feeder they make a great path from the trees to the house.  The bird feeder was in need of some repair, the rope that connected the top to the bottom broke. Hubby fixed it, I hope the birds appreciate it.  Since the bears in our area are well behaved and not a problem, it's safe to put these up.  We have to make sure that all the feeders are down in spring because when bears wake up from their hibernation, they wake up hungry!

The outside summer decorations are put away.  The vines around the arbor are cut back to the ground. This makes the back yard look so bare. However the deck chairs are still up for those few moments when the sun still comes out and warms us up. They will be down soon however.

The fire place is clean and ready to light up. I do admit that I love a fire in the evening.  The mantle is all set and welcoming (well I think it's welcoming at least). The dogs have a great stay but they were not cleaned, just told to get ready for their photo to be taken.  Becke is 13 1/2 (the lab) and August is 2 (Not the lab - really he's a Chinese Crested, Powder Puff)

While working in the yard the other day, Hubby found this huge catapilla. It was chewing on our lialac bush.  No idea what it was, but we found it a new home.

The double windows are coming down and the house if getting "buttoned up".  How about you?  My DIL told me once that her fall cleaning consists of moving the sweaters from the back of the closet to the front and putting out the pumpkin place mats.  Our fall readiness list is a bit longer....then again, she lives in San Diego! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Can you believe it's Wednesday already?  Boy it seems to comes so fast these days. It must be the shorter days that makes time fly so fast.  Thank you Joyce.

1. What's one thing that's still the same about you as when you were young?
You mean other than my ring size? Well, I was pretty naive when I was young and I'm told that I still am. I don't see that as a bad thing.

2. What's more important-history or science? Why?
If we don't learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it so I think history is more important. But I like science better because of all the possibilities out there.

3. Lima, kidney, string, garbanzo, black or pinto-your favorite bean?

4. What's something people come to your town to do?
Water sports, we have a lot of ponds and lakes around us. There are lots of boats on them.

5. When was the last time you were in a meeting? Sum it up for us in five words or less.
Today at work. Fun with food and Friends!

6. What special event would you like a VIP pass to attend?
Nothing comes to mind. Sorry

7. What's one piece of advice you'd give a writer?
Write what you love

8. Insert your own random thought here.
 It's cold up here! The blankets are on the bed and the socks are in the dresser.  The almanack says we are going to have a colder than normal winter with more snow than usual.  YUCK!

So now it's your turn, how would you answer the questions?  Join us OK.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


This is a testing week so boy am I glad to have the Hodgepodge this week. I bet Joyce didn't ever think she was a blessing in this way. Thank you Joyce.

1. When did you last sing happy birthday to someone? When were you last sung to? Does that embarrass you or do you enjoy being the center of attention on your special day?
Our Friend's son. He was turning 23 years old and also was moving away from home for the first time. So it was a combination of Happy Birthday, Farewell,  and Enjoy the bigger home all at the same time.  I don't remember the last time I was sung to. I enjoy the attention if it's among friends but if at a restaurant or something like that, I'm totally embarrassed. So don't do that to me EVER! 

2.  Name a famous or 'infamous' person (living or deceased) who shares your birth day and month. Is that someone you'd like to meet in person if it were possible?
David Janssen was born on my Birthday. He was an actor on The Fugitive.  I remember watching that show and I enjoyed it very much. Now he was in this show in the 60's so I was young and didn't watch it then, but I do remember seeing it later on when it ran as a rerun and it was then I became a fan.  He died just a month shy of 49th birthday. I would have liked to meet him as I read that he had a great sense of humor, something we never saw on The Fugitive. 

3. Someone hands you a box tied up in a lovely bow...what are you hoping to find inside?
Depends on the size of the box. A little box - jewelry. A medium box - camera. Big box - Out door  fireplace. A giant Box - New Fridge.

4. What can you guarantee about yourself?
I am a normal person, who needs a Savior to take away her sin.

5. Talking art and beautiful cities here...'The Last Supper' in the Santa Maria della Grazie Abbey in Milan Italy or 'The Mona Lisa' in The Louvre, Paris...which would you most like to see up close and in person?  Why?

The Last Supper in Italy because it's about our Savior.

6. Your favorite dessert?
WOW, there are lots of desserts that I love. Hot apple pie with ice cream, any fruit cobbler, bread pudding and just about anything with the word Pumpkin in it. I seem to love dessert in the fall and winter more than in Spring and Summer. 

7. This coming weekend marks the official start of autumn (in the Northern hemisphere)...what is something you do to get ready for fall? What is one thing you're looking forward to on your fall calendar? Spring or fall-which do you prefer?
Living in NH we have a long list of things we do to get ready for fall. Some of them include, clean the the pellet stove, fireplace and have the furnace cleaned as well. Pull out the winter clothes and put away the summer ones. Pull out the electric blanket and quilts. I look forwarded to getting all the Christmas shopping done before the weather gets too terrible. I hate to shop in the snow. Spring is my preference because I know that Summer is coming and I LOVE SUMMER!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We got some news about the biopsy from the other week, no stomach cancer and no esophagus cancer either.  I am currently undergoing the other GI test called HRM &; PH Impedance test. It's where they put a tube up my nose and down my esophagus to watch it all work while I  go about my day. I have to wear this thing for 24 hours with a box over my shoulder and a tube coming out my nose connected to the box - and if you think it sounds terrible, it is!  I will be so glad to get it out of me.  They want to see how my acid reflux reacts to what I eat and drink and how I move all day and sleep all night. I'm answering these on Tuesday so I haven't been to bed yet, but I don't think I will get much sleep.   How am I suppose to sleep with this thing up my nose, down my throat as well as out my nose and attached to a recording devise!  Anyway, it will be over at 9:30 on Wednesday morning when it comes out.  I plan on a really long nap!
Update: I got a grand total of 2 1/2 hours sleep (not all together). I wasn't able to eat anything so I had a liquid diet of protein drinks and coffee/tea and my whole face hurts with all the tape holding the tubing in place as it comes out my nose and down to the recording devise.  9:30 can not come soon enough!  Never again! Never again!

OK your turn. Have fun. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

More Answers, More JOY

Hubby and I got to go out for breakfast at one of our favorite places. It's a small place but it is very good. And just look at the size of the coffee cup!  Be still my heart!  We talked about the weather, the dogs, friends, and our news from the Doctor.  Last Wednesday we went up north to meet with the transplant doctor, Dr. Meehan. The news - I'm Good!

In fact I'm really Good!

My liver and kidneys really handled the Chemo perfectly! That was a real concern, but not now. I have good color and my hair is growing back. I look good and feel Great!
When I started Chemo back in May, the blood test said that someplace between 40-50% of my body was cancerous. I'm now at somewhere between 10-15%!  That was HUGE!

That cancer count really came down! I'm healthy, I'm strong and I'm ready to take that percentage down even farther. The doctor can harvest my stem cells now, but he wants to see if we can bring that number down even more.  So we are going to do another round of Chemo to see if we can't get that number below 5%.  At under 5% I can be in remission - where I really want to be.  At 5% the doctor can harvest my stem cells and they can be returned to me later, if I need them back.  That is the goal. Get me into remission, keep me there for as long as possible and if I need them, have a stem cells transplant with my own stem cells - which would mean no anti-rejections drugs needed since it's my own stem cells back inside of me. This time, chemo will be between 4-6 weeks! After 16 weeks of chemo, I can do 4-6 weeks more.

Back home we got the news from the Upper GI biopsy - No Cancer. The irritation in the esophagus is from stress, diet, or medication!  Not cancer!  I am on cloud 9!

We thank all of you for your prayers, concern, love and emails/comments about our health. Hubby is my rock and I am so thankful for all the prayers for him. I need him. I love him.  We are one.

Not sure when we will start the new chemo. It's a drug that is a bit hard to get so we are waiting for it to come in. The transplant doctor says it can take up to 14 days for the drug to come in.  In the mean time, more testing, and some more NORMAL life for us.

So, normal life is so perfect for me. Breakfast with my man, play in the yard, food shopping, laundry, and of course blogging.  It just feels so good to have a normal life.  A normal weekend. A normal week.

I have more tests to run, but mostly for small issues so that is fine. Then we start again, chemo, to kill more cancer in my body.  Life continues and I am still singing our fight song.

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

Sunday, September 15, 2013

One Word 2013: JOY of Normal

I've not been posting about my Joy for a while. I've been busy fighting Cancer.  Maybe my word should have been Fight. But I was lead to pick the word Joy.  And Joy is what I've found along this battle.  My latest JOY is NORMAL

JOY of Normal.
It's a blessing to have a normal week, with no chemo, no doctor's appointments, no lab work. No places to be, don't have to check the calendar to see who I'm suppose to see and why and what am I suppose to bring with me at what time.

JOY of Normal.
Breakfast out with friends

Shopping for fall decorations and gifts.

 Playing in the back yard, walks with the dogs out on a nice flat trail.

JOY of Normal.
Cooking meals for my husband and myself again, shopping, enjoying friends.

We start back up with another round of Chemo in  a few weeks but for now - life is Normal and that brings me a lot of JOY.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Boy am I glad that Joyce set this up before hand. We are up north, getting results from the testing and hopefully planning our next attack.

1. What's the best thing about growing older?
There are lots of things good about growing older. All those discounts on coffee, lunch, vacations and whatever for those of us who are older.  Then there is the ability to just not care about something and not even caring that we don't care.  

2. When did you first feel like a grown up?
When I got my driver's licence.  I was married by the time I got my license so it really made me feel like a grown up. 

3. Chocolate cake with white icing or white cake with chocolate icing?
It's all good so my answer is YES - it's my blog - I'll answer the way I want to.

4. What's the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
Offered me a smile when I really needed one.  

5.  What's something you learned from your grandparents? 
My mother's mom taught us to work hard to get anything. She came to this country with 5 little children and had to learn to speak English here.  She did but always had an very thick French Accent.  My father's mother taught me to enjoy what you have and not to feel jealous of what other have. After all, they now have to care for it and worry about it.

6. Wednesday marks a sad day in the history of planet earth-9/11...what's something you do (or can do) to bring peace to your little corner of the world?
Offer my smile to someone else who looks like they could use one.

7.  Share a favorite quote, scripture, or song containing the word peace.  
Colossians 3:15 Let the Peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace) and be thankful.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
It's suppose to be up in the 90's today with pressure and humidity making it feel like a 100 degrees!  Summer is BACK!! Love summer.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall is in the Air! Also know as "What To Wear?"

We wake up to temps in the 40's, leave for work and it's 50's, lunch time it's 60's, come home and it's 70's! So that is why we are all getting colds, no one know how to dress around here.

Really, it's so cold in the morning that oatmeal is the breakfast of choice since it's so cold when you climb out of bed. But by time we come home, it's in the 70's and getting really warm for the sweatshirt and socks that I had on in the morning.  The best part about the cooler temps are the wonderful colors of fall.
As much as I don't like the changing temps, or the cold, I DO love the colors of fall.
The mustard yellows, the burnt orange, the dark reds. I love those colors. And have them in many places in our home.

The plants are loosing their colors and getting ready for their long sleep. So we spend some time this past week, cleaning out the flower beds and getting them ready to sleep.

Gone is the hill of flowers, full, colorful and beautiful.  In it's place is the scarecrow with dirt around it. The mulch will soon be spread on top to cover the earth, but for now, the full flowers are gone. 

There are still some plants that look good, but that will not last long.  We haven't had "Indian Summer" yet. Is that still PC?  I hope so because I don't know what else to call that time of year when the temps climb one more time to the 80's and 90's followed by rain that sets us into the permanent fall.  It's coming and we are working hard to get ready.

Monday, September 9, 2013

August's Birthday 8/30/11

This week we are testing and finding out results of test. So to keep my mind off of all we are going through here is a bit of this and a bit of that.

Our little boy Naturals All In The Music, August Rush is now 2 years old. WOW The time has sure flown by!

For those who don't know, August Rush is a breed called Powder Puff Chinese Crested.
Chinese Crested come in 2 varieties, powder puff and hairless. They are born in the same litter.

August's Mom is an Apricot Puff
Here she is with owner/breeder  Sharon.

His dad is a Black and White Hairless
Yes, the hairless still have some hair. on the head (called the crest), tail and all four feet. But the body is hairless.

August was the second one born in a litter of 6 (4 puffs, 2 hairless)
That's our August at about 24 hours old, only about 6 ounces big!
He looks nothing like the little thing thing we first saw.
The breeder gave them all names so she could keep track of them all, he was called Ditto for the start of his life.

He grew
Always curious even from the beginning.
And he grew.
That's him all the way to the left with his ears taped.  Can you see the 2 hariless?

This was him when we picked him up. He sure does look different!
And became
Our 2 year old little man, cuddle buddie, bed hog, who has learned so much from his big sister and is a joy to have.

Happy Birthday to our little man.
I think he got the best of each parent. The long coat of his mom, the coloring of his dad.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Thank you Joyce for the questions this week, as my title says, I'm too tired to hodgepodge.  Tired from building my stamina up, tired from working a full week, tired from exercising to get rid of some of the weight that I gained having Chemo.  So I'm thankful  that Joyce created the questions and thankful  Hubby copied them for me. Now to answer them and get them posted while it's still Wednesday.

1. What's something you're never too young or too old to enjoy?
A good meal with Hubby, playing with grand kids and running with the dogs.

2. Share one happy memory from your high school years.
I got engaged to the man I would spend the rest of my life with.

3. A nationwide strike of fast food employees took place in the U. S. last week...they're calling for higher wages and the right to unionize? Your thoughts?

No way! Sorry, at a time when most people are just glad for a job these kids want a union to fight for them?  Grow up, do the job, and if you hate it so much, go to college to learn something better and do that.  Union do nothing for you anymore. they use to, not anymore. They just make their own pockets fat with your money.  And the cost of fast food will skyrocket to pay these punks to flip the burgers.  Have you see those video's where the staff licks the cones, or spits into the shakes, I'm not paying them one dime. Lean to appreciate what you have.  OK I'll get off the soap box now.

4. September is National Honey Month...what's a favorite dish you make or eat that calls for honey?
I like Honey natural as in tea, or on toast. I'm simple that way.

5.  If you notice someone with a tag sticking out, a button unbuttoned, a shirt on inside-out, or some leftover lunch stuck between their teeth do you say something or do you keep quiet? 
If I know them, I tell them. If I don't know them, I may point to the problem and make a face so that they will look.

6. What movie always makes you cry?  Or at least makes you feel like crying?
Such a beautiful movie. What example of love under any circumstances.

7.   'Mary Had a Little Lamb' was written in May of 1830, and published in Juvenile Miscellany in September of that same year.  Now for the fun part...create your own four line rhyme using that same tune.

August is a little dog
Little dog
Little dog

August is a little dog, 
but his bark is large!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I guess I gave my random thought at the beginning so reread that.  I'm tired.