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, February 26, 2014


Joyce has been coming up with the questions for a very long time and I wonder just how many more questions she has for us. She really wants to know a lot about us don't you think???? Good thing it's all in fun and you too can play along.  

1. What is something you'll never forget about the age you are right now?
This is a good age.  Any time on this side of the ground, with those I love is a good age.  This is the age I found out just how strong I am and just how great my friends are.

2. What's a household chore you've never done? How have you managed that???
WOW if there is a house hold chore that I've not done by now, I'm not about to tell anyone as I've done them all I'm sure and if I haven't done them by now, I'm not going to start now!!

3. Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture? Explain? 
Both have a hand in shaping our personalities.  Nature hands us things to conquer and personalities help us conquer those things.

4. Friday (February 28th) is 'Something on a Stick Day'...funny because Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens recently sent me an idea for a question relating to this topic. What's your favorite food eaten on a stick? 

I don't eat a lot of foods on a stick so I would have to say either corn dogs or ice cream.

5. Which of your five senses do you treasure most, and why?
WOW that is a hard one, I guess it would be hearing.  I love to hear my Hubby call my name and tell me that he loves me. I love to hear him preach or tell stories or just the sound of his voice in general. I absolutely love to listen to him breath - it's so relaxing and reassuring that all is right with the world.  I love to hear my grand daughters tell me I'm the best Grannie EVER!! I love to hear my dogs talk (or sing in the case of August). I love to listen to music.

6. What's the best music, theatre, or sporting venue you've been to? What made it great?
Anywhere with Hubby becomes the best place, event ever.  A few summers back we went to a local baseball game in Manchester and it was really fun.  The sunshine, the laughter, the game and of course Hubby to share it with.

7. It's the last week of the month...in five words or less bid adieu to your February.

I don't need 5 words!  Good Riddance.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
In order to have something to blog about, I broke my nose on Tuesday in 2 places.  My lip is split and my hand is tingly.  See, I needed something to blog about and the weather is just plain boring and cold. I'm fine and will return to work Thursday night to teach and then Friday back to the office.  I will have my cane and bubble wrap to keep me from falling again but I will not see the Nose doctor until Monday (they need to be able to touch me and right now no one can touch it). I hope he can fix it so I can breath through my nose again.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Well That Was Short Lived!

Well, in just a few day out in the sun with temps in the 40's; the house went from this

To this 

But we are back in the deep freeze with temps back in the 20's with wind chills bringing it down into the teens.  But the house inside is ready for Summer!

I went to work for 4 1/2 hours yesterday and Becke was with me, she was so happy to be back there and with the people she loves.  She wagged and wiggled all the time we were there. Right up to moment I fell down and went BANG.

Yup, after 3 hours at work I fell and my fall was stopped by the hard, poured-concrete floor of the office where I ended up looking like this. There was a fair amount of blood as well coming from my nose and mouth but we got it cleaned up before we took the photo. You're welcome.
Photo taken by Hubby at urgent care so it's blurry but you get the idea.

My boss called Hubby to come get me and take me to the hospital. He was close by and showed up right away.  Becke was trying to get close to me after the fall but co-workers were caring for me and she just couldn't get very close to me but I could see her and she was standing as close as she could.

People thought it was funny that Hubby was so close by but it didn't surprise me at all. We have been married for over 41 years. He stays close, he always has.  He was right there caring for me…again!

We went to urgent care and they took x-ray pictures.  Turned out I have a double fracture of my nose, a split lip on the inside of my upper lip, and somehow I hurt my right hand.  I can type and open and close my hand just fine but I can't put weight on it and I have a hard time holding coffee or other things.  I'm right handed.

So I'm back home for a few days, wearing ice and trying to get the swelling down.  I breath through my mouth for a while and see the ENT doctor on Monday, March 3rd.  I need time for the swelling to go down  so the doctor can touch me but not so much time that my nose heals wrong.

I guess I'm better at receiving care instead of giving care. Hubby is back on "Take Care Of SWMBO Duty".  Oh SWMBO is my nick name and it stands for "She Who Must Be Obeyed."

Oh for those of you who want to know what happened? My knee (the one with the Baker's Cyst) gave out and down I went.  No I was not walking with my cane, because I have been doing so well on flat surfaces. I was taking Becke out for a quick potty walk.

Becke is depressed when I told her she was staying home again.

Poor Baby, we will be back!! A broken nose cannot stop me from getting back into the office!! Although I might show up in bubble wrap next time...
And with a walking cane!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A long weekend!

It did feel like a long weekend too but that was because I was busy, not sick.  Last Thursday I went to my doctor's for a 1 month check up (I called it my Well Baby Check Up). My immune system is growing and it has memory so I may not need any baby shots!  Yeah!  I can work more at the office and work on loosing the 20 plus pounds I gained.  My hair will grow back but not for a few more months.  It will grow slowly but it may be closer to summer before that happens.  Oh well, everyone is very kind and likes my hot red hair right now.  Wigs are not very comfortable to wear.  I take it off when I'm home and wear one of my hats to keep my head warm. My knee is still swollen but it is really getting better, I can walk on any flat service without limping but stairs are still painful and getting up from chairs or the floor is tough but it's all getting better and after all, it's NOT CANCER!!

So I worked 4 1/2 hours Friday, then came home and rode the exercise bike for 15 minutes and cooked dinner.  Then I was done for the rest of the day.

Saturday, I went food shopping, did laundry, picked up the house and watched the great melting!  Yes, we had temps in the 40's and the icicles on our house decided to melt.  We were getting trapped in the house with the icicles hanging down. It felt like prison bars and I hated it but with a day of sun and higher temps, they melted!!  The snow piles are still here but I see ground in our driveway and even a corner of the roof!! The sun shining through the window feels great.  I know that it is a short lived treat as we have more Artic air coming our way for this week.  Winter will just not DIE up here!!! What does a person have to do to get rid of winter up here!!

I took all the Snowman decorations down and put up all the Summer ones!  I'm hoping that the sun will see all the summer decorations and decide that we deserve Spring at least.  It may not work, but at least it looks like summer inside.

The snow is still here but the iceciles are all gone!!!

Sunday we had more nice weather and I puttered around the house, taking care of Hubby!  YUP he is now sick.  He has a cold but with all the stress around here for the past 17 months as soon as I got better, he crashed!  It has been my honor to take care of him. Cooking for him nice meals, taking his temperature, and caring for him.  He has taken care of me for so long, it feels nice to return the love.  We got another day of nice temperatures and had more  melting.

So it's now the work week again. I'm up to between 4 1/2 and 5 hours in the office each day.  It will feel good to put in more hours at work and I bet the girl who has been doing my job in the office will be glad to not have to do it anymore.

So I hope you have a great week everyone!  Hug someone!  Kiss someone! Care for those you love and even help those you DON'T love, they need it more than you know.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

1. What's the biggest change since your childhood in the way people think or act?

More and more people stay inside on the computer, TV or phone, so few are outside playing in the snow, or grass or anything.  So the biggest change is people are inside more and more. It will lead to being overweight, depressed, alone, and sad.  GET OUT THERE PEOPLE!!

2. The Olympic Biathlon involves cross country skiing broken up with either two or four rounds of target shooting. Which part of that would stress you out more? Or would you love them both equally?

I would not like either part of this at all!  I don't like being out in the cold, let me go shooting in the summer and I'll be fine, but outside in the cold --- no thank you.

3. February is National Canned Food Month...what is your most often purchased canned food item?  What was in the last can you opened?

Canned soup - Progressive soup in fact. the last can I opened was cream of celery soup making tater tot diner.

4. What river (anywhere in the world) would you most like to cruise?

Mississippi in this: Just look at that ship!  

5. It's the middle of the night and you can't sleep...what do you do? Count sheep? Toss and turn? Watch television? Or do you get up and do something productive?

Depends, sometimes I turn on the TV and watch something boring, other times if it's really early (3am) I'll get up and work on the computer.  I'm still breaking up my job between some hours at the office and other hours from home.

6. How important is keeping your cool?Do you mean my temper? Than yes it's important. I tend to jump into the dark side fast and have to remind myself that I need to hear the other side of the story before I judge.  If you are talking body temperature, I am rarely cool, I am most often very cold and want/need outside sources of heat to warm up.  My body temperature is normally about 95 degrees.  

7. I've got white stuff on the brain so why not run with it? White lie, wave the white flag, white knuckle it, white wash a situation, or white as a sheet...which phrase could most recently apply to your own life in some way?

Wave the white flag because we are getting more snow and there is nothing we can do about it except shovel - Well hubby shovels, I watch as he doesn't want me out there in the extreme cold temperatures we are having.  It's just too cold out there!!!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
This is the floor of our deck, it's about 8 inches deep and we are still exxpecting another 4 hours of heavy snow. 
It weights down the branches and hangs there waiting for the wind to blow it off the branches and into your face, were it stings!  

So I've decided to take down all the snowman decorations and put up all the summer ones (yup, I'm skipping right over the spring ones) in hopes to get the point out there that we are done with winter.  That is my plan over the next few days.

Ok - your turn.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Enough is Enough!!

Don't know where you live, but where we live, we have had enough of winter!! It seems that every few days we get 2-4 more inches of the white stuff and the temps are in the single numbers most of the time. We even got a few days of 6-12 inches of the stuff  

I know, 2-4 inches doesn't seem like a lot - but over a few months it will look like this.
And this
Yes, it's pretty! Yes, it's peaceful! Yes, it winter!
But it has to go someplace!  Hubby is 6'3" tall and look at the snow bank next to him!! It's hard to shovel UP! The show is heavy and we are sick of it.
We do have a company that plows our driveway but the paths for the dogs and the oil man all have to be shoveled---by Hubby!  
Becke goes out first to trample down some snow because it's so deep.
Then August follows in big sisters paw prints then runs back inside and curls up in the blankets.
The icicles are betting longer and longer every day! Many in the back over the back door, we knock down so that they will not fall on the dogs but these are out front.

Hubby shovels paths for the oil man and August will run in them but they are taller than he is at the moment.  He comes if fast when he's called as you can see.

So we say


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

If it's Wednesday, it's hodgepodge time!!  We love the questions and even more the answers.  So come play with us.

1.What makes love last?
WOW right off the bat we get a hard one!!! Love lasts because we work at it.  Love is a verb, it takes action, it's something you do every day because you choose to love.  So you work at it and it lasts. 

2. The Beatles made their US debut fifty years ago this week. Are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite Beatles tune?
I watched the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and it was OK, but I was not a fan at the time. I was 9 years old at the time and so the Beatles were not on my radar.  I like their music now but only the older stuff like "Michelle".

3. Valentine's Day-your thoughts? Do you celebrate in any way? Do anything special for the people you love? Expect anything special from the people who love you? 
We exchange a sweet card and maybe a small box of chocolates for Valentines day but that is about it.  We are at the point in our lives that if we want to go out to enjoy a meal together, we do. We don't need a holiday to plan a meal out.  We just go.  I would love a call from the grands but I know that they are going to be busy so that's OK.

4. Steak or burger...you have to choose. Now that that's settled, how do you like it? 
Burger, that was easy.  I like it grilled very well done with cheese, relish, ketchup, toasted bun and with onion rings on the side.

5. The Hodgepodge lands on the birthdate (February 12th) of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America. Lincoln is quoted as saying, 'Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test his character give him power.'  Do you agree? Why or why not?
Yes, power is hard thing to manage. It will corrupt you completely if you let it take over you.  Just look at our leaders!!

6. Honest Abe's image is featured on the US penny (1 cent coin) so I'm wondering...what do you do with your pennies (or your country's equivalent)?  It's been suggested the US stop making the penny, and two bills have been introduced proposing just that, but neither were approved. What say you?
I understand that it now cost more to make the penny then it is worth so if that is true, it's time to ditch the penny.  

7.  Do you think pop culture deserves serious study?
Pop Culture is something that is studied a lot. It shows where we came from and is used to show what we grew up with, so yes study it, learn from it and grow because of it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Can you belive that we are going to get more snow!! It's due on Thursday, so I may not get to teach that night.  I am so sick of snow!!! Any one in the south who wants snow, come get all you want, it's free!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

So how am I doing 2 1/2 weeks later???

It's been 2 1/2 weeks since Harvesting my own stem cells and some have been asking how I was doing. I'm still in remission, I still smile at that fact!

For a 2 1/2 week old, I'm doing well. I say that because my immune system is only 21/2 weeks old since I had to grow it from scratch for Harvesting.  I try to rest a lot and am working part time (mostly from home).  I enjoy working but I find that it takes a lot to get ready to leave the house so working from home allows me to stay in my pj's and not worry about make up. That saves me time and energy that I can then use sitting at the computer working.

My RSV (baby cold) is better but I do have a "Baker's Cyst" behind my left knee so my left leg is swollen and often hurts like mad.  Tylenol is my new friend and I have a cane that helps me walk.  Working with dogs is fun because they have a new thing to get use to.  They adapt to the cane easily.

Here is a photo of me as a baby about a few months old.  I am more bald now as I was back then!! It was cute then, not so much now. These photos are really old and not very well cared for but they are still photos of me.

Here I am with my mother a young bald baby!

And one more of me in the high chair at one year old, see, still not much hair!! I hope it doesn't take as long as back then to grow hair this time around. I was told once that I was about 2 1/2 before I got my first hair cut.

In the mean time if we go out, I wear my hot red hair.

Around the house I wear a hat to keep my head warm (plus you can't sleep in a wig)

But I have as much hair now as I did at 2 weeks of age.  It's a reminder to myself that I am very much starting over again.

I debated over posting this photo for a long time. It's not easy for me to look at myself in the mirror or take a photo of myself and then post it.  But I do post it.

I post this photo for 2 reasons,.
(1)  I want to show Cancer that it didn't win! I did. It may knock me down but I will stand up again and carry on. God has given me the strenght to stand up and carry on.
(2) For anyone that has to have this happen to them, I want you to know - it's OK. You are more than what is on your head.  You will find out just how strong you are and you will learn that Cancer is not for wimps.   Stand in the mirror and remind yourself that you are more than your hair and you are stronger than you believe you are.  You Are A Winner.

So How Am I??   I Am Perfect!! I am just what God wants me to be!! How Are You?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Grace and Kindness in any language.

When we were up north "Harvesting" we stayed at a Days Inn Hotel.  One morning I headed down to the breakfast room.  I had been given the OK to finally eat real food so I was wondering what there was down there.

I showed up and stood back from the display, looking it over and trying to decide what I wanted to eat that morning.  I knew that I had another 9 hour day hooked up to the harvesting machine and wanted something that would stay with me.

A gentleman who apparently worked there came up to me and starting to point out where things where.  Waffles over there, Juice of the day Apple and Orange over there, and so on. It was clear that English was not his first language and he struggled with the words to show me what was being offered and where it all was.  He then walked away and I started with juice.  I added the fixings to an egg, cheese and muffin sandwich and grabbed some fruit.  As I was toasting the English muffin, I noticed the sign "Breakfast served 6-10am" I look at my phone for the time - 5:36am.

Now he could have told me that they were not ready for me yet, or to go away and come back at the correct time but he didn't.  He pointed out some things and walked away leaving me time to make my choices.
The next morning I saw him again. This time I made sure it was after 6am!! I thanked him for his kindness that he showed me the day before.  He had a hard time understanding me but did manage to say "You sick?" I nodded yes, "Then it all good, you need something, you get it it.  No problem"
He may not have understood why I was there early, but he understood that I was not feeling great and he was not going to add to that.  He allowed me to get something to eat early. He showed grace and kindness to me.

When I see someone cutting the line, or being difficult, do I see beyond the rules and see the person?  Do I show grace and kindness?  This man taught me to look at the person, not the rules, not the circumstances, but look at the person, maybe they need me to be kind and gracious to them.

Grace and Kindness know nothing of language, or rules. Grace and Kindness know only of grace and kindness and compassion.  No English needed, only eyes to see the hurting.  He had great eyes.  Thank you from the very core of me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


WOW more questions from Joyce!  She sure does have a lot of questions for us, I wonder where she comes up with them all.  Come join the fun. By way of explanation for the name of this post, I went in to work for two hours today. At two hours and five minutes some big guy came in and took me away!

1. Are we always responsible for our actions? Are there any exceptions?
I do believe that we are responsible for our actions but sometimes we are backed into a corner and so our choices may be limited.

2.  Has anyone from your home town become famous?
No not from the home town, but a few from the State of NH. Here are just a few of the huge list that I found.
Christa McAuliffe first teacher in space (Challenger)
Alan Shepard Astronaut, one of the first Mercury Astronauts
Franklin Pierce 14th U.S. President
Mandy Moore singer, songwriter, actress
Bode Miller olympic medalist in Skiing

3. January was National Slow Cooker month. Do you own a slow cooker/crock pot? Did you use it last month? What's a favorite dish you make using a slow cooker or crock pot?
I own 3 crock pots of different sizes and I did use them all a few weeks back.  I love beef stew in the crock pot.

4. How do you feel about private companies collecting data about you?
I really do not  like the idea of any company, private or public, collecting data about me. My business!! Leave me alone!

5. The Games of the 2014 Winter Olympics kick off with their opening ceremony this coming Friday....will you be watching? Which Winter Olympic event would you most like to see in person? Have you ever been to Russia? Any desire to go, Olympics or otherwise?
I will most likely not be watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics live but will watch it on the news or some other cable channel later on in the day.  I would like to see the figure skating in person, drinking hot cocoa, covered in a blanket. No, I've never been to Russia and have no desire to go see it.

6. Share a good or bad sports related memory from your childhood or teen years.
My mother made me take skating lessons when I was little. I tried to tell her that I didn't like it because it was too cold in the building, she didn't care so finally the class had a recital to show off our skills. My parents came to watch me.  All the other girls were in cute tights and little dresses while they skated but I was in sweats pants, sweat shirt, gloves, coat, hat and scarf.  They finally got the idea that I was way too cold to look good on the ice.  I got to quit..

7. What's a must have song for you on a work out play list? If you don't work out, run, swim, bike, walk, or anything else that could be construed as 'exercise', then what's a song that motivates you?
High School Musical "Bet on It"  I like the fast beat of the music and the message that we sometimes find ourselves in a place we don't want to be, but we can bet on ourselves to get out and do what is right.  When I'm trying to work out, or walk or lose weight I find that I have become lazy at times and need a kick to get going.  This song does it for me.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Well the news around here is SNOW and lots of it!  As of 4:57pm on Tuesday evening this was what we were told we would get.
We are in that 7-14 inches section!  Not fun since we still have snow on the ground and we are suppose to drive up north to Lebanon for a follow up on my stem cell Harvesting.  Don't think we are going to risk it....Can we have a phone consult please?  I so want Spring to show up soon. I'm so tired of winter.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The "One and Done Crew"

I also have some wonderful Nurses that care for me that DON'T WAKE ME UP all night!

I had to go in for growth hormone shots every day. 2 shots a day to force my body to make more stem cells than it needs.  They burn going in and hurt for hours until my body recovers from the invasion of the needles and medicine. Every other day I have to have blood work to see how many stem cells I'm growing.  Because my immune system was destroyed by the chemo I have to wear a mask when I leave the house and I'm only allowed to leave the house to go to the doctor.


One day I also had pressure in my ear so the Transplant team up north wanted someone to look at it and see what was going on.
So this one day, I was going to have 3 things happening to me.

I showed up and signed in and was whisked off to a room where 3 ladies were standing there waiting for me.  They saw me get off the elevator from their office and gathered what they needed and came for me.  As I walked in Nurse Jackie held up the 2 syringes and said in a slow deep sexy Dracula-like voice "Welcome, please have a seat" pointing to a chair in the middle of the exam room. Nurse Kathy, standing next to her held up the butterfly needle and blood vial that I was going to fill and in a slow deep sexy Dracula like voice said "We are here to take your blood". The 3rd lady was Gloria, a PA, holding her laptop across her arms also in a deep sexy Dracula-like voice said "I'm here to look in your ear" Then they all started smiling and had me sit down.

You've been in those exam rooms right? The're the size of a postage stamp with a bed (well sort of bed), sink and what they call a desk.  Now add us 4 ladies in the middle of the room and you get the picture, right?

I sat in the chair and all 3 started working on me at once! Jackie gave me the shots in the fat of my right arm, while Kathy took blood out of my only good vein left in my left forearm and Gloria looked in my ear.  We were so close that the two with the needles were bumping hips which made me laugh. I started laughing as it struck me that I was like a race car at the Indie 500! Jack it up, rotate the ties and get her down and out onto the track in under 15 seconds. As I was laughing, Kathy looked at me and said "Now stop wiggling, you only got 1 good vein". They did their jobs and poked, drawn and examined me in record time!  I told them how much fun they were to watch.  We shared a good laugh.

They are part of the "One and Done Crew". Nurses who can get blood out of you or meds into you on the very first try. No matter what your veins look like or how much you squirm with laughter. They Never have to poke you twice or move the needle in your vein until it takes.

Turned out my ear was an easy fix and only needed something to dry up sinuses. I told them how much I love them all for their care and kindness. Gloria said "You're welcome - now get out of here, there are sick people here you know!" and with that I was back on the elevator while everyone was laughing as I left.

They understand just how serious my condition is but face it with great compassion, humor and laughter. They are proactive and concerned.  I love my team!!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Night Shift!

If you have ever been in the hospital overnight you will know that sleeping in a hospital is hard because there is the wonderful night nurse who comes by to check on you.  Sometimes waking you up to take your temp or BP.  Sometimes they wake you up to ask how well you feel or how well you are sleeping.  We all growl at the night nurse, the hall lights are still on and so the light is in your room too. You may even have a room mate who keeps the TV on at all hours! 

I have been blessed with 2 --3rd shifts nurses, Becke and August.  They each take turns to check on me during the night when I would love to be dreaming of laying on the waters edge by a lake or laying in the sun working on my tan (not really, I don't tan I burn but you get the idea).  Instead Becke walks over to me and nudges my elbow until I open my eyes and say "I'm good darling, go back to bed" she then walks back to her bed and lays down. 2 hours later she's back doing it again!  In between August kisses my cheek or nose until I pet him and say "I'm good, go to sleep". He then curls up on the small spot on the bed and sleeps.  He will be back!! And so my evening goes.  Finally I'm up, I make them their breakfast, I let them out to "go", and I turn on the morning news. The night shift over, my nurses can now relax, no problems on their watch.