Blogging from home way too early in the morning on Sunday, December 22, 2013
Winter officially arrived yesterday – Happy Winter Solstice to everyone. We celebrated by going to see THE HOBBIT: The Desolation of Smaug. I think we all enjoyed it although those in our group that are dedicated “Tolkien Fans” started picking it apart during the end credits! Ah well…that was sort of expected so I just tried not to listen to it.
Later in the evening, shortly after we arrived home, the freezing rain/ice really started to pile up in West Michigan. WE were lucky in Wayland, it hasn’t been too bad so far. I was just outside with Tessa & everything is glazed over with 1/8”-1/2” of ice and everything is very, very pretty. Many of the trees in our yard are very, very damaged and continue to be dangerous to be around. We have multiple large branches down in the yard this morning; one barely missed Mark’s truck. As I was outside with Tessa, it rather sounded like a shooting gallery as various trees in the surrounding area are losing branches to the ice-weight. It was rather fascinating to hear but I was a little concerned by one of our trees so we didn’t stay outside very long. I just watched some morning news & it definitely is a morning to STAY IN. I should go out-and-about later today but I won’t do so if the roads are still treacherous.
Life, as always, continues to be an adventure & we all enjoy the opportunity to change, grow, try new things…
Kira is home for a few weeks from college. She seems to really be enjoying college life & really seems to like Missouri Science & Tech (MS&T). She has made some new friends & enjoys the responsibility & opportunity to be a somewhat self-sufficient adult. She is glad that the first semester is finished & seems eager to start her second semester in January.
Kira & Friends at Graduation 2013….and Kira’s dorm building @ MS&T (Residential College 1 is the official name)
Earlier this year, Cory started a part-time job @ Menard’s (while still working part-time @ The YMCA). He quickly discovered that he rather enjoys the “Retail Environment” and he told me during our trip in August (to transport Kira to MS&T) that he had definitely decided NOT to return to college in the Fall and instead was going to accept the offer to join the Management Team at Menard’s. He started that program around the middle of October and he quickly applied for open positions with other stores as soon as he was eligible to do so. He did a phone interview for a store out of state & the next day a face-to-face interview with the South Haven, MI store. The South Haven store indicated that the out of state store has “first hiring priority” currently in the country so he couldn’t be eligible for their store until such time as the store in Dickinson, North Dakota accepted or declined him. Well, early in November he got another call from Dickinson and he accepted the position that they offered to him! He officially finished his Management Training just this past Monday (Monday, December 16) and his last day at the local store was Friday. He is planning to leave for North Dakota on/around the 27th. This should be an interesting opportunity for him and he will definitely be dealing with a lot of changes. We’re going to miss him but hopefully he’ll stay in touch and he will hopefully make time to visit us when he visits Michigan. He will be in North Dakota AT LEAST for 1-2 years.
Mark has been at Sherwin Williams for more than a year. That doesn’t seem possible. He likes the work but he has said it IS the hardest job he has ever had. It is an interesting company & I hope that he can continue there as long as he chooses to do so.
MY work has been busy, stressful, and sometimes very, very frustrating. I try not to let the stress affect me too much but I know that it does. Luckily, some of the “stressors” are year-end driven so there should be a bit of relief in January.
I just had my 8th Quarterly check up with The Cancer Center since being put on that schedule early in 2012. The check up went well. I still am working with SD (a Nurse Practitioner) rather than Dr Z (he still is dealing with personal issues PLUS I don’t need to see him as often as those that are in the “active phase” of their treatments). I like SD and she definitely encourages me to ask them any questions, report any aches or pains, discuss any concerns. She palpitated the scar-tissue mass and she feels that part of the pain on my side (and into the actual visible scar) is due to the scar-tissue mass adhering to the rib wall. THAT made a lot of sense to me & I now am doing some self-massage, Mark will be doing some massage also, and I’m also doing some more exercises to stretch that area (exercises that I should have been doing all along…).
SD said my progress is better than “on track” and we both are pleased with that progress. We agreed to reduce my visits to every four months rather than every three months in 2014. My first appointment therefore is in April (conveniently AFTER the end of tax season).
My remaining known “health issues” are side-effects from chemotherapy (and possibly from radiation therapy too). My legs are still weaker than I would like. I KNOW that exercising will help strengthen them. I just have to force myself to get back in the routine of visiting the fitness center at least twice a week. I’ll re-start in January as I know I HAVE to strengthen my legs for the Michigan AllState Bonsai Show in May. My feet will also benefit from the increase in exercise as will my hands, arms, scar-tissue, etc. The painful area in my thigh has gotten a bit better but again, exercise will help reduce & control that too.
My hands are still sometimes “temperamental”. They were sore much of the day yesterday and the knuckles of multiple fingers were swollen. This happens on occasion & I luckily can usually control it with ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen. Working with polymer clay helps strengthen my hands, keeps the blood moving, and helps bring back some flexibility. I have created a LOT of projects over the last few years. Check out a good sampling of them on my Etsy page – www.etsy.com/shop/waterbornproductions . I recently created a dragon sculpture. IF my computer and/or WordPress cooperate, I’ll add a picture here of me & Poppy The Dragon. I’m in the process of creating three more dragons (just took them out of the oven from the 3rd “bake”). One or two of those MAY make it to Etsy if I don’t sell them first. I’m already thinking about starting another dragon after I finish those three.
Me & Poppy (yes, my hair is long-ish again!)….and Ms. Poppy L. Skyruler herself!
I mentioned Tessa earlier in this post. As you may recall, we brought Tessa home in August 2011. She was just a little thing. She now weighs about 57 pounds and is often still really puppy-like (although right now she is calm & rather sleepily laying on the couch next to me; listening to the ice fall off the trees in the front). Again, computer/Wordpress permitting, there will be a picture here.
Tessa today 12/22/13 and Tessa shortly after bath/grooming (and in the sunshine) 05/25/13
Tessa provides a lot of things for us – companionship, love, forced exercise. I’m very glad she is in our lives (although there were times in late 2011 & early 2012 that I wondered WHAT we were thinking…and this morning when my alarm for some reason went off @ 6:35 and she immediately started throwing a fuss so that I would know she was ready to go out…well, I wasn’t happy about that but she DID succeed in getting me out of bed and I wouldn’t be working on this post if I wasn’t “up” a couple hours earlier than I planned!).
We all survived another Relay for Life in July. It is always an emotional event and our Team always has a lot of fun. Cory chose to again shave his head during the event.
Cory @ Relay For Life 2013
My extended family continues to be spread around the world. I’m not going to provide updates on them here as I know some of them wouldn’t appreciate my sharing (Mom – you’re welcome!). I don’t stay in touch with some of them as well as I should; we are all busy and I hope that they are all doing well. We don’t really talk to Mark’s family too much at all. I’m sure that we’ll be attending some family function in the future & will get caught up on “current events” at that time.
My brother Martin continues to find success as a writer. Search for Martin L. Shoemaker on Amazon. Check out some of his writing; I guarantee you’ll be glad that you did. Friend/Sister Amy is still one of my strongest “support pillars” and we talk most every day. SHE is happily enjoying her new car (“Sheldon” Cooper – a nice blue Mini-Cooper). She & Rich keep us laughing.
I’m going to wrap this up for now; hopefully I’ll get a chance to POST it later today (as that will indicate that I was able to get out-and-about). I obviously don’t blog as much as I did a couple of years ago, so I say THANK YOU to those who continue to read this blog and also THANK YOU to everyone that provides me with such ongoing love & support!
~Love to you all….Happy & Safe Holidays to everyone.
~ Anita 12/22/2013
12/30/13—-Hopefully temporarily removing the pictures to post to WordPress. Happy New Years!