Friday, October 30, 2015

Odds 'n Ends

Today my bff and I are leaving for a weekend scrapbook retreat, one of our favorite things to do. It ends Sunday at 3, so we'll be home sunday afternoon. We'll be staying at a really nice, Lutheran retreat center. I've been busy all week getting supplies together and organizing them. Look who I found in my little tote! Robin Jingles, I guess he wants to come along. Sorry Robin, but you have to stay home, I will be so busy that if you get into mischief I might not be able to take care of you.

I am disappointed that the retreat is on Halloween weekend, I look forward to seeing 'the boys' (our 3 grandsons that live nearby) in their costumes. Hopefully someone will get pictures so I can still see them.
I am looking forward to getting some scrapbook pages completed and not having to do any cooking or housework....If I want I can wear my jammies all day.

Last week I started attending the Silver Sneakers exercise program at our senior center. Yes, I am one of the youngest ones there. That makes it relatively easy for me to keep up. First we do chair yoga, we sit or stand, no floor many would not be able to get up??? Next we do range of motion;
sometimes we use weights, a ball, and an exercise band. You can make yourself work harder or take it easy, depending on your ability. I dread getting out of bed and making myself go in the morning, but I love it when I am finished. I don't even have the desire to stop at the thrift store when I'm done exercising. 
I'm still doing the Livestrong program at the Y, but I've missed a couple of sessions. Last tuesday night was the pajama party and next tuesday I won't be there either. I guess I am just busier than I knew. 
Since I'm off the anastrozole I've noticed a significant decrease in my leg and joint/knee pain. My ankles and calfs still bother me a little, but not so much that it wakes me up like before. My ankles bother me b/c I have been exercising...that is a usual occurrence when I walk/exercise a lot. What I'm waiting to see is if it affects my heart at all. Three months to wait though.

Have a great weekend!
Don't eat too much candy!!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

It's A Pajama Party!

Usually one of our local Red Hat groups hosts a Halloween party. I usually attend, I like to dress up and play. This year it was decided to have a pajama party. That was right up my alley, as I was hoping our group would wear pjs one year. I have some really neat (almost new) onesies! and an ugly flannel nightgown....I opted for the one piece pjs. I found a teddy bear, my pillow, put some rollers in my (already curly) hair, donned my robe and pulled on my slippers and was ready to go.

Our chapter had a good turnout! 
It was fun to watch everyone walk around in their jammies. Some gals had really cute pjs, several others also had onesies, and some looked good enough to go to Walmart (joking, ha ha....get it?)
A raffle was held to pay for the entertainment, a magician. He was pretty good, but it was apparent he's not a professional. I think there were 8 raffle baskets and our group won 3 of them. Yay for us!!!
The food was very good and the company was great.
Gwen, one of our members, is assisting the magician.
 Our 3 raffle winners.
 We admired Joyce's slippers. 
 Nighty, night.....I'm ready for bed.

The weekend is almost here!!!!
Get ready to enjoy!
My table mates, including my pink cancer buddy bear. I have made some wonderful friends through Red Hats.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wow! Is it Friday Already?

It must be, my calendar says so. Where did the week go? Where did the month go? Only one more week and it's November. I hope winter goes as fast as summer and fall have gone. I am wanting to stay get some work done around the house and work on my crafts. Seems like I've been making up for all the times I stayed home last year. 
Yesterday morning I went grocery shopping and stopped at the thrift store. After lunch I cleaned up all my dead's sad for me to have to throw them out. I did bring a few indoors and have a couple of plants that are still looking good, by the front door. It was a nice day to work outside, the sun was shining and all I needed to wear was a light sweatshirt (and pants LOL).
I actually made a decent dinner that hubby would eat. It's hard to cook low sodium for a man who doesn't like spices.
I was supposed to go to my Y Class but I begged off saying that I was beat after working outside all afternoon. I was tired but was on a roll. After supper I cleaned both of our bathrooms. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after that so I just went upstairs and turned on the TV, read for a while, and played a game on my Kindle. I love Words with Friends. 
spied this guy as I was browsing the thrift store
At night, when I lay down my legs just ache. My calves feel like they are ready to cramp up. My knees ache and it moves up to my thighs. My elbows ache. When I am doing some of the workouts at the Y I have to stop because my calves hurt.
When I talked to my cardiologist and he looked at my ECHO he asked me how long I was supposed to be on the anastrozole. hmmm....I knew the oncologist put me on it as a precautionary measure and the standard time frame is 5 years. When I talked to the pharmacist she said the aches could be a side effect. I did some research on my own and read that it can also affect one's heart. I don't need that...... I talked to the triage nurse and she mentioned my concerns to my oncologist. At first she gave me the standard answer "5 years" etc. I told her I wanted the dr to review MY case. I knew he told me that it wasn't absolutely necessary. Yesterday she called to say dr said I do not have to take it. YAY!
Let's hope my aches go away and that my ECHO is improved next time. 
Guess what? I am off again......back to the clinic to have my blood tested for the blood thinner and check out the book sale at the library. Will I drop off more clothing at the consignment shop? The real question is will I have any money to pick up?
Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The LaCrosse Queen Cruise

 Early in the month 5 of my (Red Hat) friends and I drove across the state to take a ride on the Mississippi River on the LaCrosse Queen.
Originally I planned on taking a bus trip, but I waited too long to make the reservations so we decided to drive....from the easternmost part of the state to the Mississippi on the west, a 4 hour drive. Unfortunately we had to take 2 cars, we kept in touch and 'rested' at a planned gas station. 

take from their website:
The La Crosse Queen is a modern-day replica of the grand river boats that plied the Mississippi River in the late 19th Century. Cruising out of LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN, she is one of the few authentic Mississippi River paddlewheel river boats still in operation in the United States today. In keeping with early traditions, she was built with sternwheels that are her only means of propulsion. The La Crosse Queen has a split sternwheel and each is run by a twin diesel engine that powers hydraulic motors which turn the paddles.  This is in contrast to most Mississippi River paddlewheelers in operation today that have a "free wheeling" paddlewheel at the stern of the boat for visual effect, but have traditional screw-type engines hidden for their real means of propulsion. The La Crosse Queen is U.S. Coast Guard inspected for safety and is licensed to carry up to 149 passengers.

 Lunch was buffet style and very good, except I heard that the coffee was very strong and instant. Guess that is not good if you are a coffee drinker.
We really had a good time! The weather was nice, so we did not freeze when we stayed outside to see the sights. The captian (correct term?) explained things to us. 

  The colors were beautiful on the drive over, but the closer we got to LaCrosse the more green they were. Everyone said the color was very late this year. 

Going through the locks. That was very interesting, I've never done that before. The boat (s) is tied as the water is raised or lowered.

As I often do I wandered away. I was on the upper deck while the rest of the group stayed below.
(does anyone need a root touch-up?)

The American Queen was getting ready to leave when we were there. It's a huge, beautiful ship. The smoke stacks fold down when they cruise (so they can get under bridges).
 Water, water, water everywhere. 

The scenery in the western part of the state is so different than here in the east. Love the rocks!

I'm sure the flowers are long gone now, but the garden was beautiful. 
Riverside park, where the cruise line is located, has a beautiful garden and lots of other things to see. A person could spend a good part of the day walking/relaxing in it.

I'd like to see these mums by my front door.

We saw some huge Koi in this pond. 
Seven gnomes were placed in the garden....we hunted to make sure we saw them all. 

Beautiful scenery, good friends, warm weather....yes, it was a good day. 
If you haven't been there you might want to check out this area.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This Could Be A Depressing Post

....but it's not going to be, why should it be sad???
Monday I, and one of my good friends and a usual travel partner, traveled to Milwaukee to my visit with the cardiologist at the heart failure clinic (100 miles from home.) At first someone had to drive me, now I can do the driving. I don't like driving in big cities but another friend gave me directions for a very easy way to get to the hospital so it's (almost) a piece of cake. And it's so much easier with a friend riding shotgun.
It was a nice day for a drive, the trees are still very pretty and we had a nice visit. 
beautiful berries outside of the museum

I had an ECHO with an injection so they could get a clearer picture. I also had my usual blood work done. When I saw the dr he did not have the results of my lab nor did the person who reads the ECHO have the 'official' numbers. The nurse called me yesterday. My blood work was 'beautiful' according to the nurse. 
My ECHO was down to 35 from 43% at my last one. Normal ranges from 55-70. I was hospitalized at 19% so I know it can be improved with meds. I Have an appointment in 3 months for another ECHO.
I want to talk to my oncologist about the anastrozole that I am taking. It's a precautionary measure. It interferes with the production of estrogen in the body. The amount of estrogen is reduced so the growth of the tumor is limited. But my tumor had a very low percentage of estrogen reception. I am also wondering if that med is causing the aches in my legs when I go to bed.
On our way home we stopped at my favorite grocery store to get my FAVORITE pickles. When you're watching your sodium pickles are hard to find and I LOVE as kid I often drank pickle juice...even as an adult I did. We also checked out the Land's End outlet. Most of their clothes are not my style, although I do love the jackets and sweatshirts. It's not a cheap store but the quality is good, you don't find the thin shirts you see at the big box stores, the ones you HAVE to wear another shirt over or under. 
Yesterday I had lunch with 2 friends and then went to a table setting display. I've posted about that before...and will again.
I weigh myself every day (per doctor's orders) and my weight was more than ever today:
*I had too much salt yesterday
*I eat too many sweets and too much food
I need to get back on track! and I will!

Today I am going to the yoga class at the senior center. It's not your usual on the floor yoga, but the stretching and breathing will be good. Twice a week I am taking a Livestrong class at the YMCA. I can walk so I should....I need too. We have a Little Free Library about 2 blocks from our house so that is an incentive for me, to add or take a book. I take the long way around to get there.
Today I have a follow up visit with physical therapy for the lymphedema in my breast. It really doesn't look better. I need to be more vigilant in doing my exercises and massage for that also.

So much to do.............Linda get busy!!!
Just because the cancer was cut out of your body doesn't mean it's over. The same goes for an chronic disease, it is always there....always a struggle, and a 'work in progress'.

I hope you have a great day!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fruit Loops and More Nonsense

Nope, no one ever accuses me of being a Cheerio, I am definitely a Fruit Loop. My grandson and I joke about that often...only we don't say fruit loops. Our descriptive words are crazy or silly and, of course, awesome! I think it runs in the family...he is too. The other night I was talking to one of my granddaughters and asked her how her younger sister was and she replied "just as crazy as ever, but in a good way". There is nothing wrong with being a little outside of the box.
For instance, my grandson was over on saturday, and I gave him 2 paper crimpers and showed him how each one impresses a different design into the paper. I would have never thought of it but he put the paper through one crimper first and then the other one. 

I like to do things a little different sometimes too and hubby HATES it...he doesn't like to make waves, at all!

I think Robin Jingles is thinking about making some waves and is getting excited about the upcoming holidays. He jumped down from the shelf and I found him snuggled up next to Crash and my pink cancer cure buddy. He was probably lonely, so I'll let him relax with his buddies until Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, my granddaughter and I Have a secret....we're involved in a conspiracy involving her mother. I can't go into details on here just incase mom reads my blog. One can never be too careful, you know? It's a good conspiracy though, one that will produces smiles............I hope!

One more thing - if  like to read my blog but sometimes forget to check for it or don't have the time, you can sign up and get it in your email when I post. Then you can read my blog posts at your convenience. At the top right of the page, under my bio is a box where you can enter your email...and it's as easy as that.

Thanks for stopping by..............have a great day!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Short Post About A Wedding

Friday night Kevin and I attended the wedding reception for his nephew. It was held in Milwaukee at a fabulous venue: Cuvee, a champagne bar. It's a bar I could hang out at. I wish I had photos of the wedding & decorations, but it was too dark for my phone's camera. We weren't able to leave here until after Kevin got home from work and we spent more time on the road than we did at the reception. We picked up Kevin's sister and her husband so we had a nice visit with them. At 8:30 we were on the way home again.

 I loved the tall centerpieces with the jewels (can't think of the correct word) hanging from the branches. 
 We chose the food we wanted: chicken, steak, or vegetarian when we went in our RSVPs. We had the steak, it was very good. The salad was excellent (I ate part of Kev's also). The people who chose chicken loved it also. After dinner we each got a cookie, the ladies were given a dress and the men received a cake. Cute, eh? I didn't eat mine yet. 
This was not a redneck Wi wedding. Naturally, we were in downtown Milwaukee. The bride's dress was different, elegant. More things I liked: They cut the cake and fed each other a piece on a fork, no smashing of it in their faces, no dirty clothing. No clinking of glasses and kissing 50 times.  Everything was very tasteful....nice for a change.

Ok, back to the mundane tasks of everyday life.
Thanks for spending part of your day with me.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy October

I know I have a lot to catch up on....I'm going to try to get back at my blog. I'm happy and well, just busy.
Don't you just love this fall bouquet on my table? Actually I love any kind of flowers on my table...or anywhere else for that matter.

This squirrel was pretty hungry earlier this week. I filled up the feeder yesterday. 
 I have been doing A LOT of driving the past 10 days or so. I don't mind driving, but I do get tired of running all over the state. Next week I'll be able to stay pretty close to home, except for friday. Hubby's nephew is getting married in Milwaukee (about 85 miles away). We can't leave until he gets home from work, so we'll make the dinner and part of the reception. We're not staying over night and hubby may have to work the following morning, so we won't stay late.
 I made it to my 12 year old grandson's soccer game this morning. It was a nice day, low 50's and sunny. One of my old neighbors came over to talk to me. We are facebook friends and play Words with Friends, but it's still nice to talk in person. I also had a nice visit with my oldest granddaughter while we watched the game. She was babysitting a 3 year old boy and I was happy to see what a good sitter she is. They are a nice young family. The children participate in sports and mom and dad are there to son doesn't make the cross country meets if they are in the afternoon when he's working.
 What can I say about this tree? Isn't it perfect?
Photos just cannot do the fall colors justice...but we try to capture the beauty.
Monday afternoon I watched my oldest granddaughter run in a cross country meet.  

Her meet and her brother's soccer game are about 70 miles from here. After the game my daughter in law, grandkids, and I had lunch at A&W. I didn't get a root beer float, but maybe I should have. Before I left for home I stopped in to see my sister, it was nice outside so we enjoyed the sunshine and some chit chat.

At least I had some beautiful scenery to look at as I drove. 
As I am driving I'm looking at the trees and thinking 'Oh, that would be a great photo.' But I can't just slam on the brakes and pull over for a photo shoot. I'm thinking I need a (built in or attached to me) camera that gives me the ability to snap a photo with the blink of the eye.
Since life will be a little quieter now I am going to try to read some of your blogs. I've lost track of what my blogger friends have been up to. Fall offers such pretty scenes and crafting activities. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

My Visit To Minocqua

Minocqua is a small, touristy, town (pop. 4400) in northern Wi. The lodging & restaurant prices reflect that status. It's about 3 hours from here. 
We left at 6AM so we'd have time to stop for breakfast. It was a pretty drive. A portion of it was rural, we did see some color in the trees, but everyone seemed to agree that the color change is behind schedule this year.
This is the sunset we saw the first night. We stopped for dinner but the place only offered sandwiches and we were in the mood for a dinner. We found another dinner club, walked in, checked the was too expensive for both of us....and didn't offer anything we were really craving, so we headed off to find another place to eat.

 I don't remember how we ended up at the Stingray bar.....I think we just happened upon it and stopped in. Several places were closed on Tuesday night. The owner of the motel was eating there with family....small town, huh?
I had delicious liver and onions. I don't make it at home unless Kev is out of town. It was good, even though I was not able to eat all of the bacon.
We breakfasted at Perkins, can't go wrong with their breakfasts. Wednesday night someone recommended another bar, so we tried that place. The food was good there too, but something I ate didn't agree with me that night. In the morning I was fine.
On the way to and from the stamping store we noticed these colorful cows................what???
 Of course I had to snap a photo...good thing I did, the next day they were gone. They are all fancied up for BEEF-A-RAMA weekend. It's a big weekend celebration with many activities, including beef cooking contests.

When I was paying my bill for breakfast thursday morning I noticed a woman with a purse with the same pattern as mine, so I commented. We started talking and the couple told us where to find the thrift store. Of course I took an interest in that! After our class we stopped to look around. The place was small and pretty crowded because they had just reopened after a closure allowing them to clean and set up for the new season. I bought a cancer awareness bracelet...we mostly just looked around.
 We stayed at a cute little motel, hotel prices in the area are expensive and a friend recommended this place. It's a typical motel. It was decorated nicely, clean, and the woman who ran it is so nice!

On the way home we took a detour...that will be my next post.
Do I ever stay home??? Nope, it sure doesn't seem like it. This morning I am heading to a church retreat up north (again) and will be home late sunday afternoon, gone again on Monday, gone all day on Tuesday....Wednesday I hope to catch up on my sleep. Wish me well! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thoughts On Thursday

 How do you wake up in the morning?
Other than being confused (as to what day it is) I am optimistic.....often singing in my head: "Zippity do dah" or "Everything's going my way", especially on a sunny day. I prefer summer, but the sunshine is what ultimately seals the deal for me!

"Oh what a beautiful morning Oh what a beautiful day I've got a beautiful feeling Everything's going my way"
A few of the things that have been going my way this week:

* our 3 grandsons (the ones I was not allowed to see) came over on saturday afternoon and we made garden stones and fed the seagulls at the beach.
*grandson J stayed overnight and made it to Sunday School the next morning
* I bought a piece of art from an artist friend and had a nice visit with her
(I had a form like this and was going to do something similar....but I never got around to it, so I gave it to my grand-daughter. She painted it and put it on a base.I think I was meant to have it, as it came back to me.)
*the house has been vacuumed and bathrooms cleaned
*I needed a small weight for the exercises my therapist gave me to do and I walked into the thrift store after my session and found the exact one I was looking for (3# for $1). Many times God puts the exact item I am looking for on the shelf at the thrift store.
*Tomorrow I am off to a Christian retreat, up north, with 2 good friends. The weather is suppose to be cool....but no rain or snow. We shop and eat our way to our destination, 3 hours from here.