Girls' Night Out Part 2...

Well, we were a smaller group than I thought we were going to be, but those of us who gathered had a great time. We laughed and reminisced until those who had to rise early for work said "Enough! We have to save some of these people for next time!" And so there will be a next time...

And we all still look exactly the same as we did in high school, too! ;)

Playing in my head: Crooked Teeth from Death Cab for Cutie


Another Life Path...

Because these have proven to be so accurate...

I had to post this one, too. This is Kel's:

Your Life Path Number is 9

Your purpose in life is to make the world better

You are very socially conscious and a total idealist.
You think there are many things wrong with the world, and you want to fix them.
You have a big idea of how to world could be, and you'll sacrifice almost anything to work towards this dream.

In love, you can easily see the beauty in someone else. And you never cling too tightly.

You are capable of great love, but it's hard for you to focus your love on one person or relationship.
You have a lot of outward focus, and you tend to blame the world for your failures.
You are often disappointed by the realities of life - it's hard for you to accept the shortcomings of the world.

With the exception of the single line "but it's hard for you to focus your love on one person or relationship" this is dead on for her, too. We were again amazed...

Girls' Night Out

I had a busy weekend. That is good, I suppose. Being busy forces me to keep moving despite the fact that the rains on Saturday brought with them a migraine, which can be typical with the change in pressure. Friday evening was a blur. I guess that was the night I met up with my cousin while Keli did the pep band thing.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early (which I heard about, believe me...) because I had a bit of a drive to reach my Relay Community College destination by the registration time and first there was the dropping off of Keli at her Saturday destination, filling the car with gas and filling the Keri with some coffee so I was prepared for a day of learning and sharing.

I have to go on just a little bit here about what a terrific group of people we have working at our local office of the ACS. They only had five hours of presentation time on Saturday, but they managed to fill it with tons of information. And they even made it fun by turning a portion of it into a game show (complete with a beautiful Vanna and Pat Sajac?), giving away bunches of prizes, and feeding us the always edible - pizza. They covered how to make our Relays bigger, better, fresher, more fun and more inviting for Survivors, how to keep teams and recruit new teams and bring back teams that may have taken some time off. They also showed a new ACS video. It included a bit about the Blog for Hope, co-sponsored by Yahoo and ACS.

Health, Blog for Hope focuses on cancer prevention and early detection by stressing the importance of changing bad habits to reduce risk, knowing treatment options, and adopting healthy lifestyles. You can help the American Cancer Society pursue its ultimate goal -- the elimination of cancer -- by making a donation to support programs for research, education, advocacy, and service.

Afterwards it was time for the drive back to the old hometown in the gloomy rain with the migraine which had by then come on full force. Mom had a yummy dinner fixed by the time I arrived, which was really a nice perk. Keli and Brandon and I then headed to a play. It was a musical comedy, but we really considered leaving during the intermission. We typically can do a lot more laughing just the three of us outside of that play. When we finally left afterwards we were wishing that we had. It wasn't the worst play ever done at the local playhouse, but it was certainly far from the best. I did get a few chuckles.

From there we dropped off B at home and then stopped for drinks at the coffee house where there was some loud farkeling going on! And then we went home for some sleep.

Sunday morning brought the discovery that the rain had changed over to ice and snow. Needing to get the car out of the driveway so it could be properly cleaned I headed to the coffee house (what a shock, eh?) for a caramel macchiato to see if the caffeine could assist in the beating back of my headache. No. Such. Luck. Ran to the pharmacy for the prescription meds which do that job. (Unfortunately a rebound headache plagues me today.)

In the afternoon it was off to Anonybro's to spend some time visiting a couple of nieces who've recently had birthdays.

I actually got to participate in my own bit of farkeling after that. The headache was gone for the time being and Keli was visiting with Brandon watching a movie at his house, so I spent some time with friends, too.

And tonight? Yes, tonight is Girls' Night Out with the girls from high school! Women I haven't seen for over 20 years! I'm really looking forward to it. Some of us are riding together and it should be a fun time. Even without the Hutchmeister. (We're gonna miss you, Hutch!)

I'm hoping to bring back photos, too!

Playing in my head: Busted Stuff by Dave Matthews Band


For Maria, and In the interest of "normalcy"... ;-)

I just had a fabulous evening catching up with my cousin, Dianne. She is living in Washington these days and is here visiting her folks' and called to get together with me tonight. I thought I might get an hour or so of her time but we actually shut down the coffee shop after meeting there at 7. That was four beautiful hours of chatting our heads off. It was lovely.

And then I picked up my beautiful daughter, who'd had a pep band event tonight at school and then was forced (woe is she) to spend some time with her friends but that turned out pretty okay, I guess. She said she laughed a lot and had a great time. Sounds like a winner in my book. What better way to spend an evening?

Then I read emails and was reminded once again about Maria's great news to me today... I hope she doesn't mind my sharing it here:

All IS well. The mail brought me the results of my mammogram....another year as a survivor. I jump for joy.
Today's run is in Maria's honor... and I'm jumping for joy right along with her! Smooches to you, Maria!!!

Today's miles: 4
Total so far: 105.5
Still to go for goal: 394.5

When I visted her blog tonight, I saw this fun little blogthing and decided to try it out for myself. Maria was a "1" which said she was a leader... This was what I turned out as. What say you?

Your Life Path Number is 6

Your purpose in life is to help others

You are very compassionate, and you offer comfort to those around you.
It pains you to see other people hurting, and you do all in your power to help them.
You take on responsibility, and don't mind personal sacrifice. You are the ultimate giver.

In love, you offer warmth and protection to your partner.

You often give too much of yourself, and you rarely put your own needs first.
Emotions tend to rule your decisions too much, especially when it comes to love.
And while taking care of people is great, make sure to give them room to grow on their own.

Playing in my head: New Slang by the Shins off Garden State


but if you think I'd forget the importance of family

well, you'd be wrong. Sometimes (okay, more often than I am comfortable admitting) I take them for granted, but I never really forget how much my family helps me... and how grateful I am for them...

Playing in my head: Just For Now by Imogen Heap

Friends rock...

I am so very grateful for all of my friends.

  • The Divas sometimes keep my world rotating.

  • And Cari sometimes is my world.

  • Meeting Mystical Marge every week for writing practice helps keep me focused on what's real.

  • Jen did something very concrete for me this week. And then turned around and tried to do a second rock solid concrete thing for me that would have also helped her out. I'm only sorry I couldn't have assisted her with that one because of other things going on. :(

  • Trish sent me the cuddliest, smooshiest new buddy ever. He's my new sidekick and I meant to snap his photo riding around with me today, but I didn't have the camera along like I usually do... (feeling scattered) Photo posted soon! He is so handsome, he deserves to be in pictures!

  • Robert bought his beautiful wife the gift of a scarf which will benefit the ACS and our Relay Team's fundraising...

  • ...and sent an email that broke my heart open.

  • Hutch sent me an email which brought me tears of immense gratitude...

  • ...as did Michael,

  • and Zoofy.

  • Kel is my best friend most of the time. I cannot believe the times this young woman can make me laugh in the face of whatever is going on. She proves that laughter is indeed the best medicine.

Yep. Thank dog for friends.


Another bullseye...

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
- English proverb


Tonight's excitement...

Kel's winter concert
Kel had a band concert tonight at school. While we were there, we headed up to the English department to see some of her artwork which is now framed and hanging in the halls. I'm a proud mama. But just wait until you see the Truman Capote she is working on next. He will blow you away.

Please forgive the quality of my terrible photos as they don't do justice to her beautiful work. The lighting is awful up there and I was in a hurry because we weren't exactly supposed to be upstairs tonight. Plus I was using the video camera rather than my regular 35mm or digital.



Playing in my head: another tune from the new cd Kel got by Imogene Heap


With thanks...

Thank you to everyone who helped make my birthday weekend special. It was much fun. And there were interesting new things to experience. Things with faces. And eyes. Yup.

I had food that was incredible on Saturday evening. More food than I thought was possible. Platters of food. In many courses. The food just kept arriving at the table and we kept moaning wishing we'd only known there was more to come so we'd paced ourselves better. Cooked by a beautiful woman (inside and out) who wants Kel and I to move back to Milwaukee with her. :) She's ready to adopt us. I think I'd weigh 300 pounds by the end of the year.

And there was interesting conversation. Talk of history and loss of life in tragic ways. Fascinating discussion of cultural differences. And the wine was good, as was the thick bottomed espresso which could put hair on anyone's chest. I only regretted there was nobody present to read the grounds tipped into our saucers. I'm so grateful for the invitation to this evening of liveliness...

As always there were gatherings at the coffee house for the morning wake up. Brief or lengthy, those are always important kickoffs.

What could have been a difficult weekend, while riddled with sniffles, sneezes and coughs from both Keli and I, ended with good memories. And there are more positive experiences ahead. Diva Gathering 2006 awaits! Can't wait...

Today's miles: Big Fat Zero
Total so far: 101.5 still
Still to go for goal: 398.5 still

Playing in my head: Bleeker Street by Simon and Garfunkel


Words to live by...

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
- Norman MacFinan

Playing in my head: Hippo Birdy as performed by Trish ;) who is hanging out over here at the mo.


For Caryl and many thanks!

Many thanks to the original Billy for providing me with my first belly laugh of the day (first of several days, actually!). Goodness me I needed it. Thank you, Bill!

Ran today for the other Bill's (he who FARKELS) sister-in-law, who has ovarian cancer. This one is for you, Caryl!

Today's miles: 3.5
Total so far: 101.5
Still to go for goal: 398.5

Playing in my head: Private Conversation by Lyle Lovett


For Jim... and Time Flies...

Even when you're not having fun.

I have much to do this week so I don't know how much I'll be checking in, but I send out love and happiness to everyone in my circle of friends and all survivors and caregivers and those who work in this field, etc.

Training Wednesday night on top of life... Oy.

Yesterday's run was for my friend Bill's brother, Jim who is being treated for skin cancer. The treatment doesn't sound fun. Health and vitality to you, Jim. And a safe trip to you Master Farkel Bill! ;) Hope to see you back soon...

Sunday's miles: 3.5
Total so far: 98
Still to go for goal: 402

Playing in my head: Hide and Seek from Imogene Heap's "Have You Got it In You"


Celebration on the Hill?

ACS National Relay in Washington DC will be celebrating without me in September. :(

Not chosen as an Ambassador for Wisconsin. Very sad.

Going to take a nap.

Playing in my head: If I Fall From Aqualung's Strange & Beautiful album

Some good news...

Butch had good great wonderful fabulous!!! news today from his oncologist. Things are stable! He goes back next week for his next chemo treatment and to receive a couple more test results, but this was very good to hear! It was great to see him and Lois and receive the news this afternoon at Three Hats. Even if they weren't brave enough to stick around and try their luck with any games of chance! ;^)

Scarf and MittsMy latest finished project for sale for Relay benefit... Look Beanie! I made mittens! Not as gorgeous as yours by any stretch of the imagination, but they will be warm. I know, because I've made myself this type before from the same kind of yarn. I've been wearing them for the past couple of winters and I love them. I may remove the trim from the mittens and redo it to make myself happy because I'm a Dogdamn perfectionist. Or I may not. Email me if you are interested. (Up under the Relay For Life flag you'll see a "contact" line. Click there for the email...)

We're going to start ramping up the truffle-making for Valentine's Day if anyone wants to get in on that... Give it some thought. Mmmm... truffles.

This bit is not very good news. It's just news. It brings up a whole lot of sadness all over again but now will stir more anger into the pot of emotions. A bit of explanation on how the semi and bus crash could have happened after the State Marching Band Competition. :( Our kids are still grieving and I cannot imagine how the kids at ChiHi are carrying on.

And finally this evening, just want to say howdy to my original internet buddies, the Divas. I met these wonderful women online when we were all looking to get healthy back in 19what? Katie could tell me. Before many people were doing much online really. And after we'd been leaving messages on a couple of different message boards/bulletin boards way back in the day and getting to know each other from our little corners of the world, somebody suggested we actually meet up face to face. So we did! In Chicago. What year was that? It was so cool! We laughed until our faces hurt and our sides hurt. We all got along so well. And we swore we would do it again. Have any of you got a group photo around that I could post? I sure would love to be able to do that. I can't find the ones Bryan posted online anymore.

Well, we didn't think we would lose one of our Divas before that day happened. Who ever thinks something like that will happen? But a bunch of us are going to do it again. The Divas are gathering! Soon. And we are going to laugh until our faces hurt. We are going to give our abs a workout. I cannot wait. And Miss Judy? She'll be there with us, too. Smiling and laughing right along with us. And I'm going to be able to hear her saying "Well bless your heart" for the rest of my life no matter where I am.

That's all I can say for now. G'night all.

Playing in my head: Miss Judy's sweet voice



Sadness to report today as my folks learned that their friend Mary Ellen passed away after her cancer battle.


no more of this farkeling around...

Okay, okay. Vacation mode is over. Time to stop farkeling around and get back into gear around here. Enough slacking!

Jeremy the boss is cracking the whip with Relay work for me to do (yeah, right. Such a harsh taskmaster is he. We should all work for such tough and difficult people *cough*wink*cough). Anyway, I have a couple of projects to work on for online fundraising so thank Dog I can work at the coffee shop where the computers are superfast and the music is fine and the fire is always burning. Gotta watch out for that knife-wielding proprietor, though - she can slice a mean vegetable! ;)

Jen and Dalene? Your scarves are ready to go. When I took them to the post office on Monday to mail them, half of the town had turned out to stand in line ahead of me. I wondered if I had missed some announcement of the changing of tax day or something, but no - it was just the rate change on postage. I turned around and left. I didn't have time to wait. Soon. Later today, probably.

Heard from an old class mate yesterday. She's trying to drum up a Girls' Night Out for the end of this month. Wish I still had the original email from her because I would like to see who all she invited. I'm trying to decide if I should attend. Perhaps if I can convince Hutch. I'm still waiting to hear on her verdict. It's a long drive for her, but she could spend the night with me! Or have a sleepover at her sister's I would bet. Sister D lives even closer to the evening's venue than I do. Could be a hoot, Hutch! Eh?

Okay. I wrote a little. Getting back into the swing of things. Later? When I have looked for my notes from the craft fair? I'll spend some time writing about the wonderful people that I met there.

But for now, yesterday's run was for a newer friend from the coffee shop. He's called Butch and he's a quiet, understated man with a twinkle in his eye and some surprisingly quick wrist action - something you'd see on a guy who knows his way around a Vegas craps table. He doesn't look the type, but seriously? I'm beginning to wonder.

Butch is going through chemo treatments for cancer of the esophagus, but you'd never know it. He is uncomplaining and always ready to join his wife Lois at the coffee house and beyond. I'm waiting with crossed fingers to hear how his most recent scans looked. Please send out your best thoughts and prayers for my new friend, Butch. All my best to you, Butch! (Even though you do keep beating me at games at the coffee shop... I think you are a ringer! ;) )

Tuesday's miles: 4.5
Total so far: 94.5
Still to go for goal: 405.5

Playing in my head: Another Little Hole by Aqualung


Blogger Birthday...

Go wish Katie a Happy Birthday! Of course, by this time of the day (It's 1 am in Istanbul), she's probably in bed and her birthday is over, but it's still her birthday here!

Playing in my head: Grey Street by Dave Matthews Band


Winter Solstice Party

Kathy & Keri, Winter Solstice

Hey, look who it is! With ME!

Thanks, Mystical Marge... and thanks for taking out the flames and putting the clothes back on, etc... ;)

Playing in my head: Say Hello, Wave Goodbyeby David Gray


For Betty...

I ran this afternoon between lunch with Cari and laughter with new friends. So my running was bookended with laughter. Can't beat that.

I ran for the sister of one of those new friends. Bill (one of the sources of my recent ab workout laughter... haven't I got the greatest people in my life?) told me about his sister Betty and how he felt so bad for her at the wedding of her daughter recently because she got so tired before the reception had really wound down. She's going through chemo at the moment, you see. Betty began her fight with pancreatic cancer which is now in her liver. Send her your best thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

Today's miles: 3.5
Total so far: 90
Still to go for goal: 410

Playing in my head: Now I Know by The Thorns

When was the last time...

You laughed until your abs hurt the next day?

If you can't remember, it's been too long.

Scarves! Snow! Santa Fe!

Farkling around with scarves... Here are the current scarves for sale. Dalene, the teal that I talked about working on back when I last mentioned it is complete and is pictured here at about 8 pm, but as you can see, it looks less teal than the one that is near 6 pm (but I believe that is just the photo). In the photo taken a couple of days ago, the 6 pm one isn't finished, but I have since completed it. If you are interested in any of the scarves, please email me for pricing as they all have a varying amount of yarn and will therefore vary in price. They are soft and fuzzy and warm! :) And don't cost nearly what those in Santa Fe did.

Okay, I have been a little busy with things since the return from the trip, but not that busy. I just haven't been writing. I have been trying to get caught up with some Relay Online stuff and caught up with friends in town for the holidays and spending my new gift certificate at the coffee shop (thanks mom and dad!) and caught up with the holiday letters that didn't go out on time but trying to get them out before the postage rates go up and caught up with mileage (that reminds me, I still need to update that last post).

I have a committee meeting this week. And I might be doing some training for Team Captains at the computer lab at one of the schools this month if there is any interest in that so I'll need to get prepared for that, too. I hope there is interest because the same teams who signed up last year are the ones signing up this year and we won't be the top online team in the state again this year if we don't grow our Relay.

I haven't even made an offer to dip truffles for the truffle queen this week so I want to do that, too. I'm having lunch with my Gray Street buddy today. (Hi sweetie!)

Sure would be nice if I could get these to stay attached to each other and line up properly...
snow puffsWe've had some serious snow, but last night and today it is raining and the weather has been above freezing for a couple of days, so that snow is taking a walk. I took a few photos. This one needed to be captured because I love that every bit of grass has a big puff of snow on it.

out backThe front yard and front corner of the house.

This is out in back of our place. It was just piling up and piling up that day. But at the time there was a break in the action.

And finally, a couple of my favorite shots from Bandelier.

This one, because Keli was running the camera and took it to get a shot of the great foot paths worn by the ancient people who lived in Tsankawi.Tsankawi

And this one because Keli let me take her photo without ducking. :) Beautiful girl

This is a beautiful sculpture outside our hotel with the luminaria atop the building in the background. The city was breathtaking every night lit up like this.Santa Fe

Playing in my head: Breaking Me by Johnny Lang