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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Last year, my friend Bonnie, retired from teaching and moved back home to Iowa.  Since I have not seen her for almost a year and since I’ve never been to Iowa….I decided to jump in my car and go!

It’s an 8 hour drive but it wasn’t bad because I was seeing new landscapes, getting out of the house….ON A ROAD TRIP! lolol

Day 1 was busy and FUN!!!

First stop was the Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa….

They feature different artistic displays each year and this year was garden items created with Legos!!!

Here’s a few of my favorites…. (*disclaimer…Bonnie and I shared photos so some of these were taken by her.  I won’t remember which were mine and which were hers)

The Gardener….

The hummingbird

The Lawnmower….actual sized….

And the rose…..It was really tall!!!

There were LOTS more and I have pictures of all of them on my Flickr page (look in the left margin at the top of this post…)  They are worth seeing!

They also had interesting garden art that is permanently installed…

A giant Gnome…

Here’s Bonnie and her Mom, Gladys..

You can visit their website and it will tell you all the details of the lego sculptures and how many legos each piece used…..It was WAY cool!!!

Reiman Gardens

They also had a display of bird houses built by people of Iowa….Here’s a couple of my favorites..

They also have a butterfly house….with BEAUTIFUL butterflies…

It was really hot so we cooled down while having lunch at Hickory Park BBQ….It was YUMMY!!  You have to visit the link….it’s a huge place and has some interesting history!!

Then we did some shopping….and I found a fun little yarn shop…..Rose Tree Fiber Shop .  It was a great yarn shop with great service….and I came home with a couple of gems…. 🙂

A little more shopping then…..wait for it…..DINNER ON A TRAIN…A REAL LIVE TRAIN!!!

It’s called Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad

It was very fancy, elegant and a real treat.  Now I can say I have ridden on a REAL train!  LOL  (I figure subways don’t count)

Here are some highlights…

The High Bridge

It was a wonderful and fabulous day!!!  Thanks Bonnie and Gladys for being such wonderful tour guides!!

The next day, Day 2, Bonnie and I spent close to home….shopping, eating and ended the day with a few hours of Wii…..which was why we were so SORE the next couple of days!!

Final Day of vacations coming up tomorrow!

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I have several events to post but since today is Independence day….I’ll start here….

Each year, if I can, I go to the Independence day parade in my hometown.  It’s always a GREAT parade and the people of Kingfisher show of their patriotism in style!  There were politicians giving away everything from ink pens, to cups of ice cold lemonade, bottles of cold water, to flags.  The parade had horses, numerous fire trucks, cheerleaders, motorcycles, old cars, horse and buggy, old legionnaires, big tractors, big cars, little cars and bicycles.  There’s not a lot to say…so I’ll just give it to you in pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I LOVE small town parades!!!

Happy July 4th to Everyone!!!

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It seems forever since I’ve been on this blog.  I’m hoping since summer has arrived I’ll be more diligent and creative…..I’m ready!

Years ago I began an investment in a cancer insurance policy……and it ended up paying BIG….so….after I got myself out of some debt, put some in an investment acct and combined it with my national board money and my tax refund….I’m treating myself!

My first ‘treat’?!?!?  A new sewer line in the back yard…What ?!?!?!  you don’t think a sewer line is a treat?  Well…..NOW I won’t have to worry about having the line cleaned out…on a weekend….when the washing machine is full of wet laundry,…..believe me….it’s a treat!

 

Next, I decided the cheap rug in the living room HAD TO GO!!!!!  It was a cheap one from Walmart and it was gross, the wrong color, wouldn’t lay flat and was just down right UGLY!  But not anymore!  I had a piece of carpeting bound and put carpet pad underneath it and WOW!!!!  It’s like walking on a cloud!

I took this picture with my phone….it’s not really purple….it’s a lovely beige….

My friend Susan and I Hauled it home in my car….and there was even room for her to ride inside the car too!  LOLOL

 

There are more treats to come….I’ll keep you posted!  🙂

 

Harvest has begun in earnest in Kingfisher.  I took this pic with my phone from my car….It’s not my family but it sure was pretty as I was driving by….

Dad is really missing being in the middle of harvest this year.  He had a stroke in March that affected his vision….by brother took away his combine license.  I’m just glad he’s OK with it.

J.W. is growing like a weed…..here’s what it looks like to be 7 years old….

He has his summer haircut….the whole baseball team has the same cut….boys….LOLOL

I have started knitting again….and I’m in love with these mittens…

I see many variations of these on my needles this summer!

Goldie kept me company while I was knitting…

And Elroy tried to help….until he fell asleep while trying to play with the yarn…..such a man! LOLOL

Rusty was not thrilled with his last bath….can you tell?!?!?

 

I am finally beginning to feel better.  It’s one of those things where you don’t know how bad you feel until you feel better!?!?!?  It has taken MUCH longer than I expected to get my energy back.  I’m actually beginning to feel like my OLD self again!  It’s a good feeling!  Each year I write a handwritten note to each of my 8th grade students….tell them how much I appreciate them and love them…..When I handed them out….I cried….because I feel like I cheated them by being gone so much and feeling like crap the days I was there most of the time.  They were SO sweet…and I got LOTS of hugs that day.  Sometimes middle school kids are awesome!  I’m ready for the summer to have the time to continue getting stronger.  But I’m also ready to begin a new school year…without the weight of cancer on my heart and mind.

Happy Summer!!!

 

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In a word….I’m REALLY GOOD!!  (ok that was 2 words…..LOL)

It has been so fun to celebrate, not only the completion of my treatment, but also, getting back to “normal”.  I’ve had some wonderful friends who have treated me to some wonderful meals and lots of laughter.

As I’ve been looking back, I realized that my yearly mammogram was Sept. 6, a 2nd mammogram 2 weeks later followed by the biopsy and finally the diagnoses of breast cancer on September 28.  After that was surgery, and finally treatment.  Everything happened in a matter of 4.5 months…..18 weeks.  WOW!!!  No wonder my life felt like a whirlwind!  At times I was really impatient….wanting Doctors to hurry things along….wishing the healing was faster.  My good friend, Jayma, a colon cancer survivor, kept telling me it would all happen at the right time.  She was SO right…and I’m thankful she was there to remind me…often.

The last week and a half of treatment was rather brutal.  I ended up at home and in bed for 6 days.  And I’m thankful that my Mom could stay with me for a few days.  I couldn’t have made it without her.

It’s been 2 weeks (and 2 days….to be exact) since my last treatment and I’m happy to say that I feel REALLY GOOD!  All the burns have healed over.  The skin is still healing but I can wear clothes and don’t have to use the stinky salve anymore!  I’m beginning to be myself at school again.  Even my students have noticed!  My sense of humor is returning….just ask my 7th grade girls choir…..who taught me how to “Dougie” yesterday.  I was pretty bad but we all had a good laugh and that felt sooooooo good!!!!

I’ve started my “boot camp” workout again….sort of.  My friend, Steve, who is my trainer, is only allowing me to walk.  The first time we met (last Friday) I tried to convince him to let me do a bit more than walk…..he refused.  So I agreed to “just walk” for 20 minutes.  By the time we finished I was literally dragging my feet.  I hated to admit that he was right.  He’s been very protective of me…and I appreciate it.  I’m following his instructions and I’m feeling stronger each week.  Maybe by the end of the February I can start lifting weights again!

I feels wonderful to regain my strength, both physically and mentally!!!

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Time to Celebrate…Come On!

Friday, after school, my school family had a celebration for me and another teacher who finished her cancer treatments this week also.  What a surprise!!!!

They gave each of us a basket with all sorts of goodies inside!

 

I didn’t look at anything until I got home…..I was just overwhelmed….

 

It seemed to be an never-ending basket of love!

There was….candy, snacks, YARN, coasters, embroidered visor and ‘certificate’, mugs, gift cards, lotions, bath gels, candle, cards, journals, devotional book……WOW!!!

 

I think what I like most is that I have no idea who gave me what….It’s just a big hug in the shape of a basket of goodies!  It was fun seeing some of the things in the basket and knowing that someone who knows me well, gave me this!

I have the most AMAZING school family and I’m very thankful for their love and support!

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Just a glimmer….

I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I started radiation treatments on Tuesday.  I have 30 total…..and I’ve finished 3 as of today!  The nurses, technicians and staff at the center are just awesome.  So kind, compassionate and caring.  It makes having to go everyday so much easier.  The best part is that they have free valet parking…which I have used when it was really, really cold.  I plan to use it whenever the weather is bad.

Wednesdays are the long days.  After the treatment (which I failed to mention only lasts about 10 minutes) I have to check in with Dr. Radiation to just be sure everything is going ok.  And after 3 treatments, everything is OK.  I’ve been told that the skin reactions are supposed to show up after a couple of weeks.  I don’t think it will take my skin that long…..it’s already starting to be uncomfortable.

Each day is one day closer to being finished.  I’m looking forward to Christmas Break when I don’t have to get up and get dressed until the afternoon treatment!

 

 

 

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Today I did something I’ve never done before.  Here’s a hint….

 

 

Our school district has raised funds for the OMRF for many, many years and this is one of the events.  I’ve never done a “fun run” before (and NO, I didn’t attempt the 5K) but it was really fun!

My school put together a team shirt…..

 

On the front they honored women in our school who have or have battled breast cancer…..

 

(the picture doesn’t show the silver print very well, but I love that it sparkles!)

I feel very honored to be supported by such wonderful people.  I consider them my school family.  I know that if I need ANYTHING….all I have to do is ask.  It’s rather humbling.

Here’s some of my friends…

It’s also quite surreal to see my name on this shirt.  Even though I am reminded daily that my life has been altered….it’s always a shock to see it in print or have to check a box on a form that says “has cancer”, or to see a friend that I haven’t seen in a while and have to say it out loud.  I’m just weird I guess.

But as Thanksgiving Day approaches….My list of things to be thankful for is quite long.  But I am….thankful for family and friends that remember to pray for me and check on me.  I am blessed!!!

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