Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Checking In

Checking in to say hello. I have not been feeling wonderful these past 5 or 6 days. Headaches, nausea, and sinus pressure add to my exhaustion. And mix with that the level of moodiness one associates with PMS, which is not fair because I went through menopause at age 36, when I was first diagnosed!

And now I am on the chemo pump until Thursday, (which happens to be my birthday).

I received some discouraging, but not surprising results from my recent CT scans. It just makes me want to live life to the fullest. Taste all the good tastes. Spoil my son until he's the happiest brat in North Carolina. Not only with things, but with my time. He can have all my time, except I do want to travel to places that are still more nature than man made. I want to read the best books. I'm not going to waste my time with books I can't get into. I want to spend time with as many friends as I can too, even if it has to be a play date, or just a 2 hour paint class. I want to make those moments treasurable. And I hope everyone likes ornamental yarn balls or trees, because that's probably what I am giving you before I depart. And dammit, even if I have to go by myself, I am going to see the new Star Wars movie. 

I seriously wish I had the perseverance to write a novel. I just can't seem to get into a writing routine. I ordered When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. He was also 36 when he found out he had terminal cancer, and lived 2 years after. In his memoir he asks what makes life worth living. I can't wait to read it. 

Right now I am reading A Man Called Ove and so far loving it, although there should be a limit on metaphors. I LOVE a good metaphor but there is only so many ways to compare the way a man looks at another person or object!

Around here . . .

We love board games. As long as we are winning. The life lesson of good sportsmanship is a hard sell for my child. Not easily accepted at all. We all want that kid who just goes with the flow. Trust me, as a teacher, I have had many students who just go with the flow, win or lose. Then again, many children act differently at school then they do at home. 

Waiting outside the door for my turn . . .

I needed a new keychain and this Lego one fits me perfectly:

My sweet ninja, wearing a polar bear wearing a scarf and a hat:

And I love experimenting with adding text to my pictures. I try to take pictures knowing beforehand where the text will go, which gives a whole new twist (for me) to picture taking! I know this is nothing new, but I love the way it looks. I just wish I could figure out how to do it on my laptop, and not just with phone apps!


  1. Bad news sucks ass. I'm sorry to curse on your blog but it just does. Stay determined on living the good life sista! I wish I could sneak away for a play date in NC!!!

    1. And I wish I could visit Alaska again and you again!

  2. Ugh on the discouraging CT results. Dammit. *Shaking fists* But yes to focusing on things like good food, outdoors, good books, and time with B. This may be a long shot but have you ever heard of The Dream Foundation? I know you mentioned wanting to take an RV trip somewhere -- maybe something to look into?

    For online photo editing -- have you tried fotor.com or picmonkey? I'm sure there are more. I think even flickr or facebook allows you to add text?

    PS: does this mean our book club book has been shelved? Haha, I just got the book from the library too!

    1. No no, I will keep trying H is for Hawk! But I will also put it down when other books come along, lol. Let me know what you think, and hopefully it will inspire me to keep going. Once I am into a book, I barely put it down. I will have "A Man called Ove" done by today,

      Thanks for the online editing sites! I was wondering if Lightroom has a feature for adding text. I LOVE the app OVER -it is so much fun and allows for such creativity. I am going to check out these sites though. And the Dream Foundation. I did check into First Descents and was approved to go on an adventure, but I have yet to have the energy for rock climbing or white water rafting or surfing.

      Hope all is well - I keep hearing about South Korea's awesome National Parks, and immediately think of you.

    2. I started getting into HisforH though initially my thoughts were: wait, is this book really about hawks? I definitely judge a book by it's cover and for some reason I thought this was a murder mystery...with hawks...WRONG. SURPRISE!

      Lightroom doesn't have a text on image feature as far as I know -- that would be Photoshop. But if you haven't messed with PS then it might be too much of a hassle if all you want to do is add text.

      So far we have only been to ONE of Korea's National Parks. We need to change that this year...I hope...MUST SEE EVERYTHING.

    3. A murder mystery with hawks would be awesome! (And gruesome!)

    4. Maybe I should start a tumblr for what I *think* books are about based on the cover vs. what they *actually* are about. From the name I think I made the association to "Dial M for Murder" and then the cover of the book looked a bit Edgar Allen Poe, so I thought I just barely skimmed over the description which starts, "When so and so (that's how I read it) died suddenly on a London street..." I put all the fragments together and for some dumb reason came up with "murder mystery." Imagine my surprise when I started reading. I was so confused until about chapter 5 when I had to go back and google the book to see what I was reading.

  3. Can we add When Breath Becomes Air to our book club list? Although, don't wait for me to read it as I am number one million on the library waitlist.

    Did you ever get into H is for Hawk? I still haven't started reading it yet...

    1. I'll add WBBA to the book club list maybe a little further down the line (though Karen will have read by then)? I checked my library's catalog and they don't even have it to request so yeah I'm guessing it will be a while. I just got H is for Hawk and started reading today.

      Any suggestions for the next books for book club? We should probably think of a few in advance since at least two of us are library book borrowers! I think y'all can add books to the group at any time on Goodreads.

    2. Rachel I will mail WBBA to you when I am done. There was even a wait to order it from Amazon. I don't know if media mail will be faster then your library but I will throw in some other goodies to make it worth it. (autocorrect changed goodies to bodies, but I won't throw in any of those).

      Here is what 2016 is shaping up to so far:
      Black and Blue - read
      A Man Called Ove - reading
      H is for Hawk - reading/taking a break from
      When Breath Becomes Air - to be read
      Thru Hiking Will Break your heart - TBR
      The Interestings - TBR
      Euphoria - TBR

    3. Oh! I have Thru Hiking will Break your Heart on my list too -- I follow Carrot Quinn's blog from time to time. She's not a well-known author so I'm pretty sure no libraries will have her book just yet but it's only $6 to purchase on kindle so I might have to buy it. Should we make it our next book club read for the month of Feb?

    4. Thanks, Karen! I was actually surprised that the library had WBBA already - usually it takes them months to get new releases.

      I had never even heard of Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart, but I'm game! Plus, it's FREE on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited!

      I'll add some of my TBRs for the year to Goodreads to see if either of you are interested in any of them. This is fun! I just need to get started on H is for Hawk! (Oddly enough I'm reading another book about birds right now!)

    5. Added THWBYH as our next read. Let's pick a fiction book for March to mix things up (and to get the book on our radar for those that use the library system).

      You can add as many books as y'all like to our group's bookshelf and I (or anyone else) can pull from them to add to the upcoming reads section.

      PS -- I also added discussion boards for other books we may have all read at one time or another, as well as a discussion for documentaries. Booyah!

  4. Mary - what are you reading these days? Or no time? I was just telling someone how I would have years when I read 0-2 books. Anyway, let me know if you want to join our online book club on GoodReads.

    To all: Did anyone read the Rosie Project? If so, and you like it, you will like "A Man Called Ove" Rachel - I can add it to your media mail package I send you, if you want dibbs.

    I am not even done with it and I am recommending it! Maybe not a good plan.

    1. I've checked out The Rosie Project a few times and never gotten to reading it! Too many books! But I def want to read it based on your recommendation!

  5. Bad news, argh. I'm sorry, friend. I hope as I'm reading this you're being disconnected and can move on to enjoying the rest of your day.

    It makes my heart happy to see you and B enjoying the games. :) My oldest also does not go with the flow, although at 4.5 she is starting to learn to lose gracefully. Sometimes. Maybe. We play a lot of cooperative games for that reason!

    Sending hugs and virtual chocolate. I am reading The Boston Girl. It's pretty good! I have liked all of Anita Diamant's other books. I just finished Leaving Before the Rains Come and I cannot recommend it enough! But if you haven't rad any Alexandra Fuller you should start with Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight which is in my top 5 books of all time. It's a memoir about her childhood in Africa and it's dark and vivid and compelling full of wonderful descriptions. Soooooo good. Can I join your Goodreads group?

    1. I second Don't Let's Go To the Dogs Tonight! That was a good one!

    2. Hi! Anyone is invited to our goodreads group - it's a private group so you have to officially 'request' to join.

      This is the link: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/179208-virtual-book-club

      Don't Let's Go To the Dogs Tonight was recommended to me by my SIL -- I'll have to add to my TBR list!

    3. I love all of this. Yes, Liz please join us! We are reading H is for Hawk now but I had to put it down for some lighter reading. I am going to keep trying!! I enjoyed the Boston Girl too!


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