Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My hip hurts.

Am I one of those annoying people who make you look at photos all the time? Sorry, but I love to look at these to remind me of what a great time we had. It just shows you you can have a good time ANYWHERE, ANY TIME.

Hmmm....Dr. M measured me yesterday, which means he took his little tape measure and measured from top of Mr. Ski Slope over to Mr. Pizza Pocket. I don't know why he did it exactly, but I did have to laugh a bit when he held Mr. Pizza Pocket with his finger tips--I think it sort of freaks him out too. After my appointment (I got 60 ccs with NO pain so that is good) he was looking at a catalog of breast implants. So maybe we are getting there. I think I am at 670 cc's total--I thought I was further but he said no. Oh well.

Made Pam feel Rock Boob while we were in the UP. Pam has seen every part of my body, not to mention some internal "crap" (sssh...MIMI!!!!!) I don't share with just anyone (She was with me for the birth of my kids) so feeling Rock Boob was a walk in the park for her. I like people to feel it because they feel sorry for me--and it is hard to believe that this thing is really inside me. It is now way bigger than a softball and harder too.

My latest worry is whether I should have had a bone scan or not. Most BC survivors seem to have them routinely and I did not have one and in emailing with others, they all say it is basically standard now. Other than my hip that has been hurting for probably 10 years, my bones seem fine. But that hip is pretty sore. I have mentioned it over the years to my doctors but I think all of them attribute it to how slim I am. (that's a JOKE, geesh) Anyway...that is the worry of the week right now. Plus, still a nagging cough but my whole family has that so I guess that is all it is.

Andrew turns 17 Tuesday. Holy crap, that is like old. It's nice in a way, as the older my kids get the more relieved I feel that I am getting them speaking with another cancer survivor she too admitted the little nagging doubts about how long we have, will this be our last Christmas, that type of thing. It never really leaves your mind.

Little Ava Christine weighs 8 pounds now! And her voice is there, and she is cooing, smiling, etc. Friday is the echo which will determine if she needs immediate surgery. Lots of good milestones but still so many worries.

John and Ginger should be home this weekend. Then we start the what seems like million Christmases we have. Such a fun time but certainly not a time to go on a diet.

And yes, I still have not done much shopping. EEEKKKK.

Love to you all--hope you like the pictures. It's not the Taj Mahal but it sure is paradise.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Poptarts and the Pope.

Hello, and Happy Post Turkey/Black Friday to all of you. I am back from the UP with mixed emotions as always--glad to be home in my own house but the four days went way too fast. The ride there was MISERABLE--we left Niles at 1:18 p.m. and were still in northwest Chicago at 7:00 p.m. Yes, I was driving and I thought I was going to go INSANE from all the stop, start, stop start, etc. Once Jim started driving at 8:15 p.m., the rest of the trip flew by, with us finally arriving at 12:45 a.m.. Conversely, the ride home took 7.5 hours, so a whole 4 hours shorter than the way up. We left at 3 AM and have decided that is the only time to go. Thanks to my buddy Ken at work for lending us the IPASS--woohoo--that was HUGE in saving time, at least on the way home.

But what a fun time we had. I did nothing that I planned to do. We ate lots of course--I drew the green bean casserole (I think Ginger rigged it) but when I got home from the store it was already done, as my Nimmy took care of it. Ginger was trying to save herself some work by getting us all to help out but what she did to help us was to write the recipe of every dish on an index card and put all the ingredients, including any pot, dish or pan needed, in a grocery bag so our mini-meal was all right there. She is such a crazy MIL.

I wish I could say I never thought of cancer once, but I did. It was rather morbid, but everytime I would mention something about next year or next time--like "Next year we need to remember to bring more socks" or "next year, we need to do the cookie walk in Boulder Junction" I would say those things outloud but then in my head end with "If I am still alive."

NOW HOW STUPID IS THAT? What is really stupid is I don't really think I will be dead next year but it kept creeping in my head. You know what, it's that damned little cancer devil that used to hang out when I was first diagnosed! I need to flick that sucker off. It was almost comical really, and I think I started to say it to myself just to be stupid. Not a really funny thing to laugh at but it kept happening. What a moron I can be.

One thing that STILL is making me giggle is Pooh, Jim's youngest brother's story about a recent earache. As we were all sitting around one morning in our comfy clothes, drinking coffee and tea, we were talking about earaches (most of our entertainment was watching Talon, my almost two year old nephew, run around the room in circles). So, all the parents are telling their children's ear ache stories when Pooh, out of no where says, "yeh, my worst earache was when I had that Poptart in my ear."


He gets this sheepish look on his face and tells of a morning when he was still in bed and Zoe, his daughter, crawled into bed with him with a Poptart. He says he remembers it vividly--rolling over, and seeing, in slow motion, this small piece of Poptart break away from the larger piece, and tumble directly into his ear. He wasn't positive that it went in but a bit later the pain started so off he goes to Dr. Pam (because Pam works in the medical field we go to her for all medical needs). Pam, having all the correct tools, finds one of those bulb syringes that all new moms get to suck snot out of their baby's nose, and goes to town, armed with the syringe and some hydrogen pyroxide. Sure enough, out comes some nasty stuff and wallah, Pooh's earache is no more.

Pooh has to be one of the funniest guys I know. We always laugh at his Pooh'isms--he really is an intelligent guy but seems to get things mixed up when it comes to speaking. He calls deodorant "deodormint" (the smell) and windshield wipers "winsheildshipers." There are a million Pooh'ism's out there--another funny one is when he mixes his cliches-like when he is affirming something that he feels strongly about and he says "does the Pope shit in the woods?" when what he really meant to say was either "Is the Pope Catholic" or "Does a bear shit in the woods?" And when he disagrees with something it is always "that dog don't hunt." For a long time his life goal was to live in a corn field. I am happy to say he is a very successful lineman for AEP and makes good good money keeping our electricity on. I love that kid. Pooh does have a real name by the way--his name is David but no one has ever called him that. Even now that he's like 35 years old!

I must admit I did NOT make cookies with Josh, but Ginger and all the kids made peanut butter cookies from scratch so Josh said that was close enough. He said I could make it up to him tonight by making my first of many batches of Christmas cookies. I will do that because they are simple, simple, simple. (do not ask for any recipe as you know there isn't one)

I have more to report--and did take some photos that I will share.

I hope everyone loved their holiday weekend as much as I.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pam just called and she and her clan are already on their way to the UP. She said she almost felt guilty going up before's ok, but I am jealous that they will be waking up tomorrow to Ginger's humongous breakfast and I will be fighting with my kids to GET UP, GET GOING, etc. Then work. Nah, it really is ok. I am still packing anyway. The plan, for those of you who care, is to leave as soon as Andrew is done with practice. Jeff/Sam are riding with Matt and his girlfriend Brooke, and Danny; Pooh is riding with Zack and Zoe; and the four of us plus Dan Holland and Shade. So three cars. Everyone else is already there. We hope to caravan it but usually lose someone going around Chicago. My goal is to be there by midnight.

Boob fill was easy today but Dr. M was um..Woodyish today. He just isn't all the supportive. When I asked for something just in case my spasms were bad tomorrow he said "well just take some Ibuprofen." Spoken like someone who doesn't have a softball sized rock under a tight piece of muscle. Luckily, I am in no pain yet, so that is a good sign anyway. He did mention that he is going to start looking for the right implant for me. Before, he only mentioned saline but today he said it might be gel---supposedly the gel are more natural feeling. He did say that soon the right side will stick out way further than the I may have to move Ms. Filler over to the good side! Pizza Pocket is still hanging around. I will check him out tonight to see if any saline is getting in there as required.

Ginger has informed us all that we will all have a role in preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year. (ssshh...what that means is that the GUYS will actually have to help) She has listed all the chores/foods/etc on slips of paper and we will draw our task. I told her SHE has to do the turkey as Josh being in charge of the bird ain't gonna cut it. She agreed. I always do the green bean casserole and she has already figured we need 8-10 cans of green beans to feed everybody. However, since I may not draw that, I do have to be prepared for something else. We laughed at the thought of Jeff Brawley getting scalloped corn. (I hope he does get it as I don't eat it so if he ruins it, ah well) I am not sure anyon eats the scalloped corn anyway.

Jimmy turns 40 tomorrow! Happy Birthday Nimmy! God love him. He stayed home tonight and has been packing, getting all the hunting clothes sealed tightly in containers so no smells get to them, getting boots for all of us, hunting socks, etc. I just have to pack my own stuff so it is quite easy. I actually take more books than clothes.

I won't be back until after Sunday, so I want to wish all of you a special and thankful Thanksgiving. You know how thankful I am this year...and i hope that you too are appreciating all that you have, not worrying about what you don't have, and just ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY.

Life is good.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Three words changed my life.

For the UP being my favorite place on earth, I sure don't have very many photos. But I did find some to liven up the blog. This trip, I will take more photos.

I realize my UP Salute makes my blog not so much about cancer anymore, but cancer certainly is the catalyst for everything--from thinking about what is important, for wanting to reach out to others, for speaking my mind when needed, for loving my kids despite the fact that they would both rather play dodgeball than learn, for loving my husband even though he snores like crazy lately and is never home, for appreciating my crazy Niles family and appreciating the sanity, the consistency and the peacefulness of my own parents and sister in Kalamazoo, for loving my job, for adoring the kids who attend NHS, and for having fun with all my co-workers.

I don't think I would have ever acknowledged all that is great in my life if it wasn't for those three little words: you have cancer.

More later.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ava, Blammo, and my own little Soldier Boy

It is so good to hear from some of you that you are still reading. It is much appreciated.

Just so you know, Hunting Widow of the Year got sloppy joes for dinner last night but is hoping to go out tonight.

Ava Christine is on my mind these days. Heath says that she is smiling all the time now. Can you imagine how sweet that is??? She is so damn cute with her crazy hair, and then to add smiles to that face. Remarkable. I am also glad that the Jamies are having a chance to experience the rewarding part of parenting that has been postponed...I just keep thinking about seeing my own children smile when they were little and how it just makes everyone around smile. It also tells me that despite Ava's condition she is well aware of the love around her and knows perfectly well who rules the roost already. Poor Heather/Billy couldn't go to U of M this weekend because of rotten colds, but I believe the whole clan will descend on U of M for Turkey Day. Which reminds me, don't forget to support the Ronald McDonald houses...I know it has been a great help to Jamie and Jamie.

I swear my dryer runs non stop on weekends. Does laundry even end?

I am now reading a book called The Eyre Affair and it is one unusual book for me to read. I can't really describe it except to say it is about a woman named Thursday Next and she is a member of Special Ops--27, which is a group of FBI type agents that try to solve crimes. It involves time travel and is so unlike anything I have ever really enjoyed and I am VERY intrigued with it, although I've barely started it. Jim's buddy, Andy Hodgman, sent it to me and he says it is a great series. I love to find new books! I will keep you posted.

Tour guide Ginger is making some changes for our sleeping arrangements in the UP. Uh-oh, I hope there are no issues, but as it stands now, Jim and I are being moved to the old house, and all the "single" boys are sleeping Walton style in the basement. My only request is that I slept in one of the downstairs bedrooms of the old house--which is no problem. Not sure why Ginger wants to do this, but it is ok by me. Jim figures she doesn't want us women to have to have to walk around in our pajamas in front of the boys...oh, who knows with Crazy Mil! : ) John B. says Ginger has now gone and bought a second 20 pound turkey and goes to the store two times a day. (so do I when I am up there) Another thing I do up there that everyone likes to laugh at is I buy all the trashy/gossipy type magazines like National Enquirer, The Globe, OK!, etc. They all laugh at me but EVERYONE reads it so there! It is just another way to escape reality.

If any of you or your children have a Nintendo DS I highly recommend getting one of the Brain Age games that you may have seen on TV. They are addicting. Not sure what made me think of that but we will be taking ours up North. We have very competitive rivalries in our household alone......

Tuesday is Fill up Day. It was nice not having muscle spasms for a week. I am somewhat concerned about the pain on the way to the UP. I think I may ask Dr. M for something for it--I keep taking my leftover pain meds from the surgery and I would guess a muscle relaxer might be better. Poor Jim, just another excuse for me NOT to drive. (trust me, I have done my fair share of driving to and from the UP)

Oh my gosh! I have been meaning to get some more info on my blog but I want you all to save the date of January 4 on your calendars! The Niles High it Boosters of Project Graduation?....crap, I don't know...but anyway, they are having a big old dance for us oldies (ie. NOT our kids) The dance will feature Blammo, which I hear is a great band....this will be at the St. Mary's Gym...that is all I know off the top of my head but I WILL get more info. So, let's all plan to go, don't you think? No matter what the cause is, I am sure it will be fun. And maybe I will even have a drink!

Next time I write I am going to tell some funny stories about our travels to and from the UP. And I may even tell Pam's cranberry story.

Josh keeps running by me singing "OOH, Soulja boy, Superman," whatever whatever that crazy song is.... I call him my little Billy Elliot.

TTFN. And did you check your mammary glands last night?


Friday, November 16, 2007

Molly Brawley: Hunting Widow of the Year

Finally, the weekend is here. Nothing special planned but I may THINK about going shopping.

If any of you read my blog yesterday I mentioned the Oprah show about hoarders. Pam, my sister in law, was actually at that show. No, she is not a hoarder but IS an expert at getting tickets to the Oprah show. I think this is her second time and she always has an interesting story to tell about Oprah. One thing that she said was funny was that Oprah came out and was commenting on how short her pants were...Oprah said the audience probably couldn't believe that somebody with her kind of money had to wear these short ol' pants. (Kim Knoll, if Oprah can do it so can you!) Pam also mentioned that Oprah seemed somewhat subdued compared to the other time she went to the show--Pam thinks it is because of the trouble for which her school in Africa is under scrutiny. Ok, that is my celebrity report of the night.

Andrew got the all clear from the coach to go to the UP--thank goodness. I will tell you I am somewhat annoyed with my soon to be 17 year old these he told the sub for his calculus teacher that he needed to go see me in the office. And guess where he went? To the gym to play dodgeball. For 40 minutes!!!! Granted, he was done with his three problems, but why can't I have a kid who wants to get ahead and practice more math problems, or do homework for English, whatever? No, I get the dodgeball freak. I sure hope Mr. Cybulskis does not read this blog as I am sure he will be none too happy to learn that Mr. B minus/C plus (Andrew) thinks dodgeball is more important than pre-calc.

Everyone at work is suffering from chills, sniffles, coughs, etc. I of course am focused on this cough I have (aka lung cancer in pyschochondria language). Speaking of cancer, (what??? me?? never!!!!) Marcia called and reported that Troy's surgery went without complication. There were two enlarged lymph nodes which I am sure are worrisome--they won't have results for a week or so--but Troy might be able to come home as soon as Sunday, which is early from what I hear. April, if you have a chance to post, let us know how you all are doing. I am not sure if you have access to a computer, but I thought about you guys all day and am glad this part is done for you.

No one has shot a deer in our family as far as I know. Today I am starting to get annoyed with my husband being gone so much. Well, not really, but I sure could be if I wanted to be. Since October 1, other than maybe a handful of times, he has hunted EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. And, every single weekend morning. Wow. I am a good wife and deserve dinner, diamonds, and a vacation to somewhere warm for spring break. Too bad Jim never reads my blog to get the hints. You know, skip the diamonds--food and a warm spring break are good enough : )

Would I really bore you with telling you AGAIN that I can't wait for the UP? You would think it was the damned Taj Mahal or something, but it isn't even close. Granted, we have all the comforts of home, like Direct TV, HEAT, a good shower, phone, microwave, etc. but our sleeping arrangements are rather Waltonesque in that most of us who stay at the smaller but newer house sleep in the basement, which is really one large room with 6 double beds, four twin beds and two couches. We lay in bed with everyone and their neighbor nearby, plus the washer and dryer. The mattresses are gawd awful and sag in the middle but we all sleep together, happy as the old family in Willy Wonka. In the other house, which really is our favorite because it is large and really old, there are 5 bedrooms, a large dining room, the best shower in all of Michigan (just a good spray--it sure ain't fancy or nuttin'), a big living area, a screened porch, and a scary basement that Matt Brawley will never ever venture into. There is no phone, but somehow those Yoopers were smart enough to hook together the one in the smaller house to the bigger house so with the push of a button you can get phone calls. Also, the older house has a normal oven--Ginger has to cook the turkey, all 24 pounds of it, in that oven because the one at her house is sort of small--well, really small. This year, I think everyone except Dan/Aida and kids, and my immediate family, plus John, Ginger, Al, and Shade, will stay in the old house. (Al is John and Ginger's black lab) The old house is separated from the new house by about 50 yards or so--you should see us trek back and forth in snow drifts three feet tall. I still remember Shade's first Thanksgiving up there--the snow was higher than she was and she had a blast.

Josh and I were making chocolate chip cookies the other night--correction--we "opened a package and placed shaped cookie dough on a pan and baked them" the other night--when I mentioned the old fashioned kind of way of making chocolate chip coookies, and how even though it was much more time consuming, it was fun. Josh sort of squinted, like he was digging deep into his memory, and he got this big ol' smile on his face and said "I REMEMBER DOING THAT! Can we do it again sometime?" How pathetic am I as a mother? So, I promised him we would make the old fashioned kind of chocolate chip cookies while we are in the UP.

Tell me to shut up about the UP any time.

Alright, I supposed I either have to think about dinner or maybe think about where I should make Jim take me tonight, since I proclaimed myself Hunting Widow of the Year. Andrew is off with Kait tonight, and since Josh came home sick from school he is walking around with a blanket wrapped around him, bored. If I mention dinner out, he will have a miraculous recovery.

By the way, is anyone out there reading this anymore? Say hello if you have a chance. Oh, I get it. You are tired of hearing about the UP, aren't you? I promise never to mention it again.

Never. Sorry, I just can't do it!

Blessings to all of you--have a wonderful evening and don't forget to give your boobies a good feel tonight.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

I have a bad attitude.

November 15 in the extended Brawley family is almost a national holiday--opening day of deer season. Much to my disagreement, Jim allowed Andrew to hunt this morning before school since now that he made varsity basketball, he can't hunt after school. He missed his tutor/independent study class, which really isn't a big deal, but then missed his AP Biology class because he had to go to the orthodontist. Tomorrow, he has to miss classes because of his PSI program that inv0lves him going to the middle school to talk about abstinance instead of SEX! (rather an interesting's Andrew's second year in it) Anyway, he'd better keep his grades up.

Josh is asleep on the couch, in the middle of our addictive Law & Order show. We watch reruns every night together...Josh wants to be a lawyer because of the show. Jim just called and is on his way home from his hunt--he's stopping by brother Pooh's house to see how others did today.

Looking forward to the UP, of course. Now get this. You all know Aida, my sis-in-law--married to Danny. They have three kids--twin 5 year olds and a 2 year old. Brave Aida is heading to the UP with just her and the kids the day before we all leave on Wednesday. It is a 9 hour drive--through Chicago! I think she is one brave woman. Danny and Pooh will follow us up on Wednesday. I think Johnny and Pam are leaving Tuesday. So we will be the last to arrive but that is ok. I hope we have smooth sailing but lots of snow once we get there.

Andrew has to find out if basketball will interfere with our travel plans. I sure hope not because I think he would quit bball before giving up the trip. Josh is very excited ALL of us will be up there--plus more. I think we are at 29 now. Thank goodness for two houses!

I still haven't got my tree up like I planned. Maybe this weekend? I even thought about going Christmas shopping...that's early for me. The girls in the UP will most likely go to Boulder Junction, WS on Friday...they have some very quaint stores, good for a few gifts for sure.

Any of you watch Oprah today. I actually sit down and watch her now--never made time before. Today the show was on hoarders. Made me want to carry a trash bag around all night. Now I am paranoid I might be one. : )

If you haven't yet, go back to my last post and read Kristina's comment. It just shows me how ugly cancer is and frankly, pisses me off that yet again, someone is dying from something that can be solved for some people and not for others. It shows that doctors are just people but we rely on them to heal us and expect so much from them--when really, the only thing that might help the cause to wipe out cancer is more research. I agree with Kristina--we have a good prognosis but in the back of every cancer survivor's mind is "what if it comes back?" Hang in there Kristina--Karen is lucky to have a good friend like you who understands just a little more than others about this ugly thing called cancer. It just plain sucks. I hope today all of you can find some small amount of peace and comfort.

One last thing--check in on Ava's blog if you haven't. Jamie and Jamie are hanging in there, and Ava is even smiling now, (which makes me cry thinking about it) but her little valve is still leaking and she is facing MAJOR surgery soon--that is very life threatening. I admire the family so such a little baby can have such an impact on all of us. You have to see the pictures too--what a doll.

One more last thing --sorry--good luck Troy at IU tomorrow! I know you are already on your way down there and surgery is on Friday. You will be so glad when it is over and you can feel like you are on the down hill slide of this journey...April, be strong and give those nurses heck if they aren't taking care of him well enough! : ) (I know they will)

Love to you all--thinking of you a lot Kristina--thanks for sharing and reminding us ALL that we need to appreciate our families, good health, and good friends.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

We stand corrected.

What is up with my insomnia? I slept until 1:30 p.m. yesterday and 11:30 today. I did go to bed later than normal, but always wake up with the darn dog--who then falls right back to sleep. I am not WIDE awake mind you...just half way between awake and solid sleep...wierd wierd dreams but always sort of knowing that I am still awake? I am not up thinking about cancer...but my mind races and I can't stop thinking about really dumb stuff. Strangely, when this is going on, I am not upset at all...I spend time thinking/dreaming about how lucky I am and how content.

It is just really strange and come morning I can't get up.

A couple things from my last blog that the publishers of this blog must correct: 1) Contrary to what I thought, Andrew "can't stand" my tuna fish casserole. And 2) Rick at 5/6 and 11 actually said we are going to have 84 inches of snow...which is MORE than normal. I think Mike Hoffman of WNDU says that we are having less. I prefer Rick's forecast (sorry, Lonnie, I KNOW you hate snow). As you all know, I LOVE snow.

And hello Kristina! Your new house sounds lovely! And you, as always, sound so upbeat and happy. You are almost at your 1 year "cancerversary" aren't you? If I remember, you were diagnosed in January of '07. Good for you. And still NED (no evidence of disease) right? We LOVE NED!!!

Tuna fish casserole hater wants to get on the computer and I need to do laundry...bbl.

Ok, back to Kristina, our New Jersey friend. The UP stands for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where my family has a cabin...well, two, actually. (We used to have three but one burned down and the local PO-LICE thought it was burned down for the funny is that? There was no insurance since it was empty and falling apart. It sits on the 500 acres that everyone hunts on) We all live in the Lower Peninsula, the one that is shaped like a mitten...and the UP is the upper part that Ii like to say is the scarf that goes with the mitten. When most people think if the UP they think of the Mackinac Bridge, which connects the peninsulas together. But for our cabin, it is quicker to go around Chicago, and up through Wisconsin to get to it. It takes about 9 hours...about twelve the other way. That is our geography lesson of the day.

Watched Dr. 90210 today...breast implants. They stuffed those things in like stuffing a turkey. One poor girl was about 23 and already had a bilateral mastectomy...I think her mom died of bc...but her first reconstruction wasn't she had it re-done. Once will be enough for me that is for sure. Rock boob is still standing strong by the way. You could bounce a basketball off of it and rebound right into the hoop the thing is so hard.

I also have a huge blemish under my nose right now. And yes, it did cross my mind that is was ACC of the skin. A girl can't have a normal zit under her nose these days. Zit is an ugly word, just like armpit. My ear is bothering me less and less now, but I have a nagging cough, which I think is related to my constant runny nose. And of course my hip still hurts, but very little pain in the boob area. No expansion this week. Woohoo.

I need some ideas of what to get my lovely offspring for Christmas. Josh wants Direct TV in his bedroom. (my kids have tv's in their rooms for videos but no stations--AGHAST are they!!!) Any ideas for two teenaged boys would be appreciated.

Suzy Homemaker needs to get the potatoes on. Blessings to all of you.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Finger burns and getting real with Sheryl

I am waiting for a pot of water to boil. I am making my mom's tuna fish casserole, which only Jim and I really eat--Andrew will dabble--Josh is getting my mom's famous baked chicken (chicken breasts sprinkled with Lawrey's salt, garlic, italian seasonings--baked) ok, enough Amish cook talk. *by the way, Betty asked for my butter cake recipe so I thought I would post it at the end of this blog.

Wow, what a busy busy weekend/week. First things first. My appointment for fill up was Monday, and after 50 cc's hurt me the week before, we decided to go slow...10...20...20...40...50...uh, we better stop. So I ended with 50 and did fine the rest of the week. No moaning and groaning. Dr. M did examine me sitting up...checked out both boobs for symmetry and lift. We aren't even close yet. He wants to " go the maxium" which I am estimating at 1000cc's based on what I have learned from an internet bc friend. Perky boob isn't as perky as it was, much to my disappointment, and Pizza Pocket, from what my internet friends say (they are called dog ears by veterans) won't necessarily go away either. Gulug. Too bad--cuz he is ugly. Anyway, my doc says we have a way to go. No appointment next week as doc is bicyling in Italy (on my dime I am sure!)

Pot is almost done boiling in case you were wondering. Josh is sound asleep on the couch, as is Shade. Jim and Andrew are hunting. I am Suzy Homemaker.

Even though I haven't been writing my blog, I have been THINKING about writing my blog. (when I was in college I wrote all my English papers while in bed...I would lay there, my hands folded on my chest, eyes shut, writing the intro, thesis, etc. My roomates hated it because I looked like I was in a coffin) mind is always running and rarely rests but one thing that I want to do today is write about someone who is just a really neat person. I know lots of really neat people and will probably do this more often, but today let's talk about Sheryl McKeel. If you know Sheryl, you probably know why I think she is a really neat person. To me, Sheryl is so REAL...she doesn't pretend to be anything she isn't...she says what is on her mind but knows when to shut up (except maybe at staff meetings)...she really really works her butt off to teach kids get them to come to school, she even calls them to make sure they are out of bed. She opens her home each Sunday for tutoring, but isn't afraid to be coloring her hair when there are kids over. When I first was diagnosed, she always told me I was amazing...and I actually believed it! She is just REAL. She is a great mom but makes fun of herself that she spends a lot of time in drive thrus...she admits when she is grouchy or on a rampage...she chews with her mouth full but leaves cool baskets of wonderful toiletries for her Young Americans...she thinks to go get markers for the kids to use to get their t-shirts get the drift! (No Sheryl, you are not my freebie! I just think you are cool.)

I have now made the tuna fish casserole and have burned my right hand ring finger right on the tip......ow.

The report from the UP is a foot of snow last night. Makes me want to be there even more. I am a snow freak...well, actually, a snow day freak. So snow is a must. Rick's forecast at 5/6 and 11 says only 71.2 inches this year, well below normal. Unhappy face here.

Now I am just getting stupid so perhaps I should go see if the baked chicken is burning. Love to you all...and look, very little cancer talk.

Oh, my recipe for my yummy butter cake: OPEN THE BOX and read DIRECTIONS on BACK.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Can you smell my cake?

I am making a cake today. How about that. I also think, now that I have been up for say...5 hours...I need a nap. After all, I do have to chaperon the dance tonight.

The Young Americans are arriving this week for a four day workshop for the kids in the area. For those of you who don't know who they are, they are a vocal/dance music group based in California--made up of young adults ages 15-22 or so...they travel all over the world and teach music and dance to kids. Jim's uncle, Bill, is the director so there is a Niles connection, which makes it a big deal when they come to town. (Bill left Niles when he graduated, became a Young American, and then became the director) This is the first year my own two kids are not doing the workshop--for some reason interest wears off a bit at the high school age--but we still have over 200 kids doing the workshop. The shows are Tuesday and Wednesday night and are worth every penny.

Bill is an enigma in the Brawley lineage. He has to be one of the most creative people I have ever met, and unlike most (ok, all) of the other Brawleys, he doesn't care to hunt or fish or play sports, but really does love this whacky family too. Bill is John's (Jim's dad) youngest brother. It is so funny that they are related, but to look at them, you definitely know they are. Bill is so amazing NEVER know what he is thinking as he watches his kids perform. That is my favorite part of the workshop -- watching him as he watches the kids. He is just brilliant. Then there is Robyn, his wife, who is a ballerina from Australia. Bill and Robyn are two peas in a pod, and they have a little girl, Lizzie, who is just beautiful. She has been in more countries than anyone I know, and has her own frequent flier miles! They are very giving people and live such a different life than we all do. Robyn says she loves to come visit because we are such a family. Come see the show if you can...

Um, yeh, the brat got a speeding ticket last night. That would be Andrew. Going 50 in a 45 on Niles Buchanan road. Unfortunately, he remembers the time I got a ticket on this road too, so I haven't yelled too much--yet. Since he is unemployed, I foresee lots of chores being done around here--lots of leaf raking. He was very scared tho', which makes me smile.

Andrew did just call to say that the cross country State race is over...he doesn't know what place Sam Brawley or Madie Rodts got, but it is over. Madie did come in ahead of Sam so what an amazing future she has! Congrats to both of them for representing Niles. We are very proud of them.

My butter cake smells amazing.

They were playing Christmas music at Wal-Mart today. Kinda got me in the mood. I plan to put up my Christmas tree before we head north for Thanksgiving. I am not being morbid, but I really want to enjoy the holidays more than ever before. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Thanksgiving in the U.P., it is my favorite time of year. Can't wait to have Ginger's potato soup when we arrive, tired from our 9 hour drive; Ginger's awesome turkey (she makes the most moist turkey--she bought a 24 pounder for this year); Ginger's really good turkey soup that we eat all day Saturday; Pam's special lasagna that is a new tradition; huge breakfasts, like biscuits and gravy; french toast; pancakes; eggs, ham, you name it--the guys eat when they get in from their hunt... So, in case you haven't guessed it, none of us are on diets when we are up there. Most of the time the girls just sit around and read, nap, watch the kids, do a little shopping in Wisconsin at some really quaint shops...ahhh....heaven.

Ok, I sound like one of those Amish ladies who write for the newspaper.

Oh my, my golden butter cake is done. Must go sniff and stick a toothpick in it.

Oh my gosh, did I even mention cancer once in this blog????