Monday, December 26, 2005

Chrisrtmas Day, the Christmas Cactus

Quite frankly this picture doesn't do this plant justice while it's in all its splendid glory.

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Princess Diana

I have a dear friend in England who sent me this book as she knows how much I adore the late Princess Diana. What was unique about receiving this book is that in the mail, on the same day, I received another gift, a bookmark, from a dear friend in Kansas. Don't they look wonderful together???

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

My Christmas present to you

I just snapped this one today. It's still not in full bloom, but it's almost there. And it's just a mere 3 days until Christmas.

I've been busy tracking down packages, baking Christmas goodies and the like. My husband and I are going to Busch Gardens on Christmas Eve. Why not? And since it's in Tampa we'll be joined by my husband's sister, Susan. Afterwards we're going to stop by my Tio and Tia's home and say hello. Then off to the house.

I'm not cooking on Christmas Day. Nope. We're all going to Sam Seltzer's at 1PM in order to accommodate my son, Matt's, schedule. He's working both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the Ritz Carlton and this gives him a chance to join us for a short while.

We're all off on the Monday after Christmas and I throw the spiral baked ham in the oven then. Gotta have those leftovers!

Merry Christmas! God bless!

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My Christmas Cactus is really starting to look beautiful

Wow! And it's still not in full bloom.

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Christmas Cactus is waking up

I'm in awe of this beautiful plant.
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The beginnning of my Christmas Cactus

This is my Christmas Cactus on December 10th. It sits outside on my dining table out on the lanai and it is loaded with buds. I will be posting pictures of it as it progresses.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Quincy and Clara

My grandkids!
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Jake and Leah

My grandbabies.

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My parents along with myself and all my siblings

This was taken this past 4th of July. Meet all of us. My mom, dad, two sister's and a brother. We're in order of age. I'm the oldest and Patty, on the far left, is the youngest. Joni and Larry are in the middle.

But that isn't the reason I put this picture in. I wanted you to meet my mom. Her and I stopped smoking six years ago this January. She has had emphysema since, but is a noncompliant, I don't want to take that, it isn't helping anyway, type of gal and although she had bouts of pursed lip breathing and wasn't able to walk too far, she was able to manage.

Until my father's diagnosis.

Since my dad was diagnosed with the prostate cancer less than a month ago, she's had two 911 runs to the hospital as she was unable to breathe. Her O2 sat? 80%. That's critical. Now she's on oxygen and nebulizers and is managing so far. She's been off the prednisone now for about a week, this time, with no problems, finally.

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

DAD will always be known for his champion dahlias

Meet my very active father who is 82 years old. When I was a kid, living in Michigan, he would shovel the snow for all the neighbors and he also did the whole street for about 3-4 houses long. He raked everyone's leaves and went and buried them in his multiple flower beds, and then in the spring, after nurturing hundreds of dahlia bulbs all winter long, he'd plant them all in small tubs and start toting them in and out of the garage on the sporadic warms days a Michigan spring brings. As soon as he felt it warmed up enough with a low risk of frost he'd start planting them. This took a few weeks as he didn't just plunk them in the soil. And he would watch the weather like a hawk and if there was a chance of a frost that night all the planted dahlias had to be covered.

But look at those dahlias will you? He has 3 acres of land stuck in the middle of the Detroit area with a small creek running along the back of it. When he first bought that property he laboriously dug those beds out and replaced the dirt with compost and rich soil. And you can see by the picture above the rewards of his labor.

And then the developers have been hounding my parents for years wanting their land so they can build mini mansions on lots not even a 1/4 acre in size. All house and no land, that's what you're going to be getting. And they've bought the property to my father's left and built a road and houses along it. And then they bought the property to my parents right and are renting it out -- waiting. Vultures!

Now my father was recently diagnosed with late stage prostate cancer. Unfortunately for him, he had Polymyalgia Rheumatica back in the 70's and when he started getting all this leg pain and having such a difficult time it was thought that the PR had come out of remission. And after being treated with prednisone and then it wasn't helping, the rheumatogist started looking in a different direction.

After several tests it was off to the urologist, and after further testing it was determined that yes, indeed, he had prostate cancer and what a shame he'd had the PR because it delayed his diagnosis. Sorry.

Four years ago my dad had a PSA test and it was slightly elevated and they were told they were just going to keep on eye on it. Four years, and four changes of primary care physicians later it was found that they never ran another one and when my father was getting blood work done on his annual visits my mother assumed they were also running the PSA test. But they weren't. Here is a prime example of getting lost in the shuffle of the health care system.

But that's another story.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Jiminy Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner and my last post was on Thanksgiving. Can you spell b u s y??? As in, swamped??? If it isn't my parents getting the family in an uproar, then it's my darling 17 year old daughter, Katie (her age says it all).

But I will tell these stories. I promise.

And I have something extra special for everyone for Christmas!