Quote from’ After the fire’

Here’s an example of Henning Mankell’s writing:

” How do you survive?’ she asked.

“you get out of the house as fast as you can”.

“That’s not what I meant. How do you survive when you’ve lost everything you own?’

‘We need very little in order to live.’

‘But what about all the memories? The family heirlooms? The photograph albums? The floors you have always walked on, the wallpaper you have seen every day, the doors you have opened and closed?’

 

‘The most important memories are preserved in my mind. I can’t weep over the fact that everything is gone. I have to decide what to do. I have no intention of allowing the fire to steal my life.’

 

Honestly, his writing is brilliant. If you substitute fire for anything. Right now, I’d substitute this cancer.

 

 

Simple Sunday

A sunny day at last. Actually, yesterday was nice too. But rain/snow is forecast for the whole week. I guess we’ll get thru. But when the sun is out and it’s almost 60 degrees, I start to want to go out and do yard work, or garden. or get back out to the barn for more decluttering. But then it’s nice for a day and then back to 50 degrees or less and all that enthusiasm leaves. Oh well, it’ll all be there to get to.

Today is day 4 of chemo, so only one more for this round and then it’s a waiting game to see how the labs start doing. I suspect at least a week before anything maybe two. I have read some encouraging stories on the MDS facebook page. That does help. Plus I’ve asked a few questions and people are very helpful. That kind of support is really worth it and from my own experience with the Myeloma page and the Myeloma Beacon, they were literally life-saving and helped me move in the right direction.

Today is a gym day and then home to just do some chores before heading back in to get B. Today is a short day for him so that’s nice.

Dinner is pulled pork with corn tortillas. Scrambled eggs for B. His mouth sores he says are getting a tiny bit better.

This week is the bathroom zone. I was watching YouTube with The minimom who is in New Zealand. She’s quite cute with her zone cleaning but she said she uses some printouts from Etsy. I went and looked and am undecided if I need these. They’re only $4 but I’m not sure how much I’d use them. Basically, I have a planner( blank pages with a dot grid, I get at Michaels) and then each day write my goals and what I need to do. I also do a budget daily checking what’s out and what is due when. 98% of our bills are automatic but a few are still put in.  So usually, I also do the next paycheck budget and adjust accordingly such as this next pay period I need to get the van smogged and pay registration. So, then I add that in.

Off to tidy up and then read.

Oh, I’m reading the last Henning Mankel book,’After the fire’.  His writing is just amazing. It is so clear and precise. Yet, very poetic.

Wintery days

It is very cold and windy here but the sky is bright blue. Very California-y winter day.

We had a lovely Christmas and although I was going for complete minimalism, that didn’t exactly happen. But I think it was just the right amount of gifts and they were lovely. I received some new silicone spatulas( much needed), the DVD of Gone with the Wind, of course, the Vita-mix which I am absolutely loving and a Vitamix cookbook plus Ina Garten’s new cookbook too.

Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell was a book that shaped my outlook on life as an 11-year-old. Not the racist part of slave owners but the struggle to keep what was of value.  I was telling my children, that we actually went to NYC to see the movie at Radio City Music Hall. At least I think it was RCMH, not completely sure.  I must have read the book 10 times growing u along with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  Both were huge influences on me.

Anyway, then we had a great lasagna, cheese manicotti, a salad, and bread.  B is not drinking any alcohol with his treatment stuff so my daughter and I shared a nice chardonnay.

His numbers have been tanking and it’s mostly due to the chemo which is good that it’s working but until the good cells out do the bad ones, he will need more transfusions, unfortunately.

 

I drove down to Sacramento for my oncology appt and traffic was practically nonexistent and I made it in record time. All my labs are normal so I’ll see him again at the end of February. He was informative about MDS and did encourage us to have the brothers checked for being a possible donor. He said it’s a simple blood test to check that first. It will give B the best chance of success if one of them is a match. I guess we will swallow our pride and ask although I said that doesn’t mean I want to have them in my life. So we shall see.

It also appears the best route for working is not working and going on disability so we will do that next week.  At first, I thought B could work between appts but there is no letting up right now with needing transfusions and platelets. Plus he can’t risk being around anyone who might be sick.  So hopefully it goes quickly and smoothly which I think will happen.

Tonight I’m making a spinach soup using the Vitamix and it came out silky smooth. The recipe is one of made many times from the mystery cater stories by Diane Mott Davidson. I tell you, if you’ve thought about one and are undecided, I can tell you it is really amazing. Plus I’m baking potatoes and 2 small pieces of wild Alaskan sockeye salmon.

The tree is down and the ornaments away. The little live tree I’ll have B move this weekend as he will need the dolly to move it.  So, the house is back to it’s clean and tidy self.

Book Review update, especially about transgender issues!!

I finished ‘Tahoe Skydrop’ and just want to add an addendum to my review the other day.

The character that gets kidnapped is an 11-year-old computer whiz kid. Jon is also transgender. Todd Borg writes about this character in an empathetic and descriptive way. He really brings out the issue of transgender in a knowledgeable way. Jon is born in a male body but identifies as a girl. In the story she becomes Jonni.

I just want to give a huge Shout out to Todd Borg to write about this issue in a way that really cuts to the chase of the issue.

‘Tahoe Skydrop’

T Skydrop front cover.jpg

Todd Borg is a local author who writes amazing suspense and murder mysteries. This one is his 16th book. I have read them all and love each one. His main character Owen McKenna is a person you would want to know and then there’s his sidekick Spot, who is a harlequin Great Dane.

I love reading about the Tahoe area and I always learn something new.

Thanks, Todd Borg for these great books and hope to meet you sometime.

This one was just released but be sure to start at the beginning. They will take you to Tahoe even if you never visit.

Almost fall.

I so enjoy this time of year of late summer early fall. Of course, my birthday is in September so that’s probably why.  Although I think beyond the birthday thing it’s just a beautiful time with cool evenings and warm days. We sat out last night till 8:30 and it was still warm.

The garden is winding down and so is watering the garden.  Our water bill was quite huge due to watering so much when it was 100 + for weeks at a time. We’re already watering way less and that should drop the bill next month. I’m still picking green tomatoes so they can ripen in a box. Plus now I’m starting to cut the hard squashes. We have quite a few butternut and spaghetti squash. They will be nice in the fall and winter.

This year our apple tree is in full production so I’ll be making applesauce and pies. I’m going to make a pie today or tomorrow so I can see how it freezes and then defrost and bake. I’d like to experiment to see if this is the best method. Otherwise, it’ll be apple sauce canned.

This morning is a gym morning. We walked this morning as well so that puts me at 4x a week. I’m probably going to add a 5th day next week.  It’s great to be back out in the morning. I love moving first thing( well after 1 cup of coffee).

My latest drama is trying to get a certified birth certificate. We would like to get passports so that we can travel or flee the country if necessary( just kidding). So my  birth certificate is not embossed. So I figured no problem. I filled out the NYC form paid the fee and voila. Well, no the next day I get an email saying that my first name does not match the birth certifcate so it’s voided. WTF????  My birth name is Aurora Roxana Christina. I have never ever in my entire life used Aurora as that was my mother’s name. So I email back and say I have always only used Christina as my legal name. Nope!! he says, I have to have something with my legal first name. WTF??? I have absolutely nothing. So I’m supposed to email someone else. Such a simple thing and now it’s a f@#King problem. Leave it someone in NYC to be an asshole and screw it up.

Well, I guess I’ll see what happens.

I’ve read a couple of really good books this week. One is ‘Educated’, about a woman born in 1986 to an extreme Mormon family in Idaho. It is so eye-opening. It’s amazing she found herself and escaped. And she went on to obtain her Ph.D. Quite a story. The other is a Jodi Picoult, ‘Leaving Time’. It has a huge twist that is completely unexpected. Great characters.

Dinner is either nachos or leftover homemade ravioli. Not sure which yet!!

 

 

 

 

A book review.

I’m back at Netgalley reading some books and then giving a review.

This one is cover142452-mini.png The beginner’s KetoDiet Cookbook.

I’ve been curious about the KetoDiet for a while. So when I had the chance to review this I was excited.

The book is very well done with lots of interesting recipes that even if you didn’t want to follow Keto all the way they would be good. The pictures are lovely as well.

The author gives a very detailed explanation about having a KetoDiet and the many positive things about it.

I’d definitely recommend reading this book and I will be trying a few recipes myself.