Saturday, July 14, 2012

Random Thoughts

Regaining strength and stamina has really made a difference in my day to day life and I find myself with more energy and endurance to do things throughout the day. I am attending my exercise class and I can even have a dinner party and not feel wasted the next day!  All of this new found vitality has done wonders for my emotional and mental outlook as well.  I am holding my own with no big health issues right now and it is a blessing to not be obsessing over all things medical.   For my post today, I thought I would share some random thoughts. 

Good Angel . . . Bad Angel

Do you remember those cartoons where the character, maybe Sylvester the Cat (my favorite), was deciding what to do and there would be an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other trying to convince him to do the right thing or wrong thing?  I have found myself having a scenario like that going on in my head lately, only I like to think of it as my Good Angel and Bad Angel.  I can sometimes hear the Bad Angel telling me to worry about my myeloma and to have negative and gloomy thoughts.  However, as soon as I let those thoughts creep in, my Good Angel steps in and says, “Stop it! You are in remission and doing well and you need to enjoy each day that you have.”  I have had a few of these skirmishes lately, but the Good Angel is prevailing!  There was a time in the not too distant past when the Bad Angel would have been in charge. I think my Good Angel is winning because I am feeling so much stronger.

Going to Boston

On Monday I will be flying to Boston BY MYSELF to attend the Alpha Delta Kappa Northeast Regional Conference.   My recent trip to Denver for the Northwest/Southwest Regional Conference did so much to rebuild my self-confidence, that I know this event will help to strengthen it even more.  My diagnosis of multiple myeloma and the surgery, radiation, chemo, stem cell transplant and recovery had made my self-confidence disappear and I have never felt more vulnerable.  Regaining self-confidence is a major step in finding me again.

Best Friends Forever

This past week I had a birthday party for my oldest and dearest friend, Darlene.  We had a lovely dinner on our porch surrounded by a beautiful and fragrant wisteria vine. The birthday cake was strawberry shortcakes made with local berries and placed together on a platter.  

Darlene and I have known each other since seventh grade and have been best friends forever.  We shared high school years and college years and even our teaching careers in the same school district.  We have been spending New Year’s Eve together since 1973 when my son was an infant.  She, too, has health issues that keep her home most of the time.  I visit her every Friday and we never run out of things to talk about, especially during an election year – we are both political junkies!  She has been a great support to me during my illness and I don’t know what I would do without her friendship.


We have another nest in our wisteria right near where our table is on the porch.  A faithful mother robin, who my daughter named Romola, is sitting on the nest.  We are expecting the babies to hatch any day now.  She has no fear of us and is not bothered when we are sitting at the table and having dinner.  I feel honored that she has accepted us into her world.

Our Home

With our unusually wet spring this year, our yard has been especially lush and green.  I love the color scheme of our house at this time of year because it goes so well with the many shades of green and flourishes of coppery reds.  We have lived in this house for 38 years.

Savoring Small Moments 

Edison, Washington is a tiny hamlet in the Skagit Valley near Puget Sound.  It is small and quaint and delightful.  Today, my daughter, Marisa, and my dear friend, Laurel and I made the 45 minute drive to Edison.  

Our first stop when we arrived was to the fabulous Bread Farm Bakery where I bought crusty bread and the best hamburger buns ever.  From there we moved down the block to Tweets, pictured above, which is located in a ramshackle old building that is just oozing charm.  All of their food is locally sourced and the menu changes daily.  We enjoyed cappuccinos and shared a scrumptious blueberry, raspberry, lemon custard filled brioche topped with marscarpone whipped cream.  Yum!

We weren't finished!  After savoring the ambiance and flavors of Tweets, we went on to Slough Foods where they sell wonderful cheeses, meats and various wines, olives, olive oil and other enticing delights.  They also serve lunch on a patio that overlooks Edison Slough.  We couldn't resist!  Lunch consisted of a small cheese sampler, salami sampler and ham and Gruyere on baguettes.  Of course, we each had a glass of wine to toast being together and savoring the small moments of this beautiful day.
The Patio at Slough Foods


  1. dear carole, my best wishes for a wonderful trip to boston. i just love this post and all the lovely photos you shared. it's thrilling to me to "hear" the vitality and joy oozing from all your musings. it's so inspiring to read all about what a good place you are in, and your determination to nourish and hold onto it. yay for our "good angels", both in our heads the earth angels all around us - like your dear friend. soon i will start radiation after 4 months of chemo, which was spectacularly successful and surgery that was the same. i have felt a little bit of anxiety about the radiation, but your post reminded me of how lucky we are, those of us who are so receptive to the comfort and joy of close bonds with those we love, and who savor the beauty of nature. having all of those lovely gifts really can uplift and fortify us, and they will play a big part in helping me get through the next 6 weeks. thanks for your words and photos. love and hugs, karen

  2. Dear Karen,
    I am always inspired by your comments and I truly appreciate your encouragement and support. Yes, I am in a good place right now and am trying hard to keep my Good Angel in charge! Having multiple myeloma is like living with a sleeping giant never knowing when he will awaken, but knowing he will at some point. So, I am really trying to savor the small moments and enjoy where I am right now.

    I am so glad to hear that your chemo went so well. Now on to radiation - I just know you will have good results. Radiation was the first treatment I had because my disease presented with a large plasmacytoma. It took just 14 radiation treatments to make it disappear. I had no problems with the radiation. I will be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers and "intending" that all goes well for you as you continue treatment.
    Love and hugs to you,
    Carole Leigh

  3. thank you so much, carole - it means a great deal to me that you will be thinking of and praying for me. i feel much better as the radiation chapter approaches, and will feel even better once it begins. love and hugs, karen

  4. Ah - Carole Leigh!

    I love your postings and the life emerging ( returning ) as you are able to get out with friends, go to these wonderful spots full of beauty and bounty ( oh- those food items ) and be involved again with our NW Disctrict and International ADK gatherings. Yes, the Good Angel is triumphing - the trumpet call clear.

    I am still not receiving notices ( grrr ) but try to manually visit here in hopes you have posted an entry. I tried signing up again but was "told" in a message that I already was. I know you have no control over the workings of the blog in that dimension. I have friends who are not getting notices about my blog either.

    Look forward to hearing about Boston - and seeing you soon when AU meets.

    Love ( and a grateful heart for all you have come through and what is to come ),