Been working…

… on getting back my strength.  I’ve been walking and swimming – well, walking in the pool – not swimming.  Never managed to learn strokes.  Hey, after almost drowning when I was a kid, getting in a pool is real feat for me.

then, my hernia gave me problems.  I had to take a three-day rest in bed for all the symptoms to go away.  Now, I am starting all over again.  Today, I went to an Art Journaling class to learn some more techniques.  It was so much fun.  Had some coffee to power my session – worked like a charm until the letdown around 10:30 a.m.  But I kept at it.  Had a great session and saw some friend who showered me with compliments!  Wahoo – just what the psyche needed.

My late son, Joe, would have been 51 on Monday, April 9th.  It seems insane that he’s been gone for so long – 30 years this December.  I keep wondering what could have been.  I could have been a grandma maybe.  all the things he never got to do haunt me daily.  But that is something I cannot change, so I live with it – I incorporate his death in my life.  I see a baby, I see Joe when he was little.  I always give them a little smile remembering what fun he was at that age – always curious – always looking behind the scenes – always “seeing” what other people don’t – a flower glistening with dew, a person that needed help, etc.  Sigh.  At least I have my memories.\


I am also dusted off my camera and took some photos.  Enjoy.




Mike’s sisters, Pat and Katherine, flew out from Georgia for a week for a visit.  We’ve been seeing the sights – well, as much as you can when it’s raining.  Sadly, we had a couple of really cold and wet days.  We had sun when we visited the Folsom farmers’ market and the prison.  Also, sun was with us when went to Old Sac.

Had the best chow mein at Fat City in Old Sac – they have a great menu.  Construction is still going on replacing the wood ties on the waterfront.  The whole area looked a little worn – guess all the money is going to the stadium downtown.

I also saw more homeless people than ever before.  We were there in the late afternoon, so I guess they were picking spots for the night.  The Bee has been doing a running article on public toilets for the homeless – there are none, so our downtown IS the toilet.    We need a place for decent care of basic necessities, like toilets, showers, medical care.  (And no, not prison.)



My doctor sent me an email – my CT scan was stable and there was no evidence of cancer growth!


None.  Nada.  Zip.  This plant-based diet must be doing something good for me!!

Doing the happy dance today!


No new cancer growth!!

Marian comes to town

My cousin, Marian, came to visit!  We had a grand time showing her our house and the clubhouse.  It was so good to see her!  Made my day!


I just noticed my eyebrows have not grown back yet.  I am having some fuzz on my head – it remembers what hair used to be and now it is growing back.  Finally!  Oh well, not the time to focus on looks – living is the big thing now.  Oh, and I left my gloves on for the photo – great move there, Janice.

I have my scan on Monday to see if the cancer has returned or not.  I don’t meet with my doctor until Friday, so it will be a long week.  Trying to keep my mind from spiraling in and down – maybe a small road trip? More art?  Movie binging?  (I did watch the pilot for Battlestar Galactica this week.  I could watch that series over and over.  Who knows?

“Starbuck, what do you hear?  Nothing but the rain, sir.  Well, get your gun and bring in the cat.”  Have no idea what that means, but I’m looking for the cat.

Art Journal pics

I should have done some color balancing, but here they are anyway.    working on a painting for a friend right now.


I did the sketch and loaded in the paint in general strokes.  I plan on using watercolor pens and pencils on top of the paint and then do some outlining in black.  Might add some pastels too – haven’t thought that far ahead.  I like the painting to point the way.

Been busy – well, as busy as I can be…

with taking a three-hour nap during the day. Still feels good to get into bed after a fun-filled day.

I completed my art class on Tuesday – we had the second class in the morning.  I then helped out at the Club Expo at the clubhouse.  All the clubs were represented.  Our Mixed Media club had a table with all our art work on it – lots of people stopped by.  It was fun.  I received some compliments on my needle-felted galaxies and my collection of Artist Trading cards.  And it was fun seeing all the other club tables from woodworking to learning to play pool.

I did some work in my art journal with stencils.  I really like using them, but I get a page all inked and I think, “Man, I don’t want to screw this up by adding anything.”  LET IT GO, Janice.  Have some fun – do it over – take risks.  I spend too much time trying make it look like something.

I have artist friends who paint flowers that look so real, you want to touch them.  Mine look flat.  There I go again, self-criticizing my work before it’s even done.  LET IT GO, Janice.  Just have some fun – you just might discover yourself in the process.  I didn’t realize I was so uptight and doubtful.  I guess that is one reason I took the class – the other reason was to get back in with people doing what I like to do.  Getting sick is so isolating.  I have to be careful of germs, cold drafts, walking distances, not carrying anything heavy, etc.  I really felt good on Tuesday – looking forward to seeing what other classes I can take.

Oh, Mike and I wanted to get on the bus ride to Chinatown in San Fran for the New Year’s celebration – but the bus was full.  I signed up for the waitlist in case anyone cancelled.  It was last Sunday – the bus was leaving at 8:30 and someone did cancel – 10 minutes BEFORE the bus left and they called us – 10 freakin’ minutes.  Sorry, I’m not that flexible.  The weather was cold anyway.  I was lucky I didn’t go.

Back to the art journal.  I’ll post some photos.

Art Class

I attended my first post-cancer treatment art class.  It is a Journaling class – full of tricks and tips to make backgrounds and interesting pages.  I signed up because my art was getting stale – and I wanted to get back into the world of people with like interests.

It was fun learning how to use stencils – we had our pick of the instructor’s toys – inks, paper, stencils and stamps.  I finally learned not to ruin the stencils with too wet an ink.  Well, generally, I tried to use paint, but that was a disaster.  I’ll post some photos when I van download them off the camera.

I also finished Addisyn’s letters for her room.  I’ll post photos of them too.

I slept a lot yesterday – I got a chill in the afternoon and started coughing and sneezing.  Went right to bed and woke up feeling better.

No art class this week – last session is the next week.  Can’t wait!!

How NOT to spend a Monday

In the emergency room – went in for severe pain in my abdomen (near the hernia site).  I was very vocal about the pain – tried to hide it, but it kept on hurting.  So, I arrive around just after Noon – when did I leave?  9 p.m.  One of the CT Scans was down and they needed that to see what was going on.  They gave me some morphine and some fluids, told me to rest until the scan machine was ready (around 6 p.m.).  The morphine had worn off by then, but the pain went away.

Was told to see my primary doctor, which I did today.  He said just monitor it and if the pain happens again, lay down and rest.  Gravity will push the hernia back in the abdominal wall.  Great.  More info than you wanted to know, right?

I want my Monday back.

I Cudda Bin a Star…

I was up at the Activities Desk at the clubhouse trying to book two seats on a bus going to San Francisco to go to the Chinese New Year celebration at the end of Feb., when this parade of people went by laughing and having a good time.  A woman leaned over to me and asked me if I wanted to be in a commercial for Skittles.

I said no and then found out the trip was full – no seats were available.  So then I went to find the Skittles party.  They had a football player from the Oakland Raiders hawking the new brand of Skittles that has tabasco-like hot stuff in it.  People was absolutely giddy over this guy – he was a big man with dreadlocks and no, I didn’t get his name.  I was seated on the group W bench – two groups were ahead of me.  While waiting, I had some good conversations with other people waiting – no one knew his name either.

Well, I watched the filming and then things got complicated as more people found out there was a commercial being filmed – people started getting ahead of other people in line, and the noise was getting too loud for filming.  They asked us all to step inside the building and then the drive-ups started – golf carts and cars filled with old people wanting to be a star.

I didn’t need it that badly, so I left after an hour and a half of waiting.  sigh.  Not patient enough to wrap my arms around being a celebrity in a Skittles commercial.  Oh well, what would I do with the paycheck being in the form of Skittles anyway.

Truthfully, it was downright embarrassing to see those people fawn over a football player who shall remain unnamed.  Sometimes I don’t like people.