Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bucket List, Revisited

Back in April, I wrote this post on a slow night shift. It's been over six months, so I figure it is worth an update to see how I'm doing. Though I have to admit, checking things off a list and getting things done have seemed a lot less important lately. I'd much rather snuggle up to my love, watch the leaves fall, or call my parents. But anyway...

*Start a compost pile. No, but I contributed to the neighborhood one.

*Finish painting the few places in my house that need touching up. No, the touch-ups are undone, but I repainted the office.

*Tile the backsplash in my kitchen. Done! And the floor!

*Successfully grow one tomato plant and one pot of basil (the extent of my garden this year) I planted the tomato plant and then forgot it. I zapped the basil with Miracle Grow and it died in hours.

*Read a book about Uganda and try to get a grasp of the history of that country. Nope

*Finish my college scrapbook. (I only have the graduation portion left, and it's been that way for 2 years!) Nope

*Finish my thesis (goal of Nov.). It is DONE! Defense is set for Dec. 3.

*Become a nurse practitioner (planned for May 2010). I'm at least passing right now...

*Play the piano for patients/residents and families at St. Marys and Madonna Towers. Can't tell you the last time I touched the piano, except to dust.

*Make it back to Honduras. No. (sniff).

*Sew something. Nope

*Learn to make decent espresso on my new machine. I have once or twice.

*Winterize the house better so my heat bill improves next winter. Does it count if my husband did it?

*Assume my newfound role as an aunt and get the birthday calendar figured out. Failing miserably.

*Get completely checked off so I can perform blood and marrow transplants and administer chemotherapy at work. Done, even though I really don't like doing it.

Not too bad, huh? If I did it over again, I'd probably make a very different list. Maybe one day I'll get to it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yes, I will go out of my way to step on that crunchy looking leaf

Two people + one afternoon off together= three truckloads of leaves

Our poor postage-stamp yard has recently been bombarded by the mutinous leaves quickly shedding from our pretty trees.

And despite already having three snows, there's still a lot of gorgeous-ness left.

We ended up taking three full truckloads of leaves to the community compost. It was so fun to see half of Rochester out raking their leaves all on the same perfect day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Words heard too soon

You plan for some things.

You think about car wrecks, and you wear your seat belt.
You worry about stairs, so you put the baby gate up.
You stay away from such things as bungee jumping, sky diving, and motor cross.

We plan and we worry and we try to prepare.

And still it's usually the things that happen on any idle day that knock us to our knees.

Last Friday, my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Cancer, oddly enough, is not usually a word I am automatically scared of. We have so many good treatments; I've seen too many people come through. But this type is different. If you need to read more about it, go here. We (the medical community) feel like a complete failure when it comes to this disease.

But in the midst of the shock and the tears and the worry and the words heard 30 years too soon ("You don't have very long..."), lots of gifts and things to be thankful for have come forth. And that's what I'm holding on to right now.

86. a thoughtful father who had my husband tell me so I would have someone to hold me when I found out
87. a family that takes care of each other
88. finding cheap tickets on a next-day flight
89. a uncle who visits two days in a row
90. numerous phone calls, cards, and emails
91. Johnny Markham's office
92. hugs
93. late night conversations
94. hearing my mom say "I'm not buying skim milk anymore."
95. a teenage brother who wants to help
96. finding out at least 10 churches and prayer groups prayed for us 2 days post-diagnosis
97. a fill-in preaching father-in-law
98. a quick replacement for my mom's teaching position so she can be free
99. flowers
100. realizing just how far our circle of friends extends
101. far-off relatives who decide to stop by
102. a Jennifer Allen hug
103. having all the family together
104. four-part a capella harmony
105. a minister who's been through this to support my dad
106. understanding professors
107. a friend who will get up at 3:30am to take us to the airport so my exhausted dad doesn't have to
108. coming home to a warm pot roast from the Schulz's
109. looking for waffles the next morning and finding a freezer full of good stuff from my sneaky friends
110. candles
111. my ever-loving, ever-supportive husband who completely lights up my life
112. hope of a better world where this is no cancer
113. pictures
114. land where you can see the stars
115. Cracker Barrel apple crisp with ice cream
116. the comfort of Sunset Restaurant
117. a tiny cousin on a scooter who knows the difference between a tractor and a backhoe
118. four hour naps
119. my Jesus
120. my mom

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The mixing of the Seasons

First snow of the season, before most of the leaves have had a chance to fall...

There will be more to come. 1-3 inches tomorrow. You came too soon, Winter.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

In Thankfulness of Fall

71. the turning of the leaves
72. my ever-so-perfect long, blue fleece robe
73. the warmth of a hot shower
74. a closetful of blankets
75. hot tea
76. brilliant colors the sunrise casts on the fog
77. snuggling under covers
78. casseroles
79. homemade zuccini bread
80. pumpkins
81. Sunday afternoon lunch at the in-laws
82. visiting friends from TN
83. squishing on the couch with my girlfriends
84. installed insulation
85. sweatshirts