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The Unexpected Great Days

Last year, one of my most memorable days was an unexpected one.

Earlier in the year on my annual mammogram, they found some suspected calcifications in one of my breasts, of which they were adamant that I get checked out.

This led to a needle biopsy for two locations with results of no cancer, but an MRI was recommended for a follow up to see if they could see anything further as one spot although non-cancerous, was atypical in cellular nature.

The day of the Biopsies, I was the first patient and as I wasn’t too concerned, I  was able to enjoy the nurses and technicians and surgeon that performed the extraction.  The nurses were so pleased to have a calm and talkative first patient of the day that after they wrapped me up with some ice packs post surgery, they sent me off to work with a hug.

The MRI also was an interesting experience.  For those who haven’t had one, the noise of the machine is louder than one might anticipate. I am told they give headphones with music sometimes, but that wasn’t an option for me.  Even with the noise, I dozed off as they ran the machine around me.  Maybe my mind just associated it with the noise of public transport of which I can almost always doze off on.  No great conversations that day, so no hugs either, but again, the results were negative with no red flags – except for the last line that suggested a surgical consult.

I was due for my annual visit to the gynecologist, so I figured he would explain it all.  His suggestion was to go have the surgical consult and provided me with a list of surgeons to choose from.  One of the names on the list was Joyce Moore.  I choose her not after a long in depth search of her qualifications, but merely because of her name. (She has my mother’s first name and my good friend Sally’s last name – yes, I have a friend named Sally)

con·sul·ta·tion
ˌkänsəlˈtāSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: consultation; plural noun: consultations
  1. a meeting with an expert or professional, such as a medical doctor, in order to seek advice.
    synonyms: meeting, talk, discussion, interview, audience, hearing; More

I am here to tell you that an surgical consult is not a meeting as much as it is the day you meet the surgeon to schedule surgery.  She was a woman of my age with a good sense of humor, had an open heart and was quite insistent that for everyone’s peace of mind, it was best to have a lumpectomy to take out the atypical cells and a bit of the surrounding tissue just to make sure that everything was clear.  In some tangent of our conversation, I learned that he husband’s second toe is longer that his big toe – same as me.  I don’t recall how our conversation got to that as I never took my shoes off, but I let her know that it was a sign of royalty. At least that is what I was always told by my Grandmother who also had the same toes. I have found it really interesting of late to notice what information people will share when not thinking.  I still get the giggles a little when I think of her going home for dinner and telling her husband that he has royal toes and him wondering just how in the world his toes come up in a conversation in her practice of women’s breast issues.

She picked a date in early November for the procedure and asked if I wanted to be put under anesthesia or go with a local.  I was surprised to hear I had an option and said I would prefer to have the local so that I could see and hear what goes on.

After all, I was the little girl who wanted to be front and center if there was surgery to be performed on any of the animals at the farm or be present at when we butchered a cow or sheep.  It always has fascinated me the complexities of what is hidden beneath the exterior of our outer coverings.

What is under all that wool, I wondered.

 

I’ll tell you about the day of the surgery tomorrow as it is the really unexpected great day.

Love Sally

Happy New Year

2017 is in the books and once again I failed to encapsulate the year in a Christmas card to mail out to our loved ones.

It’s been a year of visits, visitors, prodding and probing of all sorts.

For the most part, we have become empty nesters this year.   I might have wondered if that would leave us at a crossroads in our marriage had I had time to ponder the events, but it has been gentle and a positive event. One that has allowed us to get back to what we enjoy doing together -just the two of us.

We had more visitors for longer stays than any of our previous years and that too was a great thing. Many folks came that I had met and connected to so well on my earlier solo travels and soon became family to Ted as well.   Such good times for all of us as all of our company allowed us to feel like we were all just hanging out together and not entertaining royalty. (not that they are not of royal lineage)

Galen moved from living with his best friend to living with two of his best buddies.  He still works with Ted in the business and is doing quite well.

He reconnected with and is dating the first girl he ever invited over to our house as a friend in kindergarten.  Very sweet.

He has also gotten a puppy – and luck would have it that the girlfriend is a vet tech.

Devin is also dating a very sweet girl.  She is a vegan, so it has been a change for me to omit the ever present, butter, milk, eggs and meat from everything.  I can now make vegan pies and banana bread that you cannot tell a difference.  Luckily, she likes anything I do whip up for her of the vegan variety while throwing meat on for everyone else.  I have found the best way to get anyone to visit is to tell them I’m making dinner for all.

We managed two concerts at Red Rocks this summer.  If you’ve never been, you need to come out and see a concert there.  It had been several years since I had been and I forgot just how perfect that setting is for a great concert. The pic is of Ted and I with Devin and his gal.

Ted has caught a little of the travel bug that is fully entrenched into my psyche and I managed to get him off on a few week trips in Colorado and a more distant trip to Seattle for a visit with dear friends.  We had a grand time and he has now even submitted to have his passport renewed!

We’ve had some awesome gatherings, some great road trips, and are looking forward to more of the same for 2018.

Please schedule a visit with us if you have time this year and if you can’t, maybe we will head your way this year.

I’ll relay some of the other stories later.  Ted has proclaimed he is to take up working on his sound room again, so that should provide more alone time for me to actually jot down a few stories now and then.

Wishing you all an amazing 2018 with fun, love and great adventures.

Sally

I know a couple of the pictures are sideways, but I’m not able to determine why and if I don’t post this now, it may be 2019 before I get it posted.

 

 

 

Thinking of many

This week we have been witness to the sun and moon shining a red light upon us. There were the early mornings this week with the sun on one horizon and the moon on the opposite and except for their size, they looked to be the same object in the sky.
The wildfires that plague the west just now have sent a thick blanket of smoke to our area giving us beautiful skies. With that though is the reminder of the people in danger both in their homes in those areas and the brave fire fighters pushing themselves through incredibly long days and extreme conditions. My good friend N who was just recently out here has a son working on those fires. I pray for him often as the smokey skies here remind me to do.

Red Colorado Sun this week
Red Colorado Full Moon looking much like the sun – Joe Randall

Then there is the East and south that is being ravaged in another manner. We spent some anxious days last week worried about our extended family in the Houston area and the epic amount of rain that was poured upon them. Thankfully, they are safe.

Imagine that Colorado’s annual rainfall is 15.47 inches per year and parts of Texas received over 51 inches in just a few days.  Mind boggling.

And now there is Irene that has grazed one’s we care about in Puerto Rico seemingly only taking electricity away from them but possibly taking a more direct shot at the many in Florida.  Several we know have fled, several couldn’t find enough gas to make the trip after boarding up their homes.  Lots of prayers there too as so many there also have the possibility of being displaced for quite some time.

A little chickadee just landed on my knee for a moment as I was typing this post on the deck, to possibly remind me to mention the wildlife that also loses homes and family in these catastrophes as well.

Sending love and prayers to all.

Sally

Eclipsed by the Experience

Here we are, a week removed from the big celestial event.  An occasion marked with plans and stories of people and how some had the forethought to calculate their travel and stays to coincide with being in the best possible viewing spots(only to have the hotel realize they had undersold the room by 100 fold and cancel their prime reservation) while others seemed to be surprised and throwing a last minute  strategy to beat the hordes of similar seekers to the prime viewing path that was foretold.

Here is Colorado, we were just hours (on a normal day) from the path of totality.  The normal hours did not apply for that weekend as while Wyoming is known for wide open spaces, there are really only  a handful of highways that lead to those vast spaces and for one weekend they were completely jammed inwards for a few days and hours up to the eclipse.  One friend said that you could have run the Boston Marathon on the opposing lanes that day and never used any cones to guard from traffic.

Of course there was  then complete congestion as everyone exited.   At least they had hours to recount the two and a half minutes plus of complete eclipse and wonder about the spectacle.

Eclipse photo by Jasmine
Arrival Eclipse photo by Jasmine

I was not one of the fortunate that was able to steal away and get up to the totality region.  Another co-worker had requested it first and I had just returned from time away, so knowing I would get first hand accounts from many, I set to see what a 92% eclipse was to be at my location.

The moon began it’s journey just before my lunch hour and I was able to don the glasses every few minutes and track the path just by leaning accross my desk and looking out the window.

As the time drew closer and I began my lunch hour, I decided to head to the greenbelt space near the office and sit by the stream there and observe just how the wildness of nature near me would participate, pause or experience such a phenomena.

As I sat near the water noticing the drop in temperature, I began to hear the chirps and buzz of the bugs and critters mostly heard at dusk.

I noticed there were waves of light going up the leaves of the tall grasses near me to both sides of me.  I sit hear often and have never noticed this phenomena and since it was not directional, was a bit curious about it.  I cannot be sure if it was associated with the celestial event or my heightened awareness of the moment.  I have not had the opportunity to return to the exact spot and make a comparison as of yet.

I was also able to view the projection of the eclipse as seen through the leaves on the trees around me.

I cannot quite fathom what it was like for those lucky souls who personally got to experience the totality, but I feel truly blessed with my own personal experience and the beauty I was able to observe just being close to home.

I’d love to hear what you did if you have time to share.

Love,

Sally

 

 

Spring is Here

This week has been mostly gorgeous. I have spent my lunches in the Clear Creek Trail space by the office. Some days I hike for the hour and some days I plop a blanket by the creek and just take in the sun and sounds of the water, the birds in the trees and the mallard ducks that proliferate in the area.

It was easy to settle into the ‘I love spring’  mantra and enter into the making summer plans mode – Mostly dreaming of how I could pull off an amazing summer like last year.

But Mother Nature has ways to bring us out of the daydream of tomorrow and focus on today as this morning I awoke to this:

So I am sequestered indoors to finish up the quarterly taxes that I’ve put off as long as I possibly could.

The weather man says we will be back up to seventy degrees this week, but for now, all that is sure is:

 

Happy Spring everyone.

A metropolis

Today is the first day that I have gotten to enjoy the sunrise from my deck in leisure.

Ted noticed the other day that some magpies were building a rather large nest in one of the trees closest to the house, so I went out with the hopes of seeing some of the construction.

The variety of different birds and their chirps, calls and songs was amazing to me. So many that I couldn’t begin to keep track.

As I sat and just got caught up in all he energy, I realized that if I were to envision the activity I was seeing and hearing in human forms, I would think there was metropolis outside. A hustle and bustling  city with bosses yelling at workers where to go – calling for more product – directing traffic. There was the hammering of the woodpeckers (thankfully not on our house) pounding out signs of their construction or destruction. There were the Robins doing the ground work, hopping to and fro pulling up grasses and looking for meals.

The Evening Grosbeaks (one of my favorites to see) were like the youthful kids – all hanging out in a group moving from the local food stand to the next closest hangout and back again.

The energy was that of everyone realizing it’s a beautiful day, so let’s get as much done as possible while we can.

I suppose I should listen to my feathered friends and follow the advise, but I know Ted will be up and take that stance only too soon, so I’ll enjoy watching others work while I sit on the morning sun.

By the way, Ted was reading that when the magpies are done with their nest, that owls or Hawks or Ravens will generally take it over. This should be fun.

Have a happy and blessed Easter everyone.

SJF

The Ketchup Bottle too Full

I’ve decided I’m a bit of a Ketchup bottle lately and have been filled so full  that things just aren’t coming out to share in a flowing motion.

Since my last post in which our friends were out to visit in February, the very next day, one of my cousins arrived for a five day visit.  His mom (my aunt) had recently passed, so it was good to be together and share time.

We hiked,

and even made it to East Denver to see another cousin of ours for an afternoon of fun, food and stories.

Just a few days after Jer left, I left for Nashville.  Our friend Patty from Chattanooga had been in Vanderbilt Hospital intensive care since December with complete heart failure, so I had booked a trip out to spend some time and hopefully provide some cheer.  It was a quick 4 day trip, but felt great to see her (just released from ICU before I arrived) and also stay with Jas and Ro and hear of their recent adventures.

The next weekend, it was beautiful and Ted surprised me by agreeing to go for an impromptu hike in a park we had not been to before.

Make sure we take you to Staunton State Park when you come out sometime.  It truly is a gorgeous place to hike.

That same weekend, some of our friends kids had an gig playing in a “school of rock” kind of band.  It was really great to see them excelling and enjoying themselves on stage in a real venue.

The next weekend, I had a Mom’s night on Friday and then Ted and I headed to the mountains for a few days of skiing with our friends from North Carolina and Missouri and staying at the “Joe Cabin” (a whole nother story that goes back too many years to count)

The view from the deck of the cabin along the Colorado River.

The following weekend, I had been invited to meet my cousin in South Dakota and climb Harney Peak.  We met at my friend Sally’s house (I think this is my first great friend that share’s my name), and left pre-dawn the next morning and climbed the peak along with the sun.  At 7242 feet, it boasts as being the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Pyrenees Mountains of Europe.

Atop the peak is the Fire lookout station and a 360 degree view.  Well worth the effort.


Which brings us to last weekend – consisting  of having friends – whom we haven’t gotten to see at all this winter – over on Friday, new neighbors over for a meet and greet on Saturday and of course, there was the Dinner and Dead group on Sunday.

Mix into those weeks, other Dinner and Dead Sunday’s, some nights out with the kids, and there hasn’t been much free spare time for writing.

I’m really only managing this today because it is rainy (much needed) and I am at the computer at lunch instead of on a walk in the greenbelt space near the office.

There are of course, lots of stories within all of the excursions, but that’s where the bottled up sensation takes over.  Choosing and relaying seem to be oh so much harder if I don’t do it at the time.

Heck, I still have way too many stories from my time off last summer that I haven’t relayed yet. (but I do really want to get some of those out).

 

February Company

I can’t quite fathom that February is in it’s final week! It has been quite the month for us with company and plans occupying nearly every day thus far.

That might seem overwhelming, but it has been the opposite.  We have had more time just spent in fun and fellowship than I can remember happening at our house in quite some time.

Continue reading February Company

A Miracle Week

Last week was one of those weeks that should have been destined to be a challenge.  Half the office had been sick the week prior but still managed to come to work.

I have prided myself on not getting a cold virus for the past year or so, but over the weekend, this one had grabbed and took me down too.

So the week started with nearly all of us not feeling our best.

The other factor for the week was that it was a full moon.  If you don’t believe the full moon affects at least part of the masses, then you haven’t worked in customer service or a psychiatric ward (some days those jobs seem interchangeable)

So when Wednesday came around and I found myself getting to work with a undeniable feeling that it was going to be an amazing day, I had nothing to base it upon. But some things you just know.

I declared early on  that the day was going to be a “miracle” day!  I got the usual “whatever” looks from the early morning crew.

But then miracles did start to happen.  Cases that had been unworkable were suddenly completed.  People who had delayed orders, had gotten delivered.  Technicians had made appointments for service calls when they said there was no openings.

Pretty soon, I wasn’t some Pollyanna spewing rainbows and butterflies as others were starting to chime in with their miracle for the day too.  I can’t even tell you how much fun it was to see the office switch from complaining about the next crazy customer to finding the next miracle in our day.

It spilled over to Thursday and Friday too!

I hope you had some miracles in your week too.

Love Sally

The Bouquet and the Garden

Sometime after I had initially contacted Jayna to see if we could visit in Austin, she realized she already had a commitment on the afternoon we were arriving and so just asked if we wouldn’t mind all going.

The event was a 10th? birthday party for the daughter of one of her long dear friends. In fact, the daughter was named after Jayna and therefore when all together, the younger was referred to as ‘Little Jayna’.

I thought it incredible to have a namesake that wasn’t a blood relative. Obviously I was just in a long list of people who saw the first Jayna as someone special.

What we encountered when we went to little Jayna’s birthday party was the family of the birthday girl complete with grandma and aunt and cousin from out of town on Dad’s side and cousins on Mom’s side as well.

Trixie and I sat by the pool and watched the kids play in the pool and got to know the Grandma who really wasn’t much older than I am.

She was a fascinating woman who originated from a large family in Belize. It was one of several times this summer, that as I spoke to someone and really shared eye contact with, that I was asked if we had met before.

I’m pretty sure I would have remembered this beauty and personality. Her stories would fill a blog for years and I loved hearing just a portion of them and was honored that we were given snipets of the good and bad, love and heartbreak that she has had.

After a few hours poolside we all went inside to feed the kids and chatted more with the entire group. Some of us gals then went out to the Salt Lick for the Barbecue and more stories and conversation.

Trixie and I both felt very welcomed and included in the assembled family.

And for me, as I know a few of Jayna’s biological family who love her dearly, it was interesting and heartwarming to see her with this family – built first from friendship. The closeness and pure love was evident from all the generations and extensions of the framily there towards her.

framily

And it might have been even more appreciated since here I was traveling and staying with part of my Framily in Texas.

Sometimes, you go to visit and think you’ll just get a few hours together and whatever that is, will be okay.  Other times, it turns into so much more.

When I reflect about the two times that I have spent with Jayna, it feels like the first time -at the wedding – everyone there was an individual flower brought to make this beautiful bouquet of people assembled for the wedding.

bouquet

Seeing her in Austin with the family she was clearly a big part of, made me feel like I got to see part of the garden from whence that beautiful flower came from.

Thank you to all in Austin that day, for making us feel so welcome and for sharing your lives with us.

Love Sally