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Mostly likely they do not, despite folk sayings and superstition. But one can always hope.

I had surgery two weeks ago and yesterday two of my brothers in law had quite serious surgery as well. One had a kidney removed and the other had knee replacement replacement. Yes, one had his second knee replacement on the same knee….So I think our family has had quite enough going on in hospitals for the time being. And since we’ve had three events, I believe we can knock it off for a while, now.

Both events seem to have been truly successful and we are all breathing deep sighs of relief and feeling very thankful!

Jalics Gyuri after kidney removal surgery with Laci

These operations took place on two different continents, but thanks to our amazing modern technology, the two brothers were able to skype with one another this afternoon and compare notes…..When I think how differently this would all have played out twenty years ago, let alone in my childhood, I can really only shake my head in wonder!There will be longer recovery times for both of these surgeries, but I expect them both to continue to do better every day……

And it is always beautiful and welcome in those first snows, probably all the snows before the Christmas holiday.
It’s only later that for some of us it can become a bit too “same old, same old…..”

But today it was a true joy for my grandson Nathan who threw snowballs at the stop sign while waiting for the school bus this morning, and a bit later for Stephen who built a happy snowman with his Mom’s help. Nathan knew it was “good packing” snow when he first looked out his bedroom window this morning…..

Stephen November 2014 Alice and he build a snowman nov 17

Smiles All Around!

If ever a month seemed filled with desultory thoughts, and moods, it is November…….I don’t quite have Meg March’s negative take on it from the beginning of Little Women:

“November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year,” said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frostbitten garden.

“That’s the reason I was born in it,” observed Jo pensively, quite unconscious of the blot on her nose.

“If something very pleasant should happen now, we should think it a delightful month,” said Beth, who took a hopeful view of everything, even November.”

I agree with Beth and know that Thanksgiving is coming up, not all that far away. It’s nearly my favorite holiday, after all. And my family is the sort which enjoys being together and is nothing like the difficult ones we encounter in books or tv. (At least I hope you only encounter them in such places.)

Art Thanksgiving vintage acorn in it

But perhaps being in the still recovering phase of my surgery last week has made me feel more unsettled than usual. Or perhaps more impatient. I am still dodging bullets and though the surgeon was convinced ahead of time that the tumor he planned to remove was not cancerous and removal was all that needed to be done, at the last minute a flurry of tests discovered a wonky parathyroid which has probably making me feel very tired for perhaps years, and “sucking calcium from my bones” as Dr. H. said to Alice several times, and at the end, three thyroid tumors one of which was the big C were all discovered. Well, they are all gone now. No thyroid at all. It’s been decided that I do not need that radioactive iodine treatment and I have begun synthroid. I’m sleeping better than I have for years though still tired and restless………I must just possess my soul in patience and think about the happy Thanksgiving soon to come…….In fact, I should be having a happy Thanksgiving in my heart right now and reflecting on that is making me begin to smile…….

When I asked the endocrinologist whether the 14 nuclear scans I had had when diagnosed (they now think mistakenly) with metastasized melanoma might have contributed to this newest problem, she said “very likely”. Life is funny, and I don’t mean “funny ha ha”.

Last Wednesday was a new holiday, World Kindness Day, and I wanted to write something about that! The energy to do so escaped me, but I love the idea. Everyday should be a day of kindness. Even though we cannot solve the problems that greed for various things seems to have thrown out over our sad world, (why I keep thinking this is something new eludes me) we can practice kindness and make our small part of the world better. (Oh, do you think surgery brings out the preachy in me? ) I really do experience so much kindness from others that I have to pass it on!

Art Keep Calm and Be kind

Papa’s Birthday

November 11th is celebrated as Veteran’s Day now. When I was a little girl we called it Armistice Day. We called Memorial Day Decoration Day most of the time. Things change. In a few months I will seventy years old and it certainly gives a different perspective to many things. How short life is, really. How precious. How not to be wasted.

Flowers Poppy of Remembrance

November 11th, 1892, was the day my dear grandfather, Arthur Granat, was born to a Swedish immigrant family in a poor neighborhood in Chicago. He and my grandmother lived very close to us and I spent a lot of time with them both, and heard many stories of their childhood years. Nana grew up in a Polish/Russian immigrant family in Milwaukee. My heart is still full of love for both of them, dear Nana and Papa.

They left us long ago but will never be forgotten while I live, or my brothers do. Actually, Alice remembers them both and Emily and Andy remember Nana. My goal is to be as good a Nana as she was.

And our veterans will never be forgotten, either….

Papa was thrilled that WWI ended on his 26nd birthday and I always think of Veterans when I think of his birthday.

This year the attention of the world is turned to the 100th anniversary of WWI which is remembered in a very special way with the Tower of London Exhibit of poppies.

You can read more about this here: http://qz.com/293377/how-a-sea-of-red-ceramic-poppies-captivated-britain-and-brought-wwi-to-life/

Yes, I’m back….Since it was discovered during radiation for breast cancer last summer, my thyroid surgeon has been monitoring a large tumor on the left lobe of my thyroid. He said he was 95% sure it was benign. This fall it reached a size where it seemed a good idea to schedule surgery to remove it.

Last Friday they sent me for pre-testing and some of the numbers came out “wrong”. So Monday they sent me for more tests and more numbers came out “wrong”. Tuesday they sent me for three hours of nuclear scans and decided that something was also wrong with one of my parathyroid glands. In surgery they found a large benign tumor with a small cancerous tumor beneath it and removed all my thyroid. Also they removed the parathyroid gland which they decided was the one of the four that was “wonky”. And now I am home again.

I’m always so impressed with the kindness and helpfulness of doctors and nurses these days. They’ll decide in a week whether I will need the radioactive iodine treatment.

Emily read that many people who have a badly functioning parathyroid removed experience lots more energy and one person said she, “felt ten years younger”. Hey, Bring it on!

My grandchildren have been reading this, and sending me very sweet notes!

hospital nov 2014

I haven’t really loved Halloween since I was in grade school, unless it is seeing grandchildren trick or treating, but sometimes Alice does amazing things with make-up that make me smile!

Last year she was Mr. Fox. A great Mr. Fox!

Alice  Halloween parade at Hillcrest School Oct 25 2013

This year she decided to be a Day of the Dead character…….

Alice october 2014 Halloween costume

And Mike was a pirate….I don’t know if one is supposed to smile in Day of the Dead make-up!

Alice October 2014 Halloween with Mike

Out and About

This weekend is so very beautiful I can hardly describe it well enough…The clear blue sky with a few fluffy white clouds and warm sunshine. The thousand variations on leaf colors of bronze, yellow, gold and scarlet. Just that alone would be enough to make me feel very happy, but I also had a chance for a very delightful excursion up to University Circle, just east of Cleveland. I went with Alice and Stephen, Emily, Ingmar, Sofia and Clara. Mike and Nathan were at cub scout camp all weekend and much luckier than friends who did this a few weeks ago and were rained on the entire time.

Cleveland Orchestra chamber music room ii

First we went to one of the Musical Rainbow concerts at Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra. This is one of a series of children’s concerts which each feature a different instrument. The concert today was The Clever Clarinet and Daniel McKelway showed us all how clever a clarinet can be. He had some fine piano accompaniment from Laura Silverman. There is something very special about concerts for children when they are as well done as this was. I think many children now want to play the clarinet! (And I want to find some Carl Maria von Weber music which features the clarinet.) The concert was held in the beautiful Reinberger Chamber Hall.

Cleveland Orchestra home winter view

Cleveland Orchestra clarinets concert oct 2014

I am sad that I did not bring my camera with me, and most of these photos are from the internet, but I hope I will be forgiven. I think they are from Severance Hall and the Cleveland Museum of Art and I am providing some publicity for them……But I must remember to bring my camera next time…..

After the concert we drifted across the road to the lagoon in Wade Park, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. This entire University Circle area has been part of my life for a very long time. It is the home to Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University which are somewhat connected. My father received his dental degree there, Paul had his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD. from Case, and Emily attended Western Reserve as a National Merit Scholar, majoring in German Literature and Physics. The Cleveland Institute of Art is there and the Natural History Museum, the Children’s Museum, the Botanical Gardens and the Western Reserve Historical Society. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things, but you get the idea of how much is in this rather small area.

Cleveland Orchestra wade lagoon art museum

We had a lovely lunch at the Provenance Cafe and then Alice and Stephen went to the Armour Court to see armour and weapons and accidentally heard a great acapella choir rehearsing for a gala dinner this evening. Stephen discovered what he wants for his birthday, a year from now.

Stephen october 2014 armour court.

Emily and her family looked at the impressionist galleries, and I browsed the gift shop and then we met in Gallery one where there is an area called Studio Play which is wonderful for children. One of the amazing things they have there is a wall on which one can draw any sort of line and “the wall” will search everything in the Museum and find things which have the same line in them. I’m not sure all the children understood what was happening, but some seemed to and everyone enjoyed it.

Cleveland Orchestra Lagoon with Epworth Methodist Church

And then we were all a bit tired and drove back to Bath, Ohio for some quiet time. It was a good half hour drive through more wonderful fall foliage. I loved every minute!

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