Archive for November, 2014

“The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of almighty God.

Thanksgiving card 2010

“In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.”

Everyone at Thicket House wishes all of you a Blessed day of Thanksgiving!

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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……

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Winter Wonderland Arrives

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!

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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

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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/

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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

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