The Hallowed Ground.

Cancer: My Journey Back to Health-Kicking & Screaming the Whole Damn Way

'Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.' N. Bonaparte ‘Never interupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.’ N. Bonaparte

Today, I am going to just write. I don’t want to think too much today. I want to just be present.

I don’t even know what that means. I am still so restless and tired. I thought maybe, just maybe, it was time to look at some other blogs on cancer. I shouldn’t have. The poor people. The pictures of their smiling faces. Why did I do it? I want to know what I can do for myself. The community. But all I did was scare myself. I didn’t steel myself to a new resolve. I didn’t learn a fact to help in my fight. I reminded myself of a 5 year of pretending I wasn’t scared of the monster under the bed. Still wanting the night light on. Too proud to ask.

Naturally I was automatically drawn…

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NaNoWriMo-here goes…

Thanks for the great image darlin'! Now I feel like a 'real' writer.

Thanks for the great image darlin’! Now I feel like a ‘real’ writer.

I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this month in the hopes that it will inspire me to begin writing again. At least writing about something other than what happened to me and what I am doing in the day to day world.

Work is harder than I thought it would be and I’ve already been called up into the office to ‘discuss’ whether I can continue or not. Among other things. Anyway, I don’t particularly want to talk about it right now because I am upset and I actually can’t write about it without getting all worked up. It’s just the way it is. I’m going to be posting my daily (I HOPE it’s daily) effort here, as opposed to be writing a blog post because I don’t think I can do both. I started on Nov. 1st and I will probably continue to write about my daily grind in the coming days but right now?

No.

I just want to write about something completely made up that isn’t too real and in my face. I’ve had enough of that to last for the next little while. That means that the genre I’ve chosen IS…(drum roll please…) Romance! ( with a mystery thrown in)

Please. No groans or grimaces. It could have been Chick Lit or Young Adult. No murder or mayhem for me please. No detectives, serial killers or police procedurals. No fantasy or science fiction-I just can’t put out like that. Those genres all require quite a bit of research and if I am going to crank out 50,000 words this month (and I’m going to try) then it’s got to be something I’m familiar with. And lord knows I’ve read a few romance novels in my time. So here goes nothing…or something…

I am going to post the NaNoWriMo under the heading ‘Sparks’, which is my working title. That way if you want to keep up with it you may, and skip it if you want to.

Love and hugs.

Halloween 2013

Hugo as a zombie prisoner and Seth as Mother Bates

Hugo as a zombie prisoner and Seth as Mother Bates

image image imageI started at 6 am, getting up to put on my make up and get to work…these are a few of my co workers costumes from the morning shift.  Plus putting make up on the kids, the street dance, herding trick or treaters, making snacks and finishing up with a scary movie night?….It’s time for me to say good NIGHT!!! Happy Halloween!

I was a Banshee, but I didn't get anyone to take a picture of my costume!

I was a Banshee, but I didn’t get anyone to take a picture of my costume!

A good witch

A good witch

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ccupcakes from hell...they actually fell onto the front steps and this is what was left...oops

ccupcakes from hell…they actually fell onto the front steps and this is what was left…oops

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My Journey in Pictures

We had good neighbors there - Dick and his dog Kip, woud come over for tea every day

We had good neighbors there – Dick and his dog Kip, woud come over for tea every day

Last year at this time… Do you ever do that? I do. I always have. It’s a way of reminding myself of what I’ve done, haven’t done and want to do. A way of being thankful.

Me and my sisters this time last year

Me and my sisters this time last year

This time last year we were moving. After a long drawn out battle with our negligent landlord we gave up and moved. There were mould issues that she wouldn’t address. There was a 100′ tree hanging over the bedrooms that had just began a slow collapse.

Our flower garden getting ready to move

Our flower garden getting ready to move

But we loved that house. Really. Even with all the problems it was in a lovely setting and the garden was our beautiful creation. It was so hard to leave it. And, worst of all? I was feeling awful. I was weak and tired all the time.

But that was stress, right? YOU think about moving a big henhouse from where it was entrenched and tell me you wouldn’t stress. How do you move chickens? That alone made me want to curl up in a ball and start screaming.

See that big old henhouse behind me? THAT'S only one of the two we had to move! This time last year? aaaiiieeeeeee!!!!!!

See that big old henhouse behind me? THAT’S only one of the two we had to move! This time last year? aaaiiieeeeeee!!!!!!

Baby Silkies: Small - but don't tell them that.

Baby Silkies: Small – but don’t tell them that.

Chickens. I couldn’t get the two different flocks to stop fighting each other. They never got along. It was the Jets and the Sharks. If they were within some imaginary, arbitrary distance from each other they would fight. ‘Oh, gee, won’t it be lovely to have free range chickens, Laura?’ No. It won’t be. Now I know better. Different sized chickens don’t get along. And you can’t protect free range chickens. They free range all over hell and gone. Into the neighbors yards. Way back to the tree where the owl lived.

They look so cuddley and sweet...and they are. If you're not another chicken!

They look so cuddley and sweet…and they are. If you’re not another chicken!

They’d go stand all over the road. Once in awhile they’d just vanish for hours. When it started getting dark they’d come back. Most of them. Then we’d have to go look for Annie or Nina or whoever was missing. You’d hear their cackles of panic when they realized they were alone and lost. Follow the sound. Pull them out of whatever tree they’d retreated to. They have absolutely NO sense. But they’re really smart. Yeah, chickens. Clever and stupid.

I LOVE my chickens...me and Nina

I LOVE my chickens…me and Nina

This time last year I was driving all over creation trying to find a house and not just any house. It had to accept 3 dogs and 25 chickens, two cats and us. Not an easy proposition.

Every morning I got up at 4:30 am for work. After work I’d go look at houses. Every house that was listed for rent, I would go see. I couldn’t afford not to look at everything. Places too far from work? I’d go see it, telling myself that it wouldn’t be too bad a commute. An hour or two. Each direction. I would go and check it out. I looked at 3 story, 100 year old places with only a wood stove to heat it and startlingly bad wall paper everywhere, unfenced places next to highways, old falling down houses with brother in law handyman renovations, I drove and drove and drove. Looking. I didn’t know what I was going to see, but I had to keep trying.

The vegetable garden

The vegetable garden

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Last year, the farewell to the old...

Last year, the farewell to the old…

It was even harder because I had a car with no reverse. I had to be extremely careful about where I was going and what the driveway looked like. Getting trapped in a downward sloping driveway or a place I couldn’t turn around was my daily nightmare.

That and packing with no where to go? Can you imagine?

I was sometimes so stressed out that I had to remind myself that confidence came from within. That positive thinking and an upbeat attitude had gotten me through worse times that this. I was confident. I told myself to see the house in my mind. See it. Visualize the house. Don’t let this beat you. I was going to find a house. This next house would be IT! A perfect 3 bedroom house, for less rent, walking distance to the beach, 15 minutes from work, that would take chickens and dogs and cats. A place we could garden and sit in the sun. A place that was new or at least not neglected, that would be easy to clean and easy to heat. That’s what I wanted.

Building the new garden and seeing it come to life

Building the new garden and seeing it come to life

And that’s what I found. And not only that, but landlords who are kind, patient, decent and fair.

That’s what I did last September and October. I looked and when I got home, I packed. November we moved. December we unpacked and got ready for Christmas. But, boy did I feel awful. But I didn’t mention it. Just to my doctor. Didn’t want to worry anyone. Little did I know that I was about to find myself in the battle of my life.

Me, 6 months ago

Me, 6 months ago

I pride myself on my sense of humor. I am always smiling. I love life. Life was a banquet, maybe just a Golden Corral banquet, but I had a choice of what I took and what I left off of my plate.

Sure it wasn’t a George V Hotel banquet with nice linen napkins and chandeliers and jumbo shrimp but it was the way things played out for me. My decisions all the way across the board. That’s what I thought.

But life has a way of forcing you to pay attention to what decisions you make. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 9 months. Paying attention to every thing I do. Trying to believe in positive visualization. Trying to believe that I wasn’t dying. Trying to understand that it could happen anyway. Then thrusting that thought away.

Me, this time last year

Me, this time last year

It’s like this house. I just have to believe that it can be done. We found our house. The perfect house with less rent, nice landlords who accepted our chickens and pets. We have our garden, our sunshine…I just need to keep thinking like that.

Welcome to the Maison Bentley Style Blog Party!

My dearest Kate at Maison Bentley Style is having a party and you’re all invited. She knows so many talented, funny, smart and wonderful people that if you just follow the link on over there you’ll be invited to other parties in the blogosphere and you might even find amazing and new things that you knew nothing about.  MaisonBentleyStyle@wordpress.co

Kate, for instance, is an astounding photographer with a special eye for architecture and colours, to say nothing of fashion. I remember when I was just starting off on my hellish journey, I stumbled across her blog and just gazed in wide wonder at her post on floors. Thats right. The ground. Sidewalks, pavements, tile, lino what have you. Do you ever look down? I started to and I was truly amazed at what I was seeing. Check it out.

So, I have my makeup only half done. I decided to go ala Roy Lichtenstein tonight.

Me in my PARTY make up!

Me in my PARTY make up!

Let’s see here…maybe a drink…

oops, damned umbrella!

oops, damned umbrella!

And I’ve got to have some party food…

OH SERIOUSLY!!! That’s NOT party food….

chili cheese dogs...ymmmm! No, but seriously. I haven't been able to eat hot dogs and...well, to ME? This is my party food of choice tonight. To hell with the dress! If I get a stain...oh, wait! This is the Maison Bentley Party! I'll never have to worry about a chili stain on my dress. YAY!!!

chili cheese dogs…ymmmm! No, but seriously. I haven’t been able to eat hot dogs and…well, to ME? This is my party food of choice tonight. To hell with the dress! If I get a stain…oh, wait! This is the Maison Bentley Party! I’ll never have to worry about a chili stain on my dress. YAY!!!

So, now I’ve got the hair and makeup done…food is here (yummmm chili cheese dogs!) OH, I need the perfect dress. Lets see…

Is it TOO much?

Is it TOO much?

Maybe it’s too much….but I have an idea…

Can you imagine eating a chili cheese dog in THIS?

Can you imagine eating a chili cheese dog in THIS?

This little Christian Dior number might keep me from eating TOO many chili cheese dogs

This little Christian Dior number might keep me from eating TOO many chili cheese dogs

No, I can’t either even though I LOVE it…how about shoes?

With these shoes...

With these shoes…I could conquer the world!

 

So, my ‘puter is acting up, its a miracle that’s ive gotten this far.

Cheers to all you lovely partiers! Enjoy!

Welcome to the Maison Bentley Style Blog Party!

My dearest Kate at Maison Bentley Style is having a party and you’re all invited. She knows so many talented, funny, smart and wonderful people that if you just follow the link on over there you’ll be invited to other parties in the blogosphere and you might even find amazing and new things that you knew nothing about.  MaisonBentleyStyle@wordpress.co

Kate, for instance, is an astounding photographer with a special eye for architecture and colours, to say nothing of fashion. I remember when I was just starting off on my hellish journey, I stumbled across her blog and just gazed in wide wonder at her post on floors. Thats right. The ground. Sidewalks, pavements, tile, lino what have you. Do you ever look down? I started to and I was truly amazed at what I was seeing. Check it out.

So, I have my makeup only half done. I decided to go ala Roy Lichtenstein tonight.

Me in my PARTY make up!

Me in my PARTY make up!

Let’s see here…maybe a drink…

oops, damned umbrella!

oops, damned umbrella!

And I’ve got to have some party food…

OH SERIOUSLY!!! That’s NOT party food….

chili cheese dogs...ymmmm! No, but seriously. I haven't been able to eat hot dogs and...well, to ME? This is my party food of choice tonight. To hell with the dress! If I get a stain...oh, wait! This is the Maison Bentley Party! I'll never have to worry about a chili stain on my dress. YAY!!!

chili cheese dogs…ymmmm! No, but seriously. I haven’t been able to eat hot dogs and…well, to ME? This is my party food of choice tonight. To hell with the dress! If I get a stain…oh, wait! This is the Maison Bentley Party! I’ll never have to worry about a chili stain on my dress. YAY!!!

So, now I’ve got the hair and makeup done…food is here (yummmm chili cheese dogs!) OH, I need the perfect dress. Lets see…

Is it TOO much?

Is it TOO much?

Maybe it’s too much….but I have an idea…

Can you imagine eating a chili cheese dog in THIS?

Can you imagine eating a chili cheese dog in THIS?

This little Christian Dior number might keep me from eating TOO many chili cheese dogs

This little Christian Dior number might keep me from eating TOO many chili cheese dogs

No, I can’t either even though I LOVE it…how about shoes?

With these shoes...

With these shoes…I could conquer the world!

 

So, my ‘puter is acting up, its a miracle that’s ive gotten this far.

Cheers to all you lovely partiers! Enjoy!

Moose and Sushi…

one of my favorite videos…from anchorage, alaska

 

What do I want to write about…some thing fun. I enjoyed writing the eagle story so maybe I should tell you about some of the adventures I had up in the Rocky Mtns…Like the time I made sushi. image I brought it over to Shawn’s house. This was when he and Liza had just met, before they were married.  Shawn and his room mate were throwing one of those Saturday night parties so Liza and I conferred and we brought some saki and a plate of home made sushi. When I wandered back into the kitchen a bit later, it was gone. There was the empty plate with a few crumbs of rice next to the sink. I congratulated myself on how successful the sushi contribution was. Then Shawn came in  the kitchen and grabbed a mitt and took the sushi out of the oven. He proudly placed it on the table, carefully using tongs to display it on a fresh plate. Cooked. He said he wasn’t sure what temperature it was supposed to be baked at but that it looked ‘done’ after 10 minutes. Was it alright? It actually tasted pretty good.

Big moose with spring antlers.

Big moose with spring antlers.

Or the time I was driving my truck back from Panorama ski resort with my sister. I’d just finished a gig. Back then I was the only DJ in the Valley so I wasn’t allowed to turn down anything. I just couldn’t. If someone was having a wedding, an anniversary, an 85th birthday party for Grandma Bertie Sue and she wanted to listen to Benny Goodman, then you dug up some pre war Benny Goodman and you did it. Refuse? Hah…no chance. You did every gig offered because you simply had to. So, even though I didn’t want to be,  I was up at the ski resort, in February, doing a dance for teens.

It was late by the time we were done and packed. Panorama is WAY up in the mountains, on a twisting, turning road.  A road that requires concentration and nerves of steel. Especially at night.  I was, of course, being extremely careful. I’d learned long ago that any trouble you’re going to get into would happen because you were going too fast or you weren’t watching the road. The WHOLE road, not just what’s directly in front of you, but what was happening on the side of the roads. Where the animals were.

That’s why, when I saw a huge moose coming up the side of the mountain, I wasn’t going fast. I said to my sister, in my calmest voice, ‘There’s a moose. I’m going to stop…’

‘A Moose?! OMG…WHERE!’

She was going to freak out. I knew she was. Moose are big and if you hit one you’re FUBAR. Seriously.  So I start my careful, non panicking, braking. I pump the brake, I keep my hands at 10 and 2. I don’t scream. I don’t let my caveman brain allow in pictures of us cartwheeling down the mountain. I know I can’t afford a slide. It’s winter and there’s no where to go but down.

There’s a drop off on the right, where the moose was coming from, and an almost vertical, tree choked climb on the left. It was going to be close. I didn’t want to slam on the brakes but….ahhhhh…I could see it powering up the slope…it was going to be really, really close. I’m concentrating on the road now. Slowing down. Almost there. Don’t look. Theres nothing you can do now but hope to miss it. You’re doing good. Whew! We’re stopped.

But I don’t see the moose. Either we passed it or…no. There it was.

Staring into the passenger side window at Liza. I stopped RIGHT next to it. It’s peering in the window with its big ol’ moose nose almost pressed against the window. 3″ away. (two inches?) And there’s Liza, still scanning the road ahead for the moose.

‘Where is it?! Where? Are you sure it was a moose?’ She’s leaning out almost over the dash board now. The moose looked puzzled. But interested. Like we were fish in a bowl. Scanning the interior of the truck. Calm but curious.

‘Uh…I’m pretty sure that’s a moose, Liza.’ (I was just being mean at this point. But it WAS funny.)

‘Where? I don’t see it.’

‘Well, its right next to you.’

You should have heard her scream.  She smacked the window and the moose walked slowly around the front of the truck. It was a big bull moose, probably 6 feet at the shoulder.  It didn’t have antlers because they shed them in the winter but the cow moose don’t usually get that big. It stopped in front of the truck to take another look and then it strolled over to the vertical climb and casually leaped up it and vanished into the trees. Leaped. It must have weighed close to 1000 lbs. I laughed all the way home but Liza was not amused. image