Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2 week deadline

In two weeks I'm having a complete hysterectomy. Which will end the issues you've read about a couple of times here. But, the progesterone the Dr. prescribed isn't necessarily helping--it's just masking the issue. I expected him to want to try this and that and something else, but he caught me off guard when he said "hysterectomy."

Now, since the diagnosis, I've been doing a lot of research and knew that this was an option--this and an endometrial ablation--but I kept expecting that I'd just snap back to normal after the D&C. I can't express how I felt when the bleeding started again--after 14 days of no bleeding. So, I called, and went back in, and here we are...

Now I chose to bypass the ablation (which is basically where they burn and scar the endometrial lining which means it can't build up and thus, no blood) because I do have a family history of uterine cancer. If I'd do the ablation, and if I ever developed uterine cancer, we'd not know it until it was in a very late stage. Not good. So, the Dr said my best option is the hysterectomy.

I'm done with my more babies from us. And I'm not adverse to having it removed. But I figured we'd do a vaginal hysterectomy. But NO...I have to have an abdominal one because of the size and shape and tilt of the darn uterus, the Dr's afraid my other organs might prolapse. So I'm guessing there's a chance they might anchor stuff...he said he just wants room to actually see what's where and you can't do that vaginally. Which means I'm gonna have a longer recovery.

Have I ever mentioned that I'm not a very good sick person? I dislike being in the hospital, where your every word is recorded and the nurses don't always understand my sarcasm. (note to self: Keep thy mouth shut at all times when any medical personnel are in the room.) I also greatly dislike someone telling me what I can and can't do. I greatly dislike having to abide by someone else's rules. I also dislike people hovering around me and I have to remember to not tell anyone to "Go away and leave me the hell alone." Cause I'm going to want to say that...a lot.

So...all this leaves me with a slight problem...

I have two weeks to get all my Christmas shopping finished.

I have the little kid's shopping done...and that's it. Nothing for Miss Kat, or Andy, or Kev, or my folks, or Kev's folks. Nothing. Kev and I decided that we'd just do something nice for each other. I want my "Mom's Cooking" framed with barn wood. I've asked him to do that. He wants me to get the cushion sewn for the bay window. And we decided to buy a new dishwasher. The one we had quit pumping water in August and the 14 year old dishwasher is mouthy...I want a quiet one. So, I'm going to go look for a dishwasher over my lunch hour.

But the rest of my clue.

I guess I'd better get myself in gear and finish shopping and get ready for surgery too. It's gonna be a wild 2 weeks...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Once the weather turns cooler, one of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to make bread. I love baking bread. Some of my earliest memories are of Mom making Bread. When it would come out of the oven, she'd slice off the heel, and spread butter on it and then sprinkle it with sugar.

That was the best snack ever. I can still remember the feel of my teeth crunching through that layer of sugar down into that buttery warm bread. (Give me a minute to just enjoy that memory...I haven't eaten bread that way since I was little.)


Kev loves home made bread, so I make lots of bread in the winter months. And now, with the new bay window, I found a new place to let my bread raise:

What? Doesn't everyone stick their bread dough in their living room window to raise? I read in lots of cooking blogs of different ways to cover bread dough, but we have always gotten a tea towel wet --with warm water, and used it to cover the bread dough. So, that's what is on my bowl of dough. It raises quite nicely in the window too.

This mess below is sauerkraut.
Last winter, a friend of ours, Deanna, gave us a jar of home made sauerkraut. Now, I greatly disliked sauerkraut until I tried Deanna's home made kraut. It is SO much better and flavorful than store bought kraut. Nothing at all like that nasty stuff they used to serve us at school. I never had kraut at home because it's one of those food items that Dad didn't like and refused to eat, so Mom didn't cook it or make it.

Kev and I really enjoyed our home made kraut on our home made brats. It was yummy. so, this year, we decided to make some ourselves. I didn't get much brine when I initially made the kraut, so someone told me to simply make a brine when it came time to can it. I did that, but think that the brine was too much. It's a wee bit salty. But, we've rinsed the brine off and that seems to remove that saltiness. I'm not sure my kraut is as good as Deanna's, but we're all set with 7 jars.

I have to admit, it was fun making Sauerkraut. How many times do you purposely let something ferment in a bowl, in your guest bedroom/office? Every day or so, I'd go peek at it and watch the mold grow on top of the brine (and, yes, I discarded the mold. Everything I've read said that was normal.)
Now, we've got Sauerkraut...all we're missing is home made brats. We've still got some ground pork in the freezer, so we'll get those whipped up in no time...and then, aah...good eatin!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More "Flat Kansas"

See those tree tops? You're going to see those trees again. Kev and I walked across the pasture to this draw on the Ranch. Ok, maybe we rode on the 4 wheeler most of the way, but still, it's typical "flat" Kansas...Kev asked me to come join him out at the Ranch late Saturday afternoon. He was doing an all day hunt since the deer have finally started rut, and since we've finally had some cool temperatures to get them moving. He'd seen "his" big Muley buck earlier in the day near this draw and decided we needed to sit and wait for Mr. Big Buck to come by. We examined these two cuts that meet and tried to decide where exactly we should sit. Those little rocks are taller than I am.

We were up on top of the bluffs and looked down this cut to check for deer sign. It's a lot farther down there than it looks--those trees are probably 5 feet in diameter.

Kev was wearing his Guhille suit. We sat down off the top of the bluff and he sat in front of me. The sun was nice and warm shining on us. If you look at the tree below Kev, you can get some idea of how high up we still were--and we weren't up on top either. We were about half way down the side of the cliff.

I enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine, but Kev got downright HOT. We never saw Mr. Big Buck. He chose to go somewhere else. But, typical Kev, we walked down to the bottom of the draw and walked back up by those trees and up the cut. It was a workout. I still can't figure out why he thinks we always have to go down before we have to come all the way back UP. Must be a guy thing.
On the other hand, I must be imagining it, because after all...Kansas is flat.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Pasture trails

There are no roads in pastures.
I take that back...there are a few roads, but most of the roads you make yourself. Pasture roads aren't paved and seldom are maintained unless you have an oil or gas well, and then the oil or gas company usually builds a road and maintains it. This is not a maintained road, but it is a pasture road...or trail.

When you drive in a pasture, over time, your vehicle leaves ruts. Especially when it rains. When the ruts get too deep, you just scoot over and make a new trail. And when that new trail has ruts that are too deep, you slide over again--if you can. Sometimes you can't because of cliffs or fence rows and such.

That's what folks did on the Sante Fe Trail too--when the ruts were too rough or too deep or too muddy, they'd just slide over and start over. In fact, if you go somewhere to specifically look at the ruts from the Sante Fe looks just like this--except the ruts a little narrower and closer together.

Notice those curvy squiggles in the ruts on the far right side above? Those aren't tire ruts...those are cattle ruts, or a cattle trail.While cattle tend to walk in a straight line one behind another, they will also jog around an obstacle too. Who knows what the obstacle was here, it could have been a fresh cow patty, or a snake, or a mud hole. You never know when you're dealing with cattle.

I can tell you, it takes an entirely different set of skills to drive in a pasture. You most certainly don't want to get off the current trail and slip into one of the older trails...especially if you are driving a car and not a pickup. But, it's an adventure. Try it sometime.

Monday, November 08, 2010


Do you get letters--in the mail--anymore?

I don't. Or seldom do. And, I'm bad about writing them too. I need to write to my mentor, and my first supervisor, Ruth. She retired over 20 years ago, and I used to see her regularly, but I haven't seen her since her husband's funeral 2 years ago. I've written twice, but should write more. Does it count that I think of writing her at least once a week?

My Grandma Woodruff was a great letter writer. She's send a letter to all of her kids every week. If she'd seen you in person during that week, then you didn't get a letter, otherwise, you could count on a letter from her every week.

As a kid, I looked forward to her letters. When I was going to school at Texas Woman's University, I enjoyed them even more because they were a symbol of my roots and I knew that Grandma loved me enough to make sure I got mail every week.

Grandma typed her letters, and we all got the same letter. She used this typewriter for years and years and gave it to me when I was in High School, and when she upgraded to an electric typewriter. She's use carbon paper (remember carbon paper?) and onion skin paper. Onion skin paper is very thin paper. Since she usually had 7 letters or more in the typewriter, she used the onion skin paper to keep the bulk down in the typewriter. Typo's and all were still there...she'd try to correct them, but we'd just have to interpret what word she'd messed up. Typo's didn't matter!

Sometimes, she'd add a small short note to us at the bottom of the letter. And she always signed each one by hand. I still have a few letters saved. They are a very special memento.
Grandma's typewriter didn't have the letters printed on the keys. It was a manual typewriter. Pica type. Your fingers had to be very strong to type on this old iron, manual typewriter...
When I quit using it, we stored it in the basement. It's got some rust on it now. I've tried to clean it up as well as I can. And, it now sits as a decoration in my office. I like to think of it as a weapon...if anyone tried to hurt me, all I have to do is heave this 30 lb typewriter at them. It would drop an elephant!
Besides, every time I look at this old antique, I think of my Grandma Woodruff. She was a special lady and I miss her very much.
So...take time to write a letter to someone you love. Me, I think I just might actually get that letter to Ruth written this week. There's nothing better than getting a letter in the mail.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Traveling Conq

There's a 10 year old tradition at DCCC; the traveling Conq trophy. It's given to someone who's gone "above and beyond" and to someone who deserves a little recognition for a job well done.

I received the Traveling Conq last week. Here it is:
It's grown over the years. I'm told that it started out as one trophy. Now, it's 4 trophies tall and is covered with a memento from everyone who's received it. I received it from the Maintenance crew who wanted to acknowledge my hard work and all the changes I've made in the library making it a "warm and homey" place for students to enjoy. It means just a little something special coming from the guys who've hauled out ump-teen loads of crap that I've eliminated from the building. They are special guys--almost as special as the maintenance staff at Colby.
I'm very honored to have received the Traveling Conq. Can you believe it's the first "formal" recognition I've ever received in over 20 years as a professional? Colby CC never recognized anything that anyone did.

I still haven't figured out who to pass this on to. It has to be someone in another building. I've got a couple of ideas, but haven't decided who deserves this award. I do know what' I'm adding to the trophy:
This is an online comic, Unshelved by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes. This strip was published February 6, 2005. Somehow, it fits my library... (just click on the image so you can enjoy the strip.)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Sunday dinner

Our meal yesterday:

Ham--processed, smoked and baked at home.
Potatoes--from our garden
Corn--from our garden
Tomatoes--from our garden

Cherry Pie: homemade. Cherries from a friends tree. Pie crust, courtesy of Pillsbury...
Pumpkin pie: Homemade by Mom...probably NOT from her garden since she didn't grow any pumpkins :)

It's very satisfying to know where your food comes from.

The meal was for Mom and Dad's 48th Anniversary which will be Tomorrow, November 2.

Good times, Good food, Good Company.

It doesn't get better than that.

And, Dad's hearing aids must be working, I didn't hear him say "what's that" all day!