Greetings!
Hard to believe more than a month has gone by since my last note.  October was a busy month but mostly unremarkable.  Had another MRI. Survived–without pushing the red button.  Had another Mammogram–October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so lots of other women also were there.  Had an Ultrasound of my thyroid–so simple I wish all tests were as easy.  And that’s about the size of it.

It’s been a year since my diagnosis and first surgery.  I AM SO GLAD IT’S OVER!!!  I am very excited to report that all my tests are coming back with good reports.  I will see the Oncologist just before Thanksgiving and let you know what she says.  I expect she will tell me I’m in remission and to keep doing what I’m doing.  (Yes, if she tells me otherwise I will let you know.)

My hair continues to grow.  And it continues to be curly.  I’m actually thinking I might need to get it shaped in the very near future. But I do like these curls–so easy to take care of!  To answer your questions: Yes, it’s still gray and yes, people think I’m old and yes, I am thinking about coloring it.  I’ll let you know…or maybe not–you’ll just be surprised to see me as a redhead!!!

If you’ve been following along you know the past year wasn’t horrible (or maybe I’ve already forgotten all the bad parts) but now I am getting energy back and doing more things.  Funny how I did not realize that I wasn’t well–I should have known that just because one turns 50 does not mean one needs a daily nap.  One thing that happened recently is a cloud lifted and suddenly I saw all the dust that has collected over the past year in our house.  There are also projects left mid-air calling to me.  I’m starting to work on them and trying to figure out how these dust bunnies keep sneaking in.  Oh, one funny thing I asked Bob about Halloween and whether we even gave out candy to the trick-or-treaters last year.  Most likely I was recovering from the first surgery and slept through it.

It stays so dang hot in Phoenix for so long that we have found real respite in the cool pines.  I convinced Bob to get a wood permit last month so we’ve been out searching for dead and down oak to cut for the fireplace.  You can see Matthew showing off his woodpile.  Bob is the official cutter while Matthew and I are loaders.  We’ve all decided it is really good exercise and it’s so cool in the mountains that I tolerate it better.  Even if we don’t burn all the wood this winter we enjoy getting away.  And we are becoming real connoisseurs of wood–purveyors for the particular piece, if you would… ah the puns…  But I feel smart that I can now recognize a piece of downed oak by the bark.  Still have some trouble with barkless juniper but the smell always gives it away.

Last week Matthew and I tackled the flower bed in the front yard.  It was a bigger job than I expected; the grass had grown thick around the rose bushes and other plants so I decided the heck with it and dug everything out.  Pulled out all the grass, dug down as deep as I could in our caliche soil and took out as many roots as I could find.  Then I shoveled and shoveled turning the dirt and adding some good mulch.  (Don’t be amazed, this took us days.) And finally, this morning, we bought new plants and put them all in.  You know, this sounds like a metaphor of my past year: a rather neglected body needing surgeries, treatments and now recovery and new growth.  Well, I expect like the plants, with a little water and TLC we should all be just fine.

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