Thursday, February 25, 2010

All is well

We had a pleasant surprise last weekend. Cary's oldest brother, Charles, and his wife, Caroline, came down to the Herlong Mansion in Micanopy to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. They invited us to breakfast with them. The Herlong is a beautiful old mansion now being used as a bed and breakfast. If you are curious about it, you can just google it online. We had a very pleasant visit at the Herlong and they stopped by the house for a short visit on their way south afterwards.

I said I would give an update after my Monday infusion, so here it is. I am doing very well. I have kind of learned to get ahead of the after effects of the chemo and hope it continues to work.

Our church ladies began a new bible study Monday night. Actually, we just got through the introduction to it. It is on the book of Joshua. Joshua, as you may recall, was successor to Moses and actually led the children of Israel into Canaan, the promised land. That land is the same land that all the fighting and dispute is over to this day. The woman who wrote the study was born in Syria and raised in Lebanon. I am very anxious to learn what her study provides that will help me understand and get an insiders view of that region of the world.

Olivia was with us for almost two weeks until I returned her to her Mother last Friday. She stayed with Cary and I during the day and spent evenings with her Dad and sister, Ana. She is a very affectionate child, also very headstrong. We enjoyed her and we miss her.

Our other grands are thriving and doing well in their studies. Katie is home schooling Maggie, teaching science and social studies. Two other mothers are also homeschooling their children so between the three mothers all subjects are being covered. Annie and I had a pleasant afternoon last Saturday. She came over to help me make muffins for church fellowship. We watched a video from America's Test Kitchens a friend had loaned me. I had a quilt that I had intended to give Annie when she graduated from 5th grade at McIntosh Area School. Mrs. Wilma Ward from the Evinston community that Annie knew well before she passed, had made it. The school auctioned it the first year we were open and as would happen, a bidding war sprang up between Cary and a wonderful community supporter, Mrs. Louise Courtelis. Mrs. Courtelis finally outbid Cary, then very graciously gave me the quilt! Since Annie was in the first class to go from 1st grade through 5th at the school, and she knew the maker of the quilt, I felt it should be hers. So I took the occasion we had together Saturday to give her the quilt. I enclose a photo of the presentation. The pattern is a school house, printed on the fabric, not pieced. However, Mrs. Ward added applique to enhance the quilt.

I love hearing from all of you. My mailbox usually has several cute e-mails each day. Some I forward, some I don't, but I enjoy them nonetheless.

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just checking in

I've been enjoying my camillas that are blooming. I am enclosing a photo of a little arrangement on my library table. For those of you who have not seen me sporting my new wig, I am also attaching a photo. I enjoy looking different and might not ever go back to my own hair! :>) I'm also enjoying the "nude" look when I just wear a little cap on my head. It's quite a freeing experience to have no hair. Though I expect I actually wouldn't want it to be a permanent condition, I think I could live with it.

How many of you are enjoying this warmer weather with bright, sunny skies? That's a silly question, I'm sure! I got out a while yesterday and today and just basked in it. Today I pulled moss from my plants on the south side of the house. The oak tree sheds moss and everything just drips with it. I am seriously considering having the tree sprayed to kill the moss.

Well, our mother hen finally returned to The Sultan. We had two other hens trying to set last week and The Sultan broke that up. Guess he didn't want any competition from possible male heirs. Sounds like David and Absalom to me. He actually pecked the heck out of one of the two and now she's off on her own and wouldn't come in to the roost this evening. These Sumatran game chickens are more wild than most chickens. I haven't spent any time trying to tame them, but Cary has. Lindy's little Blue Cochin hen has hatched out two of her own and adopted 7 mixed breed biddies she bought at Sparr. Her chickens are much more docile than ours. She feeds them grapes and raisins from her hand. She has 3 different breeds, so perhaps it has been more a matter of her's learning tolerance. Since our chickens are all the same breed, they haven't practiced accepting anyone different from themselves!

Tomorrow I will receive my 3rd infusion, marking half-way with the chemo treatments. I am anxious to see if I continue to tolerate the treatments as well as I have so far. I'll give you a little report on that in a couple of days.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


My sister, Yvonne, and her daughter, Amy, are here visiting for a couple of days. They live in the Savannah, Ga. area. Yvonne has met with her oncologist and it has been determined she will have to undergo radiation therapy. Amy is expecting her first child. She is so happy and we are all happy for her. She is the same age as Katie. Actually, Amy was born on the 3rd of July and Katie on the 5th, both of them barely missing being firecracker babies! Amy's baby is a boy whom they have decided to name Kenneth Graham and call him Graham. He is due the end of April.

Also, we have Olivia this week during the daytime while her daddy is working. She is such a sweet, loving child. She's a little hard on Mickey, but only because she loves him so much. I just discovered his bed propped up on something out of his reach and he was sitting around on the cold tile floor! Definitely a sign of Olivia's attentions!

Is everyone as anxious for warmer weather as I am? I can't remember such a committed winter as we've had this year in a long time. If the wind would just lay down outside, I think the sun would warm things up.

Stay warm,
Linda Gail

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Just a regular Saturday

I have been so busy that I've actually not had time for the computer. Yesterday Cary and I were in town by 7:30 a.m. for an appointment with my physical therapist. We were home by 9 a.m. so I went to yoga. It was just what I needed. My lower back had awakened me the night before. Each asana strengthened my core and my back has been much better.

I had gone to the post office before yoga and received a large package from a pastry company in San Francisco, Ca. I didn't have time to open it, so my concentration might have been tampered with during yoga. When I got home and opened it, there were three boxes, each a different recipe, of delicious biscottis. My cousin, Betty, who was here in November, remembered me complaining that Sam's no longer sold Nonni's Biscottis and how much I missed them. She did a great job choosing because each one is good and chock full of flavor.

Almost every day brings a new surprise, a kindness, directed to me. I cannot describe how all this makes me feel, except to say "thank you" from my heart to yours, each of you. I would mention each of you by name, but don't wish to embarrass anyone. I know none of you know Betty so I don't feel I have to hid her identity. Those of you who quietly read my blog without comment, that is a gift too. Those of you who remember me to the Father, that is a gift.

Did you know the American Cancer Society furnishes new wigs and head gear to cancer patients who have lost their hair, all free of charge? A visit to their office in Ocala set me up with two nice wigs and several knitted caps. I'm not sure if the American Cancer Society is privately funded or not, but can you imagine the funds it must take to offer this free service?

I may have more news about biddies in a day or two and maybe some photos, so keep posted!

Linda Gail

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mama's Peach Cobbler

Just a little note to say, don't waste your time and ingredients on "Jitterbug's Bread Pudding." I made it and was very disappointed.

My Mother has made a peach cobbler for years that beats the bread pudding all to pieces. All you need is an iron skillet, a stick of butter, 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk and 1 cup sugar (you can reduce the sugar a little, or make it half and half brown & granulated). Place the skillet in the oven and heat to 400 degrees, melt the butter in the skillet, pour the mixed liquid ingredients in. Spoon the butter over the top of the mixture and place drained, canned peaches in the mixture. Reserve the liquid from the peaches. Bake until done, usually about 25 minutes, then pour a little of the peach juice over the top. Delicious and it only takes a pan to mix in and a pan to cook it!

Bon appetite!