Saturday, April 27, 2013

Morning Coffee

So far so good, this morning.  We are moving slowly.  Coffee and the newspaper after breakfast.  I get to play with my new camera (a BIG learning curve).  Easy supper is already planned, we're having potato salad.  I picked up some nice baby potatoes at the farmers' market.  They are all different colors.  They are boiled, the eggs are cooling and the rest of the ingredients aren't aware of their fate as of yet.

V presented his pillow to me after he awoke to find quite a bit of hair remaining on it after his head had left it.  What can we do?  His hair is falling out.  As much as we hoped he would be one of the rare people receiving his type of chemo who do not lose their hair, he is not one of them.  We have caps and hats at the ready.  I have one on the needles as I write.  It needs a little backtracking.  I made a mistake somewhere.  But, it will be finished soon and it is of the softest blend of wool and silk and it's from Italy, as is v!  He has his energy and that is what I am most thankful for today.

Tomorrow is the Big Sur Marathon.  What a great spectacle.  If I were a runner I would run that race.  There cannot be a more beautiful venue.  Unfortunately, because of the race, Highway 1, south of Carmel will be closed.  That means we can't get to church. As much as this would be a great day off, it also signals our beloved Father Bill's last day this season.  He won't be back until November!  We dropped by to bid him farewell, yesterday.  I'm not a Catholic (v...) but this man is the most genuine, kind, wise, and sweet pastor anyone could look for.  It's a long stretch before November.

So, as I'd hoped for last evening; we have a free day to relax and put our feet up, or take them to the garden (maybe the library and a coffee later....maybe...).  Ah! here comes the sun!

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tomorrow we just stay home...

You know how, sometimes, all you want to do is put your feet up and read?  That's where I am these days.  It just seems like the clocks are running so much faster than I can keep up with. Everyday we vow: "tomorrow we just stay home and work in the garden".  Well...(maybe) tomorrow we will just stay home and work in the garden!  We'll see...

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April Update

It's been awhile since an update about v.  He had a nice seven week break from his chemo, and had been in a partial remission.  Unfortunately a PET scan late last month revealed that the tumors are once again active and growing.  They are still much smaller than he started out with back in October.  However he has also been found to be quite anemic and deficient in iron.

Last week he underwent another  Upper GI scope and was found to have esophageal ulcers which were causing him a lot of discomfort.  Happily, the gastroenterologist also reported that the esophageal tumor looks much smaller from what he saw in October.  He says that it is difficult to visualize, though, due to the ulcerations. He has v on a new medication that is classified as a proton-pump inhibitor.  After two days worth of doses his pain was gone and he has been able to enjoy a nearly normal diet.

He has started on a new chemo drug (new for him) which is intravenous only. He receives infusions once a week for three weeks and then has a week off before beginning the cycle again.  Eventually he will have some hair loss.  He has beautiful curly hair, but he is far more beautiful than any hair he will lose.

He's just midway through the second week of the new infusions.  Last week was very difficult for him due to the epigastric discomfort he was experiencing.  This week has been better.  The side effects are supposed to be milder with this "new" drug, but he seems to experience his usual two and a half days of being down.  For his anemia he is receiving iron infusions.  So, he is doing okay, but he is weak.  With his discomfort and the fasting for the test earlier this week he lost some weight, but we will work on that.  Sometimes he needs a little extra encouragement to remember to eat.  It's a balancing act. We both are on a tightrope here.

As always we are buoyed by the love and care of our friends.  Without their understanding and support we would crumble under this pressure.

But I must admit, the garden has suffered. Not only from the time and energy taken away by care for v, but after losing our dear Hannah last year we didn't think about spreading our annual bales of straw over the fall garden when we put it "to bed".  We always spread the straw with the intent of keeping mud out of the house.  It never occurred to us that we were also keeping many, MANY weeds at bay.  So, when time and energy permits, we are hacking through a jungle of growth out there in the back garden.  Oh My!

But for pretty spring garden pictures I will post a couple that I have used for inspiration in our front garden. Cerinthe and Abutilon from a garden we admired in Mendocino last month.

And from around our front parlor window, Banksia roses:

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Monday, April 8, 2013

Lupin Season

A pretty picture for all.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Flowering Tree

Every spring as we drive to church I have noticed this lovely, lonely tree flowering in a field bordered by forest.  It's the only fruit tree in sight.  This year I decided we might just take some pictures of it.  Such a brave beauty.

It's on farmland along Hwy 1 south of Carmel and north of Big Sur.  It's so nice that it hasn't been paved over and we hope it stays that way for some time to come.

The fields are full of wildflowers.  I remember at one time there were artichokes in these fields. I've heard that the padres brought the mustard to California.  The Carmel Mission isn't far from this farm.  Father Serra is entombed at the mission.

The tractor hasn't been busy for awhile.


There's even a nest inside the engine.  Nothing goes to waste.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Monday, April 1, 2013

Saturday in Wine Country

Saturday afternoon v and I took a photo drive along River Road and the heart of the Salinas Valley wine country.  When I first moved to this area the fields were either full of the vegetables we put in salads or vast expanses of grass for cattle.  Now there are vines as far as the eye can see, sometimes.  Coming from Southern California where the fields have mostly been filled with concrete, asphalt, and matching houses as far as the eye can see, I'm so very pleased that agriculture still rules up here.

This lonely Victorian stands sentinel over pinot and syrah grapes.  Topping the rise with skeletal openings that once reflected candle and gaslight glow from within.

Side roads are planted with windbreaks of majestic trees casting dappled shade in the late afternoon.

We started out in a quest for fields of lupin.  We didn't find any along this route, but there were other wildflowers blooming.  I don't know what they are and would love it if someone reading this could identify them for me.

Barns are also on my list for photo capture, and there are several along the road and slightly off road.  We only captured a couple on Saturday, but plan to return soon.

We come across farmsteads neatly maintained yet uninhabited.  A mystery...

In bocca al lupo.  m & v