Ugly is in the eye of the beholder….

….and I think they are ugly.  It’s the year for the cicada in Kansas City.  I’ve seen them on the trail behind our house but I just assumed they would not make it any further Northwest *significant eye roll.  This morning I found them hanging around on the lily leaves…ugh…time to go back deep into the ground from whence you came!

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For those of you who really know me,  you know that I”m not really very competitive.  *significant eye roll.  I noticed yesterday that the “girl” tomato plant has a little tomato on it and the boy on the left hasn’t grown very much.  uh huh.  Which is the stronger gender…I hope I don’t have to eat these words at the end of the season.

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and I leave you with my one irritation of the day *significant eye roll.  Frannie, the dog, could get her leash tied up on a pebble in the middle of a newly plowed field.


knocked the little fence down…okay…I get it…but seriously…



If she weren’t so cute, I would be seriously pissed!

Until next time….

Auctions and William Shakespeare…

Usually when I attend the Icehouse Auction on Friday nights I find something that I want to bid on.

My new juicer which appears to be almost never used.


or these 4 Yankee candles which are brand new and I got for the fraction of the retail price.


But nothing prepared me for the chalk sculpture of William Shakespeare.  It is cool and creepy at the same time and I had to have it!



My friend, MaryBeth, had me laughing out loud last night when she saw these pictures on Facebook.  Her response was:  This is creeping me out, Nina!  I received several of those remarks between last night and this morning on FB.  Marcy had the best idea…….”I think that needs to be a traveling William. Take him with you on some of your adventures and post pics with him in it.”

Here’s perspective of how big he really is.


Now that is creepy!

So those of you planning a visit to see us…it must include a Friday night for auction night …. even if you don’t know of anything you want to buy, you’ll find something…and if not, the people entertainment is worth the drive.


Until next time…..

owning decisions….

We learn something from everything we do and have done from birth.  Most of us don’t learn from other people’s mistakes…because details of everyone’s circumstances are different?  Because what works for one person may not work for someone else?  Because interpretation of right and wrong, good and bad are different for each person?  Challenges are construed differently depending on your storybook.

Decisions we make can be as simple as clicking on a well-worded link on the Internet.  it can bring enlightenment or spam that will haunt forever.  There is no geek squad to save us from our bad decisions.   Somehow we get through it….and we learn another life lesson… we channel that lesson, good or bad, is a direct result of our past experiences.

I’ve been known to bemoan the fact that some people make stupid mistakes over and over again.  What  is wrong when someone continues to dig themselves in deeper and deeper in muck.  They can’t get out, they can’t figure out what they are doing wrong.  How does it look thru their eyes.  Do they see themselves as being buried because of circumstances beyond their control or bad luck or are they simply happy in their circumstances and don’t recognize things could be different?   The most important question is…who am I to judge another’s life?

My new strategy or thinking process is directing me to continue on my path…I will listen to what other say….really listen…if I find it is the wrong path, I can turn around…mark the path with a flag and be on my way.  I may come to the same crossroad again…and this time it may be the right path to choose.  Things change,  life continues to evolve and only I am responsible for the decisions I make…..and the consequences of those decisions are mine to own.

Until next time….

Just a short little tutorial about overlay….

I lived for 30 years on a gravel road…uh huh..for you big city folk…yes, we had running water and indoor plumbing.  Actually Iowa has a lot of gravel roads and there are very few things positive about that fact other than during ice storms – they are the last to get slick; but, when they do…it’s ugly.  So when we moved to “the city” in Missouri and I had asphalt streets, I couldn’t have been more delighted.  Our neighborhood street was a little bit rough and everyone who has lived there for awhile probably thought they were long overdue for maintenance…I thought it was perfect.


Wait no more.  They started grinding yesterday and will resurface in the next 20 days.  I wasn’t the only girl in the neighborhood watching the process yesterday but I’m the only one I knew that was so curious that I took pictures.  The big guy slouched down in the dump truck actually gave me the steering wheel wave when he saw me taking pictures.


Grinding next to the curb



Apparently it takes a village


this is what the ground down asphalt looks like until they get the overlay put down.


…and there you have it.

Until next time….

I’ve been a suffering….

For the last few weeks, I haven’t been able to get my shirts off over my head.  I can barely get my arm up there without shoulder pain and then I don’t have the strength to pull it off….so he helps.  I remember the days when he would have walked over to  my side of the bed to help me remove my shirt…but I digress.  I’ve been adjusted by Dr Piva, I’ve had two acupuncture treatments which helped a little with range of motion but today I did the deep tissue massage with Michael at Dr Piva’s office.  There is really nothing relaxing about deep tissue massage other than the fact you are laying on a table and don’t have to support yourself thru the occasional discomfort while balancing on your own two feet.

Especially if your own two feet look like this:

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I would really laugh if I hadn’t put his shoes on the wrong feet before.

Anyway…Michael found some significant lumps and bumps in my left shoulder and down my arm.  He also worked on the band down the left side of my leg and my left quadricep which was causing me some knee issues.  I just thought it was my knee.  I have total confidence that in a couple of days, I’m going to be much better.

It’s sprinkling…he’s out mowing in it because he was so ashamed yesterday because most of the neighbors mowed yesterday..hahaha..Welcome to neighborhood life….but we will no longer be the neighbor who needs to mow because their grass is obviously a little taller than the adjoining lawn.

Jax and I are just waiting for the sun so we can take a walk..his shoes are on the right feet now.

Until next time….

I miss Xanga…..still

I was reading blogs on my WordPress “reader” tonight…feeling a sense of loss.  I’m looking for Xanga type blogs with people I can connect with…I don’t want to read blogs from teenagers or 20’s or 30’s – I’m not interested right now in reading short stories or books, I don’t want the negativity of politics or religion…I just want to find some blogs I can connect with…I wish WordPress had a blog-ring so it would be easier to find people with like interests.  Wordpress is just not as community friendly as Xanga….and I can keep whining about it or just spend extra effort finding some interesting 50+ bloggers to enjoy.  By the way, I’m tagging Xanga so if anyone searches – maybe they will find me.  I was Ninasusan there and Ninasusan here – same Tree….and same exit since 2007.

Until next time….

The breakfast of champions….

I have shared a couple of these blogs on my page recently.  Actually I can’t remember now how I found her wordpress page…she has a wonderful take on dementia and alzheimers and should be a regular read for anyone who is living with someone with the disease.  I have a 6 degrees of separation with the author although I didn’t know it when I started following her.  I worked with her father-in-law for many, many years – he is a Lt with the Newton, Iowa Police Department and I was his dispatcher and loved to tell him where to go on a daily basis.  I love these small world events!


Here’s my breakfast.  He made me the juice this morning with Kale, spinach, cabbage, carrot and apple.  It is actually quite tasty and I find the more good green food I eat, the better it tastes.  Next to my juice is my 1000mg Turmeric from Dr Piva, my chiropractor and acupuncturist, my starbucks from my keurig and my great protein two handful almond breakfast.

I sometimes wonder if the universe brings the people with cancer diagnosis together.  I recently learned a friend of mine now has a cancer diagnosis.  We have been messaging each other with the details of our individual cancer fights…and our disbelief that this could happen to us.  She is a fighter and these little connections with like minded friends really helps keep the attitude positive and like a 3 mile walk – keeps me energized.

It’s a beautiful sunny day today!

Until next time…..

What You Do For Friends in Dementialand (aka What I Learned From My 5th Grade Teacher Mr. V)

Thanks for sharing Mr V’s lesson

When Dementia Knocks

Flashback. I am in the 5th grade at Mulberry Elementary School. There is a girl in my class who I will call Mindy. Mindy has special needs. She’s very sweet but doesn’t quite fit in as hard as she tries. She’s obsessed with Iowa Hawkeye football and never misses a game on TV. One weekend, she gets to go to a game. It’s a really big deal for her.

The Monday after the game, my teacher (Mr. V as we call him) does something that I haven’t forgotten. He asks Mindy to run an errand to the school office. While she is gone, he tells us that when Mindy returns he will ask her to tell us all about the Hawkeye game.

“I know that many of you have been to lots of Hawkeye games, so it may not seem like a big deal to you, but this is a…

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Having a reading nest….


Laying in bed this morning, listening to the morning floor creaks and his morning habits, I felt the need to delve into why he likes to wake up and immediately have both feet on the floor; and how I like to lay there and move my legs around the disheveled sheets searching for a cool spot, rotate my pillow around, catch up on Facebook, etc and wake up.  I came up with no answers.

I have a tendency to do exactly opposite of what I’ve always read.  Bed should be for sleeping…do not make your bed the place you watch tv, eat, read and nest.  Oops.  While I’m not a “napper” unless I’m sick, once I’m up….I’m up…but…occasionally I’ll walk into our room, glance at the bed and have that comforted feeling.  I don’t think that is wrong.

Today, I mixed it up a bit and found my reading spot for the day.  On the front side of the house.  It is shady, there is an amazing cool breeze and the only real NOISE is the multitude of birds all trying to talk at once.  I’m not really a bird person…okay…I really never notice birds other than when I want to scream SHUTUP!  The rustling of the breeze through the leaves makes it okay.

2 weeks from today, probably around this time 10:30 am, I’ll be going under the knife.  Just thru that in because it is on my mind.  Otherwise, I’m just going to be in love with this day!

Until next time…..

That slo-mo time between diagnosis and surgery..

I’m not exactly sure where I’ve drawn from to make it between March 9 to June 9….kidney cancer diagnosis day to scheduled surgery day.  I’ve had two “on the ledge” days where I had to lean on someone else to make it through the agonizing fear and the sobs….and I will say the extra special diagnosis of a diverticulitis abscess which also could have killed me had me literally dragging one foot behind the other…but right now…today…sitting on the deck with a breeze which threatens the table umbrella.  I’m doing well!

I’ve learned that I am misunderstood by family.  I am the only one actually sitting here with kidney cancer slowly growing in my left kidney.  But, I’m realizing the impact this cancer has on the psych of my family and friends.  I learned from a very young age from my Dad that you try to plan for every possibility.  While I realize, and I’m sure he did, that this is really not possible, I think the process is very important.

As I go about my day, I think of things I need to do to prepare me for surgery…other than sending good, happy vibes to the surgeon and/or his robotic friend.  At this point, I still don’t know if they will be able to take it laparoscopically or if they will have to open me up…this decision won’t be made until they are in….but my care and life after surgery will not be the same depending on the treatment….so I plan ahead.  I have to have in my mind where to get an abdominal wrap, whether I will be down 1 week or 6, I want him to know where the passwords are…what bills are paid automatically, will I have to go back and forth to Des Moines for after care.  I ask these questions out loud and roll them off the brains of those close to me.  They perhaps interpret that I’m worried.  I’m not worried.  I’m optimistic, I’m confident and I’m preparing, I’m actually feeling strong mentally and physically….And if there is a hitch in the plan.  We all will deal with it!

until next time….