Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 21.......Shortest Day of the Year and Winter Solstice






A Christmas carol, yes ....but it has a solstice-y feel to it




P.S.  I'm starting to catch up on some of the blogs I've missed the past couple of weeks....so much interesting stuff to read and see, I think it will take me awhile






Thursday, December 16, 2010

NED........Best Acronym Ever!!!

NED
No Evidence of Disease
!!!!!!!!!!!

Nicole's pathology report of her two surgeries showed no further spread of melanoma cells to the underlying tissue or the lymph nodes.  All margins were clear and all 9 lymph nodes that were removed were negative.
Tears were shed, but healthy, happy tears and we are all feeling emotionally drained at the moment, but OH WHAT A FEELING (and even though I feel like breaking into song...I won't.   LOL)

Nicole has to continue to be vigilant due to melanoma's tendency to recur, however going to the oncologist and dermatologist periodically throughout the year is not even an issue in our minds.  
Nicole's 'war' wound


Again, a very huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone for their support, prayers and positive thoughts.  I know I could not have handled this without you all.
I am now looking forward to getting back to some normality (hahaha), enjoying Christmas and making dolls

but first?  gonna have a good night's sleep!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sofia Isabela, A New Kindred


Sofia Isabela wanted to have hair the same as her older brother's, Prince Rafael.  She lopped off her long, thick braid and then had second thoughts.  She wondered if praying would help.

I was hoping to get this little gal done at the end of November, but unfortunately 'life' kind of got in the way.  Anyway, she is done now and I will put her up on Etsy tomorrow.  



I now have less than two weeks to get several pieces done as gifts......yikes!  I feel like Halloween was just yesterday.


I have just started using NetworkedBlogs on Facebook...if anyone here wants to add me, that would be great!  I'm still trying to figure it out, but it seems like a great idea.

 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A No News Day

Well, yesterday was an exercise in frustration.
 
We drove into Toronto (the drive to T.O. wasn't bad - it was once we got into the city.....I would never drive in Toronto and am just glad my hubby is used to it or our taxi fees would be ridiculous).
Arrived at Princess Margaret Hospital and went to Nicole's oncologist's office only to be told that her appointment was cancelled because the pathology report was not back yet.  Yes, they HAD tried to contact Nicole but had a couple of numbers of her cell phone reversed and by the time they tried our house, we had left.
 
The wait from her surgery until yesterday has been nerve-wracking on all of us, most of all Nicole, and
to be mentally prepared for basically anything and then to be told - come back next week was a huge disappointment.
 
Nicole says she feels like she is hanging on by a thread at the moment.  She's trying to stay positive, but yesterday set her back a bit mentally.
 
Our appointment now is set for next Thursday, early morning....and so, the wait continues.
Thank you to everyone for your heartfelt messages.
Being in a situation like this, it means so much to me, Nicole and our family to realize the support of people, most of whom I have never met in 'real' life.  I consider you all true friends and love you for being there and for your thoughtfulness.   You may feel that your posts on my blog and emails are not much, however they mean the world to us.
Thank you!
 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Wedding and a Birthday


I've been scanning some old family photos to send to my sis who is planning a memorial service in Vancouver for my Dad.  This photo is my Dad's father and mother on their wedding day.  Not typical wedding attire, but it was during WWI.  My grandmother was around 18 years here.  Think they look so cute!

 Nicole celebrated her 31st birthday yesterday - we had a nice day and surprisingly did not stress too much over having to go to the oncologist today for her pathology report.

We leave for Toronto early afternoon and are keeping positive thoughts first and foremost.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday....Dec. 1, 2010

click to enlarge






I swear that the text/picture area on my blog has progressively become more narrow over the past few months!  Anyone know an easy fix to increase this  space?  (and when I say "easy"  I mean "really" easy!)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Dad

Jim Manley Mar. 6,1924 - Nov. 27, 2010


My dad, after suffering a decline in health over the past year, passed away yesterday evening.  He was a talented artist and a man full of humour, grace and dignity.  One in a million, and I will miss him very much.

♥Love you Dad♥

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving

shorpy.com

Sending Happy Thanksgiving wishes to all my US friends.
Be happy, safe, have fun, be thankful of the food you are eating (and be thankful you don't have to catch and pluck the bird like the little girl above!)


A quick update on Nicole - her surgery went well and she is home with us recuperating.  Her left arm that had the wide local excision and the lymph node (4 of them) removal done is quite painful, but she has
painkillers that take the edge off.   We now wait until Dec. 7 for the pathology report.

It is not Thanksgiving in Canada, but I am so thankful for all my friends here that have offered and continue to offer prayers, positive thoughts and support.
Love

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Be Gone for a Couple of Days




I will be away from any blogging  for a couple of days while Nicole has her surgery - should be back by Tuesday.  I will have access to Keara's laptop and will probably check my Facebook as it is pretty fast and easy, but I don't think I will have too much time computerwise.


An artist friend posted this video on her facebook and I thought it was so cute.  There is no way my cat would ever even attempt this!




Hoping everyone is having a fabulous weekend!





Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back Home


Got back home around 1:00 a.m. this morning and have been doing "stuff" (you know, laundry, dishes ... fun stuff like that all day).

Rock of Ages, basically ROCKED.  Such a fun show - high energy, hand-clapping, foot stomping theatre.  I'm not a huge 80s fan but I... Loved it!







Yesterday was Nicole's pre op appointment - her surgery is next Monday.  She has to be at Princess Margaret hospital at 7:00 a.m and will have the
sentinel lymph node mapping done around 8:00.  This is where they inject radioactive dye into her shoulder area around the biopsied site.  The dye shows the first lymph node(s) the  cancer cells may have percolated to (if they did go anywhere else).


At 10:00 is her
surgery to remove the sentinel nodes and then
they will do the Wide Local Excision (WLE) 
to remove a chunk of skin/tissue around where the mole was.  A skin graft or flap-over procedue will
then be done.



And then it is on to recovery.  She should be released
around supper time, unless there are some concerns about her diabetes (none expected).



We will be bringing Nicole home with us for at least a week to recover.  On Dec. 7, she has an appointment with the oncologist to find out if the cancer has spread
and what the next steps are.



A blogger friend of mine, who has gone through a
similar situation (not melanoma) with her daughter wrote me that the waiting is the worse.  I agree.

On a totally different note, a friend posted this on Facebook and I think it is sooooooo pretty.




I'm hoping tomorrow to get into my studio - haven't been near it for five days and going through clay withdrawal.







Sunday, November 14, 2010

Took The Plunge

shorpy.com


After much hesitation and resistance, but with a lot of encouragement from my family and peers...

shorpy.com

I decided to join the masses...
shorpy.com 
...and take the plunge.

Yep, I'm now on 
Sue Patricia Barton on FB
My daughter, Nicole has been visiting for a couple of days and 'surprised' me with a page two days ago.  I'm amazed at how much info and cool stuff is on Facebook.  I've found some amazing artists and made some new
friends already.  
I hope to set up a page for my work soon, but in the meantime if you are on FB and want to 'friend me', I would love to hear from you!  


****

We are off to Toronto today to take in the Rock of Ages show 





and I am staying over at Nicole's so I can go to her pre op appointment with her tomorrow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance





November 11, 2010

Canada.......Remembrance Day
United States....Veteran's Day



The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
We stop and remember and honour our brave men and women who fought, and still fight, that we may live in freedom.




May we never forget





Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...Nov. 10 Inspiration?

Warhol



♥♥♥


Have been super busy with "things" and have not been on the computer/blog much - hope to catch up with everyone's blogs soon!

Hugs!




Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This Is Halloween


Tomorrow, Oct. 31, is Halloween.

People (especially here in North America), from big ones...

to wee ones....
love Halloween

Wishing everyone a spookily fun and safe Halloween weekend.  To send you on your way some Halloween classics....
The amazing Tim Curry


What is Halloween without monsters...

 
Ghosts, goblins and the brilliant Tim Burton












Friday, October 22, 2010

Fluffy and Crisp

Fluffy as in the first snow that hit parts of Ontario overnight and early this morning...

Cheryl McIssac, Barrie, ON Oct. 22, 2010, Weather Network


No snow here, in my little corner yet - just crisp, cool, beautiful Fall weather.

Skip Pothier, Port Perry, ON.  The Weather Network
 
There is so much about Autumn that I love.  The air is so fresh (none of that horrid summer humidity), cool and crisp.  The turning colours of the leaves is stunning and the heady, unique scent of fallen leaves always makes me smile.

How many of you remember scenes like this, from when you were younger?  When we moved to this small town over 20 years ago, people were still allowed to burn their leaves.  Sadly for us, (but better for the air quality), we are no longer permitted.
Shorpy.com
Speaking of crisp ....can anything beat the taste of an early Fall apple?  Not only super yummy, but so healthy for you!
An Apple A Day by Bird Doodle on Etsy

Apples are a perfect snack - portable, handy and delicious.

 shorpy.com

And apples are readily available (no need to resort to 'stealing' one - this is NOT what is meant by picking apples)

shorpy.com

Delight in the fun of going to an orchard and picking your own.
 
  No orchard close by? An open air farmer's market is the next best thing.
 
 shorpy.com

And failing that,  you just know at this time of year there will be a huge selection at your local grocer's.

shorpy.com

Whatever you have planned for this weekend, enjoy the weather and also an apple (or two).
  

If you are jonesing for
"fluffy", have a marshmallow!  I like winter and find the first snow fall very enchanting, but it is still just a bit too early!




Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Interrupting Regular Programming

To bring you this public service message


how many of us remember getting bad, blistering sunburns as children?  how many of us have used, or still use tanning beds?  how many of us are not
very diligent about using sunscreen?
I have never used a tanning bed, however I can answer "Yes" to the other two questions and even answering Yes to one of the above puts you at added risk for skin cancer.

Before Nicole was diagnosed with Melanoma, I rarely, if ever gave skin cancer a thought and even when I did, I had little knowledge of what skin cancer is.  And Melanoma? I knew it was a type of skin cancer, but ignorantly assumed, if you had a funny mole, you had it removed and all was jolly.
Of all the skin cancers, melanoma is the one you don't want to make acquaintance with .  It is a nasty, flighty, unpredictable bedfellow that can turn deadly.

Please take a few minutes to read the following facts, as this cancer is serious and is striking more and more people with increasing frequency.

The following is from Miss Melanoma (one of the best sites on this topic on the internet).  This was a post done in 2008. 

What to Watch For:

 A change in size, shape or color. The features of change to watch for in moles are the A, B, C, D and E’s of detection.
AsymmetryTwo halves of a lesion that are not the same
Border
Borders of a lesion are irregular, scalloped or vague
Color
Color varies from one area to another, including shades of tan or brown as well as black, blue, red and white
Diameter
A lesion that is greater than 6 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a pencil eraser
Evolution
Lesions that change or evolve, or is ELEVATED or raised above the skin and has a rough surface



You should also watch for the following skin changes:A mole that bleeds
A fast-growing mole
A scaly or crusted growth on the skin
A sore that won't heal
A mole that itches
A place on your skin that feels rough, like sandpaper


The facts:
 
*Skin cancer is the #1 diagnosed cancer, and the third most commonly diagnosed cancer among women 20-39 years of age.
*More than 90% of skin cancer is caused by sun and tanning bed exposure.
*Each hour, one person dies from skin cancer.
*One in 5 people will be diagnosed with it.
*One in 41 men and one in 61 women will develop melanoma in their lifetime.
*The rate of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has more than doubled between 1973 and 1996.
*Melanoma is more common than any non-skin cancer among people between 25 and 29 years old.
*An estimated 7,400 deaths from melanoma and 2,200 from other skin cancers were expected in 2002 and more than 7,800 died from melanoma alone.
*The death rate from melanoma for men is almost twice that of women due to late detection *Melanoma is now the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. There have been no significant advances in the medical treatment or survival rate in the last 30 years.
* One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing melanoma later in life.
* Exposure to tanning beds before age 35 increases melanoma risk by 75 percent.
* On an average day, more than one million Americans use tanning salons.
* New high-pressure sunlamps emit doses of UVR that can be as much as 12 times that of the sun.

And for our finale....

 
*In women 25-29, melanoma is the primary cause of cancer death, and in women 30-34 it is the second most common cause of cancer death.
*In the U.S. your chance of getting melanoma in 1940 was 1 in 1500. By 2004, it was 1 in 67. By 2010, scientists predict it will be 1 in 50.
*The incidence of melanoma has increased 690 percent from 1950 to 2001, and the overall mortality rate increased 165 percent during this same period.
*If caught in the earliest stages, melanoma is entirely treatable with a survival rate of nearly 100%. If untreated and allowed to spread, there is no known treatment or cure.





Being aware could save your life


.........I consider myself pretty well informed about medical issues, however I was totally uninformed about this particular subject as I fear many are.  I promise my next post will be back to my normal doll, etc., related topics.  This however is too important to
ignore.




♥♥♥

Friday, October 8, 2010

WIP, Update And Cat Box

I finished my little play piece the other night and was happy how she turned out.  She was going to go on Etsy, but someone saw her before that she will be travelling Stateside shortly.

This is Pumpkin.



A number of us have cats and/or dogs, I mean, life would not be complete without our little furry family members.  Both have their own unique, special and often funny, quirks and characteristics.  

Those of you who have kitties will enjoy this...




Check out YouTube for more of Simon's Cat vids.


Thank you to everyone for their thoughts and prayers for Nicole.  Yesterday she had her appointment at Princess Margaret Hospital.  Due to miscommunication or misunderstanding, this was not for the surgery but a preliminary consultation with the oncologist /surgeon.

The following is part of an email that I sent to a friend outlining some of what we found out (yes, I'm lazy when it comes to rewriting something)



Sometime in mid November (the surgeon is going on holidays for 3 weeks towards the end of this month),
 Nicole will go in early in the morning and will have general anesthetic.  They will
take a chunk out of her arm, send the tissue off to the lab and they will also do sentinel
lymph node biopsies which will also go to the lab.  The doc drew a pic on her arm of how big it
would be -  it was approx. the size of a tennis ball in diameter and could go as deep as
the muscle layer.  She will then have a flap-over procedure
done rather than skin graft if possible.  In the meantime she has to meet with the anesthesiologist.
with her records from her diabetic doctor and also get more blood work done.
The day before her surgery she has to go in and have some dye injected to map the sentinel node locations.
Depending on what they find during the surgery, she may have to go on a protocol of Interferon.  (this stuff is nasty and I'm so hoping it isn't needed)


The name given to what she has is Superficial Spreading Melanoma and her mole is
classed (due to its size and thickness) as Stage 4.  The stages go up to stage 5, so
4 is obviously not optimal, and while it can inticate the chance of spread, it does not
indicate the stage of cancer.


So that is basically where we are now - I'm sure I forgot some stuff however that
is the jest of it.
 
As I said earlier - please keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next month or so.



♥♥♥

Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Pants, Dinner and WIP


I planned on posting this earlier today, BUT,  take one loose rug, add one clumsy person (moi) and one cup of coffee just as I'm ready to sit down at the computer, and yes, you guessed it......dumped coffee all over my  keyboard.

Nothing was working four hours ago, but just got back on now and everything seems to be back to normal - whew!!!

Yesterday we drove into  'the city' (Toronto) to visit our girls, Nicole and Keara.   We were looking forward to seeing both girls as it has been several weeks and we also wanted to meet Nicole's new little kitty Edward.


Nicole has a date for her surgery - this Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at Princess Margaret Hospital.  Please keep those good thoughts coming!


Just before getting into Toronto we pass under this old bridge, which Keara ever since she was little, has called the "Big Pants Bridge".



I guess in a child's eyes, it could look like a pair of
pants, but she is now 23!  I'm also beginning to think she is rather quirky about big pants because on her table was this.......
Mr. Salt 'n Pants

We had a lovely dinner, Honey Dijon Apple Chicken and Veggies and super delicious Squash soup to start.  I always envy some of the food pics that I see people post on their blogs.  Most of them end up making me very hungry.  Thought I would do the same, but when I was taking the pic, Nicole told me that meals like this don't translate that well in images - they can very easily look like puke.  (She is so eloquent, and unfortunately, she is right LOL).
It may not look it, but it was yummy!

On Saturday I had planned on working on the two Kindreds I have on the go, and also maybe starting my little Fall faerie.  Instead I decided to play with a couple mashed up balls of aluminum foil (one was for a head, not sure what plans I had for the second one) and some wire. 
I added some clay and this is what I ended up with...


and here he is 'baked' and partially painted....

I think I'm going to do something pumpkin themed with him/her, and hope to work on him/her tonight.

Hope everyone has had a great day!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Anna and Her Spider

Anna and her Spider

After scalping this little gal two times, and being tempted to leave her bald, I finally got her hair done last night.   This was the first time I have ever had
trouble with tibetan mohair.   This stuff was horrible - the locks on 90% of the pelt are both curly and frizzy. On the pelt they didn't look bad, but once added to the head, looked horrid.



Anyway, finally got her done, and took the pics today and just got her listed in my Etsy shop 

Anna is dressed in antique netting and lace and her little spider Weedo is polymer clay.
I have two more Kindred WIPs to wig and costume and then I think I will do a little autumn fae.



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Witch, Pumpkin and Incomplete Ghostie

I just listed Julia, my lil pumpkin carving Kindred from yesterday and also, Dorthea, a lil witch, in my Etsy shop.



Dorthea, like Julia, also loves Hallowe'en and was so happy to be a witch.  Unfortunately, her hat did not
fit and she had to stand stock still so it would not fall off.  Trick or Treating was not looking good.

I hope to list Anna, a little ghost Kindred, tomorrow.

Anna still needs her hair, her outfit, and her little pet
spider.  I thought I would be able to finish her today, however I had a lot of errands to run and didn't get into my studio.  

No news yet on when Nicole has her surgery.  Will do any updates as I have them.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pumpkin




Julia and her Pie Pumpkin
Julia loves Hallowe'en, but isn't too sure about the Jack-o-lantern she helped carve.  The pie was great, but the pumpkin is so small!
***
Julia is one of several Kindreds that I will be listing in my Etsy shop within the next couple of days.
***
I wanted to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for your thoughtful and supportive responses to my last post.....♥♥♥


Thursday, September 23, 2010

So It's Thursday

Tress Flood Dreams
 ...and this has been one of those weeks.


Each day has felt like a bit of a balancing act and at times


like I've been straddling a chasm.


Lots of small annoyances and several larger things that have made the last four days a bit of an adventure.   The two main serious things that happened was that my Dad finally moved to an extended care facility in BC.  He seems to be failing rapidly and this is the best place for him, but it is much more tramatic than I thought it would be.

Closer to home, our daughter Nicole had a suspicious mole removed last week and found out yesterday that it is melanoma.  What stage? We won't know until she has surgery which will be in the next couple of weeks.   If you can, please say a prayer, or send a thought, that this was caught early enough and that it is in the very early stages.   Also, please check your skin (whole body) for any changes to moles or suspicious looking bumps and don't hesitate to get them checked out if you find something.  If caught early, this is very curable, however if not......well, it's not.

On a positive note,  I have five Kindreds ready to paint, wig and costume


I hope to do a couple of these with a hallowe'en theme.

I periodically check out the Blogs of Note section of my dashboard and want to send congrats to my friend Pattee of Odd-Dolls
who recently made this list.  Yaaaay Pattee!
I would also like to make mention of another blog that I recently discovered from Blogs of Note.
I am now following this hilarious, compelling and enchanting blog.  It has been my guilty pleasure the last few nights when I could not sleep to read various entries that the very clever Allie has posted.  Her drawings that illustrate each post are super simplistic but somehow capture just about any emotion that is out there and combined with the text, I often find myself laughing out loud.   And laughter is the best medicine!

Off to work on my Kindreds and hope to catch up on everyone's blogs this evening.




UPDATE:  One of the funniest things I have read yet - if you are a dog lover, you will love this (from Hyperbole and a half)

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/07/dog.html