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.
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.

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

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.

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

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
Borders of a lesion are irregular, scalloped or vague
Color varies from one area to another, including shades of tan or brown as well as black, blue, red and white
A lesion that is greater than 6 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a pencil eraser
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


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!

Saturday, October 2, 2010