Duck the Halls

Posted on December 2, 2012. Filed under: Cancer, Family, Just fun! | Tags: , , , , , , |

There’s a nifty path on the east side of the Chicago River between Montrose and Irving Park. It’s not easy to find, but once20121201_223130 you’re there, you forget that you’re in the Chicago. A thin path of mulch lines the ridge and dips to the river’s edge in several spots. Grasses stand three feet high on both sides of the path and are dotted with a rainbow of colors in the summer. Trees lean into the water. Some of their branches touch the surface. Walking along the river, you are apt to spot a crested white duck comfortably hanging out with the mallards. Wikipedia says it is a mutant mallard.

On a whim, Saturday we invited the grandkids and my mother-in-law to come over and help us decorate our Christmas tree, but the balmy fall day was so nice we added a walk along the river with the grandkids to the day’s agenda. When we returned, we finished decorating the tree. I’m a sucker for Christmas. It was great.

crested white duckAlyssa got in trouble with me for suggesting the duck’s headdress looked like a grandma due to its bonnet. While that’s quite true, I would be lucky to have such a hairdo, and I don’t easily identify with the stereotypical grandma. Alyssa qualified her comment by referencing a cartoon grandma. Enough said. The afternoon gave their mom and dad an opportunity to do a little holiday shopping. Fun.

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August 30, 2012 A Week of Comings and Goings

Posted on August 30, 2012. Filed under: Cancer | Tags: , , , , |

My energy level has actually been pretty good for a couple days. I have even written a few headlines here and there. Yesterday, I worked on a sketch of a new painting. In the afternoon, I went to Oak Park for the rendezvous with the mayor of the French town I stayed in on the arts exchange trip I took in 2003. I’ll say it: The only thing more difficult to plan than activities with someone who has a serious illness is planning activities with a group of out-of-towners. Both are like herding cats. Put them together and you’re lucky anything happens at all.

So…I told figured I’d jump into the French gathering late in the afternoon, so I wouldn’t wear myself out for babysitting the grandkids at 6:30. Likewise, the person managing the French couple got a late start, so they didn’t get to the dinner destination until about 30 minutes before I had to leave. M cooked up a wonderful dinner that we couldn’t wait for, but I enjoyed the visit nonetheless.

Instead, I had pizza with the grandkids, which I’m sure was equally amusing. They insisted on concocting a “Happy 13th Anniversary” banner after dinner, but with 20 characters and a school night bedtime, I made them take their showers first.

Then, we rounded up paper, scissors and markers. When the headlights fanned across the front lawn, lights inside went off and we hid behind the sofa, jumped out and screamed, “Happy Anniversary.” I felt like I was 8 again.

Yesterday, I had a burst of energy and decided to take the basket ball across the street to the courts. I made four baskets before I pooped out. When I got home, my face was bright red—and not from too much sun. Seems I’m out of shape. Who woulda thought! I’m trying to do as much as I can before next week when I get pumped up with toxins again.

Last night, my in-laws arrived from Australia. They are staying at my mother-in-law’s, but we will have dinner with them tonight. I am looking forward to it. Scott’s brother and sister-in-law arrives tomorrow for the holiday weekend. Today, I’m having lunch with Veronica.

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    A writer and cancer survivor chronicles her renewed dedication to art and words..

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