Thursday, August 14, 2014

Artfully Amazed!

Monday, July 21, 2014

I wake up crampy. Last time I was disconnected from chemo I had taken Miralax and thought it may have caused my cramps.  It turns out that cramps come after chemo.  At least my Psi bands seem to be working well, I haven't had to use the nausea medicine at all.  I am feeling a little tired, but not unbearably so.

We have only three kids at daycare today, so we decide to take them to Ben and Jerry's.  Only one of the kids who is here today was around for the last trip, and what kid would complain about going on a bus ride to the ice cream store twice?  I was a little sad that I had to miss the last trip.

Before we can leave, we have to wait for the visiting nurse to come and take my vitals.  I no longer need any assistance with the changing of the bag, so now they come and ask me how things are going, and take the usual assortment of vitals.  I am getting a tired of this. It takes time, and I don't always know when they are coming until a short time before they arrive. I don't want to have to be waiting around for them like I am today.  I don't really think it is necessary anymore.

Once the nurse comes and goes, we can get on with our field trip.  The bus stop is a short walk up to Hope St., and we pass the time singing The Wheels On the Bus, of course.  The bus comes before we even get bored. One of the children has never been on the bus before, and is a little nervous about the whole thing.  Once we get on and put our money in the collector, we find seats that are along the windows, allowing us to hold the children safely so they can look at their neighborhood from a new perspective.  My fearful friend starts to relax. Sara and I point out highlights, like Seven Stars Bakery and Creatoyvity, places the kids are familiar with.

Now that Ben and Jerry's has moved from Meeting Street to Thayer Street, the bus drops us off right by the shop.  The kids are so excited to go in and choose a flavor, look at the premade cakes in the freezer and watch all the activity that is happening on Thayer Street. We order small cups of ice cream with rainbow sprinkles, possibly the most thrilling and important aspect of the trip.  Since we have an older sibling with us today, I let her get a regular small cone. It turns out that she can't finish it, but her little sister takes care of it for her after finishing her own.

Usually, I would join the kids in getting some ice cream, but my throat is still reacting to the chemo, and I can only eat things that are room temperature or warmer.  Unfortunately, nothing they sell here that would interest me is above freezing.

The bus stop for our ride home is just across the street from Ben and Jerry's, in front of Starbucks.  Unfortunately, our bus was leaving just as we stepped out of the ice cream store.  We occupied ourselves exploring the windows of the shops near the bus stop.  We were disappointed to find that the bank on the corner does not keep lollipops out in a big bowl like one of our Hope Street banks does.  Having just had ice cream though, we didn't complain.  Instead we went back to Starbucks and spied on people from knee level.  Because of the step up into the store, most of the window seating is higher than the heads of the kids.  They thought it was funny when I told them that people probably couldn't see them looking in the window at them.  There is also this mysterious railing outside of the coffee shop.  It is great for locking bikes up to, and hanging from.  Especially if you are under three feet tall.  Even if you are a little taller too.

Once we return to my house, it is time for lunch, and nap time.  Two of the children get picked up early, so Sara takes care of the last child, and I am free to rest.  These slow days have been extremely good to have this year.

As compensation for not being able to have ice cream earlier, in the evening I make myself some heat and serve chocolate pudding.  I have never taken the time to learn how to make pudding from scratch, so I buy the little four serving boxes at the store.  I put it in two bowls and  add a little whipped cream from a can, and dig in.  Okay, maybe it is more than just a little whipped cream, but who can resist?  Delicious. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I go for an early bike ride today, and manage to get around the Boulevard in twenty minutes. I didn't push myself too much, and I don't feel tired when I am done. I think this means I can go further tomorrow.

Today it is very warm outside, so it is going to be a pool day.  Usually, I would fill the pools up in the morning, so they can warm up a bit before we go outside, but the cool water makes my fingers tingle.  I wait until Sara comes so she can fill up the pools.

We have two pools, a small one with a slide into it, and a larger one in which there may be a splashing or no splashing rule, depending on who gets in it first.  Older children often come in the summer, and although they enjoy going to a full sized swimming pool, they all love the wading pools.  It is cool splashy fun.  And truth be told, what the kids really love to do, is empty the pools.  In the garden, sand box or planters, painting the house, washing things with scrub brushes, and dumping water on the house and each other.  They like to empty the small pool, sometimes from splashing, sometimes from dumping, and then take the water from the bigger pool to refill the smaller one.  Why?  All I can say is they make it look like fun.

Usually I would join in on the water fun, wading in the pools with the kids, splashing or  getting water pedicures, but not today.  I have to keep away from the water.  Even though it is warm out, I do not feel hot, I feel just right.  The water is so much fun, but I have to view it from a dry place.  Sometimes these days I feel like I'm Elphaba from Wicked.

One of my mothers, Ayako, makes me some soup for dinner. It is rich and hearty, full of vegetables and beans. I wish I could make such delicious soup.

Tonight is knitting night, and because I have my friend's car, I drive myself.  I end up wishing I had shared a ride with someone else.  As I pull up to my house, I find my sidewalk, driveway and walkway covered with the most incredible chalk artwork! It would have been nice to share this amazing sight with a friend upon discovering it.

Steve comes out and marvels at the work with me.  He had arrived home minutes before I did.  He gets our camera and takes some photos.  We know that the light will be better in the morning, but we are afraid that the dog walking traffic will smudge the art.

I can't even imagine how all this artwork was done so quickly.  I didn't leave until ten to seven, and it is now only shortly after nine.  It is so amazing.  I can only imagine the joyous party that must have happened in my front yard while I was out.  Such beauty!  Such love.

Steve inserts all of the photos into my blog posts for me, and is away right now.  If you would like to see the chalk artwork, hopefully you can follow this link.  If not, check back in a few days, and it will be inserted into my blog.

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