Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thursday, November 20

Had trouble getting to sleep last night, but I am not sure why.  Could it be because I have pretty much given up exercising?  It is so hard to fit it in when I am staying up later.  This means I sleep later too.

We took the kids to the playground today.  They had fun pulling the new wagon around and breaking up the sheets of ice that formed in the fountain overnight.  Picking up large pieces of ice and dropping them on the pavement is such a fascinating thing for small children.  I am not sure if it is the power they feel causing permitted destruction, or if it is mesmerizing to see the ice break and scatter in a hundred different directions.  Possibly it is a little of both,  but it is something that is always fascinating and they will not grow bored with all winter.

Kaileigh comes for dinner and we go to stained glass.  She has a terrible cold, and has not felt well all week, but is feeling better today.  It is hard for her to talk, she doesn't quite have laryngitis, but the sound doesn't always come out when she tries to speak.

The sign I made for my teacher.  He needed something better, so I did something about it!
 At the beginning of class my hands  are very cold, and I need to keep my hand warmer filled mittens near by for frequent warming.  By the end of the class things have warmed up considerably, and my fingers are fine.

Friday, November 21

It is officially one month to the beginning of winter, but you wouldn't know that by the temperature outside.  Inside it is chilly when I wake up, I keep the heat at fifty four at night, otherwise it gets too warm in my bedroom.  Even at that temperature, it is so warm under the flannel sheets, comforter, blanket and quilt, I sometimes need to throw the covers off to cool down.

I hear Alex moving about the house getting ready to go to Amherst to meet with his class advisor. He is going to sign up for classes for the next semester. I get up and run downstairs without putting any socks on to say goodbye to him before he leaves.  It is a week out from chemo, so I don't anticipate that my feet will feel too badly.  I manage to get in a quick hug before I go flying back up the stairs in search of my socks and slippers.  After seven days, the tingling can still be pretty bad, I think I lasted about two minutes with bare feet.

I have been thinking about how people with little money for heat would have to deal with this, and it wouldn't be easy. This could certainly be a reason to resign yourself to bed.

I gather together clothes so I can take a shower.  Alex has showered before me, so the water runs hot right away, and the tile on the floor is not so cold. Before I get in, I pull off my bag.  I have a smaller closed style on that is meant to be worn for maybe twenty four hours and then be disposed.   Although I changed last night before bed, I can tell that if I don't change it now, it will start to work its way off of me in the next few hours.  The adhesive is creeping off my belly, creep, creep, working its way to the edge of the wafer.

Today the kids at daycare are pretty excited.  We are going to have a lantern walk this evening.  These walks are a tradition especially in Germany and in Waldorf schools throughout the world.  They usually happen around November 11, which is known as Martinmas.  It signifies the turning inward of thoughts and of our inner light in preparation for the winter months ahead.

We have been working on our lanterns for the last two weeks and they are beautiful.  We started them by painting balloons with glue and sticking colorful tissue paper on them.  It is always a little difficult to get them finished, but during some quiet times, I was able to help the lanterns along.

Nine children and their parents arrive back at my house shortly after five, with dinner to share.  Once we are full of warm food, we set off around the block, each child holding their lantern, glowing with the light of a battery powered candle.  It is chilly, but the lanterns are so magical and the children so excited, it is a noisy, jubilant procession.

Once we arrive back at my house we warm ourselves with mulled cider, hot chocolate and fox tattoos all around!

It has been a lovely way to celebrate the coming long winter nights!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Monday, November 17

It is rainy today, but not as cold as yesterday.  I am ready for the chill though, three layers and hand warmers. This cold problem is solved.

I think taking it easy yesterday was good for me.  I feel very joyful today.  My youngest boys seem to have grown over the weekend, they feel heavier and look a little taller today.  It is funny how that happens sometimes.

We make cookies and bring them to our neighbors. The rain lets up long enough that we can make our walk and stay dry.  This is especially good when we are doing a cookie delivery, wet cookies would delight no one.

My friend Brett has an art show at Chez Pascal this evening.  It's nice to go out and see her art hung in a public place.  Although it is pouring rain, there is a good showing of people, a few are friends that Brett and I have in common.  It is warm and dry, there are tasty appetizers to snack on, friends and nice people to meet and talk to.  I think her show is a success.

One of my favorites from the show.
I walk home to get ready for my Happiness group to arrive.  Steve walks to the library on Hope Street to cover a community meeting with Aaron Regunberg, our newly elected state representative.  MY meeting is good, we discuss changing the format of our meetings, something we seem to gravitate toward doing this time of year. 

I am happy to have made it through this day warmly, and decide that sleeping in my first layer of clothing will be my new habit.  It feels so old fashion.


Today my brain wakes up a little more.

As my sister and I parade around the block with only three little ones, I think to myself, what the heck am I doing?  Three kids is almost enough to keep one person occupied, never mind two, and certainly not enough for two people to make a living.  I feel good, I should have a full house.  I need more kids!

An Alligator Lies in Wait

I walked to church for knitting this evening, even though it is thirty five degrees outside.  With my mittens and hand warmers, all goes well.  Steven has a community meeting a Brown, so we walk to the Brown green together.

I am meeting with the Religious Education Committee to catch up on what the youth task force is doing, then over to knitting.


Four kids today.  We paint pictures of robots, and take a chicken walk.

Painting Robots
Our Chicken Friends

  I put some alpaca shoe liners in my boots to see if they will help keep my feet warmer.  I bought them last year at a fiber festival Kaileigh and I went to when I visited her in Ithaca, NY. Alpaca fur is one of the warmest natural fibers, and the woman selling the liners told me they should keep even the coldest of feet warm.

Even though it is only in the lower thirties today, with my hand warmers and the shoe liners, I am toasty warm.  I find that sometimes I get so warm, I am sweating!
Mittens and Hats Today!

One thing I am enjoy doing on these chilly days, is sticking my hands into warm soapy water to do the dishes.  Usually this job is nothing more than a chore, but  now it has taken on a whole new dimension.  I let the water get warm and can't wait to stick my hands in.  Suddenly, it feels like such a luxury. 

This evening we go to see Barefoot in the Park at Trinity Rep. with Ayla and Chauncey. The stage is fabulous!  They have created a small apartment on the stage, with walls that open to reveal the small room inside.  Between acts you can see the stage hands redecorating the apartment for the next scene.  It is so clever. Unfortunately we are sitting in front of a row of women who can't help but comment throughout the show, but they are entertaining.  We have a great conversation about their comments after the show.

The play itself is good, although somewhat dated and this adds to its charm.  It is fun to discuss the social norms of the time versus those of now with Ayla and Chauncey.  It is an interesting experience to put aspects of the play into perspective for a younger generation. Even though the people who commented throughout the play were older than Steven and me, they could have gained some insight from our conversation as well. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Saturday, November 15

I am moving slow today, but manage to make it to my hair appointment on time.  No bag problems like last time!  Leslie and I spend our time together talking about the elder care that she and her sister are currently giving her mother and her aunt.  She remembers her mother doing the same for her elders that Leslie now finds herself doing, and wonders who will be there for her when she gets older.  It is one of those questions you never think about when you are younger, and then suddenly, there it is staring you in the face, making you wonder what your own future will look like when you get older.

Alex takes me on a run to Target, dropping me to shop while he gets his hair cut.  I forget that shopping on a chemo weekend is not a great idea until too late.  I see a Little Tikes wagon in front of The Children's Orchard, a second hand clothing store near the Supercuts Alex is getting his hair cut at.  I have been thinking I need a new wagon for some time, and have wondered if I would find one similar to what I already have.

Most newer wagons seem to have seating for only two children facing each other.  This is very limiting for the use of a wagon. Sara and I take a side off of ours, and let three or four kids ride side by side, watching that they stay seated and sit back so they won't fall out.  Wagons are also useful in hauling things around, like coolers and odds and ends for outings at the park. The flatbed really is the most useful wagon for my purposes, I just haven't seen any in the stores in a while, and paying for shipping for something online just seems too outrageous.

This wagon is perfect though.  It is similar to what I need to replace, with better wheels for tighter turns.  I can't pass it up.  This is probably not the best time for me to be buying this wagon, but there it is, and I am shopping with chemo head.  We take the sides off and slide it into the back of Alex's car.  Did I mention that the wagon I am replacing this one with is about twenty years old?  I have changed the wheels and axle on it twice, and it really has had a good run, but the axle is starting to wear through the plastic, so it has this tilt to it.  I does really need to be replaced.  Maybe this isn't such a chemo headed mistake.

Shopping totally wipes me out, so when I get home I settle in for a nice nap.

Later, Alex hangs out with me and we spend our time talking about life and relationships.  It is a nice way to spend and evening.


I can't get out of bed today. The forecast is for twenty five degrees, and I can tell by the coolness of my room it must be cold out.  I just know that when my feet hit the floor, it is going to hurt, even with socks on.  I need to get ready for church, but I can't convince myself that getting out of bed will be good.  My feet and finger tingles are strong and painful now and  I lay in bed for three hours before I finally make myself get up.  I need to cut out turkey parts for our Sunday school project, and it is not going to get done in bed.

As soon as I start cutting the construction paper, I know I am not going to make it in today.  With every cut I make it seems like my fingers get colder and more painful.  I manage to get all of the pieces cut out, and Steve offers to brings them in for me.  I am missing out on our kindergarten thankfulness project, a Thanksgiving chapel on gratitude, and visiting with the Sr. High Youth.  This makes me a little sad, but I still can't get myself to make it out the door.

Alex gets up as I am wondering around trying to find ways to warm my fingers and feet.  I have on mittens, multiple socks and have turned up the heat.  He asks me why I am not using the handwarmers that Ellie sent me.  It is one of those moments where the most brilliant of light bulbs illuminates the room.  Of course, that is exactly what I need!  He gets me two packets, opens them up and activates them for me.  I place them in my mittens and in minutes I am pain free!  It is the most amazing thing, I feel like I can live again.  I even feel like I could make it to church, except that it has already started so by the time I got ready to go, it would be almost over.

Alex makes me some oatmeal, Steve makes some hot cocoa, and soon I am warm and fed, and life is good again.  I wish more problems were so easily solved.

Allie and I go for a drive to Cumberland and back today.  As I get into her car, I am dressed for the cool weather and clutching my hand warmer filled mittens, and then in the sunny, warm car.  It is better than being cold I guess.

Later in the afternoon, Steven and I finally make it to The Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep.  We are there at the right time on the right day, and we meet Betsy who has some comp ticket for us.  Steven has met her through some of the work he has been doing. She is also a cancer survivor, and wants us to have a fun night out.  She also offers us four tickets to see a preview of Barefoot in the Park on Wednesday.  We are totally on board with that.  We immediately text Ayla to see if she would like to come along to see that show.  How lucky are we, to have the opportunity to go to Trinity twice in one week?

I have been to the Christmas Carol a few times over the years, and some years it seems more serious and grim than others.  This year it is a joyful music filled version, and we both love it. The costumes, the sets, and the acting is all wonderful.

The show started at five, and there was no intermission, so we are out into the night by six thirty. I am so warm and cozy with my hand warmers I can even face the chill of the night.  It is such a good ending for a day that started so cold.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Friday, November 14

Chemo 10

It is warm and sunny this morning, so Steve and I walk over to Fain 3.  I check in with Marissa, and get called back right away.  Since I am only receiving chemo this morning, things are simplified.  I don't even have to leave my pod to get my blood pressure and weight done, two nursing assistants come to me shortly after my blood is drawn.

I let Faye know of my latest side effects,  mainly my feet being more tingly, and that I noticed a bruise on my foot this morning.  They are always asking about bruising, so I figure it must be significant.  I ask what would cause this, and she tells me it might be that I have a low white blood cell count.

While I am waiting, James Ford stops by to visit with me and Steven. We have a very pleasant visit as I sit there waiting to find out the verdict on my treatment.

It takes a long time for my results, which of course can only mean my white blood cell count is down.  After two and a half hours of waiting, I am told this is in fact the case, and I am given two options: I can have my treatment today, or I can wait a week and come back.  I don't really see what the problem is here, if I can have the treatment today, why on earth would I leave and wait another week.  I have already invested two and a half hours of waiting, and in another weeks time, I could actually be sick.  Right now, I feel fine, so why tempt fate?

After I let Faye know my decision, she tells me that we will switch to a three week schedule, to allow my white blood cell count to rise between treatments.  At this point I am over being annoyed or surprised.  This means I won't have to come in the day after Thanksgiving anyway, I will be back on December 5th.

Shortly after James leaves, I start my chemo, and feel very tired.  For the first time since I have been having these treatments, I take a little nap.  They give me benadryl to prevent the itchy hands, and that usually makes me fuzzy brained, but I have never felt like I needed to take a nap before. 

When I wake up, I find a text from Brett, who wants to know if I would like some company.  I would.  Steve needs to leave to attend an event downtown, so it is nice to have another visitor.  Since my appointment started at 8:20 this morning, I thought I would be all done by lunch time.  Now it is afternoon.  The yarn I brought to start a project turns out to be wrong for this particular project, so I don't have much to do.  I am glad that Brett has come by.  During our visit, as I am telling her about trying to explain my sloshy feet, she comes up with a brilliant analogy.  It feels like when you are standing close to the shoreline, where the waves wash over your feet, and then drag the sand out from under them as the water washes back into the ocean.  That I just the way my feet feet.

Just after Brett leaves, Kaileigh and Josh arrive.  Kaileigh thought she would not make it to the hospital today, but due to my late start, I am still there. Josh is on his way to New Jersey for the weekend, and is dropping Kaileigh off so that we can take Filipa out for her birthday this evening.  Josh visits for a short time, and then heads out to try and beat the Friday traffic.  Shortly after he leaves, I am hooked up to my pump, and ready to go myself. Kaileigh and I walk back to the house.  It is three thirty by the time I get home.

Around five, all of my kids appear, and we take Filipa out, first to the Gourmet House for some Asian food, then make a quick stop at my house for some cake and a Happy Birthday song. From there we go to see Big Hero 6, which turns out to be the perfect movie for celebrating Filipa!  It had so many things in it that she loves.  We all loved the movie too.

As I get ready for bed this evening, I find out how bad feet tingles can be.  I put on my pajamas standing on the rug which is on the tile floor in the bathroom.  When I step off the rug onto the cold floor, I get an intense and shocking tingling sensation in my feet.

I panic because there is no rug between the bathroom and my bedroom, so I run as quickly and lightly as I can to my room, calling to Steve that I can't give him a good night hug and kiss unless he comes to where I am.  Of course he comes in to see what is wrong, and I realize that my reaction is a little silly.  I could have put the socks on that I had just taken off before all this happened, but instead I had a panic moment. I put some socks on before I climb into my bed and hope things will feel better in the morning.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Monday, November 10

My feet feel fat and tingly when I wake up, when they are neither fat, cold or asleep. I have been trying to figure out how to describe the way this tingling sensation feels.  It has been very difficult to come up with and adequate description.  I tried a few things out on Steven last night, but he couldn't relate to them.  I think I finally have it down though. 

My first and favorite attempt was that it feels like the world is shifting beneath your feet, and they are moving, but in reality they are not.  Steve just shakes his head. The next try was that if you were to have a soul, or a ghost inside of you that is trying to pull away from your feet, and it can't get free.  Like there is some kind of magnet pulling it back inside yourself.  This explanation received a shake of his head and a very confused look. After telling this to Kaileigh and Ayla, they decided I am like Peter Pan, with my shadow sewn to my feet, but it just keeps trying to get away.  Now I am an Elphaba Peter Pan, with a shadow that keeps trying to get away and can't get caught in the rain.

This is the one he could get, and I think it might be close: the feeling you get when you have been in waves and you later lie down but you still feel like you are moving with the waves.  Except that it is only in my feet and it comes and goes at unpredictable times.  At least it seems unpredictable so far.  It happens most when I am standing or sitting, I haven't noticed it much when I am moving.  Sometimes, I feel like I need to sit down right away, but today I discovered that if I remain standing still the feeling will go away. I could call this sloshy feet.

Tuesday, Veteran's Day

I have kids today, just because this is such a difficult holiday for people. Some have it off, but most have to work.  I have three littles and three bigs today, with one more little coming at lunch time.  It is a warm and sunny day before the cold snap that is coming, so we spend the morning at the playground.

I decide to walk to knitting tonight, which I haven't done in a while. Even though the day has been fairly warm, I dress with all of my layers, in case I get cold.  I have on double pants, socks, and tee shirts, a hoodie, a jacket and mittens.  I am nice and warm until I reach knitting, where I have to immediately start peeling off layers!


I didn't get to go to the grocery store with Anna this week, so we go for a walk in the evening.  It is a pleasant walk, which passes very quickly.

Later, when I want to write about my day, my hands are too cold, and I keep them under the covers in my bed trying to warm them up.  They get warm, but I don't want to put them out into the cold air, so I just go to sleep.


Kaileigh makes it down from Somerville to go to stained glass this evening.  We are having our holiday party early, because once we get to Thanksgiving, everyone gets so busy.  Everyone brings something, Kaileigh and I bring olive bread and a cranberry salad.  Janet and Judy chip in for gluten free ziti from Luigi's in Johnston, Alyssa brings chips and salsa, Corin makes a gluten free vegetarian quiche, Andrea brings wine and Tony brings his famous cheesecake! It is a feast.  We even manage to get some stained glass work done too!

Life, despite it's detours and temporary setbacks is good.  Here is a picture of the world I choose to live in: 


Friday, November 21, 2014

Sunday, November 9th

I have so much to do at church this morning, I will be lucky if I get half of it done.

Steve has a fall clean up in Cranston at nine, so we catch the bus together on Hope St.  I get off on Thayer and he continues on to get a transfer to Park Ave.  By the time I reach church, it is eight o'clock.  This gives me time to get my classroom all set before my meeting with the Youth Task Force.  We talk so long, we miss the teacher appreciation breakfast which is also scheduled this morning.  It was our hope to present some ideas at the breakfast, but we weren't quite ready to do it until after it was over.

Sunday school class is small and sweet today, with seven children.  An election is held during children's chapel to decide which charity we will send money to after our annual slightly used toy sale on December sixteenth.  The teachers and children choose between The Make a Wish Foundation, an organization which helps feral cats, and a UU organization which is helping to ease the  ebola situation in Africa.   The vote goes to ebola.  I am surprised by the results, because in the past, the animal charities have been the recipients of our money.  I am so proud of our children and the choice they have made.

In class we talk about animal homes, where they live in the wild and where they live with humans.  We make pictures of barns and fill them with animals.

 After class, I receive such a nice gift.  It is a pair of mittens knit by my friend Dana.  She a very talented knitter, and has knit me a pair of the most beautiful mittens I have ever imagined owning.  They are so soft and warm, and knit with such love and care.
 Our class runs late, as it often does, so I don't make it to the Joyful Noise rehearsal that is happening after church.  This is a practice for the children and adults who will be singing together at the Thanksgiving service on November twenty third.  You need to attend two rehearsals to participate, so I will try again next Sunday.

When we are done with Sunday school, Sarah, my knitting pal and fellow Sunday school teacher and I decide to drop off the apple the kindergarten class used as peace trees back in June.  We had hoped to deliver them to the peace flag lady, Ginny Fox, back in September, but things kept happening, and we couldn't get it done.  Finally, we drop them off to her house today.

By the time I get home, it is nearly one.  Steve should be home soon, and we want to go visit our niece Julia at work.  She has been working at Napolitano's Brooklyn Pizza in Cranston for months now, and we still haven't been to see her.  We need to go early because we are supposed to go see A Christmas Carol at Trinity this evening, at five.

Our visit with Julia is short but sweet. 
The Back Wall of AS220
 We leave in enough tome to get our zipcar back to the lot near Whole Foods Market and walk to Trinity Rep.   We  make it there early, so we walk around and look at some of the murals that are painted in the area.  There are several good ones, but my favorite is the Shephard Fairey wall.
Shephard Fairey Wall

We head back to Trinity to find that we are a week early!  It is fine though, the weather is mild, and it gives us the opportunity to finish walking down Westminster Street, window shopping and finding a few more murals as we go.

When we get back home, we find two surprises on our doorstep. The first is a book in the door from Doug and Kathleen called The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night, written by Peter Spier. The book is special not only because it is about a fox, but Doug met the author when he was young.  Peter Spier  illustrated two books that Doug's mother had written.

The second surprise is a pot of lentil soup left by Soli. Dinner, just when we need it. It has been a   magical day.      

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Saturday, November 8

I attended a workshop on Social Media at First U today.  It was very informative.  I also realized that if I sit for a more than a few hours, my ostomy bag comes unstuck.  You would have thought by now I would have figured this out, but I guess it doesn't happen that often.  Chemo day would be the only day I sit for an extended period of time, but in that case I am in a semi reclining position for part of the day, so it is different. 

After the workshop, Steven and I had planned on walking over to the mall to see a movie, but I was feeling like things were not sticking very well.  I thought I might be able to change in the bathroom at church, which would have been a first, but then didn't have the adhesive pad I need to make the bag stick well.

Instead, we walked home, and by the time I got into the house, the bag was literally hanging off of me.
A Box of Warmth

My week off from chemo has seemed to reset my reaction time to the chemicals that are filtering out of me.  Non adherence of bags had slipped from the weekend after to the middle of the week following chemo.  Now it has slipped back to the weekend after again.  My tongue is not swollen, but I am much more sensitive to the cold.  My feet are tingly and sometimes feel like they are moving when they are not.  My fingertips are shiny and smooth, my fingerprints are not as prominent as they used to be.

When I arrive at home this afternoon, there is a surprise box in the mail from Target.  It is very heavy for its size, and I can't imagine what could be in it.  I open it to find it is full of Hothands handwarmers!  They have been sent by Ellie, who knows about cancer having had a run with it several years ago.  She knows firsthand how the cold can affect chemo hands.  This is such a huge box of thoughtfulness.  I know I will be offering up thanks to her often this winter.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Friday, November 7

A Neighborhood Gem!

Only three children today, so Sara watched them in the morning, and I watched them in the afternoon.
Lisa stopped by with some soup this morning, and it is just the kind of warm and yum a chilly day like today needs.

Steven and I go to so a Mary Paula Hunter with Jump! production this evening, called Frag-MentD.  Jump is a small dance company in Providence, directed by Mary Paula Hunter.  She is a free spirited, creative teacher who collaborates with the dancers she works with, young and old to create unique performances. She has a very devoted following of dancers, and I have seen the women in this particular performance grow and blossom as dancers in the eight years I have been following and supporting my daughter Ayla's passion for stage design and management.  She has directed the technical aspects of shows in Mary Paula's living room and in theaters throughout the city, and always does an amazing job.

If you have never been to a Mary Paula Hunter show, one where she tells stories and performs, you are missing out on some of the most interesting and sometimes bizarre performance art.
Mary Paula does these small productions about once a year. When they have been hosted in her house, she clears out her living and dining rooms and turns her house into a performance space.  One half of it is for seating, the other for storytelling and performance.  She delivers a monologue, while the girls in her troupe dance out parts of her story.  It often involves making a mess with food or water, which is always surprising.  The shows are always short, intimate and very entertaining.

She now has a studio in the basement of the Church of the Redeemer on Hope Street.  It is a medium sized space, complete with a stage, but Mary Paula likes to have the audience up close, so she uses the floor space instead of the stage.

Tonight when we enter, there are six dancers laying on the floor, beneath balls of ice the size of fists that are dripping on the dancers.  Each of the young women have a line they say, in sequence, which they repeat several times.  The lines are parts of conversations you might imagine have happened in this space.

The audience is seated in three pews that are on either side of the room, all facing the center.  There are barre stands in the middle of the performance space, with four stations at each corner, a bench, a waffle house, a practice space and a corner illuminated with rope lighting.  There are cardboard boxes on the stage, with geometrical patterns cut out, lit from within. 

Mary Paula roller blades around the girls in the center of the room when their conversation stops, counting each lap as she goes. 

In the practice corner, there is a lone dancer watching a video, which was taken in Mary Paula's empty house, from a past show.  While watching the dancers, she tries to follow along.

As the next scene begins with the six dancers on the center of the floor, Mary Paula lays on the floor near the lone dancer, who stops and dumps a bowl of water over Mary Paula's head.

The other dancers continue on, in a scene that seems to break down into a teenage spat, but is scripted.  Or was it?

We are asked to follow as the dancers exit through a doorway, and we find ourselves in a small room, just large enough for the twenty of us to fit in, leaving a small space for the dancers to move in the center.

From a corner of the room, a former member of the company launches into a monologue, a Mary Paula monologue, and captures her teacher's personality perfectly. She mimics the rise and fall of voice, tone and character with such perfect intonation and timing.  It is beautiful to see how this young woman has blossomed as a performer.

The dancers file out of the room, and we follow.  Seating is wherever you can plant yourself, Steve and I watch from the side of the room near the door to the small room.  The next piece is performed on the stage, where one of the pews has its back resting.   All those seated there must now turn around to watch this dance.  It ends with a hauntingly beautiful song sung by the dancers, and at this point I realize that until now,  there has been no music. It continues on this way, dancing unaccompanied by music, sometimes to rhythmic counting, sometimes to spoken phrases, often in the quiet of the feet of ballerinas dancing. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wednesday, November 5

Tonight I have a Prucom meeting, and it is my turn to bring dinner.  Steve usually makes dinner solo, but since I only have a few kids today, and they are all down for naps, I make some apple crisp and start the soups for tonight.  I roast some butternut squash for butternut squash soup, and start a chicken with some vegetables for a chicken stew.  I am not expected to bring more than one thing, but I am always worried about people not being able to eat something because they have special dietary needs, so I want to make sure there is something everyone can eat.  I am really looking forward to this dinner because the last time I made it for Prucom, in November of last year, my dad had just been admitted to the hospital, and I never got to enjoy it.  That night I made dinner, skipped my meeting and went to be with my dad.

Steven finishes up the soup for me while I finish my day with the kids.  We leave for church early, so I can reheat everything, and we end up arriving before the doors are open.  Fortunately, the night manager sees me while he is waiting for his shift to begin, and lets me in early.

I am also setting up an art project for the Prucom to work on, we are decorating a poster of our goals for the next few years.  My friend Jen has loaned me materials to decorate the poster with, and each of the Prucom members places a decorative stamp around the border.

Nori rounds out our meal with salad and cookies, and the soups are delicious and appreciated by all.  We work our way though our meeting.  It is a full one, there are always so many things going on that need to be discussed, but we end at a respectful time and head home.


This week has passed both slowly and quickly at the same time.  On one hand I can't believe it is Thursday already, on the other hand, it's only Thursday?

Today it is raining, but not cold.  Since it is rainy, it must be a cookie day!  After we bake, we go for a rain walk to deliver our over abundance of goods.  We take an abbreviated chicken walk, a direction we don't often take our cookies in.  We drop them at the doors of all of our friends, the chicken house people and the woman who lives next door. There is the English woman who often greets us as we look at all the statues in her garden, and the owner of Charley the basset hound.  We add an extension to our walk and bring our last bag to the man in the kitchen store window who always waves to us.

This evening, Steven and I are planning to see a preview of A Christmas Carol.  One of his friends has given him tickets for helping them out.  It turns out that the show is not ready yet, and the preview is postponed until Sunday.

I could go to stained glass, but Kaileigh has already made other plans, and the thought of going out in the rain is not very appealing.  Instead I sit at the computer for too long, putting off working on my blog.  As the time goes by I wonder if it is because I know I have a difficult blog to post tonight,  A Visit to the Liver Surgeon.

I think so.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Monday, November 3

As I lay in bed, I am thinking about how my feet are feeling.  So far, they do not feel the same way my fingers do, they feel fat and slightly fizzy.   I think it is strange that my feet should feel this way when they don't even seem cold. I get up and take a hot shower to warm everything up, and get rid of those tingles.

Although the weather is forecast to be fairly warm, it is windy out as we get ready to take our walk.  It must look so strange when I go out for a walk with the children.  They are wearing hoodies, and I have on a hat, scarf, gloves and a winter coat.  I have on two layers of tops and leggings under my jeans.  When we first step outside in my sunny front yard,  I am afraid that I am over dressed.  As we walk down the street and I encounter the shade and the breeze, I am so glad for every bit of clothing that I have on.  When the wind blows I pull up my scarf so my nose doesn't go numb.  My hands are okay, but my feet are starting to feel tingly in the way that my fingers do. 

By the time we get  back to the house, my toes are not very happy.  I need to go inside early to start lunch, so I can let my toes warm up.  I definitely need a different strategy here.  I am wondering how I am going to make it through the next six weeks if things get cooler than this.  Six week, three more treatments.  The more I can do, the better this will go.  I am hoping for warmer weather.

Tuesday, Election Day

Since my last treatment, when I get out of bed, my whole world leans to the right.  It almost feels like an inner ear infection, except that it goes away after a few minutes.  Today, instead of jumping out of bed the way I usually do, I sit up to see what happens.  The room dips and sways even more while I am sitting still.  It seems better to get up quickly.

Steven and I need to go and vote, and want to get to the polling place early.  The polls open at seven, and it is a ten minute walk, so we dress quickly and get out the door.  I have on double socks, jeans, a tee, a long sleeved shirt, a sweater, gloves, coat, hat and scarf.  I contemplate long underwear, but think it is going to warm up, so I skip it.  When we step outside it is sunny and not too cool.

On our door, we notice a printed post it which says that we are reliable voters, hoping we will get out to vote today.  Since it is not quite seven, the note posters must have been out very early.  As we walk, we notice that some houses have these notes on them, and some do not.  Is this supposed to be an exercise in peer pressure?  Is this so we can judge our neighbors? This makes me feel a little uncomfortable, as I wonder what the point to these post it notes is.

Walking down Hope St. my face gets tingly, from the mild breeze, so I cover it.  My legs are tingly too.  I wish I had worn the long underwear.

There is a long line when we get to our polling place.  I am always amazed at how few people I recognize in the line, even though there are so many people.  Within a few minutes, someone from the front comes looking for people with last names A through C.  That is us, our ticket to the front of the line.  In a few minutes we have checked in and cast our votes.

This election makes me anxious, with so much at stake on a local and national level.  I hope that many people get out the vote.


Saturday, November 1

The day starts with toe tingles in bed.  I get up and put on my heaviest wool socks.  Today is forecast to be be rainy and chilly, but I want to get some work done on the yard before it gets cold and wet.  I dress in layers and get to work.  I manage to rake the leaves and get the zinnia garden pulled.  A couple of days ago I went through the garden and saved all of the last blooms.  They are in a big vase on my kitchen table, looking beautiful, but fading fast. I have saved a bunch of the seed heads in hopes of replanting the garden again next year.

I have a few minutes before Allie picks me up to go driving.  We visit Bagels Ole on Brook Street, the Providence Yarn Company and Job Lot before heading back to her house.  She and her mother drop me off at my house, and I have just over a half an hour to get ready for a visit from Steven's mother and Ed.  This is just the motivation I need to get some of the Halloween decorations put away and to get the downstairs straightened up.

They visit for about an hour, and we share some pleasant conversation.  Just after they leave, Alex and Filipa come home from the Providence Comicon.  They had won some tickets, but since the show was oversold, they weren't allowed in.  They were very disappointed.  Filipa was wearing her Princess Bubblegum costume in hopes of entering the costume contest.

Alex gives me a ride to the mall to meet Steve for a movie.  He has been at the comicon all day, at a booth for the RI Humanists.  We eat dinner in the food court, enjoying some of the best Indian food around.  We see The Book of Life, which is about the day of the dead.  It is a colorful, beautifully animated movie, with a good story.  There were a few young kids in the audience who were enjoying the movie with us, as well as some costumed folks from the comicon.  It was a very appropriate movie for this time of year.

Getting home from the movie proves to be a preview of what the winter could be like for me.  We hang out at the Omni Hotel and then walk through the convention center, killing time until we need to head for the bus stop.  We need to walk across Kennedy Plaza to Exchange St, where our bus stop has been moved to.  This means walking along the buildings that line Kennedy Plaza, which is now closed to pedestrian traffic.  The wind whips along the tall buildings, and starts to make my face tingle.  It also makes my eyes run, which bite my cheeks as the moisture rolls down them.  I have forgotten to bring a scarf, since it seemed so mild out when I left, and I end up walking with my face buried in Steven's back.  This is definitely going to be an interesting winter.


It is windy and cool out today.  I had been considering taking the bus to church, but instead wake Alex for a ride instead.  It is warm and dry at church, and it feels good.

I am doing the announcements this morning in church, and it feels so different when I am on chemo.  No nervousness, no fear.  I just stand up there and do it, not concerned about my words, or making a mistake.  It could be that I am getting used to being up in front of the congregation after having done it a few times, but I don't think this is true.  I think the chemo alters a part of my brain that makes me worry about these things, and it makes me not care about how I appear or how I might mess things up.  I guess it relaxes me somehow.  I don't know that this is good, I feel like I am missing things I used to see easily.  I wonder if this is my new normal, or how long it will take to fade.

The All Soul's service today is beautiful. Everyone involved does an amazing job.  The music, the words, all carefully chosen and beautifully delivered.  I love this place.

I am fortunate to be offered a ride home by a few different people.  I go with Brett and her family, since they live so close to me.  On the ride home I find out that her girls had been hoping  that I would be a fox for Halloween.  They had been trying to guess what I would be and were sure this was the answer.  I find out some of the other children in my neighborhood had been thinking the same thing.  I am sad that I disappointed them, because of course that is what I should have been.

We drive home through the rain and snow.  Although it is humid and doesn't feel that cold when you are in in for a few minutes, I am very glad to have a ride home.

My visiting nurse comes at one fifteen to unhook me.  We talk about my side effects and my chemo.  She tells me that after twelve treatments you have to change from the Folfox.  That is all they will do.  After that it is too much for your body to tolerate.  No one ever put it that way to me before.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Halloween, continued..

After chemo, it is time to carve some jack o'lanterns.  There are still two boy at the house, and I ask if they would like to help.  Once they realize that I am not going to let them do the carving, they quickly lose interest.  I was hoping they would give me their ideas on what the pumpkins should look like, but this pales in comparison to the idea of holding a knife.  One child suggests that he could do it with a plastic knife.  When I tell him that a plastic knife isn't going to cut the pumpkin flesh, he gives up on the pumpkin idea.

I manage to get two done before my fingers get too tingly. With my fishing gloves on, I can empty out the pumpkin guts from the remaining pumpkins.  Ayla and Chauncey stop by and join in on the carving.  They are really enjoying themselves, and I am glad.  It is too hard to carve the pumpkins with gloves on.

We set the pumpkins on the steps and in the window boxes and find candles to light them up.  They make the approach to the house look so spooky!  Alex and Filipa come by with a few more pumpkins they carved earlier in the day.  The house is starting to look ready for trick or treaters.

Steve is busy trying to get our costume together.  Originally we were supposed to be two people in one costume, but because it is a little chilly and my fingers are very sensitive from the chemo today.  Instead he rigs up our mask so he can do it solo.  He puts it on a long pole and secures it to the front railing.  With the help of Ayla, they arrange the robe so that Steven can stand behind it unseen, and pass out the candy.  The fabric is made of a mesh that is dense enough that he can't be seen behind it in the existing light, but he can see well enough to see the kids coming up the steps. We take some photography lamps and make a spotlight, which casts an eerie shadow.

Alex and Filipa put on their costumes, Alex is Paul Bunyan, and Filipa is Princess Bubblegum from adventure time. They look so sweet!  I really love Alex's Babe, the big blue ox.  A blue helium balloon with an on oxen face taped to it, that bobs along behind him.

The trick or treaters start in a trickle around five thirty and are out in full force by six fifteen. There is a steady stream of Halloween traffic on my street until about eight, when it slows down again.  Many of my daycare children past and present stop by to say hello.  More have probably stopped by than I know, it was too cold for me to be out too long, so I stayed inside making appearances when Steve called me.

Alex and Filipa come home with a decent haul, describing to me how things looked in the neighborhood.  Most of the people passing out candy recognized Alex as Paul Buyan, Princess Bubblegum was popular with the trick or treating crowd.

All in all, it was a good night.  We had about five hundred goblins of all sizes come to our door, some fearless, some scared at first, but willing to be brave for candy.  There were even a few that decided it was not worth coming up the steps, and just walked on by.  Now to figure out how to store that mask until next year...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Friday, October 31


Today I have chemo later than usual.  This gives me plenty of time to get last minute Halloween decorations hung, clean the house and pack up my chemo bag before I need to leave.  Oh, and I was wide awake at four this morning, no chance of going back to sleep.  Who knows why.  I haven't had chemo in three weeks now, and the slow return to being chemo free has been nice.  My fat, slimy tongue has returned to normal and not feeling greasy like it does after eating a dunkin donut.  My finger tingles are almost non existent, I have to hold something frozen for a few minutes before I get a buzz. This has been very nice. Being able to floss my teeth is awesome, and orange juice actually tastes good to me these days.  I can even drink it cold, which is so much better than it is at room temperature.

I go to Fain 3 by myself this morning.  We have a full house at daycare, and Steven is needed to help out.

This morning I meet with Dr. Safran and Megan.  Megan first, and then the two together.  Dr. Safran wants to hear how things went with the liver surgeon, and he reconfirms the two surgery plan.  He tells me the colon can definitely be done at the same time as one of the liver surgeries, but I need a little more chemo.  I will complete the twelve I have been scheduled for, and then we will talk about what the next plan of action will be.  I will see him again in six weeks, on December twelfth, unless anything else comes up.  He is pleased with my weight, and when I ask him if I can stop gaining weight, he says that will be fine. Thank goodness Halloween is almost over, I won't have to eat Snickers Bars everyday.

All of the nurses are dressed up for Halloween, and I regret that my phone is almost out of juice and I didn't bring a camera.  Cassie is dressed as a police officer, complete with mirrored sun glasses. She looks totally badass! Faye is a Starbucks coffee cup, white scrubs and a burlap strip for the insulation band.  An order form is stuck to her back and a coffee cup cover on her head makes the perfect little hat.  She looks adorable.  Carolyn has a Halloween scrub top and golden bee antenna that bob around whenever she moves.  She looks so cute, and manages to endure the bobbing antenna the whole time I am there. There is such camaraderie amongst the team that takes care of me. They make it a nice, comfortable place to visit.

My friend Alex stops by for a visit again, it is nice to have his company.  We converse until I am so full of fluids that I need to use the bathroom.  They give me extra during my treatment to keep me hydrated, so it is inevitable that I should have go to the bathroom at least two or three times while I am hooked up and getting my meds.  Alex needs to get back to work, so this is a good time to leave.

I have been trying to make the two hanks of yarn into two balls all morning long.  My first mistake was in thinking that I could do it while moving from pod to waiting area, to med check office to the exam room and then back to my pod again.  I end up with so many tangles, it takes me the whole session to complete the balls. 

I am done by 3:15.  When I get up to leave, Steve comes in the entrance to the cancer unit just as I am going into the bathroom.  If he had come in just a few seconds later, he would have missed me.  We walk home.  It is such a pleasant day, and I feel fine, there is really no reason to drive.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tuesday, October 28

I feel grumpy and angry today.  I am not sure why, or at what, just at everything.  Well, not the kids.  I guess I'm just annoyed with life being so complicated.

This evening at knitting, we address our yarn problem.  Linda brings in bins to organize our yarn into, and Linda, Lonnie, Nancy, Sarah and I get things straightened out.  It looks so nice now, and almost all of it fits into our allotted cabinet. Yay!


Not feeling grumpy today, this is good.  I do feel like my brain and my mouth are not connected though and things come out totally wrong. If I am not listening closely to what I am saying, I'll be telling people lies.  This brain/speech disconnect is very obvious to me when I am singing to the kids at nap time.  I forget words to songs I sing many times daily, and can't read and sing at the same time.

This is knitting night at my house.  Steve makes us butternut squash soup, and I make a cranberry salad.   We have bread, and Lonnie brings some Central American Pastries from a bakery near her office. It is a nice warming soup, shared with the loveliest of company, Lonnie, Dana and Sarah.  We eat, knit and talk.  It is so cozy in my house with good food and friends.  I spend a little bit of time sewing part of the Halloween costume together, until my machine breaks down.  This is so frustrating, but with the help of friends, I don't get too annoyed or discouraged, and finish sewing by hand.  Sometimes this is just the way things go.

Steve has been painting our paper mache, and it looks like everything is coming together just fine.

 Today we celebrate Halloween with our friend and neighbor, Debra.  She often visits with us when we are passing her house, and invites us to see her garden or draw with chalk in her driveway.  We have been celebrating Halloween with her since she moved to our neighborhood a few years ago.

When we get to her house, we find a kid sized table set up in her yard, covered with a Halloween table cloth, favor bags and candy.  She has scattered pumpkins throughout her garden.  Each child chooses their favorite, and then they get to paint it with neon paint.  They look terrific!  There are balloons, ghosts, skeletons, and the one eyed Nazo guy. They dip and sway in the breeze and give the yard a spooky feel. 

After we paint our pumpkins, we sit on her steps and take photos. We even get to eat a chocolate bar before lunch!  We show Debra how well we can Hokey Pokey, Ring Around the Rosie, and how fast we can play Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes.  A couple of neighbors stop to watch our show. Finn the cat is so curious about what we are up to, he strolls by to have a look too!  He is even in the mood to let us pet him today.

Kaileigh comes over in the afternoon to go to stained glass with me.  First, we stop at CVS and buy candy for tomorrow night.  I need thirty bags to make it through.  I usually start buying candy in the beginning of September, but I wasn't on top of things this year.  I was rewarded for my procrastination however, with the cheapest candy prices of the season!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday, October 27

This morning, my downstairs still has several Halloween bins scattered about.  Before anyone gets here, I need to put out what I can, and put the bins down in the basement.  I still need to vacuum, dust and get things all set for my babies.  I manage to get everything done before my first arrival.

One of the things the kids love about my house at Halloween is the animated musical toys I have around the house.  There are three of them that sit on different tables, and it is fun to watch as they discover them. There is the boy dressed like a devil who raps This is Why I'm Hot, the which who sings Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun, and the ghost who rises and plays part of the theme from Ghostbusters.

A couple of our spooky friends
There are times when it gets to be too much, when they are all playing at the same time, over and over, but this doesn't happen too often.  Usually the kids all gather around one and watch it over and over, jumping or dancing with the character.  It is such a cute thing to watch.

On the wall we have a picture of a witch who says things like: You STINK, or Want to see my impression of a rock star, accompanied by a long tongue that rolls out of her mouth and her eyes bulging out.  This is met with either delight or terror.  The kids who love it, love it right away.  The kids who don't like it, really don't like it, and can't be around it when it is on.  It is kind of freaky.

We make ghosts out of construction paper and spell out BOO! in big letters at the bottom.  Most of the kids chose to make smiling ghosts, the only spooky one is made later in the day by a sibling. They look great dancing above the couch where the kids like to hang them.

We are going to see the pumpkin spectacular at Roger Williams Park this evening.  Kaileigh, Josh, Feather, Belvy, her boyfriend, Ayla and Chauncey are all coming too.  We were given a couple of comp tickets by my stained glass friend, Alyssa, who is a docent at the zoo.  I am hoping we can split the savings amongst us.  Unfortunately Alex has to work, and Steven is going to a Con Con (Constitutional Convention) debate in Newport, so they have to miss it. 

Before we leave, Kaileigh helps me put a second coat of paper mache on my costume project, and it is looking like I might actually get it done before Halloween.  I have been having my doubts about this.
D is for dinosaur

The pumpkins at the park are pretty spectacular, although I find the theme pretty lame.  It is built around the ABC's, so there are literary themes on some of the pumpkins, like Alice in Wonderland (my favorite) and some lame things like E for exotics, which features animals and insects, and I for impressionist.  This one had one Starry Night pumpkin and one with Van Gogh on it.  It could have been either less complicated with more pumpkins or at least better represented.  Using the insects from exotics really would have bulked up the I section for sure.  Even though it is late in the show which ends next Sunday, they could have had better distribution of the themed pumpkins. There were plenty in honor of people who passed away recently or long ago, which is such a bizarre honor, but at least it fits in with the spirit of Halloween.

G is for Garden Gnome!

V is for Vampire, ah ha ha ha ha!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunday, October 26

Steve is coming with me to church today, even though I will be in Sunday school.  James, the minister at 1st UU is giving a sermon called The Critical Way in Religion: A Celebration of the Humanist Current in Liberal Religion. Steve wants to be there to show his support for James.

It is a pleasant day, so we walk in together.  I dress warmly to prevent any tingles, but the sun warms things up quickly and by the time we reach Thayer St, I need to start taking off layers.  As we pass the bus tunnel, the one that goes from Thayer Street through college hill to the downcity area, we notice  it is closed to bus traffic so that runners from the Monster Dash Race can run though it.  Steve and I differ on whether or not this is a good idea.  His reaction is that of, who would want to run through there, while mine is, cool!  Wouldn't it be fun to run through there knowing that no buses will run you over?  Normally pedestrian traffic is banned from the tunnel, so this is a seldom offered opportunity. 

On one hand I understand how Steve might feel this way.  The tunnel is probably filled with bus fumes and mold, things that would trigger his asthma.  On the other, how often does an opportunity like this come up?  It would be a unique chance to see this place one usually passes though in a matter of minutes more closely. 

In spite of the race, the Kindergarten still has six students.  If you have ever tried to reach this section of the city on a race day, you would know this is pretty amazing.  I haven't had to go through the trauma that people go through getting here, but some people turn back it is so difficult.  Others plan on taking the day off.  We take a break from our regular curriculum to celebrate Halloween by painting pumpkins, coloring spooky pictures and hearing a great story told by Marie.  It is a fun morning.

After Sarah drops us home, I get lunch ready while Steve gathers the laundry.  While he is washing the clothes,  I am going to be driving with Allie.  We are rapidly approaching her driving test, and haven't been out in a while.  Still, she has it down. We run some errands for her mother and check out the roads around where her test will be. 

Once back home, I need to finish cleaning up the driveway from yesterday.  I take down fragile decorations, leaving the harder ones up until Halloween is over.  I cut the stings off the donut tree, and put away the table.

While I am putting things away in the garage, I decide to pull out a desk a friend needs.  It is very heavy, so I push and pull it, making little progress. Finally, I decide to roll it out, tipping it gently from side to side, until I get it out of the garage.  I want to clean it and air it out in the sunshine before it is needed. 

After a day with so much physical exercise you think I would fall asleep right away.  Instead I lay awake for quite a while before I get to sleep.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Saturday, October 25th

It is cooler this week, and figuring out what to wear has been a challenge.  I have plenty of clothing, but not everything is long enough to cover my bag.  Favorite tee's and blouses are too short.  Jeans are too high and either cover my bag too well, leaving little room for waste to fall away from my stoma, or they come right to where my stoma is and irritate it.  If pants come to the base of my bag, it is also uncomfortable.  It seems petty to whine about this, because as always, there people who are less fortunate and don't have choices in clothing. Some have to wear everything they own every day.  I am realize that I am fortunate.  Just not always comfortable.  Keeping warm is my main objective on cool days, so I have been dressing in layers.  This is a must.  It is difficult when the day starts out cool and then warms up, and I end up roasting. Don't get me wrong, I far prefer these warmer days, they are much easier to deal with on a physical level, but finding the happy medium here is also challenging.

I put on a red tee and cover it with a long sweater.  My low rise jeans, the ones that used to be my special dress up jeans, work well with this combo.  I am covered and warm.  Now I am ready to tackle the day. Today's mission is to get a Halloween party set up for my daycare families, before three o'clock.  I am going solo here, since Steve is in Boston for the day, but I think I will be okay.

I need to clean the driveway and rake the yard, then make it look a little spooky.  It turns out I have quite a bit of wet work to do today. The leaves are damp with dew, and  I need to hose down the driveway. It turns out to be good that I had to skip chemo yesterday. I usually clean the driveway in the beginning and at the end of the summer, but this is the first time it is done this year.  Although I sweep it often, to get rid of sand that migrates from the sandbox, leaves and various other detritus, nothing gets it clean like a good hosing down.

As the day goes on and gets warmer, I need to take off my sweater.  I find that when I reach over my head, my shirt rides up and uncovers my bag.  Somehow this just seems wrong.  It is one thing to have a little bit of it peaking out from the bottom of your shirt, another thing all together to have it totally exposed.  Even if it has a cover on it.  It's not like it is something that you see all the time, I never saw one until I had one.  I think the etiquette is similar to underwear, to keep it under cover. Even in your driveway.

I find an apron hanging in my kitchen and cover myself with it.  That does the trick, problem solved. I wonder if aprons could be the newest fashion fad?

I manage to hang cobwebs and decorations, make a leaf pile for jumping in and get most of my outdoor work done in time to make some apple crisp before I need to hang munchkin donuts from the tree that hangs over my driveway.  The donut tree has been a well loved Halloween tradition at my house for years. I tie munchkins on strings and hang them from the branches.  The idea is that the kids will catch them in their mouths without using their hands.  Some can do it, some end up helping the donut find their mouth, but all have fun, the littles and the bigs. We end up playing the game a few times over. Last year when I thought we were done, I let the kids eat the remaining donuts, and then needed to make a run to Dunkin Donuts to get more.  Some children arrived late and were so disappointed that they missed the game.  This year, I am prepared.  I purchased one hundred and fifty munchkins, which should last the whole party and cover anyone that arrives late.

Before long, my yard is full of super heros, ninja, a black cat, three pirates, a robot, a digger, a pumpkin, a clown, a unicorn, pajama girl, a skunk, a spider princess, a doctor, Sir Lancelot a blue bear and a tiger.  It is an impressive parade of costumes, even some of the adults are dressed up.  I don't get dressed up for this party. The one time I did, it was very simple. I dressed as a black cat, with ears a nose and whiskers painted on.  It freaked out too many kids, so I haven't done it since.

Everyone has a great time running around and playing together, and their parents have the chance to hang out and talk.   I love to see everyone together, and I enjoy directing the donut game and apple bobbing.

It is a very fun day that doesn't end until darkness is creeping in.  A few of the moms pitch in and straighten up enough that I can leave the rest until tomorrow.  This evening, I need to get going on the costume that Steve and I will wear.

We have been dressing up together for the past few years.  When the kids were little, Steve would haunt the house by himself while I took Kaileigh, Ayla and Alex out trick or treating.  My kids trick or treated right through high school, this is the kind of neighborhood we live in.  When they were older, my friend Elizabeth still had a child that needed to be accompanied, so I would go out with her.  It finally happened one year that no one needed us to go with them anymore, so she and I sat on my front lawn carving jack o lanterns and passing out candy.  It was so much fun!  Since then, I have been dressing up with Steven each year.  People look forward to visiting our house to see what will be going on.

When Steve arrives home from Boston this evening, he finds me on the kitchen floor paper maching our costume.  Now to let it dry.