Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

Flower girl – Jan 19, 2013

Monday, April 14th, 2014


Here’s Shannon posing by an archway of orchids. This picture is significant because it’s the last one I can find of Shannon before she got sick. We were one month and a day away from the event that would change our lives forever – her cancer diagnosis. And everything was perfectly fine. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania during the Orchid Festival just about a week before we came to Las Vegas, and part of my famous Shannon, Architecture, Event, and Garden series.

I’m posting later than usual tonight because I sat outside from about 11:00 to midnight watching the lunar eclipse. It was beautiful! I sat in my comfortable chair on the back patio with the moon centered directly above me. The night was cool but pretty comfortable – temperatures in the mid-sixties. The skies were perfectly clear. It was beautiful. I tried to get pictures with the exclusive iPad-cam, but its automatic brightness adjustment made it quite difficult. This is the best I could get:


That was taken when the eclipse was at just about 100%, so you can see the iPad was trying its best to see some light there. Anyway, it was spectacular. I’m glad I stayed up to watch it.

Didn’t accomplish a whole lot else today. I bought groceries at Costco and Winco. I did some reading. Talked with a few people on the phone, including Tony, who just returned from a Caribbean and Mexican cruise. He saw Chichen Itza. That’s someplace I’d love to go someday.

Had a bit of a sick day yesterday. The wind was blowing pretty hard, and I had stuffed up sinuses and a massive headache most of the day. At bedtime, I took my temperature. It was at about 99.5. A little later, I got up and checked it again. It was 100. Even later, I checked it again. It was 101. When I got up in the morning, it had gone back down to 99 and it’s normal by now. I don’t know if the fever is caused by my allergies or if I got a bit of the flu again. It was around a couple of sick relatives on Saturday, but I don’t think I was really exposed to anything. Another mystery.

And that’s about it for today. I didn’t work, although I should have. That’s the beauty of my life right now. But tomorrow I plan to get a bunch of stuff done. Yeah, that’s it. Tomorrow.

I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this rare combination food violence news and exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: customer tries to buy beer with live alligator as currency!

See you tomorrow.

Family portrait – unknown date

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Family portrait

Here’s my family at some remote date in the past. What an attractive group! I’m not sure when it was taken, but I’m guessing we were living in Virginia at the time. Any better guesses, Loyal Readers? Great Art courtesy of . . . umm . . . some camera, taken by . . . umm . . . somebody, and part of my famous Shannon and Garden series.

That looks like a garden in the background to me, anyway. At any rate, it’s green.

Pretty good day today. Mark wasn’t feeling really well this morning, so we didn’t go the gym. Back tomorrow morning. Early tomorrow morning, as a matter of fact. Our cleaning ladies are coming at 8:00 tomorrow, so since we have to be up early anyway, we’re exercising at 8:00. Wish us luck, Loyal Readers. It’s totally barbaric to have to get up at 8:00. Don’t you agree?

Important announcement (drum roll, please): I worked today! Got a few things done, too. I spent a little more than an hour talking with my nephew Jack about search engine optimization and several other website-related topics. I submitted a bid to my friend Gary and it looks like he’s accepted it. So I’m going to make his website soon. And it looks like I may also maintain it on an ongoing basis. New line of business!

Jack also took the time to look at my website for PhotoDocumentor. It turns out that everything that could possibly be wrong with it IS wrong with it. Next assignment: redo the PhotoDoc website. I also have a bunch of PhotoDoc videos to edit heavily. That’ll keep me busy for quite a while.

And then there’s all the work I need to do on Common Core Classroom. And then there are a ton of updates needed to Morse Trainer. Of course, I don’t get paid for that one, so it’s pretty much the bottom of the barrel.

For somebody who’s not making much money, I certainly have a big backlog of work. Riches will surely follow, though. Better start thinking of tax shelters right now.

Mark and I had dinner at Rubio’s again tonight. We just can’t say no to Taco Tuesday at the best fish taco place in the world. I’m gotten to be at peace with the fact they aren’t including lime wedges with the tacos anymore. I’ve been reading about how the drug wars in Mexico have decimated the lime harvest there and how the drought in California has decimated the lime harvest there and I’ve decided to give Rubio’s a break. Plus, you can still get all the lime wedges you want at the salsa bar. And did I mention that Rubio’s makes the best fish tacos in the world?

So life is good today. Oh, how I wish Shannon were still by my side for it. But she’s not and life is still good anyway.

I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: hijacked Hershey’s truck!

See you tomorrow.

Back yard – Sept 4, 2011

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014


Here are Shannon and me in the back yard of our house in Manteca in September 2011. Just a few months before we went back to Pennsylvania. We had no idea we’d be leaving our house there so soon. It was a great place to live, although it was very expensive and it was way too far away from my work. But I loved that place. Great Art courtesy of my old Olympus camera and possibly taken by Katie or maybe using the tripod and its self-timer, and part of my famous Shannon and Garden series.

My life was so good then. Our lives were so good, I mean. Some struggles, certainly, but comparatively very good.

A bit of a tough day today. As I reported yesterday, I had sinus problems all day yesterday. Shortly after finishing this post, I suddenly got a terrible chill. I checked my temperature and it was at about 99.5 degrees. Not massively bad, but the chills were terrible! I got into bed under my electric blanket turned up way high and with a heavy quilt over that. This arrangement was warm enough until the fever finally broke sometime during the night, at which time I threw the quilt on the floor and turned off the electric blanket. When I woke up, I still didn’t feel all that great, so I canceled today’s exercise session and slept on the couch and then back in bed until about 1:00 this afternoon. After that, I felt pretty good. The right side of my head is hurting again this evening. After I finish with this blog post, I’ll take another Mucinex and a couple of Tylenols and get to sleep. Let’s hope I’m feeling better tomorrow.

In defense of my allergy theory, the weather suddenly changed yesterday and today from warm and still to cooler and windy. So I still think it was the demon dust.

Did a tiny bit of work today – looked for a meeting room where we can hold a PhotoDoc training session in October. I think there are several good choices, depending on how much we want to spend, which will be influenced at least partially by how much we want to charge. I’ve asked John to check with some associates to see if my initial price proposal is in line with expectations.

Made another strawberry-banana smoothie this afternoon. They’re so good!

In the evening, the older John (young John’s father, of course) dropped in to see us. He’s in town for a couple days, so he took Mark and me to dinner. We went to a very good Indian restaurant not too far from the hospital. Enjoyed the food and they company. Thanks for the visit and meal, John!

During dinner, John and I were talking about recent events. I mentioned something about being widowed being very different from being divorced, specifically that there is no anger or hurt feelings involved, although I still have plenty of regrets. Shannon and I talked about that a while ago and she forgave every injury and asked me to live guilt-free. That’s a tall order, but I’m trying. John mentioned he discovered something I also learned from counseling other couples in the past – whenever I’m inclined to think I wasn’t much of a good husband, I can reflect on some of the truly horrible husbands I’ve known and give myself a grade of at least a B. Good point, John.

And that’s about all that happened today. Back to the gym tomorrow morning – we must keep up the momentum!

I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: paratrooper mouse!

See you tomorrow.

Philly snow

Friday, January 24th, 2014


Here’s the worst of the weather we saw last winter in Pennsylvania. Mere child’s play compared to what they’re going through right now. Current temperature in Newtown, PA as I write this: 16 degrees. Tomorrow’s weather: 18 and snow showers. Tomorrow night’s low: 6 degrees. No thank you for that. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken from my former office window, and part of my famous Garden series.

That view was very nice, by the way. There were frequent deer sightings throughout the year, and four beautiful seasons of green (leaves and grass), red (leaves), yellow (leaves), brown (leaves and grass), and white (snow, duh). I spent many happy hours looking out that window when I should probably have been working.

Let’s look at the latest Shannon news, shall we? Yes we shall. She continues to improve. While yesterday’s post reported that the bronchoscopy didn’t reveal anything in her lungs, today’s report is a bit more detailed. Also more correct. It turns out they did find a bit of pneumonia. I asked one of her doctors exactly what kind of pneumonia they found. He checked and reported that it was H1N1 virus and a smidgen of fungus. Apparently, there are no bacteria to speak of in there. So she would have never gotten better in Las Vegas, since they were essentially treating her only with antibiotics. So I’m glad we’re here.

She continues to get stronger and better. She spent pretty much the whole day sitting up, which was a bit of a stretch. She also got up for a shower. It feels so good to be clean, doesn’t it, Loyal Readers? So that’s all good.

Shortly before dinner, we went down to get Shannon’s other lung area drained. ┬áThis time they got a liter of fluid out from the area outside her left lung. That’s a lot of fluid. They tell us it takes a little while for everything to rearrange itself and start working properly, but she reports that it’s already much easier to breathe. And no wonder. With 1.6 liters out of there, there’s just a whole lot more room for her lungs to expand. Optimism reigns.

Didn’t get an update on her white cell count today. I do know her platelets were at a nice healthy level, though. So there’s that.

Nothing else new today. I really need to get some work done and it’s quite the struggle with my pathetic internet situation both at the hospital and at my cousin’s house. I’ve got to get things working somewhere pretty soon and get some stuff done. Decision: I will.

Mark reports that he got his Nevada driver’s license today. Hooray, Mark! Good on ya, mate.

And that’s about it for today. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: pot-belly pig terrorist!

See you on Monday.

Black pillars

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013


Here’s a bunch of black pillars. With water running down them. Standing in a pool of water. Also dripping water all over the sidewalk. They were really cool. And look, there’s a building belonging to my alma mater there in the background! Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken today during our nice long walk, and part of my famous Garden and Statue series.

Yeah, I know it doesn’t look like a garden. Let’s call it a sculpture garden.

It was a very pleasant walk, by the way. We went through the park containing these pillars and then a few blocks down the street. On the way back, we stopped at Whataburger for lunch. Yum! It was really nice to get outside for a while and it was very pleasant just to be together. Also, it was a warm, sunny day!

We went to see the transplant doctor at 11:00 this morning. As predicted, there wasn’t really anything for us to learn. He believes a second stem cell transplant is our best bet at this point, even though it’s a relatively low probability thing. They’re willing to do it here, of course, but we asked if they had anything to offer that we can’t find at the City of Hope. They don’t. So unless our doctor at the CoH can’t get it approved by his committee, we’ll go back to California for transplant round two.

Oh, we did learn one thing today. The reason the DLI transplant isn’t an option for us is that the success rate for AML patients is negligible. That’s a pretty clear explanation, as far as I’m concerned.

We’re going back to see doctor number one early tomorrow morning for the review of the preliminary bone marrow biopsy results. Again, I don’t expect any surprises.

After the early morning visit, we have all the live long day to do . . . something. We don’t know what. We have to check out of the hotel by 11:00 in the morning and our flight out isn’t until 10:30 PM. So there’s a lot of time to kill. We still don’t know how we’ll kill it, but something will happen. I’m just happy to be together.

We had dinner tonight at Longhorn Steakhouse, one of LRN9’s company’s restaurants. In fact, we used the gift card he gave us last Christmas. The food and service were great and the price was certainly right. Thanks, LRN9! Highly recommended.

By the way, you can’t buy Darden gift certificates from Amazon. You can get them for just about any other national restaurant chain. What’s up with that, Amazon and/or Darden? I wanted to include a link here.

And it’s way past time bedtime. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: watch parakeet!

See you tomorrow.