Saturday, August 31, 2013

Something Vintage – Or: Mastering the Science of Right Living

It started out as another morning run to the farmer’s market – this time for peaches.

The sunflowers were amazing and so, too, were the other veggies. It was attracting quite a crowd.

But the big crowd pleaser was the annual vintage car ride, going north on Old 27 from Coldwater in the south to Cheboygan on the northern coast, bordering Lake Michigan.

It was the route we all used to travel, long before expressways. It was the route I remembered my parents taking north when I was just a little kid.

As they parked in the reserved spots on Main Street, it looked like a step back in time.

I couldn’t help admiring some with my favorite blue…

…and a brilliant yellow.

Of course, there were lots of people looking…

…and the drivers made it quite convenient!

All of the cars were in terrific shape, and it was great fun to see them on parade.

In an effort to avoid the traffic, I decided to take the back roads through town and saw a sign for an estate sale. Everything was half-off or fill a bag for five dollars. When one of the first thing I spotted was these, I knew it was going to be very, very good!

It’s amazing how much stuff you can stuff into a plastic grocery bag, like all of these books, some music, some poetry – all for ripping up and gluing to something else! (Although I think I’ll hold onto the 1932 World Book annual, which with its pre-war era is quite fascinating.)

I loved this “diorama” picture – I have a couple and remember making up stories about them as a kid. This one was in great shape.

A few cat baubles – and someone’s Santa pic in a pretty paper frame.

Bottle brush trees – a couple were old; most not, but they’ll be fine for bleaching!

Vintage linens – two pairs of pillowcases and three tablecloths – two are here…

…and here is the other.

This one is large and has a wonderful berry border.

I manage to squeeze the cute little kitty dresser scarf in, too!

And these three pink glass pieces – two are depression glass, the other I just liked!

And here are those paper dolls again, with their already-cut wardrobe (thank you!)

I loved how each one was named. Sometimes twice!

And if you wonder how those peaches looked in that dish – well, I think they were great!

If that wasn’t a good enough day, there was art time. I painted some of my paper clay embellishments…

…and finished up a half-done piece I’m still not sure I’m satisfied with, but it’s better.

Lizzie Cosette lapped up trying to escape from the porch…

…and the nights had glorious sunsets.

I would say that with out a doubt, at least at this time, on this day, I am the…  well, I’ll let the book title speak for itself.

Now if only Labor Day is as lovely! I'm off now!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

At the Market

I can't resist a farmer's market -- and August in Michigan is a fine time to go!
We have spectacular sweet black cherries -- I couldn't resist buying as many as I could afford!
There aren't a lot of crafters, but this one had dish cloths -- very colorful, but I'm not sure I'd sell them for $2.50 each -- figure one to two hours plus your yarn and your hourly rate is under $1 an hour...
The popcorn stand is always very popular!
Rick is into his bread baking, and he had a rather long and illuminating talk with one vendor who was generous with his time and tips. I bought a loaf of his sourdough and it was terrific!
Then he spoke with another vendor who specialized in whole wheat bread. It was a good learning experience for him!
And of course we bought a few veggies for dinner!
And the dill was great, too!
All in all, great fun! Can't wait to see what's in season when I return!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Verdict Is In

 (If this is too long or TMI for you, feel free to skip to thank you messages at the bottom of the post!)
Those of you who have followed The Marmelade Gyspy for the past months know that since February -- after a long, incurable (but manageable) lung disease called bronchiectasis -- with many infections that would occur periodically -- I went for a second opinion. I was tired of feeling like a rag doll.
I had to shift my own thinking from fear that something awful was there to accepting what was indisputable -- annoying, but not life threatening -- I hoped.
I just wanted to be sure that we weren't overlooking something that might get lost, assuming it was the bronchiectasis. Maybe we'd find an underlying cause that, while it couldn't cure it, could help the infections occur less frequently. What I needed was a little good luck for once.
So, it was off to the Infectious Disease folks. I fully expected them to do their thing, take lots of tests and tell me they could find nothing more. Yay, me! But I had entered the web of modern medicine.
What they found initially was that I may have a serious lung disease -- a non-contagious tuberculosis infection with a long name. Then they said it was another. And when they told me the treatment options, I was frightened and horrified.
Two years. Vision loss. Plus the usual chemo effects. I felt like the grim reaper couldn't be far behind.
There was one appointment after another with no concrete information. "The test results aren't in." I felt like a puppet with doctors and labs pulling the strings.
They decided to test again. Perhaps it was a false positive. Maybe it was just protocol. I kept thinking positive thoughts -- and tons of prayers were thrown up to the universe.
Almost every day I wore a mask that tried to hide the fear and anxiety. "How're you doing today?" "Oh, not so bad, thanks for asking!" (Happy little smile.)
But no matter what I said to others, inside I couldn't escape from it. And pretty much everyone knew it -- even if they didn't know how deep that fear went.
I felt like I was juggling too many balls. Playing with fire. And while work, volunteering, art, being with friends, brought their own diversions, I felt like I was hiding in all of these things so I didn't have to face the inside of me. The frightened part.
Well, after six months of testing, the verdict is in.
And I'm OK. Pretty much.
I do have one of those mycobacterium infections (Mycobacterium moriokaense) but it only showed in one of many cultures and is not considered something that they feel should be treated in this way at this time.

In other words. I am free.
Free from the fear and anxiety and edginess.
Free from the tears, except those of joy.
Free from the anxiety of a treatment considered worse
than the disease.
Free to make plans and know that pending some emergency from any quarter,
I will be able to realize those plans.
Free. And happy.
The Moriokaense does have potential challenges -- chronic pneumonia as the primary susceptibility with this. But watching it is just fine. It puts me in no jeopardy. And makes a massive difference in my quality of life. And while I will still have bronchiectasis flare-ups and infections, it DOES mean that I can be treated for those a LOT easier and in a MUCH shorter period of time than with something worse.
I'm sure you can imagine how relieved I am. Joy doesn't come close,

I can't begin to express how much I have valued the support, encouragement, listening ears, positive thoughts and prayers of so many people, including all of you. I have been a bundle of nerves and anxiety for a long, long time and have shed more tears in frustration than I like to imagine.
Rick, in particular, has been such a tremendous support -- picking me up when I'm down, listening, being there -- pure and simple. There are times when I think this has been harder for him than for me.

I have received cards and good wishes and so much more from so many of you -- and many of us have never met face-to-face. And I know every single bit of that energy has helped.

I'm feeling better physically this summer than I had in a number of months and now I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders and that "vice" that was holding my head in a continually anxious state has been released.
Retirement is on Friday, September 13 -- and since I'm taking a little time off before, that means about ten working days left. (But who's counting? Oh, me!) That means I can stop worrying about travel or some of the other things that were on my mind and relax into it.
I am so very grateful in so many ways.
Thank you, all.

I am humbled by your support and treasure it more than you know.

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