Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I found out that this photo was chosen for FIRST place in my county's local photo contest!

It will be shown at the County fair next week.  It will be used in publicity for the County.
I will be presented with a certificate at the next Freeholders Meeting.
I will get $100!!!!

Time to head out for more photos!

Thursday, July 24, 2014


There is a field of sunflowers that caught my attention.
I had to stop and take some pictures so I could smile then AND later

I love the depth of field I got on this one.
Pretty smiling faces
I loved the little one hiding behind the bigger ones
Such a happy scene!

Vacation Plans This Summer

I have gotten to the middle of July and realized that I have 15 vacation days to use before Labor Day.  My company gives you new vacation days on your anniversary with the company.  I started in September 12 years ago.

I have 15 days to use or loose.  I refuse to loose them! So I am working every other week from now until Labor Day.  Every other week off!!  How cool is that?  Just when I'm sick of being at work, I can take the week off.  Just when I'm sick of being home, I get to go back to work.  I think I can like that schedule.

For the first vacation week, I am having lunch with a friend, cleaning my house, twisting my BFF's arm to take a day off and go to the beach with me.  Lots of reading and relaxing planned for that week.  Oh, and probably hanging at the farm with Jakes and the horses.

The next week I have off, I will be packing me, Jakes and Jaxon up and we're going with the parents for a week at the beach!  I can't wait!  More laying around and relaxing.  Then wandering the boards and people watching. No horse farm this week.

The final week I have off there are no plans for yet.  A day or two at the beach, reading and relaxing.  Jakes will be back in school so I won't be going to the farm that week for him.  I hope everyone has as much vacation time as I do!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Love of Horses - WW

Jakes gettin' some love from Buttons

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Adventures of Jaxon's Treats

Jaxon is a Jack Russell Terrier and they love to dig and bury things.  Today Jaxon chose to bury a treat and I caught him.

I can't wait until he decides to dig it up!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bucket List - Dad's News

Dad's news from the Cancer Dr was good and not so good. They didn't say "let's talk hospice." This time.  They did predict that he should have about 6-9 months to live while taking the chemo.  If he remains healthy enough to get the chemo.  They predicted he'd have about 3-6 months without the chemo. BUT....  Yes isn't there always a but?

But, Dad's cancer markers are going DOWN.  So this means something good is happening inside Dad.  Even when he feels like total crap.

The Dr said Dad is on very powerful drugs, the chemo and the superman shots.  There isn't much that can be done for the side effects that he's experiencing.  Daddy said the chemo doesn't affect him as badly as the superman shots.  The shots just put him flat on his back for a couple of days, even more if he gets them days in a row.

The shots are also affecting Daddy more quickly.  Before he'd make the 45 minute drive both ways, get the shot and be able to get home before experiencing the side effects of the shot.  Now, he's falling asleep about 20 minutes into the drive home.  ESM and I are sharing Daddy's trips over for the shots.

What the cancer dr is recommending is that Dad continue with this round of chemo, which is over at the end of August.  They will do a CAT Scan to see what's going on inside and Daddy will have to make a decision at that time.  I think he wants to fight for as much time as he can get.  I want him to fight too but I don't want him to suffer.

For now, we are at status quo.  Nothing has changed.  But it feels different to me. Maybe because there is a timeline.  We are long past the intermission and are quickly moving to the final act.  I have been enjoying the play up until last September when all this started.

But.  There's that but again.  Its time to put on my big girl panties and stand by my family.  We are in this together, no matter what.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One Step Closer

The news for Daddy doesn't seem to be good. The cancer Drs think they are on top of the cancer, even to the point of saying its under control. But Daddy doesn't seem to be able to handle the treatments very well.

He gets chemo about every other week because his blood counts are whacky.  So they give him shots to help balance his blood so he can get chemo. But the shots make him tired and weak.  The chemo makes him tired and weak. He spends a lot of time on the couch which is frustrating for him.

Daddy had a visit with his heart dr, who had a phone conference with his Primary Dr.  They are in agreement that Daddy might want to consider stopping the cancer treatments.  They think the chemo is really affecting his quality of life and if there isn't going to be much improvement in the cancer, that he might want to stop taking the chemo and let things play themselves out.

When we got the diagnosis of Stage 4 with liver metz, the Drs didn't say they could "cure" him, but hoped to make him more comfortable and extend his life.  To be honest, seeing Dad struggle with fighting this, I had expected they would recommend he stop chemo at the time of the last scan.  But there was no new growth with the last scan which gave us hope and renewed fight.

I talked to Dad about it and he does have some questions for the cancer drs.  He wants to find out if he should stop fighting or if he needs to fight harder and if so, how much harder.  ESM is going to the Drs with him today.  I will be having lunch with Oscar and waiting by the phone to hear what the cancer Drs have to say.

In talking with Daddy yesterday, it seems he wants to keep fighting but would be willing to accept stopping if its a lost cause.  He wants to live.  I want him to live but not if he's going to feel miserable all the time.  Yesterday seemed to be a good day.  He was at least in a good, talkative mood while I was there.  He was tired but it was nap time too.

I haven't given up on my Daddy, I am still praying that he will be able to live longer but feel better.  I will respect and help him in anyway I possibly can, no matter what decision he makes with his life.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Camping for the Dogs

Jaxon and Oscar went camping with us too.  Can't leave the Dogs home!  Jaxon loves going camping, once we get there.  He's not too keen on riding in the RV, unless he has a lap to sit on.  He gets to spend lots of time outside on the chain. The G-parents sneak lots of snacks (STEAK!) to him that Momma wouldn't normally allow.  AND best of all, there is a BIG, HUGE field for him to run through and play ball.

I took his favorite toy, the Chuck-it.  If you don't know what this is, its the BEST DOGGIE TOY ever!  At least for my dog who is a runner.

Lets Go Mom!  Put the camera down and throw the ball!

Oooo!  YAY!  I'm going to get it!

Its hard to tell from this picture but Jaxon is about 5 feet off the ground to catch this ball.  He is an amazing fielder!  I keep asking Neicy if they need an outfielder on her ball team.

Then, he found a pile of dog poop that someone didn't bother to clean up.  Jaxon rolled in it.  Jaxon ate it. GROSS!  Jaxon got a shower when we got back to the site.

Jaxon got snuggles and love at the end of the bath.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Jakes in the Lake

For the 4th of July we went camping with the GParents in the RV.  We went back to the same campground we always have gone to for 4th of July.  Its a nice, family-animal friendly place with fireworks and special events throughout the weekend.  It was very relaxing once everything was set up.

The RV on our site.

We were the first camper you saw when you entered the campground.  I didn't like this spot as much as others we had.  There was a lot of traffic and not as much shade in the afternoon.  I prefer to be further back under the trees a bit.

On Saturday there were fireworks.  Since we had the first spot, we were in the best spot to watch them.  It was a little chilly so Dad stayed in the RV with the dogs to watch them.

Oscar dressed up for the 4th.
Jaxon kept an eye on things from the front seat while Oscar hid under the covers
And Jakes dressed up for the evening too.

Jakes in the Lake
Jakes went to the lake first thing.
It was HOT on Thursday so once we were all set up, Jakes hit the lake.  I think I joined him, I spent many afternoons in the lake so they all run together.  The lake was like bath water, very warm!  But we had fun anyway!

here's the family.  Dad and ESM coming back from the store.
Jakes heading up the hill on his bike.
One of the best things about the campground is sending the kid off on the bike, knowing he will be safe.  The place is small enough that every 10 minutes or so, Jakes was zooming by our site on his way around the loop.

Jakes and G-pop setting up the tripod for cooking dinner
Jakes was a big help around the camp site.  He helped G-pop hook up the camper to electric, sewer and water.  Helped to level the camper and helped ESM and I put up the awning.  Then it was time to teach him how to be a chef over the campfire.

Laying the wood just right.

Checking to see if they are ready to be flipped.
All in all, it was a lovely, long weekend and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Riding Lessons for ME!

Now you all know that my Jakes has been taking Riding Lessons with equine therapy for many years and that he loves it.

Jakes on MilkShake
This last Saturday, Jakes talked my out of my comfort zone of the chairs under the tree at the farm and into his world of horses.

I got to ride on Buttons!

Now I see some of what Jakes enjoys

Ms. Suzanne took a ride on Pumpkin

It was a great day!