Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Veins Are Shot!



Giving blood is a great thing to do. Donating your healthy blood to blood banks is terrific. When I was in college I started donating blood. I learned then that my veins are not very cooperative. They look good but they roll away from the needle.

Fast forward a few decades and my veins were tested to their limit with chemotherapy. I chose not to have a port inserted because that part of the whole cancer treatment regime was what freaked me out. Subsequently my chemo had to be administered into my veins in my arm. Because of my breast cancer surgeries only one arm could be used. The chemo drugs are very toxic. The nurses who administer wear heavy gloves, and yet this poison went into my veins. My veins did not like it. They rolled, collapsed, burst and generally made life difficult.

As a result of my treatments, the only place that I can get blood out of my body for a blood test is from my hand. It hurts a bit and the top of my hand is all scarred from my many blood tests as a cancer survivor. My doctor went so far as to recommend I wear a medical alert bracelet!  I just can’t bring myself to wear a bracelet that says, “Veins Suck, Use Right Hand” or “Veins Shot, Administer in Right Hand Only”.


Last week I went for my yearly visit to my oncologist.  Before the visit blood is taken. A good friend of mine had breast cancer a year after my diagnosis. We go to the same oncologist and now we schedule our appointments following each other and then go out to celebrate another year of cancer free living. She has her appointment first because her veins are not shot and her time in the lab is brief.


I don’t think there is note on my chart about my veins but let’s just say I never get the new oncology tech for the blood draw. I still tell them what size needle to use, which hand, which I make certain is warm, and I already drank about a gallon of water before the visit, all to have a timely and successful blood draw.

Anyone else with uncooperative veins?


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

5 Tips for Refashioning



If you look at your wardrobe and see clothes you love but some how they don’t look good on you any longer but you hate to give them away, try refashioning. Did you see Melissa McCarthy on the red carpet at Golden Globes? Her stylists refashioned!


If you are unsure of your skills, head to the Goodwill and buy an inexpensive skirt, dress or top for practice.  My sister bought a lovely silk sleeves top we planned on refashioning to a vest. It didn’t work but it was only out $3.00!

1. Change the hemline.
It is easier to go shorter than longer.  With a long hemline you can make it a handkerchief hemline, bias or just shorten it up. A dress can become a tunic or even a blouse.

2. Adjust the sleeve length.
Whether it is a dress or a top you can shorten a sleeve length. You can add rouching to give it some style while shortening it.


3. Mix up fabrics.
Add pockets to a skirt from a different fabric. Add a neckline trim of a contrasting fabric to a top or dress.

4. Change buttons.
Nothing refreshes an old coat then new interesting buttons. Beautiful buttons can be found anywhere from the Goodwill, fabric stores to artists’ markets.

5. Add or make a belt.
Similar to buttons, an interesting belt can add new life to an older skirt, dress or outfit. Cloth belts can get refashioned with some new material easily.

Have you tried your hand at refashioning?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Menopausal Lost Dog



This fall on garbage day my neighbor knocked on my door. Since I bike around the neighborhood, she wanted to know if I knew this dog. 


I am pretty sure I would remember this face! I did not. My neighbor is a big walker and she didn’t recognize her either. The dog then plopped down on my front walk. I got her some water and our afternoon together began. 


I am friendly with many neighbors so it wasn’t hard to solicit a leash, collar and kibble for the pooch. We are a cat family.


Since it was a beautiful day and it appeared to be a school free day, the neighborhood was buzzing. My office  is in the back of my home so I don’t see the street. We have a corner lot but it is all treed and private which is great except when you want to do some neighborhood sleuthing and get work done at the same time!

I gave up on the work and set out to find this girl’s home. She wasn’t a pup and I didn’t think she could have wandered far. I put up posters around the neighborhood, notified the appropriate agencies and placed 2 listings on Craig’s list. I stopped everyone who walked or rode their bike past my house to take a look at the dog and rack their brain if they recognized her

I named her Wanda and hoped closer to the dinner hour her owners would come home and get her. She was happy to hang out with me and nap on the front porch.


Around 5, her owners claimed her. Her real name is Betsy and she is almost 8. She has been acting irritable lately, eating and sleeping more. They don’t know how she got out of the house and yard but this is the second time she has taken off.

The young family was thrilled she wandered just 2 blocks to my house and was safe. They were very grateful. She has been moved to this new house and yard and neighborhood. That’s a lot of change for what I think is a menopausal dog.  No wonder Betsy felt comfortable with me, 2 menopausal gals hanging out on a lovely day!





Wednesday, January 7, 2015

3 Reasons why I will not accept the position of US Ambassador to Cuba


Even though some politicians are trash talking the idea to establish a US Embassy with a US Ambassador to Cuba, it will happen.  I predict it will occur before the next President is elected. I totally endorse this action but I don’t want to be the Ambassador and here are the reasons:

1. My Spanish stinks. 
I have a fair knowledge of basic restaurant Spanish supplemented with Spanish street names. The US ambassador I think should be more fluent in Spanish than being able to order food or find a street address.

2. I do not have a poker face. 
My diplomacy would certainly be compromised with my facial expressions. I hate to admit it but I sometimes raise an eyebrow when presented with a WTF situation. The US ambassador needs to have an experienced placid demeanor.

3. I don’t have political experience.
The US Ambassador needs more skills than voting and supporting causes. He or She needs some political expertise. 

So who would be on my short list?
  1. Maria Shriver (A bit of historical irony)
  2. Tammy Baldwin (Already a historical presence)
  3. Julián Castro (The brothers are Fluent in Spanish)
  4. Joaquín Castro (Ditto)
  5. Mazie Hirono (Who better to understand living on an island)


Some of my candidates may not want to leave their current jobs but they may or may not be re-elected. They may be not fluent in Spanish, but these are smart people and they can learn!


So I will have to just visit Cuba as a tourist some day rather than in an official capacity. I email the President before the State of the Union Address every year. This year it is January 20, 2015. I will be emailing the administration my recommendations. Who would you recommend I add to my list before I hit send?