Sunday, October 5, 2014

One Year Later...So Much Has Happened

     I have been absent from Blogger for soooo long! You may remember that last October I met my very first love and we rekindled our love story. We married in November, traveled back and forth from TN to NY, he retired from his lengthy state career, he moved to TN and we started our happily ever after. We were settling into our new normal when I noticed a funny mark on his back. We went to the doctor, had it checked out, diagnosis - stage 3 melanoma! Needless to say we spent endless days in shock and terror! I can't begin to describe all the things we were thinking and feeling. The doctors were very aggressive with treatment and Brian had three surgeries in a very short timespan. We would get terrible news and then better news. Our emotions were shot to pieces and we didn't know what to expect next. Biopsies, blood work, PET scans, CT scans, a whole new vocabulary of scary words!! Tumor removal, sentinel node dissection, bilateral axial node dissection...oh my!! Finally, the best news of all -- Cancer has been removed completely!!!!!!!!! Now we go every three months for checkups with the dermatologist and the oncologist for the next two years. We can handle that. We feel very blessed and have come to believe we were meant to meet again so that I could find that cancer and we could fight it together!

    We are busy filling every day with so much living and happiness! We have been to Cape Cod and to Florida and to the Smoky Mountains. We had NY and Texas family here to visit. So much has happened since that very first meeting last October----!

This little spot in the middle of his back

Led to this

And to this at the same time

Which took us here

For this...Bilateral Axillary Nodal Lymphectomy

Cape Cod - still recovering but having fun - 3 weeks post op
On the ferry to Martha's Vineyard
On the beach in Florida!

Friday, June 20, 2014

My Birthday!

So...because I am completely spoiled, Brian insisted that we keep our plans to spend my birthday in Cape Cod! He still had drain tubes and his doctor was less than thrilled with the idea, but we went anyway. I am so glad he insisted! It was so good for him! We had more fun than we should have! Pam and Wayne met us there and spent several days with us before they had to head back to Troy. We did and saw and ate soooo much! We even had a campfire on the beach...check that off the bucket list!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strawberry Time!

 We both seem to have an illness about picking crops! Can't seem to stop! There are always a few more that will fit in the basket! LOL! Now to make the shortcake!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Coloring!!

    Hubby and I spent last night filling almost 300 plastic eggs for the grandkids egg hunt this Saturday! First, of course, we had to go and buy LOTS of candy! We only sampled a few...really! We also bought eight dozen eggs for the grandkids to color. Luckily for us, it is going to be beautiful and warm and sunny on Saturday so we can make that mess outside. Other Easters have been yucky outside so coloring happened inside...and all over the floor...and the walls...and the table...and the kids!! LOL!! It's always a blast and the kids are so proud of their eggs. After the coloring, we go outside to find the candy-filled eggs. Our adult children hide the eggs and then it's a free-for-all!! We have eight "special" for each grandchild...with a "special" surprise inside. Once they are all sugared up we hug them and kiss them and pat them on the fannies and send them home!!!
   This year one daughter's birthday is on we will also have cake and ice cream to celebrate! Fun, fun!!
   We have invited my mom and dad over for dinner on Sunday. Just the four of us...should be nice and relaxing. Of course, mom will also come Saturday to take pictures of the bedlam...I mean egg coloring and hunting! Check back for pictures!!

Lee concentrating!

James, Clark, Taylor, Lee, Criss, William
The mayhem!

Easter fun!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Already!

No way will it all fit!

   Time sure does fly by!! We have been extraordinarily busy traveling back and forth to New York.  First in January to finalize Brian's retirement paperwork and have both a retirement and farewell party. Bittersweet, but also a lot of fun. He has worked there for 35+ years and has lived in the Capital District all of his life!! Those are huge life changes...getting married, retiring, moving 1000 miles away...all in a three month time span!! He is handling things very well and loves having time to spend on his music...after the housework is done!
   We returned to New York for Spring Break. We met his brother and sister-in-law in the Finger Lakes and did a wine trail excursion. We had too many tastings, spent too much money, and had an absolute blast! Then we stayed at Turning Stone casino for a little gambling and a good night's rest before heading to Schenectady to close up his apartment.
   When we got to the apartment (our upstate New York villa) we had a very short time to completely empty and clean it. We worked hard from Monday evening until Friday afternoon! Luckily, his friend Mike helped with both storage and moving. His brother and sister-in-law both took time off from work to help and bring us food...and chocolate! We loaded their vehicles repeatedly to take stuff to Mike's and to storage. We would have not been able to get it all done without them! We were supposed to leave NY on Friday morning with my pickup truck loaded with his belongings. We did not get out of town until after 4PM!! We drove until around 11 and found a cheap motel to spend the night. During breakfast the next morning we hear the weather is going to get bad so we hurry up and leave! Sure enough, snow and freezing rain start before we get to Ohio!! That is scary stuff in normal circumstances...but with my truck packed to the gills and visibility poor (all I could see was boxes in my rearview!) I was a nervous wreck! Just as we were thinking we may have to find another place to stay another night, it started clearing up. Still raining but no more snow and ice...whew!! Today in TN it is a balmy 70+ degrees and the sun is shining!! Welcome Home!
Wine tour Castle Griesch


Wine tour with Pam and Wayne - Finger Lakes

Enough said...!

Poor truck!
And the storage room

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day in Nashville!

We had only been back in TN for a few weeks and it was time for our first Valentine's Day! Brian is so very romantic so he planned a whole weekend of festivities for us! What a fun and sweet time! Flowers, candy, dinner show, honky tonks on Broadway!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Retirement, Traveling, Snowstorms...Oh My!!

     What a crazy few weeks!! We had an awesome Christmas and New Year's holiday in New York! Lots of family time, lots of cooking, lots of eating!! New Year's Eve was spent in Saratoga Springs where we got married. They call it "First Night" and there is lots of music and street performers and food vendors. At midnight there are awesome fireworks!! We took several 'selfies" with fireworks exploding behind us!! I'll have to add them later because they are on his camera!
     We drove home to Tennessee together on January 3rd and 4th. We had to wait for winter storm Hercules to drop 14 inches of snow on the Capital District area!! We slipped and slid all the way home!! It was crazy dangerous but we got here safely. I was supposed to go to work on the 6th but we had three snow days instead!! It was a nice welcome home for Brian as he didn't have to be alone right away. We were able to spend lots of time getting him accustomed to Tennessee. 

Upstate vacation villa on the day we left in early January!
     We headed back to NY again on the 18th of January for Brian to finish up his job and to have his retirement party. Of course it snowed in the Pocono Mountains and I was driving! We saw three accidents in a five mile stretch of highway so I slid (literally) into a rest area and made Brian drive!! We got to NY safely but I had my eyes closed the whole time!! We were able to pack most of the rest of his things in the car to bring to TN. We also visited and had a very nice retirement party and cleaned out his office. He is officially retired from the state of NY!!! Yay!!

Service presentation at retirement party
     We arrived back in TN on January 25th and, of course, it snowed on us while I was driving in southern Virginia! You can't escape the mountains! We took a 2 hour break in a McDonald's to see if it would blow on by us. No such luck!! We slipped and slid all the way to Bristol, TN!!

Headed home to TN!
Sideways snow somewhere in the VA mountains at a McDonalds

More retirement party

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

    Since we met again in Saratoga Springs, NY, we decided to celebrate New Year's there! We bought tickets for their celebration and got a room at a local motel with shuttle service to the events. We strolled around in the frigid temps, enjoyed wine and snacks at a local eatery, enjoyed great music and dancing and then saw wonderful fireworks at midnight! Then it was back to the motel for late night snacks and more champagne in front of the fireplace! What a night to remember!
Beatles tribute

Cold Selfie!

Brian's buddy

Johnny Cash tribute

Almost time!

Fireworks Selfie!

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