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Random Thoughts on a Wednesday

I was just wondering, uh… now I forget.

It’s a rainy day in Central Illinois.  It’s been rainy for a few days now.  Unusual in our experience here.  It reminds us of Oregon.  Day after day of rain and rain and rain.  It’s sort of nice actually.

After The Rain
After The Rain (Photo credit: Tj Parker Photography)

Leaves are falling, and all over the ground.  We’ve already picked up a few bags of them.  The first of many.  And yes, we’ve already talked to our lawn guy about maybe handling the leaves in the front yard, assuring him we planned on taking care of the leaves in the backyard.  I’m sure he was relieved.  I’m kidding.  He’s a professional, don’t try this at home.  We are very relieved.  Last year we had around 100 bags of leaves.  100.  That’s a lot of raking.  I’m not sad even just a little bit about having someone help us out with that task.  We do, however, need to take care of what is becoming a wet mess in the backyard.  It’s supposed to dry up the next day or two and then there will be some raking in our future.  I’m psychic like that.

It is beautiful out there though, if you ignore the rain and just look at the changing colors.  Really getting gorgeous now.  Maybe this weekend we can get out there and take some photos.  Go to Homer or some such place.  Take the cameras.  Take the dogs.  Have a day trip.  It might be a fun thing to do after we, on Friday, take our trailer in for the season.  Yes, Lily is going to the barn.  Not actually a barn, this is a figurative barn with heat and loads of other trailers parked in it.  She’ll be nice and tucked away for the winter.  We’ll be sad to see her go, but glad she’s being well looked after.  We have a big fondness for our travel trailer.  It could border on unnatural.

My honey is making a meatloaf.  Right now she’s mixing it up.  We’re taking it to the kid’s house tonight.  Meatloaf, sweet potatoes, peas.  Yum.  I’m hungry right now, I didn’t each lunch, so almost anything would sound good.  My honey’s meatloaf though, it’s tasty.

The dogs are happy.  We just got a new box of Greenies.  They are fans of the Greenie.  We spoil them, that’s a good thing.  They totally deserve to be spoiled.

I can’t believe we leave for Florida next week.  Crazy.  Seems like we were planning this so long ago and now it’s here.  Family reunion time.  K’s family.  It will be great to see everyone.  We’re going to Orlando.  Dog/house sitter arranged, car rentals arranged, rooms arranged.  We’ll be packing shorts, probably our last chance to wear them this year.  We’ve been wearing jeans for a week now at home, too cold and wet now for shorts in Illinois.

Ramble.  Ramble.

It’s Thursday now….

We just got back from a regular six month appointment with my oncologist.  I used to see him every three months (for two years now, since getting into the whole post treatment phase) with accompanying blood work, then every six months though I still had blood draws every three months.  Today he told me that he’s going to work it so that I see him once a year, and I’ll see my regular doc for a physical once a year.  He wants to coordinate so that I’m seeing one of them every six months, with blood work.  Meaning I’m now only going to get blood work every six months.  I will see him again in March, then a physical with my regular doc in September, and then him again in March, and on and on.  This is big news for me.  Great news for me.  He said my blood work was fantastic.  He said I was doing really well.  I feel high right now.  Leukemia, and the threat of it, has been a part of my life since June 1, 2010, the day I went into the hospital for the first time.  I’m much better now about leading a normal life and trying not to worry about it, but it’s still there sometimes, the fear, lurking.  Every time I get another step or two away from it I feel freer somehow.  Less encumbered by thoughts of it.  More like my self, the self before it every happened to me.  It’s a good day.

Our life is amazing.  Simple, lovely, wonderful, and joyously alive.  Every bit of it.  Every small tiny bit.























Just received a text message from the weather channel… Freeze Warning. I guess fall is coming in like a lion. Does that even apply? I have no idea.

The leaves are coming down now. We had our first city leaf pick up this week. There will be four spread over three months. First round… 18 bags. The sad thing is the bags were filled and put out and then we looked up at the trees and… what? Doesn’t even look like a single leaf had fallen off of them. Sigh.


I sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I love fall. It’s my favorite time of the year. Sure, summer is nice and all… in Oregon much more than Illinois, I’m adjusting to the humidity (not really). Fall is just… sweet. The air starts to cool, the leaves start to turn, I change from shorts and t-shirts back into jeans and sweatshirts and closed toed shoes. Coffee tastes better when it’s raining or snowing outside. The smells are better in the fall as well… fireplaces and crisper air. I start eating soup again. The outdoor furniture gets put up and the hose covers go on and the yard gets buttoned up. It’s sort of a cleansing feeling.

You could say I’m falling for fall, like I do each year.

Right now it’s raining out. Cold. We just came back from getting new sole inserts for our Keens. The Keens are like eight years old or something. Maybe only seven. Whichever it is, we’ve had them a long time. But they’re good shoes, they just needed a little updating. It’s a good thing we did because, freeze warning. With all this rain and falling temps, maybe there’ll be snow. The forecast said there was a chance. Here we are, October, and it could snow. Oh Illinois.

I feel like I should have a hot toddy or a hot apple cider or something. Maybe I’ll just settle for another cup of coffee. It’s fall, and it’s cold, I can justify that extra cup. Just another reason to love this time of year.

10 Word Review – The Fall

A quick word before the review takes over this post.  This review refers to the television series by BBC available in the states on Netflix instant play.

Sleek. Gritty. Stylized. Anderson. Story. Dornan. Smart. Creepy. Gripping. YES.



Falling For Illinois

It’s a rainy, windy, blustery, wet day here in Illinois.  It started yesterday, the blue sky fading as the clouds came in and the rain and wind started up.  It reminds me of an Oregon Fall.  Loads of rain, gray skies, everything just getting soaked.

It’s a cup of coffee read a book kind of day.  Though I just did the cup of coffee part.  Otherwise I was catching up on email and Facebook “stuff”.  Loving on the dogs… like I am right now, excuse me as I pet Weston for a moment… OK, back.

Tonight we head to the kids house with Black Dog Smoke and Ale House BBQ in hand.  No date night this week.  We are just back from our trip so the kids are going to stay home with us and we’re going to hang out.  We’re looking forward to it.

Had a great visit last evening with Karen’s aunt and uncle.  I’d never met them and it had been a long time since she’d seen them.  It’s a perk of living here.  They travel from their home in Minnesota to their son and daughter in law’s place in Atlanta twice a year.  We’re on the route.  It was so lovely to meet them and spend some time getting to know them a little.  I enjoyed their company.

OK… time to pet Weston again.  He’s being a tad needy, but I don’t mind… who can resist that look of love.  Not I, that’s for sure.  I love this little guy…. and his cutie little sister.


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Hey all… been a few days.  Again.  We had a busy weekend, a lay low day on Monday (Karen had to work, but we didn’t go anywhere), went to get some new glasses ordered for Karen yesterday and stopped off at the park to take the dogs for a walk on the way home, and now today we are going in for my first shot and to pick up my meds and do my blood draw.

Last weekend… had a great weekend.  Went to a family dinner at Mom and Don’s place on Saturday.  It was great seeing everyone.  Really good.  Had some tasty vittles as well.  Then Sunday we went to Chris and Jessica’s wedding.  It was great seeing so many people from the Juvenile Department.  I miss them and it’s always so nice to spend time with them.  They rock.  The wedding was nice as well.  Casual, comfortable, and laid back.  Nice.  Congratulations Chris and Jessica!

Maintenance starts today.  Two years of it, but hey… I get to get back to more of a normal life.  That’s the best part.  I will have a shot every Wednesday that we have to go to the clinic for and a med I’ll be taking every day.  Then there’s the ATRA that I will take for 15 days every three months.  Not too bad really.  We can work around it.  We picked Wednesdays for the shot so that we could go away for a long weekend if we wanted to and it wouldn’t interfere.  We are now working with Nancy to try and get it squared away for our planned trip to England over Christmas.  We already had our tickets before this all started and now are trying to work it out so that I can get my shot from an oncology department either in Lancaster or close to it.  Go Nancy!

I have an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat doctor on Friday.  My oncologist referred me.  I have this itchy throat that won’t quite go away.  Some days are better than others, but it’s annoying.  It makes me cough… sometimes so hard I start gagging.  Though I have a really sensitive gag reflex so it doesn’t take much.  But anyway… Dr. Bigler didn’t see anything in my throat, but wanted me to see someone who could look a little bit more.  They may put a little camera down my throat… yuck.  We shall see on Friday.  I just hope they can do something about this itch.  Maybe it’s allergies… maybe it’s my throat, etc. healing after my GI track was beaten up all this time by chemo… we don’t know.  Like I said… we shall see what the doc says on Friday.

Otherwise…. the weather is good.  Supposed to start raining tomorrow evening, but for now it’s beautiful. Blue sky out there.  Really lovely.  I love fall weather actually… it’s sunny, yet crisp out there.  It’s supposed to get up to almost 70 today, which is wonderful, but it’s crisp out there right now.  The light is always so fantastic in the fall.  Did anyone see that moon the last few nights?  Wow.  So bright out there.  Hope everyone has been enjoying these lovely lovely days!




Have A Seat, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

Monday Sunshine

Monday and beautiful outside. I love these days. Crisp air, blue sky, fall feeling, leaves changing and falling. This is an absolutely gorgeous place to live.



Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl

I think Weston and Riley’s outside water bowl needs to be emptied and re-filled, don’t you? Though really…. they don’t stay out long enough in the rain to need a drink. They are fair weather pups. No rain shall touch them… if they can help it.

The Color of Fall

The Color of Fall

Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl

The leaves are changing, the weather has changed, and soon the time will follow. Yes ladies and gents… autumn has arrived.



Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl

I decided, since I’m pretty behind in posting the inner workings of our lives over the last couple of months, I would sort of post a general overview of what’s happened, what we’ve been up to, and general “stuff” related to that.

It’s fall now. Obvious, I know. For us this means leaves are falling like mad all around our little hovel. The consequence of this is that soon, very soon, the leaf blower and the rakes will come out. A task we both detest, but have to do. Not fun, but so great when it’s done and the place looks all spiffed up.

Photo Hunt – Purple

In The Clear, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

The theme for this week’s Photo Hunt is purple. I remembered that I’d taken a few shots during the fall of 2007 that might fit the bill and when I looked I discovered this one.  Then I realized I’d posted it here at the Think Tank before.  Ah well… I like it, so it’s getting used again, but I realize it’s a re-posting party foul.  What’s a girl to do?

If you’d like to join in all the amazing photo hunt action, CLICK HERE for details.

The Last Bloom

The Last Bloom, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

Here it is, the last bloom on our red rose bush this year. Sad to see them go. There’s something about fall though, putting things to bed, getting things buttoned up. I like it.


photo.jpg, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

Fog over the Columbia River, Oregon.

Taken with the iPhone camera.


Geranium, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

Sometimes a photo turns out differently from what you expected. I intended to take this as a macro shot, which I did. I just didn’t realize how it would look after it was taken. There’s something about it, very much like a portrait of a flower. I liked it.

Savoring The Day

I feel like I’m playing hookie. Always do. It’s Veteran’s Day and I don’t have to work today. Neither does Karen. Nice.

We’re both sitting in the office, each at our respective desks on our respective computers, each with a cup of tea, music playing, and Weston curled up sleeping on his bed next to his red stuffed dog. It is storming outside… rain coming down in sheets, wind blowing all the leaves that had been clinging on for dear life off their trees and around the yard, wind chimes making beautiful sounds. It’s a great fall day in Oregon and here we are, all three of us, warm and cozy inside of our house. Life is very very good.

I love extra days off. It’s like getting a little gift. Extra time together to play or work around the house, to run errands, or just snuggle up and watch a movie. Any time out of the normal working week I can steal away for us, this little family of mine, the happier I am. As I said… it’s a gift. A gift I’m savoring today.

It’s Poetry Time Again

It’s fall, and it seems that during these months my need to read and write poetry comes on strong.  The two poems that follow are some of my older stuff.

Mums The Word


Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl

I took this one yesterday. They are the last flowers to bloom in our yard this year and are putting up a good fight, hanging on pretty well. The dew was very heavy yesterday, as it’s been most days in the last week or so. Lots of fog hanging low in the hills.

Weston At The Park


Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl

Cathedral Park

Cathedral Park

Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl