Monday, January 26, 2009

Ten Things You Might Already Know About Me

My first name comes from a doll in a Beatrix Potter story, "The Tale of Two Bad Mice."

I began ballet lessons as an adult. I had foot surgery and needed to strengthen my foot and keep it flexible. It kept the rest of me strong and flexible too. I was the only one in class with discernable breasts and hips. The others all lived on bullion and hot tea. How sad!

I am an avid herb gardener. I'm good with fruit trees too. For some reason, vegetables scare me a little. I'm growing them anyway.

My first job, with a paycheck, was School Crossing Guard. It paid a dollar a day. Doing this job, on the windswept prairie, was pure misery in the winter. I never complained or quit. I bought savings bonds with my money and vowed never to allow myself to be that cold again.

I have always gotten along well with my parents, even as a teenager.

I learned American Sign Language as a child. I wouldn't say I'm all that fluent at this point because I have no one with whom I can converse. The little town I grew up in was very near a state school for the deaf and when I was very young, several of the school's students lived in that town. We played together in the summer. I, and other "hearing" children who attended the public school, drove our teachers crazy by signing to one another during class and study halls. They couldn't really punish us for talking, so they would move us so that we were no longer facing one another. All this came to a halt when Mrs Grell, our sixth grade teacher, moved to town. She was a hearing person raised by deaf parents. She not only understood our signing, she read lips too. Ouch!

When I write in my journal, I start in the back and end in the front. I have no idea why. Moleskine Cahier Notebooks are my favorite. When I was in elementary school, I stitched my own journals from scrap paper.

I work in the "carriage trade".

I learned to knit and hand sew before the age of three. I won't say I was immediately good at either of them.

I look like my paternal grandmother when she was younger.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


"When they answered the bell on that wild winter night,
there was no one expected - and no one in sight.
Then they saw something standing on top of an urn,
Whose peculiar appearance gave them quite a turn."
--Edward Gorey

For many months I have felt not quite myself but not horrible. Unable to put my finger on what was wrong. Last month, I bought new jeans and had to buy a size 6 instead of the usual 4. Berating myself and wondering how this could happen, I ramped up my workouts. Then I started feeling pain in my lower right quadrant. My appendix got the big snip in 1983 so that couldn't be the problem. I assumed I had strained my abs and eased off the resistance training a bit. It got worse instead of better.

Tuesday I had an ultrasound and found that I have a benign tumor in my abdomen, the size of a regulation softball. It's pressing on my spine, the nerves to my right leg, and various organs.

So. Good news, actually Great News: not cancer and not embedded in any organ. Mediocre news: It will have to come out.

And I want it out. It's an univited guest making the rest of me uncomfortable and anemic. It's very weird to think there is something inside that size and I only just became aware of it!

Don't know the schedule for this yet but posts may continue to be scant for a little while.