On Cancer

Check early, and check often.

That’s what they say, and I have to agree. Please, PLEASE get screened for cancer early detection as soon and as often as it’s recommended. (I just went in for my regular screening, and all is normal. This post is not about me.)

An out-of-state friend of mine recently discovered that her breast cancer has progressed and is worse than originally thought. The details of this whole thing is her story to tell, not mine. The part of the story that is mine to tell is this: I thought we had many more years of time to chat online and have the occasional in-person visit. We don’t. We might never see each other in person again. And that sucks.

She did the right things, too. She got tested, and then got treatment. And it still doesn’t look like that was enough.

The thing is, it is enough for a lot of cancers, but people still don’t go check. They “hate the doctor” or “it won’t make a difference anyway” or they “feel fine” and “aren’t sick”. If you can, GO CHECK. No excuses. If you don’t have health insurance that will cover it (which is a matter for a different post) then please at least research how you can self-check, and DO THAT.

Not checking is not okay.

This isn’t my usual light blog fare, but it’s important. Please. Don’t wait until it’s too late to do something.


Misc Monday ~ in which we wish our Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, eh?

I was reminded by Lorraine that Canadian Thanksgiving is today. I always forget what day it is, since it’s a different day than Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US, but I knew that it was before Halloween. Personally, I would rather celebrate before Halloween too, so that Thanksgiving got its proper celebration without being eclipsed by Christmas. Oh well.

Hmm. Maybe I can find a way to celebrate both American and Canadian Thanksgivings, so that I get pie twice. Hmm. Must look into that.

Since I’ve never lived anywhere other than the US, I’ve only ever learned the American Thanksgiving traditions. You know, turkey, pilgrims, Indians*, stuffing, Snoopy, and toast. (What?) When I decided to write this blog post, I thought I’d look into it a little.


Wiki says that Canadian Thanksgiving was a bit more flexible than I remember learning about, but I don’t actually know how long ago the American Thanksgiving dates and traditions and such were set. I do know that I like having it on a Thursday (US version) instead of a Monday (Canadian version) because this way we get more days off work.  😉

Then again, having Canadian Thanksgiving on a Monday means that there’s no Black Friday shopping nonsense afterwards. Maybe they do it the right way, after all.

There are other bonuses to having Thanksgiving in October. It’s still warm enough that you can spend the day outside without difficulty. It’s earlier in the year, so it stays light a little later. And it means you can put up your Christmas decorations right after Halloween without anyone complaining that it’s “too early”.

At any rate, Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends! May you have lots to be thankful for.

* not a proper term to use now, but that’s how it was when I was taught about Thanksgiving in school. I hope that schools these days use the more proper Native Americans / First Nations / Indigenous Peoples.

Misc Monday ~ in which my weekend was derailed

Well. Life happens sometimes, you know? And accidents happen.

This weekend’s accident involved broken china, deep cuts, and three stitches. I’m not going to go into more detail that that, since the accident is Mr. Wyrm’s story to tell more than mine. (He’s fine now. Otherwise I would be taking care of him instead of writing a blog post.) However, it did mean that instead of spending my weekend being productive like I was supposed to be, I spent several hours of it sweeping up broken china and waiting at the urgent care clinic.

That did mean that I had some good knitting time. But it also meant that I didn’t have the focus to work on anything super detailed, and so I followed the urge to cast on a brand-new project.

Reyna start

This is Reyna (here’s the Ravelry pattern page) and I’m using Queensland Collection Uluru yarn to make it. So far I love it. It has enough of a pattern that I was able to stay interested in it, but is simple enough that worry didn’t cause me to mess anything up.

Reyna start

I have gotten significantly further than this, but haven’t taken any more recent photos yet. That will have to wait for a WIP Weds post sometime later.

Anyway, I hope your weekend was less interesting and more fun than mine. Have a great week!

Misc Monday ~ in which I become one of the 3%

I did something this weekend which I have been wanting to do for a while: I donated blood.

No big deal, right? Yay me. But, it got me thinking. (Part of the reason for the thinking was some of the paperwork & promotional material they had on hand at the donation site.) Why had I not donated before? I’ve been eligible (off & on) since I was old enough, and this is the first time I donated.

Well, I guess it’s the same reasons a lot of eligible people don’t donate. Too busy, too much of a hassle to go somewhere to do it, and – the big one for most people – NEEDLES. Ick. Giving blood for lab work is bad enough; you want me to voluntarily get a needle stuck in me?

And yet, I don’t really feel that way about needles. Shots are no big deal. Blood work (now) isn’t much worse. Just don’t make me watch the needle going in, and I’m fine. (When I was a kid the story was different and involved a tech trying and failing to find my vein multiple times, but that was then and this is now.)

Anyway, I finally got there, thanks in no small part to my dad booking the appointment for me. I’d been wanting to go donate, but he made the extra push that got me off my butt to actually do it.

And while I was there, I found out that only 37% of the American public is eligible to donate. Between permanent disqualifications (diseases, lifestyle, medications), temporary ones (shorter term illnesses, international travel, vaccines), and age restrictions, that leaves only 37% of the population who can donate. And of that percentage, only 5% do donate. In my specific area? Make it 3%. Yes. You read that right. Only 3% of people in my area donate blood.

And I hadn’t been… why again? Because it was too much of a bother.

Yeah. That’s gonna change.

With the current political climate, I’ve been trying to come up with things I can do to make a change for the better. This is one of them.

Ten On Tuesday ~ Holiday Happiness

Hi Everyone,
The Ten On Tuesday topic for Tuesday, December 8, 2015, is 10 Things You Truly Enjoy About the Holiday Season.
Have fun!

This is a fun topic. There is a lot I enjoy about this season! I’m going to list the first ten that come to mind, in no order of preference…

  1. The Messiah sing-along. (Fresh in my mind, since that was Monday night.)
  2. Disneyland all dressed up for Christmastime! (And no one is surprised…)
  3. Singing Christmas carols.
  4. Listening to Christmas carols.
  5. Watching a wonderful local (annual) production of “The Christmas Carol”.
  6. Cookie baking! Yum.
  7. Visiting with friends and family.
  8. Wrapping presents and putting them under the tree. I don’t really have a true explanation for why, but it just makes me happy.
  9. The weather. Especially when combined with holiday treats like peppermint hot chocolate and hot cider.
  10. Driving around and looking at Christmas light displays. All the sparkly lights feel so festive and happy.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Ten On Tuesday ~ November

Hi Everyone,
The Ten On Tuesday topic for Tuesday, December 1, 2015 is 10 Best Things You Did In November.
Have fun!

Rabbit rabbit rabbit! Happy December, everyone! Let’s see what I did last month, hmm? It was a relatively quiet month (especially compared to past Novembers – such as three years ago, when I got engaged at the end of November). Quiet can be good, though! I enjoyed last month, even though it was a fairly calm month.

  1. Caroling rehearsals! We perform with a local theatre company and sing in Victorian costume. Great way to bring in money for the company’s slow time.
  2. Baked an apple pie. I think I may have been able to find my grandma’s pie recipe, so this makes me very happy.
  3. Thanksgiving with my family. It was lovely.
  4. Cuddled with Mr. Wyrm and Suzy-cat.
  5. Bought spiced cider from Trader Joe’s! Yum. I love that stuff. (Not quite as good as home-mulled cider, but instead of taking hours on the stove or in the Crock Pot, it takes a minute or two in the microwave.)
  6. Watched “The Full Monty” (stage production) live at one of my local community theatres.
  7. Went to brunch and the 75th anniversary of “Fantasia” with some friends.
  8. Saw the doctor. Not what people normally think of as a “best thing” to do, but it meant I was able to get meds to help me through this allergy / cold / whatever season, so I count it as a wonderful thing.
  9. Came home from a wonderful trip to Disney World! Yeah, this wasn’t quite as nice a thing as the trip itself, but it was still nice to be home.
  10. Played games on the PS4. (Diablo III, currently.) This may seem like a minor thing, but it was relaxing and fun. And that is one of the best things I can do for myself.

Have a great December!

Ten On Tuesday ~ Home Sweet Home

The Ten on Tuesday topic for 6/30/2015 is 10 Things You Love About Your Home.
Have fun!

My home, huh? Cool, let’s see what I come up with:

1. It’s not a rental. It is nice to be building equity in a home.

2. We have a working AC and heater. After growing up without AC, and having lived in apartments with sketchy heating, this is major.

3. It’s in a nice town. (City? Whatever.) Doesn’t feel too huge, but it’s still big enough that I am happy. I’m very much a suburbs girl, and I feel very at home here.

4. We aren’t swimming in it. The size of the house is perfect for me and Mr. Wyrm.

5. Someone else does the landscaping. (We have an HOA that handles it.) Don’t get me wrong, I like gardening. But I never have/make the time for it these days, so it’s nice that I don’t have to.

6. We have a garage. And we can actually put a car in it. (I’m so used to either not having a garage – apartment living again – or having a garage that is full of stuff instead of cars, that this is a novelty.) It would be nice if it was bigger, since it’s only a 1-car garage, but better than nothing!

7. We have high ceilings. This makes heating sometimes annoying, but it shows off our artwork really nicely.

8. Modern kitchen! The person who had the place before us did a bunch of upgrades, and I love cooking in it.

9. Walking distance to our favorite local Mexican restaurant! We can have margaritas without worrying about who’s gotta drive home!

10. We have a good blend of carpet and hardwood floors. I love them both, and they’re in the right places. (For instance, unlike in a prior home, I don’t step out of bed and onto a hardwood floor. I do love having carpeting under my bed.)

I do love where I live. How about you?