Ruth's musings

I have been dealing with breast cancer for a while, and have been sharing my journey with friends, family, and prayer partners. This blog brings all my updates together in one place, and leaves me free to muse on other parts of my life. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The fat lady rides

As promised, here are some photos of me on a bike . . . for the first time in eighteen years!

It should be against my better judgement, but you have my permission to zoom in on this second one!

I am having a good time. I have a part in a play reading with the kids. I play "wealthy dowager," and "Pirate #1" and another bit role. Matt shines as the Scary Pirate and the "Bearded Scholar," also "Kevin" from the "Backstreet Boys." You would have to see it to believe it, and that ain't gonna happen. Unlike these photos!

Take care! See you soon!


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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hello from Nebraska!

Yes, I am in my home state. I am once again chaperoning a group of theater students from my son's school to the International Thespian Society's annual festival at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. A lot of fun is had by all, and lots of shows are seen. These are all high school productions, but good-quality ones. I also get to see my brother, Andy, who lives nearby, and plan to spend some time with him and my cousin Jan on Thursday. In the meantime, I am getting lots of exercise.

The last time I came here, two years ago, I got very sore from walking all over. The theater teacher rented a bicycle for the week, so I thought I would do the same. Now, I am sore in different places. I don't think I have ridden a bike for over 18 years. I used to ride one all the time in Kenya, but haven't done so since then. I also used to have a lambswool bicycle seat cover. Remind me to bring that along next time. I will ask somebody to take pictures of the funny-looking fat old lady on the bike so I can share it with you all.

Next time may be some time from now. Matt has graduated, and is not eligible to participate as a student next year. Timmy has shown some interest in theater, but won't be eligible to come for two more years. I don't think I will spend any of my limited vacation time to chaperon a trip when one of my children is not on it. As it is, I get to take care of the ten girls, making sure they get in by curfew every night, and helping with anything else they may need.

I am getting a bit of crocheting done. I made a string bag for water bottles. It has a very long handle so it can be slung across the chest. If it needs to be smaller, I tie a knot in it. Another thing we need a photo of. I may well be able to plug my data card from my camera directly into this computer. Another technology adventure!

Now, excuse me while a creak out of this chair. I have a play to attend!

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

And another milestone

Yesterday I went to see the physical therapist. I have been having neck and back pain, and wondered what to do about it. She gave me some exercises to do, which won't be too bad, if I just do them.

She also mentioned that I had a "dowager's hump." This has been a bad week for me for facing my age.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

A milestone . . . dang it

Yesterday I was in Safeway. I pulled my cart up to the checkstand, where a perky young girl was running the register. I unloaded all my reusable bags, including some of my string bags.

She said, "Oh, those are cute bags!"

I said, "Thank you."

She said, "Did you make them yourself?"

I said, "Yes, ma'am!"

She said, "How long does it take?"

I said, "About eight hours."

She said, "That's not too bad."

I said, "Yeah, I can usually bat out one a week when I am not working on something else. Right now I am working on other things."

She said, "Oh? What are you making?"

I said, "A baby blanket . . ."

She said, "Oh? For your granddaughter or son?"


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ruth Update, June 9, 2007

Dear Friends, Relatives, and Prayer partners,

It has come to my attention that I haven't updated you on my medical status in a while. The good news is, there is no news. My last PET scan came out clean for cancer, though the person submitting the report said something about an area on my right hip (the one that didn't have cancer) being "worrisome" as a possible place for future mets. Whatever that means. Anyway, no active cancer seen at this time.

I will start seeing my new oncologist this coming week. My old oncologist said that my new doc is "fabulous," so I feel better. I have faxed over some of my records, so they know where to start with me. I am just glad this upheaval happened while I was in remission, not while I was in active treatment.

Timmy got the biggest trophy of the chess club a couple of weeks ago. It was a special award for etiquette and attitude. I was so proud of him. He was not expecting it, but then this is not the kind of award you expect to get. The fact that his Dad, brother, and I were at the end-of-year party didn't tip him off, either.

Matt went to the prom last night. My baby! I was a bit envious, as I didn't go to my prom. Nobody asked me, so I didn't go. I don't think one could have gone "stag" at the time. I think times have changed, thank goodness. Matt went with an acquaintance from the theater group. He and Stephanie broke up around Thanksgiving, but are still friends. Matt graduates from high school next week, June 13th. I can't believe it! He is supposed to send out some announcements, but that hasn't happened yet. This is all sneaking up on me!

I also have laryngitis at the moment. Can't talk above a whisper! (shut up, Tony) I get to take codeine cough syrup for it. It tastes pretty vile, but is worth it for the drowsys.

I hope to post some photos on the blog in the near future.

Get your mammograms. Do your self-exams.


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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Recipes that changed my pantry: bread crumbs

It has been a while since I posted one of these. This is from one of my favorite cookbooks: More With Less We were introduced to this cookbook when we lived in Kenya. It has very few convenience foods listed, and even has recipes for thick white sauce to replace the canned soups called for in many recipes. Alas, I usually still use the canned soup! I have not yet gotten there, I guess.

I used to make my own bread crumbs for this dish. I still could, I guess, but I think I am holding out for a food processor to make the job easier! I usually at least double this recipe.


2 cups dry bread crumbs
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t paprika
1 t celery salt -- or celery seed
1 t onion salt -- or onion powder
1/4 t pepper
1 t poultry seasoning -- optional
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Blend ingredients with fork or pastry blender until well mixed. Keeps unrefrigerated in tightly covered container.

When ready to use, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put 1/2 cup coating mix in plastic or paper bag. Moisten chicken pieces with water or milk and shake one piece at a time in bag. Add more mix as needed. Lay chicken skin-side up in greased pan and bake 1 hour or until tender. No turning needed.

Option: use for fish fillets. Bake 30 minutes

Description: "Like a well-known brand of bread-crumb coating mix for chicken"
YIELD: 2 1/3 cups
SOURCE: More-with-Less Cookbook, ed. Doris Janzen Longacre Copyright 1976, Herald Press, Scottdale, PA"
Recipe By Grace Anders, Souderton, PA

Serving Ideas : Bake potatoes along side the chicken.

NOTES I usually use the onion powder rather than the onion salt. If I use the celery seed, I try to grind the spices and herbs in the blender before adding the salt and bread crumbs. I usually use more pepper as my husband likes it that way. This works very well on skinless chicken, and I find that the pan doesn't really need to be greased. Maybe a quick squirt with non-stick spray.