May 30, 2006


HA! Look! My first rose has bloomed on the new rose bushes my husband planted for me last week. Yippee! I have roses again. If you don't remember the rose bush massacre of spring 2005, well then, let me refresh your memory. I killed them. Rather, I really should admit that I slowly dismembered 5 rose bushes branch by branch with the soul intent to maintain them, only to find out that these particular rose bushes that our landscaper planted were "maintenance free" bushes. Really now honey, something you could have mentioned to me, BEFORE I hacked them to bits.

And so.... my beautiful roses died (at my hands) a particularly gruesome death. I've mourned them all year long. ..... and the guilt. Oh, the guilt. Let's not even go there.

Nevertheless, to see life again outside of my bay window, renews my spirit. It is a sign that all is lovely again in my world.


My bunnies must be Twitterpated, 'cause they're multiplying like cr-a-zy!

I just can't help it, friends. I can knit and talk at the same time while making up these little cuties. They are absolute "no brainers" that make you smile when attaching the ears and tails on. In other words....instant gratification.

And here are some cute bunny butts for you. I pretty much stole this idea from fellow blogger knitter friend Connie Adorable.

***************** The Ends ********************

May 27, 2006


I've been tagged with this Meme by my friend Kelle of Knits and Giggles.

Seven Things to do before I Die:

1. ah, get a job I suppose.
2. Go back to Hawaii ....and snorkel on Hanauuma Bay, but with my children this time.
3. Take a short cruise.
4. Laser hair I'll never have to tweeze again.
5. Grow old gracefully.
6. Decide on window coverings for my kitchen nook. (it's harder than you think,
7. Knit an (heirloom worthy) family afghan.

Seven Things I Cannot Do:

1. Multi-task
2. Get through an episode of Oprah, without crying
3. Cook. I've even taken classes to learn. But, still I can't cook. (I think it's a
multi-tasking related thing)I can bake, though.

4. Look at yarn and not touch it, even if I know I am allergic to it and will sneeze
and eye-water for the rest of the day (and even the week perhaps) by doing so.

5. control my urge to dance when I hear either salsa or disco music.
6. feel comfortable wearing flip flops
7. Convince my husband to start making that dining room furniture that he has been
promising me for years now.

Seven Things That Attracted Me to My Husband:

1. His amazingly beautiful blue eyes
2. His neverending patience with me and with problem solving in general.
3. He is a humble genius.
4. He has an incredible respect for even the smallest of living creatures.
5. He use to be able to dance a pretty romantic Bolero. Probably still could.
6. Always sees the glass as being half full instead of empty.
7. And well, he loves me, so I gotta love that
about him, right?

Seven Books That I Love:

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
2. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
3. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
5. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (*gasp* shocking, I know)
6. Love is a choice by Hemfelt, Minirth, Meier (self-help)
7. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. (childhood favorite)

Seven Things That I Say on Any Given Day:

1. Sorry I'm late, but.....
2. Listen up kids, 'cause I'm only gonna say this once......
3. How many times do I have to tell you ..............??
4. "Make Good Choices!" (as I shoo my kids out the front door for school)
5. Are you serious!?
6. Where's the remote?....okay, and now who took the batteries out again?
7. Have I told you lately how much I love you? Well I do.

Seven Movies I've Loved:

1. Notting Hill
2. Dirty Dancing
3. Sixteen Candles
4. Anne Of Green Gables
5. The Color Purple
6. While you were Sleeping
7. The Full Monty

Now it's my turn to tag someone. Okay,'re it!

May 23, 2006

Blogging bunnies

Okay, well I just loved my knitter friend Connie's post showcasing her adorable knitted bunnies sooooo much - that I had to just knit one up real quick for me. Here is mine. (which my little Olivia was quick to claim as her own)

And here are Connie's.

C'mon? Admit it. You think they are adorable too, don'tcha? and they are so easy to make. Just for you......

bunny pattern

So here I am, sitting at the computer.....the kids are all tucked in for the night and I hear crickets chirping outside my open windows. I love spring! I love everything about it here. I love that the weather reminds me of San Jose, I love the flowers that are blooming everywhere you turn...I love being surprised to see the occassional baby bunny or two chasing each other in the grass ....but I also love that at any given moment you can have severe thunder storms and buckets of rain falling when it was just sunny moments before. Unfortunately, this time of year doesn't last long. I am already dreading the start of mosquito season. And I fear they are going to be out in full force very soon. Which means only one thing.....I'll probably be regretting by seasons end that I hadn't bought stock in the "Deep Woods Off" Company.

And every year I vow to buy this t-shirt. Just because it makes me smile.

I am feeling so much better these past few days. My lymphedema seems to come and go, and at times can be painful, but for the most part I am feeling bendy again. I can tie my shoes and pick up things (like lego) up off of the floor and (ooh my favorite) watching the Roomba Robot vaccuum my carpet, while I sit back and knit bunnies. Hmmm, almost as satisfying as watching Byron do house work. Although with Roomba there is no nagging involved and completely free of self induced guilt.

May 21, 2006

Meals on Wheels

I have never eaten so well in all my life. It must be a Minnesota thing, cause people keep bringing me food. Take-Out, home cooked , baked from scratch, lots of yummy yummy culinary delights. It's all comfort food. My family is feeling so spoiled and well, yes (we admit) feeling a little pudgy too. My children are thanking me daily for having had gone through surgery. No, really, they are. They don't eat this well even when I am feeling my best. Everyone knows that I don't cook. (Not well, anyhow.) Thank you friends and neighbors for the wonderful 3 course meals you've brought for my family. You have helped us so much more than you can possibly imagine.

and speaking of food.....My friend Anne hosted a luncheon in her home for a bunch of knitting friends on Wednesday. It was wonderful. She made grilled pork and chicken, and salads and desserts and breads and raspberry jelly from scratch. It was so much fun and incredibly tasty and it was my first social outing since the surgery. Oh and hey.....did I mention that there was meat there? Yes, meat! So now you all can be rest assured that I am eating properly for a (vegetarian only through marriage) carnivore. Thanks Anne!

I have been busy this week knitting a Charlie Bear. As seen above (sitting) and below (standing.) Knitting is Pretty much the only thing I am allowed to do, since nobody will let me lift a finger around here. Anyhow, this little teddy was so much fun to knit. I am almost always inspired to knit teddy bears. The satisfaction of seeing their faces and personality come alive when piecing them together is indescribable. But I have to be careful and try not to get too attached as always there is someone for whom the bear is intented..... from the very first cast on stitch. In this case, Charlie Bear is named after the little boy it is going to. I'm comforted that Charlie Bear is going to a good home and will be loved.

May 11, 2006

It's the little things that matter..........

Okay, I know people are reading this blog since I always get huge e-mail response after I post.....and believe me.....I LOVE IT! Keep it coming........But, would it kill you to leave a comment here once in a while?

FYI, there is a section at the end of each post where you click on comments.....and beleive is easy as pie and really not all that scary. You can even leave an anonymous comment if you'd like. Just a plain little "hi" is a great way to start. Or, "I liked that post", or "cool picture." I can also handle the not so nice comments too.....but like my mama always says, "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all."

Here is the part where I am gonna show off a little bit. I have received so many wonderful things from family and friends that I just want to parade it all for everyone to see. Thank you for the cards, the yummy meals and goodies, the phone calls and visits. The gifts, the flowers, and also all the playdates and childcare for the kids. You can't imagine how wonderful it makes me feel to know how much everyone cares.

This is from Olivia. She spent her tooth fairy money to buy me this bracelet from the gift shop at the hospital. Nana was with her and bought the matching daughter bracelet for Olivia - so that we could be twins. Olivia just loved that. As did I.

This lavender calla Lily is from Dana and the sweet little bird is from Barb. They are both such good friends and neighbors.

Dawn brought over these yummy treats. mmmm....mmmmmm.......good!

I received this Get Well Balloon with candy on it from little Blake who lives in my neighborhood. What a sweetie pie!

And here is the picture of the pretty bracelet that little Sofia brought me last week. Notice the poem on the inside lid of the box.

My Aunt Isabelle in Colorado brought me to tears when I received this bookmark inside a card that she sent with the simple yet powerful words on it.. "You Are Loved"

And last (but certainly not least) a huge thank you to my best friend Laura who spoils me rotten, not just now (when I've needed it the most), but all the time over the past 12 years since we began as pen-pals.

She has sent me handstamped cards (practically one a day) for the past week, and lots of care packages for my recovery.

Can you beleive that she made all of those cards from scratch? She is amazing!

Okay, a little break from pictures for now......there are many more to post stay tuned. Thank you all for everything. The smallest act of kindness means so much to me.................................

( leaving a comment here)*wink*


May 10, 2006

Two Angels

My staples were removed today. a small milestone, but one that I am grateful for. This should help speed up my healing. But hey, listen....that's not all. It gets even better......

My pathology test results came back. They are all negative. And I mean that as - Negative in a positive way. In other words......No chemotherapy needed.
I am cancer-free.


Perhaps I should be doing cartwheels right now.....(As if?)) but more than anything, what I feel today is complete emotional relief from the stress of what could have been. We all know this could have gone completely different.

I draw strength from two incredible women. They are all that I have thought of almost every single minute of every single day since I first talked with my doctor in late February. Julianne Romero and Jennifer Fick.

My sister Julianne, died from a very rare in-operable brain tumor at the age of 24. I was only 17 years old and she was my idol. I looked up to her in every way. She was gifted from birth with talent, beauty, smarts, immeasureable happiness and unparrallelled energy. She had her whole life still ahead of her and then suddenly had to deal with the reality of having to face death. Her joy, (up to the very end) - was her gift to everyone. She never let us see her suffer. I think it was her way of helping us cope with our grief after she passed.

I remember when I turned 25 years old and feeling guilty that I had lived longer than she had. Why did I get an extra year and she didn't? Nothing made sense.

The other, is Jennifer Fick. Someone whom I deeply regret not personally knowing better. She died two years ago from ovarian cancer. Her son and my son have been in the same classroom every year since first grade and I doubt that they have ever had lunch at school apart from one another. They are very close friends. And so through our son, Eric, we followed Jennifer's fight with cancer very closely. What an amazing woman. What an amazing family. How is one expected to face the reality of leaving behind a loving and devoted husband and two young children? She had to. And she did it with grace and courage. She did it with faith, and a sense of peace that surpassed all understanding. Remarkable.

No doubt that I have two angels looking over me.....and for them I am especially grateful today.

May 08, 2006

Oh Joy!

Hello. This is Lisa, and yes this is still my knitting blog. But since so many other things are going on right now with me.......I think all knitting related material is on the back burner for now. So, if you're here to see the lastest thing I've knitted or felted or hear about the newest technique I've better mosey on along to another blog ....'cause all you are gonna get here is my ramblings on and on about my most recent diagnosis with cancer and how I'm dealing. This blog is a good conduit for me.

Today I woke up feeling better. I've found my joy again. Yesterday, as you can tell from my last entry, I was rather quite emotional. I suppose it couldn't have helped much either that my mom and I watched the Oprah Anniversary DVD collection. I mean, you can pretty much always count on Oprah to make you cry.......but goodness all the big "Oprah" moments all rolled up into one day. Let me just say.....we were sobbing. And my mom and I are the first to admit that we are not pretty criers. So, we're thinking that we should probably stay away from Oprah for awhile.

I found this beautiful flowering plant on my doorstep on Friday morning. Isn't it gorgeous? It is from our friends, The Johnsons who live directly across the street from me. Furthermore, Mindy Johnson happens to have the most envy-able tulips (and landscaping for that matter)in all of Settles Ridge(our neighborhood) growing in her front yard. And that is my view every day. How lucky am I? Thank you Brian, Mindy, Ben, Taylor and Nick. *hugs*

This Wine Gift Basket is from my boss *wink* over at WineStyles Boutique. This is a thank you from her for helping out a little bit in her store and for getting things organized on her website. She so could have so done it all without me and I didn't even do that much, but look at all this great stuff. A bottle of Cabernet Zinfandel, Cabernet chocolate blueberries, a wine journal, and a pretty hefty Spalon Montage Gift Certificate. She is certainly one classy lady, a good friend, and the best next door neighbor anyone could wish for.

And my Dad sent me these. Anybody who knows me well, knows that daisies are my favorite flowers. (With Tulips coming in a very close second.) Thanks Daddy.

May 06, 2006


I am very emotional today. I just realized something that I have been deny-ing. I've been diagnosed with cancer. (more on that later) It doesn't help that I have a fever either today which is probably what is making me feel achey and lightheaded and nauseaus, and why I probably can't control my tears. I am certainly at my worst. Not a pretty sight.

Little Sofia from next door brought me the prettiest little present. A beautiful bracelet with the words peace, hope and serenity on it. On the inside lid of the beautiful blue box, was this beautiful little poem.

Peace, Hope, Serenity

When life is stressful,
find your inner peace
When you feel discouraged,
Have hope
Combine the two
And serenity will envelope you.

What a tiny miracle that this came at the very minute that I needed it the most. It of course made me cry.....but a happy cry and I feel much better. I will post a picture once I down-load it.

I don't know how to thank everyone for all the wonderful sentiments, and gifts and love and support. So I will post pictures. Words don't seem enough. Thank you for everything.

Amy brought by knitting magazines! *smiles* and chocolate always helps....and the new yarn harlot book!

And here is the Joy of Knitting book, and the Joy of knitting companion book from my friends Deb and Carrie over at Coldwater Collaborative knitting store in Excelsior. Very cool.

Take a look-see at this pretty bouquet of flowers from Olivia's friend Brianna. How lovely they are to look at.

I have more pictures to post.....but I think I need to take a break for now.

Oh, but one more thank you before I go. A special thanks to my neighbor Jill for organizing meals for us. She seems to think of everything before I even have the chance to ask. And for the record, Byron is really looking forward to the meals. Thank You you have no idea how happy a simple meal for my family makes me.


When I went to bed last night I told myself..."Lisa, you are gonna feel better tomorrow already, damn-it! No matter what!"

Well, on the contrary, I woke up in a lot of pain and feeling very nauseaus.....and then these arrived.

Oh, aren't they lovely? This picture truly doesn't even do the beauty of these tulips justice. Thank you Doug and Tammy. You've certainly brightened up my day.

Then my new neighbor brought over this.......

Homemade Blueberry and banana bread. Yum-my! Thank you Jennifer.

and then this afternoon while sitting on my porch in my pajama's breathing in some fresh air, Mr. Postman delivered a small little package to me from fellow blogger/knitter friend Chris

Chocolate, tissue, cuticle creme, and check it out....a felted tulip kit. I can't wait to knit it up. Thank You!

So, it is the end of the day, and although I woke up feeling lousy....I am going to bed feeling loved and knowing that there is just so much to feel blessed and grateful

May 05, 2006

My Perspective

I checked into the hospital on Monday morning. Surgery was scheduled to be about 2 hours long. It ended up taking about four and a half hours. My surgeon made three small laparoscopic incisions and was able to remove my left ovarian tumor. He said it was smooth and the size of a grapefruit. (Yep, no kidding.....the size of a freaking grapefruit .) I asked him to repeat that several times just to confirm that I was hearing him correctly. Anyway, He sent my ovary and affected filoppian (sp?) tube to pathology while I was still on the table, to have it tested. He seemed confident that it was benign and started to close me up. But the report came back from pathology that it was cancerous. I had to be reopened immediately with a large bikini line incision to dissect lymph nodes for biopsy. While doing that, I had the unexpected complication of excessively bleeding and lost a lot of blood which required a transfusion. After all this, I was stapled back together and was sent to recovery in stable condition. I felt pain and had lots of blurred vision and lightheadedness when I woke up. I felt very loopy on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then last night, they tested my hemoglobin and found it very low and gave me yet another blood transfusion. Upon receiving that, I felt much better. I was happy to be able to come home this morning. I didn't want to miss Olivia's school performance. She had a speaking part in her first grade play this afternoon.

Basically this is what I have or had (past tense possible) A very rare form of cancer known as Granulosa stromal cell tumor. Only 1 to 2 % of ovarian cancers presents in this form. So, if I am going to have ovarian cancer, this is the one to get. It typically is not a fast spreading cancer and is usually treatable with just surgery . I should not need any chemotherapy to follow up the surgery, but that will depend on what the lymph node biopsy results are. Hopefully I will get those results soon.

We, (as the doctor suggested) got very lucky. We were the only good news our oncologist Dr. Boente
got to deliver on Monday. There were many other families on the cancer care center floor with us that were not so lucky. For now....I am calling myself a cancer survivor. I 'm counting my many blessings. I am feeling very tired and sore. I have about 20 staples in my abdomen and a lot of bad bruising. One side effect of having the lymph nodes removed is that now I have what is called lymphnode edima. My left leg is swollen to twice the size of the other and is a wee bit uncomfortable to walk on. But they have given me some great drugs to help with recovery. My mom is here and has been a wonderful help to me and to Byron and the kids.

Thanks to everyone for your concern and thoughtfulness. Thanks for all the flowers, cards and gifts and for coming to visit me in the hospital or calling me there to see how I was doing. It feels so good to know that everyone cares so much. I'm feeling the love, people. Feelin' the love. Take Care