Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Of family and facials…

I’m slowly emerging from my chemo cocoon, having spent most of the extended weekend in bed. Monday, I was able to wield the broom upon our entry, which was more pleasurable than it might sound. The lake glinted silver and blue, the birds swooped and dove, and a hint of fall sent me in for another layer before continuing with my chore. I rewarded myself after my half-hour workout by sitting in the sun watching the holiday boaters, letting the breeze provide the perfect balance to the sun’s warmth. In spite of (or because of) my energetic start to the day, I found myself ready for a 2-hour nap before noon.

After snoozing, I was eager to start catching up on the lost hours from the previous days, but I knew I needed to pace myself. I called my Mom-in-law before heading to the market. Gloria is an active 87-year old, who still kicks butt on the pool table. (That’s her pool cue in its case in the back seat of her car.) She regularly exercises her expertise in worrying about “us kids,” so I find myself cautiously navigating the conversational waters regarding my cancer. I personally find the level of worry interesting, for one of “the faithful,” but it is a comforting thought to know she’s praying for us every evening.

Monday’s conversation was upbeat and somehow we landed on the topic of pampering ourselves, via massage, pedicures and other body treatments. I’ve been spoiled in that the only massages I’ve had have been in-home. Currently, neither massage nor pedicure costs are expenses I spring for, but it’s hardly a hardship.

One treatment we both pondered over is the facial. Call me a dinosaur, but what’s the big deal about facials? Even when my income was decent, I couldn’t get myself revved up to plop down $100+ to have someone massage stuff on my face, especially when I have a masseuse who can do my whole body for less than that. I mean, how many nerve endings are there in my face, and how long can the “facial high” last? I’m still holding the gift certificate one sweetly-intentioned friend gave me 2 years ago for a “chemical peel!” I know they don’t use battery acid, but this doesn’t sound like anything I would want to do to any part of my body, let alone my face. Of course, someone with a cupboard full of brown rice and quinoa is probably not likely to do anything to themselves that has the word “chemical” so obviously involved.

At any rate, it was a sweet conversation, bonding with Gloria. (I’ve only been married to her son for a little over 2 years.) I lost my Mom last February 20th (2009)…less than 2 days later, Gloria lost her husband, Willie, of 50+ years. My Mom had been suffering from Alzheimer’s, but her trip down what was expected to be a long, slow path was halted by a stroke. Willie’s passing was not unexpected, as he’d been suffering from congestive heart failure for several years. Nevertheless, last year was a tough one for Gloria.

So, it was heart-warming to capture this moment last June, 4 months after the passing of my father-in-law. My brother-and-sis-in-law like to add a little friendly competition to our gatherings, via the game of “washers.” Everyone has their own style, and Gloria’s funny-bone was certainly tickled by the delivery of my sis-in-law’s sister, Lollie. I can’t watch this video without smiling!

Back to Monday evening, where I treated myself to a personal massage of my legs and feet, using only essential oils and 100% natural lotion (all recognizable ingredients) while viewing “national treasures” on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. The older I get, the simpler my simple pleasures get.

Finally, I’d like to share another artistically inspiring link. Susan Tuttle’s images require no words. I’m MUCH more tempted to spend $130 on her “Visual Poetry” (digital alteration) workshops than on a facial!


  1. So glad you have reached the other side of the last dose of Chemo, and with your sense of humor in tact.
    My mother has Alzheimers (she's 91) and she is as healthy as a horse, physically, so this isn't going to take her any time soon. My last visit to her she thought I was her sister, and "we" were still young, living on the farm. She thinks she's a teenager. How bad could that be?
    I've had the facial, and the peel after laser treatment. Looked good for a while. Didn't last. Eh! Give me a good body massage any day. AHHHHH! Always good to have you back. Hugs- Sunny

  2. Gorgeous pics, really enjoyed browsing your blog, reading your candid descriptions and knowing through a friend with the same disease that you can live with it, you just have to 'live different' as he says. Your art journal is fascinating and lovely - hope you feel like getting back to that soon!

  3. I'm pleased to see you've been able to do a bit of housework. lol AND see what's going on outside, you've given us a lovely description of it, I feel like I'm there!
    I get massages on a daily basis, but I always ask for my face to be massaged as well. I find a lot of tension lands in my face and it really relaxes me. As for a chemical peel, I use dried egg whites. Thanks for sharing your links and thus, your smiles, Linda.

  4. Enjoyed visiting and reading some of your posts. Your art journal looks awesome.

  5. Really enjoyed looking around your blog. Our lives are truly miracles, aren't they?


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