Saturday, November 26, 2011

Project 365, The "I've given up trying to keep track" Edition

I think technically we're at week 48, but I'm so behind that I quit using the week designation a long time ago! Today I have photos going back almost a month. I hereby promise to do better... NEXT YEAR! lol

I really can't promise to keep up this year since we still have some traveling ahead of us. Later today we head to Sta. Rosa! Woot! And we also have a week-long trip coming up in December because dear friends from the U.S. gave us a week at a time share so we'll be going to an RCI resort in Mina Clavero. Double Woot!

But I do promise to do the best I can and post Project 365 photos when possible.

Okay, these first two photos are from November 6th, which was supposed to be our last Sunday in the U.S. The ladies in my home church gave me a prayer shawl...
...and prayed over me.
I'm so thankful for these women who pray for me, encourage me, laugh with me, and teach me so much.

Now fast forward to last Sunday, November 20th. After church we wrangled a strong young man with a truck to help us transport the suitcases we were leaving (to come later with different groups) to another location. They'll be stored until the groups start coming -- hopefully next April!

No photos (with the camera) until we'd arrived in Argentina. [Note to self: Must figure out how to download photos from phone.] Our second day back we managed a walk around the neighborhood where we're staying. There's a nice little park nearby and an owl started fussing at us.
It did not move from that spot, even when we walked within three or four feet, but it sure did make a lot of noise! We wondered if there wasn't a nest in that hole it was guarding. And then we heard it in stereo, turned around and saw another owl up on this pole:
The sign combined with the owls' racket cracked us up!

I'm constantly learning, and while waiting for a taxi yesterday I saw this sign with a phrase that made no sense to me:
" pague derecho de piso"
Huh?! My literal word-for-word translation made me think "Don't pay for the right of the floor" (or something like that; remember my Spanish is rusty!). Like I said, it made no sense to me. So I asked Ivan. Well, to begin with "derecho de piso" refers to dues paid to join a club. And just as we say in the U.S. that someone has to "pay their dues" and we're not talking about a literal sum of money, in this case it's saying that when you invest in Carlos Paz, you don't have to "pay your dues", because you're immediately part of the "club". That's the gist of it anyway.

Yesterday evening I snapped this shot of downtown Cordoba:
We'd gone to Eduardo's apartment to deal with the paperwork involved in buying a car. He lives on the 8th/9th floors (it's a two-story apartment) on a street downtown. He has an absolutely lovely departamento -- which he owns, so I guess in the states we'd call it a condo. This shot was taken from the balcony on the 10th floor, which houses the common area, including a pool and deck, a quincho (area with parrilla and tables), and a small kitchenette. Eduardo also rents a double garage space several blocks away where he has set up a very nice space to work on his vehicles. Super organized and neat, which are good qualities in a doctor! 

A funny side to this story: we bought our first car from Eduardo too! He sold us the Fiat Uno back in 2008, and we've kept in touch via e-mail and facebook ever since. When he learned we needed to buy another car, this time one with power steering, he wrote and said his sister was ready to sell a car that had everything on our "wish list". A flurry of messages back and forth culminated in us buying the car yesterday! More on that later -- it's quite the experience buying a car in Argentina :)

Now, it's time for me to start packing and getting organized myself, for a trip to Sta. Rosa! Hasta luego, mis amigos!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. friends and family!

Here we are enjoying a rather warm day :)  Spent the morning with our co-workers and decided to walk back to where we were staying. I made it half way before crying "uncle" and asking Ivan to call a taxi. Whew! It's going to take me a little time to get used to the heat again.

Our trip back to Argentina was fairly uneventful. Aduana (customs) ended up making us pay import taxes on things that had been given to us as well as things we had bought (and had receipts for), which was disappointing but not surprising. The amount made us wince but we are thankful that at least all our luggage arrived intact!

Waiting to see if we'll be able to look at the car we might buy before heading to Sta. Rosa on Saturday. Learned after we got back that the car is (was?) actually in another province. But it sounds like the man we're dealing with traveled there yesterday to pick it up, and he might bring it today. But we've learned not to count on things like that. It might happen; it might not. Quien sabe?

We arrived Tuesday and that evening there was a science fair at the school our co-workers' daughters attend, so we went to that. During the last three years of high school the kids focus on a specific area of communication: print media, radio, audio/visual. One of their daughters was involved in a video project which was shown during the fair, and both had worked with partners to create a science project/display. Ivan was even briefly interviewed on the radio by two of the young people involved in that program.

Afterward we all went out to a pizza place we had never been to before, and I have to say it was delicious! I'm not normally fond of Argentine pizza (they tend to be a little skimpy for my taste) but the wood oven fired crust was loaded with toppings. This place sells it by the meter and the seven of us polished off an entire meter of pizza! We had four different kinds (25 cm of each) and my favorite, hands down, was Valenciana which had caramelized onions, pancetta, olives and two kinds of cheese.

We're staying in the apartment where we started out three years ago :) My Spanish tutor has a very nice walk-out basement apartment. She also loaned us her car for a few hours yesterday. We drove over to our lot and arrived at the same time our neighbor was getting home, so we had a chance to talk to him. He said some kids had tried to break in recently but he chased them off. They managed to knock a couple of blocks in, so that will have to be fixed, but we were going to reinforce that wall anyway. It's sure nice to have good neighbors who watch out for you!

The good news is that the new costanera (road along the river) is paved from Playa de Oro all the way to our street! The bad news is, it doesn't look like the city is doing anything any time soon about the squatters living nearby. We had understood those living in the shanty town were going to be relocated to a new community which the city had built outside of town -- a 400 unit "village" complete with a school. In Argentina the only way you can get squatters to move is by providing them an alternative housing arrangement. BUT it turns out that police and other municipality employees are purchasing the homes there. So we're trying to find out what, if any, plans are being made to move the squatters out.

We've enjoyed being back, and once we get some basic things taken care of, we'll head to Santa Rosa for a short break. We're both really looking forward to that!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


No, we're not home yet. But I've had to unpack some things in order to make room for others. It wasn't easy but it was necessary. Probably a good thing we took all the excess luggage to Goodwill yesterday so we weren't tempted to add another suitcase :)

Aside from the angst of letting go of some things I wanted to take, it's been a really good day. Our kids and their spouses came up and we enjoyed lunch, a play at the college and then supper together. Our son and his wife bequeathed us their iPhones since they just upgraded and I'm pretty pumped about that :) I've been too busy all day to even stop and play with mine yet, but the kids have been giving Ivan some lessons so he can, in turn, teach me.

Even more fun was the wedding 'album' they gave us! They've been married four years, but just now put together a wedding book (via Mixbook) and it was so fun to flip through the pages and remember their special day.

Kyle and Tina brought their little trailer up to hold all our luggage. We're personally taking back six suitcases plus two carry-ons, my large 'travel' purse and Ivan's backpack. I have packed the luggage we'll check through within ounces of the 50 lb. weight limit -- three are actually a few ounces over the limit but we're praying for grace on the part of the airlines :) What's kinda weird is that three weigh exactly the same, and two weigh the same. The sixth I'm not sure about because we took it down last weekend and left it at their house.

It will be interesting to see what happens when we get back into Argentina. My VISA ran out while we were gone, and after a number of phone calls with the consulate in Chicago, they advised us to just buy a tourist VISA as we enter the country. Then we can apply for my permanent residency -- which is what we planned to do this year anyway.

We spent the morning cleaning and unpacking/packing, and have just the living room and kitchen left to work on this evening. Tomorrow afternoon we'll finish loading the carry-ons and head back to Indiana with Kyle and Tina. Early Monday morning they'll take us to the airport. I've re-loaded some books on my Kindle and have one paperback as well. Ivan has a Sudoku book to work on. Since our layover in Miami is only three hours (and part of that will be spent getting our luggage, then re-checking it with the other airline) and most of our air travel will be overnight, I don't see us needing more than that.

Our co-workers are picking us up at the airport. The plan is to spend a day or two in Carlos Paz to get some things taken care of, before heading to Sta. Rosa for a little vacation. I pretty much plan to sleep, read, sleep, eat, and sleep while we're there :)  And take plenty of walks! It's supposed to be quite nice, up in the 80s during the day and down in the high 50s or 60s at night. I can hardly wait!

I may not be around much for the next couple of weeks. We don't have internet in Sta. Rosa (unless we go to the tea shop). But when I can, I'll be around to visit your blogs. Meanwhile, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Hasta luego!

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Leavin' on a jet plane..."

The countdown continues. Four days from now we'll be on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.

Suitcases are (mostly) packed. There are the last minute clothes and toiletries to throw in, but for all intents and purposes, it's done. I'm still not going to share how many suitcases we ended up with, since I'm still embarrassed by the number. Let's just say I did my best, and with Ivan's help in tracking down more (and more) larger pieces of luggage, I was able to consolidate a number of smaller ones.

Today I caught up on some paperwork. Since the packing is done I typed up a master list of what's in each suitcase. I also finished inputting (is that a real word?) contact info from people who signed up to get our newsletter. I hadn't had a chance to do that in a couple months so we had sign-up sheets from a number of churches we visited during that time.

My follow-up appointment with the surgeon was this morning. We spent maybe five minutes talking about the biopsy and results, and then twenty minutes about missions. I just love that my doctor has been on several overseas mission trips (including the same place in Africa where we lived for a year). Maybe he'll come visit us in Argentina!

Tomorrow will be spent visiting with people. Breakfast with friends in the next county, lunch with one of Ivan's old aviation buddies, drop-in visits to a few others... And we need to clean the house. I'd really like to get that done tomorrow so we can enjoy time with our kids on Saturday. Both kids and their spouses are coming for the day. It would be nice to be caught up with the have-to-do's and just focus on family time.

Sunday we'll be sharing at our home church during both morning services. I'm hoping I won't be too emotional, but that's probably a vain hope. We've got such an amazing and supportive church family, and it's always hard to say good-bye.

I find myself having trouble getting to sleep at night -- the mind just won't shut down, and I keep thinking of things yet to do. And no matter what time I get to sleep, I find myself waking up between 3 to 5 a.m. most mornings. Ugh. I went to bed some time ago, couldn't sleep and ended up getting up. I figured maybe working on a post would help me get sleepy. And you know what, it's working! So I think I'll end this and try to get some rest.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pinterest Fun

Pinterest -- and my obsession with home decor and DIY  -- has led me to some really fun sites...

Like I love the idea of making quiet books as gifts, maybe to go along with the baby quilts :) And this blog has tons of ideas and inspiration. Besides her own projects, she shares links to other bloggers who are doing fun things with quiet books...

Like the group project on Jacki Daley's blog, The Daley News. Oh.My.Word. These women are beyond creative! Here are a few of my favorites pages:

And then there's the home decor projects that catch my eye. Like this wall art featuring adorable fabric yo-yos on painted canvas.
Isn't that gorgeous? It's actually from the Better Homes & Gardens site. Definitely going to be one of my first Pinterest projects when we get home!

I'm also slightly seriously obsessed with items incorporating maps. Here are just a few of the ones I've pinned:
Dresser from Domestic Ease.
Chair courtesy of Apartment Therapy.
How cute is this wall art?!
Totally love this rose made out of a map. 
Finally, letters covered with maps from Callaloo Soup.

It's not possible to make everything that catches my eye on Pinterest, but it's certainly giving me lots of inspiration... for home decor, recipes, gift ideas, sewing projects, and more. There are a bunch of Pinterest challenges going on, as ladies get serious about doing more than just pinning pretty pictures. I'm just so impressed by all the creativity, and the sheer volume of projects being completed. What have you made that you found on Pinterest?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We'll be home a week from today!

Yessireebob, the countdown is ON!
Not that I'm anxious or anything :)
While we've had an absolutely wonderful time on home ministries, and enjoyed every minute spent with friends and family, we are more than ready to be home.

But speaking of time with family... Had a great weekend with Kyle and Tina, and yesterday we stopped in Elkhart on the way back to Michigan so we could have lunch with our son and his wife.

While we were with them, Jon took a look at my computer in an attempt to figure out what I did the other day. He was at a conference this weekend (computer related, of course) and I sent him the following e-mail, which he shared them with some of those he was with. They found my plea for help vastly amusing:
I have NO IDEA what I've done, but all my books have disappeared off my Kindle.
I think I'm going to quit for the night before I do any more damage.
I've also made several hundred items in my downloads folder disappear too. There are two items left.
Don't ask me how I did it.
I have no idea.
How can one person do this much damage?!
Hope you're having a good time at the conference.
I'm going to watch some TV and call it a night.
While wondering if I should laugh or cry.
Maybe a bit of both :)
Love you bunches,
So glad I could inject some laughter into what I'm sure was a very serious geek time :)

And the upshot of it was, I really made things COMPLETELY DISAPPEAR. Like magic. [Only with magic tricks, you can make them reappear and such was not the case in this instance.]

I wasn't so upset about the downloads folder, since that stuff gets erased eventually anyway. But now I have to re-load my Kindle -- not hard, but time-consuming.

Oh, and that wasn't my first e-mail to Jon. Just prior to this one I'd sent him another S.O.S. about an entirely different problem, which he was able to talk me through.

Anyhoo, we also stopped at an outlet mall and Ivan was finally able to find tennis shoes! Which is not as easy as it sounds. He has a really hard time finding shoes that are comfortable. So our success yesterday caused me to do a happy dance right there in the parking lot.

Today Ivan had to go to Lansing to The Office of the Great Seal. No, I am not making this up. It's a real place! He's trying to get his paperwork in order to get his pilot's license validated in Argentina. He's been working on this for several years, and they keep coming up with yet more paperwork that he has to do. We're really hoping these are the final documents that they'll require.

While he's gone I'm working on re-packing. Over the weekend we found only one big suitcase although we stopped at five thrift stores. Ivan's going to check out a few more places on his way back from Lansing today. I really need another 3 large bags, and then I think I can consolidate the smaller ones and end up with a manageable number of 50 lb. suitcases.
I hope.

What I've done today is open up ALL the suitcases and pull out non-essentials... like Tupperware containers, some decorative items, books, and table linens -- nice but not necessary. All things I'd really like to have, but could live without.

And I've been trying to get the essentials packed together in such that each piece of luggage weighs as close to 50 lbs. as possible. Not an easy task, let me tell you. I still have several bags weighing in the 30-35 lb. range, even though I've packed them as full as can be, and tried to put heavier items in.

It's like a puzzle that I can't quite figure out.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Project 365, What Week Is It Anyway?

I have been horrible at taking photos the last two weeks. I just went through the pitiful -- and very minimal -- assortment and chose six to share. I have no excuse other than my life has been completely crazy since we got back from Colorado, with all the medical stuff and... well, mainly medical stuff. But everyone's life is crazy and most of the rest of you are managing to take your photo-a-day just fine. *sigh*

Up first is a photo of our nephew and his family:
They helped so much during our trip to Colorado! Andrew picked us up at the airport and they put us up that first night. Joy fixed amazing meals while we were with them (and gave me recipes so I can try to make them myself!) and she also gave me a ton of fabric PLUS two cutting mats and assorted rulers and other fun goodies. Like the gel pens that disappear when you iron over whatever you've written with them! Über cool and will be very helpful for marking quilts. They also loaned us their car to use while we were there. Ivan and I decided when we retire we want to move out near them so Ivan can help Andrew build planes and I can quilt with Joy :)

[This is not to say we didn't have fun with the other nieces and their families, but we spent more time with Joy and Andrew this trip.]

When we got back to Michigan, there was still plenty of color on the trees!
I have thoroughly enjoyed the extended fall this year :) Which effectively ended yesterday when it started SNOWING.

Anyway, on to more pleasant topics...
I knew there was going to be an exhibit of art quilts at the college so I scooted over a few days after we got back to check it out. Barbara Bushey is an adjunct professor and, as you can see, accomplished art quilter as well.
She had a recurring theme of water and earth in her pieces for this exhibition, and does a lot of layering with different fabrics (sheer over sheer over solid) which you can't really tell from my photos. In this small piece she actually included real stones:
I don't know if you can tell, but under a thin, sheer fabric you can see where she did a photo transfer onto fabric, featuring rocks like you'd see on the bed of a lake. She also did shibori dyeing on the sheer fabric. Very pretty effect.

Ivan was able to make it to the Friday morning prayer gathering this morning:
This is a group of men from various churches who meet every Friday to encourage one another and pray together. Ivan was part of the group for many years before we went overseas.

He had the camera with him so a lot of the snow had melted before he got back and I remembered I wanted to take a picture of it:
It was a lot prettier first thing this morning when every tree was covered. BUT I don't mind a bit that it's melting :)  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, we had not planned to be here this long and aren't really prepared for the colder temps. Ivan doesn't even have a coat!

But in 10 days he won't need one :)  Because we are heading south. WOOT!

SNOW?! Are you serious?

Yesterday it started snowing. Two weeks before Thanksgiving! We almost missed it; if we'd left on schedule we'd have been outta here by the time the snow started flying. We're not really prepared for über cold weather. We realized yesterday Ivan has no coat. He has hoodies. But he doesn't even have a sweater to put on under the hoodie. I foresee a quick stop at Goodwill on our way to Indiana tomorrow.

BTW, Ivan came through his tests the other day with flying colors. It's so nice to get good test results back!

I've been packing like a maniac this week. Sorting through closets, cabinets, a dresser, under the bathroom sink... what do we take? what do we give away? what can be thrown away? I'm pretty sure Ivan couldn't put the lid down all the way on the rolling garbage container we take out to the curb every Thursday night. And there are just flat too many suitcases. I am not even going to mention the number because it's embarrassing. I'm hoping we can track down a few more largish ones and consolidate what's in some smaller ones to bring the number down. A bunch are way under the 50# weight limit, so that's totally possible -- IF I can find bigger suitcases.

Of those we are taking with us, four are fully packed and ready to go. The remaining two are partially packed and I'm just praying we can fit the last minute items in without going over the weight limit. We're going to take as many of the four as we can to Indiana this weekend, and leave them at Kyle and Tina's. That way when they come to get us next weekend, we might not have to use their little trailer. It all depends on how much we can fit into the Saturn tomorrow. We are also going to take two large plastic bins full of things we need to leave here; they'll reside in Kyle and Tina's garage for the next couple years. Hopefully we'll have more time next furlough to go through and get rid of most of it. But it's paperwork and you can't throw that out willy-nilly.

Our purpose for going to Indiana is because Kyle and Tina are being accepted into membership at their church on Sunday. So excited to see them take this next step!

I managed to get an appointment to get my hair cut Saturday afternoon too, meaning I can return to Argentina in ten days and not have to worry about getting right in to see Florencia. Once back in Argentina, we're hoping to spend just a couple days in Carlos Paz before heading to Sta. Rosa for a little vacay. Where I'm guessing we'll spend most of our time sleeping :)  It's been a FANTASTIC six months, but folks, this furlough business is EXHAUSTING.

Makes us realize the wisdom of doing four-month furloughs in the future. We just can't keep up this pace for longer than that :)  Plus it just makes sense (to us anyway) to come back for shorter periods of time, more frequently. We'll also be a LOT more thoughtful about planning and organizing furloughs in the future. This was a learning curve for us, and we realize we could have been more efficient and productive if we'd put more thought into the limited amount of time.

One thing for sure: we'll be interjecting little "breaks" into future furloughs, so we're not so exhausted by the end. And by that I mean times alone, just the two of us, to unwind and unplug. I'd love to hear what you do when you need a break. I want to start building a "library" of ideas now!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Doing the happy dance

GREAT news: the lumps were benign. Hallelujah!
Hadn't expected to hear anything until tomorrow at the earliest so getting the good news today was such a gift. We're grateful for God's answer to prayer and His provision in all things.
Thank you for praying!

Not only doing the happy dance because of the good news, but also because it means WE HEAD HOME IN TWO WEEKS!

We're also thankful for this extra time to rest up before the trip. The last month has been such a whirlwind that we are exhausted. Now we can catch our breath, and get some things done we hadn't thought we'd have time to do. 
God is good all the time!
All the time God is good!

Monday Meanderings

It's been a while since I've done one of these. Since my internal clock hasn't adjusted to the time change yet, I'm up earlier than I need to be and decided to use the time to write a post. [I started to say a "quick" post, but who knows if it will be quick or not?]

This was an absolutely gorgeous weekend, both in terms of weather and activity. Kyle and Tina came up Saturday afternoon and spent time with us. We so enjoyed our time together! Ivan finally started feeling better (still weak, though) so we were able to go on a walk yesterday afternoon before they headed back to Indiana. I love walking through crunchy leaves, don't you?! And we have plenty of those around. Tina was having fun with her new camera (Canon Rebel) and took this shot of us:

The ladies at church gave me with a prayer shawl yesterday! I'll share photos in the next Project 365 post. What a wonderful group of friends. We are so blessed with an amazing church family.

I made scalloped potatoes for lunch yesterday and used the only cheeses I had on hand: Parmesan and sharp white Cheddar. Oh. My. Word. I may never go back to my old recipe again :) Seriously some of the best potatoes I've ever made.

My brother is stopping by for breakfast this morning. He's on his way to Ann Arbor where he hopes to be admitted into an experimental program for those with serious lung issues.

Later on I'm getting together with friends. I'm not sure what projects they'll be working on, but I'm going to put together a few felt poinsettia kits (using the tutorial from Censational Girl). I thought these would be easy for kids to do, and would make a cute gift.

I spent some time packing on Saturday. I'm really not that sore from the biopsy. My goal is to finish packing by the end of the week. Which would leave our last week free to spend time with people -- for the most part, aside from Ivan's various doctor appointments. And possibly mine; I don't know when my follow-up will be with the surgeon.

Lord willing we will be on the plane November 21st, heading home! That's when Ivan was able to re-schedule our flight, and as long as all test results come back okay, we are outta here.

We're both really sad that we're missing two weeks in Sta. Rosa, but thankful for the Lord's provision for great medical care. Say what you will about health care here in the U.S., it is still THE BEST IN THE WORLD. Amen.

I spent way too much time on Pinterest the last few days. Mild discomfort from surgery and insomnia combined to create optimum Pinterest viewing opportunities. I now know that you can spritz your windshield with a combo of three parts vinegar/one part water at night and you won't have frost on your windshield in the morning. And that there are a gazillion decorative uses for old maps. To say nothing of all the lovely blue and turquoise rooms that are to be found on the great world wide web.

I've also started playing Words With Friends on facebook again. After so much traveling without internet, all the games I had going automatically ended (does anyone know the time limit on inactive games?), so I had to start new ones. Actually I'd completely forgotten about Words With Friends until my daughter started a game with me last week. Then I was all like, "Oh yeah, I can play again, now that I have internet!"

When I get done with this post I'm going to see if it's my turn on any of the games. I can't start breakfast for another hour or more, and I'm trying to be quiet so I don't wake Ivan. So Pinterest and Words With Friends are my great time wasters. What are yours?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our little medical marathon

No, it wasn't me this time.
Ivan started feeling sick Monday morning and by the time we made it to Jonesville that evening, he wanted nothing more than to take a shower and go to bed.
We haven't been able to keep his fever down so he's been having chills, plus he aches all over and has had hypersensitivity to touch. He's not been able to eat much (a little boiled squash, some chicken broth) and has pretty much spent the week in bed.
Not fun.
Yesterday morning he was feeling worse so we ended up going to the ER. And that's when our little 8 hour medical marathon began.
The ER doc was puzzled by the odd set of symptoms. He ordered blood work and a CAT scan, bringing up the possibility of diverticulitis.
It's not.
Whatever it is, it's viral and that means we just have to let it run it's course.
Not fun.
We went directly from the hospital to our family doctor to discuss some other findings on the CAT scan.
Looks like we'll be making good use of the extra couple weeks in the U.S.
Ivan's now scheduled for a few more tests.
I guess he didn't want me having all the fun :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I learned while flying

Most airline magazines put me to sleep, but on this last Southwest flight I really enjoyed their October issue. The feature article was actually a collection of pieces about the art of storytelling and the varied ways we do it today. There was a lot more in the magazine than shows up on the website, and a texting version of Romeo and Juliet had me in stitches.

There was also a fascinating article about the future of book publishing by Stuart Wade. They're starting to enhance  regular books with ancillary items, like additional essays, maps, illustrations, and even original source material via a QR code imprinted on the inside cover that can be scanned and accessed either over the internet or by e-mail.

And there were other interesting tidbits too.

Did you know it takes 1.8 cents to make a penny?
And 9.2 cents to make a nickel?
Why don't they find cheaper metals to make these coins? It doesn't make sense to spend more than the item is worth to produce it.

I had no idea October was breast cancer awareness month. Did you? And did you know that one in eight women will have invasive breast cancer at some point in her life? Rather disconcerting, isn't it? I did find it interesting that a new treatment -- practiced for some time in Europe -- has finally made its way to the U.S. Still only available in a handful of hospitals and treatment centers, intraprative radiation therapy (a.k.a. IORT Novac7) is a promising addition to treatment options.

It "allows patients to receive one dose of radiation during surgery, as opposed to multiple treatments over several weeks". It also has the advantage of "destroying microscopic tumor cells left behind by surgery before they have a chance to divide or migrate to other parts of the body". Plus, it is applied directly to affected tissue, helping to avoid exposing the healthy tissue. Sounds like a good plan to me!

I also learned that those who eat primarily plant-based foods have a "strikingly" lower rate of breast cancer. Not sure I could give up meat totally, but that little statistic did make me want to cut waaaaay back on it.

I have to say, I was very impressed by the Southwest magazine. Kudos to something worth reading while flying!


P.S. Saw the surgeon Tuesday but the earliest they could do the biopsy is Friday. Since the results won't be back until Tuesday or Wednesday, and we'd planned on flying home Tuesday, we're delaying our departure to Argentina for a week or two. Keep praying!