Anecdotes From the World of Chemotherapy
INTERESTING STUFF – 22 December 2018

Christmas Eve Eve Eve

Did I get that headline right – three days before Christmas Day?

Maybe, maybe not. I'm really here to let you know that I'm taking some extra time off while the world gets ready for the big end-of-year holiday. And, I'll be away for a couple of days next week, but I'll tell you about that on Monday.

Meanwhile, all is as usual coming up: Interesting Stuff, Elder Music, Reader Story.

Feel free to talk among yourselves in the comments.


Whatever you are doing, Ronni, suck it dry for meaningfulness. Thank you for another year of TGB's wisdom, fun, and friendship. Love you.

I second Wendl's comment. May you have a joyous holiday!

Merry Christmas, everyone! By which I mean: Whether you officially celebrate Christmas or not, may you all find good cause to be merry!

Here's a thing I was hoping to share but didn't know when I'd ever get the chance. My husband is 80 today. Yesterday, he and I collaborated on translating this from Chinese:

Age Has Age's Pride
Spring says Summer is too old.
Summer says Autumn is too old.
Autumn says Winter is too old.
Is Winter really so old?

No, Winter is not too old yet.
Winter keeps beautiful memories of Spring.
Winter retains the enthusiastic experience of Summer.
Winter owns the bounty of Autumn's reaping.
The carefree Winter feels pride in maturity.

Winter does not have Spring's naivety and childishness.
Winter does not have Summer's impetuousness.
Winter does not have Autumn's haste and disorder.
Oh, Winter! You are so serene and unhurried! so free and unfettered!

Life! Its purpose is this calm, open, well-being.

Ronni - Come'on down! The Florida weather and water are warm. Our Pool and Spa will be a perfect place for you to spend these few holiday cheerful days before the New Years. We'll leave the light on. We're waiting for ya.

Wendl said it well, for me as well.

Going for my dawn solstice walk, will write more after the sun comes to its glory.

Thumbs up on all comments! May the new year bring us all something very good:):)Dee

Sylvia, that is a magnificent poem! Aside from feeling deeply impressed by your obvious deep grasp of Chinese, linguistically and way beyond -- I just love the poem. What a gift to us all!

And Ronni -- I had one member of my mother's family, an aunt who lived to be something over 100 --- she was a tiny, frail-looking woman with a mind like a steel trap. And her favorite word - or what I remember as such - was


I grew to love that word, and to love and appreciate more and more my tiny aunt whose mind remained sharp until the end. I love it that "joy" is part of the word.

And I hope your next days will be full of joy.

As to me: my daughter Melissa is arriving on Christmas Day from Tacoma to spend some time with me. I've even bought a small Fraser fir, mainly because it smells so good. We are due some major snow some time around the 25th, 26th -- so I just want Melissa to make it safely, and I will head out this morning to buy some groceries to nourish us -- between long hours of talking, catching up..

Happy holidays to all of you! Ruth-Ellen

Thank you Sylvia for your (and your husband's) efforts to give us,"Age Has Age's Pride"

It is new to me...wise in addition to lovely. It reminded me of a kindly Chinese gentleman and neighbor. When we were talking about all the vagaries of age and our now grown kids, he shared a maxim from his home country he left when it was still called "Formosa".

"Water always flows downhill" .
Then thinking about the river simply going to the sea, with all the changes, giving life, rapids, turns, falls, calm lakes, and beauty, just leading to where all life began and beginning again.

My wish for all is a line from a very old Christmas card I loved..."May all the 'loving gifts' we give away return to us on Christmas Day."

Thinking of you Ronni! Happy Holidays to all!

Ronni, I hope your time away is for fun stuff. Happy Holidays to all.

Enjoy your break Ronni, I hope that you are with friends laughing and sharing memories, perhaps of Woodstock.

Wishing you deep peace during your time away, Ronni. For you and the other wonderful women on this blog, I give you my warmest Solstice wishes today as we share this shortest day of the year--the Winter Solstice:

Circle Women
in the Winter Solstice

Circle women, gather closer,
draw near, gain comfort.
On this eve of deep dark,
this night of velvet black
we push back the shadows

When daylight seems so slender,
and nightfall comes too swiftly
Draw this circle snug around you
Pull its compassion up to your chin
Chase away chill with our warmth

Soon, soon, comes again the warm light
Dry grass of brown sends new shoots
Thank you Mother for the tender green
Even the hard furled buds will flower
And women...will you

So Circle women, gather closer
Dream now deeply until Spring
Dream of your juices flowing
Your creativity gleaming
Your woman light shining.

--Patricia Frank

To comment or not to comment, that is the question... I believe I shall not...

All the beautiful and meaningful word, thanks to each of you, beginning with Ronni. And best wishes to all for a sweet holiday with many rich and joyful moments.

...with thanks for this blog and love to all <3

Peace and love to you Ronni, wherever you go. :-)

I really appreciate Patrica Frank's poem. . .Today, the Winter Solstice, is my day of celebration. . . as it's the true "Reason for the Season" as the longest night gives way to the "light at the end of tunnel".

Ronnie you give so much to us. Enjoy your retreat.


Thanks to you all for being there and for your comments. Happy Solstice.

I'm with Terri M. I really have nothing to add to what has already been said very well by so many. As far as old age is concerned, I offer up my old saw: it is what it is. Happy Holidays to all.

Thinking of you in this almost universally difficult season, Ronni. Best of holidays to all!

Thank you, everybody. Love the poetry too.

To Ronni and friends:

Have a peaceful and warm holiday season.


It's raining in Montreal.

What next? Moose on skateboards?

Looks like we'll have a green Christmas.

Freaky weather in an unsteady world.

But we're gonna keep on keeping on.

Damn straight.

...or the preantepenultimate day before Christmas.

I am at a loss for words because others have said such beautiful ones.
So I'll just quote Mel Tormes Christmas song "Although it's been said many times, many ways Merry Christmas ( or holidays) to all."

All these years, Ronnie, ever since you started this blog, I have felt included and welcome. And that's a lovely gift. Just want to say "thank you."

Warmest wishes Ronni! And to all your lovely readers as well. What a rich and rewarding feast of ideas graces this gathering of like minded souls. All the very best for 2019, one day at a time.


I hope you have a wonderful holiday break! And if possible, get some rest.
And since people have contributed some lovely poetry I feel I must do my part, in keeping with the holidays when most of us will eat more than we planned, much of it what the diet gurus tell us is not good for us at all. (sigh) We're having fruit for dessert.

Over 50 years ago I found a little rhyme in the Chicago Tribune about Methuselah and how he ate. It was only about six lines, and there was no attribution, but it so tickled my fancy that I worked it up into several verses that make me laugh every time I pull it out of the box. I hope it makes you laugh too.

For Those Whose Doctors Give “Dietary Advice”

Methuselah ate what he found on his plate
And never, as people do now
Did he ask the amount of the calorie count
He ate it because it was chow

Methuselah cheered as the platters appeared
Heaped high with pork chops and fries
He gobbled his food with a great attitude
And washed it all down with some rye

He wasn't disturbed as at dinner he sat,
Devouring fried chicken and pie
Or fret they’d been cooked with the wrong kind of fat,
Or might be a nutrient shy;

He cheerfully chewed every species of food,
He gorged without trouble or fear
That his health might be hurt by some fancy dessert,
Or by drinking the whole keg of beer.

Methuselah ate every bite on his plate
The greasy stuff ran down his chin
He left not a crumb then he finished with rum.
No diet gurus cried, "What a sin!"

Methuselah fed and went straight to bed
He snored till he woke up at nine
His stomach churned on from dusk until dawn
And his whole life he felt that was fine

Methuselah ate what he wanted to eat
He mourned not, nor shed any tears
He ate everything his good wife hauled in,
And he lived over 900 years!

OMG, Deb, I howled at your additions to the poem - you are too clever! I really needed a great laugh, so thank you and Happy Holidays to all!

Thank you to Wendl, Sylvia, etc. for all that you share. Thank you for all that you give us, Ronni. My heart is with you wherever you go. Happy Christmas and Merry Holidays to all here!

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