Friday, July 17, 2015

It has been a long time . . .

I apologise for how long it has been since my last blog. Life has improved, and changed, since my last blog. Chris's last chemotherapy took place in early May. He has bounced back so nicely - and is feeling more like his old self every day. A scan on the first of June, followed by a meeting with the oncologist, gave us the very good news that he is now in remission. We are so thankful for all the care we were given by the oncology team at Raigmore Hospital and the very wonderful care we were given by Mary Anne, our Macmillan nurse. We most certainly couldn't have gotten through the ordeal without their care and compassion. Now that the cancer has been put into remission, it is time to deal with Chris's cardiac issues. He sees the cardiology folks this coming Monday and Tuesday and we will have a better idea of where we go from here. A triple bypass is still on the cards, but it will now be a matter of when.

In the meantime, we are enjoying some lovely weather in an otherwise damp and chilly summer. I write this from my envied position in front of a large window at the Gale Centre in Gairloch where I am setting up shop for the next three days. I am hoping that the visitors will look kindly on my jewellery and buy some to take home with them. This morning a lovely couple from California were in and we spent lots of time chatting. Always fun to meet someone from "back home."

Catherine was able to come visit us for four days and we were in need of rest afterwards. She is not a demanding child, nor is she any trouble to look after at all. But we still found ourselves tired when she went away. I think it was the early mornings. At nearly 6, she doesn't realise that sleeping in is fun. She would rather be up and going at 7:30am! Not in our house. LOL!

The wedding is now just three months away! We are getting very excited about it. It will be a small but elegant affair and we are looking forward to seeing a handful of friends and family. This month I assume I will be trying on the mock-up of my MOB dress. Once I have a better idea of how it will look, I will be able to look for some wonderful shoes - high heels because it will be a case of shoes to be seen in rather than to be walked in! (I figure that when I have to visit the disabled facilities, I can simply slip them off for the one or two steps from wheelchair to toilet.) The menu for the meal is picked out and I am working with the hotel now on deciding on the wine and champagne for the event. Callie's dress is stunning and we found perfect dresses for Catherine and Paige. The beautiful jewellery I made for Callie fits perfectly and complements her dress. (Next will be the necklace I am making for her maid of honour.) Callie is doing well with her work and proving what an invaluable employee she is to the law firm for which she works. She is happy and doing so well and I am so proud of her. She had a tough time in her first marriage and her ex's presence in Catherine's life is problematical, but with the strong and loving family that Callie and Stuart have built, I am relieved that both my girls are so happy and doing so very well.

As some may remember, Catherine lost one of her front teeth several years ago because she bashed it on a trampoline at her nursery when she was not even three. The tooth was dead and had to come out. Now we are awaiting the natural loss of her other baby teeth and the appearance, over time, of two front teeth, rather than just one! I can't believe how the time has passed. Here is a wonderful photo of Catherine that Chris took at the beach beneath the Perfume Studio in nearby Mellon Charles. The necklace she is wearing is of her own designs. She and I made her a necklace and a bracelet and a necklace for her mum. She and I spent a lot of time drawing as well.  Like her great grandfather, she was drawn to the art of Edward Hopper and we spent time looking at a book of his art that had belonged to my parents. I gave her sheets of vellum with which she could practice copying the lines of the drawings. She spent quite some time following the lines of some of his sketches of nudes. She giggled at first, but I explained that the human form is very much part of every artist's "education". I am very impressed with her continuing dedication to developing her talent. I sense that she has inherited my father's artistic talent, and I look forward to watching her blossom with brush or charcoal in hand.

Chris's daughter and son are visiting this coming week. It will be lovely to have them here for five days. You may recall that they surprised Chris with a visit back in the autumn, after his diagnosis but before his surgery. I know it will mean so much to him to have them here, and I look forward to sharing time with them, too. They are remarkable young people. Lucy has finished her work for her masters and will receive her degree in the autumn. Olly is currently leading a presentation at The Eden Project.  We are so proud of them.

Gracie the cat continues to bring us great joy. She didn't like Catherine very much, but she will have to get used to her being around. It will be interesting to see if it was a case of a small child being around that she didn't like, or just guests in general. She is so used to having us to herself, I think she gets a bit jealous. We had to take her to the vet this week because she has very bad breath and her gums looks quite inflamed. It turns out she has some serious gum disease, but we are going to treat her with recommendations from the breeder and will move her onto a raw diet. Fortunately, there are companies that put raw ground meat and organs in frozen pouches, with one pouch providing enough food for two days. We have been told that giving her a raw diet, along with the L-lysine paste and a mouthwash that is added to her drinking water, should reverse the gum disease. We are keeping our fingers crossed!

So, all in all, the news from our little corner of Scotland is good and getting better all the time. Just hoping for some good business while I am at the Gale Centre. Today has been very quiet, but the weather has been very good. The clouds are coming in now, so the rain may bring the visitors inside. Hoping for some sales. July has, thus far, been a very good month for sales. Long may it continue!