Hair, Cars and Fire Ants

View from our table at lunch on Boca Grande

View from our table at lunch on Boca Grande

Sunset on "my beach" last night

Sunset on “my beach” last night

Front yard with hat from Elin

Front yard with hat from Elin

Lana and Calli Christmas 2009

Lana and Calli Christmas 2009



Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed in the morning.  No, I take that back.  It is ALWAYS worth it to get out of bed, not matter how weird the day gets.

I was late this morning…slept late, threw my clothes on, ran a brush through my hair and was about to rush out the door when I noticed that the brush was FILLED with hair.  Oops…it’s starting and am I prepared?  Of course not.  I was waiting for the new shipment of wigs to come in at MD Anderson and figured I’d be fine till I got back.  Just to be safe, I did pick up a beautiful scarf (one that didn’t require any tricky tying) but it definitely wasn’t going to match anything I wanted to wear to Sharon and John’s Christmas Open House on Saturday.  Anyway, I grabbed a cap and headed out to yoga figuring (like Scarlett O’Hara) I’d think about it later.

Problem solved…Elin arrived with a Santa hat and took it off and gave it to me.  Ahhh…people are so darn good.

After yoga, a group of us were heading to a local place for breakfast and (of course) there’s something wrong with the car.  It’ll start just fine…just won’t move out of park no matter what I do.  I try everything, call Jerry who tells me to “try everything I already tried”‘ and then I get a ride to breakfast figuring I’ll worry about it later.  Paula (God bless her) gives me a ride back to the beach and on the way, I tell her, “No, just drop me off.  If I can’t get the thing going, I’ll call AAA.”  She’s refusing to leave me and I’m insisting I’ll just go sit on the beach until help comes, but voila!  the car is fine when I get back and I head home.

I get home and ask Jerry to take a picture of me with my new hat.

“How about outside by the bouganvilla?”  he says.

“Perfect,” says I and we head outside.  (Please note that it is not all that warm here at the moment.)  He takes a couple pictures (all of which I hate) and we start inside where I realize that wherever I was standing was fire ant hell.  I had on sneakers and socks and STILL got bit…twice on my ankle and then, when I was pulling off my sneaker and sock, twice on my hand.  They LOVE me.  I flew into the bathroom for my magic cure…scrub with soap and water and then load with tea tree oil…trust me, fire ants can’t be bothered with my husband but they see me coming a mile away.  I know how to deal with this.  Anyway, I think the bites are doing “as well as can be expected.”  They’ve stopped hurting, moved on to itching. I’ll live.

So now I’m home relaxing while Jerry runs errands and gets a hair cut.  Heading out later this afternoon.  A good friend does Reiki…Seeing Tori and then meeting up with Cranberry friends at the local pub (they get beer, I get water…no booze while on chemo)  Then tonight Jerry and I are going to the Westcoast Black Theater in Sarasota.  (Hmmm, better take a nap after lunch so I can do all this)

All’s well.  I can eat, I can do yoga, I can see my friends, I can get a little bit of work done each day.  Biggest project this week is making a Shutterfly book of the Littles trip east last summer.  It just never got done and I want it done before I leave here next week.  They went to NYC, the Berkshires,  Agawam, Longmeadow, Andover, Boston, Fairfield, CT, Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore.  It’s doing to be a LONG book

By the way, don’t you just love the Christmas picture of Lana and Calli?  It was taken four years ago and the two kids haven’t changed a bit.




19 thoughts on “Hair, Cars and Fire Ants

  1. What a day! I know that all will get better. You sound like you have wonderful friends down there. Lucky you and lucky them to get to see you.
    Keep up that smile and so glad that you are able to eat a bit.

  2. Hi Mary,

    It’s wonderful to read your regular updates!

    I so love that photo of your granddaughters! Even Olivia recognized it from your house.

    Thinking of you and sending you healing thoughts from the other side of the planet.

    – Shary

  3. Even the fire ants LOVE Mary!! Sounds like you are NOT heeding my advice to take it easy but instead having a wonderful time! Sorry about the hair…it looked so adorable the other day. I guess you knew that was inevitable though. Have a great week-end! Martha

  4. I’m glad you are home with beach yoga, good restaurants and sunshine. Sorry you found the ants but you know the cure! We are preparing for 8 to 10 inches of the white stuff on Saturday. Sit by the pool, read a book and think of us shoveling! Xoxo

  5. Love the pictures-sorry you had to brave the nasty ants to get in front of the beautiful flowers! The Santa hat becomes you, and I love your little grand daughter’s face looking at her big sister-adorable! Looking at the view from that restaurant, I think I’d be tempted to hang out all day there. Keep enjoying being home, and let others care for you. Carol

  6. Deirdre Christman

    So glad you’re making the most of your stay in Florida! I’m sorry you’re losing your hair so soon, but you do look cute – and festive – in the Santa hat. Such an adorable picture of the girls. I love Calli’s expression.

  7. The Santa hat looks just lovely on you! Great pictures….your granddaughters are darling! Was so good seeing you yesterday and don’t worry Margi and I will take care of the baby turtles until you return!
    Thinking about you lots

  8. Once again, Mary, you make me laugh! LOVE the picture of your hat and the Littles…classic.

  9. Hey, we’re going to get a snowstorm…compare fire ants, car trouble, hair falling out? As much as I hate snow, I guess you win the Misery Contest! You sound in good spirits and who couldn’t be with those adorable children? Don’t they just bring joy to even the worst day?

  10. Seems like you should get a pass on some of life’s pesky problems. It does helps the rest of us put our “bad” days in perspective. (Always the teacher Mary.) Still those pictures make your bad day look pretty good! Glad you are enjoying your homecoming.

  11. Mary-Oh, the hair. The chemo nurse told me my hair would fall out about 2 weeks out. Happened like clockwork. Vincristine was the culprit–the “red devil.” I was pretty glib about losing my hair until I did. Some folks go to the hair salon and have it all shaved off. Not on your life. I treasured every strand I had left. Got pretty good with the scarf stuff. Had wigs for work, but never liked them–too hot. Took it off when I got home from work. I worked through first 2 chemo treatments, then said, this is nutz. One of the male flight attendants came into my offrice in tears because his mother was dying of cancer. I thought I need to be home caring for myself and am in no state of mind to be of use to the flight attendants or the staff. This was a wise move. Fire ants? Got bitten in FL a few times. Don’t have em in Colorado. Only an occasional spider. We’re now up to 50 degrees. Picture was darling. These are the littles, right? Have a good weekend. Enjoy the warmth or cold of FL. Give the Yogurts and Elin a big hello for me. Much love, Wendie


  12. I LOVE that photo of the girls. I remember it from a few years ago. Soak up that sun, woman, while we get nailed with our first big snow. I still like it. I don’t have much choice but to embrace it. I so love the next day when the blue sky appears, contrasting with the white tree branches. By spring, it will be old, but right now there’s still a thrill. Would have preferred it came on Monday so we could have a pre-Christmas snowday. Those are always so appreciated. The Santa hat is a great touch. Go with it!

  13. I remember that picture of your adorable granddaughters imagining Lana all posed and pretty and Calli mischievously admiring her big sister or perhaps wondering what the fuss is all about. Either way, it’s one of those pictures that draw us in.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like my curls, but thinning bad hair days are way too frequent and almost mood altering. A really cute, curly wig has crossed my mind in moments of frustration and whimsy. Also, friends who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment have grown back even better heads of hair, all thick and curly, they don’t know what to do with it all.

    So, I look forward to pictures of you looking stunning in your new hats, scarfs and wigs and, next year at this time, a fresh, full head of hair for all of us to envy.

  14. Vincristine was part of my regime, also, though I only lost about half of my hair. By the way, vincristine is derived from the Madagascar periwinkle which, I remember, appealed to my mother so much that she bought me several pieces of clothing all in periwinkle over the next couple of years! (I actually have always loved that color!)

    So, I guess the moral of the story is: dress in periwinkle, don’t drink grapefruit juice — it interacts strangely with drug levels — and get a comfortable wig and some scarves. (Scarves come in periwinkle, too, you know…) If you’re lucky, your hair will grow back curly!!!

    Hugs and kisses,

  15. Mary, your social life is making me tired!! Enjoy the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe. We went this week and I didn’t love it. You had a great advertisement going for life in Florida with pictures or the beach and yoga – and then you brought up fire ants! UGH. Bill got badly bitten last year all up his legs and the marks have not faded. Not a fun thing!

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