29 January 2015


Christmas certainly lingered in my lounge. It came about because of a habit I’d got into of decorating the place with branches from the garden, the one with the tiny cones that I thought was a Cedar. Last year we had an abundance of holly, some with berries, most without. I picked a few twigs of each and put them in water, using three new vases. The display was quite seasonal. But as you know, nothing lasts, especially cut flowers and leaves. However I was in for a surprise.

Due probably to the warm room and having water to drink, one of the holly cuttings started to show minuscule white balls. Honestly, if I hadn’t stopped to check the water level in the vase I probably would  have missed them. Aha, but once seen there was no going back. I have been watching ever since. Those minute balls got a bit bigger, then tiny white petals began to show. Now there is a tiny – and I DO mean TINY – berry shaped thingy in the middle. Could this be the start of a red berry, I asked myself. When I checked today most of the TINY flower petals had fallen but one had turned into an infinitesimal buff coloured ball.

Time will tell - and so will I if things develop. If you don’t hear any more you’ll know the buff coloured ball came to nothing. 

Pic taken in Oz 

I haven’t updated you on Joe’s medical condition so I’ll do that now. A couple of days after getting the good news that the chemotherapy was a success he developed something else. It was a shock to find him quite poorly one morning when he’d done so well with all his treatments. It only took a few hours, during which he was examined (thoroughly) by a paramedic and later by a doctor, to find out that he had a suspect heart problem. By this time he was feeling better and in any case the medics didn’t think hospital admission was urgent. However, it took just two days for an appointment to come from the hospital.

And we have people here who moan about our health service!

So where are we now? After a scan and a consultation it was decided to perform an Angiogram which revealed that one of the arteries leading to the heart was rather tight, which slowed the blood flow. It was decided to insert a stent to relieve the situation and he will have that done pretty soon... that is if a consultation with the oncology consultant and others allows it. He gets quite tired and breathless now but that should be sorted after the stent op.

When all that is cleared up maybe his hernia will be sorted!!!

Honestly for a once perfectly fit man Joe has become plagued with different health situations and yet he continues to be optimistic and cheerful. He even jokes about his condition. Next time you have a drink in your hands, do raise your glass to my Joe ‘cause he deserves it. 


  1. I will toast Joe at the earliest opportunity, and you too for the worry. Both of you deserve medals! The holly branch must have been a nice surprise. Give Joe a hug from me and tell him to give you a hug from me too please :)

  2. All the best to Joe! I hope he will feel better soon! Take care you guys.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  3. My mom had a big holly bush in the front yard, I never saw any berries on it. I noticed the new owners pulled it out along with taking out the walnut tree.

  4. well i guess it is good that they found the heart issue before it became something more, you dad has a stent....

    we just took down the porch decorations...ha....

  5. My hat is off to Joe. I've been wondering how he was doing. I hope he's feeling better soon!

  6. Valerie, the holly branch with the tiny white flower petals is so pretty. Yes, I bet it was due to the warm room and water. How delightful!

    I do the same thing in my apartment each holiday season, I decorate it with outside pine cones and leaves I find in the park. It's like bringing a bit of the outdoors inside.

    " Next time you have a drink in your hands, do raise your glass to my Joe ‘cause deserves it."

    I most certain will because he does deserve it. Both of you do. I admire and respect the way you and Joe have moved through his health challenges this past year - with such grace, positivity, and humor.

    Please know that you are always in my thoughts and well wishes.

    Much X to you both!

  7. His optimism will help him recover more quickly! Thoughts and prayers are with you and Joe.

  8. Denise, thank you, thank you. I'm thinking about the medals... trying to decide whether to go for silver or gold... smiles.

    Hi Mersad, rest assured we WILL take care.

    Bankeer Chick, some holly bushes don't have berries... I can't remember which but possibly it's the male bush.

    Hi Mona, I hope so, too. Time will tell.

  9. Good afternoon, Ron. Bringing the outside in is effective, and don't you think everywhere smells so NICE when we do?

    'with such grace, positivity, and humor'

    I think Joe will like your comment, Ron, though I'm not sure about grace... *ducking* - hey, who threw that shoe?

    Thank you for your lovely comment, my friend.

  10. Thank you, Lea, wherever you are. It's been a long time. Hoping you and your family are well.

  11. Poor Joe. We are - I think - a bit younger than you, but we are finding the same; we used to be quite healthy and now it seems to be one thing after another. I do hope the oncology people allow the stent to go ahead, because I feel sure that Joe will feel so much better afterwards.

    The holly bearing flowers, that's amazing! Will it root, do you think?

  12. Hi Jay. Re holly, I think it would take a while for it to route... however, you've planted the seed (!) so I might experiment further. Thank you for your comment re Joe - I will report back.

  13. Good luck with the holly and I am raising my beer as soon as I finishing typing this message to Joe and you as well Val. Take care, get better Joe and best wishes from Idaho.

  14. All the best and good health to Joe! How neat that your holly branches are starting to blossom and form berries!

  15. Oh poor Joe, just one thing after another. Hopefully he will have the stent put in quickly and that will be one less thing to worry about. xx

  16. Good old Joe! I am glad he is dealing cheerfully with these trials and I hope that he will soon be sailing along again. It is a strain for you too, in a different way. That's a lovely picture of Joe.

  17. Thanks, Jenny, from Joe and me.


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