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Two Significant Papers

His nurse preceded the doctor into the room where we waited. “When he comes in, feel free to ask him anything you would like.” She was quite matter-of-fact, but very friendly.

We immediately liked Dr. Victor when he came in, and before he would leave the small room after we had talked, Jerry would ask if we could pray together. The doctor readily agreed.

It was my receiving this piece of paper in the mail that had led to our meeting.

After the introductions and shaking of hands, Dr. Victor sat on a rolling stool and faced a computer screen. He then rifled through a few documents, reported the results of some blood work and some other things.

“The biopsy, Dr. Victor. What does the biopsy show?” I asked.

In the quiet caring way of Dr. Victor, he said, “Mrs. Buxton, you do have a form of cancer.” And before the visit was concluded, I learned there was a cancerous tumor in my right breast, that there were numerous pre-cancerous lesions there also, and that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. He recommended an immediate mastectomy.

Glorious flowers arrived at the hospital and at our home. These pictured here were sent by Brother and Sister Sam Emory, and remain the most magnificent floral arrangement I have ever seen. I photographed and made enlargements of some of the individual flowers. Dried a few of them.
My first day of chemo.

When I knew I would lose my hair, I told Steve I wanted our pictures together when I was as bald as he!

Last day of chemo! I wore my gorgeous wig. Holly provided the crown. The 25 radiation treatments were not nearly so torturous as was the chemo! Nasty stuff. I had terrible reactions, so that some of the drugs had to be stopped. (But I would do it all again. . .because…..

A few days ago, I received this piece of paper–a darling, sweet, cherished piece of paper. I give thanks. Most of all I thank God, for although I give credit to my doctors, to medications, to surgery . . .God is in charge. He is supreme, the One who has given me life. I’m forever grateful.

(During those times I set up another blog which chronicled my cancer treatment. You might be interested in reading over there. You would need to scroll down to get to the beginning posts. Shirley Buxton’s Cancer Detour  

Goodness of man Life Medical/Technical Science & Technology

Hope in 15-Year-Old Jack Andraka

Last week in a Forbes magazine article, I came across Jack Andraka, who is 15 years old and who has invented a method to detect pancreatic, lung and ovarian cancer. Amazing.

  • -His test is 168 times faster than what is currently available.
  • -It’s 26,000 times less expensive.  That’s not a typo.
  • -And it’s potentially almost 100% accurate.

    Innovation doesn’t care how old you are.

    I’d like you to meet Jack Andraka and think of all the wonderful, talented young people in our world. It is easy to focus on the ugly and evil about us especially today since enduring the wretched story of Chris Dorner. Taken from Forbes magazine. Please go over and read the entire article here.

    I’d like to hear from you. Tell me about some amazing teenagers or young adults you know. Maybe they’re in your family or your neighborhood or your church. I’m interested in knowing of them.

Animals computers Culture Humor Photography Science & Technology


Kickin’! Not kickin’ back, KICKING.

Kicking against inertia and laziness; against ease of being;  against ease of doing; against mediocrity and the uninspired. Such kicking involves not only my less than skinny legs (or, come now, would it not be more than skinny?) anyway, this kicking business with which I’m lately involved takes place little in the knee and shin areas, rather, well above the shoulder vicinity. I’ve loaded a new piece of software onto my computer, and am up to my skull bone in the learning curve that comes with the box and the enclosed thin circular disc, although none of the sales pitch goes within speaking distance of telling the degree of learning curve.  Lightroom is the name of that to which I have directed my thinking prowess over the past couple of days, and whose intricacies of discovery and execution are quite guaranteed to process the images from my D7000 into splendid works of art.

It’s a good thing to kick. A couple of days ago I spoke with someone who has extensive physical challenges, remarking that when she felt better, we would do such and such.

No, I don’t want to wait,” she responded.”I’ve got to push myself.”

Yep, kicking is good, sharpens us, gets us out of funks, helps us ignore our twinges and gnawings, and along with the thrust of the kick, we just might learn a thing or two, and that’s generally considered a fine thing.

While I consider myself quite patient with people, I know I am quite impatient with things, and if they’re not working right, it irritates me. I’m not good at replacing vacuum cleaner bags, thread tangles when I sew buttons on, and I’ve never hemmed a pair of trousers yet in which both legs came out even. So, imagine me with a computer. Now, I love computers, am amazed at them, and can’t imagine life without one. But I don’t want to dink around with them when they’re not working right. I just want to sit down in my place, open up my laptop, and have everything working perfectly.

. . . which leads me to installation and understanding of Lightroom 3. My version was 3.2 and in browsing in Lightroom forums, I read of several people who had upgraded to 3.6 and were screaming with frustration. “I’m tempted to unload this version and go back to version 3,” one of them yelped. “Has slowed my computer down so that I can hardly use it.”

Right there, I decided version 3.2 was fine for me and I would not be upgrading . . .yet when I installed mine, a message came up to say that 3.6 was now available. Not for me, I muttered to myself. . . until I loaded my first pictures on . . . and a little memo sweetly informed me that my camera’s raw images required the 3.6 version. I gulped, asked for the update, watched it load, and voila! it works perfectly. The program is much more complicated than the simple iphoto program I have been using, but also has greater capabilities for processing images. I’ve finished a few photographs on my new program, and have brought a couple over for you to see.

So yes! It’s good to kick, to expand, to stretch, to challenge ourselves. On the other hand, Jerry and I were talking this morning and agreed there do come times when we must admit something is beyond us. Whether because of advancing age, physical conditions, or even our mental capacity, there is a time to say, I just can’t do that. But, that’s another subject for another day.

This treatment is from Delicious Free Presets. Cool, huh.

Jerry and I were walking around the lake on Tuesday when we met a gentleman with this magnificent animal.

It has been unseasonably warm here so that yesterday and today Jerry worked extensively in the yard. Yesterday, from our side garden, he brought in this beautiful rose. The picture is posted on my Flickr account, and if you go over there and view it large, you may see the light sparkles in the tiny raindrops.

Keep kickin!

EDIT 1/10/12  Wouldn’t you know it! LightRoom just announced today its releasing of Beta LightRoom 4.0

computers Science & Technology

An Apple Story

My heart sank when it froze, then my screen went black, and in the morning, after a fitful night of hard-drive-crashing-thoughts-of thousands of “un-backed-up” photographs, my faithful Apple MacBook would not boot.

“I’ll have to take it in to the Apple Store,”  I told Jerry, and so around 11:00 we headed down the hill and into the city of Rancho Cucamonga,  about a 45 minute drive from Crestline. The Apple Store is in the beautiful “cutting-edge” outside mall named Victoria Gardens.

He smiled widely, did the young man who greeted us at the door. I spoke of the freeze-up and the black screen when he inquired of our needs. “My computer is sick. I need someone to look at it.”

“Hmm. Could be bad. But don’t worry, we have excellent techs, and we’ll see what we can do.” I hadn’t made an appointment, so he left me for a minute to see if he could work me in, returning quickly, smiling ever, saying someone could help me in about half an hour.

Mark was the tech to whom I was directed when it was my turn back at the Genius Bar, and after he asked, I told him how my computer had happened to go down.

A few days before the problem, a message had come on my screen saying my start-up disc was nearly full. I learned this referred to my hard-drive, so I bought an external drive with the thought of transferring my more than 8000 pictures there, thus creating more space on my internal system. However, when I tried to connect it to my computer, I ran into some problems, and decided I would, the next day, get someone to help me with it. In the meantime, I began discarding expendable picture files, in that way reducing the stress on my hard drive. As I did so, my computer froze, then the screen went black.

As I was telling this to Mark, he turned on my computer, and voila! it booted.

Bottom line: The computer had not crashed, but being so close to full had shut down and just couldn’t co-operate.

Second bottom line: Mark took the external drive I had brought, and using his fast system began transferring my pictures. “It’s going to take hours,” he told me. “You may either hang out here or leave and we’ll call you when it’s ready.”

I gave him my cell number. Jerry and I left to do some shopping, winding up a couple hours later at The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. As we finished our meal, my phone rang and it was an Apple Person saying my computer was ready.

The friendly young man at the door remembered my name, and someone took me right to the Genius Bar, bypassing the line that was now there. “It’s finished,” Mark said, and he and another young man brought it out, and we went over the method for using the hard drive for all my pictures, and what to do when I traveled without the hard drive.

The cords were wrapped up, my computer and the hard drive were in my case. Mark smiled. I looked about for the cash register, and seeing none asked, “Do I pay you?”

“Oh, there’s no charge, Shirley. That’s the privilege of being an Apple owner. You never pay for tech support. No one is ever charged for service at the Genius Bar.”

I was stunned. Stammered about a bit, patted Mark on the hand, thanked him profusely and went out the door and to the car where Jerry waited. “Guess how much it cost,” I said immediately on seating myself, trying to make my face grim and ominous.

“I don’t know, Shirley. How much?”

He was as stunned when I told him as I had been, and at that moment I decided to write about this incident. For I think most of you will agree that too often these days, the service we receive from many business places is abysmal, and the charges we incur are exorbitant.

Not so with Apple. And besides that, the stores are bustling with friendly people who are eager to help you, you can dink around with any of the computers, there are little tables and chairs with computers for toddlers, they treat you with dignity even if you are as barely geeky as am I, and they remember your name. At least that is so with the Apple Store in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. I highly recommend it.

Tell them Shirley sent you. 🙂

Food Science & Technology

Don’t Eat the Billboard

CBS is reporting it. It’s function is to advertise a local grocery chain in Charlotte, North Carolina. Driving down the highway, you’re likely to catch a strong whiff that seems to be barbecued beef. Lift your eyes and you will see the delightful billboard. Yep, a billboard that demands your attention…and I believe they are hoping that you will drive right to the nearest Bloom grocery store. Seems the billboard emits a tantalizing aroma of grilling beef. Amazing.

I haven’t seen this marvel, but I have seen a billboard in California that advertises In and Out burgers. Puffs of smoke are sometimes visible.

Take a look here…and please, don’t chew your screen.

computers Culture Internet Life Science & Technology Social Writing

Sorry…I Missed The Birthday

Wednesday was the day I missed the birthday. The Internet turned 40 years old and I didn’t find out about the celebration until yesterday. I, of all people, one who loves the internet so much and who uses it daily. The least I could have done was throw a small (or large) party and bake a cake (or at least a cookie or two.) We should have shared party hats and “Pin the Tail” games…or something like that.

I cannot remember when I first learned of the internet, or when I first used it, but today, I tell you, I cannot image life without it. I communicate with people all over the world, I read the news, I stroll through libraries, I laugh at funny pictures on YouTube, and watch dynamic speeches and powerful sermons, I market my books (to all three of you who eagerly await every word I utter), 800px-blue_candles_on_birthday_cakeI pay bills, I check my bank balance, I talk to my kids and my grandkids, I show off my pictures, and people tell me how wonderful they are, and a few honest ones say something like rather pitiful–surely you can do better, Helen tussles with me, I meet old friends on Facebook, and make some new ones, (some of whom have become so dear that I am making plans to meet them in person, and, actually, I have already met one in person), I advertise our church, and blog, and see articles published that I have written, see pictures of my friends and their babies, and quite old pictures where our hair and clothes look really funny, get prayer requests and praise reports from our church headquarters, and find out how hot it will be today in Lake Havasu or how cold in Crestline, and what the dewpoint is, and make airline reservations, and drool over cruise itineraries and find words to songs and learn ingredients for recipes, and check the spelling of words and the location of Scripture…and…

It happened forty years ago when some smart men at UCLA taught two computers to talk with each other, thus beginning this world wide web we call the internet. I for one am extremely glad they did, and belated though it is, I wish the internet a very happy birthday and many happy returns.

You might want to check this link for a Computer World article where there are more details about the birth of the internet.

How about you? Did you wish the internet a happy birthday? Do you like the internet? Do you wish it many more healthy years?…or do you believe its dangers exceed its profitability?

Picture courtesy of Google images

America Culture Life My Family Science & Technology

Jerry and the Blackberry (Not Jam) Swap: Pearl for a Curve

Remember how when  Jerry lost his phone a few weeks ago, and having admired Michael’s Blackberry, went for ordering one of his own, choosing the Pearl model. He dinked around with  the little silver unit, bought a holder to strap onto his belt. and finally got it to ring in a satisfactory way. Then he decided the keyboard was too small for his fingers. On the phone with the Verizon/Blackberry people a few days ago, he ordered a different model, managing to get it with no additional charges. (Had something to do with my phone account since I was due for an upgrade.) He chose the Curve model which arrived yesterday, after which he spent many hours following directions that appeared on his computer screen when he installed the disc that came with his new phone.

So, Jerry will be out and about today with the Blackberry Curve ensconced in the cute black holder he straps onto his belt. If you’re lucky, he might call you, or send an email your way.


America Children Medical/Technical Photography Science & Technology Social The World

The Grip of Hope

I recall exactly where I was when I first saw this photograph. We were on vacation in Oregon and I was in the public library in Junction City flipping through a magazine when I saw this stunning picture. I had heard the story of Samuel Armas, 0506091157_m_thehandofhope_450diagnosed with spina bifida, and being operated on in utero in hopes of saving his life. During the successful surgery he wrapped his tiny hand around a finger of the surgeon. A photographer snapped this extraordinary image, an image that flashed around the world

The photo, which first appeared in USA Today on Sept. 7, 1999, quickly spread across the globe as proof of development in the womb and was later cited during congressional debates on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which passed in 2000.

“It’s just a miracle picture, a miracle moment,” Clancy told “It shows the earliest human interaction ever recorded.”

Picture by Michael Clancy

Now, Samuel is 9 years old. Read more, and see other pictures here.

Edit: May 7 I just located a devotional I wrote nearly two years ago concerning this little boy.

Conferences/Seminars Medical/Technical Pentecostal Religion Science & Technology

Biology of Speaking in Tongues



Picture from New York Times

Critics deride it as fake, but new research shows that something authentic happens in the brain when someone speaks in tongues.

In 2006, a University of Pennsylvania team headed by Andrew B. Newberg found that the frontal lobe area of the brain usually associated with language skills and willful control of the body slips into low gear when someone engages in this form of ecstatic prayer.

“Our findings are very consistent with what people say they are feeling,” Newberg says. “That they are not in charge of what is happening and are experiencing an intense sense of themselves in relation to God.”

Newberg, a neuroscientist and co-author of Why We Believe What We Believe, a book on the biology behind belief, used neuroimaging to track blood flow to the brain. The study’s subjects were five women from the same Pentecostal church. They were measured twice: as they sang a gospel song and as they spoke in tongues.

The scans found that when the subjects spoke, the frontal lobe showed less blood flow and lower activity than it did during the singing.

Newberg previously examined Buddhist monks in meditation and Catholic nuns in prayer. Their brain scans showed that the frontal lobe lit up with more activity the exact opposite of the tongue-speakers.

Still, Newberg cautions against using the study as proof that God speaks to people through tongues.

“It talks about the biological reality of the experience. It does not address whether there is a supernatural reality,” he says. “That question is still left open.”

– By Kimberly Winston, Special for USA TODAY

America Culture Humor Life Political insight Science & Technology Social Uncategorized video

We Must Buy our Light Bulbs Where?

Around 3 million peopled have viewed Representative Ted Poe (R-Tex.) as he speaks about compact fluorescent light bulbs. He outlines the dangers of using these bulbs, while generously applying doses of friendly sarcasm.

Congress has declared that beginning in the year 2012 every American citizen must use this kind of light bulb. An interesting note: All these bulbs are made in China.

Take a look, educate yourself and have a cheery laugh.


My devotional blog is here.