Showing posts from July, 2013

Simply Juiced

About two years ago , my aunt bought me a juicer . I took it home , unwrapped it and started juicing everything in sight . If it was a vegetable or fruit , it went into that juicer . Nothing was safe from me , not lettuce nor jicama nor green onion . . . .  I juiced it all .

The thing with juicing is that it can get very expensive . There is a lot of pulp and not very much of juice . If you have a garden , the pulp can be used as fertilizer . Otherwise , your trashcan fills up pretty fast .

I didn't mind all of that . I did have a problem with the mess . It seemed a lot of unscrewing parts that needed to be washed and put together again .

There are many benefits to juicing . You cannot go wrong with an all natural juice versus the store bought kind . Healthy anyway you look at it . I have found a website that has various combinations of juices for all types of ailments . From thyroid to detoxing to cancer prevention . If you don't care for veggies , this is a perfect way…

July Fun

What a crazy month July turned out to be ! So many events , so many memories . We started off the month with a family friend having back surgery . Back surgery is no joke , it affects every part of your body . Glad to report she is home recovering , although very slowly .

The fourth is celebrated every year at my niece's , Kathy . The last two years , I have ended up in the hot tub . Why should this year be any different ? This is a picture from last year with two of my nieces . One of them is expecting a boy next month .
Every year in July , my great-niece and nephew from Florida come for a visit . This year we went on a hike that ended with a picnic and what else ? Bowling !
This was also the birth month of my Ministry Club which started with an invite from a friend who wanted a lesson . What did she learn how to make ? A hat for her daughter Sadie .
Little Lachlan was baptized . . . . . .
and a future baby's birth was celebrated and prepared for  . . . .. We had a great tim…

Simply Detox

It seems that whenever one turns a page in a magazine or clicks through Facebook , there is always a  new diet or detox fad . I am hardly a fan and generally when I see a new one , I skip over it without reading . That may seem harsh , but to me , the only healthy way to lose weight is through exercise and eating right .

When it pertains to detoxing , people seem to think it's a quick way to lose weight . Even though we may lose weight while doing a detox , keeping it off is another matter altogether . We need to think of detoxing as a way to refresh and cleanse our body from the inside and not as a diet plan .

Now , I'm hardly a professional at this , the only time I've done a detox involved eating nothing but grapefruit or drinking tons of just plain water . Since I wanted to create a lifestyle of healthy living , I thought of doing one .

The last thing I wanted is to do is a store bought detox with artificial ingredients . I like this new version that has been floating …

An Empty Nester

These past few days , with Emily away doing her thing , I've been home alone  experiencing the life of an empty-nester . I've spent my days wearing close to nothing and totally enjoying the freedom of it ! The house spotless with not even a spoon in the sink , the closest I came to actually cooking was to heat up leftovers .

The day she left , the weather changed and I threw open all the windows . Let the curtains billow , baby !
You know , I really love God and I especially love the fact how well He truly knows me . He knows when we need the rest or when we need people to comfort us . He seems to be so attuned to our needs even when we reject His intervention .

As I awakened today , stretching slowly , I could feel the coolness of the breeze coming from my window . The building was so unbelievably quiet even with five children living here .  I didn't get up right away . . . . .  . not for awhile . I took all of it in . . . . the peace . . . . the serenity . . . . .the gra…

What If . . .

Hiding when you’re hurting won’t heal you and growing isolated can just let infection grow. The secret way to heal a broken heart is to let love leak out like an ocean through all the cracks. ann voskamp

The words " what if " can certainly pack a punch . They're loaded with all sort of emotion , expectation and rejection . These two words can create an atmosphere of depression within minutes .

What if he really doesn't love me ?

What if my plan isn't God's plan ?

What if they never forgive me ?

What if I never become a mother ?

What if I'm wasting my time ?

What if my time never arrives ?

The world is full of  " what ifs " . We wait and wait for God to fill our requests , but sometimes , it doesn't quite turn out the way we want it too . Frustration and depression sets in quickly and we keep ourselves isolated from everyone .

Sometimes , it's jealousy of what they have and we don't . Other times , anger creeps in and we cry out in pain .

Simple Simplicity. . . .

For as long as I can remember , I've always held a dream  about my middle - age years . They didn't involve getting cancer nor being in a perpetual state of treatment . My dreams were for a life of simplicity . A time in my life where I wasn't ruled by a time clock or changing diapers . Where I slept as long as I wanted to and I ate whatever I wanted .

In my mind , I saw myself living in a small cottage surrounded by a beautiful garden . A cottage far away from city life and city noise . Inside it was furnished comfortably not lavishly . There was a special room used just for crafting with every imaginable material neatly stored away on the numerous shelves .

All of that , of course , is just as much a fantasy now as then . In reality , I live in an apartment in the city and I work for a large company . I'm as far away from the country or that garden as I can be . Oh yes , I also have stage three ovarian cancer .

Just because my life didn't quite turn out the way I…

Stop And Rewind

There are two levels of speed at our place : fast and slow . Either our calendar is overflowing with activities or we're sitting around watching re-runs of the Simpsons . There is no in-between . We seem to alternate between one month to the next with one being filled and the other lazy .

July  beats to a very fast tempo . Since so much is going on , there isn't much time to stop and rewind for some " ME " time . Flitting here and there drains my body both physically and mentally . After awhile , I snap and lose control .

Since there's little we can do until the calendar slows down , we look for small windows of opportunity for that hour or two of relaxation . It could be something as small as a hot bubble bath or a cup of coffee alone .

Two of my favorite " ME " times happen on the weekend . I find there is nothing more relaxing as getting up very early with the birds . The stillness is a perfect time for meditation , reflection  and all time distressi…

On The Horizon

For the last couple of weeks , this blog has experienced a few dry spells . There have been days where no stories were written to post . I'd sit in front of the computer and stare at the blank screen . No words would form . I've contemplated closing the pages on this blog forever . Has this well run dry ?

On the contrary , my brain would overflow with ideas , brimming to the top with nowhere to go . So why couldn't I write ? I'm not sure , but I think it might be time to go to that next level . A time to expand on my ideas , venturing out to further my experience . So what's on the horizon ?

After spending countless hours dreaming , I think it's time to get up and actually do something about it . Here are some things that will be coming up in the near future .

Crocheting Ministry Club :
My goal is to start a club for women where we can use our talents of crocheting ,  knitting , quilting or any kind of crafting  to benefit the homeless , crisis centers , hospita…

Peace And Serenity

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
( Psalm 27:4-5)

Reflecting back on my youth , I can still see myself as a person who was ready for anything .

You want to work extra hours ? No problem .

You want to stay out all night ? Alright .

You're looking for a fight ? Let's do it .

You want to end this relationship ? Go ahead .

I carried myself in the image of a woman determined , poker-faced and unemotional . My emotions were kept hidden from all those around me whether friend or foe . Nothing could touch me .

Where is that woman ? What has happened to her ? The determined , the poker - faced , the emotionless woman has taken on a different fight . No longer is she fighting the world , instead , she…

When Your Head Hangs Low

When your head hangs low ,
pausing to rest is an act of worship .
Holley Gerth

It's hot and humid around here these days . Any exertion causes one to be drenched in a downpour of salty sweatiness  and tiredness sets in easily . Looking out the window , the streets are empty with only a stream of cars passing by . Everyone is inside trying to keep cool during this heat wave .

Heat drains our energy . Just the thought of going into work where it's so very hot inside , makes one want to reach for the phone and call in sick . I feel for anyone who works outdoors , in full uniform ,  facing the elements .

As we sit indoors more , isolated from others , our minds wander to dark places better left alone .Things we should have done and words we should have said . Judgments that went array , lifestyles better not lived . Choices . Life . Worries . Doubts .

Moments like these , when our heads hang low , happens to be the devil's favorite playground . He  roams the earth , looking for t…

Everyone Has A Story

Everyone has a story to tell . No one's life is a completely blank sheet of paper . There is always something written on it . It maybe a beautifully written one with perfect penmanship on a  classic text parchment of paper . Or an ineligible scribble hastily penned on any scrap of paper , worn and stained . . . . battered and ripped to pieces .

Everyone has a story better not told . A story where pain and misery resided , where hope was seldom seen , let alone thought of . A story part of us , one that has shaped us to whom we are now and yet , we'd like to permanently erase from our history . One that we cringe with shame at the memory of it .

Everyone has a story that belongs to another . Something about their story that has reached down into the pit of our soul , where we ache with pain for them . We have rested on our knees , praying for
their situation to change for the better . Lord , hear us . . .

Everyone has a story of a happy ending . The one where we waited patiently…

Walk In My Shoes

As a Team Lead , my role involves executing the weekly schedule on the production floor . I spend a lot of time walking and solving whatever issues that may arise to prevent that from happening . Everyday is different and that's what I like the best about my job , it never becomes boring .

Once in awhile , usually on a Saturday , I go back to work on the production  line , mostly because I am short a person . When I do , the experience truly humbles me . Even though , I started on the production line , it's been many years that I've worked on one on a daily basis .

I truly believe we forget what it is like and walking in one 's shoes makes us more aware of what it entails . Perhaps another person is needed ? Or too many people are there already ? Maybe , a better system needs to be developed . Working on a production line from time to time , helps me stay in touch with what it's like to walk in their shoes .

I believe , we all need to place ourselves in another'…

A Hairy Experience

When at home , I sit with my feet propped upon a chair . The other day , the sun was shining brightly and a ray came through the window highlighting my feet . My hairy feet .

 Now , hair is something that I'm not really familiar with since my cancer . I can't even tell you how long it's been since I had to shave my legs , trim my eyebrows or even shave my armpits . I'm not even sure if I have any eyebrows . My moustache ? There's been plenty of hair there .

I believe it was in the year 2007 when I last had the lovely experience of shaving period . All of sudden , there's hair on my legs and I mean lots of hair like a monkey . Where did it come from ? Why did it come ? I mean , I'm still taking chemo .

Perhaps , this type of chemo actually produces tons of hair . Can you image if that really was a fact ? Everyday , I would have to shave my whole body . Who needs rogaine ? !

 I do know that after chemo , hair comes back thicker , which usually is the case with…

Truly Blessed

I love this stage of my life . My children are grown , my house is clean on a permanent basis and I actually get some real sleep . Who wouldn't feel Blessed with that ?

Like all parents with grownup children , I do miss when they were small , but let's be honest folks . . . . it was exhausting ! Whenever I think back to those times where I slept four hours a day and worked sixty hours weekly  being both mother and father , well , I'm amazed at my own self .

That's why , no matter how tired I may be or how bad of a day I might experience , relaxation is waiting for me at home . I know that and I look forward to it .

Having grownup children certainly has it's benefits . I can't tell you how many times I have come home from chemo to a meal waiting for me . There are even times when they actually treat me to a vacation , a movie and dinner out .

I know I'm truly Blessed with the children I have and the lifestyle I'm living . Not many people can say the same…

Give Me A Name

For a long time now , I have held a secret wish to form a group for women here in my home . This group would consist of fellow crafters who can knit and crochet OR have a desire to learn .

This group would serve two purposes :
1. to use our talents to serve the community by making assorted items such as blankets for the homeless or baby items for crisis centers etc .
2. to meet and develop a relationship with fellow sisters in Christ . To be there for each other as we live out our lives here on earth serving God .

Believe me , I have many reservations . What if no one shows up ? What if they do show up and are disappointed ? Will I be able to physically handle yet another responsibility ? I'm not sure , but I'm willing to give it  a try .

What I need from all of you is help in naming this group . What should we call it ? Maybe you have suggestions on how we can make this a successful venture . Maybe , you just want to offer prayers , donations of yarn etc. . . . I welcome all c…

Chaos Everywhere

If I have a party to go to that day or night , my bedroom ends up looking like a disaster area .. . . .chaos everywhere . Lord knows , I try to prepare by mentally dressing myself days before . Somehow , the day of , it never quite works out the same .

This past Sunday was no different . Getting ready for a Christening , I reached deep into my closet for that outfit that I planned so well for in my mind a few days ago . Unfortunately , that outfit didn't work as well in reality .

As the time drew nearer to leave for the event , the desperation level grew higher and higher . Nothing fit or looked right on me . When a person is between sizes , it's very difficult to find an outfit that fits correctly . Either the shirt fits fine , but the skirt is too tight  and so on and on .

My closet if full of clothes . These clothes range from ......
1. the desired size
2. the I've gained weight size
3. the current size

It also contains clothes that ........
1. I'll never wear again unles…

Living The Best Life

Reaching our full potential begins with a clean heart—one that loves the Lord and desires to obey Him . Charles Stanley

Real lifeis lived on our knees .
Charles Stanley .

Isn't that the truth ! Lately , these words are what  I want to live by . All this past week , being off from work , I prayed and prayed as I flitted from one event to another .

Prayed that the car wouldn't break down . Prayed that I would arrive to my destination safely . Prayed that my blood pressure wouldn't be too high . Prayed that I could pay my bills on time . Prayed for healing regarding a friend . Praying was the theme .

I knew that the next vacation wouldn't happen for a few months . I wanted to get things right to set the tone for those coming months . I felt a new chapter was before me and I wanted to make sure I'd be living the best life God intended for me .

I have spent too many years of my youth going it my own way . Look how that turned out . Even as a Christian , I have tried to imp…

This Is Cancer

                  A malignant tumor , a disease in which these forms . An evil influence .

When we look up the word cancer in the dictionary , we get the above definition , but it means nothing to us . What do you see in your mind when you hear that word ? What pictures form in your head ? If you saw a tumor , would you recognize it as such ? What is cancer to you ? Have you ever seen cancer ?

This is cancer . This is my cancer . This is my tumor .

My tumor weighed in at 7lbs. I could have had a baby .

No matter how many times I stare at this picture , I'm still amazed that this thing was inside of me . What formed this ?

This is me fighting cancer . This is what I looked like right after my first two surgeries  weighing in under 100 lbs . This is what cancer looks like .

           This is what recovery looks like month by month .

                            The different hats

                            and scarves I wore to disguise that I'm sick .
Six months later , m…

Hospital Stays

A very dear friend of ours , happens to be in Chicago , having back surgery . For the past two days , my mind has been drifting back in time , to my hospital stay six years ago  . Back then , the hospital became my home as I went in and out for four months  .

I can vividly remember that first stay  and how uncomfortable I was . I laid there , hooked up to all kinds of machines , tubes sticking out of me . Oh , how I hated that mattress , causing my back to hurt terribly . Every couple of hours , the nurses would turn me , bringing relief for awhile . 

When I finally adapted to the bed , the powerful light from the hallway would stream into the room , making sleep difficult  every time someone entered . When waking in the recovery room , those florescent , glaring lights were the first thing you saw .

There is no privacy at the hospital . Not only do you have about ten interns looking down at you during examinations , but your door swings in and out constantly with hospital staff .

You …

Blankets Everywhere

Even though my blog has been experiencing bouts of writers block , I still have been busy with other things . One of those things happens to be crocheting blankets for the homeless .

I have to say , that I really am enjoying making these .

They are bright and colorful and I'm not exactly sure if they will like all that flashiness , being used to more subtle and plain blankets .
It's hard to believe , but all this yarn has been donated by all of you .
Every remnant has been used , no matter how small , it all seemed to come together to form a masterpiece .

And to think it all started with one blanket . Just think how many more can be made . Have a Blessed day everyone .

Missing The Mark

The days turned colder and a taste for some homemade soup lingered on , becoming almost an obsession . An idea formed of what I wanted in the soup and  I  prepared it with an expectation that  it  would taste heavenly .

The final outcome wasn't as good , missing the mark entirely on the seasoning and combination of ingredients . What happened ? I have made this particular soup countless of times with a much tastier result . Why didn't it work this time ?

Earlier in the week , I have begun crocheting baby blankets for my niece Kathy's Baby Shower  . It has become quite a tradition for me to do so for every baby born in this family . She will be expecting blankets from me , so I settled in with a variety of colors and styles fresh on  my mind .

Here I am , three days in and already experiencing complications . The blankets look and feel completely wrong . There are snags and uneven loops making the appearance of amatuerish craftsmanship . Every strand of yarn feels awkward bet…