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Showing posts from May, 2014

A Reflective Rain

There are times when one can not help , but be reflective ... . . . especially on rainy days . There is something so relaxing and calming with the sound of raindrops against the windowpane . All we want to do is curl up somewhere comfy with a good book , a movie or anything of leisure to us . 

Then we begin to think . .  . . 

We think about the good things in life . We think about all our faults . We think about the things we want to accomplish . We think about the unknown future and what it may hold . 

We think and think and think . We think so much that we forget to go out and actually live out our lives . That's exactly my problem . I think too much and over analyze things to death .

Too much thinking has ruined many good moods of mine , because I think more on the negative than I do on the positive . 

Moods are not the only thing too much thinking can ruin . It can think one out of enjoying an event , time spent with loved ones . I , also am guilty of that . 

Many times , my negativ…

Defining Illness

How do we define illness ? What does a sick person look like to you ? How do you know when someone has a disease ?

I believe there is a misconception of what " sickness " looks like . We expect to see a person physically suffering who's appearance shows every ounce of pain they are experiencing . 

Nowadays , there are people walking around with a disease in their life who are working and  volunteering among us and we are not even aware of it . If you were to ask a roomful of people , how many of them have a health problem , you would see a lot of hands . 

We all have something and we're all struggling , trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and just plain live our lives . We all could use a little help . The problem is trying to find out what kind of help people need .

In my seven years , I've had many volunteers offering to go with me for my treatment , but only two people offered to make a meal for me . Even though , it was great and generous for people to want to…

A Book Shelf

One of my favorite Disney Princess has always been Bella from Beauty and The Beast . There is a scene where the Beast shows her the library and her face says it all . That's how I feel about books . 

I remember when my love of reading took root in my life . It began in high school in literature class where we had to keep a journal and read a certain amount of books each month as part of the homework .

  The first book I read was Sherlock Holmes and I feel that's where my love of mysteries began . From that moment on , I read everything  from Harlequin romances , to poetry , to thrillers . 

Since then , some of those tastes have remained and others have been replaced by more intellectual documentaries  , spiritual warfare and self-help editions . My love of books has never strayed and every time I see an IPAD I cringe . I want to feel the book in my hands as I turn the 
pages . 

When we moved into this apartment , many of our books had to be given away for lack of room . I still reg…

May Update

The arrival of  rainy weather has brought on more sleepless nights this month than I care to have . The aftermaths of chemo treatments resulting in early arthritis in my left leg , from knee to toe , causing a lot of tossing and turning in the night . I'm feeling all of my forty-nine years in all the wrong places .

Still , after such a long and very cold winter , this warm weather is a blessing to enjoy , regardless of the discomfort I may experience . I'm thoroughly loving the open window concept and hope it can continue as long as possible before the real heat of summer
 arrives . 

The rain has not been the only storm , since the sirens from police , fire and ambulances has become a frequent sound in my neighborhood . More so now , it seems , then from years past . A few of them to our building concerning our fellow neighbors . 

All of this commotion has brought on a desire in me to pray randomly for strangers that I encounter . This can be a stranded driver with a broken down v…

Throwback Thursday

It seems that in the three times I've dealt with my cancer's return , I have had a meltdown of some sort . The following is an example of one of those times .
Now I actually have to smile and laugh , because at that time I really thought that it was the worst treatment ever . Little did I know that an even worse one was coming the following year . It just shows you that we really can handle more than we think .
The title " My Christian Hat " , Emily and I , use quite a lot to express our need to vent or tell someone off . Beware ! Our Christian Hat is coming off ! You will hear it often here ,( hahaha ) . Have a Blessed  day everyone . My Christian Hat   Today is just not the day. After spending yet another sleepless night in the bathroom every 15 minutes ....I
    ......HAVE ..........HAD.........IT ! Today I'm just plain angry , tired of it all . Enough is enough. I want relief.Everyone better just stay away.
  I drive Emily to work with all these emotions ch…

A Well-Lit Path

There are times when God's plan isn't always crystal clear . . . . but His path is always well lit .

When I began my spiritual renewal a few months ago , I was completely naive . I expected an immediate change and of course , that didn't 
happen . Change can occur suddenly or it can take a matter of time . 

Lately , I have been feeling neutral , watching people go through things in their lives , some good and some not good . The changes are crystal clear . It makes no difference on what is going on , the fact is , things are happening . 

Emily and I have been waiting . . . for what , we're not really sure . Our lives have taken on a neutral status . We're neither up , nor are we down . . . . we're just waiting . 

Still , our path is the same  and we intend to remain on it . We have made a covenant with Jesus and there's no breaking that ! Things may be a little difficult with taking too long  or things are not going the way we want them to be , but we will wait …

Sterotyped

For as long as I have had cancer , the way it has been  portrayed on television always makes me smile . It usually begins this way :

The victim sits in a recliner with an afghan  covering their legs . Their faces are drawn into a frown , their skin pale and without makeup .  Sometimes a shawl is covering their shoulders and almost definitely a scarf on their head . At home , they are throwing up in the bathroom repeatedly and there is always a friend who buys them a joint to smoke for the pain . 

That's basically an old version of a cancer patient . Yes , we are bald . Yes , we sit in a recliner as we receive treatment . That's when the similarities end .  For the most part , we lead or at least , try to lead normal lives .

If we look sickly , pale and are throwing up , we are seriously sick . Treatment has come a long way and with the use of steroids , we can hold our cookies well .

Unfortunately , there has been a cancer invasion . We either know someone with cancer or we have…

I Am A Christian

The Cross In My Pocket
by: Verna Mae Thomas

I carry a cross in my pocket
a single reminder to me
of the fact that I am a Christian 
no matter where I may be .

This little cross is not magic
nor is it a good luck charm .
It isn't meant to protect me
from every physical harm . 

When I put my hand in my pocket
to bring out a coin or key
the cross is there to remind me 
of the price  He paid for me .

It reminds me too , to be thankful
for my blessings day by day
and to strive to serve Him better 
in all that I do and say . 

It's also a daily reminder 
of the peace and comfort I share
with all who know my Master
and give themselves to His care . 

So , I carry a cross in my pocket
reminding no one , but me
that Jesus Christ is Lord of my life 
if only I'll let Him be .

Don't Open That Door

Putting away the baking pans into an already jammed  cupboard , Emily remarks laughingly ,
" Don't open that door ."

Sometimes , we need to pick up all our excess baggage and store it away in a hidden cupboard so we can take a deep breath of freshness . That's our agenda this weekend .

The phones are off and comfortable clothes are worn . The sounds of the outside world can be heard in the background where they belong . Everyone residing in their favorite corner with their favorite passions . Even Diamond lays nestled in her favorite chair .

This weekend , all our worries , all our stress , all that garbage that keeps us awake at night has been sent on a mini vacay . We are resting and refreshing our souls .

Life is full of just plain stuff and we can get so muddled up in all the whys and don'ts and no's . Everyone needs that break to sink oneself into the beauty of God's creation . . . . this world .

Whatever your passions are and wherever they may take yo…

Being Grateful

I truly have so many reasons to be grateful . If I sat down and started writing all of them down , that would be a very long list . Isn't that what Ann Voscamp did ?

When life is grand and everything  is coming up roses , it's pretty darn easy . Let's sit down and make that list when our world is crashing down , that's the true test .

I've joined  " The Happiness Journal " on Facebook where we list three things we are happy/grateful for on a daily basis . Even during my worst days , I can easily come up with something to thank God . When we are on our knees , that's when we appreciate the things we do have .

What are you grateful for in your life ? Do you appreciate the things you have ? Or only when things turn sour ?

It's so easy to lose track of what means the most to us . We become so engrossed in our hobbies , our work , that we forget the passage of time . When we finally look up , it's almost too late to do anything about it . Don't…

The Arrival Of Summer

The weather has been wonderful here and we are certainly enjoying the benefits . The  windows are opened and curtains are billowing . Both of us have re-arranged our bedrooms with the beds right by the window to enjoy both the breeze and the view .

Everyday the noises from outside our windows are deafening with the delights of children playing after school and the occasional irritable outburst from the motorists .

On weekends , the streets are filled with various activities of children playing ball or riding their bikes with their parents . Homeowners have beautified their porches and patios with potted flowers and the lawnmowers are  roaring in full force . The smell of early BBQ fills the air .

Summer is almost here .

Just as the sun shines brightly , there is a darker side as well . Shouts of anger can be heard as friends or lovers fling abusive words or fists at each other . There is a STOP sign near my bedroom window and the angry retorts and hand gestures are repeatedly heard th…

Throwback Thursday

I've always driven used cars and anyone that knows me has heard me complaining about my car troubles . During my second bout  with cancer , my car really was acting up constantly with silly things like a screw getting loose or something minor like that . I was literally at my little brother's place every couple of days . I was convinced my car was sick right along with me .I also had major FMLA problems  with paperwork getting lost , my insurance was getting cancelled by mistake , things like that .  My life was so out of whack , so out of place , even my emotions ran wild and no one knew it . To the outside world , I was calm as a cucumber . When we went to that concert that night , I felt God's love envelope me in His loving arms . To this day , I wish people that same experience whenever I write a greeting to them .
My Car Has Cancer , Too   I think My car has cancer right along with me . Eversince , this "thing "has come back , my car has been acting up getti…

Throwback Thursday

To say I was angry during this next story is an understatement . I was very angry . Sometimes I think it's a curse rather than a Blessing when a long interval between illnesses occurs . During that four and a half years , I began thinking  I might be cured and began making plans for my future .     I didn't understand that I could still do everything I ever wanted even if I was sick or not . It's all a state of mind . Another thing I learned  was that we all need to face our mortality , especially when we have a chronic illness .     I have come a long way since that time . I'm not afraid of my cancer . It has become a huge part of my life , like a limb . At times , I even forget I have cancer . I am not about to stop living because I have a disease . Nor should you . 

Getting Angry    Last night as I was "blogging" I could feel a certain anger rising . It really surprised me since I wasn't writing on an "angry" subject.I guess I have been s…

Praise Him In The Storm

Praise Him in the storm .


We all have heard that expression or even had people say it to us at one point or another . Years ago , that simple , yet true , line would irritate me beyond words . It was always spoken by someone who had a huge grin on their face and totally happy with their life .

There is nothing worse than seeing others enjoying life when yours is falling apart . When we are down , it's difficult to be happy for others . None of us want to admit that , but it's true .

As a Christian , my goal has always been of trusting God completely with my life . In my naivety , I've assumed that it could be achieved almost overnight . What I found is that it is a process that can take years to achieve . Saying it and doing it are two separate things .

We tend to praise God when things are going great . When things are smooth sailing , God is good all the time . One small mishap , we're still smiling , but perhaps not as brightly . As the week progresses , these mishap…

I Hate Carpets

I hate carpets , especially the apartment style beige types that show every stain . Why do landlords choose this light color ? Why not something darker ? Doesn't that make more sense ?

I literally had to purchase a rug shampooer to maintain clean and fresh carpets . There are large area rugs throughout my apartment to prevent the dirt from settling in . 

Whenever I walk into a place where there are hardwood floors , I'm full of envy . All they have to do is sweep the floor . 

I think there is a tiny piece of  wanting to keep up with the Jones 's within all of us . It comes out occasionally to rear its ugly head . There are times I love my little apartment and times I'm plain frustrated with it . 

Today  has been the latter . Lord  knows that I have no time during the week , the time I do have should not be spent cleaning ! I am very fortunate to have a daughter who makes dinner , goes to the store and takes care of basic errands . 

Whenever I start grumbling about time or c…

Simply A Meal Plan

So what does our meal plan for the week look like ? Well , that depends on the shopping expedition and the sale items featured . I don't go into a store with a list unless I am preparing a particular dish for an event . Otherwise , I buy what is on sale and plan my meals accordingly . 

A typical meal plan for the week looks something like this :

Sunday
Butternut squash casserole 
Cucumber , tomato , onion and broccoli salad with vinaigrette .
We love using raw veggies and we make our own dressing
 using    vinegar , lemon juice   with lots of seasonings .


Monday
Yellow wax bean and tomato wrap with a dollop of sour cream and grated cheddar cheese . 
Of course , we do not use oil or butter to saute the veggies , but coconut oil . 


Tuesday
Fruit salad with plain yogurt and whipped cream . 
This is one of our favorites , especially in the summer with all the different fruits available . Emily makes a great homemade whipped cream and we use the juice from the orange to coat the salad . 

Wednesday
P…

Simply A Meal

What are you eating ? You eat the weirdest things .


I am famous at work for eating weird food , at least according to my co-workers . I don't consider myself a food gourmet or new age food 
anything , just a lover of fruits and vegetables . 

I have found that people really don't eat a lot of vegetables and a bare minimal of fruit . In fact , few people go beyond the usual supply of oranges , apples and bananas , trying out  star fruit or even dandelion leaves in their diet . 

Emily and I are these type of people , hence the apprehension of my co-workers . When we made the decision to eat healthy , we  quickly found out it can be a life of bland eating unless we venture out into other cultures and their food . 

We shop at a fruit/vegetable market where the selection is wide and varied . We also found that the appearance of a particular vegetable does not disclose their flavor . Something really unappealing as a tropical yucca can look disturbing , yet taste quite yummy . 

If you were…

I Remember . . .

It's funny how certain things come to mind at certain times . Today is the perfect example of that . I fell in love with poetry in High School and today  I  thought of this poem by Thomas Hood . 

 I remember the house where I was born the little window where the sun came peeping in atmorn he never came a wink too soon nor brought too long a day but now I often wish the night had borne my breath away I remember the roses red and white the violets and the lilycups those flowers made of light the lilacs where the robin built and where my brother set the laburnum on his birthday the tree is living yet I remember where I was used to swing and thought the air must rush as fresh to swallows on the wing my spirit flew in feathers then that is so heavy now the summer pools could hardly cool the fever on my brow I remember the fir trees dark and high I used to think their slendor tops were close against the sky it was a childish ignorance but now tis little joy to know I'm farther off f…

The Weekend Ahead

Words are so very powerful . Words can change a person's outlook on their day in a heartbeat . One can start their day in a glorious mood and all they have to do is encounter a grumpy , hurting soul who says one word and the mood has been changed for the remainder of the day . 

Words can wound a person who may already be on the verge of despair . Words are very powerful  and we need to use them with care . 

Last night , I was that person who went around with a smile and all around me was the opposite . What kind of day do you think I ended up having ? 

The weekend is here , let's try our very best to make someone's day instead of ruining it . If you have been hurt and need healing this weekend , let me try to encourage you with these . 

1. Cry as loud and as often as you want , let it all out . 
2. Have some " me " time pampering yourself with a bubble bath or salon visit . 
3. Have a glass of wine , you'll definitely feel better . 
4. Visit your girlfriends . They&…

Throwback Thursday

Whenever we have questions regarding our family background , we look back to our ancestors  for the answers . Probably the only time we do so .  We blame genetics for all the unpleasant stuff that we don't want to claim for our own  like alcoholism , gambling , cheating . Since the story below , I have undergone genetics testing for my cancer and it does not run in my family . . . .  .so far . The entire process took a few meetings , but what an interesting experience . We may make many claims to things running in our genes , but proving it is a lot harder than we may think .  All these characteristics in us we aren't very proud of  can't all be blamed on great-great- so and so . Let's own up to who we are and how we got there .I , Genetics   We can become quite "comfortable" with our family history. I know I have. Looking back ,it almost gave me a false sense of security knowing that the women in my family live well into their nineties. My grandma is 92 yrs…