Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I think the one thing I have struggled with since my cancer and still continue to this day has been how it has affected my appearance . 

It was very difficult for me to lose my hair and now it has come back each time even more beautiful than ever . I love my hair . 

The most difficult has been the weight gain . If you have been thin all your life even after having four children and then all of a sudden you blow up gaining over 80 pounds . . . . . you might have a little difficulty in accepting the new you .

  I have struggled with other people's reaction to my appearance . People have no idea how cruel they sound when they carelessly make disparaging remarks . It's easy for others to say " pay no attention " to them , but it still hurts .  

Right now , I am much better at accepting things the way they are and I know eventually I will get to that point where it will not matter .

Losing Your Identity

My hair has been falling out . It's not a pretty sight . Everyday it gets worse . I don't think people realize what the process looks like when your hair starts shedding . Think of a chemical waste movie where the infected person 's hair is falling off in chunks . Globs....chunks. Yuck .
    It starts off with just some hair whenever you brush . Then a handful everytime you touch your hair. After that, you shed on your shoulders , pillow , bathtub . You don't even have to touch it .  Everyday it gets worse and worse . So I made the decision to shave it already .
   Four years ago , I shaved my head immediately when it started to fall out . This time , I have waited a lot longer . I mention this to someone and their response really ticked me off . This upset me so much I felt I needed to write about it . They wanted me to wait . " I mean , Lottie, its not that bad . "
   Really ? Really ? How would you know . That's like telling someone that has breast cancer...its just a breast . Or someone in a wheelchair.....its just a leg .People say the most insensitive things . This is why people who are going through tragedies do  not share their feelings with others . Another reason ....because they feel that no one understands what they are going through .
  Another huge misconception..............this is not is the loss of identity . My losing my hair is not about being attractive . Its about not recognizing myself .Who am I now? Who will I be when I come out of this ? Then there are my children who still have a hard time seeing me with no hair . I should just tell them its not that bad when they see globs of my hair hit the floor . How dramatic do you think that will be for them ?
  The funny thing is that the person who said it , if this happened to them , would have gone into a depression . I'm not saying this to make the person feel bad about themselves . I want people to be aware.
    Since starting this blog ,I have had so many relatives of patients come up to me and tell me how they never knew what they were feeling . How they kept all their emotions bottled up . How they wished they knew their thoughts .
   My feelings alone have been like a roller coaster ride....up and down and up again . I think that's because I'm trying to find out who I am in all of this . This person staring in the mirror with a bald head...who is she ?Who will she become ?

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blending With The Wallpaper

JEREMIAH 31:31–40

      "I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

All of my life , I have been a leader , whether I wanted to be one or not . I've always done what has been expected of me , guilt playing  a huge role in my life . 

Guilt has pushed me to do things outside of my comfort level . No matter how busy I could be , people could lay the guilt at my door and I would end up fulfilling their wish list . 

But . . . . .  I can't blame it all on guilt . It may have played a part , but not the whole thing . I can't seem to say no . Ask me to pick up your children from school everyday for a week and I will find myself agreeing before I know what has happened . 

Why do I do that ? How many times have I gone without sleep , because I'm fulfilling an obligation ? How many times have I been behind , because of an over-scheduled date book ? 

All I want to do is blend in with the wallpaper and not be seen nor      heard . Let me sit quietly in a corner observing and doing my thing . A safe , little nook where life cannot touch me . Obviously , God has other plans for me .

I think a part of it has to do with my being a single mom . I know how difficult it can be when one is alone . When someone asks a favor of me , my mind immediately goes to a time when the same has happened to me . I can relate to how helpless and alone a person can feel when faced with a problem . 

So yes , I feel guilt at not helping . Yes , I feel obligated to help . Am I not looking for the same thing every time my car breaks down ? 

Whenever that feeling of disappearing into the wallpaper occurs , usually God provides a tiny reminder of why we are here sharing this earth with others . A request will be made . A date for breakfast will be set . A text message will appear . Let's not forget to answer .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Some Things

Pain and trials are almost constant companions, but never enemies. They drive me into His sovereign arms. There He takes my disappointments and works everything together for good. 
Kay Arthur

I honestly believe Kay is right . When I was a 

little girl , my mom would always have this 

saying she would repeat to me as an 

explanation to life itself  . 

God has planned your life while you were still a tiny 

dot inside me .

Of course , that would just open up a whole slew of 

questions for me and I was a child with tons of 

questions .

 When I think of my life before cancer , it almost 

seems a waste , as if 

I was living a past life in another dimension . An 

incomplete life , where I was looking for something 

that seemed unattainable  

and that something was also unexplainable . 

Some things , one cannot define , yet the longing is 

real and so is the thirst  . 

Some things cannot be explained ,yet our desire to 

be loved and cared for is greater than the fear of not 

knowing  .

Some things are beyond words , yet when we find it , 

we feel as if we've finally made it home after years of 

being lost and hungry .

Some things are worth taking the risk of believing , 

taking hold of Faith and placing our trust into the 

 hands of Sovereignty . 

So yes , cancer is my pain and my sorrow , but it also 

has become my dear , dear friend .  

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Monday, July 28, 2014

Youth Monday

Monday is here again , ready to start off the brand new week whether we are willing or not . Why not try to make an effort in the right 
direction ? 

From time to time , I may feel saddened by the world's behavior , but there is hope within me for a better tomorrow . That tomorrow involves our youth and their role in it . Why not help them along ?

All summer long , I've been running into our youth as they promoted the organizations they're involved in . Where ? On the street corners , of course ! Though , not the way you may think . 

An entire boy's basketball team collecting donations for uniforms , walking up and down between the cars as we await the light to        
   change . 

A car wash operated by a girl's youth group to raise money for an upcoming trip .

Two young girls standing by the entrance into a supermarket , collecting for Misericordia . 

Let's not forget the young girl downtown Chicago , holding up a " Jesus Loves You " poster to the ayes and nays of passing crowds and vehicles . 

Each time I ran across one of them , I felt inspired and proud . Seeing young teens volunteering and being involved in group activities offers a sense of hope . These are the next generation that will make or break our Country . It feels good to see them moving forward on a positive path . 

Feeling proud and inspired is not enough . We have to reach into our hearts and our pockets , supporting these youth groups so our children will have somewhere to go and learn about leadership . 

Unfortunately , very few people acknowledged these young people in each of the scenarios above  . Didn't even stop to add an encouraging word or two in their direction . We complain about our youth , yet when an opportunity presents itself to do something about it , we don't even bother to look . 

The next time you see a fundraiser supporting our children  , reach for those  couple of dollars you spend on your morning coffee and give . No change in  your wallet ? How about an encouraging word in their ear ? It's Monday , folks  . How are you going to start your week ?

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Questions Anyone ?

Here are more frequently asked questions :

1. What is " couch day " and " table day " mean ? 
People hear Emily and myself often make that reference . It refers to our meals . Emily has this desire to sit down at the table and eat supper with no television or any other electronics . Supper is to be family time and we are to behave as the family on " Full House ". 

Now that my children are grown , I prefer the leisure part of my life . I want to eat on the couch watching a favorite show once in a while , maybe  not even cook . 

Believe it or not , we actually had a blown out argument over this very subject , so a compromise was made . We alternate the days now ( don't laugh ) , one day is couch day and the next is table and so on .

2. Is Emily your only child ? 
This is funny . I have an older son , Joseph , who is married with two children  . I write about my daily life with cancer and trying to make sense of this journey that I'm on . Since he lives in Springfield we do not see each other on a daily basis . My stories are more based on my life here with Emily and the things we encounter as we co-habit  together . 

3. Which of the three treatments was the worst ? 
Honestly , this is very difficult to answer . I have had three treatments , but four types of chemo . Each type of chemo has the basic side effects such as nausea , metal mouth , fatigue etc . It also features a major side effect that only pertains  to that type of chemo  such as a low immune system , lowering of your blood count , affecting your heart/blood pressure , even sores  .  

Every treatment can have it's drawbacks , especially when they persist long term . So we experience nausea ( for instance ) every single day for what seems like a lifetime . Linda , has had chemo for a couple of years now  . Can you imagine  not being able to taste food in their natural flavors for that long ? How about diarrhea , constipation , baldness , tingling numbness in your feet and hands ? 

If I had to choose , I would select my last treatment as the most  intolerable . I experienced the sores all over my body , especially all the sensitive areas such as armpits , bottom of your feet etc . I chose to work during that time , which made it worse for me . My skin turned dark , looking as if I needed a bath . To this day , my skin is still dark in some areas . 

I hope this provides a small window into our lives and answers some of the questions you may have . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Journey Of Life

I have a story of a journey that we embark on from birth . This journey hasn't always been a smooth sailing one . At times , it has been bumpy , scary and has landed us on foreign soil . Yet , I never traveled it alone .

At each depot , people would depart or join in my adventures . Sometimes , it would seem that the seat beside me was empty and there was no one to walk with me . On my most difficult roads , I've asked someone special to go with me . 

" Jesus , would you walk with me ? " 

I hope you enjoy the following .

                                        A Colorful Cartoon of a Steam Train with a Big Puff of Smoke - Royalty Free Clipart Picture
At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life.  Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum.  Others will go so unnoticed that we don't realize that they vacated their seats!
This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers... requiring that we give the best of ourselves.
The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way -- love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are.
It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty -- we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.
I wish you a joyful journey for the coming year on the train of life.  Reap success and give lots of love. More importantly, thank God for the journey! 
Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train!

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Afoot At The Avenue

Life has been extremely loud around our building lately . No one has moved out nor moved in for over a year and a half . We have become accustomed to each other as best as we could be . Normalcy can lead to irritation .

Smoking Steve is still upset with Grandma " stealing " his favorite parking spot . I also think he is a racist and a complainer of everything . He doesn't care for the landlord , either . I mean , his smoke alarm has been beeping , needing batteries and the landlord has the audacity to tell him it's the tenant's responsibility to change their own light bulbs / batteries . 

 Grandma thinks the party-lovers below her to be too loud , slamming the doors and conducting too many parties below her bedroom window outside . Little does she know , it's not them that are slamming the doors .

The party-lovers are a young couple living together and I don't think they have any beef with anyone . Their way too busy enjoying life with their friends to worry about us old folks . I don 't think they have room in their closet , because all their shoes are piled high outside their door .

Easy Ryan is still our favorite . He helped Emily out with Diamond when she hid under the neighbors porch last summer when she heard a car driving past . He has a cute little hutch-back car that I love . I think that will be my next car . I think he has a girlfriend , he doesn't always come home at night . 

Pol-po upstairs cannot , and I mean cannot , stand the Louds . If we think they 're loud above us , can you imagine living next door to them ? Just this past weekend , they played Mariachi music full blast . They leave doors completely wide open in the middle of the night . They double park their vehicles and their children run up and down the stairs playing tag . 

We all are serenaded by Pol-po's numerous adventures with her on again/off again boyfriend . Their antics are legendary here . We are privileged to witness their relationship woes outside , in the hallways , through the vents and on the streets . My favorite scene ? On a makeup visit here , he brought her a present as a token apology , a coffee maker that was missing a decanter , but it's the thought that counts . The scene that followed , we will save for another time . 

The Criers below us have certainly lived up to their namesake . Their little girl has tantrums all day long , classic tantrums . There's one going on now  as I write . The mom is amazing ! Through it all she baby talks to them with a smile . Just last month , while playing ball in front , they broke the bathroom window and she didn't bat an eye . Kept on chatting with her friend . 

The laughing hyenas have been the same as usual  . Probably driving all of the above crazy . I could just imagine what they think or say about us , but then , isn't that how it is in all apartment buildings ?

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I love the rain and cold blistering days where we can snuggle up with a good book , something hot on the side table , a comfortable outfit and just relax . . . . .  as long as we don't have to go out there . Let's not forget the yarn , ( lol ) . 

It's hard to imagine a day like that during the summer when it's hot , sunny and we're covered with sweat . In the Winter , we daydream about summer days and in the Summer vice versa . 

Poetry has been another favorite of mine and when I find one that speaks to me  , I'd like to share it with others . 

Today . . .

Today the weather is pure FALL!!!! It's raining and howling wind outside . Both Emily and I have been sick with a cold for a full week and there's no relief in sight . Doesn't look good for my chemo on Monday might be cancelled .

   Words are not needed on a day like this . Today is perfect for a hot , homemade bowl of soup and a slice of fresh bread . Snuggle on a couch with a blankie and hot tea with lemon and honey . Words are not needed . Today we should spend time with our loved ones just being quiet . The month of THANKFULLNESS is here .
  Let me share a poem with you that reminded me of HIM when I looked outside today.


 have you looked for God when the
tempest broke
have you seen him in the lightening
have you heard his voice in the
thunder roar
or in proud waves that break on the shore
have you watched him in the sunset glow
has he left his footprints in the fresh fallen snow
does he live in temples hewn of stone
where is his palace
where is his throne
you can search and search without
seeing his face
as his fleeting footprints through nature you trace
he is Lord of the earth and Lord of the sky
he is Lord of life's seasons that swiftly roll by
you can search the world pver for glimpse of him
but to find him
my friend
start looking within
in hearts he is living

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Negative World

I don't care for my job . There I said it . Out loud . 

I've never had problems adjusting to anything before , especially a mere shift in my work schedule . My work hasn't been anything more to me than a means of supporting myself and my family . That is all . The work that has defined me has always come from my personal life . 

Adaptation is becoming harder and harder for me . I have changed on the inside and living in this secular world has become difficult for me . This world we live in , my friends , has become a negative world . 

I head out everyday with a smile on my face whether I am feeling it or not . I have problems , maybe not as drastic as the next person , but they do exist in my life . 

Good morning everyone .

Have a good day everyone . 

How are you today , ladies ? 

Happy Monday or Friday everyone . 

The problem is that I have become disillusioned with the secular world . It's all fine and dandy , when one is sitting in Church , surrounded by people who hold the same views , but leave that sanctity ... Will you feel the love of the world ? I think not .

On social media , all one finds are videos of people physically hurting themselves , young teens vandalizing others property and young ladies making videos of themselves dancing sexy . We , as a culture love sensationalism . We want to see the " shock-effect " of everyday life . 

People can scream , holler and belittle you and when you call them out on it , they tell you this is their nature . This is how they talk , all the time . This is just the way she is with everyone , I'm told . 

Well , I don't care how you are at home , but when you step outside your door and into the workplace , church or public arena , you will show respect for others  . 

People are not afraid of God or the power of their words . Your actions can hurt someone . I go out there with my best face forward and by the end of the day , I have turned that cheek so many times . Is it no wonder that I want to go and hide from the world ? 

How did Paul do it ? He traveled city to city  and encountered all walks of life and he still had plenty of faith . No matter what they did to him , he still had hope for mankind . 

I don't care for my job nor for the majority of people working there . I keep telling myself , this is a time of interval , that God has a purpose here for me . I keep telling myself not to grow weary , but keep turning that cheek , forgiving them . All this , like many things  , is for a limited time . This too , will pass .

In the meantime , I need prayers for strength and endurance during this time . Have a Blessed day everyone .

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Little Goals Of Mine

Goal :
 It's important to comprehend that a goal is a purpose or direction toward which we work .

Not exactly sure where I read the above explanation of the definition of a goal . What is interesting to me is that the definition varies depending on who one asks and what stage of their journey that person happens to be on .

My goals certainly have changed as I've aged , but most importantly , the meaning has been altered . Now , each goal represents a piece of my heart that has weighed heavily until completion . I've asked myself  what were the goals in my life that have meant so much to me . The ones that were achieved . 

When I learned to drive at the age of 35  certainly ranks at number 
  one . I've shocked people with that one . I believe they thought I would never get a license . Of course , two days later I had an accident . 

I know I surprised people at work , some friends and even some family when I survived that first bout with cancer . I'm surprised , so why shouldn't they be ? I had a determination to fight for my life . A goal I'm still trying to achieve . 

The one that turned out to be a hidden goal that I've discovered late in life , had to be my Crocheting Ministry . I never saw that one coming  , it just appeared out of nowhere taking me by surprise . Who knew this was hidden inside of me ?

Let's not forget this blog . Started out as a dear diary type for my kids and now it has become my therapy couch healing me  . When I think of all the people I have met through this blog , people who are so special to me . 

Now there are many goals that I have not mentioned , but these above are very dear to me . You see , they have changed my life and I have never been the same again . These were the major ones that redefined where I've been , where I'm going and who I've become . 

Now , I know there are other life changing goals ahead of me . Believe me , I can't wait to make them , live them and conquer them . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Monday, July 21, 2014

It's Monday

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time--God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. 
(1 Timothy 6:12-16)

It's Monday , a brand new week , a new beginning . Yesterday is a mere memory , tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift . How do you plan on changing the world today ?

One step at a time . One person at a time . One day at a time . 

The change begins within us . How we view the world , the people in it and the role we play . 

Not too long ago , Emily and I were at an intersection waiting for the red light to change . A homeless man carried a sign  begging for 
money . He approached our car , on the drivers side . His face was dirty as he asked me if I could help him . I nodded no .

I cannot tell you how terrible I felt and still do . His image has stayed with me all this time . I felt as if I turned down Jesus himself . 

" You can give him some money on our way back , mom " . 

Coming back , a few streets before that same intersection , I reached inside my handbag for those singles . As the light changed to red , my eyes scanned looking for him . He was a few cars ahead of me , but didn't see me .

 Someone in that vehicle gave him a round loaf of bread . He took that loaf and carefully wrapped it and placed it inside his bag . 

That man was hungry . The way he handled that loaf as if it was a real treasure , priceless to him . I failed him , I failed myself and I failed Jesus . What had happened to all my Christian beliefs ?  An opportunity was practically handed to me and I blew it . 

I believe situations such as these present themselves to us daily and we walk past them , not seeing them  . Do we not care enough ? Is there no compassion left within our hearts ? Why are we so afraid ?

Every Monday , we start off our work weeks with a new slate . All the dirt , the hardships of the past are left behind . We begin our day with  HOPE that it will be different . Let's begin the change within us first , so we can change the world , one small step at a time . 

Do you have a story such as mine ? A story of when we could have helped , but didn't . Maybe , you have a story of the exact opposite . 

Every Monday , I will be posting stories of people reaching out to others . If you would like to share your good deed or lack of , you can contact me via e-mail : 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Sunday Funny

Sunday , a day of rest and relaxation . 

I have been up for hours already , tackling my closets , always looking for more room in this small apartment . Storage is a blessed thing , indeed .

A change of curtains , fresh bed linens and the scent of newly cleaned rooms hang in the air . You could say , I've been busy .

All I want to do now  is rest . Start supper for two . Rest again with a pile of yarn . 

When I was a small child , Sunday was the day that the best comics were featured in the paper . The Sunday comics . The Sunday   Funnies . Thanks to my dear Barb , here are today's funnies . 

One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, I'm not going."
"Why not?" she asked.
I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "(1) they don't like me, and (2) I don't like them."
His mother replied, "I'll give you two good reasons why you SHOULD go to church:
(1) You're 59 years old, and (2) you're the pastor!"
The Picnic
A Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Priest met at the town's annual 4th of July picnic. Old friends, they began their usual banter.
"This baked ham is really delicious," the priest teased the rabbi. "You really ought to try it. I know it's against your religion, but I can't understand why such a wonderful food should be forbidden! You don't know what you're missing.  You just haven't lived until you've tried Mrs. Hall's prized Virginia Baked Ham. Tell me, Rabbi, when are you going to break down and try it?"
The rabbi looked at the priest with a big grin, and said, "At your wedding."
The Usher
An elderly woman walked into the local country church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps.
"Where would you like to sit?" he asked politely.
"The front row, please," she answered.
"You really don't want to do that," the usher said. "The pastor is really boring."
"Do you happen to know who I am?"  the woman inquired.
"No," he said.
"I'm the pastor's mother," she replied indignantly.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked.
"No," she said.
"Good," he answered.
Show and Tell
A kindergarten teacher gave her class a "show and tell" assignment. Each student was instructed to bring in an object that represented their religion to share with the class.
The first student got up in front of the class and said, "My name is Benjamin and I am Jewish, and this is a Star of David."
The second student got up in front of the class and said, "My name is Mary. I'm a Catholic and this is a Rosary."
The third student got in up front of the class and said, "My name is Tommy. I am Methodist, and this is a casserole."
The Best Way To Pray
A priest, a minister and a guru sat discussing the best positions for prayer, while a telephone repairman worked nearby.
"Kneeling is definitely the best way to pray," the priest said.
"No," said the minister. "I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven."
"You're both wrong," the guru said. "The most effective prayer position is lying down on the floor."
The repairman could contain himself no longer. "Hey, fellas," he interrupted. "The best prayin' I ever did was when I was hangin' upside down from a telephone pole."
The Twenty and the One
A well-worn one-dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty-dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired.
As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation.
The twenty-dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the country.
"I've had a pretty good life," the twenty proclaimed. "Why I've been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the finest restaurants in New York, performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean."
"Wow!" said the one-dollar bill. "You've really had an exciting life!"
"So, tell me," says the twenty, "where have you been throughout your lifetime?"
The one-dollar bill replies, "Oh, I've been to the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church."
The twenty-dollar bill interrupts, "What's a church?"
Goat for Dinner
The young couple invited their elderly pastor for Sunday dinner. While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the minister asked their son what they were having.
"Goat," the little boy replied.
"Goat?" replied the startled man of the cloth, "Are you sure about that?"
"Yep," said the youngster. "I heard Dad say to Mom, 'Today is just as good as any to have the old goat for dinner.' "
Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day Eleven

Dear Diary , 

I woke up this morning feeling blue , knowing I had to get back to work . All morning I walked around like a zombie not wanting to do anything , my mood quickly turning sour .

I felt like I didn't do any of the things I wanted or planned . There was no time set aside  just for me . Even though no one knew of my vacation , they still somehow managed to call upon me  . How could that be ? How did they know I would answer ?

It's all my fault . When someone reaches out to me , I can't say no and walk away . I'm a good listener and people confide in me things that normally they never  would tell anyone else . I find that people are not looking for someone to tell them what to do , rather they're looking for someone to just listen .

Sighing  deeply , I set out to work . Everyone wanted to know what I did , where I went or with whom . I re-told the events of the week and a half in a monotone voice  . I received the same response from all . 

Looks like you made some good memories . 

" Yes , I did ." I replied in a surprised voice  . I really did . Suddenly , I realized this  time off wasn't about me , it was about everyone else . I was needed , I was needed . They needed my time .

The solitude I have been looking for will come eventually . There's a time for everything , right ?

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Day Ten

Dear Diary ,

Today is the last day of my vacation , so I'm a little sad . It's always hard to go back to work , the longer we are off , the harder it is to get back to normal . 

I wanted today to be special . Since my schedule change at work , there are no dinners together or an evening spent watching a favorite show . We may have gone our separate ways during the day , but dinner was a family affair . The television would be turned off and so was the phone . We would chat about our day and I could see that Emily missed it very much .

For our last day , I planned a dinner of salmon , which we always make on special occasions . Fresh salmon is not cheap , but since this vacay has been about treating ourselves  , why not ?

Afterwards , we brought down board games off the shelf and even partook in video games . Emily's favorite games of Monopoly and Minecraft were some of the games we indulged in . 

We ended the day with a Lifetime movie and my famous elliptical machine .That , my friends , concluded the end of my vacation . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday

As I recall the eventful day of the story below , I am  filled with a sense of sadness . Everyone has a desire to be remembered in death . I remember this individual quite well and try to instill that memory as an incentive to do and be as Christ-like as I can .

I have failed many times , but I get up and keep on trying . I never want this to become my story . Life is so short . I don't want anyone to experience these feelings at my funeral .

Leaving Something Behind

  A couple years back , I went to a funeral of a woman that wasn't exactly " nice " for  want of a better word . In fact , she was very difficult , negative , never had a good word to say about anyone . It was very hard to be with her and everyone would avoid her as much as they could . People made excuses for her because of her many illnesses .
     As I sat at her funeral , I could not think of one happy moment that I spent with this woman and it shocked me . Why not ? Because she was miserable and made sure everyone around  her was made miserable too . My last memory of her involved her complaining about a baby crying .That's all I could think about sitting in the pew .
     I don't want anyone to ever feel like that about me . If there is one thing I want to leave behind .......its happy memories . What better way of honoring someone then with memories .I want for people to sit around and bring up things we have done together when I'm gone . I want a relationship with every person in  my life .
     I want my children to remember all the things we have done together.Times we have cried together....laughed together and yes, even fought together . Because after each fight we did learn something from it . ....we learned to apologize .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Day Nine

Dear Diary , 

Another early start , this time heading out for morning coffee at Dunkin Donuts with a close friend who needed a chat . Sometimes , we need to think of other's before we think of ourselves . I'm so attuned to her that I can almost feel when she needs me . 

Usually we have our cuppa at my place , crocheting and chatting for hours . This morning we had to cut it short to only two hours , it was going to the movies day . 

Since our decision to become debt free , going to see a movie became another treat . Checking to see what movies were showing , turned out to be rather disappointing . It costs so much now that I often wonder how families are able to afford it nowadays and there really isn't anything worth that amount to see . 

We ended up choosing Maleficent with Angelina Jolie . I was shocked a bit in the beginning to see her in a role as this one . She looked so stern , so evil and frightening . The story line is another twist to an old time favorite Sleeping Beauty . 

I did enjoy the movie , because like in all fairy tales , there is  a moral and it was a good one . In fact , there were several one could discuss afterwards with their children . A little frightening , maybe , but a great discussion afterwards . 

The day itself , turned out to be more leisurely spent than I expected . Even though , there was a lot to do  ( still worked out , housework and cooked ) none of it was done in a rushed tempo . 

A little sad my vacay was coming to an end , but it still was a great day . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day Eight

Dear Diary ,

Happy 4th of July ! 

I woke up this morning full of energy . I made coffee for myself and green tea for Emily along with some breakfast . Drawing the living room curtains aside , I pulled the chairs right up to the window , placing our morning meal on the side table  . 

There are many privileges to living in a small village township . One of them happens to be the parade that passes through right in front of our building . This was the first time I would be watching a parade since a wee girl . Never really enjoyed them before until today .

I cannot tell you how much fun we had sitting in our PJ's and  eating our breakfast , while cheering on the floats ! We hollered out the window , clapping and waving wildly like we have never seen a parade . 

We cheered on the basketball , football and cheerleader teams . The Mayor and Alderman passed through and we waved , not caring what Party they belonged . Those cute little Brownies and Boy Scouts ! The band stopped , swirling flags and trumpets blaring , we stood up and marched in place !

We have a milk company  ( who knew ?) and they were passing out mini cartons . Look ! There's one of our Sunday School students riding his decorated bicycle . When the Fire Trucks came roaring through , everyone was on their feet cheering . 

What fun ! I also learned something new about Emily . When she would spend her weekend by her dad's during 4th of July , they would ride the parade ! He would drive an antique car and she would pass out candy to the kids . I never knew that . 

Every year my niece would host this Holiday with a traditional pulled pork and everyone  would bring a side dish . Let's not forget a swimsuit as they have a hot tub . This has become such a tradition that all of their friends are like family to us , some even call my mom " Babcia " . 

It was great to see the family , especially my many nieces and nephews that we don't see on a regular basis . One thing I can say about my family is that we are open to everyone . It makes no difference if you are a  friend , or an in-law of an in-law , I consider you family . Or at least , I do .

The night usually ends with a drive to our local High School for a fireworks display . Did I mention that my niece also lives in the small village as I ? These past two years , I have opted not to go and instead went home . 

It has become a nightmare with the fireworks , with people shooting them off in the streets , alleys , and their backyards . The air was thick with fumes , setting off my fire alarm in my bedroom  that night . I understand people are celebrating , but sometimes ,  people forget what the Holiday really is and just want an excuse to party . 

We ended the day on a very happy note and with another round with the elliptical .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Day Seven

Dear Diary ,

This morning , I set out for my hair appointment at the salon  an hour later than planned  . Mom was meeting me there and she couldn't make it any sooner . I like to start my day early when I have errands so I wasn't a happy camper . 

Many , many moons ago , I had a body wave done and now it has grown out into a frizz . It was time for a trim , so I reluctantly agreed to meet her there . All I had on my mind was idleness .

Traffic was horrible ! Anytime a holiday falls during the week , traffic becomes horrendous . People end up driving crazy , showing their impatience . Suddenly everything takes longer .

It took a lot longer than I expected . After the salon , mom and I went grocery shopping together , which took some more time . By the time I got home it was time to make supper and then the workout regiment . 

When the day turned to night , as I sat on my bed with a glass of wine , I tried to remember what exactly I have accomplished . Ah yes , my hair and shopping was complete . At least that's something !

I did like the feel of my hair . There is something about a new hairdo or dress or nails . It makes us feel beautifully refreshed and suddenly there is a little more vigor in our step . Yes , I'm glad I got my hair done .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day Six

Dear Diary ,

I think today was probably one of my favorite day of the week . After a very exhausting day yesterday , today was a lot calmer  and quieter . A lot less  stressful on my old body . 

Since this year we opted to stay home during the summer ,  we made a list of things we wanted to do as a treat that wouldn't hurt our budget . One of the the items on the list was eating out . 

Now that may seem like nothing special to many of people , it is to us . When we made the decision to eating healthier  and living simpler , eating out became limited to certain times a year . Today was the day .

I think we discussed where we would have supper  more fervently than any other subject thus far in our relationship . Since we cook on a daily basis , we wanted something different that we haven't savored yet . 

Sandwiches or burgers were definitely out , we could make that at home . Fast food ? No way ! Emily being a vegetarian ruled out many restaurants who didn't offer a variety of dishes . It's amazing how little there is for vegans or meatless style people ( heehee ) . 

Our choice ended up being Olive Garden . A little pricey , but if one goes out once in a while , it's definitely worth it . Let me tell you , we not only enjoyed that meal , but savored every delicious morsel . 

Of course , working out that night was a real challenge on a full stomach , but we got through it somehow . Off to bed , another active morning tomorrow .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day Five

Dear Diary , 

The last thing I wanted to do is head out to Navy Pier with Emily . After running around all weekend , I just wanted to sit down somewhere and do nothing , but crochet or write . 

The train ride for our downtown experience was fun as we took selfies , giggling and laughing at ourselves . I love riding the train ! Whenever I hear the whistle blowing . . . . .  well , I just want to go somewhere .

Getting there itself was quite an accomplishment . Neither one of us are downtown savvy . Let me tell you , diary , downtown is full of activity . Everywhere you look there are people rushing about dressed in all sorts of fashion . 

There are people going to work in business suits , wearing stilettos  : young teens dressed in red , white and blue , carrying the american flag  while singing the national anthem : young parents lugging around their children , bags and strollers heading to the lakefront . 

Let's not forget the musicians playing and Tina Turner lookalike singing , " What's Love Got To Do With It " . We even saw an Amish girl reading a book in a cafe . 

We walked and walked , taking all of it in . We walked past the open market with over-priced goods . We walked past a family of born again Christians standing on the corners holding huge signs declaring " Jesus Loves You " . We did stop there , only to encourage the young teen holding that sign . How brave she was spending her vacation evangelizing God's Word . We left her , smiling so brightly . 

We ate our grapes and apples on the Pier overlooking the lake as seagulls flew all around us hoping for a nibble . Believe me , I was exhausted . When I saw myself in the bathroom mirror , I almost burst out laughing . My face all sweaty , hair all over the place and sunburn everywhere . What a sight !

Riding back on the train with our Dunkin Donut treat ( I had an iced coffee and she had green ice tea ) , I glanced over to my girl . She looked so happy , chatting all the way .

Of course , the day wasn't over . We still had to work out on that darn elliptical . Ugggh , so tired !

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Yarn Bombing My Life

                            Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey. Some murmur if their sky is clear, And wholly bright ...