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Showing posts from May, 2015

A Cold Blistering Sunday

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The weather forecast calls for 90% chance of rain, and we prepare carrying our umbrella. You just know it will rain all day. That's what happened this weekend. It's been raining, drizzling at times and an outpour at others. The wind has been blowing and the mighty trees have been swaying. It looks more like the approaching of Fall rather than Summer.

I sit at my desk in front of my window, watching people huddled in jackets under their umbrellas hurrying with their errands. Huddled, because our bodies brace themselves automatically against the chill. No matter what Fall gear they're wearing on top like jackets, hats and scarves, it's all worn over shorts. Almost as if refusing to accept this weather.

That's what my desk looks like today, like that picture above. The window pane is streaked with raindrops and tea with honey warms my belly. A desire to write overwhelms me as the picture in front of me unfolds.

There is comfort in the storm. Nothing explains His power …

Love, Child Style

I love children, period. It does not matter to me what color they are or gender. To me, a child is a child. I could take a stranger's child and raise them up as mine, loving and caring for them completely.
I've always wanted many children, even secretly hoping for a set of twins. Unfortunately, things didn't quite work out that way. I did have four children, but have only two to show for it.

The other day as I was looking through some old papers, I came across  the grave markings of my son's graves. It's been a very, very long time since I've been to their graves.

In the earlier years after their deaths, I visited regularly usually with family members. I would watch them literally bawl their eyes out in grief and yet, no tears came from me. I didn't feel anything sitting at their graves. For a long time, I felt inept as a mother because of it. How could I not cry at their graves?

Yet, I would arrive home afterwards and think about them. I would remember thei…

Throwback Thursday

Looking back on my life with cancer, I am so very grateful to have this precious gift of life. This journey has taught me so much about myself, about the people in my life and about my relationship with God.

The idea of death is something we all need to deal with at some point in our lives. I just have to deal with mine a little sooner than most. Once you make that  decision, life becomes easier and a lot enjoyable.

Acceptance
    The morning sun streams across my bedroom filling it with a warmth that is a lie . It's freezing outside . Winter is coming . As sick as I have been feeling , my mood is pretty bright as the sun outside . I feel different this week . Acceptance is settling in . No more anger or disappointment at having to relive cancer again . It has become a way of life for me and it's time for me to make peace with it .
    My priorities in life have changed once more . All I want now is to live a peaceful life . I want to live a certain way . Carefree and worry f…

Simply Words?

Words hold plenty of power. If you're a human being living on this Earth, you have been both a victim and a victor of words. Why do people want to hurt one another so very badly, especially with words? Sometimes, I think we are so engrossed in this world that we forget what we are doing and saying.

Words have a huge affect on how our day goes, how we feel about ourselves and how we deal with others. Words can affect our whole outlook on relationships with those around us.

Words are one of the reasons why I have a difficult time living in the secular world. I don't even think that people are aware of what they are saying. They just blurt out the first thing that pops into their heads.

There is a STOP sign right in front of our building. If you could hear some of the things that come forth out of these mouths. It's like pop=pop=pop without a second thought. I wonder if I recorded them and played it back to them, how would they react? Would they be ashamed? No, they would be o…

Multi-tasking All The Way

I love to multi-task. One would usually find me in my room, sitting at my desk, with the television playing or an audio on my computer. The computer is on with multiple windows opened at once (my e-mail, Facebook and blog). Next to my desk is my basket of yarn and current piece that I'm working on. Under my desk, there is a small container for all my papers and mail that I need to sort through. On top of my desk, under my keyboard, lies a large calendar with all appointments and important dates penned in accordingly.

I am, somewhat organized. The only problem happens to be that my bedroom is a multi-purpose room, which usually ends up being crowded and cramped. Oh well.

I am at any time working on three of these things at once.  Besides all that, there could be a load of laundry downstairs or a meal being cooked on the stove or oven. I might drop things in here and run out into the living room to vacuum quickly. Whichever, multi-tasking is a way of life for me that I enjoy thoroug…

Simply Flax

So lately, my mission has been to ease the pain of my arthritis. The last thing I want to do is pop pills all day long, so the plan is to go as naturally as I can. I have been trying different methods like soaking in a hot water or stretching exercises. Even when I'm sleeping, I try to elevate my legs or use a ice pack to bring down the swelling. It's hardly 100% proof, more like 50%, but I'd like to think it helps.

I love to hear of natural ways of healing ourselves like in  our grandparents day. People used home remedies to cure or ease their discomfort. When someone brought up flax seeds as a good remedy for arthritis, I thought I'd give them a try.

The fact is, I never knew flax seeds had so many benefits. It's not only good for arthritis (inflammation), but also for lowering your bad cholesterol. All it takes is a small sprinkle over your food or in your drink. Below are more informational facts regarding flax seeds.
 Flax seed nutrition facts Flax seed, also k…

A Deep Cleanse

Looking around the  kitchen, I quickly noticed how badly it needed a good cleaning and a paint job. In fact, as I walked around the entire apartment, I found things wrong with it.

The hallway carpet needed a good scrubbing, the same boring layout in the living room since we first moved in. Every room that I looked into, I found myself dissatisfied with something. The whole lot should just go. What we needed here was change, a new beginning.

Ever since the disappointment I've been feeling displaced, dissatisfied and discontented. We have been good girls waiting patiently for the next stage in our lives. We've been praying and keeping the faith. We pray, it's a no. We pray again and again, each time a no. It is very disheartening when God keeps saying no all the time.

So I've been left feeling a little left out. Left out from everyone else around me.

Maybe you've fallen into a well of discouragement because compare to " ---------" you're not making nearly …

Simply Sick

I'm not sure when exactly it began. It started with a small cough and a dryness of mouth. A feeling of unfulfilled thirst no matter how much one actually dranked. Halfway through my shift, my voice began to quiver and by the time I left for home, it was nothing more than a mere squeak. I had lost my voice.

I can't remember the last time I was sick with a flu or a cold. I do know it has been years. The joke at work has always been that all that chemo I've endured knocked all other illnesses out of me.

In reality, I do know that my immune system has been built up with my regular healthier eating habits, plus regular doctor visits and yearly flu shots. It didn't hurt that everyday the first thing I would do at work would be the wiping down of my desk. That certainly brought many frowns from  others.

Yes, frowns. People seem to think I was insinuating that they were dirty and I was not. People assume too much about nothing. I kept on with little regard to their opinions. My…

Throwback Thursday

This struggle of mine in accepting the new me since this cancer journey is still ongoing. Although, I have to say it matters less and less to me as I age. I don't think I'll ever look like I used to, but then , that's what happens when we age.

As to the blog, it certainly has evolved through the years. Many times, I've considered stopping, but then I'll get an e-mail or a card in the mail letting me know how much someone appreciates my honesty.

What began as a journal/diary for my children, has evolved into a passion of writing and therapeutic for my soul. I will keep on writing, even if I'm the only one reading it. Writing does me good.

Also, the only people still living in this apartment listed below is Easy Ryan, but then , we did move in on the same day.

What's In A Name
    A transformation has taken place in my life this week . That last chemo where I didn't want to go , really changed me . On my first journey , I realized how many people  truly love…

A Little Pick Me Up

Disappointment is tough especially when you're a Christain. Living out His will  is harder  than one could ever imagine. That concept  usually means facing many disappointing no's in our lives. It's difficult, because we  cannot see that yes and how it will look like, we only see the now.

So as I'm trying to process that no, I'm turning to times that I've been very blessed indeed. Today, there is nothing that I can write. It's just not there. Sometimes, we just need to mourn what will never be.

Hopes this makes you smile.
Nine Important Facts To Remember As We Grow Older

#9 Death is the number 1 killer in the world. #8 Life is sexually transmitted. #7 Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die. #6 Men have two motivations: hunger and hanky panky, and they can't tell them apart.  If you see a gleam in his eyes, make him a sandwich. #5 Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day.  Teach a person to use the Internet and they won'…

Up To Date

The remodeling upstairs has resided to an occasional drill here and there or a footstep. The construction outside continues, but I don't mind that part. I find that Public Works are quite considerate ( cough ) and work in moderation. The noise level is not continually consistent.
 First, there may be some drilling or some other piercing loud noise, but it usually stops after a few minutes. After that, silence reigns as we wait for the next guy to come over maybe take a peek at the work done or measure something. Again silence as we wait for the third guy and so on and on. You see, they consider all the neighbors and stretch the work out.
Of course, there's never a dull moment by us. Just the other night, I'm typing away at my computer in front of my window and out of nowhere, six squad cars or more appear, lights flashing. It turns out that this Barbie lookalike was drunk out of her mind and proceeded to crash into things or other cars, not sure. The police are called, but …

Simply Monday

It's been raining on and off all night. Not the usual downpour, but more of a constant drizzle, the kind I find irritating. Turning over, I didn't want to face the day, but sleep on into oblivion.

I mean it's Monday, folks! Who wants to get up?

I did make a promise to  myself to accept my work situation and make the best of it. With that in mind, I made myself get up and face the music. In fact, everyday I make the effort even though my feet maybe dragging in the process.

The other day, close to my shift ending, a fellow co-worker pulled me aside. She kept telling me how she is encouraged everyday by my happy attitude, that no matter what I may be going through, I put on a smile. My attitude encourages her to go on, because if I can do it, she can too.

I just looked at her like she was crazy. I'm barely holding it together. I told her so.

Yes, but no one can tell. That's the magic of it. How do you do that? How do you hold it together after all you've been through?…

L.E.D. Lights

L.E.D.

L ottie
E mily
D iamond

By Christ

This is how we normally sign our cards or letters. When we first moved into this place, we wanted to make a sign to hang on our wall with our family motto. Of course, life took over and we soon placed this on the to do list. I like to think that we just haven't found  the creative way we would go about this and when we find it, we'll do it.

One of the things we have been doing with Tim and Hannah this year is writing letters back and forth to each other. We're pen pals! Since this was something new, they've never before encountered our signature style. It was with great pleasure to back a letter from Tim addressed as Dear Led Lights, shine on, shine on!

I cannot express enough the joy we have from corresponding with these youngsters. They actually listen and want to hear about the mundane everyday living here in Elmwood Park! Amazing, isn't it?

We are having fun and we certainly hope this new phase continues for awhile. On a even …

The Craving Within

I've grown soft with age. No longer do I partake in drama of any kind nor does it  inject a thrill. The minute my ears get a hint of any discord, they recoil in repugnancy. The craving within me seeks peace and joy in all I do. It is amazing to me how people's energy can be transformed from one person to the next within mere seconds of contact. Whatever they're feeling, you will end up feeling, too. It doesn't matter if that emotion is negative or positive, the transfer is immediate. One small insignificant encounter, yet negative, can change a person's entire day. How can we avoid this from occurring? I have no idea. I wish I knew. We get up every single day and place a smile upon our faces, ready to embark out into the world. That one rattling encounter could only last seconds and suddenly our entire mood shifts from happy to frustration. The devil folks, is busy indeed, playing havoc with our lives.
My inner being can't have any of that. Stress or any kind of n…

Throwback Thursday

I often wonder about the woman I met years ago during my chemo treatment. I was worried then about her and I'm still worried. Her disbelief in all of this "emotional cancer stuff " was a little more than  upsetting.

Believe me folks, everything we experience in life has an affect on us in one way or another. Even watching a movie affects us and we are touched by a fictional character. Life experiences are a lesson and how we absorb it affects our growth or lack of it. We cannot go through life and not feel all the emotions that come forth from it.

This always reminds me of another time when I was preparing for my baby's baptism as a Catholic. We were in a class and there were many new parents. The instructor asked us "repeat offenders" to offer some good advice. Going around the room, it was my turn. I said:" What works for one, doesn't work for the other. Follow your instincts."

Of course, one of the moms became upset, because according to her…

The Beat Goes On

Years ago, some men were on a leaky old ship in the middle of a rough and stormy sea. One of them asked the captain, “Are we safe?”  He said, “Well, the boilers are weak and may explode at any moment. The ship is taking on water. To be very honest with you, we may go up, or we may go down, but at any rate, we are going on.”

There is one thing I know about the women in my family, we have endurance. It doesn't matter how tough things get, we stand up and fight. We can be bawling our eyes out during that fight, but we keep on fighting. But then, what else can we do?

Should we lay down and give up? We can't, we have too much to lose. We have to lead our families the best we can.

Take for instance this morning. I woke up with a strong desire to turn over and forget the world. The sun was streaming brightly through my bedroom window and for once, I wanted nothing to do with it. All morning, I moped through the house, lazy as ever. Nothing appealed to  my sense of duty and obligation. I…

The Human Heart

Many women I know don't look forward to Valentine's Day because they feel it shines a spotlight on what is wrong in their relationship or what is just plain missing in their life. Whether you're single or married, I feel for you. And in some ways, I can relate.
Cindi McMenamin

I swore I wouldn't write about it, but when I walked into work and she asked me how my Mother's Day went, I caved. I caved, because I saw the longing and the sadness in her face of not being able to experience being a mom. She looked at me as if I was Royalty, because I had something that she always wanted and will never achieve herself.

I don't like to write about Holidays on a Holiday. There are so many people out there who cannot enjoy that Holiday. The last thing I  want to do is bring out their pain.

What about all the women who will never be moms, and the ones who were moms, but gave up their child in adoption.  Or the ones who  lost  their child to an illness or in combat.

It's th…

Monday Envy

Back in January, when I celebrated my fiftieth birthday, I was given a gift card to Massage Envy. That card has been sitting inside my desk's drawer all these months until now.

Since my leg has been bothering me with the arthritis to the point of sleepless nights, I thought maybe a massage would help. The gift card would cover at least three massages so I was hoping for some therapeutic healing.

Lord, I wasn't disappointed.

The bed itself was heated and so were the blankets. Awesome sauce, indeed! It was absolutely heaven.

By the time I left, there was nothing and I mean nothing, aching on my body. Why haven't I done this before? What was I waiting for? It is worth every penny.

I thought about the many times my friends and family would treat themselves to luxuries such as this. I always thought of them as frivolous. I think differently now. I have spent my entire adult life feeling guilty in pampering myself and often have denied myself that very pleasure because of it.

It&#…

Simply Arthritis

Arthritis . . . . that dreaded pain that manifests itself with the arrival of middle age. Arthritis plagues my family, especially in the legs from the knee to the toes. Ask any of our family members and each of them will provide a different pressure point affected by arthritis.

I, myself, am experiencing a very painful Season that began eight years ago with the arrival of cancer. I've always felt discomfort in my ankles as the weather turned damp, but it wasn't until cancer that I began to feel real arthritis pain.

After the treatments would end and I would be in remission, the steroids would wear off and real pain remained. It seemed that each of the three times the cancer returned, the severity of the arthritis increased. For instance, originally it was just my knee, then knee to ankle and now knee to toes.

I have tried many things to relieve the pain. There have been creams, soak baths, arthritis relieving teas, stretching exercises and even massages. Still there is no rel…

Friends Forever

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Friendships . . . . we're always looking for someone to share our life with whether they are our mates or our best friends. The problem with friendships is that it can really hurt you.

People have often said that the worst thing in life is death, but I believe they are wrong. Death for a Christian is a welcomed blessing, a new journey we've been waiting for all of our life. The process maybe scary, but there is new life in the death.

I think the worst thing in life is betrayal.

Betrayal comes in all forms: The betrayal of a mate, a family member, a dear close friend, backstabbing of a co-worker. The list could go on and on with endless forms of betrayal.

When we are betrayed, we can feel it deep down within our hearts. It can take a very long time to heal and for some of us that may never happen. We carry around that hurt within us affecting all other relationships from that point on. It can become like rot in a barrel of good apples. Place a  little bit of rotten fruit inside …

Crack Me Up

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I love it when my friends send me pictures of things related to me. To me it shows that they care about me and think of me. Who wouldn't want friends like that?

This one cracked me up, something I really needed.
I wouldn't mind owning a mug like that.Now, if I could just find a good taste of java to put in it. I think I'm on the verge of breaking up with my love of coffee, but isn't that normal? I mean, we go through things in life and after awhile decide we don't need it as much as we have done in the past.

That idea brought up many other incidents where elimination of things that no longer appeal to me for some reason. For instance, I have no need to apologize for the way I am. I feel if you haven't liked me by now and I'm fifty, you'll never like me. Why should I keep saying I'm sorry for being who I am? This is my life and this is how I live it. Get used to it.

I have no tolerance for other's bad behavior, either. Why am I making excuses for so…

Throwback Thursday

Chemo . . . . Linda hated chemo and would literally pray for Jesus to walk with her as she entered the hospitals corridors. She taught me that whenever I was afraid deeply of something all I had to say was "Jesus, would you walk with me?"

Nowadays, I use that phrase for those times of fear that embrace our hearts and worry sets in and so does negativity. It warms me instantly.

Chemo and this whole cancer thing has been very difficult on my children. As the years have passed, so has their acceptance of it. Going to chemo has always been a problem, especially for Emily. She has never really seen me taking the infusion or my baldness. I believe it brings home that fact that I have cancer and it may appear as if I'm helpless. Children are not used to seeing their parents as victims.

Another fun tidbit regarding the song: My sister-in-law Pam, was listening to the radio that very night when that song came on and she immediately thought of me. Upon reading the blog, she remarke…

Choose Your Weapon

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My girlfriend posted the above picture on my Facebook with a message that read:I thought of you when I saw this pic. It's about you, Lottie.

Is that how people see me? Like I have it together? Lord knows, I don't feel it at times. I'm bumping around in the dark like everyone else. Still, I'm flattered to think I send this message out. I rather be known as  a godly woman than anything else.

I'm sure there are people in my life who will laugh at this description. Don't we all have people who view us in a less favorable light?

We all fall down and I'm no different. Being a Christian exposes my vulnerabilities to non-believers. Instead of viewing them as normal, they look upon them as fake faith. Haven't we all been accused of that by non-believers?

Emily and I call our Bibles " The Weapon" and at suppertime we open up that weapon to read a verse or two from it. Our bibles do represent us in a way. Mine is written all over it with side notes and many…

The Worst Day

The day began absolutely heavenly. I've decided on finally going for my massage. As to this being only the second time in my life to actually having a professional massage done, I was both excited  and feeling blessed at this special treat. I walked out of there feeling jello mello ready to embrace my three day weekend. Little did I know it would become the worst two days of my life.

Upon arriving at home, I planned to spend the day totally devoted to my writing. I had a few projects that I wanted to finish up. It didn't quite work out that way.

The minute I gathered all the things I needed to lock myself away in my room, the banging began. They have been remodeling the upstairs apartment. No big deal, we've been under construction many times before since moving into this building.

Today they were doing the floorboards. I cannot even express in detail how it sounded above us. The entire apartment practically shook with drilling, pounding and constant roar of machinery. Plus…

Monday Construction

Construction, construction and more construction. It seems that this entire weekend we have been dealing with construction. Now that the floor work is finally done upstairs and we finally had a quiet day on Sunday, now the street construction right outside our window began. Plus, they're not even done upstairs completely for another two weeks!

It seems I've been popping pills for this headache of all headaches all weekend. Not a great way to start the week. I'm almost afraid to go into work. Who knows how that will be, it is my most stressful place.

This brought to mind an interview I saw many decades ago of a tennis player. The reporter asked him what was the hardest game he ever played. He replied that the hardest game is the one where you know you will lose, but you still have to finish.

How very true, indeed.

Will this be a difficult week? Most likely. At least, it's beginning to look like it, but I will finish it. I may be stressed, wanting a good cry and a glass of…

In Awe And Wonder

After a lengthy bout with despair, severe depression, and suicide attempts, writer and poet William Cowper (1731–1800) discovered comfort in God's providence, which led him to write "Shining out of Darkness":
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm. Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will. Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.
Don't you just love a great worship time? That wonderful Godly experience where we feel so connected as one with the Almighty. An experience that brings us to tears and we forget everyone around us.

Those moments are wonderful and ones we need to cherish deep within our hearts to bring forth whenever we have a need to remember that kind of love that only God can provide.

Unfortunately, there are moments also where our minds drif…

That Java Thing

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But who wants to? I certainly have no desire to be the boss of anything anymore. I'm happy in the skin I'm in right now. Our roles change as we age  and what  I want from life has also changed. No longer does the hustle and bustle of the ambitious life appeal to me.

To be honest, coffee is losing its taste appeal to me. Yet, I still drink my full without enjoyment. Don't get me wrong, there are days that my coffee tastes awesome, but they are becoming rare indeed.

I wonder if my 30 day trial with no sugar played a role here. I'm trying to remember when the brew no longer held me. Was it right after that month? Or was it before then?

Either way, I'm beginning to think it's a good time to quit altogether. Quitting coffee has always been my ideal, but dealing with the headaches held me back. Quitting cold turkey wasn't the obvious choice here. Maybe what I should do is limit the intake slowly each day.

You know this coffee thing is just another notch in my life …

The Ugly Duckling

It's been quite a road regarding what I thought would be a simple visit to the dentist. Talk about being naïve. I thought that all I had to do is make an appointment and that one dentist would take care of all my needs in a couple of visits.

Silly me. Having neglected my dental duties for the past eight years, my memories were filled of a different era. I can remember my own mother going to have a partial done and never seeing a  bill. Her one dentist took care of all her work. She didn't have to deal with referrals of any kind nor the insurance company.

Somehow, I thought it would be the same.

First, I had to get on the "list " of new patients from my insurance which took 30 days. After that list appeared at the office, it took another 6 to 8 weeks for my first appointment which ended up being more of a consultation than anything else. Then a referral is made to another dentist for any work done like a root canal or an extraction and so on and so on.

Honestly, I'…