Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Week In My Life Pt.2

Had a late start this morning since I've been putting in quite a few hours at night. Since I had a three day weekend, I wanted to take advantage of all the hours I possibly could. While drinking my morning coffee and breakfast shake, my mom called and we spent a good while chatting away.

By the time I was finally able to attack my closet, it was nearly lunch. When I was done, I had four extra plastic storage bins that were empty and three quarters of the closet designated for the wardrobe. Quite an improvement since things would fall out when the door was opened. A quick vacuum around the apartment and a 16 minute workout completed my physical activity for the day.

My plan for the remainder was to solely work on phone calls, emails, appointment scheduling and paperwork. I have a tendency to drop all my papers into a large bin by my desk with the intention of getting to it later. Well, you know that later always somehow turns into much later.

A quick supper of pasta with a sautéed mixture of zucchini, broccoli and green beans. An evening of catching up on our Netflix and crocheting rounded off the day to an end.

I awakened this morning to the curtains billowing through the open window. A cool Autumn breeze blew freely the stagnant air a tiny apartment can create. It felt so good to feel, actually feel a breeze, something that was missing during the humid weather.

Since I had work today, my schedule was a bit different. During the work week, I only have mornings to take care of any business. That's why I'd love to get up early with the birds, but not anymore since I began this medication. I'm lucky if I get up at 9 a.m.!

I have noticed  a difference in myself these past three days. Even though I was busy, I didn't feel the fatigue that I normally do when working under this treatment. Maybe because I can lie down whenever I want to? At work I'm on my feet the entire day pushing this huge cart around from one end of the building to the next. By the time the shift is over I am done physically.

So as the morning unfolded, I did some packaging of crocheted items to ready them for delivery by the end of the week. I really wanted to accomplish all this in the three day, but not enough time. A total of six boxes, ranging from small to large, stood in the corner of my living room. Also, readied a bag full of material to bring with me to work. A co-worker's mom is the seamstress in my Ministry and she basically makes the wheelchair bags we donate.

Off to work, to be continued.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Week In My Life Pt.1

I've spent the morning cleaning out some kitchen cabinet space as a definite re-arranging was needed. Plus, I've been very strung up on de-cluttering unwanted items so either we kept it, trashed it or donated what we no longer used. The kitchen walls look pretty badly in need of some paint, but then an idea took hold that maybe I should try washing them first. SO after doing a section of the kitchen, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they looked.

By early afternoon, sheets were changed, two loads of laundry done and curtains in the living room changed as well. Both the bathroom and kitchen were spanking clean. Did I mention I was up by 7:30 a.m.?

I, on the other hand was pooped and wanted nothing more than a nap. Emily was pretty much out of commission all day as she woke up this morning to a full blown allergy attack. After taking some medication, she was out like a light.

Dinner consisted of vegetable stuffed pita bread and some fruit for dessert. We pretty much settled in for a couple of episodes of Seinfeld while crocheting. I stayed up pretty late writing a piece for my niece's journal edition on Miss Marple, wrote a couple blog posts and some light reading.

Sunday has always been the most consistent day of the week. It's always the same. There is no sleeping in as we are up early and off to church we go. Emily is always serving somewhere any given Sunday. This morning it was in Sunday School teaching the pre-k/kindergarten class ( about 6 to 7 kids). After a day in bed, she felt much better.

Usually after church we make a quick stop to Costco or get gas. Come home, de-stress a bit while having a quick lunch. I dislike working out, but Emily has found an over fifty age group 15 minute exercise routine on On Demand that I do when home. Since I missed my workout the day before, I did two sets of 15 minutes each. Very proud of myself.

As supper cooked ( salmon, mashed potato and a salad), I tackled my closet, first taking everything out ( creating an even bigger mess). Not having much time left to re-arrange everything back, I opted to leave it for Monday.

More Seinfeld episodes, checked out the blood moon, crocheted and wrote a couple of blog posts. Finished the night off penning a letter to my grandson ( we're pen pals).

To be continued . . . .

Have a blessed day everyone.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Past Homes

It seems that people move quite often, a fact that I'm finding out ever since living in an apartment. It's only been 4 1/2 years and already  we've had multiple neighbors move through the revolving doors.

I've been pretty lucky, I guess. My parents had their home for twenty-five years before selling it. From there we went to a two-flat that we lived in for thirteen more years. We've been here on the avenue apartment for almost 4 1/2 yrs. Moving isn't something that we do on impulse or often.

We are burrowing people. We like to settle in for a good while, always looking for a home that we can live in until old age. Moving is just too much work. We don't mind the packing for it's a great way to clean out unwanted or not needed items. We also don't mind unpacking, because it's a new place  and we can decorate as we like. The one thing we definitely don't like is the heavy lifting. Up and down the stairs, box after box. Drive to the new place and again up and down the stairs, box after box.

Even now as we look around our little apartment, carpets are worn out and a new coat of paint is needed, we feel it is time to go. Yet, we hesitate. Why? I'm not sure how to explain. There is something that is holding me back. It keeps whispering in my ear wait. So I wait.

I do know that wherever we go next will be definitely my last. Maybe, that's why I'm waiting? I want it to be perfect, my special little haven. In my mind, I know exactly what I want and where I want to be, but who knows what is in store for us. God has His own plan, I just hope it's the same as mine. :)

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Standing Through The Storm

Hello everyone,
During my devotions, I came across the following story and I just had to share with all of you. Perhaps, there is someone among you who needs to hear this and can benefit from it's wisdom. Storms? We all have gone through them and I know there will be more.

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”Philippians 4:13    
A young woman went to her mother and told her how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.    
She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter tasted its rich aroma.
The daughter then asked. “What does it mean, mother?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. After being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Or are you an egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Do you have a fluid spirit, but after a loved-one’s death, a relationship breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have you become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside you are bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or are you like a coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If I am like the bean, when things are at their worst, I get better and change the situation around me through Christ-likeness. 

Have a Blessed day everyone

Saturday, September 26, 2015

End Of September

'Tis weary watching wave by wave,
And yet the tide heaves onward;
We climb, like corals, grave by grave,
That pave a pathway sunward.
We're driven back, for our next fray
A newer strength to borrow;
And where the vanguard camps to-day,
The rear shall rest to-morrow.
--Gerald Massey.

Here we are in the last days of September and I've been wondering where they all have gone. It only seems like yesterday that the new school year began and once again I would awaken to the sound of the children waiting for the school bus.

Summer turned into Fall and pretty soon we will see the leaves changing their color and falling to the ground. One can see the squirrels with their mouths full with either a piece of toast or other little tidbit to store for the upcoming months. A change is coming and everyone prepares.

Looking at October's schedule, I feel overwhelmed by all the upcoming activities and duties that need to be done. Between the two of us, we have 7 either doctor or dentist appointments, two birthdays, a crocheting meeting, 4 Sundays of serving, plus countless chores and errands. That's just to mention a few, but who isn't busy these days?

This is a fast paced world that we live in. Just travel on the road and you can see how impatient and angry people have become. It's all about getting there as fast as one can. Hurry, hurry, hurry to our next destination.

While I may not yell or behave as the people on the road, I am guilty of keeping a busy schedule. I love being busy and at times, need to be reminded to spend time with family and friends. I'm always the first one to leave any occasion.

Sitting here, I'm almost ashamed to say it out loud. I just don't linger anymore. I really need to change that. Here I thought I would write about feeling overwhelmed and instead, a realization about myself occurs. I come in, eat something, mingle a little and leave. How is that making meaningful relationships with the people I love?

I've become a fraud! I really, really need to change that. It's so difficult to look in the mirror, isn't it?

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Tower Of Hope

There is no devil in the first two chapters of the Bible and no devil in the last two chapters. Thank God for a book that disposes of the devil! Vance Havner

These past few weeks, the news feeds across the U.S. have been extremely busy with the Supreme Court ruling and so has Facebook. People have been voicing their opinions unabashedly, each believing their viewpoints to be the truth.

I have sat in silence as each side became more vocal in voicing their freedom of speech. Some even downright mean and extremely aggressive, calling other people haters.

I have a major problem when people place me in a box with everyone else. Not just  in the case of a Christian being a hater, but also in other categories such as race.  When has anyone ever seen me behave in such a derogatory way?

Yet, I've stayed quiet, waiting for the anger to dissipate among people who attacked my religious freedom. You see, I'm not here to judge anyone, because I feel that God has given us a wonderful gift of choice. We are free to choose whatever path in life, even if it is the wrong one.

I felt this ruling placed a dividing line in which path one should follow. Everything in life is a choice between right and wrong. Whatever decision we make affects our entire lives with a cause/effect and in some cases, even consequences for our actions.

That's why I didn't argue back and forth on social media regarding this issue. This is what I believe in and that is what you believe in. I will not resort to name calling or belittling circumstances, because we all know it wouldn't be a fair debate.

Having said all this, there is something that really has troubled me regarding this social debate. As people argued back and forth, all I could think of was that there isn't one religion out there that supports this issue. Yet, people that I personally know that are Catholic, Jewish, Moslem and Christians changed their profile pictures to rainbows.

Does that mean that they don't believe in their religion's doctrine? I'm so confused by the reaction all of this provoked. Are these same people that are Catholics, Jewish, Moslem and Christians only believing parts of their doctrine? This is something I'm having a real hard time with, people's claim to faith.

One cannot be one way and then another way tomorrow. Either you are or you aren't. To me, if you claim to be a Catholic (for instance) then own it! Be a practicing Catholic being 100 percent real.

Again, I believe we all have a right to voice our opinions as long as we don't intentionally hurt someone. I'm so confused and saddened by how easily people can shift from one belief system to another. It breaks my heart to think that we are not people of strong faith whether that faith is Catholic, Jewish, Moslem or Christian.

I'm a born again Christian and I believe in the doctrine of Jesus Christ. I stand by my faith. The question is, can you stand by yours?

Have a blessed day everyone.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Enjoying The Journey:Cancer As A Lifestyle: Throwback Thursday

Enjoying The Journey:Cancer As A Lifestyle: Throwback Thursday:    Oh, I remember this well! Believe it or not, I still haven't gone. It's like all those things we set aside for a spare m...

Enjoying The Journey:Cancer As A Lifestyle: Throwback Thursday

Enjoying The Journey:Cancer As A Lifestyle: Throwback Thursday:    Oh, I remember this well! Believe it or not, I still haven't gone. It's like all those things we set aside for a spare m...

Throwback Thursday

 Oh, I remember this well! Believe it or not, I still haven't gone. It's like all those things we set aside for a spare moment, but that spare moment never becomes available. That card provides an entry fee so I can spend the entire day there lounging around if I want in my bathrobe or I can take a dip in their several types of pools. . . . naked with other women. Somehow, that turns me off.

I could get a massage, but all that is extra. I do plan on going to rest and lounge by crocheting or blogging. Can you imagine that scene? I'm surrounded by all these people and their technology while I crochet?

This post also sets my mind twirling in anticipation of Christmas and the gift giving season. What should I get for the people in my life? After awhile, it certainly feels as if we have exhausted all the great ideas for gift giving. Or how can we top last year's gifts?

Anyway, that's what is on my mind today. Can't believe September is almost over and Christmas will be here in a flash. Are we ready? I'm not so sure.

 I remember a Christmas when my Emily was very small and she decided to give each member of our family a gift . She searched the house for goodies to wrap like an used bar of soap from the bathroom for her grandma . In the kitchen she found a half eaten bag of chips that she wrapped for her brother Joey . You get the picture . Everyone made a huge deal of these used gifts as if they were made of gold . She sat up like a peacock from all that praise .
  That's how we feel about certain gifts we get for others . We can't wait for the person to open it . We are more excited than they are . I mean , look what we found . . . .the perfect gift . I wish someone gave me this gift .
   I received a gift like that from my niece and godson for my birthday ( and their mates ,too ) . Her face was bright and smiling as she gave it to me . You could just see the excitement on her face . Open it ! It was a gift card to a  spa . Yes , even I'm getting excited , but wait ! What is she saying ? Naked ? What ? I have to be naked in the pools with other naked women ? I almost died . What is it about this journey  where everyone wants me doing things I 'm uncomfortable about . Has she spoken with Jesus about me ?
   I don't want to get naked with anyone ...well , maybe a certain man . I have a hard enough time looking in the mirror naked let alone get naked in front of strangers . I have a woman gyno and a pap exam is awkward .
   " Don't worry " , she tells me , "we all have the same thing ". No , we don't . Mine don't look anything like hers . Nothing wrong with her gravity .
    The problem is they spent money . There has to be something I can do there fully clothed . Do I need to get my clothes off to get a pedicure ? Am I being silly ? And I don't want to hear from you young , perky GIRLS . I want to hear from us older WOMEN .
    By the way , Joey ate those chips , used or not .

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Simply Low-Tech?

I grew up on television. That telly would be on 24/7, even lulling me to sleep at night. For years now, that tradition has been upheld religiously. I could never understand, back then, how people could just listen to a radio when television was around. I would feel sorry for the people who grew up without  television.

That was then. God has a way of turning our declarations around where we are faced with them complete circle. For the last two weeks, I've given up television, not watching at all. I did watch a few shows late Saturday, but that was all. I don't even miss it.

A couple of years back, I subscribed to various audios of preachers sermons. Everyday in my e-mail folder I receive fifty or more devotions, audios and blogs. No matter where I'm at waiting, I pull out my phone and read my e-mails. I'm sure everyone thinks I'm on Facebook.  My favorites are the audios where I can turn  on the speaker and listen while I'm cleaning, driving or doing other tasks.

So instead of watching T.V., I've been reading and listening to those darn audios. Something that years ago I would have never done. Sometimes, I even turn on my son's station and listen to him. All of a sudden radio has taken over that television's spot. I almost want to eat those words from years past regarding the radio/audios.

It's funny how much more productive I feel, especially now as I battle this treatment's tiredness. I'm embarking on another fast of no game playing on Facebook. I have these games that I love to play, but I feel as if I need to take a break and focus on other things right now.

You know, I never thought I could do it. I've always loved watching all of my Masterpiece Theater, History Channel, Discovery Channel etc. and let's not forget my murder mysteries. I don't need television to do all that. I can access all of my favorites online, via the Library and Netflix. Living simply. . . . that's my goal.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

All My Journals

I have kept a variety of journals over my lifetime. One for Church notes. One for dreams. One for prayer requests. One for my cancer journey. I even started one to keep track of my expenses. They all sit on my bookshelf, ready for when the urge overtakes me to re-read their contents.

I've  always had this image of myself sitting in a rocker as an older lady going through all these journals, reliving the memories. Knowing myself and how much I love to keep busy, that might not actually be true.

Of course, I also hope the ones who come after me can use these journals in some way. In time of needed comfort or remembrance of me, maybe they can provide an aura of my presence. Maybe there will come a time that someone can actually benefit from my experiences.

But journals have always been a sort of a cleansing for me. When I have a huge problem, the first thing I do is open a journal for writing down my emotions, my requests and working through them with the mighty pen. This is my release. We all have one, some of us may not be aware of what that might actually be, but once we find it . . . we run to it.

I've journaled all of my life and nothing gives me more pleasure than watching the young women in my family journal right along with me. Consider it a passing of the torch from one generation to the next. Things like that never meant anything to me when I was a youngster, but they sure do now. Making memories with the people I love.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Morning Routine

I've been reading a story of a young woman who gets up very early every morning (around 5:30 a.m.)  to begin her daily morning routine. The first thing she does is make coffee and then she sits down to write in her daily planner what she plans on accomplishing that day.

I really loved the idea!

Lord knows that I miss my daily morning routine of getting up early before everyone else. I miss the quiet, but I also know that there will come a time where I will miss the noise.

Things change as we change. Obviously, my routine has been affected by this treatment. I'm tired and I end up sleeping in longer than before. Hence, no more early mornings alone.

I loved her idea since my time before work has shortened. My expectations of  myself have always been extremely high and at times, very unforgiving if they fell short. These changes have taught me to go with the flow instead of being upset at my lack of productiveness.

I wish I was more like that woman in the blog so organized and centered on what needed to be done on that particular day. As I laid in bed this morning, forcing myself mentally to at least try to get up, I've realized that I have no energy. No oompf! Even if I did jot down a list, would I really follow it?
In all honesty, I want to retreat into my own fantasy world where no one else resides but me. I have no deep desire to deal with people, or issues or anything else for that matter. I'm not depressed or sad. In fact, I feel very happy. I want to lock myself away in a burrow being surrounded by all my favorite things. Isn't that crazy?

So I have no morning routine or any kind of routine any longer. I just mello jello throughout the day.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Simply Tiny Blogs

I really wanted to know what life in a Tiny Home looked like not from the manufacturer's point of view, but from the people actually living there. I subscribed to a few that I found and began reading from their day one until the present.

Two blogs, two completely different outlooks and experiences.

The first one consisted of a young married couple in their early thirties who wanted to simplify their life and not be a slave to bills. They custom ordered their Tiny Home on wheels from a well known manufacturer.

Their main problem involved parking the Tiny Home. They were a couple who wanted to live as close to the city as possible since they both biked to work and stores. Of course, the problem arises with zoning because the Tiny Home isn't categorized as an RV or a home or even a camper. Apparently, all of that depends on what state you live in and also whether it has wheels or not. Every state has their own regulations as to the height, width, parking and even how long one can reside in one for the year.

Needless to say, they moved around quite a bit, finally deciding on their in-law's ranch which was far from the city. Their pipes froze and so did their composted toilet from the outside. They had to haul water from their in-laws. That was their first Winter. Since then , when Winter approaches they rent out a place in the city and return in the Spring.

The second blog involved a young engaged couple in their late twenties who decided to live a self sufficient lifestyle mortgage free. They built their own Tiny Home from scratch using refurbished materials to avoid costs, even involving scavenging escapades. They are just too extreme for me. I may want to live tiny, but that doesn't mean I should give up comfort.

They had no refrigerator or running water. They heated their water for their one gallon shower allowance. Sawdust in the bath toilet, not even a real composting one. Listen, their young and that's wonderful for them, but I'm old and need more comfort.

So far, I wasn't sold on any of the two lifestyles that I read about. It has worked for them because it was made for them. I need to find one for me. The search continues on!

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

What Will Be, Will Be

I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

"I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But, oh, the things I learned from her
When sorrow walked with me."

There are days that I feel so defeated in all that I do. I end up spending more time in my dream world than reality. Usually, on those days I surrender it to God hoping He will do a better job. I have no idea what the outcome will be like, but there is nothing else I can do.  What will be, will be.

Psalms 118:6
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
I am learning as I get older that sometimes we need to take a step back, be quiet and let the cards fall where they may. With the exception of a dear friend that stopped by for a cup of coffee and a glass of wine, I am spending this weekend in quiet contemplation.
I may feel defeated, but I have not lost. With that in mind, I've surrounded myself with reading material, my crocheting hook and my keyboard. If all else fails . . . . write, read and crochet!
I'm not worried about anything nor am I thinking too hard on a subject. I'm just too tired. What will be, will be. Why should I spend my valuable time worrying about something  that I can't control?
What will be, will be.
Have a blessed day everyone.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Simply Tiny

My approaching retiring years have been on my mind quite a lot lately. I know I still have 7 years to go before I can hang up my Avon smock and I.D., but the planning going into my life after the work life needs some analyzing.

You see, I will still be only 57 and  a half when I can retire with full benefits. Now, I don't have to leave, I can stay on until the official age of retirement, but I don't want to do that. This is why my mind has been working overtime on ways that could make this possible.

I have been researching online watching YouTube videos on Tiny Home Living. Now, I have to admit that it looks real inviting from these videos, but I also subscribed to Tiny Living Blogs. I find this very informative since they list the pros and cons of such a lifestyle.

So far, I have finished reading two of these blogs from start to the here and now. I'm not sold. Maybe it has to do with what they chose for themselves may not necessarily work for me.

 So I have decided to really explore the concept of living Tiny, sort of like my simplification  cleanse that I began a few years back. I want to go a little deeper. Maybe, a Tiny Home or an RV/Camper. I'm not sure, but I do know that I have no desire to work at another manufacturing plant after I leave Avon.

If that's the case, I need to come up with a lifestyle that doesn't require a huge financial drain on me or maintenance in general. So I will continue researching and posting on my "Simply" series anything pertaining to simplification, getting rid of the excess and living financially free.

I'm so excited that I can barely contain myself. Now, I know that some of you may feel that I shouldn't be even contemplating something like that since I'm on my 4th bout with cancer. I totally disagree. I have no intention of ceasing to live out my dreams or plans just because I have a disease. On the contrary, didn't I say I was very excited? If I can maintain a positive, healthy outlook, it doesn't matter if I will make it to that dream or not, but at least I would be happy.

Have a BLESSED day everyone.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Who hasn't had a moment as the one below? I've had too many to laugh about. My most embarrassing? At Office Max at the cash register applying for their rewards card. The Cashier asks me for my address and I for the life of me couldn't remember. I stared at that poor teenager completely blank-faced. Sad to say, I couldn't receive my rewards card. Probably thought I was homeless.

Has  this ever happened to any of you? I do miss those crazy Christmas colored red and green plaid pajama pants. They were so tattered that I had no choice, but to throw them out. Hmmmm, maybe I can find another pair at Walmart. Winter is almost here.

A Diary Of A Crazy Woman

      I've become a crazy woman ! My mother called as I was on my way out the door . Picking up my keys , grabbing my  handbag and putting on my coat almost in the same order . I was in a hurry . The whole time speaking to her about the latest in my life . I suddenly became panicky , trying to locate my phone .
    Yes , I know now that I'm using the phone but at that moment it didn't register with my brain . Racing to my room only to find ......nothing . I race to the kitchen ...again .....nothing . By now , I have become frantic . Racing from room to room , overturning pillows , opening drawers , dumped my handbag 's contents on the kitchen table ..... nothing . I have no time for this ! I'm late already ! I scream into the phone to my mother , " mom , I can't find my phone !"
    All I heard was laughter . " Lottie , that's something I usually do".
    If that isn't looney , I don 't know what is . I still can't believe I did that . Now that I had more time to think about it , I'm not surprised . Not only am I a mad , mad woman but I've also started to dress as one  . My daily wear ? A bright pink kerchief for my head . A yellow tank top because I'm always hot . My fave Christmas green/red plaid pajama pants . Who wouldn't think I was crazy !?
   No wonder my behavior is odd . I probably walk around mumbling but don't realize it .

Have a blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What's A-Happening On The Avenue

Many things have been going on even though nothing seems to have changed. I am obsessed with the Tiny House. I have been watching YouTube videos of Tiny Home living, even subscribing to blogs and newsletters. I am very serious about this type of living when I leave Avon, but before I go forward, I need to check all aspects of it. Next will be checking different locations that I can actually place my Tiny House on.

Why am I interested in Tiny Living? Well, it stems from having a desire to live simply. I can retire with full benefits in 7 years. I will be only 57 years old and I have no desire to work in another factory setting. I want the money I have to last me by living simpler. Besides, I want to spend the time I have left enjoying the people in my life and my Ministry. Stayed tuned for more regarding this exciting adventure.

The Ministry has been meeting regularly during the Summer months at various parks. It has been awesome! I think this shall be our regular thing in the warm months of the year. The ladies really seemed to enjoy being in the open air  sitting picnic style under a beautiful tree. Not to mention, any children that come can run around playing. It's funny because it was a whim of an idea, one that has turned out wonderfully.

As the Season changes, I'm looking forward to a more quiet lifestyle as the cold front approaches. Summer has always been about running around and being very outdoorsy. The Fall is about preparation and Winter is relaxation. Spring has always represented cleaning to me. Every Fall we make a list of things we need to stock up for the cold months ahead. The last thing I want to do is run out in the middle of a storm because I'm out of cold medicine or something similar.

Having used majority of my vacation time to see a dentist and my oncologist has really shortened my time off. I've always been able to take off an entire week at a time. That's something I'm really missing. I find that I cannot totally unplug and recharge with just a three day. It's enough to get some things done, but not enough for "me" time. Every weekend seems to be filled with gatherings  or just completing a to do list. Oh, how I would love some "me time"!

I also have been experimenting with various literary projects, sort of going outside my comfort zone. How that will work out I'm not exactly sure. Time is so limited and so precious. It seems the world is spinning real fast not allowing us to take a deep, relaxing breath.

As to my roommate Emily and I, well . . . we have been chummy and living cozy. It's funny how we have progressed from mother/daughter to equal grown women sharing an apartment. One would think we should be arguing and getting in each other's space, but quite the opposite is happening. We have fit together quite nicely.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

On Giving Up

This week, I have been thinking quite a lot about this new stage of my life and how it has affected me thus far. I am feeling great, absolutely great. There is no competition with the infusion or pill intake. I will take the pill! Besides, all of you know how much I hate losing my hair.

I have always gone full throttle no matter what kind of treatment I may have had. During the other three times, I've still taught Sunday School, kept the blog, the Ministry and even worked or at least semi- worked.

This time around, I'm just tired and lack the stamina to keep all of that up. I'm not giving up any of my activities completely, just some of the duties associated with it. My intention is to lessen the workload.

The Ministry: I have no intention of stopping, but I do intend on lessening all the running around that I do for it. For instance, I will no longer drop off or pick up any supplies or finished items for the ladies. I am hoping they will be okay with coming to my place to do so themselves.

The Blog: I love to write and cannot imagine not being able to do so, yet I know there will be times when I will not be able to post daily. Besides, I have so many other literary projects I have started that I need to finish. . . . someday.

In my living room there is a stack of boxes that need to be delivered. I have no idea when that will happen, but I believe slowly it will get done.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tamoxifen Symptoms

Of all my treatments, this is one of the easiest and yet challenging. Here it is 11 a.m. and I'm finally getting up to start the day. I have absolutely no energy. I haven't been able to get up at  my regular schedule ever since beginning this treatment.

The same goes in the evening. I'm done as if I have ran a race and finally crossed the finish line. What I need is a nap during the day, but that isn't possible when I'm working 2nd shift. Another symptom happens to be hot flashes, but I've dealt with them for these past eight years so its not  a huge problem.

The leg cramps (charley horses) I've recently have found some home remedies that might help. I went online to Cancer Survivor Network and found a whole group of people who have been on this treatment for years. What I love about this network is that they have experience in this.

One of the solutions was to place  some soap inside a mesh bag and sleep with it around my legs. It is supposed to work well, so I will keep you posted. Also, they have suggested drinking a lot of club soda because of an ingredient it carries.

So I'm just taking it easy, going with the flow. In the past, I would have placed all sorts of judgments and expectations on myself, which would have not been real. I'm going through treatment, even though it is not an infusion and I'm still working, it doesn't lesson the severity of it.

This morning, I lounged around. I knew there were dishes in the sink from last night still. I knew I had calls to make this morning. I also knew my laying in would set me back a bit. . . . but I am also very aware of my body's needs. This isn't my first rodeo, you know.

So I hope everyone will forgive me if I don't call right back or stop over to visit or even when I'm behind with things. I'm just resting.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Time Well Spent

 "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness."
Mother Theresa

A typical Sunday morning scene: We awaken at 7 a.m., eat some breakfast ( oatmeal and a smoothie) and prepare for Church. Usually, there is a load of laundry thrown in between or a story to finish up for the blog that day.

As we head out the door, each going her own separate way, we make plans to meet up afterwards by our secret place. Usually by then, it's around 1 p.m., the day well underway. Either we make a quick grocery run or return home, chatting all the way about our mornings at Church.

Suppertime is at 5 p.m., no television or anything electronic allowed. It's funny how both of my kids have this rule about sitting down at the table as a family. I think that stems from my not being around to do that when they were small. I worked on second shift at that time and suppertime was spent apart.

Sunday is family day. That usually means we don't make plans for being apart if we can help it. There are some things that cannot be avoided, but we place a lot of emphasis on spending Sunday together. Today I received an invitation to join a couple of girlfriends at the movies, but I had to refuse. Any day, but today.

The evenings are spent watching a movie, a little workout and everyone goes to their corner by 9 p.m. for some downtime before retiring.

That's our entire day. Now, try to fit in all of my activities into a typical day such as this one, especially now when I'm more tired and I'm looking for a nap. I have found myself growing almost impatient when I'm interrupted, feeling guilty when I see the expression on Emily's face.

These times are so special and I'm forgetting that. I'm shaping her for what is to come in her life and I won't be around. I've realized that very thing this morning. What is more important? My writing? A project I'm working on? Or my family?

So the apartment may look a little messy or there may be some dishes in the sink, but the time I spend with the people I love is so much more precious than a well organized life.

Enjoy your Sabbath and make some memories everyone. Have a blessed day!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Life's Neighborhoods

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Would you be mine, would you be my neighbor?

My children grew up on Mister Roger's and Shari Lewis Lamb Chops. I didn't have to censor any of the shows, the thought never even entered my mind to do so. One just knew it was children appropriate.

The more the world turns forward, the more I want to go back to simplicity in life and the rawness of nature. Minus the drugs and new age religion, I would have been happy as a hippie living on a commune doing my share.

I couldn't stop thinking how much the world has changed with each generation. My grandmother's generation completely foreign to my grandchildren's. Heaven knows how it will look for my great- grandchildren.

Ever since I've turned fifty back in January, I've become so aware of things like that. Things of importance and things of none. The way I grew up, my children and what the future could possibly hold for them.

I thought about all of that as I headed out to meet up with my ladies from the Ministry. I wish I had continued crocheting as a child when I first learned. I think I would have been a more peaceful adult if I had. Why did I put away something that has become  so meaningful to me now? Maybe, I wouldn't have appreciated it's worth back then.

As I sat there at the park awaiting my group, I watched all the children playing and mothers pushing their strollers. I felt for them, my heart so heavy. The world is a changing and the struggle is real becoming more difficult with each new generation. I have no idea how I made it through. I'm just grateful I did.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Here Comes The Rain

Song by B.J. Thomas
Raindrops are falling on my head
And just like the guy whose feet
Are too big for his bed
Nothing seems to fit
Those raindrops
Are falling on my head
They keep falling.
I just love a good rainy day. Let it rain, let it pour. There is something so comforting to watch nature unleash itself. Nature unfolding before my very eyes inspires the muse within. I just want to write. I just wish I didn't have to go to work  to fully enjoy such a day.
So I just did me some
Talking to the sun
And I said I didn't like the way
He got things done
Sleeping on the job
Those raindrops
Are falling on my head
They keep fallin'
Ever since I have made my announcement regarding being out of remission, I have been hearing the same line over and over again.
"You're taking this so well."
My response has been the same as always.
"It's been eight years. If I haven't come to terms with it by now it is a very sad indeed."
But there's one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me
Won't defeat me, it won't be long
Till happiness
Steps up to greet me
Raindrops keep falling on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes
Will soon be turning red
Crying's not for me 'cause,
I'm never gonna stop the rain
By complaining,
Because I'm free
Nothing's worrying me
I couldn't stop singing this silly song of old, but in a way it is so true of how I'm feeling lately. I just love the last verse nothing's worrying me, because I'm free. Thank the Lord for that!
It won't be long
Till happiness
Steps up to greet me
Raindrops keep falling on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes
Will soon be turning red
Crying's not for me cause,
I'm never gonna stop the rain
By complaining,
Because I'm free, 'cause nothing's worrying me
Have a happy weekend everyone.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Hello everyone!
There are some things in life that never get old. We can listen, watch or read it over and over again never tiring of it. Today on Throwback Thursday, that's how I feel about the following post.

As I have stated numerous times since my journey with cancer began, my goal is to build fulfilling relationships with the people around me. One of those relationships happens to be with Christ. How I wish that all of you could experience that same kind of love.

No matter what you are going through in life, nothing compares to the joy and peace of God's love and knowing He is beside you the entire time.

 Linda's favorite phrase when faced with a difficult task used to be " Would you walk with me Jesus?" It also has become one of mine. So as I face another day, another new journey, I ask Him. . . ..
Would you walk with me Jesus?

My Spiritual Testimony

Today , I want to share something I wrote a few years ago .......

Today, in church, I sat there and reflected on my love for GOD.I felt such profound peace and love inside me.
I never would have thought it possible for me to love being in church let alone looking for Sunday to come.Never have I thought I would be so fulfilled and sated spiritually.I, am not bored in church.I love going to church and the best part ...I could stay there for hours.I can't even believe I am saying this.
There are times that Sunday can't come fast enough for me because I NEED to go to church.So I sat there and thought to myself how much I have grown.It reminded me of psalm 116
I love the Lord,for He heard my voice
He heard my cry for mercy
because He turned His ear to me
I will call on Him as long as I live
the cords of death entangled me
the anguish of the grave came upon me
I was overcome by trouble and sorrow
then I called on the name of the Lord
O Lord,save me!!
That's what I was thinking about in church today.I couldn't think of one prayer request to make today because all I could feel is praise for Him.Today it was all about gratitude.
We had an altar call.An altar call for those who want to deepen their relationship with Christ.As I stood there and looked around,half the church was at the altar and I felt tears because I thought to myself everyone must be feeling what I am.
If there was one thing ,one wish that I would make for everyone is that they would experience that spiritual fulfillment that I feel .
Have a Blessed week everyone!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Getting It Right

I have gone through quite a journey these past eight years. I went from being angry with everyone to wanting to develop meaningful relationships with them instead. I have implemented simplification into my life examining every area for unwanted or unneeded excess. I have spent my time learning and becoming knowledgeable in God's Word.

This morning, while drinking my coffee and listening to Dr. Jeffries online, I thought about any areas that I needed to "come right" with. Is there anything that I needed to fix? I'm not talking about the things involving other people. I'm talking about looking in a 3 way mirror and really seeing my true self.

Have I really worked on everything?

I don't think we can honestly say we're done all we can do. There's always more. I'm looking for that more. I have this absolute need to come right before God.

So that's my next journey. What is yours? What do you need to work on to come right before the Lord? Everyday is a new day. Everyday is a new journey. Don't let yours pass you by.

My friend, God loves you. God wants you to live in fellowship with Him. Our sin is not just against God, but it is also against other people. Do you realize that when we are not walking along with God and not obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit of God that this is a sin against God and it is a sin against others? Why? Because we cannot be who God would have us to be in our moment-by-moment, day-by-day Christian experience if we are not walking in harmony with the Spirit of God.
By Abiding Above

Have a blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Top 5 Revisited

My three day weekend was certainly a busy one. Whereas people barbecued, went to the beach or did last minute preparation for the children's first day of school. . . . . .I worked.

I basically locked myself inside the apartment and started on my top 5 most wanted list. Once again, as predicted, I have outreached myself in the planning and was not able to finish everything accordingly.

So what did I finish? Well . . . .

1. I definitely need to make a Fall/Winter schedule for my Ministry. Plus, an outline for our six month General Business Meeting. Of course, that's overdue!

In all honesty, I just made the schedule this morning. As to the outline, I don't plan on having one this time. In fact, I'm planning on winging it.

2. Once again, the hoarder in me needs to unclutter all the clutter in my room. Perhaps even re-arrange some pieces. It's a perpetual struggle with me.

I'm very happy to report that the only thing left are a couple of storage bins to go through, but I did  do everything else in my room, including even changing my curtains for the Fall.

5. This is my favorite. I'm still in transition from my old e-mail into my new e-mail. I keep going back and forth between the two. I think it's time to clear out any outstanding e-mails under the old name.

This took the majority of my 3 day. I could not believe how many files I had nor how many e-mails I needed to transfer. Not to mention, that my internet service was buffering most of the time. So slow! It is finished and I'm operating under my new one.

I do plan on finishing the other two items on my list hopefully by the end of this month. Terrible, isn't it? I love being busy, even though I may complain about it. It provides me with the concept of accomplishment of being active here on Earth. Does that make sense?

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Announcement

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.”
-Erma Bombeck

Earlier, I took a routine petscan for my cancer. Unfortunately, the scan revealed that I'm no longer in remission. Unlike the past, it has been determined that I undergo a hormone treatment consisting of two pills daily of tamoxifen instead of the usual chemo infusion.
Of course, this doesn't change anything. We go on as always . . . .God willing. This treatment allows me to continue working for as long as I am able to. The same goes for my Ministry work and this blog. The side effects are minimal consisting mostly of hot flashes, mood swings and swelling of the legs. Worst case scenario means blood clots.

This marks my fourth re-occurrence with ovarian cancer. As with the other three, I'm embracing this new journey God has placed me on. I wonder what He has in store for me and my family, so please pray for us.

As I thought about this new development and what it could mean, I couldn't help but quote Psalm 73:25-26.
As long as I have You
I don't need anyone else in heaven or on earth
My body and mind may waste away,
but God remains the foundation of my life
and my inheritance forever.

I couldn't have said better myself. Have a blessed day everyone.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Waiting For The Shoe To Drop

I couldn't sleep all night. I felt humid, sticky and extremely uncomfortable. No matter what I tried, I couldn't fall asleep and ended up tossing and turning until the alarm beeped in the early morning.

My mind kept racing with all sorts of images, some frightening, some scary, but all worrisome. The devil loves it when we are in this state. He makes sure the crescendo builds to an even higher beat to where we are consumed with a fury of doubt and worry.

That was me last Monday.

You see, I was having a routine Petscan that I've had on numerous occasion. For some reason, panic and fear engulfed me like never before. What normally has been a quiet and relaxing morning spent reading and doing puzzles while I wait for my scan, turned into a nightmare.

One would think there were pins and needles inside of me as I just couldn't sit or lay still for the life of me. The scan itself takes a mere 20 or so minutes and yet, I thought I would literally jump out of my skin. I've never had a more nerve racking petscan than I did that day.

I could feel my blood pressure slowly rise and stress fill my body. But why? Why this time? Silly aren't I? It's just a test. One that I've had numerous times. Oh devil, leave me alone.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Ministry

It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. – A.W. Tozer

Many times I am asked why I have a Ministry or you're still doing that? I guess it's difficult for people to grasp that I'm actually giving these crochet items away to charities and not selling them.  

I knew how to crochet all of my life. I cannot even remember who taught me or when. I'm assuming it was my own mother. I've never used this gift as a young woman. Never made my own children any thing and then suddenly at the age of 42 years, I picked up the hook.

I often wonder why at that time? Was it God?

I picked it up again at one of the worst times of my life and this  simple hook brought me so much pleasure, so much sanity and so much peace.

How can I take money for that?

I hope I can bring that same kind of emotion to other people who are experiencing health struggles in their lives by allowing them to channel their pain into other things such as crafts. Crocheting helps me focus on something other than what I am going through right now. It is peace and serenity. I hope I can bring that experience to you as well.

God gave me another chance. The last thing I want to do is waste it. The Ministry will go on as long as there are people willing to donate yarn to it. God will provide. He always does.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Seven Deadly Sins

Greed, pride, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth. The seven deadly sins. Which one are you? Yes, you. Every single person on this earth happens to be at least one of those seven.

Last night, I came home in a funk. A total funk. I listen to Christian music both on my way to work and back. As I belted out song after song, emotions took over and I thought about all the things I have been praying for, things not realized.

These are not things that are material. They are not wants. It's harder when we pray for others, because we cannot see the work that is being done on the inside, only what is being done on the outside.

So I became a little down. Walked inside and stuffed myself with donuts. Gluttony has always been my downfall. Not just with eating, but with other things as well. I over analyze things to death. I over react. I over reach. I over schedule. Everything is in the excessive almost as if I didn't know how to do just normal.

Even at work, I can't just do what is required. I work through lunch more times than I care to admit. If they want 3, I do 4. Over accessing everything.

After all is said and done, I'm full of regrets.  At work  on dayshift, there are two people doing the same job. I'm all by myself. When I over eat, my tummy hurts the morning after. When I over schedule, I'm perpetually behind. Why , why, why do I do this to myself?

Yet, we commit the same deadly sin over and over again. So I'm paying for it today. So I ask you again. What is your deadly sin?

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday

I almost forgotten about this post. If I remember correctly, I was home on FMLA for my cancer infusion. It's no wonder that I felt love for mankind, I wasn't around them too much then.

People have always been a struggle for me and running away to hide in the mountains always an appealing thought. Yet, God seems to place me around them all the time. I finally stopped running.

Relationships are difficult because we all are so different with different tastes and dislikes. We have to remember that not everyone out there in the world has the Holy Spirit in them. That's why we need to show them by our actions and words what Christ's love is all about.

Everyday, on my way to work, I recite this prayer: Lord, help me in all I do and say to be a reflection of You. Now, I may not always succeed, but I will never stop trying.


Love Makes The World Go Round

   As I start my fast , I'm full of optimism , hope  and love . Yes , love . Being in seclusion , most of the time , I find it very easy to love people ( hehehe) . It's so easy from a distance . I came across some notes I took two years ago  while watching Dr. Joyce Meyers . I want to share them with all of you . It was based on the series " The Confident Woman " , but I think it's appropriate for my fast .
  1. first of all , love Jesus
  2. you can love people by being understanding
  3. love is merciful and faithful
  4. you don't get character when everything is nice
  5. love is the hardest to get and to maintain
  6. ask yourself what are you doing for others to make things better
  7. you will never fail if you never stop trying
  8. love will cost you something
  9. get out into the world and be a better "bible " to others

    After reading this , I thought , why is this so hard to do ? Sounds simple enough . Why can't we do this ? We are like the people in the desert with Moses walking around  " lost " for forty years . We complain . We moan and groan . We are never happy . We want this and we want that . We get this and we get that and we are still not satisfied . Lord , I just described myself .
    Well , I'm never going to stop trying to improve .I don't want to stop living  or growing . I need to continuously keep growing spiritually Christ . We all need to apply that list to our lives .It's a new year ...a new beginning .

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

5 Most Wanted

Isn't that the truth? Who wants to get up and prepare coffee on a rough morning? All of us are hoping for that coffee genie to appear and have a fresh pot brewing the minute we wake up.

It's been that kind of week. Every morning brings a new list of things to do. This happens every time I have special plans for the weekend. I try real hard to accomplish all my errands during the week so no time is wasted on those special days.

As each new day appears, I secretly wish that coffee genie would do it's magic. Unfortunately, that never happens so I have to resort to an old and tried method of manual labor. Another great tried and true method? List making!

I am notorious for getting ahead of myself or getting involved with other things than what I intended or planned. Especially if I'm trying to fit a lot of activities for one weekend. So I needed to make a list of my top five absolutely need to get done.

1. I definitely need to make a Fall/Winter schedule for my Ministry. Plus, an outline for our six month General Business Meeting. Of course, that's overdue!

2. Once again, the hoarder in me needs to unclutter all the clutter in my room. Perhaps even re-arrange some pieces. It's a perpetual struggle with me.

3. I desperately need to make a huge dent in my writing project that I have been working on. Remember, my secret project that no one knows about . . . yet?

4. My appointment book/schedule needs a huge upgrade especially as the new month begins.

5. This is my favorite. I'm still in transition from my old e-mail into my new e-mail. I keep going back and forth between the two. I think it's time to clear out any outstanding e-mails under the old name.

So there you have it. I already know it will be difficult and most likely I once again have overscheduled, but I will certainly try. I can only try, right?

Have a blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Church Nomad

God will make a way,Where there seems to be no way;
He works in ways we cannot see,
He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide,
Hold me closely to His side;
With love and strength for each new day,
He will make a way. He will make a way!
Don Moen

I am a person who sings loudly in Church whether I have a great voice or not doesn't matter. To my ears, my voice is lovely because I am singing in praise.

This past Sunday, I sat quietly not a peep coming out. Even when I tried, my voice would not rise. I realized that sometimes we need to be still. It didn't mean He wasn't there. Quite the opposite, I felt Him even more.

For the first time in a very long time, I decided to stop being a church nomad and make a home somewhere. I've been coming to this Church for three straight weeks and that's where I'm staying. This is where I will tithe and fellowship with others. A new start, a new chapter begins.

I have realized that I needed to get right with God for my prayer life to become solid and strong. Now I always knew what I was doing wrong and yet  did nothing about it. Why? Because I categorized my wrong as a tiny sin. Is there such a thing?

Absolutely not! Sin is sin. If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, looks like a duck. . . .it's a duck! Sin is sin.

Looking in the mirror and acknowledging our faults can be difficult to admit and even see ourselves in that light, but we cannot move forward unless we accept the consequences of our actions. We need to examine our part in why it all went wrong and determine the best cause of action. How else will we learn from them?

Everyday is a lesson. Everyday is a new journey. 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 ...