Friday, October 30, 2015

Drawing At The Well

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.
 
There are some hearts like wells green-mossed and deep
As ever summer saw,
And cool their water is, yea, cool and sweet;
But you must come to draw.
They hoard not, yet they rest in calm content,
And not unsought will give;
They can be quiet with their wealth unspent,
So self-contained they live.
--Author unknown.

It has been a real quiet day, with absolutely nothing unusual happening. Isn't that what we've always wanted? Peace and serenity are things we look for in our homes. We are looking for a sanctuary where  we can unwind from the days toil. Today we found that sanctuary.

It's amazing what one can get accomplished when there is peace. No pressures or tensions to distract anyone from the real purpose of the moment. I did more today than what I actually do all week.

 Even now, as the pumpkin shaped cookies lay cooling for tomorrow's treat bags, I'm relaxing doing something I really love. I couldn't have asked for a better day.

A day such as this, can only come from God. I went to the well and drew from it such perfection. How does He know and I mean always know what we need?

Now not every single day will be like this one, but all the more to appreciate them when they do come. Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey and I'm loving mine.

Have a blessed day everyone.
 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday

                                        Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.
Tears came to my eyes when I read this post. You see, I haven't driven by car to Springfield since then. I love road trips! I love to drive on the open road! Why haven't I gone now? Well, my car is pretty old and basically if I want to keep it around a few years more, I won't place so much strain on it. I only use my car sparingly never traveling too far. But, every time I pass the entrance to a highway, I can hear it call my name . . . . .

What also caught my eye, was the early years that led to what is now The Crocheting Ministry. I made several afghans that were donated to the nursing home and then I began my quest, my bootie quest which resulted in my making 665 pairs that were donated to U.I.C. Children's Cancer Unit.

I remember that trip well. My body wasn't completely healed yet, so I believe we (my mom came with me) hit every rest stop from Chicago to Springfield. It definitely was a very long trip.

Off To See The World
I've been off to see the world . Actually , I've visited my son in Springfield . It was a major trip for me . I haven't gone anywhere since last August . Then my cancer treatment started and everything got put on hold . Couldn't make it out there . The trip wasn't easy . It took a lot longer to get there than normally . Had to make a few stops along the way since I ended up getting sick . The trip seemed long somehow and I was relieved when we finally got there.
  The whole point of the trip was to spend time with my grandchildren . Haven't seen them since November at my niece's wedding . They ended up being sick at Christmas so we never saw each other for the holiday . Funny , but they still had their Christmas Tree up for me to see . We had our own mini Christmas a whole month late .
   I love driving . I love the sense of freedom of being on an open road . Checking out the scenery . I wanted this trip badly . I needed it . I did learn just how tired I really am . My body is still very weak and this trip took a lot out of me . The trip back seemed even longer . I needed this ...I needed to feel normal .Like I had control of my life  again .
  The time spent there was wonderful . Trying to build on a relationship with my newly adopted grandchildren is really satisfying to me . They love me and I love them . Children love unconditionally . With absolutely no reserves or judgments of any kind . They just accept you the way you are .
   I also ended up delivering my blankets to the Nursing Home  and I started my booties for St. Jude's . I'm on a roll and have made quite a lot . My yarn supply is dwindling  , but it will be alright . My grandson developed a desire to learn how to crochet and he's doing a great job of it . Passing on to the next generation just a little bit of me . It was a pretty good trip . I'm glad I went off to see the world . . . . no matter how tired it made me .It was worth it .

Have a blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Simply Models

                                        Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.


Here are some of my favorite models of a Tiny Home. Also some links where one can find more details on these images: http://www.howtobuildahouseblog.com/
                           
This one is one of my favorites with the French doors, except for one thing . . . the loft is cave like and not airy.

 
The one below I love for having shelving for books. Plus I really like the simple kitchen layout. Of course, all of these are custom made.
 

I'm trying to convince Emily in Tiny House living with the model below consisting of two lofts, but she's not having any of it.


Love all the windows which help to create openness and the feel one is in a large space.


This one is an original Tiny House style with wood accents inside for that cabin atmosphere. Notice the mason jars? Very Tiny House.  

I have thought of a bed rollout such as this one instead  of a loft, but a loft provides another area for storage.

 
These are just some things I have been considering, but who knows if it can actually become a reality. We can call this my dream list.
 
Have a blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Life Is All About Changes

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.


Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
F. R. HAVERGAL.

Life is all about the changes. There's is no way around the constant adaptation that we have to go through. When we are born we have to learn how to eat, how to walk and how to talk. While in school, we learn to spell, do math and history of our past. When we're teenagers we learn about relationships with others. Adulthood brings on even more changes. A new job, marriage, motherhood, an illness etc.

Life is all about the changes and our adaptation to them. Yesterday, I had begun my new journey of the month. My upper dentures came in and I happily skipped over to my dentist to pick them up. Talk about being naïve! I don't know what I was thinking! For some reason I thought I would pop them in and go about my merry way. Not!

Friends, I almost hyperventilated in the car driving back. I could barely speak normal, let alone eat or drink. Plus, I had to go in to work that afternoon. How am I going to deal with this? Once again, I'm having to learn how to do all of the basics of life. Just the simple act of chewing is a learning process.

At that moment, my mind drifted back to the different stages in my life and all the changes that we as a family had to adapt to. Just two months ago the new treatment was the current stage and my acceptance of the disruption of the all the side effects in my life. It never seems to end, does it?

Life seems to be a constant flow of peaks and valleys bringing on  good days as well as bad ones. I know that this new change may seem abrupt to me now, but I will overcome it as I have done with all the others. Even today, a mere 24 hours later, already it seems a little better. It's an adjustment, or like my dentist says . . . .it will be a pistol!

Have a blessed day everyone.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Gone Fishing

                                        Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.


I'm sitting here on my bed watching Tiny House Nation on Youtube, season after season, episode after episode. I'm imagining myself living in a Tiny House surrounded by beautiful Fall foliage overlooking perhaps a lake or a farm scene.

From my window, busy squirrels leap from tree branch to tree branch searching for their last minute Winter fare. In the distance one can hear the chirping of birds, not able to distinguish one breed from another. It looks cold and windy outside, but I'm snuggled in my cozy tiny sanctuary.

I don't know what you're doing right now, but  . . . . . . in my mind this is where I'm at. Whatever you may have to do this Saturday, I genuinely hope you find the time to just relax and refresh yourself.

Have a blessed and happy weekend.

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Week In Review

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

We cannot make bargains for blisses,
Nor catch them like fishes in nets;
And sometimes the thing our life misses
Helps more than the thing which it gets.
For good lieth not in pursuing,
Nor gaining of great nor small,
But just in the doing and doing
As we would be done by is all.
--Alice Gary.


I thought Friday would never come! Every single day this week I had to get up early as appointment after appointment filled my calendar. Today was no different. My days of being up at 7 a.m. are long gone. I find that I need those two hours of extra sleep since I'm still working and maintaining my regular lifestyle.

I had an appointment for a Petscan this week that ended up being cancelled due to my insurance denying the claim. Apparently, I'm entitled to a certain amount of Petscans for the year and I've already have reached that goal. All I can have now are Ct scans which are the second favorite of oncologists.

Since my vacation is very limited being it's the end of the year, I have to schedule all appointments in the morning as early as possible so I can still make it on time for work in the afternoon. My re-scheduled Ct scan will be in two weeks and at 7 a.m. in the morning. That means I will have to get up at 5:30 a.m. and make sure I'm out the door no later than 6. That day will be a very long day indeed.

This time around, I'm taking it easy when it comes to relaxation. One thing I am definitely battling with this treatment is fatigue. I need that nap. I've tried looking at my workload and seeing where I can make some changes. I am learning to delegate work much better. This is very difficult for me since I am one of those people who thinks they should be doing everything. I think that's called a control freak.

So .. . . my plans for this weekend, Saturday especially, are as follows. I plan to do absolutely nothing. Well, maybe a load of laundry since I need to wear clothes, but everything else . . . zilch. Not even writing. I plan to lounge on my bed, watching my favorite shows, crocheting and enjoying some wine. Period. Maybe, just maybe I might put on some clothes that actually  match. Otherwise, it's a lazy day.

Have a Blessed day everyone.
 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

Fear can immobilize all our other thoughts by shifting the attention to what we fear at that moment instead of what we really should be focusing on.

My fears haven't really changed since the post below. Though, I am in a very good place regarding my cancer, I still have many fears when it comes to the people I am leaving behind. I wish things were a little more settled with them, but I'm still waiting on the Lord for that.

Sometimes, I feel as if the change won't happen unless I am gone. That is hard because I both wanted and needed reassurance of the welfare of my children. Again, this is where the trust comes in . . . the trust of God providing for them.
 Fear
  Looking out the window at the snow falling , I wondered how many people were experiencing fear right now . Fear of their car skidding across the road . Fear of being late for work or picking up their children .
   What are my fears ? I'm afraid of many silly things like  rats or mice . Right now , the scale is pretty high up there as the number one thing I'm scared of .
    What if the reason I've been so grouchy lately is really because I'm scared . Scared of something I can't control or touch . We all want to be in control of our lives or at least think we are . All of my life , I have told myself I was waiting on the Lord . I believed that my plans were the same as God's plan for me . It doesn't seem to be the case any longer . He seems to have different plans for me .
    I think  that is one reason why I'm grouchy . Why can't my plan be the same as His ? We all have wished for something . Dreamed about it . Had our hearts set on it . As a Christian I know whatever He has planned for me will be ten times better than anything I do . That still doesn't ease the fact that I won't get what I want .
    I certainly , didn't think I  would be here going through cancer again . Yes , fear . The uncertainty .  The unknown . Trust . It's all so hard . I'm still afraid of rats , mice and the scale.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Erma Bombeck

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

I cannot tell you enough how much I love this woman. When I was a very young woman, I came across some of her work. Instant love, Folks. I felt as if seeing myself in the mirror. Now, I'm not comparing her writing to mine at all. I am a mere amateur, but her sense of humor. She had a sarcastic, satirical way of saying things where one wondered what really laid underneath that exterior or that comment. Being a sarcastic person myself, I understood her humor and her way of writing.

Last night, I came across another story of hers and it was like Stop The Presses! I immediately wanted to share this with all of you.

Men Have a Six-Word Limit
by Erma Bombeck
I have publicly stated that men speak approximately six words a day in their homes. A few readers have challenged me and want to know what the six words are.
I should have qualified my statement. The six words are not necessarily spoken in sequence, nor are they necessarily spoken to wives.
A friend of mine, for example, has a husband who saves his six words until the Carson show has signed off and she is fast asleep. Then he snaps on all the lights in the bedroom, punches his pillow, shakes her out of a sound slumber and says, “Did you turn off the hose?”(6)
Some men will blow their quota at one time.
They’ll garage the car, make tracks to the kitchen, take the lid off the fry pan and announce loudly, “I had it for lunch.”(5) Then, realizing he has used only five words, he will add, “Yuck!”
Others will spend a half dozen words in obscenities directed toward Bobby’s bicycle in the driveway.
My week gets off to a slow start but builds to a feverish climax. Monday, Me: “Say something.” Him: “What ya want me to say?”(6) Tuesday, Me: “What kind of day did you have?”
Him: “Don’t aggravate me. You wouldn’t believe.”(6) Wednesday, Me: “Try me.” Him: “Where’s the rest of the paper?”(6) Thursday, Me: “We had a crisis here today.”
Him: “The dog isn’t lost, is he?”(6)
Friday, Me: “Guess what? Know who called today? And is coming to dinner? And is bringing her new husband with her? And can’t wait to talk your arm off? Are you ready?”
Him: “No. No. No. No. No. No.”(6)
Saturday, Me: “I’ll be out for a while. I’ve got some errands to do at the shopping center.”
Him: “Admit it. My chattering gets on your nerves.”(8)
Sunday, Me: “Do you know you spoke eight words to me yesterday? I wouldn’t be surprised if you were starting a new trend.”
Him: “Don’t count on it.”(4)
Part of man’s silence is woman’s doing. We created the strong, silent, masculine image. The silence represented deep thought, a repression of emotions. A quiet man was an island of mystery, a challenge to probe and discover as years went on. I always thought a quiet man was subtle and romantic.
But that was before I started arguing with the tropical fish over which channel we were going to watch.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Monday, October 19, 2015

2016 Goals

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

During these past eight years, my life has taken on a journey of simplification. I would be lying if I claimed to have purposely begun this path of cleaning up my life. It sort of happened on it's own as if someone was leading the way lighting the stepping stones. I have said this many times, I feel as if I've finally begun living the life I was meant to live.

Having said all that, I once again feel as if I'm propelled toward a new path. I've always felt these past eight years have been a training course for what the end of my golden years would look like. Even though I may have felt my life has been stuck in a rut since the elimination of my shift at work, but that is because I am anxious to begin that new journey.

All in good time, my friends, all in good time. That's what I keep reminding myself whenever I feel melancholy. Until then, I have been trying to fill my time with fulfilling last minute details that I have let go. I want to prepare myself accordingly since I am such a procrastinator.

This past year it has been all about my health needs with dental, and oncology at the forefront. What is next for us here in 2016? Finances will take center stage as we both have a "bill" we need to pay off. It would be awesome if we could accomplish that. Plus, there are a few more details that I have lagged in these past few years.

Our main goal here is to take whatever steps are necessary for us to neatly line our ducks in a row so when we finally make that vital decision, everything will be set to go.

Making goals is very important to both of us. This way we can center our focus on what we need to get down, especially since I love to procrastinate. Even now as I write, I'm trying to talk myself out of this mornings activity. Such a procrastinator!

Have a Blessed day everyone.



Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Season For Everything

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Chugging Along

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.


“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Some days, you can't get it right, no matter how much you try. One just fumbles.

We could spend all morning attempting to set our hair all to no avail. It just flops.

A huge pile of laundry awaits our attention. Those pants we wanted to wear lie right on top. We're so desperate that we actually take them out for inspection. Maybe they're not too bad.

We don't look good. We don't feel good and we definitely are not good. All we desire at that very morning is to shut the door to the outside world and not come out until the next morning.

Alas, it cannot be so. We have to go to work, do our errands, pay our bills. . .. basically we have to live. When these hard days come and turn even worse as the day progresses, we continue chugging along trying to make the best of it.

I may not shine today, but tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow my hair will be perfect, my clothes all neat and perfumed. My mood will be like  the bright sunshine on a July Summer morning.

It's Friday, folks! A long day awaits as we chug along at work thinking about the play that is coming when the shift ends. Happy Friday everyone. Happy chugging along day.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday

                                          Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

I'm still grateful for all those things, especially the car still running. The booties turned into 665 pairs that were donated to U.I.C. Children's Cancer Clinic and the start of The Crocheting Ministry Club. I'm back in treatment, but no infusion this time. Yeah, I think it's a pretty good day.

What am I grateful this morning?
1. A good cup of coffee  (always can appreciate that!)
2. The car still running (amen, praise Jesus!)
3. The Ministry meeting this morning (still around!)
4. The yarn that came in the mail (always need yarn)
5. Absolutely no drama in my life (Halleluiah!)

My one regret? Well, when I did turn fifty last JANUARY, I was not a happy camper and the surprise party everyone gave me, I wasn't as good of a companion as I should have been. For some unknown reason, I wanted to spend that day alone.

A Thankful Heart
  Trying to catch up this morning on all my daily readings , devotionals and e-mails I felt ashamed of myself . For nearly this entire month (maybe longer ) I haven 't been in a good mood . My body and I have been fighting  and we know who has been winning that battle . Today , I'm making an effort to get something done . I have to confess , I'm not making too many strides .
  One thing for sure I need to get out of this frumpy mood of mine . You know , sometimes devotionals can stir something inside you that a whole sermon doesn't . God uses whatever He can to get His message across to us . Instead of  thinking all the bad things that are happening to me I need to write down all the good things today .
  I am thankful for ......
1. the snow that is coming down because even though us grownups will hate it but the children will have fun
2. the warm apartment that I live in . My last place was always drafty and cold .
3. learning how to make the booties for St. Jude's and I already have  like 20 pairs .
4. my car still working , plugging along
5. the grits that Emily and I will have for supper on this cold, snowy day (yummy)
6. the apartment is clean , okay , semi - clean
7. I finally found a computer stand  for my room
8. it's Friday
9. no doctor appointments until February 7th
10.  one more chemo to go
11. my big brother's birthday on Sunday . He's turning 50 . When I reach 50 , I'll have a big party .

Yeah , it's not that bad of a day .

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Simply A Happy THOW

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

What is a THOW? It stands for Tiny House On Wheels. I've finally found a blog of a very satisfied and happy tiny house owner. A young single woman in her late twenties. Yes, she has had some struggles, but she also overcame them.

What I loved the most was that she really wrote about her experiences settling into her little house. She also offered links to certain appliances, equipment etc. She basically touched on all my silent questions.

I think she really enjoys her THOW, because this is exactly what she was looking for.  This kind of lifestyle suits her (living simply) and her needs. She is basically living the way I hope to in the future.

Her THOW cost quite a bit, because she had it custom made to her specification. It was also constructed pretty quickly since she had to vacate her apartment. She was willing to pay extra and ended up taking out a loan for her THOW. I'm NOT willing to do all that. Remember my statement of being free from bills?

Another thing I loved is the fact she was living off grid on a friend's
large acreage property. She was surrounded by nature in the middle of this property away from the landowner. She was able to plant a garden, install solar panels and even plant an orchard.

She did have a long hike everyday to the main road where her car was parked. I cannot image lugging groceries and supplies up this trail. You could drive up with the car, but since the path was man made, it's ability to be track worthy depended on the weather. If it rained, it was muddy. If it snowed, it needed to be plowed etc.

Yet, she lived in a way that I am hoping to do as well. Living off grid on a ranch or on a large acreage as she has been , is my first choice. The scenery instills an idyllic and peaceful sanctuary, something I always looked for in a home no matter where I lived. This one is definitely in my top five.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Not Favorite "Simplies"

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

Yesterday, I posted the favorites and today we are all about the least favorites. These are things I've tried and they didn't quite work out for me.

1. Juicing
We have tried, really tried to make this work, but  . . . . a huge but here, folks. This is messy as heck plus there is so much waste (pulp). Maybe if we lived off grid on a farm or had a garden that we could use the pulp for a compost, maybe then it would be worthwhile to us. Then you have all this cleanup from various parts of a juicer. Don't forget the expense of the fruit and veggies. No, juicing just wasn't for us.

2. Organization
I could write a book naming all the different techniques we have used in  trying to become organized. All of them work for a week or so. At least, around here. I can  guarantee two simple things for organization of any type to stick. One, get rid of anything you don't need. Two, put away or wash right away. You can organize all you want, but if you have too much stuff to begin with, we call that clutter. I'm finding out that less is best. If I have a load of laundry, I do it right away.

3.Flax Seeds, Cinnamon, Chia Seeds etc.
I have tried numerous things that have been considered home remedies for cures like flax seeds for inflammation, cinnamon for appetite control or chia seeds as a natural laxative. Don't get me wrong, I think they are great and most likely in the long haul of things , they do wonders just not for me. I consider things like this to be more like vitamins. I still occasionally sprinkle cinnamon over a meal or add flax seeds to my coffee, but I don't put all my eggs in one basket.

4. Diets
Who hasn't been on a diet? It seems that is all I have been doing for the last eight years since gaining all this weight. Well, no longer. I am done with diets. Don't even think of sending me some diet that has worked wonders for you or someone you know. Believe me, I have tried them all. I'm sticking to two sure things, portion-size and exercise.

I'm sure there are many more, but I've forgotten them. Have a blessed day everyone.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Favorite "Simplies"

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

Over the past year or so, I've began a series called "Simply", dealing with anything that could simplify my life. That could include a healthier way of life or being a minimalist or getting rid of emotional stress. Anything that could improve my quality of life.

I have tried many things, but not all of them have been successful nor have I continued on incorporating them into my lifestyle. Here I'm only mentioning the successes not the failures.

1.Wine
I love wine and I mean real wine not the sweet sugary wines that are out there for women. I love the merlots, the cabernet sauvignon, blanc, chardonnay etc. I wish I could have a glass every single night after supper. I believe there are so many health benefits to wine, of course, in moderation.

2. Exercise
Ugh, I hate this one and I've tried numerous methods from yoga to walking to aerobics. I hate exercising, period. Yet, I understand the need my body has for movement. I trade it up every few months for something different. Right now, On Demand on cable has these 15-30 minute workouts for over fifty people that I'm doing, but only when I am home from work. So about two-three times a week I'll be exercising. I've found out that my coordination is not what it should be and for that reason, I will keep going no matter how much I groan about it.

3. Fruits and Veggies
It has come to the point of us not being able to eat out as much let alone eat fast food. We just feel different by eating healthier, making substitutions like coconut oil instead of butter. Our bodies have become accustomed to homemade everything. It's not about diet as much as making healthier decisions. We are in control of how much sugar we add or whether we fry or broil. We make the decisions and not be at the mercy of companies who want to make a buck on me.

4.Water
I cannot stop raving about the benefits of this wonder drink. If my tummy hurts, I drink water. When I had chemo and felt nausea, I drank water. Thirsty, drink water. Need to flush toxins out, drink water. Healthy skin, drink water. Ate too much, drink water. I could go on and on naming all the benefits. These are some that have helped me. I drink water constantly. I fill a liter or two liter bottles with water and keep in the fridge. In the morning, I have my two cups of coffee and the rest of the day it's water. Try it for a week and you will see the benefits.

5. Finances
One of the best decisions I have ever made was to invest in a 9 week financial class. That class has changed my entire outlook when it comes to money. I handle money differently now as well as make sound decisions based on the lessons I've learned from this class.

These are just some of the things that we've incorporated into our lives that have worked out nicely for us even if we don't enjoy doing them.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cool As A Cucumber

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.
                                        


How you handle today will determine what you are tomorrow.
Unknown

Even though my face may be expressive at times, I'm pretty good at hiding any storms I may be going through at any particular point. Very few people, if any, know the circumstances of these trials. For some reason, I've always been a good listener, but not a very good confessor.

It's very difficult for me to have a "BFF". I've always played life with all my cards close to my chest. There were times where I confided in what I thought was a dear friend or two, but somehow they proved otherwise.

It's no wonder that I can keep my emotions in check when it comes to my cancer. I've learned to maintain a positive attitude in front of others. It doesn't come easy, but I have had eight years of practice.

The funny thing is that I can tell right away when a fellow cancer survivor is doing the same. Take my new found friend Didi. Upon meeting her, I could tell right away she was doing her very best at trying to maintain an upbeat, happy face. I even mentioned it to some of her friends to look out for her mood to suddenly shift. She is after all new to this game. That shift happened real quick and now she is dealing with her emotions. There is a happy medium, she just needs to find it.

Today, I told my Ministry group about the return of my cancer. As expected, everyone was totally surprised and supportive. Surprised, because I just happen to look so well and supportive, because they are my sisters.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Throwback Thursday

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

My truck was sick right along with me. I have no doubts on that subject. The year 2011 was one of my worst. Not only did I have to deal with the return of my cancer, but frustrations galore. I had so many problems with my FMLA paperwork, plus the darn car was constantly breaking down . . . all minor issues, but still troublesome.

All I wanted was to rest and I couldn't do that. Instead, it was one problem after the next. Miraculously the minute I went into remission, so did my car.

A Conversation With My Car
     Everyone is well aware of the troubles with my car . I honestly believe this vehicle is sick right along with me . It keeps breaking down . You may think it's just old , but no folks , when it breaks down it doesn't necessarily cost me money to fix it . Sometimes , it's just a wire that is loose and needs to be tightened or he has a part already on hand . Once , I've seen him cut a hose shorter and attach it back minus any money involved . My car has needed jumps a few times and you 'd think I need a new battery , right ? I have a warranty , no problem . Go there  only to be told my battery has plenty of juice .
    My car is just plain sick right along with me . It certainly wants to share my limelight . ...... stealing my thunder . I'm extremely fortunate for my baby brother , Henry . He is a genius at fixing things . He always seems to know what to do . Very dependable . The other day , Emily lost her charger for her MP3 player . Of course , he had an extra one on hand . Can always count on him . Thank goodness , he is there . What would have I done with this sick car on my hands without him . Doesn't bear thinking about .
     So I'm at the gas station , finished pumping gas and my car doesn't start . Of course , what else ? Mind you , the gas station is BUSY . People waiting for a pump . I call Henry and I hear him take a very deep breath . He'll be right over . The whole time I'm waiting , I'm getting very anxious . The owner will definitely be upset with me for taking up space during this busy time . He is losing money because of me .  I decide to go and let him know what is happening  expecting him to be very upset . There was an utility truck parked in front of the owner's window and he was so upset with that truck , he just waived me off like whatever lady . I believe that was God taking care of my anxiety . He sent that truck .
     My brother tried to jump my car with no success . Finally , he is like , we might have to get a tow truck . You know , I never believed in being possessed by the devil .......until now . The devil overtook my body at that moment  and a splew of words came out that no human should have to hear . I am living on 70% of my pay and I will not spend it on a tow truck ! I screamed and kicked that car . I cursed it out with every swear word I knew . You want to die than die already but I am not putting up with it anymore . If you think I cared where I was at and cared what people thought of me at that moment yelling at my car ........not even close. If my church saw and heard me then I'd be excommunicated for sure . Sunday School teacher and all , for shame .
   I look over and my brother is laughing . I don't see what is so funny . I tell my nephew to help me take my things out my car because I'm leaving it here . I'm done with it . I'm not spending another dime . I'll take the bus from now on . My brother tries to jump it again and miraculously it starts . That was the day with the battery . It didn't cost me anything . I have no idea why it wouldn't start . That is the devil trying to discourage me like he's been trying since this illness began .
   All the way home , I'm giving this car a talking to ..... a warning . I want to visit my grandkids in Springfield and if this car acts up over there or on the way there ....I am leaving it . I'm taking the train home . I will not put up with this behavior anymore . If it wants to die , it can die .
   That was two weeks ago and my trip is this Friday . If I come back on the train ...you will know why .
 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Better Place

                                          Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.--PS. xxiii. 4.

"You know what, Lottie? The way you are regarding your cancer, that's how I want to be regarding my situation".

That stunned me a little bit. I'm always forgetting that I blog about my life and people are actually reading this. I guess it surprises me that people would be interested in an ordinary life such as mine or at least that's how I see it.

"Looking at you no one would think you have cancer, you have such a positive attitude regarding it".

I don't know who these people are talking about. If they only knew how hard it was to get up this morning. I set the alarm at 6 a.m. on purpose. What time did I get up? It was 7:40 a.m. before I dragged, yes dragged myself into the shower. I needed to do a load of laundry for a delivery tomorrow, plus a dental appointment at 11:45 a.m. I needed to be up and ready, but I wasn't.

Yet, I guess it's all about how others see us, but to me it's a lot more than that. I have seen many of my friends die from this disease and not all of them were in a good place. Some of them were depressed, angry and never quite came to terms with their disease. Some were still looking for a miracle drug or even a miracle from above.

I don't want to waste the time here being angry at my situation. Am I scared at what comes next? Absolutely, who wouldn't be. Do I wish I could live to an old age? Definitely, I mean, why wouldn't I want to see my grandchildren grow up? Do I have bad days/moments? All the time, I'll have a good cry, but then it's time to get back up.

Everyday I literally force myself to get up, place a smile on my face and go out among people. I am definitely living for the now. Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a new journey.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Cancer Update

                                          Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

O strange and wild is the world of men
Which the eyes of the Lord must see--
With continents, inlands, tribes, and tongues,
With multitudes bond and free!
All kings of the earth bow down to him,
And yet--he can think of me.
For none can measure the mind of God
Or the bounds of eternity,
He knows each life that has come from him,
To the tiniest bird and bee,
For the love of his heart is so deep and wide
That it takes in even me.
--Mary E. Allbright.

As I've mentioned numerous times, my energy level has dropped radically. I'm struggling with the emotional side of inertia. I have always been a busy person who has multitasked and often graded myself by how productive I'd be with completion of any given project. I'm struggling because I feel that I'm not doing enough.

Hence, I've decided to adapt to my new lifestyle at the moment. Life constantly changes around us and we have to make the necessary adjustments. I've sat down at lunch yesterday and created a list of all the things I needed to do and hoped to do. So now every morning, I pull out my list and try to check off at least something off that list everyday. It makes me feel productive and useful.

Work seems to be the big culprit here. It really drains me, but we all need money. It seems that on the weekends I have so much more energy and actually accomplish so much more. I can also lie down whenever I may need to. By the time the middle of the week comes, I'm done.

My leg cramps have calmed down quite a bit, but that's only to be expected. I know myself so well and I know that when I'm in treatment, my legs feel much better. I believe it's the ingredients in my medication that subdues the cramps. I have a huge problem after the treatment ends and then the pain is great.

This hormone treatment has affected other areas that have otherwise lay dormant. Take hair growth, for instance, I had to actually shave my legs for the first time in eight years. Believe it or not, the chemo has somehow has left me hairless on my legs, armpits and even my eyebrows don't grow as much. No anymore.

I do have a petscan coming up to determine on whether or not this type of treatment is actually working. It really would be ideal if it was. Just think about it, I could work during and this type of treatment could work for years on end. That would be wonderful.

On the downsize, the hot flashes/night sweats can be awful. I am really grateful that the weather has taken a turn and become cooler. I'm still not wearing a jacket outside nor can I handle a long sleeve shirt. I still use a fan at work and at home in my bedroom.

Otherwise, everything seems okay. I had another death this past Sunday due to prostate cancer. It seems everyone is dying on me, losing the battle. It's sad on one hand, but I certainly hope that he was a believer and is with God right now.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Simply Downsizing 101

                            Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

The only way I can make my living tiny work is to downsize everything and I mean everything in my life. There are only two exceptions to this rule: my crocheting and my books. Anything pertaining to that is staying.

I know that I have over five years before any of this can happen, but I can slowly prepare myself. So almost every weekend, I attack a part of the apartment whether that is the closet, a  junk draw or a shelf.

Clothes take up a lot of room and we have accessories like scarves and belts to complete them.  I, myself have three categories of clothing in my closet. I have the skinny clothes from years ago that I one day hope to wear again. I have my fancy clothes for going out that are worn only a few times a year. The third is my casual everyday wear.

Last month, I became very dissatisfied with the contents of my closet over spilling every time I opened the door. I donated all my skinny clothes and majority of my fancy wear to a women's shelter.

Next, I attacked all my linen, curtains, tablecloths and napkins. Thanks to my mom I have tons in every color and design. Bedspreads, shams and sheets can be recycled into wheelchair bags for the handicap or the elderly.

So now my closet looks pretty darn good. Only half the closet is filled with my clothing, the other half has plastic bins stacked neatly. I love my new look.

Below, is an excerpt from a Tiny House blogger who gave some tips on how to reduce your wardrobe.

The wardrobe:
When I started to edit my wardrobe, I did a couple of things:
First, I inventoried the stuff in my closet.
Second, over a two week period, I wrote down what I wore. This activity helped me figure out what I wore and what I left hanging in my closet.
Finally, after I looked at my list, I started the editing process. I placed a big donation bag near my closet and put the clothing I no longer wanted in the bag. In my wardrobe, I separated my clothes into a maybe group and a keep group. Eventually, the maybe group was donated to Goodwill and I only kept clothing that I loved and wore regularly.
Every season, I come back to this basic process because it helps me figure out what I really use. I hope the tips above, and my wardrobe list below, will inspire you to do some spring cleaning!
The  Rowdy Kitten blog post

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Winter's Prep

Every Fall, Emily and I prepare for the coming Winter months by making lists of items that we may need to keep us cozy and comfy in the cold days.  No one wants to be heading out to the stores while a blizzard rages on.

So like the squirrels outdoors, we prepare. We sit down and make lists. There is a medicine list consisting of flu and cold medicines, cough drops,  tissues and honey.

A clothes list follows, but only the small stuff like thick socks, personal items such as undies, woolen pajamas. Do we need new gloves or boots or a coat?

The kitchen pantry supplies make up the largest list of all. That's where Costco comes in handy, buying bulk-size. We usually stock up on flour, yeast, sugar, pasta, grains etc. Things of that nature.

Even the car gets a prep job with a new tune up, a good cleaning both inside and out plus a vacuum.

The apartment gets a makeover as curtains are changed, walls and carpets cleaned and thicker blankets brought out. The windows are sealed tight and the heat gets turned on.

We are getting ready. Have a blessed day everyone.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Foodie Day

When Fall comes, it's all about the food and the comfort around here. The wind may howl and blow cold blasts of air, but we are snuggled in burrowing within our tiny apartment. It's no surprise that people tend to gain weight in the Winter.


Autumn brings hardy vegetables with it and squash, zucchini and broccoli become a regular part of any meal.


We have discovered kale during the Summer and now try to incorporate it into everything. Soups, salads, smoothies and even focaccia bread, it doesn't matter, we are in love with kale.


We love seafood, but salmon remains our favorite here pictured with a bayou bourbon glaze.


In this family, supper isn't supper unless there is a salad involved.


Dessert can be Emily's homemade chocolate eclairs or some fruit.



We set the table and pour a glass of white wine.


Before we begin to enjoy our feast, the most important part of any meal, we say Grace.


Have a blessed Saturday everyone.

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Week In My Life Pt.3

Wednesday:
I jokingly refer to today as my healthcare day. It's all about the aches and pains, dental appointments, taking care of insurance and making claims. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

 There is nothing more I hate than spending time on the phone with customer service of any kind, let alone healthcare. It has been a rare day indeed where I can walk away content after hanging up with them. Why is healthcare so incredibly messed up, complicated and damn expensive?

To make the day even worse, I've lost my crocheting hook! Oh, you may laugh, but this was a very special hook that a friend gave me with a bamboo handle. That bamboo handle had a role to play in preventing carpal tunnel, thus no aches and pains. Now that I lost it in my bedroom somewhere, my hand/arm is hurting. Every time  I crochet, I'm feeling the strain on my hand.

Feeling determined, I crawled around on my hands and knees searching in my room for that darn hook! I even called Emily over to help lift furniture. Yes, I became a crazy woman! All for naught! Wherever that crocheting hook is hiding, you won't be found today.

Thursday:
This morning I woke up not wanting to do much at all. Ever get those days? I've been getting quite a lot of these lately. So today I decided not to fight it, so I lounged around reading and crocheting. My mind kept wandering off, never a good thing. Whenever I'm  in this contemplative mood, I start to doubt myself and all I have ever done. Not a good thing. Thursday was definitely a hard day.

Friday:
As laid back as yesterday was, this morning began with a roar. Usually on Friday, I visit my mom taking her grocery shopping to a couple of stores and then we spend the rest of the morning watching Polish satellite before work. We have lunch, packs half her refrigerator in my car, just to make sure I eat during the week and off to work I go.

I am so happy it is weekend time. It seems that I need more rest than before. Just getting motivated to continue my routine is a struggle. I do understand that hormone treatment has all these side effects, but I wish I had more energy. Have you noticed how energetic I was as the week began? Now that I'm at the end of it, I barely did anything these past two days.

Remember the boxes waiting for a delivery? Yup, they're still sitting in my living room corner waiting. Just terrible.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Throwback Thursday

It's funny, but this is exactly the way I FEEL right now. I just want to sit and be alone with my thoughts, my writing and my crocheting. I want to take in the beautiful nature around me and the stillness of peace. I want to see the sunrise in the morning and the sunset in the evening. Let me take a walk and bask in God's gorgeous creation.

A Quiet Corner
          Are you weary ?
         rest a little bit
         in some quiet corner
         fold your hands and sit
         do not let the trials
         that have grieved you
         all the day
         haunt this quiet corner
         drive them all away
         let your heart grow empty
         of every thought unkind
         that peace may hover around
         you and joy may fill your mind
         count up all your blessings
         I'm sure they are not few
         that the Dear Lord
         daily bestows on you
         soon you'll feel so rested
         glad you stopped a bit
         in this quiet corner
         to fold your hands and sit

 I've been looking for this quiet corner for awhile now . This poem is the closest to explain how I have been feeling lately . I have no desire to go anywhere or do anything . Don't want to go to the doctor . No more lab work: no more chemo . Just leave me be . I want the phone to stop ringing . Don't want to talk . I just want to sit in this quiet corner with my hands folded and just plain do nothing . I feel selfish for feeling this way . I make myself get up and see people . I am not depressed , yet I want to be alone . Has anyone felt like this ? I know there are many of you who have gone through an illness . Have you felt like this ? This is a first for me .

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 ...