Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Year Ahead

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

Love and Pain
Make their own measure of all things that be.
No clock's slow ticking marks their deathless strain;
The life they own is not the life we see;
Love's single moment is eternity.
--Thomas W. Higginson.

As the old year departs, a new one enters bringing hope, renewal and change. Are we ready for it? I know I am. Believe me, I am always ready to let go of the past, willing to move forward. 

Every year, we choose a theme for the year for us to work towards as a family. Since this past year was a bit of a struggle, I'm contemplating a little more relaxed one. For some reason, I don't want to plan anything, I just want to be. 

We are a goal driven society. Lord knows, I'm one of these people who thrives on order and organization, but I want a break from all of it. I have enough projects started to keep me busy for a few years down the road. I won't be bored without a major goal for 2017. 

There are times that I feel my brain overwhelmed by all that is going on around me. I take on project after project, goal after goal so I can feel accomplished, productive and needed. Sometimes, we can become lost in the process of too much of anything in our lives. We forget to breathe, to inhale the simplicity of joyous life. I don't want to lose that. I don't want to miss that. And I definitely want to bask in it. 

So no, I don't think I will be making ant New Year's resolutions or 2017 goals. I just want to relax, develop closer relationships with the people I care about,  find God everywhere and enjoy this marvelous creation of His we call Earth. 

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

It's All In The Little Things

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

Grow old along with me! the best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand who saith, a whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!
—Robert Browning.

It's funny how we look forward to the little things that make us truly happy. It doesn't take much, does it? I believe that as we age, we become more attuned to the simple things in life. What brings you Joy? What makes you smile? Content? What do you look forward to everyday?

Every morning as I begin my day, I'm full of wonder to my own reaction to life in general. I feel totally and wantonly content. Now, this feeling is so very fleeting that we need to grab it, hold onto it and enjoy it while we can. It will leave. And come back. Right now, I'm enjoying myself. 

I love our living room! It's large, completely differently arranged than what we had in the past. We use this room as a family more than we've ever done before, even Diamond loves to sit in there. 

We have been sleeping soundly since we have moved here. I think it's because of two important factors: 1) All the stresses of moving are gone. We are settling in a little at a time. 2) Our bedroom/furniture are arranged differently. All the rooms here are reversed from our last place. It's almost as if we have moved across the hall. I'm sure you have heard of how we should move our beds around if we're not sleeping well. I think there's some truth in it. 

I love the fact that work is only 11 minutes away! There is nothing more satisfying after a hard day's work to arrive home lickety split, especially during a bad storm. There were times in the past that my poor feet ached so much, I couldn't wait to get home and take my shoes off.

I love the super hot water every time I turn on the faucet. I can take hot showers or baths. You have no idea what a blessing that has been. 

The best part of my contentment has been how close my mom is to me (a mere 15 minutes). No longer do I have to clear an entire morning to do errands with her. Now I can pop over to do a puzzle or have a cup of coffee. 

It's all in the little things that make us happy. They're so minor, but yet they make so much difference to our attitude and our quality of life. I have no idea how long this feeling will last, but I intend on enjoying myself while it's here. I'm so glad we have done this bold step. 

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Healthy Lifestyle

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

Over the past five years, we've acquired a healthy lifestyle in becoming vegetarians and opting for more healthier choices in our life. That doesn't mean we don't indulge in desserts or decadent dishes. On the contrary, I have been blessed with a daughter who can make anything from scratch. It's not that we eat only carrots and celery, we determine what goes into our food. 

We're also finding out that it's not enough. We want to go further in our journey of all natural ingredients. We want to make our own toiletries and cleaning supplies. Emily has been busy searching online and compiling a notebook of all natural remedies, even trying some recipes out on herself.

I have to admit that at first I wasn't too excited, especially when I saw the list of ingredients I would need. When you go all natural, it seems one has to completely refill the cupboards with all new items. I also needed jars and containers to hold all these experiments. Plus, it's very messy or at least, Emily certainly is very messy. It was my mom who offered up a great solution without even knowing it. . . . small canning jars!

So over the next few weeks, I'll be posting some of the recipes like the one below for a natural remedy whether for use as makeup or household cleaner. 

Raw Honey Cleanser
Raw or pure honey is best along with either orange zest or cinnamon. Emily alternates between the two, but every morning and night, this has become her routine. It works well for acne prone skin, not fantastic, but helps a great deal. Please keep refrigerated any extras. Emily makes a small batch which she keeps in a small mason jar. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Decorative Mom

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

Our children grow up and become adults, living in the busyness of the world. Our purpose as parents suddenly has shifted from nurturer, caregiver and the leader to just a decorative parent. I am a mom, but no longer a mom. My role has forever been changed. 

I believe the biggest struggle for parents of grown children isn't the empty nest syndrome. It is the realization that our children have become independent and no longer need us to take care of them. They do not run to us with every little or big problem in their life. They have friends or mates to fill that shoe. 

I can remember a time when Joey would call me every Friday night on his way home from work. At that time, I was working a night shift so it worked out beautifully. That went on until he married my Aubs. (love my Aubs.).  Friday would come and go, with no calls from Joey, because now he would call his wife on his way home from work. All perfectly natural and expected. That's how it should be.

Do you see the shift that occurred? That shift is swift and subtle that we don't even know when it happens. The story ends on a great note. I may have lost that Friday night with my son, but I gained late night chats with my daughter-in-law. We formed a circle for girls only, one that Joey cannot enter. 

Yet. there are still those moments where we miss having an apt young adult seeking out our knowledge. Our wisdom. Our opinion. We do miss that the most. Suddenly, we are faced with finding a new purpose where we feel needed intellectually, emotionally and physically. Remember when they ran to you searching for wise counsel that only a mom can provide? That only happens occasionally now. 

I should add that it is different with daughters. They tend to run to their moms for help or advise. I can see that with Emily. It  might have to do with the fact that we're both the same gender. Emily's constant worry about my future involves that very fact. Who will show me how to be a mom? A wife? Who mom, if you're no longer than here? I guess, I'm more than just a decorative mom. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

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

Christmas this year seemed to have crept upon us stealthily as we were busily packing, moving and unpacking. I see now why no one likes to move during the Holidays, there is just way too much to do. Any plans that we had were cancelled and we chose to spend a quiet Christmas at home. 

Today, we are lazily lounging around the apartment wearing our comfy clothes and eating all the things that aren't so good for us. Our bellies full of popcorn and cookies, I'm crocheting and Emily is playing some video games (mafia). Ah, I never mentioned that Emily is quite a gamer?

I hope you take the tie today to just be in each other's company. You don't have to speak about anything important, it could be silly. Just be together. The following is from Barb (of course), enjoy and bask in the now.

A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn't shaved in a while.
His shirt was kinda shabby and his coat was worn and frayed.
The man knelt, he bowed his head, then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed, each noon time - came this chap,
Each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap.
Well, the minister's suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear,
He decided to stop the man and ask him, "What are you doing here?"
The old man said, he worked down the road - Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding faith, strength and power.
"I stay only moments, see, the factory is so far away;
As I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kinda what I say:
"I just came again to tell you Lord, how happy I have been,
Since we found each other's friendship and you took away my sin.
Don't know much of how to pray, but I think about you everyday.
So, Jesus, this is Jim - just checking in."
The minister feeling foolish, told Jim that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome to come and pray anytime.
"Time to go", Jim smiled, and said "thanks" as he hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the alter, he'd never done that before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love, and met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim's prayer:
"I just came again to tell you Lord, how happy I have been,
Since we found each other's friendship and you took away my sin.
Don't know much of how to pray, but I think about you everyday.
So, Jesus, This is me - just checking in."
Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim had not come.
As more days passed with no sign of Jim, he began to worry some.
At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried, but Jim had given them a thrill.
The week that Jim was with them, he brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious - changed people, were his reward.
The head nurse couldn't understand why Jim was so glad,
When no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.
The minister stayed by Jim's bed, he voiced the nurse's concern.
No friends came to show they cared, he had nowhere to turn.
Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile -
"The nurse is wrong, she couldn't know, that in here all the while,
Everyday at noon - He's here, a dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:
By; Roger Knapp

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Family Of Believers 4

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

The first Sunday after we moved here (a mere 24 hrs. later) we went in search of our very first Church service. A week before the move, we scouted on-line a particular Church only a few minutes from us. We headed out, all excited, only to find the Church had moved. Being new to the area, we had a hard time finding the new location, so we headed back home. 

The next Sunday ( a mere week later) we headed out once again with map quest directions to the new location. Somehow, we ended up at a Police station and a public works facility. At this point, we were pretty low in spirits. It's been a few Sundays since we were at Church and we could feel the need inside of us to reconnect as soon as possible. 

For a minute there, we began to think that maybe it was fate telling us not to go there. Twice we failed, but maybe a third would be the charm. And it was. This also marked the first time, after a long time, where Emily and I would be in service at the same time. Usually, I would be serving and she would be at Sanctuary or the other way around. 

Do we plan on going back? Absolutely! Looking forward to next week's sermon. Today, it being Christmas Eve, it wasn't a regular day. We want to see the Church in action and what could be better than beginning the New Year in Church. Looking forward to this new chapter in our lives. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


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

I've never really felt alone or lonely, but I do realize that there are many people out there who are, especially during this Season. Many times I have called out to Jesus to walk with me when faced with something new or scary in my life.The following poem reminds me of times when God walks with us alongside our path, especially when we feel alone in the world. He is always with us, we just have to call out His name. 
The hill was steep, but cheered along the way
By converse sweet, I mounted on the thought
That so it might be till the height was reached;
But suddenly a narrow winding path
Appeared, and then the Master said, 'My child,
Here thou wilt safest walk with Me alone.'
I trembled, yet my heart's deep trust replied,
'So be it, Lord.' He took my feeble hand
In His, accepting thus my will to yield Him
All, and to find all in Him.
One long, dark moment,
And no friend I saw, save Jesus only.
But oh! so tenderly He led me on
And up, and spoke to me such words of cheer,
Such secret whisperings of His wondrous love,
That soon I told Him all my grief and fear,
And leaned on His strong arm confidingly.
And then I found my footsteps quickened,
And light ineffable, the rugged way
Illumined, such light as only can be seen
In close companionship with God.
A little while, and we shall meet again
The loved and lost; but in the rapturous joy
Of greetings, such as here we cannot know,
And happy song, and heavenly embraces,
And tender recollections rushing back
Of pilgrim life, methinks one memory
More dear and sacred than the rest, shall rise,
And we who gather in the golden streets,
Shall oft be stirred to speak with grateful love
Of that dark day when Jesus bade us climb
Some narrow steep, leaning on Him alone.
By Streams In The Desert

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Looking In The Mirror

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

Thank you Father for creating me the way I am. Help me accept myself as the way you have mastered me with your Holy hands. You are my potter and I am the clay. What I see in the mirror is the result of your masterpiece. I wish to be no one else.

One of the hardest obstacles for me to overcome ever since my cancer journey began in 2007, had to do with image. My appearance has altered so much with the gaining of weight and body scarring, that I hardly recognized myself when looking in the mirror. It has been difficult to say the least.

It hasn't been easy to accept things the way they are mostly because of how others see me now. I have learned quite a bit about first impressions and fast judgments since my weight gain. No matter how much everyone may deny it, we are prejudice against heavy set individuals. I have learned that the hard way. 

I have heard countless advice on healthy eating, calorie intake or exercise tips. It seems I couldn't eat a piece of pie or anything sweet without someone pointing out to me how fattening it was and did I know that? Even now, since I have lost around twenty pounds from my radiation treatment, they still want me to keep going. 

"What's your secret to having lost weight, Lottie?" A co-worker asked me. 

"Illness," I replied. 

I'm not saying all this to get sympathy or tons of positive replies. I have learned so much these past years. I've learned to love myself. It was so difficult to stare in the mirror, especially after they marked me up for radiation and know that the technicians will also see this body. Having finished that treatment, I've come to the conclusion that it has been one of the hardest struggles thus far. I finished it. I succeeded. I overcame. 

When I stare in the mirror now, I don't feel shame like I once have done. These are my battle scars and they're mine. I could care less that I"m no longer a size 4 or 6, I'm just glad to have more time  with my children. I no longer care what others think of my appearance or if they make remarks about my weight or what I eat. I just laugh and call them prejudice. That usually does the trick. 

How in the world could I possibly be the same after all that I have been through? How could anyone expect me to be? It's a traumatic event in my life that I've gone through over and over again. Of course, I will never be the same again. Thank goodness for that, because I rather like who I am now. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

An Old Story

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

You know, Christmas is a very joyous Holiday where we are flooded with meaningful stories, movies, songs and random acts of kindness. It's the only Holiday where we as a society come together and genuinely wish one another good cheer. 

I work with an incredibly happy and sociable young woman by the name of Camille. She cannot walk past a person without saying hello or any form of greeting. When questioned why she does that, she readily replies,"What if I'm really speaking to Jesus in disguise?"

The following story reminds me a little bit of Camille. I posted it years ago when I first joined social media to remind people of showing kindness to one another. I think it's time to post it again, but this time, on my blog. I hope you enjoy. 

CHRISTMAS at the Gas Station
The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.
Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. "Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy, I'll just go."
"Not without something hot in your belly." George said.
He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. "It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew ... Made it myself. When you're done, there's coffee and it's fresh."
Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me, be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old '53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front.. The driver was panicked. "Mister can you help me!" said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. "My wife is with child and my car is broken." George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.
"You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away.
"But Mister, please help ..." The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. "Here, take my truck," he said. "She ain't the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good."
George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I gave 'em the truck, their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has brand new ." George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. "Well, at least he got something in his belly," George thought.
George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the the block hadn't cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. "Well, shoot, I can fix this," he said to himself. So he put a new one on.
"Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took the snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln . They were like new and he wasn't going to drive the car anyway.
As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, "Please help me."
George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. "Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin'," he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.
"Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. "You hang in there, I'm going to get you an ambulance."
The phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car." He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.
He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. "Thanks," said the officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area."
George sat down beside him, "I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain."
George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked.
"None for me," said the officer..
"Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain't got no donuts." The officer laughed and winced at the same time.
The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. "Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.
"That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer.
"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George, "You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt."
The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!"
The cop was reaching for his gun. "Put that thing away," George said to the cop, "we got one too many in here now."
He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now put that pea shooter away."
George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he went on. "I've lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week."
George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can."
He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup of coffee. "Bein' stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin' in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort this thing out."
The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer."
"Shut up and drink your coffee " the cop said.
George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. "Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer.
"Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?"
" GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?" the other cop asked as he approached the young man.
Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran."
George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.
"That guy work here?" the wounded cop continued.
"Yep," George said, "just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job."
The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?"
Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas boy ... and you too, George, and thanks for everything."
"Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems."
George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. "Here you go, something for the little woman. I don't think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day."
The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. "I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to you."
"And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my memories. That's all I need."
George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. "Here's something for that little man of yours."
The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.
"And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too," George said. "Now git home to your family."
The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good."
"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after."
George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd you come from? I thought you left?"
"I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?"
"Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and besides I was gettin' a little chubby."
The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.
The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. "That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man."
George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. "And how do you know all this?" asked the old man.
"Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again."
The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned."
George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.
"You see, George ... it's My birthday. Merry Christmas."
George fell to his knees and replied, "Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus."
This story is better than any greeting card.
Now clear the lump from your throat, blow your nose, and send this along to a friend of yours or someone who may need a reminder as to why we celebrate Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Hips, Knees, Ankles, Toes

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

Sometimes defeat can
bring more joy and
more freedom than victory.
Winn Collier

It seems the more treatments I receive, the more my legs end up hurting afterwards. It began with just my left leg, knee in particular, that would swell up and ache on very cold or very humid days. 

1. Hot baths/foot soaks
I have done these several times and they do provide relief for that moment. Actually, I prefer the foot soaks to the baths, because I can soak my feet while doing something else like reading, watching television, crocheting etc. 

2. Turmeric
Now, turmeric has multiple health benefits, but the problem is that it acts as a dye. Basically, it can stain your teeth or your clothes if spilled, or your skin as a paste. It does go away from several cleanings. You can use turmeric in many ways. You can ingest a spoonful of the powder like Emily does. She does it in such a way where it doesn't come in contact with her teeth at all. It does not taste good. 

 You can drink it as a hot toddy using milk or coconut milk, some sugar, cinnamon, spoonful of turmeric and pepper. I drank it with a straw to avoid staining of my teeth and I still stained them. I think I should have gulped it down fast. It did taste good to me that way. Of course, wait until it cools down.

Another way to use turmeric is as a paste to place on your ankle or knee or wherever the ache happens to be. The turmeric paste consists of mixing turmeric with ginger extract. Apply the paste on affected joints. Another recipe calls for mixing 1 cup water with turmeric powder in a pan and slowly heating it up and stirring for 6-10 minutes until you get a thick paste. Now I have not tried using a paste yet. I'm  still trying to figure the "how" part since my entire leg is hurting. I cannot imagine just one certain area.             

Emily also sprinkles turmeric on every dish she makes. This way, I cannot taste turmeric at all, which is even better. Whenever we make our own french fries, she uses turmeric as part of the seasonings and when baked, they acquire a beautiful golden color. There are so many benefits to this spice, one just needs plenty to ingest for it to work.               

3. Aleve
 Whenever I'm in treatment, I'm so aware of the enormity of the drugs I'm injecting into my body. For that reason, I really dislike taking any type of medication since I'm always thinking of my other organs. Yet, there are those incredibly painful days where the temperatures fall or a bad storm appears and my arthritis flares up. Sometimes my poor legs swell up and I need quick relief. Hence, Aleve. It has always worked well for me.

4. Exercise
Emily has found workouts for people who are over 50, that concentrate on joints, mobility and balance. I've found that my equilibrium isn't what it used to be. Rubbing my head and stomach at the same time actually takes quite a lot of concentration. There is an exercise coach by the name of Miranda Esmond White, who deals particularly with aches and pains of the body. She is an ex-ballerina dancer who faces these same ailments that we all do and has created these exercise routines to help ease that pain. I have tried these a few times and it has helped. Her programs can also be seen on PBS called Classical stretch. 

5. Reflexology
This is something I have been searching for a long time. Every massage place I have been to never has a qualified masseuse who majored in reflexology. I truly believe this would help tremendously. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm more than welcomed to them. 

So here's my list. If anyone has any other suggestions that have worked for them, please advise. We all could benefit. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Sleepy Saturday

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

Ever since I awaken this morning, my mind has drifted on into the land of laziness. I had such hopes, such dreams and such plans for today, all for naught.

I set out purposely with Emily in tow, to get our errands out of the way. My big plans for the today involved finally putting together my bedroom. I have been sleeping on the couch while my room has been turned into a storage area for all the boxes. There are still boxes galore, but there was a tiny area where my bed and desk could stand. 

I was excited, or at least yesterday, at the thought of staying up writing my little heart away into the early morning hours. Alas, the minute we got home from all our errands, sleepiness took over. Whatever energy I may have had, was used up running around and now it took all the effort I had just to keep my eyes open. 

All my carefully laid plans gone up in smoke and I didn't care. I wanted a lazy and sleepy Saturday. My room would have to wait once again. Moving is hard, exhausting and tedious. It can wait. It will still be here in the morning. This girl is nestling on the couch.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

So How's The New Place?

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

I stared at the simple text message from Joey. Such an easy question, but the answer was anything but that. I tried to find an even simpler answer, but couldn't. How do I place all of what is going on here in one sentence? It has been challenging, but satisfying.

Our very first weekend here we were faced with some minor, but irksome challenges. The U-haul had a flat tire and we ended up going back to the center to get it replaced. A huge chunk of glass was embedded in the rear tire. Thank heavens, all of that happened before we loaded the truck. Thank heavens, that we finished unloading and returned the truck before the snowstorm. 

The cable was installed and ready as we were moving in, but it quickly went out when the snowstorm hit. The Wi-Fi was fine, but only Emily's computer was up and running, because wireless does not work for a Pc without an Usb. We ran out to buy one for my computer only to discover that Diamond knocked down Emily's monitor in our absence, smashing the screen. I'm not making this up. At that point, I had to remind Emily that she actually loved Diamond. 

At suppertime, we ate out of pie pans since we had no idea where any dishes were kept. When we first started packing weeks ago, we packed very neatly labeling everything, but that quickly changed as the date came closer. We switched from neat to frantic dumping into any kind of container. Alas, now we cannot find anything. I have been looking for nails for days. I know I can go out and buy some cheaply, but this has become a mission. I'm going to find those nails. 

Diamond has been behaving like an orphan without a home, meowing constantly, following Emily around from room to room. Between you and me, I think Emily is ready to send Diamond off to college! 

All in all, we really do love living here. It is so quiet and cozy in our place. It may not be the most luxurious place we ever lived in, but somehow it feels right. I look forward to coming home while I'm at work and often spend time thinking about the place. I also love, love living so close to work! I cannot think why I was so opposed at the beginning. After a long and hard day at work, it's so comforting to be home in 10 to 15 minutes. 

We may have had a rocky start, but I honestly believe it was the right choice. Yesterday, I popped over by my mom's as a mere after thought, surprising her. That's another plus since we only live a few minutes away from one another. Yes, the place may not be that gorgeous, but all the other advantages outweigh everything else.

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Prime Time

                                    Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                      everyday is a journey.
Serving others from 
the edges of our lives
means we have to know
where the edges are.
Charity Singleton Craig

I've read somewhere that as we age we don't become seniors, but individuals in their prime. I'm on the edges of my prime. I really enjoy my life more now in my fifties than I ever have before. When I was younger and my children were small, it was more about them. Now, it's quite the opposite. They are grown individuals with their own likes and dislikes. I find myself living out my life's dreams. 

Yet, there is something about my younger days that I do miss. Even though, it seemed as if I was serving others by being a mother, daughter or a wife, it felt extremely fulfilling. I was swamped, overworked and underpaid. There are times that I actually miss it. I think that's why I try to fill my calendar on purpose to bring back some of that same feeling of my youth. We are born to serve others. 

As I face my "prime time" years, I've been evaluating if I'm truly living a purposeful life. Going through the motions, checking off a to do list, lacks emotion. If I have learned anything during my radiation is that I lack compassion and understanding of others. There are two things I want to accomplish. I want to do so much more and I want to change what I lack the most. I know that if I combine the two, something great will emerge. But what?

I stare out all around me, apartment building in every direction. Where there are people, there's potential. How do I harness that? How do I reach out to these people? In my prime time, that's what my purpose will be . . . people. If you know me, you know how difficult that is for me. Lord, give me strength. I need prayers, because I have no idea how this will manifest itself into reality. Or what it will require.

I want my prime time to be the best time of my life. Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Hunt

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

I have to say that looking for an apartment has been a huge struggle and a challenge for us. The whole dynamics of apartment hunting has changed quite a bit since the last time we have done so, a mere five years ago. I really underestimated the process, especially since the last time, we found an apartment from the first three we saw. We looked it up, checked them out and signed the check. It was that simple and over in a couple of days.

The world of apartment hunting has changed quite a lot. Nowadays,  it seems the landlord holds all the cards before renting to anyone by simply choosing carefully who their tenants will be. There are an assortment of fees for every applicant interested. In the past, section 8 was limiting in location, but that is no longer true. Landlords will choose section 8 over everyone else. The state's check arriving on time every month is a sure thing.

The landlord charges for a credit check or application fee that can range from 21.00 to 45.00 per adult. All nonrefundable, of course, if you are not selected. Some landlords require a certain net income or Fico score. If you have a pet, the fees may vary. There are some who prefer a one time charge or there is a weight restriction involved. 

I can understand landlords being careful in whom they choose to live in their buildings, but I also think that some of them make a little extra money off these application fees. All in all, the experience left us worn out from the constant rules and regulations of apartment dwelling. We've always considered ourselves perfect candidates as we pay our rent on time and are a pretty quiet/affable bunch. Diamond is another matter. She could use a little toning done. Wink. 

Thank goodness, we were finally fortunate to have found our current apartment. We have learned a lot and hope to bring that knowledge and experience with us the next time we move. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Family Of Believers 3

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

Because I spent the strength Thou gavest me
  In struggle which Thou never didst ordain,
  And have but dregs of life to offer Thee--
    O Lord, I do repent.

Since the part two of the Family Of Believers post, I've been thinking quite a bit on how to improve this problem we all face as a Church family. I wrote about my own experience and beliefs and now it was time for a solution. I made a vow to myself that when we moved and were all settled in, I would carefully select a Church to become a member. Then I would give it my all to be gracious, inviting and courteous to everyone. I would join groups, volunteer and invite people over frequently. I would make a grand effort to treat everyone the same, especially the uninvited.

My first Church as a believer, had this great concept that everyone should give a Church three tries before deciding on whether to join or not. That was exactly what we decided on when the time came to search for a Church after our move. As with everything else in life, we googled the different Churches in our area. That may make you laugh, but it's important to make sure the Church preaches the Word of God. Just because it's called a Church doesn't mean it's a true Church of Christ. 

The size of the Church mattered to us as well for one reason, Emily. I wanted a large congregation Church where she could meet more young adults who live out their lives according to Christ. Young people, nowadays especially, have it pretty rough if they want to stay within God's laws. They need to be around other young people with the same belief system. 

Question: What can I do to make our witness more beautiful?

I asked myself that question, because I felt that in the past I have looked to the Church to provide my spiritual experience and look how that ended? Maybe I should be the one who makes my experience in my local Church more meaningful. I should look to myself and become a fruitful follower of Christ within His Church. I should take that personal experience and engage others inside the Church so we can reflect it into the community. 

I'm very excited with this new chapter of our lives as we move forward deepening our relationship with Christ. 

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

It's Been A Good Year

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Looking In All The Wrong Places

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

When I reflect back on the search for our apartment, I'm amazed at where we ended up at. This location was the last place we would have chosen and to be frank, not even on our list. It seems that God had other plans, so here we are. 

We spent over two months traveling every Saturday and Sunday all over the suburbs. We had a list made of what we were looking for and we believed we would find it. What we didn't plan on was that our will would be different from God's will. We began in one section, only to end up with a flat tire and a total break down of our red Durango. You could say we never made it there. Emily called it a sign. From that point on, every place we looked at had something wrong with it. 

Why did we choose the apartment we're in? God only knows. It had plenty wrong with it just like the others. When we first saw it, it was in a total remodel state. We saw it naked, the walls plastered and patched, waiting for a coat of paint. All the light switches, faucets and outlets stripped. Paint buckets, ladders and equipment littered each room. Some of the doors were off their hinges and blinds missing from some of the windows. 

Looking at the stark nakedness of the place, it was hard to imagine what it could actually become. In two weeks, it would be fresh and  ready to take on a new beginning. Our beginning. Our journey. We looked everywhere else and somehow ended up someplace else. We were looking in all the wrong places. So why did we take this place? Well, it felt somehow right. It felt like we were suppose to be there. I'm not sure what will happen here or what lies in store for us, but I do know, I'm meant to be here.

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Apartment

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

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
 Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!
 A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there, 
Which, sought through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere. 
Home! home! sweet, sweet home! 
There's no place like home!
--John Howard Payne.

Boy, is that ever true! Everyone searches for that cozy abode where we feel secure. Our very own private sanctuary. If that sanctuary starts losing it's appeal, no longer do we want to be here. It is the same here. We've been living here almost 5 1/2 years and this apartment has served a purpose during that time. After much deliberation, we have decided it was time to move forward in another bold step.

Originally, we had different plans, not being sure what would happen with my work. Will they close or not? When my company was bought out, it was obvious that any plans we had for moving closer to Joey and his family were out of the question. I am way too close to retiring with full benefits to just walk out.

The decision to move at this time came during my recovery. We knew we were the ones keeping ourselves from moving forward and stepping out in faith. We wanted to be people who lived according to Christ, but yet, we were afraid to step out? We had no idea where we were going or who would even help us move all the heavy stuff. It didn't matter. God said go, we go!

Besides, when I went through the radiation, it became apparent to me pretty quickly that God was asking me to do so much more. What that so much more looked like to us, we weren't sure. Or where. We just knew it had to happen. So today we are saying goodbye to Elmwood Park and hello to Des Plaines.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Raw Process

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

We must remember
that spiritual gifts
are divinely empowered
and motivated. We can't 
manufacture God's love
anymore than we can
effectively use our
spiritual gifts in our 
own strength.
Dr. Charles Stanley

What defines a Christian? If you stopped anyone on the street and asked what their Faith was, many would answer Christian. Yet, we know that there are many variations of that word. I often think about the Apostles, especially Paul, and wonder how they ever made it through their lifetime with all the opposition they had to deal with on a regular basis. Did they ever feel defeated? Did they ever feel like no one was listening? 

I know that I have felt that way many times. The weight of the world weighs heavily upon our shoulders. It can bring out the worst in us and it can break our spirit. There are times I cannot wait for our Father to come down from Heaven and other times, I cannot wait to roll up my sleeves and get down to it.

The point is that I have never felt such a deep desire to serve as I do now. The everyday is not enough any longer. I want to be part of the change in the world. I want to make a difference. I find it extremely frustrating when family and friends have a hard time understanding that aspect of my life. To me, there is no ethnic nor cultural divide. I can mingle with the best of them.

Whenever there is a project in the raw process, I can see the finish line. I can see how it can and will look when it's completed. That can be a downfall since not many people see the same. Nor can they understand why I even want to try. Why do some people see the negative in everything? Why can't they see what can be?

Right now, I'm way deep into my next bold step. The process is in a very raw state. It is difficult to see the finished product, but I do see it. I see what it can look like and that's what keeps me going in stressful times. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Good News

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

We often hear of our friends who have a chronic illness such as cancer, doing poorly or need of prayers. Sometimes, we may even hear of their passing. Well, it's a rare day when instead of bad news, we hear good news. Last night, my friend Marilyn shared something special . . . . She has been ten years cancer free! Once you reach that milestone, you don't need to do tests every three months or so. She has reached a pivotal step and we are gloriously happy for her. How absolutely wonderful! God is good all the time! 

In honor of her great achievement , I wanted to share something special for her. I'm sure she is singing the Lord's praise like the rest of us. Be Joyful! Be thankful! Be happy!

The Joy of the Lord is your strength.
Sing, O heavens, and be joyful
O earth, and break forth with singing
O mountains, for the Lord hath 
comforted his people and  will have 
mercy upon his afflicted.
Behold, my Lord is my salvation,
I will trust, and not be afraid
for the Lord Jehovah
is my strength and my song
he also has become my salvation
The Lord is my strength and my shield
my heart trusted in him,
and I am helped.
Therefore, my heart greatly rejoiceth
and with my song I will praise him.
My soul shall be joyful in my God
for he had clothed me with garments
of salvation,
for he had covered me with the robe
of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decketh himself
with ornaments,
and as a bride adorneth herself
with jewels.

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 ...