Thursday, May 30, 2019

Day 55 Of Writing: A Few Updates

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

To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late;
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods.
—Thomas B. Macaulay.

This month of May certainly has been interesting. I ran into Allison the other day. I guess, running into isn't quite the word to use. She scurries away pretty quick whenever people from the building come out. I did notice her hair is growing back which is a sign she is done with her treatment or at least, chemo. She used to have a strawberry colored hair and now it's more like dirty blond. Ones hair does come back a bit lighter or darker than before. 

We have seen our landlord more these past two weeks than we have in one year! It seems the apartment below ours is claiming her bathroom ceiling is leaking! Obviously, our toilet must be the culprit. He has been here tightening, repairing, buying a new ring etc. all to no avail. She is still unsatisfied, claiming the leak is still there. I don't know what to think, because she is one of those neighbors that always has a problem and complains about everyone. He was here again this morning and he did not look happy.

My work has been slow once more. It seems there are spurts where we are busy as heck, working 10 hour days and then it drops to almost nothing. It is a difficult time of change for my company. Where will all of this lead to we have no idea.

As to my health, I began exercising every morning. Nothing grand except some basic stretches and calisthenics. I did exercise a bit more when we were on vacation using the hotel's gym. So far, I have been very good, not cheating with any sweets or junk. I always start out well, but somewhere along the way, I fail. Maybe, just maybe, I can make this stick. 

My brother is home now and I am sure there will be many changes /adjustments needed. For now, he can only do one day at a time. In a way, he is beginning his own journey. I hope it leads him where he needs to be. 

I am loving the weather. That probably shocks all of you since it has been raining nonstop every day. For the first time in years, I feel that all the Seasons are experiencing the real weather associated with them. I love the four Seasons. I want Winter to be a real Winter and Spring to be a real Spring. We have been so spoiled with this tepid kind of weather these past few years. I am very happy to see it going back to what is considered normal. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Day 54 Of Writing: Leadership

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

Without an end or bound
    Thy life lies all outspread in light;
      Our lives feel Thy life all around,
    Making our weakness strong, our darkness bright;
  Yet is it neither wilderness nor sea,
  But the calm gladness of a full eternity.

I have been a leader of one thing or another since my children first entered school. I volunteered for many things all because they were interested in joining various groups like Boy Scouts. I have no problem leading a Pack of Boys or a Ministry of Women. I have no problem in raising my hand to volunteer or take on any additional workload. I love busyness and the act of completing a goal. Love it.

 I have always wanted to be an encouraging role model for other women, especially the young and survivors of cancer. I wanted to be a positive influence on them, to show them a person can change their life for the better no matter the situation. 

Somewhere along the way, I feel as if I have done the opposite. There have been many instances where I seem to offend people by what I say or write. For some reason, people feel I am speaking or writing about them when in fact nothing could be farther from the truth. I write about myself, my experiences or things I need to work on. 

At first, I thought to myself that perhaps the Holy Spirit is speaking to them through me in what perhaps they need to work on themselves. Or perhaps I have no tack whatsoever. Either way, I have felt a deep desire to work on my own leadership skills. I want to improve and become a good leader. Some times that involves looking at ourselves through a three way mirror. It's no fun to do that. 

I know it may seem that my life is a constant journey of trying to better myself, but I want to grow into a righteous Christ follower. It is so important to me to become a good leader and encourager of women. I do not wish to diminish their spirit as women, but lift them up as daughters of Jesus Christ. Show me how to do that. Teach me, because I am willing.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Day 53 Of Writing: Where It Began

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

A soul cannot be regarded as truly
 subdued and consecrated in its will, 
and as having passed into union with
 the Divine will, 
until it has a disposition to do promptly
 and faithfully all that God requires, 
as well as to endure patiently and 
thankfully all that He imposes.

A few years ago, I discovered Pinterest and like any other person, I explored everything. It was in that process that I discovered some pictures of a THOW (tiny house on wheels) called Fy Nyth. I have written on this once before if you search my archives. 

I fell in love with this type of living and began reading her blog, imagining myself living there. I rarely follow blogs that aren't biblically inclined, but I really liked hers. Then she found YouTube and started to do videos only. It's been a long time since she wrote on her blog. I miss that part very much. 

That's where my interest in living simply began with that one blog. From there, I began looking into other alternative living arrangements and found so many options out there. I could see the difference, a positive one, that this style of living had in me when I began implementing various things into my life. This is how I wanted to live, especially the last part of my life.

There are many things out there that influence our thoughts, our behaviors and our lifestyles. Some of these things can be very destructive and others very encouraging. I never believed in living with regrets. I feel we should correct these regrets and turn them into a positive change for the future. Yet, if I could have changed some things about my life it would be these three things:

1. I would accept Christ as my Savior when I was 19 and someone invited me to their Church. 
2. I would pay more attention to what type of man I would choose to be the father of my children. 
3. I would begin my life in the country living simply. 

I believe that would have changed my life for the better. Alas, here we are in the now. All I can do now is make sure my children and grandchildren don't follow in my previous footsteps. One generation making all these mistakes and starting out wrong in life is enough. We have to right the wrongs as best as we can. Period. 

If you are interested in reading Fy Nyth, here is your blog link.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Day 52 Of Writing: How's It Going?

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

Oh for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame;
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!

So how am I doing with this writing challenge for 100 days? Well, I think I started out pretty okay. It was very hard at first to write since my writing has gone to the wayside. As I continued writing, I feel it became easier with each publication. I didn't have a problem until this week. 

You see, we went away for a small getaway. I wish I had the technology available where I can post my blogs from anywhere anytime, but I don't. Even though, I had written the stories ahead of time so all I had to do was post them, I was unable to do so. So now it looks as if I didn't do a post a day, therefore, breaking the challenge.

You know, we do what we are capable of and what is financially available to us. As we begin, we may not have all the necessary items to do quality type of work. I have a very cheap phone and plan. Until the goal of being financially free is accomplished, that will not change. I basically depend a lot on free wifi that is provided by the places we stay in. When we went to Arizona last Fall, I truly had so many plans to do YouTube and write while there. I was very limited due to no wifi available. 

I would love to take this blog to another level if for no other reason than to challenge myself. For someone like me, who began this blog with absolutely no experience, improvement and challenging myself just to see what I can do is vital to me. I would love to call myself a writer, but right now I'm just a blogger. Someone corrected me in that fashion reminding me of that fact.

So am I done with the challenge? Absolutely not! I'm continuing on as if nothing happened.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Day 51 Of Writing: We All Fall Down

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

Thy thoughts are good, and Thou art kind,
E'en when we think it not;
How many an anxious, faithless mind
Sits grieving o'er its lot,
And frets, and pines by day and night,
As God had lost it out of sight,
And all its wants forgot.

None of us are infallible. We all hurt. We all can be brought to our knees. We all bleed. Every single one of us can in a heartbeat, be struck with an illness. Are you ready? I think not, because none of us ever thinks about the what if moment that could happen to us. 

This has been brought home to me just the other day in two ways. One, my own cancer anniversary. Two, my younger brother's sudden quadruple bypass. 

Who knew, just as everyone was going around their business, one of us would be struck down so quickly. Here we were preparing for our trip, packed and ready to go, as that dreadful phone call came. The words quadruple bypass, 90% blocked became a part of the normal conversation between the family. 

I couldn't help, but think back to 12 years ago to the day, of my own disease. That day, cancer came into our family. That day, we learned what it could do. This week we learned of another killer heart disease. 

We all seem to think we will live forever. We have so many years to go yet, therefore, we don't have to worry about certain matters. How silly we all were to think like that. When an illness strikes, everything comes to the forefront. How will we be able to pay our bills? Can I afford to stay home until I recover? Will I lose my job? What if I die? What will happen to my family if I'm gone?

All very important questions that we never think about until it is too late. I've been there and done that, trust me. I wasn't ready. Not the first time, nor the second time or the third. Nowadays, I think about the what if moment and try to prepare as best as I can. Not just myself, but my family as well. So let me ask you again. Are you ready?

Have a blessed day everyone.

Day 50 Of Writing: It's A Celebration

                                                      Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey

No sinful word, nor deed of wrong,
Nor thoughts that idly rove;
But simple truth be on our tongue,
And in our hearts be love.

Today marks my twelfth year since being diagnosed with cancer. It was on this day, that my whole life changed and for the better. I was at that time 42 years old and I didn't think I would ever see the age of fifty! I did end up reaching that milestone a few years ago. Today, I reached another.

Back in 2007, I wanted desperately to meet other women with ovarian cancer. I couldn't find any and in fact, it's hard to find them even now. Our survival rate is quite slim. For a period of two weeks, I searched online for ovarian survivors, finally finding some in a chat room that I can't remember. I wish I did, because I would love to see where some of those ladies are right now. 

One thing I can tell you is that this monster called cancer has no preferences whatsoever. It attacks women of all ages, all ethnicity and social backgrounds. Cancer is an equal opportunity disease. 

As I searched and read all the stories there, I was really looking for someone who has lived a very long time with ovarian. At that time, I found a lady who has had cancer for twelve years and had four bouts with it. Hello. That's me right now. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Day 49 Of Writing : Vacation On A Budget

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

Within! within, oh turn
Thy spirit's eyes, and learn
Thy wandering senses gently to control;
Thy dearest Friend dwells deep within thy soul,
And asks thyself of thee,
That heart, and mind, and sense, He may make whole
In perfect harmony.

One may think that just because we are on a weekend getaway, that we spent a bit of money. Not true. Remember, we have a goal that we set for this year. That didn't go out the window just because we are at a weekend getaway. We did plan this accordingly.

For one thing, we compared prices at the various hotels out there. We looked if they offered a breakfast and if their rooms had a microwave/ refrigerator. We looked to see what was in the neighborhood surrounding the motel. Were there any restaurants or grocery stores? Once when we went to Florida, we had a grocery store a few blocks away. We bought groceries and made our own meals. A grocery store nearby can be a huge advantage.

We opted for two separate rooms right next to each other with a connecting door. It was actually cheaper to do it that way rather than going for a suite. It is more money if one goes on a Holiday weekend. Also, if you paid for the rooms right away, you could save a few dollars.

We allowed ourselves one night for ordering pizza in and the rest of the stay, we brought our own food. We used the gift cards that we received for Christmas to buy the food. We also had a gift card to Olive Garden that we were saving for our last day. We even brought our own coffee and tea. 

Overall, our trip was incredibly cost efficient for two people. One can still enjoy themselves and have a wonderful trip without having to spend tons of money. It is so easy to dish out money left and right just because one is on vacation. That's what we tell ourselves to justify our action, but then we come home and reality sets in. Some may call us cheap, but honey, I rather be called that than poor. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Day 48 Of Writing: YouTubers!

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

Thou art as much His care as if beside
Nor man nor angel lived in heaven or earth;
Thus sunbeams pour alike their glorious tide,
To light up worlds, or wake an insect's mirth.

When I first began watching YouTube I was very judgmental in my view of the many channels out there. It wasn't the content of their channel. In fact, I really liked a lot of them and soon became enthralled by them. What I had a problem with was the asking of money from their subscribers. 

Don't get me wrong here. There are many channels out there that show spectacular vlogs and provide a wealth of information. If people want to support their channel via Patreon or Paypal, it's their business. They are providing  so much great information for free. It's the ones where, a flood happened or someone became ill or they needed a well. Or the ones that didn't have a job, but help me pay my bills.They would openly ask for help on YouTube. I thought that some were taking advantage of their subscribers. I didn't like that.

YouTube does pay many of the channels for airing commercials on, but one has to have many subscribers and views. We are talking in the thousands and thousands.

I do believe that many people start a channel for other reasons than reaching out, sharing and community. My feelings haven't really changed in that respect, but there are just a few out there who take advantage. It's like the Go Fund Me thing. The others are wonderful and caring individuals. I have found a community of people that I thoroughly enjoy and have come to be truly fond of. 

Since starting my own channel, I have established so much respect for the channels out there, especially for the ones that are in the thousands of subscribers. It is so much work, so much time is spent in marketing yourself and what your channel represents. Making videos, adjusting the lighting, the sound is all wrong etc. It's not easy and I have been brought humbly to my knees. 

Although, I do feel as if I have judged YouTube more than what I should have without really understanding or knowing the situation. I have learned my lesson in judgment and hoping it won't be repeated. Remember, don't judge the book by it's cover. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Day 47 Of Writing: A Weekend Getaway

                                                                    Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                                     everyday is a journey

O Thou, the primal fount of life and peace,
Who shedd'st Thy breathing quiet all around,
In me command that pain and conflict cease,
And turn to music every jarring sound.

A few months ago as we sat down with this year's budget and goal's, we asked what are planning for a vacation? Well, when one is trying to pay off debt and gain financial freedom, one doesn't go on expensive vacations. We opted to do a couple of weekend getaways instead.

If you googled tourist attractions in your state, you would find plenty of these little getaways where one can visit a vineyard, a cheese factory, state parks and even sites where movies were made. These types of tourist attractions are just perfect for a small weekend away. We chose to see what was around us in a three hour radius within our state and surrounding our state. We were open to visiting the next state over, if necessary. You would be amazed at what showed up near us. 

Why leave at all? Why not stay at home and lock yourself away for the weekend? Yes, we have done that, but sometimes we just need to leave the home. When we stay home, what happens? We still have to cook and clean. We pop in a load of laundry. We decide to clean out the closet or pantry. We never really just sit tight and unwind. We really don't. 

This trip really is a short one and who knows when the next one will happen. Once we come back, it's back to the grindstone. Right back to saving money and working hard. This is a little break. Everyone needs to treat themselves once in a while as a reward and as an encouragement to continue working hard. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Day 46 Of Writing: Cancer And Family

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

A patient, a victorious mind,
That life and all things casts behind,
Springs forth obedient to Thy call;
A heart that no desire can move,
But still to adore, believe, and love,
Give me, my Lord, my Life, my All.

I often think back to that first time with cancer. If I could go back, I would change a few things. For one, I would include my two children more in my recovery. In fact, they would be all in it with me. I relied on my family way too much to pull me through. I think I was so starved for their love and attention that I allowed them to take care of me. I loved every minute of it. They pampered me, took over my household, the paperwork, basically everything. I totally basked in it. 

I was selfish, though, because my children needed me. Maybe it couldn't be any different. All of us were going through something very dramatic, very emotional and very painful. My son reached out to his listening audience on the radio telling them all about me. My daughter just started her first year in culinary school. It was harder for her, because there were people in our family that thought she was too young to handle it. There were things that were kept from her. I wish I had known that then. I was in the hospital all the time or at least the first four months oblivious to everything , except what I was going through at that moment.

When the cancer returned four and a half years later, I took control of it's role in my life. I realized then that this was to be my lifestyle. Ever since then, my children have played a huge part in my recovery and decision making. You see, in the end, they will be the ones making all the vital decisions, the arrangements and the grieving. It's definitely not easy for any family member when it comes to cancer, but the main idea here is to keep them well informed of what is going on. Don't hide the truth, no matter how painful it may be. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Day 45 Of Writing : Everything Is Possible

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

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew;
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with Thyself my spirit fill.

When we paid off the one debt, I was elated for about 24 hours. That's all. I know I should be feeling on top of the world to have achieved it, but I wasn't. In fact, quite the opposite.

You see, I know what it took to get that done. It wasn't easy, far from it. Yes, one is finished, but we have to do it again . . . twice. All I see in front of me is the hard work involved. 

Remind yourself
everything is possible.

That quote stared up at me all day at work. One of our managers writes an inspiring quote on the board every single morning. The quote of the day. You can't miss it. There it is as one walks by, staring at you. 

Remind yourself
everything is possible.

I kept repeating it over and over again all the way home. I just have to try and keep at it. Yes, there are other things coming up like fixing the heat in the car. Yes, I need a root canal done. Yes, I have to start saving up in case my cancer is recurrent. Yes, yes, there are so many other things besides the debt that needs to be accomplished, too. 

If I don't get to everything by the end of the year, shouldn't I be glad I got as far as I have? Shouldn't I still rejoice in the successes I have achieved, even if small?

Remind yourself
everything is possible!

Yes, it is possible.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Day 44 Of Writing: Cancer And The Port

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

Where our Captain bids us go,
'T is not ours to murmur, "No,"
He that gives the sword and shield,
Chooses too the battle-field
On which we are to fight the foe.

What is a port? Well, a port is a medical appliance that is placed beneath your skin. They place it beneath the collarbone area. It is used during chemotherapy treatment to administer the infusion without having to use your veins. Chemo damages your veins, especially if administered directly with an IV. 

The port I have now is my second one since my diagnosis. I took my first one out as soon as I went into remission back in 2007. Silly move on my part, but I honestly thought I was done with cancer. I mean, I had it and beat it. That was my thinking back then. 

It was soon apparent that it would become my life. When they placed another port, it could not go into the same spot as the other one. Scar tissue formed in that area. Finally, they found a spot right above the previous and were able to fit a port there. 

Many people ask me why I don't just take out this one, too. Well, my cancer keeps coming back and I don't cherish the thought of constantly having to go through this procedure. Besides, the scar tissue forming is a concern. If I run out of places on my right side, they will have to place it on my left. I don't like the idea of my port being right above my heart. Silly, I know.

The big problem with this port is the constant flushing it requires (once every three months). It's a problem, because the only nurses that have no qualms about doing it are the chemo ones. Every other nurse whenever I remind them about the flushing forgets to do it. My personal opinion is that they are not comfortable performing this task. The needle used to penetrate resembles a hook more than an ordinary tip. It has to be inserted with a bit of force. Not very pleasant for the patient, but I have learned to take a deep breath right before. 

It is an adventure whenever I go to my oncologist. Sometimes, I get it flushed and sometimes I don't. It's been like this all these years and nothing bad has happened yet. My next flushing will take in August. . . hopefully.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Day 43 Of Writing: Yarn Shopping

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

The souls most precious to us here
    May from this home have fled;
  But still we make one household dear;
    One Lord is still our head.
  Midst cherubim and seraphim
    They mind their Lord's affairs;
  Oh! if we bring our work to Him
    Our work is one with theirs.

Yarn prices have gone up, folks. I've spent this past week checking around the different prices in my neighboring craft stores. I am blessed to be surrounded by a 6 block radius in either direction with Michael's, Joann's, Hobby Lobby, Target, Walmart, a Resale Shoppe and a Salvation Army. I wanted to see what each store had to offer in prices, clearance aisles and coupons.

The Resale Shoppe benefits an organization for abused women. They have so many beautiful things and really good prices. I wish I had enough time to go through all the aisles, but I was on my way to work. All their books were going between $.79 cents to $1.49, a great deal! I did find some yarn, small ones and they were priced at $.99 cents each. Bought whatever they had. I also received a 20% discount for being there on a particular day.

Walmart has always been my go to store for yarn. Their prices were the best and if I wanted more for my buck, that's where I went. Their prices used to be $2.79 a skein and right now they are going for $3.44 per skein. That's a huge jump. They do have an entire aisle reserved for clearance items, but not yarn.

Joann's has never let me down for when I needed a particular color. Whatever I searched for in yarn, I walked out with. Their prices are higher somewhere in the range of $3.69 a skein. Average. Although, they do provide daily coupons sent via e-mail or phone app. 

Michael's truly surprised me in the sale items they were offering. They had 1 lb. yarn bundles going for $6.00! That's better than Walmart or any other craft store. I did get quite a few skeins and I hit the jackpot! One of the 1 lb. yarns was discounted to $2.47. Yeah, Michael's does offer great deals. 

Hobby Lobby is one of the nicest stores I have ever been in. Their displays and aisles are so beautifully laid out. One wants to walk through the store admiring all the lovely things in it. Their yarn is a bit expensive, but they do have 30% off almost daily. One of their brands (crafters choice?) goes for $2.99 a skein. Not bad. I would purchase that if needed. 

Goodwill around here happens to be one of the nicer ones. The store is very appealing and their furniture certainly takes a second glance. All the pieces I was admiring on my last visit were already gone. No surprise there. Lovely pieces. Each time I came here, I found yarn. The pricing on the yarn varied tremendously depending on who actually did it. That's what I was told by someone on YouTube. One skein could be $.97 cents and another could be $3.97. Silly!

So I have been busy running around all week, but next time, I just plan on going on my off day. Much simpler to just spend one morning doing all of the stores with a cup of coffee in my hand. Until next time. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Day 42 Of Writing:

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

Just where you stand in the conflict,
There is your place!
Just where you think you are useless,
Hide not your face!
God placed you there for a purpose,
What e'er it be;
Think you he has chosen you for it:
Work loyally.

"Isn't it amazing what you learn to live with around the house?"

Oh yes, until someone plans to visit. Of course, it does depend on who it is that is visiting. It could be that relative that lives in a magazine worthy home. They see everything and might tell everyone. Suddenly, everything seems out of place and outdated. We scrub from top to bottom, from morning until night. We scream at our family to stop messing up the house.

Yet, when our dearest and closest come, they don't seem to care. They are just as comfortable in these surroundings as we are. That door that doesn't close all the way doesn't bother anyone. The threadbare rug in the hallway is just a sign of many friends that came through. If that bathroom isn't quite as clean to the eye as it should be, well, they won't say anything.

I think we become very comfortable in our surroundings over time. It really doesn't matter where we are living as long as we have our treasures with us. I have a comfy chair and it doesn't look very new at all. In fact, it's a bit rough around the edges. The legs have scratches on them. Yet, it's so comfortable, cozy and all mine.

So yes, we can learn to live with many things being a certain way. Not every home needs to be perfect in every corner and in every way. It's just perfect for you.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Day 41 Of Writing: Some Days

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

Thou Thyself dost still display
Unto the pure in heart,
Oh, make us children of the day
To know Thee as Thou art.
For Thou art light and life and love;
And Thy redeemed below
May see Thee as Thy saints above,
And know Thee as they know.

Some days . . . we just want to lay in bed dreaming of nothing in particular. Listen to the birds chirping and feel the Sun streaming through the window. 

Some days . . . the weather reflects how we feel. It's raining heavily and purifying the land. Purify me, Lord.

Some days . . . we look for silence, opting to be alone. Reflections. Meditations. Bask in the silence, you never know what you will hear. Or whom.

Some days . . . you want to jump for Joy at all the blessings flowing your way. You want everyone to know the goodness that comes from Him.

Some days . . . a hug says more than any smooth yielding tongue. Embrace me in your love, your comforting arms.

Some days . . . all we want is to rest and do nothing, but watch the rain fall. Take a nap and watch some more. 

Some days . . . you fill in your biggest need right now. What is your "some days" right now?

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 ...