Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Blessing

Abigail Eve arrived at 12:30 am November 26, 2008. She weighs 6 lbs 3 oz and is 18 inches long. She was in a hurry to get here as it took her mom less than 2 hours to deliver her. Pappy and I went up after daybreak this morning to cuddle and snuggle our new little bundle of joy..... I left my camera with my son, so more pics will arrive when he gets home....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Grandbaby.... soon...very soon...

This is a profile shot.....

And here, she is looking right at you...

We are patiently waiting for

Miss Abigail Eve Bash

to make her way into the world.
our little bundle of joy....
My grandbaby...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Interesting events….

Have you ever experienced something that you could not explain?
For example, a canister sweeper system hanging up in the basement suddenly turning on, running for 30 seconds or so and then shutting off --- without the help of a human hand?

Or when you go down the cellar steps, you smell cherry pipe tobacco, and no one in the house smokes a pipe? Yet it brings to mind a loved one who did and they have been gone for 23 years.

Yep… happened to me today.

Hubby and I both heard the sweeper come on. We never ever use it because it’s missing some attachments. It was here when we moved in. None of our pets were in the basement, and it’s actually mounted high enough on the wall that they couldn’t reach it anyway. Son and DIL were still in bed. It was only hubby and I and we were looking right at each other trying to figure out what was going on.

And, just a little bit ago, I went down to the basement to look at the crazy thing…. No, I didn’t have the courage to do it as it happened thank you very much…. The cobwebs are totally undisturbed. So, how did it happen?

What I did notice though was a very strong smell of Black Cherry pipe tobacco. How do I know that is what I was smelling? My Grandfather used to smoke it. I always LOVED that smell and have since always associated it with him. Every now and again my mind recalls that memory , that scent and I think of him.

So, maybe Pap was here today telling me that I really need to get my house cleaned up. I don’t know. It was an interesting event just the same.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Billy Graham's Prayer For Our Nation

'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it a choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!'
Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, 'The Rest of the Story,' and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired. With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called 'One nation under God.'

This was sent to me via email. The original author is unknown.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Look Up

If you remember, I told you about a daily devotional book I'm reading entitled "Faithfully Fit" by Claire Cloninger and Laura Barr. It's been extremely motivational for me. It's supposed to help you get your eating under control. Yet, I find it's helping me more in other areas of my life.
The other day I experienced the blanket of fog obscuring my view, but when I looked up-- everything was crystal clear.
Well, today in the book I read :
" The Lord who loves us is always drawing us out of ourselves, to Him. He longs to give us His perspective on problems and to elevate our spirits as well as our outlooks... Rather than becoming bogged down in thoughts of what we should do and ought to do , we can gaze upward at the one who gives us grace to overcome in ways we never thought possible"
You see, I've asked God to show me He is there without a shadow of a doubt. I needed to see HIm, feel Him. I needed proof. I've felt abandoned, rejected and lost for so long. I've felt my prayers had fallen on deaf ears or simply ignored- Prayers for my husband--People all over the world pray for him, for us....but the despair kept growing. The sense of being alone deepened. I felt everything was closing in on me. I was getting sarcastic when people told me to keep my eyes on God, keep praying and keep the faith. I was feeling my faith slip away. I was losing my way in the fog of life's circumstances wondering if God was really there.
Then in the midst of the fog that morning, I heard the voice telling me "Look up" and everything was crystal clear.
I physically experienced God telling me to look up and then read about the very same thing.
What I've been shown by God Himself--
When life closes in on you, look up. Look to me. I am here.
Today's Scripture from the book~
~ I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. ~ Psalm 123:1 NIV
and today's Food for Thought:
We are so much more than mere bodies. By looking up we focus on the one who made us. We stay in touch with the spiritual dimension of who we are in Him and we are strengthened and encouraged to take care of these bodies with which he has gifted us.
My food for thought: God answers your prayers-- sometimes you see it, sometimes you don't. It just depends on how thick the fog is you are surrounded by and if you've looked up instead of into that fog.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fog in the journey

I woke up this morning to the news that the man I did not vote for will become president. My first thoughts for the day were "Oh Crap, what have they done." Not a great way to start the day.
I got up, ready for work and fed the cats as usual before heading out the door. As I opened the door, I was met with a fuzzy view and thought to myself ,"Man do my glasses need cleaned. I can barely see." Then my brain cleared and I realized it wasn't my glasses, but fog. I could see clearly, but yet I was blinded by what was surrounding me and I had no way of getting around it. I couldn't go back inside and hide while I waited for it to clear as my responsibilities in life wouldn't let me.
The mist was thick and dense and gave me a deep foreboding feeling. It blanketed everything around me. I could hardly see the car parked just a few feet away. Yet, when I looked up it was crystal clear and I could see the stars shining brightly.When you only look at what's around you , your vision narrows to only what you see. But, when you look up to the heavens, you could see forever. It was a very strange feeling.
I thought to myself, "This could be a sign of things to come with two different interpretations. One being fear of the unknown that usually ends up in a scary mess ~ aka Hollywood Horror Films where the fog surrounds you right before the bad guy comes to get you ~ or a blanket surrounding you telling you everything will be ok." The bad part about the second interpretation is that blanket has been pulled over your head so that you can't see what is right in front of you. Again, leaving you with the unknown. When you are little and you pull the covers over your head, you feel kinda safe and protected. Nothing bad can get you if you don't see it coming. You are hidden from it all , safe in your own little cocoon of softness. Too bad it didn't really work that way, then again everyone would spend their life wrapped up in their comfy quilts instead of living as God intended.
It was very erie and down right scary at times driving to work. It left me with the hairs sticking up on the nape of my neck wondering what was going to jump out at me, what the day would bring or perhaps even the next year or so to come.
Even though I went through it all in fear, I went with the faith that I would be taken care of and kept safe. Sometimes I thank God I can't see what is ahead of me. If I could, perhaps I would never go. The destination may be wonderful, but the journey to get there ........... is the road we are on.
Pray the fog clears and we all get there safely!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's been a few days!

Wow, I hadn't realized quite so much time had passed since I last updated everyone.

Since the 17th of October ( my last post), Toadman and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. I lost a total of 2.5 lbs, gained it back and lost it again. And, Toadman spent another week in the hospital.

We went from the doctors telling us that there would be no more chemo... and the intestinal blockage that keeps getting him sick/hospitalized was un operable--- to starting chemo again next week ( unsure of the date and meds yet)-- to the blockage not being severe enough that any other doctor would operate. Hmmm.... bit of a differance there eh?

See, I had a bit of a temper fit with them. Mild compared to some of my outbursts--- but I told them all I wanted a second opinion and I was tired of them giving up on him.This same set of surgeons were the first ones to operate two years ago. We were told that they had done all they could and he would be lucky to live out 2 months.---they gave up on him 2 years ago remember that!!

So, this time around, I said fine, I'd like him referred to the surgeon who did his second surgery. You know him, he's the guy who said only God knows how much time we have on this earth. You gentleman tried to take my husband's hope away 2 years ago .You aren't going to do it again.

Suddenly things changed, tests were ordered, new plans of treatment are devised.... Hmmm...I wonder why? Can you tell I'm still a bit miffed at them???!

Anyway, hubby still isn't feeling too swift. The naseau still persists and his strength isn't where it should be. It's all due to the blockage. Scar tissue has built up at the incision site in his small bowel. It's making life a bit more difficult than it should be for him.He's very tired so, please pray for him.

My stepdaughter Lauren lives in Iowa, and she phoned very upset . Seems she was called and told that her father was on his actual death bed and didn't have much time left. I asked her who on earth told her that--- well, someone said someone said etc etc...and it went from Dad being in the hospital to get the blockage cleared out to never coming home again.-- Many thanks to the in-laws for once again freaking everyone out! Now she knows if it doesn't come from myself or her brother and sister to not believe anything that anyone says to her concerning her father's health.

It's only the second time the in-laws pulled this kind of crap. Last summer, we actually had a Pastor from someone else's church come to the house to make sure hubby was saved and to administer last rights. He was shocked to find out hubby was out hangin' with his bud's and wasn't home. He was even more surprized when we ended up sitting a row away from he and his family at the local race track that very night. He got to meet hubby and said, "You know, for a man on his death bed, you look pretty alive to me!"

You kinda get tired of people and their mouths yakking on when they haven't got a clue..... Why do they do things like that? No wonder hubby hates it when anyone is told he's in the hospital. No wonder I just sort of go into my own little shell and stay away from everyone. We both get so tired of telling people "NO, HE'S NOT DEAD YET! " Tell me please how someone is supposed to stay full of hope when people come up to you all worried and upset because your husband's sister tells the world he's on his death bed?!!

Ok, enough venting about the stupidity of others..... here's some good stuff...

My son's little one may be making her prescence known to the world in a couple more weeks. Her Momma only has 6 weeks to go, but the concensus is that she will be early. They've chosen a name for her. She will be Abigail Eve. Now, I can start planning Abby's quilt.

My daughter is still living with friends and hoping to get her own apartment soon. She's going to be 20 years old this month. Wow, how time flies.

And my stepdaughter Lauren's little guy may be entering this world before Thanksgiving. She hasn't picked out any names, so I can't plan his quilt yet. ---at least that's the way I feel. You suddenly seem to know a little more about them when you know their name.

Babies born at Christmas.... how cool is that?

Friday, October 17, 2008

My sister and I went on our devotional walk.....
We are both walking by faith .

I'm Claiming God's Promises!

In the Bible God promises to take care of us and tells us that He will meet our needs. By the blood of Jesus Christ I am claiming those promises. Because He promised... and He cannot lie!!

I'm claiming the promise of healing for my husband.
Praise the LORD, O my soul;all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

I'm claiming the promise that I have no need to worry."Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, "

I'm claiming the promise that there is no need for fear.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I'm claiming the promise that God will meet our needs.But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

I'm claiming the blood of Christ to annoint and protect my family.For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

And above all.....

Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Mathew 11:30 .Isaiah 26:3 says, "And You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Fix your mind on Jesus in the midst of your problems. Lean hard on Him. Think only on that which is true and honorable and right (Phil. 4:8). Put your life in His hands, and trust Him with the results.

I am walking by faith today and pray I have the strength to do it again tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I haven't had much time to play....

Since my time on here has been limited the last few days, I haven't journaled about the last few days. Perhaps I will get the time this weekend to get caught up again. Just know things are working and improving. :oD

Have a great day!

The view from my front porch....

These pictures were taken from my front porch.
( Miss Kay, the watermark on this one was done using a program
called UMark Lite 1.1 and it's free on the web)

The watermark on this and the next were added using my Paint Shop Pro program.

I was sitting on thefront porch watching the fog roll in after we had
a little rain shower move through.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Journey -Day three

This was supposed to get posted yesterday. I simply didn't do it. Shame on me.

I’m enjoying the day but at the same time, I am feeling a bit…. How to describe it…antsy. I feel like I need to be out doing something. I feel like I am stuck . I need to do something with my mind today-or get out of this house and just live.

Jake and his little family are playing guitar hero and making lots of noise. Marty is watching some gangster series that used to be on HBO. I’m not into either of those things. Feeling like there is something I should be doing and not able to do it. Does that make sense? I LOVE being home. Don’t get me wrong. I hate going out and doing a lot of running on Sunday’s because I love the lazy feeling and resting up before it’s back to the grindstone on Monday. Not wanting the weekend to end.

Is it the cleanse causing this or maybe my determination to fix the depression that is holding me down? It’s not a feeling of running away—just of one where I want to do SOMETHING.

My quilting stuff is in the same room Marty is watching tv in so, there’s no chance of running the sewing machine. My next project is another jean rag quilt—it’s better done by machine and not hand piecing. The squares are already cut. I’m all out of yarn to crochet. I don’t think I could concentrate long enough on the cross stitch. It would take sitting still too long- and all that counting. No I can’t focus long enough for that.

Hmm…. Maybe God is calling me and stiring my soul. I’m not sure what it is, but something is up. I’m not usually like this. I tried sitting with a book, but I can’t get my mind to focus on the words and really understand anything I’ve just read.

Part of me wants to go to Wally-world and find a good dancing type of exercise dvd. I’ve got some that are for weight lifting and toning, but I feel the need for something fun that I can do in the wee hours of the morning before I go to work. What better way to start the physical aspects of my day than by dancing. I love to dance and haven’t done it for years and years. I need fun, not strict repetitive sets.

So, what is causing this unrest in me?

One thing I have found today though. My stress eating has calmed way down. I bought lots of fresh broccoli, cauliflower, celery and carrots. I made the "onion onion" dip from pampered chef and have a plate of it sitting on the counter. When I feel the urge, I grab something from that plate. I’m not needing to have something in my mouth 24/7 today. I feel full and satisfied. Is that another reason for the antsy feeling? Nothing to do with my hands… my hands not stuffing my face. Hmmm… something to think about.

Joyful Noise for Oct. 13, 2008

Toad is feeling quite a bit better these days. That is more than enough to sing a joyful noise about today! He's been off the chemo for a while now. His hair has grown back into a crew cut length and his mustache is thicker than ever.

He still suffers from bouts of naseau, but those are fewer and farther between.

The weather was wonderful so we took a short drive to view the changing leaves and stopped at a flea market along the way. We picked up a highchair for the little bundle so the collection is growing. I forgot my camera and my phone so no pics.

There is a pond at the lodge where the flea market is held. Two beautiful white swans were wading in it. You could tell they meant a lot to each other by the way they stuck so close and entwined their necks as if to give each other a hug. Very cool.

Have you found your joyful noise for today?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Joyful noise for Oct 11, 2008

Hmmm.... still looking for it. This is going to be harder than I thought.
I guess I could say I'm still trying. That could be consider a thing of joy right?

My Journey -second submission

Oct. 11, 2008

Day two of the Journey. I was a little nervous about beginning the cleanse yesterday. I had no idea how it would effect my body. So far so good. I didn’t have to run anywhere—if you know what I mean. I’ve begun to experience little twinges here and there. Nothing totally out of the norm. I guess you kinda get used to “feeling” a certain way. I’m curious to see if it does make a difference in how I feel after the fact.

I obtained a copy of the book “ Faithfully Fit” by Claire Cloninger & Laura Barr. It is a 40-day devotional plan to end the yo-yo lifestyle of chronic dieting. So perhaps that will help with the mental overhauling I need to do as well, or give me a jump start. I haven’t started it yet. I’m hoping my sister will be my buddy while doing it.

I know I need to find another outlet for my stress. I eat all the time… not exactly all the time—but nitpick at food more than I should. I know I’m not hungry. But, when I get that certain nervous feeling, I start nibbling. It seems to ease the emotional pains. It’s also an addiction.

Funny thing about addictions. You can get help for most all of them. Except your addiction to food. You can live without alcohol…live without drugs. But, you can’t live without food. So, when you are addicted to it –for that feel good feeling—how do you stop?

It’s mindless eating. You really aren’t even aware that you are doing it. It’s like grabbing that cigarette. It’s just something that you do. It calms you.

Why am I stressed? Family issues- emotional and health related. My husband’s diagnosis set off a huge train reaction inside me. No, it’s not what caused me to gain weight. I’ve been struggling with that for my entire life. It’s what started the stress eating and that day was the day I lost the joyful zest I used to have for life.

Depression and fear took over my life.
The day the music died…. Current mood: empty
The day the music died….
Music is a very powerful tool. It can be used to make a person feel quiet and restful, thoughtful…at peace. It can be used to inspire and empower. It can woo a loved one and bring two people closer than they ever thought possible. It is full of emotion. Music is a very powerful way to worship the Lord. Music was how I said my soul survived. It was a part of me. It was how God spoke to me. My heart sang constantly. I sang constantly. The joy it brought me flowed through every aspect of my life.
Then on August 6, 2006 the music in my soul died. That’s the day my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. That’s the day my heart stopped singing. That’s when I stopped singing. I took the strings off my guitar and sold my keyboard.
It’s very hard to turn on a country radio station without hearing of loss.—“ Live Like You Were Dying” “ If I die before I wake—Feed Jake” “ Will you go with me” It seems like most songs today are filled with loss and grief.
It’s very hard to listen to music without it ripping my heart apart. There is an extreme sadness where joy once overflowed. Praise and worship songs very rarely pass my lips.
When I took my current job, my friend Barb always wanted to listen to talk radio. I always had music on. Music filled me. It always played whether riding in the car, at home or at work on the pc. Now Barb listens to music and I listen to talk radio.
It’s just not in me anymore….

Yeah, it still feels like that, but it’s getting better. I am slowly beginning to listen to music a bit more. I’m still choosey and have my finger ready to shut off the radio the minute a song comes on that will rip my heart out. I’ve come to recognize some of those by the very first chord played. I guess I’m improving there. So, perhaps there truly is hope for my mental makeover.

I guess I should go take a look at that book now.

My Journey -first submission

Today is October 10, 2008. I’ve started my weight loss journey for the millionth time. This time I’m hoping will be different. It’s not just weight loss that I am after, but an entirely new me. Physical and mental health as well.

Physically- I am about 100 lbs overweight. I weighed myself a little bit ago YIKES…but you know, it’s not the most I’ve ever weighed either.

Today is the start of a new journey because I went to a health food type store and talked with the nutritionalist there. She told me before I try to do anything I needed to cleanse my body. This would help clean my blood and organs so that my struggle will be easier to overcome.

I have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, thyroid issues, rosacea, high cholesterol and gall bladder issues. All of which I am supposed to be taking medication for. ( read that, supposed to …)That on top of being overweight—I also have a lot of stress in my life. She told me that parasites and other ickys are more than likely the cause of a lot of my problems. The stress is the rest. So, today I started the cleanse.

Once a day I will drink a TBS. of Pura Cleanse with juice or water. I was told that I could loose 5 lbs very quickly depending on the amount of “stuff” packed in my colon. My liver is hording nasty little critters and who knows what else is lurking in there. Skeptic? Yes part of me is very skeptic. Part of me feels what the hell go ahead and try it. I’ve fallen for scams before. So, why not give it a go? This is supposed to be a gentle cleanse as I’m just a beginner.

I was told that when your liver has issues, it causes a lot of other problems- like the rosacea, and it is also tied into the diabetic issues. My Dr. told me many moons ago that I had liver issues, but they could never figure out what was causing it. Perhaps the ickys don't show up in bloodwork? What I'm thinking is that there could be some basis behind what the nutritionalist has said.

So, wish me luck…

Friday, October 10, 2008

Keeping Joy in the Journey

A friend of mine from work has redecorated the staff restroom. Why am I telling you that? Well, it's because she has this little picture frame that she wants to rotate poems or sayings in. The last one said " When life knocks you to your knees, remember you are in the perfect position to pray" This one- "Keep Joy in the Journey" -hence my telling you the whole bathroom thing.

So, I've been pondering that little sentence. When you have gone for a really long time living life in what feels like a joyless adventure you begin wondering what Joy actually is. I've found, that when I started writing my feelings down, a lot of them were full of doom and gloom. Sadness prevailed. Well, that's what I was living- am still living. When there is very little joy and only sadness, it's hard to come up with fun things to say. I made a vow to myself to only write about the good things. Well, I haven't written much lately, can you tell?

How do you make a joyful noise when you are struggling to find the joy to begin with?

There are thousands of little "Joy Buzzers" happening around us all the time. Do we see them or listen to them?

What one person sees as devastation, another sees as a miracle. Take rain for instance-- It can be a real buzz kill for sure, but not having it could be a lot worse. The rain is still the rain. It's just how we see it at the time.-- Our circumstances at that moment in our life. I'm not talking about hurricane force gales-- just ... rain. Simply ask a farmer what I'm talking about,and they can show you just by taking a walk in a field. --Bountiful blessings or devastation.

Well anyway...back to finding the joy in the journey. Maybe if I truly start looking for the joy instead of letting it pass me by, I'll be a happier person.

So, I'm going to attempt to find the one thing each day that will help me make a joyful noise and make my journey through life a little happier.

There is joy in the journey if you just let it find you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

You can tell there's less sunshine....

Boy, is my body telling me it's time to start hibernating! To think, just a few short weeks ago it was still daylight at 7 pm. Now, it's dark and I'm ready for bed.

I never would have dreamt that at age 45 I would be in bed by 8 pm. Am I getting old or what??!!! I used to be the after midnight girl that had to stay up until I could get tired enough to fall asleep. Then again I wasn't getting up at 4:30am to be at work by 5:30 either. Times sure have changed.

So, tell me, what do you do to beat the winter time no sunshine doldrums. I feel myself falling into it a lot earlier this year. Hate to think what January is going to feel like. And such the shame there can be no tanning beds to get me through this winter. Blah...

My pillow is calling me.... have a nice sweet dream filled night friends!

~ Lisa

Friday, October 3, 2008

Playing with pictures - digital art

I used this picture taken of me while we were cutting and freezing peppers. So, please excuse the mess in the background.

I know I look really tired and old . I was having a rough week.... HA HA

I put it in my paint shop pro program and tweaked it into a line drawing.
Cleaned it up.....

And the final result looks like this...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It is finished!!

There it is. All finished. Toad gave me the idea of putting a bikini on it. So, we went shopping in the scrapbooking section of the local WM and I found this adorable one that is made out of fabric! It's got the hat, a towel, flipflops, suntan lotion, sunglasses and a beverage. They are just lightly tacked on in case she doesn't like them, but I think it's cute.
One more project down.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Good Morning Saturday!

Hello Friends!

I love the weekends, don't you? So far I've just about accomplished climbing up Mt. Laundry, scrubbing the abyss commonly known as the bathroom and worked a bit more on the wall hanging.

I've added the borders, but still have to add the extra little accents I want to place under the tree. I had a little floppy hat there, but it looked too much like a deformed beachball. so I decided against it.

The shade of green I chose is actually one that is in the tree leaves, but it's not showing up very well in this photo. It looks much nicer in person.

I'm hoping to get it totally finished this weekend. Wish me luck!

MT. Laundry is another story. The towels that I had to leave on the line received an extra rinsing over night. They'll be air drying a little longer than anticipated, but it's all good.We needed the rain desperately. Hopefully it will make them a bit softer.

My little sister, her family, Toad and I went to the local high school football game last night. Oh the memories it brought back. The old Alma Mater hasn't changed much, but the faces sure have! There was barely a soul I recognized and the place was packed! As we sat there, I could smell the scent of the river wafting towards us. The field is roughly a half mile or so from the shores of the Allegheny. It was rather refreshing in an odd sort of way. Wish I could say our team won.....but, I can't. I think the final score was 28-14.

Well, this new day is beckoning me to get started. I've shopping to do and a livingroom, kitchen and sittingroom to tend to. I'm thinking of making stuffed chicken breasts for dinner today so I need to get out to the garden for some onions and other veggies as well. There isn't much left out there and it will be getting mowed over soon. So, perhaps I ought to glean what's left and get it in the freezer too.

I hope your Saturday is a blessed one filled with goodness, mercy and love.
See you later Friend! And thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Blogs Blogs Blogs!

Hello Friends!

Blogspot, MySpace, Xanga and Facebook. Geesh how can one person end up with so many places to hang out. That doesn't even count the MSN groups or forums run by other friends! And still, there are other sites I have joined, but solely for the purpose of checking in with the friends who hang out there instead of here.

Keeping up with all of them can be a bit of a challenge unless I do the old copy/paste trick. So, if you are a visitor to more than one or even all of them, bare with me as I get things caught up. I do after all only have one life to live~ hmmm, where have I heard that before ? giggle Ok, scuse' the sad and sorry attempt at humor. Comedy isn't one of my true gifts

Pick the place you like to be the best and say hello to me there. You don't have to follow me all over the net . I don't get upset if you don't comment every day on each of them. I'll let you know if I plan on leaving one of the groups before I do it. Ok?

Each place has it's own perks and they all fill a need for something ~ like entertainment, fellowship, support, family fun and of course friendship. I get the chance to talk with people who are going through similar circumstances and I get to vent or share about the things happening in my life too. They won't all be exactly the same because the friends aren't all the same and conversations can go in so many different directions. But, the important updates from me will be shared.

So, whichever place you decide to visit, I hope you enjoy the time you spend there.

Take care friend!

and remember....

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Toad's Story

****Toad is my husband's nickname. So, that's probably the only way you'll ever hear me refer to him. This is a repost from my xanga blog and Those who know the story may want to skip to the last five paragraphs. Those who don't, read on ~

Everyone has a story. This one happens to be about my husband. In the summer of 2006 he began getting stomach pains. He had a physical for his CDL/Hazmat license. As a trucker this gets done on a regular basis since they have to carry a physical card with them. During that physical, he was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia. So, ok, he could live with that. No biggie.
As the summer went on the pain began increasing. It was getting harder and harder to tolerate it. He thought that the hernia was strangling ( meaning twisting ) So on August 6, 2006 we headed to the emergency room. They did the regular screenings and asked if he knew he had a hernia. ( ok so that's why we were there LOL) The doctor felt around his abdomen and decided he wanted to do a CT Scan just to be sure.
The test results came back and we heard " I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is, you don't have a hernia. The bad news, it's a mass pushing your navel out ." His CEA test came back at over 12,000.
We sat in silence for what seemd like an eternity and then my husband began putting his clothes on. The doctor asked what he was doing and he said "going home" The doctor said" No, you're going upstairs"
That was the start of life as we know it for the past 2 years. It's amazing how something simple can totally change into something horrific within seconds.
There were 2 major surgeries. In the first, the omentum & part of the large intestine were removed. His liver was shaved and the diaphgram was also cleaned up. The surgeon said there were several "BB" sized polyps all through his abdomen. 2 liters of cancerous fluid was drained away. This op took over 6 hours. Everything was healing up nicely. Then suddenly an infection developed. The incision had 4 small openings. They began to open more and more. Then it began to tunnel.
Toad's case was taken before a cancer conference. The Chief Oncologist Surgeon at another hospital asked to take charge of his case. So phone calls were made and suddenly he was going into surgery for the second time.
His gallbladder & part of the small intestine were removed as well as more of the BB's. The cancer had attached itself to the fresh incision of the previous surgery. That's why it never fully healed and had opened so grossly. They took a 4 inch section of skin/tissue from the center of his tummy. He no longer has that bellybutton that started it all. They also did an internal chemo flush. This operation took 9 hours. There remain two masses that they couldn't get. His CEA had come down to 44
Off to chemo we go. For the first year it worked great. Then,his regular home health nurse went on sick leave and they bounced us around from nurse to nurse. His first port became infected. While in the hospital to remove it, he developed a staff infection in his blood. At this same time our son was enlisting. So, Toad told the doctor he wanted out of the hospital to see our son off to boot camp. The doctor relented but made sure we knew that if Toad left the hospital the staff infection could kill him. Well, that started things moving in the wrong direction.
The port was removed and a picline was placed. Chemo happened and for a couple of weeks things started looking up. A blood clot developed at the site and suddenly things were looking pretty crappy so the military branch our son was enlisting in sent him home. I had received a phone call from the base commander telling me that in 6 months when things reached their culmination at home, they wanted our son to re- enlist as he would make a fine addition to his squad.-- Our son was coming home and that is all that mattered to Toad. He needed to have a little less stress in his life at that moment in time. We all did. What "I " heard during that phone conversation was...once your husband is dead, send your son back to us.~ I said and still say to this day "I think not!"
Back to chemo.... but the CEA was well over 900 by then.The picline had since been replaced by a new port. Chemo had started up-- then suddenly, thinking he was wiping away sweat, hubby looked down at his chest and realized the wound at the port site had re-opened. By the time he got home, I could actually look into his chest and see the wires/ tubes from the port. No, you aren't suppsed to see anything as it is totally embedded into the chest. Off to the hospital we go once more.
That's the funny thing about chemo. It won't let things heal properly. DUH!! It was way too soon to start the chemo.
Ok so no chemo until the proper amount of healing happened. Things move along swimmingly. No nasty side effects to amount to anything. He's still strong and has all his hair. The worst thing was having to wear the pump every other week for 3 days at a time.
1 1/2 years have gone by since the beginning. Christmas rolls around and a new CT scan is done. At the first of the year 2008 we get the news that it's spread to his lungs. It's now necessary to switch up the chemo.
It's the chemo from hell! Things go from bad to worse in days. He's been in the hospital 4 times~ each for at least a week due to the side effects. They are severe. He's so weak he can barely walk 50 feet without having to stop and rest. He'd lost 70lbs since Jan. 1~ 30 of which had been in July alone. So, the choice has been made to take a chemo break. His body couldn't recover from the chemo, how was it going to have the ability to fight the cancer if the chemo was killing him faster?
In August we spent the 7 days in the hospital again. His white count had gone down to .08 and his immune system was at critical. They put him in Isotonic Isolation until his white count improved. Neupogen shots each and every day... He calls them "Nitrogen Shots" because they are cold and they burn. His white count improved and he was removed from isolation after 3 days. ~~ He had recovered and was feeling great. But, soon he was just as bad as he was before he went in. Seems things were only helping as long as he is hooked to the IV. His count was 9.7 when we left the hospital that time.

That's where things stood as of August 15th 2008.

Today is September 25th, 2008. Things have gotten better. His strength is slowly returning along with his hair. I tease him about being "Samson" giggle. He hasn't been back in the hospital since they took him off the chemo. His weight has stabalized and he's happy with it. There are still bad days, but they don't last as long as they used to and are getting fewer and farther between.

It's a long road ahead of us..... but I'll be there right beside him every step of the way.

Please keep him in your prayers that God simply dissolves the cancer and his body regains the strength he needs to live life as it should be lived. I'll post updates every now and again as time permits.......

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cancer again?

How many people do you know that have been told they may have or do have cancer? I know of at least 10 right now and someone new is added to the prayer chain each and every day.

Today, it's my sister. It's the dreaded " We need to run more tests, there's something there and we need to find out what it is" They are hinting at the "c" word, but not coming right out and saying it.

You stop and wonder why so many. Where is it coming from? What's causing it? Is it our food? Is it the preservatives? Is it the stuff that's supposed to help us stay healthy? My sister is a health nut. She eats right, gets plenty of exercise, doesn't drink pop and drinks very little coffee. Hmmm.... So, what's the answer?

Death used to be from natural causes ~ whatever that means. Is cancer a natural cause? Is that a phrase they used when they didn't know what cancer was? Has cancer always been around?

It's hard not to be angry that so many have to suffer because of this hideous disease.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A work in progress

I'm trying to decide on what kind of border I want to do for it.... go with a blue? or a brown? I was thinking a solid color since all the other fabrics have texture to it. It's also dimensional too ( as in not flat and sort of 3 D-ish so to speak)

I'm making this little wall hanging for a dear friend who has a thing for palm trees. On the beach, there is a little crab and footprints. That's what she said when I asked her to imagine herself at the beach and to tell me what she saw. So... what do ya think?

Gadgets ?? Gizmos and HTML

Well, I've been trying to get a slideshow set up through one of the gadgets on teh sidebar. But, alas, the feed won't connect. So, I figured out that if I add the HTML gadget I can simply put in the code for the slideshow I've created elsewhere and put in here there. Let me know what you think, how easily it is for your to view and if takes forever for my page to load for you.

Thanks for the input!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

What NOT to say to someone helping a loved one LIVE with cancer.

What not to say.... and what I really wanted to....
A friend has this really cool You Tube vblog "What NOT to say to someone who has cancer" You should check it out! I really admire this person! She's been helping me through some stuff without even knowing she's doing it! The stuff she said also pretains to those who are helping their loved ones live with cancer too. So, Pay attention! That way I won't have to repeat it again! Thank you Holly!!
Ok so, after listening to her I thought about my situation and the stupid things that have been said to me.... Now mind you, I'm not using a video blog so you won't see the cute expressions and hear the funny sarcastic way it would sound if I was. So, take it in stride and think of it with humor.
1. They said "Well, just think, you've had a couple extra years with him, you should be grateful. The doctors only gave him 2 months to live that's more than you thought you'd have. He should be dead by all accounts."~
My thoughts on that .... He should be dead???!! I thought we'd have forever, now I should be grateful that we may not grow old together? Grateful that a doctor tried to take his hope away? Grateful that my husband has a disease that is killing him? We've had a couple of extra years? I should be grateful he's been with me this long? This is my husband we are talking about. Not an old truck! Don't trivialize his life like that.
2. Boy does he look BAD! How do you cope with how much he has changed?~
Let's see.... He's my husband and I love him. How do I cope? What... I should reject him or leave him because he's lost his hair and he's not as strong as he used to be? I should be that shallow? He's still the same person, that hasn't changed. Go look in the mirror honey, you don't look the same as you did a few years ago either. He's had almost 50 chemo treatments during the last 2 years, of course he's going to look different. What's your excuse?
3. So how is he REALLY ? ~
Well, what did he tell you when you asked him? How is he REALLY? He really has cancer. How do you think he is? He's sick and he's tired. You think how he's doing is different now that he's walked away than it was when he was sitting right beside you less than a minute ago? Really?
4. So, how are you doing with all this? ~
How am I doing? Well, I was doing just fine until you made me think about it. I'm screaming inside while I'm smiling at you. I know full well you are just being polite so I just say I'm hanging in there. You don't really want to know my world has fallen apart and I'm barely holding on with my fingertips most days and a total meltdown is just a heartbeat away. My husband has a sucky disease.... It's hard as hell watching someone I love more than life itself go through this knowing I can do NOTHING to stop it. How the hell do you think I am doing?
5. If he can't be left alone, then maybe he should be in a nursing home. ~
Excuse me, He's my husband. So, he's feeling sick today. What, that interferes with your plans so much that I should institutionalize him because he's throwing up? Honey, you and your plans aren't what's important to me. He is.
6. If there is anything you need ~
I need my husband to be healed. Can you do that? Uh... yeah... I didn't think so...and then what ? Would you keep my mortgage paid? My utilities? My car payment ? Fill my freezer? Pay the hospital bill we just got in the mail? You know he can't work anymore. What do you honestly think I might need? Would you help me take care of the landscaping chores that never get done? You gonna come clean up the puke and other bodily fluids that sometimes don't make it to the toilet while I'm at work? I need to have the means to stay home and take care of my husband. Are you able to help me do that? If you can't give me what I need... don't ask me ~to ask you~ for help. I'm not going to you know.
7. You haven't called to update me lately! ~
My life is hectic enough without worrying who is going to be offended by my not calling them. Face it honey... my priorities have changed. Most days I'd simply rather not talk on the phone. Besides.... if you really want to know how he is, come visit him.
8. Why didn't you tell me he was in the hospital again, you know I worry!
If you are so worried, why don't you come see him when he's well .Why is it only when he's in the hospital and needing to sleep that you show up? Did you ever think he may not want a hospital room full of people and requested I not tell anyone? If he wanted you to know, you would have already known. Don't get an attitude with me because I don't call YOU.

I understand people ask things just out of common courtesy without really wanting to know- without really wanting to help. They say it because they feel it's expected of them. I honestly do understand all that.

But truthfully, If you don't want to know.... don't ask. If you can't help... don't offer. You are doing me more harm than good. Don't make me think about the stuff I need or how I'm feeling. Don't make me wonder how I'm going to get through this day. Don't make me think about tomorrow. Don't tell me our lives have all been planned out...we live we die. I already know that..I don't need to be reminded it may come sooner than I ever dreamt possible. Don't tell me our reward is in heaven. He'll be healed there and this is all just temporary, he'll have a new body... excuse me, I DON'T want to hear that. Yes, I believe in God and that Jesus is our savior and there have been mansions prepared for us.... but PLEASE...Don't try to make me feel he'll be better off dead! I know when the time comes he's going to heaven, but I still don't want to hear that! We are living in the here and now. RIGHT THIS MINUTE is what concerns me. Heaven is a lifetime away.... it's not what's happening at this moment in time. That doesn't comfort me, honestly it doesn't help at all. It just deepens my feelings of loss. It might make YOU feel good to say it.... but it's hurting me.

Strangely enough, the majority of those who actually say most of these things have never lost their spouse or anyone for that matter to this horrible disease. They do it because they simply just don't know what else to say.

Don't tell me I shouldn't be angry. Don't tell me I should be grateful. If your heart really isn't in it, don't ask and don't offer. For God's sake and my sanity.... Just don't.

Sometimes the old addage..."Silence is Golden" holds more truth than you know.

Tell me you are praying for us all. That's all you need to say......and then do it.

Doing a test run

Hello Friends!

Well, this new adventure could be interesting care to come along for the ride? I know you have all heard the rumblings and grumblings of everyone trying to learn something new. I'm not going to be much different, but I hope I can carry it off with a tad bit of humor attached to it.

For those of you who have just sort of stumbled by, HELLO! Nice to meet you!
For those who have come looking for me ~ YEAH you've found me
and for those that have followed~ glad the trail of breadcrumbs worked!

I'll be cheating and moving a few of my favorite old posts over from the other place. If you've already read them, forgive the monotony... if you haven't , hope you can glean something from them.

My life is a little chaotic at times and I'll warn ya, my posts will reflect that. It's just my way of letting go of the stress and maybe having some fun and making friends along the way.

In any case, I hope you enjoy yourself while you visit with me!

Thanks for stopping by!