Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Grace, Courage and Faith

Someone sent me the image of this beautiful cross a while back. I don't know who the artist is but the rustic style seemed to echo today's post.

I found myself talking about my mom a lot today while waiting at the Mitchell Institute while my husband's aunt received chemo. Visiting with the now familiar faces in the waiting room is somewhat sobering and humbling. I met a couple today. She had been diagnosed this past June with Stage Four Breast cancer and it had spread to her brain. She was receiving the current phase of treatment in Houston and had come in this morning for bloodwork. We discussed the side effects she was having and I suggested a couple of things that might alleviate a few. She said the doctor didn't want her taking anything at all right now, especially live bacteria. Live cultures as in acidophilus to correct the imbalance of bacteria in her digestive system from the high dose antibiotics she's currently on for a lung infection. I told her she could get around those orders by eating yogurt with "active cultures" to which she agreed. I also suggested food enzymes for the reflux and indigestion which was a constant companion. She was also experiencing side effects from steroids. Turmeric, yes, the Indian spice, is a great substitute. It's anti-inflammatory without the side effects. I had the same experience with my mom. She asked me to get everything for her and then wouldn't take it because the doctor said not to. Makes no sense to me. When my mom passed away, my sister returned the unopened bottles to me. My mom suffered unendlessly with indigestion and digestive issues because of antibiotics. The prescriptions the doctor gave her did little to help, yet she refused to take the natural alternatives. I suppose when you are in a desperate situation as a cancer patient finds themselves you just have to focus on the doctor. That is, I suppose, where your hope lies. I knew it was healing she was hoping for. A cure. Relief. It's just frustrates me to no end when I know complimentary medicine is available yet the vast majority of physicians are not educated in alternative supports without side effects.

Having experienced cancer with my mother-in-law, my great-aunt, my mom, and now my husband's aunt, God forbid it affect my body or my family, I am informed and will first and foremost seek out a doctor who cares about the whole person, not just the disease. Perhaps that is harsh. I know insurance companies play a huge roll in a patient's care, or lack of care. That is another issue which should have us all jumping up and down and waving our arms at our government because if they take over health care we are all in trouble. That's my personal informed opinion.

Okay, I have vented. Back to the waiting room.

After my aunt went to the treatment room and the couple next to us went in for her bloodwork, I sat and watched the room, trying to imagine the hope, the hopelessness, the pain, the nausea, the sheer exhaustion of it all. It literally brought me to tears. I had to excuse myself for awhile from the waiting room and get a grip. As we left to go next door for my aunt's radiation phase of treatment, I thanked God there is a St. Jude's cause if there were children in the waiting room suffering like these adults are, I couldn't bear it. I simply couldn't.

Father, thank you for your blessings and your protective hand on my family. Thank you that the physical ailments I am experiencing are bearable. Thank you for opening my eyes these past several years to the suffering, as heartbreaking as it is. I know you have a plan for me and will use these experiences to share my faith. Thank you for equipping me with grace to offer myself as a servant to the sick, the courage to show up knowing I will leave with a heavy heart. And, the faith to know whatever the outcome, your presence will be felt in each of their lives and you will see them through to the end, whether it be the end of the disease or the end of life as we know it. I suppose the latter would cover yet both.

Be kind. You don't know what that person is going thru or has experienced. And, occasionally, give a caregiver a high five!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Storage Boxes are on Sale!

The Christmas season is coming to an end as we usher in the new year. Trying not to have the Christmas blues while facing the almost insurmountable task of taking down and putting away the decorations. I desperately need to go through the boxes and pass on things I no longer display. I so need to get over the "I may use this one day" mentality. The space those "I may need this one day" items takes up is ridiculous. I suppose we always begin thinking about organizing and purging when a new year is cresting. I think about it all year long. My garage is a wreck with Christmas boxes, art show equipment, cardboard boxes, gardening equipment, dollhouses I can't part with, exercise equipment, seasonal decorations. The list goes on and on and on. My husband commented the other day "You can't find anything in this house" obviously oblivious to find anything in the man cave. My thoughts were "If ya'll put things back where you found them, they'd be there next time you need them" instead of just dropping it where you used it. My tape dispenser is never in my studio cause my daughter uses it for scrapbooking. Perhaps Santa should have thought of that. The dog leashes are never put back in the space provided, therefor we all search for them when the dogs need to go out.

There is so much to do to keep a home organized. It doesn't get done by itself. Professional organizers tell us to purge and buy all these cute boxes to store things in. I suppose that balances it out, huh? Purge then buy. {shaking head}

Among the other daily routines I have no control over, I am determined to tackle this issue one room at a time. Top to bottom. Left to right. Keep, toss, give away, store. Then there's the outside to deal with. Dang! My car hasn't been washed in three months. Add that to the to-do list.

Looking on the bright side: I have til December 31, 2010, to finish this to-do list. That's a good thing since household chores tend to run in a never-ending chasing your tail, pick-up, put-up, shut-up and just do it cycle, while throwing in a little procrastination here and there.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


When I work, I work very fast, but preparing to work can take any length of time. ::: Cy Twombly said it well! I have so many things going on in my head it's difficult to get them on paper or make them materialize. Frustrated sometimes because to carry through with a project means I have to stop the current one. I have accumulated so many bits and pieces all over my studio just waiting to be touched and twittled with! Though quite often I find myself too overwhelmed to carry out anything at all. Should I make an appointment with a therapist? Is intervention necessary? LOL!

.... Visions of Sugarplums

Christmas in July never ended!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's everywhere. Where are my elves when I need them? I thought I was getting a head start the weekend after Thanksgiving. My husband retrieved all the boxes and the Christmas tree from the garage before going to the camp for the weekend. I put up the tree and all the decorations and cleaned it all up....that is, except for the little piles here and, wrapping, photo ornaments waiting for pictures, recipes, etc. Now it's the second week of the season and I'm still trying to finish the planters for the mantel and the dining room table centerpiece. I haven't started wrapping gifts ..... I do mean WRAPPING not bagging. I have probably 16 rolls of heavy duty wrapping paper so forget the bags this year! And I haven't started baking...made a list, sort of. There's a cookie swap next week at my daughter's house so I will at least have a variety of cookies to add to what I want to make. I'm 90% finished with the Christmas shopping and preparing for a Christmas celebration with my family members from out of town and local. Then to prepare for Christmas morning with my immediate family .... including Keller, my first granbaby girl! So excited! I had a chance to run by Al's 5&10 the other day and found some gorgeous large poinsettias for my front porch. They are still sitting on the porch in their bags three days later. Hoping to do some baking this evening cause I'll be keeping Keller this weekend while her parents are away doing Christmas things and I know there won't be time to bake then! But right now I've gotta get my Art in the Park application and CD in the mail. And, while Keller is napping, maybe I'll finish those mantel arrangements! Ho Ho Ho! Off I go!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!!!

It's like Christmas everyday since Keller was born! I have had a grand old time keeping her during the week while Jen works. She is so much fun. Watching her change day to day and seeing her learn new things has been a blast! I absolutely cannot wait until she can talk. I so want to hear her voice. She started reaching when you go to pick her up! She discovered her hair ... an mine! She pulls it all the time. I painted her toenails with delicate pink nail polish a couple of weeks ago! So cute!

Taking her from Jen every morning is like opening a different Christmas package everyday! So, so very precious. I don't need a thing for Christmas, or Easter, or birthday forever.....this is it!!! Gran Mamma's Granbaby Girl!