Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What else has been going on?

Stella of course is quite interested in the Christmas decorations. She is always interested in what the people are doing in the house. So far so good. I put this small tree up first to see how she would do. The large tree got her attention - just for a little bit, but then there are no ornaments on it yet. It may be a very different story when everything glitters and twinkles. She really is such a pain - but she's worth it.

Kasey discovered crafting! - thanks to Pinterest. Her she is with the wreath that she made simply by tying ribbon on a ring. She couldn't ask for a better boyfriend now that she likes to Michael's to shop - Jake grew up going to that store probably more often than the grocery store.

This was sooooo good. We decided to go to a Pho restaurant yesterday after Richard was finished getting steroid shots in his back. He couldn't eat all day - until after the procedure - so he was extremely hungry. This was only part of the meal. We also had sort of salad with lettuce, noodles, beef, and shrimp and the best sauce ever. I don't know why we don't eat there more often.

Oh - let's not forget Richard waiting for his steroid shots. A few weeks ago when I had surgery he took a picture of me wearing this lovely outfit. Of course he didn't blog it or send it to everyone like I did. Everything went fine and the actual procedure only took about 5 - 10 minutes. He is still hurting today - but they said it may take a day or two before he feels better. I am just praying that it does what it is supposed to do and he can get back to normal. I really hated seeing him this way - it has always been me in the gown and surgical cap.

I had a week off from work due to surgery . . . worked a few days . . . had a week off for Thanksgiving Break . . . now we have 3 more weeks until Winter Break . . . another reason to love my job!

Nice Day for a Walk

I haven't posted in a few days. Richard and I have been home trying to feel better. I ended up with an infection in one of my incisions and he is battling two bulging disks in his back.

The other day we had to get outside - the first thing I thought of before going for a walk was sunscreen - that is a good thing. Funny after being told I had melanoma and learning more about it (I had no clue) - how it has changed my outlook of being in the sun.
Richard's back actually gave him less trouble when he was on the bike. It hurt like hell getting on and off - but I think it was worth it to him just to get out and do something.

These berries are just beautiful. I was wondering if I could somehow make a wreath out of these branches. Years ago I made a wreath by soaking a straw wreath in water then sticking in evergreen cuttings. It stayed green and fresh the whole holiday season. Although I would have to go get cutting off trees along the street - that may not be a good idea.

It was such a beautiful day with the leaves falling and the sun shining. I can't say that today is so nice. It was so foggy this morning and looks like we won't see the sun today. But I like those kind of days too. We had a nice Thanksgiving - sort of quiet but we really do have so much to be thankful for this year . . .

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you", that would suffice." ~ Meister Eckhart

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Flowers from Mattea

My friend's granddaughter attends the school where I work. Once in awhile - she hangs out with me in the office before school. This morning was one of those mornings - so we had to do something fun. She made me these wonderful flowers using my sticky notes - I love them. I think I said yesterday that flowers make me happy . . . these special flowers make me even happier.

I went to the dermatologist yesterday . . . she did a couple more biopsies on two different moles. I consider myself so lucky that my melanoma was found early and I am more than happy to have her test anything she thinks looks suspicious on my body. I am a little more anxious to know the results this time - but until then I will try not worry about it . . . and of course I will - but that is when I will pray and turn those worries over to God.

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow,

it only saps today of it's strength."

~ Leo Buscaglia

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

flowers make me happy!

Flowers that Abbie brought me after my surgery. They are so pretty - and happy looking!

This week has been a week of doctors appointments. Monday I had to see a cardiologist regarding something they saw on my EKG prior to surgery. It is a left bundle branch block - could be and most likely is nothing to worry about, but I am scheduled to have a stress test next Monday - just to make sure. This afternoon - it is back to the dermatologist - and I am waiting for a follow up appointment with an oncologist.

I have been so busy at work - and not sleeping very well. By yesterday, the combination of those two things had me exhausted. I went to bed at 8:30 last night - something I don't do very often - and I was out. I more or less slept all night which is again something that I don't do very often. So I am feeling so good today!

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, the smiling faces. Smell the rain and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams." ~ Ashley Smith

Monday, November 14, 2011

on a serious note - I ramble . . .

I have always believed in God. Having been raised Catholic - I don't remember a time when I didn't believe in God.
At a young age I remember being thankful that I had my faith in God to get me through the difficult times. I also am pretty sure that I took this faith for granted - to be honest at that young age the difficult times hadn't really been that difficult.
I am not so young anymore - and like anyone I have had my share of the "crap" that life can throw at you. Sometimes it is easier to get through these times than others . . . I sure deal with things better now than I did 15-20 years ago. I believe a positive attitude and my faith in God are what get me through. Richard sometimes teases me, when I start up with my positive attitude speech - that I am from "La-La Land". (he really doesn't mean anything bad by teasing me - just his way. He actually loves my positive attitude and the strength that my faith gives me.)
So . . . where is this going? I was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma. I was lucky - it has not spread and my doctor was able to remove the melanoma. But . . . after learning that I had melanoma . . . me being me - I had to learn everything I could about it. Little did I know . . .
I have always enjoyed being in the sun and being tan - even knowing that it could be bad for me. I found a way to rationalize being in the sun. How can something that makes me feel so good be bad for me. Being told I had melanoma completely caught me off guard - especially when I learned more about this type of cancer.
I had surgery just about two weeks ago. (my surgeon removed the melanoma and removed 3 lymph nodes in order to determine if the cancer had spread). It was during the week of waiting for the results of my biopsies - that I realized how strong my faith has become.
The past 10-15 years of my life have been full of that "crap" that life can throw at you. I have not always dealt with it the way that I should . . . by turning it over to God. But over the course of those years - I have learned to do just that . . . turn it over to God.
This past year I have faced with some very serious challenges in my life. I chose to deal with those challenges - by sticking by my values- and fighting for what I believe in, by choosing to be happy in spite of my situation, and most importantly by relying on my faith to get me through. So I had all these "Aha moments" - and life was looking pretty good. I had decided that I had spent too much time being unhappy, I had taken control of my life and happiness again.
So a few weeks ago - I make an appointment with a dermatologist. I figure at my age it can't hurt to just have everything checked out. One of the biopsies was sent for a second opinion - it looked questionable? A week later . . . malignant melanoma . . . 5 days later I had an appointment with a surgeon . . . two days later it was removed. Like I said - I was lucky - it had not spread.
I tend to prepare myself for the worst case scenario (can't help it - it is just the way I am. It drives Richard crazy.) So while I was waiting for the results of my biopsies- and thinking "worst case scenario" - I realized how strong my faith has really become. I am not without fear . . . but I will take each day as it comes, I will live life with a positive attitude - and choose to be happy, when life gets difficult - I will pray and turn it over to God, I will rely on the family and friends that God has given me, and I will draw on my faith to get me through.

Friday, November 11, 2011


She follows me everywhere . . .
Under my book cover . . .

Helping me make t-shirt quilts.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muretos . . . I'm a little late posting about "Day of the Dead" - but wanted to share this dish that Richard gave me the other day. He knows I have always been fascinated by this holiday and it's traditions. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed - I have always wanted to make an altar, but never seem to get it done . . . I am told it isn't just done for that particular day - and they can be left up all year round. If I get going on that and actually make the time to do it - I will post some pictures.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cherish the Journey

New mug from one of my coworkers - with a great message. I try to live my life this way - enjoy the process . . . cherish the journey. Life is too short not to.
I realize this most often not when things are going good - but when I am faced with a challenge. Happiness isn't about being happy all of the time and having no problems. Happiness is about finding the positive in everyday - choosing an attitude - enjoying the process and cherishing the journey . . . especially when life gets difficult.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Princess Lily

Jennifer sent me this picture last night. They ended up making it over to the house so we could see Lily in her costume, but it was sort of late. On top of that she was way too wound up and then on the grouchy side. Hmm . . . a grouchy princess. But she looked adorable.
Every princess needs a bucket full of goodies . . . a pumpkin flashlight and a Halloween Hello Kitty - why those are just as important as her crown and scepter. We didn't have very many kids come to the house this year. Some years are like that. At least we had a visit from Princess Lily.