Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Wrap Up--Highs and Lows

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Day 31: Highs and lows of the month

Highs
Helping Amy start the planning for her wedding.
Scheduling an appointment with the plastic surgeon to start the reconstruction process.
Winning several book giveaways, and a Target gift card.
Hearing my 4 yr old grandson, Micheal, say that he is excited because he gets to be the "polar bear" in his Aunt Amy's wedding (he's been asked to be ring bearer---LOL)
Nine weeks after breaking her ankle, my mother is walking and driving again.




Lows
A very dear friend is nearing the end of his battle with lung cancer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Of The Month

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Day 30: The best book you've read this month.


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The Midwife,by Jolina Petersheim

Synopsis: The Past — Graduate student Beth Winslow was sure she was ready to navigate the challenges of becoming a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities with the baby, Beth is unprepared for the parents’ decision to end the pregnancy — and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen Haus, a home for unwed mothers deep in a Tennessee Mennonite community.

The Present — As head midwife of Hopen Haus, Rhoda Mummau delivers babies with a confident though stoic ease. Except in rare moments, not even those who work alongside her would guess that each newborn cry, each starry-eyed glance from mother to child, nearly renders a fault through Rhoda’s heart, reminding her of a past she has carefully concealed.

Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives in the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia’s due date draws near, Rhoda must face her regrets and those she left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.

Thoughts: A fabulous story! So many twists and turns in the relationships between the characters...one very near the end that I hadn't seen coming brought tears to my eyes. All of the emotions in this story touched my heart. Can't wait for more from this author.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Coming Up In August

Daily Prompts
(this month I'm doing a mixture of prompts from BE Society and SITS girls)
1. If you could go back in time 10 years would you change anything/warn yourself of things to come?




5. Share a story about the furthest you've ever traveled from home. (BE)
8. What inspired you to create your blog. what continues to inspire you? (BE)
9. Are you more like your mother or your father, and in what ways? (SITS)
10. If you could only eat one thing for breakfast for the rest of your life, what would it be? (SITS)
11. Finish this sentence: Life is too short to..... (SITS)
12. Would you rather read only one book for a year or only watch one television show for a year, and which book or show would you choose? (SITS)
13. Show us your favorite Vacation Spot. (BE)
14. Your favorite picture of yourself (BE)
15.  Sherlock Holmes had his pipe. Dorothy had her red shoes. Batman had his Batmobile. If we asked your friends what object they most immediately associate with you, what would they answer? (BE)
16. We all procrastinate. What’s your favorite procrastination destination? (BE)
17. If your day to day responsibilities were taken care of and you could throw yourself completely behind a cause, what would it be? (BE)
18. Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why? (BE)
19. Grab the nearest book. Open it and go to the tenth word. Do a Google Image Search of the word. Write about what the image brings to mind. (BE)
20. Tell us about your favorite meal, either to eat or to prepare. (BE)
21. Desk, bed, couch – show us where you blog. (BE)
22. What smells do you associate with summer? (BE)
23. Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you (BE)
24. How do you spread kindness? (SITS)
25. Do you still keep a personal journal? How is it different from your blog, or are the two connected in some way? (SITS)
26. If you were given a million dollars, and you had to spend it all in a week, what all would you buy? (BE)
27. What things would you say you waste your time on? (BE)
28.  What things would you say you are addicted to? (BE)
29. When you were younger what did you want to be when you were older and why? (BE)
30. Create a list of things you would put into Room 101 (banish from the world if your could). From the serious to the small irritating things. (BE)
31. Highs and lows of August. (BE)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Brightening Someone Else's Day

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Day 28:  Five things you can do to brighten up someone's day

1) Drop a card in the mail with a handwritten note to someone who needs encouragement.

2) Plan and execute a special one on one day for a child in your life.

3) Pay for the person behind you at the fast food drive thru.

4) Always thank the people who serve you--wait staff, receptionists, sales clerks, etc.

5) Smile at people you pass on the street.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

How I Write

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Day 27: What is your favorite writing tool? 

Most of my writing these days is done on my blogs, so I would have to say that my favorite writing tool is my laptop. I do still have a pen and paper journal, but that is generally reserved for private stuff that I don't want to share with the world, and I don't actually write in it that often anymore. Typing is just SO much easier, especially when it comes to editing or revising.....or completely discarding!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Superpowers

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Day 26: If you were a superhero, what would your powers be?


1) Invisibility--just because there are times I'd like to be somewhere without anyone knowing I was there.

2) Mind reading--because I'm way too gullible and believe people when I REALLY shouldn't.

3) Teleportation--to make it easier to visit family and friends who are far away.

4) Endless energy--because I'm fed up with getting exhausted by 3 pm every day.

5) Ability to be in two places at the same time--a clone (or two) would come in handy now and then...I could get so much more done on any given day.

6) Super strength--so I don't have to ask for help with ridiculous stuff, like jar lids or storage bins.

7) "Stretch" capability--to reach the top of the closet or the top shelf in the kitchen cabinets.

8) Self-healing properties--because I am a huge klutz, who should never be trusted with a knife, and always cut myself!

9) Ability to find all lost items immediately--for all the times I get asked "Do you know where _______ is?"

10) Ability to talk to/understand animals---just so I could talk to my cat.   :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Motivation

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Day 25: What motivates you?

This is a tough question for me. It really depends on the situation, as there is not one thing that motivates me at all times. Some things I do out of a sense of obligation or responsibility, some out of a sense of right and wrong. Sometimes I'm motivated by love, sometimes by fear, sometimes by anger. And some days there is NOTHING that motivates me, so nothing gets accomplished.   :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Day In A Nutshell

Reading: The Fever, by Megan Abbott. About halfway through, and loving it...suspense story that relates, so far, to something I've had issues with for a while.


Thinking about: Things I need to get done today.

Feeling thankful: That life is good right now.

Eating: Chocolate Lucky Charms.

Looking forward to: Having my grandson here for two weeks next month.

Watching: The rain.

Working on: Writing some book reviews today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Where I Live

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Day 22: Tell us a bit about where you live.

I currently live in Fairborn, Ohio. According to census information, it is a city of nearly thirty three thousand people. It is located in Greene County, Ohio, near Dayton and also near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Fairborn has only been in existence since 1950, when the town of Osborn which was moved out of a flood plain in 1921(homes were put on flatbed trucks and moved) merged with Fairfield, due to the construction of Huffman Dam.

On the outskirts of Fairborn is Huffman Prairie Flying Field, which is where the Wright Brothers experimented with their plane and taught themselves to fly. It is now part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

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Another claim to fame for Fairborn is The Fairborn Agreement, a peace accord between the parties to the hostilities in the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former Yugoslavia. The agreement was negotiatedat Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where negotiations took place from November 1, 1995 to November 21, 1995.

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Some notable people originally from Fairborn:

  • Brian Billick, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, 1999-2007
  • Roger B. Chaffee, astronaut who died in the Apollo 1 fire
  • Kevin DeWine, former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, as well as former chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.
  • Gus Grissom, astronaut who died in the Apollo 1 fire
  • Col. Gregory Johnson, NASA astronaut
  • Billy Mason, drummer with Tim McGraw's tour band.




Monday, July 21, 2014

Why I Blog

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Day 21: Why do you blog?

  I started this blog several years ago just to have a place to share the occasional post about my family, my life, and my opinions. Then I discovered blog hops and blog challenges, where I could still write about those things, yet get a few more readers. I have never written in an effort to get readership, though, and would not change my topics/types of posts just to have more people read.

Ever since I was a child, I have written as a way of expressing myself, working through emotions, venting my anger, etc. That is the purpose of this blog, and will continue to be so. It's not about getting a large readership, nor is it about making money. Those things may be fine for others, but are not my cup of tea.

I will continue to be true to myself and my original purpose for starting this blog, and welcome all who choose to read and follow what goes on here.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Today's Achievements

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Day 20: One thing you achieved today.

Since I'm writing this in advance, it will be achievements of yesterday by the time it posts.   :)


  1. Finished writing a gazillion post it notes for supplies we need to fill 100 book bags with school supplies for needy children, so they can be posted at church tomorrow.
  2. Cleaned up the living room.
  3. Finished another audiobook while working on #1 and #2

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Where I Want To Go

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Day 19: One place in the world you want to visit.

As you can probably guess from the photo, I've always wanted to visit Paris, France. I'm not sure exactly what sparked my interest, but I know that it's stayed with me for decades. There are so many sights there I'd love to visit:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Tuileries Garden
  • Sacre Coeur
  • Pere Lachaise Cemetery
  • Jardin de Luxembourg
Those are just a few I can think of right now....there are plenty more, though.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Share Your World--2014, Week 28

Have you ever been a participant in a parade? What did you do?
Many times....walking with my Brownie troop when I was young, and then four years as a trumpet player in the high school marching band.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?
That would depend on the opera...I'd like to see Aida or Carmen.

Why did you start your blog?
To share my family, our life, and my feelings/opinions with others.

What is your favorite tradition? (family tradition, church tradition, whatever)
One of my favorite traditions is watching It's A Wonderful Life every December.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Currently Reading

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Day 17: Currently reading

I am currently reading two books, and listening to an audiobook.  During the day, I listen to audiobooks as I go about my daily chores, and as I do my blogging. In the evenings, while we watch tv or movies, I read what I call my "living room book."  Then, at bedtime, I read my "bedroom book" for about half an hour.

My current bedroom book is The Boleyn Deceit, by Laura Andersen. It is the second book The Boleyn Trilogy, an alternative historical fiction. It explores what might have happened in England if Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn would have had a son after Elizabeth's birth. Here is a brief synopsis of the book:

Henry IX, known as William, is the son of Anne Boleyn and now the leader of England, his regency period finally at an end. His newfound power, however, comes with the looming specter of war with the other major powers of Europe, with strategic alliances that must be forged on both the battlefield and in the bedroom, and with a court, severed by religion, rife with plots to take over the throne. Will trusts only three people: his older sister, Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by Anne Boleyn. But as the pressure rises alongside the threat to his life, William must begin to question-and to fear-even them.

My current living room book is Pies and Prejudice, by Ellery Adams. It is the first book in the Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery series. Here is a synopsis of the book:

When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren't just delicious. They're having magical effects on the people who eat them--and the public is hungry for more.

Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn's fiancé is found dead--killed with Ella Mae's rolling pin--it'll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.

My current audiobook is The Midwife,by Jolina Petersheim. Here is the synopsis of its plot.
The Past — Graduate student Beth Winslow was sure she was ready to navigate the challenges of becoming a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities with the baby, Beth is unprepared for the parents’ decision to end the pregnancy — and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen Haus, a home for unwed mothers deep in a Tennessee Mennonite community.

The Present — As head midwife of Hopen Haus, Rhoda Mummau delivers babies with a confident though stoic ease. Except in rare moments, not even those who work alongside her would guess that each newborn cry, each starry-eyed glance from mother to child, nearly renders a fault through Rhoda’s heart, reminding her of a past she has carefully concealed.

Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives in the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia’s due date draws near, Rhoda must face her regrets and those she left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.





Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Religion

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 Faith has always played a large part in my life. Organized religion, on the other hand, has given me issues since I was a teenager. I never understood the sort of people who made a show of being in church every Sunday, yet were blatantly committing illegal acts the other six days of the week.

I also have a difficult time sitting in Sunday school class or in a church service and listening to people talk about God being taken out of schools, Christ out of Christmas,etc.---and those things being the reasons for any number of tragedies/disasters in our country. As I said in a post written earlier this year, I don't believe that an omnipresent God can be taken out of anywhere or anything. All we have to do is call on Him, and He will always be with us.

Another problem I have with organized religion is that, while they all have their differences, each one believes that only they are right, and that those who don't believe as they do are doomed. My faith is in a God of grace, mercy and love for everyone, not one who chooses to exclude those who are outside the mainstream.

I'll leave it at that for now, before I get up on my soapbox and start to rant about other issues I have with religion.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge Volume 182



1. The month of July was named for Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. He's quoted as saying, 'Experience is the teacher of all things." So what has experience taught you lately?
That planning a formal wedding is a lot more work than the wedding I had!

2. Where did you last 'roam'?
It's been a long time....don't remember.

3. Speaking of 'Rome'...pizza, pasta, gelato...you can only pick one, which would you choose?
Gelato, since I've never tried it.

4. 'Rome wasn't built in a day', 'All roads lead to Rome', 'When in Rome...' which 'Roman' idiom have you most recently encountered? Explain.
Rome wasn't built in a day...see question #1.

5. What's a movie you've seen or a book you've read, that makes you want to book a trip to Italy?
Eat Pray Love (the book AND the movie)

6.  Walt's original Disneyland opened almost sixty years ago, on July 17, 1955  Have you ever been to the California park? How about any of the other Disney parks around the world? What's your favorite amusement park ride or attraction?
Been to Disneyland and Disney World...I'm a roller coaster addict.

7. It's that time of year...when were you last bitten or stung?
Got bit by something a week or so ago.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Looking forward to August and two weeks with my grandson.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What's Your Sign?

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Day 14: Your zodiac sign, and if you think it fits your personality

My birthday is July 5th, which makes my zodiac sign Cancer, the Crab (and I've already heard all the comments about being crabby, so don't even bother!).

Here are some of the things I've learned about the personality traits of a person with this zodiac sign:

Strengths: adaptable, loyal, attached to family, empathetic, loving, intuitive, creative, shrewd, cautious, protective, sympathetic, gentle, kindhearted, romantic, excellent memory

Weaknesses: moody, sensitive, emotional, may be indecisive at times, changeable, touchy, clingy, worrier, doesn't take advice or criticism well

Reading those lists is pretty much like reading my own personal profile. I don't think I could have written a better description of myself if I had tried.  So I would have to say that my zodiac sign and my personality are very much in sync with each other.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What If?

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Day 13:  Something you always think "what if?"about

To be honest, I'm not big on thinking "what if?" about much of anything, at least when it comes to things or people in my past. I do occasionally think it about present and/or future events, though. Most of my current "what if" thoughts are related to my health:  what if I decide not to have reconstruction? what if the cancer comes back? what if I develop another cancer?  These are usually my late night insomniac thoughts, though, not my every day, every minute thoughts. They were much more frequent when I was going through treatment!  Most days, I stay in the moment and try to make the most of each day as it comes.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday Nine: Already Gone

Already Gone


Saturday 9: Already Gone 
(recommended by Diana)


If you're not familiar with today's song, you can hear it here.


1) Eagles lead singer Glenn Frey proclaims that he's "feeling strong." How would you describe yourself this fine Saturday?
Feeling tired and lazy.
2) The song begins with a rumor: "I heard some people talking just the other other day ..." Have you heard anything juicy/interesting lately? Please share!
No, can't say that I have...don't pay much attention to that stuff.
3) When "Already Gone" was popular, the news was dominated by Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal. What do you consider today's top news story?
Illegal immigration, particularly the children.
4) In the 1970s, Eagles Glenn Frey and Don Henley were at the center of a social circle of very creative people, including singer Linda Ronstadt, singer-songwriter Jackson Browne and actor-comedian Steve Martin. How do you express your creativity? 
Blogging, writing poetry.  

5) Even though they broke up in 1980, the Eagles are currently on a reunion tour, and after knowing each other more than 40 years, Frey and Henley still consider each other friends. What quality to do you value most in a friendship? 
Honesty

6) Are there any mirrors in the room you're in right now? 
No
7) What's the last beverage you drank with ice? 
Hard apple cider

8) Whole, skim, 2%, half-and-half, almond or soy ... what kind of milk is in your refrigerator right now?
None
9) Sam likes to mix sliced almonds into her salad. What do you think makes a good salad?
Spinach, pecans, apples, raspberry vinaigrette dressing 

With Lust In My Heart

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Day 12: Five things you lust after

The definition of lust is "an intense desire or craving." Based on that, I lust after a gazillion things....but don't worry, I won't list them all. I'll just go with the first five that come to mind.

1) Approval/Acceptance: I have always wanted to have the approval of those people who matter to me. When I feel as though I don't have it, I can do some really stupid things to try to get it back.  In the last five years or so, I have gotten much better about not worrying about what other people think of me,but I do still have my moments.

2) Chocolate: Specifically, plain M&Ms.....although I love all kinds of chocolate, they are my biggest obsession. They were my pregnancy craving with both of my girls, and they continue to be my favorite snack.

3) Books: I learned to read when I was about 3 1/2, and I haven't stopped since. So far this year I have read nearly 90 books.  I get most of them through the library, or else I would never be able to afford to support my habit. I have nearly a thousand books on my "want to read" list, and add more almost daily.

4) My husband: Is that too obvious, or too corny?  Too bad!  It's true, so I'm including him.  :D

5) A Kindle: I used to say I would never have one, but now that I've gotten interested in reading and reviewing books, I need one, so I can download advanced copies on to it,which is something I can't do with my Chromebook. Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Some Of My Quirks

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Day 11: Weird quirks you have

1) My favorite sandwich is peanut butter and pickles, which I started eating when I was around ten years old. Both of my daughters have developed a taste for it as well.

2) I have to alphabetize all my VHS tapes, DVDs and CDs....and I freak out if someone puts one back in the wrong place.

3) I add sugar to my spaghetti sauce.

4) I'm always making lists for myself, to help me stay organized.

5) No matter what the temperature is, I have to at least be covered with a sheet, all the way up to my chin. I guess it's sort of a security blanket type thing.

I'm sure there are others, but I'd hate to list them all and have people think I'm a total nut case (even if I am!)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Currently 7/10/14

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THIS WEEKS THEMES:
celebrating, growing, playing, setting, feeling


This week I have been celebrating my 53rd birthday (which was July 5th). I had a delicious birthday dinner of lasagna (made by my husband) on Saturday. On Monday, at Bible study, I was surprised by a watermelon cake made by a dear friend.
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I am growing frustrated with the continued problems with my allergies/sinuses this summer....headaches, sneezes, congestion.

I have been playing my usual collection of Facebook games, most of which are "match three" games...Bejeweled Blitz, Monster Busters, Crystal Island, Dreamland Story, Bubbles IQ, and Bubble Witch 2.

I have been setting new goals for myself in regards to my blogs and the Facebook pages devoted to them. Primarily, I hope to make my book blog more active than it has been in the past.

I am feeling very blessed this week, remembering how I spent my LAST birthday (in the hospital) and how unsure I was that I would make it to this birthday.




next weeks themes: 
saving, closing, loving, despising, throwing

Throwback Thursday #14

KinkyCherries


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2004--Barry,me,Amy (front), Brian and Samantha (rear)







Comfort Food

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Day 10: Favorite comfort food

My favorite comfort food is grilled cheese and tomato soup. It takes me back to childhood days, when my mother would make it for me...either because I was sick, or because it was a cold, dreary day. When I became a mom, I did the same for all three of my children. I hope that they, too, will think of their mother when they fix it for themselves.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kids and cell phones

Project Mommy

9. How old do you think a child should be before they get their first cell phone?

This is a hot button issue for me. I get SO frustrated with parents giving their five and six year olds a cell phone. Generations of kids survived without having a cell phone at all, and now it seems like everybody has one attached to their ear all day long. 

For my kids, a cell phone was a luxury item, not a necessity. We didn't just hand one over to them when they asked for it, that's for sure. Our house rule was very simple: when you can afford to pay the monthly bill/replenish the minutes, then you can have a cell phone. At that point, we would buy them a phone...one they could use to call and text, period....and their first air card. Only one of the three ever took us up on that offer....the other two didn't get phones until after they were 18.

In order to avoid offending readers, that's all I'm going to say about the subject right now.


Tears On My Pillow

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Day 9: Last time you cried

I don't remember the last time I cried, honestly. I'm pretty sure it was in the last couple of weeks, probably while watching a movie--or maybe even a sappy commercial. I am a very emotional person, and I cry at the drop of a hat some days. Movies, commercials, tv shows, books, songs--they've all brought tears to my eyes at one time or another.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Favorite Blogs

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Day 8: Five favorite blogs This was a tough one....trying to narrow down my list to only five blogs that I enjoy reading.  But, here we go: ten blogs, with a brief description of each one.

1)thriftnerd--written by my dear friend, Erin.  She shares her amazing thrift finds, advice on becoming minimalist, and how to outfit a gorgeous teenage daughter fashionably at ridiculously low prices! She's also contemplating writing a book on thrifting a wardrobe through high school...so go read and support her.

2)Raising My Rainbow--written by Lori Duron, author of the book by the same name. This is the journey of the Duron family as they raise their two sons, the youngest of whom is gender-nonconforming. I love read her stories of the fun times they have, and my heart aches when I read the stories of discrimination/intolerance/ignorance.

3)The Golden Spoons--written by a new blog friend, Lisa. She has introduced me to a couple of fun blog hops, as well as providing me with smiles as I read some of her posts. Like me, she shares the joys, frustrations, etc. of motherhood.

4)"I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all of the difference..."--I found this one through my church.  Holly, the blogger, is originally from Kansas, and is currently in Tanzania, working at Angel House orphanage and school. Our church here in Ohio is one of many which helps to support Angel House, and Holly's blog is a way of keeping up with what goes on there on a regular basis.

5)A Beautiful Exchange--Hayley is a 20 yr old first time mom, and writes about her life as wife, mom, reader, crafter, etc.  Some of her posts take me back to when I was experiencing that stage of life.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hard Times

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Day 7: A difficult time in your life

When I saw this prompt, I didn't even have to think about what I was going to write.  The most difficult time in my life so far has to be pretty much all of last year. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 18, 2013. I was originally scheduled to have my right breast removed on May 10, 2013, but the MRI and CT scans i had done prior to that showed some enlarged lymph nodes in an area that would make them difficult to remove, so we had to start with chemotherapy instead, in hopes of shrinking the lymph nodes as well as the tumor. I went through eight rounds of chemo, which took four months to complete. I lost all my hair, including my eyelashes and eyebrows---the upside was that I didn't have to shave my legs the entire summer! LOL

The down side of the whole chemo experience was that the drugs they gave me for the first four treatments really did a number on my body. I was getting treatments every other week, and the week that I didn't have to go in for chemo, I spent two or three days in the hospital with some sort of undetermined infection.

About this time last summer (June 28th, 2013), I had the worst day of the whole experience....chemo, surgery or radiation.  That morning, when I got out of bed and started for the bathroom, I wound up on the floor instead, thanks to some major lightheadedness. I managed to get into the bathroom and take my temperature, which was 101.7--because of the chemo compromising my immune system, I was supposed to go to the hospital if it got above 100.4. I decided to take some Tylenol first, and see if that would do any good.

Unfortunately, the lightheaded feeling continued to get worse instead of better, and any time I tried to stand up I was on the verge of unconsciousness. When it came time to get to the car and go to the ER, I was a real mess--Barry and Amy had to virtually carry me to the car, and we had to stop several times so I could sit, otherwise I would have passed out yet again.  When we pulled out of the driveway that day, I honestly wasn't sure that I'd ever be coming home again....that's how bad I felt. :(

I was in the hospital for nearly the entire week, including July 4th and my birthday (the 5th). I had to have a blood transfusion, as my hemoglobin level was ridiculously low, which is what caused the lightheaded/dizzy feeling.  And I also had to have IV antibiotics until my white blood cell count came up to normal.

This summer has been much more "normal" than last year, since I currently have "no evidence of disease" and just have to take a couple of pills every morning, most likely for the rest of my life. I'll always be extra vigilant for any signs the disease has returned, but I'm not going to let it steal my joy, ever.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

All You Need Is Love 7/6/14

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The All You Need Is Love Project is a movement to inspire more love on this planet. The more we come together, the more love we can share. Join the revolution here!

TODAY’S LOVE TOPIC:

What do you love to do to help yourself relax after a long day?

I have learned over the years that taking time for myself, to unwind and relax, is absolutely necessary, not only for my own sanity, but also for the well-being of everyone else in the family.  My most used method of relaxation is reading, which I try to do for at least half an hour every night before I go to sleep. It clears my head of all the "stuff" of the day, and makes it much easier to fall asleep once I turn out the light. 

NEXT WEEK’S ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE PROJECT SUGGESTED TOPIC:
Using descriptive language tell us what makes you smile. Describe the images that come to your head which put a grin on your face.

I Still Miss Someone

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Day 6: Someone or something you miss.

I've lost a lot of people in my life, and it's tough to just choose one to write about, so I'm not even going to try.  I'm going to talk a little about all the people I've lost, and hope this doesn't get TOO long.

1) All of my great-grandparents:  I actually only met five of the eight, and can only clearly remember four of them.  Of those four, I miss three of them a great deal (my mother's paternal grandmother was a bit scary for a young child, and firmly believed that children should be seen and not heard--her younger sister was much more child friendly.)

2) All of my grandparents: My maternal grandfather died in 1978. My paternal grandmother died in 1985, while I was pregnant with Brian. My paternal grandfather died in 1989, while I was pregnant with Samantha. My maternal grandmother died in 1999.

3) Three aunts and three uncles: Two of my mother's siblings, Janet Sue and Buddy (Hollis Gene), died when they were very young, so I never got the chance to know them. Her youngest sister, Loretta Jane, was more like an older sister to me than an aunt (she was 8 yrs old than me), so it was difficult for me when she died during my senior year of college. Two more of my mother's siblings, Robert Lee and Inez Ann, died earlier this year, within three weeks of each other. And on Father's Day, I found out that my father's older brother, Frank James (Jim), passed away TWO YEARS AGO and no one on that side of the family bothered to get in touch with me. That one is going to hurt for quite a while, I'm afraid.

4) My friend and neighbor Ron (R.P.), who took his own life on Thanksgiving Day, 1991.

5) My former husbands (the fathers of my children): George died of lung cancer in February 2012, and Doug died from diabetic complications in November 2013. Losing both of them so young, and relatively close together, was a very difficult, confusing time for me.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bad Habits

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Day 5: Your worst habits

Procrastination: This is my absolute worst habit. I will find a ton of ways to put off doing something for as long as possible. This is especially true when it comes to such "fun" things as washing dishes or folding laundry.

Tuning people out: I do this one most often when I'm on the phone.  I'm only half listening if a conversation goes on for too long, or if I'm doing something else while I'm talking. If you are getting a lot of "uh huh," "sure," or other short responses....I'm probably not really listening to you.

Self-doubt: I have the bad habit of doubting my abilities, or downgrading myself, in almost any situation. It's been getting better the last five years or so, but I still fall back into that habit more often than I should.


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