Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting ready...

Hi folks!

Hope you all are enjoying your week. Lots of things are going on in our house this week...as you can imagine. Lots to do to get ready for Thursday. It feels like I'm going on a trip...and I guess in a way it is a journey of sorts. So I'm making plans and getting ready.

It's weird what runs through your mind when you are getting ready for something like this. I want to make things as easy as I can on my family and friends. I want to be self-sufficient as quick as I can so I'm trying to think of ways to make it easier on myself. Slip on shoes and blouses with buttons, not to mention pjs with buttons and do I have any of these? Nooooo...so, guess what? I see a little retail therapy in my future! However, I'm also thinking, clothes are going to fit differently after this surgery, so what's a girl to do? I am a complicated shopper...REALLY...I tend to over-think things a bit too much. And guess what else? DH has decided he wants to take the day I intended to spend shopping off work so we can spend it together. *sigh* He HATES shopping with me. Hm....I think we'll take in a movie instead. There's always Walmart at 2 AM when sensible people are sleeping!! LOL If only Kohls had late night hours.

Today I spent cleaning. Another of those weird things running through my head. It wasn't just a little "feather dusting" cleaning I intended to do. I wanted a deep anti-bacterial cleaning. I'm scared stiff of infections (having had a little nursing training a million years ago ...{and YES according to DS I REALLY am THAT OLD!! LOL} ... I've always been a bit pesky over germs...but I rarely get sick because I am that careful!!) I've heard a few horror stories about this type of surgery and healing and infections and I REALLY don't want to go through any of that, so now my whole house smells of Lysol. LOL I have to admit, it was a real challenge today, and it did take all day. I really pulled a "DJ" and took a tumble down the stairs yesterday as I was attempting to get ready for work. I haven't had much sleep (again...I know) and as I was headed down the stairs to get breakfast, I lost my balance and "whoops" landed on the landing about 6 steps down, right on my right shoulder. *shaking head* So today every movement felt like a hot poker through my arm. Leave it to me!! Well, the good news is, in a few days, I'll have all kinds of meds to keep me from feeling that sore shoulder!!

I've also rounded up a few good books I've always wanted to read. I've kitted up a few small projects (mostly Christmas ornaments) I've been meaning to stitch. I've been searching through my DVD's and making a list of movies I want to watch while I'm eating bon-bons and popping pills. I'm going to milk this for all it's worth!!! If I can't convalesce in the south of France, I'm going to make my home as vacation and fun worthy as possible. And I've invited friends over to help share the good times! Let's just hope I'll be in the mood for all this "fun"! LOL

Last but not least, is a little thought to meals. I've had a lot of folks talking about bringing over meals. I feel very humbled by this and DH keeps saying things like..."Don't they know I can cook?" I'm grateful, but I also know that the gravy train is only going to run for so long. So I'm trying to think of things I can stock up on in the freezer. That means a trip to the grocery store. You should see my list!!! And unless you've ever been in the military, a trip to the commissary is not like any regular grocery store!! I've waited in lines that have stretched around the store twice just to check out! By the time surgery rolls around, they aren't going to need anesthesia, I'll just collapse from exhaustion and perhaps we'll save a little on the medical expenses!

I'm chuckling to myself here, because I keep thinking that with all this planning, wouldn't it be funny if I was up and about in a week? Oh well, "Better to have and not need than need and not have", I always say! As I said to one of my friends today, I feel like I'm planning for the D-Day invasion, between coordinating the meals, getting DS to school activities the day of surgery and church activities the day I come home from the hospital, and other stuff, I think I could run the country after this. Hm... what a thought...maybe I WILL run for office when I'm through! DJ for President! Hm...with all this planning, I don't think I'll be ready by the 27th. Well, with all my lack of sleep, I'll just have to keep working through the night. Off to carry through on my plans....wish me luck!


Friday, May 14, 2010


"Both faith and fear may sail into your harbor...but allow only faith to drop anchor."

Yesterday my copy of Stoney Creek Cross Stitch Collection Magazine arrived with a picture of a lighthouse keeper looking out his window at a lighthouse with this quote. Lighthouses have a special meaning in my life. It's too long a story to write here, but suffice it to say that I've always been comforted by them and they are a symbol to me of God's guidance and direction. So when I got this magazine with this quote, I was especially comforted and encouraged to "keep the faith" and release the fear.

I've had a few things happen in the past few days that have erased the "stuff" that happened over the weekend. Kathy, a fellow St. Michaels buddy, stopped by the store I work in with some pillows. I've been hearing about pillows that have been made for mastectomy patients and their uses. Kathy made special heart pillows and one long pillow made especially for me because I'm having a bi-lateral mastectomy. She went out of her way to find special patterns, then told me she wanted to do something for me because she didn't know any other way to "comfort" me. I have to tell you, just typing this I have tears in my eyes for the love she has shown to me. I think her words and actions hold more comfort than her pillows ever will (though I know they'll make me comfortable too), but you know what I mean.

I haven't told many people who are not friends that I have cancer until recently. I guess I didn't know how they would react. DH told our neighbors this week, and the first thing they did was offer to bring a meal the first night home from the hospital and offered to pray for us. That surprised me. We've done neighborly things before, shoveled each others sidewalks and mowed lawns, but this is so different. I'm really touched by their kindness.

I can feel people's prayers. I have no other explanation for the calmness I feel, especially after this weekend. I really do mean it when I say, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers, I FEEL them and KNOW they are helping. So many people have offered to bring meals, help after the surgery in so many ways, gifts of pillows and other things, and have been praying for me and my family. I can't thank you enough! It's not JUST the meals and prayers (though they are greatly appreciated), it's the thought that you would go out of your way to do something so kind for us. DH and I have lived far away from family for all of our married lives, and we've always been self-sufficient. We've never relied on family in any way for anything, but then we've never REALLY needed anything. We've tried to help them (and others) whenever we could but it's been an eye-opening experience to be on the receiving end, and maybe that was God's plan. In any case, this whole experience has changed me and made me realize the special gift God has given us in friendship, and being able to help others. It makes me WANT to do things for other people more than before and put more thought behind my actions. It's true that doing things for others brings blessing on ourselves and allowing others to do things for us ALLOWS them to have blessings too. I hope that makes sense. Anyway, I'm learning life lessons all along this journey, and I'm thanking God for the privilege.

Sorry for the sappy post. I'm writing more so I'll remember these things, as they are important lessons to me. And it's my way of saying thank you for the kindness you've shown me too.


Thursday, May 13, 2010


Hi Folks!

It's been a strange spring so far this year. We've had HOT days, we've had COLD days, we've had frost warnings and severe weather warnings, thunderstorms and hail. I thought March was supposed to be in like a lion, out like a lamb? May has turned out to be pretty turbulent in my book!!

I've had some beautiful flowers blooming around my house. My pride and joy, though, are the Lady Dianna roses that have bloomed in my back yard. My husband has had a special place in his heart since he was in England when Charles and Dianna were married many years ago. So when he saw the name of these roses he HAD to buy them and plant them behind the fountain in the back yard. They have begun blooming so he brought the first blooms in for me to enjoy for Mother's Day. He can be a charmer!

I just had to share a picture of DH and Thomas being friendly. It doesn't happen too often, and still the look on Thomas' face makes me think he isn't truly happy with the situation, but it's rare the two of them get along like this. A picture IS worth a thousand words! LOL

Mother's Day was bitter sweet this year. I'm not sure why, but it was a comedy of errors beginning with my attempt to take Mother's Day off to spend with my son. My boss wouldn't attempt to find anyone else to work. According to him all of them already had plans. I tried calling the new person, but she wouldn't answer her phone nor did she call back (not a good sign!?!?) My co-worker called in sick that morning so not only did I have to work, but I was going to work alone!! She ended up taking pity on me and came in anyway, though she really did look pretty bad. I was thankful she was there, as we were unbelievably busy that day. She knew I wanted to be with my son this year. I'm not sure why it was so important to me this year, but she understood, and brought me these beautiful flowers. Thanks Christina, it was one of the brightest spots of my day and really warmed my heart! Aren't they beautiful?

Then came the call to my Mother. We've been trying to find a way to get her here so she can help after I have surgery. From the sounds of things, she won't be coming after all. It just got too complicated with people wanting to come from NY and PA and WV to visit her while she's here that I just threw up my hands and said "never mind". In the long run, I think it will be better anyway. I have friends here who have volunteered to sit with me during times we need the help so we should be just fine, and I won't have to deal with finding a place for my Mom to sleep. I have to be honest, I'm not sure I want to see ANYONE after surgery, I can't imagine what I'll look like, and that is freaking me out!! I would like to have Mom here, but not the rest and I'm confused why no one else can understand that. Maybe it's just me being me, but in the long run, it's my house, my surgery and my decision. I'll miss having you here, Mom.

When I started this blog, I wanted to make it cute and funny and enjoyable for people to visit. With the change of circumstances, it hasn't turned out that way. I apologize, and hopefully after all the issues with my health are resolved it will return to the purpose I intended it to be. I still try to look on the positive side of things, but this year has been incredibly hard. The past month I haven't slept much (last week, in 7 days I only had 14 hours of sleep) and though I know the Lord has a purpose for what is going on, getting through this has been a challenge. I'm still looking forward with hope that I'll learn the purpose and in all I want to remain thankful. I would appreciate your prayers. Thanks for reading. *Hugs*

Thursday, May 6, 2010

UFO finish!!!

It's Thursday...and we all know what day that is RIGHT? Allison Joy will be out wielding her wet noodle if we don't work on a UFO...so here's mine...all finished, can you believe it? No wet noodle for me *doing a Happy Dance* The color is a little wonky because it's late and no natural sunlight out there, but I'm so happy it's finished. It was a big project and I wanted to finish it before surgery (there are a couple others I'm hoping to finish too) because I don't know when I'll be able to hold something this big again. I'm working the next four days so don't know when I'll get to stitch again *sigh* You would not believe how much stress this relieves unless you are a stitcher too.
If you click on the picture it will make it bigger and you can see the stitches better.

Off to bed for me, it'll be a long day at work tomorrow. *Hugs*

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

St. Michaels!!

Good Morning Cross-stitch Fans Wherever You May Be!

How are you this bright and beautiful morning? Why so chipper you may ask? Well....I just spent the weekend in St. Michaels with some stitching buddies of mine. It was so nice to get away from the reality of my life and stitch my cares away. Not to mention belly laughing the entire weekend. I LOVE my stitching pals! I can't begin to tell you how wonderful this weekend was and how much I needed it!! I've already signed up for next year. Same Bat Weekend, Same Bat Channel!

So, what did I accomplish? I thought you would never ask! Here are a few pictures of my pals, and what our weekend consisted of. Stitching, sewing and reading! I realized as I was preparing these pictures that I missed a couple of my stitching pals. I told you they are camera shy. Sonya, one of these days I'll get you my pretty (said in my most convincing Wicked Witch of the West impersonation). How did I miss you??? And Peggy, where did you go? Ah well, there's always next year!! LOL

I finished both squares for a biscornu, and it may be a while before I get it stitched together. So much to do, so little time. But I just love the colors of this...can't wait to get it finished...so Gillie can see that I got the biscornu bug after all (and this is not the only one I've started...so keep your eyes peeled for the next biscornu installment! LOL)

I got a LITTLE bit done on my Rose Quaker, it's been a slow start, but one I couldn't put off. I just love the colors in this, the pictures I saw on the internet DID NOT do this justice, and you really can't tell from my pictures either.

I also got a LITTLE bit done on the Wiehenburg contest piece. I really like the colors in this as well, but I was thinking over the weekend how pretty this might be stitched on black with the right color threads. Black can be so dramatic...I'll have to think about that. Anyway, onwards and upwards, I should really concentrate on this more. I've finished the first of four pages...so not too bad eh?

And last but not least, I am started and finished this mirror. It's a handbag mirror. I bought the kit to make for my Mother, and probably WILL give her this one for her birthday. But as I was working on this I started thinking....I have a friend turning 50 this year and I thought, wouldn't it be fun to make one for her and put in the card, "You never looked better!" And that's the truth too! What is it they say? 50 is the new 30! I'm hoping that's true because I turn the big five-oh this year. HELP...I'm a 20 year old trapped in a 50 year old body! I refuse to grow up, no matter what the gray hair on my head is telling me!! LOL

I wanted to add a few pictures from my garden too. This azelea bush is sitting outside my front door. I can't wait for it to bloom in the spring because it is the most beautiful color! Just thought you might like a peek at the blossoms this year.

This other bush is also sitting along my walkway. One morning I walked out and there were little drops of dew all over the flowers and plants. I thought they looked so perfect, and pure, and couldn't resist taking a snapshot. Isn't that cool?

And now for the not so fun news...for those of you with inquiring minds...I have a surgery date. May 27th. This has been an incredible journey so far. I've decided on a bi-lateral mastectomy (yikes!) with reconstruction. I can't begin to tell you the countless sleepless nights I've had batting that decision back and forth in my mind. When you have so many options it's hard to pick the right one for you. NONE of them sounded good. So I opted for the one decision that would lead to NOT having to make this decision again. You can't buy peace of mind (as the plastic surgeon says). How does that commercial go? Surgery *astronomical amount $*, new clothing $200.00, peace of mind *Priceless*. Ain't that the truth?

Ok, off to the Stitching Post for another mirror and to check in on my pals and tell them the news. Hope all is well in your life. *Big squishy hugs* (since I won't be able to do that soon...LOL) Take care...