Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Testing...testing...and trusting.

Hello friends and happy Wednesday...

I trust that all of you in the midst of this Polar Vortex are keeping toasty warm!
Anyone ready for spring??
So I have a bit of an update on my condition but it is still very much in the testing phase.
I am trying not to share too much, too soon, but I have had some encouraging news!
My first biopsy and PET scan seem to be showing a lot of inflammation on and around the pancreas... malignancy from what they can tell so far!!
I had vials and vials of blood taken last Friday...testing for any hidden cancers anywhere.
I am still waiting for the results...some of them take days.
But I do know that I will be having another biopsy, possibly a surgical one next time.
The team was to discuss my case yesterday (Tuesday) and decide what's next.
After ruling out any malignancy, they will be focusing on the pancreatitis and how to treat it.
It's a good feeling when you hear the oncologist say that he may not be seeing you again!
Let me just say that I am praising God and trusting Him in the midst of all of this uncertainty.
And I thank you for the emails, cards and continued prayers!

Here is my little "faith cluster" I have started on the side of my fridge.
I am so thankful for these encouraging reminders that some of you have sent to me.

I have no doubt that the Lord has me in the palm of His hand!
So let us get to the Wednesday Medley, shall we?
Head on over to Terri's blog, copy the questions, paste them to your blog and answer them!



In the United States, National Croissant Day is observed each year on January 30th. Croissants are a buttery, crescent-shaped rolls that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  

The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough. Laminating the dough is a process by which butter is folded into the mixture creating multiple thin layers of butter and dough. The result is a mouth-watering flaky crust and airy body.
Legend surrounds this pastry, as is often the case with a popular, worldly treat. What is known, is that crescent-shaped breads have been found around the world for ages. One of these was the Kipferl which originated in Austria as far back as the 13th century. This nonlaminated bread is more like a roll.
Credit for the croissant we know today is given to an Austrian military officer, August Zang. In 1939 he opened a Viennese bakery in Paris introducing France to Viennese baking techniques.
Stop by the bakery for a fresh, warm croissant or try making your own using this recipe: Croissants recipe.
1.  Well, I do love croissants when they are fresh, but day-old croissants need to be turned into a donut.  I happen to really like the croissants that have a donut-like glaze on them!  Sugar overload but so good.  So... do you like croissants?  What is your favorite way to eat them?

Well, there's no doubt that I do love me a great croissant and I have never turned one into a doughnut...although that sounds pretty darn tasty. If I were to eat a croissant, it would be a fresh one with a yummy, chunky chicken salad sandwiched in between. I will say that just because I love them doesn't mean I eat them fact, I can't remember the last time I had one...and if my diagnosis is what they are thinking, they most likely will not be on my diet. 😩
2.  Speaking of food... How do you handle stress?

My first thought would be "by eating" but that is really not the truth. I would pray first and ask the Lord to give me peace about whatever the situation is...and then I would eat. 😉 
3.  Out of the negative emotions of greed, anger, jealousy, and hate, which one would you say affects you the most?

All of the above. I believe that any of them can ultimately lead to hatred. As far as how they affect me...I do my best to not let the actions of others dictate my life. I really just pray for those people and situations that I have no control over and let the Lord handle it.
4.  Out of the positive emotions of compassion, positivity, enthusiasm, and initiative, which one is your biggest strength?

I would say positivity and enthusiasm would be my strengths...but my constant prayer is that the Lord would give me more of a compassionate heart. I don't think we can ever really have enough compassion. 
5.  What do you get every time you go grocery shopping, other than the staples such as bread, milk, butter, flour, sugar...

Since it's just me and Jim, there are very few things that I have to buy every week. It used to be eggs...until I lost the taste for them...for some reason, I can hardly eat them now. The only other things I can think of would be a roll of paper towels or maybe half & half for Jim's coffee. Since Jim is away from home half the week, I don't do a lot of cooking. Yay me!
6.  Please tell us something random about your week so far.

This is the sky from last was absolutely breathtaking. I went out to snap a couple of photos and I was totally overwhelmed. God is so, so GOOD!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wednesday Medley: God's got let's eat pie!

Hello, my dear friends,

I want to start out by letting you all know how much I've been blessed by your comments.
My heart is overflowing at the outpouring of love and the prayers that are going up on my behalf...
...I have certainly felt them throughout the past week and continue to do so.
There is not one person in this world that could convince me that a bunch of precious girlfriends
from all over the country and beyond, most who have never met face-to-face,
cannot be connected in the ways that many of you have been to me this past week.
You just don't know...BUT, I must tell you!
My hubby, Jim, has been having a very hard time with any of us would.
He wasn't sleeping and for several days just sat quietly, not saying much.
When I told him that I had written about it on my blog last week, he asked if he could read it.
He isn't much of a computer guy so I pulled it up for him.
It seemed like it took him forever to read the post and all of the beautiful comments
so I just left him alone but I know he was sniffling and wiping his eyes the entire time.
He didn't really say much to me afterwards but the following morning when I was in another room,
I heard him talking to Adam on the phone and this is what I heard him say...

"I really feel so much better about everything since I read your mom's blog. 
It was mostly because of all of those comments that people wrote...
...and how everyone is encouraging her and praying for her.
 I feel a lot more positive and somehow, I just have a peace about it now."

See what y'all did?!

I am amazed at how our wonderful God uses our blogs...possibly in many ways we never know.
I am still a bit unsure of what exactly I'm facing but will soon have some definitive answers...
...I see my oncologist on Friday but no matter what...

My dear blogging sister, Cindy,  sent me this bracelet...
...she is wearing one too, until I tell her to take it off. 😉
On the other side is Proverbs 3:5-6...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
So let's get on with the Wednesday Medley, shall we?
Hop over to Terri's blog, copy and paste the questions and answer them on your blog!
It's a lot of fun!

National Pie Day is celebrated annually on January 23rd. (Not to be confused with March 14 which is PI π Day.) National Pie Day was created simply to celebrate the pie.  It is a day for all to bake or cook their favorite pies.  Even more importantly, it is a day set aside for all to enjoy eating pies! The first pies appeared around 9500 BC in the Egyptian Neolithic period or New Stone Age.

1.  Okay, fess up.  Tell us your top three favorite pies, please.  Will you have some pie today?

I have shared photos of the favorite family pie several times before in my posts. I grew up eating black raspberry pie since I had teeth in my mouth and wouldn't you know that I would grow up to marry a man who loved it probably more than I do.

Son #1 was not a fan so much (he preferred apple) but Son #2 was a quick sell and for as long as I can remember, both husband and Son #2 has had a home baked black raspberry birthday pie every single many more here and there, whenever we get together. Let me just say this, whatever this thing is that's tryin' to kick my butt ain't gonna win! Who's gonna fix them boys their pies??? So since I have to pick the top three, rhubarb (or strawberry rhubarb) would come in as #2 and a close 3rd would be lemon meringue.......or maybe pizza. {smile}  Will I be having any pie today? Only if you consider this cherry cheesecake a pie...

...looks more like a pie than a cake to me! Number 1 son, Aaron, has gotten to be master of making them...from scratch! He made six (yes, six!) over the weekend for a banquet he was attending and he gave one to his dad (this would be Jim's #2 choice). Since I'm feeling rather well today, I just may treat myself to a small sliver...since it's National Pie Day and all. 😁

2.  While we are talking about food... are you a picky eater or are you ready to try almost any new food? What is the worst thing you have ever eaten?

I really am not a picky eater although there are times I wish I was. Unless there is really something strange in the dish, I am usually willing to give it a try. My old fashioned mama would occasionally cook some things that would really gross most people out...beef tongue and heart, pork brains, chicken gizzards...just to name a few. I have tasted them all but they will never show up on my table! I remember one time I was eating at a fancy salad bar in Nashville and I put what I thought were very thin strips of beef on my plate. When I tasted it I nearly fell off my chair and then when I was told they were anchovies, I nearly died and I couldn't get them out of mouth fast enough!  And yes, it was the worst thing I've ever eaten.

3.  Baking could be considered an art as could cooking.  How do you define art?

Anything that one does very well...and the possibilities are endless.

4.  Tell us a really stupid joke that made you laugh, please.
Hmmmm...I can't seem to think of a single one! 
5.  January 23rd is also National Handwriting Day. Do you have nice handwriting? Did cursive writing come naturally or did you practice in those double-lined practice books until your fingers hurt?
I used to think my handwriting was nice but anymore, I really have to work at it. I find myself in a hurry and my fingers tend to go faster than my brain, causing misshaped and misspelled words that need correcting. Now, where did I put that White-Out? I do very well remember practicing my cursive on my lined paper and took great pains to get it right. Recently (last year), I wrote this post after I found something I had written for a school project that I gave to my mother. I couldn't believe that I had actually written it with it's exaggerated slant and perfectly shaped letters!
6.  Tell us something random about your week.
Well, random has taken on a whole new meaning in my life these days. Between doctor appointments and different scans and tests, it's been a little CRAY! As I face whatever lies ahead of me, all I have to say is I am so grateful to have you all in my corner!

Much love,

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Bridging the Gap

Hello my dear friends!
I do hope that your journey into 2019 has gotten off to a good start. As for mine...well, let me just say it looks like there will very well be a few twists and turns...even a pothole or two...or a huge chasm in need of a bridge.

Remember I said I'd share with you some recent progress on the Tennessee property? Well, that is what this post was supposed to be about...yes, we have a bridge! I started to write this post before Christmas with the intent of sharing just that...and here it more wading across or riding the four-wheeler across the creek...unless you want to, that is.

But sometimes, just when we think we have a good handle on the plan God has for us, well...
we just don't!

For the past couple of months, I have been feeling a little not-so-great...episodes of nausea, mid-back pain, chills...more often than not it seemed. There were also some other choice symptoms that we don't need to go into. 😒 A couple of weeks ago I experienced what I thought could be a kidney stone. The episode was short-lived but I had already made an appointment with my doctor so I kept it. All lab work was normal and my pain was gone but she wanted me to get a CT of my kidney and abdomen ASAP. I left her office and went straight to the hospital for the scan. The next day after the results were read, I was scheduled for an MRI, ordered STAT...that's more than a little bit scary on it's own. The CT had shown a spot on my pancreas that wasn't on a previous CT that I had at the end of last October, only two months earlier. So earlier this week, I met with my GI doctor to explain the results to me. The news hit me like a brick up the side of my head. I apparently have a tumor growing on the outside of the back side of my pancreas, thus the back pain. And not the typical place for pancreatic cancer to grow. The chance of malignancy is quite great, but there is a slight chance it is not. The blood test for a certain cancer marker rated only a 1...which could have been in the 100s or even 1000s! It is possible that what is growing could be an abscess which could also be detected by the cancer marker test. So that is what I'm clinging to until I hear the results of the biopsy that I will be having this coming Wednesday. Because the tumor is growing around the two main arteries that go up into the liver, it is not in a place that is operable and could only be treated with chemo if it is indeed cancerous.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
~Proverbs 3:5-6 

Telling Jim, our boys and the rest of the family and loved ones has been a surreal experience. Were those words really coming out of my mouth? There is no real way to describe the feeling. So the past few days have been a whirlwind of meeting with the oncologist, ordering more tests and trying to let the reality of whatever this thing is sink in. Of course I don't have all of the information yet, but if it is malignant, I will most likely start chemo by the end of the month.

So why am I telling you all my business anyway? Because I think that many of us here in Blogland are connected at the heart...maybe even kindred spirits if you will...and we care deeply for each other. Many of you have prayed for me and my son, Aaron, and those prayers have been felt...God has done and is still doing wondrous things! I have prayed for many of you as well. That's what friends who put their faith in the Lord do, right? We intercede for each other when it's hard to even mouth the words, ourselves.

So how does all of this relate to a post about the bridge? What is the purpose of a bridge and why do we build them? Because of gaps! There is land here and land there and a gap in between. The gap can be a small one like the little bridge over the creek or maybe even a middle-sized one.

Or it may be a really big one to accommodate a mighty river or a huge canyon. My friends, I am rarely one to ask for prayers for myself but I am now asking for those of you that will, help to be my bridge over the troubled waters that are awaiting me.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, 
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.” 
~Psalm 46

It's that fear thing that I'm having trouble with. I know my God can heal me if it is in His will to do so.  And I thought that we were really being very careful to not push our plan too hard...but to patiently wait on God to see how He was leading the way. It really seemed like everything was coming together and we would soon be moving to Tennessee and building that farmhouse. Just like that, our hopes for the future were dashed! To say that we are confused by it all would be an understatement. I know that somewhere buried under all of this confusion, God has all of the answers.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; 
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. 
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; 
the flames will not set you ablaze.
~Isaiah 43:2

As I began writing this post, the song "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by Simon and Garfunkle came to mind right away. I'm not sure what Paul Simon was going through when he penned the lyrics but I read somewhere that it was inspired by a single line from an old black gospel song...‘I’ll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in my name.’ It wouldn't take much to change out a few words and the song could be like reading one of the Psalms or a heartfelt song of worship.

When you’re weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all
I’m on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you
I’ll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, 
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
~Joshua 1:9
I have already seen God working through these circumstances and have been overwhelmingly blessed by many...and I do know that He has a plan...I just wish He'd let me in on it! I'm impatient like that, are you? So I will keep writing on my little blog and update my situation as it goes along. As I stated earlier, I will have a biopsy on Wednesday and many more fun things later, I'm sure. But for now, tomorrow is Monday and off I will go to work as usual! Thank you so much for your prayers!

Like a bridge over troubled waters, God will ease your MY mind.

Much love,

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A New Year...a New Medley

Wow...I can hardly wrap my brain around the fact that yet another year has passed so quickly!
It surely must be true that somehow, as we get older, time has a way of moving faster.
I have just finished getting the tree taken down and packed away.
I took the other decorations down over the weekend but wanted to enjoy the tree a while longer.
Now that it's all out of here, it does feel kinda good to get back to normal, whatever that is.
But my new normal is about to become a bit different from anything I'm used to.
Remember that little song I was singing a year ago... One Room at a Time, Sweet Jesus?
Well, it's time to finally stop my lollygagging!
Did I happen to mention that I work best under pressure?
The. Pressure. Is. On. Folks!

After several months of taking care of some medical issues in 2018, we are trying this again!
I am now one year closer to getting that certain little red, white and blue card in the mail.
It should be in my possession in a few months but of course can't use it until September.
Barring any more unforeseen obstacles, we are hoping to sell in the late spring to early summer.
Jim and I both will continue working until we have a buyer.
And there has been significant progress on the Tennessee property,
which I will be sharing with you very soon!
So today I'm joining Terri, for the Wednesday Medley after a couple of weeks of missing it.

Just head on over to her blog, copy the questions, paste them to yours and join the fun!
Here we go...


National Science Fiction Day is celebrated annually on January 2nd by millions of science fiction fans across the United States.  The date of January 2 was chosen for National Science Fiction Day as it corresponds with the birth date of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov.   National Science Fiction Day is recognized by the Hallmark Channel and the Scholastic Corporation
Watch some classic science fiction t.v. shows or movies.  Start reading a science fiction novel. Use #ScienceFictionDay to post on social media.

1.  Will you observe National Science Fiction Day as recommended above?  Do you even like science fiction?

Sorry, I will not be doing any of these things...I could not care less about science fiction. I have never been a fan either in book or movie form. The only thing I can remember ever sparking my interest was "The Twilight Zone" way back when I was a kid. I guess in among shows like "I Love Lucy" and "Leave it to Beaver", it was sorta "edgy" and out of the usual.

2.  Have you chosen a "word" for 2019?  Many people do. THIS QUIZ might help you find your word.

I have not chosen a word for the new year, in fact, I have never done the "word of the year" thing...not saying that I shouldn't have. I guess I thought that picking a word was kind of just following the crowd and doing what others were doing. There are many wonderful words out there to live our lives by and so far, I seem to be able to find them in whatever situation I might be going through. I did, however, take the test just for fun. My list of words were under the heading of GRATITUDE. Funny thing is, that would have been my word if I had chosen one. It must be God thing.

3.  Did you stay up to see the new year in?  Are you happy or sad to see 2018 go?

I did not stay up 'til midnight and probably haven't in a few years. Jim was working away but there's no way he could have stayed up even if he hadn't been! I had dozed off on the couch earlier in the evening and when I woke up, it was 10 PM, my regular bedtime. So I let the doggies out, turned off the lights and to bed I went! I'm sure there was plenty of noise in the neighborhood at midnight but I didn't hear a thing! I am neither happy or sad to see 2018's impossible to re-live the past anyway, no matter how good it could have been! Good things and the not-so-good things happen in any given year and 2018 held many good things. I am not one to lump everything together in the "good year" or the "bad year" pile because I know that God is with me through the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly.

4.  I really enjoy the Tournament of Roses parade on New Year's Day but rarely get to sit and enjoy the entire parade because I am cooking.  Did you watch the parade?  Did you cook/eat the traditional foods (pork, black-eyed peas, kraut, greens...) to begin the new year?

I would not be one who makes a deliberate decision to tune in...but since Jim came home for lunch on New Year's Day, he was watching it for a bit. I however, was trying to write this post. Since the hubby is never off on a Monday or Tuesday (unless he is taking vacation), he had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well as New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. It has always been our tradition to eat pork and sauerkraut...that's what we folks from Ohio do...but since I'm not cooking today just for me, I will be warming up some frozen cabbage rolls that I made a few weeks ago. I layer them with sauerkraut so I will be getting that part of our traditional meal, although they contain no pork, only beef...oh well. Now here in NC, it's all about the black-eyed peas, greens and hog jowl. You could not get Jim to even try that but I think I could handle it!

5.  I have to ask... Resolutions.  Did you make any or set some new goals for 2019?  Or do you even think about it?

My pastor was talking about this in his message on Sunday and according to these statistics, unfortunately, about 22% of resolutions fail after about a week, 40% after a month, 50% after 3 months and 60% after 6 months. I don't know how they are able to calculate things like this so I'm only quoting what the article stated. I used to be one to make resolutions every year and almost every time they included losing weight and getting in better shape, among other things. Then it got to be all about the resolution, itself...not really what I wanted to change, but the guilt trip associated with not being able to keep it up. Now don't get me wrong, there are an abundance of things that I need to improve on, Lord knows...more than there is room on this page to write about. But here is what I have's a daily thing.

But let me also say that if you are a New Year's resolution maker, I hope you are successful in keeping every single one of them! 

May this brand new year be overflowing with God's grace, love and peace!


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