Friday, September 30, 2016

My Name Is Wonder

 Here is another one of Ronald Chapman's thought provoking, inspirational,  educational books. A goat? Why write about a goat?
But he's not any ol' ordinary goat, he's a wondering, wandering, inquisitive, goat who longs to see more of life, what's outside of the barnyard. As his explorations start he is befriended by a wise, old crow. He travels as far as he can before he ends up in a zoo, where he  makes a new friend. Wonder learns many valuable life lessons along the way. Let your inner voice be your guide. 
One of my favorite quotes is: "Every action matters. Beneath it is meaning that matters even more."
A delightful  novel.
A little about the author:
chapmanunnamed-3

Ronald Chapman is owner of an international speaking and consulting company, Magnetic North LLC. In addition to international accreditation as a speaker and national awards for radio commentary, he is the author of two novels, My Name is Wonder (Terra Nova Publishing, 2016) and A Killer’s Grace (Terra Nova Publishing, 2016 and 2012), two works of non-fiction, Seeing True: Ninety Contemplations in Ninety Days(Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2008) and What a Wonderful World: Seeing Through New Eyes (Page Free Publishing, 2004) and the producer of three audio sets, Seeing True: The Way of Spirit (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2016, 2005), Breathing, Releasing and Breaking Through: Practices for Seeing True (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2015), and Seeing True – The Way of Success in Leadership (Magnetic North Audio, 2005). Ron provides a wide array of social media content atwww.SeeingTrue.com, content for people in substance abuse recovery at www.ProgressiveRecovery.org, and other content from his master site, www.RonaldChapman.com. He holds a Masters in Social Welfare from The University at Albany (New York.) Prior to his relocation to Atlanta, Georgia in 2008, he was a long-time resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Ronald can also be found online at:
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1338592.Ronald_Chapman

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Camp Luther Weekend Away


This was the week we planned a 3 day bus trip to Prairie  Du Chien and Dubuque IA.... a Red Hat trip that was cancelled. I wanted to go away.......I had plans...........I Like to keep my plans.
My friend, who was going on the trip with me, couldn't go on the weekend. I found another friend to go with me. Deb and I have gone several time so she is familiar. But she doesn't like to drive so that adds stress.

Maybe I shouldn't have gone: I have a sinus infection and cough, I was feeling very down (for a number of reasons), diarrhea is no fun, my cancer is terminal and has curtailed many of my activities, the chemo drugs make my stomach feel 'icky', etc.....
Three Lakes, Wi is a long drive, but I enjoy it. Of course we made a couple of 'potty stops' on the way (thank God for indoor bathrooms and extra undies). We had lunch at our usual place....I think we are getting old, no one played the quarter gambling machine. Next we stopped to see an 'old' friend of mine, whom I haven't seen in years. That was a very emotional time.......so much of our lives were parallel, we had such fun and sad times. Will I see Marian again???
Drive, drive onto Antigo and to J&P Liquidators, where we made our usual shopping stop - altho much shorter than usual.
We made it to camp, early, as planned, Found our room and settled in. I just vegged under the covers, this time of year may be nice for most people- no humidity and heat, but I am COLD. I chased Deb out of the room with my coughing fits and blowing my nose. I did not attend the evening events, just did not feel good. Friday night sleep did not come easily.
After saturday's breakfast we had Bible study, Bible journaling- I loved it. I was taught not to wreck my Bible, don't bend or mark the pages but now we can color on and write in the margins. I have no artistic tendencies but I like to look at it and pretend I can do it. For the rest of the day I stayed on my own; talked to a few other  retreat goers, had a massage, read, spent time in my room, and sat by the water watching the kids swim...........yes, they were in the water-too cool for me....I was sitting in the sun. I did the Bible study at night but did not watch the movie....I'd seen it and was tired so I stayed in my room. Saturday night I slept really good, but had a terrible sore throat upon waking. 
We had Bible study and secret sister reveal on Sunday morning. And then we were on our way home on a rainy day.
I had some nice talks with camp friends I met in previous years (so nice to see them), shed some tears, had some bathroom mishaps, learned about Bible journaling, etc. All in all I am glad I went.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Book, Bingo, My Back, Baking, Bruises

This is a great book! I would not chosen it on my own, thinking "it's too sad'. It was recommended by one of our members. I am so glad. Until twelve years old Martin was a 'normal' boy. He got sick and no one knew what was wrong, he couldn't talk, eat, or control his limbs....very frustrating. For nine years he just sits in a chair wherever his is placed. He's deemed to be on the lowest end of of the intelligence/rehabilitation scale. Finally he sees flashes of light of his past life and knowledge just appears to him. One of the workers, at the home he spends his days in , takes notice of him, of his eye contact, and she wants to have him tested.
He's tested for the ability to communicate and it is determined that he has the ability. He's outfitted with a word/letter board and finally a laptop. He spells words, learns words and their meaning, he learns to 'speak' the laptop application. Martin works for hours at learning. He studies, works part time, gives speeches, travels, etc. He faced the struggles of every young man, only at an older age. Eventually he works full time and marries.

 
Another interesting fact is that, although he was not raised a christian or church goer, he knows Jesus and talks to him. How can  you not believe???
Last night I went to bingo with a friend.....no one at our end of the table won, but it was a nice group. If I go again I'll have to get a dauber, maybe a pretty metallic one???
All day yesterday my back was so sore, I didn't do anything to it. (sad face) The day started out good, with a call from my son.
I couldn't bend over to pick anything up and I could barely stand up straight when I walked. I was hoping my errands and walking would help, but no. I tried to sleep on my other side last night and today it is better. Cancer? or normal everyday pain? maybe I should go back to the chair yoga at the senior center.
I feel like I cough more.....is it a cold? cancer? Yes, this is how we think.
I am not really a big pumpkin fan but I want some pumpkin bread, I think I have all the ingredients here, I just took my last loaf of chocolate zucchini bread out of the freezer. I know I should flush all of my sugar down the toilet. (cancer loves it)
I've noticed a few light bruises lately.... I've NEVER bruised before unless I really got hit.What is that about?
Friday morning I am leaving for a Christian retreat: "Live, Laugh, Love". It's in Three Lakes, a couple of hours up north. We've gone before and always enjoy it. This is the first year I am not driving. (sad face) 
I guess I need to do some laundry and start packing.
Thanks for checking in with me................what's next?


Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Rebel

Once a rebel, always a rebel?
Whadda think about that?
I'm not sure....my mom might agree.
She always said I was a thoroughbred, didn't listen, had a mind of my own, etc.
I had to be: my dad passed before I was 2 and my mom was not totally with me (she doesn't remember that part of her life), I didn't really listen to my step dad and was a bit 'mouthy',  I stood up for myself because mom was on the quiet side. My first marriage wasn't ideal either. I made most decisions on my own too. When he had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized, I, a very pregnant, young mom with a toddler was left on my own....my parents were there for me but they both worked. I even found a different, cheaper apartment for us....at $40 a month, can you believe that?? Can you see why I don't  really care to ask for help? Why I don't need to ask what I should wear? What should I do? What's the best answer? What are you ordering? I have a mind of my own and was taught 'where there's a will, there's a way'.
As one of 2  redheads in town I was teased, I was different, I stood out in a crowd. As a teen I got  a bit bolder in my choices, I didn't mind being different sometimes. I was always a quiet person and kept things to myself, but I can be outspoken and opinionated. I still keep feelings to myself at times.  I like my way of doing things. I usually follow  my superior's orders......   I was taught to respect  my boss, dr, teacher, etc. BUT......sometimes I don't follow orders very good. Sometimes I made my own rules: ie 'don't take pictures' (I've been reprimanded for that), speed limits (I drive 5mph over),
don't do this or that. I don't always agree. My dr said to stay out of the sun, which I did for the summer. BUT, now that the sun is lower and the days are cooling down I might sit in the sun for 1/2 hour...I love the sun. Shhh....don't tell my dr!  
 Right or wrong "I did it my way"

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Recent Cards

Looks simple.....maybe it is.



Really pretty

A Lot of hearts
                                  Look at this pretty box

Open it up
Looks what is inside
Lots of goodies
Stuff inside the envelope flaps


Everything is so adorable.
I bet this took a long time go make.
BEAUTIFUL sentiment on this card.


Thanks for the great cards Penny, Melissa, and Debbie!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

It's me"Martha" celebrating our grandson's birthday

Sunday I was bad, again.  I slept until after 9, as usual.....9:30 is looking better and better. 
I planned a small get together for our youngest grandson's 6th birthday. His birthday was last week, but mom isn't having a party until the weekend.......maybe. A few of us just had a get together at the park.


 Sunday morning I got up baked, frosted, and decorated his cake. I made a pasta salad. I cleaned up the kitchen, packed up the cooler, hauled it upstairs, packed another bag with plates, etc, found towels and swimsuits for the boys,  and packed up the car. 
 Kevin had a golf tournament planned so he was gone for the day.
I was 15 minutes behind schedule to pick up the boys.....and then I got 1/2 way there when the 'low fuel' light comes on.....Fortunately I was near a gas station and put some gas in the car. Then I was off.

 I sent one of the adult kids to get deli chicken from the store, I ran out of time. 


Last weekend the beach was packed, it was a real contrast on Sunday.


 Finally everyone was getting along and had a good time!!
More weekend escapades coming up....no plans for this weekend, YAY!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Well?


Yes, a well is where ya get water, but I am wondering well? what da ya think? My mother always said I was a thoroughbred, one of  a kind....As a small town girl, the only one in school with red hair, I am used to standing out in a crowd. Usually I wanted what everyone else had but once in awhile I opted for a unique outfit. Today I put on these hot pink leggings and purple Red Hat shirt. Is this appropriate to wear in public?
Probably not...........The t- shirt is not right, and my legs are not my most attractive feature. My leopard shoes look nice?? But, I was feeling  adventurous, and wore it anyway.............I didn't care.............went to 2 thrift stores only. I don't believe I wore this out. Kevin is not a fan of the pink pants......he does not like to stand out in the crowd, I don't give a hoot. In the future this will be an at home outfit, only. I hope to get some nicer leggings to wear in public. Maybe tomorrow??? I am going shopping with my friend to return some items I bought last week. LOL
This afternoon I wanted to go to the Stamp a long and make some cards, but I also wanted to clean out my trunk, it was full of sand from spending 2 weekends at the beach.
Bering the Martha that I am I decided that I needed to clean the trunk. I also did a bunch of laundry and sat and read for a while, after a week of rain the sunshine felt good.
Time to fold that darn laundry....it never, ever folds itself.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sleuthing, Shopping, And Sand

Yes, I'm still here , a little sad because of my health , and a little sleepy , because I can't fall asleep at night . If I'm still awake late at night , or if I wake up for an hour or two in the wee hours of the morning and I get up before 8 o'clock a.m. I'm so tired , that shortly after supper  I  go upstairs and go to bed to watch TV . That's usually not me. I'm kinda disgusted with myself because I can't get any housework or much of anything else done. Seems like for the past week I am more tired. 
 But I have been busy ! Thursday morning I had a 2 hour coffee break with a friend that I don't see often. Her son is not speaking to her right now and he has a storefront three doors away from the coffee shop , he doesn't know me, so she asked me to walk  past the store and look inside to see what he was painting. He is an artist. So I slowly walked up the street and looked inside the store , and then I waited for a few minutes and walked back . I didn't want to be obvious so I just glanced up on the way back. Then my morning was shot, because I didn't get home until afternoon .
 Friday afternoon I went shopping with a friend to buy some things that I will probably have to return . At least this time I got to go to a real store not only just a thrift store , that was really nice to get out and check out the new clothes, even though I don't need anything.
 Saturday night I went to an out-of-town wedding with another friend . We were 2 miles away from our destination when she got a phone call from her brother-in-law , and he said we should pull over to the side of the road so he could talk to her . We both knew what he was going to say by that time , Her sister passed away that afternoon. She was bedridden and barely had a life , but it was still so very sad for Michele. The wedding celebration was bittersweet, as you can imagine . Michelle got to talk to a good friend whom she hadn't seen in a couple of years and the food was excellent, but she was still really upset about losing her sister and had to explain  many people.
And Sunday I attended the famous Kites over Lake Michigan, along with 40,000 other people. Ok, a good amount of folds were there on saturday too, but that was the total attendance.
It's a GREAT festival and I love it!!!
My stepson and stepdaughter were able to go, along with their children. The weather was perfect. 


Dad and 2 of the boys built a sandcastle. It's so good to see dad play with the boys. 


The other 2 cousins played in the water, a lot.
I really enjoy sitting on the beach and watching the kiddos. I didn't get to do that this summer.  


There are many more kite photos online....these are just mine.
Our little group.

Let me see, when I got home my shoes were FULL of sand. I had to wash towels and swimsuits.....because mom never sends that stuff, and my trunk is still full of toys/kites. Sunday we are heading to that same park to have a small birthday gathering for our 6 year old grandson. 
Last monday I was happy to spend some time at home....until Kev and I went shopping and to dinner.
Tuesday I went grocery shopping and ran my errands. That night was our Red Hat meeting...it was nice, a small group and we had a short meeting and visited.
Wednesday morning my 'nurse' came over. Later I took a class and made Christmas cards....well, they are almost finished. 
Today I made zucchini bread...that fell, why???  Tonight I have 2 baskets of clothes to fold....I'm a little behind. 
 How has your week been???

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Waiting....

Yes, I guess I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Friday I saw my cardiologist and all is well. In 6 months I'll have   an Echo and  my bloodwork and doctor's observations and visit will be more in depth.  
Monday I saw my oncologist and was happy to hear that my bloodwork is good. The numbers that we want to go down are!!! One test mainly, for my liver was over 2000 when I started, pretty darn high, it is now over 300, 117 is normal. YEAH!!!! Both of my tumor markers are coming down....one is near normal. But no, the cancer will not be cured.....but we can pray to control it for many years!!!!!!!  My prayer. This almost makes me want to return in another month for more bloodwork, but my appointment is for another 6 months. I guess it is good that the dr does not think he needs to see me every 6 weeks or so.
I'm just afraid....when will the numbers go in the opposite direction??? When will the other shoe drop? How long can I continue to do the things I want (to a percentage of what I really want to do)? Since I don't drive any distance I am not going very many places, seeing many things. I've said it before and I will say it again "I miss doing things with my friends". I am still me!!! I am an introvert and am comfortable with doing/going by myself, but that has boundaries now. I work slowly, I tire easily, am tired after supper,  I go to bed early and sleep late. I can tell my body is different, nothing I can really explain....but some things have been affected.  I try to get my 5000 steps a day, some days I do.  My appetite is pretty darn good though!
This is my journey and I'm stickin' to it. I am not complaining, just telling it how I see/feel it. 
Thanks for coming along.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Killer's Grace


Don't think you're going to rush through this book as you watch the kids play in the pool. It is thought provoking: what is right? why do people commit horrible crimes? who should be held responsible? what happens to the victims and their families? what does innocence mean? Is there a God? is it ok to kill a killer? Is forgiveness possible? Kevin Pitcarin, a journalist lives in the high desert and does a lot of walking and thinking in the early morning hours with his dogs; I loved reading the descriptions of the landscape. Pitcarin receives a letter from a convicted killer which has him rethinking innocence, evil, his past, the victims of crime, pondering the meaning of this................All the while he is battling with  his own demons from his past.
This book makes the reader think. 


 Following are a couple of reviews from other authors: 
“…a work of fiction, it was inspired by a real letter from a serial killer…important and compelling… will stay with you long after the last page.”
—Kam Aures, reviewer for Rebecca’s Reads

“A Killer’s Grace delves deep into the human psyche… Those who have experienced abuse or violence in their own lives will not only relate to the story, but may find their own self-discovery journey unfolding alongside Kevin’s.”
—Paula Renaye, author, Living the Life You Love: The No-Nonsense Guide to Total Transformation


Ronald Chapman is a new to me author. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

End Of Summer Weekend Pics

Just another weekend at my house.

A friend gave me a Georgia peach tomato to try.
Yes, it's ripe and yes, it is just as yellow on the inside. I'd say it's just a little milder than a red tomato. 

 Saturday morning we got up to rain....drat! I had invited my 3 grandsons over to play that day. After we ate lunch it stopped raining and later the boys, including their dad, went outside to play for a a bit. We also played some board games. I seldom see them but I am hoping to change that.
 Just recently the public library placed a Little Free Library at the school across the street. I asked the older boys to pick out some books to donate. They did a good job! The little library is 1/2 full  and my book shelf is a little cleaner.....a win, win situation.

Jalen stayed overnight.....he set my alarm for 6:30AM but I shut it off when it went off and we both fell back to sleep for 3 hours. After we got up and were dressed he finished his scrapbook and we were just about to have a late breakfast when dad called to say he had to go home b/c mom was coming soon to pick them up. Our plans were foiled and he was not happy. I told him to look on the bright side and not on the things that he did not get to do.
In the afternoon I washed the dishes and sat outside for while.
When Kevin came home from golf he suggested we go for a short ride and then get a bite to eat, so we did. I'm tired so am going to bed early....tomorrow I have some cleaning to do and lots of phone calls to make. 
Happy monday to everyone!!!

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Doctor and Garden Today'v

Friday I and my friend took a ride to Milwaukee to my cardiologist. Strangely I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and it takes me awhile to go back to sleep, so I was really in a deep sleep when I heard crickets....my text sound....before 7AM .....my fault....I don't turn my phone off at night...usually it's not a problem. I guess my daughter had some free time before work and sent me a photo of my grandson.
I had about 8 more minutes to sleep so I was able to wake up slowly.
As usual I was 5 minutes late to pick up Carolee, my driver. Tis the season for orange cones (road construction) in Wi, but we arrived in plenty of time for my lab work. My dr is usually on time  so my appointment doesn't take much time. He said all seems good, my heart and kidneys that is....cancer??? seeing my oncologist next week.
After lunch we did a teeny bit of shopping...both of us are trying to move things out of our house...not into it. After St Vincent de Paul and Trader Joe's stops we headed home. She didn't buy a thing, I got a few things at Trader Joe's.
Doesn't this dessert look good?
Before we went home we also stopped at the gardens by the lake. It's been a few years since I've been there.


Tons of flowers and they are beautiful!!! 






It's beautiful and peaceful, I could walk around for hours and could have taken 100's of photos. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It Is What It Is


It is what it is..............that was my facebook post. I guess I just got sick of wearing a hat all of the time. Lately I've been forgetting it, but today I intentionally didn't wear it. I have a friend who is done with her chemo and radiation and still wears her wig, she loves it. She's even had the back of her hair trimmed. I don't think anyone is aware of her situation, I just happened to run into her one day and we talked. I hated my wig, it felt like it was coming off, I prefered to wear a hat.
My very short hair is really light and hard to see. People seem to think I look OK so I am going with it......actually even if they weren't, I'd go with it. I am comfortable. 



I have METS (breast  cancer that has metastasized), you don't hear much about that. The emphasis is on breast cancer survivors, you don't read about women who are just trying to live for as long as possible and aren't sure what is going to happen next. I feel good and have had a great summer! 
Much of the funds for breast cancer go for administrative costs....I know that is true with many charities, but still....it's not right.
I read an interesting article about METS.... if you want to read it here it is   METS

Skechers shoes

So many people liked my new shoes (here)  that I decided to post a link. I don't think there are many left....they are an 'older' style. Maybe there's another style you like. I have received so many compliments.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dumb Miscellaneous Stuff

This picture doesn't really go iwth this post, I don't feel outstanding today, but I guess that's OK.


It sure gets dark early lately *sad face*, fall is definitely in the air *sad face again*, and you know what that means.....winter is next *another sad face*.
Today I just hung out at home doing a little of  this and a little of that. First some food (that I stuffed into the freezer) fell on the floor so I had to clean up the floor. 
Then I washed the windows on our screen doors....a real pain because they have grille work on them and I couldn't get the windows off so I had to stuff a towel behind the metal and try to get it clean. GRRRRR.....all that on my hands and knees.....not the easiest position to get up from. 
I am still working on our extra bedroom.....putting vinyl letters on the wall isn't as easy  as you might think.....I have 3 lines and only 1 on the wall. I'll get it done this week. I worked on that this afternoon too. 
I burned the french fries I had in the oven for my supper...none for Kev, he was golfing.
I got my 250 steps every hour today on my fitbit...won the 'game' I play with my friend. I'll also get my goal of 5000 steps for the day....not a lot, but it's my goal.
Nothing exciting planned for tomorrow.....WHAT WILL I DO???