Monday, November 30, 2015

Had I Known

I recently finished reading this book by Joan Lunden. We both went through our cancer about the same time, but she's a celebrity and I'm not. At first I had no interest in reading it, I really don't know anyone who has read it. If you have also read this I'd appreciate your input.
Of course we have similarities: diagnosed with a terrible disease, survivors of said disease, women with families we love, strong women (that's what I've been called), we went through the same procedures while fighting breast cancer. We were both blessed to only need a lumpectomy, we both maintain positive attitudes.

These are just my quick thoughts about the book:
One of the things I learned was the importance of an ultrasound if you have dense breasts, which I do.
She's a very blessed woman to have such a supportive husband and daughters to stand next to her. My hubby didn't talk with me and would only give me a hug if I asked. He just keeps any and all emotions to himself. I know it was hard for him because he lost his first wife to the same disease. It's hard to talk to anyone who hasn't gone through one else really understands how you feel. You're on drugs. have mood swings you never had before, people don't get it. I didn't need someone with me all the time, but it was nice when a friend stopped during my chemo to visit for a bit. I do have good friends who brought meals, did laundry, took me to doctor appointments, etc. I really appreciated that!
Yes, she was brave to announce her cancer to the world, but since she's in the public eye she really had do it. I think she was VERY brave to pose for a magazine cover bald! I could never have done that, on the other hand she has a make up artist to make her look good and hairstylist to fix her wigs. I'm sure there are days when she didn't wear make up or a wig and just hung out at home. I know there were many days when I just threw on a turban and maybe some mascara (for myself) and was up for 2 hours then slept for 3 and so on for the whole day.
Joan has a lot more money than we do, therefore access to more learned people, a dietitian, healthier food, a wonderful camp her husband runs, and more.
But, there are still things we can do (whether or not you've had cancer):
* exercise
*quit sugar (it's a super food to cancer)
* quit smoking
* drink alcoholic beverages VERY little, if at all
* eat more fruit and veggies (no processed foods)
* find out everything about your test results, just don't settle for 'within range' 
* take charge of your own health
* have a positive attitude
* tell the people you love that you love them

A couple of my favorite quotes from the book:
'You see, every challenge we face in life is really just an obstacle waiting to be turned into an opportunity.'
and regarding the bald photo shoot
'It was important to me to give the thousands of women out there, going through this battle a voice, to show them that just because you loose your hair during chemo, you can still be strong and vibrant and normal.'
Like some other survivors she's said it was a gift, I can't find where she wrote it, but I do remember that statement. I still can't say it was a gift for me....maybe I just don't see it yet....blinded???
Lastly remember fear is:

Yes, I'm glad I read it. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Few Of My Christmas Cards

I'm soooo excited to report that I have all of my Christmas cards made for this year!
I had some leftover from last year, I made up some from card parts I had laying around here, I made several at the Stamp a longs (thanks Carolee), and I made some this past weekend with Penny. She's a Close to my Heart rep and so very patient with us. Most of my cards are different, I have a few that I have more than one of...but....maybe next year I won't have so many different ones. I have the ideas, just want to use up what I have.

I haven't mailed any out yet.....I'll get to it when I feel like it. Saturday I baked some cookies, just plain ones, no holiday cookies yet and spent the whole afternoon home alone and putzed around. I felt OK until about supper time...then I got all sad and was really missing our grandson, the one who used to come on Saturday nights...but now mom won't let him come over. I really miss our conversations, his smile, and company. One of my Facebook friends messaged me and we 'talked'. I know I am not the only one whose grandkids are kept from them. It does help to know others are in the same situation, many are worse. (sad face) I do get to see him on occasion, just not on a regular basis. 
Monday is his DARE graduation and he invited me so I'll attend that. It's so important to them to have your support. I don't know if anyone else from his family will be there. I'll tell him I love him even if we don't get to talk. 

Happy Almost December to you!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Foolin' Around

As I was digging through the storage (aka junk) room in the basement I found this wallpaper. "the easy way to faux finish in 3 simple steps."  It's pre-pasted, all you do is rip, dip in water, and apply. I've had this for years...and am not sure what my plan was, or if I had a plan.

 I've seen so many neat, covered clip I took this and
 in 3 easy steps I turned it into the clip board below. It truly was easy and the way to go. It's so smooth and adhered very well. I know it's plain, I am not sure if I am going to decoupage a picture on top or not.
I also found an old wallpaper book so I used that on another ugly clipboard. It didn't turn out as nice. It was supposed to be pre-pasted but I had to use paste on it anyway. I know I will add a layer of mod podge on top. I also did the backs. 

I have one more plain clipboard I might do, it's so easy and I just love the look of them. Hmmm....what should I use to cover that last one? I've see these used on a wall as photo frames....I can't do that, but I'd like to. 

Guess I should get back to Christmas????

More Thanksgiving

I hope all of my readers had a nice Thanksgiving with some time to relax and reflect upon your blessings. We ate dinner with my step-Daughter and her family at the bar/restaurant her hubby runs with his mother. It was family style, the food was good, and everyone who was there took some leftovers home. 

I've developed a 'bad' habit from one of my traveling friends.....I feel like I need to do something while in the car. It's about a 50 mile drive to their place.....I checked my calendar for next week's schedule, cleaned & filed my nails, played a game on my phone....and then found the portals of prayer booklet and decided to read the thought for the day.
The Entry for yesterday The National Day of Thanksgiving, is from the service 'Communion of the Sick and Home-bound'....strange basis for Thanksgiving?
It says: "We are only an accident, heart attack, or stroke away from being a shut-in: that every day spent in good health is a gift."
And "the Lord says he will be with us when the bad times will inevitably will come. He never says we won't go through them, he says he'll be with us when we do."
"He says 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.'  No matter what, we belong to the Lord who redeemed us through his son."
This really made sense to me, I am sure it was because of what I went though last year and the beginning of this year.   You never know what tomorrow will bring.
Thanks for taking the time to read...........I'm sure I'll be back with some more useful (?) information or nonsense (?) in the near future. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Whether you are cooking, or not; staying in or going out; with a lot of people or alone; Have a blessed day!

I know I have many things to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Little Christmas Decorating

I'm still decorating, still purging.
Here's what I did with the little red truck, tucked it onto a book shelf with more trucks and trees. The large trees I found in thrift shops over the past years. The trucks I found this year as I perused thrift stores.
Now I'm happy!

My 2' silver tree in the bathroom. I've had this tree for several it at the thrift store (where else?). If you're looking for something, just keep looking, you'll find it.
Yes, I like to decorate different rooms.

I'm back at going through all my boxes. See ya later!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Christmas Is Coming

Oh, I know you're thinking "Stop it with the Christmas talk already, let's do Thanksgiving first."
We are not having anyone over for Thanksgiving, it's our turn to host Christmas this year, last year my decorating was at a bare minimum, and I have way too much stuff. Thus I gave myself permission to dig through my Christmas decorations and put out what I see fit and donate some other things. I am pleased with the progress I've made so far. I've purged several boxes of Christmas items, but it's hard to see because I have boxes on the floor that I am going through. I'm sure I'll see a difference after the holidays are over and when I put things away. I will always have one big bin of Santa ornaments, one of angel ornaments, and one of balls and misc. I alternate between those 3 categories.This year it's angels for us! (in case you're wondering...which you're probably not).
Yesterday, after exercise class my bff wanted to stop at the thrift store for something she needed, so we did. I had 2 bags for donation that I didn't have with I have 3 times that  many...guess I'll get there later this week. Anyway, while we were there, I saw this cute little, ceramic truck, and purchased it for .50. I have a plan and hopefully I'll remember to post that vignette later. 
 It's a Department 56 item and I found it on ebay for over $20. I didn't realized what it was until I looked at it more closely and had already decided that I needed it. 
And that leads me to wonder 'How can I pare down if I keep adding different collections?'

A while back I found this 18" silver foil tree, for $4. It's perfect for the mantle with my Santa's next to it. YES, I did get rid of some of my Santa's.

I do want to wish everyone a Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter File Folder Book

Aren't homemade books all the rage? They are so fun....I love books of any kind. Nope, I don't do any digital scrapbooking, I like to hold the scrapbook in my hand. I like to touch the papers and photos. Last week I took a class with a friend and we made this file folder book. First three of us went to lunch and then off to the long class. It's made from one file folder and scrapbook paper. There are quite a few little pieces to glue on. Fortunately (for us) they were all cut out.  Here's the Halloween one I made in September. My friend, Carolee, is a Stampin' Up demonstrator and here's her blog. She is the one who taught the class. You really can't see it very good, but the top is silver glitter paper.

 It opens like a book.

The top papers unfold down and there are 3 places for photos, journaling, etc.
The paper also unfolds up for 2 more spots to write something, attach a photo, or just decorate.

The bottom half unfolds down also. The one on the right has a pocket and the black piece with the penguin tucks in it.

It's much cuter in person. I'm not sure what I am going to do with it, but I love it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fred Smith's Concrete Park

Concrete Park? What in the heck is a concrete park you might be asking.......that doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Fred Smith's concrete park is a unique display of unusual art in a small town in northern Wisconsin. On our way home from our Minocqua visit Carolee and I took a detour so I could show her this display.
"In 1948, at age 62, Price County native Fred Smith began creating what is known today as the Wisconsin Concrete Park. Smith, a lumberjack, tavern owner, farmer, and dance hall musician, created over 230 figures depicting his vision of the local culture and the world. His work is considered by experts to be one of America’s most unique displays of folk art. Smith’s characters came from local legend and personal acquaintances as well as legendary heroes. His most widely recognized statues include Ben Hur, the Lincolns, Sacajawea, and Paul Bunyan."
If you are ever in the Phillips area stop in for a free look!
Twenty-eight years ago I stopped in with my mother and children.
  Yup, this is me....long hair and tiny waist.

Still me.....28 years makes a difference. Short, light hair and a thick waist. By the horse's head again...somethings don't change.
Yes, these are the Budweiser horses.

Up close and personal.

 There are hundreds of various statues made from cement, broken glass, and other pieces of junk. 

 Mere words can not describe this view, so I won't even try. 

Have a great pre-Thanksgiving weekend!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Back To A Warmer Day

One a warm day in mid October I, my 2 step children, and their children visited Polly's Pumpkin Patch in Chilton Wi. I can say with confidence that we all had a great day!

 I like this photo of the kids and grandkids. I think I'll enlarge it and give them each a copy. It isn't often that the 2 families get together.

Do you see the haystack in the background? That's what we climbed onto for the photo. Yes, I was up there too, it wasn't easy but I HAD to do it.
The boys competed with dad at the rubber duck races.
 The 'corn cannons' are very popular. The shooter shoots a dry corn cob out of the 'cannon' at 3 different targets or a garbage can. If you hit what you're aiming at you get a prize. The only prizes we got were shooting the cannons. (the kids only participated)
 Pumpkin bowling was another activity.
 A new addition this year was a 40' slide. That was a favorite of all. 

grandson J loves his cousins...
and, once again, he is leaning on someone.

What is a pumpkin patch without a corn maze?
I always bring up the rear....all the better to get a good photo.
We made it to the lookout!

The grands had fun, the parents had was a great day!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Week

I know I should do the really, nice post that I had planned. I guess I'll do that one later. I'm just going to write a brief post about my week, a hectic week. I was gone every day this past week, all day usually, sometimes in the evening also. I've said it before ~ I'm a homebody, I like to stay home with my own company. I need a day or 2 of quiet time to regenerate. 
Last week I had my exercise class, stamp-a-long, everyday errands, all day shopping trip, making a folder book with friends, lunch at school with my grandsons, presentation at the library, Y class and I think that's it. They were all fun things that I enjoyed doing.
Today I slept in and put on comfy clothes and puttered around here. 
My craft area was cleaned up enough that I could get at it so I pulled out my Christmas cards and was pleasantly surprised to see that I have enough cards made for the holiday. *smile* About half of them need to have sayings stamped inside, but that's pretty easy. I can still make more if I want, I have the ideas. That makes today a good and peaceful day. 
It was kinda nice outside, I think.....I was only out long enough to fill the bird-feeder. Kev went golfing...those days will soon come to an end.
I was hoping grandson J could come and spend the night....but mom is pretty angry at me and seldom lets him come over. I left a message stating that'd I pick him up for Sunday school in the morning. He did call me back and said he can't stay here but I can drive to the neighboring town, where he usually spends Saturday nights now, and pick him up and take him back after Sunday school. OK, it's only 8 miles away, but it's still a pain for me...when he could easily stay here...but I guess mom likes making my life miserable. 
My long, lost cousin (whom I have not met) is looking for her (at least) 2 half brothers and I am trying to help her. It is NOT easy when one person has been estranged from their family and others have been put up for adoption. Most of the people who would have the information have passed on. Wish us luck!!! There are a lot of places to search, but many cost money. 
Friday I went to the Fox River Mall in Appleton to get a head start on my Christmas shopping. It was a bus trip with the Silver Sneakers exercise class. I texted my daughter and daughter in law for gift ideas. Got great ones from DIL but it was hard to text my daughter b/c she shares info (or something) from her iphone with her children's both kids were also getting her texts. She called me instead. She's trying to get that problem solved. I texted her last night to let her know that I did find a few things she suggested but I wouldn't say what items....''because you never know who might be reading your texts". Sure enough, later that evening, her daughter, Ava (the 12 year old who was here this past summer) replied back to me. We had a nice chat. She has a 4.0 GPA so I am very proud of her. Way To Go Ava!!! Plus she is taking 5 dance classes. Can you say 'ambition'?

How was your week?
It looks like next week will be almost as busy for me. I'm glad I am able to be so busy.

Monday, November 9, 2015


I'm a Lutheran, died in the wool, old fashioned Lutheran. We baptize our babies and confirm (the faith of) our teens. I am not saying anyone else is wrong, but this is what I believe. Sadly, not all of my grandchildren have been baptized.
My oldest granddaughter was confirmed last month. The teens take religious classes to reaffirm their faith and to understand it. It is an important step and I was proud to be able to attend Tailyn's confirmation.
The service was a saturday night service, starting at 5. BUT I had 5:30 stuck in my head and that is when we arrived. Yup, 1/2 hour late, smack dab in the middle of the service. We crept into a back pew and caught a wee bit of the pastor's sermon. Fortunately I did not miss the confirmation 'ceremony'. Each confirmand was called up to the front of the church and the family members went up and put a hand on her and the pastor completed the rite. It was lovely and I am thankful that I was able to be a part of it.

My 12 year old grandson and 15 year old Tailyn, she's a petite young woman.
Below is my daughter in law, my oldest son (Tailyn & Tyler's dad), me, Tailyn, and  my youngest son.
 They are a nice little family and I am very proud of them. Both parents take an interest in the children's activities. My son purchased land in the country and they built their modest house as they could afford it. 

 I don't dress up often and didn't need to dress up that night either, but I wanted to look nice. I wore my brand new (not from the thrift store) stretch denim skirt (that I love), my thrift store Chico's jacket (here's the post), and these very comfortable shoes that I almost didn't buy ($5 at the thrift store ~ I've worn them several times already). The lace top I've had for a couple of years.
Yes, I am still playing catch up.
Hope your week goes well!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Scrapbook Retreat

 Last Friday Deb and I headed out for a weekend scrapbook retreat at a church camp. The camp is about 2 hours from here and we couldn't check in until 4pm, but we still left in the morning. As usual, we shop and eat our way to our destination. One of our favorite, little thrift stores is closed but we have a back up. We stopped for a nice lunch and then hit the thrift store...neither one of us bought a bundle but it's fun to look. We can 'smell' a liquidator miles away so we stopped at the one we found a couple of years ago. We each picked up a few scrap-booking supplies...but I really, really don't need anything. I NEED to use up what I have. We both decided not to buy any more patterned paper....sometimes it's so pretty that you don't want to cover it up. I've put a moratorium on buying scrap-booking items, especially patterned paper. 
It was a small retreat....or it seemed that way because only 5 of us were on the ground floor and 5 or 6 were downstairs. They are all family and like to stay together. We ate with them and spent time visiting each other's areas. 
Deb's and my area:
 It was Halloween so I wore my Halloween shirt, ghost earrings, witch hat, and fancy glasses. I am not sure why I am so blurry. 

Here are some of my favorite pages. 
 My style is pretty simple, with a layer or 2.
 Please forgive the time I will surely take the pages out of the sleeves.

I'm pretty happy with the amount of pages I completed. Some were very simple, just photos. The ones above are my 'elaborate' pages. As the weekend wound down I got more into it. 
I really love scrapbook retreats!!!