Saturday, July 19, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Friday, July 4, 2014
between the questions of "what ifs" and "what nexts" and "what nows" i remind myself to breathe. they say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and it is that step i am taking now. although truth be told, i have been taking that first step since the day i was born. i cannot count how many thousands of miles have i walked in these 52 years that have started with questions...
what if i say yes?
what if i say no?
where do i go next?
what do i do next?
what do i do now?
where do i go now?
but The One who counts my steps ... The One who answers my questions ... He has always known the answers because He has been the one to create the journey. there is only one answer for the questions and only one step to take ... faith.
|Lisa-Jo Baker ~ Surprised by Motherhood|
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
The neighbor behind me has been mowing his dirt and weeds for the past thirty minutes and each time I hear the blades kick up a rock I flinch.
The temperature has been in the 90s the past few days and the humidity in the 100s. The slick sweat that coats my skin doesn't seem to dry at all. The ice on in my tea melts before I have a chance to enjoy it.
Silence awaits me, broken only by the sounds of nature. Cooler days and nights.
I'm looking forward to the change.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Sunday, June 8, 2014
(a little boy was flying a large white kite)
|Image Source: WeHeartIt.com|
and in the evenings i sit on the deck
(my serenity deck)
and listen to them sing
i colored a good memory
he was a good man and is loved and missed
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
|This is what Trooper's pout looks like,|
except that he won't look at you when he does it.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
i found a coconut floating in the water and imagined that it traveled from Hawaii
(although it probably just fell from someones tree farther up in the bay)
i snuggled month old kittens and felt one nibble my chin
|Image Source: WeHeartIt.com|
Friday, May 30, 2014
Nothing fills my mind lately with fear or anger. I have jettisoned those negative emotions by filling the space in between with positive thoughts and scriptures. Filled until they overflowed and washed away the hurt and pain. Filled until they overflowed and washed away the fear and anger.
Nothing has become everything to me now. Time spent focusing on my serenity. Tai Chi. Yoga. Meditation to the sound of wind in the trees and water bubbling in a fountain with the occasional cardinal song or croaking frog. Journaling the old fashioned way with pen and paper. Reading pages that turn and feel crisp in my fingers rather than scrolling down with my thumb. Weekends away from social media and television and spent in bare feet at the beach with my dog.
Sometimes there is no better healer than time spent doing nothing.
Joining with Lisa-Jo Baker this morning for Five Minute Friday.
|Five Minute Friday|
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
ombré shades of violets and blues
in the west, shades of peach and orange showed where the sun just dipped below the horizon
as I walked, I could see them flying in the distance over the field
one ... three ... six ... a dozen or more
small brown bats
they dipped, zipped, and fluttered near my head
their leathery wings making a soft sound when they came close
but otherwise silent hunters in the dusk
there were more than I had seen last summer
which is a good thing
the rains and floods recently have increased our mosquito and bug problems
more bats mean they've had a good diet lately
I focused on one, following its flight
spinning as it chased unseen bugs in the air
smiling at the aerobatics of this small hunter
Sunday, May 11, 2014
i smiled with joy at seeing a wild rabbit ~ the first i'd seen in months ~ on my way to work. it was a one bunny day.
i tiptoed around baby frogs that were small enough to sit on the face of a dime
i watched a bald eagle fish
i enjoyed the full moon
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Monday, May 5, 2014
Sunday, May 4, 2014
i listened to rain on an aluminum roof, waking to the sound of thunder ... and to the cheery song of a male cardinal outside my deck when the storms had cleared
i picked a handful of wild blackberries, enjoying their tart taste on a sunny afternoon ... and freshly made cheesecake followed by homemade spaghetti with meatballs [life is short, dessert comes first]
i watched with awe as five dolphins playfully followed a shrimp boat in the bay
i felt loved when a house plant garden bowl, glass bluebird [of happiness] and a devotional book arrived early for my birthday ... and also a gift that allowed me to finally get a new coffee maker [mmmmmmm] after months without one
i smelled the crisp electricity in the air during a lightning storm ... and spring flowers in bloom when the clouds stopped covering the sun
i relaxed in the quiet times and dreamed of a future home
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
It has frustrated me a great deal.
I feel like I've lost something important.
I think it is because my writing tends to be a way to express my emotions.
I'm not sure which is more frustrating.
Not feeling emotions right now, or not being able to write.
I stopped on the way home from work to watch some egrets in flight over a nearby lake.
The sound of the frogs in the reeds was an unexpected bonus.
One day ...
I will have a house on a lake, where I can sit at night and listen to the frogs while counting fireflies and shooting stars as I sip tea and relax in my hammock chair.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
waking me up and out of bed
waking me up, my heart in a bind
waking me up, an unpleasant start
Friday, April 18, 2014
|What holds you together?|
pieces of my life falling apart
faster than i could hold it together
then i found the glue that would
seal the broken edges
the pieces that had become raw
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
|Pour a cup of hope today ...|
Her words reached out to me and gave me hope. Especially when she talks about facing what we never wanted to face and then not only does our faith survive and thrive ... but we do too.
I'm there. Facing things I never thought I would face. Never wanted to face. But I have stood firm, stood tall, and have stood the test. I have held fast to my faith, my values, and my beliefs. I have not been swayed in the darkness, by the darkness, and instead have clung to the light of hope.
You can too.
Friday, April 11, 2014
he said i didn't understand what it was like
and he was right
i wanted to paint him a picture of what it was like to be me
i told him he didn't understand what it was like
and i was right
and now i paint a picture of a future without him
a choice that was his
and now is mine
i look at the colors of the rainbow
and wonder which one to choose
to paint the bright promises
that await me.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
|Join us for a cup...|
A big word sometimes when you are feeling very small.
Or very scared.
It isn't always in the brave act. Sometimes it is in the things that we fear the most, but we know are the right things to do. It is choosing to walk a narrow path ... and not the wide road that someone else chooses. It is saying no ... when someone wants you to say yes. It is making a hard decision ... one that rips your heart out and makes you feel as if you have thrown yourself on a grenade ... and then standing up and standing strong in the decision no matter how much it hurts.
It is sometimes loving yourself more ... and slowing learning to stop loving someone who has hurt and betrayed you. It is letting go ... and holding on to the hand of God as He leads you beside the still waters and restores your soul.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Things in my life were too
So I'm coming back ... perhaps with a vengeance ... and sharing some sunsets taken the last week of March as a metaphor for the sun going down on this time in my life. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did in that brief moment of time when I was seeing them.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Made to survive
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
words crowd the tiny screen of my cell phone as i push them up and down to see what has escaped. i blog in defiance of what is happening in my life right now because this is "my crowd" where i feel welcoming hugs and comforting words.
thoughts crowd my mind, keeping me awake at night. worries, fears, hurts, and negativity. i push them out. refusing to belong to that crowd, and reach for His words. His "crowd."
i let myself escape into the safety and comfort of Him.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
|Image Source: WeHeartIt.com|
i watched it for so long, i was almost late logging into my computer
i don't remember ever seeing a bluebird here before
and i've lived here for a very long time
i've seen robins and orioles and kingfishers and eagles
i've seen hawks and mockingbirds and cardinals and blue jays
but i don't think i have ever seen a bluebird
it appeared on a "blue" day for me
so perhaps it was a sign
they say bluebirds bring happiness
so maybe there is some on the way for me
i've been struggling to wrap my mind around everything that has happened in the past two weeks
it is so hard to even comprehend that it has only been two weeks
things were apparently happening long before that
ignorance truly was bliss
i feel as if i have woken up on some foreign planet
or in a parallel universe where there are no such things
as happily ever afters
the more i learn about the man i married
the less i know about my life as it was
it was a beautiful bluebird i saw this morning
and i hope i see it again tomorrow
|Join us for a cup...|
I don't know what you've been facing lately, but I know that it is the encouraging words that I have been reading and hearing the past week that have kept my heart from sinking when things have begun to turn upside down in my life.
Words have come from unexpected sources that confirm that this path that God has put me on is exactly where I'm supposed to be right now.
Scriptures. Casual comments in emails. Quotes read in magazines. A status on facebook. A pin on Pinterest. A blog post that reaches out to my heart and just says ... yes, you are right where God wants you to be. Even when things have been the most painful, when the truth that He is revealing to me cuts me to the core ... I know that He is still with me and that there is a plan for all of this.
I may not see the road ahead of me just yet because I am still blinded by the trees, but I know that with His master GPS ... the road is being made clear, the path will be known, and the destination will be glorious.
The other truth and encouragement that has carried me along this road has been the knowledge that I am not alone. Not just that God will never leave me or forsake me, but the truth that there are others ... like you ... who have walked this path before me and survived. There will be those who follow in my steps also one day and realize that they too will survive. Whatever the road, whatever the journey ... we are not alone in our walk and whether we reach out to hold someone's hand along the way, or we trudge along on our own ... we are not alone.
Take my hand ....
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
soothing my mind as i review
forms that will end my marriage
rain ... falling like tears
blink blink blink
wipe the tears away
rain ... showering me clean
cleansing my heart
refreshing my spirit
rain ... watering the seeds of hope
new growth and fresh starts
washing away the past
rain ... tap tapping on the skylight
soothing my mind as i drift to sleep
curled between the dog and cat
Monday, March 10, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
On 30 May 2012, I had laser surgery to remove some cancerous cells that have invaded my body. It isn't past tense on purpose. The cells are still there ... just waiting. The rare vaginal cancer that I have ~ Vaginal Intra Epithelial Neoplast ~ has an 80% chance of returning ... and spreading. So I'm really kind of in limbo.
It still amazes me that so few women that I've spoken to about my cancer have ever heard of it, or knew that it was possible.
The National Cancer Institute believes that vaginal cancer is a rare cancer that affects less than 2% of all gynecological cancers in women. I believe that percentage is wrong. I believe that more women get it, but because they don't get annual pelvic exams, it isn't detected until it gets to Stage IV when it has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs.
This is a cancer that is caused by HPV. The delayed and unexpected gift from an unfaithful fiancée over thirty years ago. That said ... mothers, protect your daughters [and now sons] by getting them the vaccine. It will protect girls from approximately 19,000 cancers, and boys from 8, 000 cancers as they grow up. [stats from here]
The information below is paraphrased from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America's website. I'm sharing it not to cause panic, but to show how important it is for women to continue to have annual pelvic exams even if they have had a hysterectomy (partial or full) or have ever been told it wasn't necessary to continue the exams.
The point that I really want to stress is that this IS a cancer that can spread if it goes undetected. You must be an advocate for your own health. Get annual exams especially if you have had to have a hysterectomy due to any kind of dysplasia. Get annual exams even if you haven't.
I had my hysterectomy in March of 2006 and continued to get annual pelvic exams every six months for two years after. Then I was able to go back to just once a year for the next three years. I didn't have any abnormal test results (again) until December 2011 when my test came back showing dysplasia in some cells. The vinegar colposcopy biopsy done in January came back VaIN 1. Another one in February came back VaIN 2, and by the time of my surgery in May ... it was VaIN 3 ~ Cancer. That is how quickly it advanced. The surgeon felt that he had removed 95-98% of it ... which sounds good, but still leaves "something" to begin again.
This is the shadow I live under. Not the "if" it comes back, but the "when" and the "where."
I'm supposed to go back for a pelvic exam every six months now, but I had to go to the county health clinic for the one in December 2012. They'd never heard of my cancer before, so did a simple exam, without vinegar which is now being used to see cancerous cells. [read this article]
I was due for another one last June, but didn't go because I wanted to go back to the doctor who did my surgery a year ago, I just couldn't afford it.
Even after I got a full time job in September last year that offered insurance, I couldn't go for another exam in December because none of the doctors I needed to see accepted my insurance. I would have had to pay for the office visit in full and just don't have the money ... or the desire to add to my stack of bills that give me nightmares. When I changed my insurance to the next level up at open enrollment ... the money they started taking out of my paycheck to cover it put me back on that paycheck-to-paycheck roller coaster. Paydays I have to decide what is more important ... lights? water? food? gas in the car to go to work? Not to mention that I would miss work to see a doctor and then have a smaller paycheck as a result. It is a vicious cycle.
There are a combination of guidelines set by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) to stage vaginal cancers. These guidelines help doctors get an overall picture of the extent to which the cancer is affecting the body by taking into account size, shape and spread.
"The TNM system evaluates the size and extent of the tumor (T), the spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes (N), and whether or not the cancer has spread (M) to other sites, using the letter M to indicate metastasis. The combined summary of the categories TNM are reported as Stages 0-IV. The FIGO system, on the other hand, stages vaginal cancer based on the size and the extent of the tumor (T)."
"TNM Stage Grouping for Vaginal Cancer
The following are the TNM stage groupings for vaginal cancer:
- Stage 0 Vaginal Cancer - Called carcinoma in situ (CIS), this cancer appears in the epithelium, the top cells lining the vagina. Women may also hear their doctors call this Stage 3 vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN).
- Stage I Vaginal Cancer - The cancer may have grown throughout the vagina, but it has not spread beyond the vagina. It has also not spread to the lymph nodes or other distant sites.
- Stage II Vaginal Cancer - Doctors have discovered cancer in the connective tissue near the vagina. The disease has not spread to the wall of the pelvis or other areas of the body.
- Stage III Vaginal Cancer - The vaginal cancer has spread to the walls of the pelvis and/or the nearby lymph nodes. No distant sites are affected by the cancer.
- Stage IV Vaginal Cancer - In Stage IV, the cancer may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes. There are two ways to classify stage IV depending on where else in the body the cancer has spread to:
- Stage IVA - The cancer may be found in the bladder, rectum or other organs located next to the vagina, and possibly the lymph nodes. Distant organs or sites are not affected.
- Stage IVB - This is the most advanced stage, indicating the vaginal cancer has spread to distant sites elsewhere in the body, such as the lungs."
Friday, March 7, 2014
she was willing to love him
she was willing to help him
she was willing to share her life with him
she wasn't willing to lose herself
she wasn't willing to take part in the things that destroyed them
|Image Source: WeHeartIt.com|
she was willing to love him
she was willing to pray for him
she was willing to let him go
He was willing to take the cross for them
He was willing to die for them
He was willing to love them
He was willing to forgive them