Friday, August 31, 2012

How Do You Take Your Mornings?

Psalm 118:24  This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.  

The title of this post is a spin-off of ... how do you take your coffee or tea?  I take my coffee with too much Coffee Mate and I take my tea with no additives most of the time.

But the question this morning is ... How do you take your mornings?   Let's just say that I'm not a Garfield, the cat, that's for sure.   I look at mornings as a new day, a new opportunity to make a difference, a new opportunity to share a smile or offer a needed ear for someone who needs to talk.  When I get up in the morning, I'm ready to go.  I love mornings ... OK, so you're saying ... she's weird ... I'm saying ... I'm not.  I wake up talking ... first to my awesome Lord and then to anyone who will listen to me.  <smile>  I am not chatty Cathy or anything (well maybe just a little) ... I just wake up and I'm ready for the day.  I don't need a hour or two to get out of my sleepy time funk ... it's a new day so I say ... let's get this party started.

When I got married, I married a Garfield. <smile>  I did not know this at the time and much to my surprise he didn't bounce out of bed like I did and start talking.  Quite the opposite actually.  He needed his 'quiet time' plus a stack of chocolate chip cookies and glass of milk while he read the paper first.  I had to learn this ... the hard way.  <laughing>  After I learned that he was not a chatter in the mornings, I learned to talk to myself and most of the time, I answered myself.  <laughing even more>  He taught me that not everyone is the way I am and I'm thankful for that lesson.  I do not know if he still needs his quiet time in the morning or his cookies and milk ... but I know I haven't changed ... one bit.  I would love to hear how you take your mornings ... leave me a comment or send me an email.

Have you ever watched a small child interact with others or play alone?  Their innocence to me is so touching and has often brought tears to my eyes as I watch my grand babies play. (My girls would probably tell you that I think grass growing is touching and that I shed a tear over that ... they're right <smile>).   As I've watched Braxton and  Madelyn play with the toys they have ... the many toys they have ... it makes my heart smile.  Each in their own little world playing out their little lives as they now know it.  

Let me tell you  that I have been taking lessons from my youngest daughter who is the ultimate money saver.  She has an incredible talent for planning out their meals for the week, making a grocery list and buying only what is on the list.  Her grocery list is also categorized by the aisles in her Kroger that she shops.  Recently her and hubby were running a little short on time and I was at their house keeping the babies so I told them to go ahead and go grocery shopping while I was there.  When they got to the store, she was able to tear the list down the middle because it was organized by aisles from one side of the store to the other, they both grabbed a cart and met in the middle of the store, each with their listed items.  So ... I decided I needed to plan our meals, make a list and buy only what's on the list (OK, so I might pick up a couple of things off the list) but for the most part, I am sticking to my list.  It's really unbelievable how much money I'm saving as well as changing from Walmart to Kroger where I get discounts of my gas.  It is .10 per gallon for every $100 you spend.

Last Sunday I think I shared that I had the croak pot going with red beans.  Honestly ya'll they were the best red beans I've ever eaten.  We had them Sunday night for dinner with cornbread.  I put them on the menu for Tuesday nights dinner with meatloaf and frozen potato wedges (Kroger brand). Weekdays I get home about 4:00pm in the afternoon and get dinner going so that when Alicia and Madelyn get home about 5:00ish, dinner is ready and when they are ready to eat, it's all done.  I made up a new recipe for meatloaf and it's divine.  Meatloaf in a loaf takes longer to cook so I decided that I would make meatloaf muffins.  Around my family, everyone loves the end pieces of meatloaf because it usually has the little crusty crunchy that forms from being thinner on the end so with muffins, everyone gets an 'end piece".  Meatloaf muffins also cooks much quicker than a meatloaf.  I only filled the muffin tins up to the top of the tin because of the grease in the meat and I didn't want it spilling over in the oven because we all know that cleaning an oven ... stinks!  <laughing>   Here's a picture of the meatloaf muffins.  I do not put ketchup on my meatloaf any longer until we eat.  That way if someone doesn't want ketchup then they don't have to have it.
Meatloaf Recipe by Me...
Package of ground meat (I use 80/20 myself)
Package of dry onion soup mix (use the store brand, it's cheaper)
Handful + shredded carrots diced up
Handful + diced onion
Kroger brand Garlic Bread crumps - eyeball these ... remember this is the binder
Plain bread crumps - eyeball these ... they are binders too
1 egg   --- this is the reason you need the bread crumps <smile>
Celery salt ... I don't measure, I just sprinkle

Preheat oven to your desired cooking temperature ... mine is usually about 350 or 400 if I'm a hurry.  Put the diced carrots and onions in a microwaveable bowl with a pat of butter.  Stick them in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes so they soften.  While they are softening, put the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and wait for the carrots and onions to soften and get your muffin tin out.  When the carrots/onions are ready, add them to the meat mixture and put on rubber gloves (I don't like touching meat) and mix it all together.  Put the meatloaf mixture in the muffin tin and put in the oven.  It does not take long at all to cook meatloaf muffins.

Now you're probably saying CARROTS in meatloaf.  Well I figure if you're having meatloaf, red beans and potato wedges, you need a different type of non-starchy vegetable besides you can't taste them and I had two bags of them (bought before the grocery list started).  I do this some anyway ... add some vegetable to a recipe that doesn't call for it but what the heck ... I'm cooking it and I can cook it anyway I want.  Be creative with your cooking.  By the way, I'm not much of a follow the recipe or measure kinda gal when I'm cooking ole southern dishes.  Little of this and little of that does it for me.

Today is my day off ... three loads of laundry down and a couple loads to go.  Tootie is at the groomer.  Good start to the day I would say.  Breakfast is calling my name now so I better go answer.

           Be like a sponge today and every day ....    

...   Soak up God's word.

Blessings!   Let's pray for each other ...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I am attaching the link to the youtube for the song ... Blessings .. by Laura Story.  This song blesses my heart every time I hear it.   Please listen as you read this post.  

The story behind the song ... by Laura Story

The album that I did three to four years ago happened right after my husband went through surgery for a brain tumor. So a lot of the ideas that I was writing about then were just very fresh, about how do we worship in the midst of trials. So fast forwarding a few years later, a lot of things have changed. A lot of things have gotten better with his health, and a lot of things have not. We pray for God to bless us, but what does it look like when I spend four or so years praying for healing for my husband that never comes? I feel like we’ve kind of gotten to a place of having to make a choice. Are we going to judge God based on our circumstances that we don’t understand, or are we going to choose to judge our circumstances based on what we know to be true about God? Not that I choose the right thing every day, but I’m learning that every morning when I wake up to choose to trust God.

And that’s what “Blessings” is about. It’s just considering that maybe the blessing is actually found in the absence of the thing that I’m praying for. No one wants a brain tumor, and no one wants a severed marriage and these things that we pray that God will reconcile. But even though this situation is definitely nothing that we ever would have asked for or prayed for, there has been a depth of intimacy with the Lord that I’m not sure I would have known apart from such a hard road that we’ve walked. And in the end, if I’ve learned to cling to that old rugged cross all the more, I truly can say that I’m a blessed person.

People have often ask me how I was able to find blessings in the valleys of darkness during my cancer.  They often said ... I couldn't be as upbeat as you are.  My belief that finding blessings in even the worst situations comes through our faith in God.  Leaving our problems, concerns, hurts or whatever with Him can provide us with a calm like no other.  The painful reality was that I had cancer and how thankful I am that I was able to reconcile that reality with God's love.  He didn't give me the cancer ... and how thankful I am that He was there walking with me.

Matthew 11:28-30 says ... "Come to me, all who are burden and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light".   

I hope your week is going well ... mine is.  I look forward to the long weekend.  I don't need spectacular plans because I'm here and I'm alive and I'm healthy.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Memory Found ...

Much to my surprise this morning, I rounded the corner coming out of the kitchen to the den and this was who was standing there ...  not that she's not standing there all the time but she had found her purple hat that she wore last winter when I was wearing hats and didn't have any hair.  Oh my goodness, yes, the bald memories filled my mind and then a big smile took over as I reached up and touched my beautiful short dark hair that has begun growing.

Add caption

January 2012 ... The Hat Girls ...
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God ... 
1 Thessalonians 5:18 

Watch how Pastor Robert Morris explains being BORN AGAIN very clearly. Such a praise yesterday during the 4:00pm service to watch people stand up and go to the front and accept Jesus. It was a God filled service.  Take a few minutes to listen ... you will be glad you did.    And a special song for all those who lead me to Christ, many have gone on to live with the Lord but their love and devotion was endless ... I am a life that was changed ....  Thank you for giving to the Lord.  

Blessed and praising God for the changes ... praying blessings for you today.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Storms...Grace...Thankfulness...Grandbabies ...

When you have something go awry in your life ... let's call it a storm (the graphic above is the best I could find) ... how do you handle it?  If you have been keeping up with my blog, you know the many storms that I have faced and hopefully saw in my writings that I wanted to find the good in the storm.  Sometimes finding that good is challenging but if you really try, you will see the good.  Most of the time we will never know 'why' that storm passed over our life but if we endure we will get through it.

Storms wage battles in our heart, in our souls and many times in our lives.  The many storms I have endured during the last ten months could have at times been categorized as a 'Cat 4 or 5' (weather service term).  I made my decision early on in my diagnosis that I wanted to handle these Cat 4 or 5 storms with grace.  I believed there was nothing I could not get through because God would provide me the grace I needed and desperately desired.

2 Corinthians 12:9 - "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  "  Therefore I will boast more all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  

I weathered the cancer, chemo, radiation and side affects storms because I believed that God would equip me with everything I needed.  I praised Him while the storms were upon me.  He was and is  there with me and I know and recognize that and He is here with all of us every second of every day, all we have to do is call on Him.  I cry out and He hears my cries and He answers me.

Psalms 37:14 The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them, He delivers them from all their troubles.  

A few storms that stopped over my place this week ... It rained early part of the week and my allergies kicked up.  I cannot figure out how in the world allergies kick up when it rains.  I thought the rain would drown all the allergens.  Then my sinus' got in gear.  After much prayer and OTC meds and antibiotics that I had, I began feeling better by Thursday.  Thank you Father.

Thursday evening we loaded up in my Highlander and when I started it  the little red battery light came on.  I told my daughter to get the manual out and the caption beside the battery icon said something like ... DO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR.  Great ... just great ... we needed bathroom tissue aka toilet paper and I was determined to get to our new Family Dollar store and get some Northern Bathroom Tissue.  On the way I called my mechanic ... he said ... DO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR, your alternator has probably gone out ... I said ... well what does that mean?  He said ... you are running your car strictly on your battery and there is nothing charging your battery so when your battery goes dead, you will be stranded.  Great ... just great.  I turned the radio and a/c off (much to my passengers dismay).  I left the car running while I ran in to get the bathroom tissue.  The young lady in front of me at the check out stand obviously did not know there was a car sitting in the parking lot that could die and we would be stranded ... as she slowly dug a penny out of the bottom of her little tiny purse.  I don't carry coin change due to the weight of it and my lymph node removal (that's another post) or I would have found a penny and said ... HERE!  I got back in the car and prayed ... Father, please please let us make it home.  We made it home and I thanked Him as I parked my car.  I called some friends to borrow one of their extra cars, went and got it. My mechanic came on Friday afternoon about 4:45, towed my car way across town to his shop, replaced the alternator and towed it back to me by 7:45pm.  He is awesome.  He charged me HALF of what a shop was going to charge me.  UNBELIEVABLE.

My praises came for the rain ... we need it so bad.  I cannot sit here and tell you that I praised God for the allergies, sinus, or car issues nor can I say that I praise Him for this migraine I woke up with at 2:00am this morning BUT I can tell you that I praise Him for feeling better from the allergies and sinus, for my car being fixed and it not costing an arm and a leg and that my headache is easing up this morning.  I think many times we ask God for help and then forget to thank Him.  If someone does something for us and is standing in front of us, we always say ... Thank you.  Just because God is not physically standing in front of us ... we need to remember to thank Him.  He likes to hear from us ... no matter what ... with our request for help or our praises singing His name ... He wants us to talk to Him.

Psalms 35:28  My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long.

Praising God contradicts what life looks like to us sometimes ...
Praising Him overcomes doubt ... who doesn't need that?  I sure do!
Praising Him overcomes sin ... 
Praising Him overcomes sorrow ...
Praising Him overcomes pain ...
Praising Him overcomes our own disbelief ...  

Praising God is not like putting our money in a candy machine ... we put the money in and in turn the handle and we get a 'goody' out.  Praising Him is our recognition that we have already received all that He wanted to give us and we are thankful.

And now on to my grand babies ...
Mathew 19:14 ... Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these".  

This summer has been a 'stay in the house' summer.  With all the West Nile reported, it is scarey to try to take your kiddos outside.  Last night everyone had had enough ... we donned mosquito spray and headed to the local park.  What a blessing the time outside was ... so much so ... both of the older babies cried when we had to leave.  Praise the Lord, as far as we could tell, no one got bitten by a mosquito.

As I close this morning, I thank God for all He has provided me, for healing me and loving me even when I know I'm unlovable.  I feel His smiles when I talk to Him and His arms around me as He comforts me.
Psalms 100:4  Enter His gates with thankfulness and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.

Blessed and praying blessings for you today.

NOTE:  Coming soon and new look for my blog ... I think.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Little Catch-Up Post

Needless to say that life has been busy.  I'm loving it and so thankful that I am here to enjoy the
busy-ness of it all.  I get tired but so does everyone else so I don't worry that ... oh no, it's the cancer. I think more along the lines of ... oh well, I'm tired and keep moving.  I told my daughter once that I would rest when I died.  Praise the Lord for being tired.

Last Monday I made my wonderful trip to Mexia, TX for my dentist appointment.  It takes me a little over two hours to get there so that means it takes me a little over two hours to get home.  I thoroughly enjoy the drive.  Once I exit off of I35 South at Hillsboro, there isn't such a rush rush atmosphere, however, the speed limit does get up to 70mph on this two lane highway.  On the way there, I kept seeing all these cotton fields and the cotton was still there, you know like it hadn't been picked yet.  Just the week before, my daughter who teaches 7th grade history said she needed some stems of cotton ... this was actually while we were at the local antique shop and they had some fake ones ... and after she looked at the price she said ... I'm not paying that much for fake cotton stems.

So being the good Mother that I am when I saw those cotton fields ... my thoughts were that I could stop and pick some stems of cotton for her.  And then those thoughts turned to the following thoughts ... 1) is that stealing if you stop and get a couple stems of cotton; 2) what would I do if a police man or state trooper stopped and ask me what I was doing; 3) what if the farmer who planted that cotton saw me and decided to beat me up or steal my car and leave me standing by the side of the road; 4) there was a lot of traffic on that road for me to stop and pick a few stems of cotton ... but ... guess what?  I pulled over on the side of the road, waited for all the cars to go by, jumped out of my car with my keys in my hand ... why I got my keys I have no idea ... and was heading down the little gulley thing that separated me and the cotton field and then as I was trotting up the other side to the edge of the cotton field this thought popped in to my chemo affected brain ... what if there's a rattle snake out here or what if there was a snake of any kind out here.  That was not one of the many things that popped in to my head before when I was deciding whether to stop or not.  Luckily there was not a rattle snake or any other snake between my car and the field because I would probably have wet my pants.  You see ... I don't hate many things ... but SNAKES.  They say ... leave them alone and they will leave you alone ... ba-lo-ney ... I see a snake and I run and it don't matter what's in front of me ... bed of nails,  hot asphalt or a hoe/shovel or any other garden tool  ... snakes might not directly hurt you but they will make you hurt yourself ... I know!  <laughing>

Before picking said 'cotton', I first took a quick picture of the growing cotton and then pulled two little stems off of different plants so as not to get too many off of one plant.  I stood up and was headed back to the car admiring my cottons stems and how proud my daughter would be to get them ...  and then I thought, maybe I'll get just one more so I turned around and trotted back (all the while looking for the snakes) and got one more.  Cotton is so cool on the stem ... did I take a picture of the stems when I got home?  NO ... I would do that before I posted that blog.  I just went to my daughter's bedroom where the cotton had been laying for a week to take a picture and discovered it's gone.  School starts next week and I guess she's taken it to school.  So all I've got is the picture of the field ... or the part of the field that would fit in my iPhone camera.    

I got the cotton, got back in the car all without a single car coming by, or the farmer or a state trooper.  The cotton I picked  is being used for learning purposes so I'm sure the farmer wouldn't mind.  Children these days probably don't see cotton growing in the city much.  

A little further up this Hwy 171, I could see a big truck pulling out and look what it was towing...
A house.  Yep, that's a house alright.  In this picture can you see the guard rails on each side of the road in front of my car?  That is a bridge ... wide enough for two cars ... not a house and car.  Well these guys that were on foot directing the traffic around the house, kept waving me on so I got to the bridge and saw how big the house was and decided to back up off the bridge and pull over and wait.    Besides I wanted to get a picture of the house as it got closer to share on my blog.  So I did what every other friendly farmer does, I sat and smiled and waved and snapped my pictures.
Below look at the house and the guard rails for that little bridge ... does it look like my Highlander would fit between that white line and that rail?  I don't think so ...  <smile>  There was a guy sitting on the hood of that truck and a guy standing on the running board by the driver.  They thought I was pretty cool for taking pictures... I just made that up ... they probably thought ... what a weirdo looking almost bald lady sitting here taking our picture.  <laughing>  Who cares what they thought ... I got the pictures.

Oh and by the way ... my teeth cleaning went well.  I didn't see my friend the dentist but may catch him next time.  Who knows.

On Wednesday of last week, I had an appointment with my breast surgeon.  Yeppers, I get to check in with her every six months now.  She looked at my scars and did the checking for lumps and bumps.  She laughed at me quite a bit during that visit ... I will spare you the details of our conversation.  I don't have to go back now for six months.  I love her and her staff to pieces but I'm happy to not have to see them for six months.

Thursday evening finally came ... I had plans .. BIG plans in my books.  I was going with two of my sweet friends, Sue Ann and Carol, to my first ever Pink event for Gateway Church.  This event was called ... Laugh.  The event was at the Southlake campus and I was so excited to get to see the new Church.  I go to a Gateway satellite campus' here by my house.  We have live worship music but Pastor Robert is on the big screens.  People ask me if I like that ... you know not getting to see him in person and my answer is ... Yes.  The new Southlake facility is so big that I would be watching him on the big screens anyway so why not save the gas and time and go right around the corner from my house?  The keynote speaker for the night was Jeanne Robertson.  I am including a couple of links for Jeanne's Youtubes.  Please click on them and listen and watch her ... she's a scream.  LAUGH was definitely a good name for the evening.  Jeanne refers to her hubby as ... left brain.   Don't Send a Man to the Grocery Store.  Don't Bungee Jump Naked.

Below are three pictures I took from where we were sitting ... and guess what?  I didn't get a picture of the three of us.  <sad face>  But there's another Pink night coming October 25.  If you're interested let me know ... we will make it happen.

Friday rolled around and I happened to look on Facebook and the sweet nurse navigator at The Center had posted that there was a luncheon at The Center for anyone who had gone through, was going through or was supporting someone who had breast cancer.  I was taking off work early last Friday due to the fact that it was my day off anyway but I had gone to the office for a bit so I took off at 10:45 and headed to The Center.  It was a great lunch ... pasta and salad galore and wonderful cupcakes for dessert.  There wasn't a meeting ... a beautiful thank you Lord prayer that got us started and we went around the room and introduced ourselves and what we were going through or had been through.  Such a sweet group of ladies sharing their breast cancer journey.  After everyone had eaten it was picture time ... so guess what ... Yes, I got a picture.  I made new friends that day ... friends who I know I have something in common with and pray that God continues to bring them through the rushing waters of this disease.

And last but not least ... I kept my precious newest grand baby, Brooklyn.  Her Mommy and Daddy had to go to a wedding in Milwaukee so it was Grammy time galore for me.  Brooklyn and I bonded and had so much fun.  I mean who wouldn't have fun with me ... the Grammy and a 2 1/2 month old?  We talked and cooed at each other for hours.  Life is precious ... don't let it slip by ... cherish the precious moments.  I sure do.  Three of the pictures I got while I was with her.  (NOTE:  Someday I am going to learn how to arrange these pictures and possibly have text beside them like a professional.  That 'someday' is not going to be tonight though.  <smile>)

And today (Tuesday) I learned if the model holds out for the tropical storm/hurricane headed in to the Florida area, it will impact Tallahassee.  Tallahassee is where my oldest nephew lives.  I text him today and sent him the models and he replied ... Wonder what it will be like?  No clue here but please let me know.  <smile>
Above:  See the 'blue blob' .. that's the storm... 

Above:  See the blue blob has moved upward toward
Florida panhandle.  As I mentioned, if it
holds together, the blue blob will
hit next Tuesday.  
Now if you happen to be interested, you can track the storm also.

Go to ….

Model Area … Select NAMER
Model Type … Select GFS

Under SFC-Layer Parms … select 1000_500_thick
Under Forecast Hours … select Loop All

That should take you to the latest model.  You can click the screen at that point to make it larger and you can also click and hold to move the area which you want to see.  Please understand I'm no expert at this ... I just find it interesting.  

Weather is interesting and fun, I wonder why?  Do you think 27 years working for the agency that forecasts the weather has anything to do with it?  I am so thankful that 27 years ago last Saturday (August 18), I was told about a part time clerk typist position at the National Weather Service, I applied and got it.  What was a part-time gig, turned in to a full blown career.  I'm blessed to work for such a great agency and the many people who had crossed my path.  

As I come to the close of this post, I want to thank those who have emailed to check on me and ask if I am OK since I had not posted in a week.  That means a lot to me as do you who care to read about my life experiences.  I hope you find humor in most of my writings, I hope you see the joy I have when I write and feel every day that I am allowed to be here on this great God given earth.  I continue to be blessed every day.  I want to continue to walk in the light of His almighty glory.  

"... I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.  John 8:12
Blessed and praying blessings for you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm Still Here ...

Life got busy and I'm praising the Lord that I am able to be busy with it.  I promise I will post more some time this week ... maybe tonight.  Lots to share and I HAVE pictures.  You don't want to miss last weeks excursions.  You know me ... it's always something.  Check back often...