Saturday, January 7, 2012

having fun?

Hope your first weekend of
 is fabulous!

Monday, June 20, 2011

want to go to Paris?

Jordan of "Oh Happy Day" adventurously moved to France four months ago with her artist hubby and two darling sons. To celebrate her blogs fifth birthday, Jordan has saved her pennies, and Benjamin's, for a lucky reader and companion to travel to her new home in Paris for seven {7!} days to explore and experience the city through her eyes.
Ooo la la!
I would love to be the traveller...and, I would want to take each of you with me;
however, if not me, then I hope it is YOU!
Go to Jordan's blog link to enter.
Bon voyage!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

One day at a time...

[Not sure credit; please let me know if you know.]

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Forgive me my fine feathered friends
whom I adore and appreciate.
I arrived home from school to find your water had frozen.
First thing I did was replace the water
then set out some food.
Mr R is picking up more seed as we speak.
It is critical the small animals have a fresh water
source when the world is frozen.
Please consider tending to your neighborhood creatures--
such a simple service when they bring such joy to our lives.

Notice the little bird tracks--darling!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

we need to reach out

Mr R and I spent the better part of the morning and afternoon calling and checking on many friends and church folks. We are very, very grateful for our heat and safety and more than willing to fling open our doors as wide as they can open to welcome anyone who needs warmth, shelter, a shower, place to eat, sleep and recharge their cell phones as well as their hearts. A place to gather, play games, watch movies or read. A place of warmth and shelter. I really wanted to put the heater in the bathroom and soak for a few hours with a book but that is not what a good shepherd does. We truly love our fellowman and know if our girls were still young and hungry and cold we would hope and pray someone would reach out to us and help as we don't have any relatives in this state. May we each have courage to reach out to all; co-workers, friends and even people we don't know well...or always embrace. It can be uncomfortable but it is so worth bringing relief! Isn't that our purpose, really? To help each other? It then is a way good color and all.

the long wait

We had totally prepared for the situation.
There was now nothing we could do but go to bed and wait.
We had food, milk, fully charged cell phones,
fuel for our generator, two vehicles with full tanks of gasoline,
warm blankets and clothes laid out by our beds in case...of anything.

Monday we had called our friends and chatted with neighbors
to ensure all had knowledge of the storm predicted to affect
1/3 of the US population and was headed our way
with not snow but ice.

We offered to get prescriptions, bread, fuel...anything
they needed to prepare their families, homes and pets for the monster storm.
Forty thousand households were without power when we went to bed.
the trees were encased in ice.
Tick, tick, tick.
We finally fell asleep.I awoke at 3:00.
We, so fortunately, still had power but the sound--
It sounded like our world was falling apart.
I bolted out of bed to again look out our window.
I know my jaw literally fell open.
The trees, so burdened with the weight of the ice,
were doing back bends.
Trees were splaying, half of the trees bent over houses, garages
and parked cars in driveways.
I could not see any trees falling but the crashing sounds continued
over and over as if hearing fifty or sixty car accidents with
glass shattering.
Very jarring.
I was so worried about the trees that house the birds.
I love my birds and bunnies.
Every two hours I had been rotating wide, shallow containers
of fresh water and food for them.
Now their world seemed to be crashing down
and with it we, humans, could have gaping holes in our nests,
lose our power and have frozen pipes.
This could be a dire situation for many days.

Finally, after about two hours, I finally fell back asleep.
{after I had sent our family an updated email at 3:12 am}

I awoke again at 5:30.
It must have warmed up a few degrees after all because when I
looked out the window I know my jaw fell open to the the ground
as I beheld ALL the ice was off the trees.
They were all UPRIGHT.
I was amazed.
I truly saw a miracle.
I am teary writing this.
I cried out with gratitude for us, the birds
and all in our community.
Thank you, Heavenly Father.
Thank you, Mother Nature.
Thank you.

My husband knelt by the window on one knee to get a better view,
looked out and echoed, "It really is a miracle."

We realized the shattering sounds were all the ice
slipping off the trees and branches and falling
to the earth.

We weren't totally out of the woods yet as we could lose power
at any moment and it is cold out;
however, it was dawning a more hopeful day.

I did wonder aloud if Punxsutawney Phil would see his shadow...or not.
I love winter but this is enough, even for me.

day to night

This is how much ice we received before the sun set
on the first day of February.
Quite a bit--a quarter to a half inch of ice
encapsulated each twig and branch.
It was pitch black out as we went to bed around 11 pm.
We peeked out the window and were astonished
to see icicles 4-5 inches long frozen to each branch.
{My dear Mr R kindly shone our super strong flashlight
onto the frozen daggers for me to try to get a photo.
Mind you, I had the window open and was
hanging out as the ice was pelting us--thanks love.
I know its not a good, even fair, photo
but it gives you an idea of the severity.}
We quickly turned on the news for an update.
Our weatherman explained they had thought
our temps were going to increase a few degrees after midnight
turning the ice to rain and melting some of the ice.
Unfortunately, he said, it was not to be
and was going to be worse than previously forecast.
He said to be prepared for all the trees to come down due to the weight of the ice
and they would be pulling the power lines down with them.
This storm is so wide spread it could be a few days
before the power would be restored.
Not good!
Currently, pink is not my favorite color.

the second color of February

This is what I saw on the 5:00 a.m. news --
*no more pink*
Although orange is not my color of love either at the moment
as it represents winds with gusts
of 30-50 mph for the next thirteen hours.
It could continue to knock down trees and power lines.
We still, very fortunately, have power.
I have lots of phone calls I need to go make!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

pink is for February

Pink is also code for i-c-e.
We have lots and LOTS of pink.
We are forecast for a lot of ice.
Mother Nature, please share gently
rather than generously with us this day.

Friday, December 3, 2010

going to be in the Big Apple tomorrow?

I wish I was!
I would meet up with you for the
Martha Stewart Holiday Craft sale.

"Dozens of artisans and crafters, including many
Martha Stewart company employees,
will be selling their handmade projects and crafts.
We guarantee you'll find a gift for everyone on your list!"
Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Sale - Martha Stewart Crafts
12:00 noon-6:00 p.m.
Starrett-Lehigh Building
601 West 26th Street
(between Eleventh and Twelfth avenues)
9th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Have a way good time!

p.s. feel free to purchase me anything...
I am sure I would love everything!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December is here!

I am grateful for magical events!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm baaaack and how to make a decision {Ch. 1}

I am content.
{for today}
It is raining outside...
it would be lovely if it was white fluffy snowflakes piling up,
but I, too, like the rain.
A lot has happened since I last posted.
I went to good ol' New Orleans and healed my lungs.
Realized a few days into July that I hadn't coughed-
time to celebrate, indeed!
I spent one additional month with our girls, regaining my strength and
walking our southern belle grand pup then returned home to a follow-up internal sonogram/ultrasound -- is there a difference?
I didn't need to do this; really, I chose to have it done
to close the chapter entirely on the book of my health happenings of May, June and July.
A new school year calendar was laid out freshly before me.
I wanted to be entirely confident I wasn't going to have a repeat episode of May so I confidently went to my appointment the Friday before school began.
That book was not closed.
Oh, no it was not.
It was thrown wide open when it was discovered I had a new, larger cyst.
Not good.
I have never had one previous to my May episode; thus, my dr thought it a fluke.
Usually a female has ovarian cysts for many, many years; not me.
The technician couldn't believe I wasn't curled up on the floor in a ball of pain.
Ummm, no. I wasn't in any pain at all.
Is that a blessing or a curse?
Hard to decide.
When my dr received my results her office called to set up an appointment to discuss with me my "options". I wondered and pondered what those options would be. I asked many a teacher, friend, neighbor. No one had had an experience like mine, which I did not find comforting. Everyone had either had super heavy periods {not me} or very sporadic periods {not me, as regular as can be}.
I just kept thinking, roll with this, Mari.
Just roll.
A week later I was in the dr's office and she said they were definitely going to take out the cyst.
Then I was given the option of having everything taken out.
Rewind. Please repeat. tubes.utures.and.cervix.removed
when I have totally normal, regular periods?
Oh, the book was open, wide open, with many an unwritten chapter ahead.
But I don't want this book.
I don't want to be a character in this novel.
I don't want to be the leading lady in this role.
No, no, no.
I decline.
I politely decline.
I vehemently decline.

How does one make such a decision?
She, my outstanding dr, that I years ago had waited three years to get into her practice,
stated, "Hormones or cancer."
Excuse me?
She said one needs to make a decision based on their family history; if cancer runs in the family tree, most women opt for everything to be taken out as there isn't a test for ovarian cancer.
I grabbed my right side and resolutely proclaimed,
"I am keeping my right ovary."
Then I inquired, "Why would I have my right ovary taken out
if I will have still have my left one?"
She said, "I am taking out your left ovary no matter what."
I gasped, "You said you were taking out the cyst,
you didn't mention my whole entire left ovary was coming out."
I then grabbed my left side and said, "It could have given me our children."
I absolutely thought sitting on that table I was only going to have my left ovary removed
and we would be done.
She said to take a week and think about it; to talk with my family.
I said they will 100% want me to do what I feel is best for me.
I asked her what I could read, where could I look up the research,
whom should/could I talk with regarding this monumental decision?

She again explained that there is no correct answer.
Each body responds differently and there are no predictors.
One doesn't know how their body will respond.
*this was very, very hard for me to digest*
Give me something to research, people to talk with; some concrete information;
please point me in a direction to understand all this so I can make a decision.
Hormones or cancer.
I declared, "No doubt, God is a man."

My doctor did prove correct in the next six days as I asked anybody
[practically everybody]
what they would do:
left ovary only or the whole she-bang?
If cancer runs in their family, especially women whom have lost a loved one to breast cancer
{and I, incredibly sadly, had my eyes opened in this, so many; far too many, each one is too many!} or a father to cancer they did not hesitate, not even for a second.
They ALWAYS responded to get all of my female organs removed.
No question. No hesitation. Do it.

We have other things in our family tree; but, very, very fortunately, not cancer.
I really was hanging onto my my right ovary...
to have natural menopause.
I cannot emphasize this enough; I was having regular periods on a regular schedule.
I had not had nor experienced any perimenopausal symptoms.
WHY would I have all my organs taken out?
why, why, why?

And...I would experience "traumatic surgical menopause".
My understanding, of course I am not a doctor, but again, my understanding,
is the moment you are on that surgical table and they snip your ovaries,
you experience an abrupt hormone withdrawal
[estrogen, progesterone and testosterone].
Not an easy decision to make.
No gradual transition into menopause.
Definitely a life changing decision and obviously no turning back.
And no real answers.

Where oh where is my crystal ball?!

Then, about on day three or four of my decision making week,
our youngest daughter called and said,
"Mom, you are going to go into menopause someday.
It could be gradual or sudden. You don't know that either.
You could have only your left ovary removed and then you could have a cyst grow in your right ovary, as this may be in your system and then you will have to go through another surgery. The greatest risk of surgery, Mom, is anesthesia and opening the body cavity (infection). Why not get it all taken care of now?"
And..."There is no test for ovarian cancer so why not get this taken care of and never have to worry about it?"
I said, "Because cancer does not run in our family. WHY would I do this to myself?"
Then she, with her master's in neuroscience quietly replied, "Mom, you have your sister and your mother and her mother, your maternal grandmother. That is not a large sample size!
Just get this taken care of. Completely."

When I returned to my gynecologist seven days later, I replied resolutely,
without hesitation, "I am going to have it all taken out."
Finally a decision.
Dr asked, "Final answer?"
I felt good about it.

Now let's get the show {or surgery} on the road.
Let's do this!

I must mention also, and some may find this embarrassing but I am fine with it because I had no one to discuss all this with so I am putting it all out there for you or anyone you know who may go through this, I also have bladder incontinence. When I was formed in my mother or when ever these things take place, maybe puberty, I have had a tipped uterus.
From the first time I went to a gynecologist before we were married I was told I had a tipped uterus. It has tipped all these years onto my bladder, resulting in my bladder incontinence.

I had asked my dr, Dr E, at the first appointment if I had a total abdominal hysterectomy, could I please also have Dr H, a urogynecologist, fix my bladder? Mrs Dr E had referred me to Mr Dr H three years ago and I had undergone a series of bladder function tests.
Dr H said I definitely needed my bladder reattached.

This honestly is also what tipped me into choosing to have everything removed; get it completely taken care of, all of it.

Now to schedule the surgery(ies).
Tricky, as each of the two involved surgeons have different surgery days of the week!
Heads up--if your dr's office calls and says they need to reschedule you please try to be patient and understanding!
I knew one of the doctor's was going to have to cancel their patients for that slate of time I would be in surgery. No one wants to upset their patients by changing schedules and both my doctors are sought after as people travel to be treated by them.
Um...both also kind of have big ego's.
They are great at what they do but which one was going to change her or his schedule? sister had given me an incredibly generous gift for my birthday back in April; to go to Old Quebec. I had suggested we go in the fall. Everything was a go for us to have our passports stamped on September 19.

This, my second appointment with Dr E, was September 8.

I didn't mention our travel plans as they said I needed to get this surgery done.
I was rolling with it, remember?
No stressing.
Go with the flow.

I thought it may take a week for them to coordinate everything.

Three business days later, Monday, September 13, my two dear friends Linda and Deb, were here visiting with me and as I was explaining all this to them, my cell phone rang.

It was L, the scheduler from Dr E's office, and a former student and she said, "You went after your appointment and had a chest x-ray, mammogram and your blood work. You are cleared for surgery. How about this Thursday?"

This Thursday, as in 60 hours?

I was slightly a flutter.
My mom and sister who were going to take a turn each to fly out and take care of me live on the west coast which involves plane tickets and the purchase thereof. Last minute is expensive.
L said, "I have secured an O.R. and Dr E is on board. WE will not know until we confirm first thing in the morning with Dr H's office."

Was I going to Old Quebec on Sunday, September 19
or to the operating room on Thursday, September 16?

Either way I was packing a bag!

to be continued...

p.s. it is still raining....awaiting a dusting of snow.