Wordless Wednesday

I’m trying really, really hard NOT to use words. But, in case you were wondering, she’s a unicorn. 😉

Blog hopping today with Wordless Wednesday over at Comedy Plus.

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Awww Monday: June 18, 2018


Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well. ~George R.R. Martin

Seems strange to talk about the end of summer when it’s only mid June. But, by this time next month, school supplies will be in the stores and Autumn decor will be everywhere…if not sooner.

Summer began with a bang as our oldest daughter got remarried (more pictures coming soon in a separate post). Originally set to be in their backyard, the day’s forecast was for rain and severe storms. So, it was relocated to the lower level of our house! And, in typical Mother Nature fashion, there was no rain during the day.

On the heels of that, our church’s version of vacation bible school on some serious steroids took another week. And, just because we hadn’t had enough fun, after that we took the grands on a mini vacay for a few days.

Peanut and Twix have now left for their summer visitation with their dad halfway across the country. I should breathe a sigh of relief for the break in child care responsibilities, but it’s always a bittersweet time. Entrepreneur and I need some down time to focus on us for a while.

Yes, time is flying by at warp speed….not willing to pause and allow anyone to savor the moments. All we can do is try and make the most of each day….whether child or adult!

Blog hopping with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Awww Monday.

 

Thankful Thursday

Trying out a new blog hop today called Thankful Thursday. I probably need this hop to actively remind myself to look for the positive things in life since so much of my last few months have been spent in the company of anxiousness, stressfulness, irritation and frustration. They are really not good company and even worse influences on others.

But, semester is (mercifully) finished, grades are recorded and school is officially out! All my college seniors are scattered to the wind to take on the world…God help them AND the world!

So now, I’m thankful for time spent with our two grand girls before they leave to visit their dad 12 hours away for the majority of the summer. At nine and four, they are handfuls, and they can test the patience of Job….but for Entrepreneur and I to be an integral part of their lives is a blessing we simply cannot overlook.

So, today I’m linking up with others for Thankful Thursday.  A big thank you to Sandee at Comedy Plus for introducing me to this worthwhile weekly opportunity.

I hope life settles a bit so I can participate in more of these hops in the future!

Awwww Monday

May is only half finished and it seems like Spring lasted all of about 5 minutes. Now….judging by the Doodle’s response to the heat….it’s on to summer. He remembers how nice the AC vent feels on these hot days.

Annie’s Sparks is on hiatus for a while, but Sandee’s Awww Mondays are still kickin’ it every Monday over at Comedy Plus. Post a picture that makes you say Awww…and that’s it! How simple is that?

 

 

A spring walkabout

Hello! Spring is finally here!! And I’m expecting a marked improvement in my attitude, despite circumstances that swirl around me. It was a loooonnnggggg winter in so many ways. Entrepreneur was overly susceptible to the cold now that he’s on daily oral chemo, so we didn’t venture out much unless absolutely necessary.

But the windows are open….and the pollen is building up on my tables. But no matter. I’ll dust every day if it means I can bring in the fresh air and see the sunshine.

It’s hard to believe this was the scene just about a month ago, April 1st, the evening of Easter Sunday. Spring seemed awfully bipolar this year.

My daffodils were the first to defy winter, and I had to cover them a couple times when the temps dipped way below freezing. I suppose they knew what they were doing because I ended up cutting a lot of them to bring inside to help me get through the month.

But now……now everything is in full bloom! My iris plants are budding so they’ll be the next featured posies. The temps are warming and we can finally get outside without feeling like an Eskimo in January. Here’s what I found on a recent walkabout in my backyard.

Creeping phlox. The soft purple color is so soothing to me. I wouldn’t mind if these crept all over the yard.

Lavender tulip tree. Not technically in my backyard, but close enough. There are no visible fences in our neighborhood so sometimes we tend to wander past official boundaries. This lovely specimen is a member of the magnolia family and makes us all feel very “southern.”

My all-time favorite spring tree is the redbud. I call them “smart” trees because they rarely show off until the threat of frost and freeze is over. Mine didn’t pop a bud until about a week after winter was officially in the rear view mirror. Unlike those silly  bradford pear trees that bloom at the first hint of warm temps…..only to turn brown when they’re hit with a cold night.

And here’s a springtime gem I found in my yard…with her lovely, yellow “wildflowers.”

She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
~A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

I hope spring has sprung in your corner of the world.

Happy Childhood Sparks and Awww Monday

It’s never to late to have a happy childhood.
~Berkeley Breathed

Well, I misplaced an entire two weeks out of my life with the flu and some type of lingering upper respiratory crap. I’m happy to feel a bit more human this Monday….but very far behind on lots of work. Oh well……

February has been a mixed bag of weather here in middle Missouri. This shot was taken just a few weeks ago when the temps warmed enough to play outside. Twix didn’t waste any time and covered a lot of ground……swinging, playing soccer in the yard, hitting a ball off a tee, and riding bikes, trikes and scooters! Her energy level is astounding.

Aside from a few, occasional temper tantrums, she might be one of the happiest four-year-old preschoolers I’ve ever met.

We, adults, can learn a lot from watching preschoolers. Play is their work. Wonder and discovery are their preferred method of learning. Laughing and being everyone’s friend is their measure of success.

Quite different from the “adulting” we do every day, isn’t it? Over-committment and responsibilities are our work. Worry and anxiety seem to overshadow wonder and discovery. We stop being everyone’s friend and laughter becomes elusive. The cruelty and injustice of the world can crowd out the wide-eyed amazement of what surrounds us on a daily basis.

What wonderful lessons we can learn from those precocious preschoolers. It’s never too late to recreate that happy childhood of play, amazement, laughter and friendship. It’s never to late to trust. Never too late to show kindness towards others. Never too late to discover something new.

Never too late to let out a belly laugh while swinging!

Annie at McGuffy’s Reader hosts a blog hop every Monday called Sparks. I’m finding that reading everyone’s “Sparks” is one of the highlights of my week. Her philosophy its simple:

The negative energy of the world has become thick and oppressive. Social media has become a part of this dare, negative storm. There is an obvious, universal need for more positive energy and peace. And, we can be a part of this affirmative change.

Also blog hopping with Sandee’s Awww Mondays over at Comedy Plus.

An unconventional Valentine’s Day

Today is our one-year anniversary. Most people speak of this in terms of relationship status. But today marks a very different anniversary for Entrepreneur and me. It was one year ago today, Valentine’s Day, when he went into surgery to remove a cancer mass in his brain.  Not exactly what you would put in a Hallmark card.

One year ago today, we were waiting for him to get out of post-op recovery. With my support system at my side, the minutes drug into hours until I could lay eyes on him.

And then next 10 days in the hospital were spent getting him stable enough to begin the long, hard road to recovery. I can say, without a doubt, these were the scariest days of my life. The cognitive deficit due to post surgery swelling was disturbingly real. And there were very few reassurances those first crucial days.

Looking back, 2017 sucked. This event forever changed our lives and derailed many of the the plans we’d been formulating for our retirement years. The surgery was difficult enough, but the aftermath has presented challenges that have left me with a loss as to how to overcome.

Targeted radiation to the area of his brain affected by the tumor gave way to 6 months of Bell’s Palsy. Oral chemotherapy is taking its toll with the challenge of providing nutrition to combat the fatigue. He left the hospital with high expectations to rehab and regain his strength and abilities. And he was on track for a remarkable recovery. One year later, he most definitely has impressed his physicians and surgeons, but when the oral chemo is actively destroying any gains, being optimistic and proactive becomes harder and harder. It grates on us mentally, psychologically, physically and spiritually.

Our support group is awesome. These people are the shining light in the middle of this dark journey.

I admit, I took for granted this would simply be a bump in the road. I expected him to rally and overcome obstacles like he’s always done in the past. But, nothing is a given anymore.

One year out…..he’s still part of our lives. He’s trying hard to push through the destructive effects of chemo so he can spend as much time as possible with his daughters and granddaughters. There is so much to live for.

But, there’s been a shift in perspectives. Gone are the aspirations of us having an active, retirement lifestyle. Every day is a struggle. Every day is a gift. Many cancers can be put into remission or destroyed completely. Not renal cell cancer. There is treatment, but no cure or remission. His scans have been clear over the past year, which is a blessing and cause for hope.

Entrepreneur would like to engage and live whatever is left of his life to the fullest. I’d like to say we’re not letting this get in the way, but that would be a lie. No matter how much we say this condition is not going to get in the way of living life to the fullest, the reality is….it’s in the way. If fact, it’s set up a roadblock that seems awfully difficult to get around. As long as he’s on oral chemo, his stamina is reduced and the usual effects of the drug are ever present.

The new normal.

Entrepreneur does not like his “new normal.” This type of chronic cancer steals joy and steals hope. And I’m not sure how to deal with these feelings or help him to overcome the feelings of loss of a meaningful life. I would love nothing more than to focus on enjoying whatever life is left….it’s just so much harder to live it to rather than to say it. I pray for an advancement in the treatment of renal cell cancer…..an immunotherapy treatment that would help combat the relentless destruction of the body from oral chemo. Clinical trials are underway for new ways to manage this cancer…but….and this is the cynic in me….when the chemo pills cost the insurance company upwards of $5K per month, where exactly is the incentive to find a cure?

So, today, Valentine’s Day, is especially poignant this year. It not only marks the one-year anniversary of brain surgery (two thoughts that should never, ever be combined), but also serves as a reminder that nothing in life is a given. Stop letting trivial arguments get in the way of spending time with those you love. Put aside those family disagreements and ask yourself….if you were in my shoes…just how important those petty irritations and grudges really are.

Happy Heart Day and may those your love know how much you care about them today and always.