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Monday, December 3, 2018

Deck the halls

really,   Deck my tree
or Trim my Tree, as I have called it for years.

It started when I wanted to get to know a few ladies from BSF better....remarkable ladies...
So, I planned a luncheon in December with the Christmas theme.
Hubby got the tree up, food was prepared, the house was decked, but no ornaments on the tree. Ran out of time.
So, Plan B...have the ladies trim my tree.
And they did
And they come very year now and do that job for me.


The tree is up and ready 

The table is set and ready

The treasures.....

Photo credit:  hubby...caught in the mirror 
OH, and you can see the finished decorated tree

A job well done ! 

years past...

This was a great year.
A few friends that have since..moved on...

Only memory photo for  this year
Proof they did their job
and looked cute...very cute 

Going back in time...  

                Two of the first years... ↓  ↑  Some things don't change....still cherished friends 

So the memories linger.   
I am so blessed to have these woman in my circle of friends,
if only in my heart.
I will always miss and remember Liz,  she was a treasure to us all.   

I live an exciting life 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Much to be Thankful for

Thanksgiving 2018

( Hi Marti..hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving )

 A little different this year. Well, each year is a little different

Oldest daughter always goes to her in-laws  ( unless next daughter is in town )
Next daughter lives out of state ( comes sometimes, never enough )
youngest daughter ...YES ( except that one time she went to in-laws in North Carolina )
favorite son...YES ( he used to find other options, but now, it is family, our family )

We often invite friends who do not have family in the area. This year we invited our new to us neighbors.
 ( They have lived across the street and up one house for two years..some people take longer to just go over and say Hi !  sorry, neighbors  )

Only verbal invitations for this celebration
And it was a special celebration
No party favors, but we like to have flowers

Little pilgrims were my Mother's 
sparkle pumpkins are new ...reminder of visits to Evergreen for treatments
Lessons were learned.   

Kitchen helper came early

with plenty of time to play Uno 

When the meal is ready, there is more than the table can hold..

Not the best shot, but it is a memory.
and for the record
The man in blue cooked ham, southern stuffing, deviled eggs, yeast rolls and pecan pie. ( wife was under the weather )
His wife grilled Brussels sprouts with bacon 
They  also brought pickles  and ice cream  
( we will always include that family ) 
Neighbors brought wine and Merci treats 
Favorite son always brings plenty of sparkling cider 
That left for this hostess ...
turkey, sweet potatoes,mashed potatoes, gravy  cranberry sauces, fruit, commercial sweet potato pie, coffee 

Well, we sat for almost two hours and were happy to get better acquainted with our neighbors and with the tech industry WOW.  That  younger generation knows a lot.  

After the company took their little one home,
we worked on a puzzle  ( Norman sweet )  and just relaxed with family.

A great time was had by all

Memories of Thanksgivings past:

Remember when Ruth fell in the gravy  ( a little book about Ruth and Naomi )

One year the power went out. Our friends from the Bay area, Akagi's  came...we BBQ'd the turkey and when the lights came back on,  discovered two extra pots of coffee.  ( for all who do not enjoy coffee, that is a good thing )

A couple years ago, favorite son offered to host. That was the year everyone else had other plans.  That was also the year that Mom made the meal and took it over to favorite son's house.  That was the last year for him to "host"

Many years we celebrated with my sister.  Before any of the cousins were married and Grandma Pitty Po joined us.  She had little gifts for everyone around the table.  It was a surprise, a big surprise when someone noticed the little bars of soap had pictures of naked men.     (sometimes it is best to wear those reading glasses when shopping  )

I live an exciting life
and I love it ♥

Saturday, November 17, 2018

It started in the Springtime.

A message about being a good neighbor ....

you know... Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:38 and 39

Then the speaker said to turn the program over
Write your name in the center
Put four boxes around your name
Write  the names of the neighbors living in those "boxes"
Now add something you know about them

For me, most of the boxes were blank.

Pretty embarrassing.

Yes, two of the four are new this summer, but the others...

A couple weeks later, on a Saturday, the boys across the street helped me take scones to the neighbors to the right.
" She is shy, so we came with her"  they said.    That was the truth

A week later we did the same, heading to the left.

That was when I discovered there would be a new member in the neighborhood.
The wheels started spinning and I felt a baby shower would be fun.

That was a few months ago....Baby is now two months old......the shower was last weekend.

My friend Nancy made adorable invitations

I went door to door, by myself, to hand deliver them to the "lady of the house"
Who doesn't love a new baby ?   And who does not want to know who lives next door and across the street and... you get the idea.   

Party favors for all 

Fourteen women gathered in my living room on Saturday morning.
Liz brought cheese ( two large platters of cheese and crackers )
Jane made a huge fresh fruit salad

Barb's bread pudding was great 
Shirley served slightly toasted  croissants
Perfect with my lavender jelly, fig preserves and peach jam 
Irena  brought very moist sweet bread 
More than enough with  monkey bread muffins and egg dish

Shannon brought a beautiful centerpiece 

Coffee, tea, sparkling cider.

and then ...
We used the very old rocking  bassinet my hubby slept in, also  his sister,  our 4 children and about 25 older babies, to hold the gifts for our special guest.    Then, he got to take a ride. Now his name is on the bottom.

I live an exciting life  
I am blessed   

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Festival of Lights 

They are celebrating in the mall   

These are the ladies that danced...

and free Henna 

But the big event for us, was the invitation to our neighbors to celebrate the
                                          Festival of Lights

Food...lots of food....good and yummy food and very gracious people.

The meal starts with dessert  ( on the left )
It is their way of adding sweetness to  the evening
Starting and ending with sweets.

Chicken, cashews, rice and mint...
They prefer spicy food.  Stronger than served in American food.
Tonight's entree was delicious

"We eat with out hands"
And he did..  and I did
Then   the crepes
dipped in coconut sauce 

and then...


The final course
Sweet and delicious   

We also learned about India. 
English is taught in all the schools and in college the classes are all taught in English.  British English.  So in the business world, the language is English.  Also, college education  costs less in India, much less.

There is great respect for family members, and friends. You do not call anyone older than yourself by their first name.  So, I am aunt to our host and hostess and Grandma to their little one.

Our host and hostess spoke very easily with us and we had a very special time 

Anticipating more opportunity to learn about our neighbors and appreciate our differences.

I live an exciting life  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Fun times...

just remembering a ride with little man

I picked him up after school

"Let's put the top down on Sabrina " he says

Why not !! it is over 40 °, the sun is shining and that is what Grammy's do !

Highlight:     passing a group of intense bikers...You know, all the right gear, heads down, keeping to the far right..

Little man and I waved wildly as we passed them and the lead biker smiled and waved back wildly !

That was pretty fun!

I live and exciting life

Sunday, November 4, 2018

October's big event

It started a week ago.

Little man was my helper this year
Two fun size, two middle size, two candy kisses
and  a true story about Jesus and His love

And this is the main reason I like this holiday. I can share the "good news" with anywhere from 90 to 190 visitors
and no one says no.

Bringing a bottle of "Lemonade " into the living room is not usually in order, so I reminded little man to be careful..
just as it tipped over. 
So, the next break took place  in the family room. 

And a little popcorn and a movie is in order 

This year I wore the glow in the dark spider shirt from my friend Cheri
and glasses that came from somewhere

Last year I wore my Belle costume
( a yellow bridesmaid dress I bought at
my friend Judy's garage sale )

Pictures of all the visitors are taken
Some cooperate more than others
Photos from previous years are posted on the door 

It was the final group of the evening
About 8:30
These little charmers at the end
I asked if they were the ones who did not want their picture taken and they assured me they were not. In fact, Miss Blondie, took her jacket off and posed ...with treat bag number 95
I think... it was like saving the best til last   

( I did not get permission to post any photos so hopefully all the disguises are "working" ) 

How many visitor came to your door?

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Marking the final days

When Cancer strikes it becomes a family affair.

The final walk 

This entire department is serene
Very welcoming
And the staff are very encouraging and caring.
We have never seen anything like it  

But first, a little thought processing has been going on....

You might not like it...or admit it...or deal with it...but it is the truth, Cancer is a family affair. 

Most of us know that if your Mother or Grandmother have breast cancer, then all you girls need to get mammograms early and keep checking.

But did you know that if your Dad has prostate cancer, then you girls should also get started early with mammograms? 

I didn't know that.  I have three daughters.  So, early is now.

There are other things I have learned during these 44 days of treatment.  I have been along with my hubby for 42 of those days.   Some things were hard, but others just plain facts.

One thing that people often say is " it's the best cancer to have".  
 Well, I have never said that and I never will.   When prostate  cancer hits your loved one,  it is cancer.  It is hard. 
There are decisions to make. Friends and family have advice for you and stories to share.  You get emails from people who know a cure. And even when you have talked to several doctors and your plan is in place, there is still someone who continues to "share"

Lesson:  do not minimize any cancer. It is no respecter of persons. Age, gender, nationality...
It can strike anyone.  
Lesson:  There are ways to show your concern. Rides, a listening ear, prayer

The first day in the green room there were at least 10 people.  I brought a book but when I saw the puzzle table, I sat down and got busy.
It took me a few days, and Leo helping with the puzzle, to feel comfortable chatting with anyone.

Then it was time for Emma to ring the gong.  She was ready.  But I was not ready for the emotion.
My emotion.  When the journey is ended, it is emotional, it is a big moment. I had a little gift for her.  She hugged me and our eyes were swimming.  

Through the next couple weeks, two ladies joined the 8:00 hour .
Since I am feeling more comfortable in the green room, I introduce myself.
Tina has had Chemo and lost all her pretty red hair. But she is smiling and likes my shoes and ruffled skirt. We talk fashion. 
Jessica has had Chemo but still has her cute red hair.  She is smiling and is helping me with the puzzle.
Their treatments were much shorter than hubby's and their day came to ring the gong. 
This time I was prepared for the emotion. I had a little gift for each of them. It was a strange feeling to say goodbye, but so glad they were done with this chapter in their life. Eyes swimming.
Those girls gave the gong a good hit. It was a very exciting moment. In fact, one of them was so excited she walked out of the department in her blue dressing gown.  ( She didn't get far )

Lesson along the way: It is a good thing to be friendly. Get beyond that shy, protective  wall and step into that new situation with a smile. 

The 8:00 hour has two new ladies and a gentleman
One lady comes in a wheel chair and has been through Chemo and is struggling with side effects. 
The other lady caught her cancer early and no Chemo.
The gentleman is friendly and chats with hubby.

Their day for the gong is next week.

But our day is today.
And I was ready. A little treat for the three 8:00 "friends" who have a few more days in their journey.
Muffins for everyone.  

Sweetest surprise, daughter and her little man came in time for the big event 

They brought balloons and treats 

did not get permission from everyone to names   
Our journey is over.  We have learned some things
You do not know what a day will bring forth  ( Proverbs 27:1)

All the things you hear are true...we just forget, we are in such a hurry..
BUT,  spend time with those you love..tell them you love them... do not waste time on meeting the expectations of others.... love more..... pray more....listen... sing and dance ! 

The rest of the story.
1.  Gentleman with wife and two grandchildren, no energy
2.  Lady formerly from Cherry Crest. Alone 
3.  Emma and Leo
4.  Gentleman with throat cancer, never alone
5.  Stocky man, comes back for coffee sometimes..Alone 
6.  Sometime early, sometimes late, always alone 
7.  Laura, on her phone, always Alone
8.  Tina, chats about fashion, Alone, except final day
9.  Jessica,only 26 years old, very happy,  works on puzzle with        me,   always Alone 
10. Red Jogging suit, never sits down, always Alone 
11. Claudia, always cheerful, always Alone 
12. Leona and Tom, in a wheel chair. struggling with side effects
13. Jasper always early, always cheerful, always Alone 
14. Hubby...always cheerful, always early,  never alone.

So, out of 14 patients, 9 are always alone. 
And several patients were alone because they were able to keep working. Just two patients expressed extreme tiredness and that is one of the most common side effects.
Thankful, my hubby came through strong !  

the women patients, chat easily with me about life and some personal things

the men patients talk about cars and work to the group.until the final days when hubby and one man were the only ones in the room

( I was there working on the puzzle).  They talked about what was going on in their treatment and the typical side effects that occur. At one point our new friend says " I can't believe I am having this conversation".  But it was good.  Really good.  

We are at  the end of our journey.  A follow up in a month.   
We have much to be thankful for and hope we remember lessons and keep learning

Blessings abound !