Thursday, January 11, 2018


Finally some answers!
If you are a regular reader of my blog you know I have been having pains in my mid-section on and off for months.  My Doctor's have been relentless in running tests and trying to figure out this pain.  Good news was no cancer or masses.  I do have a hiatial hernia and so was referred to a surgeon.
random photos just because

The surgeon said my hiatial hernia which causes reflux and is controlled with medication was not causing my pain.  BUT...I have a Supraumbillical Ventral Hernia. What?? This is a hernia that is right in my midsection above my belly button.  When it pokes through it presses on the intestines and can (and does) cause great pain!  So the solution is surgery.

While not thrilled that I must have surgery I am so hopeful this will stop the pain I'm looking forward to it.
It will be done out patient at the hospital.  I go for pre-op tomorrow.
I was curious what might have caused this and discovered that my laparoscopic gallbladder surgery which included an incision in my belly button might have weakened the area.  Then last Dec/Jan/Feb I had the cold and flu to end all colds and flu. It included coughing that just took forever to get better.  That was most likely a contributing factor in the weakness of that area along with too much belly fat (just keeping it real here).

I am scheduled for surgery on Jan 19th.  Sara will be with me and take care of me Friday and over the weekend if needed.  It's outpatient surgery so how bad can it be ... right??

I've been missing the Grands as they have had some colds and I can't get sick so I haven't seen them in a few weeks!

They are both well now so hopefully this weekend I can get some Grandma love! 

In other news, my Mom had cataract surgery yesterday on her left eye.  It went well and now we are on the eye drop regime.  Good thing I live next door as it is 4 times a day the first week and no way could Mom get them in her own eye.  We are hoping for good results and will schedule the right eye in the future after we are both healed up!

Thank you all so much for your concern, prayers and well wishes during this last six months.  I'm so thankful for all of you.
If you would keep me in your thoughts and prayers on Friday Jan 19th I would be so grateful.

Wishing you all Good Health!


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Looking Back at 2017

January found me downsizing again and doing a pretty good job of it.  I also started gathering supplies to start watercolor classes!
The craft room continues to be an ongoing project for January 2018!

February was hard.  I got sick with a cold/flu and didn't seem to be able to get better.  I did find some time to start watercolor classes online and found a new passion.

March seemed all about watercolors but I did stop in a few thrift shops and found a little favorite to share
This adorable nativity which joined the others for Christmas this year. 

April is Birthday month around here.  Both Tiger and Scout were born in April.
They turned two and six!  It's been a great year with them and boy have then grown since then!

May was super busy with a church rummage sale which I helped set up and run.  
As I continued my downsizing I donated many vintage items to the sale.  It was a fun but exhausting week and much was sold.
Annie Belle and I became closer and she helped ease the pain of missing Charlie!

June brought a birthday which I tried to ignore this year and more watercolor.
Started to see real improvement in my paintings.  I also continued my downsizing as I realized I no longer wanted to decorate for every holiday!

July was a fun month as I was able to plan a little trip to the mountains with my friend Carter.  It was my Birthday trip so I indulged and bought myself a few presents...vintage of course.
All Pink!  This was also the month that started my health issues.
I ended up in the ER with awful pains in my lower quadrant and was afraid I had pancreatitis.  It wasn't and so I was sent home.  The pain has come and gone since then and I've been having lots of tests and Dr's appointments trying to figure out the cause of this. Answers soon I think! 

August wasn't a very good month.  Hurricanes, floods, racial violence and I lost my beloved mother in law. 
She was a great lady and is missed by all. 

September found me blogging only once.  It just seemed a busy month with nothing much to say.  My health issues were starting again and I had lots to deal with. 

October and results from my MRI were pretty good.  No stones or masses.  Additional tests scheduled and the discomfort and pain persisted.  I made some dietary changes which helped a little.  Still life goes on.
These two kept me smiling! 

November and another month where I only posted once.  
More tests ruled out cancer and other bad things.  Still no diagnosis but an appointment with my Dr cleared me to take the trip to Texas at Thanksgiving with my Mom.

December!  A month to relax and enjoy the holidays and family.  I downsized more Christmas decorations and it made me feel so good.
I did not get a cold or the flu and was able to enjoy church activities, family fun and a visit from daughter #1.  The Grands were so excited this year about Christmas.  I was truly blessed! 

I find that I'm happy to say goodbye to 2017.  Not the worst year of my life but not a good one either.  Health issues were my main focus for the 2nd half of the year and I'm ready for some answers and solutions to this pain and discomfort.  I've been so thankful for my blog friends this year.  You stayed with me and encouraged me to keep blogging even when weeks would go by and I felt like I had nothing to say.  It's amazing the friendships we've made without ever meeting in person!

I don't make resolutions but I do set some goals.  I'll share that with you in my next blog post! 

Wishing you JOY,


Saturday, December 23, 2017

December 23rd!

I hope everyone is ready for Christmas! Any last minute shoppers out there!
I think I'm done shopping but haven't even started wrapping yet. But first I thought I would share a little more of my Christmas decorations this year.
I don't have a lot of Santa's but my good friend Patsy was selling these at our church rummage sale and this one just had to come home with me!
He is watching over my 'Night Before Christmas in Paris' book!
We don't do Elf on a Shelf but I found this one at a thrift shop and he is happy to live with me and watch over the bills instead of naughty or nice children!
Here is the kitchen tree hung with all sorts of cookies and baking goodies!
Do you see the fortune cookie?
I do love my Maileg pixies!
This year my Mom and I are giving each other Ancestry DNA kits.  It will be fun to see what they show.  I've been feeling my roots lately.
So Norwegian Helga has been reading to the brother & sister mice a nice French Christmas book!(it will be fun to see how much Norwegian and French blood I do have) 
Christmas pillows on the couch!
The Christmas tree is hard to photograph but it's been so much fun this year.  Vintage, new, handmade, bought, memory and souvenir ornaments adorn it!
I'm so blessed that my wonderful friend Donna@ Distressed Donna Down Home dyes the most amazing little trees each year.  This year some of them came out Flamingo Pink and she gifted me some in various sizes!  I just love them!!
Annie is enjoying all the ornaments but is careful with them.

But one of my favorite decorations is
Scout in her pink Santa hat with a big bow!!  She is so excited this year about Christmas! 

December 23rd is a special day.
11 years ago my daughter married the love of her life Blake!
I love them both so much!

Two years ago on Dec 23rd my brother reached the end of his life.  
I miss him and my Dad so much!
I'll be spending Christmas morning with Sara, Blake, Tiger and Scout!  Mom will join us for dinner along with Ashleigh!  She is flying in very late Christmas Eve and I can't wait to hug my girl.  Sara and Ashleigh's Dad will also be joining us Christmas night as he travels from Minn. with stories of snow for the Grands!  It promises to be a loud love filled day! 

Merry Christmas and as always...
I wish you JOY!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

When Things Run Their Course

run its course means "to continue (naturally) until finished".

To progress along something's 
natural course and conclude at its 
normal pace.

Don't panic...I'm not talking about my blog!

Let's back up a bit!
Texas trip was a success but not without it's problems.  Mostly that Mom got sick on Thanksgiving with a nasty cold and is still not feeling well. Still we got to visit family and enjoyed lots of talk, laughter, jokes, memories and sweet hugs and kisses! 
The view from our beach front condo on Padre Island.  
The view of the condo from the beach.
Not bad at all!

It was pretty warm but lots of wind.
Cloudy mornings with mostly afternoon sunshine.  I took a couple of walks on the beach, collected seashells for me and the Grands and relaxed!
Next to us was a public beach.  You can drive your car onto the beach and set up camp.  Fishing, grilling and fun!
They had the Berkeland spelled wrong but the thought was nice.  
We had 62 for Thanksgiving Dinner! 
There was a group photo taken on the beach but I don't have a copy of it yet.  I'm looking forward to getting that memory.  
Before leaving Houston we were able to visit with my niece Amanda and her son Ethan.  Mom enjoyed seeing her Granddaughter and Great Grandson!
I miss them so much!
Beach feet!  I've been taking a photo like this for years! 

The travel home was hard since Mom didn't feel well.  Thank goodness for wheelchair assistance, portable oxygen and helpful flight attendants! 
Picking up the kitties and getting home felt so good! 
I missed Annie so much.  She forgave me rather quickly although she is not sure about this 'tree' in front of her window.  I love this photo of her.  Napping under the Christmas tree was always a favorite place of Charlie's and it warms my heart to see Annie there! 
Getting home on Nov 28th put me behind in my Christmas decorating!
So I hauled out the tree and got it up right away.  It took a few days to get out the ornaments but they are mostly on the tree now. 
I started working on the cubbies filling them with vintage Christmas.  Then I sat down and realized it looked cluttered to me.  So I decided to edit my vintage to the items I really love. 
The top cubbies are good! 
My collection of nativities is too crowded so I'll rearrange that soon.
I love everything in this cubbie!
It feels good to let go.  Some things I'm sending to my friend Donna and others I'm donating back into the wild. 
So here is where the phrase 'when things run their course' comes in...
I realized it was truly time to downsize my Christmas.  This isn't the first time I've done this, but this time it was 'use it or lose it' time. 
This tote of ornaments and decorations most of which hasn't been used in years is going to my church.
This box of ornaments and various decorations is going to the thrift shop
This box of ornaments is going to my daughter's house.  Some for her if she wants them, some for the Grands (they each have their own tiny tree they decorate) and what they don't want...donated!

I am looking at two empty totes and more space in my ornament boxes! 

As I've gotten older it has been harder and harder to haul out those totes, decorate, put the totes away and then clean up after Christmas.  I still love to decorate but I decided I can't keep things I no longer use.
**The ONLY exception is shiny brites some from my childhood that I don't display around the Grands or the Cat**
I will still hunt for vintage Christmas. This sleigh and Santa are both 2017 thrift store finds and keepers!
But I no longer will buy everything I think is 'cute' or 'old' or 'tiny' or ...
I just can't!
I thrifted all of these items this year and some are staying, some are gifts and some I'm returning to the thrift shop...sigh!  
I'm not done going through all the Christmas yet, but I've made a great start.  Sometimes things just run their course!

Wishing you JOY,