Monday, May 16, 2016

WHAT? Not a Prayer Request Post? NOPE- It's FANCY ANNA AT A PAGEANT-

It seems like it has been FOREVER
since I did a normal, fun post.
Finally!  Here you go!

I felt that MyHero was well enough
to stay alone for the weekend
if the local kids would check on him.
They did- calling to assure me
that he had NOT burned the house down
mainly because he can't eat anything cooked.

SOOOO
I drove to 
Lafayette, IN 
to watch 
Little Miss Bright Eyes
(aka Anna Ireland)
in a toddler pageant.
First, I want to say that 
my daughter, Mindy Rose, is 
NOT A PAGEANT MOM AT ALL.

She did this on a fluke.
Bright Eyes wore a dress that has been
worn at least 7 or 8 times-
including by her older cousin-
WHO HAPPENED TO BE
the FLOWER GIRL at 
Mindy Rose's wedding!
Who would have thought
one day her own little girl would be wearing
that same dress?
Anyway,
Anna Ireland was the youngest 2 year old 
in the pageant.
She competed in the 2 year old competition.
One was for 'dress up'
and one was for a pageant issued
Tshirt which I took in and 
Mindy blinged up.
It was huge on her. 
She wears a size 24 months and this was
a size 5 or 6 Tshirt.
Thank goodness for needle/thread/scissors.
I will say she had 
THE CUTEST Tshirt there!
Anna, not being versed in
PAGEANT ETIQUETTE
heard the song
"Let It Go" (from Frozen)
playing as they walked onstage.
She LOUDLY sang
LET IHT GO-LET IHT GO-LET IHT GO
over and over again
which made everyone laugh
(except the competing mothers).

We could not take any pictures inside
the room or she would have been eliminated.
But we took some outside.
She was so good-never cross or bratty.
She loved riding the 'elvaator'.
So...how did she do?
She was entered into three categories
(which you had to decide when you got there)
She took FIRST PLACE in all three of them.
I hope I get these right!
Future Model Star/Face(?)
Attire
Personality
AND she came in 2nd runner up overall.
Pretty good for being a 'newbie'.

Her favorite game in the hallway-
ON THE CHAIR~
OFF THE CHAIR!
There were some little girls that
had lots of make up on.
To her credit,
Mindy did NOT put a 
speck of makeup on Anna.
She has the 'high color' that comes
from my side of the family-
ruddy cheeks and light eyes.
The only thing she did was tame her
already curly hair down.

So here you see--
BED HEAD -
Before and After
Now for your laugh of the day-
Mindy Rose decided it would be FUN
to give Anna a
Retro NANA LOOK from the 1990s.
My OTHER SMART MOUTHED DAUGHTER, Tara,
said that she even had the 
Nana Pouty Lip thing down pat.
I may cut then ALL out of the will........

Sunday, May 8, 2016

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY-IS NOT SO HAPPY FOR SOME

I wrote this several years ago 
and I got so many private emails
from women who felt that I had
 'hit the nail on the head'.
Not all women have been blessed
with wonderful mothers.

I am away for the weekend.
Our first 'outing' since last Fall 
when John started cancer treatment.
However, I wanted to post this for all of you.


Mother's Day

Some of us have been blessed with wonderful Mothers.
Some of us have Mothers that were not quite so admirable.

Some of us have Mothers that praised us and adored us,
Some of us have Mothers that never said a kind word.

Some of us have Mothers that loved us unconditionally.
Some of us have Mothers that loved us only
if we met all her expectations,
and even that was not enough.

Some of us have Mothers that smiled readily.
Some of us have Mothers that never found much to smile about.

Some of us have Mothers that~
whatever we did~ it is more than they hoped for.
Some of us have Mothers that
no matter WHAT we did-it was never 
"quite right".

Some of us have Mothers that had a charmed childhood.
Some of us have Mothers that were raised in pain & shame.

Some of us have Mothers that
 need us & want us in their lives.
Some of us have Mothers that are needy
 and we seldom see them.

Some of us have Mothers that complete our lives.
Some of us have Mothers that
leave us aching, wanting and empty.

Some of us have Mothers that stand
on this side of the Great Beyond.
Some of us have Mothers that have passed
 over this earthly barrier.

Some of us will emulate our Mothers.
Some of us will vow to never be
anything like our Mothers.

Some of us are happy and fulfilled,
no matter what kind of Mother we had.
Some of us will never be happy
even if we were nurtured by an amazing Mother.

Today I am blessed to be a Mother.
My daughters are blessed to be Mothers, too.
Today I vow that I will be
the best mother (and grandmother) I can be.

Today I vow that I will love
as deeply as I can those that share my life.

Today I know that I am blessed indeed~
Today I hope that you find blessings
in your own life-
and love your Mother
even if it is just because she gave you life.

~Happy Mother's Day from Me to You~
©Nana Diana 

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Prayer Request- An Update and An Unexpected Passing

Mary from 
emailed me a few minutes ago
to tell me that her cousin,
Donna Dudley,
passed away.

Please pray for Donna's Mom, Nellie,
as this older lady deals with the 
loss of her dear daughter.
Mary thanks you for your prayers.

Also, one of my daughters' friends
from school, Kelli Roddan,
 passed away very unexpectedly yesterday
from an embolism.
She was only 38 and leaves behind a
husband and son.
She was one of those 
'larger than life' personalities-
always laughing at something.
Please pray for her family.

Even though Heaven is brighter 
for gaining two new angels,
those that are left behind
must cope with the loss.

Please pray for peace
for their Earthly families.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A PRAYER REQUEST FROM ANOTHER BLOGGER

I was gone most of the day but came home
to find a special request from

Mary is a beautiful lady and she and I have become
good friend through blogging.
Mary never complains
even though she has her own health issues.
This is Mary- I do not have a picture of her cousin.
Hope you don't mind that I stole
this picture from your blog, Mary.
This beautiful woman
 is asking for prayer for this precious cousin.
Here are some of her own words.

Diana, I need to ask a special favor - my cousin is in the hospital and not expected to live.  They gave her too much radiation and fried her lungs. Can you please ask for prayers for her.  Her name is Donna Dudley and she lives in Buchanan, VA.

She is a lovely, soft spoken, sweet lady who raised Border Collies and loved her roses.  A very gentle soul ~

I know that prayers work and I have been praying like crazy, but they are going to bring hospice in, so please send an SOS out for her

Please send up some prayers for this dear woman.
Her dear mother is still alive and just heart-broken 
that her daughter,
barring a miracle,
 is going to pass away.
Please pray for a peaceful, 
pain-free passing for Donna.
Thank you!

Thank you, too, for all the prayers you have
offered up on our behalf.
Blessings and Love- Diana

Monday, May 2, 2016

STUCK AT HOME WITH THE OLD BAT---ME! An Update on John

For those of you that can't access
I am posting that journal entry here.

Hi Everyone,
I was not going to do any more updates because we thought John would be going back to work this week. However, they did an assessment on him at the Cancer Center this morning and they feel he is NOT READY to go back to work yet.  While his heart is willing, his body momentarily fails him.  The fall he took last week was a bad one and he is still bruised and sore.    He cannot get a deep breath, nor can he move freely-thus making it impossible for him to do his job as a chaplain adequately.

Once again John is on that rickety old bridge that crosses the cancer chasm.  He is certainly closer to the final shore of healing than he was--but he is not there yet. He talked to the head of his department today and it appears that they will hold his job for him.  That is comforting because it is one of the things that has spurred his healing.  He wants to go back to work and minister to people.  We will have to deal with some insurance issues but we will skirt that pot hole in the bridge when we come to it.
  
This past week our sweet Mindy came to visit us with little Anna Ireland.  She came to watch one of our other granddaughters, Maria, compete in a dance competition.
Wish you could see little Anna's arms.
She has a wonderful TATTOO that she 
did all by herself as mom drove from
Indiana to Wisconsin.
It is a work of art and covers her whole arm.

At least she hasn't learned to write 
naughty words yet!

Our little Maria walked away with top honors. 
She is the best of the best.  
Watching her dance is like watching wind blowing across a sheaf of silk.  
She is pure poetry and beauty in motion. 

 Last week she took top overall in Madison, W.
 She won a one week workshop with the Rockettes in NYC next summer.  She was thrilled and we are so happy for her, She works hard to perfect her art and it is all self-driven.  There is no stage-mom in the family; the inner spirit of dance comes from Maria's soul. Watching Maria dance is pure joy for John.  He loves his grandchildren and is so proud of all their accomplishments.
 
So-that's it, folks!  That is where we are at today.  While the progress is slow it IS progress and that is what matters.  Slow and steady wins the race..and he is winning
THE BATTLE AGAINST CANCER!

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and cards, letters & support.
Love you all!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

AN UPDATE ON THE PRAYER REQUEST FOR RON TOMES & A request for his family

Good morning!

I wanted to let you know that our good friend,
Ron Tomes,
has left this earth.

His body remains 
but his soul 
SOARS WITH THE ANGELS.

He died, as he lived,
with great dignity.
He left behind a legacy
that will long be remembered
in the community where he lived.

Please pray for his wife, Sue,
and the whole family
as they navigate the waters of the
grieving process.


Thank you for your faithfulness and prayers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DANCE FOR JOY and AN UPDATE ON JOHN

Happy Tuesday!
Sounds like a movie, doesn't it?
Starring:  Sweet Cheeks and MyHero.

For those of you that don't read 
I am copying that message over here.
If you already read the post there 
please don't feel
you have to make a comment here, too.
I know that time is a precious commodity.

Here is the post:

Remember when you were a kid and the days just seemed to drag out forever?  Only in summer when you were on vacation from school did the days seem to fly past and summer ended long before you were ready to go back to school.

Time has marched very slowly for us these last few months.  Six bad days followed by one tolerable day---five bad days followed by two bearable days---finally a week or two with a "good" day. etc---and then fast forward.  Today John has had a few good days in a row followed by set-backs.  There are days when he still feels nauseous and there are days when he feels very weak.

He has taken a couple of falls due to weakness and dizziness.  The last one being a bad fall yesterday.  Today, he is using some pain killers again.  He had pretty much given those up-just taking nausea control pills and something for thrush mouth.  If you have not had thrush mouth, you do not want it---trust me on this.

A week from today he is going to attempt to go back to work.  I don't know if he is ready but he has to do it for his insurance and benefits.  He will have to see what he can tolerate and cross that bridge when he comes to it.  For today, and the rest of this week, he is laying low, recovering from his latest fall, and gearing up/praying for the strength to be an effective chaplain again.

The cards and well-wishes continue to be a blessing to John.  A friend of ours sent him a prayer shawl.  He wears it all the time which took me totally by surprise.  I think it is going to be like trying to wean a baby from a pacifier to get it away from him! Remember when your kid(s) wore the same thing day after day and you had to creep into their room at night and "steal" it so you could wash it--hoping they wouldn't miss it.  What was the first thing they did in the morning?  Start a frantic search for "my favorite outfit".  I can see a replay of that in my future here. Hmmmm...maybe he is in his 'second childhood'?

It has been cold, rainy and dreary here for most of the spring.  It is sometimes hard to remain happy and upbeat-especially when you feel sick.  However, there are little things that make John smile.  He got a big smile out of seeing our little SweetCheeks (Julia) in her dance costume as she prepares for an upcoming recital. (picture at the top).   She always makes him smile with her droll comments.  Never one to mince words she says things like "that's gross" or "YUCK" when John coughs/hacks/spits/etc.  It is not the words as much as it is the accompanying eye rolls and facial expressions that makes me laugh. If she is sitting on the sofa she moves as far away from him as she can with a close eye on his "sick things" so that she doesn't get too close to them.She is not even aware that she is doing it.  I have found that we take our laughs where we can find them these days.

I think the next post will be from John as he prepares to go back to work and then we will probably give our Caring Bridge posts a rest for a while until after John's PET scan in June---unless there are some major changes before that...(please Lord NO MORE of those).......

Blessings to all of you- thank you for praying for us so faithfully. You all are the best!!!!  Diana

I will be back in a couple of days
with a report on your prayers
for Ron Tomes & his family...
and I will attempt to play catch up
on some things that have happened
that have NOTING to do with cancer.
Thank you, Lord, that there
ARE THINGS
that have nothing to do with cancer.
It is so easy to let cancer dominate
your every waking moment,
as some of you know all too well.
It is good to be distracted 
with other things that are part
of 'real life'.

Have a wonderful, blessed Tuesday.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Please Pray For Our Friend, RON TOMES, -Pray For A Peaceful Passing

You know I never mind
asking for prayers
for someone.

But THIS ONE is tough!
Our friend, Ron Tomes,
has only hours to live as I 
write this post.

Ron has a type of cancer
that does not respond to 
regular treatment.
His only hope has been a
STEM CELL TRANSPLANT.

His son was his donor a couple of weeks ago.
Sadly, for Ron and his family,
the transplant did not work.

His body is full of infection
and his immune system is so compromised
that he can't fight it off.

Ron has been such a wonderful support
for John in his recovery.
He prayed with him and talked to him,
understanding what he was going through,
as only another cancer patient can understand.

He has always been full of hope and is a 
TRUE INSPIRATION
to everyone that knows him.

Ron looked forward to golfing with
John and his buddy, Jerry Price,
this summer.
I guess he will be golfing in heaven now.
Please pray him home to that big
GOLF GREEN
in the sky.

He has maintained his faith in God 
and always felt his illness was
a lesson somehow.
It has been.
It has been a lesson in 
GRACE & ACCEPTANCE
as he fought this battle.

Pray for his wife, Sue, and their children, too.
His death will leave a huge hole in all their lives.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

Friday, April 15, 2016

THE BIRDS OF SPRING!!! A MOURNING DOVE AND THE JOHN-BIRD

This is the message I posted in 
this morning.
I know some of you can't access that site
so this is for you.

Good Morning!

We have survived another week  post-treatment!  We have seen some definite improvements this week!  

John had two appointments this week for assessment and 'training'.  He learned some exercises that he needs to do daily that will help him learn to swallow properly again. One of them is to hold your tongue between your teeth and then swallow. Sounds easy, right?  Go ahead-try it- I'll wait.  Y'all did it, too, didn't you?  I know you did.  Not as easy as it sounds, is it?  It is kind of what a baby does when they are nursing-the undulation of the tongue that takes the milk/food to the back of the throat and down.  Yeah---NO NURSING allowed here--so the exercise is his only option.  I said that to my son and he said that even saying NO NURSING created too horrible of a visual to even think about.  So-there is your smile for the day. You're welcome!

Some of the exercises he will have to do for the rest of his life; others are temporary while his face/neck is retrained.  We also found that all of his saliva glands were destroyed except for one large one on the far back right side.  Simply put, this is a 'reactive' saliva gland and only works when called upon to produce saliva--as when a person chews.  That means that John will most likely have to chew gum during his waking hours.  At night, he has a throat spray that sits by the bed that he can use to moisten his throat when he wakes up.
  
He started trying to eat a bit this week.  He found that he CAN get food down his throat now.  However, NOTHING tastes right!  His goal this week is to drink one liquid protein drink over the course of a day-whether it tastes good or not.  He is also going to eat a half cup of soup or applesauce or something soft each day.  Everything tastes bitter, or sour, or tinny at this point.  Hopefully, some of his taste buds will regenerate. Meanwhile,  I am still tube feeding him about 2400 calories a day.  He has lost a total of 63 pounds since last Fall at this point-but, as of this last week, he is now holding his own.

He has set a goal to go back to work on May 2nd.  He really doesn't have a choice because of insurance and no more FMLA (family medical leave).  So, ready or not, he will have to go back.  I think, at this point, that he will be able to handle it.  It will tire him out but also be good for him to feel part of real life again.  Being sick and in limbo is no fun at all but I think John has handled it pretty well.  The golf channel has had quite a workout and ROKU has been a life-saver for those long nights when sleep will not come.

We have put off doing things we normally do-inside and out.  However, yesterday was a nice day and for the first time since last Fall John spent a bit of time out on the patio.  He swept the patio off and enjoyed the fresh air.  I decided to brush off the small side porch we have off our dining room.  I am just a LITTLE BIT LATE.  I had an old urn that I placed in the middle of the glass table out there around Thanksgiving time.  I stuck some greenery and berries in there and put some twinkle lights on it in preparation of the Holidays.  Those twinkle lights have acted as a nightlight when we get up in the middle of the night.  Well, we can enjoy them for a few more weeks because a mourning dove has taken up residence in the "tree" and laid three eggs in a nest.  I took the picture through the window (screen) from our kitchen window.  Oh well!  If anyone asks I will tell them we are headed towards Christmas in July! Gotta love how those Mama Birds protect their babies.  She never took her eye off me the whole time I was watching her.



Speaking of BIRDS~The next message here will come from John.  If he is well enough to sweep the patio he is well enough to type! RIGHT????!!!!!  This Mama Bird is pushing the John Bird out of his comfort zone.  
It is time to 
GET WELL, BABY!!!!!  
 
Thank you for reading and visiting and continuing to support us in prayer and well-wishes.  We are blessed---even in spite of cancer---we are blessed.  Have a wonderful Spring weekend and live life to the fullest.  That is what we are trying to do!   Love to all of you- 

Friday, April 8, 2016

A COUPLE OF BRIGHT SPOTS IN THE WEEK!

For those of you that aren't able to access
here is the post from this morning.

Good morning-or afternoon- depending on what part of the country you are in-

 We are at the cancer center for hydration and I have to run a few errands while John is getting his 'fix'.
I am happy to be able to tell you that John was able to get a few ounces of water down his throat.  Swallowing is not an easy task for him but, thank the Lord, he did it!  That is a big step in his recovery process!

The next step is to learn the massage technique necessary to keep the scar tissue from becoming hardened/rigid.  The tissue is severely damaged under the skin (think hamburger-sorry-gross, I know).  The massage will help the tissues regenerate.  He also has to do facial excercises (which he told the oncologist he HAS BEEN doing-but I can tell you fristhand that he lied about THAT)!!!!  
Yesterday was NOT a good day for either of us. John had a day where he just felt completely exhausted-even though he needed to work on taxes. We ran out of John's 'food' so that meant a trip out to find something comparable.  The stuff had been ordered but did not come in when it was supposed to.  PLUS- My ex-sister-in-law's mom died and, as much as I hate doing that sort of thing, I knew I was going to go to support her and her sister and brother(s).  My youngest son, Ryan, went with me and i was so glad that we went. Another dear friend lost her dad this past week, and although I did not make that funeral it weighed heavy on my heart knowing what she and her family were going through.  Anyway, the purpose of telling you this is that when I got home there was a box sitting on the kitchen counter from Farm Girl Flowers.  I had never heard of them and I anxiously opened the package. Inside was THE MOST GORGEOUS bouquet I have EVER received in my life!!!!  The sender wants to remain anonymous so I won't 'out' her here but she knows who she is...and she also knows, via email- that she made my day...or-rather, my week! 
Thank you so much for all the prayers and support.  Thank you, too, for those that have sent cards and notes of encouragement to John.  He keeps hem all bundled up on his desk as a reminder of how much he is loved.
Of course I have to leave you with a smile.
Our little 'joker'  (from the BROWN E scheme-see last post if you missed it) came over last night.

He said .  "I have a 'special picture' just for YOU, Nana."  
It was darling artwork--looked like flowers and leaves to me- frame-worthy.
When he got ready to leave he got as far as the door and ran back and grabbed MY picture.  
"Hey", I told him, "I thought you made that for ME." 
"I did!", he said.  "I didn't say you could KEEP it!"    And off he went! 
 
Sigh- such is life!  Just when you think something is yours someone else grabs it and runs!