6 years

In a weird calendar of events, I honestly have ZERO idea who thought February 4th should be “World Cancer Day”.  To celebrate?  To make money?  Is there a person alive today on the face of the earth that needs to be informed about the disease?  This is my blog, and I can say what I want.  I think the idea is stupid.

If you have cancer, every day you wake up, it is most likely the first or near the top of the list of things you think about. every. single. day.

sixSix years ago, on January 22nd, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and hypoparathyroidism.  The doctors told my husband, I most likely would not live to see Christmas.

One of the things that makes me slightly different from most stories you hear… I chose the path less traveled.

With tears in my eyes, I said a polite but firm NO, thank you to their “offer” of chemotherapy and radiation.

(side note:  chemotherapy is successful in 3% of the cases.  To those people, I applaud you.  You are angels among us. You deserve our light & encouragement.  You made an extremely tough choice. I am mighty grateful you are in this game of life.  I am grateful for your walking through the fire before us and for giving us hope.)

Now, I won’t go into how many medical personnel, “friends”, family as well as strangers felt the NEED to tell me I was crazy.   Should I count and tell you how many friends walked out of my life?

I will tell you that Mr. Right saved my life.

 Absolute truth.

Our four adult children were right there in the trenches with us.   My sister-in-law, brother-in-law & niece have shown and continue to show 100% unconditional love and support.  (even if they think my 64 ounces of green juice is “yucky”.  haha)  I had one friend, several states away, who while chose differently than I, supported me and encouraged me every step of the way.

The road less traveled is not decorated with pink boas or certificates or cute tutus or supportive people.  The road less traveled is quiet, lonely, scary, uncertain and foreboding.  There are zero insurance companies signing up to help you purchase vegetables for juice, or supplements or bio-mats or Vitamin C treatments or a new bike or Re-boundairs or trips to Salt Caves or $15.00 deodorants or all new makeup or all new cleaning supplies and on and on the list goes.

I am here today,  6 years and 2 weeks (yes, I count the days)  crazy alive, grateful and typing.

Chris Beat Cancer is a book written by Chris Wark.  On the back jacket of the book this is what it says:

“I am not “lucky” or special.  I am just a regular guy who listened to his instincts, stepped out in faith, and took massive action to help his body heal.  

I eliminated everything in my life that may have contributed to my disease, and changed the internal terrain of my body- making it a place where cancer could not thrive.  What I did, I believe anyone can do, including you. “

This is exactly what I did.  I made 157 changes to my life.  I am still studying for and researching health and wellness 1 hour a day, five days a week.

After 6 years I still feel jumpy that I may “jinx” it by talking about healing.  I still only trim 1/8 of an inch of my hair at a time.

Are people still gobsmacked when they run into me at the store?  “wow, I thought you would be dead by now”.  “We were waiting for the other shoe to drop.”  “You just need to pray more”.

This whole ordeal has brought out the worst in people.  I might never again go back to a Woman’s Bible Study or do more than listen politely when people tell me I am crazy for not following the norm.

The great news is, it has brought out the BEST in some.

Just yesterday our son told me about a Chili cook-off he has entered.  He has been practicing.  For the competition, he has to offer up 25 gallons of chili.  Then he went on to say, he chose to make a Vegetarian version that will knock the socks off any meat-eater out there.  He thought it would be weird to use meat in a competition that was to benefit a cancer research project.

Kids DO NOT listen…………………they watch exactly what you do.

They are smart that way.

cropped-lush-arrangemnt.jpgSo, on the anniversary of the 6th year of living and thriving, I brushed my dog, talked to my grands, went out for a fancy-schmancy lunch at the Fairmont and yes, I drank my green juice.

Here’s to year seven!20190122_134918-1

May we all walk in health and wellness.

Chat soon,

Daleen

 

nailed it

I create with my hands, a lot.   Here are just a few of my finished cross stitch projects from 2018.

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Similar to most folks, every single hobby I enjoy involves using my hands.  Gardening, baking, sewing, quilting, crocheting and cross stitching.   (Okay, technically, while reading I hold the book or kindle, however, not much wear on my hands.)

Currently, I have been crocheting hats for the grands.  As you can imagine, all those fibers catch on rough cuticles and my dry hands.

 

Don’t even get me started on counted cross stitch.  I am just now venturing into the world of silk thread.  Even the slightest rough cuticle or dryness and it has me putting down the project.

No, you can’t just fix the problem right then.  Oh, sure, putting on hand lotion, seems at the time that it will smooth out the rough spots and you can be on your way.  A quick fix for a short-term solution at best.

Before practicing the piano, I would soak my hands in very warm water for a few minutes.  Yes, it would help loosen them up and calm the rough spots during 30 minutes of practice time.

These will help albeit for a few minutes.  However, it is not a long-term solution.

Here are a couple of things that have really helped my hands and nail cuticles.

I can’t use any chemicals to remove dried cuticles so……………..

For a few minutes, a couple of times a week, I soak my hands in warmed milk.   Since we don’t drink milk here, I purchase one of those individual size containers of whole milk.

The lactic acid in milk helps remove dead cells and soften the cuticles; the natural fats help replenish dry skin.  After soaking I push the cuticles back.

Try, oh for the love of Pete…….try not to cut your cuticles.  I only typed that to REMIND myself of this.  That is a tricky one.

Once a day, sometimes in the winter, twice a day, I rub a healing oil on my nails and cuticles.  (I don’t think I have to tell you not to touch ANY of your projects until the oils have soaked in and you have washed your hands with mild soap.)

 

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Before I share the recipe, I put all of the ingredients into a roller ball glass container.  It makes it easy and mess free to use.  BIG, helpful tip…………BUY the opener.  Just do it.  Spend the $5.00 and buy the opener.  Stores that sell essential oils usually have them right at the check out stand.  Seems like a waste of money.  Until you actually have to open a roller ball glass or essential oil container. (which will be slippery because you are …duh….using oils)roller ball opener

Into a glass roller ball container, here is what I mix up:

1 1/4 teaspoon Jojoba oil

1/2 teaspoon vitamin e

5 drops lavender

5 drops lemon

5 drops frankincense

5 drops myrrh

You can also add other helpful oils like eucalyptus, grapefruit & rosemary if you like.

One more crazy tip?  I can’t use this after 2pm or I don’t sleep well that night.

The harsh winter months really emphasize how dried out our hands can become.  I hope these couple of tips will help you continue to create and work with your hands, and keep them not only beautiful but healthy.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

the power of a cookie

Just think how amazed you would be if today, someone handed you a tin of cookies and said, I made these JUST FOR YOU.

That my friend is a powerful expression of love.   Having someone bake for you is remarkable.  It sort of takes your breath away.

You HAVE that power.  It’s easy (6 ingredients), pretty quick, minimal cleanup and the outcome is simply beautiful not to mention melt in your mouth tasty.

20181127_110536-1Last night Mr. Right spent 45 minutes and shelled 1 pound of walnuts.  After shelling, that equals 1/2 pound of glorious, amazingly delicious, wonderful walnuts.   His effort will be rewarded.

Today, I baked the first of the season batch of Christmas cookies.  One of his favorites.

Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, however, I’m one of “those” people.  I write, scribble, put stickers, use jelly markers, underline, highlight and leave notes to myself on the pages of my cookbooks.

On page 65 of a cookie book, I wrote: “this season, I baked 9 batches of these beauties”. Using a red pen, I wrote “heavenly”.   20181127_120053 I gave them 5 stars.  “Melt in your mouth”.  There are hearts and stars drawn all around the recipe.

These are extremely simple cookies with only 6 ingredients.  However, because there are such few ingredients, PLEASE use excellent quality of each.  The results will be so worth the effort.

May I gently suggest you bake a batch for your husband, boyfriend, teacher, neighbor, the weekly group you attend,  a teenage grandchild?  Yes, I wrote, bake a batch for your grandchild.  Write the short recipe out in your handwriting, and offer up a piece of your heart and soul, your family history.  I have two recipes written by hand from my grandmother.  Powerful and simple memento to pass down.

While at work, I like to send Mr. Right a picture of what was baked just for him.  Encourages him to drive with purpose on his way home.  Certainly, a powerful, mouthwatering picture to receive via text or email.

Hurry home, Mr. Right, freshly baked cookies await. Drive safely, see ya soon.

Russian Teacakes.

1 cup of butter ( I use unsalted, French butter), 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla (I use Cooks’s choice), 2 1/4 cups flour (I use unbleached), 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Maldon Sea Salt), 3/4 cup chopped Walnuts (Freshly cracked tastes amazing)

Heat your oven to 400*.  Mix butter, powdered sugar, and the vanilla.  Stir in the flour, salt, and nuts.  Shape dough into balls.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 9 minutes.  Roll in Powdered sugar while warm; cool.  Roll in powdered sugar again.

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…..and so the baking season of love and goodness begins.   Love to hear about your favorite holiday cookie to bake.

In this together, friends, Happy Baking.

Chat soon.

 

muffins, squash & a smooch

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While looking in the freezer this morning, I saw a bag of our beautiful Blueberries.

On the off-chance Mr. Right might stop by after an appointment, I whipped up a batch of fragrant, beautiful muffins.

While peeling squash for dinner (his favorite, not mine).  The phone rang, I crossed my wet, messy fingers hoping it was him.

He said, “Hey, could you please meet me outside in 60 seconds?”  I thought Yippy!  He wants a smooch and I can give him a couple of warm Blueberry Muffins.

perfect.

blueberry muffins

 

I went out there to hand him the muffins, he held out a glorious Latte from my favorite place.

When people ask us how we have stayed happily married…………..20181112_112441-1

Maybe Acorn squash and Lattes are the answer?

Wait!

Maybe serving squash that I loathe and he loves?

Wait!

Maybe delicious smooches out of the blue, on a Monday.

Yes. Most definitely the smooching.

Happy Monday,

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

PS. Surprise your spouse with a treat.   You will be rewarded with a smooch.  I promise.

 

Happy Fall Y’all

Good gravy, it seems as thou I took a two-month writing sabbatical.

Let me catch you up, Cliff Notes style.

Grandgirlies (and parents) came to visit and it was glorious.  I tried to memorize every single laugh & giggle.  20180930_120451_resized

While holding hands and jumping off a curb at Pike Place Market, I didn’t land as gracefully as the spry 6-year-old.  Nothing broken, however, I did have to stay on the sofa for 14 days.  You read that correctly, the doctor actually told me (my words, not hers) that I would have to stitch, read and crochet for 14 days!

Needless to say, I crocheted 5 hats, read all my library books and stitched a beautiful pillow in time for Christmas.  Also, the stars aligned and I put in the final stitch of my “And a Forest Grew” piece.

 

We received one of the all-time best photos of two grandsons who fell asleep.Boys

 

On the 31st we carved pumpkins, gave the chickens pumpkin guts and welcomed 70 trick or treaters.

 

We pulled, plucked and dug the last of our carrots, tomatoes and 46 pounds of beautiful potatoes.

 

Yesterday, we enjoyed a fun and happy bike ride through the swirling November leaves.

fall leaves, bike ride

As we turned our clocks back yesterday, we always remember our family’s best time-change story of all time.  

It was the “Spring ahead” time change, our boys were teenagers.  As we did every single Sunday, we were headed to church.  I gotta tell ya, getting two teenage boys out of bed and upbeat about attending church didn’t always happen smoothly.  (Just being honest here.)  We were cutting it close to the opening hymn.  The parking lot was already filled with cars.  So we parked, quickly walked inside and slipped into an open pew.   The song that was being sung was the CLOSING benediction song!

We respectfully left after the song was played, silently walked to our minivan, got in and Dad said, “we are going out to breakfast”.  We all BURST into LAUGHTER.   Best conversation breakfast of all time.  hahaha

In this together.  Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Happy Fall Y’all.

Chat soon.

 

good food = happy

20170725_165021-1_resizedLast year I thought we had way too many green beans.  I got the giggles 20180620_084922_resizedeverytime I ventured into the garden.  Our supply seemed never-ending.  We ate baskets and baskets of green beans.  We gave away bags full.  I cooked every recipe I could think of.  I froze some.

This Spring, I had learned my lesson and only planted four bean plants.  One didn’t make it.   Actually, three might be just enough.

It started out pretty easy.   I picked a 20180815_095417-1basket full and we had an amazing Sunday dinner.  Then a few days later I made Greek Green beans.  Oh, yes, Fried Rice with our green beans.

September has dawned and yes, I am still discussing and picking green beans.

I have given away a bag or two.  I tucked some in the bag with eggs I gave away.

I have a  friend who has the most incredible mind.  I want to call her a Renaissance woman. Self-sufficient and brilliant when it comes to making things.   She has this amazing ability to create so many different things. She is an expert knitter. Her quilting skills are admired by anyone privileged to see her work.  She designs things with beads that are so unique, they grab your attention right from the start.  However, it’s her cooking, baking, gardening skills that will make you lean in and listen.  She has much to offer to those of us willing to be still and watch/listen/learn.

“I like good food & food waste drives me nuts.  Fresh produce is a gift never to be squandered.”  FL

 

Notice every time I gathered goodness from the garden, yes, yes, indeed, more beans.  With the abundance of beans in my life, I got a bit whiney.

My renaissance friend encouraged me to dry some as snacks.   BRILLIANT!

 

Oops, I may have forgotten to take an after picture.  Suffice it to say, the bowl was empty but for a flake of nutritional yeast here or there.

“I like good food, I want those around me to eat good food.  Good Food makes everyone happy.”  FL

Last evening, I filled a pretty bowl.

Yes, you guessed it.

Green Beans.

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In this together, friends.

May you all be lucky enough to have a friend to learn from.  She makes life better.

Chat soon.

 

 

thursday has promise

20180830_074815Awwwwww, can you feel it?  The morning temperature has turned slightly.  Fall is knocking on the door.  Another day or so and it will be time to change the pillow covers & add a plaid throw over the chairs.

I went out onto the porch this morning, bare feet, coffee in tow.  Deep cleansing breath.  I can hear the quiet possibilities of the day ahead.  A million ideas floating around me.

I read the poem that is stenciled on the inside of the railing. It’s always my wish for our grands.

“May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with fairies and talk to the moon.”

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Oh, did I mention grands?  Just in case I start to lose my mind, I have their names painted to remind me.  I have to say, sitting in that chair with grand names wrapped around me, with a cup of coffee in hand…………….pretty nice way to start the day.20180830_074754

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, the possibilities.

In this together,

Chat soon.