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

 

bathed in Grace & Goodness

I have goodness to share.

20180611_172316_resizedYesterday, I completed sewing the finishing touches on the christening gown.    It has been a joy to work on both gowns.  It was my way of marking our grandchildren’s births and figuratively announcing to the world they have arrived.  20180611_160241_resized (1)

Hunter’s name has been written with ink in both our family Bible and history book.  As of yesterday, his name now stitched with white thread on the gown.

When grand #1 was born I made a Christening gown.  On the front, among other unique qualities, it has gold work done depicting a Scottish thistle. When grand #2 was born, I added two more lace and more embroidery and beads.  One of her pieces of lace is from Ireland.  20180611_160443_resized

When grand #3 was born, I made a Christening gown.  Since I knew this baby was a boy, I did a bit more tailored look with pintucks.  Also, I copied the monogram that his parents designed for their wedding.

20180611_160146_resizedWhen grand #4 was born, I added two more rows of lace and pearl embellishments to compliment the maternal pin.  I was extremely lucky and found a beautiful piece of lace (added to the bottom) made in Mexico.  It will be a piece to honor and remember his grandma’s roots.

Each has a sash made from one of the family tartans (ordered from Scotland).

Also, each has a pin from the Wilson family.

Each gown has a secret inside pocket that contains a penny from the year the parents were married and the years of each birth. 20180611_160118-2_resized

I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures.  (please remember I feel more comfortable sewing and stitching than I do of taking pictures.)

May our four grands be forever Bathed in Grace and Goodness. 

Love, Grandma Daleen

hidden grace & goodness

One of the things about making a resolution to finish projects that have been hidden in the unfinished object basket is that you get to say hello to old “friends”.

20180130_102114-1_resizedHello, strange pink colored fabric that I have moved/touched (feeling a bit guilty) every single time I flip through my extra pieces of stitching fabric…..since 2005.  I ask you (as I said aloud to the dog), what was so vital in my life that I didn’t have time to complete 8 stitches and then sew together into a pin keep?  Yes, 8 stitches.    The good news, it didn’t take but a few stitches, a bit of sewing and a little charm.  All of a sudden, a bit of goodness to sit on a table.

20180130_094535-1_resizedHello, quilted wall hanging I began years ago to always remember my sister-in-law.  When I saw this pattern, it reminded me of the first time I had dinner on their farm.  They passed around a Polaroid picture of the chicken (one of 80,000) they raised, and all that went on that morning .…so that we could eat fresh chicken for dinner.  YIKES!  That was a first for this girl.   Janice got a good giggle out of that.  She was a creative & kind sister.  She always treated me so well.  She baked like I have never seen before.  She was the best example of a mom. She was the first person to ever tell us we were raising our boys well.  I will never forget her.  I don’t need to sew a quilt to remember.  It is just a nice piece to work on.  It affords me the time to remember so many bits of goodness about Janice.  I’m guessing that she would be belly laughing that I now have 5 chickens. 20180130_094542_resized

 

Oh, hello sweet thing.  That little coin purse hardware has sat on my sewing machine table for way too long.  I sat down one evening and in less than 2 hours had this adorable little bit of limey green goodness finished. 20180122_204630-1_resized_1

Three hidden projects brought out into the light of day and it is only January.  Every time I spy a completed item, it feels like I am bathing myself in grace & goodness.

I would love to hear what projects you are creating or finishing.  Maybe we can inspire each other?

“You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelo

 

In this together friends,

Chat soon.

 

Epiphany

20180107_101103-1_resizedChalk, a substance made of common elements of the earth.

We use chalk in this blessing as an ordinary substance put to holy use. 

Today we observe and celebrate Epiphany.  A day we mark to commemorate the visiting of the Christ Child by the three Magi with their gifts.

“Chalking the door” is a way to celebrate and literally mark the occasion of Epiphany and God’s Blessing of our lives and home.

With time through the year, as the chalk fades, may the meaning and symbols sink into our hearts and manifest in our words and actions.

All are welcome to adopt this custom.

Above our door are written in chalk the symbols and numbers20180107_101103-1-1-1_resized

20+C+M+B+18

Some remember the names of the three wise men:

Caspar, Melchior, Balthazaar

While others choose the abbreviated Latin words Christus Mansionem Benedicat

“May Christ Bless the house.”

The “+” signs represent the cross and 2018 is the year.

May Christ Bless your dwelling and Peace be to this house and to all who live, work and visit your home.

May all our homes be bathed in Grace & Goodness.

In this together,

Chat soon.

 

 

visions of sugar plums…

sugar plumsVisions of sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free plums danced in their heads.  (just kidding)

Right smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle that seems to hover over this month, have you taken time out for you and your person?  In between signing cards, wrapping boxes, baking treats, have you taken a few moments to bathe your master bedroom in grace & goodness?

Have you announced to the universe that your sanctuary is of value and importance?

Does your better half know without a shadow of a doubt that you hold your relationship in the highest of regard and continue to lift it up on a daily basis?

Have you taken 30 minutes to quickly deep clean, de-clutter, dust, vacuum, and gussie up your sanctuary? Are there fresh, ironed (yes, ironed) linens on your bed?  Have you brought in fresh flowers or greens or even a tree?  Have you brought in beautiful candles, a soft, cozy throw for the bed?  Did you place that festive pillow you found in your decoration box, just so,  to add a little something-something to your bed?  Have you sewed new, softer than mink, white pillow covers that look like they are covered in mini snowballs?

Or has it become the catch-all?  Wrapping paper leaning behind the door.  Gifts secretly crammed beneath the bed.  Clean laundry waiting to be folded.  Does your dresser top hold odd change, one stray button, and a broken necklace?  Is the room filled with stress?  Do you close the door to avoid looking in there?

Or the moment you step into your private sanctuary, does it fill you with calm and beauty? Can you feel it? Does it feel like goodness?  When you spy that bed, do just want to burrow in and surround yourself with fluffy coziness?  Just by walking into that room, do you feel fortunate, harmony and peace? 20171215_094358-1_resized

A gentle suggestion?  Take 30 minutes and create a little beauty.  Our world is harsh, tricky and can be brutal.  Some days it feels like more bad news than good.  We all need a place that we can go to breathe and feel the solitude and safety.  No electronics, no ugly noise, no demands.  We all need and crave a place to restore our spirit & soul.

May you make and enjoy a small corner of peace this season.

Sweet dreams.please do not disturb

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

Chrismons

crismon treeChrismon are Christmas decorations with Christian symbols on them. They were first made by Frances Kipps Spencer at the Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia.  She also thought of the word Chrismon which is a combination of Christ and Monogram (meaning symbol).

20171214_212617_resized (1)

The simple symbols remind us of the story.

The ornaments remind of Grace and Goodness.

During Advent, our church decorates the sanctuary tree with white felt Chrismons.  Other years we have attended a church in another state and that tree also had Chrismons, however, those were made out of beads & pipe cleaners.

I cross stitched several of these ornaments years ago.  If I remember correctly, I have made this set three times to give away. As luck would have it, I did indeed make a set for our tree.   Each has Biblical meaning.20171214_212607_resized All of our ornaments were stitched with the same three colors of thread, same cloth and utilized the same small plastic frames.

We hang them every year on one of our trees.  This year the tall, tall skinny tree in the kitchen is decorated with German straw ornaments, Chrismons, antique chocolate candy molds and cinnamon ornaments.

Once the Chrismons come out of the box, or I spy them on the church tree…………it finally feels like Christmas.

Here’s to that happy feeling we all get while unpacking and seeing our treasured decorations.20171214_213706-1_resized

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

keeping you on pins & needles

I am sure you have been on pins & needles for a while now.  Did she or did she not achieve her goal of this year?  When will she give us an update?  Will she ever in a million years do something like this again?

2017 the year I proclaimed the year of the pincushion has come to a close. Thankfully.

Holy Toledo, I learned more than I ever imagined.  It took more time than I ever estimated.  My original goal was to cross stitch 12 pincushions for gifts.  I completed and gave 16.

I was able to give three of those beauties in person.

Now, before you fret, yes, I have a beautiful,  rather large pincushion of my own.  I have used it almost daily for quite a few years now.   I stitched the tower to remember our trip to Paris.

If you remember, here was my original challenged issued to me.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/poke/

To make it even more interesting, I added another element, pins.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/a-good-luck-poke/

 

I used an entire bag of crushed walnut shells to fill each.  I had to go and buy a second bag to fill the last two.

All of the pins I glued beads onto were used and my button jar came in mighty handy this year.

What did I learn?

I still enjoy counted cross stitch.

I liked personalizing the pin keeps to each person.

I learned that I most likely will never, ever do a project like that again.  It requires a whole bunch of heart & soul and time & effort.

I wanted to lovingly, slowly stitch goodness into each, piece, however, the deadlines and mailing times sort of took the fun out of making each.

My plan was to stitch each cushion and fill it with grace and well wishes for the other person.  Not everyone is excited or appreciates handmade gifts nor do many understand the hours it takes to produce them.

I put more good karma, energy, time, effort, money into each than need be.

I figured out, that while I was not looking for a “proper thank you note”, of which I received four, I was secretly hoping for a personal connection.  A conversation.  Some type of tie to the person I gave the gift to.  A reason to talk and spend time with the person.  A way to jump-start a conversation that would linger and fill us each with a wonderful memory. That did not happen.

If I ever do a counted cross stitch piece for anyone other than family, I will most likely keep track and share the number of hours it took to complete.  Not to be boastful, but to share the time that was spent on that person. I came to realize that folks that do not do handiwork, have no concept or understanding of how long each project takes.

I learned for Christmas this year, I am buying gifts.

The only handmade gifts I am making are for our Grands.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was going to say, I will most likely never cross stitch another pin cushion again.  However………I already have a person in mind (she herself is a beautiful cross stitcher) that I might like to make a pin cushion as a surprise in 2018.  We will see.

So here are a few of my 16.  Some, I forgot to take a picture.  One, I took a picture of the back and promptly deleted the front picture after it was already in the mail.  sigh.

Thanks for following along and keeping me company this past year.

I would dearly love to have a conversation about gift giving and making/giving handmade gifts.

I have a counted cross stitch pattern, thread, and fabric all ready to begin January 1, 2018, for me!

Also, we have a new GRANDBABY on the way in 2018 so my hands will be flying as I make oodles of goodness for the new one in our life.

Here’s to accomplishing my goal and then some!  Setting a goal and working towards completion is very satisfying.

In the coming year, I hope you are planning and setting a goal or two of your own.  Would love to hear your plans.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.