Wednesday, July 29, 2009

26th Wedding Anniversary

It has been 26 years since this picture was taken. Actually we live around the corner from the chapel we were married at. Back then, I never dreamed we would come through so much together. I am so thankful for the Lord's abiding love toward us.

The boys are out having fun with friends so I am alone at home. Both are going to be sleeping over at their friend's houses. Mark decided to take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate our anniversary. I am very excited to finally spend time alone with Mark. And it is especially wonderful because I can see the Lord's work in arranging this time. We are planning on enjoying dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I have some time to myself this evening. It is so quiet without my men here. Still in the background I can hear the window fan and an occasional car go by. I have been trying to keep my troubles tucked away, but then I got a phone call today letting me know that my Aunt has rectal cancer. Afterward I sat on my sofa and cried. Sometimes life feels completely overwhelming.

My Aunt is having surgery on August 3rd, the same day my father in-law starts his treatment for cancer. She has been having issues for quite some time and they passed her problems off as IBS which angers me. She kept asking for a colonoscopy and when they finally gave her one they found the cancer. My Aunt is 80 and so I worry she will not make it. She has always been a strong woman, but when I saw her at my uncle's memorial she looked thin.

I went and got my blood test for my pancreas on Monday. My bowel doctor told me to go when the pain was bothering me, so I did. I looked up about the pancreas and the symptoms sort of fit, but I have a feeling that my pancreas is fine. As for my pain, it started up on Sunday and it has not quit since.

Something has been troubling me. When I talked to my endo doctor last week he said that he can take a look inside, but he has put a stipulation on it. He wants me to take a new drug for IBS. I told him no which probably did not make him happy. I am sure that my problem is scar tissue and I do not think any drug is going to slove that problem. I am done with pills. All those drugs I took in 2007 to get rid of the sepsis had side effects. One of them was that it could damage my hearing, which it did. My inner ear got damaged and I have problems with dizziness and pressurization. Plus, my trial of the Danazol in May was not a good experience.

I guess doors are closed. I want to be released from this torture of pain, but I fear I will not. I cook food for my family, but for me, much of the joy of eating has been taken away. It is a hard place to be. Often times I feel very alone in my problems, but the Lord brings comfort. Today both my boys told me that they wish my pain was in them. It makes me cry to think of it. I know God is here with me. I must keep trusting that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Banana Cupcakes

In this warm weather my bananas ripen up extra fast. So with extra ripe bananas in my bowl and no one to eat them, I decided to make cupcakes. I passed some out to the kids in the neighborhood who said they were yummy. The recipe for the cake is here. My frosting recipe is below:

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 lb. box of powdered sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of milk

Blend with an electric mixer till smooth and creamy.
Frost a cupcake and dip in a bowl of shredded coconut.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Weekend Fun

Saturday, I went out to do a bit of shopping. I was not feeling very well, but forced myself to get out of the house. I went meandering through streets I do not normally travel. It was nice to take in some new scenery. I finally arrived at TJ Max where I had fun looking through racks of clothing. I even tried on an outfit in their newly renovated dressing room (it was gorgeous and made me feel like a queen). Unfortunately for me, the skirt was too tight so I ended up not getting anything. But it was fun to look and dream. From there I went to the grocery store and picked up items needed. When I arrived home Eric had his friend James over whom we have known since the boys were little. And it just so happened that I picked up all the right stuff at the grocery store to have company.

Well, I was getting ready to make dinner and invited James to join us. The next thing I knew the boys wanted to have sleep over. So we got the air mattress out and I made up a bed for James. We really had ourselves a good time. We had huevos ranchero and spicey carrots for dinner and the boys had hash browns too. For dessert I made up little coconut cream pies. We stayed up late watching a movie and then we all crashed. The next morning Mark was up early and got the boys up. After breakfast Mark took James home and then we all went to church. Once at church my boys went to the high school meeting so Mark and I had some alone time. It was nice.

After church we drove out to the outlet mall. As we were driving out there through the golden hills, the boys were telling us it was supposed to be a hot day. It certainly was very hot at the outlet mall.

The Lake Elsinore Outlet Mall

When we got in the mall we were surprised because many of the stores were empty. Thankfully, there were enough still there to have a good time shopping. The Lord really blessed me! The CorningWare store was still there and I was able to pick up some dishes to add to my collection. I found a pair of sandals for $20.oo, and at the petite store the clerk told me about a special on some cotton tops. I picked up two of them for a total of $5.00! Afterward, we went out to lunch. It felt sinful to eat two chicken soft tacos, but I did it. (It feels sinful because I never know whether it will set off my tummy pain.) On the way home we stopped at Tom's Farm and I got some strawberries, peaches and cucumbers. After that Mark drove us home while the boys and I dozed off. Its been a lovely weekend.

My new cute sandals and cotton tops.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Chit Chat

Here is a pretty white rose from our garden. I took the picture and then later Eric picked the rose and gave it to me. He has always liked giving me flowers.

It was a busy week with the CT scan, my doctor appointment and phone consult. The CT scan was normal as far as my bowel is concerned. However, my pancreas is enlarged so I need to get blood work and an ultra-sound done. I looked up symptoms and it seems to fit. We will see what the tests show. In the meantime, my weight has dipped down again.

Friday I went on a bike ride with my sons. We rode about 2 miles. We rode to the DMV to see if we could get a booklet for Eric to study about driving. Unfortunately, the DMV was closed today, maybe so the state can cut costs. On the way back home I had to stop and rest for awhile I was getting weak. Resting helped and I was able to make it the rest of the way home.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Antibiotics to Avoid

Have you ever been prescribed Levaquin, Cipro or Floxin? I found out today that these antibiotics can actually be dangerous. I myself was prescribed Levaquin for a bladder infection after my reconnection surgery and had a bad reaction to it. I informed my doctor who then prescribed Cipro, which is in the same class of antibiotic (quinolones). I took enough Cipro to resolve my infection, but did not have a good reaction to it either. Since taking those antibiotics, I have had some nerve related problems which I think could be related to taking those antibiotics. I viewed some videos on You Tube titled "Certain Adverse Events". This has left me wondering about my son's knee problem. Eric was prescribed Floxin at one time. He suffered a knee injury that seemed to heal, but after taking Floxin his knee now gives him constant trouble. Watch the videos (there are six all together). If you click here you can start with number 2, which is a good place to begin. I also, found this website that has some good information.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Around the House

Here is recent sunset picture I took. I live in a big city and I am always so amazed that I can walk out my front door in the evening and view the most dazzling sunsets. It is truly a blessing from God.

Here is my pedicure basket. It has all my goodies for treating little me. Sometimes I split the task into 2 days. One day I remove the polish, clip, exfoliate and moisturize. The next day I am ready to file and then paint. I prefer doing my own as the chemicals they use at salons are not kind to my nails. Today I painted my toes a color called "Linen", which is a soft white color. I love polish, the red color pictured above is a favorite.

This is a picture of dishes for my kitties Princess & Dusty. They are dishes made in Japan. Aren't they cute?

This is a picture of a new pillow sham that I bought. I got it for $10, which was pretty good. I love pillow shams and this sham is now one of my favorites.

The weather has warmed up around here. The boys and I get pretty lazy in the afternoon with it being so warm. Especially since we do not have air conditioning. The only air conditioning we have is a portable unit in our sunroom. I set up a dining table in that room so we can eat our dinner in cool air. I should start making summer salads. One of my favorites is a curried shrimp salad I got from Paula Deen's website. Try it out, it's delicious!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Quiet Day at Home

Today the boys and Mark went hiking up the side of a mountain. While they were away, I was invited to go the Obon Festival at the local Buddhist church. Obon is a Japanese celebration and is about remembering ones ancestors. Paper lanterns, incense, soup, snow cones, music and dancing are all apart of Obon. My father likes to go to Obon when one of his family members has recently passed away. Since my uncle recently passed my father wanted to go. When my boys were little we went to Obon in rememberance of my grandmother. It was a good cultural lesson. Since they were not able to go today, I did not feel like going myself. It was a hard decision not to go because I did not want to disappoint my family, but I felt like it was between them or the Lord.

I soaked up my alone time like a sponge. It felt so good to be surrounded with peace & quiet. I have been asking the Lord to speak to me and I received my In Touch Newsletter in my email. I posted the part of the message that meant the most to me on my Hopes & Dreams blog. Please check it out when you have a chance.

I also spent time cleaning. I was able to attend to things that have been on my "To Do" list for quite awhile. It felt good to get things accomplished. I also got to see Bird today. He still remembers me, but he is needing me much less. He has grown up. I miss him.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Here is another picture of us from our recent trip to Las Vegas. I had a good time with my sons.

Today, my son Eric did a good turn, that made me so proud. We were at the grocery store. There was a cute blond haired little boy who was about 2 or 3 in the store with his mom. We were at the check out when this cute boy came up to me asking for a balloon. The store gives out balloons to little ones for free. Anyway, he had to go ask the proper person and finally did so. He got a shiny blue balloon. He was told to hang on tight to his balloon. Well, we followed them out to the parking lot and found we were parked right across from each other. All the sudden the little boy let go of his balloon, he watched it float upward and then he began to cry. My son Eric ran back into the grocery store and got the boy another balloon and brought it to him.

My Brandon is a helper as well. When I had a bit of sadness today, he was by my side trying to help me. What blessing my sons are to me.

My father in-law made it through his procedure to remove his kidney stone. They got it out, PTL! He is resting comfortably and is doing much better after this procedure than the one he had in AZ. So many thanks to those of you who prayed! Hopefully in two weeks he will be strong enough to begin the proton therapy for his cancer.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chit Chat

Yesterday the boys and I rested all day. I finally had a good day with my tummy; a blessing from the Lord. However, sometimes I am bombarded with feelings of fear on days my pain will not leave me alone. I sometimes struggle to have faith, to trust, to believe that He knows what is best.

Since I saw my bowel doctor and he ordered that CT scan, I have not wanted to get it done. I received a Bible study email, the subject was about rebellion. Then, amazingly, the imaging center called and wanted to set up my appointment for the CT scan. I am taking it as a sign that the Lord wants me to get the scan done. My appointment is for July 22nd.

Right now I am struggling with a virus that just won't let go. After the 4th of July I had a slight cold. I got over the cold in time to go to Vegas, but still have lingering effects. The congestion has been playing havoc with the weak spot in my inner ear from having had sepsis. I keep having slight dizzy spells. Even so, I keep going as best I can.

Weary from the pain in my tummy and other body parts, I toured Las Vegas with heaven on my mind. As I took in the splendor of the huge hotels, I began to think that all that splendor cannot even begin to compare with heaven. Here are a few pictures.

A small view of Caesar's Palace.

Ceiling in Caesar's Palace.

The mall at Caesar's Palace.

Fountain in the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel.

Gondola ride inside the Venetian Hotel.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Spiritual Battle

On the way home from our trip to Las Vegas, I was thinking about blogging and wondering what I should title this post. I decided on the above title because although it was a vacation, there was something spiritual going on. Las Vegas is filled with glitz, glamour and wealth, but that is a distraction from the real issue. As we drove out of Vegas I saw one billboard that said "The only way to God is through Jesus" and it sited John 3:16.

I was invited to Vegas to vacation with family that has not given their life to Christ. They thought I would not come, but I did. I wanted to show them that I love them in hopes they will see God loves them. My presence did make them have feelings even though I did not say anything. It was my actions, I did not drink, I did not gamble. At times I felt a strong separation between us, but we managed to enjoy each others company. We did a lot of walking and I got heat rash on my legs and one leg swelled a bit. But in the process I learned a little more about my family so that I can pray for them.

Not only that, it was a big learning experience for my boys. Their uncle told them that Las Vegas is an exciting place so they wanted to go. Now they have been and know what it is about. Some of it was beautiful, some of it was fun and other parts were disturbing. To be honest, I felt like a bad mother letting my boys be exposed to Vegas, but I was proud when they chose the light rather than darkness. As I told them, life is filled with temptations no matter where we are. And there are some places that offer more temptation than others. Anything gained through temptation does not last, it quickly fades and then temptation begins again. The only thing worth having in this life is salvation through our Lord Jesus. It is the only thing that truly satisfies.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Leaving for Las Vegas

I am not going to be around for awhile. Going to Las Vegas with family. I know, we must be crazy as temps out there are in the 100's. The boys are super excited. I have not been to Las Vegas since the mid 1980's. Mark and I were in our 20's, we stopped to look around. In the early 1990's we passed by Vegas on our way to Zion National Park. They had built the Luxor (pyramid hotel) then. Anyway, it has been years and everyone tells me it is completely different now. My brother invited us to come, he wanted to get all the family together. I am not too keen on the Vegas scene, but I am giving it a whirl to be able to spend time with family.

We visited with my in-laws today, had a great visit. I welcomed my father in-law to the skinny club since we are both skinny from not being able to eat much. He is doing better and will be getting his kidney stone removed next week on Thursday. Then two weeks after that he will start his cancer treatment. Your prayers are much appreciated.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Closed Doors

Today I went to see my bowel doctor. He is a very nice man and I like him. Last time I saw him he told me that he might have to take a look inside if I am not getting any relief. Well, today I told him that some of the intense pain I was having is better, but I am still having issues. He told me that unless he finds something on a scan he is not going to look inside. He said he is too afraid that he will make me worse instead of better. He said that I have to live the way I am unless I can find someone else that is willing to help me. I told him that I have pretty much decided that the problem is not going to go away on its own. He then suggested that I have another CT scan done, but he said unless I am having one of my flare ups the day of the scan it probably won't show anything. He signed me up for the scan, but I am wondering if I should even go through with it. Since the appointment I have been upset and crying.

I know there is something wrong in there because I cannot gain weight. By now I should be weighing more than I do and I don't because I can't eat enough to gain. Eating causes pain that is all there is to it. At times it feels like the circulation is being cut off and still other times it feels like the food is getting hung up. Other days I have queeziness that lasts all day long.

My endometriosis doctor (who is not close by) said that he is willing to take a look at the spot that I am complaining of. The only draw back being that having surgery away from home is harder to organize and the doors are not open right now. I know that the Lord is in control of my life, but I fear He does not have healing for me.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


This little box that says "Family" tickled my fancy. When I saw it, I just had to have it. It reminds me of my bird. I have been a bit sad because I have not seen my bird for a few days. The last time I saw Bird was on Sunday before I left to see my girlfriend. It is not like him to be gone this long. Recently a Mourning Dove was killed in our backyard. The boys found its feathers on scattered near our plum tree on Monday morning. Probably a hawk as I have seen them float by every so often. Since it happened the birds have not been coming around much. Then suddenly this evening Bird came by! I was filled with joy. He has more dark feathers coming in. It is so wonderful to watch him grow. He gulped down the worms I fed him and then flew off. He seemed very nervous, I guess the recent scare with the hawk has all the birds rattled. I am so glad he is safe and well.

My poll regarding the new background is tied. There are two votes for the plain pink background and two votes for the new background. Hmm, who is willing to break the tie? Leave a comment and let me know which one you like best.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Chit Chat

I had a very nice visit with my friend Sunday evening. It was cold and windy at the beach, but we did enjoy riding a surrey cycle similar to the one pictured above. It was a first for me. Afterward we had a BBQ and just enjoyed each others company. Finally the sun went down over the ocean and it was time to go home. My only regret was that I forgot to bring my camera, so no pictures. :-(

Been having a difficult patch with my tummy, so much pain and nausea. I finally had to take a dose of MOM (milk of magnesia). Today I had less pain, but it looks like I am going to need some fixing in there to set me right. On top of that my nose has been itchy, my allergies have kicked in for some reason.

This week is doctor appointment week. Tuesday, Eric has an appointment with his orthodontist and Mark has an appointment for his yearly physical. Wednesday the boys have their yearly physical. And then Thursday I see my bowel doctor. On the weekend the boys and I are planning to go on a trip with extended family.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Cottage 4th of July

The boys put the flag out.

My flowers with a bird's nest the boys found.

A garden sign.

Brandon with sparklers.

Eric and his cousins.

Pretty fountain.

A fountain called Purple Rain.

We had a nice 4th of July here at the Little Blue Cottage. We had a great BBQ over at my sister's. I made homemade chocolate cupcakes with white icing for dessert. Brandon helped me decorate them. The city my sister lives in does not allow fireworks, so we all came over to the Blue Cottage. Everyone had a good time.

Lately, I have been having a hard time with my tummy. Lots of pain and queeziness, but I am managing. Today we are going down to visit my friend from Arizona who is camping down at the beach. Looking forward to having a good visit.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

My boys stuck this flag in my flowerbed on Memorial day and I took a picture of it. I thought it was a good picture to share for 4th of July. I was going to host 4th of July at my house, but my sister stepped up and said she would take it. Mark and I are very thankful that she did and saw it as the Lord's way of taking care of us. With all that is going on in our life right now the Lord knew that we would need a break.

Brandon had his turn helping to guard the fireworks stand with his Dad. He was not quite as thrilled with the job as Eric. Mark is pleased to have the boys' company, so Eric is going to help his Dad again tonight. Eric says he is happy to guard because it gives him a chance to help.

Today, Eric and I had a special day alone together while Brandon and Mark slept after guard duty. We went out to lunch at Panera Bread. Then we walked next door to the donut shop for a treat. We had a lot of fun. After that, we had to go to work shopping. Eric needed some shoes and clothes. Not always easy finding what we need, especially when considering price. We had to go to a few stores, but we accomplished our goal. Eric was completely happy with his purchases which makes me smile. On the way home we stopped in old town. Eric introduced me to a bakery that his friend told him about. We popped in and found that the bakery was nearly empty due to the holiday. What they did have looked delicious. We are planning on going back next week when Farmer's Market will be held. That way we can load up on fresh veggies & fruit and then hit the bakery. After going to the bakery we walked over to the nursery and picked up some flowers for my flower pots. We had a very enjoyable day.

Tonight is the last night Mark has guard duty. We were supposed to buy fireworks tonight, but we did not do it because some family drama arose with Brandon. Right now we are having a load of trouble with that boy. Sigh. If you feel lead, could you please pray for Brandon. Mark and I need all the help we can get.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thankful Thoughts

Today I had to take Brandon to the orthodontist to get his braces. His appointment was scheduled for 7:20 AM! I waited quite awhile and was able to read a few magazine articles. One article was on observing the sabbath. I liked what the author of the article was trying to convey. She used the example of her great grandmother who rested on Sundays. Basically, the writer was trying to say that it is a good idea to take time out to rest during the week, even if it is only for a few hours. And also, that we should not feel guilty doing it. I like that! And I like that my husband is always telling me to take time out to rest, he is so good to me.

Another article I read was about a couple who adopted an orphan from Russia. He was diagnosed with RAD and ADHD, same as my boys. The couple in the article went through a very difficult patch in their marriage as a result of adopting this boy. As I read the article I understood the pressures they went through, the pain and hurt of it all. At the same time, I remembered the struggles Mark and I had. At times we still run into struggles, but the Lord has been very gracious to us. Reading that article made me realize how much the Lord has done for our family and how thankful I am.

Eric had a good time guarding the fireworks stand with his Dad. He came home and slept most of the day. The cute thing about Eric is that he could not sleep until I got back home from taking Brandon to the orthodontist. Once home, I sat in our recliner and Eric laid on the couch and fell asleep. Mark did not get to sleep, he had to go to work. So I packed up a picnic lunch and brought it down to Mark at his work. Brandon, Mark and I sat in the car which was parked in the shade and had a nice lunch together. A cool ocean breeze blew into the car as we enjoyed our lunch. I am so thankful to live near the sea.

Well, I better get into the kitchen and serve up some of that peach cobbler I made for dessert tonight. Wishing you all happy summer days and things to be thankful for.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lady Bird?

Bird visited a long while with me today. Eric took this picture. We have noticed that Bird has some dark feathers coming in. It looks like Bird is a gentleman rather than a lady. We are learning so much about sparrows from this little bird. Bird comes by everyday, sometimes only once a day and other days 3 or 4 times. Today Bird wanted to take a nap after his lunch. He sat in the plum tree and I stood by the tree. He would open his eye and make sure I was still standing there every so often. After awhile I got a chair and sat down and Bird came down and sat in my hair. He also sat on my shoulder and chatted with me. ;-)

Today was just a lazy day, we did not do much. I do not know what is wrong with me, but I have not felt well. I have been very tired, more than normal. I stopped taking the Arimidex. I decided that I do not want to take anything. I feel crumby enough as it is and these drugs make me feel worse with all their side effects. So I am just going to limp along as best I can with what I have. At least my pain level is down, but I still get that queezy feeling quite often. I have an appointment with my bowel doctor next week.

Tonight all of us are going to bed early. Mark belongs to a group of parents who run a fireworks booth in an effort to earn money for charity. The parents all sign up for different shifts. Mark signed up for the 2 AM to 6 AM guard duty. He will be doing it for the next 3 nights. So things are going to be out of sorts for a bit. The boys want to do guard duty with him, so he is going to let one boy a night join him. The boys are so excited; its cute.