But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Cancer can change you.  I think my life had just got stuck in a
"rut", with me doing the same ol' same ol' day after day.  Do you ever feel that way?  The cancer struck this year and as I fought it and have begun to feel better, I find my life changing....for the better, I might add! 

For one thing, I have found myself depending on God more.....being closer to Him again.  I am "unchurched" at the time, but still have maintained my relationship with God.  He has never left me.  But, now I feel the last two years I've had to rely more and more on Him for answers and that my relationship with Him has grown stronger in the midst of the battle.  He can teach us a lot in the "valleys of our life" if we keep our hearts open to Him.

 I am learning to enjoy life again!  I'm learning to be more spontaneous and open to changes.  I don't sweat the small stuff and try to find the blessings in each day.  None of us are promised tomorrow, whether we have cancer or not...and I'm learning to live TODAY  joyfully and take advantage of opportunities each day brings!  Today brought one such opportunity and resulted in a spontaneous change of plans.  My sister, Kim, and her daughter, Sarah, were coming over to help me clean up outside of our house before the cold, nasty weather arrives.  But, as I took one step outside and realized just how beautiful it was outside, I had an instant change of heart that resulted in a change of plans!  It was too beautiful to work today....we needed to take advantage of the awesome day God had given us.  The yard work will still be there and I'm sure we'll still have some available decent days to work on it.  But, TODAY, we were going to take a road trip!!!  So, I called Kim up and told her to be ready and I'd pick her up and we were headed to Brown County, Indiana.....specifically, Nashville, Indiana!  Have you heard of it?  It's a tourist town that people visit from all over...little shops, awesome Fall Foilage (artists go to Brown County to paint the foilage)...just a real awesome place to visit in the Fall!  And come to find out, Kim and Sarah had never been there before!  It was a 45 minute drive and they had never taken it in!  That excited me even more, as I knew they were in for a treat!

We had an awesome lunch and even got to sit outside on their porch to eat it.  It was so yummy....look!

Grilled chicken and veggies.

Baked sweet potato.

Vegetarian Lasagna.

And the shops, oh my!  We got a late start since this wasn't a planned thing and most of the shops begin closing around 5....some stay open later.  Anyway, we didn't even make it through half of them!  Oh yeah, we are definately going back!!!  One of the first shops we saw was this Scrapbooking/Stamp shop....right up my alley!

There's all kinds of shops....you never know what you might find!

Speaking of....look what I found!  Now, those who know me, know I kinda have a "rubber ducky" collection around my pool.  LOL...wouldn't he be a great addition?  Yep, I'm 59 years old and still have a "kid" in me!

Fall and Halloween decorations were everywhere!

I was in my "happy place" today...I absolutely love the Fall!  The colors, the air, the smell of leaves....love it, love it, love it!

Fall was all over that town!  I don't think I'd like living in an area that didn't have the "change of Seasons".  Each one of them have their own beauty (yes,l even winter...lol)!

Kim and I found this bench interesting...it was made from the headboard and footboard of a bed!  Way cool!

We ended our day with a horse drawn carriage ride that gave us a little tour around the town.

Thanks to Cat (Kat?....I didn't ask her how she spelled her name...oops!) and Avalanche (our horse) for a great little tour of the town!  Kat was a sweetheart!  We enjoyed it very much!

We had a great time in Nashville and are already planning our next trip back.  They have a Playhouse over there and we'd love to go back and take in a Musical!  And, my good buddy, Linda, and I had already planned to go over for lunch one day.  I can't wait!

I thought of my mom today (she passed away last February) and couldn't help but remember the time we took her over there and she had such a fun day!  Mom could be a lot of fun and I have such fond memories of that day with my mom and a couple of my sisters.  We went in this one store that had all kinds of hats and we were trying them on and turned something so "simple" into a fun memory!  I'm so glad I take my camera everywhere!  I wouldn't have wanted to miss this happy shot of my mom!  She was laughing so hard that day she had tears in her eyes.  Good times that I'll never forget.....one of my favorite memories!

I love you and miss you mom. 

I'm enjoying cooking again!  I used to love to try new recipes and still loved collecting cookbooks.  I'd even ask for Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks (love them!) for Christmas and my girls just couldn't understand that request....they'd say, "but mom, you don't cook".  LOL!  They did have a point, but I'd still get the cookbooks because that's what I wanted and I'd read them from cover to cover, marking recipes I wanted to try "someday"!  But, after the kids grew up and it was just me and Larry home...it just seemed like too much trouble to cook for the two of us.  So, I haven't really cooked for years and even then, it's the "same ol' same ol'".  And now all of a sudden I'm enjoying cooking again and trying new recipes!  I tell my daughter it's the "new me"!  I don't think my son-in-law even thinks I can cook....lol!  I found an awesome facebook page called "Crock Pot Girls" where I have found tons of new recipes to try.  I'll admit that I am worn out in the evenings and don't even want to begin cooking...so the crock pot is the perfect answer!  And wow, I didn't realize how many things you could do in your crock pot...even desserts!  I thought it was only good for a roast!  Look at some of these yummy dishes from my crock pot!  My hubby is really enjoying this!  So am I!  I'll have to share some recipes with you!  If you're on facebook, go check it out.....look under discussions for the recipes (until Oct 31....then I'm not sure where they'll be)

Chicken and Dumplings...great comfort food!)...got my love of pepper from my daddy...lol!

Weight Watchers Taco Soup (thanks to Judy Conrady!)

Smoked sausage, potatoes, onion, green beans (My good pal, Martha, told me about this one!)

Killer Apple Caramel Cobbler with ice cream

Another enjoyment of life.....Garage Sales!  Yard Sales!  Whatever you want to call them!  I'm sure I got my love of garage sales from mom....I remember her going to them when I was a child!  She'd go with her sisters and now I go with my sisters!  Good times!  And you just never know what "treasures" you might find!

Kim and Sheila

Decorating!  Oh, how I had always enjoyed decorating for the Fall and Christmas!  But, like so many things, I had pretty much quit doing it.  So, it was so much fun getting out there and decorating the yard again this year.  I can't wait to decorate for Christmas and already have big plans to run greenery and lights down our split rail fence!

Hey, when you need a scarecrow.....LOL!

I'm more of a Fall person than a Halloween person (although I have such fond memories of Halloween as a child).  Now, my sister Kim...she's a total Halloween freak!  LOL!

These are just some of the things I'm enjoying again!  I tell my daughter, Jen, that this is the "new me"   ...but when I think about it, I think it is the "old me" who just got lost along the way!  Facing a life threatening disease can have a way of giving you a different perspective in life and it's brought me back to the things I've always enjoyed!  I feel like I'm out of my "rut" and am learning to enjoy life again!  And, it honestly is the "little things in life" that bring the most joy. 

Until next time....strive to be flexible...don't let your life get too scheduled and be a repeat of the day before....day after day after day.  Look for opportunities...be spontaneous!  Is there something you used to enjoy so much and just don't do anymore...like me and cooking?  Re-visit those things that always brought you so much enjoyment.  Live today like there is no tomorrow....because no matter whether we have a disease or not...no one is promised tomorrow!  Sometimes it just takes an illness to make us realize that!

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