Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

We had a wonderful surprise gift from God this morning for Christmas.  He gave us a white Christmas.  How cool is that?  When I got up at 6:30, I could tell something was different because the sun was not shining into the bedroom.  I peeked out the window and saw that there were big flakes of snow falling and the ground was covered in white.

This is what it looked like out back at 6:30 from different views of the yard:

This is our neighbor Tom's house.

There is a light dusting of snow on the Thuya trees ...(trees growing to the left of the shed.

You can see it's not sticking to the street at 6:30 this morning.

About an hour later, I am running around capturing pictures again to show how much MORE it snowed than it had when we first got up.  8-) 

You can see here that it is starting to really stick to the street:

The bushes are laden with snow.  (I always wanted to use 'laden' in a

I love the photo below...I'm going to see about turning it into a real picture for my wall.  I love the way it looks like a black and white photo except for the brown from the gazebo.  The snow is falling in big flakes and so pretty. 

Look now at the snow laying down those branches of our little Thuya trees.

Right now (about 2 hours later) we are at about 2 inches of snow.

We had a really nice Christmas this morning (on top of all the excitement with the snow...we've never seen it 'really' snow here in the three years we've lived here).  My Mom gave me this beautiful yellow crystal paper weight.  (Looks like the hope diamond only in a topaz color.)  Very beautiful!  Thanks, Mom.  My sister and her husband gave me a beautiful red scarf.  Thanks, Carol and Daryl!  Carol sent me a little special gift that is our 'we all have one like that' gift of a snowflake necklace and snowflake earring.  Thanks, Carol!  Tom got me the two pieces of DVD furniture, a beautiful Necklace and Earring set in black and white diamonds to go with my black and white outfit.  8-)  Thanks, Tom!  My sister-in-law, Sharyn sent me an angel datebook that is adorable and will actually be very useful because I can write appointments in it and carry it in my purse.  Thanks, Sharyn! 

I have the turkey cooking away in the oven and the rest of the day is ours to play with.  Here is hoping everyone is having a wonderful Christmas day filled with the love of family and friends.  8-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Allergies and God's Greatest Gift

It is amazing how many ways that my body can be allergic to different things.  I am allergic to all three of the chemos that I have been given.  Then the last treatment they figured out that I am allergic to the allergy medicine that they gave to me combat the allergy to the chemo.  (Yeah, I was choking...[throat and bronchials closing up like with asthma] - which was my allergic reaction that I have had to the benedryl - and laughing at the same time trying to get out the words, "I'm ALLERGIC to the ALLERGY MEDICATION?"  They were cracking up right along with me...although with very worried faces, if you can imagine that.) 

Since I had read in the book that it is possible to be allergic to aloe and that we should do a test prior to using the plant for real, we went to Publix, where we had seen them selling small leaves of aloe in the vegetable section last week.  I tested some on a bite I had and guess what...yeah...I'm allergic to aloe.  I ended up with a red rash right where the aloe had been applied.  No stinging or itching but definitely a rash.  When the time comes to use it on my breast, I will have to weigh the pros and cons of using it.

Of course, I am also allergic to dust, various pollens, dogs, cats (yes, cats too but can't give up my cat...pros won out over cons on that one), tomatoes, and according to a doctor who treated me for allergies when I lived in Texas, I am allergic to Texas.  Yeah, Carol, now you know why I never took a job

Here is a uTube Christmas message from Max Lucado:


Very fitting for my life and I hope you see the correlation to yours as well.  Amen and Amen.

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!  May you center your life around God's Gift to each and every one of us during this season.  8-)

By Grace Alone - 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to Care for Your Aloe Plant Book

I THOUGHT this was going to be an easy week at work.  Obviously, I thought wrong.  Why didn't those people take this week off in conjunction with the holdays?  Crazy people.  They have been ringing my phone all morning with one problem in the software after another.  Sigh.

I am thinking we are going to have pizza tonight.  I don't really feel like cooking.  My turkey for Saturday is thawing out quite nicely though and after we get a pan to cook it it, we'll have us a fine turkey dinner for Christmas. 

Tom bought me an Aloe Vera handbook which will be quite helpful with the plants I will have to take care of.  (ugh...)  The books says that the older the plant, the more potent the stuff inside is.  Here are some of the things it can be used for:

Burns and Scalds
Cuts and Wounds
Digestive Problems
Hair and Scalp Care
Hemorrhoids and Bleeding Piles (TMI)
Poison Ive, Oak and Allergies
Psoriasis and Eczematous Rashes
Scar Removal
Stretch Marks from Pregnancy
Varicose Veins (hmmm)
Skin Cancer (double hmmm)
Stings by insects, jellyfish, stinging nettle, etc (wish I had had some when I was stung by all those jellyfish)
Arthritis (wow...they drink it for this)
Ulcers (ugh...drinking it again)
Brown Skin Spots (triple hmmm)
Acne (HA..past that)
Sinus (They are spraying it up the sinuses here...yeah...I'm not doing that)
Asthma (breathing in the vapors when boiled in water)
Sore Throat (gargling it..ugh)
Eye and Ear drops. (Nope...don't think so)

Finally, I get to the part of the book where it tells me how to care for the plant.  Basically, keep it indoors in indirect sunlight during the winter, water lightly in winter (OH, I'm good at  I don't have to repot because it loves to get root bound.  If it gets top heavy I have to repot.  If it gets root-bound, it will send out more new shoots or pups.  If these aren't taken out for replanting when they are 3-4 inches high, they will suck the life from the mother plant.  (I'm sorry in advance, Mommy plant.)

HA HA it gives me the symptoms of poor plant care.   They should have just titled that section, "What Will Happen to Plants that Teresa Owns"!!!! 

The good news is that they only have to last through 35 radiation treatments...basically two months starting in January.  I can do that, surely.  8-)  Overall, it is a very informative book.  (Thanks, Tom!)

Hope everyone is having a great day!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ready For Christmas

We (Tom and I) are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ready for the holidays to get here.  Starting Friday we will be off of work for eleven days.  YEAH!!!  Five of those starting on Monday will be heavy duty Chemo days but at least I don't have to take sick time for those days.  That leaves me six days of feeling 'acceptable'.  

I am finally past the nausea for this chemo round.  HURRAH!!! Another milestone behind us.  

One of my Christmas presents from Tom got here this week.  Since we don't do cable, we tend to buy movies and series to watch.  After many years of this, we have quite a collection.  In the exercise room, we have walls of movies in bookcases and in one piece of furniture specifically made to hold DVDs.  Since I like that furniture so much (It turned out to be very well made and out of real wood as opposed to pressed board like this type of furniture usually is) I asked for more of it to replace the two bookcases in that room.  Plus a single unit for growth.  The one we currently have has three units in one.  The ones I asked for are a two unit and a one unit to fit the open wall that is remaining.   (See visual below for the three units in one and a cat in the lower left hand corner that wanted in the picture. She tried to blend in unobtrusively, but I SEE YOU SHADOW!!)

Below are the cruddy bookcases that don't even match that will be replaced with the matching two unit piece and then there is room on the other side of the window for the one unit piece that matches.  You can also see our two treadmills that are currently getting no use because of my lack of energy.  We will get back into that when this is all over.  8-)  (Yes, too, dear.)

Anyway, kind of excited about the new furniture for Christmas.  (Thanks, Tom!!) 

Last year when we went on our train trip to North Dakota to see BJ for Christmas, I got Tom hooked on Starbucks coffee.  Since then, he has become a regular customer for 'my' Starbucks store that I used to stop at every day.  I used to think I was special because they all knew me and came over to chat when I drove up.  I haven't really been there since September when the chemo started and he has taken over my 'special' status.  Especially since they found out that we are a pair.  (We drove through together once on the way to chemo and they got the connection.)  Amber (one of the girls that works there) sent home presents of VIA coffee to he and I yesterday.  (She sent me the caramel flavored and him the extra bold coffee)  I told him she was his girlfriend now that he has my 'special' status.  I told him I didn't feel 'special' anymore because now I know they treat all regular customers that way.  HA!!

Here is another excerpt from Max for you to enjoy.  He has a great perspective on the night Christ was born.

"No Ordinary Night

By Max Lucado

I came to give life—-life in all its fullness.

An ordinary night with ordinary sheep and ordinary shepherds.  And were it not for a God who loves to hook an “extra” on the front of ordinary, the night would have gone unnoticed.  The sheep would have been forgotten, and the shepherds would have slept the night away.

But God dances amidst the common.  And that night he did a waltz… The night was ordinary no more." 

I love Max's visual of God dancing.  The "I came to give life----life in all its fullness" is a loose excerpt from John 10:10 even though he doesn't reference it.  I am ever so thankful that he gave us such an extraordinary night out of the ordinary when Christ was born.

By Grace Alone...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Geek Speak and A Trip Out

So...a little geek speak coming.  (Feel free to tune out this portion of the blog if you don't like geek speak.)

We have wireless internet at home and, as I said in another blog, we just upgraded our router and modem (all one piece of equipment...Netgear RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router with DSL Modem.) a few weeks ago.  (ref para 6 of blog titled, "Moods, Moods, and More Moods"  found at

In order to utilize the Wireless-N (which is an upgrade from Wireless G/B protocols) we needed to purchase another item for each computer.  A Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter.  So we got one for each computer. Wireless G only got us 54 Mbps (this is the speed of the connection).  Wireless N gets us 300 Mbps.  I couldn't believe it.  Our hard line only gets us 100 Mbps.  But...I was noticing how quick it was so I went to check the status and saw the following:

I am like, "Tom, Tom....I don't know what your speeds are like but LOOK here."  He just gives that little sideways smirky grin of his and said "I wondered if you would notice."   Merry Christmas to me...HA!  (Oh, and him  Then he proceeds to tell me how he changed the settings on the router.  Yeah, HIM!  We've always been a good computer team...he is Mr. Hardware and I am Miss Software.  Of course he is good with software too...ALL RIGHT...he is Mr. Computer and I'm really his sidekick but he lets me play too which is very important.  8-)

Subject change for those that want to tune back in...

I got to play in the grocery store on Sunday before all the people got there.   We decided after listening to the sermon online to quickly get ready and head over to the grocery store.  I desperately needed to get out of the house (Since I had been holed up for 10 days).  I had a grand time picking out fruits, vegetables and meats.  Found a really good rib roast that I am cooking today and also found a nice turkey for Thanksgiving.  I thought I would crock pot the Turkey but it is a bit (sarcastic voice) big for the crock pot so I am actually going to have to cook it in the oven.  It is currently thawing in the fridge and has been since Sunday.  Hopefully, it will be thawed by Saturday.  

Anyway, I'm dancing all over the grocery store like a little girl in a candy store and then we are done and I get in the car and WHAM...totally wiped.  We were only in there for an hour.  I didn't recover until Monday morning after a good night's rest.  I can see this stuff is gonna slow me down a bit for a while.  I wonder how I will do teaching my eight hour classes when I get back to active work.  Those classes were exhausting prior to chemo...can only imagine what it will be like now.  AH, but those are future worries...can't worry about it today.  8-)

Here is our Max Lucado fix for today: 

"Have Faith
If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move.  Matthew 17:20 

Don’t measure the size of the mountain; talk to the One who can move it.  Instead of carrying the world on your shoulders, talk to the One who holds the universe on his.

Hope is a look away."

By Grace Alone ...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today is a Good Day

Today is a good day.  (Yes, is...ref blog called "Is Today a Good Day?"

I woke up today feeling alive in spirit and body.  These days are so rare and wonderful.  It's like the clouds are hanging over me and all of a sudden the sun peeps out from between the clouds and shines exclusively on the little piece of land where I live.  God is so AMAZING to me.

Sometimes, it is good to have been knocked down and taken out so that I can appreciate the beauty that is all around me.  8-)  I would not wish cancer on anyone, but it is definitely life changing to one's attitude about life.

My sister turned me on to her church's live sermon (which is very cool...thanks, sis).  Being home bound doesn't allow me to get out and go to church so this was good news.  The website for anyone interested is and they not only have live sermons but they have past sermons.  I didn't figure it all out until after I had listened to the 12/12/10 sermon on the helmet of salvation.  GREAT sermon that talked about the way Satan attacks our 'mental health' and makes us think we could lose our salvation but if we put on the helmet of salvation that God has provided for us that we will be protected.  I have had several times in my life where I have doubted my salvation (and was even baptized twice, once when I was about 5 and then again in 1991.)  I have also had many crisis of faith during the years when I have been tempted to do some very wrong things.  God has forgiven me through the salvation that Christ provided for us but I can tell you that those were some hard times for me and probably those that loved me as well.  I can be a very strong willed person and God has had his hands full with me over the years.  (sheepish grin)  I am sure I was given the helmet of salvation but didn't put it on all the time as I should have.  We need that helmet to protect us against the temptations and trials that Satan puts us through.  I am so thankful that he is a patient and loving God.  Anyway...great sermon for anyone interested.  Their pastor is a great speaker/teacher.

I need to go make a grocery list now for Tom to take and fill.  8-)  Hope everyone is having a great day!!

By Grace Alone...