Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The "C" word

Cancer...on how I hate that word and the memories it brings to mind. A precious aunt that made a comment I will never forget when she said "I'll take my cancer any day over Alzheimer's." My sweet daddy who battled lung cancer that eventually went to his brain. Eric, only 30 years of age, fighting a 2 1/2 year battle with brain cancer. January 13 we discovered my sister has Stage 2 agressing towards Stage 3 breast cancer.

January 17 Ron left for a consulting trip to Egypt, and the next day seemed like a good day to get the routine yearly mammogram behind me. My appointment was just days past my due date of January 13 but things quickly snowballed to including a BSGI exam, ultrasound, needle biopsy and a trip to the surgeon on January 23. Thankfully the biopsy came back negative, but due to the recent family diagnoses, hot spots on the BSGI (which as I understand it can be cancerous or beign), and past questionable mamo's I will have an outpatient procedure on February 3. The Dr. seemed cautiously optimistic but the risks are bleeding, infection and I think he termed it "a possible undesirable diagnosis." Ironically, the results I heard on Monday were an answered prayer as that "C" word came up way too often during the needle biopsy.

As I sat waiting for the needle biopsy I was playing WWF and texted a few people to please offer up a prayer. I was somewhat encouraged in that the dr doing the biopsy felt like we should wait until we had the results before bringing Ron home from Egypt. After consulting with the surgeon I was once again encouraged in that there did not seem to be a rush to get this done or to bring Ron home early. I told Ron today that since we are getting older solo Dr appointments are no longer a good idea.

At any rate, I guess I have two objectives in posting this. The obvious is that if anyone is still reading this blog please say a little prayer that the next procedure comes back clear. Although I think most people that might have read this blog at one point are probably too young to deal with yearly mammograms I am sure you have family members that are at this magical age. Push buttons, move mountains, and do whatever it takes to keep loved ones current with their mammograms. Early detection can save lives. That's my story and I sticking to it!!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Cancer is a terrible illness at any point in one's life, but especially when it strikes someone so young and with so much to offer in life. This is 2011 - why is there not a cure for cancer and Alzheimer's Disease? Guess in a good and perfect world there would be and that is not the world we live in.

December 9, 2011 our family lost a young man that was rock solid in his walk with the Lord. I wrote on my blog in August 2009 that Eric is the type of young man every parent prays that their daughter will bring home to dinner. Eric read my blogs, back in the day when I blogged, gave me permission to seek prayers on his behalf, and was grateful to know others were praying for him through the blog world. Eric woke to Heaven's glory, and was met by his Granddad who might have took him fishing. Many years ago, Mr. Warren promised the five Warren grandkids 20 dollars to anyone that caught a white catfish from the family pond.

I remember Eric's visit to Scotland and how he would have to duck to tour the local castles since he was well over 6 feet even while still in high school. Eric was such a smart guy and read everything. He was the easiest person to buy for on our Christmas shopping list - a Barnes and Noble gift card for his reading pleasure!

For those of you that might be interested, logon to to read Eric's obituary. Modern technology is so awesome in this day and age - hopefully one day medicine will catch up and find a cure for cancer.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Springtime in Alabama

I love this time of year, and as I watch the spring flowers "show off" I can't help but to reflect on how much my folks loved flowers. Mother was in one of the first classes taught in our area for Master Gardner and my dad dearly loved winter pansies. Each year we plant pansies in honor of my dad in the flower beds and in hanging baskets.

Almost three years ago now we transplanted day lilies, irises, azaleas, camelias, and mondo grass at our house that originated from the garden my folks raised. We put Mother in the golf cart and she gave very specific instructions as to how each plant should be planted. Comments from my, at the time, 95 year old mother ranged from "don't plant it too deep" to "save the dirt!" Mother would share her plants with anybody that asked, but heaven help the person that dug up too much dirt with her plants.

The flowering plum tree came with the house and is blooming early this year due to the unseasonably warm weather we had in February. It was never a favorite of Mothers as she thought it was pretty useless since the fruit is not edible.

Andy rooted these rose bushes using clipping from Mother's yard, and we moved them from our first house here in Alabama to our retirement house. I get a real kick out of seeing our children take clipping from bushes to start another plant.

Everytime I pass by the blackberry and blueberry bushes I am reminded of some special little boys that had a good time picking berries last summer. Looking forward to a do-over already.

I will never forget a comment the Queen made one day while we were transplanting some flowers here at the house. We had finished for the day and she looked at what we had done and said "looks like this yard has some Margarent in it now!" While I will never be the gardner that the Queen was I do love the idea that our yard brings us fonds memories of two very special people.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Grandbabies Rock!!!

Just in case I have not already stated this obvious fact, GRANDBABIES ROCK!!!!!

Ron and I are 56 years old and this is the only face

that could possibly make us do this.

For the record the picture and video of me coming down this slide is locked away in a safe as Ron has dared me to erase it!

To anyone with grandbabies over the age of two...we now get it!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Musing on Russia and Egypt

I have been humbled this week by the world events we have all watched unfold via CNN and other social media. Bad things happen all the time, but this week I was rocked to my core by the fact that we have often walked the floors where so many were killed and injured in one of Moscow's busiest airports. I well remember my first flight into Domodedovo and how crowded the arrivals area would always be. This airport was always busy, and my heart certainly goes out to the families of those who died and were injured in Russia this week.

This is a picture of Andy and Ashley arriving in Moscow at Sheremetyevo airport for a holiday visit. Airport arrivals should be a time of joy and reunions not tragedy and sorrow. Shortly, after the bomb in Moscow rumblings began in Cairo, and now we have the general population calling for a new President. Russia and Egypt will always hold a special place in our hearts and please allow me to share some photos of Egypt and it's people.

We first met Mahmoud in the early 1990s during our time in Egypt. Mahmoud started his little flower shop in a corner kiosk, and now operates a beautiful flower shop on Road 9 in Maddi, Egypt.
This is Mansour...a very talented artist that created portraits of our children that we cherish to this day.

This is the owner of the local jewerly shop that many expats visit during their time in Cairo. Habib redesigned my wedding band to mark our 15th year anniversary and almost 20 years later I am still enjoying my ring.
The camel bone man, jewerly man and t-shirt guy...all special people to us as they remind us of calmer days in a beautiful country.

We had been gone from Cairo for almost 12 years by the time we returned in 2009 and all these vendors welcomed us back with open arms and we met some new Egyptians that I am holding close in my thoughts and prayers this week

We bought a Christmas stocking from this lady and she very graciously stiched our grandson's name on it for us as we waited.
Even in the factories, the workers were welcoming to us and smiled for our photos.

Obviously tourism is huge for Egypt, and this weeks events will make a significant impact on people like our escort for our day in the desert

Poverty certainly exists in Egypt and I can only imagine how long this young woman had worked cooking bread on this particular day.

In addition to these Egyptians, there are also several expat families living in Cairo at this time that we hold close to our hearts, and pray for their safety during this uncertain time in a country that we love.

Rest assured I have no idea the political stands these people take and I certainly have no political cause in this post other then to try to show a few faces of people that this week has greatly impacted. Please join us in praying for the people of Russia and Egypt - local and expats alike during the upcoming days.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Many thanks for the kind comments posted on Facebook and my blog regarding the Queen's passing. We had the service yesterday and shared a few tears and giggles over the life of a woman that had lived 98 years. Mother has lived during 7 wars, 17 presidents, the Great Depression, and gone from horse and buggy days to space exploration. I learned that in the year she was born the average life expectancy was 38 years. My kids heard that their grandmother was a Sunday School teacher, Master Gardner, accomplished artists and crafter, teacher of art at the Women's prison, and a professional business woman with her own business. Her pastor of many years spoke of Mother's love for the Lord and the contributions she had made to the church. It was summed up that Mother was met at Heaven's Gate with a Golden day lily and was already digging in Heaven's flower gardens. We will certainly miss her but rejoice in the fact that she is now healthy and strong again. She fought a hard battle the last few months but is reaping the rewards now. Love you Queen!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tonight after a 20 month struggle against the effects of a stroke, Mother passed away at the age of 98. Several years ago I nicknamed her "Queen" and the name was soon taken up by the staff, where she has lived for the last 17 months, as they addressed Mother. I have been really touched the last few weeks as it became obvious that she would soon be leaving us by how kind the staff was to her. Several members of the staff have said on more then one occassion that she was a favorite. She never complained nor was she demanding to the staff, and somehow had managed to find contentment in where she was at that stage of life. That is not to say that she never asked to go home because she did on more then one occassion, but she always had a smile when anyone would speak to her.

A sweet memory of the Queen I have of a really sad time is last night I walked around the corner of the bed to check her and she actually said "Boo!" I was shocked and sat down beside her and asked "Did you just boo me?" and she smiled. Her CNA came in the room moments later to check on us and asked how she was, and when I told her she just booed me Mother gave me the biggest grin. A true priceless moment!

My Mom and Dad have both left us now, and while my heart is heavy tonight at Mother's passing I praise God that she is no longer suffering and is now walking in Heaven and smelling the flowers with those that have gone ahead. I can hear her now going "ohh eee look at the beautiful flowers!" Just hope she is not driving as she is admiring the flowers!!!

Below are a few favorite pictures of the Queen and Pop!

50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration

The end of a long night!

50 years together must have been ok!?!

All dressed up and ready to party!

Cooking together in Trinidad for the boys of St. Dominic's

Enroute to Maracas Beach in Trinidad

First tourist stop during their visit to Trinidad

This has always been one of my favorite pictures of my Mom and Dad. It was the first morning in Trinidad and they were up and drinking coffee by 5 AM. Would love to know what he was saying to her! Wonder what the Queen's first morning in Heaven is like?