if you'd like to donate...here's the page. thank you!
this still seems so surreal to me, i feel like i've been walking in a strange dream for 5 years now. i found a lump in my breast a little over five and a half years ago (our girl was 2 1/2). i went and had a needle biopsy and my first mammogram at age 35 we were getting ready to try for baby #2...move ahead 7 months~the check-up to be sure~the lump was larger. doctors thought not a problem...i thought not a problem. just to be sure before i became pregnant...let's take it out. august 5th 2005 surgeon calls and leaves a message have me paged at home~these are the words you don't want from your surgeon. i was truly blown away. i had become one of those people that really didn't worry until there was cause...cause had arrived.
i need to share that we really did catch it early and in my hometown we have really incredible medical treatment, also i had great insurance and an incredible family and the most amazing group of friends i could dream of. i couldn't have been more fortunate. my diagnosis was good, i was healthy. we had so much help with our girl, the house, food, my sister-in-law provide acupuncture, herbs, research and support and the list really is endless.
please never underestimate the power of cards, calls, thoughts, visits and just the general feeling of love and caring...this was so important to my family.
so tonight i am getting ready for our making strides for breast cancer team leaders kick-off breakfast tomorrow...well actually in a few hours now. all of the team leaders in our area get together for a brunch to raise awareness and encourage strong fund raising. i have mixed feelings about the format, but i always learn something new and make great contacts to improve our fund raising. i know that some people have concerns about donating to organizations that can be somewhat top heavy. i really believe in the american cancer society for many reasons one of the most powerful is that they fund research for many drugs one of which i did use and in studies has been shown to reduce the risk of recurrence by 50% for someone with my diagnosis. to my family...this is a good reason.
i will sign off with this thought that many don't realize. when it comes to breast cancer when you reach the five year mark there is no reduction in chance of recurrence. vigilance, diet, exercise are the best prevention. please fight to get mammograms. i was diagnosed at the age of 36 with no family history and no known genetic inclination. (i've been tested for the brca gene)
thank you for all of you that have been there for all of us. be well!
she has been an inspiration for me since the beginning...for as long as i can remember.
i tried to write a post for her when she died but we were all so
busy getting ready for the celebration of her life. i did write a few
words for her funeral. i have wanted to share this but i really want it to be just right! rather than never get this post done...i'm getting it done. one of the many things my grandmother wasn't was a procrastinator (clearly and sadly i am) she didn't have the luxury of not getting it done.
I wanted to share some of the stories that I have heard many times
either from her or from other members of the family. And some of the ways that
grandma shared with us throughout our lives.
grandma’s number one priority. this sounds really cliche but it's true. she really gave so much to her family, not only
her love and time but countless things that she created. clothes, toys, dolls,
doll clothes, christmas stockings, crocheted ornaments, tree skirts, pillows,
curtains, slip covers, costumes, sweaters and blankets, just to name a few. she
never really looked for praise for what she created; it was just what she did. what she was most proud of was the fact that she and grandpa were only
children and as of now they have 22 descendants! she mentioned this so often. now this is what she shared with everyone. she loved to talk about all of us
and what we were doing. this is what she was most proud of.
spoke often about her mom who died when she was thirteen. she missed her so
much. grandma always said how talented her mother was. if you visited grandma's room
grandma learned very quickly to keep house for her father and herself. she grew up very fast. she told of when she was very young she learned to sew. she would make something and show it to her father and he would suggest that she could do it better and she would go and tear out the stitches and try again. grandma found that she could do it better. this seemed to carry through grandma’s life. everything that she did was so well done. she had so many challenging skills and made them seem effortless.
one of the many dresses that grandma made...she made four of these holly hobby dresses at the height of little house on the prairie for her four lovely granddaughters with matching dolls to match to color of each of our hair with dresses to match our dresses~bonnets too. seriously~we were the luckiest kids to have her! this has been one of my daughters favorite dresses for years as it was one of mine. she has been wearing it to laura ingalls wilder day for the past 3 years...she will still fit in it for a few more years to come!
recently I was making a list of all grandma’s talents and tasks when
she was raising her family. here are just a few; sewing, knitting, crochet,
cooking, baking, canning, keeping house, gardening, needle work, drawing, and
singing. she did all of these things while working a full time job and keeping
house in the 40s and 50s with four kids and none of the current conveniences. grandma hung the laundry and made many of her kids’ clothes and toys and ironed
everything...no permanent press then.
it seems that they always had an extended
family member living with them that needed grandma’s care and attention too. she cared for her grandfather and her
mother-in-law lived with them too and her father all of them nursed by her until the end... my grandparents didn’t have siblings but they had many great friends. they also took care of them when they could by taking them to doctors, caring
for their yards, driving them where they needed to go, doing their banking, making meals.
grandma also had an aunt who was seven years older than she was (no
need to look this up, grandma always mentioned it). her aunt
was such a good cook. some family favorites were buttermilk pancakes, potato
pancakes, corned beef and cabbage, chop suey, turkey coquettes, i would like to share just a few more stories that we heard so often.
grandma had a great sense of humor and she loved to laugh about these. one of the stories that we always teased my grandparents about was how they met. the story is that grandpa picked grandma up on the corner in front of the library. she would very quickly tell you that was not the case. they were properly introduced.
ears were very ticklish. When her grandchildren stayed over on nights when
their parents went out on the weekends, when they woke up, they would crawl in
on their hands and knees to their grandparents bedroom. thinking they were so
quiet but they were so noisy. they would go on each side of the bed and climb
up and start tickling grandma and grandpa. it was a tickle fight, they would
all get tickled and laugh out loud. i bet it was very fun. but i wasn’t born
to know that yet. but when i saw grandma i did tickle her ears my mom taught me
her ears were ticklish. the end."
i apologize for all of this lists,
grandma did so much over her 89 years, i could find no other way to share it
all with you. we are so happy to have so many creations remember her by. and all of our very sweet stories.
i was very fortunate that we lived so close to my
grandmother almost all of my life and that she lived so long...so many great
memories and experiences that we all shared with her. i was so thrilled that my
daughter spent so much time with her and loved her so. i was also so blessed to
see how much joy our girl brought to my grandmother. they really adored each
other. for the first four years of my daughter's life we picked grandma up every week and took her shopping, we really enjoyed these days together.
grandma we miss you so. we know that you were so tired and missed grandpa so much and suffering without being able to see and create for the last 7 years of your life...such a cruel turn of events. i'm trying hard to us some of the many goodies that you left behind for me to use to create. i'm so happy that i have finally learned to sew on your machine that dawne has graciously let me borrow and using your needles to knit and teach helen so many of your talents. i so hope that we can make you proud...thanks for all that you gave to all of us. we love you.
i still need to find some older photos and post them, this is one thing that has been holding up my post. i will update the post when i find them. hope those that knew her will enjoy this and for those who didn't and get through this ridiculously long post thank you. she was really an inspirational woman. those who think that we are busier and have more commitments than women from the past only need this to remember that maybe this is not so!
it all began this year with a formal request for attendance. we had fun making these personalized invitations this is all i can share given each invitation had the guests name "engraved" on it...they were so sweet though.
many of the attendees are huge potter fans...we did have a few that do not live and breathe potter so i wanted to make sure that we had robes (in this case capes) my quick and affordable solution was to purchase some inexpensive black felt and i cut it into pieces that were about 25x35 and about 5 inches down on the long side i sewed a 14 inch black gross grain ribbon on each side to use as a tie. they were so quick (even for me) and they worked great. they were actually much cooler for the girls than the robes.
hermione granger was practicing her flying before the guests arrived.
airborne!!!my husband and i enjoy harry potter as much as my daughter. we came up with some fun activities. of course they took a very small fraction of the time we thought that they would and also a very small fraction of the time that it took us to put it together. all three of us have been talking about what we could do for weeks now, here is what made it to the day.
we decided to do a treasure hunt using port-keys to move you from one clue to the next!
the final clue led them to this suitcase. inside they found the makings for wands from mr.ollivander!
they found the wands that my husband and i carefully prepared for them to personalize with colored tape and ribbons...once the wand had chosen them of course.
all the wood was found in our yard and my husband cut them down to size. they were all carefully labeled with the type of wood and the core ingredient, the length of each wand was also included.
this new wand looks so much more authentic than that plastic wand.
we also had potions making class...my husband was the very stern professor severus snape. we used different types of juice and unusual berries and coconut for the ingredients. our secret ingredient was pop rocks to add at the end for a little magic! most of the potions were very tasty. i can't say that the girls drank many of them but i did. they were really more interested in concocting. too bad they missed out on some very powerful magic. my husband printed out the names of all the potions that were discussed in the books so that they could name them. my husband also showed them what happened when they put baking soda and vinegar together.
we also held an herbology class where the kids took interesting looking succulent plants and cacti and replanted them in clay pots. my husband labeled each of the plant with a name and definition of a plant from the book, as the kids replanted i read each of the descriptions and we did a few trivia questions about the herbs from the books.
we found some bertie botts every flavor beans the girls had fun trying some really gross tasting jelly beans~gravy, fish, cheese, sausage, onion and banana. i was just given a pizza...how'd they do that? it really tastes like pizza in a really gross sweet way. ewwww! they spared us earwax, vomit and buggers this time (we have had all of these before-really gross).
we had some of the yummy jelly bellies too.
i made these parchment sewn bags again thanks to another great idea from mayamade. when she posted this i thought oh my, i can use this in so many ways. thank you maya i love these.
i made these bags to put chocolate frogs that i made from a mold. (i found a better mold that i will have a link to on the sidebar) and harry potter collecting cards in to give to the girls. i always loved the idea of the chocolate frog from the book how it would jump away.
hermione had a great day! thanks for all who shared it with us.
happy birthday to our girl! we had a fun day with some family parties to attend. we spent our driving and down time reading a great new book that she received from one of her friends at her birthday party yesterday.
tomorrow i will fill you in on the great harry potter birthday party that we had yesterday. hope that you are enjoying your lovely summer saturday evening.