Love Everlasting!

Greetings Friends,

 

Last blog I said I would review a couple of the other tales in the Love Everlasting boxed set which includes my own Ella:

 

Charity and the Seven Sisters by Joi Copeland

A fun and amusing story of a young woman who flees the designs of a cruel stepmother and finds herself in cowboy country. Charity is a great cook and ends up helping the six sisters who remain at home to run a dining establishment. The sisters are engaging characters with traits like the seven dwarves and brought a chuckle to my lips in several paragraphs. And we can’t forget the brave hero who falls in love with Charity even though he’s suffering with a great loss. Rhett rides in at the final moment to rescue Charity  from none other than …

 

Magic of the Swan by Amber Stockton

A beautiful cover similar to Ella and based on the lesser known fairytale of the Swan Princess. Elenora defies her parents and attends a magic show where she encounters the evil Cravatta, a magician with a grudge against her rich father. She’s kidnapped and must participate in the magician’s nightly shows dressed in a beautiful swan costume. The race is on for Elenora’s childhood friend Trevor to discover her whereabouts and free her from the evil magician’s clutches. Trevor discovers his friendship with Elenora has matured into love as he seeks to find her and desires to see their two empires be united by marriage.

 

Looking forward to reading the other stories!

 

Have a grand week!

Love Everlasting Release!

Greetings friends,

I’m pleased to announce the Love Everlasting series from Forget Me Not Romances (of which my novella Ella is a part) has been released. Six fairytale redos for only $5.15! I just picked up my copy (I read them on my computer) and will let you know what I think over the coming weeks.

 
 

CHARITY AND THE SEVEN SISTERS
Tragedy can bring them together or tear them apart…..

Charity Watson lost her mother at an early age. Growing up in Boston with only her father, servants, and maid, Eliza, she learned how to take care of a house, cook, and clean. When tragedy strikes and she is left an orphan, she must flee the only home she’d ever known in order to save her own life and live with Eliza’s six sisters in Hope, Montana. Will she flee danger and be free to live life as she once knew or will danger catch up to her?

Rhett Lincoln loved Montana and everything his father left him on the biggest ranch in Hope, Montana. Upon returning home, he finds the one person he loves the most on the brink of death. His life turns upside down until he realizes his need for a wife. Will he find love in Hope, Montana?

BIRDS AND BREADCRUMBS
Hansel and Gretel Sweetser live a happy life, except for that unfortunate time of incarceration and near-ingestion in the witch’s gingerbread house. But that was twenty years ago, and no one believes them anyway.

If you’ve ever wondered what happened to that little boy and girl after the gingerbread house encounter, here’s what you’ve been missing. Birds and Bread Crumbs is the “rest of the story”—a grown-up Midwestern American fairy tale with just enough magic to make you believe in happily-ever-after again.

MERMAID'S SONG
At last, the much anticipated 50th book by Darlene Franklin!

Noble Prescott is drawn to the scene of a shipwreck by a sweet song sung in a language he didn’t understand. The songstress is barely alive, holding onto a piece of the ship’s railing. Her dress wraps around her legs like a mermaid’s tail. How will Justine and Noble overcome the evil woman’s schemes to find their own love everlasting?

ELLA
Ella Goodwin, abandoned by her father and abused by her stepsister, seeks to make sense of her new life as a prisoner in her own home. Squirreled away in the attic, she sews a magnificent gown. All hopes of attending the masked ball are dashed when she’s discovered and her gown is stolen.

Chaos and confusion ensue as Thomas Bailey attempts to extricate himself from the clutches of an obnoxious stepsister. Will he unravel the mystery and learn the true identity of the beautiful woman who has captured his heart?


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
When scar faced, Griffin catches an old miner stealing from his store, he insists the man work off the debt. However, when the man gets too sick to work, Griffin sends for Izzy, whom Griffin thinks is the old man’s wife. When the girl turns out to be the man’s beautiful and kind daughter, Griffin finds himself torn between continuing to wear the façade of a beast, or lowering his defenses and allowing Izzy’s beauty to soften his soul. Can this beauty and this beast find love?

MAGIC OF THE SWAN
Elenora Caldwell and Trevor Davenport had been thrown together since they were children. As the years passed, a deep friendship developed. Heirs to their respective family fortunes, they attempt to find where they fit into life’s grand puzzle. When Elenora’s father dismisses a man from his employ, the man threatens to seek revenge. Charmed and fascinated by a new magician who studied under the Great Houdini, Elenora sneaks out to attend a performance, but ends up a pawn in a vile scheme by the magician to take control of Caldwell Enterprises. In order to save Elenora, Trevor must first defeat Cravatta. How can he match wits with a master illusionist? And could his reunion with Elenora be the key to a brand new life?

Li’l Trooper

People have been asking how my granddaughter is, and I appreciate you doing so. I thought I would give an update:

For those of you who don’t know, in early January of this year our six month old granddaughter Aurelia was diagnosed with transverse-myelitis, an auto immune response that attacks the lining of the nerves in the spinal column. She became paralyzed from the bottom lip down (except for slight movement in one arm) and lost all feeling as well. What a frightening time for her parents and all those who love her!

Since January, she’s trundled down the road to recovery slowly. The doctors warned the family it would not be a fast process, and it hasn’t been compared to the three days it took to become paralyzed in the first place. She’s been able to use her arms and hands for quite a while although she still hasn’t regained all of her fine motor control. She can also bend her legs and last week pulled herself up the stairs for the first time. Core muscles were also affected but she sat up on her own the day after Father’s Day. Internal issues continue to be a struggle, but we hope they will settle down and she will regain all her mobility as she continues to heal.

Aurelia is a trooper and persistent in trying to keep up with her twin sister. I’m so grateful she’s still with us, and I look forward to watching her become the unique person God designed her to be.

“Grandchildren are the crown of grandparents,”

(Prov. 17:6a GWT)

Marriage Therapy?

If you hear the following conversation in our vicinity …  

            “Uhhh huhhh huhhh huhhh.” Lisa’s hands shake uncontrollably. “Come here, quick! I think I got one … Matt, please! Aahhhhhhhhhh! Aahhhhhhhhhh! Take it! Take it! I don’t want it!”

            “I’m right here; you’re OK, just settle down.”

            “Aahhhhhhhhh! Just take it!”

            “All right … I’ve got him.”

            “He’s so cute, don’t hurt him.”

We are most likely fishing and I just caught a whopper of a 10oz. perch. If it’s any bigger, I run to the other end of the boat screaming and hand the fishing rod over without polite conversation. Secretly, I think Matt loves the drama. I have tried to stay calm when something is on my line, so far, I have been unsuccessful.

And what’s not to love about the camaraderie of facing white caps on Buck Lake or lightening on Crimson Lake. Why would we resist the adrenaline pumping thrill of pounding hail as we work together to put the cover back on the boat. Why would we choose to miss the intimacy of shared lunches, while wearing wet clothes, in the cab of the truck?  

The adventures of fishing bring a smile to both our lips and corny jokes from Matt’s. It makes us feel more alive, even if the fish aren’t. And the feeling of closeness lasts well into the week. Who needs marriage therapy when you can go fishing?

Are you in need of a marriage tune-up? Feel free to tag along.

 “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.” (Ecc. 9:9 NASB)

 

Have an exciting week!

F for Fail

The official word from my surgeon is … no sign of the titanium clip. So where did it go?

During a needle biopsy for my breast, a clip was inserted and left as an indicator in case the doctors needed to return to that location. The biopsy tissue showed some, but not all, of the indicators for cancer so return they did.

Things get a little murky from here on. After a lumpectomy, analysis of the tissue revealed no cancer but also no sign of the previous biopsy (including the clip). At this point, the surgeon was as confused as I was, and he ordered another mammogram. The mammogram revealed no clip as well. It’s anyone’s guess as to what happened to it.

Good news is … no current sign of cancer. Puzzling news … I may or may not have had cancer. Even more puzzling … what happened to the clip and the original biopsy site?  

Do you ever feel like giving yourself a report card with a big F for fail on it?

Over the last six months of dealing with this health issue, I wanted neat and tidy packages with clear problems and clear solutions. I didn’t get either. I was frustrated and stressed out by my lack of control and at times I let the circumstances overwhelm me. Was it the right thing to do? No. Does the Lord have mercy for all of us whose report cards read F? Yes, He does.

 

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.”

(Lam 3:22-23 NLT)

 

Have an inspired week!

Wrinkles for Free!

Two Minutes? I have two minutes, and that’s all it takes to remove fifty-one years of child, marriage, job, stress ... induced wrinkles! You can tell by the results; the faces look pathetic in the before pictures and amazing in the after pictures!  And the wrinkle-free me will last for up to nine hours. If I hide out until noon, and watch TV after nine pm, I’ll look fabulous and I won’t be wasting any of my miracle cream! The best part is I only have to pay $5.99 for the sample!

My friend took them up on their amazing Facebook offer and counted down the days to the arrival of her packages. Yes, packages. What could possibly be better than a sample of an amazing serum? Two samples of amazing serums. She could compare the results and decide exactly how young she wished to look. Perhaps she could even double up and look like a new born babe.

The first box arrived, no company logo, no packing slip, and no paperwork for re-ordering. The one ounce container was plain for such huge promises, but miracles can be found in the most unexpected places. And don’t forget, it came with eye cream promising to remove every bit of darkness and puffiness known to man or woman!

The second box arrived, same thing, boring containers and no contact information. My friend was undeterred, new skin awaited! Undeterred, that is, until she received her credit card bills. Apparently, in the fine print the ad says the sample costs only $5.99 if you return it within fourteen days (less the eight days it took to arrive, giving you six days to return the sample.) If not, the cost of your sample is a mere $350.00. And out of the kindness of their hearts, the company will send you a new sample every thirty days for another $350.00. My friend now owed $700.00 dollars to the first company and $400.00 dollars to the second one. Yikes!

Thankfully, contact numbers were listed on her credit card bills and she could cancel both automatic orders. The first credit card company considered the $700.00 dollars a fraudulent sale and insured it; however, the second credit card company considered the sale, although unethical, valid and she was stuck with the $400.00 charge.

I must admit, I was tempted to sign up for my own free sample when I saw the remarkable results while researching for this post. My friend says the cream doesn’t work – not for a minute let alone nine hours. I guess I’m stuck with my wrinkles, but at least they're free!

 

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Prov. 31:30 ESV

  

Have a wonderful week!

Survival of the Fittest

If you happen to see me along River Road, bent over, heaving, and clutching my calf muscle, feel free to wave and pass on by. I am in no danger, and Matt is a half block ahead of me ready to come to the rescue. Apparently, one can’t put up their feet for six months, while eating chocolate and chips, without getting even more out of shape than they were before the said lack of activity. Anyone else starting a new exercise program so they can be bathing suit ready by June 30th?

Our current exercise of tor — choice is called Power Walking, Speed Walking, or sometimes Race Walking. From my perspective it should be called Every Muscle Screaming “Stop! You’re Killing Me,” Walking.  

But I don’t want to deter any of you. In fact, I encourage you to get out and try it. My twenty dollar book, available at chapters, called Walking for Fitness by Nina Barough promises all sorts of benefits:

                                    ·         Reduces tension and stress

                                    ·         Tone and strengthens

                                    ·         Helps manage weight

                                    ·         Boosts immune system

                                    ·         Increases bone strength

                                    ·         Detoxes the body

                                    ·         Improves energy level

What’s not to love about those? In the back of the book there are calendars for working your way up to your goals, from beginner (4 miles a week) to extreme (42 miles a week!) We are on the minutes-per-week calendar and so far haven’t surpassed twenty minutes of Power Walking at one time. It might have something to do with the week-long breaks of no-walking-at-all we’ve been taking in between.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy a book to begin Power Walking; although it makes a great coffee table addition or conversation starter. There’s lots of info and technique advice available on the net.

I’ll let you know how our progress goes; so far, Matt down four pounds and Lisa up two.

What are you doing to get in shape this summer?

 

Have a great week!

Thank You!

Thanks so much, everyone, for your help in getting the word out about Ella. It hit the Number 1 Christian Historical Fiction spot a couple of times on the weekend thanks to you! If you’ve read it already, I’d like to hear what you think. Send me a message with your opinion of Ella, good or bad; all of your ideas will help my writing in the future.

I found writing to a prescribed plot line (Cinderella) more difficult than I thought it would be. My source was a copy of the original fairytale written by a French author Charles Perrault in the seventeenth century. The original is a bizarre tale involving talking birds, bleeding feet, and eye pecking. I chose to go with a tamer yet melodramatic version of events and had to keep bringing myself back to the original story line when my imagination wanted to take flight.

Writing a Novella comes with its own challenges. Wikipedia describes novellas as:

          “A work of written, fictional, narrative prose normally longer than a short story            but shorter than a novel. The English word ‘novella’ derives from the Italian                novella, feminine of novella, which means ‘new’”

You have to keep a small cast of characters and a limited plot line in a novella. You also should keep descriptions to a minimum. I found not developing sub plots to be somewhat hampering yet at the same time I didn't get bogged down in the scenes.

Including editing, it took two months to write and that’s only the beginning. Today’s author has to be involved in the marketing as well.

 

I look forward to hearing your opinions!

 

Surprise!

The more I write and interact with the publishing world, the more I learn. When I finished the edits to Ella last week, I took a sigh of relief and thought I could have a bit of a break. Not so. Apparently, if a book is only going to be published as an eBook there is little down time between the submission to your publisher and the book going live. Ella will be a standalone novella until late summer and then added to the other Penny Princesses for an eBook boxed set.

Without further ado I bring you …

 
 

Ella Goodwin, abandoned by her father and abused by her stepsister, seeks to make sense of her new life as a prisoner in her own home. Squirreled away in the attic, she lets her imagination soar by designing and sewing a magnificent gown. However, all hopes of attending the masked ball are dashed when she’s discovered and her gown is stolen.

Thomas Bailey, withdrawn from active duty in the Foreign Service, struggles with a moral issue he must resolve if he wishes to keep his position. He arrives at his coworker’s home to deliver a parcel, a beautiful pair of red silk shoes, and unaware of any deception, agrees to escort the women of the house to the ball.

Chaos and confusion ensue as Thomas attempts to extricate himself from the clutches of an obnoxious woman. Will he unravel the mystery and learn the true identity of the beautiful woman who has captured his heart? Join author Lisa Flickinger as she takes you on a fairytale journey though time when life was simpler … or was it?     

 I need your help.

Please buy Ella, read Ella, and review Ella!

Did you know you can’t even buy most book advertising until you have acquired 5 – 10 good reviews?

Share it with your friends!

If you load this link to Facebook http://amzn.to/2rgJbWx and then add a space, (wait a couple of seconds) it will load up a direct link to Amazon and then you can back space the link details away. If you share it more than once it’s even better!

Have a super week!

Be Afraid …

Although the lists vary somewhat, generally, the ten most common fears and phobias of human kind are:

1)     Fear of loneliness

2)    Fear of death

3)    Fear of public speaking or open spaces

4)    Fear of spiders, rats, cockroaches, snakes, airplanes, … (specific objects)

5)    Fear of intimacy

6)    Fear of going crazy

7)    Germaphobia

8)    Fear of being a coward

9)    Fear of being poisoned

10)   Fear of getting old

 

I found it oddly comforting to know I wasn’t alone (fear #1) in my phobia of a specific object (fear #4). My name is Lisa and I’m afraid of birds. It’s an irrational fear I can’t control and sends me hiding for cover if they fly to close overhead(within thirty feet) or I can’t avoid interaction with them. The condition has caused me embarrassment a couple of times most notably on a visit to a hummingbird sanctuary in Costa Rica. The birds were beautiful and plentiful; however the enjoyment was hampered by my crouching on the wooden planks, wrapping my arms around Matt’s calf and whimpering. He talked me into the gift shop and I fortified myself with a stiff coffee for the return to the vehicle.

My ornithophobia reared its feathered head last week in the middle of the night. Matt was working, so I had to endure the owl outside my bedroom window all alone. The unreasonable creature who, whooed, on the deck railing until I became a shivering ball of nerves under my blankets. I’m almost certain it meant to murder me and cough up pellets of my hair and teeth in the forest behind our home.

Thankfully, the Lord gives us promises in His word we can count on when fears, realistic or not, threaten to overwhelm us:

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3 NIV)

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

 

Have a wonderful fear free week!

-used typically to express frustration, disappointment, anguish, or pain

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

I’m not sure who felt worse during my consultation with the surgeon - him or me. The report looked good “no indications of ductal or invasive cancer present in tissue samples” until you arrived at the last line “no apparent sign of a previous biopsy within the samples.” What? How could this even be possible?

I’d gone through the painful process of having a wire inserted into my breast and down to a clip left behind during the needle biopsy, a clip which was to indicate where the tissue should be removed from. The surgeon was to follow the wire down to the clip. It shouldn’t have been a problem considering he took two “aggressive” samples of tissue based on imaging which indicated the clip had migrated.

But although he followed the wire, the two “aggressive” samples were not from the right part of my breast. I’m not comforted by the idea it happens in less than five percent of surgeries. And, yes, I can see room for error when you wait seven hours for surgery with the said “wire” sticking out of your chest. But where do I go from here? Wait another month, more testing, another decision.

 

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7 NIV

 

Cast – to throw upon   The word was used by the Greeks to refer to a heavy pack                                                being thrown or rolled onto the back of a camel.

Do you, like me, have worries, concerns, heartaches? In prayer, let’s throw them onto the Lord. And when they creep back and weigh us down once again, let’s chuck them back onto the Lord because “He cares for you (and me).”

Have a great week!

 

 

Puddled

 
 

I read a quote the other day:

        “God only puts us through as much as we can handle, so people                  who struggle the most have been chosen by God to be the                          strongest ones.”

Eeeek! My first response is to tell the poor, struggling folk to melt into a puddle and sob, maybe flail a bit, let God know you’re falling apart on the outside as well as the inside. Why wouldn’t you? If struggling “well” only brings more struggle please put yourself and those of us watching you out of misery.

Or perhaps we could go with the actual intent of the verse the quote is based on.

        "And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted/tested beyond              what you can bear. But when you are tempted/tested, He will also            provide a way out so that you can endure it.”(I Cor. 10:13 NIV)

The verse opens with “God is faithful” not man is faithful. We can’t rely on our own response to the pull of sin or the pain of trials as being the solution. Our feeble “I couldn’t help it.” when we succumb to the temptation or test loses its validity when we remember He will provide a way out. Don’t turn into a puddle as I suggested; actively look for the way out. We don’t hold the solutions to our trials and temptations but God does. He has promised to deliver!

            “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”                (Psalm 46:1)

 

Have an awesome week!

 

 

New Life

At first glance, my gardens look depressing. The jumbled mixture of last year’s stems turned a blackish brown and piles of rotten leaves are not enhanced by the garbage that winter collected and stored amongst them. I knew when I neglected the gardens last fall, spring wouldn’t be pretty. However, if you look closely, you’ll see the promise of new life, new life which will turn to slender green leaves and delicate lilies or any number of breathtaking flowers.

Spring carries with it Easter, and Easter can remind us of another bleak view offering the promise of renewal. After His bloody crucifixion, Jesus lay in the tomb for three days; cold, dead, not pretty. The miracle of His resurrection from the dead brought humankind the possibility of new life, and not only new life, but renewal for the old sticks, rotten leaves, and garbage we’ve left in our lives.  

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor. 5:17 KJV)

 
Blog - 76 B.jpg
 

“If Spring came but once in a century , instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change! But now the silent succession suggests nothing but necessity. To most men only the cessation of the miracle would be miraculous and the perpetual exercise of God’s power seems less wonderful than its withdrawal would be.”   – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Have a Blessed Holiday!

An Incredible Kindness

My friend Jim hails from the days of explorers when men (and women) paddled thousands of miles downriver and portaged hundreds of miles through dense woods. Although over seventy, he loves to back country ski on high mountain ridges and in remote alpine meadows. A few weeks ago, before another back county skiing adventure, he encountered an individual, and his car, stuck at the staging area of an isolated ski trek. The fellow appeared ill prepared to extricate his vehicle from the heavy snow and Jim, noticing the fellow’s um … ineptness, offered to help.

Through the push and pull of the extraction, Jim learned the fellow was a visitor from Russia doing research in Canada. Concerned for the man’s safety, and because he’s a nice guy, Jim invited the fellow to ski with him. They spent the day traversing trails and exchanging histories where Jim learned the man was not only a researcher but a highly degreed scientist.

Further investigation after Jim returned home (thank you Google) revealed a list of the man’s credentials and the fact the renowned expert was within a “hair’s breadth” of finding a cure for … cancer.

Thanks for keeping him safe, Jim!

 

“Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

Heb. 13:2 ERV

 

God's Mountain

 
 

I recently read a book about a Canadian scientist who went to work as a medical missionary in India. Within a couple of years he was struck by polio and paralyzed from the neck down. By using a “wooden lung” found neglected in the hospital courtyard and a spare inner tube left behind by another doctor they managed to keep him alive long enough to get the medical attention he needed to live. He went on to study and to teach even though he never regained the use of his legs and only the partial use of his hands after transplant operations.

I found his philosophy in God’s Mountain a refreshing and a more realistic approach than some of the other messages I’ve been hearing regarding sickness and calamity. In chapter six James Ashwin says the following:

“A profusion of puzzled thoughts converge on one idea: God spares righteous people from trouble and disaster and He gives special favours to those considered as His children. Does He?

Those who persist in believing in this kind of God will eventually be disappointed. What kind of world would we have if there was a law that saved the righteous and struck down the wicked? A fearless bunch of Christians could soon clean the world of gangsters and thwart all kinds of impending calamities. But “righteous” people often find themselves opposing each other in politics, love, and battle situations. The outcome in every instance certainly does not seem to depend on righteousness.”

Last Friday I went for my lumpectomy. The doctor removed tissue about the size of two Bic lighters side by side. First stop was the imaging centre where they placed a wire down to the lesion to direct the doctor to its location. The process was unnerving and painful. And then I waited … and waited… seven hours before going into surgery. I was the surgeon’s simple procedure for the day. The two patients next to me both had a breast and lymph nodes removed. It was hard to feel sorry for myself when they had it much worse, but I managed to sneak in quite a few “woe is me”.

The surgery went well and I don’t remember a single thing – thank goodness. The pain is manageable and I’m well on my way to recovery.

A special thank you to all of you who took the time to text or call, bring flowers, or a meal. The gestures are soooo appreciated and help to lift my spirits in the discouraging moments.

 

Have yourselves a wonderful week!

 

How I Failed as a Parent

When I was growing up, if we heard the annoying buzz of a fly in the house my dad would reach for the nearest stack of newspaper or a magazine. A hunt would ensue until the flying annoyance was firmly squished against one surface or another by the rolled up weapon. As we got older, we kids became the hunter; the flies, unfortunately, stayed the hunted.

We never asked why the flies weren’t permitted to live once they were discovered. It never entered my mind to suggest we could live peaceably with another creature instead of resorting to violence. We just did it because that’s what you do.

In our own home, we stepped up the assault and purchased proper weapons. I have two swatters in my kitchen just in case one breaks down. Our children were witnesses to the same behavior, immediate death to all flies. We never talked about the reasons; I don’t think I could have explained why. No one ever told me.

I must admit I was surprised by one of my adult child’s cavalier attitude toward the same nasty fiend. I remarked on the number of flies buzzing about their kitchen and was told “they would probably leave the same way they entered.”

Hmm, the comment caused me to ponder. Perhaps my bias was purely cultural. Had I in fact chased after buzzing little monsters my entire life for no reason? Could we and the flies live in a mutually respectful environment? I did not chase the flies in their kitchen; nor did I encourage anyone else to do so.

How were any of us to know the resourceful little fellows would find a rotten potato in the pantry? A female fly can lay up to five hundred eggs and so they did. I wasn’t around for the next stage as the juicy white maggots began squirming across the floors to look for a cool dry place to pupate. Nor was I there for the discovery that the long piled area rug was the hiding spot of choice. I am very thankful I wasn’t.

Did you know - squishy maggots aside - flies are responsible for spreading over one hundred different diseases by carrying the pathogens on their bodies and spreading it to our food?

 

Have a super duper week!

The Best Medicine of All

I bought a card last week a lovely card expressing lovely sentiments:

God’s Gift of Time

We all need a time to grieve - quiet time for reflection

to sift through memories

 and come to grips with what has happened.

 

We all need a time for tears,

not for the one who is now

at peace in heaven,

but for ourselves as we realize that things will never be the same.

 

We all need a time to just “be”

when we can open ourselves to God

and let the reassurance

of His everlasting love start to heal our broken hearts.

 

Lovely sentiments indeed unless you are delivering the card to a friend who's suffering with a heart condition and in the hospital with pneumonia. I was at the hospital when I realized I’d exchanged a bereavement card for someone else with a get well card for my friend. Which still wouldn’t have been a problem if I hadn’t passed the card around at church and eighteen people signed it! Don’t they know you are not supposed to sign your name without reading the document first?  

It’s nothing a few artful strokes with a pen and the odd word added here and there wouldn’t fix. It wasn’t pretty, but this is the card my friend received:

God’s Gift of Time

We all need a time to grieve –quiet time for reflection

to sift through memories

and come to grips with what has happened, and our limitations.

 

We all need a time for tears

for ourselves as we realize

that things will never be the same.

 

We all need a time to just “be,”

when we can open ourselves to God

and let the reassurance

of His everlasting love start to heal our broken hearts, minds, and bodies!

 

What do you think? Should I take up greeting card writing?

 

Have a wonderful two weeks!

 

 

Beating the Odds – 2

So I met with the surgeon last week.  Thankfully, I was given the head breast surgeon in the Red Deer area. He was young, funny, and intent on doing a great job. He told me to lie back on the gurney with my hands behind my head and pretend I was on a beach “A really weird beach,” and proceeded to do his examination.

We talked about the stages that had brought me to his office: mammogram abnormalities, follow-up mammogram abnormalities, biopsy suspect of DCIS, and finally surgery consultation. He answered my questions concisely and took lots of time to make sure I understood his answers.

       How do you get to the back of a breast from the top? In my case, from making                   an incision  across the upper edge and then going down.

       If the clip they inserted during the biopsy has moved 1.5 centimeter how do                they find the original sight of the lesion? He appeared genuinely surprised by                   this question. The paperwork on his lap said the clip was in the position it                   was originally placed in. I’d brought my copy of the results saying the clip                   had moved and he promised to look into it.

        Will I experience pain down my arm like I did after the biopsy? Will it go away?               Apparently pain down your arm after a biopsy is unusual; however, the                         nerves fan out from your shoulder and across your chest. He did not expect                 that I would have any more pain with the lumpectomy than I had with the                   biopsy. If I did, it should go away as it did for the biopsy.

        How long will the incision be and how much will he take out? The incision                          should be about two inches long and he will take out matter a bit larger                      than a marble. The space will fill with fluid and scar tissue.

         Does he have a steady hand? Is he good at sewing? I couldn’t bring myself to                     ask. His being young worked in my favour. The stitches are sewn from the                   inside so he must be halfway decent and they are dissolvable so you don’t                   have to have them removed. A friend who just went through the same                           surgery and had several lumps removed remarked the stitches were much                   like wearing a bristle brush in your bra.

         Will I still be able to wear my string bikini? This has become a non-issue as I’ve                looked everywhere and I can’t find it.

 

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (I Pet. 5:10 ESV)

 

Have a super week!

Beating the Odds

I’ve entered a strange new labyrinth. One I knew existed, and yet I didn’t give it much thought. Many have entered the labyrinth before, myriads of websites are devoted to its exploration, entire hospitals are established for its eradication.

According to the Canadian Cancer society less than .6% of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer this year yet 2 out of 5 persons will be diagnosed with it over a lifetime. It is the leading cause of death in Canada at thirty percent of all deaths. Sixty percent of those diagnosed will live more than five years - eighty-seven percent if its breast cancer.

The statistics don’t bring much comfort when you’re faced with it. At each stage through the process, I was told just a very small number will go on to the next level of treatment. After my biopsy in January, I was told less than three percent would go on to surgery. I don’t feel particularly lucky knowing I am one of the chosen few.

My breast cancer was caught early. About as early as you can catch it.  It’s called DCIS and doesn’t form a lump but involves one tiny cluster (for me) of micro calcifications. The odds of survival are great as it’s contained and most likely won’t return. I meet with a surgeon shortly to discuss the details of my operation and I do have some questions:

·         How do you get to the back of a breast from the front?

·         If the clip they inserted during the biopsy has moved 1.5 centimeters how do             they find the original sight of the lesion?

·         Will I experience pain down my arm like I did after the biopsy? Will it go                     away?

·         How long will the incision be? How much will he take out?

·         Does he have a steady hand? Is he good at sewing?

·         Will I still be able to wear my string bikini? Ha.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you (the diagnosed, the family, and the friends) who have travelled the cancer journey and its many pitfalls. May we soon see a cure for this dreaded disease!

Update - My own doctor said to consider the lesion DCIS but the surgeon I met with today said the biopsy was too small and carried some of the markers but not all of the markers of DCIS. Surgery in the coming weeks will either confirm DCIS or it may all have been removed in the original biopsy and in that case we will never know. 

 

Take Care.

Boundaries

While unpacking Matt’s suitcase after a weekend away, I pulled a gargantuan bobby pin from one of the inner pockets.

            “What’s this?” I asked.

            “It’s yours isn’t it?”

            “Really? If I wore this it would cover half my head.”

Perhaps it’s the curse of the fiction writer but I quickly conjured up in my mind the size of woman who would wear such a pin. She looked about six foot eight with an oversized bunch of unruly blond curls, high tops, and long, skinny arms or perhaps the mature woman with flowing, grey locks, thick glasses, and bright, bohemian skirt who liked the simplicity of such a fastener. Whoever she was, why was her paraphernalia in my husband’s suitcase?       

The conversation went on for a few more moments and involved accusation and denial - both good components to any marital discussion. Matt hasn’t travelled alone for several years and I don’t usually unpack his things. Most likely he honestly did pick up the bobby pin in some hotel thinking it was mine regardless of its unusual size.

Our discussion reminded me of how important it is for each one of us to protect our relationships and guard them against temptation. Bill and Pam Farrel, in their book Men Are Like Waffles Women Are Like Spaghetti (a great little read for improving your marriage) share their own boundaries to guard their relationship. “We are never alone with a person of the opposite sex in a counseling setting. We never dine with those of the opposite sex alone, nor do we travel alone with members of the opposite sex. We even make it a practice of dropping off those of the opposite sex before we take home those of the same sex in a carpool situation. But more importantly than these structural boundaries, we have emotional boundaries. We do not share with others what our spouse should hear first. In other words, our deepest sorrows and greatest thrills are not shared with anyone until first shared with each other.”

Great ideas, don’t you think?

 

Have a superb week!

 

P.S. Our granddaughter has improved a lot over the last week and can now roll over and push herself up on her knees. Praise the Lord!