December 28: The next year is a couple of days away. Christmas is already in the past. But this Christmas left lots of positive
Our son was able to come home Christmas Eve day and stay until Sunday afternoon. For me, Christmas Eve IS Christmas. We
had a good day with Chris who took his dad to Rogue One and sprang for supper which they brought home after the movie.
We ate. We talked. We laughed.
We read the Christmas story from the Bible and prayed before handing out the gifts. Nice gifts, but for me Christmas is
about Christ and family.
The next afternoon, we celebrated Christmas Day at my brother and SIL's house. (They live a few blocks south of us.) Lorene
created a wonderful turkey dinner--with sweet potatoes for brother Paul and me. She had rice pudding for me later after opening
We returned home thankful for Christmas and time with family.
December 22: The countdown to Christmas is ticking away and I still don't know about our grandkids. I'm praying though!
This morning is our usual bi-weekly shopping trip so we'll head out soon to buy groceries. I have some extras in mind
for Christmas snacks. Instead of doing lots of cooking, I like to spread things out on the table for family to fix what they
want--even if that is just to fill up on "goodies."
Christmas cards are coming. I sent a lot of our Christmas Journal snail mail. Sent the Christmas Journal pdf out in email
and let others know at Facebook they can find a link to it on my website.
My Hub Christmas article has been published (see it under Stories, Articles and More) as well as my Christmas article
and poem for the KCWC newsletter.
I've been offering the expanded version of my Christmas Regency Romance A MAID OF HONOR.
My last gift ordered is supposed to arrive tomorrow for me to wrap and put under the tree and then...
May the joy of the birth of Christ fill your hearts and homes this Christmas.
December 19: It is Christmas week. We don't yet know if our grandkids will be able to be here on Saturday. Sure hope so.
Meanwhile we have presents under the tree and I have one more to buy.
What I do not want to buy is a new stove. Our oven doesn't work. It is original to our house. We moved into the house
built with my needs in mind December 1979. We've had the heating element replaced twice since then. But is the solution that
simple, or is it time for a new oven? I hope not. Not my idea of a fun way to spend $.
Meanwhile, I'm using our new microwave and the oven burners. And managed to burn stuff to the bottom of my pans. Sigh!
Where's that chef when you need one? Certainly not me!
I'm learning, but will my pans survive? Time will tell.
December 15: I've talked to several individuals who grieve and are depressed this time of year. Why? Because they've lost
loved ones either recently or in the past in December.
As sad as this is, and we just laid to rest one of my husband's aunts, what is even sadder is dwelling on those losses
year after year instead of moving on.
My mother loved Christmas. She became a child at Christmas and made the holiday for us. Christmas was a time of joy despite
many tragedies of her past--losing her mother too young to know her, watching her sister burn to death, her father falling
dead of a heart attack.
Yet, her past didn't keep her from the joy of Christmas. Christmas meant something new and wonderful. Christmas was and
is about Jesus coming to earth to give us hope and joy and peace. My Mom focused on the joy and in reaching out.
Jesus is about joy and hope. When we wallow in sorrow, we spit at God and all he Sacrificed for you and me. When we live
in perpetual grief and despair we live not as God followers, but as those who have no hope.
Brothers and sisters, we don't want you to be ignorant about those who have died. We don't want you to grieve like other
people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and came back to life. We also believe that, through Jesus, God will bring
back those who have died. They will come back with Jesus. --1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (GW)
The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they
might have it more abundantly. --John 10:10
Let us ask God to heal us within that we might know--and share--His joy this Christmas season. After all, Go your way,
eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our
Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. --Nehemiah 8:10 (KJV)
December 4: Yup! December is here and Christmas is just around the corner. I wrote two Christmas articles for the Hub this
year. The first should be published tomorrow. Of course, then I'll add it to my website. It's about how to find movies suitable
for the kiddies this Christmas.
Even animated movies aren't always appropriate for the younger set these days. --As my article points out and the reason
I wrote the article.
I am also promoting my non-fiction book THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS. A book for the whole family with poems, stories and the
true meaning of Christmas. There are pages for you to add your own special Christmas memories. (Click on Non-Fiction Books)
I am also getting another book ready to re-launch. I've had the rights back for sometime, but never got back to it. It,
too, ends with Christmas. A Regency Romance with a handsome hero and a feisty heroine.
Keith & I, Cassie & Kurt, Chris and kids--Devon 16, Dane 14, Tori 12
November 28: Wow! What a Thanksgiving holiday we had. Thursday Keith and I drove to Omaha and checked into our hotel. It seemed
we scarcely got settled when daughter and SIL Cassie and Kurt picked us up for Tim and Lisa's house since they hosted the
Scheidies family "Thankmas" this year. (A combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas.)
Usually our big fall get-together is the weekend after Thanksgiving on the family farm and in Minden. This year Keith's
dad's 91st birthday actually fell on Thanksgiving. And, since this was the first Thanksgiving without Keith's mom, we decided
to gather in Omaha.
Lots of laughter, games, gifts, food and catching up.
Keith and I left maybe at 9 or after. (Kurt took us back to our hotal.) He and Cassie lasted until midnight. Many had
marathon card games going on and crashed at Tim and Lisa's. Others left throughout the evening and night to stay with Anne
The next morning we gathered at Rhonda's for brunch. More food and fellowship...and goodbyes as we went our ways. Kurt
and Keith headed to their place. Chris followed. Cassie and I shopped a while. Chris had a business appointment. The rest
of us met for lunch and then to Cassie & Kurt's for the day...and the awful Husker football games. Groan!!!
Later we played games before heading to bed. We left for home the next morning.
Last night, my brother Paul and wife Lorene came over for dessert and Quirkle. Lorene won one. I won the second. YIPPEE!
Now time to get back into a normal routine. Made good memories this holiday.
November 18: I've been angry this week about the protesters. The time to get involved in the political process is BEFORE the
election. Can no one accept that 60 million plus Americans have a different perspective without being racist or other hate
words used by those who seem totally ignorant of the Constitution or the political process. Protesting now does little more
than cause very real destruction to people and property, and gives our enemies the belief that America is ripe for take over.
America has been the one nation where the winner of the election comes into office without war, bloodshed or destructive
First, we need to jail all protesters bussed into an area and/or who are paid to protest. Second, jail criminals who've
been paid or incited to violence.
Third, if you didn't vote. You can't protest. Fourth, welfare recipients should lose benefits or have them severely restricted
if they are their children protest. Especially if this leads to destructive behavior.
Other protesters are protesting not reality, but because they read or heard something--usually untrue--about what a Trump
president might do or behave. Do diligent research before protesting.
Those misled young people need to realize this is futile. Many, many were not happy about an Obama presidency. They really
listened. They read his books and understood what he said he'd do and it was not good. Did we take to the streets. NO!
Instead, we looked forward and got involved. Protesters should do the same.
November 10: The election is over and a lot of people are in shock. Others are using the election as a reason to "protest"
a term for unrestricted rioting. Such riots, by and large, aren't real as the email leaks reveal. Many such "protest"
riots are bought and paid for and are encouraged by those with deep pockets on the left.
It doesn't seem to occur to many that maybe Americans are tired of being thought of as "deplorables," as racist
and evil simply for standing for the Constitution and the conservative values of faith, family and freedom. This election
may well have been a reaction against those who keep telling us we're less than because we're a particular race, Christian
and conservative. (I know a person who said she was ashamed to be white. What! Outrageous!)
Trump won despite the media and the left that daily twisted truth and lied about who he is, what he has accomplished and
called him the usual slur--racist. (Realize he was never considered that until he became the Republican candidate.)
He is known for putting in charge the best and brightest--regardless of race, gender or anything else.
What bothers me about all those who are fainting away because Trump won is that most of them never bothered to do their
own research about either candidate beyond the media spin, twists and outright falsehoods. For shame!
Where are the tough, reliant Americans? We will not endure long with a generation who cannot handle tough rhetoric or
cannot deal with those who have an opposite view of reality and this nation. Maybe it is time to open minds to a wider point
of view than the propagandist, socialist viewpoint pumped into skulls by the media and pushed in far too many schools and
I am female, white, conservative and Christian and not ashamed of any of those attributes. (I mention race because being
white seems to be a negative these days. No one should be ashamed of who they are--period!)
I'd rather support Trump than a woman who doubles down on her support of death for the most vulnerable among us (and in
the most heinous ways)--the preborn.
November 7: The day before election day. And, no, not voting is not an option if you call yourself an citizen, an American.
Voting isn't like deciding what book to read or what movie to go see. Voting helps keep government somewhat in check and lets
Washington know those elected are supposed to be accountable to The People. Voting helps keep Washington from simply becoming
This year there is a clear choice. It isn't about personalities, but what sort of America this will become.
One candidates is totally in bed with Planned Parenthood and the right to end the life of a baby until birth. This candidate
has told Christians we have to change and march to a drumbeat prohibited in Scripture. This candidate makes it clear the judges
she'll try to put on the Supreme Court will follow her extremist agenda.
The other candidate already has a list of candidates and all would follow the Constitution and the law. He wants to protect
life, protect the right to live out faith in public as well as private.
This election is about judges who will be in power long after I'm gone. It's about freedom of faith, freedom of work,
freedom to live as our founders intended with safety and security from our enemies.
This election is not about fear, but about rationally thinking through the options. It is getting on our knees in prayer
and staying in God's Word, knowing our true source of guidance, wisdom and safety is in Christ.
Wherever you stand--VOTE!
October 31: Last day of the month. It's Halloween, but I'm not putting my light on this year. When our kids were small, sometimes
the school held a Halloween celebration. Also for years, the churches in town put on Bibleland Carnival that drew huge crowds
of kids and families from the whole town. It was one stop fun.
I was usually involved in one way or another as was my husband. The kids brought friends. One night my daughter won 5,
yes that is five, cakes at the cake walk.
Because of weather one year, Halloween trick/treating and events were cancelled--except for Bibleland Carnival. The place
was packed out--the venue was a huge building at the fair grounds.
In the last years, I've been home and handing out candy and other stuff. But the neighborhood has changed. The celebration
of Halloween has gotten bigger, but not at my house. The last couple of years brought only a very few families to the door.
Not worth sitting out by the front door for hours. This year, I'll shut off lights and spend the evening with my computer
back in the bedroom rather than at the dining room table.
I am sad this holiday that celebrates not just innocent fun, but also the worst of myth, humanity, greed and evil is given
such high value.
I'd rather look forward to giving thanks on Thanksgiving and celebrating the joy of Jesus at Christmas.
October 25: Lots happening on my website right now. Check out my latest poem NOURISHMENT THAT MATTERS. It is more than what
we do or do not put into our mouths.
I am excited to offer my book TALES OF A SIMPLER TIME: Wisconsin Childhood Remembered as a FREE Kindle download this week.
These are vignettes, true stories of a time where faith and family and community mattered. Suitable for Tweens on up.
I am also enjoying the sun outside the window. I can even pretend it is warm since the sun looks warm and the heat is
on in the house. Then there is the little flying pest...
October 19: Sun is out and from this vantage point looking out across the park, it looks like a typical fall day. It is brr
cold in the morning and warm to hot late afternoon. Makes for interesting clothing choices!
I do hope you read my latest Hub article on my take on the election and why this election is so important to the future
of America. Too many have given up and are staying home. I do not care if you think voting is a waste. Voting isn't just something
to do, not just a right, but the RESPONSIBILITY of every citizen.
There are elections that have been decided by one or two votes in the different districts. If you don't wish to end up
in a dictatorship, exercising the right to vote shows the powers that be the citizens are still involved, still care and serves
as some restraint.
Whether you agree with me or not about who to vote for, please vote.
October 13: Keith took the week off, mostly so we could make sure his dad didn't spend his first wedding anniversary without
Keith's mom. Wednesday would have been their 65th anniversary. I can't imagine how it would be without your spouse.
We took him out to lunch, drove as he showed us a cemetery where Keith has great and great, great grandparents as well
as other relatives buried. I'd never been to that place before.
Back at the house, Keith tried to fix some computer problems for Dad. Headed home late afternoon after ice cream.
It is interesting how busy a week off can be. Besides the day with dad, there has been something everyday--doctor appointment
for Keith, taking the car in for repair, picking up prescriptions and hair cuts (had coupons for a place we'd never been north
of Walmart), and grocery shopping. I've hardly had time to work.
Have managed to get some things done each day though. Sometimes the way to get things done is simply to keep moving forward
however fast, however slow.
Been a good week.
October 6: Yesterday was frustrating in several ways. But I survived! One of my big frustrations was this website that went
completely down. It was down until last night--just before I was ready to shut down, take my shower and climb into bed--to
watch TV for awhile.
As a person who likes to schedule, that meant I was off my plans and that irritates. I am not normally good with quick
changes of plans. However, my health and life has helped me come to terms with unexpected changes more quickly than I used.
Now I think what to do instead.
Life seldom follows our plans, schedule or expectations. These range from minor, my website being down for a day, to falling
and ending up in the hospital for 2 1/2 months with a feeding tube and a trach.
What is important is to remember Jesus loves us. He has a plan far better than ours. If we cling to Him, He is near to
comfort and guide not only when all goes well, but also in the darkness.
Life is tough enough. I am glad I can turn to Jesus who knows my yesterdays, my today and all my tomorrows.
September 30: Can it possibly be the last day of September? It is whether or not I'm ready. This last day I've been writing
notes for a column. At least, I hope it will come together.
I am disturbed by those sitting out instead of honoring our flag and the anthem. For many, I think it is ignorance of
the symbolism and history of both. They are not symbols of evil, but of the best of America, of the ideal of freedom and faith.
An ideal many have died for.
I am thinking and writing down notes and hope to formulate a coherent article that will help in understanding. We'll see
if I can accomplish that.
September 27: The month is already almost over and I've hardly grasped it as yet. Time slips through my fingers like sand.
No amount of trying to hold on, works.
Reading suspense can make you WANT time to pass quickly as the villain haunts the heroine and the creaks of the late night
make you cringe. You may even check the doors and windows. Shadow make you jump.
WHEN MURDER WAKES will have you jumping at those shadows.
I am excited to offer it this week as a FREE Kindle download.
Download, grab hot chocolate and comfort food and settle down to read....
September 22: For the second time in the last couple of years, I'm offering my book BEYOND FEAR Free on Kindle. I love offering
my books free.
If I could afford it, I'd have print copies of my books and give them away all the time. I have given away books during
doctor visits to nurses, doctors and others waiting for their appointment. Love doing that.
Worked great with my Heartsong Presents books because my contract called for lots of complimentary copies of the books.
So much fun to give them away or to use for promotion.
While I can't afford to have lots of print copies on hand to give away, I am thankful I can offer my books through Kindle
for FREE for a week at a time.
This week is almost over. If you want a copy of BEYOND FEAR on Kindle FREE, head over to Amazon and order.
September 13: It is overcast as I look out the window toward the park. No sun and rain is forecast. While we've had some chilly
days, it hasn't been like today. I had to find something warm with sleeves to slip on over my dress to stop the cold. BRRR.
Sunday, I was encouraged from a former Sunday School students hugged me and told me how much she'd enjoyed attending my
class when she was younger. (I taught 3rd-5th grade girls.) She told me, "What you said made sense."
Made my day!
September 7: Keith took last week off, because September 1st is his birthday and September 2nd is our Anniversary. We didn't
have any big plans, but we did have plans--like eating out and relaxing.
Tuesday morning, our friends, Al and Dee F., now settled in Minden after decades on the mission field, dropped by. Wednesday
we headed to Minden to spend time with Keith's dad. He still had the vase that we'd put on K's mom's gravesite.
We took Dad and the vase, now filled with some beautiful flower from her garden, to the cemetery. Dad had us drive around
the HS, which is going through a major renovation. Been a long time since Keith was a student there.
Dad directed to Al & Dee's home since he'd been there, but we hadn't. We got to see their home and do more visiting
before heading back to Dad's home.
Dad had gotten ice cream and cookies to celebrate K's birthday the next day.
Keith's birthday we ate Sonic. They have a gluten-free menu now. (Thanks Cassie for letting us know.) Hadn't eaten there
forever, but now...
Friends Jeff & Gloria G. stopped by later afternoon with a gift for Keith and conversation.
Went out to eat for our anniversary.
Sunday night my brother Paul & Lorene F. came over to play Quirkle. They brought Paul's very special rich homemade
ice cream. Delicious!
And during the week, I even managed to get some work done here and there. Last week provided memories on which to build
articles, story plots... umm.
Don't forget to make memories.
August 31: The last day of the month. For me, it signals the beginning of fall. Usually, August is a hot, hot, hot month,
but this one has not been too bad, even cool at times. The last couple of days have sunk into the "hot" days. Today
is muggy and the clouds look like rain.
Keith took this week off since tomorrow we celebrate his birthday and Friday we celebrate our anniversary. We do celebrations
one after the other. Not bad. Means eating out and me NOT cooking... Yeah!
This afternoon, we're going to Minden to spend time with Keith's dad. Looking forward to that.
This week I have also republished my verse devotional JOURNEY OF FAITH in print and as a PDF ebook. Needed a bit of updating.
See Non-fiction for more info on the versions.
I spent so much time updating books for which I received rights back, it got overwhelming. Most are completed. Glad to
add JOURNEY OF FAITH to that list.
August 24: It is cold. Yup. The last few days have been chilly in the morning and I dress accordingly. Once it heats up in
the afternoon, off comes my jacket.
We've also been having rain, usually at night, but not always.
Right now, I'm going over a book published years ago by Barbour. I have the rights and another publisher wants to take
a look. Maybe, just maybe they'll want to republished it.
And, who knows, maybe they'll be interested in my latest new projects as well.
Click for Paperback Version
August 17: This week my contemporary novel THE BLUE SAPPHIRE is being offered FREE on Kindle. I love being able to offer my
books for free. I know I appreciate being able to download some great reads when other offer authors offer books for little
or no cost. Thanks!
As for THE BLUE SAPPHIRE, it is set in a small college town in Kansas. While I've lived in Kansas, my sister and ex-brother-in-law
helped with research on this novel.
It is easy to judge others without realizing how much, we too, go our own way instead of listening to God's voice.
The heroine, determined to keep her promises as her sister hasn't, struggles between two very different men, her commitments,
too many assumptions and where her faith fits into her life.
A story of hurt, hope and love.
August 11: Most have little idea that publishing a book takes a whole lot of skills, knowledge, time and effort. First you
have to write a book. Then rewrite and rewrite until it is a quality work. Seeking a publisher is not a simple matter, but
self-publishing takes even more effort and skills--if the author wishes to sell beyond a few family members and friends.
There is editing, formatting, creating front and back covers, market research, promotion and so much more. Even those
who contract with traditional publishers have to edit and promote. Becoming more than a hobby author is time consuming, exhausting
and frustrating at times.
When you read a book, consider all the heart, tears and effort that went into its creation. Could you do better? Maybe
or maybe not. As a reviewer for years, I've saw readers absolutely destroy works--and personally go after the authors.
My suggestion when reviewing or commenting on a book: remember a human with feelings wrote the book, be honest, but considerate.
August 6: Went out for the paper this morning and it was COLD. This is August, in Nebraska and it feels like fall. I'm not
complaining, but a chill in what is usually our hottest month is odd.
Keith had a good report from his cancer doc yesterday. He is responding well to his new meds. Yeah!
Ta-Da! Drum roll please. The exciting news--our daughter is having a baby. That's worth celebrating!!!
August 2: Every second of every month we try to eat out to celebrate our Anniversary September 2nd. Keith has to go to
work so we're bringing food in this time. Daughter Cassie discovered there were some gluten-free, tomato free products at
Amigos I can actually eat! Yeah!
Keith is excited because Amigos is also Kings Classic and that's where he wants food. I can't wait to celebrate our monthly
Update: July 2016
July 26: Spent the weekend with our kids and grandkids. Saturday, we met our son and three grandkids at Ruby Tuesdays
in Lincoln. Lots of food, conversation and laughter. Then Keith and I were on our way to Omaha to visit daughter Cassie. Since
she was still alone, she was glad for the company. After a year in Florida, where Kurt was mobilized, they were back in Omaha--though
Kurt didn't get back until yesterday.
We enjoyed our time with Cassie. Met Chris and two of our grandkids (one had a birthday party to attend) at a restaurant in
the evening. More food and fun.
Sunday we went to church, Trader Joes and, in the afternoon, Cassie took Keith to Star Trek in a theater with a bistro and
recliner seats. Yes, we had a good weekend.
July 22: I am well on the way to recovery. Have had two very productive days. Yeah! Hoping to get a big editing project
done today before the weekend. Just a bit more to go...
Plan to enjoy the weekend with our kids and grandkids. Can't wait!
July 20: This has not been a fun week. Sunday night it hit--pain, like real pain, upper back, chest, enough to struggle
to take a deep breath. That was only a part of the problem. Not much seemed to help. I started sleeping sitting up again.
Went to see my doctor yesterday and discovered I also had a fever. Didn't even realize that. Dr. Miller had
an over-enthusiastic PA shadowing her. Her suggestions pretty much off the mark. Thankfully Dr. Miller is more practical--and
last night my temperature started going down and is normal this morning. In fact, this morning I woke realizing I had slept
all night, felt human again, got up and took a nice hot shower. Feeling much better. Not all symptoms are gone but I am on
the mend. I hate being sick.
July 12: The sun is out and shining today. Our second oldest grandson Dane is detasseling
near Lincoln where he lives. I believe our young people should spend at least one summer detasseling. It is a good way to
start earning money. It also teaches hard work and helps the youth learn the connection between work and money.
His older brother detasseled a
couple of years ago and Dane also detasseled last year. Both our two kids detasseled at that age. Takes some dedication, getting
up and out by 4 am and working all day at a back-breaking job in the high stalks of corn.
So many opportunities for youth to work have
been taken away, I am glad this job still exists.
July 5th: Keith and I had a quiet Independence Day. We had already celebrated early with friends Saturday night with
food, fellowship and games.
Yesterday, we relaxed, though in the afternoon, we did go to Independence Day Resurgence.
Hey! There was free popcorn if you brought your own container. Also, what better movie to go to than one about independence?
the movie. An excellent sequel.
July 3: My computer arrived yesterday afternoon. Didn't have a lot of
time to set it up, but it sported Windows 10. Oh yeah! I really hate most upgrades, but this had to be done. I went from Windows
7 so there is a learning curve. My biggest problem was that I couldn't connect to our wi-fi.
I tried and tried this morning
and finally called our son and tech person. Forgot the time difference as he spent the night with cousins at Lake McConaughy.
About the time he called back the internet connection kicked in. Sooo glad to have my computer back.
On this day before
Independence Day, I am thankful for a country built on the principles of Scriptures, for those who have and do fight for the
country and for the blessings we have in a country that offers a great deal of freedom--even, still, to Christians.
We do need to remember
freedom isn't free. To stay free, we need to live for Christ, the author of freedom, and stand up for His word and His Will
with knowledge, truth...and lots of grace.
Update: June 2016
21: I am struggling to use Keith's desk top. So not set up for me. I do a bit on my tablet as well, but can't do much. Oh,
I want my computer back. That said...
We had a good Father's Day weekend. Saturday, Keith and most of his siblings were able to take his dad out to eat here in
Kearney. Afterward we came over to our house for a while. Sunday after church Keith and I drove to Minden and enjoyed sundaes
with his dad and sister. Both kids called their dad so he was happy. It was a good weekend.
June 18: I have this not so good relationship with snakes--especially snakes that find their way into the house. I thought
that was all done. We sealed off the other points of entry. I thought I was safe--until yesterday.
While in the kitchen, I heard a muted noise. By the time I figured
out the source, a snake, about a foot and a half long, was already inside my kitchen. It appeared to come out of the basebooard
by the corner of the garage door.
slithered by the wall behind the stove. I was alone. Snakes don't appreciate salt. I poured a salt barrier and opened the
garage door just enough to tempt. The salt barrier was not disturbed and I have seen no sign of the snake.
I hope it found its way out of the house. If
not, we'll get a surprise one of these days. I really don't like this aspect of warm weather.
June 14: Writing this on my 7 inch tablet isn't easy. But
my son has my computer. Was supposed to be a simple matter of a new battery. But no. The computer has other problems.
Had to leave it with Chris. If he can't fix it, no one can. We'll see if I need a new one.
Using hubby's desk
top doesn't work well. That leaves my little tablet.
Aside from my computer woes, Keith and I spent a wonderful day in Lincoln
with Chris and our grandkids. Can hardly call them "kids" anymore. They are so big! Loved spending time with them.
Trying to change fonts and size didn't work well so will leave well enough alone.
June 10: Already the month is slipping away. With June, days once more
shorten. It is the count down to Winter. But for now we think summer. We think hot.
Sure got hot in our house since the AC spat out mostly air and fans weren't
enough. On top of that our shower head broke just into the wall. The great thing
was the plumber came the same day I called. Fantastic!
I knew we were on the list for an AC check, but nothing was going on so I called.
Yes, we were on the list, but they were snowed under. When I said we needed not just a check, but a repair, she responded
"Pulled your order from the check to the needs repair file," she told me. "That should
do it." Whatever magic she used, it worked. Got a call that afternoon.
At first our tech was concerned the unit was not fixable, but he found the problem,
fixed it and the cool air started blowing out. We've had the until for a long time and he warned me it was going out. But
for this season, at least, we have cool air inside. I am grateful for those who respond quickly for repairs.
Thank you, Lord!!!
June 3: My first June update and it is good news. When I visited my orthopedic
doc this week, my shoulder was all good. I no longer wear my sling.
Still needs some healing. Hurts to use so have to be careful and slowly build it back
up. Nevertheless, I am sooo glad to be out of the sling. The hotter the weather got the hotter it was to wear. I sympathize
with those in cast during summers.
Thanks for all the prayers.
Keith's Mom's grave. We added flowers.
2016 Memorial Day
Update: May 2016
May 31: The last day of May. It is hot, but nice. Yesterday was a nice day as well for
Memorial Day. In the afternoon, we visited Keith's dad in Minden, before going to the cemetery to put flowers on his mom's
Keith picked out a beautiful red, white
and blue arrangement. Bert loved colorful flowers.
time we got to the cemetery, wind was hitting strong so those trying to take down all the flags were struggling a bit.
The Scheidies stone was close to the road, so I could
stand by the car and not worry about the wind. I hadn't gone to the burial at the funeral so was glad to see the place
While I am glad for the
gravesite, I am even more glad she is not there. She is safe with her father in Heaven.
May 27: Just when I was sure the cold weather had given way to summer heat, the rain
hits again. TV programs are interrupted with warnings of storms, rain, wind, hail--and tornadoes on the way. Wetter weather
cools everything down again, but not as much this time.
did, finally, turn off the furnace and turn on the AC. A step in the right direction. My healing is also coming along. I am
able to use my arm a bit before my shoulder screams at me to STOP!
I see my orthopedist Tuesday. I hope the x-rays show enough healing that I can dispense with the sling. Besides,
I am tired of sleeping sitting up.
No reason to change the graphic. It is still cold. Turned up the heat late yesterday afternoon for awhile. My sister Karin,
her DIL and five of Karin's grandkids came up for the weekend. This evening, we'll get together with my brother and wife --who
also live here--for a picnic at Yanny Park. Glad brother Paul rented a building for us as
the gray clouds look like rain. Hope not. But we know what is said about "the best laid plans."
Life seldom goes as planned. That's when we choose how to react--with whines
and complaints, making everyone miserable, or with a smile and a determination to make lemonade out of a lemon situation.
Whatever the weather, I plan to enjoy this time with family.
May 17: Nope.
It hasn't gotten much warmer. Couldn't wait to get up this morning, put on my boots and turn up the heat. Having to
sit up to sleep until my arm heals doesn't make for warmth--especially with a hubby who tugs away the covers in his sleep.
Right now, I can't hold onto them. (Which is one reason, I gave up and got up.) Can't wait until I can snuggle under the covers
Two weeks. Yup! Two weeks to my doc appointment to get out of this constricting sling. Can't wait for that either.
Meanwhile, I am healing --one step forward, two back and, then, forward again.
May 15: Are you kidding me! It's cold. I may not be quite dressed
for winter, but I am wearing several layers today to church.
Yesterday it was so cold in the morning that I wore my boots and turned up the heat. (We haven't turned it
off yet and good thing.) Took me a while to get warm.
time I got warmed up, we did some shopping. It was nippy outside. But I am excited I found some new pots and pans, inexpensive
and--the big thing--I can lift them.
We don't eat out very often,
but we did yesterday before heading home. So nice not to have to fix lunch.
May 11: Not sure if the storms contributed to my bad night, but I was awake a great deal. My arm hurt to the point
that I got up and took something for pain. It did settle down the pain somewhat, but didn't knock me out. Very long night,
though I did get some sleep toward morning.
Reminded me of those
many nights, years ago, when I was up with babies. There were times I doubted either one would ever sleep through the night.
But that day came...
Where did I go for help and advice? Other
mothers who'd been there. That's what my book HELP! I'M A NEW MOTHER is--mother-to-mother advice from moms of all walks of
life who've lived through raising kids. See more at http://www.idealinhope.com/help.html. As for me, I'm hoping for a good nap.
This one arm thing is tiresome. I have to remind myself it could have been much worse had I hit my head. Today I paid for
that ambulance ride. Yikes! Not my idea of a good way to spend our money. We've done vacations for less.
again, I am thankful they are available for emergencies and could extricate me from where I'd fallen under the table and quickly
get me to treatment.
I am feeling much more human than last week. Still tire way easily and that's frustrating,
too. But I am alive and healing.
I am humbled by those who've been here not only to support us because
of my fall and recovery, but also to pray for and be here as we deal with the loss of Keith's mom. Thank you.
May 3: Saw Dr. Adamson yesterday. X-rays showed my shoulder
is healing, which is good news. But it looks like I have another four weeks of healing to go. Sigh. During that time, I will
be getting better and slowly be able to start using my arm.
I don't have a good hand. Most of the time I need to use both hands for
things I do. Put my right arm out of commission and my abilities get restricted.
As for writing... One handed
writing--left hand--gets very tiring. Most of my projects--other than my Hub columns--are on hold.
I'll be glad to be able to dig back into my writing work.
Patience? Not so
Update: April 2016
April 29: Been rainy and so cold we turned up the heat. These
days I'm struggling with staying warm. Today isn't too bad pain-wise, but the last few days have been painful with my arm.
The painkiller I can take only does so much. Well, it does put me to sleep which isn't all bad. Almost wish I could sleep
through the next few weeks until my arm is all healed and I can use it again.
the tendency is to use it too much and suffer the consequences. Have to back away. Keith is home today so will get some things
done that need doing.
Frustrating that since I broke my right shoulder, writing is out of the question. Means Keith
is left writing thank you notes for cards and gifts relating to my situation and the loss of K's mom.
Tough time. Appreciate
April 25: I didn't attend church yesterday. In fact, I was sleeping when Keith
got home. Up awhile. Sleep awhile. Had a couple of friends drop by yesterday evening support us during this loss of K's mom
and my arm. I appreciate our caring circle--church, friends and family.
This morning was one of those mornings
when things were not going well. I also overworked my arm. More painkillers.
I don't think K even knew about
my frustrating morning. But flowers are blooming outside. He brought in a lovely red Tulip and put it in a vase
for me to enjoy inside. Made my day.
April 22--Hard to believe Mom, my mil, is gone. The funeral
was beautiful and moving. I was humbled by my family and friends who attended to support us. Afterward, friend Rachel gave
me a ride home so I could rest and Keith could stay with family.
Daughter & sil, Cassie and Kurt, brought
him home around 7 pm. (Son Chris and kids came just for the day.) C&K left for the Omaha airport and home early the next
What is sad is that this weekend was to be our Scheidies Spring Fling get together. The 30th would have
been Bert's 86th birthday.
One thing does give us hope. She loved the Lord and wanted to make sure her pastor preached on Christ and Him crucified.
I am blessed to have had two wonderful mothers in my life (both gone)--my biological mom Ada Fredrickson and Bert--Roberta
Scheidies--my mother-in-law. Rest in Him.
April 18--Last Tuesday night
I spent time in the ER after falling, again. This time smashing my right shoulder. Bad enough. The next morning, we received
word Keith's mom--Roberta-- had passed away. Very unexpected. The family has gathered. Tomorrow we lay our beloved mother,
m-i-l, grandma and great grandma to rest. Sad day. So glad for Dad's 90th birthday celebration last November with family,
friends, good memories and lots of great pictures.
April 8: Really. Spring? I wonder.
Every day this week I have dressed warmer than the day before. Last night, I wore my warm night-shirt to bed. I heard the
heat come on during the night and this morning I turned it up. No. It is NOT warm. Thankfully, we hadn't turn off the furnace.
Yesterday, the wind was lifting up anything not nailed down. Keith had to keep me anchored so I didn't
go flying when we went to his doctor appointment. The sky was gray with dust and dirt lifted from newly plowed fields. Being
outside was like being assaulted by the very fine wind carried particles. I ended up with grit on the papers I held, on my
hands and even in my mouth. Ugh!
At least the wind finally died down, leaving the chill and cold. Glad I
stay home and work today. I can deal with that.
April 5: The sun finally came out. Things are warming up again.
I always work better with the sun shining. Fog and clouds dampens my mood. I'm feeling good because I have done good this
Have finished the updates, reformats and cover changes for the pocket version
of LADY COMFREY AND THE SECRET OF CAMBRAIGE CASTLE. Today, I plan to work on the brand new Kindle version. That might take
a couple of days. We'll see. Still a good week of work so far.
April 2: The day of tricks and
pranks is over. I am glad. The sun shines today, but it still isn't all that warm yet. Thursday, I went outside in the morning
to judge if I needed a coat before we left to shop for groceries. I got a coat.
For the past year
and a half, I've been updating, reworking, reformatting and getting books that need a lift and books for which I got back
rights out to the reading public again.
Been far more work than anticipated. Right now, I've been working on my
award-winning medieval novel Lady Comfrey and the Secret of Cambraige Castle (originally: Black Hawk's Feather)
that has gone through several changes from traditional publishing to self-publishing.
Sometimes those original
files have been lost and I start with something not so polished. Still and all, I did finish the print trade version yesterday
and will be moving on to the pocket and, ta-da, the brand new Kindle version. I have work ahead.
But the book is good
and worth the effort.
Publishing is worth our best efforts.
Update: March 2016
March 25: Easter. The time for new life and new beginnings. By Easter Sunday, I expect all the snow
we received this week will have melted. I am looking forward to our son being home with us for the weekend. We plan not only
to celebrate Easter, but his birthday which comes up in a little over a week.
Reminds of his birth--planned C-Section. It came right after a
blizzard and just before Easter. He was our blessing of new life that year. I am so glad for a Savior that loves and blesses
us in such wondrous ways.
March 19: Three days now of cold. I am dressing warmer every day. I know this is probably
not a trend and the weather will soon warm up again.
I am glad that though there is a chill in the air, the day has been otherwise nice. Why? Because
this is a special day. Hard to believe, but today is our oldest grandson, Devon's, 16th birthday. That's right. 16! Doesn't
seem that long ago his dad celebrated his 16th birthday.
I am sad we aren't there with him, but we sent our gift. I wish him much love and God's blessing
in his life.
You rock, Devon.
Not as warm as it has been. Got back into my toasty warm winter wear to sleep last night and turned up the
heat this morning. Oh, it still looks warm outside with the sun shining, but there is definitely a nip in the air. No snow
storm though and that's all good.
Two things frustrated me yesterday. A book I updated and republished some time ago is up at Amazon in the Kindle
version, but the print version never made it. All people see is the version for a different, older publisher, rather than
the new version. I contacted Amazon and they indicated it may be the fault of where the print version originates. I contacted
them this morning. Hope this can be worked out.
Also frustrated with trying convert a PDF file to Word. I would pay for one, but one place said nothing about pay.
I figured one free conversion to check it out. I spent time and effort updated the file only to be sent to a sign up and pay
for a year page. I do not need a continuing service. I lost all that time and work.
Another one said free download. Only after I downloaded it was I told I could do nothing unless
I sign up for at least a free trial. I got very discouraged. PLEASE tell me terms up front.
So I still have a PDF file that needs converting and afraid to
try anymore of the places that advertise. I refuse to work with a company which doesn't show costs upfront.
March 11: The nice weather
is holding. I'm going to enjoy it. This week I've updated another of my books. This one is a memoir of fun, short vignettes
of my years in Siren, Wisconsin as a young child. Took a long time, originally to write, but in rereading it, I am drawn back
to that time again.
50s were a simpler, gentler time, or so it seemed, and my book takes us back to a time of hope. I am excited about this update
and getting the Kindle version out.
March 8: Warm weather several days in a row. Umm. Trying not to get sucked in. Waiting for the weather to
turn. Yesterday, though, I layered in the chill of the morning. As the day went on, the temperatures continued to rise. As
the day progressed, off when my jacket, then my turtleneck top. At day's end, I wore only my short-sleeved dress--and that
even felt too hot.
It is nice
working at the table, glancing out at the park across the street under warm sunshine. Late afternoons, the baseball teams
have already begun to gear up in practice.
It is only March. Will winter raise a hand yet, unwilling to go? We shall see. Meanwhile, I'll appreciate the sunshine
and the implied warmth--and give thanks.
March 5: Really! It is March already. When did this happen? I think this new year is sneaking passed me whenever
I turn around. That’s not saying I don’t enjoy some of the warmer weather. But I know Nebraska. As soon as we
start thinking spring has arrived. Surprise! Another blizzard. This can happen even into May. Not that I want to be too cynical.
I have decorated for the Early
Easter. Love having colorful flowers around the house. I did not care for the buzzing of a fly one a warm day. I got rather
a small pleasure at finding it dead on the window sill the next day after the cold night. I do hate flies. And they do so
Keith and I celebrated
our monthly anniversary (2nd) at Perkins, mainly because we still had a gift card from Christmas. I was so excited the waiter
had a clue about gluten and they did have sort of a gluten-free menu. That is always a good start for me. If they don’t
get that, the rest of my sensitivities are not likely to be addressed.
Had a delicious lunch and I brought half of it home. I enjoyed my lunch for two more
days (large portion). Here’s to good food and good service!
Update: February 2016
February 24: Wednesday
out at the bright, shining sun and see brown grass. Only a hint of snow remains from the snow storm. Didn't feel so warm yesterday
when I did lunch with my SIL Nancy. We do lunch every once in a while to catch up with each other's life.
I order, but not eat. Can't eat
and talk so I talk and take my food home. Made a great supper. Also Nancy and I had a good time together. I appreciate spending
time with her and appreciate my sisters'-in-law.
February 19: Friday
is 61 degrees here in Kearney NE--Nebraska in February. Doesn't happen all that often. Global warming. I think not. I remember
going shopping one year in January with no coat on, because the temperatures climbed.
Besides, Nebraska can have warm weather in
winter and winter weather long after spring arrives. In 1980, our son was born April 4th. Before his birth, we had a blizzard.
Yup! Big bad storm. But a couple days after his birth, on Easter, the weather was again so warm nurses opened the windows
in the hospital. We've had blizzards even into May. Weather happens--despite often silly predictions from those with an agenda.
going to enjoy the sunshine. and be thankful.
Day is gone, but I had a good one. Other than church we relaxed at home. Nice to just relax. Keith sent an ecard and gave
me lots of kisses throughout the day. He also found a good movie for us to watch in the evening. My kind of day. That's my
Overcast today. The sky
doesn't look much different from the piles of snow, some gray now, on the ground. Doesn't seem like much has melted.
Keith did a little more scooping
of sidewalk that doesn't get used much. Make it easier for the person who brings the paper each evening.
I have a lot on my plate right
now and feeling a bit pressured--though that pressure is mostly self-imposed. Still, bit by bit I'll get things done.
Been working on updating on one
of my kid's books: Where is Cat? Got the Kindle version up today. Waiting for it to clear and I'll send work. Finished the
print update yesterday.
While this is a story that takes place around Christmas, it is a fun, family read all year long.
February 7: Sunshine
The sun is trying to shine today. The sun came out yesterday
as well and melting began, but there is a lot of snow to melt.
Meanwhile daughter Cassie & Hubby celebrated her birthday at Walt Disney World. They went
yesterday, though her birthday is today. I had both kids caesarean, so there was always recovery time along with dealing with
a blessed birth. Cassie smiled almost from the beginning. She has been such a blessing in our lives. I'll be glad when they
return to the state after Kurt's mobilization is complete next summer.
I am thankful for sun after storm, reminding me that problems and pain are not forever and the sun
really does come out tomorrow.
Snow and more snow
everywhere. Brother Paul stopped by with his Cat and cleared the drive and sidewalks. Bless him. He also cleared the end of
the drive where the road graders clearing the road left a huge pile.
Sad really, we don't have kids to make forts out the huge, hard-packed snow piles on the property.
I remember how much fun I had as a kid, creating a fort out the snow pile Dad made when he scooped out the driveway where
we lived in Siren, Wisconsin at the time. Yup! Lots of snow there...all winter long.
This snow will probably be around for a while.
Still, I am glad the storm is over, Keith has been able to get to work, and, slowly, Kearney is coming back to life.
First Update: February
Usually we go out and eat to celebrate our monthly wedding
anniversary September 2nd---many, many years ago. But there's no going out today, even if restaurants are open. That's iffy,
snow obscures everything. I doubt Keith will be going to work. Just getting out would be a huge chore and, then, there is
no guarantee the roads all the way would be clear. Not as long as the snow keeps coming down and the wind keeps blowing. So,
we'll stay home. Stay warm and be thankful for shelter and food.
UPDATE: January 2016
Last January 2016 Update: I am
sitting at the dining room table where I work most of the time. I feel closed-in in my office, but here I look outside, across
the street to the park.
The sun is shining and it looks warmer than it is, though temperatures aren't bad for
January. (Wasn't bad when we got out for church this morning.)
I've gotten most of my tax receipts logged, waiting for one more thing,
and we're ready to get taxes done. Yes!!!
While I sit with the sun shining, it is hard to think that in a couple of days,
the landscape my be completely different. A storm is predicted--a big one this time. For Nebraska, this could mean lots of
snow, snow and cold, snow and ice or a blizzard that may shut everything down for days.
It is the last day
of January. I think I'll just appreciate the sun.
Sixth Update: January 27
I added my article on the REAL Planned Parenthood this morning. They have convinced so many they are about women's health.
They aren't. They are a huge organization with one purpose--destroy preborn babies. For ideology? Nope. For $$$$ and power.
As concern Americans and caring human beings, we need to start looking beyond the media propaganda to discover truth
about this and so much more. My heart aches for the women caught in the lie that abortion will solve their problem. It doesn't.
One way or another, many are scarred for life.
It is time we reach out and help women and families find better solutions
through practical assistance and guiding them to caring Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
Fifth Update: January 24th--my birthday
I'm a geezer. Been one for a few years now. Surprisingly, I have trouble seeing
myself at this age instead of in my prime. Still I am grateful to still be kicking and alive.
Yesterday, my Daughter
and son-in-law sent me beautiful multicolored roses and a huggy soft Teddy Bear. Of course, I sent a picture to Facebook.
Cassie also called first thing this morning.
Last night Jeff & Gloria, friends since college days, came over for
food, games, fellowship...and a gift. We don't get together often enough. Today is church, potluck and the Annual Congregational
Meeting. After that, home to relax, rest, read and simply enjoy the rest of my birthday. AHHH!
Fourth Update: January
I know it is the middle of the week, but I am looking forward
to my birthday on Sunday. Sunday is a busy day with a potluck after church and a congregational business meeting after that.
Instead, friends are coming over Saturday night to eat, play games and celebrate. I may be over the hill, but I can still
Third Update, January
There is a sprinkling of snow on the ground this morning.
This comes after a few warmer days--at least for January in Nebraska.
Last week was a week of hubby's bone scan to check the
progress or not of his cancer and two doctor visits. Thursday was the visit to his cancer doctor. His scan looked good. His
treatments have continued to contain the cancer. PTL!
Friday we visited his Orthopedic doctor. Scan looked good to him as well.
The shot Keith got a month ago really helped and he's getting around pretty well. The doc gave him some exercises to do everyday
and that should help as well.
This morning I am teaching the K-2nd graders at church. Second week for substituting for
the teacher. I've decided I like being a substitute rather than the regular teacher. (When I teach, it is usually the next
class up in age.) We'll see how this morning goes.
Second Update Monday, January 11
Last week brought a bit of snow and, today, bitter cold under a bright sun. Somehow
doesn't work. I substitute taught yesterday morning for the K-2nd grade SS class. It was about the 23rd Psalm. As a small
example of a staff, I showed them one of my hooked sticks that I use in so many ways because of my limitations. I told them
how I threw a snake out the house with it.
That got us off on snake stories and all of the kids had them. Yikes! I finally
got us back on track. I hope they left knowing God loves and cares for them.
January is also when I have to file sales tax. Think
I've got the sales tax pretty much done. Then onto the records/receipts for the other taxes and get them ready to do
the Federal/State taxes. Ugh! Always so glad when taxes are done. Thankful also I don't actually DO the taxes. Cassie
does those. TY Cassie!!!
with some surprise, "Where did the time go?" so often, I need to stop saying it. A whole year is gone and I wonder where all
the time went. It was a time of celebration: daughter's wedding, birth of son to our neice, a son to Cassie's brother &
sister-in-law and so many other positive things. No sense focusing on the negative things. I refuse to let them entangle me
in darkness and depression.
Instead, I look forward to a new year. I am trying to find my way. What should
my focus be this year for my writing? I love writing my short articles. I also love seeing my books come to publication, watching
the format, cover all become one with the story. Exciting! Have a brand new book almost ready to go...
2015 I reworked
many of the books for which I received back rights. Nice to see them growing in acceptance on Kindle. And see some small returns
from the effort.
Really! It is December already. The increasing speed of the passing of time surprises me more
all the time. I almost feel whiplash as one week zips into another.
we not just at church?"
"Surely the week isn't over all ready?"
But it is. Now the whole year is coming to a close in a few short weeks. But not until we
celebrate the holiday of joy--Christmas.
Those who try to eliminate Christ from Christmas by using "Happy Holidays" instead, of "Merry
Christmas" do not realize they haven't eliminated the truth at all. "Happy Holidays" is actually wishing people "Happy Holy-days."
indeed, is a holy time. A special time we celebrate because our Creator loved us enough to leave his Heavenly empire
to become like one of his creation. In doing so, he knew what we faced in our daily temptations, failures and struggles.
He came to provide hope. He allowed
himself to become our substitute. The one who took the lashes, ridicule and punishment we deserve. The one who died that we
might live and rose to show us the way to forgiveness, life and hope--in Him.
He is not just the baby in the manger. He is Savior,
Lord...and guide to all who bow not at the manger, but at the cross.
Life is precious, but it is fleeting. What will I do with Jesus--deny Him or let his life,
laughter and love flow through me. Then I truly know the truth about the season. Jesus is the JOY!
What Happened After I Fell
Kearney Hub title: What I’ve Been Doing Past Three Months
February 21 of this year wasn't different from
other days. Keith, who usually gets off work around 9 pm, was late, but since he’s a counselor at YRTC, being late isn't
all that unusual. I didn't wait. I put on my nightclothes to wait for him. Only he didn't find me smiling and watching TV.
He heard me calling his name and found me on the floor. I'd fallen and hit my head.
He got me in the car and headed to ER where a CAT scan revealed, not just a head concussion, but also brain bleed and a cracked
skull. The problem was that this was the second fall I'd had that appeared to have to no cause. (I wrote about my fall last
October at Best Buys in Lincoln.) When Dr. Obasi heard about the falls with no cause, he suspected something else was going
on and ordered an MRI.
The MRI revealed my spinal column had all but closed off in my upper neck. This meant that when signals didn't get through,
I blanked...and fell. Not dealing with the situation could have dreadful consequences. But surgery on me is not fun. No one
realized just how dangerous the situation would become.
My neck is small, leaving little
place for the instruments to keep me breathing and even less space for surgeon, Dr. Obasi, to open up the spine.
I came through the surgery and am thankful for Dr. Obasi’s skill. Family and friends came, but to be honest I only have
flashes of memory of those first two weeks. I was glad I was alive, but I was weak, my mind wasn't connecting all that well
and there were further consequences from the surgery. I was having trouble breathing and I couldn't swallow, which meant I
couldn't eat. Turned out half my vocal cords were paralyzed and the other half weren't working very well.
A tracheostomy was performed and I couldn't talk for a couple of weeks until I could handle a speaker button. A feeding tube
as also inserted. At least I could finally breath and get nourishment. During my stays in ICU, Neurotrauma and TCU (Transitional
Care Unit), for the most part, I was cared for by wonderful nurses and other staff. I wasn't fun. I went from crisis to crisis
and healing took forever. In fact, I was in the hospital for about 2 ½ months before I was able to go home. Even then, I returned
home with both the feeding tube and the trach.
Far quicker than expected, and there was some doubt that it would happen at all, I was able to get rid of both the trach and
the feeding tube. I have lots of healing still to go, but I'm on my way. Those falls which seemed like such a bad thing probably
ended up saving my life thanks to an alert surgeon.
I wasn't planning to fall and lose over two months of my life. But then, we don't know what the next moment will bring. If
this has taught me anything, it is that there is always hope. I am also glad for a new lease on life...and time to appreciate
friends and family here and now.