Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stories of Cancer-survivors & in memory

Not a day goes by where I don't hear another story about someone who has cancer or has passed away from it. It is just such a common thing to hear these days and I am not going to lie-I hate it. I hate cancer and everything it does. Cancer has touched my life in so many ways recently. Whether it is someone in my immediate circle, a friend of a friend or a stranger asking to help tell her story-it is always there.
{My father-in-law Sonny & mother-in-law Cheryl}
My mother-in-law, Cheryl, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of 2010. She had surgery to remove the cancer and went through a year of chemotherapy and radiation. She lost all of her hair and had days when she didn't know if she would make it through another round of medicine. Thankfully, after a year of fighting her battle-she won! She has been cancer free for over a year now and we couldn't be happier!

Unfortunately, not everyone is that lucky. This is Nancy-she is from my hometown and is about 5 years younger than me. She went to school with my cousin and her brother was a friend of my brother's. When Nancy was 17 weeks pregnant, she found a lump in her armpit and the doctors just gave her antibiotics. Not long after that, she was admitted to a tumor institute and was diagnosed with anaplastic non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She refused to give up her baby in order to save her own life. Sadly, the baby didn't survive much longer and Nancy passed just a few short weeks later. Her friends have rallied around her and started a dance studio named in her honor. They raise money to donate to cancer research and keep her memory alive. You can read more of her story here and here.

This is Heather. I don't know Heather, but she reached out to me and asked me to share her story. Diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, Heather is a survivor and wants to share her story with others who might be faced with a situation that we so commonly see these days. I encourage you to read her story and find hope.
My hope is that you read these stories and learn from them. If you feel like something just isn't right, do whatever it takes to get the answers that you need. Don't take the first answer that you get, keep seeking answers and second opinions until you find someone who will help you find the right diagnosis and the right treatment. Not all stories have a happy ending, but some do. If you are ever faced with this horrible thing we call cancer, I pray that you come out a survivor!
Dedicated to Nancy and her precious baby girl

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vintage Sears Canisters

My grandma had a set of these Sears Victorian Girl canisters when I was little and I would spend hours in the kitchen just staring at them. I loved the different scenes on each canister. For as long as I can remember, I wanted my own set of these canisters. My grandma is one of those people that constantly changes her kitchen decor theme, so I knew she wasn't using these anymore. I asked if she still had them, and if she did if I could have them. Apparently, she decided to get rid of them not too long before I asked. She said she asked all her kids and grandkids if they wanted them and no one did so she gave them to her sister-in-law. Wrong-she didn't ask my mom or me, but that is pretty typical of her. I was a little sad but that didn't deter me from getting my own set!

My husband and I had taken a trip to Northern Idaho a few years ago and I saw a set in a thrift store. Unfortunately, a lid or two was missing so I didn't buy it. I finally found a set on Ebay that was in great shape. The price was right and I was the lucky winner! This isn't my grandma's set, but it is the same set that she had so it is still special to me!
I think that I may be missing one canister. After looking on Ebay, there appears to be one that is a smaller size down from the largest canister. So now I am on the lookout for that one too.I also found that there are salt and pepper shakers and a napkin holder that go with this set. Those are on my lists of wants too!
I even saw a set of cups and saucers that match! Boy, I better be saving up my pennies so I can complete my set!
There are so many cute details on these. Each little girl has a pretty little dress and a ruffly white apron. The biggest canister has a girl rolling out a pie crust, maybe, with a rolling pin, a hutch full of dishes and a cute little kitty begging for a treat at her feet. The next one has a girl grinding coffee so she can make a fresh pot to share. Her kitty is lying on the floor. The third one has the girl sittling in her rocking chair in front of her fireplace with a cute little puppy on her lap.
The girl on the smallest canister, or sugar holder, is enjoying a cup of tea on her ruffled rug. And the creamer has a girl icing a yummy cake! The scenes are all different and all so cute. I could still just stare at them for hours!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I got a new camera!

I finally bought myself a new camera! I couldn't stand it anymore and there was money for it burning a hole in my pocket. I didn't get the fanciest, most expensive camera out there, but I did get a nice one. My new camera is the Canon Rebel T3. I think it is very much deserved and it will get a lot of love and attention! Since I work at a college, I get to take as many free classes as I want...so that means I will be taking as many photography classes as I can! I will also be taking some graphic arts classes too. I can't wait to go home and play with it and show you some pictures that I will be taking! This is so exciting for me!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Packing and moving

Via Pinterest
The time has finally come-we are in the middle of packing and moving. We thought we had another month to get it done, but Monday night my realtor called and said we had only one week to get out of there! With tears streaming down my face, I called my cousin, who will be renting from and asked her if there was anyway we could move in sooner than our original February 1st date. Thankfully she said yes, otherwise we would have been homeless for a few weeks. Talk about lighting a fire under us! Yesterday I got some boxes and the packing began last night after work. Thank goodness we had already started a little, otherwise we would be hurting even worse. The plan is to pack as much as we can after work each night, load it in to the back of the truck, and Cody will unload it at the new house on his lunch break. Hopefully by this weekend we will only have the big stuff left. My parents and my brother will be there to help with that. It is a little depressing knowing that we are losing our home due to something that was out of our control. We worked so hard to make that house our home and for nothing. Don't get me wrong, we will be living in a bigger house for less money, but it isn't ours to do what we want to it. Someday, we will have the home of our dreams, but today we just wait and let life do what it wants to do. So while I pack, load, clean, move and unpack, I may be away for just a short while. I will soon be back to share our new place with you. Thank you as always for all of your wonderful comments and thoughtfulness-it really does mean the world to me!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Grandpa's birdhouses

So many of you loved the birdhouse that was in my last post, I knew I had to share a little more about it with you. Here is a refresher as to what it looked like.
My Grandpa Kenny made this. He is my dad's dad. He was a produce man at Safeway for many years, as much as he loved that job, he also loved to work with wood. I have so many memories of Grandpa whittling away at a piece of wood when we were camping, or at a picnic-anywhere he could find something to whittle, he would!
He's very creative when it comes to his birdhouses. He would use knots as porch posts or chimneys. Then he always made sure to add lots of tiny details. This birdhouse has a pile of wood, a chopping block and an axe, all handmade by Grandpa.
Some of his birdhouses had little sets of skis or snowshoes. Mine has a tiny little rifle. Can you see the cute little edging along the roofline? Now that Grandpa Kenny is almost 84 years old, it is hard for him to build birdhouses like he used to. My dad decided that he would take over this very important duty. Grandpa gave dad all of the wood and carvings he had. Every year on Christmas Eve, there is a birdhouse that gets raffled off. Every one's name goes into a hat and the lucky winner gets a birdhouse made by Grandpa. This was this years birdhouse, made my by dad with Grandpa's special extras.
Guess whose name was drawn? MINE! For the first time ever I won! This is extra special to me because it was created by my dad and my Grandpa! Here you can see the knot used as a porch post, the chopping block and axe is there too!
Another knot on the porch as well as a tiny little rifle. My dad's special touch is the river rocks on the porch and the roof.
This is my favorite part-tiny little elk antlers (that my mom cut off a plastic toy) and a sign that says "Christmas 2011"
My dad even put in a real glass window on the backside of the house!
And no house is complete for Christmas until it has Chrismas lights hanging on the eaves! I am so lucky to have both of these birdhouses! They don't go outside-they are way too special for that! They have a special place inside the house where we can preserve their beauty forever!
Here is a picture of my Grandpa Kenny on Christmas Eve with my Grandma Carmene behind him. They have been married for almost 58 years! They are a great example of true love. Thank you Grandpa for the lovely birdhouses you have given to me. I will treasure them always!
I hope everyone is enjoying 2012 so far!