Tuesday, January 19, 2010

VSA arts of Ohio.........

Imagine being sound asleep at 5:30 in the morning and suddenly jarred awake by the sound of your 17 year old daughter screaming in the living room. This is how Theresa woke up a week ago to Brittany screaming. Evidently Brittany had one of her nights when she couldn't sleep. I am thinking that she was looking for something to entertain herself with, when she found an unopened letter addressed to her.

The letter was informing her that she was the first place winner of the competition that her voice instructor had entered her in. What an honor to be chosen first out of all the entry from the whole state of Ohio. Not knowing about this award Theresa and I did some research and found out that

V ision of an inclusive community
S trength in shared resources
A rtistic expression that unites us all
arts of Ohio

Every year three musical artists with disabilities under the age of 25 are selected as Young Soloists of the year. They are selected through a juried process in December of each year and must show outstanding talent in vocal or instrumental music. The winners receive cash prizes and the opportunity to perform for a live audience in the spring of each year. Entries are then forwarded for entry in the International Young Soloists Awards Program. An affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We are so very proud of Brittany. Not only for sharing the beautiful gift that she was blessed with....her voice and her music. When she was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic, it knocked it on her rear for just a little while, but it wasn't any time at all before she picked her self up, dusted herself off and continued sharing her musical gift with others.

I imagine that during the angry stage after being diagnosed as Type 1, Brittany questioned; WHY? WHY ME? WHY DID I HAVE TO BE GIVEN THIS BURDEN TO RUIN MY TEENAGE YEARS? Most people do go through this stage of anger no matter what their age. I believe in my heart that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. I also believe that there is a purpose for everything that happens. God gave you this beautiful gift as well as your disability, so that you can be a beacon to other teens that are considering giving up.

Keep that light shining Britt!! :o)

Monday, January 18, 2010

In Memory

In Memory of

Jacquelin " Jackie" Blackstock Sellers
September 13, 1944 ~ January 8, 2010

The death of a loved one is never easy for those left behind to mourn their passing. No matter how many deaths touch your life there is just no way to prepare for that loss. When Jackie and I met we became friends right away. Over the years our friendship only grew stronger in spite of the occasional bumpy road and disagreements. Jackie truly became the sister that God overlooked giving to me. I am blessed that she was a part of my life. Her favorite flower was roses and I can see her now caring for God's rose gardens and waiting for us to join her when our journey here is through.

"With every friend I love who has been taken into the brown bosom of the earth a part of me has been buried there; but their contribution to my being of happiness, strength and understanding remains to sustain me in an altered world."
~Helen Keller

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Priceless Moment

~Clicking on picture will enlarge it~

Santa left six tickets to the Monster Jam Truck Rally at Chris and Melody's house this year and last weekend was the big night. Ally Oop, Riley and Seth were all three excited about this gift. Of course Chris and Uncle Lonnie were looking forward to the rally too. Melody went along so that there would be an adult present to look after these five. Ally Oop, Riley and Seth got lots of autographs and their pictures taken with some of the BMX bike and motor bike racers.

Seth's favorite monster truck is Grave Digger. With that said, can you guess who won? Well of course it was Grave Digger. As he was getting his trophy Riley and Oop went wild cheering and screaming. Just look at that picture of the two of them screaming. It was no surprise that they caught Grave Digger's attention. After receiving his trophy, he came into the bleachers and presented his trophy to these three rowdy grandchildren of mine. This trophy is huge. I guess a trophy going to a monster truck need to be a monster trophy. It is every bit as tall as Seth. The whole rally was a thrilling experience for the kids, but receiving that trophy made for a priceless moment and a memory that will live on for a life time.

I remember one of my mother's favorite quotes was, "The squeaky wheel gets the oil". That would always be followed with her advice to "Make yourself heard in life". I know she was looking down from Heaven at her great grand children that night as they were yelling and screaming from the grandstands. She was without a doubt smiling and saying, "I don't have to worry about those three not being heard" !

Have a wonderful weekend and may your life be filled with priceless moments.....

Friday, January 15, 2010

This Will Only Hurt For A Second

About three months ago a little spot showed up on my right temple. I wasn't concerned about it because I figured here I am on the back side of 60 years old and it is about that time in my life when I should start getting age spots. After about a month my age spot started gaining weight and I pointed it out to my family Doctor on a routine visit. He seemed concerned and referred me to a Dermatologist to have a look at it. Fast forward two more months and that brings us to yesterday and my long waited for appointment. In the three months since my age spot took up residence on my face, it had grown to about the circumference of an eraser on a pencil and about 1/4 to 1/2 inches thick. The puffiness of it had pretty much gone away by my appointment yesterday, but the roughness and dark color of it was still there. I also had a mark on my shoulder that needed to be looked at.

The dermatologist said that the mark on my shoulder was pre-cancer and froze it. My face was given a good once over and she found a discolored spot on my nose that she said with out hesitation that it is Basal Cell Carcinoma. (Funny thing about that spot on my nose.... Quite a few years ago I pointed it out to a different Doctor that I was seeing when we lived in Louisiana. He assured me that it was no more than a pimple and instructed me on how to remove it by first holding a wet, hot towel on it. I never was able to get anything out of that "pimple" other than blood. Eventually I just chalked it up as one of those strange marks that show up on your body that never goes away.) To get back on track, as for my age spot, the dermatologist seems to think it is the early stages of Basal Cell Carcinoma. So she did a biopsy from both and sent it off to Ohio State University for evaluation. The shots to numb me for the biopsy hurt worse than anything else. It will be one to two weeks before the results are back and we will take it from there.

She explained that the Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and it doesn't usually metastasize or spread in the bloodstream to other organs. It does however infiltrate the surrounding area destroying tissue. I survived cervical cancer nearly twenty years ago and if I had to have cancer again, I am fortunate to have the kind that I do. When I know more I will let you know.


What do you get when you combine three children, a dad, a mom and an uncle plus a monster truck rally? You get a priceless moment. Check back tomorrow for pictures and details.

Until then You are in my heart and in my prayers!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Burned Biscuits

When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!"

Life is full of imperfect things....and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each others faults - and choosing to celebrate each others differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burned biscuit isn't a deal breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband and wife or parent and child or friendship!

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket ~ keep it in your own."


God Bless You..... Now, and Always....

So please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.

Note from Jo: Thank you Sandy for sending this to me. I am sure that someone out there needed to hear this message today. :o)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Lots Of Fluff

"There is a privacy about it
which no other season gives you.....
In spring, summer and fall
people sort of have
an open season on each other;
Only in winter, in the country,
can you have longer quiet stretches when
you can savor belonging to yourself."

~Ruth Stout

We watched it snow all day yesterday adding fresh fluffy inches of snow to what was already here. We woke up this morning to still more snow floating through the air like feathers. Thanks to J.D.'s perseverance over the summer months we have plenty of fire wood to burn in the wood stoves for warmth.

We have gotten such a kick out of watching our short legged little Buddy running through the snow. He charges through it and reminds me a lot of the snow plow salting the road. You can see a cloud of snow rise up in the air and little puppy ears flapping in the breeze. Of course Buddy is a bit on the spoiled side and likes to cuddle up to a warm place or warm body and take naps. Needless to say he doesn't stay out any longer than is needed to do his business, randomly mark his territory and come back inside. No longer than Buddy is out he is wet when he comes in and we keep a towel by the door to dry him with. He tolerates this a little grudgingly at times with a small growl that sounds more like a purr. When drying his feet we always check between the pads and every time there is little ice balls collected there from the snow. I'm sure that if Buddy could speak he would be thankful that he has the life and the home he has.

I know that not every one can bring their dogs inside to live. As an example, hunting dogs. I can just imagine trying to raise a couple of basset hounds inside. I hope that these outdoor pets are given the extra attention that they need in this cold weather. I know that people who live in the north know the special care that their pets need in cold weather. However there may be those in the south that are getting blasted with these cold temperatures that may not think to take the extra care that their pets require in consideration. Things like making sure that the water for their pet doesn't freeze. Make sure that they have a dry shelter to go to. A bed of straw or cedar chips will help to keep them warm.

Have a blessed day and take some time to belong to yourself.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Peaceful Easy Feeling

By her who in this month is born,
No gems save Garnets should be worn:
They will insure her constancy,
True friendship and fidelity.


We watched the snow fall all day today. There is something magical about snow fall. If you are fortunate enough and don't have to work outside in this weather or drive in it, then it can feel as though a peacefulness has slowly washed over you. It seems to muffle the sounds of the world around it and brings about a soothing quiet that you can not find anyplace else. Add to that the warmth of a fire burning in a fireplace or wood stove and you have the makings of a perfect day. Sunday we discovered that we have a water line frozen somewhere. We do have water though thanks to J.D. He has been bringing in water from the well for washing dishes, flushing the toilet and such. Of course living without running water at our command is a big inconvenience, but we are still very fortunate. We do have the warmth of a home to shelter us and working electric (for now). There are so many people that are out of a job and no place to call home. Please remember those less fortunate in your prayers.

Nearly two years ago I put together 'My Bucket List' and posted it here on Moodscapes. One of the items on that list was that I would like to attend a Martina McBride concert. On Christmas Day there was a small gift bag under Chris and Melody's Christmas tree with my name on it. Tucked inside that small gift bag, hidden under tissue paper was a copy of three admission tickets to the "Shine All Night" concert on February 21st featuring Martina McBride and Trace Adkins. Third row seats too. WOW! We are going to be up close and personal. I am going to have to hang on to Mel and her friend Kate..... They are both Trace Adkins fans and sitting that close to the stage someone will have to rein them in I am sure. I was totally surprised with this gift. Melody had tormented me from time to time before Christmas that I was going to love their gift for me. Followed closely with "I'm not telling though!" J.D. mentioned Christmas Day that he thought I was difficult to buy for and Melody told him her secret for making shopping for me easy.... Just read the 'Bucket List'. Well Mel, you were right, I did love the gift from you all. I am looking forward to February 21st and I am so very thankful that Mel and Chris use my 'bucket list' as a shopping guide.

Hoping that you all stay warm and safe during this winter weather.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

I learned years ago that most New Years Resolutions are broken. With that knowledge I then decided that to start a new year with resolutions that won't be accomplished, but instead will be left to fall along the side of the path as we journey through the year is just not right. Why would I intentionally set myself up to fail? Instead I take each day as it comes to me and I try to make the best of what each day brings instead of making New Years Resolutions..

Taryn spent the night with us last night. She has been with us for the past 4 years to welcome in the New Year. It has become a tradition with us, a tradition that we look forward to. I am hoping that she will have warm memories of this as she grows older. I know G'pa and G'ma will.

We are wishing Britt a Happy Birthday today. She is 17 years old now. I just don't know where the time has gone. It has become a tradition for her to go shopping with her mother on her birthday and have a nice lunch while they are out. It seems like only yesterday that her Great Grandma and I would take her shopping and instead of putting her in a shopping cart we pushed her around in her stroller. We were constantly back tracking looking for her shoes that she insisted on taking off and tossing them to the side as we strolled along. She still prefers being barefoot to wearing shoes.

Later today we will find our way off of the ridge and go to Chris and Melody's for New Years Dinner and all of the traditional 'Good Luck' foods. I am in charge of making the fried cabbage....... Yum! (Right Melody?)

"Friendship is the bridge between two human beings."
"Friendship is the bridge between Heaven and earth."
"Friendship is the bridge between the known and the unknown."

~ Sri Chinmoy

Happy New Year !

May we all be blessed with the warmth and love of friendship,
good health and good fortune through out the New Year.