St. George The Great Martyr

30 11 2007


St George was born about 280 A.D. of noble birth. He joined the Emperial guard of the emperor, Diocletian, as a teenager. He even served along side of Constantine, who was also in the emperial guard. St. George was stationed in Libyia, North Africa. There was a town close by where a huge dragon tormented and devoured the people. This town was surrounded by thick walls but the dragon’s breath would even kill people. Each day two animals were thrown to the dragon. Then when the animals were gone, they drew lots whose child would be offered. The lot fell to the king’s daughter. She was dressed in royal robes of white to meet the dragon. St. George heard about what was going to happen, so he rescued her from the dragon and tied the dragon up. He told the people that if they would turn to Christ, he would kill the dragon. They agreed, so the dragon was slain.

Now Diocletian hated Christians. He felt he was annointed by the pagan gods to wipe out Christianity. He made a proclamation that all the churches would be closed and the scriptures destroyed. All those in rank as officers that were Christians would be demoted. Moreover, all other people would become slaves. St. George had a stand off with Diocletian where he ripped up the proclamation. He was put in prison. A beautiful young woman was placed in his cell to tempt him. Before the night was over , she asked St. George to baptize her. Next, Diocletian had St. George tied to a wheel with spokes and razors. This did not kill St. George. A tube of water was filled with lime to encase St. George. He survived. They gave him poison. However, St. George made the sign of the cross and didn’t die. Diocletian had St. George’s hands tied behind his back and then made him drink poison. Nevertheless, St. George used his head to make the sign of the cross and survived. Lastly, George was beheaded. St. George is described as a steadfast, triumphant, victorious warrior. He is the patron saint of soldiers and captives.


Comic Relief, Cranberry Orange Bread and Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa and The Bear

29 11 2007

I tend to take myself way to seriously.  In the midst of learning more about breast cancer, I really need my pets, my grandchildren and some light hearted reading.  Five year old John still won’t eat turkey.  He had so many turkey papers he colored in kindergarten, that he just can’t bring himself to eat turkey. Believe me , he knows what turkey lunch meat is and refuses that, also.  Yet, he dearly loves ham and chicken nuggets.  We don’t want to spoil if for him.  We continue to have our grandsons on the afternoons of the days that Jim doesn’t work.  I go pick them up and we spend time coloring or working on a computer program that teaches them skills.  They like to hide under our desk and pretend that we don’t see them.  I kick them gently while telling Jim:  “I hope we can find John and Alex before their mother comes home.”  They are just laughing and giggling –really believing that we can’t find them. 

Rudy, Tickie, Sammie and Katie keep me hopping, also.  Rudy is just so much trouble.  She instigates trouble all of the time. She and Tickie back Sammy, the cat, up in a corner and bark relentlessly.  On the other hand, the three of them will snuggle together for naps.  Sammy even groomed Rudy yesterday afternoon.  Basically, whatever mischief Rudy gets into–Tickie follows.  They’ve been kind of off kilter since Jim’s work schedule changed.  I was used to getting them out for an early morning walk.  We are all trying  to adjust–even the animals.  They have really acted out more , since our lives have changed.

Poor Katie, the cat, stays on the fridge.  She is terrified of the dogs.  I found her in l997 after a family just abandened her.  She has always been a fearful cat.  She would live in one room only when my other dogs were alive.  Katie seemed to sense when they could no longer torment her–so she gradually increased her living area.  Today, the poor thing spends most of her time on our fridge.  She is 13 now and seems to be going down hill fast. 

I like the light reading of The Mitford Series by Jan Karon.  I read them all many years ago but started re-reading them this fall.  Father Tim seems to solve every heartache and sorrow in Mitford.  Real life could not be this good ever–but it is fun to read.  I also love the  Anne of Green Gable books by L.M. Montgomery.  Anne is forever getting into trouble but grows up to be a wonderful teacher and eventually marries her childhood friend, who becomes a doctor.  None of these books are for deep thinking but sometimes we all need to be a lighter hearted. 

I’m feeling the need to fill my freezer with good things to eat, before I go to have my surgery.  This morning I made four loaves of cranberry-orange bread.  I never turn on the oven to make just one loaf of bread.  This is our Nativity fast–so we can’t use milk or eggs.  Ordinarily, I use bananas in place of eggs.  This time ,I tried a product called Energ. Actually, the g goes under the word.  I found it in the organic section of Kroger.  I just took my bread out of the oven–and it seems to have done a good job.  This is how I made my bread:   I took one can of frozen orange juice, melted and blended it in the blender with 1 lb of cranberries.  Dilute the orange juice to make 6 cups of liguid.  Place this in an extra large mixing bowl.  Add 1/2 cup of the egg substitute with 1/2 cup of warm water.  Add to the mixture.  Add 4 tablespoons of baking powder, 4 teaspoons of vanilla, 4 cups of raw sugar, 1 cup of olive oil and 12 cups of flour.  I use only unbleached white flour and whole wheat flour.  Mix everything together and pour into four greased pans.  Bake on 300 degrees until done.  I always start with a lower temperature and increase if I need to.  My bread turned out wonderful. 

Again, I have a mini saint story.  Actually, Peter of Krutitsa isn’t a  saint, but his story is very interesting.  The time frame for this story is somewhere between l920 and 1930.  Christians were being persecuted terribly in Russia.  Metropolitan Peter was taken prisoner on a train.  The guards treated him awful.  Eventually, they threw him off the moving train.  He fell  into a deep pit of snow and down into an abyss.  Finally, he ended up in a dark forest.  It was terribly cold.  He knew that he would freeze to death.  While saying what he thought were his final prayers–a huge bear came his way.  Instead of attacking the Metropolitan, this bear let Peter know that he was to snuggle with him.  Gladly, Metropolitan Peter curled up in the bear’s embrace all night.  When he woke up, the bear was gone.  Later a rooster led him to a human dwelling, where he was able to take shelter.

God Bless Each of You!

A Daughter’s Love, A New Hair Style and St. Innocent Of Alaska

28 11 2007

Jim’s work schedule requires him to work 12 hour days now.  He likes to have time with the Lord ,so he gets up at 2:30 a.m.  He leaves for work an hour later.  Usually, he is in bed by 7:00 p.m. I like to stay up until 9:00 p.m. So last night, after I finished all of my chores–I checked all my blogs, which now includes  the blog my daughter Sandy just started. 

I was so touched to read these words: “My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last Tuesday.  I have been in my own litle world since then.  I am hoping that it was caught in the early stages.  She will not know for a few weeks.  She had an appointment with her doctor today and she learned alot about diet, and how it relates to cancer.  My new motivation is my mom.  Every mile I run is for her.  I hope to find a breast cancer marathon to run for her.”

I was so deeply touched by her sharing this on her blog.  Her blog is hard to leave a message on, so I called her up and thanked her.  She is training for a marathon in April, so that will be quite a challenge on top of being a CPA and the mother of two small boys.

I love the way Sandy wears her hair, so I decided to have my hair cut off and styled like hers.  She wears that sort of v shape look that is page boy in the front and tapered off in the back.  This was a very popular hairstyle when I was in highschool and is now popular again.  For the most part, I’ve always worn my hair at least shoulder length. My hair was three inches past my shoulder.  I cut it about three inches on Monday and today I had Sandy’s hairdresser style my hair with the v cut.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to deal with long , thick hair after my surgery.  This way I can just blow it dry.  I’m hoping I won’t have to have chemotherapy and that I can keep my hair.  I will just have to take it one day at a time.  I feel very liberated with this shorter style.  It was getting to be burdensome always having to plan to curl my hair after it dried.  At 55, I just can’t do it anymore–sick or well.

I’ve written before how many of the saints loved and cared for animals.  I want to introduce my non Orthodox friends to St. Innocent Of Alaska.  I have a little story about him that I will summarize.  He went on a kayak trip to take a brief rest from his duties as a bishop.  Along the way, he stopped for a break. He heard some sounds in a bush and discovered an eagle with a bloody, wounded wing.  St. Innocent took the eagle home with him and nursed it back to health.  Upon taking the bird up a mountain to let it loose– the bird didn’t want to go.  The eagle lived with St. Innocent a few months more.  Finally, the bird was ready to live again on it’s own.  Many months later, this eagle returned and bowed down to St Innocent’s feet three times.  Then the eagle flew away.  I really liked this little story and hope each of you who reads it– will too.

Oh, P.S.– I fixed a broccoli casserole tonight with onions, mushroom soup and brown rice.  The rice and the broccoli were organic.  Slowly, but surely I’m moving towards more organic food.  It was great!

God bless each of you!

Organic foods, Breast Cancer and A Visit To The MaxWell Clinic

27 11 2007

I met with Dr. Patricia Mitchum, from the MaxWell Clinic today about my pathology report.  The MaxWell Clinic has a website with wonderful information for anyone to read.  Here is the address:  Anyway, Dr. Mitchum spent a whole hour with me discussing healthy living and what my options are.  My growth is very small- about a half of a centimeter.  This is extremely good news. The radiologist who performed the biopsy took seven little pieces out of the growth and five of them showed cancer. 

I’m a third generation breast cancer patient.  My grandmother had one her breasts removed by just a regular doctor just on the suspicion.  If she were alive today, she would be 115 years old.  So things were done very primitively.  My mother, however, who had struggled with parkinson’s disease–slipped through the cracks.  Her breast cancer was not found until her entire body was infiltrated with it.  Her sister also has a breast removed and survived twenty more years.  She died of heart problems.  All this to say that a little growth has  a much larger meaning to me.

We talked about having my whole right side removed as a very important thing.  Then I asked about having both of my breasts removed–given my family history.  She would never have brought that up but agreed with me wholeheartly.  It really all depends on what my insurance will pay for.  I have three grown daughters.  As of this day, they need to make a commitment to healthy eating, self examination and getting mammograms.  Maria did have a mammogram a couple of weeks ago and it was defined as a class 3.  She does not have health insurance, so we are going to have to help her find some free services. 

This is leads me to organic foods.  I have developed a strong interest in natural healing and eating healthier this past year.  I have not committed to a 100 percent organic diet but I’m leaning in that direction.  I have realized, even before I found out that I have cancer–that I need to stay away the foods with growth hormones in them.  The cost is great to go completely organic.  Yet, the cost of illness is great also.  I think we all waste money here and there that could be better put to use with healthy eating.  I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about using olive oil and staying away from hydrogenated oils.  That is something–I’ve been fairly consistent with for many months now. 

We also talked about supplements.  The MaxWell Clinic is a big believer is taking vitamins and herbs.  I’m already on about a half of dozen antioxidents.  Dr. Mitchum increased my “Broccoli” pill to 4 a day.  I took myself off of caffeine a couple of months ago and I drink alot of decaf green tea. 

I also found out I have osteoporosis in my lower back and in my hips.  I had a bone density test done at Vanderbilt when I went for my initial mammogram.  For that ,she is starting me on Fosamax.  This clinic tries it’s best to work with prevention programs but when the damage is already done–the doctors due prescribe regular treatments along with wellness treatments. 

Each time I visit this clinic , I have to fill out a questionaire about things that I do to help myself.  Things like spending quality time with my family, getting plenty of sunshine, drinking enough water and practicing thankfulness.  I put either an A, B,C,D, besides each of these questions–A, being the higest score.  I’m very thankful that I found this clinic in late August of this year.  I’m conviced my life will be save by their insistence on my getting a digital mammogram.

Dr. Mitchum ran off a 49 page article for me about breast health.  This is the web address if you have an interest: Another site that is helpful is  I hope these sites will be helpful.

Finally, we all have to keep our hearts soft and clean towards the Lord.  I’ve stated before that we are whole people.  God expects us take care of our bodies, souls and minds.  I’m learning to not be so dismayed by petty things.  Those are little spiritual cancer cells that grow into resentments, bitterness and dispair.  I’m also learning that I can’t change people.  Believe me, that is one of my worse faulths through the years.  I have to let people make their own choices.  I have to understand and be at peace that my loved ones may not appreciate all that I say.  I’m working hard at these goals–and often I slip backward.  Now, it is more important than ever to mind my own business about people’s choices. 

I’ll close with a quote from St. Basil that I received from a friend yesterday:  “Trials are of two kinds. Either affliction will test our souls as gold is tried in a furnance, and make trial of us through patience, or the very prosperity of our lives will oftentimes, for many, be itself an occasion of trial and temptation.  For it is equally difficult to keep the soul upright and undefeated in the midst of afflictions, as to keep oneself from insolence and pride in prosperity.

Here is another quote: “Life is full of things that test you, and make you strong. Look at the trees. The more they are shaken by the wind the more tough and unyielding they become. And we also, if we are patient, we also shall become strong.” -St. John Chrysostom

God Bless Each of You!

The Story of Vera and Her Family, Chapter 2

26 11 2007


A Family Reunion in Kentucky and Your First Christmas

You were so healthy after your eye healed. You only had one more serious incident during your first year that resulted from our family reunion in Kentucky. We spent the first few days of November with Uncle Phillip and Aunt Teresa.. Here are the background events for why we could even take this trip to Kentucky. I have a reputation of having almost a sixth sense about events. All during my pregnancy with you, I felt very insecure about Dad’s job. No sooner than we were finished with your eye surgeries , Dad lost his job at Cornerstone Ministries. This job had provided insurance coverage for your birth and subsequent eye surgeries.

I wasn’t surprised that Dad lost his job. There had been a great deal of warning signs. I was actually relieved that the ax fell. Now we could get on to the next step of our lives. They paid Dad a month of severance pay. So we decided very spontaneously to take our trip. We never got to take trips ,so there was a feel of excitement and merriment in our household. I spent the entire day washing our clothes and packing. We arrived in Kentucky around 9:00 p.m., November the first of l979.

It turned out to be a wonderful family reunion. Uncle David and Aunt Lisa also arrived with their children. Their family consisted of Elizabeth, who was almost four and little James, who was born just two months after you were.. Lastly, Uncle Brad arrived.. He was living in Clarksville and was a student at Austin Peay State University . We would pick Mother up at the nursing home to visit with all of us. We had a wonderful pancake breakfast and a great hamburger grill as part of the festivities. Mother was so delighted to be with us all. Such an event was never to happen again in her lifetime. Maria was so funny because she was still so attached to her bottle. She would lie on Uncle Phillips’s den floor carpet and just happily drink her bottle

Back to the family reunion events. Phillip and Teresa heated their home with a wood burning stove in those days. We all slept in the their guest bedroom , which didn’t get much of that heat. By the time we arrived back in Birmingham, we had two very sick baby girls .Maria battled with one of her terrible ear infections. You had pneumonia! Your temperature rose to 104 degrees. You gasped for breath. You came very close to being hospitalized. We got you on antibiotics early enough to prevent your being put in the hospital.

By December, you were a healthy, cuddly, five month old . I no longer put your pumpkin seat in the playpen. Instead, you sat in your little seat on the carpet, just watching, smiling and laughing at everyone. I still had to keep a close eye on you, as your nature as always been to be fearless.

Maria had to have a tumor removed from her mouth Christmas Eve day.(The growth was non cancerous). We had lived through a great many trials in just your first six months of life. That was a peaceful Christmas and each of you children seemed to appreciate the few little gifts we could afford.

Just before the severance pay was gone, Dad got a job at The Atlantic Envelope Co. A friend had referred him to check on this job. It paid $ 7.00 an hour and once again we had health insurance. Dad also received a profit sharing check each quarter.

We still had to count every penny with six people to feed. Likewise, the insurance wasn’t like the co- pay plans of today. We had to pay the entire fee for a doctor visit and there were no prescription plans. Insurance in those days was for the hospital only. So we still had many visits to the doctor. In those days, we had no credit card bills. We lived without debt, but we also fought to survive. It took so much planning and forethought . I really battled with depression about money on a daily basis. Very plain, simple food was all we could afford. A box of cereal or a package of lunch meat was out of the question. Oatmeal, potatoes , eggs, macaroni and Cheese, beans, canned items, peanut butter and a little hamburger meat for a treat were our mainstays.

As you have already noticed, your story has to be blended into the story of our entire family. Keep in mind as we close out l979, that my father was still as good as dead to me. I had not seen him since I was a girl of eight years old. At our family reunion , the four of us adult children talked about what it would be like to hear from our Dad. We wondered if he was still alive. Little did we know that our father was soon to enter our lives.

My Prayers and Desires As A Cancer Patient and Tickie, The Dog

24 11 2007

Since I’ve become an Orthodox Christian, I’ve learned to read the Gospels more.  They just were not emphasized that much in my Protestant faith.  My particular background viewed the Gospels as part of the “Kingdom Age” and thus not important for doctrine.  The Lord’s Prayer was never uttered.  I don’t mean to act ugly about this–it is just plainly sad.  I used to spend most of my time in the Epistles.  Now my heart is so hungry for the Gospels.  I read them each day.  I say the Lord Prayer at least twice a day.  When I feel stuck in knowing what to pray in a difficult situation–I always say the Lord’s prayer.

I used to mock people who fasted.  I would tell them that fasting was from the “Kingdom Age” and not appropriate for our present day.  We fast a great deal in the Orthodox Church.  We fast on Wednesdays and Fridays and for long periods during The Navity Fast and during Great Lent.  However, we are never to judge anyone by whether they actually keep the fast.  We are not to interrogate our brethen.  This is something we do quietly and in obedience to our faith. ( Our fasting consists of voluntarily giving up all animal products)

Over the past year, I’ve seen how God has quieted my heart by voluntarily giving up some of my desires.  I don’t claim to understand how this has all come about , but I know it has.  Last winter, I really had issues with one of my Orthodox sisters in Christ.  I made her life fairly miserable by bringing up all of her faults.  Through the winter and spring months-we were totally disconnected.  Through reading the Gospels and the works of St Theophan  the Recluse, –I realized that I was indeed the one who needed cleansing.

My friend was so bitter against me that she didn’t want to even talk to me –when I begged for a meeting.  Finally, in early June–she came to my home and talked this situation over with me, on my front porch.  She told me that I had “put her through hell.” Furthermore, she told me that even though she forgave me—-she didn’t want to be my friend.  I felt very sad that she didn’t just instantly have the emotions of loving me again. It took months for her to want to even acknowledge me. 

Finally, little by little she seemed softer towards me.  She came by labor day weekend to show us pictures of her Alaskan Missionary Trip.  I even was restless one night and prayed for her continually.  Later, I learned that she was back East with her father who is close to dying.  She was in deep crisis that night.   Mary , my other close Orthodox friend, had related to this lady how I was sleepless and concerned for her.  That really touched her and she opened up a little more.

She came to my open house and gave us some Holy Oil that she has gotten in Alaska.  She also gave us some incense.  Last week, she asked us to stop by her apartment in Clarksville, Tn on our way home from church to pick up a television she wanted to give us.  Our set had so many reddish tones in it.  Mary had told her how awful our television was.  So she gave us an extra one she had. 

On Tuesday of this week–when I found out I had cancer, I immediately called Mary.  She then called this lady.  She called me immediately and told me how much she loved me and that she would be there for me.  The long journey of distance between us was over.  I know we will walk many a mile together during my cancer recovery. 

What I’ve learned most of all through all of this, is that we are to keep our own hearts clean and to let go of our petty grievances against others.  The Beatitudes give a clear prescription of daily medicine for our soul.  I’ve lived so long with the “judge and jury” view of the church of the West.  In the East, we view the church as a hospital and that we are all sick to a greater or lesser degree.  We get well by keeping obedient to the Church and faithful to things like keeping our fasts, daily prayers and almsgiving.  We also go to confession and get prescriptions from our priests.  Our confessions are not like the ones viewed on television or in the movies.  We don’t sit in a little box and whisper things to a priest who can not see us.  No! Our priest stands with us before the icon of Christ.  We talk to him about the cancers of our souls and he gives us help.  This has been a wonderful sacrament to obey.  Always, my priest can push me in a direction…that maybe I can’t see for myself.  There is no condemnation.  When we finish, he puts his sash over my head and gives me absolution.  It is a sacrament of spiritual healing. 

In facing cancer, I want to let loose of all pettyness and bitterness.  I want to keep my own heart clean.  I love how our study Bible describes the disciplines of the Beatitudes:“These disciplines help us find true wisdom, which consists of: 1. the love of God and pursuit of His righteousness by bringing our treasure (Matt.6:19-16) as alms to God, our worries (Matt. 6:22-7:34) in prayer and fasting to Him; and 2.  the love of human beings and pursuit of righteous reconciliation with them by submitting our judgments of them (Matt 7:1-6) to God’s severe mercy. For these difficult tasks we need divine discernment and guidance, which God provides to those who follow Jesus’ spiritual rule (Matt. 7:7-12).  Thus, our natural impulses are redirected toward their proper goal: the righteousness of God in His Kingdom (Matt. 6:33).”  These quotes were taken from The Orthodox Study Bible, page 13. 

Now for a less serious note.  Yesterday I talked about how we got Rudy, one of our dogs.  I promised to tell how we got Tickie.   Maria’s husband (my daughter) found Tickie on a country road.  It was apparent that she had been wandering for a long time as she was full of ticks.  Kirk brought Tickie home and spent about $300.00 getting her shots and medicine for having all those ticks.  Then later in the summer, he decided he didn’t want an indoor dog afterall.  Maria brought him to our home , hoping we would take Tickie.  Again, it seemed hard to say “No”.  So Tickie , a full blooded Shih Tzu joined the fun with Rudy.  They became fast friends and boy–can they ever be bad.  However, when I sit to read a book –they are right by my side.  When Vera lived with us last–we both got flu together.  We loved having Rudy right beside us in the bed.  Dogs are wonderful!  I didn’t grow up with any pets but my own children pushed the issue until I relented.  I was  34 before I ever had a pet in my life.  So now I’ve been enjoying them for many years.  We’ve had several dear cats who have died of cancer.  The last one was “Jackie” who we had to have put down last Christmas.  “Jackie”  had been a part of Vera’s life since she was in the sixth grade.  She considered “Jackie” her special cat.  Again, as Orthodox Christians , we take comfort that even our pets are considered very special to their Creator, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Many of the Saints have had a special friendship with animals , particularly wild animals.  I have a little icon on my desk of St. Seraphim of Savro, feeding a wild bear.  St. Herman of Alaska also bonded with the wild animals.  Praise the Lord that all of creation is wonderful!   A good Psalm to explain this is Psalm 148.  It is one of my favorite Psalms and is quoted in our Divine Liturgy each week.

God Bless each of you!

It’s All Rolling Together!

23 11 2007

We talk to our daughter, Vera, each morning.  I was so deeply touched that she told me on Wednesday morning ,that she is moving back home the end of December to help us run the household.  Vera found out the beginning of November that the private school she teaches at would not have enough money to pay her after December.  With my having to have surgery for breast cancer, she saw this as a way to help herself and to help us.  While she is living here, she will research jobs.  Vera has never liked our small town and has always told us –that it  would never be her permanent choice of a home.  I would never have asked her to come home.  This was all her idea.  We are very grateful.

Even though all our children are grown up, we still have two active dogs and two special needs cats.  Rudy, our little chihuahua/terrior mix is twelve pounds of trouble.  She is constantly in trouble.  We never chose her as a pet. In a way, she chose us.  She has a unique story.  Sandy, my oldest daughter, got her as a puppy.  Rudy proved to be to much for her household –so Sandy gave her to Maria.  Maria’s husband was very upset that this dog entered his household–so he told her to get another home for Rudy–fast.  Maria, gave Rudy to a church friend.  This church friend gave the dog to her mother-in-law.  The mother-in-law gave Rudy to someone else.  On January 5th, 2005–I had just finished burying my two old dogs.  I had made the decision to put my 14 year old dogs down as they were full of infirmities and snapping harshly with all people.  As I was burying the dogs with Maria, I said something like this: ” I will never have anymore dogs.” 

Within as hour of burying my dogs, the phone rang.  It was my vet asking me if I would come pick up Rudy.  Rudy had gotten loose and was roaming around a McDonalds in Cadiz,Ky.  A young couple saw Rudy and chased her two miles down  Interstsate 24.  Rudy had her rabies tag on –and that is how they were able to trace down our vet.  After all that this couple went through to rescue Rudy–we decided to keep her.  My other dog , we got six months later.  That is another special story but I’ll save it for later.  Tickie is a full blooded Shih Tzu.  We didn’t pay any money for her.  She is hard to take care of in that her coat is so easily matted.  We also have two old cats that will probably not make it much longer.  So Vera coming home is a real blessing .  I don’t think I could possibly take care of these animals by myself .

Jim’s new schedule is turning out to be a blessing also.  Even though he works 12 hour shifts, he will actually be off more days than his former Monday through Friday schedule. He likes the machine he is on.  It was the machine he started on back in l993,  God has myterious ways of bring many different types of circumstances together for His Divine purpose.

And now to Thanksgiving.  All of my children and grandchildren were able to join us at the Pennyrile State Forest Park to enjoy a delicious meal.  Brad, my brother from Nashville, also came.  We always have Thanksgiving at Brad’s home.  This year, his wife Susan’s father is battling cancer.  So Susan went home to be with her family.  Everyone came back to our home for awhile.  Vera got a table game going –the rest of enjoying just talking.  Oh, I did get amused at 5 year old John.  Jim made the mistake of asking John if he was enjoying his “dead”turkey.  John was horrified to learn that turkeys had to be killed for our meal.  So he would not finish his turkey.  He has learned so much about turkeys and Thanksgiving in his kindergarten class–that his little mind just could not handle the negative.

I’ve truly been peaceful and content.  I’m trying to enjoy each day and just know that I only have to travel this journey of recovering from cancer , one day at a time.  Truly, life is rolling together.  Already we’re seeing that:And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

May God’s richest blessings be with each of you!