Day 3

I_can_do_that_nbc_logoI began this 8 day challenge with ZERO expectations because I am handicapped, sedentary, have lymphedema which tends to hang on to fluids and weight like crazy and because I have been on a strict 1500 calorie diet for 2 years to help me lose weight and gain mobility. I just wanted to feel better after cancer treatments last fall. I weighed as normal on Sunday  and began my 8 day challenge on Monday. After finishing 2 days on this challenge, I have lost 6.4lbs. It is a little surreal.

download

Want to feel better? Boost your metabolism? Lose some weight?

 

 

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Starting a new journey

downloadLife is full of new journeys, first steps and new twists and turns in our path. Sometimes interesting, sometimes painful, sometimes by design and sometimes they can be rude surprises.

This one is by choice. I have been watching a friend from church over the past couple of years. She lost some weight, and then her husband lost a lot of weight and I started watching in the background. I knew she was using supplements and a lifestyle change to health and feeling better. After my chemo and radiation treatments last fall, feeling good again is a sometimes elusive goal so I became intrigued.

I joined a Facebook group just for “” like me, and started reading success stories. People were losing weight, going off of medications, gaining energy, feeling better and just overall full of excitement. I decided to look into it and talk to my friend.

Upshot? I’ve started an 8 day “jump start” program to feel better, detox and maybe even lose a few extra pounds. All good, right? It’s day 2 so I’ll keep you posted.

Posted in blog, blogging, Health, miscellaneous, personal, writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Christians Are To Vote | Jonathan Blankenship

Bible believing Christians – those that believe the Bible is our literal guide in all areas of life – are obligated to vote for candidates that support the positions and moral values se…

Source: How Christians Are To Vote | Jonathan Blankenship

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Leave a comment

Meet and Greet Weekend @ Dream Big: 4/8/16 | Dream Big, Dream Often

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend at Dream Big!! Ok so here are the rules: Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps…

Source: Meet and Greet Weekend @ Dream Big: 4/8/16 | Dream Big, Dream Often

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Leave a comment

Three Million Muslim Immigrants Prepared for Voyage to Europe | sharia unveiled

* PLEASE be sure to note all of the ‘..girls, women with babies and elderly escaping war..’ in BOTH photos within this article… by, Thomas D. Williams, PhD. | Breitbart News | Pam…

Source: Three Million Muslim Immigrants Prepared for Voyage to Europe | sharia unveiled

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Leave a comment

Hypocrites at PayPal Won’t Go to North Carolina but Doing Business in Cuba! | tomfernandez28’s Blog

Written by Onan Coca Our friend Gary DeMar has written much about the hypocrisy of liberal cities, states, and businesses who threaten to boycott conservatives for defending religious freedom, whil…

Source: Hypocrites at PayPal Won’t Go to North Carolina but Doing Business in Cuba! | tomfernandez28’s Blog

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Leave a comment

HIS NAME IS BARACK OBAMA — tomfernandez28’s Blog

via HIS NAME IS BARACK OBAMA — tomfernandez28’s Blog

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Leave a comment

Black & White, Shell, Necklace Earrings, Jewelry 2 piece set

007 022 023 026Black and White goes with everything! Love this set. Different shades and sizes of black glass beads, white textured shell beads and a beautiful lampwork black and crystal bead for the center focal point. I used 6mm glass bead, 8mm black druks, 8mm white textured shell beads, 8mm black glass cubes, 9mm round black flat glass beads, 12mm black and crystal lampwork bead with flower inside embellished with silver tibetan bead caps. I used silver coated copper chain and made a 2-1-2 celtic weave chain and finished it off with a circle toggle clasp. The necklace is 21″ long. (If you would like me to make it a little longer, I would be glad to do that for you before I mail it to you.) The matching earrings are 2″ long. A very pretty set. Enjoy.

Source: Black & White, Shell, Necklace Earrings, Jewelry 2 piece set

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Leave a comment

Beads, beads and more beads

be-creative

I’ve been making jewelry and rosaries almost non-stop lately. I’m not sure what got into me. During my cancer treatments and after, I was tired, cranky, lethargic and apathetic. It’s nice to feel like picking through my beads to create something unique once again. The only thing wrong with making a lot of new pieces is that then I need more beads.

Jablonex Fire Polished-au-wI buy a lot of beads. I shop for sales and shop at online auctions, and know I’m finding bargains and wonderful treasures, so it is surprising when they all add up. Online shopping is slightly addictive and it’s a fun way to pass the time, but things can sneak up on you without you noticing. I’m not sure how some of the items sneak their way into my shopping cart. It is almost as if just admiring it adds it to my cart!

Anyway, every time a small package comes in the mail it is like Christmas time again. I love opening the packages and boxes. I love seeing the new beads, the new colors, sizes and shapes. I add them to my stash and know that later I will brainstorm while picking through and touching my beads and come up with something absolutely stunning and unusual. Almost all of what I make are one-of-a-kind items. I will pick a bead from this bag, a few from this one, find a leftover treasure from this one and arrange and rearrange until what appears is a wonderful creation full of sparkle and excitement! i do so love my beads.

001I hand make all of my things. My favorite tool is my rosary pliers that has been a companion for over 25 years. Then there are my flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, my flush cutters and I’m good to go. Add my silver wire, jump rings, bead caps, pieces of chain, toggle clasps and beads and I am ready to envision and create something special.

009Right now, my beads live in a grab bag of smaller bags. Some are new purchases, some are leftovers from previous creations. I will pick up my bag, look through all the smaller packages of various beads and see what comes to my mind. Usually, I will pick colors that will go together. I will grab everything I have in those tentative colors and lay them out in front of me. I sort through the colors and make a decision. Then I will place beads on my bead board in front of me. Which will be the focal point? Which beads will accent? What beads will I add to go with that? Smaller? a different shape for a pop of interest?Then I will add and take out, rearrange and ponder until what I see says ‘that’s it’.

005That’s when the actual construction of the idea happens. If several beads together are to be a ‘set’ or a component of the piece, that’s what I assemble first, using my pliers and wire. If there will be chain or silver links in between beads or inbetween components, I lay them out also. When all the components are done, and everything is laid out, there is still time for me to decide if what I see is what I envisioned in my head. Once I’m satisfied, I use wire or jump rings and links and put it all together.

006Once it is all together as a complete piece, I hold it and feel it and admire it. Then I try it on to see how it ‘hangs’ and make adjustments if necessary. I usually make matching necklace and earrings. Sometimes I will add a matching bracelet. Then each item goes into its own ziplock bag to prevent tangling and each part of the set goes into a larger bag so that I can put it into my ‘for sale’ drawer and be able to find it easily.

036After that, I have to take photos, pick and choose the most flattering and then post them to sell. I started out showing to friends on Facebook until I began to think I was spamming all of my friends. I heard about an online storefront and opened my Etsy store. I opened my store a year ago with 12 rosaries and now have almost 200 items in my store for sale. Another storefront option was offered through Etsy so I opened another storefront recently at my Spreesy store.

My husband rolls his eyes at how expensive my “hobby” can be at times. My creative juices tend to come in large and smaller spurts so it all evens out. When my ‘drawer’ starts getting full, I put some items on sale to make room for my newest creations. My customers always appreciate that! Who doesn’t like a sale?

So, I’m keeping busy, having fun, creating new and beautiful things and life is good. Right now, I am cancer free and getting stronger. I keep up with my therapy exercises each day. I blog, read, play with my beads, watch tv and spend time with my husband of 45 years and my daughter. I keep up with my long distance truck driving son through Facebook messenger. I pray and keep up with what’s going on in the world. I am blessed. Life is good. How are things in your life?

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Leave a comment

It’s a Good Life

hqdefault (1)I grew up with a lot of insecurities. I was a chubby child. I couldn’t buy ‘regular’ clothes. I had to wear ‘chubby’ sizes. And I wore glasses when that was not so commonplace. I was pointed at and stared at. I don’t remember a time in my childhood when I wasn’t made fun of. My maiden name was Moffat, so I was called Mo Fat. Or four eyes. I learned early to withdraw into myself. Even after I married, I was not safe. I was stared at in public and once, a man driving by my house hollered out “hubba hubba” and he was not giving me a compliment.

insecI learned to watch others to see how people were supposed to act to be considered normal. I strived to blend into the background. When kids at school would pass by in the hall I automatically shrank to the wall to get out-of-the-way. I didn’t want to do anything to draw any more attention to myself than necessary. I learned to be very guarded and found it difficult to trust. I always felt like I was ‘on the outside looking in’. I never felt ‘normal’.

I learned that woman can be very judgemental. They judge on what you wear, how you fix your hair, and how you put on makeup. Home became my safe place, my sanctuary. And no one outside was really welcome there. I didn’t want to be judged on my furniture, the size of my house or whether it was clean enough. I was judged “out there” so home was my place of relaxation and safety. I could be me.

Growing up like this meant I didn’t have many friends. It was too hard to trust enough to let someone get close. As I got older, my sisters were my closest friends. To this day, I have a handful of friends who love me and care for me and pray for me, but I still find it difficult to let people in too close or trust with everything. I keep them at a distance. That means I lived without socializing with friends. And people judge wives on how your house is decorated or kept, so that meant I was never comfortable having company over. On the few times that I did, I would tell them, ‘don’t open that door, it’s a catch-all room’. Being ‘on display’ was never fun, but always a source of stress.

522718622_1388884304The drawback to living like that, is you end up at the end of your life with ‘work friends’ and ‘work acquaintances’. Work friends you usually confide in and share parts of your life with, share about family and frustrations and become fairly close. Many people can socialize with their work friends, but I never felt quite comfortable doing that. My home was separate and so was my home life. I grew up and lived being comfortable in my  own company.

I can talk and share in writing or on Facebook and it is non threatening. I can offer comfort and compassion and prayers. Is that just the way it is these days? For some people, the ones like me, I suppose it is. But now that I am homebound and retired, I recognize I may not have anyone to remember me except my children. The older we get the more we lose our friends and acquaintances. I decorated wedding cakes for many couples for almost 30 years. Will any of those people even think of me? I worked in the background. Will what I did matter to anyone? What else do I have that stands out? What else have I accomplished? I used to sing in the choir at church. I was a cantor.

images (1)I make rosaries. I make jewelry. I have children. I have grandchildren who don’t really know me because they grew up far away. I have grown closer to my son in the past few years because of texting and phone calls. Long distance truck driving and living several states away fostered that. But it has developed into something precious and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. My daughter and I share a lot of interests. Her being forced into becoming a part-time caregiver generated a close friendship/relationship that continues to be something to cherish.

I look at my children and marvel. How did they grow into such impressive and responsible adults? They had a crazy and often depressed mother who was sometimes withdrawn from life. I made a lot of mistakes. I was not the poster mom of any year. How did they manage to turn out so well?

Despite these thoughts, I am content. I have my needs met and have my husband who has loved me for over 46 years. I am convinced he is a saint in disguise to have lived with me all these years and constantly pray my thanks for him. I have my 2 children and a sister and a brother. My mother is still alive and well at 90. I have beaten cervical cancer. I am a child of God and have the privilege of praying when I want. I am thankful.

The morale of this ramble? No matter where we came from, it helped to make us who we are today. And what we do with who and what we are is up to us. Take a little time to see outside of yourself. Experience laughter. Watch clouds. Listen to music. Enjoy the simple pleasures that make life worth living. And give thanks for all that you have. It’s a good life.

contentment-post

 

 

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I need more Beads!

hobbies2With anything I do, whether it is a hobby or just something to occupy my time, I tend to go in spurts. I’ll watch a tv series marathon on Netflix for 2 weeks and then be sick of tv. I used to read for a few months and then not want to pick up a book again for a year.  I have several favorite games I play every day on my wii. I take turns on them. Animal Crossing and Order Up are my favorites right now. I used to crochet afghans, but if I couldn’t finish one in a moderate amount of time I would get bored. It must have something to do with my attention span. It has decreased the older I have gotten.

Right now I am going crazy making my jewelry and rosaries again. My creative juices are on overload. The only problem is I’m running out of beads. That just means I’ll have to figure out a way to tell hubby I want to go bead shopping!

012I began showing my rosaries on Facebook. Then I discovered etsy, a FREE storefront to sell handcrafted or vintage items. I started posting pictures to twitter and Facebook every time I made something new for my etsy store. It was great fun.

I branched out to Spreesy. It is  a storefront for my etsy products, but you can also join spreesy just to promote items from other people. If someone buys something you promoted you earn a commission. And so, FREE shop where you can sell your own things or promote other cool items and earn on the back side. You can’t lose!

020That’s what has kept me busy lately. Nothing much new going on. Just thought I’d check in with a short update and show you some of my new things while I was at it.

You can visit me at JewelryEtc RosariesByEsther or check out new fashion items and shoes in my Spreesy store.

See you next time. God Bless!

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The fear of Mortality

downloadWe all have an understanding of our own mortality at least once in our lives. Many times it happens after the death of a parent or loved one. All of a sudden, we recognize that there are no givens in life except that we all die, and sometimes it comes sooner than expected.

I was diagnosed with a cervical tumor and had chemo and 25 radiation treatments. The side effects take a while to start manifesting and continue for a couple of months after the treatments are finished. I have had my final PET scan and am cancer free. Thank you Jesus.

But, from time to time, I still have side effects or familiar  symptoms I have coped with for the past 6 months. During the treatments, I also began having emotional mood swings that still crop up from time to time. Just the word CANCER affects everyone even without them realizing it.

My journey began with a quick diagnoses and treatments began in a whirlwind that ended months later. I barely had time to ingest the information and learn to cope before the treatments were done and I was waiting for final results 3 months later.

I began noticing more and more people coping with cancer in themselves or in their family. More and more people began asking for prayers for loved ones with cancer. And then, a friend and coworker of almost 30 years lost her husband of 40+ years to pancreatic cancer. That hit too close to home.

522718622_1388884304I felt I didn’t deserve to feel what I was feeling. There were many people with cancers worse than mine, quicker growing cancers, with higher mortality rates, and more toxic treatments than what I received. I felt I couldn’t feel the pain or the nausea or even the discomfort without feeling guilty. I felt I didn’t deserve to feel the depression. There were so many people coping with much worse. I felt a little distanced from myself and the fact that I had cancer and that people do actually die from it.

It took the PET scan and reports from both my gynecological oncologist and my radiation doctor for me to believe and accept the fact I was cancer free and could take a deep breath and go on. But now, every time I get an unusual feeling, like light-headedness, or a pain inside, or a touch of bladder/pelvic/colon upset, my mind immediately wonders if something is wrong. Is this random thing, or a residual symptom of my treatments? Is the cancer growing again? Or is this just a minor irritation?

I have lived a blessed life. I have been healthy and rarely experienced illness and so the whirlwind journey of cancer and the treatments left me in a disorienting daze. I feel the emotional repercussions are just now trying to catch up to me. They may linger for a long time. It will be something new to learn to live with. In the long run, a small price to pay.

peace-in-sand

Posted in blog, blogging, Health, musings, personal, reflections, thoughts, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Isn’t Funny Anymore: Why I’m Voting Against Donald Trump — Thomas McKenzie

This Isn’t Funny Anymore: Why I’m Voting Against Donald TrumpMy name is Thomas McKenzie. I’m an Anglican priest, and the pastor of a congregation. I speak here on my own behalf, and not on behalf of my denomination or congregation. I speak as a Christian, husband, father, and American. I’m writing this before Super Tuesday, before anyone is the nominee of either party.I do not believe that pastors and churches should endorse political candidates or political parties. I don’t allow “voter guides” or any other kind of party-politics at our church. I don’t even tell people who I’m voting for in elections. I love the fact that people of every political persuasion go to our church, and that my friendships are trans-political. I don’t get into party-politics for three key reasons. First, Jesus is Lord. The passing of power from one politician to another does not change that. So why be anxious about such things? Second, no political party or politician has ever fully represented my Christian beliefs. Most don’t even come close. Third, politics divide Christians. If I were to support a particular candidate, it could harm my relationship with Christians who think otherwise (I know this from experience). And, my support wouldn’t make any difference to the result of a national or state-wide election, so why do it?I do believe in talking about issues. When I do, I try to do so through the lens of the Gospel, focusing on God’s mercy and grace, while highlighting personal responsibility. So, if (for instance) I talk about abortion, I’m assuring forgiveness and mercy to those who have had one, but also encouraging people not to have one. I focus on adoption, and care of unwanted children as well as mothers-in-crisis. And, if necessary, I’ll talk a little about the government.All that to say, there is an issue I have decided I need to say something about. And that issue is Donald Trump. I oppose his election as President, and believe that any other candidate now running, from either party, would make a better President. I believe his election would be dangerous to our country, and to the Church. I do not believe that Donald Trump has the best interest of our country in mind. Rather, I believe he has shown concern only for himself and his personal advancement. His focus on himself as a “winner” and others as “losers,” his obsession with polls, his demagoguery (“I could kill someone and people would still support me”), and more lead me to this conclusion.Donald Trump is endlessly entertaining. If this election were a reality show, I’d watch every episode. But it’s not. This is too important. This isn’t funny anymore.I believe that Donald Trump holds and proclaims racist, sexist, and violent attitudes that are in direct opposition to the Christian message, and to the good of our nation. Things he has said about women and minorities (in specific and in general), his mockery of a disabled man, his foul language directed at opponents, his declared desire to punch people in the face, his call for America to commit war crimes (by killing the families of terrorists), and more—all of these lead me to this conclusion. I believe that Donald Trump is taking the Name of the Lord in vain. He is misusing the Faith by claiming to be “a great Christian” while his actions—not seeking forgiveness from God, mocking the Sacrament, barely pretending to know the Bible, supporting abortion, divorcing twice, cynical pandering to evangelicals, ownership of a strip club, his hatred for Muslims and others—belie this claim. I believe that Donald Trump has lowered the level of political discourse to that of a school yard. He acts like a bully. I believe that if he succeeds, this level of vitriol and obscenity will become the “new normal,” if it hasn’t already. I also happen to disagree with Donald Trump on some actual issues, but that isn’t the point. I disagree with all the candidates on certain issues. My opposition to him is not about his political party or his political beliefs; this is about his character.That character matters to the Church and to the world. Presidents have limited power in domestic issues; they have to deal with the congress and the courts. But their power is far greater in foreign affairs, particularly in the use of the military.If Donald Trump is nearly as aggressive as he claims he will be, I believe he will use military force in ungodly ways. He could make America into a true villain on the world stage, which will only raise up countless new terrorists and destabilize an unstable world. He will have the power to separate us from our allies and strengthen our foes. All of this he could do in the name of Christ, a Name he pulls out whenever it suits him. I have no reason to believe he will show anything like godly restraint. He will be the face of America, and the face of Christianity, to billions of people around the world. Can you imagine Donald Trump in charge of our nuclear arsenal? On Super Tuesday, I will be voting agains

Source: This Isn’t Funny Anymore: Why I’m Voting Against Donald Trump — Thomas McKenzie

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Leave a comment

Have you heard of Spreesy?

logoHave you heard of spreesy? I sell rosaries and jewelry in my etsy store. 011I saw the opportunity to use a spreesy storefront to advertise my things. You can also earn commissions if you advertise other products. You can sign up for free. Each person who advertises with spreesy sets the commission at 5% up to 15% of the purchase price. You can learn more about earning here.

View Product

//www.spreesy.com/assets/js/store/embed.js

I received a neat online storefront to showcase my jewelry and rosaries. I love the way it shows my jewelry with a large picture and includes pricing and an online shopping cart. And behind the scenes, I can promote other products to earn a little bit of commission. It’s a win/win situation.

View Product

//www.spreesy.com/assets/js/store/embed.js

You can sell your own things or just earn a little pocket money by promoting other products. Check it out.

View Product

//www.spreesy.com/assets/js/store/embed.js

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saw the radiologist today

cancer-free-zoneIt’s been 3 months since I finished my chemo and my radiation treatment. I had my PET scan 2 days ago. Today I saw the radiologist to discuss the results. It appears that I am a textbook case. The radiation reduced the tumor by half and then totally eradicated it with the 2nd treatments. I seem to be cancer free. The emotional up and down roller coaster I have lived on made me a little distanced. I was resigned for whatever I heard so could not even get excited. This was a difficult journey so it will take some time to absorb it all and regain my “normal”. Just checking in…

Posted in writing, personal, blog, culture, religion, humor, inspiration, people, American, musings, miscellaneous, social, Christianity, economy, reflections, faith, poetry, | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments