Tuesday, March 30, 2010

5 years ago today.....

don had a colonoscopy.  there was a lump in his colon.  it was cancer.   cancer!   cancer, cancer, cancer.  the word is easy to say today.  not so much 5 years ago.  surgery, chemotherapy, illness, depression, FEAR.  gut-wrenching fear.  he did chemotherapy like a champ. 6 months worth.  i cooked him healthy, easy on the stomach meals.  

we took it easy that summer.  my dad came every. single. week. and mowed our lawn for us.  he also did any odd jobs that needed to be done around the house.  my mom took care of austen when i was working.  i had to call austen's 2nd grade teacher and tell her that his dad had cancer because she sent a note home that austen had been crying in class.  i guess we didn't realize how much a 7-year-old boy would pick up on what was going on around him.  i suppose you can't hide cancer.   he wouldn't let me go to chemotherapy with him.  he didn't want me to see it.  he knew it would scare me.  and it did.  my mom or his mom would drive him.  they came and sat with him when he was sick and sleeping.  

don played the cancer card with me and talked me into a dog, something that i had managed to avoid in the 13 years we were married up to that time.  i'm not really a dog person.  (i'm still not...shhhhh!!).  

it has been 5 years.  he is cancer free.  he hit that magical 5 year marker.  and we can now breathe a great sigh of relief.  

i wrote the following post on my old blog one year after he was diagnosed....the day before his one year follow up colonoscopy:

this man.....

is my world. i love him. i would give my life for him. today is the night before his repeat colonoscopy...just one year ago he found out he had colon cancer. it changed our lives, shook us to the depth of our being, knocked us for a loop. who would have thought that this could happen to a 46 year old who was athletic, exercised and ate (kinda) good. 

in december of 2004 he had an appendix attack. while removing it, the doctor found a lump at the base of his cecum (where the colon meets the appendix) but thought it was swelling or infection. he told him to have a colonoscopy after 3 months..so we did. we were stunned. his colorectal surgeon told us there was a 95% chance that it was cancer and scheduled him for surgery the following monday. don was holding out for the 5%...i told him they don't schedule surgery that soon unless they know. they knew. he was lucky though. his was stage II which meant that it just barely penetrated the colon wall {with 35 clean lymphnodes} but penetrated enough that they wanted him to do 6 months of chemotherapy :( it was a very tough summer. 

don was sick, out of work and depressed. i on the other hand looked at this whole thing as a huge blessing. had the appendix not gotten infected, they would have never found the tumor, which they thought caused the appendix to become inflamed. he wasn't due for his screening colonoscopy for another 4 years. he had no prior symptoms, he would have never known. he considers it a curse, i consider him extremely lucky and i remind him to count his blessings often. even though the chemo has been done for some months now, every little change in bowel habit or stomach pang causes him major anxiety. like this week leading up to his colonoscopy tomorrow morning. he just can't shake the feeling that something is going to be wrong, that they are going to find something. i have told him that this is the very best possible time to have this colonoscopy because he is so fresh from chemotherapy. nothing has had time to grow. i have no doubt that he will be clean as a whistle. now i just wait for tomorrow morning so he can be relieved as well and i won't have to see him scared, depressed and unable to function from the fear of the unknown. please pray for him.

he was clear.  and has been since.

we are lucky.  we have been through a lot in our 18 years of marriage.  children, stillbirth, cancer, unemployment.  but he is here and we are together.  and we have beautiful children and grandchildren.  and a wonderful family.

we are lucky...and i am blessed!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

today's post is brought to you by the color....


now back to your regularly scheduled programming....

Thursday, March 25, 2010


don started a new job today.  he has been out of work since october 1st after being forced out of general morons motors after 10 years.  his severance got us through until mid february but then unemployment had to kick in.  which doesn't pay much.  at all.  which prompted us to refinance our mortgage back to a 30 year loan.  ugh!!! we only had 8 years left until our house was paid off.


he has a JOB.

even if it is at a significantly lower salary. that's okay, because we are used to scrimping and saving.

it's a JOB. 

and i am grateful.  we all are.  especially austen who was worried that we would have to sell our house and move out of our neighborhood.

i am going to miss having him home.  he did the laundry and cleaning and cooking.  and i got this....

so much better than our builders grade flooring.  and yes, it is peel and stick genuine faux wood vinyl flooring.  it's not my real wood floor but loads better.  

and new painted walls.  no pictures of that yet.

today is a good day!!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

chair progress....

i have to say that furniture was very well made in the past.  however, i didn't think that there would be so many staples....and glue.  and cardboard.  the wood is a really hard wood and it was tough to get the staples out.  the ones that are still in there will be staying.  

i don't think i can get them out without damaging the chair.  i think we will have to break out the power stapler though.  i can barely get the hand stapler through plywood.

you can see how dirty and damaged the fabric is.

cardboard???   yup...cardboard.  it won't be going back in.

uh-oh!!!  missing finial..

there it is.....with more of that lovely cardboard...i will be doing some heavy duty gluing too.

replacing the padding too...gross.  the burlap has to go.  do you know that you can buy burlap by the bolt at walmart??

stained and smelly...disgusting.  

and who knew that it was being used as a spider condo?  thankfully there were no eggs or spiders in it.  i think i would have freaked.....

i'm still looking for fabric for the seat.  i think i'll get that first before i decide what color to paint the chair.  more to come later as the redo progresses.   

and just because she is so stinking cute....

Monday, March 22, 2010

if the government wasn't taking all of my money.....

i'd have these....i love me some anthropologie

4th marking period....


click on photo to make it bigger (and better)

we are so proud of you, bubby....

mom and dad...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

giving credit where credit is due...

thank you to rita of coffeeshop photography blogdom...(her link is to the right), without whom, this blog would be ugly!!!!

thanks rita...

a new photography prop...

i love this.....i was perusing craigslist a few weeks ago and saw this bench.  
perfect for posing little kids or mom and baby. 

champ, however does not like his picture taken.  he jumped down and when i tried to get him back up there, he cowered with his tail between his legs...big baby!!


i procrastinated because we are really watching our spending.  really watching.  with don out of work and his severance done, we have to spend carefully.  we have been very frugal these past few months and have thankfully managed to tuck a good chunk of cash away.

don has had a few interviews and is going back tomorrow for a second interview at a company based out of howell.  he actually had one company ask him to start working for them tomorrow but it is at a significant pay (a little less than half) decrease over what he was making and they don't offer medical benefits.  he would get a company car and gas card but the job would entail a lot of travel out of state.  although it is a job, it's waaaayyyy less money so he wants to check this other opportunity first. ugh!!!  all of this really sucks.

i think we can live at much less salary than we are used to from his old job because we have made changes in our lifestyle for the past year and we are kind of used to it.  as long as we can keep our house, i think we will be okay.  we don't want to take austen out of this school district or neighborhood at this stage in his life, so we will make it work.

one of those changes includes shopping the sales and seeing what kind of bargains we can get.  that little cutie bench above was $40.00.  i love it and think it was a good price.

this ratty looking chair

is my next project. 10 bucks baby... i'm going to paint it and recover the seat in a fun, funky graphic fabric.  i'm not sure which one yet but i'm keeping my eyes open for a sale.  ah, the thrill of the hunt!

just look at the detail in the legs and this is an up close view of the back...

she will be very cute when i'm done....

i honed my skills on this piece a few weeks ago

i even did the tufting with the buttons.  all staples and fusable web ironed for the hems.

you know, frugal can be fun...

except for the not being able to spend money part... :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

blogging part deux.....

well, here i go again. it's 1:25 am and here i am starting another blog. you would think that i would have learned from my last blog and try a different server but times are tight and free is good. more on that later.

and this post would be useless without a photo so from time to time i will add random pictures to my posts.

goodnight for now....or should i say good morning...
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