Saturday, January 26, 2019
November 2018 Month of Gratitude
November 2018 Month of Gratitude
Let gratitude month begin. This is a year of looking at things with a renewed perspective. I am so grateful for my parents and all the good that they instilled in our family. My Dad's birthday is in two weeks and he would have been 84 and Mon's was in September and she would have been 84. Two very kind, generous and loving people that continue to bless our family in so many ways. They always put others first and worked hard to support our family. As we age and face personal struggles we continue to be encouraged to follow these values.
November 2 and getting ready for the time change this week. Our world operates on such odd schedules. I am grateful to be 64 and still able to enjoy life and the work that I do. Our six grandchildren are truly treasures. They are wonderful little people. I am grateful for their parents and aunts and uncles, the inlaws and the outlaws who help in guiding their paths. It is such a blessing to be a part of their lives. There are challenges, but my goal is to be a source of love in their lives that they know they can depend upon.
November 3 and feeling thankful for all of our homes. We have been here three years and it fits us well. Before that we lived in a house twice this size for 24 years. Our first home was 1/2 the size and we were there twelve years. We only lived in one apartment before that. Then I lived in my parents home for about 24 years. Each of these places were far more than a house. We did not move very often, stayed in Oregon and put down deep roots. Now the roots are growing in Scappoose. Very grateful that we made the change when we did. With retirement we needed a much smaller place.
November 4th and enjoying a quiet Sunday. Have had a tough few days with the neuropathy in my feet. This is a challenge for so many people. The doctors really are not sure how to treat it as it so different for every person who has it. I am grateful for the great people who share online and the medical information available. Prayer is certainly a huge comfort and helps me to keep balance with the peace in my life. Inspiration is a great blessing in so many aspects of our lives.
November 5 and we put the Halloween decorations away. Our family has always enjoyed decorating for the holidays. Today I had the help of David and our seven year old granddaughter. She stayed home sick from school, but felt up to the task of putting things away. I am so grateful for the time we get to spend with our grandchildren. They are truly remarkable young people. Our time together is wonderful, even over the internet. Just seeing the joy in their smiles is so rewarding. Grateful we have been blessed with six, ages 11, 10, 7, 7, 5, 1.
November 6 was a busy day for me. I scheduled two doctor's appointments at the same place about an hour apart. Then being unsure how I would feel afterwards I asked a friend to drive me. David was home with our granddaughter who was sick and our son is recovering from a cold was able to stay home. My wonderful friend took very good care of me. We had a nice visit in between the doctors and even had lunch in the hospital cafeteria. The first appointment was for my ears which needed some attention to the tubes in them. The second was a more personal type of appointment. I am so grateful to my friend and the good medical people who took care of me. In all respects I very much enjoyed this lovely day. Driving through the countryside with mostly blue skies and enjoying the fall colors was an added bonus.
November 7 was a stay at home and recover some from whatever might be going around. Sometimes we just need some time off. Retirement is different, but it surely has its benefits. We seem to manage in the unpredictable world that we live in. I am so grateful for feeling the love and guidance from above. I am thankful for the many opportunities that we enjoy. The Internet and IPhones are amazing tools that allow us to stay connected. With the work that I do in family history those tools are essential. May you enjoy those tools for the positive interactions that they make possible.
November 8 and things have taken a different turn for the holidays. Time to sit back and be thankful for all that we have. Not just material things, but family, friends and acquaintances. The house is decorated for Thanksgiving and that certainly brightens up my life. My family has always traditionally decorated for the holidays: Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and some patriotic days. We are so honored to remember those who served our country.
November 9 was another lovely drive through the countryside for our monthly APG coffee meeting. We meet at Elmer's Restaurant in Beaverton, Oregon and have a nice quiet room to ourselves. Today nine of us were there. After placing our orders for breakfast we spent most of the time sharing the activities we are involved in. Leslie Lawson leads the group, makes the arrangements and sends us email reminders. The conversations are non-stop. We learn so much from each other. I am thankful for the support of this group. They are very smart people who offer a wealth of knowledge.
November 10 and another lovely drive through the countryside so I could get my blood tests done at the lab. I am grateful for online medical communication and information. Two tests results back so far and nothing alarming. It will be helpful to have the results for Monday when I have a phone appointment with my regular doctor. The phone appointments are a great savings in money and time. It saves me an hour of driving time, and while I enjoy the rides, it is nice to be able to stay at home for some of the appointments.
November 11 and today I am thinking about all of the DNA tests that our family members have done, especially this past year. We are connecting the parts of our family and confirming the genealogy research I have done for years. I am very grateful for all who have willingly tested and shared their results. My closest links are my two brothers, an uncle and two cousins. My farthest link is my ancestor John Tidd who was in Massachusetts by 1635 with his brother Joshua Tidd. We are very blessed with tools to help confirm our family connections.
November 12 today was great. I was able to have two medical visits by phone. Our phones are so amazing and I am grateful to do so much from home. Then there are the pictures which I need to weed through. I am so grateful for those who share messages and pictures online. Even if I don't know all the people it is great to get to know you and your families. Somehow for my family I need to update our family albums. I made some progress this year, but in the coming months I hope to get this done!
November 13 was a day for setting appointments, going to lunch with a friend and having visitors. I am grateful for the community that we live in. As time passes we become acquainted with more people. It helps that our church congregation lives in or near this town. These are kind, caring and generous people. They are so willing to lend a hand of support and encouragement. It is a blessing for those who give and for those who receive.
November 14 is my father's birthday and he has been gone thirty years. It seems like so long ago, but I can remember most of that time as if it was yesterday. He fought a brain tumor that took from him his quality of life over a two year period. What he did not lose was his kindness, determination and concern for our family. He dedicated his life to providing for us and little did we know we would inherit much of what he carefully set aside for our mother. She was equally as frugal. My three siblings and I and our families are so grateful to these two wonderful people who brought us into this world and taught us the skills of survival learned from their ancestors.
November 15 and working with people who want to discover more about their family history. What makes family history important to you? For me it is the love of the generations of dedicated individuals who helped to make me who I am. Whether they came from England, Denmark, Norway, Germany, or wherever they all add flavor to what I have become. Their stories help to lift our spirit and encourage us on our own journeys. I am grateful for the ways they have helped me in researching our genealogy and the stories about their lives.
November 16 and I got out for a little break. It was a lovely day for a drive. I went to Orenco, Oregon near Hillsboro. This is where the family farm, Oak Leaf Farm, was located. John Philip and Julia Brown Olsen, my great grandparents, lived there from about 1896 to 1920. The town was then called Reedville and one of my favorite restaurants is the Reedville Cafe. Six of their seven children were born on the farm. Today I was able to visit the church they helped to build and paint. My great grandfather and some of his sons were house painters. A very nice couple enjoyed showing me what their congregation has done to maintain the church. This time I had my camera and took lots of pictures. The family farm ceased to be when the town changed their land status from farm to town. They lived in several other places, including Sherwood, Oregon where my grandparents met and were married. I am so thankful for my relatives who helped me to develop a love for our family history.
November 17 normally a very busy day, but I have decided to stay home. There are so many projects to be done and I am slowly making my way through them. I am very grateful to have a collection of family artifacts from all of my grandparents. When we were packing to move my family was surprised by what is in the collection. We are very blessed to have all this stuff, but it is important to preserve it so it is respected by generations to come. Everything is separated by family, but I need to identify the items and where they come from me if I can remember. This is number one on my bucket list!
November 18 and it has been a very productive weekend. Today I handed off a client’s work from the past year. There were four notebooks: two for the family research, one for a possible branch of the family and one for DNA results. The DNA is beyond what I do and so I am sending her off to another researcher who specializes in this. What a blessing to know when to enlist more help. It is amazing how much information was gathered. It seems like a lot of families reach their brick walls just a couple of generations back and about the time period of the Civil War. Time for me to take a break and let someone else take over.
November 19 was a day working in my office. It is nice to live in a home where we each have space to work. Like most people I have piles that need sorting and weeding out. I feel very grateful at this time to have space to work on my own genealogy and family history. I need some quiet time to work and focus on the projects at hand. I look forward to the next few days when we gather together and spend time with each other. Time is a precious commodity and all too easily wasted. Treasure your time and work to balance it so you can enjoy peace in your life.
November 20 and another lovely day. I am so grateful for the many people I have met in the move to Scappoose. It is a challenge to move to a new community and start over. The only people we knew here at the time were our daughter and her family. I gradually got to know people and put names to faces. My work in the church involved arranging meals for people who were in need of support in difficult times. The women I contacted always were willing to provide this service. The other work that I did was working in the local family history center. I started reaching out to women for help when we were short handed. They are so willing to help. As I got to know them better my love for them has grown tremendously. What a blessing to have such faithful friends who encourage me in my daily struggles.
November 21 and we braved the colder weather, thankfully not as cold as in Massachusetts, and went shopping. My little shopping buddy was a great help. The first electric cart we got died quickly so we had to find another. The store employees were very helpful. I am so grateful to have a nice store close to our home. Our timing was perfect and we hit a lull in the day for shoppers. We found what we needed and also got some wants. Little shopper earned a special prize for being a wonderful helper. We grabbed some lunch on the way home and after eating I had a little rest. It was nice to get out and have some together time.
November 22 and Thanksgiving Day is here! What a day to celebrate. Yesterday a friend called and was talking about the website RelativeFinder.org. So I went to the website and did a search of my relatives and those who take my family back to the Mayflower. Twelve generations take me to Stephen Hopkins through his son Giles. This is through my Tidd family connections and I have researched the family for about fifty years. Learning about our family history is fascinating. Of the Mayflower passengers we have thirteen connections. There are many other categories to make connections in. I am grateful these people survived the voyage and early years in America. Have some fun today and check out this website.
November 23 and it was another restful day at home. While I enjoyed time with our family yesterday at my daughter's home it was tiring for me. The food was so good and it was enjoyed by all. Everyone brought something which certainly lightens the load for the hostess. We enjoyed a delicious turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, fresh fruit, rolls and pumpkin pie. The years when David and I did most of the cooking seem like a long time ago. He is a great cook and I enjoy the food he prepares. We are so grateful for our family.
November 24 I helped with a DNA test and provided a family history notebook for the family. Finding family is so comforting and yet can be challenging. My joy is in helping those who are seeking answers. What I put together is a foundation for families so people can move forward in an organized manner and find their ancestors. Familysearch.org provides many resources at no cost. It is a wonderful tool for exploring generations of people. The computer is so slow this weekend that it is better to wait and work late at night. I am so grateful to have such amazing tools for doing this work.
November 25 and still staying close to home and avoiding crowds. The thanksgiving decorations are being put away. I am ready for Christmas! Two neighbors put up lights that we can see from our front window, the Christmas spirit is so comforting. I watched four Hallmark shows today and they are so gentle on the soul. The endings are predictable, but each movie has a message of its own. Mostly I am trying to stay relaxed and not stressed as I have two medical appointments this week. Never I did I dream this is what I would be doing during the holidays. So grateful for my support people and medical providers.
November 26 has been a fun day. I asked my husband to mail a package and to stop at the Dollar Tree and get me a desk calendar and a purse calendar. These two things are essential to order in my life and business work. He came back with the nicest desk calendar with a very pretty print. In the past they only came in plain black, blue and red. Then he got me a beaches calendar for my purse. To top it off our oldest son and he brought me lunch from a favorite Chinese food restaurant. I am so grateful for the love and support of my family. Simple things are often the best things!
November 27 and I counting down the days to December. In the past I did not always extend my days of thankful thoughts, but this year is different. Ten years ago at this time of year I received confirmation of spinal fluid leaks from my ears. This meant two very serious surgeries. About four weeks ago I received confirmation that I have uterine cancer. My feelings of gratitude are huge at this time. Today was my pre-operation appointment and I am cleared for surgery next week. Friday will be my first oncology appointment. I have two friends who are going through similar diagnosis. Please pray that we all will find peace and comfort. Thank you to everyone who has extended their love and prayers.
November 28 and I had a very enjoyable day. After sleeping in I worked on my email and looked at facebook. So much encouragement coming from wonderful family and friends. Thank you to each one of you. My niece came to visit and looked at my mother's photo albums. She marked the pictures she would like scans of. That project should keep me busy next week. I so love sharing our family’s history and the memories we hold in common. It is nice to slow down our busy lives and spend time with each other. Our granddaughter helped to decorate for Christmas. She is a very good helper!
November 29 and the house is feeling more like Christmas every day. The tree is up with lights. That is one of the best purchases we ever made. Instead of presents under the tree we are going to have stuffed animals for lots of hugs. They are the singing kind and spread lots of cheer. I am so grateful that over the years our lives have been pretty simple. No fancy new cars, new house, furnishings. What we bought has lasted due to good care. Even the children's toys are from what our children played with. We do share with others on a limited basis but feel great when we can help someone else.
November 30 and the last post for gratitude. Today was the visit with the oncologist. She reviewed all the test results and surgery is scheduled for next week. Why is it that the word cancer is so difficult to accept? It certainly is unpredictable and affects so many aspects of our lives. Maybe it is the time of year, but somehow I am sure no matter when there is such a diagnosis one draws a deep breath and hangs on for the ride. So far things are going like clockwork. There are so many blessings, but the most important are all the people who have rallied around me and sent encouragement. Thank you and especially those who have gone the extra mile for me during this time.
December 8 at 3:28 PM ·
Gorgeous Christmas cactus from my neighbor and a poinsettia piece that broke off from David. Back home recovering while our oldest daughter Sarah cleaned our house. Things are progressing well. So glad to be home!
December 13 at 3:37 PM ·
The final results from surgery are in less than a week after the surgery. All is very good news. No further treatment is needed. The best Christmas present for this year for sure. Now I can focus on healing and moving on with recovery. I am so grateful that I had the medical exam that found the cancer and that it was removed in a timely manner. A huge thank you to all the people who encouraged me in the past month. The medical staff were kind, patient and very sensitive to helping me through this.
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December 14 at 3:40 PM
Six weeks of recovery, one down and five to go. Sleeping is getting better. There is so much that I want to do and yet there is so little energy to do much of anything. Basic needs being met and I have great care at home. When I need distraction I do online word games, word search puzzle books, work on simple genealogy projects, watch Hallmark movies, and try to walk around the house as much as possible. Then I look at email and facebook and I am cheered on by wonderful notes of encouragement. Thank you to everyone.
December 21 at 1:54 PM
Had my first post op visit today and things are looking up! She removed the staples which were irritating my skin. I feel almost normal again. Now I can increase my walking and getting out of the house. Another post op in four weeks and then I am on to the five year plan of biannual visits. The emotional aspect of the whole process has hit me a bit more this week. My angel friend brought by some wonderful chocolate goodies and that was very comforting. I never really understood the impact of cancer on someone's life until now. So very grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. This year we celebrate His birth in a very low key manner. I will treasure family and friends with a whole new perspective on what binds us together. Merry Christmas and holiday blessing to all.
December 28 at 8:45 AM
Week three of recovery completed and three more to go. This week I spent time reading Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Wonder of Christmas. It is a collection of 101 short stories and one is a piece written by my good friend JoAnne Bennett, titled The Labels. It is interesting that ten years ago she gave me Chicken Soup for the Soul, Teens Talk Middle School in which she had a piece published, titled Defining Moments. For the current book there were over 6,000 submissions and only 101 were chosen for this book. I enjoyed reading both books. They were given to me at a time in my life when the writings were very meaningful. Thank you JoAnne for the thoughtful gifts.
January 2, 2019
Week four of recovery ends tomorrow, but today has been great. My wonderful angel friend picked me up and took me for a drive. We even picked up dinner in St. Helens. I certainly came home feeling much better than when I left. The fresh air and nice visit were greatly appreciated. David made meatloaf which is one of my favorites and we will have it for tomorrow.
Then after I returned home and had a short nap, our youngest son and his fiance came by for a visit. I shared the results from working on her family history and her DNA matches. This is for a line in her family that they knew very little about. Our son survived a house fire where he was staying on Christmas Eve. We are grateful that he was not hurt other than smoke inhalation.
It certainly is the small acts of kindness that help us know we are being watched over.
January 9 ·
My angel is watching over me. Medical work being done today. Best nights sleep last night in a very long time.
January 11 ·
Week five down and things continue to go well. While at our medical appointments this week I was checking in alone sitting in the wheel chair. There was a chair in my way and a very kind woman walking by moved it out of my way. It was such a kind act by someone I don't know. Last night I had a wonderful genealogy moment. Someone I am helping with research got a response back from a DNA match with ancestry DNA. They are second cousins and the family had been estranged for over forty years. This is just what I prayed for as we need a little help in putting this family together. Happy Dance for the budding genealogist!
January 18 ·
Today was the day. Six weeks of recovery completed and my first of 5 years of biannual checkups. It was nice to leave the office with a clear go ahead for six months. Now if I can just get control of the neuropathy. I see the podiatrist in a couple of weeks.
A1c is down and blood sugars are much lower. So happy to be on this side of surgery and gradually getting back to normal living. Sleep pattern is also getting back to normal. This has been an amazing time in my life. Thank you so much to those who have seen me through this challenge.
January 26 ·
This week I completed a genealogy project for the Watts house. Over 700 pages of research notes, documents, family stories, etc. donated by Andy Watts Harrison. This collection certainly enhances what there was preciously. Not only did Andy copy the entire collection, but she paid for mailing it. It arrived as a birthday present for me about six months ago. It is now contained in eight 1" notebooks, with a list of what is found in each included. After 2 1/2 years this a nice capstone project to all that we have accomplished.
January 27 ·
I just have to say how much we love our six grandchildren, 3 boys and 3 girls. Their parents put together a screen saver display of pictures for my desk top computer and every time I come in my office to work their pictures are showing. Spending time with them in person or over the Internet are some of the best parts of my life. They are cute, sassy, caring, determined, smart, kind, and so many other wonderful things. Watching them grow and learn is such a great thing. Their picture is my profile picture for facebook and I am proud to show the world who they are. So grateful to be their grandma!
January 28 ·
As I am catching up on reading through older copies of the Ensign Magazine from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (available to read for free online at lds.org), I made a wonderful discovery in the June 2018 issue. This article, The Lord's Help Through Two Brain Surgeries by Bryn Booker truly brought peace to my soul. When I had my surgeries almost ten years ago, I longed for someone or group who I could gain understanding and support from. I contacted Bryn right away and yesterday we spent some time sharing our experiences. While our surgeries varied some, overall we had much to share with each other. While Bryn and I have an age difference of almost 30 years, our experiences are very similar. These are unique and very emotionally challenging surgeries. My husband, six children and six grandchildren have been my motivation throughout this whole process. I know that my life is in God's hands. Bryn is also blessed to have her family and God supporting her. My sincere gratitude to her for sharing her experience in this article.
February 4 ·
It is snowing here in Scappoose and I am very happy that someone called so I could open the blind in my office and enjoy the moment. Working on a different project for Rose Watts and her ancestors. It is amazing and I sure wish I knew the whole story. Not only did her father serve in the Civil War, but also both of her grandfathers. Then further up the line some served in the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War. Then there are the women who were married to these men. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together is exciting and adding the snow falling outside my window I carry on.
February 18 at 3:32 PM ·
This is a day to celebrate. I actually drove an hour to have lunch with my father's cousin and her son. We met at one of my favorite restaurants, Reedville Cafe in Aloha, Oregon. She had a check-up for cancer at the local hospital I had books to deliver to her that I bought for her at our local library book sale. It was great to see them and our lunch was fantastic. Our last lunch together was the end of October. Then on the way back home I stopped at a friends for a short visit. I am tired, but it felt so good to go out. Last week I got out three days in a row with someone else driving. There is certainly a refreshing feeling of freedom in getting out!
February 20 at 11:23 PM ·
Today was an amazing day. Had lunch with the ladies from church. So the ladies who work in the local Family History Center could go I asked my husband and another man from church to work in the center. Loved lunch and that the others could come. The very best part was walking into the center and seeing what a great job the two men were doing. Then I stayed to work the last two hours of the shift. My friend whose husband worked stayed to work with me when the men left. It felt so good to be back there. Now to make it a regular weekly thing again!
March 1 at 2:16 PM ·
Two more CT scans today and not as easy as the ones in November. If you ever have trouble getting an IV placed request the IV Team. They are amazing, quick and almost pain free. Gearing up to meet my new GP in a couple of weeks. Time to establish a game plan. David and I got lunch on the way home. So glad that he is willing to drive.
I have been reading a magazine by CURE - Cancer Updates, Research and Education. Another cancer survivor lent me her copy before surgery and it has taken me this long to absorb all of the information. Cancer survivors can sign up to get the free magazine and on the email list. I feel so much more informed and understand so many things better.