For Tarin – Ovarian Cancer Awareness

ovariancancerawarenessMost everyone knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Most also know that the ribbon color is pink.  Thanks to raising awareness, many lives are saved each year from breast cancer.

Most probably don’t know that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  Most probably don’t know that the ribbon color is teal.   There is not enough awareness about one of the most deadly of women’s cancers.

img_20170106_001226_967Each year, approximately 21,980 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In 2014, approximately 14,270 women died in the United States from this disease. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often subtle and easily confused with other ailments and many women won’t be diagnosed until the cancer has spread…like my husband’s cousin Tarin who fought a brave battle.

She knew something wasn’t right.  For almost a year even the doctors didn’t recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer.  Once Tarin was finally diagnosed, it had already spread throughout her abdomen.  After surgeries, chemo, and many other treatments, she lost her battle after nearly seven years.  She left behind three beautiful children and many who loved her.

Had there been more awareness, she might have been diagnosed sooner.  Had there been more awareness, the 5-year relative survival rate for ovarian cancer might be higher than 45%.

Please help spread the awareness, continue to pray for those who are battling ovarian cancer, and the families of those who lost a loved one to it.  If you’ve lost a loved one to ovarian cancer, I would love for you to honor them in the comments below.

 

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September 11

weddingdayJames 4:13-14
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

Yesterday hubby and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary.  We had a lovely dinner with our son and bought new bath towels.  It was very low key but we enjoyed it.  I did take a vacation day from the diet and had cheesecake for dessert.  It was so good, but after not having sugar for so long it was very, very sweet.  I’d do it again.  My pain levels are up a notch today though.

auntiemargieToday we remember the 9/11 attack, I also remember my beautiful aunt we lost a couple years ago.  Still hard to believe her beautiful smile is gone.  I loved to sit and listen to her tell her stories.  She loved her family dearly and she is missed dearly.   Cancer is horrible.

I continue to pray for family and friends who are in the path of fires, floods, storms, and hurricanes.  So much going on around us.

For me it all comes down to this:  We aren’t promised tomorrow.  Things happen so live today as if it is your last and love everyone as much as you can.

1 Corinthians 16:14
Let all that you do be done in love.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Texas and Preparedness

A friend from Texas (just outside of Houston) posted live videos on Facebook this morning as he tried to get around his town to get some supplies.  He couldn’t get very far as everything was flooded.  My prayers go out to everyone down there as the flooding continues.

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We aren’t doomsday preppers or zombie preppers.  We do keep practical emergency supplies on hand and have plans in place in the event emergencies happen…and we’ve used them when things did happen.

After hearing about all the devastation down there in Texas hubby was concerned about our own preparedness.  We may never see a hurricane here in Indiana, but there are many other things that we should be preparing for.  We haven’t done much with our emergency supplies in quite a while and when we began going through things we found we were not in good shape.  Our emergency bags (bug out bags, 72 hour bags) had outdated/expired supplies and missing items.  Our vehicle emergency boxes were not even in our vehicles.  Hubby’s get home bag was in the closet.  Our pantry is rather empty.  Our water storage is low.  Our plans and paperwork haven’t been updated.   We’ve got some work to do.

Preparedness is for EVERYONE.   Having basic emergency supplies on hand is not something that should be overlooked.  Every family should have plans in place if they are faced with an emergency situation.  For example, does your family know what to do in the event of a house fire?  Do you have copies of important papers and contact numbers that aren’t all in your phone?  We had a couple homes here locally that were totally lost to fires.  Thankfully everyone was safe.

You NEED to do this for your family.   You can’t plan for everything, but doing what you can ahead of time will make a huge difference when emergencies do happen.  Here are a few websites to get you started.

Ready.gov https://www.ready.gov/
Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies
CDC https://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/index.asp
FEMA https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/90354

We continue to pray for those in Texas as they deal with the flooding and devastation from the hurricane.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

I’m borrowing the title from this movie, it seemed a fitting title.

If you listen to the daily news, that is the impression you would get.

If you go out into your daily life, you might see something totally different. I do.

Matthew 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

John-3-16-web

I know that there is a lot of chaos in our world and country right now.  Quite honestly though, I really don’t see much in daily life.  We go into our town and see people going to work, running errands, taking walks. We drive into the city to go to the eye doctor, to the grocery store, to the library etc. and most everyone I come across is friendly.  We went back to our hometown Detroit to spend my 50th birthday downtown. People were out walking around enjoying the sunshine, grabbing lunch, spending time on the boardwalk. People of all sorts of colors, backgrounds and languages milling about all around just living life in that moment being friendly. I’d like to think that THIS is what most people in the US are like. Do we have problems? You betcha. Are there some idiots out there? You betcha. Some great big ones. But I refuse to believe those that are portraying the majority of people in the United States like this. I just don’t see that in real life. Maybe I’m being a Pollyanna. Maybe I’m really in the minority and things really are as bad as the news tells us.

I’ve always believed that if you want change that it has to start with you. I also believe the Bible when it says do unto others.  Even if I’m the only one who does, I still will.  What about you?

Matthew 7:12 – So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Luke 6:31 – And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
1 Peter 3:9 – Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Romans 12:18 – If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all
Leviticus 19:18 – You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Hebrews 13:2 – Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:12-14 – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
John 16:33 – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world

Prepping and Water

I truly believe all families should have some water in storage for emergencies.  You never know when you could find yourself in a situation where you can’t drink your water, or don’t have water to drink.  We all have heard about Flint, Michigan water problems. Then on the news recently was a local community that was on a boil alert due to some big bacterial contamination.  Last week another neighboring community was on a boil alert and another again yesterday.  Last winter several local communities has major water problems when freezing temperatures were causing city water lines to burst and even freeze.  A couple months ago we turned on our own faucets for water and it came out brown.  And then there are the StuffHitttingTheFan situations that our country has the potential to fall into.  Extra water is good, and more water is better.

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Our visit to Indiana Dunes.  The lake was so beautiful.  LOTS of water.

If you have your own water source, that is probably the best position to be in.  There are still situations you need to plan for, but you aren’t relying on anyone else for water.  But for those of us who live in town and rely on public water, it is important to find other options.

I’m on several canning/prepping/homesteading groups and these groups are a wealth of ideas and support.  One of the things I see that is very popular right now is dehydrating.  It is really nice to be able to dehydrate fruits and veggies…and other things…and be able to store them in much less space than it takes to store canned goods.  Also, those freeze dried foods from places like Mountain House are easy to use and a great convenience in emergency situations.  Dehydrated/freeze dried foods are great because they don’t take up much space, they are light and very portable if needed.  But in a StuffHTF situation where getting clean water could be a problem, what if you don’t have access to water at all?  Water isn’t very portable and one gallon per person per day in an emergency situations is a lot of water.

We don’t plan on leaving our home in emergency situations (bugging out) unless it is our last resort.  That would be if our house was hit by a tornado or fire, a major flood, you get the idea.  We do have some bags set aside that include water filters and purification tablets in case they are needed.  “Bugging in” is a different story.  If we can weather out an emergency in our home, we have water set aside here for emergencies, access to water in our hot water tank, access to water in our house lines that we can fill the tub with, two 55 gallon rain barrels, as well as water filters and purification tablets.  But here where we live, we aren’t close to water sources.  There are lots of little lakes and such in our area that we can drive to if needed, but not really within walking/biking distance.   The closest spring is over an hours drive away.  Ultimately we want to have some water stored here @ home that will get us through most emergency situations.

Here are some ideas as well as some of the drawbacks.  The easiest way to start is to buy packaged water bottles and store it away.  While this is a practical way to start, this isn’t the most frugal.  More frugal would be to buy water is larger containers such as one, two, five gallon etc.  The larger the container, the heavier.  One thing also to consider, the plastic containers may not be suitable for long term storage.  The plastic milk jug style containers don’t hold up.  I’ve had a couple that leaked out and I didn’t know it until I found a puddle on my pantry floor.  The large water cooler size jugs are heavy, but hold up better for long term storage.  You can also recycle containers such as clean two liter bottles and store water from your own tap.  However you decide to store your water, you want to make sure to are rotating your stored water.  Out with the old, in with the new every six months.

You can get deeper into water storage including water collection, filtration and purification.  There are many great websites that have good detailed information that can fill you in on how to do that if you are interested and I’ll link a few below.  But I hope that regardless of your views on prepping, you will consider having a minimum of one gallon per person per day for at least three days worth of water for your family, and don’t forget to add water for your pets.

Extra water is good, and more water is better.

https://www.ready.gov/water
https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/creating-storing-emergency-water-supply.html
https://beprepared.com/water-storage.html
http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2014/02/water-storage-tips.html
http://modernsurvivalblog.com/preps/food-storage-water-and-cash-for-1st-time-preppers/

 

A Health Journey

I’ve been fortunate that most of my life I’ve been in good health. Other than having to have a rescue inhaler for my asthma, I don’t have to take any medication at all. Last year I started having problems with my asthma and over the fall/winter it was the worst it’s ever been. At the same time something new appeared…joint pain.

Now, I am going to admit that I have a big birthday coming up. 50. The big five-oh. The half buck. Half century. Yeah, that one. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m not dreading it either. When I turned 30…worst birthday ever. The birthday itself was wonderful…hubby, family and friends…a lovely day at the park. It was the idea of turning 30 that was devastating and I cried. Honestly, I’m not sure why it bothered me so. But turning 50. Wow. Significant. And blessed. Boy am I blessed. 50 years of blessings. Not everything was good, but God has been good. I’m blessed.

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The pain in my hands has been pretty bad.

Turning 50 I’m now dealing with bad join pain. Part of me is really surprised that this joint pain not just appeared but hit hard. The other part of me knows that people in my family have battled arthritis so it really isn’t a surprise. Now, I haven’t been officially diagnosed with arthritis. We don’t really have the money to go and get it checked out (insert stupid healthcare system crummy insurance vote all the bums out rant here). It could be something else entirely. But I do know two things: I don’t want to end up on long term medications that could cause more health problems, and I don’t want to suffer with painful joints. This week the pain has been pretty bad, especially in my hands.

One other thing I do know: food and supplements can have a big impact on your health.

I already know that I am intolerant of dairy products. Not lactose intolerant, but casein (the protein in dairy) intolerant. Cutting out dairy and cutting back on sugar and sweets actually helped calm my asthma. Also with a lot of research adding specific supplements have helped too.

So I have been researching pain and inflammation and starting to make more dietary changes.  To start I know that I need to totally eliminate refined sugars and flours (I may go gluten or grain free for a while).  I know that changing my diet won’t cure, but it should help a lot.  I’m not good at going full on with diet changes…I tend to “fall of the wagon” a lot. It’s hard also when hubby and son still like to eat the things I want or need to avoid. I figured that if I journaled about it here on my blog I would be more accountable and maybe more likely to stick with it. I also figured that there may be others in similar situations who might be willing to share what worked for them.

Here I go on this journey to try and improve my health.  I’d love to hear about your journey to wellness.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Catching Up

Since my blog posting has been sporadic over the past year I thought I would do a brief update and catch everyone up on what has been going on here @ home.  I did post more regularly on my Instagram and my Facebook page, I hope you’ll check them out.

img_20170106_001226_967

My husband’s cousin and her children.

Last year was really busy with all sorts of things: family, health, home, schooling etc. We had several family members going through various trials, one of the biggest was the loss of hubby’s cousin to ovarian cancer. Such a beautiful woman lost too early to a cancer that there isn’t much awareness for. She had been going to doctors for a year trying to find out what was going on before she was diagnosed. We are heartbroken, continuing to pray for her children and family as they learn to live without her. My own health has been an issue over the past year, mainly my asthma. I have had asthma since I was a young child and this past fall was probably the worst it’s ever been, and making some drastic dietary and supplement changes have helped dramatically. The main change for me was getting serious about eliminating dairy. We have also worked on filtering the air better to help keep the dust down.

Our home has so many projects going on, but when money is tight you have to be selective on what gets done and what gets put off. We still don’t have a working dryer but we took advantage of the mild winter we had used the clothes line when we could. Those times where we couldn’t we could haul laundry to the local laundromat. I don’t mind hanging the clothes up, but the challenge was trying not to trigger an asthma attack while doing it. This summer we are hoping to get some painting done, replace several windows and our doorwall, get our rain barrels going again, and more. We’ll see how the budget shakes out as to how far we get.

Our internet was cut. This was a HUGE adjustment. I didn’t realize how dependent I was on it and that made me uncomfortable. While I do want to be connected, I don’t want to be dependent. I’m not able to keep up with blogs and channels as much as I used to, but I am now spending more time reading real books. Cutting the internet and land line was a big help to our budget. Having the cell phones with limited data has been great overall and I’m not really sure if we’ll go back to having internet.

Noah

Homeschool Senior

Noah2

Class of 2017

Homeschooling has been bitter sweet. This is our last year of homeschooling. Our son will graduate shortly. This past year has been full of wrapping up one journey and preparing for another. It’s hard for me to believe that I did it…I homeschooled him from kindergarten right through to graduation. He’s looking forward to pursuing a career in Information Security and I’m excited to see him spread his wings. Bitter sweet. Mama loves her baby.

weedsWe had so much going on last year we never got around to getting the garden started, so we left it fallow. This year it is overgrown and needs a good taming. While we are a little behind in getting that part done, all the raised beds are planted and growing. Not everything is heirloom this year, but I am looking forward to growing, harvesting and preserving what we do grow.

Our Daisy dog is now a year old. What a challenge and a joy she has been. She is such a sweet dog, but she is just full of energy it is hard to keep up. daisyTennis balls are her absolute favorite toy and she loves to have you throw them for her. She still chases the chickens once in a while, but she is learning. Pepper dog is quite protective of them and Daisy is slowly learning from her. Unlike Pepper, we haven’t done a good job of socializing Daisy with people and we do have to work on that. I’m happy to accept any tips for that.

The pantry. Pretty empty. We did stock with some store bought food, but we miss our home canned food. My first canning of the year was some pork we got on sale. I’m hoping to get things like beans done now before things get busy and the weather gets warm.

beadsMy Etsy shop has been opened about a year now and it is nice to have an opportunity to share my hobby with others. I really enjoy doing craft shows and art fairs, but they are a lot of work and take a lot of time. While I miss meeting the people at the shows, it has been fun to send my work off to people far away…even as far as Australia.

Hope you enjoyed this highlight. I’m off to get laundry going. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. Feel free to comment and let me know, or share a link to a blog post.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re