Friday, December 18, 2009

Carolina Bound Pink

Ray and I are driving down Highway 11 to our little home in NC. I am staying for the week. My daughter, Rhonda, and I will be doing "Christmas." She is going to spend one night with me and we will have a "wrapping" party. We have lots of paper and I love to make bows. We still have some shopping to do so it probably won't be until Tuesday or Wednesday.

I was involved in a wonderful thing this past week. There is a new young lady at our church who is a single mom. She has a very young little boy and girl. I made sure that she got a directory of the members and told her that I would be her deacon until one was assigned to her. I asked her if there were any prayers I could say for her family. She confided in me that she didn't have money to provide Christmas presents for her children. After I left her, I spoke to the pastor and he asked me if I could mentor her because she had been seeing a man who is a Jehovah witness. She called me later that night and I talked with her about him. I let her know that if she was serious about being a Christian, she had to either bring him to Christ or stay away from him. He is not good for her walk with the Lord because Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christians, but a cult. As we were talking, I learned what things that her children would like for Christmas and wrote them down.

Monday was our Sunday Bible Study Class Christmas luncheon at Slightly Up The Creek and I told the members of the class of this new member's plight. We collected $240 and when I took it to the church to turn it in to the financial officer, I was told that there had been 2 bicycles donated for the children. I had filled a Christmas bag with Mary Kay products for the mother and took them by the office also. God led me to this young woman. I really felt him pushing me toward her. I hope I can do something to help her. I remember what is is like to be a single mom and how difficult it is.

That was my good thing for this past week. My bad thing was that my health insurance decided not to pay for my genetic test which cost over $3,100. I wrote a letter to the Office of Personnel Management and sent documentation to prove that it was needed. It turns out that my breast cancer was not genetic but it provided me with the information about having 2 genetic markers for rheumatoid arthritis. It enabled Dr. Schlesinger to send me to a rheumatologist when I explained about all the pain & swelling I have in my hands, feet, back, and knees. When I had pneumonia last summer, they couldn't figure out why I was in so much pain I could barely walk in the hospital. They had to put a special contraption on the toilet so I could go to the bathroom because I couldn't get up from the seat without help. That was the beginning of the arthritis, I think. Pneumonia was more like pleurisy and very painful in my lungs. I am not so sure that there wasn't some damage to my right lung from the radiation I had after I had surgery.

Talking with other patients is kind of strange. Everyone seems afraid to say anything bad about their treatments. It is very stressful. It makes you so overwhelmingly tired. My problem was that I could not sleep very well and that added to the tired feeling. Everyone at church has been happy to have me back there regularly. I am glad to be there. I am feeling so much better, even though I do have some days that I am not too well. I did too much this morning getting ready to leave with all the packing and loading the car. If Ray had put the things in the car, we wouldn't have room for everything. He just doesn't know how to pack a car. LOL

 I spoke with Cindy yesterday and we are on good terms. I really miss her. Cresenti has been calling me a lot. Her confidant, Melanie, is in the Phillippines until April visiting her family. I really love Cresenti, she is such a sweet person. I just couldn't believe that JC Penney fired her without cause after 28 years of loyal service. She was one of the Managers at the Lynnhaven Penney's store. They must be cleaning house and hiring young people just out of college for their management teams. No longer let people work their way up the old way. Cresenti has a Master's Degree. We went to Tuesday Morning last Sunday afternoon and she was amazed at the prices. I don't think she had been shopping anywhere except for groceries in the past 28 years since she worked and shopped at Penney's. We had such fun.

Afterward we went back to the house and she left for church. Ray and I drove to church and we had the Singing Christmas Tree inside the church. It was wonderful. It always is a good program. The older adults really seem to enjoy it, right along with the children. Our church voted to have an outside company build and maintain a website for us. It will be much more professional than the one we have been working on. I am so glad. I spent so much time on it, but keeping up with it is a real pain when you have so much else to do and so little energy.

We are almost to Greenville and Sam's Club. Pick up a few groceries, maybe a gift or two. Love to all!

Friday, December 4, 2009


I saw Dr. Wilson and it is definate, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Just a little bummed about it, but I think I will be able to handle this a lot easier than cancer.
God is good, all the time! He has a plan for my life and I am sure that all this is teaching me so many things. I am much more mindful of others and concerned for their health now. I try to think of ways to make others more comfortable.

I will be continuing this blog periodically and put updates to the link on Twitter everytime I update. Also, I will be creating a blog about RA and linking it to Twitter also. If there is just one person I can help from whatever insight I gain, it will be worth it. I am finding that I love to write and will probably be publishing a novel within the next year or so.

You will be able to see the link to my RA site as soon as I get it set up.

Got to go get my meatballs ready to party. We have our annual Deacon's Christmas Party tonight and I am taking meatballs. I have been smelling them all day, can't wait.

Have a wonderful evening. Thank you for your prayers and all the kindnesses that have been shown to me.
Love you, Barbara

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I haven't written in a while. Lots going on. I went to the Cancer Center yesterday and saw my nurse, Clifford Pyne. He says that I am cancer-free according to the blood work. Dr. Schlesinger said the same thing, but wanted to wait until I saw Cliff with the new blood work to be sure. I will be on the Arimedex for the next 5 years. It is the anti-hormone. I cannot take the hormones because of my blood clots.

So, Look at me, I am cancer-free. Pastor Dale Seley brought me up to tell everyone tonight at our church meeting. It was kind of amazing the way he did it. We had a young woman with 2 small children come forward and accept Christ. There were lots of prayers of praise and thanksgiving. we prayed for a lot of personal problems of family members. Dot Riley had company tonight, so there was only Kitty to ride to church with. Mr Williams rode back to the Chesapeake with us.

Cindy Altman's sister, Young Hee, flew back to Korea on Thanksgiving Day. Hopefully, she will be coming back in the Spring to live with Cindy. This month we are going to be looking for a poodle for Cindy. She needs a pet. She has birds, but I think a little dog would be great for her. So, we are going to be looking before Christmas. I am jealous. Ray doesn't want any more dogs, but I would like to have one. Oh, well, I can play with Cindy's.

I have been Tweeting a lot. I have over 11,881 followers. It is really something.

Tomorrow I see Dr. Wilson again about the Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am sure if God can cure cancer, rheumatoid arthritis doesn't stand a chance. When Jim came from Richmond to pray for some people at church, Ray Wilson called me and put Jim on the phone and he said a healing prayer for me on the phone. It is such a comfort to know such people of God.

Think I will go to bed now. Love to all. GOD IS GOOD! ALL THE TIME!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Minor things going on, like my protyme blood tests are too high. We keep having to adjust the Coumadin. If I have too much, I bruise really easy. I have little bruises all over my arms and legs. The steroids are making me nervous. But, overall, I think I am feeling better. I get tired,  but just not so fast. There is a strange catch in my lungs sometimes that they can not figure out. Oh, well, Maybe Dr Miller can.

I have been enjoying FarmVille & FarmTown on Facebook with Garrett & Taylor. They had spent all their money and didn't have enough to plant new crops, so Rhonda let me into the account and I have been able to help them. Now I find ways to help them earn money to plant crops during the day and they spend it at night. LOL!

I did spend Veterans Day with my favorite Veteran, my dear Ray. There was a Lion's Eyebank Meeting at Norfolk Sentara this evening but he was home by 7 or so.

I am still in some pain and I mention for those who may be going through this in the future. The prednisone seems to be helping for now. I will see Dr. Miller on the 19th and have more tests about the joint pain. The chest pain is my lung and they seem to think that I have some scar tissue there. It causes me to do this almost hiccup thing every once in a while. It isn't actually a hiccup or sneeze, but quite involuntary anyway.

I am really enjoying being back at church on Wednesday nights. Our Pastor, Dale Seley is a very good Bible teacher. I learned a lot of information that I had no idea about. Funny, when Dr. Everet taught, I was more on the college level and knew what he was talking about. Dale talks about other denominations and what they believe. I have never been that interested in the minor differences between Baptist denominations.

Anyway, God is Good, All the Time!
Love to all, Barbara

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SweetTweets PINK

I am in the pink today. Feeling very good, thank you. It has been a normal week with its ups and downs. There have been good days and bad days.

I did get an appointment finally with Dr. Miller the Rheumetologist on 19 Nov. When I went for my protime this week, it was up a little. I also saw my NP (Cliff Pyne) this week. My chest xray they took last week didn't show any pneumonia, but there is something there. He and Dr. Schlesinger seem to think that there is an auto-immune problem and maybe Dr Miller can find out what it is. I know that I occasionally have a problem breathing and there is pain in my chest sometimes. I am still sleeping practically sitting up. It makes for tweeting in the middle of the night sometimes because I wake up and cannot go back to sleep, so I Tweet!

I rode to Richmond with Ray last Friday. He had a BGAV (Baptist General Association of VA) meeting in preparation for the Conference the next week in Fredericksburg.
I sat in the conference room downstairs and worked on my laptop while he was in the meeting. He was able to give the new officers the benefit of his expertise in parliamentary procedures.

Cresenti Williams came by today and had lunch with me. We had seafood salad, boiled eggs, and cottage cheese, w/ Triscits. Very good. She went to a bible study and Mary Lynch's house and I will see her at church later.

I am looking at all the cards I have received. There must be close to 350 cards in the basket now. I had to get a bigger basket.

Twitter has been a lot of fun lately. They have opened up a lists feature that you can share with certain people. That will make it so you can have many lists, like family, friends, SweetTweets, etc., I am excited.

I am taking my ladies and gentlemen to church tonight. I am happy about that. I finally feel better and it shouldn't be a problem taking them. They are so grateful to be able to go again. There has been a lady that takes them sometime, when her car is running. I appreciate so much that she has been able to fill in. My immune system should be such that I will be alright being around that many people.

The Governor for Lions District 24-D was at our Lions meeting last Monday. He presented me with the Lions' President's Award for creating the Facebook page for Lions, District 24D, Virginia. The 1st Vice District Governor, Lion Donna Weiler has been adding things to the page and doing a great job.

The Matthews Lions Club made sure that we had December 12th open so we can DJ their Christmas Party at the Matthews Yacht Club. We have been doing their party for about 6 years. It is so much fun. The food is excellent and the people are great. Any Lions interested in going could let us know and we could sign you up for the party. The cost is $25. per person.  It is a wonderful night of fun, food, fellowship (and dancing). Ray sings selected show tunes and if Lion Debbie Ivey is there, she will be imitating Patsy Cline. She does such a good job.

Think I better go and take a nap so I can go to church tonight. I love you all!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I had a strangly restful weekend in VA Beach. Wasn't feeling too well but went to the Lions Fall Conference anyway. It was very nice in some ways, and horrendous in others. The Holiday Inn was renovating the lobby and it made for a very uncomfortable stay. It was gutted and the dust and odor was aweful. It pervaded everything. I hate to think that we probably digested a good deal of it in the dinners we ate there. Conference food is iffy at best, but the food was not too good (even if it had been hot). Only one elevator was working where the temporary lobby was located.

Unfortunately there was also an American Legion State Convention there and they were all crowded around all the entrances so you could not enter the lobby without walking through a cloud of cigarette smoke. The conference and dining rooms were small with tables so crowded that the servers could barely get through with the food.

At least the rooms were nice. We were on the third floor and our room had been redone already (thank God). I spent most of my time there since the lobby was such a mess and the conference rooms were so tiny and without air conditioning. I just can't stay in a place that doesn't have AC. I do know that if I am ever in charge of a conference, I will try to make sure that it is in a new hotel or at least are not planning renovations. This is the second bad Holiday Inn stay though. We may have to stay somewhere else next time they book us into a Holiday Inn.

We came home Sunday and chilled out the rest of the day. Monday night there was a Peninsula Baptist Association Meeting at First Baptist. I went mainly because Reverend Billy Lewis was there and singing. He used to be a member of our church and I was on the Deacon Body when he was accepted for ordination as a pastor for his Praise Ministry. It was an honor to be on his certification team. We all love to hear him sing and he is a great servant of God.

Tuesday evening, Ray went back to the PBA meeting and Cindy came over and stayed with me until about 6 o'clock. She cut up the pineapple that was given to me in a Care Basket by some lovely women in my Sunday Bible Study Class: Ann Glover, Lou Ladson, Linda Hoffler, and Annabelle Thornton. Janice Mahone had the basket for us when we went Monday night. There was the Pineapple, apples, homemade chocolate covered peanuts, Fall dish, Pumpkin, book, pkg of dried fruit & nuts, gum, etc., not to mention the beautiful Fall decorated basket. There was also a bag full of toilitries, like lotion, candle, soap, etc. They were so thoughtful and made me feel so special. They are very thoughtful and Godly women. I love them all so much.

I went and had my protyme test today and it was normal. They sent me to the hospital for a chest xray because I am still feeling pain in my chest. My joints are still hurting some so I am still on the Prednisone. Ray went to choir practice and I went to sleep in the recliner. I can't seem to sleep on the bed. If I lay down, when I get up my chest hurts worse and it takes me longer to get myself together when I wake up.

To my Twitter #SweetTweets. Thanks for listening. Hope your day was wonderful. I am going to try to get out on my own tomorrow and go to Sally's by myself. Maybe the Mall. Who knows?

Love to you all, God is Good, All the time!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dr. Kimberly Schlesinger

I have had so much going on. I have pneumonia again. When I saw Dr Schlesinger on Friday, she changed my antibiotics and put me back on steroids. I also have to find a Rheumatologist because they think that I have developed Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Dr. Schlesinger said that a friend of mine had sent candy to her office. She had shared it with the staff and they really loved it. I told her it was from Kathy Ireland, my Twitter friend. She was very grateful. She said that doesn't happen too often. She said there was no return address or she would have sent a card. So I went on Kathy's website today and sent an email, plus I tried to send her a message on Twitter. I hope she gets it. I have her personal email somewhere.

What is next? Anyway, I still say "God is Good, All the Time." Too sick to be at church tomorrow; I was sure looking forward to it.
Ray and I are watching Dr. Charles Stanley from First Baptist Church in Atlanta, In Touch Ministries. He is such a wonderful pastor. He is preaching on anger. It would be so easy to be angry at God now, but I am not; never with Him. He is my strength and my comfort.
I am just so tired all the time. Sometimes, even too tired to Tweet. Twitter has kept me going though. Even when I am in pain, I can tweet. LOL! It certainly keeps my spirits up (unlike Tweety Bird).
Actually, some girlfriends have helped also. They even include Ray sometimes.
Cindy and her sister brought us spaghetti & meatballs the other night. They were so good. Cindy is a very good cook. She comes and brings me fruit and yogurt. She is so nice. I really don't mind helping her with some of her business matters. Her husband died and he did all the money management in the family. I have increased our portfolio so I think I might be semi-qualified to help her out. At least I can help her with the language barrier.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Well, here I sit at my computer again. It is a laptop that I can use while I am sitting in my favorite chair with my legs propped up and easily nod of if necessary. I am so glad that my mother gave me this chair, it sleeps well. LOL!

Ray had to take me to the emergency room Sunday morning. I had been having pain in my right arm and shoulder for a couple of weeks and Saturday it just got progressively worse FAST! Pain medication just didn't help and by the time Ray woke up Sunday morning, the pain had spread from arm/shoulder to neck/other shoulder/left arm. I was in so much pain that he took me to the ER at Riverside in my pajamas. We were there from about 6:30 a.m. until noon.

The diagnosis was that the pneumonia had returned. There happens to be so many people in the hospital with infections that the doctor thought it better to give me medication and send me home. Thank God!

Staying is the hospital was not something I wanted to do. I seem to get worse there, because they don't encourage me to move around. At least, at home I can do small things and move around some. And, I can write, or Twitter. Not to mention the cable is better at home.

Ray and I had gone to a Deacon Retreat on Saturday. I was having trouble then, but was just taking pain meds to get through. Since the pneumonia is in the same quadrant of my lung, I am thinking it never really healed well. Must have been something there but the xray just didn't pick it up before they released me from the hospital before.

One of my friends worked for JC Penney's for almost 30 years and they fired her. She was a manager in the VA Beach store. She is one of the most wonderful women I have ever met. She will be ordained as a deacon in our church in January. She is a woman of high morals, integrity, compassion, loyalty, etc. I used to shop at Penney's but will no longer do so. I am even going to ask others to not shop there if they can help it.

To put in that kind of time, the amount of extra time she worked because she was dedicated to excellence is very dissappointing and I think it is a case of discrimination. She was making enough money each year to pay 2 new manager trainee's. She has kept up her education and even has a Master's Degree. She was 2 years from drawing her retirement and now she won't even have health insurance after 18 months. She even moved to VA Beach last year to be closer to her job, even though all her friends and church friends live on this side of the Elizabeth River. She is confident enough in her position that she is taking it to arbitration and probably will be sueing them in the near future. I hope she does.

Companies need to know that just because a woman reaches a certain age, you can not just fire her because a new store manager is threatened by her knowledge and work ethic. Of course, the new store manager moved from Sears and it is possible that the same thing happened to her there. I hope not. I wouldn't like having to boycott Sears too. So, join me in letting JC Penney's know that they cannot fire women just because they reach a certain age. My friend could probably sue on three counts: gender, race, age discrimnation. I hope she does. Then she could move ahead with her plan for her retirement, which is to preach and teach the Gospel.

My dear friend Cindy brought us dinner for Monday night. It was a Korean chicken curry dish. It was very good but I got so sick. Turns out it had monosodium glutimate in it and I am so allergic to it. My hands swoll up even though I had thrown it up. I hated to tell her it made me ill, but she keeps bringing us dinner and I didn't want to give that up because she is a good cook. She was so gracious and wants to bring us dinner for tonight. Isn't that sweet? I wish that I had gotten to know her better when Marty was still alive. She loved him so much and really misses him.

I have been helping her with some of her bills. I went through a lot of her stuff an was able to answer some questions for her about billing and paying her bills. She is going to be fine. Marty left her enough money to take care of herself for a long time if she takes care of the money. At least she has Ray and I to help her out and explain things to her so she doesn't get taken in by strangers.

She and Honye have been going to church with us. Honye (her sister) will be going home to Korea the end of November and won't be able to come back for 5 months after that. She will concentrate on learning English before she comes to live here permanently. They are looking into starting a business when Honye comes back. Something to do with clothing, I think.

My friends at church have been wonderful. Praying for me and sending cards. I am going to have to count them again. My twitter friends have been Retweeting me until I finally went over my goal of 10,000 followers. I wonder how long until I can get 20,000? Never give up, keep the goal out there.

I need to go read my devotions. I have a book by Joyce Meyers that I am reading for devotions each morning and evening. Very nice. Take care, Love to all, Barbara

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Go figure. I don't remember it being in October before. My birthday month.

I had blood tests yesterday and my protime is finally normal for coumadin. My blood has been either too thin or too thick the past few weeks. Finally got a normal reading yesterday. Strange when you wonder whether you may have a blood clot or a hemorage.

I actually went to Office Depot by myself. I walked around about an hour. Gee, the prices have risen in the past few months. I can understand why everyone is scrambling for sales and coupons. I was actually looking for a folder for Swinging Singers. I went a couple of weeks ago and joined. Ray says the folder is at the Christian Book Store. I may go look today. The folder given to me was used and a little ragged. Anyone who knows me, knows I don't like ragged.

We had a nice time in NC. I wasn't feeling too well, but the twins really brightened my day. They stayed with me Saturday. Garrett even spend Friday night with us.

Taylor wanted me to video her on my new Flip video camera that Ray gave me for my birthday. This is so cute.

I called Cindy and she didn't take her sister to church Sunday. I am hoping that they will go to church with us tonight for dinner and meet me Sunday for church.

It is supposed to be a beautiful day. I am going to try to do some things this morning to help Catherine around here. She comes at 8am. I am so glad she is still coming. She has been such a blessing to me. I told Ray that the best birthday present anyone could give me would be a Wednesday with Catherine cleaning. It really helps a lot when you are sick if your home is clean.

Got the urge to write today. Got to get my SweetTweets done and move on this morning to bigger and better things. I woke up really early and even started the wash. Wow! Haven't touched the washer in months.

Have a great day and let me know your prayer concerns. I will take time to pray for you and your peeps.

Monday, October 5, 2009


It is so nice to be feeling better. I seem to have good days and bad days. Today is pretty good. We went to NC for the the weekend. The weather was perfect. Rhonda has made our little vacation house yard look nice. The house is just perfect for Ray and me. The kitchen is big and open so I can cook my favorite foods and we even have a deck on the side where we can grill and eat outside.
I had my Birthday last Thursday. Garrett sang me Happy Birthday!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I don't know what to say, those beautiful yellow roses in the picture were sent to me by Kathy Ireland and give me so much hope. Kathy Ireland couldn't have sent anything that inspired me more (unless they were silk and lasted forever). Ray took the picture and I am going to put it in my favorite album. I am so fortunate to have such loving people in my life.

I found out that Martin (Marty) Altman died this week. I worked with him when I was working at Langley. I knew him at least 10 years and worked with him for about 5 years. He was a nice man who had multiple schlerosis. He didn't have a big family and his immediate family was just his wife, Cindy. I saw Cindy on numerous occasions when Marty had a need for me to stop by and take something in for him when he was ill or just working at home. He worked at home quite a bit. Sometimes, it was difficult for him to get into work. He had a laptop and could work there on a lot of his projects. He sold us a generator last year because he had one put on his house. He charged us very little for it.

Bobbi sent me an email saying that Marty had died. I called and left a message for Cindy to call me. She was in New Jersy attending the funeral. She called me on Monday and we made arrangements to meet on Friday after my doctor's appointment. Cindy is Korean and she had been married to Marty for 26 years. Her sister flew in on Tuesday to stay with her for 3 months. She will be coming to live with Cindy as soon as the Visas/green cards are in effect. She is a very nice person, I think. She doesn't speak English yet, but is planning on taking classes in English and business. She is a business woman and travels to Shanghai a lot doing business. She is in the jewelry business. Nothing on a big scale, but on a small scale.

I have decided that I really want to help Cindy acclamate to life without Marty. They really don't have any close friends and she needs help. I contacted a friend at church who is going to meet us after the service tomorrow. Hyon is of Korean descent, but married to an American. Hyon will be a big help, I am sure. It turns out that the best Korean Christian Church will be the one right down the street from us on Harpersville.

Cindy did take my advice and call Marty's brother. He had come and took Marty's laptop and all the paperwork so that he could oversee the estate but he hadn't been exactly kind I think. She called him and got things straightened out. She felt like he took all her money, even though he was just doing what Marty had assigned him to do. Although, I don't agree that someone else should handle her affairs, she will now have the opportunity to go to school with her sister and learn how to take care of her own things. She is not a young girl and she will need to learn if she wants to continue to have a good life. I hope that I can help her in some way.

It will be my first Sunday back at church and the pastor will be there tomorrow. He is back from a revival in Northern Virginia.

Monday, September 21, 2009


This picture is Kathy Ireland. She is a Super Model and one of the most Super People that I have ever met. We have not actually met in person, but we are twitter friends forever. She reached out to me at one of the worst moments of my life. During my battle this past 8 months with Breast Cancer and then with Pneumonia, she has been there and encouraged me constantly. She didn't know me from Adam, not to mention she is a mom and a celebrity with lots of responsibilities. She has a huge, very profitable business, a lovely home, beautiful family, but she took the time out of her busy schedule to notice that I was in pain. She has tweeted me almost daily and promised flowers, etc. She doesn't need to send me anything, I am sure that there are people who are much more needy and deserving.

I am asking all my friends and #SweetTweets from twitter to vote for her at www. (Dancing with the Stars). She deserves every vote for her kind and loving heart. I love to dance and respect her so much for just trying to make it on DWTS. And, she is doing this to raise money for charity.

"Comments on Team KATONY have been expressed across many channels of communication, such, Facebook and twitter, where Kathy's good friend Dame Elizabeth Taylor twittered... "I'm so excited to see Kathy Ireland on Dancing With The Stars! She is so beautiful. To watch her in movement will be a golden chance to see beauty in action and grace, which is what that lady is all about... She is beauty personified because it glows from within and takes her on wing." Dame Elizabeth Taylor"

Please vote for her. The link for KATONY is This will tell you about what is going on the the team.

I am expecting more communications from Kathy and will share them on my sister website at

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I have had so much sleep today, I feel lymph. I hate it when I do that. I don't know what it is, but I find it hard to relax. Maybe it is all the medication. I have some more to take for today, but I am waiting because I want to be able to think clearly for a while.

Also, I want to watch "Bones." I don't know why but I have developed a strange affinity for this program. When I was 9 years old, we moved to England and lived there for 3 years. It was wonderful. I would go again if I could. While we were there, they were building a new hospital at Lakenheath AB and as a student at the Lakenheath/Mildenhall school, some of us got to go to the site when they dug up a Anglo/Saxon burial ground. It was really something. We were able to actually dig with scrapers and brushes. We found strange thngs like hair clasps that still had hair in them, weapons, cooking pots, clay pots, etc. The ground was clay, so it was pretty well-preserved. It was so interesting, I think, because the archeologists that were there treated us very well and were interested in what we had to say about what we were doing. I look back and remember it as a time that an adult actually paid attention to what I thought instead of just acting like "children should be seen, not heard." I was treated like an intelligent human being because I had something intelligent to say. Children usually have to hit about 40 before their parents begin to treat them like they have any sense.


I have received so many cards from members of my church that it is almost overwhelming. I know for a fact that there are over 200 cards. The really comforting thing about the cards is that every time I look at the basket, I see prayers. I see prayers from loving friends and even from people that I really didn't know were my friends. There is so much love in the card basket that I shouldn't even be able to pick it up. I never realized how important it is to get these cards. Most people did more than just sign the card, they actually wrote a comment, prayer, or referenced Scripture. That is a lot of attention to pay to a friend, much less someone who you don't really know very well. I think that is the difference is being a Christian and not being a Christian. As a Christian, we know each other better and are better able to express our feelings. We know what our roots are and what we believe. We reach out every day to witness to those we can. We try not to be exclusive, but it is very difficult. When I see someone that I love that I know does not know Christ, it breaks my heart. I want to be with them in the hearafter. If they do not know Christ the way that I know Christ, they won't be there. I have absolutely no doubt that I will be with Christ in Heaven. I just pray that others would know this too.

But, nowadays, we have email. I have received so many of them, that the numbers are probably in the thousands. If I had printed them out, I guess it would have been more tangible proof, but being a little bit of a tree hugger myself, just couldn't use up all that paper. Unless, you have been in this situation, I don't know how you could realize how much it means to receive a card. I receive one almost every day and it really brightens up my day.

Phone calls are nice, but sometimes it is just difficult to talk. And, I tend to forget what I told who to and get myself in trouble. Not that I am lying, it is that I am drugged up and don't know what I am saying. Actually, I am probably closer to the truth (that people don't want to hear). When I send an email, I usually write what I think and then edit it, it is usually a lot nicer. I found out a long time ago that people take me too seriously sometimes.
Then on the other hand, they don't take me seriously enough. I love people and only want the best for them. Sometimes, I come off as a know it all, and I really don't know it all. I just know that sometimes you can understand hurt better when you have been hurt, sick when you have been sick, grief when a loved one has died, etc.

Friday, September 11, 2009


The most Amazing thing happened today. I won the nomination for @AmericanWomannn's BabeAlert on Twitter. How awesome is that? Little ole lady me, A Babe? (Betcha didn't know I knew how to yodel.) This so amazing to me that I even had a chance. Sarah Marshall (@AmericanWomannn) is one of the most wonderful people I know. "Did I mention @BarbaraDuke has been given new babalicious name from @AmericanWomannn #Babealert! Go Babalicious Barbara Go! Know "

Outside of myself, Sarah is the most positive person I know.
She is always looking for the good in things and all those that know her appreciate her so much.

To be labeled "Babe of the Day" on 9/11 was almost more honor than I could stand. I was busy in prayer for the families of the victims of that awful day. Thank you Sarah for helping to make that day more bearable for me.
On 9/11/2001, Ray was in DC taking his Professionable Parliamentarian Exam and I was scared silly when I couldn't get through to him on his cellphone. He actually heard and felt the airplane go down in DC.

Sarah is so positive that I started a new group of friends and she was at the top of the list. My list is #SweetTweets. Anyone can be on this list as long as they are nice people. If you don't see your name on #SweetTweets sometimes, you might want to up your game. Everyone is a #SweetTweet until they do something absolutely awful to get taken off. You will always be forgiven, but have to earn your way back to the list.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I received a tweet from the lovely Kathy Ireland, which said, "@BarbaraDuke Dearest Barbara, want 2 do something in addition to prayers. Food for UR nurses, calls, flowers? Anything. Love & Prayers Angel"

This is the address at the hospital:
Riverside Regional Medical Center
Oncology Unit 5 West
500 J.Clyde Morris Blvd
Newport News Va 23601

[757-594-2564,Charge Nurse]
My doctor is:
Kimberly W. Schlesinger, MD
Specialties: Medical Oncology Hematology

Practice:Riverside Medical Group

Peninsula Cancer Institute
Office Location: 12100 Warwick Blvd, Suite 201

Newport News, VA 23601
Phone: (757) 534-5555

Dearest Kathy,

I was also treated for my pneumonia on the Oncology 5 West Ward (Room 505). The nurses and doctors there were awesome and so helpful. They were there holding my hand when I got sick and cleaned up after me when I got sick. I can not possibly thank them enough.
Hopefully, this is it and I should be going home in the next week. Love to all, GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!

I love you for your kind thoughts and prayers. Thank you so much for showing us each and every one of us your faith in the Lord.
Barbara Duke
224 Agusta Drive
Newport News VA 23601-1440

Phone: 757-591-2363
Pictured with my mother, Bertha Burns of Lexington KY, in my hospital room (Don't you just love the wonderful oversized attire for the occasion & my new wig). Odviously, we were Tweeting for health. Twitter friends kept my spirits up.


This has been a truly strange month. First, I am in the hospital in New Bern NC while my mother is visiting. I have pneumonia. I am on all kinds of medicine to include pain medication which seems to have skewed up my memory of what happened. Things seemed to run together and I am not really sure of what went on where.

I do remember vaguely sending Bella in California a tweet telling her I was going to the hospital. She let everyone know and even left a message for Ray here at home on the phone. I found it yesterday when I was cleaning off the messages. Pain medication really messes up your mind. I guess I sent Bella the note because they wouldn't let me take the computer to the hospital. It has been such a lifeline to me over the past months. Bella is actually @CiaoBella50 on Twitter and so sweet. I just can't tell you what a sweet person she is. Everyone on Twitter was so nice.

Speaking of nice, I have received over 200 Get Well/Thinking of You cards since January. Each one is a prayer and each time I see them, they remind me of prayer and thanksgiving for each person/family who sent them. God is surely good, all the time. I give thanks for my dear church family and actually for many people praying for me here at home and abroad. What did I ever do to elicit such compassion and love? It is a little overwhelming at times.

I was able to connect with someone I hadn't seen in almost two years at the hospital. I still cannot remember her name, but the Lord has plans for the both of us in the near future. I have to go through all my notes I took at the hospital. I am sure I wrote something down. Unexpected angels in my life.

My dear sweet mother couldn't help with my poor yard so she sent something to help Rhonda do something. And, boy did she. She wondered where all my flowers were, I keep telling people that unless a man is a "Gardener" he cannot tell the difference between flower and weed. I had some people clean up the yard in March and they pulled up at least 5 Clematis vines that I had been nurturing for over 4 years and left the poision ivy I had been trying to get rid of for 10 years. They hacked my bushes, destroyed my broken pottery garden, etc. You can rest assured, I will plow the yard under before they step foot in it again. I will garden again, even if it is for only for an hour a day. Whatever the Lord allows.

I am still sorting all this out. I didn't mean to get confused and wanted to deliver the story "as was", but I guess I didn't think about the effects of the pain medication on my memory. There may be changes coming soon. I just don't know whether to go back and correct or ask for help from other people's memory.

Bertha Pink

When I learned that my mother was coming on May 11th for visit, I was so excited and Catherine and I cleaned really good. I even had my daughter in NC cleaning our weekend home. Rhonda has been decorating and made everything look so nice and clean.

We got down to NC on Thursday evening. I had been having a time in the car. I felt almost like I had appendicitis or some such. The pain got so bad that they had to call the rescue squad. They took me to East Carolina Medical Center in New Bern. They took a chest x-ray and a CAT scan and determined that I have pneumonia. How did that happen? I have been so careful. My feet and legs were also swollen and hurt. I have been here in the hospital for the whole time.

My mother has had a ball going from one grand child's home to another. Jeff took her riding around on Sunday and she got to see and hear a lot of things that she hasn't seen before. They wouldn't let me have my computer until yesterday, which was probably a good thing, because I got a lot of sleep.
I really miss my blogs, FaceBook, and Twitter.When I went into Twitter. I literally had hundreds of messages about me being in the hospital and so many have said prayers for me. I feel so special. The Lord works in mysterious ways. I am going to publish this now but will probably post more later. Love to you. Barbara


There has been so much going on, I find out that if you don't write everyday, your memory plays games with you. It has been a long couple of weeks. I am home now and will try to fill in as I can. I am on so many pain medications, it is hard to remember what happened this morning.

I think I figured out that the illness triggered two genetic markers for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Whatever it is, it is painful. I sure hope this is a side effect and not a permanent disorder. Life should be getting easier for Ray and I, not more difficult. It really makes you tired all the time.

I couldn't have received better care than I received at Riverside Regional Hospital. I loved the fact that we were so close to home and Ray could go home to sleep instead of trying to bunch up in a recliner. The nurses and doctors were awesome. The room was kept clean and the food wasn't too bad. Actually, the food at the East Carolina Medical Center in New Bern was better because they had a restaurant type menu and you could choose anything you like to eat unless you were assigned to a certain diet. The food was so fresh, well-cooked & seasoned, and the salads crispy.

I think I was surprised by the diagnosis more than anything. Pneumonia? Who gets pneumonia? Evidently, lots of people do. It was more like pleurisy.

We came home from NC on August 24 and I went into the hospital at Riverside on the 25th and stayed a week or so. I really don't know whether I am coming or going.

God has Ray taking care of me. Praise His holy name. It is so hard to keep up with it all.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I was talking about Mother's upcoming visit in my last post. Well, she has come and gone. She arrived on August 11 and we were supposed to go to a meeting on Tuesday, but I just didn't feel like it, so we stayed home. Thursday, we got up and packed our suitcases and the car while we waited for Ray to come home.

He went to a funeral at Peninsula Funeral Home for a friend of his that worked for one of his customers. Andy Starmer, 36, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009. He was a lifelong resident of Newport News, where he was a tow truck driver for Superior Towing. He was working on the interstate and a drunk driver hit him while he was loading a car onto his wrecker. Ray was a tow driver when I met him and this was my worst nightmare. Andy left a wife and small son. That little boy will grow up without his father to nurture him. There were over 25 tow trucks in the funeral procession. I hope his wife sues the drunk driver and I hope they get enough to take care of them for a long time to come. Drunk driving is just not an option. And the way I have seen people driving while on the cell phone, their licences should be revoked for a year at least.

When Ray got home, we left for NC. About halfway down, I began to have pain in my right side, near my ribs. The pain just kept getting worse, and by the time we got to the Beach House, it was really bad. I couldn't sit, stand, or lay down without it hurting. Jesse called the Rescue Squad and off we went to East Carolina Medical Center in New Bern NC. They did a CAT Scan and a chest xray. Then they put me in the "penthouse" otherwise known as the oncology ward and there I have been for the past week. It was determined that I had pneumonia.

The nurses are great, my daughter stayed with me most nights and made sure that I comfortable and clean. I never ran a real fever, I just had lots of pain when I breathe. They gave me Dilaudid by IV and Percoset. All the time, I have been on Levaquin, first oral and now by IV. It has been a very difficult week. they diagnosed pneumonia. Then they discoverd my iron levels were extremely low, not to mention my low potassium. I should be back to my normal jolly self in a month or so. They may even let me go home tomorrow. I hope so, but I also hope the pain is gone.

Someone on Twitter knows a pastor in Havelock. He called and talked to Ray Tuesday afternoon. I was asleep. I have received so many #Sweettweets from my Tweeps. It makes me feel so loved and cared for. Actually, they have helped me keep a positive outlook the past few months. The hospital chaplain came by today. He came by the other day and we all witnessed to each other. When we talked today, he said that I emit a light of sweetness. He said he had seen in only a few times in his lifetime. I told him it was the light of Christ in my heart that I shine for everyone. My purpose in this life is to make as many others be with me in Heaven as I can. I have the assurance of the Father as to where I will spend eternity and it is a wonderful feeling.

My pastor, Dale Seeley, called and talked to Ray. He told Ray that I was prayed for in both services on Sunday, and today I got 3 cards mailed to the hospital and 8 cards from the mail at home. Ray had to take my mother to Norfolk to catch her flight this afternoon. He is back sleeping on the recliner chair in my room tonight. I was able to take a shower all by myself this evening. That was wonderful. Very warm water running down your back after a extended bed rest sure feels good.

Got to say good night. Getting very tired. Love, Barbara

Sunday, August 9, 2009


It was a pretty slow week, until Saturday. We went to First Baptist and had breakfast with the Deacons and our new pastor, Dale Seeley. He preached his first sermon as pastor last week. I haven't seen the DVD yet, Debbie is going to make me a DVD of the sermon. I was able to meet him yesterday and he is very nice. Our search committee did a very good job. There was a lot of praying going on. I had such a nice time at the breakfast. I haven't been able to go in so long. The radiation and chemo was so exhausting that most days it was an effort to just get out of bed.

We went to Hampton and DJed a benefit dance (Hokie Hoedown) for the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad to help them purchase a new ambulance. It was sponsored by the GFWC District and since I am a member of the GFWC Woman's Club of Newport News, we donated our services. They raised over $2000. Most of the women's clubs in VA are holding fund raisers. They need about $180,000 to make it happen and I think so far they have raised over half of the total amount needed. It was really nice and the Walmart in Gloucester donated a lot of Hokie paraphernalia to raffle and auction. The auctioneer also donated his services.

When the hoedown was over and we were putting things away, I lost my balance and fell backwards down the stairs. I bruised my right hip really bad and my right wrist was scraped and the skin torn. The Hampton Rescue Squad was called and they took me to Riverside Regional Hospital Emergency Room. Once there, they did blood tests and gave me xrays and pain medication. Nothing is broke, but I sure am sore and stiff this morning. The Hampton Rescue Squad are the ones that picked me up and they were really nice. Actually, I am supposed to look on Facebook this morning and befriend them.

I have been doing Facebook more because my 7 year old granddaughter is working on a farm in FARMTOWN. I send her an animal or plant every day. Rhonda says Taylor actually designed how the farm is set up. She reads so well. I think she is going to surprise her teacher this year. Garrett is doing well also, but as is normal for boys, he is a little bit behind Taylor.

Rhonda just had to call me and tell me about the decorating she is doing at our "Beach House." Most everything was done in the house, so after she finished up the Craft/Guest Room, she started on the yard. I haven't had a chance to do the outside yet. I actually took some plants down one weekend but was too weak to plant them, so I gave them to Rhonda. We are only there about one weekend a month, so it is difficult to do much outside when you cook a big family dinner for 9 on Saturday. Since I have been sick this year, I haven't been able to do much because I can't stand the heat. Rhonda planted some flowers and put down mulch, painted the porch, deck, swing, rocking chair, table, etc. She said it looks more like a beach house now. (It is 40 miles from the beach, but if you have a hurricane, that is close as you want to be.)

I think I told you yesterday that I went over 8000 followers on Twitter, today is
8193 already. My Twitter friends are really great. They send me such wonderful, encouraging Tweets.

I am going to go now, got to put something in my other blogs before I go back to Twitter ( Thanks to all who have supported me and befriended me over the past few weeks. I love you all, and remember:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I am having a good morning. I went over 8000 followers on Twitter. My Twitter friends are really awesome. There are people praying for me all over the world. Twitter is a great place for positive thoughts and prayers. One of my Twitter friends, Bella in California, let me put her article on my blog. Take a look if you have time. See @CiaoBella50 (Twitter name) on my blog. Good article. RT Pls

Another friend sent me an email with a really good story. His name is Al Harris and he was the loan officer we used when we refinanced our home a few years ago. It is on http://thoughts-of-Christ/

I continue to get cards from my friends in Christ at First Baptist Church of Newport News. To date, I have received over 100 cards and many phone calls. They are so faithful in praying for me. We have a deacon breakfast to meet our new pastor, Dale Seeley, on Saturday morning. I have not met him yet and hope to be able to go to the breakfast.

Ray will be DJing for the "Hokie Hoedown" at the Masonic Lodge in Hampton(1456 W. Queen St) on Saturday, August 8 from 4-7 p.m. Pray that I am feeling well enough to go.

To God be the Glory in everything that I do. I cannot tell you how important it has been for me to have Christ in my life through this ordeal. I feel that I have learned from my illness far more than I could have possibly learned without it. As I stated earlier, cancer has brought me closer to Christ and has helped me to understand illness in others better. It has led me to much more compassion for others.

I don't know what tests are next, but I hope it will be something to let me know that I am cancer-free. I see Dr. Schlesinger on August 20th and I will let you know what is going on then.

Other wonderful news, my mother is flying in from Lexington KY on August 11th. I am so excited. We will be spending some time in NC and it will be her first time visiting our home there. I can't wait for her to see it. My daughter, Rhonda, is cleaning the dust bunnies and decorating the craft room and making it into a bedroom She is doing a great job. I cannot wait to see what she has done.

Got to get ready to go get Ray's car in Hampton. Love and prayers to all.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I had a pretty good Saturday. Ray and I went Yard Saleing. At the first one, we found an Ethan Allen-Queen Anne Cherry Coffee Table and two end tables. They are beautiful and we only paid $60 for all three. The coffee table was actually what I was looking for but the end tables were like an added bonus. We found a laptop desk to take to NC. I can use it in the craft room.

Rhonda is there tonight with Taylor. They are decorating the craft room so mother will have a nice room to sleep in. We have purposely kept it undecorated until now so that the kids have a place to play in. They color on the walls and have a grand time. We all have painted on the wall at one time. I want them to know that they can do things that is outside the box. You don't have to go through life just following petty rules.

Even Uncle Jeff has got in on the act. Taylor called me to tell me that Rhonda is creating a surprise for me.
I am really anxious to see what they are doing.
Mother will be here on August 11. She hasn't been here since the children were about 2 years old. She has seen them since when we went to her house one Thanksgiving.
I have been having residual effects from the chemo. Some parasthesia and neuropathy. I have aches and pains in my bones and swelling in my feet and hands. Sometimes, my nose and mouth goes numb. Cliff said it should clear up by September, when they will put me on hormone therapy. I have to be careful what I eat since I am on blood thinners for the clot in my leg.
I planned to go to church last Sunday, but woke up with swollen feet and feeling really awful. So I stayed home. I did get cleaned up and when Ray got home we went to Sarah's and saw Jennifer and her new husband, Christian. He seems to be a very nice man. Emily seems to like him. I hope everything goes well for them. Jennifer has no ambitions to be anything but a wife and mother. I tried to tell her she should get her GED but it is just not a priority for her. Christian has a good job and a nice home, so I guess that is what she will do.
I have been having fun on Twitter. I have over 7300 followers now. They are great. I get all kinds of prayer tweets and positive comments from everyone. It has been a really positive experience for me. I realize that I will have to cut back on my involvement as soon as I get better. I have so much to do here in the house that should keep me busy for quite some time.
I may start looking at houses. It may be a better idea to get a larger house and sell this one. I will see what I can do. This house would need lots of work to sell it. I will have to have a plant sale. The yard is overloaded with plants. I have so many hostas, lirope, Japanese flowers, canna lillies, grasses, bushes, etc. that I have propogated and grown on my own. I plan to take some to NC to plant down there in the fall. If I take them now, they will just die because of the heat. In the fall, they will have a chance to grow roots over the winter so they will be nice next spring.
Catherine was here today cleaning. She is so nice and does such a great job. I just don't know what I would have done without her. Having your home clean when you are sick really means a lot. It helps calm your mind and see things in a much more positive light. I got a call from Beverly today. The missionaries are back from Barbados and presented their testimony tonight. I wish I hadn't got so tired today or I would have gone. I really plan to go to church this coming Sunday. Our new pastor will be preaching. I haven't had a chance to meet him yet, but I have seen a DVD of him preaching his first sermon. He is very good. I see some changes coming. But, that is good. I have always thought when you reached the point in your life that you couldn't accept change, that would mean that you were growing old. I will always be 29 in my mind. LOL.
I guess I better get to bed. GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of ThePlain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
"1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?"
26. Always choose life.
27. Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'dgrab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come.
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
Remember that I will always share my spoon with you! Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Good Morning! And, it is a pretty good morning. It is the first one that I have woken up and didn't feel nauseous first thing in a while.

I took the picture of Taylor & Garrett off of my daughter's Facebook page. Aren't they cute. You would never know they were twins if someone didn't tell you. My son Jeff was a little guy. We didn't think he would be very big at all. He hardly ever ate, but he grew to be 6'3". So, we have lots of hope for Garrett. I was actually the tallest person in my classes in school until I reached high school and boys seem to shoot up. We will see. As cute as he is, it probably won't matter how tall he is. Since my dad was 6'3" and Rhonda's Duncan genes are very tall, Garrett, I think he will be tall also.

It is going to be a really warm day, but I don't have any appointments, so I am going to stay in and work on my closet. A few years ago, our grandson, Chad, lived with us for about a year and the day after he left, we stripped the room and made it into a closet. It is time to rearrange, toss out, give away, etc. The room is getting too small. I may have to make a rule that nothing goes in until something comes out. LOL!

I really need to get off my bottom and get some things done. I know if I do, I will eventually feel better. When I went to the doctor on Monday, my protime blood counts were 4.4. Not good, it is usually about 2.6, which is good. Cliff rearranged my schedule for Coumadin and I go back and get checked next Monday. My blood pressure was 98/60, which most people would love to have. The only thing with it being so low is that it enhances the tired feeling that I have. One of my docs teases me about not sloshing the works by standing up too fast (makes me dizzy).

Got to call my mother today and find out when she is coming. I am really looking forward to her visit. Catherine has helped me so much by coming to clean each week that I just don't know what I would do without her. At least my house will be clean and straight by the time mother comes.

Ray and I went to Riverside Cancer Center yesterday evening for a nutrition meeting. The Nutritionist had all the ingredients and we made Quesidillas. How wonderful. My first observation was I needed the quesidilla electric pan, but after further discussion, I decided I could do the same thing in my electric grill. I really liked the idea of using fresh vegetables and making such a low fat meal. It would take a little prep time, but I can see where it could be a really great way to eat a healthy diet. I have been roasting vegetables lately. I say Rachael Ray doing it and decided to do my own. I sliced up fresh squash & onions, put in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of EVOO, salt & pepper. I thought a moment and put in some frozen California mix vegetables. I got everything warm so the EVOO would thinly coat everything. I then dumped everything on to a baking pan and put in the oven on 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Talk about mouth-watering. I served it with grilled pork chops.

We don't eat bread very often, but when we do, we only eat the best. I told the ladies at the meeting that I would rather have 1 pat of butter over a whole stick of margarine. I never use any other oil other than EVOO. We buy it by the gallon jug at COSTCO. You can fix up a bottle of EVOO with herbs, etc., and have a lovely dip for bread or vegetables. It is all about being healthy. I am concentrating on serving more healthy fresh meals. Although, over the past few years, you will find that I use very little prepared foods from the grocery. I would prefer to fix food from scratch. I very seldom ever use a cookbook. Only if I want to make something that I am not sure about all the ingredients.

Usually, if we go out to dinner, I can go home and make the same thing from just taste. It is almost like people who play a musical instrument by ear. Cookbooks are for making cakes, pies, etc. I just go in the kitchen and make "Barbara's Surprise," as Ray calls it. He will ask me "what's for dinner?" and I say "Barbara's (chicken, steak, seafood, etc.) Surprise." I just cook. I have only one thing that I made once and even the dog wouldn't eat it it, meatloaf. I am never really happy with my meatloaf. I have been thinking about trying one with ground pork.
Twitter is doing good. I went over 7000 followers on Monday. Isn't that great. It seems to be coming along nicely. I really love Twitter. The people there seem to be so nice and postitive. They are always sending me prayers, good thoughts, etc. There are lots of people with health problems on Twitter and a lot of awesome prayer warriors.
I slept pretty good last night. I don't seem to be able to sleep over about 5 hours at one time. When I wake up, I find that I really have to lay there and get my thoughts together and check all my body parts out to see if I am able to move properly. Once I have my head straight, I have to sit up slowly and then I can get up and go take care of my little wake-up things in the bathroom. I always set up the coffee pot the night before so all I have to do is turn it on. While that is making, I make some Kirkland oatmeal. I take everything to my chair in the living room and take my pills. The warm stuff helps the pills go down and stay down.
I like getting up before Ray so I have some quiet time to myself. Alone time is great for the soul. I have time to meditate on my Bible, read, or just be alone with God for a few minutes. I really need to spend a little more time with Him. He has brought me through some really bad days and kept me believing in Him. GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I had my last chemotherapy on July 14th and my last Neulasta shot today. The chemo went smoothly but I am not feeling too well now from the Neulasta shot. I ate salad for dinner and now I feel sick.

Ms. Catherine came and cleaned for me this morning. I even had some energy from the prednizone so we were able to rearrange the kitchen somewhat. I put i a small desk for my computer that has the TV in it, so I could watch TV while I am cooking see videos. It turned out real nice.

We are having the Lions Club meeting here on Monday night. I had arranged with Catherine to come help me before, but she is scheduled to work at Costco on that day. Oh, well, Ray will just have to help. I may fix a Taco Salad or something. Or he can pick up stuff at Costco to serve.

I haven't been sleeping well. I have been Tweeting a lot and have over 6400 followers on Twitter. The tweeple there are awesome. The send me prayers from all over the world. People in A
ustrailia, Zambia, Russia, South Africa, India, California, Hawaii, New York, etc. One of the neatest things is there are tweets from Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan from military and contractors. There is a #MilitaryMon hastag that you can send out messages on and the military can read them. Then they send you cool tweets thanking you for sending them a note. They all help me keep a positive attitude. Not to mention all the Christian friends on Twitter that are praying for me. There are some wonderful prayer warriors there.

My mother said that she may be coming in August. I am so excited. I will be so happy to see her. Since I have a blood clot behind my knee, I cannot fly and the car is not really an option either since it is about a 9-10 hour drive, unless we spend the night somewhere in between stopping frequently for me to walk around. Oh, well, I guess I am just not up to travel yet (at least not that far). My protime levels are doing good.

I am wondering now if they will do a CAT SCAN when I go back to see Dr. Schlesinger. I hope so. I had the Genetic test to find out what the possibility of it coming back is, but now I am wondering if it is all gone. How can they know?

Oh, well I am not going to second guess myself. I just have to accept that the cancer is gone now. I know that God is there for me. Sometimes, I feel that this whole experience was meant for me to learn something from, to see where God really wants me to be and do. I hear him calling me for his purpose. I will share when I know exactly what it is.

I think I am going to try make it an early night tonight. I am feeling that shot. I have a headache now. Probably sleep deprived.

Take care and just remember: GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Guess who called me today? The beautiful Kathryn Oder Vickers in Blacksburg.

She had just returned home from work and thought she would give me a call.
She was calling to check up on my progress. She is one of the sweetest young women I know. She and Jason were married recently (see previous blog entry). They are
getting ready to go to El Salvador on July 11 for a week with the young singles mission team from First Baptist Church in Newport News. She has been so supportive during my illness. She is on Facebook and I am on there and I can keep up with her and her friends there.
They are such wonderful Christian young people. They have a real heart for God. They are always ministering to others and going on mission trips, even if they are in the local area. It would be wonderful if all the young people in Newport News had Christian parents who raised their children the way these young people have been brought up.

I met a lady named Melanie on Facebook from Birmingham and we have been chatting. She mentioned that she actually lived in a small town South of Birmingham, called Columbiana. That is where my sister Jan grew up. Even though Melanie is a little younger, she remembers Jan. Six degrees of separation? I have connected with Gerry Moore, who used to be a close friend of my brother in Columbus MS and with my best friend, Beverly Miller, from high school. I gave Gerry my phone number and he called me, then he called Sonny. It is nice to connect with people who used to be an important part of your life. Moving around so much when we were growing up, almost made it impossible for us to keep up with people. I envy Ray who graduated from Newport News High School in 1955. He knows so many people. Of course, I have been able to meet a lot of really nice people.

I started my term as President of the Newport News Host Lions Club on July 1. We have our first meeting next Monday night at Angelo's Steak and Pancake House on J Clyde Morris Blvd at 6:30 p.m. We will be having our installation of officers, presentation of awards, and a program on Diabetes Screening. We will be trained at the Fall Conference this year to screen for diabetes in addition to eye and ear screening. I am actually starting a blog for our club today. Members will be added so they can comment, add pictures, make changes, etc. Others will be able to comment. The good news is that any Adsense money made from the blog will go to the NN Lions Club.

My sister Jan is in Atlanta this week. Woody is training there and she went to look around and see what has changed in the past 20 years since they moved. I can't wait to talk to her and tell her about Melanie in Columbiana.

I sent an email to Christy and Jeff Sanborn in NC. We will be going down there in August to Smithfield to hear some motivational speakers. They are so excited. Ray really wants to do this. I think his business is wearing him thin. He works all the time and won't let me help until I am well. Since our initial investment was over 2 years ago and we have saved more than that over the past 2 years, we are starting on a pretty level playing field. We really think we can do this and do a bit of traveling too. Jeff is calling my son Jeff and he is supposed to give Jim a call. Things are looking up. If things go well, we should be able to pay my hospital bills in short order. I will be doing a blog on this too.

I really would like someone to help me get straight with my Adsense/Google thing and also with Amazon. I like to write and I think I can keep it up ad infitum. I have created a website, "Designing Barbara." I will put the link as soon as I get it ready to go.

Beverly has been wonderful. She emails me every day. We got the Young Singles website up and and I have been working on the Hispanic Site. You can check out the Music Site on the Website. Just click on the music tab. We had such fun doing the sites for the church.

Ray's business is growing so fast; I will be so glad when I can help out. God is providing for us in so many ways. I am able to rest without worrying too much about money. Although some doctor bills are threatening my security. Tomorrow is money day, pay the bills, check everything out. I hate paying bills, but since I took it over a few years ago, we have a class A credit rating. I made some investment mistakes, like letting someone else do it for me and lost money. But, they say that we learn from our mistakes, so I am teaching myself to handle our business.

I have decided not to renew my contract with XanGo. I think that it was a distraction from what God wants from me. I was on a clear path and allowed myself to be distracted with marketing the juice. I think it is a great product, but selling is just not my purview. The problem with network marketing is that most people fall for the hype and fail to realize from the beginning that you have to WORK IT to MAKE IT. My problem is that my heart was never there and it just wasn't my passion.

So, if you have recently signed on to XanGo or are just a customer and would like to purchase some XanGo products at cost (minus shipping), send me an email at and I will give you a call. I have the juice XanGo, Glimpse (non-toxic skin care), 365 Vitamins for men & women, CDs, promotional tools, etc. All monies will go to pay my medical deductibles and for the BRCA Genetic test.