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.