Saturday, September 13

A Visit with Aunt May and a few Awards

On Thursday afternoon when I was out and about, I decided to stop in and see Aunt May. My regular readers will know that Aunt May has bone cancer and spots have shown up in her head and also in her liver. The prognosis is not good.

Aunt May was told years ago she would never be able to have chemo because she suffers from a rare blood condition. All of her problems started when she was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. After taking radiation treatments and going for her cancer checkups, she was assured she was cancer free. Then, early in 2007, she began to experience terrible leg pain. The doctor told her it was sciatica. The pain continued to get worse as the months passed and in April 2007, she broke her leg when she turned.

Thus began six months of intense pain, surgery to rebuild a hip and radiation. She finally left the hospital in September but had to continue to have radiation treatments out of town. Then in April 2008, they found she had cancer in her head and in her liver. They told her she would have to have chemo and she told them that she was told she could never take it. They advised her that if she didn't have it she would die within two weeks. With it, she may live two months. That was six months ago and she is still going. Aunt May always was one who would prove the doctors wrong.

Thursday went I stopped for a visit, my mother was there. Aunt May is her sister. We had a nice visit and then Mom got ready to leave. I took a photo of Aunt May and Mom because I know that Aunt May doesn't have much time left. There may never be another opportunity for photos of these sisters. I don't have the photo to show you here, as it was taken on Mom's camera, but as soon as I get a chance, I will post it.

After Mom left, Aunt May confided that she almost wished it was all over. Her right leg gives her terrible pain constantly and now there is cancer in her spine. Sleep is hard to come by because the pain keeps her awake. She always was a petite woman, but she has lost a lot of weight. The cancer is progressing and recently the doctors told her that they have done all they can do. However, Aunt May is a fighter and not one to give up hope. She had another consultation at the cancer hospital today and I don't have that report as yet. I will let you know what they had to say.

I had a great visit with my favorite Aunt. I really hate to lose her but I can't wish for her to go on like she is now. I pray the Lord will take her home and relieve her pain and suffering. Please keep her in your prayers.

The award below was present to me by Hootin' Anni. This is what she said when she passed the award along to me:

Mary for her friendship and loving generosity.

Anni we are like two peas in a pod. We have a lot in common and I value your friendship. You are like a sister to me. I am honored to accept it.
According to Anni's blog, this is to be passed on to 8 blogging friends by paying it forward to those who have brought me laughter, joy and friendship through blogging. So here goes:

Amy at I Love Retro Things - Amy is my newest blogging friend and I look forward to getting to know her better.

Please accept this award with the love it is given and be sure to pass it on to 8 blogging friends. Though I don't always visit on a regular basis, I value each of you in a special way.

Mari at My Little Corner of the World presented me with the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thank you, Mari. I really appreciate it. Sorry it's taken me so long to post it.
I would like to present this award to all my blogging friends who are creative in any way. It doesn't matter if you knit, crochet, make web graphics or are a great cook. You are welcome to have this award.

Mike at Rambling Stuff thinks I'm an awesome blogger friend. Thank you, Mike. I really appreciate it.
I would like to present this award to the following people:
Hootin' Anni at Hootin' Anni's - Anni, you and I are like sisters . I value your friendship.

Pea at Pea's Corner - Pea and I are both from the same area and have met. Pea, I can hardly wait for us to meet up again. You and Steve are so much fun.

Denise from Samaritan Women - Denise inspires me in a special way.

Ann from Ancient One's Place - Ann, you were the first person to ever comment on my blog. We have been friends from day one. Thank you for your warm welcome and for your lasting friendship.

Denise from Edge of Design - Denise, I value your friendship.

Jeni from Down River Drivel - Jeni, we have much in common and I value your friendship.

Carolyn at Talk to Grams - Your stamina and your positive attitude toward life is a real inspiration.

Mary Isabella at Daisy Bouquet - You are one of my regulars and I always enjoy visiting with you. Kiley, you are also included here. Please take a copy for your blog.

Paula at On a Rainy Night - I always enjoy visiting with you. We share a love of farm and reading.

Denise at Shorty Bear's Place - Denise, you were one of my first blogging friends. Thank you for your lasting friendship.

Mari at My Little Corner of the World - Mari, I always enjoy visiting with you. Thank you for being a regular visitor to my blog.

I have so many other blogging friends and the list could go on and on, but I will leave it at ten for now. Please accept this award with the love it is given and pass it along to others.

Jojo at My Random Insantities gave the following award to all of her visitors. Thank you Jojo, I really appreciate it.

There are no rules that come with this award, so I would like to present it to everyone who visits me, just as Jojo did. So many of you inspire me when I visit your blogs and you all are most deserving.

Thank you to everyone who has present me with an award. I love to display them on my awards pages. All of you are great blogging friends and you mean a lot to me. Though I may not visit as often as I would like, I value your friendship.

In other news, Meeko has been invited to join Rusty's Squirrel Patrol by Rusty at Chasing Squirrles with Rusty. Thank you so much, Rusty. Meeko is honored.

Enjoy your weekend and take some time out to enjoy the sights, sounds and fragrances of the season. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, September 12

Show and Tell Friday

It's time for Show and Tell Friday. If you would like to participate, drop over to Kelli's at There's No Place Like Home.

This week I'd like to show you something that I've had since 1977. It is a Currier & Ives teapot that I won for sales when I sold Avon. It also has a cream & sugar that goes with it. These items were exclusively for Avon Representatives who sold over a certain amount in a campaign. It is one of my most valued treasures. When I saw it offered for sales, I was determined to have it and I worked hard to make my goal. Things that we work for are so much more special because of the effort that's put into getting them.

I hope you enjoyed my show & tell. I love anything that is Currier & Ives. All of their lithographs make me feel so much at home. Do you like Currier & Ives? If so, what is your favorite scene? Do you own any Currier & Ives china? I would like to hear all about it.

Enjoy your weekend and be sure to do a small kindness for someone. ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, September 11

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thankful Thursday. It is a day when we list the things we are thankful for. If you would like to participate, be sure to stop by Sting My Heart and pay Iris a visit. You can find all the information there.

I can't believe that it's Thursday all ready. My how time is flying by. The weather has been cool here and it's a little chilly in the house tonight as our furnace isn't working. A reminder that we have many luxuries that many don't have. When I was a child, we had only a Quebec heater in the kitchen and a oil stove in the living room. The house was very cool at night and in the morning we could write our names in the frost on the inside of the windows. Times have changed.

This week, once again, I have many things to be thankful for:

1. Furnace repair men that will come out the day after you call them. Our furnace will be repaired tomorrow morning. I'm so thankful it is still under warranty. There will be no charge for parts or labor. The furnace was new in 2006. I am truly thankful that we found out the furnace wasn't working properly before winter set in. It's hard enough to be chilly but in mid winter we would freeze.

2. Tonight I picked the boys up after school and they were well behaved. We had a good time for the couple hours I had them. I am always thankful for the love of my grandsons.

3. This week hubby made a glass enclosure for the end of the bath tub upstairs. He has never done anything like this before and he did a great job. I'm thankful that he is willing to try new things.

4. The days have been beautiful but the nights have been really cool here since the beginning of September. I am grateful for the sounds, sights and fragrances of autumn. I can feel it in the air. I have seen flocks of Canadian Geese preparing to move south for the winter. They were honking as they flew over the house when Meeko and I were out for our nightly walk.

5. For a special friend who just recently made my new header and background. Thank you, Hootin' Anni.

6. This is the anniversary of the day the twin towers fell. I am thankful that there has been no repeats of such a catastrophic event since that time. A shock shook the world that day and things will never be the same again.

7. I am thankful for all blessings received, for online and real world friends and for the love of family. All of these things mean a lot to me and make a real difference in my life.

Enjoy your day and remember to count your blessings. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, September 10

A Canadian Hero - His Dream Lives On

On July 28, 1958, a young boy was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His name was Terry Fox and little did his parents know at that time that their son would leave his mark on the world.

Terry's parents moved to Port Coquitlam, British Columbia when Terry was still young. He attended Simon Fraser University and in 1976, was chosen to play junior varsity basketball. But after being on the team for only a year, Terry began to have excruitiating pain in his right knee. It turned out that Terry had osteogenic sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. His right leg was amputated to try to prevent the cancer from spreading.

While recuperating from the surgery, Terry read a magazine article about an amputee runner. He made up his mind that he would run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. After he fully recuperated Terry began to train for his run, which he called The Marathon of Hope. Two years after the amputation, Terry started to run at night when no one would see him. He was preparing himself to succeed in his goal.

On April 12, 1980, Terry dipped his articifical leg into the Atlantic Ocean in St. John's Newfoundland and then set off on his Marathon of Hope. He ran an average of 26 miles a day across six provinces.

Everywhere Terry went he was greeted by hundreds of people who lined roads and streets, cheering him on. But when he reached Thunder Bay, Ontario, disaster struck. Terry collapsed. The dreaded cancer had spread to his lungs.

Terry's parents flew in to Thunder Bay and took their son home but the Marathon of Hope was far from over. Isadore Sharp sent Terry a telegram the following day, stating that he would organize a run to raise funds for cancer research. It would be called, The Terry Fox Run.

Terry Fox succumbed to cancer on June 28, 1981. On September 21, 1981, the first Terry Fox Run was held at 760 sites across Canada and around the world. In 2008, the Terry Fox Run will be held on September 14th. The Terry Fox School Run Day will be held on September 26th. Jordan always participates.

For more information on the Terry Fox Run, or to make a donation, visit the website of the Terry Fox Foundation. Every dollar goes toward cancer research.

Note: My prayers are with all of those in the path of Hurricane Ike. Be sure to get in all the supplies you need and stay safe.

Tuesday, September 9

The Party Line

Do any of you remember the telephone party line. That is what we had when I was growing up. There were four parties on our telephone line - Grandma, who lived next door, Mrs. G., who lived one road over, and us. I believe there was one other party but I don't remember who it was.

When the telephone rang, the rings were distinctive. Ours was two longs and a short; Grandma's was one long and one short and Mrs. G's was three longs. I remember Mrs. G well because she was the most difficult person who every shared a party line.

When our phone rang and we answered it, we immediately heard a click, which meant someone was listening. At certain times you could hear Mrs. G's children talking in the background and this is how we knew it was her. The kids, one boy and a girl went to school with us, so we knew their voices well.

When we went to use the phone, we picked it up and listened. If the party line was in use, we gently placed the receiver back on the cradle, which was proper telephone etiquette in those days. Dad demanded only the best from his children and wouldn't tolerate us listening in on the party line. I only did it once, when I was about 12 years old and my butt stung for a couple of hours after I was caught. That was a lesson learned for me - no eavesdropping. It was a lesson that Mrs. G never learned the entire time that we had the party line.

If an emergency arose and you picked up the phone to call for help and it was busy, proper telephone etiquette demanded that you inform the parties that you needed the telephone for an emergency. They in turn were to bring their call to an end and clear the line. I only remember Dad asking for the party line once and Mrs. G was the talker. She had been on the phone for almost two hours and Dad finally asked that she clear the line so he could use it. She refused. He was furious and reported her to Bell Telephone. (Nowadays it is Bell Canada.) They gave her a good talking to and phoned Dad back to tell him if it ever happened again to let them know. If the line was not cleared for an emergency, the subscriber could lose their telephone privledges.

Dad got along with everyone, except Mrs. G, who hogged that party line as if it was her own private sanctuary. She talked and talked for hours at a time. Business couldn't be done by other parties on the line because she was always on it. Grandpa and Mrs. G had a few squabbles over the party line as well.

Today there aren't many party lines left in Canada and the ones that are still in use are all in remote wilderness areas of the country. There is also a place in California that still uses party lines. I'm glad that today we have private lines. I can't imagine having to share a telephone line with the nosey neighbors across from my back door. They watch our every move, so I'm sure they would be listening to all of our phone calls to learn more about our business.

The party line was fun when I was a kid. The community was closer knit and even though Mrs. G spent most of her day on the party line, we were blessed to have a telephone. Today, we take our telephones with us wherever we go. Although I don't carry a cell phone, most people do. Hubby has one for work and we do use it sometimes. Cell phones ring in stores, theaters, doctor's offices and other places where they shouldn't be. Drivers talk on their phone as they are driving and don't watch the road. They are distracted by the conversation. What ever would these people have done if they had shared a party line. Food for thought.

If you ever used a party line, I would like to hear your memories. It was a different time and a much slower paced lifestyle. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, September 8

Those Were the Days

I was sitting here tonight thinking about how prices have escalated and how modern conveniences have made our work load easier. When I was young, we had an old wringer washing machine, no dryer, a Quebec heater in the kitchen for warmth and an oil stove in the living room. There was no furnace, no indoor plumbing of any kind and no microwaves, computers or even a TV for that matter.

In those days, a modern kitchen looked like this:

We had nothing like this. Our cupboards were made of plywood and we had linoleum on the floor. I remember Dad bringing home a TV when I was 12. It was a small 15 inch black and white and we used rabbit ears to bring in Buffalo, Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener. That was the only four TV channels that we were able to get.

Mom had a wringer washer and a washtub. All clothes were hung on the clothesline in all four seasons. I've brought clothes in from the line frozen stiff. They then had to be thawed and ironed. We had a Westinghouse refrigerator that had a small freezer about 12 x 12 inches. Ice built up on it rather quickly and it had to be defrosted at least once a week.

Grandma wasn't as lucky as Mom. She had a washing machine that was hand pumped. I thought my arms would fall off from pumping that washing machine when I was a child. Grandma also hung her clothes on the line in all four seasons. She didn't have a refrigerator, but an ice box. Grandpa didn't have electricity installed in the house until 1963.

Those were different times, but as I sat here thinking about all the work we had to do when I was a child, I would go back to that time without blinking an eye. Yes, we worked hard but in those days everyone pulled together to get things done. There was a bond there that couldn't be broken. It was a slower paced life and I miss those times.

How many of you remember the times when people helped each other out and wasn't afraid to trade or share what they had? Food for thought.

Have a great week and remember to give thanks for blessings received. ~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, September 7

Green Thumb Sunday

It's Green Thumb Sunday, hosted by Tricia at As the Garden Grows. If you'd like to participate, just click on the link to find out how.

It seems like time is flying by and that summer just started. Now, it is autumn and soon all of the trees will be alive with color. It's been really cool here at night and it seems like there is a hint of frost in the late evening air.

In autumn, I like to dress my porch up with lovely flowers. Autumn mums are often the flower of choice, as they will withstand some hard frosts before dying back.

I had to go to Home De*pot on Friday to buy more paint for the apartment. I have been watching the fall mums there for sometime. First they were selling for $20 and a couple of weeks ago they had come down to $12.99. Hubby asked me if I wanted one and I said, "Not yet." I just knew they were going to drop in price again.

Saturday when I arrived, the mums were priced at $8.99, so I bought one. Here it is in all of its glory.

It looks great sitting on the porch railing and brings a splash of color to the yard. I only bought this one and am now kicking myself. I should have bought another one for the other side of the porch railing. A rust one might look nice, or even a white one or another yellow one. Mmm! I shall see. I do have to go back to Home De*pot, so maybe I will pick up an additional one.

In other garden news, many of my plants died back early because of the record rainfall we had in July and August. The ivy that Brandon planted got black mould and I continue to remove leaves that are mouldy. It may last for the duration of the year. At one time I thought I would lose it, but it is still doing well.

Take care and enjoy the beauty, sights, sounds and fragrances of autumn. It is a wonderful time of year. ~Blessings, Mary~

If you are a regular reader, friend or visitor, please take a copy of the Autumn Friends Award from my previous post.