July 27, 2021

I got new paint! I read about an artist, Ellen Kroeze, who uses old China and paints objects over the existing patterns. Her stuff is beautiful! I highly suggest looking her up. And even though I don’t need another project, it looked so interesting that I wanted to try it. After a bit of research, I found Pebeo porcelain paint that works like watercolor and after baking, is permanent and dishwasher safe.

Tonight I pulled out a white mug I had and practiced for a while. I must say, I’m pretty happy with the paint. I think it will be fun to work with and can imagine doing some holiday-themed items, especially for Halloween. I’m always thankful when crafting is fun instead of frustrating. Of course, this only makes my creative to-do list even longer…

You can see the image I was trying to copy. Not great, but it’s a resemblance. More practice!

July 26, 2021

I love how my phone pops up a featured photo for me every day. This was today’s pick.

The girls and I had a photo session with a talented local photographer before they decided they were adults and moved out on their own. It was such a fun day. We went to an artist’s studio and had clothing changes and props and different backdrops. While I loved the juxtaposition of us in fancy gowns amid the industrial background in this photo, this wasn’t even my favorite picture. My favorite was one the photographer took when the girls and I were talking and laughing in between sets. It wasn’t staged and depicted us perfectly. That one is hanging on the wall at home.

I’m thankful we had our special photo session together before they moved away, and I’m grateful for these little phone reminders of happy memories.

July 24, 2021

I made things today! And bought more crafting stuff at a vintage garage sale! I’m thankful for the inspiration during a very hot day. I’m also thankful that it ended with me being the filling in this puppy sandwich. It doesn’t matter that we could fit 10 people on our sofa, they still want to be next to me.

July 23, 2021

Yesterday I went to the dentist because I canceled my last cleaning due to chemo. However, I was having some pain around a tooth as well as a weird bump that showed up on my gum. I was nervous about going. I’m always nervous now about catching something before my surgery. But I was also afraid I had something going on with my teeth and didn’t want to put it off several more months. I asked my sister, who works in a dental office, how risky she thought it was to go. Obviously, she didn’t think it posed too much of a risk since I went. And it turns out the bump is a benign cyst and my pain is from a cracked filling that my dentist agreed to fix for free after my surgery.

Today I had an eye exam scheduled because my eyesight seems to have gotten worse while on chemo, and I was noticing wavy lines in my peripheral vision pretty regularly. My oncologist said to get it checked once chemo was over. Well, my eye doctor says that the decline in my eyesight is probably more age-related than chemo-related. Dang it, and I liked her. Overall, my eyes are fine, even with the occasional wavy lines.

I’m thankful both appointments went well and gave me nothing more to worry about. I mean, I don’t think I could handle anything more at this point. Now I just need to figure out why a couple of my fingers have been swollen for two weeks. (Insert eye roll here.)

July 22, 2021

I’m thankful for these guys again today. It’s their gotcha day. I can’t believe we brought them home seven years ago. Look how cute they were!

That little butt was so excited.
Barley almost never stood still.
I was worried he wouldn’t grow into his ears.
He’s still so silly.

July 21, 2021

I’m thankful today for a decent night’s sleep without muscle aches, new opportunities with old friends, sage pesto pasta with toasted walnuts, cozy sweatshirts that are extra soft against the skin and new books that provide inspiration.

July 20, 2021

I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve been trying to have more faith, especially during this struggle with cancer. I’ve never been someone who is comfortable publicly shouting out my beliefs or trying to convert unbelievers. You’ll probably never see me on a street corner with a sign that says “Jesus loves you.” In fact, aside from a garage sale sign, you probably won’t see me posting signs for anything. I don’t even care for political signs in my yard. It’s not that I don’t support or believe in things, I simply tend to be more private about the big stuff. Maybe that’s really a weenie way out of it because I dislike arguments about the big things like religion and politics, which tend to get too heated and emotional and personal.

That being said, I don’t mind sharing my struggles. I think most people have struggled with faith in some form or another. Most folks I’ve had any real relationship with have revealed their desire for meaning in their lives and wondering what their purpose is or what life is all about or why things happen (good or bad)…the list goes on. For me, believing in a higher power is easy. I’ve never had a problem thinking that God created the world and allowed it to evolve as it has. In my mind, creation and evolution don’t fight each other. My internal fight is and always has been, why do I matter in all of this? Why would the God of creation care about my daily life. Doesn’t he have bigger things to worry about? I mean, keeping the earth rotating is a big thing.

To be honest, I’ve always been a bit perplexed and jealous of people who claim that their God is personal to them. A father. A friend. Someone who cares. So I keep finding churches to go to. Over my lifetime, I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover. And I continue to struggle with mind over heart.

Last weekend I watched church online, as I have been. And at the end of the message, they played a song called A Million Little Miracles and it made me want to cry. I’m not a cryer. But songs, like poems, can get me. Part of it goes like this:

I’ve got some blessings that I don’t deserve
I’ve got some scars but that’s how you learn
It’s nothing short of a miracle I’m here

I’ve got miracles on miracles
A million little miracles
Miracles on miracles
Count your miracles
One, two, three, four, I can’t even count ’em all

I feel like it was a breakthrough for me. Despite my current struggle, despite other terrible times I’ve been through. I can see that my life has always been and is currently blessed in so many ways. Miracles everywhere. I don’t know how that isn’t personal.

July 19, 2021

When we go into the backyard, we usually wander through the garden. Today I was struck by how colorful everything is and how tall the sunflowers are all of a sudden. It seems like everything has doubled in size overnight. Even though Patrick likes to tell me to stay out of his garden, I like to ignore him. Sometimes I send him selfies of me touching the plants when he’s not around. The truth is, I’m thankful he likes to garden because I enjoy seeing the beautiful plants.

I love how these look like tissue paper lanterns. See chance peeking at me?
Swiss chard looks like I should enjoy it more.
The sunflowers are starting to form at the top!
Sweet little bean vines.

July 18, 2021

I got our bathroom almost done today. I just need to finish tweaking some things, like touching up the paint smudges. I also need to add wax over the chalk-painted cabinet and possibly add knobs. I’ll need to paint the countertop again, and I’d like to eventually add a couple of small prints to the walls too.

I painted the previous version of our bathroom just last year. Patrick likes brighter and more colors than I do in the house, so I went out of my comfort zone. I wanted the walls to resemble wallpaper, which took me several days to do. However. it got muddy looking, so I wasn’t happy with it almost immediately. It was fine, but it wasn’t a room I wanted to relax in.

Maybe it’s the stress of this past year or my upcoming surgery where I know I’ll need time to recover that has me wanting to make our rooms feel cozier, especially our bedroom and master bath. When I brought up my desire for a redo, Patrick admitted he wasn’t bothered by me changing things up. His one request was to not paint over the feature wall in our bedroom when I make some changes in there. That will be a future post, I’m sure.

The new wall color is a favorite of mine. I used it in our guest room and I’ve loved it from day one. I’m so thankful that I was able to make these changes and that I like the outside. It’s much more of a soothing space.