Thursday, October 4, 2012

Remember, it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

I'm not going to write a lot here, but I do want to remind anyone reading this that Breast Cancer Awareness is something that isn't relegated to October, though it's a great time to start learning and being observant! My mother-in-law is a survivor. She lost her mother and two of her mother's sisters to this dread disease. My MiL was diagnosed while my wife was pregnant with son #1. Thankfully, it was discovered early, as she was VERY diligent in keeping a check on things. She made it through treatment fine and will soon celebrate her 13 year anniversary of being cancer-free! God definitely still heals... To be as well-informed as possible, my wife had the genetic tests done. Though her sister is clear, my wife carries the gene for increased breast AND ovarian cancer risk. She debated what to do, worrying about what I would think. My response was (yes, crude, but I'm being honest), "Honey, I fell in love with you, not your boobs." She underwent a full hysterectomy and oophorectomy 5 years ago. The next year, she had a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction...all by age 34. It wasn't that she wanted to have surgery, but rather that she was well-informed, knew her family history, the risks involved, and that she carried the genetic predisposition to become ill. Considering all of this, she chose to do everything in her power to minimize the risks and be around as long as possible for her family. Yes, it had an effect on us in many ways, but I am proud of her for being brave and selfless enough to do this. As I said before, I fell in love with her... I say all of that to say this - PLEASE, be aware of the risk factors, symptoms, etc. of breast cancer, and all cancers in general. Ladies (and guys too, actually), keep a check on things. Husbands/boyfriends/sons/fathers/GUYS, be supportive and remind them that they are too precious to ignore their health!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Family that Tangles Together...

...has fun! :) I recently discovered Zentangles and other forms of "line weaving." It's funny that there was a type of drawing I did when I was younger that was quite similar. I find it fascinating, not only for techniques, but also seeing the gorgeous works of art people produce while tangling. I showed some things to my daughter (the artsiest of my kids), and taught her a couple of simple ones to start. Well, yesterday, she came in all excited. Her gifted class has been doing Greek Mythology and for a break, he started them doing Zentangles! He mentioned them and she said "I know what those are!" Of course, her classmates were "no you don't..." She responded "I dad does them!" Dan is an awesome teacher and introduces the kids to so much. I'm thankful that my oldest had him, my daughter has him now, and I fully believe that my youngest will as well. Stay tuned. KP learned Cadent, Pokeleaf, and Pokeroot yesterday, so I'll probably be posting some tangles from her soon.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Old Sayings and Timeless Wisdom

The other day, I was sitting and thinking. While this is a dangerous thing, it can sometimes lead to some good conclusions. I thought of my childhood and my grandparents. Living on a farm in *very* rural North Alabama, our days were busy! However, once most things were done and if the weather permitted, we'd find ourselves on the front porch. We'd sit in periods of companionable silence interspersed with tales of days gone by from my grandparents. My grandmother referred to these times as "sitting and watching the world go by." Now that I'm older, I can recognize the wisdom in this time. After the stresses of daily life, especially farm life where so much had to be done but so much was out of our hands, sitting and just watching the passage of time quietly was a good way of allowing the stresses of the day to dissipate. In addition, there were always new things to notice, smiles to appear spontaneously while watching a young squirrel play in a tree, or hummingbirds zip from flower to flower. It was a time to sit back and actually take notice in a new way, of the Glory of God in His creation. I miss those days. I struggle daily with the stresses of my own adulthood now. It is my hope that finally allowing myself to again indulge in my artistic side and those pursuits (which I will share with you, here) will be beneficial. Of all the ways I have tried in the past, I have yet to find anything that works as well as simply sitting and "watchin' the world go by." God bless you all.