Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Deam Gift For The Knitter

Imagine  2 posts in a week after Months of being absent. I just had to share this with you all.  My wonderful Niece, who I have mentioned more than once in my Blogs, came to visit us for the Christmas holidays. She and her husband have a close friend, who has a background in fine art and Graphic Design. This talented Friend has used her wonderful talent to perfect one of my favorite subjects..

When Elizabeth Doherty, discovered knitting, she knew this was her destiny. Not only is she an expert and hand knits some of the most beautiful work I have ever seen, she has written a book that is a must for the serious knitter.  She has approached a problem which often plagues us all. Set -in sleeves and fitting properly.

The Title is  "Top Down  re-imagining Set-in Sleeve Design. The photography is wonderful !

There are 116 pages of instruction, patterns and graphs. This book was written with Quince & Co, an  American firm that makes Beautiful yarns . The yarns are primarily spun in New England from the wool of  native sheep. I am a New Englander by birth and can vouch for the wonderful things being done today in the manufacture of hand spun yarns.  is their website for more information about them and their products.

When I opened this book I was thrilled to discover that this talented woman had written a note of encouragement to me along with "Happy knitting".  I have been knitting a long time, but I will probably never achieve the level of expertise  she has shown us in this book. Her finished products are exquisite and masterfully executed.  Bravo!
This book is a must,-!                

I send a special Thank You to my Niece, who knows about my own knitting and yarn addiction,  She knew the perfect gift for me.
A big Thank you to Elizabeth Doherty for recognizing that this is a problem for many and for writing this beautiful book of instruction and tutorials!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Journey!

In 2016 I began a journey that is on going.  It hasn't given me much time to devote to my blog, and I am pretty sure because of this I probably have dropped off the grid, I rarely talk about personal things, because my daily life  couldn't possibly be of much interest to others?  My only reason for doing so now, is to reassure those that may read this, that there is hope and many blessings that come from the things in life we cannot control.

During a routine physical examination in December of 2015 it was discovered that I had a Right Atrial Myxoma in my heart. This is usually a benign tumor that attaches itself inside and to the heart wall and continues to grow until the heart can no longer function. What a surprise this was--My heart is healthy and I do not have any arterial or heart disease. Of course the only option is to remove this alien thing that that is moving each time my heart beats.  We made plans to do so, A cardiologist friend recommended a heart Surgeon who is very familiar with this diagnosis. Within a month of my surgery date, alas, different symptoms emerged that signaled another diagnosis. This would change our immediate plans

I must say when your Gynecologist  says to you, "I am sorry but you have Stage 3 endometrial cancer", there isn't much of a reply to that one,  while you sit there trying to digest this and wonder --now what?.  This meant that very few options were available for me because of the heart. It was one of those "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't" moments.

Now the journey began of visits with a wonderful Oncologist and Radiologist. I am fortunate that we have great medical care in our area. I now had 4 physicians who were working together to find a solution to this double "Whammy"!  It was decided, because of the heart tumor, which was growing in size, to give me 34 radiation treatments.  I went every day until I was finished and then had to wait for the pet scan. Now my energy level was diminishing because of the tumor. I am by nature a very optimistic person and truthfully I didn't spend a lot of time thinking very much about this. I tried to continue doing every thing as I normally as I had been doing. It soon became apparent that I would not be able to continue this way. My husband and I discussed fully all  the ramifications of surgery, because you see I am 80 years old!  Would this worth it at my age? I had so many questions, anesthesia, heart lung machine--how would all of this affect my general health and brain? Would I be the same person?  Somewhere along the line I just had to learn to trust that it would be alright.

I have always been a busy and productive person and I am told that I am very young for my age, that is not ego speaking, that is all of my Doctors who convinced me that I could do this and recover. When the Pet scan came back with  the best report one could ask for,   Remission!!!!! We deiced to have the heart surgery as soon as possible. The next step was open heart surgery, which took place Nov 3, 2016.   Physically this was not the easiest thing I have ever done. I had not been a patient in a hospital in 52 years. My working days as a nurse were certainly different than the sophisticated care of today.
 I could not have asked for better care anywhere, but what I really discovered were the "Blessings"!  I never knew how many loved us both, the prayers that were lifted up for us, the meals that have been delivered, the offers to clean the house, the visits , cards and phone calls.  My etsy teams kept in close contact with Jim. I have met some wonderful and caring people along the way and made new friends!  Because of something I could not control I have learned to be patient and to appreciate more each day, those around me.  Our faith is very strong, and while we knew that we had the best medical science possible, and as wonderful as it is,  it doesn't always have the answer, so we turned it over to God! He is the great physician and always has the answer!

So far my Heart surgery appears to be a success, and each day I am stronger. I choose not to dwell on the negatives but to  cherish every day that I am given . I am told that my positive attitude was 90% of my recovery.  The people around me made it possible  for me to go forward and not look back. My only reason for writing this blog has been to share this journey with others who are going through similar circumstances and to say,\enjoy the people who love you, don't dwell on things you cannot change, When you don't feel well, tell yourself that tomorrow will be better.Take one day at a time and praise  God for every blessing!

I wish for everyone who may read this  a wonderful holiday season and may 2017 be the best year we can all hope for.      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, August 15, 2016


        What is "Truth" and What does it Mean to You ?

If you were to ask anyone today, : What is "Truth”? How many people that you know would say, “ Why it is the foundation of everything we do—it is Biblical! This past Sunday my Pastor gave an excellent sermon on the subject of truth. A Sermon which was thought provoking and encouraged me to think more deeply about this word “Truth” which we use on a daily level. How often we have heard A Mother say “ now tell me the truth” or what is the truth of this situation, the Truth will set you free! What does this really mean? Intellectually are we basing truth on just facts?

In the Bible the book of John 18—37: 38, the Roman Emperor Pontius Pilate, who was a non believer, asked Jesus before his Crucifixion, “What is the Truth”. 2000 years later we still are asking ourselves what is the “Truth” Sadly in this century  we have developed a cynicism about “Truth”. We listen to the leaders of our country and those who want to be leaders, we hear the words of those who teach our children, and we hear those educated men and women who are part of our Judicial system, supposedly fighting for Justice and Truth, and we ask ourselves, “Who is telling the Truth”? Can we accept the truth and are we willing to hear the truth? Do we have the capability to recognize it? We know that facts can be changed and adapted. As our world has become more secular, Truth” has been abused. We humans have managed to distort and manipulate the truth for personal gain, greed, and avoidance of things we cannot face. There was a time when the integrity and honesty of a person and the way they lived their life among others was a measure of their “Truth”.

I have ambled through this life for quite a long time and I have had to cope with and recognize many truths. Some I would like to have ignored, but I have discovered there are no Negotiations with “Truth”.I am not a learned Theologian, I am just a humble Christian and believer. When Jesus becomes the center of your life you realize that he is the “Truth” and the Way” and as believers in him we accept and must return to the Biblical origins of “Truth and accept that as the ultimate “Truth”.

There is a wonderful song” The Air I breathe” by Marie Bennett. I would urge anyone, who can, to listen to it. It will bring you to tears because the Lyrics will tell you a “Truth”.

I make no excuses for my beliefs or for being A follower of Christ. I am aware that not everyone agrees with me. I do not intellectualize my beliefs, it is simply a matter of Faith and knowing my cheering section is the Ultimate “Truth”!

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Small Book with A Mighty Message "The Lovers"

The page has once again turned to another year  and it was then I realized I had really neglected my blog writing for 2015--here we are at 2016 and I am going to try to make my presence known, Now you understand this is not a resolution, I am not good at those, but perhaps setting a goal ?  Not sure, but did want to share this story.

Approximately 2 years ago, My Niece, who brings much joy to my life, called and said that she would be coming to our area with a friend and could we make some time to spend with them. My niece who is a Professor of English, a writer and an editor lives in New York City, so any reason for a visit is welcomed. Mr. Dude and I were curious because it all sounded very mysterious. We did know that the Friend was an award winning photographer also from New York who was now living in France.

Hugs all around later, we were introduced to Lauren Fleishman, who was delightful. It was then that we were told that Lauren was writing a book about marriage that lasted 50 years or more and since our Golden day had been  awhile ago, would we consent to being interviewed and having some pictures taken. Yikes, if I had known that I would have had my hair done or at least put something decent on!!! As  the afternoon moved on, tons of film being used and much talking and laughter, we realized this might never happen, there were 100s of people to interview all over the world.  More hugs all around and the delightful and fun day came to an end.  Frankly Mr. Dude and I forgot all about it.

In the Fall of 2015 My Sweet Niece and her husband came for another visit, and she told us then that  Mr Dude and I had made the"cut", we would be in the book and the Editor would be and was working already, Jeanne Lambert, my Niece! Now I ask you, How cool is that ! The book is titled "The Lovers"

 The story is a poignant tale of long and enduring love. When Lauren's Grandfather died it was her task to care for his belongings. In that process she found Love letters sent to her Grandmother by her Grandfather while he served in the second world War. This book, which includes 50 couples who have been married over 50 years was the finished product  inspired by these letters. The couple shone Above on the cover are the Rubensteins from Brooklyn New York and they were married in 1942.  That is a loving union of 74 years.

While we are thrilled to have been included in  this mighty book of love, reading the stories of others, made us feel like the young ones in the crowd. I loved reading every interview and viewing the photographs of each couple

So many wonderful stories. I can't even imagine the joy of the Author being able to meet these people. The East Indian couple Married in 1925, who sit together for their photo with great smiles. The husband says, " I only want to make her laugh because laughter makes you  live longer and because I love her I want to make her laugh another 80 years"! How wonderful is that?

We share the pages with the Astronaut Jim Lovell and his wife, who were married in 1952. They never dreamed what the future held for them.

In 1948 when the social rules were very different than today, A bi-racial couple married in England  and tell the tale of the difficulties they endured , yet they persevered and have written a vivid story of the struggles of an interracial marriage at that time.

There is the arranged marriage that grew into love, A Russian couple who immigrated  after meeting in a Czechoslovakian hospital. An African American couple who tell us how it was during the days of segregation  I could go on and on with the inspiring stories, but I want you to find and read this book for yourselves. Perhaps it will make you understand what a real love story is and how, if it is true, it lasts through the trials that life has in store for all of us. The early days are relatively easy--the exciting, lustful times of awareness and really getting to know each other. It is the days later when illness comes, or tragedy appears that is the true test. The people that Lauren Fleishman has portrayed in this book have stood that test with Grace!  Mr. Dude and I feel honored to have been included with these remarkable people.At the time of this writing we have been married 55 years and still going strong--do you think it will last?

 Mr. Dude and I wish to thank Lauren Fleishman for this wonderful book and our inclusion in it. I also would like to thank my Niece Jeanne Lambert for introducing us  to Lauren and her fine editing. Bless you both!

 Full lives, and when all is said and done, empty chairs together tell the story of an enduring Love