Gratitude

This has been a difficult year for the family in many ways, but it is with much GRATITUDE that I share the following photos. All three of my children are avid dog lovers and each of them lost a dear member of their family this past year. While all of us were stricken with sadness and grief, we are eternally GRATEFUL for the love they gave to everyone. While their departures left holes in everyones’ hearts, the memories they leave behind are filled with love, laughter, and GRATITUDE for having been a part of our family.

The first photo is of Ollie. He was a King German Shepherd who passed away suddenly of stomach bloat at the young age of 8 years old. He was a well-behaved and loveable guy who loved to play ball. He is missed by all.

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This lovely lady is Birdy. She was a Border Collie/German Shepherd mix who actually smiled when we arrived for a visit. She was gentle and kind and oh so huggable! She died of old age at the age of 17! Again missed by all.

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And last, but not least, and the most recent loss, is this beautiful lady, Razzle. She was an Alaskan Malamute. Larger than life, she would “WOO” for you when you arrived and immediately roll over for a belly rub. Such a sweetheart! She passed suddenly from an aneurysm at the young age of 7. Very much missed by all.

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During this past year I managed to complete one quilt. This was made as a gift for someone. The soft colored batik squares make this quilt just lovely. I have always wanted to do some straight line machine quilting and quilted this one only 1/2 inch apart. It turned out perfect. I can’t wait to give it to the person it is meant for.

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For myself personally, I am GRATEFUL for all my family and friends who sent flowers, cards and gifts in the past month or so. It was appreciated more than you will ever know! I had not been feeling well for several months and suddenly found myself in the hospital having emergency surgery at the beginning of March. It has been six weeks now and I am a new person. Still need to build up my stamina for all my activities, but I feel VERY WELL! Thank you again for your kindness!

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And lastly, I am GRATEFUL for many boring days during my recuperation when I finally got up the desire to work on some needlework. I managed to complete about HALF of my “Tulips” cross-stitch piece. I still have a long way to go. But to me HALF done is ALMOST done. SMILE

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Happy Spring to everyone! It has finally arrived in Chicago. Although I would like it to be a little warmer, I will take what is given.

Amities, Averyclaire

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It’s My Birthday…Yesterday!

When one gets to be an “older” woman….one prefers to pretend one’s birthday is just another day. However, secretly I am deeply grateful to my friends and family who went out of their way to make this a very special day.

I received some lovely emails today from some dear friends all the way from France and Belgium, a lovely note from my son and his wife, some from my nieces, many from needlework and quilting friends, other long-time friends, and sisters, Barb & Bonnie, Barb even sent me a some special internet gifts. And there were lots of special phone calls too and a video message from my new 4 month old granddaughter, Maya. I am SO humbled and grateful. Thank you to each of you.

I share with you some photos of other gifts I received in addition to the beautiful Eiffel Tower scissors and books I showed you last post. The other gifts must remain anonymous! Shhhhhh…I’ll never tell….Smile.

My SIL Judy, and friend, Kay, sent me this lovely teacup bouquet to brighten my day. Thanks again, Judy and Kay.

And what a surprise when Southpaw Stitcher made this lovely pincushion for me. It really says a LOT! Thank you so much Pat…yes, friendship DOES grow.

And My friend Jodi equally surprised me when she presented me with this lovely pincushion (filled with sand) handmade by a friend of hers. This one came all the way to me from Washington state. And isn’t this a beautiful card. Thank you Jodi…how kind and thoughtful to think of me while you were away!

I still do some computer work at home for the Augustinian priests and brothers and my boss, Fr. Mike, thoughtfully, sent me this plant with lovely lavender flowers along with a promise of prayers and Mass celebrated in my honor. Thanks so much…I miss all of you.

So you see…..amidst all the “to do” that one really doesn’t want to remember that one is ANOTHER year older…..it is really nice to be remembered. I SO appreciate all of the good wishes and prayers and gifts.

And I plan to keep on celebrating my birthday all month long. After all it comes only once a year….so celebrating for one full month is certainly in order!

Gratefully, Averyclaire

Happy Thanksgiving

For all of my blogging friends I am grateful on this  special day.

For my family…my husband, my children, my grandchildren, our extended families and ALL of our friends, we are grateful.    We are grateful to be alive and well right now and happy.  And we are grateful for our times of trial and illness which help us to see our days in a different light.  I am even grateful for the job I sometimes wish I did not have, as so many people today have no job and desperately need one.  I am grateful for the men and women who are serving in foreign countries to try to keep our world a safe place for all of us.

But most of all, I am grateful to God for the gifts of love and friendship he has given to each one of us.

In Gratitude….Thank you my friends, Averyclaire

Good News

P6270037It was a long week, but the news is good.    They have removed all of the cancer present at this time.   Perhaps there were angels watching over us.    My DH will begin chemotherapy in September.    It will last for seven weeks and then once a month for a year.    It is a long road to complete recovery.    And always looming over one’s head is the possibility of a reoccurence.    But we are grateful for today and are hopeful for the future.

I confess to having a meltdown this week.   I think I cried for five days straight.   The emotions of the past months finally came out and wouldn’t stop.    But I am fine now.   And we are planning a two week vacation for ourselves soon.    I need to be away from work and we both need to be away from doctors and hospitals.

Life is different now.   It is what it is, but it does not mean that we cannot enjoy life and each other.    I look forward to our time out west for a bit of rest and relaxation.

Thanks for all your notes and emails.   I am grateful for your friendship.    Averyclaire

Time for Reflection

My Gazing BallMy husband is having a second surgery for his bladder cancer in a few weeks. Things are not the best they can be…but they are definitely not the worst either. Life somehow seems to have been put on hold and this cancer thing has consumed our lives. We are trying desparately to assimilate all the facts and options without becoming crazy with worry. It is difficult to say the least. I am still filled with hope for a good outcome in the end, but it is a long road we are facing. I ask all of you for as many prayers as possible.

Thank you to all of you who send comments and emails as they are much appreciated. This blogging world is absolutely amazing…what a comfort to find so many friends around the world.

In the meantime I find comfort in a crazed cleaning out of my sewing/art room. A purging, if you will, of all things unnecessary. Obviously a mental state that matches the excision of anything extraneous in my life as well. I am quite sure this is a perfect remedy for a soothing of the soul. Curling up with a good, light reading, book is also therapeutic. We continue our long four mile walks, we are eating as healthy as we can…also good for the mental and physical health. I am learning more patience…a blessing I am sure. And gratitude for small things has become overwhelming.

So once again…thank you to all my special friends out there. Gratefully yours, Averyclaire

Gratitude

Violets For the last several weeks I have not been feeling well and undergoing so many tests that I didn’t think there were any more tests possible! They found a mass on my liver and things truly didn’t look good for a couple of weeks. One minute I was sure things would turn out great and the next minute I’d have tears welling up in my eyes. What a roller coaster ride. Today I received word that the mass was not malignant, but still must be monitored carefully. I’ll need a CT scan every three months and blood work each month to check on things. But today I feel like a new person with a new lease on life.

How things can change in one’s life in just an instant! We went from laughing about the problems of redoing our bathroom (when you have only one bathroom to use) to seriously discussing chemotherapy, surgery, and yes we even discussed death quite a bit. We had prepared ourselves for the worst scenario. I guess I am not out of the woods for another year, but I sure feel like a bit of sunshine today. Life can change in the blink of an eye!

I am grateful for my very special husband who walked with me and held my hand each step of this journey, for my daughter who cried with me, and for my two sons who knew nothing of my illness, but are always there for me, no matter what, and for my sister-in-law (the oncology nurse) who kept me focused and kept me from freaking out. She is so knowledgeable about so many things…but her caring concern was very special to me. I am grateful for my friend who lives around the corner and worried for me to take some of my burden away, and for my co-workers who prayed for me each day. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I am grateful for my friend who had dinner with me last evening. She is such good company that I didn’t need to dwell on “THE” doctor’s appointment I was having today. We laughed and discussed everything, including my concerns. She is delightful company and I thank her for being there. She had no idea about my health issues when we met, but patiently sat and listened VERY well.

I am grateful, but “grateful” doesn’t seem powerful enough of a word to describe how I feel today. A chance to begin again….or to pick up where I left off and make life even better. This surely was a life changing experience for me and I AM grateful. And last, but not least, I am a very spiritual person and am grateful for the arms of the Lord who held me up these past weeks. It was comforting and peace giving. I knew the warmth of His presence would be with me no matter how it turned out. Again, I am grateful…….Averyclaire