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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Weddings and Summers are Perfect Together!

What a wonderful week it was... getting away from this Texas heat to enjoy a family wedding in Wisconsin!!

So. Much. Fun.

I might have a picture... or two!

We flew up... as many of the family as could manage... to celebrate the wedding of our cousin's daughter.  Poppy was happy to be smack dab in the middle of it all...

And while we were there for wedding festivities we made the most of our time exploring dad's old boyhood haunts... Wisconsin does not disappoint!! 

There were Boat rides on the Chain O'Lakes...
Poppy spent his summers fishing and skiing on these very waters.
He was in his happy place reliving those long-ago days!

Dad's sister, Aunt Di and her daughter, our cousin, made the day perfect with their delightful commentary and sharing of favorite family stories!

Thank you Captain Clair for taking such good care of us!
"Maybe we should take a group selfie", I say...

Wait, I didn't make the cut... Let's try it again...

Well, now I lost the other half of the boat... One more time...


Then we spent a day at the local zoo...
and watched my brother become one with the birds...

Which was fun, but the real fun began when we got to Aunt Di's place...

Just this summer, her farm garden was voted as 
The Prettiest Farm in Wisconsin
by "Our Wisconsin" magazine.

And I have pictures!  Because, well, it is really the Prettiest Farm in Wisconsin!
And we had a blast staying with her all week...

And then we had a farm garden photo shoot
with our favorite gardner in the whole world...

Poppy found a great place for afternoon naps on the back porch...

While Leroy and Aunt Di got down to the business
of mowing this little piece of paradise...

And then there was a Walleye Fish Fry with Poppy...

The week ended with a drive down back country roads
in Aunt Di's old convertible...
Bliss on wheels!

It all started with a Summer Wedding... 
and became the perfect vacation getaway!!
Memories for the heart!

Back in Texas... with mountains of laundry and just a bit of jet lag...
But what a great way to send out the summer of 2018!

Much Love,


Thursday, August 16, 2018


She was the Queen of Soul.

She sang for Presidents.

She sang in her father's church choir.

She was a beloved mother and grandmother.

She was adored as an artist.

She was 76 years old.

This morning at 9:50am, Aretha Franklin lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.

The loss is enormous.  The world is a quieter place today without her voice...

There will be tears and grief, and accolades and memories shared over the coming days.  She was an amazing woman, strong and resilient, but pancreatic cancer was stronger.  And it makes my heart hurt.

According to Dr. Phillips, Aretha's oncologist, she suffered from the rarer neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer tumors.  These tumors only affect about 6% of pancreatic cancer sufferers.

Most pancreatic cancer cases are exocrine or adenocarcinoma cancers.  That was the name given to mom's cancer.

But in the end, it doesn't really matter what the doctors call it.  Pancreatic cancer is deadly.  So very ruthless.

And no respecter of persons. Aretha Franklin knows. You can demand
R-E-S-P-E-C-T all day long, but pancreatic cancer is brutal. You may be Rich or Poor.  Young or Old.  Man or Woman.  Famous Celebrity or an Ordinary, Beloved Mom...

This cancer does not care, leaving in its wake a nightmare of suffering and grief.

And if that was the end, this would be a very sad day.

A friend shared his pastor's sermon from this past Sunday, and I find it perfectly timed.  God knew there would be questions... there have always been questions... about His Goodness. His Sovereignty.

For how can a good God allow such sorrow and pain?  The debate has roared throughout the centuries.  From the time of Adam and Eve and a garden, the brokenness has brought humanity back to God either on their knees or with fists raised...

The pastor was clear and passionate as he shared from Romans 8:18-28.

"God is not a God who causes suffering, but He will not waste it."

I needed to hear this, today, truth proclaimed,

"God's goodness is not locked in an outcome.  God's goodness is locked in His Character.  He uses the brokenness of our story to mold us, shape us into the image of His son."

The sorrow doesn't magically disappear.  Oh, but He will not waste it.

This passage in Romans is so rich with Hope.  And Hope is what we so surely need when the suffering turns our days to night.

Mom shared this poem with us shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer:

Cancer is so limited.
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot destroy peace,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot suppress memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot steal eternal life,
It cannot conquer the Spirit.
                               ~ Author Unknown

It Can Not Conquer the Spirit.

This is the Hope we cling to this night,

In Grace, Always,

Monday, August 13, 2018

Beating Cancer without Chemo!

Is that even possible?  I mean, Chemotherapy is the mainstay of our fight...Right??

But what if someone beat cancer without Chemo?  Really, truly, stopped cancer in its tracks... without the horrific side-effects of Chemotherapy treatment.  Wouldn't you want to know??!

Yes!  Yes!!  I'd be telling everyone I knew and loved, and even those I haven't met yet!

So, if you are fighting cancer, or have a loved one facing this daunting challenge, then listen up!  Chris Wark is sharing his inspiring story in a FREE 10-part video series for all of us:

The SQUARE ONE Healing Cancer Coaching Program

It begins Tomorrow, August 14th.  It is FREE.  And it is so very Powerful!

We met Chris a while back.  His story is nothing short of amazing...

Diagnosed with Stage III Colon cancer at the age of 26.  He chose the path less traveled, and against the strong advice of his doctors, friends and even some family, he walked away from Chemotherapy and conventional treatments, choosing to heal his cancer naturally...

In this 10-part video series Chris will educate, encourage and empower all of us to research our options and take charge of our medical decisions.

Today, over 14 years later, Chris is cancer free, alive and well, and sharing how he and many others have healed their bodies with nutrition and natural therapies.

Could this be for you?

Listen to some of the reviews:

"Square One has been an invaluable resource for so much information pertaining to cancer treatments, testing, nutrition, lifestyle, support, and more!! Chris's amazing personal story and experiences provide a unique platform to educate and empower those on their healing journey."
                                                   ~ Elaine

"After DCIS Breast Cancer diagnosis in October 2016, Chris Wark's Square One got me on the right track to make significant changes in my life.  My initial searching on the internet provided information, too much information and confusion.  Square One provides guidance/information on food, supplements, and treatment options while empowering me to be in control of my life and my body.  Thank you Chris.  I encourage anyone cancer or any other illness to listen with an open mind and take advantage of the resources found in Square One."
                                                    ~ Maribeth

Whether you are choosing a Conventional, Alternative or "Combination of Both" approach to your diagnosis, Chris shares information in an easy to understand format, allowing each of us to examine the choices before us and make the best decision for our unique fight.

It costs nothing but your time... It is free... all you need to do is sign up at the Square One link.

You've got nothing to lose and so much to gain! Sharing Hope and Encouragement today... Get empowered in the Cancer Fight!

So what are you waiting for?  Head on over to Square One and check it out!

Graced to be Walking Together, One Step at a Time...

Love, Always,