Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Guest Post By My Mom!

Hi, everyone!

Well, a week and a day ago, my mom had major surgery to remove a cancerous mass from her colon.
(To read more about that go here.)'s as if she never even had surgery!!  She's already doing the treadmill again (she walked 3-4 miles a day before her surgery) and eating fine (although a bland diet) and she's in no pain!
This truly shows the power of prayer!

She wrote a little something and wanted me to put it on here...her first ever blog post! :)

"I have been amazed and humbled by all the prayers, thoughts and well-wishes from "blogger-land"......when
Susan discussed her desire to post my health diagnosis on her blog (and asked for my permission) I never in
my wildest imagination could have predicted the wonderful comments, concern, and especially prayers from all of you on my behalf.....THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.....I have read each comment and feel so incredibly blessed by the positive words, encouragements and personal stories of the power of prayer.

 I gave the testimony of answered prayer to the wonderful staff who took care of me in the hospital - from the doctors to the nurses to housekeeping (they were all astonished at my recovery) - I mentioned all of you bloggers who united with our family in prayer to the Healer.  God is, indeed, faithful!!

 I am feeling wonderful and haven't had to take any pain medication.  I am optimistic about the upcoming consultation - whatever the future holds, I know I am in God's capable care!!  God bless you all, and again THANK YOU!!"

My mom is such an inspiration!  I haven't heard her complain once through all of this!  When she was in the hospital all of the doctors and nurses called her their 'Queen Patient' and said that she was so easy and had the best attitude.

Again, thank you for your support and continued prayers!
I'll keep you updated on her health reports.
Have a blessed day! :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Continued Sunroom Tour and 'Mom Update'

Hello, everyone!

I just want to give another heartfelt 'thank you' to all of you who have left kind comments about my mom, and to those of you who have been diligently praying for her through her surgery and recovery!
You all have really touched us with your concern and prayers!

She has been released from the hospital, and is doing REMARKABLY well!!  She is convinced it is because of all her prayer warriors, and I agree!
She is walking around a lot, eating, and generally feeling good and not needing her pain meds-praise God!
The surgeon doesn't think she'll need additional treatment, but we'll know more when she has her consultation in about 10 days, when she has the staples removed.
We'd definitely appreciate your continued prayers for a good prognosis!

As a 'diversion' for me, I decided to show you another segment of my sunroom changes...almost the last one before I show you the whole room put together!

You know how one little change to a room can be the catalyst for a whole big change?
Well, this was the object that led me to change the whole sunroom...

My large blue Madonna statue.  I placed her in here, not thinking much about it, but she subtly influenced me to change the whole color scheme to soft blues and whites, and then I eventually added in some greens.

I found this weathered blue shutter at a sale, and placed it behind her...

...then found this chippy blue bench and used it as a pedestal to display her on.

All this is beside the couch that I have draped in an off-white coverlet.

This couch is so comfy, and we take many naps on it through the warm months!

Next I began seeking out pillows with blue tones to add.

We've made a lot of changes to our living room (which will be in future posts) so we moved the factory cart coffee table from the living room into the sunroom.

I've told the story before about how Keith stenciled the 'dept no 3' (my favorite number) on the cart as a surprise for me when I was out of town one weekend.  Gotta love him! :)

I put my blue-striped grainsack runner on it as a base, then added a painted wooden 'tray'... old metal box from the flea market... oil can filled with faux lavender...

...and another smaller Madonna, that 'echos' the larger one in the background.

This is what you see when you look down into the sunroom from the living room.

I'll show you the last area you haven't seen the next time, and some whole room shots.

God bless you all...

...and have a wonderful day!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Saturday Spotlight: Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy

Hi, everyone!   Kris from Junk Chic Cottage and I wanted to do a regular feature on our blogs, something unique that hasn't been done before.   So we came up with an idea to 'spotlight the real life behind the blogger' in a more personal way.
There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a closer look at the person behind the blog.

Every week on Saturday we will spotlight a blogger and have them tell us a little bit about themselves and their blogs.  You will be able to see and read about each of the bloggers on both Kris's and my blog. 


Today my guest is Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy.  I love Jeanie's zest for life and how it comes through on her blog, whether she's showing one of her creations, or giving a tour of someplace wonderful she's visited!  Also, we share a love of cats! :)
Please sit back, relax, and enjoy getting to know Jeanie better!

I am so delighted that Susan invited me to join her at Must Love Junk this Saturday. I've been following her blog for sometime now and have delighted in learning about new bloggers through her Saturday spotlights.

I blog at The Marmelade Gypsy and have been doing so for almost six years. Until I retired last fall, I had worked for East Lansing Michigan's public television and radio stations. One day during Christmas break (we are located on the campus of Michigan State University) one of our colleagues suggested a blogging workshop in the computer labs. Since we were launching into a more aggressive social media presence at work and doing that fell into my public relations position, I figured it would be smart to learn. Besides, I'd already been following a few of my online art group member's blogs. I really was curious about having my own.

What started with the intention of being an art blog -- a spot to share my own creativity, art and photography with other mixed media artists -- turned into a combination of art, travel, food, family, books and creativity. I suppose that shouldn't surprise me -- a lot of us mixed-media types tend to live our lives that way, too. We can't limit ourselves to just one thing -- we like to sample it all.

I wonder what my partner Rick, or his kids, thought the first time they saw themselves up there -- splashy pictures, stories recounting good times and challenging ones! They never told me to stop and the posts kept coming (and would I have stopped? I'm not sure!).


My blog readers have taken them to heart, delighting in Rick's bike rides or bread-making adventures, celebrating Kevin's wedding and checking out the art of the truly talented Greg.

There are other recurring characters and places at The Marmelade Gypsy. The blog was named after my sweet orange boy-cat, Gypsy Rose (I thought he was a girl when I named him). Gypsy had his own fan club and when his time came to move "up to the heavyside layer," as they sing in "Cats," blog friends helped me get through one of my greatest emotional challenges.

But they were openhearted and enthusiastic when they welcomed Lizzie Cosette. I adopted her after a friend found her with kittens in an abandoned garage. Now and then there is a Lizzie photo and the cat fans let me know they like it!

Marmelade Gypsy visitors will periodically sit in on wine tastings with the Cork Poppers, our wine and dinner group. I'll share the wines we enjoyed, the prices and some of the "reviews" from the crowd. We do know how to have a good time!

Many of the Cork Popper posts will have a decorating or food element and that's something that will pop up on The Marmelade Gypsy now and then. Home is important to me and whether it is a holiday, a new recipe or find, a favorite garden or a celebration, there's generally something to share! I do love a good celebration!

Travel figures into The Marmelade Gypsy as often as possible! Some of my favorite posts have been about Paris (or, as Audrey Hepburn said in "Sabrina," "Paris is always a good idea!"), Amsterdam, the Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts, New Harmony, Indiana or spots closer to home, including Otsego Lake (where I spend much of the summer) and other spots in Michigan.

You might find a book review (especially since I've been a bit lazy keeping up my second blog, Chopsticks and String, which was all-books). And yes, you'll even find some art and plenty of photography. What started as a spot to share just about anything I can make with paint, paper and glue still serves that purpose -- at least sometimes.

I recently posted my 1,000th post. I had no idea so long ago that in this time, I would share so much and make so many friends. Genuine friends. I've stayed with them while traveling and welcomed them to my home; I've turned virtual friends into "real" when we met for lunch or dinner when I've been on the road, and once on a "let's really meet in person" trip to Chicago. We swap holiday cards -- real cards, with envelopes and stamps that come in the mail! We may talk on the phone or exchange surprise gifts. We support each other. We look after our own, with concern when one is unwell, with joy when it's time to celebrate. When we meet, there is no awkward pause. We are friends.

Someone once asked me, "Why do you do it? It must take an awful lot of time." I suppose it does -- writing, visiting, replying to comments (I try to do that in person if there is an email address). And in some ways, it is my best-spent time. For I am among friends. I learn from you, I laugh with you, I share with you. What reasons could be better?

I hope you'll stop by. The Marmelade Gypsy is much like the weather here in Michigan. If you don't like it one day, wait around for the next. It's bound to change!

Jeanie, thanks so much for sharing with us! Please visit her at The Marmelade Gypsy then head over to Kris's blog to read about Kathleen from The Lavender Bouquet.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Update On My Mom

Hi, everyone!

I can't even begin to thank you all enough for your kind and comforting comments regarding my mom and her surgery!!  We were blown away by your support.  I am SO thankful for my blogging 'family'!!

My mom became emotional reading your comments, but she said they were so uplifting and encouraging to her!  She couldn't believe that so many people would take the time to write and pray, and she was very touched!  It was definitely a comfort knowing that so many prayer warriors were with us in mind and spirit.

It was a long day yesterday, but she had friends and family there to support her, as well as your prayers.

Her surgery went well, thank God!  The surgeon said that he was happy with how smoothly everything went, and that her other organs look good. (They were previously concerned about a spot on her ovary.)  So that's great news!

When we first went in to see her, she was groggy but said to me "Does my hair need fluffed out?"  I had to laugh!  Her lipstick was still perfect (although she wasn't supposed to wear makeup-she wasn't having that!) and she looked gorgeous!  She continued to joke a bit...she is such a trouper and I am so proud of her!

Now we're waiting until they get the blood work back on some lymph nodes that were swollen to see if any more treatment (like chemo) will be needed.  We're expecting a good report!

We'd appreciate your continued prayers on the next results, and on her recovery.
I'll be sure to keep you updated.

God Bless you all!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Hi, everyone!

Well, I've been wondering how to write this post, and debating if I even should.  But  I've come to think of you all as friends and as a support system, and all of your prayers can only help, so here goes...

My mom (who is my best friend) had been having some stomach pain and problems for a few weeks, so she recently went to a couple of different specialists to have a series of tests done.  This included a colonoscopy.

When I spoke to her after she got the results, I was expecting the usual "everything is fine" report.  I was completely unprepared and stunned when she said,  "It's not good news."

They had found a cancerous mass on her colon.  I couldn't wrap my brain around this.

My sweet mom, who is 72 years young, so beautiful and incredibly healthy and full of could this be?

Well, in the last couple of weeks it has slowly started to sink in.  Although this news at first devastated me, my family and I are choosing to trust God.  We believe that He is good and faithful!
So we're taking these 'lemons' and giving them to Him.

My mom is having surgery this Tuesday, the 12th to have a large portion of her intestine/colon removed.  The good news is that they think that the cancer is contained, and that they can get it all!  So we're focusing on that.

My mom has a wonderful attitude, and the peace of God is on her and with her.

I truly believe in the power of prayer, so with her permission, I'm asking you for yours.

Thank you all so much for your kindness and encouragement!  I appreciate you more than you know.

I may not be posting much or visiting you much in the coming weeks, but I'll be thinking of you all and will keep you updated on her situation.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Saturday Spotlight: Lisa from Lee's Hideaway

Hi, everyone!   Kris from Junk Chic Cottage and I wanted to do a regular feature on our blogs, something unique that hasn't been done before.   So we came up with an idea to 'spotlight the real life behind the blogger' in a more personal way.
There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a closer look at the person behind the blog.

Every week on Saturday we will spotlight a blogger and have them tell us a little bit about themselves and their blogs.  You will be able to see and read about each of the bloggers on both Kris's and my blog. 


Today I'm pleased to introduce you to my guest, Lisa from Lee's Hideaway.  I think Lisa is just gorgeous, and also sweet! She's not only a blogger, but a published book author, too. On her blog you may find her sharing a favorite recipe, showing photos of her stunning countryside views, or decorating her gorgeous home.  Please sit back, relax, and enjoy getting to know Lisa better.


Hi everyone.  My name is Lisa and my blog is called Lee's Hideaway.  Sweet Susan asked me if I could prepare a post for her blog.  I was so happy to be asked.  I love Must Love Junk and have become an addict myself of wonderful vintage finds.  
A little about me.  I am a writer, mother, wife, gardener, decorator, (wannabe designer),all vintage lover, farmhouse obsesser and cookie lover.
My husband and I bought our farmhouse in the early 90's and restored it one project at a time.

This was actually the first photo ever taken of our house.  Since then we have added, changed, redone and restored most of it.  It has been a labor of love but definitely labor.

First thing we did was to add the portico and then remove the gigantic pine.  

Next we added a full porch changed the siding and landscape.

We added an Amish Barn a few years back and it was the perfect touch.

I have been married for almost 26 years to my husband Rob.

And we have two sons, one about to leave to college and the other about to get married this fall.

We have two beloved doggies, Rudy and Wally.

When I am not writing or doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, food shopping, eating or sleeping or watching a movie here and there I love gardening, baking and shopping for antiques and vintage furniture.

My favorite thing to do to de-stress and relax is to be by the ocean.  I love to be at the beach.

The beach is where I could clear my mind and find peace and inspiration.
I am a huge Mary Carol Garrity fan and have every Nell Hill created design book.

She is an inspiration to me and a mentor and one of the loveliest people I have ever met. Through the years we have remained in touch and I have incorporated so much of her style in my decor.
Another highlight for me was meeting one of my favorite authors Nicholas Sparks.

My recent book is called The Shoebox and it is available on B& or
I am in the process of looking for an agent and getting my second book picked up by a publisher.  My dream is to someday have a fan pose with me at a book signing.  
But for now, I am just happy posting on my blog ""
and enjoying a Grande Vanilla With With Latte from Starbucks.  

Thank you Susan for inviting me as part of your blog post and invite your followers to come visit Leeshideaway anytime.  

Lisa, it was great learning more about you and your lovely family...thanks so much for sharing!  Please visit Lee's Hideaway then head over to Kris's blog to read about Keya from Vintage Prairie Style.
Have a fantastic day! :)