Family

Update on Harmony’s Unexpected Adventures

xmas2015-2For those of you following Harmony’s progress since my last post in December, she had her stem cell transplant in January. She spent a little over two weeks in the hospital. The process really wreaked havoc on her body but she’s a tough girl and she hung in there. It was a long road. Thankfully, she’s back in her apartment now, resting and recovering.

If you’d like to read more first-hand progress, please visit her blog.

Thank you to everyone who has wished her well, donated for her cause, or just kept her in your thoughts. Every bit of love and support is appreciated. ❤

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“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring  

Check out Harmony’s Unexpected Adventures Blog and oh yeah, Cancer Sucks

It’s been almost a year since my niece Harmony was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Several rounds of chemo and radiation later, she is still fighting a tough battle. She is preparing for an analogous stem cell transplant in the next few weeks and may even be in the hospital over Christmas. Boo! 😦

Harmony has started a blog where she is sharing her experiences. She hopes to help put more information out there about the type of cancer she is facing and to connect with others who might be going through similar struggles. If you’d like to check out her site and follow her progress, click here. Please share with others that you know who might be interested in learning more or who are facing similar challenges.

You can also visit Harmony’s GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses. So far insurance has been a blessing but you never know when expenses will exceed their limitations or when other unexpected expenses can crop up. Every little bit of support helps immensely! ❤

Tara-Harmony-Jess

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
~ Cayla Mills

It’s Good to Be Home

We’ve been away for a week-long vacation in New Braunfels, Texas, visiting nearby family and just getting away from the usual routine. We had a GOOD time. Lots of laughs, good food and wine, tons of relaxation, and nice weather…with the exception of one creepy night of howling wind that set my imagination on fire. Even though it’s good to be home, leaving this morning to head home was hard. But we ripped that band-aid quick and I didn’t have time to get choked up. It’s so hard to say goodbye to people we only see once, sometimes twice a year. I’m so thankful for the time we spent with everyone and all the good times we had. For once, I don’t have any pictures because I was busy just enjoying all the great company, Scrabble games, and trips to the hot tub. (Therapeutic for Don’s knee of course.) 🙂

Now it’s back to life as usual. I’m still unpacking, doing laundry, cleaning overfull cat boxes and reassuring the boys that we are in fact not leaving them forever. I look forward to my own bed tonight. It’s nice to be in our own space again.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
~ Dr. Seuss

The Great Reveal

*SPOILER ALERT*

This post will be crude and lewd. Just warning you now in case you don’t like that sort of thing.

So, as I’ve mentioned before, Don and his Aunt Betty like to send each other gag gifts each Christmas. Some years are more creative than others with original homemade gifts, some years we fall back on store-bought creations. This year both gifters found themselves at Spencer’s, in search of ideas. Thankfully, Spencer’s is rife with filthy ideas. 🙂

Betty chose to send Don the following beauties…

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Jingle Jugs

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Yes, yes he is squeezing the jug.

They bounce and the jingle “Titties and Beer” by Rodney Carrington plays. It’s quite a catchy tune that gets stuck in your head. (Gotta love that!) They can be turned on by switch, or motion activated. Yep. Motion activated. I think they’ll be adorning the garage walls soon. I have to admit, I haven’t taken the time to film them in action for you, but you can see plenty of examples on youtube if you’re really interested in how these babies work.

For Don’s part…he gave Aunt Betty the following gift pack:

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In case you can’t see it well, Don cut a hole in the paper sack to make the Redneck Blindfold.
(He had to have some homemade component.)

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I thought this one was pretty self explanatory but since the previous photo is quite small
I thought it might help to have a close-up.

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The irony of the spray is that Aunt Betty has had laryngitis for weeks so she tried it just for kicks
and it is helping her throat feel better! (We didn’t even know.) LOL

That’s it for another round of who can beat the other in crap gag gifting!

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
~ Mark Twain

Good Times Gone By

We sold our Polaris ATV this past week. It was a good thing. We have used it infrequently for the past three years and it was just one more hobby collecting dust and getting old with disuse.

Still, a part of me is sad. I miss the good times we had with it. The sudden expanse of the space in the garage is wonderful, yet bittersweet. It feels like there’s a hole in our lives. Odd that, when we haven’t hardly used it lately. But it’s like a fragrance that can suddenly call back a memory from long ago and it can feel as present as the first time you experienced it; so too, the moment you sit on the quad and go riding, all those good times come flooding back and don’t seem so long ago.

Well, we don’t have that luxury anymore. LOL We do have many wonderful photographs that also bring back a swell of memories.

Reiters Pitt - Gold Bar, WA area (now closed to ATV riding) - Sept 2005

What a view in that second picture above!

Sand Camp - Somewhere in Oregon the boys went - August 2006

Miles and miles of sand…

Rock Candy Mountain - McCleary/Olympia, WA area - April 2007

We even got the parents out with us! Look at ’em go!
Despite the exposure issues, the picture on the right has always been one of my favorites of us.

Walker Valley - Mt Vernon, WA area - April 2007

Lots of fun in the mud on this trip.

Reiters Pitt - July 2007

Reiters Pitt - July 2007 (sensing a favorite location here...)

A few moments of needing a winch are always a good thing.

Reiters Pitt - Sept 2007

There’s that winch again…

Reiters Pitt - Nov 2007

Why do the boys love water and mud so much?

Winchester Bay, OR Sand Dunes - Feb 2008

Love those dunes!

Winchester Bay, OR Sand Dunes - Feb 2008

Little Sahara - Central Utah - May 2008

Massive dunes in Central Utah! Who knew?
We came across this awesome place as we drove cross-country to move to Pensacola, Florida.

Boggs and Boulders - Andalusia, AL - Sept 2009

I feel blessed to have had these good times and to have these memories to cherish. Now, we move forward to another season with new priorities, other activities to explore and adventures to be had. There is an endless abundance of activities and hobbies to experience in life and I look forward to enjoying as many as we can. 🙂

We do not remember days; we remember moments.
~ Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand