Accomplishment

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

~author unknown

I have been enjoying a short bit of respite this week from my usual chock full life. But I wanted to take a moment to share my accomplishments.

Last Friday I completed what has been the most challenging online college course to date. In 8 seemingly short weeks we plowed through a 760-page text on the interesting but complex subject of microbiology–you know, those little bugs that are everywhere. The course included the do it at home lab pack that required 4 cooked labs done in the luxury of my kitchen and grown in a homemade incubator. I know you are quite envious right about now thinking—wow, I wish I could have spent the last 2 months doing that!

In addition, to that course, I completed an online course in Faith Community Nursing. This has been a long held desire of mine and I felt that the time was now. The course culminated with a 2- day retreat by the water. My dream is to build an active health ministry in my local church.

It has been good to have some downtime this week. However, the break is nearly done now. Next week I start back, three courses this time. I really want to get this degree complete and move onto the next step on my God adventure. I hope that I can bring myself here to write once a week. It is nice to reflect back on my journey and share it with you.

Below are a couple of photo’s from the retreat and the pins I earned.

 

 

Faith Community Nurse Pins

The Weekend is Here

It snowed here in Connecticut yesterday. Not a lot but enough to make the morning commute miserable for many. I was thankful to get to work just as the snow began to fall. I have recently decided that one of the challenges with living here is that it gets cold in the winter but often times there is not much snow(last year excluded). If it is going to be cold I would prefer the world be covered with the white stuff. Plus I just love the quietness that falls over the world when the snow falls. I can almost hear the hush now.

At the end of my work day I went to the farm to pick up this weeks share. It was so picturesque I stopped to snap a couple of photo’s with my phone. You practically need to shield your eyes the sun is shining so brighter.

Have a great weekend!

Setting Sun over the hill and field.

Setting Sun over the hill and field.

 

Street Art

 

My husband and I recently traveled to the beautiful state of Washington to visit our daughter and granddaughters who moved there last April. They live about an hour outside of Seattle so a day trip to Pike Place was in order. Just as we were arriving I read a FB post from a photographer friend of mine who recently challenged her students to shoot some snaps portraying street art, I thought this venue would offer some great snaps—I wasn’t disappointed.

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IMG_5477

October 20, 2104IMG_5481IMG_5484IMG_5487IMG_5501IMG_5503IMG_5504IMG_5506IMG_5510

Phoneagraphy: Weekly Photo Challenge

This weeks photo challenge asked us to use our phone camera and the mobile version to create the post. I did as asked but now edit the original at the desktop.
My neighborhood was receiving a blanket of snow so I decided to stay indoors.

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On what I hope to be the final snowy night of this winter we enjoyed the warmth and glow of a fire.

Digital Photography Class

Last May right around the time that I vanished from blogosphere I went with my guy to a digital photography “class” sponsored by the Appalachian Mountain Club. If you haven’t attended one of AMC’s programs I can highly recommend it as a good value and beauty in the setting. We spent 3 glorious days hiking the Delaware Water Gap, camera in hand, then would huddle up in the lodge after a tasty meal for some educational time with a semi-professional photographer.  At the end of the program each participant went home with one photo enlarged to 11×15 taken by “you” and then edited to your preferences. The photo of the pine tree is the one I selected for editing and enlarging(done by the instructor with my input).

Appalachian Mountain Club logo

Appalachian Mountain Club logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How I long for springtime!

Discovering this idyllic place, we find ourselves filled with a yearning to linger here, where time stands still and beauty overwhelms.

~Author undisclosed

As the sign says

As the sign says

Natures True Beauty

Natures True Beauty

My Favorite Guy being Silly

My Favorite Guy being Silly

The Boat House

The Boat House

Ferns in the Wood

Ferns in the Wood

Little White Flower

Little White Flower

Lady Slipper in the Wood

Lady Slipper in the Wood

Hello from Sunny Florida

map of the CDP of North Key Largo, Florida sho...

map of the CDP of North Key Largo, Florida showing boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well I tried to get this post up before I boarded my ship but it wasn’t meant to be. We have returned from our fabulous vacation—we were not on the ship that was disabled for days in the ocean requiring a tow back to port. I will post more photo’s and tales as the weeks progress. In the meantime here is the post I wrote prior to our escape to the sea.

With the crazy weather up north we left CT a day earlier than expected. We decided to rent a car and drive down to Key Largo. Below are a few shots from our first night and then day here. Enjoy. We will be heading off to our ship very shortly.

Coconut in a treeTwo Dogs in a BoatFirst night in FloridaBirds digging in the beach debrisSea Turtle

Key Largo at Sunset

Meet Grace

Last year I attended several photography classes in which the instructor would give us an assignment and we would interpret using photographs. On the particular class we were to photograph someone into who’s soul we could see. What follows is the narrative that preceded the photograph’s I shared with the other participants. I must give full disclosure by telling you that there was not a dry eye in the house by the time I completed the story. I hope you enjoy.

February 2, 2012

In my role as breast nurse navigator I am in a unique position to meet and minister to many women and families who are in a trying and vulnerable season of life. I am often extremely impacted emotionally and spiritually by the struggles, fear and pain that I witness and must provide support through. I have felt a deep stirring over these past couple of months as I struggle with the injustice of this life altering disease.

It was during a time of prayer and fasting that I began to sense a bud of an idea. Cancer care is inclusive of what is known as complimentary medicine; the use of eastern medicine as well as the arts to restore the WHOLE person to health. We are after-all composed of mind, body and spirit. I believe that God wants me to act as an agent to aid in the healing process. This assignment gave be the motivation I needed to move to the next level.

Let me introduce Grace. We met my first week on the job; the first patient at my hospital to be navigated through breast cancer care. Early August she underwent the first surgical procedure to remove the cancer from her body. The day we took this photo she was receiving her last dose of chemotherapy medication…we are two-thirds of the way complete.

I asked Grace to answer a couple of questions if she was comfortable. What I will share with you next is her response which is being shared with her permission.

Me: I was wondering what your thoughts are about how cancer has changed YOU. I know how it has changed your life at least on the physical level but how has it changed you…your thoughts, the way you interact with the world, people, God. Is there something that you have learned during this time that you will never forget?

Grace:First of all I never thought about death. I was always on survival mode.  When I was just diagnosed I was sad for my kids; in my head I was ruining their life; they couldn’t lose their mother yet, they are momma’s boys and they are too young (14, 23 and 28). I would not allow myself to mess up their life. I needed to do everything without them; including them but without them being present; what if anything went wrong and they saw me suffering? No, no it couldn’t happen.

I decided to reach out to the women in my life; they would understand and sympathize with me in a different way.  I created two closed groups in Facebook, one named girlfriends and one named amigas for the ones that spoke Spanish. It was a hit! I was an inspiration for them and I was able to share very openly how I felt. They shared my fears, my inside battles and my little by little accomplishments. They made me feel so loved.

In the dark side some people I thought they were close friends disappeared from my life; people that I bent backwards for them so many times; may be they were scared, may be they were not who I thought they were.

Cancer taught me to be wiser in my choices.

Cancer brought me closer to God; showed me that miracles happen every day.

 I need to share this with you.  When I was 17 years old I fell in love with a boy and for some strange reason we got separated. He married, I married, and we never forgot each other.  Technology brought us together.  This year right after my surgery and 1 day before my birthday he found me in Facebook; it was some happiness in my life much needed and unexpected. He lives in Argentina (where I’m originally from) and he is very active in the Catholic Church; I told him about my cancer and somehow he convinced me that with prayer my cancer was gonna be gone; God was going to help me.

Here is the miracle- one day out of the blue he told me that I should go to church and find out when they have a special mass for the sick people.  I said ok I will go tomorrow to find out; that was in the morning something inside me made me go the same day to check; well my friend the mass that is held for the sick people and is only once a year was that same day; I couldn’t stop crying……..I knew at that point God wanted that for me………I went by myself and I cried my eyes out; I felt so blessed…….. The same guy from Argentina said to me ‘you know one day you’ll be able to share this miracle in front of people and I said yes I told my kids and I told Steve and he said no I went to church today and I got that message from God that you will be standing in front of people and you are going to be giving your testimony’. Now Paige I think your project make my miracle/message complete.

What did I learn during this time?

I learned to be more patient; I learned to give thanks every day for another day;  I learned that I was chosen to fight this cancer battle was because I was strong enough to make it through;  I learned there is people around me who love me unconditionally;  I learned to reach out in order to heal; I learned a life lesson. 

I never said ‘why me?’.  Instead I said thank God it’s me with cancer and no one of my dearest.  I can make it!  I will make it!

Thank you Paige for giving me an opportunity to share this with you!

Thank you for showing up in my life when I needed a hand and helped me walk though!

Love you Paige!!!!!!!

As with every other adventure I have been on when the Spirit is leading I have learned that the Divine Healer uses power to heal me while I am working to heal others…

Here is beautiful Grace on the last day of her chemo treatment. I met her to give her a Victory Rose which is pictured. Grace has passed the one year mark since her diagnosis of breast cancer. Even though her treatment is complete, the fear never really leaves.

Grace and her Victory Rose

Grace and her Victory Rose

A Winning Smile

Weekly Photo Challenge-Unique

The weekly photo challenge this week encourages us to put up a photo of something UNIQUE to us.

Last July we spent some time in Boston. This musician was entertaining the crowds at the Boston Commons. I think that his creation of music is unique.

Unique Music Man on Boston Commons July 2012