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Posts Tagged ‘Terry’

Today I’ll be celebrating my 38th wedding anniversary with my very best friend!

Here are a few pictures that I dug up from our wedding day. Our wedding colors were mint and forest green which went well with the massive Christmas tree at the front of the church. It was the 70’s and we weren’t fancy folks, so no ties for the guys and that lovely wide lapel suit coat for my sweetheart.  I couldn’t find a dress simple enough in the stores, so I had this one made for $70.  I made the veil myself for a few bucks and I still love the simplicity of it all.Bride and Groom Toasting at 1977 WeddingWe both love Christmas, so we thought getting married in December was a great idea. We were on a tight budget and paid for our own wedding (mostly). Since the wedding was so close to Christmas we asked our families not to get us any Christmas presents.  The cool thing was that we went on a 2 week honeymoon and got back just in time to open all of our wedding presents on Christmas morning. What a fun morning that was! Sitting as a married couple for the first time in our little one bedroom furnished apartment near 7th Street and Camelback Rd., reading every card with reminders of love and commitment from our friends and family. Then opening all those precious wedding gifts from the people we loved! There couldn’t have been a better way to start our lives together.

It’s crazy to think that we’ve been together for all these years! We’ve changed and grown and learned so much about ourselves and each other. Even though any relationship that last this long has it’s ups and downs, I’m so blessed that this guy has been there beside me through it all.

These are just a few things that I’m thankful for:

  • Thankful that he’s been such a wonderful partner and provider in our family. Practical, strong, steady and careful with our lives and resources
  • So blessed that he’s always been there to love and care for our children.  I’ve never had any doubt that he was 100% committed to them.
  • Thankful that we’ve learned to appreciate each other’s interests and strengths and realize that even though God created us very differently, He designed us to compliment each other perfectly.
  • Grateful that we’ve learned to love, forgive and protect each other’s weaknesses.
  • I love that he’s a life-long learner and constantly listening, watching, reading and analyzing everything.  I’m continually amazed at all the information that’s stored in his brain. It’s such a joy to see that the same love of learning has been passed on to our kids.
  • Thankful that he’s been there to listen, comfort, and hold me through so many sorrows, losses and painful times.
  • Blessed that he lets me dream big dreams and encourages my creativity and adventurous spirit.
  • Most of all, I’m so blessed to know that as long as the Lord allows we’ll get to walk this earth together discovering new things, laughing, crying, and enjoying each other’s company.  Thank you God, for placing him in my life.

1977 Wedding PartyI’m so thankful that we still have connections to all the people in this picture. What a blessing to have known (and loved) them all for so long!

Thank you Lord for a wonderful day to remember your goodness!

 

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I can’t believe that my last post was on January 1st.  Wow! So much has happened in the last few months. Some good, some sad. I’ll try to catch you up on a little bit of it.

In the beginning of the year I was winding down after the holidays and very focused on developing my website, Traveling With Purpose. Things were going along swimmingly and we were inching closer to launching the next phase of the site when things hit the proverbial fan.

At the end of January my husband’s mother was admitted to the hospital. It’s a long complex story, but the final result was that she has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  It’s called a low grade glioma and is rare in people her age. It’s much more common in children and teenagers. She was in and out of the hospital for over a week while they did tests and a biopsy to determine the diagnosis. Then due to the fact that she was showing signs of confusion, difficulty communicating and had not been cooking for herself, the family and medical team determined that it wouldn’t be wise for her to go home to Prescott by herself.

Since I was the only one in the immediate family (in Arizona) that wasn’t working and we have a guest room, we decided that she would come home with us for the time being.  We realized that it would be best to have someone with her during the days and she has been with us since that time.

She is such a sweet woman and has always been so kind to me. It’s an honor to have her here.

This is Carole and her oldest son (my husband) on a Skype call with her sisters back east on Saint Patrick’s Day. We’re realizing that she understands a lot more visually than by talking on the phone or hearing someone talk.  She sometimes doesn’t know who we’re talking about when we mention a name, but if we show her a photo she understands, so Skype is better than a phone call. We need to do more of it.

2013.03.17 St. Patrick's Day 013 (800x530)

Mom is Irish through and through and she loves celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. So much so, that she requested that we bring down her decorations from her house so we could use them here. I don’t have a lot of St. Paddy’s decor, so it was fun to have her items to scatter around the house. As you can see she was dressed for the day as well, with her Snoopy sweatshirt and Leprechaun socks.

St. Patrick's Day socks

And of course we had corned beef and cabbage, even though it’s really an American Irish tradition.  We all love it. I always cook it in the crock pot, which makes it so easy. For the first batch, I added chicken broth to the water, and for the second I added Guinness Black Lager (brewed in Dublin). Mmmm, both were very tasty. I cooked the 2nd one a week or so later to go with the potatoes and carrots that we had leftover from the first batch. Let me know if you want the recipe.
Corned Beef and CabbageSo since the end of January we have all been busy with doctors and more tests, discussions about treatment options and how to best care for her in the coming months/years. They have a big family, so we’ve had lots of visitors to the house.  She really enjoys her visitors for the most part. She’s been eating much better and has good times and bad when it comes to understanding all that’s happening around her. She will be starting radiation treatments next week…once a day, five days a week for 6 weeks.  We’re praying that the side effects will be minimal, but we’ll see how she does with it all. The difficulty will be in explaining any side effects in a way that she can understand so that she wants to keep going with it.

Please keep her in your prayers. There is a very slim chance for improvement in her condition with the radiation, but mostly it’s just to slow down the growth of the tumor.

So this is just a part of what’s been going on since the first of the year. Am I forgiven for being away so long? What has your new year brought?

More to come on everything else…and there’s a LOT more.

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This week we said goodbye to our dear precious cat.  Shredder was 21 years old and lived a long, happy and healthy life.  She was beautiful, smart, lovable and just plain cool.

We adopted her in 1991 when Amy was 9, Kevin was 7 and Terry was not a cat-lover.

For years Terry tried to convince us that he didn’t like cats, but in the last 8 years Shredder adopted him and he couldn’t help but fall in love with her too.

He made the ultimate sacrifice (as a non-cat-lover) when he drove over 8 hours from California to Arizona with Shredder in the cab of our moving truck.  She escaped from her carrier and was totally freaked out. The only way she would calm down was when he was petting and talking to her.  His voice was soothing. So that’s what he did for pretty much the whole time.  He talked to her about the towns they were driving through, the scenery and his favorite sports teams…and whatever came to mind for 8 HOURS!  Ever since then they’ve been great buddies.  They took naps together on Sunday afternoons…  Terry in the recliner and Shredder sneaking up on his lap.  She loved to “talk” and he’d have chats with her at various times when he didn’t think anyone was around.  In the winter Shredder would sleep right between the two of us or she’d lay right on the top of the blanket on Terry’s legs (which drove him nuts because he couldn’t move).

She had such a sweet disposition and a mind of her own, as most cats do.

Our daughter and son have lived away from home for several years, but now we truly have an empty nest. Our home and our family will not be the same without her.

Here are a few of my favorite posts about her.

20 Years Old!

Quail Babies in the House

The Cat is Alive and Well

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Hey friends,

I haven’t done a restaurant review in a while and I’m hesitant to do this one because The Oink Cafe is close to where we live and a review will just mean that more people will go there.  I’m kinda liking the place and not sure I want to share it with everyone in Phoenix.  But…I think you’ll like it and my mom taught me not to be selfish, so…here we go.

The Oink Cafe in PV

When driving down Cactus Road a few months ago, I noticed that one of the retail spaces near Paradise Valley Mall had a new sign outside.  This spot seems like a wonderful location, but has been somewhat of a revolving door in the past years, not retaining businesses for any length of time.  Hopefully, this will be the exception to that rule.

Anyway, you may remember that a few months ago I won a year’s supply of bacon so that treat has been forefront in my mind lately.  While driving by this new restaurant, the tag line made me do a double take. It reads “Breakfast. Lunch. Bacon.”   What!  A restaurant that features BACON!!! Wow! I’ve got to take my husband there!

This weekend we had the perfect opportunity to try it out.  We had family visiting from out-of-town and when we described it to them they were excited about the adventure.  So, our party of 5 headed there around 9:30 on a Saturday morning.  Phoenix restaurants can get pretty busy on weekends for breakfast, so we weren’t sure what we’d find.  We checked in at the hostess station, then moments later 2 more family members arrived, which increased our request to a party of 7.

Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

Maple Bacon Donuts

While we were waiting we noticed all these amazing looking baked goods.  We didn’t get a chance to try any, but will definitely need to do that next time.  Take a look at all the bacon options.

The staff handled our larger party graciously.  And fortunately while it was already pretty busy, there were a few tables that cleared just minutes after we arrived and we were seated promptly.

We perused the menu and ordered a nice variety from our friendly food server.  Here are a few photos to enjoy.

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One item of note:  At the time of this writing, they have 5 different flavors of bacon (applewood smoked, honey cured, sugar cured, peppered, &  jalapeno).  I enjoyed the applewood smoked bacon with breakfast and someone else at the table got an order of the jalepeno and gave me a taste.  It was delicious, especially for those who like that extra little kick of heat in their meal.

We mentioned to the server that they should have a flight of bacon that people could order to try a piece of each different kind.  She said that they have it, but upon checking the menu we couldn’t find it.  Hopefully they’ll add it to the menu or maybe to the list of “specials” so folks can check out all the different flavors.  Plus even though their logo is a pig, maybe they should consider adding turkey bacon for those who want to try to be a tad bit healthier.

Overall, everything was very tasty!  From the time we ordered till the time we got our food was a bit long, but since we were busy visiting it wasn’t too bad.  We’ll chalk that up to being relatively new to the breakfast scene and hope the timing improves.  It’s definitely a place that we’ll visit again…maybe for lunch next time.

Hey maybe they should offer an ultimate BLT with all the flavors of bacon!  I’d order it.  How about you?

What do you think ?  Does it sound promising?  Do you think you’ll try “The Oink Cafe” if you have the chance?

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A few weeks ago I had surgery and I’ve been home recuperating since then.  On doctor’s orders I’ve done a lot of sitting around, so I thought I’d give you a peek into my view from the sofa.

Shredder

Shredder

Here’s my buddy, Shredder.  Our 21 year old cat.  She’s been hanging out on the sofa with me every day.  Here she is on her favorite blanket.

Basically she sleeps away the day in the middle of the sofa and I sit to her right (under that blue blanket when it’s chilly).

 

Sometimes when my lap is empty she climbs up and sleeps there too.  She stretches out with her head on my chest and tail down by my knees as I watch my favorite home improvement/decorating show on the TV.  I have to admit that I watched a lot of HGTV, especially the first few days when I was on pain killers and couldn’t focus enough to do much of anything else.

Below is the view to the right, into the kitchen.  Our island is filled with beautiful flowers and sweet cards from friends (and my hubby).  Have I mentioned that I LOVE FLOWERS of all kinds?  Looking at these just make me happy.  And many of our friends and family brought meals and sweet gifts while I was out of commission as well.  All of them were a constant reminder of what loving family and friends we have.

Flowers and Cards

Do you live in a loving community?  I hope so!  We were created to love and be loved and the freedom to express and receive love nourishes us to our very core.   I have felt so much love over the last few weeks and that’s not because I’m such a special person.  It’s because the community that I’m part of just gets it.  They know how to love well.  They understand how important it is to come alongside, affirm, encourage and support others and I am SO BLESSED to be part of this exceptional community.

And here’s my sweet husband serving me like he has been since my surgery.  He’s taken on all of my chores around the house, cooking, cleaning the catbox, laundry and all.  He even freshened up my flowers for me every few days.  What a keeper he is!

Terry serving

More flowers

And some more lovely flowers from some of my co-workers to the left of where I’m sitting.

And now a fun bonus!  When I was going stir crazy this week and feeling well enough to stand up and walk around a bit, I finally put up this calendar on the side of my refrigerator.  I kind of like it! (Be sure to click to enlarge the photo.)

It’s called a “Peel It – Design It” Birds in Flight calendar.  Each piece around the calendar is a decal that is position-able wherever you want to put it.  The monthly calendars are cardboard.  There were other decals that were orange and yellows that so far I’ve decided to leave out of the design but we’ll see if I add them later.  What do you think?

What do you do to support and encourage friends and family when they’re going through tough times?  Were you raised in a loving community?  Do you feel comfortable showing love to others?  What’s your favorite way to do that?

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It’s been a busy and somewhat non-traditional month for us.  As you’ll see from these photos, there’s been a good amount of time spent with those we love, but somehow things were busy in other ways too.

Christmas NativityWe also went to the Musical Instrument Museum (the MIM) for our 34th wedding anniversary on Dec 9th, celebrated the holidays with a few of the non-profit groups that I work with and had a lovely evening with some other dear friends.  All of those activities don’t have pics posted yet, but hopefully I’ll get to it.

I’m not quite sure how the month got away from me, but we didn’t decorate inside the house until December 19th which is VERY LATE for me!  Originally we weren’t expecting to have any gatherings at our house this year, so I guess that gave me the freedom to put it off.  Then we found out that we were hosting our family gathering, so I got busy and did a few things.

We still have at least one more celebration to come with our son, Kevin when he returns from being overseas in early January.  That will be a special time to have him back home and in the U.S. hopefully for a very long time.

Here are links to a few photos that I’ve posted on Facebook over the last month.  I hope you enjoy them!  (Note: I was told that some of these links didn’t work for those that aren’t on Facebook, so I’ve updated them.)

Randy Thompson’s Christmas Concert where Terry played in early December

Christmas with our Home Group (they’re like Family)

Christmas with my side of the family

Christmas with our Los Angeles area family and our precious friends, the Thompsons

Christmas cookies

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Day 4 – Go West Young Man

On Sunday we decided that we were going to head west.  The plan was to follow this route from Aberfeldy to Glencoe, then on to Oban before coming back home in the evening.  It would be a lot of driving (about 2 1/2 hours one-way) but we felt the destinations were worth it.

Amy wasn’t feeling well again, so she and Andrew decided to stay back in the room.  We were sad that they couldn’t join us, but Amy got some much needed rest and Andrew had some adventures of his own.  Hopefully he’ll post about it.

Shortly after we left the resort we came upon our first up-close and personal sheep.  They were a common occurrence all over Scotland, but these were crossing the road right in front of our car.

Sheep

Then while driving along A827 through the town of Killin, we crossed a one lane bridge and came upon this gorgeous wide berth of the Falls of Dochart.  As always, feel free to click on any photo for a larger view.

Falls of Dochart

Of course we had to stop and do a little bit of exploring here…even though there was a light rain falling. Overall we had better weather than expected through the whole trip.  Oh, we had a little bit of rain nearly every day, but really only one day where we came home somewhat soggy.  For the most part we could expect the weather to change almost hourly, going from sunny to cloudy to sprinkling to raining and back again throughout the day.

Terry at Falls of Dochart
Falls of Dochart Scotland

An island in the middle of the river on the downstream side of the bridge is known as Innis Bhuidhe. This is home to the Clan MacNab Burial Ground. Its use dates back to the 1700s. An oblong enclosure within the burial ground is home to fifteen graves, nine of which are the final resting places of clan chiefs, plus a medieval grave slab which suggests that at least one earlier burial did take place here. Unfortunately there was a locked gate on the bridge that kept us from getting inside, so this is all we were able to see.  However, if you have a little bit of time, there's a sign on the gate that says you can get the key from a nearby building.
Clan MacNab Burial Ground

After our pit stop we headed back out toward the road to Glencoe.  At one point we had to stop for a few minutes for road construction and I snapped this photo of the vegetation at the side of the road.  I just love the dozens, or would you say hundreds of shades of green…and how many different types of plants can you pick out?

On the way to Glencoe

Next we were finally on to Glencoe, a lush, misty and gorgeous part of the Scottish Highlands!  It is also the historic home of the tragic Glencoe Massacre of 1692 which adds an even more haunting air to the area.  We were told by those who would know, that watching the hovering clouds and mist shift and change in the valley is the only way to see the glen.

Glencoe mist

Glencoe ScotlandYou many not be able to see it in these pics, but there is water everywhere in the glen.  Seasonal rivulets cascading through the crevices of the mountainsides.  An amazing amount of water!

At one of the roadside overlooks we also came upon this bagpiper picking up a few extra pounds (sterling, that is).  He was decked out in the full kilt ensemble so tourists could pose for photos with him or just snap a few pics, like we did.  What’s your feeling about tourist teases like this?  On one hand it’s hard to condemn the man for trying to make some money and he’s providing a service in some way.  On the other hand it feels a bit contrived and artificial.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

For those who may not be aware, the kilt is a knee-length garment with pleats at the back, originating in the traditional dress of men and boys in the Scottish Highlands of the 16th century.  I think the look is quite handsome myself and love the endless varieties of tartan plaids that are used to represent the different clans.

Glencoe Bagpiper

Soon we were getting hungry and realized that there weren’t too many options for eating establishments ahead, so we decided to stop in Glencoe Village to see if we could find a place for lunch.  This is the main street in the village, just a little wider than one lane so pay attention as you drive, in case you need to share the space with an oncoming vehicle.

Glencoe Village Main Street

The village sits at the entrance to Glen Coe and is surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery.  It’s popular with serious hill-walkers, rock and ice climbers. The picturesque mountains have also been seen in numerous films, including Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as the home of Hagrid.  I didn’t realize it before we went, but it’s possible that we could have gone on a Harry Potter Safari.  I guess that will have to wait until next time.  Here’s a list of all the movies, to date that have scenes from The Glen.  [This is a bit off the subject, but after living near Los Angeles (the film-making capitol of the world) for 18 years, I’ve always thought it would be a dream job to be a location scout.  Wouldn’t you just love having the responsibility of searching for all those amazing spots where they film your favorite movies?  But I digress…]

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD: We parked our car in the public parking lot and walked down the street until we found the Glencoe Cafe.  Since the town is very small and relatively remote, we really had no idea what the quality would be like.  Sometimes remote areas (in the U.S. too) don’t have the competition to encourage high quality foods, good service and/or low prices, so we were taking our chances here.  I have to say that the owners obviously take great pride in their establishment because they had an extensive menu of freshly made fare, cheerful service and some delicious offerings!  We were NOT disappointed. This is a photo of my lunch.  A light and tasty shrimp salad sandwich made with homemade lemon mayonnaise, accompanied by a wonderful green side salad. Mmmmm!  I loved it and the rest of our group was just as pleased with their choices! Be sure to stop by and enjoy the culinary creations of Justine Macleod and James Robertson if you’re in the area someday.

Seafood Salad Sandwich with lemon mayoGlencoe CafeAs we left the Glen and headed down the coast toward Oban, we were greeted with this rainbow.  One of many that we’d see in our 2 weeks of vacation, but this one was a double treat with the reflection in the water.  Truly a gift from God.  We knew then that it was going to be a great day!

Glencoe rainbow with reflection

I’M A FAN OF…WATER:  Living in the desert for decades has created a deep appreciation in my soul for water of every kind and this vacation was a true refreshment for me.  How do you feel about rainy days?  Do you cherish them or do you just survive them?

TRAVEL TIP TODAY:  A bit random, I know, but something to consider.  If you have hair that’s difficult to manage in wet weather, try to find a style that’s easy to take care of before you leave home.  Talk to your stylist and see if they can provide some suggestions.  My hair is generally straight in the bone-dry desert, but I knew that the little bit of natural curl would quickly respond to the rain and humidity where we were going.  I asked my stylist to cut my hair short enough so that I could just let it go curly and not worry about it sticking out here and there in my normal style, which I did.  I also asked for a suggestion on a product that might help it stay curly and she recommend Redken Ringlet 07 Curl Perfector which worked like a charm to “encourage” my wavy hair to hold some curl.  This cut down on the amount of hair products and styling tools that I needed to pack. Plus it shaved precious minutes off the time that I needed to get ready each day and lowered the stress on keeping my hair in place.

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