Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Good Saturday Morning everyone, Hoping that your Christmas was lovely and shared with those you love. Michael and I were at my sister Molly's house in the morning for gift exchange with her family, my brother RAM and his family and Dad and Arra Mae. we had also been to Michael's mother's house on the way to Windermere. It was a fun time with all the family. And for those of you not in central Florida this week the weather was fabulous! I had chemo on Monday and finished radiation on Wednesday. Unfortunately that meant on Christmas I was dealing with some side effects. So we didn't stay for dinner at Dad's. Still it was a good day with family and that is what is important. I am doing much better over the last two days. Hoping to be able to go fishing tomorrow with Michael and get to use my new pole and spinning reel. Hope the New Year brings you each much joy and happiness! Love to all, Wendy

Friday, December 12, 2014

Quick update

just wanted to let you all know that the radiation treatments are going fine. I have had 6 of 15 fractions so far and there is definitely an improvement in the numbness in my arm. Yeah! I am getting treatment from a machine labeled OBI which feels very Star Wars, get it like Obiwan Kenobi! Haha! MTFBWY! Wendy

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Overdue again!

hi all, Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. We were in the mountains of North Carolina with a big chunk of the family at Dad's was a great time including snow on Thanksgiving. Some of the crew had their first experience with the cold stuff. It was so fun to see teens playing and throwing snow balls! Michael hiked the hill behind the house with dogs in tow, while I stayed indoors mostly cooking for the crew. But I could be sure of staying warm! One of our furry kids, Maggie had her first encounter with a skunk the first night we got there. Thankfully the barn is rigged with warm water in the wash stall! Health update: I have had some new rumors show up on my spine above the previous ones. The location is actually good as it means that they can be treated with radiation which resolves them much quicker. If you will pray that the treatments focus just on the rumors and that all the other tissues around them are protected. I have absolute confidence in the folks here at UF Health Cancer Center but appreciate the Lord's healing hand on this even more. Clarifying that would be tumors not rumors on my spine! Ha ha! Anyway all my love to you and hope you have an anticipatory Advent Season followed by a Joyful Cheistmas! Wendy

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fall is Here!

Hi friends, Well the calendar saw the arrival of Fall a few days ago but today we are having a front come through with cool temperatures and lots of wind. So it really feels like Fall. A nice welcome to November, which includes one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for that probably we should celebrate this every month (maybe without all the food!) This year Thanksgiving will find Michael and me at the ranch in North Carolina with most of our family. That is always a great time and when we can get together for a whole week it is really special. Last week we got the start of the winter garden planted so we should be harvesting collards in about a month. Yummy! There are also beets, carrots and onions and I am planning on adding a heirloom vegetable called salsify. It is a root like a carrot, white in color and supposedly takes like oysters. We will give it a try. The seeds came from my neighbor Beverly who remembers it from her childhood. In another week I will add more carrots, beets and onions in order to stagger the harvest some. I hope that this message finds each of you well and happy. Love you, Wendy

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Another easy saturday morning

Hi there everyone, Saturday mornings are certainly one of the blessings in life. We had a nice breakfast and just puttering around doing light chores (well that is I am, Michael has been slaving away roto-tilling the garden!). I had treatment this past Thursday and Friday so that is my excuse. However it doesn't hold water right now as I feel pretty darned good! Yesterday I also had the privilege to share my cancer journey stories with a class of nursing students at Orlando Tech. My dear friend Nancy Welch is their instructor and invited me to talk with her class as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What a great group of students! They had lots of questions and were very engaged and interested. That is really all the news today. Hope this finds all of you healthy and happy. One shout out to Vicki Owens. We had a computer crash and for some reason I no longer have your e-mail address Vicki. Please contact me at so that we don't lose touch. Love to you all, Wendy

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Still getting into the swing of routine!

Good morning friends, I am still settling back into routine work etc. it was a quiet week which is always good following treatment. I certainly am no ball of fire. Yesterday I had a PET scan and the result was good in that it showed no new activity. I was hoping to see some improvement in the soft tissue mets but the scan showed that they are stable, meaning that they have not changed since the last scan. That is good and a sign that the treatments are working so we stay the course and continue the chemotherapy I am on through the end of the year and then check again. Today I am going back to the last two vacation posts and adding more photos so check them out if you like. May God bless and keep each of you, Wendy

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Heads up

I am adding photos to the previous blog posts now that we are home and I can work from the desktop computer. So browse through the previous postings and you will see photos from those days. :) Hope you enjoy them! I am adding the pics to the older posts first so you may have to go back a few. Wendy

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Red Lodge Montana

So today we took a circuitous route to Red Lodge, Montana. We drove through Yellowstone NP to the NE entrance and then drove down the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway east to Wyoming and out of the Rockies down to a completely different landscape. It was dry small buttes and washes as far as could be seen. Amazing how much a little time on the road opened up new vistas. The scenic highway followed some of the route of the Nez Perce Indians as they escaped from General Howard. Chief Joseph's band were non-treaty and had fought a battle with the army in their homeland in east Oregon. Expecting retaliation they fled east through the Rocky Mountains in the Yellowstone area and ultimately then north towards Canada. Thinking about traveling by foot or horseback through this country is intimidating. As it was a long drive today and the speed limit on most of the highways in Montana is 70 mph. Tonight we are staying in an old hotel in Red Lodge and then heading early to Billings to begin our flights home. This has been a remarkable trip and we have seen and done so much but I will be glad to get home. Hope all is well with each of you. Wendy Okay this is the last set of photos to add. We drove through YNP to the north eastern entrance and then down the Cheif Joseph Highway. I am including a picture of cottonwoods that lit up in the Lamar River Valley that morning and the last bison hold up we encountered, those are both in YNP. Next is Sunshine Canyon, one of the odd road signs and then vistas of the terrain as it changed becoming much more arid. The last photo is of the old Smith Mine, Google it to learn about the Smith Mine Disaster in 1943.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rainy day so we went to town

Hi all, Today it is rainy so we decided to go explore the town of Livingston. We have checked out all 2 1/2 streets in downtown and stopped for lunch at the Pickle Barrel Cafe. Lots of locals here but then it is end of the tourist season and they are thinning out. It has been a great trip and I am still looking forward to the drive to Red Lodge tomorrow. Head home on Wednesday and then I will finally load some photos for you. Love, Wendy I am including some photos from the Town of Livingston: the train depot, a main street and a residential street. Then some shots from the drive back to the Smith Ranch: a schoolhouse that is in use, and old red barn, a vista of the Paradise Valley and a couple of deer. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Another beautiful day!

Hi there everyone, We have had a couple more lovely days in Yellowstone. Yesterday we drove all the way down to Old Faithful and got there 5 minutes before it went off! Saw lots of other amazing thermal features in the area. It really makes you wonder about the stability of the ground you are standing on. But it was quite a long drive from the north entrance. Today we returned to the Lamar River valley for some fishing and bison watching. Still working on photos. Love you all. Wendy Okay lots of photos again So Above are pics from the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Look at the color on the canyon sides! These are photos of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River and Uncle Tom's Trail to an overlook by the falls. Michael made that hike without me. As you see on the sign it is 328 steps at 8000 feet above sea level! The first pic is Old Faithful followed by other thermal features in the area. The colorful photo with green and gold shows the thermophilic bacteria that live in the hot water, the gold bacteria live in the hotter water and others that live in cooler water make the green color. And there I am standing in the middle of the Biscuit Basin area. And one last one of a bison who was rolling in the soda near one of the feature just off the Firehole River.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Slough Creek

Hi ya'll Yesterday Michael and I hiked a couple miles in and over a ridge to Slough Creek. There were these beautiful open meadows along the creek and we hiked across the marsh grass to a spot for Michael to fish. I sat nearby and kept a watch out for bears. We saw lots of bison, some common mergansers (diving ducks) and a bunch of super cute chipmunks. It was a moderately difficult hike but well worth the effort. Hope this finds you all well. And a big HAPPT BIRTHDAY !!! To Alison in the Pacific Ocean on Trevoning. Wendy Okay there was a lot in the last couple of days since I posted so here come a bunch of photos from the first day we drove into Yellowstone National Park and we drove through Mammoth Hot Springs area and saw the thermal features there, along with the resident elk herd, and then drove into the Lamar Valley and out the other side up to Beartooth Pass. Please note the photo Michael took (you can see him in the mirror) as he made me drive down from Beartooth Pass, the curviest road anywhere! And if you want to see the goPro video of the descent just ask Michael! And here are the pics from Beartooth Pass Now here are the photos from our hike to Slough Creek along with lots of bison pics and big horn sheep. Click on the photo above the bison on the road and you will see lots of black specs on the plain-those are all bison. it was like seeing animals in Africa there were some many out on the savanna.