Saturday, May 17

Empirious pearlz of honest to goodness service!

An Honest Mechanic - you can find one, very much so! We've been going to the same one for years! In all reality he resurrected both of our cars from the dead; one by one he returned them to us in working order. We have been with him ever since. If something mysterious is going on, he'll find. He doesn't nickel and dime us. He's up front and he does good work. Even our children will drop their cars by there for a look see. Joe's Stop Brake Shop has been the salvation of our transportation, and he's saved too, letting his walk be his talk.

I'm so comfortable going to Turn 'n Headz to get my hair done - its like a mental vacation and a pleasant walk into the warmth and comraderie of Barber Shop. In reality I'm usually there early in the morning with Lynn, and I've seen her do short hair, long hair, cuts, color and weaves. I relax with a cup of coffee while she restores me, whether its a casual look or to 'the nines', to my best lookin' me - outside and inside . Her hands are gifted and she has an eye for style and her company is a breath of fresh air. I look forward to going. She is not only my stylist, she's a blessing and my friend! My son even goes to the shop to have a barber cut. I like that the stylists have skillz, and especially take particular care about their work and don't just turn around customers. I've seen them give their customers the best hair care advice, whether or not it was to their own profit. More than likely, if there's something you want to achieve, the Shop does it and more! Now if you want to top off your day just right, go next door to Moe's Chicken and Waffles - its a warm and friendly family owned business with some good food!

Finally on the hundred degree day, I am really grateful we found our spa. Today, we needed a part, called them up, and were able to go right over to pick it up. Being me, I had a few what about if this happens questions, and they amiably gave us the answers we needed. In the state of the economy some spa retailers are folding, but the strength of their service and customer feedback keeps them open. And you can pretty much custom order the design of your spa. If you are looking for that massage from a hard day or just the quiet gentle motion of water on a starry night, they have the jacuzzi. We actually saw what we would like to step up to - the swim spa. It was nice and the price was nice. Even if you don't buy there, you'll have the standard from which you'll make your decision. If you buy somewhere else, you'll end up remembering you didn't buy there ;-). Where? Spas Plus in Colton! Go for the warm and informed customer service and the spa you always wanted!

I went to two of these treasures today and felt moved to share all these gems with you. If you're guessing what the second was, let me just say I am not looking my best today. At any rate, if you check any of these Inland Empire businesses out, let them know you heard about these pearlz from Shelz!

Monday, May 12

Groom's mom pix

Mother of the groom didn't take the highest quality of picture - but here's a look at the goings on.

Saturday, May 3

continuing in prayer for Barbara

I dedicate this to Barbara and to my two co-workers quietly fighting cancer as well, Joyce and Cindi, and to all who are called upon to bravely battle against this insidious disease. I am so glad my friends know our Christ Jesus. May the Lord give you strength and peace and above all victory!

Thanks for surrounding me with prayers yesterday as we went to see the surgeon. I truly felt the peace of God as I was there. I read the Psalms in my prayerbook while waiting and wading through the paperwork process and I felt calm when the surgeon came to talk to us. My oncologist had warned me that he did not think the surgeon would be able to help, hence he kept hesitating on the referral. However, the surgeon was straightforward and positive about what he COULD do to help me. He said I formerly had at least 20 sites of cancer in my liver and now there are 6 remaining. Those 6 are all on one side. He recommends cutting out that 1/2 of the liver. He says now is the time as my latest PET shows the cancerous activity beginning again. He feels the chemo. has gotten rid of the other 14 spots but these 6 are 'chemo. resistant' ie have mutated to avoid death by chemo. He said I need to be off the chemo. for one month to clear it out of my body so it will not interfere with the surgery. My last infusion was April 11 and I was suppose to have another infusion this Friday but now I may not. I see my oncologist tomorrow and Erik plans to go with me again so we can see what dr. thinks regarding the surgeon's recommendations. I could be headed for surgery mid-May or early June. YIKES and yet I have to say I am excited that there is something to be done vs. just being told to keep taking chemo. that obviously was beginning to loose its efficacy. The surgeon of course gave his grim statistics about people who have been through this before me. He said 85-90% will have return of cancer in the liver because although the 14 sites are gone, not visible to the scan, in reality they are still in there somewhere just microscopic so eventually they will revive and come back. Of course I am seeking your prayers that those spots will NEVER come back! I already believe that God has removed them! There remains one/two spots on my lung and the surgeon said we should plan on having the pulmonologist remove those surgically too. Soooo it looks like lots of cutting to be done on my body and I know I will go through fears but right now I can say that your prayers for guidance have been answered, your prayers for peace are working! I never would have been this brave w/out the angels God is sending to sustain me. Keep up the fight for us! I was actually smiling during the appointment, only to look at my sweet Erik and see tears brimming as he was once again faced with the fragility of my existence. That was actually the hardest part of my day. I hate this disease in that everyone suffers along with me. We all hurt together because we are one body in Christ. I will keep you updated as we know more. For sure we are going to need your continued support to get through this next surgery and beyond. Thank you all for your willingness to help us in this longterm battle! I love each of you dearly!! To God be ALL Glory. Barbara
FRIDAY, MAY 02, 2008
Here's the latest. Erik went with me to the oncologist on Wednesday afternoon and the dr. agreed with all that the liver surgeon had discussed with us. Sooo he cancelled my chemo. which I would have received today and he texted a message over to the surgeon that I am to be scheduled for surgery any day after May 11. We need specific prayer that the cancer will not grow during this one month break from chemo. , that we can get all the details of our life in order for this next surgery, and that the surgery will be successful and uncomplicated. It is all happening so fast but we know the presence of God in the midst of this journey. Thanks for standing with us as we claim my healing in Jesus' name!
If you in this struggle as well for yourself or someone else, Caringbridge looks to be an place of oasis to unload ones thoughts and gain the prayers of others.

Thursday, May 1

'Compacency Kills'

was the theme of Fontana's community prayer breakfast this morning.

People around the nation took and are taking time to pray. I found myself again at the Woman's Club, although this time I had a brief moment on stage lending my voice to the altos of the ecumenical choir; Ace was singing soprano, of course. The choir itself practiced only twice on two songs - 'Let there be Peace on Earth' and 'God Bless the USA'. Pastor Dan Burr of Crossroads Community Church, who I've always seen at these events over the past years, whipped us into shape in short order making us a meaningful and moving contribution to the program. The most moving offering for me was he, his son Aaron, and a Donald Hayes, 'the Crossroads Three', resonating the room with 'Shine on Us'. His wife Karen was also an alto in the choir; our two churches have been closely linked in years past.

This was the first prayer breakfast without Bea, and yet her presence was felt. I was saddened - she and I would always say we would get together for lunch, yet it never happened. Bea caused the cream in coffee to rise in people; she glowed with the sweetness of the Lord. It was a blessing to have her memory with us today. As a side note, it is my understanding that the local post office in South Fontana has been dedicated to Bea Watson's memory. Bea, let's have lunch! My thoughts and prayers are with you Larry.

To get back on point, the theme 'Complacency Kills' was based on Psalm 28:7. Scriptures were also shared from the Torah, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Morman, and the Holy Qur'aan (read in native tongue and english). Councilwoman Janice Rutherford Lim was MC. While Mayor Mark Nuaimi, although expected, was unable to be present, Councilman John Roberts was also present. Many people from Fontana and other local civic offices were also present. I recognized many and appreciated seeing many, like an representative from Amina Carter's office. The place was filled - it was truly the crux of our community in faith and culture.

Fire Department Division Chief Thom Wellman gave the keynote address on 'Complacency Kills'. I was convinced in his closing that complacency absolutely does kill, that it is an innocuous and pervasive parisite void of shape, smell, form and yet deadly. He compared it to nuclear fallout I believe. He spoke to time, distance, shielding; tactics used to survive nuclear exposure. Limit exposure, get as far away from it as possible, and shield from any exposure to it at all; especially when options one and two are diminished. He pointed out that due to the inconspicuous nature of complacency, we need our friends to identify we are tainted with it. It is difficult to identify for ourselves. He said complacency begins with a choice which in essence we commit to which leads to compromise. The point though is that in this day and age we must actively avoid the deadliness of complacency. Since, it cannot be laced with an identifiable odor like household gas, I agree. How horrible it would be to become complacent, to embrace lukewarm living, to invisibly expose others to deteriorated values and a diseased moral standard. That alone is enough to bring me to my knees.

Each table had a time to pray together about concerns we face in common. One specific of ours was to protect our children in the schools from violence and from inappropriate and harmful teaching, girding them up to identify and withstand such things and to be lights in darkened environments - that they would be protected from the fiery darts that surround them from day to day.

I was blessed for having been there and certainly glad to take the time with others to go before the Lord in this time of prayer.

Fitness Footnote

'the highs and lows of' my Weight Loss Journey