Friday, November 27, 2009

A Krystal Event

It was a remarkable wonderful event, having Thanksgiving Dinner at Krystal's mom's home prepared by Krystal and her very best friend, Kelsey. We met Kelsey's mom, Leigh, and dad (Dan) and brother Shaun, and other friends, and visited for a short while with Wendy, Krystal's mom and Aly and Tyler, Krystal's siblings. The food was outrageous with so much of a selection, there was no room for desert! We had lots of laughs and left with a grand sense of contentment on many levels. We have much to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Hope your Thanksgiving Day is filled with love of family and friends.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Anne Marie Bennett's "Bright Side of the Road - A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer

Is There Really a Bright Side to a
Breast Cancer Diagnosis?

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Welcome! My name is Anne Marie and I’m a 7-year Breast Cancer Survivor. I would love to walk with you on your own spiritual journey through breast cancer (or any other difficult thing you’re going through).

I feel blessed and grateful that you are here today.

And I hope that you will feel equally blessed and grateful after spending some time here, as well as comforted in some way, and a little lighter in spirit.

When I was diagnosed with Stage 2 infiltrating ductal breast cancer in 2001, I never in a million years thought I would one day create a book about my journey. I was devastated, bewildered and frightened. Nor did I think I would headline the front page of my website with this particular Ralph Waldo Emerson quotation. Those days right after my diagnosis definitely did not seem like the best days of anybody’s year!

Long before my breast cancer journey began, I read about people who believed that being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness was the most important, life-giving thing that had ever happened to them. I read about these people from the safety of my own little world, my cancer-free world, and I could hardly believe they could possibly be serious. It seemed to me that these people were not in touch with reality, that their cockeyed optimism was just a mask to hide their real feelings and experience.

woman with butterflies

Art by Melissa Harris

Now, much to my surprise, I find that I am one of “those people.”

Soon after my diagnosis, I realized that I had a choice to make about how I would deal with this life-threatening illness. I could let the cancer bring me down, close me off, scare me into smallness. Or I could sanction its presence in my life, embrace the flow of never-ending changes, and allow it to transform me.

My book, Bright Side of the Road, is about that choice I made… which turned into a stream of choices that flowed into a new way to live my life. Was it all sweet-smelling roses and laughter? Definitely not! There was plenty of anger and doubt and insecurity and grumpiness (just ask my husband, Jeff!). But I allowed that to be part of my journey as well.

I decided to write this book for many reasons, but mainly because of you. You have found this site because your life has been touched by breast cancer in some way. Maybe you’ve just received the diagnosis. Perhaps you love someone who is struggling through treatments. Maybe you have already completed your treatments and are wondering what is next for you. Or maybe you are simply curious about what women with breast cancer go through.

We all share a unique connection because breast cancer has swooped down and interrupted our lives in some way. Because of this, we are deeply connected even though we have never met, even though we may never meet.

Bright Side - Chapter One

I am happy to be a part of Anne Marie Bennett's Blog Tour informing my visitors about her remarkable book, "Bright Side of the Road - A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer". I found out about Anne Marie's book from a friend who sent me a link to Anne Marie's blog describing her book and offering a free book as part of her blog tour. After reading the download of the first chapter, I immediately ordered the book and could hardly wait to resume my reading. The book was delivered promptly, and I read it in one sitting, totally mesmerized by its contents. It brought back many memories of my experience with breast cancer, which I had so neatly tucked away for many years. I laud Anne Marie for her honesty and for sharing some of her most intimate thoughts and moments. If you are in any way curious about how one travels this difficult and truly soul baring vision quest, I invite you to read this book. You can find all information about Anne Marie and her book at

Monday, November 16, 2009

New York Holiday

Yesterday was a perfect day spent with my dear penfriend Michele's daughter, Sandrine. We spent time together 20 or so years ago when she was in the US, staying a year in Boston at the French Library as an excchange student (after graduating from college in Paris). At that time, Sandrine was in her early 20's and I in my 40's. She arrived in New York last Tuesday, and because she invited me, I took the train to spend the day with her in New York City. I couldn't have asked for a better day nor a better time. We walked the day away, and most of it at the Central Park Zoo, where we saw sea lions performing, monkeys enjoying the good weather, 2 huge polar bears taking a nap on giant rocks, a beautiful snow leopard, little penguin looking things that were not penguins but looked like miniature penguins (puffins?), large turtles, and lovely birds. The city was alive with people walking without coats, as it was nearly 70 degrees. The park was alive with joggers, walkers, ice skaters, and a never ending parade of horse and buggies carrying people of all ages and cultures. It was a very special day and a wonderful memory spent with Sandrine. She is leaving tomorrow for France - safe journey, Sandrine. You are much loved.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

late afternoon

It's a beautiful fall day today and I just returned from a MSBS button show. I took my godchild, Jasmine, with me and she had a great time picking out buttons from poke boxes. I went to a pre estate tag sale yesterday and brought home 2 boxes of art supples. Now, I just have to stay home and make art! Here is a picture of my "Pal" in his "pod". Isn't he a sweetheart?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Collage Queens

What a fun day I had today. A few of my old high school friends came over to make art. They each brought something to share for lunch, and then we began making art. The time flew by and it was such a great time. Here are some pictures of the finished products! Pictured in the top photo (left to right) are Anne, Linda Jo, and Jan.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Backyard View

I couldn't help but take some photos of the fallen leaves in our back yard. The sea of crimson color on the ground was so inviting. Here it is in all of its splendor. Today is another heaven sent day in the high fifities and flooded with sunshine, until tonight when rain is forecast. We have been fortunate to be experiencing an awesome Indian Summer here in Western MA. Love it!