November 29, 2009
Menu Plan Monday -- Busy Week Ahead

Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving Holiday.  We spent the day Sarai's house -- and my hub said that was the best turkey he ever had.  =)  Sarai injected it with spices and marinade -- it was yummy.  It was different not being at home, but I didn't miss that routine all that much.  Plus she has a dishwasher and we don't right now!   Kitchen remodel = 2010!  

Busy days at work the next few weeks, with one class leaving and another arriving. 
Monday and Tuesday will be spent at the warehouse preparing book shipments -- its a nice break from the office, but then you have to catch up.  Then we are headed into the Christmas holidays.  Lexi's birthday is Friday.  I work Friday evening at the Holiday Dinner Dance... then next Friday there is another!!  Wig time for sure.  Ugh!  

We decided its best to be a little laid back with Christmas gifts ... so we are pretty much done.  I need to find something personal for Sarai and something for my hub -- and a few piddly things but that's all.  I tried to get something that they can actually use -- instead of wasting money on something that will go in the trash or not be useful at all to the recipient.  It's such a waste.  I have to get tires on my car ... all those miles to the hospital Mon-Fri is wearing me out.   I have low-profile tires so that is not pretty.   And my car is acting funny so I need to get that checked. Eye appointments this week too!!   Always driving somewhere!

Since we have no turkey leftovers -- which is what I DO will be all new meal prep. But easy!!

Sunday -- Crockpot Roast w/Potatoes, Carrots & Onions, Leftover Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, Fruit

Monday --  Pasta, Bread, Salad, Fruit

Tuesday -- New Chicken Dish I am going to try -- will post if good!

Wednesday -- Leftover Roast with gravy on noodles, veggie, fruit

Thursday -- Chicken Quesadillas, Veggie, Fruit

Friday -- I work, so they are on their own!! 


November 26, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving!!

There truly is much to be thankful for.  I need to have a thankful attitude every day ... not just on Thanksgiving.  And I really do ... I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, His healing power and saving grace.  Ya know, He chooses us, we do not choose Him.  I thank Him for showing us the truth.  There is not 50 forms of salvation, there is only ONE.  One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.  Can't get any simpler than that.

He sacrificed for us, how come we can't sacrifice some wordly things for Him? 
I am thank for one more day, my husband and kids.  They've growing up and are now teaching me things.

They have no doubt that God is going to take care of this cancer and I am to be completely healed.  I pray so.  It's always been in His hands ... and it will continue to be.   I just need to leave it there.

I am thankful for all our material blessings ... for there are many.   Much more than we need. 

Thankful for pets ... and friends ... Taco, Mini, Chipper, Cloudy and Sammy .... all the little pups.  They ease your heart a bit, but don't take it all away.  They are showing their own minds now.   I have 2 on my lap ... sitting here and they jump up and whine and bite your leg till you pick them up. 

Thankful for a wonderful Pastor and wife ... a great church .... church family.

Good jobs when some have none.  

Good health ... really ... there are those in much worse shape than I. 

Daniel ... for loving my son.  Josh for loving him back. 

Caleb for knowing when you are down are amazing that way.   Jazz is just like that.

Off to bake that Cream Cheese Pound Cake .... thankful for my stove and thankful Sarai has a dishwasher!!

Happy Thanksgiving ... wishing you all a wonderful day!!


Clarification ...
In no way shape or form do I compare the loss of a dog to the loss of a child -- but I do think telling someone what I stated in my previous post are among the top dumbest things you can tell someone. 

Just want to clarify that -- its been a beyond stinky week for whatever reason.  Life is just overwhelming in the Crook household, and rather than burden my hub or children, I vent here.   I know the Lord will fight these battles, but if you know Michelle, you know how impatient I am.  =)  Add that to everything else ... to an unseemingly unending trial ... a mind that never shuts off .... and yeah welcome to my world. 

And Lord, I am waiting to see how you fight this one ... my son gave me insight last night.  I think he's got the right idea, I just need to get his attitude ...


November 25, 2009
What Faith Can Do ...
Needed to hear this song today.  Thanks Michelle -- love you girl!! 
Still confounds me about "well meaning" people and those who will do anything to get some glory. 
Go Away Boo!!!!   (I am trying to have a better attitude, believe it or not!!  I let out steam here so I don't tell those people to their face how much of an idiot  dolt I think they are!! -- I am really trying ... honest)  And I'm praying for a better attitude!

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November 24, 2009
Warning ...
this will not be an uplifting post but rather a way to express my frustrations!

I'm not sure if people are just stupid or they just don't think.  Or both.  Grrrr.

Ya know -- you don't just "get" another dog, sure you "get one", (maybe) but its not like its a fix to your grief and it solves everything.  I'm sure there are dogs out there to love and they need a person to care for them.  Ok, I KNOW that.  But HELLO -- you don't just replace a friend.  That's almost up there with, don't worry you can get another child or you can get another husband.  I mean after all, you are able to have more children, so what's the problem?   Stupid.  Ok --   they think they are helping.  But, ya know I don't need that kind of help.

I could go on and say, oh you're trying to help now?  Where were you the last 7 months?  Gee, thanks for all your support.   Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect anything from anyone after the first few weeks.  I realized that "expecting" was definitely wrong.  It definitely gave me a new sense of worth (or unworth) to people and that everyone lives on their own island and wants you to help them, but to help someone else?  Yeah.  Not. 

It's not been a good week.  I'm not sure if its because my stress level is 852, when it should be 10.  People thinking I am actually stupid to see behind what is really said.  I'm not dumb, okay.  And I'm definitely NOT an idiot.   Where did they get that idea from if they didn't get it from you?  Why lie?  Because make no mistakes it is a lie.

At work we have students who are flat out lying to you and they expect you to believe it!!

I love the "Well, I'm going to die from something?"  Yeah,  here let's switch our healths.  {eyeroll}

And the ones who are super paranoid about having an ingrown toe nail.  Get a grip, ok.  God is much bigger than that.  Trying living with the thought, that if this cancer comes back -- you're dead.  How's that in a nutshell?

And yes, I've already complained to the Lord.  Cried with frustration about my lot in life. I'm sure He's sick of hearing that one.  

But -- do me a favor, don't add to it.  Don't peg me for an idiot while you are at it.  I'd rather you  just left me alone.  I'll pray for you, should you come to mind.  Make no mistakes.  I HAVE to be ready.  Knowing what I know, I have to be.  And Heaven ain't worth people acting like idiots foolish.


November 23, 2009
Thanksgiving Week Menu and Links
2 Pumpkin Rolls for hub's work on Tuesday morning

I  will make a lighter version of Pumpkin Rolls for ours.  (using egg beaters and light cream cheese)

Pumpkin Pie  (Josh's favorite)

Pecan Pie for hub

Pumpkin Rolls  these are dinner rolls -- not dessert rolls.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Green Bean Casserole   ( I don't like this but it was requested!) 

Antipasto Platter -- my family tradition served at every holiday involving Italians!

Nana's Apple Salad -- I put marshmallows in too.  Hub's family tradition.

We'll make some type of fruit pie, Stephen is NOT a pie fan at all.  May make a Cream Cheese Pound Cake for him, and probably some cookies for them to snack on.

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November 22, 2009
Menu Plan Monday -- Thanksgiving Week

Decided that I need to get back to my schedules -- makes life easier for me.  To be honest, I have not been feeling the greatest at all.  {sigh}  Which makes my mind go nutso with thoughts.  Not a good combination at all.  I need sleep/rest. 

Sunday -- Hamburger Patty Special, Small Pasta, Spinach, Corn, Pineapple

Monday -- Chicken Quesadillas with Salad, Pineapple

Tuesday -- Clean out the fridge or Pigs in a Blanket

Wednesday -- Lipton Noodle Soup, Pigs in Blanket or Toasted Ham and Cheese Sandwich, Peaches

Thursday -- Happy Thanksgiving !!  (menu to follow with links)

Friday -- Black Friday --- probably whatever we can grab out. 


November 21, 2009
Pup Photos

Trixi looks just like Taco.  And yes, I am still missing him.  There's still a void in life without him.

 Rocko, Trixi and Cocoa.  Shadow wanted nothing to do with the camera.
It's a little sad to see some of Taco's personality come out in them ... but bittersweet really is the right word.

I'm thankful for the time we had with Taco and thankful for his babies when at first we were not happy at all that Mini was having pups.  

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November 19, 2009
Trying ...
Today .. the year 2009? ... has been particularly trying to say the least.

I am beyond tired ... been doing lots of thinking -- mind battles mostly, thinking of just giving up.  Tired.

Weary of the battles ... they seem constant.

Work was horrid -- we've been gone for 3 days and they decide we need to have a 90 minute at 0830.
{eyeroll}  Then they tell us we will have to compete for our job ... nice.  I gave up a promotion last year because this job was said to be getting one.   I do know it was the right decision -- because I know I would not have gotten the support at the other job with the whole cancer thing.

At church last night -- God moved in a mighty way.  Another sister in our church has cervical cancer.  Cancer sucks.  It robs you and steals things from you.  She was getting prayed for and I could feel it all the way over where I was.  Woah.   I went to pray with her -- and  you know what went through my mind?  Because I could feel her pain, I knew her struggles, I knew her fears, I knew the overwhelming crushing blows she felt ... because I had felt the same things.  I thanked God for that.  Without the cancer, I wouldn't have been able to relate in such an intimate way.  God is going to do amazing things through this ... if I could just get through it all ... but I will.  I'm tough.  The Lord made me tough.

My co-worker will be leaving as soon as the door opens ... I want to pray that God will not allow it to open, but it pains me to see him so unhappy.  He deserves better.  {sigh}

Who knows, I may not even qualify for my own job??  LOL   Now that would be a hoot!

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November 17, 2009
Home in the morning ...
Thankful to be going home tomorrow.  It's been a little nice to have a break from home (and give them a break from me...) but I am SO READY TO GO HOME.

I like home.  I enjoy being at home with my husband and family.

Miss my goats and animals.  It's actually been a little easier missing Taco, but as soon as I drive down that road, I know I'll be missing that little guy again.  {sigh}

Thank you for your prayers for safe travel and our family.  Please pray for the goats with the pink eye, she is temporarily blind and hurting.  She has to be scared, poor girl.  I just can't be an animal person I guess cause it breaks my heart to see them suffering. 

Had my oncologist office, the radiation office at St Luke's, the surgeon's office and the physical therapist specialized in lymphodema all call me in the space of about 90 minutes -- SCARED ME.   Ugh.

As always, I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, His saving grace and healing power.

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November 16, 2009
Monday -- Prayer Request
Made it safely here to San Antonio.  Thank you Lord!   The sun was shining and the weather was about 70.  It's snowing back home ... but its a little chilly here today.

Headed back to the school in a few minutes, but have a couple of prayer requests.

Please pray for our goats -- when we brought the "boy" goat over last week he also brought pink eye.  One is suffering badly.  I've read they sometimes they are temporarily blinded.  In Jesus Name, its not permanent.  My hub will be taking her to the vet, but can you please pray?  It's got to be scarey for her.  Pray for all the rest of our girls and 2 baby boys as well.

Please pray for the safety of my family and friends during this snowy season -- I am always nervous about them driving in it.  Yes, I get "wiggy" a lot. 

But I DO KNOW that prayer works and the Lord hears and answers our needs as well as our fears.   Please continue to pray for my health ... I thank the Lord for His healing touch quite often.  He's an awesome God and I'm blessed to serve Him.

May the Lord bless you and keep you safe!   Love Me!


November 15, 2009
Headed to Texas this morning ...

If you would be so kind as to pray for me. I am NOT a fan of flying at all. Ok, its not the flying part, its the whole crashing part! LOL

And since I am such a worry wart, and I really do LOVE home -- I get a little wiggy with worry for my family.

And pray with so much alone time by mind doesn't battle with me the entire time so I get no sleep.

Arm is still hurting but not excruciating like it was...

Thanks - Love, me.Thanks - Love, me.


November 13, 2009
Friday ... No answers yet

Visited with the nurse yesterday afternoon, who in turn visited with the doctor this morning. I have to hold my arm up above my head and grab a bar -- I've never had a problem doing that and keeping it there the entire time. Couldn't do it. Had to put it down between treatments and treatments last 10-15 seconds.
No answers really. I did ask if she thought it was cancer in there but she said no. I know, I know. But I AM human and I think I am just getting a tad weary. Ok, a lot weary.

Feeling run down today and not well at all. Supposed to be flying on a plane Sunday morning ... {sigh}... I do not want to go if I am sick. I've scaled back on my vitamins, but I did feel so much better taking them. Or it’s just that I haven't been ill since the first part of April. Cold -- sick, not chemo sick. Still take B17 and the multi vitamins-- but not the rest. I may take them this weekend and Monday and Tuesday while gone to see if it changes how I feel.

Please pray for me. I don't want this cancer back, and the Lord knows that too. I think its all been too much lately. I think our whole family is tired, no, I know our whole family is tired.

Been reading a bunch of thankful posts on Facebook -- and this isn't a slight -- just what goes through my mind. A lot of them have been thanking God for their health. You know .... I did do that. I did it quite often in fact. For my children too. Makes me wonder and questions things with this cancer. But I try to remember, that it could be worse ... so I am thankful for my current good health and IJN it will stay that way for His glory. When I start not feeling well, I get all wiggy about stuff. But ya know, I felt fine when the lump was there. And I was sure it was nothing ... only it wasn't nothing.

I have to stop and thank God for Him healing me completely, 100% in every way. Some day God will use this and show me a touch of the whys.

I did get a great report from the OB/Gyn -- negative for HPV and anything else. That was awesome.

In the meantime -- please pray about this arm pain thing. I wrapped it in hopes that it was pressure inside causing it. (from nodes not draining...) It still hurts -- so I'm not sure that's it. I did move a few heavy things this past weekend but not that much when helping Sarai, but good night! But it could be because of my arm not being well yet. {triple sigh} The nurse questioned lymphodema -- IJN not that at all. But there isn't really noticeable swelling. Just lots of pain and heat doesn't help it. The nurse did tell me to wrap it for the flights. I'll go see a lympodema specialist next week if it’s not better. I'm to baby it for now.

Tomorrow is our anniversary. I have a very good husband. I don't appreciate him enough -- but he's an awesome man. He works hard to provide for our family -- long hours. He has to work tomorrow (of course!)

The puppies are growing and it sure is hard to get good photos of them. Still missing Taco's presence in our lives. But its better. Some things still catch me off guard and I've lost count of the times I've called Mini - Taco!

I go for a treatment today and then I think I will go home and lay down. I have chores to do ... but they probably won't happen, I need to pack for the trip. I have everything work related ready to go -- and probably just need to take it easy tomorrow.  But of course I want to be sure the house is clean and there is food ready for them to eat or Lexi to cook.  I told them I'd give them a list of the things I do everyday to make sure it all gets done.  LOL!  {eyeroll}  So not happening...  thanks for the prayers...

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November 10, 2009

Long day yesterday, doc sent me to be sure it wasn't a blood clot.  Thank the Lord they could not locate any in my arm.  She said your body has been through A LOT.  Wanted to rule that out, which would be the worst thing.  She said it would not be from 3 radiation treatments.  So ... we have no clue.  Possibly still leftover trauma from the mastectomy.  ????  Hurts today but not as bad. Did take a percocet.  Just one.

Work is not good right now.  Please pray for our supervisor, he must be under a terrible amount of stress.  I am thankful for my co-workers and would hate for them to quit over things that have been happening.  Please pray that the Lord turns everything around and works things out. 

Day off tomorrow.  Stephen has school and Josh works.  {sigh}  I plan on going to the Veteran's Day parade.  We need to honor our veterans and military.  We really should support them at every opportunity.

It's been a horrible, terrible, no good week.  Blah.   Puppies are growing, I need to get some photos.  You know how hard that is?  Still missing Taco.  We all are.  It's getting better. 

Made dinner and actually ate some ... now I need to go clean up the dishes.  I dislike dishes in the sink.  Wigs me out.  When we redo the kitchen, we are so getting a dishwasher!!

Can't believe Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here in the blink of any eye...Sarai wants to host Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Should be interesting!!   =)  This starts a new season of life, since Joshua has another family to spend holidays with. 

Off to clean up the kitchen ... on facebook we are counting down to Thanksgiving with thankful posts.  My post for yesterday was I am thankful for my husband, today it was I am thankful for Taco.  No particular order cause I can post quite a few each day ...

It goes without saying that I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, His saving grace and healing power every day and every hour.  And thankful for all of those that pray for me.  Prayer works.

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November 9, 2009
   I hate blogger.  Just lost an entire post!! Blah.

I took a percocet to take the edge off the pain, it only takes the edge off, it doesn't go away.  I called the nurse and I see the doctor shortly.  She doesn't think it is radiation oriented with only three treatments. 

Trying to get used to the new quietness of the house without Taco.  It's getting better, but we're not there yet.

I'm not sure if it just Taco -- or the accumulation of EVERYTHING this year.  I thought I did pretty well staying strong, trying to be a hero, but I think I've hit my lowest point.  I'm tired.  I'm worried and just plain tired.   It's a constant mental battle.  We've all been getting on each other's nerves at the house.  Taco's death affected ALL of us.  He was just that kind of friend.    Josh came out of the shower yesterday with his eyes beet red.  I asked him what was wrong and he said he got water in them.  Uh yeah, right. 

The menu plan pretty much went out the window last week.  I didn't cook.  Who wanted to eat? 

So, I have some things I can cook this week:  Ravioli, Tortellini Soup, Toasted Ham and Cheese, Breakfast for Dinner, and Tilipia.  We'll see how things roll.

I am scheduled to go TDY next week from Sunday thru Wednesday.  I'm glad to get out of the house for a few days.  Too many Taco memories.  And then they all get a break from me.  I'm grumpy.  Miss him.

Will update later this evening after I get out of the doctor ... IJN things are fine. 

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November 8, 2009
Been up most of the night with severe pain in my left arm (radical side) now numbness and loss of strength.  Not sure if we would have went to the ER at 3am -- if anything could be done.  Still debating going.  I don't have a primary care -- what to do?  Your thought?

This week has been BEYOND lousy.

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November 7, 2009
The Tock ...aka Taco

This is blurry because he was shaking his Squeaky!  I was trying to make the bed, and or course, he'd come jump on it. Drove me crazy!  I'd kick him off.  The squeaky worked though, I'd throw it out of the room, he'd go get it.  I'd get some of the bed done and he'd be back ... and I'd throw it again!  LOL!   Fun times.

Isn't he cute?? Yup.

As a pup...

The sweater didn't fit Mini so we put it on Taco and then a pink blanket by the fire!
Poor boy.  He was loved though ... not laughed at!

Before his ears went up ...

He loved his Stephen
and his Mom,
And we loved him.



Still have about 6 weeks to go!
Thanks so much.

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November 6, 2009
RIP - Taco
He's sleeping on my lap here ... probably around Christmas time.  I was reading and we all fell asleep.  This picture makes me sad, because I much rather remember him being awake, but this is what he did, hung around us closely.

We buried Taco's body last night -- we didn't really bury "Taco" because his spirit will remain alive in our hearts and minds for all eternity, if the Lord allows. Hard, hard, hard. 

Hub built a box to lay his body in -- (yes, I am crazy and everyone wanted him buried more than just throwing him in the ground, well all except hub at the beginning!!)  He deserved that. 

When I found him, I ran in to get a blanket and the first one there was one that I was given after my surgery.  (Sorry Becky!)  It has the words "Covered in God's Grace" embroidered on it.   I think its fitting.  I feel better knowing that his body is nestled in God's care.  Grace is definitely what is going to see us through this.  Anyways, hub said he covered him nicely (I didn't look, I guess after I freaked out on him Monday, he thought it best to make sure Taco was taken care of right!)  Its funny, he made sure to tell me that before I even asked.  He did keep him in a plastic bag, and he said, yes, he needed to be in that too, but I made sure he was covered good.   Yeah, didn't want his wife freaking out on him again. 

We all helped dig the hole.  Stephen was hurting.  Even Lexi said  "Move Josh, I want to help."  Taco was loved.  And we were definitely loved in return, that's probably why it hurts so bad.   Maybe also is because we've never had inside dogs, until Mini and Taco.  They are family.  And I can tell you everything I did during the day and how Taco was a part of it.  That's just the way he was, I'd like to get another dog with his type of companionship, but I'm afraid.  I don't want to hurt this bad again.  Ugh.   I just want to know why.  I'll ask the Lord someday, and hopefully we'll see him again.  I asked hub if there were dogs in heaven, and he didn't see how there wouldn't be animals there... Yes!!!  (Yes, don't go crazy on me, I know they don't  have souls ... souls and their white or blackness put you in heaven or hell... I know that, ok?)

I have been looking for his squeaky toy and when we were all standing around the hole, Lexi said Josh has his squeaky by his bed!   Yeah, Taco was loved.   I think he knew it too.  The reason why is Lexi said Taco is having a blast playing with all those squeakies in heaven!  =)   I have a video of him and dad playing, a little blurry, but if I can figure out how to post it I will.  You'll see his personality SHINE!!

Same day ... him and Mini.  My buds.

Loved how pretty he was ... yes, he had googly eyes and a wandering one but a heart of gold!!

So much thought was taken in figuring out where to lay his body to rest, because if we ever moved, we didn't want anyone disturbing him.  Yes, we are crazy.  Stephen and I decided on in between the trees next to the driveway up to the barn.  We figured no one would need to do anything there.  In the spring we will get one of those good stone benches to put there and get his name engraved in it.  I couldn't see him being buried far away, he needed to be close to everything, since that is what he did during his short life.

Hub told me this morning, ya know you are going about it wrong.  You need to thank God for giving him to you when you needed him most.  I told him OH I DO, been thanking God for him alot.  Hoping and praying I never have to deal with cancer or its treatments again.  But being ill and having him made it easier.  He was a huge comfort to me.  You can not imagine ... and if you can, you can totally feel our (my) pain.

He was a very good friend to me. I just wish he didn't have to go so soon ... it wasn't long enough


November 5, 2009
No words ... so many thoughts ...

I am so heartbroken; words cannot convey the loss I feel over Taco. I am a bit shocked myself at the overwhelming grief I feel. I can't eat, I barely sleep, and to be honest, I am barely functioning.

In one of the cancer caregiver books I've read, it tells the caregiver, you don't have to do much for the patient, but JUST BE THERE. The patient isn't up to much and if they can only sit, just sit there with them. You don't have to talk to them, just be there. That is what Taco was to me, what he gave to me. For hours and days that little guy laid on the chair next to me, on the back part of the chair, on my feet, on my bed. Yes, on my bed. Wherever I was, he was.

I know it was hard for my kids and hub to do that, when there was so much to do. But Taco didn't mind. He truly gave unselfishly.

I am crushed -- I'm not really sorry if peeps don't understand. It doesn't matter to me. My heart is crushed.

I'm going through the what if I did this, what if I took him with me that afternoon, why didn't hub keep better watch over him, why didn't they put him in the house and on and on ... I know the Lord has a plan and there is a reason for him being taken now -- but I WANT TO KNOW WHY? I know the Lord knows and knew how crushed I would be, I'm not sure how strong he thinks I am, but I am NOT. I just want to curl up in a ball and die.

I know it’s not good for me to feel this way -- physically ill, and I can tell you cancer thoughts have definitely taken a back seat right now. My thoughts are continually on my friend. I'm scared; I am really lost without him. It may be stupid to you to depend on an animal, but they are truly man's best friend -- and he is my best friend. I am not complete right now. I pray and hope there are dogs in heaven, because I want to spend eternity with him romping by my side.

Its so hard to go home ... co-workers told me to stay home. Stay home and him not be there? Uh, no. Every routine I had at home centered around or with Taco. If I went to do laundry, he'd be there ... if I went to the bathroom, he'd push his way in, check on me, but then he'd go back out.  I pray I don't get sick, because I am not ready to be alone in that house ... its just not the same right now.

Taco was a giver -- and he loved us all. Of course, he had favorites but when one of us came home we were greeted with love. He has even grown on Josh -- Josh would come home and lie down on the floor and wrestle with him. When I told Josh -- he balled, he didn't get teary, he cried like a baby. He told me to pray for him, while he was on his knees at work pleading God to raise him up. OH GOD! I was on my knees as well. I never thought I'd ever have the strength, but when I saw him lying in the road, I got out and checked him, unmoving, raced up to the house, grabbed a blanket and ran back out to lift him in my arms. I cradled him like a baby, and wept and wept over him. Prayed for him, asking God to let him live. Later when hub came home, he took him off the living room floor, I didn't know it. I ran outside and hub had put him in a bag, I grabbed it. He started to pull the blanket off him while inside the bag. It broke my heart -- I screamed at him to stop, I wanted him to stay in the blanket, nestled. My Joshie, took Taco and wrapped him gently in the blanket for me; laid him on the ground where I had fallen and I petted him and kissed his head. My son had to physically get me up and with his arms around me cradling me next to him, whispering to me, "Its okay mama, it’s okay mama". he got me back to the house. OH GOD.

Taco isn't buried yet -- we I want him in a box and hub is going to make it. I've been out to his body a few times. Josh as well. We're crazy -- but foolish enough to ask God for a miracle.

When Stephen wanted a dog last summer, I never thought about the impact of him in my life. Of course I didn't realize I'd be dealing with breast cancer either. God knew. I think He knew I'd need him, which is why I can't understand Him taking him from our lives. I wasn't dependent on him; I just liked loved having him around.

He followed me everywhere. If I was moving around, Taco would be too. If he knew I was settled down at the computer or something, he'd go to the couch and lay on the back of it. As soon as I stood up -- his head would pop up and he'd look at me. I'd ask him, "You coming?" And off he came and waited at the bedroom door. He'd come in and wait on the floor by my side of the bed until I get all settled in and then I'd pat the bed, and he'd hop up. He liked lying at our feet or behind our knees. Sometimes if he was cold, he'd wake us up in the middle of the night to get under the covers. I'd always reach out and lay my hand on him. He was such a great dog.

It's not the same for me with Mini. She's cute -- but she doesn't have my heartbeat. Taco has that, and I think always will. He was a comfort to me in an amazing way, I am grieving. I am missing my friend, just like any other friend. Taco and I were tight. We were buds.

In the mornings he'd hang with me until time to go in the shower, then he'd go with dad but once I came out he'd hang around looking for his cookie. When I went in the bedroom to get dressed, he'd come in there too!! He just always wanted to be with you. I'd lay my socks on the bed, and of course he'd grab them, and I'd have to wrestle him for them back. Goofy boy.

What I remember the most about the Taco. (or Tock)

We called him Tock -- shortened for Taco.

I remember him waiting at the end of the drive, sitting on the small hills there, watching our car come down the road after work. Stephen would have let him out after school. He would be sitting there so proud and just anxious for us to be with him. I wish I had a photo of him sitting there, but I am thankful I see it in my mind. He wouldn't run close to the car, he would wait for me to stop, check the mail and then once I opened the door he would sneak in and we'd right up to the top. If I wasn't stopping, then he'd run behind me to the top waiting for me to get out.

He sure loved us -- gave us so much of himself.

I remember him peeking over the kitchen screen door looking out when I was leaving because he couldn’t see me anymore by the living room door. His cute ears sticking up with his little nose showing.

Cookie time … calling him for his morning cookie. He knew too. Reaching up stretching and grabbing it so nicely.

Always at my feet in the kitchen because he knew for sure I would eventually drop something on the floor. Messy me.

I remember him running in from outside when I was sitting in the chair during my months of chemo – looking for me there and not finding me. Running to my room and not finding me there either. Back he came running – Stephen calling him and telling him “Mom’s in here Taco!!" And he so glad to find me again.

Sitting under my chair and feeling his fur touch my legs and what a comfort that was to me.

Lying with me for HOURS on the bed during sickness. Sitting on the back of the chair when I had made it there.

He came a lot after the sickness thing – Stephen told me when I told him to take Taco with him. He told me, Mom you need Taco now so he can stay with you. Some nights when I’d make him stay out there, because he was after all Stephen’s dog. Stephen would open my door and bring him in to me. I had to thank Stephen for sharing him with me.

Taco going in to the bathroom trash! Ugh. Eating paper. Yucko.

Him going out the kitchen door in the mornings to go potty and zipping right over to the living room one, cause he’d know I’d be there to let him in. I always let him in, and made Mini stay out. LOL!

Him barking at anyone coming in to the house and yet be too scared to do anything except run away when we tried to trick him and make ourselves scary for him.

That low grumble sound he’d make in his throat. It wasn’t really a growl just a rumbly sound to let you know that he didn’t want you moving him from where he was laying. Mainly by mom on the bed!! I wish I had that sound taped … I’ve never heard a dog do that.

Loved the awesome way he ran – long strides like a deer or a gazelle. That afternoon I can still see him in my mind running after the guineas but never getting close to them. Barking at them, but really scared of them! I remember looking at the billy goat but constantly looking back and watching for Taco in the barn to make sure none of the other goats got in to hurt him. Calling him out and coming to the house with me. Inside is a little blurred because I was rushing around trying to clean up and stuff.

I remember Lexi saying once they moved out, Taco needed to come visit so he could play with the cat. Him and cat enjoyed wrestling with each other. Mini was too busy with the puppies to play with Taco.

Thankful there are puppies – not sure how they ever got together but perhaps God knew? One little black one makes the growly sound. The girl definitely has his coloring. {sigh} But they are just not him.

It’s too fresh; it’s too raw for me right now. I need prayer ... please pray for me.

This blog is for me … for my memories … I love you Taco Boy!!!! So very, very much.


November 4, 2009
Hard coming home ...
and not going to his crate and letting him out and being greeted by him.  Woah.  What a ROUGH day.  I am unable to comprehend the feelings I have for this dog.  He was there when no one else was.  I told hub, I wasn't a burden to him, giving comfort the only way he knew how, by his presence.  Facing 6 weeks of treatments starting tomorrow is tearing me up ... I can't imagine doing it without him.

Found some photos on my phone, so very thankful for them.  I was laying on the couch and this guy was at my feet.  Probably a weekend after a chemo treatment.  

He could have been running around but much prefered to stick close to us human folks.
To be totally truthful, we are all pretty miserable.  Pray for us, please!!!
We love you Taco!!


November 3, 2009
Missing Taco ...

I can officially say that last night was one of those "longest nights of your life".  Made it to work -- because I couldn't bear the thought of staying home in an empty house.  A house without Taco.  My grief is real, I decided I really don't care if people don't understand.  They don't have to.  Trying to think of good memories -- but the emptiness is still so fresh. 
Yesterday afternoon we were out in the yard looking at the goats, and of course Taco was following me. He ran like the wind -- not a normal little dog run -- but more like a deer.  He flowed when he ran.  I remember thinking when I watched him, how much I loved to see him run.  It was so different than a dog's run.
Woke up this morning, and tried to pray ... it wasn't the same, he'd come hang out with me in the living room until I went in the shower, then he'd go hang with Stephen until I made sure he was up for school.
Poor Stephen ... I'm thankful Stephen shared him with me.  Stephen told me during my treatments months ago, you need him Mom, let him stay with you.  He gave of himself so I could have comfort.  All those times I had to spend alone, I wasn't really alone.  My friend Taco was with me.  I love you Taco.  You will be missed ... so very, very much.

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November 2, 2009
Memories of our friend ...
He loved to be with people ... much prefered that to anything else, even running free outside.  He tried to come with me when I left for the doctor's this afternoon, but I had hub hold him.  My last time to see him.  I remember looking back up the driveway at them, not knowing it would be the last time I saw my faithful friend alive.  
Not sure why it's hit so hard .. but it's hard ... I've cried, screamed, weeped, fallen to my knees, its been such an overhwhelmingly hard year, the loss of him has definitely brought me to my breaking point. 

I hate feeling in limbo ... not sure what to do next, and not really wanting to do anything.    Taco went upstairs with Stephen last night.  When it was my time for bed, I went into my room and shut the door.  Seconds later I heard him coming down the steps.  I went back over to the door and there was this little guy peeking under the door wanting in.  Miss you buddy.

His dog ID.   He'd been coming with me in the afternoons to pick up Stephen from school.  He would sit on the console between the two front seats.  Didn't matter that he was leaving his food behind.

Always wanting to be next to us humans.  God -- I need you to help me stop hurting. 
I'm so very sad. 

Me with hair earlier this year before BC.  Chilling by the wood stove and of course having to have a dog on your lap.  Love you buddy. 

I hate death, I hate grief, I hate cancer.  I hate the devil. I hate this kick in the gut feeling. 
I wasn't ready for this, I don't want him to be gone.  You can not imagine how much of a comfort he was to me these last months being on the back or in a chair for so many days of it.  He would always hang out with me above everything else.  He knew I needed him.  I could depend on him  I am missing him so much.

Its like a tomb in here ... quiet ... we've all cried.  Its entirely too early for bed too ...
it promises to be a long night. 

I know God is still on the throne and God is who will help us through.

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Why ?
I sit here in the quiet of the house, with my precious Taco laying dead at my feet.  OH GOD.  I loved him so much.  Why did you take him Lord, why?

I'm overwhelmed with grief at the loss of this precious friend.  He stuck by me for hours and days of treatment and sickness.  He was my comfort.  I'm not handling the death of this precious guy well at all.  I've screamed, I've prayed, I've begged God to raise him back up.

I have blood covering my hands, my clothes ... how do I tell my son?  How do I do this?  How do I comfort my child when my grief is overwhelming me.  OH GOD.  Why, God, why? 

Please pray for us .. Josh is inconsolable -- these dogs ARE loved.  Taco --  you will be missed so very, very, much.  Stephen is at the doctor with my hub ... I need to get myself together before he comes home.  How that is going to be possible remains to be seen?

Josh came home -- oh God.  My son hurts .. my heart is so heavy.  I'd never have thought to have loved him this much.  But yes, I do love him and I will miss him so very much.   I love you Taco, my friend.  I love you.

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What Faith Can Do ...
The Lord has been using music to speak to me lately -- this was the song for today.  You can't imagine the battles I fight in my mind each moment of every day ...

Went over the fair access policy at home, so internet service was pathetic over the weekend.  
No major plans today -- although my 6 month dental appointment is today.  Should be fun!  (not!)

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You don't have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise


Menu Plan Monday

Sorry internet this weekend ... debating getting one of those internet cards for your phone??  But then -- is it really that important?   Only to catch up on people, because you don't hear from them otherwise.

Been enjoying messing around on Facebook and hearing from long, lost friends.  (and keeping ahead of Josh and Sarai on Cafe World!)  

Sunday -- Dorito Casserole, Peas

Monday -- Grilled Chicken, Noodles, Veggies and Fruit  (Dentist)

Tuesday -- Pasta with Meatballs, Salad and Bread

Wednesday -- Tortellini Soup, Italian Cheese Bread   (Doctor Appt)

Thursday -- Toasted Cheese Sandwiches, Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup

Friday -- Taco Salad or Homemade Pizza (picked up some fresh mozzarella for 50 cents at Aldi!)

Saturday -- Grilled Turkey Brats/Sausage, Beans, Mac & Cheese, Veggies and Fruit

We won't necessarily have the meals on those days -- I switch them around all the time.  But I can look at this and see what's up.  Will probably make the Tortellini Soup on Tuesday night since Wednesday is  Bible Study or just do the toasted cheese and soup on Wednesday since I have a doctor appointment that day.
No telling!!

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