Friday, February 2, 2018

A Life-Changing Year

Hi, friends.  I have no idea if any one is out there to read me anymore- I know I've been gone a long time. I've been wanting to share some things with you for quite some time now but before I could get settled in regarding one event, bang! another one would hit and so on.  I think I have it pretty much together (let's just say that I do, anyway) at this point so I'm going to share before the next thing comes along and re-rattles me:-).

This past year has altered my life in several major ways and while I could possibly write a book on each of the major ways, I will instead try to summarize things for you.   Here we go.

1) Remember that sweet little special needs foster baby we brought into our lives almost two years ago?  He's now ours.  The official adoption came through last month just in time for Christmas.  There are so many emotions wrapped up in adoption- I never knew...and I never imagined I'd be experiencing them!  God had other plans as did our hearts.  We are now a family of six.

2) In less than four months, my parents are moving in with us!  This plan has been in the works for years and we are finally in the process of having an addition put on our house that not only gives my parents a full living space but that gives our family some extra bedrooms as well.  We are currently squished into two bedrooms as the two houses are being combined but before long, we will spread out again.  And, boy, are we going to appreciate the extra space.  My parents are still young so we are looking forward to many years of living beside them and caring for them (as I am sure they will continue to care for us).

3) And, finally (and with much trepidation for some reason), I want to share with you that back in October I had a heart attack.  I can hardly believe it as I type it.  I experienced a Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection.  This is not your normal heart attack- in fact, it's quite rare.  Arteries have layers and the inner layer of one of my arteries tore allowing blood to seep into the wall of the artery causing a bulge and a 70% blockage which lead to the heart attack.  I thank God that it happened in the early hours of the morning (it woke me up) while Jamey was still home and did NOT happen in front of my children.

I HIGHLY recommend that everyone carry chewable 81mg baby aspirin with them.  Jamey fed me four of these as we ran red lights on the way to the ER and they greatly reduced the horrible chest pain/squeezing I was experiencing.

My recovery is ongoing but positive.  I'm now on medication and just finished cardiac rehab.  There isn't a lot known about SCAD so I've enrolled in a clinical study to help with research.  Why it happens isn't really known and there is a possibility of recurrence.  I am still wrapping my head around my new normal and would appreciate any prayers you're able to raise on my (and my family's) behalf.

For all of these reasons (and many more that have come into focus through all of this), I thought it time to officially bow out of this site for the time being.  I kind of already have but I wanted to share with you some of the why.  I'm leaving it all here for my own record, for a resource and just in case I one day come back.

Update: The paper copies of my cookbook have sold out. Thank you all for your orders! The digital copy is still available on Amazon.

Blessings to each of you this year.  Love your people and people that aren't your people and make time to take care of yourself.  Our bodies are AMAZING and deserve so much more care than we give them.


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  1. I have enjoyed your blog for many years, and was so pleased to see a post from you this morning! I don't comment very often, but I regularly use your cookbook and scan your blog for inspiration/information.

    What a year you've had indeed! I will certainly be praying for you. Your last paragraph was spot on. Love your people, love other people, and take care of yourself so you can continue to do both. That last one is always the hardest to remember.

    Thank you for many years of inspiration!

  2. Your blog has been on my feed for several years. It has been a treat to read about, and be encouraged by, your stories and experiences. Thank you for being willing to share the happenings of your life; God has often given you the words to strengthen and encourage my heart. I'm so excited with you and for you in the adoption and will be praying for all of you. Praying too that your willingness to take part in the study will be a help to others. I will leave your blog on my reading list and each day as I look to see who is posting what I will use that as a reminder to pray for you and all your family. His peace to your hearts (!) and home.

  3. Blessings to you and your family. I have checked back in from time to time as I missed your lovely posts. Wonderful news on the new child God has given you (and the parents that God gave to him) and the upcoming pleasure your children will have growing up with grandparents so near at hand. I am very sorry to hear of your health issue and all that brings to your life. I am so grateful you are well now. We are lucky to live in a time with amazing medical advances in knowledge and treatments and more coming all the time. I hope soon they will find a way to ensure you need not worry about a recurrence, such things are possible.
    Prayers to you and your family in all you do as you go forward, and thank you for the pleasure I've gotten from your blog and the fine recipes I access regularly on my kindle.

    Jane Kelly

  4. I have enjoyed your post an all the information you have given us. I will be praying for your family and for you. Life is tough sometimes, and short, and wonderful. We will miss you. But I bet you will be back. :)

  5. WOW!!! Your life has been quite a roller coaster! I'm so happy to hear of your adoption, and I totally "get" the mix of emotions involved. Your heart attack is so crazy! Of all people, I never would have dreamed YOU were at risk. I will be praying for a complete recovery with no new events. Love you so much!!!

  6. I can't remember now how I stumbled in here originally, I suspect that I have lurked forever. I have enjoyed your posts, it has given me a peek into a life so very different from my own but I understand why you need to take time for yourself. My very best wishes for a full recovery and for the big changes you have in front of you.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I had always meant to buy a cookbook so I am excited to have it ordered now. I have a friend at church who recently had a SCAD, hers occurred while she was in a doctor's waiting room so she was diagnosed quickly as well. So thankful for God's timing and caring for you both. Congratulations on your adoption! So many changes in a year, may your next year be blessed.

  8. Oh. My. What you have had happening! How blessed you are to have your parents moving to be in close proximity to you. Everyone will benefit from the wonderful family you'll form. How blessed you, your family and that little baby boy are to have each other. You have given him a life of wonder and joy he never would have had otherwise. How blessed you are that modern medicine (and a higher power, I'm sure!) could bring you back to good health to continue your path in life.

    I understand your need to shut down your blog . . . at least for the time being, I (personally) hope. :o} We need to make decisions that are for the best.

    Your cookbook is in constant use in our house. I'm so glad I have it . . . and that you wrote it.

    Sending much love and hugs to you and yours. Take care of yourself, Jane!

  9. Thank you for the update. I have so enjoyed your blog and will really miss your wisdom, encouragement, crafts, recipes, family & farm stories, and Godly perspective and influence on all those you around you. Lord bless you in your future endeavors. I hope to see perhaps a yearly update - with a summary of your lives - as you have just done.
    Keeping you in my prayers, and thankful for all you have shared over the years. You enriched my life.
    Hugs to you. from Bea

  10. Oh my, my heart was blessed and broken for you all in the same moment. I'm an RN (retired) and remember years ago a man coming into our little rural hospital with a SCAD. He survived, but oh my and so as I think oh my for you, I am so grateful that our precious Father has given you more moments with your family. I say often, "enjoy your moments." I am so thankful that your parents will have this opportunity. We live as an extended family, my son & dil & grandbaby. I am so grateful for the moments I share with him. So very thankful for your new addition that made you a family of 6. I will miss you so much. Thank you for these years. My heart has been truly blessed 😘💕💞 (😥) Susan

  11. Thank you for the beautiful and thoughtful missives with which you have blessed your many readers. I'm glad you understand a mantra I've oft repeated: "self-care is essential." I have four children (now all young adults), so I know the joy and busy-ness you are experiencing. My 86 year old father moved in with us this past year and that has also been an extraordinary blessing. Much good lies in store for you! And I pray you will know deep in your soul the tender care and unconditional love God has for every single one of you in your expanded home. Peace, grace, gratitude and joy to you.

  12. A virtual hug and a thank you for sharing your life with us! God bless you in your travels through His path for you.

  13. Best wishes to you and your family, along with wishes for many years of good health for all. I’ve missed your blog, but thank you for the updates and closure.

  14. Thank you for all that you've shared here over the years, and for checking in to let us know how you're doing.

  15. God is good. I'm happy to hear from you. You got the adoption. Good! Your parents moving to be closer to you is going to help all. You will continue to recover. Funny how the paths change as we walk through life. Often it is with unexpected events that happen. We need time to process it all. I have enjoyed you blog. I wish you all good blessings as you move forward into your life. God bless.

  16. Your blog has always been a great and inspiring read. May God continue to bless you and your family!

  17. I have loved your blog for years, and I anticipated each new post from you. You taught me to can, kept me motivated, and truly inspired me. I thank you for everything, and I wish you and your family all the best. Thank you!

  18. Dear Jane,
    So thankful for the Lord's guidance and watch care over you and your family during this monumental year. I'm thankful for your new little one and for your parents coming to live with you, and for your health. Your cookbook has been a treasured reference in our home and your blog posts have been encouraging and informative. You will be missed here. Praying the Lord will continue to heal you and use you to bless those in your care.

  19. Sending prayers from Canada God bless!

  20. Oh, you are here again! Your blog is a wonderful lifebook, thank you very much for it. I wish you and your family all good blessings!

  21. Hi Jane! I have been checking occasionally and wondering about you and yours. My, what a year you've had!! Good things and hard things both.

    Congrats on the adoption of your little boy. My niece adopted a special needs boy when he was about the same age. Love and challenges in pretty much equal amounts. He is such a joy and such a handful! And congrats on getting your house expanded and your parents moving in. We were never able to do that, but I think that might be how God intended us to live. We were still blessed to have my parents just over the hill across a field. Dad is gone now but Mom, now 89, still wants to live the big old farmhouse she raised her family in. Fortunately all three of her sons and daughters-in-law live within a 1/4 mile and she has many grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren to help her along.

    Your new normal - Wow! As a person who has had to adjust to a "new normal" - a bit less immediately life threatening but almost as rare - I can say it's both easier and harder than you first think, and it's not quick or one-time thing. Don't beat yourself when you're still struggling months later. (I know you are - I've been there. Stop it! :-) ) I was diagnosed 5+ years ago and I still at times struggle to adjust.

    As you probably already have learned, your faith will be your anchor and God will work in wonderful ways through your family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers, to carry you along. It can be a bit of an exercise in humility to receive all that love and caring. I've prayed that God will grant you the wisdom and strength to continue walk the path He's planned for you.

    It's almost a bit cliche, but a portion of the prayer of serenity (God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.) often helps me towards getting my perspective on things in a right way with God. A friend gave me a pocket coin engraved with that and I carry it always just to remind me.

    I took most of the last year off from blogging as I struggled with some additional adjustments I had to make. Don't beat yourself up about that either! It's ok!


  22. I am truly overwhelmed by all your thoughts, prayers and encouragement. Thank you to each of you who have taken the time to comment and/or pray for me and our family. Blessings to each one of you. xo Jane

  23. Sending you much love from over here in England. Your blog has been a wonderful inspiration and blessing. So happy to hear that your family has increased, you are truly blessed. Hoping that you get a little bit of respite from your traumatic year. xxx

  24. I have missed you over the past year, and am said to know that you won't be sharing your life with us anymore. You are an inspiration to this 69 year-old woman and I have enjoyed "knowing" you and sharing in your life of challenges and overriding faith in our God. May He bless you and yours abundantly as you continue the journey!

  25. I had wondered and figured that you must be extra 'busy' with something! Wow. A sincere thank you for years of inspiration and encouragement. My heart will remember you fondly and every now and again I will imagine you with your lovely family. Thank you for the update and following your own advice to focus now on loving your people and taking care of yourself.
    Much blessings and thank you again
    in Canada

  26. Best wishes and gratitude coming your way!

  27. My husband has had two heart attacks and the one thing I have for sure learned is to call an ambulance. They can administer life saving drugs on the way to the hospital and also the hospital knows you are coming and you go straight into the cath lab. My husband said that by the time they had him to the lab while flat out running down the hall they had him down to underclothes and he was ready to go right in. I pray that you never have need of this information though!

  28. I have enjoyed reading your blog. Prayers going up for your ongoing recovery!

  29. Thank you for sharing so much over the years. Best wishes, prayers and blessings for ... well ... everything. So much going on for you and your family. I will check back from time to time ... just in case you decide to write here again. You have made a difference in my life. Thank you! FarmMom100

  30. As others, I came upon your blog years ago and have enjoyed your adventures in the garden, the kitchen, and with your bees. Take good care of yourself and your family. I wish you every blessing that life has to give.

  31. I still read your blog and enjoy the inspiration found here. I hope all is well with you and your family. Gods blessing to you all.

  32. Praying for you adorable sister. I hope you get rest. Maybe some good solid reading. I personally love John Bunyan. Life is a vapor and Im very impressed you are making a meaningful impact during your time on earth. Very glad I found your blog. God Bless

  33. I'm here :) almost a year after your posting.

    I don't even know why, as I wasn't looking for anything related to your blog. I got up this morning, with the usual list of 'RoundToIts, and decided to do something just for me. Apparently this was meant to be reading your ENTIRE blog from start to finish. It's 9pm now.

    How is your adopted son doing?
    How did the house extension work out? Did you ever get a ruby necklace?! Oh, those bees! Has the attic um, "smoked" anything yet?

    Tomato bread pudding; okay, I'll give it a go.

    And perhaps I am here because I recognize a great writer when I see one. One with a God-given talent...


  34. A quick note to say thank you for your blog - I have been an intermittent follower, returning whenever I felt the pull of world becoming too strong. Your blog helped me to ground myself and remember what is important.
    I admire and draw strength from your lifestyle and above all your commitment to following Jesus Christ and serving God. Thank you and may all God’s choicest blessings continue to be yours.


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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