Friday, August 21, 2015

The Climb is Never too Steep - A Message of Never Giving Up

If I was a quitter, I would have quit a long time ago at a time where I was miserable, making one mistake after another. This included marrying the wrong guy, crying myself to sleep almost every night and just really hating who I was as a person which seems oh so long long ago!

Over the last 25 years though, I have crafted a life of knowing who I am and being very transparent of who I am. Honesty of our life is freely shared and I have nothing truly to hide. I am confident, intense and passionate about the life we live. I love to share everything we experience for the chance it may inspire or help others.

I may change plans and dreams due to circumstance, but I don't quit, I don't give up and I certainly do not allow my family to quit either. We adapt.

In this past year we have moved crossed country, lost my sweet mama as well as several of her brothers and sisters, we became homeless by choice, took a huge cut in income, discovered a brain tumor right before it killed me, and have had to seek help in a variety of ways.

However, we also have fell head over heels in love with Oregon, met the most amazing people and families, went to Spokane Washington and the wonderful Portland Oregon. We drove up to see Crater Lake when snow was still on the surrounding mountains around the lake. Which is good because now it is smoke filled from a fire in that area with an entrance closed off and one of the roads in closed off as well. We have explored our wonderful new town where we go for everything and they have the coolest shops! We are being sheltered in a small studio for the most incredible, big hearted folk you can imagine while we get treatment for myself and try to pull together our financial resources to find our own place. We have gone to some amazing parks and seeing the Rogue River daily is just amazing.


I never see our circumstances as a bad thing, just another step in our journey with so many beautiful things to keep fighting for. Or should I say flowing for , because is that really what a journey is? A beautiful flowing dance of good and bad? But what defines bad as bad? Is cancer bad? No, not really it is no different than what someone else would see as bad, just a different obstacle is all. Truly the really only bad thing I would agree with would be something awful happening to a mother and fathers child.

Debt, car loss, home loss, terminal or chronic illness...........I refuse to quit, it is just not worth quitting and is just a small obstacle one must creatively figure out while they continue to seek joy daily.

Learn to dance in the rain or smell spring flowers, laugh...oh  I can not stress laughter enough!

A daily Mantra should be "I can do this, yes I can!"

I simply just don't take giving up as an option, I just have way too much to live for and what I do TODAY is what matters. TODAY I choose to fight for our joy and always be full of gratitude.

Have a marvelously inspired fun filled weekend everyone!

Carrie Hetu

Monday, August 17, 2015

Following Dreams May appear as a Free-Fall Downslide At First

We had a tiny window in our decision to sell everything we owned almost in Michigan to come up with the funds to move to Oregon. We had an online friend willing to co-house a place she herself had just been able to get. We left not even knowing if the new treatment was even working or not although my Michigan Oncologist did everything in her power to ensure I would have enough medicine to tide me over for the delay between state insurances.....a 2 month supply basically.

Within 2 days of being on the road, I started hurting under the ribs and shrugged it off as the way I was sleeping.  Within a week, I knew that was not the case and that treatment simply was not working and the tumor was growing pressing on my ribs. By the time my insurance here in Oregon kicked in, 3 days before my first appointment, I was in excruciating pain, things did not taste any good and well, was back defying the grim reaper again. New oncologist switched my treatment ( back in February I believe) and we immediately started seeing results in my favor.

6 months we co-housed and as I said in an earlier post, my family just was not too happy sharing space, not that they were not nice, they were , just that we were not very compatible personalities. However I am forever grateful to experience it to see if it was for us and to know we had a place to come to when we got here. So we made the choice to go on an extended camping trip to explore Oregon. This lasted 5 days before I found out about the brain tumor and for the third time in 3 years defied the grim reaper. He loves to grab my hand and force me across the threshold to the other side and each time I pull back letting him know I am not ready. My family still needs me, I have dreams I want to fulfill and I simply am not gonna go easily so there!

Well we now for the past 2 1/2 months have technically been considered homeless, although we still for now have a roof over our heads at a friends who has given us a tiny studio that is a tad bigger than our 3 cabin tent. As soon as she found out about the brain tumor she would not allow us sleeping in the tent anymore. This also came at a time our van started really struggling with overheating and a badly needed brake repair which both of course are still in need of repair. We have tried 3 times at the mechanics to fix the overheating issue but it still continues to be a problem as the trip to Washington and Portland left us in the red for a little bit.

Many may say why would we ever take a trip knowing it would put us in the red and financially hurt us? Well it should not have but with the tumor it made for the worst navigation skills ever and had us driving around forever lost!  Also I truly did not know how long I may have so it is a trip I would do all over again since it may have been my 1 shot to explore the west beyond Grants Pass, meet the most amazing families and see some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine.

Have we hit bottom yet? No, not really, bottom would mean no roof over our heads, going hungry, losing health insurance..........  it is just appearing to go in a downward slide, even our 14K has been cut in half with hubby having to become my full time care giver.

But we continue to live in the moment, seize the day, follow our grand dreams with a positive attitude ( other than me getting real anxious and ragey from the steroids they had me on through radiation! )
I also do have a plan to turn things around as long as my health holds out so I am really looking forward to how that plays out in our cards. I can not quite share that with you all yet though! But perhaps soon I will be able to!

Today is Monday, a day to start new beginnings so I wish all of you a fabulous week!

Turn the page,

Carrie Hetu

 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Love for Weekends!

I love the weekends because for me, it truly is my down time and relaxation time. No doctor appointments, no errands unless going to library for free wi-fi ( unfortunately this also means no photos for blogs unless I have time to scout free pics off the inter web!

When you are heading off to appointments all the time the weekends become a highly appreciated time of rest, relaxation and sometimes even fun!

Trust me, I am not complaining, each day I get to wake up and breathe and since I am 2 years past my originally expiration date, well that is a heck of an achievement right there missy! I am ecstatic for that, it is just that the weekends have become ones of tremendous gratitude for!


I get to chill out and after running 3 to 5 days a week off to appointments, well it is what it is and I could not be more thankful for them! I get to take life more at the leisurely pace I am used to, inhale the scents, listen to nature and just breathe it all in slowly and appreciate all the tiny details that make life so juicy and yummy.

This weekend blessed us with our newest grandchild's birth! A little girl named Serena weighing 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 inches in length  with a head full of dark hair and just perfect!

Well sorry I do not have time to elaborate but my computer time has just about run out so I will say
even with free wi fi it is good to be back writing again as it does seem with the brain tumor it was one of those things that just fell off and got forgot about! My whole creative side disappeared!

Have a great weekend y'all!

Carrie Hetu

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What has been happening in the Hetu household.....

Well for starters the co-housing really was not working out too good by end of the 6 months. My family just was not too happy sharing space with another family. So we decided to do something we had wanted to do for a long time, and explore Oregon through an extended camping trip. So we kicked off an Unschoolers weekend campout to start us off right.

Unfortunately this was a very short lived (I think a total of 5 days!) decision as unaware to me I had a brain tumor growing and had been growing for quite sometime. A silent killer it was, while they concentrated on my liver that had gone into shut down status for the second time, I never felt the brain tumor. I will say though a liver in bad shape is excruciating! By the time I thought "Wow, chemo brain does not usually happen 4 months into treatment, how odd!" I brought it up to my oncologist and she immediately scheduled a brain scan which revealed a 3 inch tumor in my left lobe that controls fine motor and speech.

All in a 2 week span I was reduced to being incontinent, unstable on my feet, no smell, and only able to utter "ummmmmm."  This was not only very scary but left us in a bit of a pickle as now basically we are homeless but a friend is letting us stay in a small studio while we seek help and look for a place.

We had to go back on food stamps, our only income is disability right now as hubby pretty much has had to become my full time care giver. We have sought help through Ucan and the local housing authority as well as gas for medical travel.

After 4 months of chemo, they had to stop that to put me on 15 days of radiation. I had 4 days in-between where I was able to go visit my lovely Niece on the coast in Northern California, about a 1 1/2 hour drive from where we are in southern Oregon. We camped 2 nights in the Redwood forest about 5 minutes from her house. Even though I could not talk much, and was incontinent, it was a lovely time! We walked on the beach, went to the marina, and a walk through the redwoods.

After the 15 days of radiation, I took a 10 day break and me and my family went on a fun but nightmarish trip to see online folk we have known for awhile but never met. I had no idea if I would ever get the chance again and I did not come to Oregon to die in grants pass! Never being out of Michigan, I really wanted / want to explore the West! We went up to Spokane Washington to see 2 lovely families and all would have been good if I had not lost my navigation skills. Since a child, I always navigated, well not so much, heck I could not even remember that expressway's went both ways! LOL Poor hubby, bless him for not killing me, we must have driven around lost more than anything else and talk about stress and anxiety! It was awful as far as driving went but amazing when reaching destinations.

The oncologist wasted no time scheduling appointments as soon as I got back and back to chemo I went, along with bone scans, CT scans ( liver/pelvic) and MRI (brain) which I just got all the results back from and it was all good news. Bone scans were clear, Liver tumor shrunk quite a bit and brain tumor shrunk by 2 cm in circumference and believed it will continue to shrink for awhile.

On top of it we hit record temps of triple digits that followed us from the day I started radiation, all the way pretty much to a few days ago!

Then on the 8th, we lost my sweet beautiful momma who words can not express what a survivor she was! It has been a really rough couple months but I am still dancing to a positive groove!

While all this goes on, I can not help to look around and see how blessed we truly are!

I do have a plan to raise us up though financially if it is in fates cards my health last long enough to do so! Stay tuned on those plans..........................

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Please be Patient!

Quick update, please be patient for one as I merge and import all my blogs into one, without wi-fi, this may take a bit of time.

Medically has been rough, even had a brain tumor that almost killed me. Out of time at library so will update more soon.

LOVE YOU ALL

Monday, February 23, 2015

7 Days Across America
















End of November had us making the decision to sell everything we owned and move 3000 miles from Michigan to Oregon. The only experience we had of being out of Michigan was small trips to Wisconsin, Indiana and we tried to live one year in North Carolina. This was by far the biggest road trip of our lives and we made it longer by going a south ward route in order to avoid cold and bad weather as far as snow and ice go..

We went through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, North California and into South Oregon, our new home.  It was a trip of a life time, however it always seems far more fun in your head than when reality sets in! Our first stop was so our daughter could meet her online boyfriend (was at the time anyways) in Battle creek Michigan as we left our state. 

We had plenty of plans to stop  along the way but things came up that just did not allow for that. The biggest obstacle was discovering hubby is now night blind like me that almost ran us into a utility pole the first night. This drastically reduced our ability to drive being limited to only daylight hours as I have been night blind forever it seems like. 

We were able to stop at online friends houses along the way in Illinois and then again Oklahoma, which was incredible. We left 30 degree weather to be met with 60's once leaving Illinois for almost the entire trip which was amazing!  

It took 7 days to get to our new home and to say we were exhausted would be an understatement but the trip all in itself was an incredible learning experience. 

This post is long overdue as I am afraid I am not keeping up well here on the blog. But we are getting settled in finally and with warmer weather showing up, hope to be exploring our new home state. Of course it never really ever went under 45 here for winter temps for day time highs SWEET! 

Sorry this is a short post but thought I would give a quick update!  I will try harder and keeping you more up to date and talk about the learning happening! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Co-housing to ease financial loads



If you would have asked me years ago, I would have replied I could never share a house with another family. But when we made the decision to move to Oregon, that is exactly what we did, as we had grown tired of trying to shoulder everything ourselves. No community to lean on, fighting not just our fight with having cancer but our financial struggles as well. We were given an opportunity to share a really large house with another family who also has their fair share of financial struggles.

It was not easy at first, it was a huge adjustment period, learning everyone's personalities, laying expectations out on the table and communicating everyone's needs and looking for solutions to  live peacefully within a tribe. Over time we have become family and bonds have been built which is different than simply a friendship when you share living space with others.

In many ways it quickly became a blessing especially with news of my cancer spreading again where I would need treatments again.  Housework is shared, rent , electricity and internet is split, food is kept separate with the exception of occasional community meals. We have our private spaces but share great company when we are up to it, regardless of weather conditions. There is an abundance of laughter and genuine caring about everyone in the household too.

 It is really nice to share the financial loads and is allowing hubby time to try his hand at entrepreneurship and grow a business. It also allows our room mate to try to grow her home business as well. While Co-housing certainly is not for everyone, we are finding it beneficial on many levels and for both families, not just one. By leaning on each other for now, we are raising each other up and allowing us this opportunity that otherwise never would have been able to happen. By leaning on each other, we were able to raise the bar in a standard of living, we did not have alone.

It has really been an amazing experience to open our minds up to this kind of lifestyle. How long will we co-house together? Nobody really knows, but for now it is working very well for our families and that is all that matters.

Second Chemo Treatment Cancelled

This week my second chemo treatment was cancelled after my blood work showed my immune system crashed. Hubby had even made a comment on the color of my blood they took as it was as close to black as you can get without actually being black!  So I had 2 things that dropped, one being my white blood cells and the other being what actually helps fight off bacteria and germs.

I was surprised simply because I had only had one chemo session and this crash was awfully quick. You expect it after a number of treatments but not usually after only one. I was told since I had been on chemo before back in 2013 that it can make me crash sooner. It could also be a sign that they have to reduce the strength of the chemo drug they are using on me.

This can be frustrating because what it means is, for one I have to get shots to boost my white blood cells and for two, a common cold can at best put me in ER and at the worst kill me. This means I have to stay out of highly public areas where germs are prone to be. Washing hands become a constant and you have to be telling well wishing visitors not to come if they have even a runny nose or cough.

Kind of makes you feel like Bubble Boy.

On the good side of the spectrum though, it means I am feeling good, the first treatment shrunk my tumor enough not to be causing constant pain from rubbing on my diaphragm and rib cage. My appetite is back so I gained the few pounds back I lost last week and smells are not sending me running to the bathroom. My chronic cough has improved immensely and I am not getting my involuntary muscle spasm hiccup thingy's that feels like someone was grabbing my tumor and squeezing it with all their might as it involved sharp intakes of gasping for air.


I am tired and get tired easily right now but that is to be expected and I can live with a smile with that right now!

I am rescheduled for another chemo appointment in 3 days so if I pass the blood tests I will get another treatment. I have high hopes for this round of treatment, each life extension they can give me for, is a reason in itself to celebrate and be full of gratitude.

Go after your dreams, don't let fear for one moment stop you, live in the moment, laugh, and love fiercely and live each moment to the fullest doing the things that cause you the most joy.

I am a 2 year survivor of Stage IV breast cancer, looking forward to turning that 2 into a 3!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Second Round of Chemo is Now Commencing



Pet Scan results confirmed what we knew, however it was not as bad as feared either. Previous treatments had quit working and scan results are showing a spread of the cancer again. It never really went away so I can not even really call it a recurrence. Of course the worst and most concern is my liver again, it always seems to be the liver! While this news pretty much all came right after my 2 year survivor date, we have high hopes that the new fight plan will work to give me another year, and perhaps another, and maybe another..........

The new fight plan was the decision to go to round 2 of chemo treatments, since I had my port removed due to it never working this left us with one choice.

Eribulin also known by trade name of Halaven which can be given through my veins and does not need a port. I had my first treatment last Wednesday and go again this Wednesday for second treatment. I takes about an hour so not bad at all and runs in a 2 weeks on, 1 week off protocol if blood work and liver functions are all good. If you would like to know the possible side effects you can read that HERE.

Personally I did experience nausea, smells really were hard to take, fatigue, headaches, light headiness and  lack of appetite.  The worst were the first 2 days but really it was not a bad first week at all. The hardest part is it inflamed my liver even worse than what it was making the pain so intense I could not even hardly breathe.  But so far I am feeling better every day tired or not :)


When we got here to Oregon December 9th I weighed 156 pounds. Now I am down to 138........something to keep an eye on for sure.

My diet is really not the healthiest because I do not want anything but I am eating yogurt, orange sherbet and apple sauce with an occasional something else thrown in like boiled eggs on toast or sandwich.

I was getting some amazing hikes in, but those all came to a halt when the tumor in my liver started causing too much pain. I hope I wont be down long because I love my mountain forest hikes, but at least I get to see them from my porch windows.

Now let this second round of chemo do some major damage! Can I get a NED perhaps? ( no evidence of disease)

Count your blessings, fill your cup with gratitude. LIFE IS GOOD!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Come join me on facebook!



https://www.facebook.com/carrie.hetu

I was blown away the other day when I went to check on my facebook page and noticed an overwhelming number of my friends changing their profile pics. One of my friends had the idea and asked one of her friends to create profile pics to show solidarity of support in lieu of my latest update. Feel free to friend request me where I give much more timely news updates on facebook than I do anywhere else!

These are all the images people are using for me that words can not begin to say how touched I am and full of gratitude I am.






Now I am sure you may be wanting an explanation, especially since I have been awful at posting on a regular basis!

Some of you may remember my post back in September I am So Over Hilda That pesky tumor that showed up while all the others had stabilized. They had put me on a new treatment of Zoladex shots and Letrazole pills and December 1, not knowing if the treatment was working yet or not, my family sold everything we had and moved 3000 miles across country to beautiful Southern Oregon.

As soon as we got to Oregon, while I was working getting all the medical stuff switched over, Hilda raised her ugly head and I started having problems. She had grown to where she is pressing on the rib cage again,  well at least inflamed in my liver causing a lot of pain.

It took a month getting my new state insurance and an appointment with my new oncologist for a consultation. A few days before the appointment we discovered a lump in my breast and one in my lymph nodes where the neck meets the shoulder.

The oncologist confirmed this, as well as a couple more which means Hilda has given birth to offspring and the cancer is spreading again.

To what extent remains to be seen as we wait for a PET scan now, which the insurance does not usually cover leaving my oncologist to try to get creative in how to word it to get the insurance to cover it. We need this to show how much of the cancer is active, how bad it has spread and to come up with a new fight plan of attack.

On a side note, Oregon is just what the doctor ordered for a spiritually uplifting most gorgeous scenery ever to be seen and a much warmer climate. This has me hiking all over the place building strong muscles again as we gear up for another battle I want to be strong for!

We live in an area where in January it has been mid 40's and 50's, kind of like a rain forest feel where everything is lush and green, not to mention the hikes have us going up and down the mountainous hills! IT IS AMAZING! No more freezing and hibernating under a blanket for 4 to 5 months in the winter!


So if you like, join in the support by choosing one of the pics above and friend requesting me on facebook ( the link at the very top of this post!) I love a news feed full of awesome people like yourself!

Die Hilda, Die! I am not done living yet!

January Grocery totals $225 for the month!

We have found Oregon to be more expensive for rental/housing prices and for food, which I had already figured being a coastal state. One nice thing however is that Oregon is a no tax state so their is no sales tax on items purchased, compared to Michigan's 6% sales tax.

With that being said, I am tickled pink to say January found us spending a total of $225 for the whole month which covered pet food ( for 1 dog and 1 bunny) and personal care products such as toilet paper, shampoo, razors and soap.  It also reflected a few treat splurges such as a bucket of ice cream and cold cereal!

This is still while figuring out the best places to shop which we have been alternating Walmart's with Grocery Outlet for now depending on what we need.

While I did  not keep records of what we ate, some of the things we did eat for dinner were


Home made refried bean burritos

Pull apart pizza

Cooked chicken over fresh salads ( sauteed chicken breast with a little soy sauce,  mixed dark greens and purple lettuce, chopped green onions and chopped tomatoes) several times

browned ground beef with brown gravy and noodles

eggs, cheddar lil smokies and toast

waffles

cheddar lil smokies mixed with pasta and cream of chicken soup

cauliflower potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and left over ham

Ham dinner ( brought and made by niece when they visited)

Of course there was more, I just can not remember. Hubby has cooked several dinners as I have had quite a few days I just have not felt up to it. It was confirmed at Oncologist appointment my cancer is spreading and now we are waiting for a pet scan to be scheduled to see how much it has spread and how much it is active to get a new fight plan going. I will write more about this over at my whole-istic living blog! You can read that post HERE

At any rate, I would have to say January was a huge success at keeping the grocery bill fairly low for a family of 4, while eating well.

How did you do for January grocery spending?



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A New Year, A New Plan, A New Groove ......



What an exciting way to start a new year by starting a whole new way of life in a state 3000 miles from a state you lived your whole life in! Well all but 1 year when we attempted a year in North Carolina!  For now we have said goodbye to Michigan and have totally fallen head over heels in love with southern Oregon and the warmer temps combined with a beauty unmatched by Michigan!

Trying to get all my medical set up in a new state was difficult to say the least, even leaving in me in tears or rage on a few occasions.......seems like it is not all that popular for a stage IV breast cancer patient in the middle of treatment to sell everything they own and move cross country! With  that being said, it is finally all set up and done and waiting for new oncologist appointment next week. Being that I seem to be having problems with a tumor growing again ( did not have any problems until we hit the road to our new home and has been getting worse and more frequent in the meantime.)  But it is all good and will be getting answers soon.

We did not just leave Michigan, but made a commitment to hubby saying good bye to fast food work forever! I have to remind him it took big kahunas to sell everything we own and move to a new state, so working for himself is NOTHING and he can do it! He needs lots of encouragement, nudging to get motivated, help at knowing what to do and learn computers for the first time in his life but I know he can do it!

With all that being said, our

  GOALS FOR 2015 ARE :

1.) To work on my health, get my tumor that is causing a lot of problems under control, build muscles and strength, spend time in spiritually uplifting nature, keep stress low, humor and joy high

2.) Hubby to start generating income in his new entrepreneur adventure of odd jobs starting with window screen repair and side hustle jobs.

3.) Figure out how to live comfortably within the income we already receive through SSI payments for me being considered disabled in a manner expected to result in death........ I know right? Not that I buy into the resulting in death but yeah that is a  stage IV prognosis which gets your SSI claim expedited and I received payment within 3 weeks of filing, no 3 to 5 month wait nor fighting a denial letter........who knew?

4.) Concentrate as a whole family on a one word goal for the year which is ALIVE...what makes us feel alive, what are we passionate about, what can we do to thrive not just survive, what makes us tick, what brings us joy, what do we find fun, what makes us feel fulfilled, what empowers us........and more! Attempting to make each family member a priority to be as happy as possible while being who they are!

5.) To pay off our Van which will be around $1800

6.) To explore and get to know our new home state

7.) To continue to make it without the help of food stamps


So there you have it, this may not be a complete list as I have not had a chance to really sit down and define or goal plan for 2015. Getting my medical stuff all transferred over was practically a full time job and of course had priority over everything. But this is a starter list of the things I know we want to accomplish!

I truly hope you all have an amazing 2015 and you accomplish everything you want out of it!

What are your goals for 2015? Leave a comment and let me know!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Getting Settled in Oregon!












We sold everything we owned with the exception of what would fit in our  minivan along with 4 people, a dog and a bunny in a cat carrier. We left the last day of November for our 3000 mile trek cross the country for an adventure of a life time. The only time we really have been out of Michigan was our one year attempt in North Carolina, a trip to see my Dad in Indiana one time and a weekend festival in Wisconsin once. Other than that our experiences have been Michigan for me and Michigan and Indiana for Hubby.

Selling what we own is how we raise money quickly to cover the expenses of such a move, this is the same method we used when we moved from upper peninsula Michigan to North Carolina. Seems to raise the funds needed and seems cheaper to replace things used rather than the expense of a moving truck.

To avoid snow issue, mountains and cold, our route took us through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Northern Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Northern California into Southern Oregon to our new home.

It was an incredible 7 day journey and we were in awe of our surroundings the whole time, as well as going from the cold of Michigan into 50 and 60 degree weather! 

Our first night was a horrible cheap drug trafficking and hooker hangout motel ( we were not aware of that until the next morning) and the room had not been cleaned ..........oh goodness nasty! Part of the Adventure!

We stopped in for breakfast at our daughters boyfriend where they got to meet in person for the first time and spent an amazing 2 hours there with an incredible family!

Then we went onto Decatur Illinois spending 2 nights with friends where we had to unload a bunch of stuff as we were carrying too much weight in the van.

Then on to spend a night with another friend and her amazing husband and grand-babies in Oklahoma.

From there we went through Amarillo Texas and onto spend the Night in New Mexico at a hotel with pool and hot tub.........oh was that nice!  We did the same thing in Arizona! YESSSSSS!

The next day was bad as my back had enough and by the time we stopped at a cheap motel, I was crying.

The last day of the trip was almost 600 miles and we just wanted to get there!

The last 2 pictures here are of the house on 20 acres backed by thousands of acres of BLM land........oh I am  in heaven!

We are co-housing with another amazing family to make it affordable to both of our families  for the time being and there is another family that will be putting a camper somewhere on the property so lots of friends around.

It is in the cutest little area called Rogue River.

Can not wait to share our new journey in our new area with you!



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Moving to Oregon!

While we were trying to decide a future move between Ecuador, Belize and Oregon, an opportunity came up we could not refuse. This has created a whirl wind of activity and is a time sensitive move having to time everything with my cancer shots. These shots are on a 28 day cycle so we have to drive out there and get my new medical set up and new oncologist ASAP so as to not lapse in treatments.

However, we are getting the opportunity to go from our 2 bedroom trailer here in Michigan, to a 4 bedroom on 20 acres backed on 2 sides with BLM land with wood burner and hot tub! How awesome is that?  It also is just under 2 hours from my niece me and my kids are really close with!

We have friends in the area and the best part is when I looked before making our decision, there are 3 cancer care centers and a holistic one all 20 minutes from the place!  The pictures of the area are breathtaking and certainly spiritually uplifting just looking at the wild beauty of the place. A friend can help get hubby a really good job out there too that will NOT be fast food!

So we have been busy selling everything we own, getting medical stuff taken care of, having good bye thanksgiving dinners and the general business and details a move of this nature entails. We will be going a very southerly route, a lot farther and longer but warmer and perhaps better weather considering we will be traveling the first week of December.

I can not tell you how excited my family is over this quite unexpected adventure, we have never been out west beyond Wisconsin and Illinois which lets face it, don't count! Even my teens are really excited about this as they have been quite miserable here in central Michigan! 

Today was the first day of our Moving sale and we did pretty good, I have a few big ticket items I am really hoping will sell without having to come down to insulting amounts. But I have confidence we can sell them in the 2 weeks we have left. Nothing like a 3 week decision to move to shake things up!

Not sure when I will have a chance to post again, but hopefully it will be soon and hopefully will be followed with pictures to come!

Westward and Onward!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Quantum Learning Model

Quantum learning methodology was introduced in the 1970’s with the learning forum founder and President Bobbi DePorter. Dr. Georgi Lozanov was hosted by Bobbi Deporter bringing his research on memory and brain function to the west breaking new ground in research and established the Quantum Learning Methodology by setting up a learning laboratory. Dr. Georgi Lozanov had developed the Quantum Learning Methods first in Bulgaria where he was a Bulgarian educator and psychologist. Using the methods creates an accelerated learning bringing the fun back into learning and making real connections with students and their whole involvement bringing real meaning to the students.

The idea is to engage and energize students and create life long learners who will take responsibility for their own learning experience. The foundation Quantum Learning rests upon is called the FADE model, Foundation, Atmosphere, Design and Environment with the goal of creating a strong context. It is based off of principles of 8 keys of excellence that consist of Integrity, Commitment, Failure Leads to Success, Ownership, Speak with Good Purpose, Flexibility, This is It! And Balance which is used in all areas of subjects and grade levels.

It seems to be a complex system with framework for a variety of uses such as the 5 tenants Learning, the Learning Design frame and Models for teaching giving teachers the skills required to use the methodology to empower and accelerate their students learning in a supportive learning environment in connection with the three major learning styles.

Once Lozanov’s ground breaking theories moved west, a variety of other new techniques not original to Lozanov’s theories were introduced some of which would include breathing, biofeedback and visualization. He has been training teachers all over the world for his superior teaching model and even spent time under arrest for his innovative, free thinking ideas until Bulgariapolitical views changed and is the creator of the science of Suggestology.

Quantum Learning Strategy mixes educational theories with immediate implementation within the classroom in a way to ensure information will be stored in several places within the brain to make it easier for the brain to recall the information later. Mark Reed, a High School Teacher in Kansas at McPherson High using the Quantum Learning Model proved to be so successful that the McPherson School District is now using the practice at all grade levels where Rick Reed and another teacher, Chad Brake, is teaching the other teachers the basis of the ideals of the Quantum Learning.

It seems that many public schools would benefit from instilling Quantum learning practices across all grade levels. It leaves the students empowered, energized and builds upon a students level of confidence creating effective life long learners. Those who use its methods testify to the success of Quantum Learning raising students test scores and accelerating their learning overall. It seems to motivate and excite kids about learning in ways that their brain can process and easily recall information while keeping them fully engaged.


October Grocery total $134 for family of 4!



While I technically did not need to buy anything more than a gallon of milk, eggs and a couple loaves of bread, I wanted to purchase a little additional things for variety in meals.

We scored big time at the farmers market last day of the year sale where one table in particular had reduced prices to a lovely all time low. This photo here cost a total of $17  and that bag of potatoes is at least 25 pounds and the bag of apples was about a 10 pound bag!

I then went to Save a Lot down the street from the farmers market and purchased an additional $70 in meats and supplies for chili and spaghetti making.

This brings the grand total for the month to spending only $134 in groceries! This included all three meals in the day.

Our dinners we had were:


2.) Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Toast and rosemary diced potatoes

3.) Pan Seared Lemon Peppered Talipia,  with Baked Potatoes and Sour Cream and Fried Cabbage

4.) Stuffed Meatless Peppers

5.) Blueberry Pancakes

6.) Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green beans

7.) Spaghetti

8.) Chili

9.) Blueberry Pancakes

10.) Flax seed, Apple Pecan muffins with Boiled Eggs and fresh carrot sticks

11.) Burritos with homemade re-fried beans

12.) Creamy Salmon Bok Choy Casserole

13.) Scalloped Potatoes, Tomato Sandwiches and Apple Crisp

14.) Baked lemon peppered chicken, cheesy garlic bread (using hot-dog buns needing used up) tossed green and tomato salad, acorn squash, watermelon

15.) White bean soup

This is what I can remember from memory anyhow as it does seem I forgot what I made a few nights. But this gives you a good general idea of what we eat for dinners on a fairly small grocery budget.

Breakfasts consist of bananas and cream, oatmeal,  corn flakes,left over muffins or homemade granola.

Lunches have consisted of peanut butter and jelly, tomato sandwiches, bolgna and cheese, left over muffins.


We have 3 days left in the month and I have at the moment tons of meals I can make that will carry over to November!  I seriously could have gotten away with only getting the food at the farmers market with a gallon of milk and 2 loaves of bread for a total of $64 dollars this month........had I been pinched bad enough for money.

It was really a great month for keeping our grocery budget in check, while eating really well, delicious, home cooked meals!

How did you do for October groceries?

See the first of the month Grocery list HERE

Monday, October 27, 2014

Introduction to LOA: Law of Attraction


The law of attraction is one of the simple universal laws that goes on the premises of that which you think, you manifest into your life. Thoughts are energy, the more energy you put into your thoughts, the quicker and more likely it is to manifest into your life. If you are putting most your energy into negative thoughts, the more negative circumstances you are drawing to your life. Thoughts are very powerful in nature, the more you feed it with not only the thought, but the emotions which are its fuel, the easier it is to manifest.

This does not mean that everythought you have will manifest into reality, yet the thoughts you give most of your energy to can and will manifest in some concrete form. If you spend most your time thinking about being poor and all the things you are lacking in your life, then the universe draws to you more opportunities for lack and poverty. At the same time, if you think about wanting more patience all the time, the universe does not automatically make you a patient person, yet it will create opportunities for you to learn patience from circumstances brought to you.

Knowing that the universe does not always manifest what we seek in concrete terms comes the adage of “be careful what you wish for.” What we think we want must be in clear terms as it may not be what we truly wanted because rarely does it manifest in a way we thought it would. Energy travels the path of least resistance so we must be detailed in our thoughts in our seeking a more full and abundant life. If we want prosperity for instance, you would not want that coming to you as an inheritance from a loved one, so be clear in your intent!

However knowing about the law of attraction can change your life forever for the better by becoming aware of and taking control of your thoughts. You may not be able to control every single thought you have but you can empower your self to deliberately pay more attention to the things you think about most. If you find yourself thinking in terms of negative thoughts, you can learn to start changing those thoughts into more positive thoughts by using positive affirmations.

Positive affirmations are simple phrases used for things you are trying to attract into your life as if you already had it. Think about some things you would like to draw into your life, write an affirmation down for it and place these in areas of the house where you can see them on a regular basis. Say these affirmations to yourself, out loud if possible several times a day.

If you find yourself in a negative emotion, find ways to quickly turn those moods around. Watch a comedy, take a bubble bath, go for a walk or swim or go out to lunch with a friend. Anything you can do to change the negative mood into a positive mood will benefit your goal of working with the law of attraction to draw more positive events into your life.

Learning to not think about what it is you lack in your life but being grateful for the things you do have is another key to working with the law of attraction. The more things we have gratitude for, the more things the universe brings to us we have to be grateful for! Keep a gratitude journal and try to think of a few things on a daily basis you are grateful for. Write your thoughts of gratitude down and what being grateful means to you. The more we bring ourselves into being aware of all the things we are grateful for, the higher we raise our vibrational energy for the law of attraction to work in our lives.

The law of attraction is not picky; it simply brings more to our lives of what we spend all our energy thinking about whether good or bad. It is not biased by any degree and simply follows the like attracts like motto. If we spend our time in self pity thinking how poor we are or how chaotic our life is, the law of attraction will simply bring more of this into our life to keep us that way. Yet if we spend our energy thinking of how blessed we are, how spiritual we feel, how abundant we are, the law of attraction works yet again to bring us more of these things as well.

The law of attraction works on every level and aspect of our lives from our physical health, spirituality, material possessions. It can be used to enhance our life or keep us in ruins and despair. Which would you prefer?





Sunday, October 26, 2014

CarriesUnschoolers Campout 2014 Photos






























If you have good neighbors and at least an acre of land with online connections to other Unschoolers, I highly recommend hosting a week long camp out event!

I am really late getting this up as it was  the first week in September we held it but it was unbelievably the best time EVER!

It was truly an incredible experience getting to connect with other unschooling families that I had made deep connections online with for the past year and a half.

4 families and one friend of a family all showed up for a total of 18 people here including my family for the course of the week. 

They pitched their tents in the yard and the teens spent a lot of time in doors playing video games and baking brownies, periodically coming out to visit around the camp fire with us. 

Since everyone who came were unschoolers, the meshing of similar philosophies and parenting styles provided a rich and safe environment for all the kids to be themselves in total freedom of being themselves in a very laid back comfortable environment.

My husband who does not do anything on the computer was able to connect with other adults on his 9 days he had taken off work and totally appreciated the interaction with some of the most kindest, down to earth, fun loving people you had ever met.

This was right after a liver sectioning biopsy surgery I had and this was the fun week we desperately needed at the time.

The intellectual conversations, teens speaking their views, campfire games and so much laughter your sides hurt  with amazing food and company was the most amazing experience we have had in a very long time!

We had three 3 year olds and 5 kids aged 12 , 13, 14, 16 and 19.........so a perfect crowd!

It was truly AMAZING!

I can NOT WAIT to  host another one!