July 2, 2013

  • Life after Xanga

    I have not blogged much at all & especially after the news of Xanga going away.
    I have not signed on to another blogging site as of yet. Not sure if I will or not.
    I am connected with most of you already through Facebook, but if not & if you do want to stay connected you can send me a friend request at FB: Doreen McGill or my email is mdlmcgill@aol.com
    Please be sure to also add your xanga name so I will know who you are!

May 28, 2013

  • A-May-Zing!

    A collage I made of some of my May bird pictures..


    May….just about gone…Where IS the time going to?

    I guess I will do a quick May summary of what has been going on here.

    First of all, my mom ended up back in the hospital on 5/6. She evidently wasn’t strong enough after all she had been through to start the chemo. She has been off of the chemo since that time & went home on Mother’s Day. She has been doing very well since then. She went last week to the Oncologist & he is wanting her to get even stronger before putting her back on the pills, so she has 4 more weeks to do that & then they will try it again.

    May 9th was hubby’s birthday. We celebrated by going out to eat with daughter & her bf. Had a fun time. No, I didn’t take any pictures! I did take this one though of hubby after he finally shaved his winter beard & I buzzed his hair….

    He looks so much younger & thinner all clean shaven! :)


    Daughter sent me these pretty flowers for Mother’s Day. She had to work that day & then study for her finals, so I didn’t get to see her on Mother’s day…but I am getting use to her having her own life now! lol..

    The weather for the month of May was crazy all over. We had a May 2nd snowstorm that left us with 9″ of snow & set new records.  Here are some pictures from that…

    Yes, just the day or so prior to this snow storm, I had put out my hummingbird feeders!

    Crazy!  All of the animals freaked out over it too!

    But then this happened…

    and finally spring decided to come to Wisconsin….well sort of…it would come & go. We would have a couple of pretty days & then we would have a frost warning.

    Memorial day weekend was rainy, windy & cool. We did attempt to take our first fishing trip on Sunday. It ended up so windy we had to just come on home. But hubby did end up catching 6 bass!

    The yard is finally greening up & the lilacs & lily of the valley have blossomed.

    We went to the Farmers Market this past Saturday morning & I bought a couple of plants for the porch. Also got some asparagus, green onions, garlic & Wisconsin cheese.

    Here are my 2 plants that I got…

    We are still thinking of that property that I talked about a while back. We have concrete siding on our current house that was suppose to be so wonderful, but wasn’t tested for the Wisconsin weather, so it has cracks & damage, but it is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty (except for the labor).  So we are in the process of getting that sorted out & then will begin to get that taken care of. Once they start, it will be about a 2 week job. While that is going on, we will go & take one final look at that property to see if in fact we want to make an offer on it & put our home on the market. I am still very torn over this. Hubby is too. We just love where we are at, but having the 80 acres & a lake right there on our property would also be nice.

    Here are some pictures of that place..I am copying & pasting, so I hope they show up…


    This is the side of the house that overlooks the lake

    this is the screen porch & the part of the house you see when you drive up.
    (also a MUCH smaller garage that what we have now!)

    This room is pretty cool. You can see the lake out of the window…

    the lake…

    *sigh…I just really don’t know…so torn!


    This picture is in my collage, but you can’t see it as well…so I wanted to post it larger here…I love that I was able to catch the one in flight.

    While I was out in the yard the other day & by the lilac bush, hubby was on the porch. He said he wanted to take my picture standing in front of the bush as it is hard to get a perspective as to just how large it is. I was even surprised to see this…and I see the lilacs every day!


April 25, 2013

  • Just for the record

    Mom started her chemo today. 4 very tiny pills each & every morning. I really hope that she will do well on this and that the side effects are not too bad, if any at all.

    My Aunt, Uncle & cousin from NY are all down with her now. It is doing her good to see family that she hasn’t seen in so long.  It also helps keep her mind busy.

    She has to go every week to have her blood tested & every 4 weeks to see the Oncologist.
    The social worker went over a lot of things with her yesterday regarding different organizations & things that are out there for cancer patients, such as wigs, scarves, makeup, etc.  She will also get a $50 gas card each month from the American Cancer Society to help cover her gas expense having to go back & for to the cancer clinic each week. This all touched me very much.
    She is on a very restricted diet now as well. Only fish & chicken, no other meats. No processed foods. Cream soups, creamy cereals. The list is long. They also said to eat small portions, but often.
    She has already lost a lot of weight & doesn’t have much of an appetite any more anyway.

    I saw the first bear of the season last night. It was dark, so I wasn’t able to get any pictures, but I am sure that he was captured on the game camera. If hubby will get the chip in tonight, I will post any that we got.  I watched him through the binoculars for a while until he got scared off when hubby pulled into the garage.  He had gotten the mineral block that we have outside for the deer & brought it down to a comfy space for him to sit & nibble on it!

    I got to get in a short visit with daughter today after she got off work & before she had to head to class. I have only seen her once right after I got home, so it was good to get caught up even if it was in just a short amount of time.  I really miss her. 

    I am just feeling really “blah” today. Can’t get motivated for anything.  I am hoping that sunshine & warmer temperatures this weekend will snap me out of this funk!

April 23, 2013

  • what’s happening in my neck of the woods…

    I ended up getting home from Texas on April 6.

    4 days after I left, my mom ended up in the ER & then back in the hospital. She had fluids on the lungs. She ended up there for 4 days & after getting the fluids drained off,  has been home & doing well ever since.

    Tomorrow she goes back to the Oncologist. When we went the first time, he told her that he is going to be putting her on a chemo pill called Votrient. She would have to take if 4 times a day every day.  The cost of the prescription is $8,561.50 per month. We were all in shock when we found that out. She does not have the drug portion on her Medicare. After working with the Social Worker at the Cancer Clinic, she will be getting it at no cost directly from the manufacturer. Thank God for that!  The Oncologist had wanted her to be able to get the drug funding worked out & build her strength up before starting to take. So we will find out tomorrow if & when she will start taking it. Then we will see if & what side effects she will have from it.
    She is in Stage IV. The cancer has spread into both of her lungs. The chemo can not take it away, but “could” control it & keep it from spreading any further. If the side effects are too bad, then she will need to make that next decision (which she actually already has) about living quality life at the end…

    It was so good to get back home to hubby after being gone for a month. Unfortunately, the weather was not fun to get back to! We are still awaiting spring to arrive for us here. I am hoping that will happen this coming weekend as the forecast finally shows some temperatures in the upper 60′s! 
    This winter season has been the 5th snowiest in our area since 1950, with the snowfall at 73.3″. We have even gotten a few more inches since that record was reported.


    Daughter & her bf are going on vacation at the end of May to the Caribbean island of St. Martin! Wowsers, am I envious! They will be staying on the Dutch side at an all inclusive resort.

    They actually got to make a very short trip down to Texas to see my mom when I was there. It was the first time the BF met the Grandparents. He got Papa’s approval! lol…
    Here is a cute picture I took of them while they were there…



    My newest dilemma as of now is that hubby is seriously looking into a new move for us. He has always wanted to have land. He loves to hunt. He loves his privacy & seclusion. We both absolutely love our house that we have right now, but it only has 3 acres & it is much more house than just the 2 of us need.  He has found 80 acres of very nice land. It has a 75′ deep, 4 acre glacial lake on it. The house is not only smaller than ours, but also not of the same quality as the one we have now. It is nice, but just “eh”…we went & looked at the house last weekend. Hubby is going to go back this coming weekend & walk the land & look at the house again with a couple of his friends.
      With all that has happened the last couple of years with medical problems with the family, I realize that this is far from being a dilemma. But…I am just so torn. I really love where we live now. Both the location & the house. But, on the other hand, I know that hubby has always wanted to have acreage. This place is a 30 minute drive north of where we are now. Which could be worse, but I am still not too thrilled with that idea. I guess that whatever is meant to be will be. It isn’t the house or the location that is important, it is having someone you love to share it with.
    My main problem is that I don’t do well with change. If it is something that he really wants, then I will be just as happy & we will move on with this new chapter of our lives…
    My mind is just going crazy with all kinds of thoughts though!



March 28, 2013

  • Still in Texas

    Just a quick update. I am still in Texas with my mom. This is my third week here & no plans made yet to go home.

    Her surgery went well. The left kidney was removed. The tumor was very large. The size of a cantaloupe! I spent 3 nights in her room with her at the hospital. She was able to go home on the evening of her 6th day after surgery. She is coming along pretty good.

    The cancer has spread into her lungs. She sees the Oncologist next Thursday to talk about starting Chemo & what to expect. I am staying to go with her for that appointment & then after hearing what to expect, I may make my plans to return home, or I may stay with her to help her through the treatments.  I am just blessed to be in the position that allows me to be with her during this time. I am also blessed to have such a loving & understanding husband. I miss him so much!

    Happy Easter to all of you.

March 8, 2013

  • March Madness

    March blew in some very bad news for our family.
    On Sunday, March 3 my mother ended up in the ER after passing a very large blood clot. By Sunday night, she had been admitted & a very large mass was found on her left kidney. By Monday, we learned she has kidney cancer & it has already spread into her lungs. We are now waiting to hear if it is also in her bones.She is scheduled for surgery this coming Tuesday to have her kidney removed & then will need to start Chemo.

    Once again, this is just a huge reminder at how suddenly life can change.

    She had no symptoms. For 78 years old, she was actually doing really well. She was feeling tired & that was about it.
    She is more worried about everyone else right now. Her faith in God is helping her through this. We also have a huge amount of people praying & sending positive energy, love & light her way.
    I will be with her for I am not sure how long. I know that both her & my dad will need help & support to get through this.

    This is the 3rd family member that Cancer has struck just in the past year.

    I will update when I can and as I know anything.

    Your prayers & thoughts would be much appreciated.

February 28, 2013

  • Goodbye February

    19 days until Spring!! Yes, I am counting the days!

    February was actually a good month. The main reason was that we spent 6 glorious days on Sanibel Island, Florida. I had never heard of this place before until hubby read about it somewhere. It sounded like the perfect place to get away to. Come to find out, so many people that we know have been there before! lol.. After visiting, I can see why it is such a popular place. We will definitely be returning.
    The  barrier island is 12 miles long. It is offshore of Fort Myers. It has world renowned shelling beaches. It is very laid back & was just what hubby needed as a getaway from the stress of work. It was just what I needed with the sun, sand & water!  It was one place that was very hard to have to leave & come back home!

    I have an album on FB that is open to the public to view. If you want to see you can go here: Florida Trip

    I am also posting some here (of course!) Remember, you can click on an individual picture to make larger.

    We had a beachfront cottage. (ours is the yellow one ) …   The path from the cottage to the beach…the beach where we were staying

    There were SO many shells!    …we did a whole lot of walking on the beach, relaxing, eating, drinking & watching sunsets.  I could get use to that!

    Every sunset was totally different!






    we really enjoyed all of the birds!



    We also chartered a fishing trip!! You KNOW that I loved that!!!  We caught a variety of fish & took some back to grill out that evening for our dinner.


    We saw a lot of Manatees at the park in Fort Meyers 



    I collected a lot of seashells to bring home!


    Then yes, the wonderful week had come to an end…and we had to go home…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Ugh…this is what we came home to. 


    We both have been doing some dreaming ever since we got home…how wonderful it would be to live somewhere warm, with sand & shells & water…fishing for our dinner, eating fresh seafood…aah yes..it still is putting a smile on our faces & takes us away in our mind!


    Then came Valentine’s Day! 

    Hubby gave me this beautiful flower arrangement. I love the picture that I took of them sitting on the deck on top of the snow!
    We had a nice quiet dinner at home. I count my blessings that I have such a wonderful man.


    I have had fun making a few things with my shells.

    Made this picture fame & have it hanging with a picture from our trip so we can still enjoy the beach vibe…


    I also made a memory jar



    and finally made one from our trip LONG ago to Pensacola!    



    I liked how this one turned out better, with this type of jar.


    I have been doing a photo project this year where I am posting a photo each day. I am trying to keep it to a photo from that actual day, but a few times I have done one pertaining to the day from years past. It is harder than I thought it would be, even for me who loves to take pictures!  It is also posted on my FB page. If you are interested in seeing it you can go to it from here:

    Project 365 2013

     I apologize for not keeping up both in my posting & in my reading over here. I am still tossing around the idea of just leaving Xanga…but yet, I find it really hard to actually do.

    I guess part time over here is better than not at all…at least for now…


     ♥ Doreen …AKA…Zanychk ♥


February 1, 2013

  • Hello February!

    Just 46 days until Spring!!! That can’t come quick enough after waking up to -11 degrees this morning & the wind chill was -26!

    We have had our share of ice & snow too, the last week.

    Here is what has been happening around here since my last blog…through they eye of the camera…

    (I posted them smaller this time, so it wouldn’t take as long to load. Remember, you can click on any to make them bigger.)

    The deer finally started coming back around. Hubby would put corn for them down, but they would pig out & eat it all pretty quick, then go to the bird feeders and eat out of there too!

    haha…love the expression on her face! ^                                                                                                     

    a big herd of deer came in this evening!  As you can see, I love watching the animals & the birds & photographing them…keeps me entertained while I stay inside where it’s warm!

    A foggy, cold start to this day.     This poor squirrel is trying hard to keep warm!  I am so grateful for hubby & his John Deer tractor with snow blower attachment.

    You can see how bad our driveway gets (and it is a long drive & at a slant)


    Yes, we do spend the money on birdseed! (but it is worth it)                               


    It was funny watching this squirrel try to climb the pole. He only got about that far & then would slide right back down as it was icy!
    He looks mad & pouty in the 2nd picture!

    So as you can see, not a whole lot going on around our house this time of the year!

January 20, 2013

  • Wintering

    So here we are, past the middle of January already. Our temperatures have gotten cold. The wind last night was horrid, plunging the temperatures below zero.

    I have to say though, today isn’t so bad, even though the temp right now is 1.6 and the wind chill is -8…but I am inside & the sun is shining! That sun makes all the difference in the world!

    We do venture out every now & then & brave the elements & enjoy the beauty of the snow and see how different the landscape looks from what we see in the summer.
    Some of you may remember many times I have posted pictures of Dells Mill. It is usually a place we take visitors when they come. We drove out there a couple of weeks ago as I wanted to see what it looked like in the winter.  Here are a few pictures….

       Going over the Eau Claire River


    There is also a park that has winter activities on Thursday nights. We never have gone, but did go on a weekend to see one of the snow sculptures that I had read someone did.


    Cougar on Waterfall Nature Scene by Starvin Carvists

    The area that hubby is standing on is an “ice rink” in the park. Evidently Thursday nights, skaters are here & they have hot chocolate & bonfires and other types of entertainment.

    Of course, I have a few bird pictures  from my yard to share with you…

    The Cardinals always look so pretty in the snow. The last picture is of a grouse.
    We haven’t seen many deer here lately. We do get pictures of them from the game camera, so they are still around, just coming at night.

    Daughter came to visit one day. We got to have a “girl” day…she picked me up & we went to lunch & did some shopping, then came back to the house & had fun conversation & lots of giggles!    
    Oh how I love that girl!       

    She was dancing in the sunshine!  I tell you, that sun does some magic to us when it is so cold & white outside!     

    Now that she has her new car, she always wants to drive! lol…

    Her & her BF had us over to their house last weekend to watch the Packers game. They cooked us dinner, which was wonderful & of course, just being together was great, even if the Packers lost :(


    I got out & about one day & went to my favorite local park. Once again, it looks so different in the winter time!

    It is wonderful to have a place this nice so close to go.


    We do have a winter escape planned though! I have to say, I am ready to get away to somewhere warm for a bit! We are going to a place called Sanibel Island. We have never been there before. It is in Southwest Florida on the gulf . I plan to walk the beach, collect shells, soak up the sun, feel the sand in my toes, eat, drink, and explore! Can’t wait!!! Oh & of course, I plan on taking lots of pictures!

    I am so far behind in posting my new recipes on here. I need to sit down one day soon & only do a food post!

    I will leave you with this snow ghost that I found on the side of our house…

    haha…it does look like a ghost, don’t you think?


January 1, 2013

  • Happy New Year!

    Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book, let’s write a good one!

    We started the day off pretty darned cold..  -10…that’s right, that is a negative in front of that 10! But the sun came out & it was nice & cozy as long as you stayed in the house!

    Actually the sun shining on the snow made it looks like thousands of diamonds sparkling..it looked so pretty. This won’t look as pretty as what I saw with my eyes, but will kind of give you a hint…

    Hubby & I didn’t make it up until midnight last night. lol..yeah, we are getting old.  We ended up opening up our champagne & toasting in the new year at brunch today instead. I have to say, we may turn that into our new tradition!

    Quite a little feast we had! Smoked salmon, cheese, crackers (that red & green on the left is pepper jelly on cream cheese)
    We also set our card table up in the living room & ate in there so we could watch the game! lol..


    While sitting there, it was also fun watching the birds out the front windows.

    I have to share 1 more picture just because it is funny.  Hubby couldn’t get the tree out of the stand & it was too big to pick it up & get it out of the house without dumping all of the nasty water in the stand all over, so he had to cut the top off to get it out…


    yep, look at all of the needles on the floor! All is nice & clean now!

    I am going to try to post more often this year…”try” is the key word here!

    Off to watch the Badger game now.