Happy 2015: Faith of the Heart

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Happy new year, my friends who have become family. I wish you all the best of everything that is good to be present in your life and the lives of those you love.

I read your posts. Like me, I know you all have had rough patches, sad times, fear, despair….I have read of your struggles but mostly, I have read of your victories.  How you kept going in spite of everything.  You have lost jobs, homes, those you love.  You have been diagnosed with illnesses, had accidents. injuries.  But mostly, I have read of your faith and hope.

And always, I read your comments to me encouraging me.  I hope I have encouraged you all as well.

So….Happy 2015.  I know many of you will relate to this song which has reminded me many times of that “faith of the heart”.  I pray we are all of moving from the cold dark to the warm light.  You all lift me up and I hope on this first day of the new year, I can do the same for you.

My prayers go out for you all daily.  Bless you all.


Mrs. Kanzen, you have cancer…

I have written before about being diagnosed with cancer and now being a cancer survivor.  I was diagnosed in October six years ago.  We see all of the time information about and campaigns for breast cancer. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer – normally a silent killing cancer, but again, because of vigilance on the part of my PA and the grace of God, I am here to send you all this love letter. Ovarian cancer is almost always diagnosed too late and mimics symptoms of other diseases. We don’t hear as much about the other cancers as we do breast cancer for some reason.

Ladies: please have your gynecologist, when doing your PAP smear, take a swab from higher up in the uterus which is where this cancer starts. Tell your daughters, your sisters, your mother, your friends. Men, you do the same thing with women you love and want to continue to love for many years.  Everybody, get those colonoscopies and men, bend over and crack a smile for your MD.

Taking care of ourselves – men and women, is important. Lots of fresh veggies and fruits, low fat diets, exercise, certain foods to eat; stop smoking and stop fooling yourselves with those steam cigarettes that contain nicotine. Just stop it. I stopped smoking over 30 years ago from a 2 pack a day habit, cold turkey. You can do it. I know you can. We’ve heard all of this so many times, we don’t hear it any more. When my dear papa was dying, he had me promise to stop smoking.  I did it out of love.  I think you all have people you love and who love you.  As a cancer survivor and your biggest fan, please, please, please take care of yourselves.

I hope this works as I am always link challenged.  This is supposed to be a downloadable cancer awareness color chart….ovarian, my ribbon, is teal.


Hugs and love….


Awards: Accept or not accept?

I have been thinking about this for quite some time. I’ve read reasons to give and accept awards and reasons to not do them in any form. You will notice, all awards, except for the Inner Peace Award have been removed from my blog.

Before I go further, if you do not accept awards and someone should make the mistake of giving you one, please be courteous. Many times, awards are given with the thoughts of kindness and true appreciation of your work. If you can’t respond in kind, then please don’t respond. A simple, “Thank you, but I do not accept awards” is sufficient. The giver of the award does not need a lecture about how you are above such things, don’t belong to social networks (as if the award implies such), or believe in quality rather than quantity, or any other such unwarranted remarks. I don’t know about you all, but I was taught if you can’t say something kind, say nothing. The way you handle a bestowed award says a great deal about you, regardless of your blogging superiority.

That being said, I have decided to no longer accept awards. Not because of the social network thing, which I still don’t understand, not because of quality versus quantity (I control that by my writing, not by the person giving the award), or any other reasons. I appreciate the true kindness and recognition of persons who have given me awards in the past. This is just a personal decision I have made.

However, the one award I am keeping and displaying is the Inner Peace Award. This was given to me by my dear friend Clowie over at Clowie’s Corners. The Inner Peace Award is exactly as Clowie said, “I feel at peace when I visit your blog”. I want people to feel welcome at my blog. I want to connect, to share, to learn from you all and for you all to learn from me – to take away a smile or thought from my words. I write because I enjoy the creative process and I do so appreciate those of you who “Like” and/or comment. I write because I have been writing almost all of my life. I write because I enjoy it.

So again, thank you to all of you who have given me awards in the past. Thank you all for your taking time to comment. I intend to, instead of giving awards, in the future, to make more comments, to show my appreciation for your work.

Let us be kind to each other. Let us take more time to comment and show our appreciation or respect or enjoyment or how the blog touched us. Sometimes that simple smiley face in a comment box means more to me than an award. We are all so busy and I know you all, like me, follow multiple blogs. Share you encouragement, thoughts, dreams, stories.

Thank you again to all of you who have commented, liked, given awards.  Let us give to each other courtesy and kindness.

The Kindness of (Un)Strangers

I never cease to be amazed by the kindness of people. Right now, I am going through a very rough patch and having good and bad days. Out of the blue, someone called me this morning to check on me. He had been thinking of me and just wanted to say hi and keep my head up and hold on to hope. I hadn’t heard from this person in a few months but he had been talking with a mutual friend and heard things were hard. He didn’t want to intrude, but he wanted to let me know – just let me know – he had been through the same thing a few years earlier and that my kind words of encouragement then, helped him – a lot. So he was returning the favor.

I received an email from a lovely young woman who asked a friend for my email so she could connect and let me know, things would be okay and to just say hello.

A lady in the grocery store yesterday, before she handed off her shopping buggy to me, wiped the handle with one of those wipy things and smiled and said, here ya go!

I received a card from a distant friend with a picture of a cat hanging onto a tree limb with the words “Hang in there!”

In the big hard times of life, the smallest gesture takes on the biggest of importance. Simple kindness. Nothing elaborate,just….simple kindness.

It’s been a bad day but all of sudden, I feel lighter in my heart.

In spite of bad things, good things are still there. I am reminded to pass along those simple kindnesses. The smile I give to some stranger, may be just what they needed. The time I slice out of my day to hug a friend, may make a lot of difference to them at that moment. We all rely on the kindness of strangers who quickly become unstrangers.

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