Monday, February 7, 2011


Hi Kicking the Cancer Gators,

I just wanted to let everyone know that this blog has been made into a book and is available to purchase through the following website:

I've spent a lot of time editing it and I have to say I am really happy with the final product. If you have any questions please let me know.

Monday, December 20, 2010

One Year Later

I know I am a little late posting this, but it has certainly been a new experience this past year. As you can see, Mom's grave has been marked with a beautiful gravestone, and the site is very easy to find off the main road in the Charles Evans Cemetery just past the mausoleum on the left hand side. Caitlin sent us some of the words from my Mom's favorite sacred harp songs, and I really like "rise my soul and stretch thy wings" which is from Amsterdam, which was also sung at her funeral. My Aunt DeAnn and Uncle David brought this beautiful wreath down on the anniversary, considering how much my mother loved Christmas it was very appropriate. My Aunt Janet and Grandmother visited earlier in October and planted some lovely flowers which should come up from year to year.
On December 20th, I went in the morning to visit the grave and meet up with my Aunt DeAnn and Uncle David. They took John and I out to breakfast before they left. Then John and I baked 15 loaves of my mom's famous Widow Finney's Poppy Seed Bread. If anyone would like a loaf, leave me a note and your address in the comments and I'll make another batch. We later met up with Penny and Mary for dinner. Both are soon-to-be grandparents which is very exciting and it was so nice to catch up with them. Sadly Caitlin and I were not around after Christmas to get all the families together, but maybe we'll be able to do it next year and get to meet the new additions as well. Overall I thought it was a nice way to honor my mother.

I doubt I'll be posting much in the way of blog in the future, but feel free to leave any comments here about the past year, or any memories you wish to share

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Walk to Cure Cancer

Hey Everyone,
It's been awhile since there has been any posts on the blog, but I just wanted to let everyone know I will again be participating in the Walk to Cure Cancer. Last year at this time, Mom was just coming home from her trip out west and to Chicago and was debating coming to walk with me in the Walk to Cure Cancer and this year I am walking in her memory.
If you would like to sponsor or walk with me please visit my website: or click on the widget to the right.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nancy Jane McCullough Keeler Katzen 1955-2009

Nancy passed away yesterday, December 20th, in the afternoon at home with her family surrounding her.

I came home last saturday to be with her, and Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle David came to visit last Sunday. Grandpa and Uncle David returned to the Farm the next day but Grandma stayed and Aunt Janet came on Monday. Monday night about 20 sacred harp singers came to the house and Mom sang with them for an hour and then laid on the couch for an hour and listened to them sing. After Monday, mom lost all of her energy, Caitlin was able to come home on Thursday and Grandma headed back to the farm Friday morning. We had Christmas on Friday, and Mom passed away in the afternoon on Sunday.

Her services will be held on Wednesday December 23rd at Hope Lutheran Church, 601 N Front St. Reading PA 19601. The calling hours will be from 11-12:30, the service at 12:30. After the service the interment will be at Charles Evans Cemetery, and a reception back at the house at 33 Laurel Ave Reading 19606.

Contributions in her memory can be sent to: Family Nurse Partnership 230 N 5th St. Reading PA 19601

Please feel free to post any memories or stories of Nancy in the comment section.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tough Time at the Cattle Ranch this week

Ever since Thanksgiving, I have been feeling more tired and my legs are weak. I asked our sonagrapher to give me a quick ultrasound. She told me that the liver didn't have tumors to measure: that it was all metastisized. If that was the case, I didn't want more expensive, ineffective treatment.
My oncologist ordered a CT scan for Tuesday night night at 8:o0 PM. That went ok until we got home. I was trying to get up into the house from the garage when when my legs went out from under me and I went tumbling two steps down to the garage floor. My eye was bloody, my wrist, shoulder, elbow were bruised. So, we hopped in the car and went to the emergency room.
I got a CT scan of the brain, chest, and abdomen, 2 x-rays of the shoulder and ribs. Everything was clear (I was particulary happy that the brain was clear.)
After all that testing; they told me I was clear, they slapped ONE steristrip on!
One the way home, we discovered it had begun to snow. The P.T. Cruiser couldn't make it up the hill, so we hiked up, Marty pulling me up the hill by one arm.
I felt better the next day and went to my to my 5:00 PM nurse visit. The oncologist called and said : she is still driving!!! He also said we had a good sonagrapher, that she was right about the metastisis.
Marty was very brave, and asked for a prognosis. The doctor said weeks or months. So there you have it. I am stopping any kind treatment. We are all so surprised it progressed so quickly.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Birds and Snow


We had a wonderful snow yesterday. It started around noon and didn't stop until 10:00 PM. It blanketed our mountain top with about 6 inches of snow. Marty put these feeders outside window. I set up a tripod for the camera and have been having a great time watching and photographing birds.
Fortunately, the driveway melted enough that I could get out and sing today in Lancaster. I've been short of breath, tired, and have had a dry mouth, so I wasn't sure how it would go. We were a small group, but I thought we sounded great.
Back to work tomorrow: looking forward to my visits.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Lori, my cousin and florist by trade, brought me this beautiful wreath.

Cardinal detail of wreath
Purple Kale on front porch.

My cousin, Lori, and her daughter, Megan came to visit and get a 3D ultrasound of Megan's baby. Fortunately, Evan cooperated very nicely and showed us his chubby little face. We will be excited to see how he looks on the outside the beginning of February.

Good news. My agency generously allowed me to apply for partial disability for 3 more months, which will maintain my full time status, and allow me to figure out my insurance. Working full-time is too hard for me and the insurance is only for full time workers. I can get a subsidy for Cobra from the government if I quit all together, but I feel better when I work. Bob Casey has introduced legislation in the Senate to subsidize part time workers who have been down-sized. Hopefully is works for illness too , or I guess the agency could downsize me. It is a big relief not to have to worry about this before Christmas.
So for those of you are confused about changes in the Health Care System:Think of me.

Work=Good Health Insurance
Get Sick, or lose job= lose health insurance.
Continue insurance on Cobra=no money, not working remember?

Also small businesses need relief.
Sick employees= raise premiums. My agency's premiums went up 37% this year based on usage.
Too bad they don't lower them if everyone stays healthy.

I am so disappointed that the Republicans won't get on board with novel ideas instead of just shooting every thing down. If everyone would work together, the Republicans could keep an eye on the money and look for ways to cut costs, and the Democrats could work on access for everyone. I thought that was how the government was supposed to work.