Sunday, December 30, 2012

 Good Friends are Family!
We had a wonderful evening with friends last night...friends that are really more like family.  Marty and I have known Len and Gloria for close to 30 years I think. They've been with us through good times and bad. There have been years when we relate more and others when we relate less, but always our friendship remains strong. I know that I can count on either of them if I need help in some way or just need to talk. I probably don't rely on them as much as I should. When you share your struggles with people you trust, those same burdens can feel lighter.

Last night Gloria made her homemade pizza. As usual, it was delicious. For dessert, we had her famous rum cake (famous in a wonderful way to all who have had it! :-) Gloria makes it most every New Year. Since this is the one time of year that she bakes this tasty cake, I'm truly thankful that we get to participate in the event. She really should bake this yummy dessert more often though. That way I could remind her on multiple occasions how good it is and build up her self-esteem. Of course, Gloria doesn't really need her self-esteem built. All of her cooking is good and she knows it. How could she not, she gets to eat it everyday! I'm just looking for an excuse to make this tradition happen more often. :-) Whether that happens or not though, Gloria did send us home with leftovers of her pizza and rum cake, so we had one more day to enjoy it! Mmmh!

After dinner with Len and Gloria, we each had questions to share. I love the questions. It's a way to get to know each other, and ourselves, better. The questions force you to think because they're usually not ones you've pondered before. One question Len asked was, "Who in your life are you most like?" What we learned through that question is that we make a sum total of All of those we care about. I am like each person that was in that room. Besides our personalities being alike in some way from the start, each has given and/or taught  me something that I grabbed onto to make me who I am today. We are ever-changing because of the people around us, and because of God in us, while still remaining unique. I like that.

A question Gloria asked was something like, "Name a Wow! God moment we had in the last year." Marty, Len and Gloria all had something to share. I couldn't think of a response. I don't think that's because there wasn't any Wow! God Moment in my life. I either didn't remember; or more likely than not, didn't notice it. I think God makes big moments in our life throughout the year...maybe even daily...but we're often too distracted to recognize them. I could blame my fibro fog or monkey mind, but I believe God is bigger than all I deal with. I think if we, if I, made a better effort, I could notice and remember these special moments. So one more thing I learned from my friends, is that I need to make a more concentrated effort so that I too can feel the joy of a Wow! moment in God. I just realized while writing this that last night was a Wow! God moment. Through everyone else sharing their own God experiences, I felt God's presence while also learning I needed to do more to recognize my own God moments. Wow! :-)

A third question asked was, "Where would you go if you only had $500 for a trip." Marty, Len and Gloria said they'd go see a parent. My parents are with the Lord, so I'm proud that my friends and husband recognize how valuable their own parents are while they're still alive. Since I don't have a mom or dad to visit, I'd go see my friend Karen in Oregon. She's a part of who I am too; and like Len and Gloria, more like family. 

I want to thank all of my close friends, Julee too, for being my extended family. My life wouldn't be as good without you. I thank the Lord too, for placing each of them in my life. No matter what I deal with in regard to my health, or emotionally, life is good because of God, my family, and my extended family of friends. I love you all!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ugh! Pain Reigns!

Bronchitis is better, though not totally gone. Much better than it was though. Woo hoo!! Bad news though is the fibro pain is back. What's up with that??? Can't a girl get a break? I'd like a day when I'm not tired, not dealing with asthma or other respiratory problems; when I have no sinus issues; no pain of any kind, and my body overall is in good health. I want to feel joy, but it's difficult to feel happiness to that depth when you don't ever feel good. I don't forget though, and am thankful, that I don't have cancer, aids or other life-threatening or debilitating ailments. But does that mean I should feel guilty for wanting to have a few days of good health?  I do feel guilty though. Though I'm just trying to be open with my thoughts now, I feel at risk of being looked at as an ungrateful whiner. Maybe the problem is, I see myself that way. I grew up thinking I shouldn't complain, and still struggle within myself when I share negative thoughts. It makes me think I'm weak emotionally because I'm not quiet about my physical issues. It's hard to break free from that mindset, even when sharing how I feel in this blog.

To go on though...I had less than stellar sleep until around 1am last night. I tossed and turned a lot. By 3am, I couldn't sleep at all. No matter which way I turned, one or more areas of my body felt pain. I started out sleeping in my bed, then moved to the recliner, the sofa, and ultimately back to the recliner. I gave up on sleep totally around 4:30 this morning. With all that said, the fibro pain was not as bad as it's been at other times, so I can be thankful for that. I am still very tired though...not so thankful for that. :-)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


I still have bronchitis, but wanted to take a few minutes to say Merry Christmas, and to also thank the Lord for sharing his son with us. Jesus' birth is the best reason we have to celebrate. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Enjoy your family. Moments with them are the best part of the holidays. We don't know how long we have with those we love so treasure each memory! And if you're like me, missing people you love who are gone, take that love for them and give it to those still with you. A gift of love is something that is cheap and something we never regret. It blesses others in our life too.

As I miss my mom and dad today, I know they don't want me to cry...they want me happy, and the best way for me to feel joy is to stay in the moment...not looking forward and not looking back. Enjoying where I am, and who I'm with. So time to dry my tears and spread some love, and then feel the joy of Christmas.

Again, Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Feel Cruddy! 

It s been a rough few days. I've had a chest cold that has gotten worse each day. My husband has it too. I guess I'm the one that passed it to him since I showed symptoms first. I'm not sure who I can blame...not that blaming someone would make me feel better physically. It might perk me up mentally though. I then could rant inside saying, "How could you give me your cold!" I can't see myself getting mad at someone for this though...inside or out. It's just the way it is. Some people are just blessed with more crap...oops, did I say that out loud? I meant crud. :-)

Though I was joking with that last statement, it does at times feel like I have more health issues than others. I'm not whining when I say that...just sharing how it looks on certain days. I don't wish bad health, or any other kind issue on others; though I do sometimes wish I was like them...seemingly perfect specimens of health. The truth is though, I don't know what they are dealing with. It could be that those I judge as being totally healthy are dealing with much more, or worse issues. That's a reminder for me not to judge.

Just like I shouldn't judge others on their health issues, I don't want to be judged by mine either. Too many people will ask you how you feel but don't really care. When one lady heard I had kidney disease, she asked how I was doing. I responded that I was doing well, except for having a little trouble with asthma. Her response was, "Wow! You have a lot wrong with you!" I didn't need that reminder; plus, her words made me feel as if she saw me as pathetic. Another lady asked me how I was doing, and this time when I said I had a sinus infection but good otherwise, she replied, "I was just trying to make conversation." In other words, she didn't really care how I was doing, and I shared too much information. It feels like some people see you as weak overall when you aren't as physically healthy as them. I don't like to be thought of as weak. I doubt anyone does.

Because of those and similar responses, when asked how I'm doing, I usually just say, "I'm OK." That's my code for, "I'm dealing with the same crud as usual". I don't feel like I'm lying...just not telling everyone what it means. If they ask more I will respond truthfully, but usually they don't. When most people ask how you are, it seems more like a pleasantry than something they really want to know; though I have told the meaning of "OK" to those I care about. Just responding, "I'm OK," also helps me. It's a little depressing to continually hear my health issues out loud. Plus, it's better when I don't focus on them (though still deal with them medically as I should). Rather than dwell on how I feel, I try to distract myself. Writing this blog has helped tonight. Though I've coughed off and on throughout it, I've not thought much about the cold. I'm too busy ranting about it here! :-)

An additional truth of mine is that because of my health issues I, at times, see myself as pathetic; and when I share with others how I feel or what I'm dealing with, I feel whiny. That's probably why it so easy to think others view me that way too. Judging myself is no better than others judging me. Writing this blog in general was a way to make myself share the truth of how I feel or think at the risk of being looked at as pathetic or whiny. It's not easy for me to do this. What I hope though is that through this, I will learn to feel better about myself and not worry so much what others think. Though I do like myself for the most part, I need to like all of me. And if I judge myself for having health issues or being overweight, most likely, I judge others in the same way. I don't want to do that either.

So, my goal is to not judge me or others; and through that, learn to like myself more...even with all my ailments. I'm reminded too that even in the worst of times, God never gives me more than I can handle. Though I have this cold, I have no fibromyalgia or knee pain. That's something to be thankful for. :-) When it does feel like too much, I try to remember that God is with me. I'm never alone, and I can always tell him the truth with no risk of condemnation or judgment. He already knows all that I am and loves me unconditionally. I may feel cruddy, but I'm not crud! :-)

Time to grab another cough drop. Pray that I don't become addicted to them during this time. I've gone through a big bag today...maybe my brain is confused and think they're candy. :-

Friday, December 14, 2012

I look to you

Today of all days, we need the Lord. Twenty-eight people were tragically shot and killed a few hours ago. Most of these shootings were in a grade school in Connecticut. Twenty of those who died were children...many kindergartners. Many details are not known yet, but they believe it was a 24 year old young man who was the shooter. One of the adults killed was his mother. The killer is dead too. 

 It's all very sad. Sad that there was so much loss of life, sad that most of the lives taken were young children, sad for families who lost a loved one, sad that this young man's heart and soul was in such a dead place that he could commit such a murder, and sad that this kind of tragedy has become too common. If only more people looked to the Lord for help when they felt low, maybe less of this kind of tragedy would happen.

It wasn't my children shot, and I didn't know the adults who were killed, but I cried. I cried for the parents and the families who now have to deal with such a loss and for the lack of humanity shown today.  I can't wrap my heart around how one human being can so easily take the life of another. It happens so much in our world today. But in this one event, 26 lives were taken, including 20 innocent children. What has happened to our society? This is a reminder that we need the Lord more than ever in our lives. Without him, we are all lost.

I pray now that God be with the families affected by these killings, and that he heal their broken hearts. I pray too that he help the surviving children in this school, and their community, as they deal with the symptoms of trauma that follow. I ask also that the Lord make himself known to the hurting so that they will look to him for help and not feel alone. I look to the Lord for help as well. I don't know the depth of loss that these families feel, but my heart is hurting. I hurt for all of them. They are my family in God.

Lord, I do look to you during this time, and always, and pray that you will heal all of our hearts. Amen.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Monkey Mind

Lately I've struggled with knowing what to write...seems like my mind is blank, though I know it's not.  I have a lot of thoughts but they are disjointed, like they're bouncing all over the place. I can't seem to pull words together in a way which allows me to share my thoughts in an understandable way. I have monkey mind.

Wikipedia describes monkey mind as a Buddhist term meaning, "unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable". I don't know about being capricious, whimsical or fanciful, but unsettled, restless, inconstant, confused and indecisive fit on most days. Uncontrollable works too when you're talking about my eating habits. :-)

It's very frustrating to have a lot of thoughts, but not complete thoughts. Sometimes my mind is on one subject, then it jumps to another, and then another. I go from one rabbit trail to the next and most times don't find my way back. This happens a lot when talking to others, but I've learned to laugh about it. No point getting upset...that'd just be one more thing for my brain to bounce around all day.

This is the 3rd blog I've started in the last couple of days...the other two I never finished. Even now, when trying to write about this, my mind is flitting around like a butterfly on steroids. It seems to take forever to put a complete paragraph together in a way that is readable. I can't focus.

I read that people with fibromyalgia have minds that never shut down. It's called "monkey chatter." I know my brain is like that. I think that's partly why I don't sleep much; and then when I do sleep, it's a lighter sleep. When I wake up from sleeping, my mind is already racing...almost like it never stopped.

Mindfulness a form of deep relaxation that involves focusing on being "in the moment." It's said that if you relax in this way it will help you stop the mental chatter. This can be done by listening to music and/or focusing completely on your surroundings, while enjoying where you are and how you feel internally at that very moment. This requires a mental discipline that I struggle to find. 

Though it isn't easy for me, I need to at least try to practice mindfulness. It would hopefully help my monkey mind with it's endless chatter and also allow me to focus on, and appreciate better, this life God has given me. I don't think I can truly be grateful for all I have in the Lord when my nonsensical thoughts are jumping all over the place.

Time to end this monkey mind and apply mindfulness. We'll see how I do. Pray for me. :-) 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thank you, Jesus

I helped with communion at church today. Because of all Jesus has given to us, most importantly his life, it was an honor to serve in this remembrance of him. It reminded me of how blessed I truly am.

Thank you, Jesus, for the blood you shed on the cross so that I and other believers could live, and for the blessing I received today in this opportunity to serve and remember you. 

It doesn't have to be just communion when I show my remembrance and thanks to Jesus. I believe the biggest thank you I can give is through my every day actions. I can be a blessing to God, and others, by daily living my life for the Lord.

Tomorrow, I watch my grandkids. I pray I'll be a good example to them...the kind of example that the Lord would want me to be. It's near Christmas, and I don't want my little loved ones to grow up only knowing Santa Claus and what he gives one time a year. I want them to know Jesus, and the gift he's already given us, and how he will bless us daily if we allow him into our heart.

Lord, help me live my life in a way that when others are around, it is not me that they see, but you in me. Help me to also share about you, and remind others that Christmas isn't about Santa Claus and things we will get, but a celebration of your son, Jesus Christ's birth. Amen.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


While taking my dog, Daisy, for a walk, I was bothered again by how many pet owners choose to leave their dog's poo. Our trek is usually a half-mile around a park across from my home. There is a playground for kids, and in warmer months, soccer is a weekly event. How can people choose to leave their dog's poo where kids play and there are big family events??? They do though. And it's done daily. Though this park is somewhat of a toilet for our pets, there's no mechanism to automatically flush must take a bag with you and pick it up!!! Geez! Does there need to be training for this?!!

I believe when people choose to leave their dog's poo in a park, they are showing a lack of integrity. I looked up the definition of integrity and these are its synonyms: Character, decency, goodness, honesty, morality, probity, rectitude, righteousness, rightness, uprightness, virtue and virtuousness. When someone leaves their dog's poo, I can't use any of these words to describe least not then. Some of these people even do it in front of others, not caring if they're seen. It's like they think there's nothing wrong with what they do, though signs in the park tell them differently. I don't know what to say about their lack of care, except that it aggravates me even more.

I, on the other hand, have multiple bags with me to be sure I can pick up after my pets. While on our walk, I don't let them use people's main yard for their toilet; and whether near a sidewalk or at the park, I always clean up their poo. I'm not a perfect person, but I strive to be respectful and a person of integrity. When others don't pick up their dog's poo, I can't help but wonder about their decency. Is it just this one area where they are lacking, or is their life weak in other areas too?

When I saw all the poo left today, and noticed I was alone and could not be seen, I was aggravated enough to think, since no one else cares, maybe I should leave my dog's poo too. It was really cold out and it'd be easier on my achy knees if I was not to bend to pick it up...instead just leave. I couldn't do it though. No matter whether anyone else could or could not see, I was reminded that just because others do wrong, that's no excuse for me. If you aren't respectful enough of others to pickup your pet's poo, it will ultimately show in your life in other ways too. I think one reason why I, for the most part, like me, is because I do try to care for, and show respect to, others...even when my actions are only seen by God and me.

Enough talk about poo though...time for another walk with my dogs, and the practice of living in integrity.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bring Hostess Back!

My head felt as cloudy as the sky. It was my day to watch the grandkids though, so I couldn't hide. Much coffee would be needed to clear this mind. After consuming more than half-a-pot, I got into my car. I then saw the gas tank was almost empty, just like me. Now on the drive to the grandkids, I'd need to make a stop. Maybe I'd also get a bite to eat...a little something, something to make my energy pop.

After filling the car's tank, I checked the rations at the station, looking for a Hostess snack to fill my unique nutritional needs. When I saw what was available though, my heart sank. I needed food with substance...candy would not do. As I stood in front of half-empty shelves though, and remembered the Hostess situation, I began to feel blue.

I saw lots of chips and nuts, and Little Debbie cakes. There were also off-brands I'd never seen before in my Hostess product's space. I was at a loss as to what to buy. I needed a Ding Dong...other snack cakes I was not ready to try! Just one step away from being called plastic, you can't beat the inside of a Ho Ho to fill your need. And if plastic can hold up for years in a land fill, just think how long a Twinkie would stay in my belly and then how happy I'd be.

What was that union thinking when having Hostess workers go on strike, ultimately taking from us elements that could make you feel so right! I walked out of that gas station buying not a thing. I knew only a Hostess snack cake could fix me and get me through till night. None could supplement my physical and mental least not the way a Ding Dong, Ho Ho or Twinkie might! I need Hostess snack cakes, so someone be a good elf. Invest the money needed to mass produce their recipe and get them back on the shelf. really isn't that bad even without Hostess snack cakes; and even when with the grandkids, my own energy will do. But why suffer without if someone can make this world a better place and fill my Hostess need. Plus, you know the old saying, "why settle for less, when we can have more?!" Of course that kind of thinking could be why I have a weight problem and sugar coming out my pores! :-)