My favorite folks ! :)

30 April 2009

My Artwork

I don't make cards very often any more, but i used to quite a lot. Also, in 96-98 i was doing artwork and selling it to companies that made rubber stamps. Two companies actually. Both went out of business. Honestly i don't know if i even own these pics any more. They probably still retain the copyright even tho they are not doing business any more. A couple of the pics that might not be true of, because there was a class action against the company (i didn't add to the filing. I think i only sold 2 or three pics for about $75). Quite a few of the pics i know i did sell the copyright.

So here are some of the things i used to draw.
Before you go crazy and tell me how good they are, let me inform you that they were quick tracings. I'd find pics i like in magazines and trace the outlines and put dots where the eyes were, then draw in the rest how i wanted them to be. Since i only made $10-25 a pic, i had to do them fast. But they are "mine" in that i decided how to draw in the eyes and where to put the folds and shadows, etc. I can draw freehand, but i have to spend much more time on it.

The beach scene and the angel i still own, i know. The beach scene was to be used at a local resturant as their children's menu. One of several i did. I was friends with the wife of the owner. They asked me to do them. I don't remember if i was paid, but i retained the copyright. It was mostly trying to get some business, but it never really went anywhere.

So here it is: My big art career!

(P.S. this was long before i met 
and married Duane, so my name isn't "ford" any more.)


Thought Occurred to me

Ok, when something funny occurs to me, i can't wait too long or i'll forget it. I miss my brain. Sigh. :(

Yesterday i commented on some different posts. I don't do that a lot. And when i commented, they have moderation, so i had to type in one of the funny non-words they create.

One of the words was funny. I think it was basepass or something similar. It made me smile & wonder what would happen if i created a story including some of these funny non-words.
The Notleth vdoed objeting down the street to meet Jolimme. His thoughts were on dytest nornsi & the conversation between Shees Cliddl & Stiffing Proutger which was just not islit.

My mind works in funny ways, i guess. :)


Beautiful Day

Big Bear is known for being beautiful year 'round. We have so many sunny days at our high altitude that we have a solar observatory (not public) out off the North Shore of the Lake. If you enlarge the pic (click on it) you'll see the observatory near the center of the pic on the far shore.

Today is no exception. Of course, it was 27 F last night, & 18 F the night before, but the day is so beautiful. I appreciate so much that we are able to live here. I hate being away from home the 2 nights we are gone, but that it allows us to live here makes it worth it.

This was the first day since Saturday that i woke up & was not in a great deal of pain. My neck is still a little stiff but it is not painful every minute & is not stopping me from doing things. And it did not wake me up last night. I AM SO THANKFUL. I'm still a bit sore from the massage, but not horrible. And i totally agree with you Rosemary, i'd much rather have a pleasant massage than a painful one, even if the painful ones have good benefits.

In general, i think being in pain so that it is hard to move or think or breathe is a good thing for me once in a while. I wouldn't want it often. But it is a reminder. I know a couple of people who are in constant pain, & it is good to know what that is like. I do have fairly frequent pain, but it is something i've lived with for a long time & have adapted to. So i have become rather complacent. Being in extreme pain occasionally (please Lord, not too long!) helps me remember to be more empathetic & compassionate with the folks i work with. My massage practice is largely pain management, so it important to remember how difficult life is when in extreme pain.

My wonderful husband encouraged me to join him with a stretching DVD this AM. He did the full hour. I was only able to manage about 8 minutes before i knew i'd be going over my limit. I pressed on a little more, doing some stretches here & there. I told him if we daily did 10 minutes or so morning & night, that in time i'd probably be able to do more. It doesn't feel like i'm doing so much at the time, but if i push myself too hard i hit the "chronic fatigue" wall & for my baby step forward i take about 10 giant steps back. It is very discouraging, & at times i feel like giving up. I'm so glad he encouraged me to do this today. :)

I've bananas that need to be made into bread. And i'd like to experiment with a gluten-free squaw bread. And i've wonderful poppy seed muffins that we'd like more of. They don't last very long! Probably have cheese enchiladas tonight.
I think it is fortunate in some ways that i haven't much energy for cooking/baking. I would focus on all the wonderful things like short bread & pies & cookies & muffins, etc. Even tho i'm baking them "healthy" with whole gluten-free grains & such, eating those kinds of things regularly is not good. Best saved for a rare occasional treat.

Hope y'all are having a beautiful day as well.


29 April 2009

I've no idea where this will go

It seems ironic i was given an "Attitude of Gratitude" award when i feel so cranky!

I mentioned it was a hard weekend. Duane was away Saturday helping a friend. I had so many things planned to do while he was gone & i don't think i did any of them.

Sunday AM he made it back in time for church, & called me when he was half an hour away. So i got up, & within 10 or 15 minutes i was in a great deal of pain. It was my neck. I couldn't flex or extend it without a significant amount of pain, i still could rotate it with near full range of motion, but it was uncomfortable. And as the day went on it didn't get better & nothing helped. I tried trigger point & regular massage & heat & a pain cream (it is so good, i recommend it often - if you've questions on it email me) & lots of different positions. Nothing helped. So i waited it out until i could get to work & Dean could adjust me. And that helped some. Reduced the issue by about 50%. He did find patterns that i've never had (was adjusting me in spots i've never needed before).

Yesterday i had another massage with the same person from a couple of weeks ago. We are doing a trade for a little while. I've decided she does know what she's doing, & what she's doing does help, but i don't like it all that much. It is therapeutic massage in the extreme (i'm pretty sore today). While i recognize the benefit of this, i'd rather have a massage where i just relax & feel good. The massage helped my neck too.

But last night i was awake every 2 hours because the pain was waking me up. I tried sleeping with a pillow, without a pillow, sleeping in the recliner, nothing helped. It still isn't as bad as it was Sunday & Monday AM, so what have i to complain about? The fact is i didn't DO anything to cause this. I've never been in this much pain before without having a reason. In fact, i didn't hurt this much after the car accident in December.

I've a lot of thoughts percolating in my brain box. About Job & other issues i read in other folks' blogs. I also am on the edge of tears. It wouldn't take anything at all to dissolve me into a weepy bunch of shapeless rags. (My corrected typo here was "shapeless rage" & that could happen too, i suppose.)

I think i'll stop now, however. This is the reason i've not been writing the past couple of days. It is hard for me to post this without a joke or pretty picture. I do try to turn things in a way that they can seem funny. But i'm too close to it right now. It does seem i should be able to do that with the irony of my attitude. Gratitude?

Well, yes. I was in such a hurry the other day i forgot to add what i intended to my 8 Meme. It is an i'm grateful 8. If you're doing the meme, i'd encourage you to include it.

  • i'm so grateful for a happy marriage & the wonderful man who loves me in spite of everything
  • i'm thankful that we have flexible jobs that allow us to live where we choose, even if we have to leave our home 2 nights a week
  • i'm thankful that we were able to buy a home, something we didn't think possible
  • i'm thankful for our kitties who are funny & do like "the people" even when they pretend they don't, sometimes
  • i'm so grateful to find a church that truly loves Jesus & is intent on living for him
  • i'm so thankful for all our friends & family
  • i'm really grateful for the internet & the opportunity to meet new people & have new friends i never would have come across before
  • i'm grateful, thankful, & almost wordless for God's love for me & the hope i have to someday be with him


27 April 2009

Wow. What to say?

This was a hard weekend. Talk about that some other time.

Then i discover, to my great surprise, that i've been nominated for an "award" & tagged for a meme! I'm kind of overwhelmed. Please remember that i'm very new to blogging (my first post was in January) so if i mess up i may not even know it. What i find funny, is that some of the folks i may tag may not even be aware i'm following them! And some of them have such a large following they may have already done this or don't want to.

Michelle at Home Decorating News nominated me for the Attitude of Gratitude Award. Wow. What to say?

Here are her instructions:
  • put the logo on your blog or post
  • nominate at least 10 blogs that show an an attitude of gratitude
  • link to your nominees within your post
  • comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
  • share the love & link to this post & the person who nominated you for the award
  • tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude
These are my 10 Attitude of Gratitude award nominees, in order that my dashboard gives them to me!

  • Joannah at All things New. She has a lovely blog & so much grace in dealing with life.
  • Blog Schmog, GlutenFree4Goofs (i've discovered i don't know the names of several folks i follow!) She is a busy, lovely mama, funny & talented & sharing her gluten free & healthy life.
  • Donna at By His Grace Alone shares her life & wisdom with humor & grace!
  • Pamela Jeanne at Coming 2 Terms who shares the struggle of child free not by choice. She's just written a book i plan to purchase.
  • Mandie at Cultivating Joy another busy mama who is doing wonderful things for her children & our world. She also posts pics of her crafts. I love the profile description she has.
  • Stacy at In Its Time who has been thru so much, & God has blessed her with a son & soon to have a daughter join them as well.
  • Lucy at looking for something deeper . . . who shares thoughts, philosophy, life, & chronic illness. Also check out her rabbit Charlie's blog. He is a character! The link is at her site.
  • Don't miss Linda at The Gluten-Free Homemaker. She has a big following & so much good advice on healthy living as well as cooking gluten free.
  • Thoughts by Kim is cute, sassy, & a lot of fun as she grabs life by the tail no matter what it throws at her.
  • Stacey's Thoughts on Infertility is fun, thoughtful, inspiring. She's coming up on her one year anniversary of blogging.
Wow. I keep saying this, but i am kind of overwhelmed. I don't know that i feel i've much of an attitude of gratitude. I am grateful each & every day for the many things with which i've been blessed, but it seems i complain an awful lot too! What i'm grateful for the most, i think, beyond salvation & God's love for me, is my wonderful husband. We both work each day at saying thank you & i love you (& "i love you more!) & not taking the other for granted. As i've been granted the gift of someone so special late in life, i don't want to take one minute for granted & not appreciate it.

Thank you Michelle. It was so sweet & thoughtful for you to include me in your ten.

Another person who belongs in my list of ten is Paige at The Baby Dust Diaries. She tagged me in an 8 Meme. (Remember, i've not done this before!)

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward To:

  • a massage tomorrow
  • visiting the Appalachian Mountains with Duane in June
  • possibly meeting dear friends Patty & Dawn & John in person (on line best girlfriends)
  • someday doing home remodel (especially upstairs bathroom)
  • the 6 year anniversary of meeting Duane (17 May)
  • our 5 year wedding anniversary (10 September)
  • having more energy for living
  • meeting my Lord in heaven & being in the presence of God!

Eight Things I Did Yesterday: (Did i do 8 things?)

  • attended church
  • visited with Dawn on the phone
  • read part of my book
  • spent a lot of time online
  • teased the cats
  • did three loads of laundry
  • had a fire in the wood stove (it was chilly)
  • watched TV

Eight Things I Wish I Could Do:

  • make fewer darn typos!
  • be a mama
  • sleep restfully
  • have energy to live a full life
  • stop being a procrastinator
  • have more days at home
  • be a better gardner
  • be a better cook
Eight Shows I Watch:

  • Lost
  • Heros
  • Castile
  • Fringe
  • 60 Minutes
  • Monk
  • Psych
  • almost anything SciFi
Eight People I Tag:

Thank you Paige, for thinking of me!

Now, i have to go off & notify all these folks! :) (I kind of need a smile today, so let's share one!)


23 April 2009


What a difference a couple of days can make!

We arrived home yesterday to find spring had bloomed! I took pics on the 17th showing things on the verge, but not quite there.

It was hot down the hill while we were there (think i complained about that) but beautiful at home. A couple of days in the 60s, & look at
all the beauty we returned to! (Gonna have to limit my pics here. I took a lot.)

My pics didn't show it well so i'm not putting them on, the roses & lilacs have leaves. This pic is a non-fruit plum. They are used in this area a lot as an ornamental tree. When it gets leaves they will be a burgundy color. The truth is, neither Duane nor i like this tree. If i'm going to have a blooming tree, i want it to have fruit! And, even tho it is "contrast," neither of us like a burgundy tree. However, it is very pretty when it blooms. I think part of my dislike is that i was so excited last year to have a blooming tree & so i expected fruit. When i learned that it is ornamental only i felt cheated. (As mentioned before, we got no fruit from any of our trees last year. A late freeze killed them all.)

This tree is a peach tree according to a neighbor. The blooms sure don't look like my other two peach trees. This looks like an apple or pear to me. The tree i know to be an apple hasn't started blooming quite yet.

This is one of two peach trees, according to my neighbor. I didn't have much hope of it last year even before the freeze. It didn't even bloom much last year & i saw no fruit forming. But then, it also had not been watered for some time. This house was foreclosed on & sat empty for a long, long time. We watered consistently last year, & it looks so much healthier!

I can now see the beginnings of buds in the tulips in the front (where people can actually see them!) This is not that one.

These are the "hidden" tulips in the back yard. Aren't they gorgeous?

A few days can make other changes as well.

I mentioned seeing the chiro here in BB last week. He told me my thyroid was not working properly. While i do not doubt him, i don't see him consistently. So i decided to have Dean, the one i work with, check me. He's done this before, but i've not had it done for a long time, a year or more.

Because i consider kinesology a subjective test, i try not to give too much input in advance. I just asked to be screened mentioning thyroid & adrenals. He asked if anything was going on & my response was that i'm Just.So.Tired. A minute into it he asked if i've had my heart checked. I responded, no, but i've been having arrhythmia for 9 months or so & it makes me tired.

Long & short of it is he found my heart extremely challenged. While my thyroid & adrenals are somewhat stressed, he felt this is secondary to heart. When my heart is healthier & functioning more fully, the thyroid & adrenals won't be so stressed.

This actually makes sense. Dawn, my "go to girl & all around information source" had sent me some info recently. Evidently it is quite common for folks with chronic fatigue to also have Diastolic Cardiomyopathy. Conventional medicine finds this difficult to test for, & they have no treatment for it. This is part of the reason exercise is so hard for folks with chronic fatigue. I don't retain info all that easily these days. I'd read what she sent at least twice, but i'm not sure i still have a full understanding.

Anyway, Dean gave me some supplements to support my heart & help it heal. From what he said, on one of the supplements the normal dose is 2 tabs. I tested positive for 9. However, as i heal that number will come down. The plan, right now, is for me to give this a month or 6 weeks & then be retested to see if i'm improving. (Although i should know that sooner by being less tired & having less arrhythmia.) If i've not improved in that amount of time, i may revisit the idea of seeing a M.D. Not a preference of mine. I don't trust conventional medicine much at all. Don't currently have a M.D., & so don't know how i'd go about finding one. When i recently had an issue what i did was go to a walk-in-clinic & had them do testing. Then self-treat with herbs from the acupuncture doc & other supplements.

Over all, however, to me this is GOOD news. I've been so very tired & so assumed that the issue was Epstein-Barr & chronic fatigue, about which conventional medicine can do nothing, & alternative medicine works at it but it can be a challenge. This gives me hope that i can improve.

Part of the reason i have been so down on having children recently has been how extreme the fatigue has become. It has been going on for many years for me, but has been worse since the miscarriage, & much much worse the past 2 years. Taking care of little ones (or even bigger ones) takes energy, & i have none. If this actually works, maybe there is hope for us. Maybe pregnancy, but more likely adoption. With my energy level so very low, i didn't think even adoption was an option, but maybe, maybe. I'm more hopeful now.

On a little of a downer note, i occasionally do "out-call" massage where i go someplace like a B&B, all my equipment to be carried in. I can't do this often as it totally wears me out. (Massage in my office is not so hard. I'm already set up, & honestly, it is as if i'm doing what i'm "suppose" to be doing. God gives me the energy i need, most of the time.) Even when Duane goes & helps me set up i find this type of work much more draining, so i limit doing this. I'd make pretty good money if i did it frequently, but i'd also burn out fast.

Yesterday i got a call from the person who refers some of this work to me. It is for an appt on Sunday PM. I've a couple of issues with this. First, i don't usually work on Sundays. Second, with my fatigue i'm very hesitant to agree. Third, Sunday is the day i'm doing a lot of prep to go down the hill on Monday, & throwing in something extra often stresses me. Fourth, i currently have a headache & that makes me hesitant to agree to anything. Fifth, i'm scared. I'm just so tired & i'm afraid to commit to this.

So i kind of asked Duane's permission not to do it. I didn't get the feeling he thought doing it a bad idea. I can't help but wonder if money is the driving issue, or if he thinks i'm just not pushing myself hard enough, or if he just really doesn't get how exhausted i am all the time. Honestly, just keeping up with laundry & some minor kitchen work is taking all i have.

I need to let the guy know today about whether i can do this, & i'm very torn.

The women of the church get together once a month for lunch. We call it the "birthday luncheon" celebrating all the BDs that month, but often we have none. We just go to lunch together. It is today. I spent about an hour on the phone last night calling folks to get a head count. We've 9 confirmed, another 3-4 possible. We usually have about 11. Phone calling isn't bad if folks just tell me "Yes" or "No." But some seem to think they've got to go into great detail why they can't come. I'm only calling so i can make a reservation with the resturant, not to beat them up for not coming!

However, the two ladies with whom i spent the most time are folks that i think are really lonely or really frustrated (one has been ill & in a lot of pain) & so i see taking the time to listen is as much ministry as anything else i do. If nothing else i'm a distraction for a little while, & sometimes that is a good thing.

Just hope the migraine is better by then. :)


21 April 2009

It's Gonna Blow!

At least, whatever it is on the telly right now.

Some GFs (girl friends, not gluten-frees!) were talking about how irritating they find the TV. Yep, i'm there. I didn't have one for 13 years. When i started dating Duane he couldn't believe it, & brought one over. The only redeeming thing i find these days is TiVo/Replay TV. We can record what we want, easily skip commercials, & watch it whenever we like. I do like SciFi. Always have. I remember watching StarTrek reruns as a child.

Since i'm convinced we won't have kids, i'm going to burn bridges & talk about baby names. (I love names & naming. One of my favorite parts of writing a story is choosing the names of my characters. And, sad to say, i rarely get farther than that.)

For boys i really like the name Aidan. However, i'd never use it because it is far too popular these days. It might crop up in a story, tho. I also am partial to the name Joseph, but mostly because our dear friend Joseph introduced us & told me when Duane & i married that it is a "good name" for a little one. And as he would probably be Godfather, well. And Joey is a cute nickname. I also like the name Joel a lot. I wonder, a little, if it would be wise to use Joseph. A cousin had a son Josef who committed suicide at age 13 two years ago. She & i weren't close, but i wonder if it would be too much for her. Again, it is likely a moot point.

For girl names i love the name Jocelyn. I think that so pretty. I also so much like the name Mary. (However if we should have a girl & a boy we wouldn't do "Mary & Joseph"!) Sis #3, who would be a Godmother, has Mary as a first name, tho she goes by her middle name. She was named for our two Grandma's, but no one in our family goes by Mary. Duane's Grandma was also a Mary.

I had a whole list of names Duane & i liked. I know where the list is (in a notebook) but not where the notebook is. I don't remember the other names we liked. Doesn't matter too much now.

Jocelyn & Joseph would be ok. Yeah, yeah, dream on.

I think i mentioned i've been reading blogs since mid to late January of this year. Lots of different ones. Blogs on organization, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, green living, gluten-free eating, infertility, IVF, life after infertility (both with children & without), young families, money management, crafting, recipes, general - i'm sure there are others. Think i need to find a few on living vegetarian. Better yet, gluten-free vegetarian, tho i think we are a small subset.

One of the things i was surprised to realize is that we've been trying to have a family for 3-1/2 years. It was Oct '05 when i lost Kaylee. I've known that, of course, but somehow i haven't known that. I read sometimes of someone having had 18 months or 2 years of infertility. And it is a shock to me to realize we've been doing this for twice that long. Or that there are families out there who have had two or three babies in the time we've been waiting. We got pregnant 11 months after we married, so i was sure it would happen again.

Have i mentioned i'm a procrastinator & time challenged? I rarely am aware of the real passage of time. Shoot it was just yesterday i graduated college. Er, um, that was 1993. But that's just yesterday, isn't it?

So, i guess it is no wonder that i'm reaching the belief that a child will not be coming to us. Now that i'm actually waking up to the time that has gone by.

Duane surprised me earlier by commenting on the plaque at the top of the next post ("I love you more today . . . " which, by the way, he himself took that pic). I was surprised 'cause i didn't know he reads these posts. (Better be careful what i write! LOL)

I have read in some other blogs about male infertility vs. female infertility & how that can create stress in a marriage when there is the awareness of one partner that it is the other partner's infertility creating the problem. And, to be honest, i hadn't really thought about it too much, except to think Duane got shorted & he would have/could have done so much better.

So a week or so ago i asked him if it is hard that our not having a baby is my fault.

He responded, "Your fault? It's not your fault. It is not like you're on the BC pill or doing something to prevent it."

He went on to tell me that

  • he didn't marry me to have children only.
  • having children would only be a bonus
He informed me that marrying me was worth it entirely, & if i had died after only a year of marriage, it was worth it & he would do it (marry me) again. (Although if i died i do hope he would marry again.)

My husband really loves me. I don't deserve it, but it is so wonderful. We'll be having our 5th anniversary in September. I've known people who are bitter or harsh by this time (as in my 1st marriage) but each day with Duane is a joy. It just keeps getting better.

I saw John today. John is the therapist i have been seeing many years. He is very experienced (& nearly the age of my parents). He is head of the department of psychology at a local well-known university. He got me thru some really, really hard times about 10 years ago. I don't see him all that often, but do continue to see him in order to try & stay balanced & not be "sick" again.

I told him of my conversation with Sis #2. He was astounded, as was i, that all three of us had the same reaction, feeling that we were unlovable. He said that this is not a typical pattern. He said that usually there would be three different responses to the way we were raised. "It takes a strong family to create the same reaction in all three of you," he said.

He also told me that i am "the strong one" for choosing to leave & limit contact. "Of course we all knew that," he said.

Huh? News to me! But if that is true, i know we often don't see in ourselves what others see in us.

My favorite book is Mister God, This is Anna by Fyn. I believe it is in print again. I do always qualify my recommendation by saying Anna didn't have a good concept of who Jesus was. However she had a beautiful & unique way of looking at our relationship to God.

One of the things she says is that if we're really plugged into God & living thru him we aren't really aware of it & there is nothing to measure. It is living in a non-conscious way, which in many ways is the opposite of religion. Religion always wants something to measure.

Ok, enough for tonight.

It is still warm & my toes & fingers are swollen with the heat. (Long term, occasional reaction to frostbite as a child.)



Rosemary & Jana have a new challenge over at Opul Gluei. It is on wisdom. I'm not in a place where i can get creative & do a card or material something to represent wisdom. So i went looking for images, first in Google Images, then in my iPhoto (which tells me i have 6,775 images/photos!).

And it made me realize that i haven't really an "image" of what i think wisdom is. Mountains? They're old, staunch, steadfast, unmoving. Does that make them wise?

I have pics of old things, but that doesn't make them wise.

I could post several pics i have of elderly people, but does age alone make them wise? In our culture, society, we are somewhat losing the concept of our elderly being venerable or wise.

I don't know what i imagine as truly wise. I did a Google search. Nothing really caught my attention, except this quote:

Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind. You can't change the past but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.

Or fretting about the past, i'd add. Then i went looking to try to credit this quote & wasn't able to find the author. But i did find this, attributed to Buddha:

Anger is like holding onto a red hot coal with the intent to throw it at somebody else. You are the one who gets burned.

That seems to me to be very wise.

I've recently come across a couple of blogs of mamas who have lost pregnancies or babies. And they are very angry. Two state they no longer believe in God.

Now i get that. I really do. I still don't understand why we lost Kaylee. Her heart was still beating when i lost her. Part of me wants a "do over" where we go back & "fix it."

So i can understand the anger, even being angry at God. But i don't honestly understand blaming God. To me that is like holding the coal of which Buddha speaks. It is going to burn me & create even more scars. Where do you go from there? And it is not my belief that God causes all these things. Nor does he "fix it" for us.

When i was a child in Sunday school i was made to read aloud a section out of a quarterly about how "God choose the perfect parents" for me. That God put me into my family on purpose. I read that section with all the sarcasm & contempt an 11 year old could put into the reading. When i was finished i looked at the teacher, & the burning anger in her eyes was overwhelming. Yet she didn't comment. What is more, i am sure that to some degree she knew of the abuse occuring in my family. But it was more important to her that i "ruined" her Sunday school class.

I'm not a believer that God causes these things. I may find i'm wrong someday. But i just don't see it.

Our pastor said Sunday that a number of people see God as Santa Claus.

"Have you been a good girl this year?"

"Yes i have. And i want a Totally Stylin' Tatoos Barbie, & a Power Wheels Barbie Jammin' Jeep, & a Hannah Montana Glitter Studio, & the Harry Potter books, & . . ."

And, if you misread scripture, i guess that is how it can come across. And so losses look like a breach of contract. Broken covenant.

"I'm a good person. I live as a good Christian. We'd be good parents. We'd love & care for our child. Why did God take him/her from us?"

I'm not trying to be critical here. I hurt for all of us going thru loss. I get the hurt, the pain, the anger, the disappointment. But somehow, wisdom sees beyond this.

Someone named Alexandre Dumas said:

All human wisdom is summed up in two words - wait and hope.

I don't like that. I don't know if i agree. But it is certainly appropriate for where i am now.

I did a really long post that included the verse: "Because the foolishness of God is wiser . . . "

I don't understand wisdom. The Bible says the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord.

Wow. Now i sound like a crank preacher!

Because i have to say something with humor, i liked what Josh Billings said:

Some folks are wise and some otherwise. ;p

Thanks for including this preacher in the meme! :)

(Doesn't anyone want the bibs in the next post?)


19 April 2009

Somewhat creative (Give AWAY!)

When friends or family have babies, one of the standard things i make are bibs. I learned how to do these long ago.

Kmart sometimes has fingertip/guest towels (not hand towels, they're too big) on sale, i purchase quite a number. Before the holidays they are usually $1-2 each, after the holidays i have found them for 2/$1 or even 4/$1. They aren't high quality, but they do the job.

These on sale are often decorated with embroidery for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. But most folks don't want that year round, so where the decoration is i cut the hole for the head. I have on hand t-shirt ribbing like around the top of a t-shirt. This i sew in a circle, double the fabric, & sew it around the hole in the towel so that the towel now has a "collar." Essentially the bib is now done. On the boys' bibs i often put an iron-on applique. The girls i sometimes get a bit more involved, adding lace &/or ribbon.

I've been planning to make these for Dean & Megan, but they choose not to know the sex of the baby in advance, so i couldn't put them in with my shower gift. (Did not attend shower.) If Meredith had been a boy i had a set (i usually give 5) ready. But she's not. So today i sat down & did these. They are kind of in here willy-nilly, 'cause i'm having some trouble getting blogger to cooperate with me.

This second set are the ones i already had for a boy. We haven't anyone else expecting right now. Don't know what to do with them. If you'd like them, or know someone who would, email me! A Give Away. If i can't find someone who wants them i'll donate them to the church yard sale. Duane's cousin tells me she was still using them on her older boy at age 4. So i guess they are holding up fine & the hole for the head is big enough.


18 April 2009

A lot in my head - why can't my fingers get it down?

I've had a lot in my head today, a lot to write.

I've read on some other blogs that their goal is to write every day, a 365 challenge they call it. I would have no trouble doing this! My fear is that i'll get to the end of 365 days & find i've written 563 times! I am so verbose, & that embarrasses me often. I often MAKE myself wait a day or two so that i'm not writing too often. Long posts bother me too.

But, i am a writer! It is what i love to do. For as far back as i can remember i wanted to do two things. 1. Be a mama. 2. Be a writer.

When i was very small i would draw pictures & dictate the story to my mother. When i finished i would say, "Now we will go & put this in the library." The public library. Where we checked out books every week. I wanted others to read my story. Her response was laughter, but i meant it!

I'm posting now to link to Kim's blog. I found her who knows how, but it seems we have a few things in common. I hope you go check her out & give her some support in her goal for weight loss & desire for a family.

Oh, i didn't post my weight on Thursday. It is again 172. I figure there isn't much point in posting what cannot be done. If i do lose weight, believe me, i'll post it! The chiro i saw Friday does nutritional screening with kinesology. (So does the one i work with, but we've not checked it in a while.) This chiro checked my thyroid & his eyebrows went almost up to his hairline. So i'm adding in supplements. If you're interested in the kinesology, ask & i'll tell you my reasons for trusting it. But for now, i want to finish & head to bed.

Thanks for checking in with me. I always appreciate the comments so much. :)


17 April 2009

Oh What a Beautiful . . . Con't

I had thought i'd just edit the last post, but i've a bunch of pics to add.

If you want to read my thoughts (which aren't all that interesting) keep going to the next post.
These pics look better if you click on them to see them in more detail.

These first two are the ones i think are trillium.

The apple tree starting buds.

The tulips in the front yard. I see no evidence of blooms beginning.

The peach tree also starting buds.

One of the peach trees, different angle. Sugarloaf mountain seen in the distance.

The tulips in the back yard -where no one can see them unless you're looking - do have blooms beginning.

This huge tree is in our back yard. It drops lots of twigs, pine needles, & pine cones. The twigs especially are good fire starter. We grow our own!

Doesn't Duane's camera do a good job? Even when i'm the photographer!


Oh What a Beautiful Morning, Oh What a Beautiful Day!

I don't know if "everything is going my way" or not, but it is a truly glorious day outside. And 52F!!!

When i went out today i checked the plants. Tulips are quite green, but still no go for the flowers. But i did see several smaller plants to the side. One has a bit of red peeping out. It looks like trillium to me. If i have a chance later i'll go get a pic & add it. Since we only bought the house last year & i didn't plant any of these flowers, & i didn't map them last year, they are still kind of a surprise to me.

Saw the chiropractor. (Here in Big Bear. I usually get adjusted by the one i work with down the hill.) The work he did on me did seem to help. I was breathing better & not coughing thru a ton of errands in town. I was doing well, at least until i got home & carried in all the groceries. Think i'm back to where i was before since then. Or, i could be better & should be sitting up! The past few days lying down made me feel better. So, i probably need to get up & try that.

But this chiro thought he might help with our baby quest. Turns out he was talking about tipped uterus, & i didn't test positive for that.

On my way home today it occurred to me that i've spent too much time looking at the past. Since i've not had any additonal pregnancies, i've focused too much on the one i had. And, i need to look to the future. One that i need to accept probably will be childless.

Amrita's blog today mentioned Corrie Ten Boom. She wrote the book "The Hiding Place" about how her family worked to save Jews & Dutch underground folks during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in WWII.

But early in Corrie's autobiographical book she wrote about the one sweetheart she had & how that one went & married someone else. Also that she knew then that she would not marry even tho she very much wanted to. Instead she lived with her father & older sister & was the best aunt she could be to her nieces & nephews.

Sometimes life does not lead us to where we want it to go, & God doesn't "fix it" for us. There are many people out there now & over the centuries who would have been great parents, but for whatever reason did not become parents. That becomes especially heartbreaking when you hear of (or know first hand) people who don't cherish children, who are abusive either physically or mentally. Life just isn't fair.

So i can sit around & say, "It isn't fair," or i can do my best to lead as rich a life as i'm able. And that's what i'm going to do. Period.



16 April 2009

On Saving Money

Yesterday i was reading a post on The Simple Dollar - it's a blog on frugal living.

It occurred to me that i save LOTS & LOTS & LOTS of money every day. Here's how:

I went to Bari Leather & looked at their beautiful leather sofas.

This one is called the Regent reclining sofa. By NOT buying it i saved $1599.00. Didn't save on tax or shipping because right now those are free.

This one is from the same online store. It is called the Dane. It is a reclining sectional. This particular set up is listed at $2899.00. But again, i didn't save anything on tax or shipping.

This is the brand-new, about to be released camera from Nikon. It is a D-5000. It is only $799.00 & Duane is drooling over it. Of course that price doesn't include many of the fancy lenses you might want. The one recommended cost more than the camera itself.

Now, we have a D-70. It is a good camera. It is the one Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) started with herself. If you've seen a lot of my pics (most were probably taken by Duane), you've seen what this camera can do.

So look at the money we saved by NOT buying this camera!

I told Duane about this post this AM, & he thought the concept funny, until i mentioned this last item.

There are other ways i save money, too. The massage i got Tuesday was base price $95. I did do a tip, so the total was $110. Now, I charge $110 for that same time period of massage. So i saved at least $15. (I might have tipped me $20!)

But there is more. I did not go to Glen Ivy Spa for the massage. (My sis loves that spa.) Their price for 80 minutes, not 90 is $149. Tho i have to admit there are other benefits you get for that price. You can spend the whole day there & go into a lot of different pools & baths. But that is not something i particularly enjoy, so it isn't something i take too much into account when i figure this. Also, i would have had to drive at least 45 minutes to get there, maybe longer depending on traffic. So i saved time & gas as well.

But there is more! I did not go to Spa Montage for that massage. Their price for 90 minutes is $305. For even a 10% tip that's an extra $30. (Now you see why the exects from the big corporations wasted so much money on their bonus packages! This is that same spa. I've no idea what the rooms run per night, but with this as the massage price, you can bet it was a lot.) This spa is not as far for me as was Glen Ivy. I probably would have spent only an additional 10 minutes driving time. I've no idea what their additional benefits from the spa are. Probably not as much as Glen Ivy.

So look at all the money i've saved ! ! ! Maybe i'm more frugal than i give myself credit for!

In all seriousness, we are pretty frugal. But we have to be careful not to err on the side of cheap.

To me, if you buy an item that doesn't cost a lot, but it doesn't hold up very well & will have to be replaced or fixed before much time goes by, then it is cheap not frugal. I can't be more specific in this example because there is so much difference between different items. We bought a new Honda 2 years ago. It is great on gas mileage (between 38-42 MPG) & we expect it to last 15 or more years. I think this frugal. We had tried first buying an older Toyota, about the same size, 5 years old, about 1/2 the price. Immediately we knew we had been cheap because it was not going to last us & was going to need a lot of work. It became our trade in on the Honda.

I expect the sink, faucet, microwave, & dishwasher we put in our kitchen last fall to last a long, long time. Except the microwave, they may never need to be replaced. We had a couple of "cheap experiments" with a couple of different microwaves (meaning Craig's List & a discount store) before we settled on this one.

Couponing, in general, is not frugal to me. The items you find for coupons are not ones that we would usually buy or consume. I use vinegar, baking soda, peroxide, salt, soap nuts, & borax for most of our household cleaning, washing, etc. So i can't save money on bathroom or kitchen cleaners, window cleaning sprays, laundry detergents, etc., etc. I also don't use spice packages. I've bought them to get the ingredients & then mix up my own. I don't use boxed "food" items like mac & cheese, or "hamburger helper" or anything like that. We don't buy sodas or diet sodas except if we are having company we know would want them.

The other thing i have to be careful about is settling too much for "good enough."

We watch the tv shows sometimes of people buying houses, especially first time buyers. Which we were when we purchased this house last year. I get frustrated sometimes seeing young couples going into fairly expensive houses & exclaiming, "Oh, this has to go!" Usually they are talking about dated kitchens or bathrooms.

Now, believe me, i understand that. I don't like the countertops in my bathrooms or kitchen. The upstairs bath in particular desperately needs remodeling & to be expanded. (The bath upstairs where the bedrooms are is only 1/2 bath; we have to go downstairs to shower.) Everything in my house is dated. But when you're buying a house for the first time, usually you can't expect top of the line. So it comes down to, "Is it functional?" The kitchens on these tv programs are usually kitchens from the 80s. Which means they have perfectly good cabinets, etc, but they are "dated." And they don't have the newest granite countertops.

So i tend to be very practical & say: "The cabinets aren't falling apart. The dishwasher & stove & microwave are functional. The water runs. What more do you want???"

But i'm realizing that i can err too far in that direction. I tend to procrastinate. I can put blinders on & say "It's working, it's good enough." I could become, in 30 years, a lady who is in a house falling down around her, saying, "The toilets flush, the water runs, the snow doesn't blow in. It's good enough."

Part of this, for me, is not laying up treasures on earth. But i think there also has to be some kind of balance.

The cough is still pretty bad today, but i'm not actually ill. No upper respiratory symptoms, no sore throat, fever, chills or anything. Don't really understand it. Also don't understand why it's better when i'm lying flat. That is just the opposite of what is normally true.

I was craving tomato soup - but NOT Campbells! - bought an organic tomato soup at Trader Joe's yesterday. It is delicious. Wish i had gotten more. Lots of soup & tea for me i guess.

Hope that you are having a good day in whatever part of the world you are sitting on!



15 April 2009

Changed my mind

I've changed my mind about being damaged. I've a bruise on my shoulder/chest that is the size of a silver dollar. Directly where my bra strap lies.

The problem is 1 - i don't bruise easily. I know some folks do, but i run abnormally high in hemoglobin & it takes a lot to bruise me. 2 - there is NO reason for a massage therapist to work where that bruise is at. It is over the joint cavity. No muscle there, just ligaments & the tendon to attach the muscle. You don't work deeply on ligaments or tendons. I've had inexperienced people work too deeply there before - didn't understand it. But this lady has been doing this longer than i have, so i really don't get it.

I've also been thinking over the speed issue. In the first class i ever took on deep tissue the instructor said that deep tissue work is essentially the same as regular work, only much, much slower. Now i don't agree with him very much. Properly done deep work is quite different. But the point is when you go deep you also need to go slow. Oh, enough on my critique. I guess each of us think we are wonders. But i'm quite amazed at how many work rapidly. It has its place, mostly working on athletes pre-event, but the rest of the time it needs to be paced, slower, more measured.

I've been having trouble with the internet & i'm finding it very frustrating.

I think i'm grieving. I already had my suspicions. Dear friend Dawn suggested it yesterday & my soul said, yes, it is so.

I don't like emotion. It feels out of control. Just as i had to stop saying to people "We'd have a __ year old now" because people don't know how to respond to that, people also don't know how to handle tears. Shoot, i don't know how to handle my tears. I want to make them go away.

Because i'm feeling tearful, much of the time.

This started a week or so ago. I read a lot of different blogs on many different subjects. But many of the blogs are on young families, or couples trying to be a family - in a variety of ways. But i'm seeing that, at least right now, those options aren't open to us. In a month
or so when i'm past this we may begin to look into adoption as a possibility. However i can honestly say i don't think that will be our path. I'm not shutting doors & we may find ourselves surprised, but i don't think it will be. The heartbreak i've read of folks who are working either in the foster system or trying to adopt is something i don't believe we can handle. Again, i may be wrong, but i do not think we will go there.

But what i'm finding as i read the blogs of so many loving mamas is that i tell myself, "This will not be your outcome. This will not come to you. I will not be posting pics & antics of babies, toddlers, children. I will not be going thru the teenage angst. This will not come to me." There are good & bad aspects of doing this & i could ramble on about it for some time, but i think, for me, it is part of the path of acceptance.

This past Easter weekend with the family my thoughts were also along that pattern. Trevor & Aaron are almost 5, Hailey is almost 4, & Logan just turned 3 (tho he wasn't there that day). Our Kaylee would be 3 in May, & i was thinking of how things would be if she were here & playing with her little cousins. There probably won't be more little cousins as those folks have completed their families. And part of me thought that even if we had one now, he or she would be so much younger than the cousins. And, i realized, we almost certainly will not be having any.

Does this sound like self pity? (I would hate that.) I don't believe it is. I think this is my trying to work thru it & reach a point of acceptance. Although, a sweet, kind, wise lady left a quote from C.S. Lewis saying essentially that acceptance is something that has to be revisited with every sunrise. I'm doubt i'll reach a "point" of acceptance & it will be easier from there.

I'm also right now, listening to my MIL downstairs with Duane's niece. Kassidy is home from school sick today & so needed to be here while her mama is working. My MIL is so sweet & patient with her. I know how much she really wants to be a grandma. (All her current grandkids are children of her stepkids. She & FIL have been married only 7 years, so her stepkids don't really feel like her own. After i lost Kaylee i asked her if she felt like she was already a grandma, & she said, "I was waiting for yours." Doesn't mean she doesn't love those grandkids, but she wanted one by her son.) My grief is not mine alone. It also is Duane's & his mom's. How do i tell his mama that we've given up the hope of giving her grandchildren?

With these thoughts is coming a deep, wrenching grief. There are so many facets of this grief.

Ten years ago i'd given up hope of ever meeting someone to have a family with. To the point i'd considered a hysterectomy because of my pain issues. At least if i had done so we wouldn't have hung on so long waiting. We've been waiting because i got pregnant within a year of marriage, so we thought it would happen again. If, if, if . . . i hate ifs. That is the way of insanity. I wasted many moments, many hours before on "if." I spent many years depressed because of "if." I won't go there. I am where i am, but it is not a pleasant place right now.

I'm very easily irritated & want to much just to spend time sobbing. But i really only do that on my own, & there is rarely a time i'm on my own. Just struggling here to get myself in a place to handle this.

It occurred to me, do i wish that we could just live without all this emotion? You know, do what needs to be done & get thru the days. Easily accept what comes without all the thought, grief, drama that accompanies it. Could i do that? Of course, it is rhetorical for that is not how life is, but sometimes in pain we wish it could be . And, i don't wish for it. I don't like this or where i'm at, but think how colorless our lives would be without the joys & pain of emotion. Come to think of it, i think that is what the depression i used to struggle with like. Neither true highs or lows, just a long, consistent, dull grey.

Duane is coming soon & we're going home a bit earlier than normal. I haven't done anything because as soon as i get up that nasty, nasty cough starts. It isn't bad when i'm lying down which is kind of unusal. I had gotten a licorice herbal tea at the health food store yesterday. It is horrible! I have heard that tea in tea bags is the worst of the worst & often has a lot of dust & dirt in it. That hasn't been my experience before, but i can believe it in those tea bags. I've been doing hot water & honey instead. Stupid me, my MIL has a lemon tree with wonderful lemons on it. Why didn't i think of that before?

The cough worries me just a little because i'm hurting in my back under my ribs. I think it is related to cough not the massage. However, deep chest cough is my weak point, i often have them & there isn't much to worry about.

For some reason blogger's spell check isn't functioning, so you'll have to forgive all my typos. Nothing seems to be working on blogger. Wanted to add a pic.

Going home! And my sainted MIL is picking fresh lemons & tangerines for us.

Rosemary, i so appreciated your kind words on the day after Easter blog. Whenever you write you touch my heart so dearly. :)


14 April 2009

Longing for home sweet home

I never find it easy to be away from home an extra day. Work has not been very busy for me, so it just makes it that much harder. I didn't have anyone scheduled today, & the doc (chiropractor) only had 2, so i wasn't likely to get someone at the last minute, i had them take me off the schedule.

Our cozy woodstove insert

My sunny kitchen (doors not back on cabinet, yet)

The lovely shelves Duane put up for me
I think they look like an old-fashioned pantry
(The wall is slanted)

I love our home!

I was going to visit with my sis for a while, but it's a 2 hour drive. Between the migraine aftermath (mostly resolved now, but don't want to push it) & being so tired, i decided not to. I started a really deep chest cough out of the blue
yesterday, & it is wearing me out. I'm not coughing much, but when i do it is nasty & hurts. It also hurts to breathe most of the time. Lying down helps. I've been drinking hot water or tea with raw honey the past couple of hours. Lots of vitamin D as well. The quercetin, coltsfoot, & astragalus are all at home.

Instead of working i went & got a massage & ran a lot of errands. I don't get many massages. I've a couple of folks to trade with, but often it doesn't pan out. We haven't money for me to pay for massage very often. I did today. And, as i often do, i saw someone i'd not used before. One advantage to that is that i can sometimes pick up tricks i'd otherwise not know. A disadvantage is that if i don't know the person i don't know the kind of work they do.

I've decided that, in general, massage therapists give the type of massage they themselves like. Not entirely true, of course. I don't particularly like trigger point, but it is very effective when working with pain or restricted range of motion, so i use it alot. But when i give a "regular massage," i usually give it slow, because i like it slow. When a therapist works on me slow i kind of "melt" & my muscles adjust to the pressure much more easily.

Of the past 4 massages i've gotten, 3 were NOT slow. They were at break-neck, sports-massage pace. Two of those meant i got to the end (once early on) & thought, "Whew! Wish i could get a good massage." One of those i specifically asked the therapist to work slow. Nope, nothing doing. Also, i schedule 1-1/2 hours so the person has time to do the work sloooooow, but it doesn't seem to matter.

Today's MT also worked at a frantic pace. She did slow down when i asked her to, & my muscles did respond better, but she was soon working frantically again.

The difference between what she did & what i've had before was when she was done i didn't as shorted. I think that is because she does have a lot of training & so what she did didn't damage me, tho i still think i'd respond better to a slower pace. Her justification for working fast was that she "had so much to do & spent so much time on the neck." I'd rather she do a little less, meaning fewer techniques, & just slow down & spend some time on the ones she does do. But over all, if it had to be fast-paced, it worked ok. In fact, her stretches, while painful, were inspired & i could move better after them. Still wish i could have someone spend time slowly working my aching calves.

Think this is enough for today. I've been feeling very emotional lately (and H.A.T.E it) & was going to explore that, but it will wait.

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

(a row of smiles, in case you didn't get any today. don't know what that is going to look like!)