My favorite folks ! :)

26 February 2013


It was my intent to write short posts!  The past two were quite long.  I don't know how to say what i'm feeling in fewer words, i guess.

I have a huge number of blogs in my blog reader.  However, it seems that i keep getting the same ones over and over.  So i started looking at some of them.  Evidently many of the writers have given up on them.  There are several that haven't had a new post in a year, two years, or even more.

So i thought i'd go "clean up" my blog list.  Except, for some reason it isn't giving me the option to "Mangage the Blogs i Read."  That has always been how i managed this before, but today the option isn't there.  So i guess it has to wait.  I went into "Google Reader" to see if it had the option.  This is how Duane looks at the blogs he reads, but i've never used it.

It does not give me the option to clear/manage the blogs, but it is showing up a lot of posts that Blogger wasn't giving me.  Some really excellent ones.  Part of the reason i wanted to clean/manage my reader list is that i'm not being given a lot of reading material currently.  I wanted to remove things where the writer isn't posting any more, and add ones that i would read.

I discovered that some of these blogs are posting, but for some reason, they are not showing up on my Blogger "Blogs that i follow" section.  I found one in particular, Childless by Marriage, that i really like.  She says so many of the things i think but haven't recorded.  This post particularly.  I LOVE babies.  I always have.  Right now, tho, all those baby and family pics on Facebook are breaking my heart.

I'm definitely going to have to explore my blog reading list more thoroughly.  I hope eventually it will let me edit the list.

Speaking of FB, i think that is part of the reason blogs have faded a bit.  A lot of people have gone to other social media forms.  I do connect and keep in touch with a lot of people via FB.  However, i never feel that i really connect at a deep level at FB.  It tends to be very superficial.  Most of the time when i find old friends, i will write a short letter asking about what has happened in their lives since we last connected.  Most of the time those letters go unanswered.  It takes too long to respond, i guess.


25 February 2013


My Mother-in-Law considers me very strange.

She thinks i'm weird in the way i eat.  She hears me when i tell her about my limitations but i think she doesn't quite believe me.  She doesn't SEE those limitations, so they aren't real to her.  She thinks it is odd that i love my cats.  She finds it very, very hard to believe that we are not going to adopt.  She finds it strange that we like our current lifestyle.  (She thinks Duane could and therefore should be making much more money than he does.)

She is pushing us hard on adoption right now.  When she heard that Duane's company is struggling, her response was, "Well, if he loses that job, you can both get jobs in Big Bear so you don't come down here.  That will free you to adopt."

She really doesn't know what she is wishing on us with this idea.  The frank fact is that Duane likely could not get a job in Big Bear, and most full time jobs would require him to work on premises - away from home and off the mountain.  A higher paying job generally means more hours and much more stress.  He would have to give up doing Search and Rescue, a major part of his life.  We would have to be apart for most of the week, as i couldn't be away from home for five days.  The 2 days we are away now push me to the limit.  Big Bear really doesn't have the opportunity for me to work in the same way that i do in Orange County.

She has asked me more than once, "If you adopted a child that was allergic to the cats, would you get rid of the cats?"  This question is a nonsensical one.  It has no meaning.  We are not planning to adopt.  If we did, we would choose a child that wants to be around animals.  (I've spent hours looking online, there are children who love animals.  Even so, we are not able to do this currently.)  Both the statement about Duane's job and the question about adoption indicate a real failure to understand our lives.  And, to a degree i think she doesn't value the choices we've made.

Which is fine.  Duane and i value our choices and our lives, so that is enough.

I've known for a while that she doesn't value our way of looking at food.  It rather drives me nuts that she is a fairly wealthy woman and chooses to buy/make "cheap" and quick "food."  Duane tells that this is because she had to be frugal for so long when his dad was alive but ill and she had to support the family.  She wasn't able to cook healthy, it had to be quick and cheap.

I understand that, i truly do.  I've been there myself.  We do the best that we can.  At the time, with finances and lack of understanding of nutrition, i've eaten some truly appalling things.  All i cared about was not being hungry.  That took its toll on me, however, and was part of the process to land me where i'm at.  Now that i know more, i want to nourish my body and help it to heal, and hopefully eventually, thrive.

Duane's mama now has the means to buy anything she wants.  She could choose truly healthy food.  I don't think she values good quality food, however, or knows any difference between cheap and quick and truly healthy.  She chooses to buy the cheapest cuts of meat and eggs and milk from CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations - i tend to call it "confined" rather than concentrated).  This means that the animals are treated in horrible ways and confined cruelly, and fed unspeakable things.  The results of all of this are not only cruel and inhumane conditions for the animals, but the results are not good for the people who eat them, either.  Animals are fed a lot of grain, but that is not their natural food.  It makes them grow fast (and many of us feel quite a connection to the human obesity problem where grains are recommended as a large part of human diet), but they are not healthy.  A lot of antibiotics and chemicals are used to keep the animals living until time to slaughter them.  This also stresses them.  It just is bad, all the way around.  Eggs coming from hens in confined conditions are not as nutritious as those who are allowed to forage.  I could go on and on, but the bottom line is Duane's mama and i have very, very different ways of looking at food.  She sees it as "taste good and is cheap" whereas i see it as "let's nourish and heal the body."

Okay, so we disagree.  I've largely set it up so that she isn't tempted to cook for me.  I feel badly about this, honestly, because i think cooking for others is a way she shows she cares.  I think she does care for me, but not so much as to change the way she looks at food.  I think it is okay for me to eat her food, on a rare occasion.  Sometimes having "bad/not as good/poison" food isn't going to kill me.  But i can't do it regularly twice a week or more.  I tried saying to her "Since i can't do the cooking, let me purchase the ingredients.  That is more fair, we're helping to pay for the food we eat."  She won't have it.  I buy ingredients (even meat, grass-fed), and she won't touch them.  Sigh.

However, she has never said a whole lot about the choices i make.  She makes comments here and there, and largely i ignore them.

This week, however, was different.  Duane's aunt and uncle are visiting.  They have extremely unhealthy diets.  His uncle drinks diet soda all day long.  He told me that his body doesn't tolerate water.  ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !  These days i consider regular and diet sodas equally unhealthy, but for different reasons.  That diet stuff has so many chemicals in it.  Duane and i both agree that when your body doesn't tolerate water, something is terribly, terribly wrong.  We think that the healthy response to this is, "Wow.  My body is badly out of balance.  What can i do to help my body be healthier?"  NOT,  "So water is out, load up on the soda!"

Anyway, none of this really effects us, except we were very careful not to comment.  I didn't make one comment.  Not about the soda.  Not about the bread.  Not about the HFCS-sweetened baked beans, or any of the other processed-food shortcuts.  Not about the wheat-based anything.  I didn't give my opinion about the "food-like" but nutritionally poor things they were eating.

Duane's mama was not so careful, however.  She began quietly ridiculing our choices.  They were out Tuesday night (another story altogether, as it was about the only night we had to visit), but she told me there was soup on the stove Duane could have.  When i checked it, though, it was loaded with a wheat-based pasta.  Duane has been eating gluten-free for over a year now.  She said there was also ham (CAFO) in the fridge as well as some other items.  Duane opted for some things i'd bought that day instead.  I did not direct him, he chose it.

When she came home, she was astonished that Duane wouldn't eat the soup.  "He couldn't eat it, it had pasta in it," i told her.

She told me, in her most sarcastic tone of voice, "Well, he could have picked that out."

"No, he couldn't.  When it is cooked in the soup, the gluten mixes all the way thru."  She was irritated about this and that he chose not to have ham either.

Poor Duane was sorely tempted this week.  She made "apple cuts" - one of his favorites.  It is like a double-crusted apple pie, but heavy on the crust (gluten) and made in a flat pan.  In this way it is almost more like a strudel or pastry than pie.  She was amazed, and again a bit sarcastic, when he refused them.

I think having folks around who eat the way Duane's parents eat made her more vocal about her criticisms of our choices.  However, and this will sound as if i'm being terribly critical, not one of the four (parents or aunt and uncle) are in a state that we would like to emulate.    Both the men have the very unhealthy extended gut.  Both the women are overweight as well, and each of them have had issues that require medical attention.

Every one of them has more energy than do i, however.  In that way, each of them can claim better health than i.  Sigh.

On the other hand, they are all about twenty years older than i.  If i ate like they do, twenty years from now, IF i was still alive, i would be very, very sick.  I know this without a doubt.  I'm hoping that instead, i will be much healthier then than i am now.  That is my reasoning for my choices.

Still, im a bit disappointed that Duane's mama was so critical.  I know she doesn't really understand, but i don't like her criticism.


24 February 2013


I am pretty committed to not utilizing any current conventional medicine, with the exception of emergency for broken bones, car accidents, etc.

(FDA Approval means nothing to me.  They lie and are paid for by the folks with big money.  They no longer put the interests/ safety of the population first.)

If we'd had children, they would not get vaccines or see docs; i would not use any kind of drugs for them including OTC  Tylenol.  We do not use those things for ourselves, either.  Trusting the "wisdom" of conventional medicine has destroyed my life.

The more i learn about it, the more i see how it is politically and financially driven.  I saw it first hand when i worked hospitals for over 10 years.  I saw the drug studies being done and what was called patient care.  I also had hospitalizations and the number of mistakes made was enormous.  There is very little medical care that is for the benefit of the patient.  What passes for patient care and safety these days is bought and paid for by the food companies and the pharmaceutical corporations.  The FDA cannot be trusted whatsoever.

Most people would disagree with me of course.  I'm not saying that (all) doctors are evil.  I'm saying that they do not have the full picture and are not encouraged in critical-thinking skills and that their educations are very limited.  Not all doctors fall into these categories, of course, but a great many do, even the ones who seem so very caring and compassionate.  I'm not running down the nursing staff either.  They work very hard and have very difficult jobs.  The problem is that many of the illnesses in their patients are self-created and the very hard jobs of the doctors and nurses are largely because they have to follow a Standard Operating Procedure that does not actually help their patients.  As long as current procedures are SOP, the care-givers will not be able to think outside the box and truly heal.  When natural medicine is used for treatment, but more, for prevention, then things will change.

I searched for a long time to find a doc i could work with.  As i'm on disability, i have to have someone recording for me.  I'm reasonably comfortable with the one i've chosen.  Her name is Connealy.  She isn't warm and fuzzy (and this pic is either 20 years old, or it has been retouched extensively).  But i can handle her and she doesn't freak out over my choices.  When i told her that i chose not to have my foot casted when i broke it, she simply shrugged.

I'm pretty sure i had a basic skin cancer recently.  It was on my upper lip.  It started out simply as chapped skin that wouldn't heal, beginning last fall but getting worse about Christmas.  Eventually it looked like a cold sore.  But i've never had a cold sore in my life.  The chances of it being one now is pretty slim.  It wouldn't heal, and was beginning to spread a bit.    It had been acutely bothering me for about 6 weeks when a friend said she'd had cancer in the same place and that this probably was that too.  As she is a RN, i assume she knows what she's talking about.

I chose not to rush to the doctor.  I've an appointment with Connealy the end of March, but decided i'd do what i could in the meantime.  I have used mostly essential oils.  I used Oregano, and Thieves' Oil, Comfrey, Black Seed (cumin), Vitamin E, Sweet Orange, Myrrh, and some others.  I also made a salve of Eggplant and apple cider vinegar (suppose to be the best home treatment for skin cancer), but i forgot and left it at my in-law's house, so it didn't get used much.  When i first began to treat it, it got worse and was quite uncomfortable.  I felt like i had a huge red sign on my face.  I did a daily scrub with Tea Tree Oil, Vitamin E, Black Seed, and some liquid magnesium, zinc, calcium, and D3.  I would add a bit of baking soda to this, (it foamed up in an interesting way), and scrub at the end of the night.  It began peeling.

I went thru about 2-1/2 weeks of "treatment phase." The treatment wasn't particularly pleasant.  My lip felt raw and exposed and not like part of my own body as it was stiff.  Those oils had a weird and often unpleasant taste.  I would have continued this longer, but it seemed to be ready for the next phase.  I began doing "healing" oils and salves.  One was a Devil's Club salve a friend had given to me.  The others were a Calendula salve with balsam and fir.  I have a slight pink area where the problem started.  If i begins to have the "it won't heal" thing again, i'll begin treatment, but at this point it seems to be entirely normal.

I probably won't ever know if it was cancer, if it was what type it was (basal or squamous), and if this really made a difference.  We don't get to know "what would have been."  It seems to me more normal to treat rather than wait of a biopsy to see if i should treat.

I don't expect much reaction from Connealy when i tell her, IF i tell her.  She'll probably shrug her shoulders and not comment.  Because she isn't very reactive (and i saw her last spring when i was in an emotional state after John died), i'm afraid she will label me as a drama queen or hypochondriac.  So i am careful about what i say to her.  I mostly need her to document my limitations.  I am very thankful to have her, and don't want to sound as if i'm not.  Without her i would probably be stuck with a conventional medicine man who would be a problem if i didn't follow his dictates.    I'm on a thyroid supplement now, and have been for a year, which would not have happened without Connealy.  I should have been put on one years and years ago, but as most doctors don't have any common sense, it didn't happen.  Thyroid issues are best found thru functioning.  Iodine in the thyroid can be replaced by bromide - found in breads and pastas, fluoride - found everywhere, and chlorine - also found everywhere.  When iodine is replaced, the lab work "looks normal" - but your body cannot utilize they thyroid hormones created with these imposters.

I mostly tend to trust what my body tells me, and use supplements and food as treatment.  It seems to be the safest way as most conventional medicine docs can't be trusted these days.


23 February 2013

Thus and such

The veggie things yesterday were good.  I blew my diet.  I was thinking that those wrappers were so very thin and light that they couldn't have too many carbs.  Well, i was right when i only had one of these total.  However, she also had rice noodles.  I didn't take a lot, but when i looked it up later, oh yeah, a ton of carbs.  I would have done better to do veggies only.

Ours looked about like this.  She let each of us fill and wrap them ourselves.  We didn't do any meat in them and i didn't think to take a pic.

It sounds like i'm over-reacting on the diet.  However, the goal of this diet is to change my metabolism so that my body burns fat (ketos) instead of sugar (glucose).  Too many carbs short-circuits the process.  When my body expects glucose to burn and gets none, i get faint-feeling and dizzy and have trouble thinking.  So it is important, for now, to keep those carbs very, very low.  What that did yesterday was make me crave all kinds of things.  Mostly i settled for some cherry tomatoes, which over all wasn't too bad, but the total carbs for the day was rather high.

I have to keep reminding myself of why this is important to me.  One, of course, is that i really, really want to lose weight.  I'm not huge, huge, but i do not want to be the size i am.  The other is that i am so hoping that burning fat instead of sugar will help me to have more energy.  And weighing less could help with that!

Right now i'm falling between 35% and 40%.  A good goal for me would be to be between 25% and 30%.  I don't think it would be possible for me to get much smaller than that and be healthy.  Of course, i won't look like the pics above, anyway.  These folks are obviously much younger than i am.  Yeah, i think the "ideal" is the 15-17% pic, but i'm not going for some illusive number, but what will work for me.

A friend reminded me that this diet "Won't cure CFIDS/ME (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Deficiency Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Myalgic Encephalopathy)."

She's right, of course, but at this point i'm willing to do whatever i can to try and improve my functioning.  Besides, while i may fall into this diagnosis, i believe that i came by it thru fluoride poisoning.  So maybe what is true for many others won't be quite the same for me.

We are all individual, both in how our bodies work and how we react to things.  I need to work within a realistic limit.


22 February 2013

Going into Town

I don't go into town a lot.  I do force myself to attend some things because i tend not to be very social. I LIKE being social and seeing people, but there are two problems.

One is that it simply tires me out a lot.  The second is, well frankly, other people just don't seem to have much time.  I can't say how many times i've planned something with someone, or called to see if they might have time, and it just never works out.

I'd even been complaining a while back about never seeing Duane's sister, and then stopped and said, "Well, Kathryn, what are YOU doing to try to remedy the situation?"  So i called and asked if we could take them to dinner sometime.  The answer was that they just do not have time.

The answer for that, it seems to me, is to go where people are already congregating and just be.  One is church of course.  Another is the knitting groups.  Another is this:

The Copper Q is a store in town that sells cooking utensils and appliances and paraphernalia.  They also sell cute things, teapots and cups and aprons, etc.  Also spices and tea.  They have a bakery and sell sandwiches and tea and coffee.  They also do cooking demonstrations on Thursday and Friday at noon, and twice on Saturday.

I don't go often, but when i do i go early and have tea and knit while i'm waiting.  Today is a Vietnamese Spring Roll.  I don't know if i'll be able to eat it, but i think i should go.  I meant to get out yesterday, but never did.

This is a rather high-end place, so i don't purchase things there often.  They are very good to support many of the activities in our community, so i do try to sometimes get things there.  If we were wealthy, i'm sure we'd have quite a lot of their things in our home.  So many of the things they have are so cute!

Sometimes i will go with a friend, but most times i just go alone.  (Not that i go very often.)  Big Bear is a small enough town that even if i don't know anyone, i usually can have a conversation with someone.  


21 February 2013

Not a lot to say

. . . at least not that i want to share publicly.  I'm struggling with negativity, again.

We made it home last night quite safely and in good time.  I think Duane spent about 40 minutes using the snowblower to clear off the drive and other places we walk.  They'd been predicting up to 2 feet of snow, but we're guessing that we only got about 12 inches, and then that compacted during the day to about 8.  It was quite heavy, and there was still snow in the trees.  

Duane was up very early this morning to attend the funeral of the slain Deputy Sheriff.  

I've been doing a ketogenic diet to try to have more energy and to lose weight.  I've dropped 10 pounds thus far, but don't really feel it in my clothes.  I think i'm losing it in my legs, 'cause my trunk, chest, and arms snow no difference.  I find this a bit discouraging, but am determined to carry on.

I did start a new supplement on Tuesday.  It tastes horrible, but i'm willing to give it a try for at least a month to see if it helps.


20 February 2013


NOT in Big Bear!  We have months of cold weather ahead, and if we are going to be serious about gardening, we need to build some cold frames.

Orange County has these trees bloom.  Of course Orange County has essentially no winter.  It does get down to freezing sometimes, and if the high is in the 50s people complain about "how cold" it is outside.  

These blossoms are out now.   I've never learned what kind of tree it is.  (And just spent about 10 minutes looking in Google with no results.)  It looks to me like a crab apple, but it never has any fruit.  They are so beautiful right now.

It is a little late in the year for them, it seems to me.  I remember them usually blooming mid-January to early February.  They are coming out full, right now.  

By being both on the mountain and in OC for two days, we get the best of both worlds.  We've had 12 inches of snow at home since leaving yesterday morning.  We won't see blooms in BB until the end of March or April, hopefully won't see our fruit trees bloom until into May, otherwise the blooms will get frosted.

(This website says that it could be a Bradford Pear, except the fall colors are multi rather than maroon.  I personally don't understand ornamental trees - why have them ornamental when you could have fruit?  Neither Duane nor i like our ornamental plum.)


18 February 2013

Monday, Monday

I did quite a lot today.  I hope i don't pay for it the rest of the week!

We are expecting a huge snow storm over the next few days, to start right about the time we leave tomorrow.  They say we could have 2 feet of snow and that the levels can drop to 2,000 feet.  That will make returning home interesting.

Duane is attending the funeral of the slain San Bernardino officer on Thursday, so this is going to take some planning.

I'm starting a new supplement tomorrow that supposedly has had miraculous results for folks in many different ways.  I'm hoping.  It isn't cheap, but if it could help me do more, it certainly would be woth it.

So here's a pic of what's expected.  :)

Duane has a snow training this coming weekend, tho, and they were hoping for snow.  So i think he'll have his wish.


17 February 2013


A few weeks ago, Mali wrote a post entitled Grey Lives of Continual Sadness

I relate to that title very well, although her point is that people who do not have children, but wanted them, can move beyond that and live fulfilling lives.

I think the problem for me is that i do see much of my life as grey and continually sad.  

BUT i have to remember that this is a choice.  I just haven't found a way to move beyond where i am now.  

I have spent hours and hours and hours online looking at and reading the stories of children who are available for adoption.  On occasion i even think, "We could do that."  And then i get out of bed.  When we are home, i barely have the energy to sit up and hardly enough to cook.  I do have a fair amount of energy when we are in OC every week, but then it is spent and i have nothing left.  How on earth would we manage with children?  Of course, even that is a choice.  We have patterned our lives in a way that would be difficult to have children.  If we wanted to make severe changes to our lives (Duane taking a higher paying job so that we could hire household help; me giving up my work and staying home; Duane would probably have to be gone most of the week), then we could do it.  

Still, i have an issue with people who tell me if we don't have children then it is the result of our own choices.  Of course it is, but that makes it sound so clean and simple when the reality of that choice is messy and painful and twisted.  

There really is only one verse in all the Bible that clearly says, "Children are a gift from God."  Psalm 127, vs 3-5.  The Bible says that the man who has a quiverful is blessed.  I frequently tell people at Facebook that they are blessed with their family.  Sometimes i say this to keep from saying something more bitter.  They do not deserve to be on the receiving end of my bitterness.  But every time i say this, the thought occurs, "You are blessed.  We are not.  God blessed you, we are not so blessed."  Of course, this doesn't fit my theological beliefs, but it comes up anyway.   

I have always loved the movie, It's a Wonderful Life.   I watched it after Christmas.  This year was a difference, however.  I couldn't help but wonder what the difference is in the world because we didn't have our children.  They were never born.  It is a pointless thought, of course, but i couldn't help but wonder all the same.  

Life itself is pretty skewed and rather dark.  Children are born to people who do not want them, who abuse them, who twist them to grow up and be blunted shadows of what they should be or people who have no sense of right and wrong.  We often rail against the unfairness of life, and it is abundant.  

As an aside, i don't post about my wonderful, delightful husband at FB.  At least, not one of those "If you love your husband, etc., etc., then repost this."  I also do not post such things about Jesus or my sisters or my cousins or anyone else.  It isn't that i don't appreciate them.  It is that i know how much i ache when i see someone post such things about their son/daugher/children/family, and i don't want to cause such pain to someone else.  I know several people who know how blessed i am and would deeply desire to have someone like Duane in their lives.  I don't want to rub it in their faces!  Well, i don't repost the Jesus ones because they are so manipulative.

Besides, i strongly feel that if you feel that way about someone in your life, you should be telling them directly, not brag about it on FB.  

We ARE blessed.  I was listening to a podcast the other day by Bitter Infertiles.  They were talking about how some women throw away what they do have in pursuit of a child.  I do not want to lose or damage the blessings i have now in the futile desire for more.

I still do not want to live a life without children, but i have to accept that i will not be "mama."  I have been searching for someone who might need some support - a single mama who wants some time to herself now and then, and we can borrow her child/children.  It isn't as easy to find as you would think.    

Today and yesterday, my negative posts for the month.  I'm ready to move on to something cheerful.


16 February 2013

Post number 500

It seems strange that i have done 500 now.  I think i had a glitch in my brain a few days back and was in denial about this.  I was numbering these posts in the 200s instead of the 400s.  

I know i had read blog posts here and there over the years, but i really didn't understand the concept.  So i first read a blog, i mean really read it and connected, in January 2009 when a friend shared her daughter's blog. It was focused on their results with the South Beach Diet.  I was taken in and devoured it in reading, although part of me felt like i was "spying" on their lives.  I tried to find that blog yesterday, and it has been removed.  

Then, at about the same time and in searching for an old professor, i came across Kathi's blog Just Visiting Here. Again i was fascinated, reading older posts.  And again i felt like i was "spying" but eventually came to see that if someone chooses to publicly post info and writing on line, then it isn't exactly spying.  

So i began a blog.  I was quite prolific in the early days and i worked hard to develop readership, too.  I read a lot of blogs, and tried to comment more often.  That doesn't come very naturally to me unless i really connect with the post.  I lived by the stats and was excited to see new people come. I never ran into the problems i know others have had, having a troll come and be cruel in comments.  Still, i was at times hurt by comments.  There was one, early on, that pierced me even tho i know the writer had good intent. 

When i first began writing, i had great hope we would still have children.  I had lost our last pregnancy just six months before.  That hope is gone, of course, and i struggle to find a way to live a life without them.  In reading over a little of what i wrote back then, i don't see much change in me these past 4 years.  I'm still "struggling to accept" and still wondering what worth my life might have.   In fact, in many ways my thoughts and internal life have not changed one whit in many, many years.

And my functioning has consistently decreased in the past four years.  I used to be able do all the driving to and from Orange County.  Now i often do none at all.  I have driven that trip (alone) twice in the past two years.  It doesn't show.  I don't want pity.  I just wish people understood a bit better.  When i go out, i have the energy to "look normal."  But i pay for that and people don't see how i'm having to push myself at times and the results of that are a couple of days in bed.   Even a friend of mine with fibromyalgia doesn't get it.  She has a lot of pain, but she has the energy to be out with other people most of the time.  Usually i don't have the pain, but my body won't function to be up and doing things.  Most of my life at home is in bed or the recliner.   

Because i kept saying the same things over and over, i rather stopped posting much these last 2 years.  Who would want to read my negativity, anyway?

Duane and i do work hard at living a life of gratitude.  I started a "gratitude jar" last summer.  I wrote something for which i was thankful each day.  On January 1st i read them to Duane.  But a gratitude jar is really meant for a family, so that each person can add to it as they wish.  And i came across some slips recently that i'd done in OC and they never made it to the jar.  So i decided a journal made more sense.  I have a book in which i write those things, often mundane, that make up our lives.  

I've a lot more thoughts on that, but guess i'll save it for another day.  

I wish i had a more exciting post for number 500.   


14 February 2013

Valentine's Day

They say Dorner has been confirmed by dental records.  We saw very little police presence on our way home.  A bit more than usual, but not too much.  The road leading down the where it ended is closed and TV vans are around it.


We don't celebrate Valentine's Day, beyond a morning greeting.  There were beautiful roses available at the health food store, and i considered buying some but did not.  I couldn't be given candy anyway as i'm not eating sugar (tho i sure wish candy to not be so unhealthy!).  And i don't care much for jewelry, except my wedding ring.  

Duane has a true and complete hatred of the day.  He says that it is expecting people/men to perform impossible tasks to prove their love.  He shows his love daily and won't leap to a schedule set by other people in the name of proving his love.

I understand this, and accept it.  I'm blessed with a loving husband each and every day.

It has always been my dream to be given flowers, tho.  I don't say this to him, because he thinks it is a waste of money.  He did buy me a pot of daisies a couple of years ago because he knows i like daisies best.  I do.  And a pot of flowers growing lasts longer than cut flowers.  

Yet, somehow i really would treasure being given roses.  

When i was married the first time, he didn't give me flowers, either.  I wanted them so and said it often enough that one day he brought home a mess from the street vendor, the cheapest available and wilting and dried out.  

"Here,"  he said.  "I did it.  Now be happy."  

Well, of course that didn't work, but he never heard about flowers from me again.  I learned that when you nag someone into doing something, there is no joy in the result.  

That marriage ended long ago.  But i'm glad i learned the lesson.   Pushing for it will never work.  And i now have a marriage in which to rejoice, even if my every heart's desire isn't on the table.

So, to those of you who do celebrate, Happy Valentine's Day. 


13 February 2013

Life is Strange

Christopher Dorner was probably cornered yesterday, and died.  They won't confirm it until they are sure.

If you have caught the news at all, you have seen the area where we live and the road we travel every week.  We were about 2-3 hours ahead of the madness yesterday.  If we had been delayed, we would not have made it down.  Duane's mama is kind of freaking out because she thinks he was near to where Dorner was hiding, but Duane was not part of the manhunt.

These pics are from that drive, not far from where the whole thing ended.  

There isn't too much snow on the road now, but there was quite a bit on Friday/Saturday.  Dorner had been highly evaluated as someone who would be able to evade the police.  It is true he was hiding out for five+ days within site of the command post.  I don't understand his choices, and all i can say is when he original plan failed, i think he didn't have others in place to take over and his critical-thinking skills were pretty lacking at that point.  

I think it is very sad what happened all the way around.  I think he probably had legitimate problems with the LAPD, but his choices were the worst possible and innocent people were hurt.  The LAPD is not looking good at all as a result, especially when they panicked and harmed civilians.  Dorner was quite clear that he didn't want to hurt civilians.  

I'm not surprised if he is dead (i think he probably is).  I didn't see any way for him to come out of this alive because it was pretty clear he wouldn't give himself up.  I'm sad about the whole affair.  

I can honestly say that i wasn't frightened at any point.  And to a degree i don't understand Duane's mama's fright.  Each of us, every day, probably come closer to death than we ever know, and yet, here we are.  I love Duane with all my heart and each time he leaves the house for Sheriff's duties (volunteer, Search and Rescue) i say, "Have fun.  Be safe."  Duane wasn't hurt, nor were any others there actually in Big Bear (the final part of the drama was about 30 miles away).  I'm thankful and grateful.  Why panic now?


12 February 2013

Down the Hill Day

I am a home body.  I don't like going out a whole lot.  Part of the reason i've joined knit groups in both Big Bear and Orange County is to force myself to get out more and be more social.  

Still, it actually hurts each week when we leave on Tuesday not to return until Thursday afternoon.  I love my job, and it would hurt to give that up, too.  It makes me feel as though i'm actually making a difference in the world.  And to give that up would be detrimental.  

But it is still very had for me to leave Sugarbear on Tuesdays.  


11 February 2013

Minor Life Events

There is a stomach virus going around.  I've always thought that such things are related to contaminated food, but i guess this is airborne and easy to catch.  It hit me hard and out of the blue on Thursday night.  It didn't last long, maybe about 12 hours.  But my tummy was tender for a couple of days and i was working hard to try to be sure Duane didn't catch it.

One of the drawbacks of being an adult:  When you are sick and make a mess, you have to clean it up yourself.

I'm better now.  I did lose a couple of pounds while ill.  As weight loss is a goal, i can't complain about that.  


10 February 2013

Strange Events

So Cal has had a killing spree, allegedly by Chris Dorner, a former Navy Seal and LAPD officer.  He has been going after folks, or the family of folks, he holds responsible for losing his LAPD job.

In a weird twist, on Thursday his vehicle was found burning in this area (about 5 miles from us as the crow flies, probably 8 by the road).  We have a huge manhunt going on here with something like 100 sheriff, police, marshall and FBI forces here.  Duane of course is not involved in this search.  They have used the Search and Rescue folks a little bit at the Command Post, tho.

We had a heavy snow Friday.  I think we got about 15 inches here.

I think Dorner is long gone.  I think he set the fire and left.  It is obvious he had this planned out in advance.  The fire is a diversion and has personnel focused on this area.  He is probably lying low somewhere else while they do a house to house search in this area.  Others think he might be dead, if he tried to live out this storm with no training.

I never felt any sense that we could possibly be in danger here, but Duane was diligent to check the house before he'd let me in, and to keep the doors locked.  He also talked about the amount of money the county is having to spend hosting this search.  San Bernardino County is the largest in square miles in California.  It doesn't have a huge population for the size, and is a County struggling more than most.  I hope they can wrap this up soon.


09 February 2013

More on Attitude Change

When writing about attitude the other day, i came across this blog post:


by Justin W. Riggs

He provided such excellent recommendations:

I call these rules The Ten Principles of Personal Development.
They are, in no particular order:

  1.  Be loving toward everyone you meet
  2.  Forgive all who attempt to harm you
  3.  You become what you think
  4.  Look for ways to strengthen those who have less than you have
  5.  Always seek knowledge and truth
  6.  Always be honest
  7.  Never waste what you are given
  8.  Be grateful for all that you have
  9.  Develop a spirit of optimism
 10.  Have faith in something greater than yourself 
So I began to set one goal a month, doing my best to live one of the principles for 30 days or so.  I used The EASIER Method of Goal Achievement to pursue my goals.   
If you were trying to be more grateful using the EASIER method, you would:

  1.  Envision yourself being grateful for everything 
       that was given to you throughout the day
  2.  Assess your current levels of gratitude.  
       In what situations do you easily express your gratitude?  
       In what situations do you struggle?
  3.  Create a strategy that will allow you to be grateful more often.
  4.  Implement your strategy
  5.  Evaluate your progress as you go through the day's activities
  6.  Report your progress to someone you love and trust  

I know Christians say we can't do this on our own.  I don't argue with that, however, we are given free will.  Even Paul said, ". . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."  (Philippians 4:8)

We have a choice in what we think about, focus on, how we react.  Gitz's moto was "Choose Joy."  If anyone on the face of this Earth had reason to complain, it was Sara.  However, each day she made the decision to "choose joy."

Time for me to join her on that.


08 February 2013

A friend posted this on Facebook Tuesday:

When i was out looking for my lost dog last night, i found a cute, fat little beagle, who was obviously lost, too.  So i stopped and corralled the beagle and called the police who came and picked her up and took her to the humane society.  The beagle had no tags on so there was no way to contact her owners, and i knew at the humane society she would be well cared for until her owners came for her.  Fortunately, my dog Eddie had tags on so i knew whoever found her could contact me.  Well, this morning i get a call from a lady who had Eddie!  She found Eddie while she was out looking for her lost dog, a cute, fat little beagle . . .   

I think i enjoy this story more than anything else i've read recently.  Not sure why, but it makes me smile.  Thanks, Jan.


07 February 2013

A Change in Attitude

Years ago there was a card out that said something like:

I hate my hair, i hate my nose, i hate my arms, 
i hate my lips, i hate my ribs, i hate my thighs, i hate my shins, 
i hate my eyebrows, i hate my teeth, i hate my skin, i hate my hips . . . 

If i could just lose 10 pounds i'd be perfect!

This, of course, is a typical American attitude!  If that person lost 10 pounds, or 20 or 50, they probably still would not be content.  There are a lot of things about my life currently that i don't like.  Several of them are also things over which i have no control.  So i need to change my attitude, but i'm really struggling with that.  

I think i need to re-read Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn for good measure, too. Probably go back and review some of the things Gitz (Sara) wrote, too.  I struggle with what Sara wrote, sometimes, tho.  Her experience was just so outside my own experience and her attitude is beyond what i think i could expect.  In fact, sometimes all her writing does is put me to shame for my lack of faith and acceptance.   

Attitude is a choice, and i need to be making better choices, but it is a challenge, sometimes.  

If you are reading this, have you struggled with this?  What did you do?  Was it successful?

Wishing blessings on your day. 


06 February 2013


We are in OC right now.  There is a storm coming this weekend, but i hope it holds off until we get home. 

It has been a couple of weeks since we had snow.  It was warm in the meantime, and then it rained.  But here is a look at some previous opportunities we've had to take pics near home.  

On our way off the mountain, not far from Angeles Oaks.

San Gorgonio, from the top of the pass, Onyx Summit. 

Sugarloaf Mountain.  
This pic is just down the street from us.  We don't have a good view of it from Sugarbear.

I think this is Snow Summit.  Bear Mountain is to the right.

San Gorgonio again, with clouds and the wind blowing.

(Funny, Blogger seems to give me whatever font it feels like at the moment.  I don't mind - as long as it is NOT Times New Roman!)


05 February 2013

Not Christmas

We usually buy at least one ornament a year, and i generally make a couple too.  This year that didn't happen (and this year we never got around to putting ornaments on the tree).  However, we didn't need to purchase any.  We were given several lovely ornaments.  

From dear Merrilee at church.

From Carol and Candice at my OC knit group.

From Melissa, also of the OC knit group.

From my dear friend Cindy.  This is olive wood from the Holy Land.
(I got this after our tree was down, so i took the pic in the juniper bushes.)

This is from Lori at work.  It is a bookmark, but i tend to lose those.
I think it will look lovely as an ornament.  
(Also after the tree was down.)

From N and our family of "rent-a-kids."
(Also after the tree was down, this is in the pinion pine outside our bedroom.)

From dear Olivia.  
It is a keychain, but i'll love it on my tree.
I've always been a huge Snoopy fan.

Isn't this cunning?  Duane's cousin Sheree made it from 
wine corks, nails, pipe cleaners and beads.