Friday, December 31, 2004

Weekend Assignment and Happy New Year!

Weekend Assignmet #41: Make a new year's resolution... for your pet. If you have more than one pet, of course, feel free to make resolutions for any or all of them.

Extra Credit: Imagine what your pet would make as a resolution for you.


My resolution for JoJo (a.k.a. Baby) is that he will promise not to use me as a scratching post any longer.  He will promise to understand that I am NOT prey.  He will calm down and stop scratching and biting and drawing blood and turn into a good little kitty.  He will also stop growling every time I am eating and not attack me and climb up me as I eat.  Please be a good kitty in 2005, Baby!


My resolution for Honey is that she will get off the couch and come spend some time with me in my bed just every once in awhile.  I want her to be a bed kitty.  She never has been and I just want to have her come in my bed, say, twice a week.  That would be very nice!  So, she will promise this!

Their resolution for me will be that they will make me promise to cook them a chicken breast, their favorite food, once a week.  I promise to pull it off the bone and feed it to them in chunks.  They must keep their promises as well or no chicken, though!!

Happy New Year everyone and everyone's pets!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Be Charitable

My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami disasters in southeast Asia.  Becky has listed a few charities you can donate directly to in her journal.  They are in desperate need of money.  I don't pretend to understand why this happened and I can't even fathom the magnitude of their pain, but I do know the one thing we can do is send them our care and concern through monetary contributions.  Thanks, Becky, for preparing your entry!

Monday, December 27, 2004

My Wonderful Weekend

Chelsea and I had a really great Christmas!  It was the best I had since my kids were tiny tots!  It was very exciting!  We went to a friend's house Christmas Eve and had dinner there with about 14 guests and it was very lovely and then Chelsea and I slept in and got up and exchanged gifts and then made a big dinner.  We invited over Krissy and John and had a lovely, lovely time!  It was very Christmasy!  Christmas is usually a very weepy time for me because my kids have been in Florida in the past and I spend it reminiscing.  I have tried to be positive, but it is very hard, but having Chelsea here truly made all the difference!  I got a few wonderful gifts, but the gifts were no match with all the love that was surrounding all!

One not-so-bright spot was Christmas night when Chelsea hit a deer.  She was going around a curve and hit the poor thing.  It came out of nowhere.  The deer had no chance.   She was with her boyfriend.  Thank goodness they were both wearing seatbelts and no one was hurt, so that I am so grateful for!  The car seems to have about $1,000 in damage.  My Dad is taking it in today to see what it will cost to be fixed.  The hood is dented and can't be opened and the bumper is cracked.  There are so many hit deer on the side of the road this time of year in Pennsylvania that it makes me very sad.

I am having a small gathering on New Year's Eve at my home and am looking forward to it!  It should be lots of fun!  I am inviting over four others and we are going to play games and have snacks and watch the ball drop.  It should be a really good time!

Every inch of my body is aching from all the running around I did over the last few days.  I feel like I should rest for a few days.  My body is saying, "Lie down!!  Lie down!!  Don't do another thing!  No more mental or physical exertion for you!  You can't do another thing!"  So, I am not sure how much this ol' body is gonna do this week, but it is surely gonna rest some.

Chelsea is leaving for Florida for eight days this afternoon.  She gets to be in WARM weather!!!  I gave her a bus ticket home for Christmas. I will be missing her greatly.  I am used to her leaving for a day or two as she works two jobs and works overnight sometimes, but not for EIGHT DAYS!!  Chelsea, you will be SORELY MISSED and I can't wait until you return!!  I wish that I could go with you and get some sunshine and some warmth for this body.

Well, I still have too much to do today, arghh, so I am signing off and getting them done...take care all and enjoy your holiday's hoping your holiday spirit and love continues long after the trees and decorations are taken down and the ball has dropped :-)....Love to all!!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas!!


I was trying to figure out what I was going to write for Christmas that would convey how I felt about the holiday.  I was thinking for a couple of days and then my friend, Cathy, who always comes through sent this to me this morning.  I just love it!!  I wanted to wish everyone in J-Land a very, very blessed Christmas and I hope that everyone has loved ones and friends to spend some time with!!  I hope you enjoy this!




If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
But do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies, Preparing gourmet meals
And arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
But do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home
And give all that I have to charity,
But do not show love to my family,
It profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and
crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata,
But do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home
that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return,
but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust....
But giving the gift of love will endure.

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving~





Monday, December 20, 2004

It's Cold...Snowman and Christmas Tree


A friend sent me this funny snowman graphic and I thought it was hilarious!  I have felt as cold as this snowman this past day or so.  It has been blustery cold here.  When I went to bed last night my heat didn't kick on and I was unable to fall asleep.  I did not know if I was out of oil or if the thermostat was broken.  I thought perhaps the thermostat was broken because I put in oil just three or four weeks ago (or was it even less than that?).  I was going to get oil again in January.  I thought I had plenty of time left before I needed to put some in again.  I didn't.  It was 30 below wind chill factor last night.  Both of the kitties were fighting to sleep in the bed with me, but refused to share.  So I had kitties who were pacing all night and I was frozen and unbable to sleep.  I did have one space heater, but it didn't do much.  I was able to get oil, thank goodness, first thing in the morning, though.  I am pretty upset that the landlord has not fixed the hole in my kitchen ceiling and I have talked to the inspector of housing to get it moving along.  I believe I am losing too much heat from this problem.  So it should be fixed in days or weeks...not months.  It has been there since July!!!

I got a live Christmas tree today!!!...the first live one I have gotten in my life!!!  Chelsea and I decorated it with the help of Krissy and John .  We had a really good time.  It reminded me of the times I would decorate Christmas trees in my childhood.  Those are very, very fond memories for me!  We always had artificial trees, but they were so beautiful and magical to me!  I remember sitting and staring at our tree many Christmases and being in awe of it.  I can remember many of the ornaments in detail. 

Chelsea and I were talking the other day about Santa Claus and I told her that when she was a tiny tot to almost six years-old she did not believe in Santa Claus.  Those were the years she lived with me and not her dad.  She was astounded by this.  I don't know how her dad got her to believe in Santa Claus after six years of not believing in him.  Interesting.  I had decided not to tell my kids that there was a Santa or Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, etc. as I was never told there were any of these in my childhood and Chrismas and Easter were all very magical and wonderful still!  I don't think it ruined my holidays one tiny bit.  I also taught my kids that Christmas was Jesus' birthday and we made a cake for Him and set a place for Him at the table.  Those traditions are now gone.  Chelsea and I are going to make a cake this Christmas for Jesus!  Yay!  And we will set a place for Him at the table!  So, Chelsea said that I WILL tell her children (or my granchildren) that there is a Santa Claus!!  Hmm...what a dilemma!

Take care all and stay warm!!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Sat. Six and a Birthday!!


From Patrick's Place:

1. What is your all-time least favorite Christmas Carol or holiday song?  I think I would have to say "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer".  I liked it for about two days and then I got very sick of it.  They have played it for years and each year it gets more and more irksome to me.

2. Who is the most difficult person on your shopping list to buy a gift for, and have you already purchased his or her gift, yet?  Chelsea, my daughter, is most difficult.  I have already gotten her a bus ticket home to Florida for after the holidays.  It wasn't the funnest gift I have ever given someone.  "Here, have a ticket and go away!" LOL  I am still searching for something else but everything I have gotten her in the past I fail to see it appear again....any clothes, jewelry, etc.. just disappears.  We have different tastes.  I asked her to let me know a few things she wants.  She has not given me an answer :-(  Chelsea, what do you WANT??

3. What picture are you least proud of:
    A) Your most recent professional portrait
    B) Your driver's license photo
    C) Your passport photo
    D) Your work ID photo
    E) Your senior class portrait

Ugh, I don't really like my driver's license photo or my senior class portrait.  Don't have any of the other ones.  I think I dislike my senior class portrait the most, though.  Ugh.

4. How many Christmas/holiday parties have you been invited to this month and how many have you (or will you) attend?  Just one.  Chelsea and I are going to a Christmas Eve party/sleepover at a friend of our's.  It should be great, great fun!!!
5. A previously-unknown rich relative appears and offers to buy you the car of your choice. What would you like?  
I am not picky with what I drive as long as it gets me there.  I really would like to keep my trusty, midnight-blue, Toyota Corolla thank-you! 

6. What is your favorite thing to wear around the house when you know no one else is at home?  Is that what you're wearing as you answer these questions? 
I love jammies!!  I wear them all the time!!...any and every pair of jammies, and yes, I am wearing them right now :-) !!


Krissy, I can not do your Scavanger Hunt.  I am sorry.  Chelsea will not clean up the computer space.  I asked her and asked her several times.  She keeps saying she has two jobs and is too busy!  Bad girl she is!!  I am not going to subject everyone to my messy, messy space here.  I am very sorry :-(  Perhaps I will put in a picture later!

I wanted to wish a very, very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a special gal over at the Smile's House!!!  You are one of my very favoritest persons in the whole wide world and I love stopping in and visiting you every day!!  Happy Birthday, Sara!!  I am so glad you were born!!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Interesting Test

I saw this test at Patrick's Place and found it very interesting.  I never have gotten political in my journal.  Not for a second, but found this test interesting.  This is my result:

You Are a Conservative Democrat

Frankly, the way most other Democrats behave embarasses you greatly.

You pride yourself on a high level of morals, and you have a good grasp on right and wrong.

It's likely you think America needs to get back to its conservative, Juedo-Christian values.

Why aren't you a Republican then? Because you believe the goverment helps more than hurts.

I have a hard time saying whether I am a democrat or republican as I have "values and ideals" from both.  Some are more important in my life than others, such as fighting for the life of everyone that does not have a voice and health care and medicine for the seniors and the low-income and poverty-stricken.  How can one have ideals in just one party??  It is hard for me to understand this.  Well, that is all I want to say about this because it is a jolly time and a happy month.

Chels and I are finishing up Christmas shopping and going out to lunch today.  That sounds like so much fun!!

Hope you are warm, dry and happy in your neck of the woods!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

And the winner is...

The first to guess  "Up Close With Val" correctly was the red-hat wearing :-) Penny from From Here to There.  She has a great recent entry if you want to go read it!  Penny gives me strength and friendship and I wanted to thank her for that today!!  The picture was a steak knife.  Most people guessed it correctly.  Great job everyone!  I have noticed that my first four entries for this photo challenge have all been food related.  What does that say about me??  LOL  My computer room is situated next too the kitchen! LOL  I should not eat at my computer, either! LOL

My two kitties are finally starting to get along.  JoJo has a fierce spirit and is afraid of nothing and turned the tables on Honey just a couple of days after he arrived here and was fighting and fussing with her.  It has quieted down here quite a bit, though, and for that I am very grateful.  I have affectionately named JoJo, "Baby".  It is much easier to say.  It rolls off the tongue.  So now my two kitties names are Honey and Baby.  Easy to say and so affectionate.  I know it is not creative, but I like their names and think they are sweet.  Actually, Honey's real name is Joy.  Too hard to say.  So their real names are Joy and JoJo.  They would be too confused by that.  Too many J's.  Baby is growing in just the past few days!  I forgot how quickly kitties grow!  He sleeps with me every night and I deserve a bed kitty :-)

My thoughts have been wandering a lot the past few days.  I have been losing memory and been a little slow in the head.  I get that way when I have flare-ups and I lose a little bit of time.  Now I have to get myself on track again.  I have a lot of housework to get done.  Does anyone want to come keep me company while I clean my tornado-stricken house?  Ugh.  When I do try to clean I have a baby kitty thinking I am playing with him :-o It takes twice as long.  Too funny!!

Take care all and have a good day!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

"Up Close With Val"

I wanted to wish a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to dear Elyzabeth who is a wonderful gal!  Go give her a visit if you can and wish her a very happy birthday!!

I have another picture for "Up Close With Val".  Every time I choose a picture I think it it too easy and I think every one will guess it.  Perhaps it is because I have taken the picture and have played with it and know what it looks like as a whole object.  At any rate, I think this one is easy.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but have fun with it anyway!!  If you want to guess what it is, put your guess in the comment section or send me an email (if you don't want others to know your guess).  I will send you an email if you are right and post the first correct guesser in my journal.

Here it is:


Please forgive me if it is taking me awhile to get to your journals the last few days.  I am slow coming to read and slow commenting.  I am having a flare-up of my illnesses and am having some difficult days.  Hopefully the next few days will be better.  I am sure it is the the weather.  Take care and have a good day all!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

My 3 Questions Entry

Our wonderful and giving friend Michael gave us a wonderful gift.   If you want to hear something that will make you smile and laugh check it out!  Michael, thank you so, so much for this!

I went downtown today and saw some of the Victorian Christmas they were having here.  It was wrapping up as it was going on all weekend.  I was sorry I missed the first two days.  It looked like loads of fun.  I did see carolers and I saw two horse-drawn coaches carrying excited children and parents around the town.  The horses were big and black and gorgeous.  I asked the owner of the horses the name of the type of the horses, but I can not remember what type they were.  They are a type I have never heard of.  They were so, so beautiful and well kept.  I think horses are beautiful and majestic.  Santa is in my town as well, so he is not in the North Pole this weekend.  His house was moved from the North Pole to central Pennsylvania as well  :-).  There was a lot of food and fun going on, but I did not have enough stamina to stay and enjoy much as I have been ill this weekend.  I had wished I had had my camera, but my batteries are dead and re-charging.  In fact, I did not get my scavenger hunt in this weekend.  I only have a picture of my sneakers, but no picture of my car.  My sneakers get me all around town here.  There is a lot to do in this little town.  You can get almost everything you need within a few blocks.  It is an historic town.  It used to be the capital of the state, but was later moved.  I am not sure of the year.

Now, my attempt at the three question task.....You all gave me some thinkers!!  Here goes...

Sara asked:
If you could relive one moment in your life, over and over, whenever you liked, which moment would that be and why?  I think that I would like to relive the birth of my children whenever I wanted to.  That was such a magical and wonderful moment.  To go back to that would be beautiful.

If you could change one thing about the human race - any thing - what would that one thing be?  I wish that there would be no hate, no wars.  That we could understand one another....get along...just get rid of the hate.

If you could invent something that would make your life easier in some way, what would you invent - no limits?!  I want something that could clean my house! lol  I have a hard time getting things done around my home because of fatigue and pain.  I would like a personal robot perhaps.  One pill to fix everything that is wrong with me would even be better

Jeanne asked:
If you could do one thing right now that you really longed to do, what would it be?  I think that I would like to go to college and get some security for a career.

If an Angel could grant you three wishes, what would you wish for?  Any three?  Wow!  Um...I could make this for the world, like world peace and no hunger and no diseases.  That would be wonderful!!  I would like 3 more wishes, too!  I also could make them just personal and wish for no more illness for myself, happiness for my children and serenity in their minds and in their souls and for a future where they are given enough wisdom through trials so they find what they need in life.

What in your life do you most regret?  I regret having two marriages that failed, although I have two beautiful children that I don't regret and I have learned from the marriages.  I also regret not being assertive enough and getting what I want in certain situations.  For the most part, though, I don't regret anything, as I have learned from everything in life.

Jules asked:
What is your happiest childhood memory?  I have forgotten a lot of my childhood, but I do remember being outside and loving that.  I do remember sitting in clover patches and looking for four-leaf clovers.  I have found thousands of them in my life.  I loved nature as a child and loved being around flowers and using my imagination outside.  I felt free outside.  I also loved playing with my sisters all day long until the sun went down.  I don't think children can do this today.  It makes me sad. 

If you had just one wish, what would it be?  If I had only one wish it would probably be that I would be rid of my fatigue and my depression and memory problems and feel normal.  Oh, and world peace. 

If you could be another person for a day, who would you be? Although I feel like I am an introvert, I think I have a little bit of a prima-donna in me and a little bit of an actress, so I think I would like to be Julia Roberts perhaps.  I think I would like to do the acting, but not have the people flocking around me. 

Becky asked:
Look around the room you are there one thing that catches your eye and brings back a strong memory (good or bad)?  I have a painting of yellow and orange flowers.  It was my mom's and she gave it to me a few years ago.  It hung in my home as a child and I always loved the texture and colors and would stare at it for what seemed ages.  I think that it gave me a desire to paint and to actually put myself into paintings.  I love the painting, but I have had others tell me they don't like it.  I could never not like it, because it is from childhood.  If I was given it today and never saw it before, perhaps I would not like it either.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and only had 3 things available to eat for the rest of your life, what three things would you want?  Mmmm....a food question!! lol  I think that I would want my mom's black beans and rice with kielbasa, fried purple cabbage, and some dark chocolate.

What is your dream vacation?  I think I would want to take an RV and go across the United States for a year and just see everything!  Don't have the money.  Anyone want to give to the "Valerie Dream Vacation Fund"? lol

Chelsea (my daughter) asked:
If you could rename me, what would my name be? :-D  Oh, very hard, Chelsea, um.. I think I would just give you your middle name perhaps, Ann, or a form of it, Anna, or maybe my middle name, Maire, and maybe Americanize it and make it Maura.  But I love your name!  You are my Chelsea!!!

Who was harder taking care of when we were born me or Matt?  Chelsea, baby, you were harder to take care of, sorry to say.  You were a very colicky and tough baby.  Matt was a good baby, but you were both, ohhhhh, so worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What should i change about myself!?  Now Chelsers, this is a naughty question!  This isn't even a question for me!  It is about you....Well, honey, if I had to help you change something about yourself, and you asked me to please answer this honestly, I would wish that you would understand right away that your happiness does not depend on someone else, but Chelsea, you are wonderful and you know that!

Monica asked:
What is your biggest wish for Matt and Chelsea?  My biggest wish is that they find a career that they are happy in and that they understand that they don't need someone else to define their happiness and that they have enough trials to learn from to give them serenity and joy and they have peace of mind and soul.  Not asking much, huh? lol

If  you could travel anywhere in the world, where or what would you like to see?  In addition to the RV across the U.S. I mentioned above, I would also like to go somewhere overseas, maybe to Ireland.

Did you ever tell a lie, that you later really regretted?  Oh, absolutely, haven't we all?  I don't think I am gonna go into this one...

Bernadette asked:
1.  If you could have a 'vacation house' anywhere in the world, where would you like to escape?  I think I would like it to be somewhere where it is always 68-72 degrees with very little humidity, where there are little storms and the sky is always blue :-).  This would be great on my fibro. and head pressure.  A beach house would be great!  Where is this?  I don't know.  I can dream!

Are any of the keys on your keyboard so worn that you can't read the letter/number (fellow speed typer) and which ones if any?  Nope, this is a fairly new computer and keyboard.

If you could have one adventure without any consequence, what would you do?  I want to be invisible and fly!  Not sure where.  Maybe everywhere!  Weeeee!  Ialways wanted to be able to fly!

Krissy asked:
If you had to live in another state, which one would you pick?  Definitely Florida, because my son Matt lives there.  That is the only reason, though, as it is probably way too hot and humid for me. 
If you were given a sizable amount of money to give away to charity, but could only pick one, which charity would you give the money to?  I like this question.  I think instead of giving to a big charity that has a large overhead, I think I would do a lot of investigation and find someone/somewhere that the money could really do a difference and I could see the money at work.  Maybe I would give the money to someone who needed it for an operation, but had no money.  Maybe I would give it to one church that needed it for a building fund.  Maybe I would give it to a certain cancer fund if I knew someone had a particular cancer.  Maybe I would give it to a local food bank and stock the whold food bank.  Nice question :-)
3. Who is your favorite sister? Uhm, just kidding!  Let me see - What do you  dislike about yourself (that is a mean question, huh, lol).  I dislike that I am a procrastinator and I am working at trying not to be judgmental.   Thanks for the questions everyone!  I learned about myself!  Oh, it is starting to snow outside!  We are supposed to get accumulation later this week!  Maybe I will put some pictures in.  Have a good night everyone and be good to yourselves!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Saturday Six


This is from Patrick's Place if you want to join in!  It's lots of fun!  From my entry yesterday - I will be answering the three questions from everybody in day or two.  I may have bitten off more than I can chew..LOL..boy, you all really gave me some thinkers!  I will be honest and do my best, though.  I like to learn about myself as well as others from these question-type tasks.  I encourage others to challenge themselves to ask their readers for three questions in their journal as well.  I am actually learning about myself!  Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

1. What is your all-time favorite Christmas Carol or holiday song?  I love all of the old standards from childhood.  They bring back such good memories.  I think my favorite might be "Do You Hear What I Hear?"  I do also love "Mary Did You Know?"  Oh, it is just so hard to pick just one!

2. What percentage of your Christmas shopping have you completed?  About 90%.  Yay!!

3. Other than yourself, which of the following would you most likeyour child to have as a role model and why:
    A) Doctor
    B) Politician
    C) Professional Athlete
    D) Businessman

Hmm..hard...any of these as long as they got there the honest way and are living an honest life and are happy with what they are doing.

4. What current television show would you most like to see disappear permanently?  Jerry Springer, ugh., and can I pick one more?  Fear Factor, uck.  Actually, I think there needs to be a lot of cleaning up on the television!!!  It is pretty, pretty bad!!
5. Have you used any themed photo wall calendar in 2004?  Do you already have one ready for 2005, and if so, what is next year's theme of choice?

I have a plain white one that was given to me, just mostly white with a little light blue around the corner.  I have one ready for me for 2005 that was given to me by my oil compony that delivered my oil a couple of weeks ago  It has scenery from around the country and it is quite beautiful!

Armand:  Read this quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson recently posted in Armand's journal, "Uncommon Sense."  Given the context of the quote, how have you been most successful in your life?

To laugh often and love much;
to win the respect of intelligent persons
and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest citizens
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to give of one's self;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm
and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived
this is to have succeeded.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wow, this is pretty incredible to read, pretty incredible indeed!!  It is one of my very favorite quotes!  I love Ralph Waldo Emerson and I love this passage!!  My hope is that by the end of my life I have accomplished this as best as I can.  I do believe that I appreciate beauty and I play and laugh with enthusiasm.  I also believe that children and animals like me.  I am trying very hard to make the world a better place before I leave it.  I volunteer when I am able and try and do my part to be a good citizen.  I also try and show my children, through my actions, what my beliefs are and how to challenge yourself to be a better person.

Have a good rest of the weekend everyone!  We are having a Victorian Christmas in my little town here and I hope to go out and enjoy it some!  Wow, the sun is actually poking out after days and days of rain as well!  So exciting!  Take care of one another...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Give me some questions!!

I meant to put this in my last entry, but I forgot, which is what I am doing all day, forgetting things...

So, I saw this in lovely Sara's smiley journal and thought it was a super idea!  I would love to be asked three questions from anyone who would care to ask them.  Any at all!  Go creative..ask away!!  I will put my answers in tomorrow or the next day.  This will be fun :-)

Joke and Thanks!


I feel pretty silly today.  It has been raining for a few days and when the pressure gets this high in my head I do and say strange things.  So my mind is all over the place.  My words are all over the place.  I was trying to speak to my daughter earlier and my sentences were one or two word sentences.  They go like this:

"What time?"
"what time?
"you work?"


"wrote entry"
"um, you know"
"being asked"

Then she says, "I understand, Mommy."  She still calls me Mommy and she is 18!!  I just love that!  God bless her as she understands.  I finally got some coffee into me and it is a bit better so I am going to try and do this entry.  I chose the above joke to put in because it is a little twisted.  I am a little twisted in my humor sometimes.  It reminds me of a Far Side comic.  I loved the Far Side and am sad that it is not in syndication anymore.  I do love to find old Far Side books that I have never read.

So, I want to CONGRATULATE my sweet sister Krissy and her boyfriend John on their engagement!!  John asked Krissy to marry him last night!!  I am very excited about this as they have been dating for six or seven years!  How many years is it, Krissy?  Yay!  What a wonderful holiday gift for Krissy and for her TBADT who loves her so much!

I went Christmas shopping yesterday and got almost all of my shopping done.  I vow now to take Chelsea Christmas shopping every year.  I think I will take her shopping for birthday presents and presents for every occasion as well!  She is such a good, smart shopper!  She doesn't fret and she is such a thoughtful shopper!  She just decides and then the decision is done.  No mulling over it like I have done for years and years.  She puts some thought into it before she goes, too.  So Chelsea, thank you so, so much for a great mother-daughter Christmas shopping time!  It was great!!

I wanted to say a special hello and thank you to a special group of people who are out there....they read my journal faithfully, and for a reason that is their own and known to them, they almost never or do not comment.  So, to those people...I THANK YOU and want to let you know that you are very special to me!! I wanted to say hello to Roger, Cathy, Arielle, my father, mother, Shawn, Jennifer P., Kimmi, and Matt.  I am sorry if I left anyone out (but if you are left out I don't know you are reading my journal :-)) You are so very special to me and I wanted to say thank you!!!

Chelsea is wanting the computer so I am off to do some house-cleaning.  Be good to one another and pray for one another.  Good day, all!

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Weekend Assignment

Weekend Assignment #37: We all know what our best personal quality is. What's your second-best personal quality?

Extra Credit: Note a personal quality you wish you had more of.

I was wondering if I would ever get to this week's weekend assignment.  It seemed like a tough one.  John says that we all know what our best personal quality is.  We do???  I had to think for a few days on this.  I asked my daughter.  I asked my sister, Krissy.  I was introspective.  I don't think too much about myself as I told everyone in past posts.  I focus on others.  Well, I was determined to do this assignment as I thought I would learn more about myself.

When I asked Chelsea what she thought my best trait was she said immediately without thinking, "You appreciate life."

"Wow, I thought, that is a BIG compliment!"

I then talked to my sister, Krissy this morning and asked her what she thought my best trait was and she said without hesitation, "You have joy.  You enjoy small things."

So, they both came up with this as my first trait.  I kept thinking to myself, "Why do I have this appreciation for life as they say?", "Why do I enjoy small things?", "Why do I have joy?", "And why does Chelsea like to calm me down sometimes when I am acting what I like to call child-like?"

I do appreciate life.  I do enjoy small things and I do have joy.  This is not my first trait, though, this is my second best trait, and I am very proud of it!!  I laugh at jokes louder than others.  I stare at a sunset longer than most others do and I enjoy a pretty picture or a sad song and can cry from both.  So, I decided why this is my second trait by talking to Krissy.  It came from my strongest trait which I believe is tenacity and fortitude.  Courage.

We all have had our own pain.  We have all seen depths of despair.  It is how these depths have changed our outlook on life and have changed us for the better that matters.  I choose to have joy.  So, there you have it!  Tenacity first and joy second.  Thanks for reading today and choose joy!

Ooops, forgot the extra credit part...I just wish I didn't procrastinate so much :-)

Monday, December 6, 2004

And The Winner Is...

Congratulations to Stuart for correctly guessing Sunday's Photo Contest!!  The picture was a navel orange.  There were several other correct guessers, but Stuart clocked in first!  Way to go, Stuart!!  I have decided to call the game "Up Close With Val" which was a suggestion from Dave.  Thanks for the suggestion, Dave!!

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Photo Contest..and Thanks!!

So, I am trying to come up with a name for my Photo Contest.  Which is not so much of a contest because you don't win anything, except the knowledge that you got it right first, which is a great prize when you are competitive like me :-).  If anyone has a good name for my Photo Contest let me know.  Email it to me or put it in the comment's section.  I am just not feeling creative.  I will give you credit!!  I wanted to say THANKS to all of my readers and let you know that I CELEBRATE each and everyone today.  I was excited to see my hit counter read 5,001 when I visited my journal right after Bernadette (QuartrLyfeCrisis) left me a lovely comment.  So she was my 5,000th visitor!!  I celebrate her today and all of my readers!!  Without you and your comments life would not be as bright :-)

Here is the photo I chose for this week's challenge.  If you think you know what it is, put it in the comment's section or email me.  I will email you if you are correct.  I think this one is an easy one, but I thought last week was easy and it seemed hard, so good luck!!  P.S.  I know you guys have seen these over in the U.K.!!  Have a good night all and thanks again for reading this journal :-)...


Saturday, December 4, 2004

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Hello all!  I thought of many, many ideas for this week's hunt.  The world is made up of shapes!!!  I had to think of some things that might be interesting.  That is what became hard for me.  I have a few pictures here.  Perhaps I should only have two or three.  I had a hard time figuring out which ones to post and which ones not to.  Well, here they are:

The first two I chose were for my love of quilts.

                          This is a shot of a quilt that my Mama gave me when I moved to a new apartment a few years ago.  It has baskets on it.  I forget the name of the pattern, but it is made out of triangles - a shape.  The next pic, is of a star quilt made up of diamonds with a circle in the center.  This is Honey's favorite place to sit.  She usually sits and looks out of the window, but she is not in this shot, as it is night-time, so she is staring into space.  An Amish lady friend, Katie, made this special quilt.  Katie and her husband Eli were written up in a past entry.  They are wonderful people!


The next pic is of a local church.  It has many shapes in its architecture.  I like the stained-glass circular window in the front.


I also included my new kitty, JoJo in this photo hunt, as he has shapes on his body.  He has a circle on his back (and a couple of circles other places) as well as a cute, pink triangular nose and a white triangle-like forehead.


I also chose my favorite round paperweight from childhood.  I remember loving to stare and this.  My Mama gave this to me later as an adult.


And lastly, I chose a strange, oval-shaped thinga-ma-bob, growing out the side of a tree that is growing in my back yard.  Hope everyone enjoyed my "shapes" today!


Saturday Six


From Patrick's Place:

1. Think back to weddings you have attended (other than your own):  what was the nicest part of the one you liked the most?  I really liked everything about my sister, Grace's weddidng.  It was beautiful from start to finish..from the beautiful ceremony to the nice reception afterwards. Big,fancy weddings aren't for me and her's was just right...not too big and not too small and geared toward family and close friends.

2. What is your favorite color and which room of your home has the most of this color in it?  My favorite color actually changes from day to day, but it is usually in the blue and red families.  I usually like blues the most as they are calming.  I think that my living room has the most blues in it.  Interesting, because I probably spend the least amount of time in my living room.

3. What is your favorite kind of popcorn:
A) Unsalted
B) Buttered
C) Extra Butter
D) Kettle Corn
E) Caramel Corn

I know it is not a choice, but I prefer very lightly salted and very lightly buttered with a little bit of garlic powder and some other spices occasionally.  Sometimes I experiment with the spices. 

4. Take a little time (!!) for a quick inventory of the clocks in your home:  how many do you have and what is the widest difference between any two of them?  I am assuming we are talking about clocks on the wall and not alarm clocks and such.  I have four.  Three are set five minutes ahead of the real time (I try to trick myself as I am constantly running five minutes late getting out of the house..this clock trick works for me!)  One is not working and needs batteries. It is set and 6:45 until I buy batteries.

5. When was the last time you used a real rotary dial telephone to place a call?  I have no clue.  My memory is not this good :-o,

Shannon:  What is your favorite sport and why?  I don't really have a favorite sport to play unless ping-pong is a sport (really, I LOVE to play ping-pong!).  Bowling is fun, too, but I am not allowed to play it for health reasons anymore.  I like to watch college football sometimes and I always enjoy watching the Olympics when it is on TV.  My very favorite sport is a good walk in the woods or park.  That must be a sport, right?

Good day, everyone!

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

A Christmas Funny..

Santa's Stressful Christmas

One particular Christmas season a long time ago, Santa was getting ready for his annual trip... but there were problems everywhere.

Four of his elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones so Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her mom was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more. When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where.

More stress.

Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.

So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of coffee and a shot of whiskey. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hid the liquor and there was nothing to drink.

In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the coffee pot and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw it was made from.

Just then the doorbell rang and Santa cussed on his way to the door. He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said, very cheerfully,
"Merry Christmas Santa. Isn't it just a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Isn't it just a lovely tree? Where would you like me to stick it?"

Thus began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Meet JoJo...

Chelsea and I have a new addition to our little family.  It is a sweet little feline.  His name is JoJo.  He belonged to my neighbor and friend, Audrey.  Audrey raised JoJo from one week old.  He was dropper-fed and was a rescued, abandoned barn cat.  Audrey became very allergic to JoJo and could not continue caring for JoJo as she has too many health problems. 


Honey is not pleased with JoJo's presence at all.  She has spent the last few days hissing at him.  I am hoping that they will become eventual good friends.  JoJo has become attached to Chelsea and sees her as his Mommy.  He has such a sweet disposition.

I have been very, very busy the last few days getting all kinds of things done.  I have been too much of a procrastinator and it has bitten me.  So I spent the bulk of two days taking care of things that I have put off.  My list has dwindled and I am breathing easier.  Now, to get to my Christmas shopping list.  I do not like shopping for Christmas gifts.  For some reason, I feel like I have to get the perfect gift.  What does this say about me?  I have been this way for years.  It causes stress.  I just need to not be this way.  Thursday is decorating day!  That will be fun!  It was great talking to those of you who made it to the chat on Monday!  It was a good, good time!  I am off here to get some needed and deserved rest.  Take time for yourself, everyone.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Photo Contest Winner Is..

The picture I posted a few days ago was actually a Hershey's Kiss that I had photographed.  It was on its side.  The closest guess was Becky!  She guessed a Hershey's Kiss wrapper.  Better guess than the last contest, Becky! lol  Sara was pretty close also.  She guessed a piece of chocolate in foil.  She couldn't guess any closer as they do not have Hershey's Kisses in the UK.  Imagine that!  Great job, girls!  The next contest will be coming next weekend!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Saturday Six

This is the first week I am playing "The Saturday Six" located at Patrick's Place.  He has quite an interesting journal if you want to go take a peek..


1. How long do your Thanksgiving leftovers usually last, and at what's the first non-Thanksgiving item you begin to crave when you tire of turkey?    When I cook (which is not very often) they last about a week, and then I crave some fruits and vegetables.  I like to raw, uncooked food often.

2. Of the following, which would you most prefer to be located:
a) Interstate highway traffic jam
b) Slow-moving checkout line
c) Dentist's chair

Although I definitely hate all three, I would have to choose the slow-moving checkout line.  It is the least of the three evils.  I really, really do not like going to the dentist and, well, who likes traffic jams?

3. What is at the top of your personal Christmas gift wish list this year?  I am so easy to please.  I don't even have a Christmas gift wish list.

4. What improvement would you most like to see added to AOL's Journal software?  Well, I have two improvements I would like to see...I really wish we could have size 12 fixed and I would like to see some way to be able to save our work and check it and not have everyone on the alerts be warned.  See, I am a perfectionist.  I hate seeing typos and such and not being able to fix them.

5. What seasonal movies do you most look forward to this time of year?  I like seeing the old standards..Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the oringinal).

Tara:  What is your favorite classic 80's video game?  I liked those 80's games.  I liked Galactica and Pac-Man and even Pong!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Photo Game and Journal Chat!

I have a second entry to my photo game for everyone to play!  I think this one is a little easier than the last one.  So, if you think you know what this is, put your guess in the comment section or send me an email and I will email you back and let you know if you are correct!  I have taken a picture of something that hopefully we have all seen before.  Good luck!  Here it is:


I wanted everyone to know that there is a new scheduled journal chat that Stuart, Sara and I have set up.  It will be every Monday at 9am Eastern time US - 2PM UK time.  Sara, Krissy and I will be sending out emails as a reminder.  If I forget your name, please forgive me, but know that you are invited!  There will be a link to the chat in the email as well as in our journals.  Hope to chat with everyone there!  Hope everyone had a great, great Thanksgiving day!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I'm Thankful!

Good day all of my good, good friends!!  I want to wish everyone a very, very blessed Thanksgiving!!  I am in a much better space today and feeling so thankful that I have my family and doctors and especially my pain control :-).  I went to my doctor yesterday and got everything straightened away.  I wanted to thank everyone who sent me kind wishes and concerns.  It was so thoughtful.  I know how much I am looked after and cared for by my fellow journalers and friends and family.  It NEVER ceases to amazed me.  So, with that, I send out one amazing group hug - (((((((J-Land)))))) - You know who you are one by one!!  You wrote, commented, emailed and IM'ed me.  Alot of times I am thinking out loud in my journal, never meaning or intending to get any responses, and then I get a deluge of responses when they are needed most.  Amazing!

I wanted to wish everyone a very blessed day tommorrow.  I do hope you all have a good day with your families.  If you do not have families, I hope you have found a niche that you have made into a family of your own.  I am so thankful for all of you and for your readership!  Know that you are part of my family, too!  Every day for a few hours you come into my home and you laugh and smile and even cry with me.  I am so thankful for that!  The thing I am most thankful for is your encouragement, though.  I get feedback that is non-judgmental.  You have never met me, yet you pray for me, you encourage me and you don't cut me out when I make a mistake or say something stupid.  Oh, how I wish the real world was like that!  You choose to spend time with me, yet you have never met me!!  Still amazing me, here, can you tell?!

I am someone who has never lost her amazement with life.  The small things of life.  My daughter says I act like a child sometimes.  When she brought me flowers home the other day, I smelled them, rubbed them up against my cheeks and danced around the room.  She was quite happy about this, but she cocked her head sideways and said, "Mom, why are you acting like that?  They are just flowers?"  I told her, "Chelsea, I am happy!  I appreciate things.  I hope that you  never lose your child-likeness!"  I sat and watched her for about an hour after that.  A smile never left her face.  I don't know if it was the flower incident or not, but I sure hope so.  We should all be appreciative and happy of the small things.  The little things.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Ouchy Here..

Good morning all!  I haven't checked in in awhile...seems I think that writing about myself is boring.  Why should I write about me?  Am I whining when I write about myself I wonder?  Then I realize that this is a journal and I can write about lipstick or fungus or Saturn if I want to.  Of course, if I wrote about fungus or Saturn I wouldn't know what the heck I was talking about.  I do know a bit about lipstick, though.  I think I am digressing.  Whenever someone asks me about myself I try to change the subject.  Whenever I am in therapy (single or group) and it is my turn and that questions comes up, "So, how are you doing?"  My standard answer is, "Hmm, uh, alright I guess."  shaking my head dismissively.  I am a fixer of others!  So, that is how it goes.  But this morning I am going to tell you how I am if it kills me, tee hee.  I am nauseas and in pain.  I ran out of my narcotic for pain relief.  So I am trying to be as still as possible and get through this until I get to my doctor.  I have break-through pain medicine, but it is not controlling enough of my pain.  It just prevents withdrawal, really.  The pain isn't too bad.  I am not crying.  I know it is bad when I am crying.  I am taking muscle relaxants to deal with it, also.  They don't work very well.  This fibro. sucks.  My central nervous system really is hyper.  Pain is so real.  My home is much messier than I like it.  I wanted to let everyone know that I may not be visiting your journals and leaving comments in the next few days.  Then again I may.  We will see.  I was pretty upset that I could not do the Photo Scavanger Hunt and my Photo Game this week.  They will be coming up, though!  I am going to be posting another Photo Game as soon as I can.  And with that, I am going to go rest my sore muscles.   Oh, my sister Therese has a neat photo album she started not too long ago for the Scavanger Hunt.  If you haven't seen it it is great!  Go ahead and look!  Good day and blessings to all!

Friday, November 19, 2004

What Kind of Blogger Are You?

What Kind Of Blogger Are You?

Find out here

I took this test and turned out to be a blogger about my Life Stories.  I keep a journal to have a life record.  Why do you journal?  I have been pondering journaling over the past month or so as it seems I have kind of slipped into journaling without even thinking much about it.  It became a way of life.  I started journaling thinking that I would be the only one reading.  Why would anyone be interested in my life?  It was something I did a couple of times a week.  I also read others as they posted comments.  Now I am reading for two or three hours a day.  It has been totally amazing to meet the people I have met online.  They have turned into true friendships.  It has happened without my even knowing it would.  Whooosh... It happened so quickly.  Amazing.  Thanks for accepting me into this wonderful community!  I really have only been blogging for about four months.  It seems like forever.  My journal goes back longer, but I was sick for six months and did not write.  So, why do you journal?  How has the experience been for you?  Do you journal for information?  Have you made friends?  Support?  Are you chronically ill and it has made a tremendous difference?  Is it a hobby?  I am curious...  Have a good weekend all! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'm Featured!

I received this in my email box this morning:

Dear Member,

Congrats! You have been chosen as a spotlighted member within the AOL Local Community. Your screen name is being featured on a Local Community page!

Please stop by to view the spotlighted feature at AOL Keyword:
Local Talk.

If you would not like your name to be featured, please let me know.

Thank you for your participation in our community!

So, if anyone wants to go see my mug on the internet go to Keyword:  Local Talk.  Oh, Sherry is featured there, too!!!  Way to go, Sherry!  Cooooool!!!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Photo Contest Winner Is...

Congratulations to Sherry for guessing yesterday's picture correctly!  It was a pecan half!!  Go visit Sherry's journal, it is a wonderful journal and she is a great guesser, too!


Sunday, November 14, 2004

A Photo Game..

I decided to do a photo game for fun.  I am going to be taking a picture.  Maybe about one a week of average, ordinary objects.  I will then distort them somehow or maybe not distort them.  I may zoom in or zoom out.  I may blow them up.  I may turn them into another color or make them black and white.  I am not sure what I am going to be doing to these pictures, but I am going to have some fun with them.  This is the first picture.  If you want to guess what it is put it in the comments section.  I think it is very easy.  I hope you guys have fun with this.  Hopefully I will be able to do this once a week.  I don't know what I will call this yet.  Anyway, here is my photo.  I will email you if you are correct.


Saturday, November 13, 2004

Cabaret and The Scavanger Hunt

Chelsea and I went to "Cabaret" last night.  It was put on by the Thespian Group at Penn State.  I live just a few miles from campus.  We had a blast!  The director of the orchestra is a good family friend of my Dad's and my Dad gave Chels and me tickets to go see it.  Dad watched Matt grow from a tot to a senior at Penn State.  He is going to be a music teacher.  My son Matt is seriously considering being a music teacher also.  I have been wanting to write an entry about him for so long.  I just haven't gotten to writing it yet.   I am going to get Matt and Matt together as my Matt is seriously considering going to go to Penn State.  My Matt went from attending advanced placement classes at high school in Florida to a high school for the performing arts.  He is a junior right now.  Isn't that just so cool!  I have never heard him so joyful when I talk to him on the phone!!  He is expressing himself as never before!  So the musical was absolutely fabulous and Chels and I and everyone else laughed and clapped through the whole thing and gave them a standing ovation and cheers at the end!  This is particularly amazing for me as I have not done anything social at night for months.  Or has it been years?  My body paid for it, but it was so good for my spirit!

Now for the Scavanger Hunt.  We were to take a photo  of a                  

portrait.  This is my Pops.  I was at his home the other day.  I was playing with my camera and when he was leaning into the cabinet I said, "Hey Dad, turn around."  This is the look he gave me.  This is good ol' Daddeeoo.

The next one I took was of a landscape.  This landscape is very indicative of Pennsylvania.  The hay.  The green grass.


The red barn.  The blue/grey sky.  This looks like Pennsylvania to me.

The next photo is of something far away.  I chose to take a sky shot.  I love sky shots.  This doesn't look far away, but it obviously is.  It was a cloudy, rainy-spotted day.


And the last photo is of something close-up.  I chose to take a picture of some pears.  These pears are very fat!  I like these pears.  I think they are very pretty.  I have a fondness for pears.  They represent healing and life for me.  When I was


an infant I was allergic to everything, so for two years all I ate were beef hearts and pears.  Yep, pears for two whole years.  My mom said I loved them.  I still do.  I guess one would get sick of something eating them for every meal for two years.  I never did.  Hope you enjoyed my hunt for some interesting pictures!





Meet Scotty!

It was around noon yesterday.  I heard a rustling at my door.  It was rather faint.  I heard some gasping for air coming from a padded brown envelope.  I was rather alarmed as I ripped the envelope open.  Out popped a rather handsome, fuzzy and unique looking orangutan.  He had taken a rather long trip.  It was an eleven-day trip to be exact and was out of breath but happy to be in his new home almost immediately.  He came with a beautiful handwritten card of love and well-wishes whispered into my ear.  Now he sits at my computer and is being naughty and even falling in love with another primate-species.


Meet Scotty.  He is waving hello to all is J-Land!!!!  He is sitting next to Sheila.  Sheila was affectionately named by my daughter's friend Alison.  Sheila's full name is "Sheila The He Monkey".  So, I affectionately named Scotty "Scotty the Scottish She Orangutan".  I know, I know, they are gender confused.  I am silly with my stuffed animals.  I have quite a few.  Maybe you will see some more someday.  Welcome, Scotty, and thanks so much, my good friend, Stuart!  I love you!!

Thursday, November 11, 2004


I found this at Deb's journal today.  There is an email going around trying to get AOL user's to part with personal and financial information.  This is NOT AOL!!  Please go and read.  Oh, by the way, Deb has a fantastic journal!

I also wanted to tell a few readers who have shared with me personal prayer requests by email and IM that I have been praying daily for you.  I will continue to pray and I thank you so much for your prayers.  I have put a cross in my journal on the left as a symbol of continued prayers that go out for all of you daily.  Know you are loved and prayed for.

My Brain and Trees



Good morning everyone.  It has been too long since I have written.  Sometimes I think I will lose readers because I take too long to write between entries.  I take longer than all of my favorite journals.  I don't know what this means.  I don't know if this means anything.  I know that I have four or five entries in my head and I have not been able to get them down in my journal.  It gets very frustrating for me.  More than you know.  It is my brain.  My brain is my biggest enemy.  I am hoping I do not lose readers.  That is a big fear of mine.  Let me tell you what my brain does to me daily.  Maybe you can then understand.  Whenever I do anything that requires thinking it can take in so much and then it shuts down.  So when I go on the computer I have to decide to write a journal entry immediately or read other entries and do what I enjoy to do on the computer.  If I chose the latter, my brain is way too overloaded and tired to write an entry.  Alot of times my brain is too stupid in the morning or mushy to be able to retrieve words and I must wait awhile.  Then if it is raining or I am having a bad day or I am suffering from a bit of depression it is hard to get anything out of this brain.  Any kind of brain activity for 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on how easy it is on my brain, requires a time-out for me.  A time-out is a time for me to be alone.  Anyone who knows me knows that look on my face when I need a time-out.  It is not a good one.  My mood is not the best either.  By the middle of the day my body AND mind need a time-out and I go into my bedroom and turn off the light as all of my senses have been barraged and I can not take any more of "living" and "sensing" for the day and must re-group.  Sometimes I re-emerge from the room.  Sometimes I do not.  It depends.  So, my friends, you probably can understand why I am not making daily, and sometimes twice daily entries in this journal.  It is so, so important that I keep it up, though.  I will keep fighting to keep it going.  Perhaps I am worrying for no reason.  It is very hard to live with several illnesses that attack you all the time and sometimes they just keep assaulting your spirit.  These illnesses are illnesses of my central nervous system.  I must make time for me.  Time to re-group.  I will do this.  Time in nature.  Time to read a good book.  Time for myself.  Time staring at nature.  Time taking pictures of beautiful trees.  Time to sit under a tree.  Time to stare at trees and learn from them.  Time plopping on the bed and watching a good movie with my daughter (you up for it, Chelsea?).   These activities actually give me energy and don't take away from me.  I learned awhile back, and it was a very interesting experiment, that when my senses are assaulted, the best way to fix this is by soothing my senses.  It is amazing.  I found this out through a wonderful therapist who worked with chronically ill patients.  I am forever indebted to her.  It was a new experiment for her, too, and she was amazed.  So, now I am off with my daughter to go out to lunch with my Dad.  I think that will be very nice for us.  I hope you enjoy the tree that I took.  Trees are my favorite thing in nature.  I will write an entry about them later.  I wanted to put this picture in today to remind me to slow down.  Also, I wanted to let everyone know that we all are trees with our own story.  Our own life.  Our own beauty.  Trees, my favorite part of nature.  Not the best picture.  There was too much sun behind the tree when I took the picture, but I wanted to share it anyway.  Trees.  More on them later... 

Saturday, November 6, 2004

What is Love?

Wow, I just finished an entry with pictures included and it got eaten!  Vanished.  Poof.  It is gone.  It has been a frustrating couple of days and that did nothing to lighten the load.  Let me try this again... I have not been feeling well with the poor weather and something on my mind and my not very good mood so my fibro. has been acting up and I have been hiding in my home.  It was very nice to be talking with Krissy this morning and get an invite to lunch today.  We had a very good time!  In fact, all of my photos for the Photo Scavanger Hunt were taken today while I was out this afternoon with her and John.  Krissy's and Therese's subject this week is "What is Love?"  It had me smiling alot and I really needed that.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

The first subject I chose was a birdfeeder.  Why does this depict love you ask?  I think it does because Krissy keeps it filled through all four seasons.  She gets all kinds of birds and even some furry animals eating out of it.  I also have birdfeeders at my home.  I think it is love to reach out of yourself and think of creatures that are more helpless than yourself.

The next subject I chose to photograph is front page of this birthday card here.  I celebrated my birthday a little over a week ago.  This card came all the way from England!!!  Thanks, Amy!!  I chose this to represent love because I received no fewer than 30 cards and emails in my box for my birthday!!  Most were from my Journal Pals!!  You guys make me feel so loved!!!  This is the most loving community ever!  Oh, btw, if anyone wants to purchase the best homemade cards ever, drop over to Amy's site and check them out!  Just click on her name!            

         I chose this for my next subject.  "Mother and child".  Needs no explanation.

My last photo was supposed to be of nature, but I captured something that I had not intended to.  Krissy and I were standing in her front yard talking about love and picture-taking and  about our nice afternoon and I was taking a shot and this is what came out:

   Krissy and I.  Standing together after one of our many outings.  Leaning towards each other.  Best friends.  Late afternoon.  We are love.  "Twins Born At Different Times" we call ourselves because we are so close.  I love her so much.  She loves me.


Friday, November 5, 2004

Redneck humor for Thanksgiving..

You might be a redneck if...

You've ever had Thanksgiving dinner on a Ping-Pong table.
Thanksgiving dinner is squirrel and dumplings.
You've ever re-used a paper plate.
If you have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say Cool Whip on the side.
If you've ever used your ironing board as a buffet table.
On Thanksgiving Day you have to decide which pet to eat.
Your turkey platter is an old hub cap.
Your best dishes have Dixie printed on them.
Your stuffings secret ingredient comes from the bait shop.
Your only condiment on the dining room table is ketchup.
Side dishes include beef jerky and Moon Pies.
You have to go outside to get something out of the 'fridge.
The directions to your house include "turn off the paved road".
You consider pork and beans to be a gourmet food.
You have an Elvis Jell-o mold.
Your secret family recipe is illegal.
You serve Vienna Sausage as an appetizer.

Congrats MM!


Yay!!!  My buddy and friend's journal and one of my favorite is Editor's Pick this week.  If you want a treat go visit Michael's Journal!  Congrats, MM!

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Smart Stuart!

Stuart is such a smart one!!  He figured out the answer to the riddle below!!  Kudos to him!!

Good day everyone!  I have been having a hard few days with exhaustion and sleepiness.  I just want to get under my covers and disappear for a couple of days.  I have had a couple of weeks of busy-ness physically and in my brain and now I just want to escape for awhile. 

My brain doesn't even feel like giving me information to type this entry, but I am going to try and then I am going to get under the covers with my cat.  I do hope she joins me.  She was not a bed cat or a lap cat for four years and now all of the sudden she has been joining me almost nightly in my bed!!  This started about a month ago.  Why would a cat do this all of the sudden?  After four years?  I have been ecstatic about it as I enjoy her warm fur and her lovely face and her company.  She is not a bed hog and she does not like to plop all over me.  She has her little corner right up near my face.  It is truly lovely.  She said, "Hiiii!" this morning.  You all probably think I am crazy.  She is very vocal.  I was walking around this morning telling her, "Hii, hiii, hiii, hii!".  Then in her meow voice she said, "Hiii!"  She tries to copy the tone of my voice.  Silly cat.

My neurologist called me on Saturday, believe it or not.  He said that, yes, they inserted a non-programmable shunt when they had intended to insert a programmable one.  They admitted to their mistake!  Finally!  I was even amazed that they had admitted to it.  There is a bit of good news to this, though.   To get switched over to a programmable shunt is much easier than I had thought.  I am not going to get it switched unless I really have to, though.  Switching involves local anesthesia, not general, and can be done in the office, and they don't have to take out the shunt.  So I am not upset like I was.

I volunteered yesterday at a place called The Faith Centre.  It has a thrift store, a food bank, a coffee shop (fee donuts and coffee), a bible study, and you can check out books for free.  I was there for about an hour and a half.  I was tagging clothes.  It was a very nice to be a part of something that is larger than myself.  I am definitely going back.  The only problem with it is that it really bothers my pain.  But then so does everything else I do, so I am going to definitely go back.  There are about six volunteers there at any given time.  I had not realized how much work goes into places like these.  Being on disability, sometimes it is hard for me to feel like I have a "purpose" in life.  I am sure those of you who are also an disability know what I mean.  It is something that I am constantly struggling with.  What's neat about The Faith Centre is that I can work whenever I want, with whomever I want, or not at all on certain weeks.  Sounds lovely to me.

I have a riddle for you guys.  Put your answer in the comments section and I will tell you if you are correct.  Sorry, Krissy, you can not anwer this as I am pretty sure you have heard this:  An archaeologist finds the frozen remains of Adam and Eve.  Their bodies are whole in ice.  How does he know he has found Adam and Eve?

I am off for lunch and a nap...Take care and go VOTE if you haven't!



Sunday, October 31, 2004

Weekend Assignment..

This week's Weekend Assignment is another reader suggestion, this time from isckwootton, and just in time for Halloween:

Write your own, preferably rhyming, epitaph.  For example,

Here lies Jed,
He fell out of bed.

Extra credit:  Write a cute epitaph for your favorite loved one, relative, or family pet. Suggestion: keep it light. You might want them to continue being your favorite loved one, relative, or family pet. Nothing is worse than having Fido dissing you over some silly words on a gravestone.

Here is my stab at it:

Here lies Val
She was a happy gal,
'Til the truck mowed her over
Now she lies with the clover.

And for the extra credit, I chose to write about my cat, Honey:

Here lies Honey-Honey
She was a beloved pet,
'Til the day her owner didn't see her
And a couch upon her did set.

Saturday, October 30, 2004


Tomorrow is Halloween.  As a Christian, I do not celebrate nor believe in the holiday.  I received this from a friend and felt so warm-hearted by it, though, and am touching on Halloween by putting it in.  Thanks, Cathy, for always making me feel special!


My sister, Mary Jo, sent this to me, Val ... thought you'd like it, too : )

It reminded me of your AOL journal/web-site ... and how your own light clearly shines through for all to enjoy : )

Love & Light ~

  Subject: Pumpkins
A woman was asked by a coworker, "What is it like to be a Christian?" The coworker replied, "It is like being a pumpkin.
God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then he cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."

This was passed on to me from another pumpkin.
Happy Holloween!