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!



Good afternoon everyone.  This weeks photo scavenger hunt was a very interesting one.  The subject was "unusual".  I was kind of excited by it.  To me, lots of things are unusual.  I thought long and hard about this.  But could I capture "unusual" on camera?  Hmmm....  Well, let's see what you guys think.  The first picture I took was of the funeral home up the street from my home.  My daughter was aghast.  "Why a funeral home?" she asked.  I thought it had a very interesting roof.  It has a witch's hat!  Appropriate for Halloween, also!

The second picture I chose was quite a funny one.  I saw Mr. Squirrel on top of a telephone pole!  Quite and "unusual" place to perch!


Mr. Squirrel was quite funny!  He chirped and chirped for about a half an hour.  I think he had a lady squirrel he was trying to locate and found the highest point to communicate with her!


Here is a close-up of my buddy!  Such a nice squirrel!  He sounded very much like a bird the way he was chirping away!

The last photo I am chosing to put in is a picture that I took at night.  I was outside on Tuesday night trying desperately to take a picture of the lunar eclipse.  The moon was very red and so awesome looking.  Every time I got a glimpse of it it would hide back behind the clouds for a long, long time.  So there I was in the chilly weather, in my pajamas, staring up at the sky for what seemed forever.  So instead I snapped a picture of the view across the street...

I thought the shadows and lights looked kind of interesting.  I made the photo black and white which made it even more interesting and "unusual".  Hope you enjoyed my photos!  Have a good weekend, everyone and take care!!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

My Wonderful Day Yesterday!!

Oh, thank you, thank you, EVERYONE for making my day so special yesterday!!!!!!!!!!  My inbox was crammed with wonderful wishes for a wonderful birthday!!  I think the birdie flew his wings off :-)  I have never felt so special.  It was a real treat reading all the cards and e-mails.  It truly was!  It brought huge smiles and even a couple of tears.  I have been online for four years now and have belonged to several different communities, but have never felt more loved and embraced than by you lovely people!

My day started off with a knock on the door.  Krissy and John brought me breakfast!  Yummy!  They also brought me gifts and balloons!  Chelsea, Krissy, John and I talked for a few hours and had a good ol' time!  Krissy and John know just what to pick out to make me feel special and loved!  Thanks for the gifts, Krissy and John!

They sat for a nice birthday picture for me here!  Hi, Krissy and John!!  After breakfast, my friend, Betsy, whom I haven't seen in ages came for a visit.  It was so nice to see her!  Chelsea and I then went out shopping for a couple of hours and had lunch together and then she was off to work.  I took a four hour nap after that!  I have been in a fatigue mode lately.  I can't do a whole lot without resting up quite a bit.  I am used to it, though.  Oh, Chelsea gave me a beautiful silver cross necklaceand a heart pendant.  I love them very much!  Every gift I got yesterday was so, so thoughtful!  Krissy and John gave me things that were either needed or loved by me.  My favorite things.  They are sweeties.  My Momma and Daddy gave me a lovely "ice cream bowl" with pretty flowers on it.  It is funny because when I was recuperating at their house afer my brain surgery I had a bowl of ice cream every night...not a large bowl, but a couple of scoops.  They always knows how to make me smile.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!  My good friend Roger gave some sprititual, devotional books.  That was very, very special.  Thanks, Rog!  The nice thing was, also, that no one bothered me after I was tired in the afternoon!  They know me so well!  Yes, it was a very, very nice day! 

I have been having some problems with my computer today.  It was running very, very slowly when I got on it.  I thought I had a virus.  It picked up though.  I did a virus scan and it showed nothing.  I have been downloading all the security patches I need and did searches for new viruses this morning.  I couldn't find anything.  I hope I am okay and it was a fluke.  It is running fine now.  Well, I hope everyone is having a good day today and thanks again everyone out there for making my day SO special!  I am sending LOVE and HUGS out to EVERYONE!!!!!!! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Cute humor...


3-year-old, Reese:

"Our Father, Who does art in

heaven, Harold is His name.



A little boy was overheard praying:

"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.

I'm having a real good time like I am."


A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments.

They were ready to discuss the last one.

The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.

Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted,

"Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."


After the christening of his baby brother in church,

Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.

His father asked him three times what was wrong.

Finally, the boy replied,

"That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a

Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys."  


I had been teaching my three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord's Prayer

for several evenings at bedtime,

she would repeat after me the lines from the prayer.

Finally, she decided to go solo.

I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated

each word right up to the end of the prayer:

"Lead us not into temptation," she prayed,

"but deliver us some E-mail.


One particular four-year-old prayed,

"And forgive us our trash baskets

as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."


A Sunday school teacher asked her children, as they were on the way to church service,

"And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"

One bright little girl replied,

"Because people are



Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother Joel were sitting together in church.

Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud.

Finally, his big sister had had enough.

"You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."

"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.

Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,

"See those two men standing by the door?

They're hushers."


  A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5 and Ryan 3.  

The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.  

Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.

"If Jesus were sitting here, He would say,

'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'"

Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"


    A father was at the beach with his children

when the four-year-old son ran up to him,

grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore

where a seagull lay dead in the sand.  

"Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked.

   "He died and went to Heaven," the Dad replied.

   The boy thought a moment and then said,

"Did God throw him back down?"      


A wife invited some people to dinner.  At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?"

   "I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied.

   "Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.

   The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Happy Birthday...

This month is a month of several birthdays in my family and this week I would like to wish Timothy, Carl, and Therese very happy birthdays!!

    Happy Birthday To You
                Happy Birthday To You
                Happy Birthday Dear Tim, Carl and Therese!
                Happy Birthday To You!

I Love You Guys Very Much!!!


Photo Scavanger

All of my entries for the Photo Scavenger Hunt this week come from inside my home since I was unable to go outdoors because of rain and illness. 

First, for holy I chose my crucifix...


I chose this for holy because it is the holiest thing in my home.  It is the reason I have come this far in life.  It is the reason I get up each day.  It is my hope for the future...

For scary I chose my daughter's laundry...

When she left a few days ago I had done mounds and mounds of laundry.  She still managed to leave me with another couple of loads.  Don't know where this laundry came from...

For orange I chose something from my pear collection.  These might be my favorites.

They are sparkly, holiday pears.  The sparkles are not easy to see from this photo, but they are very "happy" pears.  Hope you enjoyed my photos!  Have a good day everyone!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Thanks for your prayers!

I wanted to thank everyone who emailed me and wrote me telling me that they were praying for my family.  It is so wonderful and I feel your prayers!  Chelsea's granny passed away this morning at 1:30am.  She called me and sounded pretty good considering.  Granny had been sick for a number of years with emphysema and I believe that they are glad that she is now out of her pain and fear.  She really, really suffered.  I am happy that Chelsea could be with her at this time.  Chelsea will probably be returning on Saturday.  It is quiet here and that is being cherished by me.  I am off here in an hour to get a coveted flu shot.  Thanks again for your prayers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I Hurt, but my heart is warm...

Life has been a bit of a roller coaster the last few days.  I don't know when to sleep and when to be awake.  My body doesn't really know when it is hungry and thirsty and I have been in a great deal of pain.  It started on Saturday when I was recuperating from my visit to Baltimore.  I usually take a few days to recover from a day out of town.  I like to take it easy and take a long night's rest and even a nap the next day.  I forgot to take care of myself.  Monday arrived and I cleaned my home from top to bottom.  I am talking about twelve hours of housework.  I did every stitch of laundry I had neglected and even did my daughter's laundry.  I did my dishes that were calling out to me.  I swept the floors and washed them.  I dusted.  Chelsea came home and we made it a project of re-arranging her clothes and cleaning her room!  Yay, Chelsea!  Everything was sparkling clean, or atleast as clean as I am ever going to get it.  This was a mistake for me, because I should never use this much energy on any one physical project EVER.  If you have read the spoons article from a few entries back you will understand.  My body hurts so bad today I could scream.  I have taken muscle relaxants for two days and it seems like I am just eating candy.  Added to that is the emotional drain of wishing that Chelsea wasn't going through what she is going through.  I know I can't live my daughter's life, but it sure hurts to "see" her live it.  The dreaded call came for her Monday night to hurry up and get to Florida.  Her granny is dying.  There is no hope.  So I stayed up all night Monday night and helped her decide what to pack and visited with Krissy and John who took her to the airport as I can not drive in the dark.  Thanks, Krissy and John!!  They have stepped up to the plate more times than I can even count and have been my heroes in this life.  If everyone had a Krissy and a John this world would be a much better place.   I got to bed as Chelsea was leaving for the airport and have been in and out of bed since with fatigue and pain.  As far as doing too much, sometimes life just makes me have to do these things.  No one is going to do my housework.  No one is going to take the emotional "stuff" away and live my life for me.  If I have neglected things for too long they all come crashing down.  Hard lesson learned.  Yet I do it time and time again.  It is very hard to live a life where you have to sit down and rest your body and mind every hour or so or you know you will crash mentally and physically.  Sometimes you just choose to crash.

I would appreciate prayers for Chelsea and her family in Florida.  That would be very, very special.  She called her work from Florida and told her that she could not come in.  This was when she had already not shown up and was late.  Her boss said everything was perfectly fine, to take as long as she needed, and that they would pray for her granny at the office meeting that morning.  Wow, at JC Penney's!  That warmed my heart!  A big clothing store!  Talking about prayer!  Maybe people are more vocal about helping one another and about feelings these days.  Maybe they are a bit kinder.  I hope so.

It turns out my parents are able to get a flu shot after all!  30 employees at a local dry cleaners are giving up their shots to those who need them.  My Dad called up and stated his case for them and they got put on the list!  They were going to stay in the house all flu season!   Another nice bit of kindness!  I feel a little bit warm in the heart today!  Hope everyone is staying dry and warm!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

I'm Getting Better!

I went to another appointment in Baltimore yesterday.  Another 12 hour day.  I got very good news this time!!  My optic nerve swelling (pappiledema) looks the best it has ever looked since I have had this darned illness in three years!!  Yay!!  So, I get to get off of all of my diuretics and see how things go with just the shunt.  My shunt is DOING ITS JOB!!  I am very excited!!  This is the best news I have gotten since all of this started three years ago.  It has been a long, long journey.  I didn't get answers to all of my questions about why I have the shunt I have and why they had errors in my medical charts, but it seems like whatever they are doing, they are doing it correctly!  I saw the neuro-opthalmologist.  Unfortunately, the neurologist that I saw last time never called me back.  Or his office didn't anyway.  There was an addendum in my charts stating the correct type of shunt I have, but not explaining if there were any errors in the type of shunt inserted.  I waited two weeks for them to call me back.  No phone call.  So I decided to see if the neuro-opthalmologist would have any better answers.  He didn't.  I am happy, though that my symptoms are alot better.  I only get an occasional headache, not to the degree that I used to get them, and some fatigue.  I also have alot of memory problems and what I call a "stupid brain".  Don't know what I am going to do about that.  I guess that could come from any of my illnesses.  I live life one day at a time, though, and take it as I get it, trying to live in the moment. 

When we were driving home from Baltimore yesterday we saw the most magnificent and brilliant double rainbow.  It was the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen.  I was upset as I DID NOT BRING MY CAMERA!  I almost did, but I was running a couple of minutes late and thought, "I won't see anything today worth taking.  I don't have time to insert the batteries anyway."  I should not have that attitude in life!  I should remember to STOP!  SLOW DOWN!  INSERT THE BATTERIES!  and remember that life can give me a present at any time!!  Chelsea came on the trip with my Dad and me, so it was a treat to have her sweet disposition and laughter along with us.  She gave my Dad some entertainment along the way.  My Dad has made almost 30 trips to Baltimore and it must be running him ragged!

Chelsea got a call from her Dad and step-mom last night.  Her nanny is ailing and in the hospital.  She may not make it.  If you are of the praying kind, please say a prayer for her nanny (her step-mom's mom).  Chel's is close to her nanny.  She lived in the home with Chels for a number of years before she went into a nursing home and she is a member of their immediate family.  Please say a prayer for Chel's family also.  It is not an easy time for them.  They are living out of a hotel still. 

I am off to do housework and shopping that I have severely neglected.  Chelsea is going to help me.  Maybe that will make it easier.  Hope you see your rainbow today....

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Lighting A Candle

"Lighting The Candle of Hope"

I found a very positive prayer and message at Angel's Place and wanted to share it with everyone.  I share my voice with her's and wish healing and love to all!  Please take time to read her prayer!  If you would like to share in lighting the candle please do so in your journal!  Just see Angel's prayer.


Monday, October 11, 2004

The Homeless Man

I was sitting on my front porch this morning enjoying the birds and the chilly air and watching people walk their dogs, take their children on strolls and watching the general morning busi-ness of life.  I live in a small town with houses all around me, but there are businesses thrown in here and there.  A scruffy man caught my attention.  He looked about sixty years old and seemed to be talking to himself.  At closer inspection, I thought he was probably only forty or so, but life made him look older.  He had hair that was not cut or combed for years, it seemed.  He also had a beard that was as long as his hair.  His clothes were filthy and he seemed to be homeless and he was obviously mentally ill.  People were walking around him.  I thought this was very sad.  I was wondering where he lived and how he conducted his life.  Then I saw him walk and bend down in front of a house that had weeds as high as his thighs and he proceeded to pull up the weeds.  He pulled up armfuls of them.  The whole time he was talking to himself.  He picked up the armful and asked a gentleman where the closest dumpster was.  The man told him.  He walked to the dumpster which was about two blocks away.  As he walked he picked up trash and other weeds.  He then got to the dumpster and threw away his load.  He walked away down the street out of sight still talking to himself.  It got me to thinking as I was watching this man who was obviously so ill.  We all need a purpose.  We all need to be needed.  In his time of obvious sickness, he was finding a purpose.  It touched my heart.  I said a prayer for him.  In my darkest of illnesses I have struggled to find my purpose on this earth.  I still do at times.  Some days when I am feeling alone and tired, I try to cling to something small.  I think of Jesus washing his disciple's feet.  No purpose is too small.    We are all weaved together on this earth in some way, somehow.  When I am feeling purpose-less the best thing I can do is something for someone else.  It could be a smile.  It could be something that seems so insignificant to me, but it could be big to someone else.  We are all important.  Yes, everyone is! 

Saturday, October 9, 2004

Bashing, Bashing, Bashing

Ugh, I just spent a long, long time trying to resize my picture for Krissy's Photo Scavanger Assignment.  Alas, it was no use.  So, I am bashing haggis.  Is haggis the plural of haggis or is haggi a word?  I only got to 884 today (my highest is 913), but it felt good just belting them. 

Oh, the assignment:

For something old:  I have prayer beads given to me by a good friend.  They are Eucharistic Prayer Beads.  They are made with Job's Tears.  The medallion seems somewhat worn down.  She found it somewhere.  I don't know where.  She finds rosaries and prayer beads and medallions and refurbishes them and gives them away.  When I pray using my beads I sometimes think about all the past prayers that were prayed over these beads and find it fascinating.  I unite them with mine and think it is awesome!

For something new:  I have small tiny tomatoes that I found on a friend's tomato plant.  A couple of days ago they were just tiny yellow flowers.  Amazing how they go from tiny yellow buds to big red tomatoes!

For something borrowed:  I have a book my mom lent me a couple of days ago.  It is a great book that I have already started reading.  I have a stack of books my momma has lent me.  This particular book is quite funny and informative and I would recommend it to anyone who loves words and language.  It explains how the English language (and others) have evolved!  See her big initial in the top right?  She wants me to know to give it back!

For something blue:  I have a blue bottle from my glass collection.  I have many bottles, dishes, vases, paperweights, etc., made of glass.  I do love glass!  I think it is the reflection of light that mingles with glass that amazes me!

I think I will go back to bashing haggis now.  Or is it haggi?  Haggises?  Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Bird Calls

My lovely kitty was doing bird calls today.  Too funny.  She does various ones.  They always make me laugh.  I swear nobody would believe me if a few people hadn't heard some of them.  She does a few birds.  Crows with their caw-caw sound are "meeaaw-meeaaw".  There is one little bird she chirps at with a  "meh-eh-eh, meh-eh-eh."  It sounds kind of sickly.  She thinks the birds are paying attention to her.  Maybe they are.  When they stop chattering with one another she begins her chirping so they start up again.  I think she thinks she is talking to them.  So funny.  She also likes to talk to the chipmunks.  I can't even begin to spell that sound. 

I went out and bought my battery pack and rechargeable batteries for my camera today so I can participate in Krissy's Photo Scavanger Hunt.  Sounds like so much fun!  Can't wait to get going with my photography!

Chelsea got a job at JC Penney this week.  She really enjoys it.  She gets 20% of all their clothes and items and she is excited about that since they have alot of sales already.  She is getting tired of sitting at home and not meeting anyone and is looking forward to being out and about.  She has worked two days already and really likes it.  I am very proud of her!  We are going to go visit her college on Friday and talk to a financial counselor and see if she can get in January and see what we still need to do and see if she still qualifies for any grants.  So much to do and so little time.  She thinks she wants to take occupational therapy.  I think she will be very good at this!  Way to go, Chelsea!  Wish us luck!

Well, Chelsea wants back on the computer so I am going to get off here and get to bed.  Wanted to tell you about my funny cat and let you know that I was okay.  I will put an entry in here about my son, Matt, tomorrow or the next day.  Got some neat stuff to tell you about him!  Night, night!

Sunday, October 3, 2004

BUT You Don't Look Sick?...

I was given a link to this story by lovely Amy who suffers daily.  I think it is an ingenious story.  If you have anyone in your life that deals with chronic illness and has depleted energy than this is a must read!  If you deal with depleted energy this is a must read also!  This story is written by someone with one specific illness but can be applied to any illness.  I know many in J-Land with fibro., chronic depression, CFS/ME, and a host of other illnesses that rob us of our daily right to choose what we want to do without even giving it a second thought.  This story is a little long, so if you need to, bookmark it and go back to it, but don't just skim it. Read it!  You will do yourself and a loved one a favor.  We will all deal with illness with ourself and someone else someday.  Thanks, Amy!


BUT YOU DON'T LOOK SICK, a/k/a, the spoon theory


May we all be blessed with enough spoons today!!....



Saturday, October 2, 2004

First Pics with My New Camera!

It has been way too long!  I have had a bit of a trying week and have missed everyone in J-Land tremondously.  I have been so behind on writing in my journal and reading other's that I have become overwhelmed.  I decided not to put too much pressure on myself and write in my journal here first and let everyone know that I am okay and then I wanted everyone to know that I will be visiting their journals very shortly.  I get antsy missing a day not reading so not being on for a few days was really very hard.  I have been very fatigued lately and am not sure what to attribute it to.  That has been very common for me the last few years.  With a few chronic illnesses going, it is hard to know what is what.  The best I can do is just take care of myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.  That is a hard task when you have no illness.  With two large storm systems coming through, a day-long trip out of state, as well as smaller rain systems, my body just did not want to cooperate.  It felt as if somebody turned on a faucet somewhere on me and drained out all of my energy.  I never truly have much energy, but when the little I have is totally depleted, I am in trouble and it is hard for me to do just about anything. 

I went to my neurologist's appointment on Monday to have a check-up basically.  They were going to lower the dial on my shunt, thus lowering the pressure of my cerebral spinal fluid in my head and spine.  Needless to say, after six hours being there, they discovered that I do not have a programmable shunt and they could not lower the pressure.  The doctor was very confused about this and said he was going to talk to my neuro-surgeon about it.  So I stayed off the computer and telephone for three days to get a phone call back.  No phone call came.  I called to remind them that I was supposed to get a phone call.  No phone call came still.  I do not know if they put in the wrong shunt.  My chart was filled with incorrect information, including the type of shunt that was inserted.  That was very disconcerting to me.  I am hoping that the neuro-surgeon has a good explanation.  I am wondering if they are even going to tell me the truth.  I am also wondering if I am going to have to have a new shunt put in eventually.  Don't like it at all, but I can't sit around fretting.

So, do you like the new pics I put in.  I am really enjoying my new digital camera!  My Daddeeoo gave me the camera.  That was so swell of him.  Such a wonderful, wonderful gift!  Yay!  Thanks, Daddy!  I am going to give you pics of my favorite place in town next week if it does not rain.  It is the park I talked about a couple of weeks ago.  I am so excited!

Speaking of my Daddy, we had this conversation not too long ago and I was wondering what your responses would be...  If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?  You can pick the entree, drink and dessert.  Now you have to eat this for every meal, forever!  I picked black beans with kielbasa on brown rice (the way my Mom made it growing up with spices and onions cooked all day), fried purple cabbage (can you tell I am part Hungarian?), orange juice diluted with water (I drink it all the time and love it, my favorite drink), and vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup!  I am sure I would get sick of it, but we all would get sick with anything we picked.  I think I want this meal right this very moment!  MOOOOMMMM............