Saturday, January 29, 2005

My Name in Pictures!

Happy Saturday everyone!  This week's Scavenger Hunt, brought to you by Krissy at Sometimes I Think, was a pretty fun one for me!  We were instructed to choose an object that started with the letter of each letter in our first name.  I guess I took the easy way out and spelled "Val" instead of "Valerie".  Don't get me wrong, I could have done Valerie, but I guess I didn't want everyone to have to download seven pictures.  I hope you enjoy the pictures!!  The first picture I chose actually didn't start with "V".  Here I go, breaking the rules, but you will see, it may as well have started with a "V".  I call it my "V Tree".  I see this tree every time I walk out of my door.  It is across the street.  It shouts my name out at me and other various "V words" -- victory, violet, violin, Val, Val, Val, etc...  It actually tells me I am alive!  It is a grand tree and it is my tree because alot of "V" words are special to me!  So, here is my name in pictures:


                    Aflac Duck



It has been so cold here.  It has been near zero degrees.  Perhaps it has dipped below zero overnight and I haven't even paid attention.  I am getting tired of winter!  The cold is seeping into my muscles and bones.  Where is the Spring?  I need Spring to come quickly!  Ah, only three more days until February and after February comes March!  I love March.  I guess I can hang on until then.  I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can.

Take care all in J-Land and stay warm!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Baby Pictures and Play!!..

~ "Without play - without the child that still lives in all of us - we will always be incomplete.  And not only physically, but creatively, intellectually, and spritually as well." ~ George Sheehan

So, how neat is this?  Jeannette from Jeannette's Jottings has an entry in her journal with 25 baby pictures of fellow journalers!!  How cool is that?!  It was a labor of love and is a real treat!  Go on over to her place and go see it!!  Seeing these pictures brought back a lot of memories of when I was little, hence the quote above.  I decided to post the picture I submitted to her in my journal today.  I also wanted to show you a picture of my sissy, Krissy, that she submitted.


That is me on the left.  I was probably between two and three-years old.  Krissy is probably five or so.  She was always a very tiny child.  I think my head looks too big and I look like a bobble-head doll or a PEZ dispenser.  LOL.   For fun and for comparison, I am going to post pictures of Chelsea and Matt.  I believe that Chelsea is about 18 months in the first picture and about 3 1/2 the second.  Matt is around 18 months in the second.



That was lots of fun!!  Children and child-likeness and playfulness and joy always makes me smile!!  I don't think we stop enough to give that part of us that needs to explore and create and beam and "just be" without any thought of judgment .  We should not worry so much about what the other person thinks if we are singing in the grocery store or if we are dancing when we don't have much rhythm (Right, Chels?).  I do think that if we stop worrying so much about our "To Do" lists and fill ourselves up with play, then our lists will get done faster and with more enjoyment.

Hoping everyone has a good and playful rest of the week!!  Ciao!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Let it snow!...

 We are in the middle of a snowstorm!  It is piling up right now!  Depending on which weather report you listen to, we can get 10 to 14 inches here in my area!!  I guess I don't mind so much because I don't have anywhere I have to go or anything I really have to do.  Chelsea stranded herself at her boyfriend's house on purpose last night so I am all alone.  She didn't have to work and thought it would be fun to be stuck for two days with him.  I think it would have been nice to have two days of "daughter time", but I understand as she is someone who has to keep going, and going, and going.  She doesn't sit still.  I didn't at her age either.

I have had a pretty strange week.  I haven't been able to taste very well or even not at all for quite a number of days.  It is mostly on the right side of my tongue, but sometimes it is the whole tongue.  It has been numb.  My first thought when I was experiencing this was that it was neurological and it concerned me a bit.  I called my neurologist's office and the nurse told me she thought it could be a dental problem.  Hmm...?  I just so happen to have a dental appointment on Tuesday, so they will do x-rays to see if I have an abscess.  I don't have any pain?!  Do you know how weird it is to not be able to taste your food?  You just don't want to eat!  It isn't a way to lose weight, either, because you keep tasting food trying to get something to "fulfill" your taste.  I don't know if this makes sense, but that is how it is working for me.  So, now I am eating for texture.  Weird, weird, weird.  If I don't have an abscess, they are going to do a CTScan before my appoinment with my neurologist on the 31st to make sure everything is fine.  I think everything is okay.  I wasn't so sure the other day when I was tipping over and actually broke my TV!!  Yep, a new TV!!  I fell into it and broke it.  I can get so clumsy at times.  So I stayed in bed because I was spending a day cleaning up messes after myself--dropping drinks and food and such.  Some days my coordination is just very "off" and I walk into things and drop things.  Most days I am not this clumsy, but on thosebad days I just want to hide, and I do!

I have been slow visiting journals this week and I hope you understand.  I am sure you all do, as you are all wonderful!!  Hey, I have a mind is wandering all over the place..flight of ideas!  Why is it that when it snows a lot of men HAVE TO go out and drive in it??  (Now, not all men, mind you...just a lot of them.)  It doesn't matter how much snow it is.  It could snow three feet and then they can turn to their wife and say, "I need to go check and see how the roads are.  I will be right back.  Do you need anything?  Bread?"  She is thinking, "Yeah, how about a sane husband!  An alive husband!"  So, why do you men do this?  The road will be cleared in just a few hours!  Or better yet, it will probably be melted in a day.  Sit down and enjoy the day with your family!  I am sitting here on my computer with the snow falling and I see all these cars out in it.  There are many inches on the ground and only men are driving these vehicles.  The roads ARE NOT clear!  What are these men thinking?  Check and see how the roads are???????  Hmmm...

So, Krissy from Sometimes I Think has a new Scavenger Hunt this week!!  I just love these hunts.  For those of you who participate, go on over and see the subject!  For those of you who don't, why not start this week?  It is loads and loads of fun!!

Here is a very, very simple way to contribute to the tsunami effort.  It is one very, very simple click daily.  It gives 1.1 cups of food for the hungry.  This site is also linked to other sites that only take a few moments out of your day....just a few, and can change people's lives.  Hope you enjoy your day!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Chelsea's Eye..And The Winner Is..

Good morning everyone!!  It is a slow-going morning for me today.  Actually, it has been a slow couple of days.  Sorry I didn't post the answer to the photo contest yesterday.  Most of you were very astute and figured it out anyway!  Congratulations to Smiley Sara who had the first correct guess to  "Up Close With Val"!  Here is your ribbon, honey!  Also, this ribbon is for trying to quit smoking.  Great, job, hon!!  Everyone go over to her space and encourage her...

  I thought the picture I posted on Saturday was pretty darn cool and so I wanted to show you where I got it from.  Here it is.  It is Chelsea's eyeball.  I cropped it and zoomed in.

                              I think it is really awesome to be able to see the brown flecks and yellow in her eye when it is magnified.  That is my precious girl's eye...the shape of mine and the color of her father's.  These eyes are forever imbedded into my brain...their shape, their beauty, their color, their intensity, their soul, and their love.  I remember the night that Chelsea  was born.  They handed me this precious little thing.  She stared up at me and I was just floored.  I never, ever have been the same.  She seemed to already know me.  I remember my thoughts as if it were yesterday...."Oh, now I get it.....God loves me THIS much!!  As much as I love her!!"...Wow!  She is the most beautiful thing I have ever, ever, ever seen!  What did I do to deserve such a beautiful, beautiful girl?  Now I know what real love is...agape love...God's love!"  Chelsea gave me a huge gift the day she was born.  She gave me HER...Thank you Chelsea!  I had not intended this to be a "Chelsea post".  It just turned out that way.

I would like to wish a very, very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! to a special gal, Penny, who is such a good friend to me!!  Have a wonderful birthday, honey!!  Hope you have a wonderful year and it is your best yet!  If you haven't visited her journal, go on over!   Have a good day, all! 

Saturday, January 15, 2005

"Up Close With Val" and Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday everyone!  It is finally sunny in my town.  Wow!  It has been awhile since I have seen and felt the sun and it feels pretty darn good.  I feel like I have to explain something from my last post.  I wasn't actually born with six fingers.  I was born with eleven.  I was born with six fingers on my left hand.  It was surgically removed when I was an infant.  The only proof I have of this is a baby picture of me with an inconspicuous black thread tied around the extra finger.  You can't see the finger, only the thread.  They tried to kill the blood supply to the finger to get rid of it first.  It didn't work so they surgically removed it next.  Now I just have a tiny wart-like nerve-ending to prove that I had a finger there.  I now have ten fingers.  Not six.  That was kind of a gross way of telling you how they tried to get rid of that finger.  Sorry to the weak-stomached.  I have a new "Up Close With Val".  I, again, think this one is easy.  Probably because I played around with the picture a lot.  If you know what it is, put your guess in an email or the comment's section.  I will let anyone who has a correct guess know!  I will post the correct guesser tomorrow or the next day!  Have fun!


Oh, Chelsea is home!  I get two hours with her!!  Yay!  She promised!  She is asking me what I want to do and that is very special so I am getting off!!!  Bye now!!...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Facts about me...

Good afternoon all!  Seems a lot of people are sick in my world.  This sickness wasn't included in the flu shot apparently, so I am wishing that my Dad, Chelsea, Krissy and John are feeling much better soon!  Krissy wanted me to tell you that she will be back journaling and visiting others when she is feeling better.  She visited the doctor this morning and was given an antibiotic.  She sounded awful on the phone.  Everyone is losing their voices.  I'm not sick yet.  I am hoping that I don't get sick.  I usually catch everything that goes around.  I am crossing my fingers and saying a prayer.  I wanted to wish my little sister, Deirdre, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Deirdre is the youngest sister in my family.  There are five girls.  I don't know if everyone knew that.  Yep, five of us.  I have one brother.  He is the oldest. 

I thought I would tell everyone some interesting (or not-so-interesting?) facts about myself today.  I always like learning new things about fellow journalers...obscure things.  I was thinking of things about myself that were not known.  I came up with this list.  I hope you find it interesting.  It may help you understand who I am (and am not).

-  I was born with six fingers! (I am polydactyl!)
-  I have found thousands of four-leaf clovers in my life, hundreds of five-leaf,
   many six-leaf and a few seven-leaf.  I am still looking for the elusive eight-leaf!
-  I have been married twice and divorced twice.
-  I played the violin in middle school and part of high-school.  I also played the
   guitar when I was around eight and nine.
-  I got straight A's in high school except for Algebra II.  I graduated number     
   13 out of 550 students.  We had 3 valedictorians.  I hate math!
-  If I have change in my pocket, I put money in every donation can or box I see.
-  I dream in color.
-  I want to write a book someday.  I will, I really, really will!  It is in my head...I 
   just need to get it written!
-  I want to learn how to play the piano and wooden flute.
-  I have had two brain surgeries and a shunt in my head.
-  I love to do transcendental meditation.
-  I pray every day.
-  I dance and sing with my cat.
-  I love flowers!  My favorite is the red geranium.  It reminds me of my childhood.
   I also love the hydrangea.
-  Krissy is my soul-mate.  She calls me Violet.  I call her Rose.  We have a "Little
   Flower Club" where we help each other out with our needs.  We know each other's
   needs instinctively.  I am going to be her bridesmaid!
-  I hate crowds.
-  I love nature.  I love sitting in the grass.  I love staring up at the clouds.
-  I love teenagers.  They are very special.  We connect.
-  I have bipolar disorder and obsesessive-compulsive disorder.  They suck.
-  My son is in a school for the performing arts.  He loves to sing.  I can't sing.  He
   wants blue hair and I think that is way cool!  He gets straight A's.  (That's not 
   about me is it?  That's about him!  I just want to brag! when
will I do that
   entry about him????)

-  I love color.  I can stare at a pretty color for a long time and it changes my mood.
   I like to paint and when I do I stare at the colors when I am mixing them.  It 
   almost gives me a high.  It surely gives me energy.
-  I am addicted to a few reality shows...Big Brother, The Apprentice, The Biggest
   Loser, American Idol.  I think TV is mostly trash, but why do I watch these?
-  I love music.  I am a secret Barry Manilow fan. is out!  I also LOVE Josh
   Groban.  I just can't get enough of his voice!
-  I sleep on my right side at night and never, ever move.  I am told I snore 
   ocassionally.  I can not sleep with someone else in my bed.  I will kick you out!
-  I absolutely HATE TV commercials.  I change the channel when they come on.  I
   am a channel surfer and freguently watch two TV shows at one time.  What is that
   all about?
-  I hate, hate, hate the telephone and I have the answering machine answer all my
   calls.  I pick up on the machine or call the person back.  My family and friends are
   used to this.  What is this all about, too?
-  I hate grocery shopping!
-  I love glass and gems and anything sparkly!!  I have a glass collection!
-  There is almost no food I will not eat.  I get this from my parents who introduced 
    me to all kinds of food.  I have strange, strange meals.  People groan when I 
    suggest they eat at my home.  Yesterday for lunch I had lobat gow with hoisin 
    sauce, pecans and brazil nuts, and cheese and crackers.  What kind of lunch is
    that?  I could eat a whole lunch of a can of spinach or a cup yogurt and raisins,
    etc.  Give it to me and I'll try it!
-  I will smile at anyone who walks by me in public.

I guess that is all I will write for now.  I am sure I could keep going, and going, and going.  I don't know if I am interesting or not, but this is ME.  Perhaps I will give you more in my next entry.  The sun is actually shining.  I guess I should try and clean my house.  I don't want to.  House-cleaning fairy, where are you???

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Here is a fun test for you...My car is back!

Hello all in J-Land!  My car is finished!  Yay!  I get to get back on the road!  No more mooching rides!  Freedom again!

                                                               !     Chelsea had such a hard time not having a car.  I am sure she is happy as a clam!  She has two jobs to get to, so I am sure she is happier than I am!  I got a call from Krissy last night.  She is back in town and very, very tired.  I don't know if she will be updating her journal for a few days so I wanted everyone to know that she is doing well.  She is very glad to be in her own bed.  John is sick with bronchitis and had to go to the emergency room while he was in Ohio.  He is feeling better, though.  It is always nice to be back in your own bed.

I got an interesting test from my sweet sister-in-law, Shawn, this morning and thought it was interesting.  I was wondering how observant everyone was.  I missed three.  She missed only one.  The person who sent it to her only got six right!  Interesting.  Some of us pay attention to detail and some of us don't.  Let's see how well you do...Here it is...Go ahead and try it and let me know how you do!  Have fun and be honest!

1.   On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?
2.   How many states are in the U.S?  (Don't laugh, some people get this wrong!)
3.   In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?
4.   What six colors are on the classic Campbell's soup label?
5.   What two numbers on the telephone dial don't have letters by them?
6.   When you walk, does your left arm swing with your right or left leg?
7.   How many matches are in a standard pack?
8.   On the U.S. flag, is the top stripe red or white?
9.   What is the lowest number on the FM dial?
10  Which way does water go down the drain, counter- or clockwise?

11.  Which way does a "no-smoking" sign's slash run?
12.  How many channels are on a VHF TV dial?
13.  On which side of a woman's blouse are the buttons?
14.  Which way do fans rotate?
15.  How many sides does a stop sign have?
16.  Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?
17.  How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?
18.  How many sides are there on a standard pencil?
19.  Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc., Who's missing?
20.  How many hot dog buns are there in a standard package?
21.  On which playing card is the card maker's trademark?
22.  On which side of a Venetian blind is the cord that adjusts the opening 
       between the slats?
23.  There are 12 buttons on a touch-tone phone. 
  Which two symbols bear
       no digits?
24.  How many curves are there in a standard paper clip?
25.  Does a merry-go-round turn counter- or clock-wise?


1.   Bottom
2.   50
3.   Right
4.   Blue, Red, White, Yellow, Black, and Gold
5.   1, 0
6.   Right
7.   20
8.   Red
9.   88
10.  Clockwise (north of the equator)
11.  Towards bottom right
12.  12 (there is no #1)
13.  Left
14.  Clockwise as you look at it
15.  8
16.  Left
17.  5
18.  6
19.  Bashful
20.  8
21.  Ace of Spades
22.  Left
23.  * and #
24.  3
25.  Counter

Hope you all enjoyed taking that test!  I had a lot of tun with it.  I realize that some of you in the U.K.might have trouble with a few of the questions....Do you have Campbell's soup over there?  Hmmm..... 

It is still raining and icing outside.  When will this wintery mix stop?  Is it raining and snowing everywhere else?  Well, I think I will go talk to my sister as I see she is on the computer now.  Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Not a whole lot going on in my world.  I have a kitty that is running all over the place and growling for who-knows-what reason.  Silly kitty, he is.  I have mounds of housework to do because I took it easy for two weeks because of rain.  Rain and wind.  I hate it.  I am sitting here waiting for Chelsea and her boyfriend to come back from Subway to bring me back a sub.  Yummy.  I snapped a picture of them before they left.  Her boyfriend's name is T.J.  He is a real sweetheart.  Here they are:


Ah, my sub is here.  Chelsea just walked in and saw this picture and said, "Ewwww!" and T.J. said, "Ah, it's alright."  I guess I am not the best photographer.  I just love seeing my daughter's smiling face!  She is a doll!  Well, I am off to eat my sub.  This entry was pretty much a waste of space, except that I always love to talk about my daughter.  She is the light of my life!!!  I must do that entry I promised about my son very, very soon...the other light of my life!!  Off to eat.............

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Feeling a Bit Sad

I am feeling a bit low-key and sad today.  Krissy (my lovely sister) and John are traveling to Ohio today to be with John's Mom.  John's Mom's husband died a couple of night's ago.  John was very close to him and is very sad as is his mom.  Please say a prayer for traveling mercies and for their emotional well-beling if you are the praying type.

My best male-pal Roger also had quite a shock a couple of nights ago.  He hadn't heard from a friend of ours, Keith, in quite awhile.  He went to visit him and knocked on his door and got no answer so he used his key to get in.  There was Keith on the bed not alive.  Poor Roger.  Keith was Roger's best friend of many years.  Keith was also my friend.  It seems that death comes in clumps.  I am recalling last year at this time when I experienced six friends, relatives and acquaintance deaths over a three month period.  It was a very, very hard time.  Memories are flooding back quickly.   I wonder if, as you grow older, this just happens?  Do you just know more people who may die?  Do you just know more people in general?  Will this happen to me every year?  Hmmm...

Chelsea made it home safely today.  She is a bit sad that she had to say goodbye to her family back in Florida.  She is torn between both families and living in both states.  That must be very, very hard for her. 

We are having terrible and is terrible on my muscles and my brain.  That is about all I have to say.  Not too chippy today.  I am not really in that bad of a mood.  I am just more introspective and tired than anything.  Hope everyone is safe and dry... 

Monday, January 3, 2005

The Winner and Happy Birthdays!

Ugh.  It has been raining for three days and my fibro. is really acting up and I feel really stupid in the head.  I have one of those heads that feel really, really heavy.  The upside is that it is warmer than usual.  We saw 56 degrees on New Year's Day!!  Wow!!  Don't know if that ever happened.  So, my astute, soon-to-be-bride, sister Krissy  was the first to guess both "Up Close With Val" installments from two days ago.  Here is your blue ribbon, Krissy:

 She sent her guesses in via email so that others could guess.  That was nice, Krissy!  Thanks!  The first one was a Christmas tree branch.  I think everyone was able to make out that photograph correctly!  The second one was only guessed correctly by one person, Krissy!  It is a wrapped, hard peppermint candy!  Great guesses, Krissy...ahem...considering your guesses in previous contests (and what is a thingamabob exactly? LOL)

I wanted to wish Sonya (My Southern Home) a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! today and I also wanted to wish Sherry ( Girl To God) a wonderful and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! for tomorrow!!  If you aren't a reader of their journal's, go take a peak!  You won't be disappointed!!  Good day to all and be good to each other!

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Interesting Blog and Light a Candle..

Lovely Jeannette has an incredible entry where you can do a healing ritual by lighting a candle for the tsunami victims.  She also has a link to an incredible blog from Sri Lanka.  Go read it, it is incredible.  Click here!  Thanks for this, Jeannette!

"Up Close With Val"

Happy 2005 everyone!  I decided to put two pictures in this installment of "Up Close With Val".  I haven't had this contest in two weeks because of busy-ness and the holidays so I decided to do the two pictures.  Hope you have fun!  My New Year's Eve was fun and spent with family and friends having a nice get-together.  All is well in my home.  I am feeling very grateful at this time!  God bless you all!  Here are the pictures.  Leave your guess(es) in the comment's section or send me an email and I will let you know if you are correct.  I will post the first guesser of each picture tomorrow.  Have a good day!