Saturday, February 26, 2005

Black & White Pictures...

This week's Scavenger Hunt is brought to you by Krissy at Sometimes I Think.  The subject is "black and white"If you have not participated, it is fun!  She picks a subject once a week!  Play along.  Here are my photos!:

The first one is a rose that Chelsea received from her boyfriend.  It is a pink rose.  I actually think it looks more stunning in black and white.  The second picture is a tree that I see in my backyard all the time.  I took the photo out of my back window. 



The last two pictures are my favorite "black and white" kitties!!  I like how I had them both on striped subjects.  When I made the pictures black and white you could see the kitties better and the stripes were less obvious.  I guess you guys have seen a lot of my kitties!  I promise I will not show them again for awhile!  Take care and have a good rest of the weekend all! xox



Thursday, February 24, 2005

Ten Unique Things About Me!...

John Scalzi challenged us to list "Ten Things That I Have Done That You Probably Haven't"  I am going to attempt to do this challenge.  Play along if you would like!  His entry is linked here as well as other's!  Here are mine:

1.  I was in a county spelling bee in seventh grade.  I froze up and lost.

2.  I had two brain surgeries.

3.  I was homeless for a few months and slept on a friend's couch.

4.  I won an award for a watercolor in a county art show as a child.

5.  A man with an axe in the female protection aisle tried to hit me over the head with it when I was 19.  I was quick to flee!  He went to jail. 

6.  I have talked a few people out of suicide.

7.  I threw-up at school and on the school bus in sixth grade.  It was awful!

8.  I gave a beer to the WWF wrestler, Superfly Snooka.  Does anyone remember him?

9.  I drank my first glass of milk when I was 11.  I remember it distinctly!

10.  I ate only beef hearts and pears for about two years when I was a tot because of allergies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Toilet Sport!...

Good Tuesday to everyone!  I was pleasantly surprised with all of the kind comments I received from yesterday's post!  Thank you, everyone!  When it comes down to it, comments are so important and I would really be sad if they weren't left.  Thanks again!

So, last night a heard a splashing in my bathroom and went in there and found my kitty-cat, JoJo (a.k.a. Baby) sporting in the toilet!  I grabbed my camera and took some pictures.  I was surprised by how many he allowed me to take!




I was flashing away and he didn't care.  It was hysterical.  He really loves the water and even drinks out of the bowl.  Oh my!  I have to keep the lid down, but on the particular occasion, I had forgotten to, or perhaps my daughter did.  Anyway, he had a grand ol' time!  We laugh at Baby a lot during the day.   Thanks for letting me share my "little guy" with you!

Here's hoping you all have a very good day!! xox

Monday, February 21, 2005

Being On Disability...

Alright, AOL, get it together!!  I can't upload pictures and I am having a hard time leaving a comment in other's journals.  What is up?!?!  Get it together!  And what is this, "Too many gateway sessions"???  Ugh.  Too many problems for too long.  Please fix it, okay, thank you.  End of rant.

Several of you asked how I put a background in my entry yesterday.  I am putting together a simple-to-follow email that I will be sending out in a day or two.  It will even contain a website or two where you can dowload backgrounds for free!  If you are interested in receiving this please let me know in the comment's section.

It's funny how, when I go about my day, I have moments where I think, "I should journal about that.  That would be very interesting to put in my blog."  But when I sit down in front of my computer it seems a lot of times those ideas are gone.  Perhaps I should write them down. 

So, I struggle a lot with how much I want to share with everyone.  What I should share and what I should keep to myself.  I am sure everyone else is like that.  It is particularly sensitive when it comes to my illnesses.  I wonder what people would think about me.  Illness has been a big part of my life.  Too big of a part, unfortunately.  When I got a hold of mental illness, physical illness struck.  Illness robbed me of being able to go to college.  It robbed me of being able to take care of my children.  It robbed me of being able to have a career.  It robbed me of being able to own a home.  I have had quite a few friends and still do, who are in the same situation that I am in.  People who are alike hang around each other.  I can not work.  I will tell you that I have NEVER met one person on disability who liked their sitatuation and was happy to just sit there and receive a check.  Nope, all of them wished they were well and could work!  So, I think it is a myth that people who are disabled sit on their bums and receive checks.  I am not saying that some don't, just that the majority don't.  A lot volunteer.  A lot find purposes in other things.  You have to or you go crazy.  I have found purpose in helping others and trying to stay well and trying to have a spiritual life.  I try to look at each day as a gift and try to see what it brings.  I try to live for the day - for the present.  So, I think that the past forms how you behave in the present.  And I don't write much about the past.  I don't go there too often.  It is a bit of a scary place.  Actually, it is behind a closed, black door a lot of the time.  Wow, I shared a lot just telling everyone this!  Well, I think that I will leave it at that and see if my dear, lovely readers will accept me no matter what I write, because this whole paragraph was actually pretty scary! :-) !!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Good Sunday!...Trying Something Out!...

Wow, I just spent half the afternoon trying to figure out how to put a background in this journal!  It took forever!!!  I hope it looks okay.  I hope it didn't take too long to download for you guys.  Let me know if it took too long to download or if it is too hard on your eyes.  It is an experiment.  I chose this background because we are ready to get a snowstorm here!  We are supposed to get 4 - 8 inches.  Winter actually has been pretty kind to us here in central Pennsylvania.  I remember back in '96, I believe it was, we got 130 or so inches of snow that season.  It was something else.  What have we gotten this season?  Not over ten inches.  Nuh-uh.  I don't think so.  So, winter has been pretty kind.  I guess I can't complain.  It's just that these storm systems really cause some terrible nerve pain, and well, that is no fun.  Oh well.  So, how are you all spending your weekend?  I  was going to get under the covers here soon and watch some movies and maybe have some warm tea or hot cocoa, so let it snow...

I wanted to thank all of you who took my quiz.  Krissy, my sister, actually got them all right!!  Yay!!  It is nice to know that someone knows everything about you - your dreams, your likes, your quirks!  Chelsea only missed one!  My Daddy was next and then my sister, Therese!  So, I guess my family knows me well.  As far as journal readers go, Smiling Sara and The Fair Colleen got 60% right!!  Way to go you guys!  That was a lot of fun!!  Thanks for taking part!  Hey, this background is kind of fun, too!  I promise I won't do too many, though, as it probably isn't too friendly on the eyes. 

So, not much to say today!  I really wanted to see if this background worked :-).  Have a good rest of the weekend!!  Hugs to all!! xox

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Interesting Facts...

So, it is Saturday again.  What to write about?  Hmm...  I am sitting here listening to my kitten sucking his paw.  It is really cute.  He is lying in a box next to my computer chair.  Whenever he wants to fall asleep he sucks on his paw very much the same way a child sucks on their thumb.  When I fall asleep at night and he is next to me I hear him sucking away.  It is so cute.  Baby is always next to me.  Always.  I love his presence. 

So, what is new?  Not much.  Chelsea had the flu for a couple of days.  She had a 101 degree fever.  I haven't gotten it so far and am hoping this flu was included in the flu shot as I received one.  We will see!  I just hate getting the flu on top of fibromyalgia.  I am hurting a lot today, too, because we are due a snowstorm sometime tomorrow and I can always feel a storm a day or two, and sometimes three, before it comes.  I am very, very tired of being achey every day.

I think I watch too much TV.  It keeps my mind occupied when I think too much.  An idle mind for me can be too dangerous - especially with my OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).  So, I like to keep my mind occupied.  I watch all kinds of stuff on TV - I watch the Game Show Network, news, silly sitcoms, stupid reality shows, old re-runs of shows, Christian television, and I even watch QVC and HSN, although I never buy anything.   Now mind you, I am housebound most of the time and alone a lot and the TV is used as noise, too.  I am not always engrossed in what I am watching.  I can be on the telephone, making dinner, talking to my daughter, doing a project, cleaning, whatever...  What do you guys watch on TV, and is it for noise or do you really watch it?

I was watching 20/20 last night and found it very, very interesting.  I learned a few things.  I usually don't learn ANYTHING on TV except from the news.  So, here are a few things you might find interesting: 

*  It doesn't matter how late you eat at night.  You won't gain weight as long as your caloric intake during the day is not larger than what you burn.  It seems like we are gaining weight because people actually choose the wrong foods like comfort foods and foods they feel are rewards such as pizza and ice cream, so eat at night if you want to, just eat the right things!!

*  If you want to lose weight make sure you get enough sleep!  The less sleep you get the harder it is to lose weight.  When you are deprived of sleep your body doesn't have as much of the hormone leptin (I believe that is how it is spelled) that gives you the full-tummy feeling.  Interesting.  So you become hungry.  The busier we Americans have become, and the less sleep we have gotten (90 minutes less in the last few decades) the larger we have gotten!

*  Aloe, natural ingredients, fruit extracts, etc. don't do a darn thing to clean your hair or make it healthier in shampoo!  So, don't buy into it!  Interesting.

*  Reading in a low light will not harm your eyes.  As a matter of fact, either will reading in a moving car, according to my opthalmologist.  I had a fight with my Dad over this once.  He would not let me read on a trip to Baltimore because he said it would ruin my eyes.  So we talked to my doc.  He said it wouldn't hurt.  Then I wiggled my eyeballs (a cool trick I can do, yes, wiggle my eyeballs!  Can anyone else do this?).  My Dad and Mom always told me to stop doing this and said it could hurt them.  My opthalmologist said it couldn't and in fact asked me to do it again and said, "Coool!"  So, it is hard to hurt your eyes!

*Moisturizers do nothing, nada, zilch to prevent wrinkles.  There is no cream that can prevent wrinkles.  So if you are buying a cream or moisturizer that says it prevents wrinkles they are lying to you!

*Finally, and this is my favorite, chocolate is good for your heart.  Yep!  It has flavanoids.  It depends on how you eat it, though.  It is best in its purest form.  If you buy it as dark as you can get it and in a cocoa form then you are in good shape.  We ruin it by adding fat and sugar to it.  One ounce is really, really good for you!!  So eat your chocolate, but be smart about it!  Cool!

I have been pretty upset about the current administration trying to ruin Social Security.  I found an excellent post about it here.  Thanks to Ramblin' Man, Rich!!  Please go and read it!  It leads you to a petition you can sign. 

I am off to go take a nap.  My body is very tired.  Have a happy weekend, all!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Meet Matt and a Good Website!...

Happy Tuesday all!  My mind is pretty much all over the place today.  Jumping from subject to subject.  I just read an article here that stated that people with chronic illness and disability are just as happy as people without.  People with and without disabilities charted their moods throughout the day and it appears they are equal.  It shows people can adapt.  People are resilient.  I think this is true.  Maybe when you are first ill you might have a plunge in mood, but you certainly do adapt.  What else has been on my mind?  I saw on the news this morning that they made a school bus that is using used cooking oil for fuel.  How cool is that?!  I also saw that Mary Kay Latorneau is marrying her beau.  I find that interesting.  I always thought of the young man as a victim.  He is only 21 now.  I hope he is not still a victim and now knows what he is doing.   If it were my son, I would be so upset.  Speaking of my son, I miss him so, so much!!                                         

  Here is a picture of Matt taken about a year and a half ago.  He was 15 in it.  He is 16 now.  Almost 17.  Wow, my kids are growing up so quickly.   Matt always keeps so, so busy with activities with his High School for The Performing Arts.  He also maintains a 4.4 average, I believe he said it was.  He was in an I.B. (International Baccaleureate) program before the arts school and was able to get in some advanced classes to get his average above a 4.0.  He is the one person in this world that I believe has a personality most like mine.  He makes me laugh harder than anyone.  I can also have a passionate discussion with him.  We have similar humor and a similar mind.  There is no doubt he is my son.  I only see him in the summer-time.  I think he looks a lot like my brother and a lot like my dad.  He also looks like his father as well as me.  It is weird how that works.  Boy do I ever miss him!!  He wants to be a music teacher, perhaps.  Matt,  you make your Mama proud!!

I wanted to share with those of you who are women and who have daughters, these are websites that you can search by state and by town for sexual predators in your area.  They even show photos and tell you their crimes!!  This one is for Pennsylvania:  website.  For those of you in the U.S. who do not live in Pennsylvania, click here.  I was astounded by the number of sexual predators in my area.  It is always good to know!

Finally, I wanted to ask those of you who pray to say a prayer for two fellow journaler's who are having gall bladder surgery this week.  Penny (From Here To There) and LuAnne (LuAnne's Life Living With Lupus) are both in the hospital this week and are having surgery.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers!  Have a good day everyone!!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Do You Know Me?...

Here is a quiz I created about ME.  Come on, play along!!  It's fun!  You know you wanna play!!!  Click here!  Get the hint??  Have fun!!

Happy Valentine's Day!...


I don't have a "Valentine" this year and sometimes I become cynical on this holiday, but I am going to try not to this year.  I do think that Valentine's Day has become a little bit too commercialized (as has many holidays!), but I do think it is important to show our significant other that they are very special and how much we love them!!  Why can't we do this all year round??  Perhaps you do!  I do hope so!!  I don't think there is anything wrong with having a day to promote this, but I don't think we should be dishing out so much cash to prove our love.  I hope everyone out there is finding creative ways to show your Valentine how much they mean to you!  I used to make certificates for back rubs or chores done or washing the car, etc.  I remember writing down 100 reasons why I loved my significant other one year.  Anyway, I wanted to wish everyone a very HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!

Here is God's, who is my Valentine all year-round, Valentine to you!!  God bless you!:


                                  "For God so loVed the world,
                                       That He g
                                              His on
hat whosever
                                         Believeth In Him
                                            Should Not perish,
                                          But have Everlasting life."
                                                                 John 3:16



Saturday, February 12, 2005

Scavenger Hunt and More..

Hello all in J-Land!!  I am not sure what I want to write about today.  It seems like all my journal entries are postings of photos or updates on my health.  Is this true??  Maybe I am wrong.  I am not sure.  I feel like I am in a bit of a funk.  My mind has been wandering and my words are stuck in my head or on the tip of my tongue.  I feel like I have been stuck in this one long day - like that movie "Ground Hog Day", I guess.  I am spacing out alot.  I can spend a day doing nothing.  Absolutely nothing to show for my day!  I think it is a way of my brain shutting down when it can't take anymore.  Or perhaps my brain is not able to function well in the first place.  I am not certain.  So my neurologist's office called on Friday.  They want to do this test inpatient in March.  They think that my brain pressure actually may be too low and this is responsible for some of the symptoms I am having.  They will be inserting a needle into the reservoir of my shunt (which is in my brain--not too fair in, though) and checking what pressure my cerebral spinal fluid is.  It is kind of like a spinal tap, only doing it in the head and over a period of time.  Hmm...  I will be "Needle-Head".   I am envisioning myself sitting in bed for two days with a needle sticking out of my head.  Val the "Needle-Head!  Oh my, why do I always make jokes?  It makes things a little easier, I guess.  So, they told me it shouldn't hurt too much - it should only be about as bad as an I.V. needle.  Hmm... I.V. needles hurt!!  Oh well.  If they decide that my pressure is too low (which they think it is) or too high then they are going to bring me back three weeks later for a couple of days and put a programmable piece in the shunt and figure out what setting to set it on.  Now, all this wouldn't be going on if they PUT THE CORRECT SHUNT IN IN THE FIRST PLACE!!  Oh, my!!  Now, no more about my health for awhile, I hope.

So, on to this week's Scavenger Hunt, brought to you by Krissy at Sometimes I Think!  This weeks subject is "glass"!!  I love glass!!  I collect glass!!  I actually have a moderate-size glass collection and it was hard for me to decide which pieces to photograph.  I also was trying to figure out if I could capture "glass" some other way.  I was not feeling well at all this week and did not leave my home much, so I will present to you some pieces of my glass collection.  I used to have many more pieces, but I have lost them.  That is a long, long, sad story.  They belonged to my grandmother.  She was a collector.  She had an antique store.  She had a love for glass as well.  So does my mother.  Can you inherit this??  I think that you can!  So, the first picture I am showing you is three pieces of cracked glass that belonged to my Grandmother on my Mom's side.  I have no idea how old these pieces are, but I have found similar pieces in antique stores and they sell for a pretty penny.  I would never sell them, of course!  My favorite is the orange one on the left, I think.    


The second picture is a paperweight that    
belonged to my Mom.  I think she got it in the early or mid 70's.  Is that right?  I remember looking at it when I was little and loving it.  I finagled it out of her possession as I loved it so much :-)!  Thanks, Mom!!  My son used to love to stare at it when he was little as well.  I love the bubbles inside of it.

The last one I am showing you is a vase I got this Christmas that I love!  It is from a neighbor and I just love the red color!  It is my largest piece!  I like putting flowers and branches and such in it.

            One thing I noticed while doing this hunt and posting these pictures is that it is hard to capture the true beauty of glass in a photograph.  It is just not the same in a picture.  But I tried. 

I find so many pieces of glass as I am out and about and wishthat I can purchase them, but my budget doesn't allow.  Anyway, when would I stop, even if I had the money?  So, I remain content with what I have.  Hope you enjoyed them!

Krissy and I have been spending time looking at dresses for her wedding.  Woo Hoo!  How much fun is that?!!  I would show everyone, but it is a secret! LOL

So, I have a question for anyone who can answer it... Does anyone know how to put text next to a picture?  I have seen it in a couple of journals so I know it can be done.  I have asked them and they haven't been able to respond for some reason.  So, could someone help me, please!!  I hate having all that white space next to a small picture..Do you guys understand the question?  I feel like I sound stupid.  Maybe I don't sound as stupid as I think I do.  It is taking me so much longer to write my entries these days because my brain and word-center are a little off.  Oh well.  The snappy Val WILL RETURN!!!  Take care all!!  Love ya!!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

And The Winner Is..And Pomegrananetes...

We had two correct guessers in this installment of "Up Close With Val".   The first correct guesser was The Fair Colleen (from A Northern Childhood).  Here is your blue ribbon, Colleen!:


The second correct guesser was my Daddeeoo who actually gave me the object.  It was a pomegranate!!  It was mighty tasty, too!!!  For those of you who have never tried a pomegranate I highly recommend you go out and buy one and try it!  I think it tastes much like the juice of a dark grape and a cranberry.  It is a tiny bit tart, although very sweet, too!

Here is how it looks when it is whole, when it is on a shrub, and when it is cut up:




Yes, it was very, very tasty indeed!!  I did some reading on the pomegranate and found out it was a berry that grows on a thorny shrub that sometimes turns into a small tree.  It is native to semitropical Asia and was naturalized in the Mediterranean region in very early times.  It is used ornamentally, medicinally and is edible.  They are the size of an apple and the seeds look like corn kernels to me.  They pop in your mouth and are filled with juice.  There are tiny seeds in the kernel.  My Dad swallows the seeds.  I do not.  It is also used to make Grenadine syrup which is used in wines and cocktails and preserves.  So there you have the pomegranate.  They always bring back memories of the Fall for me and Thanksgiving.  My Mom used to buy a few and have them on the table during this time of year.   They are a bit expensive.  One costs about $1..00 - $2.25 from what I have seen in my area.  Perhaps they are cheaper or more expensive in certain areas.  Hope you enjoyed learning a bit about this tasty seed-fruit!!  Go out and try one!  Really!  Have a good day, everyone!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

"Up Close With Val"

Happy Hump-Day all!  Hope everyone is having a fairly decent day!  It seems everything is kind of quiet around J-Land.  Hmm... I am being kind of quiet myself.  Sort of slow-going.  I was sitting on my front porch waiting for a ride yesterday and I saw my friend yesterday.  Do you remember a few months back when I wrote about what appeared to be a homeless man picking up arm-fulls of weeds and throwing them away in a dumpster?  Well I saw him again yesterday!   He was walking up the street yesterday picking up trash!!  Cool!!  He had on a coat and hat so he wasn't cold, and he was eating something!  Seems he  isn't homeless after all!  I found out from around town that he is mentally ill and lives alone.  I do hope society is somehow taking care of him.  He is taking care of society in his own way.  His name is Jim.  He still has his beard and still looks a bit scary.  He was talking to himself.  I gave him a big, big smile and nod when he passed by me.  He did not acknowledge me.  I still hope he noticed anyway.  He picked up quite a bit of trash and carried it to the dumpster and threw it away.  I said a prayer for him as I waited for my ride.  It is really nice know that he is okay and has a home.  I read an article the other day that one mentally ill person in six is homeless!  One in six!!  But that is for another rant!  I get so sick to my stomach when I think of things like this!  I somehow have to numb myself when I think of the mentally ill and poor and sick and homeless or I think I will go crazy!!!  Yes, all for another day....

So, I have a new installment for "Up Close With Val".  Hopefully you know the routine by now.  Put your guesses in the comment's section.  Krissy, you should know what this is!!  Have fun with this and everyone have a good rest of the day!!  Blessings to all!


Monday, February 7, 2005

Giving and Pictures of My Kitties!!...

Happy Monday everyone!  Krissy has a new Monday morning question today.  If you haven't ever participated in the Monday morning question, it is a lot of fun, so go give it a whirl!!  Tell others about it, too!!

Krissy asked today what volunteer work we have done in our lifetime.  I sat and thought about this for a long time.  I think I am a very giving person.  People certainly have given a lot to me, as well!!  Volunteer work should not always be thought of as working for or through an agency or company or group or cause, in my opinion (although I have).  I am someone who, when my friend is hungry and out of food, will share my last bit of food with if I am hungry as well, and then trust that I will find food somewhere later.  I notice when someone is down and smile at them.   I try and find the need in situations and fill it.  I pray for others.  I guess the list could go on and on... This is not to toot my own horn.  Oh no!!  I am writing this to let others realize that they, too, are doing so much good!  Since I had to go on disability about 12 years ago I had to find a "purpose" in my life, or atleast different activities that made me feel like I made a difference.  We all need to feel like we are important and making a difference in this world....that we are doing something to take away a little bit of the pain that is going around.  What do you guys think?

I wanted to share pictures of my lovely kitties today.  I haven't put a picture of Honey in here for quite awhile.  Here she is sitting in her favorite spot (shock!) getting some sunshine.


And here is Baby at his usual spot (the food bowl!).  He is getting bigger!  He basically stopped scratching me and eating me alive about a week ago.  Thank goodness!  He is about 3 1/2 months old now, I believe.  It is hard to know his exact age, because he wasabandoned.  He is a good kitty, except when he is destroying my home, which is a lot of the time, but that is okay, because I know he will grow out of it!  He is a bed kitty, too!  Yay!!  I just wish he would keep the litter in the litter pan!  Good day everyone!


Saturday, February 5, 2005

And The Winner Is...

Apparently the two installments in this week's "Up Close With Val" were pretty easy.  Four guessers got both pictures correct!  The first to get both correct was Promise from No Promises No Demands.  The top object was a candle and the bottom object was a TV remote control.  Way to go, Promise!  Here is your blue ribbon:


The other correct guessers were Rich, Shannon, and Becky.  Thanks for playing everyone! 

Now, if you are feeling a bit blue, or not so good about yourself, or just a bit curious, click HERE !!

Scavenger Hunt and "Footprints"...

I recently sent this out to a lot of friends in an email and got many wonderful comments back so I thought I would post it in my journal.  I think it is very beautiful.  I don't know who the author is or I would give them credit.  It is a "new version" of "Footprints"

Imagine you and the Lord Jesus are walking down the road together.  For much of the way, the Lord's footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace.

But your footprints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turn-arounds, circles, departures, and returns.

For much of the way, it seems to go like this, but gradually your footprints come more in line with the Lord's,soon paralleling His' consistently.

You and Jesus are walking as true friends!

This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens: Your footprints that once etched the sand next to Jesus' are now walking precisely in His' steps.

This goes on for many miles, but gradually you notice another change.  The footprints inside the large footprints seem to grow larger.

Eventually they disappear altogether.  There is only one set of footprints as they have become one.

This goes on for a long time, but suddenly the second set of footprints is back.  This time it seems even worse!  Zigzags all over the place!  Stops, starts, and gashes in the sand.  A variable mess of prints!

You are amazed and shocked!

Your dream ends.  Now you pray:

Lord, I understand the first scene, with zigzags and fits.  I was a new Christian; I was just learning.  But You walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with You."

"That is correct."

"And when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps, following You very closely."

"Very good...You have understood everything so far."

"When the smaller footprints grew and filled Yours, I suppose that I was becoming like You in every way


"So, Lord, was there a regression or something?  The footprints separated, and this time it was worse than the first."

There was a pause as the Lord answered, with a smile in his voice.

"You didn't know?  It was then that we danced!!"

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, a time to dance.

Ecclesiastes 3:1,4.

I hope you found that amazing like I did.  Now on to the Scavenger Hunt brought to you by Krissy from Sometimes I Think.  The subject was "cold".  We had a very sunny week here and most of our snow has melted in our town so it was hard to capure cold here.  I decided to take my camera along with me on my trip to Baltimore and see if I could find any "cold" subjects.  I give you these three pictures of "cold".  All of them were taken from a moving car window on a grey day so they aren't the clearest pictures, but I had a fun time.  There were so many missed opportunities as the car whizzed by frozen icicles and even snow falling that I couldn't capture.  That is okay, though.  Here you are:

The first are some kids playing in a school yard in the snow all bundled up!


The second picture is a small group of houses I found nestled in the side of a hill.  I thought it looked "cold".


The third and last picture is a mountain (I live in a very mountainous area!) that looks very "cold" to me!


I hope you enjoyed my pictures and I hope you all are warm and dry and taking time for yourselves and maybe even doing a little dancing!!  Take care all!

Friday, February 4, 2005

"Up Close With Val"...

Happy Friday afternoon to all!  Some of you asked me to report whether Phil saw his shadow or not.  Well he did.  Apparently, we are to have six more weeks of winter.  As I stated before, he is wrong two-thirds of the time, so perhaps we will have an early Spring!!  That would be delightful!! 

My appointment went just fine yesterday in Baltimore.  It was a very, very long drive home, however, as there was a lot of snow falling in both Maryland and Pennsylvania.  It was a 13-hour-day for an hour MRI!!  Phew!!  We got home safe and sound, but it could have been worse with all of the icy roads.  I will let everyone know the results of my MRI when the doc calls me back.

I have two pictures for "Up Close With Val" today.  It seems like I don't have a particular day to post these.  I was trying to do one a week, but it doesn't seem to be working that way.  Thanks for stopping by to play even though it has been sporadic!  I have a lot of fun with this game and enjoy reading your guesses as well as playing around with the camera and the pictures!  Please post your guesses to these pictures in the comment's section or send them in an email.  I will let everyone know who guesses them correctly in a day or two.  Have fun!!



Atleast I know everyone has heard and seen both of these objects, so those of you in the U.K. are not at a disadvantage this time!  Sorry about the past weeks.  I have really, really learned a lot about the differences we have as well as the similarities.  Now, I am off for a nap.  I can't believe how sore I am from taking two trips to Baltimore in just four days!  It is not good on the fibro.!  Have a good weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Happy Groundhog Day & A Funny!...

Happy Tuesday everyone!  It is just a gloriously beautiful day here in central Pennsylvania!!  The sun is shining and the birds are chirping!  Could it be that Spring is coming?  Tomorrow is Groundhog Day.  I wonder if Phil will see his shadow?  He is wrong two-thirds of the time, so I guess it really doesn't matter.  Folk-lore.  Interesting.  My father was actually born in Punxsutawney.  I guess I am one of the few people who can actually spell the name of this town correctly without having to look it up!  Punxsutawney is an Indian word, my father told means something about desert or sand gnats.  That is all I remember.  So, if Phil sees his shadow we have six more weeks of winter.  This tradition started with the Pennsylvania Dutch, in this country anyway.  I know it goes back even further, though.  My father is part Pennsylvania Dutch.  I found this early saying by the Pennsylvania Dutch on the internet:

     If the sun shines on Groundhog Day,
     Half the fuel and half the day.

Very few still believe Phil is a good prognosticator of weather and yet tens of thousands congregate at Gobbler's Knob every year - A fun tradition for an interesting, little town!         


So, I went to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore yesterday to see my neurologist.  My Dad and I did some calculating and it turns out that I have been making a trip to Baltimore about every five weeks.  I think I am on trip number 26, or something around there.  I was discussing my numb tongue with him.  It hasn't gone away.  Actually, it is just the right side of my tongue right now.  He wants to give me an MRI with and without contrast and a flow study to see how my cerebral spinal fluid is moving around my brain and around the surgery spot I had done where my chiari malformation is at the bottom of my skull/top of my spine.  I know, sounds kind of complicated.  What it means for me is another trip to Baltimore on Thursday.  These trips take on average 12 - 15 hours.  The day is such a long day.  Nerves get frazzled.  Bodies hurt.  I am so, so grateful that my father can take me.  He is such a trooper!!  Thanks, Dad, for all you do!!  He is 76 and is so much more energetic than I am and has so much more patience.  I don't know how he does it!  I will let everyone know how my tests turn out.  Oh, I am bringing my camera on Thursday and Krissy is coming as well, it looks like, so we can both take some fun and interesting pictures, so hopefully you can se what a day is like for me when I go!

I will leave you with a joke that I thought was pretty funny and now I am off to take a nap because I lost so much sleep and I am achey from yesterday's trip.  Be good to one another and Happy Groundhog Day!!