Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
A Texas Sunrise|
A friend, William Taylor, took this picture. He visits Surfside Beach with his dogs almost every morning, watching the sun rise while the dogs prance about at the water's edge.
This is only about ten miles from where I lived in Lake Jackson, Texas. Sadly, I only visited this beach about four times in the six years I lived nearby.
Each day is a challenge. A challenge to get by without thinking about the fibromyalgia pains. A challenge to stay awake when chronic fatigure wants to take over. And a challenge to navigate through fibro fog.
I haven't been writing as much as in the past. For years, I wrote at least 500 words a day. Now, I'm lucky if I write 500 words in month. Sigh.
For more information about what my day (or life) is all about with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pains, IBS, depression and everything else thrown in, check this out:
|I had an opinion piece I wanted to get out there - somewhere besides here. I decided to send it to the newspaper where I used to work in Texas. They used to publish my guest columns quite a bit - before, during and after I worked there.
I decided to check the "rules" of some other newspapers, especially where I have lived.
Know what I discovered? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette actually pays for opinion essays and guest columns.
Know what else? They pay for poems too!
Here's the link for submission guidelines: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/03001/657233.stm
|It looks like it should/could/will rain today. I hope it does. We need rain badly.
Did anyone see the news item about the little girls who were loud while swimming in their backyard pool? And the neighbors took the parents to court?
If you go to ABCnews.com and click on Good Morning America, it's quite a hot topic. If you missed the video, it's there.
Personally, I think the neighbors were right. The kids were too loud.
I tried posting a comment at ABCnews.com myself, but the page just kept flashing and never did accept my comment. Grrr.
What I tried to say was that the whole situation - the kids being too loud, their parents' attitude about it, and the neighbors' anger all show how different today's world is than when I was a kid.
When I was young, any adult in the neighborhood could have requested the kids to play a bit more quietly - especially without the shreiks! - and the girls would have responded, "Okay Mrs. _____. We're sorry." And they would have played more quietly.
Or, if they didn't, any one of the disturbed neighbors could have approached the parents and the parents would have apologized and asked their kids to play more quietly.
Back then, we were more other centered. Now we're more "me centered." We worry more about our own rights than the comfort and rights of those around us.
What's sad is that the kids and their parents may someday learn the importance of kids not shreiking and screaming that way. If they are ever really in trouble, their own parents and the neighbors around them will just ignore the screams. You know...the story of the little boy who cried wolf?
I can't tell you how many times I shared that story with neighbor kids in Texas - when they were shreiking in the courtyard or in the swimming pool. When put to them that way - that their cries for help could go unnoticed - they tended to listen to me and not just think I was a cranky old lady.
I guess I put too many links in an entry a few days ago. I may be about to do the same thing.
Here's the link to that bad poem I posted as part of a contest. (You know, the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest.)
You're supposed to click here and read my bad poem, then vote on it like it's really good. Seriously. If you vote for my poem the most one day, I could win an I-pod or $1000. Really. Now wouldn't that be fun? Hey, I would share. Well, not the I-pod, but the money. I could buy some gp's and spread them around. http://www.poetry.com/voteforme/poemvote1.asp?PID=11956341 I'll wait....
Okay on to the next topic. I guess I'll never win an award for staying with one topic.
Ever feel tempted to send on a chain email letter or a popular forward? Know what you can do instead? Just send some of these links. These folks have collected some of the best and worst email chain letters and forwards. You can find more examples by just putting "email chain letters" or "email forwards" into a Google search.
This one is good: THINGS YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW WITHOUT THE MOVIES
http://bl.net/forwards/movies.html Reading this could actually help you do a story some day.
Building Character Series - Part 10 (final part)
Woman writes letter to ex-boyfriend.
I'm sorry I broke our engagement. I do still love you. Really.
P.S. I heard you won the lottery.
Mark 12:29-31 NCV
Jesus answered, "...Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second command is this: Love your neighbor as you love yourself. There are no commands more important than these."
Galatians 5:14 NIV
The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Love is only a feeling. It's more!!!
Love is uncontrollable. Right. Your head is spinning? You're weak? In need? You fell in love and couldn't help it?
Love is a choice.
Colossians 3:14 MSG
And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all purpose garment. Never be without it.
We are commanded to love, to wear love, to show love, not to "feel."
Love is an action.
1 John 3:18 NLT
Dear children, let us stop saying we love each other; let us really show it be our actions.
Corinthian Love...(1 Corinthians 13)
Love never gives up. Love is patient.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV
Be patient with everyone.
Love equals time and waiting and patience.
Ephesians 4:2 NLT
Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love.
None of us are perfect. We have not yet grown up - spiritually. We're still on the way.
Love is other oriented.
Psalms 112:4 NCV
A light shines in the dark for honest people, for those who are merciful and kind and good.
Love feels secure.
Romans 8:39 NIV
Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is no envy, no boasting, no pride. If we're secure in love, we don't need to boast.
Love operates in a position of strength and everyone benefits. Love flows from abundance, not emptiness.
Love is giving and gracious.
Proverbs 11:25 GW
A generous person will be made rich, and whoever satisfies others will himself be satisfied.
Love makes a difference in small ways, in acts of kindness.
Love will not quit.
Psalms 27:14 MSG
Stay with God. Take heart. Don't quit. I'll say it again: Stay with God.
Love always hopes and perseveres.
Life is loaded with speed bumps. Love helps.
|Someone asked if I've been sleeping more than usual lately. Yes. Definitely. At least during the day.
Do you look at your blog stats? I do, but just once in a while. I usually get between 20 and 35 views per day. Yesterday, I had 58 views.
I wonder...did I have some weird key word?
Was it because I had 3 entries?
Guess we'll never know.
Anyway, I am working on the sermon notes.
|I know, I know. I still haven't posted my sermon notes from Sunday. I will. (Although the longer I wait, the better the chance that I won't be able to read my own handwriting. )
I was at the church for a few hours this morning. I'm not sure I accomplished all that much. I did meet with the pastor and with Susan. Susan is the leader of our small group. She's also active in outreach ministries. She and I are going to help with the ArkALMIGHTY ministry in our church.
We're meeting at the church again tomorrow at noon for a conference call about this program. With the movie Evan Almighty coming out on Friday, we really want to tell our members - SOON - about this ministry.
We have a cool (big) banner to put outside that just says, "Help is here." It has a picture of the ark and gives the web site, www.ArkALMIGHTY.com on it.
We have some great bulletin insert pages, t-shirts for the pastor and Susan and I to wear as we introduce this. And a video clip to show. But we need to make sure we understand everything before the questions start. We also need to provide forms to fill out for those who do not access the Internet.
Lots to think about. Lots to do.
But, just like yesterday, I'm tired. I really have to take a nap before I think about all of this.
|I found another entry from a while back that I had marked as "keep private." Wish I would quit doing that.
Anyway, here's what you missed.
I'm not a doctor. Just a woman suffering from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and all that goes along with those...
Stomach ailments happen to fibro patients. And IBS. But my pains and digestive problems really bug me sometimes. I've had every test you can have - 2 and 3 times! But the medications meant to reduce stomach acid don't seem to help the pains (and burping and passing gas). Then I read somewhere that people over 50 often don't make enough acid. I tried taking some wine vinegar every day and that seemed to help. So who knows...
If you spend time on the internet researching what "helps" fibromyalgia, you'll find that there probably are not two patients taking the same exact meds. That's probably because every patient also has different pains and symptoms. It makes it hard to figure out - for patients and doctors.
My gastro doc finally did admit that my pains might just be spasms, since everything else spasms and suggested a different muscle relaxer than I take for skeletal muscles. Sigh.
There are plenty of fibro patients who swear by taking guaifenesin. And there are plenty of doctors and researchers who seem to want to stop them from both taking gauifenesin and from talking about it. They claim there's a placebo effect. Perhaps. But supposedly, the man who started all of this, R. Paul St. Amand M.D., had it himself, and was, therefore, motivated to find something that would relieve or cure the symptoms.
Here are just some links about guaifenesin:
L-glutamine is something that body builders take. But if you poke around on the internet, you'll find that it's been given to cancer patients for pain. I've been taking it, and, you know, it seems to help.
Here's that bad and silly poem I wrote and sent to poetry.com just because doing so was a requirement for entering a constest. Remember? The Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest I mentioned a few weeks ago? http://www.winningwriters.com/contests/wergle/we_guidelines.php
Here's how the poem looks at poetry.com. Y'all should really vote for it, 'cause it's sooooo good. vhttp://www.poetry.com/voteforme/poemvote1.asp?PID=11956341
Here's a link to outpost-earth.com where my blog is listed.
This is where you can find my ezinearticles.
And here's http://www.bloggernity.com a blog search directory. Here's my blog listing there. You can even vote for it. http://www.bloggernity.com/blogs/41777.html
That's all the stuff 'n' such for now.
I have to about it, otherwise I might . It drives me nuts that I have to take naps. Sometimes I can go for days without needing to do that. Then Tiff will be here for the weekend and I'll have to nap while she's here. That really makes me mad. At least this past weekend, I was able to nap while she and hubby were out having daddy time.
My son came looking for me and asked if he woke me. He didn't. He was finally using the bongo drums his dad sent for his birthday. I don't think he had used them much before today.
For Christmas 2005, I gave Derek a Djembe (an African drum), and he has used that. Now he has both the Djembe and the bongos. I'm glad he's using them today. Sometimes it helps him relieve stress.
In case you don't know what they look like, here's a Djembe:
Nope. He didn't wake me. I was already awake when he started drumming. But I really don't think it would have mattered that he was drumming and I was sleeping. It seems, once I am asleep, that nothing much wakes me up.
You know what bugs me? I'm signed up with a few different (real!) mystery shopping companies. But I have not gone out of my way to do any mystery shopping since I've been in Cincinnati. You know why? Many of the companies have not raised their payments in years. Grrr.
I did my first mystery shopping before there were mystery shopping companies, I think. Back then, I worked for a private investigator. I had to pretend to need an apartment and report on the leasing office. That was in Houston, way back in about...1979 or 1980. I was paid $25 for about an hour of my time, and back then that was excellent.
The company that I'm signed up with to spy on (okay they wouldn't like that phrase) apartment leasing offices now pays $40. That's okay.
But the pay for some other kinds of shops stinks. Like...there's one company that pays $5 to shop a restaurant. Granted you don't have to buy much to be able to report. But still. They're not reimbursing for the meal or snack. And it could take 3 or 4 weeks to get the $5. With gas prices, I'm not sure about that one.
Today I got an email about doing shops for a hotel. This could be worth something. They reimburse for the cost of the hotel (plus meals if you're required to report on them) plus $20. They expect you to do these shops in your own area, so there's not a big travel expense. (Or you can schedule a shop somewhere else while you're traveling. That could be interesting - getting your hotel reimbursed plus getting paid.)
Anyway, in case you're interested in trying this, here's the link: http://shopper.application.freemangroupsolutions.com/
Speaking of not increasing pay...
That has become a hot topic about some of the writing magazines and e-zines. They have not increased pay at some of them. Funny, isn't it? They will criticize other magazines and e-zines for taking advantage of writers and not paying enough. Then they will pay very little for articles about how little the other magazines pay.
Okay. I'm not sure that last paragraph made much sense. I wonder if I'm getting sick or something. I'm shutting down, as I tell hubby. That means that I need to be in bed in the next ten minutes or so. Wonder why I'm so sleepy today??????
|Hi all. Did I take that nap yesterday from 3 to 4:20ish pm? I sure did. I woke up about three minutes before hubby called. I also took a nap after hubby got home from work. From about 6:30 to 7:30. Of course after two naps and the resting I did before that, I didn't go to bed until 1 am. Got up to get Derek from work and here I am now. But you know...I'm probably going back to bed for a while. I'm not going to set an alarm...just let my body decide how much sleep it wants. The dirty house and sink full of dishes will wait some more. And such is my life. Today, the pains all over my body are competing with the fatigue. They're all winning, as far as I can figure.
I know, I know. I haven't posted my sermon notes yet. I'll do that when I wake up. Then I'll do those dishes.
|After getting Derek from work, I rested and checked my map for getting to my disability attorney's office. I haven't been there for over a year, and my forgetter works real good.
He asked what new maladies and/or symptoms I might have developed over the past year. The medical records he has are only up-to-date to mid-2005, so he has to request records from then to now. Not much time to get them and forward a copy to the court by July 6. Grrr... I liked it better when he had an assistant to keep up with that stuff.
He explained the forms that I have to fill out and send in. A confirmation that I will be in court. A record of medications I take. And a record of any work I might have done since mid-2005. Pretty easy stuff. I'll be able to get that in tomorrow's mail.
Then he explained the court procedures. There are 11 possible judges. Three of them are totally open to fibromyalgia cases and approve as soon as they see that medical records back up the diagnosis. Of course I didn't get one of them. Three don't believe that fibro is disabling. Thankfully, I also didn't get one of those. The remaining judges are probably more what one would expect of a judge. They read the medical records, listen to the supposed disabled person and any witnesses, consult with a vocational expert (and a doctor if they have chosen to have one present...my judge has not), then make a decision.
The judge will be asking me some questions that day - about my normal routines, what I can and cannot do around the house, my pain levels, etc. They are questions I can certainly answer, but my attorney wanted me to be prepared.
The interesting thing is the vocational expert that will be in the court room. She will have read through the medical records, but her testimony will not be on them. She will be asked first if a person of my age, with the maladies I have, could work a full time job. If she says yes, she will be asked what those jobs are and how many there are in the US, the region and in my city. (Hmmm. If the job(s) she thinks I could do were only located in Alaska, would they expect my hubby to move?)
Next, she will be reminded of what my specific medical file and my doctors' reports say about my abilities and disabilities, then asked the same question. What jobs can I do based upon this information? How many of said jobs are there in the US, the region, my city.
Finally, she will be reminded of what I said -and my witness(es) said - about what I can and cannot do. And she will be asked again what full time jobs I could do and how many are in the US, the region and my city.
After all of this, the judge will make his decision based upon the medical records, the vocational expert, and whether or not he feels that I am credible. Unfortunately, this judge does not make quick decisions. My attorney took two cases to him in January of this year. One just received an answer; the other has not yet been decided.
Time for me to make some notes about what a typical day is really all about.
Like today. I picked up my son. Rested. Got ready. Drove to my attorney's office. Spent 1 1/2 hours there. Drove back. Called hubby. Rested. Talked to my baby sister on the phone. Rested some more. Typed this blog entry.
Now...my house is a mess. I have a ton of laundry to do. There are dishes in the sink.
And what am I going to do about all of those things?
Nothing. I'm going to take a nap. Hubby should be calling at about 4:20ish to tell me he's on his way home from work. So my next rest will be a real, honest-to-goodness nap of about an hour and 20+/- minutes.
|The story continues...
After dropping the injured bird at the SPCA, Tiff and hubby went to lunch at Steak & Shake. Then they saw a movie at the cheapie theater. I forget which movie they saw. You'll have to ask him.
Tiff spent much of Saturday and some of this afternoon playing with the sprinkler and in the mud. I think she left her muddy clothes here for me to wash rather than taking them home to mom. Good call.
Weird thing, though. For some reason last night at about 11 pm, Tiff called her mother and said she wanted to leave. Hubby was just about ready to go to bed. Or so he thought. Tiff had done this one other time and hubby took her home as she asked. This time he put his foot down since it was so late.
We tried to find out what that was all about. She didn't appear to be bored the whole time she was here. That has been a problem in the past. She expects to be entertained, and if her neighborhood friends are off camping or something, that leaves hubby and me to come up with constant activities. I don't remember needing any adults to help me think of things to do at that age.
But this time, she was occupied and seemed happy. Until she asked to go home. I wonder if her mom put that idea in her head when Tiff called her to say good-night. Could be.
Let's lighten up.
How about a joke. This was in Reader's Digest, June 2007 issue.
A little boy was wailing about having stubbed his toe.
His mother asked, "Which one?"
His response? "The one that had roast beef."
You got it, right? This little piggy...
I got a new writing newsletter the other day. One that I had requested. The first issue arrived and I started reading.
I don't remember what the first article was about. There were about a dozen lines, then one of those "more" buttons to click. I clicked and found myself on a page where I learned that I had to join to read the whole article. What?
I went back to the newsletter and discovered that every "more" button lead me to the same page where I had to join to read more.
Grrr. That isn't a newsletter. A newsletter has complete articles in it. What I got was a big advertisement with teasers. That's just not nice.
Know what else? As I read the joining form, I discovered that they had conveniently already checked some answers at the bottom for me.
X Yes, I want to receive newsletters from all divisions and subsidiaries and related and unrelated companies and organizations that this writer's organization decides. (Okay, I'm exaggerating just a bit.)
X Yes, I want to subscribe for 5 years for the reduced price of $XXX.
(Okay, maybe it was only 3 years.)
X Yes, I want to provide 15 email addresses of friends and relatives.
(You got me. It was only 5.)
But you get what I mean. Not only were the not providing a real newsletter, they had checked all of these things for me. If I had ordered and not realized what was checked, I could have been getting newsletters and who knows what else from dozens of companies and organizations.
Grrr. Really not nice.
In case you haven't heard, winter could use our prayers. Here's Budroe 's entry to tell more. "Invalid Entry"
Stop by Raven's port and read some of her work. Then drop her a line and tell her that you're praying for her.
|We had plans for this weekend. Plans for Tiff and her dad to spend some fun times together. Sometimes, though, real life happens in ways that we don't plan.
We arrived at church at 5:50 pm for a grill-out that was supposed to start at 6. There were lots of cars in the parking lot, but I guess they were from businesses across the street. Our church lets the businesses use the parking lot when the church isn't meeting.
There was a grill at the back of the church, but it wasn't fired up. Hubby and I wondered if we had the wrong day, but I had checked the bulletin before leaving the house. It did say Friday night at 6. I wondered if there were so few people signed up that they cancelled and forgot to call us.
Soon, the pastor arrived and behind him the woman who had been in charge of planning. It turned out that she had quite a day - personally. And when her husband went to the Christian book store to pick up the movie we were supposed to see after eating, he discovered that the release date had been pushed back - to August! They consulted over the phone and selected Flicka.
Someone got the grill going and we ate hot dogs and watched Flicka. Everyone cried. Tiff wanted to leave when it got sad. Hubby was ready to take here home, but I said I was staying. (We had two cars.) Thankfully, they did stay so Tiff was able to see the happy ending. If you haven't seen Flicka, I would recommend it. Especially if you need your tear ducts cleaned out.
We arrived home about 9 pm and it wasn't dark yet. Tiff was spending time with her neighbor friend. Hubby and I sat on the porch. It was a nice night. Cooler now that the sun was going down, with a slight breeze. Quite pleasant.
Then I noticed Tiff's friend (Taylor)'s cat attack a bird. The bird was jumping all over the yard and I went to see what I could do. The kids realized that something was going on. They saw the bird under Taylor's dad's truck. Now we realized that it was not a grown bird, but a baby. And everyone's "awwwwwwwwww" instinct kicked in.
We got the bird into a box. I looked for advice about saving baby birds while hubby tried reaching the SPCA. The SPCA was supposed to call back last night but never did. I think they would have if we had been able to tell them it was an endangered bird. But we really didn't know what kind it was.
Tiff and the neighbor girls went to work looking for worms. They weren't going to chew them up like a mommy bird might, but the did figure they could smash them up to feed him/her. They played in the dirt/water/mud for quite a while, then admitted that they had almost forgotten about the bird. They were having fun making mud pies and getting filthy at ten o'clock at night. Tiff told her friends that I was a really cool step mom. She squirted me accidently and I didn't get mad and scream and yell. Why would I? It was water, and I wouldn't melt. Besides, I chose to sit close to the activities. I had to know that an "accident" could cause me to get wet.
They never did find any worms. We wondered why an adult bird can just reach down into the earth and grab one, but a bunch of kids digging around in the dirt cannot find even one.
Next they chewed up pieces of bread and tried feeding the chirping baby. It did eat some of that. They put grass and mud in the bottom of the box and we put the baby in the garage, so our cats couldn't get to it.
The baby, from what I read on the internet, is a fledgling. That's why it was hopping around in the yard. Supposedly, if you put a fledgling back near where you found it, it will hop to a nest - maybe in low bushes - and everything will be fine. But the neighbor's cat went prowling for more birds once she found one. Putting the small bird back would have been a death sentence.
This morning hubby had to work for a few hours. The plan was for him to come back here to pick up Tiff and go to Michael's (craft store) so he and Tiff could make a craft together. That was the plan...
1)The last craft time was 11:30 and he would not have made it.
2)We had a bird that needed help. I talked with the SPCA this morning and they said to bring it in.
So now Tiff and her dad are off taking the bird - which really does need some food and water at this point, plus I think the cat broke the bird's leg - to the SPCA. I gave Tiff some money to treat her dad to lunch and whatever else they want after that. Movies, bowling.
She has her bathing suit with her, but hubby doesn't even have one that fits. Maybe she has it in mind to go and buy him some swim trunks. I don't know. But the day is theirs. She said she just wanted some daddy time.
My son didn't go to work last night. He pulled a muscle in his back and chest and it was just too painful last night for him to go. I told him that since he did pull the muscle at work, he should really have them pay for x-rays and such to see what's going on. But I'm just a mom, not someone who really knows stuff.
Here it is only mid-day on Saturday. And as I wrote, the phone rang. Of course it was Tiff's mom wanting to talk with her. I told her she was having her daddy time. Paula answered, "Well, I'll just call his cell phone." I almost wish he had it turned off. Why does she always have to intrude on their fun?
|Know where that is found? That's right. It's from Shakespeare's soliloquy which begins "To be or not to be." I was just reading and reviewing that whole soliloquy. It was either in 10th or 11th grade that we studied Hamlet in school. We had to memorize many parts of Hamlet, and this was one of those parts.
I think it must have been 11th grade. I would have memorized this in English class. At the same time, I was memorizing all of the words to songs for concerts we would perform with the choir and the story of the "Crow and the Fox" in French class. On my own, I vowed to memorize some Bible verses that year as well.
Oddly enough, I remember some of the Bible verses. And I remember most of the French I memorized that year. In fact, I have been known to recite that French in my sleep.
I just love the Internet. I Googled the first line of what I memoried in French class and voi la. There it was. The entire text of what I had memorized in 11th grade. It's by Jean de la Fontaine.
Maître Corbeau, sur un arbre perché,
Tenait en son bec un fromage.
Maître Renard, par l'odeur alléché,
Lui tint à peu près ce langage :
"Hé ! bonjour, Monsieur du Corbeau.
Que vous êtes joli ! que vous me semblez beau !
Sans mentir, si votre ramage
Se rapporte à votre plumage,
Vous êtes le Phénix des hôtes de ces bois."
A ces mots le Corbeau ne se sent pas de joie ;
Et pour montrer sa belle voix,
Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie.
Le Renard s'en saisit, et dit : "Mon bon Monsieur,
Apprenez que tout flatteur
Vit aux dépens de celui qui l'écoute :
Cette leçon vaut bien un fromage, sans doute. "
Le Corbeau, honteux et confus,
Jura, mais un peu tard, qu'on ne l'y prendrait plus.
If you want the English translation, here's the link. http://www.jdlf.com/lesfables/livrei/lecorbeauetlerenard
It's funny how easily it is to get distracted. I was determined to write about sleep today.
I found some sleeping (and waking) quotes:
It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. ~John Steinbeck
One of the coolest and wisest hours a man has, is just after he awakes in the morning.
- Herman Melville
He who sleeps in continual noise is wakened by silence. - William Dean Howells
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. - Ovid
Why am I thinking about sleep? Because for some reason, when I don't have to pick up Derek at work at 6:45 a.m., I wake up bewteen 6:50 and 7:10 a.m. It's not that I wake up thinking that I missed getting Derek from work. I always know that it's a day when I don't have to do that. It's not that the cats have awakened me. Often one or both of them are sleeping soundly on the bed with me.
Earlier in the year, it could have been the sun waking me. But not now. The sun rises before I'm waking.
Back when Derek and I lived in Lake Jackson, TX, I used to wake up at 4:30 a.m. each and every day. It didn't matter if I went to bed at 10 p.m. or 1 a.m., I would always wake at the same time. I know why that was. In the apartment behind me, there was a fellow who went to work every morning at that time. The parking lot where he parked was just 20 feet or so from my bedroom window and his car was LOUD. I woke every time he started his car and I usually couldn't get back to sleep. Oh well. I loved watching the sun come up.
Now I'm trying to discover if there's a loud car or truck in my neighborhood waking me each morning. If it's a noise that wakes me, it stops before I'm out of bed. I just can't figure it out.
As I was thinking about sleep patterns, I thought about hubby. He loves sleeping in until at least 9 a.m. on the days when he doesn't work. I have to admit that bugs me a bit. I always got up even earlier on days I didn't work so that all of my house chores could be completed by about 10 a.m. and the rest of the day could be used for having fun.
With hubby in bed until 9, I feel like I have to tip-toe around. He's not a sound sleeper. Perhaps that's what bugs me more. I could get up on the weekends and clean and do laundry or whatever, but I'm afraid of waking him. And so I don't do those things.
And then I don't do them when he's up either. I really prefer cleaning when there's no one to get in the way. It goes faster that way.
I was also thinking about today's kids...and when they have sleep overs. When I was young, we had sleep overs too. But no matter how long we were awake, we were always expected to leave the house where we slept by about 8 a.m. We had to be up, washed, dressed and with breakfast in our bellies before then. We left by 8, so that all of us could be home and ready to do our chores.
Back then, on the weekends, dads mowed the lawns early in the morning hours too. On any Saturday in the summer, you could see the dads in every yard between 7 and 9 a.m. If someone wasn't cutting the grass by then, we all wondered if the man of the house was sick. Of if the family had gone away for the day.
While the dads were doing yard chores, the kids were either helping out there or in the house with the moms. The moms were fussing in the kitchen, picking up around the house or doing a load of laundry. Yes, there were specific days for big housekeeping chores and laundry, but Saturday mornings were catch-up days.
On Saturday nights, dads shined our shoes - our church shoes and our school shoes. I think my dad liked that his girls wore patent leather shoes to church. He just put a layer of vasoline on them and wiped them clean. Real leather shoes required shoe polish and spit-shining. In the summer, of course, the dads didn't have to polish school shoes. Instead, they checked out the tennis shoes and sandles to make sure they were clean for the coming week. White tennis shoes did get white shoe polish on them sometimes. I know my dad preferred that we get red or navy Keds.
While dads were polishing shoes, moms were making sure that the kids were ready for
church in the morning. They washed our hair (back then we often only washed our hair once a week - yuck!). I had rather straight hair, so my mom put curlers in my hair every Saturday evening. Every picture of me as a kid on a Saturday night shows me with curlers, even if we're having a family get-together for a birthday or something.
Sunday mornings, of course, found everyone heading to their church. We kids could visit and play with friends after church and after lunch. If we weren't going to visit other relatives, that is. We often visited aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on Sunday afternoons.
When we moved into the neighborhood where I spent my elementary school years, I was only three years old. It was still part farming community, and there were horses, cows, goats and chickens all around us. I wonder if we all got up early in the morning because there were roosters to help wake us.
Whatever the reason, rising early was something that has become a habit for me. Even when I don't have to. Or perhaps especially when I don't have to. I love waking to watch the sun rise and hear the birds being their morning praise and worship service. I love watching squirrels romp. You just don't hear or see these things later in the day. By then, the animals are about their business.
Sometimes, we should pay attention to what the animals and birds have to teach us.
So maybe that's the answer to the puzzle. Maybe I wake up around 7 a.m. just because it's what my body and mind and spirit are used to doing. Getting up early to face the day.
|Today is Flag Day.
When I was a kid, we always flew the flag on important days - Fourth of July, Flag Day, Memorial Day. I guess I always figured that Flag Day was the day we celebrated the flag and, perhaps, Betsy Ross for having created the first one.
I never thought much more about it. Today, I set out to learn some more.
Did you know:
...that Flag Day was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1916. On August 3, 1919, President Truman signed an Act of Congress making June 14th National Flag Day.
...that the whole idea of Flag Day was probably started by a teacher in Wisconsin - BJ Cigrand - back in 1885.
Or did you know:
...that in 1914, Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a Flag Day address and said these words: "I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself." He said the flag had spoken those words to him that morning.
Boy, if the flag represents who we are, we surely have changed over the years. I wonder what our forefathers think as they gaze down upon us. That we've ruined everything for which they fought? That the instruments and documents they designed for us were backed by a sound set of moral values that we have lost?
Yes, today is Flag Day. You know why I remember that? Because it was also my father's birthday. I think he loved that he was born on Flag Day. Flags waved on his birthday.
"I Miss My Dad" We celebrated his last earthly birthday two years ago. You know, I think he enjoyed the fact that his birthday - Flag Day - and Father's Day were so close together. It allowed us to celebrate for days.
I was curious today about the origins of Flag Day. I wandered onto a site about the U.S. flag. http://www.usflag.org/history.html
There, I discovered that we have an American Creed, written by William Tyler Page. He won a nationwide contest, the idea of Henry Sterling Chapin, Commissioner of Education of New York State. That was in 1918, when being patriot was right and proper.
The web site says, "James H. Preston, the mayor of Baltimore, presented an award to Page in the House of Representatives Office Building on April 3, 1918. The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the commissioner of education of the state of New York accepted the Creed for the United States, and the proceedings relating to the award were printed in the Congressional Record of April 13, 1918.
Here's the creed:
The American's Creed
"I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the people by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those principls of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
I therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag, and to defend it againest all enemies."
Have you ever seen the biggest U.S. flag? (And the world's largest flag.) It weighs 3,000 pounds and requires 600 people to unfurl it! http://www.superflag.com/doc/guinness.htm
There are references all over the internet about a live-cam of the tallest flag pole in Dorris, California, but it appears that the live-cam link is dead. But there are still pictures of the town folks hoisting a 30 x 60 ft. flag on this 200 ft. tall pole.
|Booker T Washington quotes:
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward.
You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself. ~ Harvey S. Firestone
Give what you have to somebody, it may be better than you think. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. ~ Thomas Jefferson
God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with. ~ Billy Graham
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. ~ Benjamin Franklin
You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away. ~ Elbert Hubbard
Luke 6:38 NIV ~ Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
|What city was that? Did you hear? A woman died on the emergency room floor? Her family couldn't get her help there, so they called 9-1-1. They wouldn't or couldn't offer help since she was already at the hospital. A stranger in the hospitall also called 9-1-1 and got the same response. How could that happen???
My sermon will be delivered at church on July 15. That gives me a bit of time to prepare.
Did you see Dr. Phil today? Some gypsy scammers in Houston set up a toll free number pretending to be the Dr. Phil show. People actully wired money via Western Union to buy time to talk to Dr. Phil and/or his wife. How sad. They were paying $350 and more.
The story and investigation continues tomorrow on the show.
Hey, TexansBeatTheMiamiDolphinsBy3 . The calls were being answered at a psychic's location. Y'all do have quite a few of them (plus topless clubs) along the main streets and highways in Houston, don't you? Sounds like a great place for a prayer walk.
Found a few more quotations I like:
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. - Booker T. Washington
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. - Thomas Jefferson
I wonder why we quote some things from Thomas Jefferson and not others. Like thinking that his phrase "separation of church and state" is in the official government documents...when it was really in one of Jefferson's personal letters.
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. - Benjamin Franklin
You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. -
Robert Louis Stevenson
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. - Luke 6:38 NIV
|....but God is good. God is good....all the time.
Warning. Sermon coming.
The Building Character series continues. Part 9
Learning Fairness in an Unfair World
Notes in the margins:
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon - the world's wisest man - said that crime not punished will go on. In Ecc. 8:11 NIV When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.
Most people don't think about fairness. Most people don't care as long as they get theirs.
Last year, one million Christians were martyred. That's the average per year.
The world is not Heaven; it's not perfect.
Ecclesiastes, 4:1-2 Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors and they have no comforter. And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.
Ecclesiastes 8:14 NIV There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless.
Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 NIV I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.
Ecclesiastes 10:5-6 NIV 5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
the sort of error that arises from a ruler: Fools are put in many high positions,
while the rich occupy the low ones.
We pay athletes ten to a hundred times the pay of teachers, the ones responsible for teaching our children.
God wants tried and true lovers. He could have created us to be robotic worshipers. Instead He gave us free will. We get to choose to love Him or to ignore Him. If bad things happen, it isn't because God chose those bad things to happen. But he did give everyone free will. If you are hit by a drunk driver, it isn't God's fault, but the fault of the driver who chose to drive while drunk.
If God took away injustice, He would also have to take away free will or choices.
We may never get an explanation here on earth about why we had the suffering we did.
Photo negatives taken are turned to positive by having a very bright light shine on them. So it is with people. Negatives turn to positive by our Shining Light.
And now for the fill-in-the-blanks....
Why does God allow injustice?
Because He blessed us with free will.
Deuteronomy 11:26 NLT "Today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse!"
Because God will bless us with justice.
2 Corinthians 5:10 NCV We must all stand before Christ to be judged. Each of us will receive what we should get -- good or bad -- for the thing we did in the earthly body.
God's judgement will b so much better than any revenge we can imagine.
Because God wants us to find our Savior.
Ecclesiastes 3:18 TLB And then I realized that God is letting the world go on its sinful way so that he can test mankind, and so that men themselves will see that they are no better than the beasts.
We need a Savior!!!
Humanity is not good. Hope is not in man, not in a new President, not even in the Church. Hope is in Jesus.
Because God wants us to build character.
Romans 5:3-4 ESV Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
Potentially, suffering has this ability...if we respond in the right way.
How to face unfairness:
Accept is as part of your spiritual pilgrimage.
1 Peter 4:12-13 NCV My friends, do not be surprised at the terrible trouble which now comes to test you. Do not think that something strange is happening to you. But be happy that you are sharing in Christ's sufferings so that you will be happy and full of joy when Christ comes again in glory.
Replace your anger with affection.
Matthew 5:44 NCV But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you.
You cannot carry around a ball and chain for 25 years because someone hurt you. You have to learn to love your enemies and pray for those who hurt you.
Booker T. Washington said, "I let no man drag me down so low as to make me hate him."
Let God be your source of strength.
1 Peter 2:19 NCV A person might have to suffer even when it is unfair; but if he thinks of God and stands the pain, God is pleased.
1 Peter 4:19 NLT So if you are suffering according to God's will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for He will never fail you.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
|My baby sister had a birthday on June 6 and I still haven't talked with her. That's odd. I have left a few messages, but haven't had a return call. I wonder if she and her family went away for a few days. Normally she would check in first, especially since mom's assisted living center is near her. Hmmm. My baby sister turned 42 this year. She doesn't look it.
The young couple who used to live next door (and whose father/father-in-law still does) learned that their 18 month old son probably has autism. If so, it's certainly a high functioning autism, perhaps Asperger's.
He's a pretty bright kid. Talks quite well for 18 months. When he saw our cat in the window, he distinctly said, "Cat." He also got out of the backyard this weekend and found his way to the neighbor's yard on the other side of us. They had a party the night before and there was one beer can and one beer bottle in the yard. Aiden discovered the can and his mom found him drinking from it. The next day when he and his mom were walking down the sidewalk, that's where he headed. He was looking for more beer cans. Not many kids that age like the taste of beer, but it appears that he does. (You see what I mean by high functioning?)
I printed out some info from the internet for them to have so they can be more informed when they ask for a second opinion. I wonder why there seems to be more of this than ever before. Or are we just recognizing it more?
I did mention that my son's old girlfriend - Allison (who used to live with us) is going to Spain in September, right? She has gotten a job as an au pair and will spend a year with the family. How cool is that? She probably would never get the opportunity to travel to Spain otherwise. She'll be with a family with school age girls, so her days will be free. I told her that in addition to learning their language, she should be learning German too while the kids are in school. That way, when she's done with her year in Spain, she could go to Germany for a year. Then she could study French and go to France for a year. Spain doesn't insist that you know the language before coming, but that you learn while you're there. Other countries insist on some language recognition before going.
She's still in love with my son, though, and hopes that after her year in Spain the two of them can be back together. I told her to get tanned and toned (that should happen since they use bikes more than cars) so that she's irresistable.
A friend of mine in Texas sends his poems and pictures of sunrises on the beach (in Surfside/Freeport, TX) quite frequently. He has lupus, so sometimes after he lets his dogs romp on the beach, he has to head on home to bed. People just don't understand...
Anyway, a few days ago, he shared this vision he had. And he said I could share it with y'all.
The secret for all with eyes to see
Righteousness is my badge, heaven my goal. I strain as I build this great road to a glorious victory. Each plank lain maliciously in place with all my strength. I on occasion have to trample lesser people that are in my way. My goal – righteousness - makes it just. I know that I am impressive Lord, but my heart grows hollowed with each triumph. In the distance, I can see the treasure I seek; seems to grow more distant with each plank that I lay. With face taunt under the stress of ruthlessness, eyes bulged out from my head, throat parched from the bitter water I drink, and my body worn thin from the load I carry. I look for a little resting place.
There to the side I see a narrow little path. I think that it may lead to a place for a short rest. I wander down it for a short distance. Seeing a beautiful flower, I stop to admire. The petals seem to say kindness. I reach to pick the flower and have to lay down my hammer of greed to have room for the flower. I walk on the sweet sent of the flower in my nose. Another flower as beautiful as the first with petals that seem to say patience, I reach to pick this flower and have to lay down my nail of anger to have room.
I look farther on the thin little path and see many flowers just as beautiful. I walk on the path picking the flowers and with each; I have to lay down something to make room. As my load changes from the things I needed to build my road to the beauty I find on this thin path my body seems to become refreshed. Gone are the tools of my destruction replace by the gifts found on this narrow little path.
The air so fresh and sweet like a soft golden mist fills my chest. The load so heavy has become light as if to carry me. Then by my side, I see Your Son come to lead the way. My body full of Your strength, my lungs full of your breath, your words of love in my ears, Your glory in my eyes, my treasure found.
June 9, 2007
|Busy weekend with Tiffany here. I love having her here. I just wish her mother would let her have her daddy time without incident. This time, her mom called three times before Tiff was here an hour. That's usually an indication how things will go, and it was. Poor Tiff. It's summer, for pity's sake, and she would like to spend some time with us (and her neighborhood friends). She just wanted to spend another day, but her mom had made plans for Monday.
She had also made plans for next weekend - Father's Day weekend. Hmmph.
Mother's Day should have been our weekend. And Father's Day would have been Paula's weekend. We gladly switched. In fact, it was our idea. Tiff should be with her mom on Mother's Day and her dad on Father's Day. That just made sense to us.
So, in May her mom had her three weekends in a row. And we should have her three weekends in a row in June. It probably won't happen. Paula fussed so much about us having her next weekend, that I doubt she'll be her the following one too. And that will mess up the "regular" schedule.
I can't believe that she said, "When will I have time with her?" Uh, she lives with her. Duh.
It's just not fair that a kid has to deal with such things. Tiff finally told her mom on the phone that it hurts her when she fights with her dad or makes fun of him.
She also asked me - again - how old she has to be before she can decide where she wants to live. And she thanked me for the calm around here. Her mom is such a drama queen. She also yells a lot. I can tell just by the phone conversations where she yells so loudly that you can hear her across the room. Grrr.
Hey, have you seen my latest merit badge? SHERRI GIBSON sent me an angel merit badge and listed me as one of her "EARTH ANGELS" just because I left a word of encouragement in her blog at the right moment. I went back to see if I had said anything deep or unusual, but I had not.
You just never know when a word from you is given at the very moment when someone needs to be encouraged. That's one good reason to let folks know when you're poking around in their blog spaces. Hint.
|I filed for disability way back in mid-2003. I had a back injury in 1997 and a knee injury in 2002, making it difficult - if not impossible - to sit or stand for more than 3-4 hours at a time. My claim was denied and my disability advocate dropped the ball. We didn't respond in the 60 days as required. (Hey, I didn't even know it had been denied until over a year later!!!) The Social Security Administration decided that I could be a secretary. That was their formal response to me.
I refiled in February 2005. By then, I had also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and depression. (Plus IBS, spastic veins and arteries, palmaplantar pustulosis, chemical sensitivities, stomach ailments...and the list goes on.) It was denied again, almost immediately, even though Social Security admitted that I have all of the above mentioned maladies. This time, I had an attorney who did respond in 60 days as required, and even since we've been waiting and waiting and waiting.
Today I received a notice that I will finally have a hearing on July 6. Yippee. Supposedly, now that I have reached the "magical" age of 55, there shouldn't be much question. But with the way things have gone so far....
I will have a mountain of medical reports to back up my condition. I will have the opinions of my treating doctors.
They will have a vocational expert who will testify about whether or not she thinks I can work and whether or not the spefic "job" that she thinks I can perform actually exists in the market place.
I've been meaning to make up a job description for the job that I can perform. Perhaps it is time.
Hey, I know I can write. But I also know that I cannot handle deadlines.
I never know when I won't be able to get out of bed or when my "fog" will be so thick that I can't remember what I wanted to do 30 seconds ago.
Hubby is experiencing more and more of what I've been dealing with for years. The other day, he started describing how he could hardly walk up our driveway. I understood. Sometimes the legs just don't seem to understand the concept of walking. It's as if you have to will them to take each step and as if you're not even sure that your legs are capable of holding you up.
I didn't tell him that I have to do the same thing sometimes at night with my heart and lungs. It's as if I have to remind my heart to beat and my lungs to breath. Oh, I'm sure they would do so without my prompting. But that's the feeling that I get sometimes. The first time that happened, it was quite frightening. Now it's just "normal."
|Actually, where did Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday go???? Is it really a sign of getting old when the week just flies by??????
Someone commented that I had not shared any cool links lately. So here you go.
An old Florida buddy shared this one today.
Just click on your state, then your county and you can see some old picture postcards. Pretty cool.
For instance, I've said (a few times) that I used to live in Belleair, Florida in the same community as Hulk Hogan. This link shows an old postcard of the old Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Belleair. It's really, really old. Back when Florida was nothing but orange groves, this hotel sat in the middle of nowhere. Rich folks came by train to stay there and to play golf. (Golfers usually know this one.)
Anyway, when I lived in Belleair, my house was a half a block from the golf course. My son's dad used to walk the dogs there. I think they had the golf course rigged so that if anyone walked on it at night, the sprinklers came on. It didn't matter what time he chose to walk there, he always came back soaked. He never did learn...
This picture is from before there were houses near the hotel or golf course. But the development was a good one. The street lights all look like the old gas lights. There are trees planted in the medians (mostly pines or palm trees). The community was great about keeping green space.