Category: me


who let the monster in?


I’m referring to the Bronchomonster from last year, folks.

(also referred to here, here, here, here and here. )  Oh wait…. also here, here, here, and here.   Yeahhh, it was THAT great.  ** insert eye roll here **

Here’s the thing, I had this WHOLE long post written up (remember guys, it takes me a ton longer to get a post published these days for some reason) I mean, a full-on, several-hundred words post about how great it was to have NOT had to deal with this bronchial infection stuff the way I did last year.  And you can just guess what happened after that, right?

 

Yep.  I’m sitting here, sucking the nebulizer as I type.  ARGH!  Seriously, folks, I AM thankful that I haven’t had it all this time, since last year, it started in August and did NOT leave until mid-November!!!

I think it probably got a foothold in when I went to have out-patient surgery last week.  GAH!  What’s that about?  Oh, well…you know since we knocked out out-of-pocket limit in the head back in March, Tommy and I have been getting all sorts of tests done and with a bout of weird “lady things” going on, my general physician wanted to send me for a consult with the gyno.  Yay.

They’d already done a really painful ultrasound earlier this year looking for something else.  I had to have that REDONE so there was that.  Then I had to have this tissue sample taken and THAT was simply horrific.

 

DISCLAIMER:  for the dudes who may be lurking out there, this is going to get really “woman-y” really fast, so brace yourselves for lots of uncomfortable info about what we ladies have to go through to keep our honey-pots healthy.  There.

 

So they tried to do this tissue sample thing in the office.  It was supposed to be a simple procedure, right?  No.  Not for Geannie.  Nothing is ever really simple with me.

They had to change the speculum THREE TIMES!  That thing is always painful to me since I’m made so weird in there anyway, but I had to lay there with one ill-fitting contraption in me while the nurse went to get another one, and then that one didn’t work either.  It was MISERABLE!  Then they started with the actual tissue retrieval.  Um, NO!

What they told me was it would be a small straw-like thing that the doc would then “spin” around in there to grab a bit of tissue.  Apparently, the first one collapsed on itself…I dunno, I guess it was defective and I’m thinking to myself it’s like when you get a straw with a hole in it and can’t drink your soda through it?  Who knows.  But yeah, then I had to wait while the nurse left AGAIN to get another one of those too.  I was bawling by the time they were done.

Both the female doc and the nurse were apologizing profusely, but that didn’t make it any better.  It was awful!

Early the next week, I get a call from the nurse telling me they hadn’t even gotten a tissue sample, just some “mucous” and I was waiting for her to say they had to do it again to which I was going to reply, “OH NO YOU DON’T!  I don’t care if it all rots and falls out, I am NOT going through THAT again!!”  But what she said was they wanted to do this as an out-patient surgery.  The plan was a hysteroscopy with D & C.  They had spotted a polyp which needed to be removed and biopsied plus I think they planned to just sorta clean all the thickened tissue out if needed.  So I’m like, “General anesthesia?”  which the nurse confirmed, so I said, “Okay, let’s do it.”

So anyway, I had that done last Tuesday and it was a breeze comparatively.  Other than some minor cramping and the sensation that I’d been scrubbed out down there with a brillo pad, there wasn’t a ton of pain.  All the rawness was gone and I was feeling pretty much back to normal the next day…except for a sore throat.  The nurse told me that was from the tube they’d put down my throat during surgery.

But I knew it wasn’t.

I started doubling up on my elderberry syrup and vitamin C, but apparently, it was too little, too late.  By yesterday evening, I knew I was in for a bout of the Bronchomonster.

I think probably having an infection (found out from the pre-op tests I had a couple bacterial infections brewing) my immune system was weakened just enough to let this awful broncho-stuff take hold.  Oh, that and it just turned pretty cold around home, too.  Not that the cold weather gives you a cold, of course, but it sure didn’t do my throat any favors on top of all the other stuff.

Thank God, though, the throat isn’t a big issue anymore.  It’s this coughing, but–again, thank God– it’s nothing near like last year and hopefully, I’m getting on top of it soon enough to clear it up without any steroids or antibiotics.  My good friend echinacea is going into the teapot today and I’ll be adding some other germ-fighting, immune boosting home remedies to the roster.  Ha.  If only it were that simple, huh?

I’m not even going to bore you with what the surgery/anesthesia/sick-getting has done to my blood sugars.  I am throwing insulin at them by the vial and still, they’re staying up around 300, which adds to yuckiness.  I’ve never had this much trouble with my sugar going high when I’m sick before.  Usually, only steroids do anything close to this.  UGH!

Okay, so there you go, folks.  You’re pretty much up to date on the state of affairs in my world right now.  I hope all of you are staying well and healthy!  If you have any other good self-help, home remedies for me, please leave a comment!  I’m open to ANYthing that’ll get me well ASAP!

THANKS!

 

 

 


eclipse pix and less-astronomical info


Hey everyone!  I hope you all got to see the eclipse on Monday.  I didn’t have any viewing tools and planned to just stay indoors and watch it online, but Tommy came home so I could take a gander at it through his welder’s lens.  I also saw a couple of amazing photos that he and his work-mate snapped.

solar eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017  –zoomed shot with nothing but clouds for a filter!

I did go outside just to experience the atmospheric change from the eclipse.  We weren’t in the path of 100% totality, but we weren’t far from it, either.  Kentucky got some awesome publicity and tourist income since Hopkinsville was directly in the center of the shadow’s path.

I watched the Facebook live feed from a guy in Nicholasville who got some amazing footage.

As I stood outside watching the shadow slowly overtake the sun’s rays, it became an eerie, dusky “texture” outside.  Not nearly as dark as I had imagined it might become, but definitely odd since the sky was relatively clear.  The temperature did drop a few degrees, but the stickiness from the humidity didn’t completely dissipate, so it really felt strange out there.

 

Then there was the way the birds stopped singing for several

minutes.  You couldn’t hear anything at all except the crickets and cicadas chirping away.  If you ask me, that insane chirping in the middle of the day seemed so loud and out of place it was enough to make it seem much more creepy!

I loved watching the satellite image of the shadow as it passed across the country and I took time to look at some of the most stunning photos from coast to coast.

The entire time I was keeping up with that Facebook footage though, there were a TON of people commenting about how they couldn’t see anything, when was it going to happen and even that the whole thing was fake because they “didn’t see” anything happening.

Seriously.  ** insert thoroughly disgusted face here **  Come on, people!!  I am perfectly fine with you being ignorant about this, but please don’t advertise it all over Facebook?!?  It’s not like people don’t normally give anyone from Kentucky enough stereotypical grief for being dumb already, right?  ** huff **

I’ll move on to refrain from going on a rant about how some folks just love to argue and flaunt their willful ignorance in the internet’s face for all to see.  ARGH!!

For your entertainment, here is what Silvey Fluffy Muffin thought of the eclipse…

 

granted, her vantage point wasn’t the greatest, but she was content to sit inside and wonder what in the heck I was doing out there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so besides my Eclipse Day, I got a new haircut finally!  The guy who had been cutting my hair must have just gotten completely too busy to fool with the likes of this old lady.  HA HA!!  I’m poking fun at him now since he was one of the kids who was in the youth group at our last church years ago.

I ended up going quite a distance out of my way to see a lady from church at her salon.  For clarity’s sake, my “quite a distance” is about 20 miles.  Honestly, I hate going to people I don’t know at all to have my hair cut.  I haven’t done that in eons… like since the boys were little!  The last time I did that, I told the lady I didn’t want any weird angles and I did not want it cut close to my neck.  I was going way out on a limb to trust her to cut my hair in a short style and what did she do?

The EXACT thing I told her NOT TO DO!!  I don’t know if she didn’t understand what I was saying or not, but believe me, I was EXTREMELY clear about it!  I ended up with a cut that was one length on one side and shorter on the other and shorn close to my neck like a man’s cut!!!

I was livid and told my mom and sister since they’d both recommended this woman, that I would never trust them again for a stylist!!

** ahem **  So… that’s why I am so particular about who I let cut my hair!  When I had that last horrid cut done, it was the middle of July and hot as blue blazes.  My hair was thick and long and it was burning me alive!  This was just before I got diagnosed with my thyroid condition, so my thyroid was churning out hormone in huge amounts which made for an extremely hot and sweaty Geannie round the clock!  Otherwise, I would have never let a total stranger cut my hair short.

Yesterday though, I did get my hair cut shorter.  About as short as I’ve ever had it cut since The Nightmare Cut of 1993.  HA HA HA!!  This is a bit thinner than I was expecting, but it will definitely make for flippy ends like I wanted.  I just hope I can get it to have a little more volume once I wash and style it myself.  Otherwise, though, I really like it.  She did almost the entire cut with a razor, which was new for me.  Most of the time all they ever do is razor cut a bit on the very ends after doing the rest with scissors.  ***  Photos MIGHT be posted later.  Don’t hold your breath, though.  😉

Something else I did today was work on my Bible reading plan.  Not that I’m writing one, I just mean trying to catch up on the one I’ve been working on this entire year.  I was really, REALLY bad and got over a month behind on it!  (hey, I TOLD you I was bad, okay?!—I wasn’t kidding!)  As of today, I’m about 25 days behind.

I’m using the F260 reading plan from YouVersion, in case you’re interested.  It takes you through the Old Testament, Psalm, and Proverbs in a year.  Well, y’know…in a year if you don’t get behind.  ** blush **

Today the reading was mostly in Ezekial, Jeremiah, and 2nd Kings.  I never liked reading those Scripture that talk about how wicked the kings and people became during that time period.  As you read through, it’s like “and this king did evil in the sight of the Lord, and this king did what was right in the sight of the Lord, then this king did evil in the sight of the Lord and this king did evil in the sight of the Lord as his father did…”  Sometimes I’m like how in the world did you people not recognize the pattern??  How could you not see that following God’s word was more beneficial?  How did the sons of the righteous kings turn out to be some of the most wicked?  And how did the sons who became righteous kings do so when they had such evil fathers?  

Then I look around at the world today and I can see very similar things happening.  It just looks a whole lot plainer and is more easily recognized when it’s all written out and displayed in such concise little paragraphs.

I wonder if any of those men, those rulers from that day, can see now.  Can they see the words of the Bible, how they have been memorialized in God’s word and pinpoint where they failed?  Can they see the exact moment when they went off the path or when they made the decision to leave a wicked trajectory and change course from the way their evil fathers had lived?

How awful would it be to see our worst moments forever preserved that way?  ** shudder **  No thank you.  I’d rather not.

God’s plan is His plan and men cannot thwart it no matter how hard they try.  Just the way Herrod and the Sanhedrin were used in an attempt to keep Jesus from doing the work God had set out for Him to do.

What thoughts go through your mind when you read things like this in the Old Testament?  Do you have similar questions or are there other thoughts that spring up?  Please share!

 

 

the indomitable human heart


It’s been crazy around here since my last post.  It took a lot out of me to write about losing my sweet puppy-boy, Max.  But the point of that post was that God can heal any disease, any injury, even a broken heart.

I also told you that I needed to find another little fuzzy to fill the void left by Max’s death.  Tommy and I had been looking at all sorts of rescue and adoption sites for Shih-Tzu mixes and at our local shelters.  We found a possible one in Georgia and we would have gone through with it had it worked out.  As it was, the adoption people have not yet contacted us about our application and God orchestrated a different plan in the meantime.

A local friend of ours messaged me one night a few days after my post was published.  She said she had a little Shih-Tzu mix puppy that she needed to rehome.  This friend has seven children, the five youngest she is still homeschooling!  She said she’d thought the kids would have more time to spend with the puppy, but their busy schedules had not afforded it much time.  She loved the pup but could see it was suffering from neglect (emotionally, that is) when it had to beg for attention from the kids.  As you can imagine, all those children, plus homeschooling, each child with extra-curricular activities and a husband with his own business is a lot for a mom and it came to the point she realized she needed to find a new home for their little pup.

She had already asked a few other friends since she didn’t want to put it in a rescue situation, so she hesitantly messaged me that night to see if Tommy and I might possibly consider taking her.

We went to pick her up the next morning. (ha!) It just seemed like another situation God had worked out in advance.  She is young enough, like we wanted and now we would know about her background instead of unsure of how she was treated.  We know she was well-loved and taken care of.

And now we have little Silvey, an 18-month old Shi-poo (Shih-Tzu/Poodle mix).  The past week has been an adventure to be sure, but Silvey (short for Silverbells Piddlepie  -haha!) settled in amazingly well.  We even took her to Knoxville with us the day after we brought her home and she did excellent.

She’s so different from Max, it made me tear up a bit as we drove down the highway, thinking about how he used to cuddle up in my lap but Silvey wanted to sit independently on the center console.  The next couple of days, though, she became more cuddly as she adjusted to feeling at home with us.  She gets along great with Samson, our chocolate lab, and seems each day to feel more and more at ease.

 

I have not posted anything on Facebook or Instagram about having her to avoid having my friend’s younger kids see it and feel sad about having to part with her, but soon, I’ll share some photos on there.  Right now, she is needing to visit the groomer and so I will wait until she’s got a new hairdo to post pix.

For now, I’m trying desperately to get a video up here for you guys of Silvey fussing at the bad doggie in the mirror of our bedroom.  She’s been mad at that dog all day long and the weirdest thing is, she has seen that mirror before today.  Goofball!  Ha ha ha!

In other news, today is Tommy’s fifty-first birthday.  I’m gonna attempt to make a gluten-free chocolate cake for him.  With all his allergies, it’s so hard to find things he can eat.  If we find a restaurant where he can eat, there are never any wheat-free desserts on the menu, so I’m fixing this cake for him.  I sure hope it comes out right!

Our Ohio kids (ha!) are coming down tomorrow evening to be here for Tommy’s birthday and we have a girls’ breakfast planned for Saturday morning since the boys are squeezing in a bachelor-party/camping-trip thing.  I’m looking forward to that!

Beyond that, life is pretty normal.  I’m still struggling with low energy despite the fact that I’m taking B-12 injections at home each week.  We haven’t got to ride bikes this week due to rain and a severely neglected yard (we had to rake the entire thing the grass was so tall and thick!).  Maybe we will get to go this weekend, though.  I start missing it so much if we don’t get to go.

I need to get back to editing what I have written of my book.  Editor Elaine has informed me that she is almost ready to send chapter two to me with suggestions and a rewrite along with her notes on my rewrite of chapter one!  I can’t believe how productive it makes me feel to have her notes to work with!  I am SO thankful she is helping me like this!

I’m off to get you a video… You’ll see why I needed this little stinker…she makes me laugh the way Max did but at an entirely different personality.

The heart is never too broken.  Our hearts are indomitable, always rebounding, when God makes the repairs.

Thanks for hanging with me!

Be blessed!
HERE YOU GO!! VIDEOS!

 


finding peace in the pieces


Ah, broken hearts. They’re the stuff great songs are made of, am I right? And if you have one, they are like the longest, most painful night of your life.

Unless you’re like, 4 days old, you’ve had a broken heart. At least once! At this point in my life, I’ve had many-a broken heart. Like they say, time usually heals them but some take more time than others.

I don’t spend a lot of my time worrying about having my heart broken from things like a death in the family or a betrayal by someone dear to me. If you know me, you know I’m not really a “worrier”. I really do try to leave it all in God’s hands and be as content as I can be with His plan and His determined outcome.

However, in the past couple of years, I have just occasionally and quite randomly found myself mulling over how I would handle it if something tragic happened to one of my children.

I don’t know why, really. Well, yeah, I do. It’s the enemy trying to steal my joy and keep me from concentrating on God and what He wants me to do. Then there are the times I fret over the fact that it worries me being some sort of forewarning. I’m telling you, I can drive myself crazy with it if I don’t stop it quickly.

I have several dear friends who have lost their children from illness or accidents. Some of them just amaze me with how they have handled it. They have a peace and a joy that I can’t quite comprehend. Others of them tend to dwell and hold their sadness close, even after a decade or more.

I’m just not sure how I would do. I want to think I could allow God to take it and I could find peace again, but somehow I can never feel confident about that. It’s like I wonder how I’d do with a test such as that. Like Job losing ALL his children in one fell swoop on top of all his bodily torments and other losses. I just marvel at how amazingly God can sustain our frail human hearts.

So anyway, the reason I am pondering all this stuff is that I had a terrible heartbreak this weekend. We lost my sweet little puppy, Max.  I am so heartbroken to lose him.  Tommy came in Saturday with a look on his face that told me it couldn’t be good news.

He knelt down beside me and said, “Honey, Maxie’s been in an accident,” and that’s all it took.  I said, “Is he gone?” and when Tommy confirmed, I just dissolved into tears.  I’ve had pets all my life.  Mostly dogs, but sometimes cats when I was little.  We’ve lost countless dogs over the years to either accident or illness and I have always been upset, but never like this.  Of course, growing up, we never had inside dogs and somehow, when they don’t live right “in amongst” you, you don’t get quite as close to them.  We had an inside dog before Max, but he was never as attentive or as “stuck” to me as Max.

We got our sweet Max, a little “Malti-Tzu” (Maltese/Shih Tzu mix) when I was at one of the most dark, depressed states of my life.  I needed him and he needed me.  We got him from a lady who had taken him even though she knew pets weren’t allowed in her apartment.  She kept him crated all day while she was at work, so over 8 hours.  He was a mess, all long and matted.  He was afraid of men because, as she told us, her boyfriend didn’t like Max and would yell at him (and who knows what else).

It took awhile, but soon he was not just my baby, but Tommy’s buddy as well.  He loved people, most people, well…after he had barked at them a bit and decided they were okay.  We have a few friends he never took to though and I’m pretty sure it was because they had sort-of loud or a different tone to their voices.  Otherwise, though, he made friends pretty quickly.  He was very protective of me which at first, I think was a behavior held over from the yelling boyfriend of his previous owner.  The first couple of times Tommy moved to hug me, Max would leap between us and like I said, the first couple of times he made a faint growl at him, but soon as I assured Max that it was okay, he stopped making any aggressive sounds.  Soon, it was done just because he was a nosy little stinker.  He would wedge his way between us with this “Whatcha’ll doin’?” look on his face.  He had a huge personality.

Max loved to play and was really a joy to watch.  He would skip and run and sling his “baby” or ball around then run to catch it.  He loved to drop his balls into containers then act like he was on Mission Impossible trying to get them back out.  He’d drop them in Tommy’s boots, the laundry basket, my purse… you name it.  It was such fun to watch him play.

Max also loved to cuddle and sleep.  Bless his heart, when I had a bad day and could barely keep my head up, he was just as game to lay in bed all day with me as he was to be up following me all over the house.  I think this is the main reason I’m so devastated over losing him.  I’ve never had a dog that loved me so good.  He just wanted to be with me, no matter what.  He was entirely too cute for my own good.

Even though he wasn’t one of those “yappy” dogs that barked all the time, the house seems so quiet without him.  I think it’s because the sound of him jumping off the couch or bed to run see who was outside or his little feet clippety-clipping behind him on the tile have become comforting sounds and I miss them terribly today.

Max had a huge sense of adventure and was, like I said, game for anything Tommy and I were up for.  He loved to travel and was the best car-riding buddy ever.  We took him with us along on more road trips than we can remember.  He loved to ride and would get so excited about a car ride, but soon as we were on the interstate, he’d be out like a light.  The interstate was like valium to him!

Max went camping with us, he’s gone to various cookouts, hikes and bon fires.  Fishing at the pond was a favorite.  He even went for a ride on the four-wheeler, but that wasn’t his favorite since we had to rig him a “seat” (aka: milk crate with harness) because he would NOT be still and let me hold him!  He wanted to jump off and chase every critter we saw.  

He even rode with Tommy on his bike once.  I’m not sure he liked it a whole lot, but he liked being with us.  He was better satisfied as long as he could see me riding behind, but if I got in front, he would have a fit to climb over Tommy’s shoulder.  We wanted to try another camping trip like this with the bikes and try him in a basket, but we never got the chance.  Max was willing to try just about anything we did as long as he could go with us.

Max was a peculiar little poot, too.  He had this thing, maybe all little dogs are this way, but if any dogs were around who were bigger than him, he HAD to make it clear that HE was the boss.  Our old chocolate lab, Samson, was a prime example and he probably

made Max worse because of his own super-gentle temperment.  Sam was always the gentleman, to a fault!  He was never the least bit aggressive unless you threatened his food.  And sometimes, he’d even share that with Max.  He never took the ball away from him, love his heart.  He always let Max get the ball.  Maybe that’s because Max would start growling and snarling like a rabid skunk if some one threatened whatever he considered his.  And of course, ALL THINGS were his.  Humans and toys alike.  And if another big dog came around, even one of our boys’ dogs (Corey has an Austrailian Shepherd and Casey has a Golden Retriever) if any of the big dogs was aggressive with the other, he would be all over them as if to say, “HEY!  Shut it down!  I’M the only one who gets to do that!”  It was really hilarious and I’d have to explain to other people that he wasn’t really being mean, it was just his way.  Bahaha.  Max definitely had a unique way of socializing.  But he still had lots of buddies.  Seriously, even the dogs couldn’t help but love him.

Max was the sweetest, craziest, noisiest little pup ever and I am really heartbroken right now.  After crying my eyes out for almost two hours solid, I’ve collected myself and can ponder why.  I don’t know why this had to happen at this point in time.  I don’t want to dwell on how it happened

other than to say it was an accident and happened right in our driveway.  Max was, as anyone who’s been here knows, a horrible one to run up to and around and under vehicles as they approached or left the house.  We tried every way we knew to break him of it, but he would not be stopped.  The only way was to forcibly hold him or just take him inside.  It never failed that I would no sooner let him out in the yard to play than someone would pull into the driveway and I’d have to go out and try to catch Max or watch with my stomach clenched as the person tried to slowly bring the car or truck closer.  Whether it was a delivery truck or someone who had been here a million times, he would go at it barking like mad and running as close to the tires as possible, so honestly, I wouldn’t blame the person responsible at all.  This person has no clue that they even ran over Max.  Another reason I don’t want to dwell on it is that I could end up getting mad or even more upset.  I know this person was distracted with trying to hurry home even though they know how Max is and have had to deal with his antics a million other times.  For whatever reason, God saw fit to let this happen and I am trying to cope.

 

 

Which brings me back to my first thoughts up there of fretting about how I’d deal with it if something awful happened to one of my boys.  I am wondering if God isn’t letting me know that this is not the worst thing ever.  He knows that I would have been in much worse shape if I was dealing with losing one of them.  Why I need to realize that now is something I don’t want to ponder long.  I think it’s become more of a thing with me ever since Corey moved to Ohio.  I felt like I was literally losing him.  I realize now that was silly since we actually talk to him and Melissa and even see them more often than we did when they lived a stone’s throw away!  The moving and now this has all taught me never to take anything or any one for granted as I am so apt to do.  

I’m so thankful that God put Max in my path (I found him on Craig’s List!) when He did because we really did need each other.  I hope he felt every bit as loved as he was.  Especially after spending part or maybe all his life feeling like he wasn’t wanted.  I loved that little fella SO good and through him and my family and others, God brought me out of the deepest pit to recover my joy.

It feels terribly lonely today though and I have cried through sorting for pictures to share with you and have realized I don’t want to feel like this.  No pup can ever replace my little Max, but I need the companionship of a silly, funny pup.  I have been busying my mind in the search for another Malti-shuh or whatever they are calling the Maltese/Shih Tzu mix.  The characteristics of both breeds are just what I need, I believe.  But it’s hard to find them except from expensive breeders, which we can’t afford or people who are no longer able to care for aged dogs, which I don’t need.  I need a younger dog that can be trained.  Corey believes we can train a dog to help alert us to low blood sugars which would be extremely helpful!  I know this breed isn’t the top recommendation for this sort of training, but right now I’m determined that I need a little one that will be a cuddly furbaby, too.  Even if they can’t be FULLY trained to alert, I know that dogs have the natural ability to sense things like that and it would still be helpful even if they don’t know proper alert actions.  My mind may change but as it stands right now, it doesn’t much matter.  We can’t afford to just purchase a pup from a breeder and besides, I’d rather not do that anyway.  I’d like to be able to get a younger dog from an owner who has discovered they can’t care for the dog or maybe has had an unexpected litter of pups.  I’d like to find one less than a year old and even a straight-Shih Tzu, Maltese or even a Yorkie would be great.  (just throwing this out there in case anyone knows somebody who knows somebody… heh)

My experience with Max tells me that for the most part, the combination of Shih Tzu and Maltese traits are just wonderful other than the drive to chase, which is high in most small dogs already.

I’m thankful for the time I had Max.  He was like medicine for my hurting heart.  I know God has another dose of good medicine out there somewhere and at the right time, he or she will cross my path.  In the meantime, I’m also thankful for my family who has been so sweet in understanding my heartache and sweet Tommy, who I know is also heartbroken but has been so strong for me the past couple days.  I am blessed and highly favored.

Go and tell your family and friends you love them and hug your pet.  Any and all of them are blessings to be treasured!  Always remember there is peace among the pieces of your broken heart if you just let God handle the reassembly.

BLESSINGS!!!


confessions


You may or may not know this about me, but I used to be a horrifically passive-aggressive person. In my defense, my parents weren’t good communicators so this sort of thing was all I knew. They weren’t always what you could call passive-aggressive necessarily, but they did not communicate what they wanted, expected or thought very well at all. So I guess my only response was to learn to communicate in this way.

“I lived like that for YEARS and never realized what a mess I was.”

I say “I used to be” because, trust me… you can ask the Hubby, I was a WHOLE LOT worse in the past. But even though my passive-aggressive tendencies are extremely reduced these days, there are times when I reactively resort to coping with things this way.  I guess you could call me a ‘recovering passive-aggressive’.

I began researching today about how to deal with passive-aggressive behavior. Once I was aware of myself acting this way and took steps to stop, I became keenly aware of others who were severely passive-aggressive. And it is other passive-aggressive people who seem to instinctively pull that same PA reaction out of me.

Let me clarify here by saying that I did NOT realize this is what I was doing all those years. I knew what it meant, but I didn’t really know the term or even when I heard someone use it, it never registered that, in fact, I was a passive-aggressive person. I was complete blind to it. Now that I make an effort to NOT live passive-aggressively, my life is much more peaceful. At least my “inner voice” isn’t forever playing this running monolog of the latest conversation with someone else or some upcoming confrontation I was going to or WISHED I could have.

So far, I haven’t read anything about this trait so maybe I’m the only one who did it, but I suspect that’s not at all the case. I think it’s probably the main “thing” with any PA person. I could spend entire days replaying some conversation, changing my responses or creating new scenarios. I would work up these awesome, very dramatic confrontations I wanted to have with people who had hurt me or wronged me. In my scenarios, I would passionately make my points, I’d ‘tell it like it is’ and give them a piece of my mind. I’d tell them how horribly they treated me or how deeply they had wounded me and they’d always see the error of their ways and spend the rest of eternity trying to right their wrong.

I’m telling you, folks, having a passive-aggressive tendency will make your mind sick.

I lived like that for YEARS and never realized what a mess I was. I mean, sure, I also dealt with depression and diabetes too and recognized those “ailments”, but I just never realized how terribly passive-aggressive I was as just a routine…an everyday occurrence.

“…it never registered that, in fact, I was a passive-aggressive person. I was completely blind to it.

Now, after a few years of coping with recognizing and having others around me, some new and some not-so-new, who are very passive-aggressive, for some reason it has finally occurred to me to research how to deal with them! I don’t know why I never thought about it before. I guess this is all some sort of self-therapy and I’m just giving a name to the behavior I displayed for most of my life. I wish I had known this stuff before now, but as it stands, I guess there’s a reason for it all. If you have known me for eons and tried to point out my ugly temperment, I’m sorry. At the time, I just could not see it and I probably responded poorly. ** * sigh * **

Right now though, I’m desperate to make sure my mind operates in a completely NON-passive-aggressive way so I can get through to others who are seriously PA and tend to direct most of that inner bitterness at me.

Maybe that’s because they know I myself have been and can still react passive-aggressively? Is it a thing that PA’s try to push other PA-people’s buttons? Hmmm… I wonder… but I bet it is.

“I’m telling you, having a passive-aggressive tendency will make your mind sick.”

I may be wrong, y’know… because for reals, I’m not a psychology major nor do I play one on TV, but in this case, I realize that I behaved this way because of deep-seated hurts and rejection during my childhood. Coupled with the depression, I think any sort of dismissive attitude towards me had to make things worse. Just to be told your thoughts are not valid is such an awful feeling. When it’s repeated in a child’s life, I guess you end up with someone like me. Someone who feels worthless, guilty, useless and bitter. The only way I knew to deal with people was in a very non-direct way. That’s why I am a MUCH better communicator in writing than I am in person, face-to-face.

I’m learning to stop that self-destructive, harmful-to-others, sick-mind way of living, finally. It’s a slow process, but maybe, hopefully, Lord willing, I am at a place where I can now destruct difficult relationships with other who are way too much like me… like the me I used to be. But I’m not sure how to deal with it when it feels like all the manipulation and aggressive non-actions are just to be mean. When I was at my worst, I don’t think I ever just set out to see if I could manipulate someone for the heck of it. It was never just to be mean. But if they hurt me, boy, I could be one of the craftiest, nastiest passive-aggressives you ever met. That was a sort-of justification to me: you deserved it if you’d been mean to me. And not knowing any other way to communicate with people, I reacted in kind! In that way, I feel like I was different than some PA-people are. From where I sit, it seems some people just want to manipulate me for fun. Just because they’re bored maybe? I don’t know, and like I said, I don’t remember ever being passive-aggressive toward someone just to be mean, just because I didn’t like the way they looked or because I wanted all the attention. I ** * think * ** I was only that way towards someone who hurt or attacked me. It was my defense when someone was just ugly to me. I’ve never been a mean-spirited person however maybe my poor husband would tell you otherwise. I don’t think I’ll ask him at this time. Maybe one day, when I’m more confident that I’ve overcome that way of responding. ** * ha * **

Again, I’m no psychology major by any means, so I’m not sure if this is even possible … to have different motivations for PA actions? Is that a thing? Or does this behavior always stem from insecurity and low self-esteem no matter if the person is mean-spirited about it or just defensively reactive? Are some people just really mean without having some past damage to their self-worth or psyche?

Hmmm… so interesting.

ANYway, I’m trying to educate myself here. I know there’s a lot of scripture that can be applied here, but I am too tired to look it up and paste it here. Just don’t think I’m looking only at the psychology of it and not the spiritual side of having this kind of personality. Believe me, I certainly realize living with a PA attitude is NOT at all Christ-like. That’s just one more reason I’m so thankful God gives big grace! I have needed and STILL need tons of it! I can now see how very sinful my attitude and actions were when I lived my life from a place of hurt and bitterness.

I just hope I can learn to leave that all behind, even in snap-reactive situations when it’s more likely to slip out again. I want to live the way Jesus wants me to. I want to be able to help other people to either overcome passive-aggression in themselves or help PAs around them. I know we can be difficult people to love, hard to interact with and I want to help people see how destructive and reversible it is. Jesus can heal the diseases of bitterness and manipulation and passive-aggressive mindsets.

Lord, let it be so!

PS: I realize being vague, like leaving out any identification, is a tactic of a passive-aggressive person however, in this case, I definitely do not want to identify anyone since any of the several people this could apply to could possibly find this post. I also don’t want to identify anyone, even people I am not “analyzing” or whatever just because that would be rude.

Remember, I have also “analyzed” myself in this post. I am trying to make myself better and be able to help anyone else who may need it to overcome what I am overcoming.

For God’s glory!


relief and confirmation


Hey y’all. I finally bit the bullet. Um… it just occurred to me that maybe I say things like that a little too often here and you are probably expecting some big revelation when it’s not really such a big deal. Am I wrong to think that? Ha ha … It sure seemed like a bullet to me, at least, but okay, I’ll try to watch about doing that.

I guess you’d have to realize how big things seem to me, or perhaps rather, how big I make them in my mind! gasp I know, you can’t imagine that I’d so such a thing, right? more belly laughing

Okay, so this bullet involves the book I’m working on.

It still feels really weird to refer to “my book” as if it’s a real, actual thing. I’ve spent so many years with it just rolling around as an abstract in my brain that it is going to take getting used to thinking of it as something tangible.

I’ve spoken to many people, at least ‘many’ when I consider this blog or online conversations, about the fact that I’m writing a book, but as of yet, I had never let anyone read it. Oh, not because I didn’t want input or some insight on how it was going, but the fact that I was just scared witless!

I very much wanted SOMEone to read it for me, to see if it really was as rambly as it seemed to me or if it was confusing the way I explained things or if it was even interesting enough to bother with. But I didn’t really know of anyone I felt even halfway comfortable asking to read it.

The last time I served on an Emmaus team, I had the honor of serving in the conference room with the lady who was lay director of my own walk! I hadn’t seen her much in some time so it was great to have a bit of time before the weekend began while the pilgrims were still arriving to just chat and catch up.

In our chatting, I learned that she was working on writing a book herself! I was so excited to hear this. For the past couple of years, she’s been dealing with some medical issues as well. Specifically, a loss of her vision. I won’t go into the details here, but it’s a random, not-very-understood condition where there is loss of blood flow to her optic nerves. It doesn’t just make her ‘unable to see’, but it does all sorts of crazy things to her vision making it hard to balance, walk or view things properly since most of the time her field of vision is blocked in different areas.

So yeah, this essentially-blind woman is writing a book. How, you ask? Well, obviously, she had to retire from her job when all this vision trouble began. It was a job she really loved and apparently, all the people there loved her a lot too. One of the people from her old job ran into her some time after she left and as they talked, her book idea came up. She told him she had not worked on it because it had gotten so much harder to do so with her vision issues and her computer was older and not very reliable. He told her if she would promise to write this book, he’d buy her a new laptop and the software that makes it possible for the vision-impaired to use a computer with more ease.

She promised, laughingly I think, and says she then forgot about it. A few months later, another person from her old job called to see if she was going to be home. She said she would, wondering why he needed to know. He then informed her that the unlikely benefactor who’d promised her the items had brought them in and wanted him to come over and set it all up for her!

Isn’t God amazing like that? So yeah, my friend is now working away on her book and when we spoke, we talked about how nice it would be to have a fellow writer to encourage us. That was about two months ago and I haven’t worked a lot on my book lately, but I have mostly been “polishing” and trying to proof it and make sure things are readable and “followable”, that I’m not too rambly or scattered.

I had been thinking about asking my friend if she would mind reading what I have thus far and giving me her opinions, but then I’d think, “She probably doesn’t have time” or “It might be too hard for her to read that much” even though I knew she had software that would read to her and even though she had already been the most encouraging person for keeping at it.

Finally, I just did it. I emailed to ask how she was doing and if she could possibly read for me or if she would even be interested. She responded with an enthusiastic YES and so I sent it to her later that evening.

And then I waited.

I tried not to let myself fret about it too much, but then a whole week went by and no word from her. My mind went crazy thinking, “It must be awful!” and “She was probably shocked… or bored to death” and “I bet she hates it and is trying to figure out how to tactfully tell me it’s a waste of time.”

I finally couldn’t stand it, so I emailed to see how she was doing again. She’d been fighting a horrible bronchial infection during that first email reply so I asked if she was recovered from that and if she had got to read any of my stuff.

She replied almost immediately and told me she had not realized I had sent it to her already! #ohmygoodness I told her how I was fretting that she must have hated it and she said she’d been thinking that I had chickened out and decided not to send it.

How funny.

Anyway, she must have started reading it right then. She emailed again and said she finished the first part and was “hooked”.

A bit later, she emailed again to say she’d read through the fourth chapter and needed to take a break but she loved it and thought it was definitely something other women could relate to and the things in it would resound with many others.

You can’t imagine how relieved I was to read that!Ionut Comanici

I figure she is enough removed from the whole thing to be objective, ya know? I’d thought about letting my daughter-in-law read it but then thought that she was just too close to it all and so I thought of another friend who is a librarian and voracious reader, but I felt uncomfortable asking her since we haven’t been that close for quite some time. I was afraid it would be an imposition. I may ask her now that my friend has given me some confidence that it is actually of some interest.

I’m waiting though, to see what she tells me after reading it all. It is mostly chronological so she has yet to get to the more “dramatic” or sensitive parts.

We shall see.

Oh, this friend recently published her first-ever blog post and it’s inspiring! She explains about her vision problems and how she is dealing with all this change in her life. You will be glad you read it, so please visit her:

Restricted Vision : Unburdened Sight (don’t you love that title?!)

 


test, test


Seriously, y’all…I’m checking to see if Strava will actually share to my blog…  Hold tight.  I will have a post for you in the next day or two!!  Loves…..

 

 

YAY!! Now I can tell y’all how my riding is going!! Woot!

so gone so long


Sheez!!  I have missed writing so much!!  It’s been crazy around here, of course.  I began having physical therapy on my neck and shoulders, as I’ve mentioned before, but they also started occupational therapy on my hands.  Or rather, my right hand, which has been going numb a LOT!  At first, because there was some initial pain too, I figured I just needed to sign up to have carpal tunnel surgery on this hand too, but my doctor (my general practitioner) was SO against it!  She was telling me how it only worked about half the time, etc. etc.  Which was surprising to me since when I had it done in my left hand, it was like a miracle!!  Took care of all my problems in that hand!  But then, talking to others who have had CT surgery done, they’ve had bad experiences.

As of now, the pain is much decreased and the numbness isn’t as constant so I’m trying to get by without seeing an orthopedic doctor.  I think a lot of the pain I had at first was arthritis.  The weather was horribly rainy then and while a lot of times, the rain doesn’t seem to affect me at all, this time, it really did and I had aches in joints I’d for

gotten all about.  UGH!

So anyhow, they keep you busy running to therapy umpteen times a week.  Thank God it’s not too far from the house!

As for other doin’s… Tommy and I both went to Cincy to see the kids on the weekend of June 4th.  Since I had an appointment with my endo in Lexington on Monday afternoon, we just stayed Sunday night too and stopped for the appointment on the way home.  So we left here on Friday afternoon.  I was able to leave Max with a friend, thankfully, so we loaded up our bikes, the kids’ life jackets and ours and as little luggage as we could get by with, their two camping chairs we thought they’d forgotten (they meant to leave them!) and a small cooler with drinks and snacks ALLLLL into our Challenger!

Yes, I said the Challenger!  Ha ha ha!!  We checked to be sure we could even get our bikes in there first and surprisingly, with the front wheels off and the back seats folded down, we were able to get both of them in without too much trouble.

We DO have an older bike hauler, but it takes a hitch reciever and Tommy’s not been willing to cut into the body and stick one of those ugly things in between the two chrome-tipped exhausts.  I can’t say I blame him one bit.  If we get to where we’re riding a lot, maybe…but right now?  Nope.  Ruby is too sharp to mess up like that!  Ha ha!

 

We had an amazing time while we were visiting Corey and Melissa.  Most of the time it’s rushed.  We don’t have much time to be there so we have squeezed a ton of sight-seeing and visiting into them.  This time, we just took it easy and had a couple things planned.  We did those and then just fiddled around the rest of the time.  We rode the Little Miami River trail which was awesome.  It’s a rails-to-trails trail and so it was mostly flat.  We rode up to what’s called The Old Powder Factory where they used to make ammunition.  It, um…it blew up, so now what’s left of the buidling, which is substantial, is abandoned and it’s a cool place to see.  There are white and turquoise tile decoration up on the towers of red brick and it’s all by itself almost in the middle of nowhere, so it’s an eery sort of place.  Very cool.  The ride was just wonderful since it was mostly shaded and follows the river.  We started in historic Loveland, which is such a quaint, beautiful area of town.  Little shops and tons of people just out milling around, either riding or running/walking the trail, or working at the shops, some playing music, some sitting around the park-like area just snoozing or playing games.  It was SO fun!  And it really got Tommy and me both back on a cycling kick, which thrills me to no end!

In fact, we actually have 76 miles under our belts in a week’s time! (3 more rides after the one in Ohio)  WOW!  I am so shocked that we were able to accomplish this!! That I was able to accomplish it!  I can’t describe how good it felt to be back on the bikes with the wind blowing past us, seeing turkey, deer, rabbits, foxes and horses….oh, and of course, cows as we rode down our familiar country roads.  We even got to ride with some folks from our cycling club, so it was fun catching up with them, assuring them that, no, we hadn’t died, we just got busy.  Cycling has been one of the only hobbies that Tommy and I both really enjoy that we can do together.  It’s good for our health and our relationship.  You can’t beat that with a stick!

While we were with the kids, we also went to the Cincinnati Zoo and to a couple of bike and outdoor shops, out to a few neat places to eat and to several places scoping out the best place for them to put in their kayaks.  Yeah, Corey and Mel just bought kayaks, so they will have a busy summer for sure!

The weekend before, Memorial Day weekend, Corey and Melissa came down to Kentucky for a few days, so we were busy then too.  We went to a friend’s family farm a couple of times where they often camp out and enjoyed the campfire, cooking and company.

Friends and folks who know my eldest and his wife often ask me how I’ve done with their move to Ohio and I have to tell them it’s been a bit easier than I thought it would.  I thought sure I would just die without them here but in all honesty?  We see them more now than we did when they lived right next door.  It seems absence really does make the heart grow fonder and the people take a lot less for granted!

And so this past weekend, I have been serving on an Emmaus weekend!  Since our Emmaus community has not had access to the Christian camp we have used for the past several years, we hadn’t been able to host a walk, but a generous church offered their campus to us (actually it’s where the first few walks were held when our community was brand new!) and so I’ve had a spiritually refreshing, physically exhausting weekend!  It was really wonderful and I’m still basking in the glow of the heavy presence of God we had all weekend.

Since waking up this morning, though, my face is swollen, my sinuses are all gobbed up and my head is pounding like someone’s playing drum on it with a hammer, so I’m going to treat my aching self for awhile…see if I can get my bones to stop protesting and settle in with my Bible for a bit.  As usual, I’ve come away from the weekend convicted of the lack of time I spent with my sweet Savior, so I’m getting back to it and sighing with relief that my God is big on second, third, fiftieth chances.

He is just SO good!

Be blessed today and go bless someone else!  mwah!

 

 

I feel ya, Tinman


My joints and a bunch of other stuff that probably aren’t joints have been just killing me lately!  I mean, some days, I swear I’d spray some WD40 all over me if I thought it would cure me as well as it did the Tinman in The Wizard of Oz.  Just a few squirts and he was good to go, right?

Sadly, I haven’t found anything to work like that for me.  I’m thinking this is a combination of weather, age and tendency.  All of the ‘itises’ run in my family.  I’m getting up there to the point that my poor old joints are getting to be well-used and prolly tired.  And we’ve had rain for days.  Cold rain!  That last little kick in the pants from winter called “Dogwood Winter” around my area of the world.

My doc has had me going to physical therapy already and after a couple weeks doing that, my right hand began to go numb and the fingers be really stiff.  I’ve already had carpal tunnel surgery in my left hand years ago and was at one time supposed to have the right hand done, but it got better enough that I didn’t have the surgery.  So I figured I’d surely have to have it done now.  I called my doctor and sorta demanded that I have the surgery set up, so she reluctantly made me an appointment with a neurologist in town.

In the meantime, my physical therapist, A, suggests that I let the occupational therapist work on the hand.  She calls in a request to be referred and so now I’m seeing the OT as well as the PT.

Surprisingly, the therapy has been working.  I really think all this rain made it a lot worse and so as the weather clears up, I think things will feel better too, but the exercises the OT has me doing for my hand actually do help so much more than I dreamed they would!  So now I’m debating whether to go see the other doctor.  I mean, if I NEED this surgery, now would be the time to get it done since we have destroyed our deductible and eaten through our out of pocket limit too!!

Tommy has been referred to the physical therapist too so hopefully, his back and legs will start feeling better.  But during all of this therapy, something went haywire with my left shoulder.

The PT has been working on both my shoulders, basically trying to strengthen the muscles that have grown weak after years of trying to hold incorrect positions to help ease the tension pain in my neck.  I mean, for 20-plus years I’ve dealt with this awful neck/shoulder pain without any real or lasting relief.  I’m pretty sure a local chiro made the problem so bad when he tried to tweak my neck.  That’s when the migraines started, at least.  I had those for a year or two before seeing a different type of chiro who got rid of the migraines, thank God, but could never get my neck to stop hurting.  Then I met a chiro through Emmaus who worked on me at camp once and she did wonders for it, but it was almost a two-hour drive to her office in Middlesboro, so I couldn’t really keep that up.

So now here I am, trying to keep myself from becoming a Tinman.  Ha.  The other thing, a big reason to pursue this is that I would REALLY love to get back to cycling and one of the worst pains I had from riding my bike wasn’t my butt.  It was my neck and shoulders. I’m SO hoping that I can get to where riding my bike doesn’t make my neck and shoulders hurt so bad that I have to just stop.  It gets to a certain point, like the point of no return, that it hurts so bad and won’t let up.  I have to stop what I’m doing and I’m still in pain.  Lately, it’s been hurting to the point of tears, so I’m really praying the therapy will fix me up.

I can’t take pain meds because of the CGM.  Apparently, acetaminophen causes the readings to be off and some suggest the same is true for ibuprofen.  Also, ibuprofen can affect blood sugar control.  So, I decided I’d try taking plain old aspirin for the pain.  The PT suggested it, actually.  She realized I really needed some relief from the worst of the pain before I could get back to doing any sort of exercise.  I took three doses of aspirin on Saturday and by about two hours after that third dose, my ears were screaming.

I’ve had tinnitus for years.  Since I was 16 and our old pediatrician diagnosed it.  He asked me a bunch of questions trying to determine what may have caused it.  When I told him I’d been having more sinus headaches and had been taking the aspirin I found in the kitchen cabinet, he said, “Ah.  That’s probably the culprit.”  For years now, when I happen to tell another doctor this, they blow it off and say it couldn’t have been the aspirin.  However, since then, I hadn’t taken any aspirin other than a chewable once every couple of days for blood pressure/heart health.  So by the time I’d taken three doses of regular aspirin, it felt like my ears had been plugged with bubblegum and the screeching that is normally tolerable was 10x higher.  It was horrible and I was so afraid that I might have done something permanent to my hearing.  Thankfully, that slowly dissipated and things went back to the normal squealing that I’ve learned to deal with.

SoooOOooo…that’s where I stand.  Hoping and praying, working toward feeling better and being more pain-free.