Saturday, December 12, 2009

IRONY STRIKES AGAIN


I'm not sure if you are familiar with the O. Henry story of the Gift of the Magi. It is an interesting, heart stirring, and sad irony about a two people who want to express their love. All the man had was a special gold watch. All the woman had was her beautifiul long hair. They searched for a way to get a gift to show their love for each other but they had nothing with which to buy a gift. The man decided he would sell his only possession, his watch, and buy the woman a comb for her hair. The woman, not knowing his decision, decided to have her hair cut off to sell so she could buy him a very nice chain for his watch.

You can read the entire story here:

http://www.auburn.edu/~vestmon/Gift_of_the_Magi.html









There was another couple, a husband and a wife. They had come to a place in their lives where they both made personal decisions about how they wanted their life to be, but did not know the other was making a decision. After a period of time, the couple had been making an effort to live out their decision and there was a significant amount of tension in the air. One day, the husband said to the wife, "I have decided that I am going to say exactly what is on my mind and I don't care who likes it or not. I am bitter and I hate the world." The wife said, "I, too, have made a decision, that is to simplify my life and have as much peace as I can find."


That's what you call a irony!!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

CERVICAL SPINE EPIDURAL UPDATE


There was no injection done today as scheduled. I reluctantly crawled out of bed at 4:30 am to get myself organized enough to be at the Pain Center in St. John's Hospital by 6:30 am. The morning started off on a bad note. Larry and I had a "tiff" because I moved a Silver Dollar City coffee mug with lid and he couldn't find it. I'll just describe the "tiff" by saying Indi was scared and she ran to me and wouldn't leave my side. We got in the car and made our way down the already busy streets. I suppose the heavy traffic at that time of morning is due to the stores being opened early so we can all spend more money. Any way, Larry and I made apologies about the "tiff" and we talked about the Christmas decorations that were still on since it was yet dark out.



We arrived at the hospital about 6:25. I went in and pushed the button for the elevator but it would not open. The door to the stairway was close by so I though I'd just walk down the stairs. Well that door was locked. Larry had parked the car and came hobbling in with his cane. I told him the elevator was not responding. He looked at his watch and said nothing will work here until 6:30 so we have to wait 5 minutes. Sure enough at exactly 6:30 the elevator door opened. Aren't they precisely efficient?



I did my usual check in and took a seat. They took me back right away. I changed into the darling hospital gown and got the IV port put in, BP and temp. They wheeled me down to the "procedure" room. The staff were all so cheerful and gracious. I appreciated that. Within 5 minutes Dr. Ellis came in and told me he was not comfortable giving me a 3rd shot since the first 2 had not made any significant difference. He wants to talk with me about the next step in his office on the 18th.



So I was wheeled back to the holding room where I disrobed from the little confusing gown and donned my own clothing. The kind nurse came and removed the IV port. I waited at the nurses' station for the appointment print out for the office consult. When it came through I found my way out to the pick up area where Larry was waiting in the car. I had to explain to him why I was not being wheeled out in a wheelchair.



We decided to go to Ziggies for breakfast before going home. That was a fairly pleasant experience. We chatted and I drank a lot of coffee. I drove home. Indi was eagerly waiting at the door. We got ourselves organized. Larry laid down on the couch and is now sleeping. I got some banking done and got a crochet project ready to start.



I'm a bit disappointed that the epidurals did not work. I really don't want to talk about surgery at this point, so I hope Dr. Ellis isn't going that route either. We'll see.



That was my exciting morning, I mean my morning. Now I feel a bit guilty about not being at work. But, I will use my time productively here at home. I have added 18 hours during the month of December at work anyway.







Sunday, November 29, 2009

A FIRST FOR ME


I was tending to my usual Saturday things, when my husband informed me that I would be using his new John Deere mower to ariate the lawn in preparation for seeding grass for next year. I told him I didn't know how to drive it and I was afraid I would mess it up in some way. He insisted that I do this for him.
I reluctantly got on the mower. He instructed me step by step how to start the thing and drive it. It is a very complicated machine. It has cruise control, all kinds of things just like a car. I only needed to know how to make it go and stop it.
Once I got going, it seemed to go really well. I did have one mishap. I got too close to the chain link fence and got the ariator hung up on the fence. Larry came to my rescue and helped me get unstuck. Other than that I was able to get the job done.
I was pretty proud of myself for being able to operate such a machine as this lawn tractor. And the really neat part of the whole thing is that I got a John Deere hat to wear.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

INSPIRING

A very dear friend of mine from Florida sent this to me and I thought I'd share it.

MAKE FRIENDS WITH WHATEVER'S NEXT
by Max Lucado

Embrace it. Accept it. Don’t resist it. Change is not only a part of life; change is a necessary part of God’s strategy. To use us to change the world, he alters our assignments. Gideon: from farmer to general; Mary: from peasant girl to the mother of Christ; Paul: from local rabbi to world evangelist. God transitioned Joseph from a baby brother to an Egyptian prince. He changed David from a a shepherd to a king. Peter wanted to fish the Sea of Galilee. God called him to lead the first church. God makes reassignments.

But, someone might ask, what about the tragic changes God permits? Some seasons make no sense…do such moments serve a purpose?

They do if we see them from an eternal perspective. What makes no sense in this lie will make perfect sense in the next. I have proof: you in the womb.

I know you don’t remember this prenatal season, so let me remind you what happened during it. Every gestation day equipped you for your earthly life. Your bones solidified, your eyes developed, the umbilical cord transported nutrients into your growing frame…for what reason? So you might remain enwombed? Quite the contrary. Womb time equipped you for earth time, suited you up for your postpartum existence.

Some prenatal features went unused before birth. You grew a nose but didn’t breathe. Eyes developed, but could you see? Your tongue, toenails, and crop of hair served no function in your mother’s belly. But aren’t you glad you have them now?

Certain chapters in this life seem so unnecessary, like nostrils on the preborn. Suffering. Loneliness. Disease. Holocausts. Martyrdom. Monsoons. If we assume this world exists just for pregrave happiness, these atrocities disqualify it from doing so. But what if this earth is the womb? Might these challenges, severe as they may be, serve to prepare us, equip us for the world to come? As Paul wrote, “These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing” (2 Cor. 4:17 CEV).


Hi SamSam

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CASE OF THE CRUD


It caught me!! I was sitting at work all day yesterday with chills that were making me hurt all over. I got home around 7:30 pm and call Jer as he had left me a message. That's the last thing I remember except waking up numerous times in my chair still freezing. About 4:30 am this morning, Larry and I had a conversation as he had slept on the couch. There was no way I was going to be able to make it to work. I was so nauseated and chilled. I called the answering service who contacted office staff as soon as someone came in that I would not be in. I had to contact Employee Health at St. John's for them to do an evaluation over the phone. The nurse instructed me to treat the symptoms and not to return to work tomorrow. I am to call them Monday morning and have to be symptom free for 24 hours before I can return to work.
So, here I am, in my chair, my pajamas, my blanket, my water, and my condition. I'm thinking my somewhat depressed emotional state has been a set up for this. It is what it is. You all be careful, don't let it get you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

ANOTHER SUNDAY MORNING


I certainly would welcome a feeling of excitement that it's Sunday morning and I could anticipate worship and the Word with other believers at church as I get myself ready. But the excitement is not there and I'm not even getting ready because I am not going. It seems the last few times I've gone I just sit there sort of detached, just worshipping by myself. I encounter no connection with anyone. I avoid people and just duck out of the church with a few waves hello, a smile, and hi how are you.


Don't get me wrong. I have a very strong relationship with the Lord and I care for people. I commune with my Lord continually and I am deep into the study of His Word. I know it's my state of mind. I'm in a funk, a depression to call it what it is. There is a very heavy cloud of bitterness, rage, and anger in my home that has a negative effect on me. Mostly because I know it doesn't have to be that way. I don't understand hatred, bitterness, and hostility though I've lived around it for years. Very few people are aware of it, maybe the kids and one or two others. But for the most part, it's a "family secret."


My prayer now is to stand firm in the faith, with the full armor on so that this negativity doesn't invade me and to pray that this invasion will be overcome by the power and love of God. I trust the Lord to take care of it in His way and in His time. He will take care of me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

SECOND CERVICAL EPIDURAL INJECTION




Well, I'm 3 hours post injection. Still very much under the influence of the propofol. Dr. Ellis was encouraged that the last injection provided improvement for about 2 days. I will be getting injection #3 on December 3rd.
The staff and nurses at the Pain Center there at the hospital are so good natured and pleasant. They make the whole experience a good one. I am not to do anything today at all but sit and lay around. How terrible but I guess I'll do my best to comply :)
Right now I'm in my chair, blanket over me, fireplace on, Sandlewood Rose candle burning, no TV on, lights only from outside, computer on my lap. What a set up!
Guess I'll go and do nothing. Will update later.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

GOT A NEW "DO"

I took a chance and called my beautician to see if she had an opening for me today to get haircut and highlight. It just so happened she did. I drove on over to the Clip Joint and checked in. There was music playing softly in the background, not elevator music really, but a nice ambient feel. The chairs in the waiting area are very modern style and oh so comfortable. There was only one other person in the waiting area-- an older man waiting with a woman's purse. Of course I didn't assume the purse was his, but that he was guarding it for his wife while she got her hair done. Sure enough, a few minutes later, here she came, with her little coiffure holding herself like a proud little peacock.


Before long, Candace, my "hair girl" came around the counter and greeted me. Together we walked back to her work station and the process began. We chit chatted about this that and the other. Simultaneously, Candace carefully and strategically placed the highlight "goo" and foil wraps in the right places so the lighter hair would blend and look more natural. That isn't too difficult a task for someone working on my hair as it is already about 45 different shades of blonde, red, and gray.

Then it was off to the hair dryer to heat the "goo" and let the color do its thing. I knew it was going to take about 15 minutes or so under the dryer so I picked up an unfamiliar magazine and started to fan through the pages. There were some really bizarre looking models in that magazine. I realized it was a fashion magazine, but gee whiz, those gals looked more like someone returning from a halloween party or their own funeral, it could have been either. Being a little bored by the whole thing, well all right, a little spooked, I put the "zine" down and just sat with my eyes closed.





As Candace finished shampooing and conditioning my hair, she wrapped me in a little towel and back to her station we marched, ready for the cutting phase. She had made the assumption I wanted the usual trim and confirmed that with "just a trim?" I told her I had recently lost a significant amount of hair on the front sides (stress related in my opinion) and that I thought it would look fuller and healthier if it were noticeably shorter. We then embarked on a length quest employing several different modes of measurement from "inches off" to hands on the neck where the hair should stop. My final decision was a chin length style after the hair is dry. Since I have curls, the hair would actually be cut longer to allow for "curling up."

Snip snip snip. Off came long strands of hair. There they were, lying, lifeless all around me. It felt good. I knew that hair lying on the floor was dry, unhealthy and ready to bite the dust. Candace ran a bit of gel through what was left on my head and tossled it around while she dried it with the hand dryer. Then, within just a few minutes, it was done. Candace handed me a hand mirror and spun me around so I could look at the finished product. I loved it. It was just like I wanted it. It looked fuller, healthier, and it felt great.

Candace walked with me to the check out counter and we wished each other a Happy Thanksgiving as I gave my debit card (my new credit card isn't here yet, after it got hijacked again) to the "chique" little receptionist. I got my stuff all gathered and put back in my purse and started off to leave the salon, like a proud little peacock.



Friday, November 6, 2009

THE "PLACE"


I've been in a "place" spiritually, mentally, and emotionally for quite some time now. I know how I got here and I know when I got here. The problem is, it is a truly uncomfortable place and I'm not really enjoying the journey. However, I am quite aware that I am learning and growing here. Perhaps that's the most important issue anyway, not whether I like it or not.

Being human, at times I just want to feel sorry for myself that I am here. But, so far, every time that feeling comes up, it is trumped by the knowledge that I am here because of myself. Then I kind of rally what little shred of dignity I have left and bravely accept this "place" because I know I am reaping what I have sown.

I have made a couple of feeble attempts to describe to others where I am here in this "place" but I found that they are struggling in their own place and don't have the "whatevers and where-with-alls" to get past the walls of their own "place." So it is very lonely here. It's kind of ironic though, because while it is lonely and it would be so awesome if I knew someone even peeked in and saw this place just to know it a little, I really don't want anyone to see this "place."

Well, it's not that I don't want anyone to see this "place," it's that I don't want anyone to see me in this place. I am literally naked. Not physically, oh no, I still don myself with my pretty little outfits and "look the part." You see, my spirit is broken. Little pieces. That leaves the "naked" me and it's truly sickening to look at. It all actually makes me feel very self-conscious, like I have a huge announcement pinned to my back stating what a pathetic fool I am. I sort of want to just slip by everyone, kind of quiet and unnoticed, so no attention will be drawn to me. If I'm not mistaken I think the word for that is called shame. There is quite a bit of shame in this "place." You could say there is plenty of guilt, self-doubt, self-loathing, and discouragment, too.

Right now, I cringe if anyone asks me for anything because I don't have anything to give. Remember, I'm broken. I dread leaving the house. I dread going to work. I dread being around people. Someone might expect something from me. I cherish these values, integrity, loyalty, and Christian virtue, and have seriously strived to incorporate into my life. Something that deeply saddens me is that these very things were broken off of me and I was beaten to a pulp with them. Now they lay in pieces scattered around among the pieces of my spirit.

Something has drastically and forever changed in me. When the Lord puts my spirit back together, and He will, I will be different. I always thought I had gifts. Gifts to use helping others, making a difference. But I can clearly see now that the only, the only gift I have is the one given to me by the Lord Himself, and that is His gift of salvation. For now, I will serve my time here in this "place." I earned it and I deserve it. Thank you Lord for being a just God and for being a merciful God. Because I know when You open the door for me to walk out of this "place" I will be a better person, more usable for Your service.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ROBBED AGAIN!!!!!!!

Well, here we go again. My credit card was hijacked again this morning. I got an email from my credit card company about 7:00 a.m. I called them immediately. They told me someone had just charged $209.00 to a shoe store over the internet at 6:15 a.m. There was another charge for $1. We had to shred our credit cards, again, and wait about a week for the new cards with new numbers to arrive. This happened last summer and we went through the same process. No more shopping on the internet for me. I will call and do the shopping on the phone or send an order form with a check or money order. I can't believe this has happened again.

Someone is enjoying a $209 pair of shoes. At least my credit card company is not holding me responsible. They are removing the charge. Watch your credit and debit cards and certainly be careful where you put your card number. Even if the address of the site you are shopping has the https:// you are vulnerable to getting your card information hijacked.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

CERVICAL EPIDURAL INJECTION


Since the failure of the cervical facet block 10 days ago, I went in this morning at 6:50 am for a Cervical Epidural Injection. I was somewhat knowledgeable about what was going to be done, but was allowed to ask questions before the procedure. Will the injection cause pain of it's own? How long, if it works, will it work? The injection does cause pain for several days in some people. There will be a series of 3 injections, my next one is scheduled for November 12th. After the series, if it works, the pain should be minimal for 3 to 6 months.

I was given an IV sedation of Propofol, similar to Versad. With this sedation, one is totally aware but lacking in any smidgeon of concern about what they do with your body. However, I have total faith in Dr. Ellis and his PA to handle me with care.

I am still somewhat "under the influence," but feel I am conveying factual and accurate account of my experience. (We'll see when I read it tomorrow) I am restricted from most activities and expected to "take it easy" for the rest of the day. I can resume regular activity tomorrow.

I should know in 2 - 7 days if this has helped. I'll update then. Until then, excuse me while I "take it easy."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BEHOLD THE THRONE OF GOD



During a Saturday evening church service last week, we sang an old, old hymn I had never heard before. As I intently focused on the meaning of the words, I was struck with wonder, thankfulness, and humility as I realized just how great God's love, mercy, and grace are.


The words to the hymn are below. It has been sung to the tune of Sweet Hour of Prayer. Meditate on the words. I pray anyone who reads this will be blessed by it and be drawn closer to the Lord.



WORDS BY CHARITIE L. BANCROFT - 1863

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.

A great high Priest whose Name is Love

Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on His hands,

My name is written on His heart.

I know that while in Heaven He stands

No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair

And tells me of the guilt within,

Upward I look and see Him there

Who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died

My sinful soul is counted free.

For God the just is satisfied

To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,

My perfect spotless righteousness,

The great unchangeable I AM,

The King of glory and of grace,

One in Himself I cannot die.

My soul is purchased by His blood,

My life is hid with Christ on high,

With Christ my Savior and my God!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

RICHARD EXLEY ON BEING DECEIVED




A friend sent this to me some time ago. I kept it in my read emails for quite some time because I am so aware of the subtle deceit of Satan and I feel compelled to sound the alarm wherever and whenever I can. The following is the email in it's entirety as I received it, minus Richard Exley's picture. Mr. Exley is a Godly and wise man. You don't have to be a Pastor to gain insight and warning from this message. This could happen to ANYONE!


Straight From the Heart
A Bi-weekly blog from Richard Exley




How Does a Pastor Become an Embezzler?
“The root cause of virtually all spiritual failure is disobedience in the little things.”

Corruption is as old as the human race and none of us is immune. If we do not guard our hearts at all times and practice absolute integrity in all things, even the smallest matters, we risk falling prey. One of the most heartbreaking examples of a good man who fell into corruption involves a former staff member of a Bible Church in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He went to jail for embezzling almost $42,000 from the church over a six-year period. When I first learned of his crime I remember thinking, How could a minister do such a thing?

I was tempted to conclude that he was an aberration, an impostor, an evil man masquerading as a minister. Such a conclusion made his sinful dishonest easier to explain and it made it less likely that I might be capable of the same thing or something similar. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit the facts.

More likely he was a sincere man. No better and no worse than the rest of us. Somewhere along the way he took a wrong turn. Probably it seemed insignificant at the time. Perhaps he padded his expense account or hedged on his income tax return. Or maybe he was short of cash and “borrowed” from church funds until payday. He intended to pay it back, but somehow he never got around to doing it. After a while it was easier just to pretend it had never happened.

Had Satan tempted him to steal $42,000 in one lump sum it is not likely that he would have succumbed. Undoubtedly he considered himself an honest man, and there would have been no way he could reconcile a theft of that magnitude with his image of himself. Therefore Satan tempted him with “insignificant” amounts – twenty dollars here, fifty dollars there. And most likely he convinced himself that it was just a loan; he would pay it back.

It is safe, I am sure, to say that he did not plan to embezzle from his church. After all, if a man plans to misappropriate funds there are plenty of places more lucrative than a country church. Undoubtedly he backed into it one small compromise at a time. Somewhere along the line he opened his heart to the enemy, and before he knew it he was in over his dead. At the time of his resignation he told the congregation, “The depth of the deception is so ingrained, I do not know the scope of the amount of my stealing. I am dependent upon the elders and their audit to know the scope of my sin.”

In reality this is not about that minister but about us. The man or woman who wishes to live with integrity will learn from the mistakes of others. They will take those painful lessons and apply them to their own lives. That being the case let me ask you some hard questions. “Is there any area of your life where you have allowed ‘insignificant’ decisions to compromise your spiritual and/or moral integrity?” “Is there any relationship or behavior, no matter how ‘insignificant’ where you are compromising your spiritual and/or moral integrity?” “What are you going to do the rectify those areas where you have compromised?”

You may be tempted to excuse yourself. Don’t. Not even if you’ve been able to appease your conscience. When it comes to discerning right from wrong, we cannot trust our conscience as the final authority. It is too subjective, too easily influenced by our thoughts and feelings. Our only defense against the lies of the deceiver is the truth of God’s Word. Nothing else will sustain us in the hour of temptation.

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people…For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them” (Eph. 5:3, 5-7).

This is Richard Exley straight from the heart.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

THE BIG CLOCK





Luke 21:29-33

The big clock: -- Do you know that God has a big clock, bigger than any one you have ever seen, bigger indeed than Big Ben at Westminster. But this big clock does not make any noise, you can never hear it ticking; and it does not strike, but yet it goes on, year after year, year after year, marking the time. What do you think is the face of this clock? It is the earth; the fields and meadows and hedgerows in every part of the world -- that is the face of this clock. And what do you think are the figures upon this dial? They are flowers and birds and leaves. God's big clock does not tick, but it lives; it does not strike the hours, only some flowers open out or die away when the hour has come. Isn't that what Jesus meant when He said, Look at the fig-tree and all the trees; they are beginning now to put out buds. Very well; you know by that that this is spring-time, and by that you know that summer is coming near. The buds tell what o'clock it is by the time of year. When you were learning to tell the time on the face of the clock on the mantel-shelf, how did you begin? Was it not by first learning the quarters? When the long hand was half-way down on the right, you knew it was a quarter past; when it was half-way up on the left, you knew it was a quarter-to; and when it was down between these, you knew it was half-past; and when it was up between them you knew the clock was going to strike the hour. Well, just as there are four quarters in our clocks so there are four quarters in this big clock we are speaking about. The first quarter is springtime, half-past is summer, quarter-to is autumn, and when winter comes the year is ended. When you look at the trees and flowers you can pretty well tell what o'clock it is by the year. But standing between the quarters of the clock there are other figures. How many of these are there altogether? Twelve, are there not? And how many months are there in a year? You know -- twelve. So, you see, this clock has got all the figures, and, what is stranger still, it marks all the figures by flowers and fruits; for there are different flowers that come out every month of the year. If a smart boy were to keep his eyes about him, and understood things as he walked in the country, when he found certain trees beginning to bud and certain flowers beginning to peep up, he would say, This must be the month of January; for these always come out in January. Later on, if he saw some others, he would say, This must be "February; for these always come out in February. And so through all the year, if he was clever, he would find the flowers and trees telling him what month it was. But there is something stranger still about this clock of God's; and you must remember it, so that from time to time during the year you may learn to use your eyes and notice what God is doing in the fields. It is this: God's clock tells the hours of the day as well as the months of the year. The months are the twelve figures; but you know that between the twelve figures there are the little minutes, and these minutes are made up of moments. Now the minutes in God's big clock are days, and the moments are hours, and the clock tells them all. What then can be the meaning of this big clock? Surely it is to tell us that time is passing. Does it not plainly say that if we do not grow right in the springtime of our life, we shall not be able, when the summer comes, to go back to the springtime and mend what has been wrong? You would not like to grow up wicked, would you? Then learn to grow as the flowers grow. How is that? By always looking at the sun, and taking its light, and following it, for the flowers follow the sun with their heads, and so they become beautiful. Do you the same with Jesus -- follow Him with your hearts.
(from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

AN OVERNIGHTER WITH ASH

We had the awesome privilege of having our granddaughter, Ashlynne, 7 years old, spend the night with us Friday night. We drove to Lebanon to pick her up at her mom's salon about 4:00 p.m. She enjoyed talking to us about school, her friends, and just chit chat about things we had done in the past. While supper was being prepared, Ash got on the laptop and had fun on Sprout.com. After supper we all watched Casper. By then, it was time for bed.

We slept in pretty late, almost 8:00 a.m. Ash watched Sponge Bob while I got the Daily Grace out. After breakfast and showers, we took off for town. Ash and I did some shopping and she got the most awesome pair of black boots. We picked up a few other neat things and took off for Burger King. Of course, when we got home the new boots and jeans were immediately donned. About mid afternoon, we made the trip back to Lebanon to take Ash home.

Ash is a very sweet, well behaved little girl. Such a delight to have around. She's such a good helper for her mom who works very hard building her business and taking care of our 4 month old grandson, Sawyer. This was a very good thing for mom, for Ash, and for us. It lifted my spirit so much to have her here. I'm hoping we can do this again real soon.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

MISSING MOM

It would seem that time softens the pain and grief of losing a loved one. But that just isn't true. Time does have a way of forcing us to continue on in spite of ourselves, but the empty place never gets filled again. Others often ridicule because the grief is still there, they believe you should be "over it" by now. Sometimes "over it" never comes. There are times when we wish we could just go be with our loved one. I wonder what our loved one would say about that. My guess would be that the loved one would say, "Keep carrying the torch. Don't give up. You will conquer this struggle if you use the gifts you have been given and be where you are to give. There are others who need what you have and can get it nowhere else. You make a difference and you are loved, even though you don't believe it."

Yes, that's what your loved one would say. You can do it. You have everything you need. Yes it will be so very difficult and seemingly impossible. The only thing that will hold you back from succeeding and making your loved one proud is you.
So live, give, and make your mom proud. Love you and miss you mom.

In loving memory of Mama Clayton and Mom Lewis



God doesn't give you the people you want;
He gives you the people you NEED...
to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you
and to make you into the person you were meant to be.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

FACET BLOCK WAS THUMBS DOWN




The diagnostic facet block was negative. Although the procedure itself went well. 20 minutes after the numbing agent was injected into each nerve there was no difference in the level of pain. As a result, there will be no facet cauterization next week. Instead we're going to Plan B which is an epidural on the left C6-7 on October 29th. I'm writing this while still under the influence of the IV anesthesia so if it doesn't make sense that's why. Always, no matter what, Bobbi

Thursday, October 8, 2009

SAGA OF MY BAD NECK




Little did I know when I awoke on that wee hour Sunday morning hanging upside down, held up by a lap seat belt, that it was the beginning of years of headaches and pain from a severe neck strain/whiplash. Being 23 years old at the time had it's positives and negatives. I healed quickly on the surface and did not experience any pain or problems for years. Had I known the damage that was done at the time, there may have been something that could have been done to minimize the damage. I didn't even get my neck x-rayed at the hospital. The emergency team was more concerned about the multiple head injuries and bone deep gash on my face.




35 years later, I find myself in daily severe pain and limited range of motion due to 5 foraminal narrowings, 4 bulging discs, a foraminal peri-neural cyst, and degenerating discs with arthritis from C-2 through C-7. After many attempts to restore more range of motion and minimal pain such as anti-inflammatory and pain medications, chiropractic, traction, inversion table, meditation, deep breathing, massage, exercise, relaxation, imagery, and heat, my PCP ordered an MRI. When the extent of damage was discovered I was referred to the Spine Center at St. John's in Springfield.




Dr. Ellis has me scheduled me for a diagnostic bilateral facet block on Tuesday, October 13th. This is a temporary deadening of the facet nerves to determine if the pain is coming from the nerves. If so, about a week later I will undergo a bilateral facet cauterization. The nerve endings on each side of the discs (C-3 to C-7) will be cauterized so they will not send pain signals to the brain. This procedure is known to last from 6 months to 2 years.




Although I will be under the influence of a drug similar to Versad I will write the second part of this blog series to report how this procedure went. Until sometime Tuesday, I'll be hurting and relying on good old Tramadol. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

WHAT DO YOU DO?


What do you do when someone you care about believes you are rejecting them, that you don't care about them, that you are playing games with them? It is very frustrating when I am misunderstood and things I say are taken wrong. It is very hurtful when I try to explain or defend my actions and it's met with "yeh, right" or "uh huh." Resentment builds up in me when I am told how I am feeling and what my motives are when it couldn't be farther from my actual feelings and motives.


It makes my heart ache to have gone the extra mile to show love, care, and concern and have that shoved under the rug and instead all my perceived failings and disappointing behaviors are repeated to me.




I can only finish my tale of woe here by commenting on how someone can take a very important spiritual time in my life that this someone knew was very important to me and try to make it like it was a joke, called it my "little" thing. Said it wasn't legitimate because I called it a fast, when it was actually a self-denial. I know a fast is denial of food for spiritual reasons. This person tells me I am more religious than spiritual. That's just something that hurt very deep.


I'm done getting this off my chest. I am able to write it down without someone interjecting, telling me I'm wrong, or inadequate, or disappointing, or uncaring. That feels better.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A DRIVE BACK INTO THE PAST PART 5

After my little drive around memory lane, I called Bev (Bev Condon Mennerich) and went to her new log home in Chester to stay with her until Sunday morning. We took a drive down to Cape Girardeau, MO to look at some property. We got caught in a down pour on the way back. I'm sure glad she was driving because I couldn't see a darn thing. We sat in her garage when we got back until the rain stopped pouring. We talked and talked about this and that.


After we got into the house, we sat up until 1:00 a.m. just talking about everything under the sun. Bev and I can do that. We never run out of things to talk about. She's such a dear friend.


Sunday morning, I headed out for Murphysboro Illinois to spend the better part of the day with my brother Eddie and his wife Jean. Eddie made a great dinner for me, roast beef, mashed potatoes, peas, corn on the cob, biscuits, gravy, and salad, topping the meal off with banana cream pie. I always love visiting with them. They are both in their 70's and I find out things about my family of origin that I didn't know. They are so pleasant and I love them so much.


About 2:00 p.m. it was so dark out with storm clouds it looked like midnight. I felt it was time to get going back to Missouri. I was very anxious about the drive because of the storms. It stormed pretty heavy from Murphysboro all the way to Cape Girardeau (about 45 miles). Then it was clear and dry the rest of the way on Highway 60 all the way back to Springfield. I got home about 7:30 p.m. Was I ever glad to be back home. There's no place like home!!!!!

A DRIVE BACK INTO THE PAST PART 4

Well I just couldn't drive to the 2 places there in Percy, the town I was born and raised in, so I took a drive around to see the house I grew up in. It was so neglected and falling down. It kind of made my heart sink to see a once very alive home look like an abandoned shamble.


I drove a couple of blocks over to the house I lived in for 7 years after I was married in 1970 and where both my sons, Jeremy and Ryan were born. It has had some additions made and has been kept up very well.





Then of course, the house in Steeleville where we lived from 1977 until 1983 when the boys and I moved to Springfield Missouri where we have lived ever since. That was a beautiful home. We had an inground swimming pool put in and the neighborhood was very nice. The pool is now filled in, but the house has been maintained very well.

A DRIVE BACK INTO THE PAST PART 3



Since I was already in Percy I paid a visit to the cemetary to visit mom and dad's graves. That's is always a solemn time for me. Dad has been gone since 1978. It seems like another lifetime that he was here. And mom, well she's been gone since 1993, New Year's Eve, and I miss her so much.I didn't get to visit Paul's grave because his is in Sparta, and I didn not make it up that way on this trip.





A DRIVE BACK INTO THE PAST PART 2

While Val and I were talking, she told me about the memorial bricks at the Percy City Hall. She told me my dad's name was on one of the bricks. After our lunch visit, I drove over to Percy to the City Hall to find the inlaid bricks and my dad's name. I found his brick among the memorial for the charter members of the Percy American Legion, all World War II veterans. I snapped a photo of it. On the other side of the walkway, there was another memorial. I found a dedication to my brother, Edward Clayton for his service in the Air Force from 1951-1955 during the Korean War. I found a memorial brick for my Mother, Martha O. Clayton, 1912-1993. Lastly, I found a memorial brick for my deceased brother, Paul B. Clayton 1947-2002, who fought in the Viet Nam war and earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.


A DRIVE BACK INTO THE PAST

Since I started my vacation on Friday, I made arrangements to take a road trip back to Southern Illinois, where I was born and raised. I went alone, which is something I haven't done in years. It was a very pleasant drive althought all around me to the left and to the right were storms. Right over me was a patch of blue sky. The trip itself is only 292 miles, so it's not a long exhausting trip, just long enough to be long.


My first destination was to meet my childhood neighbor, friend, and schoolmate from grade 1 through grade 12. She is Valla Leifer Klettke from New Jersey. We hadn't seen each other in 40 years. Would we recognize each other? Would we be able to connect from past through the present. Well, I was so pleasantly surprised. We both recognized each other and it was a warm and pleasant greeting. We could have spent days talking about our younger days and catching up on the last 40 years. But the time we spent together was just so very refreshing. We want to do it again at the next available opportunity.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

TELL ME WHY

"And He said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."" Matthew 18:3 (NIV)


Sunday, June 7, 2009

OUR NEW GRANDSON, SAWYER

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Oh Boy
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These are pictures of our new grandson, Sawyer.

Born Monday, May 18, 2009

NEED PEACE, GO HERE





Saturday, May 16, 2009

THE LATE GREAT UNITED STATES

Here is an article sent to me by a friend. It is representative of my perspective on current events in our government and society. Please read with serious and open mind. I truly believe our county is in trouble. But from a Christian perspective, this is not only a repeat of history, but fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. God help us!

About the author via Google...

Pamela "Atlas" Geller began her publishing career at The New York Daily News and subsequently took over operation of The New York Observer as Associate Publisher. She left The Observer after the birth of her fourth child but remained involved in various projects including American Associates, Ben Gurion University and being Senior Vice-President Strategic Planning and Performance Evaluation at The Brandeis School.

by Pam Geller

I am a student of history. Professionally, I have written 15 books in six languages, and have studied history all my life. I think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is just a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis. Yes, these exist but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus. Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how peoplereact to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about 10 - 15 years. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two.

We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy. Why? We have intentionally dumbed down our schools, ignored our history, and no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why we are worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate. Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, school boards continue to back mediocrity. Why?

We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (now violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it wants marriage to remain between one man and one woman. (Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?).

We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic. To what purpose? Now our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in freefall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, Social Security is nearly bankrupt, as is Medicare and our entire government.

Our education system is worse than a joke (I teach college and know precisely what I am talking about.) The list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth. It is potentially 1929 x 10.

And we are at war with an enemy we cannot name for fear of offending people of the same religion who cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so.

And now we have elected a man no one knows anything about, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla , Alaska . All of his associations and alliances are with real radicals in their chosen fields of employment, and everything we learn about him, drip by drip, is unsettling if not downright scary (Surely you have heard him speak about his idea to create and fund a mandatory civilian defense force stronger than our military for use inside our borders? No? Oh, of course. The media would never play that for you over and over and then demand he answer it. Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter and $150,000 wardrobe is more important.)

I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now. This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.

I thought I would never be able to experience what the ordinary, moral German felt in the mid-1930s. In those times, the savior was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing.. What they did know was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory and promises.. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his "brown shirts" would bully them into submission. And then he was duly elected to office, with a full-throttled economic crisis at hand [the Great Depression]. Slowly but surely he seized the controls of government power, department by department, person by person, bureaucracy by bureaucracy. The kids joined a Youth Movement in his name, where they were taught what to think.

How did he get the people on his side? He did it promising jobs to the jobless, money to the moneyless, and goodies for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe , and across the world. He did it with a compliant media - Did you know that? And he did this all in the name of justice and .. . .. change. And the people surely got what they voted for. (Look it up if you think I am exaggerating.) Read your history books. Many people objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and made fun of. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though.

Don't forget that Germany was the most educated, cultured country in Europe . It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And in less than six years - a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency - it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors. All with the best of intentions, of course. The road to Hell is paved with them.


***************************************************************

Since many of you enjoy senior citizen status or will sometime in the not too distant future, I thought you might be interested in this information. IN GOD WE TRUST Every body that is on this mailing list is either a senior citizen, is getting close or knows sombody that is. Most of you know by now that the Senate version (at least) of the "stimulus" bill includes provisions for extensive rationing of health care for senior citizens. The author of this part of the bill, former senator and tax evader, Tom Daschle was credited today by Bloomberg with the following statement. Bloomberg: "Daschle says health-care reform "will not be pain free."Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them." If this does not sufficiently raise your ire, just remember that Senators and Congressmen have their own healthcare plan that is first dollar or very low co-pay which they are guaranteed the remainder of their lives and are not subject to this new law if it passes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

OPRAH'S SPIRITUAL BELIEFS

A very special friend sent this video to me. I knew Oprah had new age religious beliefs but this short clip gave me further insight into her beliefs and how she is communicating them and influencing unsuspecting people. I believe there is only one Way, Jesus Christ. Tell me what you think!






Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MEET MY SHIHTZU INDIVI


Long before I knew I was getting this little dog, I wrote down a description of my dream dog. It would be a small breed, non-shedding, female, black and white. A dear friend of mine has a registered Shihtzu who was to have a litter and I told her I wanted one of the puppies. They were born on August 7, 2006. When they were 2 weeks old, my friend brought the pups to my office in a box. There were 4 of them. 2 males and 2 females. They were all light tan except 1 female was black and white. I reached in the box, scooped her up, and she was mine. The name Indivi is short for "individual." We call her Indi unless she's in trouble.




It didn't take long for Indivi to fit right in to our lifestyle and daily routine. We bought a "doggie door" and she was house broke within a month. She has a very playful personality, loving people and other animals. The world is her playground. She adores my husband and has bonded mainly to him. That works for me because she gives me lots of attention too. Indivi is just such a huge part of our lives and has given our lives that added touch of spice.




That's our girl, Indivi!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

MOM WHISPERS FROM HEAVEN

Martha Owano Clayton
June 18, 1912 - December 31, 1993
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MAMA!


My mom whispers from Heaven:"My child, my Spirit is calm,

No more tears or pain, I´m floating in Eden.

I´m holding the Father´s hand."I am sitting by the Lord.

He is with His Majesty at His Throne.


This place is all Lights, beyond Stars.

It´s Heaven, just like when you were born.

I miss you, my child!!
I´d like to wipe your tears away,

For we´ll see each other, one day.

So, no more tears, I should say.


From the daybreak of birth,

To the frontier of death,

You and I had the Bond of belonging.

My child, my heart sparkles a sense of longing,

Since the last time I saw your eyes.


Golden songs, bright Angels play.

The moonlight reflects upon the bay.

The gentle breeze softly touches the trees.

The morning dew moistens the leaves.

The majestic views of God´s Creation

Are all at my feet.

I´ll be here, when you and I´d meet.

Until then, I´ll be gone in the mist.


My Mother´s name,

The impeccable virtues of a living cell

Is a mystic, potent spell,

From which melancholy rests.

For you is my poem, my gentle-hearted Mother,

With your inner-being full of dreams.

Your voice: no sound was softer, no brighter moonbeam.

From life to colourful rainbows,

Are gleaming in Lands to Win.


Mom gazed idly once, waiting for me.

Looking back, I remember with tears.

You see...I miss her!!

My poignant grief
Reaches her deep celestial life

Departed from affection

In her Earthly strife.

Her place is now an empty space

Filled with flourishing memories of her sweet face.

My Mother was the best collection

Of all poems, songs and flowers.

My words fall short for her adoration.

She rests with Heavenly Wings and Blessings Showers.

My Mom whispers from Heaven:


"My child, my Spirit is calm,

No more tears or pain,

I´m floating in Eden.

I´m holding the Father's hands."


Author: Stardust. Written 2-23-2007.

Friday, May 8, 2009

ATTENTION: A VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE

I received this in an email from a very good friend of mine. I find it very indicative of the present Obama administration and the direction our country is heading.

A Very Important Notice




Whether you are an Obama fan, or not, EVERYONE IN THE U. S. needs to know....Something happened... H.R. 1388 was passed yesterday, behind our backs. You may want to read about it.
It wasn't mentioned on the news... just went by on the ticker tape at the bottom of the CNN screen.Obama funds $20M in tax payer dollars to immigrate Hamas Refugees to the USA . This is the news that didn't make the headlines...By executive order, President Barack Obama has ordered the expenditure of $20.3 million in "migration assistance" to the Palestinian refugees and "conflict victims" in Gaza .The "presidential determination", which allows hundreds of thousands of Palestinians with ties to Hamas to resettle in the United States , was signed on January 27 and appeared in the Federal Register on February 4.Few on Capitol Hill, or in the media, took note that the order provides a free ticket replete with housing and food allowances to individuals who have displayed their overwhelming support to the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the parliamentary election of January 2006.
Let's review...itemized list of some of Barack Obama's most recent actions since his inauguration:
His first call to any head of state, as president, was to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah party in the Palestinian territory.
His first one-on-one television interview with any news organization was with Al Arabia television.
His first executive order was to fund/facilitate abortion(s) not just here within the U. S. , but within the world, using U. S. tax payer funds.
He ordered Guantanamo Bay closed and all military trials of detainees halted.
He ordered overseas CIA interrogation centers closed.
He withdrew all charges against the masterminds behind the USS Cole and the "terror attack" on 9/11.
Now we learn that he is allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refuges to move to, and live in, the US at American taxpayer expense.
These important, and insightful, issues are being "lost" in the blinding bail-outs and "stimulation" packages.
Doubtful? To verify this for yourself:
PLEASE PASS THIS ON
AMERICA NEEDS TO KNOW we are losing this country at a rapid pace.