Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lost My MoJo RAK

I just ran across this blog through Scrapbook.Com. She seems to have lost her MoJo and is desperately seeking creative ways to recapture her imagination. Click on the title to this post to go to her website link provided and give her some ideas of how you get your MoJo back. She is giving away some great goodies. Tell her I sent you. Michele'

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Run Everybody, The Police are Coming!!

One recent Saturday morning (at 3:15 am I dare say), I was abruptly awoken to the ringing of the telephone. Of course I jumped out of bed and ran to the phone because when you get a call at 3:15 am, it usually isn't someone calling you to tell you that you have won the lottery. I quickly answered the phone, "Hello?"... The deep voiced person on the other end of the line politely asks, "Do you have a son named Chad?" "Um...., Yes Sir...." I said with a quiet uncertainty. I almost wanted to say, "That depends on who's calling", but it didn't sound like the "gentleman" on the other end of the line was in the mood for my little "ad libs". "Well Ma'am this is your city Police Department. We have Chad in custody here at the station and need you to come pick him up," he said rather matter of factly. My immediate response was "What the H#LL did he do now?!" I shouted as I slammed my hand down on the kitchen counter all the while thinking "maybe I shouldn't have said that". Again, the officer in his very "calm, professional, monotone" voice, "Ma'am, we will have to discuss that when you get to the station." My husband was up by then was asking what was going on. I replied in my most colorful voice, "CHAD HAS BEEN ARRESTED AND HE IS THE x$#&^ JAIL!!!" My husband and I threw on some clothes and headed out to the police station. When we walked threw the door and looked over to our left, there was parent of another child we knew all too well. He looked even more upset and angry than we were (I didn't know that was possible). The "nice lady" behind the "bullet proof window encased booth" asked us which child belonged to us. I thought for a moment about sayaing, "I am sorry, what are talking about? We have no children. We are here to report a crime", but again, I mumbled "Chad". The "nice lady" told us to have a seat in their "comfortable chairs" and the officer would be out shortly. I certainly would like to know what their definition of "shortly" meant. It seemed like we were waiting there for at least an hour, and I was beginning to think that they were doing it on purpose just because they could.... No actually it was only about 15 minutes, but when your son is handcuffed back in a police officer's office, time seems to creeps slowly. The officer explained that the station received a call stating that tires from the high school practice field had been laid out across street just outside our neighborhood and needed to be removed. An officer responded to the call and moved the tires off the road and over to the side on the grass. He left figuring it was some "stupid kids" (wow he had that one pegged), but they probably had already fled the scene. He continued his story, telling us that about 15 minutes later they received yet ANOTHER call. The tires were BACK across the road. They knew that this was definitely the actions of some "stupid kids", and felt fairly certain those "stupid kids" were still at the "crime scene". Now mind you my son just received an invitation to join the National Honor Society. The What??? The police responded back to the scene along with several backups. I would say at least a total of 6 cop cars swarmed the school with officers jumping out like a SWAT team as if they were about to bust a big drug ring. The kids began running in every direction, but apparently, my Nationa Honor Society son didn't pick the right direction. He, and two of his other friends were surrounded by police officers and honestly I'm surprised they didn't pee in their pants right then and there. Two of the boys that "escaped" were crying saying things like "Oh no no no no no...Oh no no no no" or " OMG It's the police!!! It's the police!! We're toast man TOAST!!" The first thing we took from our son was his most prized possession, his cell phone along with his freedom. Worst of all, my son is a very good athlete and his favorite sport is football. He was just moved up to to practice with the varsity team. He's a freshman and practicing with the varsity (just in case you didn't get the importance of the message here). We told him that he was going to need to go and tell the head coach. It was like a scene out of "Friday Night Lights". The funny thing is, is that our head coach was from the Odessa, TX area and actually coached at that high school in which the show is based off. I think my son would have rather given up his cell phone all of his social freedom for a year before he have gone and told the coach anything that merely hinted to the fact of police even just scolding him let alone him being arrested. He wasn't the only one that had to go tell the coach. Two of his other friends, including one which was lucky enough to get away from the police were made to go see the coach first thing the following Monday morning. The waiting was maddening, but walking up the sidewalk to the coaches offices was the most frightening. They all looked as white as a ghost. The boys all explained what they had done and after the coach deliberated as to what an appropriate punishment would be, the boys probably needed to go and change their clothes because of drenching sweat pouring off of them. Then the coach said, "Well boys, since you like tires so much, we're going to make sure you "really love" them. They were made to carry tires everywhere around the athletic training field, rolling them up hills and running around the entire school property with them around their necks. I don't think they want to see another tire for a long time, which iis good because maybe this will deter their desire for driving for a while. But at the very least I do think it will deter them from wondering around at night, when they should be home sleeping. This is just one of those stories that will never be forgotten.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daylight Savings Time is Finally Here!!

I love spring time and I especially love daylight savings time!!! I get feel like I get more "day for my buck". The flowers will be blooming soon. I can see my daylilies starting to sprout out of the ground and I have pink salvia seedlings and offsprings all over my flower bed. I pulled them up and have planted them in small peat pots so that I can transplant them once I have cleaned out my flower bed and get ready to start planting for the season. Flowers just seem to have a calming sense about them. They are God's way of showing His Love to us.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Glad Tidings of Joy

With sadness, comes happiness. I found out last week that I am going to be a grandmother (well, actually a Mimi, because I way too young to be a grandmother...That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!). Alan called me last week and said that he was going to be a dad. I said "NO WAY" because I thoughted they wanted to wait, but apparently God had other plans for their lives. I think Alan was kind of dissappointed in my response. I certainly didn't mean it like that. I had selfishly hoped that they would wait until he got out of the military and hopefully moved home before they started having babies, but every thing is in God's timing. The sweet precious baby is due October 9th. I just hope that I am able to be there when the baby is born. It would be horrible to miss out on the birth of my first grandchild. I can almost smell the sweet baby head, feel the warm downy skin, see the rosy red cheeks and feel the small hand and fingers wrapped around mine as if to say, "I have you now. You are mine and I am yours.

Life brings good and bad

It's been a while since I have blogged last. In fact, it has been over a month. I logged on to blog about the little blessings in my life and then I saw my last blog, which was about my son Alan and his wife Becky's snow day in North Carolina and pictures of their two puppies that Alan covered in snow. The daschound is Dixie and the boxer/pitbull is Layla. I just thought they were so cute all covered in snow that I had to blog about them. The sad part is is that last week Dixie was attacked by their next door neighbor's dog and hurt really bad. They took her to the emergency vet where they did some minor surgeries and patched her up. She seemed to be doing better, but then she wouldn't eat and she became very sick. Her leg was swollen, so they again rushed her to the emergency vet. The vet tried everything he could and gave them an option of having a major surgery to stop the internal bleeding, but he couldn't guarantee that she would survive or that she would fully recover, so they had to make a hard choice to put her down. Seeing that picture of her by the door covered in snow just breaks my heart. That was their first dog as husband and wife. Dixie kept Becky company and comforted her while her husband, my son Alan was in Iraq serving his country. I wish I was there to hug her and cry with her. Becky, if you read this, know that I have tears in my eyes right now crying and hurting for you. I know how much you loved your precious little dog and it just breaks my heart. I love you Becky.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snow on the Coast

Akthough my son and his wife live in North Carolina, they live on the coast in Camp Lejeune, so they don't see much snow. However they got a couple of inches a week or so ago. My son had alot of fun throwing snow on his little puppies!! Poor little Dixie, the Daschound, looks likes she is saying "Mommy, help!! Let me in! I don't think that I like this white stuff".

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

American Idol

Well this year's American Idol has started and it seems that all of the crazies have come out of the cracks. My kids love the weirdos, but I feel sorry for some of the contestants. However, some of them are just plain idiots! I mean what radio do they listen to? They certainly aren't listening to the stations I listen to or maybe they are just plain tone deaf. Who feeds these folks egos? Why lead them on, just let them down easy instead of being thrown to the shark Simon Cowell. But I do have to say that I just love to crack up at all of the "crybabies". One guy was crying and he said "Well Simon was just being his usual self and laughing" and they showed Simon laughing with a slow-mo laugh deep and slow!! It was hilarious. One guy pretty much begged his way into the competition. Simon said, "That's what's called being juked". Although these first few episodes are funny, there were some really good contestants such as this one guy whose wife had passed away just 4 weeks before the audition due to childhood heart condition. Also there was a band director and a welder that have pretty good potential as well. These episodes are funny, but I am ready for them to bring on the real talent.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The FlyLady - My Hero (I hope)

Perfectionism...I think we all know what that is. I have struggled with it for all my life. Perfectionism puts you in a rut because nothing ever really gets done or started. You feel like you can't do it "right" so you don't start at all. You feel that the world is fighting against you and that you have no choice, no control, but you do. Life is not about being perfect, it's about getting up everyday and starting over. I love the FlyLady's attitude about life. I love her style, the way her life is organized, but she didn't get that way overnight. It took time and she is not ashamed to admit that she took some pretty hard steps to get where she is today. Now she is an example to us all. I am going to start the FlyLady plan (again) and just keep trying until I can at least keep up. Little by little, not perfect, not overwhelmed, just a small bit at a time. Following the schedule that the FlyLady has set up. It doesn't matter even if I don't get everything done that she has on the list. Once I get "caught up" it will be easier to keep my home clean and I will feel that I will have time for my family and not feel guilty about blogging or scrapping or watching the Bachelor! I'll keep you posted as to my progress. I hope to get lots of support from my friends, so comments and/or words or encouragement will be greatly appreciated!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My First Scrapbooking Retreat

What did you do on New Year's Eve 2008? Did you wait up late for the strike of midnight and welcome in the New Year and give your honey the first kiss of the New Year? I would have to say that is what the majority of "normal" people do. I mean, that IS the thing to do. But that isn't what I was doing. I was sleeping or at least trying to. I was trying to get my rest for my first scrapbooking retreat ever. The excitement was in air even though Christmas had come and past. Since New Year's Day fell on a Thursday, we had Thursday and Friday as holidays, which gave me a four day weekend!! The next morning I got up and starting packing, not sure what to take and what not to take. Do I need this punch, what about this journaling pen? And in the world do I decide what paper to pack and what to leave. I didn't want to bring to much, but I certainly didn't want to leave it either. What if I needed it? Any scrapbooker knows just how that is. The perfect embellishment or paper or punch is left at home and your page just isn't what you wanted it to be. Oh, it looks nice enough and for anyone elese to look at it, it would be great, but to you seasoned or not, you KNOW something is missing. Unfortunately, you will always forget something or you will purposely leave something at home, thinking you won't need it, but when the time comes, it is the ONLY thing that would work. Well, after much picking and prodding, I had my bags packed and I was ready to be out the door. I stopped at a couple of scrapbooking stores on my way to the retreat, but talked myself out of buying anything, but this was only because of the economy and the fact that Christmas was just the past weekend and we all know what that does to our budgets!! About an hour and a half later I pulled up to the cute little old bed & breakfast which catered to scrapbookers and was told that I could choose any bed and any table I wanted because I was the first one there. Imagine that...I guess I was just a little excited (do you think?) This weekend was one of the first times I been able to do what I love to do so much without hurting and without the anxiety that comes along with wondering when the next pain spell will come back. I just relaxed, and enjoyed my weekend. Four days without anyone of the male species around!!! Four days being able to share with other ladies the same passion & love I have for this creative way of keeping my memories & the memories of others I love and care for alive. The beds were soft, the food was good, the fellowship was wonderful and the scrapbooking was awesome. I learned a little about how to pack and how to set up, when you are used to having a full room with two 10 foot countertops to a small 8 ft table. That is still a challenge, but I plan on doing this more and more and getting involved with others that understand the passion and obsession of this beloved art.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting my Life Back

Where did it go? Who took my enthusiam and my zest for life? I looked high and low and no where could it be found. I was lifeless, yet I knew I was alive. Alive and miserable, turned into a hermit, when I once was the life of the party. What had happened to me? Life with chronic pain is what happened. About 6 years ago, I fell out of chair and hit my head on a weight bench. At that time, I didn't realize the damage that had been done, but about 2 1/2 to 3 years later, it hit me hard. I developed a burning and stabbing pain in my left shoulder and trapezius. I went to see the orthopedic and he recommended rest and anti-inflammatories. When that didn't work, he referred me to a chiropractor. She did all she could, trying to reset my neck. She could tell exactly where the problem was, she could feel the tension in my neck near the C-5 through C-7 vertebra. But no matter how much she tried, she could not make the pain go away. This went on for about 6 months and hopefulness was beginning to wane. I was nearing my 41st birthday. I was still young and still had a lot of living to do, but chronic pain made it almost impossible to carry on with my daily life. I became very depressed and would cry at work, at home, in the car or even possibly in restaurant, because the pain was so bad with no relief. It was a constant chronic burning stabbing pain. Then it started in my right shoulder. I knew I had to do something. I couldn't live my life in pain like this for possibly 40 or 50 more years. After X-rays and an MRI, my orthopedic referred me to a neurosurgeon and a pain management specialist. The pain management specialist said that he felt I should have surgery right away because he could see a significant amount of disc bulging and what they call "osteophytes" that appeared to be dangerously close to possibly piercing at nerve roots or even the spinal cord. However, the neurosurgeon had a completely different perspective. He saw no need for concern and felt that we needed to exhaust all options before any type of surgery was considered. I wasn't sure if he didn't believe that I was actually in pain or if he was just a very conservative doctor. He said that if he was even going to think about surgery he would need to order myleogram, so that was set up, but he recommended in the meantime, I go back to the pain management specialist and try other alternatives. The pain management doctor prescribed Vicodin for the pain, which only took a slight edge off. It never truly relieved the pain. He also said he could try a series of three steriod injections which were scheduled immediately. I could feel the anticipation and the hope slowly coming back, but after the third injection with no change in the pain level, my hopes were dashed once again. I went back to the neurosurgeon and pretty much begged him to do the surgery. He finally agreed and after one year of chronic pain, I was finally going to get relief. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I should have had immediate pain relief because he was taking out the disc at the C5-C6 that was putting pressure on the nerve. So no pressure, no pain...Right?? He advised me that sometimes when a disc is replaced the other discs are moved or displaced slightly and they could be causing the pain. He said he could try to remove the disc at C6-C7 and I was ready to try again. I got the same results, no change in pain level. He advised me to wait for the healing process to complete and the inflammation to reduce. Then, I would probably and most likely get the desired results. This was now a full year and half of chronic pain that seemed to be determined to imprison me forever. I still kept up with my regularly scheduled follow-up appointments, but nothing was improving. Six months later, I burst into tears in his office, begging him to take the pain away. He told me that there was really nothing he could do for me. He didn't think another surgery would be prudent. I got a second opinion and this doctor confirmed what my original neurosurgeon had told me. I had permanent nerve damage and would the pain would have to be addressed differently. He recommended a different pain specialist, one that was known to be one of the best and had a reputation for being one of the first doctors to research and try the newest pain therapies available. He was especially known for his knowledge and skill with technological therapies such as "pacemaker for pain" implant. This of course was done only after all other pain techniques were exhausted. We tried muscle relaxers, various doses of Vicodin, other types of nerve pain medications such as Lyrica, which only served to blur my vision and did not help the pain in any way. My pain management specialist sent me to a neurologist to make sure there wasn't something they might possibly be missing. This doctor did an MRI of my shoulder and it came back showing what he considered to be bad enough to refer me to a sports medicine surgeon specializing in shoulder injuries. I walked in the office and the doctor took one look at my MRI, said that the shoulder injury was not serious at all and would not be anywhere near enough to be causing the pain. He was sure it was coming from the C-5 to C-7 nerve root areas, just where the previous surgeries had been done. But in order to confirm this, I would need to have a nerve block. They had it set up within a couple of days. I was told that I should have relief for at least a month. I remember being in the surgery room and small needles being inserted into my neck until the doctor hit the "sweet spot" and immediately ALL my pain was gone. It was like I had died and gone to heaven!!!! I was thrilled to have at least found out that it was nerve damage and that it was were my initial neurosurgeon had suspected. I sat in the recovery room wanting to jump up and do cartwheels. I hadn't felt this good in almost 2 1/2 years. Unfortunately the nerve block didn't last up to a month. In fact it didn't even last all day. It only lasted about one hour and then I was back to the pain. I went back to my pain management specialist with this information and he agreed, that it was probably not the shoulder causing the pain, since I had such an immediate and positive response to the nerve block. Because of this, he wanted to try another set of steriod injections. After the 2nd injection, I began to get some relief and then by the third one I was feeling much better. However, this only lasted for about 3 months, but it did make me a perfect canidate for the implant "pacemaker for pain". We scheduled the trial, which was somewhat successful, so I went forward with the procedure. I took me longer to recover than I initially anticipated. I thought I would be back to work within one week. Well, it was more like 3 weeks. Some days were good, some days were not. I wasn't sure if I had done the right thing or not. In fact about 5 or 6 weeks after the surgery, I was still having pain and extremely distraught about it. I began crying in the doctor's office, and the doctor very diplomatically told me to "pull myself together and get a new take on life". I left that day from the doctors office feeling like a teenager who thought that her parents were the stupidest people on the planet, angry at the world and furious that he would tell me to "get a grip" and try to learn to "deal with the pain". I didn't want to deal with the pain. I wanted it to go away. But I did begin to think about what he had said, and suddenly it began to make sense. If I could have a more positive attitude, I would be able to handle the pain better and maybe this would make a difference. I did begin to take these words to heart and as I did, the "pacemaker" seemed to work a little better each day. As I became more open to this method of pain relief, I found that it did work and how to set it to make get the most optimal relief out of it for me. It has been almost 4 months since my last surgery, and I am for the most part "PAIN FREE"!!! My whole life has been changed. I am a different person, a happier person, a more hopeful person and a much more loving & patient person. I have my life back and it's getting better everyday.