Saturday, December 29, 2007

Last O the year ramblings....

Update: Didn't have to make a new blog....I've joined Gary Means on his Faithfully Finding Fitness blog with Barbara and Erin. Come visit!

I was considering another blog. Now, I'm not sure that's a smart move. Maybe I'll just incorporate what I want in one more blog here, instead. I just don't know how much you all want to listen to my "Journey of Getting Better" or whatever.

I'm totally inspired by Gary Means Fitness blog. This guy is smart, talented, and a trooper-- and he is so honest about his journey right now. (Sorry KB--had to use that word TWICE!)

I just got back from my Chinese doctor, Dr. S. I realized my prednisone was going to be leaving my system soon, and it was either going to be more pred if my numbers weren't good...or I needed to take charge of my health. I'm now experiencing something of what is called Sjogren's Syndrome along with the lupus and fibro. Dry, gritty eyes and parched mouth are not something I want to tolerate. The list of this crap piling up on me, plus a screaming case of tinnitus is, if not life-threatening, then crazy-making at the least.

She gave me a treatment and loaded me up with some pretty good supplements. I cross check with my DO on most stuff, but whenever I've been faithful to visit Dr. S, I'm usually staying pretty well. Why, then, Karen, don't you go more often to Dr. S? Well, my friend, because I have no flex insurance money left til July and it's a big hit in the pocketbook. Think cost of regular docs and meds if insurance didn't pay. That's all well and good, but a stupid reason to not go to her. She is so caring and listens. I'm usually there for a couple of hours. They play pretty, soothing, music, cover you with soft blankies, and even offer a cup of green tea or water.

I sometimes start to feel the old panic when I feel the weird sensation of being trapped in this body. I suppose anyone with chronic stuff feels that. It usually happens in the wee hours of the morning, when everyone else is sleeping. Just the feeling of wanting OUT of the flesh suit just for a little bit of time...away from pain, discomfort, etc., just a little peace. I'm starting to have that. The secret is to get out of bed and sit somewhere comfy and just talk with Father.

When I was trying not to worry about the results of my CT scan and planning The Plan in case I got bad news, I was working hard on the mural and listening to worship music. I asked God for just BE with me no matter what and to guide me and to keep me in the NOW....not in the future or in the past...but just to live one day at a time and not worry so freaking much. Something came over me one of those days. I experienced something that I've never really experienced in a spiritual manner.

I experienced joy. Real joy. Yes, we have joy with friends, family, especially watching our children. But this was joy revealed in the stuff we don't normally get joyful in sunlight shadows, moon shadows, in colors in the landscape, in leaves, in a funny scene...absolute JOY that spread all over me. Spiritual joy. Smiling out loud at Creation's beauty joy. It was amazing, and it hasn't left me, or at least not for long. It comes back with a slamdunk into my soul and I'm feeling better in a split second. I'll be sitting, having coffee in the early morning, and it will just pour all over me. The Joy, not the coffee. I don't second guess it. I'm just incredibly grateful for it. I'm not describing it very well. I'm just praying for you to get it, too.

So, I start 2008 with spiritual armor in place: the knowledge that God will get me through whatever; the healing and caring of a DO and OMD; support and spiritual understanding of many good friends and family (that means you, too!); a renewed passion for eating for health and wellness, and a renewed passion for taking art in a new direction.

Sounds good.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Faithful Fitness

Gary has a new blog: "Faithfully Finding Fitness" to journal his journey toward good health. Check it out. Most of us have been, or are on that road. If you know Gary, you already know you'll be blessed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

When blogworlds collide.....'s a good thing!
Missy and her wonderful family lunched with me and my sons here in Texas! Our visit was short, but we were grateful for the time and enjoyed ourselves! Gracie had fun with the kids, as well! Nice to spend face-to-face time and give a hug.
(Missy says she'll be back online soon!)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas, U all

If I don't get back here before The Day, I pray for blessings for all of you and I hope your holy-days are amazing!

I don't know if this is true....but it's a funny thing!>>>

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dan Fogelberg 1951-2007

Sunday, December 16
Dear friends,Dan left us this morning at 6:00am . He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side. His strength, dignity, and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him.

He was "there for me" during some pivotal decades. Thanks, Dan. Rest in Peace.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thank yous!

Lungs are clear! That is surely a praise! Thank you for prayers. With my respiratory history, that is amazing...and that questionable area? Not there! :-D God is great!

I have to go back in 3 months for a repeat because I have "residual thymus" and they want to make sure it isn't changing. Apparently, at my age, we're not supposed to have any left. I doubt that...Wikipedia does, too. They just don't know how young I am inside! :-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Summer, Fall, Winter....

I've got to take some pictures before I head out to paint, but walking was WEIRD this morning. It's rainy, 65 degrees, and some trees are live oak and green, some are in fall splendor, and some look dead as a doornail. Hopefully, I'll post tonight. Some of the colors are magnifico.

Got xray results...have to have a CT scan because they can't access old xray. There is something there, could be vessels gathered by my spine (which can happen in autoimmune things or old injury), a lung nodule (most are benign and from old infection, of which I've had many), or whatever. I'm not too worried right now. Keep you posted. Thanks for prayers!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

family blessings. . .

Great weekend...had our decorating last nice to hear a 16 year old boy say, "That was fun!" (Although he won't take a 'normal' pose for a picture) We ate, we listened to Christmas music and talked about the magi as I put up my 30+ year old nativity scene under the trees.

Snarfing all the wrong kinds of food ( I avoided most of that...had shrimp and eggrolls)
Got up early this morning, feeling GREAT (have gotten 2 good nights of sleep), got coffee and bible and turned on the newly decorated trees (three small trees surrounding the creche), baked wheat free pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, walked the dog in the early morning cold rain. It was fun...for her. Watching her bounce/walk, tail waggin' in the cold wet air was fun for me...she spies a neighbor's moving "reindeer" that they left on all night. Gracie thinks it's real and goes after it. Exciting....what did she think she'd DO with it if she'd caught it? It's certainly not a bird!

We decorated the little trees (we have several sizes, but the guys like the smaller ones so the animals don't mess with them) with small ornaments. Most of our family ornaments stay packed, which kind of bothers me...but not the guys. I still sift through the larger ones. Memories come back as I touch each one. Mom made this one, a star...that went on the tree. Aunt gave this one; a neighbor who moved gave this one years ago. Some of grandparents' old glass ornaments. They don't have to be hung, just remembered.
The guys decorated (and argued!), and I tied bows and added their baby photo ornaments. They recoil at that action. Sorry! I insist on those!

It's cold and rainy, but I know it's better than what some of you have.

I find a card from Connie in my Bible that she gave me a couple of years ago with a silky shawl she made for me. She called it a garment of praise and put this on the card:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me. . .
To comfort all who mourn...

To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
The oil of gladness instead of mourning.
And a garment of praise
Instead of a spirit of despair...Isaiah 61

For the first time in a long time, I have the Christmas spirit. . .before Christmas! :-D

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Quick ramblings...

Pat has summed up something pretty special. Check it out.

We're decorating tonight. My guys love it....Christmas music, junk food, soda. The stuff we usually don't keep. You know it's bad when you buy cookies and they come in and sing "BEHOLD!! THE COOKIES!" and grab and run!

Had to get a cortisone shot and a chest xray Friday. Been having shortness of breath and now I'm freaking out over the weekend imagining every horrible disease. The internet is a blessing and a curse.
I often wonder why I can honestly encourage everyone but myself.

I didn't make it to the gym but once, today. I worked HARD. Grabbed some gum and water and hit it. I'm getting impatient with myself and my "infirmities." I did walk all week, though.

It's summer here. I wish I could send about 25 degrees to some of you. I have a Christmas wreath on my door---and leaves that need to be raked in the front. Texas.

Blessings and a wonderful weekend to you all!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The half century mark

AARP magazine has an article on the redefinition of age 50. Having hit this mark this year, I was tickled to see it. 6 "celebrities" who are turning 50:

Sharon Stone
Viggio Mortensen
Michelle Pfeiffer
Ellen Degeneres

My singing group sang last night for an assisted living center. This sweet woman walked up to me to say "thanks!" She is 97. That means she turned MY AGE in 1960!!
Whoa! Inspiring!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Now-- which blog was I? ;-)

Not sure I deserve this award. . .but appreciative of it none the less...a few blog buddies have bestowed it upon me and I am passing the torch.

Not sure because I've had a secret from some of new "Say What?!?" blog. I just didn't list it and some found it. My cohort in the women's website that I was a part of even found it! No secrets on the 'net, eh? I'm not ashamed of my "heretical" blog (which means "questioning" blog) but I needed to throw some of my questions out without too much interference in the beginning. We had some really good discussions here on some of my questions, but it got distracting from my day to day blogging, know what I mean? I'm ready now--I don't have all the answers....probably none of them...but that's okay--I have a place to focus on them. Come on over if you like!

I'd link my blog awardees but I'm too lazy.
First off--Pat at Pat's Place of Grace. Her blog is new, but there is no way you're not gonna get Pat when Pat does something. She rocks.
Connie at Picture the Word. Same thing. She's gonna say it and it's the truth.
Don R at Don's Search for Life. Don is like me...questioning and rethinking. My hat's off to him.
Joe at Joe Rants...Joe has a no-nonsense approach to life..very honest..I love that.
Chris at Christopher's Thoughts..his honesty and openness is inspiring.
Brian at the Beautiful is beautiful...what an open-minded and kind guy.
Dave at Dave's Place...Dave lets us in on his life and struggles. I enjoy him and Kriss so much!
Helen.....Tweenie World....Helen opens her life and stuff up to us, as well...with a rockin' sense of humor!
Gary Means.....ya can't get more honest than this.
Larry.....ditto above. Larry makes me think. A lot.
Paige...Paige's prose and poetry take me to another transparent.
Okay...the rest of you have been honored (and deservedly!) once or eight times! Missy, Milly, KB, Codepoke, Robert, Barbara, Becky, Matt, Milette....and I'll be back after I recheck my link list!!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Clean slates for everyone...

Thank you all who commented on my last post. I almost deleted it, but slept too late! If I had, I would have missed your blessings. It's hard, as you all know, for some reason, to tell our face to face friends some of this stuff...yet easier to put it out there on the whole world web! Why is that? It's so encouraging to have your support...I just can't say enough about that.

I got up and immediately broke my clean slate, so I got a new one. Kyle and I headed over to an Eagle project where I did, in fact, feel useful in that it was a painting project and I can be very helpful on those, particularly in the "resources and hints for success" department. It was a tough project; painting the US map on a playground, because the wind was wicked and it was rainy-misty.

They put up an awning thingie, and that wanted to blow off the face of the earth. Pretty exciting...but it was good to see a young man facing a tough project--and watch his face go from fear about his situation to a place of peace when he saw that everyone was supporting him in his trials.

I know just how he felt. :-}