Posts Tagged ‘accomplishments’

I was a shy child—sometimes people try to see me as shy. My daughters don’t believe I ever was. Deep down I am shy but I am also resilient and push myself. I have a lot of self-control—or used to 🙂 –I would make myself overcome things that crossed my path.


One Friday night I was doing my usual working the floor at the restaurant (Friday nights were our busiest) which meant, I was in charge of everything—a great power trip—well, until someone comes running out of the restroom to tell me the men’s toilet was clogged. I was the best handy-man around so I head straight to the back and get some plastic bags and such—knock on the door and head in to find water spilling over the side of the toilet. I had to do that terrible thing of reaching into the toilet and I didn’t shy away from it. I knew I had to clean up and get back taking care of customers. I did my part and got an employee to finish up.


To get to this point, somewhere along the way I became less shy. It was a power trip being able to do so much and think fast on my feet. It was constant and I enjoyed it immensely. I didn’t like the politics but I loved the rush that work gave me. Toilets…not so much 😀 .


I am in unfamiliar territory. Hiding because a person has taken something away from me is tearing me apart. I will see a counselor today (Monday) about what happened to me years ago. I get to relive that night again and that to me is so very scary. I had someone tell me that I should be over it since it was so long ago but this is a lot like grief. If it isn’t handled correctly, then there is this part of me that cries out. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to put it together. I guess it was because I acted like it didn’t happen.


If you have ever been taken advantage of against your will and you had to fight your attacker, you want to have that peace of mind again. You want to take back what was stolen—or I do anyway. I want the person to never have that control over me again—no control. I want to be able to walk away so I can have peace of mind. This is why I had such a difficult time with my to-be-ex-husband. I was fighting for control and he kept taking everything I worked so hard for in an instant. I practiced—going through the various scenarios and then he would swoop in and in a matter of moments I was in tears. It is terrifying to think I may never reach the point I need to be to have that control.


Some people have judged me harshly and that is not fair but what I need is to learn how to deal with that. I feel that I am attacked in some ways. I need my voice again and to be able to stand up to those who try to take things away. I am not that shy child anymore but I have been abused and I didn’t help things by sweeping them under the rug.


So, today begins a new day and hopefully I can learn to stand again and feel good about myself. It isn’t easy. I would much rather face grief or even a clogged toilet but I have to do this. There comes a time where the evil from that night long ago has to find its way to the light of day. I am apprehensive but I am hopeful. 🙂



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In the words of my daughter…

Mom, I didn’t know you liked sports so much let alone football. You were never that way when we were growing up.

It’s true. My first husband was so into pro ball that I quit watching a lot of sports BUT… I love college football and began watching while in middle school on Saturday afternoons with my dad. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know everything there is to know about football but I pay attention to what happens both on and off the field. So why am I writing about football? LOL 😀


UGA (Georgia) has had its ups and downs over the years. We used to refer to the team as the come-back dogs or dawgs—I still do—but when I watched the first game this year, my jaw just hung open to see Gurley (Todd) control the ball. They were not the comeback dogs—they dominated the game that day against Clemson—a rival (stories that I could tell). The game was like a one-man show. I was hoping they could all learn to play as a team. I thought to myself—could these be the days of Herschel? Could Georgia be national champs? A smile came to my face and my eyes began to dance. 😀


Long years ago, the team could be losing at half-time and when they came back on the field, they were transformed into a different entity. Maybe they became zombified—lol. In fact, I don’t know whether it was Dooley or Russell who had such an impact at halftime but it made for some great games. I hate that it was like that—too much suspense at times. It has been that way under Mark Richt, too.


When Hershel (Walker for those of you who may not know who I am referring to) came on the team, things changed—to an extent. There was a new dynamic. My best friend (undergrad) went to high school with Walker so I knew about him before he got to Georgia. He is a couple of years younger. I would see him around campus at UGA. He was a down to earth kind of guy but he seemed immortal at times. He was nice. It seems so strange to remember—so unreal—surreal.


I got to Athens the year after they became national champs (1980). Now some may say they did not achieve that goal but this is my blog and I can write about that another time. Georgia has been known to be an underdog (dawg) team but people love to hate them for some reason. And, that’s what my post is about. I have my own dislikes of some things with Georgia—UGA football—mostly the boosters who believe no one is any better even when they are and think money can buy anything—another topic for another day. But, I am always a dog (dawg) fan mainly because of my dad graduating from Georgia and the bond we had way back when. Oh, and then my time at Georgia of course.


This season was shaping up nicely if they could only play as a team. I tend to read people. When the camera is on the athletes while on the sidelines, I read them. I can usually tell if the person is genuine in their actions and more specific—their inactions. I mention this because I noticed a few things I didn’t like. It’s tough to have a superstar on the team. It creates friction. Remembering back to Herschel’s time…he thought about going pro before graduation and there were people pushing him to leave Georgia and do just that. I was pulling for him to stay. It was a powerful time back in the day. Games were awesome to go to. I’m going to tell you that I believe education should come first and then extracurricular activities like football. Nothing can take away your education but you can lose the opportunities football gives you in the blink of an eye. An injury can come along just like when they found one of the players on the roster this year had some problems and was removed from playing for fear of permanent injury or death.


News of Gurley’s suspension hit hard last week. To me, Georgia has rivals and then there are RIVALS. Auburn and Georgia Tech are probably the biggest two RIVALS. I would add Clemson to the mix and the Florida Gators of course. It is so bad between the Gators and the Dawgs that Florida doesn’t come go to Athens anymore. They tried to have the teams play in Athens and the town regretted it…again.


All of the SEC East and West teams are rivals but…of all the teams Georgia was playing this season, the team to beat should have been decided with the game against Auburn. Hold that thought. Georgia lost to Carolina and shouldn’t have but those are the breaks. I like to watch the teams mature along the way as the season progresses and figured if Georgia had so much at the beginning, just imagine what they could do toward the end of the season when the SEC games really count.


As soon as the news about Gurley broke, everyone said it was all over and said Georgia would lose last Saturday against Missouri. Guess what. They won…34-0. I was shocked but not totally. Missouri didn’t even score and the UGA team looked and played like a team—a real team. 🙂 That’s what happens when you remove the superstar iff (if and only if) the team has been practicing and knows what to expect. I saw a team determined on Saturday—one that was there to make their mark and that they did. Much attention has been given to Gurley but one person who really stepped up to the plate was the quarterback, Hutson Mason. He has come a long way and hopefully will be able to keep going. Georgia has not played perfectly this season but they have some real talent when used together. Mark Richt is no Vince Dooley and this team isn’t the come-back dawgs. 🙂


As fate would have it, Auburn lost Saturday to none other than Mississippi State—wow, what a team. I am amazed at what Mississippi State can do. I kept expecting the Tigers to come back but they didn’t. I wanted a National Championship this year for Georgia. I thought they could achieve it but I watched them give that game away to Carolina. I don’t think they are as good as Mississippi State or Ole Miss probably but that’s my opinion. I think they are better than Alabama but I don’t know about Florida State and then there is Auburn… 🙂


Now it’s time to talk football. The Georgia-Auburn game will be played in Athens…Georgia 😀 . Can Georgia win? I don’t know. It was a game I thought of getting tickets for but wow—out of my price range. Parking would have cost more than the tickets. Georgia can win if they want to and have players healthy enough to play. This is the game I have been waiting for. It is a month away and there are a few others before the team gets back to Athens to play the Tigers. It can be a long road.


The only thing I have heard in the news is about how Gurley needs to be back on the team. I want to say something about that. NCAA rules are there for a reason. If you break those rules whether you are a school or a player or whatever, it will reflect badly on the school as well as the player and team. Integrity is something that should come first because if we don’t have integrity, what good is it to play football in the first place? I’m very serious about that. I can sit here and point fingers but that’s not what football is about.


The Bulldogs may not win another game the rest of the season and that’s ok because in my book they have proved that they are a team no matter what some crazy sports person writes—I’m looking at a certain blogger at ESPN. And, that’s good enough for me. I had reconciled that if Georgia had beat Carolina I would put those dang crappy looking flags on my Jeep. My children asked if I was crazy. I said if they won, I was going to do it and keep them there until the end of the season. They lost but I’m still pulling for my Bulldogs—(Dawgs) 😀 .


Here is a fun fact if you don’t know…

Herschel was #34 and played as a running back. Who was his match from Auburn? They had the same number—played the same position—were the same height and born the same year… 😀 Those were good times. (Answer is below…)


And, if by chance you were watching the game last week you may have a noticed a guy named Brendan Douglas who scored a touchdown by flipping over Missouri’s player…just watch the video…it was good. 😀



Answer to the Herschel question.

Go Dawgs 😀

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I just got through reading comments from a NEWS outlet (semi local) about sending troops to Africa to help fight the ebola outbreak. I want to say something. While I want to be safe from this dreaded disease and want the same for the service men and women of my country, I also want our world to be safe. The comments were for the most part blaming everything on our president. You may not like the US president but like it or not he IS our president. It amazes me how shallow people are and…that they are so dang hateful.


These comments blamed him for the disease and found fault with his decision to send in troops to battle this. Listen up. This decision is nothing new. It has been discussed for the past few months. Someone needs to be willing to step up and take the helm. Many countries have sent in teams to help but there needs to be more and it isn’t easy to do this. I could go on and on about this but you have your mind made up already whether you support this or not. I’m not trying to persuade anyone but merely pointing out a fact that people need help and we, in the US and across the world, will not be safe until ebola is controlled.


Comments that are racist and negative do no good. One person said the president just wants to kill off the troops. Really? Are we really that stupid to believe such?


As a side note, if you don’t believe in evolution, this is evolution in progress. Viruses are evolutionary. Even colds (yes, I know they are viruses)…they can enter into a body and have changed and mutated by the time the viral pathogens leave going to the next host. There are viruses that have been around for thousands of years that are just being uncovered—emerging because we have become a mobile society. In the past, we lived in pods. Outbreaks were contained and died out. Some people survived and their bodies grew resistant to the viruses until a different virus came along. It is all about survival. Viruses are just another living thing. They want to survive, too, but this virus is not a symbiotic one. However, the more people who are infected and the longer it thrives, the more it learns and develops into something that will coexist until it can find another host. We need to stop it now. The longer we wait the better chance it has to remain amongst us.


Here is the scary part if this isn’t scary enough.


I personally think we are on the verge of discovering a giant breakthrough. While it may seem a hoorah moment in time, I wonder if it might be the beginning of our own demise. You see, I am unsure how far we have come to break the genetic code so to say…to cure disease…not just individual diseases but all diseases. There are some factors that seem to show us how easy it is to treat some things like an on/off switch. I can’t supply data for you. This is me putting together some things I have been reading…and just guessing at a conclusion. We would be in trouble if we can cure all disease. Think about that. Sure, it would be nice but there would be no population control. We need population control. It sounds terrible but that is what keeps the balance of life where it needs to be. Just some of my thoughts.


Some of the science fiction movies have not been too far off the mark if you ask me. It’s a little too real. I’m going to link to an article I read this week. (LINK) It is an interview done with Dr. Peter Piot (link to his wikipedia page). I was impressed to learn more about ebola from the days when it was first named like seeing through the eyes of the past. This is surreal to me.


It is easy to say for Africa to take care of her own but that’s just not even possible at this point. We are all on this earth together. We need to work together. If we don’t, we deserve what we get. How dare we puff up ourselves like we are better than someone else. We must care for each other.

I hope your gardens are growing great things! 🙂

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This is the post I was working on last week—yada, yada… 🙂 These videos are so powerful with what they have to say about ALS.

I read a rant about this and I had to ask why they were ranting and raving. They didn’t talk about people being hurt by the dumping of ice. They didn’t argue whether the money would get to the proper source but rather the individual was yapping because they were tired of hearing about some disease called ALS. (Big SIGH!!!)


I opened my mouth in several places around the internet–I didn’t hear anything bad about what I had to say and I tried to be polite. I said that people might get tired of hearing or seeing videos but that this has raised awareness in people—at least some people. Look at how much we take others for granted when they have something we don’t understand. Unless we are touched in some way with whatever disease it is, we turn a blind eye. People with ALS… I’m sure all of them would love to turn it off too but they can’t. They are stuck in their body even when their bodies become foreign to them.


I don’t like what we have become as humans. We distance ourselves from what we don’t understand and criticize others that act different from us. Who gives us that right? ALS is a most awful disease. One thing I hate to see is watching someone lose control over the simple things. It usually doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and that elongation of time to those suffering from ALS is part of the let-down of their body. I really have no clue what they suffer but I understand losing control over muscle movement.


Note:  I wrote the above before I saw Bill’s challenge and if Bill can do it, so can many of the rest of us. Here are two very important videos—they have touched me so much.

Bill’s challenge (I love this!!!) 🙂 


And, if you have not seen this one…this is one we should all watch. It is this and more…


It bothers me that some think one disease deserves more recognition over another. I’m speaking about people who are upset that this cause that became internet viral is taking away from cancer research…it’s high time other things besides cancer become our focal point. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t look at any one disease lightly. Cancer took the life of my father and rheumatoid arthritis took the life of my mother and you know what I suffer from. There are plenty of areas that need focus.


We are all in this together. We should celebrate the triumphs and support all who show compassion to others. Let’s be good to each other. 🙂

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I am trying so hard to understand people but it isn’t easy. There are those who say the meanest things sometimes. It’s not easy for me to watch suffering and pain or people ignoring others and maybe inflicting some pain of their own. We should be careful of our words. We need to think of others. I am still growing and I speak out about things I see as injustices—not to provoke but to discuss and see if we can resolve things. Too often there are those who have stuffed their ears and maybe pulled the wool over their own eyes.


I had a rough week. This is supposed to be an inspirational post…LOL… I will see what I can do to make it that way. 😉

I took a reprieve from facebook this week because I could not deal with the negativity. It is suffocating—I feel like I am being choked. People speak bad about the ice bucket challenges; there is meanness about political issues; negativity about environmental issues; and then there is what some may call stupidity about science issues. I threw up my hands, made a cover picture that said, “Closed. Gone fishing,” and included a note that said it bothers me how people treat others. It was obvious I was a little peeved.


This did not sit well with some of my facebook friends. One messaged me. She was concerned. Another one asked if there was anything I needed. She gave encouraging words and said that I help her in ways I don’t know because of what I go through and things I share. They were being nice. Another one didn’t reach out, didn’t try to talk to me—but I didn’t hold it against her. We aren’t close and have become more distant after our run-in about the climate change video when she was saying negative things about people. So what did she do? She changed our relationship status to family but we aren’t family. There are people I barely know who I consider closer. I did not get a choice to deny the request—thanks, Facebook. I really appreciate it (sarcasm). I guess FB knows best, right? I am kidding but FB did ask me how she was related…sister, aunt, etc. Can anyone claim you as family? That is scary if so. And, if you unfriend them before they remove the relationship status, does the family status remain…as in…would I still be tied to her in some way?


I kindly asked her to remove the family relationship. She had a temper tantrum. Needless to say, it resulted in her deleting me (unfriending) which I really don’t think is a bad thing but that was not my intention. She was not interested in anything I had to say. She just wanted to manipulate. I found that hurtful but that is on her. So often we want to love only those who love us. She isn’t a giving person…she takes too much and doesn’t give back.


Just think if we only love the people who love us…and not love all people. We need to love everyone especially those who do not love us. I tried to explain this but she wasn’t having any of it. Sometimes negative people need to get out of our bubble. Hopefully, they will be close enough to see they can’t hurt us and they will reap good things without having a negative effect on us. Sounds bad but sometimes there is a limit to what we can tolerate and still be positive.


There is so much apathy in the world that I applaud people and things that bring to light information such as the ice bucket challenge. ALS is such a dreaded and terrible disease…Bill knows this (Hi, Bill 🙂 [LINK]). I had concerns about it at first but I was like—it’s about time people get behind other little known diseases and bring awareness to others. Whether it is because we aren’t affected or we are just too busy or whatever, we need to become aware of others who are suffering and do something. By the way, here is a link to Bill’s own ice bucket challenge. (More about this next time.) 🙂


Then there are those who are trying to bring awareness to charities for what is called Japy day…this idea of having a world day of charity has been tried before and we need to keep trying—not give up. There was a video made and shared about helping the homeless. People found fault with it for many reasons but you know I don’t care. I think the real reason was to bring about change in our world—to remove some of the apathy. People said bad things because they said the video was a stage production. I don’t care. If someone is doing something to cause positive change, WONDERFUL! We need all the help we can get!

First video – about Japy Day – 30 August 2014. Second video – encouraging others to help and to show what community means. Yes, I know it is AUG 31. I had planned to post this earlier this week but it is never too late to help others.


I have a friend who said homeless people don’t need food and clothing and they don’t need stuff people give them. He said that people do this so the giver can feel good about him or her self. The person, this friend, well, he is practically homeless so I didn’t expect to hear this from him. I said… “You missed the point. This is to bring awareness to people who don’t see homeless people as humans but as a blight of humanity—something that hurts their city, etc.”


I became very vocal to him because of other things he said. Listen up! I don’t help other people because it makes me feel good. I help others because they need help. Sometimes I do feel good that I have done something to help another but that’s an intrinsic thought and it’s my own pat on the back that I did right…I did what I am called to do…being a caretaker and giver. We are all supposed to do this, to care for others. We should not boast about our deeds but I think feeling complete…as in we have been successful reaching goals is a good thing. It helps us to continue on that path. If we just do one thing and that’s it, no, that’s not what it is about. But, also, we can’t judge others either. I can’t tell you what to do and not do. I just do what I can and keep doing it. We don’t do things because people deserve something. We should do things because people need us and in turn we all help each other.


It’s true that all of the problems with homelessness are not going to be solved with this one video or a few people but one of the big problems is there are those who do not see homeless people. They are ignored…like they don’t exist. My daughter said, “But they do need those clothes and food and shelter and such until they can get back on their feet or if they can’t get back into society they still need these resources.” My children are very smart. 🙂


This friend said that homeless people need work…jobs…help in getting jobs and resources to become presentable. He found fault with the video and my stance of how we should help. I can be wrong. It’s hard to accept being wrong but I can be wrong…but I’m not wrong…not this time 🙂 . I can choose to back down, shrink into a corner or I can choose to be vocal. I’m being vocal. I don’t want to hurt anyone but we have to reach out to people. I’m not saying to put yourself at risk but be more aware of what is around. Appreciate people more. Smile. Become passionate about life and let it infect others. Don’t let people hurt you with words. Don’t let the negativity in this world tear you down. Find a way to help others. If we only helped as much as we criticize…sigh


I’ve studied people. Observing, watching. We like what makes us feel good and that isn’t a really bad thing. There is so much hatred in the world. Isn’t it time we remove the hate? 🙂

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Enter 2014, May 1, and I went straight to the emergency room after finding out my serum Dilantin/Phenytoin level was 50 mcg/mL. My daughter drove. Actually, it was higher than 50—probably more like 64 or higher. Just take my word for it. I was toxic. I remember the guy/doctor/intern…someone saying, “You were right.”

Yeah. I knew that. Now, just fix me was my response. 🙂


Normally, your system if working properly will flush out the toxins in due time but there was something more than just my meds being out of whack. I have been taking the same dosage for years. I needed an IV drip right away.


After getting back down into the normal range and beginning to wean off this stuff I have taken for so long, I came home on a new seizure medicine. Oh, goody. I was better but having side effects and withdrawals. I was also taking Phenytoin from the same manufacturer as I was before I went to the hospital (clears throat)… My serum Dilantin/Phenytoin level began to rise again and I didn’t understand what was happening.


After arriving home, I had sense enough to get a new prescription but not enough sense to know I should have taken it a step further. You have to remember that I still didn’t know for sure what had happened to put me in the hospital. No one did. I was being treated for symptoms. The cause wasn’t being treated because no one knew what it was.


I called around and found a pharmacy that had the same generic Phenytoin as I was taking in the hospital—the same manufacturer. I began to take it and the level dropped again—back to where it should have been. So, my conclusion… what made my level spike to the toxic range was the manufacturer. Something was not right with that batch of drug I received. It was what I was taking before I went to the hospital and after I came home. Both times it caused my level to spike. I have been on this other Phenytoin since a week out of the hospital and the level has not spiked but has remained where it should be.


It was a new manufacturer my local pharmacy is using to save money. I do not know why there is a difference only that I could be dead today. I could have died from the toxicity (which is not common but can happen) or something else. I am very lucky and I shudder to think of people this may happen to and they not know it. Perhaps it will not affect others as it did me but I know this type of thing happens. I have been searching the internet trying to find answers. The only thing I know is that not all generics are the same and they should be.


Do you know how many people take it for granted — that what is in the pill they take is ok for them? We all do it. We take so much for granted. We put our trust in our doctors and nurses and our pharmacists but there is truly no one who is responsible for myself other than me and that is a very scary thought. When I am almost comatose I cannot make those decisions for myself and yes, I do question doctors and their decisions. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t take this seriously.


There is so much I want to talk about. I know everyone has something they have experienced. There are people who are dying who cannot get meds that will save their lives and I’m not talking about cutting edge technology. I will be one of those people one day. What do I do then? (In all honesty, I am closer to that time today than I was when I wrote this yesterday. 😦 )


We fight about all types of things but healthcare…simple healthcare…it’s a right to have healthcare. Fight about guns and other trivial stuff (sorry but I look at things differently) but healthcare…we should all agree and it should not ever be political — NEVER!


If you care for or have a loved one, think of that loved one in a situation where he or she cannot look after herself or himself and there is no one else. We all should shoulder the responsibility for others. That might sting but I believe it. Along with it comes responsibility for all of us.


I never want to worry about what I put in my mouth or body—if it will damage me. I would love to have someone I can trust with my life but I don’t feel that I can, not from what I have experienced these last few months.


Mom, I’m broken.

Can you please help me?



Amy planting seeds. 🙂

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What is a therapeutic index and why should I care?


If you take any drugs, you need to know what this means. In simple terms, the therapeutic index is the window in which the drug is reaching its targeted amount in the bloodstream to treat whatever it is designed for. That is my simpleton explanation from my standpoint. You can read about therapeutic index here  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapeutic_index  or in medical journals, etc.


Dilantin/Phenytoin (generic) has a therapeutic index of 10 to 20 mcg/mL. Many drugs do not have such a small window meaning that there is less leeway with Dilantin. Other drugs are more forgiving—the target isn’t so small. This particular one is used for seizure control. It was the “go to” drug of choice back when I was diagnosed in the early 1970s but there are probably better drugs today with fewer side effects. Each of us is different and we react to medicines in varying ways so many times it becomes a tradeoff.


I personally am at my best when the serum Dilantin level is about 17 mcg/mL—on the high end. It doesn’t take much to make it swing one way or the other but at 17, my seizures were well-controlled. To measure how much is in my system, a blood test is performed. Usually this is done twice a year when I show no problems and more if I have issues. There have been times where my level went down to 0.02 (yes, below 1). That is when I would pass out because I was not getting oxygen to my brain. That’s not a fun time either.


Anything ranging outside the bubble (so to say) is bad 🙂 . Anything above 20 is considered toxic. Toxic doesn’t necessarily mean lethal. Lethal doses are usually not referred to in the literature quite so much with humans but lethal means dead if you get my drift. Dead is definitely bad news (humor for the moment). So… toxic is an indicator that something is wrong and in my case it had nothing to do with changes of dosage—not in 2014.


Back in graduate school, my serum Dilantin level dropped and had to be reregulated…it had to be readjusted to get it back between 10 and 20. Sometimes it is hit and miss until you get it right and many times it takes a while. With me, I do better with a larger dose in the morning and smaller one at night but there are so many factors that can affect the level. Over the years I have learned what works and what doesn’t—well, usually I know when it is off.


One of my many counselor experiences during graduate school.


All this basically boils down to is how the liver breaks down the drugs. We really should treat our livers better but that’s another story, too. The highest level I ever had measured until this year was 40 mcg/mL and that was hell, to put it lightly. My gums turned white and I could not tell you who I was basically. I could not walk/balance—a host of problems. That was the graduate school lesson and the only time I ever knew when I was toxic.


If you take medication, even illegal drugs, you need to know what you are doing to your body. There is a consequence for everything we do. Choose wisely, please.


Next:  “Mom, I’m broken.”

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We have various gifts—an array of talents—even skills that can be developed. One of my gifts is empathy. It is like a curse at times because I can feel the pain of someone just hearing about their condition never meeting them or knowing what they look like. People who can do this don’t understand how someone cannot empathize completely and so goes the other way, too.


Part of this is being in tune with one’s surroundings, knowing what to expect because of previous circumstances. Gifts are talents and what we choose to do with them is up to us. I could sit here and find fault about things I feel are “wrong” (from my perspective) or I can write about certain situations so someone else may see another viewpoint and hopefully become more aware of others.


Trees. We take them for granted. Forestry is a business that depends on good husbandry practices—being good stewards of the land. It takes decades for a tree to mature…longer for hardwoods compared to softer woods (in general). I love trees–some more than others. There is a tree that stands out from the others in this picture. Until the trees around it were cut down, no one really noticed its true magnificence and beauty. Some still don’t but that’s another story.


This is what we call progress—cutting trees so that more cars can pass through my neighborhood…an expressway. Not my idea of progress by the way. I get emotional about some things and this tree is one of those things because of what it represents…when we are not allowed to mature to the point we need to be in order to see the true forest…all of the trees…how important each one plays in the role of life. Of course, I’m not talking about trees but about people (trees, too). We each play a part. Using our gifts is important. Being able to use our gifts is important, too.


Embrace your talents. Develop them no matter what age you are. It is never too late. 🙂

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Life really likes to throw us some curve balls sometimes…when we least expect it. Last month I had to make a surprise visit to the hospital for several days. I’ll get into the whys later but I am having to go off the medication I have taken for over 40 years—not an easy feat as I am trying my best to limit the withdrawals. I had an interesting little stay—the nurses were great. I felt bad that I needed so much help from them at times and tried to limit my calls to the desk.


The worst things were the belly shots—OH MY! I was purple by the time I left from all of the puncture wounds everywhere–either putting stuff in or taking stuff out. I have to thank my caregivers. They each give me so much and I can never repay them. I would not be here if it were not for them. Thank YOU!


Here are a few photos — not so beautiful but a bit entertaining–maybe. 😉


All that was left by the time I thought to take a pic of food. I was so hungry after being in the emergency room all day. I had not eaten. Cute idea.



Here is another dessert.



Waiting for my CT scan. I look rather calm given the tension of not knowing what was going on both in my body and in the ER and hospital. I was trying to let people know I was ok by sending them this photo taken in X-ray.



The food was actually one of the redeeming qualities of my visit. Some things were better than others but breakfast was usually very good.


At peace…finally…



I looked awful while in the hospital but this is a rather ok photo — almost angelic if I do say so. 😀



And, here is … “me and my buddy.” He went with me everywhere and cried in the middle of the night. Too bad I couldn’t go far. I didn’t even see the hallway until the day before I left.


If there is ever a “next time” I’ll be sure to have a photographer to stop by after I get a makeover (kidding). I am so glad I don’t have a photo of my leaving the room toward the end of my stay. To see how mobile I was, I used a walker with security strap (safety) while in my hospital nighty — not a sight for the weak. 😛


Finally, the night before I left, I was able to walk to the little couch by the bed and sit for a while. That was awesome. The little things in life. 😀 One of my caregivers slept on the couch all but the first night and another caregiver stayed with me for that one, too. I’m so sorry but I’m so grateful.


I have been a sick little human and have a ways to go but I know others who are having to go through chemo treatment again because their cancer did not go into remission. My situation is nothing to theirs. Blessings to all. 🙂

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Let me see if I can remember…There once was this duck flying along one day. I forget the height he was flying but he was headed for a frozen pond. His decent angle—if I remember correctly—was 45 degrees. There were some other statistics given…air temperature…below freezing. I don’t remember how fast he flying but he was traveling at a pretty decent clip. The question was, “What happens to the duck?”


This was physics class and this was a test. I thought I had gone crazy with this type of problem but it was given to us because the class was not thinking—we were not looking at the complete picture for word problems. We were instead learning formulas and plugging in values to find the unknown. In real life, the unknown can be several things and to solve problems, one needs to know the questions to ask. This problem was more of logic than calculations. In fact, the answer was not a number but a sentence describing what happened to the duck. It was one of those defining moments in life–one where the light switch turns on or stays off. (cough-cough)


I remember everyone missed the problem except one person. I was really good at physics but not this time. Logic back then was not my strong suit. I could not see it. It is like a 3-D puzzle on 2-D media (think Escher if you know he was–see below). You have to look at it in the right way, in the right perspective, from the right distance and correct angle.




I didn’t discover Escher until graduate geometry. I’m glad I did. We gather pieces along the way to put in our puzzles. Link to work by Escher: 



You have to be willing to open your mind to possibilities. That’s the key to problem solving. Sometimes you have to think about the tree falling in the forest…does it make a sound if no one is there? 😀 Sometimes it takes all of your life for things to click and make sense. For some—it never happens.


What happens to the duck? Does it matter? Does the tree make a noise 😉 ? See. We want concrete facts–absolutes–no variants. We want it to make sense. We don’t like it when it is open ended.


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