Saturday, May 31, 2008

Suggestions Anyone?

I have a real problem and need any advice I can get. As you may remember from a previous post, I've been diagnosed with Degenerative Disk Disease. Basically, my disks are melting away somewhere in my back, and lower back pain rules my life. I can find no type of pain medication that I can tolerate and still function. Most prescription meds either send me into a coma, or make me so nauseas I'm miserable, or both. The pain is increasing, and simple chores such as a short trip to Walmart for groceries is fast becoming a real issue. By the time I am checked out, I can hardly move my back without excruciating pain. (And I look like I'm 100 years old as I walk to the car.) Most of the time, just sitting down relieves the pain, but if it's too severe, even that doesn't help so much.

Have any of you out there dealt with this? If so, can you tell me how you deal with it? Any medical folks out there who have any suggestions, I'm all ears. I was told by a friend who works at a physical therapy clinic to do two simple exercises. I was given Ultram for the pain, but can't take that. (See above) OTC meds are not helping, except Excedrine dulls it a little bit. My stomach is fast becoming raw hamburger with all I've tried to take. I've tried walking for exercise and by the time I get back to the house, I'm almost in tears.

I really don't like the thought of driving that weird wheelchair around Walmart, making folks get out of my way and hogging the aisle. And I know if I ever start something like that, I will deteriorate at a much faster pace. So, gentle readers.....suggestions anyone?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Still Lost

I missed the first hour of the "Lost" season finale. Much to my aggravation. I don't know why I'm so addicted to this show. Sure, it's a mystery, but I'm one of those folks who don't like to be in the total dark about a show week after week. And I'm totally and completely confused with everything about it. SR read that fans were dwindling due to the way it drags on and on without giving any answers, only creating more questions. I read somewhere, that it will continue until 2010. Who knows? Maybe I'm just too dense to "get" what's really going on. Still, I hate to miss it. I suppose I really like the characters or something, because I sure don't like the plot. I wish the writers would help me out a little. Anyone else out there in the same shape I am? The only really good thing last night was the Desmond and Penny reunion. Maybe when the entire series is over, I can buy all the DVD's, watch them back to back from first to last, and I'll actually understand some of it. Until then, I'm still lost.

I'm also lost about our church website. Those of you who are familiar with website management, will understand. We upload files to the site via FTP (File transfer protocol) and every computer at the church is having trouble. I can use the ftp program successfully from my home computer, but not from the church. A very computer-wise young man worked for an hour or more with us today, trying to figure it out. Still no luck. So, I may have to stay on the phone this afternoon with our dsl provider's tech support to see if they can figure it out. I imagine I will be on the phone with an Eastern Indian who claims to be named something like Bill or Steve. (When we all know he really has a name like Sayid or Samad)But, I will endeavor to find my way for the good of the church site and to serve the Lord in this way.

If anyone out there can give me a little help in either one of these areas, PLEASE feel free to offer your opinion.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Since SR always has to work, I didn't have any exciting plans for the weekend. I did quite a bit of cleaning, and prepared some new recipes I found on the web. They turned out pretty well, and I'm so glad, since I was really tired of the same old thing.

Our church website,, is up and running again. Well, it never really went down, but no one could edit or maintain it since the new host guy failed to give anyone the login information, and failed to reply to any and all messages until it was time to collect for the coming year. Go figure. But now I have the login info, and I've been doing a little editing. The guy created the new template for our site and it's pretty cool. Problem is, I don't know how to edit all of the new bells and whistles. I need a trainer. I can add text and pictures, and upload new pages, but can't get the drop-down menus edited to add links. Pretty soon, the pastor is going to want to add some video and audio files and I haven't a clue about that. I hope God sends me someone to help, cause I'm sure gonna need it. LeLe is pretty good at stuff like this, but she can't help me with that.

I've been kicking around the idea of getting my own domain too. I have a family webpage of sorts that I created a long time ago. It's on Geocities and of course it has a column full of ads tacked on. I've been thinking about re-doing it and making it more stream-lined and informational. Family history information and that sort of thing. I'm still in the thinking stages because I find it hard to commit to something like that for some reason.

Tonight we started watching a Memorial Day Celebration on tv. It was announced as a concert and we expected big name celebrities to appear and sing, etc. The longer we watched, the more upset I became. I absolutely honor our veterans! My father was a veteran of Korea and Vietnam. I think I must have gotten so teary-eyed because he's gone now and it brought up all the memories of him talking about his experiences. He would bring out his slides of Vietnam almost yearly and would describe each one as if we'd never heard it. And we would all listen and look, just like we'd never heard it. How I wish he were here to do it again. I wonder if he ever really new how much we respected him for doing what he did? I think that might have been the one thought that had me leaving the room. I couldn't take the heart wrenching scenes and speeches any longer.

Tomorrow is a day off with pay and I'm very thankful for that. I plan to do exactly what I want and nothing I don't. It's rare that I do that, but I'm going to enjoy my day. The freedom to do so is one of the things our veterans fought and died for. And I really do appreciate that!

Happy Memorial Day! God Bless America!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dale Evans

Our church offers a devotional guide to all members and today, the entry is something that touched my heart. I would dearly love to have the attitude of Dale Evans. I could assume everyone knows who she is, but some may not. Dale was the wife of Roy Rogers. They were television icons back in the 50's and were always in a Western story, almost always together. They were both known for their deep love of God and Christ, in the very un-Christlike atmosphere of Hollywood. Today's entry is a prayer by Dale.

"Growing older, and wiser":
Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself, that I'm growing older, and will someday be old. Keep me from getting too talkative; particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Deliver me from the need to try and straighten out everybody's affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. I ask for grace to listen to the tales of others' pains; but seal my lips when it comes to my own aches and pains, for they are increasing and my love of rehearsing them gets sweeter as the years go by. I ask not for improved memory, but for a growing humility and less cocksureness, especially when my memory seems to clash with the memory of others. Teach me that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I don't necessarily want to be a saint--some of them are so hard to live with. But a sour old woman (or man) is one of the crowning works of the devil. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it; but Thou knowest Lord, I want a few friends at the end. So give me, I pray, the ability to see blessings in unexpected trials and goodness in less-than-perfect people, And give me the grace to tell them so, in Christ's name, amen.

May it be so for me Lord.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Big 1-8

Yesterday, we celebrated the 18th birthday of my niece. She also graduated from high school last thursday night, so it was a celebration of both. I am prejudiced, but that doesn't matter because she actually is an exceptional young woman. And she is also very beautiful...inside and out.

Maegan spent many years in choir and has an unbelievable voice. Those of you who attended LeLe's wedding, can attest to that. This just turned 18-year-old took it upon herself to contact the choir director at the college she was interested in. She set up her own interview, proceeded to said interview and wowed the director. He was so impressed, he offered her a full scholarship on the spot. She took the bull by the horns and made her own magic. We are all amazed by her.

I can remember when she was born, and how her paternal grandmother wondered at her beautiful little cupid's bow mouth. She never lost that cupid's bow. She named her first dog "Bowser" and laughed when we reminded her last night. Another of her aunt's was saying that she's always smiling...she's a fun girl. She gets it from her mother....(my sister)
We are so proud of her. And we all reminded her that when she is some big famous performer at Disney World or Branson, she has to get us free tickets and backstage passes. It's the law.

Congratulation Mae. We love you.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


As promised, this is the newest addition to our clinic's "Jungle Room" or as we usually refer to it, the "Monkey Room".
The entire scene.

The scene painted two years ago on the opposite wall.
This is what I spent two days last week working on while the Nurse Practitioner was out. I've been posting a lot of photos lately. Some might question that, but I am a creative, vision oriented person. Anyway, I thought those who know me personally, might enjoy seeing these.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hard @ Work

Here is my J, hard at work in Stuttgart, AR, where tornadoes did so much damage. I think he looks like an ad for Entergy.

This Week

Nothing earth shattering happened this week. Nothing major to report. Just a few mundane things that make up my day to day existence. Here's a short list of what happened in my world this week.

Monday: Nurse practitioner on vacation, no patients. Spent the day answering the phone and scheduling for next week, or calling to get people in to our clinic in Malvern. Mid-morning, had a long talk with a fellow church member about the "goings on" within our church.

Tuesday: Took a sick day, and had an MRI performed on my lower back. I've been fighting severe lower back pain for months. Afterwards, SR and I browsed a couple of antique/collectibles shops in downtown Malvern. Found a little bench I would have liked to purchase, to put at the foot of my bed, but it wasn't in sturdy enough shape to chance buying it. Afraid it wouldn't hold up well enough.

Wednesday: Received results of MRI. Mild DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) Treatment options are exercise, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory meds. In severe cases, Epdiural injections to the disk site, and even surgery. Ooooh No. Not me. Nuh UH! I had an epidural once. I'd rather hurt. In the afternoon, I added a safari/jungle scene to one of the walls in an exam room. We have a room that we call the "Monkey Room." A couple of years ago, I painted a jungle scene on one of the walls. I added another partial wall to that Wednesday. Pics will follow shortly. After work, I forced myself to walk around our neighborhood twice in an attempt to begin an exercise routine. Not pleasant, and in the end, a bit painful. Wish me luck.

Thursday: Woke up with a terrible "Crick" in my neck and shoulder. Finished up on the painting. Cleaned the clinic. Yes, I swept, mopped, cleaned bathrooms, etc. I don't have to do that, but I am the one who does. If I didn't, I shudder to think of how nasty that place would be with so many feet going in and out, and so many hands touching things.

Friday (Today): "Crick" is worse. I must carry on though. Went to Walmart and experienced several things Chelle wrote about in her last post intitled "The Walmart Rule" Very frustrating. Then went to the local Mad Butcher to purchase our meat. (REFUSE) to buy meat at Walmart. Even Walmart employees won't buy it, I'm told by some of them.) It's a good thing there are only two of us at home now. We'd go bankrupt trying to feed a family with prices being so high for meat now.

I now plan to take a pain pill, and hit the couch. I'll be a slug the rest of the day.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Memories and Motherhood

Mother's Day will be celebrated this Sunday. I probably don't have to tell you that. Hey Loth, do they celebrate Mother's Day in Scotland? I was thinking today about being a Mom, and about my own mother. I thought it would be nice to share a few memories of both.

LeLe was the first girl in my husband's family, since he was one of three boys. My father-in-law jumped for joy at her birth. But that is not my memory, as I was busy elsewhere. My memory is of trying to have her on my own, but being unable, therefore, she was a C-Section.

One very sweet memory was of her, after we brought her home from the hospital. We lived in a small mobile home, that wasn't very heat effecient. We supplemented our heat, by using a small propane gas heater in the corner of the living room. One morning, there was still a chill in the air, as it was still early April, and I put a quilt down on the floor, close enough to the heat that it would be warm, but not close enough to be dangerous. My grandmother would call that "laying a pallet." I laid LeLe down on her tummy, and she fell asleep. As I walked back and forth doing housework, I would stop periodically, kneel down and give her butterfly kisses on her cheek. In her sleep, she would turn her face up to my lips. That is one of the most precious memories I have of her.

My J was also a section baby. He was born during the ice storm of 83. The time I spent in my hospital room was miserable, because the cable was frozen and I couldn't watch tv. My only comfort was when they brought him to me to nurse. After coming home, his father and I would sit in our bentwood rocker with a pillow in our lap, and lay him on his back, with his face toward us. We rocked that baby boy night and day and loved every single minute of it. We rocked him until he was so big, his feet would reach our shoulders, and still we rocked him. If I could, I would rock him now.

I can remember with my mother, going to the dentist and to the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, because I had chronic ear aches. She begged them to take out my tonsils, but they maintained nothing was wrong with them.

I remember coming home from school and having a huge pot of purple hull peas cooked with cornbread. My mom could always cook like nobody's business.

I remember her going to work when I was in junior high school, to pay for all the things I wanted to do. Cheerleading, majorette, club activities and such. She sacrificed time and effort to give me as much as she could. She and my Dad worked hard to make all five of their children's lives better.

I remember how she would try to massage my migraines away. Sometimes it helped, sometimes not, but I had her all to myself and her loving hands on me.

I would like to read of your memories. If you are a Mom, what's a special memory you have? And what special memory do you have of your Mom while you were growing up? So I challenge you dear readers, tell us your stories. Tell us what your mother means to you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Grandma's Roses

This evening after work was one like I wish was standard for all days. The weather was warm enough, but not hot and the aroma of honeysuckle and flowering bushes was heavy in the air. I decided to take out my trusty digital camera and take some pics of flowers. In the slideshow below, the large bushes are solid along the side of my yard. The honeysuckle is extremely fragrant and interwoven in the bushes. The red rose bush belonged to my maternal grandmother. She gave it to me years and years ago. The white rose bush belonged to my maternal great-grandmother. I believe it's known as "Seven Sisters" and it is one of the few I've seen that actually smell like roses. I learned that the aroma has been bred out of most roses, but horticulturists are trying to breed it back in now. (Shouldn't have messed with it in the first place!) When we moved from Rison, I dug these two up and brought them with me. I told SR, I didn't care where we lived, those roses would be with me. It would be nice to know that they survived to live in my great-grand daughter's garden. The other hanging basket is one that my co-worker gave me for Secretaries Day. I love the color. I hope you enjoy my flowers and my Grandma's roses....


Today, May 7, 2008 is my 31rst wedding anniversary. Two years ago, both of us totally forgot it. I mean the day had come and gone and neither one of us remembered until about a week later. How sad is that? We both thought it was hilarious. Goes to show how much importance we place on dates. ;) But, I remembered this year and even reminded SR. His card today thanked me for reminding him. HAA! And he presented me with a lovely necklace. I in turn gave him several books he'd been wanting. He loves the Western genre.

Happy Anniversary to us. Here's to 31 more....

Gratitude Campaign

I don't normally read forwards that I can tell are impersonal. I did read one today, which had a link to what is called a Gratitude Campaign for our men and women in the military. Watching the short video brought tears to my eyes. My father was in the military, and fought in both Korea and Vietnam. I know how hard it is for these folks to come home and try to get past the horror of war, because I've seen it firsthand. I said a prayer for them this morning. I should be praying for them every morning, and I hope this will remind me to do so.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Saturday News

Tornadoes ripped through our county yesterday morning. Some of our family members lost trees and had property damage, but survived unhurt. My co-worker huddled in the bathtub with her 10-month-old son as it roared over her house to take out trees across the road. 7 or 8 were killed in Arkansas. This state has had her share of violent weather this year. Snow and ice, floods and now tornadoes have managed to affect countless folks living in the state. It makes a person wonder if the end is really getting near.

I myself was at home during the storms yesterday. I was watching an old movie on TCM, and realized it was getting terribly dark, but the wind didn't seem to be high. My Dish Network went out and the power was off for about 4 or 5 minutes at most. I realize now, it was during that time, the tornado/tornadoes were moving around me. I suppose I would have been blown to smithereens without ever knowing what hit me, had my house been in its direct path.

Once when J was just a toddler and LeLe was in elementary school, a storm roared over our home in Rison. SR was working and I grabbed a sleeping son, and LeLe, and we huddled in the hall while it blew all around us. LeLe was scared, but J never woke. We got through it with no damage to our property, but the tornado cut a swath of timber a short distance from us. That summer, SR worked to salvage some of it and therefore made a little extra money for the family. Something good can come out of something bad.

The news has been full of video of the actual tornadoes and the devastation left in their wake. The force of that kind of storm is indescribable. Almost the entire state has been declared a disaster area. People have lost everything, but are thankful for their lives. My heart goes out to them. There but for the Grace of God go I.

Friday, May 2, 2008

All A'Twitter

Ok, so now the new thing is Twitter. I'm trying to get it figured out. Seems to me it's a much simpler, faster Myspace type thing. IF I ever figure it all out. I'm lucky I have LeLe to help me when all this new technology confuses my poor middle-aged brain.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Curses! Foiled Again....

This is going to be a whiney post. If you have no patience with whiners, I suggest you move on to something else. I know I'm blessed, but I'm not thankful enough for it. I wish I could be like the apostle Paul who learned to be content in any circumstance. I really do.

Let me tell you a little story. The story is true, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Several years ago, Bob and Mary were shopping at the local mall. A gift giving holiday was fast approaching, and as they were walking through the mall, they stopped at a jeweler's to browse. Mary spotted a beautiful necklace, that didn't seem too costly and she pointed it out to Bob. His reaction was less than she would have hoped. Now you see, Mary and Bob have different opinions on what is expensive and what is reasonable. Bob is very financially minded and conservative. He is very easily pleased and content with lesser quality items, if they are servicable. Mary does not like to spend money either, but would occasionally like to splurge if the item is not outrageously priced. She especially believes you get what you pay for.

The couple left the jeweler's and proceeded to the local discount department store. As they were walking through the wares, Bob spotted a lovely ring and pointed it out to Mary. She, being so disappointed in his reaction to the necklace, glanced at the ring and calmly denied any desire for it. This was not a ploy to move Bob back toward the necklace, but she just did not want the ring.

When the gift giving holiday had come and gone, Mary did not receive any jewelry.

At the next gift giving holiday, Mary received the ring.

This story illustrates my pride and materialism. SR and I have been discussing purchasing another vehicle for the last few months. The last purchase was a Chevy Colorado, that I was determined he would have, so he would have a hunting vehicle. He was just as firm that I needed a dependable ride, so I agreed to drive the truck to work daily, if he would get it. When we purchased it, he was only comfortable purchasing a base model, although he agreed to allow me to choose the color. (As long as it wasn't bright and gaudy) We have both been disappointed in the truck for several reasons, but it is dependable.

Since that time, the car he drives to Pine Bluff daily, is just about to fall apart. As we discussed and looked online at vehicles, for some reason, I got the idea that he would purchase yet another old servicable vehicle to commute in, and we would trade the truck off for a newer model suv. We did discuss this, I didn't dream it up on my own. For several weeks now, I've been researching what I want, and studying all the suv's that folks are driving around town. Got my hopes up a bit.

Last night I learned it was not to be. He has decided that we will keep the truck, and he will purchase another older model car that we can share. Now this plan is not the end of the world. It's nothing new in our life to go this route. I'm just having a hard time coming to grips with the truth that I will not get what I want. Again. I've been praying for contentment and peace. This is a pride thing. This is a selfishness thing. But, I'm still whining.