Monday, August 29, 2011


For all of this Joanna:
Forgive me.
It was just too good to pass up!

I was in big trouble. I knew it when I said I'd go to the presentation. This is my knitting class all over again. It was just a matter of how much damage I'd do.

To be fair about this, I love essential oils. I think that the essence of certain plants and herbs have definite medicinal and healing properties. I got hooked on this when I was in college and started reading about them. I like to combine holistic methods along with conventional medicine. I do believe that there is room for both.

Now one of the first rules of sales is that you keep your eye on the target and you don't let them out of your sight. I know this. I've trained this. What did I do? This wonderful lady offered to take me to the presentation and I said, "Sure." 

I was a dead duck.

When we walked in the home it was set up perfectly. All the oils were set out and there was a diffuser in the room spraying a lovely, peaceful scent. It was just like being in a spa. 

The next salvo was fired.

Then we start with the flip board and the evils of the pharmaceutical companies. I could see it coming. I could feel it. she explained the properties of the oils and locking her eyes on mine, she slowly unscrewed the cap and held it out to me.

"Smell it," she said.

I was done.

All I wanted to know is how much and how fast I could get my hands on these little babies and just like that I was an owner. I won't say how much I spent but I will say that it is on the same level as the offer my former husband made me if I finished the sweater. There's an old phone room saying. You want to make them ask how many are in the box. When they do that......well, you know you've got them.

I not only asked how many were in the box, I asked how many boxes they had and how soon I could get them.

For a woman who made her living in sales I just wish I had a hundred of me walking through the door everyday. 

I not only took the bait, I put the hook in my mouth for her.

Anyone need oil???????


I had a great day.
So what's the problem?

I was almost asleep and then I felt the twinge. I start thinking that if I ignore it, maybe it will go away. Nope. Not happening so I just put on another one of my "sleepy time" movies. The kind of movie where one of the coasts gets wiped out by a volcano, tsunami or another disaster of some sort. I just can't figure out what started the pain kicking in this evening. I mean I was relatively fine until about 15 minutes ago. What does this?? Then I remembered to check the humidity levels. 

Crap.The humidity, by 6 in the morning will be about 28%.
That's all it takes.

I started thinking about a conversation I had with a friend of mine about work. He's very dedicated, motivated and a typical Type A personality type. He's conscientious and caring. He works hard and the hours involved are brutal. It's almost as bad as new home sales. 

He also has no life. 

I know that we are defined by what we do. (If that's the case, I'm now screwed) I think people should be responsible because people depend on you. What I don't like is when you're roped in by the golden handcuffs and your employers take advantage of you. The sad part is that we tend to learn all this in hindsight.

I was telling him about my experiences and after the accident my body reached up and slapped me and said, "no more." I could hear the exhaustion in his voice and at the same time loving the industry. It's too good to leave and it's too bad to stay. That is still something that I struggle with every day when I get bored. I say I want something to do but what I really want is to be making money like I used to. Oh, I know it wouldn't be the same but it's the buzz of sales that really got to me. I still miss it.

I should try to get some sleep. I'm going to an essential oil presentation tomorrow and I don't want to fall asleep in the middle of it. I'm kind of excited to learn about the oils. What I'm not excited about is going to the presentation. Do you know why? If you've read any of my other posts you'll know that this will probably end up like all my other "hobbies." I'll come out of there with tons of oils and it will be presents for everybody!!  In all seriousness, I do know that the oils can be very helpful if you actually apply them.

So as I ramble on about nothing, I'm watching the movie Volcano. I'll wait until someone else gets to be a crispy critter and then try again to fall asleep. 

Well, now they're on a ladder three inches above the lava and they didn't burn up.

I think I need to watch the ones with tsunami's.

Friday, August 26, 2011


All of a sudden a lot of things are emerging.
Brain things.
It makes me a little nervous.

Today I read about 4 articles concerning the stimulation of the Vagus nerve and its possible use for Fibromyalgia. 

Am I the only one that gets nervous about this stuff?

I just don't like the idea of anything fooling around with my brain until a little more solid research is done. Creating different pathways without knowing all of the effects that it has is just a little unnerving. 

The Vagus nerve is one of the longest cranial nerves. It's name is derived from the Latin word for wandering. Maybe because it wanders from the brain stem, neck and down to the abdomen. This wonder of a nerve helps regulate our heart beats, controls muscle movements, keeps us breathing and helps keep the digestive tract in working order.

Tell me our bodies aren't beautifully and wonderfully made!

In this new therapy short bursts of electrical energy hit the brain through the Vagus nerve. It seems that this stimulation inhibits inflammation in our bodies by suppressing cytokine production. Cytokines are released into your system and they help regulate our immune response. In people with Fibromyalgia these pro-inflammatory little babies provide a signal to the central nervous system and create an exaggerated response to pain. Thus, if the Vagus nerve stimulation can inhibit the cytokine production maybe it can reduce the pain of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. 

It seems that the side effects of the VNS (vagus nerve stimulation) therapy run the gamut from alteration of your voice, throat pain, headache, feeling out of breath, pins and needles feelings up to nausea and vomiting. 

All I have to read is nausea and vomiting and hell would freeze over before I would try it. (Did I ever mention that I have a phobia about vomiting???)

Upon further investigation I found out that, GET THIS, meditation can also stimulate the Vagus nerve.! It seems that a state of calm and peacefulness can activate it. So this begs the question, "Is it possible to control this voluntarily?" I almost hate to go there because too many people dismiss us as neurotics anyway but can we get a handle on the pain through meditation? I know that the brain can do amazing and miraculous things and I'd rather try meditation that having something implanted in me to send electrical charges to my brain.

OK.......I'm in..........Can I get an "OM?"


I need to be very, very quiet........................

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Some people think that by holding on you're strong.
Sometimes strength comes from letting go.

I went to the Fibromyalgia support group meeting a few nights ago. I have to say that it's a marvelous group of women. It's nice to be around people that understand what Fibromyalgia does to your body as well as your life. We live with chronic pain. Chronic pain is described as pain that lasts for longer than six months and affects how you go about your daily life. 

Putting it more succinctly: You're a prisoner in your own body.

I always took my body for granted. I knew my back would go out a couple times a year and during that period of time I'd be immobile. I'd get a couple of shots and have the chiropractor adjust my spine and I'd be back to life as usual. It was excruciating but I knew it would have an end. Just suck it up, put on your big girl panties and deal with it.


Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate living a life where pain would be my constant companion. Pain has affected my life, relationships, career; everything that meant something to me. Even on my best days where the pain level is very low, it's still there. It takes effort to go on and try to live a somewhat "normal" life. The problem is that this pain is forever. There is no cure for this invisible disease so this is a life sentence. 

Knowing and the acceptance of that fact can really screw with your head.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss chronic pain and depression which seem to go hand in hand. I can totally understand that one. There were days that I didn't think that I wanted to deal with this illness any longer. It was a black hole that kept me isolated and down. I didn't have the strength, of mind or body, to deal with it. It was at my worst that I realized that letting go was the way to find my strength.

I can't go back to the way of life I had before the accident. I have come to realize that I will have some level of pain with me all of my life. I now know that there will be those that will never believe the pain and your limitations and there will be those that will look past it and see the person inside. What was interesting to me was talking to some of the women at the meeting. We all look at each other and think the other has it all together. Someone actually said that to me. Me? I have it all together??

Not even close. 

I was really intrigued by this couple at the meeting. They had a very powerful and moving story and their use of this kind of feedback seemed very encouraging. I'm so curious that I'd like to have a consultation with them just to see how this works. I'm not sold yet, but very curious. Can chronic pain change the neuro-pathways in the brain and, if so, is neurofeedback a viable option for treatment? I understand that it has generally positive results but I'm a little concerned about fooling around with the brain. There's so much that is unknown yet. If this can change the way the brain functions permanently could there be real adverse side effects if something should not be done correctly?

What it comes down to is that I'm gradually moving into the acceptance phase here. I'm realizing that I can't do anything about the pain but I can manage it. I don't know how it happened but I seem to be at peace with all of this.

Can it be?

Am I really progressing?

I still don't know how it happened but my thoughts seem to be moving in that direction.

Well, at least for today.

Tomorrow may be another story all together.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'm wishing I could sink my teeth into these.
These health sucking, fat producing
vampire cupcakes.

I've been good lately. I've given up sugar because it just makes me feel better when I do, however, it isn't easy. I'd love to put my face in a big, fat cheesecake. I could probably eat it in one sitting but then I'd hate myself for eating the whole thing. I've never met a cheesecake that I didn't like. I know that refined sugar can also increase the flares of Fibromyalgia.

I'm really missing sugar right now.

Actually, I can blame this on a recipe that my friend Judy Westerfield posted on her blog, "Creativity to the Max." Just the visual of combining a sopapilla and cheesecake makes my mouth water. So, in honor of my annual mammogram, which is tomorrow, and for a little payback to my dear friend Judy, I proudly present:

The "I Don't Know Cake."

Now, I know baking is an exact science but no one ever told my mother that. In her estimation,some was good and more was better. If the recipe called for a cup of something she figured a little bit more or less wouldn't matter and for her, it didn't. Everything seemed to come out just fine. 

Anyway, back to the cake.

I called this the "I Don't Know Cake" because my mother had a weird way of writing down recipes. Nothing was titled and some beside some ingredients there were no measurements. So any of what I'm about to write is subject to change.

2 cups of sifted flour (actually don't even bother to sift. Just stir a fork around in the flour for a minute.)
2 cups of sugar (pretty self explanatory)
2 sticks of butter (salted, unsalted......who cares?)
3 Tablespoons of Cocoa (I'm guessing powder because she didn't say)
1 cup of Diet Coke (the recipe said Coke but, hey.......we're dieting here!!!)
1/2 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla (actually it said, "or a little more")
1 1/2 cups of miniature marshmallows ( add a little more)

In a mixing bowl blend the flour and sugar. In a saucepan melt the butter and then add in the cocoa and the diet coke. Mix it well and bring it to a boil. Pour this into the flour mixture and blend well. Add the milk, eggs, soda and vanilla. Then carefully add in the miniature marshmallows.

Now the recipe actually had underlined the word "carefully." I guess you wouldn't want anything to happen to those sweet little puffs of joy would you? Pour this into a 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Set this aside to cool slightly.

Now for the yummy frosting!

1 stick of butter
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
6 tablespoons of diet coke
1 box of powdered sugar

Melt the butter, then add the cocoa and diet coke. Pour this into the powdered sugar. Pour this over the cake while it's still warm. 

Actually I make a double batch because it turns into a glorious, wonderful, chocolate sugar bomb.

5 or 6 pieces of this make a nice snack!

Glorious, glorious chocolate!!!


I know that I need something to do.
I'm not good at hobbies.
Let me explain.

I think I'm more of an idea man. I can see and visualize but when it comes to actually doing, well, that's a tough one. I have tried numerous times to find some sort of hobby that will occupy some of my time and give me some sort of satisfaction of seeing a project well done.

I realize that isn't going to happen.

Years ago my cousin called me and asked me if I wanted to take a knitting class with her. Of course I said I'd go. I had visions of beautifully knit sweaters and scarves. So, off to class I go. I'd never knitted anything before so I had to purchase yarn, needles know, everything you'll need for the basic class.


I bought angora and tons of knitting needles and a gorgeous bag to put it all in. I went home bursting with pride and announcing how excited I was to start knitting sweaters. My cousin and I actually talked about knitting sweaters and selling them. I showed my husband everything that I'd bought and he just looked at me like I'd lost my mind.

He said, "I'll give you $500 if you finish that sweater."

Well, I knew I was going to win that bet.
I was absolutely certain of it!
Do you think I ever got that $500?

A couple of years later the creative bug struck me again and I decided that I was going to attend stained glass classes. Of course, I had to buy all the equipment and the glass. I even envisioned making stained glass side lights for our front door. My former husband just gave me a look that said, "how much is this going to cost me?" Well, needless to say, the window never got finished and I still have the knife that I bought.

I should have learned.

Another time, my girlfriend asked me to go to a beading class with her. She had several friends that were making absolutely gorgeous necklaces so I thought it would be a lot of fun. Plus, when I was thirteen I used to string love beads into necklaces so I thought it would be a cinch. I'll bet you can guess what happened. Yep, I bought beautiful beads and bags. I had a ball going through the store stocking up on beads like I was going to make tons of bracelets and necklaces. Well I have to say one thing about the project. I actually made a bracelet.

It looked like a three year old did it.

I have tons of scrap booking stuff that I bought on QVC. I have drooled over the Cricut infomercials. Thank heaven the equipment was out of my price range. I think I want to do something creative but I just don't have the knack or the patience. I'm just not an artsy person. 

I've even tried my hand at gardening.

I got on an organic kick and decided I was going to grow my own fruits and vegetables. I bought bags and bags of soil and envisioned a garden of fresh veggies that would not only have us eating healthier but save us money at the store. 

I could have gone to Europe on what it cost to plant a couple of rows of green peppers. 

So anytime anyone calls me and suggests a hobby I am going to tell them no. 

I think I've finally learned my lesson.

Or have I? 

I heard the cooking school is opening up for classes soon..............

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Do things happen for a reason?

I've always wondered if things happen for a reason. Some people use destiny or fate as a reason why they shouldn't take their own steps but I've found that no matter what steps I choose to take, something always happens that puts life into perspective. 

I've been asked if I believed if there was a reason that we're born. I do believe that to be true. Take my story, for instance. Back in 1952 premature babies had a high death rate. Born between 26-29 weeks and weighing two pounds, survival wasn't a given. There was a high chance my lungs would not have developed to a point where they could sustain life and there was an even higher chance that I could have been blind. Instead, I beat the odds and was given to a couple in Omaha, Nebraska that wanted a small baby girl that fit in a shoe box.

My life also seemed to be full of coincidences. 

For example, I spent three months in an incubator and I was finally allowed to go home on the 17th of November. What are the odds that I would take my own daughter home from the hospital on November 17th? My original due date was October 20th; the same day as my son-in-law's birthday. 

Now, it seems that I'm coming to some sort of path that seems to have been preordained. I don't know where it will go but I have the feeling there is a definite reason for these two paths to cross. It's a little unsettling to look back and see how life leads you down certain roads. You can always change the path but can you change the outcome? 

I don't know.

Whether your experiences are good or bad there are life lessons to be learned. As unfortunate as it is our periods of growth come from these times or as I call it.........AFGO. (it's just Another F**king Growth Opportunity. The upside is that you can't appreciate something good if you'd never gone through something bad. Destiny is tricky and heady stuff. You can't read too much into it but you can't dismiss it either. When something good does happen you can't let it pass you by. You have to hold on with both hands and not let it go. 

All of this involves trust and that's never been my strong suit. It involves letting go and really believing that I can't control every aspect of my life; that there is a God in heaven that is guiding my steps. I can't just say I believe that, I really have to believe that.

It's like your compass is always pointing you...............

Due north.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I still say it's important.
Be outstanding in your field.

People tell me all the time that my pictures show a real positive outlook on life. I smile and say thank you but, inside, I'm laughing my fanny off. 


I guess in one sense I am. I actually do think that everything works out for the best in the end, however, getting to that point may be a little murky. So does that make me a optimist? I don't know. I do have a view of human nature and it isn't necessarily a positive one. I will tell you that I'm often wrong and it still surprises me.

Take the other day. I was at the gym and after I got off the treadmill I forgot a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. I got all the way out to my car and then realized that I had forgotten them. I went back upstairs and they weren't on the treadmill. I was CERTAIN that someone had lifted them. My friend kept telling me to calm down and ask the front desk if anyone had turned them in. I, of course, was in over-reaction mode and told him emphatically that he was on drugs. They would DEFINITELY not be there.

They were there.

Maybe it comes from working with the public in new home sales for so many years. Don't get me wrong, I loved it and I made a lot of friends with the homeowners in the community. But for everyone wonderful homeowner there were 10 that made your life miserable. Is that the reason or do I just have snarkiness that runs through right to my soul?

Well, let's go through some of my favorite quotes:

"Weathering the storm is much easier if you're not standing knee deep in a conductor."

"When you see the light at the end of the tunnel, it's probably the train coming at you full speed."

"In the battle between you and the world, bet on the world."

"It's always darkest before it goes pitch black."

"It takes 43 muscles to smile and 17 to frown but none to sit there with a dumb look on your face."

So maybe I'm not a pessimist but I'll be the word cynic is appropriate. I know that negativity can obscure your thinking and stand between you and realization of your dreams. Actually, I think I'm positive in my cynicism. 

Does that make any sense?

Like I always say.

Not everyone gets to be an astronaut when they grow up.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Just one more thing.
Just what I needed.

It started when Mr. H died. I went to the closet and got a big towel so that I could wrap him gently for his last ride in the car. The problem is that I lifted him without bending my legs. He weighed almost 30 pounds and I'm sure that's what started the pain in my back going from a slight twinge to voodoo pain in the matter of twenty-four hours.

To top it off I continued to walk on the treadmill at the gym. 
I figured it wouldn't matter. 

This morning it was difficult to get into an upright position. Now, I know that's laughable because I always say, "sitting upright? Call me wacky!" but it was hard to stand. So, what did I do? I slugged down a pain pill and went to the gym and walked.


I spent an enjoyable day with my daughter and her friends at the pool. I came home and got right into bed praying that the muscle relaxers will work. I don't know if it was the stress of H's passing along with the lifting but whatever it was that triggered this, well, it can just stop right now. I don't have time for my back to decide to act up.

Is there a part of my body that doesn't need a massage?


Tomorrow, instead of being stubborn and making this worse, I think I'm going to just stay in bed. As boring as that sounds it's something that I need to do.

I hope I can listen to my body and just do what it's telling me to do.

Stay horizontal.

And don't be stupid.

Let's hope because I haven't been able to learn that lesson yet.

Monday, August 1, 2011


H was 17 years old.
Today he went home.
He's playing at the Rainbow Bridge.

The last few days have been tough. I knew the decision was coming this week. Evidently, H didn't want me to have to go through that so he took matters into his own paws. His big heart just finally gave out. 

H was a world traveler. He aspired to be the finance minister of Abu Dhabi. He read the wall street journal and loved to invest in puppy stocks and bonds. He came up with the idea for the doggie slot machines in the casino and stashed his money in shoe boxes. He converted currency into sonic cards and doggie treats. 

I can tell you that I'll spend most of the day crying because I am going to miss this little guy more than I ever could have imagined.

Well done, Mr. H.

You were so loved.

And you loved in return with all your heart.

I'll miss you my little happy guy........