Monday, March 30, 2015

Was it something I ate?

I had the strangest dream last night. I mean, really strange. Ever had one of those? I wrote it down in my journal this morning - who knows - years down the road I may get an idea of what that dream was about.

I'm at the house I grew up in - or it seems that way - but yet, it isn't. It's just 'familiar' to me. I am asleep in the left side of the house, where the bedrooms are. I hear a knock at the door - and hear my youngest brother, Buddy, knocking on the door and asking to be let in. Thinking that odd, I went to the door to unlock it. However, the lock is in the upper middle of the door, and there is scotch tape criss-crossing the dead bolt lock. I start to turn it, to unlock it, and the thought occurs to me that perhaps I needed to go ask Mother if I could let Buddy in - was there a reason she locked him out. I turn to my right to go through the kitchen and once I get there, decide that I wasn't going to get involved, but would go back to bed and let Buddy wake Mother up - it was between him and her if she locked him out. Or was it I decided to just go back and make the decision to let him in on my own. Regardless, when I turned around in the kitchen to go back, Buddy was standing there. I don't recall if we exchanged words or not - for it was at that moment I woke up.

What is really weird about this dream - on several levels - is that the house, although familiar and seemed to be the house I grew up in, the layout was entirely wrong. The only thing 'right' was that the front door was located where it should be - but the lock definitely wasn't! And also very strange..... Buddy died in 1996, I think it was. And Mother died in 2004.

I've given the dream some thought - but because I have no clue what it could be about, I'm not going to waste time pondering it. I've written it down, and some year I will go back through my journals (or someone else will), and perhaps it will be more clear. Hmmmm, the thought just occurred to me.... could it be my time is coming soon? Strange dream, to say the least. But after about 20 minutes or so of pondering this dream, I was able to fall back to sleep for a little while.

It was a good weekend. After suffering severe pain in my left shoulder Friday - to the point I was nearly ready to go to urgent care - I prayed over my shoulder, put 'Deep Blue' on it, and some frankincense oil, and as of this morning, the pain is nearly gone. Yesterday I was only occasionally reminded of the pain when I reached for something with my left arm. By Friday evening my boss was diagnosing me with a rotator cuff tear. This morning I rubbed it down again before heading to work and although I feel a tingle in my left shoulder blade, the pain has subsided substantially since Friday. I am believing that Jesus answered my prayer (and Tom's) for healing and taking away the pain. I am using my arm, meaning, I am not babying my arm, but moving it, and hence moving my shoulder. Occasional twinges of pain, but overall, so much better than before. Thank you Jesus!

Had fun having dinner with middle child and two of his children Saturday evening. It had been awhile since we had seen them. It was good to reconnect a little bit. Sunday was a quiet day with hubby speaking at one of the RV parks (our last one until November), then grocery shopping, and then watching movies. Yeah, a couple chick flicts - Sabrina, and also When Harry Met Sally. Oldies, but goodies. I had forgotten how much the 'f' word was used in When Harry Met Sally....

Somewhat lazy day today here at work - I do have a few things to do, but my boss and several others are in an all day training meeting. My boss just came in and shared she forgot her computer this morning. Oh well, she is in training all day. She has her company phone and can still get her emails so plans to do what she can with that until her husband brings her computer by.

And it's time I stop rambling and get to work. Hope you have a good day.


Friday, March 27, 2015

So I what?

My husband asked me this morning why I didn't wear those 'breathe right' or whatever those nose things are called to help one keep from snoring. I reminded him that they were not comfortable for me to wear - I did try to a few times when they first came out. He commented, once again, that my snoring has gotten so loud, that earplugs does not block it out. Therefore, if I wake him during the night with my snoring, he can not go back to sleep because of it.

My snoring - and the loudness of it - can be caused by numerous things. One, of course, is weight gain. No beating around the bush here. Years ago - like about 30 years ago - when I began to gain weight and 'started' snoring, I asked the doctor about it and he said then that I was gaining weight, and in doing so, that was causing this to cause that. Fine.

Obviously that didn't stop me from gaining weight. But that is another story for another time.

Besides gaining weight there are a couple other things that I would bring into the picture that causes my snoring. A few months back when I was petting our dog, she 'head-butted' me - and hit me right in the nose. The impact was so hard, I truly expected that she had broken it as the pain was intense. But, there was no blood and did not appear to be broken, so I just let it go. Shortly after that time I started getting minor headaches at the top of the bridge of my nose - in between the eyes. It has caused me to wonder if someone she had pushed the cartilidge in my nose against my skull or something - that could cause the headaches. Could that also be the cause of the louder snoring - that the passageway is somewhat blocked? I honestly don't know - but I guess the first step should always be what I know is one of the - probably many - causes. Lose weight.

But what if I'm not ready to do that? I mean, I've said many times that I wanted to lose weight - and I haven't done it. So unless I can get motivated, it still isn't going to happen.

Then there is my sore shoulder. I know, a totally different area of the body and it has nothing to do with my snoring, I'm sure.

A few years back I took a tumble off a stool and as I fell - in slow motion, of course - I decided it would be much better that I catch myself and fall on my arm versus on my back and seriously hurting myself. So I thru my left arm out and I probably had it straight as well. I did crack the bone at my wrist about half way through the bone. It wasn't a thorough break so I only had to wear a wrist band for about two months, I think. I often wondered then why my shoulder didn't hurt that much, for my thinking was that when I fell with my hand flat, that I probably crushed my arm bone up into my shoulder. It had hurt a little bit, but nothing to even mention to the doctor. The pain went away, I had movement in the shoulder area, and all seemed fine.

A couple years ago I started having pain in the area between the shoulder and the elbow - and it seemed to be like a muscle pain. I did mention it to my doctor, but he didn't seem concerned. I mentioned it again last year and since it wasn't a constant pain, he didn't even look at it, but I think he did make a note. (crazy woman here complaining again, I'm sure).

Well, by yesterday the pain has turned intense. It doesn't feel like it is the bone of the shoulder, although the shoulder is sore. It is more in the area of the shoulder to the elbow and the muscles are very sore. It makes me think that if you take a cup and hold it in your hand and up, away from the body, in time the muscles would begin to hurt. Well, I haven't done anything like that, and I can't remember moving anything or lifting anything. But the pain is intense.

As my little sister is selling oils now, I have gotten some things that will hopefully, in time, help with the pain. I've used them a couple times now and nothing has changed, but I need to give it time to work. I don't want to go to the doctor, I don't want medication. I want healing. And time may be what I need. I'm trying not to favor it and 'take care of' my shoulder. I'm trying to use it. I can move it, but sometimes I need my right hand to help it into position, then it is fine. It's like the little train that can... it wants to move where I want it to, and it tries, but it takes a few extra seconds to get actually there on its own. But once it is where I want it - seems to be fine. Even typing, as I am doing now, I can feel discomfort, but it isn't intense as it is when I actually move it. and, it just depends on which direction I move it on the intensity of the pain. Oh well.

This morning as I was dealing with the pain the thought occurred to me that perhaps I am getting a lesson on pain. What I mean is, I usually am never sick (thank you, Jesus) and I usually do not have substantial aches and pains that exceedrin can't take care of, or that isn't gone in a few days. This pain has been different as I have dealt with it off and on for a few years now.

I got to thinking about my sister who has rheumatoid arthritis, and although she is managing the pain in her own way, when we talk I have heard how painful it is. Her body hurts all over, and her legs and feet feel like there are needles pressing into them constantly. Sorta like when our feet go to sleep and then start to wake up, you know the needle tingling feeling that is painful and annoying. Well, this is constant for her. Plus her lower back has a real bad dose of arthritis in it. Some days she can't hardly get out of bed, but forces herself and although may not leave her apartment, tries to move around a little. I talked to her last night and told her about my shoulder and as painful as it was, and knowing about her pain, I wondered if that happened to me, if I would not constantly be curled up in a fetal position from the pain all the time. She commented back that when she is in bed, that is the position she is in, for the pain is so bad. I can understand her pain.

And I thought of my brother-in-law having multiple myeloma - bone cancer - and how much pain he was in. It started out just as severe back pain, he thought. Unfortunately, test results, MRIs, and x-rays identified what the real problem was. He is finally through his chemo, but will probably have to get these infusion treatments for his bones (to make stronger) the rest of his life. And he is still in pain.

Then there is my hubby, who has right shoulder pain. He has complained about it for years. He has spoken with the doctor about it numerous times. The doctor always tells him to take ibprophen or advil or something for it (yeah, let's damage the liver but go ahead and take this for the pain). We have tried numerous creams and oils for his shoulder. He has done exercises for it. But the doctor still tells him that he can do only a couple things. If he goes to an orthopaedic doctor, they will want to do surgery and he won't be any better. Or he can get steroid shots and the first one will last three months, the second one will last a month, and then they won't work. (talk about encouraging).

My boss just came in and I was telling her about my shoulder and (being a nurse) she asked a couple question and her diagnosis is I have a tear in my rotator cuff. Oh well. It can happen with wear and tear and 'age'. Interesting. Well, I'm going to believe that this pain will go away this weekend. It means I can't volunteer with the carnival at church because I won't be able to move much.

Anyway - I'm tell you all this for no other reason than sometimes God allows things to happen, yes, even shoulder pain, so that you can understand the pain of others. He allows failure, so that you can learn how to succeed. He allows sorrow, so that you can comfort others. He allows difficulties, so that you can have empathy for others. I truly believe that nothing happens that God is not aware of, and that He is not already at work in it.

So I will deal with this shoulder pain for awhile. If it doesn't go away on it's own, then I will go to the doctor and will go from there. But for now, I understand pain like I haven't for awhile. And maybe that is the lesson I am to learn.

What are you going through right now? Is it something that you have needed a lesson in, so that you understand what is going on with others? Sometimes it isn't much fun, but often needed. Thank God that He considers you worthy of learning the lesson.

As for my snoring... not sure what I will have to do on that.... one day at a time.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Do I really want to change?

I listened to a podcast of a friend's a few weeks ago and one statement he made caught my attention. It isn't a catchy phrase, but it is one that cause me to stop and think about it. I even went as far as writing it down and posting it on the wall by me here at work so that I could occasionally draw my attention to it.

"You've got to make changes if you want true change."

Yep. That's it. But does it ever hit home for me, and I am sure that it hits home for you. I was thinking about that phrase for some reason this morning on my way in to work. I'm driving down the highway and thinking about things I want to accomplish, things I want to change, things I want to clean up, etc. You know, the usual things that run through your mind when you are doing basically mindless driving. All of a sudden, in the midst of my thinking of things I would like to get done at home, the phrase pops into my mind.

"You've got to make changes if you want true change."

Hmmm. So, I'm taking that it means that if I really want my closets cleaned out like I was thinking about, I need to change how I put my clothes in the closet and start putting them in order, take out what I don't wear anymore (and I've heard that if you haven't worn it in two years - you won't - so get rid of it), and arrange it how I want it. Sounds simple enough. And I always think about doing it - and sometimes I actually get started - but I don't make the changes I want so it remains the same.

I guess one could also apply that to weight loss. If I really want to lose the extra 30 pounds I've gained over the years, I need to stop eating cookies and candy and start using portion control when it comes to eating my meals. Even salads can add up calories - especially if you load it with ranch dressing! Did you know that you can create a healthy salad and ruin it by putting a cup of dressing on top of it? It's ok to have dressing - but use portion control if you want to lose weight. Why eat salad if you are going to kill it with dressing?

Another thing that came to mind as I drove in was how we let ego and pride control us, control our finances, control our friends, control us. yeah, I know, already said that. We won't do some things if it doesn't cost enough. (HUH?) We allow our desire to have things override reason and reality, and let our ego take over when we fail. We all know people in that category, and I would probably have to admit I have fallen victim to ego at one time or another. Not for material things, but in doing things. Then I really feel humiliated and down on myself when I realize what I have done.

I don't have to have the biggest house. I don't have to have the most shoes. I don't have to have the most expensive car. I don't have to have diamonds and vacations. I don't have to have an abundance of cash. I don't have to have anything.

But Jesus. I will concede He is all that I need. I have to have Him. I can do without everything else. But just give me Jesus.

So, as I think about my messy drawer here at work, I think I am going to take the time to clean it out this morning and put it in order. I think I will put on my schedule for a time soon that I will truly go through my closets and remove those items that I don't wear anymore and donate them. I think I will work on my calendar and adjust it to enjoy the friendship and fellowship of other people more often. I think I don't need any new clothes right now, although I keep getting these sale ads .... just because it is on sale doesn't mean I need to go buy it.

I may still need to think about the eating part. I enjoy that a lot. But I'm getting better. A co-worker brought in pozole yesterday. I had never had it before - and it was very good! I checked out the calories and it is actually low in calories. That surprised me. Spicy, but very good. See, I don't always eat cookies.

So I've decided on some things (even not listed here) that I want to work on, to change. And only I can make those changes, true changes. What about you? What do you think about that statement? Do you feel you need to make some changes in your life? Let's work on it together!


Monday, March 23, 2015

There is a reason I love chick flicks!

I went to the bridal shower for my granddaughter this past Saturday. It was a beautiful sunny day and we were at a place call 'The Farm at South Mountain'. I have eaten there before, but it has been several years ago. It was a lot of fun. I felt bad that all my granddaughter's bridemaids and maid of honor didn't come. Nor did they call and say they weren't. People just don't follow courtesy or proper etiquette anymore. Only one bridesmaid came - and she drove up from Tucson!

The shower was a lot of fun. I got to meet some of the groom's family that I hadn't met before and we hit it off immediately, I felt. The food was delicious - we had sandwiches, salad, and delicious cookies, etc. for dessert. I ate two. They were like little pecan pie slices - not sure what they were, but they were oh so good. We played some games - which is the reason for my title for this day.

One of the games we played was bridal bingo. I didn't do well on it. Another game we played was we all had two rings on our finger and we couldn't say the words 'wedding', 'Justin', or 'May'. It didn't take long for me to get my granddaughter's two rings, which gave me four - but I was beaten by one ring as the groom's mother had managed to capture one more. But the other game was easier - much easier - for me. It was about movies.

At first I wasn't sure how it was going to work. In this box were cards, and it started across the table from me. A person would draw a card, open it, and inside the card was a line from a chick flick. We had to guess that movie. If we couldn't guess it, the card was moved to the person next to us and on around the table until it was guessed correctly. I could not figure out two of the lines, and one didn't make it past my daughter-in-law. BUT, I think I got the rest of them! There were lines from the Titanic, Sweet Home Alabama, Casablanca, West Side Story, Notting Hill - and others. Most I have watched at least a couple dozen times. It was such fun playing this game, cause I knew most of the answers. I love to watch chick flicks!

My prize for winning was really cool. I won two containers for popcorn, and each container contained a big box of snack (as in chocoloate covered peanuts, and Mike & Ike's)and a bag of microwave popcorn. Attached to one of the containers were two tickets to a movie theatre. NICE gifts! All the gifts were very nice. I told the hostess that she should manage every shower -she did an awesome job from games to gifts to complete organization. It was a fun time. Our granddaughter got some nice wedding gifts and I think she enjoyed it as well. She made the dress she was wearing and it was absolutely gorgeous!

May will be here before we know it and a beautiful spring wedding. My firstborn princess has grown into a beautiful young woman. My prayers for her have been that she will have joy and blessings all her life. I think that she has succeeded in a lot of that - but I'm sure there are more to come. I dislike her being so far away, but, sometimes love causes us to move far away. When she's in town, I am reluctant to ask for her time as I know her mother and her siblings long to spend time with her too. We had talked about getting together this weekend to look for things for her 'new' house - but decided to wait until she actually moves into it so that she can determine what she really needs. Maybe next trip up we can get some time together.

But, since this is still March - and I am at work, I reckon I had better do that - especially since my boss just came in! Have a great day!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

I feel empowered....

Yesterday I got empowered. I really did. And it felt good. Here is what happened:

I turned down cake.

And not just any cake.

Chocolate cake.

I had to help cut the birthday cakes for the company yesterday. We had a chocolate cake and a white cake. They looked so yummy. After cutting the cake, I took 3 pieces of each. No, not all for me.

One was for my vice president. One was for a director. And, one was for me. After walking past our medical director, I felt I needed to stop and offer him one of the plates (that had two pieces on it, one white, one chocolate).

He told me no. He had just got back from Italy and said that he needed to discipline himself to lose what he gained eating all that pasta over there. Willpower. I commented that all I've done is binge eat for the last several months. I needed to quit because I was just getting fatter.

He said - "have you eaten any yet?" I replied "no".

And he said "then don't". I looked at him like he was nuts.

And he continued....... "don't take that first bite. Tell yourself 'no', that you can do without it."

I felt empowered. I gave the director one of the plates. I decided to skip my boss (the vice president), and gave the other two plates to two managers. My thought was that I would not only save myself, I would save my boss, cause I am really a bad influence on her when it comes to food - if I get it, she gets it.

My boss comes back to her office and wanted to know where her cake was. I told her what I did, and why.

She sent me back over to get her cake.

I tried to save her. I really did.

But at least I saved myself. And I'm empowered. At this moment. To say 'no' to what I shouldn't be eating.

And you can be too.

Just say 'no'.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Starting over...

It's a new week. It's Monday. Granted, it isn't what we, on most calendars, show is the first day of the week (meaning, Sunday) but it is the beginning of a Monday-Friday work week for many of us. Deep breath. I left the house about 10 minutes later than usual this morning - and got here about 5 minutes later than usual. I know I need to start leaving earlier - or later - for the sun just pops up in full force view about the time I come around the curve getting on the I-10. And it is definitely an 'eye-closer' cause you can't keep our eyes open and you can't avoid the sun because you have to look out your window to drive - and it is just 'right there' in your face.

Received our granddaughter's wedding invitation on Friday, I think it was. She is so creative and I can't wait to see what she has planned for the wedding. I know she has been working hard on preparations and I am confident it will be totally awsesome. It's hard to believe the time is nearly here for the wedding. Starting over.....

Hadn't really thought about that title when I started writing this.... but even the wedding is a starting over - it is a new family, a new beginning.

Just like Monday. Or, really, each day - it's a new beginning, a starting over day.

I'm so glad we have 'do overs' or 'start overs'. Some times I can't wait for a day to end so that I can 'start over' the next day. Only because that previous day was a tough one, or a painful one, or ..... but the next day is a 'start over'....

And I'm glad that when we accept Jesus as Lord of our lives that we have a 'do-over' or a 'start over' in life. All the garbage from the past is wiped away with His Grace, and we can start over with a new, fresh slate. That doesn't mean we won't suffer the consequences of what has happened, but it does mean we have someone walking with us through it.

I'm glad today is a 'start over' day. I can shake off the last week, the past weekend, and start over this morning. And so can you.

Let's make this day a great 'start over' day!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Who is that little man?

In the Bible there is a story about a man who had full pockets. He was a man who most people did not like. Why? Because he would cheat them. He would charge them more than what they would have to pay on taxes. Sometimes it feels like that nowadays, doesn't it? Some things just haven't changed over the years.

Off the subject of where I am going with this..... but did you know that the Income Tax was created to pay for the Civil War in 1862? Congress enacted the nation's first income tax law. The Act of 1862 established the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The Commissioner was given the power to assess, levy, and collect taxes, adn the right to enforce the taxs laws through seizure of property and income and through prosecution. Pretty much the way it is still today. In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixure in the US tax system. The withholding tax on wages was introduced in 1943 and was instrumental in increasing the number of taxpayers to 60 million and tax collections to $43 billion by 1945. Lots of tax cuts and reforms after this. President Reagan signed into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986, one of the most far-reaching reforms of the United States tax system since the adoption of the income tax. The Revenue Reconcilliation act of 1990 was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993. He also signed another tax act. President George W. Bush signed a series of tax cuts into law. And we don't want to even go where the current president has dared to go. But enough of that - I was just making a point of taxes being collected.

Back to my story - this little man always tried to outdo his neighbor and take more in taxes than he was supposed to. And, unfortunately, he had his ruling government on his side. He was actually friends with the enemy - the people who created the taxes - and that really made him an outcast with his own people. No one wanted to have anything to do with him.

But then, one day, a new man came into town. This little guy wanted to see this man, yet he knew that no one would let him through the crowd to see. So he did the next best thing, as far as he thought. After all, he just wanted a glimpse of the man he had heard so much about.

So the little man climbed a tree. Not just any tree, but a sycamore tree. Sycamore trees are great shade trees and are very sturdy. This little man climbed that sycamore tree cause he wanted to see the man walking towards him. AND, to his amazing surprise, the Man stopped. The Man looked up in the tree, saw the little man, and told him to come down, that the Man was going to go to the little man's house.

What excitement this little man had! The MAN, Jesus, had said He was coming to his - Zacchaeus - house!

Zacchaeus was so excited that Jesus was coming to see him, that he told Jesus that for those he had cheated, he would pay back FOUR times the amount taken. Now, even in Biblical times, just a small percentage could have covered the sin, but Zacchaeus wanted to give back four times.

Could you imagine OUR government giving US back four times the amount they have wrongfully taken from us?

Zacchaeus had full pockets from all the money he had taken from his own people. Some monies had gone to the Roman government to pay the real taxes, but Zacchaeus had kept much for himself, becoming very rich.

But Jesus made the difference. Meeting Jesus caused Zacchaeus to WANT to give away and make right the things he had done in the past. He was willing to empty his pockets to make right what he had done wrong.

When we do something wrong - what do we do about it? Do we apologize? If it has monetary value, do we reimburse? Do we take advantage of people and use them for our own advantage? How do you repay that?

What do you do when companies do not do what they say they are going to do? Read my son's blog this morning and he shared about a bee hive that should have been totally removed and didn't seem to be as bees were still hanging around. After several calls to the company, they still hadn't followed through with coming back to take care of the remaining bees. And now the company will receive a 'bad reputation' because of no follow through. Reported to the BBB will damage their business. Why do people do that? Why not follow up and stick to your word?

Which is a whole nother topic I could write about - but not at this time.....

Let's go back to our little man, Zacchaeus. When he met Jesus, everything changed. What changed when you met Jesus?