August 30, 2011

The Chair Stands Alone

Remember the nursery song... The Farmer in the Dell; at the end the cheese stood alone.  Well in my Post Stroke World the Shower Chair Stands Alone.

     There's a lot of paraphernalia that goes along with stroke recovery.  I came home with a walker, shower chair, adapters for silverware, and plans for upgrading to a cane, never mind the multiple medications. We were supposed to install hand rails in the shower but somehow that never happened.  In the last six months just about everything has disappeared from my world.  Except the shower chair... and I don't think it will follow the rest of the trappings into the attic anytime soon.
     The reprieve the chair is receiving isn't due to my recovery or inability to stand in the shower.  It plain and simple has to do with the fact it has become a sort of luxury item.  Seriously!! After working out in the yard on some of the hottest days taking a nice long shower now is more relaxing.  A teenager not to be named has been known to enjoy the chair's benefits after long runs or extreme work-outs.  Who knew this once necessary item was now bringing joy and happiness to others.
    The funny thing is I see them in stores now.  I never really noticed them before.  Because we really had no say in what type we were getting as third parties arranged all that for us I had no clue as to the varieties available.I've also noticed these puppies pop up at garage sales and thrift stores often.  Considering what they go for new paying $15 for a shower chair and a bottle of disinfectant is well worth it.
    So for those of you who like me don't have a garden tub to relax in I definitely suggest purchasing yourself a shower chair... better to buy one because you want it rather than needing it don't you think!
This is the one we have.  You can purchase them without a back but why would you????

August 28, 2011

Sunday August 28th

I had a hard time calling today Serenity Sunday as usual.  Thursday we headed to the beach to see how Irene was kicking things up.  The waves were rolling in on top of each other.  It was almost as if they were competing to get to shore.  Often the waves weren't even parallel with each other; crashing at angles producing magnificent views. I am just amazed how this incredible force of nature was presenting this beautiful water show less than 48 hours before causing horrific damage further North.  I shot over 150 pics just of the waves.... I've selected my faves for you.

Sometimes God calms the storms and sometimes He just holds us tight.

August 25, 2011

As if turning 50 isn’t hard enough

   Turning 50 is considered a huge milestone in our society.  It usually means parties with an “Over the Hill” theme including black balloons and gag gifts of canes and such.  So imagine your birthday being announced on NPR in reference to being someone’s Dad ~ OUCH!!
  Six years ago when I started having to drive my kids to school at 6:30 in the morning the only thing I proclaimed allowed on the radio is NPR.  It is way too early for top 40 or any other music choice they may have, never mind they’re usually sleeping.  Every morning at 7am NPR announces someone’s birthday.  Usually they share a bit of the person’s fame before their name.  Today Billy Ray Cyrus turns 50.  You would think that their lead in would have been the crooner of Achy Breaky Heart Billy Ray Cyrus turns 50 today.  NOPE.  Billy Ray’s own accomplishments weren’t even mentioned.   So how was his birthday announced?
Miley’s Dad Billy Ray turns 50 today.
Ouch you can’t tell me that didn’t sting just a little bit. 
   As proud of I am of my kids’ accomplishments if there is one day I don’t want to be known as Em’s, Patrick’s or Meg’s mom it is my birthday; especially on my 50th birthday.  I don’t know, perhaps things are different in show business.  After all he was responsible for getting her the role of Hannah Montana.  Without question I am sure he is very proud of the success she has achieved.  So maybe this is a proud moment for him.  Me~ I’d be more than a little crabby!
     Or maybe it is just me and my personal self-centeredness.   Let me make this clear.  My birthday is my birthday.  I don’t want any of my kids getting married on it.  I’d prefer not to have any grandbabies born on my day.  When planning our wedding I even made sure we weren’t saying I do anywhere near my day.  With all of this being said you’d think I’d be someone who has big celebrations and such.  Nope.  The day is usually uneventful with a nice dinner and a specialty cake from Publix.  It is just my family of 5 who celebrate, actually 4 now that Em’s at school :0(   Now that I am Royal I guess I could pass a Proclamation and declare it a holiday…. Hmmm I do have a couple of weeks left to do that.

August 23, 2011

Grey's Anatomy Saved My Life

We sometimes tease my husband that he's such a girl with the shows he likes to watch.  He gets a kick out of Bridezillas watching what people tolerate from the latest Bride gone wild.  He also is quite loyal to Grey's Anatomy~ Thank Heavens!!
     Six months ago Saturday my husband son and I were shopping at BJ's.  I had a headache on the way there that bothered my vision but we had to shop as I was one of five cooking Chili for a Church Dinner the next day.  At one point while shopping my son commented how I was slurring my words.  Next they noticed I was having trouble walking.  All I wanted to do was go home and lie down my head was killing me at this point. 
    The hospital was located just five minutes away and my husband decided something was wrong and took me there.  Thank heavens as I was having a stroke.  Normally my husband would have just taken me home like I asked.  However just a week or so before Gray's Anatomy had an episode on someone having a stroke and he said I reminded him of that patient.
     So here I am six months post stroke this past Saturday.  Physically nearly all of the signs I suffered a stroke are gone.  While I still struggle with fatigue and aphasia when tired or stressed I don't think most people would guess I am a stroke survivor.  Recovery has been a lot of hard work and I am very blessed to have an incredible support system around me.  I was fortunate that my stroke wasn't as severe due to the fact I was at the hospital so quickly after its onset.  There is a drug called t-PA which if received can greatly determine a patient's survival and recovery.  This drug can only be administered up to 3 hours after the onset of the stroke. 

Learn the many warning signs of a stroke. Act FAST and CALL 9-1-1
  • Face ~ ask the person to smile.  Does one side droop?
  • Arm ~ ask the person to raise their arms.  Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech ~ ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.  Do their words seem confused?
  • Time ~ If you observe ANY of these signs call 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY
So thank you Dr. Meredith Grey and company for educating my husband!!  Yes we do have the DVR ready for their return in September.

August 21, 2011

Serenity Sunday August 21, 2011

Where are you going?
Whether it is birds, sockeye salmon or sperm whales I am incredibly amazed at the process of migration.
 For untold generations various species follow the routes of their ancestors. 
While not always safe or easy they follow their destiny regardless.
It helps me worry less about tomorrow.

Matthew 6:34
Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will care for itself
One half million sand hill cranes rest during their migration

Sockeye Salmon on their migration
Majestic Sperm Whale

All of today's pictures come fromPhotography section of the National Geographic.  I truly encourage you to visit

August 20, 2011

By Royal Proclomation....

Last week I was honored to recieve an award!!!
Once again thank you to

Here’s how the award works:
After accepting the Versatile Blogger Award, the blogger must:
  1. Thank the person who gave the award and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs.
Seven Things About Me:
  1. I am originally from Long Island but in my heart I know I'm supposed to live in England
  2. I studied Opera Pefrormance in college.
  3. Sophomore yr I fought to save our Campus Bar ~ The Rathskeller.
  4. I'm terrified of snakes
  5. I love to play Board Games
  6. I go to sleep listening to Books on tape
  7. Queen Elizabeth I is my hero.
15 amazing blogs that I’m passing this award on to (in alphabetical order):
  1. A Sparrow's Flight
  2. Alaskan Bookie
  3. At the maple table
  4. chopperpapa
  5. Garden of Secrts
  6. Gumdrop Pass
  7. Hug a Tree With Me
  8. Langley Writes
  9. Marias Handmade Love
  10. Mommie Dearest Strikes Again
  11. Moms Bookshelf and More
  12. Ramblings of a WAHM
  13. The Redhead Riter
  14. The Epic Adventures of a Modern Mom
  15. ::Young and Restless::
I believe you'l enjoy the varied writing styles and blog types.  Please visit these wonderful blogs!!

August 18, 2011

Did you know I am a judgmental, bigoted heathen!!

     Do you remember going to the Library in school?  All those books! All those choices!  How to choose just one?  The librarian trying to teach us "Don't judge a book by its cover!"   
Well how else were we supposed to choose with all of those beautiful books within our grasp?  Years later I'll be honest if the book jacket or title catches my eye I'll grab it first.  But does that mean I don't like the other books?  Am I judging the other books unfairly?

     Quick what do you picture in your mind when you think purple and yellow/gold?  If you are a sports fan maybe you are thinking the LA Lakers, the Minnesota Vikings or the LSU Tigers.  For gardeners perhaps pansies, tulips and crocuses were your first image.  Ask a child to put those colors together and they may respond with Tinkerbelle, Sponge Bob or possibly an array of Muppets.  However I am fairly confident that next to no one (outside of my community) could honestly say the first image they thought of was a church.

     That's correct a church.  Not the nursery or preschool room inside but the outside of a church painted purple and yellow.  Well that is what the congregation of The Resurrection Life Christian Center painted their church when they purchased it a few weeks ago.  The church is on the corner of two county roads.  The other three corners host two gas stations and another church.  There has been such commotion over their color choices that the local news has been out to see what's going on.  One of the residential neighbors was quoted as having called the newly painted church "visual terrorism" (REALLY???).  The County Commissioner's Office has received calls asking whether or not there was an ordinance in place to stop painting buildings certain colors; there isn't. Thank Heavens how scary if there were laws like that!

    The FB chatter around this was incredible.  Borrowing a phrase from my son: The purple church debate was blowing up FB.  It seems that if you didn't like the church's color choice you were being judgmental, bigoted and/or unchristian!!  Purple and yellow/gold are the colors of Royalty. The pastor of the church said his church has always used these colors inside to represent the Royalty of God and now they wanted to share them outside.  He understands that these aren't everyone's favorite colors and that's ok. What I don't understand is how my disliking something turned me into a judgmental, bigoted heathen!

     I will admit right out I don't like the church being painted purple and yellow.  It used to be white and reminded me of an old country church.  It desperately needed repairs and its new owners have seen to that.  The church now makes me think of O2BKids and Barney.  However just as I have no idea what happens in the church across the street from it I don't know what goes on here either. Honestly as long as they're not breaking any laws, I don't really care.  I'm quite confident that their members are very nice and dedicated to their faith.  Do I completely agree with everything that they believe in?  The answer is probably not.  Isn’t that the purpose of denominations; we all attend the church of our faith because there we can find what we do believe in.  Chances are I share a lot of the same basic principles with both these churches but there's a reason you can find over one hundred different churches in our community. 

     Too quick today when we disagree with someone the word judgmental comes into play.  To be judgmental according to AskJeeves,com means
~you are inclined to make decisions and judgments especially on moral or personal issues. It is an attitude characterised by making judgments about other people's conduct. 
Then I also found this quoted on many websites (though I couldn't find an attribute sorry):
~Judgmental is not stating an opinion or even labeling something as "good" or "bad". Being judgmental is when based on one quality of someone or something you conclude about his whole nature, about all his other qualities. You judge his wholeness based on one aspect.

     So tell me when stating an opinion started meaning the same thing as judgmental. Guess what; it doesn't.  This is a problem today I think because we have all become so encased in our own belief system whether it is political, religious, or ethical that we have lost sight of what it means to simply agree to disagree.  Maybe it is because I have a minor in Political Science but I enjoy spirited debates.  More often than not I will wind up learning something I didn't know.  If I don't agree with your point of view I am not judging you I'm simply not agreeing. Somehow this is getting lost with most of our communicating occurring online.  I have seen friendships ruined when online debates turn judgmental and then inevitably personal.
I do not like to see earrings anywhere but in the lobe.  Do I judge every girl I see with an auricle, conch or helix piercing one as some sort of loser?  Considering Paige (aka my blonde “daughter”) has more than one I can assure you I don't.

    Bigot is another word being so misused today.  I am not a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief or opinion.  I simply don't like the church colors.  Am I creating petitions to make them change their colors? No Would I sign such a petition? No To be completely honest I've actually found that it serves a personal purpose as I can use it as a landmark when giving directions.  Turn at the purple church~ how many people can say that?

    So guess what?  I still don't like the colors purple and yellow together on the outside of a church.  I am not a bigot.  I am not judgmental and I finally am not a heathen.  I simply have an opinion and I voiced it. 
   In honor of  Resurrection Christ Life Center today my blog will wear the royal color purple (the yellow just aint happening) 

     Walt Whitman said "Be curious not judgmental."

August 15, 2011

ME, Moi, Mij, Mi, Bana

So if you haven't figured it out this blog is completely about me!! Now you're probably thinking ~ aren't all of your blogs about you?  No actually they're mainly my Royal views on how the world could run better.  Or they may be my observations of the continuous entertainment I find in the world around me.  This blog, this one right here, is completely about me.

     Why should you continue to read such a self-indulging piece of literature (ok a stretch but the best word I could think of)? I'll tell you because if someone out there doesn't relate to what I'm about to tell you then it is without a shadow of a doubt that I need to be committed for my own safety.

     Where to begin this glorious royal procession?  Tuesday. 
Sunday and Monday were what we have nicknamed "stroked" days around here.... pretty simply put ~ it is amazing I make it out of bed I am hurting that bad.  Tuesday I was on the upswing and had an afternoon Acupuncturist appt.  If you'll recall an earlier blog I've not had the greatest experience.  After Tuesday's session left me feeling barely any different than when I came in this "medical professional" announced that she believes that I've been misdiagnosed with CFS, Fibromyalgia and Epstein Barr by those other medical professionals.  You see I have brought all of this on myself by simply eating the wrong food.  That's right all of the pain I was in these last two days and the stress induced aphasia was because Saturday I ate something beyond horrendous.  After we dissected what actually turned out to be a pretty healthy food day (thank heavens) she then decided I must have smelled something unusual.  Really, it could be something as simple as Chinese Food she announced.  When that panned out she said I finally got it.  All of your ailments are related to the weather and the horrible storms we've been having.  ~~~~~~ I am no longer seeing her.

Wednesday will have its own post as it was that kind of a day. Thursday was pretty mild as I was saving my energy for Saturday's Wedding.

Friday the Procession truly picks up the pace.  The morning started with Patrick and Meg having to be at two different high schools at the same time to pick up their schedules for the new year.  I went with Meg as she's a freshman.  Her campus is HUGE and of course her classes hit all 4 corners and both floors.  All that walking around when the temp was over 100 degrees was not fun.  Thankfully I had Lunch with a dear friend to recover.
Once I got home we were completely in wedding mode.  Everyone's clothes were ready for Saturday.  I already bought the cutest card/gift holder.  Patrick's Tuxedo was hanging all ready for him to usher; I even trimmed his hair.  THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY WARNING SIGN   My family relaxed and ready~ what was I thinking??

For fun the girls wanted mani/pedis so of course we ALL went. I found a deal where on Friday they are $13 and if you bring in family you get an additional $5 off the entire bill.  While everyone was getting fussed over I notice my gal's hands are shaking a bit.  She's new and so cute.  Again another warning sign missed.  She took as long to do my one hand as it did the others to be almost done with their pedis!!   While Meg is finishing up I go to pay and being the Math Geek I am was I have the bill figured out.  Well no their total came out $5 more than what I planned.  "Did you give me the family discount?"  "Of course we did."   Meg's still not done so we're sitting in back and this $5 difference is bothering me as I figured that into the larger tip I wanted to leave.  I go up again and they suggest maybe I should get a receipt... sure works for me.  You're going to love this.  You see I made the mistake of going by the prices listed on their menu.  What I didn't notice was the words above their prices that said.Starting At.  Ok I did see it but silly me I thought that meant services start here and as you add extras it goes up.  No they've raised some prices but because of those magic words Starting At they don't feel the need to print new menus.  BTW my math was spot on and they gave me back $4 (one item had supposedly gone up).  I gave that money to the girls in back.  So instead of leaving relaxed I'm in a bit of a huff.  Thank heavens for Bacardi Mojitos in a bottle.

Saturday I deliver Patrick early to the church and the girls and I get one last bow for our gift card box. It was so cute when you opened the box it plays the wedding march.  We still have time for a quick pastry from Panera as we now realize lunch may have been a smart idea ~whoops.  Once we're seated, after being escorted by my very handsome son the usher I notice a small tear in the seam of my new dress.  Ok no biggie I'll have hubby bring dress tape when we meets us at reception. By the time they exchange vows I realize the main seam down the right front of my dress is completely fraying!!  After communion, not to be left-out, the seam on the top left of my dress also starts to dissolve.   I am now standing with the program over my left breast my right hand holding what looks like the pleats of my skirt praying for the world's quickest reception line out.  NO NO NO NO what do you mean the bride and groom are coming back in?  We have to wave what....... I don't care what Granny wants us to do I am seriously having a wardrobe malfunction and what may pop-out NO ONE wants popping. Of course this may go without saying.... I really liked that Dress.
With no time to waste I head to Catherine's with the girls.  Thank God Patrick had Bridal Party pictures and a ride to the reception.  The three of us burst in and announce we have an emergency and need a dress now.  Of course we didn't notice the new signage on the windows announcing the arrival of their Fall Line.  UMM this is Florida we have Fall Weather for perhaps 3 afternoons in January!!!  After pillaging their sales rack we were successful in finding a dress that not only fit, matched the shoes I was wearing but was also marked down from $85 to $23!!  I have never worn a new dress out of the store before~ have you? 
Upside: New Dress no tears 
Downside: Hair totaled and make-up has been paroled.  
Upside: Made it to the reception before Bridal Party
Downside:  Used a lot of that reserved energy I’d been storing

That is the complete blog I planned to write until:  I read my comments and was so sweetly surprised to have learned I was given an award :0)

So see this blog is completely about me!!!!
Thank you to

August 11, 2011

Manners for Bloggers

     Well don't I sound quite ominous BAWAHAHA
~~Royal Note.... if you are reading this blog rest assured it doesn't apply to you. Guess it is similar to preaching to the choir~~Lady Bren HRH

     Seriously I just don't understand the mind set of some people/bloggers.  Do they somehow think that their blog is going to have such an impact on my life that I should be grateful I found them? Or by simply receiving their tweets my day would be enhanced?  And don't forget the added benefits we acquire because we liked their Facebook page?

    What could possibly have my royal crown in such frenzy????? I sincerely wonder why some people drop their blogs, twitter and Facebook address in linky tools on blog hop pages and NEVER visit anyone else?  Very simply put..... How Rude

    Being fairly new to blogging I realize that there are quite a number of things I need to learn.   I have been able to find numerous posts on how to have a successful blog.  However, I believe that it is time someone clearly established a set of Blogging Manners.  Being Royal I feel it was my duty, please enjoy.

1. Spell/Grammar Check   I don't care if you have a Doctorate in English Lit, there is ALWAYS a chance of misspelling a word.  You cannot buy a computer today that doesn't come with some type of editing software.  For best results create your document in this program run spell and grammar checks THEN post to your blog.

2. Learn and Distinguish Homophones There, Their and They're have very different meanings.  When I read a blog and the writer has the wrong homophone it simply drives me nuts and when it happens repeatedly I truly question their level of education.

3. Read your blog   Seriously read your blog before you post it.  Very often we know what line of thought we're following and sometimes forget to take our readers along the complete ride. I actually read my blogs out loud, often to myself, as I'll catch mistakes more often when I hear what I've written.

4. Acknowledgements If you see, hear or read something and use it in your blog please do not pass it off as yours.  Someone else should receive credit.  However if that someone else is your spouse, child or other family member consider it yours, seems fair they should be happy we're including them in our blog anyway

5. Allow Comments At first I was guilty of this, however on second thought.  I don't understand why many bloggers invite comments yet those comments won't be posted until approved by blogger.  If  you want your blog to have a true dialogue you need to allow open discussion.  Remember you can always delete any comment that is truly offensive or simply irritates you.  The one time I did remove a comment I acknowledged that I did so and explained why in my next blog. 
6. Proper Thank You Should you be fortunate enough to have your blog picked to receive an award of any kind in addition to posting that glorious new button be sure to thank that blog, with a link, in a separate post.  I learned this the hard way. I was new and received notice in an email that I was the epic blog of the week.  I replied and thanked her.  What I should have done is posted the button and her button proudly and boldly on my page.

7.  Responses This goes hand in hand with number 5.  If someone is kind enough to take time out of their day to not only visit your blog but leave a comment you need to acknowledge that.  Now I understand when your comments start running into the hundreds this isn't practical.  BUT how do you think those bloggers got so many loyal followers in the first place!!

8.  The Golden Rule If you want other participate in any kind of hop whether it be blog, Facebook, twitter or whatever to visit your pages be sure visit theirs as well.  Do not simply drop your link into the linky tool and not visit the other participants' links.  While you may not be able to visit all depending on the number of participants, make a good effort to visit as many as you can.

9. Reality Chances are you will eventually stumble across a blog or such that you do not like.  No reason to leave a negative comment.  Just as Lowe's offers 162 shades of white everyone isn't going to like everything~ and that's okay.  Remember to be respectful *see rule 8

Of course ALL of my Royal Postings are gloriously and fabulously perfect, not. As much as I have learned there are volumes out there for me to tackle.  Please feel free to share any other manners you think bloggers should adhere to.

August 8, 2011

Please control your child (of course mine is perfect)

  People watching is such a fun pastime.  Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason reality TV is such a hit, we just love when people "share" the real side of themselves.  My Dad would often walk the mall for the sole purpose of entertainment.
     School starts next week so of course I am cramming all sorts of appointments for the kids into this week.  We started with Meg having a long ortho- appointment followed by Patrick's wedding rehearsal all in the same area.  So to kill time in-between we went to my favorite little haven...Panera.  Both kids had their summer reading books with them; one almost done the other has such a long way to go so everyone could stay busy once done eating.  Panera at lunch time is quite the busy place which equals great stories to share LOL.
  1.      I get it that a lot of people choose Panera not only because they have free Wi-Fi but they also provide electrical outlets.  Every table doesn't provide access to an outlet so as you can imagine people tend to scope those wanted seats out.  One of the primo spots is a little alcove.  It offers 4 outlets for 4 tables.  (One outlet per table is my thought)  The tables are small and I think pretty much designed for you, your food and your laptop.  So I had my plan, eat lunch, work on blog, leave Meg at Panera while I run Patrick around the corner to church, return to Panera work some more then pick-up Patrick and head home.  Looks good on paper right!  Only thing needed was a table by a precious outlet. Happy to find tables open in the alcove this morning the kids and I head over there.  Ready to set up my laptop I quickly discover that the woman sitting in the corner table is using 2 of them.  One for her laptop and one for her phone.   OK I don't need to use my laptop right away and there are people using the other plugs.  After an hour (during which she never moved or ate anything) I asked the woman if I could please use one of the outlets.  ~~You know where this is going don't you.  She actually sighed and checked her devices, thought about it for a moment and said "If you really need to use one I guess so" OH MY GUCCI Really!! First off what phone needs to charge more than an hour, and who knows how long she was there before me.  Secondly what makes your electrical needs more important than mine!!  So I didn't say any of this and very nicely asked which plug would she like me to disconnect.  Again she had to think!!  Don't you know that as soon as we left she hopped back up and plugged her phone back in!!  I've named her Narcise
  2.      We all view our children through different eyes than we see others, it is a simple parenting fact (if it isn't then it is now).  I am my kids’ greatest advocate as well as their harshest critic.  I don't believe my kids are perfect ~ how boring that would be.  So keeping that in mind let me introduce you to the Carp family.  The three generations of females I met today have some serious world-view issues.  Grandma Carp was accidentally kicked by a toddler who was being carried.  The offending parent quickly apologized for the child's swinging legs. No quicker had the shamed woman left weaving in and out of chairs trying to find a table does Grandma very UNQUIETLY(yes I made that word up) say: maybe you should stop the child from swinging her legs into other people.  REALLY ~~ you're right. When that woman carried her child into Panera she was actually participating in a secret game where you get points for every person you can get your child to kick!!  However Grandma Carp's little girl is of course an angel.  Returning with drinks for the table her sweet granddaughter (maybe 3) quite boldly states I could have done that myself.  What does Momma Carp do?  Does she tell Little Carp to say thank you to Grandma?  No, she says "I'm sorry honey Grandma didn't know!" Then lunch arrives.  Since they have sat down both elder Carps have wiped the table clean.  After the server puts the three plates they then ask her to please come back and clean the table. While she is doing this the little girl proceeds to open her cup and pour her drink on the table.  Instead of jumping to help with the mess like most people would Grandma Carp proudly exclaims to the busy server "Look sweetie she's helping you!” UMMM!!  last time I checked Sprite wasn't a cleaning product.  This poor girl has to clean around the 3 females holding their plates and drinks and stop the flow of sprite.  At this point I offered some napkins to help.  During the rest of the meal the Carps kept commenting on other "misbehaved" children in Panera and how other families' kids weren't as smart, pretty or tall as their Carp.  This was in-between letting Little Carp to eat cookies and chips before her peanut butter sandwich which wasn't as good as we make at home.  And of course a planned trip to the soda fountain.
  3. The final introduction I'd like to make today is to the  Dissimulo Family.  This isn't the first time I've met them.  In fact I've run into members of this extended family quite frequently. You too I am sure must have met them when you're out and about.  It is the family where everyone is texting or talking to someone on the phone while eating dinner together.  I don't get it.  What is the point of sitting down to a meal if you are not only going to ignore each other but spend that time conversing with Panera others?  I'll admit the three of us weren't constantly engaging each other while at Panera but we also weren't being ignored for someone who wasn't present. (maybe throwing around the highlighter wasn't my proudest parenting moment but I only brought one)  The rule in my house is NO phones at the table. That applies to everyone even guests.  We recently took one of the kids' friends to dinner with us.  Despite repeated requests Miss Dissimulo couldn't stop texting ~no more invites for her.  One of Meg's teachers had the best comment:  Do you really think we don't know you're texting when you keep looking at your lap and smiling?
I am sure that somewhere at some point in time my family and I have been the focus of people watching.  If we were ..... I hope we made you laugh :0)

August 7, 2011

Serenity Sunday August 7th 2011

Scientists say that the bumble bee should not fly and that the hummingbird isn't aerodymamic.

Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem;  he will protect and deliver it;he will spare and rescue it.” (Isaiah 31:5 ESV)

August 6, 2011

Too many fingers in the pot?

Royal Note: I don't know why but this post took days to write.  I had so many thoughts but just couldn't get them focused

     Too many chefs spoil the soup? If that's true than is it possible that too many doctors can confuse the patient? OK maybe that doesn't sound right.  This is one of those opportunities where I will use the"I just had a stroke and my brain isn't working today" card.

     Since my release from Incarceration Rehab I have seen a number of doctors.  Thankfully their ranks have decreased as the months have gone by.  Currently I see my internist every three months and a neurologist every six months.  I have been working with a stress therapist since I came home whom I see once a week.  Recently I added a weekly visit to an acupuncturist who was recommended by a dear friend.

     Without sounding too arrogant I will proudly say that I have been working my butt off to get back to 100%.  I know it is going to take a while to reach that goal.  I understand that for most of the time the things that someone who is recovering from a stroke does isn't all that evident to others.  Simple things such as taking back responsibilities, learning new lifestyle approaches, even just learning when to take a nap and not push your body are not as easy as they sound.  All of these things along with physical therapies, medications and stress therapy work hand in hand to help the progression to full recovery.   There are times when the strides we make seem great and others when they're barely baby steps.

    So this is where my current frustration is coming in.  I have been seeing an acupuncturist for three weeks and it seems as though she wants complete credit for how I'm feeling to date.  I am happy to admit that I have seen incredible results especially with regards to an ache in my ankle, one session and it was gone.  Having never seen an accupunturst before I don't know if this is the mindset they all share:  Your life pretty much sucked until you found me and without me you'll never fully recover.
Since seeing her she has made the following comments:
  • there's nothing in your history suggesting a stroke I'm not sure you had one
  • there is no such thing as chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia
  • your entire family needs deep counselling to recover from your stroke
  • your are helping your children become co-dependents by allowing them to care for you
  • I believe I've done more for your well-being than your stress therapist
  • the way your body reacts to ant bites means you have an immune deficiency
OK I know every one's answer is.... don't take that crap.  But like most situations in life there's more to it than meets the eye.
     So like I stated earlier is this a common life view of acupuncturists?  I understand that this is a way of life for many.  Am I taking things way too out of proportion?

    I am one of those people who goes to the doctors with a list of questions.  When I am told anything that I don't full understand you'll finding me researching it on the Internet.  I also firmly believe it is important to be your own best health advocate and if you are uncomfortable asking doctors questions then have someone go with you to your appointments.   So again I am thrown for a loop.  Every website I come upon regarding acupuncture is by someone who practices it so I'm not really finding "the other side" of the coin so to speak.

August 1, 2011

Just like the Heck Family.....We got the dud LOL

     For those of you unfamiliar with ABC's Heck Family, they are the center of the Wednesday nite comedy, the Middle.  Despite a very hectic family life at the encouragement of a church friend they agree to host an exchange student for a week.  After hearing other families rave about all they are learning and doing with their exchange student Mike, the father, eventually decides that their student is a dud.  However they later learn that he has an incredible hidden talent of "fixing" and in true TV style proceeds to fix all of their broken appliances.  THAT is where our differences with the Heck family begins.

     Let me start of by saying we sincerely love our Jana (pronounced Jenna).  She is 14 and her twin, Jane,  is staying with another host family as their parents wanted them separated for the trip.  When we received her bio Jana told us how much she looked forward to learning American Culture, being outdoors, games, music and was hoping her host family would have a non-dangerous dog.  In the language skills section she checked the box indicating her English was at the conversational level, the other choices being basic and fluent.  Apparently there wasn't a box for monosyllabic answers.

Poor Em even the Chinese Students are taller than her :0)
      When we met the bus Friday evening the 30+ Chinese students reflected every bit the 24+ hours of traveling they had done the day before.  We figured she'd be tired and bless her heart she even fell asleep on the very short ride home.  While Michael picked up the Pizza she wanted for dinner Em and Paige settled Jana in; which included introducing her to the puppies.  Jana really wasn't truly prepared for the dogs.  We brought in Mutiny first being the smallest, we actually had to show her how to pet a dog.  Then we let in Treasure.  There is no calm side to Treasure and no matter how much we tried restraining her she simply wanted to make a new friend.  Jana was timid at best while petting Treasure however when Treasure licked her hand we had a situation.  Jana stood up very quickly and held the offended hand out in front, careful to not touch any other part of her body, and announced quite firmly.... I need to wash my hand!!  We could barely contain ourselves with giggles.
    Pizza was not quite what Jana thought it was going to be.  I could tell she didn't like it and explained she didn't have to eat it.  Jana was very concerned about wasting her food, however she was pleasantly pleased to discover that the dogs would be sure nothing was wasted.  She was very entertained as the two scoffed down her nibbled slice.    Through the entire night the only complete sentence we ever heard was "I need to wash my hand"
     Saturday we brought Patrick and Meg home from camp where they had been counsellors.  Camera ever ready Jana seemed to enjoy the ride.  She and Meg seemed to hit it off quickly~thank heavens for that.  When the group of other counsellors came over to meet her, poor Jana was a bit overwhelmed.  This was my first clue that she truly had no idea what a week at our house was going to be like.  We planned a BBQ with some of the Youth from church that evening. Twelve teens eating Hamburgers and Hot Dogs around a table is not the most solemn affair.  They all did their best reaching out to her, every time someone asked a question they all stopped talking and looked at her waiting for an answer.  Despite the question all they ever got was what we've loving called the" moaning and groaning" followed by yes or so-so.
      OK maybe a having a crew over the first night was a  bit much so the next day we scaled the group down to 6.  After taking her to church, which I am proud to say she did her very best to sing along to the songs, we took her bowling.  Here is where we really started to learn how there needed to be another box to check on the language skills section.  You try explaining to someone who is freaked over a dog's kiss that they need to wear shoes worn by countless other people to play a game.  Just getting the right size took about 10 minutes.   I don't think I have ever had so much fun bowling as watching the 5 teens work at getting Jana to have fun. 

     During the week Jana had English school from 7:45-5:30 every day.  The morning was actual classroom time followed by an afternoon activity.  I have no clue if she actually enjoyed any of the activities as our questions usually got the "moan and groan" monosyllabic answer.  Meg accompanied Jana on three of the activities and came home raving about the fun she had.  Leave it to Meg to come off the bus each time laughing with 5 or 6 different Chinese girls.  Jana and her sister stayed to themselves no matter what the event was.  In fact on the last day Meg had them all speaking spanish as they got off the bus. 
     Meg is the reason we jumped into this adventure when our friend from church called.  She would like to be a foreign exchange student her junior year.  With that in mind I have been viewing these 10 days as a learning opportunity.  The one major lesson I have learned so far is this....... SHE WILL BE GOING TO AN ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY.

     Tune in tomorrow for..... You can take a horse student to water but you can't make them drink swim.

The Hecks and their foreign exchange student