05.24.17 Home Sweet RV Home by Dirty Rotten Racklefrack on RVillage.com

This article written by an RVillager known as Dirty Rotten Racklefrack was very informative and helpful. You can easily become an RVillager by going to the website http://www.rvillage.com and join. It’s free, quick and easy! There are more blogs written by D.R.Racklefrak on RVillage that you may enjoy and learn from!

Home Sweet RV Home

A Featured Blog by Dirty Rotten Racklefrack!

Downsizing into an RV is an increasingly popular option these days. Full-time RV’ing has been common for older and/or retired folks for a long time, but more and more younger singles, couples and families are seeking an alternative to the produce-and-consume American Dream we’ve all chased for decades. For many who are seeking a richer, fuller life, the nomadic RV lifestyle represents the most favorable compromise between affordability and freedom.

But just because we move out of a house doesn’t mean we can’t have a home. If home is indeed where the heart is, then ideally we want to love the space we live in instead of getting lost in it. (See what I did there? Lost in Space? Danger Will Robinson! DANGER!) It doesn’t matter how much space you have or don’t have, what matters is that we connect with that space on an emotional level that makes it feel natural to call it “home.”

Organization

Organizing your RV sounds like an easy first step, but you’d be surprised how many folks misinterpret its purpose. RV organization isn’t just about cramming more stuff in smaller spaces, it’s more about enjoying the physical space that’s left over after everything is put away. Who wants to spend every day and night staring at stuff shoved into every nook and cranny?

Why is an RV so hard to organize? Compared to a stix-n-brix house that has tables of every size, bookshelves, mantles, counters, islands, large cabinets with multiple drawers and shelves, etc., RV’s have precious little useable horizontal surface area – even the drawers and shelves inside cabinets are often smaller. And much of what horizontal surface area an RV does have is dedicated to something other than storage, like sitting or cooking. Making the horizontal space inside an RV multi-functional is an excellent way to de-clutter a room while simultaneously adding a little decorative form the function.

Many office desktop organizers can double for organizing a galley. Something like this Rustic Wood Organizer is charming and organic and could hold a lot of spices and condiments or small cooking utensils. Another option is this Makeup Organizer that could serve a similar function in the galley, but it could also be put to good use in many other areas of an RV, like the bathroom, shower or laundry areas.

More often than not, the real struggle boils down to convenience vs. capacity. Drawers and pullouts make accessing stuff easier, especially anything way in the back of a cabinet, but they also waste a lot of space inside the cabinet. Stackable Baskets can double or triple drawer or shelf space and come in all shapes and sizes. While they’re typically used on countertops, they can make a huge difference in drawers or pullouts or inside cabinets by adding multiple levels of convenient horizontal storage where there used to be only one.

Basement Storage

RV basement storage might not sound like it adds a whole lot to your quality of life on the road, but the more stuff you can efficiently store in the basement, the less stuff there is to clutter your RV’s interior.

Storing stuff in your RV’s basement is a little easier to deal with than interior RV storage because we’re not as concerned about aesthetics, but it can still be a challenge. Plastic Storage Bins can really simplify the task by helping us group related items together in one or more tubs that are easy to access. I use Colored Duct Tape and a magic marker to make it easy to find whatever I need; the colors group tubs by contents – like green for outside cooking stuff, or red for roadside emergency equipment – and the hand-written label tells me exactly what’s inside each tub.

The trick to using storage bins in a basement is to leave yourself some space to move tubs out of the way so you can get to other tubs deeper in. The closer all the bins in your basement are to the same size, the easier it is to maximize the storage space and move them around to find what you need when you need it. Think of it like one of those sliding tile puzzles we played with as kids without all the fun and excitement.

A lot of RV’s have sliding storage trays in our basement, and they really are very convenient. But, like any drawer or pull-out shelf in a cabinet inside your RV, they take up a lot of room on their own. (Plus, they’re really heavy so you have less weight carrying capacity to store stuff you need!) Depending on how much headroom your sliding tray has, a rolling Underbed Storage box can help organize the tray and make it easier to move stuff out of the way.

RV’ing with Pets

Pets help make any house a home by filling it with unconditional love. (Plants can have the same effect, they’re just not as much fun to play fetch with.) Cats and dogs are the obvious choices for the RV lifestyle, but many RV’ers travel with birds, reptiles, rodents – even fish! – and many others travel with a combination of some or all of the above.

Our cats don’t love traveling down the road, and they absolutely hate being in their crates. We initially had pretty good results with Bach’s Rescue Remedy and Thundershirts for Cats, though they eventually became so accustomed to the road that they didn’t need either anymore… but they sure helped in the beginning.

Outdoor pens for your pets offer them both fresh air and safety – from predators and from getting lost. They come in a wide variety of sizes and typically fold to take up very little storage space. Many cats and even small dogs love Window Perches for sunning themselves while enjoying the view, and with a little modification they can even be used on the outside of the window for many types of pets – just add some window screen or sun shade to enclose the outward-facing openings and voilà… you have an instant outdoor pet balcony!

Decorating Your RV

How many of you have thought about painting the interior walls and/or cabinetry but didn’t know where to start? As a professional carpenter and woodworker for many years, I can tell you it all starts with proper preparation.

The process will be different depending on the surface material – wood vs. wallpaper vs. paneling – but once it’s properly prepped a good coat of Kilz Oil Based Primer / Sealer will make the rest of the job a lot simpler with far better results. I strongly recommend oil-based primers for a number of reasons:

  • They adhere far better to wallpaper or paneling without the risk of it soaking through to the underlying glue and encouraging it to peel or bubble;
  • On wood, oil-based primers won’t raised the grain like water-based latex sealers will, so there will be a lot less sanding and recoating.
  • Oil-based sealers cover stains much better in a single coat, and this one will even cover most cooking, smoke and pet odors!
  • Quality water-based latex topcoats (which I also strongly recommend) will stick like glue to an oil-based primer. You’ll need a chisel to get it off!

Interior color palettes can literally be whatever color(s) you want, but in general the smaller the space, the lighter the color; the larger the space the darker the color. Again, it’s not a rule, just a suggestion, but it’s a good one that many interior decorators start with as a baseline.

Whatever color scheme you choose, remember that an RV’s interior takes a lot of abuse, so a high-quality paint is a must for excellent results and durability. For those reasons alone I’m a huge fan of Valspar products, not only for their wide variety of colors and finishes but also for their ease of application and reliability.

The key to good color choices isn’t that everything should match, but rather that everything should complement and/or enhance everything else. Our RV is rather spacious with the slides extended, so my wife and I chose a medium-toned earthy palette for the walls to complement the extensive amount of richly-colored cabinetry we have throughout the coach, while adding a solid base for all the accents of bright color we have, like pillows, throws, vases, rugs and runners, and especially our bedding.

Interior Remodeling

You don’t have to be a professional carpenter to remodel the interior of your RV, though it helps to know one if only for the access to some tools you might not have. Ripping out our old shower enclosure and installing a full-tile surround was a huge undertaking, even for someone with my experience, and it isn’t something I would recommend for the average DIY-er. But there are many remodeling projects that can be accomplished with even the most basic skills – or no skills at all! – that can help transform your rolling brick into a lovely home.

One very popular choice right now is peel-n-stick Wallpaper and Tile. Either can be used to accent a small area, like a backsplash, or even make an entire wall stand out and be noticed. They’re simple to cut, simple to install and look great when you’re done. Again, proper preparation is the key – clean, smooth walls are a must – but you’ll be very proud to show off the results!

Replacing your existing flooring is another very popular option, though it can be a little tougher job than painting or peel-n-stick tile. Many RV’ers choose vinyl flooring because it’s easier to install for most folks, it’s durable and there are a lot of colors, patterns and textures options to choose from.

When someone asks me what type of flooring they should install, I almost always recommend vinyl as a first option – for all the reasons I mentioned above AND because it’s so thin it’s less likely to interfere with your slides rolling in and out. (The previous owners of our rig had thick tile and underfloor radiant heat installed, and it’s thickness has caused an alignment issue with one of our slides I still haven’t resolved!)

Your RV dream home!

We all have different ideas of what makes a house a home; no two RV’ers I know do everything the same. (I was recently denounced as a heretic for daring to use a 6-bladed razor!) But whether your house rolls down the road a little or a lot, making it a home is absolutely the nicest thing you can do for yourself and your family.

Travel safe. Travel well. Travel often.

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Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly

 

 

05.16.17 Chauvin Mother’s Day Joy 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 – Mother’s Day at Trinity Baptist Church is always special. The love of God and each other was show in the report from our Pastor search committee, parent and baby dedication, beautiful duet by Koree and Randi Beth Wall, meaningful message by Rev. Derek Wall and the loving spirit of all our church’s members. I am hopeful that the folks at Trinity have gotten use to me snapping photos on some Sunday mornings because I got a lot of them on Mother’s Day.

Here they are backwards in the order in which they were taken, but it was easier to leave them this way than to fix them! Here they are: After church I visited with friends in the parking lot in the sun quite a while. I began feeling very light headed again. No further signs of problems, just that.

We headed home where I rested for a while before Chip and Misty’s family showed up. They brought a huge box of boiled crawfish, potatoes and corn. Some of the most delicious crawfish I’ve ever had. Misty’s mama, Vickie and Misty’s brother’s children Haylee and Connor (who live with Vickie) joined Chip, Misty, Madisyn, Kalie and us for our family Mother’s Day.

A beautiful (bit warm) sun shiny day added to the wonderful Mother’s Day we were already having. After pigging out on the crawfish, potatoes and corn, we made our way down to the pond for some more fun. Chip had fun riding around on the mini motor bike he and Misty bought us! Haylee loves gymnastics which shes quite good at and flip flopped around our property!


Haylee (Misty’s niece) got such a kick out of how the catfish and perch gobbled up the catfish food we’d throw into the water. She knew for sure she could scoop up a fish in a large Folger’s coffee container, and she was right. Three times she scooped up fish and then poured them onto the ground watching them flap their way back to the water! They fished with poles for a while too and even tried to go black berry picking. That ended when they heard something in the bushes and they all came running back! Kallie, quite comfortably, hung out in the hammock while visiting with us. Madisyn loves her Mama Misty (her step mother) and it was wonderful seeing them enjoy their time together.

This young man above, Connor (Misty’s nephew), got to fish in our pond today and the joy on his face was quite a blessing to see! Click on the photo to watch the video of him catching a fish!!

We love having Vickie, Connor and Haylee in our family since Chip and Misty got married. We look forward to many family gatherings with them in the future. Misty, Vickie, Connor and Haylee have a very special bond that is wonderful to be around. This next photo is of Connor enjoying taking the wheel in our motor home pretending to drive!

Well that wraps up a spectacular Mother’s Day with a special church family and regular family. I went to sleep last night quite happy and thankful that God has blessed us so abundantly with all of these wonderfully special folks!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.15.17 Deepest, Heart-Felt Feelings

Monday, May 15, 2017 – This blog post contains some of my deepest, heart-felt feelings. I was released from the hospital a week ago today. It took a few days for me to realize how close to death I was the Thursday it all started.  God’s not finished with me yet in this life, so he kept me here on earth, and I’m still kicking!

I feel so different since all this happened and I’m going to attempt to put into words what’s changed.  You may know I have Vascular and Frontotemporal Degeneration Dementia.  After much prayer and anxiety I had gotten to a place where I was able to share this with others and to make peace with it myself.  God is good like that!

In my acceptance of this path that God wants me to walk, I didn’t realize how closed down I was becoming.  I wasn’t completely closed down, just making my way there.  Social settings seemed to cause my brain to mush (my term, obviously not technical) that I’d begun avoiding them.  If you know me, you know this is a 180 degree turn from my previous self. Living a simple, quiet life seemed to suit me quite well during that time. I have to share here that when I started this blog post I wasn’t sure I’d find words, yet they are pouring out.  God is good like that!

Since leaving the hospital I’ve realized that while I was there I had many moments of great mental clarity.  I look at life with a new optimism and love for our Lord.  One might say that I needed the blood transfusions. That might have contributed, yet I don’t think that’s what caused it.  I’ve been in that acceptance stage of my dementia for about a year now and I wasn’t losing blood all that time.

The last day I was at the hospital I had an endoscopy which required some form of anesthesia. I don’t know what I had but it wasn’t twilight or full anesthesia.  Upon awakening from the anesthesia my level of peace and clarity was extremely high.  It may have been that when I was told immediately after the procedure that it was a bleeding ulcer, looked benign and that the treatment started a few days before was what I’d need to heal this.

Maybe something in the anesthesia itself awakened something in my brain that was closed off from the brain atrophy or TIA lesions.  Did God use this even to give me some quality time right now??  God is good like that!!

Our family has had some difficulties functioning normally in the last few years.  We are in a good place right now which I know has lifted some of the mind numbing stress.  God walked each of us to this beautiful place in our family’s history.

I believe in looking at all possibilities to conquer a problem, to understand a challenge or whatever life throws at us so that is what I’m doing right now.  I have to admit I am crying as I write this, I am so overwhelmed at the difference in my life before and after this recent hospital stay.  One of the results of frontotemporal dementia is an inability to feel emotions.  Me crying says to me that something has definitely changed.

God has changed me regardless of how it happened.  He can do all things, remember??

I believe it is God taking bits of several things and working them together for my good.

We had Chip and Misty’s family over here for crawfish after church on Mother’s Day.  Two weeks ago I wouldn’t have undertaken this.  I didn’t cook anything. Chip and Misty provided the the boiled crawfish, potatoes and corn.  All that was needed from me, was to have a clean house and outside property.  I looked out the window on Saturday and saw Roy taking care of some of the things I always take care of before company comes.  That makes my heart so happy and thankful! I was looking forward to Mother’s Day so much it surprises me. It turned out to be a spectacular day with very special folks.  More on that in a future blog post!

We haven’t been to church in a couple of weeks between the awful storm two weeks ago and being in the hospital last Sunday. I needed to be in the House of the Lord yesterday with my Trinity family badly. We are very blessed to be members of a church where people love each other and are there for each other.  God is so good!

I had been going to bed at 7 pm, reading for a while and then waking up at 9 or 10 am.  That’s a lot of hours of rest, but I needed that down time to keep my brain fresh during the day.  This week I’ve been staying up until 10 pm (out of the bed) and waking up each day at 8 am ready to start a new day.  I thank God every morning for the opportunity to see and live another day.  I am excited for each day and an opportunity to care for myself better and live a full life.

My grey hair had taken over my head of previously blonde hair.  The last night in the hospital I decided to put an end to that and texted the amazing Christie Williamson about getting my hair styled and colored.  My sister (and what a wonderful sister she is) agreed to switch her appointment time that Wednesday with mine the following Friday, so that I could have it done sooner. I don’t know how much better I look, though I’m giddy happy about it, but the uplift and happiness it gave me was well worth giving in and going for it!

I am happy with a deep joy that makes me catch my breath. I’ve always been thankful for all of God’s blessings but I seem to recognize them easier now.

My thinking is so clear, it’s a bit scary, after going through months where I saw bit by bit my thinking deteriorate.  I’ve not been able to blog like I use to, but now I can’t seem to stop doing it.  I’d taken to playing Farm Town, which I used to play years ago.  It was something to do to keep my brain active.  Now I don’t seem to have much time for such stuff.

Before I was willing to quietly go off into the sunset. Now this ole gal is going to go out living life to the fullest. Whatever contributed to this I know it was all God’s doing.  Being a child of God means trusting him as your Lord and Savior.  It means giving your life to him to live like he wants you to.  I can’t even begin to express to you the peace and joy that comes from knowing this.

I don’t know how long this will last, but I am hoping it last a good long time.  If not, then I am thankful that God gave me this time of clarity and joy. I am learning to love God more each day, live for God more each day and appreciate all the little moments of wonder that he gives me.

One of my favorite hymns is “It Is Well With My Soul.”  I feel like I am beginning to understand the words of this hymn.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.14.17 Happy Mother’s Day 2017

THIS YEAR’S MOTHER’S DAY POST IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MY MOM, JOSIE BLUM TRAYLOR,

HARRIETT, MAMA AND ME!

Granny Hen Rosie

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MAMA AND HARRIETT AROUND 70 YEARS AGO!harriettspictures001

THE YOUNG WOMAN, JO COCHRAN!harriettspictures002
AND IN HONOR OF THE MOTHERS OF OUR GRANDCHILDREN. CHIP’S WIFE MISTY, EX-WIFE LIZ AND our oldest son’s and WIFE.

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so god made a motherDedicated to our Mothers and their Mothers before them.

God looked down on Adam in his planned paradise and said, “I need a nurturer.” So God made a mother.

God said, “I need someone who feels deeply and loves fiercely, whose tears flow just as abundantly as their laughter, whose heart is as warm as their ability to guide and set limits is strong. I need someone whose influence on those that they nurture is eternal.” So God made a mother.

God said “I need someone who can hear a sneeze through closed doors, in the middle of the night, 3 bedrooms away while daddy snores next to her, who could kiss the ‘boo boos’, scare away the monsters under the bed, clean up the middle-of-the-night accidents, and live off of 4 hours of interrupted sleep. So God made a Mother.

God said, “ I need someone who can ride the roller-coaster of anxiety, hope, fear, and pride with an outward appearance of calm assurance as she sends her child off to his first day of school. I need someone who will buy the school supplies, drive for the field trips, help study for the history tests, fill out the permission forms, clap from the back row of the spring musical, and help coach a sport she’s never played. I need someone to teach a child to tie her shoes, make new friends, handle disappointments, shop for a prom dress, and drive a stick shift. And when that child is 18, I need someone to ride that roller coaster of anxiety, hope, fear, and pride again as she sends her child away to college with the same calm confident outside exterior.” So God made a mother.

God said, “I need someone who is willing to jump in a car and drive children to school, soccer games, and piano lessons on a daily basis. I need someone who can run to the grocery store twice in a day, because someone forgot to add something to the list. I need someone who can take the animals to the vet, drop off the dry cleaning and pick up prescriptions and still make sure dinner in on the table for the family to eat.” So God created a Mother.

“Somebody who realizes that children need to be allowed to grow, gain confidence in themselves and be encouraged to be independent individuals and accept the path they choose. Somebody who realizes that their job is one where the better they are the more surely they won’t be needed in the long run. “

“Somebody whose breath will be taken away when they visit their first newborn grandchild in the hospital and their daughter looks at them with loving eyes and says “I hope I can be the kind of mom you are, mom.” So God made a mother.

*Inspired by Paul Harvey’s 1978 ‘So God Made a Farmer’ Speech – Ram Trucks Super Bowl ad.

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MOM’S NOTES TO SELF

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FOR THE MOM’S WHOSE SONS AND DAUGHTERS ARE OFF DEFENDING OUR FREEDOM!13096028_1189376541086682_5611635959284970711_n

imagesMy mom only had one eye. I hated her… she was such an embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market. She collected little weeds and such to sell… anything for the money we needed she was such an embarrassment. There was this one day during elementary school.

I remember that it was field day, and my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school… “Your mom only has one eye?!” and they taunted me.

I wished that my mom would just disappear from this world so I said to my mom, “Mom, why don’t you have the other eye?! You’re only going to make me a laughingstock. Why don’t you just die?” My mom did not respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it felt good to think that I had said what I’d wanted to say all this time. Maybe it was because my mom hadn’t punished me, but I didn’t think that I had hurt her feelings very badly.

That night… I woke up, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mom was crying there, so quietly, as if she was afraid that she might wake me. I took a look at her, and then turned away. Because of the thing I had said to her earlier, there was something pinching at me in the corner of my heart. Even so, I hated my mother who was crying out of her one eye. So I told myself that I would grow up and become successful, because I hated my one-eyed mom and our desperate poverty.

Then I studied really hard. I left my mother and came to Seoul and studied, and got accepted in the Seoul University with all the confidence I had. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. Then I had kids, too. Now I’m living happily as a successful man. I like it here because it’s a place that doesn’t remind me of my mom.

This happiness was getting bigger and bigger, when someone unexpected came to see me “What?! Who’s this?!” It was my mother… Still with her one eye. It felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. My little girl ran away, scared of my mom’s eye.

And I asked her, “Who are you? I don’t know you!!” as if I tried to make that real. I screamed at her “How dare you come to my house and scare my daughter! Get out of here now!!” And to this, my mother quietly answered, “oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address,” and she disappeared. Thank goodness… she doesn’t recognize me. I was quite relieved. I told myself that I wasn’t going to care, or think about this for the rest of my life.

Then a wave of relief came upon me… one day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. I lied to my wife saying that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went down to the old shack, that I used to call a house…just out of curiosity there, I found my mother fallen on the cold ground. But I did not shed a single tear. She had a piece of paper in her hand…. it was a letter to me.

She wrote:

My son, I think my life has been long enough now. And… I won’t visit Seoul anymore… but would it be too much to ask if I wanted you to come visit me once in a while? I miss you so much. And I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I decided not to go to the school…. For you… I’m sorry that I only have one eye, and I was an embarrassment for you. You see, when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with only one eye… so I gave you mine… I was so proud of my son that was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye. I was never upset at you for anything you did. The couple times that you were angry with me. I thought to myself, ‘it’s because he loves me.’ I miss the times when you were still young around me. I miss you so much. I love you. You mean the world to me.

My World Shattered. I hated the person who only lived for me . I cried for My Mother, I didn’t know of any way that will make up for my worst deeds…

Moral: Never Ever hate anyone for their disabilities. Never disrespect your parents, don’t ignore and under estimate their sacrifices. They give us life, they raise us better than they had been, they give and keep trying to give better than they ever had. They never wish unwell for their kids even in their wildest dreams. They always try showing right path and being motivator. Parents give up all for kids, forgive all mistakes made by kids. There is no way to repay what they done for kids, all we can do is try giving what they need and it is just time, love and respect.

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MY DEAR SISTER TOOK MY SONS’ HAND PRINTS AND MADE ONE OF THESE 30 PLUS YEARS AGO. HOW I LOVED SEEING THIS HANG ON MY WALL!

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WE LEARNED THIS SONG AS CHILDREN, I’LL ALWAYS LOVE IT!

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motherhood - microsoft clipartMOTHERHOOD… IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Time is running out for my friend.

We are sitting at lunch when she casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.” What she means is that her biological clock has begun its countdown and she is considering the prospect of motherhood.

“We’re taking a survey,” she says, half jokingly. “Do you think I should have a baby?”

“It will change your life,” I say carefully.

“I know,” she says. “No more sleeping in on Saturdays, no more spontaneous vacations…”

But that is not what I mean at all.

I look at my friend, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of childbirth heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will be forever vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never read a newspaper again without asking “What if that had been my child?” That every plane crash, every fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will look at the mothers and wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think she should know that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will immediately reduce her to the primitive level. That a slightly urgent call of “Mom!” will cause her to drop her best crystal without a moment’s hesitation.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might successfully arrange for child care, but one day she will be waiting to go into an important business meeting, and she will think about her baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure he is all right.

I want my friend to know that everyday routine decisions will no longer be routine. That a visit to McDonald’s and a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s room will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that danger may be lurking in the rest room.

I want her to know that however decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive friend, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not so much to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish his.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My friend’s relationship with her husband will change, but not in the ways she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is always careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his son. I think she should know that she will fall in love with her husband again for reasons she would never have imagined.

I wish my modern friend could sense the bond she will feel with other women throughout history who have tried desperately to stop war and prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my friend the exhilaration of seeing your son learn to hit a baseball. I want to capture for her the laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real that it hurts.

My friend’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.

“You’ll never regret it,” I say finally.

by Dale Hanson Bourke
Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul

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YES, CHILDREN DO COME WITH AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL – IT’S CALLED THE HOLY BIBLE!

yes children do come with manuals

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Before I was a Mom
I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom,
I slept as late as I wanted
And never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was Mom
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words of lullabies.

Before I was a Mom
I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom
I had never been puked on
Pooped on
Spit on
Chewed on
Peed on
Or pinched by tiny fingers

Before I was a Mom
I had complete control of:
My thoughts
My body
And my mind.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child
So that doctors could do tests
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
When I couldn’t stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
Could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn’t know that bond between a Mother and her child.
I didn’t know that something so small
Could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay
I had never known the warmth
The joy
The love
The heartache
The wonder
Or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

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05.13.17 – An Open Letter To My Grown Boys: I Miss You, By Christy Mobley

Saturday, May 13, 2017 – I did not write this article, however the parallels between my life, and feelings about my sons, are amazing.  I have my own version of each of the photos in this article.  My sons are in their 30s now and I hope both of them will get to read this.  I love you both dearly.  It’s a different love than when you were boys. but it is just as deep.

Life is very different than it was 20 or more years ago.  This description I believe will touch a place in the hearts of many mothers of older children, specifically sons. God bless all the Mother’s out there this Mother’s Day Weekend!

This mama’s letter to her grown sons is heart-wrenchingly beautiful! May we all have such grace to let them go when the time comes.  Here we go!

I can’t believe it’s been 5 months since your Meemaw left this world. We’re still clearing out her condo where the stored memories linger.

And among those are pictures…loads of them.

Pictures of friends, relatives, weddings, birthdays, Thanksgivings and Christmases past.
A trip back in time to days forgotten. The good, the bad, and oh so ugly…
Pop-Pop loved to catch us in the worst possible moments and Meemaw kept them all to savor or perhaps for torture.

But the photos that burned my eyes and stirred my heart were the screen shots of my little men.

Toe-headed scoundrels playing in the mud with bare bodies and Sunday shoes.
Practicing future Olympians on a backyard swing set.
Little boys cuddled sweetly in Meemaw’s lap after a nap.

I miss you.

And to be honest, when the normal busy of the day gets tucked away and I’m ready for sleep…sometimes my heart will ache with the miss.

It aches for tiny arms stretching around my neck to squeeze the ever lovin’ life out of me.
It aches to hear chipmunk-like voices say, “Mommy, I love you more than anything in the world.”
It aches for the heart to heart talks about problems only a mama can solve.

It aches for the excitement of new toys on a Christmas morning and a first time visit to Disney World.

Yes, it aches for the T-ball all the way to middle school baseball games—hearing you recount the home run, the awesome catch, how you won or should have won when you didn’t.

I miss you.

The pickup trucks lined in the driveway and up and down the street. The endless, sleepovers and sleepless nights waiting up for you. The sneakiness. The mischief that came with teenage years.

I miss you.

I miss your smell. I miss your presence.

But most of all, I miss how you loved me.

It’s not that you love me less. I know you don’t.

It’s just different. It has to be.

You’re all grown up and married. And I love who you’ve chosen for your forever.

I’m caught here in a strange place.

I can’t be your buddy like your Dad. I can’t be on your frontline like I once was. That place is for your lovely wife—my new daughter.

So now I take my place on the sidelines. And from here I will not miss a chance to cheer you both on.

But it doesn’t stop the ache. The missing.

Motherhood is a bit of a conundrum in that way—a position where joy and heartache mingle together on a daily basis.

But the blessing far outweighs the pain.

I miss you but please don’t misunderstand me.

I don’t want you back.

I’ve always known you were a gift from the Lord and were not mine to keep. But I didn’t realize our time would pass this swiftly.

I love who you’ve become but my job is done. I pray that you’ve learned some good from me, but more so I pray for God to give you discernment to throw out the bad.

I don’t want to be intrusive in your life or rob you of the joy you share with your wife. You belong to her in every way. And I don’t want to mess that up.

You’ve blessed me with a daughter I didn’t have. I want her to know I’m not competing for you or with her and I’m not judging her every move. Oh, quite the opposite.

I want to be her champion.

Her safe place.

Her friend.

But I didn’t raise her and I know only time and experience can grow the tender seed of trust. Such a relationship takes seasons to build.

So I will build. I will love. I will wait.

And even then,

I know there will always be those days after the busy gets tucked away and I’m ready for bed, when screen shots of little boys at play will flash through my head.

And I’ll find myself missing you.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28

Looking forward, pressing on, seeking God.

By Christy Mobley
Christy is a girly girl who chases tennis balls for recreation and at the end of the day does her best thinking in the tub. She’s also a wife, mother, mother-in-law, mentor, and Life Purpose Coach. Her passion is to encourage women to move forward, and press on while seeking God’s presence in every bump and turn in the road. You can find Christy at Joying in the Journey christymobley.com, Twitter, and Facebook

Tomorrow I will share a tribute to my amazing mama, Josie Mae Blum Traylor.  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.11.17 Zip A Dee Doo Dah – Zip A Dee Ay!

Thursday, May 11, 2017 – On Wednesday Roy and I got up early (6:30 is too early for me) and set out for Hammond/Ponchatoula to take care of a bunch of stuff.  After spending five days in the hospital and a couple of days at home I was more than looking forward to getting out, just hoping it wouldn’t all exhaust me, both physically and brain wise. It didn’t!!!!!!

Dr. Robert Benson in Ponchatoula was my dermatologist years ago and I chose to go back to him to have my recent skin issues checked out.  I was concerned about what I’d find out but I knew that after having skin tears, peel offs and bursts (which is what I called these weird sudden openings in my skin) I had to find out about it and get something done.  Seems I’m just an old lady with old lady skin who tends to pick and scratch at the tears, peels and bursts as they are trying to heal.   I also hoped to get some fix for my under eye bags, creases under and above my lips.  My lips are almost non existent and the bags never get better no matter what I do.  Well again unless I have deep pockets to annually have injections and other fancy stuff done I’ll just have to keep looking old!  Not what this ole gal wanted to hear but at least I tried.

Dr. Benson gave me a prescription for a large jar of Triamcinolone Acetonide .01% to mix with neosporin and put on each of the spots (probably 20 of them right now).  He said that keeping a  band aid on each spot will improve by ten times the healing. So I am covered with ointments and band aids.  Better than the awful sore looking things that had been hanging around.  Twice a day it’s to be applied.  I love sharing helpful information with people when I learn it, so that’s one thing.

The other thing he told me to use is an over the counter product called Ammonium Lactate Lotion 12%.  He said it shouldn’t be called a lotion because it’s much more than that.  He said to put it all over my arms and hands twice a day but not on open tears, etc.  I started last night with one covering and did it again this morning.  He said that over the course of about 30 days it will improve the quality of my skin.  It was available at my local pharmacy for $7.79 and I just found it on line for $14.00 for the same size.  Go to your local pharmacy.  If this proves to be helpful to the health of my skin it will become a regular in my daily health regime.  Okay, so old lady, old skin, new products to try!  We’ll see, I’ll let you know how it does.  For less than $8, I will try this.

We left there and went over to JC Penney’s to do some Mother’s Day shopping for me!  Fun, fun, fun.  Roy is absolutely not a shopper but since he’s become my constant companion he now gets to help me pick out the things I buy which probably should have been going on all along!  I bought some sleepwear, a beautiful flowy blouse, some cool beach flip flops and a white floppy hat with tiny rhinestones on it.  Roy picked out the hat for me!  The rest he approved.  I was so happy when we got to the check out to find that everything was deeply discounted so we left there with wonderful gifts and didn’t break the bank.

Next we headed to my favorite hair stylist, Christie Williamson, at Christie’s Hair Designs in Pumpkin Center for a long over due hair cut and highlight.  I haven’t had this done since Chip and Misty were married in January of 2016.  All of my grey hair had been living out in full view for quite a while.  Having not had a proper hair style cut for over a year was desperately needed, as well as some prettier hair color.  Christie worked her magic on me and I came out of there feeling wonderful!

We headed to Southeastern to visit with my dear lady friends in the Office of Technology.  Donna, Cindy, Jacqueline and I got to visit and like I wrote on Facebook, when we start gabbing all the juicy stuff comes out! Love those ladies dearly!! We were together for years along with my buddy Sandy and it’s always a pick me up to get to see them and catch up.

By the time all this was over we headed home to Amite and ate a delicious fried seafood dinner at Mike’s Catfish Inn. I made it through a wonderful salad and half the shrimp platter, chewing everything really well and slowly.  Normally I can finish off the whole thing in record time but I’m trying hard to change my eating habits and I knew fried foods probably wasn’t a good thing to gorge on right now!

Just got off the phone with Dr. Booth, my gastroenterologist’s office.  Seems my followup endoscopy needs to be in 8 weeks, not 2 weeks.  This means that if the doctor visit with Dr. Booth and Dr. Valdes goes well and they say I’m good to leave town, we’ll be leaving May 23rd.  Dr. Booth will give me a referral to a doctor wherever we are in 8 weeks and they will send my records to them to do the endoscopy and colonoscopy.  Life on the road sometimes occurs in odd ways and this is one.

The big thing I want to say after sharing this whole day’s events is that all of this activity did not give me brain mush!!!!!!  God’s blessings continue to abound.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.09.17 North Oaks Hospital, Hammond, LA – Room 3403

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 – Warning:  This post will contain bodily function wording.  If you don’t want to read all that, close this one now!  If you don’t care and you want to be informed about warning signs I should have paid attention to these signs before finding out I had a bleeding ulcer, read on!!!

Here’s a little cutie to keep you from seeing the rest if you choose not to:

Okay, if you’re here you’re okay with reading about bodily functions!  I recently spent five days in North Oaks Hospital in Hammond, Louisiana in Room 3403.  I want to document this event in my life and share some things I learned.  I’ll tell the story and then point out somethings afterwards.

I woke up last Thursday morning around 8 am with my stomach hurting, felt like indigestion.  I thought if I stayed in bed in a different position and wait it out I would feel better.  I quickly realized that wasn’t helping so I thought if I went to the bathroom that would help.  I tried to stand up and couldn’t go anywhere without holding on to the bed further than one step before having to sit or lay back down wherever I was.  This happened enough times to get me around the bed nearer to the bathroom.  When I tried to stand up to walk towards the bathroom and passed out, landing on the floor next to the bed.  We live in a motor home so the space between our bed and the door to the bedroom is barely big enough for anyone to lay down there.

Let me say now that throughout all this I can now see God taking care of me.  Believe me folks, if you are not a follower of Jesus Christ and haven’t given your life to Him you cannot imagine the wonders of having God in your corner every step of your life.  I said this here, because for some reason I have recently begun the habit of pushing all the bedding decorative pillows to Roy’s side of the bed when I get in bed at night.  They land on top of two small containers of Madisyn’s craft things. Those piled up pillows on the containers are where I landed when passing out causing me to have my head raised some which was perfect.  God thing, right???

I had been calling to Roy who was in the living room about 20 feet away at some point after getting up.  He was there when I passed out and said that while I was out I made guttural sounds that sounded to him like death sounds, my eyes rolled back in my head and he was very troubled.  He immediately called 911, told them I passed otu and was incoherent..  I don’t know how long it took the Husser (a nearby town) Fire Department to arrive but they made it there first before Acadian Ambulance.  I was awake by the time they arrived. My wonderful husband, Roy, is my absolute hero for his care and concern of me throughout all of this, especially those moments till help arrived.  A very nice fire lady was able to fit in the tiny bathroom hallway next to me.  No one else would fit.  The first thing she did was check my blood sugar which was 467.  Shockingly high.  When she tried to get my blood pressure, trying several times, even having someone else try with different equipment she couldn’t get one and I don’t understand this but it was finally called 80 stat. They could not find a pulse for a while. They started giving me oxygen then also.

Hearing all this I knew I was in trouble.  But I knew God would get me through this or He had plans for Him to join Him in Heaven when I’m more than ready and happy to do.

When Acadian Ambulance got there they took over.  I will forever be grateful to that lady angel with the Husser Fire Department who comforted and cared for me first.  Acadian verified everything Husster FD saw and prepared me for an ambulance ride to the hospital.  I was given Getting out of our motor home would involve the stretcher having to be lifted through a too small door and over a passenger seat and with me on it that couldn’t happen.  Because of this they have this big canvas mat with handles that they placed me on and dragged me through the RV, over the passenger seat and down the steps to the stretcher.

Once in the ambulance, my first time ever as the patient, the Acadian EMT or Paramedic was wonderful.  The drive to North Oaks is not a quick one.  During the drive I was hooked up to an IV I felt very peaceful.  I’m always up for an adventure, although I never want to have this one again.  That being the case, once I was all hooked up I started to pay attention as best I could.

Arriving in an ambulance lets you by pass the ER waiting room which was a big blessing. I was taken immediately to a private ER room and hooked up to everything there.  After twelve hours of testing it was determined that it might possibly be pancreatitis and I was admitted.  They started me on Protonix also known as pantoprazole (I think in the ER) to treat and soothe my stomach pain.  During those twelve hours my husband was with me, both my sons and my daughter in law Misty took off work and came to be with me.  Madisyn was brought in to brighten up Grannie’s world after she got out of school.  The time I got to spend with my husband and sons, our original family, were precious moments I am also deeply thankful for.  God’s blessings are abundant.  Chip helped me see what a blessing that was through my foggy thinking, one reason I love him so much!  Our oldest son came all the way from Baton Rouge and had to make up the work time, working till 3 am that night so he wouldn’t be behind.  That’s love, and I am thankful for it.  I have good sons, I might want to beat each of them – often – but they are good sons.  The rest of the family is pretty cool too!

Once I was admitted I sent Roy home since by then it was 9 pm.  I was feeling much better by that time and felt he needed home rest instead of hospital rest.  Thus began the rest of the five day hospital stay.  Room 3403 was a private room in the Surgical section of North Oaks hospital, a fairly new part of the hospital.  I’m going to summarize the next few days so this doesn’t turn into a book.

I cannot say enough for the efficiency, kindness, responsiveness of all the nursing and support staff in that part of the hospital.  Really all the hospital, because I was visited by case management, respiratory for my sleep apnea, diabetic dietician and probably others.  All were quality professionals. Some people prefer St. Tammany General Hospital to North Oaks Hospital.  That’s fine but my experience with North Oaks deserves an A+.  Except for the long ER time and the food, but what can you expect from a clear liquid diet other than some serious eye rolling.  One nice and important thing about North Oaks is that all my doctors are North Oaks affiliated doctors so all their computer systems are connected.  If I’ve kept my doctors information current, which you know they make you do that, then if I go to the hospital they don’t have to spend time asking too many questions.  They can immediately start to treat me.

Okay, on to the summary of my stay.  I was kept comfortable with the Protonix through IV and kept on a fluids IV.  I had a chest xray, a CT Scan of my abdomen area, an ultrasound of my pancreas and gall bladder.  My primary care physician,  Dr. Hugo Valdes came to see me every day.  Having my very own doctor there was so comforting.  He called in Dr. Giesler, in the same group as my gastroenterologist, Dr. Booth.  They determined it was not my pancreas or gall bladder but suspected it was a bleeding ulcer.

It was determined that my blood pressure drop was because of extensive blood loss, which if I had paid attention to signs I may have caught before it go to that point, more on that later.  My elevated blood sugar (which was 512 by the time we got to the hospital) was not from my diabetes, but from the stress my body was under from the blood loss and very low blood pressure.

I was on a clear liquid diet through most of my stay there.  While not fun it was all quite tasty, even if it was the same thing breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I continued to be light headed even when in my hospital room laying still.  Since my blood count was very low I was given two units of blood on Friday.  This helped the light headedness and made me feel significantly better by Saturday. I even got out of the hospital bed and sat up in a chair without being lightheaded for a couple of hours! This is me with some make up on!  That was a big deal!!

A gastroscope (endoscopy) was ordered.  Due to it being the weekend and a back up in procedures that needed an anesthesiologist, the endoscopy couldn’t be done then, so there I stayed.  Wonderful friends like Jim and Jean Crain, Ms. Olga Hubsch, Chrissie McGhee and Rev. Derek Wall, along with my outstanding older sister Harriett paid me very welcomed visits passing the time nicely.  I was capable of doing my RVillage work Saturday so there in the hospital bed I did my RVillage magic and worked!  No magic involved, just lots of love for that company!

During my stay I got really good at handling night time visits.  As soon as I heard the door open my arm went up for the blood pressure cuff and my finger went out for the thing they stick on that.  My mouth opened for the thermometer.  All without moving and fully waking up.  This didn’t work all the time but mostly it did!

There were a couple of difficult times when my veins did not cooperate with being found or being used.  I’ve never had that issue before but remember my mom having problems and I now know how painful and troubling it was.  The IV put in by Acadian Ambulance had to come out after two days because it was only intended to be temporary.  That meant another site had to be found.  One was found but eventually blew and another had to be found.  When I was given blood that required a separate stab (I thought about calling it a stick but it feels like a stab not a stick!).  I ended up with five IV locations over the course of the five days.  The administers of these IVs did really good and were always very gentle.  I only have one small bruised area on one arm.

On Sunday my oldest son, his wife, and their four children came to visit.  There is nothing like the magical place a Grannie gets in while having her little grandchildren cuddle around her on her hospital bed.  They are amazingly sweet, joyful and well behaved children and it was a deep blessing to have them spend their Sunday afternoon with me.  This was followed by a visit from my youngest son Chip and his wife Misty came to visit.  What a treat it was to sit there with just them (no kids around) and have an adult visit.  My husband, children, daughters in law and grandchildren have all been very attentive to me during this time and I thank God for all of them.  I’m sure you know what good medicine love like that does for someone.

Sunday night was pretty awful for me.  I think I hit the wall with being okay being in the hospital.  I cried and wanted to harm everyone who came in all night.  They were all just as kind and great as they had always been.  It was me and some of my brain issues kicked in big time making me miserable.  Upon wakening I sent Roy a text about how miserable I was and he started getting ready to come to the hospital.  Right after that the nurse came in to tell me I was being taken down for the endoscopy!  I raised my arms and said Thank You God!  I couldn’t have been more delighted and I believe this was God seeing how desperately I needed this to happen NOW and it did.

I was so happy to be having the procedure that the people taking me down for the endoscopy were given flowery praise and love.  I thought the nurses that greeted me and prepped me for endoscopy were the prettiest best angels God could have sent to care for me!  They explained the endoscopy to me, showed me the mouth piece they would put in right before starting and began giving me the wonderful stuff that immediately knocked me out.  What felt to me to be a second later I woke up fully awake thinking I just skipped a second but they were done!  I liked this better than even twilight anesthesia because I knew nothing of what they did!

The nurse told me that a bleeding ulcer was found and there was extreme inflammation in my esophagus and another area I can’t remember.  During the procedure they took a biopsy of the ulcer which looked to be benign and the results will come back in two weeks by the time I follow up with the doctor.  They continued me on the Protonix, which turned out to be the perfect thing for them to start days before because it allowed me to begin healing quicker.  Another God thing and a great North Oaks catch.

After coming back to my room Roy arrived, and shortly there after I had my discharge orders reviewed with me.  This included being taken off of my Plavix and Naproxen for a while to aid in stopping the bleeding.  They called in a prescription for oral Protonix and we picked it up on our way home.  We also stopped at Winn Dixie, yes I felt good enough to do that, to pick up some reward treats for me like bananas and blueberries.  Roy got a couple of good boy treats as well.  Being an adult is fun like that!

I tried to do a couple of things in the afternoon and needed to rest the remainder of the day.  Guess feeling better doesn’t mean I can get back to normal quite yet. After a good nights sleep in my own bed and a very attentive hubby Roy cooking dinner and taking care of all things needed doing I am starting to feel better today.

Okay here come the bodily function stuff.  I will keep it as non descriptive as possible.  A couple of weeks before the hospital even my stools were quite black and my urine was darker than normal.  I figured it was too many blackberries.  Not!  It was blood mixed in with my bodily products.  I learned that when you mix those things an extremely stronger odor than usual comes out with your gas (farts) and much more abundantly.  My abdomen also started to grow the last couple of weeks.  Had I picked up on the warning signs of black stools, darker urine and horrific stools (Roy threatened to put me outside sometimes it was so bad!!!) and seen the doctor about that I would never have ended up in the hospital.  By the time I got to the hospital my stools were so black and tarry and trying to escape my body it cause a lot of issues that I won’t describe.  Like I said I attributed it to blackberry eating, and just figure that a lot of things are just life as an old person.  Don’t do that!  Pay attention to the signs your body is giving you.  I can see now that mine were quite obvious, almost screaming at me.

Since the problem wasn’t blood sugar or heart related I have no changed to my diet!  Crawfish here we come!!  I am making changes to how much, how often and what I eat for right now, and am avoiding all things acidic to aid in the healing process. Prayers are requested for complete healing from the bleeding ulcer and inflammation.  God’s got this and your prayers are welcomed!

I have follow up appointments with both Dr. Valdes and Dr. Booth on Monday May 22nd.  I also have to have another endoscopy and a colonoscopy to make sure the ulcer has healed and to makes sure nothing else is going on.

Lastly, my skin has become quite strange lately.  When putting on lotion, touching my skin or taking a shower rubbing my skin, it will peel off in places.  While in the hospital two places where tape was put on, when it was removed my skin came with it.  Also tiny marks on my skin including larger skin openings (I call it my skin bursting open all on its own) start on my skin all the time.  I’d say at any one time I have between 20 to 40 of them on both arms and hands.  They go from that to larger really ugly boo boos which heal strangely.  I keep antibiotic ointment on them most of the time.  I try to not cover them so they can dry out but that really doesn’t seem to help.  Anyway long story short, Dr. Valdes saw them and said I needed to see a dermatologist really soon.  Today I called Dr. Bob Benson in Ponchatoula today and they just had a cancellation so I now have an appointment tomorrow morning.  Yay!!!!!  I’m hopeful this is just an old age thing but now that I am more aware I should do something about odd body things I am taking action.  Maybe he can do something about my skin slipping down off my face too!

Roy will be going with me there and to have my hair done tomorrow.  My sweet always kind big sister Harriett swapped her appointment with mine so I could go sooner to get a new doo and some hair color! While in the hospital, having plenty of time to think and reflect on my life I felt like I was being blessed with some mental clarity and spiritual guidance in many areas.  I’d like to share that with you guys and will write about that next.

If you read all of this to here, thanks!  I hope this helps someone else not ignore bodily warning signs.  I’ll let you know about my visit with Dr. Benson soon as well!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

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05.11.15 Hey Paw, Look! The River is Rising!

happy mondayThe blog post below was written Sunday evening.  Between then and now the river has risen an additional 10 feet causing the river to overflow the banks in some parts of the RV park.  Not where we are yet, but it is quite a sight.  We are packing up, unplugging and getting ready to pull out of here if it rises any higher.  I’ll be working on a blog post showing the pictures and videos of how it is now.

Monday, May 11, 2015 – It has been raining here quite often and heavy.  But that’s okay, we just change our plans accordingly. In between down pours, we decided to explore the river running through the resort from down by and in the water!  Some of these pictures may look like previous pictures of the resort but all of these were from about 15 feet below along the shoreline and in the water that is the White River running through the park.

a1  a3 a5 a6 Now I want to share some pictures of the same area from Sunday morning.  You will see only a tiny bit of rocks and shoreline in these pictures because the skies opened Saturday night and the river is several feet higher than the day before.

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This one is from yesterday and the next is from this morning.
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Same location, much more water and you don’t see the rocks.

20150510_143642 20150510_174809 The big circle of rocks I was sitting on in pictures higher up in the blog post are no longer visible today!

Tornadoes also seem to be quite active right now and we’re really hoping we don’t have a “What in the world were we thinking about coming here” with either a tornado or a flash flood.  At least there are at least a dozen more feet for the river to rise.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.10.15 – Part Two Mountain View City Park

Sunday, May 10, 2015, Part Two– We learned some sad news upon arriving back in Mountain View this trip. The man we just loved who owned Mellon’s Country Store, Pappy Mellon, has retired. We looked forward so much to seeing him again and sitting a spell visiting like we did before. The place is exactly the same but he’s not around spreading his Arkansas charm any longer.

We stopped at Mellon’s Country Store on Saturday and picked up some cinnamon hard candies for Chip and Madisyn and a bag for us. Here’s some pictures of the unique things they have there and how quaint it is out front.  The “stool sample” made me laugh out loud in the store!

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We went on into town to get a feel for where things we want to see are located. We saw signs that showed the City Park was this way so we followed the sign and passed in front of the park thinking it wasn’t too much. We turned around and went back, pulling in towards the back. What we found there was amazing. This place has nooks and crannies filled with beauty you can’t imagine. The pictures below are of the amphitheater there at the back of the park. You enter it from the street level and walk down many stone steps to where the audience would sit. In front of that is a beautiful creek and waterfall running under the bridge. Walking across the bridge takes you to where the performances were held. It was all an incredible sight!

20150509_164826 20150509_164909 20150509_165000 20150509_165322 20150509_165418 20150509_165504  20150509_165704  20150509_165858 20150509_170122 20150509_170330 I couldn’t help but take several videos but none came out well.  Please use your imagination as to the waterfall sound and the streaming brook sound and us dancing around for you as we pretend to perform!  We may have to go back again when it’s sunny and spend some time sitting there enjoying the surroundings.  Plus we could make a good video and perform for ya’ll!

Ya’ll have a wonderful Sunday and come back now, ya’ hear!

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Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

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