Friday, December 19, 2008

My health

Dear you who have been keeping up with all my doctors visits and procedures,

In the past year I have spent countless hours in waiting rooms, hundreds of dollars on office visits and prescriptions, and given gallons of blood. I have seen 3 doctors, had 1 ultrasound, 2 upper GI, 2 HIDA scans, and an abdominal CT scan. 2 doctors saying they swear its my gallbladder the other who probably did but didnt speak very good English. I was treated for an ulcer found in one of the upper GI's, which healed, but the pain in my abdomen is still bad, and at its worst.
When my Primary Care Doctor said she didnt know what else to do she sent me to her personal Gastrointerologist ( one of the 3 Doc I have seen) he said I was classic gallbladder. Something my Mom and sister have been telling me for 2 years now. He said he didnt know what else to do, but if I wanted to have some more tests, he could let me have another HIDA scan (gallbladder) done with his people there at the Fayetteville hospital. I said sure why not . So I underwent my second HIDA scan which was much more different than the first one. This one re-created my pains. Tests come back - gallbladder 87% functioning. They wont take it out unless it is about half that. Yay ... great. I see the Gastro. Doc again a month later, no change in my pain. He says he has only seen it once in 15 years that the tests came back negative like mine and the lady came to him in tears because when she had her Scan it was the same pain she had been experiencing. He was able to convince the surgeons to take hers out, and sure enough it was faulty. I said well I was born (seriously) abnormally, so he could count me his second case. He told me to get in touch with his favorite surgeons, and that he would do his part in talking with them. He also ordered a more current Upper GI because he knew the surgeons would want one.
In the past week I have had nausea, diarrhea, and have lost 6 pounds. Yesterday I had that second upper GI and they found that I had food still in my belly after 13-14 hours since my last meal, and at that it wasnt much more than a few tablespoons of party food and a small slice of key lime pie. Being sick I have had pretty much nothing to eat all week anyways. So they thought that was pretty weird. It actually happens though and it is called Gastroparesis. Yay... more digestive issues! All for a person who LOVES to eat. So I am suppose to eat 6-8 small meals a day instead of 3 like normal people. Side effects... nausea, bloating, nagging abdominal pain, excessive belching, feeling of fullness after only a few bites, weight loss ( the best one yet). Then I get to go see that Doc in a few months for a check up. In the mean time He still wants me to talk to those surgeons about my gallbladder. So I get to go spend some more time and money in another doctors office in January.
Things really do start falling apart when you hit 30!
I will keep you all updated as to whether or not I can convince these surgeons to take out this blasted gallbladder. Untill then, happy eating for you. I will stick to my 6 small, bland, sometimes liquid meals. Lucky you! Eat some greasy pizza for me, ya hear?

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Annual Mother/Daughter Retreat

Every year about this time ( beginning of November) My mom and her daughters (& d-in-law) head up to Gods country..... the North Georgia Mountains of course. Here are some pictures of this years 10th annual Mother-Daughter retreat - Amicalola Falls State Park

Well we start off with a cabin in a State park:

This is the first year we got snow...if you can call it that. Still! It was pretty exciting.

Add some comfy, and sometime silly clothes..

Only nursing babies are allowed. This little booger is so cute!

Start a roaring fire.... this one roared through a tube... cool pic though huh?

Do some knitting and crocheting.
Amy has been working on hers for about 5 or more years.... Hey its tradition

Put together an annoying puzzle or two.

Play some games ..... in our comfy clothes of course! Sometimes laughing till we cry.

Sometimes we take hikes... This year only Mary and I did...

Why take all those steps?
Those 605 steps to be exact?

Well not only to shake off the cabin fever, but to see this up close.....

Or to take cool pictures like these!

And when you reach the top, see sights like this!

Even though I could have driven the car to the parking lot and seen this... but hey wheres the burning lungs, weak knees, trembling thighs, frozen snot running down your face fun in that!

We take some pictures for our Myspace and Facebook. This one was me resting after our lung burning hike up the mountain.

Sometimes we break some rules together!

Breakin the law!

And are sorry for it when we lose our car keys on the other side of the fence.....under some leaves... with my lip balm.

Then at the end of the trip we take a nice group shot. Thankfully this year I had my tripod and remote. Several years we have had to settle with strangers taking our pics and out of focus shots. I chose to add this one because I was being silly and everyone has a genuine smile on their faces, except the baby who could care less.

The End

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall 2008

Just thought I would show you some pictures of Fall around my house. The trees are especially beautiful this year, maybe because we got a lot more rain than we have in awhile.. not sure.
Anyways here are my pics.

This one is looking out my front door

This is one of my favorites. I was getting the mail and I looked down the road and saw this tree smiling at me. It said please take my picture. I said... But I am in my pink jammies.. It said.. so.. So I did.. I love it.

This tree on the right, I can see from my front porch.
This is in the neighbors yard, but its so beautiful. Its even more on fire when the sun is setting and bouncing off the leaves.

Now this one is just a pie pumpkin sitting on my piano, until I can cut it up and make a pie out of it. Mmmmm.

This one below isn't at home, but at Uncle Bobs Pumpkin Patch. These were some HUGE pumpkins and then of course my sweet punkins in the background.

These were taken on my way home from the church fall festival. I pass by this lake every time I go to church, and this time I actually had my camera with. So I stopped and took these last 2 pictures.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My new favorite Bible verse

So I was looking through my old Bible. The one I had as a teenager. It is about 19 years old, a "pretty" lake blue, bonded leather, having random birth records (including an old boyfriend), silver edges, everything highlighted (especially the Love chapter), worn edged, KJV Bible.
I started skimming through it to see what I had underlined as a teenager, you know, all that was important to me. Well I came across a verse in Proverbs that I had forgotten all about and got a great laugh out of. It has become my new favorite Bible verse. I have posted it on my fridge dry-erase board, and hope my family will memorize it. Especially my husband and daughter and random family members. So here it is in The Message version, because the KJV had too many -eth's and thou's

Proverbs 27:14

If you wake your friend in the early morning
by shouting "Rise and shine!"
It will sound to him
more like a curse than a blessing.


I LOVE God's sense of humor!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Straight To Curly

I was born with very straight blond hair. I imagine it stayed so blond because I was always playing outside in the Florida sun. In the summer time it would turn green from swimming in the pool.
Here is me (right) when I was younger with my blond, straight hair. Yep I was a fatty, but oh so
cute. I am the baby on the Ollie. That's my brother John in his tidy whiteys

I kept that straight blond hair for most of my childhood. Here I am at the left at about 11 years old or so.

You all know how the 90's went with the perms and the big ole hair and ...... shall we say less than natural makeup. Well Here is me with my perm... Now I know you ain't laughin' at me! You know you had the big hair and tight rolled jeans too.

The perm eventually grew out (Hallelujah) but then it was mostly fluff.
I went through several years of bad hair. This is me (left) about a year before I married. 14 years ago.

I don't know what happened to me. Maybe it was hormones from having children. That's my best guess, but here within the past few years my hair has decided to curl. Being a straight haired girl most of my life, I had no idea what to do with it. It has taken me awhile, but recently I decided to go some Googling. As you have probably found out from these few posts, I am a nerd who loves Google. Anyways I came across several sites just for curly haired individuals. Early this year I got my first haircut by a lady trained to cut curly hair. It made a huge difference in the feel and weight of my hair. Still I had no idea about the care of my curls, since apparently they have different needs than normal hair. Love that.. of course I am not normal. In my search I found several individuals who decided to become "Curly Girls" wondering what that was of course I Googled that. I found out there is a book out there teaching girls what to do with their curly hair, so of course I got it on eBay and a month ago tried what they had to say----Say no to shampoo . I know....gross right? Well I do clean my hair, just not with shampoo and all the detergents it has in it. I use a GOOD conditioner that has no silicone products that weight down the curl, and doesnt have water as the main ingredient. Thats only because I dont want to pay for water when I am already putting that in my hair when I wash. Since I take a shower at night, I just add some gel or cream ( no silicones here either) and let it air dry. Something that should be done anyways. Curly Girls get rid of your hair drier and brushes and straightening iron. In the morning I just spray some water (with lavender oil added for fun) , and scrunch and dry. It is so crazy easy to do my hair. I LOVE it! I wont bore you with what the book says. If you want to try the method buy it or borrow it. I want you to see my results so far. I have only been doing this for a month so far. No one has said I smell either.

Here I am on the first day of using no-poo conditioner.

Here I am a month later. It feels more bouncy and is more manageable. Though I am discovering curly hair does what it wants to most of the time, and weather makes a big difference. Its kinda frizzy because its been humid and its kinda crispy today.... not oily!

Kinda hard to see from the pictures, especially the back of the head ones, its rather hard to take those shots. There is a good difference to me though in the way it feels, looks and behaves. I haven't had anyone say so, but then no one notices when I wear glasses either. Oh well!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our priviledge to vote

I am sure some of you have seen the email that has been floating around about why women should vote. If not, I will summarize what is says, along with some other information I have gleaned. It made me think and realize what a privileged it is for me as a woman to be able to vote. Even if you aren't a girl, I think you ought to exercise your right.

Women fought for equal rights as early (or maybe earlier) as 1776. In 1756 Lydia Chapin (Taft) was the first legal woman voter in colonial America. The town allowed her to vote in proxy for her deceased husband because he was so respected. Apparently it wasn't a common thing for women to vote, but I thought this was an interesting tidbit.
Women not only fought for the right to vote, but also to hold elective office, attend college, earn a living, own property, abolish slavery, and If married, make legal contracts, divorce an abusive husband or gain custody of their children. And probably some other things too, but I want to concentrate on voting.

Abigail Adams , wife of John Adams (who was attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia) asked that he and the other men--who were at work on the Declaration of Independence--"Remember the Ladies." John responds with humor. The Declaration's wording specifies that "all men are created equal."
Women in New Jersey had the right to vote from 1776-1807.
The first woman's rights convention in the United States is held in Seneca Falls, New York.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (pictured right) form the American Equal Rights Association, an organization for white and black women and men dedicated to the goal of universal suffrage. However,in 1869 the woman's rights movement was split because of disagreements and The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) was formed.
Wyoming Territory granted women suffrage. When Wyoming was admitted into the Union in 1890, it became the first state to allow women to vote. Cool huh?
1870 to 1875:
Several women attempt to use the Fourteenth Amendment in the courts to secure the vote or the right to practice law.They were unsuccessful.
I thought this especially interesting- Susan B. Anthony is arrested and brought to trial for attempting to vote for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential election. She refused to pay the fine and no one made her. Love that! At the same time, Sojourner Truth appears at a polling booth in Battle Creek, Michigan, demanding a ballot; she is turned away.

A Woman Suffrage Amendment is introduced in the United States Congress. The wording is unchanged in 1919, when the amendment finally passes both houses.
Congressional Union, changed to National Women's Party (1916) was formed. A massive womens suffrage parade was held. Lucy Burns ( a leader of the NAWSA) was arrested for chalking suffragist meeting notices on a sidewalk in D.C.
Jeannette Rankin of Montana, is the first American woman elected to represent her state in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Several arrests are made this year, about 170, of suffragists. Some were even attacked by bystanders without police intervention. Alice Paul, another suffragist leader, was arrested and sentenced to 7 months in the Occoquan Workhouse. In protest she went on a hunger strike and was subjected to force-feeding for several weeks before word was smuggled to the press. She was transferred to a psychiatric ward in an effort to intimidate and discredit her. She recalled that one of the women imprisoned with her "was one whose shrieks nightly filled the jail as the rats entered her cell".
The following is the one incident that had the most impact on me, inspiring me to write this blog.
November 15th - "Night of Terror" - members of the National Womens Party picketing the right to vote outside the White House are arrested and given a "lesson" in the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia. Fourty prison guards, with their wardens blessing, arrested 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic". Lucy Burns was beaten, chained with her hands above her head, and left hanging there for the night. Later, her clothing was removed and she was left with only a blanket for covering.
Dora Lewis was thrown into cell, smashing her head against an iron bed, knocking her unconscious. Thinking she was dead, her cellmate Alice Cosu suffered a heart attack. She was denied medical attention despite repeated request throughout the night.
May Nolan (73) with a lame leg, was dragged between two guards, despite her assertion that she would go willingly.
Dorothy Day was purposefully slammed down twice over the back of an iron bench.
Prison conditions were deplorable, even though the women were said to occupy "the best cells, each fitted with running water and bath facilities". The Occoquan was described as small and dark, with fetid air. The food infested with meal worms and the cells with a variety of animal life .
On November 27-28th due to political pressure, these suffrage prisoners were released.

These are some tenacious women, because they sure didn't give up. They kept up with their picketing and touring and several more were imprisoned. They lobbied for passage of the federal woman suffrage amendment in Senate.
Slowly States would allow their women to vote, but it wasn't until November 2, 1920 that all of the women across the United States were allowed to vote for the first time. Charlotte Woodward was the only original Suffragette to survive to see women get the vote. WOW! That was 72 years that these women fought for the right to vote! I just don't understand how after learning all this we don't use this awesome privileged, especially the women!
There is so much more I could write, encouraging men to vote too, but I am tired of writing and my internet is being dumb again. So GIRLS get out there and vote! Today ( October 5) is the last day to register to vote before the Presidential election in November. I think you can do it online too. If you miss the deadline for this presidential election, you can still exercise your privileged to vote in your next local election.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Playing with my camera

I love my camera! I have a Cannon Digital Rebel XT, and it is so much fun. It always makes my amateur pictures come out nice.
Lately I have been interested in Astrophotography, and night time photography. While I still don't know a lot about taking pictures, I have had fun learning. I would like to take some classes to find out even more, but for now doing a Google search has helped a lot. Here are some of my first attempts at taking night time shots.

This picture below is obviously the moon. I don't have a super zooper zoom lens,but my 75-300 mm zoom along with cropping made a pretty good shot. I am so excited since I have never been able to see anything more than a bright blurb of the moon in previous attempts. By using a tripod and a cable release, and not letting the shutter stay open for very long I got a pretty passable shot for a novice. If I do say so myself.

This next one I let the shutter stay open a lot longer. You can see the difference in that the sky appears lighter . As a result, you can see the rest of the moon. You couldn't see it looking up at the sky. I found out this is called Earth shine. It is the sun reflecting off the earth onto the moon.

My ultimate goal is to take a very long exposure of the stars so you can see a big star trail. With this next photo I left the shutter open for as long as I could before a car drove by and ruined the shot. You can see the stars look like lines. That is not camera shake, but the earths rotation causing the stars to look like thy have moved across the sky. When I find a place that is dark enough with no cars or such to ruin the picture then I will post it. I still need to read up on my camera settings though.

This one is just a shot of my front walkway. I though it would make a cool picture. Its fun and different like me.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Am I Normal ????

Most every one thinks they are normal. I know I always did. Am I a normal person?

I recently decided to take a personality test, because I was wondering this very thing. So I took some simple ones and some more in depth ones online. I found out I am an introvert, and melancholy of which I already knew. A type B personality, a dolphin personality, the color blue (what?) . I also took the MBTI test and found out I am ISFJ ( double what?). Here's what it is in simple form.
I- introvert - where you direct your energy- 25% percent of US population
Energized by being alone, Reserved, less talkative, Able to focus for long periods of time, Learn and work best through reflection, Avoid limelight, Listen more than talk, Respond slowly after reflection, More private, fewer friends. - TOTALLY ME

S- Sensing - how you take in information- 65% of US population
Focus on facts and details, Tend to be specific and can give detailed descriptions, Value common sense and practicality, Oriented to the present, Are direct and to the point, More aware of their bodies and appearance, Like to master established skills, Less likely to have graduate degree, Work at steady pace. - well.... a lot of those fit

F- Feeling - how you make decisions - 65% of women in US population
Focus on people impact, Enjoy pleasing people, Avoid conflict and confrontation, Diplomatic, Often found in helping professions, Tact is as important as truth, Like to give praise, Usually less assertive, Start with small talk first, More sensitive to criticism. -Totally me again.

J- Judging- how you live your life- 50% 0f US population
Like to have decisions made, Plan and organize their life, Driven to complete projects, Like structure and systems (LOVE) , Work first and play second, Neat and tidy work space and car (yeah baby), Like jobs that offer control, Can be uncomfortable with change, Time is taken very seriously. -ALL LIZ THERE
Here is more about a ISFJ personality if you are a nerd like me and want to know more.

Ok. So of the 16 different types in this MBTI test, I fall in the category of about 10-13% of the population, which appears to be the highest category. If this is so, then I am mostly normal right? Then why do I feel so not normal?

So I couldn't find much of anything about my weird mind in the personality tests. This is what makes me question a lot of my normality:
I have a confession to make. Are you ready? I have conversations, and stories, and songs, CONSTANTLY running through my head. Not just conversations that have happened in my life. I make up conversations and scenarios that could have been, may come up, how I would like them to be or have been. Conversations that never will happen. Conversations that happened, but this and this is how it should or could have gone. I often get very worked up about these made up conversations that often times when a conversation I have had with the person goes totally different from what my mind made up that I find myself relieved, or even disappointed. If it isn't a conversation or story, it's a song that goes through my head. Sometimes it gets stuck in the conversations. I wake up almost every night around 4 a.m. and do I get to wake up to peace and quiet? Of course not. I have a song or story tormenting me. All on top of the every day normal thinking.
My mind is almost never at rest. Very exhausting! I dream too. Nearly always I dream. I am very often amazed at the creativity in my dreams.
 It is very very annoying to have a mind like mine. I think the main reason why I LOVE reading so much, is because I have someone else story going through my head, and it all makes sense. It is so relaxing to read. It has to be fiction too, otherwise I have to think too much.
So now I ask again. Am I normal? I've recently found out that my Mom has the same kind of mind. She thinks that a small percentage has the same as us. What about you? Are you just as "normal" as me? I am going to put up a pole for you to vote on. I am interested in finding out.

I can also guarantee that I will be rewriting this post in my mind all night long, and well into tomorrow and possibly the next day. Grrrrr. Being me is a pain.