Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What Grace can I share?

I've been sick with an upper respiratory illness since July 6th.
And panic stricken with anxiety for a while before that.
My blood pressure has also been on the rise.
I'm sleep deprived from waking in terror, at God knows what, 
at 3:00am every night.
I'm short tempered... more so than usual, due to that deprivation.
The grand kids, the lord bless them, have felt it more than anyone.

I don't like being sick. It worries me. Why am I always sick? Am I always sick?
Am I being overly dramatic and simply being a hypochondriac?
I post a lot about feeling unwell on this blog.
Write what you live...Live what you write...is this true?
What about this one ...What you think about is what you live with?
Or What your thoughts dwell on is what you will experience in your life?
Am I causing my own misery?

Here's the thing-
I don't like appearing weak. Or needy. Or depressed. 
Or dumb or stupid or lazy or wrong.
Or having anxiety.
I have had issues with anxiety most of my married life. 
I would like to place some of the blame for that on him.
We lived a volatile existence for nearly 28 years, him and I.
Too much alcohol and not enough talking or praying or trusting from either of us.
I did the best I could with what I had to work with at the time.
I will say the same goes for him.

But he got well...ahem..."We" got well, and my anxiety has remained.
I just worry about different things now.
Grand kids becoming ill or dying. Car accidents or maybe a relative getting murdered. Tornado's or house fires or dropping dead from a heart attack. 

What is this madness???

Friday at my doctor appointment I was offered an olive branch by the Nurse Practitioner.

I told ya'll about feeling dismissed by my doctor a couple of weeks ago.
How she only wanted to prescribe me anti-anxiety meds...how she said that some people just have anxiety, and how I didn't really agree with her statement. 
I wanted a diagnosis; a reason FOR the anxiety.
Plus, I was too afraid to tell her that I am afraid of anxiety meds.
How's that for a statement?? I have anxiety over anxiety medication.

Anyway the Nurse Practitioner sat with me and listened to me. 
I told her about the rushing sound in my ears. I told her that the sound of my own heartbeat in my ears is starting to drive me mad...like the story of the Tell-Tale Heart. 
I told her about my headaches and my sleepless nights and gasp! I even told her about my 3:00am anxiety attacks.

When she touches my overheated skin with her icy cold hands I feel relief.
I feel a healing element pulsing beneath the touch of her fingers.
And it feels like compassion. It feels like grace. And it feels like I want to cry.

She discovers both eardrums filled to the brim with a thick glue like fluid.
"Have you had this since July?" she asks me
"Well it's no wonder you can't hear anything besides your heartbeat. It's also why you're not sleeping. The fact that you have an infection in your ears from this fluid plus the aggravation from the noise of that fluid pounding against your ear drums is causing you to lose sleep.
You need to sleep" she tells me. "Not sleeping is also causing your blood pressure to rise."

She prescribes a strong antibiotic, and also Mucinex to thin the fluid in my ears and....klonipin.
Klonipin....the dreaded anti-anxiety medication.
"Try it" she tells me. "Just take one. I'm giving you a very low dose. 
And I'm only giving you ten pills.
See if it doesn't at the very least help you stay asleep so we can address this blood pressure issue." 

I stare at that bottle of pills for an hour after I get home before I crack it open.
Down at the bottom are 10 yellow pills staring right back up at me.

"Take one", he says from behind me.
But I'm afraid to, I tell him.
"Nothings going to happen except you will fall asleep" he says.
But what if I feel weird after I take it? I ask him.

It feels like a weakness to me having to rely on anxiety medication.
I'm stronger than this, aren't I??
Anxiety, the wretch, always has to have its say, doesn't it?

I take one with a full glass of water and try to convince myself that I will still be alive in the morning.
I am hopeful that I won't wet the bed due to my euphoric stupor of taking this anxiety pill and then finding myself too paralyzed by the side effects to walk and too drugged to do anything but lay there and drool.

Good Lord but I am a head case, right??

Want to know what really happened after I took that pill??
I went to sleep. And slept all night. For 8 straight hours.
No drooling. No paralysis. No wetting the bed. No dying. No anxiety.

So today when I had to go back for a recheck she asked me how was I doing.
My ears are much better! No more heart pounding! No more headaches. 
And the blood pressure is almost back to normal...readings are much lower.
"How's the sleeping?" she asked.
The Klonipin worked wonderfully I admitted. Would it be alright if I got a 30 day prescription?
And just like that I offered up grace to myself.
I decided that it doesn't make me weak or wrong or dumb or lazy or stupid or anything else, to need that medication. It also didn't make me feel wonky so there is that.

I'm not sure why I insist on judging myself so harshly over this issue.
But for the time being I am allowing myself to just take it one day at a time.
Hmmm....Where have I heard that saying before?

So. What grace can I share?
How about this?


Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Friday, August 4, 2017

LaCrosse

The question I posted last week was-
What beauty can I behold?

We went on a quick little getaway last weekend, him and I. Took our little dog too.
First we headed up to our favorite place Devils Lake, Wisconsin.
On the way to Devils Lake we stop at our favorite rest stop in Janesville.
We are both creatures of habit, him and I.
We know what we like and we like what we know.
Stopped there to pee, let the dog go potty, and fuel up the truck.
He grabs a diet Coke, I grab a cold Starbucks Frappucinno and we're off again.
Is there beauty in any of that?
Probably not but it did feel good to pee after 2 hours of driving....

The scenery flying by the truck windows is mostly cornfields.
There is the occasional farm or pasture full of cows or pigs...smelly, but not beautiful.
I start noticing wild flowers by the side of the road.
Pink tufted twisted weeds (the pink was exquisite), purple daisy type flowers,
pink Clover, green and white Queen Ann's Lace, iridescent grasses, yellow flowers in all shapes and sizes.
The sky is a blue that I've not seen before...so bright and clear and nary a white cloud to be seen.

We make our way to the shit box town of Ontario, Wisconsin.
Sorry but that is an apt description right there.
Just outside of shit box Ontario is a winding road that leads to an Amish village.
And by winding road I mean steep, switchback, nausea inducing roads.
Half way up the dog sits up in her car seat and gives me a look that I interpret as:
"I'm getting real dizzy and gonna vomit in a second"
Truth be told, him and I feel a little bit queasy ourselves...these roads are not for the feint of heart.
How in the world do the Amish get their horse and buggies up and down these roads??

Once we get to the top rise, we enter into Amish territory.
It's then I realize that the Amish rarely go up or down these paved switch back roads.
As there are no blacktop roads up here at the top, only gently rolling hills and gravel roads.

We see horse and buggies with the ever present orange triangle attached to the back sitting in driveways and in front of really clean barns.
There is a  young teenage boy on the road up ahead, coming towards us, driving his little buggy faster than seems safe on this road.
We see a young girl, so young!! driving a team of draft horses by herself, while a man (her father?) tosses bales of hay onto the back of their wagon.
We see house after house, all white clapboard with black shutters exclusively.
They all appear to be three level houses with outside decks on all levels along with lots of open windows and huge hanging baskets of flowers in white, pink and purple.
I see quite a few rather large kitchen gardens and a lots of wash hanging on clotheslines.
Rounding one bend in the road we come upon what appears to be an 8 year old blond boy, walking by hisself, barefoot, down the dusting gravel road.
He is wearing the typical Amish straw hat, black pants and a teal colored button down shirt.
He waves at us.
Other than that teenage boy at the beginning, and the small family working in their field, he is the only other person we have seen up here. And he's the only one that waves at us.

Coming down off of their, uh...mountain, is a lot easier than going up.
Pretty soon we are zipping down another paved blacktop highway heading to LaCrosse.
The scenery seems typical; pastureland, farms, Historical Markers, Rest Stops.
We see hills and bridges and bodies of water we can't identify, lakes, rivers, streams.
Five hours later LaCrosse appears on the horizon in front of us.
One minute we were driving down a country road, then BAM..there is the town of LaCrosse.
It is beautiful here. It appears clean. It seems uncrowded. We found our hotel without a hitch.
The bed was really comfy and there was a nice green grass area out back for walking the dog.
We were only there for the night but I can already tell you that we will come back again some day.

This seems like a long post about nothing in particular but our small trip to Wisconsin.
Maybe the real beauty was that we arrived to our destination safely, we arrived back home safely,  our dog appeared to like traveling and DID NOT actually throw up on those winding Amish roads.
Maybe the beauty was in the fact that we enjoyed each others company, the hotel was more than we had hoped for, and the passing scenery on The River Road that we took home was amazing.
Rock outcroppings, parts of the Mississippi River seen through lots of green trees and forested lands.
I wished we had taken more pictures.
We were so in awe of what we were seeing and our surroundings that neither one of us thought to even take the camera out of its bag.
Maybe there's a certain type of beauty in that too though.
At least it gives us a decent excuse to go back.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Beauty

What beauty can I behold?

I'll get back to you on this question.
We've got 5  days off together, him and I.
So we're hitting the road.
I'll post when we get back home.

Until then....
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Thanks


As I stated in yesterdays post, I'm going to try to answer a question a day from
a list I found on a blog post at (in)courage.com
Today's question is-
What Thanks can I give?

In all honesty I know that my list should be unending. It should be ten miles long. Infinity long.
But with this weird ass panic/anxiety thing plaguing me, I miss a lot of the things I should be thankful for. Some mornings I find it hard to be thankful for anything. Sleep deprivation makes me cranky.
I'm also trying to not "Should" myself so much.
You know what that is, right? Shoulding yourself or others?
It goes something like this....
You should be thankful. You should apologize. You should eat healthier. You should stop wearing clothes like that. You should read this book. You should stop swearing. You should listen to me.
You should be done by now. You should have called me. You should sit down.
You should be quiet.
You should know. You should not have said that. You should go to church.
You should leave.
The word should is like a weapon and it is often used for blaming and shaming.
I should stop using this word.

Back to the question of the day-
What Thanks can I give?
Listed in no particular order, I give Thanks for:
Milk on my cereal. Black flip-flops. My morning coffee. Cream for that coffee. Grand-kids. Shiny rocks. A Hummingbird in my garden. Comfy shorts. Blow dryers.  Praise music. Advil. Cranberry juice. Clean sheets. Sunrise. Lungs. Libraries. Slicing Apples. Wind chimes. Dogs. Bible verses. Jesus. Sisters. Shade trees. My laptop. Baby teeth. Cheese Popcorn. Cartoons.  Clouds. Instagram.
Green eyes. Green tea. Green grass. Blue eyes. Blue skies. Blue Moons. Rainbows.
I give thanks for every single breath I take. For Tap water that I always take for granted. Salt. A messy house. A clean house. Four seasons. Chinese Take-out.
My family. My best friend. My Blogger friends. For waking up this morning.

And Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly






Tuesday, July 25, 2017

These are the questions


I copied this from (in) courage-
I broke it down and rearranged it into a column of questions.

What has God tasked me with for today? 
What thanks can I give? 
What beauty can I behold? 
What grace can I share? 
What prayers can I pray? 
What injustice can I right? 
What forgiveness must I ask? 
What bitterness must I confess? 
What joy can I feel? 
What sorrow can I cast on Him? 


Here lately in my life I've felt undone. Overdone. 
Completely out of sync with myself.
Anxiety and worry are at the top of my To-Do list every day.
What if? is the question that I drag around with me all day long.
I never seem to find an answer to that question though; only more What if's.

When I read that blog post above it shocked me.
It made me realize that I've been asking myself the wrong question this whole time.   
Instead of asking myself What if?, I need to start asking myself the above questions.
Those are the questions I need to be answering, not the unanswerable and scary and unpredictable What if this happens? questions that rattle me and my peace of mind.

So...I'm going to try working on these questions and answers over the next ten days.

1. What has God tasked me with for today?
He's given me two grandchildren to play with and take care of. I will feed them breakfast and comb their hair and take them outside to play in the yard, maybe ride our bikes or take a walk around the block. When the humidity gets to be too much, we'll come back in and eat lunch and watch a movie on Netflix. Maybe we will build a new city using Lego's or play restaurant with the toy kitchen and play food. 
My anxiety causes me to have a short fuse and I am tired of being so snappish at them.

Today I will apply this Vow that I found on line-

My Vow to Soften
I’ve had enough of my hard edges.
I’m tired of straining my voice.
I’d like to loosen up and laugh a little more,
Be a positive rather than a negative.
I’d like to feel the upward curve of my lips.
I’d like to surrender control of things in which I have no control.
I’d like to let things unfold in their own time, in their own way.
I’d like to participate joyfully in this fleeting life.
I’d like to be softer
towards him,
towards her,
towards me.
I vow to listen to opinions – I don’t always have to be right.
I don’t always have to agree or have the last word.
I vow to hand over the hairbrush, the pile of laundry, the school project,
the task before us. “How would you do it?” I will ask.
I vow to step aside and respect a new approach.
Success might be difficult to see at first; I vow to keep looking.
I vow to be more accepting of quirks and mannerisms.
I vow to be more accepting of tastes and styles unlike my own.
I vow to remember he is in the process of becoming; she is in the process of finding her way.
And they are more apt to do it if I stop telling them how.
I vow to regard “weaknesses” as hidden strengths.
Inner gifts can be nurtured when I stop plotting ways to alter, change, and “improve”.
I vow to greet my family and myself with a loving smile, no matter what happened yesterday.
Grudge holding only hurts us all.
I vow to pause before correcting.
I shall take a moment to consider if the mistake even needs to mentioned at all.
I vow to stop nitpicking until it bleeds.
I vow to demand less and inquire more.
I vow to listen
Consider
and expand my thinking.
I vow to be a voice of encouragement in a demeaning world.
I vow to be a silver lining spotter in my family’s little world.
I vow to be softer today than I was yesterday—a softer voice, a softer posture, a softer touch, a softer thought, a softer timetable.
I vow to be softer towards the imperfect human being inside me and beside me.
By being softer, I can hear more, learn more, feel more, and love more.
At last I will fully see.
I will see his colors.
I will see her colors.
I will see my colors
Perhaps for the very first time.
The colors might take my breath away
Bring me to tears
and offer long-awaited peace.
I shall soften in order to illuminate the colors of the soul.
I shall soften so the human being within me and beside me can shine.


© Rachel Macy Stafford 2016



Image result for thoughts for the day



Here's to peace and vows and living in the present,
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dismissed


I tell my doctor that I am still experiencing symptoms.
I tell her I have had a sore throat for a week. I ask her if I can get a strep test.
She will forget about this 5 minutes later and I will have to remind her of this at the end of my appointment as she is getting ready to leave the exam room, with her hand already on the door knob.
She grabs a tongue depressor and her light and tells me to open wide.
I do and her next words to me are "Well that's not very wide. I'll have the tech come in and swab you."
She checks my blood pressure and tells me that it is high.
She doesn't address this issue any further.
I tell her that I have had 5 really bad panic/anxiety attacks since my last visit 6 weeks ago.
That is 5 attacks in 6 weeks.
I tell her it's hard to fall asleep because I keep "popping".
As soon as I feel drowsy, my chest constricts, then it feels like my heart is trying to jump start itself.
It makes my whole body jerk or pop. It also kick starts my adrenaline.
"That's normal" she tells me.
It's NOT normal for me though.
"Does anything help alleviate these symptoms?" she asks.
Yes, I tell her. I found this meditation practice that has you place both hands upon your heart and press down slowly and breath deeply 5 times.
"And that works?" she asks incredulously.
She wants to know if I feel this restlessness in my legs at night time.
No, I tell her. This is not Restless Leg Syndrome.
I tell her my feet can hardly sit still during the day, that it feels like I have too much caffeine in my system, that my foot is constantly tapping or moving back and forth as if all of the excess energy my body is producing is being funneled into that one spot in my body.
I tell her I can hear the blood rushing through my head and that I hear my heartbeat in both ears.
She doesn't check my ears.
She says panic attacks can be a normal thing too.
But they're NOT normal for me.
She asks if I've ever tried any kind of anti-anxiety medication.
I tell her no. I'm not interested in taking anti-anxiety medication.
I want to know WHY I am having these attacks, that I want to find the cause of them.
"Sometimes people just have anxiety," she tells me.

I'm not sure what I expected her to do or say or what testing I wanted her to order.
But I wanted more than I got from her.
I felt dismissed.
It felt like she poo-pooed everything I said.
It felt like she just wanted to push anti-anxiety meds on me.
It felt like she kept correcting me.
It felt like she wasn't listening to me.
I didn't feel comfort or empathy or sympathy from her.
It felt like she wanted to be anywhere else but in that room with me.
She made me feel like a hypochondriac.

I wanted answers. I wanted her to work with me. For her and I together to trouble shoot these symptoms and come to a common goal of either eliminating them without the quick answer of anxiety meds. and/or at the very least to diagnose the cause of them.

Maybe I was expecting too much.
Maybe I need to find a Naprapath doctor, or one who practices functional medicine.
Maybe I need to do Yoga.
Maybe I need to find more information on different types of meditation.
Maybe I need to stop complaining.
Because in all honesty, if I complain to her about anxiety and she offers me medicine for anxiety and I refuse that course of treatment, what IS she supposed to do with me?

Last night I bought a bottle of wine and drank two glasses.
I slept through the night without any kind of popping or anxiety.
I'm aware that it would be real easy to medicate myself in this way,
7 days a week, but I don't want to go that route.
Having lived with a drinking man for 28 years I know what that can do to a body and a marriage.

I'm thinking that I will try to find another doctor. Not right now. But for my next yearly physical maybe it would be a good idea to find another doctor, one that listens better. I don't know.

My throat is still sore, my ears feel full of fluid and today I am coughing.
As Charlie Brown used to say...
                                                                                              Image result for good grief

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly



Monday, July 10, 2017

an update


 I lay here trying to sleep but feel too keyed up and anxious to free fall into slumber.
It feels like I am having palpitations. 
My body keeps jerking as if it's trying to kick start my heart. 
My brain refuses to cooperate with any part of my body...instead rushing head long into the dangerous territory of the what if's.
My thoughts are incoherent and racing. Nothing makes sense.
I've moved to the couch so I don't keep waking up my husband with my restless tossing and turning.
It is 2:00am. 
I feel cold and slightly uncomfortable on this living room couch.
I can see a green glow from the digital clock on the microwave in the kitchen. It is so bright.
I hear the neighbors car door slam. I hear what sounds like scratching in the duct work.
A mouse maybe? I hear snoring from our bedroom. I hear the blood rushing in my ears.
I long to be back in my bed and to be sleeping soundly.
I need to pee, again.
I am so frustrated with these damn panic attacks.
I want them to either kill me already or to just fucking stop.
I know the panic attacks won't kill me but the symptoms still feel like I'm about to die.
Racing heart, shortness of breath, trembling legs, incoherent thoughts, difficulty swallowing, numbness and tingling in my face and hands*.

I learned of a meditation technique where I place one hand upon my heart followed by the other and I press down and take slow deep breaths. It seems to work for a while.
Which in all honesty makes me believe that this is indeed panic attacks I am having and not MS or a brain tumor or some other horrible plague.
But I still have no clue as to the trigger. 
Why am I awakened by these things in the middle of the night? 
What is it that is trying to make itself known to me and why in the name of all that is holy is it necessary for these racing thoughts to show themselves at the ungodly hour of 2:00am???
The other night I said to God- 
"Ok, God, you've got my attention. It's 2:00am. Whaddya want?"
He didn't answer me.
I laid there trying to pray but my racing thoughts kept getting in the way.
In the morning I am groggy and on edge. Sleep deprivation is no small thing.

Since my last post in June I have had 3 severe attacks. 
I almost made my husband take me to the ER at 4:00 in the morning one time but felt stupid because the symptoms were vague and hard to pin down. 
I have never felt so ill and ill at ease in my life.
Each time, along with the other symptoms mentioned above*, my legs went numb and my flight instinct kicked in. It was uncontrolled panic. I was afraid to fall back asleep those 3 times. 
Hold my hand, I begged him...and I held his as if it was a lifeline to keep me tethered to this world.
A few hours later the symptoms are completely resolved. That's it. Just gone.
I don't consciously feel nervous during the day. I'm not worrying or obsessing about anything. 
Well NOW I am cuz now I worry about getting woke up every night feeling panicky.

I will say that I have noticed that some of my daily devotionals have been rather supportive. 
Each one has been about  trusting Him and walking with Him and seeing the light with Him.
If you have Jesus Calling by Sarah Young  read the pages from June 23 through July 2. 
They have been especially helpful to me.
And also I found the following Bible verse to be uplifting as well.

At the same time the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we don't know how to pray for what we need. But the Spirit intercedes along with our groans that cannot be expressed in words.
~Romans 8:26 God's Word Translation

So here I am with my wordless groans and my complaints and my panic attacks.
I'm feeling sort of regular today. Which is good. I slept through the night last night which is better than good.
I go to the Dr. at 1:30 today. Let's see what she has to say about these attacks of mine.

I'll keep ya posted.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

High Anxiety

I've emailed Birdie for advice on anxiety.
It's just about killing me and   I. Don't. Know. Why!
It's gotten so severe in the last three days and I am having difficulty functioning normally.
I had a full complete physical exam in May and checked out ok. But I wasn't having the anxiety then.

Truthfully I don't know what to do about this. It is attacking me in the middle of the night. The house is dark and still and very quiet which makes it worse. I woke my husband up the first night it happened and made him talk to me. Bless him, he called into work and stayed home with me until I felt better. He went to work at noon since my symptoms were entirely gone by that time.
I have never had it this bad before. And it scares me.
My God! I think to myself...Is it a brain tumor? Do I have MS? Am I having a silent heart attack?
The symptoms are gone in the light of day. No palpitations, no fear, no trembling limbs, no chest pain, no trouble swallowing, no nausea, no feeling of doom....nothing.
Grand kids still come over every day. We play, do crafts, I do laundry in between bike rides and trips to the grocery store. I make breakfast, lunch and dinner. I walk the dog.
But when bedtime comes around I begin to feel afraid.
I don't want the symptoms to come back again.
They are god awful.  Why do they only attack in the middle of the night?
I'm trying to figure it out on my own by the process of elimination.
I'm down to drinking only one cup of coffee a day. I stopped drinking all alcohol. No chocolate either.
I had a great idea for a different post but find I cannot concentrate on anything except for the way I feel which is tired and anxious and uncertain.

I'm sorry to be venting about this here. But I don't know what else to do.
I asked Birdie if she thought writing about it would perhaps make it go away.
Or maybe journaling would help me to sort out why all of a sudden I've got it this bad.

So this is me getting started with the writing down of the beginning and maybe soon another post about how I'm doing in the meantime. I'd appreciate your prayers.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Morning

Genesis 1:3-5New International Version (NIV)

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” 
And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

I never considered myself a morning person. When I was working 40+ hours a week mornings were always so damn painful...metaphorically speaking.
I hated morning.
I'd have to get up at 5:00am in order to be the first of 5 people in the shower. 
(We only have the one bathroom)
And let me tell you 5:00am never felt, to me, like a normal time to get out of bed.
I was always so tired during the day. 
I worked 12 hour days, 4 days a week, while occasionally eating lunch on the run. 
Mostly I fueled myself with a steady diet of coffee and cigarettes. 
Back then I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. 
Good lord but that is a lot of smoking before, but mostly after working all day.
If I'm honest, I never really felt well back then only driven or amped or hyper.
And I thought that since I was always moving I was getting stuff done.
I did get stuff done but there wasn't any heart behind it. Or kindness. Or thought really.
I was on autopilot. Ticking things off of my to-do list like a general.
I felt little joy and my soul was shriveled up like a raisin.

On the morning I was fired, 8 years ago, I didn't want to be working there anymore and truthfully, they didn't want me to be working there anymore either.
It felt like a severing though. I felt cut, raw, hurt and injured.
Now it just so happened that my sister and her family were traveling to Florida that morning.
When I called to tell her of my firing, she invited me to go to Florida with them in their car.
I gladly accepted and soon found myself wedged into their conversion van in the last open seat, 
along with 5 other people and assorted pieces of luggage, shoes, snacks, bottles of water and beach supplies.
I was happy to be heading south to the Sunshine state. I was a little crowded and a lot carsick but otherwise my destination is what kept me happy and smiling.

On the second morning of our trip I found myself alone, sitting outside of a Cracker Barrel restaurant somewhere in bumfuck Arkansas, drinking a nasty cup of to-go coffee, smoking a cigarette and crying. (The rest of the family was inside eating.) 
I didn't know what I wanted to do. I certainly didn't want to be eating at that Cracker Barrel I can tell you that! I felt panicky. I regretted taking this last minute trip with my sister's family, because all of them squished inside that overly full van, kept arguing with each other.
It was driving me insane driving with all of them.
I wanted silence. I wanted to go over my firing in my mind and pick apart every word that had been said by my bosses and by me. I wanted to nurse my indignation and my heartache. I wanted peace in my mind, in my heart, in my soul. And I wasn't getting any of it.

The third morning of my trip found me awake at, you guessed it, the ungodly hour of 5:00am.
But I could smell the salt air and I could hear the ocean from the open window of our Condo so I got up and headed outside to take in the view.
That view of the white sand and the blue-grey-green water that meets the sky never disappoints.
As the waves roll in towards shore there is the subtlest sound of Yah-Weh.
Yah as it rolls in, Weh as it pulls back out. 
It's like the ocean is breathing His very name every time a wave comes ashore.
It instantly settled my soul and I took my first deep breath of air in weeks. I felt myself starting to unkink...felt my soul start to expand.
There is something about the smell of the ocean...I wish I could bottle and smell this all the time.
The feel of the sticky sand on my feet, the little tiny birds running running running on the beach, 
even the sound of the seagulls is something that puts me to rights.
Every morning for the entire week I was in Florida was spent on that beach staring into nothing and yet also staring directly into and hearing the very breath of God.
If I close my eyes I can hear it still today. And remember how it felt to be so near the sound of YahWeh and how comforted and held I felt.

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Now I get up at 5:30am in the morning and it no longer bothers me. 
It's so automatic I don't even need to set an alarm clock. I even look forward to it.
Because the first thing I do is grab a cup of coffee and then I head to my desk where I keep my devotionals and my Bibles and I say a good morning to YahWeh and I thank Him for the morning, for THIS morning and for other mornings to come. And I am grateful. So very grateful to be up at 5:30am.




                                                 YahWeh


Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Time off

I've not been alone like this in a long time.
Barely an hour ago there were 2 laundry baskets full of kids clothes, 2 sleeping bags, pillows and blankets, stuffed animals, shoes, rain boots and slickers, back packs full of toys, and glitter strewn about my living room.
Now it's gone, all of it.
All of their trappings loaded into their car.
Even the glitter has been vacuumed up.
The house is so quiet that it is buzzing.
The dog is asleep on the back of the couch.
It is just starting to drizzle outside.
My husband is on his way home from the Northwoods. He'll be home in 7 hours.
My grandson is at school and my granddaughter was just picked up by her mother (my daughter).
The grand kids have been staying with me for the last week while their parents were on vacation.
My daughter wondered aloud wouldn't it be nice to have the house quiet again.
But honestly, I feel lonely. And I cried when they pulled out of the driveway.
When I shut the front door and turned around the house felt empty.
Three hours ago I was yelling at a 4 year old for dumping out the entire container of glitter onto the table. Now my ears are ringing due to the silence.
I was sick with an ear infection and a sinus infection the entire time they were here.  You'd think I'd be wanting to take a long nap.
But it's not true. I don't feel like napping.
I have a stack of books from the library but I don't feel like reading.
I'd like to work in my garden but it's raining...again.
To tell ya the truth I feel a bit lost. And not quite sure what to do with myself.

What a ridiculous complainer I am.
I'm lonely.
It's raining.
These books are boring.
YOU DON'T DUMP OUT THE ENTIRE BOTTLE OF GLITTER!

I've just been handed a gift of a few hours to myself.
Time off from the grand kids and housework.
Six hours of nothing but free time, six hours of me time.
And I don't have any idea what to do with or for myself.

What would you all do with six hours of uninterrupted free time?
I'm taking suggestions.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly


Saturday, May 20, 2017

A dry spell in the wet weather

I find myself in a bit of a dry spell.
No words come. My mind is a blank.
No thoughts seem worthy enough for sharing.
It's been a month since I last posted.
And still I've got nothing new to say.

In the daily minutia that is my life, every single thing seems exactly the same.

And yet, things are different too. It's just not noteworthy.

It just keeps raining here. Every damn day it seems.
I've not yet been able to get out and work in my garden
because it's either raining or it's too wet from having just rained the day before.
I did put up rabbit fencing around my strawberry plants.
Last year a rabbit ate all the flowers off the plants and we only got 1 strawberry that had been hidden under the leaves.
I've seen that rabbit in the yard again...I'm hoping that he can't hop over my fence.

The grand kids are staying with me for a week. Their parents are at a Harry Potter type convention in New Hampshire and my husband is on his annual trip to the North Woods.
I developed a terrible ear infection and a sinus infection on the day they all left.
This morning I developed a cough.
I feel pretty horrible but the kids are behaving so well that it's not bothering me to have them underfoot.
Everybody returns home in four days.

That's it. I've got nothing else to add. I could use me a nap.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly


Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter is...

Easter is...over. Yes, I know.
But I wanted to tell you about a blog post that I read where the writer asked this as an open ended question-  Easter is...
And us readers were to fill in the blank as we saw fit.
I probably should have said Easter is... The Resurrection.
That Easter is...all about Jesus and praise and worship and the Triune God.
And going to Church because you should. And He is Risen..He is risen indeed.

But I'll be honest here.
The first response that went through my mind was Easter is...Ham.
And colored eggs. And potato salad. And going to Church because I want to.
And a family party afterwards where eight small kids, all under the age of seven, hunted for plastic filled Easter eggs in a backyard.
Green grass outside and blossoms on all of the trees.
Tulips and daffodils flaunting their colors.
Gaily decorated baskets full of candy and small trinkets.
A new dress in pastel colors.
Easter is... Spring and warmer weather and everything being new and renewed.
It's lighter in the morning when we wake up and it stays light a lot longer in the evening.
It's the lime color of newly grown plants and buds on trees.
It's wispy white clouds in the sky and more Robins in my yard than I can count.
It's rain for days on end then it's a sunny day that makes a body feel more alive than before.
Easter is doing yard work and cleaning out the flower beds still strewn with last years dead leaves.
It's Hostas that come out of the ground the color of plums then watching as they turn into a lovely shade of emerald green.
It's Lily of the Valley and Lilacs bushes in full bloom and the smell is a heady mixture of pure joy.
It's open windows and fresh air and turning the thermostat way way down.
It's life or rather it's new life.
It's the Earth and us winter weary humans coming back to life.
It's warming and rising and watching nature unfold in her beautiful, colorful, brilliance.
It's the easing of darkness and shadows and cold.
Easter is... family and warmth and light and love and Jesus.

Here's hoping that you and yours and a wonderful Easter spent with loved ones.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly






Thursday, April 6, 2017

Currently I'm...


I am doing another type of writing exercise on my blog today. I like the prompts with some of these lists that I find on Pinterest. They give me a bit of structure, which I appear to need and also it gives me a bit of a push to keep on writing.
Journal Prompts:

CURRENTLY I'M...

  1. Reading- Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver.
  2. Playing- Thomas trains with the grand kids.
  3. Watching- Some sort of cartoon on Netflix (I'm not actually watching this but the kids are).
  4. Trying-  To not drink so much coffee.
  5. Cooking- Shrimp and Asparagus for dinner tonite.
  6. Eating- Two pieces of toast as I type this.
  7. Drinking- My third cup of coffee.   *see #4
  8. Calling- My sister later to see if she is feeling better. She has a wicked bad head cold.
  9. Texting - My son to ask about his cat who has lived with us for a year and was picked up last night by my son and brought to his house to live from now on. I loved him. I'm sad to see him go.
  10. Pinning- Journal prompts.     
  11. Tweeting- Nothing. I am not on Twitter.
  12. Crafting- Easy Easter crafts for the grand kids to make.
  13. Scrapping- Nothing. I don't scrap book either.
  14. Doing- The last load of laundry for today
  15. Going- To Kohl's tomorrow to look for a shirt to wear for Easter.
  16. Loving- The sunshine I see today. It has rained 8 out of the last 14 days.
  17. Hating- That allergy season has started up again already.
  18. Discovering- That I miss having my son's cat in the house. I love the very presence of a feline
  19. Enjoying- The very last piece of cake from my son's birthday.
  20. Thinking- DJT has two squirrels and a yo-yo that take up most of his brain cavity. What an incompetent nincompoop.
  21. Feeling- Grateful for a good nights sleep last night. I've had insomnia off and on for the last week and it's starting to make me a bit cranky.
  22. Hoping (for)- My grandaughter to go potty today. I gave her some cheese last week and it bound her up something fierce. I feel terrible for giving it to her. She is miserable.
  23. Listening (to)- Birdsong outside my bedroom window.
  24. Celebrating- Last week we celebrated my son's 28th birthday. My daughters 30th birthday is next weekend and then the week after that we will be celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary
  25. Smelling- Pine trees and woodsmoke on a quick Harley ride we took last Sunday.
  26. Thanking- God that our little dog seems to be getting better after her latest bout of Colitis.
  27. Considering- Getting my eyebrows done. I've never had them done before. Maybe it's time.
  28. Finishing- This post which has taken me much longer to finish than I thought it would.
  29. Starting- To see plants sprouting in my gardens. HELLOOO Spring! It can't come soon enough this year. As much as I like the cooler weather of Winter, Spring makes me feel so incredibly alive!
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly









Thursday, March 23, 2017

An offal good time

OK...here's the poop...er..I mean scoop
I've had a gut ache for about a week along with quite a few visits to the bathroom. And it scared me.
I cut out dairy and I quit drinking wine and coffee and stopped tossing back Advil like it's candy.
But the stomach ache still remained.
So I scheduled a colonoscopy for myself for next week.
I am over the age of 50 and I am past due for this test, but yikes.
I don't wanna go!!!

Monday we had to take our Chihuahua to the vet. She refused to move or walk. Turns out she had some sort of back injury, so they gave her a laser treatment, a little bit of a massage and decompression therapy and gave us some Rimadyl  to give her for pain.  (Google Rimadyl and watch how many horror stories show up)
She was ok that first night. Even the second night she seemed a little slow but nothing serious. On Wednesday morning she refused to eat. Within the hour she had bloody poop and was lethargic.
I called the vet who said to bring her in...of course. They said she had developed colitis most likely due to the stress of the back injury and the resulting vet visit. So they gave her a shot of penicillin and gave us 2 more meds to give her for the colitis.
Cha-ching!! $320 later we felt we were on the road to recovery. Until today.
Today I found bloody urine on her pee pad.
And that's when I lost my shit.
Meaning I flipped my lid.
My gullet started roiling, I started sweating, I could feel my nerves like a rocket taking off into outer space. I became short tempered and scared and just plain out of my mind in a panic.
This time I Googled the words Rimadyl and bloody urine.
That's when I found out that a toxic reaction to this pain medication is loss of appetite, bloody poop, lethargic, blood in the urine, etc, etc, etc.
And dogs were dying from this pain medication! Dying from liver failure, kidney failure, overdose, and the list goes on and on.
It seemed very little could be done to save the animals once their symptoms became severe.
Well, MY DOG had 5 of these symptoms and that scared the absolute hell outta me!
So I called the vet...again... and said that we now had bloody urine and was given an appointment for 4:20 today.
At THIS appointment, yes, the third one in 4 days, they put a syringe into her bladder to draw out the urine so they could culture it. But the urine came out clean. No infection. No blood.
...What the hell?...
The vet said "There is no blood in this urine. None. The blood on that pee pad did not come from this dog. Are there any other animals in the house?"
My sons cat, I replied. And her head snapped up. "A cat? You have a cat? A male cat?"
Yes. But he seems fine.
"Get the cat checked out" she said. So I called my son and told him to make an appointment for his cat Jackson and Jackson has an appointment for tomorrow.
So. Now we wait and see what happens at that appointment.
I want to believe that it's the cat and not my dog but right now my cute little dog is still very lethargic. She ate dinner but laid right back down afterwards.
Truth be told, I am still rather nervous about her.
I'll keep you updated.

My beautiful 4 year old granddaughter shat herself (in her perfect little disney princess underwear) 4 times yesterday and once today.

Would you believe me if I told you that it has been a really shitty week????

I don't even know how to say thanks for reading but,
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Either/Or

I found this journal prompt.
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When I started to think about the questions I found I couldn't actually answer them. It was too hard for me to choose Either/Or, because on occasion, or depending on the mood I'm in, I like both of the answers.

Tea or Coffee?   Two cups of Coffee in the morning with 1 sugar and a large splash of cream, and then two more cups in the afternoon for a pick me up....
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
OR a Starbuck's Cinnamon Dolce Latte..mmmmmmm.... rarely.

I drink hot Tea only when I am sick or under the weather.
I'm trying to give up drinking so much coffee, so for the last week I've been drinking hot green tea with lemon. It's also supposed to help with a body's metabolism...haha...we'll see about that.
Iced Tea is one of my favorite drinks too, but it's more of a summer thing for me.

Matte or Glossy?  Pffftttt....who cares. NEXT!

Sweet or Salty?  Salty all the way. While I might eat cake (and more than one piece) on the rare occasion of a birthday, I much prefer my salty snacks such as homemade popcorn, peanuts, cashews, chips, cheese and crackers....yum!

TV or Radio?  I watch very little TV. Mostly reruns of Andy Griffith or episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond. I watch the morning news for the weather only. If I watch it any longer than that my day is ruined. Call me an ostrich if you want to but I must preserve my own sanity. The daily news hurts me.
The radio in the car is usually on for the grandkids. They like the popular tunes and sing along. It's adorable. I listen to music on my IPOD on my Iphone. The radio is only on in my house when I'm doing a lot of cooking in the kitchen. The Christen radio station KLOVE in case you were wondering.

Morning or Evening? Again this is both. In my younger years I never thought I would ever be a morning person. But I am. Or rather I have grown in to one. I like getting up and anticipating the day. I look forward to my morning devotionals and my prayer time along with my coffee (or for now, tea). I love watching the sunrise through the trees. I like listening to and watching the world outside my window as it is waking up. In the Springtime listening to morning birdsong is one of my favorite things.
But evening?? Ahhhh. The end of the day is lovely too. Sunset has to be my very favorite thing. I love watching the twilight colors, especially as they change with the seasons. Sometimes in Winter it is pink or lavender or gray or midnight blue. In Summer I've seen plum and orange and pink and peach all run together at the end of the day too. It stuns me how one can see colors like these and not think God put them there for our pleasure. I like the shutting down of the days activities, the anticipation of a good dinner and relaxing and then heading off to bed for a good nights sleep. I think I could go to bed at 6:00 every night and be perfectly happy doing it. I sound old. When did I get old?

Pencil or Pen? Pen. Black medium point pens. I hate the way pencils sound on paper. The scritching sound gives me the chills.

Introvert or Extrovert?   I.N.T.R.O.V.E.R.T.

Mountain or Beach?  I like the idea of the mountains...Pine trees, snow capped peaks, cool shade and solitude, lush forests, deer and other wild life, living in a secluded cabin, maybe a lake nearby. Sandy soil and the smell of the earth.
But no. The beach it is for me. The smell of the salt air, the sound of the ocean as it whispers Yahweh to me, the feel of the waves pulling against my ankles, and lapping against the shore, the white hot sand that gets stuck to everything, condos on the beach, fresh seafood just down the street, flip flops, the sound of seagulls, motorboats and fishing, watching dolphins, hunting for seashells, I could go on and on. This is heaven on earth to me.

Spontaneous or Structured? Structured works better for me mostly because I like to be prepared for the day. I don't like surprises or major upsets to my day. But there is something to be said for being spontaneous, right? A last minute invitation to lunch or to the movies can be a wonderful thing.
Or if (when is more likely) the weatherman is wrong and the day turns out better than expected and we can squeeze in a quick bike ride with the grandkids or an impromptu trip to our local beach/water park is something I don't mind.

Neat or Messy?  Mostly neat. Or picked up at least. Is my kitchen floor clean and shiny right this minute?? No. But it wouldn't prevent me from opening the door if a friend dropped by. My sinks are always clean and shiny. And my bed is always made. I do at least one load of laundry every day too. So I guess that qualifies as neat.

Town or Country? Well...I live in a town and we have a lot of open country in this town. So I have to wonder does the author of this prompt mean The Big City or The Boondocks? We live an hour away from Chicago. Yes! That Chicago. And I am deathly afraid of going into that city. So many shootings and robberies and gangs. (Yes, I do occasionally see and hear the news)  I know there are nice places in the city and a lot of people live there but it is not for me. So am I a country person then? I'm not so sure of that either. I like knowing that a grocery store or my doctor or my kids and grandkids are less than 5 minutes away. I like the convenience of living in a small town where there are city snowplows, fast food restaurants, and department stores, and getting to our local hospitals is only a twenty minute drive. Good Lord! I sound really old now. Restaurants and Dr.'s and hospitals close by?? What am I, 80??

Eat in or Take-out?  When I've got the time I love to cook. I like our old tried and true favorites but I also like finding a new recipe and shopping for all of the ingredients and trying something new.  Friday night is usually our date night so we do Take-Out. Sometimes we go out to our favorite Rib joint but mostly by Friday night him and I are just done. Wiped out. It's been a long week and we just want to veg out on the couch. We usually order Thai food or Chinese. He's not a fan of Pizza which would be my own personal choice every Friday night. We haven't always been able to order out. In our past we lived paycheck to paycheck, what with 3 kids and house and car payments. Eating out or Take-Out used to be a treat, something we only did for special occasions.
Now it's kind of nice knowing that I don't have to cook every Friday night.


Well, that's it for this prompt.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly