THE GIVING HEART

When chronic pain and/or illness slam into our lives, we change. Just as surely as George Bailey hit that tree in the film IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Bam! We usually lay there for a while, metaphorically bleeding and trying to understand what has happened to us. Each of respond differently, yet the same. We are a in a state of shock.

We become many things, assume different personalities and lose many parts of our life along the way. I wouldn’t be at all surprised on my worse, pain-filled days to see parts of me lying out behind me, like brown needles falling from a drying Christmas tree.  Whether we intend to or not, we also begin to shed.

We have to choose activities to eliminate because we cannot do all we previously were capable of doing. We shed friends and family members who simply make life too painful for us due to their callous, uncaring attitudes. If we don’t shed them, they become heavy, burdensome branches of our lives which weigh us down causing doubts, disruption and sorrow. Of course, everyone changes or grows over the course of their lives. It is exaggerated for those of us who have a sudden onset of change or are totally unsuspecting when it strikes.  Like small children enjoying a meal, our plate is taken and we holler, “Wait! I wasn’t finished with that.”

What we each forget as we traverse this bumpy path called life is that we are on our way to dying. I apologize if you find that depressing but I do not. I find it a gentle reminder like an alarm on a watch that is set to remind us of a meeting. “Buzz, buzz,” life is calling and telling you and I to make the most of today. Just as surely as a Christmas tree chopped down on a farm or in the forest wild is cut from its roots and source of life. When as newborn infants, our umbilical cord is severed; we are separated from our physical life source. We are essentially on our own and helpless and need to cry for help, food and warmth.

Would we have it any other way? It is the way of life and few mothers reject the idea of staying pregnant any longer than they must. This reminds me of when my husband was in nursing school. As you can imagine, for a big hulking man like him, obstetrics was not his most comfortable part of training. One night he had a young woman in labor who was loudly proclaiming to everyone, “No, I don’t want to do this. I’ve changed my mind.”

My husband, RN in-training said, “Sorry Darlin’ but it’s too late. The train has already left the station.” (I’ve no doubt in today’s world he would have been written up for sexual harassment, but let’s face it. The young about-to-be mother’s thoughts were on other things.)

Just as surely as we, those cut Christmas trees now have to find a new base to stand on or in; a newborn faces a similar situation. As human beings with a longer life-span than a cut Douglas fir or Blue spruce, we can go in many directions. We can be ornamental like those lovely green trees but have very little choice as to the direction we are going. Of course, we each try to take our vitamins, eat correctly, get an education and make a thousand decisions called for in life. We can tell ourselves we’re in charge but soon realize so much of what happens to us is fate or chance. Some of us believe it to be a combination of God’s long term planning and our opportunity. As far as long term planning, if I had known before birth that my family had such lousy genes would I have chosen those Falkner/Faulkners? Probably, if I knew then what I know now, I would still know and love my dear parents and lead the life I led as a child and young woman. Like that famous train in the OB department, heading down the track toward us, faulty DNA can be relentless and unforgiving. DNA is the train that has already left the station. God never put his massive arm around my shoulder and asked, “Okay my child, these are the choices of families you have before you. These are the good points and these are the bad.” Nope. Never happened, at least not that I can remember.

My dear Dad and everyone in his linage, which included four daughters, were each struck with some form of rheumatoid disease. Some of our children and grandchildren develop problems as they grow, as well. As far as the combination I mentioned, the second is opportunity and that is a tree with many tops. It is all about choices. Some of us choose to put ourselves in precarious situations, perform stupid acts of recklessness and thus, our lives are changed. We choose habits which we know are detrimental to us yet we keep doing them. Life is a series of imperfect branches on the trees, in our roads of life and in our very private minds and thoughts. The tricky part of being a tree is to stay balanced, not fall down, mentally or physically and to smell good. Okay, so I threw that part in; ‘tis the season.

One of those choices we face every day which I believe is of primary importance is how we envision our lives. “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” It’s so easy to lose our way and not see things as they truly are. A writer I have held near to my heart over the years is Glenn Clark. He writes of mysticism from the Christian perspective. He calls this confusion of vision the “blur.” He compares them to binoculars or opera glasses which can be “off” by the simplest turn of the screw or knob. In other words, illness and troubles can cause us to become unfocused. How do we stay balanced as humans? Let’s talk.

Once again, allow me to quote from Glenn Clark. “Do you want a balanced world? Then get a balanced personality. And how do you get anything? You get only by giving. As you give you shall receive. What are you? Are you a giving person? If you are then the world will be giving to you. Are you a getting person? If you are, the world will be getting all it can away from you.”

Mr. Clark continues, “Do you give powerfully? Then Power will come to you. Do you give lovingly? Then Love will come to you. Do you give beautifully? Then Beauty will come to you. Do you give abundantly? Then Abundance will come to you. What shall you give? The most beautiful, most powerful, most wonderful of all gifts is yourself, your faith, your trust, your love.”

There is a lovely Christmas story told by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. It is about a young woman who worked for him in his home. Her name was Ursula, a young teenager from Switzerland who came to this country to work and to learn English. She acted as a babysitter, secretary and helped in their home in New York in any way she could. When Christmas Eve rolled around, she observed all the gifts the family was receiving and wondered what she could give in return or what she could give that would not appear small and cheap in comparison to the Peales and all they had. She decided on a gift and took the small amount of money she had into a large New York department store and found a small item and purchased it and had it wrapped. Then she asked the doorman at the department store where she could find the poor people. He didn’t quite understand her yet tried to help her. Then she approached a policeman and asked him the same question.

He told her of many of the boroughs that were inhabited by the poor but cautioned her about going into them, alone and with the sun setting. Finally she approached a Salvation Army bell ringer. She felt more at ease with him because they had the Salvation Army in Switzerland. She asked, “Can you help me? I am looking for a baby. I have here a little present for the poorest baby I can find.” Then she held up her tiny, colorfully wrapped package.

The kindly bell ringer stopped ringing his bell and looked at her and asked, “What kind of present?”

She replied, “A little dress for a small, poor baby. Do you know of one?”

The Salvation Army man said, “Oh yes, I know of more than one I am afraid.” He then told her he knew of several such babies in his own neighborhood and would be off shift in a short while. He took her to an old rundown apartment building and pointed up at the windows and told her of one small, poor newborn babe and its family.

He then said, “Shall we go up?”

Ursula then shook her head and said, “They would try to thank me.” She pressed the package into his hands. “Please take it up for me. Say it is from someone who…has everything.”

She then asked the taxi driver to drive her through the dark streets back to the Peale’s home. Having observed all this young woman had done, the cab driver wouldn’t let her pay him and simply wished her a Merry Christmas. At Christmas breakfast the next morning, she began in her hesitant English to explain to the family why she did not have a gift for any of them. She told them her story of the previous day and all she had been through. She shared with them about the department store, the door man, the folks on the street and the policeman she had asked. She told them of the kindly Salvation Army man, the kindly taxi driver and lastly about the gift for the tiny baby. Ursula said, “So you see, I try to do a kindness in your name. And this is my Christmas present to you…”

Apparently there was not a dry eye at the breakfast table afterward. That story stayed with Dr. Peale for many years as I’m certain it would any of us. Ursula was a young woman who understood the secret of giving.

Pain causes us to have many needs. We become entrapped in the “need” business and forget the giving end of life. We become the succubus in the room and expect giving to be in one direction…always toward us. We are overlooking a huge source of strength, joy and freedom. We are losing our place in the line of life and fail to contribute. The writer Henry James said, “Three things in life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.”

Apparently, the human heart beats 100,000 times each day. The kind heart, the giving heart that understands the secret of giving is making the highest use of those beats; don’t you agree. I suppose a heartbeat is a heartbeat but I believe the beat from the giving heart is the only one that both gives and receives a gift.

The Giving Heart

 

108 thoughts on “THE GIVING HEART

  1. Sue
    What a lot of food for thought ,how true .and what a great story of Ursula.how blessed the family were to have her In their midst
    Just gonna go back and read again ,thanks sue

    • Chris, hope you find some relief with your gut from our last comments on the last blog. We have to remember what helps and what does not. So much of what we are dealing with is just too important, right? I know we all tire of this burden we carry but in order to make the most of our lives with all of this massive complexity..it’s a great deal of work. Believe me..I know. Do take care of yourself.
      Indeed, I intended for this to have depths of things for everyone to find for themselves. The whole world looks better when we can find some peace in our rather troubled minds and that’s so difficult when we always feel lousy. Love you, Sue

  2. Oh Sue this is so lovely and as usual perfect timing for me and where I am physically and emotionally. I relied a great deal on prayer to stay centered and know that I didn’t need to deal with everything but that things would happen as they should (long story with abbreviated version on FB). Everything is as good as it can be with normal reactions to the weather (wind chill/feel like temps below zero F ). It’s been snowing daily and I’ve been very happy to not drive the bobsled run to work this year. I get blue over the holidays but try to talk myself back up. I’ve felt blessed by being with your blog since near the beginning and believe you, Lynlee and others saved my life by helping me get the right care when I was first ill. That is a gift beyond gold.

    • Laura, Maybe no bobsledding is a good thing. I told my grands the other day I would go sledding with them(knowing I was perfectly safe because Jim had my car for the 4 wheel drive.) They both laughed themselves silly I believe a few things were said about Nana and the ER. I must agree with you and many of our friends on here that each winter becomes more difficult. Sometimes I think we need to say thanks for having done something that we now have lost…at least we did it and had that experience. Memories become more important to me than I ever realized they would.
      You have always been an important part of this group and it’s been wonderful to see you overcome so much as you have just been through another crisis with your meds getting approved. I know. I read FB. Whoosh, one more giant slain. We had to get Medicare part D this year even though Jim still works and that was quite an experience as we or make that me, had to look into 30 policies. Healthcare is definitely the elephant in the room these days. Well, as long as the big guy doesn’t sit on any of us…much too painful.
      You know me dear lady, I’ve always stressed the inner life…makes it so much easier to ignore our painful bodies. I think many people get the blues this time of year and we seem to have so much to be concerned about in the world and country right now. I find myself far more emotional this year about everything.
      Thanks for your kind words and ever present self. Love, Sue

  3. What an emotional blog. Beautifully said, brought me to tears. I am sure it took a lot out of you as well to write it. Sometimes I write things from the heart, I will be crying as I write. When you really mean it, from the heart, it is so much more dear. As one of the most giving people I know, God is blessing you so much. It may not seem so to people when they see how you suffer, but oh the peace we have inside from a clean and caring heart. One that is full of His love and compassion. Taking care of others, that giving heart, it is what it is all about in this world. For our reward is not here. Christmas IS that giving heart. Don’t you think ??
    Love you much
    Tonie

    • Tonie, your emotional reaction touches me my friend. You know me well enough to know how spiritual I feel about this blog. So many good things, blessings and gifts have come to me through it.
      Yes, I do believe Christmas represents to the world the greatest gift of all.
      I have to agree with you about the painful joints, hands, feet,etc. I have been more painfully responding to the cold so much this year. Cold just doesn’t see a big enough name. I’ll bet you are extremely tired after having such a full day. It sounds like you were also busy all day, as usually usual for you. I know you’re facing a lot of work to get those packages ready for the grands. I must close as my eyes are crossing as they close. Later, Sue

    • Janet, thanks…hope you’re able to get out and that would indicate some of that dreadful ice has melted. Hope you’re finding some holiday festivities, old movies, friends to enjoy this season. Fondly, Sue

    • Lyn dear, the lark in our midst. Hope you’re enjoying that new haircut and all of your singing engagements. I didn’t comment on that James Joyce evening you had and it sounded so wonderful. What an unusual and Irish experience for everyone. That’s such a fascinating country so seeped in tradition. Be good to yourself with all of these commentments dear lady. Fondly, Sue

  4. Sue, that truly was beautiful, and as Chris said, so much food for thought, especially during the Christmas season … the season of giving! Thank you Sue for giving to each of us through this blog the whole year through.

    • Brenda, it is my pleasure and often keeps me going just chatting with all of you, whether here or on FB. You personally are an inspiration to all of us of what the human body can experience and endure. I love the way you triumph and don’t just get by. You have an uphill climb every day and we do know and appreciate that about you..
      I’m certain you are deeply into Christmas for all of those gorgeous small Canadian grands of yours and pray for you to have the strength to enjoy the season. Much love, Sue

  5. Hey all:
    LONG day. Had to be at work early this am, and didn’t get off til 5. Which put me home way after dark 🙂 My hands are very painful tonight, I feel your pain Sue. I made 4 hats today while I was sitting with Ms Alice, so I am sure that has somewhat to do with it. 🙂 Need to rest up tonight and get busy baking tomorrow, wrapping pressies and get all ready to mail out on Monday. Problem is I keep finding recipes I want to make ! I broiled me a big ole chicken boobie for supper with lemon pepper and had it with some sugar snap peas (only way I will eat them) so good and yummee. I am fat and sassy now, and trying to get my feet warm ! 19′ right now, but warm and cozy in here, just have cold feet ! I will have to snug them up under Brutus !
    Love to all. Stay warm and sleep tight !
    Tonie

    • Tonie, Your dinner sounds hearty. I love chicken cooked in any way but Jim is strictly a fried chicken guy. Normally, I love snap peas and like them raw or cooked or mixed with other chinese vegies but the last ones I bought were so stringy. First time I had had that happen. Love them raw with a dash of sauce. Apparently when they say ready to eat they don’t always mean it. Oh great now I’m getting hungry for Chinese food. Already have some ribs in the oven for tonight. I’m cooking. It seems I hardly ever do lately. Poor Jim. My appetite has changed so much and the good thing about it is I am staying thin,.
      Not nearly as cold here today. Yesterday I came home from the store and had to crawl under the electric blanket to feel my toes and fingers. Felt like bit of them would break off if I wasn’t careful. That darn damp cold here in the NW can be a killer with the wind off the river thrown or blown in. Take care..you sound very busy. Love, Sue

      • Sue: I got some things done today, finish up tomorrow. I LOVE the raw snap peas,eat em like candy, and I get the Green Giant frozen steamers, they are really good and super easy. And thanks, now I want Chinese food. 🙂 My brother brought me some ribs and I really don’t like them. I am gonna give em to Carol. Just had a cup of soup and half a sandwich tonight. Tired and achy. We worked on the fellowship hall tonight for a couple of hours. So rest and rest tonight. Watching the last episode of “The Fugitive” remember that old tv show ?? I never saw the ending to it. So now, what 30 years later I get to see what happened 🙂 ! Take care
        Love.
        Tonie

  6. Sue~~
    ‘Pain upon Pain” seems to be a fitting way to describe living with Chronic Pain. I don’t know why the Mornings are so hard, or why the Nights seem to be so long, its just the way it is and I do NOT like it! Tonight as I called a dear friend, her husband answered~I knew from the sound of his voice~~Pain had walked through the door, a Change in the Weather was the culprit, and he spoke volumes by telling me “We can get through this–you hang in there and I wil do the same!” A way of trying to help each other-because we both know there is no magic cure to soothe our aching bodies.

    You spoke clearly about the process we are going through–and yes, the thought of Dying day by day does cause me to “Squirm” in my chair–guess you could say its a bit like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind~~~”I’ll think about that tomorrow!” I work hard to find Joy in each day, as a harsh reality hits and Pain flattens me– I rush to find comfort in a warm blanket, soft pillow to rest my aching legs on, sipping a cup of Hot Tea–watching the minutes tick by.

    I reflect back on all the “Fun” things that have slipped away from me because of Pain–and my heart aches. How I miss having the Freedom to do things on the “spur of the moment” and being humbled to the core as my husband must give me his arm to help me rise from a chair. I have lost count of the number of times I have wished for “Just one Do-Over Day” thinking I could simply erase climbing up a Tree, and Falling HARD to the ground–my life being changed forever.

    So–what to do? I pray for help from Above, and dig deep inside for my resolve to never Quit.

    Bless you Sue for being so honest, and allowing so many who read your words to share their own journey.

    martha

    • Martha, indeed it is a journey. We each traverse our own road using our own maps. There are many tributaries for each of us to follow. We may be on a journey but that just makes us travelers, not victims. There is a certain power when we stop wishing for what is lost and just look forward. It’s gone. There’s relief in those words as it opens the way to move forward. Fondly, Sue

      • Oh Martha I understand you completely but reading what Sue wrote makes so much sense. We are all a a journey so we are travelers, not victims. I have to learn to become a traveler, cause lately I haven’t been doing a great job of that. I’m still working on wishing for what is lost and just look forward. That my dear, I find very hard especially at this time of the year. Well actually to be honest all year. Something always pulls at my heart strings wishing things were different but alas they aren’t. So it’s time for me to put on my big girl pants and get with it. I do thank God everyday for small things that bring me joy and when I do that, for a little while I feel so much better. Hope your journey as a traveler is a fun loving one. To take care Martha. Prayers and angels are being sent your way.
        Suzanne XXX

  7. HEY SUE……THAT WAS SO LOVELY, I ESPECIALLY LIKED THE PICTURE OF THE HEART…..REMINDED ME OF PART OF A SONG……ONLY A HEARTBEAT AWAY, AND THAT IS WHAT WE ALL ARE ISN’T IT? TIME IS NOT REALLY A BARRIER, WHEN WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME WAVELENGTH………….THANK YOU SO MUCH, LOVE AND HUGS, ……JENNIE XX

    • Jennie, Yes, Natalie struck again choosing the picture. It is touching and so beautiful. The heart is such a fascinating organ as we have over the centuries observed with poetry, song and stories. In reality most of these feelings and actions are produced by the brain but it seems to be a less appealing organ. I think think the heart represent a more mystical view of life; who needs reasoning and logic when our “hearts” are wounded or aching? Love, Sue

  8. Sue, this is so beautiful. The story of Ursula made me cry. I have read of lot of Dr. Peal’s writings, but I don’t recall reading that story. And it doesn’t seem to be one easily forgotten. When I get blue, thinking about what I’ve lost, I will often think about patients I had in the ER.
    It would break your heart, the old folks who would come in via rescue squad (they all know the magic words to say–chest pain). When we would start to triage them, they would say “I feel better now, do you think you could get me a lunch tray?” Of course, after the magic words are spoken, there is a whole protocol that needs to be followed. But, I would order a tray, and if at all possible, I would stay in the room with them while they ate. They only wanted a Christmas dinner and someone to share the day with. I look at this and realize how blessed I am. I have food, and I have someone to share the day with. If any of these folks who were “frequent fliers on the holidays were in near a holiday, I’d try to get the name of their church, or a friend or relative, and I would call, just trying to get someone to go visit. We are social creatures, and we need the company of others. Any little kindness we can do, or any little bit of ourselves we can share is so important, both to others and ourselves.
    Martha, I think a lot of us old nurses have a different view of dying. I just don’t feel like it’s the worst thing that happens to folks. I’ve seen lots of people who, were I in their shape, I would prefer to die. My youngest sister died 2 years ago this month. I had prayed and bargained with God, offered myself in her place. I got to her home just seconds after she had died. When I looked at my beautiful sister, I asked God to forgive me. For, if He would have offered to bring her back right that minute, I would have said “no, thank you, please let her rest in peace.” Just to look at her was to know the suffering she had been through. I couldn’t, with a clear conscious, wish that back on her. For those of us who believe in God and heaven, we know there is a better place waiting, where there will be no more sadness, no sorrow, only peace and joy. I find this a great comfort. My biggest problem with dying is my nosiness, I hate to leave and not know what’s going to happen next. The world has changed so much just in my lifetime, and I want to see the changes the future will bring. Guess I can always take a minute and look down and see. While I don’t care to die just yet, the thought of it doesn’t make me squeamish. As my sister used to say “it’s the only way off this planet”.
    Everybody stay warm and safe..BSL, I’m glad you’re not bobsledding this year, too!
    Love, hugs, and prayers,, Linda
    ps. Lynn, I absolutely love your hair cut. The style is perfect for you.

    • Linda:
      Thank you for the remarks above. So wonderful ain’t it that we have the hope of our lives AFTER we die ! The peace in knowing if I die I will be going to a place with no pain ! Only joy and love. I too have lost loved ones that I knew were so much better off where they were going, and I wouldn’t wish them back for no man’s money. GOd bless you and I am so happy that your dh has shown some interest ! (great book by the way !) Who knows……
      Have a very Merry Christmas my friend, and like you I believe the weather when I see it !
      Love
      TOnie

      • TONIE…..I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH ALL YOU HAVE WRITTEN, THERE IS A BETTER PLACE WAITING, AND HEY GUESS WHAT, WE WILL ALL FINALLY GET TO MEET EACH OTHER….WHOOP WHOOP!!!!! JEN X

      • Oh Linda, Tonie, Jennie and Sue, I totally agree with all of you too. Thank God we believe in God and know we will be going to a better place with no pain or suffering. And right on Jennie poo, we will all finally get to meet each other WHOOP, WHOOP XXX
        LOVE TO ALL ON THIS BLOG. SUZANNE.

  9. Sue, you know me, I have this need to solve the world’s problems! I was thinking, couldn’t you make pesto with garlic powder rather than garlic? Subbing the pine nuts was harder, but wouldn’t ground flax seed work for that? I know it would alter the taste a bit, but I don’t think the taste would be bad at all. I buy it ground, I think in the flour and corn meal section at Wal-Mart.
    Tonie, I’m having Brunswick stew for dinner! That was one food I missed in Calif, you say Brunswick out there, and they send you to a bowling alley! Love it when fall hits and everybody does a fund raiser with this stew. It’s not like it used to be; nobody puts all the wild game in it now, but they do still cook it all day over an open fire, stirring with boat oars. Rosa and I used to take our allowance, walk over to the store and buy a bowl (back then it was about a nickle a bowl). We’d rather have that than candy!

    • Love Brunswick stew, Linda. I haven’t had it in years. I love it with the wild game in it. I came home a while ago and there were about 4 or 5 rabbits at the gate, boy the would make a good stew huh ??

      • Wow Tonie, I see rabbits almost everyday on my walks with Molly. Here we call them hares cause they are wild. That is one of the joys in my life, seeing those hares makes me feel like I’m going to have a good day. silly huh??? I’ve never had Brunswick stew in my life, but it certainly sounds interesting.
        love ya big! XXX

    • Linda, sweet of you to think of me with the pesto alternatives. I have made it with all sorts of nuts but garlic, as much as I love it is not for me anymore. Now you see you southern girls, I always thought Brunswick stew was made with chicken, okra, lima beans, potatoes and chicken stock. I’ve made it that way for years sometimes throwing in some black-eyed peas. Now that I know differently, probably won’t change because we city girls have not developed a taste for wild game..think you have to start early in life. Take care and I pray your throat pain and hoarseness is improving..let me know, okay? Love, Sue

  10. Hi all
    Well had scan done
    They found thickening in the uterus again ,so have to go to gynae again.all this happened same time as last year .
    Feel tired maybe the antibiotics doing it ,cold as well
    Hope all have a good w.nd
    Chris

    • Chris:
      So sorry ! Will be praying for you. Rest up , be good to you. Take care, and keep us in the loop. How is DD and GS ?? Dad and hubby ?? Hope all else is well.
      Love
      Tonie

    • Chris dear, sorry to hear this. Have a feeling it’s more related to hormones, that thickening. Good to get a gyne opinion. Hope your diverticulitis is clearing up and you’re able to eat…something. Probably nothing exciting. Keep us informed, okay dear lady? Sue

    • Oh Chris, sorry to hear that. Yes you are probably right about the antibiotics and the cold as well. When will you be seeing the gynae?
      Hope all is going well with your dad, cause he seems to be quite a handful or at least a whole lot of character. You take good care of yourself sweetpea.
      Suzanne XXX God bless you Chris.

  11. Oh Sue that was really so beautiful. I’ve been crying since I started reading and haven’t stopped yet. Even reading the comments made me cry. I guess I’m being very emotional at this time of the year. Finding it hard not being able to do what I use to be able to in a flash. With everyone coming here for Christmas I’m trying to get things done and decorated for the grandchildren. It has become very difficult I’m realizing with each passing day. My aunt who is 89 is coming to spend a few days with us also so have prepare her room. So much to do and so much pain due to the – 28 outside and also snow keeps coming about every two days. Your blog really touched me. Thank you. My family just doesn’t seem to get it and I just don’t know what to do anymore to explain the pain. I’m exhausted trying to make them understand. BUT ALSO JUST EXHAUSTED PERIOD. Even my husband who right now has a cold is like a child, and wants me to cook all his meals and everything else while he rests in the parlour in his lazy-boy. I don’t know how to deal with all this. I’m still waiting on the Rheumy to call me but nothing yet. I’m getting very discouraged here. Now that the Christmas season is upon us I’m thinking it won’t happen until the new year. SUCH A LONG WAIT. I don’t know how you do it Sue but you are a miracle worker. I believe you are having Christmas at your house also?
    Well God Bless you my sweet Sue. That blog was very touching. XXX

    • Suzanne:
      It is so hard when the people you love and care about cannot understand what you are going thru. If you had some unsightly growth or looked like you were sick it would be different. I do and also many others who read and speak here, do as well. Sometimes, they eventually “get it”. Education is one of the best ways to teach them. If you can print out some reading about Ra and OA and FMS. WebMD is a good place to start. However, unfortunately, knowing doesn’t always do it. Your kids and husband have always known you as the provider, and they don’t want you to not be there as you always have been. Sometimes you just really have to take the control and do what is best for you. God bless you, prayers for you as well. Maybe the aunt being there will help. Your grands will certainly take your mind off things for a while. Rest and do take care of you.
      Hugs
      Tonie

    • Suzanne, I am pleased you found a blessing in the blog. As far as waiting for news from the rheumy…call them. If you don’t get any answers my dear, go to another one.
      Each of us know how difficult it is being so different from what we used to be. I think our families and friends are busy living their own lives and since they don’t feel what we feel, they just stay in their own groove. Sometimes a picture is worth many words. Toss some of that sense of duty aside and the next time you feel like crap, put on your nightie and robe and go to bed, to sleep, with a good book or the TV. It might help them get the picture. So many of us, mothers especially, care too much about duty and have to learn to love ourselves more.
      I’m pleased you identified with many of my remarks and hope they were a blessing for you. Action on your part will help rid you of the depression because you’re doing something…Fondly, Sue

      • Thank You Sue and Tonie for the uplifting comments. I’m giving you both a gentle hug right now, can you feel it.
        Yes I know that a big part of the problem is ME. I want but can’t do what I use to do. My family, I realize want me to be the same mom as I use to be. I do have to take charge of myself and do what’s best for me. I think they don’t see me enough to know exactly how I feel, like when I get up in the morning and have to hold on to furniture to get to the kitchen and then my hands don’t work for a while….. I need to be more mindful of myself. You are both so right.
        God bless you all for helping me get through this rough time right now. Love you big!
        Suzanne XXX

  12. Hello, all! Once again I’ve enjoyed catching up. Please know all are in my thoughts and prayers. Like all of you, I’ve been and continue to be busier than a one-armed paper hanger. And, of course, we are in the height of the concert season again. Trying to stay healthy and avoid the fatigue. Yeah, I know. Good luck. The new med has caused some unpleasant side effects, but they seem to be slowly subsiding, so I will continue to take it and see what happens for now. We are expecting a day of snow today, forecasted 4 – 6″ of the white stuff by day’s end. Afternoon and evening snow heavy and hazardous. My plan? Stay in bake, do some laundry, wrap some presents, and watch the beautiful snowfall. Unfortunately, my DH and DD need to be out and about in the white stuff in the height of it. If you are so inclined, please say a prayer for their safety. I’m hoping my son will not be asked to work and I can get him to stay in the house rather than go out and about. Snow before last he and a friend went out hiking in the snow. I know, hiking in snow is fun, but they have to drive to the location. He saw a salt truck go sideways on that trip. Maybe I can coerce him with the allure of fresh baked, warm cookies. 🙂 Both DH and I have annoying patches of dry skin on our faces, I more than he. I’m trying desperately to get mine under control. Most of mine it around my mouth and thus rather bothersome. Am exfoliating and moisturizing, and moisturizing, and moisturizing. Sure does sting when products are applied, though. Wish I knew what caused it. I’m a bit self-conscious about the flaking and rosiness. Hopefully will have it under control soon. What a pain. But enough of my complaining. I will take all my aches, pains, stiffness, and annoyances any day of what some others face. I can’t help but think of my next door neighbor who may well and very likely is facing his last Christmas. He found out this fall he has stage 4 Lou Gehrig’s disease. It has been sad and painful watching him decline and knowing what he has ahead of him to endure. What an awful disease! And so frustrating. Especially for one as active as he always has been. Time to close for now. Blessings to one and all!

    • Lyn:
      Snow . So far none of any consequence here. Prayers of safety for your family and all others out in that. I bet Sb will be glad to stay in with those goodies 🙂 Of course you may have a friend or two if they hear of it. Have you talked ot the Dr about the dry skin ? Could be some sort of excema , You might try something I use on my skin, Just sugar and olive oil. It exfoliates and also deep moisturizes too. I have baking to do today also. Have a great day and enjoy your snowfall. We are getting rain !
      Hugs
      Tonie

      • Hi Lyn, I put coconut oil on my skin to help with the extreme dryness. I buy a big jar at Costco, one of those huge store that sells in big amounts. I have a jar in the kitchen to cook with but also one upstairs for my body. It also keeps your hair nice and soft. Not sure if you have ever tried it but maybe that would help. I usually put some in my hair then put on a shower cap and keep it on for a few hours then wash out. SWEET. BUT every morning I rub some all over my body cause I’m dry and itchy, and it really helps my bod.
        Might be worth a try.
        XXX Suzanne

    • Lyn, those skin problems can be so annoying. If I can pop in with an opinion, I think you should consider the possibility of herpes simplex( you know, fever blisters or other names.): since you both have it, yours is around your mouth and severe weather can bring it on. I can get it from the sun or from extreme cold. I treat it right away with a L-lysine lip cream, much more affordable than that tiny tube they charge $18 for and I take large doses of the enzyme L=lysine. You can take a couple of thousand every four hours and clear it all up in a couple of days. I’ve used this method for years since got the idea from Dr. Andrew Weil’s writing many years ago. Those blisters can be in the mouth, nose and on the skin. It’s moderately contagious as well. You can’t overdo it on the lysine.
      I will pray for safety for your family, of course. I understand that worry. Hope you have that lovely day with baking, resting, etc.
      You’re so right. Lou Gehrig’s disease is tragic. I lost a very dear friend to it a few years ago and have had many patients with it. We even had a lovely gent who had it and passed, then the next year or so his wife came down with it. Must get on with it here. Up early with gut trouble and of course, George woke up and was so full of energy. Old man Jake has gone back to sleep. We have the kids recital to attend today. Looking forward to it…I think. Hope the gut settles down by then. Later, love you, Sue

      • Sue, Tonie, the dry flaky skin doesn’t look like either of those. Probably just some form of dermatitis or other. So far the snow is not amounting to much, which suits us just fine. DH and DD should get safely to their destination. They just need to get home safely as well. I have sugar cookie dough chilling and already made Hershey Kiss Peanut Blossoms. Guess I should throw some laundry in and get to baking those sugar cookies. Happy baking, Tonie. Sue, enjoy the recital!

    • Well the term my brain couldn’t rember was angular cheilitis and can be caused by vitamin b deficiencies and opportunistic infections after cold sores and thrush. I love google lol. Used to get them a lot and hated it. It seemed like no matter what I did it got worse. Never had it before I had Mononucleosis and got thrush but haven’t had it in years either (now watch me get it).

      • Laura, I agree that many skin conditions can occur from vitamin B deficiencies but I would be so surprised if Lyn had a problem because she eats so well with her well-balanced dinners..right Lyn? It’s really difficult to figure out some of these things on line isn’t it? Some of us with gut problems…that I could believe. I know many of us as we age should bathe less often or just use water, not soap. On that subject of skin, I often get a histamine response after I use my hands such as picking up items for a grocery cart and biy the time I get out to the car they’re itching something fierce. I’m having that problem today just from being out in the elements to go to the recital.I always carry the 1% cortisone cream in my purse..otherwise it’s Benadryl and one of those puts me to sleep, the 25mg or the 50.
        I agree Google or WEBMD are both great.Goofy isn’t it how our skin displays so much. Many lay people don’t know it’s actually an organ.It’s given me as much trouble as any of the other ones and still does. Glad your storm is moving away. Get all the meds straightened out now? Love, Sue

      • Oh goodness Sue, I forgot about the hand thing you have. As if pain wasn’t enough and your sun reactions. I know Lynlee eats far more nutritiously than I do but sometimes our “uniqueness” changes how we absorb or utilize what goes in. I just was kind of amazed i even remembered about the b vitamin thing haha. Every thing that goes in me turns immediately to fat lol. Even sniffing or looking at something lovely makes my stomach get bigger I swear. Since I’ve been watching my food I’ve lost 20-25 lbs. I didn’t see it until I was at a dog training place with a huge mirror and saw myself. My favorite top looked more like a kid playing dress up in grown up clothes. The thing was nearly to my knees. Not so much tummy to fill the thing out.

        To everyone I’ve not met hi there, I live in west Michigan and got my name by driving a very hilly road to get to work before the snowplows started for the day. I have 3 older shelties, a golden retriever that works her butt off keeping me from falling and doing some medical alerting (usually when I need prednisone but I rarely take it). I also have a few birds. I have 4 spinning wheels (a true spinster) and spin wool fiber into yarn, crochet and knit. I sing at masses and funerals and my duet partner has MS.

    • Suzanne, although my great grandmother didn’t “keep house” the last 50 years of her life, she had her hard and fast rules about holidays. We all gathered at my Grandmother’s, the daughter of this great grandmother. After a long hard day, “Mamie Josie” would put on her nightgown and robe, and announce “I love you all, it’s been a wonderful day, but folks with good sense take care of themselves, and I’ve always prided myself on my good sense. Stay as long as you want, eat as much as you want, please don’t leave a mess for others to clean up (remember, those living here are the elders of the family), and God willing, we’ll all be together again next Christmas”. And with that, she went to bed. No one ever blinked an eye at her pronouncement or her retiring. And, no mess was left. Although, my sisters and I always seemed to be the designated dish washers. My Mom taught us to always clean the kitchen when we ate anywhere. The one uncle had only sons, and, in my family, “boy” meant no housework. My other uncle had daughters, and I wonder if any of them yet know that a kitchen has to be cleaned after meals! But the 4 of us hopped in, laughed, talked, sang, and made a fun time of it. And, we all had a secret…we knew that Grandma had hid all of us a plate of our favorites to take home. She said we were “dumped on” every year and we deserved a treat for it. But, Grandma had a chance to finally sit down and enjoy her company, and soon after, folks would start to trickle out. So, in my book, it’s perfectly okay to take care of yourself, say what you need to say, do what you need to do. If they love you, it’ll be fine, it they don’t, you won’t have to be bothered with them next year, so it’s win-win.
      Sue, at the very least, Brunswick stew has beef and chicken and broth of both. Back when i was a kid, they’d add rabbit, squirrel, deer, and any other available wild meat. No one does that now, just the chicken and beef. That is cooked until the meat is stringy. I love okra in soup but don’t remember ever seeing it in Brunswick Stew. But, it was full of onions, potatoes, carrots, lima beans and corn, and tomatoes, all cooked down to a thick stew. But, cook it how you like it. Rabbit was the only game meat I would ever eat, and haven’t had that in years. My dad was from Texas and the only “game” meat he liked was snake…and believe you me, nobody I knew was going to cook snake, and nobody else was going to eat it! I always thought deer had the wild “gamey” taste and nothing anyone suggested got rid of that taste for me. I did like quail and pheasant, my dad’s cousin used to go hunting for them and then drop all he caught off at my dad’s. My dad was a good cook, and I knew when I opened the front door to the apt building that my cousins had been by and Dad had cooked me “birds”! I always found goose and duck far too greasy.
      Lyn, I too am worried about my neighbor this Christmas. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been over to visit her. Right after my sister died in April,her (my neighbor’s) husband told me that she has brain cancer. I didn’t see her outside the entire summer. He’s a minister, but I find him lacking in basic kindness and caring, so I worry about her. The 15 years I’ve lived here, they’ve had at least 2 pool parties for his congregation every summer. I never saw even one this past summer. nor have I seen a lot of cars over. They didn’t bring out their huge camper for vacation, either, so I can’t help but think Patty is not very well. I need to try to get over to see her. There’s so much sadness, and I try not to keep all my focus on me. Sometimes, when the pain is so bad, it’s hard for me to think of anything else.
      Lyn, my mouth is cracked at both corners. I have no clue why, unless it’s related to my Crohn’s. These autoimmune diseases can do weird things. Although Crohn’s is an intestinal disease, it can affect the entire digestive tract, mouth to anus. It can also affect eyes, skin, arthritis. I have a feeling most of the autoimmune diseases are much the same; get you where you least expect it. It’s rough, for the physicians who specialize in one disease, may know little or nothing about the other places affected. I showed my gastro my hands, he told me to see my orthopod. My orthopod said he thought it was Crohn’s related, to see my gastro. I was lucky enough to find a Crohn’s specialist at Duke who ‘s primary focus was the affect on joints. She decided my hands were osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. When I had the staph infection in my eye, the gastro doctor told me to see my ent, the ent treated me for allergies. Of course, that didn’t do a thing. My ophthalmologist cultured it and found staph.He got it cleared up quickly, but not before I had spent several months seeing other doctors.

      Sue, I haven’t’ coughed up any blood since yesterday, and that was just a few drops. When I talk to my dogs, they still give me this look that says “we only speak English”. But bless them, if I make noises, they go after Ed or Keith. I guess the dogs think one of them must know the language I am speaking! My throat still hurts. Last night, when I did my nasal wash, that hurt, and that has never hurt me, ever. Even the day I had the packing removed from the deviated septum surgery, it felt good to wash all that out. I’m wondering now if the reflux has burned my sinus cavities again. I was blowing blood from my nose last time, but it could be the blood drained down and comes up when I cough. I think it’s about time I quit my guessing game and see the ent.
      It’s rained all day here but not anything else that I know of. The temp has finally got up to 37. Amazing how warm that feels after last weeks arctic blast!
      Everybody stay warm.
      Linda

      • Linda, I’m pleased to hear your throat is better. If you have reflux in the nasal area it would have to hit the throat first on its way up and I fear you have erosion from that. I agree it is time to get help but it isn’t my place to say it…glad you did. Love your family stories. You have such a gift for detail in your memories. Makes them all the richer, I know.
        Now as far as game meat of any kind…I grew up just outside of LA and the only game we ever saw was “road kill.” It’s hard to get the tire marks off to cook it. Later dear..Sue

      • Thanks Linda for the advice. I’ll let you know how I go about it once Christmas is over and how things turned out. I’m starting to think I didn’t do a very good job raising my kids. They all seem spoiled to me right now and by kids I mean 35,33,31. I think it must have something to do with being adopted and when I started my family well I just loved them to death and did everything for them and was very happy and really never thought about it , until 2 years ago on Nov 22 when my life changed in a flash. Now I’m thinking they should kick in automatically to help me out but…..not happening. Well I should not say that, cause my daughter will be making the desserts for Christmas supper and she said she would come up and help me with the cleaning on Dec 21st. It’s just that it takes me forever to do anything so I’m thinking one day to clean up this whole house will not be happening. I really don’t know. Guess I’ll put my faith in God and whatever happens, happens.
        Wow so sorry to hear about your condition. Hope you get it all sorted out and fast. Keep us up-dated.
        Stay warm my friend it is now – 37 here tonight and my water is frozen in the kitchen. Will put the hairdryer to it in the morning. That usually works.
        God bless you for your kindness. It always amazes me how everyone on this blog is just so darn kind. I was blessed the day I found Sue on line.
        Love to all.
        Suzanne
        XXX

      • Linda:
        Good ole Southern families ! No housework for the boys in our family either. And mother taught us, if you go somewhere and food is served, whether you eat or not, you help clean up. And yes, we had those at our family gatherings that had to go and “rest” when it came time to do the dishes 🙂 Check on your neighbor, take care of you.
        hugs
        Tonie

  13. Well folks
    Another w.end nearer Christmas ….all the craft fairs seemed to have finished now and the tree fests
    Shops open till 9pm every night ..actually it’s a quiet time to go if you have to
    Tum still playing up.on fluids only for two days.no change tho
    Gonna have a quiet nite..really windy out I like to hear it if I’m tucked up
    So see ya tomorrow Chris

      • Chris I agree with Sue. Slow improvement is still improvement. We have to look towards the positive. That is what I seem to be learning here.
        Take good care of yourself Chris. Sending angels and prayers your way.
        XXX

    • Suzanne, have you ever thought that since you have never told your kids you need help, they don’t realize it now? I can think of lots of times when I didn’t mean to be uncaring or thoughtless or cruel, I just didn’t know. Sometimes a gentle nudge or a kind word is all they need to get on the ball. Some people have this knack of making everything look so effortless and they keep smiling through whatever may come, so others don’t even have the opportunity to realize just how much effort it did take or how hard it is to keep that smile going. So, be sure to tell them. I’m really bad to keep smiling and keep going, when I’m seething inside, thinking “if they loved med they’d do….” I said those very word to Ed once, years ago and he stopped me in my tracks. He said “if you loved me, you wouldn’t try to make me feel guilty or feel bad, you’d tell me what the hell you need so I could get on with it.” He was right, it was all MY bad.

      • Thank you Linda, I believe you are right. I’m not good at asking for help and try to do everything myself, cause that is what I’ve always done. I do keep smiling even though my body is in such pain. I try to camouflage my pain so others won’t see it. Your Ed was right. I think I might ask my son and his wife, Rosalie to make the Christmas Salad that would help. My husband is suppose to cook the turkey, I can’t even lift it anymore. Guess I’ll have to tell everyone to do the dishes cause I’ll be way too tired after the whole day of people dropping in at different times and then we will be 13 for supper. ( only problem is my husband usually tells everyone to leave the dishes there we will do them tomorrow but when he says we, it means me) I also have to look after Aunty (89 and is blind in one eye and the other is going also) and get her off to bed.
        Not sure what is going on with me this year…. I have done Christmas now for 31 years while working at a full time job (except for the last two years) but this year makes me crazy and panicky….. I so need to tell people how I feel and what I feel. Thought I was doing that but guess not in the right way. I’ll keep you all posted on my way of coping this year. Christmas is coming so fast.
        I’m going for a test tomorrow (bladder) and then need to drop by a specialty store for a cane my doc ordered for me since I have trouble getting around in the morning oh and most of the day if I do anything different. So tomorrow is all taken up .
        Thanks again Linda and your Ed.
        God bless you and hope you are doing okay today.
        love ya big!
        XXX

    • Suzanne, I think it’s not just kindness we share here. We all have problems, some are unique to us, but we also have many in common. And, other than each other, we all mostly travel this trail alone. So, since we have found folks who are like-minded, we want to share our experience and offer all the support we can. Believe me, we all know what you’re going through. I think we share a unique love for each other, even sight unseen. There isn’t a soul on here that I don’t think about daily. I misspell names, forget names, forget which grandchildren belong to whom, but I still think about you. While I hate it that we all have problems, if we must have them, I am thankful to have you folks to share them with. Everyone has been so supportive of me in my times of need and it has meant so much. I tell everything I know, I don’t hold back. I’m not embarrassed that my son is mentally ill or that I and my husband have problems with depression, or that a lot of my family are assholes. To me,that would be like being embarrassed that we’re human. So, while kindness may factor in, there’s a lot more. Most here are really and truly kind and have hearts bigger than their bodies. WE all know we’re not alone any more.

      • Well said. This also is a place we can talk about things in a frank manner that we don’t feel able to talk about to friends or family that just don’t understand our pain, fatigue or fears.

      • Dear Linda, Very well put. Hit the nail on the head and whatever other cliche you can come up with. Thank you, thank you. Janet

      • Linda dear, very well done. Nothing left for me to say on that subject. Take care of your dear men. Love, Sue

  14. Sue, could Lynlee’s skin issue be a vitamin deficiency? I have some thoughts niggling in the back of my brain but for the life of me can’t remember what vitamin. It could be a contact dermatitis from something as simple as touching the face after using hand cream, sanitizing gel or nearly anything else. When in doubt check it out. It’s snowing here (no surprise) but the weather channel indicated that the storm will be worse toward Pennsylvania. Looks like you’ll have LOTS of time to bake Lynlee.

    • Suzanne:
      Also CALL that Rheumy !! Everyday if that is what it takes. Get their attention so they will want to get you in to shut you up ! Yes, do tell them to help and warn your hubby ahead of time to not say that about the dishes. I hate doing dishes. Just tell them all to grab a dish and get it done ! WHat is Christmas Salad ?? SOunds interesting ! Oh my friend makes this white fudge with apricots in it, so very very good. I think I will try to make it this year. I got the chocolate last night and forgot the get the sour cream and apricots. Was very tired and befuddled. I was in charge of the games and the concentration really wears me out ! 🙂

      Chris , have you made the biscuits yet ?? I was thinking of you when we had our sale. One lady brought some sausage biscuits. Oh my word, those were the BEST biscuits I ever ate ! So very light and fluffy. I could’ve sat and ate 3 or 4 of em. She made them small. If they are big, around here they call them “catsheads” .
      Love
      Tonie

      • wow, Tonie, how you’re dragging up the past! I haven’t heard “catheads” in a coons age! (a coon is a raccoon for those who actually speak English, and I have no idea what age they get to be) And that is indeed what we called big biscuits. Slather a little mustard on that sucker, and have home made sausage, and wow, what a treat. The seasoning in sausage is one of my “no more” foods, and I sure do miss it. Or another of our favorites was “scrambled” sausage, with gravy, poured right over the biscuit. I may be licking my computer screen soon!
        Suzanne, as soon as dh makes the “we’ll do them later” remark, ask him to please start now, you’d rather not have the dishes sit. And, if he doesn’t do them, leave them. I have way too much “ass” in me to let them get away with that. It would take too long to tell the story, but I once threw away an entire set of dishes over such as this. Don’t volunteer “us” for something you fully intend to dump on me. Hon, if you don’t want to be a door mat, get up off the floor! Or, buy paper plates. No body has to wash them.

  15. WEll, break time ! Sitting here crying over this silly movie. Hatchiki. RIchard Gere. About a dog that waits at the train station for his owner, even for 12 years after his death. So sweet and sad. Based on a true story. THe real dog was in Japan and there is a statue of him at the train station.
    ANYWAY !! I have fudge, peanut butter pinwheels, M&M cookies, and Peanut butter balls done and packed in the box to mail Monday. I have a Pound Cake in the oven for my nephew Micheal’s birthday tomorrow. I am tired, and full of sugar from tasting all the sweets 🙂 (gotta make sure they aren’t poisoned !! ) I really love my fudge, it is my mothers recipe and so creamy and good, with a hint of peanut butter. You use baking chocolate instead of cocoa which makes it creamier. It is still raining. Waiting on Judy dear to get home so I can help her get all her stuff in the house. Glad she is coming home, I have missed her.
    Oh boy, Santa CLause 2 is coming on. Something to cheer me up after that tear jerker !!
    Take care all
    Love ya
    Tonie

    • Tonie, I have made a point of avoiding that movie..very much on purpose. Grieving dogs would just be too sad to say nothing of Richard Gere getting killed off. Wow have you been a busy girl. It’s truly amazing how a grandmother will go the extra mile for her grands. It all sounds delicious. Your fudge sounds delicious.
      The recital was dear…so small town to see all the different kids, beginners. It was a few adults who are also taking lessons in voice or guitar. GD played the piano and GS the guitar..both did very well and looked adorable. Hope you get some rest tonight. I love Santa Clause 2 and the little dance Mrs. Claus does at the very end. Love, Sue

    • OH TONIE POO………..FOR GOODNESS SAKE SEND ME SOME FUDGE, EVERYTIME I READ YOUR POSTS, THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS YOU MAKE ME WANT TO EAT………LORD I WOULD BE AS FAT AS A BARN DOOR IF I WERE TO SAMPLE ALL YOUR GOODS. YOU ARE SO SWEET(THATS COZ YOU SAMPLE EVERYTHING) TO GO TO ALL THAT TROUBLE FOR YOU NEPHEW, OH HE WILL HAVE A GREAT TIME OF IT…………..PUT YOUR FEET UP NOW SWEETPEA, I RECKON YOU HAVE EARNED A BREAK AND A POT OF COFFEE AND LOTS OF FUDGE…..MMMMMMMM!!!!!!…LOVE YA….JENNIE POO XX

    • Tonie, I still only like the fudge that’s from the recipe on the can of Hershey’s cocoa powder. A bit harder and crunchier than other fudge. For some reason, I never developed the taste for the creamy types of fudge. I do love the peanut butter balls dipped in dark chocolate, and the coconut balls also dipped in chocolate. I’ve never been a big cookie eater but I do love my pound cake. I do like the Girl Scout thin mints, and am thinking about making the ritz cracker cookie that is supposed to taste just like the thin mints. The trouble with me making any of these things that I like is that I will eat them until I’m sick. I’ve gained so much weight back this past year, and the extra weight makes my pain worse. I hated how I looked when I was down to 119, but appreciated how my joints felt. My son is diabetic, but he is senseless when that type of thing is around the kitchen. I love good fruit cake and have a wonderful recipe that’s been handed down from my step-dad’s family. But, the thing costs about $100 to make (even though you get 6 full size fruit cakes from it), and there is so much in it, we’ll argue over who has to stir it a while. However, I don’t object to the Claxton fruit cakes, either. I’m not so crazy about the candied fruit, but our recipe has so many nuts, even Brazil nuts, it takes away some of that over sweet taste of the fruit. If I could hold up to mixing all that, making smaller ones would be wonderful gifts.
      On PBS right now, the boys choir is singing from ST. Peter’s Cathedral in Ireland. They are so good.
      A couple of the younger guys in Celtic Thunder talk about singing there when they were getting their degrees, and to them, it was a highlight of their career. Later, a Pavaroti special is coming on. I’m very sleepy, but hope I can stay awake to hear him. I love the good tenors so much. I see a new episode of Downton Abbey is on today, too. I want to get the taped version of that being read; my half sister recorded that. I love to read her posts about doing her books. One she did was set in South Africa and she talks about calling the author to help her with pronunciation and accents. I get very tickled at her talking about her oldest son. She speaks fluent Spanish, and her oldest son seems to have a knack for language, also. it reminds me of our parents spelling when they didn’t want us to know what they were talking about….he talks to her in Spanish when he doesn’t want his younger siblings to know what he’s talking about. And bless him, he ends every conversation with “gracias, mamasita, eres muy hermosa y te quiero mucho.”..thank you mommy, you are very beautiful and I love you so much. No mother alive could resist that!This sister has 4 children and had them all in a little less than 4 years. When she was pregnant with her last child (her only daughter), our dad was dying. She drove 800 miles to northern calif to be with him when he died, stayed in a motel with those 3 little ones, stayed and took care of his funeral and his belongs, drove home, and had her daughter that night. I felt so bad for her, but at that time, I couldn’t take a step alone, and even if I could, I didn’t have the money to fly out there. She and I were the only 2 of his 6 daughters who even spoke to him. She called me daily to make sure I was okay with what she had done. I told her if she was happy, I certainly was. Then she called me, wanting to know if I wanted her to send me the money left over, or if I wanted her to divide it and send each sister her part. I told her to take it, put it on that hotel bill and to help cover their food costs, she had more than earned it. No one else even claimed him, and I wouldn’t have felt right with her sending me a cent. I can’t begin to imagine how hard that was on her, or how long it took her to get over that last birth. She is such a precious person.
      Love you all,
      Linda

      • Linda, I LOVE fruit cake ! I will take the Claxtons as well. I know NO ONE who makes homemade fruit cakes I had a lady who used to make me fruit cake cookies. Love those. I know what you mean about the baking stuff you like. I try to stay away from them except tasting. I will keep a few for me, but not a lot I have lost 10 lbs and I want to keep that scale going DOWN ! . I ate too much salad, too much bread tonight at supper. ANd drank too much sweet tea !! I got some new flea spray for those darned fleas I can’t get to leave Brutus alone and the smell is killing me, it should kill the fleas.
        You have a good one. It is COLD out there tonight !
        Love
        TOnie

      • Oh dear me, FRUIT CAKE, love it. Haven’t made it in a few years now, but I’m the one who would eat the most !! Just like most of you I also have dropped 20 lbs and need to keep it off as it helps my whole body be in less pain. But yummy, yummy ….
        love, Suzanne XXX

  16. Laura, congrats on the weight loss. That’s really something to be proud of. Funny how we shock ourselves with changes sometimes…That’s how I felt when I put on some new pants in the size I’ve worn for years and they pooled on the floor. Got a good local seamstress to hem them up for me. I have three nice flannel nighties and they’re in a large comfortable size..you know for comfort when you sleep, and they make me look like a little kid. And what’s with all this skin hanging down…not just my arms but everything. Tells me I need to stop babying my back and get back to some easy exercise stretching..The doctor told me not to bend over or curl my back but that’s impossible..especially when your dog is about 10 inches off the ground.
    I like the synopsis you did of yourself you failed to mention you are an RN…or did I miss it? Hope you rest tonight. Love, Sue

    • Yes Sue I did forget to say I am a nurse. I’m keeping up on continuing education as I want to keep my license as long as possible. I worked way too hard to get it and not willing to lose a means to make a living if things change and my pension ends.

      • My dear Tonie girl, you certainly have been busy. Wish some of that fudge was coming my way. Would be so nice to see you all in the flesh so we could bake, laugh, cry, talk whatever together.
        Well enjoy the movie.
        love to all
        Suzanne XXX

      • Well good for you Bobsled Laura. I’m so proud of you for keeping up the education part. Why would your pension end? Once we start getting a pension doesn’t it mean for the rest of our life.?/
        Well stay warm friends. love you all.
        Suzanne XXX

  17. Finally got out this afternoon after 9 days of being iced in. The only ice left was on my driveway and on the road just in front of the property, the rest of the trip to town there was no sign there had ever been a problem. I like living out here, but there are disadvantages. Anyway the larder is full and I am all set for the next go around which will probably be the week of Christmas.

    I am sending positive thoughts to all of you and I do hope that all those problems let up. I am one of those that has difficulties at this time of year. By the time one has reached my age of 83, you have lost a lot of family and friends and it seems a disproportionate number of them have passed over Christmas and New years. I try to keep positive as that is the best way for me to cope.

    Everyone please take care. Janet

    • Janet, glad you got out to fill the pantry. I know you must have enjoyed the freedom of it. I was wondering if any of that chemical de-icer works as a possibility for your long driveway. That Sonja Henie routine is no fun. Now I have all the younger folks scratching their heads wondering who she is…
      I know this is such a sentimental time of year with so many memories at every turn. Several of us have fessed up to be more than usually weepy this season..me included. Just rain here this weekend. Very cold outside but no ice right now. Later dear girl, rest up…Sue

    • Janet, so happy you could finally get out! I bet you had a triple case of cabin fever! I too like living out, but, as you said, there are disadvantages. When I first moved here, it was considered “out in the sticks” but the area has built up so in the last 12 years, I want to move again and get further out. My late husband used to say if you couldn’t go pee out your back door, you lived too much “in town”. I didn’t like him much, but did like some of his sayings! You have a wonderful holiday. I feel too that I have lost a disproportionate number of family and friends. But, I’m so grateful for the ones I do have. As for the rest, I look forward to our reunion!

      • HA!!! I LIKE THAT JANET…….OVER HERE IN FRANCE, EVEN IF THERE IS A TOILET BY THE BACK DOOR, FRENCH MEN JUST PEE IN THE GARDEN, AND DON’T GIVE A FIG IF ANYONE SEES THEM……..FOUND THAT HARD TO GET USED TO…………….LOVE JENNIE XX

    • Suzanne, when you get a pension on disability, they re-evaluate you frequently. And, they can always make the decision that you’re able to go back to work. So, it’s not a “done deal” at all. I think Social Security re-evaluated me every 2 years, and the long term disability insurance from work evaluated me yearly for a while, towards the end, they dropped it back to every 2 years. I lost that pension my last birthday, when I turned 65, but now my social security will be permanent. The insurance company even sent a man to my house, and he had a list of about 100 nursing jobs that I should be able to do without walking around. But, most of them called for much more education than I had. Some even required a PHD. He said if I could find work, even if it paid less than I was accustomed to earning, I had to take it.Do you think I looked for one of those jobs? If you said “no”, you win!
      I think their primary aim is to get out of paying any money they can get out of paying. I was 50 when I had to retire, so I was a big loss to them. The way our policy worked, they guaranteed me a total income of 66% of my working income. So, the 2 years it took me to get my Social Security, they had to foot the entire benefit. Of course, when I was awarded the social security, I had to pay them back! So, we have to continue to protect ourselves against the jerks who are supposed to be helping us.

  18. Hya
    Lyn my hubby gets dry skin and the dr prescribes DERMOL lotion you use it as a soap in the shower .it is very softening I use it on my hands.it gets rid of the itch too. You can buy it OTC as well no need to go to dr
    Suzanne
    Yea I agree be so great to all get together what a meeting that would be! .
    Bak later Chris

  19. HELLO……………WELL WHAT A DAY YESTERDAY, WE WENT TO THE EXPAT CLUB, JOINED IN THE TOMBOLA IN AID OF THE CAT REFUGE SOCIETY, THEN WON THREE PRIZES……THAT DIDN’T GO DOWN WELL, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOUR BUT WE PUT THE FOURTH BACK IN TO THE DRAW…….DIDN’T WANT IT ANYWAY. WE WENT OFF THEN TO FEED THE CATS FOR LIZ, THEN THE CHUCKS, THE BLOODY ROOSTER DIDN’T WANT ME TO HAVE HIS GIRLFRIENDS EGG, KEPT TRYING TO BITE ME ON THE BUM……..RIGHT SAID I, ONE LAST CHANCE FOR YOU MATE, OR YOU WILL SUDDENLY FIND YOURSELF HEADING FOR THE POT……..GOT THE EGGS IN THE END. WENT BACK HOME, HAD THE HOUSE TO CLEAN AND THE LAUNDRY TO DO…OH MY, I FELL INTO BED AND COULDN’T GET UP THIS MORNING.
    WELL GOT TO GO AND GET READY, GONNA TRY AND MAKE IT TO THE VILLAGE TONIGHT AND SOAK UP SOME CHRISTMAS ATMOSPHERE…………….LOVE TO YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS…………JENNIE XX

    • Jennie, Hope you made it into the village to soak up some yuletide cheer, both visually, orally and spiritually. I greatly enjoyed hearing about your antics at the ex pat club. Wow, maybe you two should go to Vegas.
      Now as far as that rooster, he has a bum, also doesn’t he? Got a long hat pin?
      Sounds like you did outdo your body…sometimes the spirit wins and we live on the pay later plan but it’s usually worth it.
      Raining all day here with strange low hanging clouds all day like a fog. Jim and I went to our big Costco together to get a few things and the power went out in the store right in the middle of our shopping. The emergency power came on but it was only about 1/3 of the lights. Very eery like that. Seems there were power surges in the area. Either the rain or some moron did it by hitting a conduit somewhere…Couldn’t believe all the fabulous food that is available during the holiday season..one would never have to bake or cook again if you had enough money. Wish I could eat half of it. Don’t you find yourself often at the market drooling like a kid at the candy shop? Oh well, if you are one of us who live with gut problems, you get so hungry at times almost anything tastes great. Hope you ate and enjoyed some yummies. Sounds like DH is doing well…Love, Sue

      • Jennie Poo !
        Give that ole rooster the boot up the wazoo ! Take a broom with ya next time and swat him one. He is one of them mean roosters. Rufus is not like that so sweet. SOmetimes if it is late when I get to the eggs, they are already roosting. THey roost of the nesting boxes, above my head. I think maybe they will take a peck at me, but they don’t . Guess they like all the treats I give em :_ The ladies were razzing Carol and me last night as we gathered rolls and scraps for our fur babies. People with no close pets don’t understand the love and attention we have for ours. My boys were so tickled when I came bringing meat left overs. The place we ate has a buffet bar. Breakfast, dinner, taco, salad and desert. I love breakfast, so I had a salad and then went for the breakfast. I got extraextra bacon and sausage to bring back to them 🙂

        Sue, looking at all the food just makes you want to sample a lot of it huh ? Sundays in Az there were always samples at Costco and Sams. Helps you decide to buy it for sure. 🙂 I a finding my appetite is just not what it used to be. I am really more into just “eating to live” than eating to enjoy. Sometimes I cook me something that I really want, other times, just fill the hole 🙂 I remember my grandmother Rose lost her sense of taste quite a few years before she died. She would hardly eat enough to keep a bird alive. That would be an awful thing. To not taste. I got the kids stuff baked and ready to go, now to mail it. I have a couple more things to bake as gifts for people. I ran out of sugar on Sat , so had to go to the store last night. Hope you are holding up to all the preparations !
        Love to all
        Tonie

  20. Hey all:
    Well short note, home from church gotta change and get ready to leave again for the Christmas Banquet. Janet, so glad you got to leave. I know you were breathing in the air of freedom. I often think of people who are restricted to home or in jail how awful that would be. Even in other countries where you can only go when and where you are told. Especially the women ! (where did all that come from >)

    Jennie, in the country like Linda says, it is common practice for men to go wee outside if no one is around. I agree with that if you can’t go outside without someone seeing you, you are in town too much ! Like my hottub, It is right outside, yet there is no one around to see me get in and out,
    Take care all and have a wonderful day !
    Love
    TOnie

  21. Well here again
    Got to make appt for DH in am ,nothing serious but gotta be carefull He has earache in his only hearing ear.he has to treat it all the time as it gets wet behind the aid and inflamed.difficult not wearing it as he then hears nowt.
    My dad is ok.goes on buggy to town had his hair cut last week! But can’t understand him ,very difficult.but then again he can speak better if he really tries
    Me..ugh
    Ok back tomorrow Chris

    • Oh Lord Chris, no secret and that loss is over a 3 month period so it is a very very slow one. Just trying to eat better, more protein, veggies. I still got 40 more to go, I will let you know if there is anything special then 🙂
      Love ya !
      T

  22. Janet, glad to hear you finally got out!
    Chris, in case you didn’t see my reply above, thanks for sharing the lotion. I’ll look for it. 🙂
    Brainstorming friends – thanks for your thoughts. It is responding a bit to my dogged efforts at exfoliating and moisturizing. It feels a lot like the patch I have on my back that the dermatologist deemed dermatitis, just flakier. Although, clothing could be helping to “de-flake” it. 🙂 We did get around 4 inches or so of white stuff before the sleet and freezing rain hit. I did get my baking done, and DH and DD did make it home, although is was slow going. SB (Sonny Boy), DH and I then went to an Ugly Sweater Party at a neighbor’s house. Nice way to unwind. Today we were to have our cantata at church, but with low turn out due to icy weather, we decided to sing one teaser piece and move the whole cantata presentation to Christmas Eve when more could enjoy it. My Mom and step-dad made the trip up to hear it and were a bit disappointed, but should be able to come Christmas eve, so all is good. I was to sing a piece in a program this afternoon, but with the weather and several other concerts this afternoon, we had no audience, so we postponed it to another date in early Jan. I’m enjoying a quiet evening, trying to decide if I want to hop on the treadmill a bit yet tonight. I probably should… But feeling a bit tired.
    Laura, congrats on your weight loss!
    Sue, the recital sounds like a nice outing. Were the grands nervous at all?
    Jennie, you give that rooster what-for! Good for you. Silly rooster! Boy did you clean up in the drawing!
    Suzanne, do what you can, that’s all you can do. 🙂
    Linda, I, too, enjoy hearing your stories and memories. You do have a way of telling them. 🙂
    DD and a friend just came in. I guess I’m not treadmilling. Time to be social. 🙂

  23. Suzanne
    Along with Laura and Tonie you’ve lost weight too…..are you all eating much less? And I Know sue has too
    I don’t eat that much and put it on,then hardly lose when I eat less.!
    But good on ya!

    Over there you’ve just had thanksgiving as well so it’s a lot together, all the prep work. oh for the other side of Christmas . Some people go away for it…not sure on that one… But it gets anyone out of doing anything ..but then you’d leave a big hole in the family.and all that prep for going away as well,ugh!
    I think I’m not gonna think about it…sometimes I do to much thinking..I’m just gona do what I can.but we are only a small family.meeting at my dads and I’m buying prepared food and take round and only making a few things.. So life will be easy for me that day..as DD and GS will wash up and ill just pretty around after…..hubby hates that! Boxing Day we will be by ourselves and if all goes according to plan we will go for a drive for a winter picnic in the car ! Always like to do it different!
    Well gotta go hubby got dr appt Chris

    • Chris, your holiday plans sound good, like a mixture of family obligation which we all know about and doing the things you both enjoy. Never thought of a winter picnic but it does sound fun.
      I am so sorry to hear you’re heading for another round with the biopsy. Let’s hope it goes better than last year. Is there any chance you can get another opinion with some other person other than the same as last year?
      I’ve been absent from here a bit more than I would like due to feeling crappy. Fatigue and eye problems have been bugging me lately. Well, we will all keep trudging on for the season and work at being festive, right? Love, Sue

  24. Tonie
    I gonna make them after Christmas .i started my diet. I’m gonna have nowt in the house .Dh could do with it too
    Been on a 3 day fluid diet for my tum,then thought it good to start.
    So daren’t as I would eat them all with sausage and thick gravy
    How you bake and not eat them is good ,I couldnt do it. Not even going out to our usual to put it in front of me,I’m tooooo weak
    Christmas I’m goona be good too,well that’s the plan!
    Thought if I lost some weight my tum mite be better…so I thought I would bake after Christmas when I am stronger on my diet

    DH has inflammation where aid is so he has antibiotic and steroid drops ,so hope that clears it up
    Be back Chris

  25. HELLO…….JUST HAD AN UPDATE ABOUT HARRY, HE IS FAILING FAST WITH A LOT OF PAIN IN HIS LEGS, HE ASKS HIS MOM ” WHEN IS THIS BLOOMING CANCER GOING TO GO MOMMY, COS I AM FED UP WITH IT NOW” HE DID GET TO LAPLAND TO SEE SANTA THOUGH, HIS GRANDPARENTS WANTED TO GO SEE HIM OFF AT THE AIRPORT, BUT THEY HAD THE FLU AND DIDN’T WANT TO INFECT HIM, THEY WERE SAD ABOUT THAT, BUT THE DAY HE ARRIVED, THEY GOT A PHONECALL FROM HIM, HE JUST SAID “HI GRANDMA! I LOVE YOU” AND HUNG UP. THEN AN HOUR LATER, ANOTHER CALL ” HI GRANDPA, I LOVE YOU” AND PUT THE PHONE DOWN BEFORE THEY HAD TIME TO SAY ANYTHING. I HAD TO LAUGH, HE JUST WALKED INTO A KIOSK AND DID IT ALL BY HIMSELF……HE IS ONLY 5YRS OLD. I WILL KEEP UPDATING WHEN I HEAR ANYTHING, HOPEFULLY HE WILL GET THROUGH CHRISTMAS.
    SORRY MY POST IS JUST ABOUT HARRY….OH YEAH DID MANAGE TO GET DOWN TO THE VILLAGE LAST NIGHT AND SEE THE ILLUMINATIONS, LOTS OF FESTIVE SPIRIT GOING ON. WILL BE BACK SOON TO READ ALL THE POSTS, GOT VISITORS IN A MINUTE……………BIG HUGS …………………JENNIE XX

    • Jennie:
      Thanks for the update on little Harry . God bless em, what a horribly hard thing to go through. I pray he makes it thru Christmas and into next year, so they will have good memories of Christmas with him. It makes me so sad when people pass thru the holidays. Then every year you think only of the heartache.
      Saw your pics on FB ! So cute, glad you got out and about !
      Love ya
      Tonie

    • Jennie, Thank you for the update on dear little Harry. I know it is somehow so much more tragic when a child is dying than an adult. It feels like they are being cheated and they are. I know we all ache for his parents as well. He sounds like an amazing child. All we can offer is the solace of prayers of comfort for his family. It’s so hard to understand the ways of life. I guess it’s in the darkest times when the most light of faith is needed but it is difficult.
      Glad you got out to enjoy the decorations and lights of the season. Love, Sue

  26. Lyn
    My DH has such flacky itchy skin from his tablets the skin specialist said Dermol was the best thing to keep using
    He uses it in the shower and on his hair,I use it but not on my hair and it makes my dry skin softer
    DH just puts it straight on if he is too itchy as well

    Linda
    I think it’s just pure honesty on here .we don’t hold back.
    It is what it is and if we were not honest about ourselves the feedback won’t help us
    What family is not touched by depression and mental health, it ain’t no chooser of who it picks on!

    Well went to dr…gotta have another biopsy. Just like last year. Hyster whatever it is bl..dy h.ll!
    It was sp painful and it was so sore with an infection and bleeding SH.T
    So that’s me swearing over!

    Jen
    that poor little boy I can’t bare to think of his situation he sounds such a treasure bless him
    WHY. Is what I say………

    Back later
    Very sunny here today and warm
    Chris

  27. Good am all !!
    Linda, you are gonna make Chris go off her diet already ! I sent her the recipe for buttermilk biscuits and how to do the gravy, so she is fixin to become a bonefide mountain girl !! 🙂 I rarely eat “gravy and bread” as we called it. I used to make it for the kids and would eat a bit of it and then pay for it So rich it makes me tummy upset. I loved your comments to Suzanne, we really are a bunch of compatriots here. Refugees from a life none of us ordered.
    Jennie, hang in there darling.
    Chris, prayers for you sweetie. I know this is gonna turn out okay.
    Nana B, I know you are reading, we love you as well !
    Sue, prayers sweetie.
    Lyn,BSL, and all you others that read ! Have a blessed day
    Love to all
    Tonie

    • Tonie, am I impressed..you’re being so good. It does help when you reach a point when nothing sounds that good to you, this I know. I also can’t believe all that baking you have put yourself out to do. It’s marvelous. Save some strength for your trip. Let’s pray the weather cooperates fully for that visit on Christmas. Be good to yourself while you’re so busy, okay? Love, Sue

      • Sue:
        I love to bake and make goodies, it just isn’t Christmas for me if I don’t make things. I know eventually I will have to cut it back, but , until I do, I will make it happen ! I will be resting this weekend. Tomorrow I have to wrap the presents I have for the grands in SC, and Judy. Put together the goodies to take to Ms Alice on Thursday. I got a couple bags of peppermints and Christmas candies today. Set the oven to 350′ and put a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay your candies out in order and put them in to bake for about 10 min (checking on them) they melt into this beautiful tray you can put your cookies or candies on, then eat the dish !! 🙂 Resting the remainder of the time.
        Love y
        Tonie

  28. My heart just aches for little Harry and his family. That’s one reason I would never work on peds, I can take a lot, but kids suffering isn’t one of the things I can handle. My sister died Dec 20 and her Memorial was the 23rd, so that’s always going to put a damper on Christmas. I hope he has a great one, and so great he got to go to Lapland. That’s a place I would love to go.
    I finally got a doctor’s appointment for my throat. I go tomorrow afternoon. I’m sure now it’s reflux. The back of my mouth feels burned, as does my sinuses, even down my nares. I think the maxillary sinus is also burned; I have several “toothaches”, but I don’t have any upper teeth. Sure sign that particular sinus cavity is sick. My face hurts and burns at all the sinus cavities. It even hurts to swallow my boost, and that’s the only thing I have been able to swallow my pills with. Annie, what’s the name of that thickener you recommended; I had the Thicken up when I had the stroke, but you said the other one is better. I need to get it and try it out.
    I so dread that little flexible tube they will run down my nose. It’s a bad sensation at it’s best, but before, when I had all the burns from acid, it was a few steps beyond horrible (quite a few). I wonder if they have nitrous oxide in the office? I think I’d even settle for a hammer hit over the head. I have a case of the “whines” this morning.
    Tonie, I wonder how the gravy biscuit would taste with a little ground beef? We used to love that as kids, over mashed potatoes. Is everybody catching on to why so many southern women are obese? Or why this is called “heart attack country?” I stayed with my uncle’s kids once while his wife was in the hospital. I made the hamburger and gravy for dinner one night, and they wanted me to make it every night after that. I guess my uncle did too, for he started stopping at the store for ground beef every evening. WE fry a fatty meat, then fry flour in the fat, then add milk to the mix, and to make sure we have a well rounded meal with veggies, we mash potatoes and fill them with butter and milk. We’ll even fry bologna for dinner, make my slightly burned, please, and since that’s such a healthy, nutritious meat, we’ll make gravy for it, too. Fried eggs go well with that, too.
    Sue, I understand about the garlic. I love it too, but raw nearly kills me. I love gazpacho and I worked several months to come up with a recipe I liked. Ed even liked it. I’d make a huge batch of it and we’d eat it for days. Before my Crohn’s got under control, I decided I wanted some. I made my usual big batch, ate it the first day, and for 3 days I prayed to die! I haven’t made it since.I doubt it was just the garlic, but rather the combination of all the raw veggies. It’s one of the few foods I can think about and my stomach will start cramping. In the worst of my flare, I would use the “think about it a while” test to decide what to eat. if I thought about it a while and didn’t get nauseated or awful cramps, I’d try to eat it. That doesn’t work now. My gut just refuses to give me fair warning now! I guess it figures I ought to know by now! I can handle garlic fairly well if it’s cooked, especially if I roast it. I can’t let Ed do much cooking, he loves garlic, but often that’s the only taste his food will have. He love to cook pork roasts on the spit, but he infuses it with garlic. The last time I ate any, I tasted nothing but garlic. That’s rough even on a good gut. I love garlic toast, but that gives me indigestion now. With reflux disease, I try very hard to avoid indigestion!
    It’s supposed to be nice and warm here for the next week! HOORAY.

    • Linda, glad you’re going to see the doc. I think your diagnosis sounds very probable. Food does take on a whole new meaning. I can use those grinders with sea salt and garlic bits for a dash of garlic on toast or on meat, etc. I always us onion powder now except for an occasional dip into a sweet onion like Walla Walla or Vidalia. They seem less caustic. So many substitutes I’ve found that help. Thanks for your sharing and let us know how it goes…speak up and tell them the hose in the nose bit is too rough and have them give you extra numbing spray if nothing else. Love, Sue

  29. Linda:
    WE used to fry the ground beef and make gravy as well. And I LOVE fried bologna and eggs sandwhiches and yes, make mine a little burnt !. Of course, I don’t buy anything like that cause I WILL eat it ! If I am going to eat it, I will go to this little store and buy a bit of thick sliced that they slice in the store. Yum ! I did get me some Chorizo and I am thinking I may have some for breakfast tomorrow with eggs and salsa of course !
    Glad you are going to the Dr. Take care of yourself
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, we used to buy the rolls of bologna and slice up thick slabs to fry. I don’t buy it any more at all, for all the processed meats like bologna, hot dogs, potted meat, vienna sausage, kill my tummy. I used to love a bologna sandwich, with mustard and lots of raw onions. I have eaten potted meat once since I had the gastric by-pass 10 years ago. We were supposed to eat lots of protein, and that stuff does have a lot of protein. I was up sick all night! Sick enough I haven’t wanted to eat it since. I think maybe the fat content was higher than the protein!
      I’m back on antibiotics, the problem was infection, nose, sinuses, vocal cords, throat.
      Have a great time at your son’s and with the babies! Love ya.
      Linda

  30. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WITH YOUR COMMENTS ON LITTLE HARRY, I WILL BE SURE TO PASS ON TO HIS PARENTS HOW KIND YOU ALL ARE.
    FEELING SO POOPED RIGHT NOW, LIKE MOST OF US I GUESS. I HAVE OVERDONE THINGS AS I ALWAYS DO, BUT THINGS HAVE TO BE DONE DON’T THEY? AND WHO ELSE IS GOING TO DO IT. YESTERDAY, WE HAD TO BOMB UP TO LIZ’S PLACE, FEED THE CHUCKS, FEED THE CATS, AND DEAR LORD I SWEAR THEY WALKED OVER EVERY PIECE OF FURNITURE SHE HAD, WITH MUDDY PAWS. GOT THAT ALL CLEANED UP. GOT HOME, HAD OUR PLACE TO CLEAN THROUGH, THEN GOT READY, WENT TO THE NEIGHBOURS TO HAVE A DRINK OF WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE LUKEWARM TEA, AND A LUMP OF SOGGY CAKE…WE THOUGHT THEY MEANT PROPER DRINKS, AND THERE WOULD BE LOADS OF FOLKS THERE….JUST THE HUSBAND AND WIFE AND THE SON-IN-LAW, COS HE COULD SPEAKADEENGLISH!!!!!!!! OH WELL YOU LIVE AND LEARN, THERE WE WERE AT THE DOOR IN POSH CLOTHES, CLUTCHING WINE AND CHOCCIES, THEY MUST HAVE THOUGHT IT WAS AN ENGLISH THING, HA HA!!!
    WHEN WE RETURNED HOME WE HAD TO GET ALL THE DECORATIONS AND THE TREE UP FROM THE CELLAR, THAT MY DH COOKED WHILST I DRESSED THE TREE AND THE HOUSE…….WE FELL IN TO BED. SO TODAY AND TOMORROW WE ARE TRYING TO REST UP A BIT…………JUST NOT CAPABLE OF DOING ANOTHER SINGLE THING. I HOPE ALL YOU DEAR LADIES ARE ON TOP OF THINGS AND NOT GETTING TOO STRESSED OUT WITH ALL THE PREPPING.
    OK TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES………..ITS TEATIME…….MUCH LOVE AND HUGS TO YOU ALL……….JENNIE XX

    • Hey Jennie !
      Doncha hate them invites ?? 🙂 Well at least they tried huh ? I am resting today myself. Done a bit of stuff and now I am down to take a nap, I am just worn out. Church tonight and then Ms ALice tomorrow. Fri and Sat I plan on resting as well. Need to get in shape for them grandbabies ! They will wear me out !
      Have a good rest ! Love y a!

      • HI TONIE LOVE……..IT WAS A BIT OF A CHALLENGE, BUT WE HAVE LIVED HERE FOR SEVEN YEARS AND ITS ONLY THE SECOND TIME WE HAVE BEEN INVITED TO A NEIGHBOURS HOUSE, SO WE FELT WE HAD TO GO. THEY WERE REALLY SWEET AND SO GLAD WE MADE THE EFFORT. STILL AS BUSY AS EVER I SEE, WILL FRIDAY BE YOUR LAST DAY WITH MISS ALICE TILL XMAS IS OVER? DID YOU HELP DECORATE THE CHURCH AS WELL AS DO SOME BAKING…..NO WONDER YOU ARE TIRED. HOW LONG WILL THE LITTLE ONES BE STAYING OR IS IT JUST FOR THE DAY??? GOSH SUCH A LOT TO FIT IN……I TOO AM RESTING, DON’T FEEL TOO WELL TODAY. DON’T KNOW OUR LIMITATIONS DO WE?? TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESS, LOVE YOU…..JENNIE POO XX

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