Courage Leads to Joy


This life of chronic pain, from sunrise to sunrise, requires a great deal of courage. We may not feel courageous but we soon discover, that’s what we are. Sometimes we are not even allowed that pleasant break of sunset or a good night of sleep. Others look at us and think one of two things: They wonder if we are truly in the pain we say we are in or they wonder at the sheer courage it takes to continue day upon endless day living with pain.

We cannot bear the responsibility of what someone else thinks of this battle we are waging because we are too engrossed in the battle itself. We may not feel courageous but we know many secrets about that particular virtue. We know it comes with the dawn and we often display it simply by getting out of bed, getting dressed and brushing our teeth. We use it as we see a chore that needs to be done and know we are the only one who can do it, pain or no pain. We know joy comes from doing a job, a chore, or an errand only when it is completed. We still need the pleasure of accomplishment as well as the sense of satisfaction from making ourselves or someone else happy in a simple act that needs completion. Where do we find courage? I don’t know. I think courage like joy and happiness has to come from within one’s self. There are resources left within us even when we are certain we are empty.

Joy comes as we face each challenge of the day, however small its accomplishment in any manner we can. I have learned to carry a smaller bottle of water for a plant, learned to mop half a floor and often cook frozen food or get take-out. Life with chronic pain is full of compromise but it is doable, even on the most painful of days. We can cry, we can become angry and we can survive, whether we are suffering on a bad day or having a rare good one.

We are told that “Joy cometh in the morning” which includes a promise that all of life will not be the darkness of night. I know, there are long stretches of time when it may feel like it.


Where do you find courage?
On a battlefield in war?
On the streets of a vast city
With its violence galore?

Is courage just in movies
Or only found in books?
Does it have to be dramatic;
A life on tenterhooks?

Courage sometimes falls,
Quietly descending
Like a snowy mantle
Protectively defending.

Is courage something you choose,
Or does it indeed choose you?
Is it something you’re born with
Or what you learn to do?

Life never runs too smoothly
No matter whom you are.
There are times when each of us
Could use a shooting star.

What if the roots of courage
Already grow within?
Defining our definition
Of hero or heroine?

Sometimes courage hides
In some unlikely place,
Exhibiting itself
As a quiet act of grace.

The young mother who
Stumbles out of bed,
Half a dozen times
To touch a feverish head.

A father who works overtime
To provide his families needs,
A wounded soldier coming home
Life changed by war’s foul deeds.

Some of us need courage
Just to face each day,
We utter up a prayer, “Dear God,
I can’t live this way.”

Aren’t peace and joy the same
When courage is needed?
Just answering its call
Is a virtue when heeded.

Joy comes from fulfillment,
Peace; answering the call.
Wouldn’t we all be cowards
If we allowed ourselves to fall?

Somehow strength wells up,
Sorrow replaced by joy,
Courage is a quality
Life cannot destroy.

Sue Falkner Wood

74 thoughts on “Courage Leads to Joy

  1. Courage is something we all have an immense need of when suffering from chronic pain. No one fully understands unless they can feel it, do they ? It is always something somewhere, hurting. Now that my back is doing better, I feel more my legs from the FMS! Whichever one is the worst !
    Great blog Sue, and I love the poem.

    • Tonie, and I love the picture you chose. We’re told to lift up our eyes unto the hills to find peace but I think it often helps me to take in the majesty of the sky. The clouds move through here so quickly, probably because of our proximity to the ocean, and it is a reminder to me of the vastness of this experience and also that change eventually comes.
      I am sorry to hear about your legs but do understand. The loudest squeaky wheel is the one that gets our attention. Stay safe, walk carefully dear friend. Love you, Sue

  2. Hi all
    Most people can get going and just do something no thought to how.just thinking about doing something how to do it and how long to spend on it is all such a challenge . That’s before we even start on it!
    At the moment I’m feeling empty..but come Monday morning I know there’s a new feeling .i don’t know why but Sunday nite is always sad to me…Monday always appears hopeful
    Thoughtful post Sue and the poem too
    Love Chris

  3. Chris, you’re right. Each day is different and can bring with a new sunset a new frame of mind…same old body but new attitude. I think when we were kids it was the opposite. We were depressed on SUnday because the weekend was over.
    I am often guilty because what I have planned and I actually get done is such a far distance apart. Hope you’re both doing as well or better than usual. Love, Sue

  4. Great post Sue!
    You are right Sue! I often wake up with great plans and at sometime during the day reality sets in and I know I won’t be able to do what I planned, or need help and there is no one to help me accomplish what I want to do. All we can do is take one day at a time.
    Love and Hugs …. Brenda

    • Pommum, Good to hear from you. Hope you’ll be back up at the lake soon. I know how much all of you enjoy it there. I find there are so many things I can’t lift and have to get help with. I think that is my biggest frustration right after not being able to travel.
      Hope all the grands are doing well and of course the Poms. Love you, Sue

  5. Janet, oh that humidity in TX. Sounds like a good place to be…inside with the air running. Do be good to yourself. Sue

  6. Morning all
    Happy Independence Day ! I just read a great article about the lack of education today of our history(the real one) and founding of our nation and its principals. So instead of Happy 4th, I challenge you to say Happy Independence Day !
    Cloudy here today and so am I. One of those achy, very stiff and tired days. It is almost 11 and I am still in pj’s. But this is ok too. I actually think a nap is in order. My FM is going up on the roof to put in more screws and fix the gate so Ceasar can’t escape. Working man, we can’t move the deck today because of wet ground, it has been raining off and on. I must at least go brush my teeth and get dressed. Maybe a movie and some crochet. I have 5 more scarves to make for a lady.
    What are your plans for today ? I hope you all have a wonderful day, and US people, remember those who died that we might remain free !
    Love Tonie

    • Tonie, So it is one of those days? I certainly understand and know it will pass. Looks and sounds like a good day to watch a movie. Do you have a copy of 1776? It’s going to be on TCM channel today if not. It’s so good. Sorry about the rain stalling construction. So often when you speak of your FM I wonder what he thinks of life here in this country, i.e. weather, folks, landscape? You are both in such a unique and wonderful time, personally, and I am so happy for each of you.
      Quiet morning here. I’m moving slowly and Jim is recovering from a day of waxing his Camaro yesterday. It’s overcast here and rain is predicted for the week, off and on. I’m finding the transition off the Plaquenil going more easily due to going on Turmeric. It kind of surprises me but I’m pleased. Well, need to drink my Ensure and get my day started. Hang in there today. Love, Sue

      • Sue, I’ve also heard turmeric is helpful. Good to see it is helping you. I’m still on plaquenil, but will try to remember this in case I ever have to go off. So far so good with my eyes and checks with the eye doc.

        Tonie, dreary day here. I managed to get out with the dog this morning before it got too gloomy. Rain this afternoon and again this evening. Thankfully, it was very light when cooking dinner. DH grilled steaks. 🙂 Good to hear all is going well with projects around your place, and that your DD is moving on. I don’t know details, but sounds like it wasn’t a good situation. Prayers will continue. DH and I kind of loafed today. He is out playing a concert tonight and I’m chilling here with a book after a long practice session. Hope rest has helped you. Happy Independence Day!

      • Hey Sue
        I have started using Tumeric on my food, maybe go to capsules soon. I love the spicy flavor. FM loves the US. He says it is the most wonderful of countries and that you always find different things here. He has a bit of culture shock from time to time, and living in Ivanhoe, Va, far off the beaten path, is the most change for him. He loves food and will eat anything ! I enjoy watching him eat. He says here everyone has a chance to do anything. Did you know in France, it is illegal for a woman with children, married or not, to work evenings or nights ? Also, their hours are limited. Many laws are so different. It is interesting to learn.
        He looks forward to being here full time. He says he will not miss France that much, but I think he will do so sometimes.

  7. Good morning all
    Well, had a good rest day yesterday and watched fireworks which ended right when a big storm hit. Wet ride and slow drive home. FM shored up the roof yesterday to make it stronger, finished trimming Babys hooves, and I chilled on the couch. I made another trifle, Chris, Jennie. This time with pineapple and raspberries. Also made some zuchinni bread with whole wheat, stevia, so it is healthy and not real sweet. It is so cold in this room, I am about to go to sleep !
    Tonight we move the old deck so he can start on the new one. The ” dance floor” he calls it. Loving my big new roof so I can sit out even in the will be so good this winter, which is what his goal was. To make it better for me in the snow. Nice to be worried about. It is going to be hard to let him go next month, esp knowing it will be almost a year unless he takes a break. It is a long flight and hard on him, so I understand if he doesn’t. Life is as it is, right ?
    Well, gotta get Ms Alice up and dressed. Have a wonderful day all
    Love Tonie

    • Tonie, I love hearing about your FM and his habits and opinions. Yes, it is nice to have someone who takes care and worries about you. Hopefully something will come along so he can come back for a break in that year somewhere. Maybe you can go if you feel up to it, can afford it and can find someone to watch the animals. So many ifs but what will be could surprise you. The dance floor will come in handy I would imagine. It’s nice to have a place to dance, do a project, paint something, etc.
      We had a very quiet Fourth and rested mostly. I’ve been cleaning out cupboards that are long over due and found a lot of food that slipped through the cracks. I hate to waste food but I have over the last two years. It’s funny to look back and realize I finished up my radiation therapy two years ago and was dealing with burn dressings, etc. I find it often useful to look back at our tracks and appreciate how far we have come, don’t you?
      Don’t forget everybody to throw out your Gold Medal flour if you bought it since last fall. Apparently they have had the danger of E.Coli contamination. It’s always something isn’t it? Hope your time with Ms. Alice wasn’t too awfully stressful for either of you.
      I have used Turmeric for making pickles in the past but don’t use it now. You have more of a cast iron stomach than I do. Lucky you, inspite of the bowel problems. Then again…something, always. I hope all is well with Judy. Give her my love. Sue

  8. Lyn, Plaquenil was always a good drug for me but some people get toxic very soon, thus the bi-annual eye checks. The eye doctor said I have lost some of my peripheral vision because I am toxic after being on it for so many years. The toxic level is, according to her, about 10,000 grams total and after twenty years plus for me I was estimated to be around 39,000 grams. Wow, huh? I just have a few more days to go on the half dose then we will see. I had been on two, 200 mg. tabs each morning for all those years.
    Since it is an herb, I don’t see why you can’t take it now. I delayed because I was afraid it would irritate my gut but it hasn’t. Hope family is all doing well. Love ya, Sue

  9. Hi all
    Rheumy appt today. I didn’t take those tabs she gave me .those were the ones you just stopped Sue,.but she understood that I was concerned with moving and side effects she was so nice.and she would have given me a steroid inj.but with moving now I was concerned there she said she is busy with appts but if I want one after moving just ring and she will do one in her lunch hr .she was lovely .she said she was annoyed with the dr saying that to me .
    So then DH had an inr test at that was today.tomorow I have to go to,sols about my dads will and sign an oath for probate
    So the days are going down..yippee ..
    You and trifles tonie it sounds so nice too
    You must feel anxious about him going but the two of you will sort something out. You have to.
    My cupboards are all nearly empty now and all clean.i would like the lady who takes over to put her stuff in and feel it was ok. Hope the one I take over does the same
    Gives it warming up now and 27c for the weekend .glad we are moving as the bedroom here will be warm as it faces west and gets the warmest sun for great part of day hitting the bedroom’s hoping the other is better
    Well gonna try and sleep now

    • Chris, Good to hear from you. Please remember I was on the anti-malarial for a very long time with good results and I didn’t have any problems. You might want to try it. Just get your eyes checked every 6 mos. Yes it does sound like time is counting down. Well, even if the former owner doesn’t clean her cupboards as good as you, you have the satisfaction of knowing you did the right thing. Long days, hard work ahead so just take it nice and easy when you can. It will all settle in eventually. Love ya, Sue

  10. Good morning all
    Waiting on my turn in the bathroom to get ready for work. FM wants to drive me in and then go to his bank, which is in NC, and shop and then pick me up after work. Me, I have to give Ms Alice a shower this am and she has a Dr apt at one today. Fun day….not. But started my medipak today so, should feel some better. I don’t take the six, then count down, I just take a few everyday so it doesn’t throw me into non-sleep mode.
    Chris , I was on plaquinal for some time as well, no dies effects, it jus didn’t work for me. So I ended up on diclofenic. There are concerns there about heart problems. Everything has its side effects. My sister says that they now have a generic for one of her meds, can’t remember the name, but will get back to you. Not enough coffee yet. She is doing fine Sue. Her friend Mary lost a sister yesterday. Third one to pancreatic cancer. Not supposed to be genetic, but….they are now testing her remaining sister and I suppose Mary as well. She has gotten really bad with the MS and a stroke. Judy is helping her husband care for her. It is hard on them and the one child helps none.
    Well, my turn for the bathroom. He goes first, it takes him forever ! Must have two bathrooms wherever we end up lol
    Love to all

    • Tonie, two bathrooms are always a good idea…Sounds like you had a good day today or at least a busy one. Hope you’re okay after all the work. Hope FM had a good shopping trip.
      Sad to hear about Judy’s dear friend. Life is so harsh for so many. I think it is good to share and help each other in any way we can…it keeps us from feeling sorry for ourselves, you know?
      Busy day here. Big day tomorrow also with doctors appts. Interested to see how it goes at the new pain clinic. Later, Love, Sue

  11. Tonie
    I used to be on diclofenic ..they won’t give me them now..only the gel…and I don’t find that too helpful
    I’m on naproxan it’s not as good
    Such a lot if ill health about
    Oh I’m glad I’m moving a neighbour has a rabbit and he is thumping all night it’s like he’s in a box thumping it with his back legs .it started tonite never happened before.

    Well DH no good again been refered to the urologist one thing after another

    Well gonna try and sleep with all the thumping! dH lucky he can’t hear a thing!

    • Chris, oh bother. That’s all you need is a bunny who is compulsively whacking a cage or box. How irritating that can be. Good thing you’re moving. Hope the new bedroom will be cooler for you. DId it get hot today?
      Sorry DH is having more trouble. One thing and then another. Chin up sweet friend. Love, Sue

    • Chris
      I would shoot that rabbit ! We have a neighbor with a coon hound that barks all the time. I don’t blame the dog, but the idiot owner who leaves it tied to a short leash all the time. No exercise, except when he hunts. I don’t understand people.
      I know you will be glad when your move is over. Why won’t they give you the diclofenic anymore ?

      • Tonie
        They won’t give it here because of the heart problems…so they give others..I think they give them to younger people still tho
        Blimmin rabbit it went on for three hrs here last nite ..the poor lady coming here

      • Yep the blimmin thing kept at it for three hrs last nite…the poor lady moving in
        They don’t give it here be so of its side effects I used to have it for a long time but they just stopped it
        Poor dog..we had that situation but they moved so everyone was pleased

      • Well how odd….I wrote the first one it didn’t appear so I wrote it again and it had appeared So two for the price of one!

  12. Morning all
    Well, stage one of construction for the dance floor has started. Yesterday we moved the old deck out and put some temperate steps on the front door. I miss my porch ! Even the dogs do. But FM is a fast worker, a few days of sunshine and it will be done. He is missing the porch sitting as well. He said he decided to build it because when I described what I wanted to do, and about having a porch, the look of such earnest on my face , he had to do it. So sweet.
    Well, Ms Alice is now going to be at the pain clinic for her back. A two hour wait at the docs yesterday, he was stuck in surgery, and that was the news. Pray for Fran, she has a bleeding ulcer that needs surgery. Her hgb is down to 8.3. Should be 10 or above. Her two sisters decided to go on a cruise together, and oh, didn’t ask her because she is taking care of mom ! Is she resentful ? Of course ! They need to come and take care of her for a while so she can get her health fixed. Such drama in these people. I guess it is with us all isn’t it ?
    Sue thinking of you today with your Dr’s. Hope the pain clinic does something for you. They are a good idea in theory, but like all things on paper, sometimes not so much. It is just that Dr’s can’t be bothered with medications for pain anymore. Well, some of them. Insurance costs etc and stupid patients who blame them for their own problems. Take care dear Friend.
    Jennie ? Where are you ? How are you ?
    Love to all

    • Tonie
      It sounds like you are so in tune with each’s the way to go !
      Who is who is fran. And yes prayers

  13. Well I hope this goes on I wrote a third post to tonie saying I didn’t see the first post hence my second post and it’s not here for the moment anyway. All odd
    Thinking of you today and hope it went ok. And the trip as well .i hope it isn’t as sore as the last time
    And the pain clinic was good to you

  14. Hi
    Hope all ok
    How you after your trip. concerned
    Hope all goes well for you with your tests and what you are having done
    We have the same service with the libraries in the U.K.i Agree with you reading is a wonderful distraction and escape

  15. Dear Friends, Sorry, had to go to Portland for three doctor appt. on Thursday and needed yesterday and this morning to recover. Long day, painful trip in the rain. Went to the oncology office for a shot in each hip for the monthly pricks…to the oncology surgery for 6 month check up for both of us and then to the new pain clinic. First two visits uneventful and the new pain clinic is wonderful. I loved it right away. The doctor I saw among the many they have was amazing. I knew just walking into the office it was going to be good. It was quiet and organized and on one wall they had a large bulletin board labeled POSITIVE CHANGES which was full of testimonials from folks who had received help there. The doctor I saw was amazingly knowledgeable about all drugs for pain and is changing many of the meds I am currently taking. I’ll let you know if they work.I was just so relieved to be taken seriously and to see such immediate action for my obvious predicament….my health. Trip more painful than usual, very long day and probably more pain due to coming off the Plaquenil.

    Karen, thanks so much for taking the time and effort to get back to everyone about the audio books and the very pointed information. I pray your tests on Monday go well for you with positive outcomes. Good to hear from you again. Do take care.

    Chris, sorry about some of your entries getting lost. Don’t understand what happened there. Same is true for Pommum. Hope Pommum is having an enjoyable time at their beautiful lake cottage and Chris, that move sure is getting close. What day are the packers coming? Wish you health, both you and DH for the big days ahead.

    Tonie, your carpenter sounds like he comes with benefits. You lucky girl you. The new porch sounds so nice and to be able to sit outside even in the winter, wonderful. My love to each of you, recovering Sue, the world worst traveler.

  16. Sue
    Good to hear from you and with the info on the pain wonderful .to have him on the same wavelength and to know how you feel… just have to see what time brings now with different meds.a new approach with such a positive man ..I wish it wasn’t such a long and painful trip
    Packers come Thursday and the big day Friday .dH went to Drs Saturday morning and he gave him four weeks antibiotics he thought it may be prostatitis with how he hopefully all will be ok
    He is not very well..and I feel a bit lost with it all..usually I’m full steam but feel so restricted with all.still we are getting there . And lucky to be moving. It’s our last weekend here.rabbit quiet,but they have now got a Barky dog and it’s just nearly under our bedroom window . They both go to work and leave it barking in their conservatory all day.i can see There will be complaints .i feel so sorry for the new lady she won’t be expecting that….I don’t suppose it will be as bad for her as she works too
    The nights are getting warm in the bedroom hopefully the new place will be ok.cleaned out all the cupboards and drawers. Have DD Friday to help and her partner coming over in the evening to sort out TVs for us. The new mattress we had has to go back it was no good on Thursday and having new twin beds delivered Friday at new place. Will sleep on one single myself Thursday and DH put couch squabs on the old bedstead….which dH is taking back with her……..all go!
    I’m leaving here but it’s the last place my mum and dad knew me in and they are both buried in the that feels strange. Like a parting somehow…’s just me being a bit lost at the moment I think .life is so uncertain
    So going in tomorrow to town to get new single sheets I’ve been waiting for.they are a soft cotton,.need them soft for my skin.i can then wash them before I make those beds. I’m looking forward to the takeout for us all in the conservatory Friday evening.
    Lots of phone calls made this week..and rephoning as some had got got it wrong..esp the banks which mattered when we had to change other stuff .and it takes so long to get one phone call done
    Well it’s 04.30 so try to get back to sleep

    • Dear Chris, in so many ways I wish time could stand still for all of us because so many of these transitions we make are such a sweet and sour mixture of both good and painful. I am glad DH is on the antibiotics and hope they help.make the move better each day as they work for him. I am glad you’re leaving that particular noisy neighbor behind and the new tenant will have to fend for herself…yes, her working should help.
      You are facing so much. As I’m sure I’ve told you previously, my Grandpa Reed whose parents were both from England used to say, “A move is harder than being burnt out.” Not sure exactly what he meant except when the house burns down you don’t have to move and resettle all the stuff. Glad you’re getting new mattresses and hope you like them. It sounds like the new bedroom will be cooler just from the way you describe the location. I know you’re going to enjoy the garden or pavillion. Much to look forward to my dear friend. Be good to yourself during all of this and I’m so glad you’re getting some help from DD. So many details are whirling around in your mind right now small wonder you can’t sleep.
      P.S. My new pain doctor is a lovely young female Asian American. She is sharp as a tack. Sleep well now and let all those thoughts settle. It will all get done eventually. Don’t push it, okay? Love, Sue

      • That’s strange …the rheumy I told you about she was Asian…and was so kind and understanding. She says she would do my steroid in her lunch hour just ring up..I hope you are feeling better and rested now

  17. Dear Friends, I have been in touch with Jennie several times in the last ten days or so and she is overwhelmed with much to do trying to find a broker to sell their house in France. She is also spending much effort on trying to find a place to move back home to, in England. I told her we are all thinking of her and sending prayers for solutions to all that she is facing right now. This whole situation in the EU is causing them so many possible and probable problems in the coming months. Prayers for Jennie we love her so much and this is a rough time in their lives. Sue

  18. Jen
    Good luck with the person coming tomorrow . She’s bound to love your home…just take it as it comes.. Where you looking at now.? Are you mixed between where your friends are going in Devon and Yorkshire ? I would plum for nearer your son all that travelling for you…
    Rained..poured all yesterday .hope Friday will be ok ..hope you are feeling ok

  19. Hey all
    First I apologize for posting as Sue for a few times, usually I see it keeps me logged in, but forgot to change it. Second, Jennie, praying for you dear one. God makes a way for us sometimes even when it seems so hard for us. You have been wanting and praying to go home, now HE is making a way for you. You will get there.
    Sue, so happy you found a good Dr there. I love my pain clinic people. The young guy is so good and so compassionate. When I got the shots the other week he asked about my TMJ. I told him I suffered a lot a few weeks ago. He told me a few times before I left, and walked me out, don’t suffer, call me. I listen to him with the other patients and he is so caring and nice. I know they are going to help you, I just know it.
    Chris, I am excited for you. And new soft sheets are so good aren’t they ? I love high thread count sheets. Good times coming a new chapter.
    I am sitting on my new porch enjoying the afternoon with my FM. It is beautiful and so well made !
    Well, good day to all

    • Tonie, HURRAY. Let’s hear it for your Frenchman and his skills with a hammer and saw. I’m so happy you are both so pleased with the results. I guess none of us need to tell you to enjoy! Good.
      Yes, I have high hopes after the initial trial period of weaning off of old drugs and onto new ones. Had my last Plaquenil two days ago so have that to deal with now also. Glad your weather is pleasant. We had rain last night and a lovely day today. Flowers blooming are so magnificent and a huge fern came up in my back flower bed with the hydrangeas which are magnificent. THey’re about 6 feet tall right now ans starting to bloom lavender and blue. I have a small rose one that is just getting started that I put out last year. Enjoy that porch. Much love, Sue

  20. Prayers, Jennie!
    Chris, I can understand your feelings in preparation for your move. Prayers for you, too. Enjoy those sheets! I love soft, comfy sheets.
    Sue, so happy you finally found a good pain group! Now, for the meds to be just what you need.
    Tonie, I’m enjoying hearing about all your home improvements. How is DD doing?
    It was a lovely day here today, a refreshing change from the heat and humidity we had been having and which is to return tomorrow. I treated sweet Sadie pup to an extra long walk today. Hopefully I won’t be paying for that. Take care, all!

    • Lyn, sounds like a lovely day for both you ad Sadie. This time of year can be beautiful and I’m glad you feel well enough to enjoy. Yes, I have high hopes after the initial trial period with the med changes. Good thing I’ve learned to be patient. Love, Sue

    • Hey Lyn.
      Things are working better for DD. Please continue to keep her in your prayers. She needs a good job. I have been enjoying being a helper instead of the main doer. We have accomplished a lot, and time is rapidly winding down. But he needs to get back and take care of his affairs hopefully quickly rather than as long as anticipated.
      The weather here is to be stormy all week along with the heat, so …….
      Take care and be careful with yourself

  21. Good to know that things are looking good Sue ..and your garden sounds like a lush colourful place.our new garden has honeysuckle out in bloom and jasmine it smells the whole garden..oh and there are plums on the tree there
    So good you are enjoying the new porch and FM to share it with you. It must be great.
    Yep a new chapter for me and a new story
    Went around there last night and looked around and told what was where.i just wanted to get in and sorted! It chqs a roller door on the garage so that’s new for us to just drive in with the zapper
    No more weekends here..last Monday too
    Lyn hope your still ok after that long walk
    Well sorting keys out and have to go and get some things from town
    Back later chris

    • Chris, sounds so exciting for you. I know you’re going to be very comfortable in your new home. It sounds so lovely…I love honeysuckle. Plums sound like a plus, too. So much of our garden is low maintenance and flowering bushes. The only smaller plants are on the porch and deck which is actually our garage roof because it is connected to our basement.
      I hope DH is feeling better with the antibiotics.
      I really miss Jen and if you talk to her be sure to tell her. I’ve been exchanging messages with her on FB but it’s not the same.
      I’m sure your mind is full of details for the move. Do hope you’re sleeping better…you need it. Love ya, Sue

  22. Sue
    I will certainly do that Sue.also when I email Jen tonite

    I think this garden will be more maintenance than we have here .the back has three small round lawns and a lot of paved Areas around which need regular work on.and the front all lawn and another front sitting area .i think we will be staying home more than going out so much so that will be good ,like we got a home to stay at! The back garden is so quiet it’ll be so different for us
    It’s bigger house in area but I think it will be easy to clean and I want less in it ….if I can!
    Not sure about DH..wait and see
    No not sleeping up washing last nite !
    Love chris

    • Chris, I know you’re excited. Was that and the laundry calling you or was it the darn bunny net door thumping away. Your new house does sound a good excuse to get a gardener every once in awhile. I love the pics I have seen of English gardens and the eye for detail.I am one of those little old ladies who love to put surprises all over the place like a fake bird hanging on the tree, a windmill sort of thing catching the wind, etc. I feel myself getting excited for you. You and I both know it will be a lot of work but know it will be worth just PLEASE sit and rest when you must.
      Quiet here today with so much on the news about Dallas and other places of violence. Talked to my son who lives just outside of Dallas and heard my GS who lives in Dallas is counseling people who were traumatized by the shootings of the policemen He’s a great young man with his masters degree in counseling and so many people in that area are upset right now…other cops, medical personnel, people on the streets, etc. So tragic. My son said you can just feel it in the air down there.
      When I chatted with Jen this am she said the lookers for the house yesterday cancelled. What a time they are having just trying to get home to England.
      Thoughts for you, wish I was close enough and strong enough to help you. Love, Sue

  23. Friends, I started on Lyrica last night to see if it’s better than Gabapentin. We will see. I know a couple of you had a bad experience with it but we are each different. I have mixed feelings because it is SO expensive. Even with good insurance it is $100 for thirty low dose capsules. Yuk. Time will tell. Sue

    • Hi Sue….a great blog and loved your poem. It does take a lot of courage to just get up every morning and do the basics…some days are easier than others. Like Chris said, we have to think about everything before we actually try to do it. Miss the good Ole days of jumping out of bed in the morning and and diving into all the days activities. We all know here how courageous we really are and it doesn’t matter what other people think.
      I hope the Lyrica works better for you. I was on them for just a few weeks and I will say it helped with the pain but I also put on quite a few pounds. But I know you’re trying to put weight on so maybe not a bad side effect for you. It was ecpensive..another down side. I’m hopeful it will give you pain relief. Hope you’re also recovering from your long trip and day into Portland.
      Nothing too new here but may have to get back to Chicago again in August. Lots of problems with caregiver…angry outbursts, roughness etc. My siblings and I need to come in agreement that she would be better off in a nice assisted living. It’s costing over $4,000 per month just for the live- in caregiver. This is not including groceries, utilities, etc. Something has to change!!!
      My house will be back on the market with a realtor in October. It gives us a much needed break . Take care, Sue, and thanks for another encouraging blog. Love, Jo

      Hope everyone here has a good day! X

      • Jo
        Prayers for getting your mom resettled. That is a very expensive caregiver ! It is a difficult job, but certainly doesn’t warrant abuse of the patient. Good luck with the home sale as well. Better weather for people to get out and look at it too.
        Take care
        To ie

      • Tonie..thanks for the prayers. I think caregiver is expensive too. But broken down it’s $150 per day. She’s there 24/7 seven days a week. I don’t know what a normal rate should be. What do you think? I have to believe for $4,000/month, we can get her in a very good assisted living. We shall see…it’s difficult when all siblings can’t agree on what should be done. Hope we can all come together to solve it in August. Enjoy your nice new patio!!. I just saw it on FB. It looks like it’s in very peaceful surroundings. Your friend is very handy !!!!! My DH tries but we usually have to call someone in to finish the projects🙄
        Have a good day…Jo

      • Jo, so good to hear from you and pleased you could identify with the blog. Yes, I hope the Lyrica works but already having doubts. It seems to effect my short term memory. Can’t remember if I took a pill or not, etc. I also feel kind of out of it and that is not a feeling I like. It’s going to have to improve or else I will not crank up the dose as the doctor told me to. We will see. I’ll give it a couple of weeks probably. Cost is also so prohibitive.
        I am sorry to hear the patient caregiver for your Mom is running out of patience and showing what must be her true colors. That is a horrible amount of money but not out of line. Jim’s Mom was paying her caregiver $200 per day for a total of $7000 per month. When you consider it is twenty four hours every day, however they do get room and board.I would have to agree it is time to find a good care home, whether convalescent type or board and care. How much can she do for herself? It must be so complicated with siblings. I gave most of the decision making about my Mom over to my sister who lived nearest to her since I couldn’t travel to CA. It so depends on the circumstances, I know. Jim’s Mom was only hospitalized a short while before her death which was a blessing. Now for Jim’s Uncle who passed a couple of years ago Jim helped him find a wonder board and care where they only had a handful of clients but we found out later they were hoping to get their hands on his money when the woman running took him to the bank to have him sign her onto his account. Fortunately for us, the bank manager called us while they were there because Jim was already on the account. We later found out Jim’s Mom’s caregiver was stealing from her when we found things missing; even her watch, cross and wedding ring. Some people play with fire when it comes to their souls. She will surely never have any peace in this world.
        As far as your house selling, it will work out when it is supposed to but I do worry about all the work for you. I hope you’re doing as well as can be. Love you, Sue

  24. Oh no poor ol Jen I didn’t know they’d cancelled .oh she must feel so disappointed ..such an awful time
    I wish she could just sell it like magic
    You are close enough to me and you are strong enough to help me your words do wonders.
    Your ideas for the garden I like ,I want to have some long bell things can’t think of the name.yea that’s it chimes…I love them but to DH hearing they just another noise so maybe not.
    I forgot your son and family were in Dallas you must have been worried Sue .what times we are living in you must be so proud of your GS to be able to help in these times
    Well the rabbit didn’t wake me up ,what I do is keep the volume on the tv pthen I can’t hear it allDh can’t hear the tv in the other room and with his aid out he is in the quiet!
    Tomorrow we are doing nothing..well that’s the plan but it never happens
    Glad you talked to Jen
    Love chris

  25. Good morning all
    Porch sitting this am enjoying my coffee, toast and blueberries before work. So nice and quiet. I love it. We put in a gravel path and a lot of big rock around the bottom of the porch. A lot of work because we picked up all the rock at a cliff base here locally. Beautiful, some of it. But feeling the soreness of it also.
    Chris, I LOVE wind chimes, I have a tiny one on my porch , with horses on it of course, but I want one of the big ones, with the mellow sounds. Maybe one of those in the trees would be nice.
    The finches have found FM’s feeder I got him. He has enjoyed sitting here and watching them. This porch has been an eye opener for him in many ways. Sunday evening my brother and sister, Fm and I all sat here drinking coffee and talking. He said it was wonderful. He told me that he built this for me because I spoke of it last year, and the look of longing on my face spoke to him. Awwww! And now he knows this winter I will have more protection from the weather.
    Brutus is still fighting this kennel cough. Remember him in prayer. Baby is doing well, even her for is better.
    Sue good luck with the Lyrica. Hope it works better for you. That is expensive ! I just finished my round of prednisone, so the back is doing well. I so hope to get a little more movement back. May have to have more X-rays before we further treatments.
    Jennie, praying for you dear.
    Love to all

  26. Hello,
    Its not an easy time here in France , a general unrest everywhere, and some hostility until we can get home, we just have to weather the storm. Been to a few more agencies and registered with them, if the price goes down any lower we will be giving it away, and if and when we do sell, despite the currant situation, I will grieve for this country we have called home for ten years.
    Health wise, got an appointment for my foot tumours (second opinion) not till October, but if they take away our healthcare tat will have to be cancelled. Managing it as best I can, with arch supports and special insoles etc……..
    O/A just the same, so much rain here and so little sunshine, there has not been the usual benefits of the sun, only on odd days.
    Had a few days, when I have been so low I didn’t want to get out of bed, but then I had Bible studies, and felt better, I am not depressed, just so sad about everything.

    Sue…..thank you for being there for me, its been good to be able to talk about the state of affairs with you, and I appreciate that.
    Tonie……thank you too, for not losing contact, I can see how much help your FM is to you, and the things he has done look great, tell him.
    Chris….as always, my fellow Brit, who gives good advice, you will soon be in your new home, and you deserve it after such a difficult year so far.
    Lyn…….Thank you for your prayers, it means such a lot to me.

    I have missed you all, I am so busy each day trying every which way to see if there is anything more to be done to market the house, sales have almost ground to a halt, but the lower price and throwing in a lot of the furniture might help…….so if I dive in and out of the blog, please don’t think I am not thinking of everyone, I prayer for you all everyday as always.
    God bless….Jennie x

    • Dearest Jen, so good to see you on here. I am so sorry life is so rough for you right now. What’s the deal with the real estate market right now? Is it your area or all over? It’s difficult for us who see pictures of your lovely home and garden and would love to have it! I know you are way beyond frustrated right now and wish you could find some peace in all of this turmoil. The loss of medical coverage that is looming over you, well that is very scary, I know. I am sorry to hear some of the measures we have all recommended for your feet have not helped that much. I was hoping they would.
      Jen, you mean a great deal to each of us and we always admire your wonderful sense of humor during so many rough times. Surely this will work out for both of you although it looks like it will take some time. I wish there was some health insurance available to you even for the short time you remain there. We are going through the pain of having to pay more for meds and it is frustrating and stings a bit.
      Please know you are loved and many prayers are going up for you, specific prayers for your health, DH’s health, the house to sell and a new home to be made ready for you in England. Much love, Sue


  27. Good morning all
    Sitting here readin all the posts. Jen, I do so feel for you. Such an upheaval although you wanted to go home, this is different. But…everything has a reason, and sometimes we never know that until much later. He will make a way, He always does.
    Sue, here’s hoping you are doing well on the new meds. Sometimes you can see a difference right away. Sometimes not.
    Well, I had to order a new laptop. Mine has been used and abused enough. Plus I want to start doing something with my photographs, see if I can sell them. I got an HP this time, have always had Toshibas before. Had HP desktops though and they were good. Good deal on it, so……
    Tonight I hope to go pick blackberries after work. Rained last night and they will go bad quickly. I want a couple gallon to put in the freezer. Cobblers, jam, and just berries . Will have to pick more zuchinni soon, so will have to shred and chop it for the freezer as well. Hopefully Corn coming in soon. And tomatoes, plenty on the vines, just not ripe yet.
    Lyn, are you finished with your concerts or still have more this summer ? Sue, I wish I could send you this midriff bulge of mine, it just will not go away. I hate it, but….
    Well, have a wonderful day all

  28. Jo
    I do hope all works out for your is so expensive. My dads cost the quiv of $5500 a month.but luckily he qualified becos of his illness for continuing care for it all to be paid . I would still have preferred him to be in a nice nursing home but he wouldn’t go

    Well the Internet will go off sometime tomorrow and not come on new place till sometime next day .My cellphone is ok for some internet..but won’t use it only for emails till DH gets the wifi working.could take a few days with all we got to do…so I mite be off for a bit
    So I mite not come on again for a while. Maybe once tomorrow if I’m all look after yourselves I’ve only got two sleeps to go

    • Chris, so excited for you. Promise me you’ll pace yourself dear lady. Finally, the move. Much love, Sue

    • Thanks Chris. I guess the cost of caregiving is just high. Good luck to you with your moving day. Pace yourself as much as possible. Moving is certainly a stressful ordeal!!!

  29. Yea I’m going slow and careful with my hips.i don’t think I’ll be on tomorrow as we have the packers here from 8am
    In the evening we are going out for a meal and I think we’ll be cut off about midday
    All in chaos but organised tho
    See you all in ages days

  30. Well I’m still connected .packers down stairs packing
    I had bad ibs pains all night..took a tablet for it ,thing is they upset my sjogrens. Still there but a bit easier
    It’s either the anti iflams or that sweetener they put in the icecream that built up…I forgot it does that to me
    So sometimes I can’t walk with it or sit down!
    But progress being made downstairs and the mattress that went wrong will be collected between 5__9pm
    So it kind of limits us going out for a meal as packers won’t leave till 5pm
    Not that I wanna eat like this but There we go…
    So I’m doing nowt laying on bed
    Be intouch when I canChris

    • Oh Chris, I am sorry to hear the old IBS hit today. Does metamucil help to calm down your gut by solidifying things? I was surprised to hear of ice cream with artificial sweetener. Usually it has sugar doesn’t it? Hope it isn’t the anti-inflammatory because you really need it, especially now during the move. Good to hear the packers are there and busy. So much going on for you. Send me an email if you want to chat and see if we can do something to make your day better for the gut. It’s evening over there right now so it is probably better…I hope. Hope you were able to eat something or is it better to rest the gut? Thinking of you and hope the new beds arrive okay. Love, Sue

  31. Chris
    So excited for you. We are still up in the air about moving, so we will see next year. For now, I am snug. My porch will keep me warmer this winter. I was telling the FM that he had effluence you and your ice cream eating. He says , Why not? Enjoy what you can.
    Well, we got about a gallon of berries last night. Maybe we can go back on Monday and see how many more are ripe. Someone else is picking there as well. Or maybe we will go for the red raspberries…..It is so beautiful there in the woods. Saw some turkey hens with a passel of babies. So cute, and a doe with twin fawns. I was driving then so no pictures.
    Tired today, awake every hour I think… I hate those nights. Ms Alice is going to be a handful today, I can tell already. Always seems to go that way when I am tired. FM installed rails on the porch yesterday and another coat of paint so all that is left now is to seal the unpainted wood and we are done. Didn’t get to sit on it last night because of the paint, but tonight….look out !
    Please take care all this weekend. Hope you all have a wonderful one. Chris, take care, go easy ! Maybe we will go to Fairystone this weekend…we will see.
    Love to all

    • Tonie, Tried to get back to comment to you last night and couldn’t. Lyrica giving me blurry vision. Hmm. Have to see if it goes away. Otherwise doing fairly well but not sure as it’s too soon to tell. I checked into all of the new pain meds she is considering prescribing and they are all expensive…very.
      Loved reading about your berry picking. Glad it was productive and your walk in the woods sounds just wonderful. Love the photos of your new porch. It’s really great.FM is doing such a wonderful job on it. Be sure to tell him how many fans he has on here and FB.
      What was going on with the being awake last night? Were you having pain from the walking? Do hope you’re wrong about Ms. Alice and she isn’t a pain today. Poor old dear. Sounds like your weather has been good as has ours. Lovely here right now with a cool wind and plenty of sun.
      I know how precious this time with FM is for you both and pray and hope arrangements can be made with his retirement situation when he goes back home. Much love, Sue

  32. Well, that was a marathon of reading. Hello, everyone, I think I’m finally caught up. It has been a full week here.
    Chris, I hope all is going well with your move and that you are resting as much as you can.
    Sue, are any of the side effects wearing off? SB was on Lyrica briefly for his back, but it didn’t really do anything for him so he discontinued.
    Tonie, as far as the chamber group I sing with, we have one more concert this summer in August. DD and I are singing a duet with the local community band she and DH play with and I used to play with (don’t trust my hands any longer to play.) DD and I are also in the planning stages for a concert program the two of us are doing in October. Lots to do.
    Jen, I am continuing to pray for you, and now added prayers for France. How awful is this latest. I do hope and pray the right people view your lovely home soon so you can return to England. I know how stressful it all must be for you. Hugs!
    Jo, good to see you on here again. Prayers for your situation with your mother and family.

    Well, folks, I have overdone it today and am fading fast. Before I start babbling and making no sense, I shall close and turn in for the night. Blessings to all!

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