Google+ Followers

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last chance

It looks as if this is my last chance to do what it is that I do in 2015. Most of all I wish my friends and readers a healthful, bountiful, peaceful New Year. May you receive everything you need to grow to be the best you possible.

A wonderful post crossed my path this morning that pretty much sums up how I feel as the last hours of 2015 slip by. After sharing it with a couple of souls I decided to also share it here. The only thing I know for sure about where my life is headed is that I am supposed to catch all that I can and pass on the information for others to do the same thing.

So I am ending my last post for 2015 with these words, borrowed and shared.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm done

Finally all the medical tests I have undergone for the last month to please my doctor are over. No more sticking needles in my arm to extract blood, no more huge machines scanning my body from head to toe. I'm done! Basically the only abnormal findings are I need to breath correctly and take a calcium/vitamin D supplement to strengthen my bones. Not bad for a body as old as mine is.

I swear I look around at people I know who are much younger than I am and think, "what happened to you?". Although I have never been a health nut I have apparently taken reasonably good care of myself. Any negative habits I acquired along the way, due mostly to the influence of others, were dropped years ago.

2015 is ending with a pretty clean slate considering the physical challenges I have dealt with. Financially many would say that I am poor, but I have everything I need and have no bills. Not many people can say that at any age. Personally I believe the poor are those who owe so much they will never get out of debt. What a horrible way to live!

I am grateful for the challenges that I have had. They have created a very strong human who has learned to be proud of every day accomplishments. There is no need to be like anyone else. I am happy being me.

I'm done trying to be like everyone else- that's simply not me.

Friday, December 25, 2015

On Christmas morning

Gifts were opened last night, but there seems to be something missing. I looked through previous posts I had written for an answer and found this one that I would like to share. Here goes:

I missed being a Christmas gift for my parents by a mere three weeks, but at least I was responsible for my mother losing some weight before the big day. Hey thoughtful me I even came in the morning so I wouldn’t interfere with her lunch!

My first born began announcing his arrival very early on Christmas morning. I have always told him it wasn’t my fault. He was due on December 19th. The gift he got that year was the gift of life. The gift I got was assuming the role of a mother.

I have been around for a lot of Christmas events. In all that time I really don’t remember anything I really set my mind to that I wanted for a gift. Growing up our family didn’t have a whole lot of money, but we never seemed to lack anything important like food. My mother spent a lot of hours making gifts with her trusty sewing machine. Her creations for me and my dolls were one of a kind. My father’s gift was usually something he whipped up in the kitchen.

I remember a Christmas when I was in high school. I had a part time job and decided to save up my money to buy my family a special gift. At the time we lived in a rather ratty apartment above my grandfather’s second hand store. It wasn’t a place I felt comfortable bringing friends to. The gift I bought was a whole set of pastel plastic dishes. Dishes are dishes and I couldn’t afford china. That was also the year I decided it was better to give than to receive. I have no idea what my gifts were.

I think that Christmas set the tone for a path I would take in my adult life. I have always found it difficult to receive and only recently have begun to accept the fact that I am worth every single thing that the universe has in store for me. Oh don’t get me wrong, I still give because it makes me happy, but I now also accept not only at Christmas, but all year long.

I would like to share a poem I wrote several years ago for a Christmas telethon for St. Vincent de Paul. It expresses the simple fact that love is the best gift you can give or receive. Isn’t that the reason our Creator became man?

One Gift

If you could have one gift for Christmas

tell me what would it be someone asked.

Seriously pondering the question awhile,

the gift I choose wouldn’t be under the tree.

What I really want for Christmas

I told the person who had asked me

is the most precious treasured gift of all;

LOVE, pure and simple and completely free.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Surprises

Looking back at 77 years of living I am wondering what is left to do. I really wish I had access to that book of life written before I arrived here. Surprises are nice on a birthday maybe, but generally speaking not so good. At least that's been my experience so far.

Take this year for instance. I had no idea last January that I would be dealing with surgery that would not only eliminate the hip/leg pain I had been having, but would cause me to slow down and concentrate on me for a change.

Take the plunge the universe said and I did. I had no way of knowing the results would be so positive. In the last four months something has definitely changed. It's not that I have become self-centered, but I have learned to take care of me first. In doing so the universe seems to come up with little rewards. Just yesterday one or two happened.

First I had kept my yearly vision checkup, with no significant changes. When I went to pay the bill I was told Medicare and my supplement would take care of it. I hadn't expected that. I also ordered a new pair of computer glasses (lenses), which I will have to pay for. I began writing a check and was told the doctor said not to pay the bill until they come in. This doctor never does that- ever.

Second I had been debating whether or not to order a new CD/Radio from Amazon. I was going to wait until after Christmas and finally decided to just do it. My old one needed to be replaced. After I placed the online order I picked up my mail. It included a refund check for an over payment from my physical therapist. The check was about $3 less than the Amazon order. What's funny is that I didn't pay the bill in the first place, my insurance did.

Little things like this keep happening and I am beginning to wonder what in the world is going on.

As 2015 quickly comes to an end I clearly see that things are in the process of changing. Where the next phase of my life is headed I have no idea. I have a strong feeling that as long as I keep putting my welfare first I am in for some interesting surprises.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I killed my best friend

As a result of a recent lung scan I was informed that I have signs of pulmonary emphysema, most likely the result of age and a past history of smoking. I smoked for 40 years and quit 17 years ago this coming February. I was told by the technician who did the scan that it means no more damage was done after I quit. It doesn't mean the damage already done will fix itself.I am grateful that there are no other signs of lung damage and my condition simply causes a problem with low oxygen from time to time. I accept it as a reminder of not only how stupid I was to smoke, but how smart I was to follow my intuition back in 1999. If I hadn't quit smoking things could be a lot worse.

In 2006 I wrote an article on this subject for a youth group in the hopes that the young readers might get my message. This morning I am sharing it with you in the hopes that it might help others to begin the new year smoke free.

I KILLED MY BEST FRIEND

For a variety of reasons I grew up having very little self-esteem. When I graduated from high school I had no clue what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life. I had been an average student who finished school because it was expected. At 19 I was a very lonely person who desperately needed a best friend.

The friend I choose for the next forty years was three inches tall, smelled bad, controlled my life and led me in the direction of poor health. The relationship was what would be considered abusive today. At the beginning nobody warned me of danger and in all those years nobody offered to help me let go of my destructive companion.

There were of course, those who shook their heads and fingers at me making rude comments about how disgusting this relationship was. They probably thought they were helping, but they only made me angry and caused me to stubbornly refuse to let go.

Seven years ago I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw. I decided I did not deserve to be controlled by an object that could not possibly move from my hand to my mouth without my help. I realized I was the only one who could end the relationship and I have never been sorry that I did.

Believe me when I say, the only way you will successfully stop smoking or any other negative addiction is to become self centered and care about yourself. Whoever you are, believe that you are a valuable person who deserves the very best life has to offer.

There are people around you who want to help you quit smoking. The hardest thing you have to do is learn to care about yourself and be willing to accept their help. I know from personal experience that once you do that the rest is a breeze.

Do you really want a best friend who is three inches tall, smells bad, controls your life and is leading you in the direction of poor health and perhaps death? If the answer is no, follow my example and give yourself permission to live the healthy life you deserve.

Originally written by inspirational author, Barbara Loure`Gunn, and published in the New Mexico YEAH TIMES (Youth Empowerment Advocacy Heroes newsletter) in 2006.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

When to say enough to your doctor

For the last three weeks I have been the recipient of several tests etc. that are part of Welcome to Medicare B. I feel like I am a test pilot. Everything has been normal, considering my age and the fact that I have a past history of smoking. Nothing really surprised me. The worst thing found is a low vitamin D count. It isn't seriously low, but I do need to take an over the counter supplement. I can do that.

I have a mass on one side of my thyroid that was noticed in a CT scan. No big deal it's been there since at least 1998 and a previous needle biopsy showed it was benign. My new doctor got excited and expected me to have another biopsy. I said absolutely not! I suggested he look back in my records to check the measurement then and compare it to now. If it has grown then and only then will I consider another biopsy. My intuition strongly says there will be no need for that. Doctors aren't always right.

This is probably the first time in my life I have said no to a doctor. Even though Medicare, plus my supplement, would pay the bill that's not a good enough reason to have another biopsy. Even though I appreciate his concern I am done!

So it looks as if I will be starting 2016 in pretty good shape. My doctor made the comment that there are people half my age who aren't as healthy.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Whatever makes you happy

I found this great quote this morning and it was, FIND A NEED AND FILL IT.

It really doesn't matter how big or small that is. If it makes you happy it will make the recipient happy.

During my recent surgery recovery I had some physical restrictions that limited my activity. I didn't want to just sit around and waste time so I scanned my brain to see how I could contribute my talents to my community. I had a friend who used to make little hats for the babies born at our local hospital, but she has moved away. I thought to myself, I could do that. I checked out simple patterns and purchased a skein of baby yarn and began to crochet. In the last few months I have made dozens and donated them to Cibola General Hospital. The nurses are thrilled with my efforts, the caps don't take much time to create and it makes me really happy.

In the past I have done many little things of this nature to contribute to my community. It is how my writing group for senior citizens and my writing camp for elementary students got started.

I look around and notice people saying, "I am so bored". Perhaps if they looked inside and made a list of talents that make them happy those people could connect with the world outside and everyone would be happy.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Just get it done

By the end of December I will have been gone over from head to tow with a fine tooth comb. Apparently the universe wants me to start out 2016 with a healthy body- not so sure about the mind though.

My current journey began about a month ago with attempting my yearly dermatology checkup. That was a bit tricky because I had to replace my regular doctor due to his retirement. I also had to find one who accepts Medicare. On my last appointment I was self pay because I had no insurance. Now I not only have Medicare B, but a supplement that pays what it doesn't cover. After several unsuccessful phone calls I decided to call my old dermatology office and ask if they by any chance now take Medicare. The answer was yes and I made an appointment with one of my former doctor's replacements. Yay! I got to go where all my records are located plus I really like my new doctor.

Next I was discharged by my physical therapist and my surgeon, both assuring me, "you did good".

This morning I took care of the blood tests and EKG that are part of the Welcome to Medicare package. I was also given the orders needed to do several scans, also part of the package.

Tomorrow morning bright and early I will have the aorta scan, lung scan and bone density test done. There is a first time for everything I hear!

To complete the nicely wrapped and free package I have my yearly mammogram scheduled for December 28th with my favorite Cibola General Hospital tech.

The only thing I will have to pay for is my yearly eye exam on December 22, which unfortunately is not covered by anyone but me.

My point to this exposure is that for 12 years I refused to get Medicare B because I didn't want Social Security to take anything out of my monthly benefit check. Now I realize how really stupid that was. My recent hip replacement surgery alone ran up a $41,000 hospital bill. Because I had Medicare B and Mutual of Omaha supplement "G" I paid zero toward that bill. The monthly premiums are nothing compared to what can happen when you aren't looking.

My advice to anyone sitting on the fence is just get it done.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Happy birthday

Yay I did it! Did what you might ask? Completed eleven 7 year DNA cycles. Happy birthday to me!

Wow that's 77 years of people telling me how I should live my life. I not only survived I am thriving. I no longer need others to tell me what to do, I am quite capable of doing things myself. That's not to say that true friends are not a spoonful of sugar making not so pleasant experiences go down. I have some wonderful friends all over the world and I am grateful for every single one of them.

So on this December 2, 2015 I celebrate all that has been and look forward to all that will be as I enter yet another 7 year DNA cycle. Bring it on I am prepared.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Is that all there is?

I have been thinking about the Muslims and I guess people of all different religions, races and strong beliefs/habits that seem to go against the majority. My question is: when you look at a person, knowing these things about him/her, is that all there is?

I am among those who believe we are all spirits experiencing a human life. The only difference is the experiences, which I also believe we all had a part in planning before we arrived on earth.

Those are my core beliefs and they no doubt differ from many of my friends, but is that all there is that makes me who I am?

I certainly hope not. I believe that I am a passionate, caring, generous, loyal being who has been given the means to share my experiences with others, thus inspiring them to use their own gifts to inspire others along their own path.

That's the way the universe works, everyone helping everyone else.

When I first created my Facebook account several years ago I acquired a Muslim friend. She was a very sweet, kind, young lady who worked hard to take care of her family. We were obviously worlds apart in our beliefs, but we grew to love and respect each other. She lived in a part of the world where the fighting was going on. One day I ceased to hear from her. To this day I don't know if she and her family were killed or if being on Facebook was just too dangerous. I often think of the lessons the friendship taught both of us.

I had another experience with a friend whose "religious" beliefs are considered to be cult like by many. Whether they are or not I have no idea and I have no intention of finding out. We have been estranged for some time and over Thanksgiving re-connected over a "Hi!". I'm not sure at this point if the connection will last or not. Even if it doesn't, I believe I have learned the lesson that his beliefs are his and my beliefs are mine, and neither of them make up a whole person.

Especially at this time of year I think we all need to look deeper and find the soul inside of everyone we come across because God doesn't make junk!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Just wondering

I really dislike this time of year. I can somewhat relate to people who are homeless. Yes there is plenty of food and my physical needs are not lacking, but where are the people who are supposed to care?

Thanksgiving was my son, my two cats and my dog. The rest of my biological family, who live in Grants, NM, celebrated two doors away.

I wonder if they gave a single thought to us as they sat around their Thanksgiving table, possibly giving thanks for blessings they have received.

I wonder if the universe noticed.

I know we all hurt others at some time or other, but when someone just keeps doing it year after year;I wonder what is wrong with that person.

Five years is a long time to punish another for whatever was perceived to be done.

I wonder if it will ever stop.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A three month lesson

Looking back to June, when I offered my last children's Writing Camp, I had no idea what experiences the Universe had in mind for me. I believe the lesson was twofold. First was to realize just how strong I am and have always been and second to learn to let go of control and let others help me when necessary.

It's funny the way things get set up for our next adventure. First my oldest son had to move back home. I had plenty of room and after he got a job things settled down to a workable arrangement. Eventually, I learned that people have their own way of doing things and if it goes against the way I do things- so what! I know I was brain washed by a very controlling mother who was critical of pretty much everything I did. If it wasn't her way it was wrong. I literally grew up holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I recently became aware of the fact that holding one's breath causes not only mental, but physical problems like low oxygen counts. I am now working on stopping this bad habit.

Next I asked for and was given a friend to help guide me through the experience I was about to enter. Her name is Betty. At the time we met she was about to retire from the financial department of our local hospital. Through her advice I was able to acquire medical coverage, which has put me in a very comfortable place. Since her retirement she has also been available to be my driver for appointments in Albuquerque. I am very grateful for her help.

Shortly after the Writing Camp ended I made an appointment on my own to have xrays taken of my hip. They showed that the situation was bone to bone. Next, also on my own, I obtained a list of the best orthopedic surgeons in the area, made a phone call and made an appointment, with who turned out to be the best rated surgeon in Albuquerque. I don't believe that was luck.

I was informed by Dr.Carothers that I needed a hip replacement. He said surgery was optional and depended on just how long I intended to deal with the pain. My surgery was scheduled for August 21st. As I look back at the path I can see the amazing cast of characters and events that had to come together to reach that point. I also acknowledge how strong I was to have had the courage to pick up each piece as it was offered by the Universe.

My healing process during the last 13 weeks has been better than expected. I'm not saying that there wasn't pain. That would be a lie; it was bearable. I learned to ask for and accept help when it was needed from my son and friend, bringing me to the second lesson- letting go of control.

I am due to have a checkup in another week and expect all to be good. If I had been told last June what was going to happen I would have responded- no way! It just goes to show that when the Universe decides to teach you a lesson you had better pay attention.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Just floating around learning and growing

My attempt to find lost cousins has not been successful as yet. Also the majority of my known relatives have rejected me because my actions do not fit their idea of how I should act/speak/write. It seems to me that the universe is quite happy just letting me float around unattached.

This morning I found an inspirational piece that fit my situation and here it is.

There are a few souls who have stuck with me no matter what and I am grateful for them. It is hard to let go of the hurt that the others have caused me. I wonder just how long a person is supposed to pay for a mistake? A few years ago a young person informed me that their are no mistakes and I tend to believe she was right. Out of the mouths of babes!

I think the negative things we choose to do in a human lifetime are simply experiences meant to be lessons to help us grow. When we learn the lesson we stop doing those things.

Sometimes the people who have judged us for past behavior, unsuitable to them, never take the time to see that we have changed.

For instance; I remember when I stopped smoking back in 1999, after many years of the ugly habit, my daughter still saw me as a smoker. Oddly, she has had no problem exposing her son to second hand smoke from others, including her father (my ex-husband) who still smokes. Think about that for a moment.

It is very sad when others are unable to give someone credit for learning and growing. They continue on their judgmental course and the relationship often becomes unbearable.

I am ending today's post with a quote from the amazing, Maya Angelou that just seems to fit. "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better do better."

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Looking for 1st cousins

My biological family has been disjointed all of my life and I find it very stressful. Through Ancestry.com I know that my two aunts and an uncle are deceased. My mother was an only child. My grandparents, parents and my only sibling are also deceased.

We were never a close family when everyone was living, but I am holding out some hope that there might be a 1st cousin or two that is still living and would be interested in connecting.

I was born in Ketchikan, Alaska to Sidney and Gertrude Ione Halverson in 1937. We moved to the state of Washington when I was about two years old. I lived there until 1967 when my husband and our two sons moved to Downey, California.

At that time I had a brief encounter with two of my cousins, Joan and Shirley and then lost track of them. It is the last connection I had with anyone other than my maternal grandparents, mother and younger brother, who are now all deceased.

If anyone is a relation out there in cyber land I sure would love to hear from you. You are very welcome to reply to this post.

I am posting two photos from the past to help jog your memory. The first was taken in Tolt (Carnation), Washington in 1950 something and the second was taken in Washington State in 1940 something.

Just because you're nice

Being nice, saying please and thank you, looking for ways to help others is just the way I am. My problem with the world is that not everyone thinks the way that I do. I constantly run into trouble when I take the way other people think as a personal slap in the face.

How could people not say thank you when someone does something nice for them? It's like recognition for an act of kindness and I simply don't get it.

Yesterday I mentioned that I had briefly worked as an after school recreational aide.I put up with a lot of abuse both from some of the students and the staff, who were all much younger than I was. I stuck it out because I needed the income at the time.

One would think that on my last day the director would have said thank you for my effort. It never happened. I had known this person for about 15 years and I thought she was a fair administrator. Apparently when someone has the title of your boss niceness vanishes. I now have a totally different opinion of her and it matches what others who have worked closely with her think.

In the last 10 years I have also worked with an elementary school as a Foster Grandmother, donated time to Grants Good Samaritan Center, set up a local writing group for seniors and created a summer writing camp for elementary students. I am currently crocheting and donating baby caps to the maternity ward of our local hospital. I recently bought yarn at Hobby Lobby in Albuquerque and when I told the clerk what it was for she said, "That's so nice of you." Every one of these acts prompted a thank you from someone, which made me feel that my efforts had been appreciated.

Perhaps if people spent more time saying thank you for positive efforts instead of focusing on negative energy the entire world would experience peace. Try it you just might like it.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

What happened to the children?

What kind of children are parents raising that could grow up to kill groups of innocent people just because they can?

Are parents so busy or preoccupied with their electronic gadgets that they can't see where their children are heading? It's getting pretty damned scary when a person can't go to a movie, a concert or enjoy a meal in a restaurant without worrying that their life may end because of some crazed individual with a weapon.

In 2013 I worked as an after school recreational aide at our family center. I would never be that desperate for work again. The disrespect handed out by some of the children was unbelievable. It made me wonder how they act at home. On top of that every time I tried to report the behavior of one of the little darlings the director would ignore me and side with the child. I was never so happy to see the school year end and my job come to a close.

There were two or three kids in the group that I know will be in prison some day. They are so angry with the world that they will have their picture and name in the Cibola Beacon because they killed someone. If I, as an untrained individual, can see this what in the hell is wrong with people who are trained? Are they so afraid that something will happen to them that they just sit back and do nothing?

I am not sure what has happened to the children who grow up to be killers, but I put partial blame on the adults in their lives, starting with the parents, who ignored their disrespectful tendencies when they were young.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A real hero

A story from my e-book Spirits of Cibola County

James Amos knows firsthand that following and trusting an all-knowing entity greater than oneself will lead us to extraordinary experiences. James was the most talked about veteran during the recent viewing of the Vietnam Moving Wall in Grants. I am honored that he trusted me to tell his story.

A member of the Sioux tribe, James was born in South Dakota. There were eighteen children in the family and fourteen lived to be adults. Both his father and grandfather were Presbyterian ministers. James remembers prejudice, almost hatred, between the Sioux and the white man.

Because the Bureau of Indian Affairs could not pronounce tribal names they were changed to biblical ones. His father’s name, Fights the Bear (because he was mauled by a bear) was changed to David. His mother, Morning Dove, became Mary. With such a large family, James said, “I had to work to buy my own clothes and learned early that if I wanted something I would have to work for it.”

He began working on a cattle ranch when he was eleven. After being shamed by a boy for wearing a second hand shirt he had purchased, James vowed he would always have money to buy new clothes. In school James was interested in sports. He was a runner, played baseball and basketball and participated in track. Even though he was the only Native American in his high school, he does not recall prejudice touching him. James joined the Marine Corps in 1957, shortly after graduation.

Among other assignments, James volunteered for several tours of duty in Vietnam. His most harrowing experience occurred in 1969 as a staff sergeant, in charge of seven men. They were on a special operations mission. He recalls, “We were given the wrong maps and dropped off in the wrong location.” Their confusion lasted for two months. James trusted his training and his spirit guide. He said their daily goal was to find a way out. Their biggest concerns were ambush and heat stroke. The temperatures rose to 120 degrees during the day, causing them to consume salt tablets like popcorn. They traveled mostly at night because it was cooler, moving less than a mile each night.

He said, “We survived off of Mother Nature. We made water from leaves and ate snakes and lizards.” As time went on the parents of the men were informed they were missing in action and presumed dead or prisoners of war. James finally led his men to a place he knew, ironically called Indian Country. It took another month for the military to officially inform families that the men were not dead.

James was not honored for getting his men out alive. He was actually reprimanded for getting them lost, even though it was not his fault. This might have caused an ordinary man to become angry and give up. James rose above the injustice of the experience and moved on.

During an ambush in 1971 he fell behind a termite mound and was bitten by a cobra snake. Reliving the experience, he said, “I was in such intense pain I walked toward the battle field hoping to get a bullet in my head or heart. Then my Indian guide took over and I forgot about my pain.”

One by one James helped six fellow Marines to safety. Others noticed the seriousness of his leg wound and he was given needed medical care. He was recommended for the Navy Cross and awarded the Silver Star. He still has mixed feelings about the award.

In 1972 James was wounded during a medical evacuation and lost his right kidney as a result. He fought three medical boards to stay in the service. He has had one failed kidney transplant and has been on dialysis for sixteen years. He also suffered a stroke in 1986 due to the snake bite. James retired in 1979 with the rank of First Sergeant E-8. He and his wife, Louise, of Acoma were married in 1970. At the time he was a recruiter for the Marine Corps. James is very proud that one of his grandsons is planning to become a Marine.

Characteristics that are important to James are honesty and respect. Even though he is retired he is still “a dedicated Marine who believes in God, country and duty- in that order”. He would like to see young men who are having trouble adapting consider the military for new direction.

James made daily trips to the Vietnam Moving Wall while it was in Grants, New Mexico. He was drawn to the wall because of respect for his fallen comrades. Perhaps he was sent to touch the hearts of people who were not in Vietnam and still do not understand what happened there. He knows that any material award pales in comparison to knowing deep inside that he does his best every single day to trust and follow his spirit guide. He is a real live hero we can all learn from.

author's note: James Amos is now deceased, but I am grateful to have had the privilege to interview a real hero.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Closer and closer

I am now 25 days from completing DNA cycle #11 and beginning another.

I have been thinking about the experiences that have been presented to me, especially in the last two DNA cycles. I have pretty much been left on my own to deal with whatever problems come up. They have included physical, relationship and financial situations. As I look back, I can now see that they were part of the story plot that I agreed to before I became human to teach me that I am extremely capable of caring for myself. An added bonus was to learn that I do not need to carry the weight of other people's problems on my shoulders. They were created with everything they need to take care of their own challenges.

Some of the major relationships I have struggled with have been with very strong individuals with addictive traits who tried to pull me in to their addictions. I came close on more than one occasion, but I now feel that my guide/angels/creator always kept a firm hold on my physical and mental being. Many of those souls have acted as mirrors for me to see the person I never want to be.

Because of these near misses I ended up believing in myself and becoming stronger than I have ever been in this and previous lives. Perhaps a purpose of this life was to learn this lesson. It seems that even as a child I was always on the "inside looking out". That may sound backwards to some, but it is how I grew up feeling. It reminds me of a poem by Edwin Markham(1852-1940)that reads like this:

He drew a circle that shut me out; heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But love and I had the wit to win; we drew a circle that took him in.

It also reminds me of a poem I wrote in 2001 titled Lessons.

Life is full of everyday lessons

based on experiences each has had.

Endings always signal beginnings

adding new experiences to our past.

Slowly waking and accepting

lessons needed to stay on our path.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

DNA and me

Wow I just checked my calendar and realized that I only have one month and one day before I complete eleven seven year DNA cycles since I arrived here on planet earth. I feel the last seven years have been my greatest achievement.

We begin our human journey dependent upon parents who are supposed to be responsible for us because we are unable to care for ourselves. As we grow we allow others of every conceivable age to shape who the world thinks we should be, causing us to forget who we really are and what we came here for.

By the time we reach adulthood we carry an unbelievable amount of weight placed on us by our experiences as humans. It is like getting out of a swimming pool soaking wet. If we were dogs we could simply give our body a good shake and the extra weight would disappear. We are not dogs, we are humans and things stick to us, becoming embedded in our minds.

We learn to react to who the world believes we are and it changes us. It takes years of trial and error to shake it off.

As I near the beginning of cycle number twelve I feel I am on the verge of a major change in my life. I am no longer dependent on anyone. I have raised my children, helped raise one of my grandchildren, endured living with two abusive husbands, and survived cancer. I have learned to take care of any problem that the universe throws at me and not only survive, but thrive.

And so as December 2nd looms ahead of me in one month and one day I am ready for the next DNA cycle to begin.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Say yes and see what happens

Last spring my friend, Nina Ploetz, asked me to help edit her manuscript. It was a poem she had written for a little boy who had been bullied. I was so impressed with the content that I did not hesitate to say yes. The poem eventually turned into a wonderfully illustrated book titled, I am, I Can, I Will, A Jungle Dream. It is now available on Amazon.com

For a couple of years I had been looking for an appropriate piece for our summer Writing Camp students to edit. My camp co-worker, B.J. Johnson, and I agreed that this was perfect. After obtaining permission from the author we presented the unedited manuscript to our students. Not only did they enjoy trying their hand at editing, they loved the message that the work offered and every single one of them related to the story.

As a thank you to the author the students were asked to write a brief statement expressing their feelings. Miss Ploetz was so thrilled she included their feedback on the back cover of her now published book.

In the words of our students:

Neala P. Nina I like your book. It was kind of like me when I was little. I was teased and bullied.

Ashton G. I loved this poem, it touched my heart. I loved it because the poem helped me think about me being me when I was little.

Jhoana R. This poem was very touching. It tells you to accept who you are and accept your differences. This poem could be read by anyone.

Joseph R. I liked this book. I think this book is good because I relate to this character, in certain ways.

Colin S. I like this poem so much; it made me think that no one is different.

To have their words on the back of a published book was exciting for the students, but they had one more surprise gift coming from my generous friend. They each received their very own signed copy of I Am, I Can, I Will, A Jungle Dream.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The joke is on you

Over the years I know I have given my Creator plenty to laugh about. I didn't do it intentionally, that's just me. Whatever I have done it does not compare with the sense of humor that the Universe displays.

I have been divorced from my husband of 27 years for 16 years. During that time he has been in the hospital more times than I can count due to the way he chooses to live his life. He is now on dialysis and his health pretty much sucks. To say I am grateful to have had the good sense to seek a divorce when I did is putting it mildly. I can look at his situation from a distance.

I do remember the marriage vows we took back in 1972 and strangely the words "until death do you part" keep coming back to me. I am wondering why that is as I am no longer tied to a religion. Spirituality is now a much better fit.

About 7 years ago my ex was admitted to our local hospital in really bad shape do to his drinking. A surgeon with a very good reputation gave him two days to live and strongly suggested the family be called. Our daughter lives here, but at that time our sons did not. One was married and living in Colorado and the other in Georgia.

They got together and literally planned a funeral. They choose flowers at Hallmark, talked to the priest and the mortuary. They went out to dinner and waited. The funeral that was supposed to happen didn't and the patient lived. There is some humor there if one looks deep enough. Besides it did get all three siblings together, if only briefly.

One would think that when someone comes that close to death he/she would give serious thought to changing their life style. That didn't happen either.

Last Wednesday night he apparently reached a critical state and was flown to a hospital in Albuquerque. I really wasn't thinking that he probably would die this time, but come on you don't put a patient on a helicopter and fly him 100 miles away just to have something to do.

I was told that the hospital released him last night (Friday). My reaction was, SERIOUSLY?

There really is no end to this little story (yet), but I can't help seeing the humor.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Something new

This is my very first post on my new computer. This is so cool! My old computer was probably 10 years old and it was a wonder it is still working. It reminds me of my microwave that my son replaced on my last birthday. I hate to admit it but I think that was at least 25 years old and still working.

I wonder why I do that to myself.

It isn't that I didn't have the money to update the items. Apparently I have convinced myself that I deserve to struggle rather than to have the best. With all the research I have done in recent years I should know by now that the things we think team up with like thoughts and create our reality. So if I don't think I deserve something better guess where that leads me?

Part of not purchasing a new computer was fear of not being smart enough to operate the machine. I was not born in the electronic generation. The majority of my friends around my age wouldn't touch a computer with a ten foot pole. Not only do I use one I have published two books, two E-books, written two newspaper columns and produced numerous other projects using this modern day piece of machinery. So I guess my problem isn't what I can do, it is a failure to recognize what I can do.

Here is to the next 10 years of trying something new. It will be interesting to see what I come up with. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

True friends

For the last couple of days I have been thinking about friends and what it takes to be a good one. I have many friends, but only a handful of true friends. Out of curiosity I decided to check out a couple of online sites to see what professionals had to say on the subject.

The first site was www.psychologytoday.com which produced a list of 13 traits they considered necessary to be a true friend. They were: trustworthy, honest, dependable, loyal, trust others, non judgmental, good listener, supportive in good times, supportive in bad times, self-confident, see humor in life and fun to be around. That’s a long list for anyone to follow all the time.

The second site I checked into was www.thrivingfamily.com. Their list was a bit more reasonable listing only 6 traits. They are: trustworthiness, loyalty, compassion, authenticity, acceptance and good listener.

I then decided to sit down with a pen and paper intending to come up with my own list. I had expected it to be rather long. Wrong! It only contained two traits for true friendship which are dependability and honesty. I believe my muse took over at this point and stopped me from writing anything else.

Focusing on the words dependability and honesty I began making a mental list of people who have proved to be true friends over time. They absolutely all fit! I can always depend on them if I truly need help or advice and even if we disagree about something we allow each other to express our side of the debate.

In recent years I have had the experience of surviving a relationship with a soul who I am certain is as close to a spiritual partner as anyone could ever be. Some people might call that a soulmate, but I am just going to leave it at Universal partner. Even though this person and I had a special kind of relationship it never could have evolved to a true friendship. Why you may ask? He simply did not meet my personal criteria of dependability and honesty.

Today I believe the purpose of this relationship was to provide a mirror for one or both of us to gain better vision of where our lives were going. Even though to this day the experience still causes tears I am grateful to have survived and hopefully learned from the many lessons it offered.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

What number are you?

A therapist told me many years ago that the answer to that question should be #1. It doesn’t matter if you are married, have children or are single. One is always the correct answer no matter what.

That has always been a very hard concept for me. I pretty much spent 40 years of my life putting everyone else’s needs before mine. When the time came, about 15 years ago, that I decided to change directions I was accused of being narcissistic. The funny thing is that the person who made that statement is the most self centered individual that I know.

Whoever said that life is a mirror got that right!

I admit that there were times in my past life when I helped others because I wanted them to like/love me. What a messed up reason that was. I no longer buy attention. People can either see by my actions that I am basically a giving person or not. If they don’t, it could be that their mirrors need cleaning.

It’s sad that it has taken me over 70 years to realize that accepting full ownership of the fact that I am number one is nothing to feel guilty about. I am in competition with no one.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Open the door and let me out

Today marks five weeks on my post surgery calendar. As I look back I am thinking I really need to encourage others who are living in unnecessary pain to bite the bullet and get help. In my case it was a matter of not having insurance, but when the time was right it all worked out. It was as if the universe said, "it's time for you to focus on yourself". I listened, followed my intuition in making decisions and I am grateful for all the help that came my way.

The first thing I did even before I had insurance was to have an x-ray taken of the hip. When it showed that it was pretty much bone rubbing on bone I knew I had no choice. My next move was to check online to find the top rated surgeons in New Mexico. Five of those names were associated with New Mexico Orthopedics. I dialed the number and in the blink of an eye I had an appointment with Dr. Joshua Carothers. As it turned out he really is one of the top orthopedic surgeons in New Mexico.

By the time of my initial visit all of my insurance problems had been taken care of. Because of the decisions I had made absolutely everything would be paid. I don't even have co-payments. Well I did have to pay the $147 yearly premium for Medicare B, but that was all. Actually, that's not even true. Because it was added to a hospital bill for other charges and I called to offer to pay it right now, I ended up getting a 40% discount. There's the universe, helping out again!

My surgery was so brief it could have taken place in the doctor's office. My hospital stay was less than two days and then I went home. For the next four-five weeks I did everything I could to get my life back to normal. My doctor's instructions were to stay active. That is a little tricky when one has to deal with a walker and several "you can't do that" rules. I tried to follow, but sometimes I cheated just a little. During the day I was alone so stuff happens. My son was home in the morning and at night and did his best to help out, which I am grateful for.

My first checkup was this week and I was holding my breath, worried that one of those times I cheated might have caused a problem. Everything was just as it was supposed to be. The x-rays were perfect and the incision looked great. I pretty much got a free pass to either continue on with therapy on my own or choose to go to out patient therapy. For the last month I have had a physical therapist come to the house because I didn't have transportation and wasn't allowed to drive. Tuesday is my discharge day. Yay!

I have chosen to go to Cibola Sports and Physical Therapy for the next month. I am very excited about this as my therapist and I both have positive energy and are a good fit. I know that when we are finished I will be better than when I started.

In the last week I have walked through the open door, done grocery shopping and run errands. It feels great to be free once again. Due to my experience I really want to encourage others who have been living in unnecessary pain to stop it; do what you can to fix the problem. So for a few weeks your life is not going to be the same, it doesn't matter because the results are more than worth it.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

What day is it?

This morning I woke up thinking it was Friday. I wondered why my son's bedroom door was shut. Was he sick and not going to work today, I wondered. I moved on with my morning routine, finally sitting down at my computer. Still no movement from my son. That's strange.

I began feeling that something odd was going on. I was very aware that Mercury is in retrograde and sometimes can cause some weirdness. I usually just try to hang on and roll with the punches it produces. Some of the things that happen are even funny and I really believe they are just another means to teach us lessons we have been too stubborn to learn.

Glancing up at the calendar on my wall I realized nothing was weird- it isn't Friday as I had thought, it is Saturday.

I already did Friday and it was a landmark day in my healing. It was the first day I had official permission to use a cane and toss the walker. It was the day I had been waiting for to get rid of the TED hose that help to eliminate blood clots in the legs. They are no fun to put on and even less to get off. I wanted to take them out to the back yard and burn them!

I had actually celebrated yesterday by cooking one of my favorite dinners. We had oriental stir fry with shrimp and brown rice. I have loved Chinese food since I was a child and as an adult I tend to use it as a reward for accomplishments. I suspect it has something to do with a previous life.

Now that my memory is back and I know it is Saturday I am ready to accept whatever happens. My first check up is in four days and I am expecting everything to be on track. I know total healing for a hip replacement takes about three months and the fact that I am not patient is not helping. It is something I need to work on.

Everything takes practice. My personal goal is on October 2, the six week mark, I will be walking with no assistance at all. It's kind of interesting that it is also my deceased father's birthday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Re-teaching an old dog

Recovery from surgery is boring! Of course focusing on self is important, but for a previous active person finding positive things to occupy my time is a challenge. During my last recovery period in 2011 I made little dresses for children in Africa. It was fun, used my imagination and I felt my free time had been spent on something that benefited others.

Before my hip surgery I had seen a web site that suggested making simple crochet caps for babies. They were sent to hospitals and orphanages around the country. In preparation I purchased a couple skeins of baby yarn. I also purchased the book, Everything the internet didn't teach you about Crochet.

It had been so long since I used my self taught crochet skill that I felt I needed a refresher course. Over the years I made, sold or gave away tons of crochet items. I enjoyed crochet because it is so versatile. Like any skill use it or loose it is very true. It is the same situation I now have with leg muscles that have been allowed to weaken over time. Re-teaching is not impossible, but it takes time, practice and patience.

My physical challenge is getting better, with the help of a physical therapist who comes twice a week. We are both amazed at how quickly the incision is healing. Now to concentrate on the work inside. I have come to the conclusion that part of the healing process is mental. If you believe you can do it you will do it. I am not a robot nor a statistic.

Back to the baby cap issue- Yesterday I decided it was the day I would try making a simple shell meant for a newborn. The pattern only uses double crochet and is listed as easy. The first thing I noticed was that I had never done the stitch correctly. How is that possible considering all the items I had previously made! It really gave me cause to laugh. It was simply a matter of not going through the correct loop of the previous stitch. After I re-taught my brain to make the adjustment everything came out fine. I believe I will continue to make these little caps because it will give me something positive to do that will benefit others while my body is healing.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

post surgery

Well I see that my last post was August 16th, five days before my scheduled surgery. I decided perhaps I should write something. I have this fantastic family who give me great support- not. It is no longer necessary to drag them around if that is how they choose to live their lives. My oldest son, who now lives with me, is doing a good job of helping out, even with a full time job of his own. There is stuff you can't do when recovering from hip replacement surgery. It is annoying, but necessary if one is to properly heal and not end up back in the hospital. So thank you Jeff for all your help and just ignore your siblings, nieces and nephews who can only see what they have been told!

Healing is hard and it certainly has given me a first row view as to what those with physical handicaps deal with every day. Suddenly I can't get from here to there without assistance. The good thing is I know this is a temporary situation that will aid in future experiences. I am looking forward to whatever that brings me. Note to my oldest grandson, Andrew: Grow up kid!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

D day count down

I'm almost at "D" day as Walmart would say. The D stands for decision day. I have 4 more days that I could change my mind about my hip replacement. No I'm not going to do that, but I could if I wanted to. I was told at the two hour rehab class I attended last week that it is considered "elective surgery". Oh really? Whether to have it or not depends entirely on how much/long the patient is willing to tolerate pain.

Until July 1, 2015 I did not have the financial support to consider surgery or even go to an orthopedic surgeon to check out the situation. My only option was to suffer in silence, which I have done for the last 3 to 4 years. Now that I have Medicare B + Mutual of Omaha supplement G everything will be paid for. What a great feeling it is to walk out of a medical facility without reaching for a credit card. (Technically my Medicare premium is being picked up by the State and I only pay $119.87 per month for my M of O premium, which is no comparison to the thousands the final bill will be.)

This experience is certainly giving me a taste of what people living with physical problems that require assists like a walker, cane, wheelchair etc. have to deal with every day. They all require learning a new way of moving and they all come with their own set of rules. Retraining a brain as an adult is not an easy task. I have been practicing "as if" for the last couple of weeks and it has not been fun. The one good thing is I only have to follow the rules of movement for 6 weeks or so and then I can mostly go back to the way I was doing things before the surgery. For instance, I can take a bath instead of a shower, sleep on either side instead of my back, cross my legs if I want to and bend my body in any direction I choose. The good thing is if I do follow all the rules I can look forward to complete bone healing and my life will be better then before.

There are many people out there whose end results will not improve, including some of the patients who attended the rehab class. There were a couple of participants who I am sure will decide to make up their own movement rules. I intend to do my best to follow the rules.

I am very grateful for the way my life has turned out, including being given a taste of physical challenges others deal with every day. My life has always been a smorgasbord of unusual experiences. I have decided that is no doubt why I am a writer. It gives me an opportunity to share with others how I deal with the challenges I have been given.

Alright Universe: my final decision is BRING IT ON!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A spirit volunteer

Several months ago I submitted an article titled, A Spirit Volunteer to Chicken Soup. They were going to be publishing a book on volunteers and I was hopeful, for many reasons, that my work would be included. Well, since their book is supposed to come out on August 18th and I have not heard from them I can pretty much assume that it won't be. This fact also frees me to share the story with my readers. If you are interested please read on.

A Spirit Volunteer

As I was struggling to write a new chapter in a book I was working on I became aware of the voice of my intuition. I stopped what I was doing and listened. Knowing it was divine guidance that had never led me astray before I set out to perform the task it was suggesting.

I cut three daffodils growing in my yard, placed them in a plastic cup and added water and a few glass pebbles. I started my car and drove to the cemetery near my home. After parking the car I picked up my gift and walked to the grave of a young girl who had died of cancer. I had experienced a close spiritual connection with her soul that I did not fully understand. Kneeling, I placed the flowers on her headstone and quietly asked, “Can you help?”

Instantly, two voices coming from the back of the cemetery repeated a variation of my question. One was female and the other male, both asking, “Can you help me?”

I could clearly see that I was the only human in the small cemetery. Startled, I quickly returned to the safety of my car. To say the voices shook me up would be the understatement of my life. They received my full attention. I tried to figure out who the voices were and what they were asking me to do for them.

For some time I had been taking photographs that clearly showcased images of souls no longer living a human life. I finally realized the cemetery voices represented all deceased souls. They were asking me to use the pictures to speak for them and to assure those left behind that we never die; we are simply transmuted to another form. The photographs were a tool that added credibility to what the spirits were asking me to do.

The question remained, would I comply with their request to consciously help them communicate with those still living a human life? I had come this far, why not? My answer was yes.

Since that day I have freely shared their photographs and their messages at every opportunity I have been given. I feel honored to have been chosen as a spirit volunteer.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Should I or shouldn't I?

I just spent the last couple of weeks taking care of the things that needed doing before my surgery. The last chore were getting my dog groomed, paying the plumber for my latest water pipe problem and touching up the paint on the bathroom ceiling from the recent leak damage. I have had way too much to deal with lately and I hope this trend is coming to an end.

I also had my hair cut shorter than usual and just for the fun of it decided it would be an ideal time to change the color. Since I was actually born a platinum blonde (that could explain a lot) my hair has naturally and unnaturally been a number of shades of blonde/brown through the years, with a lot of my father's red peeking out, as a teenager.

So to make a long story short, I purchased a box of reddish blonde. It sat on my bathroom counter for several days while I decided if I was brave enough to use it. Today I was!

I was almost afraid to look in the mirror to check out what I had done. I kept saying, please don't let it be too red. When I looked, I decided it wasn't exactly what I had expected, but it really wasn't that bad. The red took more in some areas than others, giving it an interesting color. I was going for different, to go with my new hip, so I guess I will just have to get used to both.

Anyway, nobody at the hospital where I will only be spending a couple of days has ever seen me before. The nurses will most likely be more concerned with my therapy than my hair color. I still have a couple of weeks before the event so I could recolor it, but I think I will just let it grow out naturally; proving that I should have and I am not sorry that I did. So there!

Not too red I guess!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Back to the present

For the last week or so I have been getting my house ready for post surgery living by pretending it is already happening. I have been living in the future and taking a what if attitude. With my surgery three weeks away it is now time to switch back to the present, as I have several pre-surgery appointments to deal with before the big day.

Thanks to generous friends I have the loan of a walker, an adjustable cane, a raised toilet seat and I just purchased a shower stool and a safety bar for the bath and a grabber. My living room furniture has been rearranged, creating an uncluttered path through the house from my bedroom to my office, giving me a clear area for daily walking; which I have been told is the only rehab necessary following a hip replacement. There are of course, a few exercises done while laying on the bed to strengthen various muscles. A friend who recently had knee surgery suggested I start those now instead of waiting until after the surgery. I took her advice and can already see some improvement in mobility and a little less pain.

My kitchen also took on an adjustment of sorts. I kept imagining how I would reach things without the temporary ability to bend at the waist, which is a rehab no no for several weeks. As a result, things I use every day, like pots and pans and certain dishes, were moved to an easier reach position. More than once I asked, "why didn't I do that before?".

My house is as ready as it's going to be. I wish I was! I feel much like a mother waiting for the birth date of her first child. I go between wanting to get this experience over with and not wanting it to happen at all.

It is time to get back to the present and live each of the remaining 20 days until my surgery as they occur.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

What would she do?

When I was 34 and the divorced mother of two sons 6 and 12, I decided to marry again. The man I chose was my age and had never been married himself. After awhile I began thinking that I would really like to have another baby. It would be great to have a little girl. I was in excellent health and saw no reason why my wish could not be granted.

I prayed and prayed and nothing happened except that my wish became an obsession. When I found out someone I knew was expecting it made me furious because she didn’t even want a baby. The years went by. My sons got older and still no little sister. I decided I might as well give up and just accept the fact that I was not meant to have another child.

Shortly after my 41st birthday I was not feeling well, which was very unusual for me. I decided to go to the doctor to see what was wrong. To my surprise I discovered I was pregnant. I was told that because of my age I would be sent to a specialist in Albuquerque, which was about 75 miles away from where we lived. I personally saw no reason for that, but figured the doctor knew what she was doing.

My first appointment with my gynecologist brought more news that I wasn’t expecting. Although everything looked great, he decided that again, because of my age, I was going to be scheduled for an amniocentesis test to determine if the baby was Down syndrome. There is a 1 in 1,295 chance at age 20 and a 1 in 85 chance at age 40. Until he said that I did not have one thought that my baby would be anything but perfect.

One of the problems with this test is that the mother has to be between 15 and 20 weeks to collect the amino fluid. There is also a small chance that the inserted needle could cause a miscarriage. The worrying was very stressful.

The six years I had spent waiting for God to answer my prayers for a baby were nothing compared to waiting for the test to be done and then waiting another two weeks for the extracted cells to grow. When the time came to get the answer and the doctor called me I was in for more waiting. The cells didn’t grow properly and the growing time needed to be repeated.

It was finally time for my next appointment and the waiting was over. The doctor had the results. Before he gave them to me I said, “I don’t want to know the sex if the baby is going to need to be aborted.” I knew I would feel worse if that was the case and I was carrying a girl. With a big smile he announced your baby is a healthy girl.

My daughter, Christina Maria, was born a few months later weighing 6 lbs 6 ½ oz. Her birth could not have gone better if I had been twenty. Her brothers were then 18 and 13, causing her to be pretty much raised as an only child. I believe choosing to relive the role of a new mother at the age of 41 is one of the things that has kept me feeling much younger than most of my peers.

The day before this child turned 31, August 30, 2010, she sent me an email informing me that she no longer wanted me in her life. I was told the only way I could contact her was by email and she would only answer if she felt like it. She has kept the promise she made to herself during the last five years, rarely acknowledging my existence; not even when I spent two weeks in our local hospital in 2011, following emergency surgery.

It has been hard for me to accept that the child I prayed so hard to conceive has turned into an uncaring adult. To my knowledge all I did was overprotect her, which I have since apologized for.

It is now 2015 and I am again facing surgery. I sent her an email yesterday with the details and received absolutely no response. I keep thinking about the TV show What Would You Do? It causes me to wonder what she would do if I didn’t survive my current surgery. Not that I am planning on that particular outcome, but anything is possible.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Connecting the universal dots

I have been making lists of things I need to do or purchase before my hospital stay. The first thing on that list was a short robe. I wanted it to be light weight, long enough to cover what most hospital gowns don't and open down the front. Other than that I had no idea what I was looking for. This morning I was in town taking care of some errands when my intuition kept bugging me to stop by Bealls and see if they might have something. I knew my only other choice was Walmart. That's one of the joys of living in a small town.

Deciding it wasn't going to hurt to check things out I entered Bealls and walked to the small area of the store where robes would be found. It was a disappointing trip as I found nothing suitable.

Walking back to the front of the store I stopped at a 50% off sale rack with odds and ends of apparel. Apparently I had arrived at the exact spot I had been led to locate. This is a picture of what I purchased, Not exactly what I had in mind, but it perfectly met my needs. The fringe is certainly going to get a lot of attention as I stroll around the hospital halls after my surgery.

As I paid for the slightly outrageous item I discovered it was not only 50% off, but the sales clerk added another 40% discount because I choose to use my Bealls credit card. From $36 the price ended up being $11 plus tax. I would say that was a pretty good bargain.

Now here is where my story may be a little hard for some to believe.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my maternal grandmother who died in July 1984. There are many conversations I would love to have with her, regarding things I was not aware of during the time she was alive. She is really the only one who could answer the questions I now have due to my own enlightenment.

As I was looking at the picture I took of my new robe, the fringe just popped out, and I knew without a doubt who the soul was that had led me to my purchase this morning. I also knew my grandmother has my back in more ways than one.

Shortly before my grandmother's human life ended I had made her a yellow crocheted shawl and it had white fringe as a border. I was told she loved it because I made it for her. My mother's reaction when she saw it was, "Where did THAT THING come from?"

That may give you a clue why my grandmother was closer to me than my mother could ever be.

This ends today's journey of following my intuition and connecting the universal dots.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Water water everywhere

Somebody turned on the universal faucet and the rain just keeps coming down. It doesn't rain all day, but starts about the time people are heading home from work. I'm sure it makes driving a joy. My son works at the women's prison, a short distance from the house. Ordinarily that would be great, except for yesterday. The road in front of the prison has been torn up due to construction of the new mid school in the area, leaving huge holes in the road. So much rain came down last evening that it covered the holes and made the road a giant lake so he couldn't see them.

We had dinner by candlelight last night because the electricity kept going out.

On another note my bathroom ceiling has been leaking every night since the water began coming down. I have someone trying to fix the problem, but he has a full time day job. By the time he gets off work the rain has started again. Every morning I wake up to a bucket filled with water from the drips.

We have been trying to catch up with the weeds, but that isn't working out well either. My son purchased a weed wacker and made a good start a couple days ago. Because the rain comes down in buckets about the time he gets off work he hasn't made much progress since then.

One good thing, I don't need to go to the car wash. My vehickle gets a free cleaning every night thanks to the water that is everywhere.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Just write

My life is getting ready to change once again and I have been mentally preparing for the event. Many of you know that I will no doubt have hip replacement surgery in the near future. It is not something I am looking forward to, but it looks as if a magic fairy is not going to make the pain go away. I was really counting on that too!

I have been trying to get things done around the house so that I do not come home to a jungle of weeds or a little disaster like my current leaking roof, which is now being repaired. I have been given one of the top five orthopedic surgeons in New Mexico so the surgery isn't really bothering me that much. Not that it is something I want to do on a regular basis. What is bothering me is the recovery.

That isn't really up to the doctor it is up to me. How much time and effort I desire to spend on recovery is my choice. Do I want to be incapacitated for the rest of my life? Absolutely not! I want to heal and literally get back on my feet just as soon as possible. Whether I will be in a rehabilitation facility or at home accessing therapy we have locally is yet to be decided.

When I first started thinking about that choice I really felt I would rather be at home. Then I decided I was looking at the situation all wrong. I think it rose from my former life as a control freak! I mean, who would take care of things if I was away from home for a couple of weeks? I have two cats and a dog and stuff that needs attention. Gee, perhaps my son, who has been living with me for the past year, could take my place when he gets home from work. It isn't that he isn't capable, it's just that I never ask him to do much around the house. There seems to be a faulty connection there somewhere.

Readjusting my thought waves I decided to think of a possible stay away from home as a vacation. I would have nothing to do except focus on recovering; no cooking no housework etc. It was 1987 when I last had a vacation, sort of. Have you noticed that mothers don't actually take vacations, they just move their duties from one place to another, plus packing and unpacking and washing the clothes before and after?

Now that my mind has been readjusted I have a more relaxed view of my pending experience. I know I will be bored having to give up my computer and especially Facebook and I can't afford a laptop just now. Perhaps that's a good thing though. Just maybe my friends who are busy with their own lives will eventually wonder where I am. I know it is true that we often don't appreciate things/people until we no longer have them. Could work!

I have been reading Kindle books for some time on my PC and I suppose I could purchase a Kindle reader to continue to do that. I have found I really enjoy checking into other author's minds through the written word.

I would have to give up writing this blog for a while. Needing to find a more primitive method of writing, I purchased two writing tablets at the dollar store, each containing 100 pages. Funny thing is I keep staring at these empty pages and asking myself, how do I start and what am I going to write?

That question reminded me of the first post I wrote for this blog back in November 2009. My daughter, who was helping me set it up, prompted, write something. It also reminds me of the first day of this year's Children's Writing Camp and the advice I gave our students. That was, if you are going to be a writer the first thing you need to do is just write.

Friday, July 3, 2015

I am ready

Today I saw a quote that I really like. “Tell the Universe you are ready to release your struggle and the Universe and you will create a way."

Could it really be that simple I wondered?

I have been in physical and emotional pain for several years and I am ready for it to stop. I was not born to be a victim; even though that’s the role I have been playing lately. I may have been born blonde, but I am by no means stupid.

There have been many people that I have allowed to run my life for me because I was convinced that they are tuned into Universal power that is only given to a certain few. That reminds me of a question a priest once asked me, “Is anyone holier than anyone else?”

My gut answer was no.

Today there are many souls out there practicing all kinds of spiritual games and it is easy to be convinced that they have a direct path to the source of all wisdom. I have news, we all do. The problem is we just don’t remember. Over time we have been beaten down by experiences to believe that we are less than.

Lately I have been observing with interest a man who has tons of followers and sends short videos out on Facebook. Every time I view one I think, what he is putting out there is simply common sense. He isn’t any smarter than I am. The difference is, he paid money to be able to proclaim himself a leader, and charge people to follow him.

What this all boils down to is I’m going to give this idea a try and see what happens. Are you ready Universe, because I am ready to release my struggle!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Beginnings and endings

Today is July 1st and it is a very important beginning in my life. It is the day my new health insurance starts. I am now totally covered for anything the universe may decide to throw at me. I have not had anything even close to that since July of 1999 when my husband of 27 years and I were officially uncoupled with the rap of a gavel. Like a cherry on top of a delicious sundae, my current credit rating is also excellent; a fantastic achievement for someone living on Social Security.

To me these facts represent my final act of declaring to the universe that the only human I am now responsible for is me and I am doing a damn good job!

In looking back I see the month of July has brought about many beginnings and endings in my life. In 1959 my first husband and I were married, in 1984 my maternal grandmother died, in 1987 my mother died, in 1999 my second husband and I were divorced, and now comes 2015, marking what I consider another big change in my life.

My intuition is telling me that this July will offer an abundance of positive changes for me, as it also means that I only have six months left to finish another seven year life cycle. Time after time I have been given experiences that test my strength and faith. Although I felt I was alone most of the time, each struggle was simply meant to show me that I have the power inside to handle anything and not only survive but thrive.

So today I am celebrating my independence by having lunch with a new friend who just retired and is enjoying the beginning of her new life. I know she is a soul who was sent to make sure I do not stray from my current path.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Give Jesus a break

Ever day I read prayers etc. on Facebook from people begging Jesus for help and it is beginning to make me very angry.

In my opinion: Jesus was not sent to earth to do anything except teach us how to live, love and die.

I believe we all have within us the power to do anything we want to do. It simply requires faith in ourselves. Jesus became man because people could not see god the father. That doesn't surprise me as god the father has no body to see.

Glenda the good witch from the Wizard of Oz hit the nail on the head, "You have always had the power my dear".

We just need to wake up and use that God given power we were born with instead of waiting around for Jesus to do things for us.

Oh and while I am on the subject; I believe Jesus is my brother, not my father. We all came from the same source.

I do believe it is perfectly fine and often advisable to ask for guidance from whatever source you believe in, but do the work yourself and give Jesus a break.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Why do it?

I have been writing posts for this blog since November 2009. There have been times when I was almost ready to stop, but something always pushed me to continue no matter what. I used to really dislike the saying, "if I only helped one person it was worth it". With billions of people living on this planet one seems pretty pathetic, but what if that one person was the soul I was sent here to inspire by honestly sharing an experience? That makes the number one pretty darn special.

Since I began writing way back in 2000 or so I have lost track of the reams of paper I have used. Thank goodness I opted to learn how to use a computer. Look at all the trees I have saved on my journey to be a motivational writer. I did not grow up in the electronic age and the struggle to grasp new concepts(at least to me) has not always been easy. When I have had a problem I looked around to find a person more knowledgeable and that person always seemed to pop up.

When I stopped being concerned about people who were offended by what I wrote I realized freedom. I no longer give a rat's ass what other people think. This is my life and I am the only one who knows what my experiences mean to me. If sharing them can help someone else feel that they are not alone in their struggles then I am going to keep doing what I was sent to earth to do.

A couple of years ago someone asked me why I wrote. Without giving the question much thought I quickly answered, "for me". Today I have changed my mind because of a post that appeared on Facebook this morning. The following is that post and the reason that I would now answer the question, "to help and inspire others by honestly sharing my experiences".

The following is that post, which I have now printed and added to my collection of Inspirational Stuff.

Monday, June 22, 2015

If the spirit moves you

Monday June 22 to Friday June 26 my E-book, Spirits of Cibola County will be offered free on Amazon Kindle. If the spirit moves you, pick up your copy. Although it was first published in 2011 don't let that bother you, as it is a timeless work.

Its 87 pages contain 64 true life stories of our local residents. Every single story was pre-approved by the subject before it was published. Although it is true that a couple of the people I interviewed are no longer residents of earth, what a great way to tell the world who you were while you were here. No one knows you better than you.

In addition to the life stories the book begins with a brief history of Cibola County, New Mexico then and now; with the hope that it might tempt you to come on down and spend a little of your time with us.

In any case please check out the book and if you like it a short review would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Choosing the best

I did some searching for an orthopedic surgeon last week. Never needing a doctor with this specialty I had to ask around. I talked to someone I know who had a hip replacement about ten years ago. She had a very good experience with her doctor, who unfortunately is now retired. I did get some first hand knowledge about the procedure and recovery and asked if she could get me a recommendation.

In the meantime I poked around online to check things out. Someone suggested that I get a list of the best surgeons in Albuquerque. It was a place to start. I had five names and three of them all belonged to New Mexico Orthopedics. A friend also suggested that I consider University of NM, which is a teaching hospital. For the first time in my life I decided to go with the best. The health insurance I have now allows me to go anywhere I choose and it won't cost me anything so why not?

I decided to make an initial appointment for later in July with Dr.Joshua Carothers.I even know what he looks like as the web site provides bios on their doctors. I need to see where I stand. So far all I have are x-rays read by a technician I have never heard of. At this point I am simply assuming that I need surgery. What if I don't? Perhaps there is a better option.

I have had two major surgeries in the past and this is the first time I have been able to choose my own surgeon. I have a good feeling about this arrangement, whatever happens. I also have a good feeling that this doctor works out of Presbyterian Hospital, where my last child was born in 1979 and I survived cancer surgery in 1989.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

All done

Whew! Our Children's Writing Camp is all done- seriously! My camp co-worker, B.J., and I have agreed that four years is enough. We are turning the idea over to anyone who desires to pick up the torch.

It has been a wonderful journey. We have tried to present unusual ways to encourage the students to tap into their creativity. Because of my previous volunteer work I have also been able to tap into the minds of friends and people I know in the community to help us. I have found that when you just ask for a little bit of their time people are more than willing to volunteer.

This year we had four returning students, who made us feel we must be doing something right or they wouldn't keep coming back. It was great to see just how much they have matured since we started. If we were responsible for instilling a little bit of confidence in their makeup we were successful in our efforts.

Yesterday was our last day and we let the kids take over as instructors. We noticed that three of them have a talent that they are passionate about and they were each given fifteen minutes to share their knowledge. The first was, Jhoana, who loves to write poetry. She was a bit nervous, but she did a great job. We are very proud of this girl because her very first day of camp, three years ago, she wouldn't even read the things she wrote. The second student to share his passion was, Colin, who taught everyone how to draw cartoon characters. I was amazed at how confident he is now and how much he has grown over the last four years. The last student to share was, Joseph, whose passion is writing horror stories. He was the most amazing transformation of all because on his first day, last Monday, he was so shy he wouldn't even talk to anyone.

We ended our last day with Klondike ice cream bars and casual conversation about our past experiences. I felt a little sad when Jhoana said, "I don't want to leave."

Friday, June 12, 2015

Miracles-take one

This post is for those of you who have been following along with my struggle to obtain medical coverage. As my now retired dermatologist said about a year ago, "eventually your warranty will run out."

He was right! A few days ago I was anticipating a hip replacement at some point in the near future with no medical coverage for the last fifteen years, since my divorce. I did have part time jobs, but they didn't offer insurance. I had not applied for Medicare B because I didn't think I needed it. I had no idea that I would be accessed a 10% per year penalty for that choice. In my case that amounted to $125.83 per month in addition to the $104.97 monthly premium everyone pays. This tidy sum reduces my Social Security benefit to a whopping $983 per month.

Following my intuition,those little pebbles of guidance that the universe drops down, I will have full medical coverage as of July 1, 2015. It took me six months and a lot of pain, both physical and mental, but here is what happened.

The very first thing January 1st, 2015 I applied for Medicare B. The application was accepted and will take affect on July 1. Why that takes six months makes no sense. As it reduces my income to a ridicules amount I began to worry about how I could possibly pay the co payments for doctor visits etc. and the huge deductible for any hospital stay in addition to what Medicare would be taking out of my monthly benefit. It wasn't going to happen. I needed a supplement, so I started checking around to see what I could see.

Over the last week I have talked with several insurance agents, all very nice helpful people; none of whom work for Medicare. To make a long story short I went with Mutual of Omaha supplement G for a premium of $119.87 per month. It is total coverage and picks up every single thing that Medicare B does not pay, with the exception of its $147 yearly deductible. It is a really good deal and offers the most peace of mind.

My total for everything will be $350.60 per month, which to me is worth not ever having a medical bill. I also have an additional $300 per month income that I have been putting away for a rainy day. Now it will be headed for my checking account every month. Strange isn't it that that small amount of money almost pays for my new insurance expense. I'd call that a miracle, wouldn't you?

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The journey goes on

Two days later Mike arrived at my house as promised. I had moved the dinning room table out of the way and had a step stool ready for the fan surgery.

He knew exactly what he was doing and completed the job in less than a half hour. After taking the fan apart all it required to re-attach it was four longer screws to reach the board inside the ceiling. We have power!

I asked how much I owed him. He said, "I know you live on a fixed income so how about $10?"

I replied, "Well I was thinking of giving you at least $20", as I handed it to him.

He smiled and said, "Thank you for giving me a chance."

That's the kind of repairman I like to deal with!

As an added bonus, while the fan was in parts, I had a chance to clean out its guts, giving spring cleaning a new meaning!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The voice continues

On a happier note I am still listening to the voice and as a result things happen that are often funny. A few nights ago we experienced a sudden and rather violent rain/hail storm. It caused some minor damage to a bathroom ceiling and the ceiling fan in the dinning room has been hanging at a particular angle ever since. I was in no rush to have it fixed because the place where it should be attached is still damp. FYI I am attaching a picture for evidence.

It actually appears worse than what it is as the fan is fine. I knew who I needed to call to take a look at the problem. Over time women who are divorced develop a list of dependable repair people who work "cheap".

Monday was a holiday and yesterday I had several errands to run so I hadn't contacted my man Mike P. This morning my little voice said this is the day to do that. I drove out to his place of employment and as I pulled into the parking lot I spotted Mike. I honked to get his attention. After a brief conversation he told me today is his last day because he and his wife are moving out of the area in the morning. He was just there to pick up his last paycheck.

Are you kidding me? No he wasn't! Being the dependable person he is he went inside of his place of employment and came out with a man I didn't know. Mike said, "Let me make this easy for you, his name is also Mike and he said he can help you."

If I hadn't listened to the nudge from the voice this morning I would have missed saying goodbye to the old Mike and never met the new Mike!

The voice

Everything was going well until the last week when my blood pressure decided to go up. Of course it got alarmingly high on a holiday weekend when my only option would be a trip to the local ER. My last venture through those doors ran up a $5,000 hospital bill, which through the grace of God and possibly assistance from my guardian angel was written off. Doubting this would be likely to happen again I chose to take other measures.

I didn’t ignore the problem, but did everything I could to bring my BP down. I drank plenty of water, rested and tried to stay calm. I had planned to check in at my doctor’s office on Monday morning until I remembered it was a holiday. No!

On Tuesday morning I did follow that plan of action. The reading was still high when the nurse took it, which didn’t surprise me. The doctor came in and we had a chat. He believes that my current medication should be keeping my BP under control so we started looking at the reasons it isn’t.

Looking back at my recent life when it started going up the reason became clear to both of us. It was shortly after I learned from x-rays that I will need a hip replacement. Even though I don’t see this happening until at least next year, I chose to start worrying about it now. To make a long story short, daily hip pain and stress about finances was most likely the culprit.

I reluctantly agreed to try anxiety medication. I was given a prescription for Sertraline and was told it should come under the $4.00 prescriptions that Wal-Mart offers. Wrong! It was $17 for 30 pills. In addition to what I am already taking it would bring my total monthly prescription expense to $25. Like I can really afford that! Thinking I had no choice I paid for it.

When I got home I looked it up online. I was not happy with what I found. First it is a generic version of Zoloft, it takes a month or more to even work because it has to build up in the system. Most disturbing were the list of side effects, almost exactly the same as the ones I had recently dealt with when a Beta Blocker was added to my regular medication. Was I really willing to go through this again?

While I was thinking about that question I opened the package, took out seven tiny pills and actually put them in my pill keeper to start taking today.

That’s when I heard the voice loudly screaming at me DO NOT TAKE THEM! You are not stupid you can stop this cycle of worry without the help of more medication. Enough already!

I collected the seven little pills, put them away and challenged myself to do exactly what the voice of my personal GPS told me to do.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Adaption

In my 77 years of living on this planet called earth this time around I have concluded that life is about adaption.

Things don't usually go as planned. I used to be a control freak. What a joke that was. I have discovered that the only thing I can control are my thoughts. Stuff happens and the only thing I can do is follow my intuition and learn from my experiences.

The only cure for a major problem I am having is a hip replacement, which is not going to happen anytime soon. The only reasonable plan of action is adaption.

I have to accept the situation, find ways to make the best of things and avoid actions that will cause inflammation of the joint. Now there is a new challenge. I have pretty much spent my life doing things myself, not asking for help. I can see that's going to change!

There are a lot of things that can be done around my house to make chores easier. For instance, I noticed that the contents of my kitchen cupboards need rearranging. It makes no sense to bend down to pick up dishes that I use all the time. It would be better to reach for them instead. It is also time to admit that I can no longer bend to tackle the weeds that tend to grow in my walkway and gravel in the front of my house. I hope to offer my grandson a summer job. We'll see about that!

I am aware that needed surgery is going to have to wait. There has to be a giant shift in my finances before it can be considered. In the meantime I simply need to accept what is and learn to adapt.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

ONE

On this day set aside to honor mothers I have mixed feelings. My relationship with my mother was not a particularly good one. She died following a short illness in 1987. We did not have an opportunity for a last conversation as she was in a coma. I still regret not being able to say, "I love you".

Today only one of my three adult children and one of my four grandchildren choose to have a relationship with me. I apparently did not meet the expectations of those who deleted me from their lives. It's really a shame when people can't weigh positive intentions with negative ones and at least make an effort to have a relationship.

I can't do anything about the way my family reacts to me. That is their problem. I can only wish them well and continue to do my best, which is all anyone can do.

I did get a new microwave oven from my ONE son and a beautiful hanging basket of flowers from my ONE grandson.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Finding a match

In my last post I shared the fact that over the last few years I have spent a bundle of money on treatments for pain that really didn't work. I always gave the person in charge my complete faith that what she/he was doing would do the job and I would eventually be pain free. I look at this long list of attempts and think- what the hell! Was it me or did I simply not have the right match?

I recently found a team of people that I hope will be working together to accomplish the goal of autonomy.

My new primary care person is a Physician Assistant, I just added a Physical Therapist and in the wings I have a Reiki Master prepared to help out when needed. Not one of these people tell me what to do. They all discuss options and allow me to decide how I want to proceed. To put it in a nut shell they treat me like I am an intelligent being instead of a name or a number on a chart.

In the past I have tended to hold off agreeing to tests and x-rays due to a lack of money. I have decided to change my approach. If I am supposed to have something done that will assist in my recovery than the universe can damn well come up with a way to pay for it. I am no longer willing to spend the rest of my life in pain.

I have paid my dues and I am looking forward to a better future with my new match.