Monday, February 8, 2016


Wow. I read a story this evening that blessed me big! 
What I'm sharing with you is the ending. 
It personifies all that I try to be about. 
I thought you would enjoy being reminded of
what you're about to read or that you might learn from it. 
Be blessed either way!
We have been wrong so many times judging others without
knowing the true story behind their actions. Be kind and courteous
in dealing with others, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
Be careful, not everything is about you. 
Before you assume, ASK.

Don't just jump to conclusions, because that is really not an exercise.
It may cause you more harm at the end of the day.
Many of our problems are caused by how we process what happens
around us. Don't judge a situation you have never
been in. Be humble enough to learn. You do not know it all.
Let's change the way we feel about ourselves and others.

There are two sides to a story. Don't believe everything you hear.

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Yay! Two posts in one week. What's come of me?? I'll tell you.....I feel so
strongly about what I have shared with you that I couldn't not post it. All of my readers, lurkers included ;), are dear to me and I want us all to be the best
we can be, thus this post. 
Have a glorious day, count your blessings and be grateful for all that God gives


Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I can't believe it's been an entire year since I posted on my blog.
However, when I think back to 2015 (actually 2013 - 2015) I realize that it's not surprising
that I haven't been around. It was a challenging year with many
new medical adventures.
if I wasn't so stinkin' cute I'd look odd. 

Let me bring you up to date. 
I now go to Houston to a Chronic Dry Eye Specialist.
I give my blood and they extract the plasma and put it in these 
thin "capsules" and I use my own plasma as the treatment
of my condition. They're called plasma tears.  
They're my eye drops! I will tell you that I was surprised
when Dr. P., after running some eye tests, told me
that I have zero moisture on my eyeballs.
This treatment is the first one that I've found that works great! 
Finally I only fight squiggles of dog hair finding their way onto my eyes! 
I am so grateful for Dr. Pflufelger. What a blessing he has been to me!

I finished up the surgeries on my left ankle. I ended up having two surgeries
in 2014 - one in April and one in December.
It was certainly a lesson in patience. I ended up having to 
wear a surgical boot to France, go to my son, Blake's, wedding
in a wheelchair of which I was in for 7 months. 
Dr. Casillas in San Antonio is such a great doctor
and surgeon. I have been blessed by him and his staff
for being so caring!

Last year in January I knew I was coming out of the surgical boot
and could get on with my life! I was zeroed in on one of my son's
friend's wedding in March. I love this kid and was so looking 
forward to going somewhere untethered!
If I tell you that his wedding gift is still in our garage
that should be all you need to hear! But, explaining why it is 
will show you why God is my saving grace.
For a few weeks I found myself short of breath some.
X-rays taken, specialist found, referral made, appointment kept.
I was out of the surgical boot and the wedding was 
coming up! I kept the appointment.......

I had known my pulmonary doctor about 10 minutes 
before (I allowed him; gave him the power) he completely destroyed me. 
You see, this appointment was the Monday before
the wedding weekend and I'm was still focused on
the fun we were going to have with all of Clay's college friends!
and I turn 8 with grace with my perfectly coiffed friends.

Okay, so the doctor takes a reading of my O2 level.
It's supposed to be between 95 -100. Mine was 79.
Since doctors are notorious about NOT explaining things 
this didn't register with me as something extremely dangerous for he didn't
seem concerned.
So when he told me he was admitting me to the hospital
right then, do not pass Go, do not attend the wedding,
I sobbed. I sobbed and asked very nicely while snot threatened
to spill out of my nose, for it to be put off
until after the wedding but he wouldn't budge (or give
me any information about what was going on).
He probably thought I was some crazy woman
folded over at the waist crying! I did notice that he backed 
up some. Shuffled actually. He shuffled when he walked.
Should have been my first clue.
I was in the hospital for 4 days. For two of those days
I cried. Sitting folded over at the waist in my 
comfortable hospital bed, I sobbed.
I was scared now. I was holding on to my hope,
the hope that I have always had these past 9 years
of medical stuff, hanging on by. a. thread.

So much so that I was very frightened that I wouldn't 
be able to hold on to my hope. I saw myself
hanging by that thread over a deep and very dark abyss.
In a moment I knew how close I was to losing my faith, my hope.
Oh, God, please, please HELP ME.

I have never been so frightened to lose something so dear to me.
My salvation. My God and His grace. Can you feel
my fear?? 

Somehow I managed to pull myself back. I don't think I'll ever forget
that moment. What a blessing to me to have hope even
in the midst of so much chronic pain.
"And now an update on the saga of JT's O2 adventures..."
I'm on O2 24/7, I have changed doctors from the shuffling little man
to an aggressive, very thorough and kinda preppy specialist in SAtown.
I ask a question and he answers it explaining his answer
as he goes along. What a blessing to have 
a doctor that wants to slow down the progression of my disease
which was misdiagnosed by my first doc. 
I have Bronchiectasis. It's chronic, progressive and also of the auto-immune family.

So many blessings in the middle of one of my scariest, most serious
diseases. God is my saving grace and He blesses me so much.
I am so grateful to have a God that loves me.

Then there's the kidney adventure but I'm tired of writing and 
you probably have to go to the bathroom. Let's just leave it at this - 
the kidney adventure is just that. An adventure full of blessings.

Live in gratitude. ~x

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Written once, now posted twice.
I originally wrote this post
in October of 2010 and posted it on "page 2" of my blog
which is very rarely seen by my readers.
This evening I received an email from a reader 
that read this post just yesterday and left me her feelings.
God spoke to me, I could hear him, as he urged me
 to finally post Despair on Page 1.

My reader's comments and my feelings after I re-read this post
tonight are what decided it for me. 
I could have written most of the original post
today. It is the same story, four years later.
I'm still fighting the good fight
and tripping over the obstacles, deep holes, 
relationships, valleys so deep the sun never shines,
 and even more chronic diseases to
add to my already overflowing list of "adventures"............
I'm going to re-post now, but am going to cut away the 
parts of the original post (which you can find on Page 2 -
look on the right hand side of my blog to find Page 2), 
that don't apply to today's story.....And so I begin........

I am so tired.

I am so tired of feeling tired.
When I think about how vibrant and active I was before my health started
 it's slide down the slippery, muddy hill of 'bad health', sometimes I cry. 

Not always. 

Most of the time I'm okay with where ever I am in life 
because of my unfaltering faith in the Lord
and my knowledge that it could always be worse.

But, let's face it, we all, all believers, doubt Him at some time. 
I'm very blessed and in knowing that I am able to keep my eyes on the Lord.
I've been through some horrible things 
and I've never lost sight of the Lord.
I would never falter.
Most days.

 ............I had a day three weeks ago where I felt despair.

"It's a funny thing when despair gets to you. 
It doesn't even feel like despair.
You don't think to yourself,
Oh, I have no hope.
Oh, I give up.
Oh, there's nothing I can do.

That's just every day complaining.
That's just feeling sorry for yourself.

Real despair is different.

It creeps up on you in disguise.

It comes as a kind of sleepiness,
a kind of heavy sadness that weighs you down.

It makes you lazy."

....."I didn't say to myself:
Don't give up.

I didn't say:
.....Never give in.

I didn't really say anything to myself.....
I was just too tired......"

............A weird and terrible thought began to work its way into my mind."

You're worthless.
You are just a sick, lazy woman
who isn't any good for any one.
The only reason anyone loves you
is because you're sick.
You're a DUTY, a PAIN.
You are such a BURDEN.
Your life is a joke.

"The thought was kind of like a whisper,
as if someone invisible were crouching next to me with his lips to my ear,
whispering very low.
The whisper was so low I didn't really even hear the words at first.
Slowly, they just sort of worked their way into my consciousness
until I was aware of them."

............"I rolled up into a sitting position.
I held my head in my hands and ...cried.
It was then that the despair rose up inside me with its true face.

That laziness,

that heavy sadness,

that sleepy passivity,

...the hopelessness that had crept up on me.

Now it was here in full force -

a horrible feeling,

a twisting, hollow anguish of despair."

I clasped my hands in front of my mouth.

"I wanted to pray.
I tried.
But I couldn't.
I couldn't even do that.
I was too afraid; that accusing whisper continued
to speak to me.

...I was afraid because I thought that
I might deserve  everything 
that was happening to me.

I was afraid to pray,
but I had to do something
and that was all I could think of.
I pressed my clasped hands hard against my mouth.
I bit into them.
I forced the words into my mind.

Please God.
Help me.
I'm beaten.
I admit it.
I'm lost.
I've got nothing left.

When I thought about 
what had happened.
I thought about it for a very long time.
Disecting it in an effort to understand.

And you know what?
"That sleepy sadness I had felt -
that passivity and despair -
they were gone suddenly."

I remember how I had prayed earlier.
How I'd thought there'd been no answer.
I was wrong.

I understood now.

It can be crazy hard.

To keep your faith,
to keep going.

It can be harder than I ever would have imagined.
Sometimes things happen to you, 
really bad things that aren't fair,
things that make you feel so terrible ...about yourself.

Sometimes you feel like there's no one to turn to,
and you're all alone and so scared you
can hardly move and so tired you just want to
curl up in a ball and go to sleep forever."

...I think in some way I had been training for this time my whole life.
I'd been training every day, even in the simple things.
I trained to keep my mind sharp when I was in school.
I trained to keep my spirit strong by going to church,
or when I prayed by myself, 
it was a kind of training:

I was training to remember that I was not alone.
I was never alone."

God is always there for me,
especially during times of despair.
And always when Satan is sitting on my shoulder
whispering lies into my ear.
Somehow I had gotten off track.
And I think part of my problem is the way
I isolate myself from the world.
Oh, I've got friends, but only a couple of close ones
that are physically near.
And I'm beginning to question why I keep it that way.

I have so many dear blogger friends
AND FAMILY, my sister, Joan, especially,
and my cousin, Melinda,
and I know that I could call either one of them
or the ones physically near,
if I needed to talk
or to be affirmed, but I would never do that.

I only tell J & M my deepest thoughts and feelings
though I have rarely ever called Joan when in the depths of despair.
Once? Twice??
And it has taken me YEARS to get to this point. Years of
suffering alone, of being afraid alone, before I would even tell them, 
or Annette, that I had a doctor's appointment. 
And I started doing that ONLY because one
of them verbally shook me by the shoulders!

I kept things to myself because I have always been
 fully aware that every one is fighting some kind of battle 
so I have wanted to keep my own struggles to myself.
It could always be worse is my mantra that I live by still.

The most important thing that I had lost sight of is that
I've got God and He is with me at all times.
It was scary when I lost sight of that.

I lifted my head to the heavens
and it brought me back to where I always am.

Well, except I do allow myself what I call
Like after a doctor's visit
or yet another referral to a specialist.

We're all allowed them.
Just don't make a habit out of them.
"Keep your eyes on the prize", as my youngest has always said.
And don't listen to Satan.
He lies.

*****10/2010: I have written this post on my side bar for one reason.
It's because I've really written it for me.
I doubt anyone will read it and that's okay.
I wanted a 'journal entry' about what I went through this week.
AND praise be to God!

1/2015: If you did find this post, thank you for taking the time to read it.
If you would like to leave a comment for me, please do.
I would love to know that you read it.
I hope it made sense to you as I did some creative cutting and pasting!
It takes a lot of guts to post this. I have NEVER let you see me so clearly; never
allowed you to look so deeply into my soul. This isn't me but I'm really tired of being 
alone in my own little corner in my own little room. 
(*that's from some show. Cinderella, I think)

To God be the glory!!,

photos from Google photos and have no copyright on them to my knowledge unless indicated differently on the photo.
text in qoutes is from the book I'm reading and these passages were what I read just last night.
i'm reading The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan.
and I know without a doubt that God put this book in my hands.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


After the art retreat week in the south of France
it was time for me to jump over to Germany to spend
some time with my "little girl", Skyler, and her wonderful family.
I stayed for two weeks which seemed to fly by and had such a great time.
Brian and Skyler went above and beyond to make my visit as comfortable
and easy as they could. Remember, I'm still in the surgical boot!
Below are pictures of my trip to Germany. It was wonderful
and we had some great adventures!
They live in a small village about 10 minutes from Rammstein
Air Force Base where Brian is stationed.
Starting with some of my German purchases, we searched high and low
for lace similar to the lace panels hung in the windows of not only the
older German homes, but of the homes in France. Do you remember that
window I showed, that I loved, in my French post??
Finally, in a German store with German speaking clerks (what else should one expect?)
we discovered just what I was looking for to do the windows in my living room!
Though there are three bottles of likor leaning against the Rammstein tee that 
Slyer felt I should buy, the rest is home grown honey and homemade mustards and
a homemade vinegar (I think) that I bought for my sister, the home chef - Joan!
She loved it all which is why I bought it all! 
Well, the cooking stuff was for her - the likor was for me. 
I felt and I was right, it is medicinal.
Ahhhhh, Adventure #1 and the one that had the most impact on me.
I think that's because Skyler had told me that I would be visiting at just the right time
if I was interested in driving over to Brussels to see the flower carpet that
was made and displayed for just a few days (each?) year. Why, of course, I wanted
to drive over to Brussels to see this piece of art!
The adventure started, we were on our way; Brian, me, Skyler  and Kinsley, 
their 2 year old. I asked Brian how far we had to go before we got there.
"4 hours."
4 hours there, 4 hours home with the carpet in the middle.
Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback at the thought of a FOUR HOUR DRIVE
for an adventure. He thought it quite funny!
Brussels is amazing. Old, big, gorgeous architecture and the flower carpet...
I love this picture of the homes near downtown.
The churches were awesome! All built hundreds and hundreds of
years ago. If you've never read PILLARS OF THE EARTH
because the title sounds boring, don't be fooled. The novel is 
fascinating and such a great read - you'll appreciate these 
churches to a different degree after you read it!!
Just look at the detail! Unbelievable. 
We viewed the flower garden from one of the churches around the giant square. 
This is the original, how do you say it, topping of the tallest spire?
It is displayed inside the church and holds such beauty.
The flower garden. It's made in four hours with the work being finished before dawn.
It is so big I can't even tell you how big it is. It's made entirely of flowers.
Lots of carnations and marigolds. I LOVED the fact that is was a rainy day
because I love the pictures of the garden surrounded by the people under the umbrellas.
It gives the pictures such a cool look - I think the umbrellas look like big flowers. 

The buildings were massive!
My palm camera takes great pictures but it was really impossible for my zoom to 
reach the length needed to show you the precise details of the carpet. But I think
you get the idea. It was so amazing!!
Also, while in Brussels I bought some 97% cocoa dark chocolate, tripped on a
loose cobblestone, fell gracefully and broke my new camera's viewing screen.
The End. ;)
 Back to Germany. On Saturday we went to the market.
Though I thought I had the spy camera thing goin', I'm pretty sure the guy
with the hat caught me taking his picture. I also think he kinda liked me. Look at that stare.
It's says "rare beauty". Do you see it?

I can read German. It says "mushrooms".
I'd move to Europe and live in one of these tall houses in a small village
if I could find one with an elevator. I would.
I made Skyler pull into this parking lot when I spied the old bridge. We parked and walked
down the skinny road and took a couple of great pictures and then I saw it.....
the abandoned house screaming for me to take it's picture!
So we hiked up the street past the bridge and found 
ourselves looking at this great old house that shared a large bare area
of pavement with this yellow house that I paid no attention to.
It wasn't old.
Mmmmm, look at that window and the plaster falling away from
the brick!! And the dormers and the door!
I had to get a closer picture of the window - I could see something on the other side!
The angle was wrong for a zoom so I made my way into the empty bare area between
this wonderful old abandoned house and the yellow house of the.........
She must have been spying on me, just waiting for me to enter the forbidden
bare area because I hadn't even raised my camera to my eye when she started........
SCREAMING at me in German through a closed window!!
Startled, I turned around and saw her. I swear she was waving a wooden spoon.
I only had this one chance and she seemed older than I turned back
around, took aim over the SCREAMING, took the picture real fast and
then I booked it as fast as I could on a decline in a surgical boot.
I took a picture of this window from the street. 
And, I thought later that I could have really gotten her goat
if I turned around towards her with my camera up to my eye like
I was taking her picture. Oh, my, she would have had a cow!!
And I might be dead because then I thought, what if that wooden spoon
was really a shotgun??
The ruins of an abandoned castle.

Kinsley was very happy to see her Grameh Jam.
So absorbed. So precious!
Even more precious.
Oops! Precious was left back at the house!
Ahhhh, there's that precious baby!!
At the PX Kinsley and I thought we should get a cart because
of my hurt foot. I don't know who had more fun, Kinsley or me.
Kinsley, of course!
The 3rd Adventure - the best two days.
You're going to see pictures of Cocham, Germany, a small village at the base of
the hill where the Cocham Castle stands.
The Cocham Castle.
The square. 
I took this picture from our bedroom window in the German hotel where we stayed.

Skyler and I shopped in, this wonderful Likor shop, three times.
They make their own likors and they're stored in these balloon like bottles
with a spigot on the bottom. You can taste the likor before purchasing. 
Probably why we kept going back;)
I bought a whiskey likor for my dad's birthday (he has been drinking Jack
since the days of highballs) and maybe two different ones for me.
Medicinal, remember?...
Across the river - those are grapes being grown for wine.

I waited FOREVER w/ my zoom on to get a picture of this kid! He kills me!!
The people in Germany take their dogs everywhere with them. 
I love that!!!! Here's five in a little cart though most are on leashes.
The German people love their dogs!
Even the panhandler had a dog! A well groomed Corky (I think). 
I loved this sweet little man. He didn't speak English but we visited for a second 
with our hands and eye contact. 
In the picture a darling boy is giving him a donation.
The windows open all the way and no screens, just like in France.
No bugs either AND I WILL SAY, both France and Germany, the parts I visited,
were very very clean. We could sure take a lesson here in America.
If I leaned out our bedroom window I was able to get some great shots of the castle.

At night.
When Styler made the reservation for our room in this quaint German hotel
on the square, she thought that she was renting a room on the "1st floor',
thinking about me and my boot....we had the best room in the hotel she was told
as she checked in. Great! ........It's on the 4th floor.
She wasn't quite sure how to tell me. 
We laughed and laughed!! And I took this picture looking down from the 4th floor to 
the ground floor to send her every August right before my birthday.
The longest, steepest, cobblestoniest walk I made my whole trip.
The only way to get up to the castle proper.
A view from the castle of what is left standing of the old Cocham security wall.

Isn't this just the greatest???

Another view from the castle.
My little girl. My sweet Skyler.
The last thing you see before you start walking back down that
adventurous cobblestone road away from the castle.

I hope you enjoyed my trip as much as I did. 
I sincerely hope to/plan to return to Europe when I'm walking in two shoes.
I loved it. I really really loved it.

                                              and I love you,


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