Is the summer half-over already??

7Happy July to everyone!  Of course most of us think of the "fourth of July" when we think of July.  A day to celebrate our indenpendence from England. In less than 300 years, America has become the leading country in the world.  Sometimes I am astonished when I think about how powerful America is.  In Japan and China, one finds extremely intelligent people who are quite savvy .  In Germany, they expect, and prepare, each child for higher learning. In Canada, they have a great health care system they have figred out. In Costa Rica, just about everyone has just learned to slow down and enjoy life.  Each country has something unique to offer. I just happen to live in America so my loyalty is here, despite the craziness our country is experiencing right now. We have a great deal of poverty and inequality here in America. We have a long way to go to rectify the oppression and trauma inflicted on Americans over the past centuries. We are a country in crisis, yet we remain the great and powerful nation.  We can do our parts by reminding ourselves, and others, that ALL lives matter. That we are equal, no matter the color of our skin, our gender, or our sexual orientation. We have the right to be different, but we don't have the right to scorn another for his or her beliefs. As Americans, we must stand united and let no one, or any country, divide us.

On another note....... I used CBD oil for the first time last night. Dr. Hogan gave me permision to do so. CBD has no THC and I've heard testimonies of how it helps people in pain. There was no instant relief for me. I stll hurt all night long and I woke up feeling like a truck ran over me and I had a headache. I hope that was a coincidence and the oil doesn't cause me to have a hangover. Trust me, if anyone could have a strange side effect, it would be ME. I'll try for a month and see if I can finally get a reprieve from the immobility and pain. I'm hopeful.

It is hot and sunny in Alaska and I'm grateful for the sunshine. It's supposed to be this way all week. Finally it is summer! I'm staying home this weekend to do homework and Patrick will go back to the cabin to get some work done. (and fish.....) We have over a week there coming up starting the 14th (for me). As usual, we will be hosting several people. I stopped at Costco on the way home from the cabin yeterday and today I will be raiding my pantry for supplies.

7/6/18

I didn't make my bed today and the sky didn't fall. I was going to make my bed, but Ringo and Oreo were on it and I didn't want to disturb them. Our cute little kitty, Oreo, was a big bundle of fur until Patrick shaved about 75% of her hair off. He needs to shave the other 25%. (I'm not brave enough) Oreo is probably 12 years old and she's been more of Patrick's cat than mine. She follows him around like Ringo follows me.When she hears his truck pull into the driveway, she runs out and greets him like a dog would. So Miss Oreo was sleeping on my pillow. I just didn't have the heart to move her today. Usually I make the bed around her by placing her on various places of the bed. She doesn't get mad and leave, she just lies there until I move her again. By the time she got up, I decided there was no point in making my bed. I feel like such a rebel. A rebel without a cause......

The Seattle doctor called me today. He finally got to view the copies of my MRI. His conclusion remains the same; it must be the Firbromyalgia. I told him I am fed up with being labeled. Diabetic, leukemia patient, fibromyalgia, etc. I'm fed up with the labels. I just want to be me and not defined by many health problems. I told him I feel like he thinks I am making it all up. I told him I can handle the pain that wakes me up every night, I just can't handle the immobility I experience. I just want to be able to move!  I have had CBD oil four nights yet and there is no difference. I'm giving it a whole month before I call it quits.

We have been having such glorious weather this week. It was 82 today and has been around 80 all week. I believe the rains are supposed to start Sunday and last at least a week. :(   Let's enjoy the sunshine while we have it and not complain it's too hot.

Patrick went to the cabin today so he could work on the downstairs. But he's out on the river. He claims it's too hot to work right now.....Yeah, I saw that one coming! I wanted to stay home this week and visit with family. Tomorrow we are having a big family gathering at my cousin's house. We don't do that very often so I'm looking forward to it. I also need to get motivated to make a couple of dishes in the morning. I'll do that after I make my bed.

7/7/18

Today I shared this with a friend whose child recently died.

It’s a huge adjustment when we have a child die. Part of your heart is missing. The hole in your heart will never go away, but in time, it will have a flap covering it. Envision that flap covering a hole and air blowing up in it. When the flap is up, the pain is intense and painful. When the flap is down, there will be some relief from the pain. You will know it’s a temporary moment - perhaps it’s when you are holding a grandchild, catching a fish, or going on a hike. At that moment you feel good- and that’s okay! The flap is going to open again and the pain will come back. Don’t let the flap stay open permanently. Allow it to close so you can have a reprieve from the pain. When it’s open- allow yourself to feel your daughter. Remember her life. Enjoy the memories of the good times. But when it’s closed, live, dream, and love.

7/9/18

It dropped 20 degrees since Saturday. It's cold, windy, and dismal looking out there. Ringo tolerates my long periods of inactivity as best he can, but today he insisted we go for a walk. How can I say no to him knowing tomorrow is surgery day for him. He won't be able to take a walk for a few weeks. It's the least i could do for him. I was thinking about the winter of 2015 when we were walking. It was my first winter home after transplant. The first big snow we had thrilled me. I put on my snowpants and boots and took Ringo for a walk about 0600 that morning. I felt ike making snow angels in the middle of the road. I was happy and excited. I had the attitude of a child at that moment. I was carefree and in love with nature. I wish I could regain that attitude about snow and other things. You see, that winter of 2015 I was celebrating just being alive. Every moment was special and thrilling for me. I took time to appreciate the little things because I was grateful to be alive.. How quickly my carefree attitude can change back to depression, a sense of obligation, boredom, etc. I long for that happy attitude again and I'm determined I will find it again. I am the only one who can change my attitude. I need a sense of gratefulness and appreciation.

I watched a video about several people impacted by poverty. I admit I cried through the entire movie. The movie depicted real life indivduals who were striving to better themselves, but because of varying circumstances, they remained at poverty level. Each of them were hard workers who often worked double-shifts just to pay the rent and put food on the table. This movie brought an awareness to the poverty so many experience here in America. We are quick to judge those on public assistance, those who get food stamps, and those on Medicaid. But we do not know their stories. We can't judge based on our perceptions. Some of these women were single-parents; their husbands abandoned the family. All wanted a better life and all did everything they could to make that happen. It sure made me grateful for what I have and for a good man to be by my side.

7/10/18

Ringo goes in for surgery this morning. I am concerned about him. He's 11 years old and I hope I am doing the right thing and it doesn't make him age quicker. I love my dog so much.

I thought with Patrick gone for 5 nights that I would sleep really well. I have one night left to hope. Besides my excruciating hip pain, my neck has also been hurting badly for the past month. Between the two parts of my body, sleep eludes me due to the pain waking me up. I'm still hopeful the pain will stop eventually.

712/18

Ringo came through the surgery like a champ. They offered me anti-aniety meds to keep him calm, but I told them no need. That may have been a bad decision. He thinks nothing happened. He doesn't care he has a drain tube in and continues acting like nothing is wrong. The first night I brought his bed into my room so he could lie next to me. While I was arranging it right by my side of the bed, he jumped up on the bed. I about had a heart attack. Yesterday, I put the gate up at the top of the stairs and put a chair in front of it because there is no latch. I had to go downstairs for just a minute and the darn dog opened the gate and came to find me. He is not impressed with me for going outside with him and holding his leash while he does his business. He wants privacy and I can't give him any. The poor dog. Tomorrow he has a check-up and I hope the drain tube can come out. I have to put a clean t-shirt on him each day and tie it shut with a rubber band to keep him from licking his owie.

The CBD oil is not working. My C-1 in my neck keeps going out of place. My chiropractor suggested I get some external ointmet to put on my hips and neck. She said I needed to go to a marijuana store to get it. I was so embarrassed! I talked my mom into going in with me. I bought some Hemp cream and it seems to help. I was concerned people would think we were in there to by pot. Of course the store was really crowded and we got lots of looks. I wanted to hold a sign stating, "Not here for pot!" Now I found out I can order it online! Oh goodness, that was an experience! My mom is such a good sport.

I woke up feeling nauseous and extremely tired today. I hope I feel better as I don't like having no energy. It looks like it's going to be a fairly decent day. I can't do much because I feel like I need to stay close to Ringo. I need fresh air.....

7/13/18

Friday the 13th! I'm glad I am not a supersititious person. I don't believe in luck; good or bad. Things happen just because, not because of luck or lack thereof.

I mowed my yard yestereday. The sun came out and it was a beautiful afternoon and evening. My yard looks so pretty. I didn't hurt after I mowed either! I think the hemp cream I am using is working and I'm so excited about that. I was, however, very tired after mowing and I fell asleep in a lounge chair on the deck. I woke up with the sun beating down on me and I was sweating profusely. Not glowing. Sweating.... Today I must water all my flowers since I skipped yesterday. I love how flowers brighten up a yard and house. I would love it if my husband surprised me with a boquet of fresh flowers sometime. Nothing expensive- no delivered boquet. Just a simple bundle of fresh flowers.  They could even be wildflowers! Perhaps I will just surprise myself with a bouquet.Cool

This morning I made chocolate chip cookies and banana blueberry breasd. Yesterday I made rhubarb blueberry muffins.  We have lots of company next week. I will be feeding about 5-12 people per day. I have my menu made and I have purchased almost all the food in preperation. I even sent almost all of it with Patrick and he will transport it to the cabin. Hopefully it will be a great week.

I watched a news reporter today giving a review on the documentary of Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers may be one of the few in the world who is known for just being nice, compassionate, and honest without any bad allegations spoken against him. Mr. Rogers wanted to be a "good neighbor"" to all, especially children. Being a good neighbor involves caring, compassion, understanding, time, love, and concern.  We should all strive to be good neighbors. I believe Mr. Roger's idea of a neighbor is not just the one who lives next door to us. It could also be another student in our chlasses, a member of the church, etc. I truly don't believe he was just talking about phsyical neighbors. But what about the people who live next door? I don't know about you, but I don't know many people in my neighborhood and we have lied here for 27 years!  That's truly a shame. I have a feeling I am missing out on knowing some really nice people. I find that people are so busy and private nowadays that it's really hard to get to know them. I would like to be a good neighbor. Maybe I should go door to door and meet some people. What a shame to live so close to someone and not een know their name. Yes, I want to be a good neighbor. How about you?

7/14/18

One of our dearest friends found out yesterday that his brother killed himself the night before. I don't know what to say. I don't know how to help. My first thought was "oh no, he didn't know Jesus before he died." My heart is broken for our friend as well as for his brother who felt no hope. I don't ever want to know someone and not give them the hope that Jesus can help you through anything. Please pray for my friend.

7/16/18

I am in my happy place.  My happy place is busy this week with lots of company. I have been cooking up a storm and doing a whole lot of dishes. Thankfully the weather has been nice so I have gotten in a couple of walks too. I drove down on Saturday. I drove non-stop to Soldotna from Wasilla. I got out at Fred Meyer and could barely walk. I was so bummed because I thought maybe the Hemp cream was going to fix me up.  But what do i do? I invited my friend Gretchen over to walk with me.  By the time I went to bed, I knew I was in trouble. I was in severe pain all night long.  Yesterday I went for two walks. Patrick told me not to, but I didn't listen. I have decided he's smarter than he looks. Okay, no offense meant.... He always says that about me so i'm getting even! Today I walked down to visit with our elderly neighbors, Christine and Harold.. They are such lovely people. Christine has had some heart issues and has a touch of dementia. Harold is going blind from glaucoma. They are in their 80's and amazing people. Patrick helps Harold out a lot and always enjoys their time together.

Tomorrow my best friend from Indiana, Darlene, is coming to visit with her husband Kevin. I can hardly wait!  I'm so thankful we have a cabin to share with others.

I've been doing a lot of reading about poverty and homelessness and it breaks my heart that so many don't have homes, food, or clothing.  I think we take too much for granted. Religious freedom, political freedom, etc... It's time we appreciate what we have.