Scrubbing Bubbles and the middle school maid

2 Comments

To make money for clothing and important things like makeup and Bonne Bell flavored lipgloss, I babysat and cleaned houses in middle school.

Stay away from me, Mr. Scrubbing Bubbles!

Scrubbing Bubbles was a new product and the commercials with cartooned, mustachioed scrubbing bubbles made me chuckle. Do you remember the birth of Scrubbing Bubbles or is that before your time?

Well one day, I was cleaning a shower stall. The shower door was closed and I began to coat the tile with a thick layer of Scrubbing Bubbles. As if I were attacking a blaze and holding a fire extinguisher, I doused that sucker. Every tile square received a foamy blast. I wanted to unlock all the cleaning power contained in the Scrubbing Bubbles. As an adolescent fashionista, I needed to keep my job; customer satisfaction, don’t you know.

In the shower stall with the Scrubbing Bubbles can, I prepared to remove all the goo and grime off the tile but then I began having trouble breathing. I didn’t collapse but I began to choke. Since I was a boy crazy, junior high girl, I doubt I had the wits to know to open the door. If Michael Jackson, Keith Partridge or Bobby Sherman would have come to rescue me that would have been a different story but that didn’t happen. I had an epiphany though, something in those Scrubbing Bubbles was rockin’ my world/body. With the door closed, I surely inhaled a fury of aerosol and chemicals.

Screen shot of Scrubbing Bubbles info on the Environmental Working Group

The more I read about chemicals and toxins in cleaning products, the more I wonder exactly what I breathed in that afternoon. When I use soap nuts, I don’t have anything to worry about. I use Extreme 18X (which is a super concentrated version of soap nuts that goes a long way) or make some soap nut “tea” and I don’t need rubber gloves. I’m never concerned about adaquate ventilation either. Did you know that according to the Environmental Working Group, many of the Scrubbing Bubbles products are rated D or F? In my extended family, we have asthma, COPD, migraines and allergies – my loved ones don’t need to be breathing toxins any more than I did as a middle school “maid.”

Obviously I don’t have the original bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles. But this is what the label says now CAUTION: EYE IRRITANT. READ BACK PANEL CAREFULLY. / CAUTION: EYE IRRITANT. Contains lactic acid, solvents and surfactants. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Wash thoroughly after handling. May cause respiratory irritation if used with inadequate ventilation. FIRST AID: EYES AND SKIN: Immediately rinse eyes and skin with plenty of water. If irritation persists, seek medical advice. INHALATION: If breathing is affected, get fresh air. CHEMICAL HAZARD: Never use or mix with bleach-containing products or other household cleaners as hazardous fumes may be released. KEEP OUR OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND PETS.

“One day, gf, you’re gonna write about that weird time when Scrubbing Bubbles nearly jacked you up.”

Funny, isn’t it, the weird memories our minds retain? For me it was this strange encounter with a cleaning product. There are greener, safer alternatives for cleaning our bodies, homes and clothes. Soap nuts work. They are 100% organic, biodegradable and effective. Your family deserves someone to be an advocate and a savvy consumer and that’s probably you. Take a look at the products under your sink, read the labels. Look beyond what the brand name company websites tell you about the chemicals they are using. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts. I welcome them, this is a journey. Here are two other independent reviews of soap nuts also. Check out spoonfulatatime and naturallifemom. I highly recommend these websites for their wealth of information in general.

What makes you buy certain cleaning products?

4 Comments

laundromat in France. Thanks to Paul Filleau for supplying this cool pic! Merci bien!

I never really considered the chemicals used in everyday cleaning supplies and laundry until January 27, 2012. That’s when I became a half-century old and my first order of soap nuts arrived.

Now I pay attention. I read labels, get angry and frankly, feel kinda duped about all the crud I have unknowingly put into my body and offered to my family without any concern.

I don’t appreciate people overwhelming me with scary facts if I’m not ready for them. Maybe you’re the same way and I totally respect that. But here’s what I want to do and I hope to be consistent.

I want to occasionally offer blog posts about cleaner, greener living and help you as my friends become more savvy, questioning consumers.

Here is the ingredient used in soap nuts…SOAP NUTS! That’s it!

The soap nuts thing intrigued me because I thought they sounded funny. Soap “nuts,” really? I’m the mama of three boys so yes, I did chuckle and you probably know why… I had never heard of such a thing. How could some soap nuts, berries from a tree in the Himalayas clean my family’s clothes? When they arrived, I was skeptical but eager to try them. Even though it was my birthday, I sacrificially scrounged up some dirties and put them to their first challenge. I’ve been a soap nut nut ever since. The concept of cleaning my clothes more naturally appeals to me as a wife, mother and consumer.

How’s this for vague product labeling? Hrmph

One thing led to another and in August, I began my own business, Olive Shoot Institute selling soap nuts and related products. It’s a weird compilation of olive shoot stuff but yeah, somehow it works.

All I wanted to do was clean some clothes but this has unleashed a passion. Armed with knowledge, maybe I can help you make informed decisions. I don’t think we should be bamboozled or especially trusting of the cleaning/beauty/personal care industry.

Here’s something to look at the next time you are getting ready to do a load of wash or clean your house. Read the list of ingredients in the product you are using. It’s pretty sad because I guarantee you, it won’t take long at all.

A quick perusal of left-over cleaning supplies still around my house led me to see this. I gathered all the products together. I turned the bottles over and over trying to find a list of chemicals/ingredients used and guess what?

I could read instructions in English, Spanish and sometimes in French, but in many instances, no details about the chemicals/ingredients were found. Why is that? It’s a $14 billion annual business for goodness’ sake! Don’t these corporations have enough money to type what is in these products? Shouldn’t consumers know? Specifically, shouldn’t YOU?

New York Times article reported that in January 2009, manufacturers of detergents and household cleaners voluntarily started to disclose much of what is in its cleaning products. But just this morning, I went to the grocery store to do my own “research.” And here’s what I noticed. In many cases, the actual ingredients aren’t really listed. Some have an 800 number and I guess you can inquire but they don’t list the chemicals specifically. That is stupid. Check out this popular laundry detergent and see why it got an “F” from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

So many families have loved ones suffering with childhood asthma, cancer, lung conditions, multiple chemical syndrome, auto-immune diseases, don’t we deserve to know what we are using in our homes? It’s taken me 50 years to care about this, I wish I would have started sooner.

I’d really love to hear from you. If you want soap nuts stuff, I’m your girl but I am truly curious. Why do you purchase the laundry and cleaning supplies you use? Is it price? Brand? Coupons? Smell? Effectiveness?

I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any specific subject you’d like covered or have a question, please tell me, I’ve got a million ideas but would welcome yours.

Cycling is like life – another woman’s story

4 Comments

My inbox held a special treat. A friend from a former church had written me with something to share. Honestly many times a feeling of nervousness comes over me just before I read an email or a message. Am I in trouble? Did I tick someone off? Are they going to tell me something really sad or disappointing? That’s honestly what I wonder but whew, that wasn’t the case with Debbie’s message.

She told me that after returning home from a recent solo, very warm bike ride, many thoughts flooded her mind. Although not typically one who uses writing as a creative outlet, she felt compelled to write about an epiphany of sorts she had experienced on this ride.

As I read it, I knew I wanted to share it with you and so with Debbie’s permission, here are her words. As you read these, I encourage you to think of a daily activity or passion that you have…how does God speak to you through it?

This bike has taken Debbie on quite a journey

cycling is like life:

Super cool pic of Debbie and her hubs out hiking, one of her favorite pics following a really long hard hike in TN/VA

some rides I anticipate, look forward too, am excited for,
others I dread, look at as a chore, see as mundane,
some rides I encounter difficult climbs or easy descents, others rolling hills,
some rides I encounter beauty beyond compare, others not so beautiful,
some rides I encounter bee stings and accidental ingestion of bugs,
others I have witnessed awe-inspiring butterflies, birds and animals,

some rides I get a flat tire, many I don’t,
some rides I have been cursed at, spit on (yep), given the finger when I was doing everything right,
others I have been shown immeasurable grace when it was me who made the mistake,

I mean seriously, how could anyone spit at this lovely woman while she’s biking?

some rides I have been disliked just because I am a cyclist on the road,
others, maybe, I have inspired another,
some rides are extremely hot, cold, or surprised by storms,
others beautiful, sunny and calm,

some rides I have met wonderful, ‘want to be around’ folks, others not,
some rides I have gossiped unfairly, others I have been gossiped about,
some rides I put my best effort forward, some I have not,

Here is a huge turtle Debbie and her cycling buddy stumbled pon this summer!

some rides I have encountered dogs that want to attack, others that don’t,
some rides have unknown potholes, rocks and gravel, others smooth and beautiful,

some rides I am inexplicably weak, others I am inexplicably strong,
some days I have great ride, others not so great,
but no matter how the ride was,in the end,
I am so glad I have gone,
I am joyful to accomplish the ride
I am thankful to be healthy enough
thankful for my experience,
thankful for the journey.

Like my bike rides,
some days are smooth with perfect temperature,
sunny skies, dog free,
full of stranger kindness and feelings of strength,
other days are wrought with potholes, heat, bugs, winds, meanness and weakness.

Pic of new freeway intersection – this stretch of road actually promoted Debbie’s writing. Old US 1 just reopened after putting the bridge for 540, an ominous intersection for cyclists “out in the country side” in the heart of North Carolina

In spite of my anticipation and preparation, each ride has a life of its own.
I choose to embrace the journey of each ride, each day, for I know it will make me stronger and I will be glad for it, but I can only do it if I rely on the One Who is bigger than me.

cycling is like life

The more I read Debbie’s words, the more I relate to them. The more I want to take my bike to the repair shop and get on it! Thank you Debbie for inspiring me and trusting me enough to share it. I’d love to hear from you also. If  you have a story to tell, let me know, maybe I can help you speak your words to others.

A few other things about her: Debbie Douglass is married 25 yrs to a wonderful man, Jay  and mom of two sweet college aged kids. She’s also been a cyclist for 30 years. I’m not a biker but Debbie and I have a few things in common, we both are a lover of pretty tables and we’ve both been Christ-followers for 16 years (and oh SO thankful!!)

It’s truly a privilege to share her lovely message.

Diagnosis

5 Comments

Results are in and the diagnosis is status migrainosus. I’m not clapping for joy but I’m praising the Lord we aren’t dealing with a brain tumor. My father died of brain cancer and I’d be lying if I said that a pervasive fear of those words hadn’t swept over me the last week.


Aaron was not thrilled to learn that he might be out of school for another 2-3 more weeks. As we begin this new medicine protocol, I pray he can return to school sooner. My middle OS has started a course of steroids and although we have been getting along famously, I suspect that prednisone is going to jeopardize that a bit. 

what a beautiful sight seeing Aaron upright and being goofy!

Today we ventured out for sushi. My OS has lost weight since falling ill and if that boy wanted sushi and our new budget could handle it, for goodness’ sake, he was going to get sushi. 


We, well, at least me, I take so much for granted. Lord, forgive me for the times when I just assume my kids are going to remain healthy. I overlook that my OSs will rebound from an illness and don’t always recognize that as a true blessing from you. Father, I’m sorry for all the times when I don’t give you praise for my own body functioning as it should.


We have gone from this….

wow, i hate this picture

to this…

Aaron + food = optimism
Confucious say contemplation over a fortune cookie is better than contemplation over a sick child

















He still is gaunt and not 100% but I see glimpses of my boy returning. When he is back to his “normal” self, here is how we’re going to celebrate.

feel free to borrow this recipe for your next celebration

Nothing says fiesta more than Party Lentil Soup, right?


Thank you gentle readers for your support and prayers!


aaron’s mom

The soul of MY soup

3 Comments
“To possess a cook who makes perfect soups is to possess a jewel of great price. 
A woman who cannot make soup 
should not be allowed to marry.”

P. Mortan Shand, A Book of Food, 1928



Um, that seems a little harsh but when the going gets tough, I do what most women do…


I make vegetable broth. 

This is some serious broth action


As a foodie and mama of three OS, it’s my attempt, I guess, to put things together and make something good. Into the kettle, I put celery, scallions, garlic, half a red onion, a tomato and two cooked potatoes that were lounging in the refrigerator doing nothing. I then threw in some radish leaves, carrots, a stalk of frozen corn I bought in the summer at the farmers’ market. Half a red pepper, a handful of frozen leeks, kosher salt, bay leaf and spices bubble and mix with the other ingredients. The amber broth is flavorful. I have a sick child upstairs, I feel so confused. But this homemade broth imbues a sense of peace and accomplishment within me.

Dramatic, slightly forced vegetable broth smile



In some ways, I think this is like the Scripture found in

Romans 8:28 (English Standard Version)


And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Aaron is eating next to nothing. He needs nutrition and hydration. I picture my OS sipping on this broth. Not sure that’s going to happen but wow, if it did, that would be the best. I’d feel like I did something significant. 

better than the boxed stuff, fo’ shur!
God is going to use this trial in our lives. He is more resourceful than I’ll ever be. My simple efforts at gathering things together to make a hearty broth pale to what Jesus does with our lives. He uses ALL things together for good for those who believe in Him. I believe, Lord. Aaron believes too. Let it be. 

ambulance

2 Comments

When Aaron woke up from another nap this evening, his headache was terrible. We have tried many things and the remedies available to us at home aren’t working. The doctors do not believe he has meningitis because if it were bacterial, he wouldn’t be alive.

droplet precaution – not a good look on me but it’s ok

I have been hesitant for him to have a spinal tap because he doesn’t have a fever, can move his neck up and down and back and forth. If he has viral meningitis, they can’t treat it with antibiotics and if he doesn’t need to endure any painful medical procedure, I do not wish to make him feel even worse. If you think this is stupid, please keep that to yourself. You might have chosen differently and that’s ok but you’re not the mama of this OS. 


Right now we are in the ER. I called the ambulance, so thankful that the Hubs and I didn’t have a fight over this. He trusted me. 


So as my middle OS winced in pain and we awaited a doctor to prescribe stronger meds or do something, I prayed. Scripture verses came to me and I couldn’t tell you where to find them in the Bible but they are there. Sometimes Aaron would fill in the pauses. When I goofed up a verse, he corrected me. We both kinda laughed. 


As hours passed, as they are apt to do in an Emergency Room, we rubbed Aaron’s head, covered his eyes and assured him it was going to be ok.


Friends from church came by and prayed in the waiting room. Facebook messages flooded my phone. In this time of feeling so powerless, I noticed that Aaron, true to his nature, seemed to calm down a bit when I claimed who the Lord is in alphabetical order…


A…Abba
B…Bright Morning Star
C…Chief Cornerstone
D…Deliverer
E…Everlasting 
F…Father
G…God
H…Holy
I…(ok, I forgot an “I” attribute at the time but nonetheless He is Immanuel)
J…Joy
K…King
L…Love
M…Majestic
N…Noble
O…Omnipotent, Omnipresent
P…Provider
etc., etc., 


Then the pain meds arrived. He is sleeping. How could he not? Dilaudid, Toradol, Ativan pumped into his IV. We are resting not only because Aaron is not in agony but because of whom we are trusting. No one should do this without Jesus. Not a 16 year old child. Not a 40 something 🙂 mama or daddy. Not a 14 year old brother or a 20 year brother/Soldier. It’s just too hard to do this alone and although it is far from easy right now, I’m choosing to give this burden to the One who can carry it. 


Perhaps the reason I had such an epic birthday was because God knew I was going to need the boost for this week. 


Thanks for checking in, caring and praying…


Aaron’s mama

Still sick

6 Comments
Aaron, my sweet boy

Look familiar? Same child, same symptoms, different medical facility…


Aaron awoke this morning with the same pounding headache accompanied by a new symptom, vomiting. For your information, retching, dry-heaving teenage boys with persistent headache are a rather pathetic sight. Last night he played his guitar a few times. It was good to hear his familiar singing and strumming. I got so hopeful, I allowed myself to think that life might be getting back to normal. I thought too soon. 


But as has been the case for several days now, the Hubs and I were awakened in the early hours to our middle OS begging for help. 


We are at the doctor’s office trying some anti-nausea meds along with migraine medication to stave off this pain. The only upside to any of this is that Aaron needs me. He puts his head on my lap and lets me rub his back. I bet if I asked him right now if he was going to go far away for college, he might actually say no. Why? Because he needs me (at least for the moment.) And since I want to live in this fantasy land, I’m not going to ask him that question. I’ll just intuit that is currently his dutiful answer.


I know there are (click the underlined links) many families enduring serious medical crises. For them, the possibility of relief is distant. You know many of those people too and might even be one of them. During my years as a mother, as a general practice, I have prayed for children that possess my OS’s names. At the end of the night, as I am tucking in my guys, occasionally we have prayed for a child whom we don’t know who might be suffering. Usually the Hubs prays for them and tucks them in. But when it’s my turn, for example, we might pray for an Aaron who is in the hospital, or an Isaac who is going to bed hungry or a Nate who has nowhere to live. 

yup

I guess I’m hoping that at this very moment, some mom is doing the same thing. For an Aaron she will never meet. And that prayer is lovingly received, dear mama out there. Right now, I am thankful for those of you who are praying for my Aaron. The child I adore who is sick and in pain. 

HOPE for my sick boy :(

2 Comments
Official picture of misery

There is this hopeless, free-falling feeling when you have a sick child. Usually you fear the worst. One extreme to the other. This is no big deal. This is a HUGE deal. You don’t know if you’re over-reacting by running to the doctor or you’re negligent because you’ve decided to take your time. You watch and assess. You google and search. You feel so little and you need to be big. 


I’m at the emergency room with my middle OS. A pounding, almost unrelenting headache has required two visits to the urgent care and two visits to the hospital all in the span of 24 hours or less. As someone prone to anxiety issues, it’s hard to keep perspective and trust in the Lord in these moments. 

I love this kid

We’ve gone from the small measures to relieve Aaron’s pain to moving up the intervention. Soon he’ll be rolled down the hallway to get a CT scan. They’re running more blood tests. Please Lord, not a spinal tap! 


It’s like an elevator that has no bottom. You just want to do something. Is it a coincidence that just Monday we discussed hope in Teen CBS?  I was sitting around a table of teenage girls admonishing them to hope. I waxed eloquently as some of them are going through difficulties. Not because I said so but because God did. You should have seen me.  Oh the words of wisdom I bestowed upon these young ladies. And I believed every word. Still do. Even though I’m here in the Emergency Room with my precious Aaron. 

Romans 8:24-26 

24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

(patiently waiting in a room in the emergency department. patiently waiting as they roll my middle OS down the hall for tests. patiently waiting for results and relief. patiently waiting for a warm bed and restored health.)


 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Empty rooms stink

(tired, hungry, scared, Lord, I’m groaning. people are praying. You are here with me though I’m physically alone in this room at this very moment. And my boy, God, you are with him too in the places where I cannot go.)

HOPE

Adventures – Vicarious in Nature

Leave a comment

Today seems like a good day to blog. I didn’t realize it had been nearly two months since my fingers had tapped out an entry. My health has been relatively good and my exercise regime is consistent. It seems to take longer to burn off the calories from a Heath bar than I can remember but I’m not complaining. This summer I am living vicariously. No big adventures planned for me but plenty for my family. Some adventures I am cleared to mention, others need “approval” but I hope to speak of them soon!

Adventure #1 

My orange-haired, freckle face OS Isaac had a visit to UNC Children’s Hospital, more specifically their operating room. He had an abdominal hernia repaired. An uneventful surgery, praise the Lord but still a big deal for a 13 year old guy. I had a proud parenting moment when the surgery was deemed worthwhile since we didn’t know going in if they were going to find a weakness in his abdominal wall. The Hubs was questioning the surgery, I was the one pushing for it. I love the moments in our marriage where we synch and rely on each other’s instincts. It was a necessary operation and I was happy that Ike hadn’t gone
through all that for nothing. He was exceptionally stoic aside from being worried someone might see his “privates” during the surgery. To Isaac’s chagrin, I mentioned his concern to the doctors who smiled and assured us they would do their best to avoid any sight of that “area” during the procedure. We left the hospital with our pain-ridden child and the skies opened up with sheets of rain pummeling our car. We called Aaron to meet us outside with an umbrella so we could get Ike into the house thus avoiding the rain. As the Hubs and I were gingerly walked our ginger upstairs to bed, I asked Aaron to get the mail. In hindsight, this was a really dumb idea considering what happened next. 


Aaron ran outside with the umbrella when suddenly a huge bolt of lightning pierced the sky. It sounded so close that I felt the bolt down in my feet. A horrible feeling entered my mind, “Did Aaron just get hit by lightning?” I mused. Nah, the idea was just too perposterous.  It was just too far-fetched to imagine that one son could have been struck by lightning just as we were taking another son upstairs following surgery. Since we’re such loving parents, we kept taking Ike upstairs but seconds later Aaron leapt into the house. His eyes wild with fear, his voice octaves higher. While outside retrieving the mail, umbrella in hand, Aaron saw a giant bolt of lightning strike two houses a street behind ours. Soon we heard sirens and fire trucks filling the area. He truly did almost get hit by lightning! Thankfully none of our neighbors were hurt but extensive damage occurred in both of the houses.
Adventure #2


Our oldest OS began his summer with travel. Nate begins his Cow year (third year) at West Point and following exams swiftly boarded a plane bound for  Eastern Europe. A group of 10 students some ROTC others WP cadets, visited the Baltic States and studied its economic conditions, its role in international relations along with its culture and history. He even found himself in the Latvian news. Click here to see pics! He’s the cutie patootie with the white shirt and headphones! Gaa! My OS looks so diplomatic with the headphones on listening to translators. Sometimes I chuckle when I think of how this young man is MY boy. Others see him as a leader and as an adult, yet I can still see his toe-headed face in Barney overalls and I still get to call him silly nicknames! I just close my eyes and can see him bravely wielding his plastic knife on a mountain in North Carolina despite the fact that he is growing up and building a life of his own. (That is a good thing I must keep telling myself.)


Here is the YouTube video documenting some of their time in Latvia. My OS is shown in :26, :39, :49, :57 and in 2:01 you will notice him playing with his pen. That’s from his father’s side of the family. 😉 Nate is the one who says, “How are you doing, Ma’am.” Gaa again! I was impressed when MP and former Foreign Minister of Latvia, Artis Pabriks stated that the United States and Lativa are “brothers in arms.” Thank you Saiema Chancellery for allowing me to use these images.




Nate saw the Hill of Crosses, the Museum of Genocide Victims which was set up in the former KGB headquarters and is the only one of its kind in the former Soviet Union.

He even got his picture taken with a “torturer” who was handing out brochures in Estonia and that’s some-
thing most of us have never done!

Other notable events included going to the General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, and attending a briefing at the US Embassy in Estonia. I found myself having to check the globe to figure out where my OS was since my knowledge of that part of the world is quite limited. It never occurred to me that other countries have military academies. I think we all can be very myopic in our worldview and travel expands our minds in many ways. My oldest OS brought me home a CD of Latvian folk music and although I don’t understand a single word, I love listening to it and transporting myself to that faraway place my son visited. In total, Nate went to four countries in less than two weeks. Yes, he is having an “epic” summer. More to follow on that note…


Adventure #3 

This will only seem an adventure if you are a bibliophile. I have read over 1,000 pages this summer! That’s a very big deal for me. One of my greatest passions is reading and sadly I don’t do enough of it. This summer, however; I am returning to my love of books and I want to share with you what I have read thus far…


River Town – a fascinating book about an American Peace Corps volunteer who taught American literature in the heart of China’s Sichuan province.


I Am Hutterite – This non-fiction book chronicles the life of a woman who spent her childhood in a Hutterite colony in southern Manitoba, Canada. I enjoyed hearing about how she transitioned living in popular culture while still treasuring the life she left behind.


The Good Earth – this is the second time I’ve read Pearl Buck’s classic about Wang Lung, a peasant. There are so many striking moments in this timeless book. The first time I read The Good Earth I wasn’t a Christian. Now I have found so many Biblical parallels, it gave me much to ponder. My family hears about Wang Lung, O-Lan and the poor fool all the time. You must read this if you haven’t!


The Good, Good Pig – Ike and I read this together. Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The Christian Science Monitor, The Good, Good Pig was a charming true story about a 750 pound pet pig. Ike and I looked up new words and expanded our vocabulary while discussing this sweet novel. I cried a little bit at the end.


Belong to Me – a fiction book recommended to me by my mom. It was an intriguing story about women and friendships.

I’m now reading Isaac’s Storm for my personal pleasure and Fever 1793 with Ike as we work on his comprehension.


My adventures are being found in the lives of those I love and in the pages I turn. It might not sound like fun but I am loving this perspective.


More soon, I promise. It feels good to share!

Getting back to me

3 Comments
There’s nothing that gets me more in the writing mood than sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for a person who’s having a colonoscopy! Not sure what about this experience is inspiring me but to hear my fingers tapping away on the keyboard feels good. The chair I’m sitting in is ridiculously uncomfortable so I need something to get my mind off of the 90 minutes I’ll be here. I mean, there’s only so much tv I can watch and I’ve read the entire paper. I’ve checked facebook too many times already, so I thought I’d do something productive.

Since my last post, I have debated whether to write much about what I’ve been doing. I haven’t wanted my blog to be medical or pitiful but I have been struggling with health issues lately. One has been fibromyalgia (a new diagnosis), the other is depression (a recurrent battle). Not sure which one came first but after dealing with ongoing pain and feeling utterly hopeless, I dragged my sad self to the rheumatologist and started crying. I was at the point of terrible despair and when I left her office, I felt like I had a chance at a normal (whatever that is) life. I began some medication, made critical lifestyle changes and those things have helped me tremendously.

During this time, I asked the Hubs to pray for me. I know he has. He has asked others to pray for me and I’m sure he’s felt clueless on how to help me. When I wasn’t sure how much lower I could go and spent wayyyyyy too much time on the couch, I started to feel afraid that I was going to break my foot again. I felt unstable on my feet and envisioned another injury. I would hang onto a chair railing or the Hubs for fear of falling. Literally, I have found myself leaning on the Hubs. He, along with the Lord, have been my strength. He has made me laugh, supported me in every way, I love him dearly.

It’s been about three weeks since my doctor appointment and I was overjoyed when recently, I found myself bounding effortlessly up the stairs. Part of “me” has been coming back. I am walking without fear emotionally and physically!

And I have been exercising. I learned that it is absolutely critical for me to stay physically active. My doctor recommended this DVD and I began doing it immediately. Although it is a little cheesy, I have been faithfully using it and noticing the results. If you are looking for an exercise program that is adaptable and encouraging, I think these are great! Exercising in the comfort and privacy of my own home has been a better choice for me than the gym at least for right now.

Recently I was talking to my oldest OS and in previous conversations, I shared with him that I had really been struggling. Since he’s a young, busy man with his own life, I wasn’t sure if he recognized his mama’s plight.

But I was wrong.

We were talking on the phone recently and I said, “Nathan, I have something to tell you…” My OS made a dry-witted, West Point tough comment and I interrupted him, “Seriously, Nathan, listen to me. I want you to hear this. I am feeling better.” Then I heard words I wasn’t expecting.

“That’s great, Mom. I’ve been praying for you.” Oh, dear friends, I nearly dropped to the ground with thankfulness. He said something else to me also. “I’ve had some of my buddies praying for you too.”

The only thing sweeter to me than the thought of a group of Soldiers/Cadets praying for me is the image of my precious OS sitting around with his buddies and caring enough to ask for his friends to do so.

About the same time that I had seen the doctor and began implementing changes, my boy was lifting his struggling mama up to the Lord. I’m sure the things I have improved in my health but I also know that God’s Word is true.

Matthew 18:19-21 (New International Version)


 19“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”



The colonoscopy is over, things went well. I need to go walk a couple of miles in my bedroom but it feels good to be back and sharing. More later on Nate’s television “appearance” and other life events.