Monday, November 27, 2006

Reflections - Author Unknown

I received this from Patti. Thought it belonged here.


Reflections.. and then it's winter before we know it....

You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all...

And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams... but, here it is... the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...

How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my babies go? And where did my youth go?

I remember well... seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like...

But, here it is... wife retired and she's really getting gray... she moves slower and I see an older woman now. She's in better shape than me... but, I see the great change... Not the one I married who was young and vibrant... but, like me, her age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat's mandatory! 'Cause if I don't on my own free will...I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things.

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last... This I know, that when it's over... its over... Yes , I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done... things I should have done. But indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done Its all in a lifetime...

So, if you're not in your winter yet... let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it soon!

Life goes by quickly, so do what you can today, because you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life... so, live for good today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...

"Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who came after. Make it a fantastic one."


~author unknown~

Cribbed from Sara . . .

1. FIRST NAME: Elizabeth
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes! My grandmother and grandfather, and "The Little Colonel"
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Depends on the day. Sometimes beef, sometimes ham.
6. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yah! 3 + 11 grandkids!
8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? This blog and an another one I post to occasionally.
13. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No - have a hard time bending to re-tie them.
15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Breyer's Dulce La Leche
17. RED OR PINK? Red
18. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My slothfulness and procrastination.
19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? 3 people - my Mom, and both my mothers-in-law
21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES YOU ARE WEARING? I'm wearing my bathrobe and nightie! :-)
22. THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Toast and cheese.
23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Watching TV - Animal Planet.
24. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Any shade in the blue-green spectrum!
25. FAVORITE SMELL? I don't know - can't put my finger on it.
27. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Picked it up from a blog.
28. FAVORITE DRINK: Schweppes Raspberry Gingerale!!
29. FAVORITE SPORT: To do: Swimming. To watch: Figure skating
30. HAIR COLOR? multicolored - gray, brown, auburn, white
31. EYE COLOR? Brown / hazel
32. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Used to. Wish I still could!
33. FAVORITE FOOD? Nearly anything! Especially if it's bad for me! :->
34. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? Happy endings - of course
35. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
38. HUGS OR KISSES? Both! I'm greedy!
39. FAVORITE DESSERT? Creme Brulee AND Caramel Nut-Roll (vanilla ice cream rolled in broken pecans in a sundae dish with caramel sauce, whipped cream and a cherry on top!!
42. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? "Kill All the Lawyers" - a murder mystery about a pair of attorneys
43. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? The mouse and some cat hair from the 3-K's
44. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? I didn't watch TV last night - watched a movie!
45. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Depends on my mood. Birdies chirping and singing, children laughing, Orthodox chant, Sarah Brightman and Charlotte Church singing "Pie Jesu"

TAG! You're it, now!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fun Christmas Survey - - - - - My Answers!

TAG! You're it!

Fun Christmas Survey - - - - - My Answers!

1. Hot chocolate or apple cider?
Both! Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!

2. Turkey or Ham?
I prefer Turkey, but we usually have ham because it is so soon after Thanksgiving

3. Do you get a Fake or Real cut it yourself Christmas tree?
Fake now for lots of reasons

4. Decorations on the outside of your house?
One artifical wreath

5. Snowball fights or sledding?
Neither - when you live in the Hotlanna area, there either is zero snow, or not enough for either! But later in the winter we might be able to have an ice fight...

6. Do you like hanging around the fireplace because it's warm?
Fireplace doesn't "work." I'd love it if it gets cold enough. Hasn't so far...

7. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?

8. Favorite Christmas song?
A lovely carol called "Walking in the Air" and nearly anything by John Rutter

9. How do you feel about Christmas movies?
Hate most of them

10. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
On Christmas Eve! We don't celebrate Christmas until Christmas.

11. Stockings before or after presents?

12. Carolers, do you or do you not listen to them?
If it's kids from the various local churches, I love them!

13. Go to someone else's house or they come to you?
Since we celebrate on civil calendar Jan 7, the family comes to us!

14. Do you read the Christmas Story?
The Gospel is read at Church, but we read it individually at home, too.

15. What do you do after presents and dinner?
Just have fun together

16. What is your favorite holiday smell?
Cinnamon with cloves and pine needles and bayberry candles all mixed up into one ambience (Christmas potpourri works).

17. Ice skating or walking around the mall?

18. Favorite Christmas memory?
Every year brings a new favorite!

19. Favorite part about winter?
Eventually it will end!

20. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?
Of course! What red-blooded southern belle hasn't been? ;-)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cribbed from Meg . . .

xx Years Ago I....

30 Years Ago I...
- was 34
- had just remarried after an unwanted divorce from XH
- didn't know my mother would die the next year
- was an Anglican

25 years Ago I...
- Was 39
- had been Orthodox for 3 years
- was living in Decatur GA
- had 2 teenagers and one elementary-school kid

20 years Ago I...
- Was 44
- was working at Clemson University
- had a "commuter marriage" as DH was working in Atlanta and commuting to Clemson on weekends :-(
- was planning to get PhD

15 Years Ago I...
- was 49
- was in the throes of getting PhD
- had oldest son back from military living with us
- worked as a graduate research assistant and as a nurse practitioner in my "copious spare time"
- had just taken over moderatorship of the Orthodox Women's List

10 Years Ago I...
- was 54
- had my PhD in hand
- had buried my father 2 years before
- "only" had 4 grandchildren
- was looking for a job

5 Years Ago I...
- was 59
- was dealing with husband having heart problems
- was settling into new house in Lawrenceville Ga (!!)
- was working at home in my own business
- "only" had 5 grandchildren

4 years ago I...
- Was 60
- doing the same stuff as at 59
- went to the one and only college reunion I've gone to
- spent time with my best friend from college!
- "only" had 6 grandchildren

2 Years Ago I...
- Was 62
- welcomed 10th grandchild into the world!
- nearly lost husband to another heart attack
- put kitchen renovation on the wish list in case we ever win the lottery

1 Year Ago I...
- Was 63
- welcomed 11th (and probably last) grandchild into the world!
- gradually became more and more crippled
- continued to work at business

Yesterday I...
- slept most of the day
- washed bathing suit and towels in anticipation of today's aquatic therapy
- listened to some music tracks DH downloaded from the internet
- ate some of DH's wonderful chicken soup!

Today I...
- went to aquatic therapy
- had a *good* day!! :-D
- talked to XH's sister on the phone
- finished the next to last case on my plate for the moment!

Tomorrow I...
- will finish the last case (for the moment!)
- babysit the 4yo grandson (happy-happy joy-joy!!)
- do various therapy exercises
- prepare supper for GS and DH

Tag: To anyone who wants to pick it up.

Great Day!!

Friday was miserable. My hands were swollen and just plain HURT! I decided this is how I would have to live the rest of my life, and tried to resign myself to it. Took the Methotrexate and soaked my hands in hot water at every chance. Have to get some paraffin, I decided.
Saturday morning I woke up and it was as if it had never happened. I don't know why, but I'm not asking any questions! Just accepting the grace given. Sat and Sun I was dragging around and just couldn't stay awake, so I decided being asleep 3/4 of the time was a small price to pay for the lack of pain.
Woke up today and I had energy! Not like when I was in my twenties, of course, but more than I've had in months - maybe years. Went to aquatic therapy and stayed in the pool for nearly 2 hours.
I was tired when I got back, but didn't even nap. Was able to get an urgent case finished, and do a little stuff around the house, even.
Gee, if this continues, I might even get the house cleaned up by Nativity!! Wow! What a concept!
Tomorrow is an early pool day (6am), and the day I babysit the 4yo GS - Happy-Happy Joy-Joy!
Thursday is early swim, hand therapy and then lunch and shopping with uncle. I think I'll sleep all day Friday...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Things I Have Done

Well, I swiped this from Meg, who says she swiped it from Phillipa! The things I have done are in BOLD.

Things I've Done (Or Not Done, as the Case May Be)

What about you???

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink (all 3 of them!)
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain (if you count Blood Mountain, Grandfather Mountain, and other peaks in the Southern Appalachians - they don't approach the Rockies, much less Everest, but they ARE mountains!)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive (No, but I did take a jaguar
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula.
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you’ and meant it!
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris (Does Paris KY count?? LOL)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (Not at sea, but from the top of Blood Mountain - spectacular!)
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise (MANY times! We used to climb Stone Mountain on New Years Eve after the party was over just so we could watch the sun come up! This was long before the Gondola...)
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (Can't get too much bigger than GA-GA Tech or GA Tech-Auburn; then there are the Braves games...)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (actually, it was my X who was the gardener, and we ate the veggies all summer and fall. Winter, too, if I were energetic enough to can them)
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s nappy (3 children, 11 grandchildren - and you think I haven't changed diapers!! Not to mention being an OB nurse and nurse-midwife...)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower - in the desert SW - gorgeous!
23. Drunk champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (at my mother's memorial service - I was remembering some of the silly things we used to do - had to pretend I was crying so I wouldn't shock all the little old ladies)
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse.
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb (and baby goats and a couple of calves, numerous kittens, not to mention delivering lots of babies)
33. Seen a total eclipse (Mama took me out on our back driveway. We could see the whole thing from there. She made me use about 8 layers of blackened film to keep from hurting my eyes. I really resented it - wanted to look at the "real" thing.
34. Ridden a roller coaster (LOVE roller coasters! Can't ride them anymore, but if I could, I'd join the American Coaster Enthusiasts and trek all over the country riding different ones!
35. Scored a winning goal (playing "Speedball" in college - this is a combination of soccer, football and basketball, played on a football-sized field. You can't hold the ball (as in soccer) but it's scored like basketball. Really great!
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (actually, most of the time I do feel happy about my life. Family calls me a "space biscuit" [light and flakey] and a "happy camper")
39. Visited all 5 continents (Don't I wish!!)
40. Taken care of someone who was drunk (YUCK!)
41. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
42. Watched wild whales
43. Stolen a sign
44. Backpacked
45. Taken a road-trip
46. Gone rock climbing
48. Midnight walk on the beach
49. Gone sky diving
50. Taken a train through Europe
51. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
52. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table, and had a meal with them (at Rich's, in the 50's and early 60's, they used to ask people eating alone if they were willing to share their table. I always said yes, and often was seated at someone's table who also had said yes.)
53. Milked a cow (lots)
54. Alphabetized your CDs (even as I post - for the 43rd time...)
55. Sung karaoke (There's a karaoke bar in downtown Lawrenceville - less than a mile from the house!)
56. Lounged around in bed all day
57. Gone scuba diving
58. Kissed in the rain
59. Gone to a drive-in theatre (Especially the Moonlit in Conyers when I was at EaO. We called it the "Moonlit Passion Pit"
60. Started a business
61. Taken a martial arts class (Tai Chi)
62. Been in a movie
63. Crashed a party (in my foolish and jmisspent youth we used to do this all the time!)
64. Gone without food for 5 days (make that 25 days! Have not always acted with intelligence.
65. Gotten a tattoo (betcha didn't now that piece of useless trivia!)
66. Got flowers for no reason (well, there's always a reason if you count, "I just want them" as a reason!)
67. Performed on stage
68. Been to Las Vegas - but didn't stay - drove right through on the way to San Francisco from Salt Lake City
69. Recorded music
70. Eaten shark
71. Buried one/both of your parents. (Both)
72. Been on a cruise ship
73. Spoken more than one language fluently
74. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
75. Walked a famous bridge
76. Had plastic surgery
77. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
78. Wrote articles for a large publication.
77. Tried to lose weight seriously (doesn't work for long, but I keep trying...)
79. Piloted an airplane
80. Petted a stingray.
81. Broken someone’s heart (I should be beaten for that one!)
82. Broken a bone (Does my pinky toe count??)
83. Eaten sushi (favorite meal!)
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Parasailed
86. Skipped all your school reunions (so far, skipped all but 2)
87. Shaved your head (may do this, yet, depending on how much of my hair falls out with the new medicine)
88. Caused a car accident
89. Pretended to be “sick” (Meg sez: who's pretending? I call it "sick and tired leave") (I sez: I call them "Mental Health Days!")
90. Swam in the Pacific Ocean (and the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mex)
91. Saved someone’s life.
92. Fainted
93. Been in the room while someone is giving birth (too many times to count!)
94. Hitchhiked
95. Adopted a child
96. Been caught daydreaming
97. Been to the Painted Desert
98. Called off a wedding engagement
99. Donated your blood
100. Become a follower of Jesus Christ

I don't know if that last really counts. I can't remember when I was not a Christian.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hair Yesterday - - Goon Today!

      Since I'm going on Methotrexate tomorrow, today I had my 3 1/2 feet of hair chopped off. Locks of Love got 20 inches of it after ends were trimmed. I now don't need to "do" anything much to my hair - just rub conditioning cream and then styling mousse into it and "scrunch" it in my hands. I can do my hand exercises while I "scrunch!"
      Don't much like it, prefer long hair, but this is an interesting change. And, if part or all falls out, at least Locks of Love got it! I'll post pics as soon as my DD sends the ones we took today.
      The change of weather plus "pushing too hard" and "overdoing" the past several days is catching up with me. I don't dare stop going to the pool, but I'm going to have to take a break - take a really decent nap each day tomorrow and Saturday.
      DD went with me to get myhair cut. She made lots of good suggestions to the hairdresser. My hair is soooo naturally curly, it is really hard to handle. She is just marvelous. DIL likes my hair, so that's 2 who like it. Ol' Curmudgeon says I'm still his "Windy-Girl." I don't know, yet, whether I like it, though.
      I can almost be grateful that I have developed RA - it has brought DD, DIL and me closer together. They have both been so supportive it has truly touched my heart.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Current Dilemma

      Recently I've been remiss in posting here. With the new diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, I have been struggling with whether to post about how it is going or simply to ignore it. I don't want this blog to degenerate into a pity party.
      Yesterday I had an appointment with my rheumatologist (a wonderful man!) who is very successful in treating his RA patients. He's somewhat aggressive, but believes that "throwing the book" at RA fairly early in the disease process is more likely to achieve remissions. And for most of his patients he is correct. So I am assuming he is correct in early aggressive treatment in my case. The long and the short of it is that I'm going on methotrexate (Rheumatrex). This is an old cancer drug that is pretty successful in achieving remissions in early, mild to moderate RA. I start on it on Friday. As with any therapy with powerful drugs, there are good things and bad things. The good is, of course, the high percentage of remissions achieved with it. The bad things are: high possibility of major hair loss :-( and serious nausea.
      So tomorrow (Thursday) I will go get my 3 1/2 feet of thick naturally curly hair chopped off and donate it to Locks of Love. It will make my aquatic therapy easier, as I won't be so reluctant to get my hair wet. It will also remove a serious source of vanity. Those are the "up" sides of the possibility of hair loss!
      The "up" side of the possibility of serious nausea is, perhaps I'll actually lose serious weight. That would be good for the joints in my feet, ankles, knees, hips and spine.
      As my dear, dear friend Meg says - "Glory to God for All Things!" We need to remember - and I, in particular need to remember - that God is, indeed, in charge of all. He both can and will redeem all things in His time. That is a great comfort.
      So, there is no "pity party" here - just the daily struggle to improve my spiritual life and to keep my physical health as good as possible as long as possible.
      Now, I'm going to aquatic therapy and get my joints moving!