We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Introducing you to - BANNERS

Some dear friends of ours have started a new venture. We wanted to help them spread their news.  Check them out.  Spread the news.  Have your organization order from them!!!

Threads of Crimson     March 31, 2010     Fabric art studio

We would like to introduce our new venture, Threads of Crimson Fabric Art Studio, specializing in beautiful and expressive banners for praise and worship.

Our banners are designed to enhance the worship of Jesus, drawing the worshiper into a deeper, fuller understanding of Him. Most of our banners can be found in churches, but banners are also great for parachurch organizations, schools, camps, offices, even homes.

We invite you to take a look at our banner gallery at the address below and see what you think—perhaps a banner is just what you’ve been looking for.


We will also be exploring other forms and expressions of fabric art over time, including hangings with a pictorial, painterly quality and even three-dimensional sculpture. We will post these on our Word Press site as they are completed, so check back now and again. You might even want to subscribe to our site to keep track of what we’re up to. Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Elizabeth and Steven Banks

By the way, please feel free to pass this email on to others who might be interested.


“It is always true that an encounter with God brings wonderment and awe!”
—A.W. Tozer

Monday, March 29, 2010

plain ole Vinegar to the rescue

   The cost to purchase a gallon jug of plain ole white vinegar, is minimal, indeed. And yet how helpful the ways in which that gallon jug can be, are, well, like the commercials for certain credit cards say - "PRICELESS!".
   I am sure that there are many more ways than these, but I am going to share a few ways in which I have found plain ole white vinegar to be of supreme help.
- - > I listed one way in the posting about making deviled eggs. It's part of the boiling the eggs process. If you don't remember it, or never saw it, you can find it HERE.
- - > Last week Laura, at 'Heavenly Homemaker', posted about using a combination of vinegar and baking soda to clear in-house drains. (I found her posting via her linking up to Tammy's 'Kitchen Tip Tuesday's' ). I have used that method for y-e-a-r-s and found it to be oh so helpful!!!!
- - > While vinegar itself has a strong oder (especially if you put your nose close to it, which I do not recommend you doing ...) , it never the less can help eliminate orders from other things.
    - - > One such way is in laundry. Set your washer to rinse and allow the cold water to briefly start filling the machine. Add about an eighth of a cup (1/8 cup) of white vinegar to the cold water. Allow the washer to fill about another inch high with cold water, and then start adding your 'stinky' load. Once you've added your 'stinky' load, allow the washer to finish filling with the cold water and run a complete rinse cycle.
   Examples of 'stinky' loads which I have encountered are
   - items out of sports gym bags. - bedding from bed wetters. - swimming suits wrapped in wet towels and left in the vehicle a couple of days. - clothing left on the floor that the cat decided to pee on. - a pile of dirty socks dug out from underneath a bed. - Etc.. I think you are probably getting the idea.
    Running such things through on a cold water rinse cycle which includes white vinegar, works wonderfully!!!!! Upon occasion, I have had to run the load another time or two. But even then, the cost of doing so is far less than what the cost to replace the items would have been!
   - - > Another way in which white vinegar works great at removing orders, is when there are 'strong/unpleasant odors' in a room of your home. Close any windows in the 'unpleasant smelling' room. You can use any glass/pyrex, etc. type wide topped bowl, or empty cool whip type containers. Pour about a cup or so of vinegar in the bowl. (If the room itself is a larger sized room, you might want to use two to three bowls, or even more, depending on the overall size of the room.) If your using only one bowl, place it in about the center of the room. (If your using multiple bowls, space them out around the room.) Leave the room, closing the door behind you, and wait. When you can go back into the room and the room smells like vinegar, you have accomplished your task. Go pour the vinegar down your kitchen sink, and open the windows in the room. It will only take about eight (8) minutes for the vinegar odor to disapate, leaving you with a odor free room.
     Now, if the 'strong/unpleasant oders' are in a room that you can not shut the door to, it will take longer to work, but it WILL still work.
    And if the oders are in a room that it is impossible to keep young children out of, then it's best to put the containers of vinegar up high (which also then takes longer for them to be fully effective), or plan on leaving the house for awhile.
    Examples of 'strong/unpleasant oders' in a room which I have encountered are:
    - after cooking fish. - after cooking cabbage. - after having carpet laid. - after painting a room. - after 'wrestle mania' has broken out amongst a bunch of high school age guys. - orders left from cigarrette smokers. - Etc. Again, I think you are probably getting the idea.

      I hope you too find investing in a gallon jug of good ole white vinegar, to be ever so benificial!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Make-Do Mondays", are hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

thoughts and smiles of Easter

    I have been pondering about what I wanted to write this year for Easter. While many of the things I had previously written came to mind, I wondered exactly what all I really had written. So I went looking. The very first posting we still have saved on our Xanga site, is from back in Nov. of '04. There had been postings before that, but at one point in time I didn't grasp the concept of the internet. I thought it worked like memory on your computer does, so I had deleted a whole bunch of postings not wanting to fill my xanga's memory and thus be unable to post anymore. Oh well.
   Anyways, I went looking for previous postings about Easter. The first Easter related thing I came across was from Monday, March 28, 2005. "Sat. night we told our waiter Happy Easter - his response was interesting - "I use to say that to everyone, but now that it's no longer "politically correct" I don't, but I will to you! :-}" WOW!! So much for freedom of religion - But I shall continue to say "Merry CHRISTmas" and "Happy Easter"!!! Praise the Lord that he loved (and loves) us enough that he gave us both!!!!!"  
  Seeings how I did my searching pretty much by looking through postings from the middle of March to the middle of April each year, it is possible I missed some. But that's okay. What I did find, did cover most of the subjects I was thinking about posting about. And some of the postings also brought great smiles to my face. I hope you enjoy them too!
Ash Wednesday:
~ On Feb. 27, 2007, there was one about 'Ash Wednesday', what all it's about, and a challenge to those whom participate in it.
The Lenton Season:
~ On March 16th, 2009, I posted some thoughts about the season of 'Lent'.
Easter traditions:
~ The first part of the posting, dated, April 19th, 2006, had to do with some history behind a couple of things associated with modern day Easter.
~ On Monday, March 25th, 2008, part of the posting was about us hiding Easter eggs for a friend :-} that was fun!! (that particular posting also included a couple different funny "Boo" tales)
~ The posting on Friday, April 3rd, 2009, was titled "Easter - part 1". It had to do with thinking about Easter Baskets.
~ April 7, 2009 I posted "Easter - part 3", which was about some stuff I had found about Easter baskets when googling.
~ On April 10, 2009 "Easter - part 4" was posted. It was all about getting dressed up for Easter.
~ March 5, 2007 - dressing up for Easter.
Holy Thursday:
~ March 21, 2008 - Holy Thursday
Easter itself:
~ The Monday, March 24, 2008 posting was about something that happened in our lives that gave me a whole new perspective on Easter. A son had been hit by a car ...
~ Then, April 5, 2009, was titled "Easter - part 2". It had to do with how I view Easter.

Friday, March 26, 2010

last nights 'outing'

    Last night my dear friend Jewels (her real name is Julie E.) let me ride along with her to the church baby shower for my soon to be born great niece. I have always thought I was a pretty great aunt, so I have no problems being called a 'great aunt'. o:-)
    One of the games was to guess how many jelly beans were in a bottle. As I held the bottle up and started counting how many jelly beans I could see touching the bottom, a niece whom was sitting beside me, started throwing in all kinds of random numbers. With a chuckle I said, "Kalee, my brain is dizzy and fuzzy enough without you helping it along!" "Oh Aunt Cheryl, I didn't even think about that, I'm .." "Chuckle, chuckle. Your as bad as all of my guys and all of their lines about me being 'off balanced' and all!"
    After a couple of the ladies giving the shower had gone through every bodies guesses, they brought five answers back in and the expecting mommy had to draw one. Nobody had hit the number right on, so they had her draw from the top five. While I didn't win, I did learn that my guess was only off by three!!! Woohoo!!!
    The other game was a version of the ever popular "unscramble the words". But this time it had a twist. Across the top of the page, it had said something about it being things baby 'Carpenter' (their last name) would need. As I started looking down the list, suddenly one of the words looked like it could be 'hand saw'. Hum mmm, it would be something a 'Carpenter' would need .... I tried to keep going, but the letters started dancing (vertigo affects everything!!! :-(.)
   Turned out I was right. funny! But a few of the women piped up that that wasn't fair, they had been trying to find actual baby items, so she gave them five more minutes. The winner received a purple handled hammer :-> And the mom to be got a wooden pounding on peg board thingy. Creative!
    Jewels and I left right after the gift opening started. My head was starting to really spin, and her husband was back home from doing a long haul on the road. But the mom to be did open our gifts before we left. Mine was a 'Life File' . I had planned on making one, but I had also been INFORMED that that was what I was suppose to give ;-p Jewels gift was adorable! It was a pink with colored handle little tote bag, which had pink baby sized sandals strapped to it. Inside there was an infant girl two piece swim suit, a small sized beach towel, and a thermal cover for a baby bottle. ABSOLUTELY creative and adorable!!!
    En-route there and back, I got to catch up about Jewel's husbands new job, her sons wedding in July, her daughters wedding in December - life. Friends are such a blessing!!! And a treasure!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the second tale -

     Yesterday I had said that I was going to share a couple of "grandma tales" with you, but had ended up only sharing the one (still smiling over it though!) Here is the second one.
    One afternoon Analyse was sitting in my lap, very tired, and I was trying to settle her into a nap. As I was looking down on her, I noticed how her hair was starting to grow. (Grandma's notice these things! ;-p) I couldn't help myself, I started caressing it. I learned that caressing her hair helps her settle down and that she really likes it!! She's like her daddy in that respect!!!
    Then I noticed that on the sides, her hair was just long enough it was over her ears. How cute! As I was stroking it, I tucked the one side behind her ear. It stayed. Cute!!! About a minute later she reached up and grabbed at her hair. However, those adorable little hands didn't only get the hair, they got the whole ear. So when she pulled hard on her hair, she was also pulling hard on her ear. OUCH!!!
    She let out this little howl and instantly started crying hard. Real tears and everything!!! We immediatly had the attention of everybody in the room. While I was trying to sooth and comfort Analyse, I was also explaining what was wrong to everybody else. Some responded full of sympathy, both for me and Analyse. But others of course started with the "what a mean grandma" and "just cause you were a mean mom, doesn't mean you have to be a mean grandma too" lines. I get no respect o;-p
    I was able to quickly sooth Analyse and get her to sleep. And my mind took great note that she does NOT like her hair tucked behind her ears!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cute Grandma Tales ;-}

   Last night I got to reminiscing about when my family had surprised me recently and Byron, Cyndi and Analyse were here for five days. Ah, what joy :-D !!! As I was doing so, a couple of different Analyse tales came to mind, and I decided to share them with you. Hope you don't mind. Would it matter? Probably not .... o;-p
   ( A while back Jill R. had commented, saying that I should save these postings about Analyse and give them to her some time. I had replied that I had already planned on it. I am going to start printing all of them off, putting them in page protectors, in a huge three ring binder, and then present it to her shortly before her wedding. )
   While they were here, I held Analyse in my lap as much as possible. She is a v-e-r-y active girl, and my vertigo was just as active at that point in time, so I dared not walk holding her, etc.. And she tolerates 'siting in one place' only so long. But that was okay. I could still watch her!
   But she started doing this ever so adorable, heart touching thing. (Misty eyed just remembering). The first time, she was sitting up in my lap playing with something, then suddenly she leaned back against me. I couldn't resist, I lightly leaned my head down against hers. She literally sighed and scooted closer. I was touched! I kissed her on the top of the head. She grinned up at me, sat another moment like that, then sat herself up and went back to playing.
   The absolutely wonderful part was, it was not only a one time happening!! :-} Every once in awhile she'd just lean back, sigh, and snuggle close. I could never resist kissing the top of her head and then resting my head on hers!! The moments were just too precious! But one time, for what ever reason, I just leaned against her with out kissing her. After a minute, she looked up at me all quizzical. I smiled and kissed the top of her head. She BEAMED up at me and snuggled closer, before jumping up to play with her book again. OH MY GOODNESS!!! The things that girl does to this grandma's heart!!! And to think that she only turned nine months old during the time they were here for that visit!!

   I know that I said I was going to share a couple of tales. The other one is going to wait and be a different posting. I'm just going to treasure this one for now ;-}

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Pick a tip, any tip ('09)"

     As so many things do with me, this too all started innocently enough. I had gone back to our xanga site to look for the postings in which I had mentioned my blogging friend Michelle. But could I easily find them? Of course not! But I did stumble upon some previous postings about "wondering about myself", so I decided to link them up to the posting I was going to be doing on that [which has now recently been done]. And I found some postings about 'communicating", so I linked those to a new example too.
      I had also kept coming across postings which contained "hopefully useful tips". I decided to do a posting about all of them. Yes, a-l-l of them. Well, this list is all of the ones from 2009. A directory listing of sorts. And I thought I should title it, "Pick a tip, any tip ....". This then is that there posting :-}

April 29, 2009 - "Life Files" - great for baby shower gifts, etc.

May 13, 2009 - "Inexpensive Fun" - ideas for family outings

Sept. 13, 2009 - "Wet Toys" - what to put them in to air dry

Sept. 21, 2009 - "Toothpicks" - good for more than just teeth

Sept. 28, 2009 - "Use Your Oven" - as a warming oven

Oct. 5, 2009 - "Reusable Free Pails" - NOT Ice Cream buckets

Oct. 10, 2009 - "Tips On Tips" - working in the food industry

Oct. 12, 2009 - "Preparing For Winter" - your car, your personal 'stuff'

Nov. 1, 2009 - "Changing The Size Of Your On Screen Script"

Nov. 11, 2009 - "Brownies" - "These brownies are "scrumdelicious"!!! "

Nov. 23, 2009 - "What To Do With Bread" - heels of loafs, dried out bread, etc.

Nov. 25, 2009 - "Christmas Decorations / Thanksgiving" - when should decorations go up?

Dec. 7, 2009 - "Multi Use Spray" - helps more than just baking pans!

Dec. 14, 2009 - "Empty Prescription Bottles" - usable for other things too

Dec. 18, 2009 - "Improvised Recipe" - I took Chicken and ....

Dec. 19, 2009 - "A Unique Cleaning Project" - cold or warm water?

Dec. 21, 2009 - "2 Calenders And A File Box" - so the whole family can keep track of events

Dec. 28, 2009 - "Usable On More Than Just Dough" - pastry blenders

I hope that you find at least one thing in the list that really does help you!

    PLEASE come back here after you read any and leave your comments about them on this blog. Thanks! [and yes, you are welcome (even encouraged) to read each and every one, and leave a comment about it each and every time]

I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Share Your Life Your Blog", hosted by Sarah, at 'Real Life' (http://www.reallifeblog.net/).
~ "Make-Do Mondays", are hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Monday Mommy Tip('s)", are hosted by Marie, at "Mommy Community' (http://mommycommunity.com/category/Monday-mommy-tip/)

~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com)
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today is -

- - - > our Brandon's 23rd Birthday :-D WOW!!!! You've come so-o-o far!!!!!!!!!!!! What a blessing watching you do so has been!!!! (I best stop, getting teary eyed, he'd be rolling his eyes at me o;-p)

- - - > 'Officially', it's the first day of spring. However, in spite of the fact that we've averaged temps in the high 40's to mid fifties this past week, we awoke to gently falling white flaky stuff this morning. :-{
     No, it did not totally surprise us. We do live in MI after all. And there is an old (too often proven true) saying around here - "In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb. Or it will be vise-versa." The saying is referring to the month of March. It did not come in like a roaring lion this year. So this new stuff did not surprise us. We (yes, most all Michiganders!) are really hoping that "we will only be getting the inch or two mainly only on the grass, etc." like a local weather man stated.
     But last week we had been in the high 40's and even mid 50's!!! Around here, that means that coats get shed. And for a few hours each afternoon, certain windows in the house get opened a bit. And the grills get pulled out FOR REAL! (we are known to grill in mid winter). And yards get re-evaluated, etc. . Sure hope this 'return of the white stuff' passes QUICKLY!!!!

- - - > Today is the day that our governor tagged as a "Meat Free Day". Her reasoning had to do with getting people to eat more vegetables, and pointing out some of the health dangers associated with red meats.
     However, and this my friends is a HUGE however(!), agriculture is the second largest industry state wide in Michigan!!! There is a lot of beef raised in this state. And there are a lot of farms who grow the feed for the beef. And there are a lot of companies that make the equipment for the farmers who grow the feed to feed the beef. Hey, I bet I could turn this into a song o/~ . he he he!!
     Most people will admit that our governor probably did mean well, she probably just didn't think it all the way through, and we've ALL done that!!! And she did issue a revision which suggested eating lots of vegetables and maybe a hamburger .... But oh has she 'stirred the pot' so to speak!!!
     Many are heading to Lansing (our states capitol) today, to join in an enormous beef grill out/off. I bet the downtown Lansing area will smell ab-so-lut-ly delicious today!!!!
     And some of our local meat shops are running 'today only' sales.
     While talking about all of this yesterday, Brian and I thought she should have waited till all of the 'farmers markets' are open and running state wide. Then she should have encouraged people to buy chicken or fish from a local shop (vs. national chains). AND encouraged people to shop at the farmers markets, thus supporting Michigan's agriculture industry, and have a 'lettuce' salad, several vegetables, and a fresh fruit salad for dinner. Because when you go to your local grocery store, you don't always have the option of buying Michigan grown products. You have to buy what ever the store carries. But at a 'farmers market' you can choose only in state grown products!

Friday, March 19, 2010

yup, I still am o;-p

        I've hesitated to post this particular tale this week, due to not wanting to disappoint you. Disappoint you how? you ask. Well, I'm fearful that since I've not posted anything about this in quite some time, that you might think that I've gotten over it / or out grown it / or some such. But I haven't. The truth is, that I still do wonder about myself. Often. As in, on a frequent basis. And truth be told, my bet would be that I always will .... [I started shaking my head, but I had to stop that due to my loose stones rolling around ... oh good grief, again with 'the lines' o;-p]

       For those of you whom are newer around here, I've linked up some of my earlier postings about this particular subject:
      Last half of Jan. 29th, 2009
      April 15th, 2009
      July 22nd, 2009
      Aug. 3rd, 2009
      (Yes, there probably were more further back .... your welcome to keep looking)

      So what did I do this time? (Gee-sh, you'd think one of my nick names was 'Lucy' or something 8-p)

     I try very hard to make sure that I take my cell phone upstairs with me at night. That way, should there be a problem with any of "my guys", they can get ahold of me. It has proven beneficial enough times, that I strive very hard to remember to do it.
    The other night, in the extremely early hours of the morning, I was awaken from a very sound sleep by the sound that my phone makes when it's batteries are about dead. I had been so-o-o sound asleep, that my brain was ever so groggy (yes, groggier than usual ;-b), and I REALLY just wanted to go back to sleep. But I knew that the sound would happen again. And again. And that after a few times I would become MOST annoyed with it. And yet, I didn't want to wake up enough to turn the light on, find the charger, plug it in, etc.. So I just reached over, flipped open the phone, and turned the whole thing off. "I'll take care of you in the real morning. Now body - BACK TO SLEEP!". And it had worked :-D
     In the morning I had tried to plug the charger in before heading down to the bathroom. My glasses were downstairs, but I could see the little thing on the side of the phone just fine. But why oh why couldn't I get it to open?!!! I tried. And I tried. And yes, I WAS ready to blow the house down ( o;-p) but I could NOT open that darn little flap so that I could plug the charger cord into the phone itself. BOTHER!! I kept trying, but then my innards reminded me that THEY had been the ones to wake me up, and that I best get to the bathroom, and now!
   So I laid the open, still turned off phone, in the middle of the bed, with the charging cord next to it, and headed downstairs.
   Later in the afternoon, when I headed up for awhile, I tried again. And this time I did have my glasses on. But I could not get that flap open for anything. So when Brain came in I asked him to try it. After a moment he said, "Umm mm Cheryl, your phone plugs in at the bottom. You've been trying to open the volume button". Oh my goodness!
   He was very polite and only laughed a little, but mercy!!! No wonder it wouldn't open!!!
   The only explanation we could figure out, was that I had just been working on redecorating our blog site. And part of what I was adding involved pictures which I took myself. That entailed taking a couple of shots, down loading them on the computer, hum mm, which ones do I like? Upload them onto the site. Now how does it look. Delete. Repeat the whole process. Until which point in time I was happy with the final out come. But to hook the camera up to the computer to down load pictures off of it, you have to hook this cord up - to the computer, and to the camera. And the connection spot on the camera is under a little flap ON THE SIDE OF THE CAMERA!!
   Once we got done chuckling (well, one of us was done chuckling about it anyways), it was decided that it really would make much more sense if the charger plug was on the side of the phone, and the volume button was on the bottom. That way you couldn't accidentally change the volume WHILE you were in the middle of a conversation with somebody, due to the button for volume being directly under your hand.. Or at the least, I can see how doing something like that just might happen ... o;-p

   Am I the only one who really wonders about themselves sometimes? If you to feel this way sometimes, please share a story of why with me, to help reassure me that .. well ... whatever.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

'communicating', yet not

    "According to almost every 'source' out there, even sources which have totally differing views on everything else, almost in complete unison, it is reported that the biggest problem in relationships/marriages is "communication".
    The thing is, that even when you ARE 'communicating', there can still be mis-communication :-/
    Prime example happened here this past weekend. We WERE communicating! Maybe we just didn't 'communicate' enough info.. Or maybe . . ."

    The above is what I had written as the opening of my posting back on April 1st, 2009. I then proceeded to tell an example that had just happened to us. Over time, I shared several such tales. Seeings how all of them were back on our xanga blog, you can't just access them via a folder/label on this blog. Therefore I looked them up and have linked them here for you :-} Oh, your Welcome! o;-p

- Wednesday, April 01, 2009
- Wednesday, June 17, 2009
- Tuesday, September 29, 2009
- Saturday, October 31, 2009

   Well, you guessed it. We have another 'communicating' tale to tell.
    As we came up to a corner en-route to balance therapy last Monday morning, Brian pulled over into the right turning lane. As he was doing so, I said, "OH-h, don't turn here!!!"
    I hear him say, "okay" with a voice full of puzzlement, as he quickly jerks the van back into the straight through lane.
   "No, not you!" I reply. "I was talking to THEM!" pointing at the car in front of us. They had been driving just under the speed limit the whole way up that street, while acting as though the pot holes (which that section is majorly full of) were land mines about to go off or something. And now they were turning onto our next street too :-[.
    Brian quickly pulls back into the turning lane, apologizing to the guy behind us, whom had started to pull forward when we had swerved out of the lane, but whom now was backing way off and shaking their head. SORRY!!!!!
    The reason Brian had sounded so puzzled when I had said "don't turn here"? From where we were, to not turn there would have meant we would have to take a w-a-y out of the way route, in one form of another, to get to our destination. And while I like a meandering drive upon occasion, when I have an appointment for something, I want to get there via the straightest, or less trafficked method. Especially when I'm already feeling very dizzy!!! And he knows that. So my presumably stating otherwise just didn't make any sense to the poor man. He said later that he had wondered if perhaps I've watched too many episodes of 'Keeping Up Appearances' (a British comedy on PBS), and thought he was 'Richard' or something. ;-p!!!

This has been another episode of 'mis-communication WHILE communicating' 8-/

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Middle of the night scare!

       I had gotten back up late Monday night, due to my stomach INFORMING me that I had not given it enough during the day. I am not positive exactly what time it was that I got up. See, Michigan is one of the states that participates in the daylight savings thing, and so we had 'lost' an hour during the night Sunday night. "Spring forward (you lose an hour), fall back (you gain an hour)". However, "the boys" always just pull out their cell phones to check the time, and the condition I had been in Sunday did not warrant climbing up on chairs to change the house clocks. So-o, I think it was around 1 a.m. that I had gotten back up, but then again it might have been 2.
       Does it matter? Not really. But it does explain some of the added confusion going on inside of me during the events of this story.
       Why was my stomach still so hungry? I had gone to balance therapy Monday morning. Even though my appointment wasn't till 11, I had chosen not to eat anything first. Turned out that it was the Lord prompting me not to!!! Goodness. Brian is again going to type up an update report for me, but let's just suffice it to say that the machine they had put me on to test me this time, was reading three different things, one of which didn't register at all for me. Not good! (the machine was working fine, I just wasn't giving it anything to register) And this time the extreme Vertigo registered as coming from my left ear, not my right. And after the machine testing had finished, the therapist had taken one look at me and informed me that he was sending me home early, that obviously I had had enough for one day.
       Afterwords Brian had dropped me off, before heading to get his check and go to Meijer's. He had then stopped at Wendy's and picked me up a single. In the evening I had had about a half dozen crackers with small slices of cheese, but hadn't dared put anything else into my rolling innards. Therefore, by the middle of the night, my stomach was protesting. Loudly!!!
       I had eaten a bowl of dry Cheerios and drank a glass of OJ, while chatting with Benson who was on the couch in the living room. As I went to place my glass in the kitchen sink, something caught my eye out the kitchen window. Something most definitely was not right!!!
       There seemed to be light coming out of the front of the garage. And there was faint light I could see through the bare bushes along the alley, which seemed to be coming out of a car parked there. And there WERE people moving around!!! NOT GOOD!!!
       While still standing there, I kind of loudly said, "BENSON - GO WAKE UP BRENT - NOW!!! THERE ARE PEOPLE PARKED IN THE ALLEY DOING SOMETHING BETWEEN OUR CARS!!!"
       Immediately Benson was in the kitchen, and almost as immediately, he had opened the back door and was walking out saying, "what ya doing?". YIKES!!! 'Benson', I thought, 'I wanted you to get Brent too, because there are more than one of them out there!!!' Then I saw somebody walk into the front of the garage, carrying something, while Benson watched. WHAT?!?!?!
       When Benson came back in, he explained that he had thought he'd heard Brandon's voice and that was why he'd just headed out. I hadn't, at all. Then again, my ears are how messed up right now? 8-/ . Benson went on to say that it was just Brandon and a friend dropping something off. Okay. Crazy 'kid'! Scaring me like that!!!
       Benson had closed the door behind him when he came in, and the vehicle had driven away, with two heads visible in the front seat. But then I saw somebody moving out along the alley by the front of the cars again. "BENSON!!!"
       Turned out that Brandon had stayed here, and that he'd arrived via two friends. When he walked through the back door he immediately said, "What are you doing up?!!!" looking at me. He then apologized profusely for scaring me. He'd had no idea that anybody would be up and about. Turned out that he was putting a large speaker in the garage which belonged to one of the friends. He was going to be testing it out for him.
       I had headed back up to bed much relieved that that had been all it was!!! Very much relieved!!! And thanking the Lord that everything was still alright in our small smidgen of the world. Well, off balance and dizzy, but 'alright' none the less.

Monday, March 15, 2010

they are an Easter tradition -

       There are a few items which seem to be a part of every holiday's menu. Things such as smashed potatoes, dinner rolls, and deviled eggs being a few of them. Today's posting is about the deviled eggs.
       By the way, does anybody know how it is that they came to be called 'deviled' eggs, when they ARE continually part of menu's for things like Christmas and Easter?! Always been curious on that!
      Today I am going to share tips both on the procedure of making the deviled eggs, as well as my recipe for them. And yes, I do feel 'qualified' as some what of an expert on the subject. How so? Well, for several years in a row, we made them up at camp for the 'picnic menu' during Memorial Weekend. We usually fed 120 people each time. And last fall we did them for our church's Labor Day weekend thing, which was also around 100 people. And several times we have made four or five dozen of them for graduation open houses. Besides all of the times I've only made two to three dozen for different family type functions. Then again, I've head that an expert is just a drip under pressure, and I'm dizzy, not a drip o;-p ...

       Tips on the procedure of making the deviled eggs:
       ~ First off, I HIGHLY do NOT recommend that you buy eggs in a bucket or a jar which have already been boiled and peeled. Some of them have been pickled, some are just in water. Stay Away from both of those! Why? Because no matter what you mix with the yolks, the eggs themselves just taste rubbery. It was the only time ever that I've had ungiveawayable leftover deviled eggs.
      ~ Secondly, if you plan on making deviled eggs for Easter, then you need to go out TODAY and buy the eggs!! Make sure you mark the carton "DO NOT USE TILL EASTER", and then don't. Even if you end up needing to borrow an egg or two from a neighbor in the mean time. Experience has shown that the newer the egg, the harder they are to peel. Ones that have sat in your fridge two to three weeks, peel ever so much easier!!!
      ~ Step # 1, is to figure out how many deviled eggs you want to make. Plan two deviled eggs, or one whole egg, per person. True, some people don't like them. But usually there are some amongst the ones that do, that want two with firsts, and another with seconds ....
      ~ Step # 2, is to boil the eggs.
      Place all of the eggs that you want to use, PLUS THREE EXTRAS, into a pan. Yes, you can double stack the eggs.
     Add about 1/8th of a cup of white vinegar to the pan. Doing so insures that if any eggs crack during the boiling process, the innards cling to that eggs shell, instead of spreading all over the place.
     Cover the eggs with water, making sure that every single eggs in completely covered.
     Put the eggs on the stove, light the burner, and bring the pan to a full boil (LOTS of large sized rising bubbles).
     Boil for about seven minutes.
     ~ Step # 3, After turning the burner off, dump the contents of the pan into a strainer, which is sitting down in your otherwise empty kitchen sink. It's best to do this at somewhat of an arms length, due to the hot steam which will rise up.
     Immediately, thourally rinse the eggs with cold water. Do so again. Rinse the inside of the pan with cold water. Dump the eggs back into the pan, and again cover with water. Notice I said "dump". The sound of egg shells cracking is a good thing at this point.
    Wait about eight minutes.
    During this time, lay down doubled paper towels to peel the eggs onto. Place an edged tray or Tupperware pie taker near the paper towels, also placing a paper towel on or in it. Get one more paper towel to use in your hands. And get out one hot mitt.
    ~ Step # 4, Right away at the eight minute mark, you start peeling the eggs.
    Put the kitchen hot mitt on one hand. Hold the paper towel with that same hand. With your other hand, reach into the soaking eggs and pull one out. Place it in the paper towel, on the hot mitt hand. First crack the egg on the paper towels you laid out for peeling onto. Then with your non mitted hand, start peeling the egg. Yes, the eggs are still hot, so work quickly!
    Once that egg is completely peeled, put it on the tray or in the container, and repeat the process with all of the eggs.
    Once you have every single egg peeled, place the tray or container in your fridge for twenty minutes, and clean up the mess you've made thus far.
    Then get out what you will need for the next part: a small sized cutting board, a small sharp knife, the container you want to put the finished eggs in (putting them back in the Tupperware pie taker, lined with a new paper towel, works great!), your pastry blender, your filling ingredients, a mixing bowl, a plastic or wooden mixing spoon, a few eating spoons, and either a qt. sized baggie, or a decorating tube with the flower nozzle attached.
    ~ Step # 5, After the twenty minutes is up, one by one cut the eggs in half and (sometimes gently using the tip of the knife to help) remove the yolks from the shells, placing the yolks into the mixing bowl, and the shells onto the tray or container. Yes, sometimes the yolks are so tightly against the shell that removing the yolk leaves a hole in the shell. That's why you boiled the three extra eggs :->. Your Welcome  ;-p
    Using your pastry blender, attack those yolks! Sometimes it helps to occasionally use a table knife and scrape the bottom of the pastry blender. Keep at the yolks until they are a fine crumbly mess.
    ~ Step # 6, Sprinkle the yolks with your dry ingredients. First add the paprika and the Lawry's seasoning, enough that the eggs now look almost reddish. Then add a light layer of salt. Remember, it is possible to add more seasonings later, but it is impossible to remove any!
    Next add the three 'wet' ingredients, and start mixing/stirring. Make sure that you don't stop until there are no 'lumps' and everything is thourally blended together.
    Using one of the 'eating spoons', do a taste taste of your mixture. A note here - yes, the mixture should taste just a bit salty. Remember, you will be adding it to completely bland tasting shells. If the mixture doesn't taste 'quite right' yet, slowly start adding what you think it might need more of, and then using a clean eating spoon each time, tasting again, till you get it to where it is 'right'.
    ~ Step # 7, You are now ready to fill the shells. If you are doing more than a dozen eggs, then using some sort of a tube is ever so much easier than the old double spoon method! Fold the tube, or top of the baggie, as far down as possible. Put in a couple of scoops of the mixture, unfold more, add more, and continue. However - do NOT fill to the top!!! This stuff has a way of popping back up at you and making oh such a mess!!! Just scrape it up, dump it in the bowl, and keep going. (oh, and try hard to laugh at the mess! Otherwise you'll be eating the ears off of the kids chocolate bunnies ..... ;-p)
    Gently place the tip of the tube down just barely touching the inside of a shell, then gently start squeezing your tube, while pulling it up and away from the shell. Repeat, time after time, sometimes stopping to refill the tube, until all of your shells are filled. Yes, sometimes (actually often) you have more filling than you can use to fill the shells. This comes from adding the other ingredients to the yolks. The best thing to do, is to pull out some Town House crackers, put some of the extra filling on them, and ENJOY!!! (warning, this step can be addictive o;-p Kate and Robin P. blame me ....)
     ~ Step # 8, The finished eggs now need covered and refrigerated till time to serve them. Covering an open tray with plastic wrap will make a gooey mess, unless you use a LOT of the "pizza tables". I prefer to store them in covered Tupperware and then tray them up at serving time. It is also time to clean up the mess from this part. Well, after you have one more cracker with filling on it .....

     my recipe for them:
     I am thrilled to say that this recipe comes highly recommended. :-D
     On the phone the other day, my step mom told me how she was "THRILLED!!!" to read that I was making the deviled eggs again. "Yours are always so-o creamy, and oh girl, what you do with the flavor... how soon till we can eat them?" ;-}
      And one year up at camp, Jericho kept trying to convince me that he did NOT like deviled eggs. I, on the other hand, kept, yes pushing, that I bet that he did, due to other things he likes. And that it was just how somebody had made theirs, or what they had put in them, that he didn't like. Finally, I am sure it was just to get me to shut up (o;-p), he said he would do the "one no thank-you bite". (You agree to try one small bite of something, with full rights to saying no thank-you to any more, and the agreement that you won't be harassed about it any more). He took the one small bite, his eyes literally popped, he shoved the rest in, and asked just how many we really needed to save till serving time. ;-D

       Three 'dry' ingredients:
       - Spanish Paprika
       - Lawry's Seasoning Salt
       - Regular Table Salt
       Three 'wet' ingredients:
       - Miracle Whip
       - Regular Mayonnaise
       - Yellow Mustard

       Yes, I use both Miracle Whip and regular mayo. Only mayo leaves it to bland. Only Miracle Whip is to much zest. I use equal amounts of both at first, sometimes adding one or the other during the tasting part.
       As with the seasonings, it is easy to add more of the mustard later, but impossible to remove it.
       No, I can not give you exact measurements of the ingredients. I'm not sure I've ever made exactly the same amount twice ;-p. And besides, it totally goes by your taste preferences.
       Also no, I do NOT add pickle relish, or horseradish, or any thing else like some people do. Just simple deviled eggs.
       And another no, I do not sprinkle the tops with paprika. Much prefer adding it in the mix and thus blending it's flavor as well as adding it's coloring.

      Now you too can volunteer to make the deviled eggs for this years Easter Dinner :-}

I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Mom2my9, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Make-Do Mondays", hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com)

~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com)
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "What I Learned this Week", are hosted by Jo-Lynne, at 'Musings of a Housewife' (http://www.musingsofahousewife.com/).
~ "Tuesday is Food Day", hosted by Byron, at 'A Lord, A Lady, and a cute little Princess' (http://byroncyndi.blogspot.com/) .

~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", hosted by Jen, at 'Balancing Beauty and Bedlum's' (http://beautyandbedlam.com/).

Friday, March 12, 2010

update on me

      I had put off writing this even though I knew that numerous ones of you have questioned Brian about it and/or been concerned about it. Why then would I put it off? Because I strive so hard in my postings to keep at least somewhat of a positive attitude, and I hadn't yet succeeded in attaining one after talking to my Dr's office.
     And then once I started writing it, well, things came up, and other things changed. Finally I decided that I'm just going to finish this off with how things stand today.
     I left off reporting to you, with a report about having been evaluated at the 'Balance Center', and their saying that they would send a report and their recommendations to my Dr's office. I also wasn't sure if the Dr. whom had sent me there would continue on with my case, or if they would wait and hand me back over to my regular Dr., since he was due back from his missions trip shortly thereafter.
     (-->) My Dr's office did wait for my own Dr. to take back over. That part did not surprise nor upset me. What surprised and rather upset me, was the recommendations that followed. In-fact, after getting off of the phone with them, I went up, sort of woke Brian up while I was crawling in beside him and asked if he could just hug me. I was fighting tears big time! Why? I'll get to that in a minute.
     ( ~ ) The first recommendation is that I need to look into getting a hearing aid in my right ear. We knew that would be one of the things.
     ( ~ ) Another recommendation was that my Dr. should start trying me on various of the 'preventive medications' they now have for migraines. Try one for awhile and keep track of it's effectiveness. If it doesn't work 'good enough', take me off of it, wait a week, and then start trying another. Yup, this could take awhile. Then again, I've been struggling with these things for how many years? What's a bit longer when the issue of them is at least being seriously addressed?
     The thing is, my main Dr. is a OB/Gyn Dr.. Therefore, he feels that all of this is beyond his area of expertise and comfort zones. Seeings how my lung specialist is in an office titled "Internal Medicine", my OB/Gyn recommended that I have my lung Dr. handle this part. I didn't think it would be in my lung specialists realm either, and tried to explain that, but ended up calling there. I was right, while he technically is in an office titled "Internal Medicine", he is an Pulmonary Specialist. His offices are on one side of the waiting room, the rest of the Dr.'s he's now associated with are on the other side of it. So no, migraine medications aren't in his expertise area either.
      ( ~ ) I am now suppose to find and switch to a new primary / internal medicine doctor. From now on, I'm to go to my OB/GYN for hormonal issues (hey guys, lots of my migraines ARE triggered by those 8-/), my Pulmonary Specialist for my allergy based asthma, and a Internal Specialist for any thing else. Well, till he sends me elsewhere for something ....
     Around here there are three main hospital companies (not sure if that's the right way to explain it ...). There are doctors offices, etc. aligned with Metro Hospital. There are others whom are linked to St. Mary's hospital. And there is also the 'Spectrum' group, which includes both Blodgett and Butterworth hospitals. Seeings how all of my doctors and specialists all the way along have been part of the Spectrum group, I am going to find a new Dr. whom is also part of the Spectrum group. That way, all of my records are easily accessible, etc.. It's just that I have to find one .... talk about out of 'comfort zone'. Them sending me to a new specialist is one thing (like the heart doctor, etc.). Me having to randomly pick a regular doctor is totally another. I am going to talk to my lung doctor and see if he would recommend me seeing any of the others in his office, or anybody else for that matter. That's at least a starting point.
      ( ~ ) But we haven't taken this step yet, due to something having to do with another recommendation, which I'll cover in a couple of minutes.
      ( ~ ) My Ob/Gyn Dr.'s office recommended that I follow through with the sleep study Dr. I had previously been referred to. Some of you might remember that the last time I was evaluated by the heart specialist, and they determined that my palpitations were again hormonal related, he had also suggested that I see a sleep doctor due to my current interrupted sleep patterns.
      Brian accompanied me to the initial visit at the sleep study place. After reviewing my case and asking me a whole boat load of questions, the sleep specialist stated that he was just shy of being totally convinced that my sleep challenges were also hormonal / menopausal related. "However," he said, "we should go ahead and have you come in and run a full sleep study on you to prove it. Otherwise, the next time that something comes up with you physically, they are going to say, "You never did follow through with that, so we ought to check that out" and you'll be headed back here anyways."
     We were going to go through with the study, but then found out the insurance coverage we had last year wouldn't cover the test. Due to the testing being over one thousand dollars, we chose not to go through with it. If they had thought it would make a difference, we would have found a way to. But they hadn't, so we didn't.
     But that sleep study doctor had nailed it right! They are wanting me to follow through with that.
     ( ~ ) The other recommendation by the balance center, was that I go through balance therapy. The thing is, the audiologist who originally evaluated me there, had said that he felt the type of physical therapy they did wouldn't fit with what I was experiencing. ?!?
     Only thing we came up with, was that it must have come via the actual doctor who goes over all reviews before they are sent out to the patients doctors, and what they found by reviewing the other tests they had requested copies of.
     ( ~ ) Originally they wanted me to have another C.A.T. scan. But we found out that the one I'd had previously (when I'd been sent to a neurologist for my headaches) had been with in the last three years, so it is considered still valid.
      They had also requested copies of when I had previously been tested by a hearing doctor.
      I was suppose to call both of those places and request that they send the reports to the balance clinic. But I got to thinking about it. First off, I know that they charge you 'processing fees' for doing such transactions. Secondly, the request then gets handed over to one of their file clerks to handle. One whom already has how much work in her 'in-box'? This could take awhile. It definitely would not be near as important to them as it is to me. So I went with another idea.
     I had called my OB/Gyn's office and talked to my doctors nurse. I explained that I had been to the balance center they had referred me to, that they (the balance center) were going to be sending a report over, but that in the mean time they had requested these reports, and could she just send over the copies of the reports that they had in my files there.
      See, every time I have any type of testing, surgery, or specialist reviews done, I list that I want ALL of my doctors to receive copies of everything. That way, everybody caring for me is totally on the same page. This time it also speed up things ;-}
     She had said yes, and done so that same day. The balance center didn't find anything in my C.A.T. scan either (yeah, lots of lines there!!), and I'm not sure what they learned from my earlier hearing test. But somehow, between everything, they were now recommending that I go through 'balance therapy'.
      ( --> ) So all of that combined to just make me all teary eyed. I felt like they had actually pin pointed some of my problems, yet it didn't seem like anything was actually going to help me. Definitely tear prompters!!

      ( --> ) I did go in for what was suppose to be a forty five minute appointment with the balance physical therapist. We had been there two and a half hours, when after looking me straight in the face, he had declared that that was enough for today and sent me home.
     The majority of the time had been spent in further evaluating me. Sit like this, like that, stand like this, like that, walk up and down these steps, down this hall, pull, push, again from this part of your body, turn your eyes in this direction, now that, and on it had gone. Ridiculous how exhausting it had been!!!
     He also recommends that I hold off on trying the migraine preventive medicines for now. He will be covering 'migraine diet triggers'. And yes, both Pepsi and chocolate are on the list. As is high yeast breads, and .... . "We won't tell you that you can never again have certain foods. We will have you eliminate one thing at a time and have you see what difference they do or don't make, and then decide what you are or aren't going to do with that information."
     While he was convinced that I had "balance issues" (more lines ;-p), but wasn't convinced that I also had vertigo. Nevertheless he did a procedure on me, "just in case". He then sent me home wearing a neck brace. I was suppose to try and wear the brace for twenty four hours, I wasn't suppose to at all twist, bend or turn, and I was suppose to find a way to prop myself up to sleep since we no longer have a recliner.
     This is one way I slept for awhile that evening.

       By 4 a.m., I pleadingly asked Brian if I could remove the brace. I felt like my chin was breaking out from it, I couldn't sleep ... yup, I got whinny. Brent still declares that it wasn't fair that Brian let me, when we would NEVER let him take any of his off early!!
       By the evening of that next day, I was feeling like I was definitely progressing in the right direction!!! While there was still pressure on the top of my head, the world was no longer constantly tilting, and I could no longer feel my loose stones rolling around inside my head (and more lines ;-p).
       By Sat. I felt good enough, that I finished off the kitchen which Cyndi (with help from both Byron and Benson) had been tearing into. And Sun. afternoon I had dug into the piles in the den in order to catch the checkbook up, balance it, and shut some bills up [I mean pay some bills o;-p]. But Sunday evening my head again started just feeling 'weird' (and more lines ;-p). And Monday the stones again took off rolling. The tears returned. In earnest this time.
      Brian tried to reassure me that at least we know progress will be coming, and that we were scheduled to see the balance therapist again on Fri.. I tried to stay positive. But then the receptionist called to let me know that there had been a death in the family of my therapist and I needed to reschedule my appointment. I didn't begrudge him taking the time off. Not at all. I just wanted the stones settled again!!!!
     Since then, I swear even more have broke loose. I go in again on Monday. And I'm still doing the eye exercises he gave me to do.
     But I can only be on here short periods of time. The same with the TV. And reading books isn't possible ( :-<). Yeah, I'm whining again.
      Robin P. had taken me out for lunch the Sunday before the kids arrived. And Kate had stopped and visited me the Thursday before. I told both of them that I am having real challenges with the apostle Paul's instructions to 'be content in what-so-ever state you are in'.

      So, all of that is what's happened since I last updated you. Yes, I know that this was really long and packed with 'details'. Some of you want to know all of it, some of you don't.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

update f/ Cheryl B.

    We had emailed this to a bunch of family and friends back on Wed, February 10, 2010 9:44:07 PM.   Seeings how I am working on an update to it which I plan on posting, I figured I should just go ahead and post this as well.

"Brain has had quite a bit of fun telling others about my current medical situation. I can't blame him. It has just provided way to many opportunity's!! So after hearing about his updating his dad on everything, I asked him to write up a report for me to send to some of my friends. And yes, I wanted him to include a lot of his chuckles.

Here then is what Brian wrote:
    "As many of you know Cheryl has Vertigo and has had for a couple of weeks – ok a month. It has been a comedian’s holiday around here all the bobbing and weaving, swaying, dizzy jokes, songs, and general mayhem that has tortured my poor loving adorable spouse. Arming herself with the mild come back of “won’t you be sorry when you find out that I’m really sick” she has saintly survived.
     When the 3rd or 4th round of meds did not seem to clear things up. The threat level was elevated and off to the balance clinic we went –to see if she was unbalanced or not (the comments have flown over that one). We had her there promptly on Tuesday and we were carted off to see an Audiologist – no, just hearing one was not enough. I have to admit I was impressed, you know those questionnaires? He actually went through it line by line making her verbalize all her answers – which explains why he was an Audiologist. Looking at her migraine history, her Vertigo history –“when you do this how does your vertigo respond, now be very specific”. The tests were different yet eye opening. She stood on a foam block raised her arms like a zombie and tried to balance. Not bad but not good. Then she had to close her eyes. If he had not been there she would fallen to the right in seconds. He had her march in place like a zombie with her eyes closed – of course, to her stationary meant drifting off to the right 3 feet and rotating to right 90 plus degrees (Was I ever MORTIFIED to open my eyes and see that I had turned like that!!! I would have SWORN I hadn't left my spot at all!!! And had only twice stepped back hard due to dizzyness!!! ). “Are you beginning to see a pattern?” the Doctor asked.
     I have been told “the eyes tell all”, well they tracked her eye movement with a special mask. She had to visually track lights moving on a light bar, as long as the lights moved in a smooth pattern she did fine but random was difficult at best. Then they closed the mask so she couldn’t see out and asked a series of random questions, anytime she didn’t know or had to think of an answer her eyes would jitter to the right. With every answer he would respond with “right, ok or that’s normal”. After all of these tests were completed the computer compiled them and graphed them, “These lines are the base norms, where they converge and cross are the standard, the box around it is the normal standard. The dots are her norms, as you can see she is just south of normal.” (yes, the Dr. said the line exactly like that, leaving it open to h-o-w many comments? Brian did good, he waited till we had left the office to make any of them ;-p)
     Taking us to another room she was given an extensive hearing test - tones, words, white noise were all used in conjunction with each other. The test showed a 30% hearing loss in her right ear mostly in the high-end frequencies.
     All these tests narrow the problem to the right inner ear. The nerves are sending the wrong / incomplete information to the brain. Her right ear is telling the brain that she is listing to the right or you’re standing still and everything around you is moving. Her left ear, eyes and muscles are saying everything is fine so when she moves or turns quickly for a spit second everything agrees so the body tries to react but cant do so fast enough so it responds with dizzy.
     That makes it a neurological problem; the migraines (that is the good possibility) are probably the cause – There is a small chance that a tumor or cyst as small as a grain of sand (those are the ok possibilities) could be pushing / leaning on the inner ear, therefore they will schedule a CAT scan - I offered to wave Rascal over her head a couple of times, she even said I was helpful “ you’re a lot of help” but no. And lastly a neuro-blocker to stop the migraines before they start.
     How much was covered well that remains to be seen, as that’s in GOD’s unseen hands. Maybe we can strike a balance on the balance with Spectrum "

Keeping you updated as I said I would,
Cheryl B.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

the surprises continued :->

      Not only did my family totally, yet thrillingly, surprise me with a visit from Byron, Cyndi and Analyse; they also had surprises planned for every day that week. :-D
       "The kids" had arrived Monday night.
        Tuesday held two surprise visits. The first was my nephew Andy and his six month old son Xander. :-] They had stopped by a few weeks previously, but only stayed a couple of hours. This time they stayed m-u-c-h longer :-] !! Xander is a huge boy, just like I remember both his daddy and his grand daddy being when they were babies. Ya know, I still have the hardest time remembering that my youngest brother, whom had started kindergarten the year I started college, is himself now a grandpa. Crazy!
      Xander also has the huge gorgeous blue eyes his daddy and grand daddy have. And when he smiles at you .... oh the heart.
      I had the totally amusing, absolutely fun, privilege of introducing Analyse and Xander to each other. They are second cousins. As you can see by the picture, this grandma / aunties lap was busy and FULL! But what a joy it was to be that way!

{don't I just look like a real beauty in this picture? 8-/   It was the best shot of the two little ones, so I used it anyways. Two cute babies and the clown?}

       The other surprise they had in store for that Tuesday, was that my dear friend Debbie G. stopped in for a half hour. :-D Nice! She arrived to quite the full house. The five of us who live here regularly, Byron, Cyndi and Analyse, Brent's girlfriend Kalya, Andy and Xander, Rascal crying from the top of the stairway, and Boo at first not liking her (which was weird since he totally knows and usually loves her, we figured out that it was due to the black leather coat she was wearing) and then wanting her full attention. ;-p And of course then there was the mess this house has gotten in. But she gave me the warmest hugs and smiles, and snuggled down beside me on a couch, telling me she came to see me not my house, and we talked a bit amongst the chaos. And then she told me that while it might be a bit crazy, and definitely busy, you sure could feel the love. She also stated that to have that many in those ages willingly 'hanging' in my living room aiming to cheer me up, that was a HUGE credence to who I am. What a wonderful, sweet thing to say!

       I was scheduled for my first 'balance physical therapy' Wednesday morning. [I am working on a update posting about all of that.] When I got home, another surprise was waiting. Jess, whom is one of our "part-time kids". She goes to college in the upper part of Michigan and her mom has moved to Canada, so we don't have the opportunity to see her much any more. But she was here! "Live and in person" ( ;-p ) Full of her hilarious sassy little comments. What fun!!!

      They found out at the last minute, that the surprise they had lined up for Thursday had changed their plans. :-[ So they switched gears and moved Friday's plans forward. Byron and Cyndi treated Brian and I to lunch out at Logan's, while Benson babysat. (Cyndi helped him make homemade fudge brownies later as a thank-you.) Lunch was YUMMY!!! Afterwords we took them down to 'Once Upon A Child' - the children's consignment shop where we had found the BoUnCiE seat for Analyse at.
      Our Cyndi absolutely hates shopping!!! Seriously!!! She likes to hang at a mall to watch people, but prefers to never actually go into stores. However, we learned that shopping for Analyse is totally a different thing all together!!! Oh my. They bought some items of clothing for her. We purchased an actual 'baby' walker. And when they are in town next month, I HAVE to be stable enough to do a day of visiting all of the various 'Once Upon A Child' stores around this area!!! Sounds like fun!

       Seeings how we had done Friday's plan on Thursday, that freed up Friday. So they ran a couple of errands, and then we just enjoyed visiting together. That worked for me!!! Round about the time they had planned on leaving, my niece Bethany came by. Her and Benson were going to spend the evening together, but in the mean time she got in some cuddle time. Cute!

       What a fun, spirit lifting week!!! So-o-o looking forward to them being here again around Easter!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, March 8, 2010

what do you like?

      In her posting last week Monday, Nan, from "Mom's The Word (that I love to hear)", talked about making your home represent you. Not the people that lived there before you, and not the people whom your furniture came from. She also mentioned that a big challenge of hers, was choosing a paint color. Having to make that final decision.
     While Byron and Cyndi were here, they were talking along the same similar lines. They plan to spend some of their tax refund check on paint and even carpeting. They really want to make their home 'theirs', not still representing her mom's and sisters. But they too were having challenges with actually picking colors.
     I gave them a lot of the same advice that I had written in my comment to Nan. In her comment back to me, Nan had said that I should make that information a posting of its own. I decided to sort of do so. I'm including some of the information, but not all of it. If your curious what all I had written, click on the words "her posting last week Monday" above and go see for yourself :-].
      This is part of what I wrote to her, and it's also what I adviced Byron and Cyndi to do. "As far as picking colors go. Go to a library that has a good selection of house/home style magazines. Or go to a bookstore and look through decorating books. Take note. In the pictures, what colors are you continually drawn to. Maybe you don't like what they did with the room itself, but you like the colors they used. After awhile, it will become apparent to you what colors should be on your basic personalized palette."

       That helps with what colors you like. But what about what 'style' you like? You can do the same. Or, you could do what I did.

      Years (and years) ago, I had LOTS of decorating / home project magazines stored away in grocery bags in the basement. They all contained things I liked, or information about how to do something which I thought might come in useful, so I saved them. Several brown grocery bags FULL.
     Then we had gotten permission from the landlord to take the sponge backed short shag carpeting out of our bathroom ( extremely horrible stuff for a bathroom, especially when mixed with four YOUNG sons, and play baths, and ... :-< ). Brian pulled out the carpet with the roll of flooring ready to be cut and put in place. But we found carpenter ants under the carpeting. And full evidence that they had been there and active for quite some time. So the toilet had to come out while the wood was replaced.
     The thing was, I knew I had articles with tips about all of this in those magazines. But could I find it .... no-o-o!!! 8-/ So shortly thereafter, I started working my way through all of the magazines, cutting out both articles and pictures that I liked, and getting rid of the rest. Yes, I am aware that some people would be appalled at me doing such a thing. That's okay, others think I'm crazy for what I did with all of the cut pictures and articles.

        I made a file. [Yes, I'm hooked on creating files. They are just such an efficient way of organizing / storing information, etc.] Yes, I do use it as a resource base. And to this day, I am still adding to it. In-fact, I recently decided that I am going to start printing off some of the ideas I find and like on peoples blogs, so that I don't have to try and remember where that was, and when ... .

Here is a picture of my file. Yes, it takes up most of a file drawer.

         I won't list every single individual file, after all, there are just shy of fifty (50) of them. Yes, fifty (50). I'll just give you a rough out line.
         First is one for house plans, then one titled 'whole houses'. The latter one is from when a magazine featured a whole house that I liked.
         Then comes files for every possible room / area inside a house. From front entry, to laundry room, to craft and storage rooms, as well as kitchens, bedrooms, etc. .
         The next section of files is all of the 'details' of an inside of a house. From walls, and ceilings, to electrical, to plumbing, etc..
         The following section is the exterior of houses. From roofs and siding, to windows and doors, etc..
         Then it's on to other aspects of the outside of your home. Garages, storage sheds, driveways, landscaping, tree houses, etc..
         The last section is 'build it projects', 'toy' plans, furniture repair, etc..

       Sometimes when I just need to get the creative juices flowing in cleaning and rearranging my home, I browse through my files. If we are going to be working on something in particular, I see if we have 'how-to' info. on it in the files, before looking elsewhere. And in their own (probably peculiar) little way, my file is a security blanket of sorts. I know some of you totally don't get that, while others of you can relate ever so well.

        I know that the file does take up room/space. However, I would encourage each and every one of you to start one for yourself anyways! Yes, I have found it to be that beneficial!!! I have made similar files and gifted them to a couple of different people. One friend said that she had ever so much fun occasionally sitting down with her box's of saved pictures and articles, and filing them away in such an organized way. While she did end up tossing some of the stuff she'd saved, others things made her "giddy with glee and ideas" (her words, not mine).

       I don't know if you will find this posting "useful ideas" or not, but I hope so.
       I also 'think' I might have posted about this at some point in time ... didn't go checking.

I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Make-Do Mondays", hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

they kept the secret ;-D

        Last evening Brian and I had gone out to dinner with Brent and Kayla. When we got home, they went to the basement and Brian and I ended up in the living room. A bit later Brandon came home, bringing his best friend Josh with him. Josh is going to stay here a couple of days. Not a problem! Brandon wanted to talk to Brian, but they said it didn't pertain to me, so they left me watching a show and wandered into the kitchen. Fine. Then I heard Brent and Kayla come upstairs, but they too joined the talking in the kitchen. Not a problem. I was quite content to sit by myself and watch another show.
       A bit later I heard them heading into the living room. But oh the surprise I got when I looked up!!!! There stood Cyndi holding Analyse, with Byron right behind her, and everybody else crowding around them trying to see my reaction. I was THRILLED!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!! ETC.
     After having seen them at least once a month since early June when Analyse was born, to not having seen them since New Year's Eve, I was missing them something fierce. Yes, ALL of them!!!! o;-] I had had such an extremely hard time telling Wendy S. no to accompanying her recently, when she offered me a ride to visit them. But balance / migraines / vertigo challenges remain too constant to attempt such a venture. Yeah, saying no was h a r d!!!
     Cyndi has been working six days a week since shortly after Christmas due to one person quitting and another getting fired. So their coming here to visit was out of the question.
     But there they stood inside my house. Smiling hugely at me. What an absolute thrill!!! They are here for the balance of the week :-D Cyndi and her boss had 'talked'. Woohoo!!

       EVERYbody in the immediate family had known about it - for two weeks - and even though there was one close call (or so they told me last night - I hadn't caught on at the time), they were successful in totally having the visit be a surprise for me. Oh is my spirit thrilled!!

      Benson had been out with the group of friends he usually hangs with on Monday nights. When he got home, Boo made sure he knew that Analyse was here ;-p That dog seems to be about as thrilled as I am ;-p

      Just yesterday morning I had found this picture Cyndi had posted of Analyse on her facebook page.

         Isn't she absolutely adorable?!!!!! While I WAS cherishing the picture, I was also wondering if I was ever going to get better .... just how long would it be before I could hug and play with her again? I loved the answer ;-p Now I just have to convince sweet Analyse that when grandma covers her eyes, due to Analyse swaying back and forth trying to dance - it's not a game ;-p She waits till I uncover my eyes, grins broadly, and starts swaying again ;-b Silly girl!!!! The rest of the family finds this new game highly amusing. I get no respect. But I do get love :-> I am blessed!!!! Thank-you Lord!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Just like I file things about Analyse under grandchildren (plural) because I know that someday I will be blessed with more ..... I am nameing another file "the daughter-in-loves" ;-p
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, March 1, 2010

easy glue clean-up tip

       The other day we were watching an episode of PBS's show, 'Ask This Old House'. For records sake, it was the episode where they helped the homeowners grind down a stump from their old tree and then plant a large sized new tree. During each episode they also feature a tip sent into them by a viewer. All of us marveled at how much easier projects could be made by using that particular submitted tip, and I immediately said that I was going to use it as one of my 'hopefully helpful' Monday tips. Today is that Monday!
      The tip had been submitted to 'Ask This Old House' by a viewer named Steven. Sorry, I do not remember his last name, nor where he was from. But I definitely remember his tip!

      You know how when your using wood glue to help attach one piece to another in building something, after you apply the glue, and put the pieces together, sometimes a small amount of glue seeps out? Usually you then have a choice. You either leave the ridge of glue. Or, you scrape it off, and sand the area, and ... . This tip will help eliminate all of those additional steps.

       Let's see. I know many of you are visual people. How can I write a better word picture so that you can better visualize what I'm talking about? Hum mmm
      Let's say you have a wood dresser that one of the drawers has come apart on. Instead of using a whole bunch of small screws to try and hold the drawer together again, you decide to use wood glue. After sanding down the edge of both the bottom piece of the drawer and the bottom of the back piece of the drawer, you apply a long line of wood glue to one of the pieces and then stick the two together, applying pressure to make sure the whole length bonds.
     The process of applying that pressure makes some of the glue slide out onto the inside of the bottom of the drawer. (HERE'S THE TIP -->) Take a drinking straw and gently, starting at one end, slide the straw forward. All of the wet glue will almost magically go up into the straw, leaving nothing behind. When you've gotten all of the glue up, use scissors to cut off the end of the straw with the glue in it and toss that end, saving the rest of the straw to keep using for the same purpose. :-}
      NO, you do NOT need to put your mouth on the other end of the straw and try to slurp the glue up. It will go up into the straw of it's own accord.

      On the show they applied this tip to working with wood, but mentally I started thinking of numerous types of projects where this tip would come in ever so handy!!! Woodworkers, Crafters, even Scrap booker's might benefit from this oh so useful tip. I HAD to share it!!!! Hope you too find it helpful!!!

I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Make-Do Mondays", hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Mom2my9, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Make Your Monday('s)", are hosted by Kim, at 'Twice Remembered' (http://twiceremembered.blogspot.com/).
~ "I am Blissfully Domestic", hosted by Kim (from 'Up North Mommy'), at 'Blissfully Domestic' (your life, your bliss) (http://blissfullydomestic.com/i-am-blissfully-domestic/).
~ "What I Learned this Week", are hosted by Jo-Lynne, at 'Musings of a Housewife' (http://www.musingsofahousewife.com/).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~