"Purging" The Outdated & Sewing The Seeds of the Vigorously Sprightly

A great deal of nostalgia here this morning, and I am sure it will be that way throughout the next two days. We are all in reflection of what 2012 was and certainly was not for so many. From Mother Nature's Wrath that left more than one path of destruction, and death, to the "inhumane" realms of what those who are supposed to be humans have done in our nation, and all over this vast world, 2012 has been a year pocked with marks that shall remain scars for many of our lives. The toll that this hurricanes, tornado's, floods, and droughts have left behind is one of the record books. 
It seems like each day of this past year has been a night mare when it comes to what can happen when our weather gets "distraught." It seems that as humans we "blame" the weather, yet all too often we can't open our own eyes to see that our levels of pollution in the air, water, and in the very soil we are supposed to get precious food to sustain life has been corrupted with chemicals, trash that will take millions of years if ever to dissolve, and we are in a constant place of breathing car exhausts, poisons, and all of the garbage we pour into the air. Then our water is many places is not fit to drink. Here we are one of the greatest nations in the world, yet rather than have cleaner drinking water, it gets more filthy, with poisons, pollutants, even prescription medications that are poured into it, that show up in our cells. Even though we don't want to admit the way we constantly fill our lands with more concrete, more buildings, more cars, and leave less and less of the land to provide us all of the "building blocks" we need, we continue to build and cover over record numbers of forests and land so we can have a house like the "Jones'" as the saying goes. 
Then there is the extreme amount of devastation filling this country with every heart beat in the realms of our financial, fiscal, and governmental down falls. Our very own people, those that we voted in, pay, and put their to do as we wish to help us, are the very ones sitting like a bunch of fat cats on Capitol Hill playing mind games, and games with our money, our investments, homes, and our future. They could care less about what "the people want". They want to make the rich, get more rich, while the every day common middle class that keep this country going will be cut off from all assistance that we need, from additional unemployment benefits, to tax hikes that will send us further into the "poor house". Why should they care, since they are "sitting pretty" for the rest of their lives, and I am sure the lives of their families, in whom that have made sure will be taken care of even though I feel we head into a the Greatest Depression we shall ever see in our lives here. People have become complacent, uncaring, scary, down right mean, and just plain insane. We see it and hear it everyday in our news, in our magazines and in the headlines of even our own local newspaper. 
The amount of severe crimes, break in's, even murders are increasing daily, and the more violent they are each time they happen. Oddly enough, we can recall the bad things, the mess of an election that held enough funds between both parties to almost balance this substantially over bloated non-budget of ours, yet the bad stuff just keeps on coming, while the wicked of this land, just continue to get more wicked by the day. My question to all is when we are going to truly get a gut full of this abuse of the people, our salaries, jobs, homes and lives to rally up and tell them NO MORE! When will our eyes finally be filled with the disgust we feel inside, and come out all together to forever make a positive change in just how things in our government go that only put us in more debt, use up more public funds to do foolish projects, or things that never really succeed and are there to "cover up" the greed of those who are the most greedy. We such don't mind griping, whining and fussing about it, but we are almost "too civilized" of a nation! We FEAR standing up for our rights! We fear the "big men" on that hill! We FEAR we may cause "problems", or conflict or someone may not like us as much if we open our mouths and give our own testimony to the wickedness of our nation and the world. You can darned sure bet that the "Big Man" upstairs is definitely taking count. He is "seeing" all things, so many bad these days, and when the final horns sound, and the final battle begins, the tally will not be forgotten of those who have harmed their own brothers, murdered their own sons and daughters, reeked havoc in the peaceful nations, and caused nothing but death, devastation, and destruction.  At that time there will be NO Senator, No Governor, No "Republican" or "Democrat", no thief in the night that steals peoples very souls to help at that moment. those trumpets shall mean only one thing, that the very last battle is here, and those of us who have stayed in the realms of faith, hope, and goodness shall reign in our own proper House in Heaven. I am no "prophet", never claimed to be. I am no "Saint", honestly I do not think a human is capable of being a "Saint", but I know what I see all around daily, and I know what the "Good Book" Says. 
We may not be able to predict the time, the day and the moment, but if we only open our eyes, we can see the "signs" of the time of the end all around us. I will not go into the further parts of what I feel about that subject, because I don't often talk about politics or religion even those that sounds like a cliche'. Everyone has their own very intimate, very personal beliefs in those two subjects, so I don't discuss either of them very often. I would rather give others the room they need to feel and express their own feelings about religion and politics. But after the horrid year we have had I just felt I could not hold my own tongue anymore, even about some pieces of my religious and political parts of how I believe. It just exactly what I said earlier in this, it is more than time, it is past time, that we, as a people, stand up for our beliefs, and we "cut out" the frivolous, excess and bloat that has been in our essence of what we refer to as our governmental bodies of town, state, and nation, and put us as the people back in charge of those things. I am NOT talking about some kind of "over turn" bull or anarchy. So, I don't want some idiot thinking I have "lost it". What I do mean though is we have become so extremely complacent, uncaring, and in fear, we have left behind our voices. We have ran away from the things as a body of people we can do to make our nation and our world a better place. 
So, I am not talking about tearing down a "wall" literally, or not being peaceful (Lord knows we need PEACEFUL SO BADLY IT HURTS), but in a "symbolistic" way instead. We need to be open to what is really wrong, not be in fear of making changes, where they need to be made. This crap about not "crossing party lines" is ridiculous! I never quite understood why anyone felt they needed to stand with "one side" or the other, when it comes to a "term", a word like Democratic or Republican? IF a "person" can do the job and do it well to their ability for us, as the people, it does NOT matter what kind of "term" or "label" they put on their backs! Or may I say it does not to me! Their are good entities on both sides of what we want to call "party lines" (which used to be a phone line that more than one person could talk on and they shared in the country when the phone lines were far and few between)... and some silly label does not change the fact (unless they allow it to) how they can govern a body of people. Whether the town mayor, or the US President, who they are within, their character, their very essence of morality, decency, capability, demeanor, dignity, education, and many more descriptive terms are what gives them the "things" that make up what makes a good "Leader". So, for 2013, we need to rid our lives, and purge out all of the stuff that does not "lead" us in the right ways. Maybe not just "leaders" as far as people, but what things "lead" us daily from the inside and outside. We need to finally stand up for the right, and serenade the good, and we need to stand down and not accept what is the wrong, whether they or it seems to be "power", often that power needs to be turned the hell off, and allow new lines to be drawn and new types of "electrical parties" be put in place to bring in what is right. I look back and 2012 as a time of "learning"... learning what sitting around and doing nothing gets you... as my own saying goes  "Do nothing and NOTHING gets done!" 
Thus, sitting on our laurels, and allowing things to happen that we know are wrong, and keeping fear in our hearts to make it right, is showing a weakness... not showing the honor and faith in how we truly believe in what is the right path. We owe our kids, and their kids, and those to come an explanation for how we have "done nothing".,. out of fear, disdain, complacency, out of those things we all too often put first, and that just keep us from facing the hard cold truth, that is it time to stand up and change those things that are wrong. Whether it is a law or not, whether it needs to be a law or not, whether it needs to be changes in leadership, changes in how business is done, changes in the ways go in our schools, public areas, and take away and rid ourselves of what is so wrong, to provide a safe haven of a country for all that is so right. We wait around and "rally" when there is a tragedy! Why is that??? Why do we have to wait until the unthinkable has happened before we get the heck up and say we are not going to stand for the same old thing anymore... our lives from education, to our health program, to insurance companies, banking, corporate business, tax codes, and governments need a change of the guards so to speak. 
After allowing stuff to remain "rotten" for too many years the stench is finally waking some of us up, but it sure has taken a long time to do so!!! We can no longer sit around like old "brackish appendages" knitting sweaters and drinking tea while everything goes to hell in a hand basket. The time of dormancy and hibernation needs to be kicked in the butt, and allow the "butterflies" of our world to prosper. I know for me, those lines above are very personal. I have been one of those "sitting on my hands" not opening my mouth, allowing the ruling of my own life to be done all too often by what society deems, "right". Even in my illness, rather than "fight" like hell against all that is wrong, I became so "docile" allowing doctors and the medical field to become almost dictatorial over my body, that I forgot I do have a mind that I can use to decide what 
I feel is "right or wrong" for me. That very example of being so overtly stagnant, is what also is wrong with many things that go on in our world. We allow it! We turn our heads so as to not face the facts. It is easier to walk by and simply not act at all, than to put yourself out there and do something about what you feel is not correct. If the ONLY thing you feel you can do it "write" an email or letter to whomever it is you feel needs to do something differently, that is far better than bitching about it, and then not doing a darned thing to help overhaul that maligned issue. IF you got nothing out of a word I have said in all of this, think about trying to dig out the old bulbs in your life of ambiguity, and sew sprightly seeds of everything vigorous and unspoiled in your garden of life for all the world to see.  With my Sincere Believe that We can Make this World a Better Place... Love to All, Rhia

The Days Ahead After All of the Good Cheer...

Well, here we are! For most of us, the gifts are opened, the food is "partially" eaten, we have loads of goodies and sweets left that we know we do not need to eat' but just can't resist! The tree is looking rather "bare" with no gifts under it, and the stockings are just a bit down and out. Alas they are empty of all of their fruit, nuts, candy canes and small surprises.
Family is still visiting for some. For others, they are preparing for their trips home. Whether flying, driving, or otherwise, much of the country is not really a great place to be traveling in. for some of us we had somewhat of a "white" Christmas. Even here in our town about 30 miles South of Dallas, we had some snowflakes yesterday afternoon. Of course nothing that was going o stick, but it was enough to give you that special kind of feeling that we did also have a bit of a snowy holiday!
The kids are about to drive you nuts with all of their new toys, or wanting to go outside in the cold and play. Or, they are now "bored" and are looking for something to do. Give them a couple of boxes and tell them to make them a "fort" or a "house", or something creative and constructive to keep them busy for the next few days. For most, school will be out until after the New Year holiday.
Some of us are now planning our party for New Year's Eve. For some, that means another house full of family and friends, probably more on the all adult side, with drinks, music, party hats, and "auld lang syne." Others are planning to go out on the town and live it up in their sequined gowns, and formal attire. Others are preparing for a quiet evening, watching the ball from New York drop as it always does at Time Square, wishing everyone Happy 2013 and off to bed at 5 minutes after midnight... (sounds like us IF we CAN make it to MIDNIGHT)!
Hopefully those that don't hold their liquor well, or don't know when to stop, will drop their car keys off at the door, and spend the night or call a taxi, if they have had a couple of drinks.  There will be some with fire works going off, which in much of the nation is dangerous due to so many states in a drought situation. We certainly don't want anyone beginning the New Year with a burned down home from firecrackers thus I hope those are maintained by the professional people at shows on that level.
Many of us are back off to work today. We are wondering how the holiday, that took SO long to get ready for, is now over, done, and all that is left is the mess, left over food, and kind of an almost "empty" feeling inside. So many spend months before preparing for these holidays, and once they arrive, they are here and gone before we can blink an eye, thus we wonder even why we go through all of the effort. But, it means at least one day of family, friends, happiness, hope and faith. So, for that all of that planning and preparation, no matter how quickly it seems to fly by, was worth that effort.
Many of us are preparing our "New Years 2012 New Years Resolutions". It seems to b a huge tradition in this country. I am not sure where it came from, but before I continue I think I will look it up to see, so I can explain. It seems that this tradition of making Resolutions has been going on even back into the Medieval Times, when Knights would "renew" their commitment to their honor of  "chivalry" in a "peacock vow" each Christmas. Other types of Resolutions actually come from some "religious" beliefs, from "Lent" to Christian vows of doing better or being a creed of "self-improvement." So, our traditions of these New Years Resolutions have been going on for the ages, that people see the "New Year" as a fresh start, a time of reflection to be a better person, or do something a better way. From statistics it appears about 52% make of those who make these "good faith" Resolutions annually (in a study in 2007 of 3000 people), and about 88% actually fail at them.  It seems the more  "specific" the "goal" the much more difficult it is to keep for those who make them. OF course that makes total sense. We usually begin the New Year with lots of hope, faith, good will, and in the realms that things will be so much better this bright and shiny starting fresh. Yet, as we go along, things happen, we lose tract of or sight of, those things that we were so positive about that first part of the New Year. But, don't dismay, many of us keep a few of our resolutions! So, you can always be in that 22% that do!
I was reflecting back just a day ago on my own for "2012". I discovered that I did keep several of mine, although not all of them, keeping about 50% of those I made felt like an accomplishment. With hope that I maybe able to keep 70% or more this brand new up and coming 2013!
So, in a few days we will be "ringing" in 2012 with music, champagne, horns, singing, and for many another tradition of eating black-eyed peas for good luck in the new year. I gather that must be more of a "Southern" tradition. When I lived in Seattle most people there had never even heard of it, and you did not find black-eyed peas up there, even in a can very much. So, even in different part of our nation, we tend to have different little "quirks" we do to celebrate.
Of course, with all of the "goodness" and cheer for January, comes all of the worrisome tasks of, paying home and land taxes, for many paying house and car insurance, or like us our car registration also comes due about this time. Then now, depending on what happens with this "fiscal" not just a cliff but a "mountain" we may fall off of, if Congress does not get their butts together, some are concerned about their "tax" refunds that they may not get. Those that really depend  on those "refund checks" may watch them melt away if all of what has been in the past like the "Bush era" tax cuts happen to come to a quick halt. My person feeling on this is that they (Congress) WILL finally come to a decision. IT will probably happen at the very last hour, so they can keep everyone sitting on sharp tax "literally" and biting their nails! But, I have a very good feeling many of them sitting like "fat cats" up their and looking for their re-election in a couple of years, will be acting in order to gain the voters attention. IF they don't there will many that will be "retiring" from their Federal post in Congress for sure. I think Americans as a whole are more than FED UP! WE are sick and tired of the political fall out we get over their stupid  Congressional games! After all WE elect them, WE pay THEIR SALARIES, and then they DO AS THEY WANT!  I feel that the majority of us have had more than we are willing to take of that any longer.
So, in 10 days or so, kids will be back in school, trees and decorations put away for another year, celebrations and parties over with, and the cold of Winter finally settling in many of our parts of the country. We will be back to our routines, jobs, homes, cleaning, cooking, losing that "holiday poundage" we put in from too much of Granny's fruitcake, and settling down to make the New Year all it can be.
For now, it seems kind of sad for me. Even though I am also looking forward to keeping many of my own "resolutions", and have lots of work ahead of me, I feel like mine will be put between all of the other 1,001 things it seems like there always is to do. New Years' never mean "reprieve" from the other things, like laundry, cleaning, cooking, paying bills, and running errands. Resolutions and New Years' come in, but they don't stop illness, emergencies, and all of the ways we get "detained" for one reason or the other. I know my list is quite long, and quite full of many things as far as my 2013 Resolutions. I want to try and "make up", play a catch up game from the several previous years of illness, surgeries, sickness, and those things that truly did detain me from "living" my life on a semi-some kind of normal time frame. I catch myself putting "finishing my 2nd Poetry book and getting it published" in 6 months, as well as having my "book-book" as I still call it (I do have what I believe it a name now for it but have not revealed it yet) by the end of the year. It won't b publication ready I don't think but I would like to have it close to the place of publication for the beginning of 2014. Just those two alone are tall orders. Then I have the usual lose some weight, exercise a little more, eat a little healthier, etc. I also have others like practice my drums several times a week, along with the keyboard and be writing lyrics and singing again. I also would love to start sewing again and make another quilt, this one for our bed, which is queen sized. So, in between hopefully any of my doctors visits, which I hope and pray will be few and far between for 2013, and NO SURGERIES!, few tests I pray (I realize I may already have to go through a couple of minor tests), and I so pray that the Lord will show me the way to keep the Lupus, RA, pain, and other chronic illnesses in check enough that my time is much more about the things I WANT TO DO, and NOT ILLNESS! Those are my "main" goals, resolutions, or whatever you may call them in your neck of the woods.
Well, as you can see, by this post, I certainly have NOT made a resolution to "cut-down" my post and their sizes....:) With much respect, honor, and truly a Hope for Peace and Great Health for All, Rhia  Happy Up and Coming 2013!

Holiday Happiness, Peace and Good Will

Well, after much preparation, fuss and muss, the "big" day finally arrives! The kids are waking parents up at way before the break of dawn (the only day of the year), parents are drinking extra coffee, while Mom's are putting in the turkeys, hams, and getting all of the trimmings ready. Many attended midnight mass last night, which everywhere I read turned out beautiful. We actually got all of the baked home made "goodies" together (fruit cake, cut out sugar cookies, pumpkin roll filled with cream cheese, surprise cookies with a chocolate kiss in the middle, and little brownie bites all together, and wrapped up for our 5 close neighbors. We got those all our yesterday evening, and as we went to our "favorite" elderly neighbors home, we walked in to almost a "dream world". Even at her age, (I am guessing 85 plus) she has something like 70 plus with siblings, nieces, nephews, and then of course "grand" nieces, nephews and more, that she cooks for each year, decorate her home like a Christmas wonderland, & I think buys a gift for all of them! We got to see one huge "Czech" feast for sure. One of her nieces was helping her gather mounds of all kinds of food together (I wished I had pictures) for the entire bunch for last night. :) She is just an inspiration and I pray that she is around for a very long while. We are truly blessed by all of our neighbors, but her especially. I can hope that at her age, I am able to do even half of what she does. From there we came home to rest after much of our own hustle and bustle from getting all of that wrapped and ready, then delivered to watch a Christmas Movie (gosh I am addicted:) Every chance I get I have an entire lot recorded from Lifetime and I must watch a little when I ride my exerciser etc). But, we were ready for bed pretty early, and hit the sack a little after 9 pm. I had not slept (but that is not abnormal) night before, and even then by 2 am I was up this morning watching to see where "Santa" was for my two puppies :), and seeing what the weather would do here for today. We are preparing not a huge feast but saving our for New Years Day instead. But I am fixing a roast with all of the fresh veggies, celery, carrots, onion, parsley, potatoes, sweet potatoes in it, and then we found some "Hopefully" fresh green beans that are good. We will make some fresh home made rolls, and then we have some of the goodies left from my baking ordeal for the neighbors. Then later in the day, we will go to visit my Mom, take her a plate of food, and spend the afternoon with her. Jim is "climbing the walls" to open gifts so I will close for now, and add more later. :):) The weather is terrible here right now, with a huge lightening storm going on and rain. So the weather may not be wonderful here, but let it snow!:) With my hopes for all for peace, good cheer, many blessings, and love.... may 2012 bring a blanket of peace over our nation and world! Hugs, xxoxo Rhia

The Running of the Holidays & Catching Up in 2013!

Well here we are! Life seems to be just running, flying, cruising, moving, sailing, & all of the other words we could use to just it is going by too quickly!!! Just about the time we get our decorations put up from the previous Xmas, and get our "figures" back in shape from all of the great food, we look up and here is another Christmas at our door step. This year has been a very mixed blessing year for my family. I had a much "better" year somewhat I guess you can say. I only had 1 major surgery this year, my 4 level cervical neck procedure. I went through the minor issue of the biopsy on my temporal artery, but so far I am still having double vision issues, thus the "hunt" for what the heck is causing it will go on in 2013. Until then I just able able to see "double"! Which is a good thing, depending on what the hell I am looking at! LOL!!!! It seems that with medications, treatments, follow ups with the doctors, and all of the things I do to try and keep the RA, Lupus, and Chronic Pain in check have worked fairly well this year. I have of course still had come pain issues, and still had a few flares, but for the most part, when my neck began to show a huge difference in the shoulder pain, I knew I was going to be feeling more human when it healed more. So far, so good. I pray all of those holds out, and that nothing else decides to give way, break, wear out, etc. :) Same with the family, for the most part. After the scare here with Mom, this past week, and her heart, then it turning out to be as far as the doctors can tell, all is well from the tests they ran. So we are grateful that it appears her heart is fine. She is already doing much better with the Lasix. As soon as it began to remove the excess fluid she has in her mid-section she is already breathing better, and the shortness of breath seems to be gone. She was up and at the market by herself yesterday morning, so she is doing much better. :) So, that is the very best Christmas present we could have. For her to check out at 77 years old, and have a clean bill of health as far as her heart goes was wonderful news for us. I was a tad bit on the concerned side just due to her age, her high blood pressure (even through medication controlled) and she is on high cholesterol medication also. Other than that her had quit smoking probably 30 years ago, and other than that she is not huge on being an exerciser. All in all, bless her heart, she is in better physical shape than I am. I was also a factor in putting her into the hospital for the blood work checks on her heart. Due to my two Mi's at such a young age, they took that into consideration also, is what our family doctor told us. Of course the biggest thing I guess for myself, as well as Jim was me publishing my very 1st book! I am now officially a "published author"! that was a huge event for me, and my plans and (resolutions for 2013) or part of those are to have a 2nd poetry book published by Spring or early Summer, as well as have a great deal of my "book", "book:" as I call it completed. so, I plan on being one busy lady beginning in 2013! LOL!!! Like I am not busy already. It seems there is never quite enough time in my day to finish everything I want to finish, or honestly I run out of "steam" before I am finished. I also plan on getting back into the music part of my somewhat artistic nature. I have already been on my drums some, and also on the keyboard. Right now, and once again our "music/extra room" is filled with the boxes from lights, tree etc, and you can't even barely get around to the instruments. But, once all of that is put away after New Year's, I plan on doing some writing, singing, drumming and keyboard playing. I also want to get back into working on sewing quilts. I really enjoyed that before my shoulder decided to completely quit on me. Since my neck surgery seems to have for the most part fixed the pain issue in my arm, neck and shoulder, I am hoping to be able to do all of these things. I certainly can sit and type again a great deal more than before the surgeries. I am much more able to be online and on the computer than I had been in years. So, between all of my "artistic endeavors" as well as the usual cleaning, cooking, house keeping, errands, doctors visits, stuff for Mom and so forth, I plan to have an extremely busy 2013! I just pray that my hope grows, and my faith stays alive, and my body and mind give me the opportunity to do all of those things. I had even mentioned to Jim I may get back into SOME of the web design stuff again. I am not sure if I had mentioned it any here, but I did web design for a couple of years when we first met. After I was getting so ill I was having to make a decision to quit a job outside of the house, plus I had always been intrigued with web design and how it all went together, Jim was the first person that really took me seriously about that. I had a book but no one had really sat down with me to help explain the basics of it all. So, honestly Jim did "throw the HTML 10 thick" book at me one afternoon in Seattle, and said here you go, everything you need is in this book. Then you can start asking questions once you have gotten clued in from it. Well, I had already been observing his coding of sites. He works more on the "back end" of sites, to make shopping carts work, data bases, and those types of things. Where I wanted to actually design the sites themselves. In a few days I was putting together some "simple" very basic items that went into a web site, and was showing signs of having the ability to grasp the idea. He then jumped in to give me more help so I could learn the right way, and not get engrossed in some of the wrong tactics, and within a few months, I was working on my own web site, and then designed several sites for people in the business realms of Seattle. In fact two sites I did all myself are still all up and running, just as the day I completed them. That has been about 9 years ago or so. I go to them every once in a while to see what they look like, and there they are just like they were the day I said they were completed! So, I had to quit much of that when we got to TX. I became so ill with so much pain, and then I began going through all of the surgeries, doctors, tests and so forth, and also the Lupus mess reared its ugly head. So, my design and development web status got put on the back burner for awhile. I even got pretty good at SEO work and did lots of optimization for Search Engines for our clients. But, that has also changed so much, that things are not at all as they were. It has almost became an entire "schooling" of working knowledge as to how to really optimize a web site to keep it high in rankings, and up in search engines such as Google and so forth. I have considered since HTML 5 is now coming out, and now CSS 3 is huge. There are so many changes, that things like graphics, etc. are going to be a thing of the past, and much of what a did as a literal graphic in Photoshop, will be replaced by "coding" through style sheets. Lots of changes in a very short time, so I would probably have to go back to "square one" if I really wanted to learn. Anyway, that maybe another thing I put on my plate. Jim is thinking about taking the development business into a new direction this year, and begin "designing" again. Since all of the changes with web sites when it comes to phones, I-Pads, Kindles', smart phones, and so many more devices are coming out, keeping up with the latest in those types of design entities are important. So, as he has been redoing our own website, and I have been more of the "consultant" this time, rather than doing the hands on designing myself with all of the economic issues, and our changing of what is happening in our world, we may have to seriously take the business into a new direction just to survive. Interestingly, enough design had kind of fallen by the way side a few years back, when the "cookie cutter" sites came out, and now with all of the latest in HTML 5 and CSS 3, now design for these new electronic devices is going to be critical for those with online businesses. So, here we are once again, with an ever changing world, that tends to take us on adventures at times we may have never dreamed of just a few years ago. It would be interesting to be a "fly on the wall" in 100 years or more from now to see just how much we advance from here. I can imagine that even in 50 years, things are going to be extremely different. I shall close my long winded post for now, and wish everyone an incredibly wondrous Christmas Day tomorrow!!! May the peace of family and friends, and love surround each of you, and bring you much joy for the day! May we all find 2013 to be a better year in so many ways, and may our world also find in its heart to become peaceful, and lead the way to a divine place of respect for one another. If you can't do anything else tomorrow due to illness or so forth, at least tell those you love if possible how much you do love and miss them... for we truly never know what tomorrow brings... Merry Christmas Rhia

Life's Waters As They Often Flow -- Where We Never Know

I must apologize for I have been out of pocket, so to speak over the past 48 hours or so. We had kind of a family emergency come up unexpectedly as "emergencies" usually do. It really sent me reeling, since I myself, have been in quite the "tizzy" with baking, cooking, cleaning, and all of the holiday last minute things that we always have this time of year. Even though we do not think we will actually be at the house for the holiday (depending on the weather) we still do Xmas baking for a few neighbors, have a tree, the lights, and so forth. So, my schedule suddenly got put aside for a situation with My Mom. I had been there on Wednesday to visit, and she seemed to be fine. In fact she did not even say anything about not feeling well. So, after a several hour visit I came home to begin on completely more of my last minute baking. Thursday morning I was making my 4th Pumpkin Roll, and I had been having "issues" with 2 of them "splitting" so I was kind of frustrated with that, the phone rings and it is fairly early. Of course I always get a call when I am smack dab in the middle of something I need to finish, and sure enough it was my Mom. Well, of course our phone decided not to properly work (found out is was our internet connection, we have Vonage, thus if the internet is having issues, then sometimes our phone does not want to work either). I knew she would be leaving a message, of which I could not get it either, and could not get the phone to dial her home. I finally grab the cell phone to call her. As I said hello, I could tell something was not right. I asked her what was wrong, and she began to tell me just how "short winded" she was. She was not even able to walk from her kitchen to the living room without being "winded". Well, come to find out that had been going on for about 4 days. She did not want to "bother" me, so she waited until it scared the hell out of her to let me know. So, I ask her "how bad?" Bad enough to go to the emergency room? Or just bad enough that she felt she could wait until I could get a doctors appointment for later in the day. She tells me she can hold out until we see when the doctor can get her in, thus I call the doctors office. Fortunately, they can get her in by noon, only a couple of hours away. So, I give her a call to let her know. I tell her if it gets too bad before that, then we will go to the ER. Well, I am figuring due to her being out in the cold air over the past several days, having developed some allergy issues this year, having been out in all of the thick leaves digging through them and picking up the pecans that have fallen her on the front lawn, that she maybe having some type of "asthmatic" reaction. She had been doing those things over the past 4 days, also of which when the shortness of breath began. Well, much to my surprise, as soon as we get to the doctor, they check her over and also ask about "pain." She had not even bothered to mention any type of pain to me. All she said was she was worried about the shortness of breath. Even the "pain" she described at first still more like a reaction like asthma, but the next thing I know they are doing an EKG. It dawned on me (since I have had two heart attacks) that this "pain" she is describing, along with shortness of breath, could be heart related. Women, of course can have such different symptoms with a Myocardial Infarction. Due to her being 77 years old, having high blood pressure (controlled), and controlled but High Cholesterol. Along with the fact she does not exercise, was a smoker, even though she quit decades ago, and the last reason was the fact that I had already had 2 previous MI's. Undoubtedly, they "heard" a skipped beat or two, the EKG was a bit abnormal, and I knew her blood pressure was a little erratic, they decided she needed to go over to the ER, and them do the every 90 minute test on the blood that shows the "enzymes" present if there is any sign of a heart attack, or even an impending "event" coming. So, over we go, and at first things seemed good. They took her back right away, they were doing another EKG, and a chest X-Ray to see what those things might show. But, before we could even get the Xray done, this "idiot" of an ER doctor (I don't think I want call him that, came in with an extremely arrogant attitude, first announcing "there is NOTHING" on the EKG (the 2nd one they ran), making our doctor look bad, by then the X-ray was done, and there was no indication of her lungs being infected or having fluid in them, thus ruling our bronchitis or pneumonia, which I felt was not the situation anyway. He basically "IGNORED" our own doctors orders, looked at us like we walked in off the street, and came in for nothing. We were "hysterical" women in his eyes. In fact, one of the nurses had recognized me from my long stay in 2010, when I almost died. She even was talking about it in front of the doctor yet he never picked up on a thing she said, and sent us on our not so merry Way. Well, I was livid. I was determined to get Mom some help, for I could tell, she was having issues with being somewhat short winded. So, I took her home and called the doctors office to tell them about the debacle at the ER.By that time, the doctor had already called the ER, found out they NEVER even touched Mother, never asked her a question, never even listened to her chest, never asked her about pain, and just disregarded the orders for blood testing. Needless to say, my doctor was more than livid. He was to the point of being totally disgusted, and I was the one who was more than Livid. They had already decided to "admit" Mom overnight into the hospital, and do the blood work that way. Thus, we made yet another trip to the hospital, this time to the admissions office, and believe me, they had everything in order! They basically had every piece of paper done, put a bracelet on her, got me to sign two forms, and had her in a room within a matter of about 10 minutes. From there of course the fun for her began, from having to change, be in that very uncomfortable bed, IV in place, EKG leads again, telemetry unit to monitor her heart in place, and several medications, as well of course as drawing blood for the first time. This was late afternoon around 5:00 pm or so.  I had been running since way before dawn, had not eaten a thing, was dying of thirst, but was in fear to leave because I would miss seeing him to find out what all was happening and why. So, around 7:30 he finally came in and explained about her age, the "factors" of high risk etc... thus is everything turned out "negative" by morning, she could go home. We (my husband and I) left as soon as he was finished, and of course it was going to be a long and basically sleepless for Mom, and myself. I knew I would not sleep either, but all they were doing to do is monitor her all night long, then wake her every 90 minutes or so to draw more blood work. So, me staying was futile.

By the Way this next paragraph is a portion fro Facebook I included in this post. So, much of it goes along with what was above...

We had some issues over the past two days and I have been out and not at home. things turned our wonderfully thank Goodness, but we had quite a scare here up until yesterday morning. I am not going to go into details, but I am going to say the outcome was good, which I am so relieved. But, honestly I have been a mess over the past 3 days or so. I am still on overwhelm. Due to of course it being almost Christmas, what happened took me completely away from my schedule of baking, cooking, cleaning, and all I needed to do to get ready for Christmas. I have not really slept in two or three nights, I am just totally physically, emotionally and mentally drained. But, I do want to tell all of you that even though sometimes, we think we "need" that schedule. We get in this mode of "we must", "we have to", and we are going, here, there and yonder. We think if we don't get this done, or that done, it will be a disaster. We have a tendency to completely forget what Christmas and spirit of the holidays are all about. We get too wrapped up "literally" in presents, buying, spending, and all of the "material" things of Christmas, we leave behind what family, what living life, what loving, what having faith, what keeping hope alive in our hearts and in the hearts of those that we can touch, Often this time of year people are in the store, and they look almost "pissed". They are in a hurry, they get mad because everything is hustling and bustling. They are upset if they don't have everything "perfect". They are totally tied down to nothing that truly is what Christmas is all about. Yes, presents, food, trees, decorations, lights, all of those things are beautiful. And we enjoy the "pretty" things of all of that "stuff". But, it is what it is! It is STUFF!!! If you buy your child $2,000.00 worth of toys, but don't HUG him and tell him or her you love them, then what good is that toy? IF putting them in "pretty clothes" and showing them off in public is more important, than holding them close and rocking them, or watching them play in the dirt, or watching them climb in and out of the boxes, rather than play with those toys, then the entire message of the holiday is gone. If you don't show them the "spirit" of this day that we celebrate as Jesus' birth, of Him being born in a "manager", in other words in a barn basically, with not even a blanket to go around Him, but a "rag" that was swaddled tightly around Him to keep Him warm as His own Mother Mary first showed the true Love of a Son and His Mom, then all of the presents and "baubles" in the world do not make up for missing the entire point of the holiday. So, take time out of that schedule to hug your kids, hug your spouse, tell them you love them, hold reverence to prayers for He who came and was born in that Manager so long ago, is the very reason we exist. Tell them the story of His birth, tell them what the Christmas Tree and a Star on top represent. Even down to the "gifts" are about the true nature of "giving" is about how the Kings came to Give to the King that had been born. Allow that North Star to shine in your own heart, so you may pass around the true nature of this precious holiday. I can say that once you go through certain things in life, you figure out very quickly just how precious each heart beat is. With My honor, respect and love... May you be blessed also, Rhia

Several very interesting article have came out in the world of Lupus. I want to share those with you...

Anyone with the issues of Lupus and the skin maybe interested in this. go from this link to the next one that is posted in the article to get even more information from the Arthritis Research and Therapy Institute..
http:


Lupus and the Skin Latest News from LRI

Here is another about Lupus and issues for women and Cardiac Problems. I have had two heart attacks and they never confirmed they were caused from the Lupus, but they suspected. The 2nd one was when I had been extremely ill and had several surgeries due to the severity of my illness at that time.

http://lupusresearchinstitute.org/lupus-news/12/12/18/women-lupus-undergoing-surgery-greater-cardiac-risk?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lrinews+%28Latest+News+from+the+Lupus+Research+Institute%29

Then the next has to do with the LRI and jumping on the band wagon so to speak about insurance issues and Lupus patients.

http://lupusresearchinstitute.org/lupus-news/discoveries/12/12/18/lri-petitions-hhs-patient-protections-insurance-coverage?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lrinews+%28Latest+News+from+the+Lupus+Research+Institute%29


All very good information from the LRI (Lupus Research Institute)

http://lupusresearchinstitute.org/

Simply A Beautiful, But Often Difficult Time of Year for Those With Chronic Illness and Pain (& everyone honestly)

I realize there is all too often a general feeling of "anxiousness" that surrounds the holidays. For many of us, we work, possibly have a family, have a meal to plan or meals, have gifts to buy, to wrap, decorations at home, at work, the "Secret Santa" Gifts, house to clean before "Mom" gets there, relatives or company coming to visit, and the list can be endless for all. It is a very stressful time of year for the entire group, yet when you are dealing with a chronic illness and/or chronic pain to "boot" it can turn into a time of rather than joy and peace to stress, flares, and more pain.
We for the most part are a nation of go-getters.  We never stop, always on the run, and many times do not take care of us first. We eat wrong, we do not get the right sleep, or exercise, we put ourselves right in the middle of shopping during the height of the flu season, as well and may not have even gotten our flu shots anyway.
Chronic Illness patients do these things too. We too forget to eat properly, do overdo and vary away from our usual routines. We also expose ourselves by being out in the public more, just when illnesses from the flu, to stomach bugs, to even some illnesses such as measles, chicken pox, and so forth are out. Kids are out of school, relatives are coming in, and you become exposed to other acute illnesses that can be contagious simply due to being out of your element. We cook differently, we eat differently, often times we sleep off schedule, due to either pain, stress, too many things to do, and not enough time to do them all. So, we lay awake, stay up, or wake much too early not getting the rest we need.
Traveling is another realm that can cause issues with illness and pain. Cramped in a car for hours without getting out and stretching, bad weather that puts you in a state of anxiety, going to homes to stay and not being in your own bed, or even in a hotel, all of those things "throw" you off sync during the holidays.
We stress over "money", from buying for people, how much we should spend, and what we honestly have to spend, whether we "go into" credit card debt, or just understand we do not have it this year, so cut down spending for this holiday, and know possibly next year you can do more. Also, it is sometimes hard to tell relatives that you are just NOT able to exchange gifts. You feel embarrassed or upset. But, telling them, and not putting yourself into a large amount of credit card debt for the next year is far better. I tell my grown kids to NOT buy for us. We have what we need. Put their money on the Grand Kids, and then cut adults down, and if there are kids, then do for them, maybe you can even do something like crochet an blanket for them, make something for their rooms, if you sew well, you may be able to sew them something, or there are lots of very nice but inexpensive items out there now that kids love! You don't have to "break the bank" when it comes to kids. It is true often the little ones play with the boxes after they unwrap a gift, rather than the toys! So, whether it was $5.00 or $50.00 to them is of no consequence.
For those too ill to get out and about, being at home, tied to the sofa or bed is not a great way to spend the holidays. But at times that may be what has to happen. Some may have to schedule surgeries then, due to schedules, or it is just a time that a huge battle with a flare knocks you on your butt. Those are things we must find ways to tell our family and friends. If they love and care about you, they will come to understand, it is not the YOU want it that way, but you are not able to control chronic illness and pain. Often that is exactly when you feel your worst due to the anxiety and stress of the all too busy time of the year.
Then you may not be looking forward to dealing with some "family" or "friends" that are nosy, pushy, arrogant, rub people the wrong way, are ill mannered, don't know when to leave, never help with a thing, and so forth. Those can be the worst. Especially those that can well afford the time and/or money to help out in one way or the other, yet they are selfish enough to NOT think of anyone but themselves.
Those are the very people that can cause some of us the most grief, and also the ones that can almost ruin a holiday with their inability to see others need help and they are not the only "pebble on the beach".
Even though we would love to think our lives especially during the holidays are like those our of a fairy tale movie on Lifetime Television, or out of a beautiful book, life is usually not that way. It is messy, mixed up, turned upside down, and we must learn to make the best of it, even if the cookies crumble, the pumpkin roll cracks, the fudge is too soft, the fruit cake too hard, and the Egg Nog too spiked, turkey overcooked, ham under cooked, and no one remembered to pick up the paper plates and napkins! All seem like horrible disasters when you are in the middle of them, but in a month, I guarantee you will be laughing about it all and wondering why you got all upset, when you found a way around no cranberry salad and opened a couple of cans!
Things for me are in kind of that type of "not so simple" holiday "blueness" right now. With most of my close family either hundreds of miles away, or have passed away, or for some reason not able to be near, it can make it even more difficult. On one hand you feel "off the hook" for entertaining, cooking, and not having to lock up the dogs since no one is coming. But, then you also deal with the fact that your close family is not around, some of the are no longer here, and it can make for a sad time, and be a conundrum of feelings. I always deal with a very mixed emotional realm this time of year. Just a few years ago, before the chronic illness and pain really reared its ugly head, many things proved to be wonderful. After those, and then kids growing up, then you often look for a truly different meaning in the holiday time of the year. You reach out more for the true spirit, you look at your life and your mortality, you prefer to you have more down time, rather than all the hustle and bustle. Black Friday seems to be just another day for you, and a day you AVOID shopping!
There are still "traditions" I keep. I still send out my holiday cards. I always write my "annual Christmas letter" that goes to all of the family that is left in their cards, we order our yearly Wallace Sleigh Bell Ornament (we ordered the 10th one this year!), we usually still cook, but on a scaled down level. We do our "baking" for our neighbors, making home made "family secret" fruit cake, cookies, breads, fudge and so forth, to wrap it all up and give to our 4 closest neighbors each year. There are still traditions that we shall always keep and do as long as health and life permit. But you also develop new traditions that are nice also.
Life is usually quite "messy" through out an entire realm of our being on this Earth. At times we feel it is a little "too" messy, too complicated, too full of sadness, fear, madness (often times I wonder how how much "madness" I have :)), along with every other kind of emotional issue, physical, mental, and just those issues that we have no control over.
We would love to think we can control "our" days, and have ultimate command over our own selves, but as much as we think we might, we truly do not. Just as we cannot predict what some lunatic with guns that don't belong to him can do inside a school, a church, a college, a Mall, a Theater, or driving down a busy highway, we often really don't have control over our own actions either. Not when it comes to some things. WE cannot control illness. Oh, now we can eat better, sleep, take our vitamins, exercise, watch our weight and so forth, but ultimately that does not mean that we are NOT going to get ill with something. And when we do, we have no command over when, how or why. It just happens. So, since we can't control much of what goes on in our own world, it just about impossible to think we can have perfect say so over any one else. We can try. We can lead, guide, teach, and have faith. But, when it boils down to it, we are only HUMAN! so, all of the very things we thought we traditions, would be around forever, what we would always have in life, often times is just some silly prediction in our heads.

In chronic illness, things are often times worse for us because we already can absolutely know much of our life, our control and any thing we choose to do or not do can be changed in a moment, by illness. We can be perfectly "well" at one moment, and in an hour we may be so sick. Thus plans change, life changes, and for whatever reason there is, all of it will make sense later on down the road.
So, as you go through your last minute preparations, wrapping, bows on, cooking, cleaning, Santa, and all of the relatives and good cheer, enjoy what today and tomorrow hold. For just as so many know, often there is only that one last chance... and we are sitting on the threshold of "wishing" we would have hugged someone, told them we loved them, apologized, or just for once, been genuine and kind.
May you be blessed during this holiday and all of the days to come... with the knowledge that one moment at a time is a wonderful way to live life... as if you may not have another ..... moment again....

Trying to Make Sense Out of Something So Horrificly Senseless!

This is even a difficult subject to bring up this morning, but as a writer of feelings, thoughts and emotions, I must share my own views about what has taken place in "small town", "any town" America and just how distraught our nation IS and SHOULD BE over this horror. NO child, NOT ONE, should ever have to endure the deep emotional and mental trauma that these very innocent children did yesterday
. As I watched in absolute disdain, surreal and not even believing what I saw was real on the news in the afternoon yesterday, every thought in my head reeled around questions, that needed answers. My heart felt a heaviness for all of those involved. From the teachers who are true hero's, that helped to protect their kids, to keep them calm and even in the midst of this "demonic" type behavior, held onto their own calmness of sorts in order to possibly save their students lives. Then there are the children. I am sure stories will come out about the braveness of the little kids. How they were worried about their class mates and friends, wanting to go out and help them. I have to wonder what went through their heads as they saw this "mad man,” this total stranger, all in black, with guns of many, ready to fire upon them, and for the most past none had anywhere to truly hide. I heard some got locked in a bathroom for safety. Others were taken into the principal's office and helped to stay quiet and calm, and I am sure the teachers had them huddling together in groups under desks and so forth trying their best to shelter them. Yet when some "maniac" walks into an Elementary School, in class rooms filled with Kindergartener's, innocent lives, that don't for the most part understand guns and the violence that they can induce within a moment's breath space, yet when they began to hear the shots, and hear I am sure screams, moans and cries of these kids as they were hit by bullets undoubtably flying all around them, I am sure in their small heads and big hearts the sheer terror began to sink in. What this "inhumane" animal did was not only to take tiny innocent lives completely away, but he took away the innocence, the child hood, the "care free" lifestyle of children and their own visions of the world. He created a chaotic dramatization of true life horror that is going to haunt these children and adults the rest of their lives. Then he is such a coward he kills himself, rather than hang around to face the consequences of his horrid, unfathomable actions.

I was so amassed in my own disbelief and loathing for this individual, I had to just remove myself from the television and news for a while to be able to truly try to grasp the unrealistic situation, and imagine what must have been happening in the minds and hearts of all of those there at the time. Here at the most wonderful time of the year for a child’s life in particular, now shall never be the same again. Oh, one may forget about it and the hurt lessen over time, but he even in his own “childish” behavior still wins if you even call him that, because what he done to disrupt the lives of these people forever, will stay with them until their last days on Earth. I just cannot fathom as a parent and now Grand Parent anyone wanting to harm a child in anyway, much less in this act of insanity. I just am not able to “step into his boots”, NOR DO I WANT to, other than to want answers why these kids has to be killed in his plan of ridding his life, his Mom’s life, and the lives of so many children that knew not a thing about this idiots on issues. Mom’s and Dad’s all over the world will again be extremely frightened to take their kids back to that school, or any school for that matter. If it happens at one, it could happen again for sure. I feel like first of all, GUNS, guns of any type other than for HUNTING, and you do NOT HUNT WITH HAND GUNS, GLOCKS, AND OTHER HIGH CAPACITY AUTOMATIC 40 ROUND CLIP HOLDING PLUS GUNS. 2nd of all not only should we completely and once and for all banned these guns in the nation, we should be having a much better education into the realms of the minds of these types of very serious maniacs, who have this much mental illness and how they are roaming around in our society and should NOT be! Where was the guys’s Mom all this time he had been mentally ill. It came out immediately when this happened on the news, yet why was this NOT an issue in the days and weeks, perhaps months and years before it came to him mass killing kids? Where there signs that everyone ignored? Was he even being medically taken care of, with therapy and medication? Where were those who somehow knew this guy had a back ground of mental issues that were not good, or the news would not have known this as quickly as they did. Just how was he able to get hold of 4 of these types of weapons???? I would say his Mom DID NOT buy these!! I would assume some how he was able to get hold of them with her ID, but the facts shall unfold over the days to come.
There are so many unanswered questions in our minds and hearts. All over this nation and our world, people with “sense” and their “faculties” (your mind) are trying to remotely fathom what makes a mad man like this?

It is just too difficult for me to continue, and I will try to write more, as it all unfolds. Love one another every day, for you just never know what might happen. I pray as this continues to be a part of our days to come, we will be able to move past the pain yet we may never understand what makes a maniac like this. This will be very difficult when no where is truly safe anymore.

Making Sure Others are "Prepared" for your Chronic Illness During the Holidays...

This is a wonderful article by a great lady and writer, Toni Bernhard. I wanted to share with everyone. It was just on my mind how often others do not really understand that being chronically ill and having chronic pain issues does at times limit us, and it can come on quickly. Stress of having to do too much, be too much, and so forth and so on, can bring on a flare of high magnitude, thus putting you in the bed or worse for the holiday season. So, preparing family and friends is a very important part of getting everyone to understand your possible limitations. It may mean splitting up responsibilities, or making alternate plans. It could be that you must cut down on your "run and go" time and allow someone else to do errands, cooking, and other activities, rather than it be put all on you. I realize it is also difficult for you as the one that is chronically ill, to give up the things you used to do for the holidays. It is hard to give up baking those cookies, or having the entire holiday at your home. It could be you must order presents on line rather than be out shopping at the crack of dawn on "Black Friday". If you cut down on some things, allow others to do things, spend some down time resting, and allow others to help out, your holidays as well as your loved ones can be spent much better and you have your health intact. :)

Here is the link to the article:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/turning-straw-gold/201212/educating-loved-ones-about-your-health-during-the-holidays

My Own Christmas Design and Decor for My Home 2012









My Own "Creation" of Decor for the front of my home. I have two huge "Planters" that my husband custom made on my front porch. I wanted to decorate them for the Holidays but was not quite sure what I wanted. Silk flowers but they are so big I needed something else. So, yesterday I wrapped up several "gifts" in some old wrapping paper, put on bows on them, and put those along with the flowers into both planters. I still have to add some garland today, but last night they looked so good with the lights on and the way the house looked all lit up from the street. I am quite proud of my own little creation:)


Memories Gone By and Don't Remember? Too many Holiday "Have to Do's" and Chronic Illnesses/Pain


Well, a little early, but here is a post from a group I belong to that I wrote in response to the "Do-Allers" for the holidays, and how it is almost impossible for some of us to "pace" much less "breathe"... Here is my post from my FB about pacing, breathing and not feeling guilty for us that are your "Do-Allers" for the holidays:

 It seems it is difficult NOT to go, go go, and then try to NOT feel the guilt behind it all. I am usually baking all kinds of candy, quick breads, cookies etc. to take to 4 of our neighbors around us. Then by now my tree has been up for at least 2 weeks, every decoration (and I make all of them) in place, flowers of graves of my Grandparents and my Dad, my "outfit" ready for Christmas Day, baked my special annual fruitcake, sent out all of the Xmas cards, written my annual Xmas letter to put in the cards, I also send cards "for the troops" for that group to get out and I do at least 25 or more cards, have the house clean from washing curtains to shampooing carpets, have my Xmas comforter, bed ruffle and pillows all out, have ordered our "annual" Wallace Sleigh Bell Ornament (we have 10 this year, so we have been together now for 10 Christmases), decided on exact plans for Xmas Day, and the list goes on.So, how do you "cut back" on things that you love to do? Like My Christmas letter, I almost "forgot" and had to rush to have it ready (this is usually at least a 3 page letter), cut out the neighbors??, now I feel they "look forward" to their treats, not clean??? Wow that would be almost impossible for me, LOL, even when NO ONE is really coming to our home, I still feel I "must" have the house spotless from top to bottom. I used to do all of this, plan for a party or two in between, work, raise two kids, go to college at night, and do all of my shopping NOT on line, but up in Dallas usually on a trip or two up there for Xmas Presents, and gosh the list yet goes on and on. IT is like Kristy said, that is my type of personality, and until a flare hits me like a brick wall and knocks me on my butt, it is so hard to "pace" or half the time "breathe". Then I worry about every bite of food I put in my mouth, because I am such a fanatic about my weight (and I can't seem to really get control of that lately, another "sore" subject for me right now), plus keep up with people online, sending emails, e cards, writing here, writing on my blog, still working on my book "Ramblings of a Seasoned Soul" to get it out and known to the public, plus working on two others.... my personality and Chronic Illnesses and Pain do not MIX!!! As I said, for me I think it is the overwhelming "guilt" that if I leave someone off, or stop doing something, or say NO, I will disappoint others and myself also, so it is extremely hard. I try to start "EARLY" but that is also difficult. The year gets away from you and is over with Xmas here before you can blink an eye. Funny, as kind of sad story from this weekend. My husband and I put up the tree together each year. Our last decor on is the Sleigh Bells Ornaments (10) this year, that we have, one for each year we are together at Xmas. Well, this year I wanted to make it fun...so I decided that each of us had to "tell" something about the year that was on the ornament. That began in 2003 with our first one. Well, for about the first 3 years, both of us could think of all kinds of good stuff we did and that happened, met, engaged, married, moved a couple of times and so forth, but starting about the 4th or 5th one, things got "blurred". We could not remember if this, that or the other happened in one year or the other...the closer we got to this year, the more difficult it got to "remember" what happened, and much of it was not the "good" stuff, but surgeries, doctors, illnesses, disability... I tried to laugh it off and say that it seems kind of a "good thing" if we do not remember. That means NO DRAMA! and life has been more on an even keel this past 6 years or so. I is also sad that life has passed us by that quickly...we honestly cannot remember exactly what happened, good or bad for the most part?!! I got frightened but did not tell my husband. For me is it the Brain Fog, memory loss, too MUCH CRAP in life, too ill, getting older...what makes me forget what happened in the last 5 years, yet I can remember things from our first 5 years perfectly?? IT really hit me hard. Of course he was not remembering very well either, yet still it was an eye opener for me. So, I think I am fearful to "slow down.” I fear I may stop and never get up to go again...

Memories Linger, As the Times Quickly Change

Another New Poem I wrote this morning... I hope you enjoy

As the Memories Linger, Times Do Change...

As the first truly “cold Days” of our Winter move in,
My memories linger how it was not so long ago; alas back then.
When gifts were came from local shops...
When dolls and toys in town were all you could get.
No so long ago, we knew no internet.

You could not find a million items to put around your tree,
Yet faces all lit up that fateful morn filled with joy and glee.
Santa Claus had found your wishes right along his way.
The gifts the elves “cobbled” at the North Pole were fine,
Yet not a one came from some fancy store online.

There were no computers, Kindles or electronic goods so you could view,
The hundreds of thousands of choices, for in your home town there were only a few.
Our local stores enjoyed our faces and provided items to light up a child’s eyes.
Like toys, games, trees and lights, yet everyone could was satisfied,
How Holidays brought families together without a laptop at everyone’s side.

No email, no cell phone, no texting was on those days,
We sent “snail mail” to our families members who were far away.
Times back then were more simple, as everyone can see.
We were full of joy, and not so stressed out,
About whether we sent all our “friends” on Facebook a Xmas Card out!

Alas, life changes, and memories cherished shall also come to change,
Our children’s lives are different and there thoughts later shall not be the same.
Later as they grow older, and us as the ones “passed away” are a memory.
They may think a I-Pod, Kindle, and all of those things for them have gone aside.
Santa brings things we’ve not dreamed of during those days to come in his sleigh ride.


Life changes, we grow older, children grow up, and they have kids of their own. Just a few short years ago, there was not a “computer” or internet. You bought all of your treasures locally, from the small Mom and Pop shops on Main Street. You may have made an order from the Sears Catalog, if you could not get what you wanted in town. Santa never disappointed, and I can remember fondly all of the beautiful things he brought me. New Barbie Dolls, and a Barbie House (that back then was card board), a table and chairs, tea sets, a high chair for my baby dolls and a small rocking crib. Beautiful dresses, pajama’s, and a pink robe, all were sparkling in my eyes on Christmas morning. I knew not a thing about a ‘Wii”, or “Play Station”. There was not a 4 story Barbie House. Barbie did not yet have a fancy car to drive, and tinker toys were all the rage back then, along with playing “Jax.” Yet the rivers of life flow on, and if we were to hold onto those old times, then we would become stagnant as people, as towns, and as a nation, and world. Thus even though times back then seemed much simpler, less filled with drama, conflict, fear, and hatred, we must move on and try to accept what is good during these current times. If we do not like something, then we do have the option of trying to make changes. I still linger in those times, when my plastic “dressing table” and even an Easy Bake Oven were the very best gifts in the world. I linger in the days when the most worry for me was learning my spelling words, and doing my school work, and watching cartoons. You never know just how great you had it, until those days have gone by... Rhia


New Poem "I Have A Disease"

this is quite different from my much of my poetry and writing. Although my writing is usually about the trials and tribulations of the illnesses and their horror at times, my poetry is more on a positive note. But, this one "arrived" yesterday and I share it with you. A "taste" of what my next book will have in it...

I Have a Disease

I’m floating in the clouds,
Then down on the floor.
I feel settled and content,
Then I want to rush out the door.

One moment I could climb to the mountain top,
In another fall into the sea,
One day I feel like a winner,
Another I can’t recognize me.

I am laughing at this illness,
Then crying in too much pain.
Days I hate the sun to shine,
Yet, others I hate the cold and rain.

Many don’t see it,
They don’t understand.
That the realms of this disease runs so deep,
Often you just don’t feel like making a stand.

You want to be normal,
To be a daughter, wife and Mom,
Yet you are anything but “standard”,
Your life has been robbed.

Of the days of freedom,
To do what you may,
All of those hobbies,
Somehow have drifted away.

No where to turn to,
No one can truly see.
That disdain is your new normal.
Is this how my life must always be?

Rhiannon Steele December 2012
Copyright 2012

Pieces of My Soul - "Stains of Life's Journey" (UPDATE) 2ND BOOK COMING IN MAY 2013!!

I hope everyone will have a good Sunday Morning. for me, I thought it might not be so great just due to thinking I was not going to sleep very well last night. but, as it turns out I did, and actually stayed on the sofa ASLEEP until almost 5:00am! What a miracle! I also want to send a huge hug and Thank you's to everyone who has been so kind to post their feelings about my latest poetry. Like life
e, as a writer your writing always evolves, always changes, it grows as you do. I had not thought much about that until once gain my "voice" came back to me over the past few months. I began to "hear" some of my thoughts about what I felt I needed to write about, and how to go about the way I wrote. It turns out even though there is always a reflection of me in the writing, it has changed with me, just as I have made so many turns, shifts, been over the rocky juts, into the rushing rapids, found the calm waters, and the ever winding of my own journey here. Thus my writing does the same. So, to "change" is always frightening. That means it is also frightening for a writer to realize their own writing has made changes also. Will we still "sound" as we did before? Will our own little "inner" voice continue to be that "musing" of thoughts, feelings and words as it has before? Will our writing still reach out and touch others as it has before? The answer is certainly without doubt "Yes"! In fact, as a writer, you not only keep your "first audience" but you bring in an entire new audience that loves what you say and do. Fr some here, my 1st poetry book Ramblings of A Seasoned Soul" - Brush Strokes of Life in Words, was a first time look at my "heart's work." For others that have experienced my writing for a long while so they already knew it well. So, my book stands in the realms of feelings that have surrounded me in still the future, yet also in the past. My new writing, still all "pieces" of my own soul, a "stain" of my life now is the same, but also different in some ways. As the illnesses and life's times have changed me somewhat, and I have grown and learned from them, my writing reflects those things also. So, as a writer, now I have come to know that my own "style" shall always be. But, the "contents", and the how I put some of those things can sound somewhat different and just be a metamorphic evolution of my inner essence, that shall also gleam in its own right. So, again I bid you a wonderful Sunday, and a smile to those who always know just how to bring brightness to my heart.
(To All who make my life pure when it seems so cluttered with everything that I honestly  wished did not clutter it) Thank you!


Be sure to Check out my 1st Published Book! "Ramblings of A Seasoned Soul - Brush Strokes of Life in Words"


Time to update! (Feb 7th, 2013)

Official! Counting down from today 90 days until my "tentative" release date for my 2nd Poetry book to be published. I am "pushing" myself, because there is still so much work to be done on it, and the last weeks have just been nuts. I have worked on it but NOT like I have wanted to at all. Yesterday, it dawned on me, that May is only about 90 DAYS away!!! I have to get going. I am "sticking" with the name for now. "Time Tattered Musings" - Reflections through the Looking-Glass of Life. Unless something else strikes me for the "2nd part of the title", the Time Tattered Musings does remain for sure. Just wanted to get that out, that May is coming fast, and life seems to be too full, too much to do, and not enough energy in each day to accomplish it all. As the days grow closer, I will probably (and for some they shall be grateful) grow quieter here. I hope to get my butt totally engrossed into this book by the end of next week. My Birthday is coming up on Feb. 15th (almost a Valentine Baby), so after that my plans are to put my heart and head, and time, more into working on it, than other things... I am so thrilled and can't wait to share this 2nd on with all of you. It is going to be a great deal different than the 1st poetry book. There is less "poetry" and many more "prose" and pieces of writing in it. So, I hope that it will also be quite a bit thicker. The 1st one is awesome, and honestly I still need to get it out more and get it marketed. That is just another thing that is on the long list... Hugs, Rhia

That Time Again "Rhia's Annual Christmas Letter"

I do realize this seems so quick! I could not fathom it has already came around to time to compose one of the annual "traditions" I hope I will be able to keep for friends and family through the years to go by. My Annual "Catch-Up" the year Holiday Christmas Letter. I share today with you:)
It seems “Annual Christmas Letter Time” slipped up on me this year all too suddenly. As I was thinking about Christmas right about the week of Thanksgiving, I was suddenly overwhelmed with all there is to do, and just how little time is left before Christmas 2012 is here. That means New Year’s Day 2013, is also just around the corner. Honestly, I cannot believe a year has flown by such as this one. I feel like I just completed my 2011 letter to everyone, and put up the decorations. Here it is what seems like a few short weeks, and I was even hesitant about keeping the tradition alive. But, there are some things in our lives, that are wonderful traditions, like for instance, me making the early “no-bake” fruitcake. It just would not be the holiday season without it.

I have found some traditions have been made to be broken, and in a way this year
that hit me very hard, and brought some sadness to my heart in ways. Yet, in others we find out as the “old ways” leave something new aing and Christmas dinner at my Grandmother Svehlak’s house when I and my cousins were young.
It just would not have been Christmas without Granny’s chocolate pie that my cousin Mike and I fought over, her home made cranberry salad, which I make myself now usually for the holidays. It would not be the holidays season unless the women all cooked, while the guys all talked, laughed and cut up in the living room; while all of us kids were in and out, having a great time, awaiting food and presents. It also though seemed to go by so quickly, and within the blink of an eye, a breath’s space, all of us “cousins” are grown, many with kids and Grand Kids of their own, making our own traditions and watching them also change as their families grow up and change also.

Life seems to always be changing. Just as the tides flow in and out ever changing the way the beaches look, life changes us. Often in physical, mental and emotional ways, along with homes, jobs, and just life itself, we seem to always be moving to another goal, another place, another time. We seem to never stop moving, growing and changing.
Change is a magnificent thing, for without it, our lives would grow stagnant. Alas in change means that we must also be able to accept things in a different light. There are times we find out that those changes are not so easy to accept. Losing our loved ones, growing older, our health possibly declining, and all of those things that come with the time we are here as just “human” beings.

We must hold onto the good memories of those days of the past so we can cherish them in our hearts forever. Now my Grand Parents are gone, Dad and his siblings have all passed away, my kids are grown, and my Grand kids are getting big to quickly, and I have had to accept “age” and “illness” have changed me in so many ways. This year has been another one of those years. I went through a total “reverse shoulder replacement” in July 2011. At the time we hoped that was the end of my severe shoulder issues on the right side, but that was not the plan I guess. Earlier this year I began to have severe pain again in the back of my right shoulder blade, down my
Right arm, and running into my thumb. At first, we thought I had possibly done something to the shoulder implant, it has pulled loose, or something with it was not right. After X-rays and other tests, the implant seemed to be as it should be. So, that meant digging further. We did, and after suffering for another 6 months through more testing, and doctor visits, it was decided this new issue was coming from my cervical spine. Yes, my neck was causing the massive pain in my shoulder and arm. At first I was leery. For one thing, it seemed a little crazy and ironic that right after a shoulder replacement I begin to have pain with the same shoulder. Secondly, it was difficult for me to accept that even though I had neck issues and knew about them that,  the pain in my right shoulder should have anything to do with my neck. Yet, the evidence from tests and information the doctors had and we had pointed to the cervical spine. So, after much thought, I went in for a 4 level cervical spinal surgery in July of this year. It was to be the cervical discs from C-3 through C-7 to be worked on. Two of them were taken out completely and implants (artificial discs). The other two they performed fusion on, using bone spurs that came from the area to form what bone chips that were needed to make the fusion heal up and work properly. I was in the hospital overnight. The next day I went home in a “hard plastic immobile cervical collar” that I had to wear 99.9 percent of the time over the next 10 weeks of my life. Right In the middle of the hottest time of year, here I was already burning up with a drought in our area, along with the hottest thing anyone could ever put on to wear any time, much less the middle of Summer!

I survived, somehow I guess, and within 2 weeks after the surgery I began to have a very noticeable change in the painful places in my right shoulder blade, arm, along with tingling, numbness, and other symptoms began to subside. My doctor has told me that it might be a year before I saw many of the changes, and being “nerves” involved we were not made a guarantee about how much or little change for the good etc there would be. “Oh, ME of little faith when it comes to the Lupus, RA, and so forth” you could say. Yet, here I was 14 days or so out of a 4 level cervical surgery, and it seemed like it had been the much belated answer to the severe pain I had been in with the shoulder blade and right arm. Here I am now months and months out of surgery, and so far, I have been able to type, “finish and PUBLISH MY VERY 1ST BOOK!”, and do many things I had not been able to for a long time.

Yes, I said  “PUBLISHED MY 1ST BOOK!” All my life I had written, since the age of 13 or younger. I was told in High School by a couple of my teachers, that my poetry was incredible and I should keep up the writing. All through my life, writing has been my “partner in crime” so to speak, been there as a “friend” when life seemed too challenging, helped me through the wondrous times, and kept me company along my entire roadway of life. I never stopped writing. I have journal upon journal of poetry, prose, short prose and enough of just what I like to call “writing, writing” to fill several books. My dream has always been to be a published Author. Now my dream is true! 3 weeks ago, after so many years of struggling with illness I was able to set a goal to complete a poetry book I had been working on for a long time. I did make my “deadline”, got it submitted for approval, and within 24 hours I had a published book, and I was a published Author!! My life long dream of a book out there to share had happened. I cannot tell you just how incredible that felt. To see it up on Amazon.com, published, with my name on it, or my “Pen Name” was nothing but a large feat for me in spite of all of the illnesses, surgeries, moves, and just all that life has pitched my way, I had accomplished my one goal, to share my “heart’s work” with the world before I was no longer here in this world.

The name of the book is “Ramblings of a Seasoned Soul” - Brush Strokes of Life In Words. It is listed on amazon.com throughout the world, and on several other places that it can be bought throughout wherever amazon sells. My “pen name” is Rhiannon “Rhia” Steele. I am called “Rhia” by some due to it becoming a “nickname” for me years ago. It is a book of what I feel are my favorite 80 poems that I have written. That is out of probably 1000’s. I decided to “share” my heart with the world, especially for those also suffering through Chronic Illness and Pain also, showing them anything is possible if you keep your eyes on your goal, faith, hope and love in your heart. So, it is dedicated in many ways to all souls I have met along the rivers of my journey here, that are also ill with illnesses such as the ones that plague me. Honestly, I never published it for “revenue”. That is not my intention, but if it sells a few copies then that is another blessing in itself. You can find it on Amazon.com in a search for the book name. It is in a “book” and Kindle format and you can do a “Look Inside” and see several of my poems there.

Now I am working on my second one, and I have been again given back my “writing voice” to complete my “book-book” as I call it. I am writing to tell my own personal journey throughout all I’ve endured through out the chronic illnesses and pain in my life. I feel my story may encourage others to keep their chin up, their hearts and minds set on hope and faith. I want to share with all how life can cause you grief, but you can survive and thrive!  So, for exciting news, I guess the book has been the most positive and exciting news through 2012.
Mom is well. She had her other wrist “Carpal Tunnel” surgery done in the summer, and she is doing okay with it. Her hands, neck, hips, and even legs and knees are really giving her heck with osteoarthritis, along with stiffness and pain. Yet, she also gets up and goes when she is ready which is a great thing. We go together when we can, running errands and shopping. I have helped her get some other things in order this year so that has also kept her and I busy through 2012.

My kids are great. The Grand Kids now 14, 6 and 3 are getting too big, too quickly! It is almost impossible to think the oldest, Heather, my daughter, Amanda’s “adopted” daughter is 14! She is a beautiful young lady and involved in all kinds of sports and stays busy with that and keeping grades up thinking about college. The boys are full of energy, and thriving also. So, her “brood” are doing well.

Jason and Danielle still live in the Waxahachie area.They also are doing fine. They both made a job change, for the better. We had an early Thanksgiving holiday weekend with Amanda and her bunch the Saturday before at Jason and Danielle’s home. It is huge and she has it so full of beautiful furniture, a wonderful back yard, and the entire place is gorgeous. We thoroughly enjoyed having all of us together since that does not happen often. With Amanda 7 plus hours away in the Corpus area, it is difficult for all of us to meet at the same time. So, it was a very special Thanksgiving for us to remember.
My husband, Jim, is also doing fine. He continues to work from home with his own company in the web design, development and hosting business. It has been up and down this year with the economic situation all over. He has been fortunate to keep a few of his very best clients “on the books” for the most part. But, we are definitely in need of new clientele, and hoping they come along. He is working on a brand new website for our business, to help show potential clients that we are “rolling with the latest changes” that the internet world is making. He is including the “Apps” part of it, since  the I-pads, I-pods, the Kindles of the world (there are several), as well as “smart” phone technology has opened up an entire new world for being “online.”
2012 has been a busy year for us. I wonder why it has gone by so quickly. Then as I pen this, I can see it is because of just how busy life can keep us.

I hope for each of you, that 2012 has been equally busy full of positive things and brought a year of joy to all! I pray everyone is well, and looking forward to celebrating another New Year that is coming too quickly upon us. We all miss you, love you, and send our prayers and blessings with you. I bid us all the Peace within our hearts that shall remain, even though our world seems to be anything but peaceful around the globe. That is another letter all in itself, so I shall close for now...


Tell all of your families we love them! Merry Christmas! Happy 2013!!!

Life's Realm of Disdain When you are Chronically Ill

I had a really rough day yesterday. It was just one of those that I really first of all had way too many things to do, and not enough time to do them. PLus I am in a slump over the entire book situation. I am sad that no one has bothered to even go there and give me a "Like". At least I thought my friends would go and read a few of my poems and do that. I am not talking about buying the book, but you can now read a few of them, and make your decision from those. Thus maybe many have read them, and they do NOT like them. So, no "thumbs up" I am also very tore up over what I feel is the way I look and I think I have gained way too much weight. And telling me it is meds does not cut it. I watch what I eat to the "Nth" degree. I exercise everyday religiously. I do not eat a bunch of stuff between meals, and still when I look in the mirror I see it on me. It seems it shifted from one place to my butt to be honest. I went to try on a pair of "skinny jeans", and my butt looked like one of those "shelf" butts as I call them. I cannot explain after so many years of having to watch every bite, exercise avidly, then get diagnosed with these horrible diseases that cause you to have to take medications that change your body sometimes horribly. I am not saying I have put on tens and tens of pounds. But, I have put on enough as far as I am concerned that it is noticeable. Then I cannot seem to get into the "rhythm" of Xmas and the holidays. I don't even have my tree and lights up. I haven't done my decorations for the cemetery for Dad and my Grand Parents graves. I have not even written my "annual Xmas letter" or for sure even know what the hell we are doing for Xmas. I just feel I am behind on everything, and even though I am running and running, doing and doing, it is just not enough. Everything takes me 3 times as long to do, even getting my own self dressed. Now I have a dentist appt that I must go. I have a tooth in the very front that is "sluffing" off on one corner. I never would deal with that tooth being really messed up. I feel badly enough about the way my appearance is now. I now have had to kind of put my entire "book" on hold. I wanted to get the articles in the paper, etc. while it is new! The longer I wait, the less exciting it will be and will be kind of like "old news" before it even gets there. I need to run here there and yonder again today. I am exhausted already and the day has not even begun. Everything is important so it is not like I can "not do" this or that. It all needs to be done... and that does not even include re-potting some plants, doing the regular housework, and all of the daily stuff that also goes along with a home, a house, and keeping up with it all.  I am really just beaten and broken down emotionally right now. I am also upset over what I feel is a friend, that has "used" me, and won't admit it. They are and have been, and I think they know they have... anyway, I am extremely upset over that also... then my Grand son and it is the youngest one who is only 3 is very ill. His asthma has quickly turned into being so serious that he may have to be hospitalized today. I am up here 7 hours away plus and feel just horrible and guilty that I can't be closer or there to help my daughter. She is tired, fearful, and really needs a break. Plus my Grand son is going through his own hell, with all of the medications, being sick, can't sleep etc... which is horrible for any child, especially one that young... So, all of it is just piling up and it is weighing my entire entity down.... Just wanted to share in case I seem quiet, or I am not here as much.