Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sharing a Wonderful Post from a Dear Friend...

I have known this gentleman for many years online. And although we have never "physically" been able to meet "he is now in Malta", we have kept a kindred type of spirit between us. Out of despair on both of our ends at one time and the other, we tried to lift one another up and keep each other trying to look at the positive realms of what seemed like extremely negative ones at the time. I can say that he has found much happiness and I am so proud of him and for him. :) He posted this on FB this morning about my poetry book and about our long over the years friendship and I asked Norman if it were all right for me to put his post here on my blog...

"I would like make a very short personal contribution about the author by describing Rhia as a person of unique qualities that are hard to find nowadays. This is not a rhetoric statement because I have known Rhia for a long time and she has always inspired me with her poetry but above all she has inspired me and many more with her personality, her internal strength...I am honour to have come to know her"Norman 11/29/2012

I was totally overwhelmed when I saw what he had written. I have been having a rough couple of days in trying to accept that my poetry book is never going to "sell like hotcakes", and I never expected it to. There are some poetry lovers out there but unless they know the poet, they may never take the time to stop and read those poems... and I am kind of disappointed that more of my friends had not posted or said a word, especially on Amazon's site or createspace. I really wanted to see a few "likes" there, but that was never my intent in writing anyway. I write to help people, and to try to lift others up not gain monetarily. Thus, whether 2 people of 200 "like" or "comment" matters not. I just, as anyone would went through a time of feeling like no one really gave one darn about what my heart's work means to me...

News to Share with All of You about my Upcoming Book Releases...

As I was shopping yesterday with my Mom, I made a very "formal" decision. I AM going to publish my 2nd poetry book in the next 6 to 9 months. Then, I AM going to have at "least" the rough draft of my book ready within 12 months! Those are my two "resolutions" if you want to call them that for 2013! I did a great deal of soul searching as I went through the two different stores, really thinking abo
ut how important it is to my own self to get those two books out for others to read. I did this first poetry book and I am so proud of how it turned out. I also already have began work on the 2nd poetry book. I have named it, started on the cover page, and Jim is actually designing me a Logo, that will be on my books, writings etc. from now on. I wanted it on the first book, but time kept us from really getting it the way we wanted it to look. So, the poetry book is already set in motion. But, I have a great deal of work ahead of me in 2013 to have a "rough draft" ready of my "book, book" as I fondly call it. I do already tenatively have a name for it also, and do have most of it ready, but pieces of it are scattered all over my computer and in my journals. So, as I begin to "piece" it together kind of like a hand made quilt sewing each "sentence" in its special place, picking out the "material" of words, very carefully hand "stitching" all of those pieces to make them fit together, then seeing it turn into the wondrous "quilt top" of the book, ready to put the "backing on and finished the batting inside" of my life, thoughts and musings, please keep me in your hearts and thoughts. Keep prodding me along, making me know that I can do these two things, and encouraging me to keep my two goals with my eyes and heart set on them!!!! :) I need all of the support I can get!
I am officially starting this in January, especially the book itself. The poetry book has already got its beginning and I am working on it as I do other things. but, I want to wait until after the busy holidays and enjoy them, before I truly delve into my book. So, after the first of the year, if there are days that I don't post here, or it is a day or two before you hear from me, then don't be alarmed. I am going to muster every ounce of my entity to stay focused on the end of the race, finishing the book. That in itself will be a monumental realm for me, that is to stay focused. I tend to be one of those multi-idea type of people. I want to do about 10 things at once. I had already mentioned to Jim that I wanted to start a new quilt. And I may do that. Anyone that is a writer understands your "voice" some days may not magically appear and help you get going when it comes to writing. But, I have TOLD my "VOICE" it must get ready to stay ON the TRACK, seeing the end in sight. So, I wanted to begin to let everyone know, I "HOPE" I am not going to just magically disappear with illnesses etc... and that could happen. Anything can happen, and I am willing to admit, life never holds in one spot very long. Just about the time the rivers of life seem to be calm and on the straight and narrow. Here comes the white rapids, and the rocks, and very sharp turns you do not expect! Thus, those things may happen, and if they did then I maybe delayed but if all holds as it is now, I hope to keep on my time table.

My cards also came in this week (11/27/20120 an I wanted to share with you what they look like. I had them made up to pass out to those that ask how to find my book. This makes it so easy :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Optimistic Annual Feelings During The Holiday Season and New Year...

I had been thinking about a subject to write on this morning, and my first thought was how it absolutely sucks to "misplace" something. Later you are wracking your brain, and wrecking your home to find that one thing you thought you put in a "safe" place where you could find it! Well, call it too many things going on, chronic illness, old age, senility, Alzheimer's, or any other of the 1001 reasons we do these kinds of things, but it happens to the best of us. I usually "put" up something that could be a "special" item that my Mom may have given to me from my Grandmother, or Lord knows hiding a gift for a birthday and so forth. Then a couple of weeks later I go to where i "thought" I put it and "viola'" it is NOT there. It comes to mind for me since I have been on a rampage for 2 days now trying to find something that I truly NEED to find, but I am at a loss completely as to where I put it. So, frantically I am trying to recall my steps back then, digging through my "usual" hiding spots, every drawer, every cabinet, yet I still have not put my finger on what I need to find. I gave up and decided to ask my Almighty Higher Power to please allow me to recall where that place is, and see if that works.
Anyway, that was going to be the subject for this piece but alas, I made a decision, to write about another factor that effects us, all of us in fact for the most part. Yet, for those of us with chronic illnesses, and chronic pain it seems to be of even more importance. I am speaking of the "optimistic" emotional realms we have throughout the beginnings of the holidays, often beginning with Thanksgiving, until after the New Years Ball drops on Time Square. WE probably carry much of that on with us for weeks after all of the holiday hustle and bustle are over, but as the old saying goes, What Goes UP, Must come DOWN. Now, I realize some of my readers are thinking, I am not all all "optimistic" during the holidays. You think about the worry about traveling and your health, or all of the errands, shopping, and gifts to buy, with the lack of energy you have. You feel you may never get the meal on the table for the entire "brewd" of family and friends, the tree up and decorated, much less cleaning all of that up to enjoy a very wonderful New Year's celebration. Those things are all correct. Unfortunately, Chronic Pain and Chronic Illnesses do NOT give us a holiday break. Honestly, they can reek havoc with our "physical" state, if we do not get plenty of rest, not take on so much, learn to allow other people to help, cut out some of the gift giving and tell the family to bring dishes and help with the meals. We all of the ability in of course a hopefully tactful way of telling others or reminding them, that our capabilities physically at times are limited when it comes to too many things to do, and not nearly enough time to do them. Or at least for other to pitch in and he carry the load.
But, I am talking more of the "sense" of an internal, deep inside optimism, that only those with these types of illnesses can truly understand. We can feel the "magic" of the season. We tend to have "hope for a better tomorrow, and the day after. We wish for better medications and treatments for the upcoming year, less bad episodes and flares, we reach that plateau that we make those resolutions to quit blaming ourselves, to take better care, such as slowing down, learning to say no, and all that may fit your lifestyle in the upcoming year. If you are alone or lonely, we may have the hopeful thoughts of finding a special someone who can truly understand you. If not "the one", possibly a dear friend, who can be there with you, whenever you need that shoulder to cry on, or that hand to help you off the floor when you fall. I know for me, I may not tell anyone, but I do have that hopeful optimism, that I will have less pain, less side effects from the medicines, possibly have the surgeries do better than expected and be off some of the medications. I hope for better research, and that someone out there finds out what causes Lupus, RA, FM, CFS, ME, MS, along with the other hundreds of chronic and autoimmune illnesses out there, and then announces they know what, why, how and mostly how to eradicate it from those that suffer much to much, for much too long.
Chronic Illness and Chronic Pain, are very unique and much different than a "broken leg", ruptured appendix, etc. "Chronic" means just that, not "acute" in nature. Chronic means basically for the "rest of your life", on going, never ending. It shall be with you until you take one last breath, OR possibly if a cure is found, that you may be cured or at least symptoms get better. So, daily, when we awake, our first thought honestly, is "I am ill". That very last thought we when go to bed is often "I am not well". It has to be the most difficult idea to accept in anyone's life. Other things are horrible at times, and we all have those too. But, something that you or the specialists know little about, and medical problems that will remain with you every day, along with never knowing whether you will wake up "feeling okay", or wake up feeling so sick you can't leave the bed.
So, during these months when hope and faith tend to be much more "vibrant" and alive all around us, I know for me, I feel more alive. We must have some time in our "journey" of this space, and all of the spaces in between to "feel good". Yet, as many that take those good feelings for granted, there are twice or more than are here, that take each day as one that they, we, and I have survived, and we pray that night, we shall survive another day the next day. When you actually go to places such as online groups, blogs, journals, pages that are filled with those desperately needing to find like minded folks, that truly do understand that they are REALLY ILL!! I just cannot put up with a "professional" of any kind trying to brush off a patient with "you are stressed", "take a holiday", etc, and try to tell you it is all in your head. That is such a crock, and for any doctor to not open their ears and brains to listen to a patient should not be in The business of "doctoring" at all! But, we have so many people with these chronic illnesses that do not have doctors, family or friends, that they look for some way to deal mentally, emotionally and physically with these issues. All too often those closest to us, are the very ones that just "don't get it", or they cannot deal with or accept it. That is honestly a pure shame. Their are so many incredible people that are ill, yet they help others like themselves, which creates a wonderful bond for many of us. We give one another some advice, from what doctor we may have had luck with, to medications or supplements that may work, to just needing a shoulder to "cry" on through the "crying out" in words online as you read the pouring out of truly caring folks that shall support one another the best they can from around the globe. We have been given a special "voice" with the internet, and found a whole other way to communicate. It has become a viable and sincere life saver for many. I honestly feel that without all of the help people get on line through the social media's, Twitter, blogs, journals, groups, pages and the list of the way we can "touch" one another across the wire has saved many lives. Lives of those who may have given it up and tossed in their "golden token" for the last time, because they had no one there to listen and lift them up when they needed it.
Yet as a patient of Chronic Illnesses (I have several), and what was and still can be at times, horrid Chronic Pain, I do feel that "joyful" optimistic hope during the holiday time. I have a "renewed" vision of the year ahead, and I am thankful that I "hope" to be given that year completely and find that I am less ill, have many more better days that worse ones, less flares, more energy, and I am able to help others more than I have the years before.

My hope is that I am right about others out there. You do feel that internal, fire of optimism that burns deeply, keeping your light in this world alive and brightly shining for others to see. May you be lifted up out of the quagmire of darkness. I ralize that life is not an easy go for anyone. All of us have our "moments" of Murphy's Law, of sadness, heartache, and crap that just goes wrong. Yet, those with "chronic illnesses" and pain have a huge helping of more sorrow than those without in many ways. these illnesses effect every aspect of our lives, from jobs, family, relationships, to just daily living can be a hard thing to do.

I pray all will find that light... and may peace surround us, and the pain, affliction and suffering be eased, now, during the holidays, the New Year and all of the years to come.... Rhia

Monday, November 26, 2012

Losing those so Young to Lupus....

Only 22 years old.... just goes to prove this horrid disease does not discriminate... age, color of skin, race, nationality, gender... rich, poor, all Star, or just an everyday person... it can strike and be deadly... we need a cure desperately so more of us... including 22 year olds with a entire life ahead of them do not have to die from Lupus...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Own Holiday Dilemna and Life's Journey...

We had our Thanksgiving with family the weekend before. My daughter and her family got to come up from Corpus Christi and I was so thrilled. We all gathered at my son and his girlfriend's home over in Waxahachie (Indian names) LOL ... it is our county seat about 15 miles away... Jim and I took Mom with us ... so it was the entire family ... I got to finally see my 3 Grand Kids ... the two youngest ones, Logan is 3 and James is 5, going to be 6 in December, then her step daughter who they have raised since she was 2, Heather who is now 15! That seems impossible. My daughter started dating her husband when his daughter was only 2. Now here they are with the two boys, Heather is a teenager, and it all seems like just yesterday. I had said in my blog, that I was kind of sad that Saturday. The two smaller ones, especially Logan really don't know me very well. Since they are so far away, they almost "forget" who Nana is. We only see them 2 or 3 times a year, so it is such a huge deal when we do get to visit. Then Thanksgiving Day, ours was very simple also. After that weekend of my daughter's awesome cooking, we were ready for something not so filling. So we cut up some fresh veggies, and fruit ... got some of that low-calorie cheese spread with crackers, and I made some Rice Krispie treats. We visited my Mom for a couple of hours early afternoon, then came home to watch the Cowboys get their butts stomped, and enjoyed the "finger foods". So, ours was fairly laid back and quiet also. Thank Goodness my oven is fixed!!! Over a week ago, I was baking a cake, and our smoke alarm went off. I ran to the kitchen and we at first could not tell anything was wrong. We do have a new smoke alarm and the damned thing is extremely sensitive, so I figured something had dropped on the foil I keep in their and I had not seen it. It kept trying to go off and suddenly I noticed the very top of my cake looking like it was "broiling", yet it still had like 12 minutes or more to go!!! Well it dawned on me, the oven was staying on fully, and with that temperature like that it was as if the cake were in the broiler. So we turned it off.  I took the cake out, then decided heck it was almost done, and was not burned exactly, so I put it back in the oven and it finished baking LOL!!!!! It was already far enough it had risen, but just needed to cook a little more in the center. Anyway, the freaking thermostat we figured must have gone out!!! Right here at Thanksgiving, of course for us, "Murphy's Law", and we had no idea about getting one. So, we got the model number etc off of the oven, and I did a Google search, and found the manual, and the actual part number. At first the only one I found was over a 100.00! I almost fainted ... but then my favorite shopping place, Amazon, had it for 55.00! But, it was of course too late for the holiday, but it worked out my daughter did most of the cooking, and I took stuff I did not need to put in the oven, so we decided to not even cook a huge meal for us, and just do the veggies etc. Then later Thanksgiving afternoon, here comes our next door neighbor's daughter with 2 huge plates of Thanksgiving Dinner after all!!! They had sent turkey, dressing, potatoes, even a piece of pecan pie after all!!! I was already "turkeyed" out ... but Jim enjoyed all of it the next day. :) Anyway, the oven part came yesterday!:) So, Jim found what he thought was the way to put the thermostat in ... which what he found sounded stupid and way to difficult I thought. They had us almost pulling  the burners out etc ... and it just did not sound right. I told him I thought we should be going in through the back, and he almost got pissed at me... LOL!, but I got online and found other instructions that did say part of the thing WAS pulling the BACK off so you could access the thermostat from there, then running the new one through from the front panel that comes off, and to the back, and down through the hole where it goes in the oven. Viola!!! Between the instructions and a little "horse sense" we did get it and I prayed when we turned it on, sure enough; it worked!!! So far so good!  It came on like it should and then turned off when the oven got to the correct temp! LOL! I was shouting THANK YOU GOD!!! All of that, and I was so hoping we had found the issue, the right part, and had put it in correctly...:) I just hope it continues to work... OR a new STOVE will be here dammit. It was a nightmare getting that darned thing in, between his back being so messed up and all of my issues, I thought we both would be in the bed for days after that, well I can't sleep of course, what is new ... and I know his back is once again more painful than usual ... but you know all too well how that goes ... we just have to DIY, do it ourselves, if possible. We would have gone broke having someone come in and repair it ... thus you do what you have to do. Anyway, that has been our "thorn in the side" this past 2 weeks ... along of course with the other crap that goes on with houses, cars, etc.... LOL! Okay I have talked "typed" enough!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Singing out through the "Vocal Soul" of Writing...

As I poet, writer, and even a bit of a "dabbler" into writing song lyrics, I feel I always need to "say" something very special when I write. As that comes to light in my poetry, it is kind of like my tattoo's, each one representing an event, or a realm that was extremely a rare situation for me. I have 8 tattoo's now, and honestly would love to have more. But, due to all of the medications I am on with the Lupus, RA, and so forth, even a very good tattoo artist feared they for one may give me a hard time in healing, plus just due to my thinning skin because of the Predisone and Lupus itself, I may not be happy now with a new tattoo. I was always thrilled with the others, thus after speaking with him, and giving it much thought I decided that was yet another thing taken away from me in my life by illness.
If you are not aware of these types of chronic illnesses, along with all of the medications you take while going through the "slings and arrows" of those, you may not understand just how many seemingly menial and everyday things you used to do, are just not something you may be able to do now. I am sure we often take for granted, (I know I did), everything from a wonderful snow skiing trip, to a new tattoo, to going to Six Flags, heck doing yard work, laying out in the sun, and even washing dishes or getting your hands in dirt potting plants could mean issues with these illnesses. So, now you find that nothing seems "simple" anymore. I must think through just about every damned thing on my "list" I do. Whether it is doing my house work, running errands, going shopping for a day, or an overnight trip to OK to the Casino, you can bet I have to make "extra" steps in order to have everything I need due to my illnesses and pain.
Now, that said, and I am not sure even why I "went" there, I want to get back on the subject I began with... feeling like whatever I write must have a "direction", a meaning, point to something critical, important, and why in my mind it must be a potent potion that seeps into the readers soul and absorbs into the very heartbeat of their life.
I have read a wonderful book on many occasions about this very subject called "Writing Down the Bones", by Natalie Goldberg. she really makes the goal for writers about never being concerned about what you write, but to write!!! As she goes along in her book talking about having journals stacked up everywhere of "junk", "crap", "bad" or what ever you call things you write that are simply something not great by your standards, you write anyway, and everyday. I have been completely in agreement with that most of my life. I have written daily, just about, for 35 years at least. With the exception of times I have been too ill after surgery, etc, whether it be a poem, a piece of "musing", even music lyrics, I write. I also have "journals" full of hand written, what I like to call the "pen and paper of my heart", where I literally love the feel of the pen gliding over the paper and allowing words from your heart and soul to flow like the ink onto a clean white sheet of paper. Honestly, that is my very favorite "way" to write. It seems to cleanse the palette of the soul for me. I feel many of my best works are in those pages and pages of small ninety-nine cent "journals", those small notebooks many of us have with the different color fronts. I have all colors of those and they are filled page after page, some back and front, even in the margins, of my entire life's story... if you read much of those, you would see how I bare my soul, raw and open, bleeding at times, to allow others in so they can witness just how much faith, hope and love I carry around for others.
But, all of a sudden, and I am not sure why, I began to think that if I did not have something of "value" to say, I best not bother to put pen to paper. Why write something I felt was not "good enough" for others to read? Wow, had I either gotten really "stuck on myself", or went the other direction to "lose faith in what my writing meant"? I had made all kinds of excuses in the past couple of years. Now, just due to time constraints (if I ever want to PUBLISH anything, I have to "type" it into the computer), since I would be as slow as the tortoise if I tried to write it in my journal first then transfer that over to the computer, it would be through my eternity and several generations before I could have something all could actually read!!! Yet, I still had made excuses (some very legit) as to why I had not first of all, gathered my poetry (or a small piece of it) and published a book. I used m chronic pain and illness as a scape goat (which was a huge hindrance honestly), thought I was not "good enough", felt I could not find a way to even get it published, was not able to afford it, was plain scared that everyone would think it was horrible and laugh at me, I did not have the tie, I needed to take care of this, that & the other around the house, Mom needed help... boy I had a LOAD of reasons WHY I could NOT get a book out, or my "1st book" out of at least some of my poetry! As I said, some of it very true; illness and severe shoulder and arm pain did really keep me from even being on the computer for almost a year, or even longer (that is when I wrote once again in the paper journals when I felt like it)... yet other were simply what they were, me procrastinating mainly due to fear. I find myself in "fear" of beginning my "book 0 book" as I call it, the ONE that is the main one I want to have published hopefully soon. but, it will be a great deal of work to get all together, and even trying to begin the "1st chapter" often leaves me and my mind totally BLANK!!!
But, when I "changed up my mind" as I said when I was much younger, and made an actual "date" that I would send my 1st poetry book for publication, everything seemed to become crystal clear. Once that very 1st book was on its way to be accepted and printed, my "voice" burst open, and I felt I had so much to say to everyone out there, in the nation, around the globe. I have someting that others want and need to hear. they absolutely need to realize they are wonderful, perfection in their own right, they can have a renewed sense of hope and faith, they can reach for the higher rung, jump up towards that uneven bar of what we call life, take hold and go with it. You are worthy! That is the message, the portion of my soul, my heart, my very entity that I try to give out to those who read my heart's work.

So, I had to STOP thinking I could not write unless I had something "superior" to say, but I can write anytime, any how, any where, whatever it was, I could write it and I needed to do that. Of course as I have grown, evolved, and gained somewhat a tiny bit more wisdom, my writing has also evolved in so many ways. Even though I thought not too long ago I actually LOST my "voice", it had been there all along, waiting for me to pick it back up, and use it, which is great practice. So, wther my "soul" sings out in rhythm, rhyme, and harmony, or it is in the deepest, darkest pits of the brink of "a little unwell and unsettled of mind", or it is elation, honor and glory, music, or just plain old "crap"; all of it serves a purpose.

I am so thrilled to have what has been my best friend through thick and thin... standing right beside me all the way to places unknown or those familiar, my "voice of writing" always remains... faithful and honest!

Rhia November 22 Thanksgiving Day, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wishing You A Wonderful and Thankful Holiday Season

Yesterday afternoon, I called to check on my Mom. She had lost her house key on one of the local parking lots here after buying groceries, and had to call us to take her the extra one I keep for things such as that. As I spoke to her , the
first thing she said, is "Thank you so much for the beautiful card for Thanksgiving". Of course that made me happy to know first of all she received it (I was running a little late putting them in the mail), but also that it meant enough to her to mention it to me and say thanks. Which of course is what the "season" and the "reason" tomorrow exists. It is for all of us ONE day out of the year to reflect on all of the things we are "thankful" for. So, yes I do send out Thanksgiving Cards, to those I care about, and try to let them know I am truly thankful they are in my life. I send out "physical" cards to my close family, and then for my "extended" family on line, I send out e-cards. I have a very large extended family, and it dawned on me, I really not have a good way to "email" all of you individually with an e card. We can "send messages" to each other, but unless we exchange formal email addresses, we can't send it directly to the people we want to. So, this is my way of saying "THANK YOU" FOR BEING YOU! To each of you that support me, when I am down, out and ill, Thank You, for all that love me just the way I am, Thank You, For all that encourage me to reach beyond and take hold of my dreams, Thank you, for those who have given me so much wonderful feedback on my new book, and who have truly given me a true new reason to write again, Thank You. For every friend here that listens, makes me laugh, makes me cry, provides their love and support often from hundreds or thousands of miles away, Thank you... For this huge community that we call "Face Book" that allows us to meet many, friend many, find out information, provide hope, faith, love and light when others need it so badly, Thank You... and for each and every day that I am able to sit in this chair and share my life with all of you... I am so very Thankful.... I bid you, your families, friends, and to your extended family, A Wondrous, Thankful, and Bountiful Thanksgiving Day! And, may we all be "Thankful" all of the other days of the year for all we are fortunate to receive! xoxox Love you, Rhiannon

News and Updated on "Ramblings"...

We will also be donating a copy or two of my new book "Ramblings of A Seasoned Soul" to our local library. I am going to see if they will allow a book reading, which I believe they do there also. I have thought about also giving one to my High School library, since I was an Editorial writer there for our newspaper and a couple of my teachers in Jr. High and High School were some of the encouraging reasons why I continued to write to this day. They really lifted me up about my early works back then. I have never forgotten some of those things, and also the great feedback I got off of some of my Editorials! I remember writing about our old parking lot at the high school. It was so full of pot holes you could lose your car in them! So, I did a story about having the school get those fixed. I used to have copies of some of the articles, but after so many shuffles around, moving and so forth, they I believe got left behind when I moved up to Seattle WA, which sucks. I wished now I had left them at my Mom's in her cedar chest. But, hind sight as they say is always "20-20"! But, never the less all of those things still live inside of me as great memories, where they shall last an eternity. I think Jim is going to get the information to our local newspaper, and they also do a monthly nice little magazine for our area, and I hope to get an article printed in both of those if possible. My Mom really is so excited and wants to let all of our relatives know, but since she does not get out of the house a great deal, other than grocery shopping and errands, or going with me somewhere, she would love for me to have it in the paper where other relatives can see it. I am finally getting some cards made up and on the way, that can be given out to those I see and want to let them know how to view it online. So, my "marketing" is coming along, slowly, but a little at a time. I appreciate all of the wonderful ideas I keep getting, and again thanks for being such an appreciative and encouraging bunch of friends and as an "audience"... Rhia

Ramblings of A Seasoned Soul "Amazon", Face Book & "Likes"

If you have a chance to go to Amazon and read some of my poetry since it is now up on the "Look Inside" where you can ,please also click the "like" button for FB there(it does not record the "Likes" from my FB page TO the Amazon page. It has to be liking it in "Amazon" first, or please give me a rating of what you think about my poetry, if you have an opinion I would love to know.:) I know it took Amazon a while to get that part up so you could all see the titles and some of
the poems, but hopefully now you can really know what I write and have an idea of some of my works. This is just one small portion of a "sea" full of emotions and feelings I write about. I hope to put another book out from 6 months to a year from now!!:) I may do another poetry book first before I put my "musings/prose book, or my kind of "autobiography" it... you really would not call it a total autobiography per se', and I am not really sure exactly what "category" it will fit in. It will not be fiction, and will be all facts, but it will also include other things besides just "my story" I guess I am trying to say. LOL!!! They will prbably have to "invent" a new "category" for my book...I NEVER do anything like the "rules" say!:):) Anyway, that is a while down the line and before I make it there, I have lots of work to do ahead to get more out for all of you to enjoy. :):) Please keep encouraging me if you wish, I really need to "feel" like I am helping others and giving them some light in their lives... for that is my main purpose for any of this, it to help touch the reader and allow them to feel the warmth and the faith, passion and hope of life!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Ramblings of A Seasoned Soul"- Brush Strokes of Life In Words now has "Look Inside" up on Amazon!!!

IT IS UP NOW!!! The "Look Inside" on amazon for Ramblings of A Seasoned Soul - Brush Strokes of Life In Words now has where you can see inside aand view some of my poetry!!! Go to this URL, click the book and "Look Inside" You will see "Surprise ME!" When you click it, a new poem will come up each time!!! I am so thrilled you can finally see some of my works!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Autoimmune Illnesses - MS, Lupus RA and More (LIGHT) possibly on a cure to come...

I read this today and it sounds so promising. I wanted to share it with you.

Families, Holidays and Being Far Away from One Another...

We had a wonderful visit with my daughter, her husband, and my Grand Daughter and 2 Grandsons on Saturday! We also so enjoyed being at my son's "Better Half"(I am just kidding, but she is a wonderful lady and we are happy to have her in the family) :):) at their home, in which they were gracious enough to host the early Thanksgiving Dinner there. Everything was just incredible. My daughter is an excellent cook, and did a great job with it all. My son in law did a "deep fried" turkey!!! It was delicious! Definitely a new treat to add to the menu as the menu kept growing when we got it all ready. My daughter did most of the cooking, and my Mom slipped in a pecan pie, and I took my son's favorite the banana pudding I make that is richer than rich! I also had my husband do the mashed potatoes. He is famous for his secret ingredient he puts in them... LOL ...between sweet potato casserole, and I did make some home made cranberry salad, a ham, stuffing, rolls, gravy, regular cranberry sauce, and my daughter had also brought her famous pumpkin roll which was absolutely to die for. I think she had orders for 15 last week and already has another 25 or more orders waiting on her when they get back home, which is down South around Corpus Christi. That is what made it so special. We jut don't get to visit as much as we would love, and being able to really have everyone of us in the same home, at the same time together is a special treat. I know my Dad was looking down on us and smiling. He would have really enjoyed all of the food for sure. It was the perfect "holiday" before the holiday, and my only regret is that they could not stay longer. They have the kids to get back in school for part of the week, and of course everything else that goes along with taking care of the family. By the way my son's girlfriend has one monstrosity of a "tournament" sized pool table that they played a few games on before we left to come home!! It is a beauty to say the least!!! She loves to play, and plays on a league, so she really has something to practice on for sure. As always, it is difficult to see them go. It seems we never get enough time to really visit like we would like to. I realized it so much when I was talking to my two Grandson's. One is 5, going to be 6(I believe) and one is 3. I realized when I talked with them, they have been around me so very little due to the distance between us, that they don't "know" me. Not like they would if they lived closer where I was around them more. It kind of "got" to me, when I saw that they almost feel like I am more of a stranger just due to them being smaller and me being not around much... they are not used to having me around them. But, life is life. We must do some things, like live further apart than we wished.. because we must also do what we have to for our own families etc. Yet, even with that I tried to take in every moment and thoroughly enjoy them:):):)!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Speaking of Fleeting Time... How Quickly Family Life Changes & Our Holiday Time Together

Our early Thanksgiving with my kids and their families was so incredible yesterday. We are so spread apart from one another, and even though all in the same state, it is still not often we get to really visit. Honestly, it made me sad yesterday, when I saw that my own two Grandsons, one is 6, going on 7 shortly, and the other is 3, did not really "know" who I am. Oh, they understand that I am their "Nana", but since they only see me about 3 times a year, they really see me as almost a stranger, not their Grand Mom. I know it cannot be helped. We live 7 hours apart. My daughter, of course is constantly busy with them and her home, and my son-in-law of course stays busy working. Due to my husbands type of in home work, we also can't really just pic up any time and leave, and then be gone for several days either. Plus, with all of their activities with the kids, they are constantly on the run, with everything in the sun. I am so proud of them. My Grand Daughter got to know me more when she was here in the same town, and spent a great deal of time with me when she was small. So, even though I don't get to her her as often she knows me much better than the two boys. I am so proud of all of them, and what they have achieved, yet I am saddened by the fact that my own family is really not able to be near for me to experience their birthdays, holidays, ball games, events at school, and all that goes along with Grand Kids. My son is also out of town, but at least much closer. Yet, even him and his finance' don't visit very much. Both of them have jobs out of town and commute daily. They are busy with their own lives, home, activities, so even getting to see them is not something we do very often either. So, yesterday was a very important day to me. Since it if not often that all of them, plus my Mom and I are together at the same time. Sharing the laughter, the food, the interaction, and all of the blessings that surrounded us yesterday brought a very warm feeling to my soul, that i our daily walk of life we often miss, especially with family not very close around. With me being the "only" child, that also in itself brings an entire situation on. I have taken over much of Mom's responsibilities that she has just not been able to handle by herself any more. So, even though our relationship is very close because I am with her often, it is not the same as when we are just relaxed and visiting. Usually we are caught up in paper work, so it turns more in a chore than it does a visit most of the time. I get swept up in the daily things of what is going on with her, either physically, mentally or emotional situations that require something be done at that time. So, even the visit with Mom was much different that my usually time of running over there, talking about insurance, bills, etc.

So, the entire day was lovely! They are leaving out today though. They have other relatives to visit with later later, then they will leave for home probably fairly early

When those moments come along, whether it is with family, friends, or whomever that are not often there, be sure to really "soak" them up, and carry them with you through out your journey. For it maybe a long while before you get that opportunity again. A age comes along, we so much more realize how precious times like that are. Those days of feeling "invincible" and like life shall go on forever go away and give us a feeling of holding onto the precious times that come along, and savoring them as we would a fine wine....

May your Thanksgiving week and Holiday time be filled with precious moments with family, spouses, friends and may you be surrounded by love. Hold closely the things that mean so much to you....

Happy Holiday Week!  Rhia

Saturday, November 17, 2012

As time is Fleeting...

It seems each moment we are here, taking a breath, time is just a fleeting "realm" for us. There must be some reason why when we are younger, it seems we have "all the time in the world", or so we think we do. In our younger years we tend to put things off that we probably should do, or choose to do certain activities we want to do rather than really put our noses to the grind stone and get those thing done.
I realize it is a cliche' to say the time gets shorter with age. Yes, that is certainly a fact for us, that a we get up in years our days "seem" more numbered, and the more than likely are than someone young. Even though none of us are "stamped with a guarantee" or "Warranty" of how long our service "Life" is here, we expect those that are younger to have many more years ahead to experience life, than those of us that have already lived for 5 decades, or already past half of their life more than likely. Many things play into the fleeting time for us. Being busy is one. When we are busy times seem to just take wing and fly. Yet for the older ones, even though we may not be "as busy" as someone younger, it takes us longer to accomplish what we do, than it did when we were younger.
I used to be able just a few short years ago, to study my college classes, clean my entire home, do laundry, get the market shopping over with, and be dressed and ready to go out on Saturday night to dance the night away! Now, it takes me three times as long just to do laundry or fold clothes. Cleaning the house may mean a whole day, and part of another one. Whether I am baking something, doing laundry, getting dressed to go out, or whatever task I may be doing at that time, you can bet there is no way I can finish it as quickly as I did just a few years back.
We begin to think about our "mortality" when that "half-century" and damned does that sound old!, mark rolls around. Something else that can hit us right between the eyes is suddenly our own illness coming along that changes our entire quality of life, or taking care of a sick loved one, or the one that had really gotten to me lately is seeing classmates that I went to High School with passing away. That truly is kind of a shock into reality to know we are really getting up to that place things like that are possible, more of course than back when we were "wild and crazy"...
I had spent several of my what I think of as "prime years" in my mid-30's with online groups, lots of online friends, chat rooms, and that whole "new way" to meet people from all over the globe, when it was the 1st time of being a real "hot rage". Now we still have it, but it is different from those first chat rooms we had, on "dial-up" internet at that, but we certainly had fun. There were night I stayed up all night long "policing" mine and talking to friends from all over the world. There are some that I still keep in touch with, and some we still email every once in a while and check on each other. Of course the first ones, like MSN's groups, that were kind of the "original" and I guess "AOL" had theirs also, but I never really got into those. have faded away. But, I had one "group" from a older site that kind of took over after some of those like MSN, Yahoo, AOL, and a few others sold out, closed down, and we were kind of lost out in the array of technology, hoping to meet one another somewhere else one day. And I have done just that. I still run into a person or two on Face Book, or some other blog, etc. and get to ask how they are doing. Amazing what knowing people all over the world feels like. But, this morning as I decided to go log into the old group, I knew it was the very "last blast" at my younger past. IT was a piece of the puzzle of life, that time has changed forever. I will never be that "person" again, for I have evolved and changed. Oh, of course we always keep bits and pieces of our "original" selves around, but we grow, we evolve, we move forward, we make new friends, have new jobs, careers, families, or choose other path ways, that just a few short years back we may never even guessed we would be doing. When I first got to Seattle on October 31 2001,never would I have dreamed how much in the next 10 years my life would change. IF someone would have been able to look into the "crystal ball" of my life and tell me I would be where I am, done what I have done, been through and survived all that I have survived, I believe I would have told them they had to be mistaken. Never in a million dreams did I think I would be back in Texas, in my hometown of all places. The night I made it to Seattle on that bus, and I got off of it, I felt "at home". I cried this morning because even though I have been away from there now since 2005, I still miss it everyday. Life has its own way of taking us where it wants to take us. All too often we may not realize the "why" at the moment. Sometimes it is years before it is "revealed" as to all of the questions to be answered when we find ourselves moving quickly in the opposite direction we really wanted to.
They say if you are "still" too long, just like water, you become stagnant, thus our lives do move as a river, sometimes, slow, winding, and with a small, pleasant breeze. Other times, those waters are like white rapids, rushing us to and fro, jumping over rocks and crevasses, leaping into the air, like salmon on a run up stream, and making us tired of the fight uphill against the currents. Yet, we must continue our climb. We look for faith and love to guide us. Yes< I miss those pieces of my life. I am happy with others that I have now, that I did not have back then. I got accustomed to being "alone" without being lonely. I was liking taking care of myself, all by myself. Even though that did not last for long, there were many lessons learned from that entire experience. From the moment I climbed on the bus in Dallas, made that 3 day ride to Seattle, and arrived at 8pm on Halloween night, 2001 until we climbed into the U-Haul truck from Everett WA, made a short 3 month stay in San Pedro CA, and then got here the 19th day of December 2005, I learned so much more about myself than in all of the other years put together. For that and forever my life is so purely blessed. I would do it all over again if I had the same choices. Although, I still as I have mentioned above, wished at times I was in Seattle, and I miss those times, I realize we don't always understand what is in the works for us, but must accept it with open arms, an open heart, and definitely an open mind.

FB Post About Being A "Published" Author and the Way You Make It to That Point Emotionally

We had been discussing having the "strength", wear-with-all, tenacity and actually having the "nerve" to publish your work and put it out there for all the world to see. That can be a very scary thing to do. It is okay for friends, family, and spouses to see it, but to have the entire globe out there to "critique" your work is something that you must be willing to stand up to, and know inside what you write is good. It may not be awesome to some people, but for others it may touch them deeply. So, this was a post from this morning about my feelings of finally becoming published...

I have written for many, many years, as the information said, since I was 13 actually. Yet, I was in fear of being rejected for a long while, thus I did not have anything published. About 6 years ago, I bought a book with all of the publishers in it, and how to send your poetry to them, and details of just what they wanted, when, how and so forth. It has not been that long ago that even "self-publishing" was extremely expensive. Just to get a book published in that way may cost upwards of $800.00 and possibly much more, then you had to buy a certain number of books to even be able to get through all of the process. Things are so much easier now (there is still lots to go through, especially if you design it all yourself), but you can do the majority of the work yourself, and the costs have went down so they have made it more affordable for those that may not have found it that way just a few years back. When I went through the entire process of mailing my poetry off to different publishers, that was a nightmare honestly. Many of them of course were rejected, for one reason or the other, others I never heard from, but I did have one publisher, that even though he rejected a poem I sent in, he took the time to actually in his own hand writing, give me some suggestions, and told me to resubmit my poetry at a certain date. He was very interested in it, and would consider publishing me the next time around they took poems in. that process really is for someone that can stand rejection and not take it personally. Kind of like Tom Clancy, whose first 3 books were rejected when he submitted them. Then someone lied his 4th book, and what happened? Not only did it get published, but so did those other 3, that previously were rejected. So, it takes a great deal of tenacity, and the ability to know your work is good, but it may just not be what they are looking for at the moment. I finally got some poetry published online through a gentleman that still does a monthly newsletter. He posted several of my poems monthly, along with some of my other writing. After that, I became ill with the Lupus (or was finally diagnosed with it the RA, possibly FM, and went into 7 surgeries in a year, along with several more after that). I was not able to sit at the computer for very long. So, I had to put off the publishing portion, but I still tried to write daily. Many of my pieces are current, and then others are some from a few years ago that are my favorites in this first book, "Ramblings of A Seasoned Soul" - Brush Strokes of Life in Words. I think I relate writing in many ways that I do trying to have the stamina, the strength, the internal power, with out eyes on the "goal", of living! We must fight these illnesses from moment to moment, kind of like writing is a daily process that takes a great deal of the same things... you have to find that inner part of you that just will not give into the nightmare of pain and chronic illness. So, we have days that we find ourselves riddled with all kinds of doubt and dismay. So, we have to find our way out of that black hole, and into the light again. Same way in writing, days it feels awesome, and other days you feel like you cannot write a word. But, we do it, live, write, whatever we do, we pull out that part of us that in i the very core of our being. I hope all of you ow just how strong you are, that you are fighting the "good fight" as the saying goes, and you are truly worth it. May you be blessed during this holiday season, and find all of the pure and true reasons you are thankful for.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Those That Can Give "Until Our Cup Runneth Over"

"Rhia, congratulations on this special compilation of your poetry. I write poetry as well & know your work has rendered me 'to do something' for self-publishing as well. My story is a bit different but has to do with pain as well. Your brushstroke of words are appealing, raw, and true. You will be reaching many who need the encouragement to feel, keep moving forward, and to enjoy life as fully as possible. You are gifted & I will pray for your success with this project. You are already successful as a poet. Not everyone can be a poet & so much of what we write is for our own journey and healing--it's a deep, deep place to go. I'm glad you are sharing & I'm really praying for God to give me the GO and the HOW to get my poetry out there as well. God bless you..."

The beautiful and thought provocative words above come from a dear lady on a group that I belong to on FB. I was so touched by her sincere and heart felt post about my poetry and my 1st book, that I cried tears of joy when I read this last night. I had to share her words with all of you also. This is what my writing is truly about. If I have reached out and "painted" a brush stroke of encouragement to one person, then I feel my "job" in life is complete. I shall leave her name off for now, but I will ask if I can put her name in. She is also a writer and poet. I would love for her to share with me, if she would like some of her work. :)


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This Makes me totally Ashamed to be from my Own Home State!

Honestly, I am SO ASHAMED of my OWN STATE! I HATE SAYING I AM FROM HEAR!!! And then we find out the Idiot of a Governor we have (thank goodness not PRESIDENT) is responsible for spreading this rumor!!! Here is THE TRUTH! Of course I cannot
fathom Texans would even think about signing this.... give up our Federal Benefits, Social Security, Medicare, help with all kinds of infrastructure, health care for the disabled and elderly, help with our schools, colleges, can you imagine a state on its own trying to "police" itself and pay for everything???? this is total insanity!!!! I am s freaking appauled I could just spit!!! Like I said this just is the kind of mess that causes me to feel totally ashamed of my accent, and my heritage in this state. What happened to PRIDE!!!! What happened to being the "United States?" I feel we can blame that idiot in Austin, and the GOP for this one... 
Believe me I definitely have lots more to say on this one... but I want to get the initial post up and try to save "face" for those of us, that do NOT agree with this madness!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Keeping you "up to date" on Ramblings of A Seasoned Soul

First of all, here is a "shorter link in to get to my Author page and book, both Kindle and the book versions.

Secondly, I want to give a huge Thanks out there to all that continue to send praises about my poetry, my very 1st published book, and just how proud they are of me. Even several of my doctors, and others around in our community that know already have given me congrats! cards etc. I am so filled with positive emotions to have people take the time to tell me how they feel! I am still busy trying to get it into our newspaper. We have not had time this week. After doctors visits 3 days in a row, along with everything else, I am hoping to get more done over the next few days and I am really thinking about getting another group of poetry together and go ahead with a 2nd book soon. I am working on writing my 1st "book, book", as I call it. I have several titles in my head, but I am not sure yet, thus I just say "THE BOOK" LOL!!! Again, I am so appreciative of all the wonderful things all are saying... Hugs Rhia

Thursday, November 8, 2012

When Your "Gut" Tells you something is wrong, listen!

I just have to tell you very early this morning (my dog actually woke me up, so I just stayed up) . I had a visit to my Rheumy yesterday. I was telling him the entire ordeal about the double vision, and about the "specialist" that I went to, and he had this strange look on his face. Comes to find out, Jim and I were very "hit the nail on the head right" about that entire thing!!! My Rheumy was VERY FAMILIAR with this other doc. He had seen patients before that went to him and they had gotten caught into the same web if crap I did! First, the "HIGH" number of the "blood test" ran that this eye specialist did, was THE WRONG TEST! I had thought so. It tests more about inflammation and what it has to do with the HEART, not the temporal artery! 2nd of all this HIGH was NOT that far from NORMAL! He told me ay number of things could have caused that small of a shift in the inflammatory part, of which I HAVE, Lupus, RA etc. Then the BIOPSY was a total waste of TIME, MONEY and should not have been done unless other things indicated it really needed to be done. It was an invasive procedure, that is safe, BUT it can have its complications like anything else, like paralysis on that side of the face if they cut a nerve! One more thing, usually "eye specialists" do NOT treat Temporal Arteritis! It is an autoimmune disease that Rheumatologists usually treat!!! That other idiot should have sent me to my Rheumy with it. He said it is one of the most wrong diagnosed things, because many doctors often do not do the correct test and do not understand the numbers "that are off" enough to indicate this AI illness. We were both just about ready to fall out of our chairs when he told us all of this. Here we were basically saying the exact thing, I even hesitated twice and cancelled the biopsy, because I felt it was not needed from what all I had read. But this guy has you by the "ba-0s!) he is telling you that you could go blind, etc and making it sound like if you do not go through with the biopsy something bad will happen, and so forth, pressuring you to say you will have it done!!!! And here the guy is with a waiting room FULL OF PATIENTS, many I bet are not needing to be there, or may not be getting the proper treatment and so forth! Any doc that says he "sees" a 100 patients in a DAY something is off! I am starting back on the Humira and stopping the Orencia. He told me often people with chronic pain go through this issue. I had gotten some relief from the Humira, but the daily pain in general makes it harder for us to feel whether a new medication is really helping or not. We may think it is not, and then discover if you switch to something else, the first one WAS making a difference more than the 2nd one. Which is probably what happened in my case. I just thought the Humira was not helping as much as it really was until I tried a different biologic. Now I can tell it was helping me much more than I thought. Now that is not counting the ridiculous unprofessional situation I went through in the OR as I was just waking up from the anesthetic!!!! As we thought, that was over the top, and should not have happened whatsoever. I just felt like I as going through de ja' vue when I heard my Rheumy talking about all of this. We both looked and him and said thank you for verifying that we were not crazy, and all of our instincts and information we went through was correct! I never did really get the correct testing not diagnosis because all that was done was probably wrong. So, if we are well educated, and not stupid people, and it happened to us, can you imagine how much he makes off of those that do not go and research their own medical stuff? Or check out whether what a doctor is telling you sounds reasonable or ridiculous? IF your first "gut" instinct says something is OFF, than some is really more than likely, off.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ready to end this Election Season...

I am sure I am not the only one sick and tired of the way we have been inundated with enough election media and information to last us at least another 4 years! It seems when we feel it cannot get any worse as far as media and some of the worst "lies" that ever comes from politicians mouths, the next election brings even more. This whole ordeal with "big corporations" being allowed to "foot the bill" on their favored candidate is a bunch of "Malarky" as VP Biden put it. What ever happened to the people having the say as to whom runs our nation??? Well, when a choice few with the big bucks can have more pull than the everyday people who are the ones that keep this nation running, then this world has turned upside down and inside out! I am so hoping, (and I know it ion the bottom of the totem pole list of things to do) that their is an overhaul of just how the election process is ran by the time another 4 years rolls around. We need some people in a group that are totally non-partisan, to get some road rules of the game set up where everyone is on an even playing field money wise, and this wanting an "id" to vote business, as well as lots of other issues that get swept under the rug after the election is over type thing. You can also probably ask 100 people on the streets about the "electoral vote" stuff, and none of them could tell you exactly how that is ran and what happens, and why it is supposed to work, as far as the election of our President goes. I think it is a totally antiquated system, that for the most part not one person in the everyday world really gets. Plus, I also do not think it is fair for one party to be able to cough up millions of dollars more for ads that should not even be on television, much less to have more pull just because of "monetary" means. OF course we all know the "GOP" loves the fact that the are the rich old cronies, that do have each others backs (even though they also stab each other in them)... and it just leaves an even keel when it comes to people and our voting rights. NOT ONE DIME OF MONEY should be able to influence an election. It should be totally decided by the people, and give them an open without cost (FREE ID'S if you need one to vote), plus if things like this electronic voting is causing longer lines where the elderly, as well as others  that are ill and so forth, the exact same level ground to place their vote, and that their vote counts the same as the person next door. To me, this electoral vote thing is an old and outdated way of allowing the GOP to have their fingers in the cookie jar as they usually do. They have done it since the beginning of time, and it is going to be that way forever unless we stand up and say we have had enough!!! I am also puzzled beyond belief that women would ever stand up and be counted in for Romney. He is a "womanizer" from way back. He would hurt his own Grand Mother if he thought he would benefit from it. He could car less about women's rights, from birth control to rape, and all of the things we, as women are entitled to. He could care less about Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, helping the elderly, or anyone that is in a "minority" situation. That man is for MONEY, GREED and Power!!! (and I am still writing on my "Greed" Post)... As I see it, I vote for who I feel can DO THE JOB as best as possible. I don't care if they are GOP, Democratic, or the neighbor down the street. As long as they can get our country out of debt, our people back to work, get Medicare and Social Security solvent, get us out of the war zones, help get more money in medical research and development, and truly handle what is important to the middle class, the working people... his "political race" does not matter to me. It is how he conducts his business when it comes to going about helping to put our business back in order.
I am sure I am stepping on some toes, but this is my feelings, and I am not going to dismiss yours at all. i just wanted to tell it from my point of view. I am ready for 4 MORE YEARS TO ALLOW PRESIDENT OBAMA, to straighten out more of the stuff in this nation that was screwed up YEARS BEFORE HE BECAME PRESIDENT!!!! As of late I have gotten to the point I feel the media has gotten so greedy also, they tend to stand more on the lines of "not really telling it all like it is". If they can manipulate a story or sensationalize it, then they get the attention, thus more money. I half way do not trust much of what I read or hear from our news media these days. It is just a matter of many of the "big wigs", have well forgotten us everyday folks, that want a home, a job, a car, to be able to take care of us and our families, and not be lied to, taken advantage of, neglected or have the life we work so hard for taken away by those who like reeking havoc around the globe. So, with the elections over tomorrow, my hope is that our President will be able to once again concentrate on what is truly important, jobs, housing, gas prices, food prices, education, our infrastructure, new and alternative energy sources, much more research for so many health problems, help for the elderly, disabled and less fortunate, getting our troops home, keeping our nation safe, keeping open lines across the globe and allies that are true to their word and want to help to make things safer and more peaceful. As we close the process tomorrow may we find a new direction, a new light, and a sense of some kind of peace, looking for a new dawn, and moving..... FORWARD!!!!!