November 1, 2017 at 6:00 am (Musings...)

I’ve been struggling to write this blog for a week.

I was face-timing my darling daughter Amanda yesterday. She quoted this, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” ~~ C.S. Lewis

The recognition of what the struggle really was and the blog post came together in that moment.  This is an honest conversation between you, me and one of my inner voices.  🙂

I am not envious of other’s possessions.  Believe me, that jealousy was gone after I took 850 pounds out of our home last year.  I’m not envious (almost never 🙂 ) of other’s looks. At 58 I have finally accepted how I look and am embracing who I am and am working to keep ME in the best shape I can be in.  “I’m not the average girl from your video and I ain’t built like a supermodel, but I’ve learned to love myself unconditionally because I am a queen.”  ~~ India.Arie

No, what I struggle with is contentment in my ability to create and am often envious that others are so much better than I am.  I cannot dedicate 8 hours a day to improve.  My body would curl up in a ball right on my chair and my eyes would be seeing, not double, but quadruple!! I can’t even have a full-time job because of my physical struggles.  How the hell am I supposed to feel good about who I am??? (One of my inner “voices” swears a lot 🙂  )

I actually unsubscribed from blogs that were lovely and inspiring but made me feel inadequate and depressed.  Yes, I know that people who blog often exaggerate their realities but they always make it seem so easy!  They probably have assistants for assistants and housekeepers and all the rest.  They have endless energy and an unlimited supply of creativity!

As I’m muddling through, sometimes I feel like God screwed up!  Here I am with all these ideas and a bit of talent and I can’t do it because my body betrays me!!  Sometimes I think if I didn’t have any talent I’d be better off!! Damn it!!!  (that inner voice again…)

I began to recognize this discontent in September.  I wrote some verses in my journal.


I don’t have a clear handle on this, but I am working to be thankful every day for my abilities and my creative, bouncing brain!!  It’s a destructive pattern that I need to break!!  The prayer in my devotional today was, “Thank You, Lord Jesus, for my journey through the valley of weeping so You might break any destructive patterns in my life, which releases me to enjoy the pools of blessings.  I delight to worship You and live with You in the simplicity of childlike trust.” ~~Hinds Feet on High Places devotional

Now if I could only get that inner voice to stop swearing…


I was made for another world.  I can’t wait!!


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When Anxiety Wins

September 19, 2017 at 6:00 am (Musings..., Social Anxiety)

I could feel it coming…

About a month ago, two situations occurred, which threw me into old, bad habits.  One I won’t discuss — even though it’s been resolved!!  (Yay!!)  The other was silly really.  I joined a few “over 50” Facebook groups as a way of meeting other women and encouraging each other as we move through these decades. Many of them do something called OOTD (Outfit Of The Day).  I had lots of fun with it even though I very seldom dress up!!  Once I began to blog, I actually did a post about my OOTD experience.  Anyway… I was honest about my physical struggles (I know, I know!!!  Dumb!).  I posted a link to my blog post on OOTD.  I didn’t know that blog links were not allowed.  (Dummy me-should have read the guidelines!).  I was stunned when a woman accused me of trying to start a “fashion” blog and using my physical issues as a way to make people feel sorry for me.  She was very unkind, her words were sharp and just plain mean!  I was absolutely stunned!  I apologized (which was dumb too — can you see a theme??)  I did a self-check with another MS warrior and she assured me that it was her, not me!!  Okay.  Let’s get out of middle school here and move on…

I thought I moved on from both situations.   It began small… I’d feel a niggling of anxiety when I went to the grocery store, but I pushed through.  I felt fear as I took Jazzy Joy for her walk, but I pushed it down… after all, if I don’t walk her, she doesn’t have an outlet for her energy!!  I kept pushing down, pushing down.  I continued to read my Bible.  I repeated my mantra of “It’s My Favorite Day.”  I did have a week’s respite when I visited darling Amanda because I was so stinkin’ busy!!  But I kept pushing down, pushing away without looking at it and dealing with it.

By Friday, I was having panic attacks every hour or so.  My vertigo kicked in.  I literally couldn’t get my breath.  I knew they were panic attacks but by Saturday, it was completely physical.  I was scheduled to do something Sunday with mostly strangers by myself.  I couldn’t do it.  I was physically sick.  I thought, “well, get it out, look at it and move forward.”  So, anxiety won.  I spent Saturday mostly in bed.  I was up all night. By Sunday I decided if I couldn’t get a hold of myself, I’d call my doctor on Monday.

I needed to get my brain on something other than panic and anxiety.  I put my praise music on and finished a mixed media piece for my friend.  I also had an idea for a hand-lettered piece for Christmas.  I put my energy to figuring out its design and how I was going to actually letter it (instead of stencil it).

Breathe in breathe out… plan… paint…  pray…   Breathe in breathe out… plan… paint… pray…

By last evening, while I felt like I had been in a fight (my whole body hurt), my mind had quieted down.  I am not naive enough to think this war is over, but I won that battle!

I’m obviously going to have to pay closer attention to how I’m handling things to make sure my anxiety doesn’t ratchet up like that again.  Oh, and I’ve “un-joined” all of those groups.  I’m thinking they’re not a good fit for me. 🙂

These are the two pieces of art I worked on yesterday.  One is the piece for my friend — “Find Hope In the Journey.”  One of the sayings on it is, “I am not afraid of storms for I m learning how to sail my ship.”


The second is a simple Christmas piece on linen — “O come let us adore Him” — I hand-lettered it and am very proud of it!  I might have to make a few more!!


Isaiah 61:3 says:  “to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

I want my anxiety to be the ashes that are exchanged for beauty!!  May it be so, Lord!!

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An A+ Idea

February 5, 2016 at 7:59 pm (Decorative Painting, mixed media, Musings...)

An A+ Idea-2

Buying Christmas presents for adult children is very difficult.  I honestly don’t know their tastes and I purchase most things with a gift receipt.  This year my son-in-law and I had a great partnership… I gave him a dollar amount and he ordered his presents and had them shipped to me.  I wrapped them and he acted surprised when he opened them 😀

I had one great idea…  I think I came up with it during one of my nights of insomnia.  I gathered the wedding pictures of my parents, Dan’s parents, Danny and I, Amanda and Hengyi and the “save the date” picture for Brent and Marissa.  I got some cool picture frames from Michael’s. These I painted black because they were “shabby-chic” and neither couple likes that look (sad for me because it’s my favorite look!).  I had the pictures printed in 4×6 size.  Actually, Dan’s Mom and Dad’s picture is considered a “portrait” and Walmart wouldn’t print it so I had to use my home printer.  Who knew???

I inserted the pictures into the frames and wrapped them, anticipating Amanda and Brent’s reactions.  Surprisingly, my son cried, Amanda didn’t 😀

An A+ Idea

My son-in-law called it “an A+ present!”  Christmas 2016 is only 11 months away.  🙂

I must report on the art class I went to last Saturday.  I wrote about it in Courage… Be Brave.  It turned out, it was more of a “wine and paint” party.  Groups came and stuck together.  I love learning from Paul Seymour.  I don’t know if I will go again, but I painted a beautiful picture.


Paint Party Picture

I am working on a “Journey” piece.  I originally made one for my friend from college.  She was away when I posted it on my FB page and another classmate, from high school, wanted to know if she could purchase it.  So… I made a second piece.

The first piece…Courage-Tammy Fast

The second piece…

So, that’s my story.  I hope you enjoyed seeing my A+ idea, my paint class piece and my two new “Journey” pieces.  Be blessed my friends!!


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This Blogger lost her Way

January 4, 2016 at 2:02 pm (Musings...)

I am currently in hibernation mode.  The cold weather makes my TN very angry.  It doesn’t matter if I cover my head, my ears and my mouth, it still  elicits pain.  I have one errand day — Wednesday — and I cram all of my tasks into one day.

It’s been six months since I promised to blog again.  I failed miserably.  I’ve been pondering why I haven’t blogged and the bottom line is, I’ve lost my blogging way.  Why am I blogging?? What am I blogging about?  What is my message??

I’ve answered some of the questions in my crazy brain and hope, in the near future, to move forward with a new blog, new ideas and fresh perspective.  Until that time, I’ll keep you up to date on this site.

Bottom line is I’m a 56 year old wife and mother with multiple sclerosis and trigeminal neuralgia.  Pain follows me each and every day.  You don’t want to hear about the pain because most of you have pain of your own.  My children are grown and moving on with their lives and I’m {{Still}} going in circles.  I am working on a purpose statement for 2016.

I think I’d like my blog to be a daily encouragement to those who struggle like I do, yet overcome each and every day!  I’d like to share recipes, ideas, and focus on my art and sewing.  I want this blog to again be an extension of who I am.

My Facebook book club is reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  On page 26, she writes a letter to “Fear,” which always goes with her.  She speaks to fear as if it were an entity, a person.  Her conclusion is that fear can come along for the ride.  He can have a seat, even a voice, but NOT a vote!!  I was so excited when I read that, I called Amanda and read the whole passage to her (which was noisy because she didn’t have her earpiece, was driving in VA and isn’t allowed to hold a phone so she stuck it on speaker).

So… I will show you, in pictures, what the last six months included — minus the painful days… only the highlights!!



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My Favorite Room (Previously posted October 28, 2008)

June 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm (Musings...)

As I am working my way back into blogging, I thought I’d post some blogs of years past.  This post was published on October 26, 2008.  Nothing has changed in this room, including the fact that it’s my place of peace.  

I thought I’d share pictures of my favorite room in my house.  In it, I am surrounded by my favorite things… my Grandmother’s Hoosier Hutch (with burn marks in the enamel from Grandpap’s cigarettes), my “primitive” hutch, my teapots, a collection of “Marcrest” pottery, some of my decorative paintings, and if you look closely on the bench Danny made, my Bible and study materials.  I made the drapes and arranged the flowers.

From this vantage point, I drink tea, relax, read, study, think, pray, and watch.  It is a place of peace for me.  I caught my bandit chipmunk stealing seeds (see previous post) from this chair.  I am blessed.  🙂

My primitive hutch and collection of teapots

My primitive hutch and collection of teapots


A “bird’s eye” view

Grandma's hutch, Marcrest pottery and my breadbox

Grandma’s hutch, Marcrest pottery and breadbox

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A Place Of Rest

September 26, 2014 at 12:11 pm (Multiple Sclerosis, Musings...)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11: 28.

Fair warning… this isn’t a happy blog post.  It is a cry from my heart.  No pictures. No profound statements.  Just me trying to put a very long battle into perspective and searching for a bit of peace.

Those of you who read my blog understand that I work really hard to find JOY in every circumstance.  You haven’t heard from me because I didn’t want to burden you.  Many, and I might say most public blogs only show the fun side of life.  Right now, it is very hard to read them because it seems most people are sailing through life, creating, functioning beautifully, without a bump in the road.

My “bump” is coming up on 25 years… multiple sclerosis.  I have fought bravely with all of my being but I am tired, very very tired, tired in my bones, tired in my soul.

Several factors have culminated to get me to this point.  First, my disease is progressing.  My trigeminal neuralgia gives me a literal pain in my head most days.  Medicating that is tricky.  I walk a fine line between being addicted to opiates and under-medicating to the point where it takes more drugs to get rid of the pain.  My MS is causing my legs to weaken by the end of the day, meaning that by the time DannyO comes home from work I am totally spent.  Add to that sweet Jazmine.  If I am honest, we have a love-hate relationship.  She is nearly 5 months old, very smart, but a puppy with frenetic energy.  I no longer have the privilege of staying in bed all day.  Sometimes I need to do that but right now am unable to do so.  Since I agreed to get her, I cannot complain to Danny about it.  If it was up to me, we wouldn’t have her – she is Dan’s.  But what is done is done.

I weep a few times each day.  Yesterday I took Jazzy outside to run off some steam.  It was a beautiful sunny Autumn day but I couldn’t see the beauty.  As I lie in the grass I asked, “Where are you Lord??  I can’t feel You!!  I can’t see You!!”

A whisper came through my spirit… “Breathe, my child, in and out… breathe My Name. I am here. I love you my child”

You see, I forget to pray for myself.  I pray for others… sweet Madeline, my darling DannyO and children, my MS Ninja friends, Jenn, requests that come over the EBC Facebook page, my Momma and Daddy.

While it wasn’t a big “ah-ha” moment, I decided to just breathe the name of Jesus.  Today I am doing better.  I was able to do a load of wash, pay bills and pick a few things up at the grocery store without having a panic attack.   I took Jazzy to the store because I went early enough that it wasn’t too hot.  Right now she is crated so I can rest.  I am learning that her crate is my friend. 🙂

Tomorrow??  Don’t know.  I’m just trying to get through today.  Jazzy will want out soon and we will be taking a slow walk (that would be me) to help wear her out.  She romps and runs as I shuffle along.  My house is filthy (by my standards).  It probably would be a good idea if I found someone to help me one day each month.  We need to clean part of the basement so Jazmine can go out using that door. It would help keep my kitchen floor clean.  I can’t go into my art room during the day because she likes to be right by my side and there are too many things she could ruin.  In the evening I am just too tired.  Soon she will be willing and able to simply lie at my feet… soon… I want to sing.  I want to sew.  I want to paint.   I want to dance (not really but I’m planning to dance in heaven).

So, I breathe, in and out, breathing His Name, asking the Holy Spirit to intercede on my behalf because I don’t know how to pray.  I behave my way through each day, knowing that there is a chance that tomorrow will be better… maybe.  But I hold on to the promise that, if I am weary and heavy laden, I know a place of rest.

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God;
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God;
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

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Three Subjects, Starting with Tuesday-Shoesday

May 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm (Jewelry, Musings..., Shoes, Social Anxiety, Trigeminal Neuralgia)

Subject #1

“Life is not waiting for the storm to pass.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain!!” I know this statement is figurative, but it can be taken literally too!  In the middle of March, it was raining buckets.  I had a neurologist appointment in Altoona.  Of course, it figures, all of the handicapped spots were taken!!  Now, I am not pointing fingers at anyone, but I do know that when it rains, anyone who has a placard, even though they don’t need it on that particular day, is more likely than not to use the HP. I needed my rollater.  It is nearly impossible to manage a rollator AND an umbrella.  I parked WAAAAAYYYY far away from the entrance.  By the time my feet, in slow speed, made it to the entrance, I was soaked through to my undies!!  {{Sigh}}

It was at that point that I decided to buy a pair of rain boots.  I already have a pretty rain-resistant coat.  Since I am not going fishing, just getting from point A to point B, it will suffice.  It is pink.  I looked at many styles and colors of boots, but the yellow ones made me happy 🙂 .  So… Rain, give it your best shot!!!  I am ready for you!!! (Plus, I will look stylish dodging rain drops!)

My Awesome Rainboots!!

My Awesome Rainboots!!

Subject #2

Weekday 12 of no daytime television.  I am on a roll!  This morning I went to the high school (Subject #3), came home, took a nap, planted my herbs, took another nap, am blogging and plan to start supper soon.  Last week I finished a bracelet for my sweet niece, Kristi Brinklie (Really!!  Her last name is Olsavsky). She liked it.  I am very happy with the finished product.  I used one of my wire-worked hearts.


Subject #3

MelodyeJoy – 2  Social Anxiety (SA) – 0

I have spoken about my struggle with social anxiety.  I am working so hard to “behave my way” through it.

Last week, my friend Michelle and her group, New Journey, were singing at EBC.  I really wanted to hear them.  I waffled throughout the week.  On Thursday, I made it Facebook official.  I was going!!  I ran one errand before heading to the church.  I started panicking when I hit the Elton Road exit.  I kept driving… I parked… I pulled out my rollator… Michelle’s sweet hubby, the V man, met me at the door with a big hug.  I am so glad I went to hear them.  They blessed my heart.

Some of you know that I was the accompanist for the Central Cambria School District for 12 years until 2009.  What was later diagnosed as trigeminal neuralgia, made it necessary for me to “retire.”  I have not been back to a concert, at first, because I was so very sad that I had to stop doing something I loved.  Then this stupid SA reared its ugly head rendering me helpless to even attempt to go.  Two weeks ago I texted Paul, (the director and a wonderful friend) and asked if I could attend the double-period rehearsal the day of the concert. He said yes and to text him Monday to remind him to tell the office I was coming… Monday… every time I started to text, I couldn’t.  I promise you this is a real feeling.  Unless it has happened to you, it will make no sense at all to you!!

Finally, I figured he was home from school and couldn’t tell the office I was coming so I texted him, apologizing for not texting earlier, but not telling him the whys of it.  His answer to me was “No worries!!  It will be chaos but I would love to see you!!”

I set my alarm for 7:15 a.m. and, fortifying myself with coffee, dressing to the “nines” with my new Toms and my favorite Isaac Mizrahi scarf (and my goodwill jeans), I went to the school.  I spent two hours listening to wonderful music and talking to two of my favorite friends, Paul and Tom (Tom now accompanies the choirs). Again, I am so happy I went!!


Tom, Me and Paul Graduation-2004


Paul, Tom and Me One of our themed concerts (I re-made my sweatshirt)

I am feeling more confident that I can win this social anxiety battle!!





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“Here Comes Everything I Need”

May 16, 2014 at 2:58 pm (Anniversaries, Musings...)

Fair warning… lots of pictures!!!  How can you celebrate 34 years without pictures!!

Happy 34th Anniversary to darling DannyO and me!

We were dating in this picture. No digital "do-overs!"

We were dating in this picture. No digital “do-overs!”

Wow!!  34 years!! That’s something to celebrate in this day and age.  We were married on a Friday night, May 16, 1980.  Our best friends, Buck and Mary, John and Janet stood in for us. My Grammy and Momma and Daddy came.  We spent our “honeymoon” on the Christian Diplomat bus, as we already had booked dates to sing Saturday night and Sunday.  Reverend Jenkins married us at a church in Ebensburg.  I won’t go into the details why we weren’t married at Pike, but let me just say, times were different than they are today 🙂

Danny, me, Momma and Daddy

Danny, me, Momma and Daddy

Me and Grammy

Me and Grammy


Just Married!

Just Married!

Danny worked in the coal mines and I worked at the Domestic Relations office in the courthouse.  We rented a tiny one-bedroom apartment on Margaret St in Ebensburg for $185.00 a month, including utilities!!  Our landlords, the Griffiths, became real friends to us. To get to their washer and our dryer (yes, they let us use their washing machine), I had to go outside and around to the basement.  Within a week, I was knocking on their door, (with their permission) walking through the connecting door to do laundry.  Often, I would hear Danny’s F-150 and knew he was home, but then I would hear the door to the Griffith’s house open.  I’d hear him playing with Misty, their miniature collie.  When supper was ready, I’d call down and he’d come up and we’d share a meal in our tiny kitchen.  We bought the kitchen table and chairs.  We were given the couch and end tables and coffee table.  The couch wasn’t in great shape so I bought a throw for it, which had to be adjusted each and every time someone sat on it.  We also had a black and white television, which, of course, didn’t have a remote!  The Griffiths had an extra bedroom set.  We cuddled on a borrowed bed.  I did purchase some beautiful yellow curtains for the kitchen.  When Danny worked 4-12 or hoot owl, I felt safe.

In love!!

In love!!

As I am writing this, memories are flooding back to me.  I won’t write them all down because this would be a novel, not a blog post.  Someday I will write the story of how we met. 🙂

We met in November 1979, so we were still learning about each other the day we got married.  I will tell you that we had some outside conflict the first year we were married.  We faced it head on together, giving each other strength, standing shoulder to shoulder.

Daddy and Amanda taking a wee nap.

Daddy and Amanda taking a wee nap.

Two years later, March 25, 1982 our precious daughter, Amanda, was born.  By then, we were living in a trailer on a piece of property across the road from my Mom and Dad.  The winter of 1982, Bobby Jo  moved the trailer across the road, up a 1/4 mile lane, turned it around in the back field and settled it on the two acres Dad and Mom so graciously gave to us (we actually paid them $1.00 so we wouldn’t have to pay inheritance tax).  Our ground was one big hill and the front of the trailer was cribbed up very high to level it.  It was warm and cozy and we settled in with our little family of three.

Amanda "helping" her Dad

Amanda “helping” her Dad

In 1984, we had enough money saved to start building our house.  Danny would work in the mines, come home, grab a bite to eat and walk 30 feet to the house.  Amanda loved to go over and “help” her Daddy.  On December 8, 1985, sweet baby Brent was born.  We moved into the house in 1986, although none of the trim work was done and we still walked on sub flooring.  But… it was ours and we were debt free.

Sweet baby Brent

Sweet baby Brent

Sweet Baby Brent

Sweet Baby Brent











In 1987, Dan’s mine closed permanently.  Because we had no debt, he was able to attend Penn Tech in Pittsburgh.  He went to school four days a week, and worked for Jerry Varner Friday and Saturday.  He and Amanda studied at the kitchen table together.  I had to go back to work.  I began by working for Kelly Services — my paycheck was $144.00 a week – net!! Amanda was in school.   Janice watched Brent a few days a week.  Ann also watched them in the summer.  My Momma graciously watched them one day a week.  On Friday’s, after putting Amanda on the bus, Danny would head out to Varner’s with Brent in tow.  Brent had his big wheel and loved to ride the ramp between the two horse barns.  Brent called him “Jerdy Farmer.”

Probably taken at a concert.

Probably taken at a concert.

Taken at the Crown American Building opening

Taken at the Crown American Building opening












Danny graduated in December 1989 with an associates degree in electronics.  By this time, I had been working at Crown American for two years.  He immediately found a job.  In December 1989, I had a pain behind my eye.  By February of 1990, my legs stopped working.  I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

I will not go through the next 24 years in this post except to say that DannyO was my rock. We worked as a team parenting Amanda and Brent.  He held my hand when I was afraid, held my head when I was vomiting uncontrollably from vertigo.  He came home early from a fishing trip when I had a seizure and ended up at the bottom of our stairs in a puddle of urine.  Amanda found me — what a scary situation for her!

Back in the 1990’s, solumedrol was the main treatment for MS exacerbations.  They required a 7-day hospital stay and I had 3 to 4 treatments each year.  When I went to the Cleveland Clinic for more extensive testing, DannyO, without complaint, took personal days off to make the drive with me.

The kids visiting me in the hospital

The kids visiting me in the hospital

The Deetscreeks, Bud and Ernie (or “Bert and Ernie” as Brent called them) put the finishing touches on our home, including the hardwood flooring and the deck.

Fast forward to today.  I remember the year we bought each other the same anniversary card.  One year, we each forgot… and remembered a few days later on the same day!!

A "selfie"

A “selfie”

Has it been all fun and games??  No!  Have we every considered divorce?? No!  As I would often say, “murder, yes, divorce, no!”  We had some rough years while we were in our 30’s.  Looking back, we were so stressed, the kids were growing, I was sick, we had, it seemed, never enough money. But, back then, we could “float” checks.  That is why I still balance our checkbook to the penny!! When the balance hovers around $20.00, you’d better be sure you know exactly everything that has been debited from the account.  We pushed through, working to communicate, learning how to disagree without saying hurtful things.  We used to have knock-down, drag-out fights.  We’ve learned that some words, once spoken, are so hurtful that irrevocable damage is done.  We don’t say those words any more. There really is an art to fighting!!

:-D I love this picture!

😀 I love this picture!

Thanksgiving (I don't remember the year)

Thanksgiving (I don’t remember the year)









My sisters will tell you that my DannyO has made me laugh more.  I was the oldest, serious sister.  My children will tell you that their Dad is the hardest working person they know.  So much, that when he finally sits down in the recliner, he is out like a light within five minutes, remote in hand!!

At Kari and Brad's wedding

At Kari and Brad’s wedding

Me and Darling DannyO at Amanda's Wedding

Me and Darling DannyO at Amanda’s Wedding











I fell in love with Daniel Gregory because he was funny, cute, drove a nice truck and treated me like I was his found treasure.  I now know that love, while real, wasn’t the sustaining love needed to live in the real world.

I love Danny now with every fiber of my being because he is the kindest, most faithful, hardest working person I know.  And he still loves me, with everything that goes along with loving me.  I love him more every day.  I also have learned to say those words early and often each day.  Saying “I love you” goes great with breakfast, typed as a text, said when he is so weary at the end of a long day, but he has to go out into the dark and cold on yet another call.

At The beach!!

At The beach!!

Amanda's Wedding 2012

Amanda’s Wedding








The Beach!!

The Beach!!












Above all, I know that there is one person in this whole universe who has my back, is willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with me and, when necessary, pick me up and carry me.

The card I got for him this year says…

“I love looking for you in a crowded place, spotting you at last, catching your eye, seeing you smile, watching you walk my way… In that moment, every other thought drops away.”

“All I’m thinking is, here he is.  Here comes everything I need.”

Christmas party 2013

Christmas party 2013

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Little Changes… Can Make a BIG Difference

May 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm (Jewelry, Musings...)

I am an empty-nester hermit whose darling hubby works long hours and I am okay with that!!  I’ve written before about my battles with MS, TN and social anxiety.  This latest battle,and a victory if I’m being honest, will make a big difference in my life.

Last week, my blogger friend, Tab, announced that she and her family would have an “unplugged, screen-free” week. (Tab, I miss you and will be glad when you are back).  That got me thinking… I have the television on during the day just for noise.  However, I’ve developed a bad habit, especially when I’m not feeling well. I fritter away good hours just watching mindless television (any Law and Order series and {{Yikes}} shopping channels).

Follow my logical thinking. If I only have a few good hours each day and I spend them watching television, I am not only wasting time, but I am not being a good steward of the days the Lord has given me.

So… I did my own version of “unplugged, screen-free.”  I did not turn the television on until 4:00 p.m. for Judge Judy.  I am usually preparing supper at that time and reasoned it was the natural line of demarcation for me.

What a difference it made!!  My week was filled with fabulous music, wonderful books and some real serious hours of creativity!!!

Instead of watching the Today Show as I drank my coffee and ate my greek yogurt, I opened my Bible, read some verses and spent time in prayer.  Instead of sitting and watching Live with Kelly & Michael, I did one load of laundry each day and spent 30 minutes in my kitchen, cleaning, sorting and organizing.  By the time Ellen came on, I was in my art studio, working on a Dooney & Burke inspired tote and bending wire and stringing beads.

Noon is the usual time my body starts falling apart. Instead of turning on the noon news or Law & Order, I had a good Paleo snack and closed my eyes for 20 minutes or so.  One of the days was very rough and I stayed lying down for a few hours, but I had my iPod set to shuffle and I enjoyed wonderful music as I dozed.  Two days, as the weather was beautiful, I took my walking stick for a walk through the back fields, came home and took a shower before starting supper.

Even as I write this, DannyO is at a call and, instead of watching TV, I am listening to music.

The week went so well that I am going to continue my version of  “unplugged – screen-free!”  Thanks Tab!!!

These are the projects I worked on this week…

The lining for my tote

The lining for my tote


A bracelet I designed for my Momma for Mother’s Day.


Earrings — these are pretty cool!!


“Marissa.” These are aptly named for my son’s girlfriend. They are a new design and I hope she likes them 🙂

This coming week, I hope to deep clean my bathroom and laundry room in those 30 minutes each morning.  Of course, if the Pirates are playing or there is a NASCAR race on, I may have to re-negotiate with myself.  I hope to finish my tote and work on a water color that I’ve had prepped for a few weeks.  I will also blog more because I am not squandering precious time.




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Keys to Success

February 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm (Musings...)

I am slowly working through the clutter that is my art studio.  I have some calligraphy supplies coming (yes, Sue, I used my credit card!) and I want to be ready to work on my art.

I gave this away in 2008 but I want to recreate it on a canvas that I can frame... Calligraphy project #1

I gave this away in 2008 but I want to recreate it on a canvas that I can frame… Calligraphy project #1

I found some hidden treasures.  One is a poem I started when my Grandpa Gay died.  I need to finish it.  That experience was like no other.  These two beautiful pictures had fallen behind a cabinet.  They bring back precious memories.

At the hospital, 12-9-85 -- Amanda and Brent

At the hospital, the day after Brent was born — 12-9-85 — Amanda and Brent and Me


My Momma and my Grammy

I also found a list, “Keys To Success.”  I cannot remember where or when I got it.  I do know that I shared it with my daughter, Amanda, all those years ago.  I am not sure she even remembers it.  I tended to be like a dog on a bone when I wanted to get a point across.  I tried to teach Amanda to live her life from a place of great strength and this list was an excellent tool.

Keys To Success

  • Marry the right person.  This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness.
  • Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.
  • Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  • Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  • Be forgiving of yourself and others.
  • Be generous.
  • Have a grateful heart.
  • Persistence, persistence, persistence.
  • Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
  • Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  • Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  • Commit yourself to quality.
  • Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
  • Be loyal.
  • Be honest.
  • Be a self-starter.
  • Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.
  • Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
  • Be bold and courageous.  When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
  • Take good care of those you love.
  • Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud.

Something to think about!!

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