Versatile Blogger Award!

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Come on now, you know you guys have been missing my most interesting blogging awards!  It’s been over a week, I think, since I’ve bombarded you all with not so cool facts about myself hasn’t it?  Well, because I love you guys and I don’t want you to have to wait a second longer to read ALL about ME, I’m going to be sharing a few more awards with you all 🙂  Thank you Olivia, for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!  Actually, I joke a lot about these awards but I am always humbled and honored that anyone would include me in their list of other cool blogs.  I really DO appreciate the love and I’m always happy to pass along the love.  If you guys haven’t already discovered how awesome Olivia is, you’ve GOT to check out her writing!  She’s one of the most interesting people I’ve encountered on WP.  Here’s what she says about herself:

Olivia Stocum

If you’re reading this, then you’re wondering who I am. So here you go.

I live in New York state with my husband, three children, and our Jack Russell Terror. Oh, sorry, I meant Terrier. I’m a Celtic musician and love folk rhythms. Growing up, I rode horses and shot a bow, and generally lived in my own little world where I had adventures with Robin Hood.

I have placed in a number of writing contests with my fiction and I even won first place once. (That may never happen again!) I am currently working on two series. One is set in 1600’s Scotland and the other is a paranormal romance. I expect to release my first novel July 2013.

Tìoraidh an-dràsta (bye for now)”

Here are the rules for accepting The Versatile Blogger Award:

1) Add The Versatile Blogger award photo on a blog post
2) Thank the person who presented you with the award and link back to him or her in your post
3) Share seven things about yourself
4) Pass the award along to 15 bloggers you’ve recently discovered. Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Here are my 7 self absorbed facts all about me.  I’ll try to add pictures so you won’t be so bored 🙂

1.  When I was little, I used to pretend that I was a beautiful singer/movie star (usually Dolly Parton or some other singer with big hair and lots of pretty make up).  Who ever was on the radio singing passionate love songs that would make people cry.  I would imagine that everyone was hearing ME on the radio and that they all loved me.  I was the most famous person in the world!  lol  I think I did this to escape the reality of my abusive family.

2.  My bff’s 20 year old son is VERY likely to become a professional baseball player.  His pitching is OFF THE WALL fast and accurate and I sure wish I knew more about baseball so I could tell you about how much potential he has!  lol  The point is that on April 30, he’s going to go show off his stuff to the major leagues.  It’s pretty much a done deal that he’ll get signed (this is me VISUALIZING positive stuff for him because I know he can do it!).  PLEASE, positive thoughts and prayers for him?  It’s been his dream since he was a very little boy and now it’s our dream for him too.

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(remember his name cause you heard it here first!  Bryar Langley 🙂

3.  I used to sneak home every stray animal that I could find.  The last time I did this, I was 17 and found a white German Shepherd.  I named him Joey and loved to go to the park and play ball with him.  One day I came home from school and found that my mom had taken him to the pound because she couldn’t afford to buy dog food for him.  I hated her for this and cried for months over that dog.  I don’t know why I couldn’t understand.  She couldn’t afford to feed us, let alone a dog.  I just wish she would have told me… but I would have had a melt down and made her life miserable.

(this isn’t Joey but it’s one that looks like him)

4.  I’m a believer in the paranormal and supernatural.  I believe that there’s just so much out there that our human minds are not able to comprehend or understand.  I think it’s CRAZY that some people are so egotistic that they believe in only what THEIR eyes can see.  I believe that God can speak to you in dreams.  Oh and while we’re on THAT subject, I love the Long Island Medium and yes I believe she’s the real deal.

5.  During the Spring and Summer, I treat myself to a pedicure every 2 weeks.  I think everyone woman who sports a pair of flip flops SHOULD pay attention to how pretty their toes are.  lol

 6.  And while we’re on the subject of “feet”…  although feet generally make me grossed out, I can NOT resist baby feet!  I absolutely adore chubby little baby toes 🙂

7.  One of the suckiest things about having this ulcer disease is that I can’t drink alcohol at all for fear of extreme pain and potential bleeding.  I used to LOVE Long Island Ice Tea and I really wish that every once in a while I could have one (like right now).

Here’s where I’m going to probably break the rules.  I’ll try to name 15 bloggers more recently discovered but 15 is a big number and if I don’t really know your blog, how am I going to know how versatile you are?  Basically, I’m just going to bring you 15 cool blogs so here goes:

1.  Beth at http://1flashychick.wordpress.com/ (My bff is starting her own blog and here’s my shameless plug!)

2.  Justin at http://justingawel.com/

3.  http://overstandpodcast.wordpress.com/

4.  Ms Red Pen at http://msredpen.wordpress.com/  (someone I’ve loved since the days of Vox!)

5.  Shaun at http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/ (cause I’m always going to shout out to Shaun!)

6.  Sue at http://scvincent.com/

7.  Laura at http://lauradgumm.wordpress.com/

8.  Champ or Will at http://technoteamblog.wordpress.com/

9.  Dave at http://barclaydave.wordpress.com/

10.  http://soletusknow.wordpress.com/

11.  http://projectfirestarter.wordpress.com/

12.  Carla at http://randomthoughtsofatwentysomething.wordpress.com/

13.  Amy at http://nellieanddot.wordpress.com/

14.  Sarah at http://andthisiswhyiwilldiealonesurroundedbycats.wordpress.com/

15.  Steven at http://justafterwords.com/

Okay… have you left me yet?  Hope not!  I tried to bring you all a variety of different types of blogs so a lot of thought really DID go into this!  lol  As always, this is a no pressure award.  Take it or leave it but know that I appreciate ALL of you and look forward to these days when I can spread the love around 😉  If you don’t have time to do this, I won’t be offended.  Hey, you can always save these awards for the days when you’re having trouble thinking of something new to blog about!

Peace out my fine fellow bloggers!

 

A MAJOR rant and a happy ending :-)

What a CRAZY weekend and week, for that matter!  I’m getting TOO freaking old for this, really.  lol  Today, I talked to somebody about my brother, who is a Leo.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the personality traits of a Leo, they’re just a tad self centered.  They’re STRONG and funny, but yes, the world as they see it, should ALWAYS revolve around them.  My brother came from the womb this way and he received many an a$$ kicking from me when he was little.  I should be ashamed, but I’m not.

This weekend, my brother suggested we have a birthday dinner for me.  He planned this with my husband.  I have to give little brother credit for even caring at all because I can’t remember a single birthday where he actually did anything for me.  Not that I mind… my birthday’s were something I’d like to forget, mostly because the brother that I shared every birthday with is gone.  I just wish they would come and go quietly, really.  Anyway, little brother planned a dinner.  You’d think it would be at HIS house right?  Nope.  He wanted to have the dinner at MY house so that my hubby can grill.  Little brother was going to provide the meat to be grilled but we had to do the sides.  He DID offer to HELP Hubby grill.

First of all, you know what having company means, right?  I have to clean.  The burden of cleaning and getting the house ready for company fell on me and my daughter.  I’m sure Hubby would have done it if I’d asked but he’s not good about details.  SO, I cleaned AND I made part of the dinner.  Once little brother arrived, he was “too sick” to help with anything. Hubby did it all while Little Brother went and laid down in my bed.  He had a headache and he was SURE that nobody in the world ever suffered from a headache such as he had.  Seriously.  I told him I understand headaches because I suffer from migraines but he told me that he knew I wouldn’t be able to LIVE with the kind of pain he suffered from.  Hmmm… how quickly he forgets that I have MANY a scar since I’ve been cut from my neck down to my belly button.  THAT’S nowhere near the pain Little Brother was having though.  So, I left Little Pumpkin to sleep in my bed while we got the food ready.

You might be interested to know what my birthday present was?  Okay, I’ll tell you.  My brother allowed me to take care of his baby daughters overnight and all the next day.  Thank GOD Hubby, Daughter and her friend helped me with this because I, myself, felt like complete crap.  Although, I’m sure my pain couldn’t compare to Little Brother’s.  I love my nieces, you all know I do.  I love them like they’re my own kids and why shouldn’t I?  They spend more than 2/3 of their life with me!  lol  It’s just that I’m tired.  And one of my nieces is possessed by the devil.  No joke.  I love her but she’s got some serious problems!  Far be it from ME to mention that to Little Brother because his progeny are perfect, just like him.  Oh and he really feels that if he tells me enough how I’m privileged to be able to watch them (because he won’t allow anyone else to take care of the little angels), I’ll look at it as my most honored privilege.  Only it’s my BIRTHDAY… so can’t I get a pass at least for this week?  Nope, I can not.

Little brother and his wife wanted/needed some time alone Saturday night so my family took care of my nieces.  3 of them.  Granted, the oldest one is a PLEASURE and no trouble at all.  The baby is also an angel, but you know how much time babies take, right?  Even the BEST baby is a handful!  lol  I could have said no, but I recognized that they don’t have time together (brother and wife).  They’re in their 40’s, like me and they get tired too.  So, just like he knew I would, I felt sorry for them and tried to FIX things.  So how did Little Brother and his wife spend their night together?  Little Brother was too sick to pay attention to his wife so he moaned and groaned and complained while she quietly read a book.  Wow.  What a waste.  Can’t he just fake it and TRY to act like he wasn’t the center of the universe?  It took SO much for my sister in law to rearrange her schedule just to be ABLE to spend an evening with her husband.  This was an evening he said he desperately needed with her.  I guess it was all good for him because she got the opportunity to dote on him and be concerned with his sicknesses.  She must be a saint.  I’d have killed him.

Yesterday, Sunday, the little angels were supposed to go home by noon.  They did NOT.  After noon, little brother called to tell me that his wife would be tied up at their oldest daughter’s tournaments until 5:00 p.m.  Did I want him to come and pick the kids up?  HELL YES, I wanted him to come right then!  Did he?  Nope.  He called his wife and asked her to leave the tournament, over an hour away, and come pick her kids up.  She couldn’t leave so the kids stayed here until after 5:00.  Little Brother had to go to the dump to empty trash and he actually said that he was going to be “stuck” with his kids for this entire week so he couldn’t come get them.  He’s a SAHD.  He doesn’t much like his role as Mr. Mom.  REALLY?  His poor wife works over 12 hours a day and still has to take care of the house and her kids when she gets home.  She NEVER has a break but my precious little brother needs a break.  Seriously, the kids are with me more than half the week, most weeks.  I guess I just thought that I would be exempt from having to watch the little darlings on my birthday.

Done with rant… kind of.  We made the best of the weekend, still.  I DO enjoy my nieces (when I’m feeling good).  I do NOT enjoy the devil that resides inside my 4 year old niece.  Luckily, Hubby was at home to restrain her from hurting herself this weekend.  She went into a RAGE, growling at us and slobbering because Hubby made her put a shirt on to go outside.  She feels like she should be naked all the time.  That would be fine with me if not for the fact that at 4, she’s getting a little too old and I don’t want some pervert driving by to look at her “business”.  lol  Hubby doesn’t “lose” it often, he’s got the patience of a saint.  However, even though he doesn’t believe in spankings, he had to administer one yesterday.  AND hold her so that she didn’t bang her head (on purpose) on the furniture.  I really can’t even describe her tantrums because I’ve never seen anything like them before.

Things DID settle down after the restraining incident and Precious Jr. became my Hubby’s best friend!  lol  Here they are cleaning up the playhouse.

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(this old playhouse was one we built for my 28 year old daughter when she was 4!  My youngest daughter and her friend ghettofied it with paint a few years ago.  Ignore the paint. Besides Hubby and Esme’ are going to paint it white and also make a sign that says “Esme’s Playhouse 🙂 )

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Here’s my teenage munchkin and her bff helping to keep the baby occupied so that I could do my birthday dishes.  lol  These kids were a LIFE saver!  Eventually, my daughter’s bff took off because she couldn’t take it anymore.  lmao

Once the babies left, we all got the heck out of Dodge and went to Dairy Queen!  There’s not much that ice cream doesn’t fix, right?  We ended the day with lots of laughs and fun and yumminess 🙂  All is good again at my house!

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(Hubby contemplating the Oreo Blizzard that will be coming his way soon)

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Hannah the bff, enjoying her ice cream, maybe a little TOO much!  lmao  BTW… she’d KILL me if she knew I posted this pic 😉  You can see that my daughter didn’t have much time this weekend to take care of her own very special hair needs?  hehehe

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Life is good again and everything’s fixed, all because of a little ice cream 🙂

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Hmmm…. maybe I should pay attention to my OWN hair and grooming needs?  Naw.  I didn’t give two $hi*$ about who was looking at me.  Sometimes, you just have to NOT care and enjoy your ice cream 🙂

Hope you all had a spectacular weekend?

Transplant news… the final decision…

So much has been happening with my family lately and I really haven’t had the time to write or pay much attention to my blog, or my LIFE for that matter.  I’ve also had some pretty serious decisions about my own health that I’ve had to come to terms with.  I’ve talked, pretty much, about my need for a complete intestine transplant and the expiration date that the good doctors have labeled me with.  Well…  on my birthday a few days ago, a FINAL decision was made.

For those of you who don’t know what’s going on, I’ll try to explain briefly.  I have a rare bleeding ulcer disease.  There’s no name for it because there’s nobody known living with this exact condition.  Basically, I have ulcers that eat through my intestine and stomach tissue that causes excessive bleeding.  The best way I can explain it is to tell you that it’s similar to a cancer but it doesn’t spread beyond my digestive tissue.  Although there are no tumors.  Just disease.  I’ve had more surgeries than I can remember the number.  They’ve had to take out my entire stomach to stop the bleeding and they’ve had to reroute my entire digestive system.  If you saw a picture of what I look like on the inside, you wouldn’t recognize it as a human digestive system.  I’ll bet you didn’t know you can live without a stomach, did you?  I didn’t.

I’ve gone through years of hospitalization, coma, death (my surgeon has literally brought me back to life on more that one occasion), blood transfusions (again, too many to count).  The last major event occurred last July.  I was within weeks of being able to consider myself no longer “terminal”.  They gave me the label “terminal” because every time they do surgery to get rid of the ulcers, more ulcers would grow at the incision site.  It was like my body was eating itself and NOBODY, NO specialist could figure out a way to stop this from happening.  Naturally, when your body eats itself, it is NOT compatible with life. They told me that if I could live a year without hospitalization, blood transfusions or surgery, they would lift the term “terminal” as they would have reason to believe that my body was in the process of healing itself (as human bodies CAN do).  Well, last summer, if I could have made it to August, I would have been considered in good enough health, or recovering.  I didn’t make it to August.

In July, while home alone, I passed out in the bathroom.  The weird thing is that I don’t have warning, or much warning.  I just felt like I was having trouble breathing and I passed out with dizziness.  I know that this seems like warning enough for most people but when you’re so used to being sick all the time, you just begin to feel like these little signs are “normal”.  I’ve passed out before and have received concussions from hitting my head on sharp objects.  THIS time, I didn’t get a concussion but I was able to wake up and crawl to the phone to call 911.

By the time I arrived at the hospital, I needed over 8 units of blood to stabilize me.  I’d passed out due to loss of blood.  I was immediately placed in intensive care where they proceeded to call all my family and tell them that this was “the end”.  Nobody felt I’d ever recover because my organs had begun shutting down.  I don’t remember much of my stay in the hospital but my family sure does and they STILL don’t like talking about it and won’t let me know exactly what happened.

However, I DID recover.  I attribute this to God and SO MUCH PRAYER.  Prayer vigils were held by family and people I don’t even know.  Nobody expected me to leave the hospital alive.  I’d lost so much weight and could barely walk.  My muscles had begun to atrophy.  The important thing is that I DID walk out of the hospital.  VERY slowly.  Here’s a picture of me taken 1 week after I was released.

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I don’t like looking back on these pictures because I look so bad.  I was too weak to walk on my own and I had to hold on to a wheel chair just to hold me up.  Most of the time, my husband had to push me in a wheel chair so that I could go places and pretend to be normal.  You can see here that I’m “hunched over” because of the intense pain and on the right hand side of my chest, you can see the port o cath.  I’d lost so much weight that it looks like a bone sticking out of my chest.  This is where they administer medications and where they give me blood transfusions because I have no healthy veins anymore to place an IV.

Throughout the course of the year, I kept losing weight and eventually got to the point where no fluids would even stay down.  It became apparent that I wasn’t going to live.  I was told that I was in the process of starving to death.  That’s when they considered a complete transplant.

I wanted a feeding tube but I still wanted to be able to eat because I LOVE food.  Even during all this I couldn’t let go of my love affair with food.  Alas, they’re not going to give me a feeding tube because it would kill me.  My tissues are brittle and where they’re NOT brittle, the tissues are like gum and pull apart.  I’ve perferated (intestines ruptured and infection spread throughout my body… once again causing me to literally temporarily die) before and they feel like I would again if they even do a simple feeding tube.  My doctors have been in conference with the transplant doctors since January.

Here’s a picture of me after I began to actually GAIN weight.  I was around 110 pounds here (WAY too thin for a woman who’s 5’7).  By the way, I’m about 15 pounds lighter in this picture than I was in the picture with the wheel chair.  Ironically, I’m contemplating how much food I can scarf down.  This was just February.

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So… back to now.  The decision is that I’m NOT a good candidate for a transplant.  The reason is that even if I could live through this major surgery, I’d have to fear rejection.  They’d only be able to do this one time and if I rejected the organs, as happens frequently, I would almost definitely not live through another one to replace the donor organs I rejected.  Remember, my tissues aren’t healthy and there’s nothing good to connect my new organs to.  The only solution now is that if I continue to lose weight, they’ll hospitalize me for a week or maybe even two weeks so that I can receive TPN (nutrition) through my port.  That’s the only thing they can do.

This doesn’t sound like good news, does it?  Well, I know it sounds bleak but I’m relieved they won’t do the transplant.  That just felt like death to me.  Besides that, I’ve gained 10 pounds and am now up to 120 pounds on my own!  The doctors are thrilled that my body, once again, seems to be repairing itself!  God is good to me and miracles DO happen.  I am a walking, living, breathing miracle even by modern medicine’s point of view.  It’s a miracle in itself when a doctor of Western medicine will actually say to me that I am a “medical miracle”!

I am blessed!  I asked the doctors to do what they can to give me another 4 years so that I can finish raising my daughter.  The doctors CAN’T give me 4 years but God CAN and today, I am blessed!  I told the doctor he can expect me to outlive Him.  He says he think I can do it 🙂

I’m “IT” a lot…

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Ahhhh…. I’ve been tagged by Tazein.  Thank you very much!  lol  I feel like I’ve been tagged in different ways a lot these days…  Because I love Tazein and I want you to check out her blog, I’ll participate.  Besides all that, I’m honored that she even thought of me!

The first rule is that I’m supposed to pass along “tags” to the number of people in my name.  My name is Michelle, and there’s 8 letters in my name… I’ll tag 8 people.

Now I’ll answer the questions Tazein has set aside for me (there are 11 of them):

1-What is your earliest childhood memory?

My earliest memory is of myself as a baby in a baby bed with my brother who was exactly 1 year (to the day) younger than me.  He crawled to my side of the bed and took some of my toys and I bit him. I guess I remember it so well because it could possibly be the first time I received a spanking.  I would have had to be not 2 years old yet and I remember trying to tell my mom that I was going to “Tell dada on her”… in baby jibber.  She wasn’t impressed.  lol

2-From where do you get inspiration for your writings?

Mostly day to day happening or whatever pops into my mind.

3-Are you content and at peace with yourself?

Some days I am, some days I’m not.  I think it’s a work in progress.

4-Which is your favorite movie?

There are a few that I love.  Gone With The Wind is one big one, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mar Popins, The Beasts of the Southern Wild.  Actually I have too many.

5-What is the one thing you wish to achieve in life?

Again, there are MANY things I wish to achieve…  I guess the big one is just trying to live for 4 more years and beat the odds that are given to me so that I can finish raising my daughter.  Other than that, I want to break the cycle of abuse that’s been in our family and be the first generation to raise our children with love.  I think I’m succeeding with that one.

6-Are you a believer in God?

It amazes me that ANYONE could be so self involved that they think their is no God or higher being.  Of course there’s a God.  I’ve seen evidence of this many, many times in my own lifetime.

7-How do you pull yourself out of sadness?

I pray and ask God to take it from me.  I play the piano or sink myself in a book.  I talk to friends and then count my blessings 🙂

8-Which is your favorite place to visit?

So far, I think it might have to be The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina.  I’ve seen MANY places and all are so beautiful in their own right.  The prettiest is the mountains of Tennessee and the waterfalls and the bear and and and….  lol

9-Do you have a family, that is are you married with kids or single?

I’m married with children.  lol  Actually this is my THIRD marriage!  Ughhh…  But I’ve been married to THIS man for 10 years so I guess I’m gonna stick around 😉  hehehe

10-Do you cry easily or keep it bottled up?

If I were honest, I’d say that I get angry when something makes me sad enough to cry.  It scares me so I get mad.  It’s very rare that I cry.  I DO cry over my children and of course I cried for years when my brother was killed.

11-Aer you self- confident, ready to take on the world?

I’m VERY self confident… the only things I’m NOT confident about pertain to my children.  I didn’t have a good parenting example when I was small because my own parents were abusive and unavailable.  It’s hard to know if I’m doing the right thing so I’m always consulting others… books, people, professionals… etc…

Now I’ll share 11 facts about myself (which will be extremely hard to come up with new factoids.. lol).

1.  I’m watching the Today’s show right now.

2.  I’m looking outside my french doors as I type this and realize I need to wash my pathetic and filthy windows.

3.  Weird things always happen to me like they do in the movies.  It amazes me sometimes.

4.  I learned to ride a bike without training wheels AFTER my little brother did.  I was 7 years old.

5.  I was 9 months old when I started walking for real.

6.  I’ve always, from birth, been extremely independent.

7.  I was voted Best Dressed in my senior year of high school.  Some days, fashion is still important to me.

8.  I’ve learned that material possessions won’t make you happy.

9.  I’m currently reading “Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander.  WOW.  EVERYONE needs to read this book!

10.  I have green eyes.

11.  When I was young, my hair was blonder… as I get older my hair gets darker and darker.

How’s THAT for some boring factoids?  I’m telling you, I’m running out of stuff to talk about ME.  lol

Now I’m going to come up with 11 questions for my 8 people (in case they want to participate).

1.  Have you ever had a NDE (Near death experience)?

2.  Where is your favorite vacation destination?

3.  Do you have a good relationship with your parents?

4.  Who is the funniest person you know of?  It can be someone you don’t personally know.

5.  Do you play video games and if so what?

6.  What do you do to exercise?

7.  What’s your favorite food?

8.  Do you cook or go out to eat, for the most part?

9.  What color is your kitchen?

10.  Have you ever said NO to someone who’s asked you to marry them?

11.  What is your favorite song?

So here are the 8 people I’m tagging:

1.  http://livonne.com.au/

2.  http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/

3.  http://sethsnap.com/

4.  http://ihelenblog.wordpress.com/

5.  http://urbanwallart.wordpress.com/

6.  http://thedissocialmom.wordpress.com/

7.  http://andthisiswhyiwilldiealonesurroundedbycats.wordpress.com/

8.  http://littleyellowcar.wordpress.com/

So a recap on the rules.

1.  Post a picture of the award on your blog

2.  Tagback the person who tagged you to let them know you’ve accepted the award.

3.  11 facts about you.

4.  Answer the 11 questions I’ve asked you.

5.  Tag the same amount of people as their are letters in your name.

6.  Ask your OWN 11 questions to the people you’ve tagged.

7.  Contact the people you’ve tagged to let them know they’ve been tagged.

And Here are MY special rules:  NOBODY I’ve tagged really needs to be obligated to play if they don’t want.  I realize many people are busy and don’t have time to do something like this and it’s really no big deal.  It’s something that should be fun and if it’s not, then please don’t give it a second thought.  Have a HAPPY MONDAY!

Congratulations to me! I won the Liebster Award!

I’ll have to admit that this award is intimidating to me ONLY because they take so much time to ask and answer specific questions.  However, someone I admire VERY much, Comely Miss, nominated me and I love her AND am honored that she thought of me…  so here I am again!  Feel free to skip this post because I’m positive you’re all sick and tired of hearing all the fun facts about myself.  lol   I won’t know the difference and I know you all really love me, right?  lol

Here are the rules:

1. The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
2. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
3. Each blogger should answer the 11 questions given to you.
4. Choose 11 new bloggers to pass the award on to and link them in your post.
5. Create 11 new questions for the chosen bloggers.
6. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
7. No tag backs.

Now the 11 facts about me.

1.  It’s getting extremely hard for me to come up with anything new and this is hurting my brain.

2.  My first “love” was named Pete and when he broke up with me, I started dating someone who looked a lot like him and his name was ALSO Pete.  Pete #2 became the father of my oldest daughter.

3.  I am an EXTREMELY strong woman who’s personality sometimes is intimidating to others, or so I’ve been told.

4.  I’m not very proud of this but I like to smoke.  I don’t ever smoke in the house or enclosed enviroments and I respect others right NOT to breath my smoke.  I try to hide when I’m outside in a public place.

5.  I appreciate art but am not good at it.  I can spend ALL day at the art museum.

6.  One of my favorite places to go EVER is the Smoky Mountains.  I could live in a mountain cabin, away from everyone.

7.  I’m a VERY social antisocial person

8.  I’ve been very blessed to have my husband’s family in Texas.  They’ve shown me unconditional love and are teaching me to show unconditional love.  Sounds like a no brainer for most people but I wasn’t raised with anything CLOSE to unconditional love and sometimes I put too much pressure to be perfect on my own children.  Here’s some pics of my family in Texas 🙂  They ALWAYS make me smile!

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This is Bobby, our cousin.  He doesn’t know it but he’s one of my hero’s.  He’s just a regular man who is probably one of the most funny people I know.  He’s studying to be a preacher but you’d never know it.  He’s so non judging.

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Bobby’s wife and our cousin Netta.  She’s always annoyed with me for snapping pictures.  lol  Another very strong woman and so accepting.  She’s a role model for me 🙂

ImageMy sister in law Lisa and her husband Stace 🙂  Love them both so much!  Lisa is the stereotypical Southern Belle and exudes LOVE.  She’s just like her mama.  When you’re around these people, you feel like you’ve always been in their family.

9.  In July of last year, I came very near to death.  After I was released from the hospital I had a dream that God told me I was supposed to go to a hot spring.  I woke up and told my husband that I needed to go to Hot Springs Arkansas so he packed us up on THAT day and we went.  I spent a day at the hot spring bath house and drank the mineral water.  I was barely able to walk when we arrived in Hot Springs.  By the time we left, I was SO much better.  I believe I was really supposed to be there and drink the waters.  Crazy I know but it worked.

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Here’s the view from our hotel room in Hot Springs.

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The bath house we spent the day in.  Awesome place.

10.  The only time of year that my mom’s enormous family gets together is at Easter.  She came from a family of 10 kids and between them and all of us grandkids and now great grandchildren…  there has to be 100 of us who gather at my cousins house.  I look very forward to seeing all my aunts and cousins every year.  Oh and EVERYONE is a fantastic cook so the food is something EVERYONE would be jealous of 🙂

11.  I’m having issues with “aging gracefully”.  I mean I believe in aging gracefully BUT, in all honesty, if I had the money to have a complete makeover (plastic surgery)… I probably would.  I know, vain.  Honest though 🙂

Here are the questions that Comely Miss wants me to answer:

♣ What caused you to start blogging? (I like this question, so I’m keeping it!)

Okay, I started blogging for a site called Vox and I LOVED the sense of community!  Sadly, Vox went away but I missed it and couldn;t get the same feeling on FB (although I love my fb friends).  I finally found WP a few moths ago and LOVE it 🙂

♣ What career did you think you’d pursue while you were growing up?

I thought I would be a psychologist.  I also PROMISED myself that I would open up an abused women and children’s shelter.  I have done work for some of these but I’m going to keep my promise, I think.  One day, before I die I WILL open up one of these homes.  I think it’s my destiny.

♣ Who do you think has had the biggest influence on your life?

Sadly, I think my mother has had the biggest influence on my life.  I was CONSTANTLY trying to receive her love and her pride.  I always, without fail, fell short of making her proud.  I viewed her as perfect and knew that if I could EVER do 1 thing that would make her REALLY love me and be proud of me, I would have succeeded.  That never happened.  I feel like I’ve wasted WAY too much time not loving myself because I always felt like I didn’t deserve to be loved.  If your mother can’t love you, there MUST be something wrong, right?  The problem lies with her, not me.  However, I feel pretty good about myself that I finally figured that out.
♣ What kind of games do you like to play? (I don’t care if it’s video, board, or mind games, I’m just curious. ;) )

I LOVE playing LIFE with my daughter and grew up playing board games.  Sometimes, I secretly play WOW (shhhhh… don’t tell), I loved Diablo and still love playing UNO, Skipbo, Yatzee and Dominos.  I pretty much just like playing games.  Oh and there Apples to Apples and Pictionary 🙂

♣ What is your favorite movie?

This is hard.  Sound of Music?  Breakfast at Tiffany’s?  Gone with the WiInd?  Beasts of the Southern Wild?  Wizard of OZ?  It’s a Wonderful Life?  I just have so many 🙂

♣ How did you meet your husband/wife/significant other?

I actually met Ben online.  American Singles.  I didn;t want to meet another man in a bar!  lol  Although I’m not entirely sure online dating is any better, from what I’m seeing on TV these days.  lol  It worked out for us though!  I met him when online dating was kind of new in the early 2000’s.  I don;t think the weirdo’s perfected the games they played with people.  I wonder, now, if I were single, what the best way to meet people is?  It’s ALL scary!

♣ Have you ever had any “unusual” pets? (This may be unusual based on species or attitude.)

The most unusual pet I ever had was a rabbit.  lol  In the 80’s and 80’s though I used to show and breed Alaskan Malamutes.  I also used to sled with them… like they do in the Iditerod?  Pretty cool.  I miss that!

♣ How do you unwind at the end of the day?

I blog when everyone is sleeping in my house.  lol  OR I’ll play a computer game or read or play the piano OR go on Facebook.

♣ What is your biggest pet peeve?

Oh GAWD!!!  I have so many I don’t know where to start.  I think the thing I bitch the most about is hair in the bath tub.  I don’t like dirty bathrooms and am pretty anal about keeping it clean.  When I go into the bath tub I don;t want to see little hairs stuck to my bath tub.  It will NEVER change, meaning it doesn;t matter how much I crab about it.  My husband is the culprit and I swear I’m going to start posting pictures of these little hairs.  GROSS.

♣ What item is to your left?

HAHA!  Good one!  My coffee cup on a coaster!  Never without coffee 🙂

♣ How do you think of material to blog about?

Whatever pops in my head.  I haven;t really had a problem running out of material.  If there’s nothing in my head, then I read all of YOUR blogs 🙂

Okay now I’m going to name some people to pass this award on to.  I’ll get as close to 11 as possible but I think people are getting tired of me nominating them.  lol  It’s a lot of work but I just want you guys to know that even if you don;t want to do awards (and I don’t blame you)… at least you know I believe you’re deserving of the award!

1.  http://thelazysuzan.com/

2.  http://kellyvision.wordpress.com/

3.  http://fleurdeselsf.com/

4.  http://theartstudiobymarkmoore.wordpress.com/

5.  http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/

6.  http://ssbits.wordpress.com/

7.  http://otrazhenie.wordpress.com/

8.  http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/  (haha  gotcha back FINALLY!)

9.  http://mamacristinasworld.wordpress.com/

10.  http://wordsforworms.com/

11.  http://canoecommunications.wordpress.com/

Here are my questions to all of you!  Now THIS will be fun!  And I hope that at least ONE of you will answer 🙂

1.  What’s your favorite thing to watch on TV?

2.  Have you ever experienced the death of someone close?

3.  Do you color Easter Eggs?

4.  How is the biggest influence in your life and why?

5.  What do you enjoy reading in a blog the most?

6.  What book are you reading now or what was the last book you read?

7.  How many people were in your family when you were growing up?

8.  What was the biggest disappointment so far in your life?

9.  What has been your biggest achievement in your life so far?

10.  Where do you go to find peace?  For example, a river, the woods, a room in your house?

11.  What do you want to be when you grow up?

*Deep breath*  It’s over.  lmbo  Remember, I don’t want any of you to feel obligated.  If you have time and feel like sharing, please do 🙂  If you don’t, that’s cool too.

The Awakening By Sonny Carroll

I’ve said before, time and time again, there are no accidents.  One of my very best friends called this morning while I was struggling to write my story and purge my body of all these negative feelings and memories.  She wanted me to read “The Awakening” and really look at what it said.  It’s so very fitting and it amazes me that so many other people feel this way. I’m having this kind of awakening.  Right now.  Thank you Beth, for just knowing…

The Awakening
by Sonny Carroll

The Awakening
Sonny Carroll

There comes a time in your life when you finally get it … When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out “ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on.” And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world from a new perspective.

……….This is your awakening.

You realize that it is time to stop hoping and waiting for something or someone to change, or for happiness safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that there aren’t always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you. Then a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

So you begin making your way through the “reality of today” rather than holding out for the “promise of tomorrow.” You realize that much of who you are and the way you navigate through life is, in great part, a result of all the social conditioning you’ve received over the course of a lifetime. And you begin to sift through all the nonsense you were taught about :

– how you should look and how much you should weigh,
– what you should wear and where you should shop,
– where you should live or what type of car you should drive,
– who you should sleep with and how you should behave,
– who you should marry and why you should stay,
– the importance of bearing children or what you owe your family,

Slowly you begin to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin re-assessing and re-defining who you are and what you really believe in. And you begin to discard the doctrines you have outgrown, or should never have practiced to begin with.

You accept the fact that you are not perfect ,and that not everyone will love appreciate or approve of who or what you are… and that’s OK… they are entitled to their own views and opinions. And, you come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a “perfect 10″…. Or a perfect human being for that matter… and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head or agonizing over how you compare. And, you take a long look at yourself in the mirror and you make a promise to give yourself the same unconditional love and support you give so freely to others. Then a sense of confidence is born of self-approval.

And, you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” hungry for your next fix, a new dress, another pair of shoes or looks of approval and admiration from family, friends or even strangers who pass by. Then you discover that it is truly in “giving” that we receive, and that the joy and abundance you seek grows out of the giving. And you recognize the importance of “creating” and “contributing” rather than “obtaining” and “accumulating.”

And you give thanks for the simple things you’ve been blessed with, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about – a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, the freedom of choice and the opportunity to pursue your own dreams.

And you begin to love and to care for yourself. You stop engaging in self-destructive behaviors, including participating in dysfunctional relationships. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and exercising. And because you’ve learned that fatigue drains the spirit and creates doubt and fear, you give yourself permission to rest. And just as food is fuel for the body, laughter is fuel for the spirit and so you make it a point to create time for play.

Then you learn about love and relationships – how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. And you allow only the hands of a lover who truly loves and respects you to glorify you with his touch. You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say, intentionally or unintentionally, and that not everyone will always come through… and interestingly enough, it’s not always about you. So, you stop lashing out and pointing fingers or looking to place blame for the things that were done to you or weren’t done for you. And you learn to keep your Ego in check and to acknowledge and redirect the destructive emotions it spawns – anger, jealousy and resentment.

You learn how to say “I was wrong” and to forgive people for their own human frailties. You learn to build bridges instead of walls and about the healing power of love as it is expressed through a kind word, a warm smile or a friendly gesture. And, at the same time, you eliminate any relationships that are hurtful or fail to uplift and edify you. You stop working so hard at smoothing things over and setting your needs aside. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK and that it is your right to want or expect certain things. And you learn the importance of communicating your needs with confidence and grace. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that eventually martyrs are burned at the stake. Then you learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to Say NO. You learn that you don’t know all the answers, it’s not your job to save the world and that sometimes you just need to Let Go.

Moreover, you learn to look at people as they really are and not as you would want them to be, and you are careful not to project your neediness or insecurities onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and relationships, and that that not everyone can always love you the way you would want them to. So you stop appraising your worth by the measure of love you are given. And suddenly you realize that it’s wrong to demand that someone live their life or sacrifice their dreams just to serve your needs, ease your insecurities, or meet “your” standards and expectations. You learn that the only love worth giving and receiving is the love that is given freely without conditions or limitations. And you learn what it means to love. So you stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that “alone” does not mean “lonely” and you begin to discover the joy of spending time “with yourself” and “on yourself.” Then you discover the greatest and most fulfilling love you will ever know – Self Love. And so it comes to pass that, through understanding, your heart heals; and now all new things are possible.

Moving along, you begin to avoid Toxic people and conversations. And you stop wasting time and energy rehashing your situation with family and friends. You learn that talk doesn’t change things and that unrequited wishes can only serve to keep you trapped in the past. So you stop lamenting over what could or should have been and you make a decision to leave the past behind. Then you begin to invest your time and energy to affect positive change. You take a personal inventory of all your strengths and weaknesses and the areas you need to improve in order to move ahead, you set your goals and map out a plan of action to see things through.

You learn that life isn’t always fair and you don’t always get what you think you deserve, and you stop personalizing every loss or disappointment. You learn to accept that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that these things are not an act of God… but merely a random act of fate.

And you stop looking for guarantees, because you’ve learned that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected and that whatever happens, you’ll learn to deal with it. And you learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time – FEAR itself.  So you learn to step right into and through your fears, because to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. You learn that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophesy and you learn to go after what you want and not to squander your life living under a cloud of indecision or feelings of impending doom.

Then, YOU LEARN ABOUT MONEY… the personal power and independence it brings and the options it creates. And you recognize the necessity to create your own personal wealth. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart’s desire. And a sense of power is born of self-reliance. And you live with honor and integrity because you know that these principles are not the outdated ideals of a by-gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build your life. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful opportunity and exciting possibility. Then you hang a wind chime outside your window to remind yourself what beauty there is in Simplicity.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand, you TAKE a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

A word about the Power of Prayer: In some of my darkest, most painful and frightening hours, I have prayed, not for the answers to my prayers or for material things, but for my “God” to help me find the strength, confidence and courage to persevere; to face each day and to do what I must do.

Remember this:- You are an expression of the almighty. The spirit of God resides within you and moves through you. Open your heart, speak to that spirit and it will heal and empower you.
My “God” has never failed me.

Copyright © 2001 Sonny Carroll. All Rights Reserved
Reprinted here with permission

Me? Epic AND Awesome? lol

epicallyawesomeaward

Thanks to my good buddy Shaun, I’m being kept in awards that should take me till next year to complete!  lol  I wish I really was as awesome as he thinks I am but you know?  I’ll TAKE this compliment and run before he decides to take it back!  Anyway, if you guys are looking for an intelligent, athletic, loving, caring and insightful Scottish friend, you HAVE to go check his blog out!  http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/about/

So the rules are as follows:  Post a picture of the award on your blog, post 10 EPIC fun facts that you haven’t already told about yourself AND nominate 10 people for this EPIC award!  Simple as that 🙂

I just was to say that I’m going to nominate 10 people but I realize that some may be too busy to participate.  NO PRESSURE.  Juts know that I’m thinking of you and appreciate you but you don’t have to play if you don’t want:-)

Now 10 EPIC facts about me (probably not TOO epic but here goes..)

1.  When I was cool (a million years ago in the 80’s) I owned a ’78 Trans AM Golden Classic like this:

2.  I’ve had 9 miscarriages in my life time.  The last babies I lost in 2002 were twins.  AFTER all the devastation, they found out that I had a condition called Factor V (5) – a blood clotting condition that caused a blood clot to form at the placenta, causing my babies to starve to death.  This could have been corrected by taking blood thinners.  It is a COMPLETE miracle that I was able to carry 3 babies to term.  Makes me wonder what great things they were born to do because according to medical science, they should not be here.

3.  I’ve lived in the same house since 1989.  I won’t move because I hate moving and I promised my girls I’d never let their home go to someone else besides them.  In the even of my death, my husband and I have decided to give it to all of the girls and let them do with it what they will.

4.  My aunt was more of a mother to me than my own mother was.  When I was 14, I moved in with her and she taught me how to cook and how to do other girl things.  She cared and showed me love.  She was a clothing designer and used to give me all of her models clothes.  Because of this, I was voted “Best Dressed” during my senior year in High School. Here’s a picture of my Aunt who is now battling Parkinson’s and Althzeihmers.

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5.  Like many in my family, I was born with a “gift”.  That’s what the older women in my family call it, anyway.  I see things in my dreams and they come true.  I am almost always able to tell when someone is about to die or if they have died because I’l see it in my dream OR smell “funeral flowers” in my sleep.  It’s a HORRIBLE sweet, sickly smell like when you go into a funeral home and smell all the horrid funeral arrangements?  I also just know things.  A wee bit psychic.

6.  I married my FIRST husband because my mother convinced me that nobody else would ever want me.  I had a baby and she told me that I would never be able to provide for that child in the fashion that was necessary and who else would want me besides the man who married me?  I knew I didn’t love him and I’m SO sorry and ashamed that I put him through all I did based on the unkind words of my mother.  I hope he’s doing well.

7.  My uncle breeds and races Thoroughbred’s and is very successful.  He’s nearly 80 now and would like to give me a Mare that goes into “Secretariat” on both sides of her pedigree (assuming I can stay well enough to take care of her).  Disney made a movie based on her life and my uncle knows how much I’m in awe of her story!  Here’s a picture of Secretariat:

8.  I grew up in the automotive repair industry and learned more about cars and the way they run than most men know.  I learned to run a business that was male dominated and earned the respect of these men.  I had to fight my way to the top and I enjoyed the ride 🙂 It’s good to have the respect of men who started out NOT wanting to have to deal with me simply because I’m a woman and they didn’t think I’d understand their world.

9.  I used to love to race cars.  My dad taught all of us kids how to drive and how to race extremely fast cars.  I also had to learn how to put an engine together.  The last engine I helped my dad build was a Pontiac 455 big block.  Awesome 🙂

10.  I am terrified of roaches!

Now for the people I’m nominating!

1.  http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com/

2.  http://leveluphealth.wordpress.com/

3.  http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/

4.  http://otrazhenie.wordpress.com/

5.  http://cruisingthroughmylife.wordpress.com/

6.  http://prinsesamusang.wordpress.com/

7.  http://ramblingsofabipolarwoman.wordpress.com/

8.  http://learus.wordpress.com/

9.  http://runeatplayblog.com/

10.  http://thewanderinggourmand.com/

Sorry, I don’t have time to tell you more about the awesome people I’ve chosen but you’ll find out if you click on their site, I promise!  Have a BEAUTIFUL day an be sure and let me know if you decide to take your awards so I can come and see what you wrote!