Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blessed to Have Friends

Jamila and Saira

Here we were in the hospital on my birthday. This was my birthday cake and these sweet girls came up to be with me on my 60th birthday. It wasn't exactly what I would have picked, but it was still great. Some people have no friends and they didn't get a pretty little birthday cake. I had some fun balloons and we had lots of laughs. These girls are so funny. They should be on television.

I just wanted to drop a few lines and let you know I'm doing great. I'm eating healthy and my meds seem to be agreeing with me. We had cool weather today and that makes me very happy.

I hope you had a wonderful day and get plenty of rest tonight. later, trish

Friday, September 25, 2009

Help Me Add Some Advantages to my List

Head of a Woman
Amedeo Modigliani
Today I ventured out with Mark and Avery to do a little shopping. We went to Target and I got settled in my motorized chair and we headed out to do our shopping. Avery proceeded to tell me, "Nana getting to ride in this chair is an advantage of being old!" I laughed out loud and told her we needed to think of some of the ways we have advantages when we grow older. We came up with some together and then I pondered it for a while and have added some of my own.
  • I have slowed down. When I was younger I felt I had to walk fast, eat fast, sleep fast (By slowing down I see more that I must have missed before. I take more time to reflect on what I am actually looking at.
  • I get senior discounts.
  • I don't worry about how I look in a bikini
  • I don't have to shave my legs as much as when I was young (it left my legs and headed for little goofy places on my face)
  • I am better at Trivial Pursuit than a lot of my juniors. (I have lived through a lot of the questions and answers)
  • I am not stressing out about what I will get into for a career. (I can remember times when this was a huge focus of my life)
  • I enjoy being peaceful and quiet (When I was young it seemed like I needed a circus going on to keep me going)
  • I have a grand child. This has changed my life.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just Some Thoughts

Sitting here realizing how blessed I am. I'm sitting in my daughter's home and she is at work. Avery went back to school. I pray she doesn't get in trouble for missing so much school. She missed 9 school days when she went to Hawaii and then getting sick and having to be out yesterday it is concerning us.

I am thinking that I need to slow down and appreciate each and every day. All the worrying and fretting do not change one thing, except messing up your health and they rob you of time and energy. I don't know exactly why I felt like writing this, but maybe someone will relate to this.

I think I'm going to make a list of things that will be fun:
  • Working on my daughter's Christmas present
  • Catching up on correspondence
  • Planning some recipes for a low-sodium diet
  • Doing a much needed pedicure
  • Working on my study of Esther by Beth Moore
  • Getting signed up at the Y when I get back to Atlanta (water aerobics)
  • Start making jewelry again. I have the supplies and just need to take the time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Avery's Trip to Hawaii

A few weeks ago Avery got back from her wonderful trip to Hawaii. Her daddy got married on the beach at sunset. Here he is with his new wife Yo. She is Japanese and they live in California.
Avery and Daddy Neal

Before the ceremony

The happy couple

Byodo-In, Valley of the Temples in Koolau
Avery said there were really cool bunches of Koi. I will show some of those pictures later. Lots of pidegons that are so tame they land in your hand to eat.
Lily Pads at the temple
Don't they look like a special painting by Monet?

Grandma Ann and Avery on black sand beach

Sea Turtle at Black Sand Beach

Grandma Ann and Avery on Big Island on our balcony

Grandad Steve and A.T.

Gardens at Big Island

An amazing rainbow outside Avery's room

Lava field

Sleeping on the Big Island with Curly and Berry(the stuffed animals)

An offering to the volcano goddess Pele

View from balcony on Oahu (right on the beach)

Kilauea calder
This was a trip of a lifetime and Avery is so appreciative to her grandparents to take her on such a wonderful adventure. She is here with me today because she was so sick last night vomiting and running to the bathroom a million times. She said several kids in her class have some sickness and are out. She has missed so much school going to Hawaii we pray she doesn't get in trouble. But when you are're sick.
We have just been on the couch watching Disney channel and living the dream. I'm drinking my water and chill-laxing.
I will post more pictures later. I hope you are having a great day. BTW, it's taking some of my employees 3 hours to get to work in the morning. It's a nightmare in Atlanta and they are expecting more rain.
I have been taking naps and reading. I guess I didn't realize how really tired I am.
Did you realize they show The Suite Life of Zac and Cody eighty five times a day? Have fun.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Odometer Has Passed Sixty and with a BANG

I am so happy to be able to post. I have been on an adventure that I wouldn't have chosen, but perhaps it will help me change my life and save it. I'll start from the beginning. Thursday night I had what felt like a mild asthma attack. My inhalers and medicine for my nebulizer are expired because I haven't had an attack in years (thank the Lord). So Friday I called the doctor to get some new prescriptions called in. They said I had to come in and get checked since I hadn't been to my PCP since the spring. I go to the specialists, but usually not my PCP so much. I went in and they listened to my recent symptoms(chest pains, swollen ankles and feet, short of breathe) So they gave me an EKG and it was showing that something was wrong.

They wheeled me over to the ER and I was admitted. They thought I had a blood clot or possibly congestive heart failure. As some of you know, I am in Atlanta during the week and back in South Carolina on the weekends. Some of my co-workers came to the hospital and got stuff out of the back of my car so I could have my reading materials and get on with life. Saturday they started with what felt like a jillion tests: CT scans, ultrasounds, more nuclear tests and then decided to do a heart catherization Monday.

Sunday I turned the big 6-0 and how much fun was that? Saira brought me fresh warm Krispy Kreme donuts. Since I figured once I got out of there I would not be eating anymore donuts, I had to have one. I only had one, but one of the ladies that worked in dietary and had brought me my meals got me a birthday cake. I will post the picture later. Others from work came up and we laughed about the size of the bathroom. It was like an airport bathroom once I got my IV drips and all my paraphernalia in it. Remembering I am not a wisp of a thing.

My little cute doctors came in and after the cath Mark and Jolie were sitting waiting with me on the results and what would happen next. One of them told me I had an 'opportunity' and I needed to take it. I have to change my stress levels, diet, and I have to start moving around. When I asked him about my diet, he said, "Vegetables and fruits!" I about fainted and then I said, "Really, what do you mean?" He said that I had to get on a low sodium diet and I have to do some exercise. He said water aerobics and a stationary bike should be good for me since I can't put weight on my feet much. So I am off on a new path.

I came home and I'm staying with Jolie so I can truly rest and not have all the dogs at home. Mark will come over and visit and I am strictly in a 'chill-axing' state. I'm just going to read, look at blogs and watch tv. Oh yow, in the middle of all the hospital drama we had so much flooding in Atlanta. Some of my employees couldn't even leave their subdivisions. Schools are closed and it is a hot mess. It took us what seemed like forever to get out of town last night. It's so sad. I think six people have lost their lives. We have had a drought for so long and people were praying for rain. Well, we certainly got it.

I have missed you guys and I would appreciate your prayers as I get on all the new meds and changes my diet. For those of you out there that have great health, be thankful everyday! When you face possible heart surgery and know that you could be controlling your destiny with your eating habits and stress's scary. I will start leaving work at a decent time and I need to get at least eight hours a night sleep. It's always been easy for me to push myself and keep trying to go farther and I am now realizing it's not always worth it. For sure it's not worth it when I have to think about leaving my family.

My sister in law told me about a site called Spark People and I am trying to get some neat ideas for things I will enjoy and can eat that are low sodium. If you know of any please let me know. I'm so happy I'm back in bloggyworld. I love you guys.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Night in Hotlanta

Okay, here I sit watching the finale of Move To Love. If you have been on another planet somewhere...this is a Bachelor type show with a heavy guy and thick chicks he has to pick from. He has it down to two girls and I want him to pick Tali. She is a beautiful Jewish girl. I can't imagine being on national television dating and knowing that the guy I'm dating is also dating a dozen or more other heavy gals.

So I will lose two hours from my life watching this and I figured since I share practically everything else with you I would let you know about my time wasters. I could be painting, drawing, writing, or reading a book. I am currently reading a book I love by an author I always am very satisfied with....Philippa Gregory. The book is The White Queen. I can truly escape into the 15th century and not cloud up my mind with deadlines, reports and evaluations. Although they are a big part of my life I need to sit them in a corner and enjoy myself once in a while.

A couple of hours ago I got to go out to eat with some of my staff. We went to a wonderful Indian restaurant. I had a chicken curry dish and it was fabulous. We laughed and ate and laughed some more. We said it would be fun to visit ethnic restaurants from all of our backgrounds. We had at the table: Chinese, African-American, Indian, Cuban/Pakistani, German/Hungarian and I'm Arabic.

I hope you have had a neat day. It's Tuesday and it's been a great day!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Big Bunch of Fun

Avery and the Hula
I didn't mean for it to take so long to post after Avery got back, but I have been so busy and it was a 'good busy'. She had a wonderful trip and in fact, talked for two straight hours on our way home to SC from the airport. I have to wait to get pictures from her other grandparents. Avery's camera broke, but they took lots. When she got home she was so exhausted. She had been awake since Wednesday morning and then was up all night due to the 6 hour time difference. She had to do two weeks worth of homework and it was so difficult trying to keep her awake.
She finally got it finished Saturday night and it seems like she is getting back to a regular schedule with her sleep. Her little girlfriend spent the night with us also and they had a big time. They were watching tv and eating popcorn. It's so good to have A back at home.
Sunday afternoon we ate lunch and Avery and her girlfriend played checkers on the porch. Her friend had never played checkers and A had fun teaching her.

Brenda with her wonderful dessert
Brenda and I had the greatest Saturday. We went to a furniture consignment store and it was great. The prices were very reasonable and we will go back with a truck next time. We went to lunch at a wonderful place called the Bistro and then had dessert at Chili's. I needed dessert like a hole in the head, but let me tell you it was fabulous. Brenda started her new job today and we needed to celebrate. She is such a sweet friend and I'm blessed to be able to hang out with her and have fun doing stuff we enjoy like shopping and eating.

Trish's fancy white chocolate dessert
Yes, I ate most of this. I said it would be my last hooray and thank heaven for 2 days I have been eating very healthy. For me two days is a big deal and I will try to get sweets out of my system so I can keep on eating healthy.

I have a HUGE issue with sweets. If you don't give a flip about sweets you are blessed. They call my name and I have to talk to myself a lot to stay away from them. I might as well just tape the cakes and cookies to my hips that's where they go anyway. I'm a happy girl with my little hula dancer back and I'm back to eating healthy. I'm very blessed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

7 Hours Left

Aloha, my Avery
I'm on the countdown. I will pick up my Avery at 6:20am. She will be flying in from Hawaii and I can't wait to see her. She's in the air now and I pray for a safe and smooth flight. I love my baby and I can't wait to see her.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lovin' Some Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte
On my way to Atlanta this afternoon I stopped to get my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. My friend, Brenda, from Coffee Tea Books and Me turned me on to these yummy drinks. Brenda's blog was the first one I ever read back in 2007 and it will always have a special place in my heart. Her blog is educational and she gives lots of tips about being frugal in this challenging economic time. She is a Christian that is not shy about sharing her faith. She has a love for books and shares about her experiences in homeschooling. If you've never visited her I think you will be in for a wonderful treat. There is such a warmth about her writing and her openness to share about her health challenges. Although she is about a hundred times more domestic than moi, I do feel like we are kindred spirits. She cooks fabulous looking food and stocks up her pantry for 'rainy days'. I have learned from her and from the comments she receives she has helped many others as well. Her blog is truly a gem.

Happy Labor Day

Bunnies at the Labor Day Tea Party
I want to wish everyone a wonderful and restful Labor Day. When I was growing up Labor Day signaled the end of summer and school would start the next day. Now children go back to school in mid-August.
I lived in the Midwest and it was starting to turn cooler by the first Monday of September. It's still very warm here in the south. I would love to be having a tea party, but I will return to work this afternoon and just be thankful for a long weekend. I pray everyone is doing well and having fun whatever you are doing.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Update on Hawaii

I just wanted to give you an update on Avery's adventures. I still don't have pictures of her, but we talk everyday. She is having a great time. First, they went to Hilo and now they are in Honolulu. She's gone to the zoo, volcanoes, her daddy's wedding on the beach Friday night and she still has several days to go.

She's tried papaya, mango and salad. They have hiked all over and she is having a great time. We miss her, but I am so happy she got this wonderful opportunity. I am having a restful weekend and going to get me a cup of hot tea and read for a while. I hope you are having a restful weekend too.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Meet Arthur

Arthur, my Siamese twin
Okay, you are wondering at this point if I am doing crack or something. I just wanted to introduce you to my companion, Arthur. I know this sounds psycho, but stay with me. It makes sense to me.
I do not want to be a whiny girl, but you need to know that I have 3 kinds of arthritis and lately it has gotten painful a lot of the time. Living with chronic pain gets extremely frustrating. I can't take pain medicine very much because I need to be able to be think clearly with my job and I drive a lot so it just wouldn't work. I understand when people need to take it on a regular basis and I am not judging them. Pain gets very old and I needed a new way to think about it so for now it helps me to put a face to the arthritis.
I read comments on chronic pain sites and some folks accept the situation and others fight it. For me fighting it is out of the question. I don't have the energy to fight this everyday and I am from the school that everything is for a reason. I have decided for now that I will just accept Arthur and think of him as something that is with me, but he is not going to control my life. I try to do things to keep him as quiet as possible and under control.
I try to rest as much as I can (I haven't always, but as things have gotten worse I realize it's super important) I started using a cane for support. I ride in the little motorized chairs in Target and the grocery stores. I had to set aside pride and realize that it is what it is. I try to relax more because stress does a number on Arthur. It really agitates him.
You may wonder why he is so ugly and hard to look at. Why didn't I make him some handsome dude like Hugh Laurie or someone like that? Well, hello, Arthur has shaken up my world and thinking of him as a hunk doesn't make sense to me. He's not going anywhere unless I get a miracle. I can do my best to control him, but he will be right there with me. Thank the Lord for anti-inflammatory medicines and heating pads and things that I heat in the microwave and wrap around my neck. Heat is soothing, especially on my neck and knees.
I pray this doesn't sound too self-absorbed, but this has helped me to get this condition in perspective. I have to tell myself the Serenity Prayer and realize that the Lord will never leave me nor forsake me. He won't give me anything that I cannot endure. He said He would always give us a way of escape. The Psalms have grown so precious to me. David seemed to question things and you know what...I think it's okay. I have heard people say we are not to question God. I disagree. On the cross Jesus questioned His father. He thought he had been forsaken.
I am a pilgrim and someday when I travel to my home I won't be having any pain. I have the Blessed Hope and I pray you do too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Grade School Pals

Kyla Jo and Patti aka Trish
Here's a picture of my friend I hadn't seen in about 45 years. We went all through kindergarten, grade school and the first year of high school before I moved to Florida. Kyla now lives in Florida herself and she was on the way back up to Indiana for a high school reunion. It was such a strange feeling seeing someone that many years later. She looks great. I do have to wonder what the deal is with our lips. I must research this whole shrinking lips phenomenon. If anyone has any theories please let me know.
I decided I have talked about Avery in pretty much all the posts since last week. I tell myself that I will not obsess about her, but to be quite honest....I still keep thinking about her a lot. She didn't get to go hiking on the crater yesterday due to rain, so today they are doing the big hike.
Tomorrow they will fly to Honolulu. Can we all say FUN?!
I am watching Billy Graham Classics. I love watching him preach. He has always kept his message so simple and easy to understand. I saw his daughter, Anne on Fox News this morning and she has a new book out about Abraham. It sounded really interesting. I hope that Mark, Avery and I can go up to the Billy Graham Library this fall. I feel as though I have known him my whole life and I believe I will feel such a loss when he passes away. I would love to meet him in person someday, but probably it will be heaven before I get to talk with him. He has devoted his life to sharing the Word and bringing others to Christ. What a wonderful legacy he will leave.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Grandpa Steve and Grandma Anne

Here's the traveling team as they were last Saturday. Apparently, they are having a wonderful time. They have been hiking and visiting volcanoes and parks and it sounds like she is really enjoying herself. She tried salad for the first time and her reaction was, "it's really wet!" She didn't try it with salad dressing so maybe she'll like it better with more flavor on it. They've been walking and walking and she probably is worn out at the end of the day. This Nana is not able to walk around much so I'm glad she's getting the opportunity to get some exercise and see some beautiful things. Grandpa Steve is her daddy's father and I see some resemblance there. Her daddy is calm and relaxed and I think that's where Avery gets her calmness. Her grandpa is an inventor and very creative. I'll keep you posted about the big trip.