Monday, April 2, 2018

FAITH: Pontificating

Pontificating... I think that's a real word, to lazy to look it up.  It's MY word.  

It's been a while since I've felt like posting a "Faith" post, but I'm moved to do so after this past few days.  

I love the way lessons are taught and learned.  Faith doesn't have to be complicated.  It is a relationship, and relationships can sometimes be complicated...  but not with our creator Jehovah!!  I did a study on the names and titles for our GOD, and it was quite an interesting month.  

Simplicity.  Like following a recipe or sewing a quilt block.  Certain things must be done, and if you follow the recipe/pattern the finished product is quite amazing (mostly I have had to learn a lot of lessons in all of the above)  

A relationship means understanding the other person, entity, the recipe, the pattern.  If you understand what is expected, it is simple to follow through.  

Prayer is a simple, yet complicated communication with our maker.  

Approach your GOD with reverence and respect.
Raise HIS name above all others, and pray for HIS Kingdom to come here on earth as it has in HEAVEN.  
Talk to him about what you want.  
Thank him for the gift of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  
Ask the things you are praying for in Jesus' name, as the only way to the FATHER is through the Son!    (Model Prayer:  Matthew 6:9)  

This past weekend on the eve of Easter Sunday, Evening of Memorial I had another Addison's Crisis.  I prayed fervently for MORE TIME.  I never know when my time will be UP... It is exhausting trying to get everything done when you just don't know.  This was a lesson in letting go.  I was ready to let go, but just prayed I would have a little more time to finish with the most important things.  Upside is that I didn't lose my vital signs this time.  Upgrades in medications have made a big difference in the response time for medical to take life saving measure.  I pray that GOD richly blesses the Dr.(s) responsible for correct medications that have added to my "time"  

I am determined to squeeze every last drop out of this life.  Some days you just want to pack it in, other days are full, and rich and you are so glad you didn't follow through with giving up.  

This quilt that was shared with me says it ALL! :) 



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

FAMILY And TRADITIONS: WITH A FULL HEART

WITH A FULL HEART:
These petunias grace my front steps every spring, summer and way into the fall.  I snapped a shot of the last few blooms, they were still up and blooming into NOVEMBER!  I felt a lot like these flowers.  I was trying to keep blooming, but dying off rapidly.  When I type I go every which way, so this is very difficult to put together for me. 

I was asked to share my VASAYO story, so bear with me as I tend ramble, and sometimes get off track. 

I was introduced to VASAYO by my youngest brother.  He was enthused and SURE that it would help what was going on with my health.  I'm sure you could hear the "SNORT" all the way into the next county!  Why would I do that? you might ask.  Well starting off, a veteran of many multi level marketing and selling phases in my adult life.  So....  A little back story here..

Shaklee when I was first married.  My Mother-In-Law was an assistant supervisor level and VERY gungho. 
Tupperware... yes I was a Tupperware lady for a while in order to continue being a stay at home mama.  Put groceries on the table. 
Enrich.. a little later on... bust
Arbonne ... a LOT later on..  FABULOUS product but not in the income bracket of most of the folks that I would rub elbows with.  Worked full time, didn't have time to beat a dead horse. 
IDLIFE... again product itself was great, but the company lost momentum, and just wasn't on the ball.  Customer service was not great, and their billing system was a mess. 

MORE backstory:  I was an extremely healthy individual my entire life.  In 2005 my entire world unraveled.  I was ill with a virus and shortly after was in full thyroid storm.  My husband rushed me to the ER sure that I was having a heart attack.  My lab numbers were astronomical.  My system was flooded with excess thyroid hormones and gone berserk.  My heart rate was 156... can't remember the rest of the ##s except it was horrible.  They would not allow me to go to my regular provider as she was a nurse practitioner, I was forced to see an internist who blasted me with prescription medications.  The 93 lb. weight loss I had recently accomplished was blown out of the water by pills..  I ballooned back to my starting weight in less than 4 months. 

Those folks with a medical practice ... yes they were PRACTISING... didn't know what they were doing!!!  Removed my thyroid when it became so enlarged I choked on things that I tried to swallow.  Fast forward through a year of medication adjustments that did NO good. My body rejected the T4 only hormone drug Levothyroxine (Synthroid)  I felt worse and worse, convinced that I might die.  That was just how bad it felt to be so extremely insufficient in enough thyroid hormone to exist (removing the thyroid caused me to be hypothyroid, not enough hormone).  After nearly a year of this, I had a visit with the so-called endocrinologist.  My eyes were yellow, my skin was yellow and I felt very ill.  My body functions did not function.  She said oh... we'll adjust to *** mcg and I will see you in 6 months.  My mouth hung open and I was just DONE.  I said "No, you won't because I will be DEAD by then, YOU'RE FIRED!!!" 

Following on the heels of the Graves Disease was a parade of "endocrinologists" (to date 3 have been FIRED for not doing me any good)  Hand in hand with the Graves disease was Thyroid Eye Disease.  TED is my buddy... sigh...  once my best feature, my eyes began to bulge out of the sockets as scar tissue built up and pushed them out of their home.  Auto immune diseases are very inflammatory.  Your own body does not recognize your own cells and they fight against each other.  There is a full blown WAR inside this chemistry experiment we call a body. 

Quick on the heels of the first 2 autoimmune diseases came Type II Adult onset Diabetes.  My Hemoglobin A1c was over 12.  Fine thing right there, finger sticks, testing, insulin, pills MORE pills..

Along with BIG THREE came Hidradenitis Suppurativa, Celiac, and Hypokalemic Syndrome, Metabolic Syndrome, and last but not least Addison's Disease over about a 9 year span.  My life story at that point was called "Living in Auto Immune HELL" 

During this entire sentence in hell, I had to fight an employer who had me on the "to fire" list.  If I were fired before I retired, I would only get monies that I had put into my retirement and would LOSE all my contractual income that was placed in the Public Employees Retirement System.  So the war was ON!  I fought HARD for what I had earned at a very difficult job.  With 5 months remaining until my retirement date, I broke my back by coughing.  It was so bizarre, no one, least of all me could believe it.  I broke my vertebrae in my lower back and the disc between was ruptured.  It pinched a large nerve bundle that controls the left side from the spine down.  I was in a wheelchair for 3 months, fighting the system for surgery that would correct this and get me back on my feet.  By this time there was damage done.  I also was informed that I was in a severe state of osteoporosis.  I had broken a lot of leg and lower bones, but thought I was just old and clumsy.  Surgery, therapy, devices to help me walk.. walker and cane when needed..  I retired 5 months early and was penalized $300.00 a month.  But I GOT my retirement at least. 

Things went along... life happens... I was not in great shape, but still doing things I loved... making the best of a bad situation.  My spirit and heart had been battered but I was hanging in there.  My mama passed away, life went on. 

(OMG... Is this War and Peace???)  No getting there slowly, like I do everything.  On the day after Christmas in 2014 I died.  My husband and I were off to a "date night" as per every Friday... I was fine, and 5 minutes later I pulled over and became extremely ill, my body was calling it quits.  I would learn that Addison's Disease had reared it's VERY ugly head.  Addisonian Crisis is not fun.  Lots of fast paced drama, IV's.  When I arrived at ER I had NO blood pressure measurable, and my pulse was something like 9.  Yep... dead.  They brought me back. 

So I had more education in AutoImmune.  Things went along, I went to Endocrinologist #3 who was fired shortly thereafter.  She did do me the service of providing me with an emergency injection that would buy me enough time to GET to the emergency room.  Provided that I give up many things that I love (remote places, fishing, photography, in the boonies, in the forest)  HAHAHAHA.  I'm dying.. why would I give up what I LOVE!??!!  on the off chance that they can bring me back after I get there. 

Life goes on... my dad followed my mama into the next part of THEIR journey.  A grandson is born.  I am doing a period wedding for my kids..  Living... while I have TIME to live.



Picture Break:  Yeah... proud mama, proud mamaw!   

Fast forward (yayyyy!) The next Addisonian Crisis occurred just that way... doing something I loved (Rendezvous) in the boonies (far NE Oregon on the confluence of the Wenaha and Grande Ronde Rivers in tiny Troy, Oregon.  The early morning hours of our kids wedding.  Once again, I was saved by medical intervention.  It was nearly an hour to help... several miles straight up to get cell service.  At 4 a.m. no less. 
(picture to break the boredom) They get me to the tiny regional hospital in time... Iv's same crap different surroundings.  Lots of drama.  I insisted that they unhook me.  I am the drill sgt. for this wedding and it WILL go off without any more hitches.  Only thing getting hitched is the kids!    ER dr. is PRICELESS!  She says to me "you know you're going to die from this right?"  I just laughed.  It was funny to me.  I have already died twice now... bring it.  So enough of War And Peace. 

VASAYO!   12 months later... being introduced to this product.  I'm a HARD sell.  I'm hoping that it might be okay, but skeptical.  Not really enthused at all.  But I would do absolutely anything to help my brother.  So I said OKAY.  I ordered.  I joined.  I don't have MONEY for a founders pack.. but I'm here for ya.  I could not afford the $1076.00 in copay for my prescriptions.  I had just dropped two very expensive drugs off my list.  (keeping only one insulin and a couple pills that make things RUN... thyroid and adrenal.) 

Found out those pill were doing basically NOTHING for my Type 2.  Cha ching for Big Pharma.  My number were HIGH regardless whether I had them or not.  Last A1c was 8.1  I was still missing my goal of 7.0 by a mile.  Enter VASAYO! 

April was very busy, I got my product around the second week of the month... 8th or something like.  My immediate result was my fasting morning glucose level had dropped!  Dramatically.  It continued to stay MUCH lower than it had been running.. I was doing a little happy dance...  THEN the sleep started happening.  I had begun with only 3 products as I was wary to bombard my body with too much..  (silly me)  I had the Renew for my joints and other painful parts and the drastic systemic inflammation that comes with AutoImmune Cluster. 

My new friend Steve was caught off guard I think by my language when I said AutoImmune Cluster is just that a Cluster... well expletive... LOL!   He mentioned it when he introduced me to our group last week, so it must have made an impression... (probably not a great one...) 

Short detour.  It's Rendezvous time again... and we attended.  I was very BUSY... finishing a 102x102" quilt for our group raffle with only one day to spare.  (4 1/2 weeks on an emergency, gotta help mission)  And BAM... the day after we returned home, Addisonian Crisis again.. only 12 months separated them this time.  I was feeling pretty sorry for me, as that "closing the gap" portion time wise is pretty scary... they just keep getting closer and closer until the inevitable happens.  Upside to this is that previous recovery times from these type of episodes were 60 to 90 days.  This happened on APRIL 24, 2017.  I have been back up and running now for a few days. 
(another picture break)


There I go again.. back to products.  I had the Energy... and for the first time in a VERY long time I got 7 hours of solid sleep without being interrupted by pain or other malfunctions.  It wasn't even the advertised "Sleep" spray..  It was ENERGY??!!!  Wow... just wow.  So without being too graphic (look up Hidradentis Suppurativa)  I had nearly NO inflammation from this disorder on the skin surface.  I had SLACK skin... (wrinkles... OMG)  but the inflammation had gone down such a drastic amount....  My husband was so impressed I have gotten him to start taking the product as well.  With wonderful result.  He has had 4 level back surgery, has arthritis and pain beyond... it has improved in LESS THAN A WEEK... A heart attack 2 years ago left him feeling pretty down about his prospects.  He was SMILING yesterday, and I believe I may just have my husband back again... happy dance again. 

My faith is huge... I had prayed consistently throughout this ordeal that started in 2005.  Asking GOD: "What is the answer?".

Please let me be smart enough to see it in whatever form it takes.  MY answer is here.  My answer is VASAYO.  That is my story until now...   Stay tuned for future installments.  However long the future may be, I will be here.  Blogging like I talk...   

If I can have quality time for the life I have LEFT, and if I can gift others with this product and give THEM quality... I will rest easy. 

Not one to ignore when the MAN upstairs is KNOCKING on top of my head!    One of the scriptures I read today was this... how fitting! 

Job

42 Then Job said in reply to Jehovah:
 “Now I know that you are able to do all things
And that nothing you have in mind to do is impossible for you. 

Unashamed to claim my spirituality, I pray to you Heavenly FATHER, MOST HIGH whose name is above all Jehovah. Giving thanks for all that I have and all that I am.  I thank you on behalf all who will benefit from technology, and have quality time in which to acknowledge YOU are most high over all the earth.  Praying for YOUR kingdom to come here on earth as it has in Heaven, forgiveness when I sin, and giving thanks for the gift of your SON Christ Jesus, through whom all things are possible.  In Jesus Name I thank you and pray you bless our humble endeavors.  Amen.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

TRADITIONS: On A Sunny Sunday Drive

TRADITIONS:  What Can Happen On A Sunny Sunday Drive??? Well, if you love taking a Sunday drive, quilts, sunshine and the anticipation of returning home after a long 4 day trip to Wenaha Muzzleloader's Rendezvous at Grizz Flat in Troy....   We were going back through Flora.  I told my husband... I know you want to get home but please stop.  The light is JUST RIGHT!  I straddled a mud puddle, and THIS HAPPENED:
And then THIS happened.  On the east edge of Flora... there in the sunshine.  A Quilt Block!


And the quilt block prompted a
Discussion... About quilt trails and traditional quilt blocks. 

This appears to be a variation on a "Blueberry Pie" block.  I say "appears" because there is a LOT of artistic license among quilters nowdays with all the copyright controversies and electronic programs that will generate just about anything... INCLUDING.. you guessed it... quilt blocks! 

So in the spirit of "TRADITION" I have chosen MY top 20 "star" blocks.  Some are variations, and they may not even HAVE the correct name attached, as I got them online.  (Pinterest is an ANIMAL!) 
Variation of Carpenter Star

Hunter Star

Nancy's Fan Pattern

Moonlight Star

Star of Victory

Starflower
Star Within A Star



Patchwork Pinwheel Star

Ohio Star In An Ohio Star

Scrappy Ohio Star

Double Tulip

Rising Star

Indian Star

Simple Carpenter Star

Hidden Star

Variation of Double Ohio Star

Patchwork Pinwheel Star

Oregon Bride Star

Martha Washington
Blazing Star

Missouri Star



Sunday, April 9, 2017

FAITH: Trust In HIM



Trust and faith are sometimes easier "said" than "done"  Our journey through this life is full of twists, turns, ups and downs.  Not unlike a carnival ride.... 

Here is my thought on faith for today.  I saved a simple pic... way back in the early 2000's, sometime after 2001.  There was no author credited, but I saved it and printed it for a book mark...  It was a bit dog eared and worn, so I thought I would add one of my photos, and cite some scriptures that make me believe this to be

GOD's ABSOLUTE TRUTH! 

Have a Blessed week this week, be safe in your travels and hold your friends and loved ones close in thought and prayer!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

CAST IRON: Cottage Pie

Cast Iron:  Cottage Pie




Not sure which nationality decided to use beef instead of lamb... (Shepherd's Pie) But for our beef loving family, hamburger is always in the freezer.  Makes a hot, hearty dinner during cold weather!  Great with a nice tossed salad. 

COTTAGE PIE

2 carrots, 4 stalks of celery, 1 large yellow onion all finely diced.

6 TBS of butter

1/4 cup flour

1 cup frozen peas

1 1/2 lbs 90/10 ground beef

2 cups of beef broth (reserve 1 cup)

2 envelopes of Lipton Beefy Onion Soup

2 large cloves of garlic

1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Thyme

4-5 Large russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled and mashed.

In a 12-14 inch cast iron skillet or dutch oven, sautee' veggies and herbs in butter.   Add beef and brown well.  Put the garlic in last, and stir in dry soup mix.  Add 1 cup of beef broth and bring to a rolling boil. 

Whip flour and reserved broth until you have a smooth slurry with no lumps.  Add into the pan, stirring constantly until thickened.  Take pan off the heat. 

Pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture.  If using a fry pan, bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes... checking at 30 minutes for browning of potatoes on top... 

If using a dutch oven bake with 6 coals under and a ring of coals around the rim...  load the lid heavily for the last 10-15 minutes to brown the potatoes on top. 


 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

CAST IRON: Creamy Chicken And Cheese Casserole




 Hi everyone:  Bessie and Billy have been up to their usual antics.  CHEESE!!!  Billy saaaave me, that might have been MY milk that made them there packages of EYE-TALIAN Cheese!!!!   



CREAMY CHICKEN CHEESE CASSEROLE
Ingredients

1  package (8 oz) Penne pasta, cooked, al dente or if you're feeling energetic, a batch of 3 egg+flour+salt homemade noodles.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked or use store bought rotisserie chicken

1/8 teaspoon thyme

1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning

salt and pepper to taste, white pepper if you have it

1 tablespoon oil

5 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon onion, chopped

1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups half & half

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup + 2/3 cup Italian Cheese Blend Cheese, separated or Krafts Philadelphia Italian Five Cheese Blend W/Cream Cheese

Italian Seasoning, garnish

­



Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Prepare the chicken or pull the rotisserie chicken off the bone. 



Using a 12-inch skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Split the chicken breasts, so they’re not too thick. This will help them cook more evenly.



Mix the salt, pepper, thyme and poultry seasoning and rub it on both sides of the chicken breasts. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet. Cook on both sides until cooked, browned and the juices run clear (about 10 minutes). Remove chicken to a plate, set aside to cool. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees or start your coal bucket at this time. Start on the sauce; in a separate large skillet melt the butter; add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.  Add the flour and mix using a wire whisk. Mix until bubbly and starts to take on a bit of color. 

Add the half & half and milk; mix to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium, simmer for about 5 minutes. 

Add 2/3 cup of cheese and blend using a wire whisk. Cook mixture an additional 5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken up.  The sauce is thick enough when it coats the back of a spoon.

Remove sauce from heat. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Add the cooked and drained pasta and the sauce last. Toss everything to combine. 

Spray a 12" Dutch Oven or a 12-14" Skillet with cooking spray. Add the pasta mixture to the Cast Iron and sprinkle with an additional 1 cup of cheese.

Sprinkle with pepper and bake for 30  minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Garnish with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning before serving. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

FAITH: Monday's Scripture in a Picture

I love combining Scripture with photography.  It is such a wonderful thing, to see the words come to life.