Category Archives: Uncategorized

Awareness

Awareness is a wonderful thing. I think it’s great to see people come together for a common cause and try to bring change. But at the same time I find myself questioning whether most understand the issues they say they support. The ice bucket challenge is one of those instances where I think people have gotten caught up in the trendiness of the challenge without understanding what it is they are supporting.

I first noticed on my Facebook newsfeed that lots of individuals were videoing themselves having ice water dumped on them. In the beginning I didn’t even watch the videos because I figured it was just another crazy Facebook stunt that would quickly fade away. After several days, I finally became curious. I watched a video and although the person stated that they were doing the ice bucket challenge for ALS that was all the information they gave. Video after video I watched was much the same with no information about the disease so I finally became curious enought to start gathering my own information about ALS and was devastated by what I found.

ALS is a debilitating neurological disease that destroys the body’s ability to transmitt messages to the muscles of its victim. (This is my very elementary, simple definition.) The patient looses all muscle function and in the end they basically suffocate because their muscles atrophy to the point that the lungs cannot receive oxygen. They lose the ability to speak, eat, and do anything for themselves. The patient has a healthy mind trapped in a non-functioning body. It is a horrible disease and it breaks my heart that so many people suffer from its effects.

During my digging I found that the ALSA are doing research using human embryonic cells. That began to change my thinking on what I wanted to do to help this cause. As a Christian who believes that life begins at conception should I give money to help fund research that uses aborted babies to harvest stem cells? My decision was that I could not in good conscience do that. What about if the fetus had not been aborted but had been fertilized in a Petri dish for the purpose of creating stem cells? Was I okay with that option? Again, my personal conviction told me that it was morally wrong.

I am not trying to belittle the efforts of those who have done the challenge and I don’t stand in judgement of those who sent money to the ALS. These are simply my personal convictions. But, I also feel that there are many people just like me who are totally unaware of the practices of the ALS research being done. Just as those completing the challenge have the right to bring awareness to ALS I also have a right to bring awareness to how the ALS chooses to spend the funds being raised.

My family has chosen to make a contribution to an individual with ALS. Their medical costs are extreme and they struggle with not only the disease but the side effects of no income, medical costs, transportation costs, and many other things. There is more than one way to be a part of this cause. We simply choose to give on a personal level.

Our family knows the struggles of having a family member with a chronic medical condition. My youngest son has cerebral palsy which affects him in much the same way that ALS effects individuals. Thankfully, my son’s condition is not progressive but he has suffered with it since birth. He doesn’t know what it is to run and play like a typical child. He is very dependent on others for most everything. I understand what it is to live the life of a caregiver. There are hard days when you are exhausted both physically and mentally. My heart goes out to the families of ALS.

My son could possibly benefit from the same type research that an ALS patient could. Stem cell research is being done to try to lessen or eliminate the effect cerebral palsy has on a person. Even so, my family chooses not to support stem cell research done using embryonic cells of any kind. There are other types of stem cell research that have actually proven to be more promising that do not use embryonic cells.

I pray that my heart is heard from anyone who might come across this blog post. I have so much compassion for those suffering from ALS. I support community awareness and I pray that a cure or a treatment will be found. I simply chose to give in an alternative way that I feel makes a personal impact on an individual until such time that the current research practices change.

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Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

Life is filled with ups and downs and twists and turns. I use to become very anxious about the changes in my life but as I grow older I find that I can see how God uses my circumstances to shape me into a better person. Today was one of the days of life that have the ability to leave you discouraged and depressed.

Wednesday is therapy day for G. He has all three therapies on Wednesdays so that gives me + – 3 hours to myself. I had planned on using the time today to get some housework done. We were about to eat lunch when we made the discovery. J turned the kitchen faucet on and nothing happened. We had no water whatsoever. I had not yet taken a shower and was going to be taking G to therapy in less than an hour.

After a few minutes of bewilderment my sweet precious husband who has way too much on his plate lately discovered that he has been riding around with our water bill and payment in his work bag. He made out the check in plenty of time but in all the chaos, that is our life, he forgot to deliver it. Our water had been cut off for non-payment.

At one time this kind of thing would have sent me crashing over the deep end but today it was simply a little inconvenience. It just wasn’t important enough to get upset over. One phone call to the water department (payment and $50 late fee paid on the phone) and the matter was resolved. My husband was much more upset about it than I was. To me it is just a funny story to remember. If that is the worst thing that happens I think we will be okay.

I did find it amusing that this situation occurred the day after I announced that I was taking control of my life. The truth is we only possess a certain amount of control. Things happen. We make mistakes. Life is not perfect but that does not mean that we can’t enjoy living it. You can’t sweat the small stuff and you can’t let it get you down. At times like that you have to find the humor, give a little chuckle, and move on.

Days like today make me realize how much I love my crazy, sometimes chaotic, sweet, sweet life.

Organizing My Life

This week I have decided to take control of my life. I need order and organization in my life to be able to function at my best and somewhere along the way I lost the ability to keep it all together. During the first 20 years of my marriage I was organized, knew where everything was, and had routines that kept my life in order and me sane. I’m not sure which came first, the insanity or the chaos. It is kinda like the chicken and the egg thing; it doesn’t really matter which came first because either way one of them caused the other and the cycle simply continues.

Meal planning and execution are a big challenge for me. Sweet G has wheat and peanut allergies. I suppose that my problems with meals started around the time he was diagnosed. You can’t imagine how many products contain wheat. It is almost impossible to eat out and typical kid foods are out of the question. As I am writing this post I came to the realization that there are tons of things G can eat, they just aren’t quick and easy. No PB&J when mommy is having a stressful day. Spice mixes are often wheat culprits causing stress in remembering which ones are safe. We basically need to cook all our food from scratch. As I read this I am thinking, “Isn’t that what you should be doing anyway?”

Anyway, this week I found an app for my iPad. You can either use Paper plate online or with the app and they sync with each other so you can switch from the computer to iPad without losing anything in the process. It will allow you to plan menus, record recipes, make shopping lists, and more! So far I love it. I am able to set up several menus and simply insert them onto my calendar. It keeps everything at my fingertips which simplifies my life.

During the writing of this post I realized that I need to create my own spice mixes so I can eliminate that problem from my life. No more packaged spice mixes! I guess that is next on the agenda in the kitchen department.

My second project has been to clean out and organized the computer. It is full and reminds me of days during my teaching practicum when I would try to file things in certain teachers file cabinets. There is only so much one drawer can hold and still be functional and the same is true for my laptop. My entire college experience is crammed into that hard drive and it just can’t hold anything else. The photos are the main problem. We have thousands of them and I am sure some of them are duplicates.

Every little bit I do makes me feel better. I am trying to stay focused and take baby steps so I don’t get overwhelmed. I just have to keep telling myself, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” I’ll keep you updated on my progress!

Pear Preserve Revenge

My blood was boiling by the time I reached the house. If I couldn’t have my blue ribbon preserves then I’d have partridge for supper! That blasted bird ruined every pear in that tree and I was determined to have the satisfaction of picking his bones as clean as he picked my tree.

I grabbed my shotgun and racked a cartridge into the chamber as I stepped off the porch. That partridge was about to be blasted out of that pear tree. I took careful aim. There was no way I was gonna miss out on my revenge. Bam! Click, click, bam!

I saw him fall to the ground followed by two of his friends. I chuckled as I walked toward the carcasses. I couldn’t tell what the other two birds were until I reached the tree. Two turtle doves lay beside the partridge.

Pear Tree Prowler

The pears were perfect for picking. I decided tomorrow would be the day I’d make my prize winning pear preserves. I drifted off to sweet sleep dreaming about that blue ribbon I’d win when the county fair came around to our neck of the woods.

The day dawned clear and bright. I was so excited that I didn’t even take time to eat. Those pears were waiting to be picked and made into the perfect preserves. I grabbed my basket as I walked out the back door and headed for the pear tree.

When I reached the tree I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was not one perfect pear left on that tree! Something had destroyed my pears and I intended to kill the varment responsible. I moved around the tree and spotted the culprit. There he sat;a partridge in my pear tree.

Blessed

I am blessed is a blog carnival hosted by Gretchen over at He Sows, She Sews. Mondays tend to be hard and make it easy for us to forget how very blessed we are. Gretchen came up with the idea to write a post every Monday about the many ways God has blessed us. It is a wonderful way to praise God for his grace and mercy and to remind ourselves how blessed we are even when we forget.

This week my blessings have been:
1) My husband got a part-time job to supplement our income so I can stay home with our son.

2) We are healthy.

3) I have a husband whom I adore and who adores me.

4) I was blessed to have some sweet conversations with my sweetheart.

5) God has blessed me with wonderful friends.

6) My son has wonderful therapists.

7) Sweet G is making tons of progress.

8) I harvested my first squash this week. I grew it all by myself!

9) We have shared many happy hours reading together as a family.

10) I woke up every morning clothed in my right mind, had plenty to eat, and have a roof over my head!

Write a post about the blessings you’ve been given this week and head on over to He Sows, She Sews┬áto link it up. While you are there read about the blessings of some other bloggers.

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