Monday, January 30, 2006

Patience Must Have Killed the Cat

Dave had five days off and he spent most of it building a kitchen counter and getting a crown.

Yes, I've been bored! I have not left the house in three weeks!

What happens when you:

1) have nothing to do

2) own a sharp knife

3) have a large lime

4) own a patient cat

5) drink too much tequila

6) and are PMSing

Happy 1st Month TK

I Was There

I was there as you grew in your mother’s
belly growing fast and strong.
Your mother and father would kiss you
and whisper words of love.
I often rubbed your mother’s belly
and watched you move inside her.

I was there as your mother fought the pain
scared and brave while giving it her all.
Your father had a calm facade and such a gentle way.
I was so very proud of him for being
her rock and making it all ok.

I was there with auntie shell, watching you struggle
to come down, but once we saw your head
we cheered your mother on.

I was there as you entered this bright world
and watched as your father cut your cord.
I never even heard a cry as I
watched them whisk you away
I watched in horror as you lay lifeless
in a little corner of the room.
I held my breath in fear, watching
your mother oblivious to your distress.
Your brave father seeing your plight
never leaving your mother’s side
keeping his focus on her.

I was there as you took your first gurgled breath
I dropped my head and sobbed.
When I saw your face I was filled with such love
that I can never get enough of you
They gave you to your parents and everything
was as God intended it to be.

I was there and always will

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Power of Mind and Words

When I was in my early thirties a friend approached me about attending a prayer meeting. I was told a very famous "hands on healer" would be there and she thought if I went I might get a chance to be touched or even better healed. I thought she was joking at first, but saw she was very serious. I was very touched by her focus and hope for me. It's very hard to say no when someone wants to join the fight for your life.

The room was over flowing with people, anxious and full of hope. I was instantly very uncomfortable and we headed straight to the back of the room. Everyone was waiting, for what I had no idea. My friend was one of those friends who would yell at somebody for being in a disabled parking spot when they were not disabled. She began to push me closer and closer to the front with a tenacity that I thought was border line rude. She was telling people "this woman is dying, excuse me, excuse me please." I was absolutely horrified, not only was I not on my death bed, but these people were helping her to get me up front. I was being shoved toward this woman who had her hands on another women, eyes shut in prayer. Her voice was so low only the people up close could hear her prayer.

The woman's "helper" took my hand and helped me into the chair. All eyes were on me and I would have given anything to escape. She laid her hands on me and was talking to God. I don't know why that surprised me, but I was relieved it was God she was asking to help me. Her eyes opened, her prayer had ended and she looked directly into my eyes with a distinct look of sadness. She said" My dear child you cannot be healed because you don't want to be healed." WHAT! I thought what a waste of time and just blew it off and went home.

I could not get her words out of my head, which forced me to look at my life on a deeper level. I had realized everything I did or said was wrapped around my illness. I had become my illness and it was consuming my life. I was not depressed, angry or whiny. I thought I was happy and dealing with it all like a champ. This woman did heal me, she helped me move on from preparing to die to living a full and purpose filled life.

I used to pray every night to see my kid's graduate high school. The doctor said "most ALS people live 3-5 years, so you have been very lucky to get this close to your goal". As they were in high school I was slowly needing more help with meals and showering. I was scared to drive and if I were to be real honest I was nearing my goal and giving in. I hated not doing for myself and the last straw was having supervised showers so I would not fall down while I was alone. So once I made up my mind to live, yet again, I started Phyiscal therapy in a pool, started driving again, and got the guts to date online. I now do water aerobics, drive anywhere I'm comfortable going and met my hubby Dave (online). I continued a full life, I saw my girls graduate, my youngest marry and the birth of my 1st grandchild. I just hit year 16 with ALS and that puts me in the 1% group, not too shabby.

I have learned, the hard way, how powerful our minds and words can make dramatic changes in our lives. I will probably take steps backwards as I progress, but I'll always remember "God helps those who help themselves" and I'm not ALS.

Two for One

I want to write a serious post, but I made a promise to Gail (I've been tagged) The picture is for TJ's round robin animal photo challenge. What my Maltese looks like when wet ;) I thought I'd do two in one. I'll write the more serious post in a separate entry. Thanks for the migraine advise too, I will be trying them out because I hate Imitrex.

1) What is your middle name?Lee, after mom Judy Lee.
2) What size is your bed? Queen sleep number bed.
3) What are you listening to? My dog snoring
4) What are the last two digits of your phone #? 875
5) What is the last thing you ate? A power bar, I don't do breakfast
6) Last person you hugged? Dave
7) How is the weather right now? Cold and rainy
8) Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My friend Lynne
9) What's the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Eyes
10) Do you have a bf/gf ? I've been married for 2 years on Valentine's Day
12) Do you drink? I already walk like a drunk, I don't need to make it worse. lol
13)Have you ever gotten so drunk that you don't remember the entire night? I wish I could not remember a few:)
14)Hair color? Dish water grey until hubby puts on the Loreal auburn 6R
15) Eye color? Hazel
16) Fav baseball team? I'm an ex sports widow, I live in a no sports home (except the Packers)
17) Fav animal? Dogs
18) Favorite season? Autumn
19) Ever cried for no reason? Dah...PMS?
20) Last movie you watched? Wedding Crashers
21) What book are you reading? High Plains Tango by Robert Waller
22) piercing? Two in each ear
23) Favorite movie? Most of them, I'm easily entertained and LOVE movies.
24) Fav college team? None, but I loved the movie Rudi and he went to Notre Dame.
25) What are you doing right now? Thinking this is too long.
26) Pets? 2 dogs, 1 cat
27) Dog or cats? Dog, only because I'm allergic to cats
28) Favorite flower? Daffodil
29) Have you ever been caught doing something you weren't supposed to be doing? Too many times so I stopped doing it.
30) Have you ever loved someone? Yes
31) Who would you like to see right now? My grandson
32) Are you still friends with your ex's? Husband, no way
33) Have you ever fired a gun? Yes, I pulled skeet for movie stars at my aunt's gun club at 14.
34) Do you like to travel by plane? I love to travel but hate all forms of transport. lol
35) Right handed or left handed? Right
36) If you could be with someone right now, who would it be? My grandson, since hubby is here already.
37) How many pillows you sleep with? One pillow, a hubby and a dog stuck to my butt.
38) Are you missing someone? Grandma Margie, she loved me so much!
39) Do you have a tattoo? No, but my oldest has five.
40) Do you watch cartoons on Sat. mornings? Not in many years, I loved merrie melody's.
41) Are you hiding something from someone? Yes, anger at a relative.
42) Do you play an instrument? I used to play classical piano, but I sucked so I stopped.

Gail, you owe me a meme for this! LOL

Monday, January 23, 2006

Weekend Alerts

The weekend flew by! I'm under the weather with day two of migraine hell.


ER is doing an episode on ALS with James Woods, Feb. 2nd. This is suppose to be a well researched and informative portrayal of ALS. It's on Thursday nights at 9:00pm. is consulting in the episode and I hope it helps bring awareness to an illness that kills 1 in 1000 people.

There is a new show that we just love called In Justice. Friday night at 9:00pm. It's about freeing innocent people from prison.

Wedding Crashers as a DVD rental was surprisingly funny. Not my type of flick but I found it fun.


My current house is smaller & cheaper than the new house, so we are fixing it up to get the best price. I watch HGTV a lot! My idea's, hubby's work and together we ended up with a theme house. lol The living room is Italy, family room is Victorian, the kitchen is a European cafe, 1st guest room is Kauai, 2nd guest room is a hunting lodge and our room is a French country garden. We tastefully made the rooms flow in keeping with neutrals, Burgundy and greens. Hubby is finishing up the cafe over this last weekend and next. He is building a counter with a antique copper-tin back-splash and Italian ceramic tiles. Dave loves projects until he hits a snag, that's when I slink out of the room. He loves that MP3 player while he works. It's the best gift I ever gave him!

FEED THE HUNGRY Thebluestbutterfly gave me a web site that I can just click on for free everyday and 1 cup of food is donated to the hungry. It can make a difference!


Check out Jeff at He is very good at making words very visual! I've enjoyed the read :)

"Dust Bunny Collector" is moved in and hooked up and " I Shaved My Legs For This" is back from a hiatus. Welcome back:)


1. Do any of your friends, family or co-workers know about your blogs? For those that do, did you tell them or have they stumbled upon it by themselves? Yes, but just a few and those I told. I say whatever I want anyway :)

2. How did you come up with the title of your blogs? Blogging felt like a newspaper filled with articles on stranger's lives. It turned out to be much more! They inspire me on many different levels and I no longer think of them as strangers. The warrior idea came from the fight to live a full life with ALS.

3. Do you prefer to have many projects going on at once or do you prefer multitasking? I love multitasking and deadlines! I procrastinate but take pride in finishing well and on time.

4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What high school stereotype are you? A Jock...they were way off on this one. I really never fit in one group, but I was the class flirt. lol

5. What was the hardest thing to master when you were learning to drive? Parallel parking was tough and I still avoid it to this day.

6. How well did you do with that one thing on your very first driver's exam? Surprisingly well!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Manipulation & Guilt

Bite me! lol This is meant to be a light hearted observation that may sound like a rant. (for some reason I'm attracting toilet emails...hmmm).

Skillful in influencing or controlling others to your own advantage.

Characteristically procrastinate, resist demands for adequate performance, find excuses for delays, and find fault with those on whom they depend; yet they refuse to extricate themselves from the dependent relationships. They usually lack assertiveness and are not direct about their own needs and wishes. They fail to ask needed questions about what is expected of them and may become anxious when forced to succeed or when their usual defense of turning anger against themselves is removed.

Remorse caused by feeling responsible for some offence.

My name is Tammy and I am passive aggressive. I'm in my own recovery program, "you do better when you know better." When you work on your own behavior, why is it you see that same behavior so clearly in those around you? My mom was aggressive/aggressive, my ex and now my oldest daughter. To different degrees they scared me. My mom died, at my age now, scuba diving and one of my few fears of dying is that she will be there. Maybe God will make her a happier person in heaven. The rest of us are passive/aggressive to some degree, which leaves me blowing in the wind. I see it in our family but I'm scared to speak up for fear of reprisals. The manipulative behavior should be stood up to. It's causing guilt, sadness and helplessness.
Pray I grow a huge set of ___! I am trying to set boundaries, duck & cover and let everyone else work on their own stuff. Dave, you still will get the silent treatment when I'm pissed, but I promise to always write my "grievance emails" after. lol

This is for my musical muse, TJ. I thought it great timing :)

My guilty pleasures:

1. A white chocolate mocha from Starbucks.
2. Going to the movies and eating buttered popcorn.
3. Shopping for Dave or TK.
4. Home decorating.
5. Talking long distance with a good friend.

I'm tagging anyone who wants to play :)

Friday Funny

I always start my weekend's with a smile :) No this is not my new blogging chair I got for Christmas! It gives going online a whole new meaning! lol

Morris and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year. Every year, Morris would say, "Esther, I'd like to ride in that helicopter."

Esther always replied, "I know Morris, but that helicopter ride is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars."

A few years later, Esther and Morris went to the fair. Morris said, "Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter now, I might never get another chance."

Esther replied, "Morris, that helicopter is 50 dollars and $50 dollars is 50 dollars."

The pilot overheard the couple. He said, "Folks, I'll make you a deal. I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word, I won't charge you! But if you say one word, it's 50 dollars."

Morris and Esther agreed -- and up they went.

The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word. When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris. He said, "By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!"

Morris replied, "Well, I was going to say something when Esther fell out, but 50 dollars is 50 dollars."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Just Stuff

Dave was off for four days and we had a nice relaxing time. Dave drove to our new retirement home (18 mos and counting) and we got snow. We have a 1/2 acre, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, flower garden in front, basement with bath, veggie and fruit tree garden out back, two blocks from this lake and a back yard view of a mountain ridge. It's beautiful but I'm having trouble with leaving my life and starting over. I've always loved change and adventure but leaving people you love does not get easier with age. We must have no house payment or bills when we move so we have planned carefully. My health care needs will grow with time and we are moving closer to better health care facilities. Most importantly Dave and I will have more quality time in the years I have left.

I had a great visit with TK! My daughter spent time with us while her hubby was at work. We were all in my bed watching TV and TK was in my arms sleeping. Gosh it brought back memories! Dave gave him the nickname "popeye" because he always opens one eye and the name is sticking...yikes! I got gramy tammy gift frames from Lynne and Dave so I got to finally fill them. I have TK all around the house and want more! lol

Lynne and I watched "March of the penguins" and it was fascinating! The goodies she made were great too :)

I read "Memoirs of a Geisha" so I had to see the movie. Book was better, Movie was fair.

I'm a computer dummy but I managed to load my hubby's new MP3 player. I can't get it off him. lol I stay off computer normally when he is home but he was wanting me to figure this out.


If you get a chance visit my friend Tara Dawn at The way she writes is like music! She tagged me on a questionnaire I felt really helped me to get to know her better.

4 jobs you've had in your life:
Waitress- My favorite job ever! I love people and was very good with the grumps.
Airline ticket agent- Not so fun but paid for school. I worked flights where no one spoke english.
Accounting- Can I say BORING! I was having babies and needed health ins.
Account mgr. for Apple Computer's office supplies- Made big bucks and worked with people.

4 movies you would watch over and over:
Dirty Dancing
A Walk to Remember
Schindler's List
I'm a sucker for romance, movies where some one dying leaves a message, any historical war movies and movies about after death.

4 places you have lived:
Only California, but if I win the HGTV dream home give away, I will live in North Carolina. lol

4 tv shows you love to watch:
House- love the star, too funny.
24- It's different and never boring, that's why I also love "Lost".
In Justice- New show, promising and makes me cry.
ER-Old fan but Grey's Anatomy is getting my attention.

4 places you have been on vacation:
Drove across the USA in a motor home- missed most of it because I hate driving, love to read and was 12.
Cabo San Lucus- Twice I went and twice I got sick. We all got lice having our hair braided and beaded on the beach.
Bahamas- kids swam with the dolphins.
Hawaii-My paradise, my wedding and where our ashes will go. (Kauai)

4 of your favorite foods:
Potatoes- I like them mashed the best!
Japanese- Anything teriyaki, tempura and sushi.
Mexican- All of it!
Lynne's- New England clam chowder.

4 places you would rather be right now:
Kauai with Dave
Holding TK
A movie theatre- Buttered popcorn included.
Live theatre- Jess and I are seeing Beauty and the Beast in April :)

Ok tag you're it!
Any one who reads this journal but only if you want :)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday Funny


Hard to Find


Comfortable (debatable)

Always Lifts You Up

Never Lets You Down or Leaves You Hanging

And Is Always Close To Your Heart!!!

This is my Kauai vacation picture from 2005!

Love Gramy Tammy

The 1st Computer

Memory was something you lost with age

An application was for employment

A program was a TV show

A cursor used profanity

A keyboard was a piano

A web was a spider's home

A virus was the flu

A hard drive was a long trip on the road

A mouse pad was where a mouse lived

And if you had a 3 inch floppy,you just hoped nobody ever found out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Sunshine

This is my friend Lynne. She has been a mother, friend and a surrogate grandmother to my children. She came by yesterday to meet TK and I just had to get a picture of them. She is my family and a terrific lady.

She is a retired professional photographer and an English major. She is one of those women who is always helping others, very generous and really smart. Lynne currently writes the local Hospice newsletter and gives speeches on the topic of Hospice work.

She is the one that I pulled my hair out to while raising teenagers, introduced me to live theatre, taught me how to budget, brought meals when the kids were not around, took me shopping for clothes, drove me 4hrs to UCSF and 3hrs to UC Davis for doctor appointments and flew to Kauai to be a witness to my marriage. She did all this and so much more!

When we wanted to have a girls day out we would have lunch at "our spot", cruise the book store and hit Starbucks on the way home. She brought out the best in me and is always a great listener. I must move in 19 months and the thought of leaving Lynne is already too much to think about. She will be 2-1/2 hrs away but compared to 5 houses away it seems like another state away.

Within the deeps of her dear eyes
The spirit of the sunshine lies
And when she turns their light on me
The shadows of a lifetime flee
Spring, joy, and love become my part
For she is sunshine in my heart

-Lydia Avery Coonley

I love you my friend and I promise I will write you a poem soon. I need a month or so to over analyze one! TeeHee This one fit for now :)

Monday, January 09, 2006

It's the Little Things

An ordinary day can become extraordinary by the little things in my life.

Watching my little dog Nikki sleeping in her little bed, on her back
with her four little paws sticking straight in the air.

Coffee on the weekends, in bed, watching the sun come up with Dave.

A Polish dog from the stand in front of Orchard Supply.

The smell and taste of TK's neck.

When I doze off and Dave gently pulls the covers up to my chin and caresses my
cheek with his finger, a gesture full of an overwhelming love.

Going to a really good movie.

The smell of camping.

A real big hug.

The squeaking sound my grandson makes.

The way my oldest daughter loves on me, by taking my face in her hand's and kissing
every spot on my face.

Dancing with Dave.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Irony of a Hero

This is Dr. Richard Olney a professor of Neurology at the University of California San Francisco. I met this man 16 years ago as a 29 year old single mother of two young girls. He was a gentle, compassionate man who had the horrible task of diagnosing me with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease. This man was the founding director of one of the 1st ALS clinics on the west coast. He spent the last 29yrs focusing on a cure. I signed up for one of his two year drug trials. It was a blind study where no one knows who is getting the real medicine, you are monitored monthly and had injections twice a day. I really got to know this man and knew someday he would find a cure. You don't sign up to be in a drug trial for ALS to be cured, you do it to help future patients. ALS has a 3-5 yr. mortality rate.

The irony is Dr. Olney was diagnosed with ALS in 2004 and is in his last few month's of life at age 57.

"That's the internal horror for all of us working in ALS and who know Rick, " said Jeffrey Rothstein, a Johns Hopkins University ALS researcher who spoke at a December symposium held in Olney's honor. "ALS and pancreatic cancer are probably the two worst diseases you can have."

He is currently signed up in a drug trial he formulated, it is too late to help him but not future patients.
The bittersweet irony of this disease and this doctor haunts his wife of 30 years. "He's famous for dying from a disease rather than finding a cure for it, " says Paula Olney.

Before the ALS would steal his speech, the doctor made sure his wife would always know how he felt, programming the computer to say, "I love you, Paula."
It's the legacy of a good doctor, who is still making a difference.

I sent Dr. Olney pictures from my recent wedding in Kauai hoping he would be so proud of my health and happiness, back in February 2004. He was thrilled and full of hope for me. He had just found out he had ALS, but never said a word.


You were a doctor yet so much more
you grieved with the families and
held your patient's hands

You have seen this insepid disease
steal the lives of people you cared for
and fought everyday to save us all

You are my hero and I will never forget
the dedication to the fate you have met
you have done your job now you can rest

God is with you and oh so proud
your work will live on and save many
I will miss you and you will not be forgotten

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Forgot #7

7. Get my eye's checked ( These word verifications are getting harder to read and if you mess up they add letters!)

It's a New Year

TK is home, Dave is feeling better and Tammy is feeling like it's 2006!

I need to make a few changes this year:

1. Be more creative

2. Less TV

3. Step away from drama

4. Give more to others

5. Create a prayer jar ( Thanks Candace )

6. Soak up my new grandson

Last year was way too busy. I'm a big one on living life to the fullest but this year was crazy!
Dave and I both had grandsons, my daughter got married, we took Dave's mom to Kauai, bought our retirement dream home, replaced our septic system, I was found by my 82yr old (biological) grandfather and lost a grandmother. Let this year be less busy and cheaper!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Monday Question & 5 Bad Habits

Question: How old is the house, apartment, mobile home, etc that you are living in right now and is it too big for you, too small or just about the right size? You can either answer in the comment section or in your journal and then add a link in the comment section. Thanks!

Built in 1961, 1240 sq. ft., 3 bedroom & 2 full baths. Perfect!

! The Name the 5 "weirdest" habits that you have, and then tag 5 other journalers/bloggers to do the samechain continues... Jolene tagged me! I don't remember who has done this already, so play if you want :)

1. Won't go out in public dressed way down or without a little make-up. I always end up running into someone I know.

2. I will do anything to keep water and toothpaste spots off my mirrors, including brushing in the hallway. Sonicare toothbrushes are the devil :)

3. I hate clutter in my house and car. OCD in picking up stuff!

4. I ALWAYS second guess if I locked the dog gate, doors, turned off appliances, after I have left the house.

5. I will change clothes until I don't feel fat! Dave helps me dress and hates this habit :)

Washed up Weekend!

I'm hanging on to the birth of TK and refuse to let bad feelings ruin the start of a promising new year!

Northern California is starting to float away along with all the good cheer in my family. Jess is exerting her motherly powers over her MIL and getting away with it. The very sweet MIL is scared Jess will hold the baby hostage unless she lets Jess control the house. The new daddy is waiting on her hand and foot on very little sleep and advise from me is not wanted. I have to watch my mouth and keep it zipped...very hard! I'm seeing potential problems but she snaps at me, gosh I hope this is hormones!

My ex never showed up to the birth, yet drove 3hrs to come here to see it. Substance abuse kept him in a hotel room for two days and it made Michelle furious and Jess VERY upset. As their mom I get upset for them, but they enable, deny and forgive. That leaves mom hanging out there fuming! He finally showed with no excuse, but threw money at them to make nice. This has been going on for years, but every once in awhile the mother lion in me comes out.

Dave caught another cold which makes him very cranky, add tons of rain, nothing to do and you get one unhappy camper! He was ticked at the girls for putting up with their dad, feeling a little sad at my "baby tunnel vision" and the fact his grandson's are in another state not getting his attention.

I absolutely refuse to let all this negativity stop me from really looking forward to 2006! I will let it all go and get back to life as it was. I broke my own "no drama zone" rule and need to post a sign to remind myself. May you all have the best year ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!