Wednesday, March 26, 2008

3WW / Thursday Love

One of Dave's passions in life is gardening. The snow has not yet fallen on the dogwoods but Dave has planted a truck load of flowers and plants. We made up a list and he veered off the list by a mile. He bowed his head with puppy dog eyes and said "you know not to send me out for flowers by myself." I have no idea how many "finds" he neglected to show me but now I'm feeling no guilt in going to Target. ;) This "Thursday Love" photo is dedicated to Dave's loving hands and the beauty he has surrounded me with.

3WW glass - question - token

Why Can't Spring Stay?

Winter is gone, blooms sprout
up through fallen needles,

the folded daffodils straighten
from winter's last fall, some broken

brittle as glass, leaving but
a token few to join the awakening.

A canvas of colors, a canopy of blues
with white clouds wafting by,

forest green backdrops reaching
up to the sky, lifting their skirt's

so the sun can get by, contrasts
of light and dark, a sight to behold.

Breezes stroke the branches, brushing
off the baggage of winter's wrath,

spreading seeds to multiply, while
waking the silence living within,

birdsong serenade, beckons me
outside to live a new day.

My question remains the same,
why can't spring stay?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

SS - Puzzled? / Easter Poem

I realize that I am 46 and don't get out much but I'm missing the days of old. Everywhere I go people are talking on cell phones and it is not just the young people. I have been caught talking to people who were not talking to me but to someone on the phone. It feels like it's getting out of control and what will happen to fossils like me when I refuse to own one? Will pay phones and land lines become extinct? Ok, probably not but I'm feeling a chill in the air.

I understand having one for emergencies, especially if you have young children. What puzzles me is why would you chat with your mom while you're shopping at Wal-Mart? Yes, my oldest has done that and if she calls while behind the wheel I hang up (I've seen her drive). I love the opportunity to strike up conversations with strangers in lines or in the store isles when I get out. Now, I'm lucky if I get eye contact or a returned smile. I feel a real disconnect happening out there in communities and I'm sure others feel it too. I love to people watch but now I'm eavesdropping because people tend to raise their voices. Can you hear me now? YES!

I'd love a no cell phone day or maybe a pledge of phone etiquette with every purchase. Your signal will drop at each slip up so that you may be reminded of where you are. It's a fairly new techno toy and the laws are always at least five years behind, so I get the dangers of cell phones not yet addressed. Did you know someone can take a cell phone picture up your skirt and it's not a crime?

I have no problem with cell phones used in moderation. I'm just not understanding the priority they are taking in people's lives. Children are given phones to call home and the parents are going into debt so children can text their friends. Cell phones are becoming cameras, Internet and MP3 players. I'm thinking this must be how my grandparents felt about VCR players.

Easter by Katharine Tynan

Bring flowers to strew His way,
Yea, sing, make holiday;
Bid young lambs leap,
And earth laugh after sleep.

For now He cometh forth
Winter flies to the north,
Folds wings and cries
Amid the bergs and ice.

Yea, Death, great Death is dead,
And Life reigns in his stead;
Cometh the Athlete
New from dead Death's defeat.

Cometh the Wrestler,
But Death he makes no stir,
Utterly spent and done,
And all his kingdom gone.


Cell Phone - StockXpert
Cylamen in snow by Tammy

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Love - Shutter Sisters

This is a pictorial of a typical day between Nikki (9) and my husband Dave. This is a very unusual relationship because when I met Dave he had to get past the fact he was falling for a woman with a little yapper dog. He was a dog lover but if they didn't retrieve ducks, sleep on the floor and stay low maintenance he would not have had one. Then he met Nikki, who sleeps in the bed, gives kisses and needs a lot of care.
She fell in love with him very quickly and used every cute look she could muster to win his heart. She got him hook line and sinker over time. I even feel excluded from them as he pours his affection on her forgetting about me! If his friends could only see this love...hehehe!

Daddy's home! I get a kiss and she gets held and rubbed...jeez!

Bedtime excitement as she awaits mom to join them.

Can we say SPOILED!

Nikki is a Maltese and she gets groomed normally every 4 months but the new groomer made her look like a rat. This is how she looked before the haircut so I guess the "mountain groomer" had never cut a Maltese. Nikki was very sad and could use some Thursday love. ;)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Friends Blooming in Spring

Annie from came for a visit bringing along two of her lovely friends. I was nervous because we had received a couple inches of snow the night before but the sun was shining and the sky was a brilliant blue. I was so excited to see Annie and show her my cabin in the woods. One of the gals she brought, Barbara, lives up here and we are already planning lunch and shopping. lol Barbara really thought my DVD aquarium was really an aquarium and not a "monster" TV, I loved that! Leave it to Annie to bring her friend's together but then isn't that what we do as bloggers, share? This was my second meeting with Annie and I can't wait for the next one. Thank you Annie, Elaine and Barbara!

This is us at our local Mexican restaurant having lunch and probably the only moment we were not moving our lips. Barbara to the left, Elaine, moi and our Annie. Dave liked all the women and was very helpful and talkative as I showed off his handy work around the house.

I just love snow on flowers and I'm glad the girls got to enjoy the snow flurries, flowers and blue skies. When lunch ended Dave came to tell the girls it was really starting to snow, so to be safe they should get down the road to their next stop, the yarn store. ;) I'm happy to report this mini daffodil is thriving once again.

Annie took this as Dave was putting my coat on and I loved it! Dave and I are going to do something so exciting that I'm bursting...check this out! I'll try and get pictures but I'm scared Dave will drop the camera.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday Love - Shutter Sisters

To watch your baby give birth is a surreal experience. I watched Jessica show a strength and courage during childbirth like I had never seen in her before because she had always been my baby. Watching TK being brought into this world was an out of body moment that took me back to Jessica's birth. I will admit I missed the best parts of childbirth as I writhed in pain, praying for it to be over. In watching TK struggle into life at the other end of things I was mesmerized and immediately fell in love. I had pushed with Jess and her husband while cheering TK on. My oldest was horrified and excited as she said "if this isn't an advertisement for birth control I don't know what is." I'm thinking she will wait a while longer before she gets pregnant.

I never thought I'd live to see my daughter's marry much less give birth. TK is my special gift that I hold dear. This weekend I had a sleepover at TK's house. My daughter put him in bed next to me after he was asleep. I tried to pull his foot out of my rib with a tickle in the morning but he awoke to find gramy beside him. He did a double take that turned into a smile of pure happiness. The bed head and his sweet sleep scent made my day as he climbed all over me like a jungle gym.

We went on walker rides, read, ate and had a fun time. My daughter made Greek kabobs with a pine nut orzo that was to die for. TK was such a charmer as he took my hand and patiently walked me into our next adventure of the day. His eye's are his mother's, blue with long lashes. It's like getting to love on your 22yr old daughter as child all over again but the cherry on top is the addition of TK. You can see the love in his eye's as he plays for the camera.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Read Write Poem - "Dream"


Falling into slumber
the weight of my tears
trailed down my face
despair drifting into
my pillow

Awakened to terror
eyes refusing to open
my heartbeat filled the room.
Holding my breath in stillness
I knew a presence was near

The mattress creaked
and sunk at my side gently
terror began lifting from my body
replaced by a warming
blanket of peace

My eye's were urged open
to the God of my youth
with tears of sadness
streaming down his face
arms open to me

He spoke through my heart
taking me into his arms
rocking me as a child saying
"I feel your pain and
I'll never leave your side"

The next morning I felt free
from the bonds of fear
knowing I will never be alone
as I move forward in life
seeking purpose

This was a real vision/dream that came to me at a very low time in my life. The message was so profound it changed who I was and who I'm becoming. Fear is toxic and when you let it go it makes room for good things to come into your life. No one could ever convince me that this vision was not real and I will continue to share it in different forms until I can't.

Photo from StockXpert

Friday, March 07, 2008

SS - The Experiment of My Life

The last seventeen years has felt like one big experiment on how to beat an illness. In the beginning you don't mind the needles, machines and doctors because you want answers. When you get that answer you read everything you can, scaring yourself into trying anything once.

My research was so detailed that I challenged my diagnosis of MS with four top doctors and four years of my life. Sadly I got my diagnosis changed but it was not better news. I was sent to UCSF and saw a doctor that started one of the first ALS clinics on the west coast. They have organizations for the patient support but this was different. These were researchers that focused mainly on the disease because time is not a luxury for most ALS patients. They seemed numb to death since most patients live for only 3-5 years and they had lost many patients during drug trials. They needed ambulatory patients for experimental drugs. I was still walking so before I knew it I was signed up for a blind 2yr clinical drug trial.

I drove 2 hours each way for questionnaires, blood work, respiratory tests and a full exam once a month for 2yrs. I was given a months supply of vials and needles for two injections a day. There was a placebo and two different dosages given but I was not allowed to know what I had. I knew I was getting the drug the minute the side effects started. The first month was the worst but after two years it became easier. In the end the drug was not approved by the FDA so they wanted to start a new trial. They wanted to inject the drug directly into my brain once a month but I'd need a hole drilled into my skull first. I kindly declined that trial with a wait and see attitude.

The next experiment I agreed to was a series of electric shocks on certain muscles. They took me down into a dark basement at UCSF into this tiny room. It looked like a Frankenstien movie set. I had tears rolling down the sides of my face for two hours before they were done. It hurt like hell and I did not return. I felt bad because this was not just for me but for all ALS patients. I did offer my body to them after I died but they said they would only want my brain and my family would have to pay extra for removal and shipping!

I eventually found a site called Patientslikeme and it has ALS patients that share with other patients on what has made their lives better. Some are doing stem cell procedures in other countries and others have found various drugs and supplements that have made life easier. We chart our progression and what we are on, while debating and asking questions in a forum. Most doctors don't know about most of this stuff unless they are working at an ALS clinic. Some of the patient support clinics are dropping the ball and are acting more like a hospice. Support should go hand in hand with hope. I got the hell out of that scenario!

My experimental life has taught me to listen to my body, listen to those who have been there and be open to a cure. I use water workouts, drugs only at night and get my 9 hours sleep. My friend Bonnie wants me to try a metal detox program which I'm going to try. ALS is a gene triggered by chemicals so it's worth a shot. ALS is not a death sentence with today's technology but living with this technology is a personal choice.

I still have not accepted my ALS diagnosis after 17 years because I'm still here, breathing on my own. I am still fighting for a cure and a truth. I'll never stop searching while I continue to stay one step ahead with eyes forward.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Thursday Love - Shutter Sisters

This is Ethan our 6yr old grandson that lives far away. I met this little man when he was almost three as a new bride to his papa Dave. We hit it off immediately but we were all new to the extended family protocol of what to call me, so I became Tammy. He noticed at three that I was different and papa had to help me up the stairs. His little heart was so full of compassion that he held out his tiny hand to assist me up the stairs with papa. I was overwhelmed with emotion at how much he understood. We really hit it off once we got to know each other.

When grand babies live so far away they seem to grow up much too fast and you worry they will forget you. Dave forgets to let me say hi when he calls mainly because he's not a phone person and it can be awkward chatting with children. They often nod instead of saying yes or suddenly walk away. lol

On our recent visit I wanted to focus on quality time with the boys so we could make a stronger bond until we can be together again. TK's (my daughter's son) birth changed me inside as a woman because I had realized the responsibility of being a grandparent and the intense love that came with that role. I wanted all that with Dave's grandsons but I wanted to earn it with the time we had on this visit.

Ethan and I picked up where we had left off and I made the effort to show my love in ways he could feel. I sat on the porch in 40 degree temperatures watching him dunk baskets, ride his new bike and hit baseballs with papa until I could not feel my feet. I really enjoyed cheering and even threw out some pointers. We all had a blast! Ethan gave me the most precious gift of the trip by calling me grandma for the very first time and it gave me goosebumps. I plan on being a better grandma to all my grandson's and finding long distance ways to do it. This picture represents joy and love for my grandson Ethan.

*I wanted to start playing with photos as spring approaches so I'm starting with . My energy has returned from that nasty flu and my email is up...woohoo!