Friday, October 31, 2008

EMPS # 9 - Happy Halloween

I'm not a holiday person now that my kid's are grown and grand kids live far away. Dave is a Christmas person so we definitely celebrate that one. I find it all too commercial, but enjoy the tree and lights. On Halloween we are the house that turns off all the lights and watch TV in the bedroom. Dave is at work during prime trick or treat hours. If I had to get up at every knock the kids would be adults before I'd reach the door. ;) I decided to not be a party pooper by skipping tthe prompt. I found what I had packed away since my kids were little and decorated my tea cart for this shoot.

The pumpkin is fake, I bought a pumpkin candle, pulled out a pumpkin tea pot and picked a few of my apples. I had to sneak the candy from Dave's private stash and it's already gone. ;) The vase is filled with brown glass rocks, orange water and floating rose candles. Tada!
( Click for better details)

This is as scary as it gets at our house, unless you count Dave's skinny white legs. LOL He let me take a picture to post, but they are scarier in person. He has the twigs and I have the trunks.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ALS Walk Part II

It was a beautiful autumn day that was unusually warm. I was stressed and nervous on the way as I wondered who would show up. Being captain, I had to make sure we stayed together, the banner could be seen and that my team got registered. It was not the most organized event I've ever attended and I saw no TV/radio coverage. We could not hear the microphone, but we heard the band. Maybe we were in a bad spot, but we were by the start of the race. Sacramento is the capital of California, what's up with that? I did write to the governor and a large newspaper, with no response. Next year I'm dragging news and radio vans out there if I have to lay on the capital's steps!

Seeing my family and friends arrive made it all worth it. My t-shirt was looked at by many, but mainly I saw conversations about it. A family was walking for their dad who had passed last year. They happily approached me after seeing my shirt. They were excited that I had survived for so long. Another lady approached me over the shirt. Her hubby had just been diagnosed for 3 mos. It gave her hope. Yay! I wish I could have met more people but it went so fast! I met Stephen who has had ALS for 3yrs and he looked great ( another slow progressor), but I got pulled away before I could really chat.

My kid's got along and everyone who said they would walk, walked. My grand pups acted like uncivilized puppies (dah!) and my oldest got stressed, but that was it. I didn't want it to end, so next year I'm thinking a picnic in that park would be cool. I learned a lot in my first year. Many donations did not get on my page, so we brought in more than $2000. I know a lot of people that don't do much on computers and were confused. Thanks again to all who supported me, even in spirit.

The Walk

The golden leaves of the park
fell like confetti in celebration,
of our special day.

Angels arrived in curiosity,
looking for familiar faces
through trees of gold,

anxiously looking about
to find a single group
gathered under a tree.

I see them, or I think I do:
those familiar faces I love,
shining bright as the sun.

Laughter, hugs and chatter
blends into the growing crowd,
and still there is a sadness.

Together on our path.
We are reminded of the fallen.
Who strengthen our stride

as we walked in their name.
We moved forward as one.
In a swelling sea of hope.

We gave of our money
in the toughest of times,
for those who suffer.

We walked for our friends.
We walked for the family
that continues to fight.

Five for Fighting is releasing this track on their next album. The singer, Eric Lowen, has ALS and emailed me after the walk. The choir is all ALS patients with their caregivers and families. This is to raise money and it's a great song.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sunday Scribbling - What's Awesome About You?

This Saturday I did my first ALS walk. This event is a good way to show off my better attributes. I read this weeks prompt and was thrown for a loop. How do you write what's great about yourself without sounding like you're all that and a bag of chips? After this event I thought the timing for this prompt was perfect. I'm hoping it shows I'm lovable, a survivor and one lucky lady. The blog community, my friend's and family helped me to raise over $2000. This event made my heart soar! Who knew my journey, in my own words, could touch people all over the world. We received donations from Australia, France, Canada and all over the US. We did it WARRIORS!

Do you recognize this blogger? Annie and her family raised over $300. You can never convince me blog friends are not real friends.

How about this blogger? Amber and her family walked on my team. Blog friends are beautiful and I fell for Wyatt. What a great kid! Georgie was shy but shined up on her daddy's shoulders.

I walked for 5 minutes and then went to my wheelchair, but at least I gave it all I had. Tenacity!

These are my friend's and family who walked by my side. If you zoom in you can see my friend Pam. I walked for her, since ALS has not been kind to her this summer. (In photo on banner) I also walked in memory of my dear friend Helen, who lost her battle with ALS. (written in lower left corner). Hopefully they think of me as a loyal friend.
I'll get a full team shot and share when it comes out. I also have more fun shots for Wednesday. We had 25 walkers. ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Photo Shoot - "Reflections"


An early morning in Fort Bragg.

Light reflecting on ocean. (Find Spongebob Square Pants in the water)

Tootsie reflections.

Extra credit: Trick or treat? Is anyone home? I love the lips and head piece. ;)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sunday Scribbling - "Style"

I am so out of style I often chuckle at how much being trendy used to mean to me. I wore suits, heels, nylons, jewelry and the latest trends. That was back when I could button buttons, zip zippers and clasp clasps. I also never left the house without make-up, nails glued on tight and hair done. That was before I retired and still frequented trendy places and events.

Once I had to retire I gave pieces of my style away. It felt like I was shedding a part of me I didn't want to let go of. I felt powerful, sexy and wanted in my old style. As I stood there stripped naked of my old lifestyle, I wondered if I would ever feel the same way again. I needed to feel those things from the inside and pair that with a more functional look. Boy, did I save money trying!

I had to find a new style to fit my deteriorating body and still feel good inside. I refused to wear polyester pants with elastic waistbands and slippers. OK, I'll admit I do slippers more than shoes, but never in public. Cutting my hair short and not having my nails done anymore was surprisingly liberating. Searching for fashion that you can hang around in and sleep in at the same time was easy too. Lounge wear is everywhere. It's the going to town fashion that got tricky. Once I married, I could not take Dave into the restrooms so I had to go with easy on my bottom half. Dave does the top half, with jewelry and I must coordinate the bottom to be assessable. I'm trying to teach Dave how I do my hair, with little success, but he can dye it well in 15 minutes flat. We are a team now and Tim Gunn would be proud.

This is my style now. Easy restroom access with skirt, low heel boots (hides winter hairy legs)and the top half was done for me. I can still do my own make-up, but when I can't anymore I will do the tattoo eyeliner. I'm disabled, but I refuse to give up looking and feeling like a woman. This is my buddy Pam who has also managed to maintain her style with ALS. We should be on an AARP cover. :)

1st photo -

Join us at or just read other submissions.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photo Shoot - My Favorite Piece of Furniture

Show us your favorite piece of furniture.

This is my throne! When you are disabled the majority of your time is spent sitting and sleeping. My bed is a sleep number bed with a feather mattress topper. My bones still get sore from pressure so I'll soon be adding an egg crate pad (memory foam was too hard). Just visualize the princess and the pea. From there I have a simple computer chair that I cannot use ergonomically due to my angle of typing. I tend to lean on one arm and get sore. Then there is my recliner that automatically reclines, heats and massages. So like Goldilocks, my bed is too hard, my blog chair doesn't fit, but my recliner is just right!

If I'm not sleeping or on the computer I can be found in my recliner. Above me is our daughter's as little girls and as women. On the shelf is our parent's and grandparent's on their wedding day. I've added my wedding picture and our girl's wedding pictures in sepia. Our four grandson's are everywhere else. Do you see a handle to the dining room? It's actually a sideways oak toilet paper holder. That clever man of mine! (click for better close up)

I put my recliner in a location that works best for hours of sitting. I can see Dave, my view, a toasty fire and my TV, perfectly. When Dave is at home I go outside when it's not too cold. Do I get lonely when Dave is at work? I'm never alone...

I have my girl's!


Tammy's Warriors have raised over $1300 for the Sacramento ALS Walk. GO WARRIORS! I'm making a list of virtual walkers to take with me on Oct. 25th. So that we can all be together! We will have virtual walkers from all over the world thanks to bloggers. Special thanks to Annie, Chasity and Debbie for all of your hard work. Thank you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One Single Impression

"GOLD" is the prompt and I immediately thought of the color changes of fall. I just happened to be watching the season finale of "Project Runway" when this came into my mind. LOL


Fall has snuck up

on my summer collection

revealing shades of change.

Hues of gold, orange and red

move in perfect form

as the breeze moves by.

I can be found nestled

in a cocoon of covers

too warm to expose

a limb, as I remember

where I had stored

my sweats and slippers

so I can strut down

the hallway to enjoy

the new fall collection.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sunday Scribbling - If I had to live in a different time in history.

If I HAD to live in a different time in history, I would not go back in time willingly. As chaotic as I think these times are, I still have hope for a continuance of positive change. Why would I want to go back to when women had few choices, worse racism, less medical technology, people with mental and physical disabilities housed in institutions and less police technology to find criminals. My choice would to be a part of the history yet to come. I want to go forward, not back, hopefully learning from our greatest mistakes.

I'd choose the early 50's to live my life, if I must choose. After the depression and WW II Americans were much more relaxed, during those relatively peaceful times. It was known as "The Golden Era." People could afford to buy homes and credit was not a way of life. Entertainment was cheap, like the drive-ins, hula hoops, silly putty and "parking." It was also the start of rock in roll for goodness sake!

Inventions likeTelevision brought us "I Love Lucy" and "Gunsmoke." "The Diary of Anne Frank" was written and the song "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole came on the scene. Let's not forget the appearance of Tupperware, the first ballpoint pen and Snoopy! Some of my favorite things to this day. The fashion was fun and had nothing hanging out, except in Hollywood. The movies were so good back then, without the violence and gore. A very simple time where stress was down and kids played outside, until dark.

Great changes began during this era, like stopping Polio, Rosa Parks refusing to sit at the back of the bus and the new NASA launching of the "Explorer." We were moving forward, feeling safe and having fun. Don't be fooled, there was plenty of greed and corruption going on. The media did not tell all, unlike today (not necessarily a good thing). I don't want to pick apart this era because I saw promise and hope during this time in our history. I was not even a part of history until 1961, but the 50's left a great imprint on my heart. I wanted June Clever as my mother in the 60's, but thankfully I didn't have to be her in the 80's.

Do I want for us to go back in time? No, but we certainly could look back and see what was done right. History repeats itself in different forms, so we must look back. Maybe this economic disaster we are going through, globally, will make us do just that. Could this election and crisis be a catalyst to bring us all together? Here's to hoping.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Fences and What's Behind Them

Sending Carly a big HUG over the loss of her beloved cat, Elvis.

Our first outdoor project in our new house was a picket fence. We kept it natural and discovered that not only would it keep Nikki near, but we could use it as a canvas for spring blooms.

In the summer our picket fence enclosed our new garden waterfall, but allowed a path for the critters to drink. I thought the pickets looked like they were guarding it all. (click on picture for a better view)

Fall will arrive at my house this weekend. This will probably be my last rose, as it clings to the trellis fence. I am looking forward to the colors of fall, but I will miss the beauty of our first spring and summer in the mountains.

This precious bloom, that is growing like a weed, can often be found on the wrong side of gramy's garden fence.

Join us each week at

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Three Word Wednesday

Thrash -Vindictive - Effortless

I recently had a reporter from the local paper come out to the house. I wanted to promote my ALS walk and ALS awareness in my community. The reporter and photographer were very nice and put me at ease. I gave her way more information than she needed as she tried to keep up with me on her trusty notepad. I wanted her to get a feel for who I was as a person. My story flowed from the heart and it was effortless. When the article came out it was on the front page and half of a later page, with a really good picture of me, Dave and Nikki.

As I read the extensive article it was a laundry list of things I've done since having ALS. Unfortunately there was not much room left for the emotional connection I had to the events. Considering I talk with a slur, most of the mistakes were no big deal. Some of the words, however, were just not me. "He's got my butt" referring to my connection to God made me cringe! God has held me up during my darkest days and has always had my BACK. I had also expressed my wish for a "living funeral" like in the book "Tuesdays with Morry." It was expressed as I told it, but she ended the paragraph with "There will be a line out the door of ladies waiting for Dave." Ugh! I had said that in jest in a whole other conversation explaining what a wonderful man Dave is. It was an awful place to put such a jest.

The article did not capture who I am and it made me realize I had been naive. I didn't ask to proof read it before it came out, she never asked me to repeat myself (red flag) and I gave her too much information. I had to thrash it around in my head before I could get past the disappointment and move on. My biggest ALS walk supporters have been my family, friends and blog buddies. They know me best through my own words.

I can't even link you the article or picture unless I subscribe or buy copyrights. The Internet is making it very tough to compete for small papers. If I get permission and the link, I will share it with you. I'm not keeping any copies but I'm saving that picture. I am very grateful that this article did do what was most important, spread ALS awareness. The paper did not link my personal ALS walk page, but instead referenced my blog. I'm not sure how many readers know about blogs, but at least I got ALS awareness out there.

On a side note, I have been shocked by vindictive comments on a few blogs that have expressed their political passions. Non political blogs have stepped out of their comfort zone in these scary times, only to be slammed with negativity and name calling. I'm keeping my argument's for Dave (lucky him!) and won't believe everything I read. ;) You can agree to disagree with respect and debate with kindness. I'm anxious to vote and move forward.

Photo - Fort Bragg from Jess

Friday, October 03, 2008

I Don't Want Summer to Leave

"Still Life"

My First summer in the mountains has been heavenly. The weather never got too hot and there was usually a gentle breeze whispering through the trees.

As I watch Dave stack our winter wood and gather our kindling, I continue to deny the arrival of fall. It has always been my favorite season and yet even our ripening apples do not excite me. I feel fall's silent approach in the crisp morning air beckoning me forward.


New beginnings come, reluctantly
like fall giving in to winters claim.
Winds sweeping away the dead of
fall, a shifting of life, a new day.

We have started anew, joyously
as our dreams drift like snowflakes
filling the trees with possibilities.
Blanketing us in quiet solitude.

The magic of Spring will come
whispering through the pines.
Rooted deeply in love, growth
emerging stronger in change.

Reflections on a summers eve
become blossoms of hope.
Opening to possibilities, joyfully
of living in the moment.

By Tammy

My wrist has been seen by an Orthopedist and he disagreed with the Radiologist. He took his own pictures and my wrist is NOT broken. Yayy!