Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sarah's Own ALS Campaign Video

This was made by another ALS survivor, Sarah. She is the woman in the video. This is hard to watch but its power may help bring a cure. Thank you Sarah!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - Aging

Look a Little Closer

You will see grey hair
shining in the sun
wisdom earned though a
meaningful lifetime.

You will see a lined forehead
full of emotion
opening vertical blinds
letting me shine.

You will see crinkles at my eye's
accenting my face
quoting years of many
happy times?

You will see crevices in my smile
punctuating every word
a bright composition
of contentment.

Look a little closer at all the lines
that frame my face
a portrait of a good life
left unfinished.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Love Faces Friday - "No Flash"

This week it's my 3yr old grandbaby TK (Tuni Kitkawu). His eye's are blue and lashes long but my heart is drawn to the black and white. You can join in at

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

3WW - Earnest,layer,reactive


When people would ask me what my favorite season was I'd say spring, in earnest. Winter was cold and wet, summer was hot and inconvenient and fall was both. In the winter the bitter cold would seep into my muscles making me stiff as a corpse, afraid of falling. In the summer the heat would transform my body into a rag doll making everything an effort. Since moving to the mountains my body has changed my mind.

Winter is very cold and yet the trees are powdered with snow. It's as if I live in a snow globe called home and rarely venture out. The wood stove is always going and I happily hibernate in my cosy world. Summer and fall blend into one season as bright colors change to hues of gold and red. A kaleidoscope that beckons me out into the long cool days. Swimming, traveling and playing while strengthening my body. Refilling my energy for the winter ahead. The trees cover me throughout the days keeping me cool, with a pine scented breeze, and I am happy.

In spring I am like the daffodils covered by layer after layer of dirt and late snow. Weakened by my cosy hibernation I must fight my way to the sun. My body has been hibernating and is not as reactive as last fall. Spring is the start of my new year, where I must cautiously build back my strength. It brings hope and promise, along with some hard work, that makes every season my favorite. I will break through and thrive, for I am unbreakable.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - "I come from..."

I come from a place of tranquility that flows from one day into the next. I have come to learn patience beyond my comprehension. The hard edges of me have been smoothed over with empathy and compassion. I have come to let go of my fears, as God walks by my side, giving me his hand when I stumble. I am grateful to have come to a place in my life where I can trust and love again.

I have come to know that friends can become your family and you are not defined by your birth family. I have accepted that I did the best I knew how as a parent and my children are their own persons. I come from a place where boundaries are not selfish but necessary. Listening to that little voice, that I used to shove aside, is always the right answer. I come from a place where asking for help is not a weakness. It allows others to be blessed by giving.

I come from a place of contentment and gratefulness for the journey that brought me here to today.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Love Faces Friday - "Green"

I can see an average photograph and zoom in on a whole different shot. I crop, lighten, darken and saturate until I get my own shot. Being able to grab quick candid shots is nearly impossible for me. My arms don't lift and I shake when I try, from the ALS. I'm not into macro, like hubby so a tripod doesn't fit my needs. I love the faces of children, mainly my grandson's. They don't live close so I depend on their mommies to provide my canvases.

I joined the "I Love Faces" network. I can't join in their prompt contests because I didn't take the picture. Normally I'd say "so what" and enter anyway, but there is prize money involved. I do not feel an exception should be made here. I will just play along and visit other face fanatics like me. To view this sight check out my side bar.

This is my youngest grandson Warrick as Yoshi. TGIF

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Photo Shoot/ OSI - Winter's Farewell

(Click to view details)

Farewell to Winter

Farewell to the white blanket

that covered my active mind in quiet


Farewell to the joy of Christmas

that sprinkled colors with loving family


Farewell to another year gone by

that opened our eyes to power's greed and


Farewell to the cosy wood stove

that wrapped me completely in its warming


Farewell to the billowing storms

That made trees shimmy in rhythmic


Farewell to the melting snow

that strewed diamonds on branches


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sunday Scribbling - "Dear Past Me, Dear Future Me"


Dear Tammy,

I'm not here to tell you your future. I am here to give you advise from the only one you trust, you. Please be kinder to your mom because she really does know what she's talking about. Stay close to your brother because despite how he acts he needs you. Your grandparents will love you unconditionally so please do the same. They deserve your devotion. If you make a mistake please say you're sorry and always forgive, including yourself.

Please don't allow people into your life unless they bring you a nurturing and balanced relationship. There are many people that are takers and will use you. Be vigilant. Study and excel in school, you will need that education. Never forget you are worthy and have a purpose for being here. Don't buy into peer pressure for you will be lead astray, I promise you! Sex and drugs can be the death of you. Keep your body strong and healthy, you will need it. I will give you one taste of the future that will make it all worth it. You will have that great love you've always dreamed of.


Dear Tammy,

I hope this letter finds you cured of ALS and restored to normal function. Remember each day all of the people who have supported, comforted, contributed, loved and prayed for you. I know you will pay it forward in spades. I hope that you are showing Dave everyday how much he means to you. You do tend to forget but don't! He believed in you and a cure even when you had doubts. Remember if things get tough his love will carry you through. He signed up for this gig so no guilt! You are lucky to be here, so live like there is no tomorrow. Take your mistakes and lessons learned, to live with purpose and joy. Keep writing no matter what!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

3WW - Cajole - Recluse - Temper

When I was raising my girl's, as a single mom with ALS, I had to learn fast on my feet. Don't show them fear, don't make them do too much, continue life as if normal and deal with being stared at. I dealt with it all to the best of my ability for 13yrs. My oldest, Michelle, however has quite a temper and is very protective. If anyone stared or god forbid took a disable seat at the movies, she'd find a way to make everyone squirm. This started at about nine years old and continues at twenty five. I tried to explain why it happens and that it doesn't bother me but she never faltered. I saw it as curiosity and ignorance, but they were strangers. I did not look "disabled" back then, I was still somewhat attractive and I was young. Shoot, I'd stare too.

Fast forward 10yrs to happily married, looking disabled, more wrinkles and slowly becoming a recluse. I'm very happy in my world and cyberspace. So then why am I terrified to attend my 30yr high school reunion? My friends Lisa has tried to cajole me into going, yet understands. I have also re-connected with classmates on Facebook that maybe going. So what am I afraid of you ask, oh, you didn't ask, well I'll tell you anyway.

I was a cheerleader, a party girl and my senior year I made the yearbook as class flirt. Need I say more. These classmates are not, for the most part, strangers. If they all knew that I had ALS it would be easier, but most don't. Even if I wore a t-shirt that said "I'm not drunk I have ALS" many don't even know what ALS is. If they come by the table to say hi, walker tucked away, will they think I'm rude for not jumping up for a hug or just a drunken classmate too rude to mingle. People who know me now don't pity me so how will I deal with that flash across those faces. You know the look "is that Tammy? how sad."

Let's face facts, they all got older and we probably won't recognize each other anyway. I'm leaning towards going and enjoying my friends. I'll try and look fabulous and remember it's just curiosity. I could mingle wearing my cheerleader outfit holding a brewski. They won't ask what's wrong with me so I'll just act like I do this type of event regularly. If I go I'll go as me! If I don't go call me a big ole chicken!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot- Black & White

We have four beautiful grandsons. TK (below) is my youngest daughter's son and he is 3. I am always touching, kissing or holding him. He loves it for now so I'm taking advantage of it. TK is so full of personality and charm. Black and white strips the world away for me and tells a story.
I'm always noticing hands in photographs, especially my own. They do not straighten any longer but instead curl around little hands. (A few haiku for emphasis.)

I can't get enough
you are intoxicating
I see who you are

A moment of joy
captured without distractions
heartfelt memory

A child's wonder
innocence changed forever
learning we can see

These are Dave's daughters sons. Ethan is 7, Dimitri is 4 and Warrick is 14mos. The black and white shows me so much more about them on that day. Mom needed a Christmas card photo and with some cajoling got this shot. I made it black and white because I see the protective brother, the shy one and the wiggle worm. Grandkids are my favorite subjects for B & W. I'm also not as scary without make up. :)

See other B&W entries all week at

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

( Click to get a good look at our fruit orchard)

The clouds rolled in over the weekend and showered us with thunder, downpours and hail. One night we awoke to our last big snow. Dave's gardening thumb is itchy and getting greener everyday. Since weather and power outages have hampered my computer usage, my blog clubs had to wait. I've been rescuing dogs, feeding the hungry, saving the rain forest and tending to my farm instead. Wow you say? I've been on Facebook in between downpours. lol I do this all with bloggers, high school buds and Facebookers.

This morning brought blue skies and signs of spring. My new eye gaze computer has SHIPPED and I guess I will need to go get a router. I will also be getting to see my daughter's and grandson, TK, on Sunday. I have not showered him with kisses since November! My oldest, Michelle, will be moving farther away due to a new job offer. The visit will be bittersweet. Dave, he gets to be the landlord and fix all the winter damage at our other house, where TK lives with his parents. I just have to visit, be the gramy and photographer.

My Hormone test came back "normal" with a low calcium number. I said to the doctor that normal people don't get night sweats (2yrs now). She said hormones fluctuate and she will re-test in May. At the time I was frustrated, until she mentioned that my new medication may eliminate many of my peri-menopausal symptoms. Really?

Amitriptolene was given to me for migraine prevention, bladder weakness, drooling and the laugh/cry too hard thing that all come with ALS. 10mg for 2wks, 20mg for 2wks and so on until I hit 50mg. I'm currently at 30mg and the side effects stopped at 20mg. Taken at night, it apparently takes you into a deeper REM sleep (it's an antidepressant). No migraines or mood swings and I sleep through the sweats. Hmmm, maybe I can skip the hormones. I sleep a lovely 9-10 hours and feel great. I do awake to my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth and I've gained 7lbs, but I look forward to going to bed. ;) I'm eating better, but not less, because I don't eat much now. I must feed my muscles but it all seems to show in my gut (4mos pregnant is how I look). Dave is a chronic snacker, so I try and ignore his habits. Now that I can smell again, his popcorn and tollhouse cookies are killing me. I need to get in my pool, asap.