Thursday, September 30, 2010

This is why

I am not afraid or lonely when I am all by myself.  This is Felicity and she is the reason that the UPS man hesitates to come up to the door.  She is very big; 100# and has a very deep voice.
 This is Rascal  and though he is smaller about 65#;  he still intimidates with his loud deep voice.  Between the two of them they make an excellent alarm system.  It is a very loud alarm system.  At this point I am very glad they are learning to distinguish and ignore; the mailman, the garbage truck, and most of the neighbors.  They only bark at the next door neighbor when he comes in with the windows down and the music blaring; can't blame them for that, the music most definitely covers up the sound of the car.  They also recognize our cars but the alarm goes off anyway; I guess it's their way of greeting us.
We also walk the dogs several times a day so the whole neighborhood knows we have large dogs.  Nobody bothers our house.  In fact some people have a hard time visiting and we have to put up the dogs although once introduced there is no problem, but they have to be introduced.  My biggest fear is getting sick and having to call 911(I keep my cell phone on me all the time just in case)and not being able to get the dogs put up and the dogs being so protective that the EMT's can't get to me.  I guess all things have good and not so good points.   
Felicity is an Akita and I do believe that when one gets a dog one needs to look into the breed or breeds of the dog that one is getting.  I have seen enough pure breeds and mixed breeds where I knew the breeds that I have come to realize how important knowing about the breed is.  
Akitas are big, strong, intelligent, independent dogs.  They are not dogs for first time dog owners.  They kind of remind me of cats in big dog clothing.  The vet loves Felicity, the only Akita in her practice that she was not afraid of, because she is so well socialized but in discussing obedience training she said Good luck Akitas are very hard to obedience train, but a well socialized Akita makes for a real nice dog.  They tend to be independent like a cat and sometimes I have to go look to see where she has settled herself.  They also tend to be a one person dog and unfortunately Emily is Felicity's person.  She tolerates and socializes with us but when Emily is here she sticks to Emily like glue.  We owe Felicity a great deal as she got Emily through her sister's teen years and her own teen years.  I really wish we could find a way to get those two together again, but circumstances change and Emily would not be able to care for her.  I would like to always have a big protective dog but like I said circumstances change and I am no longer able to train and take care of a large dog.  Felicity is getting old especially for an Akita and when she is gone that will be the last of the large dogs for us.  SIGH :^C
Rascal is my constant companion; unlike Felicity that I have to go look for; Rascal is always in the same room as me and he's kind of like having a clingy toddler and follows me to the bathroom and waits for me outside.  Once again I can't even go to the bathroom without being followed.  We rescued him but payed attention to his breeding.  He is part Australian Shepard and part Lab.  I wanted to train him for a service dog.  I needed the build, size, friendliness and soft mouth of the Lab and the herding instincts of the Shepard.  Once again circumstances changed, the kids who promised and were in their late teens and capable, fell through on the training.  Rascal never got big enough and has also had many health issues which has kept us from taking him out in public.  Even though he did not turn out to be as useful as we had hoped; he has turned out to be a terrific companion for me.  Very helpful since I spend a lot of time by myself.  Even if Jeremy is here, he holes up in his room and I would still feel alone.  With my dogs I never have to feel lonely.
This is a photo from Wikipedia one of the places you can go to get info on dog breeds or go to bing and you will get several options. These are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  I would always like to have a dog; I think having a dog is good for me, but circumstances do change and I'm not sure I'll always be able to take care of a dog.  However due to the change of circumstances my choice of dog breed has already changed. No more big dogs.  These are little guys around 15#.   A size that I could easily take care of now.  They are lap dogs and right now a lap dog for company sounds good.  Rascal is too big for a lap dog which is too bad and he never got big enough to be a service dog. But even with the change of circumstances I still love Rascal and plan on keeping him.  These little dogs are also good with other dogs, friendly with strangers although they do bark at strangers.  They are very good with children of all ages and with 10 grandchildren that is very important, especially since one has autism.  They can also be trained to lay still up next to you which in effect makes them a living, breathing, hot water bottle.  With fibromyalsia that sounds good to me.  We'll see if this kind of dog might someday join our family.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good Morning Starshine

Good Morning Star shine
The earth says "hello"
You twinkle above us
We twinkle below.

Good Morning Star shine
You lead us along
My love and me as we sing
Our early morning singin' song

(middle eight)
Gliddy glub gloopy; Nibby nabby noopy
La la la lo lo...
Sabba sibby sabba; Nooby abba nabba
Le le lo lo...
Tooby ooby walla; Nooby abba nabba
Early morning singin' song.

Good Morning Star shine
The earth says "hello"
You twinkle above us
We twinkle below.

Good Morning Star shine
You lead us along
My love and me as we sing
Our early morning singin' song

(Repeat middle eight)

Singin' a song, humming a song
Singing a song...
Loving a song, laughing a song
Singing a song...
Sing the song; Song the sing
Song song song sing
Sing sing sing sing song
Song song song sing
Sing sing sing sing song

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just because...

I have been feeling bad, been in more pain, and kept on going, and having Addison's disease where my body does not make stress hormones eventually I run so low on stress hormones that my body takes over and every time I sit down I go to sleep.  I guess it's a good thing.  But anyway I picked out some of my favorite picture, no theme just because I like them.  Hope you like them, too.
Johnina  :^A

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rainy days and Mondays....

....Always get me down.  I believe those are the words from a song from my teenage years sung by the Carpenters.  Although at the time I really liked the song it no longer applies.
I now love Mondays as the beginning of a new week full of opportunities.  I like to think that if I have messed up on meeting my goals or had a bad week that I can start over; kind of like a mini New Year.   Especially after a restful, uplifting Sunday like yesterday.  Benn came over and both Benn and Jeremy had their girlfriends with them and we all enjoyed visiting after a spiritual church meeting and just relaxing in each others company.  Wonderful, wonderful Sunday; I love the sweet spirit of Sundays.  After a day like that, I feel even more like I can start again and improve over the week before.
And rain, well without rain I wouldn't have my flowers.  You have seen many pictures of my flowers in my flower garden and even though it has had to be watered on occasion; without rain even that would not have been possible.  We have had many a drought year lately were water restrictions did not allow for watering of flower gardens.  One year we used bath water to water the flower garden, but this year we have had rain and at times bountiful flowers.  The cypress flowers pictured above are a good example.  These huge plants started out as two small seedlings this last spring.  They have climbed up a 6 foot trellis and are lush and thick and stick out about a foot and as you can see they are covered in flowers.
Johnina :^A

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Alice's Playhouse

I have been in horrible pain since yesterday, but I wanted to share something fun with my friends.  I did this edit last year when SYFY channel did the Alice in Wonderland mini-series and the movie 'Alice in Wonderland' with Johnny Depp was getting ready to come out.  This was my Wonderland interpretation.  Hope you enjoy it.  Do you think it fits in Wonderland? Have you ever done your own interpretation of a story in your own words, art or photos?

Johnina :^A

Friday, September 24, 2010

Morning Glories - Which is best?

Which do you like best?
Please leave your opinions in the comment section
Thanks,  Johnina :^A

Morning Glories

With the cooler mornings we have had a resurgeWith With the cooler overnight temperatures we have had a resurgence of flower blooms like the Morning Glories here.  The Morning Glories are very pretty but they cover EVERYTHING; walls, trees, power lines, even the lawn.  Right now they are thick and luxuriant but they have about reached their peak.  Tom downloaded a photo editing program onto his computer as it will not work on mine with windows 7 but I love the program so this morning I am playing on his computer and sharing some of the results with you.  Hope you ENJOY.  Johnina  :^Atoday.  Hope you ENJOY.  Johnina  :^A

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spiders, spiders everywhere

This year we seem to have lots of spiders everywhere if you remember a couple of posts ago the forest pics with all the webs going across the floor of the woods there were certainly a multitude of webs.  I took a photo of this blade of grass and I saw the white on it but didn't know what it was till I saw the photo on the computer and saw that it was a web complete with spider.
This little beauty showed up when the boys were cleaning out my garden and went to put the plants they pulled up into the garbage can composer.  They came and got me (I have my family well trained) I took the photos and then they killed it.  It was actually a little scary taking this photo cuz I had to clear out some of his web to get close enough to get a good portrait of him.

This little guy was indeed a little guy.  He was smaller than the eraser on a pencil.  The shiny spots in the background are dew drops.  I couldn't get a real clear picture of him because I don't have a camera with interchangeable lens, but he was so cool looking that I just had to try and then include him with the other spiders.  I have been working on learning to use the aperture settings to get good clear images in the foreground and a very softened background.  I think it is helping to improve my photos and it will help when I get my DSLR.
Johnina  :^A

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Early Evening Sunset

I may not have caught the sunrise, but I was able to catch the sunset on the way home from the grocery store.
Have a delightful evening !!!
Johnina :^D 

Early Morning Sunshine

I woke up this morning to a delightful sunrise, but the last time I used my camera it said the battery was dead so I just enjoyed the sunrise wishing I could share it with you.  However the thought popped into my mind that sometimes after the camera had sat for a while I could still get a couple of shots out of it.  Although this is not the sunrise it is still a beautiful picture of the early morning light.  A delightful way to start your day and then to seize this beautiful day and make the most of it no matter what you do.
Johnina :^D

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Alone we can do nothing,
But together our minds fuse into something
Whose power is far beyond
The power of it's separate parts.
The kingdom cannot be found alone,
And you who are the kingdom
Cannot find yourself alone.
                              ~A Course in Miracles~ 
I have been reading Wayne Dyer's book 'The Power of Intention' and this is one of the quotes from it that I found to be both profound and true through my life.  I have read quite a few self-help books and this principle is called synergy.  I call it the 1 + 1 = 3 principle.  If you have ever done brainstorming you know that if you do it alone you can come up with some good ideas, but if you add another person the ideas flow much quicker and get refined much faster.  In one of my college classes on creative thinking we were told to come up with as many uses of a screwdriver as we could.  We then went down the rows and listed our answers getting many repeats and very few results.  The professor than had us brainstorm as a group and we quickly filled the chalkboards, all of them, with hundreds of uses.  Synergy at work.  At one point I was helping my sister and mom start a housecleaning business and normally my sister and I went together and cleaned two houses in the morning.  We decided to experiment and we split up and each did a house and it took us till mid-afternoon.  Again synergy at work.  The picture above is our woman's organization at church where we have a project to make totes and fill them for the local woman's shelters.  Most women who enter these shelters do so on short notice and do not have time to pack so we are providing them with basic toiletries so they feel like they have something of their own to keep themselves fresh and nice looking. One of those things that are very important to women in that situation.  As we made the totes and filled them not only were we serving a need but we were also building our sisterhood.  Great things happening.
The same kind of synergy can happen over the Internet as we share our lives and thoughts on our blogs.  We can communicate worldwide, both male and female and bring about greater understanding as we get to know each other, especially as we leave comments for each other.  As I once heard said 'We are all more alike than we are different.' and as the opening quote says we all need each other.
Johnina  :^A 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Before the dew is off the Rose

This morning was beautiful with soft light and cool temps.  Having been frustrated lately with trying to take pictures first thing in the morning; between low blood sugar and not having my medicine in my system fully my hands shake real bad in the morning.  Sooo yesterday I went and bought a monopod in hopes that it would help steady me enough to take good clear photos.  This morning I tried it out.  The pictures were very much better and the monopod is so much easier to use than a tripod.  I'm sure there will be time when I will still use my tripod when out taking a series of photos but I've been trying to figure out an easier way to steady myself when I'm just out walking and the tripod is somewhat awkward and bulky.  While the monopod is not quite as flexible when it comes to pointing the camera (no swivel head) it is an excellent compromise.  The pictures I took this morning are proof.  The rose photo I took this morning was nice and clear but then serendipity, I accidentally hit the zoom button and wow was I surprised at the detail I was able to see, so I cropped it to the size of the zoom and it's up above.
The morning started out beautifully, but I ended up spending my afternoon and some of my evening at Best Buy getting my computer fixed.  It has been acting up for several days but became absolutely unusable today, fortunately they were able to fix it while I was in the store, it just took a long time. 
While I was there I had them look at my camera; when I fell and hurt myself, I scratched the lens, it's a small scratch but still a scratch and since I paid for insurance for accidental damage I figured I ought to have it fixed, so I'll be back to my old camera for a couple of weeks. Sigh! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Early Morning Prayers

I captured this Praying Mantis on my window this morning and what a delightful reminder to remember my prayers.  Prayers are important to me and bring me great peace, like the promise Jesus gave in St. John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."  Early morning prayers are a great way to start the day; feeling the peace that can only come through Jesus Christ  and it is available anytime I need it during the day.  May you feel at peace today.  Johnina

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Spider and the fly

The Spider and the Fly
Mary Howitt

Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there."
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, " Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple -- there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.
The Spider and the Fly
Mary Howitt 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Scene while walking the dog

I think quite often we take for granted the beauty around us everyday.  While walking the dog and enjoying the early morning sunshine with it's dappled shade, it occurred to me that I had gotten out of the habit of sharing everyday pleasures.
I am also a firm believer that when you put good out you get good back.  I just got finished reading Dan Brown's "Lost Symbols" and the scientist in it was working on proving that people can influence the world around them by their thoughts.  Dr. Wayne Dyer also puts forth this idea in his books and the title of his book that I am currently reading "The Power of Intention" really puts forth his belief in the power of one's thoughts to influence one's life for good.  I have put some of his principles to work in my life and seen the results and delightful they have been.  I also believe that just putting out good thoughts and sharing the good in one's life bring good into one's life.  Serendipity in principle and action.
I have also found that the good that comes into one's life also comes when you are ready. In finding the book on vitamin D ("The Vitamin D Solution" by Dr. Michael Holick) not to long ago I would have ignored it, because of all the things listed on the front that it was supposed to cure or help.  It sounds to good to be true and things that sound to good to be true usually are. However, I have had so many experiences lately with one hormone or medicine helping or throwing off lots of different parts of my body that I was willing to read it.  I have learned a tremendous amount from this book and one of the most important is the fact that vitamin D is not a vitamin but a hormone and a type of steroid at that; which is why it effects so my systems in one's body.  Since I know I am indeed deficient in vitamin D I am doing my best to follow the suggestion in this book.  Right now I am sitting under a UVB light so my skin can produce vitamin D. Even finding out I was vitamin D deficient was a matter of serendipity,  finding the info when I was ready and having others ready to help along the way.
I hope you enjoy some of the beauty I found while walking the dog.
Please leave a good thought or experience from your life in the comments so you can join me in passing good around the world.
Johnina  :^A


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Oh, What a Beautiful Morning....

Oh, what a beautiful day,
I've got a beautiful feeling
everything's going my way."
Today Jeremy is off work and I am home all day and I'm looking forward to getting some things accomplished.

Doctors, Doctors and more Doctors (Part 2)

and disappointments and hope and a little bit of serendipity.  Over the last three weeks I have had at least one doctor or physical therapy appointment a day.  It's getting really old, especially on days when I have two appointments.  It's very time consuming.  I've gone into the doctor, told them of the problems I've been having only to be referred to another doctor or given advice, getting my hopes up, trying their suggestions only to have them fail or not work as well as expected.  I was beginning to feel like this floor looks, like I was walking into a prison.
Finally  I found the doctor with the answers, but I didn't like all of the answers.  Amazingly the doctor or actually the doctors assistant was the endocrinologist.  One would have thought the surgeon or the pain doc or the primary care would have the answers first, but such was not the case.  Since I have so many medical problems and they all interact sometimes it is hard to know which doctor to go to; so I end up sitting in many waiting rooms with the most uncomfortable chairs in pain and sick.  Why is it that doctors offices and medical waiting rooms tend to have the most uncomfortable chairs?
Anyway it seems that I had come down on my corticosteroids too fast and it was causing all kinds of my symptoms.  From my hair failing out, withdrawal symptoms (nausea, stomach cramps, chills, headache,etc.), trouble keeping my blood sugars stable, lethargy and whatever else.  It's amazing what having a hormone out of whack will do to me, so many things are affected and I feel so cruddy.  Upping my steroids made me feel better much better and faster than any other suggestions from the other doctors.  There was bad news here though, it seems that the reason that I had so much trouble with the pain is because I no longer make my own endorphins which makes my pain level higher than it would be for most people.  Also in spite of taking 3x the high dose of vitamin D supplements I am still deficient.  Now on to looking up and having hope and the little bit of serendipity.

I am no longer vitamin B-12 deficient and therefore no longer anemic so I no longer have to see the hematologist.  I've met all my goals in physical therapy so I no longer have to go there that gives me an extra hour three times a week in travel time.  I still have to exercise but no more travel.  Progress-Progress
Now for the serendipity- several months ago Tom ran across an article on the Internet on how vitamin D helps the pain of Fibromyalsia,I asked the fribro group about it and some were having good luck with it so I asked the pain doc about it and he said he knew nothing about it but it was safe to try and to let him know how it worked so I tried it and it did help a little.  When i next went into the endocrinologist the assistant saw it on my list of supplements and decided to test me to determine if I was indeed deficient, and I was.  She prescribed a dosage and retested this last time I went in.  The level is up a little but still low, so up goes the dose.  Then I go in for my IVIG and find the library in Fayetteville, which has a different selection of books from the Griffin library; only to find the book "The Vitamin D Solution"  This book seems to have so many answers to so many of my medical problems, I have hope and am excited to find out more.  This book has turned into a real page turner for me.  Wish me luck in being able to implement the ideas in this book and hopefully it will improve my life.  I certainly seem to have been led to it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Last Hot Night in August

We have had such a horribly hot, high humidity summer and it has has been tough to suffer though it.  It does things to one.  It makes one tired and grouchy, like one's energy is being sucked right out.  No one ever looks their best. What with the sweat dripping off the tip of your nose and one's hair, well frizzy is an understatement, but I didn't know it caused cameras to hallucinate.  The above photo is shown as it was taken by the camera, no touch ups or computer programs used.  It certainly looks like a flying saucer floating over a forest to me.  In reality it is caused by the lens fogging up from the heat and humidity of the night.  This photo was taken at around 11 PM and the temperature was still about 90* outside and this was just last week after many weeks of such weather.  I had to wipe the lens of my camera after every shot to keep it from fogging up to much and even then if I took too long to set up the shot it would fog up the lens and give that eerie look to my shot.  The picture was taken with just the light from the  the back porch light using my shutter speed priority setting on my camera.  I am really trying to learn to use my camera to a much fuller extent and having fun learning more.
Once again this is a photo op I would have missed without my husband Tom.  He was walking the dogs when he saw the mushroom and told me about it so I could go out to photograph it.  He's always on the look out for interesting things for me to photograph, although I don't think he or I expected the results I got when the mushroom was first spotted.  Thanks, Tom.
Below is a close up of the mushroom as it should look and if one looks at the blades of grass one can see how wet everything is even without any rain.  I am certainly glad that we have had a break from that awful heat, Maybe I'll be able to go through my day without the heat sucking all the energy out of me.